"Bruce, have you or any of the other doctors in the tower heard anything about something that's been going around?" Tony asks as he calls a meeting with the Avengers, Pepper, Jane, Darcy, and a young science intern named Peter Parker. Jane and Pepper were looking at Tony, him, then back again but they realized there must be a reason he's here.
"Rumors, the government is trying to keep it quiet."
"Probably fucking caused it." Peter mutters. Natasha narrows her eyes at him but nods along with Clint. "Yes, that's the rumors I've heard as well. We're going to be having a meeting tomorrow with Reed Richards, Hank McCoy, Agent and somebody from SHIELD, and somebody from NIH. Steve, can you get Barnes here? I have a bad feeling this is going to be bad and I want everybody protected. I don't know if whatever's spreading can affect you, him, and Natasha thanks to the serums but we're going to be talking vaccines for everybody else if possible."
"Is this why you've been stockpiling supplies?"
"Yes, all the precogs are seeing the US going to hell and the government. . ."
"Throwing up it's hands and bleating they don't know why the taxpayers are mad? Especially after that moron brought the office? And proved to everybody who isn't as stupid as he is what kind of fool he is?" Peter snorts.
"Pepper, I want you to go over the list of supplies we're getting in and see what else we need, and to over the plans for hydroponic growing."
"Are you seeing us cut off from supplies for a while?"
"Yes. As well as seeing that we're going to be the only damn form of government for the next few years. Natasha, Clint, I want you to start talking to people to see if any of your contacts know anything more about what's going on. Peter. . .you've got friends in low places, see if they heard anything?" He nods. "And make sure your Aunt May has plenty of supplies on hand. Clint. . .same goes for your farm." He nods as he and Peter look at the list of supplies they're handed by Tony.
"I've already done some of this." Clint murmurs. He looks over at Peter's, which is majorly different. "Rent?"
"If the precogs are right Peter, you're going to end up owning the house." Tony says quietly. "If you do, we'll add onto it. Clint, the land around you?"
"I've been buying it as it comes up." Tony nods in satisfaction. "Now shoo people."
"What about Sam?"
"He's on a plane here right now. I don't want him anywhere near DC until this whole mess is over." Steve nods in satisfaction as he pushes back from the table.
"What do you want me to do?" Darcy asks.
"Jane, do you need her?"
"Do we have the room for hydroponics growing?" Jane asks, her mind not going back to her beloved science for the time being.
"Yes, the city has been clearing out condemned buildings in an attempt to look like they're doing something about homelessness and I brought the lots. The building has been going up for a while." He sends Pepper the files.
"I'd wondered what that account was." Pepper mutters as she starts looking through the file. "The IRS were having fits."
"The agents were told to grow the fuck up and leave me alone before I had them all eaten." Tony mutters. "They had no damn business nosing around here except dumbass in chief wants to show he's the man and get rid of any competition. There were enough complaints that the commander in assholeness was told to stop using government resources for his vendettas."
"I don't know why people voted that fool into office."
"Because he told the morons what they wanted to hear. Now he's trying to undo everything the previous president did because he did it. He's a bitter, hateful fool who should have been drowned at birth."
Steve returns to the tower a few hours later, grinning as he shakes Sam's hand. "Tony been telling you what's going on?"
"Yes, and there's already reports of illnesses going on in the homeless, including some of the vets I used to talk to in support groups."
"They'd have been among the first to die without proper food, shelter, and medical attention." Pepper says.
"Yep, along with people like Peter's Aunt May who are in bad health to begin with." Tony says. "Or those with damaged immune systems due to cancer or chronic diseases."
"And people will bleat that the VA should have done more for our veterans while ignoring the fact they didn't do anything."
"Yep, but that's human nature."
Charles Xavier arrives with Hank McCoy and a man they introduce as Nathaniel Essex the next morning. Tony just gives them looks but ushers them into a room where Phil Coulson is talking quietly with Clint. Peter is busy bringing in coffee and selections of tea bags and containers of loose tea. A k-cup tree of various drinks is next and Tony nods in satisfaction.
"Okay people, I'm sure we've all heard rumors about some ilness."
"Yes." The talk lasts a couple hours before the NIH doctor arrives, the others had come early to talk about stuff they couldn't talk about with him there. At least until Hank and Professor Xavier look at him. "Miles." They smile.
"Yes. My mutation is minor and I went into medicine. Dr. Miles McCabe" He's introduced to the others.
"What's going on?"
"A fucking mess caused by the asshole in chief." Tony laughs. "I didn't vote for the moron and he's cut spending left, right, and center so he has money for his fucking military so he looks all fucking impressive to the rest of the world. Who know what seventeen kinds of fool he really is."
"Caused by his asshole self and his pet mad scientists, he wanted a way to control the fucking country. To punish people who dared tell him no by not voting for him and oh god the humanity having the x-gene. Unfortunately the morons who came up with this little gem of a disease didn't stop to think it might affect more than the people he wanted punished. He was going to be the big man and come waltzing in with a cure once they 'learned the error of their ways' and it doesn't fucking work."
"Christ." Bruce mutters. "Are we seeing many deaths?"
"Yes, and it's just going to go up."
"Also don't work. Something the asshole was complaining about."
"What's the symptoms so we know what to look for?"
"It's supposed to be like a bad case of the flu or a cold. . .just enough to make you miserable."
"Fever, aches, pains, nausea. . ."
"At least in the beginning. But they get worse. Think food poisoning bad."
"Vomiting and diarhea?"
"Yes, so bad that some people have lost twenty pounds in a few days."
"That alone might kill them."
"Yes, and even if they survive that will wreck their body like you see with the anorexics." Nods from the other doctors. "Even if you drop a ng tube and give them extra nutrients it doesn't always help."
"Yep, and hospitals will have to start turning people away."
"Which will lead to more deaths."
"Yep. Especially with health care professionals getting sick themselves."
"And they start running out of supplies." Tony, professor Xavier, and Reed Richards all start making notes on the PADDS in front of them.
"Yes because a good quarter of the people affected die within 24 hours."
"Christ." the agent with Coulson moans. "Is there any way to stop it spreading?"
"No, it was airborne to begin with then they spread it on common stuff everybody used. He ordered areas specifically targeted because they either had high concentrations of mutants like New York and didn't shoot them like dogs like he wanted or otherwise annoyed him by not rolling over and doing whatever he wanted." He passes along a sheet of paper. "These are the cities we think he targeted. Notice, they're not all here in the United States."
"Your boss is a goddamn idiot."
"He's not my boss for long, my entire team has been 'reassigned' because the asshole didn't see the need for crews that travelled the country when hospitals called the NIH for help. I'm curreently the only one who still has a job. And they're hinting my job won't be around for long."
"Of course not, not when they're cutting funding to the CDC as well." Bruce snorts.
"Nope, because people might realize it was an attack and find a cure."
"And he can't have that. Bruce, find me names. Between all of us I'm sure we can find them jobs and labs." The others nod. "Miles, are you staying in DC?"
"No, I was warned my job was on the chopping block and the team is packing up my apartment as we talk. I was going to talk to you about jobs even though not all the team are doctors. Frank has a family. And Stephen has an ex-wife and son."
"We'll find you all jobs."
"Okay, beyond medical needs what else do we need to consider?"
"Water, sewage, food. .. burial sites." Coulson says quietly.
"Mass burials if we get the deaths the precogs are seeing. Unless they had family to bury them. Cemeteries will get full quickly."
"We'll have to automate a lot of things."
"And shield the area if the precogs are right in seeing the army coming in to take over everything once the government runs off with their tail between their legs."
"Yes, I can see the asshole in chief trying that." Tony snorts. "Or declaring the area closed to everybody and leaving us to rot until he sees we're doing okay. Then calling in the military."
"Yep. If the deaths are that bad I can see the local goverments collapsing. We'd have to take over the surrounding areas."
"And we'd need a way to keep the peace, can SHIELD take over local police departments?"
"And State police." Coulson nods. "He wanted us as his own personal attack force before SHIELD fell, if governments fall we'll need them."
"And a way to protect our area from him calling in the army."
"I've been working on domes for space colonies." Reed Richards says slowly as he brings up a file from the servers at the Baxter building. Everybody looks at the information and nods. "Do we have a way to allow our people inside and outside?"
"Yes, to anybody with the chip they'd be energy fields allowing us to come and go as we please. . .the energy will also allow them to grow to take over abandoned land for farming and whatnot."
"How easily can they be made? I'll need one for Malibu. The x-mansion, SHIELD's headquarters."
Nods from the others. "We'll want to add more areas in the future."
"Factories." The others nod. "Especially weapons."
"Both Richards and I have alternate sources of power that we haven't released since the power companies would have fits." Tony snorts. Professor Xavier and his 'associate' nod.
"Is there anybody we trust in the other countries we can pass this along to?"
"Not in the governments. . . " Tony looks at Reed who nods slightly. "But I'm sure we have associates we can pass the information along to. Who can get it to the people who need to know."
Charles sighs back at the X-mansion, Nathaniel changing back to Mr. Sinister. "This is going to get worse a hell of a long time before it gets better." Hank says as they lift his chair into the mansion.
"Yes, I'm already seeing signs of increased deaths. Stark and Richards will need more than the police and SHIELD to keep order. You'll have my people."
"And mine." Erik says from the doorway. Raven is beside him. "The cameras picked up everything."
"Irene had already been seeing the signs." Raven says slowly. "I had hoped that circumstances would change so it didn't happen. But now. . ." She smiles slightly. "Stark and Richards are annoying but they'll be better running the country than the fool in charge now."
"Logan?" He sees the man grabbing a set of keys.
"Off to one of the merc bars. Let them know what's going down. Some of them would be well good to help keep the peace, the others. . . can pack up and take their chances elsewhere."
"Weasel, gimme a beer. And call the other bars, put me on a conference call." Logan says when he walks into the bar. "Everybody, shut up and listen up." He yells.
The bartender starts to say something but Logan's face makes him stop. "Bad?"
"Yeah, the asshole in chief's pet scientists created a virus that he's using as a weapon. To punish everybody who didn't vote for him." Weasel grabs the phone.
"Okay, you're on speaker at the other bars."
Logan tells the story of what they know. Swearing from various bars. "So that's it people, get in supplies or take off."
"Leave us." Reed says to one of Doom's minions a few hours after he's left the meeting. He starts to say something and Reed just glares. "Leave.Us."
"Richards." Doom says from his throne.
Reed tosses a thume drive towards him. "Get rid of them and read that, then we need to talk." Doom waves them off and puts the drive in his computer, growling as he begins to read.
"I always knew the man was a fool and had no business being in charge of a company, let alone a country." Doom rumbles as he finishes reading.
"I notice you're taking it at face value."
"He's stupid enough to have done just that. Do we know if the illnesses will reoccur?"
"His so-called experts say no but they also said the vaccines would work and they could easily cure it for him."
"And that it would only work on people who didn't vote for the fool. Is this going to be common knowledge?"
"The precogs see it all being released to the media in several months. Once they can no longer cover up the deaths."
"The hospitals are seeing an influx of people coming to the emergency room. Many of them are being sent back home with the instructions to rest, drink plenty of liquids, and let it run it's course with the most ill being admitted. Unfortunately they're soon coming back in ambulances because they're getting sicker. And dying. And many people are being found dead in their homes because they didn't even make it to the hospital."
Doom shakes his head. "Thank you for letting me know Richards. Are the other countries being told?"
"Yes not the governments because we don't know if they'd believe us until it's released officially but other heroes or others that we know."
Doom nods. "And even then they might not believe it until it affects them."
Reed nods. "And by then it would be too late."
Back at the Baxter building he finds Sue going over the list of supplies that Tony had been working on. He'd sent it to them in the packet of information before heading to the Latvian embassy.
"Do we have the room?"
"If we create tesseracts on some of the rooms. Or shrink some of the stuff like clothes and toilet paper. Or both. If we had a way to keep it safe from looters I'd say we needed to look at warehouses."
"We're going to have to anyway." Reed sighs. Johnny looks over and nods. "I don't think that the city has much in the way of emergency supplies."
"No, and they won't do anything until it's too late."
"And from the obituary page in today's paper. . .or should I say pages it's well on the way. And that's just here in Manhattan."
"I see them having to close until the deaths stop." Reed sighs. He sends a notice to Stark Tower about having to get in home-schooling supplies.
"Yes, because there won't be enough foster homes."
"Yes, we'll have to have mandatory composting bins."
"Yes, both dairy and fruit and vegetables."
"Hothouses for tropical fruits."
"Canning food for the winter when the gardens are done. We'll need our own hydroponics setup."
The next couple of months sees many trucks arriving at both Stark Tower and the Baxter Building. The mayor comes nosing around trying to cause trouble and is sent out of the buildings with a bug in his ear. He goes whining to the chief of police and is told it is not against the law to purchase goods or kick his useless ass to the curb. He goes whining to the governor next and is told to grow the fuck up.
"And leave them alone you goddamn stupid sack of shit. They don't have to bow, scrape, and kiss your useless ass. So what if they're getting in a lot of supplies? It's none of your damn business."
"But why are they buying all that stuff?"
"Because they fucking have a use for it. Unlike your wife who brought a third dress from a designer on the city dime. Knock it off!"
"But I'm the mayor! They gotta do what I tell them to."
"No they don't."
"I'll pass laws." he huffs.
"And they'll be found illegal by the state supreme court and you'll look like the total asshole people know you are."
He hurries off wailing. "Gods, I hope somebody shoots that bastard." The sound of a gunshot has him looking up at the ceiling. "I didn't mean literally." he yells.
~ ~ ~