This continues on from http://www.comicvine.com/forums/fan-fic/8/marvel-iron-age-distain/650338/#11
Distain landed quietly in Omaha, Nebraska behind some derelict building and absorbed his armour back into his skin. He glanced around to make sure he was unseen. Darius reached into his pocket then fumbled through all his pockets
“You idiot!” he yelled at himself. He had left his I-dent card back in Guatemala
Darius crept up the alley and glanced up and down the street. It was still early morning and there was nobody around, but that didn’t mean it was safe.
“Got any food?”
Darius engaged the armour as the first syllable hit his ears and pointed his repulsor cannon at the sound. Slumped against some broken bricks was a legless old man with burns on his face. A sickly, mangy three legged dog lay on his lap
“Who are you?” snarled Distain as he crouched
“Nobody really” the old man giggled “Just an old vet down on his luck”
“That’s unfortunate” said Darius as he retracted his armour “For you”
Darius grabbed the old man’s head and snapped his neck. The dog barely stirred. Darius rifled through the filthly rags the man had called clothes and found his I-dent card. Darius stuck the card under his thumbnail. The Supremis Techno-Organic Armour rewrote the card and soon the digi-picture of Gerry Heck changed into Darius Stane. This would just make life easier for a while.
Darius pulled the old man’s beanie down and propped the body like it was sleeping, though Darius doubted anyone would miss or notice him. Checking the area again he walked up the street and headed towards the giant factory that belched black smoke into the air. He caught sight of a rusted sign that had been shot several times hanging limply from a disused power pole. The sign that had once read “Welcome to Nebraska The Cornhusker State” now read “o Nebraska The husk State”
Darius scanned the sky watching for drones, hunters, tac-spheres, Iron Army jets and other things that could kill him if he wasn’t on his guard. His armour was one of the most cutting edge devices on the planet but it wasn’t the most comfortable thing to wear as it was a weapon first and foremost. Darius spotted an Iron Soldier standing on a street corner. He was about to fire up his armour when he spotted the bar he was standing in front “The Smoke Stack”. Darius walked past the soldier, resisting the urge to blow the guard’s head off and entered. Inside hung a layer of cigarette smoke you could cut with a knife. About seventy people sat around their drinks muttering and talking. A large digital clock on the wall indicated that there was three hours until the next shift began. Darius nodded at the ugly barmaid who slung him a drink that was more water than alcohol in a glass that was seemingly held together by dirt
I may be able to do more damage from inside, thought Darius as he faux sipped the horrid liquid, if I don’t die of food poisoning
Darius sat down at the nearest table and began listening to the tales of the common man
Darius worked out pretty quickly he hated manual labor. And the irony was not lost on him that he was helping make Stark equipment for the Iron Army. But he was having a great time subtlety sabotaging the units that passed down his conveyor belt. He couldn’t do all of them for that would raise suspicion but every third cooling unit was pretty much inert. Not a great glorious victory but something for the long run.
Darius entered the Omaha Iron Sentinel Plant every morning at 7am and left at 7pm. Each morning he fought the urge to unleash the Supremis on the plant, laying it to smouldering waste. Each night he’d squat in one of the many abandoned buildings. What surprised Darius was the lack of actual physical security at the plant. Sure two giant sentinels stood at the entry but asides from occasional soldier there seemed to be no army presence, which worried him. He plotted his escape route constantly for maximum damage if it was all an elaborate trap: Tuesday was through the gas main in the floor while Thursday he would use the smelting pot as a wrecking ball.
But spending time with normal people Darius aka Gerry gained some valuable gossip and urban knowledge.
“A group of muties is striking in factories in Canada which is good coz it means more work here at the plant for us” laughed Juan, a fifty year old who’d been here at the plant for thirty five years
“You may hate the Iron Army” stated Gilbert “But it’s the only government we got! Better than living in Gutter-mala or Indakistan I say”
“If you think some deity is going to burst from the heavens and save us, why have they waited this long huh?” snapped Roberta “May as well talk to yourself!”
“You hear Kenny got sent to England” said Djim “They say he was a Latverian spy”
“I heard that Distain was working here in Omaha” said Darius as he punched out at the end of a hard but rewarding week. Robert looked at him if he had two heads
“The man in the black armour who took out the Houston Relay Station last week” said Darius knowingly
“Man you making stories up” laughed Robert ‘Only people in black armour are those guys with the guns on the corner. Your turn to buy beer”
Darius was puzzled. It seemed that the Iron Army propaganda department was quite brilliant. Each city was almost a bubble unto itself and word between them was filtered, altered and redacted. The army certainly knew who he was but the man on the street had no idea who Distain was
“What if I told you that I was Darius Stane?” said Darius as he clinked his beer glass to Robert’s inside the Smoke Stack
“It seems my efforts are fruitless and unrecognised” said Darius in disgust
“You always talk funny Gerry” laughed Robert “I like you”
“I have enjoyed your company but now I must turn you, this bar and the factory into a pile of molten slag” said Darius
“You must be drunk!”
“No, I’m not drunk Robert” said Darius as he willed the armour over his body “I’m actually borderline furious!”
Distain pointed his right repulsor at Robert as the bar erupted into panic as patrons ran like cockroaches when the light went on
“What you doing Gerry?” asked Robert “I thought we were friends”
“I’m truly sorry I gave you that impression” said Distain as he fired a burst through Robert’s chest and out his back. He then turned on the bar firing random shots into the fleeing crowd, walls and floor
“MY NAME IS DISTAIN!” the armour engaged the megaphone mode “TELL YOUR CHILDREN! TELL YOUR FRIENDS! MY NAME IS DISTAIN AND I AM HERE TO..!"
The energy net caught Distain square in the back and sent him hurtling across the room and into the bar with a thud. It wrapped him up and pinned him to the floor
“My name’s Distain! I’m a whiney little b!+^#!” mocked Scalphunter who stood at the door of the Smoke Stack “Did I catch you monologing?”
Distain struggled against the net that sent waves of electromagnetism through his armour. He saw the man at the doorway; tall, lithe, wearing a stylised power suit carrying a sword and a Ferrum Tech EMP net launcher. Behind him were three Iron Soldiers and he caught a glimpse of the leg of an Iron Sentinel
“You were a hard man to find?” said Scalphunter as he danced forward “I mean who’d a thunk that after such an impressive debut you go so quickly to ground. And ironically you’re now here on the ground. Gosh I’m good”
Distain attempted to get the HUD, the boot jets, anything to work but nothing responded.
“I’m Scalphunter by the way Darius. And you’ve annoyed some pretty important people that I had to teleport here all the way from Europe, then all around this ridiculously large country looking for you” Scalphunter crouched down “And in the end the chase is over because after you opened fire, on an unarmed man by the way, someone hit the alarm and quicker than you can say BAMF I was here and now you’re dead! Also you mispelt Disdain but I see that you were trying for clever or cryptic with Distain, that being your name and everything"
Not like this, not like this. Stop it! Remember who you are. You are a Stane! You have a higher purpose. You will not die on the floor of some bar in Nebraska at the hands of some raving Euro-trash Stark lackey scolded Darius’ inner voice
“Any last requests before I skewer you through your eye slit?” Scalphunter's sword glided from its scabbard
Darius felt the armour power up as the pulse lessened “Caught you monologing”
A burst of napalm shot from his forearm that caught Scalphunter right in the face. The scream was animalistic as he leapt back and Distain got to his feet. The HUD flickered ‘Power at 22%’. The three soldiers opened fire with their rail guns. Distain got his shields up and watched as his power level rapidly dropped. As soon as the Sentinel joined the fray, Darius knew he was done for