chapter twenty

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20 x enter the battle

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Though I was pretty impressed that none of the super-spies I was flying over to the Eye seemed phased by the fact that we were flying, it was kind of a disappointment. Some response would've been appreciated, but hey; I didn't have time to dwell on that.

We landed right after Tony, and Pietro was already on the scene.

So were about fifty people with the glowing orange eyes that signified Extremis' presence. A handful of them were keeping civilians from getting off the Eye, and I could see one of them had invaded the control box, apparently keeping the machine in motion.

"Well, this could be better," Natasha observed, snapping out two electric staves.

Clint had snapped his bow open at the same moment, drawing one of his arrows and sliding it across his bow. "It's weirder than Budapest."

"When are you going to tell the rest of the your team about Budapest?" Bucky asked, yanking one of his knives out of it's sheath.

"Probably not in this life time," Tony muttered. I could hear his repulsers charging up. "Could you five handle this, please, while I find the death ray? Thank you." Then he was off, launching into the air, coming to a slow stop closer to the wheel.

I glanced over at Pietro. "I guess we're handling this."

"You two up for making sure the rest of us don't end up getting shot?" Bucky asked, bracing himself as we already had agents rushing over to us.

"We can do that," Pietro agreed. He reached over and squeezed my hand, offering me a half smile and a wink. "Try not to get stabbed, please," he said, before he was off in a blur.

"One time!" I called after him, huffing. "One freaking time. Just once! It was once!"

"You did almost die," Natasha pointed out as I flew up a little into the air, already swiping aside a few of the agents.

"You were also in a coma," Clint added, stringing up an arrow before letting it fly into the nearest man. "So once doesn't hold much meaning, shorty."

"Whatever," I mumbled, creating a ball of light and launching it through the nearest cluster of agents. For good measure, I directed it through their weapons next, figuring that would probably be more beneficial.

I took up defensive duty after that, stopping bullets that got too close to my teammates, shoving back anyone who attempted an attack from behind. Every once in a while I'd catch sight of Pietro buzzing through the crowds, disarming people, tearing people off Bucky, shoving others in front of Clint's arrows to get more bang for the buck. I kept an eye on Tony in my periphery the whole time, watching him zigzag about. From the way he was flying, I figured he was frustrated with the situation.

"Stark?" I called, deflecting a barrage of bullets headed for me.

"Busy," was his response. "Three more carriages to go."

At least that meant he was getting close. "We've got civilians we need to evacuate," I reminded him, watching Natasha take out a man with an electric stick to the neck.

"And you can," Tony said, "as soon as I find the death ray. After that, you can take out their guy in the control panel . . ."

I groaned loudly, clenching my hands to fists and letting myself fall to the ground. I landed hard, straightening after the impact and punching the man nearest to me in the jaw, watching him fly backwards at the force. The next one hesitated before coming at me, a brief glimmer of what looked like fear in his eyes.

"Yeah, I wouldn't if I were you," I warned him.

His jaw clenched visibly before he came running at me. I didn't even move: just stopped him mid-run, before giving him an exasperated look and throwing him off toward the river.

"I did warn you," I muttered under my breath.

Pietro appeared next to me then, breathing heavily. "You still good?"

I gave him a toothless smile. "I'm fine, Dash."

"This Dash person, he runs fast enough to cross water?" Pietro asked me, tilting his head and furrowing his brow.

"Oh yeah," I grinned. "But he's considerably younger than you."

"It is another cartoon?" he asked as I pushed a few people away from us.

"It's an animated movie," I said. "So I guess . . . sort of . . . you know, this might not be the best time for this conversation."

He nodded, amusement in his eyes, before he was off again. I turned my attention toward Clint when I heard him yelp, my eyes narrowing when I realized an agent had gotten him around the middle with a glowing molten arm.

"Right, and I'm the one who everyone should worry about," I grumbled, using telekinesis to pry the man off Clint, one hand raised with the action. Instead of just dropping him afterwards, I pushed him hard, effectively getting him away from the archer.

Clint smiled at me in gratitude. "Thanks, shorty."

"Any time," I called back before flying into the air again. Surely Tony was done by now, right? I mean, it had to have been long enough-

As I was going up, I saw Iron Man going down, and he landed hard in the middle of a lot of agents. I watched from the air as he blasted several of the men, taking a few others out in the process before small explosive devices flew out of one of his shoulder panels into at least a dozen of them.

I landed a few yards in front of him, shouting to get his attention. "Tony! Did you find it?"

"Sure did," he said, before: "Now duck!"

Instead of ducking I took a large step to the side, following the wide beam of energy that shot out of the chest of the suit. It bore straight through the crowd of agents and effectively knocked out the individual who had been manning the control station.

"Would you mind shutting the ferris wheel off?" Tony asked me casually as he turned and knocked over a few more of Killian's men. "If you don't know how, it's probably an off switch. Just a guess."

I grumbled under my breath as I marched over to the control station, effectively evicting the man from the control building before facing the panel. It didn't look overly complicated. Instead of randomly pressing buttons (which was what I really wanted to do) I focused on the small print, and determined which one actually would stop the machine.

Turns out that actually paying attention to signs is helpful, in case anyone was wondering. It does work.

I pressed the appropriate button, then stuck my head out the door, shouting "It's off!" as it came to a gradual halt.

A combination of Clint's freeze-arrows and Tony's repulser blasts was what I saw clear the area away as the wheel stopped. It was Pietro who arrived at the carriage first, sliding the door open and quickly ushering people off the contraption.

As I watched more and more of the agents falling and Pietro directing people to safety, I couldn't help but think that this entire plan might just work.

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