IN MEXICO, AN ANCIENT EVIL ARISES...
The full moon shines, its cold light streaming quietly down onto a sleepy community up in verdant jungle-dotted mountains. It's nighttime, everything is silent -- except for a pair of latino teenagers out on a ridge. Alone. Behind them, downhill, ruins and still-standing buildings of mesoamerican construction -- many of them a pale yellow under the moonlight.
"I'm *sorry*!" the boy pleads to the girl with an anguished expression. "Tell me how I can make it all better --!"
Their heads snap towards the nearby trees in alarm. Their eyes widen, she screams.
Moonlight gleams off dark blood flowing down even darker claws.
"SHIELD intelligence has detected activity in Southeastern Mexico, in the ancient Mayan city of Palenque", George Washington Bridge states grimly.
A rifle shakes with recoil, pushing back the large man holding it as he keeps the trigger squeezed down, sweat pouring down his cheeks. The jungle lights up in stroboscopic flashes with each burst fired. Dark shadows surround the six heavily armed and armored men firing into the darkness. One shadow slashes a long limb towards one of the men. Blood flies into the air. He screams and falls. More gunfire mixes with inhuman squeals and more screams. A series of muzzle-flashes illuminates one of the shadows. Everything freezes in place as the monstrous visage of the large, dark-skinned creature is revealed.
"That's a N'garai", Bridge continues, narrowing his eyes. "I lost six of my best men on that mission. Not a single trace of their bodies could be found."
"One man was sent against the N'garai?" Shatterstar asks.
A high-tech rifle shakes and deals death in the hands of a bare-chested blond brick wall of a man with a United States flag painted over his face. He smiles as streams of napalm shoot out of the rifle, turning a group of uniformed men charging him into human torches. A rocket blasts out, impacting onto an incoming jeep and blowing it up along with the uniformed men in it. Hailfires of bullets tear into the flesh of more attackers, leaving them bleeding corpses on the ground.
The camp in the middle of the jungle burns. It had consisted of several guard towers, wooden cabins and barracks, jeeps, and close to a hundred people in military outfits occupying it. The blond walks calmly among the bodies as the camp burns to the ground.
"Nuke", Bridge's voice explains during the carnage. "An American super-soldier. If he gets to cut loose, anything in his path will get destroyed."
"If he destroys one of Mexico's most preeminent cultural treasures..." Douglock's eyes narrow. "We need to make sure to be careful not to damage them."
"SHATTERSTAR!" Samuel Guthrie shouts. "Close-quarters approach! He's yours!"
"Moses Magnum", Douglock recites, projecting from his eyes a small holographic image of a black man with a moustache. "Has mainly worked in the arms business -- this is the guy that Sean Cassidy lost his powers fighting. He was going to sink Japan."
"You've signed your death warrant!" Moses Magnum snarls, blasting bolts of energy from his hand.
"Calypso", Douglock continues, the hologram changing into that of a black woman with a pair of drums hanging at her waist. "The lover of Kraven the Hunter, one of Spider-Man's worst enemies. She's a sorceress of some kind, voodoo stuff."
"It is time for the ritual to begin!" Calypso casts her arms towards the ceiling.
"By the power vested in the sisterhood of the *Valkyries* --" Dani snarls, her eyes lighting up with magical energies, "-- you are found *dead* --"
"*X-Force* only knows *one way* ta *do things*!" Sam clenches his hands into fists, letting them rumble.
"It's time for us to blaze our *own* path!", Roberto hisses.
ROBERTO DA COSTA
WHOOM! WHOOM! WHOOM!
Three fireballs erupt, cutting off two screams.
"I suggest immediate full-force attack", Shatterstar growls.
* APOCALYPSO *
A SAMY MERCHI PRODUCTION
"Have you ever danced with monsters by pale moonlight?"
A pair of eyes glow in the jungle.
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