13215/Space Attack!

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Space Attack!
Date of Scene: 06 May 2021
Location: Earth (Sol, Sector 2814)
Synopsis: Svartalfar attack and the heroes repel them!
Cast of Characters: Thor, Winter Soldier, Black Widow (Romanoff), Rocket Raccoon, Captain America, Groot

Thor has posed:
    "01:44 Hours, EST. North American Space Defense sensors picked up a series of cascading failures in the satellite network above the continent. At first three major communications satellites failed, then a group of six roughly in the same geo-synchronous orbit. After that it became a steady flow of reported comms lost. Surveillance equipment and defense satellites were turned to focus upon the outage area while planet-side technicians and support personnel busily tried to recover control of the satellites. Their efforts have been fruitless so far." Reynard's voice is strong on the shared comms, the SHIELD agents would recognize him, the Avengers perhaps not so much as he was a SHIELD agent himself.
    "After the intel assets were realigned we were unable to find any foreign readings or energy profiles. It wasn't until at 01:58 when we were able to gain this image." The image on the chosen displays the Avengers and SHIELD agents were watching shifted to a single blurry shot of one of the larger comms satellites limned from behind by the moon, only with the white backgound of the other celestial body a silhouette of a humanoid figure in black armor with something across its back that could well be a weapon of some kind.
    "This has led to the conclusion that this outage is not natural or mechanical failure. We have received the go-ahead to use what assets are on hand, as well as the ok to fire up the Quinjet-X7 with its external boosters. A SHIELD team from the Triskelion is to deploy as well as a team of marines on the emergency shuttle from Canaveral. Launch is at 03 hundred hours. Gear will be on hand. Good luck people."
    Reynard's voice fades on those comm units used by the heroes. But across the distance above Manhattan the seeming quiet of space seems entirely at peace. The sensors of the people of Earth are not as advanced as some. For assuredly, if they had access to the more robust equipment of distant space adventurers... well they would see that in the Earth's orbit it is alive with curious radiant signals that would drive those sensors mad.

Winter Soldier has posed:
    "Fucking space..." Bucky grouses. It won't be the last time that's heard from the Winter Soldier, that's for sure. It wasn't the first either. He's looking decidedly uncomfortable and agitated as he goes about the process of gearing up and getting ready for yet another trip into ... FUCKING SPACE. He holds out a long tube that connects a this to a that somewhere on the suit he's trying to figure out and asks of Nat, "Where the fuck does this go?" Hell, it might be some random piece of nothing he picked up accidentally from somewhere, or it could be the most important thing when it comes to staying alive in FUCKING SPACE.

Black Widow (Romanoff) has posed:
"Did Alpha Flight pick up anything from their space station?" Natasha asked. "If we haven't already, we should touch base with them to see if they have anything further. They usually play it close to the chest when stuff with space is involved so may not share unless we ask them specifically."

She was frowning because of lots of reasons. The fact space was involved again? It was low on the list. She tapped a few keys on the computer then continued speaking into the comms for those not present and then would be able to be heard by those gathered as well. "More satellites are going down by the minute. We may end up using comms unless we are within a certain range, as we won't have a booster." She rose to her feet but grabbed a tablet in order to try to keep track of information.

Then she frowned "I can't reach New Asgard at all."

Rocket Raccoon has posed:
    IT sometimes comes as a surprise to more primitive species that there are very strict rules about space travel, especially when going faster than light. There's minimum distances a pilot should keep from a star, safety zones and exclusions zones around inhabited worlds that should never be entered without clearance, blah blah blah... the book on this is long enough to bore anyone to death. It takes a special kind of mind to read all of it. It takes an even more special kind of mind to read it just to be able to break as many of those regulations as possible. Which is why, at the edge of the solar system, a ship screams back into real space after a particularly harrowing jump. Almost immediately it begins to add to the debris that so many people are trying to keep track of.

    Inside the cockpit of the ship that's approaching Earth at an interesting fraction of the speed of light, Rocket is so focused on keeping control that his right eye is twitching. "I keep telling ya..." he calls to his companion, irritably "... we didn't need the flux inhibitor. It's just junk, dunno why they put 'em on these old Quarnex drives. Why'd you wanna limit the jump range? Who cares what sort of stress this frame was built for, big whoop, like they've never heard of internal bracing or somethin'...."

    In a rather spectacular pyrotechnic display, a significant chunk of the hull parts way with the spaceframe of the vessel, trailing sparks and incandescent plasma from several rents in the fuselage. Slowly, and without acknowledging his partner in cr- totally legitimate salvage, Rocket flicks off the alarm that suddenly started warbling.

    "Yeah, we didn't need that bit anyway. Just slowin' us down..."

Captain America has posed:
Three hundred hours was a little early for Captain America, but not by much. He was usually an early riser, often playing Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Jimmy Dorsey, Artie Shaw when he woke up. So when he had to be up and ready by three hundred hours for the launch, he was well rested, able, and in a chipper mood.

There were no signs of bags under his eyes, nor did he seem to be relying on coffee like some of the other people. Not being used to space flight, he had arrived where and when he was needed, fitted with the appropriate equipment. There was a space variant of his uniform, bulkier than usual, but not that much. It was designed for space, but with the latest advancements.

"Oh, don't worry about it Buck, just think of it as a leisurely drive in the country. One of the techs even gave me some music for the trip. Said it'd suit our style. He told me to make sure we're on frequency three." Cap would place the disc into the console as he had been instructed, setting it to the frequency that Bucky and Cap's helmets were on, and hit play. This way the others who needed their ears wouldn't be distracted. 'Space Cowboys (Yippie-Yi-Yay)' by 'N Sync would play.

Groot has posed:
Groot has read the entire manual for safe space flight. In actual fact, he has read several. Not that anyone knows that. Unlike the creature actually /flying/ the ship. Or, well. Breaking it. "I am Groot <<The Quarnex>>," is said quite firmly to Rocket. "I am Groot. <<Apparently>>" Groot braces himself against the wall as that bit blows off inn its spectacular display. "I am Groot. <<This is going to hurt>>" That last one? It just sounded resigned.

Thor has posed:
    Upon the tarmack at the Triskelion there's the steady whine of jet engines as other Quinjets prep for take off and launch. Various Tactical Response Teams are mustering on the tarmac as a general call went out and many agents were brought up. Though as many of those jets move into launch position, a wide berth is given for the experimental Quinjet with its multitude of boosters attached by explosive bolts onto the sides.
    On the comms, another SHIELD agent's voice is heard, one of the handlers for the operation. His voice is already a bit crackly from the satellite interference. "Comms are spotty across the hemisphere, we lose and regain connection repeatedly."
    The loading ramp to the Quinjet-X descends and it might be the first time some of the team have seen the airlock compartment inside that takes the place of half the cargo area. The red light on the inside can be seen glowing a bright crimson until that ramp touches down before the SHIELD team. Then that light flickers to green and signals that loading may begin.
    Meanwhile, in space, the speeding rushing form of Rocket and Groot's entirely likely honestly gained and earned through long hours of legitimate employment spaceship dashes across the system plane, hurtling in the direction of the third planet of the sun.
    Across the bright displays on the control panels a myriad of alarms go off signaling likely the awareness of a large number of orbital satellites as well as high levels of Novic radiation and Dark Matter levels that are entirely too high to be healthy. And never heard of being recorded in this particular sector before.
    Or, at the least, in a long long time.

Winter Soldier has posed:
    Don't worry about it Buck? Bucky SNORTS. "I. Hate. Fucking. Space." He's been known to drop and f-bomb or two, maybe three despite it not really being a word of his 'era'. But it's getting excessive. Why? Because he HATES space. He shoots a glare in Natasha's direction. It's her fault! Obviously her fault! It's always her fault. Then... there's that song in his ears, in his HEAD almost and suddenly? Well, there's something he hates more than fucking space. "Th'hell is that noise?" He sucks in a deep breath and lets it out slowly along with a, "Sorry," aimed at his childhood friend. ...and he is, sorry, but it likely won't be the last time he's snippy tonight. Space. Spacespacespacespace.

Black Widow (Romanoff) has posed:
"Oh dear," Natasha says as she enters the experimental ship. She is not a fan of this. At all. She's been changed into her 'space gear' which is on over her usual costume. She did insist on bringing her weapons though the Glocks are likely not to be used on Space. Things like breaching the hull and catastrophic structural failure and the like. Yet, they are comforting weight strapped to her thighs and thus she is keeping them. Wristbands are shifted to the outside of the suit as well beause --reasons. Dammit.

She moves toward the front because if she's going to end up in space, she's at least going to have a good view. She'd prefer to be the one driving actually.

Rocket Raccoon has posed:
    "Okay, maybe, MAYBE, we needed that bit." Rocket admits grudgingly as more alarms keep going off, entirely taking his mind off the fact that something is wrong in this sector of space where he'd been visiting so very recently. It's all still there, the tangle of space junk that's slowly growing larger in the cockpit view, with bits spanging off the navigation deflectors. Until, of course, they too fail and those pings turn into cracks as they begin to scrape against the ship. Biggest issue right now? They're caught in the gravity well of that junkyard planet, and among the bits that /apparently/ they didn't need were most of the reverse thrusters.

    "Here, make yourself useful..." Rocket leaps out of the seat and motions to the control stick "... grab control for a moment, will ya? I've gotta slow this bucket of bolts down."

    And as Rocket starts to pull a panel off the wall and dive into the wiring there, he mutters to himself. "Before that frickin' planet does it for us..."

Captain America has posed:
"I think... I think we've been goblined." Was that the word? He had heard that Captain America had heard? "No, trolled. That's the word." Steve was doing his best to keep his friend level headed and calm, but it was hard, as Bucky really hated space. Why did he even volunteer to come on the mission if he had this kind of problem? Oh right, because Bucky was a hero, who would fight through his inner demons for the greater good. Turning off the song, Captain America thought about destroying the disc, but instead, put it into his pocket, and would return it to the tech who gave it to him, as maybe the tech genuinely thought they would like that noise. It was worse than the engines of the Quinjet.

Captain America had his shield strapped to the back of his suit. It too wasn't all that useful in space. Deflecting any kind of blast or projectile was likely to result in problems for the ship. If he redirected it, he would have to be bang on, and throwing the shield, well, that would be one way to lose it forever. But it was comforting all the same. After doing his best to calm down Bucky, he would make his way towards the front, coming up on Black Widow's left, "do we have any sedatives onboard?" And he moved enough ahead of her that he could hint with his eyes that Bucky could probably use a mild one. Just enough to take the edge off, even if it dulled the senses. It was risk versus reward.

And then as he looked at the console, he spotted something. There was a list of all the people aboard, detected by chips in their suits, or through some other sensor. Knowing who was onboard wasn't the issue. It was the names. Why was Bucky listed as Minty Winty?

Groot has posed:
Out ahead of them, there's that Novic radiation aand Dark Matter. Groot peers out the front viewport, his eyes narrowed. "I am Groot <<something isn't right>>," he says, voice soft and more serious sounding than it usually is. "I am Groot <<There's a pattern>>." Groot shifts the bulk of his woody body closer to the front view port, his arms and legs spread wide to brace himself against the bumpy ride.

Groot's head turns slowly as Rocket speaks, and he extends a limb, somewhat slowly, to the control stick. His fingers curl around it. Then the rest of his body moves, just as slowly, and sits itself down in the seat Rocket had vacated. He ignores the raccoon in favor of watching the energy pattern he'd mentioned, the readings on the navigation panel, and where he's going.

He angles the ship a little, turning the nose a bit more toward the planet. "I am Groot <<The planet is pretty>>. I am Groot <<It didn't do anything>>." He angles the ship a little more, bringing the nose to a direction that is angled, but going straight at the planet. Maybe this was a bad idea?

Thor has posed:
    Once the team is loaded, the ramp closes and secures the ship. They'll feel the pressure and shift of the air in the cabin as the pilot's voice comes across the in cabin speakers, "We have a seven minute flight to get to burn altitude, then from there we'll have three minutes until we're on station. Strap in, please. And good to be serving with you." Since really it's not every day one flies Captain America into space.
    Then once the team is settled, they'll feel the familiar tell-tale roar and whir of those Quinjet engines, the whine growing higher until the vehicle lifts up and off... sluggishly. Slower than a normal launch as the engines complain... perhaps long enough for Bucky to start worrying...
    And then it breaks the bonds of gravity and launches into the sky, rushing forward and upwards as the nose tilts back and angles. The windows are covered inside the vehicle to provide extra hull compensation for the pressure shifts and so they don't see the rush of the Earth beneath them, nor the incredible speed they're starting to reach.
    In space above, the hurtling ship piloted by the daring duo shifts its trajectory subtly. Suddenly another layer of warning lights flash on, and then their data displays blaze with a brilliance of cascading information in a myriad of languages which all relate...

    << SENSOR SWEEP >>
    << SCANNED >>
    << WARNING! >>

    And on the forward monitor no less than a dozen... then fourteen... then seventeen blazing angry red icons emerge as targets that are hostile and scanning the incoming ship. A quick check on what those things are comes back with small objects, perhaps two meters long, branching out into independent flight and heading towards the ship at high speed.
    In the Quinjet there's word, "Team, Reynard. We've got a report that something has been deployed in the area. I've got twenty independent vehicles leaving orbit and what looks like thirty spreading out around the central area of the activity. Image to follow."
    Which when they get a chance to look will be a quick electronic scan of a small jagged looking object against the green background of image enhancement. It looks like a long fin with two fins set across it like wings.

Winter Soldier has posed:
    He makes a mental note to give Steve a crash course in time period appropriate colloquialisms and slang, things he did manage to keep up with as the Winter Soldier. They were kind of a requirement when he had to fit in. Bucky finally settles down, in so much as he stops grumbling under his breath. However, he's settled into GLOWER mode. BuckyGlower(tm) is a lot like BuckyStare(tm) only with more brow furrowing. Either one is an intense thing to be subjected to. Currently his companions are spared though as the subject of his glower is just the wall directly across from where he's taken up position. His jaw's clenched so tightly that it's a wonder he's not cracking teeth and it's through that clenched jaw that he comments, "Not a sedative strong enough in the world, Steve..."
     His nostrils flare. "We're all going to die..." It's a statement of fact! He knows it. Seems resigned to it. It's really a good thing he's not in a position to see those monitors on the other ship "Suddup, Nat," he grouses and for just a moment she's the subject of BuckyGlower(tm). Any other time, the idea of being bitten by ... no, no. It would always be all kinds of wrong.

Black Widow (Romanoff) has posed:
Finding there was no view, Natasha turned back to the main area of the ship and settled into one of the jump seats there with the rest of the team. She strapped in and prepared for their launch.

Which was less than impressive as they moved slowly, the sound off on those engines. She was running information though her head and guessed it was the additionally weight it was carrying. "I duno, a Widow's Bite might slow you down for a few minutes at least," she offered to Bucky's statement about no sedative strong enough.

"We could try that if you like? Just until we get out of atmosphere?" She's teasing of course.

Rocket Raccoon has posed:
    "Hang on t'somethin', I'm gonna..." Rocket begins when he feels the ship shift slightly, and looks up at the navigation screen... The wire he'd bitten through and was holding in his hands falls to the floor, still sparking, and he glowers. "Or we can do a gravity brake around the planet, skimmin' the atmosphere. Sure."

    In a half sulk because he didn't get to make something else go BOOM, Rocket climbs into the co-pilot chair and glances out of the corner of his eyes to the smiling tree. "Eh. Good flying. You done good." Which leaves him time to start looking at the sensors. "Whaddya mean, somethin' ain't right? There's nothing right about this place. Look at it, there's more junk here than..."

    Uh oh.

    In a matter of moments, the whole cockpit is bathed in red light, as every threat recognition scanner seems to come online.

    "Screw this! What're they shootin' at us for? Try to lose that crap in the big pile of crap in orbit!"

Captain America has posed:
It had been years since Steve Rogers came out of the ice, but unlike before, he doesn't really blend and integrate with the wider society. Back before he underwent the super soldier serum, he was up on current events, popular culture, he went to the pictures, listened to the radio, read the newspaper. But today, the pictures are all filled with computer generated images, light on story, and filled with political agendas. The radio is mostly used for music. And the newspapers are dying, replaced by memes and social media. Add to that his job kept him away from the common folk during his working hours, so his time intermingling was limited. He had been trying to catch up, but it was a slow process, and he didn't seem to be in any hurry to speed it up.

Turning to his friend, Steve flashed that perfect smile, "well, I could always just knock you out, old man." He had just turned 112. For the better part of a month, Bucky would officially be two years older than Steve. Strapping into one of the vacant seats, he smirked as Natasha offered, or threatened, to use her Widow's Bite on Bucky. "See Buck, how does that sound. Just a little sting and everything'll be all right." He was teasing too, of course. "And," looking at Bucky and Black Widow, "in the unlikely event that you're right," and we are all going to die, "I can't think of a better group to go out alongside with." He was genuine there.

Groot has posed:
Groot narrows his eye holes again, peering this time at the sensors. "I am Groot <<We have been targeted>>," he says. He sounds calm. Matter off fact. And he doesn't change course in the slightest. "I am Groot <<Shoot them>>." This is something Rocket likes doing /anyway/, so Groot doesn't foresee a probem at all.

The ship remains on course. Speeding far too quickly toward the planet. "I am Groot <<They are not. Someone else is shooting at us. Too advanced. Their stuff is like the tools space lemurs use>>." Ooh, burn.

As it happens, Groot is holding course, and that course is taking them straight at the ship that had just launched from the planet. "I am Groot <<This could get bumpy>>," he advises.

Thor has posed:
    Outside in the void of space, that score of black and edged man-sized drones slice across the distance toward the hurtling space ship coming in hot toward the planet. As they get closer their four wings snap open with silvery blades slicing into a position of prominence and glowing with a greenish energy. They hold their fire until they get close enough to the ship as they shift formation and flare out to widen their net, seeking to cut off escape vectors.
    On the comms the SHIELD agents will hear, "Things are rapidly happening, team. They've launched ordinance, and our labcoat brigade has analyzed the extent of the outage. It seems there's a pattern to it, and we've identified five areas where they've consolidated multiple satellites into makeshift platforms and seem to be operating from there."
    On the data displays on the walls a current tactical image will display, showing the curve of the Earth and the current orbital deployments. "Looks like there are currently five points of focus, they're trying to create connections between those points using some form of energy that we can only detect by the interference it sheds. I'm going to need you to seize one of those points and hold until relieved. Do you understand?"
    The image flickers and fades for a moment, then snaps back into view. "Whatever they're doing," Reynard's voice is rough, "We can be damn sure it isn't good news for us."
    As he says that the internal deployment lights flash on and the red light illuminates the entire passenger cabin as the system warns them about the upcoming drop.

Winter Soldier has posed:
    Bucky leans his head back and closes his eyes. Anyone paying attention would see it, the way he's absolutely willing himself to calm the fuck down and get with the program. He lifts his head again after a few deep breaths but his eyes remain closed. He rolls his shoulders, rolls his neck a few times and opens those intense blue eyes. If they didn't know better, his friends would swear someone just whispered ten words in Russian in the Winter Soldier's ear. Flat, emotionless, nothing showing in his expression now. He might as well announce that he's 'ready to comply'. It's showtime and his game face is solidly in place.

Black Widow (Romanoff) has posed:
Natasha unstraps immediately and heads over to the weapons cache by the wall. She picks up two of the laser weapons, tucking one into the belt she is wearing for the moment as she checks the other. Then the same process is performed for the other weapon as she stows the first. Twelve shots. It isn't great but hopefully there won't be a need for that many and she won't miss. Being in space? Who knew?

She moves to the rear ramp, preparing to jump to point and protect it from--whatever is out there.

Rocket Raccoon has posed:
    "Shoot them? SHOOT them?!" Rocket roars as he watches those... things... come at the ship. "Frickin' genius, why didn't I think of that?"

    That twitch around his right eye is back.

    "Thirty seconds, and show 'em how real bounty hunters fly." Snarling, Rocket leaps out of the seat and runs back through the smoking and stricken ship, clambering up a ladder with surprising speed. There is a shower of sparks from something up there, and the unmistakable hum of some fairly potent weaponry coming online, sucking as much power from what remains of the reactor as it can.

    On the dorsal section of the fuselage, a semi-circular blister suddenly turns and sprouts a pair of blaster cannons. As the camera zooms in through the transparent dome, it focuses on a grinning Raccoon strapped into the single turret seat, both hands on the controls and triggers, a targeting module over his right eye.

    "C'mhere, lemme show you how we do things in civilised space..."

    Cue the sudden eruption of automatic energy weapon fire in the direction of the drones. And, for some reason, 'Barracuda' being broadcast on a wide frequency.

Captain America has posed:
Sometimes it was scary to see what had happened to Bucky. He was still Captain America's closest and oldest friend. But at other times, he was a former Russian asset. He was brainwashed. He was the Winter Soldier. He was glad that his friend had his 'game face' on, but Steve's baby blue eyes betrayed his concern; the way they darted to Bucky, looking him up and down, that intense, yet compassionate stare.

But hearing those three little words shook Captain America from his concern. He immediately unstrapped himself, pulled out his shield, and stood on the deck of the Quinjet. Waiting, ready, "You heard it. We one of those points hold until relieved." He nodded his head as Natasha geared up, and he offered a hand to Bucky to help him up once he finished unstrapping himself. "Come on old friend, we have work to do."

Groot has posed:
Groot shakes his head with ponderous slowness. Everything the tree does is slow, but it's also precise. He makes a minute adjustment on the joystick and then nods once. "I am Groot <<Overkill>>." He doesn't respond to Rocket's sarcasm. He's used to it. He scans over the navigation pannel, and flicks a switch on, giving Rocket just a little more power for his firepower. They're going fast enough on innertia, and being drug into the planet's gravity well, that it isn't going to make much difference anyway.

He flips another switch to speak into the comms. "I am Groot <<Ten minutes to start gravity break>>." At least there's warning. Of a sort. That means he's going to have to adjust their course. So Rocket has ten minutes to have fun and enjoy himself. He grins a very wide grin at the song that starts playing. His head bops along with it, leaves bouncing with the motion.

Thor has posed:
    That section of space some distance off but perhaps barely in view suddenly becomes vibrant with light as multiple beams lance back and forth between the hurtling drones and the ship that rushes toward the planet. A group of drones flips and takes a different vector to try and avoid the fire even as the wings snap around and become legs of a sort, stabbing into the hull of the ship as they collide and start crawling like wicked metal spiders upon its surface.
    On the higher angle, Rocket has no shortage of targets as those cannons come to life and the song's hectic beat thrums through the cabin. Lance after lance of beams fire, striking clean and slicing through one of the metal drones slicing its left wings clean off and leaving a burbling trail of purplish ichor that globulizes in the vacuum of space.
    Several more illuminate brightly and then explode as more blasts come from the charging ship, pattering the hull with debris as Groot pilots it forward.
    As the team of SHIELD agents made ready, other operatives grabbed some of the zero-G weapons and armed up in their black and grey space suits with the SHIELD insignia. The ship arcs around, turning slowly from the shift. Then the red light flashes once... twice...
    The green light illuminates and the airlock ramp opens with a jolt of metal while it unfolds. Suddenly the universe is before the team, all black and starlit with the moon brilliant though far off. Before them is the horrible hodge podge mish-mash of a platform created from debris of other satellites. Part of a scientific station is there, now nothing more than a walkway around a central pylon of wrecked and destroyed space debris.
    The ramp finishes opening, the green light turns solid, the pilot's voice is heard as he says, "Go go go!"
    Even as purple bolts of energy sizzle across the distance as the team are instantly under fire from those floating black drones. Most are stray shots, but one slams hard into the chest of a nearby agent and sends him jerking back while red spheres of blood emit from his chest, his life suddenly ended.

Winter Soldier has posed:
    "Yup," it's a Bucky word, not a Winter Soldier word. It's still Bucky in there, as they all already knew... it's just Bucky clothed in years and years of being forced to feel nothing. It's times like these that those years might seem to have been a boon rather than the hell they truly were. He takes Steve's hand and pulls himself to his feet. He allows himself one little half grin as he says, "'til the end of the line." Because, well, he's still kind of convinced that's where they're all heading, the end of the line.
    For Bucky, it's a laser and a rifle. The laser weapon is tucked away, the rifle held close and ready as he takes up position a little behind Nat. He'll cover distance as she covers the close threats. He raises the rifle, ready.
    ...and cover distance he does. The rifle may not be the best for aiming, but what it lacks in tech, he makes up for somewhat in skill. Two long range blasts are laid down to try and provide a little bit of cover when the ramp opens to immediate attack. The fallen agent does nothing, changes nothing, he feels nothing... finish the mission. ...until later, he'll feel the loss later.

Black Widow (Romanoff) has posed:
As the cover fire is laid down by someone she's coordinated with many times in her past, Natasha is firing the thruster on her suit and making way toward that makeshift platform created out of what once were satellites and stations.

She twists in the air, firing off two towards toward those drones, then finishes her spin as her feet touch the platform. A button push and the magnets in the boots activate, giving her firm footing but not locked enough she can't move. She makes her way to one of the points, crouching to make herself a smaller target and firing off two more rounds.

"In position," she announces over the comms. Once there, she actually shifts so she has her back against something in case she ends up using the rest of her ten shots and has to resort to something with recoil.

Rocket Raccoon has posed:
    These things are fast, but Rocket tracks them as they move. And the drones that try to get ahead of the ship will find that burst of fire are coming their way before the turret swivels back to resume firing at the drones closest to the ship. It's taxing to keep track of so many vectors and anticipate their movements, their tactics, their intent.

    It's nearly enough to give a Raccoon a headache.

    "Groot, they're boarding. Give 'em some."

    Trying to steal their perfectly legitimately stolen ship? This. Will. Not. Stand!

    He still has the countdown to the gravity brake in the back of his mind. This... could get a bit tricky. If this is humie tech, he's gonna have to have words with Quill later...

Captain America has posed:
Bucky was morbid, but Cap was used to it. He shook his head and smiled at the repeated use of 'til the end of the line. It made him smile, every single time, but it was sad that their tagline seemed to be about how they were going to die. "One of these days, you're going to be right about that Buck," and then he confidentially added, "but not today." No one was going to die today.

Reluctantly, Cap took a weapon, some kind of single handed laser or blaster. He was certified in its use. He had trained for it, but not in zero or low gravity. That might take some adjustments. He knew of them, but had little practical experience at dealing with the issues from space combat.

With Bucky laying cover fire, Cap went out. Shield at the ready. He leaped and jumped, engaging his thrusters, making great air time. He could jump a fair distance, but in this micro gravity, it was even better. He would fire the laser blaster once in range, using his shield to protect himself. He even sent his shield precariously through the air, blocking a blast that was coming for Black Widow, she probably would have dodged it, but by cutting it off earlier, he made an opening for her to get a better shot.

Once he reached the platform, he would reply, "second asset in position." He too would crouch, but he was a bigger target than Widow, plus he had the shield come back to him. Someone else might have let out a phew that it had worked, but Cap knew how the shield responded. He had been using it for a good chunk of his conscious life. While defending his position, he would try and lay some cover fire for Bucky to join them.

Groot has posed:
Groot holds the ship steady. It's all he can do in the moment. At least, if they want to survive what they're about. He grimaces at the sound of those drones hitting, crawling across, and attaching themselves to their ship. "I am Groot <<We have company>>." He stay where he is, though. For now.

"I am Groot <<They will have to wait. I have to keep adjusting. This bucket of bolts won't stay on course properly>>," he says. Thus, he will stay where he is. And deal with any that come into the cockpit. "I am Groot <<Once we're past this.. net, I think it's a star, you can go play with the ones that boarded>>." He's more interested in staying on course. Performing that gravity brake requires the right spot be hit at the right time, and turning at the right time.

Thor has posed:
    The sounds of hard metal slamming into metal is heard as the ship's hull is under assault by the spider-like ships, thumping and slamming their claws into the surface of that rightfully purloined vessel. Near the rear of the ship there's a warning as yet /another/ alarm sounds.

    << HULL BREACH >>

    Several drones try to vector an assault trio toward the turret that is firing and taking a toll on the robotic organisms. No less than six of the autonomous units are felled by that flash of energy from the weapons-fire. More greenish energy lances from several of the drones, scoring a blast into the hull of the ship while another beam traces along the vessel trying to wash over the weapons blister.
    Around the central pylon the weapons-fire is no less intense. The great makeshift platform twists slowly in the vacuum of space. Purple and green weapons-fire are sent hurtling to the SHIELD agents as they make that progress toward the structure. Shaped like a pylon that's settled on a large circular plate, it has a lot of room to gain purchas, and the mish-mash nature of the equipment used to create it lends a lot of room for cover and cavitations to hunker down in. Which as several other SHIELD agents make 'landfall' they utilize to the fullest.
    Bucky's shots track and track well, the first perhaps not hitting, but striking an area between two drones and peppering them with shrapnel and debris. The second shot lands square in the central 'eye' stalk of the cyborg and /explodes/ it into pieces which causes a whoop of victory to be heard from one of the other agents.
    Natasha hits and makes it to that central pylon and sees what looks to be like the only piece of technology that isn't made from the hodge podge of space debris. A black metal ring some three feet in height seems to be affixed around the base of that pylon and thrums with a feeling of power and malevolence as parts of it flash green now and again. It might be intimidating in a way...
    Until one of the drones skitters around the base of that pylon and raises its metallic arms then brings them down trying to impale the former Russian agent.
    Another drone blurred into view around the side of the platform, coming up and around seeking to flank the team. Only for it to catch that blast from Cap's focused duration laser. It shone brilliantly for a moment, then seemed to blister as four large bubbles formed from whatever was inside it, then exploded outwards in that greenish ichor.
    There's a voice on the comms as one of the agents says, "Cap, on your left!"
    Perhaps just enough time for the good Captain to catch a flicker of what could be a heat haze just out of the corner of his eye.

Winter Soldier has posed:
    Thrusters... in space. But Bucky isn't thinking about it now, he's not much thinking at all. He's just reacting, doing what needs to be done. When Natasha makes her way off the ship and toward the target, he's airborne as well with that rifle still at the ready. One more shot, another... cover for his partner and, perhaps, an attempt to draw all their attention away from her and on to him. Correction, away from THEM on to him. His two best friends in the WORLD were out there, the only thing that might make him more inclined to put a big old target on his own back would be the addition of one Witchy Woman to the mix... then it would be ALL of his friends out there. Two people that he would lay his own life down for any moment of any day of the week. Another blast, one more aimed at the thing going for Natasha: LOOK AT ME, I'M THE ONE YOU WANT, I'M THE ONE DOING THE DAMAGE! But that isn't to say he's wanting to die here, no he wants very much to live. So, while he may be an open target, he's doing his best to be a difficult target by keeping on the move, zipping this way and that and back and forth and up and down, dancing in the air like a little gnat that's hard to swat.
    And so he'll continue, laying down fire and brimstone at anything that dares fire on or get too close to his friends, pretty much his *world*. ...that is until he runs out of ammo? How many rounds in this thing?

Black Widow (Romanoff) has posed:
Holding her position, Natasha is making sure her shots count. She isn't even aware of the save by anyone at her back because that's what they do. They have done this so often. Each covers the other.

Speaking of, two of her fired rounds take out two more drones. Each was aiming for her teammates, one after Cap and one after Bucky. Then she continued to work on eliminating the theats so she might get a better look at what they were protecting.

Rocket Raccoon has posed:
    It's quite a sight. One you'd prefer not to see when you're in a spaceship under attack by unknown technology that is capable of cutting through the hull... that's the sight of yet another chunk of the ship parting company with the rest, in a plume of escaping atmosphere. "Fine, I'll deal with it myself, as per frickin' usual..." Rocket grouses and drops down from the turret.

    Moments later the turret blister is gone, sliced clean off the ship. Atmosphere rushes out, and Rocket is in no hurry to stop it, slapping the activation panel for his suit.

    In the gloom as lights begin to fail and the swirling mist of evaporating air fills the corridor, there is a series of clanks, the hum of a small generator coming online, and the unmistakable sound of metal sliding along metal.

    When the drones scuttle in, they're greeted by two glowing red eye lenses, and one pissed off Raccoon holding a blaster rifle almost his own size. For a few moments there's the sound of an intense firefight, and bits of technology ping away along the corridor, accompanied by the whooshing of plasma bolts and the loud scream of a Rocket near the end of his patience.

    After these very crowded few moments, there is a moment of blessed silence, broken only by soft panting.

    "Groot, we need a new plan. Ship's falling apart, an' I can't save it with these things crawling all over it. Find us a good spot to crash."

Captain America has posed:
"Acknowledge" Captain America replied to the SHIELD agent on the comm. System, which prepared him for the cloaked figure that approached him for the left. He had actually seen it, spotting the stars that were blocked by the black clad figure. It had a knife, and tried to stab him in the side, but Cap had managed to grab his arm before, and fought with him. The blaster was simply let go, hovering in the microgravity. It could be retrieved later, but he had the blade to deal with. It was also surprisingly good at its job, forcing Cap to elbow it, kick it, and eventually, push off against the platform, where he got some distance, and tried to shoot at the figure at close range.

Though even as he fought, he was aware of his surrounding, and spotted a cluster of five drone forming up to make a rush from the opposite side of the pylon. Pressing the comm button on his suit, he would alert Bucky, Natasha, and the SHIELD agents on the Quinjet or who had joined the fray of the danger, "five drones incoming, attack vector," and he would explain the direction using the space coordinates he had been supplied to relate direction, and then for anyone who hadn't bothered to read the report, "opposite side... Buck."

Groot has posed:
Well shit. Venting atmosphere is a /bad/ sign! "I am Groot <<We have a breach>>," he says over the intercomm. He doesn't breathe, as such, but he still needs oxygen to survive.

Too soon, that point has been reached. Groot turns the ship just so. The angle is perfect. Their ship starts to glow as they hit the edge of atmo. It burns off anything still on the hull. "I am Groot <<It might get a little warm. Sorry>>," he says over the comms.

The exact moment it's time, Groot turns the ship again, so their trajectory is flatter than would be for a slingshot maneuver. The ship turns, and slows and comes out the atmosphere going much slower than it had before. But the engine lights are showing something going critical now. Something important had been hit! "I am Groot <<Time to get off, Rocket>>." Said with some urgency.

Grooy sets the autopilot before releasng the controls. He heads down the stairs at as fast a pace as he can manage, heading for the airlock. He snags Rocket as he goes. "I am Groot <<Hope your big gun is on the way>>."

From the outside, the ship appears to be on a direct collision course with the pylon the Avengers are at. But then, it flies just past it as two figures eject, floating through space almost serenly toward the platform.

Thor has posed:
    The trio of old teammates work together and work together well. And the other SHIELD agents that remain have formed a strong perimeter around the team, for one thing each recruit knows is that if you're in combat and Cap's there... stay near him and do what he says.
    They create a defensive perimeter and steadily are able to mete out punishment to the drones. Direct hits with the rockets seem to take them out cleanly, as well as maintained contact with the laser beam held on one place. But other than that they seem rather hearty.
    Yet Bucky's shot at the one menacing Natasha is one of those that /smashes/ straight into its central carapace and blasts it asunder, creating almost a shotgun explosion of debris that peppers another of the creatures. While on the comms there's a strangled shout of "AAAARGH!" from one of the other agents as a drone /lands/ on him and stabs its claws into his helmet, shattering the glass and causing a violent expulsion of internal atmosphere.
    Meanwhile in the darkened damaged corridors of the Ravager ship, those drones turned, talons clattering on the hull as their own reddish eyes flickered across the way and identified the target. Weapons snapped up...
    Only for sizzling smoking ruins to be left as the Raccoon dealt his own version of justice. Yet sometimes one has to know when to call it even as that ship hurtles through the dark of space... and those twin figures seem to float free while their ship hurtles toward the platform... and then past while still trailing some drones still seeking to carve it up wickedly.
    On the Pylon, Captain America was confronted by that dark figure. It was a blur of motion as the two struck and counter-struck, each seemingly compensating for the lack of gravity with an utter ease that made the fight almost seem balletic. The blade thrust at the gut of the Star-spangled Avenger, only to be twisted and redirected. The thin silhouette stepped in, its boots connecting with the surface of the platform to give it some leverage as it let go of the wickedly curved blade as that empty hand now snapped up to try and crack against Cap's helmet even as it grabbed the knife in the other hand for a second stabbing attempt.
    Yet the hero was able to /push/ off the platform after he made a series of clean blocks. Pushed up and away partially as he grabbed the weapon and fired the laser point blank into the figure's armored chest. Strong enough to cause one of the form-fitting chest pieces to bubble under the heat and for it to crack as its atmosphere partially vented. Just enough to send it floating back away from Cap and into space as it tried to readjust.
    Just as that formation of five drones lanced up and around the side of the platform and into view, all of them drawing beads at the defenders near that alien mechanism wrapped around the pylon's base.
    On the comms the pilot's voice is heard, "SHIELD agents, mission update. We have thirty more incoming drones vectored from my location. Moving to intercept." Which might cause the agents to realize if their taxi is starting to take part in the fight...
    Then things have gotten serious.

Winter Soldier has posed:
    Blam. Blam. Blam. Blam. Boom! Bucky just keeps on keeping on, that is until. BLAM! He takes one for the team... He'd moved himself in position somewhere between his friends and 'the other side' Steve was talking about. It's just a glancing blow really, to the left shoulder, but it sends Bucky flying ass over tea kettle and out of control through the air. That mechanical arm of his is sparking and cracking and for a moment or three, he can't move it. Further and further away he's tumbling through space. FUCKING SPACE! Then the arm 'recovers' after the current passes through it and he snags a drone to stop his momentum. BOOM! He brings that rifle up and fires a blast at the thing even as he's pushing it away from his person. It's all a matter of seconds and it's over? Maybe half a minute? MAYBE, but to anyone that cares about him it might seem like an eternity waiting to see if he'll get himself out of the mess. "FUCKING SPACE!" he bellows, loud in the comms. "Do not get hit by those things, it fucking SUCKS!" Space... fucking fuckfuck FUCK SPACE and all the crap that comes with it. "I want a fucking raise!"

Black Widow (Romanoff) has posed:
"Wait, what?" That is the reaction from Natasha as she hears the pilot is about to engage with the Quinjet. Which is a bad thing. Because that's their ride home. So, if that ship gets destroyed...

This just went from bad to worse as suddenly a space ship goes hurtling past. Was that the one the drones came from? Didn't seem to be in good shape and suddenly there were people--wait, beings. People implied human and that was not human. Neither one of them!

She unslung the rifle since the smaller lasers weren't doing as much good. Would be trickier, needing to lead targets, but a good sniper could handle it. Sure, Bucky was better but she was pretty damn good still.

Which is the moment Bucky goes flying. She's already slinging back that rifle, bringing up her arm and aiming direction for him--but he manages to right himself. No need to for a save as she takes a breath and rolls to the side to avoid a shot, the rifle in her hands again and taking out another drone.

Groot has posed:
In a way, it's almost too bad Groot can't hear the comm chatter of the group of hummies fighting on the platform. In another way, that's freeing. As it happens, the trajectory of their floating through space has them aimed almost directly at where Captain America is fighting the Big Bad.

Groot doesn't apper to have a suit on, once he's close enough to make out details. Groot also appears to be a big tree. Before he even lands on the platform, Groot is considering things. And he points with his right arm, and it shoots out, almost like a spear from a spear gun, and skewers right through the Big Bad. He whomps his arm down toward the platform, and whacks the Big Bad in the process. His fingers grow tendrils to lock his hand, and arm, in place. Shish-ka-bob on a plate? He turns to Rocket and grins that almost creepy grin of his, as though to almost ask if he'd done good.

Rocket Raccoon has posed:
    It should look ridiculous. It should be comical... The small figure in an armored space suit sitting on the shoulder of a giant tree that's floating down to the platform after bailing from a hurtling space ship. What could possibly be dangerous about it? Clearly, slapstick.

    There's nothing comical about the blasts of coherent plasma that start to pepper the drones surrounding the SHIELD team, and when the small figure detaches from the tree to land on the platform, it becomes the center of a very intense exchange of firepower with the drones. Rocket leaps, fires, zooms around on the jets of a jetpack and lands again next to Groot, turning his attention on the creature so professionally speared.

    Rocket's blaster rotates at the muzzle, and a different sight appears on the top as the angriest Raccoon alive takes aim. "Hold 'im still..."

    With a *thwop* of propellant, a single projectile is launched at the armored creature, moving so fast that it's hard for the eye to track, aimed straight for the alien's chest.

    Knowing Rocket, that's probably going to explode soon...

Captain America has posed:
\When Bonnie Tyler wrote about holding out for a hero, few would think that she had a tree and a raccoon in mind, but that's what came to Captain America's defense. His life was weird. He knew a man who claimed to be a god. He was 110 years old. He had contact information for actual monsters. But having a walking tree and a raccoon come to his defense was a weird even by his standards. It was not unwelcome, just different. With the tree intervening, Captain America would give it a salute, unable to talk through his helmet. He assumed the tree wasn't on their comm frequency, but even that might be possible.

But with them coming to his aide, the three of them fought the man in black. Captain America would use his strategic planning to try and get the man in concentrated fire, linking up with Rocket Raccoon. He gave both the tree and the racoon non-verbal signals for what he wanted them to do, hoping they would understand, or care... who could tell with Rocket Raccoon. He might well understand, and do the exact opposite because it was fun.

Thor has posed:
    Around the central pylon another trooper goes down as a sizzling blast slices through his chest and the armored plates there, stabbing downward into the surface of the platform as it exits his body. He floats backwards and then slowly starts to drift up and away from the slow rotation of the pylon.
    Drones begin to encroach on the defensive perimeter, now using cover as the defenders do and start to move forward with a bounding overwatch of covering fire now that they seem to be taking the engagement seriously. Losses have ramped up and ramped up severely for them.
    Above the pylon the Quinjet-X lances into the formation of approaching drones, breaking them up and at the least buying some time for the SHIELD agents below, its railguns emitting bursts of gas from its cooling chambers as it fires round after round into the swirling melee. Yet an experimental Quinjet is no Ravager ship as a quartet of drones settle on it and start to methodically start tearing it apart. Until the hurtling ship is twisting in a death spiral, pieces of the ship flying off like so much debris and then abruptly imploding before exploding and sending debris outward like the bloom of a flower.
    As Bucky handles part of the incursion he takes that round and it sizzles and hisses, blazing and leaving a horrible looking burn mark. Yet what is more it /feels/ wrong, like it had sliced through part of his soul and tried to take some of it with it, and the effect lingers malignantly even a minute after the weapon had struck. A horrible thing to deal with. Yet his contribution to the conflict does not go unnoticed as several of the advancing drones lift up and start to pepper fire in his direction as he recovers.
    Meanwhile the armored figure had been floating backwards, frantically trying to repair the damage to its armor that had been done by the good Captain. A glimmering metallic patch had been affixed to his chest as he reached back and drew a wickedly curved four-pointed star that illuminated as he activated it. His arm drew back as he made ready to throw the hunter-seeker in Cap's direction...
    Only for a mass of bark and thorns slice into and through his chest, impaling him like a lance run through a soldier unfortunate enough to be in front of a cavalry charge. Instantly the figure goes mostly limp and perhaps thankfully isn't aware as its partially broken form is smashed against the hull of the pylon structure. It does, however, realize when that projectile globs right onto its helmet as it reaches with both hands to try and claw it free.
    And then /WHOOOMPH!/
    The smouldering remains of the figure, needless to say, stop moving.
    Yet the pressure does not relent. Though now bolstered by the appearance of the two newcomers, the drones continue their steady mechanical progress. There's a series of blasts that fire methodically from quadrant to quadrant until one of the SHIELD agents tries to shift cover and suddenly he is lanced down as a blast spears through his shoulder and triggers the emergency anti-decompression measures locking the suit down. He's likely alive, but floating slowly away and back along the surface of the structure.
    Several more combat squads of drones alight upon the surface. Some more land upon the pylon itself as they now generate a cross-fire on the defenders. The firepower starts to reach a crescendo until another voice is heard on the comms. "OORAH MARINES! WE GOT YOUR BACK CAP!"
    As just over the curve of the structure's disc twenty more space-suited soldiers half hop and half float across the elliptical disc as they rush in and start laying to waste many of the drones. Rockets fire, lasers blast, even as just into view from planetside behind those rushing howling mad warriors... the golden Asgardian ship Odin's Wisdom hoves into view as it rises its great prow. Floating behind it with open bays is none other than the converted NASA space shuttle, Enterprise.

Thor has posed:
    On the comms there is the sound of many connections joining into the frequency, and then is Thor's voice loud and clear as he shouts.
    "For Asgard!"
    A half dozen Asgardians leap from the deck of the golden ship to add to the carnage. Flashes of lightning and energy are seen, spears fly, arrows lance out. As now...
    The heroes have the enemies between them.

Winter Soldier has posed:
    Seriously... is that a TREE? Friend or foe! Bucky doesn't know. It has to be foe right? It's in space and it's... a tree. His brain is running through the calculations quickly, checking the odds that they would run into allies out here and that one of them would be a giant walking tree? The odds aren't good. The odds aren't in Groot's favor.
    The Winter Soldier levels his rifle in Groot's direction. This is a man that could hit a moving target from a skyscraper rooftop from an impossible distance away. It's a good bet that if he fires that shot, Groot is hit. Maybe it's the lingering effects of that blast that kept Bucky from pulling the trigger until he got to see Groot save his best friend? Or maybe it was just dumb luck? Either way he does see Groot save Steve and at the last second, tilts his rifle's barrel up just a few feet to target the drone about to cut down a tree instead. BOOM - drone bits go flying and Bucky is spared the wrath that shooting Groot would have earned him from Rocket.
    There's too much going on, friends and enemies all smooshed together in the same space, time to shoulder the rifle and go for the laser pistol on his belt. Six shots, six hits and that's done. Hand to hand? In space. Fucking space! When that's his only option though, that's what Bucky does. The strength of that left arm of his comes in handy when trying to rip apart drones.

Black Widow (Romanoff) has posed:
"And there goes our ride," is murmured into the comms by Natasha as she watches the Quinjet explode. She glances over to the other spaceship that had brought in the unlikely allies of a tree and a raccoon. Which oddly went together but the nature shows did not portray those two entities as anything like what she was seeing here.

As the Marines landed, she managed to not roll her eyes. "Yeah, they got your back Cap," she mutters /not/ on the comms but to herself because it is kind of hilarious how they all rally to the star-spangled hero. Course, she knew Cap. He was an actual friend. So she got it really. But it was still funny.

At least that meant they had a ride home again. If the Enterprise didn't get shot down. Then the Asgardians joined the fray and she couldn't help but feel better because now? Now they had the advantage.

She really needed more training for space combat. It made sense to her brain to take a position nad hold but more maneuverability would be handy. She had the thrusters but wasn't sure if she'd manage to just fire herself off onto space so she stuck to what she knows.

She focused on fire. Aiming ahead of targets as they were homing in, firing a rocket blast here or there. When one got too close, she drew her Glock automatically and fired into center mass as she felt the recoil drive her back against that metal frame she was braced on. Well, maybe stick to lasers. Holstered, she got back to business picking off targets.

Groot has posed:
"I am Groot <<What's it look like I'm doing? Waving him around?>>," says the tree. Audible even in the vaccum of space. Even without a suit on. Groot holds the Big Bad down until he can no longer feel vibrations coming up his arm. The arm retreats, shrinking back down to normal length.

But Groot had been watching, and he snags up a dead drone and spins with it, hooks rooted feet into the deck of the pylon, and /flings/ the thing with deadly accuracy.

Seemingly straight at Bucky's head.

But at the last second, the drone's flight path curves with the spin Groot had put into it, and crashes into a live drone that had been about to come down atop the Avenger.

Rocket Raccoon has posed:
    For a Raccoon, Rocket seems to understand perfectly well what Steve is gesticulating, even responding in perfectly appropriate gestures. His blaster doesn't seem to be limited to six shots... or the known laws of thermodynamics, for that matter, given how it doesn't seem to overheat no matter the volume of fire it lays down. And even as they are steadily being pushed back, it's a hell of a volume of fire.

    It's not until the Asgardians arrive that Rocket seems to feel like he's back on more familiar turf, and darts forwards from cover to cover. He might not be as accomplished a sniper as Bucky, but he's perfectly capable of hitting a moving target... in frickin' space. Maybe it's because Natasha reminds him of Gamora, but when Rocket passes her, he throws her a compact blaster pistol and then keeps going.

    The appropriate gestures are starting to turn into very, very /inappropriate/ gestures, and soon enough a few grenades are tossed into the mix. "Making friends, Groot? We're gonna need 'em, if that junk over there is their idea of a frickin' space ship. Keep the guy with the shield alive, he's like their warlord or sumthin'."

Captain America has posed:
Cap had been preparing for that four-pointed star, which illuminated with a soft glow, but that proved to be nothing, as the combined onslaught, especially Groot, managed to render him... or was it that Groot rended him. Cap would look for the next situation, next danger, but the arrival of the marines, saluting and shouting on the comm. link that they were here for him, well, it made the star-spangled man a bit uncomfortable, but he didn't let it show. Black Widow, the Winter Soldier, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, and the SHIELD agents had all fought together. It was a team effort. But he would salute their arrival. It meant they again had a ride home.

And then he heard it. Spoken words. Seemingly in English. Through the vacuum of space and through his helmet. How loud was Groot speaking? Was he telepathic? How could the sound transmit in space. It made even Captain America momentarily pause. He was no scientist, but he did take high school science. He knew the basics. A little uncertain, he would say, and tap the star on his chest as he did, "And I am Steve Rogers." If he could understand Groot, maybe Groot could understand him, or at least read the lips.

Thor has posed:
    The forces of the drones are quickly reduced. Steadily they seem to pop or buckle or explode into pieces when subjected to the appreciable levels of violence the assembled beings could project. No small number are felled by the SHIELD agents and the aliens aiding the people of Earth. It is a whorl of activity as they are steadily and surely pushed back.
    Thor lands beside Cap as he's fighting, taking up a position almost naturally as he /slams/ Mjolnir into the side of one of the drones sending it hurtling away. Wearing that full black and red armor with the silver helmet and visor drawn down, he tilts his head to the side and says over his shoulder on the comms. "Stand strong, victory is at hand!"
    Which might seem a little premature until the drones start to rise, lifting off quickly and then firing their glowing red engines to jet into space and away from the pylon, toward where the wreckage of the Quinjet still twisted in the vacuum of space.
    "We have them!" Thor announces on channel even as the marines start to cheer roughly while some of the Asgardians raise their weapons as well.
    Only for the cheers to die in the throats of some as those drones continue to flee. And then abruptly a part of space, almost the entirety of what would seem the moon, seems to flicker with that same haze the one armored being had. Slowly fading into view, a gigantic black silhouette, like a floating cross composed of spires and spines all centered around a wickedly glowing red eye appears. Curved like some great vile monstrosity as it seems to peer down upon the planet Earth, over that structure the heroes had been fighting over.
    Drones continue to rush up toward it, flying into small portals and gaps in the superstructure.
    Then with a feeling of power the heroes can feel in their guts, there is a sense of growing intensity. Then a release as a crimson beam emerges from the gigantic ship, slicing across the Enterprise as it slices it in twain causing it to explode as it completes that singular blast by lashing over Odin's Wisdom causing the Asgardian ship to list to the side as a blast of flame explodes from the side of it.

Winter Soldier has posed:
    Bucky hovers in place with his jet pack and just watches. He goes through all the emotions in a matter of moments. ALL of them. Elation! They've won! WOOTWOOT. Then there's some doubt, maybe they really didn't. Then there's a little anger, because space sucks. Then there's outright *fear*. It's that last one that's the kicker, the one that he can barely handle. His fear of space in general is a thing, sure, but it's a thing he can pretty easily push through. The fear that runs icy in his veins at the sight of that ship in the distance? For a moment, just for a moment, it freezes the Winter Soldier in place. When he finally shakes it off, he lets out a battle cry that will, YET AGAIN, mean more to Steve than to the others, "To the end of the line!" He's weaponless now, nothing more than his bare hands to fight with... but he's ready to fight.
    He's not stupid enough to charge that thing alone, without a weapon, so when he finally moves, it's to make his way toward Steve and Nat and land next to them. Quieter now, barely a whisper over the comms, "Anyone got a fucking plan?"

Black Widow (Romanoff) has posed:
As Rocket had tossed her a new weapon to use, like any good agent worth their salt, Natasha opts to test it. The weapons she has are tucked away into her belt and she fires a few shots at the drones just before they retreat. No recoil. Highly effective.

She might have to give the raccoon a treat later. She'd heard they liked marshmallows. Course this one talked and had a gun so maybe just saying a polite thank you would be better. She'd try that instead.

The retreating drones gave her a moment of phew--followed by one that started with an f and ended with a k and that Cap wouldn't appreciate her saying.

Then Bucky said it for her. "Anyone bring a bazooka?" she asked back over the comms. "Obviously not an expert on aliens and their tech. Any clue what that is and who it belongs to?"

Rocket Raccoon has posed:
    It's with a mounting sense of dread that Rocket sees the combat come to an end, and by extension the time of having to hitch a ride in that glorified tin can coming closer. No way that's going to happen unless he gets to fly it, and only then after some serious upgrades. And that thought has him almost excited for a moment, stowing his blaster rifle (which obligingly seems to fold in on itself and shrink while he does so) and casting a glance around for useful parts. It's as he's doing that when the ship appears behind him, he sees the expression on people's faces, and looks at them in turn.


    Cue red beam of destruction slicing the Enterprise in half and taking a chunk out of the Odin's Wisdom. There's a deep weary sigh as the armored raccoon turns around and surveys the damage, glancing at Groot and then turning around, throwing his arms in the air. "I knew it! As per frickin' usual!" Some frustration is vented on an innocent metal protrusion of the platform, which gets a few savage dents kicked into it. Then, to business, casting his eyes around the platform for a different purpose now.

    "Quick, anyone who has a Lythox capacitor or a Quarnex battery, hand them over, I've got an idea." Unsurprisingly, neither SHIELD agents nor Marines seem to know what he's on about.

    Another deep sigh, and he starts to open a nearby panel and rummage around in the wiring. Clearly intent on doing something to the platform, muttering to himself. "Bunch of frickin' savages..."

Captain America has posed:
It was good to be fighting alongside Thor again. Captain America knew how he fought, how to get the best use out of Thor, and, it was comforting. Thor had been one of the first people that Captain America met after thawing out of the ice. Because of the microgravity, he was reluctant to use his shield, but having Thor around was comforting, so that if it went wayward, there would be someone who could help him retrieve it.

He would hurl his shield at a series of drones, ricocheting off of one, only to repeat the feat against another, and another, and so on, until finally it returned to him. Though as he fought, alternating shield and ray gun efforts, he had noticed a change in the drone attack patterns, "they're trying to avoid hitting the platform. They aren't returning fire if they might hit it. Use that against them."

Thor has posed:
    "Plan? I'll show you a plan!" Thor's voice, for once, isn't at ease or jovial or even that enthusiastic wild tone he gets when he's in the middle of battle. There is true anger in his tone as he stands on the edge of the Svartalfar's makeshift pylon. Hammer in hand he /slams/ it against the edge of the platform's supports causing a crackle of energy to blast forth from him.
    "We go over there, and kill them all!" He gestures then looks back to the gathered mass of men and women, plants and mammals. Brow-furrowed behind that field of energy that provides a hint of atmosphere behind his helmet he grimaces.
    "You there, Rabbit creature! Where are you from, why do you aid us?!"
    Yet around them the wreckage of the shuttle begins to patter upon the support structure even as other pieces start to hit the atmosphere distantly and become bright meteorites for only a few instants and then are gone.
    But the Wisdom seems to be able to move as its wings curve inwards covering the wounded side and twisting downward. It floats down further around the curve of the pylon and into the deadzone created behind the Svartalfar structure, giving it some cover from the larger ship.
    On the comms, "This is Odin's Wisdom, our shields are back up, we lost one generator. We are still seaworthy. What are our orders, my lord?"
    Which is mirrored by one of the soldiers moving from cover to take up a position near Captain America as his voice comes on the comms as well, "Sir, Lieutenant Biehn, we have the objective to destroy this structure and we have two nuclear devices to do so. What are your orders?"

Winter Soldier has posed:
    Bucky opens his mouth, closes it... opens it... they're about to be blasted into nothing by a giant evil spaceship more like than not and he's left completely speechless by a talking raccoon. He shakes his head, even knocks on his helmet a few times as if he's trying to clean his ears. "Nat," he begins. "Did that blast I took rattle my brains or is that ... raccoon talking?" There are certainly more important things at hand, but he needs an answer.
    "Go for it, Thor, I'll watch from here!" he calls out to Thor. In all seriousness, if Thor were to really start 'heading over there' to 'kill them all' (...or more like to his certain doom) Bucky would follow. Thor's one of the good ones. Thor's probably even BuckyZoned.
    Steve's observation does get notice. "So, if we make it over there... the drones won't shoot at us... that's what you're saying?" A beat and he says, "I say just nuke it."

Black Widow (Romanoff) has posed:
With Cap's observation and this new information. "So they need these things." She looks at the platform her boots are still magnetized too for the moment. "It's why the ship hasn't blasted us yet. They can't chance destroying it. So I say we destroy it for them."

Then she glances over. "But the Marines are going to need time to get it setup, yes?"

She draws a bit of a breath. "And they aren't going to sit still while we do it. Either more drones or something else."

She does take a moment to answer Bucky. "The raccoon talked. Quite well, actually. And he gave me a toy after helping save our hides so I'm pretty sure he and the tree are on our side."

She examines her gun and looks to the rest of them. "Do we need to keep them busy maybe?"

Rocket Raccoon has posed:
    "Okay, first off..." Rocket begins, pulling wiring out of the panel and slicing it apart, then reassembling it in a slightly different order. "... you gotta work on your recognition of higher lifeforms pal, 'cause I ain't no rabbit. Secondly..." this with a glance at Bucky, who he notices is unarmed "... yeah, I do talk. Dunno why I bother with you primitives, but we're about to be blasted to dust by a huge frickin' energy cannon, so maybe I'm getting a bit talkative." For a horrible moment, Rocket's eye lenses settle on Bucky's arm, but he shakes his head. Instead, he throws the Winter Soldier his blaster rifle. "'ere, you can shoot straight, saw ya do it. So keep me covered while I make us an energy cannon of our own. Two minutes, tops."

    As he dives back into the panel, he gives a hollow laugh at the prospect of 'killing them all' or 'nukes'. "If we need to slightly inconvenience them, maybe we'll give you a call, soldier boy. Nukes? HAH! Maybe if you set them off on the inside, but I wouldn't count on it."

Thor has posed:
    The officer of the marines says, "Don't take us long to set the charges, lowest timer gives us is two minutes. But we'll hold til it blows." There's a slight grin from Biehn's haggard face, "Then again I wouldn't mind a scenario that ends with us gettin' off this piece of junk."
    Then on the comms frequency Reynard's voice is heard, garbled, thick with interference. "We can have another space vehicle up to you in... shit that's not the thing, hand me the other... OVER THERE!" His voice fades and fluctuates, "In 14 minutes."
    Even as he speaks, around that large ship more drones seem to be activating as several portals slither open on the dark hull of its surface. Dozens of the black bladed vehicles seem to flash forth and take up formation around the grim gigantic vessel all while the team is talking.
    Thor, however, is shaking his head as he stalks back toward where the warriors are gathered. He points at Rocket for a moment but says nothing. A look around the circle of worthies then his features twist into a scowl. "You'll have your time. Captain?"
    On the comms another voice, so far unheard, speaks. "My lord, this is acting-captain Liese Torinsdottir. Bjarn did not survive the blast."
    "Captain Liese, I have one last order."
    "Aye, my lord."
    "Is the Wisdom with me?"
    "Aye, my lord."
    "Then make ready."
    Turning he looks to the others, hammer in hand as he shifts to face them. "We will give you that time."

Winter Soldier has posed:
    Shoot straight, he can do that. Even in ... fucking space. He snatches the rifle and takes a position to provide cover for a talking raccoon. Providing cover means the same now as it did with his friends. That means that Bucky is, once again, putting the big old target on his own back. Here's to hoping that rifle works. Making like the little hard to swat gnat again, the Winter Soldier is taking aim at anything that leaves that floating ball of evil, anything that gets close to the... talking raccoon that seems to have a plan. His therapist is sure to think he's gone daft if he ever brings that up. ...or maybe not considering his current 'therapist' is Henry McCoy. "Just try to get it done before they get me done!" he tells Rocket. He's done been hit once and doesn't want to experience that, or worse, again.
    In short, his plan? Draw attention away from the platform, the Tree, the Raccoon and anyone else that plans on staying there. He may be a savage, lesser life form, Rocket, but he's got balls.

Black Widow (Romanoff) has posed:
Why is Thor angry?

That is what Natasha's mind keeps going back to. He normally was one for a fight but not 'kill them all' slaughter. So what was it about /this/ particular encounter? This ship? Something they were missing and she couldn't tell what it was at this particular moment.

She finished checking her new weapon and lowered it down to her side as she listened to the chatter around her. "So you going to tell me what I might be fighting when we get over there?" she says to Thor, obviously planning on going with him to invade a giant space ship. Because if she was going to die, she was going out in a blaze of glory.

Rocket Raccoon has posed:
    "See? Now we've got most of a plan." Rocket mentions from halfway into the hatch he's currently messing with, before slamming it shut, flying over to one of the dead drones and searching it for something. Something which comes unstuck with a lot of sparks and is then flown back over to the platform.

    He even has a moment to look over to Natasha "Does it matter? Ain't the biggest ship I've ever seen..." and as he pops back into the panel to wire in the capacitor he's just stolen, he shrugs to himself "... not the biggest ship I've ever blown up either. Just keep 'em busy."


    "And watch out for big and leafy, he don't do too good without the whole atmosphere thing. Gets a bit of a temper on him."

Thor has posed:
    As for Thor he is moving quickly towards the edge of the pylon platform, only to be brought up short when Black Widow says to him that she is coming. "Natasha." His tone is at first sharp. Then he looks over the small yet formidable mortal woman and just gives a nod.
    "They are the Svartalfar. Malekith's people, those who wrought desolation upon Asgard."
    Slooowly the Odin' Wisdom rises up alongside the saucer's edge of the Dark Elf pylon, its gangway lowering and connecting with the ramshackle satellite's edge to provide a way of entry. Its golden brilliance only somewhat diminished by the large blackened wound in its side that glimmers with an after-image of a shield flickering upon it.
    The marine lieutenant turns around and snaps to his team, "Alright you heard the man, we're nuking this piece of shit. Jenkins deploy the package. Gutierrez, go help the rabbit guy in case he needs a pair of hands. Move it people!"
    And as quick as that the teams snap into action.

Black Widow (Romanoff) has posed:
Now it makes sense. The ones that attacked Asgard and led to the fateful decision to unleash Ragnarok upon them in the form of Surtur. She understood his anger. The threat they were facing was enormous.

That has never deterred her. Nor will it now.

As that gangplank was available. "We could probably use a few more bodies," she calls to her teammates. Then she looks to Thor.

"So tell me their vulnerabilities so I know where to and what tactics to use."

Rocket Raccoon has posed:
    "Nuthin' wrong with a good bit of revenge." Rocket comments, eyes practically everywhere as he scavenges anything that may be remotely useful, and seemingly opening panels at random to stuff more tech in them. Does he even know what any of this does? "Keeps ya busy."

    He shoots Gutierrez a look that indicates in unspoken volumes exactly how much 'help' he expects the marine is able to provide, and brushes past him to get to some more stuff. "As long as ya don't blow this thing up with me on it, go nuts. Would that be nuclear fusion or nuclear fission?"

    Reason for that question? Well... Rocket still needs a powerful enough generator for this...

Captain America has posed:
Captain America was working with the marines, doing his best not to step on the commander's toes, while assisting in any way he can. He was a soldier so easily slipped into the role, even if his uniform was different, underneath it all, he was a soldier through and through.

Though when he overhears Rocket singing the virtues of revenge, Captain America can't help but point out. "The best revenge is being the best... raccoon..." he was guessing on the species, "you can be, living a long and successful life, so let us know what you need, we'll accomplish our mission, and we'll all get back home... wherever that might be." Captain America was deferring to a raccoon bomb expert. They did not prepare him for this in the war.

Thor has posed:
    Gutierrez, in his black and white space suit, doesn't seem hugely enthused to be helping the space furball. But he moves quickly to shadow Rocket and at least be there and ready in case something needs to be held, fetched, and/or carried. "Fission, sir."
    The Raccoon will notice that at least the atomics are compact as the marines are unslinging them from their harnesses and assembling the devices, so there's that. It's around that glowing metal band that is wrapped around the base of the pylon that the team is setting about to link and lock the bombs in position while above more drones continue to flow out of the ship.
    Biehn's voice is heard on the comms, "Looks like they're assembling an overwhelming force before attacking." Which is far from good news.
    Thor is across the gangplank, but it's at the circular portal into the side of the ship that the Asgardian turns. He pauses to rest a hand gently upon Natasha's shoulder. "You know," There's a pause as he looks into the visor of her space suit. "The good Captain is right."
    And as he says that he gives her a nod, then with little warning he adds a /shove/ that sends her floating back to the platform and up off of the gangplank even as it's retracting behind the striding figure of Thor Odinson.
    Across the comms his voice is heard, "Captain, get us under way!"
    Which is all the goading the ship needs for it lurches up and away from the platform, leaping high across the pylon and into space, picking up speed as it hurtles toward the Dark Elf ship.

Black Widow (Romanoff) has posed:
As Thor went across the plank, Natasha was waiting to follow. She managed to get two steps before that hand was planted against her shoulder and she was shoved gently. Which in space meant she went floating the opposite direction. Not to the extreme like floating away but it sent her right back toward that pylon she was about to vacate.

She quickly used her thrusters on her suit to get her back where she needed to be, coming to a hover then firing up her magnetic boots as she landed on the platform. Anyone near her would hear the sound coming from inside her helmet. For those who understood Russian, there was much swearing going on. In fact, she sounded a lot like Bucky for a moment there considering the words she's using. Then finally the comms clicked on and there was a muttered, "When we get back to Earth, we are having a talk, Thor."

Then she turned back to regroup with the others on the platform, not getting in the way of the raccoon or the Marines. She moved to stand next to Bucky.

He gave her a momentary look and simply said two words. "You good?" Which got a nod in response. And that was all he needed to get back to work. "We should keep this thing between us and the ship as much as possible. They don't want it damaged and will be trying to pick us off individually. Or at least it's what I'd do."

Considering his lethality? It was a good bet he was right.

Rocket Raccoon has posed:
    For a long moment, Rocket pauses and looks up at Captain America, who he has pegged as the Warlord of the human species. He's giving him the kind of look normally reserved for the other human (well, half-human) he knows, when Star-Lord comes out with an inspiring speech that somehow says all the right things despite making no actual logical sense. It must be a human knack. And then, with a sudden explosion of motion and emotion, he points at Steve.

    "Y'know what? Too frickin' right! I ain't getting myself blown up by these Swalfalfa things on a floating collection of junk around the most boring planet in the whole frickin' galaxy. This ain't where Rocket goes out!" At which point he kicks open another panel, and holds out a hand to Gutierrez. "Glowing thing to your right, gimme. An' then go get me one of your fancy ass fission bombs, 'cause we're turning this bucket o' bolts up to eleven."

    Wires spark as he starts to rebuild something yet again, more furious than before, muttering. "Frickin' Halfworld scientists with their frickin' fancy ass tech an' snooty ideas. Oh, you'd love it if I get blown up here wouldn't ya? Well, it ain't happenin'! Rocket ain't done yet. Rocket ain't done causing ya to lose sleep yet. Think you've seen the worst?"

    And then he looks up and positively glowers at the Svartalfar ship, shaking his fist at it "I'll show you frickin' worst!"


    "You guys realise that dude just took the only ship off this thing, right? An' he ain't plannin' on coming back. Unless you wanna learn how to get really good at atmospheric reentry really quickly, could maybe put some thoughts on how you're gonna get off this thing." There's an almost malevolent glee in his voice now. "'cause after this thing fires, you don't wanna hang around it too long."

Captain America has posed:
Captain America was used to people looking up to him, figuratively, and literally, as the man had a commanding presence, set a great example for others to follow, and was physically on the taller side of things. But it was still surreal to have a raccoon look up to him like that. For the first time since their frequencies had been matched, Rocket was quiet.

His words of encouragement seemed to have the desired effect, as Rocket's efforts were redoubled, and he seemed to be in higher spirits as well. Captain America gave him a nod, which took more effort to be discernable in the suit he wore, and started coordinating with the marines.

With Black Widow back with the group, thanks to Thor, Captain America tried to calm her down, understanding a few of the words she seemed to be mouthing while her comm. was turned off. "There's no use trying to catch up with Bucky, Nat. You're never going to match his swear jar." He was trying to use some gentle humor to lighten the mood.

To Rocket and the rest, "we all have work to do. Focus on the task at hand. And together, we will get through this, we may not all survive the trip, the stakes are high, but I guarantee you this, no one is being left behind." He was studying things, working on a plan. He didn't have it yet, but he for damn sure wasn't going to admit that it was a work in progress.

Thor has posed:
    Gutierrez, no matter what people might say about marines, he is a damn Johnny-On-The-Spot for Rocket. He points at the glowy thing, that glowing thing is /his/. He stands ready and nods, giving the space mammal a thumbs up and hopefully that means something to the alien. But then he says, "Hey lieutenant, the rabbit guy wants a bomb?"
    "What's he want with it?"
    "Gonna power something?"
    Which has the space marine giving Rocket an incredulous looking stink-eye through the visor of his space suit until finally he says, "This better not be some kinda joke. But give it to him. The payload on this one should do the job." Whatever gamble he's playing, hopefully it'll pay off.
    As soon as the Asgardian ship lifts off the gigantic black juggernaut's brilliant crimson eye seems to come to life. The mechanisms within and around the large cannon seem to swirl and twist into a flurry of activity while the golden vessel lifts up and points its nose in the direction of its enemy.
    A bright haze flickers in front of the Asgardian ship, glowing stronger. Then suddenly that crimson beam lances out and splashes into the front of the Wisdom, dissipating around that bright shimmer even as the vessel picks up speed. The armada of drones suddenly leap forward, launching into an attack while two skiffs detach from the sides of the juggernaut, slim wicked looking bladed ships that twist around and their crimson engines /blaze/ with life as they hurtle straight towards the pylon and its defenders.

Black Widow (Romanoff) has posed:
And that was their cue. Just as Bucky and Cap were a well oiled machine, so were Natasha and the former Winter Soldier. The pair of them took up their points to cover the raccooon and Marines, so they could finish prepping for the big boom to come. Or little boom. It was space so booms weren't quite as spectactular as they made them look on movies.

Bucky had that rifle and was picking off drones with the precision he was famous for. Or was that infamous?

"We have another ship on the way," Natasha called out toward Rocket since he and the tree weren't on the comms the humans were using. "Ten minutes out!"

She glanced to see how the Marines were doing on setting up then crouched down, bringing up her rifle and beginning to pick off targets as well.

Rocket Raccoon has posed:
    It's possible that what Rocket does next might be the single most frightening thing an EOD tech has ever seen. Looking over the compact nuclear bomb, he starts taking it apart... seemingly with his bare (albeit gauntleted) hands. As the outer casing comes off, he looks at the thing and then grins up at Groot. "Lookit! Look at that! Two stage ignition, an'... hey, Tritium booster. That's frickin' genius!" There's a hint of admiration as he looks over to Gutuirrez while he casually takes the nuclear core apart "Increases the yield on the second stage, am I right? Fer a bunch of savages, y'all ain't stupid."

    Bits of the bomb float in microgravity as Rocket starts to re-assemble the device in almost reverse order and uses spare bits of the primary housing to build a new case for... something. Something which is beginning to hum. "See? Nuclear fusion reactor, nuthin' to it. Just gotta use the old brain cells a bit." At which point he crawls back into the panel and starts to patch in the scratch-built nuclear reactor that's rapidly starting to approach criticality. "Ten minutes? What, they walking up here?"

Groot has posed:
Groot watches Rocket. He stands behind the raccoon in an almost protective stance. "I am Groot <<Genius>>."

Captain America has posed:
There were more marines than needed to help out Rocket and his work on the bombs. Captain America could see the skiffs arcing down, the incoming hostiles, and organized the remaining marines, as well as Groot, Black Widow, and the Winter Soldier, into a unified defense. Many of them knew what to do, and were doing it, but Captain America was all about optimizing their efforts.

He took command, without actually asking, or officially taking the place of the marine commander. He was just giving out 'suggestions' that they took as great advice, and would to a man, take to heart. It was a fine line to walk, but one he had walked many times before. He had nothing but respect for the chain of command, but this was a life or death situation. They succeeded together, or they failed apart.

Thor has posed:
    The majority of the drones break to intercept Odin's Wisdom as it hurtles towards the Svartalfar Juggernaut. Smaller beams begin to lance out from the dark alien ship as they pin prick and stab into the shielding of the Asgardian vessel. That cloud of drones begins to swirl around the ship as it goes faster and faster, their own weapons-fire lashing into the ship though finding much greater purchase in the rear portion of the hull, the flickering shields wavering almost instantly when struck.
    Yet a smaller grouping of drones follows along with those sleek black skiffs that slice across the night sky, darting down toward the defenders. There's an instant of a palpable pregnant pause where the defenders can see just so many bright crimson lights and dark silhouettes in the area of space above them...
    And then in the next instant ten dark figures eject from those skiffs falling down toward the defenders and tucking into hurtling armored forms that impact /heavily/ with the surface of the pylon's infrastructure even as the drones open fire with wicked beams that sizzle across the satellite debris and stab toward the defenders with clear malevolent intent.
    High above, the main cannon of the Juggernaut fires again, this time splashing onto the forward shield of the Wisdom as it hurtles, spending its strength in the impact until finally collapsing that forward shield and slicing across the hull leaving a giant blackened scar. Drones begin to crawl over the ship, their own beams adding to the mayhem while the Asgardian ship just picks up speed faster and faster.

Winter Soldier has posed:
    In some ways, Natasha and the former Winter Soldier were even more like a well oiled machine. It's more than just the Red Room training and the missions they shared, it's the suffering they shared at the hands of their puppeteers. Steve and Bucky are best friends, to the end of the line, but ...Bucky doesn't have a death pact with Steve born of desperation and exhaustion.
     When Nat zigs, he zags... when Nat goes right, he goes left... when Nat goes down, he goes up. He instinctively balances and compliments her every move to ensure that every angle is covered, making it nigh on impossible for a single drone to get past them.
    ...except that one, the one Bucky snags as it passes with his left arm. It might not go flying like it normally would, if y'know, they weren't in FUCKING SPACE... but it does go floating back the way it came fast enough to put it in Natasha's firing range in short order.
    The new threat has him moving in closer to Natasha, his back to hers. When he speaks it's in Russian, a language he knows well but rarely uses anymore so it's obviously aimed at the Black Widow. "Time to dance, yes?"

Black Widow (Romanoff) has posed:
Each shot hits. There is nothing wasted. She aims and fires with deadly precision, falling back into routine with a man she has fought beside many times. Over decades. He may have been erased and put back out there. Though now he has those memories back. Her? She never was shut down. Never frozen in ice. She remembers all the decades and those tasks she performed.

It's why Natasha was still alive in some ways.

As he released the drone, Natasha took the shot and destroyed it then they had incoming. Hearing the words from Bucky, the petite redhead smiled darkly behind her faceplate. "Da, tovarishch."

Then she was drew the gun given her by Rocket and tried to pick off a few of the elves before they had the chance to close the distance. When they did, the gun was slipped into her belt and it was time to get down and dirty.

Rocket Raccoon has posed:
    Some people would find it hard to concentrate with gunfire all around, but Rocket doesn't seem to mind. Mostly because weapons firing closest to him are the ones he's given to other people, and it'll be a cold day in hell before he's frightened of his own guns. The humming from the platform is definitely getting louder.

    "Hang on to sumthin'. Gotta aim this thing. Doesn't exactly have sights, y'know?" How do you aim a large pylon?! Simple, you activate the thrusters of the satellites that were used in its construction, and slew the whole thing around to aim directly at the ship. It's not a pleasant ride, it's not even a smooth ride, but Rocket shrugs when it gets particularly bumpy. "Cold reaction gas thrusters, whaddya expect? I don't do miracles in two minutes..."

Captain America has posed:
There may have been a lot of drones coming their way, but that just meant it was easier to hit them. Captain America was in position to take on one of the armored figures that ejected from the skiffs. He met their malevolent intent with a staunch defense, or was that offense. He knew they were coming to kill the heroes, so he reacted in kind, sending a mean right cross to the Dark Elf, or whatever it was. And then a left, another left, a right, moving along the platform as he fought, trying to gain an advantage, or negate one by his adversary. He was protecting Rocket and Gutierrez at all costs. They were the key to blowing it up, the first and most important part of their mission. Over his shoulder, Captain America would hear that Rocket can't do miracles in two minutes, so he asks, "how many do you need?" Because he would have it. Cap would make certain of it.

Groot has posed:
Groot doesn't use guns. He's more of what one would call a close in fighter. And as Rocket says to hold onto something? Groot does just that. He reaches for the nearest 'solid' bit with one hand and wraps his fingers around it. And the other remains where it is. He stays standing protectively over Rocket, using his other hand to slam away the bit of debris, or live drone, that comes their way.

Thor has posed:
    Those fallen armored figures rise up quickly, their armor flaring with sharpened edges. The plates cling close to their lithe silhouettes, not as bulky as perhaps a normal human, but staggeringly fast as they move. Abruptly they dart forward, breaking formation to attack. A rush of motion as they leap toward the defenders. Yet they do not attack just any targets, for their battle-computers have identified the true threats. Captain America will find two that are darting from cover to cover in his direction, long wickedly curved blades drawn even as they raise armored gauntlets to send fire into the marines that are trying to take what shots they can.
    The first reaches Cap and it is a blur of motion, all flourish and precision as its weapon slashes toward him. The shield eerily does not ring in the vacuum of space and the Avenger cannot feel those jolts of impact along his arm each time he defends the strikes. But when he throws those punches he'll feel those impacts as he's able to land them heavily, strong enough to knock the Dark Elf away as he lands that final blow, sending it floating into space as it struggles to right itself.
    Another pair are trying to bracket Natasha and Bucky, to truly test their teamwork and split them if they can while a third bides some distance away with a long-rifle settled against its shoulder as it awaits for the opening to be created.
    But it's the five others that are rushing toward the marines and Rocket, seeking to disrupt them before their plan can finally reach fruition. One takes a round in the shoulder from the Widow as it spins around and is sent heavily into the ground where its armor takes a few moments to compensate. All while above those drones continue to fire and take snap shots at what targets they can. Not as many as attacked before, but enough to perhaps serve as a force multiplier for the Svartalfar that are attacking.
    It's a wild melee as the forces clash, dark shapes moving against the occasional luminescence of weapons fire. The entire structure of the pylon begins to thrum as Rocket's jury-rigging is enough to get the thing twisting now, turning in its orbit with a heavy jolt of firing and counter-firing thrusters. Then, high above the battle, Odin's Wisdom's great engines urge it onwards even as the brilliant crimson eye of the Juggernaut glows as the energy builds again...
    The Asgardian vessel jolts forward one last acceleration before it impacts heavily with the giant Svartalfar ship, superstructure buckling, the dark elf ship twisting inwards on itself in part. A great brilliant explosion of light suddenly turns everything from night into day all over that pylon's support structure where the battle rages. Perhaps lighting up part of the early morning sky for those far below. Pieces of either vessel slice across the sky burning as they hit the atmosphere. Then the light recedes and the twisting hulls of the two ships seem married together, the Wisdom horribly wounded and impaled in the bulk of the Juggernaut while the Dark Elf ship lists to the side.

Winter Soldier has posed:
    Natasha and the Winter Soldier, up close and personal with the enemy? It's like watching some sort of macabre ballet. ... or maybe it's more like synchronized swimming considering they're, you guessed it, in fucking space. If one gets close to him and he can't immediately dispatch it, he's 'handing it off' to Natasha via some sort of flip, kick or other move he's likely used with her many times in the past. Between the two of them, they keep their opponents bouncing around like pinballs until they, eventually, take them out. Does he take hits? He sure does and they might even hurt tomorrow a little. But for now, he doesn't feel any of it.

Black Widow (Romanoff) has posed:
The elves are no pushovers. They are fast. Eerily so. It isn't easy to get in a blow. But between the pair, Natasha and Bucky are putting on a good show. They aren't unscathed and she is pretty sure she has some cracked ribs but there is no time for such things.

A flip off of the strong left arm of Bucky aligned her for a double footed kick which should send that elf off the platform if she manages to hit. Then a quick firing of her thrusters to keep her from following him.

Rocket Raccoon has posed:
    Moving something in space is an exact science. Precision is key... and even while the battle rages around, and Groot has to swat things away from him and the human tech, Rocket keeps his attention focused eerily on the other ship. He even visibly winces with the Odin's Wisdom collides with the larger vessel, mainly remembering the last time he was in that position himself... but part of him has another worry.

    "C'mon... c'mon, get clear you frickin' hero..." The weapon has been aligned. Power is building as the reactor reaches criticality and rapidly starts to produce power in an exponential curve. Too long, and they won't need the second nuke that's been attached to the base of the pylon. He stands there, gazing at the ships locked together, a sparking wire in each hand. "C'mon..."

    But people around him are getting hit.

    Enemies have actually boarded the platform again.


    "Frickin' hero..." Suddenly Rocket shouts "Whatever you do, don't look at the ships!"

    And with a final moment of indecision, he looks down and presses the wires together, connecting the reactor to the improvised firing circuit.

    Cue the fireworks...

Captain America has posed:
Captain America's shield does what it was made to do, and that is block. Normal shields absorb the forces of a projectile. Captain America's shield, depending on the forces being employed, and the angle, either dissipates it harmlessly, or redirects it back at the one who struck it.

A part of him was concerned that he had knocked the first Dark Elf off the platform, only to float away into space, struggling to right itself. Without thrusters, or someone saving it, that poor fellow would suffocate, freeze, or starve to death, depending on what it wore and how their biology worked in the vacuum of space. It would float there until it came across a big enough gravitational field. That was no way to die.

Turning his attention away, he would focus on the five that were rushing towards the marines and Rocket, and has to duck for cover as the fireworks begin to light up the Dark Elves as if it were the fourth of July. He hugs the side of the platform, ducking, shield up, expecting the elves, and judging by the trajectory, the one floating in space to be put out their misery.

Groot has posed:
The five armored figures moving toward the section Groot is occupying with Rocket don't go unmissed by the Tree. Oh no. Groot steps around Rocket, to put the raccoon at his back. He stands protectively, and waits for the armored figures to arrive. He waits. Patient. Until the first one is almost on him. His left arm lifts, and shoots out like a super growth limb. Straight at the helmet, his intention very clearly to shooot. through the face of the jerk coming at him, and more, at Rocket. "I am Groot <<Jerk-face>>," he grates out. Somehow, it's at least semi audible. Groot doesn't use air in the same way as most. Maybe that's why.

But Groot isn't going completely unscathed, as the others converge on him all at once. Several score cuts on him with those wickedly sharp blades, and it's proven just how tough the Tree is, as those cuts are not deep in the slightest. But they burn! Like fire. Just as Rocket touches those two wires together, a blast from one of the remaining svartwhatevers hits him center of mass, leaving cratered scorch marks in the bark there.

With a roar of anger, or maybe just pain, the tree flexes and jerks his arm sideways, away from Rocket, impacting several of the bad guys attacking him. Impacting them hard enough that they wind up crumpled smears on the plating of the platform.

Thor has posed:
    The two Svartalfar that menace Bucky and Widow are handled and handled well as the two former Russian agents counter them with their own form of vicious dance. There are a few moments when the blades flash close, only for Widow to sweep in with a shared block, or for Bucky's heavy metal arm to thrum from intercepting a blow meant for Natasha.
    Yet as those two are knocked back, the sniper draws bead and fires off several rounds in the direction of the SHIELD agents, the viscous purple globs that fire surge forth with a blaze of speed only for the fire to go astray when the jury-rigged cannon finishes its power build up...
    And then fires a great beam that lances out across the morning sky stabbing into the Juggernaut's top section where that gigantic beam is stored. Rocket will be rewarded with seeing the fission powered weapon /burning/ a tremendous furrow and line in the ominous space ship, slicing down and along the center of it through that huge crimson eye. The port of that large cannon flickers when the beams energy blazes down through it, flickering out as suddenly the entire ship's superstructure surrenders to the immense damage it's suffered in such a short time. The two halves of the ship split apart and begin floating away as the above half now twists counter the lower half that still has the remains of the Asgardian ship jutting out of its middle.
    The fire of the cannon serves to blind some of the attackers as they rush forward. One lifts its arm to shield its visored eyes only to have a powerful tree limb /slam/ into its side and smash it into the surface of the platform, almost grinding it across the metal and debris. Several others suffer a similar fate in the thrashing movements that Groot effects when clearing off those who would dare threaten his friends. And when he's done he's left with only two of those attackers having been able to evade and take cover, though for now they keep out of the line of fire.
    Yet with the crippling of the ship high above them, the drones that had been firing stop attacking. The flickering lights of their red eyelets flash out and they begin to float there in the vacuum between platform and ship, no longer able to function at all.

Winter Soldier has posed:
    Bucky doesn't have a shield, but he does have that arm. When the shit really starts hitting the fan, when the fireworks explode and purple globs are incoming, he does something that's much more Bucky than Winter Soldier. He grabs Natasha and pulls her in close to him. If she allows it, he'll tuck her head against his right shoulder while shielding her with that left arm. Maybe the Winter Soldier would have done the same? But he would have been protecting an asset, likely one more valuable than himself. Now, now he's protecting a *friend*, someone he loves, someone he would willingly die to protect.

Black Widow (Romanoff) has posed:
If she didn't know him and realize that him doing such a thing was for protection, Natasha might react different. As is the case, she relaxes, allowing him to pull her in close as he crouches and blocks their bodies as best he can with his arm to absorb whatever that is incoming. Even as he tucks her head in, covering her, she is moving. Adjusting for the situation at hand.

A moment later, he shifts, moving to the side to reveal that Natasha is crouched there, magnet boots on full and Bucky slipping behind her to brace her. She has both Glocks in hand. No more of this laser bs.

She has a perfect shot thanks to the sniper having revealed his location with his own firing, if he was stupid enough not to move. The weapons buck in her hands, the explosion of power out of the barrel as two bullets are sent right back to the sniper. From Russia with Love, as the saying goes.

Rocket Raccoon has posed:
    Only the people closest to him will see that Rocket breathes a sigh of relief when the beam fires rather than, to take a completely random and off the wall example, the whole assembly exploding and killing everyone in a high-yield nuclear detonation. Whatever was powering the weapon, though, has been spent. The hum dies down and any lights that might have been on the pylon die down. It's done. It's dead.

    "So..." he begins loudly, standing up. "... in case some people calling themselves the Nova Corps come knockin', about setting off an unlicensed high yield energy weapon... we weren't here, 'kay?"

    He motions to himself and Groot... and only then sees the damage that has been done to his friend.

    "You frickin' idiot, what didya go an' do that for? This suit's armored, y'know it can take it!"

Captain America has posed:
Captain America was no coward, but he was standing in the path of a unlicensed high yield energy weapon, so he had taken cover for a moment back there. After the weapon had exhausted its energy, ammunition, or whatever it was that it relied on, he would move out of his protective position against the wall of the platform.

He pressed his comm. signal, asking for "Status report?" As the drones and their mother ship had seemingly been neutralized. If he were any other man, he'd probably be asking what fresh hell awaited them, but not Captain America. He was all about checking in and recovering.

Looking at what had happened to Groot, he motioned for the marine's medic, "... see what you can do." Yeah, Cap had no idea what a medic could do, but he wanted to make sure Groot got the best care they could give him.

"Bucky, Nat, how's your ammo?" He knew that they likely wouldn't report injuries even if they had some, so he was more worried about if they were running out of ammunition.

Groot has posed:
"I am Groot <<Wasn't here>>," says the Tree initially. Then shrugs a little, a motion he picked up from Quill. He doesn't answer the raccoon, though, instead motioning toward the last two of the baddies. Groot doesn't make any motions toward them, but does keep himself between the ninja elves and Rocket.

On first glance, Groot seems to be okay. But then? Then he sways. Groot never sways. He's as solid as a, well, tree! But stays where he is never the less.

Thor has posed:
    The rounds fired from the Russian Assassin find their mark, one smashing past the energy shields that are used by the Svartalfar to protect against certain types of weapons. Unfortunately those weapons are not chemically propelled slug throwers. It tinks and shatters the visor causing the sniper to reel back, but the second round hits in the glowing green power pack of the rifle, exploding the acidic goo all over the Dark Elf who dies in silence there in space even as it reels, trying to pull off the gelatinous globs with fingers that melt each time they touch the green plasma.
    The other assassins are eliminated by the fire of the heroes and the soldiers, even as their support evaporates the Svartalfar are not known for surrendering even in the direst of moments. One of them makes a wild charge toward Cap as he brandishes his sword only for several laser rifles and rocket rounds coalesce and finish the work that needed doing. It leaves the heroes in possession of the pylon, such as it is now with the ravaging that Rocket's jury-rigging did to it.
    Yet peace hasn't quite settled for the wreckage of the Dark Elf ship seems to shake with another explosion. Several chunks of hull explode outwards, debris flying across space. A moment later there is another blast followed by a large sizzling crackle as electricity lances across and over the lower half of the dismembered ship causing another explosion.
    Only for a minute later one of the lower skiffs on the hull detaches, falling away from the hull of the ship and twisting end over end for a moment... two... then righting itself as it flies across the distance toward the structure where the heroes hold.
    The long sleek black shape of the dark elf fast attack craft burns across the distance toward the floating makeshift satellite the heroes fought over for so long. While at Cap's behest the marines' medic gives a nod and rises up from one of the fallen to move towards Groot where likely only confusion and frustration will await him in treating the plantperson.
    The ship continues to fly and then comes up along side as its side eyelet opens presenting the figure of the Mighty Thor standing in that doorway, looking a touch haggard and burnt with his entire right side blackened by whatever explosion he endured. "Shall we blow this damned thing to Hel and go home?"
    Hopefully he doesn't have to ask twice.

Winter Soldier has posed:
    Battered and a little burned himself from that earlier blast he took, Bucky lets go of Natasha only after he's certain she's steady on her feet. Home, a word never sounded so good. He mighta just giggled a little internally there. But externally he grouses, "Fucking Space." To his credit, with how much he wants to go home, he doesn't immediately rush on board with Thor. No, he stands back and covers the escape of the others around him. To Natasha, in Russian he adds, "Still my favorite dancing partner." At least when the dance is bloody and messy. "Looks like it's not the end of the line," in English and definitely aimed at Steve.

Black Widow (Romanoff) has posed:
As Thor and the Asgardians arrive in the elf ship, she doesn't smile. Certainly she wants to but she's still rather annoyed that he /pushed/ her away from getting on his damn ship in the first place.

"Sounds good. Get us out of here and blow this thing up. Since it was so important to them."

She glances to Bucky and gives him a small smile and nod. It had been like putting on an old sweater that one knew so well, sharing those moments with him in combat. She does fire her thrusters and turn off the magnetic boots, maneuvering a little away to grab the floating body of one of the fallen SHIELD agents before heading for the ship to enter.

Rocket Raccoon has posed:
    It's, surprisingly, Rocket who glares at the medic as he approaches and waves at him to stay clear. "He's a frickin' space tree, he needs oxygen." And, luckily, oxygen arrives in the form of Thor and the purloined skiff. This time, Rocket takes no nonsense and points first at Groot and then at the skiff. "You, in there, now." Then at Gutierrez. "You, help him. An' don't let 'im touch the controls, or he'll be flying the thing and embarrass the pilot, an' we'll be here all day."

    Perhaps surprisingly, he's not the first to rush into the skiff. No, he does pretty much what Bucky does, and provide overwatch by the ramp with a second spare pistol. Noble? Nah. Tactical, sure. Practical? You bet, because Bucky still has his favorite blaster rifle, and he wasn't letting that thing out of his sight.

Groot has posed:
Groot watches that ship come in, and when it proves to be Thor, he lifts his hand and waves, a smile coming to his face. Clearly, he's happy the blonde Asgardian survived the suicide run. But then Rocket. And the ship. And the command. And perhaps unsurprisingly, Groot doesn't say a word in disagreement. Maybe it /is/ oxygen he needs.

Either way, Groot starts toward the open hatch of that ship. Ponderous is what he is when he's 'walking' through vaccum. Little tendrils on his feet that grow into the metal keep him from drifting off, but it does take a few seconds each time to grow, and release. And energy.

Groot doesn't seem to need any help getting into the shuttle, and once inside, goes immediately to a seat and sits. Groot leans back and closes his eyes. "I am Groot <<Another successful mission>>," he rumbles. There might be a hint of a smile on the Tree's face.

The End.