|EVENT: Revenge of BOB!|
|What: BOB strikes fear into the patrons of the Expo and S.H.I.E.L.D. with his HYDRA fellows!|
The 2012 Stark Expo has been a grand success. Captain America had his first public speech since World War II. Many wonderful bits of new technology were introduced. Flying cars were oohed and aaaahed over. Attendees got a free S-Phone. Mind you, there were Neo-Nazi protesters, and an assassination attempt on a governor , but folks are focusing on the good things as the grand event is coming to a close.
The final event of the expo is an Iron Man Costume Contest in the main arena of the Expo. There is a stage set up and a judging table, along with large screens up top so people in the further seats can see well enough. At the judging table sit Gotham TV News Host, Vesper Fairchild, famed Tony Stark Impersonator, Stony Ark, and Daily Planet Entertainment and Arts reporter, Cat Grant. It is rumored Captain America or Iron Man may come give the winner their prize.
The arena floor has folding chairs set up, and the stands are full as well. It's standing room only, in the hopes that Stark will have one last gift for those avid Expo-goers who stayed to the very end.
Security for this final event is light, with a few visible S.H.I.E.L.D. agents scattered around. That just means the other agents are not visible. The Black Widow is among them, perched up in the catwalks above the arena, in her actual costume tonight. There has been odd chatter on some of the channels, and she and the other officers are tense. She's almost invisible up top in the dark.
Nathaniel Richards walks down one of the pathways from the Iron Man costume concept and can barely contain the irony. Shaking the memory of hard-worked plaster and molded plastic costumes out of his head, he takes a perch near a concession stand not far from a telecommunications booth with a pair of attractive brunettes. "A double soy latte please? Okay let's see what we have here..." He says to himself, ordering an iced coffee and digging into the large plastic bag that contains large amounts of smaller plastic bags containing all sorts of fliers, corporate security badge holders, and product samples. Out comes a flier for the new version of the S-phone. He turns to the product specifications. "Quad-channel deconversion ports? Really?" He smirks, muttering under his breath. "Barbarians..."
While Wildebeest doesn't really care about the newest forms of technology, the expo still has been pretty fun. Especially when a lot of people are just assuming that he's some teenager in a pretty elaborate costume. The red-furred somewhat demonic looking teenager even got to meet Jean Grey and Thor, though his attempt to lift Thor's hammer caused him enough frustration to shift forms and shred his clothes. Thankfully he's still got the gold metal trunks portion of his armor for his modesty. And that StarkExpo 2012 T-Shirt came in handy. He's currently just strolling around the big costume contest area, enjoying some more of the less technological and more tasty elements of the Expo. Nom Nom Nom.
It's a pretty good replica of iron-man armor... A non-functioning one made entirely out of thick, weighted, shiny plastic. Or, it would be, if it weren't black and white and currently bearing no helmet (it's tucked under her armor because it's too hot). Also, the fact that while wearing it, Tamir is also carrying a backpack of sorts, and currently addressing the young man, Miguel in an argumentative tone,"I still think you should wear the costume I made you. You'll fit in better, and anyway, the expo is THE place to get a look at the sort of technology you need."
After a moment of contemplation, she holds the backpack out,"Come on... change into it. Besides... if anyone could artificially create an Einstein-Rosen bridge, it'd be Stark. It's your best-chance to get a look at some major high-tech. Not many people do it better than Stark Industries!" For once, she sounds like the excited teenager she is.
Piotr isn't exactly the typical Expo attendee. In fact, he's more bored than anything but since he was going to be in the city anyway, a couple people asked him if he'd hit the Expo, look around, and report back since they couldn't make it every day. And no telling what new technological marvel would be unveiled, especially on the closing day. At least he got an S-Phone out of it.
Keeping an eye open...or rather a mental scan open...for assassins, neo-Nazis, or anything *else* that might try to ruin what's left of the expo, John Jones wanders through the event. And no, he is NOT entering the contest. (After all, the temptation to cheat would be immense). He is, however, looking over the entrants with a somewhat critical eye. Are they judging solely on the costume itself, or are they also expecting a bit of acting from those participating?
"It may be what I need," retorts Miguel, hands shoved into his pockets, "but that doesn't mean I'm going to look like /that/ to get to it." And "that" is indicated by a nod of his head toward the other people playing dress-up. "I can look like a--well, I can look dumb on my own without having to dress up in something like that to accomplish it." He's about to offer more "delightful" insights, but the breadth and scope of just what's on offer finally catches his attention. He's pretty sure some of this crap doesn't exist in /his/ time. A look of nerdy appreciation tries to make itself known on his otherwise-sour features as he takes in everything. "Okay, so maybe I'm glad I let you talk me into coming here..." he mutters a bit more softly.
Some are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable powers of whoopass. Others are so well and beyond the pale of the everyday technology that such an attitude of wonders and a showcasing of what the modern man will get are but pale imitations of their own glories...
Then there is Frederick Jager, who is pretty damn impressed with a hot dog and a free phone. He continues to wander the expo, performing last minute boxing up and packing up in exchange for a bit of last-minute swag, more than a few things that won't be missed in an inventory. Some of it may actually be remotely useful. He scratches his chin as he looks over towards the series of Iron Men clones. How unlike his own armor. The Iron Man is meant to be seen, to draw fire. The AIDOS rewards its user for cowardice, stealth, and the ability to get out of dodge. "Thats why some of us are heroes, and the rest sit in the cheap seats..." He muses to himself.
Accepting his double soy latte, Nathaniel quietly plays the clerk and takes a sip from the frothy, hot beverage. Based on the sip, he leaves a little extra in the tip jar for the barrista. Flyer back into his StarkExpo omni-bag, he moves back to being within view of the costume contest. This puts him standing unknowingly close to Miguel and Tamir, although the two of them are strangers to him. Eyes to the stage, he cracks a grin and settles in to watch the show. "Oh Iron Man the song..." He tsks and shakes his head. "...I'd bet a hundred dollars that Iron Man himself can't -stand- that song."
"Should have grabbed my armor.... if I known there was gonna be a costume contest." Wildebeest rumbles to himself. Sure it isn't really 'Iron Man' armor, but with his red fur and gold armor... it's kinda similar. At least nobody seems to have singled him out so far as someone from the 'Wildebeest Society' or something. Wildebeest's ears perk and flick just a bit at the news about the prize being five-thousand dollars. "Man.... should have worn the full armor." He grumps to himself, wriggling his hoove-like toes as he watches the proceedings. The news that there might be prizes for the audience members encourages Wildebeest to move closer, slipping through the crowd to get closer to the stage.
Tamir thrusts her backpack at Miguel more meaningfully,"If you'd dressed, properly, then you'd fit in better." And by fit in better, she means dressing like an avid fangirl. "Now come on... Let's get free-stuff- Oh... can we watch the contest? I want to see if the one I voted on wins." She's already chewing on some red and yellow licorice made to look like the hero.
"Besides. I don't get out and do much and this looks like fun. You should enjoy yourself too. Who knows, maybe you'll run into Stark and get to party with him. You can discuss physics." She eyes Nathanial at this point,"Maybe he plays it on loop inside his helmet. I heard he kind of has an ego. He'd make a better strong silent type in my opinion."
Piotr leaves the food vendor with a hot dog and wanders over to get a better look at the stage so he can watch the contest. So much more interesting than than just inspecting tech. Some guy in a red furry costume gets his attention for a moment since he could fit right in at the school. But, of course, he assumes it's a costume and not a mutant. Parking himself in an open spot against a wall, he munches on his snack.
John Jones relaxes...as of right now he senses no obvious hostiles. Other than hostility between the competitors, which he tunes out quickly. Wow. Some people just have bad attitudes. He finds some wall space himself, and leans against it, watching. He has his own pick for a winner, at least. But everyone put in good effort. Question is, where's the real thing?
Taking the backpack, Miguel arches an eyebrow at Tamir. "Fit in better," he repeats in a mutter as he slings the backpack over one shoulder. "Yeah, that's really my biggest concern right now." With a shake of his head, he goes to follow the girl, though spies a food vendor. "Pit stop," he says as he goes to loop his arm through Tamir's and aim her toward the food. "Food first, free stuff second. I'll even stop bitching about it." Which, as said with what passes for a smile, should hopefully be considered a joke. Or something. Hey, he's trying, here.
Frederick continues his work, still keeping an ever watchful eye on the Expo. Something interesting may yet happen, these sorts of events just don't end without some kind of vast display of 'Come Back Next Year/We Are The Best There Is!'...given that this is a Stark event, how could one expect otherwise? Booths go down in quick time, all those exhibitors trying to either beat the rush or simply sold out of material. When one lacks the goods to fend off rabid technophiles trying to get their fix, its best to leave the scene of the crime.
The last event of the expo, and even though it's definitely more Cat's speed than hers, Lois can't help but attend. Especially since that Captain America fellow might be here. She might be able to get close enough to get contact info or at least a 'sure, I'll schedule an interview' out of him. Dressed in her usual business attire, the femme reporter Lois Lane flashes her press pass to get in without issue so she can start looking around.
A familiar face. Smirking, Daily Planet's investigative reporter makes her way toward John Jones. She knows he's going to see her, and that's fine with her, for she's grinning. Arriving to him, she folds her arms at her chest, spins quickly so that hair and skirt seem to ruffle a bit, and she thumps her back against the wall at his side. "So... I think I've figured it all out," she quips at him, sounding mischievously serious.
The judges eye the entries critically as they make their first pass, and Bob introduces each participant when they get to the front of the stage, before gesturing them into a line across the back. There is a mix of male and female, young and old. The cutest might be a 6 year old boy in a cardboard costume who seems over the moon to be up there.
"Next up, each contestant will get to do their best Iron Man impression or routine for our judges. Judges are you ready?" Bob asks.
Cat Grant stops eyeing one of the contestant's backsides long enough to smile. "Bring it on Bob!" Vesper agrees, as does Stony Ark, smoothing his Stark trademark goatee with a finger.
What none of them realize is Bob Boblinski, the real Bob Boblinski, is in a holding cell in the bowels of a compound at the moment. The man on stage right now is actually...
...BOB AGENT OF HYDRA!!!!
With a grin, he reaches into his sports-jacket pocket and triggers a signaling device. A rumbling starts that shakes everything and everyone in the arena.
"Earthquake!" yells a panicked patron. Others begin scrambling around the floor for shelter if that is the case, though Flushing Meadows isn't anywhere near a legitimate fault line. Merchandise in the booths goes flying, people stagger around to keep from falling, and the vibrations seem to ripple up through everyone's bones from beneath the arena floor. Chairs are tipped over, revealing the limited edition signed Tony Stark Iron Man prints in their envelopes taped beneath which were for the guests.
"You might be right." Nathaniel replies to Tamir, glancing over to the complete stranger and Miguel, her apparent date. "With an entire technological convention including a look-alike contest with a prize of five-thousand dollars..." He tsks, shaking his head. He mouths the word 'egomaniac' to the two of them before turning his eyes back to the costume show and a sip of his beloved double soy latte.
The rumbling nearly forces Nathaniel to drop said cup of latte. He holds it out at length to try to stabilize it while trying to maintain his footing. Brows lowered, he keeps his eyes on the stage and waits to see whether or not this is a publicity stunt.
Wildebeest of course offers a loud growling cheer for the 6 year old. Yeah, he doesn't care how much attention he's drawing to himself. It wasn't that long ago that he was that age. And he wants to see the kid win, especially given he certain is in it more for the fun of being on stage over things like being the biggest technerd. Of course, like in the animal kingdom... Wilde almost senses something is wrong before the first rumbling of the quake occurs... steadying his stance with a clawed hand on the stage as he looks around. This doesn't seem right for New York.
Tamir follows Miguel's lead, heaving a sigh,"Okay. You will eat and THEN we will get free stuff. But... I'm NOT missing the contest. That six year old deserves to win. Iron Man is all about the people and he is the people." A beat later, and she offers,"I read that on a website."
Then the rumbling starts. She heaves a sigh and levitates, almost imperceptibly, a half-inch above the ground... thus keeping her from getting shaken by all the rumbling. "Well. That sucks. I'm not going to get to see the end of the contest, am I? I'm pretty sure there are no major fault lines in this area."
"Bozhe moi." Piotr breathes, reaching out to place a hand against the wall in order to steady himself. An earthquake is the last thing he's expecting. Dropping his hot dog, he steadies a young woman nearby who's about to fall.
Oh. Crap. And there's a Lois right next to him. "As much as I'd like to talk, I need..." And he makes a rather abrupt dart towards...the nearest men's room. It's about the only way he can make a discreet exit. He'll apologize to the journalist later, but what he's sensing is not good. Not good at all, and this time he does not think he can limit himself only to subtle assistance. This time...it might be time to show himself.
"...oh of fucking course," growls Miguel, looking around--then his eyes land on the stage. Yeah, guy holding a button-thingy. This isn't going to end well. He's seen more than enough idiots like this to err on the side of caution and assume this putz means business. "Can't even get a stupid bite of food without running into something like this." He slips off the backpack to hand it to Tamir, saying, "Start getting people somewhere safe. I'll find you later." He's seen just enough of her abilities to trust that she can protect people. He's not really "built" for mere protection, and he knows it.
Without another word, he goes to slip through the crowd until he can--well, he /was/ going to head to the restroom, but apparently someone's going to use that as a hiding spot. Instead, then, he goes to dive into an abandoned booth. Mere seconds later, after leaving a ball of webbed-up clothing underneath a table, Spider-Man slips from the back of the booth to leap up to the ceiling and start crawling toward the apparent earthquake-maker.
"Please be an earthquake, please be an earthquake, please be a..." Then, in that unfortunate epiphany that things are about to get real, Freddy espies a device. Not just any device, but one that looks...important. Or maybe he's just learned that people who meaningfully reach into their coats and are immediately followed by a natural disaster are usually the precipitators. He has watched too many cheap superhero movies (Occupational research) to not recognize the inevitable. All too soon, he goes looking for a Kentesque convenient Costume Change Area. Oh what he would give for a phone booth...damn the cell phone age!
As John rushes away with a lame 'gotta go potty' excuse, Lois presses her lips together, rolling her eyes. "Riiiiiight... I've got the worst luck with-" Is that... an earthquake? Lois puts a hand on the wall to study herself, eyes going wide as she looks around, stunned. The guy! The MC. And with a bright grin, Lois pushes herself from the wall to go get a closer look at said Bob from Hydra. After all, THIS is Lois' speed. Cat's prolly fainted by now, the putz.
As John rushes away with a lame 'gotta go potty' excuse, Lois presses her lips together, rolling her eyes. "Riiiiiight... I've got the worst luck with-" Is that... an earthquake? Lois puts a hand on the wall to study herself, eyes going wide as she looks around, stunned. The guy! The MC. And with a bright grin, Lois pushes herself from the wall to go get a closer look at said Bob from Hydra. After all, THIS is Lois' speed. Cat's prolly fainted by now, the putz.
Bursting up through the cement floor in three spots are giant, green, metal machines (Visual: http://i.ytimg.com/vi/Y9JjuD24Jzo/0.jpg). Each one has an oblong "head" with glowing yellow windows, and cannons of some sort mounted on top and on both sides. They climb out of their hidey holes on long, segmented tentacle-like metal legs. They rise, standing a good thirty feet high, and chaos erupts.
"HAIL HYDRA!" comes the cry from Bob, as he dives off the stage and crawls under it to bravely, er, run away. It's his one true talent, and likely why he stays alive despite having no other talents.
"EMERGENCY ALPHA ONE!" the Black Widow barks into her comm. "We have HYDRA agents on site in walker vehicles. They are armed." She runs along one of the catwalks to get directly over one of the machines. "All agents to the main arena floor. I repeat, all agents to the-" She dives aside as an artillery shell rockets past her, fired from one of the cannons.
In concert, the green machines begin shooting randomly at structures and spectators alike. The giant legs stomp down as they move, crushing anything underfoot. One begins closing in on the judges table by the stage, another heads around towards the back of the stage, and the last turns to fire into the arena stands. The attendees scream and begin running for the exits, in panic mode. The judges scream and scramble, except for Cat who, as Lois predicted, faints.
It's not a stunt. Nathaniel sighs as he was just getting to a point where he was enjoying himself. Taking a long, shaky sip from the cup, he whips his head about to take in the calamity. It would take him far too long to find a place to not be seen, but the screen of people all about only really exposes himself to a small handful of people that would shield him from the other, prying eyes. Clenching his fists, his neurokinetic armor turns off the holographic emitter that surrounds him, and in the blink of an eye and a flash of golden light, he kicks up twenty feet into the air to hover above the crowd. Clad in red and platinum colored armor, Iron Lad has involuntarily entered himself into the costume contest.
Palms outstretched, Iron Lad rockets toward the danger on a course to place himself between one of the large, green robots and the judge's stand. Hovering in place, he holds out his palm and extends his energy shield in the hopes of buying the judges some time. "You should start running!" He calls out loud to the judges behind him. "Run as fast as you can and don't look back."
Wildebeest's glowing yellow eyes go a bit wide, as giant machines start bursting through the floor. And Hydra? Well, at least it's not the Foot Clan. Confusion and Chaos erupts, as the machines start firing. Wildebeest is nearly knocked over by Bob as he leaps off the stage, and Wilde glances to the various Iron Man costume contest people.
"Get Out Of Here." He growls, making sure especially that the 6-year old's parent collects them before he turns his focus back towards the machines. And glances up with a gulp to see the Walker that's coming towards the stage.... bracing himself for the leg as it steps on him. Of course, that's also at the same time as Wilde's starting to shift forms. Well, there goes another T-Shirt... sighs. Maybe he should start just wearing the armor everywhere. Wilde grabs ahold of the leg and yanks, trying to pull the Hydra Walker off balance.
Well... Miguel seems like a pretty on the ball sort of guy,"But I'm not sure if they can hear me- You're already gone. I'm going to break a bone. I can already tell. That hurts." Tamir sighs and shoots up into the air silently, putting the helmet of her plastic iron man COSTUME on as she does so. "Uuuuum... Everybody head to the exits in a calm, orderly manner and.... Uh..."
She can't seem to shout loud enough to make herself heard, so she points at the exits for a few seconds, then swoops over next Nathaniel, her own circular, black energy shield flickering into existence from the palm of her hand. She looks off to the side, and then asks the Iron Lad,"So... do we destroy these things? They're bad right? I got that wrong one time, and I don't wanna make the same mistake again."
It's not till the machine emerge from the ground that Piotr realizes this isn't a natural disaster but an attack. Unlike some, he doesn't run to the bathroom or find a table to hide under. He doesn't even need to think about it, he just transforms. And while he's no taller and no broader, he's much more imposing as gleaming, smooth metal than he is as flesh. And in his black tee-shirt and denim, he cuts quite the figure too. As one of the machines fires into the crowd, he leaps in front of the shell to protect the people who'd have been killed. The impact sends him flying into a wall which comes crashing down around him but he just climbs back to his feet and brushes himself off. "My turn." Grabbing a chunk of masonry, he throws it at full strength at the cannon that fired.
And then, streaking into the sky above the scene, is someone as green as the machines. In truth, this is the first time the Martian Manhunter has allowed himself to be caught on camera. Dropping to a position above the crowd, the wind catching his blue cape and blowing it in all directions, the first thing he does is speak, backed up by telepathy to ensure everyone can hear him. Most especially the terrorists. Most *especially* the terrorist. "You have one chance to surrender." Meanwhile, he is taking in the situation and what possible backup he has. Some kind of monster is apparently trying to hustle the contestants off the stage. A man made entirely of metal is throwing masonry at a canon. And there's...is that Iron *Man* or is it the other one, the one he met not that long ago? Either way...he's rather hoping that the cannons and the like will start firing at him. Up at him, that is to say, rather than into the crowd, through the crowd at other hero types, etc. He doesn't *really* expect them to surrender. He just plans on drawing as much fire as he can.
"...well, shit," mutters Spider-Man, pausing in his speed-crawl. Three giant machines bent on murder and destruction. He hasn't even been in this crazy, old-timey version of New York before running into this nonsense. He starts to see why New York becomes a dump in less than a century. Then he sees a fuzzy--er--something-or-another attacking one of the machines, a giant metal--uh--man attacking another, and a green-ish man making himself a target. Well, good. Maybe they can get out of this without many casualties after all--though he's surprised to not be the only freak around, for once..
He does the best thing he knows how to to--make an ass out of himself. Launching himself from the ceiling, he using the short glide to fire line after line of webbing, aiming at the machines--specifically, their legs, to snare them up and bring them down. Right as he lands, he starts running at full-tilt, right toward the nearest machine-thingy-of-death that isn't already being attacked. The "plan"--if such a thing can laughably be called such--is to launch himself at the thing and start tearing into it. If nothing else, he's trying to make himself a target. He can (hopefully) dodge their fire. Innocent civilians can't.
Right. Armor it is. Never mind that SHIELD is probably crawling all over the place and he has already ended up cowl to helm with Batman. Even if the likely outcome is to be squished, Frederick ducks into the requisite hidey hole and suits up. Dynamic camouflage activates and he sneaks around even as Spider-Man attempts to distract the thing and Wildebeest goes for the legs. Relying on the advantage of relative invisibility, he seeks the best vantage point. He only has two shots, he has to get the best possible fire. Dragnet doesn't have repulsors or mutations and yes, he DOES have to change in a bathroom. Two shots however at taking down such monstrosities are better than none. "Why couldn't they just Die-hard it and give me a nice bevy of terrorists to knock out..." He mumbles through the voice modulator, his petulant whining sounding altogether more deep, masculine, and impressive. Fortunately, the noise of the crowd might conceal whatever gripes broach the armor's stealth system.
With all hell breaking loose around her, Lois keeps her eyes trained on her target: HYDRA BOB!! Sure, she trips a few times. Sure, she stumbles into a few people. Lois even shoulder checks someone out of her way, but the reporter is determined to get her man, and a story. This has GOT to be the single most exciting thing that's happened yet! Okay, the skin-head party was interesting too, but really? Let's be realistic here: Captain America vs a gang of skin heads? No contest.
Lois gets to the stage just as the Martian Manhunter's voice rings out over the crowd. She knows that voice! How the hell is he so clear given all the noise? No time to worry about that now! That Bob guy is under the stage, so that's exactly where Lois needs to be! She throws herself through the same space Hydra Bob used, not really thinking through to the 'what comes next' part of this grand scheme to get more information about what is going on. All that matters is getting the story, whatever THAT'S going to be!
||CHUKA-THOOM!|| The big top-mounted cannon of Machine Alpha fires off a blast into the stands. A gaping hole appears where once there were rows of seats. Shrapnel flies in every direction, raining down onto the arena floor and the civilians scattered there. The smaller side-mounted weapons seem to be machine gun caliber. ||RATATATATATATAT!|| They begin putting in holes in anything they cross paths with. A woman, carrying a toddler, trips and falls in the machine's path. She screams, covering the child with her body, as one of the massive tentacle legs begins descending towards. Future-Spidey's webbing gets there just in time to stop that leg from crushing them into paste. The woman scrambles to her feet, clutching her little girl, and runs for an exit. Another leg swings towards Miguel, trying to smack the Spider off its collision course.
Alpha's top part rotates on its axis above the legs to train its guns on the Martian Manhunter. It unloads with a deafening array of shots. That seems to be a resounding, "NO" to the request for surrender.
Machine Beta continues to fire up at the half dozen S.H.I.E.L.D. agents running along the catwalks above. The Black Widow leaps off the metal grating of the structure she's on, flipping over in the air, to land on top of the marauding machine that has been hounding her people. She clings just behind the top cannon.
It's the same machine that begins stomping down on Wildebeest. ||CRUNCH||. The tentacle meets considerable resistance in the furry form of the now twelve-foot hero. It wobbles as the leg is yanked, but it has many others it braces itself with as it begins trying to shake its limb free of the furry fellow.
Machine Gamma pauses in its march towards the judges. Its top cannon swivels with an ominous click, click, clicking as Iron Lad shows up on the radar screen. Inside, the gun-operator tracks the armored youth's movement. "I have our primary target, Iron Man, in my sights," he reports to the vehicle driver. "Firing." He triggers a blast from the cannon. The driver glances at the screen. "I don't think that's Stark," he comments idly. As Demoniac joins Iron Lad, he adds, "Not that one either. Shoot them anyway."
||WHAM!|| The chunk of masonry Colossus chucked slams into the side of Machine Gamma and makes a dent. It teeters for a moment, before inertial dampeners help it right itself, but a few sparks fly from some busted external cabling. "Shoot him first," grunts another HYDRA agent.
Under the stage, it's not particularly clean. Bob is scurrying like the little cowardly rat he is over and under the support beams for the structure as he scampers towards the backstage area.
Iron Lad double-takes at the plastic-faced superheroine nearby, but her words he hears quite well over the roar and chaos inside of the Expo. She asks if they're bad? Oh, Iron Lad has an answer for that. "They're shooting at people. I don't know how well the structure's going to hold off; we've got to buy them some time before these things bring the building down."
"Oh that thing is definitely going to open f--" Iron Lad comments, eyes fixed on the spinning cannon pointed directly at him and Demoniac. After a quick glance behind him to check and make sure the judge's table is cleared, he boosts forward, flying towards Machine GAMMA. Hand outstretched, he sends a signal through his neurokinetic armor to apply five tons of magnetic force to the cannon itself, trying to bend it and render it inoperable, or at the very least difficult for the machine to maintain.
Wildebeest growls at Lois as she pushes past him, trying to get under the stage after the announcer. "Get out of here!" He growls, rolling his eyes a bit. Why do people insist on doing such stupid things in the middle of a war zone. Wildebeest feels the leg in his furry hands attempting to pull itself free, so turns his focus away from yelling at Lois to refocus on the Death Machines. "You ain't goin' nowhere.... Squidward." Wilde braces himself and yanks, trying to at least pull the machine off balance. Though given his strength, there's the distinct sound of metal loudly starting to rip. So it's going to be debatable which will happen first, pulling the machine down or just ripping a leg free.
Oh well. Might as well have fun with this, right? Tamir taps the ONE button on her costume. The one on her palm. The one that makes the lights on the suit glow. Then she lifts into the air, using her shield to block some flak from a cannon blast. A soft 'oof' and then she holds out her hand, palm forward and pointed straight at the Gamma Machine, and begins to chant under her breath. A few seconds later, the air ripples and shivers as... something shoots right towards the machine.
Oh, wait... that's Miguel's costume! And hey, he's doing neat stuff! "Migs! I just want you to know, you're my new favorite!"
Colossus notes the lack of a gaping hole in the side of the machine and doesn't bother reaching for more masonry. This calls for a more hands on approach. He runs forward and leaps for one of the legs, grabbing on and trying to sink his fingers into the metal to secure his grip. He'll climb up the leg toward the body where the controls - and people - are at. He wants in.
The Martian is not Superman...but he's certainly not one who needs to worry about projectile weapons unless they are particularly potent. These? They're nasty, but not that nasty. Let's see. He retaliates on the machine with his eye beams, firing at the barrel in an attempt to disable it without harming the men inside. This has gotten quite, quite nasty already. Part of his attention is on the fleeing civilians, more than a little concerned for them, but taking out the machines *fast* would seem to be the best way to handle the matter.
So focused was Spider-Man on trying to make sense of the chaos, he doesn't see the leg sweeping toward him until it's too late--but that doesn't mean it cleans his clock. On the other hand, the solid THWACK it gives him re-shatters his /ribs/, which makes fires sweep through his chest again. At least he manages to hang on, by digging his claws into the metal and gritting his teeth. As it retracts, he goes to skitter up along it until he can attack the base with talons and webbing alike--slashing with the former, yanking and gumming things up with the latter, so he can hopefully move on and do the same to the rest of the base-joints. Everything's weaker at the joints--and he has to exploit that while the pain in his chest is still merely excruciating.
Iron somebody...a little short to be Stark, Dragnet suspects. Still, anything with repulsors has to be a plus, and the presence of various heroes or at the very least armed Persons of Intent seems to be a good sign. It gives him time to take cover behind a booth with some of the heavier electronics. Its not likely that he is going to be in a shootout, but its a nice place to ponder 'WHAT THE HELL HERO' after he tosses his hat into the ring. He picks Beta, seeing as its the one with the least number of people aiming for its cannon, aiming low so that it will, if Dragnet is uncharacteristically lucky, sever or blow the weapon clean off. There is no high pitched whine, no warning as the gauntlet cycles through his grenades to get to the single shot mass accelerator. It may not have the raw barbecuing power of a repulsor, but it IS an armor piercing shape charge impregnated with just enough high explosive to make things rather interesting, and make it a no-no when pointed in the direction of meat bags, since they have souls and all. Against a HYDRA walker? There isn't nearly as much hesitation. So it is that Dragnet fires and prays, ducking behind his particular spot of cover as the dynamic camouflage fades out.
Under the stage, Lois gives chase, her heels clacking as she runs. She tucks her purse across her chest so the small bag portion rests against her hip and she can use both arms to help her run. She catches a beam to the shoulder as she tries to cut a turn around a little too tight, and she yelps from the sting, but it's not going to slow her down at all. Dirt, cobwebs, maybe even some grease, whatever; Lois will just submit the dry cleaning bill for her suit as a business expense. Must get story! Must catch up to Hydra Bob! What she's going to do.... again, hasn't thought that far ahead. Maybe she can stop right before reaching the door, and sneak in behind him!
Vesper Fairchild and Stoney Ark skid to a halt, and turn back to drag the fainted Cat Grant out of the arena with them. For a moment, they both looked like they were debating just leaving her there. Face it, she can be a bit of a pain.
The Manhunter's eye beams lance into the cannon barrel of Machine Alpha. The metal grows hot, then melts into a puddle on top of the pod-like head. "Gun's jammed!" The gunner calls to the driver. "Green guy did something to the main cannon!" The driver grunts and slams three tentacles right at the Martian, trying to slap him out of the sky.
It's perhaps not the best move, as Miguel gums up the works on the legs that remain supporting it. The machine tries to take a step towards the Martian and trips, falling right towards the stage, beneath which Lois Lane is ardently pursuing Bob.
||KEEEEERUNCH!|| The leg of Machine Beta comes off at the hip joint as Wildebeest yanks on it. Sparks fly and hydraulic fluid sprays out. Internal servos try to compensate. Beest now has a big old metal tentacle to slap something with.
It's also about when the Black Widow slaps magnetic explosive discs from her belt onto the front window of the machine's cockpit. They detonate and the tempered glass showers down from above.
||BABOOM!|| Dragnet's charge rips the cannon right off the top of the machine and fries some of the electronics housed beneath it. The whole machine lurches, stumbling into the prone Machine Alpha and crushing its remaining legs. It staggers around in a broken circle as automated systems begin failing to adjust for damage.
"OH MY GOD THE METAL MAN IS CLIMBING US!" screams the driver of Machine Gamma. The leg Colossus is scaling begins flailing around as the Hydra agent tries desperately to dislodge him.
||SCREEEEEEEEE!|| It's a terrible, terrible noise that is made when the top cannon of Machine Gamma gets warped and bent into a virtual knot by Iron Lad's magnetic force. As it happens at the same time the gunnery operator hits the trigger, it results in the cannon exploding violently, blowing a hole in the top of the machine.
Tamir's attack adds to the chain of kinetic effects as her blast makes the two legs currently supporting most of the machines weight simple fall apart at the upper joint. The machine goes careening into the side of the arena. It falls, sprawling out in a path of crushed stadium seating, along the incline.
Iron Lad rockets up and over the top of Machine GAMMA, turning his body upside-down so that his head is presented to point directly into the hole that's just been ripped in the top of the machine. His golden eyes look inside, trying to see if there are pilots or if the machines are operated by remote. To be careful, he extends his hand towards the hole and charges up a concussive bolt. Ominously, his hand points towards the hole in the same way a police officer would point their service pistol at a would-be prisoner. "STAND DOWN." Iron Lad calls out, quickly scanning the room for other signs of carnage. His follow-up question is likely voiced to the others attacking Machine GAMMA, namely Colossus and Demoniac, two people who has no clue what their names are. "Where did the MC go? The one with the remote device?" He calls out, doing his best to try to cow the pilots of GAMMA while scanning the room.
Tamir feels a shower of glass hit her from the magnetic explosives, livings assorted nicks and cuts over the bits where they slip through the chinks in her 'armor'. "Ow. That stuff's sharp!" Riiiight. Then Iron Lad is addressing them,"I think he ran away... I'm going to go see if I can find him. It looks like you guys have this in hand..." And with a gravity-defying direction change (and a few spatters of blood), she peels off from the fight in search of the MC who everyone keeps talking about,"Hey... Surrender? Please? Someone? Oh, where did he go..." She narrows her eyes a little bit as she casts her gaze around. "I'm not very good at this."
It's not the first time Colossus has a tiger by the tail even if this particular tail is a leg and it's not so much a tiger as a spider and... Well, the analogy holds more or less. And so does he though the flailing of the leg he's climbing slows his progress up toward the body. Fortunately for him, unfortunately for them, Gamma falls over and Colossus takes the opportunity to let go and just run up to the body where he starts making his own entrance hatch in the belly of the beast.
It's falling for the stage. There are people under the stage. J'onn does not hesitate. Oh, look, tentacles. Read...convenient grab handles. His next move is to try and grab the machine by the tentacles and adjust its fall so that it doesn't crush the stage. Or if it does, it doesn't crush the bit with Lois and Bob under it. Ideally, let's miss the stage altogether, thank you very much. He's very glad he has allies right now. He does not even want to risk using telepathy on the drivers. Mostly because it would be so like high tech terrorists to take precautions...such as a driver losing consciousness setting off the self destruct.
Oh, shit, the stage. Without wasting another moment Spider-Man leaps into the air, to somersault and land on the ceiling as the green guy grabs the tentacles. He fires two web-lines to the machine-thingy, to try and help keep it from demolishing the stage. He has to groan audibly with the effort, and he tries to ignore the copper taste building up in his mouth. There's a well-deserved passing-out on the horizon, he can tell that already.
There is an advantage to a fighting style that rewards hiding and cringing in corners. Dragnet hasn't been shot at, otherwise maimed, and his armor is refreshingly without dings. Dings are hard to get out. Still, as he moves closer to the three mech pileup, he keeps his right gauntlet up, gas canisters at the ready as the other keeps the anti-tank option at a standby. He is strengthened by AIDOS, but he isn't nearly strong enough to prevent crashing mechs, so he keeps a distance, for without his stealth field he has to rely on running and ducking and dodging, all of which are remarkably more easy to perform when one has the advantage of some distance in which to react. If need be though, he has the means to quickly neutralize the crews should they attempt a last stand. Ideally, it won't come to that, but just in case..."Bless this oh Lord, Thy Holy Knockout Gas Grenade of Antioch. May It Fly Swift And True, Its Sweetly Noxious Contents Bringing Cataplexy To All That Wiff of It. Bless This Thy Holy Gas Canister of...." Dragnet can't remember the rest of it. Which is fitting, considering he's butchered the quote anyway for his own uses.
Robot... crashing... onto... That doesn't sound safe at all. Lois can hear the crashing from above, and so the 'sneaky' goes out the window. The femme reporter seeks to barrel into Hydra Bob and bare him to the ground to cover him from falling debris. Not a good idea to let your number one source get torn up now... even if he doesn't know that he's a news source, or even that she's trying to... umm.. help... in exchange for an interview. Honest! Of course, that interview's probably going to happen across a pane of bullet proof glass down at the country lock up, but hey! Beggars and chosers, right?
The Martian Manhunter and Future-Spidey are just able to change the trajectory of Machine Alpha's fall in time. It slams down beside the stage near Lois and Bob, killing neither, but tossing up a huge dust cloud of debris under there. R
When Lois can see again, Bob has vanished.
The Black Widow hears Wildebeest's call, and she fires off her Widow's Line to a catwalk above, swinging up onto it and landing in a crouch. "Get clear of the machine that's still up!" she alerts the other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, warning them away from Machine Beta.
The HYDRA agents in Machine Gamma stand down as ordered by Iron Land. All three are banged up pretty badly. This prototype walker really needs revisions, especially since Colossus peels the belly open like a ripe orange. The driver, who has a bloodied nose and lip, snarls at Nathaniel and Piotr. "Cut off one head and two more will take its place!"
Um, what is that beeping noise? Beeeeeep. Beeeeeep. Beeep. Beeep. Beep. Beep.|| BOOOOOM!|| All three of the machines explode as their self-destruct sequences get triggered from afar.
Later, it will be found that Bob escaped through a maintenance hatch for the temperature control in the floor of the arena, when it is used for ice-skating events like hockey and Disney on Ice. It will also be discovered, after interrogating the two HYDRA agents who survived the self-destructs, that HYDRA had the machines tunnel to their position under the arena a week before, hoping to take out Stark at the end of his Expo, when he was likely to be tired or drunk.
A half-unconscious patron, wearing a Python shirt, hollers, "It's the VORPAL BUNNY!" when he hears Dragnet's comments out of thin air.
There are injuries everywhere. Some are serious, but it seems that none of the civilians were killed, despite all the efforts on HYDRA's part. Autographed, limited-edition Iron Man photos drift about in the air, rocking gently down to the ground in the wake of the fall of giants...to be trampled by the feet of Stark, Flushing Fire, EMT, and PD, and SHIELD security personnel.
Able to get his hands up in time to cover his face, Iron Lad curses under his breath as the Hydra Agents take the suicide solution. Again, the irony is lost on him as this would be the second Ozzy Osbourne reference this evening. With debris peppering his armor, he lowers his height to a mere fifteen feet off of the ground and starts to hover, checking the local heroes and innocent bystanders for signs of injury. "I can medivac!" He calls out to the room. He first checks on the closest, least armored hero, Demoniac. Again, he calls out. "WOUNDED, ANYONE NEEDS A LIFT TO A HOSPITAL?"
It's a pretty bad scene, all that exploding... Tamir finds the MC only to have him disappear on her. Growling angrily, she almost moves to search again when she hears an explosion. Shooting forward through the air, she puts out a hand to TRY to keep the woman down, her other hand held up above them and close to them. Her shield flickers back into existence, debris and whatever else raining over it.
When the excitement is all over, she begins to shout,"Miggy! Where are you!? Are you okay!? Do you need to go back to the hospital?"
At the sound of the beeping and the look of defiance combined with fear on the face of the Hydra agents in Gamma, what's about to happen is obvious. Reaching in, Colossus grabs the one with the big mouth and throws him across the room just as it explodes. He'll have broken bones but at least he'll survive. As the dust settles, a sheet of metal is tossed to one side and Colossus stands up, the remnants of his civilian clothing still smoldering to reveal his X-Man's uniform that he wore beneath it. Without a word, he starts looking for anyone hurt under debris.
J'onn...sticking around. Actually, for right now, he's going to help Lois out from under the stage. THEN he'll offer his assistance to get any other wounded who need it to hospital, although Iron Lad is already on it. He probably can't handle any medevac on his own, though, after all of this. But still. Lois Lane. Under the stage. At this rate, Superman will be jealous: Rescuing Lois is his job, after all.
Once the stage is safe, Spider-Man drops down with a half-somersault, to land in a crouch. He lifts his mask just enough to spit a large glob of blood to the side--then the beeping catches his attention. "Oh, of course..." he growls, then starts running again. As he goes, he starts spinning webs from floor to ceiling, to create a loose net. It won't stop much of the force of the explosion, but it should ensure that the debris is contained while the others evacuate the wounded.
After the explosion, he leans against a wall, pressing his right hand to his chest. He'd really like to pass out right now, but--there are too many people to deal with. When Tamir begins shouting, he grits his teeth again. Figures. He'll wave her over, saying, "I'll be alright--eventually. Just--let's help get these people to safety." And with that, he'll join in getting people out of there and to the nearest hospital, though he'll try to take the slightly-less-wounded since he has to swing them by the armfuls. It's going to be a long night, and he won't let himself pass out until it's over.
Vorpal bunny indeed! Dragnet isn't nearly equipped well to bring death to those who have the advantage of tin cans to obscure their vital breathing bits! He...doesn't know medicine, and he isn't much for saving. He does try to make sure that anyone he can get to is easily extracted, but he goes about, invisibly, doing something that may be overlooked...he takes down badge information. To make sure that everyone is treated or have those important to them know what is going on. He sticks around to observe, but far from the prying eyes of telepaths and super-sensory types. He collects the information and leaves it for the medicos and the authorities to find, before utterly fading back into camouflage mode.
Her dive, regardless if it connected or not, was really more than a lot pointless, what with the stage collapsing fully and missing her by inches. Curling up into a ball, Lois lets out a scream. She tries to scurry under a falling support strut for some cover as further explosions shake and rock the area. The rest of the stage would have collapsed fully upon her, were it not for the actions of our friendly neighborhood time-travelling Spider-Man. Still, there's a lot of debris under here, and many of the beams have fallen down all around her. When J'onn flies in to rescue her, Lois gives a little squeak of surprise, but wraps her arms around his neck none the less. "Thanks, John," she says to him softly as he carries her from the debris, face turned toward his neck so that she's all but talking into his ear.... Do Martians even HAVE ears?! Lois takes that moment, as the thought strikes her, to actually pull her head back and CHECK. It's then that the Martian sets her down and flies off to rescue others.