Marvel Iron Age: Cage, The Fist part 7

Continued from here part 6

The Northern California Wilderness

Fiddler Back sat next to Slapstick with a glare, "Problem Spider?"

He nodded, "If you survived since the old times, why are you just now trying to help."

"The jar."

He stared blankly as Slapstick continued, "The soldiers couldn't kill me so they stuffed me in this little jar made of something I couldn't break and left me at the vault. Eventually they just forgot me so I ended up in a supply closet for a really long time. After the human part of me died I got a little loopy and lost track of how long I'd been in there."

He stopped for a moment looking a bit sad then shook himself and jumped up, "Long story short someone made the supply closet go Kaboom and now I'm here so, on to the bad guys."

***

They found a small hill to look down on the camp. Fiddler Back looked down through a pair of binoculars, "Oh, crap."

Tiffany slid over to him, "What?"

He handed her the binoculars and pointed, "That walking mountain over there in the goblin mask is Tom 'the Ogre' Polasky. He was damn near super human before he got on the Green."

"What's the Green?"

"Goblin Serum, sort of like what made Captain America only it makes you stronger and faster. Also it makes you crazy."

She sighed as Fiddler Back continued, "We need a pl..., where are your brother and the cartoon guy."

She handed him the binoculars.

***

Slapstick wandered into a group of several Goblins, "Hey fellas, how you doing?"

They gave the odd looking man a wary look. One raised his gun and shot. Slapstick dodged it, "Hang on a sec, so impatient."

He then reached into his pocket and pulled out a huge bag and began rummaging through it. The goblins stepped forward but then fell back as he hurled an anvil out landing on one's foot. He screamed as the bones crunched. Another raised his gun again but Slapstick hurled a cartoonish badger out that landed on his face. As the man screamed Slapstick produced a large mallet from the bag and used it to swat away those who remained.

He then dropped it and reached back in the bag, "There it is."

***

Curtis walked through the camp right up to Ogre, "Are you the leader here?"

He looked down on Curtis, "Yea, what of it?"

"I will give you two options. Option one, you let those kids loose and apologize and I allow you to walk away."

He chuckled, "And two?"

"I break your legs and make you crawl away."

The rest of the camp burst into laughter but Ogre was a bit unnerved by Curtis' calm expression but decided to save face, "I'll take option three."

He swung his fist to hit Curtis but he dodged. Curtis then kicked him in the face and sent him crashing to the ground. Several of the Goblins rushed to Curtis but one slammed into the ground. The goblins all looked to the sky and saw Slapstick on a pogo stick. He crashed down on another and shot high up into the sky. Ogre charged Curtis but he side stepped and tripped the massive man.

He growled as he pushed himself back up, "I'm gonna rip your damned head off."

Ogre moved fast for a man his size and caught Curtis a bit off guard as he slammed a fist into his gut and sent him flying. He then snatched Slapstick's pogo stick and and tried to slam him into the ground but he hopped on his head and began slapping it like a bongo. He tried to grab him but he tied a rope to his hand and dropped down and slipped under his legs dragging him down.

He then hopped up as several of the others charged them. He leaped into the air and produced a large mallet from his pocket and crashed it down on them. Ogre made it to his feet just in time for Curtis to drive a kick into his gut.

Ogre fell back a bit then charged and grabbed Curtis by the midsection and hurled him. Curtis crashed into the ground but quickly made it back to his feet. As the big man charged Curtis lit his hands up with energy. As Ogre swung Curtis ducked then delivered a hard shot to his jaw causing a few teeth to go flying.

Ogre struck back bloodying Curtis' nose. Curtis then slammed a fist into his ribs cracking them. Ogre growled at him as he snatched him up by the throat. As he held him in the air Curtis raised his knee into his jaw. He was dropped and as he landed he charged up his legs and kicked a knee sending it crashing into the other and breaking both of Ogre's legs. He roared in pain as he fell.

Curtis then rose and slammed a foot down on his chest, "How's option two sound now?"

Ogre looked around to see Slapstick standing over a pile of his comrades with the mallet over his shoulder then back up to Curtis, "I'm gonna find you, and I'm gonna kill you."

Curtis shrugged and walked away as Ogre began to crawl out of the camp.

***

The Wilds just outside Sacramento

Balain stood beside the Grey Hellfitta had loaned her. She raised her hand, "They met a silly man here and traveled east with him."

Balain was a bit unnerved by the monotone of the Grey, "Okay, guess we have a trail."

She then leaned down to the cart tracks and calibrated her scanners to follow the trail the krang who pulled it left behind.

(To be continued)

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Marvel Iron Age: Slingers part 1 of 4

The wilds of Colorado 2195

An old man sits around a fire with six teenagers he'd been training to become a part of the Spider movement. He was asked to sit and listen as they formed an idea, "So, you've all come up with code names?"

The youngest David Hardy raised his hand, "I'm Tarantula."

The Old man nodded as his fiddled with his ring, "And the rest of you?"

A boy only slightly older than David named Dennis O'Neil chimed in, "I'm Fiddler Back."

"Shouldn't that be fiddleback?"

"Fiddler Back sounds cooler."

The old man nodded, "Ahh."

A girl named Synthia Carpenter was next, "I'm the Black Widow."

A boy named Daniel Carver stood, "I'm Redback."

The oldest boy named Ed Reilly raised his hand, "Funnelweb."

The Old man turned to the older girl, "And what will yours be Melody?"

Melody O'Neil thought for a moment before saying, "Orbweaver."

He nodded, "Can we have dinner now? We have to be up early."

***

The next day before dawn the group walked toward a Goblin camp. David poked Fiddler Back, "Why do you get the rifle?"

"Because you can't aim for crap and we need precision shooting."

David sighed, "Well, I guess I'll have to settle for kicking Goblin ass while you hide in a bush."

"You see that I have a loaded gun, right?"

The Old man looked back, "If you do your job right, you shouldn't have need to do either."

As they came to a hill overlooking the camp the Old man dropped down, "Tarantula, Widow and Redback will enter the camp, find the objective and bring it back. Fiddler Back, find a decent vantage point. You should be able to see every inch of the camp. Funnelweb and Orbweaver will stand ready to cover your retreat. Be silent and swift."

***

Orbweaver looked to Funnelweb as the rest went where ordered, "We have powers, why aren't we helping Redback?"

"All we can do is spin webs, setting traps is our strong suit, Redback is the strongman but he's far from the most useful here. David is a world class thief and Widow's the best fighter on the team."

She formed an orb of psionic web, "I can do more than spin webs."

Fiddler Back laid on a ridge and hit his comm as he got David in his sights, "You think you can do your job with a bullet in the ass?"

David whispered back, "Don't know, we'll have to ask your mom when we get home."

Redback and Widow glared back,"Shh."

David shrugged, "What?"

They slipped silently past several half asleep guards and made their way to the leaders tent where David slipped in. He tip toed around three women asleep on floor mats as he made his way to the mattress where the leader slept. He sighed as he saw the ring they came for on his finger.

He grabbed a stick that was lying on the ground and lightly poked the man who raised a hand to brush it away and rolled over dropping his hand to his side. David then leaned down and gingerly slid the ring off before slipping back out of the tent.

He came up to Widow, "There all done."

The Old man listened over the comm then sent a message to Fiddler Back, "All right, time to test the rest of them."

He grinned up on the ridge as he aimed for a kerosene tank near the back of the camp, "Get ready to run kids."

The three in the camp attempted to creep away but an explosion from behind roused the guards. Redback sighed, "The old man is testing us again."

David nodded, "We so should have seen that coming."

A guard ran toward them but Widow jumped up and kicked him in the side of the head sending him to the ground as the rest of the camp came out. As the three ran two Goblins jumped in front of Redback with guns but he grabbed them by the throats and slammed them into the ground.

David punched another in the face sending him down as they ran out. Fiddler Back picked off three that blocked their path and the three left running. David shouted to Funnelweb, "Your turn."

A dozen or so Goblins ran from the camp after them. Several were caught in Funnelweb's sticky trap while Orbweaver caught the rest in with her psionic web. The team then made their escape as the confused and angry goblins tried to free themselves.

***

As they found a safe spot to rest Fiddler Back walked up with a chuckle, "The look on your faces was just priceless."

The rest of the group glared as David spoke up, "You're lucky you're armed."

David then tossed the ring to the old man, "Here's your trinket. What's next?"

(To be continued)

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Marvel Iron Age: Cage, The Fist part 6

Continued from here part 5

Sacramento Iron Hall

Balain sits in her office sitting in front of a monitor that General Falcon Hellfitta glares on, "Why would I need a general on a tracking mission?"

"My men aren't good enough, every decent soldier we have has been transferred to New York or the Chechyen border, the idiots you left me with can't tie their damn shoes without an instruction video."

Falcon gritted his teeth a bit, "The Supreme Commander feels the need to bolster the...."

She cut him off, "He wants revenge, and he's punching holes in all our defenses to get it. You know that as well as I do."

"Be careful General."

She gave an angry sigh, "Okay, tell you what. You let me take a leave to track down this Iron Fist kid, and loan me a Grey to help and I'll give you this."

He looked at a small drive device, "What is it?"

"Its the case file on your wife's murder. The real case file. While it has been kept from you, you do technically have the clearance so if The Supreme Commander really has our best interests in mind it shouldn't hurt too much to let you have a look."

He eyed it, "Send it, your Grey will be teleported to your office within the hour. And Balain, this meeting stays between us. Dispose of the clone when your done."

"Agreed." She then sent him the file.

He stared hard at it on his screen as he debated whether to open it or not.

***

Balain readied her armor as Marcum stared, "You leaving me to run these goons, while you run off and play hunter?"

"Relax, you pretty much run the place anyway. Consider it a temporary reprieve from my childish behavior."

His eyes went wide, "You read that?"

"Don't put your private journal on an Iron Hall computer, I'm required to read those. You should check out Private Beck's journal, its comedy gold."

Marcum then turned to see the bald, nervous looking woman sitting in the corner rocking back and forth with her arms wrapped around her knees while she hummed an ancient tune, "Should I even ask?"

"No. And if you did, I'd lie to you."

***

The wilds just outside Sacramento

Curtis grinned as he saw the sun after several hours trapped in the subterranean tunnel. Tiffany and Dennis stepped out more cautiously. Dennis checked his map, "The Nation of the Plains is a few hundred miles south east of here. I'm tracking a Spider camp about ten miles from here, maybe we could grab a truck there to speed up the trip."

Tiffany nodded, "Any Army presence around here?"

"Some, but our biggest problems are gonna be Goblins and Krangs."

Curtis looked back, "Can we get one of those?"

Fiddler Back's eyes narrowed, "You want a Krang? As what, like a pet?"

"Well he's got one."

Tiffany and the Spider looked where Curtis pointed and saw a man with a small cart being pulled by a Krang. A ham dangled in front of its nose from a rope attached to a pole coming from the cart. They watched as the man pulled up and noticed his very odd appearance.

Dennis gave him a wary look, "Is there a circus around here?"

He stopped and seemed to bounce out of the cart and stopped before them, "Howdy folks."

Tiffany found the man's almost cartoonish look creepy, "We're in the middle of something."

He looked over to Tiffany who screamed as his eyes shot out and his tongue hit the ground. Dennis looked shocked but Curtis seemed excited, "Cool, he's all stretchy."

He pulled his face back together and popped up beside Curtis with a hand extended to shake, "Steve Harmon, better known as...."

He appeared back on his cart with his chest popped out in a heroic pose, "Slapstick."

The three stared blankly and he dropped down an d lowered his head as a little storm cloud formed over his head, "Nobody ever remembers, sure they remember Nova and Firestar."

Curtis had a frown, "Awe, we made him sad."

Tiffany and Dennis shrugged as he spoke, "Well okay, onto the camp."

Slapstick's head popped up, "You don't want to go there. It got over run with Goblins and they're still squatting. I think they're waiting for a pick up. They left all the kids alive, they've taken to selling them off. I was heading there to help but the mercs I found to help me stole my truck."

Fiddler Back gritted his teeth, "You guys are gonna have to find your own way. I'm not letting Goblins sell kids to some pervert if I can stop it."

Tiffany looked to Curtis, "You're gonna go play hero again aren't you?"

Curtis nodded, "The Prince has waited this long, a few more days won't hurt."

Slapstick jumped back into his heroic pose, "I will lead you."

Dennis hopped on the cart, "Shut up and get the lizard moving."

Slapstick then pulled a comically large needle out of one of his pockets and poked the creature to make it run.

(To be continued)

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Marvel Iron Age: Cage, The Fist part 5

Continued from here part 4

Tiffany and Fiddler Back sit in a tunnel beneath Sacramento. As Tiffany cleans her weapon the Spider bounces a ball off the wall, "You sure we shouldn't be worried?"

"Nah, he'll be fine. He mastered Danny Rand's final gift to the world, doubt there are many on this planet that could actually beat him."

Fiddler Back gave her a curious look, "Final gift?"

"See before Rand died he perfected this technique called the Iron Body, basically it literally fuses a person's body with their chi so they can use it as much as they need to without burning out. Curtis mastered it before he'd even become the Iron Fist, now if he could just master some of life's more basic things he'd be golden."

Dennis nodded, "Yeah, I noticed he was a little off."

"Well, he's what you might call a savant, he's only really good for one thing. It just so happens that the one thing happens to be incredibly useful in this world."

Suddenly the tunnel rattled at the sound of an explosion. Fiddler Back looked to Tiffany who just shook her head while giving an annoyed sigh.

***

Sacramento Iron Hall

Balain walked into Marcum's office and saw him hunched over a holopad, "What's up?"

"Researching Daniel Rand, the last Iron Fist we knew of. Unfortunately it doesn't say much beyond what we know and that we killed him."

Balain chuckled as he looked at her curiously, "What?"

She flipped up a panel on the gauntlet of her armor mark, 'Shush' that shut down all the communication devices in the room, "Now this is way above your clearance but I doubt you'd go running off at the mouth about it."

He gave her his full attention as she spoke, "Now all those reports your going to find are gonna tell you that we killed him, found K'un-Lun and left the place a crater, that's a lie. We never captured Rand, he was a source of humiliation for us. He beat our side then disappeared. The Supreme Commander sunk twenty years and a couple billion dollars into finding the man and the lost city and came up with squat so they just made up a victory for the history books and called it done."

Their conversation was interrupted by an explosion, "What the Stark was that?"

***

Five minutes earlier

Scalphunter pulled a pair of knives and went to slash Curtis' throat but he dodged and spun around driving a foot into the back of Scalphunter's knee and an elbow strike to his neck. Scalphunter motioned as if he was going down but grabbed Curtis' leg and dragged him off his feet. He then put his foot on Curtis' throat and looked down with a grin, "You're good kid, but I'm starking amazing."

Curtis swung his leg up and kicked Scalphunter in the spine causing him to fall forward wher Curtis slammed a fist into his stomach as he rose. He then caught the assassin before he hit the ground and drove a knee into his chest and swinging him into a bench. He then turned to walk away again but Scalphunter hurled something at him from behind. Curtis dodged but the item was a grenade and went off in the crowd of people killing several and injuring more.

Curtis was shocked as Scalphunter chuckled, "Forgot to check me for fire works."

"Those people did nothing to you."

Scalphunter shrugged, "What's your point? Ahh, we got ourselves a hero complex."

Two compartments opened on the legs of his customized armor. He shoved his hands in and pulled out two fistfuls of small ball like devices, "Not real sure what all these do, let's find out."

He then hurled them out like confetti. As they flew several explosions went off along with various poison gases and random electrical arcs flying around wildly as the people on the streets fled in panic. Curtis dived out of the way of an explosion and landed near Scalphunter who tried once again to stab him.

Curtis rolled away and jumped to his feet. He delivered several rapid fire punches to Scalphunter's kidneys. he fell forward and turned punching Curtis hard in the face then kicking him in the gut. Curtis spat a bit of blood as the assassin came at him like a wild animal. He slashed him across the chest with his knife and brought a fist down on his jaw before trying to stab him in the eye.

Curtis caught his hand and gave Scalphunter a hateful glare, "Our hero looks on with righteous...."

Scalphunter's joke went unfinished as blood and teeth flew from his mouth. Curtis then gave him several ferocious strikes to the head and chest. Scalphunter grunted as his jaw shattered and his ribs broke. He fell to his knees and Curtis kicked him in the face.

He was shaken out of his rage by the sickening crack of Scalphunter's neck.

Curtis started to walk away when Scalphunter slurred, "Hey, we aren't done."

Curtis looked as he stood straightening his neck, "Crap, that always hurts."

Curtis sighed, "I suppose the gloves can come off now."

Scalphunter chuckled, "Awe, did I upset....."

He stopped as Curtis' hands lit up with energy, "Sweet, we got a light show."

Curtis charged and swung but Scalphunter dodged yet again causing Curtis to slam his fist into a parked car. The car launched across the street smashing into a restaurant. It slid into the kitchen smashing through a gas main. Curtis then went at Scalphunter with incredible speed. The assassin stopped joking as he saw the destruction Curtis was causing where ever his fist struck.

The car in the restaurant exploded taking the entire building as it went and causing a chain reaction that took out the block due to Scalphunter's explosives and Curtis' strikes weakening the structures. Scalphunter flipped and dodged but was beginning to tire when he finally got struck. He was launched through a brick wall and landed in a folded position. He looked up to see his own feet dangling above his head, "That's no good."

Curtis launched into the building ready to finish the assassin but he rolled out of the way grunting with the crunch of his spine. He straightened himself out and rolled under a shelf and hid as Curtis walked past. As he watched him go he pushed up bringing the shelves down on his enemy. He then jumped on the wreckage and went to finish him off. He moved some debris out of the way and found a large hole leading to a basement. He dropped down and found another hole in the wall leading into a sewer drain, "Well Damn."

***

Later Scalphunter sat on a bench next to Balain, "The kid's tricky."

Scalphunter nodded, "And he hits like a truck."

She looked over the destruction, "So we're telling the Supreme Commander the kid did all this, right?"

"Sounds like a plan."

***

Curtis walked to Tiffany and Fiddler Back, "We need to be leaving."

Tiffany looked at his bloody and torn clothing, "What the hell happened?"

"Don't worry about it."

(To be continued)

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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."

"What?"

"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)

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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."

"Why?"

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)

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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)

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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."

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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)

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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)

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