Off the couch and back into action

October 10, 2015:

A couple of old warriors return to action after some unwanted time off.

New York

The Big Apple

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

SOUTHEAST OF MANHATTAN
ATLANTIC OCEAN

They come with looks of old technology; of A-10 Warthogs or SR71 Blackbirds—pirated technology, suped up, and primed for terror. The initial wave has a six pack squadron, armed to the teeth and intent on announcing the presence of this organization with authority. The scream towards America's finest city, a beacon and bullseye on the western horizon.

Meanwhile, Steve Rogers gets up out of his lazy boy chair with a groan. The chill in the Brooklyn air matches his own. Since leaving the Justice League, taking less time at SHIELD, and generally fading into the background, he's been keeping a low profile. For a man who wears the stars and stripes, it's been difficult to get over what the government had attempted to do to him.

But idle moments watching sports programming come to an end abruptly. Steve stops on his way to the kitchen as his SHIELD communicator buzzes frantically. ATTACK IMMINENT it says in the beginning of its message. Steve's blue eyes trail back toward the bedroom where his idle shield lays against his bed.

HARLEM NEW YORK

Rhodey is enjoying his semi-retirement as much as a career long serviceman can enjoy anything that isn't given to them in a sealed TOP SECRET communication from the Government. Shopping at little mom and pop stores, getting a six pack of beer for the game, and generally being bored directly to tears.

Walking down the street with a paper bag tucked under one arm while a group of kids are just now coming out of their brownstones to gather for a game of basketball, James glances towards the a group of older gentlemen huddled around a overturned barrel playing checkers, cigars, and a turn dial radio like a throwback to a few decades ago.

At least until the news broadcast is interrupt to give live feed to the scene off the coast of New York City..

"PATTON, link me into Stark's satelite comms." Speaking as he slips the communicator behind his ear and sets his bag down on the stoop of his apartment, "Armor on my location." Likewise sliding on the homing bracelets linked to the suits internal software.

Slowly, SHIELD defenses are making their way, but something about this new threat has taken the defense agency by surprise. Like molasses, they ooze into action, but the attack planes are getting far too much penetration.

The warjets are visible down the long corridor between skyscrapers. Captain America peers through his binoculars, pulls them away from his face, and pops down his kickstand.

Lifeless pilots communicate in hushed tones across a scrambled radio network. Each of the six pilots depress a red button on their controls, almost simultaneously, and six missiles shoot off, with six skyscraper targets in their sights.

The JRXL armor launches from its platform several miles away and blazes through the early morning sky towards Rhodey's location as he, himself, runs in the direction of the commotion. It'll intercept him long before he ever makes it himself: Landing behind him, opening along hidden seams, and scoping him up. As soon as the seams close Rhodey takes off on the propulsion systems and takes to the dawn sky with a resounding sonic boom.

"Col. Rhodes, missiles inbound at multiple tragectories, sir. I recommend an Alpha defensive flight pattern." PATTON says into the helmet, HUD display coming online with system data scrolling across the screen. The shoulder mounted auto-cannon boots up and links to PATTON's defensive software.

"Load magnetic 40mm armor rounds." Rhodes says after speed reading the diagnostic data on the missile type, both hands coming out infront of him to slow his progress in the path of one of the missile.

"Roger." The cannon turns in the direction of another projectile and lets loose a defensive screen of magnetically charged munitions with mini EMP loads designed to fry the internal software of guided armaments. While War Machine brings up both hands to unload with both wrist mounted gatling guns on a second.

A blue minefield of EMP blasts create a defensive wall as the six warheads fizzle and fall into the water of the Lower Bay. Most of the planes pull up and over the blast, diverting almost straight upwards. The confusion, however, has forced the attackers to break their rank. One of the jets goes beneath, and soars right into the heart of Downtown, straight down Broadway.

Now high above on one of the skyscrapers, Steve Rogers can feel the wind whistle against the metal of his helmet and through his exposed ears. He looks downward, judging his jump just right. The shield will protect him in case he misses, right? Steve's not so sure as he lets his body fall off the edge of the building.

High above the city, the remaining five planes are regrouping, pulling around for their second run and pulling into a new formation.

SLAM!

Captain America's shield rips into the hull of the plane and the man from Brooklyn holds on for dear life. The pilot's head swivels like a bobble head as he desperately tries to see what's hit the top of his machine, but with little success.

Inch by inch, and against the mighty wind and force of the screaming jet, Steve pulls himself closer towards the cockpit…

"Col. Rhodes, I believe the Captain is on scene, sir." PATTON says into James' ear as he watches the five remaining Jets pull back and around into a new defensive pattern. The helmet turns just enough to keep them in his field of view, but the helmet has a three hundred and sixty camera assisted augmentation… but James prefers what he can see with his own eyes, even if it's through the helmets view ports.

"Get me into his comms, if you can." Rhodey says, quickly twisting his wrists in a precise manner to drop the gatling guns down onto his underarms and whip a new armament into place in their stead. 'Bouncing Betty' rocket propelled grenades on his right arm and diamond bladed chainsaw on the left.

War Machine fires off his repulsors towards one of the lead Jets while his left arm extends out to fire a bouncing betty at another. The grenade rockets forward on five second afterburns, which it sheds the moment the five seconds of fuel is burnt off, and releases a dozen marble sized grenades that bounce across metal surfaces until the magnetic seal clamps down near the fuselage. The explosions aren't powerful enough to destroy the Jet, nor to completely disable them. They're designed to create structural instability, just enough that the pilot of the vehicle requires immediate landing and/or retreat.

The one towards which he's flying isn't so lucky. He's getting the chainsaw. Smashing into the side of the jet like a ramming ball, chainsaw cutting directly through the right wing so that he can throw it in the direction of a third jet. "Take my advice and pull your ejection cord." Said over the loud speakers on the outside of the helmet.

The pilot in the airship nods his head vigorously and pulls the ejection cord, sailing past Rhodey and floating in the air soon after via parachute. In the distance, one of the Bouncing Betty's does it's job as another parachute extends out and falls quietly towards the water. Three planes remain, and now War Machine must give chase.

A moment later Rhodey gets confirmation that the other one, the sixth, is still in operation as well, as the patch between Cap's com unit and the PATTON system comes through with so much wind that talking is very unlikely. The good news is that Captain America seems to be alive. The bad news, well…

Down on Broadway the jet still hurtles, heading straight for Times Square. At the last second, the pilot pulls up: partially to save himself from crashing into that building that the Friends live in, and partially to shake Captain America loose. He is successful in the first endeavor, but not in the second, as Rogers somehow holds on, still pulling himself closer to the cockpit.

"Sir, with wind force and speed it is unlikely that the Captain will be able to relay information to you, but I have established a link to his comm unit. Biometric data is coming in slowly, relayed from vibrations in the sound wav-" PATTON isn't as long winded, usually, but he's just returned from an Upgrade at Stark Industries. It takes a few days to work out all of JARVIS chattiness. "Cut to the important stuff."

"He is alive, Colonel."

"Good, keep track of him incase he needs a quick pick up." His forward momentum is stopped after slamming through the jet, debrie raining down harmlessly into the bay, and turns towards the retreating trio of jets at speeds tha far excede most modern day propulsion vehicles. "Guys." As he comes in between a pair of them, glancing from one side to the other even though he doesn't need to to see them… mostly it's for effect, "How about you slow down to a reasonable speed and we talk this out? Your window for negociation is rapidly closing."

PATTON will notice that Rhodey's prey are all prepping to fire their entire payload. Now or never for the man in silver, it would seem.

Cap on the other hand is filled with a bit of a doozy. He's hanging on by his shield, but gripping anywhere else under the circumstances in nearly impossible. One false move would give a new meaning to wishing upon a falling star (Disney, trademark). In desperation, as the jet starts to level out, Steve decides to put in one final attempt.

His boot pushes hard against the weakened metal where his shield tore into the hull. Gaining a literal foothold, he slides his leg down into the crevice while removing his shield. He pins himself in the space between, using his legs to steady himself.

From there, the shield comes back and smashes into the cockpit's viewport shattering the reinforced glass in one blow.

In response, the pilot immediately ejects, right into Steve's waiting hands. The pair shoot up even higher and away from the jet which soars out towards the ocean.

But it is short lived. Steve's grip is not true and the pilot slips away, falling much slower than the Captain, who will surely plummet to his death!

"Colonel, I know you do not like when I tell y-"

"When we get back to the Foundry, I want you to reboot and…"

"They are about to fire their entire payload, sir."

"Just lead with that next time, huh?" Rhodey turns his palms' right and left respectively and drops into a corkscrew out of the line of fire, straightens a few dozen yards beneath the pair of jets, and rockets forward ahead of them with his auto-cannon swiveling to lay down a good ol' fashioned screen of magnetic munitions into the back of both jets.

The third is a passing just beneath Rhodes, who latches his finger tips into the hull sides and fires off the one shot EMP blast designed to disable communications and unshielded electronics. "Pull your cord." He says, knocking his metalic knuckles against the view port, and sailing off on repulsors in the direction of a distant falling star.

"Cut power to half speed in zero under, PATTON." War Machine shifts the suit, fires repulsors in the oposite direction at the designated speed variation to provide Captain America a, relatively, soft landing against a solid metal surface. "Cap, Colonel James Rhodes, big fan."

In the moments when you're pretty sure you're falling towards your death, some take the opportunity to rethink their life. There are few people who know they are going to die before it actually happens, and for Steve he considers it a blessing. To go out in this way would seem fitting on some level. If you're going to go, you might as well go doing something you love. For Steve Rogers, protecting America is pretty much on point.

OOF!

Cap lands on Rhodey, a man he didn't even realize was there. Wincing he looks over towards a familiar face, but with a silvery twinge. Frankly, Steve isn't rather concerned with who is behind the Iron Man-style mask. He's just happy this James Rhodes was here to save his life.

"Gives a new meaning to the importance of fan support."

Rhodes rockets back towards the Sky scrapers and lands with a clink of metal on metal where he deposites Steve Rogers and turns towards the Bay to make certain all pilots have made it safely. Either down to land, water, or still floating in air on their parachutes, "Notify the authorities that the coast guard can pick up all assailants at these coordinants."

Then he looks back to Cap, helmet unlatching and rising up and over the back of his head. The housing brackets open along the back and descend into the shoulders of the armor, "A pleasure to meet you, Sir." Extending one gun metal gray armored hand. While PATTON relays the needed information to ground forces.

All pilots are accounted for, alive, and will be taken in for some rigorous questioning.

Cap takes the hand and gives Rhodey a nod. "I think the pleasure is all over here, Colonel." Steve, with face smudged with dirt and oil reaches up to remove the strap of his helmet, pull off the blue armor, and reveal his wildly mussed blonde hair.

"You drink beer, Rhodes? I think I owe you one."

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