Portland Iron Hall, Maine
The stunning quarter Vietnamese, Peruvadorian, French, Persian Colonel Daria Ngyuen stood smoking a long filtered cigarette as she looked at the lifeless body of General Eli Macendale. He was quite dead; she’d made sure pumping three bullets into his chest and two through the forehead. She calmly waited just in case he miraculously sprung back to life. Checking the time she fired another two rounds from her silenced sidearm, one through the throat the other into his kidney.
“Rest in peace Eli” she said as she opened her data-pad. She quickly checked her looks in the mirror as the Supreme Commander came on screen.
“And?” he snapped. Even though he was miles away and a hologram the Supreme Commander was a scary man and also able to kill from a distance.
“General Macendale is dead sir.”
He smiled “Very good GENERAL Ngyuen!”
Daria slightly shuddered at her promotion. Lower rankings had less power but more autonomy which she’d enjoyed but real power came from the general ranks.
“Thank you sir” she fired off a salute.
“Don’t thank me just yet General,” sneered the Commander “We still have much work to do. You will come to Chicago.”
“Sir, yes sir!” The hologram winked out leaving her alone in her new office with the body of her former superior.
Ferrum, Brooklyn Heights
Dolph Stevenson zipped his pants up and pointed to the puddle on the floor “You three missed a spot.”
Desmond Fisk, Dr Imck Prince and Dr Maxwell Warren were covered in filth, sweat and chemicals after spending several hours of manually cleaning a clogged, overflowing toilet; labour that the three former high ranking Ferrum officials never dreamed of doing. Their new boss Dolph Stevenson was taking great delight in humiliating them. If it wasn’t for the two Hunter units standing guard the trio may have tried their hand at physically expressing their grievances at the treatment.
“You boys need to go?” he asked the Hunters.
Chicago Iron Hall, Chicago
General Falcon Helfitta eyed the young Colonel walking towards him with an odd look on his face.
“Excuse me General Helfitta?”
Falcon watched everything seemingly unfold in slow motion as the young man drew a pistol and opened fired. The General instinctively threw his hands up to protect himself and the majority of bullets slammed into his bionic left arm. Falcon, amazed to be alive, looked at the shocked junior officer who was hastily reloading.
“You want my job boy?” growled the older man stalking forward “Well come and get it!”
The colonel raised the weapon but Falcon was faster, grabbing the wrist and snapping it like a raw carrot. His bionic fist lashed out and broke the man’s jaw as he brought a knee up into his groin. The fight was over in seconds. The boy lay semi conscious in a pool of his own blood. Falcon patted him down and retrieved the holographic data-pad. He turned it on and the face of Supreme Commander appeared.
“Falcon, what a pleasant surprise!” he crowed.
“I have been through several purges Commander,” replied Helfitta “If you want me dead send Iron Claw, not boys”
“I shall keep that in mind General” The hologram winked out. Falcon looked down at the boy struggling to breath and calmly placed his boot on his neck.
“You son, are what is wrong with this Army.” he applied pressure and the boy began to flip and gag “Your inability to shoot straight!”
Sari Iron Hall, China
“For your failure to hold the Chechyen DMZ, you General Beyonce Hwjang, are sentenced to death!” the Iron Soldier read off the holo-pad to the bruised and bloodied woman held up by two other soldiers “Any last words?”
Beyonce looked up and smiled through her swollen lips “You should’ve read the charges out after you’d killed me!” She jumped, flipping out of the grip of the two holding her and knocking their heads together. Beyonce dove forward, rolling at the final soldier who panicked and began to run. She tackled him and pinned him to the floor.
“I’ve only just became a general!” she barked as her hand came down breaking his nose “Do you think I’d just let you take it from me! Well?” There was no response from the man’s face that more closely resembled mince than a face. The holo-pad he’d held beeped. Curious she opened it to see the Supreme Commander.
“Name?” he spat.
“General Beyonce Hwjang, sir!” she stated, snapping to attention.
“The girl who lost the DMZ!” he sneered “How are you still alive?”
Beyonce clenched her teeth, fighting back the urge to speak as the hologram stared her down. It wasn’t entirely her fault the DMZ fell into New Latverian hands. The metallic monsters from Dr Imck Prince, The Thunderbolts, had malfunctioned mid-battle. One was captured, two destroyed. That and the war god Ares had united the mutant tribes with the Chechyen DMZ to work as a cohesive force instead of pockets of trouble. Also her “equals” back in Beijing had denied several requests for more troops.
“You will report to Chicago immediately!” he snapped before the hologram winked out.
Beyonce breathed a sigh of relief, mixed with anger “Yes sir!”
Alice Springs Iron Hall, Alice Springs, Australia
General Steve Whitlam cracked open a beer as he sat with his mate Major Bruce Gibson “So you’re going to kill me?”
“Yup!” replied Bruce as he took a sip “Nothin personal Steve”
Steve lifted his beer “Bugger! Any chance you’ll let this slide?”
Bruce shook his head “Nah, sorry mate. Got orders y’know”
Steve wiped his mouth, opened up his desk drawer and pulled out an energy pistol “What if I killed you?”
‘Well that’s kinda how the Commander wants it. Weeds out the bloody useless ones!” replied Bruce “But I took the clip out when you went for a slash”
Steve looked at the gun quizzically and then pointed it at his friend “No you didn’t”
“Bugger!” said Bruce “Should really do things BEFORE I start drinking”
“Was always…your…wh…” Steve chewed the air and began to wooble “What’s going…on?”
“I poisoned your beer mate” said Bruce “Bit Un-Australian but orders is orders. Sorry mate”
Steve staggered and collapsed on his desk, lips turning blue, eyes bludging as he gasped for air. Bruce stood and rolled him off the desk onto the floor. Bruce adjusted his collar and sat in his former friends chair and flicked on the holo-viewer.
“General Bruce Gibson reporting for duty!”
Morbius sniffed the air and licked his lips. He could smell the god blood on the wind. Since supping upon it everything else tasted like sewerage. Nothing else would do, nothing else satisfied the hunger, the constant nagging hunger.
Soon he would feast…
Al-Mar Food Court, New York City
Nicholas Rogers sat amongst the people as he drank a cup of coffee. Several months ago he, Darius Stane, Kaine Reilley, Daniel Warstar and Magni sat at this very table before they went to the moon as part of the Fantastic Force. Since then he’d joined the flexible group of Avengers led by Vision.
But now Kaine was dead, Magni missing, Darius was acting like a stark hole which was nothing new but more so than usual and Daniel was somewhere in New Latveria
Nicholas turned to the soldier demanding his card “Do you even read the feeds?”
Nicholas stood “Oh I heard you! But if I was your commanding officer, I’d take you out to the cornfield and knock nine shades of stark out of you! Don’t you read the holofeeds? You should’ve just shot on sight!”
“Okay that’s it!” barked the soldier as he raised his repulsors.
Nicholas slapped the hands down and smashed his fist through the visor, knocking the man out cold. A round of applause started up. Nicholas blushed a little before taking a slight bow. He grabbed his coffee and crouched over the unconscious soldier.
“My name is Nicholas Rogers but you can call me Corporal America. I’m an Avenger!”
Madrox looked at Augustus Holland as they stood on the ridge “Here? Are you starking crazy…sir!”
Holland smiled “Possibly.”
Madrox scratched his head “I would like to officially put on some record that I believe this is the worst idea in the history of ideas, sir!”
“Objection noted Madrox” Holland patted his comrade on the soldier “But it has everything we need. Space, defences, supplies, recruits and privacy.”
“So how are we going to do it sir?” said Madrox.
“We’re going to march in through the front door and they won’t know what hit them until the last minute.” said Augustus as he viewed the area with some binoculars “We just need several cells on hand to pull it off. And when they get here, we’re taking over the Vault!”