Marvel Iron Age: Lady Deathstrike vol. 2 Part 6

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Marvel Iron Age: Lady Deathstrike vol. 2 Part 6

“Someone is always trying to kill me, Dom.” Ngumi said as she picked at her teeth with her fingernails. “Just a few hours ago this starkhole from San Francisco I tangled with some years back ended up needing my assistance for some ‘not so voluntary`- suicide. It was painless I promise.”

“You’re a psychopath.” Domino said the concern in her voice turning into anger. “You can’t take anything seriously can you? Do you want to die so badly?”

Ngumi stayed quite for a time and just looked at her former ally in a face devoid of emotion. “I can’t yet. So tell me what this is about.”

Domino sat back in her chair and closed her eyes, trying to gather her thoughts and with a slow steady breath she said, “The governments of Madripoor with political pressure from the wealthy families of High town have put a bounty out on you, after you excessively burned down half of the capitol and displaced/killed hundreds of civilians.”

Ngumi rolled her eyes. The act was necessary. Scalphunter had put her on a time limit, being surrounded by mercenaries threatened to shorten that time and she regretted none of it. The children she had taken in were alive. Leann’s children were alive.

“You of all people should know why I did it.” Ngumi said with an unconcerned attitude.

Domino tried to jump forward but her restraints ensured she just barely moved, “And that man is still alive! After the graveyards he’s filled. After murdering a young woman you raised and loved in front of her children, Scalphunter yet continues to sling bad jokes. Why, Ngumi?”

Ngumi shrugged with a slight frown on her face. “I haven’t forgotten, Domino.”

Domino glared at the former shield agent. “Anyway. I’m here to warn you. Nobody really even wants the job. Not one contractor of repute will even go near it. Your infamous homicidal tendencies and death wish have made some of the hardest killers in the world falter. Congratulations.”

Ngumi sucked air through her teeth, “I smell a huge but coming.”

Domino smacked her lips, “But everyone with a personal vendetta against you is doing the job for free. The Hand. Black Air. The European Assassination Division. Even some Iron Army Spooks I’ve never heard of want a piece.”

“That’s all though?” Ngumi asked as if she had just received a boring lecture from Carol Danvers about the necessity of restraint.

“I came all this way to warn you.” Domino said agitated by Ngumi’s indifference. “But this only excites you doesn’t it?”

A small smile widened on Ngumi’s face when the holographic projection of the former shield agent disappeared. Domino looked at where the hologram had stood and glared. Of course she knew how this was going to play out. Who the players were. But the very person she came to help would hear none of it until it was too late. “Damn starking nutcage!”

Ngumi with Carol Danvers stood observing Domino from another location on Valeria base. Ngumi said nothing as Carol scanned her for any reaction. Ngumi gave none. “We have to confirm her statements and check her back ground.”

“I wouldn’t bother. She’s a former merc under my employ from way back in the day. A mean bitch of an ex. A current freelancer and a great lay.” Ngumi listed off in no particular order.

Carol slapped her forehead and sighed, “Too much, too much! Can we trust what she’s saying? That every enemy you’ve made since leaving Shield is coming to my country to assassinate you?”

Ngumi turned her back on Carol and stretched her arms out. “She is a mutant. Precognition is her gift.” Ngumi yawned. “If she says so… it’s most likely true. Mostly.”

“She can see the future?” Carol questioned.

Ngumi didn’t answer. She knew Domino for a long time, since her days of leading the Wild Pack. She loved her once. She knew what Domino was doing. If she came to find her after all this time to help her, then it meant one thing. “Can I leave now? I have a date.” Ngumi asked turning slightly to look at the puzzled queen of New Latveria.

Ngumi left Valeria base for Doomstadt. Domino’s appearance meant one thing; she was in fact in danger. It had been years since the last time Ngumi had seen, Domino. Not since the end of the Wild Pack. She was still too serious. Too excitable. Too sure. Domino was everything Ngumi remembered. But Ngumi couldn’t ignore her warning. Not with so much happening in her life.

It was the beginning of Ngumi’s evening in Doomstadt. The city had been restored after the last two invasions in the last two years. There was more work to be done. Several buildings were still scarred from battle and things were still not like they were. Still people tried to continue with their normal lives. The restaurants and malls were in business. The city buzzed with life at night.

Ngumi met with a Latverian woman who was slightly older in appearance to Ngumi, (who really was much older.) at a concert hall. She was wearing a white dress and had an elaborate hair bun with sequined cloth hanging from it. Light emitting crystal chandeliers hung from the ceiling, a live band played classical music from what at this point in Ngumi’s life would have been hundreds of years old even when she was younger. “Isamar, this place is amazing!” Ngumi exclaimed. Ngumi tried her hardest to sound as normal as possible.

In the field, pretending was easy. But going out with a civilian was different. For a year she hadn’t allowed herself to get close to anyone. It was dangerous. But Kylie and Kiki had had enough of their aunt hovering around them and pushed Ngumi into dating. Ngumi found a circumstance that worked best for her.

“Well I thought it would be pay back from your night with Mordechai last week.” Isamar said teasingly. “Don’t let that man come home that drunk ever again.”

Ngumi smiled and tipped her glass of red wine to Isamar. “Promise.”

Isamar laughed, “Liar!”

Ngumi was wearing a red leather onesie with a deep slit that stopped under her bellybutton that had a lace floral pattern up the sides and a pair of flat open toed sandals. Her hair was jelled back and makeup powdered her face. “Yep. That’s because whenever we go out you doll me up like this.” Ngumi quipped.

Isamar laughed. “On our first date you showed up at a charity ball in blue jeans and combat boots looking like you’d been in a fight!”

That night she had been. A gang was picking up a supply of drugs. The suppliers and gang members managed to get some shots in before Ngumi finished with them. “At least now you look feminine.”

“I think I’m hot to, sweetie.” Ngumi said with a wink. “But how much was this place?”

“A stark ton of cash. But don’t worry I had this table reserved months in advance. You’re just lucky I like you.” Isarmar said as she sipped her wine. “Elbows off the table!”

Ngumi looked down and in an act of false embarrassment put her hands in her lap. “Sorry.”

“How do you think the kids are doing? I think I should check on them.” Ngumi said, slightly worried about not having the girls in plain sight.

Isamar smacked her lips and frowned, “They’re fine. Mordechai has them taken care of! He’s a Major in her Majesty’s army. They’re perfectly safe.”

Ngumi smiled. She was still worried. “Yeah. It’s just… we’ve been through a lot. I have a hard time with them out of my sight for long.”

“I understand. The world almost ended when that alien attacked us.” Isamar bowed her head and closed her eyes, “God bless his Majesty, Lord Doom.”

Ngumi rolled her eyes. Still in New Latveria, Victor Von Doom held so much reverence. “And may his spirit guide the queen.” The former agent said, though meaning none of it in the slightest as she sipped her wine.

The lights in the concert hall dimmed and the room became silent. Ngumi’s eyes darted in every direction as she clenched a dinner knife. “What’s going on?”

“Oh!” Isamar whispered. “Some nights they have special performers play from all over the world.”

“Interesting.” Ngumi exhaled as she gazed at the stage that had grown dark. Shadows in the dark cleared the stage. Ngumi couldn’t tell who was taking the stage, but after a moment a slow mournful piano piece played. A spot light shown on the performer.

“Wow! She’s so young.” Isamar marveled.

Ngumi couldn’t take her eyes off the performer either. The pianist was of Asian descent and had to be at least in her teens. She was wearing a black gown and a large head piece that left fabric dangling behind her like a cape. The piece picked up speed and the tune became more energetic. Ngumi’s fists were clenched so tight they shook. Her eyes narrowed and she gnashed her teeth. If Ngumi hadn’t been watching the whole time she would have thought it a coincidence. The young girl looked at Ngumi with a smile and winked.

“Are you okay?” Isamar asked.

“Excuse me.” Ngumi grumbled under her breath as she removed herself from the table.

Ngumi walked into the bathroom in a hurry. It was empty. Ngumi allowed the door to shut behind her. She walked to the faucet and turned the water on. Her breathing grew heavy. Her calm was slipping and she just couldn’t stop shaking. Finally she snapped. The mirror in front of her splintered under her fist. Ngumi was enraged and couldn’t hide it anymore. This was wrong so very wrong.

“Now what did that poor mirror ever do to you, Miss Takeda?” Ngumi’s head darted left to where the voice had come from. Right there materializing through the wall in in the stalker variant of the Iron Man armor was a blond haired woman Ngumi was also acquainted with.

“Amanda Trask.” Ngumi hissed. Ngumi turned to her and approached her. “Didn’t I kill you already?”

“I survived.” Trask said venomously. “By now you know who else did as well.”

“Yes. Kira always liked to put on a show for me.” Ngumi said as she stopped away from the Iron Army officer she had previously worked with in San Francisco and subsequently betrayed.

“After Mr. Nobody attacked you, I advised her confronting you now would be ill timed.” Trask said as she used an official tone with Ngumi. “She refused to listen.”

“That little psycho #$%& never could!” Ngumi swore.

“That’s definitely the pot calling the kettle black.” Trask said back. “Look I don’t even want to be near you! But I’m here to set up a truce with you personally.”

“Truce?” Ngumi said loudly. “That #@$%^ psycho doesn’t know the meaning. Believe me! I won’t wait for her to draw fist blood. She dies and you better get far away real fast!”

“That’s just it. Kira and I are on official state business.” Trask said as Ngumi waited for the Iron Army officer to finish explaining. “Two years ago as part of the treaty Carol Danvers as a political favor for our part in repelling Project Wide Awake allotted Ferrum Tech to build a research sight in New Latveria, before Thanos’ son destroyed the sight.”

“You’re trying to renegotiate?” Ngumi said.

“Yes.” Trask answered. “After the land grabs in the DMZ by Ares and Loki’s remaining Asgardians taking land from New Latveria it seemed appropriate. After all those two should be a major concern.”

Ngumi scoffed. The Iron Army has been enemies with New Latveria for centuries. Ngumi and Carol fought them for that long. Compromise was unthinkable. “Carol wouldn’t even dream of…”

Amanda waved her off, “We’ll see, Ngumi. But as the ranking officer in charge of this diplomatic mission, Ambassador Kira Shikinami is not to be harmed.”

Ngumi’s face grew expressionless and her voice monotone, “If I don’t comply?”

Amanda Trask took a step back and began to phase out through the wall, “Then you did it to yourself.”

Ngumi had cut her date short. Opting to instead patrol the night on her glider, she kept her sword, some guns and a uniform in a bag in a nearby alley. She washed her face of makeup and took off without explanation. Ngumi promised to make up for the interruption another time. Ngumi was looking for a fight.

Ngumi could not find peace within. Her resentment boiled over. Kira who had murdered her child was alive and well enough to mock her and Trask had showed her face to dangle the fact that right now the former shield agent could do nothing about it. “Hmph!” Ngumi grunted as she raised her wrist as a holographic display popped up from her uniform.

“Hey, Ngumi how ya doing! Had to break through some high tech security systems to reach your comm system. Fancy stuff.” A child like voice sprang up from Numi’s communicator. The pianist from the club had appeared! Kira. The leader of the Hand.

“I told Trask you couldn’t leave me alone.” Ngumi said as she picked up speed, weaving in and out of traffic. Ngumi held her anger in check when talking to Kira. Ngumi refused to feed her unstable mind with an emotional reaction she was looking for.

“You know me!” Kira said laughing, she looked out of a window in the back ground. The capitol displayed predominantly in whatever building Kira had been residing in. “You nearly killed me. That device you had. It shut off my cybernetic implants and I was as helpless a newborn hurtling dangerously fast toward a wall.”

Ngumi said nothing as Kira reminded her of her own murdered child. The former Shield agent committed to calm. But behind her façade her rage built, “I’ll have to try harder. It was my expectation that those Iron Army units were going to kill you and your assassins. A misstep.”

“Don’t worry not all of us can be brilliant like Augustus Holland! Oh, I heard he died! Betrayal is so tragic!” Kira said, keeping her positive attitude in contrast to Ngumi’s frozen emotion. “Let me reunite you two!”

Ngumi’s glider shot up skyward out of control. Her body jerked forward which nearly threw her off balance. “You see I’ve been reading up on your exploits since the last time we danced! And you are just so distracted! Are you some hero now? What’s with you trying to be a mommy again? We’ve been over that and it’s not you!”

The glider abruptly stopped high in the clouds above the traffic of the hover cars below. The air was thin and cold at this height. Ngumi still not in control of her glider tried and failed repeatedly to redirect her vehicle to no effect. “What do you want?” Ngumi gasped as her head grew lighter and her vision became spotty.

“You to be cured! Over your distractions! The heroics! The kids! Dating! All this stuff that isn’t you. I’m going to help you cut it all away!” Kira declared, elated in her own twisted way. “I have hoped you can be fixed! Madripor gave me that hope! That was classic, Deathstrike!”

The glider rapidly lost altitude and came spinning downward, Ngumi’s head spun as she tried to control her breathing. Kira continued, “Although you did leave Scalphunter alive. Eh, that can be forgiven. Listen I’m sending you my location and the spot of a soon to be unfortunate hover- train accident!”

Ngumi dropped passed high-rises and narrowly avoided on coming vehicles that flew passed. The glider had balanced itself after falling dozens of feet below the traffic of other hover cars. Ngumi had managed not to pass out. Her breathing was labored as she coughed violently and heaved as Kira continued her rant, “We can fight! You can get that revenge you want so badly! Or you can save some people you have no personal connection to... whatsoever!”

“Do the right thing, Taichou!”

End

@cbishop Hey look new stuff! Thank you for keeping the library!

@joshmightbe I have issues letting go... so here.

@batkevin74 Dude Look I'm alive! PFC Timephantom has returned after months of inaction.

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#4  Edited By ImpurestCheese

@time_phantom: Private First Class?

Whatever the case good to see you and Iron Age back again

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#6  Edited By ImpurestCheese
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Bumped, next on my list

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@time_phantom: after you excessively burned down half of the capitol and displaced/killed hundreds of civilians. Nice! Though it wasn't all...actually it was all her fault. Scalphunter pushed her into a corner but all that burning and exploding, that was all Ngumi! :) Ahh this bring back memories, and a few ideas

That every enemy you’ve made since leaving Shield is coming to my country to assassinate you Well that's gotta suck! And it's not a short list either since she's been around for a century

God bless his Majesty, Lord Doom. Ngumi rolled her eyes. Still in New Latveria, Victor Von Doom held so much reverence. Yes all hail Doom! :)

We can fight! You can get that revenge you want so badly! Or you can save some people you have no personal connection to... whatsoever!” Caught between an immovable rock and an irrestiable hardplace.

Man that was a breath of new "old" air! So familiar and well written. Hopefully it'll inspire. Nice to have you back Admiral T Phantom :)

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Bumped