|Although I'm still curious about MantaMan's response to Hercules, I'll progress the events a little bit. We can always retcon it back in... |
The following day, final arrangements are made, thank-yous, congratulations, and goodbyes are exchanged, and the new Avengers North and AEF teams head home to their headquarters in Buffalo, New York.
Avengers North: EnergyStar (interim chairperson, until the team has its next election), MinuteMan, MantaMan, Maelstrom, Blackbird, plus one spot currently open. In addition, new government liaison, Christopher Alexander Michaels, accompanies the team back to Buffalo.
Pulsar has returned to Buffalo with you, along with the still non-functional Jim the android, and has requested to go on reserve status in order to help repair his friend. Pulsar does manage to find several Orphu components in the box supplied by Bubbles that he believes will help in Jim's repair.
The new AEF: Benni, Jericho Tesla, Ka-Zar (after a short return trip to the Savage Land), Patriot II (which the newer members eventually have revealed to them is the costumed identity of none other than Rick Jones, who is remaining on active status with the AEF long enough to wrap up some personal issues and help fill out the team roster for a short while as needed), Radical Warrior (who insists he is only on reserve status at his sister's insistence, even though he is always around), and Blue Marvel (much to Beorn's delight and MinuteMan's chagrin). Byron Justinian Gamble (much to EnergyStar's chagrin) will remain government liaison for this team.
There is no longer an assigned Avengers liaison for the AEF, as the Avengers North will be operating out of the same headquarters. It is assumed the Avengers North chairperson (currently EnergyStar) will serve as the "official" Avengers liaison in any situation where a single Avenger is needed as a point of contact for the AEF.
Challenger and Captain Electron are in Buffalo as well, but are busy with the Heroes For Hire organization and other personal matters, so they opt to stay in reserve status. Other former AEF members have also opted to go into reserve status, as they dedicate time catching up on their personal lives since their 'disappearance'.
During the long trip home, EnergyStar can't help but think about what Mantor said...about not knowing the full effects of what her stepbrother may have subconsciously done when the Reality Gem was in his possession...she just gets a bad feeling thinking about it...
Returning to the Central Terminal, Byron Gamble is there to greet the heroes. As you disembark from the QuinJet, he enthusiastically welcomes the returning and newly arriving heroes alike, congratulations all those promoted with a firm handshake and, for EnergyStar, and embrace which seems to almost petrify her with fear. He introduces himself to the one non-spandex normal-looking human who he correctly assumes is Chris Michaels. Bova almost immediately takes off to reestablish her 'domain' (the kitchen) before she even returns to her quarters to unpack.
In addition to Byron Gamble, the new members of both teams are introduced to team mainstays, Ray the Bum, the Human Fly, and the android Justice (a creation of MinuteMan's), as well as what appears to be the team's resident football-playing mad scientist, Dr. Gordon Fields (think of the lab scientist on the current TV series Fringe
Looking at the number of people flooding into the facility, MinuteMan quips to EnergyStar "we're going to need more bedrooms."
Any of the heroes familiar with the headquarters will be able to give a tour of the facility to the new arrivals. Byron will personally offer to show Christopher around.**
Justice has prepared an incredible array of fruit pies that will last well into the coming week in celebration of your homecoming. He has even attempted a 'mock apple pie', which tastes like apple pie, but contains no fruit beyond a trace of lemon juice and zest. He is quite proud of how it turned out.
Byron suggests ordering chicken wings and beef on weck for everyone for a 'get acquainted dinner', which MinuteMan supported, seeing as Bova was standing in the kitchen trying to figure out what to make everyone for dinner, her suitcase still at her side.
Tomorrow, the media will, no doubt, be aware of the team's (now two
teams) return to Buffalo and have plenty of questions. Today and tonight, however, you get to kick up your heels, relax and enjoy each other's company.
Byron requests a meeting with EnergyStar once everyone is settled in. "No rush"
, he insists.
* See the Characters
thread for more info on these NPCs and their behaviors. EnergyStar and MinuteMan explain Byron as detailed in the Characters
thread - a very different image from the warm gentleman who greeted your teams upon their arrival here.
** In the Back Issues
folder, see the last page of Issue One
for pictures of the tower and concourse and page 2 of Issue Two
for info on the layout of the headquarters.