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The Superhuman Registration Act
“By nine tonight, all super humans will have registered their names to the government of the United States of America or be arrested as criminals.”
The Avengers sat in Stark Tower in a conference room. After the television began to repeat facts about the Superhuman Registration Act, or SHRA, Tony muttered “mute” and the team was greeted by silence. It was 8 pm. The Avengers had exactly one hour until they were asked to sign the Act, and no one wanted to start the conversation, even though they all knew that they had to discuss it. Finally, Bruce broke the silence.
“If all we have to do is sign our names, well, that’s not worth being arrested over,” he remarked slowly. “I mean, I’d rather everybody not know I’m the Hulk, but some do anyway, and if it comes to it, I mean…” He trailed off uncomfortably. Tony patted his shoulder.
“It’s more than that.” Steve stood and walked to the front of the room. “This is more than signing our names on a piece of paper. This is signing our allegiance to S.H.I.E.L.D., law enforcement, the government…This is signing our freedom away.”
Tony blinked and leaned forward in his seat, watching Steve with interest. “So you don’t agree?”
“My loyalty will always be with America,” Steve replied cooly. “But that doesn’t mean I’ll jump up to join her police force. And I’d rather not shout my identity to the world, either.”
“Who says the government’s going to announce our names to the whole world?” Tony asked. “Maybe they’ll keep it to themselves.”
Natasha winced. “The way this world works, everyone will eventually find out. And think of what that would mean for heroes like Spiderman! There’s a reason heroes like to hide who they are.”
“What about Fury?” Clinton asked. Tony scowled, but Steve stepped in.
“I don’t care about Fury. He wants to use us, and I’m not okay with that. I played his game before to stop Loki from talking over the world. Now, I wouldn’t put it past him to use any means necessary to get any of us on his side.”
Bruce frowned. “When you say any means necessary…”
Steve nodded grimly. “You remember when he faked those cards being in Coulson’s jacket pocket when he died, just to motivate us towards helping him?” Tony’s scowl deepened. “Well, I can see him using tricks or threats in this situation as well.”
“That very well may be,” Natasha agreed, “but that doesn’t answer the question here. Which side?”
“Which what side?” Clinton asked, frowning in confusion at her.
“She’s right,” Steve said. “With a choice like this—”
“What do you mean, choice?” Clinton stood up. “There is no choice. Sign the act or be arrested. If you think the Superhuman Registration Act will take away your freedom, would you rather go to prison?” He stared around at his teammates. “The way I see it, this is a no-brainer.”
Tony stood as well. “No. There is another choice, if you’re brave enough to take it.”
“And what would that be?” Bruce asked, folding his arms and raising his eyebrows.
Steve nodded at Tony and turned to the group, a dangerous flame dancing in his eyes.
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