Marvel Iron Age: Cage, The Fist part 4

Continued from here part 3

Sacramento Iron Hall

Balain walks into her office staring at a holo-pad when a familiar voice draws her attention, "This armor looks like what happens when a rodeo clown starks a Chevy."

She doesn't look up, "Hello Gerald, what brings you to town?"

"Our beloved psychotic dictator has been a bit touchy about people humiliating his soldiers lately, when news of your little kung fu master hit his desk I got a call."

She dropped down in a chair, "The kid is damn good, plowed through my men while he was barely paying attention. Fights kind of like you."

Gerald turned to face her, "But does he have my charm?"

She looked to him, "My mother taught me that if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything."

She then got up and left the room.


Tiffany and Curtis followed the Spider known as Fiddler Back through a series of underground tunnels. He seemed to be giving a history lesson as they went, "Been about ten years since we've used these tunnels regularly. There was about a decade when Sacramento had more Spiders than any other city in North America then that General Balain came in and pretty much destroyed are entire support system so we had to vacate."

Tiffany nodded, "We've been in K'un-Lun so long I hardly remember the outside world. We moved there when I was about five, Curtis was born there. We never had to worry about the Iron Soldiers but Mom said they were terrible."

Curtis stopped and interrupted them, "I'm hungry."

Fiddler Back looked to him, "We can stop and eat as soon as we see daylight."

Fiddler Back then turned and started to head forward when Tiffany tapped him on the shoulder, "He's already gone."

They turned and saw nothing, "How'd he do that?"

She shrugged, "He'll be back, we should just wait he'll only get lost if we move on."


Curtis popped his head up from a manhole and noticed a hot dog cart. He hopped out and quickly made his way over and bought himself a couple of chili dogs and dropped down on a bench.

A man was wandering around behind him tapping on a device of some kind. He was Scalphunter trying to get the tracking device Balain had keyed into Curtis' energy signature to work. Curtis had mastered hiding his energy from these types of devices before leaving k'un-Lun.

Finally the assassin sat down on the bench paying no attention to the hooded man beside him munching on chili dogs. He may not have noticed him at all if Curtis hadn't dropped chili on his boot, "Are you a farm animal?"

Curtis looked over and held out a napkin, "Sorry."

Scalphunter recognized the face from the surveillance video he'd been shown, "Awesome, I got the rest of the day to sight see. But its Sacramento, well I can go make fun of folks at the Al-Mar I guess."

Curtis shrugged and continued to eat his hot dog as the man beside him seemed to be having a conversation with himself. As he finished he felt a gun on the side of his head.

Scalphunter casually placed the gun to his temple and pulled the trigger but nothing happened. He looked down to Curtis' hand and saw him holding the top half of his gun, "Okay, that was kind of cool."

Curtis gave a wary look, "Bit of an over reaction, its just chili man."

Scalphunter's jaw dropped a little, "You don't know who I am?"

Curtis stared blankly as the assassin got up and gave a very dramatic introduction, "I am the infamous Scalphunter, head of the EAD and greatest of all time."

Curtis seemed to be clueless, "I'm bald."


"You're Scalphunter, so I assume you hunt scalps but since I'm bald you have no reason to come after me."

"I don't hunt Scalps."

"Then why are you called Scalphunter?"

Gerald thought for a second, "It sounded cool."

"Very confusing."

He then pulled his sword, "Don't worry, you won't have to think too much about it."

He moved to stab him but Curtis swatted the blade and snapped it in half before kicking Scalphunter away. He then rose and attempted to walk away but Scalphunter came after. Gerald went to sweep kick Curtis' legs but he jumped up and spun trying to land a kick on his attacker but the assassin was quick enough to avoid it and watched as Curtis land on his toe and spun himself into a fight stance, "Okay, kid. You broke my gun and my sword and after the ballet twirl thing, I'm slightly impressed and possibly a little turned on, but I'll deal with that can of worms some other..."

He then noticed Curtis' attention seeming to drift. He moved to capitalize with a punch to the face but Curtis caught his hand while he still looked away, "What the stark is so damned fascinating?"

"That is the fattest squirrel I've ever seen."

Scalphunter couldn't resist looking over to the morbidly obese rodent, "Good lord, that's huge."

He then shook his head to get back in the game and went to kick his enemy but his leg was swatted down, Curtis then tried to return the favor but Scalphunter leaned away and came up trying to strike him in the crotch but Curtis flipped away.

The people on the street had stopped to watch as the two tried to attack each other and each time being met with a block or a dodge. Curtis stepped back, "You're not bad, I haven't missed a hit since I was twelve."

Scalphunter gave him a wary look, "Thought you had super powers."

"I wouldn't use them on a normal person, you're a jerk but I don't want to kill you."

Scalphunter looked a bit angry, "Who you calling Normal?"

He then charged and went to swing his right but when Curtis went to block he changed hands before he had time to react and struck him in the face. As Curtis seemed to be falling he spun around and kicked Scalphunter in the side of the head.

Curtis wiped the blood from his nose as Scalphunter tried to shake off the daze from the kick. Gerald gave a nod,"Alright, I'll just have to more thoroughly introduce myself."

(To be continued)


Marvel Iron Age: Cage, The Fist part 3

Continued from here part 2

Sacramento, Mexifornia

Tiffany was worried but Curtis looked almost awestruck at General Balain, "That armor looks awesome."

Balain nodded, "I know, right."

Tiffany and Marcum looked at them with a mix of confusion and embarrassment. Tiffany swatted Curtis on the back of the head, "Pay attention!"

Curtis turned, "Mom told you to quit doing that."

Marcum waved the men forward to arrest them as Tiffany looked stunned at her brother continued, "Its rude."

As a soldier moved in Curtis grabbed him by the arm and yanked forward while driving an elbow into his face plate and bending it in. He then spun around and swept the legs out from under the second sending him crashing to the ground.

Marcum looked on stunned as Curtis put down all twelve of his men with ease. he moved to stop him personally but was blindsided by a shot from Tiffany's gun. She launched an explosive at him that sent him flying into a store front.

Balain moved in and grabbed him in a full nelson, "Quick question, are the flames on the sides too much?"

Curtis shook his head as he struggled a bit, "Nah, they're badass."

He then flipped up and pulled himself free before driving his foot into her chest. An energy shield prevented him from damaging her suit. Curtis grinned, "That's cool."

Tiffany yelled, "Be impressed later."

He sighed, "Okay."

His fingers then lit up with energy and he hit five points on her armor and Balain noticed she could no longer move. She chuckled, "You're good."

Tiffany looked on them like they were insane, "What the Stark is wrong with you people?!"

She then blasted a hole in the ground and jumped down, Curtis gave a wave and followed.


Marcum came back as Balain yelled out, "Can you hit the restart under the panel on my gauntlet?"

He flipped open the panel and rolled his eyes at the button marked,'Ctrl-Alt-Del.' "Are you nine?"

She ignored him, "They went down the sewer, give them the full spider sweep in case they have friends."

Marcum hit his comm and gave the order as Balian tapped him on the shoulder, "You like my armor right."

He sighed, "Can we just do our jobs here?"

She opened her other gauntlet and raised a screen with a map of the sewer system and a red dot, "He's headed east."

"You bugged him?"

She gave a nod.


Tiffany and Curtis tromped through the sewer. Tiffany was frustrated, "Why do you need a rat?"

He pulled the small tracking device off his shoulder and planted it on the small rodent in his hand, "Just having a bit of fun."

He then put it down, "Give'em hell little buddy."

They then ran in the other direction.


Several hours later a filthy soldier yelled into his comm, "There's no starking way the tracker is right."

Marcum gave an annoyed reply, "Just follow it."

The soldier looked into the 3 inch wide pipe, "Will do as soon as my Pym particles get here."

Marcum put his head in his hands as Balain looked on him, "He put the bug on a rat, didn't he?"

"Would you mind if I put in for a transfer to Chicago?"

She gave a wary look, "Chicago is a crater."

"Oh, I know."


Tiffany knocked on a small door in an out of the way section of the sewer and the door swung open to reveal a man with a web tattoo on his hand, "You the Cage kids?"

Curtis nodded as he put out his hand, the Spider shook it, "Dennis O'Neil, most folks call me Fiddler Back."


O'Neil gave him a wary look, "Why not? Anywho, come on in and we'll figure out how to get you out of town."

(To be continued)


Marvel Iron Age: Cage, The Fist part 2

Continued from here part 1

Sacramento, Mexifornia

Curtis stood in front of a large monitor in the middle of the city as a reporter went on about a possible Spider group in the city. As he watched a man shoved a gun in his back, "The wallet, and whatever else you got."

Curtis chuckled, "You find any money on me, I'll half it with you."

The man shoved causing Curtis to turn. He looked over the raggedy looking man with a faded goblin face on his shirt, "This will not end well for you."

The man moved the gun to his face, "Didn't stop to chat."

Curtis sighed as he casually stripped the man of his gun and removed the bullets before tossing it aside. The man looked indignant and went for a knife but Curtis swatted it out of his hand before he had it up. The man then swung his fist but was surprised that Curtis was suddenly behind him walking away.

He was tempted to follow but he had a gut feeling it was a bad idea. An old lady sat on the stoop of her apartment building chuckling at the goblin, "Boy, you're lucky he didn't take your pants."

He gave a dirty look as he bent to pick up his weapons when he noticed something. He patted his back pocket, "That guy robbed me."

The old woman nearly fell over laughing.


Col. Marcum stood outside an Al-Mar as General Balain stepped out handing him a cup of coffee. He eyed the contents with mild disgust, "Are you sure you don't have a little mutant in you? No normal human could possibly stomach as much of this stark water as you."

"Such a snob, Tommy."

He shrugged, "Not being a snob, just prefer my coffee not smelling like Krang piss."

The General dropped down with her terrible coffee and overcooked hot dog, "I forget you're a General's kid. You spend a few years in the trenches along the DMZ border with nothing but field rations then this crap becomes champagne and caviar."

"I've heard the speech about having to work for a living a thousand times. Now is there a reason we're hanging out with the sweat pants mafia here?"

She nodded, "A guy fitting the description of this Iron Fist guy was seen picking up groceries here. Odds are he's within a couple miles from here, five or six max."

"And you know this how?"

"People don't go out of their way for groceries if they don't have to, he's keeping a low profile so he'd want a place he could walk to but not so close that somebody could follow him home without noticing."

Marcum sat down beside her, "You really miss the spy stuff don't you?"


At the abandoned warehouse Curtis sat down on a bench as he tossed the cash he'd taken from the goblin on the table, "You're gonna need to go shopping."

Tiffany looked up from a map she was studying, "Why?"

"Well for one I did it yesterday, and two there's an Iron Army General camping out at the Al-Mar and they don't have a description of you."

She sighed, "Fine but load up while I'm gone, we need to leave. He's obviously not around here. We scoured the state and nothing."

He nodded, "Grab some extra provisions, its nothing but the Wilds between here and the next city."


As Tiffany exited the Al-Mar General Balain stopped her, "Let's see an I-Dent."

Tiffany gave a polite smile and handed her a card she'd received from a Spider in L.A., "Here you go, ma'am."

Balain looked it over and handed it back. As Tiffany walked off the General looked to Marcum, "Its a fake, a good one."

Marcum went for his comm but Balain stopped him, "Hold on a sec."

She opened the gauntlet of her armor and pulled up a holo-screen showing footage from the local street cameras, "There are easier ways to follow people."


A few minutes after she arrived at the warehouse there was a banging at the door. Curtis put on his pack, "That's probably not a friend."

Tiffany grabbed her pack and a large gun, "Out the back."

The door blew open and several Iron soldiers walked in but found nothing as the two walked out the back door and right into General Balain and a dozen soldiers from the Sacramento Iron Hall, "Sneaky little trouble makers."

(To be continued)


Marvel Iron Age: Ares, Dogs of War part 7

Continued from here part 6

Cairo Iron Hall

A monitor activates in Hassan's office. He turns with a grin to see the Supreme Commander glaring at him, "I told you 24 hours."

Hassan became nervous, "It seemed as though Khalaf was losing."

Stryfe nodded, "That could have something to do with you denying support that you were ordered to give, which could have ended the battle in a day and not allowed Ares' army a f**king week to prepare an assault that took thirty five nations out of my hands. Because of you the whole of Africa ignored my direct orders and your Omega 3 cost me a General worth fifteen of you."

As if on cue the door to the office was ripped from its hinges. Hassan looked in terror on the filthy and bloodied Iron Bull standing in his door way. Stryfe got a hateful grin, "Well that saves a bit of time."

Khalaf looked on Hassan with pure hate as Stryfe continued, "An example needs to be made, The Generals in that part of the world have bitten the hand that feeds them. Khalaf do whatever you like to him but leave enough to hang from a pole."

Hassan stepped behind his desk, "Now hold...."

Khalaf swung his sword chopping the desk in half before snatching Hassan up by the throat and dropping the scimitar, "I will not sully my blade with your blood."

The soldiers of Istanbul blocked the door way as Hassan screamed from behind begging Khalaf to spare him as the Iron Bull stomped him into the ground.


Khalaf finally stopped about five minutes after Hassan had died when he heard a clap behind him. He turned to see the Supreme Commander the screen, "I've been trying to purge that man for half a decade. Enjoy the new office Khalaf, it's yours now."

Khalaf heard but didn't respond, rage still filled him but he knew the man he killed was less to blame than the one who just promoted him.


Ares dropped out of the transport in New Olympus and marched to the men in charge of the New Latverian soldiers in the DMZ. He stood before a General, "I would like to thank your army for their aid in making this an independent nation. But now I'm going to have to ask you to leave. The Chechyen Empire will not begin as an occupied territory. Tell your Queen she can still count us as allies but this nation is not under the wing of New Latveria."

The General looked stunned but was unwilling to argue. He then walked back to his men, "Get me a comm line to our men at the new borders, we need to bolster them. The damned clone isn't going to respond well."


New York Iron Hall

Stryfe looked to the officers on his monitors, "Give me some retaliation options."

Beyonce Hwjang spoke up, "Frankly Sir, there's nothing we can do at the moment. Yozgat devastated the forces throughout the area. We barely have a functional hall between Cairo and China at the moment. The War god did a pretty good job at crippling us there."

Another officer chimed in, "Its gonna be a good six months before we could do any effective operations in the area and they aren't celebrating victory just yet, Ares knows he's vulnerable at this point and is keeping his men on high alert and to be honest he's just better at this than us. He's proven our numbers don't mean anything, around a quarter of his forces literally qualify as weapons of mass destruction."

Stryfe glared at the man and felt like he'd explode before shutting off the monitors. He turned to Iron Claw, "Perhaps Helfitta's idea has merit."


As the Latverian soldiers left the borders of the DMZ two Generals spoke, "This can't be legitimate."

His comrade nodded, "What can we do? Ares has set himself up as a God King, they look on him as we looked on Doom if we force him out then we are no better than our enemy."


Marvel Iron Age: Cage, The Fist part 1

Sacramento, Mexifornia

An Iron soldier is pestering a woman trying to get in her car, "Come on, man I'm gonna be late for work."

The soldier chuckled to his buddy, "That sound like a disrespectful tone to you? Y'know lady disrespecting an officer is illegal."

She looked nervous, "I'm sorry, but I really need to get to work."

The soldier shakes his head as he mockingly asked his fellow soldier, "Now what's that sound like to you?"

A voice comes from behind, " It sounds like a tin plated bully is over compensating for his short comings by bullying a lady who's just trying to get to work."

The soldiers turn as the bully speaks, "Ahh, we got a comedian. All right funny man, how about we see an I-Dent."

The man in a hooded jacket shrugged, "Don't have one."

The soldier chuckled,"You're under arrest."

The man grinned as the soldier grabbed his arm, "Is that so?"

His hand glowed with energy as he grabbed the armored wrist of the soldier and shattered it. He then shattered his helmet with a punch and turned driving a foot into the chest of his partner as he ran up. He dropped as the chest plate exploded.

He then stepped over the fallen soldier as the nervous woman got in her car.


A woman named Tiffany Cage stood as her brother walked past her into the abandoned warehouse the were squatting in, "Are you out of your mind, Curtis? We didn't come here to play Avengers. We're here to find the Prince and bring him back to K'un-Lun, that's all."

Curtis Cage gave her an annoyed look, "They had it coming."

He then sat down a bag of groceries as she continued, "How you became the Iron Fist....."

He stopped listening to his sister as he dropped down on the beat up couch with a bag of chips as he flips on the TV he fished out of a dumpster. He watched as the news droned on about some battle in Turkey before falling asleep as his sister complained at him.


Sacramento Iron Hall

A Colonel stood in front of the two soldiers Curtis had fought, "So let me get this straight, you two morons got your asses kicked by some bum and want this Iron Hall to foot the bill for your wrecked armor?"

The men looked afraid to answer as Col. Tom Marcum sighed and rubbed his temple with two fingers, "Head to the armory, I'll be taking it out of your pay for the next year."

One spoke up, "But, Sir..."

Marcum cut him off, "One more word and I'll charge you interest."

He dropped into the chair behind his desk as the General in charge of the hall walked in wearing her new armor, "Hey Marcum, does this make me look fat?"

He gave the General a wary look as she chuckled at him, "Oh, come on Tommy, I was just screwing with you."

He hated when she called him Tommy but he let it slide as he changed the subject, "So, do you go out of your way to request idiots or do we just have stark luck when they hand out new guys?"

General Leslie Balain sat in the chair across from Marcum, "Times are rough and Sacramento is not what they consider a priority."

She turned her head and saw the video of Curtis smashing her soldiers,"Mutant?"

He shook his head, "Scanners would have picked that up, not a mutate either. We aren't quite sure what the power source is."

She nodded as she pulled up a holographic key board and typed as a video from over two hundred years ago popped up showing a man with a glowing fist smashing an old fashioned Shield helicarrier. Marcum's eyes went wide when she pulled up the video from earlier in the day, "Same type of energy, I believe they called it chi."

Marcum rolled his eyes, "Magic?"

Balain shrugged, "I never understood you magic deniers, in this world is something like that really so far fetched? Just this morning we brought in a guy who can merge with animals. If we can believe in a spontaneous Squirrel Man we can give chi the benefit of the doubt."

Marcum got up and looked at the name on the old video, "So we have a new Iron Fist?"

"Why not? They have a new Spider-Man in New York"

Marcum shrugged, "I'll put out a bolo."


The next morning Tiffany woke Curtis by kicking his legs off the make shift coffee table he had propped his feet on when he fell asleep, "Well you screwed us."

He stretched his arms as she pointed at the TV, "They're looking for a guy called Iron Fist."

He shrugged, "Let them look. Is there breakfast?"

She sighed, "We got milk and cereal."

(To be continued)


Marvel Iron Age: Ares, Dogs of War part 6

Continued from here part 5

Baghdad, Iron Hall

A lieutenant stepped in his general's office to see her slumped over her desk with a broken neck. He went for his comm but it was dead. He turned as the door slammed shut and a shadow seemed to come alive to attack him.

Tehran, Iron Hall

A technician sits with a Colonel trying to get the communication systems back on *<I'm trying sir, seems like the whole thing collapsed all over this part of the....>

A man cleaned his knives on his pant legs as the two men dropped. He hit his comm, "Tehran down."

Prague, Iron Hall

A woman sits cleaning blood from her claw like finger nails as comm signals inform her that he comrades had finished their mission. She replied, "Prague down."

She then patted the head of the dead General in the seat beside her, "Been fun deary."


Cairo, Iron Hall

Hassan looked to his men, "Prep is complete, prepare to launch Omega 3."


Yozgat, Turkey

Ares and Khalaf had come down to a fist fight as the battle raged around them. Both stood panting and bloody being held on their feet by pure stubbornness and defiance.

With their armors power completely depleted the soldiers of Istanbul had taken to using the arms and legs of their armor as bludgeons. The other soldiers considered the idea insane, some dropped their dead armor and made a run for it while the rest went with it as their only alternative to death.

The mutants of the DMZ were tired and frustrated but continued on.


Khalaf pushed Ares to the ground but before he could capitalize the voice of Hassan came over the comm, "Hello, General."

"I'm in the middle of something."

Hassan chuckled, "Oh, I won't take long. Just saying good bye. I will be a little upset, I was planning a trip to Istanbul but the Omega 3 will mess that up."

Khalaf stepped back from the fight, "I haven't been beaten. My men still fight."

Ares watched with concern wondering what could affect Khalaf so when he hadn't shown a bit of fear in the battle. Hassan continued, "You were beaten, by the lowly Weasel of Cairo, that is the name you gave me. I promise tho, I will thank you in my speech when the Supreme Commander rewards my victory."

Khalaf had an almost panicked look, "Hassan, send an evac order."

"Sorry, too late. At least you'll be joining the wife and kids about thirty seconds later. The soldiers of both sides stopped as the ground began to shake. Ares looked up to see several missiles bearing down on the field as Khalaf visibly shook with rage as he screamed into his comm, "Hassan, I will walk out of hell to kill you!"

Hassan laughed, "Good luck with that."

As the missiles came down a large cloud formed above the field and massive lightning bolts began to rain down destroying the missiles as a golden orb of light seemed to shield the battlefield from the explosions.

On a hill over looking the field Odin stood next to Zeus, "That isn't exactly the model of stealth."

Zeus glared, "I was not about to let another of my children die in such a way. He was done what was asked, lets get to our work."

The two sky fathers vanished as the orb of light faded. Ares recognized the power as he lowered his head, "Thank you father."

Ares looked to his men as he spoke into his comm, "Its time."


Hassan looked in horror as his monitors came on showing Iron Halls throughout the Middle East and Eastern Europe exploded.

In New York The Supreme Commander glared as the three assistants in his office were crushed by the power flowing off him in his rage. News outlets across the planet were showing the event. In each nation where the Iron Army was thrown out a flag was raised with words scrawled on the bottom in the native tongues of the Nations that flew them,'One Nation Under Ares.'


On the Battle field Ares stood over Khalaf, "You are now standing on the soil of the Chechyen Empire, you have an hour to be elsewhere."

He then tossed a teleportation device on the ground in front of him, "Its set to Cairo."

(To be continued)


Marvel Iron Age: Hardy and Creed Vol.2 part 7

Continued from Here part 6

7 and David sat in a Shield Transport. 7 looked over the Agents Fry, Walker, Sterns and Jenkins along with 20 New Latverian soldiers preparing their weapons as they headed toward Zemo's base of operations. David was antsy, "Why the hell did we tag along?"

7 tightened his gauntlet as he spoke, "Juggernaut works for Zemo."

David nodded, "True, but there's the small matter of him being invincible!"

7 started to reply but noticed a thumping on the upper hatch. Fry stared at it, "Um, is someone knocking?"

Walker shook her head, "We're 10,000 feet up and going Mach 5."

Suddenly the hatch opened but was quickly closed behind the man who knocked. They looked stunned as the Kree Dal-Rogg dropped down, "Sorry, I just missed you at your home base."

7 stood, "Why are you here."

"The Traveler told Emperor Kallark that someone killed Abomination, I came to pay my respects."

7 nodded, "I see you kept the Nega bands, could you use them help us bring down the man who killed him?"


Hydra base

Zemo watched a raid on an Iron Hall on a monitor, "Another would be world conqueror, make a note of this Machinesmith, he's either a threat or a future customer but either way it bares further attention."

A hydra agent typed the name on Zemo's watch list as Tinkerer spoke, "I forget why you have such contempt for those types."

"For generations my family has wasted their lives on that ambition. The thing most of them refuse to admit is that their are only two types of men who wish to rule the world. Mad men and idiots. I prefer the idiots, so much easier to control."

An alarm sounded as Zemo calmly sipped his coffee. As he put it down he looked on his monitor, "Shield response time has become down right embarrassing, make a note to try to sell that Queen of their's faster ships if she survives the month."


Outside the Base

An agent raised a missile launcher and shot the transport. A force field deflected it but the blast did manage to nudge the ship off course. Zemo watched this from inside, "The shielding is new."

Dal-Rogg jumped out the hatch and flew toward the island as he laid down cover fire as the transport found a landing spot. 7 activated a jamming device that prevented Zemo's men from knowing how many men they had or exactly where they landed and left the ship to raid the base.

They gathered up against a rear wall and 7 opened a contained filled with insect like machines, "These will plant your bugs, you just need to buy them about an hour."

He then handed Fry a device, "Find a computer bank and plant this, it will use their own system to hide the bugs."

A Latverian soldier glared, "And where will you be."

"Trying to kill an indestructible monster, care to trade me places?"

The soldier went quiet as he continued, "Try not to get killed and we'll meet you back at the ship."

David and 7 then slipped away as Jenkins made a mystical symbol in the air and planted it on the wall allowing them to pass through it.

Dal-Rogg landed at the entrance, "I am Accuser Dal-Rogg of the Kree Empire. There is a man here known as the Juggernaut who stands accused of killing an ally of the Empire."

After a few minutes the Juggernaut stepped out with a grin, "You picked the wrong fight, Blue."

Dal grinned a bit as he pulled his Universal weapon and fired a blast of cosmic energy that had been amplified by the nega bands. The Juggernaut was launched deep into the base by the blast and landed across the room from Zemo with smoke rolling off him. He sat up, "Yup, gonna kill that guy."

7 and David used the distraction to slip in unnoticed.

Zemo ordered the Tinkerer to raise the defenses and put the base on high alert, "Maybe they are going to make a fight of it."

(To be continued)


Marvel Iron Age: Ares, Dogs of War part 5

Continued from here part 4

As Ares stood waiting for Khalaf's forces to make a move a message came over the comm in his ear, "We're ready to move, sir."

Ares nodded as he responded, "Do your best to keep it quiet, don't want to show our hand too early. Hopefully I'll survive long enough to see the look on Kurske's face."

Khalaf looked on uncertain what would happen next when finally after looking over his men and seeing the frayed tempers ordered a charge.

Ares' men wasted no time charging toward the Iron soldiers. The Busters dog piled on Vadim to attempt to take him out of the fight. King Adder dived into the rush of soldiers ripping several apart as soon as he connected.

Ares and Khalaf once more clashed in the field. As they stood with their weapons locked together Khalaf looked into Ares eyes, "What do you hope to accomplish here?"

The war god smiled, "I already accomplished my real goal, Now I just want to beat you."

Khalaf fell back a step and pulled his sword free before slashing Ares across the shoulder and trying for his neck. Ares blocked him again as Khalaf grunted, "What goal?"

Ares pushed him to the ground and lifted his ax to strike as he replied," When your Supreme Commander ordered all these soldiers and transports, he depleted the defenses for most of the Middle East and the patch of Eastern Europe he controls."

Khalaf blocked the ax as he realized this whole battle had been a distraction. Ares didn't want to win this battle to further his goal, he wanted to defeat Khalaf as a show of defiance to the Iron Army. Anger flared in the General as he thought on his men being sacrificed as a distraction while at the same time being confused as to why Ares was willing to sacrifice himself as well.

He rose to his feet and punched Ares in the face sending him down as he tried to stab him. Ares caught the sword by the blade as it hung over his neck and forced his enemy back.


Throughout the Middle East and Eastern Europe the mutants of the DMZ that could pass for human set up silent take overs of Iron Halls. They had insured the Iron Army would know nothing of it until the next day and by then it would be far too late to stop any of it and the DMZ borders would be expanded by thousands of miles.


Back on the field the fighting kept moving back and forth. When ever one side gained an advantage the other would counter. Khalaf began to worry for his men when he noticed his armor losing power, his cybernetics would keep him in the fight but most of his men weren't so lucky.


Cairo Iron Hall

General Hassan began making preparations for the Omega 3 protocol as a Lieutenant walked up, "Sir, General Khalaf still has twelve hours."

Hassan chuckled, " Trust me, The Supreme Commander will be pleased."

"But Sir, He specifically..."

Hassan glared, "You have your orders. Finish the preparations."

"Y..Yes sir."


Doomstadt, New Latveria

Queen Carol watched a screen showing soldiers from the DMZ crossing borders, "What, is Ares up to?"

Kurske shrugged, "Your War God tells me nothing."

" If he survives Turkey I want a meeting asap."

"It will be so, your highness."

(To be continued)


Marvel Iron Age: Ares, Dogs of War part 4

Continued from here part 3

As the battle of Yozgat entered its forth day soldiers on both sides were frustrated and tiring from combat. Casualties were piling up. Khalaf was messaging Cairo for medical aid, "We need some field doctors, I don't have time to argue the point."

The General of the Iron Hall rolled his eyes, "If you can't finish the fight on your own then maybe you shouldn't have volunteered."

Khalaf glared at the weasel of a man sneering behind his desk, "When this battle is over you and I are going to have words."

Lieutenant Abad stepped up and looked on the angry General, "I take it Cairo was about as helpful as usual."

"That man is a waste of DNA. How he made General is the greatest mystery on Earth."

Abad gave a shrug, "I don't disagree sir, though I wouldn't go so far as to insult a superior."

"He isn't superior to a house fly. So what's the situation?"

Abad looked out, "Its quiet so far, The enemy camp is still there but the lion's share of their forces are out of sight."

Khalaf sighed, "How many snipers are left?"

"Five, but Abdul lost an eye so we only have four that are helpful."


Ares men sat in hiding waiting for orders to move. Ares crouched down next to his scout, "Have they lined up their snipers yet?"

"They're running low, on the plus side their air support is crippled. Then again so is ours, they're down to five sentinels and about eight Busters."

Ares hit his comm, "Vadim, are your men ready to go?"

About 3 miles south Vadim sat with many men as they planned to attack the camp from both sides, "We're ready to end this."


Khalaf stood in the camp. He looked around, "They're going to try to lay a siege on the camp."

Abad's eyes got a bit wide, "I'll get the men ready."

Khalaf kept his cybernetic eye locked on the scout he'd noticed, "This ends today."


As the Iron soldiers prepared for a fight a few sniper shots rang out and dropped several soldiers. Several more shots were followed by the rush of Vadim's men as Ares came up on the other side.Ares and his men headed straight for the sentinels as Vadim's went at the Busters. They intended to take out the biggest weapons on the field before the enemy had a chance to use them.

Khalaf had assumed as much and prepared for it. Ares men laid down heavy cover fire as the more powerful mutants plowed into the camp. The Iron soldiers retaliated. At this point the soldiers were angry, neither side seemed as sure of victory as it appeared at first. Both sides had lost men in the hundreds and just wanted the battle to end.

The fighting quickly turned vicious. The Iron soldiers quickly devolved into fighting hand to hand since most of their armor was too damaged to fire a repulser and both sides were running low on weapons and ammo.

Khalaf walked through the field hacking down any enemy that came within reach of his blade. He was taking out frustration over being denied the help he was promised by petty, power hungry generals on any enemy in sight. Ares on the other hand was more frustrated with his own inability to defeat Khalaf. Since the battle began the two forces had been on even ground with neither side giving an inch.

The rest of the world had taken notice of the battle and many were beginning to worry it would lead to full scale war. The Iron Army along with various governments under their rule tried to assure people that it was a minor skirmish but the fear was still hanging over like a black cloud.

The Supreme Commander himself had been forced to make a statement on it, he had assured people that the situation was under control but was furious that the battle was being used as yet another piece of evidence against his rule.

As he sat in his office and called up the General of the Cairo Iron Hall. He didn't even wait for a greeting, "Khalaf has twenty four hours to end this, a minute longer and you are to issue an Omega 3 protocol."

"Understood sir."


One the battle field the Iron soldiers were a little disheartened as the last of the sentinels fell but the last of the Buster units proved to be a bit more stubborn. This wasn't so much warfare now as a brawl. Only a few dozen soldiers remained on either side. Khalaf's reign of slaughter been curbed a bit when he met Vadim on the field. He'd been forced to fall back due to his inability to harm the stone skinned man.

Both sides pulled back to regroup but Ares and Khalaf glared at each other across the field. The two had proven to be equals in combat, they had decimated each other's forces but Khalaf knew when his weapons were gone Ares' mutants would wipe his men out. He was conflicted, he knew a retreat was his best option but that would cost him dearly.

Ares considered calling in the rest of his army from the DMZ but knew Kurske was waiting for an excuse to turn the place into a police state. Retreat wasn't an option, his men wouldn't have it. Ares turned to his men, "It is more than likely we'll die here."

King Adder stepped up, blood poring from a shoulder wound, "As long as they die with us, we are glad to."

Khalaf looked to Abad, "The last charge will start soon."

Abad nodded, "We aren't making it off this field are we?"

"I will do my best to get some of you home."

Khalaf looked down as he activated a holo-pad. He pressed send on the message he keeps ready for his wife any time he's unsure if he'll make it back, he considering giving a prayer but he doubted his god would listen to him. He gave Abad a pat on the back, "As I said, this ends today."

(To be continued)


Marvel Iron Age: Ares, Dogs of War part 3

Continued from here part 2

Luxor, Egypt 2187

The last of the Gods of Heliopolis, Horus stood before the last surviving Iron soldier after what at the time was the most vicious battle in the history of the Iron Army. The soldier was Colonel Alhassan Khalaf. Khalaf looked at the god through his one good eye as he wiped blood seeping from the empty socket of the other, "They will hunt you, the only path to salvation would be to bend a knee to the Supreme Commander. I assume that is no option for you."

Horus stepped to the soldier, "Then I suppose I should finish you before reinforcements arrive."

The god swung an adamantine scimitar at the soldier who dropped to the ground and rolled away as he grabbed a spear from one of the fallen gods. He jammed it into Horus' back and then drove his shoulder into his knee. Horus fell to his knees and dropped his sword. Khalaf lifted it and rested the blade on his shoulder. The god attempted to rise but his injuries from the long battle that day stopped him. He gritted his teeth as he spoke, "Are you proud of yourself soldier?"

Khalaf sighed, "There is no pride to be had on this field today, I did my duty but I will not revel in this."

Horus grabbed the blade and for a second considered yanking it away and killing the man but he looked on his dead mother not ten feet away and dropped his hand, "Do it now, I will not give the mad man the satisfaction of executing me."

Khalaf nodded and raised the blade, "For what its worth, I'm sorry."

He then swung the blade.


Yozgat, Turkey 2200

Khalaf rested a hand on the hilt of his adamantine scimitar at his side while he awaited the rush of Ares' men. The soldier beside him chuckled a bit, "What's the sword for?"

Khalaf gave the man a glare that sent a chill down his spine before putting on his helmet. The mutants of the DMZ crashed through the front line like a tsunami tearing into the ranks with bullets, blades and in some cases claws and teeth.

Achos shot through the ranks and grabbed the soldier who had just mocked Khalaf by the throat with his teeth. Khalaf heard the crunch of the man's spine as he turned to strike the animal. Before he could punch him Metus slammed into him. He punched the beast in the jaw and hurled him off. Soldiers rushed in to aid him but the dogs had turned and attacked them as the battle raged on.

Khalaf wasted no time yelling to his men, "Hold the line, if they gain so much as a yard I'll kill you myself."

He then slammed a fist into his nearest enemy and fired a repulser blast into his gut. He used his cybernetic eye to scan the field and saw Ares fighting along side his men and grinned a bit as he ordered several of his soldiers, "Clear a path for me."

His best men formed up on either side of him as they rushed into the enemy. Ares noted to himself that while the rest of the soldiers flailed about like angry children in his eyes, the men of the Istanbul Iron Hall fought as warriors. He saw Khalaf coming for him and decided to meet him half way.

The War god charged ahead of his men slashing down Iron soldiers three at a time with his ax.

Across the field Vadim led a group of the strongest mutants and took the attack to the Buster unit, most were shocked that not one of them had any fear or hesitation attacking the walking weapons of mass destruction they wore.

Vadim brought down one before their commander yelled, "Get your heads out of your asses and fight."

They opened fire taking down several of them but many laughed off the repulser fire. It was quickly reduced to a chaotic fist fight.

Sandman continued to attack through out the ranks before Lieutenant Aatif Abad got an idea. He ordered a few dozen soldiers into a tight crowd and waited for a moment for Sandman to attack. When he did the soldier took a belt full of high heat fire bombs into the mass of sand, as they exploded he was turned to glass.

This allowed the Iron soldiers a moment to regroup and they surged forward.

Ares and Khalaf stood amid the chaos of the battle looking each other over. Khalaf fired first but the repulser blast was deflected by Ares' ax. Ares then swung at him but he quickly raised his sword to block.

As Ares stood over the general he glanced at the blade, "So you're the Iron Bull, the mortal who killed Horus?"

Khalaf nodded as he held back the ax. Ares grinned, "I half expected you to have horns."

Khalaf pushed the ax back, "Sorry to disappoint."

Ares was impressed by his strength. He stepped back and readied his ax for another strike as Khalaf went to strike him. Ares caught his sword hand and punched him in the face hard enough to shatter the face plate on his helmet. Khalaf fell back a step and yanked off his helmet. As Ares moved forward Khalaf slammed his helmet into the war gods face and kicked him hard in the gut. He then moved to slice off Ares head but he rammed a shoulder into his gut before slamming him to the ground.

Khalaf looked to his men before he stood. Ares noted this and gave a look to his own. Both sides were worn out and casualties were mounting. Khalaf roared through his comm, "Fall back."

Ares did the same.


As night set in the two armies had set up camps. King Adder sat watch as one of the soldiers of Istanbul approached bearing a white flag, "You surrendering?"

Lieutenant Abad chuckled, "General Khalaf requests an audience with Ares, though if you'd like to surrender I'd be glad to deliver the message."


Ares stepped forward, he had snipers at the ready in case this was a trap. Khalaf sat patiently as Ares approached, "Lovely night."

Ares took a seat next to him on a fallen log, "A night's reprieve isn't the style of the Iron Army."

Khalaf nodded, "True, but I'm here to kill your men, not mine."

Ares chuckled at that, "You are strange for one of the Supreme Commander's men."

Khalaf nodded, "You understand we have you out numbered and out gunned."

Ares nodded, "I also understand that most of your soldiers would accidentally kill themselves if someone hadn't told them which direction to aim their weapons. Though it is nice to see a general who isn't afraid to fight with his men."

Khalaf sighed, "I could offer you the chance to surrender but we both know even if you took it we're under orders to make sure none of your men come out alive."

Ares nodded again, "So what was the point of this meeting?"

"Just wanted a chance to see my enemy outside of battle before one of us dies."

Ares grinned, "So, to the death then?"

Khalaf stood and gave a polite nod, "To the death, and make sure those snipers get fed, I'd hate to have my victory tarnished by hungry soldiers."

Ares laughed as Khalaf left, "See you in the morning."


The Supreme Commander looked into a monitor as an annoyed general from the Cairo Iron Hall called in, "He's ordered the men to stand down for the night, I'm told Ares has done the same. Sir, I believe he should push on."

The Supreme Commander glared, "Then perhaps you should have volunteered to lead in the field."

"If it were any of the rest of you I'd be concerned, but unlike the rest of you he's never failed me."


Pug was taking his shift on watch as Ares walked back. He looked to the small dog faced mutant that held a rifle more than half his size, "They intend to kill every last one of us."

Pug nodded, "Wouldn't have it any other way sir."

Ares chuckled as he walked on.

(To be continued)