The New Avengers #0
It was the worst day in Avengers history...
The Scarlet Witch, a longtime member of the Avengers, suffered a total nervous breakdown after losing control of her mutant reality-altering powers and falling prey to the pain and grief of her past. In the chaos around the breakdown beloved Avengers Hawkeye, Ant-Man and Vision all lost their lives.
Many of the other Avengers were hurt, both emotionally and physically as the Scarlet Witch's powers lashed out at their greatest weaknesses. Three months later the team reunited at Avengers Mansion, to say their farewells and to mourn together. Without the funding or drive to keep going, the rest of the team quietly disbanded.
That was a month ago.
The Avengers Mansion.
“You sure this place is still abandoned?” One of the two teenage boys asked. They were both wearing black hoodies and jeans. One had a red bandana wrapped around his forehead. They were crawling through the wreckage of the Avengers Mansion, trying to find anything valuable that they could steal.
“’Course it is. That ‘Crimson *****’ chick killed all the ‘Vengers, ‘member?” His friend replied, cocking a gun.
“I thought that was a rumour. The hell you got that for?!”
“Protection?! You said this place was abandoned!”
Someone groaned. The two boys looked at each other, a look of terror on their faces.
“****. Must be some kind of animal in here or something.” The boy with the gun stated, before firing randomly into the shadows.
“What you doing?! People will hear!”
“Get out of here.” A gruff voice demanded from the shadows. Sweat dripped down the boy with the gun’s face.
“There’s someone here…”
“No ****, Sherlock,” The boy with the gun mocked. “Whoever it is, is going to wish they was never born!” He fired into the shadows once again, but as far as they could tell, he hit nothing.
“You should have got out of here while you had the chance!” Captain America burst from the shadows and charged towards the two scared teenagers. Before the boy with the gun could fire, he was tackled to the ground. He didn’t have his mask on, but the boys could tell it was him. He had a jacket over his normal uniform, but his shield was nowhere in sight.
“Holy…” He looked up. His friend was watching him, but as he was being his usual self, not helping one bit.
“Get out of here,” Captain America grunted, and then added, “now.”
The boy obeyed the order and ran. Captain America turned to the boy he was holding to the floor.
“Do you think you’re cool?! Funny?!” Captain America shouted.
“No… I uh, no…” The boy stammered. He was too scared to do anything.
“Get the hell out of here!” Captain America pulled the boy to his feet and pushed him to give him a head start. Captain America watched as the boy disappeared out of the wrecked building, and then he fell to the floor. He needed help. I’ll see Tony in the morning, he thought, Tony is a good friend. He’ll help me get through this.
Steve Rogers watched as Tony argued on the phone. His black hair was overloaded with hair products and his expensive suit was tidy and clean. He paced backwards and forwards through his office, shouting at the top of his voice.
“Yes, I know Justin Hammer is attempting to take over Stark Industries!” He shouted, and then paused.
“Yes, I know he thinks I’m weaker because of this whole ‘No-Avengers’ crisis, but trust me, the only way he’s getting this company is over my dead body!” He paused again.
“Goodbye.” He hung up and placed the phone on his desk.
“I see your old enemies are making a move…” Steve smiled.
“I guess you could say that. I haven’t heard from him since before he was in some freezing accident.”
“I don’t know the exact details, but he obviously got out of it somehow, and is back to trying to take over the company. Now, what was it you wanted to see me for?” Tony asked, placing his fingertips together.
“Do I have to have a reason to visit my only friend?”
“Steve, don’t get all emotional on me. I know you want me to restart the Avengers, but I can’t. The Avengers are finished. You know that.”
“I need the Avengers, Tony. They’re my only family.”
“I’m sorry, Steve. You’re welcome to get a job here, if you want?”
“No,” Steve answered as he got out of his chair. “Thanks.” He turned and began to leave the office.
“Steve…” Tony mumbled.
Steve spun around, a hint of anger in his eyes. “Were you the one who killed Hawkeye?! Ant-Man?! Damn it, Tony! You didn’t cause this, stop saying you’re sorry! We don’t even know where Thor is for God’s sake! He could be dead; you should be out there using your state-of-the-art technology to find him, instead of sitting in an office saying you’re sorry!” Steve shouted. He turned and left the room in a hurry, leaving Tony to ponder his thoughts.
Steve Rogers stumbled along, barely grasping the bottle of alcohol in his hand. He had sworn to not drink a long time ago. That had all changed now.
He crouched down on a pile of rubbish and looked up into the sky. It was a dark and stormy night, and the rain was cold and heavy.
He took a swig of alcohol. It didn’t warm him up, but it made him feel better inside.
He didn’t need the Avengers. He didn’t need Tony. From now on, he would just be Steve Rogers, not Captain America. From now on, he would let the other people be heroes. From now on, there wouldn’t be a team of Avengers.
Next: New Avengers #1!