Avox in Arcadia (perpetual) wrote,
Avox in Arcadia

Detonation Imminent: Chapter 4

Title: Detonation Imminent
Author: Kairos
Fandom: MCU/Guardians of the Galaxy
Rating: General
Wordcount: 1186
Characters/Pairing: Peter&Rocket; Tony/Pepper
Summary: Peter's trying to figure out how to be a leader. He decides that breaking into the Avengers' base of operations is a good place to start.
Disclaimer: None of this is mine.

Nothing was broken, but a lot was bruised. Peter began to sigh, but held it in when he realized that any movement might slacken his grip. “Star-Lord to the Milano. Do you read me? Oh please say you read me.”

Thankfully, Gamora’s voice came in without the slightest pause.“Milano, standing by.”

“Think we mighta hit some trouble,” he admitted.

“I expected no less. It’s been nearly three minutes. What’s your position?”

“Hanging by my fingertips in an elevator shaft. Don’t judge me. I have a very good explanation and no time to give it to you.”

There were times when it was hard to tell whether Gamora’s newly kindled sense of humor was influencing her instincts as a deadly assassin. That calm tone she used in situations like this could be hiding a lot of fear, but it could just as easily be hiding a hearty laugh at his expense. “It will take approximately eight minutes, thirty-four seconds for us to dock the ship and enter the building.”

“Good to know, but don’t do it. Just get to the rendezvous point and have the tractor beam ready.” He hated being picked up by the tractor beam, but it was a cleaner escape than driving all the way out to where the ship could safely dock. “Has Rocket contacted you?”

This time there was no doubt; Gamora was alarmed. “No. What has happened to him?”

Peter grimaced. “...Probably nothing? Star-Lord out.”

As he prepared to pull himself up, he strained his ears in vain hope of figuring out where the hell Rocket had gone. Instead, he heard distant heavy footsteps, perhaps one floor above him. Knowing that he was unlikely to manage this feat quietly, he aimed for quickly instead and apologized to all of the muscles he had to strain to clamber up and get on his feet.

The inorganic tread had come closer in the meantime, and it was now accompanied by a low metallic whine. Before pulling back the tarp in front of the elevator’s opening, he drew both of his blasters and was poised and ready as soon as he processed that there was a shining metal man-shape across the cavernous space of the room. Blessing his vantage point, he fired his bottom barrels to stun the thing or short it out or hey, anything that took it off the playing field so he could find his friend and get out of here.

The blasters did nothing. It wasn’t just that they had no effect; they actually didn’t fire. For a split second, Peter was the one who felt stunned into incapacity, but when the android seemed to hear the empty clicks and began to turn, he ducked back behind the tarp, sheathed his weapons, and grabbed a stanchion from the construction barricade. It was connected by chains to several others and anchored to the wall somewhere down the line, and it really helped with slowing his descent when he jumped back down the elevator shaft.


Tony didn’t see what had disturbed the construction area at the elevator, but he could tell by the cacophonous jangle that it was headed down. Rather than follow it into the tight space, he rushed out of the building and re-entered at the garage level, reasoning that there was nowhere else the elevator would open into.

Of course, the garage ran twelve levels deep, but the uppermost was the only one with an outside exit. Anyway, he doubted the intruder was about to let himself plummet all the way to the bottom of the elevator shaft, so this was the logical place to begin searching. He landed and stood still for a moment in the empty garage, listening and scanning around its darkened corners with all of the sensors that his suit offered.

He found his target the instant that his alerts were triggered, and could have even done so with his naked eye - he, or she or it, had apparently found no cover and was crouched with his back to the wall and two streamlined firearms drawn. Although the size, shape, and stance of the intruder were all humanoid, he had a helmet or mask drawn over his face, and Tony had met enough Asgardians (two) to know that aliens didn’t necessarily look the part.

“Where are you?” said Pepper through the receiver in his own helmet.

“Practically at your front door,” he replied, taking aim. “Keep the bed warm.”

“Tony, this is important. Whatever you’re doing, stop.”

He groaned in frustration and made sure she could hear it. “Can I do it and then stop?”

She was using the voice that unequivocally meant no. “The spaceship moved.”

Without a second’s pause, he kicked off the pavement and flew outside. “JARVIS, get me everything you can on this. Pepper, I’m coming up to get you out of the building. Where’s the ship now?”

As he asked the question, he came out into the night and found it momentarily brighter than morning. The answer was hovering overhead, higher than Stark Tower and bigger than a jet, and it was flooding the street with a vivid yellow searchlight. “Love a little extraterrestrial invasion to wrap up an unspeakably weird night,” he muttered.

“Whatever you do,” warned Pepper, “don’t get any closer to it. Just try to -- Tony, I’m standing at the window, and I just saw something that looked suspiciously like your Mark VIII flying up toward a potentially hostile spacecraft, anything you want to tell me about that?”

“Yeah,” he said. “Get away from the window.”

He didn’t need to get too close to the orange and blue ship to confirm that it was the one they had been monitoring, locate the weapons and see how they would deploy, and take a few pictures and measurements to analyze later. Then he dropped back down to the level of the tower. He could see Pepper through the campsite window, and he hovered for a second and flashed her a peace sign before descending further. He hadn’t yet even had a chance to check on the hole that the raccoon-creature had used to crawl into the building, and there might be an alien stuffing a bomb into it even now.

When he got there he was distracted yet again, this time by the masked humanoid that he had just missed apprehending in the garage. The invader was running hard into the street, but when the ship’s searchlight touched him, he stopped and waved both of his arms in a cutting-off motion, shouting something unintelligible up at the sky.

Whatever his protests might have been, they didn’t stop the ship from enveloping him in a beam that lifted him bodily off the ground and raised him up, floating limply. Awed by the first-hand sight of a scene that came straight from the science fiction he had watched as a child, Tony stayed to watch the ship’s underside open up to take in the masked figure. Immediately afterward, it ascended higher and then zoomed away, leaving Stark Tower, Pepper, and Tony himself untouched, and, for the moment, safe.

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Tags: tick tick boom

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