1963-09-07 - The Northward Spiral
Summary: SHIELD and the Avengers head to the arctic to end AIM and MODOK's plans with the nuclear weapons… or die in the attempt.
Related: Lethal Magnetism (plot)
Theme Song: None
akiva alex howard miles poindexter sam wasp 

In the belly of a C-130, Falcon is seated at an improvised planning table, printouts, navigational charts, and aerial photographs scattered in front of him. The pilot still hasn't had a chance to properly recover from injuries sustained when the last strike force was captured. That said, they need all hands on deck for this last-ditch effort, so he's suited up and ready to go. Leaning heavily on hands propped on the table, he looks up soberly at those arrayed around him and begins his briefing.

"Here's what we've learned from the decoded data tapes. 15 stolen hydrogen bombs have been arranged over the Earth's northern magnetic pole in what's called a Fibonacci spiral. There's apparently something special about those spirals, but hell if I can figure out what it is. What AIM figured out is that if you arrange thermonuclear warheads in a spiral like that at the north pole, then pop them off in quick succession, you'll create an 'electro-magnetic pulse vortex' that will be powerful enough to destabilize the planet's magnetic field and reverse its polarity."

"This will result in between nine weeks and two whole years — thanks, science, that's helpful — of magnetic chaos, jamming all radio transmissions and disabling all electronic circuits the world over. This will plunge the entire planet into the dark ages. It might also result in earthquakes! It might also screw up the atmosphere and bathe us all in deadly cosmic radiation! Apparently nobody knows."

"But these banana-suited assholes" — he clicks to the next slide, showing men in bright radiation suits topped with cylindrical helmets — "don't care, because they think that'll be the perfect opportunity for them to march in and take over the world. They are called AIM, a.k.a. Advanced Idea Mechanics. They are all going to be wearing these radiation suits, which shield them from the EMPV and possible radioactive armageddon, but do make them easy targets to pick out on a white background and hard to confuse for polar bears."

"We're dropping at the densest cluster of detonation sites, right near the magnetic north pole." He clicks over to a zoomed-in overhead map of the pole, with key points circled. "This puts us in the best position to reach and disable as many of the warheads as possible — or at least knock them far enough out of their formation to prevent the EMPV from happening. However, it does mean that if the bombs go off, we're all going to be right in the worst of it. Remember, the goal here is not to fight AIM to a standstill: avoid long engagements and focus on your mission objectives."

"We're going to need to work together" — the emphasis on those two words is quiet but unmistakable — "to move around quickly, cover each other's backs, and take these bombs out under fire. I can fly people around, and I can keep AIM off someone while they defuse bombs, but I don't know enough about how they work to disable one myself. We need to know each other's skills, and ask for help when we need it, so I think it's a good idea for everyone to lay that on the table now."

"Last but not least!" He makes a final click, revealing an image of a horrifying big-headed being with a tiny shriveled body and an expression of intense constipation. "Because God hates us, we are expected to deal with a giant, floating, superintelligent, psychopathic, indestructible head called MODOK. His skull is about the size of a refrigerator, and denser than carbon steel. He also shoots laser beams out of his ultra-powerful brain using the focusing crystal on his forehead." He stops for a slight pause. "It's probably crazy of me to ask this, but: are there any questions?"


Ann was all up in that explanation. Just deep down into it. Glasses hung upon her nose as her eyes study the screen, teeth worrying upon her lower lip as she positively curls up upon the seat. Some 'forced vacation' this was. But at least she was working. Job needed to be done and it was going to be handled one way or another.

The mention of questions has her perking up, her hand shooting up as if she were fresh into school and ready to learn. "Yes." She clears her throat. "Have you taken your two asprin and two antibiotics? It would be most appreciated if you did." Other than that, no questions. She was standing from the table to go and assemble her bag of supplies. Mostly medical. Some not.


Akiva goes through the regimented, organized maintenance of his weaponry. Eight knives, six designed for throwing, two for melee combat. Two pistols and silencers for both should stealth be required. Four hand grenades. An Israeli-made compact submachine gun, his personal weapon from the Israel defense force.

"No questions," he says in his vaguely European accent, brushing a lock of dark hair from his forehead as he slaps a clip into place.


"Advanced Idea Mechanics? More like Assholes Idiotic Madmen," the Winsome Wasp adds her own perspective, from her perch, standing on Alex's shoulder. Apparently she's not at all subscribing to this whole Apoaclypse Now idea these AIM folks are running with.

Looking over the map Sam is pointing to, studying the formation of the warheads, she adds, "I can offer aerial cover, I can offer bioelectric zaps if it can at all help ruin the warheads' circuitry." She then raises her hand, waving it wildly, assuming she's harder to notice for her size, "I got a question! If humango-head makes a showing, do I get to zap him in the face? I owe him from last time! I call dibs on zaps to the face!"


"Not on my end." Miles says quietly. He's not wearing his usual suit, rather a coat that's furred around the collar and a black mask with goggles that isn't currently over his face. Rather than webslingers strapped around his wrist, he has a pair of pair of pistols. "Just hoping we have this wrapped up quickly."


"Where's the Whiskey?" Howard pipes up coming out of the cocpit of the vessel. He's dressed in a dark brown fur jacket with lighter tan bits around the sleeves and neck with a hood that can be pulled back up to protect his head. Atop his head a dark brown wide-brimmed sable fedora, to one hip a trusty revolver, the other hip what looks to be a bull whip of all things. He has a number of pockets across the front of his jacket each filled with various short term supplies for the mission and his pants are a matching deep brown fur.

It's honestly been a quick change for the man who was brought along as a co-pilot not to actually join in on the mission but standing there the aging man looks ready to get right into the thick of it. He idly whisks round a pair of wire cutters in one hand as he looks over the collection of people gathered for what could be a fairly dangerous mission. "Haven't been this far north since 36, but hope you don't mind me tagging along."


"I'm a geophysicist. Destabilizing the magnetosphere would be really, really bad. It quite likely would completely sterilize the planet of life down to the bacterial level. Ocean life might survive. Depending on how long it lasts." remarks Alex dryly, crossing his arms over his chest. He's wearing that black, circuited suit of his again, of course. "And although I have more then a passing understanding of nuclear physics, its purely theoretical and not based on actual nuclear mechanics, so I don't know if I'll be any good at disabling any bombs. I won't know until I get a look at one to see if I can figure it out— I'm aware of the basic mechanics of conventional explosives to ignite primary fission to ignite secondary fusion, but, again, only theoretically. Otherwise, you know my job. I blow things up and am good to hide behind if they're equipped with those radiation weapons again. Radiation isn't a problem for me."


"Yes, Dr. Pinkerton, I'm taking my meds," Wilson answers with just the twitch of a smile at one corner of his mouth. "Wasp, face-zap all you want, but your request for dibs is denied. It is open season on MODOK; anyone can take shots whenever they want. But like I said, the goal is to keep at those bombs. Don't let him distract you or get in your head. So to speak."

The pilot raises his eyebrows when Howard shows up dressed for the arctic cold. Predictably, the man's furs put his own functional bundling-up to shame, but that's not what he's worried about. "You sure, Mr. Stark?" he asks, torn between two impulses. On the one hand, this mission is deadly dangerous and Stark is an irreplaceable VIP. On the other, people who know how to defuse a thermonuclear bomb with a pair of pliers don't exactly grow on trees. Finally, he comes to a decision and gestures toward the prep area and says, "Parachutes and portable radios are by the exit ramp. Let me know if you want a faster way down — and that goes for everyone."

The Surgeon and Arachnid get quick nods when they say they don't have questions. Alex loses the pilot somewhere in his discussion of the particulars of the detonation process: Falcon simply shrugs and says, "If you can think of something to improvise, go for it. If all else fails, everyone remember: moving these things far enough out of alignment or detonating them prematurely will mess up the sequence necessary to form a vortex. Basically suicidal, but it will save the world."

Falcon tugs on his mask and hood, intoning gravely, "Good luck." The message comes across both audibly and over their radios: like many of them, his warm suit has a microphone stitched in. He slams a palm down on a large red button, and the cargo ramp at the back of the plane descends onto a wintry hellscape. In the distance below, hastily-constructed scaffold towers swarming with yellow workers hold the missing H-bombs in place.


"Good." Poindexter gives a sharp little nod as she fixes her goggles upon her head. Surely she was dressed warm, the snowpants that covers her legs almost creates a look of a 'tire person' as she tries to walk. It takes a minute for all that fluff to get down, but she goes where she's directed, nearly missing her mark due to the steam of the goggles and her sniffling quietly. 'I should have stayed home'.. and 'I hate heights'.. were probably heard. And a little bit of a sob. Why does Falcon have to do EVERYTHING FROM THE SKY?!

But, her body was ready.

Backpack filled with medical supplies, a doodad here and a pair of clippers for clipping. There was even a pat down upon her chest as a whirring sound is heard as well as a steady tick.. tick.. tick.. faint, but comes online. If there's going to be some deadly radiation, hopefully her doodad will let her know to get out of dodge fast. There was nothing more left, but the drop.

Oh, and a wave to everyone while she cries. Could be a goodbye or a hello, one of them!


Akiva doesn't see a great deal of need to be social. Missions were work, not play. Still, he does reach over and put a hand on Anna's shoulder, squeezing his fellow doctor there for reassurance. "I'll monitor you on the drop. Everything will be fine," he says, modulating his voice to its most soothing tone. He's done hundreds of parachuting drops - and doing everything just right is, after all, what he does.

That and kill anyone who gets in his way.


"I'll take what I can get, Falcon, but hey, objective first, I got this military stuff down!" Wasp grins widely, rather pleased at the thought of zapping MODOK in the face, all day long, granted of course the mission parameters are accomplished. No doubt. She never get distracted. Except for sometimes. Maybe most times. But definitely not always.

When the pilot announces where parachutes are to be found, Wasp turnns to whisper in Alex's ear, "hey, looks like they got your complaint in triplicates, good job, lawyer! Welp, time to go geronimo," Wasp takes to the air and flies out with the others, not needing a shot, and she already has her communications worked into her headpiece gear.


"I might not be Director any more but I'll still be damned if I let any of my men go on a potential suicide mission without me." Howard speaks firm, before kicking back a bit of his own hip flasks contents. "Never let a little thing like almost certain death get in the way of doing what's right" A light pause. "Even if it's a really bad idea." A light pause. "Besides I helped invent the things, so I know a bit more about how to diffuse them then the average Joe."


After giving a long look at the towers below, he glances sidelong over to Miles, and sighs, "Care to do that flinging me thing again? You know with your… stuff." Because he totally wants to jump out of a freaking plane again. He flashes a grin at the tiny woman, "And here am I volunteering for the crazy leap of doom. I'm kind of opposed to someone sterilizing the planet."


"Long as you like gambling." Miles replies easily, strapping the little braclet like apparatus on. "Not sure how the liquid in this is going to do. May have to make a real sudden stop instead." His shoulders lift in a slight shrug, "Only one way to find out."


Falcon steps to Howard's side and wraps one his arms around him. "Just remember, Howard: you volunteered," he says over the noise of the wind. Then, the pilot runs off the end of the ramp just behind the Winsome Wasp, spending a second in free fall before extending his wings. The Mark II wingsuit has lost a lot of the visible rough edges of the original model, which arose as the design evolved in fits and starts. However, since the second edition was built all at once without a long polishing and refinement process, it's actually a lot less smooth of a ride, and can be extremely temperamental in gusty conditions.

Oh, have we mentioned the polar easterlies? Dry, freezing air flows downward at the poles and then blasts outward in all directions. It's awful to fly through and even worse to feel.

Given that they're going much faster than anyone 'chuting to the ground — persnickety or not, the Mark II can move — Sam elects to aim for the top of the third-closest scaffold, peeling away from Wasp and whomever she'll end up escorting. They're nearly there before the AIM troops crowded on it notice they're approaching; kicking outward and snapping his metallic wings down to create a pressure wave to knock them aside, Sam plunges into the midst of a group clustered on a catwalk above the bomb itself. The guards are flung to the ground long enough for him to set Howard down, draw a sidearm, and fire three times into one toppled guard's chest. "Blood loss detected. Sealing breach and sending medical alert," a robotic voice from the suit protests.

No sign of MODOK… yet.


No amount of 'oh shits' and 'hail mary's' was going to prepare Poindy for that drop. Once she was out of the main cabin, she tries her best to remember her training as she falls down below, arms outstretched, heavy pack upon her back ushering and paving the way through cold winds that causes the tears upon her cheeks to crystalize. The chute was deployed, and soon it was easy going. The damage already being done for her to be cold as shit, and once she lands with a tumble and an awkward roll that had it's dizzying effect.

But she at least has the mind to keep moving, if she were met with opposition she'd grasp her chute and fling it forward, turning her back to the gathered men with hands covering her ears as the shots were fired and well… her resisting the urge to cut out running and reach endlessly for a ladder that'd bring her back to the damn plane. But either way, she tries to quickly shuck her chute, she was all skitters and preparing to head towards the monitoring stations to work fast.


Akiva aims for a tower himself while keeping close to Anna as she comes down, prepared to intervene should her chute fail to open or if she becomes overwhelmed and panics.

His preternatural accuracy allows him to open fire well before most could imagine, compensating for the sharp winds as he aims. He releases measured, precise bursts at each man atop a tower in turn, trying to clear it out as they head towards it.

He moves along with Poindexter, laying down cover fire for her so that she can use her scientific skills to defuse that which needs defusing.


As he's ran out that back ramp Howard pulls down a pair of simple goggles, and holds on strong to his hat. It's quite the glide as he's brought down fast and effectively towards ground level. He says something during the fall but it's lost for all the wind faded into the air hidden away so well it could have been anything from a compliment to an expletive.

When they finally hit the ground Howard takes a few steps, the sound barrier broken with a loud CRACK as whip slams hard into the hand of a nearby foe. He's not exactly playing nice as the bullwhip falls down to the snow just barely for a moment before being cracked out again with speed and finesse. "Remind me to""wingsuit again, I think we ca" With the wind clouding audio for a few moments as he speaks going through a bit of technobabble on the suits aerodynamics.


Akiva looked like a sharp guy who had a firm grasp of what he was doing, so the Winsome Wasp kept her flight pattern along with his descent, plus the added benefit of having Poindexter there, she figured there was a better shot of difusing some bomb then her randomly zapping the warheads with bioelectrics. She assists in offering cover fire for Poindexter, albeit making use of her small size, as she zooms towards guards and zaps them from up close. All while keeping aware of Akiva's shots. They're much easier to dodge at her size.


Alex really needs to learn to fly to be an Avenger, apparently. He's been working on it, but man, the suit modification needed is proving complicated. This is what's going through his mind as there's more falling through the sky and landing near to one of the scaffolds. He stumbles, and rises, puffing out some heated breath… and then the surging of blue light that twists around his body coalesces before him and a superheated blast of plasma strikes out at the nearest banana man. Having experience with those suits, he holds the blast going: though considering how cold it is up here he might not have to.


Akiva's firing is excellent, and while the suits are thick enough to slow gunfire, they're hardly proof against it. There's a little chorus of robotic bleeding announcements on the cleared tower as he touches down. Unfortunately, medical alerts actually are going out, so the guards at the bottom of the scaffolding are notified, firing lances of blue energy upward at the Surgeon and Poindexter even as they start their work. The scaffold itself seems to be expendable, although they avoid shooting directly at the bomb itself. Wasp has so far been small enough to avoid their notice, although the first guard to go down at the base of the tower has his two nearest neighbors scrambling to figure out who took him down. This leaves only three firing up at the top of the tower.

"Focus, Howard," Sam says, shooting a second guard and then tackling the third as he gets back to his feet. By extending his wings at a critical moment, he flings the hapless Fungible Human Resource right over the side of the tower. The fourth, disarmed by Howard, tries to make a run for it. "You take care of the bomb. I'm going to keep the downstairs neighbors busy," Falcon adds, vaulting over the rail and gliding down into a close-range engagement with the blasting guards.

Thanks to Miles's speedy descent, he and Alex get the drop on their bomb's half-dozen ground guards. The sustained blast from Alex obliterates one and draws ineffective fire from the rest.

Just then, the unmistakable form of MODOK rises from a fourth scaffolding tower. The creature's hover engines don't seem to carry him at any significant speed, but even from a great distance, the violet death ray from his helmet stabs out, raking across the scaffold Miles and Alex are working on. The quartet upstairs scream tinnily and topple as the structure is shredded and lists, but their landings don't seem permanent, thanks to their protective suits. More worrisome is the fact that the sustained beam is blocking their path to the bomb, and drawing nearer to them by the instant.


With one more deafening crack Howard walks back over towards the bomb in question. His bullwhip goes right back to his side and surely enough with little more then a confident smile he's right down to work cracking open the case. Hands glide like silk across velvet moving with caution and care as he gets a feel for the device.

Kneeling down into a patch of snow he flicks out a pair of simple wire cutters and begins right down to work. The process is not going to be a quick one nor a completely safe one with this weather but he is certainly not planning on dieing here tonight, or ever for the matter. "Think Florida would be a better place for it." Said rather suddenly to the air. Even as Sam goes right to work kicking ass and taking names. "Maybe just freeze myself, and wait for that whole immortality thing to kick in, what do you think Jarvis?" Said just to the air around him.


"Oh.. Oh no.." Poindexter nearly shouts out, her hands immediately lifting to shield herself from the fire that comes from down below. While it could be reckless in the way that she runs, straight was the shorter distance along with a duck down and a skid upon her knees into the monitoring station where she stops cold, pops up and begins to hammer away at the controls. Her lips worked worryingly as she begins to call out over the noise, her glance back towards Akiva and Wasp to make sure that they weren't in pressing need of attention..

"Remote deonators!" She was clipped, always was when she was working. "Shutting them off!" Maybe. Maaybe. There is no try, only do!


Akiva is able to read intention enough to keep himself and Anna out of harm's way from those blasts heading their way. Sometimes they miss him by a hair's breadth, but miss him they do. When given the opportunity, he draws a pistol and aims more precisely than the submachine gun's rapid-fire will allow, tracing the energy bolts back to their source and trying to pick off the snipers one at a time.

"Take your time, Doctor, we've got you," he says calmly.


When MODOK attack, to Wasp it seems like a huge tidal wave of energy, so she immediately sets her attention to his direction, before flying towards Akiva, as she asks, "are you okay here? Or do you need my back up? I'd really love to go zap that brainiac in the face…the whole of it." Yeah, Wasp is still mighty pissed at their last encounter. But hey, at least she asked before rushing at him.


Havok is good at blowing things up, and there's a certain satisfacation when he takes out one of the banana guys. But he's also really good at not being killed by energy weapons. So with an easy confidence he turns, directing his plasma blast out at the attacking MODOK, with no consideration given to the bad guy's own sustained beam nearing him; he just chooses to absorb it if and when it hits him. But there is a call into his radio, "The talking head is here!"


Poindexter manages to disable the remote detonator on her own bomb, although a timer is still ticking down from 55 minutes. Unfortunately, as she does so, she suddenly realizes that there's a signaling device built in, to monitor the detonator's function. A sudden screech from MODOK confirms it: he has noticed her sabotage.

With an offhand gesture, the head creates a telekinetic shunt that redirects Havok's plasma stream skyward; without a second glance, MODOK whirls from Alex and Miles to bear down on Poindexter, the Surgeon, and Wasp. Havok is left with a small squad of guards between him and his the device; while the mutant is distracted firing on MODOK, one rushes up and throws a fist toward him. It looks like the weakest punch in history until the guard opens his hand and detonates some kind of short-range concussive wave, sending an arc of crashing force outward for several meters.

At Akiva, Anna, and Jan's location, the violet light of MODOK's mental disintegrator beam rakes across the icecap and through the scaffold, slicing it on a bias so that the entire structure begins to collapse underneath Anna and Akiva. There is a momentary blip in the fire, however, as MODOK shuts it off to avoid damaging — or accidentally detonating — his stolen warhead. The guards scatter, clearing their boss's field of fire.

Below Howard, Sam is keeping the guards well occupied, using airborne maneuvers to stay mobile and return fire and the occasional winged clothesline to interrupt anyone who tries to scale the scaffold. Stark will find that the warhead's triggering detonator hasn't really been altered; the design is perfectly familiar to the engineer. Disabling it isn't quick, but it isn't a puzzle he has to work out a solution to, at least.


Success! Annamena has to pause for a split second to pump her fist into the air as she continues to bang away upon the keyboard. Hearing that MODOK was abound from Alex prompts her to push forward, unable to reach her radio but relaying the message to Akiva to call to Alex. "Tell him to keep him busy!" Maybe? Hopefully..

The shriek from MODOK shook Anna to the core, but she continues to ply and pry the console, that was until that beam of light slices through and Anna looses her footing, tripping back to fall against the wall with a loud thud, her eyes widening as she tries to scramble forward to grasp upon the console. This was not good!

"WASP!" She shrieks out, trying to keep herself upright as the station itself tilts.. the loud cracks and bends of the iron nearly concealing her voice as she breaks away to try to take a leap towards the tiny woman.. good lord.. why didn't she try to fix her chute first..


Akiva draws a dagger and flicks his wrist, doing the seeming impossible as it slices Poindexter's chute free of her back, going through one set of cabling, richocheting off the ice and coming back up again to get the rest, allowing her the chance to reach out to Wasp for safety.

The Israeli himself skips from broken bit of ice to broken bit, surprisingly sure-footed for a man from much warmer climes. Of course, he did grow up in Germany, a lifetime ago. He remembered how to skate, even uphill.

And he remembered how to aim, as he raises his pistol and tries to draw a bead on that crystal in Modok's forehead, his trigger finger growing firmer as he draws upon his powers of concentration.


"Hey, that's no fair," Wasp groans when MODOK takes action before Akiva can answer if he could manage on his own. Not only that, but her option to charge at MODOK is taken away when his attack jepordizes Pondexter. She flies directly to Anna as she cries for her, reaching to grab her, and just like she proved to Bobby on their last mission, she shows that despite her tiny size she's quite strong. Likely stronger thans he is in full size, as she carries Anna to safety, "I am a wasted talent for not playing sports, huh? That catch was quite a touchdown, huh?" She makes sure to bring Anna as close as she can to the panel so she can keep disabling the missle. «You guys take care of fatty face, I'm going to play flying limo and get the doctor where she needs to be.»


Even as the chaos comes all round and Howard finds himself ducking to avoid a stray bit of debris which almost impaled him through the head were it not for a carefully timed duck he's an island of calm. Or rather from a distance he looks like an island of calm. "Mr.Sandman, bring me a dream." His attention down on the contraption itself as a single bead of sweat rolls down his face, freezing partially in place as he works.

"Jarvis, remind me again why I thought this was a good idea?" Muttered just above his breath as he takes great care in opening a small compartment on the bomb working steadily to take it down one step at a time even as the flash of bright red laser almost blows the lot of them to Kingdom Come. He goes for a few quick wire cuts before begining to remove the core.


Problem: Straight up kinetics are not energy. At least, not as far as Havoks x-gene is concerned, though some scientists would argue the point. You can't argue with genetics. So while he, trained in krav maga totally fell into an active stance to dodge the punch? Concussive waves totally defeat his footwork, and with a grunt, Alex goes flying. He's not really good at flying. He's getting better at falling, but this is not his best example. THere's another grunt when he comes crashing to the ground and rolling a couple times, his suit taking some of the shock, but not enough. He's stunned for a moment.


MODOK does not fear bullets. Between his psionic shielding, his ultradense skull, and his sheer size, the creature can be the target of sustained fire and experience only mild injuries. The crystal on his forehead, however… that's a slightly special case. For one thing, it's an apparatus, not part of his body. For another, the beams of psionic force that he fires can shear apart matter, but they also create a disturbance in his shielding as they pass through it: a tiny tunnel where the effects would otherwise interfere with each other. No marksman he has ever met could hit it at this range.

Well, now he has met the Surgeon.

For the millisecond that it passes through the beam, the bullet barely starts to discorporate; it slams into the focusing crystal without losing any appreciable mass. The crystal cracks off of its housing and skips away across the ice. The disintegrator beam vanishes instantly, and MODOK is kicked back an absurd distance; it can't be the force of the bullet, and must be some sort of psionic feedback effect through his mental connection with the focuser. Like Havok, the mutated head is momentarily stunned, screaming in rage and pain.

Emboldened by their successful concussive attack, the yellow-suit and his friends (and their FHRENDs) rush over to Alex, tapping at their belts. By the time they reach him, their suits' gloves have ultra-chilled, and they start to mist bits of water onto his prone form. They're trying to freeze him in place!

For the moment, Wasp and Poindexter are clear of interference. The guards at their station fled the scene and MODOK's wrath. This gives Annamena a perfect opportunity to disable the bomb itself. Howard, likewise, is clear, although the tide of the battle is turning against Sam by sheer numerical disadvantage. "No rush, Mr. Stark," the pilot mutters under his breath, ducking behind a support strut and struggling to reload his sidearm with thickly gloved hands.


"Well hello!" Anna says nervousy, "You're not a wasted talent.. no no no.." Jesus, don't drop her! And really, it looks odd. Wasp as tiny as she was and Poindexter not equally so tiny, she was starting to feel a little bit better about being the short one on the crew. Though once Wasp steals her away to a safe spot, Annamena gets right to work. With MODOK blasted back by the bullet that probably shocked the big head, she gets right to dismantling the bomb, her backpack shucked from her shoulders and placed upon the ground, opened.. gloves retrieved and slid on (over the ones she currently wears, of course), utensils laid out like a dinner party as she cracks the casing and begins to get to work. "SO MANY WIRES." She shouts out, obnoxiously of course. She was sure she didn't have to tell Wasp what to do, she was sure the little woman was goign to go kick some ass.


Akiva continues to work clean-up and providing cover, taking a certain amount of satisfaction from watchin the big head go kablooey, even if he's certain it wasn't enough to finish the thing off. He is a surgeon and a brain that big isn't going to be incapacitated by something as minor as that.

He runs across and tries to get to Havok to help him up, his submachine gun piercing a few more bananas the hard way, adding a bit of crimson to the yellow, "Job's almost done," he says simply, offering a hand up.


"Awww, thank you," Wasp says to Poindexter, as she carries her to safety, and once she has her set and Akiva seems to be taking care of clean up, she turns to look in the direction big head flew and immediately zooms that, «guys, if anybody needs assistance let me know, otherwise I'm after humango-head while he's still reeling from the Surgeon's shot,» did Wasp tell Falcon she won't let MODOK distract her from other stuff? She meant well!


Generally speaking, Alex has been training for years now to focus his plasmatic discharges into straight, coherent lines of force and heat. Its effective at making things he wants to explode, explode. However, there's no particular reason why he HAS to do that. As the bananas come forward to try to freeze him, the cold gets him out of his stunned state, and he shouts. The concentric rings of blue plasma surge out of him in several random directions, and anyone nearby is surely going to get hit: with those suits they might not get cut in half, though. But then Akiva's there and piling some bullets into his attackers, and he grabs the man's hand and heaves himself up, "Good."


Being frozen in place is a horrifying feeling; the guards are buffeted away by Alex's plasma waves, but all the same, Akiva's rescue is a timely one. The application of his subtle ability while the AIM thugs are fixated on dealing with the obviously overwhelming power of Havok gives the Surgeon enough of the element of surprise to free his comrade. Their bomb, however, is still counting down.

Howard carefully retrieves the core of his and Sam's bomb, then rushes to the edge of the platform and flings it wildly away from the bomb itself. Freed from its explosive detonator, the radioactive payload skips across the ground, then slows, then starts the slow process of melting its way down through the ice sheet. With Stark freed from the task of disarming the bomb, he can give Falcon the support he needs to disengage from the AIM guards. Annamena is hot on his heels disarming her own warhead.

As Wasp approaches MODOK, the head is slowly tilting back upright. The socket where his focusing crystal was housed sparks and shimmers, and if possible, the mutate mastermind seems even more furious than usual. He doesn't seem to notice Jan yet, muttering to himself: "Two central warheads compromised. Probability of successful vortex formation… a mere sixty-three point eight percent. Loss of the third warhead? Hm. An entirely stable vortex core. Models: hurricane eye, gyroscope axis. Massive magnetic disturbance everywhere by where it is actually needed. Totally unsatisfactory." The great creature starts hovering off toward Alex and Akiva, deploying various technological terrors from its hovering chair.


«Guys, keep bringing the warheads down, humango-brain isn't happy, that means you're awesome» Wasp transmits over radio when she hears MODOK muttering to himself, of course with her sending the message, MODOK just may hear something and stop a moment to look around before heading straight at Alex and Akiva. But if he doesn't, that's when the Wasp gets real troublesome, because she starts barraging him with her wasp's stings, at first mercilessly to get his attention, but she soon enough zooms around his big head in an effort to get a few shots at where the crystal was once lodged.


*SNIPCRACK* "Aw beans.."

The core was soon pried out from its place, the core itself nearly burning through her gloves as she hot potatoes it so that she could stand. "Och Och!" She shrieks out, trying her best to catch it, but it topples over the side to land in a sheet of ice just like Howard's did, though a touch worse. She was successful, hopefully, though her hands were burning like crazy and her radar was going off like mad.

With MODOK on approach towards Jan, Anna.. unwisely picks up the core itself before it sinks towards the bottom of the ice bed, then tries her best to HEAVE-HO it right into MODOK's direction.

Take that, jerkface!


Free, Alex glances at MADOK for a quick moment as the giant head and its terribles starts coming after him, but with a quick shake of his head he glances at Akiva, then turns and runs for the structure. He'll rush up the scaffolding to engage the top guards.


MODOK's defensive abilities are staggering: his bone density and weight make him nearly invulnerable, physically; his mental projections protect him from missiles and superheated plasma; his mighty intellect can withstand assault from unbelievably powerful telepaths. The Wasp's sting, however, is primarily biofeedback: the damn thing just hurts. There's no risk of it really taking MODOK down through his chair's defenses, but at the same time, he hasn't got any built-in defenses against the direct application of pain.

"What — what accursed creature —?" the AIM leader snaps, blasting out wildly with a directed energy weapon and hitting only air and ice. Jan is just too fast for him to hit. He can barely even see her, she's dodging around so rapidly. "The tiny woman!" he finally snarls, making the connection. "A mere nuisance: wait your turn. Once I have disemboweled your friends, I will YEEAAAAHHHAARGH!"

That last is shrieked as Jan plunges a blast into his damaged focusing apparatus; apparently, the feedback loop is still in play. MODOK attempts pointlessly to raise his hands high enough to cover up the weak spot. But of course, Anna chooses that moment to chuck a radioactive rock at the floating head — it flies right into his open, distended mouth, and the creature starts to choke and sputter.

While he's thus distracted, Sam and Howard arrive to assist Alex and Akiva. By their combined efforts, they have the last nuclear device disarmed in record time. MODOK finally coughs up the payload core, only to be notified by a pinging display that the third and final warhead has been disabled. He growls and taps a button, then turns to glare at Jan. "You win this time, nuisance. But I have an escape planned. Moscow has just been notified of the location of these weapons."

He twists his mouth at her in what is probably supposed to be a smile. "If you don't want them getting their hands on your latest and best thermonuclear designs, you're going to have to secure this entire area from my private army. You might be able to defeat me, after a long and lethal battle, but you'll be left with too little time and too little strength to resist the Soviet attack." He begins to float away. "I admit, I miscalculated. The next time we meet, I will not be focused on toppling humanity. I will focus first on toppling you."

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