The Words of Doom

July 23, 2015:

Doctor Doom addresses the United States in an impromptu, insecure press conference. Some spectators are not there for a story.

Freedom Tower, New York City


NPCs: S.H.I.E.L.D.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

"Your concern is admirable."
Cold words despite the occasion. Victor von Doom stood quietly within the holding room. His arms crossed, his head down in thought as he kept his back turned to the government aide who had been assigned to him after this strange request. Those who were involved knew precisely what he was doing, he was claiming to be announcing something to the world. Something that would benefit all. Something that he felt he needed to say himself. Doom had demanded the attention of the United States after requesting to visit on business.
His choice of location was the most concerning part. Ground Zero. Freedom Tower.
A podium had been modestly placed, no visible seal however out of respect. Most of the press conference had been designed so it was primarily in the street itself, rather than at the memorial of those lost. The podium itself was only slightly raised off of the ground.
There was no fanfare, there only were people standing in a group waiting to see when Doom would emerge from the tower itself.
The aide nervously asks, clutching a clipboard, "Doctor, aren't you concerned with your own safety?"

"Now, why would Doom be worried when your nation promised my safety?"

Laws are meant to protect the community at large, and the individual. They should be respected, but they don't always have to be obeyed. At least not from Gambit's point of view. They're more of a guideline, a suggestion if you will. Now, he had no intention of breaking, or even bending any laws today, but life can be funny like that. You wake up intending to do one thing, and end up doing another.

Curiosity got the better of him today. And the Cajun made his way towards Freedom Tower. He wasn't dressed in his usual garb, instead, he was going incognito. His hair had been pulled back into a ponytail, his eyes covered behind some sunglasses, and he wore a purple shirt with some white accents, Adidas by brand, and he had tucked that into some simple blue jeans, which faded around the centre of his legs.

Thor watches with interest from high up above the tower, but not acting. Doom does have diplomatic immunity after all, and Thor doesn't want to violate that.

Punisher is one man that doesn't give two shits about America's promises to someone like Doom. Yes, arguably, there might be things that he has done for the betterment of his own country, but there was little he did without selfish motivations and his many crimes stacks up to the kind've offenses that few could hope to match on any real scale.

Frank is posted up in a building, dressed in dark colors, and is currently setting up quite the expensive welcoming party for Victor. He looks at the folded parts that were delivered on the floor in front of him, setting down his bag and flicking on the lights. Time to get work. Frank sets his watch. Officially on the job.

"The press is ready, Doctor. As you requested this time there are no snipers posted for your guard…and no Quinjets," the aide remarks. The tension is already starting as her finger is on her earpiece.

"Good. And good. You've at least met my requests, unlike the bodyguard you sent to receive Doom. Black Widow's talents though were appreciated."
Doom has now turned, and is walking past the aide as he says this. He knows just where to go, and he already has in his hand a small remote that he made sure was a visible green in his palm. He normally wouldn't have need for such flair, but that was the point.
In the courtyard, it would be the first shout of "He's there!" that started the flurry of flashbulbs. Doom emerged from Freedom Tower with evident purpose. Two government agents immediately flank him, following in pace up to the podium.
It's when Doom gets closer that the flashes stop, and the silence kicks in. The press themselves are even intimidated when the podium itself is dwarfed by the size of Doom looming over it.
Doom's eyes never look down to the press, not once.

Thor continues to watch, curious.

Doom's eyes never look down to the press, not once, but are they even capable. Remy LeBeau is many things, but at his core, he is a thief, and thieves like to solve puzzles. They like to crack combinations, or security systems, figure out ways in and out, how to get what they want. But for now, he's wondering what kind of mobility that armour of Doom's affords him.

As good as it is, Gambit doesn't think he'd ever want to be stuck in a tin can like that. He's seen Iron Man. Sure, there are probably sensors galore, but there's something to be said about agility, dexterity, and flamboyance. Oh, Gambit had those in spades, and every other suit too.

After regarding Doom, he began to scan the crowd, looking for the security personnel, and any potential danger. He's not sure whether he should be cheering for any trouble makers, or fending them off. It's Victor von Doom after all, the self-appointed Doctor of Latveria. And what's up with that? Why isn't he King, Lord, Tsar, Emperor, or something. Doctor? What kind of a noble title is that. And for a college dropout no less!

Frank throws his bag into the corner, kneeling over the canvas and unrolling the heavy leather. He takes one strut, bracing it against his hip as he sits, setting the base together that regards the bottom of a sleigh, working quietly as he listens to the radio feed of an excited newscaster who wonders what such a man as Doom might have to say to the American public.

Once that is done, he grips the large box magazine, feeding five rounds into the magazine. .50 BMGS, rechambered to fit the ancient weapon.

The silence hangs for a moment, something Doom was doing on purpose. He finally turns his head and eyes down to the crowd themselves. As he does, he raises up his right hand with the green device in it. He is completely still afterwards, and even the agents behind him remain still.
"In my hand, I hold the answer to a lost freedom. A lost right of life."
"Years ago, I stood here today and witnessed with my own eyes the true evil of the world. Something that no man should deem needed for their desired future. It resounded deeply within the heart of Doom, and even now that loss of life hangs in the air."
Doom would lower his hand, putting the device on the podium quietly.
"That is why I, Doctor Doom, decided to speak to you at such a place. For the future. For freedom itself to be given to those in need."
"I have come to your nation with one goal, to speak directly with your best engineers and software designers out of the sheer desire to find common ground…"
"Yes, I said common ground."
Doom would lift his chin a bit after saying that, as if he is declaring it in pride.
"Doom has come to request your very hand in the next step of this path."

Frank checks his watch as he feeds the gas-chambered rifle, turning at a spoke to work the magazine into place. He leans back with a satisfied grunt, checking his watch again before looking down at another meter. Checking the wind, perhaps?

Thor watches.

"At this moment, in my cherished land of Latveria, a procedure is being completed."
"Well, I think I will humbly allow my own aide to tell you himself…Niklas?"
Doom would turn, and from his mask's eyes a hologram would display quite tall above even him and the podium of a peasant looking man holding a clipboard. His tone is excited.
"Yes, Lord Doom! As of 1300 hours today, the last Doombot has been deactivated!"
Doom would kill the hologram immediately afterwards, only to turn back in silence towards the stunned press. He didn't have to say it himself at first, but to simply drive home the point he picks up the green device again and flips the trigger on it…causing four Doombots to land around the crowd of witnesses and press.
"As he said…"
Doom would push a final button, causing the four Doombots to slump and deactivate.
"As of this very moment, the Doombot Initiative has been ended. Each Doombot will be decommissioned and reprogrammed, with the assistance of your gracious nation, and redesigned into agricultural robots."
Doom would place the remote back down on the podium, raising his chin proudly.
"For my people, for the future, all resources previously dedicated to the development of my Doombots will be rerouted into the very economy of Latveria."
"Doom has spoken."
With that, he would turn and start to walk away even before the stunned press can respond. Doom has just ended the famine and economic crisis in Latveria in a single, gracious gesture…

The press may have been stunned, but Gambit thought it quite funny. There were two reasons for this. It was odd to see a foreign leader come to America only to explain that he was ending a program most people probably had no idea even existed. This was a country that sometimes had trouble identifying Canada after all. But the other thought was that of a Doombot, pulling avocados, or whatever they grew in Latervia, complete with some blue jean overalls and a straw hat.

Smiling to himself, he shakes his head, and wonders aloud, "is that it?"

Frank reaches into the bag, leaning down and planting several devices along the window that he has pulled a chair in front of. The man checks his watch again, measuring the time as the speech nears its close. Everything is in order then, and Frank takes a slow breath as he settles into the chair. He slowly works at a winch, feeding one of the rounds into the anti-tank rifle's chamber. Everything is in order, and he's settling in place with a quiet pensive air.

The announcement does not interest him. Only the revealed back of the good doctor, which while his target is not where he aims. Instead his crosshair sits on the memorial instead. It's a far shot, the cloest he could get to such an important player in the global stage, but how many shots would he get at someone like Doom?

Enough that he's willing to take a chance. His finger presses into the guard, slips inside, and he closes one eye as he leans in…

Kra-coooooooooooooooooow! The loud retort blows his window out, the one shot he gets!

It would be the sudden scattering and screaming that made the world know something just went wrong. People running in each direction, people scrambling for any amount of cover. The cause came a split second later when the sound caught up to the bullet that struck Doom.
If he made a sound from the impact, it may have not been heard as immediately the Monarch of Latveria is knocked clear off of his feet at first, slamming into the cement of the sidewalk on his palms and knees. On his back, a large hole is pierced through his emerald robe, and there is visible blood coming from his back.

It's when he begins to slowly stand and turn that the real screaming begins. The bullet found it's mark, and had actually broken the armor enough to where Doom was bleeding.
The agents that suddenly swarm Doctor Doom and actually begin covering him only are the two who were present, but an immediate response happens as a pair of black vans immediately come from a street to the south.
S.H.I.E.L.D. is on the scene, and the Doctor is immediately surrounded by men in black that are doing their best to aide him without touching him.
Doom has not said a word yet, but his head turns to face the direction the bullet came from.
"Sir! Sir! We need to evacuate you!"

No response from the Doctor.

Thor finally swings into action, watching the trajectory of the bullet as it hits and swooping toward the window, shattering it into a thousand pieces as he eyes the area with the wrath of a literal Avenging God.

Punisher does not look through his viewing scope to determine if he was successful or not. There isn't really time in his schedule for such.

Instead, he collects his bag and is out the door. He palms a device in his left hand, as he's heading into the hallway, thumbing the trigger even as he kicks open the door across from him.

Thor gets a good look into the austere, half-constructed room. Not many amenities to speak of, a chair right there in front of him and an abandoned L-39 that the culprit was responsible for. The Asgardian hears the crack of the door being smashed open just as Punisher is pulling the trigger, the hidden explosions all triggering at once, where he had placed them around the window frame. It's not enough to harm Thor and at best will buy the actual human of the pair a few precious seconds.

Frank hooks a line to his own belt, secures it to the balcony he's on, then goes up and over to start rappeling down.

When somebody finally views the footage of this speech, they'll see that Gambit's reaction was atypical. While others screamed, panicked, moved, and looked for cover, Gambit just looked on with curiosity. His gaze turned towards the source of the projectile.

He still wasn't sure what he should do. On the one hand, somebody was attacking Doom, but on the other hand, they were attacking Doom. This is what he likes to call a push. So for the time being, he takes a few casual steps towards the side, not running for cover, but giving Doom, S.H.I.E.L.D., and whomever some space, while he decides who's side he's supposed to be on. And if that wasn't enough, the God of Thunder just made his presence known. "This doesn't sound like a job for Gambit." Doom, deities, and demolitions. Nope, that's no place for a Cajun, even if he is Raging.

"Doom does not bleed lightly…"
That is the only words to escape the mask of titanium. In the air, the fury can be felt but in all shocking terms…Doom goes with the agents. He couldn't have planned this better, as he turns it's clear he is walking without rush. He walks without fear or hesitation. Even the bleeding seems to have stopped, sealed in by his suit's medical protocols. He walks without having lost a bit of pride, showing that he is not retreat. Doom does not retreat.
He is guided into one of the vans, ushered by agents who are much more hurried than he is. Doom sits on one of the benches inside of the van, templing his fingers in thought. The annoying pain in his back was slowly being numbed by his suit, and his eyes slowly close as he begins to muse over the incident.
That's twice he's been attacked under government supervision, and this time it happened under the public eye at the announcement of a peaceful reconstruction of his country.
This was all moving smoothly, a 'pariah' has to take a blow for their people.
"Niklas. Begin. Doom will return within a month. Have my castle properly remodeled to my liking if you would."

"Yes, Lord Doom."

Thor shields his eyes instinctively despite the flash and the fact that he is unharmed by it. His first instinct is to follow, and follow he can, enough to make those seconds meaningless, but the first will cause more damage unless he acts RIGHT NOW, and first to incinerate the debris mid fall and then put out the flame with a whirl of his hammer…which he does.

Punisher probably counted on that simple priority more than anything. It'd take his whole armory to even manage to put a dent in some of the metas that were even now simply observing the speech. Manner of doing business in a crazy world, he lands down on street level right next to a hooper which conceals his motorcycle. He shoves the dump aside, climbs onto his bike as he pulls on his helmet. One kick, and with a growl of its motor, he joins traffic as one of the countless faceless waves of humanity.

Thor swirls the building again and again seeking signs of the culprit but to no avail. This will not be forgotten….oh no it will not.

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