Guardian

Author Note: Psshh silly 404 Error. Last Original piece for today. Unless you ask for one. Thanks for reading. Takes place a few chapters after "New World"

Griffan awoke with his whole body in pain. Meaning he was absolutely alive and in a Guardian medical bay. Anywhere else and he’d be dead on a slab. The room’s lights were blinding and the metal walls seemed to reflect all of it at Griffan. The bed was hard and the blanket given to him let every breeze through. “Griffan get the fuck up. You aren’t dead.”

Griffan sat up and turned his head in the direction of his visitor. “Hyden it’s good to see you.” Hyden sat in a chair next to Griffan’s bed with her arms crossed across her chest.

“Well it looks like you pissed someone off enough they used your face as a kickball. A concussion, internal bleeding and broken bones later.” Hyden huffed. She didn’t look at Griffan and stared at the wall. “Any idea who did it?”

“Michael Void sent them after me.” Griffan said.

“Yeah a sweeper team found the other guy in the alley. The other one was long gone. Both powered?” Hyden asked in a way that indicated to Griffan she already knew the answer.

“Yes.” Griffan answered. He sat up and looked at Hyden. “He all but confessed to me about the base attacks. And if you’re here the Director sent you and you know about it.”

“Yes.” Hyden said as she got up from her chair and walked to the foot of Griffan’s bed. “I saw the bodies. I hope we nail that fucker to the wall.”

Griffan slide over and sat at the edge of the bed. The only reason Void would admit his actions even in the vaguest of ways would be because he is hiding something. There was much more to this. “You up for a trip L8?” Griffan asked.

Hyden snapped her head over to him and had a curious look on her face. Griffan should be feeling like he got hit by a bus right now and shouldn’t be this eager for action this fast. Griffan was a machine. “You just got out of treatment.”

Griffan hoped out of bed, though he still looked to be in a lot of pain. “The bones have mended and the bruises are gone. Modern Guardian medical science for the win. Let’s go.”

Both agent left Chicago base. They took a transport out of base. They flew into cloaked, headed straight for Michael Void’s office. They flew in at the floor his office was, parking on the outside of it and breaking a window to get in. The transport scrambled whatever security measures Void may have had in place on the window. It was just Hyden and Griffan in the office.

They searched the place, Griffan knocking over books from their shelves, scanning the area without much care. “Very subtle Spade.” Hyden shook her head and searched for anything on Void’s computer. It was just left open and it didn’t need a password. She read through shipping documents. In the last couple months several shipments mad under his name were made on freighters he bought. All headed for South America. She copies of these documents sent to Agent Langely’s computer at base. Maybe something more could be found.

“Find anything?” Griffan asked, sifting through book pages and them throwing them aside.

“If I knew what I was looking for. Are we even sure he is our guy?” Hyden questioned as she searched through the computer.

Griffan answered, “I’m sure. The question is who is helping him?”

Hyden stopped typing. In order for someone to take Guardian tech, have a bases agents be killed in the manner they were and not alert the nearest Installation would require the help of someone in Guardian. “You don’t think one of ours could be helping him do you? It’s… I can’t wrap my head around it.”

Griffan walked over to the desk and stood behind Hyden. “Makes since. What doesn’t make sense is Void admitting it. You also probably noticed you haven’t run into a single block or password on his computer.”

Hyden nodded and turned around in the chair. “Yeah. It’s like he wants us to see this stuff. To let us get close and for what? Why would he do that if he knows we’ll stop him.”

If Michael really did have Guardian technology, and was really getting help it would take more than the help of a single agent. It could be several or even a few. If it was a Level 8 helping him then he could have all the resources he would need for an operation against the organization. But that agent would be suspect to scrutiny by the other L8’s and to move those resources it would need to be voted on. A level 9 couldn’t do it without the attention of the Director. “No. That isn’t right.” Griffan said under his breath.

“What?” Hyden asked. Griffan started passing back and forth in front of the window. He ran his hand through his hair and shook his head. He repeated the word no before his just stood in place and remained quiet.

“Do you hear that?” Griffan asked.

Hyden rolled her eyes and shot a glare at Griffan. “No and what the hell are you talking about?”

“Griffan walked towards the agent and slid her and her chair over. He looked under the desk. Searching for something. “What are you—“

Griffan chuckled and turned to Hyden. “Now that’s theatrical.”

Chicago Base,

Agent Eliza Langely’s lab:

“So he had a bomb in his office?” Eliza questioned, while on her computer screen live video of Chicago fire fighters fighting a fire where the office of Michael Void used to be.

“Yeah and Griffan threw us out of a window.” Hyden said, smelling of smoke and picking bits of glass from her long black hair.

Griffan stood back and watched the screen. The bomb was under the desk. It was a small round device that gave off a slight chirping sound. The explosion took out the whole room and none of the other floors would have been affected. That bomb was men for them. “Did you find anything from the documents, Hyden sent.”

Eliza scoffed, “Who are you talking to?” She typed away on her computer, the room’s lights dimmed. The Screen projected a holographic display of a warehouse. “From the bits I was able to get before the connection was cut the equipment being sent to South America get sent here and to other factories like around the Mid-west and West coast. Then they are sent off and I haven’t been able to find what’s being shipped, how much of it or where its final destination is. It just disappears once it reaches the other continent.”

“What the fuck? So it just disappears and we can’t find it?” Hyden said, scanning the holographic image.

“Send an information request to 501, tell the Director we need to see where these shipments are going. A Guardian satellite would be able to track the last shipment and we could follow it from departure.” Griffan ordered.

“I can’t.” Eliza answered.

Griffan’s eyes widened in surprise. “What?”

Eliza let her glasses fall to the tip of her nose and glared at Griffan over the top of them. “I can’t because Chicago base is cut off from Installation 501s virtual intelligence. I can’t even get in contact with the Installations operators.”

“Damn it.” Hyden whispered.

“Hyden suit up and meet me at the transport. Eliza get me two agents for a field assignment. We’re going to that warehouse tonight.” Griffan ordered as he went for the door.

“What a minute!” Hyden shouted rushing to meet Griffan at the exit. “Do you mind sharing what the hell is going on?”

Griffan stopped at the door. ‘I’ll get to that. But you asked me a question before at the office.”

Hyden’s face turned red. Griffan wasn’t telling her something. She was the Level 8 of 501. In charge of Guardian operations on the continent and everyone seemed to know more than her. They were cut off from an Installation and Griffan was beating around the bush. “Listen I don’t…”

“You asked me why Void would do this if he knew we would just catch him.” Griffan said, cutting her off. “It would be because we can’t stop him.”

Installation 501

Combat Information Center:

The Combat Information Center was housed in a large glass dome on the Installation. The dozen operators who worked there sat and sent messages back and forth between the bases of North America, gathering information and piloting the massive station through the sky. The Director over watched them all from here seat in the middle of the room.

The CIC of an instillation controls the air traffic of vehicles leaving and returning to the base. The Director can get in contact with any number of bases from the Combat information center allowing her to give orders to any Guardian facility. In a combat situation it acts as a command center where the level 8 or head director on base can give orders to ground and air troops. Though they are rarely to never used, a Guardian instillation has numerous offensive weaponry and defensive technology, such as its main gun that extends the length of the base.

The Director was finishing orders to go out in the next thirty minutes. There were assassination attempts to be thwarted, accidents that needed happening, medical breakthrough's to be allowed discovery and uprisings to be sparked; amongst other things. Most plans won't come to fruition for years, but they needed to be done in order to keep the Earth on a teetering slope of stability. Guardian isn't perfect though, even the best laid plans have the potential to back fire, as Guardian is still run by men.

The Director sunk in her chair. " How can one region of the world be so annoying?" She groaned. "Tell agents to undermine the unification of that frustrating peninsula."

"Yes Director." One of the CIC's operators answered. An Installation’s operations handle all data and mission reports from all over the continent. Processing vast amounts of information and making split second decisions that determine the happenings on the continent. All with the Directors approval.

"I also want our economy guys to shake things up. Some of these sheep are getting too greedy for their own good." The Director ordered.

"Yes, Director!" An operator replied.

"Director a spike in praetorian energy in the atmosphere over New Haven has been detected."

"Tell our agents to observe the situation. I want a full report before any action is taken. "

"Ma'am you’re being paged from moon base." Another one of the CIC's twenty operators said.

The Director crossed her arms, running a hand through her black hair. She knew what this message was about and just wanted to ignore it. Guardian has a base on the moon and several smaller ones on the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter for asteroid mining. The agent in charge of moon base calling her meant only an argument. "Put her through." She begrudgingly ordered.

A white screen came into view in front of her. Inside the little screen held a blonde haired woman, her skin was white as snow, she wore an eye patch with the mark of a deaths head on it and she seemed to have a permanent sneer on her face. Her back faced a window facing outside the base, stars shining brightly on the other side. "What can I do for you, Idanna?" The Director greeted in mock cheer.

"I've come to talk on important matters child." The blonde said, her words being more like a growl.

"Child?" If there was one thing about Idanna L8 of moon base she didn't care for was her boldness. No one talked to her in this way. “Must we start name calling?”

Idanna put a hand over her eye patch; a hidden fury was built up in her face. "I want to know what you're doing about the base attacks!"

"You don't get to make demands of the Director!" She snapped, making the other woman freeze in her seat and sit quiet. "Is that clear?"

Idanna bowed her head. "My apologies Director."

The Director nodded in approval. "The attacks are being investigated."

The level eight gave the director a suspicious look. "Really? Because I spoke with the L8 of installation 212 and I was told no investigation was ordered and that all Guardian technology went missing."

The pale woman's face turned bright red with rage, her single eye narrowed in on the director. "I would also like to know why you have ordered Guardian control over civilian commercial and defense satellites."

The Director raised an eyebrow and had a look of surprise on her face. "Going behind my back now?"

"If it gets my answers, yes!" Iddana retorted. "Now are you going to tell me what's really going on?"

"It's being investigated." She ordered the transmission cut. Several of her operators looked back at her.

"If she calls back ignore it." The Director said, angrily walking towards the elevator in the back of the CIC. No person in Guardian infuriated her more than that woman. Ever since she became Director, Idanna had challenged her authority. Finding fault in every decision, getting the council of level 8's to review her actions. "Actually I want her communications signal completely cut from the comm relays!"

501

The Director’s Office:

"Today is the day I quit!" Or at least that is what she told herself everyday as she looked down at the syringe pointed at her arm. It was filled will a dark red liquid. It glinted in the florescent lighting in her office, the syringe promising a short release from the four windowless walls of her office and the worldly matters of being Director of Guardian. "Today I quit." That is what she tells her self. She sticks the needle into her arm. She doesn't even need to find a vain, it was just point and inject for it to work. She watches as the liquid disappears. Facing her shame she calls it. She quits every day only to lie every day.

She felt a sudden rush. It was starting to take effect. She found her way under her desk and curls herself into a ball on the floor. Her finger tips got numb, and she starts rocking herself and breathing heavy. She slows her breathing, she lets it take her. Her body relaxes; she loses herself in the thoughts of others. She could hear people from 501st over North America to Moscow and from there to every person in the province she lived in back in China. She reveled in their memories, their lives.

Life she could never have. She watched people through their minds eye looking at their actions current and past. She never interfered with these people. Not even to save them from danger. Only to observe the daily lives of the ordinary people she was responsible for. She lives a life through the people she watches. It's a lie. In thirty minutes it would pull her back to reality. Her reality. A reality where she leads a secret organization that is responsible for the six billion people on the planet. A people she has no stake in or could care less about. To her they were just faces she monitored, only intervening when they couldn't possibly handle the situation or even before they even knew of one.

In Guardian you can do whatever you want as long as it doesn't affect the organization or your performance. If it becomes a problem the agent that promoted you to a higher clearance is at fault. So most agents don’t form habits that could affect them in the negative, or if they do it’s hidden. Her particular vice was mutagen, a habit seen as useful to those who know of it. The mutagen stimulated the neural pathways in her brain, amplifying her abilities. Communicating one on one across the planet was never a problem for here. When she's using she can speak to multiple people all over the world. Gather information that would take any other agent weeks to gather. She liked the freedom the mutagen gave her, even though it wasn't real. It was a way to have a life where she doesn't have any.

Aside from the track marks that cover her arm, if there were any side effects she didn't notice. But when she gets off her high the realities of her life crash back and she’s trapped within again. She often wept when she came down. It was back to the reminder of her actuality that often caused extreme depression for a couple of hours afterward. "But not today I suspect." She lied.

Plans have been set in motion for her to escape her reality. To finally be free of her responsibility... to be free of a people than would fear her if her existence was known … free of Guardian and a life she now abhorred.

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Marvel Iron Age: S.H.I.E.L.D Wide Awake Part. 9/Epilogue

Marvel Iron Age: S.H.I.E.L.D –

Wide Awake Part. 9/ Epilogue

The Convoy:

The convoy to riding to the space elevator was smashed. The tanks in front of the line exploded or crashed when an enemy aircraft crash landed, blocking the path forward. Ngumi and Makkari tended to the wounded, while Jessica Mongoose spoke with the Iron man soldiers who were on escort duty. Five of them stood in line while, Jessica paced back and forth in front of them.

"So any idea as to how we get to the space elevator now?" Jessica asked, stopping in front of the formation.

"Ma’am some of the vehicles are still functional, but the road ahead is blocked." One of the Iron men answered.

"What was the idea anyway?" Jessica questioned.

An Iron soldier from the end of the line stepped forward. "We were going to have one of the mutants tamper with the space elevator on arrival." He cleared his throat as Jessica looked back at him with a raised eye brow. "He’s a technopath ma’am."

"His condition?"

"The other mutants he rode with are dead." Answered another soldier. "Both his legs are broken and there is no way of knowing what’s ahead. We need to pull back and—"

Jessica Mongoose interrupted him by tapping on his helmet with her pointer finger. She looked at the soldier next to him. "Soldier, take off the helmet." The soldier did as was told and Jessica smiled, giving him baited looks; dousing him in enough pheromones to take away all reasoning. "Name?"

"Corporal B. Evin!" He immediately responded.

Jessica winked and nodded, and looked at the soldier she pointed at. "Corporal, punch him in the face!" She ordered. The Corporal swung a vicious left hook that floored the soldier next to him. Jessica walked past the group of soldiers, each of them saluting as she walked past.

She observed the wreckage beyond them. The damage to the enemy ship seemed cosmetic at best. But getting it flight ready was out of the question, "Hey Corporal!" for her at least. "Get me that technopath."

The Helicarrier:

"Commander Holland, get out of that bed right now!" Holland stirred in a state of half awake. The last thing he remembers was taking fire with Director Carter and Perun saving them. He remembers being in bad shape. "Holland!"

The Commander woke up. He was in a hospital bed and Carter stood above him, wearing the armor of an Iron soldier. The room was white, with symbols of the Iron Army arranged on the walls. "Where are we? How did..." Holland paused and sat up, wincing in pain from a wound on his side."Never mind. Sit-rep now." The commander ordered as he moved to the edge of the bed.

"Perun has acquired the help of the Iron Army on his way here. Dooms forces are scattered all over the country and at the moment we're taking back, New Latveria." Director Carter answered, he bent down and picked up another set of Iron man armor and placed it next to Holland. "And it's going badly."

Holland sneered at the armor and looked back at, Carter. "Do you have any teams on the ground?"

Carter pressed a button on the armor and watched as the opened up. "The Supreme Commander had a squad down there. And someone called; the Mongoose is following Agent Takada around."

Holland breathed a sigh of relief when he heard, Ngumi's name. "Anyone else?"

Doomstadt,

Wide Awake civilian processing:

"Oh, Lord Doom why have you forsaken us?" I her an old woman cry in front of me. These monsters are acting real strange lately. I still can't believe this is happen. One second everything was fine and then the sky opened and these things popped out of the sky. Where is S.H.I.E.L.D?

They were killing us left and right, Doom's peace keeping force and Shield were helpless. I even heard rumors of Shield agents helping the invaders. Six hours in they just started snatching us up and lining us up. Bodies were being dumped into tanks and lined beside us. Bodies and body parts stacked in piles around the ones still alive, the stench of decay wafting through the air. Last night I saw why.

This giant tower they put up. They've been putting people in all day. And we look in the sky and all we see are Iron Men! The Iron army is here! And they're fighting the invaders! I wander out of line to get a better look. Then one of those things kicked me in the ribs. Whenever I see that sickly black skin I wanna puke. While on the ground, with that monster standing above me with an arm that had a cannon sticking out of it I saw something behind him. It happened so fast.

This black portal just opened up and this silver haired angel just jumps out snaps that creature’s neck. Following her out is another woman, a dragon, a knight, and another two. They scatter and attack the invaders all over the dark tower. The silver haired woman helps me to my feet and ordered us to run as far away as we can. With lasers and bullets flying around us we take the warning. I just hope they're enough.

The Helicarrier:

"This thing stinks." Holland grumbled as he walked clumsily in a set of Iron man armor. Carter had talked him into wearing it considering his injuries.

Carter who marched in front, turned his head to the, Commander. "It had a dead man in it."

The carrier rocked, the lights flickered with each explosion and alarms blared all over the aircraft. They were headed to the front of the carrier where General Helfitta was. "It looks like the battle isn’t going well." Holland noted, peeking out a cracked window as he passed it.

Carter kept moving; down the hall was a large metal door with the words "command center" etched into the door. "We’re here." Carter said. "We just need to—"

There was a commotion on the other side of the door. Like a crash and then an explosion. Carter fell to the ground. Holland looked at his hand. He was wearing the armor of the enemy. He’s worn it before, whenever a mission called for it. He knows how to use it. Carter got back to his feet, and went for the door. The large metal doors screeched open. Holland let him go ahead; he pointed his palm at the younger agent. The repulsor in his gauntlet whirred to life; he took aim at the back of Carter’s head.

Doomstadt :

Ngumi, Mongoose and Scramble flew toward the space elevator at break speed. Ahead of them was an escort of five Iron soldiers. They left Makkari to organize the remains of the ground convoy. Scramble’s control over technology allowed him to fly this thing, even in its damaged state. The compartment was cramped, and every slight movement caused pain from his two broken legs to intensify. "Ah, stark! Are we almost there? Argh! My legs!"

Jessica Mongoose who sat next to him rubbed his face and took his hand. "Just a little more. Trust me."

"I do. But I don’t think—"

"Don’t then." Jessica interrupted. "Let us do that."

Ngumi glared at her. Her pheromone control may be keeping scramble in check, but manipulating him like this seemed ruthless. Even to her. The space elevator was in sight, Wide Awake ships had massed around it. "Mongoose to escort cut us a path down the middle. We’ll have one shot."

"On it ma’am."

"So, Jess you’re giving the orders? What’s your standing in the army these days?" Ngumi asked.

The escort team shot ahead into the formation. "High enough." She answered. Ships in the enemy formation exploded in front of them. The escort team was tearing them apart; missiles tore into them, and then exploded into pieces. "Ha! Look at the..." Just as an explosion from a repulsor blast destroyed a ship in front of them; its hulking remains hurtled toward them. "Oh, stark!"

The ship crashed into them. Sending them spinning out of control toward the space elevator. "Scramble!" Ngumi shouted, reaching up toward him. Her hand was on the mutant’s neck and noticed he had no pulse.

The Helicarrier:

Kimura shot into the air with a slight movement. The older General Falcon Helfitta dodged her advance with a swift step out of the way. Kimura landed. Her fist lodged into the metal paneling. "Nice." Kimura said, jumping back up and landing a flying kick to Falcon's chest.

The general feel on his backside and quickly got to his feet. Kimura continued to engage him. They traded blows, a punch traded with a kick here, and a blocked attack there. They were studying each other. One thing was certain, to the general. His opponent was not human. She moved fast, too fast and took strikes that should send her doubling over. "Oh, you do put up a fight old man. I will give you that." Kimura mocked, smacking away a roundhouse kick and launching her own attack.

Kimura drove a knee into Falcon's ribs, shattering several. She chopped him between the eyes, blinding him in his own blood. She spun with a kick to his jaw, and spun to the ground delivering a kick that crushed his right leg at the joint. Falcon pulled a knife strapped to his left boot and thrust it at Kimura. The blade broke on her belly, which made her laugh, "If adamantium has a hard time getting through my skin, then I have no confidence in anything that thing could do."

Kimura grabbed the general’s arm, bones started to break, and the handle left in his hand dropped. A grim smile formed on, Kimura's face as her grip tightened. The bones in, Helfitta's arm finally snaps and with a violent tug, Kimura rips the arm off. General Helfitta fell on his back, screaming in pain and clenching at the remnants of his left arm.

"And boom," Kimura says, digging the point of her boot into Falcon's chest. "goes the dynamite."

Kimura takes a quick look to the entrance of the chamber and before she could dodge a beam of energy shot her out of the command center and free falling out of the helicarrier. "General!" Commander Holland yelled as he ran toward the general.

"You are a $%#@ing mess, sir." Holland picked the general up, cradling him in both arms. "Getting you the hell out of here." Holland using the iron man armor rose into the air. For a brief moment he looked back. At the entrance lay the headless body of Director Adam Carter. The repulsor blast took his head off and by coincidence hit Kimura.

Wide Awake space station:

The chief researcher for project Wide-Awake mused on the events of the last day. He had distracted, New Latveria by using his projects in small battles in random parts of the country, disorganized them militarily by using sleeper agents in Doomstadt and crippled them with nuclear explosions in Moscow. This did not come without a cost. The Iron army's attention was caught and in an unexpected turn of events is now fighting with the, New Latverian's.

He watched as the events took place on several holo-screens. With a wave of his hand the screens switched to his labs on station. New test subjects had arrived from the space elevator he had been using to teleport subjects from, Doomstadt. Before the Supreme Commander sunk, Genosha he had already over a thousand of these troops. Using a mix of nanotechnology and crude cybernetics he fused these subjects to machine. The outcome being different for every soldier.

The subjects were rounded up into the room. A fine mist sprayed them, unknowingly the subjects inhaled nanites. Their bodies would twist and contort. Metallic pieces would hem protrude from their bodies and the flesh would blacken and decay. In minutes he had several more soldiers under his command. "Good." He whispered.

Doomstadt,

Space Elevator:

"Argh!" Ngumi grunted, kicking her way out of the wreckage of the transport. Scramble had died in the crash, and Jessica Mongoose followed behind. They landed on a walk way that surrounded the elevator.

The tower stuck out in the battle around it, fantastic blue energy shot into the sky. "This is real starked!" Mongoose swore. "Without him we can't shut this thing off!"

Ngumi didn't hear her. She marveled at the battle. The fighting in the sky and the air was ruthless. The casualties for both sides climbing, death was everywhere. She closed her eyes and bowed her head. Ngumi grew short of breath and her body began to tingle. "Uh? Ngumi?" the Mongoose put a hand on the shield agents shoulder. "Any ideas?"

Ngumi turned around and walked to the other railing, facing the elevator and facing the light. Jessica Mongoose stood next to her. Looking up at the light Ngumi answered, "Just one." Ngumi reached out and grabbed Jessica's head and slammed her mouth onto hers. She locked her lips onto the agent of the Iron Army. Before Jessica could get over her shock, Ngumi sent both of them over the railing into the light.

The sky above Doomstadt:

Perun shot lighting at them, swung his mighty hammer and even with the help of Lodestone and the Iron Army this enemy still continued. Desperate for ideas he eyed the capitol ship of the invaders. It remained untouched and spewing fighters from its ports. He sought to change that. "Lodestone I need you to try and clear the field!"

"How do you suppose I do that?" The descendent of, Magneto yelled. "There are so many!"

Perun flew to her and grabbed her by the arm, his grip tightening. "I've read the reports! A relative of yours held against nearly the entire Chicago Iron hall months ago!" He shouted. "I know you can do the same!"

"Elizabeth could never control her powers!" She yelled back, slapping away his hand. "Now she's in a coma because of it."

"Then lose control." Perun growled, rocketing toward the capitol ship. "For New Latveria!"

Lodestone took a deep breath. As power seeped from her, she could feel a heightened sense of awareness. She could feel the metal in the ships that attacked the city, the armor of the iron soldiers and the helicarrier. "Lose control, huh?"

In a pulse of energy a wide path had cleared, Perun of any interference. The ships of project Wide Awake and every soldier wearing the Iron man armor were tossed aside. For miles everything flew in all directions, slamming into buildings and into each other. "By the gods!" He laughed. This was his chance.

Perun's hammer glowed, the sky began to darken, and lightening roared. He flew over the massive capitol ship. It had been twice the size of the helicarrier and caused great devastation in the battle. It had earned the wraith of an angry god. He pointed his hammer at the ship, it glowed with intense energy. A massive bolt of lightning shot from the hammer, through the ship. Electricity arced and snaked around the ship. Causing the capitol ship to fall toward the space elevator.

Wide Awake space station:

"You are a starking... nutcage!" A livid Jessica Mongoose screamed as both women appeared in a large dark room. The only light came in through the window facing the sun. "You could have killed me!"

"I had a hunch." Ngumi said. "And what do you know, we didn't die."

"So you shoved your tongue down my throat and toss me over a railing over a hunch?" Jessica shouted.

Ngumi got back to her feet and dusted herself off. "For the most part."

Jessica got back to her feet and marched over to the shield agent. "Just because you and Leann have some starked up on again off again, bicurious--" Jessica’s rant was cut short by the sound of clapping hands in the dark.

A light above both women flashed and on the other side of the room a man appeared. He seemed to be a smaller old man. His hair was white and his skin was dry and wrinkled. He stood in place and clapped, smirking at both women. "Good show." He laughed. "You did catch my attention, down there."

Ngumi crossed her arms and looked to, Jessica. "So Jess?"

"That's him. A real life skrull trapped on earth by, the Supreme Commander." Mongoose answered. "Or that was part of the data, Danvers had taken."

The old man's eyes beamed to, Jessica Mongoose. "You know who I am?"

Jessica rolled her eyes and began to type into the holo-interface on her arm. "Yes I do. So does Carol Danvers, Mr. Sinister, Scalphunter and Ngumi because I told her on earth."

"It would seem you aren't much of a secret." Ngumi said, quickly drawling her pistol on the alien. "But why do this? Why work for Stryfe? Why betray him now?"

"Because the clone bored me." He answered, holding his head up high. "Two hundred years ago when my people invaded and were pushed back we came up with a plan. Our empire was ravaged by war and a damnedable disease released by the Kree made us desperate. Years later we sent a team to release a virus in the human atmosphere. We were found and my team was killed in front of me. The clone Stryfe tortured me mentally and kept me in this form. I was to developed a counter measure for whatever manipulation a man named Essex did to him. In secret I developed Wide Awake."

The skrull scientist walked towards him, his hands raised in the air and a smile on his face. "I do know however I have been bested. I would like to make a bargain, with you shield agent."

The lights in the room turned on. They were in a hanger bay of some kind. Space ships bearing the mark of the Iron Army docked around them. "I have full control of the stations systems." Jessica said reading her holographic interface. "This place is ours."

"Very good." The skrull said. "Now," he reached into his lab coat and pulled out a data pad. "I think this should insure my safe passage."

Ngumi kept the gun on him and walked closer to him. Taking the data pad with her free hand. "What is this?"

"Everything Wide Awake has accomplished can be duplicated. Perhaps for even the mighty avenger, Carol Danvers." The alien chuckled.

Jessica looked over to, Ngumi and glared at her. "Remember what we talked about. If you think that data will be any good for anyone--"

"She's playing you!" The skrull protested. "She is one of Stryfe's agents. She's just trying to fog the issue. Kill her and that data is free for shield! Shield can save the world from the slavery, Stryfe has kept us under!"

Jessica scoffed. "Because that data is safe with, Danvers right? What’s stopping her from doing the same thing that troll is doing to New Latveria!"

"You don't complain about a weapon being dirty. You use it!" The skrull hissed.

Ngumi's thoughts were becoming foggy. She didn't know what to do. What she decides could mean the end of the war. Project Wide Awake devastated, New Latveria. A similar event in North America could end it. Jessica Mongoose and the skrull scientist continued. Ngumi couldn't think and the easiest thing for her is to do as she always does. "Shut up!" she pulled the trigger on her gun, and the alien crashed into a heap on the floor; leaving a smoking hole in the center of his head.

Ngumi turned her back on the Mongoose and holstered her gun. "Bastard wouldn't shut up." Ngumi took a few deep breaths and spat on the ground. "I'm done with this I really am." For years she did as she was told she had to. She had been a mercenary, an agent of Shield and most of all an assassin for two hundred years. She had done everything she was ordered to without fail. No matter what the price.

While Ngumi was lost in her thoughts, Jessica Mongoose was getting a message. "I understand." It was absolute and in the name of the Supreme Commander she would not fail. She closed her interface. Extending her arms down, claws began to form from her uniform. She reached into the back of a pouch on her belt and pulled a syringe.

Ngumi had no time to turn around a dodge the oncoming projectile. She winced in pain as the syringe stuck into her neck and emptied its contents. "Taichou, you won’t feel a thing I promise you." Jessica said, thrusting her claws at the shield agent.

Ngumi stepped to the side and grabbed Jessica's wrist and yanked her forward. "I cannot promise that." Ngumi twisted and jabbed, Mongoose in the stomach and shot down with an elbow to the back of the head.

Jessica's head bounced on the metal floor. Jessica returned with a swipe at, Ngumi. Causing the shield agent to let go and back off. Jessica charged ahead swinging her claws at the shield agent. Ngumi blocked each attack. As her namesake suggests, Jessica was fast. Ngumi barely had enough time to block, let alone counter a single strike. But Ngumi knew her opponent.

Jessica got in close. Ngumi had boxed herself in; her back was to the opening of a small shuttle. "You used to be faster!" She grunted, landing a kick on, Ngumi's chest. Air shot from, Ngumi's lungs and Jessica went in for the kill. She didn't see Ngumi hit the shuttle's control panel, opening the door.

Ngumi fell into the shuttle and on her back. A set of Jessica Mongoose's claws had stuck her between the ribs; though her body armor did stop them from going too deep. Ngumi shifted her weight and rolled on top of the Mongoose. She grabbed her arm and twisted herself, holding her arm in an arm bar. "Flirst ting I taught you, Jess?" Ngumi's speech was slurred. She realized that, Jessica had done something to her blades and poisoned her with the weaponized chloroform she's known for using. In her frustration she snapped the arm and pulled Jessica up and wrapped her arm around her neck in a head lock. "Min your surounings!"

Jessica couldn't breathe and struggled against the shield agents vice like grip. "That’s the master plan?" She gasped, struggling for air. "Whoever wakes up first kills the other?"

Ngumi's consciousness began to fade. "We'll see." Jessica started to struggle less and less. Ngumi started to feel weak and her vision started to fade. Soon both women were out cold. The shuttle doors shut and its virtual intelligence picked up the vital signs of both women. They were injured and as its programming dictated it fly from the now compromised station to a suitable location.

Epilogue:

Carol Danvers and Augustus Holland:

It is in the shadow of our mighty, Lord Doom that I declare a new age for all of New Latveria! Our peace was disturbed by an unknown enemy. An enemy that even the Iron Army who once was our greatest foe, helped us drive out of our country. They rejected their hatred to aid us in our most dire hour and continue now in our rebuilding. For those who died and for out great Lord Doom who remains missing we shall do the same! We shall overcome!

Commander Holland and Carol Danvers heard her speech in her quarters in the back ground. Holland's arms wrapped around her waist as lay on top of him. "Ready for round two?" Carol chuckled.

Holland sighed. "Not all of us have super stamina."

Carol kissed him hard on his lips. "Just glad your alive is all. So much has changed in just a few weeks."

"You think we can keep this truce thing up?" Holland questioned.

"The last agents are leaving North America as we speak."Carol said with her voice muffled by her kisses. "Which we are doing too much of."

"We gave, Ferrum a building. Can we keep them honest?"

"We gave them one building. That I'm having monitored constantly. With Doom dead... or gone; we don't have to worry about that threat after Stryfe is gone once and for all." Carol says.

"I hope that information you kept hush and killing Carter was worth it. We sacrificed so much to get rid of Victor. Can you handle this new role you put yourself in?" Holland asked.

Carol rolled off of him and took a deep breath. "Doom's high command was destroyed. The people will need a face they can rally behind."

"You know they'll be gunning for you now?" Holland said his voice full of worry.

Carol rolled back on top and wrapped her arms around, Holland and floated to the air. "They can take their best shot." Carol giggled and kissed the commander more. "Now there is this thing I've wanted to try..."

Ngumi Takada,

A plane headed for Japan:

Agent Ngumi Takada has left S.H.I.E.L.D for good. She cannot follow the new direction, Carol Danvers is taking. A path built on lies and bodies. This new journey isn't like the old one. For the first time in many years she doesn't feel any obligation or any want to remain with old allies. For the first time she craves something new in this Age of Iron. <Can I get you anything?> the flight attendant asked in a mix of Russian, Mandarin, and Japanese.

Ngumi balanced a sheathed sword with her left pointer finger. (A goodbye gift from Holland) She looked up and replied, <Captain and coke, please.>

The attendant bowed her head and scurried off. "Does no one know real, Japanese anymore?" she lamented. In her other hand she read a data pad left to her by Jessica Mongoose.

Taichou-

Looks like I woke up first. ;) I couldn't do it. Weird right? I had you dead to rights and I, Jessica Mongoose, could not finish you. I'd like to think you'd do the same, but that’s not realistic. I left you the location of someone who I think you want to meet death more than anyone. Do with it as you will. I really hope you kill that bitch!

P.S. Next time I see you, you're going down!

-Jess.

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