Chasing a Break
Once winter hit, the search of Ultron slowed down considerably. The only four who could go out into the snow and during blizzards with little to no resistance was Tony, Thor, Vision, and myself. The others couldn't risk going out with the risk of serious injury, and even to begin with, they were hesitant to let us go out, ourselves.
Most of the time when they did agree, Vision and I got to do the missions, testing our abilities and relationship.
Thor didn't participate in many missions because he was having a lot of issues with Asgard and found himself constantly having to return there for whatever reason as soon as he returned to Earth.
Tony also wasn't around a lot with the searches and missions because he was constantly in his lab, working on my new heart. He had told me that he expected to be done no later than summer, and that he was confident that the current heart I had would last until then, and if not, longer. And on a couple occasions, he called me into his lab to upgrade my abilities to allow me to do more. He enhanced my speed and gave me the ability to fly.
The new ability to fly really impressed Vision and he used the simulator to help me control myself since it was considerably different from using wings to fly. He also pointed out that this would be extremely helpful on missions the required long distances.
There were a few times that we didn't have a mission success for whatever reason, and neither of us would talk to the other for the longest a day, but after that, we acted as if nothing happened. It really didn't damage our relationship too much: mostly the reason we didn't talk to each other was because we were too busy thinking of how to improve ourselves, not each other.
Each time we had a successful mission, it would mean we were one step closer to finally finishing this, and since Ultron was completely out of my body, by both means of the chip and the communicators, we knew that unless he got someone else and do to them what he did to me, he would finally be finished.
We also had a trick up our sleeves that we knew would be a huge weapon for us: Ultron thought he had finished me off for good. One time not too long after my emergency surgery, he was able to hack into the base long enough to gloat his victory, luckily me turning invisible in time for him not to notice me.
After he was gone, Tony did some major upgrades to the security of the base and for the rest of the day, we were a bit shaken up, but also saw an opportunity from this.
One day, like so many other days, Vision and I were sent out on a mission to follow a lead in London, one that required us to stay overnight for at least one night. But on the plus side, when we came back, whether the missions was successful or not, we were promised a long break.
"Well, Partner, let's go," I said after we were given our gear.
"Indeed," Vision agreed as we went to the landing field.
We both took off into the air, starting our flight to London.
"Magemancer to base, come in," I said into my communicator as Vision and I neared London.
"Base to Magemancer, report," Steve replied.
"We are nearing our location," I said. "What is our plan?"
"We have a S.T.R.I.K.E. agent waiting for you at the pier. You are to meet him and he will take you to where you will be briefed by them. They're the British version of S.H.I.E.L.D.," Steve said. "We expect an update in the morning."
"Roger, over and out," I said.
"I see the agent waiting for us," Vision said.
We both landed on one of the docks as a man wearing a uniform similar to the British flag came to us.
"Good afternoon," he said. "I am Captain Britain, or Brian Braddock and I'll be taking you to S.T.R.I.K.E., the Special Tactical Reserve for International Key Emergencies. Please, follow me."
We followed him to some storage containers and he opened the door to one, gesturing for us to go in. We stepped inside and he came in behind us, closing the door behind him.
"Begin descent," he ordered.
The floor below us started to sink into the ground.
"Did you two have a safe trip?" Brian asked. "I heard there was some weather problems."
"Nothing we couldn't handle," I replied.
"Do you need anything to eat or drink?" Brian said. "Or maybe rest before we begin to brief you?"
"Only a drink," Vision said. "We don't have the need to eat or sleep as much as you would need to. The next time we need sleep is five days from now and eat in two days."
"We're androids," I explained, seeing Brian's confused look. "I thought Cap would've mentioned that before we got here."
"He must've mentioned it while I stepped out of the room for a moment," Brian said.
The floor reached the bottom and secured itself into place.
Brian stepped off and we followed behind him. He stopped at a computer where a woman that looked a little bit like him was. "Betsy, I brought the Americans from S.H.I.E.L.D.," he said.
Betsy turned to us and gave us a small smile. "Good afternoon, Agents," she said. "I'm Elizabeth Braddock, Brian's twin sister." Before we could respond with our greetings, she continued by saying, "Rosalina Barton, otherwise known as Rose or Magemancer, and Vision, both android, one created that way, Rose, and other other born into it, Vision. And the one created was made to save her life."
"Telepathy," I said.
"Correct you are," Elizabeth said. She turned back to the computer and pulled up a file. "Name, Ultron. You know all about him, so I don't need to say all the middle stuff. The reason you two are here is because we have received reports that he is in the area. The exact reasons yet are unknown, though we do have some ideas. The biggest one we worry about: that he's attempting to hack into S.T.R.I.K.E.'s mainframe, bring us down and leave us defenseless. Without us, then S.H.I.E.L.D. would be in trouble and Ultron would try to launch another attack that could crush the world."
"So what do you want us to do?" Vision said.
"Your mission, as laid out by Steve Rogers, Captain America, is to protect S.T.R.I.K.E. while we work on upgrading the security around the hard drive," Elizabeth said. "It may not sound exactly like what you were hoping for, but with the increase of physical attacks we've had, we haven't found the time to begin an upgrade. That's why we enlisted the help of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers."
"We'll do it," I said. "Any little bit to help make sure Earth is protected and avenged is better than nothing."
"Who might we be facing?" Vision asked.
"Mostly we've been facing foot-soldiers," Brian explained. "Nothing much when it's a few, but once they group together, it's just a pain in the neck. "We haven't found out who's leading them, so if you are able to capture one, that would be most appreciated so we could question them."
We were about to reply when an alarm went off.
"Right across the river, the London Eye," Elizabeth reported. "Foot-soldiers again."
"That's our cue to go," I said.
With that, Vision and I went to the site of the problem.
"Ah, man, four different attacks in just the few hours we've been here," I commented as Vision and I sat at a table in S.T.R.I.K.E. HQ.
"Even though we've gotten rest and shouldn't need it for awhile, I think we'll need one soon," Vision pointed out, head dropping slightly as he tried to stay awake.
We both looked up as Brian walked to us, sitting down in a chair. "So I have an update for you two," he said. "Unless something bad happens and we crash and burn, we should be up and running again by tomorrow evening." He paused as he saw how tired we looked. "Are you twosure you don't want to take a break? You could watch over the computer while Betsy and I go out for the next few rounds."
After our second fight, Elizabeth had noticed that we began to get tired, though we didn't show us: she sensed it in our minds. She and her brother had mentioned that they could switch roles with us, be we had refused, saying that they had trusted us with this job.
Like before, we shook our heads.
"You guys continue working on the computer," I said. "We'll keep up with the fighting."
"After all, Steve isn't expecting us to just sit around here doing nothing," Vision added. "I'm sure this isn't just a mission for us, but the opportunity to build up more stamina to fight more battles and to fight longer."
"That's not what Steve said," Elizabeth called from the computer. "He knows that this'll be difficult for you two and while he does want you to help us, he gave us orders that if we noticed you two were pushing yourselves too far, we could use force to keep you here and rest so that you guys didn't get hurt. We don't want to, but if we have to, we will."
Vision and I sighed and gave in.
"Alright, what do you want us to watch while you're gone?" I asked as we walked to the computer.
Brian and Elizabeth passed a triumphant smirk to each other before explaining to us what was going on.
"Only a few minutes left," Elizabeth reported as she looked at the computer the next evening.
We had sent in an update to Steve and he said that as soon as they released us, we were free to return home.
Brian stood next to his sister and Vision and I was a step behind them, all of us looking at the screen as the final countdown took place.
"One minute," Brian said. "Once it's complete, Ultron will have to try pretty dang hard to get into this."
The clock ticked down and I don't know why, but I felt anguish watching it, not knowing if something was going to happen or not.
The four of us let out a relieved sigh as the clock reached zero and a message of completion appeared on the screen.
"Come, we'll walk with you to the docks," Elizabeth said. "You want to leave to get back."
"You read our minds," Vision stated with a small half-smile.
"Not this time," Elizabeth said. "I just know that you guys want to be back home."
"Well, that is true," I said.
The four of us walked to the docks and we said our goodbyes before Vision and I took off into the sky, flying back home.
"Magemancer to base, come in," I said.
"Base to Magemancer, report," Steve replied.
"We are beginning our return home," I said. "Arrival should be a little over eight hours. Mission accomplished."
"Fantastic," Steve said. "We will await your arrival tomorrow morning. And upon arrival, you will begin your well-deserved break."
"Right, over and out," I said. Once I heard Steve disconnect, I sighed.
"What's wrong?" Vision asked.
"Nothing," I said. "I'm just really looking forward to a break."