|EVENT: Some Assembly Required III|
|What: HYDRA vs Heroes. (Leads to formation of The Avengers.)|
Stark Tower. Rooftop.
The top of Stark Tower doubles as a huge helipad, allowing for multiple aircrafts of Stark design to be available for use. They are all lined up around the center launching bay, which has been roped off with velvet ropes, much like what belongs in front of a nightclub. The wide area appears to be empty, though there does seem to be a random shimmering that happens every once and a while.
Tony Stark, the man with the vision, is standing right in front of the velvet rope. He's in full on Iron Man armor, but the faceplate is up so that everyone can see his magnificent face. And what a magnificent face it is. One that just popped in a stick of gum. And he just stands there for a moment, chewing and looking across the line of people (and Gods and Agents and Spiders) that have gathered with him to go along on this crazy mission. "So uh. You guys ready to kick some ass or what?"
Stark offers a big smile in the midst of his gum chewing. He's feeling good. Or at least he's feeling like this mission is going to go the right way. But still, he's got some things to say before they head out. "I don't do debriefings so I'm not gonna' talk your ears off. You all know why we're here. You all know what we're going to do. If anybody wants to back out now, you can. No hard feelings. It'd totally suck, but we'd understand. Mostly." Stark just cracks another smile and blows a quick bubble with his gum. It's pink.
"Buuuuut. If you do leave? You won't get to play with my new toy..." Stark raises a hand and clicks the button on a small remote in his hand. The click creates a small wind storm as the velvet ropes are blown away from whatever's materializing behind the new age knight. It's... a ship? It's huge. And it's not even on the roof. It's above it. There's how damn big it is.
"I call it the Quincarrier. It doesn't get more stealth than this. And that's just the beginning of what I've put on this thing." He grins and holds the remote up, the bottom of the Quincarrier opening up with total Millennium Falcon style to allow for admittance into this epic new toy. Tony's faceplate falls down and his optics glow with that delicious Arc Reactor Blue.
It's been surreal since that whole mess in Times Square. She's honestly tried to get Tony to talk, hell to stand STILL long enough to talk. She KNOWS something is going on, but hasn't been able to get a straight answer as to what exactly. But enough is enough. She intends to find out. NOW.
After badgering J.A.R.V.I.S. into telling her where her boss is currently hiding, she steps out onto the roof in time to see the Quincarrier appear overhead and hurries toward the very odd gathering. She raises her voice to be heard above whatever other background noises there might be. "Tony? What's going on?"
"Does it have. . ." Spider-Man tilts his head at the ship, considering. "Does it have a bathroom? Because I totally gotta pee." There's a little bit of a hop on one foot then the other.
Natasha Romanoff is in full Black Widow gear this time around. She has guns in shoulder holsters, and strapped to the outside of each thigh, a rifle slung across her back, her bracers are on and loaded, her belt is full of goodies, and Lord knows what else she's hiding in that outfit. She stands on the roof, watching Tony go through his gum ritual, then gives him the faintest of smiles as she strolls past him up the ramp onto the Quincarrier. "I'm surprised you didn't have trumpeters to announce the new toy," she murmurs as she passes him.
Agent 13 shouldn't be here. Or at least that's what the doctors who run the infirmary wanted her to believe. But after a lot of bullying and some swearing they finally decied to go ahead and sign her off, putting her back on active duty in time for the ops.
Of course she also ran into opposition from Tony who got a lot less bullying but a whole lot more swearing than the medics did. He eventually had to relent and agree to let her play in the reindeer games, hence why she is here now.
Sharon shows little emotion as Tony speaks, standing next to a small group of assembled men, a team of eight she put together to help. Instead of her normal white she's opted to wear black, her hair pulled into a ponytail which is then twined in around itself in a bun.
The speech and resulting reveal gainst little in the way of reaction from the woman but several of her men whisper in awe, impressed by Tony's new boat.
"C'mon," comes the order from Carter who goes to board the Quincarrier, allowing the others to fall in behind her and follow.
Doug Ramsey has not been with S.H.I.E.L.D. very long, but for some reason, he looked infinitely more comfortable in the agency's combat suit than he ever has in a suit and tie. Go figure. He's silent and remains behind the senior agents that are also present, following their lead -- right up until Tony asks who's driving. Then his hand immediately shoots up, his blue eyes wide and still locked on the Quincarrier.
"You don't know how to fly, Ramsey," the Agent next to him hisses, bodily yanking Doug's arm back down to his side before giving him an apparently-needed push to follow Natasha and Sharon up the ramp.
"I could learn," Doug replies stubbornly, sneaking a quick pair of thumbs-up at Tony on his way past. Come on. This is COOL.
Karl Walters was just yesterday released by the doctor for duty, though he was a little less than open with the doctor about what such duty might entail. Still, he's here, not moving all that stiffly, and looking suitably impressed. "Madre di Dios" he mutters as he follows the rest of the agents up the ramp.
Thor is hovering over Upper Manhattan having a discussion with two young heroes when that Cry rips across his senses. He was surprised that Midgard called him to stand before the Metal Man, but he could sense what needed doing. Tony's confirmation of it, the sense of upcoming battle, made the Thunder God smirk faintly. There was only one thing missing, as far as the Odinson was concerned: his Sword Maiden as his side. Mayhap she will come anyway. As it is clear they are to board the carrier, Thor steps forward and clips Mjolnir to his belt. The electric blue to his eyes, that flicker of lightning fades as he lets go of the haft of his weapon.
Among the S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel present, the unlikely presense of Phil Coulson is looking decidedly less-unlikely than usual-- rather than his ubiquitous black suit, he instead wears a full set of S.H.I.E.L.D. combat gear, complete with one of their more high-tech armory rifles and a harness full of explosives and other useful gear. He overhears Doug's exchange with the Agent, and lightly prods him in the back. "Next time. Let's go."
Dressed in the red and white leathers, silver armor, sword at her hip with her hair pulled back into a severely tight braid. Odd to see Sif since she wasn't there a moment ago and then just suddenly appeared. She took a moment to take in her surroundings. Observe who had gathered. There was no sign of emotion on her however. Even as she stepped forward to enter the carrier. She keeps to the back and as far in the shadows as she can. Perhaps she's trying to keep her presence as low key as possible. Maybe she's just not a people person. Who knows.
Iron Man is doing that thing where he's trying to ignore Pepper, even though she's right there in his face. "Knock yourself out, kid. You break it, you bought it." and the key is tossed to Doug as he passes anyway. Because that's just the kind of guy Tony Stark is. "It has an autopilot. Just in case." is said to the random Agent that has decided to maybe not think Doug flying this thing is a good idea.
"Hold it." is said to Spider-Man, but that's only because Iron Man loves messing with the wallcrawler. Of course there's a bathroom. Why wouldn't there be a bathroom?! There's always a bathroom!
Sadly, he's not going to be able to ignore Pepper forever. She's going to do that foottapping thing. So his faceplate goes back up so he can look at her straight on. "You can't come. Bad things can happen. But they can't happen to you." Hands reach out to grab her at the shoulders. For a long moment he's just looking at her. "... Stark Industries is gonna' need you. Y'know. In the event of my untimely HYDRA induced death. Heh." Clang! Faceplate down again and he's backing up to give his repulsors some room to activate. "Don't wait up, dear!" And with that, Iron Man is blasting up and into the sky, immediately switching to secure comm frequency, "Iron Man to Quincarrier, do you copy, over over? I've always wanted to say that." Iron Man dips and spins, before blasting off ahead. "You guys stay stealthy. I'm the distraction."
Descent on HYDRA Island.
The Quincarrier will have no trouble at all entering HYDRA airspace. The stealth technology alone is capable of mirroring and redistributing at such a high rate of speed that radars cannot even pick up on the invasive mobile base of epic proportions that is hovering above the HYDRA Fortress. They are, well, completely oblivious to the fact that they are about to be swarmed on by Earth's Mightiest (or Stupidest) Heroes. We'll see who's still standing after the smoke clears.
Inside the Head HYDRA Tower, evil is hard at work. Madame Hydra stands at attention, flanked by her personal guards. Asp is also nearby, wanting to make sure that her Mistress is safe from whatever shenanigans that HYDRA scientists are getting up to. And they are getting up to some very interesting shenanigans.
Down below, in the middle of the room, HYDRA scientists (which have black lab coats instead of the pristine white of normal scientists) are surrounding the stolen artifact of shimmering and cosmic justice. The large cosmic cube is being loaded into a machine that will more than likely cause all sorts of hellatious tyranny on the world. Why else would HYDRA want it so badly?
"Glorious, is it not?" That voice comes from behind Madame Hydra and even has her shuddering just a bit. Black boots lead the way around her and none other than Baron von Strucker stands beside her, hands clasped behind his back as he peers down at the scientists below.
Madame Hydra turns to look at her superior. "What is it? What does it do?" "My dear, Madame Hydra." Strucker turns to look at her with his monocole. It really is scarier than it should be. "It's the end of the world."
Pepper Potts watches all of the assembled people boarding the new-to-her craft and steps over toward Tony with THAT frown. But then he does that flippant thing that makes her REALLY mad, and she RACES to board the Quincarrier just after Coulson. Claiming a seat near the back of the craft, she hastily straps in before anyone can try to chase her off, then gets her S-phone and bluetooth earpiece going. Thank the powers that be that they're fully charged.
Tapping a text message to J.A.R.V.I.S. threatening to dump Jolt Cola on his processor boards, she waits for the AI to connect her phone to Tony directly, then starts angrily (but quietly) ranting at her boss. "Is this why you've been off the grid? When were you planning on saying anything? And don't give me that whole "I didn't want you to worry about looking for a new job" schtick again."
Spider-Man nearly leaps up the ramp and hangs his first left, looking frantically for the john.
"Oh man, thank heavens," Spidey says as he gets out of the rest room and enters the cockpit. "That was almost the end of the world. Fans on. Give it some time. More than I bargained for."
Spider-Man looks over the top of a tabloid newspaper and points. "Uhm." He looks around. "I think that's it, everybody." He gives an accentuated head nod. "I think that's where we're going."
The Black Widow has spent the trip re-checking all her visible equipment and looking over satellite maps of HYDRA island. "What is the plan, Stark?" she asks over the comm. "We /DO/ have a plan, correct?" One never knows with Iron Man. Someone light a candle in the bathroom or something. Geez, Spidey!
Looking at Natasha, Sharon can't help but to smirk. "Plans would require Stark to pull himself out of whatever bottle he finds himself in and sober up," she jabs, mostly good-naturedly poking fun at him. She's not exactly mad at him now which is why she can joke like that.
The team she has assembled gotten everything checked and rechecked, everything ready and everyone prepared. Or at least so she hopes.
Next time? Psssht. Clearly, Tony likes Doug more than Coulson does. He catches the key and practically radiates childlike glee, though he refrains from racing up the ramp to find the controls. /Barely/.
Whether Doug was /actually/ controlling the craft or it was simply J.A.R.V.I.S. doing all of the heavy lifting, who could say? (J.A.R.V.I.S.) Regardless, the Quincarrier makes it in one piece, and with nary a scratch on her. Yet. "I think Spider-Man's right," he opines, giving the controls a wary look before taking his hands away. Oh, good. No veering or plummeting, he likes that. He climbs back to his feet, eyeing Natasha a moment before sliding his attention to Coulson for guidance. There /is/ a plan. Right?
Settling into his seat, Karl looks like he might say something when sees Pepper charge up the ramp, but when she settles next to Coulson he pointedly looks down and fastens his own straps. He starts to work at his pad as they take off, swiping menus back and forth, pulling up maps, tapping in data. Though he keeps his face turned to the screen, at Black Widow's question he glances up and at her, then over at Coulson, his expression a little tight. It seems like he's been awaiting an answer to that as well.
Thor strides onto the carrier, and moves toward... that guy. Not noticing Sif in the back of the craft, the Storm Lord looks about once more and grins. That's bout when the wonder sets in. "Mortal hands did craft this," the prince murmurs questioningly mostly to himself no matter how his voice might carry. He folds his arms over his chest to keep himself from touching anything, even though he is glancing at panels and out windows.
"Aye. One would think that we charge in and strike fear into the hearts of the enemies of Midgard," declares the aesir prince, turning to look at Natasha from where he was peering out a window. His voice is deep and carries well through the carrier.
Silently, Sif moves from her spot in the shadows. A brief nod of her head is given to those she passes but she says nothing. Not even when she comes up behind Thor and reaches out to lay a hand on his shoulder does she say anything. A simple nod is given up to the Thunder God before she turns and makes her way back to where she was originally standing.
Coulson, as Pepper dashes up the ramp behind him, doesn't so much as blink. In fact, he even holds the ramp for her, with a small smile and a little shrug. As an experienced and resourceful agent, he knows when there's an argument he doesn't want to have. Instead, he moves inside. When Doug gives him a look, he sets his comm earpiece into place and offers, "Don't get killed." A pause, "...I mean again." Moving on! He gives Doug and Karl a looking over, delivers a firm smile and a nod. "Look, for you two, it's simple. Stick close to us and do what you're told, watch each other's backs. Don't hesitate and everything's going to be fine. I know you guys can manage it. You're smart like that."
Iron Man is flying high and mighty in the HYDRA airspace. Without any sort of cloaking technology whatsoever. Which is probably not a good thing. "Um. Plan? Of course, we have a plan." Steve makes the plans. Tony's the money. But even as he does a few high arcs over the island itself, it's only to see if he can't cause the alarms down below to go off. "The plan is simple. You guys get inside and get the artifact while HYDRA tries to kill me." Yeah, that pretty much sums up the bulk of Iron Plan.
It only takes him a second to patch over to a direct line to Pepper, "Pepper. Why am I seeing you not back at Stark Tower? You know, I could fire you for this." His tone is as neutral and calm as it always is. Can't let on to Feels. No Feels! Professional!
HYDRA patrols have spotted the Iron Man and the alarm has been sounded. Which, of course, has caused the first round of HYDRA Jets to take off and swarm at the Red & Gold Avenger. Bullets and missiles away! Madame Hydra leans on the railing. "I don't understand. What is it going to do?"
"It's a key. A key to victory." Baron von Strucker looks over at the Madame, where she still looks confused and he raises a hand. "Come. I will show you."
As Strucker and Madame Hydra make their way down the stairs, the alarm goes off and in comes one of those HYDRA messengers, "Master! Mistress! We have a problem!" Strucker looks to Madame Hydra, who is already at the nearest console and pulling up footage of what's going outside. "It's Iron Man. He's alone."
Strucker points at the Madame, "Kill him. He is not going to ruin this for me." And then he's stomping down the stairs to get himself to the scientists. "Faster! Get this machine working! Now!"
Madame Hydra and Asp take flight to lead the masses in a full on assault on Iron Man. "All HYDRA personnel! We are being invaded by that foolhardy Iron Man! Kill him! Kill him NOW!"
Iron Man stays in dodgey mode for now, while sending off the hail over the comm, "All eyes are on me. And bullets. Go team. Its all you." Wooosh! Missile! Missile! Missile!
Iron Man is totally going to die.
"Because if this is what it takes to get a straight answer out of you anymore, then it's what I'll do." She doesn't have one of those cool comm earpieces so didn't hear what the others did about the Iron Plan, or she'd probably be going ballistic right about now. She looks up as the others start talking plans but doesn't offer anything, 'cause she's not military trained in any way. She CAN tell by Tony's tone of voice, though, that he's in 'don't bother me now' mode so gives up on trying to get him to talk until this...whatever is going on is done. So she is simply a passenger for the moment, and she doesn't like the way thing appear to be going.
"Agent Ramsey, set us down as close to the compound as possible. We're going to need to move fast before we're stuck gathering up parts of Stark all over this island," barks the Widow. She moves to the ramp. "When we're 150 feet up, drop me," she calls to the agent manning the hatch controls. She readies her Widow's Line. When the ramp opens at altitude, Natasha dives out, firing off a line to snag a structure and swing to the roof of the tower.
Ah yes. The fun of airborne entry. Rolling her eyes, Sharon lets Natsha go first before she signals to her men, motioning htem into position. "Hold this pig steady," she calls out just before they follow suit. God, why did she do this? Like the Widow, 13 waits.... waits and then she too deploys a grappling hook, her people following her example afterward. "So going to talk to her about her entry methods..."
Don't Die and Set Us Down. These are orders that Doug can follow. He gives a prompt "Yes ma'am!" in response to the Widow and immediately retakes his seat at the controls, and he even helps J.A.R.V.I.S. out a bit more this time. He's totally getting a feel for this thing. Totally. The idea that Natasha and Sharon are going to be diving out of the carrier -- like that -- doesn't even seem to phase him.
Once the Quincarrier is settled, Doug is up again, falling in with Coulson and Karl without needing to be told. He also does not need to be told to take the gun from his shoulder holster, though he does look mildly uncertain about this particular part of the entire affair. Go figure.
As he releases his straps and stands, Karl taps at the pad again, and the display changes to a grid with a single, flashing blue point. "Target coordinates are 38.742302-27.229729." He looks up and points out the open ramp in the direction of the tower. "That way."
Having been given a compiece by an agent and told how to work it, it's clear the Thunderer is awed by the technology. First YouTube puppies curtesy of Pepper Potts, and now this! It just makes him grin. Sif's touch too, makes the Mighty Donar pause, eyes softening a touch, the smile growing a bit wistful. He's about to say something to the goddess when she steps away, no doubt to likewise be informed of this wonderful communications device. He leaves things unsaid for now.
The Iron Man's plan brings a frown to the Thudner God's face, and so Thor clicks on his comm to say, "Should thou require an additional warrior in thy distraction, Iron Man, summon me, and to thy side I shall fly; for thou art not alone in this battle."
Message delivered, and everyone preparing to disembark, Thor moves now to Sif, a hand coming to her shoulder. "Thy messengers found me, beloved," he says, a very soft is that apologetic smile on his face. "Upon our return, thanks must be given, and stories told," he adds with a touch of his usual mirth before it is time to move out. Thor follows the rest, flying at the speed a man runs, some three feet off the ground and is ready to summon a cyclone and fling himself in Tony's direction should the Iron Man call for aid.
As Widow barks orders, Spider-Man's finger shoots towards her as he looks to Doug, "I dunno about you, squire, but I'm followin' that one." After she leaps out, so does he, firing a web above hers in order not to go crunchy crunchy with her
Coulson waits patiently at the hatch for Doug and Karl, glancing over the latter's pad and out the door, taking a few seconds to match the map display to terrian outside, then nods and unslings the rifle, ducking down the ramp ahead of them with the weapon ready, and waves the pair to follow. "Let's go agents. If my hand comes up like this--" bent at the elbow, hand clenched in a fist-- "then you're stopped and silent. Clear?" He actually doesn't wait for a response before he's moving forward again, all business.
The technology was new, even to Sif, who was slightly more used to today modern marvels than Thor was. The explanaition of how to use it ended just in time for her to hear Iron Man's 'plan'. Her eyes roll and a shake of her head is given. He reminds her much of Thor in a way. There's nothing said about the plan. Just a smirk.
As others start to depart, Sif reaches for her sword only to feel Thor's hand come down on her shoulder. Her eyes meet his and she offers a gentle smile as well as a nod of her head. "Do not lose yourself, my love." No warrior's madness! Bad! Her hand reaches out to grip his for a moment before she turns and makes her way off the Carrier herself, drawing her sword in the process.
Whether the Quincarrier has decloaked or not, there's the fact that there are agents dropping from above and with the HYDRA Fortress being on high alert, HYDRA Agents are already rushing to battle stations and grabbing up arms and doing everything in their power to start shooting! To anyone that doesn't know what's going on, this is probably looks more like a scene from G.I. Joe than anything.
HYDRA Agents are armed with heavy artillery, with this being their home turf and all. So the guns that are blazing are not the pea shooters from Times Square. Also, there are more heavily trained and awesome agents that are in the woodworks right now. A handful of them take to the skies with jetpacks to see if they can't intercept the airborne assault! Pew pew pew!
On the ground? HYDRA comes in a green sea of evil as they are heeding the "HAIL HYDRA!" call and they are shooting at the Quincarrier and anybody disembarking like nobody's business. Careful on the ground, though, as that's where the HYDRA Ninja are hidden. They could come out of nowhere or anywhere or be right behind you at this very moment.
Which? They are! NINJA!
"Roger that, Blondie." Iron Man says through the comm as he dips and swirls, flipping in mid-air to send some repulsor blasts towards missiles that are getting too close. Way too close. JARVIS lets him know about the jetpacking HYDRA agents and he spins to let loose a volley of EMP Missiles in their direction. Hopefully, that will give his allies a little bit of cover. Except being still that long allows him to get blasted by some heavy shells from one of the HYDRA jets! And so he switches comms to Pepper directly, while dealing with getting shot, "No matter what you see, do not get off the Quincarrier. Promise me." He does not sound like he's trying to stay professional this time. He sounds a little worried. About her.
Inside, Madame Hydra and Asp are barking orders at agents and gearing themselves up for battle. They remain just outside the doors of the main war room, where all the scientists and such are trying to do their thing. "They do not get in there, Asp." "They will not, Mistress."
Meanwhile, Strucker is punching scientists in the head as the charging up of the machine is taking longer than it should. Blasted heroes!
Pepper Potts hates this kind of thing, others throwing themselves out of a perfectly functional aircraft before it touches down. What the hell possessed her to ... oh. Right. She watches everyone disembarking but stays in her seat, because of everyone, she's the absolutely LEAST prepared for whatever insanity Tony's roped them all into. Damn this pencil skirt. Why didn't she wear slacks today? "Promise," she says into the still-connected phone call.
Once everyone else has departed, she undoes her seatbelt and moves toward the front of the Quincarrier and all of the control panels there, looking everything over. Not exactly a PC computer, but she can read the labels on the buttons and stuff. "Is there anything I can help with from here?"
Try as he might to follow Widow, Spidey looks incredibly #fail as a HYDRA jetpacker grabs him from behind and knocks him off course. "Guh," mutters Spidey in disdain as he lets his web cut and uses the propulsor-guy to hold them both up. A quick web to the face covers the HYDRA's vision and an elbow to the throat loosens his grip. Soon, they're both freefalling out of the sky, out in to nothing. Gonna leave this wor-Wait. Sorry.
The Black Widow flips onto the tower roof at the end of her swing, landing lightly and reeling the grapple back in automatically with a quiet zzzzip. "Echo team topside. We'll look for a way in up here," she notes over the comm. As the jet-pack wearing HYDRA agents come her way she shakes her head. "They never learn," she mutters, looking entirely non-plussed. Then she fires both Widow's Lines at an airborne baddie, then swings him forcefully into his fellow jetpackers. Collision alarm ahoy! Hopefully something will explode. It's always more fun when things explode.
The other team comes in somewhere to the south of Widow's, putting them not too far but far enough to make searching for entrance into the tower a bit fast. Or so Sharon hopes. She's distraced when a few of the jetpack flying HYDRA men come towards them, it a sight that makes her frown. "At least they're not sniping," she grunts, still bitter over the last face off. A rifle comes off of her back and is aimed for which ever of the fliers is cloest to their landing point, hoping to buy the others some time. "Go in, I'll follow."
Doug glances briefly to Karl before he offers a simple, crisp "Yessir," in response to Coulson and does not hesitate to follow him into the fray. Oh, he wants to, but he made a commitment, and he's not about to let the Widow's faith in him go to waste. They need to get to that tower, and he is going to make himself believe this is a really immersive FPS and the HYDRA goons are worth /mad points/ long enough to help himself, Coulson and Karl make it there in one piece. As he manages to catch a ninja in the chest with a blast before it can reach them, he decides that those guys? Totally worth extra points.
Karl doesn't reply to Coulson as he moves into formation behind the senior agent, just slips his hand into the pad's field strap as he smoothly draws his own sidearm. He does give Doug glance and faint nod--acknowledgment? reassurance?--as he moves out, pad held up and close in so that he can monitor both it and the terrain at need.
And almost at once that terrain explodes in a green hell. Stay together - move - and, as he is suddenly caught by a leg-sweep from what appeared to be nothing but jungle shrub alongside their path, drop-roll-turn and fire twice as he comes to his feet. The HYDRA ninja jerks twice as the rounds catch him face and chest. Karl doesn't wait for him to fall but spins and sprints back into the formation that charges on toward the tower.
As he exits, Thor noted Pepper's presence but said nothing to his friend from the Duck Pond in Central Park. He moves with the three agents: Coulson, Doug, and Karl; Thor notes that Pepper is not with them. Sif's words, which he had nodded to before disembarking, made him grin. He's still grinning as he throws his hammer in a wide arc, seeking to topple as many as he can. He side steps as he summons Mjolnir back to his hand, changing his location relative to the weapon so that it can hit more HYDRA ground forces on its way back to him.
"My Goddess and I shall protect thee, mortal! Inform us of a direction and to there we shall charge," Thor calls out to the three agents near him, eyes flicking to Sif once Mjolnir rests firmly in his hand. His left hand presses to his ear to once more activate the comlink (This thing is handy and WAY easier than a cell phone!)
"Iron Man; a lady remained in the airship. I know not if she is protected. I offer thee my Sword -- She can egress with a thought should it be required. Hath thou a way to inform us if thy Lady needeth aid," Thor asks of Tony, voice broadcast to all. Hand falling from his ear, the prince gives Sif a nod.
"Be thee ready to return to the airship, Sword Maiden," is all he needs to say. There is a lady there.
And then it's back into the fray, hammer smiting foes, mighty stomps to the ground causing minor tremors that shake and fling any ground bound ninjas unfortunate enough to be caught off guard. There's even a rumble of thunder or four and some round globes of lightning being flung about. Thor refuses to acknowledge any attacks that land, though he growls and strikes mightily at those that do connect. His poor hair is getting mussed so!
It's somewhat in vogue to tease Agent Coulson about the Captain America trading cards(coz y'all jelly-- they're vintage!), but the fact is, that where most kids grow up idolizing a hero, Phil actually put his money where his mouth was. Nothing like the unassuming, polite agent so many people are used to seeing, the man advances ahead of Doug and Karl, snap-firing the rifle to gun down HYDRA agents as he goes, pausing only to rifle-butt NinjaHYDRA in the face with a detached efficiency. He tries not to think about the similarities to soldiers going over the top, or Omaha beach, especially not with Doug and Karl behind him. Keep the momentum. When Thor asks for a target, he's quick to point the direction Karl indicated back on the Quincarrier. "We need to punch in there ASAP!"
Sif had noted Pepper's presence on the carrier but was otherwise occupied and didn't get the chance to speak to her. She moves with Thor with the practiced ease of someone that has fought by his side for many years. That blade of hers is brought into play more than once as she moves, ducks, twirls and slices being made.
Sif is more than capable of guarding someone or clearing a path. The moment she's charged with protect the Agents, almost her full attention turns to keeping people from them, sword skills and teleportation alike being put to use to do so.
Thor's voice sounds over the comm-unit and she smirks slightly, pale blue eyes flickering to him. "At thy command, mine God." The reponse is simple. A warrior following orders. And all done without ever stilling. Those who are lucky enough to make it past her blade and land a blow to her regret it moments later most assuredly.
Coulson's response to Thor causes her eyes to widen before she winces. Oooh no. She can guess what's coming. An amused smirk is tossed to Thor and then to Coulson before she actually laughs! He asked for it!
The Quincarrier has everything ever on the HYDRA Island and the HYDRA Fortress. There's also a main comm inside that's connected to all the others. Which will allow Pepper to pass info along to those that are on the Island and on the Tower. If Pepper wants to relay information, that's probably going to be the biggest help ever. The Green Dots? Good Guys. The Red Dots? Bad Guys. There's lots of Red Dots. But there's also a way into the tower. But it will need to be exploded.
Hopefully, Spidey can get rid of his assailant before hitting the ground. Pepper, keep an eye on his dot. In case he needs assistance.
The Tower Roof is pretty clean. Except for, y'know, the part where HYDRA soldiers are climbing up and over the side so they can get the drop on the Black Widow. Her jetpackers are knocked into explosionville! A couple of them manage to parachut-- oh wait, no, parachutes are on fire. Nice moves, Natasha.
Agent 13's shots might as well be in slow motion. The way those bullets cut right through the fuel lines of the jet packs and create miniexplosions that cause those jetpacking fools to lose course and smash into the Fortress itself or each other? Magnifique! Pepper? Please let Sharon know there's a ladder to get her to the Tower Roof nearby.
200 Points! 300 Points! 700 Points! The totals just keep racking up with Doug's shots. Whatever the High Score of Call of Duty: S.H.I.E.L.D. Ops was before? It just got Doug'd. The ninja are not to be taken too lightly, though, as a couple flip by with swords to try and get Doug trapped between them. And their swordplay is impeccable. They are BLOCKING BULLETS. What the hell? Teach 'em how to Dougie, Ramsey.
Hail Karl! That ninja gets a facefull of bullets and that's not good for him. By the time he hits the ground, though, shurikens are sent sailing in Karl's direction. From above! That's right, there's ninja swinging above them and hurling shurikens of epic high techery down at them! Picking up speed may be the best bet if they don't want to be fried or exploded by these top tier HYDRA gadgets!
Hammer time does not even begin to explain what is happening right now. Mjolnir takes out HYDRA agents like they were green flavored tin foil. Really, these lamers are no match for the Mighty Thor. Seriously. But, y'know, something can be said for HYDRA Humvees coming up over the terrain and rushing for Thor from at least five different directions. And the bullets coming from the gatling guns attached are HUGE. Can you handle that, Thor?! CAN YOU?!
His name is Agent Badass. Each and every HYDRA agent that gets in his way is Coulson'd. In fact, there might as well be slow motion, because those agents fall this way and that way, as if parting like a green sea of failed attempts at harming Agent Coulson. Even the HYDRA Ninja have a 'Huh?!' face on as they are riflebutted up in the facial expression. One or two of them actually just duck back down into the shrubbery. F That.
Swordmaiden! HYDRA might as well not even try. They are sliced and diced into Julienne HYDRA flavored fries. Teleportation keeps them on their toes, but they are horrible on their toes. There are only a couple that manage to get past her and her blade, teaming up with the ninja HYDRA that ran from Coulson, as they start to head for the Quincarrier.
Iron Man manages to right himself and blasts away at that jet, making sure that it goes off in the random direction of where Spidey fell. Perhaps there will be some luck in the way that jet falls. Who knows. "Pepper. You got incoming." Iron Man says into the comm of the Quincarrier. "Please tell me you played those games I bought you. At least once." If Pepper looks around the control panel, she'll see some of the weapon controls. Use them! Either way, Iron Man is trying to make his way back over there, but he's got HYDRA bogies on him like crazy. Not a good look and he doesn't need their overfire messing up his Quincarrier. So he's leading them on a wild goose chase towards the jungles.
Insides, Madame Hydra and Asp are armed and ready for war. They have no idea about anything that's going outside of the corridor that they are guarding. HYDRA agents are guarding the only two entrances to this corridor and they are guarding the entrance to the room where the Cosmic Cube is.
Inside that room? The machine has finally started up. And the cube is being used to power charge something much bigger at the far end of the room. Something that looks almost like a Stargate. What the hell is HYDRA up to? "Yes. Yessss." von Strucker clasps his hands together with an evil smile.
Pepper Potts studies the various controls for a moment, then settles into one of the chairs to the side of the main pilot's seat. Tapping at buttons quickly, she starts pulling up data on the display panel in front of her. "J.A.R.V.I.S., link me to the communication channel they're using. Oh, and can you scan for any other communication frequencies being used around here?"
She finally figures out the Quincarrier's basic command structure and gets it to pull up a display of where they're at and the associated red and green dots. She tosses her bluetooth aside hurriedly when Tony's voice emanates from the speakers instead of the civilian earpiece, then spots the controls he's indicated. "Um... yeah, a couple of times." She goes for the controls, and starts the multitasking that IS something she can do. "Near the Tower roof, there's a ladder twenty feet to your left." The Quincarrier's guns swivel a bit jerkily, but smooth out quickly and start to track the humvees. "Someone's falling, anyone who can catch might want to get over there." She leans and hastily slaps a control panel and the ramp into the Quincarrier closes before any of the incoming HYDRA can reach it. "Please tell me this can is bulletproof." She waits for J.A.R.V.I.S. to tell her the results of her query about communication channels.
POP! POP! POP! Spidey is bunching the face shield of the HYDRA over and over until it splinters and breaks. Finally, he can get at this d-bag's face. After a swarm of punches and a ton of concern, Spidey fires a line of webbing at the last possible moment. It jerks his body hard and he bends in a way that most others would snap important bones like 'neck' and 'back', but adjusts quickly and gets himself under control, and just then the jet comes to his direction. He takes the controls and brings himself the rest of the way down.
The Black Widow decides to make their own entrance from the roof. As she turns to face the HYDRA agents climbing over the edge, she unlatches her belt and throws the entire thing at their feet. "Fire in the hole!" she snaps over the comm, before diving behind a vent. Did we mention all those discs on her belt are filled with explosive? She triggers them to go off beneath the Hydra soldiers.
"Awesome. Thanks," Sharon says to Pepper before turning and dashing towards the ladder, assuming it's her Tony's assistant's addressing, finding it easiy and climbing it with very little hassle. The sound of footfall ringing upon the rungs has her reassured that her men also heard Pepper's directions, all present and accounted for. The ascent slows before she pulls herself up over the edge once the top's reached, Sharon hoping they won't get ambushed.
Even with a God of Thunder and Swordmaiden on his side, Doug cannot help skidding to a stop when he realizes that NINJAS are BLOCKING BULLETS with SWORDS. This is the new wallhacking, seriously, and it is just plain not fair. What Doug can't figure out is why their motions are making the back of his mind tickle the same way it does when he's confronted with unfamiliar languages.
No time to think about that now. Adjusting the grip on his gun, Doug just /acts/ -- swords don't bother him nearly as much as guns do, and he can use his to smack the sword aside and land a solid punch, if he just turns his brain off and follows his instincts. His mind says duck; he ducks. It says zig; he zigs. It says launch a knee into the other ninja's junk; he'll give it the old college try.
Maybe, just maybe, S.H.I.E.L.D. knew what they were doing when they decided Doug was worth picking up after all. They could very well know more about his mutation than he does.
Judging by how wide his eyes have gone, even with everything else happening having Thor at his back and on his earpiece appears to be the most shocking thing that Karl has been through today. Or maybe it is Mjolnir that draws his attention as his eyes follow its arc.... he jerks his head away, back to the pad. "Target is stationary," he says to his comm as he moves. "Looks to be above ground level." Breathe. Move. Fire--and for a moment, as the shuriken that has landed behind him detonates with a white-hot flash, fly. He rolls again as he lands, but that landing was hard enough to send a spray of dirt in front of him. It is a moment before he can get his feet back under him and start to catch up to the rest of the team.
"I know not what ASAP means, mortal, but if thou wishes in the tower," Thor calls out to Coulson, charging forward. Yes, Sif, that's the Donar you remember, back in full form and ready to play. Those blue-gray eyes, dancing with the joy of battle spy the humvees. He grins then grunts faintly as the first of the bullets strike him. They dent his armor, tear his red cloak, and send him to a knee. That's going to bruise for an hour, at least. The hit to the ribs is going to mar him for probably the evening, and that bullet to the thigh that dropped him? Yeah, Thor's going to be flying for the rest of this fight, or until he catches a moment to use Mjolnir to cast CURAGA on himself, whichever.
Growling and still on his knee, Thor's eyes electrify and a crack of thunder rings out. Mjolnir is hefted to the heavens, two bolts striking the hammer's surface, charging it, and dancing from side to side along the hammer's width, coalesing into a single fat bolt of white-bolt voltage. So charged, Thor levels the hammer at the approaching humvees and traces a wide arc from his right side to his left, strafing a continuous stream of lightning at the approaching vehicles.
He'll move again when the threat is past, for he has his target: The Tower. Coulson wants in and by Odin's Beard in Coulson will go! (No one comment. Thank you.)
It occurs to Coulson to consider that perhaps he should have picked more specific terms for the... enthusiastic man with the hammer. Whatever, the mission needs to get done-- he really doesn't care how. He turns back to his trainees... and pauses briefly, tilting his head at Doug's motions. that's... intersting. But also not important! He lets Doug handle on ninja, and drives a boot at the other's knee, pulling a pair of greanades from his harness. He thumbs the pins, and lobs them back over Karl's head to teach any remaining jerk ninjas a lesson in smart career choice. And also to cover his people from more of the same. "Alright, we're headed in! Follow the big guy-- Move! Move! Move!" It's like a drill instructor or something.
Another faint chuckle from the Goddess as she catches the Thunder God charging in. She makes certain to move with Coulson and his team, keeping as many from him as possible. The words about Pepper draw some concern from the Goddess but until she's told otherwise, she's going to assume the woman can handle herself.
Those that made it past her earn a faint growl from the Sword Maiden but she trusts the agents to be able to handle them while she focuses on making sure none others get through. That is, until her eyes spot Thor being taken to his knee.
There's a split second of hesitation before she growls loudly and turns away from the God, sure he can handle it as she watches the lightning collect. It's then that Coulson's words catch her attention and she chuckles, the glimmer of the battle once more being restored to her eyes.
J.A.R.V.I.S. is on top of it like Alfred is on top of making Tea. Communication frequencies pop up on the screen in front of Pepper, giving her an All Access Pass to the coordinating of HYDRA agents. Looks like the freckled redhead is about to get her Oracle on. Maybe it's a good thing she didn't stay at the tower. Somebody has to keep the Quincarrier running, right?
Poor HYDRA agent just got Spidey'd. There's a reason why he's a menace and that dude had to find out the hard way. Nice catch on the jet, though, which is what makes this all that much more stylish. Luckily, the jet touched down not too far from a spidey sized entrance to the Fortress. Air Ducts FTW.
BOOMBOOMBOOM! It doesn't do anything but make HYDRA soldiers go airborne and a giant hole in the Tower's roof. A hole that's right above that corridor of HYDRA Injustice. That's one way to get inside.
Whatever was about to ambush Sharon just got blown sky high by the Black Widow. So there's some easy access for her and Widow inside. Her agents will also get to come inside with them. For back up. Too bad the explosion lets both Madame Hydra and Asp know somebody's coming. BULLETS!!
Um. What just happened? Did HYDRA just get own'd to all holy bejeezus by a nerd? Yes. Yes, they did. Doug's movements are so beyond HYDRA's feeble minds that they don't even know they are down until Doug's long gone. One of them, that's still alive, actually groans out, "... the hell was that?" And then he's out like Neil Patrick Harris.
Karl's got some room, thanks to Doug's stylish victories. So catching up is a piece of cake. There's really just too much heroic force for HYDRA to be recking with and thus why they are getting totally beat down. A ninja hops out from the side, but a random shuriken catches him and fries him before he can actually take a swing at Karl.
The HYDRA Humvees get nothing but a brutal shock! Fried into explosivity, there's screams from the HYDRA agents inside, but each and every one of them are totaled. Thor's Might is Mighty. The Tower, for the record, will be no match for the Mighty Thor. And there's nothing else in his path. Open Says Thee?
Coulson gets the luxury of an explosive path. Thanks to those grenades, making it to the tower is going to look all the more epic and stylish, because whatever HYDRA agents are back there? Toast. Literally. Sif's got a free pass. JARVIS will likely have the the Quincarrier's armaments up to take out those remaining straggler HYDRA agents. So shes' all clear to go with the rest of the team through the THOR DOOR!
As far as Iron Man goes, he's still trying to lose his assailants in the jungle. Not going to happen. But wait, is that a small volcano? FWOOSH! And the jets follow. This probably will not end well.
Madame Hydra & Asp vs Black Widow and Agent 13. Boss Battle. Begin.
Strucker? He's still rubbing his hands together evilly, while waiting for his portal to open up. The team better hurry up and get there before whatever he's trying to summon gets summoned! THOR YOUR WAY IN!
Don't think about it, they're not people, they're just red dots, just press the Fire button... Pepper sees the humvees earn Thor's attention and suspects they're about to start floundering like a pond full of electrocuted fish, so she instead starts the Quincarrier's weapons firing at the remaining red dots swarming up the side of the Tower after the green dots there that include 'B.Widow'. At the same time, JARVIS comes back with the answer about the communication signals and she says hastily, "JARVIS, send feeback over all of those commlines, now."
"Beeeyooootiful!" exclaims Spidey as he sneaks into the airduct on his fingers and toes. He scurries quickly inside, figuring that even a small ruckus wouldn't be heard over the commotion. . o O (Now now. If I were a device with the ability to destroy the world, where would I hide?) He stops at a fork in the tiles. He looks left. He looks right. He goes straight ahead.
The Black Widow drops down through the hole she made in the roof. "Hello Viper," she calmly addresses Madame Hydra. These two have been trying to kick each other's teeth in for quite some time. As the hail of bullets flies at Natasha, she activates the fibers in her costume that allow her to wall crawl. She does several backflips then runs at the side of the corridor and up the wall, scrambling across the ceiling. A few yards from her quarry she swings her upper body downward while her feet continue sticking to the ceiling . In the same motion her hands cross over her chest to haul both Glocks from her shoulder holsters and unload them at the green-haired woman.
Sharon bolts inside and goes towards where the sound of weapons fire can be heard, readying herself for a firefight. As the targets Natasha are located once she finds where the Widow is located she starts to send full auto rifle fire towards the very same targets, the blond agent quiet, expression stone-like.
If it's any consolation, HYDRA dude, Doug has no freaking idea what just happened either. It takes Coulson's shouting to snap him out of his mild, perplexed daze as he stands over the downed ninja, and then he's turning to scramble far less gracefully after Karl and through the THOR DOOR. He will follow the man with the map. It seems like a pretty good strategy to him, even with J.A.R.V.I.S. feeding him what information it has over his earpiece.
Incoming - but not for him this time. Karl hunkers down as he sprints, bracing against the explosion that kicks up yellowred behind him and not pausing as he catches the other agents. "Target signature getting much stronger," he says. "Fast."
Path clear. There's no time. Thor can sense it. Eyes still electric blue, the god launches himself at the door...wall..that over there that is the part of the Tower that Coulson wanted to get inside of, ripping up the ground as the tornado swirls around him. It spins, writhes, and finally rips into wall before the Storm Lord. Thor follows the winds, letting the tonrado he was riding unravel about him so as to drop the rubble in time for the rest of the team behind him. This drops more than bits of wall. This sudden sheering of supportive winds also drops Thor. He pushes forward with his own power of flight, one of the inante gifts that sets him apart from other Asgardians, so that his momentum takes him into what remains of the wall.
This poor, poor wall. Tornado, then a falling Thor striking at it with the full might of Mjolnir. In the exertion, Thor yells, crashing through whatever the wall was made of and tumbling inside the hall. End over end a few times he goes, cape in tatters about him, eyes already darting about for danger even as he seeks to pull a gust of wind in behind him through Thor-made hole in the wall. No point in having his fellow warriors blinded while getting through the opening he created for them.
Coulson makes a satisfied noise to himself as Doug and Karl pick it up and get their move on, hanging back to cover them while they breach the tower. Thor can certainly handle any nasty surpises inside, and he's already on point anyway. Hearing Karl's report, he raises his voice over the comm. "It must be activating. We need to get that thing now!"
Sif draws up behind Thor as he opens the wall up for everyone. There's a hint of pride in her eyes as she looks at the Thunderer before her attention turns to Coulson and his team. A sharp nod of her head is given since those HYDRA agents that were following them seem to be all cleared out. For now at least.
The report that comes through and Coulson's own words cause the Goddess' back to stiffen and her eyes to cut to the team of Agents and then over to Thor. "Where?" It's a simple question. Maybe she could even teleport someone to the general area of where they need to be. Maybe.
Using JARVIS as a weapon? Nicely done, Pepper. Which is why the feedback attack is perfect. It has soldiers doing something like not shooting and instead having to deal with the craziness going on in their ears and heads at the moment. That's right, some of them have implants. Only the higher ups have protection against such attacks.
Straight ahead is the right path, Spidey! Because the power coming from the damn Cosmic Cube mixed with all the other equipment is enough to draw anyone, let alone a Spider-Man with Spider-Sense towards it. Danger is definitely coming from thattaway! And by the time the crawling is done, there's another duct grate which opens up into the room with a cube.
Madame Hydra only has enough time to hurl her cloak off, so she's fit to battle. Bullets come back at her and she's doing the only thing she knows how to do... and that's dodge like a mofo. It's almost too perfect or too easy or too something, the way she's almost a match for the Black Widow. "You will not survive this time, Widow!" Viper bends backwards to dodge a pair of bullets aimed for her head and ends up flinging a pair of poison darts from her wrist gauntlet in the Widow's direction!
"You're cute." the voice of Asp comes from behind Sharon. It's almost hypnotic in a way. She's smiling even and her body doesn't seem to stop moving. Her hands are glowing though, so that's probably a bad sign. "Shame I'm going to have to kill you." And here comes a pair of venom bolts right towards Sharon!!
Thor is leading the way for the rest of the team. It's not going to take them any time to get to the main room. Which, of course, is filled with HYDRA agents and Strucker. The Thor Door leads directly beneath the Boss Battle overhead, though if anybody looks up they'll be able to see the Four Way Female Fight going on. Random HYDRA fools pop out of here and there, taking potshots but nothing that can't be handled with ease.
Strucker can hear what's going on. "Fools!" He shoves a pair of scientists out of the way and turns up the machine to You Shouldn't Do That. And that's when the machine starts shaking, pulling an overabundance of power from the Cosmic Cube. But the tearing a hole in the fabric of reality is happening MUCH faster now. Anything tracking this Cube's signature will be able to predict what's going to happen if it doesn't get yanked out of that machine. Soon. Very soon.
The fabric that's tearing? Something's trying to come through. And Strucker is risking the safety of this entire Fortress to make sure of that. Ignoring all the warning beeps of overheating and what else. Not good. For anybody inside right now.
Pepper Potts sees all of the green dots save one are inside now, so turns the guns upward to start taking out the airborne red dots pestering Tony. No way in HELL she is letting him get exploded and thus avoid a much-deserved talking-to. Then a little alarm signal draws her attention and she reads JARVIS's accompanying message. "Um, something really bad is happening in there. JARVIS says there's a power buildup unlike anything he recognizes, and that it needs to be stopped right away." That's really all she can do to help those inside the Tower currently. So it's back to playing the most dangerous game of Duck Hunt ever. Red dot, byebye.
. o (Say what you want about the nosebleeds, baby, but sometimes they're your best bang for the buck. You don't have to worry about crowds. . .and you get yourself a good view of the action.) A Spidey head droops down. . o O (Eureka!. . .Now. How to get it.) He slinks down along his line, upside down with his feet together and his knees straight out. . o O (Shhhhh. Silent Spider. Be a silent spider.) The other arm reaches out and he fires his web, trying to snag the cube. If successful, he's up the line and moving through those ducts as fast as his wiry Spidey-body will take him.
Natasha simply cuts off the wall crawling ability of her suit and drops down to the floor beneath the darts, although one grazes her arm and tears up her suit. If it's poisoned her, she isn't showing it, yet. She lands in a three point stance, then raises her uninjured arm to fire off a Widow's Bite at Viper's face, then a second at the ceiling above the woman, hoping to bring it down on top of her. "Not today, Madame Hydra."
At first Sharon is lulled into a place that's near-complacent, brought into such a state by that voice. Her eyes glaze over for as long as Asp speaks but the spell is broken as soon as the attack is pressed by the exotic woman. The blasts shake her out of it and she's able to dodge, moving out of the way just in time. Steeling herself, she goes on the offensive, fists swinging over and over again.
Unfortunately for the member of HYDRA, Sharon has a lot of pent up anger and soon the punches are joined by kicks and even a nasty headbutt that 13 will feel for days.
Things activating in places like this is not a good thing. "Maybe we can shut down the machine," Doug suggests to the group around him, hurrying along towards the main event. He takes a quick look around... and pauses, clicking his tongue. Of course. Of course the biggest, scariest looking guy in the room is standing at what must be the controls they'd need to reach. He bites his lip, thinking, before he turns to Thor and Sif and points towards Strucker. "If you can get that guy out of the way, I think the three of us can shut this thing down. It would be safer than just blowing it up."
With Sif drawing up near him, Thor floats and keeps his right knee slightly bent. There is no time. Midgard cries. He charges forward, hammer bashing whatever agents get in his way until... There. The source of Midgard's distress! That tearing, ripping of the fabric between worlds, seeking to pull something through washes over him, making him want to just charge first and think later. That is, until there's a whisper, as if Jord herself sought to sooth her son long enough for Doug's words to slide through. That guy, out of the way?
"Aye, mortal. Thy will be done," booms the prince.
"Goddess," Thor calls, pointing Mjolnir at Strucker. "Let us dance!"
And Thor flying charges the big bad guy by the weird, mortal built altar of technology stuff that makes his brain hurt if he tries to think about it too long. No great hurricanes or tornadoes to propel him forward, just his own flight, moving him at the speed a normal mortal can run. Surely Sif knows the tactic. The engaged couple have used it before. He plays the hammer, forcing the foe backwards...
Sif's eyes dart upwards at the battle overhead and she can't help but smirk before her attention is drawn back to her surroundings. Doug's words earn him the slightest flicker of attention from him before Thor speaks.
The Goddess laughs and gives a single nod. "Aye, My Lord!" Her sword is twirled and for a moment, it looks as if she's going to advance on the man. Instead, she blinks out of existance only to reappear not even a second later behind Strucker. She stands there, waiting until the time is right and completely silent.
The advantage to S.H.I.E.L.D. and other basically good-guy organizations is... say it with us: Teamwork. Which is why, while scannning the room for threats so Thor can take out the Big Problem of the moment, Coulson spies the ladies fighting it out overhead, and why he contributes a spray of bullets in an attempt to throw Asp and Madam Hydra off-balance. "Doug... can you talk to the thing?" It's crazy... but... oh, why not, he already instructed a norse god in comms operation on the flight here.
Pepper's peppering (ha!) of the red dots with some JARVIS targeting is epic and perfectly timed. Iron Man's descent towards the volcano was about to burn him up and then he realizes he's no longer target locked. "... Pepper. Get them outta' there." is all he says to her, which may have a 'thank you' tone to his voice. But he can't say that to her. Because she's not supposed to be here anyway.
Spidey's webbing connects to the cube, but it's kind of overpowered. Which means that there's some strong cosmic energy flowing up that webbing and probably into the Spider-Man. It's going to sting. A lot. But does he have the willpower to HOLD ON?!
Viper is good, but Black Widow is better. While she was more worried about getting the poison inside the Widow, she was not prepared for such speedy retaliation. "Yes, toda--" And there comes the ceiling. It crunches down on top of her. Taking cement to the head? Not a good look. The Viper is out.
Venom bolts missed? This causes Asp to hiss... and that's the last thing she gets to do. Wham! Wham wham! Bam! Bam bam! Bam! Asp can't even get a block in edgewise, thanks to Sharon being in Pissed Off Mode. She attempts to dodge, but at the moment she spots Viper going down and she hesitates, "Mistress." Thank You, Ma'am Headbutt. Asp's head rocks backwards and her eyes go cross eyed as she goes down.
Strucker does not want to leave the machine, but he has no choice. He was about to try and handle the webbing, but here comes Thor. His sword is kicked up into his hand and he whirls around to prepare for the battle. "You are too late! Soon, HYDRA will have all that it needs to destroy everything you hold dear!" He has no idea Sif is behind him. Or does he? He stands his ground, knowing Thor's headed for him, but uncaring. As there's something that will be amiss to those within a foot or so of him. They will get to feel the lightest beginnings of the Death Spore Virus that has tainted Baron von Strucker's bloodstream for years. "We will perish together!" His maniacal laughter only makes the feeling of weakness that some may feel from the Deathspore Virus even worse.
As far as the Cube goes, it's still pouring power into the webbing. It's starting to come loose. But somebody needs to shut down the machine so Spidey can get this thing out of here. Hang in there, Spidey!
Oh, by the way, the entire building is starting to shake and tremble. It's about to start coming down. Even the reality gate is starting to crumble.
The faster red dots are... annoying. Pepper didn't play that shooting game Tony bought her THAT often, so she instead tries to concentrate on the slower ones, hoping that'll be enough to clear the path for everyone else to get back here when they're ready to get back. "Runway's clear. Holler when you're ready to hightail it."
Wuwhwuwhwuwhwuwhwwuwhwuwhwuwhwuwhwuwhwuwh! Spidey shakes so hard he looks like he's vibrating at superspeeds. His hands stay around his web, but he's doing whatever he can to hold onto it as it shakes and rattles and pops and goes sideways in his webs grasp.
|"The structure of the building is unstable. Agent Coulson, Agent 13, we need to get the teams out of here Heading in to help secure the artifact,"| Widow barks over the comm. She steps over Viper, ok she steps ON Viper on her way into the room where Spider-Man is. She really doesn't like that woman. "Here to help, Webhead." She adds two Widow's Lines to Spidey's webbing to try and help haul the cube out of there. She leaves the machinery tampering to the techies.
Right. Now is a good time to leave and 13 is more than glad to convey her acknowledgement of the orders. Her men are rounded up and lead out, hurrying as much as they can while also making sure there are no targets that are in need of being taken out between points A and B.
Doug turns to give Coulson an odd look. "Talk to the -- the artifact?" he asks incredulously, eyebrows leaping up his forehead. Well... he's spoken to machines before. Why not? "...I'll give it a try." Setting his jaw, he turns and starts sprinting further into the room, trying hard to focus through the sounds of gunfire and a building threatening to collapse around him. If the Cube can be communicated with, he should be able to hear something... and he can. He doesn't know what the hell language it is, but he understands it.
The words that come out of Cypher's mouth are definitely no language spoken on Earth, or even Asgard, and his throat has some trouble forming a few of them correctly -- but he takes Coulson's advice from earlier in the day to heart. He is polite.
Whatever Doug said to it, it seems to have worked. The Cube comes quite abruptly loose of the machine and, with Spider-Man and the Widow working together, is easily yanked up into Spidey's waiting hands, leaving him free to make good a mad scramble of an escape back the way he came before the building can squish the web-head.
Doug is not sure what he was expecting. He blinks once, shouts a "Thank you!" into the empty air where the Cube just was, then turns to make a mad dash back towards Coulson. They should leave. Like, quickly.
A wave of ...ugh, that's horrible. Like a hangover, but worse. Thor's vision blurs, and he can feel his arms wanting to weaken. But no! He will /not/ falter. His eyes crackle again, as do the runes of Mjolnir. There's an additional rumble from the sky outside the tower as a window rattling crack of thunder covers the whole of the island.
"Thou doth not know whom thou faces, mortal," Thor bellows at Strucker seeking to literally hammer his foe backwards toward the waiting Sif. Though he restrains his strength, as always, he is feeling weaker than his usual, strength sapped by the vile feel of their foe's venom, the disease. His strike lacks his typical finese and doesn't set up the final blow for Sif as neatly as it nearly does.
"Is it done," he calls out, forgetting the comlink. He does not like this feeling.... at all. Weakening, Thor begins to back himself away, calling out again.
"Goddess, fall back!" There's something more than a mere warrior's concern in his rumbling voice as he glides back toward the three mortal agents in his 'party'.
Huh. Well. That's quite a Thing. Coulson rally hadn't expected much when he suggested the idea to Doug. Curiouser and curiouser. But no time to wonder about it now! He cuts his comm and gives a sharp, piercing whistle instead. "Everyone back to the carrier! Place is coming down and we got what we came for!" He pauses long enough to make sure people are moving, then clicks his comm back on. |"Widow, Coulson. We're out of here, double time. Is the package secure?"|
Sif's back stiffens, brows knitting downwards before she gives her head a quick, hard shake as if trying to dislodge something. She can feel herself contiually weakening and it sets her edge. There's a flicker of worry as she looks to Thor before her composure is regained.
Strucker is knocked back against her just as the Goddess flips the blade and grips the pummel of the sword in order to solidify and strength her blows. She may be weak but the weapon? Not so much. She gets a good three, solid hits in before a swift and forceful kicks, paired with one last hit from Mjolnir, sends him flying back and straight at the gate.
Thor's call to afterwards gets a sharp nod from the Sword Maiden who is quick to join the God at his side. The building is coming down far too fast for her liking.
Teamwork. It's the only way to Hero.
When the cube comes loose, the power to the machine's portal is severed. Considering that it was not shut down properly, the only thing that can happen is a chain reaction of small implosions that has the gate falling apart and raining down from above, much like the Fortress itself. It's all coming down now.
As long as Spidey doesn't make a wrong turn, he'll be able to get back out of the air duct he came in through, with the cube. But he's probably going to smell like burnt Spider-Man. Oh well. As long as they've got the cube, right?
There's nothing in the way of the Heroes Return. HYDRA agents have been taken down on the way in and Pepper's use of the Quincarrier has made sure of it. Getting back to the carrier will be a piece of cake.
Baron von Strucker is STRUCK like nobody's business and he's thrown through the air and towards the falling gate. It all comes down on top of him, along with the rest of the Fortress that starts to fall in epic Indiana Jones style.
Iron Man swoops in through the Thor Door and blasts debris as it falls to make sure everybody gets clear, following closely and blasting away, "So glad I spent so many hours playing Space Invaders."
Pepper Potts watches the green dots on her console display starting to head back toward the Quincarrier and reaches to set the boarding ramp down again. "JARVIS says that the building's structural integrity is failing. Please hurry. Tony, that means you too. Not negotiable." She then starts following JARVIS's instructions on getting the craft ready to fly so it can take off the moment everyone is on board. Damnit, Tony, this is NOT part of her job description!
|"Package is secure, Coulson,"| Natasha responds. She moves to help Spidey wrap the cube up safely but suddenly sways unsteadily, "Damn...poison..." she mutters, right before passing out.
"Whoa, sugar," Spidey says as he catches Widow with his off hand. "Too much vodka for this one," he says with his best Bond accent. Luckily he is strong and Widow is light. One arm puts her over his shoulder and the young hero is bookin' it.
The return trip is not as danger-filled but by no means is it any more fun than the entry but Sharon will ruminate on that fact later. Right now they're hauling balls out, leaving her no time to think.
Doug needs very little encouragment to run like a madman for the Thor Door and Quincarrier beyond, though he does keep half an eye on Karl and Coulson to be sure they're free and clear, as well. He'll take stock of his state once he's back to safety -- adrenaline's doing a good job of helping him ignore the scrapes and bruises he's managed to pick up fighting ninjas. Stupid, stupid ninjas.
Karl Walters vacates the crumbling building with the rest of them.
Thor flies, moving as quickling at the Agents near him. He does not feel well, and so often looks over his shoulder for Sif and the mortals. Should any falter, Thor will bolster them to their feet. Reaching the carrier, the god hovers by the ramp, helps any others still outside before he flies in himself. Eyes close, Runes glimmer, and Thor full heals quickly. No trace of the venom's fatigue, no battle scraps or bruses. His eyes open to regard the warriors whom stood bravely by his side. A grin begins to form, them blooms into a smile. The hammer flickers to life again. There will be clear blue skies all the way home.
"Twas a good battle," Thor declares with a chuckles, as if he had just finished playing the most epic game of whack-a-bilgesnipe /ever/.
Agent Coulson does not seem inclined to stick around longer than necessary. Quite the opposite. Once he's sure Doug and Karl are getting out while the getting's good, he takes off for the carrier without delay, storming up the ramp when they get there. He's had quite enough of this remote fortress location for one day, thank you.
Sif, despite her weakened state from the venom as well as the bruises, scrapes and few cutes, makes her way to the carrier without any issue what so ever. She immediately takes up a stance next to Thor when he enters. His smile causes her to chuckle and return one of her own. "Aye. It was at that, My Lord. A very good battle." She looks out over the assembled team and smiles. "You all fought well." It's her form of a compliment.
The HYDRA Fortress is totaled. It has come down like a ton of a thousand bricks. There is nothing but debris left. Bodies are every where. The heroes are long gone. HYDRA has lost this day.
Deep in the bowels of the fallen tower, the debris shifts. A worn and trembling hand pushes through the debris in an effort to claw free. It's a slow process. One that is not to be taken lightly. And it is not working too well.
That is until a black glove grabs hold of that hand and pulls. As the debris moves, Baron von Strucker climbs from beneath the rubble, staggering. His cut face and arms healing as he gets steady on his feet. A moment passes and he smiles. "Gentlemen."
Black Boots are the same on two pairs of legs, before the rest of these very old and very familiar uniforms can be seen. They stand upon the rubble and they are sneering at von Strucker, as their identities become quite clear, due to their very distinctive looks: Red Skull. Baron Zemo.
Strucker's voice continues, even as the three of them look out over the horrible mess that has been made. "... Welcome Home."