knight takes queen
After agreeing to have Symkaria join the Nation of Unified Evil, a weeklong negotiation took place between Symkaria’s ruler—and Mercenary Queen—Silver Sable and The Barony. At conclusion, both sides agreed to charter a commercial airliner out of La Guardia Airport to Aniana—the capital of Symkaria. On this airliner would be Sable herself, the full battery of her delegates, and as many Symkarian nationals as could make their way to the airport in a week’s time.
This gave Black Panther an opportunity. If his Secret Avengers could intercept Sable somewhere along her return trip, and convince her to go double agent within the Barony, it would give the Avengers an upper hand in their cloak-and-dagger strikes against Baron Zemo. To accomplish this goal, Black Panther has identified several incursion sites. He invites his Avengers to the Wakandan War Room to discuss them.
The Secret Avengers consisting of Invisible Woman, Wolverine, and Domino are called in to secure and flip Silver Sable as an asset for the Avengers. Of the possibilities presented to the team, they opt to infiltrate and possibly hijack the plane mid flight, assuming it easier having Sable as a captive audience.
The team is given several options for tactical support, including vibranium armor, and a stealth infiltration using Storm to provide cover of thunder and lightning. Knowing that the biggest possible detriment to their plan is collateral damage to dozens of Symkarian citizens, they instead chose to bring a deployable energy safety net that will prevent breaches to the hull from crashing the plane, or from civilians being pulled out of it.
The team made a stealthy approach in one of Black Panther’s Royal Talon Fighters, nestling below the wing and enabling the safety net. They attempted to breach the exterior of the plane having Wolverine ingress through the cargo hold doors, adamantium claws at the ready. However, the flight speeds of the aircraft proved too much to overcome. Wolverine leapt across, but hit the side of the craft too hard, losing his hold, left tethered in mid air. Invisible Woman quickly stepped in to rescue her teammate as well as push herself up to the airliner. Using their combined abilities of adamantinum and invisible force, they pried open the cargo door, and infiltrate the plane.
The three of them stealthily made their way around the underbelly of the craft, checking and cracking any secured door. Domino also secured and checked luggage for any materials that could be made into makeshift tools.
As they breached one last door toward the nose of the plane, they realized they were not alone. Three men patrolled piles of communications equipment, first aid and infrastructure supplies. Two of these men were Symkarian Royal Guard while another was Battlestar. The three Avengers recognized him instantly as the former teammate of U.S. Agent before their working relationship with the U.S. government was dissolved. A big, tough wall of a man with full riot gear and star-spangled riot shield. He was aboard the plane as a formidable member of Sable’s mercenary outfit, the Wild Pack.
The Avengers wanted to avoid direct conflict with Battlestar—despite Domino thinking maybe they could just say “hi”—but he heard them attempt to break into this hold, and pursued the noise. Invisible Woman sprung into action as Domino and Wolverine dove out of sight. Instinctively Sue went Invisible and manifested an illusion of Silver’s Sable’s beloved hounds, Geri and Freki. This bought the team enough time to avoid an encounter and double back.
It also afforded them the knowledge of at least some occupants on the craft. Royal guards and Battlestar. Sue would use this knowledge to bend light and illusion around herself and teammates, to appear as royal guards and gain access to the main cabin.
The main cabin seemed to hold only Symkarian civilians, with no signs of Sable or her Wild Pack. This would be a belief proved incorrect. As Domino—under the guise of a Royal Guard—would soon find out. The presence of a Royal Guard outside the cargo bay—where they were meant to be stationed—was a red flag to another Wild Pack member disguised as a civilian. This mercenary named Paladin, quickly jabbed a gun into Domino’s back. She attempted to bluff him, but it did not go her way, with Paladin flagging another Wild Pack member to check the veracity of her flimsy story.
When bluffing failed Domino, luck took over. Hoping to face her captor, Domino quickly turned, and in that happenstance, Paladin’s gun caught in one of her holsters and took the firearm off target, preventing him from shooting. At the same time, Invisible Woman planned to use a force push against Paladin, but it missed the mark, slamming into the cabin ceiling with a loud crash. Invisible Woman rebounded by imitating the effects of extreme turbulence, thrashing all the baggage in the cabin around. The ruse worked, throwing suspicion off the misplaced Royal Guards, and onto the condition of the plane.
The mishaps and misdirection were growing too numerous though, and the Secret Avengers could feel this opportunity slipping through their grasp. Sue bent illusions around Domino and Wolverine once more, this time to appear like Wild Pack members Battlestar and Paladin. They quickly, and stealthily made their way to the cockpit, and having run out of tactical advantage, Domino simply knocked.
It was met with the discerning and angry growls of the true Geri and Freki, and later by an even more stern and disapproving response from Silver Sable herself. As Domino struggled to keep the ruse up against Sable, the Mercenary Mother demanded that she be told the truth, knowing that Domino was not one of hers. Eventually Domino and Wolverine came clean, earning them the smallest sliver of trust, but enough for Sable to open the door and listen to their plans of safety for Symkarians.
What turned into somewhat hostile negotiations—with Sable herself holding all the bargaining chips—she demanded real power, real safety for her people. The Avengers had failed to keep New York, Moscow, and now Symkaria safe from Zemo’s gambit. So if she were going to turn double agent, she would need assurances, and from someone who could guarantee them. Someone like Black Panther whom Sable deduced was behind this caper. She would leave the Avengers with this demand: bring T’Challa to me, in person, in hostile Symkaria, with his plans to keep my people secure. If they were to keep her actions as double agent safe, Sable would not be able to keep the lights on for them, but they would have to infiltrate her kingdom as hostile combatants.
The Secret Avengers agreed, and were escorted back through the hold, onto their Royal Talon Fighter. Not before Wolverine and Domino were able to exchange “pleasantries” with the last member of Wild Pack on the plane, Garrison Kane. A former teammate of both.