Banned For Life
It's just a normal day for the Avengers: beating the bad guy, saving the city, then going out for shawarma and arcade games. Tony pulls the rest of the Avengers into the dimly lit, almost empty building. The Avengers split up and go to their favorite games. Natasha settles on a first person shooter game. "I've almost got the high score!" she exclaims excitedly. Just as she is about to take the winning shot, however, her screen goes dark. She shakes the machine furiously, nearly breaking it in the process. "I was just about to break the record, and the machine turned off!" she growls. Loki snickers to himself, unseen, thanks to his glamor. Quietly, he pads back over to the machine and plugs it in. The start up screen takes over the display. Natasha takes one look at it, then pulls out her pistol. She shoots the screen twice, causing the screen to fizzle and go dark. "Oh, who has the high score now?" Natasha snorts contemptuously. The owner of the arcade comes running over, alarmed by the shooting. He gives the demolished screen a dismayed look.
"You're going to have to pay for that!" he groans. Tony walks over, then hands the man one thousand dollars.
"Will that cover it?" he asks smoothly. The man nods, pushes up his glasses, then hurries back to his post behind the counter. Tony turns to Natasha. "Now, I don't need you shooting up any more machines. Either get your temper under control, or sit this one out," Tony warns her, unusually serious. Natasha rolls her eyes and sits down at a table. Suddenly, Thor's voice booms through the air.
"This game... I like it. ANOTHA!" Tony rolls his eyes. The God of Thunder would be obsessed with Ms. Pacman. Thor mans the controls expertly, skillfully maneuvering the yellow character around the screen. The score climbs rapidly, approaching the high score. Unfortunately for Thor, Loki chooses that minute to unplug the machine. Thor howls his outrage, slamming a massive fist into the machine, effectively smashing the machinery. Tony sighs and pulls out some more money. Thor looks regretful. "I am sorry, man of iron. I will refrain from doing so in the future." Tony rolls his eyes dramatically and sighs.
"Whatever, Point Break." Thor looks like a kicked puppy as he turns to go take a seat by Natasha. He watches as Steve plays SkeeBall. He is rather good at it, managing to sink over half of the balls in the one hundred point hole. All of a sudden, the balls will not go past a certain point on the ramp. Steve keeps trying to roll the balls up the ramp, but to no avail. At last, red faced, he chucks one of the balls at the ramp, using all of his heightened strength. The barrier disappears, and the machine acquires a new hole. Steve storms over to the table where Natasha and Thor are sitting, looking disgruntled. Clint, Bruce, and Tony are the only ones still using the machines. Clint is playing a virtual hunting game, seeming to enjoy it. All of the Avengers watching wait with bated breath as Clint gets ready to shoot down the prize buck.
"Bet you ten bucks that his machine goes dark before he can set a high score," Steve whispers to Natasha.
"You're on!" Both Avengers watch the screen, waiting for the moment of truth. Clint fires the winning shot, and the screen stays on.
"New high score!" the automated voice blares.
"I win," Natasha says smugly. Steve reaches into his wallet and pulls out ten bucks. A stream of curses is heard from Clint, and both Avengers look up. The screen is back at the home screen, waiting for the proper amount of tokens to be entered. Clint stares angrily at the high score.
"That is NOT my high score," he says, voice dangerously low. Before Tony can stop him, he whips out his real bow and arrow, then puts an arrow through the screen of the console. Tony shoots him a look, but does not quit dancing. Clint stalks over to the table and sits down with the rest of the sullen Avengers. All eyes are glued on Tony, watching him jump around on the dance pad for Dance, Dance, Revolution. He is doing quite well.
"Aww, yes! I just earned the bonus round for having the high score!" Tony gloats. The bonus round begins, and Tony begins hopping around like the deranged person he is. Just as he is about to land the final move of the song, the screen goes dark as well. A stream of colorful curses fly out of his lips. "The damn game shut off!" he says disbelievingly.
"Welcome to the club," Clint remarks bitterly. Tony shoots the game a hateful look before stalking over to the table. Loki chuckles quietly to himself. If he knew that all it took to agitate the Avengers was a bunch of video games, he wouldn't have had to try and take over New York in the first place!
Everyone focuses their attention on Bruce. He is absorbed in his game, which happens to be a virtual hospital. He tends the patients quickly and efficiently, adding a profound amount to his score every time. He well surpasses the high score, and the Avengers watch and wait for his screen to go dark as well. To their surprise, his screen stays lit up until the ending sequence. Bruce's tickets begin to come out, but stop after only a few. Bruce shoots the machine an irritated look, then goes to get the owner of the arcade. Loki snickers and pulls the cord of the machine, automatically resetting the high scores.
Bruce finally manages to get the owner over to the machine to help him. The man unlocks the ticket door and begins to replace the tickets. However, when he is finished, no more tickets come out. "What about the rest of my tickets?" Bruce wonders. The owner shakes his head.
"According to the high score on the screen, you got the correct amount of tickets." Bruce glances up at the screen. His face turns red with barely suppressed anger.
"My high score was over twenty times that!" The owner shakes his head.
"What you see is what you get. Sorry," he shrugs. Bruce lets out an inhuman growl, hands starting to enlarge and turn green.
"Does that mean that I don't get the tickets OR the high score?" The owner fearfully nods. Bruce starts growing, finally letting his anger get the best of him. Soon, in his place, stands the Hulk.
"Hulk smash puny game!" the creature growls, slamming its fist into the machine. The poor owner scrambles out of the way, and the rest of the Avengers spring into action. They manage to subdue the Hulk, but only after he has completely demolished the rest of the games in the building. Tony offers the owner a wad of cash, which is accepted angrily.
"Get out of my sight! I never want to see you freaks at this arcade ever again!" he exclaims, furious. All of the Avengers walk away, starting the journey back to the Tower. Loki sits on one of the broken machines. He laughs to himself.
"They just got LOKI'D!"
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