Friendly Beginnings

December 21, 2016:

Miss A comes upon a jail-break that Iron Guard is handling. They exchange names, it doesn't go well.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It's a cold day in Hell -

- On Stryker's Island and that current Hell is for the guardsmen and women within. Somehow, someway, a small group of super-powered criminals have successfully escaped their de-powering cells and are now running through the prison, looking to escape. Those individuals are a power house and a technokinetic/technopath. It's almost a perfect combination, someone to be the brawn and someone to be the brains and the duo are running.

They're working their way up, they were only in the mid-level cell blocks and now they're making their way to the rooftop, intending to burst out that way.

Already the emergency frequencies within the prison and without are abuzz with chatter - both calls for help, reinforcement, and the current location of the would-be escapees. It won't be long know until they truly are free - a mere matter of seconds now, as the two come up the reinforced door that leads out to the rooftop. "Come on Bull." Shouts the technopath, a woman, "Bust it open!" Bull is definitely the dude, as he pulls a meaty fist backwards, readying to hit the door with all his might.

The chatter in the emergency frequencies would usually bring Superman or some heroes from the Hall of Justice to Stryker in less than a minute. That was what Nathaniel thought when he heard the calls. But there was no response from the Hall, and no blue streak in the sky, so he called upon his armor and flew here alone.

Lucky, lucky villains. Stryker Island is a bad place to be imprisoned not just because the Lexcorp technology, but because is it too close to Metropolis. It almost justifies putting the prison so close to a large city. But the idea does not work if all the city heroes are busy. Well, not all the city heroes are busy - even if Nathaniel doesn't quite considers himself a hero, Iron Guard arrives to the rooftop just as the door is smashed down. The thick sheet of steel slides over the roof until he steps on it and stops it. "Good afternoon," he greets politely. "Please, calm down and return to your cells. Honestly, if you want to escape this prison you need to come up with a plan to do so quietly." Bonus, free advice.

To say the two criminals are surprised is an understatement -

- Sure, they might have thought they'd see guards, but a man in armor? That's a negative. The Big Guy Bull can't help but goggle a second, saying, "Iron Man?" It's, however, the woman that subtly elbows him in the ribs (well muscle covered ribs), "Nono, that's the other dude. This is Iron Man Jr." Clearly she knows who Iron Guard is, just not necessarily what his name is - or perhaps it's a purposeful slight. It's hard to say.

It's now Bull's turn to look towards his diminutive partner (because everyone is small next to him), "Your turn." And now, the woman nods. Then her blue eyes turn towards Iron Guard and the color of them intensifies to an almost electric shade.

Elsewhere within the city a rather tall young woman is idly making her way down a street in a rather popular neighborhood. Her hands are tucked deeply within the pockets of her jeans, as her brown eyes flicker towards the various window displays for the holidays. Her expression is decidedly bored and that expression of hers only shifts when three SWAT trucks suddenly barrel down the street. "Looks like trouble." And unlike some, Mac's voice doesn't sound worried, instead it sounds happy. Or perhaps eager might be the better word of it. With barely a glance to the people around her, the young Hispanic woman suddenly launches into the air, uncaring how many people she startles.

As for the woman, her powers are psi-related, but only with machines and so, she reaches out with her telepathic powers to try and talk with the machines housed within the suit - even if she is unaware of just what level of tech is housed within. She's moving to convince the machines to shut themselves down.

Iron Guard sees warnings and alarms rise in the retinal displays and tsks. "Technoempath, hmm? Very cool, miss. But see, this armor is already neuro-kinetic. You do not need super-human powers to interface. Just the correct psychic signature. Which… you do not have."

Input Error * Command Rejected. A glance to the systems do reveal it is so advanced it could be alien tech. It is not even electronics in there; it feels like something made of light and fluid semiconductors.

And in the case the woman is a full telepath and tries to hack his mind, the armor psychic defenses activate. "My name is Iron Guard, by the way. You can surrender now."

The woman's eyes narrow and while she continues to bombard the suit with her telepathic powers, she'll now raise a hand upward and much like Darth Vader, she'll close her grasp to a pinch.

She's now trying to seize any machines within his suit to literally lock his elbows and knees together.

Bull, seeing his partner do that particular hand gesture, immediately starts running towards Iron Guard. "We don't care what yer name is buddy, you're going down and we're getting outta here." Comes his big-mouthed bellow and as he moves, he'll reach down and rip up a chunk of concrete from the rooftop. Then he's throwing that large hunk of concrete at Iron Guard - and he doesn't stop there. He's continuing forward, hoping to get in a punch should his rock do nothing.

For Miss America, she's following after the SWAT trucks, as she doesn't necessarily have any fancy-dancy communication gear. They're still a full minute out, but for MAC, it won't be much longer for her to figure out where the trucks are going.

Nathaniel armor is now fully rejecting the technopath's commands. That leaves only the bruiser, he assumes. To the flying chunk of concrete he braces himself and raises his arm, letting it shatter against the armguard. Only then he notices his sensors are somewhat scrambled. Uh oh. He assumed telepathics, but maybe it is electrokinesis. What did the police file on the woman say? Nothing useful!

The train of thought is derailed by a huge fist hitting his chest. Integrity loss alarms flash through his eyes, along the long list of failing systems and estimate time of repairs. Main plasma cannon is out for 47 seconds. Oh, there will be bruises too, and he seems to have been sent flying at roughly 300 mph.

He twists his body, landing on his feet on a crouch, anti-gravity slowing him down until he stops a few inches from the edge of the roof. "Understood," he wheezes. Is that a Kryptonian? It punches like one. "Sorry, you cannot go," he adds, aiming a wide beam repulsor to the bruiser.

The technokinetic frowns - he should have stopped with that command of hers, but he didn't, and she can tell something is different with his suit. With the technology within. "Be careful, Bull! He ain't normal." She shouts, even as she brings up her second hand and then pours more power into trying to fuse the mechanical parts of his suit together. While she doesn't need to do those hand movements of hers, it helps her to focus.

The repulser beam hits the large man and while he goes flying, he like doesn't go flying as far as Iron Guard might like. In fact, it takes the bruiser little enough time to get back on his feet. Then with his increased strength, he all but leaps up and then towards Iron Guard. His hands are raised upward, in fists, as he intends to smash both fists down upon Iron Guard's head.

It's at this point, that MAC has finally figured out just where the SWAT trucks are heading. Stryker's Island. And with the destination now known, MAC pours on the speed. When she arrives, her brown-eyed gaze easily takes in the suited man, the big muscle-man and the smaller woman upon the rooftop. It's pretty clear who the hero is within the trio and so, America Chavez, drops like a rock, to stand right in front of Iron Guard, just as those ham-fists drop downward. For MAC, she raises both her own hands upward and 'catches' that two-handed punch of Bull with the slightest of grunts. "Two against one, mi amigo, I just can't stand odds like that." And with those words, her grip upon the other man's fists tightens.

Bull's eyes widen as he starts to feel his bones begin to crackle - not broken yet, but hairline fractures will be starting soon.

As for Mac, she'll toss over her shoulder, "I got your back, Iron Man, go take a breather." Today is apparently the day everyone mistakes Iron Guard for Iron Man.

Double punch? That is easy to dodge even with the technopathic interference. His armor is not as clunky as Iron Man's. So Nathaniel was already flying outside Bull's range when Miss America stops him. "I am Iron Guard," he points out patiently.

"But thank you, regardless," he adds, flying up and firing a weak repulsor blast at the woman. Better to put her to sleep before she attempts to use the prison weaponry against him.

There's a reason why the woman is the brains and the man is the brawn. His actions are all punch, kick, throw, whereas hers are much more stealthy.

Of course, that stealthiness doesn't necessarily help her here, simply because it's taking too long for her to really understand the mechanics of Iron Guard's suit. As such, when he fires that beam to her, she can't quite dodge it and is neatly hit. She goes flying a short distance away and when she lands upon the ground, her form is quite limp.

Bull, while not necessarily looking her way, sees what happens to her out of the corner of his eye. "Annalise!" He shouts, sounding far too concerned for his partner in crime and it's in that moment of distraction for Bull, that both of their fates are sealed. "Gotcha." States MAC and with that said, she'll easily drop the man's hands, grab his arms and literally pick him up and then slam him down onto the rooftop. There's enough force behind that the rooftop vibrates from the impact and with a muffled sounding groan, Bull's consciousness fades.

With a last look at Bull, America Chavez will turn her gaze toward the iron suited man. "Iron Guard? Huh. I woulda sworn you were Iron Man." And then to his thanks, she'll add, "And you're welcome."

"I did pattern the armor after Iron Man's," admits the armored man. "Perhaps too much. But the confusion often gives me an tactical advantage, so I am going to leave it as it is for now." He lands on the roof again and studies America for a few seconds, checking databanks for information on the tall girl. "Apparently 'Bull' endurance is not as impressive as his strength. Did you break his fingers?"

A dark eyebrow arches upward at the first bit of what Iron Guard has to say, but when nothing more can be added, for MAC at least, the young woman will move onto the more important part of the conversation.

Broken fingers.

"Yeah, I did -" She states, eyes moving back towards the fallen man, "- but, they aren't seriously broken, so I'm sure he'll live. Besides, he shouldn't have messed with me." She ends with, even as she flashes a smirk of a smile towards Iron Guard. "So, Iron Man Jr., it was nice to meet you, but I gotta be on my way. Next time try to bob and weave more." And easily now, the tall woman will lift a foot off of the rooftop, though she doesn't quite fly away.

Speaking of rooftop, the chatter on the channel should easily tell Iron Guard that they'll have company soon, as the guards and the now present SWAT move in on their location. It'll still be a few minutes, but not much more, as they try to handle all the mini-riots that have broken out thanks to the two almost escaping from prison.

And Iron Guard, being an Avenger, can hardly run away like your average independent vigilante. "If you are leaving now, would you tell me your name first?" Armor readings do not make much sense, which usually means magic is involved. "You are not from this world, are you?" He ventures.

"You're pretty perceptive." She says, her eyes narrowing slightly and still, she hangs mid-air like that, as she all but hovers above the rooftop. "Or should I say, your armor is pretty perceptive."

And while she'd like to say she's seen this Iron Guard in other realities, she can't, as she hasn't … Well, at least by the name Iron Guard. If she knew him by his real name, that would be another story.

"But sure, I'm not afraid of sharing my name - America Chavez. Now, how about returning the favor, eh?"

"Pleased to meet you, America. I am Nathaniel Richards," his name is public; it is even in the Avenger's website. Amusingly, none of the current Avengers has a secret ID. "I am not from around here either. And you are right; my armor can analyze dimensional frequencies."

Nathaniel Richards.

A name she's heard many times in many variations, some good, or at least, progressive in nature, whereas others were far worse.

So much worse.

And it's because of that, that America is one minute hovering above the rooftop, and then the next minute dropping back to said rooftop like a stone. Then she's moving QUICKLY over to Iron Guard and because the two are of the same size, height wise, it makes it infinitely easy for her to lash out with one of her hands. She's moving to grab him by the neck and hoist him upward, even as her expression turns furious. "The Nathaniel Richards' I know don't play the hero. What sort of game are you playing here?"

Not the best reaction from America Chavez, but she's never one to pass up a knee-jerk reaction and running with it. Especially for someone like /him/.

It is not easy to take Iron Guard by surprise. Not only he has amazing reflexes, but his armor usually lets him 'read' people very well. But Miss America is *very* fast.

She grabs his neck and his armor registers that she indeed has the strength to cause critical damage even through the automated defenses that add to the CNT framework and localized fields. There is a flash of red as alarms fire off through the neural links, and Nathaniel instinctive reaction causes the armor to form razor sharp spikes from his neck and shoulder armor that stab at America's hand and wrist.

It takes half a second to process what the young woman said, and consciously react, which is by deriving power to physical strength and use a knifehand strike to her elbow with the left hand. "I am not them!" He shouts.

"I am an Avenger."

While he may not register it, his armor definitely will, as America's hand will close just a smidgen tighter around that armored neck of his. Not crushing, no, just tight and once she has a good hold upon him, she'll give him a shake.

It's not a brain scrambling shake, but, it's enough to show her ire.

And while the spikes slice lightly into her hand, and that knife strike to her arm hits, her durability is such that she could have continued to hold him - if she so wished. Instead, when his hand hits her arm, she'll simply follow the motion of his hand and literally toss him away from her. "An Avenger." She scoffs. "First things first, you couldn't pay me to be one of them and secondly, like I haven't seen you play the long game before." Her arms cross over her chest, as she stands there, "You have ten seconds to tell me why I should believe you're so different from the others - core traits rarely change from dimension to dimension."

The spikes recede instantly, and the facemask makes Nathaniel irritation at that automatic reaction invisible. He is not sixteen anymore; his control over the suit needs to be better. "No," he replies, landing on his feet. "I owe you no explanation. My actions with speak by themselves. And… if you do not respect what the Avengers mean for Earth, for humankind, you are not getting any invitation." Much less any pay. Which is fine, since they are not getting any pay. At all.

"Yes, your actions." She says, her words dropping to a dangerous level, "I've seen many of your actions, over a lot of worlds." And while she could re-iterate her previous words about those actions not being good, well, she won't.

Instead she'll simply add, "But you know what, it's cool. You don't need to explain, because I'm here now, so I'll personally make you a promise - If you screw up and turn to the dark side, I'll be here to punch you back to the light."

Then her head tilts to the side, as she ends with, "Got that?"

The what? Iron Guard straightens, looking at Miss America through the glowing pools of his eyes for a few seconds. "So. You are going to stay in this continuum the next ten, twenty years watching me, to foil my nefarious plans to take over the world. And you go and warn me directly? In my face?"

He has to laugh at that. He is almost tempted to laugh like a maniac cartoon villain, just to see her reaction. But he controls himself. "You are really the age you seem to be, right?" He adds, "sorry, you are not smart enough."

Clearly he's not the only one to find what the other says humorous, as MAC flashes a smile, showing off straight white teeth with that expression of hers. Though it's by far a friendly smile.

"Warn you? You better have your suit checked, mi amigo, it wasn't a warning, it was a promise. You can play the behind the scene secret games you like, but me, I'm an open book and I want to make sure you know what face you'll see when you crash and burn."

And with a flash of those straight white teeth again, Miss America will rise upward from the rooftop. "Have fun 'talking' to the law." And from the wreckage of the door leading to the rooftop various armed individuals emerge, decked out in bullet proof vests and riot gear.

"Oh, so now I have your… word I will behave?" Iron Guard is staying, as it is was his intention all the time. Talking with the law, finding out what happened, taking credit for good deeds in the name of the Avengers, all that.

"You have fun… hmm, whatever," being an open book? That seems boring to him. Even if the whole exchange was somewhat interesting. It was unavoidable someone would recognize him, sooner or later. In fact it seems someone did a while ago and told Nick Fury. It doesn't matter much in the long run, many of his friends already know.

"Ha. Don't behave, that'll make it more fun.". Chavez says, even as her gaze flicks to the men and women streaming out of the building. "Adios.". She snaps, even as she rises swiftly upward into the air and then hurtles quickly away from Stryker's Island and Nathaniel Richards.

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