The issue starts with a series of individual pages.
- Roberto da Costa (Sunspot) is approached at his school in New York by a suited S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, saying that his special skills are needed for a special taskforce. Roberto agrees.
- Robert Drake (Iceman) is called into Professor Xavier’s office to meet with another suited agent. Xavier explains that his school has been asked to provide a student as part of a new taskforce. Telepathically, Xavier asks Bobby to look into S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s operation and let the school know if there’s anything there concerning to mutants. Bobby agrees.
- Elsa Bloodstone is at her home at Bloodstone Manor, when a MI-13 agent knocks on the door. Instead of asking for her father, he asks for her. MI-13 is starting a joint taskforce with S.H.I.E.L.D., and they’d like Elsa to be a part of it. Elsa agrees.
- Brian Braddock (Captain Britain) is also approached by an MI-13 agent and told of the joint taskforce. The country feels that having someone visibly representing England’s interests is vital, and Brian agrees.
- Dirt Devil is purchased as an asset from the company that created him, and is carted to S.H.I.E.L.D.
Agent Jimmy Woo
All five heroes are flown to San Francisco, and taken to a destroyer without any U.S. markings. The ship looks a little old and spare until the heroes get inside, where it looks like a plush, high-tech office.
The heroes meet with Agent James Woo. He explains that he is creating an international taskforce under the auspice of S.H.I.E.L.D., but under his direct oversight. Since Tony Stark announced that he was Iron Man, a number of governments are extremely concerned that Stark Industries privately owns one of the most powerful weapons on the planet, and his company has been connected with arms deals to known terrorist organizations. Director Fury is working on his own initiative, but there’s need for a team that can do the things that no one else can. It’s a “gray ops” team, heroes that can make the decisions that need to be made, but it’s not a wetworks team. Once everyone agrees, he discloses that he’s also owner of the Atlas Corporation, and some of the resources they’ll have access to will come from it instead of S.H.I.E.L.D. He also admits that he’s been around since WWII, and he has a fondness for an old team he used to work with: The Invaders.
Once everyone agrees to join the Invaders Initiative, he tells them about their first assignment. The Beetle has attacked a few tech companies stealing components over the past couple of weeks. He is believed to be a Latverian assassin with connections to the leader of Latveria, Count Victor von Doom.
It’s believed that his next target is Sunrise Labs, a private skunkworks owned by Stark International through a variety of shell corporations. The components he’s compiling comprise a highly advanced portable tactical computer, and the arc reactor would be the power source.
The team starts planning. Captain Britain does an aerial overview of Sunrise Labs, while Dirt Devil checks out the sewers. It is near the SF downtown area, and it is one of the tallest buildings in the area (25 stories tall), making it hard to hide any battle that might occur in the area (and harder to avoid civilian collateral damage).
Bobby goes to a local nightclub to learn more, and gets into a fight with a Russian thug.
Sunspot looks into Latverian businesses in the area, and runs across the American campas of the Werner Academy, the most prestigious technical school in the world. Captain Britain flies by the Academy, but only two of the offices have windows. They appear to be normal.
The team formulates a series of tasks to prepare for the attack.
- Corporate raid on Sunrise, which forces an inventory check.
- SHIELD drones are conducting surveillance of Sunrise.
- Woo rents the building adjacent to Sunrise.
- The team asks Woo to look into renting offices in the Werner Academy building.
Now, they wait….