Sokovia: Finale

August 24, 2015:

Obadiah attempts to exact his revenge.



NPCs: Obadiah, Anatol Erben (emits by Howard)



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…


"Tony Stark," comes a voice over the loudspeaker. It's a voice that should cut the Iron Man to the quick. It's familiar. Too familiar. "Well well well. You finally took the bait. I really did want your daddy here, but I'll settle for melting his face off and having you. Not ideal, but I'm not fussy."
Peggy's at the position to see who it is. It's a tall man, bald, bearded - but with less gray in the beard than Tony remembers. He's holding a cigar. He's also got odd scars down one side of his face and down his shoulder. Part of his throat is exposed. It looks like the same innards that are on display back at Howard's apartment. Metal innards. "No doubt you're confused. But you're a smart boy. I'm sure you'll get it. Hello, Agent Carter." The man holds up a device and points it at Peggy's face. He flips a switch and suddenly an electric shock lights up every bit of skin that the chameleon mask touches. The disguise sputters and fails. "I figured he'd give you one of those. He always did like his fancy masks. Look at you. All pretty." He smiles like a snake oil salesman. "Oh, but we haven't met from your perspective, have we? Where are my manners?" The guards beside them suddenly surround Peggy and her entourage. "I'm Obadiah Stane, or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof. Unfortunately, dear ole Howie did manage to keep some very important details from me."


Tony turns, but in the first moment there's nothing but a loudspeaker to glare at. A spot of movement, though, catches his attention and he turns to see..
That's the really great thing about the Iron Man armor. No one but JARVIS can see the look on Tony's face. There's a small part of him that's still the young man who saw Stane as the mentor his father never was, who trusted him above all. There's a small part of him still hurt as hell by what Obadiah did.
The rest of him, though, is full of hatred and revulsion and disgust. His face contorts under the mask and he raises a hand, repulsor glowing. "You. You found out that Howard was working on an LMD. But you never found all the notes, did you? Or where he was being stored? You tried to duplicate what he did. You saved yourself. Uploaded yourself into some — " He scoffs. "Some cheap-ass copy. You ought to be proud. You had the head for business, not invention. I'm surprised you got this far."

Peggy is waiting and ready, tense as she always is during undercover missions: especially when there are others under her command. She certainly doesn't recognize the voice over the loudspeaker when it pours over the compound. Nor does she know the hulking figure; scarred and marred. Despite that, he seems to know her. The flip of the switch causes her intense pain. There's a sharp, high pitched cry that escapes her lips as she attempts to pull the chameleon mask off away from her skin. It hurts and burns as she does so. Finally, she ends up on her knees before the offending article is peeled away.

Her eyes flick upward, filled with pain and anger at Obadiah as he introduces himself. No, she does not know him, but she can tell there is history there and that learning it will only make him dislike him even more. For now, she says nothing. Tony has the words - filled with anger and disdain. She looks over to Anatol and the other SHIELD agents, attempting to work on a plan.

"Well, y'see, that's sort of what happened. I didn't quite manage the whole transfer of consciousness thing. But hell, I'm not too worried about existential crises. I'll settle for a copy. I still feel like me, bugs and all. But I do have bugs. That's where you come in." Obadiah, or Obie 2.0 points at Tony with the hand that holds the cigar. "These boys found me in an old factory in some godforsaken part of this godforsaken country. They booted me up without really knowing what they were doing. I was lucky, really. I tried chasing after your father's schematics for decades. Paranoid bastard did actually manage to keep a few things from me." The soldiers have all come out of the compound now. They're either guarding Anatol's people over in the camp, or they've got their weapons trained on their little insurgent crew. Tony might survive the ensuing firefight, but not many others would. There's no cover nearby. "I give you two guesses what I want from you, Tony. But you won't need two. I have faith in you. Always did."

"You want to be…" Tony's face contorts. "Fixed? I don't buy it. I mean, I'm sure that's part of what you want, but it's not the whole package. You want power. You always wanted power. If you just wanted to be alive again, you'd have gone to the people who could get that done. Me. Howard. You did what? You came to a factory. Started making weapons. You /enslaved/ a /town/." He's aware, though. Aware of the armed men. Aware of the guns and the innocents they're trained on. His vast mind is coursing all over the situation and — he only has one idea. It mostly involves hoping that Peggy can get her people into position.
"You know what I want," he says. "You shut this facility down. You give me the cure for what you did to my dad. You let these people go."

As Tony and Obadiah discuss and argue, Peggy is trying to figure out a plan. A hand is behind her back - away from where Obadiah can see. But, as he's in front of her and she has not yet moved, she can give a few brief hand signals to her SHIELD operatives. Her surroundings are given a very detailed surveillance. A SHIELD operative makes a nod of her head toward doorway. Obadiah and Tony's power struggler is merely background to her at the moment.

Finally, she makes a few hand signals. 'Move on shock. Door. Protect civilians.' It's hopefully enough for her team to realize what she means. As Obadiah narrows his attention on Tony, Peggy - still kneeling and seemingly in a defensive and pained suggestion inches closer and closer toward the LMD. It's not close enough that he would feel encroached upon, but she is also attempting to do it unobtrusively. Though she doesn't know if this will exactly work, she grabs the chameleon mask that had so recently shocked her and then tosses it directly at Obadiah, hoping it will catch on him somewhere.

Obadiah smiles. It's one of those worrying, joyless smiles that only the truly twisted can manage. "I'm just trying to pull myself back up by my bootstraps, Tony. Seeing as you took it all away after you decided to give up the life of the golden goose and play hero instead. I —-"
But whatever other details about Obie's Evil Plan (TM) were about to be revealed remain hidden thanks to one Agent Carter. And one Agent Carter probably put together the reason Howard integrated the chamelon mask into his system instead of simply wearing one. Convenience, yes. Because he can, also true. But also, putting something with a web of electrodes directly against a network of nanobots susceptible to EMP? Not such a hot idea. He howls like the mask was a bucket of acid and wriggles around.
That gives them precious seconds to make their move. Anatol sprints ahead of Peggy and grabs her arm to pull her behind. "Quickly. The power substation is inside." The SHIELD agents move to cover them, while the others take pot shots at the poorly-trained guards.
Once they enter the dark, foul-smelling room, two guards charge at them. Anatol whips out a small blade and slices at the man's tendon's. A second man charges Peggy. "We have to shut off the power to take out all the missiles!" Otherwise Tony is going to be dodging more the second he gets off the ground, and Agent Carvery can't bring in the Quinjet.
Obadiah pulls off the mask and bits of nanoflesh comes with it. What's revealed beneath is a more conventional android frame made of Soviet cast-off parts. It seems Obadiah only managed to create an LMD with a nanoskin, rather than being made entirely of nanobots like Howard. A poor copy, not nearly as advanced as what Howard managed to accomplish - even with all the resources of Stark Industries behind him. Just enough of his face is visible to telegraph his growing rage. His wrist twists back at an impossible angle and reveals a plasma canon that Tony designed before he disarmed Stark Industries. It whirrs as it powers up.

It's the pig of being Iron Man. Billion dollars worth of tech in this suit. Great for defending the wearer and making him an agent of destruction. Not actually that great for defending the innocent. Nevertheless, Tony swiftly takes to the air, actually /turning his back/ on Obadiah as he aims for the soldiers shooting at the civilians. He reaches out his hands, shooting quick-fire repulsor shots at them. It doesn't have to be much, just enough to knock them down.
"JARVIS," he murmurs, quickly turning off the intercom. "Start charging the Uni-Beam. And let me know when the plasma cannon's at 85."

Whatever it is that Obadiah is trying to prove, Peggy doesn't really care. Perhaps the man knew the older Peggy and thought she would wonder about his motives, but the younger, time displaced woman only cares about getting her people out of this situation safely. Motivations be damned. As soon as she sees that her gambit has worked, she springs forward toward the door way, attempting to keep the avenue open for everyone else. "Go go!" She yells, gesturing wildly with her arms.

Her SHIELD issued rifle is still attached to her. However, the second guard is too close to her to discharge her weapon safely, so she deftly steps to the side and then viciously clubs at the second guard with the butt of the gun.

"Okay, then, let's shut this down!" Moving forward, she does the best way to do that. Either she'll flip switches or she'll shoot things. Whatever way turns the power off easiest and most effectively.

There's a reason that Anatol came along. He knows this factory, knows its workings. As soon as he and Peggy have taken out the guard, he sets to work, throwing switches and kicking out jerry-rigged sets of wires. All around them, the lights start to go down.
Beyond the room, Peggy can see a workshop, a workbench littered with material. There's the sound of scraping and a soft whimper. Spread out on the table are vials of material that look similar to the stuff that doused Howard.
Several of the civilians are hit before the SHIELD agents can give them full cover, and before Tony can repulsor the others. But backup is coming - if not from the air yet. The Sokovian rebels race out of the woods and set up a perimeter. Others rush forward to try and escort them away from the pen. A few others are armed and join the fray. Many of the guards have scattered, back into the maze of the factory, or off into the woods. Others stay and use their superior guarded rooftop positions to take shots at the escaping civilians or at the fighters. They're not getting out of this with no casualties.
Meanwhile, Obie's canon whirrs to life. The mangled android laughs a broken laugh and points the plasma canon up at Tony's back.
"Canon approaching 85, sir," chimes JARVIS, calm as ever.

It's not enough. It's /never/ enough. It wasn't that he thought this was going to be bloodless; he'd just closed his mind to the fact. Tried to close his mind to the fact. Tony's firing still, though, gritting his teeth, doing what he can.
But on JARVIS's cue? He whirls around, showing the brilliance of the beam in his breastplate. The one that's /also/ been charging.
"Everybody RUN!" Tony shouts, his intercom making his voice boom through the air and ring off the stones. Then he's aiming that beam of his straight for the canon's power core.

As Anatol seems to already know what he's doing, Peggy moves quickly forward, following the whimper and the sight of familiar vials and materials. "Shut the power down. Let me know if you run into anything," she tells the man firmly and with no time for argument. That taken care of, she strides forward. She follows the sound, attempting to figure out where it is coming from. One of the most important parts of this mission is finding a way to restore Howard. And if the substance that deteriorated him is here, perhaps the solution is as well.

"Hello?" she calls out to the workshop. "Is anyone here? I won't harm you."

An old, frail voice calls out in Sokovian. It's desperate sounding, and afraid. Anatol rushes forward, suddenly heedless of danger. He finds an elderly gentleman huddled behind a table. They exchange several words in their native tongue, then Anatol looks back to Peggy. "This is Doctor Mayev. He is a brilliant man. My teacher." The old man says something else, and Anatol listens carefully. "He says the robotic man made him work on formulas based on nanotechnology."
Obadiah Stane should really know better than to try and use Tony's own creations against him. Perhaps it's a fatal flaw, perhaps he doesn't have memories of the last time they fought. Either way, Tony's timing is perfect. Any sooner and his power core wouldn't have heated up enough. Any later and the beam would have blasted part of Tony's armor to bits. As it stands, the beam enters just as the power level spikes. Obadiah doesn't even have time to look surprised before the shockwave folds back in on itself. The explosion is impressive. It knocks anyone close to their feet and showers them with hot debris. The factory walls shake and drop dust from the ceiling on everyone inside. All that's left is a smoking crater and a stub of a cigar.
Overhead comes the rush of wind. The Quinjet sails into view. Carvery wields a rifle from that ideal vantage point and pulls off a series of perfect shots to take out the snipers still nested on the rooftops. By now, most of the civilians have made their way to the treeline or behind the cover of the gathered forces.

It's over, right? Over. The dust is settling, the factory is… not in pieces, for which he is very grateful, and the collateral damage has been relatively minimal. Carvery the Cavalry has come in, and Tony even pivots to give her a quick wave. He's swooping back down quickly, though, to head into the building to see if he can find Peggy. They're not quite done here.

"Doctor Mayev, is there anyway to reverse this," Peggy gestures at the liquids that look similar to the ones that affected Howard. "My friend was attacked by it and it's killing him. I need to find something that will heal it, stop the reaction." She looks at Anatol, hoping he'll translate. She doesn't speak the language, much to her chagrin.

"Is there some sort of antidote?" Her tone is intense, even if someone can't understand the language.

The answer comes through the translation, where a few vials of something Peggy can't identify are indicated. Carefully, she snatches them before helping Anatol guide the older man out through the door and toward the transport toward safety. With a sigh of relief, Peggy clutches the vials to her as they greet Carvery.

Somewhere, some distance away, there's a forgotten factory. Birds nest in the rafters. Nearly every high window has lost its glass. Old crates and broken equipment crowds the floor. Everything is coated in a layer of dust and grime.
Suddenly, there's movement. A rustle, a cough, and a dirty drop sheet slides to the ground.
A shadow licks the wall and the scent of old dust and tobacco punctuates the stale air. The tip of the cigar glows red as the smoke is inhaled. "Aw, hell," murmurs a voice, followed by a heavy sigh.

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