Marvel Iron Age: S.H.I.E.L.D Holland’s Gambit Part 3

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Time_Phantom

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#1  Edited By Time_Phantom

TP: Hey @cbishop Got another for the library!

@batkevin74@joshmightbe Hey guys look me kicking a horse I think died but I just don't know when to quit.

Marvel Iron Age: S.H.I.E.L.D

Holland’s Gambit Part 3

Kansas City Iron Hall:

Six months had passed since Shield Commander Holland’s revolt. Colorado had been cut off from the rest of the country. The Iron Army had declared a state of emergency and designated Colorado a “no fly, no entry zone”, and dispersed the misinformation that a freak eruption on the Colorado mountain range was the cause. They actually were involved in heavy fighting with an organized militia that had unknown support. They were armed with the Iron Army’s own weapons.

The Supreme Commander had been surprisingly silent on the issue. He refused to speak with anyone but General Ahern who had taken command of the coalition from neighboring states and never brought any news from the Iron Army’s top leader. “He’s pissed!” Ahern said as he swigged from the seemingly bottomless flask he always carried into meetings.

The gathered Generals sat in the Hall’s conference room. Anyone not physically there were projected as holograms from elsewhere. “He’s always pissed” A General snapped. “We need more support!”

“This milita is always a step ahead of us!” Shouted another. The room had broken into several arguments at once. Each blaming someone or something for their lack of success in combating the insurgency and all the while General Ahern just drank more.

“Shut up, you starking idiots!” Ahern lazily barked. “You see this…this is …the problem right here! You all want to be Blackbolt and not happy with just being Inhuman!”

The other Generals paused in confusion and some even broke into quick bursts of laughter. Ahern took another sip from his flask. “Our enemy most likely know this. We’re all just trying to outdo each other at every moment… Congratulations on surviving the most recent purge everyone! Back to my point!”

Ahern exhaled with the smell of alcohol growing strong in the room, “The insurgents… are being organized by someone who know our tactics. How we fight and the overall disorganization that can erupt in our faces when there are too many of us in the same room!”

A General, a younger woman raised her hand, “Are you drunk… again?”

Ahern belched, “Yes. Extremely. But even I know how to read between the lines. The enemy is showing us their starks and laughing about it!”

“What the stark are you even saying you drunk?” Somebody mumbled.

Ahern dropped his head on the table, “Aren’t I speaking plan American!”

He slammed his fist against the table, “They’s got one of us leading them! If you’re all willing, Supreme Commander help you. I think I can figure out who.”

Denver Iron Hall

Commander Holland had held a conference with his leaders, Mindbender of the mutants recruited at the vault, General Alberti of the Iron Army that was aiding Holland in this operation and the senior Shield agents that organized the militia. There had been six months of the heaviest fighting they had ever seen. Taking the state over had proved the easiest of these tasks. Holding it was turning into a nightmare.

The milita while spirited often proved to be nothing more than cannon fodder when put against the more disciplined Iron Army. “Camp Victory is past capacity, Sir. It’s getting too big for us to be able to conceal our activities there.”

“She’s right, sir.” Another agent said. “The milita is losing ground in the surrounding counties and with your hold on further support from your Iron men we’ll need to pull back.”

General Alberti cleared his throat and glared at the agents, “My “Iron men” are engaging in hit and run strikes and repelling troop advancements from three states so your militia can even have a successful insurgency!”

“And agents like me are dying every week to get you the intel you need to make those strikes worth something!” Agent Peck spat. She looked around the conference room and held a glance at the empty seats in the room. “I came here with more agents. Friends. We came because You called, Commander. Augustus Holland called on us.”

She gave Holland a mournful glance, “What are we even doing here, sir?”

Commander Holland rubbed his brow and spoke in a strong voice, “General Alberti, rally the rest of your troops from the borders and bring them here to Denver. You’re being pressed hard and it’s only a matter of time before they break loose anyway.”

Alberti Keep his expression solid and nodded. “Yes, sir.”

Holland looked at agent Peck, “Begin personnel transport of refugees and wounded. Bring them here. I want a skeleton force there in less than a week!”

“That will take days of planning! I need two weeks at least!” Agent Peck protested.

“You have your orders, Agent Peck.” Holland said.

“I can send a team from the vault, Commander.” Mindbender said.

“That’s tremendous news.” Holland said. “Make it so.”

The agents in attendance stood at once then faded from view. Mindbender and General Alberti were still in the room. “In the days before holograms, I’d have slapped one of them.” Holland sighed as he rubbed his temples.

Holland’s agents were losing focus. Motivation. He had pushed them so far with so little and so far they at least followed his orders. He could only imagine what they were thinking. His actions had forced most of them to stay. So much of his plan hinged on what he expected them to do. But even he knew appealing to the sense of duty of his subordinates was going to go so far.

He was losing them. “Commander, If I pull the Division out not it’ll be chaos!” General Alberti protested. “I didn’t want to say during the conference but, most of those troops are engaged in fighting without food, supplies or medical aid. Agent Brook’s mental commands are keeping them from realizing it! You’re main force is starving out there!”

“I know.” Holland said quietly.

“Your refugee centers are also understaffed. The civilian casualties are mounting and there’s not enough places to relocate them where there’s no danger to them!” The General spelled out like a parent pointing to a child’s mess.

“I know.” Holland said under his breath. He’s read militia reports. Civilians were even crossing the borders into the fighting were the Iron Army fired on them indiscriminately. His rebellion was falling apart. The mountains exploding and the resulting dust cloud had created a nuclear winter type effect over the state. His supply chains were broken. People were freezing and hungry with no clean air to breath.

“That will be all General.” Holland dismissed.

General Alberti saluted and made a hasty exit. Mindbender stayed in the room and watched Holland like someone would admire a piece of art. The mutant was fascinated by Holland. “Any additional comments?” Holland asked, feeling drained by the meeting.

Holland heard from behind, “No.” Mindbender was no longer at the table. Instead she was behind him. Holland tensed as her hands rubbed his shoulders, slowly he relaxed.

“You cannot lead when others refuse to follow. You have a vision for this world.” The vault mutant leader said softly into Holland’s ear. “You will give it to us. But what do you want?”

Holland turned to face the telepath, her visage morphed seamlessly into the form of Agent Ngumi Takada, his former love and the mother of his lost child. He hadn’t spoken to her in two years. She spoke in her voice, “Is it seeing the ones you love being cured of the insanity caused by this everlasting war?”

“Stop.” Holland whispered gruffly.

The mutant’s mental projection of Ngumi faded into the one of Queen Danvers. “Or are you trying to build the future into something like the past you remember fondly.”

“I said sto-“ Holland’s protest was smothered by Mindbenders lips crashing into his. He tensed and the eased into the kiss. He held her hand and caressed the mutants face, “I said stop.” He said as he pulled away.

“It was a gift, Augustus.” Mindbender said as she retreated out of room. Holland’s eyes followed her out of the conference room, and then stopped on another woman Holland hadn’t noticed entered the room. She glared at Mindbender they whole way out. The vault mutant returned with a taunting glance as she made her way out.

She snapped her attention to Holland, “You make me sick. Holland.”

“Mongoose…” Holland said as if he refused to acknowledge the last few minutes happened and returned to his commanding tone. “You’ve never liked me. But I appreciate you cooperation with the Avengers thus far. You’re a reliable asset. Thank you.”

“Like Ngumi?” Mongoose said as she pulled up a chair and sat down with her feet up on the table. “Let’s just hope I don’t get preggers so I can stay `reliable’ to you.”

Holland’s face went blank as he stared, unblinking at the former Iron Army assassin, “You have a brief for me don’t you?”

Mongoose slouched lazily and summoned a hologram from her wrist, “So this is what the robot—“

“Synthezoid” Holland corrected.

Mongoose rolled her eyes and said pointedly, “The Vision has planned.”

“I still don’t get it.”

Militia HQ

Esperanza the organizer of the militia outside of camp victory spent the day loading equipment, the wounded and civilians onto transports. Commander Holland gave the word to move out and piggyback with the evacuation order with Camp Victory. The situation was tense. Shield agents mixed with Iron Army soldiers and an entire militia of the oppressed mixed and mashed.

Fights would start, almost always militia and Iron men. The Shield agents couldn’t be bothered to intervene. Esperanza played the part of peace keeper instead of her actual job. Today was no exception. A fight had broken out between Militia members at the food point. “Okay! What is starking going on here!”

An Iron soldier had three men restrained. The had bloody faces, their limbs were positioned awkwardly, suggesting they had broken bones one was even writhing in pain screaming swears at the Iron soldier, “There was a dispute about rations ma’am.”

“No the shell head just attacked us!” One protested.

“None of these starks a good! Just leave!” Said another.

Esperanza was seen running across camp and had been followed. A crowd was beginning to form around her. They hurled accusations and insults at the Iron soldier. Esperanza closed her eyes and took a deep breath, “I just need everyone to—“

A mechanical roar ripped through the air that startled Esperanza and silenced the growing mob. In the distance screams could be heard. The wind bellowed and kicked with an unfamiliar heat. Panicked screams filled Militia headquarters. Esperanza’s chest filled with fear but the air to release a scream wasn’t there. She was forced to the ground by three men collapsing from the experience. The air ran. People fell to the ground, grasping for life.

1 hour earlier:

General Alberti stood in his armor on a helicarrier overlooking a fleet of Iron sentinels outside of Denver. He reviewed a data pad. What he saw was absolutely perfect. The Iron army was still suffering comm issues due to Shield’s earlier interference and the ash in the atmosphere. A path were the interference was densest lead straight to the Command Center that General Ahern had set.

“What are you going to do?” The telepathic Agent Kimberlyn Brooks asked as she read over the report. “It looks like the ideal target to strike. I could even get us to open dialogue with the outside.”

“Yes it could.” The general said.” I’d need maybe a battalion sized element. That drunk Ahern would panic! Problem solved!”

“You have Holland’s support.” The Shield agent said as General Alberti flew off into the distance faster than she could relay the message. But she could feel his thoughts. The certainty. The belief. His passion. That feeling needed to spread.

Kimberlyn rolled up her sleeves and looked at her marked up arms. Scars from multiple injections sites. She grabbed a syringe full of Mutant Growth Hormone and feed it’s enhancing contents into her veins once more, “One more time.”

“You promised.”

To be continued

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batkevin74

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@time_phantom: It's only dead when the last person turns off the lights and locks the doors. You sir are still open for business. Will get off my ass and read this shortly.

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Great chapter and Im always glad to see Iron Age updates.

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@time_phantom: Love it @time_phantom honestly! I'm going to cobble some notes and send them your way to see if I can get myself back into the Iron Age

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Bumped

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Bumped. The next chapter and conclusion coming soon.

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#10  Edited By Time_Phantom

Bumped

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“Like Ngumi?” Mongoose said as she pulled up a chair and sat down with her feet up on the table. “Let’s just hope I don’t get preggers so I can stay `reliable’ to you.”

Holland’s face went blank as he stared, unblinking at the former Iron Army assassin, “You have a brief for me don’t you?”

Mongoose slouched lazily and summoned a hologram from her wrist, “So this is what the robot—“

“Synthezoid” Holland corrected.

Mongoose rolled her eyes and said pointedly, “The Vision has planned.”

LOVE THIS exchange! :)

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@batkevin74: Thanks. Jessica feels a certain way about Holland. He wasn't there when the Hand attacked Ngumi and their new born.

You can probably imagine how Holland would react. (being emotionally distant and going deeper into the super spying.) I figure Jessica blames Holland for Ngumi being the way she is.