Captain America: Secret War (TWENTY-FIVE)

It was nighttime in London and spirits were low. Londoners were afraid to leave their homes and local businesses were closed. It was only the international chains and hotels that were still functioning along as normal. But the fear was definitely in the air.

Under the cloak of darkness, ten SUVs rolled up to Parliament, dodging the smoking wreckage still littering the streets. Each of these cars held powerful rulers of the world who had all been summoned there to speak with the terrorist that was spreading terror through the globe and the tension was palpable.

Secretary Ross sat in the SUV with the President who looked grim as ever.

“I can’t believe I’m doing this,” he said.

Secretary Ross felt the same. “We can’t ignore this woman. Not after seeing what she has done. But that doesn’t make me feel any better.”

“Shouldn’t we have brought Colonel Rhodes along to act as a bodyguard?” the President asked, worry creasing his forehead.

Ross’s temple knotted. “This is supposed to be a diplomatic mission. If we arrive with him in his weapon-laden suit it will be an act of aggression and who knows what terrible things could happen.”

The President nodded. “You’re right. But…I’m still scared.”

The SUV stopped and when they looked they were before the doors of Parliament. Dr. Frost, unmissable in her pristine white clothing and the golden mask her dark hair billowing in the wind, looked more menacing in person.

They exited the car as did all of the other rulers. There was the grieved Prime Minister of England, the President of France, the President of China, Supreme Leader of North Korea, Prime Minister of Japan, Prime Minister of Canada, and Chancellor of Germany. Secretaries and other prominent politicians poured from the cars to join them. Everyone’s body language was fraught with tension as they walked toward the white-clad woman who watched them with clasped hands.

It was clear this was a serious situation for so many powerful rulers, including the often reclusive North Koreans, to be found in one spot at the same time.

“I’m glad you were all able to be here tonight,” she greeted them. “It truly is an honor meeting all of you.”

“Enough of the niceties,” the English Prime Minister snapped. “What do you want?”

Dr. Frost’s jaw clenched. “I want you to follow me.”

And that’s what they did. They followed the HYDRA doctor into the building before them. Secretary Ross slid his hand to his hip where a hidden gun was lying in wait just in case.

As they walked through Parliament he was surprised by the number of people within the building, all of them clad in black and toting scary looking guns.

The North Korean Supreme Leader stopped. “And who are all of these people?”

“Associates of HYDRA,” Dr. Frost said.

The Chinese president spoke and his translator elaborated. “Why are we here?” he asked.

Dr. Frost turned to look at all of them, smiling. “All of you have seen my power. You know what I can do. I am the most powerful person on this planet. And because of that, from here on out you will do as I say.”

“And why would we do that?” the President of the United States demanded.

Dr. Frost’s smile widened. “Come forward.”

T’Challa heard Dr. Frost call him and he suddenly felt a terrible feeling in his gut. Nakia’s bloodied form haunted his every moment and it was this fear of losing her that was driving him to make choices he otherwise wouldn’t. He knew Nakia would be mad at him for neglecting Wakanda’s safety and tarnishing the country’s name but he couldn’t let her die. He wouldn’t let her die. And he believed that somehow all of this would be remedied by The Avengers’ help. At least, he hoped so.

So, he walked from where he was standing, his face hidden behind his mask, and gazed at the leaders of the world.

“If you don’t comply with my wishes, T’Challa here will kill all of you,” Dr. Frost wickedly announced.

The leaders looked taken aback by her words, their gazes whipping toward him. T’Challa slightly bowed his head, not wanting to meet their gaze.

Secretary Ross scowled. This was what he always knew would happen. These “heroes” would eventually turn their back on everyone and try to use to their power for their own personal gains. He knew all of them were bad.

“You see, I hold the most powerful leader in the world in my hand like an oyster,” she continued. “So…you can either join me or die.”

The leaders looked at one another with grim expressions before walking toward.

“I cannot speak for the others but I cannot risk millions of lives for pointless defiance,” the Canadian Prime Minister.

After he spoke the rest of the rulers pledged themselves to Dr. Frost and as she shook all of their hands a great joy fell over her. Her plan was happening just as she imagined and that was an amazing realization.

T’Challa closed his eyes and his hands balled into fists.

Hurry, Shuri, he thought to himself. If you got away, please hurry and get us out of this mess.

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