“Doppelganger” – pt 12 of 18
HYDRA has captured four agents of SHIELD. Or have they?
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TWENTY MINUTES AGO
One moment, Agent Bobbi Morse was knocked down by the Black Widow as a gray cloud engulfed the Stane International lab.
The next, she found herself groggy but coming awake. She tried to move her hands, but they were clamped down to the gurney on which she found herself lying.
Looking around, Morse saw Clint, Black Widow, and Grifter restrained on similar gurneys next to her. Their gear lay on a table about fifty feet away.
Cables ran from the gurneys and to a variety of monitors, computers, and scanners. Arching her head to look behind her, Bobbi saw four empty tubes. It bothered her the tubes were roughly man-sized.
Fluid dripped in various spots on the tubes. Whatever had been in there had recently been released.
Two robots who looked exactly like the things that broke into Stane moved between the gurneys as if they were doctors’ assistants.
On the wall, Morse saw the same symbol she’d seen on the green and yellow-suited intruders.
They were in some HYDRA mad scientist’s laboratory.
“The first to wake, I see.”
Bobbi craned her head in the direction of the robotic-sounding voice. There was a heavy security door near their weapons. It was open.
A six-foot-tall robot with yellow limbs, purple hands, and boots walked in. Instead of a head, a tablet-sized box sat on its neck. The box appeared to be a scanner of some kind.
A video monitor comprised the thing’s torso. On that monitor was the face of a man.
The mad scientist.
“Not a smart move, kidnapping Agents of SHIELD,” Bobbi said.
“Not a smart move getting caught,” the robot thing replied. “But then again, you Americans were always inferior to the Germans.”
“Weren’t too inferior when we kicked your Nazi asses,” Bobbi shot back.
The robot thing entered the room, storming toward Bobbi. “A momentary setback!” it squealed, its robot-voice feeding back on itself.
The face on the monitor closed its eyes as if taking a moment to calm. When its eyes opened, they looked at Bobbi.
“In the time since, we have rebuilt ourselves,” it said.
Bobbi looked around. “If I were into computer tech instead of chemistry, I’d be impressed,” she said. Looking back at the robot, she added, “But if this is all you’ve got to say for a new batch of Nazis…”
“Do you remember the cloud that exploded in your face?” the robot asked. Off Bobbi’s lack of answer, it continued.
“In that cloud were millions of tiny nanites, all with one purpose — to copy the DNA of you four agents and then send your coordinates to this base.”
Bobbi’s eyes narrowed. “Those flashes of light…”
“We’ve perfected the process of teleportation,” the robot said, “but have yet to disguise the tell-tale flash of light as one’s atoms contract to cross the quantum space-time field.
“If our spies are correct, SHIELD has yet to even send a paper plate across a dinner table through teleportation.”
“We prefer the social grace of passing plates,” Bobbi said. “Now I know my ‘we’ is SHIELD. And your ‘we’ is…?”
The robot stepped back, bowing slightly. “I am Arnim Zola, chief scientist for HYDRA.”
Bobbi looked from this Zola robot thingee and to the symbol on the wall. “HYDRA, huh?”
“Yes. As in ‘if you chop off one head, two more will grow.’”
Bobbi looked back to Zola. It took some effort to prevent an eye roll. A shame, because she was very good at eye rolls. She glanced past Zola to the gurney next to him.
Grifter lay there, doing his best to play possum. Zola nor the robots noticed, but Bobbi saw Grifter’s hand slip out of his manacle. Looking at the other agents, they weren’t having any luck.
“We have remained in the shadows while the Allies’ successor SHIELD blunders in the light,” Zola said. Bobbi returned her focus to him.
“Waiting to get strong enough to strike?” she asked, planning on keeping him distracted long enough to give Grifter time to do whatever it was he had planned.
“The wait is over,” Zola said.
He turned away from Bobbi and headed toward the door. “My robots will keep you company. Until we no longer have need of you.”
Zola exited the room. The two robots lined up at the door, keeping watch on the agents.
“Tell me you can get out of there,” Bobbi said to Grifter.
“Got a hand free,” he replied. “Second I go for the other one those robots are gonna react. How about you two?” he threw to Widow and Clint.
“Never was much for sleight of hand,” Clint said.
Widow moved her hand but pulled too far. Her hand shot out of the manacle.
The robots held up their arms. Their hands bent at the wrist. Electric prods pushed out from their arms. “Put your hand back in the manacle,” one robot said in a digital voice. “We will not warn you again.”
Grifter reached over and freed his other hand.
The robots pressed forward.
Grifter rolled off his gurney and shoved it forward. Cables tore from it as it sped across the room at the robots. They easily sidestepped the gurney and continued forward, moving them into striking range.
Widow slipped off her manacle and got to her feet. Bobbi also freed herself but remained on the gurney.
“Little help here!” Clint yelled.
Grifter dashed for the table holding their weapons. The robots launched their electric attacks at him; one completely missed. The other struck Grifter, sending voltage through him.
It was enough to make Grifter lose his footing — but he slid closer to the table. He reached up to the table and pulled it over.
One of his VAD PP30 handguns fell on the floor next to him. The other skidded to the middle of the room, as did the Widow’s twin handguns and her Widow’s Bite bracelets.
Clint’s bow and arrow set plopped on the floor near the table. Bobbi’s escrima sticks rolled and hit under the gurneys.
“And now to shock your system,” Grifter said.
Widow dove, scooped up one of her guns and fired at one of the robots. Her bullet shattered the robot’s head. Sparks burst out as the thing fell to the ground.
“Seriously!” Clint yelled while pulling against his manacles.
Bobbi dropped from her gurney and picked up one of her escrima sticks. The remaining robot came at her with its electric prod. Its foot got caught in one of the loose cables from Grifter’s gurney. It tripped and fell, smashing its prod on impact.
Bobbi watched as its head exploded from a shot from Grifter’s handgun.
“And that’s an escape, boys, and girls,” Grifter said, blowing pretend smoke from the end of his gun.
“Would have loved to have seen it,” Clint said, “but, um…”
Widow and Grifter got to their feet. Bobbi moved to Clint and released him from the gurney.
“What are the chances we can now quietly slip out of this place?” Clint asked.
A klaxon sounded.
The agents looked to one another, that same “you’ve got to be kidding me” expression on their faces.
“Saddle up!” Mockingbird said. She then looked around the room.
Catching her glance, Clint asked, “What are you thinking, Bobbi?”
Agent Bobbi Morse smiled. “Always wanted to play in a mad scientist’s lab.”
To be continued…
DC Adventures, Copyright 2011, Green Ronin Publishing; Author Steve Kenson. It’s now Mutants and Masterminds, 3rd Edition
Advanced Player’s Manual, Copyright 2005, Green Ronin Publishing: Author Skip Williams.
Proteus Plot, Copyright 2006, Green Ronin Publishing, Author Steve Kenson.
The characters Hawkeye, Nick Fury, Mockingbird, the Black Widow, Arnim Zola, the Red Skull, HYDRA, SHIELD and Captain America are Copyright Marvel Comics
The character Grifter is Copyright DC Comics
None of the characters (or the plot, for that matter) belong to me as this is fan fiction, done for fun and as a creative exercise.