Confounded Compound - Part 5

OOC: Joint Post between everyone on the Team

For a brief moment Erik’s eyes flashed open and a small crackle of lightning darted from them around his head like a momentary laurel. Inside the facility the pounding grew louder and closer as a an object, smaller than any of the bots, flew up through the ground and out the window out toward the Hulkbuster. It struck the large robot and sent it sailing away from the pair before coming down toward Erik. Instantly Erik reached up and grasped the object tightly in his hand, a black umbrella by all appearances. Erik did not seem phased by the strange assistance though, he felt good, like he had just woken up and his whole body was primed and ready to go again. He rolled his shoulders and looked back to his savior. In a clear and unwavering tone he spoke, “I thank thee, friend. Now let us prepare ourselves for another bout with this metallic monstrosity.”

Erik wasn’t even thinking anymore, much more so moving on instinct than anything. He gave the umbrella a small toss into the air, grabbed it solidly in his right hand and forced it to the ground. Lightning crackled down from the sky and truck where Erik stood, completely surrounding him. What few bits of fabric that some might call a shirt were hanging on by threads at this point but what had once been a umbrella now rested a three-sided mace, illuminated briefly in light blue runes. Erik’s knuckles whitened and and he watched as the Hulkbuster charged him again. Where once he might have felt fear he instead braced his knees and pulled back and struck the robot right as it would have collided with him. The metal on metal rang loudly and sent the Buster into the air with Erik following after a short jump. Another wind up and strike collided with its back and sent it back toward the facility. Erik landed back on the ground and ran past Sam to follow his foe. He felt powerful, and focused singularly on the battle, like he had been half-awake his whole life. A few smaller models of Stark tech came his way as he approached the downed robot. The first flew directly toward him but a Erik ducked and let it sail past. The next was not so fortunate as Erik extended his arm and bludgeoned the frame with the top of the mace, shoving it cleanly through. The next flew low toward his legs but Erik raised a leg and pressed it hard into the oncoming attackers back, planting it completely in the dirt. The final bot reversed course and charged at him again but with a singular swing of his left hand he batted it’s head away, the following mace sprayed the rest of the metal carcass across the field.

The Maximoff Cousins had cleared most of the smaller bots from the lawns outside, but Theo had no doubt there would be more. Niko skidded to a stop and lowered her to the ground; perfect dismount. They both surveyed the damage; it looked like a series of tornadoes had ripped through the grounds. There were trails of smashed, smoldering, sparking robots all over the place and there were deep gouges in the grass revealing churned up dirt, uprooted trees and trees blasted clear in half. “Well that was an effective technique, Pietro,” Theo said to her cousin, “but we’ve left Gwen Parker unprotected. I’ll go back inside…”

Niko cut her off with a hand firmly atop both of her shoulders. “It’s Niko. And I’ll go back inside to help Ghost Spider Girl. You be a good girl and clean up out here.” He gave her a wicked grin and streaked off faster than the eye could see.

She hated it when he did that; the last word was supposed to be hers. She sprinted after him yelling, “Yes, I will Keep Niko safe as well. This is no place for small children.” She ducked to the side as another flock of bots came surging from the base. For fuck’s sake, how many units did this compound have at its defense?

The Hulkbuster had just began getting itself back upright as Erik reached it. It extended a hand to fire a blast at him but as it fired he swatted it to the side with the mace. He jumped and landed beside it, grabbing hold of the metal collar and dragging it to the wall of the main room. He dropped the mace to the ground as he gripped the robot now with both hands and swung it around from his left into the wall. He gave one step back and the mace quickly recalled to his hand as he swung directly into the buster’s chest, sending debris and large robot crashing back into the main hall.

Back inside the compound, Niko plan was to keep Gwen as safe as possible without anything creeping up on her. He stopped in the main hall for a brief moment to catch his breath and was focused in the wrong direction, not seeing the careening Hulkbuster until it was almost too late. The Hulkbuster collided into him full force, knocking him down and back over the floor as if he was a hockey puck sliding across the ice. He slid into the full length mahogany bar with such force that it cracked along the base. Stunned and with the wind knocked out of him Niko shook his head as if to clear it, and covered his face with one arm as the Giant Murderbot fired its thrusters to take off. As he attempted to roll out of the way, the entire bar pitched forward on top of him. Shards of mirrored glass dug into his arm with the weight of the granite countertop. Niko made note that if they made it out of this fight alive, he’d make sure he could bench at least 450 in the near future, himself because there was no way the oversized bar was budging.

Thorson stepped in to the main hall, fully intent on continuing his path of destruction. From the corner of his eyes he spotted another robot and easily swatted it up into the air with a crack of metal. As he moved his eyes back to focus on his target he saw a bit of Niko’s shoe sticking out from the bar. In an instant he felt a rush over his body as his mind tried to piece together what could have caused it. The battle trance disappeared from his mind as he hurried over, “Niko!”. ‘Shit, shit, shit’ he thought to himself, ‘this is all your fault you giant idiot, you couldn’t keep the powers under control before and you thought you could manage this?’. He dropped the mace to ground again and squatted beside the overturned bar. “Niko, are you okay? I’m so sorry I’m going to get you out!” His voice was panicked as he looked over the scene and assessed where best to begin, a far cry from the confidence that he held at the outset of his battle. He gripped the bar and lifted it off of Niko in a panic, tossing it into the middle of the room. He bent down to offer Niko a hand, a look of immense worry and regret on his face, “I’m so sorry, are you alright? I….I don’t know...I don’t know what ha-” Before he could finish his sentence a blast sent him sailing back through the wall, followed shortly by the recovered Hulkbuster.

“Look ou--” Niko warned, seconds too late. “t.”

It skidded as it landed atop him and the pair sank a bit into the field. Erik’s body felt heavier and more sore than ever before and he could barely move from under the Buster’s weight. He tried to pry it’s leg off but couldn’t find a solid grip. He pulled back for one last punch to hopefully knock it’s foot aside but it was caught in the robot’s own fist. Before he could even register if that had damaged it, metal clamps extended from the robots arm and extended onto his, locking in and seizing hard on his bicep. He struggled briefly against the grip but before he could register any proper resistance a wild series of punches came to his face, each one rocking Erik slowly deeper into the dirt. He didn’t know how long it was hitting him but between hits he could feel his nose running and the world around him falling away, or maybe he was just being beaten even further into the dirt. As the punching slowed, all he could hear as he sputtered out a few breathes was the sound the hulk buster’s pulsar preparing to fire directly atop him. As the lights grew and he heard the start of the beam he finally fell into unconsciousness.

The Hulkbuster’s cannon was fully charged and about to fire when a large combat knife came hurtling towards the pair. The knife sunk into the side of the cannon and it was moved 3 inches to the right and fired into the dirt, narrowly missing Erik. Sam let out a battle cry and jumped as high as he could, landing on the Hulkbuster’s back. He used his hands to grab the front of the bot’s face, planted his feet on its back and pulled with all of his might. He wasn’t able to pry the head off like the others, but he managed to make the mech take a few steps backward in an attempt to shake Sam loose. A few steps later, the Hulkbuster was able to grab him and whipped him across the grass like it was skipping a stone across the pond, then began walking back towards it’s main target. Sam bounced off of the ground nearly half a dozen times and finally landed twenty feet away. His entire body was aching and screaming. He recalled some of his first training sessions his mother put him through. Beaten to near unconsciousness in a warehouse by 6 men under the guise of testing him against multiple opponents. Right now, he’d prefer the 6 men. But something in him stirred, he could feel his body almost get up on it’s own. He knew if he quit now, Erik and the others would be in even greater danger.

He slowly stood up, covered in dirt and some of his own blood. “Hey Tin Man!” he called out to the mech, taking deep breaths. The Hulkbuster stopped walking towards Erik and looked over. “Whenever you’re ready.” It began slowly stomping towards him and Sam started his charge at the mech.

T'Chantem's eyes stayed focused on the three iron robots headed his way, dozens of blasts accompanying them as they each wildly fired. Acting quick on his feet, he returned their charge with one of his own, carefully dodging a majority of the plasma fire that rained around him. The several blasts that did make contact stung against his skin, sending a spiral of pain across his body, but enduring a bit of agony was no foreign concept to the prince. As the opposing sides drew closer, T'Chantem tossed each of his daggers, and with a careful aim managed to momentarily subdue two of his three opponents. Before the third could reach him, he reached into the remains of shirt, grabbing the metallic cylinder his guard had gifted him before his departure earlier in the day. With a practiced twirl, the metal expanded from several inches to several feet, the sliding of metal echoing among the sound of the battle that waged around him. What was once a small, portable, metal bar, was now an elongated, vibranium spear, a common weapon among Wakanda's Dora Milaje.

In several swift and consecutive movements T'Chantem removed the third robot's head, followed by its left arm, and then it's right, before quickly maneuvering behind it, and piercing the pointed edge through the remainder of its body. The android finally went limp before T'Chantem slammed it into the ground, dragging it across the earth and removing the remaining chunks of metal from his spear. His attention than mostly returned to the other two robots, which had recovered, vibranium daggers still plunged deep into their heads.

His eyes stayed carefully trained on his targets, and he noticed them prep to blast him before four highly energized beams crackled his direction. He knew that he couldn't afford to take all four blasts directly, if even one, so he was prompt in his evasion while he thought of a plan. The robots were relentless in their assault, not giving a moment of pause as the Wakandan Prince continued to dance around their attack.

A majority of T'Chantem's physical effort had to remain staying in one piece, but his mental effort was split between staying engaged in the battle and focusing on his next plan of action. It wasn't long before he settled on an idea, and allowed himself to slightly relax, while still continuing to avoid the beams of energy aiming for his life.

The air in the surrounding area took a slight but obvious shift as if it were making its presence known and several once fluffy white clouds turned a dark and menacing gray. Moments later, several bolts of lighting struck from the sky against the malevolent androids, frying them from outside in and tearing their metallic parts to pieces. He could feel his energy being ripped from his body as the weather affect quickly wore off, but it was far from enough to break his determination. He sprinted towards the now vehemently dismantled bodies, claiming his daggers in the momentary and personal calm he experienced. Sheathing the two daggers, he returned his attention to the remainder of the battle, and the destruction that lay before him. It was then that he was able to properly take notice of the giant Hulkbuster that raged across the field, leaving absolute demolition in its path. He knew that it was highly unlikely, if not impossible, for them to succeed in overcoming the Goliath that easily charged time and time again against his allies. The armor was built to be able to handle the Hulk, and from stories he had heard, and video footage he had seen, he knew that the armor was at least capable of lasting against such a threat. We look like ants fighting a mountain, he thought to himself, but he knew that if something wasn’t to be done, the Hulkbuster would quite possibly end them all.

Fortunately the Giant’s attention was not on him, which gave T’Chantem an opening for opportunity. However, unfortunately T’Chantem was unsure how much energy he had to spare in an attempt to hold off the Hulkbuster long enough for Gwen, or someone, to find a way to officially end this, and the barrage of smaller androids still swarmed like a hive of defending bees.

Niko rose wobbly to his feet, taking a few steps resembling a drunken sailor back on land for the first time after years at sea, and he leaned against a post to try and shake it off. Seeing the Hulkbuster lumbering towards Sam, Niko’s eyes widened. Sam’s mom would be pissed if he was pulverized the first run out. He decided he’d had enough of a rest and it was time to get back in the fray. He sprinted towards the son of the First Avenger, as Sam moved in to attack the Giant assailant. Niko side-swiped his peer, moving Sam out of the way as the Hulkbuster launched a punch, stopping both of them by T’Chantem as the giant bot staggering forward as it connected with nothing. “It will kill you.” Niko warned, concern in his voice. “We’ll find another way.”

Theo had taken up position straddling Erik’s head. Well, the head region of the hole his unconscious body had settled into after being pummeled by the Hulkbuster. She had originally intended to try waking Erik, but the moment she knelt down by his golden halo the bots honed in and she’d been forced to go on the defensive. She was down on her knees alternating from deflective swipes of her magic and throwing strands of telekinetic energy at anything robotic and moving in her vicinity. She smashed bots into one another in brutal collisions; she launched bots far into the distance where they fell to the ground unmoving; she dismembered metallic bodies and turned them into bombs to take out others, but still more came. She could feel her stamina dipping and waning, but still she lashed out against the bots in ever more potent magic. The ground beneath her was beginning to flow with magical energies and a red vapor was seeping into the air when a bot made it through her overworked defenses and slammed a solid fist into the base of her skull. Her eyes rolled back in her head and she toppled headfirst into Erik’s hole. The red wimple fell from her senseless head and she landed face first in Thorson’s divine crotch where she laid unconscious.

To be Continued…

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