The Hydra base was far too quiet for Steven Rogers’ liking. Captain America was not known for being jittery but this silence was making him nervous.
“Guys, I don’t like this. It’s too quiet,” he said into his comms unit.
“I could play some music if you like. What do you listen to, Cap? Sinatra?” Said Tony Stark aka Iron Man, as ready as ever with his sarcasm. Sighing in defeat, Steve explained,
“What I mean, Stark, is that there are no guards, no patrols and no watchers in the tower. Am I the only person that sees that as strange?”
“I’m with the Captain. Something isn’t right,” replied Natasha Romanoff aka The Black Widow. Steve gave her his thanks and gave a quick look in her direction. He couldn’t see her due to the trees but Steve had no doubt that she was there, covering the left; just as he knew that Clint Barton aka Hawkeye was covering the right, with Iron Man and Thor in the skies and Bruce Banner aka The Incredible Hulk waiting a few feet behind as back-up.
Steve turned his attention back to the Hydra base that reminded him of the bunkers they had during the war. All grey stone, steel doors and very few windows surrounded by a dense forest. It was a large building surrounded by wire fencing.
Over the comms unit, Tony was making his point as to why they should go ahead,
“Look, Jarvis has run heat scans all over that building and unless someone has found a way to fool my technology, which is impossible, then there aren’t too many Hydra agents in there. So let’s get this over with so we can have dinner.”
“I agree with the Man of Iron,” stated Thor, God of Thunder.
“Cheers Goldilocks,” said Tony cheerfully. Clint also spoke up, no doubt to silence Thor’s retort to Tony’s nickname,
“I also agree with Stark. C’mon Cap, when has his tech ever let us down?”
“Hawkeye’s right. I trust Starks technology,” piped up Natasha after a few minutes of thought.
“Four to one, sorry, Cap,” said Tony, who didn’t sound the slightest bit sorry.
“Alright but be careful, okay,” Steve said, sighing in defeat. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust Stark, he did; it was technology he didn’t trust. Steve knew he was old fashioned but he really couldn’t help it. He was born and raised in a time when technology was still relatively new. Waking up in an age where high tech gadgets were a part of everyday life was difficult. He was a man out of time. He would trust a soldier’s instinct over technology every time but the others didn’t always agree.
So trying to put his fears aside, Steve slowly edged forward along with Clint and Natasha. They all made it to the gate safely and Thor and Tony landed so that Iron Man could unlock the gate by using his laser to open the padlock. They lead the way through and together they headed towards the entrance making sure to be as quiet as possible as they crossed the forest floor. Steve was pleased that they were being careful, just as he asked.
With Stark’s Iron Man suit making short work of the steel door (Steve winced when it hit the floor with a loud bang), they made their way inside and began their journey along the corridors, checking the rooms as they passed and finding them empty. The uncomfortable feeling Steve had in his gut that told him something wasn’t right, got worse the deeper into the base they went.
The corridor came to end and filled out into a large hall filled with desks that were covered in papers. As they filed into the hall and began checking the papers to see if any were worth taking, the Avengers suddenly found themselves plunged into darkness.
“What the…?” said Thor.
“Still got that bad feeling, Cap?” asked Natasha, as Clint and Tony swore simultaneously.
“Worse than ever, Nat. Banner, we may need the Hulk. Get here as quickly as you can”, said Steve speaking quickly.
“Roger that, Captain. But what’s going on there?” asked Banner over the comms.
But before he could answer, Steve heard the loud sound of approaching booted footsteps.
“Everyone needs to take cover we’ve got company,” he said quietly, knowing the team would hear him over the comms. No one argued with him and with Iron Man providing some light, they took cover behind some desks.
Steve heard the footsteps stop at the door and then one of them (a rookie no doubt), said,
“Hey, I thought the Avengers were supposed to be in here! Where the hell are they?” Confused mumbles greeted his words and Steve knew they needed to take advantage of that confusion now, before they searched the room and found them. He felt Thor and Clint tense on either side of him and he knew they were thinking along the same lines as him.
“NOW!” he shouted knowing his team-mates would understand, and sure enough the Avengers jumped up and attacked. Clint loosed his arrows in quick succession, Natasha opened fire with her guns, Thor threw his hammer taking out several guards at once, Tony fired his blasters and Steve threw his shield.
The Avengers didn’t let their adversaries find their feet instead they charged them, taking them totally by surprise. After several missions together the Avengers had learned to fight effectively together, and they put that to good use now. As he knocked out more guards with his shield, he heard the unmistakable roar of the Hulk outside and vaguely wondered how the Hulk planned on getting to them, Steve hoped he didn’t try coming through the roof, he did not want to be buried under rubble.
As the Avengers fought, it was becoming apparent that they were helplessly outnumbered. As one Hydra went down, two more took their place. Although the Avengers fought well, Hydra’s advantage in numbers was starting to tell.
“Guys, we need to get out of here, there’s just too many of them,” said Steve, ducking as Thor swung his hammer.
“I can get us out through the roof but I’ll need time to laser through, not to mention space,” replied Tony.
“Alright, everyone cover Stark and give him room to work,” ordered Steve.
Steve’s orders were obeyed immediately and without question. The Avengers formed a circle around Tony leaving him room to work, whilst more Hydra agents flooded into the room.
“Better work quickly, Stark,” said Natasha, dodging a punch.
“Oh, Tasha, I know how to be quick,” Tony replied. Steve had no doubt that Stark was smirking inside his suit.
Tony hovered just below the roof with one hand on the roof (didn’t want it falling on him after all), as he used the laser on the other hand to start making a hole in the roof big enough for them to escape through.
With Tony working away, Steve concentrated on the Hydra agents that were in front of him. His shield was his only weapon but it was made out of the toughest metal in the world and in his hands it was as deadly as any gun, arrow or hammer. When Steve threw his shield, he used his fists and fought hand to hand, until his shield returned to him.
It took Tony five minutes to make a hole in the roof and with that bit of section removed; Steve could hear the Hulk’s roars and the gunfire of Hydra get louder. It sounded like the Hulk was busy out there.
“Okay guys, you need to get out of here now! Stark take Barton and Thor take Romanoff and get out of here,” Steve ordered.
“What about you, Captain Rogers?” asked Thor as Natasha put her arms round his neck and he raised his hammer.
“I’ll keep these guys busy until one of you comes back for me. But not until the others are safe, okay?”
“I’m not sure I like this plan, Cap,” said Tony nervously as he took Clint under the arms.
“I trust you both to come back for me,” said Steve with confidence.
“Stay alert, Cap,” said Clint as Thor and Natasha disappeared through the hole in the roof.
“I’ll be back in five minutes, Cap,” said Tony before he and Clint disappeared.
With his friends on their way to safety, Steve focused on the agents that now surrounded him. It took only a few seconds for him to realise that there was too many for just him alone. But Steve had never backed down from a fight and he never gave up and he sure as hell wasn’t going to start now. He just needed to hold them off until Tony came back. As Steve fought on he suddenly felt a sharp and intense pain in the side of his head and then he knew only darkness.