1963-07-23 - Who Is the Mandarin?
Summary: The Mandarin's forces attack New York, but the criminal mastermind is somewhere else, putting the finishing touches on his major plan.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
natasha poindexter tony teddy jess tigra steve 


"Victorious warriors win first then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first then seek to win." - Sun Tzu

There's a flash from a match, the lighted flame, and the smell of sulfur that only slightly lights the room with the two men. The elder, with long and graceful ringed fingers to match his lithe frame glides over to the candle, lights it, and begins to tell his tale to the assistant.

< Though descendant from the mighty Genghis Khan, I have always respected Qin Shihuangdi. The namesake of our land realizes now what fools like Mao will never understand. Whether ruse or real the state serves the leader, not the other way around. >

The Mandarin and his assistant pad softly along a metal grating that serves as a floor here. The large, circular hall is without light, aside from the small flame that sits above the leader's hand.

12:37 AM

Steve Rogers sets the bottle of beer down slowly trying to come to grips with the words of one of his old war friends. They look far different. Steve still looks twenty-five. His full blonde hair is parted neatly and combed back, while his friend Al Drumpf's brown hair has begun to disappear except for the dark wisps that dance on the top of his head. Steve's large frame is still sculpted while Al's has given way to age.

"You wouldn't have ever said those things during the war, Al. There were a lot of blacks who fought alongside us. Who ate with us. Who saved us and who died for us." It's about as disgusted as Steve ever gets. "There are no racists in foxholes."

"Rogers you never could see the forest from the trees. Alls I'm sayin' is that the black man should just stay with his own kind. Inferior or superior doesn't really come into it. First they wanna be able to vote, next thing they're gonna be taking our women. I mean, how much are you willing to take?"

Steve sighs and finishes his beer. He came here for some sense of belonging, but it's starting to seem like even his comrade in arms have begun to pass him by. Where they are headed, he's not quite sure.

"The guys we fought used to talk like that."

Steve fumbles in his pocket for his wallet to pay for the beer. When he looks up idly at the television, he stops abruptly.

_ _

A reporter keeps his professional mask on as best as he can while images play on a split screen:

Manhattan has come under attack! A horde of soldiers dressed in ancient Chinese battle fatigues is making its way down Park Avenue. The column has just passed 5th street and is headed south! We cannot confirm, but witnesses believe them to be some sort of drones or perhaps mechanical in nature. We can confirm 2 dead already and 4 more hurt. Some are firing arrows, while others are using swords. The NYPD has moved to intercept.

_ _ _ _


Their emotionless, dead faces don't even move as their blades pierce bystanders. Two have been killed already and certainly many more will as well. The crowds in the streets, eager to do a little weekend shopping, have finally realized what's happening and begin to run. A volley of hundreds of arrows are shot into the air by the archers and begin to rain down upon civilians. They continue their march toward the south, even as the NYPD have come to combat them and gunshots are just beginning to ring out!


Tony Stark got the call from his ever-vigilant assistant that there was trouble in Manhattan. Tony had been in the lab for a few days, working on something as usual, the room redolent with the smells of cigarette and ozone and oil. He wipes his face with a hankie and presses a button on his watch to respond to her call. "On my way," he says.

Moments later, Iron Man streaks through the sky and begins to descend down towards the area affected. He interposes himself between a black rain of arrows and the crowd below, holding out his hands and unleashing repulsor rays to blast them into splinters, his boot jets keeping him hovering in the air as he takes in the mass of enemies.

"Look, I really liked Camelot, too, guys, but it was just a show!" he calls out, streaking forward to charge the archers before they can fire again.


Armando was at work when the news came- proctoring a meeting between R&D and Marketing on one of the new technologies he'd hand picked from R&D's long list of projects- "I think this can wait until the danger has passed." the grey skinned young man says to the pair of men- all dressed in similar suits. Worthington Industries, of course, was locked down- most cowering in their offices or looking out the windows with awe. Armando, however, knew what he had to do- he had to show that his people were prepared to defend humanity against all comers.

It was with some hesitation that Armando walked past the security desk- passing his jacket to the weapon baring man. "Watch this for me, will you?" he asks with a smile. "I'll be back before closing time." he offers with a quiet grin.

Armando then walks out into the throng of robotic fighters. His skin grows hard like armor as a sword falls, shattering against his flesh as his mutation kicks into survival overdrive. Fight or Flight- the basis of all evolutionary advantages dictates these changes: Armando's strength and agility enhanced as his fists become sheathed in rocky, heavy outcroppings- stone fists that crash into the Chinese robots. Armando stands there before the doors of his place of business- protecting his coworkers and his friend, Warren's, livelyhood.


It's totally saturday, so what was Teddy doing? Nothing! He was wandering Manhatten, walking past a TV store, where the news was on. Only… the news showed… what? An invasion of ancient robots from china and/or mars? That is most absolutely totally not a good thing. "Gotta go, Mom!" And he's rushing out into the backyard, and a second later his entire body blurs and becomes a) Green, thicker, bigger, sorta Hulk's mini-me, and b) he has these huge bat like wings that are clawing up through the sky before gliding on towards Manhatten. He's not very graceful getting up into the air, but once he's got sufficient height, he glides pretty fast and awesomely. At least, if you ask him, that's what he'd say. Its not like super-fast, its all pure muscle-strength fast, but he's got plenty of it. Now, where are those ancient robots from china and/or mars…


Who knew that Poindexter would be in the right place at the very, very wrong time. There weren't news reports, but there were screams that drew her attention from the coffee she attempted to nurse, as well as the bag that she holds which carried the contents she were to deliver to SHIELD. Contents that well.. contained something that she worked on at home and was all too excited to show Agent Fury and Directer Carter, behind a glass window of course.

But she was there in the thick of it, her eyes widening as she sees an archer drawing back upon the strings of the bow, tense..


That moment when she was to be pelted, impaled, or whatever by an arrow, a screaming bystander knocks her clean out of the way. "Get your black ass up and get out of here!" The woman shouted, who was promptly felled by a deep thud that notches an arrow point right into her back. Oh lord.. why couldn't people invent protable phones at this time?! Time to put a bug in a Stark's ear. But people were beginning to run and Poindexter was nearing the point of being trampled, crawling and shielding herself as best as she could to find a car she could lean against for cover. "This is my curse. I shall start hailing a taxi from now on."


In her modest apartment, Greer Grant Nelson had been listening to the radio as she reviewed one of her old college textbooks. When the news breaks in on the music, she frowns at the radio, then stiffens at the content of the news. An attack on the city? Sounds like it's not the NYPD that's needed, she thinks, with apologies to her slain husband, but the National Guard. Well, if they're not around, then Tigra will have to do what she can to help, she decides, and she sprints her way through alleys, over rooftops, and leaps across traffic to get to the sight of the chaos.


Jess has been a SHIELD agent for about three days. Like Peggy said, it's starting at the bottom. But attacking Chinese soldiers pretty much means all hands on deck. She reclaimed her costume, suited up, and then promptly broke into a run through the streets and over the rooftops toward the source of the chaos.

Reaching the scene, she spreads her arms and jumps from the roof, gliding most of the way down before snapping her arms back to her sides to land with a flip on the ground on front of them. "Hey, I get New York's weird, but how did you guys even get here to start shooting at people? I'm just curious."




Roger Humperdink leans back in his reclining office chair and puts his feet up on his control board. Beneath his feet are the controls for the entire security system for one of the most secretive military installations known to man.


"Humpy! Come on! Ya gotta see this. Check out what's happenin' on the TV!" Bob Leverentz, Humperdink's associate is knocking at the partition between them. It's strictly against protocol, of course, but at a moment when Manhattan is being invaded by ancient chinese soldier-bots protocols are easily forgotten. This is history on the television!


A slow mechanical finger juts out from one of the robot field leaders as he points out Tony Stark in a laboring, choppy way. Almost immediately afterword an entire volley of arrows begin to assail Iron Man. That's not the problem, of course, his armor is completely impervious. What is the problem, however, is the throng of people who stand in arch shot and who stand to be impaled when the arrows fall to the Earth!

It takes a while for the robot army to realize their foot soldiers stand to just easily be destroyed by Darwin's swinging fist. One of the leaders raises a knifehand into the air with pomp. He lowers it slowly and from around the corner, a platoon of cavalry flank the heroes, swinging large daos at New Yorkers, heroes, and police officers.

High above the fray, Teddy can see a column of soldiers heading south toward the tip of Manhattan. There's a bottleneck where the army stands and where the police have set up a line, while yet another throng comes along Liberty Street from the west. Tigra sees much the same thing as she comes from another, albeit much lower angle. Right now this could go either way, and the help from the cavalry isn't helping matters.

Poindexter finds a place she thinks is safe, relatively, but once she settles a Sino-Bot with half its face blown away from a police shotgun blast reaches out to grab her by the shoulders. He's lost his weaponry, but still looks as though he can use his massive strength to rip her body in two!

Jess finds that three of the soldiers get a bead on her and are intent to do serious harm. They work in tandem, hoping to catch her by surprise. But as soon as they're going to make their move, one of their heads gets knocked to the side and bent sharply out of place, leaving a sparking neck in its wake. The star-spangled shield makes its way back to Captain America who gives Jess a nod.

"Not sure how they got here but I'm more interested in where they're going and why they're going there," Steve says to her, trying to figure something out. "Okay, it's basically a phalanx formation. What we need is to get the bystanders away, use our fliers to disrupt the archers and cavalry, and use our maneuverability to attack the phalanx column from multiple sides. You got all that?" Steve looks to the spy and exhales. Right. Spy. "Get those cops to shoot the archers and the cavalry"

Steve darts away, leaping on top of a cab then towards the column of robos. With a mighty toss, he slings his shield into the midst. It caroms back and forth like a pinball machine, knocking the heads from the necks. "The necks are the weak point!" he yells.


There! As Teddy Altman, in half-Hulkling form, glides over Manhatten, he sees the army of ancient robots from china and/or mars. Seeing a bottle neck where the poor police might need some help, he beats his wings harder. The Hulkling soars right above the middle of the column, and his body blurs somewhat. Two things happen. First, he doesn't have wings anymore, second, he's like twice as big and falling like a giant, really heavy, really, really thickly armored teenage Hulk and going SMASH right in the middle of the column.

That probably hurt.

The ancient robots from china and/or mars that he landed on, at least. And the road, he kind of broke the road a bit. But he's fine.

He's also making a point to swing around himself, grabbing one ancient robot from china and/or mars at a time and squeezing it to pulp. Or smashing it. Either works. He likes to change things up sometimes.


The robotic bodies begin to pile up in short order as Armando grabs a sword from one of the fallen soldiers, "Ah. Jian- the Gentleman's weapon." he offers, speaking cantonese to the robots- Cantonese being the type of Chinese most spoken in the US at this time. Armando does not wield the blade with great skill- rather, he's using it as a stabbing and chopping weapon- only his blade-proofed flesh really protecting him from the weapon wielding enemies. Arrows and sword blades both cut his clothing but not his flesh even as he cleaves robotic attackers in twain. The people forced to work a Saturday in Worthington Industries give a cheer as Armando spins and uses his liberated blade to remove the head off one of the robotic attackers. They know that guy- they know *that* mutant who's holding back the tide from their place of work- watching as his tailored shirt falls away. He's absolutely a higher threat than those hiding behind glass windows. That blade begins to fall again towards necks- all the while Armando's body changing. No longer the brawler, but the thin, sure lines of a fencer as he uses his over-long arms to his advantage, keeping the shorter machines at bay with his now extreme reach.

Cavalry comes, now, and Armando's tactics change to something more defensive- he jumps and rolls as the daos swing low- slashing the blade at the horse's legs, hoping to take one off. Unfortunately, Armando- while apparently well protected and safe, even in this danger, is no true fencer. His body may have changed to best used the blade, but the skills do not come through simple evolution- somethings a man must learn.


Tony focuses at first on analysis. Ever the scientist, he focuses the armor's sensors on the enemy. "Automatons," he mutters. "Sophisticated ones, too. Guess I get to shop for parts while I fight evil today," he says.

Realizing that the bystanders are getting caught up in it, Tony enhances his voice, "All medical professionals, please come to the injured people zone. All medical professionals, please come to the injured people zone. This is a friendly announcement from your Iron Man. Now, please keep your distance while I save all your lives. Thank you and remember to shop Stark."

At which points he kicks in the jets on his boots and careens into the archers, interspersing a mingling of punches and repulsor blasts, now in close quarters.


"Phew! -That- was close!" Ann tells the fallen woman. The woman was twitching, in the last throes of life, but Ann seemed relatively happy. "This is very interesting! Oh how I wish you worked for SHIELD, we could at least manage to do a snatch and grab to haul one of these.. are they robots? To the lab!" Ann's eyes flutter towards the sky dreamily, even as a hail of arrows darken the sky over her head.

There was a cough, and a flubber.. the last breath of the woman was taken as Ann frowns, leaning forward to press her fingers in front of the womans nose. "Hmph. Unfortunate."

Just when she was about to cower just a little bit more, a sino-bot grabs ahold of her shoulders, causing her to scream out in shock as she twists left and right to get the thing off of her back! "Let.. go.. of.. me!" She manages out, her hands smacking at the hands of the bot rather frantically. Go go gadget SHIELD training!

Which wasn't much, with a nice twist and snatch (and a scrape of her back and shoulders), she ducks her small self down and scrambles to try to crawl beneath a car to come out of the other end to break out into a run if she could.


After a couple weeks spent winding through New York's streets and subway lines, Natasha is slowly beginning to feel as if she understands the city she's been tasked with infiltrating. The stink, the noise, the crudity; the sheen of glitter dusting it in places to distract from the first three. The buildings between which lives are made or lost, the new worlds waiting around each corner; arrows silencing screams before they're able to make it all the way out of rent throats—

Natasha momentarily halts upon stepping out of an experimental shortcut as a gurgling pedestrian collapses just a few buildings down, clutching at the air until his fingers stiffen forever— and then she steps back into her alley until she's shrouded by its shadows, narrowed eyes never leaving the street.

Maybe a minute later, with her floral sundress, glasses, and dark wig are tucked into a box amidst the rubbage, she scans around a corner until she has locked onto a bow toting soldier approaching her position. Her fingers meet her lips, a shrill note pierces the air, and then she vanishes again.

Another half a minute and a brisk ZZZAKT! later, Natasha's clutching her new bow and arrows to her chest in one arm while a grapple line from the other's gauntlet carries her to the roof of one of the buildings surrounding her.


Okay, this is even more messed up when she sees it in person, Tigra thinks to herself, rolling out of an alley and coming up in a crouch to stay first a moving and then a small target. She leaps into the closest batch of soldiers, the advancing cavalry, landing on the rump of one of the robotic horses. She waves at the rider behind, who swings to attack her. She backflips over her borrowed mount's rider, letting the attack smash it in twain, Landing on her feet in front of the mechanical mount, she grabs it by the head, hauls it around as she spins to build momentum, and tosses it towards a close batch of soldiers to try to send them sprawling.


After a couple weeks spent winding through New York's streets and subway lines, Natasha is slowly beginning to feel as if she understands the city she's been tasked with infiltrating. The stink, the noise, the crudity; the sheen of glitter dusting it in places to distract from the first three. The buildings between which lives are made or lost, the new worlds waiting around each corner; arrows silencing screams before they're able to make it all the way out of rent throats—

Natasha momentarily halts upon stepping out of an experimental shortcut as a gurgling pedestrian collapses just a few buildings down, clutching at the air until his fingers stiffen forever— and then she steps back into her alley until she's shrouded by its shadows, narrowed eyes never leaving the street.

Maybe a minute later, with her floral sundress, glasses, and dark wig are tucked into a box amidst the rubbage, the catsuit-clad woman scans around a corner until she has locked onto a bow toting soldier approaching her position. Her fingers meet her lips, a shrill note pierces the air, and then she vanishes again.

Another half a minute and a brisk ZZZAKT! later, Natasha's clutching her new bow and arrows to her chest in one arm while a grapple line from the other's gauntlet carries her to the roof of one of the buildings surrounding her.


Jess almost looks eager as the soldier-bots square off, going into a crouch to balance herself right up until one of the heads goes clank. Straightening up, she turns a confused look to find Steve standing there as well. And going on about other things. She crosses her arms over her chest, but the Star-Spangled Man is spared a smart-ass comment when he clarifies.

"Could've just started with that!" she calls after him when he runs off, eyeing the NYPD. Not her usual ally, but then…times are changing. Still, she does pause long enough to shoot a bio-electric blast at one of the robots, full-strength. Might as well see how that works.

Once that's done, though, she heads for the cops to relay Steve's orders. "Hey, boys! We can take the main body, but we need distraction on the archers and the cavalry. Shoot for the neck," she grins from behind her mask before breaking back to the fight.



The Mandarin holds the candle up in front of them to reveal a large circular door with a large knob for turning. His assistant immediately tries to open it but to no avail because it is locked.

< Each job has its own tools, Zhi >

The slender man reaches out his long arm and a bolt of energy leaps from one of his rings. The lock falls upon the ground in a large klang as Zhi opens the creaky door.

< Pardon me, Emperor, but I do not understand. How are you so sure this will be blamed on Mao? >

< The American weakness is the ease with which they believe their own stereotypes. They convinced themselves in Maoist and Leninist conspiracy. We have only shown them what they assumed was to be the case. In short, we will use their racism against them, just as we have used Mao's overconfidence against him. >


Sparks and smoke follow the exploits of Iron Man as he begins to focus full firepower on the archers. People are so busy rushing away from the horde that very little is moving towards it. It seems as if emergency personnel is waiting until the end of the battle, which leaves, for the time being at least, many police and citizens moaning in pain on the ground injured.


Teddy is like a bowling ball that heads right down main street. There are a few spares left on the table, but the smoldering wreckage that remains after his rampage is a heaping mess of metal and electronic equipment.

"Nice job, kid," says Captain America in an understated way before Teddy goes to help finish off the footsoldiers.

Darwin's low sweep is enough to take out one of the robo-horses at the knees. Its rider goes headlong into a dumpster and breaks in half. More cheering erupts from the workers of Warren Industries, but even as it does, a hulking robot reaches over Darwin and envelopes him in a bear hug!

The bot seems frustrated that Ann has gotten the better of it in a slap-happy flutter of hands. While most of the soldiers continue down towards the south, this one continues after Ann, apparently intent on getting its revenge.

As Natasha slinks through the scene, the androids seem to pay her no mind. Whatever sensory equipment they use seems to be outsmarted by the Soviet Spy. To all appearances she seems to have remain un-noticed.

Tigra's attack sends a group of five soldiers and one mounted warrior to the ground as the head gets tangled in their feet! The soldiers will eventually be able to get up and attack once more, but the enemy on the mechanical horse is too damaged from the fall to continue after it crashes into the front part of a parked car.

The bio-electric shock sends one of the enemies spasming as its circuits short out. It seems like Jess' weaponry has a way of skirting the robots defense systems. Soon, cops begin firing for the necks of the soldiers to great effect.

Captain America is standing on the hood of a car, noticing that things seem as though they are coming to an end. He breathes a sigh of relief, looking to all the heroes who have shown up here today. Many have died, to be sure, but with the combin— wait. What's that sound?





Tony hovers up a few feet in the air and extends his arms out to the sides, spinning as his blasts create cyclonic waves around him. He extends his scanners, trying to catch any broadcasts or signals that might be controlling these things. He hasn't invented artificial intelligence yet so, odds are, nobody else has either. Which means that there's a puppetmaster pulling the strings by some means, even if it's on a basic level.

One jumps up on his back and he reaches up to grasp its head, twisting just show until he breaks the circuit connecting brain and body. Then he hurls it a bit more carefully on top of a nearby building. That one he's going to specifically save for later.

He sees the Captain standing on the car and swoops down, hovering next to the shield bearer. "Hey, look, it's the flag guy! You seem…hey, hey, over here. Whatcha starin' at big guy, Iron Man over here, and I…oh. OH."


Thud? Lifting one of the ancient robots from china and/or mars up, he pauses a moment before squishing it into little bits, because there's this loud thud. He glances behind him, and down at his feet, and he's pretty sure he didn't cause the thud, or fart, which might have knocked a city block down. But he's pretty sure he's not thudding. Even though he's pretty sure he's the biggest guy around at the moment. The ancient robot from china and/or mars is remembered, and Teddy blinks at it a moment, then squeezes until it shatters. "Ummm. What's thudding? I didn't do it, I swear." he asks of those people around him. Mostly crushed robots (he's starting to think mars is unlikely, they'd be green, everyone knows that). So he looks around, and very very carefully kind of hulk-tip-toes over towards where Captain America and Iron Man (whoa, IRON MAN; Teddy has a fanboy moment privately) is, because surely he knows what's going on with the thudding. Aaaand he's tip-toeing to not add his own thudding. Just in case. "Anyone else hear the thudding? Thudding is bad."


Not good, the thing snatches at her ankles but there wasn't a good grip. She kicks it away and slides out at the other end, then turns to face the car. "HA!" Right when she was about to gloat, the bot raises, and in the ensuing chaos she gets knocked to the ground by one of the running victims. They had an arrow in the knee. How they were still running is anyones guess.


Just when the sino-bot was about to leap over and take it's kill, a police officer.. following true to the orders of Captain America, shoots it's right in the neck. In a look of shock, Ann takes a step back.. her hands shaking as she turns and stops abruptly as another person flies by. "Wow.."

Wow is right. She was going into shock. Mild of course. Seeing the star spangled man, the man in a suit, a.. green man and others gathered, she slowly walks towards their position, the loud thud ringing in her ears as she sidles right into the group of heroes.

Yeah.. this was bad.

"Guys.. guys.." All proper manner of speech was gone out of the window. "..I.. I.. think I'm going to throw up.. I don't feel good."


The soldiers that Tigra sends sprawling can only get up to attack if they're allowed to, and she leaps upon them to make sure they can't. Claws slash here, a foot kicks there, and heads are rapidly detached from bodies. It's not long before she gets them disabled, and then leans down to pick up a robotic head. "Alas, poor…." She frowns, looking up at the distant thumbing, her tail twitching in time with it. "Oh that's not good," she says, letting Yorick's head fall to the ground.


As soon as Natasha hits the top of the building, she dumps her load then fires grapples from both wrists to bring the fallen automaton up there with her; someone will no doubt be interested in what makes these things tick.

Before she can worry about digging for salvage, however, there's a field of hostiles below to consider. Captain America shouted something necks, so her first instinct is to take her new weapons to the edge of the roof and aim above their shoulders.

Of course, she grabbed all of six arrows and there are a few more soldiers in play than that, so before she knows it, she's onto Plan B. The archery tools are ditched, she returns to the fallen machine, and softly commands, "Stay," in Mandarin while drawing its sword. Once rearmed, she takes off towards the roof's edge and commences leaping and grappling along the side of the street/battlefield, scanning the ground and trusting her reflexes to take care of minor trifles like 'not slipping and plummeting to her death'.

Just as she locks onto one of the ones directing the others and directs herself to a building just adjacent, the thudding begins and her line wobbles. She barely manages to plant her feet and a hand against the brick instead of her face when her controlled approach is thus disrupted; once attached, she slowly exhales and spares a glance for whatever the hell is responsible for amplifying the carnage.

Just a glance, though. There's still the officer below, after all, and the Captain did suggest decapitation.

After creeping several stories down, the Black Widow detaches with a methodical flip meant to bring her into a spinning, neck-slicing landing.


ZAP! ZAP! ZAP! Jess dives back into the melee with cheerful abandon, yellow-green energy blasting from her hands at the soldiers in the streets. She's not content to shoot from a distance, though, wading in to add fists and feet to the fray. It might be impressive, if it weren't for how utterly undisciplined it is.

Then again, she's had her whole life turned upside down in the last week. Sometimes it's nice to go for something a little simpler. Thudding breaks through her happy place, though, and she half-turns, looking for the source.




"Hey, you're not supp—" Humperdink and his associate tear their eyeballs from the television screen when they notice the pair of intruders. But rather than confront the two, the military men bring their hands up to their ears as the sonic blasts from Mandarin's rings have them bleeding out their ears.

Stepping over their wriggling bodies, the Mandarin enters the security room and flips a handful of switches. For the first time in a long time, Zhi sees his master smile.


Poor Yourick's head sputters, smolders, and the lights under its eyes begin to flash on and off before it finally loses its power in Tigra's hands. It's a metaphor for much of the rest of the attack force, too, who seem to be getting mopped up.

When the Black Widow takes out the final officer, many of the of the remaining foes begin to sputter and lose their way. Some just shut down completely.

"Is she alright?" Cap asks while he's momentarily distracted by Poindexter and the puking comment. Finally, the emergency personnel are starting to arrive because it's clear that the heroes are almost done wiping out this mess. "She needs help," he exclaims, pointing towards Ann.

Captain America raises his shield and points to where Teddy and Iron Man can see. A few blocks to the south west, and in between the buildings, the trio can see a gigantic soldier, almost as tall as a small skyscraper, making its way. It seems as though Jess gets her answer as to what the source must be.



"I have a very bad feeling about this," Steve says as he begins to give chase, running faster and faster after the gigantic monstrosity in hopes of catching up to it quickly. What he plans to do when he gets there he's trying to figure out as he runs.

As he gets closer, the monolith is just reaching the water. In the distance, Steve can see where it's headed. The Statue of Liberty!


Tony looks at the giant soldier heading towards the Statue and sighs. Things were so much easier before he took on all this 'responsibility' and 'doing the right thing' and 'being a decent human being'. "Guess somebody's been watching those Japanese space monster movies too much," he mutters.

He could carry someone along with him, but isn't really sure what Cap could accomplish against the giant robot. Plus, well, he's Tony - he just assumes he'll be able to handle it. So he streaks off, continuing to look for those controlling frequencies as he extends his fists out in front of him and turns himself essentially into a massive human missile, planning to see just how hard the head of that thing is.


The Hulkling blinks, "Oh no you don't! She stands for FREEDOM and the AMERICAN WAY, OKAY?!" He bellows, downright offended. The ancient robots certainly from china are going after Lady Liberty? That will NOT STAND. There's once more a blurring in his body, and this time a really epic pair of wings emerges from his back, and with a huge gust of wind he's leaping off into the air. Flying is better then running. But he does swoop down and shout out, "WANT A RIDE, CAP?" And he extends a big green hand to grab said Captain if he seems to indicate that yes, he would like a ride.


Armando has been struggling in the bear-hug of the large machine for a long few minutes, but it can't seem to crush the young man. There's a quiet gasp from the people in Worthington towers- but soon, Armando has evolved again. They didn't call him Darwin for nothing. Armando drops the jian, before he plants his feet on the ground- the back of his skull growing thick, ridges starting on his bald head as he kicks his head back- once, twice, three times- each time larger spikes having grown on the back of his skull- sharp and strong enough to pierce robotic flesh.

ARmando takes a moment, grabbing up the sword again to the cheers of his coworkers as he sees that large figure in the distance. Well, he's come this far… and Worthington Industries seems to be safe. He darts off, sword in hand as he runs as fast as he can towards the edge of the water. He dives in, without even thinking, and kicking off his shoes his body has again evolved. Fins, gills, webbed fingers and toes- he's swimming in style.


That. Thing. Was. Huge.

Despite her stomach churning and one of the medical personell dragging her off, she bats away her hand at the worker to call out towards Captain and Iron Man. "BRING BACK PARTS! LOOK FOR A MOTHER BOX!" Or a black box. Something! "Circuit boards! ANYTH— oh you stop fussing over me! I'm a doctor!"


This is where Dr. Pinkerton shines. She doesn't shine on the battlefield (she could, but she sucks), she doesn't shine when she holds a gun and gives orders to soldiers and form plans of attack. She shines when that labcoat comes off and those sleeves roll up with cracked knuckles and a stern, cold demeanor.

"You, bring the stretchers from the ambulances! You! Stand guard and keep watch! You two over there, start assessing the damage! I want non-criticals over here and those could could spare a minute of their lives in the middle! Bring me the criticals and lets get to work!" The workers begin to flit around, masters in medical crises.. and as Anna approaches the first patients she looks up and forlornly towards the departing heroes.

"God Spee—.." She was cut short, the patient she was working on? Throws up when Poindexter should have. "..oh beans and potatoes…"


"You have -got- to be kidding me," Tigra exclaims at the sight of the giant soldier. She starts climbing a nearby building, then sprints across the rooftop, leaping to the next and continuing in pursuit. No, she's got no plan either, other than trying to leap on it from up high and try to…do…something unpleasant to it. Fast as she is, she can't catch up with something that stride dozens of feet in one go, and she runs out of roofs before it runs out of land. Back to ground level she goes, jumping the last ten feet or so, and jogging after the robot. No way she can catch up to it by swimming.


Once the officer is down, Natasha takes another look at the rumbling mountain shaped like Someone Else's Goddamn Problem with a thin-lipped grimace, then drops her eyes to the officer. Its head goes bouncing into the nearest alley with a hard punt and the rest of it follows closely, Widow dragging machine by its arms until they're both out of sight. She plunges the sword into its chest to try and rip it open with a quick, messy cut so she can root through its innards for anything that looks like an interesting component rather than wiring.

Now and again, she pauses her surgical efforts to glance over her shoulder for signs of soldiers or gigantic feet; once, she does in fact have to twist 'round and launch an electric burst from one of her gauntlets at a lurching, half-destroyed soldier.

Eventually - with or without belt compartments stuffed with salvage - she leans out of the alley, shaking oil from her hands and admiring the giant soldier's boldness.



"Hey! Electricity works!" Jess tries to shout after Iron Man. He's the one who builds suits and the like, surely he's got his own sources of electricity. In theory. Maybe.

Kicking one more minion in the head, she turns to look after the giant robot. "All right. We can do this. For…" What's the motivation for saving a landmark again? Whatever, if Cap's headed in that direction, it's probably the right thing to do. So she breaks into a run, following after.



The Mandarin enters a large hangar filled with cargo boxes and large devices under sheets. Hands out at either side he begins to laugh maniacally.

Behind him and Zhi a throng of corpses lay in his wake.


Captain America reaches up to grab Hulkling's hands as the pair soar off toward the giant robo-monster. They arrive just after Iron Man's smash-mouth effort. Well, smash-back-side-of-the-head effort. There's a mighty bong sound and a large dent after Iron Man makes his attack and the head can't quite straighten. Nevertheless, it keeps stomping towards the statue now, knee deep in water.

Teddy lets go of Captain America on his first flyby. The latter lands upon the shoulder of the enemy and begins to slam down into the metal over and over again. Finally getting a tear in the metal, Steve reaches in to begin pulling out wiring in an effort to stop the monster.

Darwin arrives shortly after, swimming up towards the plodder, careful not to be caught under its mighty feet. Funny thing about electricity; it and water don't mix.

One of the emergency specialists tilts his head towards another as Poindexter goes off and gives orders. "Who is she?"

The co-worker shrugs.

"Guess we better listen, she seems feisty."

Aside from the half destroyed soldier that becomes a fully destroyed soldier, Natasha is able to work in piece. She'll see lots of goodies in there. Many of the components are clearly Chinese from their design, although some of the more high-tech stuff does not follow anything Black Widow is likely to have seen.

By the time Jess and Tigra get to the water's edge, the efforts of the others have slowed the machine's stride enough where each of them could get to it if they were so determined. From far away it looks to people in high rises that the monster is swatting at flies.


Tony sees that brute force made a serious impact but he realizes it might take a more precise hand to get the job done. He sees Cap working to tear at the wiring and calls out, his voice again enhanced to be pretty much audible to all.

"Attention, people without armor! I am about to wreck the giant robot. Prepare your parachutes and/or methods of egress as necessary! This message brought to you by Stark! Stark - Innovation You Can See!"

And then he points outwards and unleashes high-intensity cutting lasers, starting low and working to slice through the beefy and metallic thighs of the robot, starting the process of separating them from the rest of its titanic body.


Having delivered Captain America via Teddy Express (tm), Teddy swings back around in the air and lets his wings blur into nothing again, momentum carrying him forward to slam into the giant machine's back. Hands that were just hands blurred into claws at the last moment, stabbing with momentum and strength into the metal thing. While IRON MAN begins cutting through its legs, the Hulkling begins smashing metal-hard claws into its back again and again, ripping and tearing. "YOU." Smash, rip, tear. "WILL." Wreeeenching sounds as the big green guy clings and smashes. "NOT." Crunch. "MESS." Tear. "WITH." Smash. "LADY LIBERTY." He's sorta aware that the giant machine might fall, what with IRON MAN cutting its legs to bits. But he's gotta do his part for America, you know? Besides it is hardly the first time a building fell on him.


Luckily for Darwin, he's not got much to worry about electricity- indeed, he's evolved a defense to it by the time he reaches the big plodder electricity is seen shifting along his flesh- sparks and bolts that seem to do nothing to the gray-skinned mutant, who's jian is forced into to the big-bad's articulated knee. Once. Twice. Three times- all the while, electricity sparking from his body through the steel of the blade as he shouts a battle cry. He crawls higher as Tony's lasers begin to work at the metal-man's thighs.

In this moment, Armando is fearless- just driving that steel blade through the robot's hip- attacking for all he's worth. "LIBERTY OR DEATH!" he cries, calling back to the immortal Patrick Henry.


Poindexter had a working groove. People were getting patched up while she checked their work with an approving nod, then carried on to the next station. She could only hope to thank her employers for that.

But the people were frightened, they could hear the battle as it was close to them, and so could Poindexter. And the best thing she could do at that moment was silently pray, and.. knick a car that was idled out to drive away from the rescue mission towards the near-to-the-end battle.

And once she arrives? She'll be waiting. Medical bag and a car full of gas to drop the heroes off if they don't feel like walking. Or flying. Or climbing.


Natasha's only got so much belt-space, so while she grabbed a few recognizably Chinese items, the unrecognizably techy stuff was her priority. She allows herself a whole five seconds to watch the conflict surrounding the giant, but even from where she is, she can tell that unless it's hiding an ace, it's probably not going to complete its mission; too many garish flies impeding its progress. That assessment and Stark's loud, jolting announcement give her all the impetus she needs to grab the officer's head and grapple back to the rooftops so she can return to her first 'kill' for a lightning round of surgical salvaging. This time, she only pockets the high-tech stuff— if there even is any to speak of; she does however take its head before booting what's left of it down to be discovered by garbage collectors, or homeless people, or rats, or whatever.

Shortly afterwards, she grapples down to join it. A couple minutes after that, she's briskly walking out of the alley with her black bob wig, black glasses, and sundress in place, only a bit worse off for having been stashed where they were; the soldier's head - sans an eye - gets chucked near the rest of its body on the way out, while the officer's causes her purse's straps to bite into a shoulder.

Once she's a few blocks away from the carnage, she disappears into yet another alley just long enough to tuck the eye into a small gap between a building's foundation and the rest of the concrete— and then it's back to the mission of getting to know New York City a little better.


Jess could probably vault out into the water. But since she knows what her next attack is likely to be, she stays on the shore, holding her hands together. "Jolt coming in!" she shouts out toward the ones in close to the giant robot as a yellow-green glow starts to build around her joined hands.

She's never tried to build up that much energy. Usually she uses her blasts to incapacitate. Usually she's holding back. But this time, she pours as much as she can into it before releasing the energy right at the robot's back.


Natasha is able to scavenge all sorts of goods of questionable origin from the wreckage. At a later time she'll be able to get the equipment to people in the know and be shocked to find that no one she goes to can figure out what in the world it's made from or how it works.

Poindexter pulls onto one of the last streets before the water and watches as the group has at it on the Giant Bot who stands far off from the Statue of Liberty. She can see it try, and fail, to take a step after Darwin shoves equipment far enough into the knee to prevent it from bending properly. She sees Teddy tear large chunks into the back while circuitry falls out after sparking and smoking just before Jess's shot of energy completely fries out the back parts. Iron Man cleaves straight through the legs at a downward angle, causing the upper half to slide at an angle downward and away. Atop the shoulder, Captain America is covered in what looks like motor oil. He realizes he doesn't have a lot of time, so he simply leaps off the top of the bot and crashes into the water below.

A split second later the giant robot falls into the water as well and the enemy forces have now been completely defeated. Its aims and source, however remain a mystery.


< We have a few hours before landing my lord. >

< Excellent, Zhi. Have you radioed ahead to let the working crews know we shall be coming? >

< Yes, my Emperor. >

< Good. It shall not be long now >


"Was it the Chinese?"

"We believe so, Mr. President. All indications seem to indicate it was them and our fear of a communist invasion is real," replies Robert McNamara.

"Always believed it'd be the Russians," Bobby Kennedy adds as he sits back on the sofa in the Oval Office.

"General Ross," President Kennedy says as he looks out to the right. "I want a plan for a full military response at the ready."

"Yes, Mr. President."


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