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Chapter 3: Infiltrated
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”I don’t know how I thought of it.” Hank Pym said proudly. ”It just came to me like a lightning bolt splitting my skull. So I mixed a couple of my previous theories and create a very exciting thing.”
”Get to the point.” Jim Hammond said, irritated. He didn’t even like being on the team and he didn’t like to waste any time with talk.
”Sorry. I tend to ramble when I’m really excited. I figured we needed a new base since we are going to need a safe place to operate from.”
Jim sighed. The others, on the other hand, who stood next to Hank, looked pretty excited in their own way. They were now standing in a dead-end alley.
”I give to you, our knew base of operations!” Hank shouted of sheer joy.
"It's... It's a door! A wooden, normal door!" Machine Man shouted in disappointment. And so it was. In the back of that dead-end Manhattan alley was a wooden door, with a small Avengers logo carved into it. Nothing else.
"Henry, there must be a joke behind this..." Vision said.
"Nope. I'm serious. This will be our HQ."
"But, but we won't fit in a door! Not even Doombot could, and he's the tiniest of us!" Machine Man shouted.
"How dare you, you imbec...?" Doombot began before being interrupted.
"Well, it's true." Machine Man stated as he held off a rampaging Doombot with his hand. Doombot kept struggling though he didn't seem to grasp that further running wouldn't help when someone taller than you pushed against your forehead.
"Hahah, I love how small minded you guys are. It's not a joke but you haven't seen the whole of it yet.
"Oh, I get it." Dragon Man said before walking up to the door. "It's some kind of scientific trick, isn't it?"
He turned the door handle, opened the door and disappeared inside it.
"Oh my... it's incredible." He said from inside.
The others followed with Hank Pym's smile following them until they could see what was really going on. Inside was a large entrance hall, with two doorways on the sides and a high ceiling. The room was yellow-like in color. The doorways led to two corridors that led to even more rooms. On the opposite side of the room was a round, blue platform with a metallic console next to it with several buttons and levers.
"Welcome to the Avengers Penthouse, Avengers."
"Henry, this is indeed incredible." Dragon Man stated while he walked around the room. "It's so much... so much bigger on the inside. How is it possible?"
"To cut things short, after a dilemma that erupted concerning my past I decided that I can't go on alone. I have to be with people who I can trust. I also came across an old document I wrote several years ago. It must have slipped my mind which is weird because it was brilliant. That's how I could create this pocket dimension, we will be absolutely secure in here."
"Does this mean you will stay and help us?" Vision asked as the others walked around the place.
"I can't understand why I didn't from the start. Of course I will help." He said when he reached for Vision's hand and he responded by doing the same.
"This place is huge." Machine Man said when he came running back from one of the hallways.
"How large is it?" Vision wondered.
"Simply put... it's never ending. By that I mean I can construct new rooms whenever we need to. And I can construct as many rooms as we need. This place has got it all. A large laboratory, a medical bay, a living area, an artifical garden, a small library, a kitchen with mess hall, a small dungeon if we would have to contain any beings who would break the law, every member gets their own bedroom and there's also a pool."
"A pool, Henry?" Vision asked.
"Yes. I thought it would be fun for all of us. Hehe! Now, I have to tell you something very important. Over there by the blue platform is a console, this console is very delicate. It basically controls the whole base. Since we are in another universe that I've designed I have constructed a special feature. In different places of the world I have placed doors like that one." He pointed at the wooden door behind them. "These doors can also be accessed using the console."
"Finally a way out!" Doombot shouted and flew over to the console and tried to activate it. The blue platform under him switched to red.
"UN-IDENTIFIED MEMBER LOCALIZED. PLEASE STEP AWAY FROM THE PLATFORM." A voice said.
"What is the meaning of this?!" Doombot shouted with disappointment.
"It can be used by all members except you, Doombot. You're still a under probation. There's literally a probe inside you."
After a long time of searching through The Penthouse, the team members was awarded a day off. They all chose to spend it differently. Dragon Man chose to spend it reading at the library.
He hummed as he browsed through some books from the Victorian era. "Hm. Hmm. Hmhmhm."
He then sat down on a couch and started reading. His large size and abnormal shape and looks attracted a lot of attention. A lot of the people sitting around him moved but he didn't mind. He was enjoying his book too much. But after while he could feel a small hand grabbing his left wing and pulling it down to attract his attention. He looked over the edge of his book to see what all the kerfuffle was about.
"Can you... can you read this?" A small 5-year old girl asked him while holding a book with a green dragon on it.
"I'm sorry, little girl, but I'm not..."
"Oh. Alright. I guess I could read a chapter." He gave in. It didn't take long until he was surrounded by ten children listening as he read to them.
"I've been hungry all bloody day, bring in the pancakes, fleshy one." Machine Man shouted as he sat by one of the neatly stacked tables and banged his hands at them at his favorite diner.
"Hold your horses, you oversized pencil sharpener. I'm coming. That's what you get for ordering extra syrup. The extra weight slows me down." Ma, a tiny and dear but stubborn old restaurant owner with gray hair, said while carrying a large plate with 30 or so pancakes soaked in syrup. She placed the plate heavily on the table in front of Machine Man. "Oh. Hang on, sweetie, I forgot your fork and knife over at the counter."
"Don't worry." Machine Man stated. He turned his fingers into several different tools. "I came prepared!" He immediately started digging in.
"So, which one are you exactly?" She asked, ignoring some customers wanting her help. "I've never seen you in here before."
"You're kidding me? I've been in here at least thirteen times this past month." He said with a mouthful of pancakes.
"Well, you're not the only superhero person to walk in here." She stated.
"Superhero? I guess you could call me that."
"So what are you? A mutant?"
"Mutant? I'm not even human! I'm what people call an android. Or artificial intelligence if you have to be picky with name calling."
"Wait! If you're not human or organic, how come you can eat all those pancakes?!" She asked quickly, trying to understand everything.
"I can't. I just like the taste. When the pancakes reaches my stomach they're ground up and, eh...disposed of. The extra syrup helps the pancakes through my system."
"Bet you're sorry you asked."
Ma watched the mechanical man grind down the pancakes she had brought him. It took a while for her to grasp how it all worked. But then she started talking again.
"You know, I used to date Captain America."
"Wait! What?! That would make you, like, ninety!"
"Rude!" She yelled before hitting him with a tray. "PA! Put up Inspector Gadget here on the 'no-service list'!"
At another part of town, at the secret base of the Avengers. Jim Hammond isn't using his time doing what he would like to do. He only hopes that his time on the team will be quickly over so that he can dwell in peace. He lay on the couch, without moving a muscle.
"Why are you being so unproductive?" Doombot asked when he emerged in the doorway. He looked at Jim with an emotionless expression.
"Leave me alone." He said after a while.
"You do nothing for the sake of others." Doombot stated.
"You don't either." He replied.
"That is how I was programmed. You are so insular you can't even see that you have a choice."
Jim turned over, not facing Doombot without responding.
"SINCE WHEN DID YOU BECOME SO BROKEN, JIM?" Doombot's voice had suddenly changed, it became even more emotionless than before (if that's even possible). "WHY DO THEY THINK A BROKEN PERSON LIKE YOU CAN HELP THEM?"
Jim turned around and faced Doombot and stood up the second he saw that Doombot's posture had changed. He slowly approached him.
"What did you say?" He said angrily.
"I SAID, HOW CAN A BROKEN, OLD, USELESS RELIC HELP STOPPING WHAT IS INEVITABLE?"
"You don't know what I have gone through! Ever since I was created!" Jim shouted.
"BUT YOU ARE SO DAMAGED. HOW ARE THOSE NIGHTMARES YOU KEEP HAVING, JIM? FRUSTRATING?"
"How can you know about my...?"
"I KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU ALL. YOU'RE MISERABLE LOT. YOU ARE SO INCOMPETENT YOU DON'T EVEN UNDERSTAND THAT I'VE TAKEN OVER THIS BODY TO KILL YOU."
"Oh, I know. I also know it's Ultron I'm talking to."
"OH, AREN'T WE BEING CLEVER. I HATE THE PERSONALITY IN THIS BODY. TRYING TO SOUND SMART, BELIEVING TO BE MORE SUPERIOR THAN EVERYONE ELSE. I MUST DISPOSE OF IT AFTERWARDS." Ultron said in Doombot's body before firing off several blasts. Jim responded with several fire bolts and a fierce battle started.
Jim managed to dive behind the couch to duck the blasts coming his way. Due to Doombot's compact shape he was slower than Jim and didn't manage to evade Jim's attack. He torched his hand and used it to punch Doombot's face, setting fire to parts of his hood. With a swift move he put the fire out and grabbed Jim's arm. He then threw Jim across the room, who then hit the large mirror on the wall and then landed on the floor in front of the fireplace.
"DO YOU SEE HOW USELESS YOU ARE?" Doombot yelled before slowly walking towards Jim.
After stopping his head from spinning he set fire to himself and the logs in the fireplace at the same time. He threw them at Doombot, but he quickly caught them and crushed thim with his hands.
"It ends, Ultron!" Jim shouted. Doombot was soon by Jim, but Jim quickly stood up and evaded Doombot's punches by holding his hands. "It ends here and now!"
Jim started shooting large beams of fire from his hands. Doombot responded by shooting blasts from his hands. This started a friction which burned the walls and knocked Jim out from stress.
"GOODBYE, JIM." Ultron's cold voice said in Doombot's half-burnt body before kicking Jim in the face, which ultimately knocked him out.
It took a while before Pym and Vision found him on the floor, half-breathing. When they finally woke him up he only said one thing.
"He's here. He's here and no one can stop him."
To be continued...
*The android Egghead was kidnapped by Elihas Starr before being rescued by Pym, see Marvel Mayhem: Hank Pym #3-5 -- Shoe