(Been a while, but I return and hopefully regularly to the longest running FF on our FF section)
New York Iron Hall
“I don’t like Helfitta’s plan,” Iron Claw told his master as he walked three steps behind. “Cloned creatures, fake assassinations, a shell game to what end?”
The Supreme Commander stopped dead to glare at his personal killer. Stryfe watched the man’s eyes lower quickly like a scolded dog. “Iron Claw, you are simply a beast. Leave the thinking to those with actual brains.”
“…yes, my lord.”
“You will be soon heading the New Latverian front,” Stryfe spun on his heels, cape splaying out behind him. “I tire of this witch Danvers sitting upon the throne of Doom. You will remove her.”
“Yes my lord.”
Doomstadt, New Latveria
“A cosmic cube,” Carol Danvers eyed the device in Daniel Warstar’s hand. “And…are you restarting the X-Men?”
Daniel shrugged, not really getting her reference. “These are my students. One of them might take on the role when I’m, well dead. Bit morbid but essentially that’s who they are. Say hello to Krall, Naila, Kushtrim and Dhanny.”
“Hello, welcome to my palace,” Carol said waving her hand. “Now, cosmic cube?”
“I don’t really know what to do with it,” Warstar said.
“We end the war, today. In a blink.” Carol said. “Everything me, SHIELD, even Doom strived for. You can end the tyranny of The Supreme Commander.”
“It’s not really that simple,” Daniel replied.
“WHAT?” Carol snapped. “Are you stupid? You take the cube and you…”
“I came here because you’re probably the most sensible, level headed person I know,” Daniel said. “Look, hang on. Guys, can you go find a kitchen or a courtyard or somewhere inside this maze. Please.”
The quartet of magical children reluctantly headed for the door; as Carol paced back and forth. The large wooden door closed.
“Okay, now they’ve go…”
“Hand it over Daniel!” Carol demanded. One hand was extended but the other was charging up with energy. “You’re too young, too inexperienced to handle this.”
Daniel waved his hands encircling himself in a Shield of Seraph. “No.”
“Do you like this war? This constant state of fighting? Because I f&^%$# hate it! I’ve been alive since this whole planet went to hell and you turn up with a way TO STOP IT! What are you waiting for? An invitation? A parade? WHAT?”
“There are consequenc…”
Daniel skidded backwards as Carol smashed her fist into his force field. “People are dying every second you waste Daniel!”
“I think coming here might ha…”
Carol punched the bubble again. “Hand it over!”
“NO!” Daniel yelled back.
“GUARDS! GUARDS!” Carol yelled as she rained a flurry of blows onto the mystical shield. “I am under attack!”
Across the road from the New York Iron Hall
“Where exactly is Corporal America?” Jason asked his synthezoid companion.
“Corporal America has been working in the cafeteria of the Iron hall undercover and undetected,” Vision said. “He will allow us deeper penetration into the hall instead of us simply charging into the lobby.”
“Isn’t that our part of the plan? We’re the…” Jason paused as he watched Warforce One took off from the roof of the Hall. “Aw damn, seems we missed the big fish.”
“There are plenty more fish in the sea,” Vision replied.
“Was that a joke? Did you just make a joke?” Jason goaded as he nudged him.
“Shall we?” Vision said as he sunk into the road.
Ferrum, Brooklyn Heights
Anthony Salazar, Jessica Mongoose and Samantha Crowe-Toyama watched as the lab site began an evacuation due some sort of chaos going on inside the building that they had nothing to do with.
“Seems we stole these uniforms for nothing!” Anthony stated as he adjusted the Ferrum lab technician skivvy.
“Well we need to get in regardless,” Jessica said. “So let’s not look a gift horse in the eye.”
Loki looked at the miserable creature Morbius who was chained, shackled and muzzled in a secret dungeon unknown to all save himself. “Have you calmed down yet, or shall your starvation continue?”
Morbius’ dead red eyes stared deep into the eyes of the Norse king. “Need…blood.”
Loki smiled as he sat upon the rock steps and conjured up a silver pin. “It’s more than a need isn’t it.” He plucked the pin from the air and pricked his thumb, a small deep crimson blob formed. “Need doesn’t quite describe it, does it?”
Morbius strained against the chains, causing Loki to shift back slightly.
Ferrum, Brooklyn Heights
Jessica Mongoose stared at the screen in disbelief, her eyes skimming over the hacked data.
"We got about..." Hawkeye stopped as a repulsor blast took out the section of wall where his head would've been if he'd kept talking. "We're starked!"
"I got this," Samantha said diving into the corridor and rolling up to her feet to fire a barrage of claw-like spikes from gauntlets Vision had designed for her. The Iron Soldier’s visor shattered sending spikes and plexiglass into his face.
"Hellcat always seemed such a dumb codename," Hawkeye remarked. "Take it all back."
Dolph Stevenson sat against his desk, a hefty glass of scotch in hand as he looked out the window at New York by night.
Dolph glanced over to see General Falcon Helfitta standing behind him.
"They sent you to end my career," he scoffed in disgust. "Better you than that clawed bastard. You, I hope, will have the decency to simply shoot me in the head."
"I am not here to end you, Dolph," Helfitta said as he poured himself a scotch. "You are alive because I have need you."
"Stark off!" Dolph grimaced.
"Entirely true, you owe your miserable life to me," Falcon tossed him a datapad. "The whole attack on both the Iron Hall, and the data steal from here at Ferrum AND the little incident with, what was his name, ah yes Jack Payden, that you tried to pass of as an attack by a cell of Spiders, has been explained away and blamed upon the Avengers."
"The wanted felon Anthony Salazar aka Hawkeye, along with the traitor Nicholas Rogers aka Corporal America, were captured and summarily executed after their raid by their band of brigands, The Avengers, performed a surgical strike upon Ferrum and the New York Iron Hall." Stevenson read aloud.
"None of it true, but true enough to appease the Supreme Commander and spare your life from this," Helfitta leant over and tapped open another screen on the datapad to reveal Dolph Stevenson's termination order.
"Stark indeed," Helfitta sipped his scotch. "You are going to help me implement my plan. Now, this is John.”
Helfitta introduced a man who stepped from the shadows, a wolfish grin on his lips. "I don't believe you've met. John has returned from Novo Brasilia with a package. Dolph, you're going to help him with that."
"And what if I don't?" Stevenson asked as he eyeballed the man in the corner.
John hurled a mop across the room making the head of Ferrum duck. General Falcon Helfitta caught it in his mechanical hand.
"This is called The Staff of One," Falcon said thrusting the item towards Dolph. "Powerful, ancient magic." The staff hummed with power as small golden sparks danced around it. "Dolph Stevenson, you will do EXACTLY as I order without question in a quiet cautious manner. Do you understand me?"
Golden sparkles danced across Dolph's forehead. "I do general."
Falcon smiled, “Good. Now go home, I’ll speak with you later.”
Dolph got up and calmly left his own office. John lit up a smoke and rolled his eyes. "Playing with magic, especially that kind of magic, is going to go horribly horribly wrong sooner than you think, Falcon."
To be continued...