6522/The Framework: HYDRA Reloaded (I)

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The Framework: HYDRA Reloaded (I)
Date of Scene: 20 June 2021
Location: The Sphere (Bunker BT-0), Deep Beneath Manhattan
Synopsis: SHIELD defends against a massive HYDRA attack at the Sphere, successfully defending their trapped comrades against certain death.

This scene runs intandem with Scene 6645 'The Framework: HYDRA Reloaded (II)'.

Cast of Characters: Melinda May, James Barnes, Achilles, Jessica Drew, Sam Wilson, Carol Danvers, Clarice Ferguson, Lois Lane
Tinyplot: The Framework

Melinda May has posed:
The Sphere is an abandoned AIM base so deep beneath Manhattan that the lowest of the city's oldest infrastructure is *above* it. Beneath all of it, carved out of basalt rock, is a maze of passages that would be all too easy for the unprepared to get lost in. But SHIELD has been here for a while, now, protecting their agents. Working hard to get them out of the virtual reality they're trapped within.

The way into the Sphere is through a heavily reinforced door that sits at the end of a long rock passageway. The door is more of a hatch, a pressurized seal like one might find on a submarine and when opened allows entry into a cavernous chamber that is almost sphere-like, though cut off at both top and bottom leaving both bottom floor and high roof flat. The hatchway opens up close to the middle level of the sphere. The walls appear to be lined with a variety of dated computer equipment. At various points on the different levels, corridors are cut into the rock, passages disappearing into shadowed darkness leading away from this central hub. The levels run in concentric rings about the sphere -- six above the entry level and six below -- open at the center and blocked off only by railings. Walkways criss-cross that vast gulf. A thick spire rises up in the very center of the chamber, what looks to be an elevator perhaps. It is out of service, but that doesn't matter. SHIELD has built a gantry off one of the catwalks that has a Starktech repulsor skid attached to safety cables. It acts as a lift for personnel and materiel down into the lowermost levels of the base. There are also lift lines strung between catwalks to provide alternate means of egress.

The main SHIELD camp has been set up on the lowest most level of the complex, surounded by blue, disruptor energy fields that keep various automated robots run by the facility's central processing unit at bay. The camp stands outside of a long corridor that's carved into the basalt. That corridor leads to a secondary chamber. The pod chamber. Where the victims of this once-abandoned space lay captive to the great machine.

Melinda May has posed:
For days, now, the SHIELD presence in the Sphere has been quietly building up its defences. They *know* an attack is coming. They're not quite sure when. The first sign that it's here is a quiet alarm triggered by an electronic tripwire at the mouth of the single passage leading into the base. After that, defence teams swung into action, activating careful traps and stalling tactics they've installed all along the passage. It gives them, they hope, at least an hour before HYDRA's actually knocking on the hatchway door into the facility.

Until, of course, it doesn't.

Maybe twenty minutes in to the attack, while most of the STRIKE teams are operating in the passage, a strange thrumming noise echoes through the Sphere. There's a shudder, dust sifting down. Too bad Daisy's not awake. She'd place those vibrations faster than anyone. Not that it would have helped.

A hissing crackle sizzles in the air, followed by a >>THOOM<< of displaced air.




Three separate groups of intruders just *appear* inside the Sphere -- one near the top, one near the middle, and one down at the bottom, far too near to the pod chamber for anyone's comfort. They appear in sequence, one after the other, transported in by a featureless, humanoid shadow that, when looked at straight on seems not to even be there at all, save for a limning blue rimlight, but that can be seen like an electrical afterimage when glanced in the periphery. His energy, since the shape reads generally as male, encompasses each group he deposits, disappearing when he pops away to bring in a new team.

The teams he delivers, however, are even more of a threat. Green and gold uniformed HYDRA troopers mix with Black and green armoured super-soldiers with centipede upgrades on their spines and forearms. At their backs, however, are more flamboyant looking persons -- mutants, or perhaps inhumans, each displaying different abilities.

Their goal, as far as SHIELD can tell, is fairly simple: Tear the Sphere apart and kill everyone in it. Which means SHIELD's goal is simple, too... Defend the Sphere at all costs and keep their people safe.

It's quite possible that whoever wins this battle may very well win the larger war...

James Barnes has posed:
    As much as he'd love to be up close and personal busting heads, Bucky is right where he needs to be. He's patient when he has to be, eternally patient. He's been laying up there on a catwalk, tucked away in the shadows in a spot that gives him the best view of things happening below with a high powered sniper rifle.
    He's been up there for hours now without so much as a twitch. His mind is laser sharp focused on the task at hand, such a contrast to his usual brand of 'ticking time bomb crazy'.
    That <<THOOM>> is his cue. It's game time.
    One shot, one kill. There are few in the world that can match his marksmanship, granted one of them is here somewhere. When the head of his first target explodes, he grins a little too wide, he'll just have to imagine that it was the squeeze of his left hand that popped that head.
    It only takes a slight shift to the left to find another coming through the portal. One shot one kill.
    He'll continue that way until his position is compromised, taking as as many as he can and covering the team on the ground as best as possible.

Achilles has posed:
    Since there was time to prepare, and time to get into position, Angelo finds himself in 'soldier' mode. You see, he has three modes these days. Civilian charming mode. Not the most useful in a fight to the death. Hero mode... holding back, taking prisoners, sucking it up to keep others alive.... and today he is in Soldier mode. Not trying to earn glory and immortality... that's so three thousand years ago. But he is just fighting a war. This means... eliminate enemies, work towards overall victory in the most expedient manner possible.

    So what may be one of the world's earliest 'super soldiers' is at war. With a large shield in his left hand. It is technically an Aspis shield, a large phalanx oriented device. With no others to link with it, Angelo is using it more like a bludgeon that happens to be able to block things. In his other hand, is a modern weapon. A Five-Seven pistol with semi armor piercing rounds.

    Wading into the fight like he was born for it.. (Okay, so he really was it seems)... he leads with a shot or two, tearing through HYDRA agents like the tip of a spear. He is wearing the black bodysuit with light armored parts... and over that he now has his real armor on. Bronze and leather breastplate, helmet, greaves... the works. If one is going to war, one should be attired appropriately.

    In the first motion into the enemy, three goons are down. Two from the pistol fire, and one who had the shield bash into the back of his neck even as the forehead was pistol whipped... broken neck in a one-two move. Painful.... ever so briefly. The catwalk is already starting to become crowded with fighters, both active and dead. But he is not speaking right now. This is not a time for levity, jokes, or even casual comments. This is a time for war.

Melinda May has posed:
It was time.

They've had their luck within the Sphere far too long for someone to not come knocking, but as predicted, they did. And Sharon was ready. There were days when the Sphere was outfitted with some newfangled technology that the agents cooked up to protect the place, while Sharon was out and about performing duties that May would have if she were out, while doing a little bit of her own on the side. Recruiting a Widow.

So when the mutant began to teleport teams into their respective levels, Sharon missed the light show. She was way in the back, guarding the door of the pods; the pods containing her grandmother, leader and grandfather inside. And she was fit to the nines; bulletproof fest and hip riddled with throwing knives, holsters lined beneath her arms with sidearms if her Icers don't make the cut. Gloved fingers clasped upon the automatic rifle in preparation to fire as she stares down the scope fixed to it.

And weirdly enough, as she expressed to Daisy, the katana she wanted made out of pure steel from the wreckage of the pod room that one of the agents made her.

If comms were present in everyones ears, Agent 13, who has never been in charge a day of her life calls out:

"You all know what to do! GO OFF!"

Jessica Drew has posed:
In an odd moment, Jess reflects on being in yet another firefight with the Greek. They make an odd team with his invulnerability and uncanny sense for warfare with her agility, strength, and deadly venom blasts. She feels the quakes in her bones, an ominous resetting of the ligaments and tendons throughout her body. But, if they are meant to scare, they have the opposite effect; they set the Spider-Woman into war mode.

Spider-sense flaring, she runs behind Angelo, her wingman, dancing along the catwalk with her innate sense of balance. The muzzle blasts from the P-90 give her position away, return fire finds her gone. She squeezes the trigger - below, another HYDRA soldier falls backward.

Sam Wilson has posed:
    Given Sam's skill set, it makes sense that he's perched up in the catwalks as well, suited up and ready for what feels a little bit like impeding doom. He's across the way from Bucky but he has a line of sight established with the other man, occasionally toggling his goggles over to thermal vision to make sure Bucky's still tucked away in the shadows.

    Maybe it's more for his own reassurance than anything. Because Sam doesn't have a sniper background; he's built for being on the move, in the air, and though he's keeping himself cool, calm, and collected it's not something that comes easy.

    Which is why he lets out a quick breath of relief when shit starts to hit the fan.

    He'll acknowledge his unhealthy relationship with danger at a later point. Right now, well, best put it to good use. Sharon said it: time to go off.

    The wings extend from the Falcon pack on his back and he's in the air, the humming thrum of the engine filling the Sphere as he twists and corkscrews around the catwalks. One HYDRA agent gets boots to their chest, sending them tumbling over the railing and down to the floor far below before Sam twists in midair, aiming a careful spray of gunfire at another group of incoming hostiles.

Carol Danvers has posed:
It has been a hard stretch since that plucky SWORD Agent managed to pluck Carol out of the Framework.

The shrinks that SWORD has on staff had a chat with her to try to see how not okay she is. Cliff notes. She isn't okay. Though on a Carol level of not okay how does one even tell with the mishmash of people literally messing with her mind and memories so many times over the years.

She has definitely taken the whole affair very personally and has spent a lot of time down in the main camp with the blue glow.

She is an amazing engineer, which a lot of people forget, and knows more about certain advanced technologies than a lot of folk. Though none of that is where she is being most useful. Thanks to the Captain Hydra mindscrew The Framework did on her, she knows more about the simulation her friends are trapped. The gritty and mundane details.

When the attack came Carol moved up from the POD room below to help coordinate and provide cover in case HYDRA broke through the tunnel entrance. Carol was monitoring the assault and just about everything else peering at a holodisplay above her wrist. Hovering in the Central shaft.

When the three invading teams that teleport in thrumming order though she looks up after the feint drew off a chunk of STRIKE.

Over comms <<Three assault teams in the sphere. Up trying to flank our STRIKE teams. One in the midsection and one will be knocking in moments at the door down there."

She glances down towards the midsection. <<I'll take the group in the middle. Make sure we don't lose the exit or let our STRIKE team be flanked.>>

Honestly Carol sounds very ready for a fight with HYDRA right now. Pity for them.

With that she drops down the central shaft halfway.

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    Clarice hates 'porting blind. Doing it outside was one thing - trying to hit an underground complex? That was another. There's a real chance of missing and teleporting herself into solid stone, and wouldn't that just ruin her day. So when she gets intel from Mystique (how does Mystique even learn these things?) that hints to what is happening beneath New York City, she takes her time trying to figure out her jump, her heart thudding in her throat. It's also why she goes in alone - if this goes badly, she doesn't want anyone else losing this bet with her.
    In a flash of purple energy, the young woman appears suspended in space in the sphere - before she immediately begins to fall. Oh thank goodness, she judged it right. But of course, she can hardly relax giving how far the ground is beneath her. Glancing around, she picks out a spot from the rafters and once more - she disappears and reappears, dropping onto the girders, and glancing around - javelin's coming to her hands from the quiver on her back.
    God damn, Mystique was right again. How the hell does she do that?

Lois Lane has posed:
After dropping off the series of teams, that shadow realizes several of them are being taken down rather too fast. A threat nearly unseen, above. The sound of >>ssssskTHOOM!<< goes silent for several moments, probably almost a relief to the SHIELD teams who are now being flooded with HYDRA behind their carefully set up lines. But the regular soldiers are fairly easily dispatched. It was almost unfair to put them up against this team. The mutant needed to buy them time.


Uncomfortably close to Bucky, right behind him, and then the barely seen shadow's hands are gripping at his neck, trying to snap immediately, or at least distract Bucky from his mission. Then one of those hands reaches for his rifle and the feeling of displaced air starts again. The mutant is trying to port away with Bucky's main weapon.

Closer to the middle of the fight, there is another supersoldier target. Angelo. A large, also black clad, heavily armored figure suddenly bump rushes him with a loud, distracting roar of veins being on fire from serum he probably just took. He is blinded with rage and well trained. He launches himself at Angelo in a violent, superhuman tackle meant to shove him DIRECTLY into Jessica, AND use his body as a human SHIELD from Jessica's bullets. He's not stopping.

Sam, meanwhile, is unbothered for a few moments. Then he'll hear a strange almost buzzing sound behind him, a smaller form with wings moving so fast they can barely be seen. It's like someone gave a Hummingbird human shape, including the viciously long, oversized beak, and it's coming DIRECTLY for Sam within a minute of the fight starting. Did HYDRA know what the teams would be? Did they guess that well?

James Barnes has posed:
    The longer he stays in one spot firing shot after shot, most of them exploding heads as a result, the more chance there is that Bucky will become a hardon target for them. But he doesn't move, not yet. This is the best position in the building for him to defend the pods below and the people defending those pods.
    That one's getting too close to Sharon! Not anymore. Hopefully she doesn't get too messy from the spray of exploding brains and skull bits. There's another one too close to Clint until they cross Bucky's sights, now it's another head exploding like a watermelon at a Gallagher show.
    ... that is until he finds himself under attack. He pushed his luck too long. Oh, he doesn't think so, not today. He's fast and he's trained and he's been keeping all his shit bottled up the best he can just waiting for this moment. Lightning quick, like a snake striking, he picks up the knife he had laying at his side for just this sort of moment and, if he hits, he'll be drenched in arterial blood from the side of the mutant's neck in a matter of seconds. It doesn't matter to him right now. He's not stopping to distinguish one brand of enemy from another. This isn't play time, this is a war.

Achilles has posed:
    Reaction time is one of the key factors in most real close quarters battles. Something that can be trained for and practiced. But when it comes down to it, taking the time to think things through is not the sort of thing that is able to be done in a real battle. All there is time for is instinct and well practiced maneuvers.

    As such, Angelo has already emptied his twenty round handgun magzine, and let the weapon fall towards the floor. His hand was already starting to close around the shaft of the bronze spear Hephaestus had given him so long ago as it formed right there in his grip.

    The black-clad powerhouse appears and begins his charge even as Angelo lifts his shield, props the spear into the small divot in the far edge of said shield... and braces himself for impact. His hope is that the spear will slow down, if not stop the charging guy. But this 'super soldier' isn't superhumanly strong. The spear tip strikes the charging beast of a man, and then the mass of the charger strikes his shield, pinning his arm against his body and pushing him back.

    It is a good thing he was braced, or he might have been toppled over. As it is, he gets pushed back right towards Jessica, grunting with the effort of trying to keep fighting. But one thing is true.. in a real battle, one learns to count on their teammates, and right now he is happy to just be the wall between Charger and Spider-Woman. Again, no words spoken. None are needed...

Jessica Drew has posed:
Intuition tells her to stop; the laws of physics have other ideas. Jessica carooms into Angleo's back, making him into the meat of a war sandwich, HYDRA black on one side and SHIELD on the other. Boots grind on the catwalk as metal clashes on metal.

Digging into the imaginary web they walk on, Jessica presses her left shoulder between Angelo's shoulder blades, putting her considerable strength into holding them in place. His right shoulder gives her a perfect prop for the submachine gun; she fires directly into the hulking form pressing into Angelo's shield. Surprise registers for a brief moment on his face before Charger falls.

Carol Danvers has posed:
The central shaft lights up with a brillaint cascade of cosmic energy as the photonic light show down in the middle section of the Sphere reflects up and down.

It is accompanied by the sounds of explosions. That Thrummm WWWOOOMPH that absolutely isn't a teleporting mutant.

There is totally a pillar of fire from either one of the Mutants or Inhuman's down in the midsection as well as they unload on the lone SWORD Operative who decided to tackle their group head on.

With at least some one of the HYDRA strike force yelling at them to not just keep pouring energy into Captain Marvel, they need to take another tact with her that isn't head on like this.

Thrrrrrroooom BOOOOM

That one was enough to make the place vibrate.

At least the mooks and weaker Hydra troops were the ones that ran headfirst to try to slow Carol down right?

Sam Wilson has posed:
    Sam's got a bird's eye view of the fight from up here, and he keeps a look out, really. Habit, given his past and how often he's tasked with surveillance on missions. But today his focus is tighter, staying up on the catwalks. He has to have faith, trust that the team down below knows what they're doing and can handle themselves. Especially since trust is such a hard thing to come by now.

    He lays down suppressing fire to keep as much attention up here, which is the least he can do; less guns aimed at the SHIELD team below, less chances for anyone to get picked off. It's not open air like Sam's used to but at the same time the Falcon has been deployed in similarly tight situations, and he tucks his wings in close, banking hard to avoid walls and reciprocating gunfire.

    Behind Bucky, a trilling beep sounds. The shadow reaches for Bucky, Bucky reaches for a knife, and Sam's drone Redwing powers up from where it's been hidden nearby on standby, mini-machine gun turret lowering from its chassis to fire at the figure trying to take Bucky down.

    A notification pops up on the HUD of Sam's goggles, and it's a split-second decision to retract the wings, land against the far wall of the Sphere, and before gravity remembers that Sam Wilson exists he's soaring off again in Bucky's direction.

    Only to be intercepted on the way by an actual real bird-person. Which is A. his thing, come on, and B. worrying with that long ass beak. "Uh-uh, only room for one of us up here!" he calls out as he twists around, trying to get a lock on his target with his goggles before deploying a mini-rocket from a wrist-mounted launcher.

Lois Lane has posed:
The mutant at Bucky's back knew he'd be fast, but not THAT fast. He sacrificed space to protect himself by getting in range to get that gun so a spill of hot, not quite right colored blood sprays against Bucky's face and side, but in the last (probable) few moments of that mutant's life, his hand closes on the gun and he blinks abruptly away, Bucky's rifle going with him.

The Superhuman charging Angelo and Jessica doesn't seem to be stoppable. He's roaring, raged up and tossing all of his bloated strength into crushing them into the wall. Now that he has them pinned, he's drawing out a long blade himself. Something made to go through Kevlar that would stop bullets. He must know his targets, because he's reaching violently around Angelo to try and bury it in between Jessica's ribs, even as she unloads into his side. Eventually, something hits. Angelo's face is covered with a spray of blood and the super soldier goes limp, but did his blade make it home?

Somewhere, HYDRA needs to get the energy to pour into Carol. They want to destroy this place. The overcharged power lines, mean to go for the pods, are now being ripped out of the walls by the middle team. They're directing it all at Captain Marvel, trying to make this place into a electric bomb with the amount of power build up they can get and pour into the woman, while shutting down other sections.

The Bird person on Sam is unfair, but probably has also been doing this a good bit longer than the military combat trained man (like their entire lives.) However, a mini-rocket is a mini rocket. The bird person needs to stop and hover mid air to baseball bat the rocket away with their beak instead of being impacted with it, which is giving Sam time. But also unfair. The thing can HOVER. Then it's diving for Sam again, beak going straight for the neck, tiny wings invisible with speed.

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    It doesn't take Blink very long to assess the situation - a quick glance around reveals the nearest of the insurgent teams - and she flicks her wrists quickly, sending her silvery javelin's flying. One is aimed towards a being who seems to be conjuring fire from their hands - one of the enslaved mutants, she can only presume. She hopes to 'blink' them away to safety, sending them to a secluded island in the middle of the south pacific. Hopefully, that will put them outside of the range of the transmitters that can pop the explosives in their neck. Hopefully being outside the range of those transmitters doesn't automatically pop the explosives in their neck. She won't know until she tries to retrieve the mutant later.
    The other javelin strikes one of the HYDRA agents - and when it does - half of their body simply blinks out of existance, with no indication of where it went. "That's what you fuckers get," she mutters under her breath.

Melinda May has posed:
The teams teleporting in may be a surprise, but they are surprised by just how prepared the SHIELD team is in return. Sniper bullets streak out of nowhere, taking out several of the uniformed mooks before they even have a chance to get off more than one shot. There's more than one sniper out there, too. The Winter Soldier. The *other* Black Widow. And any number of sharpshooters among the other agents arrayed against them.

This results in a bit of a mess for the agents on the lowest level, since it leads to several sprays of blood as headshots are taken. There's no use of ICERs here, today, apparently. Whatever may be happening below, however, Sharon's voice comes steady over comms: <<We have engagement.>> Not really a surprise.

Indeed, in very little time, the green-clad troopers are no longer a problem for anyone. But the Centipede Soldiers and a small cadre of brainwashed/controlled mutants are another story. They're stronger, they're faster, and they pack return punches of their own.

Far below, a small whirlwind of air picks up bodies, weapons, and technology not nailed down, sending them spinning at the SHIELD agents on the ground. Up above, however, a firestorm is building, threatening to whip around the walls and catwalks of the highest level, creating an inferno of superheated air that screws with the air currents and threatens fiery death to anyone flying too close.

Rising up before Carol, separating from the more energizing mutants that face her, is a grey hulk of a man with black fists, blue hair, and a face like a pitted moon. His eyes glow purple and he swells in size. The catwalk groans under his feet. He pays it no mind, reaching out with a large hand to grab her -- faster than he should be. He can absorb energy, too... he just uses it differently than she does.

Where Clarice fights, mutants are teleported away... whether they survive, however, is entirely up for debate. HYDRA has a global presence. But they also have failsafes. And it is very, very likely, that if those implants and collars can no longer receive instructions from base, their bodies will be found without heads should Clarice ever see them again. However, more threatening still is a fine mist that flows up and around her. It hums with an almost electrical charge and sounds like a million gnat wings buzzing in stereo. And where it touches, microlances sting, drawing blood... like death from a thousand papercuts.

Melinda May has posed:
In Bucky's ear, however, as his targets explode blood all over Sharon, comes a dryly disgusted, <<Thanks.>> Yeah. She needed that right while she was taking aim.

James Barnes has posed:
    They made a grave mistake in thinking that that rifle was Bucky's most powerful weapon. They would have been better off to slit his throat and be done with him than to take that rifle. He doesn't make a sound when he pushes himself to his feet, but he does curl a snarling sneer lip in the direction of that stupid flying droid thing. Really, he still hates that thing.
     He has that knife, that's probably covered in odd blood and maybe bits of tissue and goo too, in his right hand. His left hand, well it's empty. Does he really need a weapon in the hand that *is* a weapon.
    Stealing his rifle? All that did was piss him off. He's seeing the world in an anger haze of red now that fits with the blood plastering his long mop of hair to one side of his face. The color red really does something to bring out the crazy in those pale blue eyes of his, doesn't it?
    He takes off at a run for that birdified fuck that's messing with Sam. When he leaps from the catwalk in an attempt to tackle that hummingbird out of the air and away from his friend, he knows one of two things will happen. He'll either hit or he won't. Either option is liable to send him plummeting to the floors below unless he can grab a railing on the way down with that left hand. Fifty-fifty, the ultimate leap of faith. He'll either swan dive into nothing but air or end up with an arm full of bird as he's falling. If he does? It'll be a quick, deep slice of that knife across the bird's throat to rain bird blood down any below him.

Achilles has posed:
    Sometimes you feel like eating food. Sometimes you feel like that flat cheese slice between the meat and the bread. Angelo had the wind driven from his lungs and all he was able to focus on was keeping up, and holding the beast at bay with his shield.

    But his brain is always moving a step ahead. The feeling of motion as the big charger drew his blade, gave Angelo the clue he needed to react in time. The shield that he had been keeping betwen them is suddenly free to move as Angelo gives a shove. A classic Greek shield move... just in time to lift that shield and redirect the blade thrust so that it strikes the wall after grazing over Jessica's shoulder rather than right through her center mass.

    And then the body goes limp, and air rushes back into Angelo's lungs. Sure, he can't die. But that doesn't mean being unable to breathe is a fun experience.

    And then for the first time in this fight.. he speaks. "If you need ammo, I have three magazines for you." he states as he strides over the fallen brute, dismissing the spear as he grabs one magazine off his belt and holds it back towards Jessica. Then he moves forward, searching for more targets two combine the Angelo-Jessica one-two punch upon.

Jessica Drew has posed:
Jessica's eyes widen, mirroring Charger's expression of surprise when his roar cuts off. She gasps as a line of molten lava blazes through her left shoulder, saved from the blade deflected by Angelo's shield into an upward arc. The sandwich falls apart as Jessica slumps against the wall feeling blood warm the interior of her armored bodysuit. She feels uncountably warm, unaware of the fire storm building around them.

"Good work, Baklava," she whispers weakly, dropping the P-90 to her right side, her left arm hanging loosely. Spider-woman will recover, her mutant antibodies and cells already at work to close the wound, but it'll slow her down.

"Let's go. Move. Hand me that ammo," she rasps hoarsely, more to herself than to Angelo, urging them forward into the fight.

Carol Danvers has posed:
"Oh. Hey there!" Carol exclaims in a little bit of surprise as the big guy grabs her like that.

"Has... anyone ever told you that you move really fast for a big guy?"

She stops blasting since the two of them already seem to be feeding off the energy blasts and redirected power conduits from the Sphere itself and there is no reason to give this mutant an extra boost.

Is she sure she can absorb more. Very likely. Does she want to be pushed far enough to go binary down here. No. She really doesn't want to go binary down here.

So she is left grappling with that Grey Skinned mutant and giving him a really solid punch right in the temple. Testing if he absorbs kinestics or just energy weapons. "I am pretty sure Banner can sue you for some sort of trademark infringement... well.. or Tony since I'm pretty sure he is the one who licensed everything!"

Punch. Punch.

Oh. Right. Assuming Carol doesn't use energy the same way as this guy was probably a mistake for this mutant too. She does become stronger progressively.

It will be a good test for how durable the mutant is. A big test. It is slowing Carol down though for now.

Sam Wilson has posed:
    The mini-rocket spirals away towards a wall of the Sphere, against which it explodes in a cloud of dust, concrete, and-or metal shrapnel. It packs a punch for its size, that's for sure. And the pause in the bird person's pursuit of him necessary to bat the rocket away gives Sam time to reach an arm out, momentarily sacrificing some of his aerial dexterity to deploy one of the SMGs from the chassis under his pack into his hand and fire off several bursts of automatic gunfire.

    Just as quickly as it comes out, the SMG is returned to its place, and Sam is on the move again. His braking thrusters fire, sending him hurtling at a worrying speed down towards the ground of the Sphere as he swipes one of his wings out in front of him, half to protect his neck from the bird person's beak and half to maybe take a swipe at said bird person. Their bones are probably hollow, right? Here's to hoping.

    He's fine. He's fine! He's got this handled. Maybe he'll request some kind of neck guard for the next iteration of his tac gear, though.

    Everything's kind of already gone bad, but then there are 170-odd pounds of lethal super soldier plummeting towards him, and Sam does what he can to disengage with Bird Brain. "BUCKY!" What the hell is with this dude and jumping off of things without a safe way to land?!

    His main thrusters fire as he reaches out to find a handhold on Bucky. Metal arm, harness strap, *something* solid that he can wrap his fingers around and haul him back towards the catwalks rapidly getting smaller and further away as they fall.

    Redwing makes a reappearance, trying its best to cover his dad (you're my dad, boogie woogie woogie) and Bucky with machine gun fire.

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    Clarice does not believe in a higher power - yet she finds herself, hoping against hope, that she is able to save some of these mutants. After all, the nightmare of their current existance is one she's familiar with herself.
    But death is preferable to the nightmare in which they are trapped. If they are dead, then that is that. She'll accept it.
    With a flick of her wrist, another javelin flies - sending a mutant who seems to firing off energy blasts from his hands disappearing in a purple blink of energy. And then a portal opens between a group of HYDRA mooks who open fire on some SHIELD agents running along one of the walkways. A second portal opens - reaiming that hair of bullets back at them, and mowing several of them down before they realize that //maybe// they should stop firing.
    All of this leaves her a bit distracted when that mist begins curling towards her and about her form - until pain shoots up her arm as the mist starts cutting and slicing into her arm, almost sanding away layers of skin as blood wells forth. What the hell is that, and where did it come from?
    She blinks out, reappearing on another catwalk to the left, and a few levels below her former position, looking for the source that mist, while blood drips from the wounds that opened in an instant.

Lois Lane has posed:
The scary, annoying thing about a very large, loud, roaring suped up HYDRA soldier? Isn't what he did to them. It's what he was supposed to distract Angelo and Jessica from. Just as they are slumping, taking a moment to recover, there's two more super soldiers on them, meant to take them on individually now. These ones are smarter, keeping a bit more distance as rifles shoot for vulnerable areas -- The one on Jessica is going for that now damaged armor, her shoulder and her neck. The one on Angelo? It's electric. A plasma charge meant to stop the heart of something as big as an elephant. The football tackle was just the distraction.

Echoing so loudly it's hard to tell if it's in one's head or being piped into the Sphere's upper levels, as Bucky starts swinging down in the direction of the bird-person, some words in Russian begin to boom. Loudly. <<"Longing. Rusted. Furnace. Daybreak. Seventeen...">> It's so loud. So even. The bird-twists mid air, trying to peck at Bucky's neck as they go into freefall.

Meanwhile, while Sam is quite worried about his friend falling, there's another match on the highest balcony. A HYDRA sniper. Much like Bucky. Unseen. Shadowed. Deadly. And three viciously targeted shots come out of no where, straight at Sam.

Melinda May has posed:
Far below, beneath the fiery hell the upper levels have become, ice forms on one of the mid-level catwalks, threatening the Widow fighting there and beginning to spread a fog that blends with the smoke to obscure visibility for everyone above the entry level.

The blackfisted mutant gives Carol a predatory smile and reaches out to pull her to him so he can squeeze. He's no hulk, but he's clearly in that class. So her fist jerks his head to the side, but his arms tighten inexhorably. It's like the worst bearhug ever. He flexes his legs and leaps, falling through the air with her, plumetting towards the basalt bedrock below and spinning in the air to position her beneath him. Rather like a piledriver crossed with a bellyflop... or a comet drop.

The mist Blink escapes flows away from where she was, coalescesing into a more humanoid shape -- a young girl, maybe 12 or 13. She has large eyes, green hair, and slightly blurry edges where that collar at her throat doesn't touch her. Her eyes, refracted almost like a fly's, look up at her. She smiles almost regretfully at her as irridescent dragonfly wings unfurl from her back and lift her up into the burning air.


The teleporter returns. He is not bleeding. But he does carry with him a man whose skin looks like it is forged of livng carbon. He is bald and powerfully muscled. He carries with him what looks like some sort of generator. Or bomb. They appear in the middle of the main catwalk. He looks over the edge. The teleporter lays his hands on him again. They disappear.


James Barnes has posed:
    See, here's the thing... Bucky doesn't even *know* what those words mean, not consciously and certainly not after only a one. Sure he knows what's being said, but he doesn't know what those random words come together collectively to *do*. Only that by the second or third one he's feeling uncomfortable.
    By the sixth one he's feeling uncomfortable enough to have ... figured it out - until the next time they wipe him or he's freed and the fail-safes and programming have him forgetting again. If his last attempt to dispatch with that birdman isn't successful, he'll try to just shove him away. When the back of his armored jacket is caught by Sam, he snarls. "Let me go, Sam," while he still has control of himself to do so. "Let. Me. Go." Each word is emphasized clear and concise and crammed full of so much emotion. This is it, brother, remember our talk? This is it, let me go.
    Quietly into the comms, but it's sure everyone'll on them will hear it. "Shoot me, Sam." Right between the those pale blue eyes that are looking up at Sam, wide and terrified and pleading and so fucking bright surrounded by the drying blood of the mutant he just slaughtered like a pig. "Shoot me."
    But he knows Sam won't do it. Opportunity comes knocking in the form of three muzzle flashes from the shadows over Sam's shoulder. Bucky knows what that is intimately.
    With what are likely his last moments of free will, he reaches up and grabs the hand his friend used to snag him with his own, left, stronger than anything has a right to be and tries to hurl Sam out of the path of the bullets... and put himself in the path of them.
    It works, sort of... two of the shots slam into Bucky's back, piercing his armored jacket easily.
    He's smiling when they hit, the bastard is actually smiling.

Achilles has posed:
    Plasma charge meant to stop the heart. That is indeed dangerous. The fact is, Angelo doesn't bother defending himself here. His left arm reaches to interpose his shield between the rifle and Jessica. This has the decided effect of leaving him vulnerable, unshielded against the guy firing the plasma charge.

    The energy cascades over Angelo's celestial bronze armor, infusing itself into his muscles and tissue. The muscles all tense up at once, and the heart does indeed stop. For a brief moment...

    He goes to one knee, looking like he is going to topple over. And ... were this a medical drama, the flatline EKG would suddenly start showing a pulse once more. He may not be super strong. He may not be able to fly or shoot energy blasts. The one thing Angelo has over other warriors, other soldiers is that he... simply... cannot... die. There are times when he has cursed that in the last three thousand years. Not today.

    He surges to his feet, the spear appearing in his hand once more as he whips his right arm about and hurls that spear towards the chest of the rifleman shooting at Jessica. Once on his feet, he turns to face the Plasmanator as the Xiphos sword appears in his hand. No speaking once more. War mode. Kill mode.

    It must look extra dramatic with the heat shimmer and flames all about him. "Come on." he says towards his enemies, "Let me teach you what war really means." His voice has no emotion. No inflection. It is pure ice. Cold as an arctic pit in the middle off all of this fiery hell. Sure, heat burns. Extreme heat hurts as it burns. But pain is an old friend by this point, and Angelo does -not- abandon a position just because of something as minor as pain.

Jessica Drew has posed:
American football flashes through Jessica's head. Two more are on them before Jessica has taken another deep breath. Wary and smart, they keep their distance. The injured woman can't raise her P-90 to shoulder height. The P-90, squeezed against her side, propped on the SHIELD-issue utility belt, Jessica shoots from the hip, spraying the two with semi-armor piercing rounds.

The wash of the plasmablast splashing over Angelo plays over her; she sees Angelo buckle, going down to one knee. The stench of burnt flesh fills her nostrils, the momentary skip in Angelo's heartbeat loud in its silence.

After another burst of gunfire, Jess releases the P-90 to dangle in its sling across her body. Plasma begets bio-electricity. Hands cupped into claws; her palms fill with a yellow-green light. The light is weaker in her left hand. With an underhanded throw, the venom blasts full into the face of the man trying to kill Angelo. "Plasma this, let's fight fire with fire!" Sweat drips into her eyes as the temperatures mount, "Angelo. What's happening? The heat! We need to drop down out of here."

Carol Danvers has posed:
This is a good thing in Carol's book.

It is a bit counter intuitive but the blackfisted grey skinned musclular mutant has also moved himself away from the energy blasts.

"So... something you should know." she notes he continues to squeeze. Yes talking is more difficult when you are being bear hugged and they are attempting to crush you.


She notes as chipper as she can a bit breathless. "I can fly."

Like. Duh.

She twists and rights them around so he is the one who impacts in the basalt bedwork right on his spine.

For good measure she adds a blistering amount of speed at the last moment.

Chalk it up to another thing that can probably be heard in the entirity of The Sphere.

Sam Wilson has posed:
    It's a lot harder to be agile in the air when you've got super soldier deadweight pulling you down on one side and a needle-nosed bird person trying to stab you on the other. Sam's managing, but just barely, his thrusters redlining to maintain lift.

    And then the Sphere fills with the booming sound of harsh Russian syllables. Even though he knows that can only mean one thing, Sam doesn't understand Russian...

    But Redwing does.



//RUN SUBROUTINE WS_FailsafeBlock.ry

    The protective flap covering Redwing's onboard speaker pops open and above the sounds of gunfire and shouting comes the mechanical scream of static-y white noise begins to play. It bounces off the walls as Redwing pivots, aiming the speaker directly at Bucky, head-on. Even Sam, who doesn't have enhanced hearing, lurches backwards in the air like the noise hits him with a physical force, given that he's pretty well entangled with Bucky at the moment.

    Linked directly into Bucky's comm unit, Redwing turns the volume up to max.

//PLAY LouisArmstrong_StruttinWithSomeBarbecue.mp3

    "What?" Sam yells, too loud, unable to moderate his own voice level because he can't hear shit. He certainly can't hear Bucky begging him to put a bullet in his brain, but by the sudden flash of pain and the grimace on his face, Sam understands anyway. He shakes his head, almost violently, mouth open to protest, but then suddenly it doesn't matter.

    He doesn't even register the pop-pop of two gunshots aimed his way until he's spiraling away from Bucky. But it's too late. The next shot lands much closer to its intended target, ripping a white-hot path of pain along the side of his neck. It's not a deadly wound; Sam's throat doesn't start to fill with blood, his airways are clear, but it's immediately gushing out blood that probably joins the spray that Bucky's already covered in, misting out into the air between them as Bucky's last-ditch effort sees Sam tossed away and out of danger.

    To say Sam is unsteady in his wings at the moment is an understatement but in the shift from one heartbeat to the next, his pararescue instincts kick in. Sam ducks down, wings coming in tight, and with one hand outstretched towards Bucky he dives.

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    She's a child. She's a fucking child. God damnit. God damn these heartless, soulless monsters who do this to innocent children. "Fight it," Clarice urges quietly. "Fight them. You can be free." Her voice is quiet - unlikely to be heard by anyone in the din of this battle. Did she dare send this child away, and risk having that explosive charge go off?
    Did she dare leave her here, to attack these people? To remain enslaved?
    She flings one of her javelins, this time aiming for one of her precision 'ports. It's risky, but it's the best chance this child has. She remembers where the charges had been planted - right in their necks. If the child is lucky, the explosive charge will disappear from her body, and save her life. If she's unlucky, it'll take away enough of her throat with it that she'll hemorage internally from her jugular vein and an be dead within seconds.
    If she saves someone - //anyone// today, let it be this child.

Lois Lane has posed:
The heat is becoming ridiculous. And the Plasma shooter? He doesn't need to stop Angelo for good, he just needs to stop Angelo for NOW. Just as Angelo is getting back up and firing at the HYDRA agent attacking Jessica, another large blast releases from that plasma cannon, directed right at him, meant to put him on his knees again. The man will back up, giving ground as to not get in close range to the terrifying old warrior, and keep firing over, and over, and over. As quickly as the weapon can charge, which is fairly quick. He's just trying to slow the man down.

Meanwhile, Jessica's attacker seizes up, having been focused more on her than Angelo so he wasn't ready for the violence coming his direction. He sprays another wild range of bullets, these ones half for Jessica but then half spraying across the room as his dying body keeps the finger on the automatic trigger as long as possible. The plasma soldier was likewise not ready for her attack, and the barrage on Angelo suddenly stops as his body is shocked. He drops to the ground twitching, out of commission for a few moments but he is sluggishly trying to bring his weapon around to train on Jessica again. But she's bought them breathing time.

The chaos between Bucky and Sam isn't entirely missed. The sniper feels like she has done her job and, as Sam dives, they are out of her range for this moment. But Redwing is not. She shifts the muzzle of her gun and snaps off three shots in the direction of the little Drone. Otherwise, she's out of her assigned targets. She'll have to wait for the other part of this plan to finish.

Booming over loudspeakers continues in slow, firm , clear Russian, finishing the last few words to the injured James Barnes' broken mind: <<"Benign. Nine. Homecoming. One. Freightcar.">> Omnious silence rings in people's ears as the sound of battle sounds almost quite compared to the booming of those now quiet words.

Melinda May has posed:
Yelena's voice comes over comms. "<<I don't know if you had anyone spent time in captivity with Hydra recently, but these would be trigger words, stay sharp any friend can become foe.>>"

Sharon's voice sounds almost immediately after. <<Captain!! ANYONE! Smack Bucky's temples together RIGHT NOW!>> She knows what's going on.


The teleporter sounds deep behind the walls, now, deep in the Sphere. He's out of reach of the team on the upper levels. Him and the carbon skinned man with the bomb. If anyone is going to stop him... it will have to be the team on the lower level. Or a cunning teleporter.

Of course, that teleporter is distracted by a young girl whose body seems to be made of microscopic bees... or something similar. A young girl who can't think for herself. Whose only hope may be the young mutant woman blinking toward her. As Blink draws near again, her body starts to flutter apart, away from the collar... and maybe that bomb in her skull.


Carol Danvers and the blackfisted, grey skinned hulk wannabe impact the rock at nearly supersonic speeds. A great crack appears in the basalt. The hulking mutant lies motionless within it.

But the teleporter reappears down a side corridor leading away from the pod chamber... straight toward the Sphere's main power station.

James Barnes has posed:
    Bucky is free falling and making no attempt to stop himself. He doesn't try to grab the catwalks or railings with his left hand. He's either unconscious from the gunshots, which is highly unlikely given *what* he is, it wouldn't have happened that quickly. Or he has no desire to stop himself.
    The fall alone wouldn't kill him, the gunshots alone wouldn't put him down for good, but what about the two combined?
    The shot Sam took, that momentary distraction, alone with the short relative distance between where Bucky was and where Bucky's falling to makes it logistically impossible for Sam to actually catch his friend before Bucky hits the ground.
    ...and hit the ground he does, he hits the ground HARD not five feet from where Sharon Carter is battling it out with one his kind. His last words before he loses consciousness are in Russian accompanied by vacant, empty, lifeless stare from this pale blue eyes, "Ready to comply."

Achilles has posed:
    Now that the rifleman shooting at Jess has been dealt with, Angelo gets his shield around in time to intercept the second plasma blast. Sure, it still hurts, but it is bearable. Then Jess puts the guy down.

    Breathing room attained. The battle however has not ended. Angelo steps over the plasma blaster, taking a moment to kick the guy in the face even as he turns his attention upwards. Although the sniper's shots are suppressed... suppressed does not mean silent. Also, the more the sniper fires from the same position, the more likely that position is to be pinpointed. Redwing takes a shot, then another, and yet another... and Angelo's shield vanishes, replaced by a bronze bow. As he draws the string back, an arrow appears upon that bowstring.

    Eyes narrowed inside his helmet, Angelo studies, searches... and then he looses the arrow, drawing back another. He is basically firing one arrow every second. Sure, he's not Clint. He just cheats. He doesn't need to manually reload his bow. And he is not the greatest shot ever. But he -can- keep it up for a while. For now, he is just hoping to keep the sniper occupied for now, and keep those shots off of his teammates. Into his helmet comm he mutters, "Engaging sniper. Jessica, see if you can help Sam and Bucky, eh?" he asks without much emotion once more.

Jessica Drew has posed:
Bullets pummel her armor, impacting hard and driving her back a few steps. Jessica squeezes her eyes nearly shut, keeping the vague forms of their two assailants in view as she revs herself up into another spider blast.

A distraction. Something plummets past the two of them. She keeps on target, throwing a charge of bio-electric energy that makes a green bridge of fire between them, both centered on the two super soldiers' faces.

"What? Sniper? I hear them. Who fell? Did you hear those words, Baklava? We've got to go down. The heat is getting to be too much."

Sam Wilson has posed:
    He's close. Closing in. Sam even swears his fingertips touch the back of Bucky's jacket, but then another shock of pain hits him, taking the breath from his lungs as he finds himself slammed against the nearby wall. He bounces off of it like a pinball only to go careening into a tailspin at an angle. Flashing red warnings fill his vision as his thrusters flicker and short-circuit.

    Sam doesn't even know what the hell hit him.

    And then he's falling too. Air whistles past his ears as Sam's arms windmill, and then searing heat rips through his arm as grabs hold of--something. He's pretty sure his shoulder dislocates, but wonder of wonders, his grip holds.

    Somehow he's managed to wrap his hand around the railing on one of the catwalks. For a second he just dangles there, too stunned to do anything but hold on for dear life, but then with a groan of pain and effort he hauls himself up and over, spilling like a sack of potatoes onto the walkway.

    His head is spinning, body curved in on itself in automatic defense of his currently useless arm, but then he jerks up with a gasp and shifts to poke his head out under the railing to look over the edge. "Bucky!" Shit shit shit he's--Sam can see Bucky down there, too far away--and sure he's seen the guy literally throw himself out of a plane without a parachute (maybe more than once) but this is too much. Sam's gotta get down there and he has to render first aid because he has no idea if there are other people out here right now who even have medical training or maybe they're all dead and it's just him so that means--

    The catwalk shudders as another body lands on it, shocking Sam straight out of the spiraling deterioration of his thoughts. He looks up, and standing no more than twenty feet away from him is a hulking brute of a man, another one of the super soldiers Sam is blearily aware others have been engaged by. This is the guy that just powerslammed Sam out of the air seconds from arresting Bucky's free fall.

    With a slow exhale Sam rises to his feet, working hand clutched to his injured elbow. A sharp tug and a click of bone that only Sam hears pops the head of his humerus bone back into the socket of his scapula. He grimaces.

    On his HUD, REROUTE COMPLETE flashes. His thrusters crackle back to life, his wings deploy, and Sam is up in the air, a roar of effort leaving him as he snaps out a spin-kick at the super soldier's head.

    Down below, Redwing comes to a skittering stop not five feet away from where Bucky landed with the crackle of friction sparks and malfunctioning electronics from the bullet holes in its chassis. It makes two sad-toned beeps before shutting down.

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    The javelin strikes in the moment before the girl flutters apart - and with it, Clarice hopes, goes the explosive. At the very least - she doesn't seem to have killed the girl. She only hopes that remains the case when the child coalesces once more.
    Everyone going on is chaos - and if it weren't for her years with the Brotherhood, it would be overwhelming, but she knows to keep her eyes open for the other teleporter. Who else stands a chance against the man? The girl she can do nothing else for until she retakes a more solid form.
    Great. It was time for another blind jump - she hates those. But she can't let the man carry out whatever plan has been programmed into him. She takes a deep breath - and vanishes from sight, to reappear near the sound she's somehow managed to hear over the blasting of that music, and white noise, and the booming of those Russian words. All the noise throws her off - just enough that she's frighteningly close to a wall when she materializes. No time to focus on how close she just came to death, though.
    "Hey asshole," she says, trying to get the man to turn (as if the sound of her own 'bliiiink' wasn't enough to get his attention) - her hand going over her shoulder to draw another javelin. It flies in a single smooth motion, as she tries to blink away whatever device he carries - to send it deep into the Atlantic ocean.

Carol Danvers has posed:
Carol pulls herself out of a mutant shaped crater and rolls her head to the left slowly.

Nope didn't do it.

The rolls her head slowly to the right and there is a >POP< as she pops her neck. "Ah.. thank god."

There is a glance down to the unmoving mutant and she shifts her foot and kicks him hard in the temple bouncing his head off the basalt, for good measure to make sure he stays unconcious.

<<Do what to Bucky?>> a bit confused as she startles when Bucky lands in a heap not too far away. <<He seems down with Redwing if you need ping to find him. Needs a medic.>>

She picks herself back up hovering into the air and looks upwards.

<<Call out if you need help. Preferably before you go down. I'm up and mobile now.>>

She is streaking back up to the team who was mucking with the bases power conduits and in a blink is back in the midtier, letting a blast loose that obliterates part of that strike force.

She isn't holding back as much at this point, maybe seeing Barnes down irked the hell out of her even more.

Lois Lane has posed:
The sniper's foolishness was not ducking back once she was done firing. Instead, she was looking for another target, having taken out the little drone more successfully than she did the drone's owner. The muzzle of her gun is looking for Sam to swoop back up and return when several arrows come her direction. Many miss but one, one of the first, gets lucky and finds her eye. There's a series of hissing curses from above as she falls back, another few shots going wild and angry. She does not care who she kills.

"SOLDAT. Kill all SHIELD operatives." Booming orders come across the loudspeakers that had fallen silent, either in actual response to Bucky's last words, or in pre-recorded response to what they assumed they would be. Still, orders have been given. This set up was intended to turn Bucky straight upon his team. For good for for ill, the only response is the heavy thud of Bucky's body on the ground.

It seems that the HYDRA soldiers were somewhat prepared for Angelo, and thought they were for Jessica, but no one told them she could make ELECTRIC webs. The other shot from her hands firmly takes down the other soldier and the gun eventually runs out of ammo, so it's just a twitching body on the ground. The two that were set to take down Angelo and Jessica are now neutralized. But there is an incredibly angry bird-person who has gotten herself out of the unconscious Bucky's arms and smells blood on the air. Like a hummingbird looking for sugar, she now dives in the direction of Jessica, beak primed for that shoulder wound, moving almost too fast to see.

The Super Soldier on Sam was slightly counting on him being more upset about Bucky and having a bit more time. He grunts, stumbling back at that kick, but only for a second. His head jerks to the side and then back up, a bloody-toothed smile being given to Sam that is almost manic. Then suddenly a flurry of Super Soldier punches is coming directly at his face. The suped up HYDRA agent is faster than a human should be and his pain tolerance through the roof. He just needs to keep distracting Sam.

Melinda May has posed:
The Battle of the Sphere continues to rage. SHIELD agents continue their desperate attempt to keep HYDRA from steam rolling through their defences and reaching the pod chamber where so many of their most talented colleagues and friends lay helpless within the strange pods that captured them so many days ago, now. Half of the disruptor fields that have kept the old AIM facilities mechanicals at bay have collapsed, though the presence of HYDRA forces within its perimeter has meant the mechanicals have stayed out of this fight... so far. But the window of opportunity is closing. The chaos of this final push against HYDRA may be the only chance to slip into the chamber and take advantage of the inattentiveness of the personnel within.

Not that they actually are that inattentive.

Agents Mark McLaren and Sarah Collingwood are reluctantly out of this fight, relying on their fellow agents to protect both them and the people they monitor and guard. They're armed, and they keep casting looks toward the exit that will all too quickly become an entrance for their enemies if their friends fail. But most of their attention is filled with the well-being of May, Morse, Carter, Fitz, and so many others -- mainly because May's vitals are spiking, as are Morse's and Hunter's. Carter and Sousa remain highly elevated, but within acceptable limits... barely. Simmons and Johnson are also stressed, though less so than any of the others, save Fitz himself. Indeed, of all of them, Fitz is the only one who seems to be keeping his cool.

Given everything Collingwood and McLaren have seen from inside the matrix, they do not take that as a good thing.


Down that corridor where the power station lies, the opposite side of the floor to the pod chamber, the teleporter arrives with the man with carbon skin. He steps back in time for another mutant to BLINK in -- her javelin aimed at that bomb the carbon-skinned man holds. The bomb disappears, but the others do not. They still have a job to do, bomb or not.

The Sphere must be destroyed. And with it, the Framework.

So, the teleporter ripples away, appearing with another >>ssssskTHOOM<< behind her. He attempts to wrap his arms around her and teleport her away entirely, while the other man leans down to touch the heavy basalt rock with one hand. The skin on his hand transforms and he turns toward the main powerstation, pulling back a fist and beginning to pummel it savagely, heedless of whatever danger he may be in.

Which is more than he thinks, given how one of the rock walls glows and suddenly explodes as Carol Danvers focuses her considerable frustration at it... and what they find behind it.

Lights on the small, old, nuclear generator start to light up with elevated red warnings all over the place.


The voice, a smooth, female alto that would be lovely on a 1-900 number, sounds entirely calm and unconcerned at the fact a nuclear explosion is imminent beneath the city of New York.

James Barnes has posed:
    Is he still alive? Bucky is so still and pale that it's hard to believe that he might be. A little trail of blood runs out of one corner of his mouth and one nostril, wet and brighter against the rest of the dried red flakes on his face. But damned if he doesn't look a little like he's still smiling? Dead, alive and unconscious, does it matter? It wouldn't to him as long as he accomplished what he set out to do. He did that, for the moment anyway, he's no danger to his friends.

Achilles has posed:
    Luck is a lot like Government. One should never rely upon it, but one cannot survive a battle without it. Angelo finds himself getting a lucky shot that hits the sniper. And he turns his attention outward. Standing tall, he sweeps his aim about, loosing arrows at enemy targets as they present themselves.

    At the moment, he is trusting his back to Jessica. He has no idea about the Bloodsuckingbird doing it's fast charge her way. No one person can keep track of -everything- going on in a battle. And he totally missed the birdybird as he stepped to the railing and aimed downwards, picking out targets as best he can.

    Into his comm, he says, "Danvers. Can you get whatever is about to go boom out of here? Or suck up enough power to make it not go boom?" even as he calmly shoots one arrow after another.

Jessica Drew has posed:
The shoulder wound leaks blood, adding to Jessica's discomfort. The techs will likely burn this armored suit filled with sweat and blood when they get out of here. Optimist.

Nudging, the downed man with a booted foot, Jess assures herself they were down. On a cape scale of one to ten, their assailants had been an unexpected six.

In the maelstrom of the fight her spider sense hasn't stopped its tingle. She circles in place, looking for a place to jump down to the level below them, unaware of the menace buzzing her way, one more threat in the overwhelming noise of the fight.

The voice announcing imminent overload decides her. As she is about to jump, a buzzing fills her ears. Instinctively, she ducks, she might be part spider, but she has never been a fan of bees or whatever it is making a beeline towards her.

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    Going up against another teleporter Clarice knows will be an issue, so she doesn't stay where she is for long. As soon as the javelin was let fly, she blinks to the otherside of the corridor - landing beside the carbon-skinned mutant as he begins to pummel the machine with a rocky fist. Of course, this is also when part of the corridor she's in abruptly collapses - she's glad she hadn't been standing //there.// "Bad idea, buddy," she mutters - reaching out to touch him with one hand, and simultaneously jab him with the javelin held in her other hand. "I'm sorry," she adds softly. Part of his body, she tries to blink right where she'd been standing a moment before, on or possibly even //in// the other teleporter. The other half, she just sends //away//. It's not clear to where.
    And then she blinks out once more - glancing around for the girl, hoping she's coallesced. Hoping she has a target - to send away to safety.

Carol Danvers has posed:
Well perhaps she overdid that blast a bit.

It was super effective against the HYDRA forces she was dealing with. It also cut her the path she wanted to the sound of the teleporter. She is also >mostly< sure that the Carbon-skinned meta/mutant is the one who managed to redline the power containment field around the nuclear reactor.

<<Some javalin wielding teleporter seems to be fighting two of the Hydra assets bringing down the reactor>>

<<I got eyes on the problem though. I doubt I can pull the nuclear reactor out of here and our friends need power to stay to the Framework to not have it catasrophically fail.>>

She launches herself down the rockfall she caused headed straight for the reactor though and the Carbon-Basalt Meta.

<<I'll think of something>>

Which is when Blink maybe solves half the equation if she is successful.

Regardless though Carol has a nuclear reactor that is not doing well.

She places her hands where the Carbon skinned meta/mutant was pummeling and starts to absorb all of the excess and more. Trying to bring the reactor down to stable levels on the fly. "Drecking FRacking..." muttering to herself as she focuses.

Sam Wilson has posed:
    Sure, yeah, Sam's upset. Upset really doesn't even cover it. But the thing is, Sam's been in this exact situation before: partner downed (dead?), Sam on his own, and guess what?

    Sam finished that mission. He's not going to stop until this one is done, too.

    Rather than try to block the super soldier's punches himself, Sam brings his wings up in a protective huddle around himself. The Falcon wings aren't vibranium or anything but they've been redesigned and rebuilt tougher, so they can absorb the impact of a few super soldier hits before Sam pops back up into the air, both SMGs in his hands. His thrusters propel him backwards as he unloads what remains of both magazines in the super soldier's direction.

    Today is *not* a day for half-measures.

Lois Lane has posed:
The HYDRA soldiers have mostly done their job, which is delaying the SHIELD team long enough that they can enact the kill protocol power wise. Angelo isn't being near so overwhelmed as he was and the few remaining left are being more careful about it, ducking out from behind posts and railings to take pot shots at the super soldier where they can, but no one is chasing him. The sniper has been neutralized and that was a large win.

The bird, however, is diving hard towards Jessica. The woman's spidey senses are the only thing that save her from getting impaled as the bird's beak skims her shoulder instead of diving straight into the attractive wound. It does mean that there's still a 4-foot-and-change, all muscle and wings little mutant body slamming hard into her to topple them both to the ground. The control collar around the mutant's throat scrapes over Jessica's cheek, a horrible reminder that no one wants to be here.

The Super Soldier thought he was doing the right thing by suppressing Sam through the punches. He was really just trying to keep Falcon busy, but then suddenly Falcon isn't there. A surprised sound escapes his lips as the bird-like man sails up, and then he's going down in a hail of bullets from both Sam and Angelo. He cries out in pain, crumpling on the floor. Two other HYDRA agents take shots at Sam from behind the railings of upper levels, but they aren't the sniper. They're just trying to get him distrated so he can't help the others. It's a desperate last stand.

Melinda May has posed:
With Gayle out of the way, it gives a path for more HYDRA agents to come closer to the door. Sharon was hell bent on defending it with her life; so each pop of her gun was fired off with percision as she keeps one arm closed to her hip. The falling body of Bucky nearly stops her assault, one agent clearing the threshold which was immediately taken care of with the thrown knife, Sharon not rushing to Bucky's side but warily keeping her eye on him..

..and RIP Redwing.

Sharon switches the clip out of her sidearm and slowly approaches Bucky, his final words have her worrying upon her bottom lip, eyebrows already at an inward downturn to deal with the pain from the concussed blasts and the sidearm is slowly aimed towards her friend. "Bucky..."

The order comes over the speaker.. Sharon's jaw clenches.. and she slowly approaches. "James.. can you hear me?" Hell, is he dead?


Half of the carbon-skinned mutant lands... well, wherever that javelin takes him. The other half collapses beneath the rockfall from Carol's blast. The shadowy teleporter starts to pursue Blink, porting in and around her, attempting to strike her with shafts of quantum energy that can split her cells apart at a molecular level, if they hit. But as he realizes that the reactor is approaching critical mass and the man he was sent to protect is dead... he teleports away to safety, disappearing with an implosion of air.


Meanwhile, the energy Carol siphons is enough to cool the reactor. Slowly, lights turn from red to yellow, though the alarm continues to sound. It's working. It's going to take time. And power throughout the facility flickers briefly as a result.

James Barnes has posed:
    Bucky's eyes snap open. He sucks in a gasping breath. Had he maybe not been breathing? Well he is now. He looks a little crazed, or maybe that's confused. He hasn't tried to move or sit up yet. Bewilderment dances in those pale blues of his when they focus on Sharon. The hell, where is he? What just happened? "Did we kill the vampires?" he asks.
    Yes, it's Bucky. He's confused and still horribly injured, maybe even still mortally so from the way he starts to cough, blood spraying with every forced exhale?

Jessica Drew has posed:
They go over the edge. It would make a beautiful circus act; Jessica spread-eagled in space, looking up into the razor-sharp beak angled at her shoulder. Her reserves are low, the pain in her shoulder lessening but sharp as she reaches for the collar around the birdwoman's neck.

There is beauty in the deadly menace. With a pang of regret, Jess simultaneously strikes at the birdwoman's head, twisting it to one side, pushes her fingers under the collar, and pulses a jolt of bio-electric energy into the rig. It shorts.

Jess pulls her legs in and wraps her arms around herself, a spider falling precipitously cut off from its web, plunging towards the lowest floors of the Sphere. She thinks she is losing consciousness as the lights flicker in the facility.

Achilles has posed:
    Well, when one has a bow that magically doesn't run out of ammunition, one can play sniper in his own right. As such, Angelo keeps aiming down at the attackers below. And that is when he notices Jessica falling with the little bird girl.

    "Zeus's Beard." he mutters as he turns and takes aim. He almost fires before he notices the energy arcing over the collar. So he waits... holding his fire to see how the bird thing reacts. If it decided to keep fighting, he'll reluctantly fire a few arrows at the thing. Carefully of course. No sense in pincushioning Jessica after all.

Carol Danvers has posed:
Carol clenches her jaw and holds one hand against the reactor shielding and narrows her eyes.


That uh.. power flicker was probably not too bad for The Framework she hopes. I mean something that complex has to have battery backups and some redundancies right.

<<Okay. Reactor is .. back to yellow not red line now. I'm holding it in tolerable levels. I can't really step away though unless I can bring it back down to green and I can patch some of the damage.>>

There is a bit of a quiet grumble now and she starts to channel some of the energy very slowly, very carefully, back into repairing the reactor shielding as well. Siphon and slowly fix.

This will take some time.

She does fully engage her suit though in the meantime, covering her face with her mask and giving her more sensors to watch what she is doing.

Sam Wilson has posed:
    The EXO-7 suit is back online, the super soldier between Sam and the rest of the action is dead in a spray of bullets, and nothing is stopping him from rejoining the fray. What he really wants to do is fly down to ground level but he's trying to bank on the hope that Bucky's alive down there.

    He's survived worse falls, right?

    <<Sharon, you got eyes on Buck? What's his status?>>

    Sam can't spare the time to look, and it's not because he worries about what he might see. His medical background makes him too pragmatic for that kind of thing. There's still a hell of a lot of gunfire and chaos between Sam and the bottom of the Sphere, is all, and he's up near the top, swooping around the catwalks. His SMGs are empty but he has a few mini-rockets left, and the grapple wire in his other gauntlet, so he's either blowing up any remaining HYDRA goons he can get a bead on or dragging them off the upper platforms to send them rather ungainly towards the walls.

    He's locked in with a laser focus, the last rushing thread of adrenaline heightening his senses and reaction time. And then he sees someone else falling.

    This time he's not going to let them hit the ground. He dives, thrusters roaring after Jessica, and it's not exactly a gentle collision in midair but he catches her, arms wrapped tight. His shoulder is screaming at him for it and some other injuries from his previous impact against a wall are making themselves known but he ignores the pain as he tucks his wings in to a sharp turn.

    Their momentum is transferred from the z-axis to the x, and Sam touches down on a much lower level of the Sphere, letting Jessica go once they're on solid footing. "You good?" he asks.

    So long as she's able to stand up and answer under her own power, Sam will nod and take a running leap off the edge, back out into empty air. His thrusters re-engage and he's back in the fight.

Lois Lane has posed:
The pressure is off. The core is going cool again and HYDRA's last stand attempt to destroy this place has failed. It means those who are important enough to return for punishment? They are starting to be quickly withdrawn. Those who know they have failed and their lives are forfeit? Well, suddenly there is the sound of snapping jaws from multiple directions. Foam bubbles over lips as bodies bonelessly fall dead to the ground, their cyanide pills having done the job when they failed to do their's. The amount of blood and bodies splattering the side walls of the sphere, not to mention pooling on the floor, is a lot. The room smells like copper and ozone.

Clarice Ferguson has posed:
    Clarice's eyes scan the chaos wildly - watching for the teleporter, but searching... searching for just one thing- THERE.
    She spots the girl cowering behind some equipment, and a look of pity crosses her feature. Poor child. But, hopefully, the nightmare is almost over. She throws a pair of javelins now - one flies a milisecond before the other, striking the collar and blinking it away. Who knows what the collar does? But she imagine tracking might be one function. The next javelin hits the girl, whole blinks away surrounded by a haze of purple energy, sent to a location where a small team of Brotherhood mutants are waiting to subdue anyone Clarice manages to send their way.
    If she saves any of them today, let it be the girl.
     Something falling past her vision catches her vision next - and Clarice turns her attention just in time to see the bird-like woman go sailing past her. She hastily pulls one of her last javelins from her quiver, and throws it - aiming at the girl. The girl will find herself abruptly falling //upwards// from just above the surface of a remote, sandy beach - until gravity stops her momentum and pulls her back down. It should be a relatively soft fall, but whether she'll survive the explosive device still planted within her is unclear.

Jessica Drew has posed:
"Ouch. Just ouch," Jess murmurs as Sam snaps her out of the fall. Then, head craned back in his awkward embrace, Jess scans above them for the birdwoman who blinks out of existence before her eyes.

Once her feet are down, Jessica clears her throat, bemused at having been saved from a fall. "Good catch. I'm good. What's our status?" The last words addressed to his departing back.

Melinda May has posed:

<<"He's as good as can be.">> Sharon speaks up, emptying her clip. She pats herself down frantically, then slide-steps towards Bucky to kneel just when he offers those fated words. <<"He's good, he's awake but he's hurt.">> And to Bucky? "Nope. Now move your ass if you can! But..." She pats him down, looking for ammo, if she finds it. Good. If not...

The suicide squad rolls in, shots are fired, Sharon and covers the head of Bucky once the first row of shots come in. With her sidearm now tossed to the side, Sharon reaches back for her katana, drawing it out of the sheath.

And she doesn't even know how to properly use the damn thing!

"Buck, you make it to my family and make sure they're safe."

With those parting words, she was finally able to leave her spot at the door and Bucky's side, dashing in with tactical dodges and the blade raised to recklessly strike. While she wasn't a Widow, there was hope that she'd keep up with them just fine. For there was a lot of swearing, a lot of yelling, and definitely a lot of blood.


Clint drops the rifle as Sara charges the supersoldiers, pulling a pistol from a shoulder holster and keeps the door covered as the Witchblade makes short, messy work of the attempted charge. That group down, he looks around, sees a lack of further attackers, and sinks down to sit on the floor. Replacing the gun in it's holster, he clicks onto comms.

<<"Barton. We need medics on the ground floor, multiple agents down.">>


But in the end... SHIELD stands victorious. The final suicide squads are put down. Agents find medical attention. Captain Marvel's efforts do not go amiss, though they will take some time to complete. The child with the refractive eyes, irridescent wings, and blurry form is spirited away by a silvery javelin and a burst of purple energy. As for the bird girl? Well... it's a roll of the dice, really. How good is the Brotherhood, anyway?

Fire continues to crackle overhead, eventually shut down by the Sphere's own efforts. The AI that runs it -- and they know there's an AI that runs it -- clearely hoped HYDRA might succeed. Now, however? It needs this base standing just a little longer. So SHIELD gets a reprieve...

For now.