Love & Plunder – 7

One time there was this guy.  His dream was to be a weapons designer for the US military so he built a super-suit that he thought all the generals would think was neat.  He was wrong about that.  The generals thought his suit was real dumb.  To prove that his suit actually was cool he attacked one of the low rent US Army super soldiers.  His thinking was that beating up their golden boy would get him the attention of the military planners and result in him getting lots of money.   

That seems like flawed analysis of the situation to me but it was never put to the test anyway because the science man in the flying can got his ass kicked by the highly trained highly motivated killing machine pumped full of the best super-drugs the American pharmaceutical companies can manufacture.  Weird right?  The suit guy tried the exact plan a few more times and lost again each time before giving up and deciding to sell the suit to criminals.  Who instead stole the suit from him.   Because criminals. 

Sorry, I said one time there was a guy like that, I meant FIVE times.  This exact same thing happened with the five different guys who had made five different suits.  The criminal outfit that ripped them all off set up an auction to sell the suits to other criminals just like they had meant to do (which probably would have resulted in the people coming to the auction stealing them because criminals) but Lady Liberty and Liberty Lady and USA Girl #4 busted into the criminal auction boat with a bunch of JSOC guys and ruined everything in dramatic fashion.  I’m sure it was terribly exciting.  I bet someone got thrown into the water.  “Look like it’s time for a SWIM” Fourth of July Girl probably quipped. 

Those suits were our target.  Because they all had flight capabilities.  Which realistically would be a game changer all by itself.  If you could go to market with reliable personal flight capabilities you would be rich beyond your wildest dreams.  Adding in enhanced strength and diamondurium armor and integrated machine guns, or nerve gas launchers, flames, chemicals, paralysis-inducing pellets, or anything else is unnecessary.  Keep it simple stupid.   

While I’m on the subject let’s go on a short sidetrek.  A lot has been recently been made of the fact that the designs for some D-list villain armor is being posted on the internet.  It’s a media frenzy I would say.  Here’s my counterpoint to all that hand-wringing and “will someone think of the children” – who cares? 

You can find the plans for a nuclear bomb online.  Blueprints are not the limiting factor when it comes to making a super-suit, you have to have the knowledge and expertise and materials to make the damn thing.  The fear mongering news would have you believe that those plans being out there means that inevitable soon there’s going to be hordes for super-armor-clad criminals assailing every business on the block.  Wrong.  It doesn’t mean anything.   

That’s neither here nor there.  When the mohawk gang attacked us in mid-heist Mean Machine did something very stupid.  He tried to fight.  He’s a suit jockey with no suit, what was he thinking?  One of the road warriors bashed his chest in with a cinderblock on a pipe.  Magnum Master was smarter, once he realized that they were super-tough enough that his best bullets couldn’t hurt them he ran for his life.   

It Girl was a huge disappointment.  She put forth a pathetic effort at fighting off the attackers before she was knocked stupid.  I think her powers come from super-drugs and she must be super-running out of them.  Epic fail.  The stand-out of the crew was Hank.  He not only saved my buns he ran the four of them off basically by himself.   


I was loading a box containing a flying cactus powersuit and wondering if Helen was going to strip them down of all the villain “flare” before the heist when our van was violently slammed to the side.  In short order I was violently slammed into the wall of said van as well.   Physics. 

I was either badly concussed or maybe skull fractured because I was unconscious for a moment, which is a long time for me to be unconscious because I’m so tough and manly.  When Extremis heals you there’s a visible thermal reaction that looks like lava or fire under the skin.  It’s pretty crazy.  I’ve seen firsthand that some people with Extremis (they’re all dead now, by Iron Man’s hand, keep that in mind) have learned to harness that reaction to burn people by touching them, one dude even learned how to breath fire like a dragon.  I can’t do any of that.   

What I can do is tell you that when Extremis heals a severe head injury it is a feeling that you cannot forget.  It feels like being stung by a million bees under your skin.  Bees that are made of electricity.  I should start wearing a helmet to avoid head injuries I think because that sensation sucks.  But not a lame one.  Maybe one like Magnet has.     

When I came around I saw that the heist van was folded nearly in half.  The paneling on one side had ripped open because of the way the frame was bent.  Stabbed into the side of the van like a knife was a  demolition derby car/dump truck machine that looked like it was assembled from spare parts found in junkyards and airplane graveyards.  I believe the owners of this kitbashed vehicle call it the Thunder Machine.  I figured that out based the fact that the words Thunder Machine were spray painted across the front of it.   

I ripped the seam-hole big enough to climb out of (this super-strength!) onto the hood of the Thunder Machine, then fell/rolled to the ground and ducked back into the warehouse.  It Girl was listlessly sparring with one of the Choppers who looked like that guy from Justified with the gator teeth.  Monster Machine was down and looked like he was in the process of dying.  Magnum Master was nowhere to be seen.   

One of the other Choppers was on a knee like a football player who had his bell rung, while the other two were trying to bash Helen.  I’ve heard that there’s a fighting style SHEILD has developed as a technique for a non-powered person to try and take on powered people.  Nothing you do will save you against someone with true superhuman strength, but with people who are merely “enhanced” I could see it.  It’s probably just the same stuff you would teach in a self-defense class about how to fight against a stronger opponent.   

Whichever is the case, Helen knew how to do it.  Use your speed, stay on the move, redirect your opponent’s energy, all that judo stuff.  If there had only been one of them I bet she could have taken him out but with two she was on borrowed time. 

I’m proud of myself for not giving in to my anger and charging in like a bull.  That wouldn’t have done Helen any good.  I did it right.  Nice and careful I came up on them unawares like and I waylaid the one guy with a rabbit punch.  He went down hard as I knocked the second guy back with a front kick.   

After that things get confused.  I hate when in action movies they show every punch and kick in hyper slo-mo detail.  It’s not like that in a real fight, it’s like being in a hurricane, you don’t know what’s going on until it’s over.  I know that I was fighting three guys at some points.  I know that I sent another one flying with a good whack.  I know Helen was choking one of them with a wire.   

The thing I know for sure is that when they turned tail and ran, one of them stopped to shoot at Helen.  Which is bitch move, if you will pardon my language.  If you have super-strength what are you carrying a pistol for buddy? Have some dignity.   I grabbed Helen and shielded her with my body like we were hugging.   

I got shot in the back several times.  Extremeis healing or not, getting shot is terrible, I still feel pain you know.  Sometimes when people find out I have the Extremis in me they think they can stab me or wail on me with a pipe just for fun.  That hurts!  I’m a human being.   

Standing there, with the radiating agony getting shot repeatedly in the back, Helen in my arms.  It was one of my happiest moments of my life even with the pain.

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