Indeed, Fury met them in the middle of the Atlantic. He was exceedingly interested in their report. Captain, Banner, and Tony joined them on the webcams. The delegation then provided their verbal summary as well as the scanner data collected. It was then revealed that Natasha had been wearing a camera, and she supplied the footage she had obtained.
“This is a very serious situation,” Fury said when they had finished their report. “Unfortunately, I think we may be too late. Captain Gracholm is presently addressing the Council about Calypso. ”
“I’m afraid Fury is right,” Tony chimed in, “Gracholm is wrapping up his report about how the Cantonar came under attack and he thinks it was Calypso.”
“Allow me to address the Council with our findings,” Steve said.
“I don’t think it will do much good,” Tony replied.
“We have to try,” Steve answered.
“That will jeopardize our position,” Fury interjected. “If we share this information, we will reveal that we have been in communication with Calypso. We cannot do that just yet. They all see her as a threat. I am still not so sure that she isn’t. But the last thing we need is a bunch of bureaucrats digging into our business.”
“So we say nothing and they merrily march to war in support of a ruthless pirate?” Rogers asked indignantly.
“I’m afraid we have little choice,” Fury replied sternly.
Tony interjected then, “I would not exactly say ‘merrily’ about them going to war. From the sounds of it, there is a great deal of debate and indecision in the Council after Gracholm’s address.”
“We can only hope that their indecision keeps them from allying with him,” Fury said.
Steve rubbed his forehead wearily.
“So what’s our plan then?” Natasha asked.
“We take down Gracholm’s operation,” Fury stated flatly.
“Let Asgard handle this,” Thor responded. “After all, Gracholm is an Asgardian, and he will be tried for his crimes in Asgard. Besides, this is not the first time that I have dealt with magma poachers. I shall go to Asgard, make my report, and then I shall return with reinforcements.”
“No offense to the man with the biggest hammer,” Tony replied, “but when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. We don’t need more Asgard to get rid of an Asgard problem.”
“This is an Asgard problem, indeed,” Thor replied hotly, “and Asgard shall deal with it most swiftly!”
“Guys,” Steve interjected, “enough. We do not know what we are dealing with here. No one has ever attempted to steal magma from our earth before, at least to my knowledge.” He looked around at the blank faces. “Gracholm is a powerful alien man, and it only makes sense to enlist Thor’s help in this matter. However, Thor, please remember that the people of Earth are suspicious of Asgardians, so the fewer you bring to do the job, the less fear you will arouse, and the better your position.”
“You speak with wisdom, Captain,” Thor replied. “But you need not worry; this task will only require five Asgardians.” And he smiled broadly.
“Pardon me, gentlemen – and ladies,” he said nodding to Natasha and Lucinda. “I shall return presently. In the meanwhile, make yourselves useful by readying your submersible gun ships and await my return.” And with that, he strode out of the room toward the open deck of the helicarrier, calling out to Heimdall to take him up.
The rest of the Avengers team looked at one another, Steve, Tony, and Natasha all rolling their eyes at Thor’s back.
“Just like ‘Twinkle Toes’ to run off when we need to strategize,” Natasha exclaimed.
“Well,” Nick stated, “since we do not know what he plans or when he will return, we must deal with this as we can. Regardless of his plans, readying our watercraft and preparing for battle with the Cantonar is our best course of action.”
“Agreed,” said Steve and Tony in unison.
“We will need to find out as much as we can about their numbers, their firepower, and their weaknesses,” Fury said.
“Leave that to me,” Hawkeye volunteered.
“I will join you,” said Natasha.
“The rest of us will remain and begin battle preparation,” Steve suggested.
Everyone seemed to be in agreement, so the conference came to a close.
As they were going their separate ways, Lucinda approached Tony.
“A word with you, Mister Stark,” she asked.
“For you – any time!” he said cordially.
“I have been told that you have created the armor and uniforms of the team.”
“Ah! My reputation precedes me!” he said with a smile. “And let me guess: you want your own cool suit.”
She smiled and blushed a little while quickly stating, “I have a handsome allowance from the Academy – I can pay!”
“Swing by my place this evening. We’ll talk,” Tony said with a smile and a wink.
Thor strode into the Asgardian throne room with his usual confidence, and approached the throne.
“Greetings, Lord Thor!” said the blonde-haired youth seated on the throne.
“What brings you away from your Midgardian sabbatical?” asked one of the court officials seated near the ruler, a hint of mockery behind his smile.
“I come on a matter of great urgency,” Thor responded darkly. A murmur rose around the group. “I wish to speak to the Steward privately.”
The young man on the throne raised an eyebrow, but waved his hand, gesturing to dismiss the officials gathered about. He had come from a humble family in a rural province of Asgard. He was quite young, but had gained a reputation for being a just ruler. He was known as Aiden the Fair as much for his leadership as for his blonde hair and bright features.
“Gracious Steward,” Thor began, “I have most unfortunate news concerning Captain Gracholm of the Cantonar.”
“What is the nature of it,” Aiden asked with furrowed brow.