ever_lovin: (Doomwar-01)
Somewhere near Easter island...

"Hey Lion, you ever hear of a Fastball Special?" Ben calls out as the Doombots circle him and the Dora Milaje. She doesn't respond but climbs into his hands. "I've got a fix on the command center, happy landings!"

He throws her just as the Doombots lock their blasters and begin to fire. Thinking quickly, Ben goes limp and drops to the ground, allowing the eight Doombots to blast into each other. For added effect he plugs his ears with his fingers.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
At Area 713, Doctor Doom's secret lab...

"Doom, we have a problem," Walter Declun says as he steps into Dr. Doom's private lab.

"We had better for you to intrude here Declun. My patience with your interruptions grows thin."

"The attacks of the Dora Milaje and the Fantastic Four have become more effective, they've changed their strategy. At this point if they continue unimpeded they run the risk of gathering a large portion of the vibranium."

"Fool, it matters not if they get all the vibranium! Still, this is not like Richards," Doom pauses and rubs his chin in thought. "Of course! It is that cretinous gargoyle Grimm! Begin Phase D, let them face live guardians now."

"As you wish."

"And Declun, do not disturb me again. It is paramount that I complete my work here. Nothing else matters."

"Of course."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Meanwhile at the Palenque ruins in Mexico...

"We're holding our own. This isn't exactly Doom's A-team. Give us fifteen minutes to wrap this up," Susan says into the communicator to Shuri.

"Nah," Ben says delivering a haymaker to "Crusher" Creel. "Ten minutes tops."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
At the field of Lotho, Symkaria (near the border of Latveria)...

"But be warned," Princess Shuri is saying to Doom as he lays on the ground, the circuits of his armor fried by T'challa's attack. "If you lift a hand against Wakanda again, or put one polluted foot on our soil, then I will hunt you to the ends of the Earth and kill you. And now you know that I can do it. Me...my brother, his wife...and our friends."

Everyone turns and heads back to the waiting quinjets but Ben approaches the fallen dictator. He bends down to be sure Doom can see him and says, "Hey Doom, got a present for ya." and then gives him a knuckle sandwich that sends him flying back into Latveria. Nodding Ben looks around at all the useless tech and then shakes his head and turns to join the others.

As he boards Susan says, "That was cruel."

Ben feigns a look of shock and says, "He was in Symkarian territory. I was trying to prevent an international incident!"
ever_lovin: (Tell Reed-BigGun)
Ben sits in the cramped space of the medibay of the Wakandian quintjet as they travel to the next stash of Vibranium that Doom has hidden away. The plane rolls with the turbulence of the Indian ocean but he's still stubbornly trying to write a letter. So absorbed he is in his task he doesn't realize the Dora Milaje he brought here is awake until she says, "What does the elephant write?"

He jumps a little and turns to her, "A letter to my gal. How ya doin'?"

"The lion will fight when the elephant is ready. The pain fades."

"Okay," he replies and gathers his notebook and pencil. "I'll be back, I wanna talk with the big wigs."

She nods and then lays back and closes her eyes.

Entering the cockpit Ben hears T'challa say, "Keep hitting them with everything you've got, it has to be keeping Doom distracted while we find him. It seems to be the best plan."

Ben looks around to gauge the reaction to this statement and sees everyone looking anywhere but at each other. No one speaks and no one offers any opposing views. "Well, no time like the present," he thinks.

"Bull," Ben says startling everyone in the cockpit. He can even see he's startled T'challa, Reed, Shuri, and Ororro over the holographic vid-phone or whatever it's called. "All due respect but we're gettin' chewed up out here. There ain't gonna be much left if we keep goin' as we have been."

"What do you suggest Mr. Grimm, surrender?" Shuri says with scorn. Susan actually gasps at Shuri's words and shakes her head.

"Girl, I'm gonna let that go cause you don't know me. No I ain't talkin' surrender, my Aunt Petunia didn't raise no quitter. What I mean is we need ta start fightin' smart. Hittin' em hard and heavy ain't doin' nothing but gettin' the Dora Milaje new openings fer recruits. No we gotta start fightin' smart, we gotta start fightin' dirty.

"These new Doombots are made of some weird vibranium what makes 'em near invulnerable? So what, they still need ta see and they still need joints ta walk and hard ground ta walk on. Let's attack where we can be effective. Let's stop hittin' our head against the wall and work on the mortar that holds the wall together.

"Let's look fer the central command that's linkin' all these 'bots together and knock it out. Each location has ta have one and as soon as we knock it out, it'll hit those Doombots like a lobotomy. Let's see 'em try and fly when it's so foggy out their optics are useless and their radar sees nothign but static. Let's melt the glass in their optics. Let's fight like we was on Yancy Street or the back alleys of Cairo. You know what I'm talkin' about Ororro?"

She nods smiling a wicked grin. "Yes. Yes I do Ben."

"This is foolish. They will still be able to fire their weapons," Shuri fires back.

"No," Reed interrupts, "Ben has a good idea. I'll start working on a sensor to locate the central command and the frequency they are likely to be projecting on. I can likely create some interference."

"Make it quick honey," Susan says. "Our next drop is in twenty minutes."

"No Reed, make it simple and low tech. Anything fancy Doom will have thought of as he knows that's what you would do. We just need to know where the signal's coming from."

"Okay, I'll let you know as soon as I have something."
ever_lovin: (Doomwar-01)
The call came as they were leaving Ascension Island and heading toward Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. Ben was tired and almost just pushed the call through to voice mail until he caught site of the caller's ID. "Debz, aww jeeze," he thought as he activated his ear piece and connected. "Babe I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." The weariness in his voice is plain though he tries to hide it.

"Ben, finally. I've been trying to reach you for hours! Where are you?"

"Over Saudi Arabia I think. I missed our date haven't I?" How many hours have they been fighting anyway?

"Our date was yesterday," comes her cold reply. "I haven't heard from you for nearly two days. What's going on?"

"Doom's got something big going on and I hate ta say it but it looks bad. I'm sorry I didn't call, I got wrapped up in things ya know?"

"No I don't. First you disappeared for nearly a week chasing after those cities or whatever and now this. Couldn't you have called?"

"Yer right I should have, I'm sorry. We've been fightin' straight fer a while now and it slipped my mind. Ain't gonna happen again..."

"Don't...just don't. Don't make a promise you can't keep."

"Drop zone in 10 minutes," Sue says from the cockpit of the Quinjet.

"Debz...I..."

"This is the way it's going to be isn't it Ben? There are going to be times where I simply won't know what's going on aren't there."

Ben wants to argue but he can't. "Yeah," he says quietly.

"Okay," she replies equally quiet, "I knew I had to share you with the world. It's just harder than I thought it would have been."

"I'll take ya out somewhere's when I get back, somewhere's special."

"Oh Ben," Debs replies tears clear in her voice. "I just want you home."

"I will be, promise."

"Ben...I'm going to Europe with a friend. Nicole from school?"

"Where? I can join ya there. Heck, chances are I'll be in Latveria before this is over."

"No Ben. I..." Her voice cracks but she goes on. "I need some time to think about things. To decide if I can share you. I'm sorry."

"Babe, I'll give it all up! You won't have to share, after this fight, I'll quite." He's sounds desperate he knows but what else can he do.

"No Ben. The world needs you. I just need some time. Give Doom a knuckle sandwich for me?"

"Yeah okay. This ain't goodbye is it?"

She laughs and cries. "No you big lug. I love you. I just need some time. Take care of yourself."

The line clears just as Sue says, "We're in the drop zone. Drop in 2 minutes." The jump doors open as Ben stares at the head set in his hands helplessly. He was never good with words. Blinking he looks up and sees everyone getting ready for the next fight.

"No Ben, not yet!" Sue calls out. "We aren't ready!"

The wind washes away his tears as he plummets. He needs to clobber something to pieces so bad he can taste it.

--------------------------------

On the ground he flips the first Doombot that charges him and then catches its legs as it sails by. Bracing himself he spins and the Doombot arcs to crash into its fellows. Lost in his hurt he doesn't see the Dora Milaje as they land near him. They give him a clear path but use his rage tactically.
--------------------------------

"Ben. BEN!" Sue calls again finally getting through to him. He stops, panting and looks around.

"Are you okay? What's wrong?" she asks seeing she finally has his attention.

"Nothin'"

"Bull. I've know you too long to believe that."

Ben throws aside the metal club which was once the leg of a Doombot. "I don't wanna talk about it."

"Ben," Sue says taking his hand. "We need you here. Tell me what's wrong."

"BEN!" Johnny yells as he lands. "What the heck man? You turning Wolverine on us?!?"

He blinks furiously and his voice cracks as he replies, "Debs wants some space. Ta think about if she can handle all of this."

"Is that it? Get it together man."

"Jonathan Spencer Storm! You apologize right now!"

"No sis I will not!" Johnny says rounding on her. "We can handle it if Ben loses it. We have powers, we know how he can be. They," and here he points to the wounded Dora Milaje, "don't. Do you have any idea how many of them threw themselves between you and Doombots? You didn't even notice, did you Ben? Look I know you love Debs. We'll get her back. You and me, we'll figure something out. What girl can resist both of use working together huh? But right now we need you. They need you."

--------------------------------
 
Back in the plane Ben carefully carries one of the Dora Milaje wounded to the medical bay. As he helps her settle in she says, "You fight like an elephant who has lost his mate. It was an honor to be by your side."

He looks at her wounds and wonders how many he caused by his inattention. He remembers a black shape darting near him as he fought and replies, shaking his head, "An' you fought like a lioness protecting her cub. The honor was mine."

She laughs, "I shall heal and the elephant and lion shall defeat these metal men."

"I look forward to it lady."


(And that Marvel is how you can end a marriage without either party looking like asses. Walking out of his own wedding and leaving the bride at the alter indeed.)

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Benjamin J Grimm

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