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"I know that my men got you surrounded. I know they have something that you don't. An actual intent to kill."
AWOL to Alex Wilder[src]

The Siege of the Hostel was an attack by AWOL and his LAPD strike team on the Runaways' hideout in order to retrieve video footage of PRIDE's crimes after forcing Livvie to disclose the location of the Hostel. Despite Nico Minoru using the Staff of One to keep out AWOL and his men as long as possible, the Runaways eventually let them enter in an attempt to ambush them, which culminated in AWOL and his squad disappearing because of Minoru channeling a powerful spell.

Background

"I promised your boyfriend's parents that I'd bring him and his little friends home. If you want to go home again, all you gotta do is tell me where they're hiding."
AWOL to Livvie[src]

Having fled from their parents, the Runaways took residence in an abandoned underground mansion known as the Hostel.[4] PRIDE coordinated a long search for their children, but despite several encounters with the Runaways, including one when they were actually de facto allies against Jonah, they were unable to convince them to peacefully return home. Thus, the Runaways kept living in the Hostel.[3]

Therefore, PRIDE decided to enforce harsher means to bring their children home, and once again enlisted the assistance of a corrupt branch of the LAPD, led by AWOL after he murdered the former leader of the strike team, Detective Flores. AWOL, who knew that Darius Davis' sister-in-law Livvie, who he had already targeted, had ties with the Runaways, brutally abducted her in order to force her to disclose the location of the Hostel.

Moreover, a new third party threatened the Runaways: the Gibborim, who were possessing several members of PRIDE. The Magistrate's Wife, who controlled Stacey Yorkes, had her send a Synnergy Drone in the area where the Runaways were supposed to hide in an attempt to poison Old Lace, Gert Yorkes' pet dinosaur. Due to their connection, Gert began to symptomatically feel the same symptoms as Old Lace, causing both of them to become terribly weak much to the Runaways' dismay.[5]

Siege

R210 Strike team Livvie hostage

AWOL and Mitch hold Livvie at gunpoint

"Fortress!"
Nico Minoru[src]

Thanks to the intel provided by Livvie, AWOL brought his strike team to the location of the Hostel. When they arrived, however, they found nothing but a seemingly normal hill, as the Hostel had actually been concealed by Nico Minoru using the Staff of One. AWWOL was outraged as he thought that Livvie had lied to him, but Mitch eventually found a camera on the ground, thus confirming the presence of the Runaways. Inside the Hostel, the Runaways figured out that they had been discovered and began debating over what they should do to keep Livvie safe while defending themselves.

Putting Livvie and himself in front of the camera, AWOL threatened to kill her if Alex Wilder did not deliver the footage of AWOL shooting at Livvie in broad daylight at a hospital. Wilder was willing to get out and confront AWOL on his own, but he was stopped in this attempt by Molly Hernandez, since the Runaways knew that Wilder would get killed no matter whether he obeyed AWOL's commands or not. Instead, the Runaways decided to negotiate with AWOL through an intercom, hoping to secure Livvie's life.

Chase Stein offered to trade the footage AWOL was looking for in exchange of Livvie's life, but AWOL decided to push his advantage and, knowing that the Hostel's camouflage was due to Minoru, he demanded that the footage be brought by Minoru. The Runaways feared that Livvie would get killed if they refused, but Wilder figured out that AWOL could not afford to kill her as she was the only leverage he had. Wilder then explained that since the strike team had an hostage, the Runaways had to get an hostage of their own to bring balance into the conflict.

R210 Alex Top of the Hill

Alex Wilder confronting AWOL

Following Wilder's plan, Stein took both the sick Gert Yorkes and Old Lace out of the Hostel by rushing out with the Runaways' car. As the strike team prepared to follow them, Wilder appeared on top of the hill and had Minoru lift the camouflage, thus enabling Stein and Yorkes to escape while AWOL remained focused on Wilder. Wilder then taunted AWOL, which caused AWOL to try to shoot him, only to see Wilder jumping back into the Hostel, where he was caught in the air by Karolina Dean.

R210 AWOL Hostage

Alex Wilder, Karolina Dean and Molly Hernandez capturing AWOL

Falling for the taunt, AWOL recklessly attempted to follow Wilder into the Hostel by abseiling down through the sky window. Once he was inside and still hung up with his rope, Minoru activated a new spell turning the Hostel into a fortress, and the new defenses cut AWOL's rope, causing him to fall on the floor and to be captured by the Runaways. AWOL was then tied up to a chair, and Wilder used the Fistigons to threaten him. AWOL claimed to be unafraid and threatened to kill all the Runaways and Livvie, leading to Wilder violently attacking him and nearly killing him before Dean and Hernandez stopped him.

R210 Nico struggling

Nico Minoru struggles to keep the spell active

While Dean and Wilder discussed their next move, with Dean being reluctant to have blood on her hands even if it came from criminals, Minoru had a hard time keeping the new spell active, especially as the strike team was ramming the door. Furthermore, AWOL tried to manipulate her by stating she was too weak to protect her teammates and pretending that she would be unharmed if she lifted the spell. Wilder thus intervened, ordering AWOL to instruct his teammates to stop ramming the door. Since the Runaways could no longer hold off the strike team, Wilder decided to ambush them in the Hostel.

The Runaways thus gagged AWOL and began building a barricade in the main stairs of the Hostel, waiting behind for the strike team to break into the Hostel. Once they arrived and broke AWOL free of his bonds, Wilder instructed Minoru to use the Staff of One to make their weapons disappear while Hernandez sneaked out of the Hostel to rescue Livvie. However, due to being exhausted by her previous spells, Minoru lost consciousness, forcing Wilder and Dean to retreat while Wilder unsuccessfully attempted to shoot at the strike team with the Fistigons.

HostileTakeoverTempInfobox

Nico Minoru uses Dark Dimension energy

Although Hernandez managed to save Livvie by throwing a massive boulder at the guard who held her captive, Wilder, Dean and the still unconscious Minoru were eventually cornered in the Hostel. However, as the strike team prepared to shoot, Minoru unconsciously draw massive energy from the Dark Dimension, which caused her to regain consciousness and to cast an incredibly powerful spell. As a result, AWOL and all his men simply vanished, thus ending the threat on the Hostel.[6]

Aftermath

"How can I lead this group if I'm afraid to use my powers? After the strike team, I... I don't even know what I did."
Nico Minoru to Karolina Dean[src]

The loss of the LAPD strike team deprived PRIDE of a valuable means to intervene and look for the Runaways without having to do the dirty work or actually step in the fight in any way. In light of these events, PRIDE was therefore forced to organize a real manhunt for the Runaways with weapons they had specifically designed against their parents. However, with the connection to the LAPD being damaged, this also led to the arrest of Geoffrey and Catherine Wilder by the law enforcement.[7]

Having successfully taken Gert Yorkes and Old Lace out of the Hostel, Chase Stein decided to take them to Gert's parents Dale and Stacey for help, despite the fact that they were part of PRIDE. Thanks to this, Gert and Old Lace were saved, but it also caused Stein, Gert and Old Lace to be imprisoned in the Yorkes Residence, with Stein being interrogated thanks to sodium penthotal. Nevertheless, Stein and Gert were eventually saved by their teammates, although Old Lace was left behind.

Despite being responsible for the Runaways' victory over the strike team, Nico Minoru was extremely afraid of the tremendous power she had wielded, which had caused AWOL and his colleagues to disappear and meet an unknown fate. Feeling both exhausted and fearful of the Staff of One, Minoru performed a ritual in which she attempted to severe her ties with the artifact.[8]

References

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