|EVENT: Stark Expo - Patriotic Press Conference|
|What: S.H.I.E.L.D. has a press conference at the Stark Expo for Captain America's first public speech since World War II. Some protestors take umbrage.|
The press conference was set for the morning of the Stark Expo's second day. By its timing, it must be a fairly important announcement -- it's scheduled early enough to be one of the focal points of the Expo but not so early as to conflict with the Expo's opening itself.
The press room is large and comfortable, with chairs set up for the reporters and space for the cameras. There's a podium decorated, shockingly for a Stark Expo press conference, in red white and blue rather than Stark's favored red and gold. It would also appear that there are no dancing girls scheduled for these parts of the festivities. Weird.
As the reporters settle in, a face that will certainly be familiar to those reporters strides up to the podium. With greying sandy hair and a ready smile, it's New York Senator Steven Koenig. He waves to the crowd, tapping the microphone and waiting for silence in the room.
A good portion of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s security personnel have been assigned to oversee Captain America's press conference. They put a lot of resources and funding into defrosting the World War II hero, and they aren't about to let anything bad happen to him. They don't quite seem to be as confident in his heroing abilities as he and a few others are.
Among those few others are Agent Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow, who tends to refer to the Captain as "Uncle Steven". Another is Agent Phil Coulson, who is possibly, but unconfirmedly, the President of the "Captain America Fan Club".
The pair of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents flank the podium set aside for the star of the moment. Coulson is dressed like a Man in Black, and the Widow is dressed like your average SHIELD agent, with the addition of her disc belt and Widow's Bite bracers.
The crowd is huge for the debut of the man out of time. The very old and the very young mingle with everyone in between. Many are waving little American flags, carrying plastic shields, or wearing Cap t-shirts and hats. Like any convention, there are a pile of people dressed up as news-worthy super heroes, with a heavy portion of Iron Man costumes in the mix. There is also a quiet, un-smiling, group of heavily tattooed bald men near the front.
Agent 13 is also present, not quite as upfront as Coulson and Romanoff are which is fine by her. It gives her a different perspective, a different angle from which to keep an eye on things from. Dressed in all white, she probably stands out despite her desire to keep in the background.
Lois sits in the front row, recorder on, notepad and pen in hand. She's talking into the pen softly, giving a quick run down of the decor,t he lack of girls, the people in the crowd. This is not like ANY Stark press conference she's ever seen and so she waits and watches, taking notes and speaking into her pen. Unlike many other reporters, Lois doesn't prepare a menagerie of questions before hand. The moment will tell her what to ask.
Making a quiet entrance into the back, it's rather unlikely that the detective's presence will be immediately noticed by anyone outside his immediate vicinity. John Jones scans the room for a moment, his eyes resting on somebody in a very bad Iron Man costume for a moment...and then on the back of Lois' head. Not a surprise that she would be present. She's a reporter with an interest in heroes. And this hero...intrigues John. Not as much of a stranger in a strange land as he himself, but somebody who has traveled through time far enough for the culture to have shifted, to have drifted out from under his feet.
Frederick Jager has ended up in this most unlikely superfans dream by doing what could be considered as the unbearable and the inconceivable: playing errand boy and minor go to fellow for one of the big talking heads on a couch for a network of questionable journalistic integrity. Unfortunately, said talking head also has Walter Cronkite's jaw and Dan Rather's taste in suits, so he gets away with a level of gravitas ill suited to him. From Frederick's own limited experience with morning television, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. As it is though, he stands rather near to his assigned journalistic overlord, fetching notes and delivering them and performing work of a nature that is probably more important than the pittance he receives or for a person whose name no one can seem to remember. Frederick Jager is okay with this.
"Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. You may recognize me as Steven Koenig, senator from the great state of New York. Some of you may know my family's history. My uncle was a soldier in World War Two. Eric Koenig was not born an American. He was German-born, but he did not share the ideology of his country in that time. After the death of his sister at the hands of Nazi soldiers, Eric became one of the few Germans who resisted his country's slide into totalitarianism. His name isn't in a lot of history books. His stories aren't among those people often tell. But he was one of a group of soldiers who made a real difference in the battles that turned the tide of the war."
Backstage, the Star-Spangled man rises. He grips his shield, taking a few deep breaths. "Feels a little like a USO show again," he mutters to the agents back there with him.
"One of the soldiers Uncle Eric knew," he continues, "and one of those he deeply respected, was a man whose name he never spoke. He only knew him by his codename, but it's a name I know all of you here have heard before. So just like you, I grew up hearing stories about a man called Captain America. I heard the stories of taking over enemy fortresses and destroying doomsday devices. And just like you, I heard the story of how he disappeared saving us from certain destruction at the hands of those who would have taken over the world. That's all true. But one thing we all believed isn't quite right. We all believed," he says, "that Captain America couldn't have survived what happened to him. That finding him alive would be like finding Amelia Earhart on a hammock in the Bahamas. Instead, it's my incredible privilege today to tell you that the man is alive, he is well, and he is here with us today."
There's a faint shake in Koenig's voice as he grins, straightening and calling out: "Ladies and gentlemen, I am honored to present to you today... Captain America!"
And out the man walks. His uniform isn't quite identical to the one from the old newsreels, but it's quite close. It's bright. It's star-spangled. From the wings on the helmet to the red boots, though, it's what anyone would expect -- including the famous shield on one arm. Captain America waves to the crowd with a smile as Koenig yields the floor.
The Black Widow toggles the comlink in her ear, her voice audible to the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents on site. "Operation Poster Boy has gone live ladies and gentlemen. Let's make sure the Captain's debut goes smoothly. Keep an eye out for errant super villains or overzealous Ironettes. He blushes."
Agent Coulson stands resolutely, refusing to crack a smile at the joke. He's more apt to call in an air strike than laugh when it concerns his personal hero. He's also trying hard to watch the crowd and not Cap.
The tattooed contingent scowls and they murmur among themselves.
One of the young, female reporters in the front row, whose name is not Lois, is...uh...admiring the Cap view. There's quite a bit to admire after all. In the back corner, John just studies the man. His carriage is that of a fighter, that much the disguised Martian can determine. For more than that, he would have to read somebody's mind. Or listen in on the agents. He's too polite to do either of those things. Much of his attention, for now, is on the faous shield.
As the press conference gets under way, Lois Lane, reporter for the Daily Planet, sits in the front row press section, notepad and pen in hand, looking quite professional in her suit-skirt ensemble. Legs corssed at the ankles, she listens.
The name Captain America rings a bell in the military brat, as she scribbles it down in her note pad, eyes glancing down briefly. When he's announced, however, the reporter snorts faintly, tries not to roll her eyes, and draws in a breath. She smiles, that glossy femme reporter smile, and keeps her eyes trained on soldier boy as her mind begins with a few of the more obvious questions.
"Roger," 13 murmurs, low enough as not to interrupt any speaking. "I got a good view here so we should have our bases covered." Her voice sounds dispassionate for how level it's kept, Sharon either not impressed with the speaking so far or... well, no, that's it exactly. She's not impressed. With Cap's cue given she steps aside, giving him plenty of room to move to the podium.
Frederick is starting to get the hang of this. Cream cheese danish for the camera guy, pass notes between the various members of the production team, and try not to be seen or make much noise the whole way. A Jager specialty! Although, more and more, much as he would like to listen to the fine speech and the introduction of an icon (his own family had been in America well before the Civil War), he keeps an eye on the skin heads. His instinctive 'wrong place at the wrong time' radar is pinging, but its not a good place at all to be lobbing accusations....or smoke grenades. To say nothing of the fact that they have done nothing wrong yet. Also, they are...awfully big skinheads, aren't they? Nevertheless, he tries to manage a nervous swallow as the cameraman yet again demands his cheese danish. With that, with the speed of Hermes, Frederick zips out to go hunt down a vending machine...or a cafeteria. Something of the sort!
Bruce doesn't make a big show of his arriving or his standing near the back of the group of onlookers. Occationally someone will pass by and offer him a hand shake or a quick word, but generally he's left alone to enjoy the conferance. Besides that, Captain America is an icon.. People are focused on it and Bruce is one of them. Indeed, the legendary super soldier is quite the curiosity to the Gotham Billionare. More over, his longivity. Almost eighty years in suspended animation? Oh yes, this is definately something Bruce wants to hear about.
Like others, Bruce glances periodically towards the skin heads, but it would seem it's more passing curiosity (which it most certainly is not), than anything else. Even managing to shift a bit on the wall as if their presence makes him a little nervous.
Enter Tony Stark.
Surprisingly, enough, though, he doesn't do it with any flair or pyros or fireworks. For once, he's not the Guest of Honor. How he's managing to get near the podium after things have already been going on, well, that's just because he's Tony Stark and this is the Stark Expo. He's not exactly doing anything but just walking up there and standing in the general vicinity of super soldiery greatness, just to be the Supportive Stark that the Captain of America probably is used to having, if stories about Howard are to be believed. Either way, he's keeping as low of a profile as he can, his eyes on his S-Phone and not really paying too much attention to whatever is going on that's not on his phone.
Wait. Is he playing Temple Run?
Pepper Potts walks briskly to keep a step ahead of Tony, sort of blazing a path for him so he doesn't bump into, trip over, or otherwise run into anyone as he plays on that new phone. Annoying thing. She just KNOWS there will be one just like it on her desk tomorrow morning.
"I'm truly honored to be here with you today. I never expected to see 2012. I didn't think about it that much, really: there wasn't a lot of time to think concretely about the future in those days. But we sat and talked about home sometimes. Of what we hoped was happening -- Christmas dinners and birthdays, family and friends. Sometimes the girls we left behind."
There's a briefly wistful expression on Cap's face before he goes on. "I wasn't there when the Allies won the war. V-E day was something well in the future when I went on my final mission. It's funny how the end was something we all strove for but most of us didn't have really clear ideas of what we were going to do afterward."
"But the war never really ended. We fought against not just a group of people but an ideology that saw human beings as less than human, that saw individuals -- individuality -- as not only unimportant but counterproductive. We fought against people who would use others for their own means. Someone a whole lot smarter than me told me once that evil begins when we begin treating people as *things*. When we stop seeing the people around us as individuals. When we stop treating them with respect."
"In a lot of ways," he continues, shifting his stance slightly, "we're still fighting that war today. We fight it overseas, but we also fight it here. We have to fight it in ourselves before we can look to others. When I was handed my outfit this morning, after I'd finished reading a lot of news and learning about the America I've awakened to, I asked the man who handed it to me if the stars and stripes weren't a little old-fashioned nowadays. But it isn't about who we are. It'll never be about who we are. It's all about who we want to be. The *best* we can be. What America stands for. Equality for *all* people regardless of race, creed, color, religion, or even species or world of origin. Standing up for the weak against the strong, even if we are the strong. Generosity for those in need. Hospitality for those who visit. Stewardship of our environment. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These aren't just words. These aren't just ideals. They're the reality we can make in this world, and it's the superpower we were all born with."
He falls silent for a moment, then goes on: "I guess you guys probably have a lot of questions."
Natasha scans the crowd with keen eyes. The skinheads get skimmed over, not because she doesn't notice them but, because she does. "One o'clock," she notes quietly into her comm, to alert the other agents in the room to the clock position of the group in relation to Cap.
At the impassioned speech, a loud snort comes from the largest of the skinheads, who stands with his arms folded and his biceps bulging, like a posturing peacock.
Oh great. Can't anything ever go smoothly? Agent 13 nods as she moves away from her shadowed recess, hand falling not-so-casually upon the holster on her hip. And while she does that she casts a very pointed glance towards the skinheads, her expression grim. It might not be enough to deter them if they have trouble in mind but maybe it'll give them enough reason to take pause while the others on the team can get into position.
Lois notes Tony's arrival, along with Pepper's, with a brief glance and a note in her book. But most of her attention is on Captain America. As he speaks, she tilts her head faintly, her expression thoughtful. She notes his military stance, the very US Army of it and she nods, mind settling a detail into place. Listening, she gots a word now and again in her note pad. His words about world of origin has the reporter pursing her lips faintly, however, and making another note in her notepad: the astrological symbol for Mars and an S in an upside down triangle, followed by a question mark. A brow is quirked as she makes that note to herself.
When the Captain opens the floor to questions, Lois holds hers for now, playing her cards close to her chest at the moment. After all, the obvious questions are going to get asked by the moron two chairs down. It's the hard questions that she'll save for an exclusive, that'll make HER article remembered. Lois actually has the gall to turn and pointly look at the moron reporter she just KNOWS is going to shoot her arm in the air and frantically call out a question, violet eyes narrowed, lips smirking, shoulders set with competitve edge.
"Did you really punch Hitler in the face," rings out a question from someone in the audience.
The young blonde, however, has one. She lifts a hand. "Captain, how hard is it for you to adjust to the social changes? I mean, the status of women, more than anything else." She's VERY young. Must be just out of college.
In the back, John glances towards the skinheads, then frowns. He breaks etiquette to do a quick mental scan of the group, then frowns more deeply. Now, he's keeping an eye on them. It doesn't seem like they're about to *do* something, but...he's going to keep alert. Just in case one of them thinks about doing something stupid.
"Cap," a mousy looking man in a cheap suit asks while rasing his hand, "How are you liking the women of the 21st century, huh?" Must be someone from one of those men's magazines.
Bruce has questions, hell he's got a whole laundry list full of them, but the others are clearing the floor before he fires off difficult to answer, probably classified, quiries that will get eyebrows raising. Likely, he wont get to ask them. Instead, he listens. Wearing a pleasant, maybe a little nervous, smile. What with all those skinheads. Trouble makers.. Moving himself a bit more out of any immediate danger areas, for safety sake, dontcha know.
The first question actually makes Steve laugh out loud. "Over two hundred times," he calls to the reporter. "Actually, his name was Will Friesland, an actor with the really unfortunate..." His voice momentarily trails off. He, too, is keeping an eye on those skinheads. "...unfortunate trait of looking like Der Fuehrer. He was a trooper, though."
The young blonde goes next, though -- does Steve glance briefly at Lois? "One of the first special agents I met was a lady. She was brilliant, she was deadly, and she was one of the finest individuals I've ever known. It makes me a little sad that women aren't treated with the respect that they were back in the day, but there was a lot that went with that kind of respect. I just wish we could have kept it while getting rid of the idea that women weren't capable of making decisions for themselves. I do think we, as a people, have lost a lot of our self respect. We've got a lot of confidence. We've got a lot of arrogance, even. But self respect is more than self-esteem. It includes how you treat others, too."
The question from the mousy fellow is answered then with a quiet smile: "Oh, they're just like they always were. Except a lot more so. So far nobody's stomped on my foot for opening a door for them, so I guess I'm doing okay."
Natasha employs every ounce of willpower not to roll her eyes or walk over and zap the men's magazine reporter in the forehead. It would be a kindness to everyone present, surely. She refrains though.
The skinhead crew is starting to look a bit restless at the softball questions. The big tattoed guy yells out a hardball instead. "Hey! Captain! You expect us to buy that you were a," he finger quotes, "big bad Nazi Killer? You don't look like you could beat Stark in an arm wrestling match. Plus, seriously? You got blond-haired and blue eyes just like a Nazi. You /ARE/ the Aryan race, and you're up there working for a military force that thinks it's above the laws of individual nations. Why do you think you're better than us, forcing your American Capitalist crap on people while badmouthing Nazis? Hypocrite much?"
"Damnit," comes Sharon's voice over the comms, her voice tight. Tense. THe question and its tone is enough to get her to move closer to the audience and the place where Captain America stands, the blonde having no qualms with putting herself between the man her aunt adored like no tomorrow and potential trouble makers, it as much her duty as it is an honor. "Alright. I think that is enough," she mutters, trying very hard to ignore the ignorant man's commentary. She too is blonde and blue-eyed, just like Cap is, and the thought that she possesses those traits the Nazi held most in favor causes her hackles to rise.
Lois smirks at the blonde's question, leaning forward to glance at her press badge to jot the call letters on it. Inwardly, the competitive reporter is mildly impressed with the very college-board level question from the newly minted member of the press. She remembers being their and that question took some guts to get out. Lois nods to it, listens to the rest of the answers given. She frowns darkly at the skidhead's question, eyes glaring as she glances over her shoulder inthe man's direction before she gets to her feet, and fires off a question of her own.
"Captain America; Lois Lane, Daily Planet. What are your thoughts on the growing number of persons in the world with the ability to do as much, if not more, damage than the nuclear weapons dropped in Japan in the final days of World War II, and what would you say to these individuals as an -icon-, not only of America and freedom, but as what many consider to be one of the world's first Super Heroes? In addition, what would you say to those, powered and unpowered, that continue to spread malice and distrust in our society?" The last question has a feel of being tacked on at the end, Lois' annoyance getting the better of her, and visibly so for she flicks another cold glare at the morons in the back. And yet, even though she's clearly ready to pounce, her smile returns, that perfect reporter's smile. She waits for her answer while weighing Captain America's body language, pen on her notepad ready to make quick note of any shifts of posture the Super Soldier may make.
John Jones ignores the skinheads. Outwardly, that is. He's still keeping an eye on them, but as long as their venting is purely verbal, he's not going to do anything...or alert security. It's obvious to one as perceptive as him that security is already well and truly alerted to those guys. The other half of his attention is on Captain America, on how he is handling things. Lois' question...now, there's one he wants to hear the answer to quite badly. Assuming the skinheads don't interrupt.
Bruce finally seems to have retreated far enough around to feel safe in his position. This, ironically enough, has brought him 'closer' to the skinheads... Just behind them.
Where it's safer.
"Nazi's were known for being untrustworthy politically, opportunistic vultures militarily, and cowardly in person. It doesn't really surprise me one bit that it takes..." Head counting, without much of a pause, "... gang of you to ask a bunch of questions. Especially considering the illogical nature of both your statements and the inquiries themself. And you use a word like 'hypocrite' to define America? When the political party you so violently promote would have executed you outright for leveling those sorts of questions in such a public forum... I think this is a case of you, pot, calling the kettle black. Maybe if you listened to him, instead of trying to antagonize a response with hate fueled idiocy, you might learn something... and wouldn't have to worry about skinning your head so often. You look rediculous, by the way."
Bruce raises his hand towards the stage, "Sorry, Captain. Pet peeve of mine." Falling quiet again, shaking his head.
Okay. This has gone far enough. Steve? Losing to him in arm wrestling? Last Straw.
Tony Stark actually looks up from his S-Phone at this comment, raising an eyebrow and tucking the clear phone away into one of his pockets. He raises an eyebrow as he looks out at the crowd and spots the one in the group that's making all that damn noise. Not good. Not good at all. Within a few steps he's up at the podium next to Captain America and leaning into the microphone, while throwing an arm around his Brother From Another Great Grandmother.
"Okay, first of all, let's give peace a chance, am I right?" Tony flashes the most Hippy style peace sign he can muster up looking like a corporate big wig. This may or may not be some signal to security. Who knows with Tony Stark. "And secondly, I've got a hundred bucks that says he can beat you and your little hairless frat buddies there? In arm wrestling." He flashes a grin and peeks over the top of his shades. "All of you at once, of course." Leave it to Stark to try and make things worse but better. CHALLENGE! ... or Stall. You Decide.
It's Lois's question that Steve answers first, and he prefaces it with: "That's a really big question, Miss Lane. That growing number of peeople? They're just that: people. A man without a single superpower can still wield more power with his influence, his mind, and his body than even the most powerful of beings. I've heard about psychics and teleporters. I've seen a girl fly and a man summon the storm. But the most dangerous people I've ever known didn't need more than their voice or the twitch of a finger to raise more hell than most of us could comfortably imagine. As an Icon?" He lets out a breath and a wry smile: "I guess I am, aren't I. But one man can't speak for America. That's the entire point of being us. Speaking for what I believe, I'd say that this big, controversial question shouldn't be big or controversial. They're people. You treat them... like people."
Bruce goes then, and Captain America raises his hand slightly: "I understand," he says. "It's one I personally share. But I'm glad to still live in a country where a fellow who says something like that isn't arrested for treason and sedition. I'm also glad to live in a country where that guy -- " indicating Bruce -- "can stand up in a public place and talk right back. It's the great thing about free speech. It also means I can ignore a damn stupid question as being unworthy of my time."
As Stark puts in his two cents, Steve leans slightly back and to his side to whisper into his ear: "That was helping, was it?"
Natasha grunts at the question from the skinhead. But an unpleasant question isn't grounds for removal in this case. However, what happens next is.
"We won't stand for this red, white, and blue asshole being paraded around as some kind of hero by captain Corporate pants up there, just because his side won a war and Stark wants to be more famous than he already is!" The big guy pauses and looks directly at Cap. "You killed people in that war too!" shouts the Nazi, pointing at Steve.
Then the whole protestor group surges forward, with the big tattooed guy swinging his free S-phone box, taped closed and loaded up with pennies for weight, at Cap's head.
Three of the guy's Neo-nazi pals tackle the Widow back off the stage, and they tumble through a door into a hall beyond. Coulson sticks close to Cap, drawing a taser. No live rounds at a convention full of civilians. The other skinheads begin attacking other crowd members, specifically the ones wearing Cap paraphernalia or speaking in the man's defense. Oh, and Tony of course. They'd love to bloody his nose.
Frederick may actually be the only person who remembers what its like to be a German, if only through cuisine and being apprised of what things were like in the Fatherland. Most Germans these days won't even use the word Nazi, and...oh good, a riot. Frederick arches an eyebrow as the danish wielding cameraman and Cronkite jaw flee at the first sign of conflict, leaving him as the sole representative of...that television show with the couch. He raises an eyebrow at being left alone, being the least brave one. He'll hang back for now, to see what the more blatantly trained types do, and take notes...he doesn't want to do more harm than good. He also knows that the duffel bag in which he stashed the AIDOS is not within immediate reach, and he would need time to retrieve it.
Standing in front means Sharon's in the line of fire when the bums' rush for the stage is made, it getting her to get all but ran over when neo-nazi collide with anyone they seem fit to consider their enemy. Guns are not going to be allowed in this sitation so she does the next best thing she can do, that being removing several small canisters that look like pellets or capsules. One contains a mild form of tear gas which she holds off on using while the other is a low-grade flash-bang granade. That /does/ get used, it thrown at the biggest group of the asshole nazis, it tossed just before she yells. "CEASE AND DESIST!" Not realizing she's been snuck up on, Sharon turns around just in time to get a fist shot her way which she gets grazed by thanks to her hasty attempt to block.
Bruce is here? Lois's head snaps around, body half turning to look behind her. The trouble is that he puts her face to face with some very unhappy and gather intimidating looking skinners. She frowns at them as Bruce speaks, before she turns back to the stage as Tony speaks up. And to his retort she winces a bit, mentally going ('Wow, Stark. Way to kick start a riot.')
As Steve addresses her question first, the femme reporter Lois Lane smiles and focuses her attention on him fully once more. She nods to what he says, working NOT to feel that little pitter patter of a fluttering heartbeat. When he summarily ignores the skinhead question, Lois laughs outloud, much to the beefcake of a skinhead behind her. She lowers her gaze to jot notes, not for a second actually believing the crowd would attack, not with Captain Fricking American standing RIGHT THERE! Clearly, she over estimated their intelligence.
When all hell breaks loose, the one she frowned at, then (in his mind) laughed at, charges her. She screams, like most of the other civilians in the crowd as people start to run every which way, and drops her purse, her pen, and her notepad to the ground at her feet as the man's large bugling arms wrap around her. Danger Magnet activated. Lois needs to stop getting invited to things like this. It's the reason none of us can have nice things.
John Jones is right in the back. In any case, he can't blow his cover. What he can do? Crowd control. The door he's next to is pushed all the way open with a motion that's subtly faster than it should be, allowing those not involved in the fight a clear exit. Lois...is involved in the fight. Not good. He has to be subtle, though. The panic is only likely to get worse if they realize there is an unknown super in their midst. So. Subtle. The skinhead holding Lois...is going to think he just got the worst charlie horse of his life. That should be enough to get him to drop the journalist.
Well, that was expected. It had tension ready to boil over written all over it, which is half the reason Bruce positioned himself in the position he did. Clear path, away from the crowd. Back towards the exit. And made himself a target by speaking out. It might not have been necessary, not for Steve up on stage, but every little bit helps.
Now the problem comes in as to how to deal with the goon rushing towards him. The answer becomes readily obvious, though. Both hands come up to pat the air defensively in that cowardly 'whoa whoa whoa' motion to take some of the steam out of his charge... Get the skinheads thinking he's working with a cream puff who'll go down in one, sloppy, haymaker.
Bruce moves fast. Bringing his arm up to sell the punch barely glancing off his suit jacket sleeve and drills his fist straight into the man's solar plexus... closing his fist on impact. Very sloppy from the outside looking in, very controlled in reality.
He's just a billionaire playboy over here...
The Goon slumps forward against Bruce, who catches him and falls back against the wall like he's been tackled. Hitting square so the steam isn't knocked out of him by the solid impact, even if he lets out a dramatic "UMPH!"
Raptor gaze using the man's position, blocking him, to scan the rest of the crowd to help out where he can...
So. All hell is breaking loose. This is never good. Which is why the 'I'm A Stark, What Do You Expect?' smile is tossed back at Steve.
"Now wait just a minute." Tony says, planting himself a bit out of the harm's way of tattooed fools and S-Phone boxes of doom. He's not Super or Iron at this moment, Man. So he needs to protect his goods. "Could I really /get/ anymore famous? I mean, really. Let's think about this for a second."
Obviously, these people are not going to be listening to this man and as they are rushing, he's making a motion to make sure that people are protecting Pepper. By the time he turns back around to check on Cap... Flying Skinhead!
Stark goes down and the midget skinhead is right on top of him. This is not going to end well, is it?
"Augh! Hey! Ow! No biting!" Stark is in a tussle with a midget. Film at 11. "Worst security ever, by the way!" Annnnnnnd... headbutted.
The speed with which Cap bends backward is impressive -- the guy's human, but he's surprisingly fast and flexible (ladies). Cap raises the shield to deflect the blow as he sidesteps, moving diagonally so he's suddenly no longer in front of but nevertheless closer to the neo-Nazi who attacked him. What follows is a reward for any photographer who stuck around long enough: a beautiful right hook as Captain America clocks a Nazi in the jaw for the first time in decades. Oh Peter Parker, where are you now?
And *that* is followed by a BZZT *CLUNK* as the forgettable Agent Coulson makes good use of a taser. Do NOT try to cold-cock his hero.
Frederick seems quite determined to evade and avoid, demonstrating some rather handy skills at avoiding and ducking the various swipes at him. He also does a commendable job of avoiding any damage to the camera, trying to get it all on tape. His instincts scream at him to run, but he isn't looking for a fight, and...he is supposed to be doing something noble, right? Good footage had to be worth something! Maybe a sandwich if he got something really good. It was just a trick of bobbing and weaving and sidestepping without regard to if one looked like a total shmuck in doing so.
The goon holding Lois, cackling, begins backup, back toward some of his buddies and the door. "Skinny little loud mouthed-aaah!" His rant is cut of as the mental impression of CHARLIE HORSE digs itself into his mind. It gives Lois just enough room to wiggle, get her elbow free, and with a solid grunt, the general's daughter digs her elbow into the goon's solarplexes. Lois steps back, as she was taught in self-defense class, and stomps her left foot down hard on the goon's instep. When he jerks back a bit from the high heel to the foot, she's about to jab her elbow up into his nose when flying disc of Freedom clocks her goon in the forehead and he topples backward. For a moment, Lois doesn't do anything, still posed kinda mid elbow-to-nose, shocked at the sudden freedom. But then she's moving... into a crouch to gather her things.
If the flash-bang did any good Sharon doesn't notice as she's too busy dealing with a fist fight, this being something she swiftly acclimates to after the punk gets one shot on her. Of course, he just might be having a bad day now that Captain America has taken notice. Wiping off a bit of blood from her face with one hand, the SHIELD agent adds a shot of her own, this one being enough to send her goon to the floor in a crumpled heap. "Hail Hitler that, asshole." Turning around again, she reaches down, trying to save poor Tony from the mini-me sized skinhead.
Good. That worked. Still staying out of the fight, the nondescript detective has, though, positioned himself such that he's doing his best to keep the doorway clear so people can escape, watching the others beat on Nazis, looking for anyone else who might need a bit of help dealing with the goons. If he wasn't trying to be subtle and not reveal that he is even there, he could do a lot more. But he is still worried that the presence of an alien would only make things worse.
Bruce slides out from beneath the man who was slumped against him in a breathless state of unconsciousness and stands up quickly. He's already picked out his next target, but he makes a big show of glancing around in a frantic sort of manner before actually making a move towards them.
It's a matter of subtly. It has to be in a situation like this. So many eyes, though most of them are directed elsewhere, there's still a very high necessity for caution. Accidental incidents.
Like the skinhead he 'bumps into', completely by accident. One that was harrassing that blonde woman Lois was so venomously eyeing, "Oh.. Excu-" Turning, hooking his toe around the leg of one of the folding metal chairs, and sweeping it around his body in a spin clearly meant to turn him back away from them.
It crashes into his legs when his balance is a little off, spinning to see who's invaded his personal space. It's not crippling by any means, just enough to take him off his feet and 'trip' Bruce up.. falling straight down with his knee slammed down into the man's sternum.
Quick. Precise. Then he tumbles forward onto his hands and knees infront of the woman, grinning up at her sheepishly. "Uh.. are you okay? Nevermind that, you should probably just run.."
And Bruce dusts himself off, first his thighs, then his arms.. after standing up. Using the motion to subtly glance from side to side for his next target.
Tony Stark is flailing a losing battle here. Er, fighting. Not-- okay, so he's flailing. But it's hard to fight a midget because he's so little and Stark doesn't want to hurt him. Really, that's totally the reason right there. Anyway, as he's rescued, he rolls to the side and back up to his feet, immediately dusting off his suit and trying to see straight whilst he fixes his tie. "She just saved your ass, man! You're lucky!" Saving face? Not. He steps closer to Captain America, if only because if anybody's going to protect him, it's him. But which Him is Him?! Hmmmmm!
"So. You wouldn't happen to have an extra Freedom Frisbee, would you?" Tony's still reaching up to feel his forehead where that midget bit him and then headbutted him. He's bleeding. Just a little bit. "By the way, none of this is my fault. I said arm wrestling, not WWE Smackdown."
Steve looks at Tony and the blood on his forehead, nonplussed. "Got a real bite to him, huh? I hear human bite wounds are the worst kind. Lucky chicks dig scars," he says, cracking a quick grin. Between Coulson and the rest of the SHIELD agents -- and more than one inspired audience member -- the skinheads are getting knocked down like ninepins. One of the idiots in the crowd tries to rush him -- a huge fellow with little spikes protruding from the tops of his ears -- but Cap punches him right in the breastbone and sends him back gasping. That's when the midget skinhead jumps him from behind. He shouts in surprise as the guy actually pulls a knife and stabs, but he isn't able to get more than a quick slash in before Steve is grabbing him by the back of the shirt. There aren't a lot of choices. There aren't a lot of options here, especially when Steve has to act fast. So as the shield comes back to his hand, he drops the flailing little man and kicks him in the chest, sending him flying and sprawling.
Yeah. Captain America drop-kicked a midget. To be fair, the little bastard had it coming.
Cap's mowing them down as is Bruce while the others are trying to flee. And Tony is looking like the victim of some ironically-funny talk show brawl. The latter is something Sharon will laugh over after the fight's done and she can take mental stock of everything. Another nazi is laid out with a kick to the knee that sends bones cracking, his demise futhered by her shoving her elbow in his nose just about. "Such a wimp."
Purse and its scattered contents collected into her arms, Lois looks over her shoulder behind her and finds few goons left standing. She stands and looks around at the gathering in a shocked sort of wide eyed look. Super hero bar fight, so THIS is what it might look like... Lois looks up at Captain America, giving him a faint smile before spotting Bruce a mere five feet away. "Bruce! What the-? Get the hell out of here before someone hurts you," she shouts at him, already moving over toward the playboy, looking around like she's going to protect him, hand reaching out so as to shove him toward an exit. How many goons are still standing at this point?
Frederick still heroically mans his post in spite of the trampling and the freaking out and the angry skinheads. "You know, in place of any commentary, or any judgement on the inherent tendencies of Man, to whomever it is listens to...whatever show I'm working for, God Bless America, her Captain, and her Titans of Industry. Even fools get a say, and are punished only as much as is minimally necessary. This is America folks, where we even let the trash speak their minds. And give them a good solid thump and hope they come to a better decision of what to do with their lives in the morning. This is Randy Hester, signing off." Never mind that Randy Hester /still/ doesn't exist, or maybe he's still in that alley someplace. Its a stupid thing, and its probably going to make him have to lay low again, but he feels like its the right thing to say.
Bruce's luck was bound to run out eventually, right? It's only a matter of time in a brawl like this before someone gets a sucker punch off... When it comes, it's from an angle he'd already observed, calculated, and prepared for... But nobody comes out of these things without a few scuffs, especially not billionaire playboys. His jaw goes loose before the knuckles connect, limiting the damage that would come from tensing his muscles, and also allowing him to control the 'dramatics' of it with a drawn out head turn.
Which he over sells, using the turn to get a critical 'round the room' view. Good guys winning. Then the rest of the way, with his arms flailing, completely flailing, at the Neo-Nazis face.
His finger hooks in the nose ring protruding out from the man's septum and yanks. It does two things: It rips the nose ring out, which hurts a lot... It also pulls the man forward in an instinctive attempt to keep it from hurting. The first was just a cherry; the second was Bruce's intention.
Bruce lays a hand on the man's back, coming in close to 'see if he's okay'. Really, he is. See how he's got his hand up beneath the man's neck trying to lift his head and see the damage? "Put pressure on it... Are you alright?"
Clutching his Adams apple between his thumb and index finger knuckle, with the hand on his back pushing him down so nobody can see him strangling the Nazi... Until he starts to collapse. Turning with the Nazi, supporting his weight, and sitting him slumped backwards with his bloody hand lying across his face like someone holding a broken nose. Bruce pats his back, "I'll be right back, try to keep pressure on it!"
Bruce uses clever use of his body position to tear the sleeve of his very expensive suit and then bring a hand up to his mouth to spread some of the blood from his busted lip around to exaggerate the damage a bit. Even limping a little. Wincing every time he puts weight on his right leg. Now that the Nazi's are more or less taken care of. Which is about when Lois comes rushing over, "Oh... Just a little flesh wound, nothing major... I've had worse than this in an unfortunate boating accident... Her name was Anastasia..."
Just a billionaire playboy, don't mind him.
He does start limping towards the doors after Lois gives him a shove in their direction. "Yeah, that's probably a good idea. Let the professionals handle these miscreants."
Where is Tony Stark?
Well, all things considered, with the SHIELD and the Captain with the Shield, handling all the actual fighting, he's found it better to stay out of the way. He's taken up residence on the body of one particularly knocked out thug and has taken to playing with his S-Phone, once again. It's really the best course of action, to be perfectly honest.
A glance at the phone will show that somebody's making sure that this gets read about all over the world.
@IAmIronMan: Total Riot at Stark Expo. Captain America kicked a midget. #StarkBlessAmerica
The Neo-Nazi Sofa attempts to lift his head, but a swift punch from Stark lays him right back out cold. Back to Live Tweeting!