Captain America: Secret War (FIFTEEN)

The Quinjet was heading east, flying across the Atlantic Ocean and heading toward the United Kingdom. There was an unspoken tension in the air as the heroes prepared for the threat they were bound to face in London. Plus, there would be the task of not getting apprehended by the London police force which could prove to be a challenge as well.

Steve Rogers rose from his seat to go stand beside his friend, Sam, who was piloting the craft. He looked out of the window at the miles of deep blue water that stretched in every direction thousands of feet below them.

Sam looked over at him. “How you feeling, Cap?”

Steve nodded. “Better.”

“Worried?”

A hint of a smile touched Steve’s lips. “A little bit.” His expression darkened. “This will be the first time I’ve faced a threat this large without my shield. I almost feel…” Steve shrugged with a smile, “vulnerable.”

“Does that shield define you?” Sam asked.

Steve shook his head.

“Then you’ll be fine. You are greater than that shield. You are a super-soldier, man. Enhanced to take on whatever may come your way. Yes, you may not have your shield, but you have the chance to prove to the world that you’re more than that vibranium frisbee.”

Steve nodded. “You’re right, Sam.” He chuckled. “You know, sometimes you inspire me.”

Sam’s eyebrows rose. “I inspire you?”

“Yeah. All those years ago when Natasha and I appeared on your doorstep asking you to help us you could’ve turned us away and continued leading a normal life. But you let us into your room and decided to join this crazy world we live in.”

Sam chuckled. “Your world is crazy,” he agreed.

After a brief pause of silence, Steve asked, “Why didn’t you turn us away?”

Sam shrugged. “I didn’t have anything better to do.”

Steve smiled. Suddenly a rapid beeping commanded their attention. Both of their gazes turned to the dashboard and their eyes widened as they saw a flashing red dot approaching them from behind at a worrying speed.

“Missile!” Sam yelled as he yanked the lever to the left.

Everyone in the jet screamed as they were sent tumbling across the room as he pulled the jet sideways. The missile zoomed by, barely scraping the jet’s underbelly.

“Hold on!” Sam yelled.

Steve did as he said, holding onto anything he could find as Sam pulled the jet around in an upside-down roundabout. The “missile” continued to chase after the jet with lethal purpose. Another dot appeared on the radar and when Sam looked a sleek black jetfighter was heading straight toward them.

“Where’s your old suit?” Nick Fury yelled.

Sam turned the jet to the left to evade both the missile and the black ship that had previously been barreling toward them.

“What?”

“Your old suit? Where is it?”

“Right here,” Sharon said, running over to one side of the jet where Falcon’s old suit resided.

“We have to get rid of it,” Fury said. “It’s the beacon that our new friend was able to locate.”

“Steve, take control,” Sam said as he jumped out of the seat.

Steve nodded, falling into the seat and grabbing the controls.

Sam ran forward, grabbing his old suit, before expanding his arms, unfurling his wings.

“Open the ramp!” he yelled.

Natasha, who was nearest to the ramp door, pressed the button. The howling wind poured into the jet’s interior, forcing everyone to hang onto anything near them as Falcon, continuing to run forward, jumped out of the jet.

“Close the door!” Agent Hill yelled.

Natasha did as she commanded.

Falcon dropped his old suit, watching it plummet to the ocean below before pirouetting in the air just to find the missile now speeding toward him. Only, it wasn’t a missile. It instead was a large black metal bird with glowing red eyes.

He cursed. “It’s him again.”

“Who?” Steve asked over the comms.

Sam unholstered his two guns as he dove. The robotic bird chased after him with a resounding screech.

“The Hunter!” Sam replied. “He’s back.”

Natasha ran forward to Steve’s side, looking out of the window where the enemy jet flew alongside them several yards away. The jet turned, beginning to shoot at them, but Steve easily evaded the barrage as he sent the Quinjet into a brief dive.

Nastaha settled into the other seat, pulling out the firing controls before putting on her headset.

“Turn around,” Natasha told Steve.

“But Natasha, he’s firing at us,” Steve said.

“Leave that to me,” she assured him.

“No,” Wanda said, jumping from her seat.

Everyone, besides Steve who had to keep his gaze forward, looked at her.

“I’ve got a better idea,” she said.

Sam, however, was preoccupied as the bird flew after him with only one goal in mind; killing him. He veered to the right. The bird veered to the right and was closing. He looked back. The bird screeched again, tucking its metal wings closer against its body. Falcon tapped the screen on his bracer, releasing one of his Redwings. The Redwing turned in midair and darted toward his pursuer.

The bird squawked in surprise as it had to contend with the lethal drone. Sam turned in midair and shot at the bird. To his disappointment, the bullets simply bounced off of the bird’s metallic hide.

“What the hell are you made of?” he mouthed to himself.

The bird snapped at the Redwing, breaking it in two with its razor-sharp beak, before focusing its attention solely on Sam. He cursed as he flew away from the bird at full speed.

Meanwhile, on the Quinjet, Wanda Maximoff was walking toward the ramp.

“What are you doing?” Agent Hill asked.

“Trust me,” Wanda said. She tapped the button for the ramp to open. Her auburn hair and maroon coat billowed about her as the deafening wind entered the area. She took a deep breath before jumping out of the jet.

“Wanda?!” everyone screamed.

Nick Fury stumbled over to the button, closing the ramp door. They gazed at the ramp in disbelief, wondering what they had just witnessed. And then Steve exclaimed, “Look!”

Agent Hill and Nick Fury hurried to the front of the jet where they saw Wanda using her power to fly through the air.

“Wow. I didn’t know she could fly,” Nick Fury said.

Natasha, who couldn’t contain her smile, nodded. “Yep, she can fly.”

The Hunter, meanwhile, was barreling toward the Quinjet, his finger hovering over the trigger as he prepared to send a barrage of heat-seeking missiles after the Avengers craft only to find a woman hovering in midair with glowing red eyes and hands. He gasped.

Wanda, with clenched teeth, used one extended hand to grasp the jet with her power. The Hunter’s eyes widened as he lost control of the craft. She twisted her hand, slowly curling her fingers and watching as the craft buckled in on itself. The Hunter knew he was in trouble. He pressed a button on the crumpling dashboard that sent the seat retracting back until he was laying on his back. A glass seal surrounded him and with a hissing sound, he was shot out of the jet in an invisible escape pod.

Wanda, of course, didn’t see it. Instead, she saw the jet fold in on itself and explode, sending pieces of burning shrapnel falling to the ocean below. Her head turned as she heard a screech and saw Sam flying erratically through the air, trying to evade the bird’s grasp. She dove forward.

Sam twirled to the right as the bird scraped at the air where he had just been. He yelled. This wasn’t good. This wasn’t good. And then the bird made a strange squawking noise. He looked back and saw none other than Wanda atop the metal beast, her glowing red hands wrapped around the robot’s head. The robot’s eyes bulged and it desperately tried to shake her but wasn’t able to. It made one last screech before its head exploded and Wanda levitated herself off of its headless body that plummeted to the large body of water below.

Wanda looked at Sam. Sam looked at Wanda. He grinned.

“Wow,” was all he could say.

“You okay, Sam?” she asked.

He nodded. “I am now.”

She smiled.

The Quinjet circled around toward them, the ramp door hanging open. Sam and Wanda flew into the craft and Agent Hill closed the door behind them. Natasha was hurrying toward them.

“Is he gone?” she asked.

Wanda nodded. “As gone as he’s going to be.”

Nick Fury laughed. “Good. Then let’s get back to the situation at hand.”

Sam nodded. “Next stop, London.”

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