Chapter 2 – Assembly
"Before you ask webhead, no I can't join." She-Hulk assumed the reason Spider-Man had wanted to see her was to invite her to the Fantastic Four team he was assembling due to her history with them.
"Actually Jen, that isn't what I wanted to ask..."
"You want to go out with me don't you?"
Spider-Man's eye lenses widened "Wait...what?" Jennifer grinned at his 'geek' response "N-no that's not it either."
"Why not? Is it because you think I'm ugly?" She raised a fist to his face.
"No, wait, look you're very pretty, but I only wanted to ask you something about the team!"
She-Hulk lowered her fist and chuckled at him "Calm down, I'm only messing with you."
"Oh so it's a bad thing when I make jokes but you're allowed to make them? How is that fair?"
The green Avenger turned to the reader "C'mon his writer Dan Slott wrote some of my comics to, what did you expect?" she turned back to Spider-Man and placed her hands on her hips "Alright Spidey why did you want to see me?"
"I was wondering if you could help me find a suitable member for the Fantastic Four team, I thought your experience with them could help us pick someone good."
She-Hulk pondered for a bit over the thought, it would help pick someone who was good enough and not some amateur. "Alright, I assume Zoness will want to help with this."
"Yes in fact he's getting our third member now."
"And who would that be."
Zoness walked at a steady pace through the woodland, the purifiers had reported that the X-Man Wolverine was in the area. Wolverine had been one of Zoness' role models in the superhero community ever since he first saw the X-Men. Even though Dan had few encounters with the mutant finding him shouldn't be a problem since Logan was usually in the middle of a fight.
Zoness understood why Wolverine would be here in the forest, the X-Man's animal instincts could tend to make him distant from everyone else. Zoness soon approached a lake and noticed claw marking on the remains of a rock that was cut into three pieces.
Stupid purifiers, always in the middle of something important. Zoness simply put on a grin and turned to the armed mutant haters "Sorry pal I don't freeze...but I do tend to help others 'cool off'!"
Zoness launched some fist shaped water projectiles at the purifiers and the toughness of them knocked out the ones at the front in an instant. The others opened fire, but the bullets either went through Zoness' water like body or were jammed inside his water molecules. Zoness then made the bullets stuck in him travel to his hand and chucked them on the floor.
"Pfft yeah like that's gonna hurt me."
"RAAAAAHHH!" A blur of black and yellow leapt over him and once the figure landed, blood shot out from the purifier he landed on. The all too familiar figure then lashed out at the other purifiers, all of which were trying to shoot him to death but to no avail.
Zoness watched in discomfort as Wolverine sliced the guns in half and gave a deep stab wound to every purifier there. Once all soldiers were down, he turned to the water based hero "Y'know these guys don't care if you're a mutant or not kid, they'll shoot anyway."
"Logan I'm not a kid, I'm 21." The X-Man simply shrugged "You'd be calling everyone a kid to if you'd been 'round here as long as I have. What are you doing here anyway?"
"I came looking for you, Spider-Man and I want you on our new Fantastic Four team and don't worry we talked to Luke Cage and he said it's okay for you and Spidey to drop out of the New Avengers to be on this team." Sadly Wolverine didn't share the smile Zoness had.
"Hmph, you're lucky I'm not in the mood to give my usual three answers kid."
"Yeah, there sharp, shiny and make a deep impression." Wolverine brought out three of his claws to emphasize his point (no pun intended) before putting them away.
"So since I'm not getting THOSE answers, I guess that means you'll join right?"
"Don't count on it kid."
"W-What?! Why not?"
"I don't really deserve it."
"Oh c'mon Wolvie..." Wolverine glared at him for using that name causing Zoness to back away a bit "...uh I mean you're the most famous X-Man in the world. You deserve it, why wouldn't you want to join?"
"I'm sorta flying solo for now, its instinct for me. Some friends kick the bucket and I leave to clear my mind, the wild is kinda like a second home to me – plus I prefer working on my own most of the time."
Even with his mask covering his eyes you could tell Zoness' eyebrows raised in interest "But isn't it better to have people watch your back and help you out? I mean isn't that what a team of heroes like the X-Men or the Avengers do?"
Wolverine stared off into the distance over the lake at that question before answering "Maybe, but the truth is I'm no hero. I'm a coward."
Zoness stood beside him wanting to know why the yellow clad mutant would think so little of himself "What are you talking about? Like I said you're one of the coolest X-Men who ever lived in many people's eyes, why would you call yourself a coward if you've done so much for innocents?"
"Because when I'm on my own, I choose to do what's easiest for me: doing things alone. No responsibilities, no burden to carry, just me and an open world. If being a hero means something, then it means taking responsibility for others but that's not for the likes of me kid. I'm no hero and I wouldn't want anyone to see me as a role model or follow in my footsteps with all I've had to face in my life."
Zoness just stood there in amazement "Wolverine that is probably the coolest thing you ever said to me! But I did see you as role model actually because of the good deeds you performed, it doesn't matter what happened in the past, you just have to let it go and keep moving forward. At least, that's what I figure."
Zoness mentally kicked himself in the nuts knowing that what he just said was probably as cheesy as the dialogue in a Saturday morning cartoon. He was 21 for God's sake what kind of 21 year old speaks like that?!?!
"Well, you've got yer point of view and I've got mine, kid. See ya." Wolverine turned to walk away.
"Wait, are...are you gonna join? Me and Spidey would really appreciate it!" Wolverine stopped in his tracks before slightly turning his head around so Dan could only see the side of his face "I'll think 'bout it." And with that, he continued walking around the lake. Zoness eventually turned back to the way he came from and trudged back through the forest growth.
Peter was just ending his shift at horizon labs when he received a call from She-Hulk asking him to drop by the Avengers Mansion to discuss the team recruits. He finished the project he was working on and snuck into a back alley to change into his red and blue suit. With the Future Foundation gone he saw no reason to wear the FF suit, he thought it would be disrespectful so he returned to the ol' red n' blue.
As he swung through the city towards the mansion he passed some police sirens racing in the opposite direction. Knowing his cursed Parker luck, he had no choice but to chase after them soon arriving at a standoff at the bank. There were armed thugs with AK-47's shooting at police with riot shields, showing no signs of stopping.
One of the thugs turned his attention inside "Quick, get the cash to the van!" Three other thugs then hightailed it through the bank trying to find another way out until they came across the fire exit. They made their way around the back to where a van was waiting but when they opened the back door they were in for a shock.
"Ssssh, can't you guys see that they are asleep?" Spider-Man was sitting on the floor refereeing to the thugs in the front of the van before he leapt past them webbing the money they stole to a wall before knocking each of them out.
Suddenly, the Spider-Sense started ringing and Spidey jumped to the nearest wall and stuck to it getting a look at who was trying to shoot him. One of the thugs had stopped fighting the police to try and shoot the webhead in the back.
"What's wrong spider freak?! Not so tough against a guy with a gun?!"
"I wouldn't go pointing guns if I were you; my friend here wouldn't like that."
Before the thug could respond a fist thumped him on the head rendering him unconscious. The fist belonged to a woman in a red and dark blue/black uniform that had a star on her torso and a red sash around her hips.
"He's right you know. You're friends around the front are also getting a talk to by the boys in blue." Captain Marvel quipped to the motionless guard before floating up to the bags of money "I think it may be best if I return the money otherwise Mayor Jameson is going to regroup the anti spider squad in an instant."
"Good thought M&M...or C&M. Nah, that's not as catchy."
After the robbery had been cleared up, Captain Marvel (or Ms. Marvel as you know her better by) was giving Spidey a lift to the Avengers Mansion as they talked about the team's future. "...so anyone on the New Avengers team are available as reserve members if need be."
"Thanks Carol, I appreciate it." Then an idea popped into the wallcrawlers head "Hey uh Carol? How would you like to join the group?"
"That depends...anyone else want to be on it?"
"Well the West Coast Avengers each wanted to join..."
"Count me in, save you some dignity."
"Wait....that's it? You're joining just like that?"
"Yeah....you see Pete; the Fantastic Four have been an inspiration to many other heroes myself included and since you already have Zoness as your Human Torch and you as the Mr. Fantastic of the group maybe I could fill in as your Invisible Woman."
"But, you don't turn invisible."
The new captain shrugged as an evil grin spread across her lips "Still you need someone more powerful then you."
"But Zoness is an Omega level threat."
"Pfft, sure he is and I'm Miss Piggy."
They soon landed at the Avengers Mansion with Zoness, Wolverine and She-Hulk waiting for them "Late as usual webs, and now you're relying on women. A blonde one at that!"
Captain Marvel glared at Zoness charging up energy in her hand and hissed "I'll get to you in a bit water boy."
She-Hulk walked towards them and asked "I'm guessing you're the fourth member Carol."
"Yep, discussed it with Webs on the way here."
"Well then I suppose you four are ready for your new base of operations."
Wolverine leaned in interest "What did you have in mind?"
She-Hulk smiled as she called up Captain America "Hello Captain, I have our four when would you like them to move in?"