Chicago Iron Hall
The Supreme Commander sat on his throne in front of the assembled generals he’d recalled from all over the globe. It was risky having them all together at the one place at the one time, but he almost didn’t care seeing as it took three days for them to get here! He looked at the one hundred and twenty who had survived the purge. Many old familiar faces, some new fresh faced colonels and majors who’d stepped up. And of course three sleeper agents posing as generals. He nodded at Iron Claw who escorted them to some special seats near the front.
The doors ominously locked as he stood, the generals quickly following suit. Stryfe stood before them “I speak, you act! There will be no delay, no discussion, no back chat! The Iron Army shall be a streamlined fighting machine, not this joke!”
Iron Claw shoved the three “generals” into the centre of the room and fired up his hands, rotating blades of death.
“This is but a warning of what will happen to those who don’t follow my orders!” The Supreme Commander to a seat to enjoy the show as Iron Claw began gutting and flaying the three imposters. “Any of you look away and you shall be next!”
It was horrific! Iron Claw made short work of the three. He looked over to his master who nodded and he took his place at the right hand side of the throne, hands still dripping with blood. The terrified generals didn’t dare move, some even forgot to breathe. The Supreme Commander waited until the scene had sunk in.
“Are we clear?”
“Sir, yes sir!” roared the room.
General Falcon Helfitta stroked his moustache as he looked at the still quivering bodies in the centre of the room. He quietly shook his head in disgust and popped a lolly under his tongue. He looked to the very nervous Beyonce Hwjang sitting next to him, her knuckles white from the force she was clenching her hands. Falcon placed his hand on her knee and gave it a reassuring pat.
Grozny, Chechyen DMZ
Daniel Warstar looked at tea leaves in the bottom of his cup “Oh that can’t be right?”
He waved his hand and yellow glittering sparks jumped from his fingers, entered the cup and spun like a tornado into the air. The tea and energy spun faster and faster until it formed an opaque “blob” in the air. Images and patterns pulsed and formed in the blob.
“And this makes even less sense!” said Daniel as he gazed into it “Okay that’s a…book. And that’s the letter Z…and a garish red gem…and a fork, no a trident, no a sai…wearing a thong? This is weir…and that’s Walter the roller skating horse, what the stark is going!?!?!”
A stunted black hand shot out from the blob, attempting to strangle him with its gnarled talons. Daniel brought his Asgardian hammer up and smashed the image; it shattered like a mirror and vanished like a morning fog.
“This isn’t good!” coughed Daniel.
The Vault, Colorado
Captain Darren Davis ran out of his office, holo-pad in hand “STARK!”
Corporal Seth Caulkin drew his weapon and scanned for trouble as his commanding officer charged into the break room. He relaxed his fingers off the trigger “Sir?”
“THE SUPREME STARKING COMMANDER IS GOING TO BE HERE IN UNDER AN HOUR!” shrieked Davis shaking the holo-pad.
“I KNOW!” yelled Davis “I hate these surprise visits!”
“Weren’t they doing a thing in Chicago?” asked Caulkin.
“They were, but I checked the feed and he’s on route!” Davis wiped the fear sweat off his brow “This place is a stark tip!”
“I’m on it sir” replied Caulkin as he left the room. Davis took a seat, hanging his head between his knees as he breathed deeply.
Augustus Holland looked over the shoulder of the three SHIELD tech’s as they ran a ghost code over the normal Iron Army feed. So far their ruse was working. Comms in and out were being monitored, looped and edited. Holland watched as the cameras they’d set up showed a hive of activity on the gates to the Vault.
“Good!” he smirked as he rubbed the migraine that was brewing away “This may just work”
“Commander Holland,” a young SHIELD agent, an obvious mutant by her slightly blue skin and pointy ears “It’s ready”
Holland nodded “Keep up the good work” and followed her to the adjacent room.
“It’s the best we could do sir,” she said “But enhanced by illusions…”
Holland looked at the Supreme Commander armour that had been built from virtually nothing “It’s perfect!”
Skoval admired the giant tree. It reminded him of home, his real home in Asgard that was now no more. Manual labour took his mind off the events of the past months, the terrible and tragic loss of Asgard and Olympus. Skoval spat into his hands rubbed it together and grabbed his axe. He stopped and looked around.
Something…someone was watching him.
“Show yourself!” cried Skoval as he hefted the axe and scanned the forest. Nothing but trees. He listened and waited, but nothing. He shook his head and laughed at his own stupidity before returning to tree felling.
From the safety of the pine needles high in a neighbouring tree, Morbius watched. His fingers and toes burrowed deep into the branches as he fought the urge to leap down and tear the woodsman to pieces and bathe in his blood. He opened his mouth and took a deep grip on the tree trunk, unsatisfying sap running down his chin.
Soon the sun would set.
Soon he would have his meal.
To be continued...