1963-08-18 - Fake It 'Til You Make It
Summary: A joint strike by SHIELD and the Avengers on the factory that produced the fake nuclear warheads brings them face to face with the villains behind the theft.
Related: Lethal Magnetism (plot)
Theme Song: None
alex amadeus bobby darwin miles poindexter sam sousa wasp 

Just a few hours ago, SHIELD investigators finally managed to pinpoint the factory where they are almost certain fake nuclear warheads were produced as part of a successful plan to steal a significant nuclear arsenal. A strike team, including SHIELD agents and several members of the burgeoning Initiative, has been waiting for just such news: they loaded onto a C-130 and took off for Detroit within minutes of getting a confirmed target. Now, they're mere minutes from that target.

Sam Wilson, formerly of the Air Force, currently a SHIELD test pilot, and known to a good number of those assembled, briefed them along the way. He has accessorized a drab jumpsuit with his flight armature, a black eye, and a sling. He hasn't seemed keen to discuss the origins of these injuries, avoiding the topic whenever anyone inquired. He has, however, been forthcoming on their objectives in Michigan:

"We don't know what we're walking into. This facility could be abandoned, or it could be a hardened military target, only disguised as a manufacturing plant," he said, even more grim than usual. "What we do know is that whoever runs it has already stolen 15 H-bombs, and the only reason they haven't used them yet is that they think we haven't even noticed they're gone yet. That's why we've brought both heavy hitters and investigative specialists: we might need to hit hard and secure the location before a message or a missile can get out. We might find a deserted facility and have to work fast to determine where they were headed when they left." Counting points off with the fingers on his uninjured arm, he outlined the plan: "Our first goal is to cut communications — that has to happen almost immediately. Our second goal is to take over the facility. Force is authorized, but we need some of them alive to achieve our third goal: figure out who we're dealing with, and what our next step has to be."

Now, with the ramp about to descend so that the team can dive out — fliers assisting non-fliers with the 'not falling to their death' bit, of course — he asks: "Any last questions before we get this party started?"


Miles cracks his knuckles, sighing quietly. He's wearing his suit, mask and gloves obscuring the view of any of his skin. Strapped to his wrists are devices that most people would realize are web-slingers at this point, and a revolver is holstered at his side. "Only one question. Who's coming with me?" Though it can't be seen, the grin can be heard in his voice. He's excited.


Sousa isn't sure who he'll kill first: Wilson or Peggy. Maybe he'll kill Peggy first, then Wilson, then Peggy again…and then Wilson. When she handed over the assignment to him, she didn't mention parachuting. Or flying outside of a plane. Yes, if he makes it out of this alive, he's going to kill them both. First though, is an actual prayer, the sign of the cross made on his chest, and then, "All right. Who's the one who pulled the short straw and gets the gimp?"

He's not powered. He's not armored. But he's a high-ranking SHIELD Agent and there might need to be some calls made on this mission. He's also here so Peggy doesn't have to be. Any files that were sent were read so he knows as much as Peggy would have going in. This is, however, Wilson's mission and he's here to back the Agent up as much as possible.


There are no introductions needed. Poindexter hangs in the back of the crew as the modus opperandi was given.

"I need a vacation.." Is quietly heard in the backdrop of Sam giving off his order, her goggles already fogged up due to the massive amounts of tears that she cries. She was shaking in her boots. Big ol' bag hung upon her back, and another that was held within her hand as she sniffs not once, but twice.. and attempts to speak with a catch of her breath. She was a lab rat. Why in the living blazes did she offer to go on the mission.. oh right..

..for the sweet love of Science.

She was damn near about to have an asthma attack with the way she fumbles with breathing, her dark cheeks already hinting with a tiny touch of red, a handerchief snatched from the back of her pockets as she begins to dab at her face to finally speak up.

"I.. Ah.. Ah.. I.." ..whimpers.. "..n..need a fly..er..er.. er.. !"


"I'm perfect for this," the Winsome Wasp says, for now sized at 4" so she could carry someone on the way down if anyone needs her assistance, her wings twitching a bit with the excitment of being about to take flight, "I can sting a person out cold, that should get us some people to interrogate," she offers following the briefing, as she looks over at the ramp, "and I can kill those communication devices buuut…I need someone to point them out, did I mention I'm not military?" She asks with a nervous laugh, in this company, being a rather fresh superheroine makes her feel just a bit outclassed in the experience department. As she moves towards the ramp, she calls out, "anyone needs a ride on the way down?"


"Yeah, you forgot to mention the part about jumping out of planes." Bobby points out. "And to hand out the parachutes. I don't fly and neither does Alex." And he's not going near that end of the plane though he does get on his tip toes and crane his neck to try to see the ground, failing miserably since he's not near the opening. "Ice shatters on impact, you know."


Alex is new to this Initiative thing, and in fact may not be entirely clear upon what its called: but he's involved enough to have heard someone say something about THERMONUCLEAR WEAPONS in a briefing, and being a physicist, has an idea what that means a bit more then most. And he's really serious about being totally on board with having bad guys not get their hands on, you know, THERMONUCLEAR WEAPONS. For his part, Alex showed up in a uniform, of sorts. Its a black suit, looking moderately armored, with a silver circular panel in front of his chest, along with numerous other silver lines that connect to smaller circles all over his body, having the look of circuitry of some sort. Its… odd. But has the air of 'functional' about it. "I haven't met all of you, this being something of a recent joining for me, so three things: 1) For the purposes of this I'm Havok, hi, 2) I'm one of the heavy hitters, and 3) It might be relavent since, you know, nuclear material, so F.Y.I: I'm immune to radiation. Just in case it comes up." He pauses, "Yeah I'm probably going to need the parachute." he agrees with Bobby.


Armando- Codenamed Darwin- is dressed in a rather standard issue sort of tight-fitting uniform. It doesn't need to be armored, and it holds some tools on the belt. He doesn't carry any weapons- he really doesn't know how to use any. His tools are largely utility- a knife, a fire-starter, a spy-sized camera to catch information should something be there and needed. "No. I've jumped off of things before. I know how my body will react." Armando says with a smile as he comes to the edge of the ramp and looks down, looking towards Bobby and Alex with a smile. "So then, it'll be me and Havok in any dangerous radiological situation- both of us can survive that situation." he looks over the edge of the ramp. "So- when do we jump?"


Cho doesn't do costumes or secret identities, evidently. When the young man walks into the briefing area to meet Sam, he's wearing his SHIELD attire along with a pair of sunglasses that have a wire running down to the suit. Someone's been a little busy, at least. He walks along in his cocky manner and puts eyes on Sam for the most part as they load up to get going. As per the usual, he has a sucker tucked into his mouth. Cherry from the faint smell in the air. He seems otherwise unarmed. "Not it," he says to Sousa with a lopsided grin. "It doesn't bother me any which way who I go with, though I should probably work on something for flying." Some thought is given to that briefly before he looks over to Wasp, blinking.

"Oh neat!" he exclaims towards the tiny woman. "How are you doing that?" is the next question, but he lets it hang there to pay attention once more to Sam. "want to fly me in, tough guy or do you have other plans here?" A raised brow and an inquisitive expression are given to Sam.


With the air of a police officer patiently explaining the speed limit, or a high-end designer explaining why she won't affix capes to superhero outfits, Wilson lays down the law: "No parachutes. Parachutes are slow. Parachutes are easy to spot." With just the hint of a smug smile tugging at his lips, he hits the switch to extend his own metal wings, the engine hissing and thrumming, then waves a finger between Wasp, Darwin, and Arachnid. "We don't have that problem. And it is a problem, on a mission like this." When Cho volunteers, Sam flashes him a tight-lipped smile and nods. "That's the spirit."

He bashes the back of his fist against the ramp button, causing groaning hydraulics to extend the cargo ramp with a sudden roar of wind. He then wraps his good arm securely around Cho — manhandling this wing suit into operation does wonders for upper body strength — and cants the wings so that they catch the flowing air, tossing both of them out of the plane.

No one on this team has ever seen Sam Wilson really grin, until that moment right before he takes to the air.

The building they're descending toward is nondescript for this area: yet another older automotive parts plant, converted to who-knows-what use. From up here, it's easy to spot the little bright dots of cars in the parking lot, and for those particularly eagle-eyed, the moving specks of people going to and from the building itself.


Miles taps Sousa a Salute and motions him over. "Alright, remember to breathe." It's a warning that probably isn't needed, but a thwip sounds out as the man sticks a web to Sam's chest, before attaching it to Sousa and waving. Then he's looking back over the crowd. "Anybody else?"


Sousa isn't wearing anything more than the usual police-style armor - essentially a Flack Jacket, and he looks down as webbing attaches itself to the front of the jacket and then to Wilson. "Wait, what?" He has only a moment before he's suddenly yanked out of the plane with a yelp. It's a miracle that he isn't screaming all the way down, but they are supposed to be stealthy and he had just enough willpower to shut his mouth over the next scream.

If he makes it out of this alive…


Maaaaybe it was a comfort zone thing. Since Poindexter picked no one, and no one picked Poindexter, she was stuck with big ol' Boscoe. Boscoe was pretty much an ace in the hole, the big guy who sat back, ready and willing to do the things that no one else really wanted to do, mostly because his horrible bedside manner and his willingness to burp in uncomfortable situations. This is one of them. He burps in Poindexters ear.

"Jerk!" She squeaks out. But this was met with pure silence. He was already in his jump gear, his big meatmitts fixing belts and buckles to Poindexter as she's jostled about. Call it turbulence, or her being noodle on her legs worse than Sousa with his one. Which ever!

With a nice and hefty hoist of Ann to fix her to his front, strapping her in all nice and snug to the point her legs dangle, her head hangs in a look of shame as he pats her atop of the head.

'ITS OKAY LITTLE ONE! BOSCOE GOT YOU!' He unnecessarily shouts. Because like big Boscoe, the mouth has to match the girth.

With one heavy.. no two.. no three.. heavy steps, he trundles along towards the edge and only 'looks' like he's about to jump. "Wait wait wait wait!" Annamena calls out, tucking her handkerchief back into her pocket to take in a slight whiff of the fresh air, her eyes blinking once and then twice as she gives the thumbs up sign.. then breaks down into sobs.

Without a word, Boscoe just.. sorta lazily tumbles out of the plane.. the big rolly polly feller flapping his arms like a chicken as his richly deep baritone squees out a sound akin to 'wheeeeee' and a 'yeeehawww'.

Annamena? Well. That was the high pitched squeal of swear words and a call for her mama and Jesus Almighty. But she'll be alright.



Wasp grins at Cho as she buzzes into the air, "it's women's intuition, we can do so much," she winks playfully before adding, "but also science! I mean, I look tiny, yes? But I really sting and pack a punch!" She bravados, before flying over to Bobby who already called out not being a flyer, "see?" She chirps as she grabs on to Bobby's shoulder, and surprisingly actually lifts him off the ground as she carries him towards the ramp, flying on their way down, "don't mind me, just keep calm, and I'll carry you on. If you move a lot, it makes it harder for me…" she says to Bobby, and though her tone is quite carefree, maybe it would be a good idea to take her at her word and not shake about too much or she might drop him. Mind you, just might!


"Stolen H-bombs and he's treating this like a high school prank without a proper briefing in advance about needing to jump out of a plane?" Bobby's saying to Alex. "I'm going to be rethinking my decision once this is oooooooover! What the hell?!" he shouts as a very tiny woman lifts him off the ground. And then they're outside the plane and he's careful not to move so much as an inch, taking her at her word. This goes against the laws of physics!


Alex does not look pleased, not one bit, not even a little tiny bit. There is going to be a strongly worded letter over this: there has to be some bureaucrat in charge, somewhere, that's how Government works. Somewhere there's an Avengers Initiative Human Resources Officer who you can file complaints in, and ohhh boy, is Alex going to have one doozy of a complaint to file. He will file it in triplicate: it will begin something like, You goddamn luntatics can dye some parachutes black the next time you want to throw me out of a goddamn plane and are worried about being seen. But, grimly he goes over to Miles and gives a shrug, "How's this… work? You… goop me. And this keeps me from, you know, dying? I hate airplanes. Did I mention I was in a horrific airplane crash as a kid? Let's get this over with but I swear to God you people will give me something to blow the hell up after I'm on the ground, or I might just go nuclear myself." He doesn't sound serious. Probably. "I miss Lockjaw." is said, a long look shared over with Bobby. But, that going, he'll clamp his mouth down and… experience something uniquely awful as Miles gets him to the ground. Somehow.


Armando shakes his head, "If someone wants to go down with me, we can chance it- but, I don't decide how my mutation works. It might not help you survive- it will help me." he admits, but offers a hand to anyone who's interested. If no one takes his hand, he'll take the leap- and while for the first few hundred feet he seems to fall like a stone, before too long he's like a leaf on the wind. He seems to be able to control his descent- falling faster than one would with a parachute, but still slower than a free fall. He'll come to alight on the ground with almost no sound at all, simply landing. Really, of the three mutants along, he doesn't seem to have any complaints or difficulties at all with the whole jumping out of a plane without a parachute problem.


Having been carried by The Hulk in past adventures, Amadeus Cho doesn't seem terribly vexed at the idea of making a parachute-less drop. Content enough to stay seated for the flight and buckled in, he extends an arm and gives Sam the thumbs-up. "It's crunch time. Even if whoever has them is planning on selling them off to the highest bidder, we stand a better chance of nipping this now. If they leave US soil, we're going to have a mountain of other problems. From what we know, we should probably expect heavy security. What we don't know is what sort of force we're going to be up against. Meanwhile, they'll be sitting on top of a countless megaton explosion waiting to happen. You know…fun!" As an aside, he looks to Wasp and smiles. "I'll call out targets for you when we get there, but…don't expect it to go smooth. Fun, remember?"

With that said, he unbuckles himself and stands, preparing for the drop. "Well, if we're short on people who can get down without a parachute…one moment." Cho raises his left wrist and starts fiddling with some dials on what appears to be an overly-complicated watch. "Adjusting for point of impact, windspeed…damn I'm glad I brought an extra energy cell for this stupid…" He flicks the face of the watch before fiddling some more.

"Did you guys catch the game on Saturday? Yankees spanked Chicago like misbehaving little girls. It was primo." Cho finally gets the thing working properly and gives Sam a thumbs up. "Heh. Alright. I'm good here. This is going to put every roller coaster ever to shame. Anyone want some gum?" Indeed, he takes out a pack of Wrigleys and shares it around if people want. It seems like a legitimately opportune moment to offer gum.

Looking to Wasp once more, he gives her a sly smile. "Size-density transference," he says simply. "You're altered at the molecular level, but maintain certain aspects…maybe even enhanced." Craning his neck around her, he finally raises a brow. "So what are you doing Friday?"

The question is left to hang, though as he looks right over to Alex and blinks a bit. "Dude, relax. There's enough experimental energy sources on this boat to level a building. If something does shoot us out of the sky, you won't even see it coming." Amadeus Cho, helpful grief/trauma counsellor. "Might not be the best of ideas. I've got enough of a charge to take someone down who isn't…terribly afraid of high-velocity, somewhat controlled downward movement."


The isotopic engines in Falcon's rocket pack sizzle to life, managing the additional drag of Sousa's additional weight on top of Cho's with barely a hitch. The stretchy webbing has a nice shock-absorption effect, too. The flier swoops in on an exhilarating or terrifying arc, depending on one's level of confidence in extravehicular air travel, aluminum pinions creaking as he adjusts their attitude on the descent. When they're low enough, Wilson pulls upward and slows, dipping Sousa to about a foot off the building's roof, then casually swipes down with a metal wing to slice through the webline. His own landing is faster, with a forceful flap to brake at the end.

He sets Cho down, then immediately gestures toward a roof-access stairwell."Let's get inside," he says as the rest of the team touches down around him. "Hitters, take point."

The interior of the facility is of remarkably clean, modernist design for a converted old factory. Bright yellow stripes and guardrails hem in a smooth white concrete stairwell. A couple of levels down, there's an exit onto a shining chrome catwalk; alternatively, the point team may decide to continue down to ground level, where the factory floor is littered with heavy machinery and spare parts.


"Something like that." Miles informs Alex, and boy is it awful. He wraps an arm around him and leaps out of the plane. No parachute, no wings, just a free fall. And about the time you'd consider praying because death seems inevitable, there's a thwip and their fall turns into a swing that flips them onto the roof with Sam and the others. "Alright, let's do this." And he moves to take point, though he flickers out and becomes invisible.


Sousa's landing is -not- smooth. Landing on one foot is a bit fancier than he's recently trained to do and he is totally going to feel it tomorrow. But he lands without breaking anything even if he does pretty much fall and roll on the roof. There's a moment while he just lays there and looks up at Wilson, "Going. To. Kill. You." but he then rolls back to one side and pushes himself to standing. That'll have to wait and it's also a very idle threat.

As orders are given, he pulls out his gun and settles his crutch on his arm as he makes his way forward, not terribly slowly for someone with his particular handicap, but he's not running. Instructions were, once again, left for Peggy in case anything went wrong but he's hoping that this group will manage to pull together to act as a team. He's not choosing the catwalk. He'll take the other path.



Whatever type of landing that was (a butt bounce), it saw to it that SHIELD's decent-ess science officer was safe. It was pretty much a fluke. If Boscoe didn't land on his ass they'd all be dead. Thank you for the big blanket (as he so affectionately calls it) popping out of that hoodoo bag (as he so affectionately calls it) to have their descent incident free. Not like everyone else. Who rolls and tumbles that is. Anna got a nice big ol' hug!

He kinda smelled like chili.

Though, once she was dislodged from the big feller who was left upon the roof, her bag was taken up, glasses slipped on, and soon she was wandering off. Off onto the boringest path that was probably going to be less traveled since her eyes were immediately upon the ground with a shift and a kick. You don't say spare parts and not have Poindexter looking for some to tinker with.

SHIELD can see many thinga-ma-jiggers and doodads in their future, you betcha!


"Mmmmaaaayyyybbeeeee…" Wasp answers Cho playfully as he more or lesses takes one guess that's just about on target, "as for Friday? Maybe you lose that bit about spanked little girls for losers, and we'll see," Wasp sticks her tongue at Cho very maturely as she buzzes by his face before going to get Bobby.

While flying down to target with Bobby, Wasp notes how he's doing his best not to move, which really makes it much simpler for her to carry him. She is struggling after all, being a mere 4" and carrying a guy much larger to say the least. The wonders of science are awesome. But she'd avoid making a habit of it if she had her pick. She does at least land Bobby very gently on his feet, there's no impact at all, before she in turn quips, "how about we switch and you carry me a little?" She doesn't quite give Bobby a chance to say no, as she lands on his shoulder and sits down, heaving a bit as she unwinds from the effort of carrying Bobby with her.

When they get to the roof access following the leader's orders, Wasp looks very curiously at the split in paths, turning to look at Bobby as she says "I'm very partial to catwalks, but seeing how I picked the way down for you, how about you pick which way from here?"


Bobby starts breathing again once they've actually landed on something solid. "That makes no sense!" he mutters. A four inch high person can't carry a grown adult. Forget the four inch high person thing. It's the carrying that's bothering him. Turning his head, he cranes it back to get a look at the Wasp on his shoulder. "Whichever one Alex is going. We're used to working together." He's wearing the same all black costume/uniform but his is without the silver circuitry.


Alex does not scream. He doesn't shout. He doesn't yell. He works on the complaint in his head: Look, I recognize that some people can fly and that's all fine and dandy but not everyone can fly so you people need to plan ahead. This distracts him from the mind-numbing terror that is going through the rest of his brain. He can't even pray, because he's not the kind of hypocrite who doesn't believe in god then goes praying right before you die.

Okay, as it turns out, he totally is: dear god help— And then they're swinging, and he's stumbling, and he's on the ground. He looks pissed. And flushed. And furious. There's probably other words for mad that apply, and this isn't a question of finding synonyms in his mind: he is simultaneously pissed and furious and mad, and each is a different texture and taste of emotion and they're piled one on top of eachother, not all mixed together. But, he rolls his shoulders, flexes his arms, and looks for Bobby: seeing that Iceman survived, he nods, and goes to head to the point with a cock of his head, expecting he'll go along. And he nods with a quick grin when Bobby says just the same, he heads down into the facility, he glances at the people coming down, looks to Bobby, and points down towards the factory floor, then heads that way.


Armando looks through the building as they enter, looking up. Looking down. "I'll take the high road." he says, nodding towards the catwalk. He moves carefully, quietly- heading towards the catwalk and its interesting, curious door- that shining beacon of entry and exit- moving ever forward as he tries to keep low and quiet, half squatted over as he moves carefully.


Questionable force field adjustments are questionable. Amadeus Cho switches his settings back to default after a fashion and lets Falcon carry him down on his own experimental tech. "Heh. Anyone change it up around the office and call you 'Mister Wilson' instead of 'Agent'? While they're up to shennannigans?" This is asked on the way down, though once they do hit their landing point, he manages to clumsily stay up after being set down. There's a litte waver, but he's good. "Consider it lost," he asides to Wasp with a grin as she buzzes his face. He starts to say something else, but…mission.

A look is then shot over to Poindexter as she lands with Boscoe as well, curiosity touching his features. He lets the heavy hitters go in first, though kind of takes the middle of the pack.

When Alex finally makes it down, he glances over at the other guy and grins. "Hey! A nuclear incineration-free descent and landing. Congratulations." With a playful grin, he tugs at the lapels of his suit and raises his watch hand again to fiddle with something. "Switching over to electromagnetic. Should be able to see trace amounts of the radiation if we get close enough to it. Be careful, Armando." A nod is given in his direction then before he settles his attention on the task at hand.


"Let the bad guys get a crack at me first, Chief — it's only fair," Falcon answers with characteristic gallows humor, a slight smile crossing his bruised face as he follows Darwin out onto the catwalk. He has always had a preference for high vantage points.

There's an assembly line here, which must have been converted to crank out the fake nuclear weapons. They're still operating, though, creating a good bit of noise to cover the team's entrance. What they're building isn't fake missiles anymore, though; they seem to be manufacturing personal equipment: weapons, almost certainly; and wearable devices of more obscure purpose. Everything being built is encased in a strange weblike metal armor, almost like a filigree cage.

Of course, where you have an active assembly line, you have operators for it. People outside were dressed normally; everyone in here, however, is wearing identical bright yellow radiation suits. The suits are puffy, as though they're padded or pressurized. They are belted at the waist with black bands that feature some sort of electronic controls, and the helmets are tall and cylindrical, with the wearers able to look out through a dark plastic panel across the face.

Down on the factory floor, the bulk of the SHIELD agents and Avengers will have the advantage of stealth: even though it's more populated than the catwalk, the machinery provides lots of cover to move around and lots of noise to drown out any missteps. Up top, Darwin and Sam have far less cover, but an excellent vantage point to spot something the others won't, yet: in the corner opposite the stairwell, the factory floor has been cleared away and a massive metal hatchway installed, easily a hundred feet across. It's held in place by locks and hinges the size of washing machines. There's very little security elsewhere in the facility, which seems to rely entirely on secrecy for cover, but whatever's beyond that hatch is being kept locked down tight. Guards armed with those filigree weapons sit in towers overlooking the trap door.

Of course, that vantage point works both ways: those guards spot Darwin and Falcon quickly, opening up with bright blue energy weapons fire. THAT gets the attention of the banana-suited workers on the floor: they crane their necks to see what's going on through the limited view of their visors. For those on the ground floor, this is a perfect distraction. For those on the catwalk, however, it just means more trouble.


Being invisible definitely helps with the not getting shot part, and that buzzing in the back of Miles' skull alerts him to the danger. "Get down!" he shouts to the catwalk, flipping off the ceiling and launching his webbing at the face of the firing guards and sending enough electricity down them to knock a grown man out.


Sousa moves up towards Poindexter and lightly touches her elbow, "Stay with me, doctor," and he even manages, what he hopes to be, an encouraging smile. When the guards start shooting blue rays at those on the catwalk, he frowns, recognizing the color, at least. It's been a while, but he's seen it before. But now's their chance.

He gestures for those down on the ground to follow him towards those large, hatch doors. He'll try to keep behind cover in addition to taking the straightest line to the area. He's just hoping that the workers' attention is drawn enough to keep away from them.


"Ooh.. what's this.." She picks up a circular metal, holding it up to her sights. "This almost looks like a chalikar.. right?" She says to Sousa, who was already at her side. With a shrug, she stuffs that into her bag with a content little smile and a nod. She was going to keep up, that was for certain. "But Chief.. there are many, many materia here that we can —.."

Fire begins to blast and her eyes grow wide, her hand smacking up to push her glasses high upon her nose as she reaches out to grip Sousa's jacket. She may be a hinderance to the Chief, but she wasn't going to let go, not for a second. She follows his every move as trained to do, ducking where appropriate, using the machinery for cover, her eyes alighting upon the very, very big door ..

One could only guess what was behind -that-.


"Actually…" Wasp says, her words a bit broken as she's still catching her breath, "it does. But … another … time." By the time they've headed into the building, she's managed to rest enough to stand up on Bobby's shoulder, nodding at his call, "following two hot guys is never a wrong move, so I'll play Follow The Alex," Wasp laughs. Did anyone notice she was flirtatious by now? Because, yeah, she's flirtatious. Could be a coping mechanism to act as if she's not bothered by being on such a big mission, nuclear weapons at the hands of some dastardly enemies of freedom and all that. But who really knows?

Once they go down rather than the catwalk, a decision that proves far smarter than her own iinstinct, Wasp tenses a little, as she slowly gets a clearer picture of what they're facing. "Bobby?" She asks, as she takes off his shoulder and buzzes into the air, another benefit of the sound in the area is she can't even be heard when she flies, making her the perfect agent for some sabotage, "I think I have an idea…they got tech stuff on them, wanna bet it powers their weapons? They won't see me coming," and just like that the Winsome Wasp proves how reckless she can be, taking a rather big gamble, as she zips ahead of everyone, taking advantage of her tiny size to count on being unseen. She goes about the guards, flying at the level of their waists, shooting her Wasp's Stings in hopes of short circuiting those nifty controls. She assumes it would render them unable to fight our heroes. But is her guess a good one? Good question!


Bobby follows Alex down to the main floor, using the large machinery as cover. And then… rayguns! He glances back up to make sure no one got hit but he didn't hear any shout as if they got lasered. Wasp takes off to do whatever it is she does and since she flies, he doesn't need to worry about her. "Don't move." he tells Alex and everyone else with them. Kneeling, he puts his hand flat on the ground. Under his palm grows a coating of ice, nice and smooth, and it starts spreading out across the floor in all directions except for where the good guys are standing.


The fireworks display on the magnetic spectrum has Cho blinking his eyes and squinting. Quickly, he raises the watch again and sets his vision through the sunglasses back to default. "Holy Gamma Particle Accelerators, Wing-Man," he calls out to Sam while running forth and strategically placing himself, albeit clumsily, out of harm's way. "Don't get hit, guys! It'll ruin your day!" Pause. "Seriously!"

Cho punches a button on his watch then and is surrounded by a crackle of blue energy that surrounds his form. "Speaking of which, I changed the frequency of this field to absorb negative ions and create a feedback loop to make it stronger. In short…"

Cho takes off his tie clip and sticks his tongue out to one side of his mouth. Hyper perception kicks in and the world slows down for just a moment while he observes the surrounding datastreams. Banana Goons: Inconclusive quantity. Primary method of attack: Gamma Fusion Accelerators. Ick. Lynchpin: Exhaust vent. The world starts to come to life again as he takes his tie clip and flings it at the weapon trained on Falcon. The clip shoots into the vent as the weapon powers up and hits a coil inside and a chain reaction that makes the weapon crackle and then just die.

"Sit on it," he finishes the sentence finally, preparing to dodge out of the way.

"You know what? Second, thought…that'll overload the capacitor and kill me. As you were, gentlemen!" And Cho is darting away to find somewhere to hide while frantically fumbling around with his 'watch'. "But seriously!" he calls out towards Bobby and Alex. "Robbie Rumney /who/?" He lifts a finger to his lips and blows on the tip as he gets into cover. The fiddling with his watch continues.


"Sounds good." Alex says to Wasp at her idea for going and sabotaging, and otherwise crouches behind some machine, watching. He sees the firefight up above, but hopefully they'll be covert for awhile: when Bobby decides to start icing the ground he can't help but grin, and he nods. He waits a moment or five, waiting, waiting, thinking: further, if you really wanted to throw me out of a plane, you could have told me ahead of time, and I'd have made other arrangements.

He's not really letting go of that. Alex waits for the ice to spread right up until it is about to reach the first person, then he slips out from behind the machine, clenches his hands at his side and… a blue light is suddenly swirling up and around him, coalescing right in front of him, and then there's a bright, thick beam of superheated blue plasma shooting out to strike full on at one of the security guards in the towers. He's not even vaguely attempting to take prisoners from the guard-class of the nuke-thiefs.


Armando is hit rather squarely with that energy weapon's first fire- the guards are good shots. However, within fractions of a fraction of second he's already evolved an evolutionary advantage. There is the slight hiss of skin burning before it stops suddenly. His white eyes glow the same blue as the weapons- casting off plasma and heat as he forms total immunity to the energy weapon's blast.

"Stay behind me!" Armando shouts towards Sam, standing in a position of protection in front of the other man as more blasts strike him to no deleterious affect. "You do *not* want to get hit with those blasts!" Armando shouts, as he continues to act as a shield for his partner in catwalking.


The warning from Arachnid and the save from Darwin come just in time. Sam only has time to take a step back before Armando is taking fire for him. "Jesus," he mutters, astonished by Darwin's resiliency. It's one thing to read about it — quite another to see it in action. He crouches down, timing the blasts, then says, "Alright, I'll distract them — you see if you can take out the guns or get past that hatch." Without waiting for an answer, the flier dives off the catwalk, wings extending, and jets a midair serpetine around the building's support columns. The energy weapons track his motion closely: he's a big, flashy, fast-moving target, and for the moment the sights are off of Darwin: his invincibility is scary, but his behavior is comparatively nonthreatening enough to give him a bit of breathing space.

Cho's calculated intervention disabled the gun from one tower, but there are three more in operation. At a second, Miles webs the guards with pinpoint accuracy, covering their visors with webbing and leaving them firing blind. The electrical burst he sends at them, however, isn't nearly as effective. Something in those suits is insulating them from the stunning attack: they don't even seem to notice it, just continuing to fire wildly into the air. Where the energy bursts hit the building's walls, they cause burnt-out craters and leave flickering blue flames.

Wasp's stings, targeted at the suit systems rather than the guards' bodies, don't have quite the effect she anticipated, either. Instead of disabling the guards' weapons, the pinpoint bioelectric bursts seem to cause the suit controls to go haywire. One suit inflates to about four times its previous size, leaving the guard rolling right off of the battlement and bouncing around the floor. Another suddenly extends stilts, banging the guard's helmet against the ceiling. One suit actually bursts into flames, which doesn't seem to inconvenience the wearer at all.

That function has another use, as well: as Bobby's ice sheet reaches the boots of the nearest suited worker, its suit suddenly emits a loud beeping, and a tinnily strident, recorded voice announces: "External temperature anomaly detected! Compensating!" The boots suddenly start to emit massive heat: not quite enough to burn, but plenty to hold Bobby's ice at bay. The suited workers look down at this alarm, spotting the ice. It wouldn't have been tough to determine its point of origin even if Alex hadn't blasted one of them: the remaining guards level energy cannons at the pair of mutants and open fire.

Poindexter and Sousa reach the edge of the hatch without too much incident, coming to its perimeter just next to one of the massive locking mechanisms. If Annamena wants to see what's behind the door, messing with that system is likely the best place for her to start. And she should probably hurry up about it: something down there is starting to rumble, sending a mechanical tremor through the entire building.


Miles growls quietly under his breathe, that didn't work. Instead he's moving to yank weapons with his webbing now, "Suits are insulated, probably armored too." His muscles tense and then he's leaping at the men he's blinded, striking at them with his fists and feet, pulling his punches enough to not kill them.


"Can you open this, Doctor? I'll cover you," and Sousa is all but moving to cover the smaller woman, whether she agrees or not. "Fast but careful, all right?" There's another encouraging smile before he turns his attention back to the floor, making sure that if anyone comes close or aims any weapon at them, he's firing. There's another box of bullets in his pocket…unless they fell out on the trip in.


"I can try!" Poindexter says cheerily. Throughout all of the gunfire, the fear melts itself away at the prospect of doing something for the greater good. Or perhaps breaking it. But tinkering was her bread and butter, with a great source of cover, Annamena was put to the test. And she was going to shine! Her bag was dropped to the floor as she immediately takes out a few utensils, screw drivers which were soon put to the electronic panel, her little fingers at work as she unscrews them one by one in quick succession.

She was careful as she was quick, the panel slowly drawn back, wires exposed and left hung. It was nothing like the movies. If she were to break it, that door itself would never open. And it was -huge-. Even if she were to Hyde out, there was no way it was going to be opened with brute strength. Protective glasses were soon retrieved from the bag. Where there was fighting, a sense of urgency, Anna took her damn time. And with the glasses hung over her own, she begins to work.. screw here.. screw there.. *BBZZT* "..Ow.."

Twist there.. a shearing of the wires here.. *BZZT* "Ow.."

The door begins to groan and creak slowly, music to Anna's ears. But it wasn't open yet. *BZZT* "Ow.."


Wasp is caught by surprise at the odd effects her Wasp's Stings generate when she hits the controls of the guard's suits, but ultimately, it seems the effective cause random preventive measures to take trigger, and most of them seem to highten survivability while dampening offensive abilities. Wasp is just fine with that bit of randomness, and she goes about hitting the guards she can find flying about the factory level.

When the Wasp figures she's just about got anyone she noticed while zipping by and shooting her bioelectric stings at their controls, she makes her way towards the trap door, figuring there's enough mayhem going on that she should have enough time to solve it. But hey, Poindexter and Sousa are already on the case, and as Poindexter is busily getting the trap door open, it's Sousa she pesters by buzzing over towards him and landing on his shoulder, "so…you geniuses getting vault open? What do you figure is on the other side? I love surprises! It's so exciting!"


Bobby ducks back against one of the pieces of machinery and ices up. Probably won't do much good against energy weapons but it's not going to hurt. "Well, that didn't work. Bet they'll melt through it if I put them on ice too. You can absorb that stuff, Alex? Then go have fun. I'll be fine."


Amadeus glances over at where Darwin is being bombarded with the gamma radiation from the weapons. "Damn sure need to get those cannons," he speaks of the accelerators that are still crackling deadly beams at both Darwin and whomever else they are trained on. There's a look over to Sousa and Poindexter then, his eyes unreadable through the shades he wears. "See? Fun!" He's still in cover himself, fiddling with his watch. "Heh. This feels like a Monday." With that, he punches the button and stands up from cover again, all crackling blue once more.

With that done, he starts making a mad dash towards the canons that are still firing off gamma rays. While the Banana Goons are busy with the others, he's making his way rapidly towards the canons, dodging haphazardly out of the way as needed. "Armando! We need to eighty-six those death rays! I know! Death rays!" He seems almost giddy about this as he charges on forward.


"Yeah, they might as well be shooting themselves in the head, Iceman." Is there a little bit of emphasis on that last word? Maybe. But he grins over at Bobby. For his part, Alex isn't even trying to avoid the guys firing back at him: seeing them turning their energy weapons at him he just strides out more confidantly and marches forward a few steps: he gets hit once, twice, three times, perhaps more, and… Nothing happens. If one was looking closely, the energy blasts from the weapons didn't really even hit him: the beams broke up at the last moment into a fine mist of light and then just seemed to be absorbed right into his suit. Into him. Mmmn. Nazi-inspired energy weapons? Tastes like chicken. Its always nice when the bad guys recharge your batteries after you start shooting htem.

So Alex smiles, "You're having a bad day, guys." And the energy surges out of him again, swirling around his chest for a brief moment before coalescing at the front and sending another bright blue blast of plasma at the guards taking aim at him and Iceman. This blast he modulates differently, doing a sweep back and forth over the cluster, but aiming just *in front* of them. This is his standard 'non lethal' attack: the plasma dissipates before it can burn things up, but the concussive blast of doing that can be impressive.


At first, Darwin is frozen in place- but then Sam's actions spur him on. A rookie's pause before he's running into action. He drives towards the door at the end of the catwalk and kicks as hard as he can…

Armando's body is absorbing the nasty blue blasts, his eyes glowing all the brighter as his tissues fill with the energy. It seems to be having secondary effects- he's stronger, faster- his evolutions not ceasing as his body seeks ways to burn off the energy its begun to absorb. The door is kicked right off its hinges, and Armando disappears inside for only a few moments. He immerges behind the tower-guard who remains standing. His friends- Bobby and Alex- his brothers in Mutation are in danger. Wasp- Janet- who treated him like a regular person is in danger. Sam- who Armando just likes, is in danger.

And in a flash, Armando has taken his first life. His fists are like hammers when they fall on that man in the suit- turning solid like rocks as he slams his fists together on either side of the man's head. It pops like a fat pimple on a greasy teenager's back. Armando then grabs the man's weapon and starts to lay covering fire down at the men on the floor- trying to force them into cover where they won't attack his friends. Its like second nature- killer instinct evolved in a moment of sheer panic. Good aim, however, that still takes skill and muscle memory: Luckily, coverfire doesn't need to be accurate.


In spite of their protective suits, the guards prove unable to resist the combined attack from Miles, Amadeus, Jan, and Armando. Their offensive capabilities simply aren't enough to dent the defenses of Cho and Munoz, they're just as vulnerable to being tripped up or thrown by Miles as anyone, and Jan can turn their own protective measures against them. Darwin's brutal assault is as irresistible as the basic force of biological change that he represents; bent to attack, his adaptations can make him a perfect predator against any protection. The others who witness the kill are so terrified that they simply flee; the cover fire he lays down is merely a reminder to 'and stay out.'

On the lower level, Alex's onslaught is simply devastating; although their suits give them enough protection not to be entirely incinerated, his beam simply obliterates their weaponry and tears through their defenses with incendiary power. The concussive blast sends them all flying, and the cannons fall silent.

As Poindexter's prodigious efforts finally get the door open, there's a burst of blinding light, leaving violet afterimages on the corneas, and some sort of airship rises into view on thundering propellers. There's something else floating upward alongside it: about the size of a refrigerator, floating with no visible means of propulsion. It also… it's hard to make out, silhouetted against the floodlights of the airship, but it looks like the top of the thing is covered in hair. A verdant spark, bright enough to be seen even against the lights of the airship, grows in the center of the smaller floating thing, and expands…

A titanic wrenching feeling wracks the bodies of each member of the strike team, completely overpowering, if temporary. Suddenly, the noise and light are gone. A light tetching sound, and something clatters to an unfamiliar floor of metal grates and sheeting: a device of some sort, belching stinking smoke and bright sparks. A bizarrely modulated voice begins a sneering commentary: "Range and calibration adequate. Burnout immediate, parts too expensive to replace. The translocator is an utter failure, not to be spoken of again."

Hovering above the broken device, belittling it, is an enormous… creature. Well, its cranium is enormous: the top is wide enough for a family to have dinner around, and the shape is roughly cylindrical, tapering only slightly over what must easily be five feet of height. Below that, a tiny, shrivelled body is crammed into a supportive device of some sort, ringed with blinking lights and little vents. The creature's face is horrifying to behold. The mouth is a huge, meandering, distended thing two feet wide. The nostrils are proportionally wide, but the nose has been crushed almost flat. The eyes: the eyes are of normal human size, but spaced about a foot apart, and ringed by blood-red sockets much too large for them. The head's skin has been stretched to a horrifying degree, and hangs in limp folds that radiate out from the face; the hairline is patchy and asymmetrical.

All this has to be absorbed in an instant: with a halfhearted wave of one shrunken hand, the creature activates titanic force, bending the very walls of the metal room to separate itself from the strike team. Its voice, however, continues to filter through the wall it just erected.

"I had not expected you so soon," it says, the slithering purr of its voice acquiring a tone of genuine annoyance. "I had not prepared a proper reception. Still, today you have been privileged to encounter a higher form of life, apes." For a moment, all that can be heard is wheezing breath. Then: "I know you have not seen my like before. I doubt it will surprise you… that I avoid being photographed or filmed… but I suspect that the reasoning behind that behavior eludes you. Allow me to explain."

"When confronted with the truth of my form… the human mind reaches for two distinct emotional reactions simultaneously: revulsion… and pity. The truth is… that I prefer to be physically present to observe these reactions. I watch them play across your faces as your minds sluggishly catch up with your eyes… I watch your feeble and so, so slow attempts to disguise them, in some misguided attempt at civility."

"I find these observations…useful. Revulsion is hardly a wonder; the inferior mind revolts at anything beyond its comprehension… and it is important to occasionally remind myself just how far beyond your comprehension I am. This reminder energizes me, spurring me in my self-ordained mission. For you see… it is because of your pity… that I designed myself only for killing." More wheezing, then: "You may call me… MODOK. You are my prisoners. I will know what you know. And then… you will die."


Wilson was in a full-speed evasive flight when the Translocator dumped the team into their prison. Without MODOK even really noticing, the pilot's thrust slammed him directly into one of the metal walls as soon as they arrived. Bodies are not meant to make the sound his already-injured one made when that happened. He collapses to the floor in a tangle of twisted, damaged wingsuit.


In one moment Miles is kicking a goon in a protective suit in the face, in the next he's hitting the floor in a three point landing, suddenly visible again. "What the fuck?" he growls, tugging his mask off. "Just you wait for me to get out of here." He slams his fist into the wall in frustration, clearly not pulling his punch this time.


Unfortunately, the nukes aren't behind the door. Instead, Sousa's about to answer the tiny woman at his shoulder when he's nearly blinded and then addressed by…a giant head. He looks to his pistol, then to the creature callint himself MODOK, and back to his gun but then they're suddenly in another room and Wilson is down. "Damn." There's barely a moment's thought before he reaches for the doctor, "Come on…we need to make sure he's all right."

Dark eyes look to the others, "Calm down. Raging isn't going to get us anywhere and Agent Wilson is injured. Is everyone else all right?" First things first. They can plan their escape later.


Poindexter was in the zo—… annnnd she's not. The only thing she has with her is a portable sodering iron that was attached to her belt and a screwdriver, and once the light flashes she keeps ahold of the tools with a close of her eyes and opening.

"What the beans…?" She mutters to herself, the touch at her arm has eyes blinking rapidly as she focuses upon the fallen form of Sam. "Oh."

New job!

With a look around, it was safe to say that her bag was left where it was. But thankfully, she didn't take the one upon her back off. With a toss of her screwdriver and the iron hung against her side, she quickly rushes and kneels to a skid towards Sam, her arms shrugging the bag off of her shoulders to rest upon the ground as she begins to open to rifle through the contents for a first aid kid.

"Yes. Everything will be alright!" She says cheerily. "We're not separated, which is a good thing! Though, there is always the option of him hand picking us out one by one and killing us that way!" And with a slight little laugh at the situation she carefully rolls Sam onto his back to quietly hum and tend to his wounds. If there are any.


The sudden change has Amadeus reeling a moment, his eyes blinking behind the sunglasses. There's bare a moment to adjust before he hears the voice booming from above. Cho stands up from where he was knocked to his rear and starts brushing himself off in a somewhat dramatic fashion. "Oh yeah? We can always leave and come back later. Make sure everyone's hiding when it's time to shout 'surprise' next time?" He stands there defiant, squinting up at the big-brained creature.

When he finishes brushing himself off, he levels his gaze at the being that seems to be all head and no torso and studies it very, very carefully. "Heh. You should probably fire your beautician. Out of a cannon. Into the sun. Seriously." With that he fully stands now and rubs a hand against his head a little bit. "Who invited The Amazing Cranium, anyways?"


The Winsome Wasp was just about to get the informative explanation of a paragon of secret agent type work guy with experience, that is, someone much better informed and in control than she is. Unfortunately, the explanation never comes as it's not the nukes behind trap door #1, it's not even a scarecrow. It's the worst of the worst, a MODOK! What in the heck a MODOK even is? She has no clue, but the next moment she goes through a rather disorienting experience and finds herself along with the others in a prison of metal. At last it can't get any worse, right?

WRONG! It gets a lot worse when MODOK opens his mouth and gives a terrible speech that no one asked for, Sousa is close enough to see the pain in the Wasp's eyes as MODOK rumbles on. Although Sousa being the responsible guy in this party, probably doesn't bother checking whether Wasp finds MODOK irritating or not. "Is this thing real?" Wasp asks as she flutters as high as the prison would allow, "you got an upper hand on us with stupid tricks, annnnnd you're bragging? What a dork!" Surprisingly confident for a young girl out on her first really REALLY big mission. Or is it just plain postering to hide just how terrified she is? You be the judge!


A… giant head. And a teeny weeny body. That happens to be an incredibly powerful psychic. "Bet a teleporting dog doesn't seem so weird now, huh?" Bobby mutters and looks around at their prison.


Whoa.. There's this… feeling. The world turns inside out briefly, and Alex blanches, forgetting to continue blasting people to bits: and he finds himself in some sort of prison cell thing. And also there's this giant head with tiny hands— and he builds walls. Strangely, Alex finds this familiar but he can't place why. Oh well. The guy… thing… head… talks. And Alex frowns more. The weirdness factor has exceeded his tolerance; he turns to face the wall through which the head seemed to disappear, and the energy begins surging around him, coalescing… but then Sousa's words about Sam being injured sink in, and Alex takes a deep breath, clenches his jaw, and concentrates. It takes some time but the blue energy soaks back into him, and then he grunts, "Let me know when we want to get out of here."


Armando's rocky fists slam against the metal- and it dents- but doesn't break. Its just too much for him at the moment. He begins to calm. To slow. He's burned off most of the energy by the time the teleportation has happened and quietly sits. The idea of someone searching his mind- attacking his memories is a disturbing one, and already his body is reacting to his fears. Now was time for flight- the switch from fight to survive- should MODOK probe Armando's mind with intent harm or even steal information his brain would shift. Change. It would lose its organic qualities and become a network of silicon and crystal- an inorganic neural network that could be no more read with telepathy or attacked with psionic force than a rock could. It should be suitably frustrating for the supposedly 'superior' being to watch someone evolve superiority to him before his very eyes.

"Fuck." Armando says quietly, looking at his hands- still covered in guts. "I…" he looks up at the others, down to his hands- back up to the others. He then just sits back and stares at his gore-covered hands with blue eyes that fade slowly to blue as his body consumes the last of the energy he'd absorbed. "…I.." He's speechless as he stares at his hands- taking a slow breath. Escape had to come. There wasn't time to dwell on this- people's lives were still in danger, and worse, those people are friends. Oh, and there's the whole missing H-bombs thing. He takes a breath and wipes his hands off on his pants- he'll dwell on that later.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License