Static from the EMP shrieked in Scott's headset, distracting him for long enough for the HYDRA agent to pull a gun on him. Her suit disabled, Hope switched seamlessly from a shrinking attack to wushu, taking out the agent with a flying grapple. She pivoted before hitting the ground, landing in position to attack the next one, but there were too many agents and they both knew it.
A figure in a janitor's uniform burst into the room, dropping agent after agent with devastating efficiency. As Hope sent her opponent slamming into the far wall with a powerful kick, the newcomer dealt with another five and choked the final agent into unconsciousness with his cleaning company lanyard.
"Luis?" gasped Scott, his ears still ringing from the static and the punches.
"We should go man, Kurt says the police are like two blocks away." said Luis, letting the unconscious agent fall at his feet.
"But...Luis?" repeated Scott.
"We need to go now. Grab the tablet and let's get out of here." said Hope already running for the stairs with Luis in hot pursuit. Bewildered Scott did as he was told and followed them. He didn't get a chance to catch his breath until he had swung into the van and been relieved of his prize by Hope.
"It should all be on there, how quickly do you think you can get it off?" she asked, handing the tablet to Kurt.
"Eet depends on how good ze person who encrypted zis vass...ah, ve are lucky, zey vere an eediot!"
"Uh, Luis?" asked Scott?
"No cabron, I said the second exit!" said Luis, who was arguing with Dave about direction.
"You said the third!"
"I said the second!" Luis shook the map in front of Dave's face, temporarily obscuring the windshield.
"Oh hey Scott, what's up?"
"How did you fight a whole room of HYDRA agents? And win?"
Luis's turned to face Scott, his expression turning serious. He clapped Dave on the shoulder. "Hey man, you're going to have to find your way without me for a while okay?"
"Thank fuck for that." muttered Dave.
"So yeah man, I'm sorry, it never seemed like the right time to tell you you know?"
"Tell me what?"
"I was in San Quentin undercover, to get close to some people. I was a SHIELD agent, before SHIELD went kaboom, know what I'm saying?"
"You...were a SHIELD agent? In San Quentin?"
"Yeah, I was meant to get tight with Black Cat's syndicate. But the guys who were in there with me, they were like small time man, and then when I got out SHIELD collapsed. Lost my job, lost my identity and got stuck with my cover. I got to keep these sweet wheels though." He patted the van's seat affectionately.
"So that story you told me when I got out, about your Mom dying and your girl leaving you, that was all made up?"
"No man, that was all true. My Mom was in SHIELD's tactical division, got killed by a HYDRA mole. After that my Dad couldn't stand the states no more, got himself deported back to Mexico."
"And your girl?"
Luis looked uncomfortable for the first time. "Turned out she was HYDRA man. All that time. Some things I don't want to talk about you know?"
Scott tried to digest this new information. "So when SHIELD fell you put together this team and recruited me...for a burglary?
"So I was wondering why the crazy old scientist dude and the super hot chick, uh, no offense."
"None taken." said Hope.
"The old dude and the hot chick were so interested in a loser like you, no offense man."
"None...taken." said Scott.
"Plus my cousin's super into this cleaner chick right, and it would break his heart if she turned out to be involved in some freaky shit, so I had to check it out."
"Okay. That's fine. That's absolutely fine, I just, whoah! Quite a lot to take in!"
"And Kurt was one of SHIELD's best hackers, that's how he took us off the grid man."
"I haf verked vis Natasha Rrromanoff." Kurt confirmed. "Our cover vass bruzzer and seester. I had to dye my hair rred. It vass most unflatterink. By ze vay I haf access now."
"Show me." said Hope, reluctantly turning back to business after the amusement of Scott's confusion.
"Okay so I have a question." said Scott. "Did you really steal a smoothie maker."
"Two smoothie makers. So SHIELD was like yo dawg, you gotta steal a TV or some shit from this electronics store, get into jail, but when I got in there all the TVs were like 720 pixels man, and I was like no way am I stealing this shit, they have to scale 1080 pixel images down to match their native resolution. But then I saw these sweet smoothie makers, with refrigerated blades man so they don't denature all the enzymes and conserve more of the nutrition and I was like sweet man, that's what I'm going down for."
"But SHIELD'S how you were the only person to knock Peachy out?"
"SHIELD combat training man. We used to train together back at the academy."
"Wait, Peachy's SHIELD too??"
"He was an intercultural attache, did his PhD on prison subcultures, that's why he's so useful on the inside at San Quentin."
"Is anyone in my life who they say they are?"
"Your daughter really likes monsters man. I mean I have never seen a kid that into monsters, she's super into monsters."
"If we could focus for a minute?" said Hope. "It looks like they have the annihilation ray on a floating platform above the city, hidden with stolen SHIELD cloaking technology. We're going to need something very fast and maneuverable to get up there."
"If I say 'get the Avengers' at this point will it make any difference?" said Scott.
Hope sighed. "Scott, I have brunch with Pepper Potts every other Sunday. I don't always see eye-to-eye with my father but he's right on this one, we shouldn't let Tony Stark anywhere near this technology."
"Sounds like we need a Quinjet!" called Dave from the front seat.
"We don't even know how to fly a Quinjet!" Scott protested.
"Dave graduated top of his class from USAFA man, that's how he became a SHIELD pilot. That's why he's the getaway driver."
"Man, did you think anyone was really dumb enough to say 'Baskin Robbins always finds out'?" chuckled Dave.
"For real dawg, when you said that I thought we were busted, I mean like super busted."
"I think I need a drink." said Scott. Everyone ignored him.
"Where do we get a Quinjet though?"
"There must be one at that Avengers compound Scott busted into."
Everyone turned to stare at Scott.
"Oh no. No no no no no. No. No no. Nope."
Scott swallowed. "So hey, you remember me right? Yeah you don't you. Look I just wanted to say I'm really sorry about that..."
Sam Wilson punched him.
Scott opened his eyes. He seemed to be lying on his back in a large gray room. His helmet had been removed and the Falcon was watching him from a chair by the wall. He closed his eyes again.
"Sorry but I had to make sure you weren't gonna go funsized on me. And also for the wings. You do not mess with the wings."
"Don't mess with the wings. Got it."
"I have to give it to you, it was a good plan, sending you in here to distract us while your team stole the jet. That's a good team you've got there, they took out that HYDRA floating platform just like that"
"My...team...I was a distraction?"
"We've been looking for that thing for weeks."
"Can I go back to being unconscious now?"
"We've been looking for you." Sam stared straight at him. "We need your help."
Scott slumped forward and put his head in his hands. "Not again!"