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Age Of Ultron For Real [M]

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Offline Aries Jordan

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"Yes!  Do you have any other questions with obvious answers?" Nebula snapped.

When Peter slapped the package on Tony's chest, it rapidly expanded, encasing him in what looked like transparent blue bubble wrap.

"Is that a moron?" Rocket asked Nebula as he strapped into the pilot's chair of the Benetar.. "Okay, help is on its way.  Just stay alive until --"  The screen turned to static as Ultron successfully jammed the transmission.

With the bubble wrap spacesuit tenderly cradling his brain against g-force, Tony began to revive.  The first thing to come clear in his field of vision and conscious awareness was Peter crouching over him.

Whether Peter's worried and earnest brown-eyed face  was an illusion, a trick, hallucinatory wish-fulfillment, whether Peter was somehow really there, or even if Tony was about to find out he had been wrong all his life and there was an afterlife after all, Tony didn't bother to think about.  He didn't think at all, he just acted, reaching up to envelope Peter in a hug.

Trailing drones, the ship passed  the uppermost atmosphere.  The force of vacuum caused the cracked windshield to shatter completely, sucking all the air and everything not strapped down (or strong enough to hang on) off the bridge into space.

"Right engine failing," Nebula said over the comm, and the broken ship started to spin.

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"Ultron was trying to negotiate an unacceptable solution," Pepper said.  "If he'd tried for something more reasonable, it might have worked."  She agreed with Jocasta on the last point.  "You're probably right.  I think he would, at least now."  Though not as sad about it as Jocasta, she spoke solemnly out of respect for Jocasta's feelings.

"If it's less than an hour, I won't bother with any snacks."


Offline EvilCopepod

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"I have a lot, actually!" Peter replied, "Are we going to fly away into space? Is it safer out here?" He was assuming that Ultron had most of his robots on Earth, and that they would all have to fly up here to get him.

It had been nice when Tony had hugged him before, but Peter realized he hadn't appreciated it as much as he should have. So despite everything, when Tony suddenly hugged him, he hugged him back with equal tightness. He understood now how Tony had felt, to see him even though he had died right in front of him, and he didn't want to let go either.

Peter's assumption about space being Ultron-free was incorrect, however, one of the few things that Earth's leaders all seemed to agree on was an increased defense system when it came to extraterrestrials. Satellites in the upper atmosphere began to launch drones as well, so they were now coming from both sides of the spinning ship, firing and trying to grab onto and infiltrate it.

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"Given Tony's track record, I do not believe he would have kept his side of the deal of any agreement entirely." She didn't mean this as an insult, "He is far too active to do as others request of him. I am assuming he has used the phrase 'rules are meant to be broken' on occasion."

"Would it bother you if he killed Ultron?" she asked as she gathered several bags of non-perishable food in the arms of the drone. She then walked into the elevator and waited for Pepper to join her.


Offline Aries Jordan

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Tony became more aware of the immediate situation beyond Peter's presence.  Over the web-spinner's shoulder, he could see the bridge and Nebula and the shattered windshield and the Ultron drones swarming toward them or being flung off into space by centrifugal force.

"Who's in charge of this rescue?" he said as if about to complain to the manager.

"I am," said Nebula.  Simultaneously, JARVIS said, "That point has not been resolved."

"Okay.  JARVIS, can you get Parker out of here?"

"I do not see a way to do that successfully, sir.  There are too many drones."

"Left engine down," Nebula reported grimly.

"So I'm thinking blow up the ship," Tony said.  "But only if there is an adequate piece of shielding we can get behind."

"There isn't," Nebula said.

At this point, there was blossom of golden light on the horizon of the Earth below, and then Captain Marvel streaked toward the crippled ship, like an angelic hood ornament from the Art Deco era except for being on fire.  She was followed by the Benetar at a cautious distance, as Rocket wanted her to take the brunt of Ultron's fire.
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"I don't think he has, but he might consider it too obvious to need saying," Pepper sighed.

She remembered she was barefoot and slipped a pair of sandals on before joining Jocasta like an obedient little hostage.  "If I say yes to that, it would be evidence of Stockholm Syndrome," she said dryly. 

But after considering it for a minute or two, she answered truthfully.  "I would be grieved for you.  I would sympathize with your loss.  I would also mourn... not Ultron as he is now so much, but the loss of his potential.  What he could have become.  But honestly, even that much regret would be overwhelmed by the relief I would feel that I was free and that Tony was safe."


Offline EvilCopepod

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"Not without you." Peter said, serious, since the man was already trying to sacrifice himself. Some of the Ultron drones that had managed to hold onto the ship began to fire at Tony, their shots were brief and well apart since the current environment made aiming difficult. Peter was able to deflect two with the arms on the suit, but couldn't keep one from hitting him as he worked to keep Tony from being hit.

The drones responded quickly to the arrival of the others, instead of firing at Carol they gathered together, spreading a forcefield in front of them to try and slow down her progress. The ships that were piloted by humans were catching up as well, and began firing at the Benetar and Nebula's ship from below.

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Jocasta took time to consider all of her words as well, not responding until they had reached their floor, she looked down as the door slid open. It lead to an underground area that was filled with drones, it appeared that they had been working down here, but were now hurrying about and packing things up.

"Understood." she said, her voice hollow. "My current emotions are illogical even for a human. I will admit to having developed Lima Syndrome. I would be upset at the loss of Tony's life even if it meant that Ultron would be safe. Even though he has no longer has any extrinsic value besides making you happy."


Offline Aries Jordan

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"Pete!"  Tony struggled with his restraint harness and more or less clawed it off to reach Peter.  Spider-Man wasn't likely to be hurt much by a mere repulsor blast, but the emergency spacesuits they were wearing looked like they could tear as easily as bubblewrap, and exposure to vacuum would definitely kill Spider-Man.  "JARVIS, I need control over my nanotech!" he said, checking to see if Peter's suit was compromised.

"Very good, sir.  I am making contact now.  Relay orders."

Though her ship had no weapons, Nebula herself was well-armed.  Using the helm for cover, she started firing her blaster pistol through the big hole in the windshield at any drones that presented themselves as a target. 

Carol chuckled at the drones' attempt to slow her down.  Her power derived from the Space Stone.  Nothing stopped her from going anywhere she wanted.  A little more power and she glowed too brightly for her human form to be seen as she smashed straight through the forcefield.  She had to tone it down to land on top of Nebula's crippled ship without destroying it, and began projecting energy outward to destroy Ultron's drones and incoming missiles.

"We're under attack from some crappy-looking ships," Rocket observed.  "Returning fire."

"No!" said Cap, from the command chair.  "No human casualties!"

"I don't know why I listen to you," Rocket grumbled.  "Taking evasive action, Your Rectitude."

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Pepper's eyes stung.  A rush of sympathy made her want to hug Jocasta, although she knew it was irrational.  She had to laugh when Jocasta said Tony had no extrinsic value, but it seemed tacky to argue about it now.  "Does Ultron know you feel that way?"


Offline EvilCopepod

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"I'm fine!" Peter insisted, the space suit wasn't damaged, thankfully, "You can't let yourself get thrown off the ship!" Even with the ability to breathe and withstand the vacuum of space, he'd be an easy target for the drones. Between Nebula's shots, Peter was firing webbing to keep the drones from coming in, as well as prevent any further shattering of the windshield.

The drones kept on coming, and emboldened by the lack of attacks, the human piloted ships began flying closer to the others.

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Jocasta took the laugh the wrong way, understanding it as a confirmation of her foolishness. She walked forward, clutching the snacks in her arms a bit too hard, heading toward the ship.

"Yes, he does." she replied, "He cautioned me against it. He said that humans as they are will not value our lives as their own. I assumed he was being pessimistic, but I think I understand what he means now."


Offline Aries Jordan

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Tony was relieved to find Spider'Man's suit undamaged.  Now he wouldn't have to open his own suit so that he could projectile-vomit a stream of nanotech onto it.  Since the air had already been sucked out of the bridge, he wasn't in any danger of being thrown clear by explosive decompression, but the ship had also lost gravity, so he could drift or be knocked out if he wasn't careful.  He heeded Peter's warning and grabbed onto the back of his chair.  "Was that Danvers?  JARIVS, make contact."

"We are re-entering the atmosphere with no engines!" Nebula said, between carefully placed shots.  "If we don't get off this ship soon, we'll burn up!"

Rocket noticed the problem too.  "We gotta get them off of there soon.  Any suggestions?"

"Yeah," said Cap, but he touched his mike and relayed it to Danvers.  "OK, we're going to have to engage Ultron for a bit.  Get on it, Rocket."

The Benetar began aggressively targeting drones.  Carol, though still firing photon blasts whenever she had to defend herself or the other targets, got behind the bridge.  Using only muscle, she ripped the bridge free of the rest of the ship, letting the bigger piece drop to burn up in the atmosphere.  The remaining piece was small enough for her to support easily.  Skimming the atmosphere, she bent and welded the various parts of the prow together to compensate for the missing windshield and protect the people inside.
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Pepper saw the change in Jocasta's posture and guessed she had been insensitive.  "I'm sorry, Jocasta.  Did I hurt you?  I only laughed because you said Tony had no value."

She caught up with the Jocasta drone and touched her arm.  "You seem very human to me.  Valuable, I mean.  Your existence worth protecting."


Offline EvilCopepod

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Peter had begun to web some of the debris from Ultron's drones, as the pieces that got inside of the ship despite being blown apart were setting off his Spider-sense, even a few managed to move a bit before he got webbing on them.

"Is there a Plan B?!" Peter asked. He had faith in Carol, but he didn't exactly feel secure on a slab of metal entering the atmosphere from space. The human piloted ships began directing their attacks toward the Benetar further, though a few broke off to try and stop the broken ship that was hurtling toward the Earth.

The drones were repairing rapidly, although not fully functional, their magnets allowed them to pull pieces together to form bodies that could provide shields for the ones still fully functional. When Carol managed to break the bridge free, the drones all converged into a large mass, pulling along the shattered pieces of the broken drones as they formed a battering ram to slam hard into the side of the bridge.

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"I am sorry for misunderstanding. I am still learning how to understand and read what people mean. I did not intend for it to be a joke." Jocasta seemed to be relieved by the clarification.

"Thank you. I was unsure if you thought that." she said, shifting the items so that she could mimic the action on Pepper's arm, "I also should not expect you to understand how things feel for me, as I cannot always understand what you feel. I discussed this with Tony. We are very different, but we are both valuable."

She walked into the ship, there were several open chairs to sit on, except the one that had Deadpool strapped in like a lockpicking toddler. He had mostly healed from the injury on Nebula's ship, but he was still disorientated and babbling nonsense.

"We will leave shortly. Please choose whichever unoccupied seat you would like."


Offline Aries Jordan

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Tony shrugged.  "I was astonished to find out there was a Plan A."

"Yes," Nebula said, blasting another drone.  "Die."

"Every time I run into you, that's what we seem to be doing," Tony said to her. 

Nebula smiled, briefly and grudgingly.

"Anyway, Danvers says she's busy and not to worry about it," Tony added.

The next second, he was flying at the wall as the combined-drone battering ram slammed into the side of the crude hollow ball of metal that the bridge had been turned into.  Since they were in zero-gee and not braced against anything, the blow hardly damaged the craft at all, merely knocked it away like an eight-ball hit with a pool cue.  The people inside the bridge, however, were still subject to the laws of physics.  Nebula was holding onto a brace with her metal hand and only suffered some minor wrenching damage to her cybernetic joints, but Tony wasn't strong enough to hang on.

Carol, who could move faster than light speed in vacuum, wasn't even inconvenienced by it.  But since Ultron had obligingly gathered a bunch of his drones in a nice, tightly clustered formation, she took a second out to cook them all.  She switched her energy blasts from light to heat, and sent enough at them to melt every last circuit into slag.

Meanwhile, Rocket wasn't having much trouble with the human-piloted ships.  The ships themselves were well made and well armed, but the pilots had little or no experience in space.  Rocket, cybernetically designed to fly spaceships and a veteran of several battles, was flying rings around them while the rest of the Avengers manned the guns and blasted away at the drones.
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"I'm sorry I can't feel the same way about Ultron," Pepper told Jocasta.  "He also seems very human to me... but not in a good way, I'm afraid."

She chose a seat facing Deadpool, close enough to talk to him, but not for him to reach her.  "Are you okay?" she asked him, pushing the hair out of her face.

« Last Edit: August 10, 2020, 12:03:19 PM by Aries Jordan »


Offline EvilCopepod

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Peter was still worried, though not as much as he should be, because even though Ultron was a threat, he was no Thanos. But he didn't know exactly how much of a threat he was, JARVIS' vague description hadn't given him enough to work off of. He was jerked to the side as the drones crashed into them, but it was more likely that what he was bracing himself on would break loose than he would.

He still went flying almost as soon as they were hit, though, since he spotted Tony drifting off and launched himself after him. He practically crashed into the man, wrapping his arms around them before aiming a hand back at the ship and firing a web, anchoring them to it uncertainly.

A few drones managed to escape the melting, and after realizing they were shooting as well as spy-movie goons, the ships began retreating toward Earth and firing at Danvers and the ship instead.

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"That is unfortunate, but we are not human. Even so, his life is worth preserving." When she sat down, Jocasta gave her a bag of chips. The mercenary did try to reach for her when she sat, fighting against the binds, but when Jocasta gave him his own bag it was clear that's what he was trying to get as he struggled to open the bag. Deadpool shook his head when she spoke to him, squinting through the blood in front of the eyeholes of his mask to try and see who was talking to him.

"I'm alright. Just had a little disagreement with the missus." he replied, tearing the bag completely and spilling chips everywhere. "How about you? Woken up to Ultron watching you sleep yet or any missing personal items?"