Hi guys! So here I've got a very short chapter with not much action, sorry about that. I recently went on a binge-watching rampage with MARVEL's new tv series, The Defenders. Yeah, it wasn't that special, nothing I haven't seen before, but it's got some pretty badass action sequences in it. Who's your favourite Defender? Mine's definitely Daredevil, although I quite like Jessica Jones too.
Someone asked me about a comment I made a couple of chapters ago, I think it was, about me being in middleschool. And, uh, yeah, that's correct! I turned 13 a couple of months ago, so, yay, finally a teenager!
Anyways, I know it's short but I hope you like it. I'll try to update later this week but I can't promise anything :)
"On your belly!" Whiplash Two told One. "It looks like a man!"
"Oh God," Clint moaned.
The commanding officer and Rhodey's eyes both widened at the pilot's comment, Rhodey lowering the phone from his ear in horror.
"Shake it off!" Whiplash Two cried.
Sure enough, Iron Man was hugging the belly of the jet, pressed close against the body.
"Pull, pull!" Whiplash Two yelled.
Whiplash One dropped suddenly in the air, engines accelerating as the pilot sent the jet into a violent and speedy spin. Iron Man's legs were loose and unattached, slamming painfully into the underside of the jet at every turn, but Iron Man's torso and hands stayed locked in place. But then the plane went into an even more violent spinning, heading downward, and it was a miracle the pilot didn't lose control. With a cry, the plane was wrenched from Iron Man's grasp, and the metallic man fell, tossed around in the wind, before colliding into Whiplash Two's left wing.
"Oh, God," Bruce stared in horror at the disaster onscreen. "Tony, what did you do?"
"I'm hit," Whiplash Two stated, before processing it properly. His eyes widened as his plane was wrenched sidewards. "I"M HIT!"
Back at Ballroom, the control room watched in shock at the scene before the screens in front of them. Rhodey looked horrified.
Whiplash Two was spiralling downwards at incredible speed, leaving a trail of black smoke behind him.
"Punch out, punch out!" Whiplash One cried desperately over the intercom.
Whiplash One pressed a red button besides the gear stick of his jet, breaking through the windshield glass and ejecting himself from the plane just as it blew up and set on fire.
The seat containing the pilot was lost in a matter of seconds, gravity taking its toll as it jerked the seat to the ground viciously.
"Whiplash Two; down." Whiplash One stated.
"Whiplash One, do you see a chute?" The commanding officer asked, eyes glued to the screens.
"Negative," Whiplash One said, glancing back. "No chute, no chute!"
The soldiers in Ballroom could hear Whiplash Two's desperate gasps as he clawed at the side of his chair as he fell to the surface of the earth, slowly but surely.
"My chute's jammed!" Whiplash Two shouted.
One soldier, watching the disaster unfold, removed his headphones and shut his eyes in horror as Whiplash Two screamed down to the earth, the dusty ground getting closer and closer by the instant.
"Come on, Stark," Steve whispered under his breathe. "Catch him, catch him, c'mon, catch him, please."
As Whiplash Two plummeted, a familiar fiery shape followed him down, speeding up.
"Yesssssss," Clint hissed, nodding slightly in relief.
"Sir, I've got a visual on the bogey." Whiplash One stated.
"Whiplash One, reengage. If you get a clear shot, you take it." The commanding officer ordered,
"Oh come on, they can't blow you up now!" Bruce complained.
Whiplash One dove off to the side, following the left behind trail of Iron Man.
"Major, we don't even know what we're shooting at." Rhodey stated. "Call off the raptors."
"That thing just took out an F-22 inside a legal no-fly zone!" The major said angrily. Holding Rhodey's gaze he continued; "Whiplash One, if you have a clear shot, take it!"
Back in the sky, Tony was still zipping down through the clouds.
"You've been reengaged," JARVIS informed him. "Execute evasive manoeuvre."
"Keep going!" Tony ordered.
He was nearing the plummeting pilot, catching up to him, and anyone could tell that Iron Man wasn't just about to let this man fall to his death because of him. As Iron Man approached the pilot, still safely strapped to his seat, Whiplash Two tried to twist around and push him away, but Iron Man ignored him, instead punching through the jammed lever for the parachute and shooting away before the chute hit him, leaving a trail of white smoke behind him.
"Good chute! Good chute!" Whiplash Two announced, relieved, and the whole Ballroom erupted in joyous cheers. Everyone was grinning and punching their fists in the air happily, apart from the Major, obviously irritated that the unknown 'bogey' had gotten away.
"Nice," Steve clapped Tony on the back. "You saved that guy's life, Tony."
Tony shrugged. "Just doing my job, Cap." But he sent the man a cocky wink.
Iron Man zipped over a beautiful plain of mountains as Rhodey pressed his phone back to his ear cautiously.
"Tony, you still there?" He asked quietly.
"Hey, thanks," Tony said.
"Oh my God, you crazy son of a bitch," the colonel laughed relieved into the phone, smiling. "You owe me a plane, you know that, right?"
Fury nodded. "That's very expensive equipment, you just destroyed right there, Stark." He looked slightly sympathetically at the on-screen Rhodey. "I know how the man feels."
Tony looked offended. "Hey, I don't break that much stuff, and even if I do, it's probably mine."
Natasha looked at him. "Stark, you brought down a skyscraper on our last mission. And don't tell me it was yours - it belonged to Fed-Ex, and I know for a fact you do not own that company."
Tony furrowed his eyebrows. "That was Fed-Ex? I swear, I thought it belonged to Delta Airlines."
Steve gave him a look. "No, Tony, that was last week."
"Oh." Stark looked thoughtful for a moment. "Yeah, but I'm buddies with the CEO, so he didn't mind. Good publicity too, you know. It was kinda like the building sacrificed itself for the sake of New York, y'know with official Avengers business and all that, and people really respect that-"
"Tony." Bruce interrupted.
"Oh, yeah right, sorry. Lets carry on." The billionaire nodded, swivelling round.
In the suit, Tony laughed, eyes shining as they swept over Rhodey's profile picture that JARVIS had placed in the mask for him.
"Yeah, well, technically he hit me, so... now you're gonna come by and see what I'm working on?" The man sounded childishly excited at the prospect of his best friend coming to hang out and check out what he was doing.
"No, no, no, no, no, no, no. The less I know the better. Now what am I supposed to tell the press?"
"Same thing as always; a training incident." Natasha said.
"Ah, training exercise, isn't that the usual BS?" Tony asked.
"Called it," Tony grinned, while Natasha looked slightly displeased that she was following the same train of thought as Tony Stark.
"It's not that simple," Rhodey protested as Iron Man continued to cross over plains of mountains and valleys of cliffs and rocks.
The camera went black for an instant before changing scene to Rhodey standing in front of various cameras for news outlets and a whole crowd of reporters, wearing his traditional military wear.
"An unfortunate training exercise involving an F-22 Raptor occurred yesterday."
Tony nodded, sending a prideful and snarky look at Steve, who rolled his eyes, and Natasha hid an internal smirk at her correct guess.
"I am pleased to report that the pilot was not injured, as for the unexpected turn of events on the ground in Gulmira, it is still unclear who or what intervened, but I can assure you that the United States government was not involved."
Obadiah Stane watched Rhodey on the tv while lounging on a sleek, black-leather couch, a pissed off frown furrowing his eyebrows. His eyes flickered with rage.
The scene changed to Pepper, heading down the stairs to Tony's underground workshop.
"Hey!" Tony exclaimed in the background. "Ow! Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah." The familiar whirring of DUM-E cut in.
"It is a tight fit, sir." JARVIS stated.
"Sir, the more you struggle, the more this is going to hurt." Said JARVIS.
Pepper made her way down the stairs, eyes still cast down on a clipboard, which she hadn't looked up from yet, but at the word 'hurt' her eyes snapped up.
"Be gentle, this is my first time." Tony said.
"Oh my God, you know what this sounds like, right?" Clint spluttered. "It sounds like-"
"Yes, Clint, we all know what you're implying, we don't need a commentary, thank you very much." Natasha but in before he could get too far,
Tony was staring disgustedly at Clint. "You know Jay is an AI, right? He has no physical form, how the hell would that even be possible?"
"I don't know, you're a weirdo, Stark!" Clint exclaimed. "For all I know, you built some weird sex-robot -"
"Not everyone is as loveless as you, Barton. People will actually willingly come home with me, you know?" Tony stated, single eyebrow raised.
Clint's mouth fell open in shock, and he opened and closed it repeatedly, each time wanting to say something but rendered speechless.
"Don't do that," chastised Natasha. "You look like a fish."
"People will have sex with me-" The archer exploded.
"Can we please not have this conversation right now?" Steve had gone slightly pink throughout the whole thing.
Tony grinned. "Sorry Cap, you'll learn about it when you're older. Forgot you were still so young."
"I am literally older than everybody in this room that isn't a God, Tony."
"Are you sure?" Stark gestured at Fury. "I dunno, Nicky's pretty ancient too-"
"Stark!" Fury barked, "Shut the hell up before I shoot you."
Tony mock-saluted. "Sir, yes, sir."
Bruce glared at him, a slight warning flickering in his eyes. 'Don't push it, Tony'.
"I'll have you know that I'm a very handsome man that many woman desire-"
Pepper stood frozen in the doorway, staring at the spectacle before her. Tony was standing on the platform from earlier, surrounded by the same machines that had placed the suit on him, this time trying to pull the metal plates off him. Tony was standing on one leg and both arms out, trying desperately to balance and not fall off.
"Oh my God," Steve snorted.
"I designed this to come off, so. OW! Hey!" The billionaire scolded a robot. "I really should be able to..." Tony tugged at his right arm.
"Please, try not to move, sir." JARVIS said, slightly pityingly.
Still unnoticed by her boss, Pepper walked towards him, clipboard no longer in her hands.
"What's going on here?" She asked.
All at once the robots detached themselves from Tony, leaving him standing awkwardly on one leg and both arms raised. He craned his neck to look at her.
"Let's face it, this is not the worst thing you've caught me doing." Tony said sheepishly.
"Don't wanna think about what that means," Clint grimaced.
Pepper stared at him in horror. "Are those bullet holes?!"
The scene changed to an Afghani camp at night, a couple of canvas tents doted around the place, and men walking around in groups, armed. A convoy of shiny black SUV's pulled up in the central dust area, and the men gathered around. Raza stood at the front, watching the cars arrive, flanked by two other, bigger men, bodyguards of some kind. A door opened, revealing Obadiah Stane.
"Son of a bitch!" Clint glared, while an odd sort of growl rumbled in Steve's throat.
Bruce's eyes flashed green, and Tony could tell that Big Guy would probably have made an appearance if not for Loki's magic.
"I do not like this man," Thor declared, glowering at the image of Obadiah as if the man could actually see him.
"Neither do I, big guy. Neither do I." Tony agreed.
Eyes scanning the camp, Stane approached Raza.
"Welcome." Raza said.
Obadiah's eyes ran over the ugly burn on the side of Raza's head, raising his eyebrows questioningly.
"Compliments of Tony Stark," Raza offered only those four words as explanation.
"If you'd killed him when you're supposed to, you'd still have a face," Stane said.
Tony looked away and swallowed. Even after everything that had happened, everything that Obie had done, those words still hurt. That man was his mentor, was one of his most trusted friends in the whole world, and here he was requesting Tony's death like he meant absolutely nothing. So, yeah, it stung like hell.
"You made us trinkets to kill a prince." Raza growled.
"Show me the weapon." Ordered Stane.
Raza studied him for a moment before nodding curtly. "Come on. Leave your guards outside."
Obadiah raised a hand to signal to his guards that all was good, before following Raza, the insurgents watching his every move warily. Obadiah entered a dimly lit tent, made out of worn red canvas. In the centre of the tent there was a bulkier, heavier version of Tony's Iron Man, made out of shining silver steel and iron, with the same frightening mask that Tony had designed while in captivity. There was still a hole in the centre of the chest plate, where the arc reactor would usually go.
"His escape bore unexpected fruit." Raza said.
Obadiah stood in front of the suit, crossing his arms with an impressed smile. "So this is how he did it."
"This is only a first, crude effort. Stark has perfected his design. He has made a masterpiece of death."
Tony resisted the urge to shudder slightly. He didn't like the way the Mark was being described. It was almost as bad as Tony's previous nickname, Merchant of Death.
Obadiah circled the suit, admiring it.
"A man with a dozen of these can rule Asia," Raza continued. "And you dream of Stark's throne." It wasn't a question, but a statement.
Obadiah stopped and turned to look at him, eyebrow raised.
"We have a common enemy." Raza offered, sitting down."If we are still in business, I will give you these designs as a gift."
Stane's fingers traced the hole in the chest plate where the arc reactor belonged dangerously.
Tony swallowed and placed a hand over the glowing sphere in his chest protectively. It was getting dangerously close to you know what, now.
Bruce narrowed his eyes at Obadiah onscreen. As one of the only people who actually genuinely knew how important the arc reactor was to Tony's ability to stay alive, and also one of the only ones (possibly the only human at all, ever, considering he was excluding DUM-E, U, Butterfingers and JARVIS from the list) who understood the engineering of the creation. Maybe Rhodey and Pepper knew too, but he doubted they understood it at the same level as he did, and Bruce really, really didn't like where Obadiah seemed to be going with this.
At the word 'gift' Obadiah's fingers paused and his eyes flicked up to look at Raza.
"And in turn, I hope you'll repay me with a gift of iron soldiers." Raza raised a glass of liquor which he had paused, smiling slyly.
"Hell, no." Barton muttered.
Smiling, Obadiah lent down to get closer to Raza's face. He held a metallic object that glowed red and begun to whir by the man's ear, and his own earrings beamed blue.
"Shit," Tony muttered.
"Why, what is it?" Steve asked curiously.
"Not one of my proudest creations, I have to say." Tony's eyes narrowed at the Director. "Although I know for a fact that SHIELD sure found a good use for it."
Fury avoided the billionaire's gaze.
"What does it do?" Said Thor.
"You'll see." Romanoff said, obviously also knowing what the thing was, and Steve suspected she'd probably used it before, based upon Tony's previous comment about SHIELD.
Suddenly the veins on the side of Raza's head turned a dark purplish-blue, and the man's head jerked sideways and he begun to whimper.
"The fuck is that thing?" Clint wondered out loud.
Obadiah spoke in arabic, This is the only gift you shall receive.
Raza stayed frozen in his seat, breathing still in gasps and whimpers.
"Technology." Stane mused, flicking the odd object off and pocketing it. "It's always been your Achilles heel in this part of the world." Obadiah pulled at the glowing blue earrings, and Raza's now bloodshot eyes followed him, the black veins still prominent in his burned head. "Don't worry, it'll only last for 15 minutes. That's the least of your problems."
Obadiah squeezed the top of the man's head before exiting the tent triumphantly. his eyes scanned the crowd of insurgents that had gathered before addressing his own guards.
"Crate up the armour and the rest of it." He walked towards his car. "All right, let's finish up here."
A flurry of machine guns sounded where the crowd of insurgents had just been, and it was obvious Obadiah's people had just executed them.
The scene changed to Stane in the back of his SUV, a phone pressed to his ear.
"Set up Sector 16 underneath the arc reactor, and I'm gonna want this data masked. Recruit our top engineers." He said. "I want a prototype right away."
"Son. Of. A. Bitch." Clint shook his head.
Yeah, I know it's short, but what can you do?