Battle of Sokovia

Chapter 2

I watched the Quinjet pull away from the tower and wished I was on it. I wanted to help Clint find Natasha but he was right, I was needed here. After a good half hour of wandering around and trying to call her I found Maria hauled up in her office with a headset on. She seemed to be speaking to someone so I held back at the door.

"Yes Sir. Theta Protocol, if need be. Get it ready. I'll call Fury." she said and hung up. I coughed and she turned round in her chair. "Blake?"

"Maria, I've been looking for you for ages." I said slightly annoyed "I need to tell-" but I didn't finish, she held up her hand.

"I know, they called me from the jet." she said

"Right, well what's our next move?" I asked

Her face fell as she looked at me "I meant to find you, something's happened."

"What? Is it Nat-"

"As far as I know Romanoff and the others are alive but they're under heavy fire. Ultron was waiting for them. There are gonna be lots of civilians present that need evacuating."

"Why? I thought the team was going to get them to safety?"

"That was the plan but my sources say Ultron used the rest of the Vibranium to lift the city, they can't get out."

"Lift the city?" I asked in a choked voice. She nodded and turned the laptop round to face me.

"This is a live feed." she said. I looked at the screen and felt like ice was sliding down my neck.

It was pandemonium. People were running screaming through the streets of Sokovia as a huge shadow loomed over their heads. Rubble fell like meteors from the sky and crashed into the ground with such force it shattered the buildings below it. It took me a moment to register the giant crater in the ground and what it must mean.

"Oh my god."

Clint and the whole team were up there. Maria hit a button and the screen went black.

"Yeah." she said getting to her feet "Blake, I've looked at your file and agent Barton's assessment of you. I know it would be your first mission out in the field but honestly, we need every person we can-"

"I'm in." I said before she could finish "Should I get the others?"

She smiled sadly at my eagerness "No I've already sent them ahead. I need you to come with me. You're one of the only enhanced trained to go and I need you for Theta Protocol."

"I heard you say that before, what is it?"

"A back up plan." she said leading me out of the room "Get your things, we leave in five."

When we arrived we descended at least six flights of stairs, each one sending us deeper underground. Maria finally pushed open a door and I felt my jaw drop. It opened onto a huge cavernous room filled up with people and ammunition. At the centre of the room and ftaking up most of the space stood the hellicarrier.

"I thought they were all destroyed." I said turning to Maria. She smiled at my shock.

"That's what we wanted everyone to think. Come on, let's get you strapped in." She took me down another staircase onto the loading bay and slipped me two handguns. "I hope you don't need them." she said as I fitted them into my holsters.

I clapped my hands over my ears as a siren blared and people began rushing around.

"Time to go." Maria shouted at me.

Though I was terrified of the grand scale of everything I knew I had to get out in the field sooner or later. She handed me over to another agent once we reached the lifeboat boat deck. "Everything's gonna be fine." she said quietly in my ear and I felt her squeeze my shoulder tightly before she left.

"Deveraux this is you." said the agent pointing to a spot near the doors "Just wait for instruction over the coms."

"Yes Sir." I said taking a seat. Just as I did the engines hummed to life below my feet. There was a loud metal scraping as the ceiling opened and the carrier rose slowly though it. Within minutes we were above the clouds and speeding towards Sokovia.

The entire ride I thought about what I was headed into, and even though I was scared I was more frightened for the people that were already there. What struck me as odd was that my mind kept wandering to one person in particular. I barely knew him but the light haired guy, Pietro, had gotten into my head. And though I felt strange for thinking it, I hoped him and his sister were alright.

Clearly I hadn't realised how much time had passed because the carrier seemed to be slowing down. Then a loud voice echoed over the speakers.

"Glad you like the view Romanoff, it's about to get better." said Fury

Nat! She was alive. I twisted round and looked out of the window. We'd just broken through the last layer of clouds and the floating city spread out before us. I strapped myself in as another voice spoke up.

"Lifeboats ready to deploy in three, two, take em out.'"

The boat lurched sideways and we were out in the air in seconds. After so long in the dark I had to blink the light out of my eyes. The evac boat made it to land and the ramp latched onto the rock. As soon as we were stable I could see Nat and Steve ushering people onto the other boats and heard Clint's voice somewhere close by but couldn't see him through the smoke.

I spotted stragglers a few streets away headed in the wrong direction and took off after them. There were bodies lying on the ground as I sprinted past, both human and mechanical. When I made it to the people they tried to talk to me but I couldn't understand them, I pointed back to the boats frantically.

"No that way."

They seemed to understand and started forward but something heavy landed behind me and I spun round. It was one of Ultron's mechanical men.

"Go!" I yelled at the people pushing them forward. They sprinted off as I turned to face it. I rolled to the side as it raised its arm and blasted a hot current of energy at me. Something hard slammed into my side and I groaned in pain. Pulling out my gun I emptied a round into its face and jumped to my feet. Something moved at the end of the street and I just had time to duck before another one flew over my head. I thought I'd got away from it but it turned and grabbed my ankle.

"Get off!" I yelled and tried to kick it in the head. Its grip was so tight my eyes began water with pain. I pulled back my fist and slammed it as hard as I could into its head. The force of my punch melted through the metal like butter and left a huge hole in the street where its head had been.

Scrambling back into the wall I tried to catch my breath. My hands began to shake and a wave of panic rolled over me as I looked up. Four more were advancing towards me. Reaching into my boot I pulled out my other gun and tried to keep it steady in my hand. Why had I jumped so quickly at coming out into the field. I'd landed myself in the middle of a war zone before I was even properly trained.

I pushed myself to my feet as one rushed at me. Its body flung me back into the ground and stars popped in front of my vision. Clasping my hands around its neck I dug my nails as hard as I could into the mechanics. Sparks flew as ripped out the wiring and it fell twitching to the floor.

Suddenly something sped past me and the remaining robots burst apart in front of my eyes. I flung my arm over my face as chunks of metal rained down around me. There was a moment of quiet and someone strong grabbed hold of my hand and pulled me to my feet.

I opened my eyes and saw it was Pietro.

"You alright?" It was the first time I'd heard him speak. He had a strong accent like his sister. I had to admit I liked the sound of it.

"Yeah thanks Maximoff." I said looking round at the debris of metal and wiring.

"Its Blake, yes?" he asked and I nodded

"How did you know where I was?"

"Because of that." he said grinning and pointing back at the hole I'd made punching the first robot "It was like a sonic boom. But I don't understand, you are enhanced and Shield?"

"Yes but-" I stopped as I noticed he was still holding onto my hand. His was maybe twice the size of mine own and his skin was very warm.

"Well it was good seeing you again." he said dropping my hand

"Yeah, at least you have your shirt on this time." I laughed then remembered he hadn't seen me in the room earlier.

"What?" he asked amused as the blood rose to my cheeks

"Never mind." I said waving the question away

He grinned down at me and I noticed a sizeable bullet wound on his arm.

"You-" I started but someone interrupted me

"Avengers', time to work for a living." said Stark's voice and I looked round for him wondering where it had come from. Then I spotted the com in Pietro's ear.

"You heard the man." I said moving aside with a small smile

"Come on, I'll get you back to the boats first." he said stepping towards me arms open.

"What are you-" I was about to say when he grabbed me round the waist and took off. Less than a second later I was standing on an evac boat feeling like I'd left my body behind. I caught hold of a chair for support as he let go of me. Looking up I saw him wink at me and then he was gone.

I shook my head to clear it and went round checking everyone on the boat. A few people had very bad bumps and bruises even bloody cuts but no one needed emergency medical. The sounds of thunder could be heard a few streets away and I looked round to see a lightshow of colour beyond the rooftops. It was infuriating to stay here when I knew every robot in the city had converged on the team. A few tense few minutes later it was quiet.

I looked up and saw robots trying to flee the city. I jumped of the boat and did my best to keep them from getting away. Most of what happened from then on was a blur, I know I dislodged a lot of rubble both by hitting it with things and throwing it at the robots.

I turned breathless at the sound of a car approaching and saw Nat and Clint get out of it. She ran off in a different direction and as I came to a stop in front of Clint and threw my arms round him.

"Hey kid easy." he said wincing at my touch

"Oh sorry, sorry." I said gingerly letting go of him

"I told you to stay at base." he said disapprovingly walking towards the closest evac boat

"I got other orders from Hill." I said taking a seat next to the ramp.

We heard someone weeping close by and saw a woman sat on the floor crying for her brother. My heart went out to her, I hoped he was at least on the another boat. Clint had spotted something I hadn't though, the boy was across the street from us. I jumped up but before I could move Clint was running towards the boy and away from the boat. There was a sudden burst of noise and I looked up to see a jet was headed in his direction tearing up the street with bullets. I didn't have chance to call him back before he'd reached the boy.

I couldn't make it in time. My friend was going to die. The bullets rained down and I saw Clint, determined in accepting death, turn his back and shield the boy with his body.

"NO!" I screamed as the dust obscured them from my sight.

It took a few seconds for it to clear and when it did my breath caught in my chest.

The body riddled with bullets wasn't Clint's, it was Pietro's.

I watched him fall to the ground and my knees gave out under me. Clint rolled Pietro over and shook his head at Steve. That could only mean one thing.

He's dead.

Steve gently picked up Pietro's body and walked back to the boat with it. I felt him pass me and looked away. I was finding it increasingly hard to breath. Clint came on board a moment later carrying the woman's brother. I pulled myself up and dragged my feet back to where he'd sat at the back of the boat. He was injured but nothing else. As I looked down at the person laying at his feet and sank down to the floor. Pietro eyes were closed as if in sleep but the light and humour was gone from his handsome face. Blood slowly pooled beneath him as silent tears slid down my cheeks.

"It's been a long day." said Clint laying down on a bench opposite me. Pietro lay between us, lifeless and broken.

A long day? Understatement. It felt like it would never end, and looking at the body in front of me I wished with all my heart it would.

I looked away in time to see Sokovia plummet to the ground.

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