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Nikolai "Demo" Markov



Ashford Institute for the Gifted

Interactions: @Almalthia

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Nik lowered his hand from the button on his wireless earbuds, his head nodding in time with the opening guitar riff. He flashed a small smile as he looked at the course in front of him in the danger room. Basic simulation. Piece of cake.... and right up his alley. He simply had to get from one virtual rooftop to another through a busy market of sorts. Meant to emphasize control, and a fine tuning of his powers. Something Tabitha, the prof running the simulation today, very much supported. Within a moment, Nik shot forward. He sprinted at full speed to the edge of the roof, using the last few steps to turn his entire body backwards. He lifted up a hand, and a small orb of red energy formed in his palm. He jumped off backwards while thrusting his palm downwards. With an almost imperceptible twitching of his fingers, the concussive bomb detonated and launched the teenager somewhat clumsily towards the nearest building.

Nik ducked his shoulder and rolled like a tumbleweed across the rooftop for a couple feet, grunting as he did so. Once he had stopped, he quickly got up to his feet and looked ahead. Just two more rooftops to go. But... of course... Pierce had provided an update before his disappearance. One Tabitha had yet to notice until it was too late, and one Nik wasn't expecting. Bursting out onto the roof through a doorway on his left was a non-descript robot with a large club. Nik's eyes locked on the robot before he looked back at the gap between him and the other roof. It was easily doable. The mutant broke out into a sprint, but was surprised to see the robot from his peripheral catching up. Nik followed the same maneuver on the previous rooftop, spinning slightly and throwing the bomb of energy at the spot he was jumping from. Perhaps out of adrenaline or fear... Nik knew as soon as he left the energy leave his fingertips that this explosion was going to be too much. The explosion was fiery, and not just concussive. It tore through the imaginary robot as it launched Nik backwards a bit. His already singed tank top had it's fringes reduced slightly more as Demo himself fell right onto his back on the next rooftop.

Nikolai Markov grunted in pain. He had gone a lot farther than intended... landing near the far edge of the next rooftop. He could see, as his head dangled over the edge, that he just had to make this last jump. He stumbled to his feet, and saw three more robots burst out onto this rooftop. Easy enough. Nik readied his right hand, energy coursing along his fingertips as he prepared to fire. He let loose a rather large bomb, hurling it towards the center of the cluster of robots. Unfortunately for him... they moved erratically. The two flanking hostiles ran wide, with the middle robot running straight into the bomb and getting shred to pieces by the following explosion. The shockwave caused Nik to stumble back a step as he saw the two robots moving in quickly to attack. They were mere feet away. He barely had time to throw a quick, small bomb in the direction of the enemy flanking his right, detonating it upon impact and tearing it to pieces. This too caused Nik to loose balance slightly, leaving him at the mercy of the last hostile. He watched in shock as electricity began coursing through the robot's club-like weapon. His body seized with electricity, the shock darkening his vision somewhat. The club remained pressed against Nik's left shoulder, causing his muscles to spasm slightly as he let out a slight gurgling sound. The experience was uncomfortable... but wasn't nearly enough to incapacitate. And it didn't hurt necessarily... whatever the Danger Room was doing, it seemed to be restricting his movements more than causing him pain. But even with the restriction, Nikolai clenched his fist and did the only thing he could think to do.

He punched it.

A concussive blast of force knocked the robot's pieces apart once the first made contact with simulated metal. It was hard for Nik to see exactly what it was coming from his fist as he fired it out, but he could have sworn that for a moment he saw the same energy from his rapidly developing bomb generation wrap around his knuckles. Nik nodded with shock at that, just as the simulation itself finally phased out and a certain feline-like professor burst out of the control room to check on him. He was making progress...




...But will it ever be enough.

Nikolai tussled and dried his hair as he sat on a bench in the locker room of the gym in his boxers, staring blankly at the floor in front of him. The past week had been... transformative, for a lack of a better word. Everything seemed to be changing around him. He let himself get caught up in his own thoughts as he began putting on his jeans. There are so many new people here. I have a girlfriend now. My powers were developing significantly since the fight at... gosh, what was the name of that bar? Doesn't matter. My roommate has been acting weirder than usual lately. I have so many damn essays due this week. I could have Una help me figure out what to...

His thoughts seemed to drift into nothingness as his mind circled back to a single word. A name. He noticed the smile that had formed on his lips at just the thought. He shook his head, internally groaning at himself. Ugh, I'm such a dork around her. I feel like I'm going all soft and weak like Na...

The thought made Nik's entire body freeze for a moment. He felt this pit form in the center of his stomach as he could feel the negative thoughts beginning to swarm around his head. They were joined by the realization of all the sudden changes going on around campus, creating a deafening cacophony of anxious thoughts. Nik quickly tossed a shirt on over his head before slamming his locker closed and nearly yanking his phone out of his pocket. He quickly tapped away on his phone, planning to shoot off a quick text to the name at the top of his app.

>Hey Una, can we lie on the lawn for a bit. I'm feeling overwhelmed an|<

Nik stopped typing, reading back through his message again. His mind wandered back to the conversations he had with Una as of late. The night they kissed... and, well, the second night they kissed. And as his mind played through the memories, Nikolai Markov sighed and deleted that text. She had enough to worry about as is. With that in mind, he shot off a different text to her.

>Just got out of DR, no plans 2nite. U?<

GM Post



As the students were crowded in the lobby, the beast finally made its charge. Daniela's attacks helped keep it at bay and slow it down, but the beast launched towards the doors just as they were closed. It snarled and made a high pitch whining sound, like a machine out of tune. With the door closed, the room became a bit darker with a lot of its natural light source closed up. The glowing exit sign at the end of one of the hallways became much clearer in the increased darkness. That all being said, other than the lashing of the mechanical beast outside of the front door, another sound became rather clear as the students were discussing their plans. The sound of hard thumping or stomping could be heard above them, each knock separated by a couple seconds of tense silence in the building. Whatever the thumping was, it was seeming to move, rather slow, towards the direction of the glowing red exit sign.

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The electricity blasted against the mechanical wolf's head as it was sent tumbling backwards once again. Electricity seemed to surge through ever fiber of its being, causing it to stutter and slow. At the same time, it's eyes returned to their original red... and even brighter than before. It's face was beyond charred, with half the metal practically melting and drooping down its face before it hardened once again. Regardless of the state of the metal housing, the red eyes seemed to glow with malicious intent in the direction of Daniela. And despite being injured severely, it was ready to keep fighting.

The front doors did not, in fact, have a lock. At least, not until Ronnie began her process of getting the doors ready to chain up and lock. The wolf was outside of the building as the students had entered inside, and it looked ready to charge. Jasper's fight with the Danger Room would be, to an extent, taxing. Despite the majority of her efforts, the Danger Room seemed just as adaptable and quick to Jasper's probes as she was. The sudden shift in tactics and attack, however, seemed to proverbially throw it off guard. As she reached out into the simulation with her powers, she was able to track rough radio signals. The signals were scattered. The first signal came from the direction of the beast outside the building. It was fairly weak, as was another similar signal from the second floor. The strongest signal came from the third floor, and given Jasper's familiarity with traditional electronic signals... she would be certain this is the transmitter controlling the mechanical beast.

Just as Jasper got a good read on the signals, the Danger Room seemed to shift and do its best to kick her out. For a moment, all the lights and holographic projections seemed to flicker. A quick system reset was enough to hide the signals from Jasper once again. At the same moment, the mechanical beast began making its charge towards the front doors. More specifically... it was running towards Daniela.

GM Post



The next few moments were tense within the Danger Room as the students began to react simultaneously. Bolts of electricity launched from Daniela's fingers as she attacked the metal beast, which had still had its eyes locked on Matt's form as Heidi rushed in to pull him from harm's way. When the electricity made contact, the beast was launched backwards slightly, as if hit by a surge of force. The mechanical form rolled over itself for a moment, before slowly rising back to its feet. The red eyes appeared slightly brighter as its charred head turned towards Daniella. The eyes themselves seemed to lock on to the girl who attacked it, before the light behind them grew dim for a moment.

As Jasper reached out into the code, doing her best to take control of the beast from within the simulation, she could sense the code itself changing on the fly as a result of her probing. And she could tell, for the briefest of moments, that her plan had worked. She could see, for a split second, through the eyes of the mechanical wolf as it stared with hostile intent towards her classmates. But as she probed even farther than that, bypassing the room's security measures to take control of the beast itself, that the code began changing to fight her. While Jasper was quick, whatever code was creating the world within the Danger Room seemed to be just as quick. And it was not eager on giving up control to the technopath. The mechanical wolf seemed to "glitch" slightly as Jasper vied for control over the beast, the projection seeming to stutter and repeat the small movements of the beast getting ready to pounce. While she wasn't yet successful in taking over the beast, it was left vulnerable.

GM Post



As the doors flew open, the dark interior of the building was revealed in part. The entrance to this building appeared rather simple. Peering inside, the students gathered would see the artifical sunlight cast shadows over a simple lobby area with a tile floor. A large, empty reception desk stood in front of a wall that was flanked by two long hallways. To the left and right of the entrance was a waiting area with simple chairs and coffee tables littered with magazines. A few TVs hung silent and lifeless on the walls, and the rather simple green striped wallpaper felt awfully tacky. Despite the blandness of the exterior, the interior of this danger room simulation was complex and eerie. It seemed a bit too real.

With one exception, that is. Two small red lights illuminated from the rightmost hallway. They were rather close together, but mostly obscured in shadow. They started to grow larger, matched by a series of rhythmic thumping. As the sound and lights grew, the figure they were attached to came into view. It was a rather large, mechanical beast. It had no fur or flesh, but instead appeared to be made entirely of gray metal. It had a long snout with sharp metal teeth, walked on four legs, and seemed to be standing a couple feet high. Its red eyes appeared to be locked on Matt.

Almost as soon as it came into view in the darkness did the wolf-like creature begin dashing through the lobby towards the open door. It seemed to be charging straight for a dazed and confused Matt, making significant bounds with its metal legs. It seemed to have hostile intent, and would most likely close the gap in a matter of seconds. If someone was going to do something... they'd best do it fast.
I R O N M A N

Stark Tower, New York City - Present Day
Issue 1.01.02: That's My Tech

Interaction(s): None
Previously: Issue 1.01.01: Never a Dull Day


"JARVIS, I need energy readings ASAP. Tell me they don't have a working reactor." Tony watched as the light inside of the cannon grew, beginning to spill out from the edges of the barrel. As the light seemed to be reaching a breaking point, Tony shifted his arms, causing him to spin towards the left. He managed to duck out of the way just in time as a large beam of energy shot out of the cannon. Tony recognized it as a repulsor blast, and watched as the energy shot out into the sky above, missing any skyscrapers due to the angle. Tony shook his head. Too close.

"Sir... the energy readings appear to be inconsistent with your Arc Reactor. It appears they are using some sort of industrial battery that is draining quickly."

Tony continued rocketing towards the truck, flexing his fingers and toes ever so much to increase the power of his repulsor thrusters. "Let's go with the standard fireworks, JARVIS." A small slot opened up along the back right shoulder, revealing a small cluster of missiles in the armor. Tony's eyes locked on towards the large van mounted with the cannon, aimed more towards the front cab of the van. As his eyes hovered over where the driver was, a red circle locked in on the location. Without another second's hesitation, a single rocket shot out fast towards the van. It broke in through the front window as Tony steered his course away from the van and towards the armed terrorists, the explosion ripping the van apart. Tony landed with one knee and one fist planted on the ground, the glowing blue eyes of the suit turning up and passing over the several hostiles who seemed to turn their own gazes towards each other in confusion. "Come on, this is not how you ask for directions to the zoo."

The terrorists raised their rifles up towards the Iron Man, letting loose a hail of bullets. Unsurprisingly, the bullets simply ricocheted off the metal armor. Yet, they continued firing until their clips had been unloaded. Seeing as they didn't even get a scratch on him, they seemed to be taken aback with a level of fear. Tony, with a bemused smirk underneath his mask, raised his hands up with his palms facing out. "Alright, my turn." Moving like a well oiled machine, the Iron Man fired repulsors to pick off the terrorists one by one. Within a matter of seconds, they all were on the ground motionless. Tony shook his head and sighed, turning back towards Stark Tower. He looked down at his wrist, a set of commands appearing on a superimposed holographic keyboard. He tapped away at the commands with his right hand, before pausing to speak. "Alright, Rhodey, crisis averted. You can go ahead and have your janitors clean up the mess."

"I appreciate it, Tony. I've got agents en route. My strike team is making their way up the stairwell now to the Penthouse, so you might want to get there ASAP if you want an alibi."

"Ten-Four."

Without another second of hesitation, Tony flew back off towards Stark Tower. He again weaved through the city with ease, making a quick approach to his personal landing pad and rushing into the chamber. Within seconds of locking the boots into place, various mechanical arms removed the armor in its entirety. He stepped off the platform, ran down the stairs of his penthouse office, and made his way to the bar to pour himself a drink. As soon as the whiskey began to touch the glass, a boot kicked in a door near the elevator and a team of four SHIELD agents, with weapons drawn, stormed in. Their eyes quickly scanned the room, and two agents quickly moved up the stairs to keep an eye on the balcony. One of the agents approached, holstering his sidearm. "Any disturbances, Mr. Stark?"

Tony finished pouring his drink and lifted a hand towards his throat, making a fairly realistic choking sound as he answered in a raspy voice. "Sore throat." The agent took a step back, nodded and lifted up his hand to make a circle motion followed by a point towards the door. Wordlessly, the SHIELD agents nodded and left the Penthouse to leave Tony Stark to his drink in peace.

Or so he thought.

Tony walked over towards a couch that sat in front of a large flat screen projected tv on the wall, the volume automatically turning up as he sat down. It was news coverage of the press conference taking place downstairs. Pepper was nailing it, spouting something inspirational about the Stark legacy and their goal in ensuring a "Greener Tomorrow." She loved that catch phrase, but it had too much of a Banner spin for Tony to be entirely on board with it.

He downed what was left of his drink and was moving to get up when static interrupted the broadcast, the colored bars seeming to signal a technical error. That is, if it weren't for the large symbol superimposed on top of them. A symbol that Tony Stark was all too familiar with. Involuntarily, Tony dropped his glass. He didn't hear the sound of the glass shatter on the floor beneath the couch. His eyes and his memories were locked on the logo.

The Ten Rings were back.

San Antonio, Texas - Present Day
Issue 1.02.01: This is a Hold Up

Interaction(s): None
Previously: Issue 1.01.06: The Outlaws


Violet sighed as she knelt down next to the other hostages. She placed her hands behind her head, and watched as the bank robbers began going person by person down the line, stealing handbags and wallets. Violet grimaced as she saw them getting closer and closer. She took a deep breath as they finally arrived to her. She felt the cold steel press against the back of her head as the individual leaned forward, his hot breath rolling over he neck. "Purse, wallet... Everything in the bag."

Violet took a deep breath. "No... I think I'm good."

The next moment was a familiar blur. She was yanked up to her feet, a gun placed to her head, as there was shouting. Violet kept her eyes closed as she was dragged towards the front of the bank, in sight of the gathering cops and onlookers through the glass front doors. She looked out at the gathering SWAT trucks and the like, seeing the guns turning in their direction. She took a deep breath, shut her eyes again.

In the next moments, things were a blur. She heard the power being shut off, but then heard a hail of bullets behind her. Violet's eyes bolted open as she turned her gaze over his shoulder. She saw some flashes of light coming from the upstairs balcony as one of the fellow bank robbers began firing at something out of sight, only for the criminal to fall back as as an arrow pierced his shoulder. The robbers aimed their guns up towards the balcony, just as two figures emerged from the shadows. One was a man clad in a red jumpsuit, sporting a quiver and backwards hat as he looked down at the scene from behind a pair of wrap-around red sunglasses. The other individual sported a red hoodie and a red mask to obscure his entire face, two sidearms brandished. The bank robbers looked up shocked for a moment. Violet's eyes locked on the man with the bow and arrow for a moment, before her eyebrows knit in frustration as the gun pressed against her head was aimed towards the balcony. "Shit."

The bank robbers, frustrated by the situation, began opening fire. Roy and Jason quickly vaulted over the railing towards their targets. With ease, Roy knocked back two arrows and let them fly while in mid-air, impaling two of the bank robbers in their shoulders. Their guns slid across the ground as they released their grips to clutch at their bleeding wounds. Jason, on the other hand, wasn't as merciful. He let loose a barrage of bullets at two other bank robbers, and they fell limp to the ground. All that was left was the man holding Violet hostage. Roy and Jason both aimed their weapons at him. "Put the gun down and no one else has to get hurt, man."

The bank robber opened his mouth to speak, but only let loose a loud grunt as Violet thrust her elbow into his gut. In one swift motion, she moved a hand up to grasp at the gun he was holding, ripping it away and using it to club her captor across the jaw with a quick spin. He hit the ground hard, clearly unconscious. Violet turned her gaze back towards the two vigilantes, sighing as she walked past them. "We need to move, now."

Jason turned his gaze towards Roy, his expressionless mask somehow sending the message of confusion to his partner. The archer simply shrugged his shoulders in response, forcing Jason to call out, "What, no thank you?"

"You're welcome." Violet moved towards the back of the bank, opening up a door into a maintenance closet. In the center of the small room was a large uneven hole and some debris, a clear sign of a tunnel having been blown open. Violet looked back towards the two vigilantes. "We need to move. Now."

Roy's face was washed over with understanding as he swore under his breath, jogging forward to meet his sister. Jason turned back towards the former hostages, who were starting to slowly rise to their feet confused. His voice was harsh and gutteral as he shouted at them. "Go. Now." He walked backwards towards the closet, sliding his guns into holsters on his belt.

Roy looked down into the hole that gave way to a shallow tunnel, then back at his sister. "Career criminal, huh? That's what you do now?"

Violet rolled her eyes, kicking off her heels and jumping down into the tunnel, looking back up to her brother. "Lecture me later. Sometime after we avoid getting arrested."

Roy turned his gaze away to Jason as he approached, gritting his teeth. "Fucking... alright. Move." Without another word, Roy quickly jumped in to the tunnel behind Violet, and Jason followed. Violet led the way down the rather smoothly crafted tunnel, moving at a light jog while ducking her head to avoid smashing it on the low ceiling. The only light came from glow sticks lining the sides of the small tunnel casting an eerie green glow.

The others followed, Jason calling up ahead with his modulated voice. "You were a plant."

Violet shook her head as they continued forward. "Please, I'm much more than that." She continued until the tunnel seemed to reach an end with some sort of strange covering. She quickly lifted a hand to press against the top left of the panel, and a click was heard as it swung out. On the other side was a wine cellar, with a table set up with a few white chef's coats and duffle bags set up. Violet turned her gaze towards the other two. "Just throw those on over what you've got, and throw the hero shit in the bags. You've got thirty seconds."

Roy and Jason took no time in quickly removing their respective "face coverings" and weapons, tossing them into their own duffel bags. Violet, in the meantime, quickly moved to push the large wine rack back to cover up the entrance to the tunnel as she threw on the white chef's coat over her white blouse. She slipped on some loafers that were off to the side and moved towards stairs on the other end of the room, lifting her wrist to check her watch. "Time's up. Let's roll."

Roy and Jason finished adjusting their chef's jackets as they brought the bags, following Violet up the stairs into a kitchen filled with chefs hard at work. Violet seemed to duck through the line cooks with ease, while Jason and Roy kept bumping and squeezing past the kitchen staff. Violet walked through a door on the other side of the kitchen and out into a back alleyway, where a blue sedan was parked and waiting for her. She looked back at the other two as they caught up, shaking her head. "I'll meet you two at the diner on Elston in two hours. Try to be on time for once, Speedy." She leaned forward, kissed her brother on the cheek, and then quickly opened the driver's side door and slammed it behind her. The car sped off and turned right out of the alleyway as police cars and sirens screamed past the alleyway in the opposite direction. Roy and Jason were left standing there dumbfounded for a moment.

"Did she just-"

"Yeah... that's my sister."

GM Post



There was a slight pause after the students asked their questions, with the voice returning along with a new sight: a large screen in the imaginary sky providing a voice to text transcript of Tabitha's voice. "Your objective is for at least one of ya to get to the flag by getting through the building. It is a collaborative exercise, so I would recommend relying on your mates."

The text remained in the sky for a moment, the words hovering in mid-air before slowly dissipating. The voice and a new line of text replaced the old quickly. "If there are no other questions... the flag awaits!" Tabitha's bubbly voice practically shouted that last line in glee, and it was accompanied by a fanfare of trumpets... her personal touch on the exercise, one might guess. The building, and it's rather simple entrance, waited for the students' approach.

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As the students gathered into the Danger Room, a bubbly British voice rang out over the intercom. "Alright students, good morning! I have the pleasure of running your danger room activities for today. Before we get started, it's important that we get a few things out of the way for safety. I would first like to recommend all of you to be sure to stretch before we get started. Based on the simulations Mr. Pierce left behind, today will most likely involve a bit of running and climbing. You won't want a cramp when things get a tad wonky."

As she paused while speaking, the room began to shift. Along the wall near the door, a 3-Dimensional object began to take shape. After a moment, a set of 5 lockers labelled for the five students took a more solid form. The room itself also seemed to take on a new image. The spacious room seemed to grow brighter and began to take the form of a desert landscape. It was morning, and while there was some sort of sun overhead along with some clouds, there was no abnormal heat or temperature change. The door to the room seemed to disappear, instead replaced by flat desert. In front of the students, a building began to take form: a simple, three story concrete structure with metal double front doors locked with a combination padlock and chain. The building had boarded up windows with bars over them on the ground floor, with upper floors seeming to simply be boarded up. On the roof, clearly visible from where the students were, was a flagpole with the school's flag waving in an imperceptible wind.

The voice spoke up again over the intercom. "Make sure to keep only items that might be associated with your powers. Your goal in this first assignment, as per Mr. Pierce's instructions, are to capture the flag... and that's all he wrote down. Does anyone have any questions?"
I R O N M A N

Stark Tower, New York City - Present Day
Issue 1.01.01: Never a Dull Day

Interaction(s): None
Previously: None


"We are five minutes from the grand unveiling. Now is not the time to start drinking."

Tony leaned back in his chair, looking out the window while dressed in a red suit. Clutched in his hand and half drunk was a glass of scotch, coming from a bottle that Tony had already forgotten the name of. It was probably something fancy, knowing the kinds of things people sent him. His bloodshot eyes traced over the rest of the New York skyline leading out towards the bay, the red veins more of a sign of his lack of sleep than anything. Tony turned his gaze back towards Pepper, who was sporting a matching red jacket and skirt. She had the same look she always had towards him these days: frustration. He raised an eyebrow at her, flashing the usual smartass grin that seemed to be permanently glued to his face when around her. "My mouth was dry. I needed something to drink-"

"There's this magical drink called water, Tony. I know you're aware of it, because you always had me stock overpriced bottles of it in the fridge right behind you." Pepper shook her head as she held up the tablet that she held in the crook of her arm, tapping away at the screen. "I had JARVIS double check the energy readings and run a practice test this morning-"

"JARVIS, run the numbers again." Tony quickly downed the rest of his drink as he stood up, walking over towards the window as he looked down at the street below. The area right outside of the Tower had already been sectioned off for the big event. The press trucks were assembled, and the reporters were already taking their seats. From up here, they looked like ants. For a moment, a thought crossed through Tony's mind. Is that what he thinks of us?

A disembodied voice cut through the awkward silence. "Sir, all readings indicate the reactor is stable. Do you need anything else, sir?"

Tony shook his head, walking back over to his desk and tapping on the glass covering. The desk lit up, revealing an embedded monitor setup with security footage covering all the building entrances and the reactor room. "Just keep me posted if there's any irregular chatter coming from the NYPD or the SHIELD detail."

Pepper rolled her eyes. "If anything happens, Rhodey can take care of it."

Tony shook his head, walking past her and towards the elevator. "And if Rhodey doesn't, JARVIS is going to keep the engine running in case he needs backup."

As if on cue, a large boom echoed from somewhere in the city. Tony turned his gaze out the window, his eyes falling upon smoke coming from the Brooklyn Bridge. In his ear, a familiar voice began barking orders. "Air support, get me eyes on the bridge. What are we looking at?"

"From the looks of it... we're looking at AIM units on the bridge. And some sort of... cannon? Moving in for a closer... no, pull up, pull-"

Tony and Pepper watched in horror out the window as they saw the quinjet approaching the Brooklyn Bridge get struck down with a large blast of blue light from the bridge. Tony turned his gaze towards Pepper, who simply sighed. "I'll use one of the usual excuses."

Tony nodded, walking away from the elevator and towards the stairs behind the bar. He pressed down on the communicator in his ear. "Sorry to barge in Commander, but this looks like a job for our mutual friend." Tony could practically see his friend hanging his head in defeat. With the silent acceptance, Tony moved his finger away from the communicator, speaking out loud. "JARVIS, is the Centurion in the chamber?"

"Of course, sir."

Tony walked up to the top of the stairs, which led to a small landing. To the left was a set of sliding glass doors that led out to a small landing platform. To the right, however, was a sliding cylindrical door that opened to reveal the front half of the suit. Tony walked up into it as if it were second nature, lifting his arms to fit into the outstretched figure of the suit. As his feet slid into the boots, the chamber began spinning as metal arms lowered themselves to stitch up the armor. Within seconds, the silver and red metal plating locked in around him. By the time he was facing the sliding glass doors on the other side, the suit had closed in around him and the faceplate slid down. It always took a moment until the display inside the helmet, but the red and blue display lit up to provide data accompanying the panorama view to match what his vision would show. The Iron Man lifted both of his feet out of the footholds in the chamber, and walked out onto the launch pad. Tony lowered his hands to his sides with his palms facing downwards, and the repulsors on his legs and feet activated to launch the Iron Man into the air.

Tony flew down low, weaving in between the skyscrapers of Manhattan as he approached the Brooklyn Bridge. He could hear screaming and police sirens, the wails of ambulances approaching and shouting on megaphones. All of it sort of blended in together at this point as the Iron Man raced towards the terrorists. And within but a few moments, Tony began making his main approach as he flew over the highway directly towards the bridge. His HUD began automatically marking the terrorists, little parts of his screen zooming in to confirm the beekeeper-like hostiles. And, of course, part of his screen zoomed in and held on a large metal truck that had a large cannon on top of it. The interior of the cannon began glowing blue, and Tony squinted his eyes as he heard something faint in the audio mix coming from the internal speakers. "JARVIS... isolate the audio coming from the cannon."

"Right away, sir." Almost instantaneously, all the sounds of New York were stripped away. The roaring winds and thunderous sounds of his repulsors launching him forward were stripped as well, leaving a single sound. A familiar whining sound that Tony had first heard years upon years ago. His eyes widened.

"That's... a repulsor cannon?!"
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