~ The Ultimate ~ ~ Comic Book ~ ~ Roleplaying Universe ~ Dark Reign Arc #1: The Rise of COBRA ------- Location: Castle Doomstadt, Latveria One Year Ago ------- The trees below rocked back and forth under the heavily-twirling propellers of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Drop-ship as it neared an opening in the forested area surrounding the borders of Latveria. "Alright, this is the drop-off point!" exclaimed the pilot as she turned back to the renegade group of men and women wearing ridiculous looking costumes in the back. "Wait, what?" asked one of the men, clad in a sleek red and blue suit adorned with various designs of webbing. "We're nowhere near Castle Doomstadt!" "Cap's orders, Spider-Man. Says we can't make an official landing due to the political implications. The President doesn't want to start a war with the Latverians, so we can't have anything linked back to S.H.I.E.L.D. landing without permission." "But it's okay for a group of costumed people to drop out of the sky unannounced?" "S.H.I.E.L.D. may be a worldwide peacekeeping organization, but we still rely on America and thousands of other countries for funding. Masked vigilantes don't have a face attached to them." *sigh* "Riiiight. I'll remember that when J. Jonah Jameson decides to blame this whole thing on me." Turning towards the cargo doors, Spider-Man let out a sigh and stretched out his arms. "Alright everyone, let's get a move on. I'd rather die in some epic fashion out there then die of boredom in here... But preferably, I'd rather not die at all." he said jokingly, a smug grin forming beneath his mask. As the backdoor to the drop-ship slowly began to open, Spidey took one final look at his fellow teammates. To his immediate left was Wanda Maximoff, otherwise known as the "Scarlet Witch"; a powerful mutant with the ability to use powerful magic against her foes. Beside her sat Bucky Barnes aka "The Winter Soldier"; Steve Roger's old friend, subjected to the same super-soldier serum that created the Captain, giving him super strength that, along with a metal arm, let's him pack a powerful punch. Both the Winter Soldier and Scarlet Witch had gone up against the Avengers at some point, but now the two former villains were on the side of righteousness, fighting to protect the innocent from evil. The 18 year old Spider-Man had gotten to know Wanda and her brother, Pietrov (Quicksilver) a bit more personally, as they often socialized at the Avengers Tower in downtown New York when the group was not on patrol. Typically, members of the super-team from all over the world came to the tower to relax, when there wasn't a crisis that is. It was sort of like a superhero mixer. He admired her strength more above anything. Not physical strength, but the strength to carry on when the world has continuously thrown its worst at you on a nearly-daily basis. He didn't know Bucky as well, mostly since he and Commander Rogers were always out reminiscing about the 'old days'. It was hard to believe that the emo-looking man was almost as old as Captain America. But Spidey kept his distance from Bucky, not because of his villainous past, but because he was a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. Needless to say, Spidey didn't exactly trust the 'world peacekeeping organization'. The only reason he was even on this mission was because Captain America personally requested he assist the drop-team. Had it not been for the extreme guilt of 'letting down his fellow Avengers', Spider-Man would have flat out refused to go. But, as usual, the web-slinger agreed to risk life and limb for people he barely knew. To Spidey's right, sat a young girl whom, despite his wishes, had snuck aboard the Helicarier when she should have been studying for her Math test; his little sister, May Day. Or, as she preferred to be called in-costume, "Spider-Girl". Most people often mistook them for being a dynamic duo like Shaggy and Scooby-Doo, but that was far from the truth... Although technically speaking, she was his protege. But Spidey preferred the term 'sidekick' (as it irritated his sister to no end). She was basically able to mimic all of his powers thanks to a plot by the Spider Queen (it's a long story, probably long enough to fill a few issues of a comic book), but May Day got a few different powers to the ones Spidey himself possessed. More specifically, she got the ability to fire paralyzingly streams of energy (dubbed 'Venom Blasts') from her hands. But mostly, she developed many powers similar to his own. Then, there was... Howard. A robotic tank... Thing. Spidey didn't really understand much about it aside from the fact that it was designed by Tony Stark, was loaded to the teeth with various weapons and gadgets, and somehow managed to trap 'the Spot' in his own pocket dimension when the Synthetic Seven attacked New York ban in 2014. It was branded as 'Howard the D.U.C.C.' and was supposed to be the prototype for a whole new legion of super-gadgets. ... In short, it was a robotic duck-tank. With a somewhat racist attitude towards humans. Finally, the door leading to the back was completely open. A sudden shiver went down Spidey's spine as the frigid Laterian air hit him dead-on. "H-Holy c-c-crap!" exclaimed the masked teen as he suddenly began to rub his arms in an attempt to warm up. "I-I am n-not e-equipped for this!" mumbled the web-head as he walked over to the ledge. Peering down at the ground beneath them before turning back to the super team, Spidey gave a shrug and said "Well... Let's go." Taking a few steps back, Spidey quickly ran towards the ledge and jumped off, firing a barrage of webbing below at the trees to form a protective trampoline-like structure. Soft, yet bouncy. Landing on it back-first, Spidey bounced softly upon impact and crawled off. Now standing below the drop-ship with his fellow teammates, the web-slinger's head turned skywards as their transport began to leave. Turning his head towards the Avengers, Spidey shrugged his shoulders and placed a hand on his hip. "Well, looks like we're on our own now... Anyone bring a Mad Libs? It's gonna be a long walk..."