Talon of Blood is a Marvel;Re short story, part of the Marvel Spotlight label. Morbius, the Living Vampire, stars as the protagonist of this story as he is summoned to the Principality of Madripoor by its head of state, Tyger Tiger, to investigate a mysterious massacre that has ensued in the nation. This one-shot is written by Jacky 50A, with input from GazzaB9.
Something has been unleashed in Madripoor, and now much of the island-state's population has to die to pay the price of a fool's folly. Michael Morbius, better known as Morbius, the Living Vampire, has been hired to investigate the source of this calamity in the rich district of Hightown. Little does he know that what he is about to encounter is unlike anything he has ever faced...
Walking down the middle of an empty road in the dark, Morbius, the Living Vampire, coldly observes his surroundings in his hoodie sweatshirt. Being the only person currently walking the streets of Madripoor easily makes him the center of attention of the locals, who are seen huddled up in their various settlements, from huts to motels. Some even observe the Living Vampire from the sewers, peeking through the storm drains. The Greek pseudo-vampire knows this but ignores them, silently making his way to a building identified as Madame Joy's Brothel. Standing in front of the dimly-lit building, Morbius snarls and thinks to himself.
- Morbius: "Every rendezvous point there is, and she picked a brothel. Whatever."
Morbius proceeds to knock on the door three times, but only silence greets his act. He wastes no time and speaks in a volume loud enough to be heard by the crowded inhabitants of the brothel, but quiet enough to not be heard as a shout.
- Morbius: "This is Morbius, the Living Vampire. Your leader asked me to handle your problem. You've got nothing to worry about."
After several seconds, the door opens and Morbius is greeted by a boy with an eyepatch.
- Boy: "(Takes a good look at Morbius) You a superhero from the 'States?"
- Morbius: "(Sigh) Are you really going to make a mess out of that, chump?"
- Boy: "You know we, Madripoorians, have our own superheroes, right?"
- Morbius: "Seems to me that you all got slaughtered by whatever's prowlin' out there."
- Boy: "Hey, just sayin'. Never heard of Morbius the Living Vampire myself. You know Wolverine?"
- Morbius: "Yeah. Tough mutant, Canadian, has six claws, and a mean brawler. Didn't ask him to help you, instead?"
- Boy: "If you're asking me, I'm just as dumbfounded as you are in this. Ms. Tyger should have the answers you need. Come on."
Morbius enters the brothel and is led by the eyepatch boy to the third floor to an office. Along the way, he sees many different Madripoorians, from farmers to businessmen, getting their wounds tended by prostitutes and surviving doctors. In the many occurrences he sees, Morbius witnesses a woman shooting a heavily wounded young man in his 20s with a gun equipped with a homemade suppressor. The Living Vampire is baffled by this as he listens to the gunshot as clear as crystal despite its reduced sound.
- Morbius: "(In his thoughts) Was that an euthanasia, or an exaction of revenge?"
- Tyger Tiger: "Mr. Morbius. You have no idea how glad we are to see you. I take it you had a pleasant flight?"
- Morbius: "You could say so, yeah."
- Madame Joy: "So this is the vampire you were referring to, Tyger? I thought he'd be a little thicker."
- Whisper Doll: "(Chuckles) Madame, not everyone can be as voluptuous as you are. Even vampires!"
- Madame Joy: "Oh, you flatter me, my dear!"
- Gazing Nightshade: "Ms. Tyger, I do not mean to doubt you, but are you sure he is up for the task?"
- Morbius: "Well, she just told me to come here because there's a... monster that needs to be handled. I happen to be a expert of monsters myself, so I may be able to help. Frankly, I thought you would have contacted me because you require my medical skills."
- Hexadecimal: "(Turns to Tyger) You didn't tell him what we're up against, did you?"
Morbius immediately turns to Tyger and raises an eyebrow.
- Morbius: "This is outside my field of specialty, isn't it?"
- Hexadecimal: "I mean, I get why she got you, because we're pretty sure that whatever metallic monstrosity that was tearin' apart Hightown a few hours ago could never expect a supernatural opponent like you. Nuh-uh, don't bother us with your pseudo-vampire schtick."
- Morbius: "Hmph. I'm already here anyway, so I may as well help as much as I can."
- Madame Joy: "Dear Tyger, have you anything to pay him with if he succeeds?"
- Tyger Tiger: "(To Morbius) You find anything interesting or enticing in Hightown, you can take them home and make a fortune for yourself."
- Morbius: "(Smirks) At least you didn't lie to me about giving me something that can cure my bloodthirst. But then, if you're handing me out rewards like that, I'd be stealing, and I'm no kleptomaniac."
- Whisper Doll: "You're telling us that you didn't steal that sweatshirt of yours?"
Morbius stays silent for a while before answering the question.
- Morbius: "I found this in a dumpster."
- Whisper Doll: "And it happens to be an Under Armour in mint condition. Yeah, what a coincidence."
- Morbius: "Look, in all fairness, none of you can pay me with rewards that could benefit me. I don't really need money since -"
- Madame Joy: "Would one of my girls be a good reward for you, Mr. Morbius?"
- Morbius: "(Flat) No."
- Tyger Tiger: "Morbius, none of us here are saints, so you may as well accept my reward offer, yes?"
- Morbius: "Yeah, yeah, we'll see. Now, do you mind telling me what we're dealing with?"
- Tyger Tiger: "Take a seat, Living Vampire."
- Morbius: "There are no more seats available for me."
- Tyger Tiger: "Then sit on the floor. I won't explain until you sit down."
Morbius takes a while to take in Tyger's statement and decides to sit on the floor anyway.
- Tyger Tiger: "(Inhales, exhales, then speaks) Here's the thing, Mr. Morbius... we don't know who or what is doing this to us. All we know is that it's a mechanical being and that it slaughtered most of Hightown's denizens, forcing them to evacuate to Lowtown. If you're wondering, I was already in Lowtown when disaster broke out."
- Morbius: "How'd you know it's a mechanical being?"
- Hexadecimal: "(Spins his chair to face Morbius) That would be because of me."
- Norio (Eyepatch Boy): "Hexadecimal's a technopath. He knows machines better than any of us."
- Morbius: "So it's a robot?"
- Hexadecimal: "It's... (stands up and rubs his head while walking around) robot-adjacent. It's no cyborg, too. It's... complicated."
- Morbius: "Anyone you know around here has seen it?"
- Norio: "I overheard somebody saying that it looks like a metal birdman."
- Morbius: "Any idea where it came from?"
- Tyger Tiger: "We don't know. I wouldn't be surprised if it's got something to do with that American hooligan who arrived three or so hours ago, however. I am sure she's someone who you do not recognize, so she has little relevance in this."
- Morbius: "Just give me the name, Tyger. If she is still alive, I'll bring her back here for questioning."
- Tyger Tiger: "Black Mariah ringing any bells?"
- Morbius: "Nope. For now, anyway. What's its last known location?"
- Tyger Tiger: "Hightown."
Morbius facepalms and the Raksha and Madame Joy snigger at Tyger's reply. Tyger, on the other hand, surprisingly remains serious in her reply.
- Tyger Tiger: "Morbius, I am not joking when I said that. That thing is practically all over Hightown. When I mobilized the police force to investigate the place, all of them disappeared the moment they entered the district's proximity. Disappeared, as in some of them were snatched away, while some of them were... reduced to ashes."
- Morbius: "(Still sitting, rubs his chin) So this thing is like a predator? If so, then it's one heck of a territorial bastard."
- Gazing Nightshade: "My doubt of your chance of success is beginning to increase, Mr. Vampire."
- Morbius: "As always. (To Tyger) You want me to destroy the thing, I assume?"
- Tyger Tiger: "Obviously. Having a giant killer robot-bird is not good for business around Madripoor."
- Morbius: "Got it. You gonna send these kids as my back-up?"
- Whisper Doll: "No."
- Hexadecimal: "No."
- Gazing Nightshade: "No."
- Norio: "Can't risk it. Our powers aren't strong enough to contend with that thing in town."
- Morbius: "Great. Once more into the fray by myself. Not that I mind working alone."
Tyger turns her head to Madame Joy, who instantly knows what she's up to. Standing up from her desk and opening a cabinet beneath it, she grabs a headset and gives it to Morbius, who examines it with confusion.
- Morbius: "(Pauses for several seconds) Okay, I get what this is for, but I thought you had something smaller like, ear comms or something."
- Tyger Tiger: "All those fancy ear comms are in Hightown, and you know what's in there. (Wears another headset herself) Gotta make due with what we've got."
- Morbius: "(Puts on the headset) Alright, so I'm going in Hightown to kill or destroy the thing that's been making the mess and find out who's responsible for this. No back-up, no allies. Got it. Just like old times."
- Tyger Tiger: "Do you have any more questions, Mr. Morbius?"
- Morbius: "I was about to ask why you didn't call in the Avengers, the X-Men, or any other superhero groups. That was until I realized how much of a criminal hellhole this place is."
- Madame Joy: "(Cocks a giant revolver beneath her desk cabinet) I beg your pardon, dear?"
- Morbius: "I'm just saying. I'm practically working for criminals, and this is the first time I've done so."
- Tyger Tiger: "Do you mind doing this assignment, Doctor Michael? Risk the lives of the rest of Madripoor?"
- Morbius: "Absolutely not, Ms. Tyger. But one has to wonder why the thing you asked me to kill hasn't gotten here yet."
After saying so, Morbius immediately walks out of the office and talks to Tyger one last time via the headset's microphone before doing the assignment.
- Morbius: "Don't worry. As long as you keep me posted, your nation's saved."
With that said, Morbius exits the building and begins to parkour from one building to another, making his way to Hightown under the cloak of the night.
Jumping and gliding from one building to another, Morbius cautiously moves from place to place to avoid the detection of his target. While standing on the roof a bank, he notices that aside from the odd debris and fires, the 'Madripoor Murderer' he's sent after didn't destroy much of Hightown's infrastructures. The buildings are relatively untouched, as do the roads, temples, and others. Corpses can be found scattered across the locale, displaying the brutal deaths of Hightown's many former inhabitants.
- Morbius: "Heh. You should see the view from here, Tyger. Can't say I've ever seen death on this scale before."
- Tyger Tiger: "I'm surprised you haven't been snatched away by the bird. Where are you now?"
- Morbius: "I'm staying on top of the Trade Center. Seems like your bird's not interested in making me, an undead wannabe, a prey."
- Tyger Tiger: "Keep searching for it. You'll never know when that thing strikes again."
- Morbius: "Got it."
Morbius is about to depart from the Trade Center's rooftop until he notices a peculiar structure from afar which suddenly lights up. Intrigued, he asks Tyger about the place.
- Morbius: "Tyger, do you know anything about a certain Japanese-looking place with a zen garden?"
- Tyger Tiger: "One second. (Speaks to the Raksha) Any of you know a... Japanese-looking place with a zen garden?"
- Norio: "A... zen garden? (Rubs his head) Hex, does the X-Mansion have a zen garden?"
- Hexadecimal: "A garden, yes. A zen garden? No."
- Gazing Nightshade: "Heh. It's been a long time since we've been there. That place was Magneto's greatest gift!"
- Tyger Tiger: "So none of you use it anymore?"
- Whisper Doll: "We've moved to Lowtown since Mr. Genius over here (Hexadecimal) is too stupid to operate the Danger Room or access Wikipedia from the supercomputer."
- Hexadecimal: "Oh shut the f**k up!"
- Tyger Tiger: "Morbius, the building you're looking at is the X-Mansion. It used to be the Raksha's residence until they moved to Lowtown."
Hearing this, Morbius squints his eyes and starts gliding towards the Madripoorian X-Mansion while keeping in contact with Tyger.
- Morbius: "Well, guess what? The place just lit up like a Christmas tree. I'm going to investigate it. Seems to me there's more problem here than just a robotic serial killer running around. Be back in a minute."
Just after he finishes his sentence, a rather sizeable shadow swoops above him, instantly alerting the false vampire. Within less than a second, Morbius stops his gliding and slams himself into the ground below, snarling and scanning his surroundings with primal ferocity. After seeing that there's no one in his vicinity, Morbius continues his journey with haste.
- Tyger Tiger: "Morbius, did -"
- Morbius: "Pretty sure the bird knows I'm here by now. Tyger, maintain radio silence until I tell you do speak up. This whole ordeal is gonna get a whole lot messier, and I don't want him to get the drop on you and your people by tracing our comms. Well, that's what I think anyway. Morbius out."
While Morbius is continuing his journey, a pair of menacing blue eyes flash out from near a building, watching the Living Vampire's movement.
Landing on a garden, Morbius wastes no time to enter the exquisite mansion. Inside, all he sees are tidy rooms, some devoid of furniture while some are somehow filled with them, including European furniture that look very out of place within the otherwise Asian style.
- Morbius: "That's odd. Why would..."
Morbius' attention instantly diverts itself elsewhere when his senses briefly pick up a unique scent from another part of the mansion: the distinct scent of a living being of flesh and blood. His hearing also picks up the sound of electronic rumblings and a sound that undoubtedly screams out download complete.
- Morbius: "Gotcha."
He immediately sprints towards the source of the scent at a speed so great humans won't even be able to see him. Unfortunately, his pursuit stops when he hears a rumbling in one of the rooms he has just passed through. Now, he has picked up a scent unlike anything he's ever known. Tilting his head to the room beside him, Morbius decides to investigate it first. Opening the sliding door, he finds the room similar in condition to the first one he saw: full of furniture. Only this time, the furniture actually fit in with the Asian interior. Nevertheless, Morbius is suspicious of them and examines them thoroughly, starting from the table in front of him.
Taking a knee, Morbius smells the table and touches it, sliding his hand across the surface.
- Morbius: "(Nods his head and shrugs his shoulders) Heh. I guess this table's just a table apparently."
The Living Vampire is wrong.
In the next panel, Morbius suddenly gets flung out of the room and into the garden, sending him crashing on to a stone wall so hard it cracks. Recovering, Morbius cracks his neck and gets up, readying his combat stance. Seconds later, the furniture in each and every room transform into grotesque semi-liquid beings reminiscent of the infamous Symbiotes. Difference is, they're not Klyntar; they're their predators: the Xenophages.
- Morbius: "Oh, you've got to be kidding me!"
The Xenophages deliver painful screeches in unison, screaming so hard Lowtown's inhabitants can actually hear them as if they're roaring next to them. Morbius himself gets temporarily disabled by this, only for him to recover quickly from the nauseating sensation and greet the aliens in combat. Despite the Xenophages' superior strength, the Living Vampire's supernatural speed allows him to keep up with them. When a Xenophage manages to restrain him with its shapeshifting ability, constricting him, Morbius responds by biting the said alien, eliciting a curious reaction.
After freeing himself from the Xenophage swarm by gliding away, Morbius notices that the Xenophage he bites begins to convulse violently, hitting away its kin in the process. Knowing what has happened, Morbius smiles.
- Morbius: "So that's what happens when I bite an alien. Now, now, my slimy thrall, how about you give your family a little time out?"
With that, Morbius' Xenophage rampages against its former allies. Unfortunately, it finds no success in overcoming the onslaught and the Xenophage quickly returns to the fold when five other members of its race bite its body, 'curing' Morbius' vampiric enzymes.
- Morbius: "Oh, great. Just as I was about to throw a party."
Before he can react, the Xenophages immediately surround him, constricting and restraining his entire body. Within moments, the aliens immobilize him with their paralytic saliva and slowly crack every single bone in his body, also destroying his headset. Screaming in pain, Morbius' healing factor struggle to keep him up in the fight until it eventually becomes very clear that he's just prolonging his suffering. Despite this, the Living Vampire has no intentions to surrender. Unfortunately, by the time his bones have been broken and healed for five times, there's nothing he can do to free himself.
- Morbius: "(Grits his teeth) So this is how it's gonna be, huh? Gettin' violated by a bunch of..."
Morbius' remark stops when a lantern suddenly drops upon the Xenophage, bathing them with fire and giving Morbius the chance to free himself. Although they do not have an aversion towards fire, the shock of being suddenly burnt is enough to disperse them. Kicking away a Xenophage from his foot, Morbius stands and looks up to see his saver standing on the rooftops: a female red ninja with an unmistakable identity.
- Morbius: "Elektra? What on Earth are you doing here?"
Seemingly hearing his question, Elektra immediately escapes the scene, leaving Morbius alone with the Xenophage horde. However, the intrepid vampire does not intend to increase the level of confusion that's currently weighing on his head. Morbius immediately leaps on to the rooftops, the Xenophages following him (and Elektra). Gliding and weaving through Hightown, Morbius' superior speed immediately allows him to overtake Elektra and catch her. Ultimately, he corners her in a sewage treatment plant.
- Morbius: "Look, I didn't mean to scare you -- if you even feel so -- but I just want to talk!"
- Elektra: "Sorry, Morbius. I don't talk with..."
Elektra's words are interrupted when the Xenophages finally catch up to the duo, forcing both of them to flee.
- Morbius: "Oh great! Run!"
The two of them split to different directions, Elektra apparently escaping the treatment plant while Morbius hides within a room full of tanks. Not the explosive kind, of course. Once inside, Morbius seals the door so the Xenophages may not follow him in. Breathing relief, Morbius attempts to have a quiet time by himself to recompose himself, but ends up facing the barrel of a gun, aimed by a rather enormous woman. Raising both of his hands more as a show of sarcasm than fear, Morbius steps back to take a good look at her.
- Morbius: "Well, hello there, Black Mariah."
- Black Mariah: "How'd you know who I am, punk?"
- Morbius: "Tyger thought you had something to do with whatever's made this place its killing ground. Anything to say about that, Mariah?"
- Black Mariah: "Tyger? You mean that whiny so-called president of this s**thole? (Cocks her gun) F**k her! I ain't got nothin' to do with that mad-ass bird flyin' around killing everyone! I was here just to have a vacation! I'm tellin' you, I'm sick of havin' to deal with Cage and his loonies every day o' the week, y' know what I'm sayin'?"
- Morbius: "Oh, so you're a supervillain then?"
- Black Mariah: "B***h, don't you f*****g think I don't know who you are! Morbius, the Livin'-f*****g-Vampire! Every single person on Earth, and I woulda never expected to encounter you here, let alone in New York!"
- Morbius: "Alright, just relax, okay? I don't give a damn if you're a supervillain or not, 'cause I'm not here to arrest anyone just because I'm a 'superhero'. Besides, it's up to anyone's guess why you, a Luke Cage baddie, would be here, vacation or otherwise."
- Black Mariah: "I got enough money from my operations back on Harlem to fund a lil' field trip o' my own, y' know. (Lowers her gun) Been waitin' a long time to see the world outside of brick walls, prison bars, an' all that."
- Morbius: "Good to know, Mariah. Do you mind telling me about how you got to this place?"
Mariah takes a brief moment to think, not wishing to spill unnecessary details that could be detrimental to her. As much as how Morbius is currently not her enemy, she doesn't want to her actions and businesses exposed to this creature in the near future.
- Black Mariah: "I was stayin' in the Sovereign Hotel with mah bodyguard, Tanner, 'fore we heard a bunch o' people screaming like hell! We didn't know what was happening, but we just ran the f**k away from the place and hid here. Did I know what the cock was? S***t no, but that thing's got blue and silver all over its paintjob. You shoulda seen how it killed all those unfortunate cucks. Ain't something I'd commend, but I've never seen anyone or anything kill that fast."
- Morbius: "Huh, so you didn't come alone. Seems to me that you're all alone in this place, Mariah. Where's this Tanner person of yours?"
- Black Mariah: "M**********r's in heaven, now. Just after I entered the door, big bird snatched the poor man away and I swore I coulda heard him being torn to pieces. I'd rather lose a few hundred pounds starving in this place than go outside and get eaten by a killer robot. By the way, what the f**k was chasing you?"
- Morbius: "(Leans on a tank and raises his hands) Don't ask me. Those things were furniture for a while before they turned into murderous aliens."
- Black Mariah: "Heh. Aliens in the Madripoor. This place is just as f*****d as New York. Ever wonder why'd you freaks tend to come from NYC?"
- Morbius: "Don't ask me. I was Greek myself."
- Black Mariah: "You're Greek? What kinda f****n name is Morbius?"
- Morbius: "What? You think I would've been named Hercules? Achilles? Odysseus?"
- Black Mariah: "Pretty much!"
A brief moment of silence ensues between the two until Morbius breaks the silence to continue his mission.
- Morbius: "I'm going to kill the robot bird now. You stay here, alright? I don't want you to die a needless death."
- Black Mariah: "I was just thinkin' about that, y' know. But, considering those slitherin' b*****s could sniff me out of my joint, how about you get me somewhere else safer?"
- Morbius: "They won't be able to smell you in the midst of all this s**t."
- Black Mariah: "Bulls**t! Get me out of here and I'll tell you s'more things about the bird."
- Morbius: "Spill it. I'll drop you off at the police headquarters. Trust me, there aren't any police officers there."
- Black Mariah: "Not that I mind. Now, now, y' see, I went here carryin' a one of a kind amulet! When I was escapin' from the bird, I dropped the amulet and I was pretty sure the bird snatched it without noticin' me."
- Morbius: "Let me guess, it wore it and now it's stronger?"
- Black Mariah: "Honestly, I'm not even sure how that thing works. But, the last time someone put it on, she went full-on Godzilla! It's some sick-ass street magic!"
- Morbius: "I'll keep that in mind. If your... what do you call your amulet?"
- Black Mariah: "The Supersoul Stone!"
Morbius raises his eyebrow and processes the amulet's name.
- Morbius: "It... has nothing to do with the Infinity Stones, right?"
- Black Mariah: "Man, f**k everyone for associating magical stones with that purple dick-chinned f**k! It ain't no freaking Infinity Stone!"
- Morbius: "Now that's a relief. Got any suggestions on where I should find the bird?"
- Black Mariah: "You know it can find you, right?"
- Morbius: "I'd prefer fighting it in its nest, so I can also know how that thing got here."
- Black Mariah: "Hmph. (Thinks) Best guess is the top floor of the Sovereign Hotel, if that thing acts like a real bird. Before you go thinkin' that I know some sort of conspiracy behind it, I'll tell ya this: when Tanner and I first saw it, it came bursting from the upper floor."
- Morbius: "Alright then. You know, I can extract some more information from you by mesmerizing you into telling me more, but since you've been a cooperative villain, I won't do that. Now, (mesmerizes Black Mariah, hypnotizing her) I want you to be quiet and fall asleep so you don't make a mess out of things, alright? Good. (Whispers) Sorry about this."
With Mariah enthralled and asleep, Morbius carries her and gets out of the sewage plant, noticing that the Xenophages are gone. This does not mean that he's not cautious, however, knowing how they can disguise themselves as mundane objects. Nevertheless, Morbius begins to make his way to the Sovereign Hotel, first stopping by the Madripoor Police Force Headquarters. Inside the place, he discovers a number of surviving police officers, civilians, and a peculiar figure wearing an Egyptian-themed costume and holding a broken staff. Morbius' sudden appearance surprises them, but the Living Vampire quickly assures them that he's not against them.
- Morbius: "(Quietly) Shh! It's alright. I'm not your enemy."
- Egyptian Man: "Who are you? Why are you carrying the woman like that?"
- Morbius: "Don't worry, she's fine. She's just asleep. Listen, I need you all to stay off the streets, alright? I know you've been doing that for a couple of hours, but there's a... bunch of disgusting creatures out there that I may have accidentally unleashed. I know, it's technically my fault, but right now, the best thing you all should do is to stay put, alright? Hide yourself and stay as quietly as possible, alright? (Puts down Black Mariah) Here, take care of her. I've got to kill the bird."
- Egyptian Man: "And how do you plan on defeating the creature? Even I am unable to defeat it!"
- Morbius: "Not to sound like a dick, but who are you, exactly?"
- Egyptian Man: "I am Tarik Fayad, better known as Horus, the strongest hero of Madripoor."
- Morbius: "Well, Horus, if I've learned anything from experience, it's that not every problem's solution is the strongest thing or being around town. You don't operate with a hammer; you operate with a scalpel."
- Horus / Tarik Fayad: "Heh. Wise words, gaunt one. We wish you good luck. May you succeed in saving us all."
- Morbius: "(Turns his head back to check on the situation outside) Much appreciated, Horus. Oh, by the way, why did the bird spare you?"
- Horus / Tarik Fayad: "Spare me? Oh, I was dead, alright. He just didn't know that I don't die easy."
- Morbius: "Okay, that does make sense to me, but I'll take it. Now, if you excuse me, I've got a bird to slay..."
Entering the hotel's lobby by gliding stealthily, Morbius examines the hotel's interior, disgusted by the amount of corpses that are lying around the place. He is no stranger to murder, but he has never seen so many corpses piled up together. Not since Christ's Crown.
- Morbius: "For a robot, this thing kills like a demon."
Morbius continues his journey by examining the reception desk, discovering that the top floor is Level 100, which conveniently houses a large exhibition hall.
- Morbius: "Level 100, huh? Sounds like a boss battle's waiting for me. This better be real, Mariah."
Before the Living Vampire departs, he notices an open journal beneath the hands of a dead receptionist. Moving the receptionist's hand away, Morbius notices an interesting reservation made several hours ago for the exhibition room on the top floor.
- Morbius: "(Reading the journal) Huh. So it appears that a Mr. Geoffrey Wilder reserved the top floor's exhibit for a scientific conference of twelve people, including himself. Really inconspicuous, sir. Really inconspicuous."
After Morbius puts down the book, he proceeds to exit the reception desk, only to once again encounter Elektra, standing menacingly right in front of him. Despite this, he is more annoyed than afraid or confused as of now. Staring her steely eyes back with his own cold sight, Morbius confronts the ninja.
- Morbius: "Okay, cut the cryptic s**t. What the hell are you doing here?"
- Elektra: "Exacting my revenge."
- Morbius: "(Briefly turns his head aside to watch out for the Xenophages) What? Against me? This is the first time we've met each other! What have I done to you?!"
- Elektra: "No. Not against you. Against the one who... (slightly stutters) wiped out Madripoor's Hand chapter."
- Morbius: "You... you can't be serious, right?"
- Elektra: "We share the same target: the creature you are seeking to slay here."
- Morbius: "Look, I don't mind an assist from you. I just don't get what you were doing in the X-Mansion earlier!"
- Elektra: "I was trying to find the creature there, just like you."
- Morbius: "(Menacingly walks towards Elektra, prompting her to step back herself) Bulls**t. Don't think I didn't hear the sound of a computer load, δολοφόνος (murderer)!"
- Elektra: "βρυκόλακας (vampire; vrykolakas), you have much more blood on your fangs than I have on my hands."
- Morbius: "(Pauses for a while) You're not wrong, but my point still stands. Do you..."
- Elektra: "Tell me, Μιχαήλ, what care do you have of what I did, anyway? You took on this assignment yourself without considering that your employer is just as ambiguous as I am. This... is Madripoor, a lawless island whose population has been devastated by a single monstrosity. There are no heroes and villains here; just the hunters and the prey. You think yourself a hero, Living Vampire? You..."
Morbius interrupts Elektra in the middle of her speech, surprising her by choking and throwing her away with such a force that she's sent crashing to a wall. Fortunately, before she can create a commotion, Morbius catches and 'gently' puts her on the ground, the ninja landing flat on her backside. Before she can continue her words, Morbius gives her a piece of his mind.
- Morbius: "(Bending his body, his face right in front of Elektra's) You being a hypocrite does not improve this situation. You wanna talk about moral ambiguity and the innocents who died in our bloody crusades for 'good'? We could go on and ramble about 'em for hours upon hours, and I'm telling you, δεν πειράζει! You wanna keep secrets from me? Fine! I won't be the one responsible for what disaster may fall upon you for that. But if you want to argue with me about the darker shades of heroism, don't you make me tear your throat out of that beautiful neck of yours."
For the first time in her life, Elektra is actually intimidated. Not by the content of his message, but by how utterly savage the Living Vampire has briefly become. For a moment, he nearly succumbs to the primal side of his cursed, yet scientific boon. But situation dictates that this is not the best time to bare his fangs and unleash his bloodlust. Not yet...
Calming himself down, Morbius stands back and gives his hand to help Elektra stand up, which she accepts without a second thought. The two look at each other in silence before it is broken by the screeches of the Xenophages, who have apparently found them.
- Morbius: "Go! I'll meet you up top!"
Morbius quickly dashes to the fire escape while Elektra jumps away with leaps akin to a ballerina. Where she goes, Morbius isn't concern with. Only that they are going to meet on the top floor of the hotel to kill whoever's responsible for Hightown's calamity.
Opening the fire escape door, Morbius enters the top floor sneakily. After shutting the door behind him, he immediately notices a peculiarity on the level he's in.
- Morbius: "(Silently) This place is... empty. No corpses, no blood splats. Nothing. Really hope everyone didn't get disintegrated on this floor."
Morbius navigates around the eerily silent level devoid of any sign of murder. When he finally gets to the front of the exhibition room he was searching for, he encounters Elektra looking at a hole on the floor that extends all the way to the lobby. Black Mariah was honest all along.
- Morbius: "Anything down there?"
- Elektra: "A human corpse impaled by some kind of pole or staff. Whoever it was, it died a violent death. Did the slimes follow you?"
- Morbius: "They don't know I'm here. Even for things like them, the speed of a vampire isn't something that can be easily followed."
- Elektra: "Good. You ready to kill the bird?"
- Morbius: "Let's kill this son of a..."
- ???: "Then by all means, good luck, meatbags."
Morbius and Elektra immediately enter their combat stances upon hearing the mysterious voice, instinctively standing back-to-back to defend themselves against the incoming assault.
- Elektra: "You see anything?"
- Morbius: "I got nothing. My senses aren't picking up anything at all."
Quietness reigns for a moment until the two unanimously decide that there's no threat present in their location. Eventually, they walk towards the exhibition room's entry. Morbius opens the door and they bear witness to a strange yet grisly sight. Several corpses, the two of them faintly glowing like rainbows, are seen strewn across the room. A door-like portal is seen stuck on a wall as if it's glued by blood, connected by a many cables that lead to numerous machines. The computers set up on a number of tables display the same message on their monitors: ERROR.
- Morbius: "What the f**k happened here?"
- Elektra: "Morbius, you may want to look forward."
- Morbius: "(Looks forward, his eyes widening in reaction to what he sees) Oh great."
On the stage of the exhibition, the head of a man is seen floating with the expression of terror on its face. Adding to that, the head spins around as if a hand is moving it. True enough, a pair of blue eyes flash from nothingness several feet above the head.
- ???: "I admire your persistence, Living Vampire. But it is quite appalling for me to know that you did not make it here because of yourself."
- Morbius: "Yeah, and I don't know s**t about you, so how about you explain yourself?"
- ???: "(Throws the man's head to Morbius, who catches it with a single hand) Do you recognize that man?"
- Morbius: "Tell me about him."
- ???: "I'll give you a hint: you read his name on the lobby."
Morbius widens his eye in realization and looks at Elektra before once again making eye contact with the unknown being's blue eyes.
- Morbius: "Geoffrey Wilder? (Pauses) He of any relevance to you?"
- ???: "Oh, he was among the proudest fool I've ever known. He and his company had such a shameful hubris, I was thoroughly... disgusted by them, you could say."
- Morbius: "What did you do to Mr. Wilder and the others?"
- ???: "(Cackles) Oh, if these corpses could tell tales..."
04:45 PM, top floor of the Sovereign Hotel
Two hours ago, the top floor's exhibition room looked far more pleasant than it is right now, despite the presence of numerous tangled cables and machines. The view of a sunset more than made up for the mess within the exhibition, but alas, no one in the room had time to enjoy the beauty of nature. In the middle of the busy room, the person who is now nothing more than a decapitated head asked of his compatriots' progress. The Pride is working on a deadline...
- Geoffrey Wilder: "Mr. Stein! I hope you and your wife have accomplished your assignment."
- Victor Stein: "(Plugs in a giant cable into a generator and sarcastically answers) Don't worry about us, Wilder. Your patience will be paid well in due time."
- Geoffrey Wilder: "We promised to summon the Gibborim by sundown, and it is quite clear that the sun is setting as we speak."
- Janet Stein: "(Types in a number of commands in the computer) Time works differently in our masters' home dimension, Mr. Wilder. I am sure the Yorkes can attest to that."
- Stacey Yorkes: "(Connecting a bunch of cables to the 4-D Time Portico with her husband) Unfortunately, they have become rather impatient nowadays, and I can only hope that they're not pissed off at us for summoning them late by one second."
- Dale Yorkes: "If our calculations are correct, if we summon them by 5 PM, then by their dimension's timeline, we are summoning five hours earlier. Or a hundred years too late. You can never be sure of Limbo's passage of time. (Plugs another cable in a nail into the 4-D Time Portico and turns his aside his head) Mr. and Mrs. Minoru, how's the portal doing?"
Robert and Tina Minoru, the Pride's resident dark magicians, were seen casting a grotesque spell that drew blood from a rather sizeable cauldron while reading the Abstract. As if moving on their accord, the blood from the cauldron gathered and formed a number of tentacles that seeped into the portal in front of them, which was stuck on a wall. Although the portal itself is currently inactive, its hollow form exposed the pool of blood that formed behind it, which soon emanated several tendrils that connected with the many dangling cables on the ground, acting as some sort of 'magical cable'.
- Tina Minoru: "(Wipes some sweat off her forehead) That should do it. The Siege Perilous should bend to our will now."
- Robert Minoru: "Be wary, you all. The Siege Perilous is among the most chaotic mystical artifacts there is. Even our magics can't keep it subservient to us for long."
- Alice Hayes: "Are you implying that the Siege Perilous has a mind of its own?"
- Tina Minoru: "Not one that even psychics like you or Xavier can handle. We predict our magics will subdue it for a minimum of three minutes, so I suggest we start now."
- Catherine Wilder: "You two don't want a break? Both of you seem spent."
- Robert Minoru: "For our children's survival and the Gibborim's promise, we dare sacrifice much. This is nothing."
- Geoffrey Wilder: "That's the spirit. Steins, Yorkes, fire up the gizmos. Minorus, continue with the ritual. Deans, Hayes, get ready for fire control. Catherine and I will monitor the Black Mirror. See if we're opening the right gateway to the right dimension."
- Leslie Dean: "For utopia."
- Frank Dean: "For utopia."
- Gene Hayes: "Let's just wish we all get through this in one piece? I don't want to miss out reading little Molly her bedtime stories."
- Geoffrey Wilder: "(Walks with his wife to a position between the Steins and the Yorkes, standing in front of the Black Mirror) Don't worry, Gene. When the Gibborim are here, we'll have all the time in the world to read our children bedtime stories."
- Stacey Yorkes: "(Inputs commands to her computer) Here goes nothin' people!"
After the Yorkes and Steins typed in legions of words into their computers, the Siege Perilous activated and materialized a portal. Usually, the Siege Perilous' portal was either green, yellow, or white. Due to the Minorus' machinations, it glowed red now, signifying the blood magic that had corrupted it. The Minorus themselves casted another spell from the Gibborim's sacred book, the Abstract, in an attempt to open a portal to Limbo, the home dimension of the Gibborim. There's a reason these creatures are called the Elder Gods of Limbo.
The Minorus chanted while unleashing more and more of their magics into the Siege Perilous to navigate through the sea that is the universe, telepathically guided by the Hayes, who in turn fed them information from the Pride scientists' computers. On such computers, the Yorkes and Steins found numbers and scripts best described as 'dimensional coordinates'. These computers were synchronized to the Black Mirror the Wilders were observing, so if the coordinates popped up on the screens, then they would see what place the coordinates were showing.
- Victor Stein: "Geoffrey, where we at right now?"
- Geoffrey Wilder: "Not Limbo, Vic, portal's goin' to the Negative Zone."
- Dale Yorkes: "(Types the keyboard some more) Uh, alright, how about now?"
Catherine and Geoffrey Wilder's eyes widened in surprise when they saw a strange caterpillar smoking a pipe, waving and smiling at them through the Black Mirror.
- Catherine Wilder: "Definitely not Limbo!"
- Stacey Yorkes: "Alright, how about now?"
The Wilders saw a barren wasteland with a towering city far off in the distance. The intrigued former thieves ordered the scientists to switch dimensions the moment they saw a band of strange creatures resembling Captain America seemingly rushing towards them from the dunes beyond, as if knowing that they were being watched.
- Geoffrey Wilder: "No! It's not! Hayes, how much time left before the Perilous goes wild?"
- Alice Hayes: "(Slightly straining) Can't... tell. Just keep searching!"
- Catherine Wilder: "Stein, give me something!"
- Janet Stein: "Coming up!"
After hastily typing on her keyboard in unison with the other scientists, the Wilders came across an interesting sight that put a smile on their faces.
- Stacey Yorkes: "(Notices the Wilders smiling) Hey, we hit Limbo yet?"
- Catherine Wilder: "No, but... these guys are... cute."
As each and every one of the Pride were telepathically connected, the others, too, were relaxed and exasperated by the sight of baby Nightcrawlers, officially known as Bamfs, playing in the middle of the Brimstone Dimension's grasslands. For a moment, they were relieved and distracted from their purpose, until the Minorus screamed an agonizing roar and began coughing blood. That was when the Pride panicked and returned to their stations, barely restraining the panic within themselves.
- Robert Minoru: "Hurry up, Pride! The Perilous does not appreciate our meddling!"
- Tina Minoru: "(Straining, shouting in panic) It... knows what we want! It does not want us to summon the Gibborim!"
- Leslie Dean: "We've gone too far to fail, now! The Gibborim will enter this world, no matter what that f*****g portal says!"
The Minorus immediately ramp up their control over the portal, Tina spitting the blood in his mouth to empower the legendary Staff of One further. Numerous forms of energy began to crackle from the portal, its color constantly shifting through the spectrum of light. The Pride's scientists constantly cross-referenced their data until after an agonizing twenty seconds, they managed to find Limbo.
- Janet Stein: "Wilder?"
- Catherine Wilder: "Yes, YES! LIMBO! WE CAN SEE THE GIBBORIM FROM HERE!"
Delighted by the news but still in pain, the Minorus powered through their torment and casted another spell to finally summon the Gibborim to the world. Just as the Gibborim in Limbo were about to enter the Siege Perilous, which materialized in their realm, however, the portal flickered and disappeared in a heartbeat.
- Dale Yorkes: "W-What the?! Victor, what is happening?!"
- Victor Stein: "We're losing our connection! We're losing control!"
True enough, after a powerful energy burst exploded from the Siege Perilous, the two magicians fainted and laid on the ground motionless. Frank and Leslie Dean, the two Majesdanians, immediately pulled them away from their position and placed them near the exhibit door so they could recover.
Meanwhile, the panicking Wilders noticed that the Black Mirror began moving away from Limbo and to another place.
- Geoffrey Wilder: "Yorkes, Steins! What's going on with the Black Mirror?"
- Stacey Yorkes: "The Siege! It's... it's opening a portal to the Darkforce Dimension!"
True enough, another energy burst, now pitch black in color, exploded through the place, sending the Pride flying back to the exhibition room's door. Despite the catastrophe happening on the top floor, the rest of the Sovereign Hotel's staff and guests were unaffected whatsoever. Take Black Mariah, for example, who could be seen eating a pleasant dinner in her room with her bodyguard, Warhawk.
- Black Mariah: "Ain't this tenderloin a treat, Tanner?"
- Warhawk / Mitchell Tanner: "This wagyu's fan-f*****g-fantastic, as well!"
After the ensuing catastrophe ensues, stillness reigned over the exhibition room and the Siege Perilous stopped unleashing energy outbursts. Surprisingly, the machines in the room were left rather unharmed.
- Geoffrey Wilder: "(Coughs) Everyone alright?"
- Leslie Dean: "The Minorus... they're losing too much blood."
- Catherine Wilder: "Tell me we've got first aid kit."
- Gene Hayes: "Alice and I are soothing their pain. They're unconscious for the moment, but yeah, a little H2O won't hurt."
Moments later, Victor and Janet Stein were seen carefully pouring water into the Minorus' mouths from a pair of water bottles. Slowly but surely, the Minorus awakened and the blood they spilt in the ritual began to return to their bodies.
- Tina Minoru: "(Speech staggered) Did... we succeed?"
- Stacey Yorkes: "(Walks up to a computer with her husband, Dale) Definitely no. We failed to open a portal to Limbo but we opened a portal to somewhere called... Null Space?"
- Victor Stein: "Wait, I thought it was the Darkforce Dimension?"
- Dale Yorkes: ""It appears that this Null Space is a part of the dimension itself."
- Leslie Dean: "(Dreaded tone) H-Hold the f**k up, Null Space?"
Leslie's frightened expression attracted the rest of the Pride's attention.
- Catherine Wilder: "Leslie? Leslie, what is it?"
- Leslie Dean: "(Incessant breathing) Okay, okay, Leslie, calm down, calm down. Null-f*****g-Space..."
- Janet Stein: "Dean, what is wrong? Our sensors aren't detecting new life signs since the portal exploded. It couldn't have summoned something here."
- Robert Minoru: "When Tina and I were... defeated by the Siege, it told us that it was going to punish us..."
- Frank Dean: "(Embraces his wife) It's alright, Les, it's alright. The hawks aren't here. We've got n-nothing to fear."
- Geoffrey Wilder: "Hawks? Frank, what the f**k are you talking about?"
- Frank Dean: "Look, we've got to get out of here, alright? I-It mustn't have been a coincidence that it opened a gateway to Null Space, a-and..."
Frank Dean increasingly became agitated until he and his wife spontaneously exploded in a burst of rainbow lights, part of their natural Majesdanian physiology.
- Geoffrey Wilder: "Alright, Pride, let's just get out of this place before this all goes to hell! We'll..."
Geoffrey's words were interrupted when rumbling sounds and metallic footsteps were heard by the Pride. A sound akin to the rustling of wings could be heard, stunning the entire Pride with confusion over the audio's source.
- Tina Minoru: "(Stands up assisted by Alice Hayes) What was that?"
Tina's question was answered when a pair of blue eyes flashed in front of the Siege Perilous. Knowing what they truly represented, the Deans could only stand in hopelessness. The rest of the Pride could only stare back at the blue eyes in confusion.
- Leslie Dean: "Oh s**t..."
- ???: "I see you, Majesdanian..."
The unknown assailant leapt up to the Pride's positions and the fight-or-flight instincts of these cultists immediately turned to flight.
- Geoffrey Wilder: "Scatter!"
The Pride hastily leapt away from the invisible attacker's point of landing. The Deans managed to overcome their fear for a second to fly away from the being and let their fight instinct take over for a moment by blasting it with beams of rainbow light. The creature's invisibility flickered for a moment, revealing a blue-hued armor and a silver pauldron. The Majesdanians continuously showered the creature with their energy beams, eventually revealing its entire form for a single second before it regained its footing. In this moment did the Steins figured out what it truly was.
- Victor Stein: "It... it looks like that New Warriors Darkhawk kid!"
- Leslie Dean: "It's a Raptor Mechanoid!"
The Raptor quickly dashed to the Majesdanians and swiftly decapitated the two with its razor-sharp wings, landing with grace and taking a moment to analyze its surroundings.
- Catherine Wilder: "The Deans!"
- ???: "Yes, they are dead, indeed."
- Dale Yorkes: "(Aims his Kinetic Drainer at the Raptor alongside his wife) What do you want, Darkhawk?"
- ???: "Darkhawk? No, no, no, I am not that weakling, Christopher Powell. I... am Shir Ydrn Talonis, and I am here to do what I have always been tasked to do."
- Alice Hayes: "Whatever you are, you are not welcome here! Depart, or you will face the wrath of the Pride!"
- Talon / Shir Ydrn Talonis: "(Cackles) You want to know what wrath is? Let me show you..."
Bolting at the Hayes' direction with such a speed that none of the Pride could see it, Talon made a short work of the telepathic mutants by stabbing both of their foreheads with its Wolverine-like claws.
- Geoffrey Wilder: "No! Pride, we have to run, now!"
Heeding his orders, the rest of the Pride rushed to exit the exhibition room, the Yorkes providing covering fire by shooting Talon with their kinetic drainers. These life-sapping weapons did absolutely no damage to the Raptor, and Talon responded by blasting the couple with a powerful beam from the amulet on its chest, cutting the couple in half. The beam also blasted off the left leg of Victor Stein, disabling him.
- Janet Stein: "VICTOR!"
- Catherine Wilder: "(Opens the exhibition door) Janet, we gotta go!"
- Victor Stein: "Aargh... J-Janet... listen to Catherine! Chase... needs you!"
- Janet Stein: "Oh, shut up you! We're gonna get through this together, alright?"
Janet hastily picked up her husband, only for Talon to destroy the couple by rushing through them, their bodies violently exploding. The Minorus and the Wilders were the only ones remaining, and Talon wasted no time trying to kill them. Unfortunately now, it's facing the undoubtedly strongest of the Pride.
Standing right in front of the Minorus, who stood up to it with spite in their hearts and faces, Talon stares at them with curiosity.
- Geoffrey Wilder: "(Stops running and looks at the Minorus) Tina! Rob! What the hell are you doing?!"
- Talon: "Giving you a chance to live, apparently."
The Minorus' 'last stand' was ignored as Talon raised his forearms and fired two hooks into the Wilders' heads, pulling it away with such a force they dislodged from their bodies and were thrown back in to the exhibition room. The Minorus were utterly surprised by this and they responded by casting a spell that burnt Talon's insides. If only they knew what was inside it...
- Robert and Tina Minoru: "(Chants the same spell before uttering the same word) Burn!"
A mighty stream of fire engulfed Talon's 'innards'. Talon was surprised for a second until it recalibrated itself in just two seconds and annihilated Robert Minoru by blasting the same fire through its visor, incinerating him and leaving Tina Minoru as the Pride's last.
- Tina Minoru: "(Looks at Robert's) Robert.... (looks at Talon with hatred) you... will... di-"
Tina's attempt at casting an insta-kill spell was cancelled when Talon snatched the Staff of One out of her hands; an act possible only due to its superhuman speed.
- Talon: "(Examines the Staff of One) Interesting. Is this your channeling staff?"
- Tina Minoru: "That is the Staff of One: a magical weapon beyond the comprehension of your CPU, robot! Even the Dread Dormammu trembles at the mere mention of its name!"
- Talon: "(Shoots a concussive blast from its chest amulet that sends Tina sprawling on the ground) Oh. (Walks and steps on Tina's body, pinning her to the ground; speaks angrily) Tell me, do I even remotely look like the Dread Dormammu?"
- Tina Minoru: "You are meddling with powers you -"
- Talon: "- cannot hope to understand? You arrogant child. I have butchered Mindless Ones to atoms, massacred -"
- Tina Minoru: "I. Don't. Care. Our children will avenge us, and the Gibborim will smite your kind to smithereens!"
- Talon: "(Grabs Tina by the neck) I. Could. Not. Care. Less."
The mad and murderous Raptor slammed the sorceress to the ground and blasted a powerful concussive energy beam that forcefully pushed her through the floor, propelling the unfortunate woman through a hundred floors and into the lobby, where her presence surprised many onlookers, including a certain group of children who had just returned from their trip outside and wished to return to their hotel rooms.
- Nico Minoru: "(Looks in confusion and fear, dropping the shopping bags she's carrying) M-Mother?"
- Tina Minoru: "Nico... run."
That very instance, the Staff of One suddenly dropped from the top floor, impaling Tina's stomach and killing her in front of her daughter and her friends. This view elicited screams of shock from not only young Nico, but also the other inhabitants of Sovereign Hotel, who fled for their lives and ran away as fast as possible when Talon itself suddenly dropped on top of Tina Minoru.
- Talon: "Hello there, children."
- Gertrude Yorkes: "RUN!"
The runaways were nearly killed if it wasn't for the mad Raptor to switch priorities to another source of interest that had just exited a lift.
- Black Mariah: "(Exits the lift with Warhawk, bringing along a suitcase while holding the Supersoul Stone) B***h, what the f**k's with all the commotion?"
That moment, Talon had its visor on Black Mariah's Supersoul Stone while the Harlemer took a good look at the Raptor.
- Black Mariah: "Motherf****r, what is that?!"
- Warhawk: "Mariah, just f*****g run!"
Despite her apparent weight, Mariah fled the scene with such a speed that her sprint speed nearly rivalled those of Warhawk's own superhuman speed, courtesy of fear. While running, Mariah accidentally dropped the Supersoul Stone before going through the back exit. Before leaving the building, however, Mariah noticed for a split second Talon picking up and wearing the Supersoul Stone around its neck.
- Warhawk: "(Grabs Mariah's arm) Mariah, what are you waiting for?!"
- Black Mariah: "Yea, yea, don't push me, sucka!"
Mariah departed the building and Talon wore the Supersoul Stone around its neck. For a moment, it remained silent until a number of bullets suddenly crashed on its back. Turning around, Talon saw five police officers firing their measly guns at it, not stopping until they truly ran out of ammo. Tilting its head, Talon delivered a remark before slaughtering the officers and afterwards, Hightown.
- Talon: "(Body glows with a yellowish aura, consistent with the Supersoul Stone's color) How pointless."
The scene returns to the present, where the previous events were apparently shown to both Elektra and Morbius through a holographic recording from Talon's visor.
- Morbius: "You didn't come here willingly..."
- Elektra: "These... Pride were supposed to summon the 'Gibborim', whatever they were. Yet they had you instead."
- Talon: "(Decloaks itself and laughs, walking down the stage and facing the duo) Is it not funny? That I am an instrument of punishment against meager cultists? I, among the most lethal living weapons in the universe, was set against the worshippers of some upstart gods who didn't even know what they were doing? (Cackles) That was the greatest insult a Raptor could ever receive!"
- Morbius: "You consider us facing you an insult, too?"
- Talon: "If the two of you can hold your own against me, then you will have done me a great favor, for you have proven yourself worthy prey of I, Shir Ydrn Talonis, the greatest of the Raptors!"
- Elektra: "It's insane. Either because of the portal or the amulet, it's not its usual self."
- Morbius: "How'd you know?"
- Talon: "Oh, he knows more things in the universe than you do, cretin."
The mention of 'Elektra's' gender prompts Morbius to raise an eyebrow and look at 'her'. It doesn't take long for him to figure out who Elektra truly is, considering recent events.
- Morbius: "You're Pagon aren't you? Criti Noll's right-hand man, instigator of the Secret Invasion?"
- Elektra (Pagon): "Do you mind that I am a Skrull, Living Vampire?"
- Morbius: "When this is over, you and I are going to have a talk."
- Talon: "Oh, I think you're mistaken. There is no 'when this is over'. Now? You're done."
Within a heartbeat, Talon bolts at Pagon, its wings bared to stab the Skrull. However, Pagon jumps over the Raptor and kicks him away with her feet transmogrified to those of the Thing's, sending it falling off the floor and into the hole that it made after blasting Tina Minoru hours ago. Landing with grace, Pagon turns back to see a surprised Morbius.
- Morbius: "You weren't that fast when you met me."
- Elektra (Pagon): "I allowed you to catch up to me. I wasn't keen on letting you know my identity, but now that you know who I am, I've no other choice (prepares his sais) but to kill you."
- Morbius: "Yeah, yeah, whatever. We've still got a bird to kill."
Sovereign Hotel crumbles that very moment thanks to Talon wasting no time in destroying the building's foundation with its weapons and strength, forcing the two to exit the building my jumping off the windows and to the streets below.
The ensuing devastation's cacophony can be heard all the way from Lowtown, where Tyger Tiger notices this from the window of her office. In the Madripoor Police Force Headquarters, Black Mariah quickly wakes up after the whole building goes down.
- Black Mariah: "(Wakes up) AH! What the f**k was that?! (Notices the others around her) Who the f**k are you b*****s?!"
- Horus: "Shh! Be quiet, you! Those things on the street could hear you!"
- Black Mariah: "Sucka, you think they wouldn't have heard that buildin' droppin' off in a distance? Those f*****s would run the s**t over there ta feast!"
True enough, the Xenophages' attention is diverted to the location of Sovereign Hotel's fall and these Symbiote eaters quickly slide their way across Hightown to reach the hotel's remains. Pagon and Morbius both recover from their fall quickly, immediately hearing the screeches of the Xenophages heading their way.
- Morbius: "Awh, s**t. It's those things again. You know what those are, Skrull?"
- Elektra (Pagon): "Xenophages. (Clears the dust off her attire) They're predators of the Klyntar race and a rare species. You don't find many of them throughout the universe, but I'm not surprised that they're here on this planet."
- Morbius: "Yeah, right. What's Klyntar, by the way?"
- Elektra (Pagon): "You call the 'Klyntar' Symbiotes on this world."
- Morbius: "Oh, wow, so those things literally eat Symbiotes for breakfast. Do they have any weaknesses? I turned one of them into my thrall back in the X-Mansion, but it broke free."
- Elektra (Pagon): "They've no weaknesses. Best option we have is to lead them to attack the Raptor itself. You distract Talon, I'll get the beasts to eat it. Deal?"
The two are unable to agree when Talon emerges from the rubble and snatches them to the air, flying high to execute both of them.
- Talon: "Nice plan. You think a Xenophage horde can even put a dent on my armor? This is pitiful. Even for you, Skrull."
- Elektra (Pagon): "Your arrogance is sickening, to say the least, Raptor."
Pagon 'pitifully' stabs Talon's visor with his sai, but fails to crack it.
- Talon: "That was pointless. Humiliating, even!"
Talon mocks Pagon, but fails to experience the feeling of missing something.
- Morbius: "(Raises and crushes the Supersoul Stone right in front Talon) Feeling any better now?"
Apparently, Talon is still insane, even without the Supersoul Stone. In fact, its mind has become somewhat calmer thanks to the amulet's diminishing influence, making him a deadlier individual.
- Talon: "I will be better in just a second."
Talon proceeds to blast both Morbius and Pagon with his visor and amulet beams, prompting them to scream in pain as they endure the agonizing heat. Pagon struggles to free himself by continuously punching Talon with her Colossus arms, but its inability to feel pain and Pagon's weakening body mean that it barely reacts. Morbius' healing factor reaches its breaking point against Talon's beam, his chest beginning to tear itself apart.
- Morbius: "You... piece of..."
- Talon: "Hush now, helpless ones. There is nothing... nothing you can do, but to accept the inevitability of death."
True enough, seconds after that, Talon's visor beam completely annihilates Pagon's head and the amulet beam penetrates Morbius' chest, destroying his heart.
- Morbius: "A--Augh..."
Talon unceremoniously drops the corpses of both Morbius and Pagon, letting their corpses splatter on the grounds of Hightown. Morbius lands hard on a fountain, clinically dead, while the headless Pagon lands on Wheelers & Dealers, her body crashing through the roof and into the empty casino. Talon, with its superhuman vision, notices their landing points and stays silent for a number of seconds before its superhuman vision notices something in the distance.
- Talon: "(Pauses) What... is that?"
A hammer flying at supersonic speeds suddenly hits Talon square in the face, sending him hurtling down, crashing through the Sovereign Hotel's debris. Taking a moment to recalibrate itself, Talon quickly recovers and looks up. For the first time in recent events, it is actually surprised.
- Talon: "No... NO!"
A huge figure lands on the terrified Talon and begins to pound on him with such a force that its armor begins to crack. Talon tries to retaliate, but the figure uses its circular shield to block its energy beams before summoning its hammer back to grievously damage it by continuously smashing its face in until its visor and headpiece crack. On the verge of shutting down, the panel switches to the HUD view of Talon's visor, which is unable to identify the figure until it finally shuts down.
- Talon: "You... you are (sparks appear from Talon's damage marks) a worthy adversary. T-Thank you."
- Super-Adaptoid: "Just doing what needs to be done."
With that, Talon finally shuts down for good and the Super-Adaptoid carries the Raptor on its shoulder. Standing tall, the mighty automaton scans the horizon and from its HUD, it appears that AIM is within Madripoor.
- Super-Adaptoid: "(Speaks on comms) Commander Madden, I have recovered the Raptor Mechanoid. What are your next orders?"
The scene cuts to the view of AIM Commander Chet Madden himself standing on the streets of Lowtown with a large amount of AIM forces, from regular agents to massive mechs. AIM agents can be seen providing medical services to Madripoor's survivors, and a certain foolish agent named Bill can be seen -- for some reason -- being berated by Madame Joy.
- Chet Madden: "(On comms) Good job, Super-Adaptoid. Get the armor back to Lowtown and then you can assist in clearing out the alien infestation. If there are any of them left, anyway."
- Super-Adaptoid: "Affirmative. I'm on my way."
Chet cuts the comms with the Super-Adaptoid and is approached by Tyger Tiger.
- Chet Madden: "Anything I can do for you, Ms. Tyger?" I see my agent, Bill, is being rebuked for whatever stupidity he has committed by your brothel owner friend."
- Tyger Tiger: "That does not matter. I am here to remind you that there is..."
- Chet Madden: "A superhero by the name of Morbius, the Living Vampire? Yes, we are well aware of that situation, and the fact that we are standing on Madripoorian soil. You need not to worry, Lady Tyger. We have no intentions of harming or experimenting upon him whatsoever."
- Tyger Tiger: "That is a relief."
- Chet Madden: "It is, indeed. You should also be grateful that we have taken the initiative in rescuing trapped civilians in Hightown and clearing the Xenophage infestation that has apparently taken place in your rich district."
- Tyger Tiger: "Xeno-what?"
- Chet Madden: "Xenophages. Symbiote eaters. Thus far, we haven't been able to determine their point of origin, but I personally hypothesize that an alien collector of sorts captured and kept these beings somewhere in Hightown. Madripoor is a nation of... infamy, yes, so it does not come as a surprise to me that they are present here. No offense, by the way."
- Tyger Tiger: "None taken. Now, I wonder how am I supposed to pay you for your... services."
- Chet Madden: "You have paid us by allowing us to capture the Xenophages and the Raptor Mechanoid, Ms. Tyger. You need not to pay us anymore."
- Tyger Tiger: "I see."
An AIM agent garbed in a specialized combat suit approaches Commander Madden and informs him of something.
- Chet Madden: "What news do you have to report, Agent Copernicus?"
- Agent Copernicus: "We've successfully captured 80% of the Xenophages, sir."
- Chet Madden: "What about the 20%?"
- Agent Copernicus: "Last we heard was that they are converging upon Target 1A and Target 1B, sir. Our special teams are intercepting as we speak."
- Tyger Tiger: "Who are targets 1A and 1B, if I may know."
- Chet Madden: "Target 1A would be Mr. Morbius himself. As for Target 1B... it is unfortunately classified."
- Tyger Tiger: "(Sternly) Don't you hide anything from me, Madden. This is my nation, and I ask you to tell me the truth!"
Agent Copernicus and Chet Madden look at each other before the latter decides to spill it.
- Chet Madden: "It is Elektra of the Hand, Lady Tyger. Or more accurately, her Skrull doppleganger."
- Tyger Tiger: "(Facepalms) Great. You're telling me there's still a bunch of Skrulls running around after last year's invasion?"
- Chet Madden: "MODOK theorizes that there is one last major Skrull holdout on this planet and fifteen uncooperative Skrulls who survived the Secret Invasion."
- Tyger Tiger: "Uncooperative? What does that mean?"
- Chet Madden: "The hostile Skrulls who do not wish to make peace with this world. Have you heard of Devastator, the Skrull who joined China? You could say he is among the cooperative ones."
- Tyger Tiger: "(Sigh) Fine. Just... do whatever you need to do here, alright? My people need some good night's sleep."
- Chet Madden: "We all need some rest in this world of strangeness, Ms. Tyger. You should take a rest yourself."
Moments later, the Madripoorians look in awe as the Super-Adaptoid returns to Lowtown, putting down the recovered Talon: the monster that was massacring Hightown from before. With curses on their lips and rage in their hearts, the angry Madripoorians swarm the inactive Talon and begin kicking it as if there's no tomorrow. AIM agents try to separate the crowd from Talon, but the Super-Adaptoid merely looks on in curiosity: something that Chet notices.
- Chet Madden: "Something going on with your processor, Super-Adaptoid?"
- Super-Adaptoid: "These people are angry."
- Chet Madden: "They are. It's because that this Raptor Mechanoid has been terrorizing them for the past few hours."
- Super-Adaptoid: "I analyze that 70% of the crowd consists of the inhabitants of Lowtown. I am curious at why they're participating in this atrocity."
- Chet Madden: "Do you sympathize with the Raptor, or are you just asking?"
- Super-Adaptoid: "Curious, sir."
- Chet Madden: "Well, I'm not good at psychology, but if I'd hazard a guess, they just want to vent their frustration at it. Hightown's rich and dandy folks had to evacuate here because of it, and Lowtown's peasants don't really appreciate or love these pompous folks."
- Tyger Tiger: "They just do it because they want to, robot. Do you have anything you want?"
Super-Adaptoid opts to think for itself... and comes up with a bland answer.
- Super-Adaptoid: "No."
- Chet Madden: "Super-Adaptoid, do you want to help your friends take care of the Xenophages?"
- Super-Adaptoid: "I have calculated that there is a 98% chance that the containment teams have finished their duties."
True enough, within seconds, a team of AIM special operatives return with a number of tanks containing Xenophages and two stasis pods housing the bodies of Morbius and Pagon. Accompanying them are regular AIM agents supporting other civilians, including Madripoor's 'national hero', Horus, and... Black Mariah.
- Chet Madden: "Good work, everyone. Is everything accounted for?"
- Seeker / Amber Silverstein: "Every single one of them. Oh, and the... runaways you asked us to find? We couldn't find them, or their parents' gear."
- Chet Madden: "Have you searched through Sovereign Hotel's remains?"
- Helen Gable / Skadihr: "We've only managed to find this from the rubble."
Helen hands to Commander Madden the Staff of One, which he examines with curiosity.
- Chet Madden: "This will be enough (hands the Staff of One to Agent Copernicus for safekeeping). Oh, and how about Object QD-1?"
- Harness / Erika Benson: "It's... (switches to comms for private communication) inside Subject 2B. Extracting it will be difficult due to his Skrull physiology. We need to perform dissection in the headquarters."
Chet nods in approval to Harness and walks towards the two stasis pods carrying Morbius and Pagon. The panel shows the view of Morbius' face within the pod and fades to black after Madden delivers the following message:
- Chet Madden: "Don't worry, Mr. Morbius. You're in good hands now."
The panel starts off dark, seen from the eyes of a person sitting on a chair. Slowly but surely, the person's eyes opens, first to a blur, and finally to a clarity. In front of this person is a female wearing a containment suit undoubtedly of AIM design, looking at the person without any clear display of emotion. After the person opens his eyes, he notices that he is sitting inside of an interrogation room of sorts. Who this person is is quickly revealed in the dialogue.
- AIM Agent: "Greetings, Mr. Morbius. My name is Mandy O'Connor. I am here to debrief you of the Madripoor Incident."
Morbius takes a while to comprehend what is happening, deciding to calmly scan his surroundings. As much as how he recognizes AIM as 'usual villains', Morbius does not want to pick a fight with the organization (for now, anyway) by feeding upon one of its representatives. Before he can reply, he looks at his chest, surprised that it's actually whole now. Mandy explains to him about it.
- Mandy O'Connor: "Despite the destruction of your heart by the Raptor Mechanoid, Mr. Morbius, your vampiric healing factor apparently allows your body to regenerate missing organs. Even though it has been two days since the incident happened."
- Morbius: "Yeah, about that. Last thing I remembered was me and that Pagon Skrull gettin' blasted by that Raptor thingie. I honestly didn't think I was able to survive that. Did Pagon survive?"
- Mandy O'Connor: "Sh-- I mean he did not survive. Skrulls do not possess healing factor as potent as yours, Mr. Morbius, and that is a discovery that we were astonished to know."
- Morbius: "Alright then. Cool. Now, I assume I'm sitting inside a secret AIM base somewhere I don't know, and you're going to ask me to sign a deal with you, yes?"
- Mandy O'Connor: "As far deals are concerned, AIM has no need of a quarrel with you or you yourself. We understand that you are not the 'same' type of enhanced individual we are used to dealing with despite the scientific nature of your powers, but we'd rather take a neutral stance to -- for a lack of better term -- people like you."
- Morbius: "So if one day you encounter Blade, Man-Thing, or Manphibian, this is what you are going to do, huh? You gonna 'interview' them?"
- Mandy O'Connor: "Mr. Morbius, we keep a list of potential threats that may be a detriment to our survivability, and Doctor Ted Sallis AKA Man-Thing is on that list as a Red-level threat."
- Morbius: "So he's a maximum threat or something?"
- Mandy O'Connor: "Yes. And the fact that he used to be an employee of ours is something to take account to. Currently, you are considered a White-level threat. In other words, a neutral entity: neither ally nor adversary."
- Morbius: "I have no idea I'd be on your hit list, even though this is the first time I've met you people. But then, I prefer to stay away from folks like you since... (lifts up his legs and puts them on the table) let's be real: we won't be meeting frequently out there in the open."
- Mandy O'Connor: "Indeed. Now, I will begin this briefing by asking you this question: Do you know why the Skrull designated Pagon was in Madripoor?"
- Morbius: "I've no freaking clue. Not after 'she' revealed 'herself' to be a 'he'. He was in the X-Mansion, though, gathering data or something. I don't know. My senses do not lie."
- Mandy O'Connor: "I see. Now, Mr. Morbius, what do you know of the Pride?"
- Morbius: "Raptor showed me and Pagon about 'em. It killed them like lambs to a slaughter. From what I can tell, they're a cult worshipping some guys called the Gibborim. Oh, they also have children, who I am pretty sure witnessed the death of one of them in Talon's footage."
- Mandy O'Connor: "Good to know."
- Morbius: "Are those children of any relevance to your organization, Mandy? 'Cause I don't want us being on the opposite sides when it comes to treating children, no matter who their parents are."
- Mandy O'Connor: "We assure you, Mr. Morbius, none of us likes the case of child abuse ourselves. I can testify of this personally."
- Morbius: "Yeah, yeah, right. By the way, where did you take Pagon and Talon to?"
- Mandy O'Connor: "We've exhumed the former's corpse and stored the latter in a secure warehouse. The Raptor Mechanoid was too damaged for us to take benefit of, so you have no need to be concerned."
- Morbius: "Doesn't mean you can't repair it."
- Mandy O'Connor: "There is no point in reviving an insane, deactivated, broken automaton that cannot be tamed."
- Morbius: "(Squints his eyes) Alright then. You got anything else to ask? Seems like this is less of a debriefing and more of an interrogation, which I've honestly no problem participating with since..."
- Mandy O'Connor: "We understand, Doctor Morbius. Doctor, for your cooperation, AIM wishes to offer you a proposition."
- Morbius: "I'm all ears."
- Mandy O'Connor: "Doctor, we offer you a position as the Minister of the Supernatural in this organization, so..."
- Morbius: "I'll stop you right there, Mandy. The answer's definitely no. You wanna know why?"
- Mandy O'Connor: "I see. We do not need to know your reasons, doctor. It has been great pleasure to work with you. Thank you."
- Morbius: "You're welcome. Can I leave now?"
- Mandy O'Connor: "Please, exit through the door behind you. You will find yourself back in New York City."
Morbius' expression turns to those of confusion, but he's no choice but to believe in what she says. Fortunately for him, Mandy is telling the truth. After opening the door behind him, he sees an alleyway somewhere in New York City at nighttime. How does he know that it's New York City? His nose knows well that it is.
- Morbius: "Well, this is curious."
- Mandy O'Connor: "Simply a demonstration of AIM's teleportation tech, Mr. Morbius. You may now leave this room. Good evening."
- Morbius: "(Smirks sarcastically) See you around, Mandy."
And with that, Morbius exits the room and returns to NYC. After closing the door, Morbius tries to see if he can return to the room again, only for him to discover that there's nothing but a brick wall behind him. Shrugging the situation off, Morbius scales the walls of a nearby building and prowls the night once again.
In the interrogation room, Mandy takes some time to recompose herself before standing up and exiting the room through the door behind her. When she exits, she finds herself meeting with current Scientist Supreme, Valdemar Tykkio and Chet Madden, all of them apparently standing inside a rather advanced AIM facility definitely not in New York.
- Mandy O'Connor: "Scientist Supreme, Doctor Morbius did not lie whatsoever."
- Valdemar Tykkio: "I can confirm that. I just did not expect a being like him to be so uncritical, frankly."
- Chet Madden: "He struck me more as an uncaring figure rather than uncritical."
- Valdemar Tykkio: "I see. To his credit, he's pointed us to the right direction of what we've been searching for for months. The Raptor Mechanoid, the Xenophages, and the Siege Perilous? They're gold mines of their own. The Skrull, however, is our platinum."
- Chet Madden: "Now, that reminds me of one thing, Scientist Supreme. Should we check on the progress of deciphering QD-1?"
- Valdemar Tykkio: "Ah, yes, that! Agent Mindy, you are dismissed. Commander Madden, care to lead the way?"
Agent Mindy salutes her superiors and departs the place before Valdemar and Chet move to the subterranean sections of the advanced AIM base. On the way, viewers can catch a glimpse of the Talon Raptor Mechanoid from before being replicated by AIM engineers under the supervision of a masked man in blue, wearing a lab coat, the Xenophages' paralytic saliva being extracted while malleable AIM suits based on such creatures are being manufactured, and an unconscious MODOK-like figure inside a stasis tank overseen by an armored man with the head of a skull jar.
- Valdemar Tykkio: "So, the first Super-Skrull infiltrator on this planet was found on Madripoor?"
- Chet Madden: "Technically speaking, Pagon was not the first Super-Skrull infiltrator on Earth. That would be Kl'rt, the first of his enhanced kin."
- Valdemar Tykkio: "(Clicks his tongue) These Skrulls. They didn't learn to not mess with Earth, huh?"
- Chet Madden: "As did the Kree and many other alien races, sir. Though, unfortunately, it was not because of us."
- Valdemar Tykkio: "Well, (pats Chet's back) we're saving the world from the sidelines, Madden. And when everyone's off-guard... (pauses) you know the rest."
- Chet Madden: "Indeed, Scientist Supreme. Patience prevents great mistakes."
- Valdemar Tykkio: "Which leads me to the question of why the Super-Skrull assisted the Living Vampire even though it had nothing to do with him."
- Chet Madden: "Actually, it had something to do with the Raptor, Scientist Supreme. It appeared that the Raptor, similar to the Symbiotes, possessed a host."
- Valdemar Tykkio: "And what did the Skrull want to do with the host?"
- Chet Madden: "The host was apparently a dead Skrull admiral, as we discovered yesterday, Scientist Supreme. Our best guess was that she tried to recover this 'great hero's' corpse from the Raptor. Quite sentimental, I should say."
- Valdemar Tykkio: "Hmph. Honor before reason."
- Chet Madden: "We've exhumed the corpse, if you are wondering. He was no Super-Skrull."
- Valdemar Tykkio: "And that means he's worthless. I can see the logic behind that."
The two soon arrive inside a poorly-lit room, where Pagon's headless and dissected corpse is seen lain on a table and a giant computer and console can be seen being operated by and connected to the head of a robotic being. A device of sorts can be seen planted on the computer as well, flashing blue lights.
- Valdemar Tykkio: "How is our QD-1 doing, Cache?"
The robot, Cache, does not respond.
- Chet Madden: "Cache? Your Scientist Supreme is speaking to you."
- Cache: "One second."
In exactly one second, Cache, the sentient super computer, stops whatever techno-wizardry he was doing and disconnects himself from all the cables dangling from his head. He walks towards the AIM scientists after taking the device on the computer and reports.
- Cache: "I've got good news and bad news, Scientist Supreme. Which one do you want to hear first?"
- Valdemar Tykkio: "Give me the good one first."
- Cache: "You see, this device (raises the object) over here that we discovered within the Skrull's body contains 71 yottabytes worth of superhuman data. 30% of it concerns mutants, 30% of it concerns naturally or artificially-enhanced individuals, and 40% of it concerns a single cosmic entity identified as none other than Galactus. In other words, our first Quantum Drive, recovered from a Skrull, is already quite beneficial for AIM as a whole."
- Valdemar Tykkio: "Wow, you processed all this within two days?"
- Cache: "It was no easy task, Scientist Supreme. Should I undertake a similar endeavor within a week of today, I will be worn out beyond repair."
- Valdemar Tykkio: "Hmm, I see. What about the bad news?"
- Cache: "QD-1 is incomplete. With Kubik's assistance, I was able to know that not everything that is covered within this drive constitutes even five percent of the entirety of the universe's superhumans. We need data on every single one of them should our dream of an AIM Universe succeed, yes?"
- Valdemar Tykkio: "That is correct."
- Cache: "Knowing that, I have some additional good news to bring. Kubik told me that the ex-SHIELD Director, Nick Fury Sr., is in possession of an object I will designate as QD-2, which contains an even larger data pool than what we received from the Skrull."
- Chet Madden: "You spoke with Kubik a lot, I see."
- Cache: "Without his help, I could not have done this task you have set upon me."
- Valdemar Tykkio: "I understand. What do you propose that we should do, then, about this QD-2?"
- Cache: "I've no concocted concrete plan as of now, but there is a suggestion I have made."
Cache shoots out a holographic image from his eyes, displaying the image of the Quantum Drive AIM currently has, an hypothesized appearance of Nick Fury Sr.'s 'QD-2', and a 'QD-3' that simply looks like a USB flash drive.
- Cache: "If we are to gain total control over this world and protect it from external threats, then we should attain Fury's Quantum Drive, provided we know where it is and what it actually is. Kubik implied that QD-2 is... are actually the eyes of a Watcher... and their eyes know a great many thing about the universe."
- Valdemar Tykkio: "What about QD-3, then? And what does QD-1 come in in this?"
- Cache: "You see, QD-3, or more accurately QD-X, is more of a placeholder name for future Quantum Drives, which I define as objects containing a wealth of information. I suggest we create these drives by ourselves by collecting superhuman data throughout the universe. In the end, with all these data and Quantum Drives, we can make ourselves an Omega Drive that shall assist us in handling every pesky superhuman there is... including those of our own to avoid future dissidence."
- Chet Madden: "Alright, tell me, Cache. What exactly will be stored in the Omega Drive once we have it?"
- Cache: "Information on how to counter, create, assimilate, and eliminate powers, enhanced talents, and other extra-normal abilities. All, within this small USB flash drive."
Hearing all of this, Chet and Valdemar look at each other with enthusiasm, the latter smirking and patting Cache's back for his hard work.
- Valdemar Tykkio: "Well, we better start working on this Omega Drive sooner, eh?"
- Cache: "Indeed, Scientist Supreme. For an AIM Universe."
- Chet Madden: "For an AIM Universe, indeed..."
Valdemar and Cache depart from the room while Cache continues his work, hoping to achieve whatever future AIM wishes to have according to their will...
- This one-shot takes place four years before the present day (Ant-Man's Avengers #1) and one year after Marvel;Re's version of Secret Invasion. This is why the Scientist Supreme of AIM is different compared to the one seen in The Invincible Iron Man #7, who is Andrew Forson instead of Valdemar Tykkio.
- Concerning MODOK's role in AIM as of this time period: MODOK is more of a thinking machine instead of AIM's leader (Scientist Supreme) around this period, though he still holds a great leadership position in the organization.
- The Gibborim are the same as the Elder Gods of Limbo, as attested in this issue. In Marvel canon, the connection between the two were only seen by the presence of a single Gibborim as a member of the Elder Gods of Limbo (compare this to this).
- Instead of being banished to Limbo, the Gibborim are described as being natives to the dimension in Marvel;Re.
- The presence of the classic New Warriors team is confirmed here, so there are more than one New Warriors teams aside from the New York City Warrior Force.
- Editorial note: the classic New Warriors team is disbanded in the present day to avoid confusion over the other New Warriors.
- The AIM base at the end is indeed, Barbuda.
- There are a few cameos in this issue.
- The Runaways make an appearance in this issue, marking their debut in Marvel;Re.
- Agamotto, Doctor Strange's mentor and Earth's first Sorcerer Supreme, makes an appearance in his caterpillar form.
- Dr. Positron / Max Brashear and Head Case / Sean Madigan, respectively the children of Blue Marvel (Adam Brashear) and MODOK (George Tarleton) can be seen in the AIM base.
- MODOK Superior also makes a cameo as one of AIM's experimental projects. It should be noted that MODOK and MODOK Superior are different beings, and for all intents and purposes, the latter is a clone of the former.