El has been with the site for nearly two years now and has continued to prove her value. Currently, she is heading up our site event, Battle for Liberterram, on top of keeping up with her own personal plots.
Lux's posts are all wonderful to read. She has done a wonderful job of grasping the new universe and incorporating Peggy into it.
It's good to see Spidey back on the site. Watching him deal with the universe shift in his own snarky way has been nothing short of entertaining.
Eight O'Clock on the Dot!
El and Lux are making magic in this thread. Straight up fireworks, and the way they've played with drawing out the reveal is top class.
...is a condition of war of everyone against everyone.
With a thunderous roar and a fountain of flame, a missile erupted from its station and slammed into a descending war chopper. The impact pulverized the bird, which went spinning violently toward the ground until it crashed into the small field that had been left to grow wild. The splash of fuel soon set the brush ablaze until field and sea alike were a wall of rolling flame. Smoke poured up into the sky, dirtying the clouds with the stench of cooked flesh and scorched metal.
Half a mile off away from the shipyard, a battleship slowly began to sink into the sea as oil bled out from either side of her blasted hull. Several half-charred bodies floated out in the waters around the demolished vessel, though many more had drifted down, now lost to the lifeless depths.
Intermittent gunshots sounded from docked ships on the other side of the yard, where the oil hadn't yet seeped. Their decks bore scenes of a different sort of carnage. Though a few charlies dotted the ranks of the dead, a disproportionately large number of Liberterram forces had been killed in barbaric ways. Though nearly every corpse was littered with bullet holes, many others were stabbed. Beaten. Clawed. There was a savagery on display that most soldiers and even sane men did not possess.
Many of the men had died fighting each other.
Inside a similar scene was playing out. At the main entrance into the base, dozens of bodies were neatly stacked to form walls of the dead, with thick, coagulating blood slicking and sticking sections of the floor. For every Liberterran body there were three Egyptians; a pattern not repeated further into the base, where gunfires and blasts still sounded. Most of the Liberterram forces had been scattered, either killed by the invading Egyptians or otherwise by each other.
But three units of naval officers remained, all taking defensive positions at critical junctions to rebuff the flow of the enemy that was already beginning to bleed around them.
If reinforcements didn't arrive soon, the base was going to fall.
The... well, he hesitated to call it a 'situation' but that was better than the alternatives. The situation in Liberterram was something that he had been a bit slow on the uptake on. He hadn't gotten news of things until they'd spun way out of control, and by that point Natasha, Steve, and Peter seemed to be disappeared - whether they'd actually been killed or not, Tony didn't want to think about. Something was happening that might have been even more frightening than Thanos and Tony knew he needed to be on the ground to stop it.
He wasn't sure who he should go to first, but his decision was made for him when he got wind of where, exactly, some of the enemy troops were heading. A quick hack revealed what the station they were headed towards held and Tony knew that he had to stop this new destructive force before they got their hands on it.
Luckily, Tony had a suit for just this occasion and the deep-water creation was soon donned so that he could fly off to the base that would soon be under attack.
By the time that he was close by, the attack had been waging for some time and reinforcements were direly needed. Luckily, a SHIELD frequency and Barnes' arm - and personal communicator - were both pinging in his vicinity and he opened up communication to both. "Guess we're the reinforcements, huh, boys?" he said as he came into sight of the base's entrance, shuddering a bit at the sight of the bodies piled up. This was... far worse than Tony had seen in a long while. Whatever was happening here, he didn't like it.
"So, uh, much as I hate to make a bad situation seem worse, we really don't want the baddies to get their hands on the device this base has been developing. Its potential for destruction is... devastating, let's leave it at that," he said as he landed at the base's entrance. They needed to get into the base proper, but he was hesitant to make their way in without full scans. He began hacking his way into the systems to get them as he looked at the two men that appeared to be his fellow reinforcements.
Having been the last soul out of the helicopter, Walker had looked on with pain in his eyes as the final helicopter was blown out of the with an advanced precision guided missile, one that not even the newest countermeasures had been able to fool into flying away harmlessly.
There had been people in that chopper he knew, people he had gone through basecamp with. Men and women whose weddings he had attended, people who he had counted as the closest thing to family. But despite the deep emotional distress it gave him, John simply blocked it all out of his mind, because ignoring it was the best thing that could be done in such a situation. ‘In war, people die’, and this was a genuine war. Everywhere around him death had reigned supreme, and ‘death’ was far from finished with his job.
Sparse units of Liberterram defense forces still lingered around, putting up a barbaric form of defense, using the bodies of their own comrades as bloody sandbags to avoid whatever the opposition was throwing at them. From explosives to Mutant abilities, the never-ending struggle had turned clean corridors into hallways of death and destruction.
The death and destruction barely phased him anymore, but the thing that had truly got to him were all the eyes focused on his very presence. People looking up at him, hoping for some guidance, some motivation to keep fighting the good fight, a nugget of wisdom that would turn the tide of battle and get them on the winning side. He was Captain America, and that meant people expected him to save the day, to punch evil right in its ugly face and ensure the survivors could go home to their families knowing these horrors might never be repeated again.
… But Walker had been lying if he was in any way or shape prepared for this, leading people he barely knew into the biggest meat grinder he had willingly stepped into. But like a true soldier, when the heat was on his instincts took over, and focused on keeping the people around him alive, at least most of them.
Hearing a crackle in his ear, he didn’t expect Barnes to communicate with him. And as expected he heard the voice of Tony stark instead, explaining the situation at hand. ’You’re late Stark, party has been raging for a while.‘ John joked with no trace of amusement, instead continuing to direct the people around him with universal hand gestures.
’But I can’t say I’m not happy to see your tin can show up to even the odds, these Mutants pack quite the punch.‘ Walker added, using his shield to bat a grenade back to its owner.
Glancing over at Barnes, Walker couldn’t compute how the winter soldier had been handling the entire situation. And on the way to the base they had barely shared a single word, communicating in shrugs and grunts. From reports he knew the man wasn’t talkative, and having his near death experience had certainly messed with the man's head even further. Although part of Walker knew that his completely silence regarding to what happened told its own story.
’But nothing we can’t handle though, right Barnes?‘ he spoke with a smile, not expecting any response from him other than the aforementioned grunts and shrugs.
Can you tell me Doctor, why I still can't get to sleep
And night time’s just a jungle dark, and a barking M16
Things had escalated far quicker than James had expected. It had been only, what, a week? The worse wounds from his first encounter with Apocalypse were still healing, but the compression vest he was wearing underneath his uniform was doing it’s job of holding everything together. Still, if they didn’t finish this quickly, it wouldn’t stop the pain for long. Having gone back to Old England to debrief and get fixed, James couldn’t stay away very long and he’d returned after only a day away, trying to find Steve and helping with the casualties as best he could. It wasn’t enough.
Finally they had a lead. Egyptian forces were making their way towards a base and killing the Liberterram forces inside. James just had a feeling that this was Steve, and his backup was Tony, Steve’s teammate, and a man called John Walker, the Captain America of this universe. It was a good team to have, seeing as Natalia was incapacitated as a horseman and, what he would find out later, causing her own destruction. Unlike Tony, who could fly, James had to take a car to the destination. Well, a motorbike, and he didn’t exactly drive it like a safe person. As much of his body that could hold a weapon was, and he had done away with his mask entirely.
By the time he arrived, Tony was already around somewhere, but James barely noticed where as he let the bike slide away from him, heading towards John and his group as he stripped a gun off his back and checked that it was in working order. No-one was alive on the surface, but he didn’t hold any hope for those inside either. He put a finger to his ear, turning the communicator back on. Though the one in his arm was working, it was muted in favor of something a little more familiar. John had been unfortunate enough to have been closer than both of the other men and as Tony’s voice echoed in his head, John responded with something that seemed like a quip. James didn’t bother speaking at all since this was his friend they were going in to fight, and keeping his mouth shut meant that he wouldn’t vomit at the thought.
Unlike both of the other men on his team, James was the most unbothered by the bodies, considering them nothing more, at the moment, than pieces of the landscape. He’d seen death before, made it before. John gave him the most information, explaining that Steve had mutants at his disposal.That made things a little trickier, but even mutants died with a bullet to the head. James jaw set as he turned at a noise behind him, sized up the person and shot. It didn’t matter to him at this point if they had been enemy or not, but as he watched them fall, a part of his brain noted that they were enemy.
He noted that someone had spoken to him as his attention turned back to the yard at large, scoping for any straggling enemy forces and his gaze went to John, sizing him up briefly before shrugging. He hadn’t said much after he’d met up with him. Understandable, seeing as he had other things weighing heavily on his mind. Tony’s voice, too, came back into their ears and he looked around for buildings that likely led to underground facilities. He was all too aware of where bad people kept their best weapons. “I’m going in.” He couldn’t wait for Tony to finish getting a layout. His friend was in here somewhere, and like it or not, he wasn’t following anyone’s orders until he laid eyes on that man.
"Yeah? Well, nobody told me about it," he replied to fake-Cap, "I came soon as I heard." He shuddered a little inside the suit at the mention of mutants. A mutant attack force was bad; it automatically gave them an advantage, as you couldn't tell by looking at one what they could do, usually. It meant that the soldiers didn't know whether the guy in front of them was going to throw a fireball or just a super-strong punch.
Tony wasn't native to this dimension, so he didn't have an immediate knowledge of everything that existed, but he'd done some reading on Egyptia while in the air, and it seemed like they were practically a nation of mutants, run by a dude that thought he was a god. Tony was hoping that the dude was wrong on that point, because he'd seen how indestructible god-like beings could be.
Barnes was quiet - which wasn't uncharacteristic for him. Tony was a bit worried about him, though. Last he'd heard, the guy had nearly died in the same thing that had 'officially' taken out Nat, Steve, and Pete. Tony still refused to believe that official story, even if their bodies hadn't been found yet.
"Hell no, you aren't, Barnes!" Tony snapped at the man, boosting himself into the air to hop in front of the man, "Wait for one damn minute for me to finish..." He frowned at the readings in his helmet. "Shit. We need to get in there. They're closer to the device than I thought." He scrolled through the information that he had for the moment, trying to map out the baddies inside.
"Okay. Walker, Barnes, take the left passage down. Come at the point from the side and get their attention. I'm going to try to fast-track to the device itself so I can get on disarming it or something before they get to it. I'll be going in underwater. Chop, chop!"
He took off and spun into the air before sending the suit into a dive into the ocean, heading towards one of the ocean-hatches they had below the waves. He hoped that coming in through one of those would get him around the majority of the enemies so that he could work on the rather delicate device at hand.
Watching the Iron Man vanish into the ocean, Walker had one mind to immediately take the passage as instructed by Stark. But first he turned towards the man that he had been partnered up with, the man that he was trusting to watch his back in the heat of combat.
’Listen Barnes, when we’re in there you listen to me and me alone.‘ Walker frankly instructed, giving Barnes a slight nudge in the chest with his vibranium shield to get the Winter Soldier to make eye contact. ’I know for certain there’s more going on, I might not know what exactly, but you’re not eager to go in there for the upcoming bloodshed.‘
Pausing for a few seconds, Walker bit his lip to ponder about either pressing the issue or leaving it be. He knew that at this moment they all needed to keep clear heads, and not be mired in details or flare up tempers, and he knew Barnes wasn’t the type to take a knee and talk game strategy in any situation, especially not one as intense as this.
Turning back around, he tapped his communicator to speak to all the people connected. ’Barnes, Stark, and I are going inside the facility to defuse the situation. Everybody stays on the perimeter unless either Stark, or me gives the all-clear.‘ he ordered, sharing a distrusting glance with Barnes before finally taking the designated route into the facility.
Inside, every corridor reeked of death and despair. Dead littered the hallways everywhere they went, and they were joined by Liberterram soldiers, Extremist mutants, and any other unfortunate soul that had been inside when the fight had been at its fiercest.
But for Walker, the most spine chilling part was the complete absence of resistance. He felt watched, followed not just by the ever-stoic and aloof James Barnes. Their adversaries had surely entrenched themselves at this point, lying in wait for the inevitable retaliation by forces of superior quality. It was the calm before storm, and such moments had never ended in anticlimaxes in Walker’s experience.
Whatever they were moving towards, it wasn’t set to be a fun experience. He had a terrible feeling about it all, but he would march on just the same because his job was to go face to face with the worst the world had to offer.
As far as Stark was concerned to Walker, he partly hoped that he had an easy route to where he had to go, although he deeply doubted that would be the case. And in the case of Barnes, Walker felt that he was going to do something extreme sooner rather than later…
He just wanted to get this entire situation behind him, light up a grill, and drink his gut feeling into a stupor.
TAG: James Barnes, Tony Stark// NOTES: Slow going, maybe for Barnes to write the upcoming face to face with his bff. // WORDS: 500 words
Can you tell me Doctor, why I still can't get to sleep
And night time’s just a jungle dark, and a barking M16
Couldn’t they both just shut up and get to work? It didn’t matter who was late or who was early, they were all there and they needed to get their fucking heads together before he lost it at them. That seemed to be when Tony tried to step up to the plate and square off against The Winter Soldier. “I would like to see you try and stop me.” He mentioned quietly at the metal face in front of him. Even if his arm wasn’t 100%, or even 25%, he would rip Tony’s mask of and throw him into the water if he tried to stop him. He stepped around Tony as the man asked him to “wait a minute” and continued to head towards the door.
Only a moment after, Tony mentioned them needing to get inside and James felt the rage building inside him at a man that he usually felt no ill-will towards. Most of the time, it was strong curiosity. “I’ll take whatever way down I want.” He muttered to himself, not even loud enough for the comms to pick it up. John caught up to him before he got to the door and the soldier stopped, he turned slowly when John pressed the shield into his chest. “You’re right, you don’t know. I don’t either, but if what I think is in there is in there… just trust me that I’ll cover you.” He pushed back on the shield and stepped up to John. “And I’m not listening to anyone.” Because neither of them knew Steve like he did.
Smart choice, but if he thought keeping him out of the line of leadership was going to bother him, he was wrong. If he just didn’t trust James, then more power to him, because if Steve was inside, and James’ gut was tightening enough that he was positive of it, then he wouldn’t be letting anyone get close to Steve to start with, let alone inviting them in.
The inside of the facility was better than the outside, in that the bodies were piled to the sides of the walls, although in some places, the entire hallway entry was covered by bodies. It was still all furnishings to him for a while, until a few more soldiers joined them and he started to notice a pattern. It was only random enough to not be noticed right away, but they were being directed. Instead of feeling a sense of impending doom or fight, James only felt anticipation and the urge to go faster. An urge he obeyed.
All but forgetting about John behind him, and definitely ignoring any request to hold up or wait, he followed the hallways until they started to encounter more forces, and he took them out with appropriate measures, leaving bodies behind him as he made his way deeper into the base until finally, finally he heard a voice he recognized.
His mood changed almost instantly, more vicious at those that stood in his way, and then the utmost calmness when he finally saw his friend. He paused for a moment, or found himself unable to move, but he didn’t even want to. “Steve… it’s me.” He could talk, at least, and the overwhelming relief that Steve was okay overtook anything else he was feeling at that moment.
A soothing voice soon came over the intercom system of the base, announcing some sort of alert in Liberterran first, followed by English.
Warning: containment walls have been breached on sub-level five.
On sub-level five, the announcements and indeed, the entire situation were quite different.
Warning: containment walls have been breached on this level. Now sealing pressure doors. Along the far edge of the eastern wall of the sub-level, a rush of water not unlike a waterfall could be heard. Murky, oil and blood filled waters rushed white with their velocity as they first shot and then poured into a room. Before the waters could quite rush past the threshold of the room, a giant door slammed shut and the valve on it turned on its own, sealing the room off.
Warning: this pressure door will seal in t-minus ten seconds.
The intercom stationed over the pressure door in a junction not too far from the observation deck advised, earning a snort and a shout from one of the Liberterran's who were stationed behind some sandbags they'd managed to grab to form a makeshift cover. There were four total, with one using the blade of their knife as a reflective surface to get eyes on the door without popping up over cover.
"Fuck!" One of the soldiers cursed as they waffled with the decision to try and make a break for it or get sealed in with the enemy.
"Make for the machine, I'll lay down suppressing fire." The ranking officer of the four instructed, popping out from behind cover inside of the same moment. A flurry of semi-automatic fire followed, ripping through the legs of one of the Egyptians as the others scrambled for cover or their own weapons. The other three soldiers did as their officer commanded, running for one of the three corridors that didn't lead to the pressure door.
The young man at the rear felt a super-concentrated coil of heat crack from behind and beside him. Before he could quite process the information, a barely perceptible heat shimmer cut down to the bone in his right arm. Almost instantly, the blood spat and hissed, the flesh nearly cooked in the area surrounding the deep incision. With it came the man's agonized cries, which were disturbingly short lived as they transitioned into a low snarl that seemed to strip his vocal chords.
Twisting his gun and firing toward one of the fleeing men ahead of him, he managed to take down one of the stray Liberterran's before his superior officer turned his way. Firing her gun, she watched as the turncoat soldier fell to his knees, then turned to her. The two of them exchanged fire until the mad soldier was down and his officer was wounded.
The pressure door slammed shut and sealed as lone footfalls sounded from behind her and the cover. Breathing raggedly, she reached for the grenade at her side and pulled the pin quietly. Very quietly. Already on edge, the officer all but leapt out of her skin as the sandbags next to the ones she was pressed against were cut in half. Fire licked out over the burlap as the sand bled out from the incised bags.
"Give me the code, or I'll make you kill your men."
"Fuck you." The officer sneered. Twisting and popping up with a push from her braced palms, she lobbed the grenade back over her head and toward the enemy with an underhanded throw.
Swatting the grenade from the sky, Steve drove the explosive projectile down the hall toward the familiar voice that addressed him. It landed neatly in front of Bucky's feet.
Tony Stark if you want we can skip you. if not, you're up, and feel free to have Tony get in through the breach earlier fighting caused and start sealing it and doing the rest of his solo-thing.
As Walker had expected, his conversation with Barnes prior to their entrance had done nothing to set the man’s head straight. And at the first opportunity he had trailed ahead by a large enough marging to make Walker fend for his own in his attempt to find both Barnes and the goal they had been given.
Dealing with the ever-increasing resistance wasn’t something that truly challenged Walker, the only disadvantage were the numbers and the chaotic style of combat some of the mutants employed. But numbers nor powers had ever given him issues in the past, and it wouldn’t give him issues now. Most of them were green, untrained and too eager for their own rights. Their mistakes easily exploited for a killing or incapacitating shot.
Experience was a winning factor, whether it was Football or Firefights. Walker had spent the entirety of his adult life in combat, most of those years without the superhuman physique SHIELD and Nick Fury had granted him. In those years he had fought combatants of all shapes and sizes, mercenaries, psychopaths, mutants… Even a few extra-terrestrials Walker had fought.
Walker was still standing, harrowed, but alive. He was a survivor of the worst the world had to offer, all the kids around him barely had survived puberty, a few gimmicks that made them ‘better’ than Human, but none of the poise to employ it in a way that makes them unstoppable.
The last enemy fell limp on the ground, Walker hooked the shield back onto his back and focused on reloading his sidearm. But the sound of an explosion careened through the small hallways. ’Barnes… ‘ Walker mumbled to himself, holstering his gun and returning the shield back into his hands.
Running towards the location of what Walker immediately recognized as a hand grenade, he kept his vibranium shield at the ready for the possible eventuality of an ambush lying in wait to strike at him with his mind on something else.
Making it to the location, Walker’s eyes scanned at all the perished people in the room. In the middle of it all, Barnes standing face to face with Steve Rogers. In the corner a shrapnel ridden officer exhaling her final breaths.
There was nothing anyone could do to save the officer, nor was she important enough to warrant him ignoring more important matters if there had been options. The two figures in front of him were more important, and it caused the knot in his stomach to finally unwind.
’I fucking knew you were still walking around, Rogers.‘ Walker’s shield stayed at his chest, a defensive posture giving away his mistrust of a dead man standing in front of him with nary a scratch on his being. ’Explains why Barnes was so eager to lose me.‘
Moving around the small cul-de-sac the three of them were standing in, Walker circled long enough to get himself into the best strategical position, his eyes never breaking away from the superfriends.
’I knew there was something off about you the first time we met, Steve.‘ off hand staying hovering close to his reloaded sidearm, expecting the worst to happen. ’Didn’t know what it was back then, but I should’ve known you were pitching for the wrong people.‘
Glancing back at Barnes, Walker showed a wry smile. ’Should’ve known Barnes was going to be your first recruit, too…‘
Can you tell me Doctor, why I still can't get to sleep
And night time’s just a jungle dark, and a barking M16
What was he doing? Who were the people he was standing with? Why was he… James watched, almost in slow motion as the grenade came at him, but he thought faster and as the explosive hit his feet, he kicked it to the side into a room and reached forward to slam the door closed, falling back as the explosion rattled the door. His stumble wasn’t enough to keep him from turning to Steve and stepping into the room, motioning for the woman to stay down as he tried to get through to his friend. “Steve.” He pleaded. “It’s me. It’s Bucky.”
He ignored everyone in the room after that in favour of his brother. “You need to come back to us, Steve. You need to come back to me. You need to stop…. this.” He looked around at the room and back to Steve just as Walker entered the room. The first words out of his mouth caused James to start to frown, but he let it slide in favor of trying to help Steve out of whatever funk he was currently in. The second statement wasn’t any better. His jaw clenched and his breathing increased but he let it slide.
Walker moved further into the room, into the most strategic position and James knew what he was doing. It was the last sentence that switched him on and he spun on a dime to face the offending person behind him. “You can shut your mouth right now, Walker! I told you I’d have your back, now turn around and let me handle this!” As he spoke, he moved to stand in front of Steve, noting the position of Walker’s hand near his weapon and James automatically tensed. “Not only that, but you have no idea what’s going on.”
Steve watched impassively when the grenade was kicked into a room and shut up before it could spread Barnes across the hall. Little wisps like bleeding red threads flickered around him in quick, silent snaps that left the air shimmering like a heat mirage. "I know who it is. Did you think the hand grenade was a house warming gift?" His blue eyes flickered back to the sandbags the officer was bleeding behind for a moment before they focused on James and the footsteps that were coming down from the hallway behind him.
The plea fell on deaf ears. Not long after that, the supposed Captain America passed into the junction proper and began to run his mouth. This didn't seem to get a rise from the soldier, either.
"I thought the same thing, seeing my shield in the hands of the Shadow Province's lap dog. How far did you stick your nose up Fury's sphincter before he decided you were the guy for the job?" One of the threads that had been chopping erratically through the air like a helicopter blade moved, its only forewarning a momentary flash of red and a shimmer of head before it arced, moving straight for the leather strap that held up the shield. Another lash from a second strand followed, driving to keep Walker on the run. If any of the tendrils connected, they would cut and sear the flesh and then burn their way into John's mind, attempting to drive him to madness.
As those moved Steve turned to James, his eyes locked on the man.
"Why don't you make yourself useful?" With that one of the tendrils flicked out, moving to wrap around the sniper's throat. The contact with the lash would not burn or cut as severely as they would with John, but the psionic effect would be amplified as Steve focused on the powering the enraging facet of the power. In the same motion he clenched his fist, powering on the energy shield.
Tony Stark again, we could skip you if you want since it'll be another round or so of this
Despite Barnes’ unwavering dedication for his best friend, Walker could see right through Steve Rogers’ feeble attempt at trying to come across as ordinary. It was obvious there was something sinister about Rogers, something that everyone would be able to see if they weren’t blinded by loyalty like James Barnes had been.
’You think you’re the first guy to say that shit, Rogers? Because that’s the oldest fucking excuse they throw at me.‘ Walker grunted back in frustration at both Rogers’ remarks and the hopeless Winter Soldier trying to somehow salvage a situation that had been FUBAR from the beginning.
As Walker had expected, Steve went on some sort of offense he had never in his life seen from anyone before. Weird whips lashing at him, forcing him to use his shield to cause them to glance off. But as skilled and agile he was, he was unable to keep up with the unnatural pace of the attacks, first they simply stung as the tendrils ripped into his suit. But with uncanny precision it found itself returning to the same spot, the pain becoming near unbearable as it hit Walker’s exposed flash.
But the worst of it all were the things Walker saw in his head, all the pain he had suffered in the past multiplied exponentially, all the fears he felt somehow welling up in a way he couldn’t fathom. Whatever Rogers was doing to him, Walker wanted to make it stop under no circumstance.
’You think some parlor tricks will beat me, Steve…‘ Grimacing in pain, Walker went to pull a knife from its sheath, hoping it would do some sort of harm against the assault against all his senses.
Dropping to his knees in a defensive posture, Walker swung wildly with both knife and shield until the assault seemed to die down. Glancing up at the middle of the room he saw Rogers standing face to face with who was supposed to be his best friend, but the tendrils that had assaulted him were now wrapped around the neck of James Barnes.
Knowing this was probably the moment that Rogers’ attention wasn’t on Walker. It gave him an opening, a slim chance to end this before it could get worse, before he could do whatever nefarious thing he was planning for Barnes, or the rest of the world.
Gripping the steel blade between his fingers, he pulled his arm backwards, using all his power and accuracy to launch it straight at the side of Rogers’ head, a killing blow… if it hit.
TAG: James Barnes, Tony Stark// NOTES: How unfortuitous would it be if someone caused Walker to fail in his attempt… // WORDS: 500 words
Can you tell me Doctor, why I still can't get to sleep
And night time’s just a jungle dark, and a barking M16
That wasn’t disappointment that spread through Bucky, nor was it anger. It was a mix. Sadness and… fear? Yeah, that was definitely fear. Left over from the basement, he presumed, and tried to swallow it down. This wasn’t Steve. He was trying to get through to Steve. If there was anyone who knew what Steve was going through, it was Bucky. He had spent decades under the control of HYDRA. “Good, that’s a start.” He ignored the latter statement. That wasn’t Steve. “Just remember me, Steve. Remember... back in Brooklyn. Remember… just remember.” He was terrible at it. As soon as he hit the second sentence he knew he’d needed more.
It didn’t matter because Walker came in not long after his poor attempt at bringing his own brother back. Steve was the one that responded to Walker and James felt his muscles twitch. Steve wasn’t the type of person to insult someone, and certainly not so brazenly. He did flinch, when the first tendril worked its way around James and snapped at Walker. Again at the second crack. But they were all ignoring him. Steve wasn’t attacking him. It gave him some hope that what he was saying was working. At the sound of Steve’s voice, James turned back to him and felt… paralyzed. This time he couldn’t move.
“Steve-” He started before one of the lines snaked out and came into contact with James. His breath was heavy with the anger he felt at Walker for mocking and insulting Steve, and anger at himself, for being what amounted to worthless in this fight. Anger at… everything. Everything except Steve. He could distinctly smell his flesh burning, even felt it, but his mind had gone as blank as it usually was after a cleaning in the chair. All he had was Steve’s voice in his head. Make yourself useful, it said. Make yourself useful. Walker had been the last target he’d felt enraged with. His eyes flickered to the shield Steve had brought up and he turned just in time to notice and deflect the weapon that had been headed for his brother. He wouldn’t have even needed The Horseman of War’s powers at that point, but the didn’t hurt.
“I warned you once, Walker!” He wasn’t going to be so nice about it the second time. Striding across the floor, ignoring any pain he collected from the tendril at his throat, he grabbed the SHIELD and started to drag it towards the door. Make yourself useful. By dragging Walker from the room and beating him senseless. By making sure Steve had uninterrupted access to whatever it was he needed.
"I remember everything. I just don't care." Steve replied coolly, his gaze as detached as his voice. His eyes were assessing, his stance ready for action at any given point. Though it was obvious he did not yet consider Barnes a threat everything in his posture seemed to suggest that he was willing to put anyone down. Even the man that was supposed to be his childhood friend.
John's denial did not interest the man, who wielded his initial response primarily as a distraction to allow the threads to move in. Despite the distraction and the barely perceptible nature of the psionic lashes that seemed more removed from reality than connected to it, Walker managed to mostly evade or deflect the attacks. Something that also didn't seem of interest to Steve, whose attention returned to Barnes with the same chilling stare. This time his pupils shifted from black to some low red as the tendrils came out to snap around Barnes' neck.
Before Walker could close in he felt the mind vaguely connected to him snap under the weight of induced rage. Barnes then moved to deflect the attack intended for him, leaving Steve to turn his attention back to the woman. Striding toward the sandbags, Steve's boot crunched the spilled sand underfoot. At this point the officer popped out from behind cover again, her abdomen wet with blood. Pressing the barrel of her gun against Steve, she grit her teeth.
Snap. The gun cleaved neatly in two, with the most distant piece clattering to the floor. Before she could have time to react, Steve's hand snapped out around her throat and he lifted her fully from the ground. And then, the true pain began. The heated lashes burrowed into her wound, searing and cutting the tender flesh but this time not stoking some mad response. Only snarls.
"Give me the second part of the code." Steve dropped her and she stumbled, legs unresponsive from the pain and the blood loss.
"Maybe you didn't catch this before, but why don't you go fuck yourself?" The woman spat, her voice quivering this time. Within a moment pain returned to her wound as her blood hissed and her flesh blistered. The snarls soon gave way to shrieks and then finally whimpers as she felt the growing rage seeping into her veins. When Steve cast her aside again, she told him everything to stop the physical and mental torture.
Still he drove her into madness, setting her and her broken body upon anyone else that might be in the compound as he made his way toward his final destination. More and more pressure doors were sealing, leaving the soldier to an isolated portion of the facility in a different observation area. Passing by the window that gave him a view of the nearly black waters outside, the soldier reached a terminal and began to plug in codes.
okay, so I was thinking it'd make sense for you two to RP out your fight since that's more "immediate" than Tony and Steve's fight is.
Walker had doubted his action was going to work, but when Barnes smacked away the knife to save Rogers’ it certainly set off the final spark of patience Walker had at the point. Between the things Steve was doing to his head, and Barnes having been a complete liability from the get go, something had to give, and James Barnes seemed to agree with his sentiment.
The fire in the man’s eyes was something he had never seen though, as if a monster had been awoken inside the skull of the former Winter Soldier, perhaps a glimpse of the thing that the man had been trying to live with ever since being wrestled free from his former commanders.
With no shred of holding back, Barnes used his full strength to ragdoll Walker and his shield straight out of the room, undoubtedly to let his friend continue his nefarious goals. Walker had bigger issues now, one angry issue.
’Snap the hell out of it, Barnes!‘ Walker gritted through his teeth, using the shield to deflect hard punches from the metal arm, foolishly hoping that it would tire the guy out. ’Because I swear to god Steve won’t be the only one I’ll let leave in a body bag!‘ Walker had reached his tipping point, and he honestly had no love lost for Barnes, no loyalty to hold himself back.
But even if Walker had the idea of taking Barnes out, it was easier said than done. The shield barely providing any cover from the berserker storm trying to punch his head off. Knowing he had to do more than just be on the defense, Walker let himself get backed to the wall closest to him, the moment he touched the concrete he dodged to the side to let his opponent nearly punch himself through the reinforced wall.
Stepping sideways, Walker drove the edge of the shield into the side of Bucky, over and over again to try and cut him down like a tree that has deadly intent. But if Barnes was going to be beaten, it had surely was going to be through outsmarting him rather than going toe to toe. Not even Walker’s own enhanced powers was as formidable as what they had pumped into Barnes half a century prior, especially not with a metal arm by his side!
TAG: James Barnes , Tony Stark // NOTES: A bit of a poor reply and start to the fight, but feel to go crazy! // WORDS: 500 words