Velocity sighed as he opened the door and stepped into the interrogation room. He studied the spandex wearing figure handcuffed to the metal loop in the table. Blue eyes followed him as he sat down and pulled out a folder, a pad of paper, a recorder and pen.
He spoke the date and time, then continued. "Velocity, interviewing parahuman criminal code-named Tattletale. Do you mind if I ask what the hell you were thinking of attacking the Protectorate, the Wards and New Wave at a celebration party hosted by the Brockton PD?"
"We were paid and told that with the right planning we might be able to tweak the noses of the heroes on public TV," she said with a tense shrug of her shoulders. "Even thought the Avengers and that flying mountain of theirs was gone."
"Who hired you?" Velocity asked in a curt manner.
Tattletale sat up, a smile lighting up her face. "You got him? You really captured Coil?"
"Ahh. Ahem. I'm the one asking questions. So-"
"Coil hired us, in a way. We were all of his parahuman muscle anyways, even if most of the Undersiders didn't know that. He was our 'secret' benefactor. Brought in Trainwreck, Shamrock and Chariot to give us enough firepower to humiliate the Protectorate and PRT." She giggled as she relaxed. "It's really over- Wait, did you get the real Coil? He has body doubles and always knows how to win."
"We believe we have the real one. Dragon has been tracing his actions at his base for several days."
The girl breaking out in tears surprised the hell out of him.
"He's really gone," she said after about a minute. Tattletale shook her head and looked up and frowned as she studied Velocity.
"If you don't mind, what caused that outburst?" the speedster asked.
"He was... holding a gun to my head. Recruited off the streets at gunpoint." Tattletale shuddered, but tamped down on it a moment later. "I tried to run away a couple of times, but he always stopped me effortlessly."
"Coil never tortured you?"
"He did, but I never remembered or had the wounds. But he knew things that only I knew," she replied with a hitch in her breath. "I think his Thinker power allowed him to do things but not. Like an undo button, but he knew everything that happened. Except that's not quite it. Dammit."
"Well, that's worrisome," Velocity said carefully. "Why don't you explain everything." Nothing about this looked to be as simple as they thought it would be.
"Ready, sir," a cultured voice called out in the futuristic looking machine shop and lab.
"Let's do this," Tony said as he shared a quick smile with the redhead next to him. It had been a good few days since Heimdal dropped their quinjet back on Earth.
"Power is reaching critical threshold. Bank two arc reactors is almost drained," JARVIS informed.
The eight foot tall ring of hypertech shot rainbow electricity into a swirling point that expanded to fill the area right in front of it.
Tony tapped a button on a handheld controller and the light on his headset activated. "Testing, testing. Anyone home?" He tossed a cylinder through the portal from his side.
"We're here, Tony," Taylor replied on the other side of the portal. "Waiting on you." What was that?
"We need you for Torch Delta. The infection is severe and much cauterizing is required," Tony replied in a bland and cryptic manner.
"Dad says it's okay, as long as it's only a week or so," Taylor said as she walked the Chrysalis armor through the Einstein-Rosenberg-Stark bridge with the lion-headed Triumph right behind her. "Hey, boss! It worked!" She waved to him. "This must be Pepper."
"Guilty as charged. Tony told me all about you and how you saved his life," Pepper said as she walked over to hug the girl.
"Um, you're welcome? Where do you want me to park my armor, Tony?" she asked.
"Right over there. I've got your real upgrade in the vault next to it. How's it going, Dragon?" Tony asked across the micro-connection.
"You did succeed at making the communication module? Do you have the specifications?" Dragon replied from the other side.
"JARVIS?" the inventor called out with a smug grin. He knew she would ask for that.
"Transmitting. It will use most of the bandwidth for ten minutes," the A.I. replied.
"Dragon? This is Pepper? You don't mind if we have a chat later? As you are the legal child of Tony Stark on Earth Bet, there are some things we have to go over. And I want to ask you so many questions." Pepper sounded intrigued.
"I guess? Right now, I am quite busy with my duties, but I can have an ear ready for you," Dragon replied in a wary tone.
Taylor exited her armor, now clad in her armored inner-suit and mask. Triumph walked over to stand by her.
"So have you guys figured out where Hydra is? And when we are going to take them out?" Taylor asked as she removed her mask. She pulled glasses out of a special pouch on her belt and slipped them on.
Tony switched to a serious, grim look. "Well, our superspies have found that Hydra is in S.H.I.E.L.D. The problem is that we don't know how many and they spotted our bugs and JARVIS can't sneak into their computers without getting caught. Which would lead them back to us."
"So we're stuck?" Triumph asked. So why did they come to this Earth?
"Of course not. I'm a genius, it's a problem. I have a solution," Tony said as if he were talking to an idiot. Or a baby.
Taylor grinned. "And I must be part of that solution."
"See? I told you she was smart," Tony said to Pepper.
"Yes, Tony, you can pick them," Pepper said with a roll of her eyes.
Taylor snickered at her barbed words. "So what and where are my bugs going to sneak into?"
"The Triskelion, S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ itself. I've got JARVIS cranking out these micro-bugs with thirteen hours of recording time. We'll sneak in as many as you can keep track of and watch everything. Once we figure out how the leadership is communicating with their people, we'll start to track them all down," Tony explained.
"I'm pretty sure you don't have that many recorders," Taylor mused. "I can control millions of insects at a time."
He just stared at her for a long second with his mouth open. "And that is pants-wetting terrifying," Tony said. "See? Adorifying! Adorable and terrifying!"
Pepper squeezed the bridge of her nose. "I have no idea how you have time to browse the internet for memes."
He looked offended.
A week later, Natasha Romanov walked casually in through the parking garage, looking slightly different in features and with black hair. She nodded to a STRIKE member as she continued down the hall.
Just before she hit the main control room for SHIELD operations, the looked around and pivoted towards the women's bathroom. She ambled on down to the last one and entered the stall. A foot long box about three inches wide slipped out of the back of her jacket. With a quick hop, she kicked off the toilet and slipped the box into the false ceiling.
Two minutes later, she walked through the security checkpoint with one of her totally valid deep security IDs and into the room. Natasha looked around and walked over one of the operators.
"I need a secure terminal to run a special operation in Bolivia," she ordered the Security Level 5 man. "Now."
"Uh, yes ma'am! Right away!" He led her to a desk at the very end that also had a raised partition around it.
"Thanks. You can return to your duties. Make sure that only people of Security Level 7 are allowed to come near here. Okay?" She gave him a winning smile.
"Of course!" He trotted back to his desk.
Black Widow took off her suit coat and folded it carefully. She carefully did not jump when a spider crawled out from under the keyboard. It hopped onto her hand. She watched it carefully and then it hopped. And hopped. And one last hop.
The box landed on the suit coat and she immediately pulled out the connection cable to plug it into the computer. It only took a few seconds to activate.
She started accessing different secure servers that lay hardwired to the secure terminal. Flashing red lights lit up in a row on the hacking box to indicate how far it progressed. A green light appeared which caused Natasha to give a small smirk. Ten minutes.
Sharon Carter looked up on her console. "I have a priority one order to scramble five agents for a security detail to arrest STRIKE," she called out to Director Hand.
The long, dark-haired woman stood up and stared at her. "What?" She and Alexander Pierce should be the only ones that could issue orders at that level. She walked over fast enough she nearly ran over one of the new agents. Her eyes narrowed as she took in the authorization.
And objective. Capture Hydra infiltrators? And she did not recognize the authorization, other than it was higher than her own.
Victoria Hand quickly typed in her own security code to go in to verify the access code. If some prankster-
'Confirmed: Alpha Priority AV1D99E'
"Get them moving, do not use regular comms. I want STRIKE captured and in the brig here in half an hour." She spun around. "What are you waiting on?"
"Right," Sharon said as she called for the adhoc security team to come for a command briefing.
Five minutes later, the four guards at the security checkpoint turned and gunned down the fifth guard. They then turned and pointed their guns on the operations controllers.
"Everyone, stop! Hands in the air!" the Hydra mole called out. "Director Hand, who ordered that operation?"
She glared at him hard enough that if looks could kill, he would be six foot under. "I don't know. It's a black code that authorizes, but I do not recognize. So... Hydra inside of S.H.I.E.L.D. You damn bastards."
"There's a few of us here and there," he replied with a smirk.
A buzz filled the air that caused everyone to look around.
"What the hell is that?" the infiltrator shouted as he pointed his submachine gun at it.
The swarm of insects piled out of the cracks in the wall formed up to an almost opaque cloud of insects ten feet wide. Then it dropped down like a striking viper.
Natasha stuck her head around the corner. That helped, she guessed.
Secretary Alexander Pierce glared at the screens on the glass wall of his room. "How did they uncover us in STRIKE? Who the hell uncovered us?"
"It's worse than we thought. We are finding out covert orders in every major base having non-Hydra agents sent to arrest one of the cells there. We're taking precautions-" one of the Hydra operatives explained.
"What, what precautions?" Pierce demanded.
"Just a general 'go silent' order, no acknowledgement. We can't even trace that ourselves."
"Good. I want all eyes peeled out for Fury. Somehow he survived. Find him. Kill him," Pierce ordered. Bullshit. How had they survived? The plan had been simple and foolproof!
Alarms blared to life. The missile alarms! Pierce turned to look out the shatter shatterproof windows just in time to see a red and gold figure shoot a red beam that cut a circle right through the armored glass like butter.
Iron Man slammed down to the floor and skidded to a halt. "Hey, chuckles! Surprised to see me?"
"You don't really think anyone is going to believe you are Iron Man? You've signed your own death warrant!" Pierce said as he tried to ignore that fast hammering of his heart.
"Yeah, that's not going to happen," Tony said as he flipped up his visor. "Surprise! Oh, the Avengers and Nick Fury did find me on this other hellhole of an Earth.
"Iron Man, that's my home," Chrysalis said as she zoomed in on repulsors and landed with a light tap. Perfect proprioception thanks to her bugs was awesome! Her holographic dragonfly wings deactivated with a small snap of ionized air.
"Well, you say they found you." The secretary of the World Council brushed at his jacket.
"Just slightly. Found some new friends. Cool toys. And a whole new market. My stock are going to be insane for a while," Tony said with a smirk on his face.
Clouds started to swirl high up in the atmosphere and they darkened while in motion to become thicker and more menacing.
"Can we just arrest him already?" Chrysalis asked with impatience.
"Ha, he wouldn't believe that I have any legal authority to arrest anyone," Tony said as he pointed at Pierce.
"That's because you don't, you lunatic fake," he retorted. Pierce looked outside as it looked as if a storm came to cover the whole area.
Light stabbed down from the heart in blinding streams of dimensional energy.
"An Asgardian wormhole?" Pierce exclaimed.
A sun shone down from the clouds, leaving a floating island of metal only a thousand feet in front of him. The Hellicarrier fast launched all of their quinjets and fighters.
All of the speakers in the complex crackled for a second.
"This is Director Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. and to all of the Hydra traitors within my organization, I will hunt you down, I will harry you and I will destroy everything you have ever worked for. When I am done, Hydra will once again be the pathetic footnote in history and SHIELD will be back in the business of saving the world. Operation Dust Off will now commence."
Pierce stared at the ship impassively with his hands in his pockets. "Well, that's something."
"He's got some sort of remote!" Chrysalis shouted as she started to tromp to take it away.
"Cut off one head, two more shall take its place." He held up his phone that showed only a couple of seconds on it. "HAIL HYDRA!" Repulsors from both armors hit him and sent the phone flying.
The room filled with light as high energy explosive went off.
Up in the Hellicarrier, Nick Fury's eye widened as the top five floors of the Triskelion exploded with the force of many tons of high grade explosives.
Maria Hill's face went pale. "My god."