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I would like to thank my Betas MissE and Tammin
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Manhattan, N. Y.
"C'mon Steve. We're going to be late." Sharon dragged Steve behind her to the new gleaming, red, white and blue Quinjet parked on the reinforced launch pad.
"I'm coming, just let me," he pulled the armored boot but and secured the latch. The new gloves and boots were connected to an ARC reactor and gave Steve a few options he never thought he would ever dream of using in a million years. It was all so Buck Rogers. "finish putting on my boot."
The new armor was made from the same liquid metal that Bruce's new costume was made of. Bruce had a full suit that could now cover his whole body when he transformed into the Hulk. The new Avengers armor had the same capabilities across the board. The chest and back were reinforced with admantium chest and back plates for extra protection. They also housed most of the sensitive inner components, and the two life support Runes that provided air and water in any environment; even space wasn't a problem anymore. They put the armor to the final test yesterday when they visited Reed Richards interstellar spaceship.
The two Avengers teams had to train together in their new Uniforms. They even had a Slayer squad led by Buffy Summers and Willow Rosenberg along for the tests. Willow was there to make sure the Runes did their Job. There was a back up life support system good for about an hour. The suits and Runes worked as advertised. The suit design team was happy, except for Tony. He kept complaining about 'design by committee' is never a good thing.
The suits for the Slayer team were part of the price to get the Runes activated and powered by Willow; the Runes were designed by Dawn, Xander and Jackie while they were in the Land of Timeless Mists. They were part of the Mithril Armor used by the group of heroes that was lost in that Timeless Land.
The design team had come up with two versions. The techno-magical suit and the pure suits designed by Tony and Bruce, without the Runes.
Steve liked his new suit. It offered better maneuverability, armor and firepower than his old SHIELD outfit. He could fly and shoot replusors with this one. His shield was still his main punch, but it was nice to be able to fly when he needed to.
Sharon dragged Steve into the new Quinjet and made him sit beside her. "I'm so excited. This is my first fourth of July celebration in Central Park."
Steve smiled as he joined his giddy girlfriend. He loved her smile and did what he could to make sure she always had one on her face. "It's been a while since my last visit to the park. The last time I was here it was with my mother and sister before the war."
"It's a bit different than the last time you were around. The basics are still the same," Peter chipped in from the front row. "although this will be the first time I'm part of the festivities instead of a spectator."
"You'll love it Sharon. I'll take you to all the cool spots." Julie's smile promised a fun time.
The Quinjet took off from the launch pad with little effort. "Next stop Central Park." Clint told them. Bobbi and the kids were already at the park. He was part of the official Avengers contingent.
06:19:32 A.M. North American Eastern Seaboard Time.
SHIELD MOON BASE
Two agents in the Stark built Guardian Space Power Armor were doing a sweep around the base. It was part of the training program. To get familiar with their suits and the harsh environment they will be working in for the next few years as part of SHIELD's space defense force. SHIELD had recruited heavily from all NATO nations and allied countries for this force. The overall commander was British, Major General Ronald Abercombe.
Four Walker Class Mechs were doing the same kind of training on the ground. Another hour and they would be taking their turn at the firing range.
The suits had three main weapon systems. The gravity powered canon tucked away on the back was the main go to weapon. It was the long range big gun. I spit a twenty five gram pellet at the .5 the speed of light. They were also banned from use on the planet. Their secondary weapon system was a pair of mini-missile launchers in the shoulder pads. The weapon of last resort were the two repulsors in the gauntlets.
The power armor pilots saw a new ship overhead. They were told all about it in the briefing. This was the new Avengers/Fantastic Four interstellar spaceship. They were also told that it would be prepping for a rescue mission. The Avengers had lost a people in deep space somehow.
"Wanna get a closer look Rodney?" Sgt. Willard as the name tag on the front breast plate of the armor identified the speaker.
"Yes, but we'd better stay within our OA or the Lt. will chew our ass. I can't afford to lose any more ass after the chewing bro'."
"Alright, but you're turning into a wuss."
"I know, but only until the next payday. My old lady needs the money and she'll rip into me a lot worse than the Lt." Sgt. Rodney Blucher shivered at what his wife would do to him. She was a five foot nothing woman and she scarred him worse that his old marine drill Sargent in the crotch.
06:19:32 A.M. North American Eastern Seaboard Time.
Avengers/ FF Spaceship: Solara I
"Everything ready for 'Go' Tony. The crew's ready and so are we." Bruce check the readout on the holographic display. The ship used solid light holographic technology as an interface with the major systems. Three AIs controlled the ship. JACOSTA was medical, life support and energy shields; JARVIS was navigation, fire control and Gravity; HERBIE was in charge of the HERBIE ship self repair droids, engines and propulsion."
"How's the crew?" Tony asked as he finished going over the last minute details.
"Not bad. Peter, Jane and Darcie are at their stations in navigation. Betty, Bobbi and Julie along with the two SHIELD medics are in medical. Xander, Clint and Carol Danvers are the pilots. Faith, the kids and Colonel Riley's team are in virtual training on the new Mark VIIIs. I still don't see why you buckled under and let Fury railroad us into taking these guys along?"
"Talk to Xander. He's the one who okay-ed their deployment. He also made me okay the sale of another two hundred Guardian suits." Tony complained, even though he was looking for a way to get Fury to ask for more suits. This way was better. He didn't look like a war profiteering whore and he managed to arm SHIELD with the new Mark V armor. After seeing what SHIELD would have to face, he couldn't in good conscious deny them access to his hardware. One good thing about that was getting the armor built under his control. He new what they needed and he made sure they got it. He even sent JARVIS Iron Man AI powered androids to back them up and take care of the repairs issues. A JARVIS android would accompany every deployed unit. That was his one condition to stop SHIELD from stripping the armor of all its secrets.
"I'll do that. After we launch..." he checked the blip that was fading in and out on his long range screen. It was showing up on the new Gamma detection network he had insisted be setup. SHIELD had declined, but Tony had gone ahead and built as a private venture. "Are you seeing that?"
"You mean the blip that's fading in and out?"
"Yeah, that..." Bruce fine tuned the scanner a bit more and filtered out some of the background radiation. The blip became more solid and steady, "That's not normal. Something just left the atmosphere and is on a direct course to Jupiter."
"I see...You're right that's not normal. What do you think it might be?" Tony asked.
"I don't know, but it's really speeding up. How fast is this tub anyway?"
"Fast. We might be able to catch it if we launch now..."
"So launch." Bruce felt a tiny lurch before the inertial field kicked in. "That's pretty smooth. Can you get a visual lock on it?"
"Not yet. Let's get a bit closer and I'll try again."
"Don't let it get away. Get Xander, maybe he could 'See it'"Bruce suggested.
"Not a bad idea. C'mon..." the two went to check with the pilots and put the ship on alert. If there was trouble, Tony wanted everyone ready in case this turned out to be something. He hoped it didn't.
A silent alarm went to everyone on the ship and people began to scramble. Carol and Clint got a pop up alert from Tony and they plotted a course with JARVIS's help and went after the UAB (Unidentified Accelerating Blip).
"What's up?" Xander asked the rushing scientist and engineer.
"You know about the blip?"
"I've been introduced, but it's just an acquaintance at this point. We're not friends or anything if that's what you're asking." Xander smirked as he detected the subtle eye roll from Tony. Bruce was used to this by now and didn't react.
"Can you get a better lock on this thing if you tried your new peepers on it?" Tony asked.
"Nope. No peeping. My eyes didn't improve that much."
"Then what did? What can you do?"
"Don't know. This is all new and shiny. I haven't had time to scuff it up yet. C'mon let's see if Clint and Carol can close the distance a bit and 'see' what's there to 'see'."
"Alright wise guy, let's 'see' what you can pull out of your ass." Tony grumbled. He was supposed to be the wise ass, not the wise ass.
"Oakley Dockley." Xander smiled and sat in the captain's chair and waited. He looked out the clear armor Richards came up with for the view ports. He let his senses race ahead of the ship and went after the fast moving target.
At first he had difficulty adjusting to the speed the Solara was traveling at and the same for the UAB. When he solved that problem his senses started to race ahead of the ship. He was aware of the planets in the solar system and all of most objects in it. He then narrowed his view and zeroed in on the UAB. He saw that it looked like a giant robot of all things. He then plotted a course of where it's been from the unique radiation it was leaving behind and to where it was traveling.
"Uh oh what? What did you see?" Tony asked.
"You're not gonna like this. The UAB's a big robot and it's meeting a large ship near the orbit of Jupiter. It looks a lot like those Kree ships we saw on the displays in their Command Center."
"Uh oh." agreed Tony.
"They're either early or late." Bruce added after thinking it over.
"How now, green big Guy?" Xander asked.
"On one hand a few minutes and we'd have been out of here and on there other we're here to meet and greet. I'm not sure which is the best option for us, so take your pick, good? Bad? Who knows?" Bruce shrugged. He wasn't too worried. He had yet to see any being that needed a ship to travel as something the big guy would be worried about. It's not like they were that Giant Ymir or Dawn.
"I'm going to go with uh oh." Tony decided.
"Whatever. Let's go see what they want. Wanna bet that's the Sentry 459 thing they were talking about?" Xander asked Tony.
"Do I look like a five year old to you?" Tony thought a bout it and added, "Don't answer that. Let's see what the neighbors want? Maybe a cup of sugar, or milk even..."
"Yep. That's what I want when I travel to another galaxy. A cup of milky sugar. I wouldn't settle for just the one. Call me crazy, but these guys probably want both that and a slice of toast too." Xander added.
"What the hell are you talking about? Where does the toast come from?" Bruce asked the confusing man.
"I'm not sure, but I feel that toast is involved. Yep. I can just feel it." Xander declared with certainty.
"You're nuts. You realize that?" Bruce asked.
"Could be? But then again. Toast, and maybe a slice of cheese. The Cheese man has always been the most mysterious. No one can figure him out."
Xander's two companions shook their heads and backed away a couple of step. Just in case his insanity was catching.
Chapter all done for today.