“Sekirei are powerful metahumans, but agents recently uncovered information that they have a way to amplify their powers.” Natasha nodded toward the passports. “They find a compatible human, the MBI term is Ashikabi, and ‘wing’ – take a biochemical imprint from the human. Once a Sekirei is winged, their powers are enhanced.” Green eyes were harder than normal. “Preliminary findings indicate some kind of mental influence. Ashikabi have been reported as taking insane risks for their Sekirei.”
Barton was even more still than usual. Not good.
“But once a Sekirei picks a human to bond with, looks like they can’t switch.” Fury eyed the hologram as if he could glare holes in it. “So Minaka keeps a hold on them by controlling access to their power boosters.” He looked over the Avengers present. “I’m not going to insult anyone’s intelligence by saying we’re doing this out of the goodness of my heart. They’re aliens, and we’ve got no reason to trust them. But so far they haven’t attacked anyone who didn’t come after them first. And here and now, they’re out of Minaka’s hands. If you can find them, if you can talk to them, I want to know whose side they’re on.” The one eye darkened. “And if you can’t talk to them – I want to know that, too.”
For a moment, Fury looked just an eyeblink less than completely certain. “The odds might be on our side. Reports are still fragmentary, but it appears that we have at least five separate reliable eyewitness accounts of ‘Japanese mutants’ attacking the Chitauri and rescuing civilians. They did a lot of property damage in the process, the 51st precinct put a call in for lumberjacks….” Fury glanced over them, amused. “Given the present company, I doubt we have room to complain.”
Barton finally breathed. “Can they pick anyone in New York?”
Natasha scrolled through a side file. “Our information says the last Sekirei was winged about a week ago. No one else should be at risk.”
“Outside the obvious, with dozens of super-powered Japanese tourists in town,” Tony quipped. “Any suggestions how we should find these people? Preferably without following the explosions.”