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All Infinity Stone Sales Are Final (M)

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Offline EvilCopepod

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It was wasteful already how Steve had killed his other two creations, but this one was more difficult to replace, and the man seemed intent on killing this one too even though he was unarmed. He had kept a watch on where the venom had spattered, in hopes that the man would accidentally get it into a wound, but he was well aware of it being there as he used it against the bear. He knew it wouldn't be enough to take down the large animal, but it would make it slower and easier to evade.

The beast didn't seem much affected by the punch to the gut, except instead of getting the foul tasting substance out of its mouth, it bit down. It started to drool copiously, and it wobbled somewhat, but it didn't go down. Instead, it wrapped its arms around Steve as its jaw started to go slack from the neurotoxin. Its hold wasn't as strong as it could have been, but it squeezed him hard, not enough to break bones but enough to make it difficult to breath.


Offline Aries Jordan

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The huge arms tightened around him and Steve felt the air being squeezed out of his lungs, but he could go a long time without air and had plenty of fight left in him.  His right arm was trapped, but his left was free (though massively bruised), having been jammed down the bear-creature's slackening jaws.

There was only one vulnerable target within reach, however.  It was gruesome, and Steve wouldn't have done it if he'd had any other option, but this was life and death.  He tightened his middle and forefinger together into a unit and stabbed the bear through the eye with it.

The eye burst and spattered, the bear roared with pain, but its grip didn't slacken.  Grimly, Steve kept shoving forward, keeping the bear from biting him and  trying to push through the bone at the back.  The fight turned into a race between him reaching the creature's brain, and passing out from lack of oxygen.

He might have won, except for the wound that the bear had inflicted already.  Bloodloss was weakening him. Even worse, some of the leftover snake venom, mixed with the bear's copious saliva, flowed down his armor and dripped into the wound.  Paralysis crept into him from the center outward.

About forty seconds later, he was on the floor with the bear draped heavily  over him.  He was unconscious.  It was dead.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2019, 05:29:50 PM by Aries Jordan »


Offline EvilCopepod

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The darkness of the room, the size of the bear creature, and the odd angle that the camera was capturing all made it difficult for him to see what was happening to them. He was certain that the bear would take him down, with the serum in him he doubted it would kill him, but a shattered rib cage would make the soldier much easier to handle. His many experiments on the animal made him very familiar with the sounds of pain it made, and he knew that it had been hurt when it roared, though he couldn't see the damage. When the bear fell, obviously dead, he expected to see Steve shove it off and continue on whatever mission he was on, but it was entirely still in the room.

He called on some of the other agents, and with much trouble they managed to pull Steve out from underneath the bear, Zola wasted no time in having them take him to the lab and strap him down tight to a cold, metal slab of a table. The restraints were made of steel, and went around his wrists, ankles, and waist, Zola had removed anything that could possibly be a weapon, including the strange device around his wrist.

After he was sure that Steve was properly restrained, he ordered the agents away to clean up the mess in the other room. It would take all of them to move the large beast's body, and he wasn't concerned about there being questioning about the chaos, as it could easily be blamed on the intruder. Around Steve, there were several cages, some empty, others having animals within them, the majority of them didn't look natural. There were beakers with unknown substances, many wicked looking surgical tools, and machinery that looked too advanced for this age. Before Steve woke up, Zola took a small sample of blood, but there wasn't much for him to risk taking, even though the bleeding had stopped he wanted to give him time for his healing to work.

Zola was currently trying to open the suitcase that had been taken from Steve, but it seemed locked by some mechanism he had never seen before, which was rare given that SHIELD held most of the secret advances on technology, and he had access to SHIELD's information. He glanced up occasionally at Steve to see if he was waking up, but otherwise didn't try and disturb him.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2019, 09:53:35 PM by EvilCopepod »


Offline Aries Jordan

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When Steve woke, he felt dizzy , numb and weak, the result of the neurotoxin still working through his system, as well as loss of blood, although the wound had already clotted thanks to the serum.  For a moment he couldn't do more than squint at the bright lights overhead and tug without much strength at the steel bands holding him to the table.  He'd broken out of shackles before but he'd been in better condition then.

He was still in the scale armor outfit, now bloodstained in several places, but the quantum GPS was missing and so, of course, was the briefcase.  He turned  his head one way and saw the cages full of monstrosities on that side, then the other way and saw Dr. Armin Zola fiddling with the case. 

"You," he said with disgust.  "How has Peggy not figured out yet what you are?" 

He didn't know that Peggy had never really trusted Zola, but had been overruled about him, first by her superiors at the SSR, then by Howard Stark and the other scientists at SHIELD who were eager to have their own pet reformed-Nazi scientist, like NASA had Werner von Braun.

He wasn't too worried about the case, which was locked with signature nanotech and would only respond to him.  Plus if Zola did get it open, there was an even chance he'd destroy himself.  The Power Stone, the Reality Stone, the Space Stone, any one of them would do the job if he touched them.  Even one of the others might -- Steve didn't know what they'd do, and even Tony wouldn't experiment on them directly.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2019, 04:18:09 PM by Aries Jordan »


Offline EvilCopepod

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Zola had been examining the case much more intently, thinking he might be close to opening it, then Steve suddenly spoke and it made him start a bit. He readjusted his glasses and turned to the man that was strapped down, Steve looked like he hadn't aged a day, something which Zola attributed to Erskine's formula, as even with the serum he used on Barnes the man had to be continually frozen as there was no guarantee that he would remain youthful.

"Fortunately, we are in entirely different divisions." Zola wasn't fond of any of the Americans, but he knew that if Peggy worked any closer to him, he wouldn't be allowed to even alter the fur color of a lab rat. He had expected that Steve would be upset about him messing with the case, or even warn him of something dangerous inside of it. His lack of concern made him take up the spacetime GPS instead, which was much more responsive. He did not recognize the technology at first, but then he found something very familiar, pulling it out cautiously.

"And what are you doing with Pym Particles?" he asked, holding up the red vial and looking to the soldier. He had no illusions that Dr. Pym had trusted Steve with them, he did not trust anyone with them, which made it impossible for HYDRA to get their hands on any. Even Zola knew better than to try and steal them, as Hank would personally search the entire compound and anyone in it during the time it went missing, and there was no place to hide it from him.


Offline Aries Jordan

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Steve was alarmed when Zola started playing with the GPS.  If he pushed the wrong button on that thing, he'd send himself to the year 2012 and leave Steve stranded in 1970 with a case full of Infinity Stones and no way to deliver them.  His unease showed on his face and in the way he tried harder to break the restraints.  "Don't mess with that!" he advised.  "You won't like it."

Zola might have realized he should be alarmed to see Pym Particles here, because Hank Pym must have discovered by now that some of his were missing, although these were not the same ones that Steve had stolen when he had been here before.  Steve didn't bother to lie because he knew he was no good at it.  "That's not something I can tell you."

The adrenaline was helping to clear his head and burn the toxin out.  He started making more determined efforts against the steel bands, the muscle bulging in his forearms and pectorals.


Offline EvilCopepod

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"I am not in the habit of pressing buttons of things I do not understand." Zola replied, as he was being careful not to activate anything, but he was able to make out words on the thing. He didn't say them out loud, instead he worked on finding the power source for it, it was possible that the Pym Particles were the power source, but he didn't know enough about the substance to confirm it.

"You did not use them." Zola observed. If he had used them as Hank did, he wouldn't have been caught, and taking out the creatures would have been much easier. Stealing was not Steve's style, not unless it was necessary, and Zola had yet to be informed that Hank had used them for anything nefarious, so he must need them for some purpose.

"I didn't think I would be keeping a super soldier in here." Zola said as Steve struggled, "Those won't hold you once you've regained your strength, I'll need my assistant to keep you in check. Auskommen."

Several clawed fingers slipped through the bars of one of the larger cages, nimbly undoing the latch on them before it was swung open and one of the creatures climbed out. It was larger than the dogs, but smaller than the bear, it was on all fours but stood upon its knuckles rather than its palms, its face was visibly canine, but it had a body more similar to an ape.

"Bein. Leicht." The creature hopped forward, slamming a fist down hard on Steve's leg, almost hard enough to shatter a normal man's leg, letting out an ape-like hoot of amusement. Unlike the other two kinds of creatures he faced, this one seemed to actually take pleasure in harming him, as it pressed down several times on the leg it had hit before Zola told it to stop.

"You can sit there quietly, Captain, or struggle and be broken to keep you in place." The scientist wasn't worried about breaking Steve beyond repair, if something did grow back wrong it could simply be broken again and set correctly. He'd learned much from Fennhoff, but he was certain that Steve would be much more difficult to control than Barnes, and he would need much time to work on him. The main issue was getting him out of the base without attracting too much attention, as there were many people here that knew Steve personally, and wouldn't give a damn if he'd set fire to the whole building as long as he was back.

"I can guess how you survived the crash, but how did you make it here?" The serum could keep him alive, but even Steve would find swimming through hundreds of miles of Arctic waters challenging.


Offline Aries Jordan

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Steve had barely even considered using the Pym Particles.  He would've had to switch out of his armor into his quantum suit first, which would have offered the dogs a prime opportunity to bite him, plus though he had been careful to take more particles than he technically needed, that didn't mean he could afford to waste them.

He struggled even harder while the animal was letting itself out of its cage in the faint hope of breaking free first, but he was still too weak.  He understood Zola's use of simple German.  To see if the animal would respond to anyone, he tried "Halt!" but that, of course, did not work.

The animal not only seemed to enjoy hurting him, but to know quite well how to do it, for it targeted the nerve cluster in the center of his thigh -- about the most painful place it could punch without picking a spot that would have caused him serious injury.  The yelp that escaped Steve had as much to do with surprise as anything, though, because he then compressed his lips and remained stoically silent while his vision turned white from the pain while the ape-thing was aggravating the hurt it had inflicted.

He was breathing hard, but quietly and evenly for a few seconds after that.  "That was...twenty-five years ago," he said as to the crash.  "How do you think I got here?"  Although he wasn't any good at lying he hoped by being mysterious to make Zola's overactive imagination work to make him paranoid and hopefully careless.  "This is technology you've never seen before, Doctor.  HYDRA doesn't know everything about SHIELD."


Offline EvilCopepod

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Zola was quiet as he thought over the possibilities, the numbers on the device were easy to figure out, month day and year, but the issue with them was that they were from a time that had yet to exist. This, paired along with the fact that Steve was here, looking nearly the same as he had the last time Zola had seen him, brought him to a single conclusion. Time travel was one of the things that had been proposed during the Nazi regime, along with many other ludicrous ideas, but Zola had never worked on it or heard anything about someone getting close to it. The Pym Particles, he knew, went against the laws of physics themselves, so it wasn't so far fetched to believe they could be used to alter the laws of time. Even if he didn't think SHIELD had developed time devices now, they wouldn't have to, not if they developed it in the future.

"And what are you doing with this technology?" he asked. "Why are you here now?" As he suspected, Zola was wondering why Steve was coming to this exact time, to when his experiments were finally being allowed. If Steve told the others not to trust Zola... well, it would certainly be different than Peggy trying to warn them.


Offline Aries Jordan

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"It's nothing to do with you," Steve answered, fortunately still able to speak truthfully.  If he had been out to get Zola, there were certainly easier ways than smuggling himself  onto the base to confront him in his lab without anyone else at SHIELD finding out he was there.  "A much bigger, more universal threat is required before this kind of technology is deployed.  If I don't accomplish my mission, it's very possible that the Earth will be destroyed."

Of course, if this timeline went more or less the same way the prime one did, Zola would be dead before then, but he didn't need to mention that.

"And that means, no chance for HYDRA either," he added.


Offline EvilCopepod

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Zola didn't know Steve well enough, especially not one that had traversed through time, to know he was awful at lying. So he wasn't going to take him at his word that this was a mission to save the planet itself.

"So, I am to let you go then?" he asked, "Perhaps you would like a band-aid for your injuries as well?" He put on some gloves, picking up the vials of Pym Particles and wiping them down, not wanting his prints on them. They would be a valuable weapon to HYDRA, but not enough for the risk of exposing the organization, he'd have them placed somewhere innocuous, strewn upon the ground as if the thief had dropped them in their haste.

"If you cannot give me details, Captain Rogers, you cannot expect me to help you." He then added as he prepared a few more vials, wanting to take more samples from the man, "It was a poor choice to do such an important mission alone, and without your shield."


Offline Aries Jordan

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"That'd  be nice, but not strictly necessary."  Steve was eyeing Zola's creature while he surreptitiously tested the restraints.  If he could break free with one surge, he'd have a good chance.  But even at his best, it wasn't very likely. 

As he wasn't personally acquainted with Henry Pym and his obsession with keeping the Particles to himself, Steve wondered why Zola was wiping the vials.  He thought perhaps it was just a nervous habit, a scientific test-tube polishing thing.  He had never known why scientists polished test-tubes.  Sure, they needed to be clean, but hardly spotless.

"A mad alien from the planet Titan is going to snap his fingers and destroy half of all living things in the Universe because he believes that's the only way to save it.  Does that make you more inclined to help?"  It was a rhetorical question.  If Steve's actual presence along with impossible technology didn't convince Zola, nothing he said was likely make any difference.

Seeing what Zola was doing next -- preparing syringes as well as vials -- Steve guessed what he was after: trying to replicate Erskine's work.  He compressed his mouth into a firm line, bordering on contempt.  "Better men than you have tried that," he said.  "It didn't go well."

It was Zola's mention of his shield that made him remember the hammer.  He chuckled.  "I'm an idiot," he remarked, then relaxed, closed his eyes, and flexed the fingers of his right hand, inwardly calling.

Within a minute there came distant crashing sounds followed by remote startled yelps and screams, as Mjolnir smashed through steel, brick and stone on its way through the several underground levels separating it from Captain America.


Offline EvilCopepod

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The explanation of what was going to happen sounded incredibly far-fetched, and he wasn't sure how he was able to say it with a straight face. "How is he able to do that? And how would you being here be able to stop that?" He wasn't taking it as a literal snapping of fingers, thinking that Steve simply meant he could do it with ease. If he had some sort of alien technology capable of that, he didn't understand what it had to do with a small military base on their planet.

"...the cube." he said, with realization, having worked with it himself and seen the powers it had. He didn't have much interest in working with it anymore, as the power it held was best saved for a forceful take over, something HYDRA was no longer going for. Then Steve saw what he was planning to do, no doubt he would need to have his creature hold him still for any blood draw.

"We have different definitions of 'better men'." Before he could order the creature to restrain Steve, the man chuckled and closed his eyes, acting as if he had a plan. When the sounds began to come through the base, the animal hovering over Steve became agitated, distracted by the unknown threat. Zola didn't think that there was a weapon coming, it sounded more like an ally coming closer, he didn't have to wonder how they could burst through the base so easily if they were from the future.


Offline Aries Jordan

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Steve neither confirmed nor denied Zola's guess that the Tesseract was involved, but he was not much better at poker than he was at lying.  His honest face was enough to tell Zola he'd hit the bullseye.

He was reluctant to call the hammer -- it would destroy SHIELD property, draw unwanted attention to the base and generally freak everybody the hell out, but he didn't see any alternative.

He was lucky that Zola thought someone rather than something was on its way.  Mjolnir took long enough to get there that his creature could well have shattered a few of his bones if it hadn't been preparing to fight someone else.  But after a suitably dramatic pause, the hammer burst through the last layer of concrete and ceiling tile and slammed into Captain America's right hand

WHOMSOEVER HOLDS THIS HAMMER, IF HE BE WORTHY, SHALL POSSESS THE POWER OF THOR.

Steve flexed everything he had and burst the steel bands holding him down.  As the ape-thing attacked, he came up to meet it with a solid hammer to the jaw. 
« Last Edit: July 18, 2019, 12:23:22 AM by Aries Jordan »


Offline EvilCopepod

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Zola did what he could to prepare for the attack, which was to release all his hostile creations, these, however, were few and far between. There were only about three of them, and they were all smaller than the ape, as Zola had used his best and strongest against Steve. The man himself got a pistol, it was a standard one as he had never been able to large any weapons with recoil, and age certainly hadn't helped.

He hardly saw the blur of Mjolnir as it flew in, creating a hole much too small for anyone to fit through. And beyond the distant sounds of panic, there didn't seem to be anyone nearby.

The creature was strong, but it was still of flesh and bone, so the hammer shattered its jaw. It screamed in rage and pain, swinging its arms blindly to try and attack, hitting one of its fellow small creatures.

Zola would be lying if he said he had no idea what that weapon was, he had the inkling of the idea that it was the hammer Mjolnir, or one like it, as his work with Hitler had him studying many mythical objects, and the hammer was one of the things he'd desired. Without any proof, however, he couldn't come to that conclusion. He aimed his pistol at Steve, firing a few shots unsteadily at him.