I spun around to become face to face with – by my best
estimate – a hundred and fifty or so snarling, flying, beasts, and another fifty or so blue-eyed soldiers.
I would really like to say that I charged into battle, repulsors at the ready, slaying anything in my path.
But my dad says not lie, unless it’s to the press or enemies.
Honestly? I turned tail and flew.
“Jarvis, full power to the thrusters!”
I zigged and zagged through the streets of London at about the speed of sound, rolling and ducking and dodging teeth and falling monuments.
”Mayday! Mayday! This is Iron Beta, I have about two hundred trailing me and I need backup ASAP!”
Still nothing. I huff and bank left to avoid a set of teeth that narrowly miss my head.
Okay, if they’re aren’t helping, then I need somewhere to hide. And fast.
I scan the horizon to see nothing but the most iconic clock in the world.
Big Ben! That’s it! Service areas behind the clock face!
I turn widely right as I pick up even more speed and head straight for the base of the clock.
Closer, closer, please don’t let me crash…
I flip up at the last second, listening to the yelps and crunches with glee as Zygones go careening into the clock.
I then spiral up the clock, taking tight and fast turns, and make more beasts and soldiers crash with each turn.
Once I reach the iconic clock face, I secure my helmet smash through the glass between four and five.
Once inside, I tumble down onto a deserted service catwalk and scramble away from the hole, where dripping muzzles are now trying to force their way inside.
“Jarvis,” I pant, “How many are still out there?”
“Approximately one hundred, ma’am.”
“Well that’s peachy. Any luck on the comms?”
“Not as of yet. A distress signal will be sent out at the earliest convenience.”
“The earliest convenience might not be quick enough, J.”
I get up and find the stairs, hoping to get down to the base level for the service entrance.
I eventually make it down two hundred something steps-
-only to be met with a boarded door, shaking with the sounds of barks and howls and snarls.
I sit in defeat, sighing as I run a hand through my sweaty hair. I disassemble my suit, both in order to keep from overheating (me and the suit) and to prevent losing power.
I was just finished snapping on my emergency comm when the first buzz came in.
“-ta? Beta, come in!”
“Iron Beta here!”
“What is going on, Beta? The last we heard of you was that mayday!” Cap’s voice is stern yet unbelievably worried.
“Monster chased me, got stuck inside the Big Ben, I’m trapped here now, so I think I’m safe for the time being. All okay out there?”
“We’re all standing. Iron Man got a little dinged and Widow may have a dislocated shoulder, but we’re okay. Stay where you are until further notice. Got it?”
I crawl over to my suit and unzip it, intending to do a diagnostic check to make sure all systems are a go, per say.
I would be doing just that, if I could only get it open.
My suit is currently stuck as a backpack shaped hunk of black and purple metal, and none of my override commands are working.
And I am panicking.
“Captain, I, ah, got a bit of a problem.”
“What is it, Beta?”
“My suit is not opening and I don’t have my bow.”
I can hear the air rush as he sighs. “Just – just stay still if you’re sure you are safe, we’ll be there as soon as possible.”
“Alright.” I reply in a soft squeak (totally not a whimper.)
I curl into a ball and scoot into the shadows, waiting for someone, anyone, on my team of magnificent heroes to come and be my knight in shining armor.
An unknown amount of time later, the barks outside of the door are joined by metallic clangs and steady – albeit almost inaudible - thwacks.
I jump to my feet and listen as the last bark turns into a gurgle and then silence.
“Beta! Beta, can you hear us?”
“Cap! Hawkeye! I have never been so glad to hear you people in my life!”
“Listen, Beta, the door is jammed from in there. Can you force it open?”
I eye the last plank securing the door and shake my head.
“Not by myself.”
“Can you try and, like, throw something against it?”
I look around my immediate area for something heavy enough to throw against it.
My eyes quickly land on my suit pack.
I bite my lip as I weigh my options.
Your dad can build another one.
But it’ll take forever, and that is my suit we are talking about here.
Do you want to be trapped in this tower for eternity? I think not! Just throw the freaking suit!
I hiss out a breath as I pick up my pack by one strap, lean back, and sling it over my shoulder at the board.
I let out a sigh of relief as the board snaps, but wince as my suit does too.
The remains of my suit land with a clatter and a few clunks just as Hawkeye and Captain fling the door open and race inside.
“Are you okay? What was that?”
“My suit…I had to throw my suit.”
Captain shoots me a sympathetic look before thrusting my bow case at me and telling me to suit up before running back outside.
Hawkeye waits for me as I quickly strap on my gear.
“Where are you perched at the moment?”
“Down on forty seventh. You can get yourself up, right?” He nods towards my wrist shooters.
He just nocks an arrow and takes off, and I’m right on his heels.
Two hundred arrows alter, we’ve made a considerable dent in the enemy forces, but there are still a whole lot out there and only two arrows left.
“Hook this with a grapping tip, shoot it over there, and swing. I’ll be right behind you, I promise!”
I spare him a dubious glance, but he just gently shoves me towards the right direction.
I take a deep breath, notch the arrow, line it up, and shoot.
Once the line is fully extended and taught, I glance over my shoulder at my crush before stepping off the edge and swinging into the neighboring building.
I land on my back and let out a groan because that hurts.
Don’t try this at home, kids!
I eventually sit up and look around the place. It seems to be an abandoned warehouse of some sort, full of dust and broken glass and….is that a blue glow in the corner?
I walk a little closer to discover that, yes, it is a blue glow, surrounding a watermelon sized device.
The blue bubble seems to be reaching out in flares, almost like nerve centers in the brain.
“Guys! I found the center!”
“Oh my god really? Is it another portal?”
“Ah, negative, Hawkeye, it doesn’t seem to be.”
“What does it do, Beta?”
“I don’t know, Iron Man.”
“What Cap said.”
I reach out a tentative finger and prod the shield.
As soon as my skin makes contact, the shield disappears and something lights up on the device.
Closer inspection reveals a two minute timer.
“Guys, it’s a bomb.”
“A what now?”
“Bomb, dad. Big boom device. If I can deactivate it, it should take down the entire army.”
“A minute thirty.”
“Taylor, get out now!”
“Not fast enough without my suit or bow or something. Better to stay here and try and diffuse it. If I don’t make it out, don’t miss me too much. Dad, put me on a private line.”
My comms beeps and my dad’s voice rings out solo.
“What in the world are you thinking?”
“Just like Manhattan.”
“You are FIFTEEN! No suicide plans for you yet! Let me think of something.”
“No time. Tell Clint I love him, know that I love you.”
“Taylor Maria Stark! You-“
I unhook my comm and throw it against the nearest wall as I turn my attention back to the bomb, now with thirty seconds left.
Look for the red wire.
Blue, blue, yellow, green, orange…
Blue, blue, green, yellow…
Orange, purple, black…
Purple, yellow, orange…
Green, black, blue…
Blue, black, yellow…
I reach to clip it, but never make it there.
Everything around me gets white and hot as I a shoved backwards by an invisible hand.
Something stabs me in the shoulder blade, but I am loosing awareness too fast to care at the moment.
The last thing I see before I black overcomes me is fire, the last thing I smell; smoke, the last thing I feel; pain.