Appearing in "There Is No High Road: Part Three - Mistakes Were Made"
- Royal Inhuman Diplomatic Mission
- Unidentified alien invaders (Mentioned)
- Inhuman Royal Family
- Irving Forbush (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- Hell (Invoked)
- Unidentified cocoons (Destroyed)
- Vortex Beam
- Winter Soldier's Bionic Arm
- Fixer's Tech-Pac
- Mobile Armored Cyber-Harness
- S.H.I.E.L.D. Uniforms
- Captain America's Uniform
- Captain America's Shield
- Avengers: Standoff! (Mentioned)
Synopsis for "There Is No High Road: Part Three - Mistakes Were Made"
Caught in the middle of setting fire to a collection of cocoons by the All-New Inhumans, the Thunderbolts are accused of murder and forced to defend themselves. Fighters pair off - Crystal and Grid against MACH-X, Naja against Moonstone, and Flint against Atlas. Winter Soldier tries to protect Kobik, which leaves him open to attack by Gorgon, even as he wonders where Fixer has got to.
On the Inhuman's travelcraft, the captain, Swain, notices that her systems are leaving her control. In the bowels of the craft, Fixer hotwires an override mechanism, and then turns on the external speakers. Then, with a malicious grin, he demands that the Inhumans surrender to Winter Soldier.
With the upper hand, Winter Soldier explains to the Inhumans that the cocoons he was destroying were aliens, and not nascent Inhumans. Crystal demands to know why she should believe him, but Winter Soldier shrugs. He and the Thunderbolts will continue to at as they see fit. She can believe whatever she wants. After Fixer wrecks the craft's engine, Winter Soldier has the Thunderbolts teleport away.
Later, Crystal is able to contact Medusa, her queen, back in Attilan. She admits that their research of the pods cannot conclusively prove that they are Inhumans. Medusa tells her to forward copies of any footage they have to her, to be shown to S.H.I.E.L.D., so that she can demand they take action. Pausing only to remind Crystal that she is not to surrender anything to the humans unless she has to, Medusa cuts the connection, to sit and plot.
On the Helicarrier, Maria Hill reviews the footage. She concludes that Winter Soldier's Thunderbolts must have been recruited at Pleasant Hill, and are now taking actions contrary to the good that S.H.I.E.L.D. serves. One of her subordinates asks how she can regard what they did at Pleasant Hill as "good", but she does not answer, as she realises that, according to the footage, Winter Soldier and the Thunderbolts also have custody of Kobik.
Steve Rogers, who is at the meeting, argues in Winter Soldier's defense, but Maria Hill is adamant of her course: with the threat of the four-year-old's power, the Thunderbolts are to be listed as terrorists, their files circulated to every security agency in the civilized world, their digital lives tapped, and their friends and families watched. Accepting this order, Steve sets about doing that, but in a quiet moment, he uses an encrypted smartphone to try to contact Winter Soldier, his old comrade Bucky. He cannot get through, which makes him worry.
Back at their secret base, the Thunderbolts are winding down after an eventful day. Atlas and MACH-X are having beers, while Bucky is falling asleep. Kobik asks if he will read her a story before she goes to bed, and he agrees.
Meanwhile, Moonstone and Fixer are plotting in Fixer's lab, which he has made sure to soundproof. Moonstone is already plotting to take control of Kobik's powers as a living Cosmic Cube. Fixer rejects this idea, saying that Kobik's external nature as a four-year-old girl makes her too chaotic to be used so easily, but Moonstone is confident - that very childishness leaves her open to manipulation. If Moonstone can replace Winter Soldier in Kobik's mind as her primary caregiver, she can get them everything they ever wanted...
In Kobik's room, Winter Soldier is reading her a story from the first book he could find - "Figment", a graphic novel about an inventor who explores impossible places. As the story finishes, Kobik asks why the group work so hard to protect her. Bucky says they fight because they know she has a lot of power, and they don't want her to make a decision that she will later regret. All of the team have their regrets.
Kobik, perking up at this, says she could use her power to take away the team's regrets. Pausing as the implications of this sink in, Winter Soldier tells her no and leaves her to sleep... but Bucky falls down against the wall in the corridor as the weight of his task briefly becomes too much...
• The new Thunderbolts vs. the All-New Inhumans! Who needs diplomacy when there are faces that need punching?
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