Abandoned Akkaba port, Sinister Empire, the region formerly known as Kangnyong

Mia gritted her teeth, listening while the metal shrieked and wailed. The blast door was twisted and torn out of place, the woman known as Fallout grunting as she dropped tossed it to the side. Rena Chandler-Jones wasn’t as young as she’d like to be, but even an old Hulk was a strong one. Mia followed her into the dark insides of the Akkaba building. A few others, Kurtis’ crew, went in after her, carrying lights and weapons. The illuminated room was completely bare, with a single passage into a back room.

“You’ve seen what the hazmat suits look like, so just keep your eyes out.” Fallout said, leading the group into the back room.

“Awfully convenient that there’s so many Hazmat suits lying around here.” Mia’s voice was only partially sarcastic.

“When Genocide came to Haeju to reinforce War, he arrived here. Akkaba used the suits to protect themselves from his radiation.”

“Then what killed them?”

“Starvation.” Fallout eyed a container on the wall. “There’s one. Kurtis, if you’d be so kind.”

“Way ahead of you.” Kurtis opened it up, and turned to his men. “Alright boys, get these things back to camp.”

“That should be enough.” Fallout said, turning to Mia. “Seeing as there don’t seem to be any terrible killer robots in this one, you’re dismissed.”

“Glad I didn’t need to be of service.” Mia said, walking away.

“Hey Mia!” Kurtis said, catching her on the way out. “The boys and I are making a special dish for dinner. Feel free to stop by our tent tonight if you want some.”

“Sure.” Mia paused to answer and then went on her way.

The light of day brought a very different feel to the Akkaba Port. At night, it had felt foreboding and dangerous, as if the emptiness was simply because the host of villains there to kill you had slunk into the shadows to prepare for a surprise attack. In the light of the sun, under a clear blue sky, it simply felt deserted. Mia made her way to the water’s edge and sat on the side a dock. A mutated three-eyed fish swam in the shallow water. She thought it tragic that mutation made a freak of the fish, but made herself into a marvel. Mia grinned at the mental image of a fish decked out in the classic X-Men uniform.

When the sun set, Mia got up and walked back into camp. It was noisier than the night before, the rebels become more accustomed to the idea that they were in an area where Sinister would not be venturing. It would have made a good base for the rebellion, if supplies were not an issue. She found her way to Kurtis’ crew’s tent, and he greeted her warmly. Handing her a bowl, he ladled in a thick stew, a spicy smell wafting up to her nose.

“Gumbo, cajun-style, just like Grandma taught me to make.” Kurtis said.

“Never had gumbo before.”

“Well, it’s damn good.” Kurtis handed Mia a spoon. “Try it.”

Mia took a spoonful.


“It’s damn good.” Mia said with a smile.

“I told you so,” Kurtis grinned back. “Sit down and eat your fill. Tomorrow’s a big day.”