The heroes gather.
Bethany's answering smile is slightly wicked, her green eyes gleaming in the dim light. "Try to keep me away. And I think we might be able to accommodate you thereI believe Delta V took an axe away from one of those monstrosities; assuming he didn't toss it in the river, it might be just what you're looking for."
"I just hope we can rescue those poor women." Dumas adds.
"In any case, you asked about the others who showed up. There's one with a really incredible suit that works with electromagnetics, somehowTony, you might want to see if he wants a job. And no, that's not 'the' Captain America, but he did take an axe in the chest and didn't let it stop him. I don't really know about the one with the wings, but one of them is fast enough to run on water, and the other one can move a Chevy with his mind. Things didn't go all that well today, but I was thinkingand I think a couple of them were, toothat if anything like this happens again, some sort of coordinated response would be in order. We're going to meet tomorrow night and talk things over, I was going to see if you wanted to come along?" She glances at her employer with an inquiring expression.
"Fascinating. If you don't mind, I too would like to accompany you Aegis?"
She shrugs, one-shouldered. "I don't imagine they'd object, especially if you've got something we can use to go after those guys. I doubt I'm the only one who would like a chance to redeem today. 10:30, observation deck of the Empire State Building."
After speaking with Aegis and Stark for a while, Victor made his leave and went home to his estate on Long Island. After checking on a few experiments, Victor went to bed and rose the next day. He decided that he would spend the day fine tuning and testing his dimensional flux agitator.
As the night sky came upon him, Victor Dumas checked the large clock on his laboratory wall. Seeing that it was nearly time to be at the meeting, Victor informed his servants of such and left the area on his way into the building where he would meet the others.
The elevator ride to the top of the building seemed to take forever, so Dumas went over the plans for the dimensional traveling device in his head a few times. Technology always seemed to sooth Victor. It was something he could control and control was important in his life.
The elevator doors opened and Victor walked out onto the meeting area and looked around for any costume types or for Stark and Aegis.
After giving Tony a full, detailed account of the day's activityand making sure that she won't be needed for anything the next morningBethany makes her way home and falls into bed without bothering to take off her clothes. She wakes stiff, sore, and feeling sorry for herself, and the combination keeps her in bed quite a bit later than usual. Unfortunately, staying there all day is not an option.
Once she does get moving, a long, hot shower and some careful stretching suffice to work out some of the aches from yesterday's battle. The sooner they can go after those monsters and get those poor girls back the better, but she's going to have to be more careful this time, she thinks with a wince. The suit gives her a lot of advantages, but invulnerability isn't one of them.
When she gets to the lab that afternoon after making her usual rounds to make sure security is on their toes, she can add a pang of guilt to the day's ills, because it doesn't look as if Tony's been to bed at all, instead checking every centimeter of the Aegis armor for damage (and installing a rudimentary amplifier). The afternoon vanishes in a flurry of tests, because he's amazed that nothing went wrong yesterday and wants to make sure that it won't the next time out.
"And I don't want to hear anything about it not being fast enough, this time," he half-growls, making some final notes. "Everything looks good, though."
"But it isn't," Beth complains with a grin.
And then, after a light supper ordered out, it's almost 10:30. The observation deck is closed then, of course, but that's not a problem.
"You know, I'm really not comfortable about this"
"Oh, hush. I'm not going to drop you," Aegis assures him. "Just don't squirm." And takes off into the darkness.
Darkangel wings his way awkwardly home. He arm is aching something awful. Delta V did an admirable job of bracing the broken bone, but recommended that Darkangel go to a hospital to have x-rays done. The break could be more serious than readily visible given Darkangel's superhuman constitution.
One by one, about the appointed time, the heroes arrive at the observation deck of the Empire State Building. Shortly, all are present: Curt Connors, now clad as Delta V, is the last to arrive, zooming onto the observation deck from the side of the building. "I'm glad everyone has shown up."
With Aegis are two new faces. The first is a dark-haired man with a moustache, of medium height and built, with a slightly sick pallor to his skin. He introduces himself. "Hello. I'm Tony Stark, a...uh, friend of Aegis. This" indicates the other stranger "is a business associate of mine, Dr. Victor Dumas."
Aegis stands quietly, arms folded, watchful. Things are certainly happening quickly.
Emerald nods a brief hello to the newcomers. "Good evening everyone. Nice night to visit," he gestures to their surroundings. "And thank you for putting me up, it was helpful," the latter comment is directed at Delta Vee. "I guess we made the big time yesterday," he holds up the day's Bugle. "But in spite of all our powers the Vikings still got away with those women. I'd be all for going and rescuing those six women, but I don't know how to go after them. Anybody got any ideas?"
Dumas is about to speak up, but in the large crowd Union beats him to it.
"Dr. Dumas. Mr. Stark." Union nods at each in turn, "I'm assuming you're the guests that Aegis mentioned earlier."
The doctor nods.
"She said you might have something helpful to add to the discussion. I hope everyone is feeling better than we were yesterday afternoon, but I think we should jump into things here..." Under the armor, Adrian's mind is piecing things together, *Stark! Tony Bloody Stark! That explains where Aegis got the funds for the armor, at least. His munitions company is growing by leaps and bounds since he took over for his father.*
"Emerald is rightour first priority has to be finding out where yesterdays Norse pillagers came from, and how we can go after them to get those women back." Union swings his helmeted gaze across the group, taking in each in turn. "Any reasonable suggestions on how we can do that would be wonderful."
"Mr. Dumas, here," Aegis nods at him, "says he has something that might do the trick, if you don't mind a jaunt to another dimension, but we need something they left behind them. Didn't you grab an axe off one of them?" she glances at Delta V, as does Doctor Dumas.
Delta V responds to the questioning glances from the group, "I do have that axe. I brought it along because I couldn't figure out what else to do with it."
Dumas steps forward in his black Italian business suit, combed dark brown hair and handsome visage.
"With that ax, I believe I can get you to the home dimension of these Viking alien raiders! I have developed a device that has been successfully tested on inanimate objects and animals that would allow us to traverse the dimensional barriers and though I lack the desire to expound upon this in such a public place, suffice it to say that if I had that other dimensional weapon, I could lock down it's vibrational attunement frequency and send all of us through the barrier to rescue the women and bring them back home."
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© 1999 Mark L. Chance et al