Chapter 1: The Pulse

"Last time you'll see this training room, Agent," said Maria Hill. "For this final test, all safeties are off."

Agent Barry Wolfsbane was ready for this. He had been training for long enough, and he was ready to get a real assignment. He figured he would start out small with something like recovering some intel from a Maggia thug and work his way up to taking down a low-powered super villain.

Returning to the present, Barry heard Hill say, "You'll face a salvaged Sentinel that has been set up to kill you. You'd do well to avoid that. Begin."

"Lovely," He thought.

Barry drew his standard issue needle gun and shot the Sentinel. In return, the Sentinel fired three miniature rockets at Barry. He rolled to the side, dodging the attack. Barry shot the Sentinel twice more. The bullets were doing little damage. The Sentinel stepped forward and a flame stream spewed from its wrist. Rolling again, Barry just barely dodged the searing flames.

"I'm not finished yet." He thought.

Since bullets were not very effective against this robot, Barry pulled out a frag grenade, pulled the pin, and threw it at the salvaged Sentinel. The Sentinel blew into pieces.

While Barry changed his uniform, a bright light flashed, and everything shook. Hard. After fixing his hair really quick, he rushed out to see what was going on. To Barry's surprise, he ran into the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., Nick Fury.

"Something's happened, Agent," Fury said.

"What was that?" Barry asked as he walked with Fury over to the central hub.

"A massive pulse has hit the planet. Everything is down. Well, everything but our Helicarriers." Turning to Hill, he said, "Maria? Status."

"Helicarrier's backup has kicked in. Engines are holding. Barely."

"We're above New York and it's exploding. We're getting reports everywhere and need all available agents on the scene."

This was not what Barry was expecting on his first day as an official S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.

Iron Man was also in the command center. "I'm going down there," he said. "I'll take the agent with me."

"Sir," Maria Hill cut in, "Agent Wolfsbane hasn't finished…"

"Proving himself?" Fury interrupted. "I agree completely."

Just then, the Black Widow's voice came over a comm channel. "Anyone up there? I need backup down here. AIM is targeting -BZZZRT-"

"Widow?" Iron Man said. "We got it Fury. The agent's ready. Save the world. Yadda, yadda. We need to go help Black Widow."

Barry was not so sure he was ready, but he was not about to pass up the chance to go on a mission with Iron Man. "I agree," Barry said.

"Go with Iron Man," Fury commanded. "Get down to the city and get this under control."

Barry thought it was too bad that he and Iron Man were taking a quinjet down to the city instead of Iron Man carrying him down there. That would have been much more fun.

Barry and Iron Man arrived on the scene to find Black Widow grappling with two AIM thugs carrying rocket launchers. She was wounded, which made it difficult for her to get anywhere with her enemies. Iron Man knocked one out with a repulsor blast, and Barry shot the other twice in the chest, and once in the face. Barry picked up what seemed to be an EMP from the dead thug's body and pocketed it.

"Thanks, Agent. I owe you one," Black Widow said to Barry. "Hope we get a chance to work together soon."

"Sooner than you think, Widow," Fury said. "Agent, meet your newest team member."

"Team?" Barry said, shocked.

"I am officially naming you head of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Avenger Strike Team. Iron Man is the third member of your team. You report back to me and Hill, but in the field, you're in charge."

Barry had to work very hard to keep his jaw from dropping. So much for starting small. He was now the leader of a superhero strike team dealing with who knows what after an earthshaking pulse of energy smashed into the Earth.

"Good to be a part of the team," Widow said.

"Same here," said Iron Man.

"I saw Captain America heading off a few blocks from here towards something big and metal. Might need your help."

"Got it, Widow. You should go get those wounds looked at."

"I've got a mission to finish, Iron Man. And I've been through far worse. You know that."

"We'll see you back at the flight deck, Widow. Let's go see if Cap needs a hand, Agent."

So, off they went. They found Captain America standing across from a gigantic Hydra Power Armor.

"Iron Man, good to see you," Captain America said.

The Power Armor advanced as he said, "Hail, Hydra!"

"He's big, huh?" Iron Man said nonchalantly.

"Not out of that tin can, he isn't" Cap replied.

"Sure, but how do we get him out? That prototype EMP Agent Wolfsbane picked up off that AIM goon might just come in handy."

Iron Man blasted the Power Armor with his repulsors, and Captain America tried bashing it with his shield, but these attacks seemed to have little effect on their adversary. Then, the Power Armor blasted searing lasers from its palms, knocking Iron Man back, and making Captain America focus on shielding himself.

"Ok, now would be a good time to use that EMP grenade," he groaned.

Barry pulled out the EMP and pressed what looked like an activation button. Then, he chucked it as hard as he could at the Power Armor. The Power Armor stopped moving, and Iron Man, Captain America, and Barry took advantage of the opportunity to riddle it with repulsor blasts, shield bashes and bullets. To no visible effect.

"He's down, but not out," Iron Man said. "We could use some help."

Just then, Thor came crashing down from the sky with a lightning bolt that smashed the Power Armor to bits.

Turning to Barry, Thor said, "Well met, Agent. Perhaps later we will raise a glass together. But this little battle is not over. Captain! Your shield is needed!"

"On my way. Thanks, soldier. That would've been a lot messier had you not shown up." With that, Thor and Captain America ran off to another battle.

"Iron Man," Fury's voice came over the comms. "I need you and Agent Wolfsbane back at the Helicarrier." So, Barry and Iron Man boarded the quinjet and headed back to the Helicarrier.