Tony laughed as Clint sent another arrow into the body of a Starktech drone. The irony that multi-million dollar state of the art drones were being taken out by arrows wasn’t lost on him. Thankfully, he’d been building non-stop since he got back, a way to keep the voices in his head quiet and even he’d lost count of how many suits he’d built.
He was sure it was the Mark 25 he was wearing, slowly becoming more modular to make it a lot easier to get in and out of, but each suit took up space and as he ran out he moved them to this facility. A facility that damn AI had now taken over.
A.I, Tony thought. Even Jarvis wasn't a complete AI, and if he could get his hands on its source code, he could probably reprogram it to be a bit more benevolent. But no, Fury gave Clint orders to seek and destroy, never mind the benefits that a fully functional AI could bring.
“Hey, watch it,” Tony shouted as another of Clint's special arrows sent an EMP through a suit of armour. The suit was probably worth more than Clint could make in a lifetime but here he was, destroying them with great glee, and while it was fun to watch, it was also dangerous as hell. A loose shot into the arc reactor could send it into overload, and Jebadiah had learned first-hand how bad that could be.
Fury had been right and Ultron had targeted the facility. Right now he was standing over another of the Iron Man suits and stabbing a finger into its main processing core, it twitched and the helmet lights came on as he copied himself over once more
“Tony Stark, so much more intelligent than Peter Parker, but not intelligent enough, and. Actually, I don’t care who you are, Bow and Arrow man, primitive.” and Clint rolled to one side as the newest member of the Ultron army powered up its repulsor and fired at him.
“You didn’t I dunno, decommission the weapons on board?” Clint asked before notching another arrow and firing,
“They’re not weapons, it’s a stabiliser for the flight system, it just happens to be a good weapon as well.” Clint rolled his eyes and scowled, another arrow took out another of the drones Tony had built and then abandoned.
“How many of these things do you have?” Clint yelled, not realising that Tony built several of each mark, including prototypes before scrapping a design and moving on.
“Uh, a hundred, maybe more,” Tony said and his own repulsor fired. “Jarvis buddy, how's the hack coming?”
“The ‘hack’ sir will be ready in approximately 2 minutes, I will be able to capture Ultron.”
“Great buddy, bit busy, just give me a countdown from ten okay?”
“As you wish sir.”
Ultron was still ultimately a program, and once a suitable e-cell had been built, it was just a case of getting him into it and then in a closed system he couldn’t wreak havoc. Once he got the situation under control he would have a word with that Parker kid, figure out how to reverse engineer the thing, if the kid was smart enough, maybe even offer him a job.
Tony spun and fired off two repulsor blasts, wrecking what looked like another mark 12 suit, its two smoking halves falling and the armour sparking as the helmet lights faded.
Another couple of million Tony lamented as the pair slowly trashed every suit he had made.
“Counting down now sir,“ Jarvis intoned in Tony's suit, but rather than audio a small counter on his HUD popped up and as Tony rolled, flew up and blasted another repulsor shot at the infected Ultron drone, the countdown hit zero.
Several small microgenerators kicked into life and a glimmering shield dome erupted from them covering the area they were fighting in. Tony had gotten a hold of the shield dome Osborn had constructed, and now he copied and improved upon the design.
Taking a deep breath Tony stopped and landed back on the warehouse floor. “Give it up Ultron, the areas shielded now. Unless you want to die here, surrender.”
“We would never surrender to you Tony Stark, you are beneath us.” and grabbing another drone he threw it at the shield, as it passed through the energy it sparked and shut down, landing in several parts that spun and scraped across the concrete.
“Yeah, see, the barrier isn't physical, it's just a continual emp shield, so unless your electronic brain can survive that, you’re not going anywhere. No signals in or out, and well, there are only so many drones in here, you’ve got enough arrow right?” and looking over at Hawkeye, he looked at a counter on his wrist and nodded
“Yeah sure, more than enough.”
“You’re not leaving, surrender and you’ll be treated fairly, or you know, don’t and we take you anyway.” and as he watched the main Ultron body, a broken and damaged Goblin suit of armour paced back and forth,
“State, ‘fair treatment’?” the armour asked,
“I've got an electronic box, simulated environment, you’ll be moved there and then once we have a secure facility, where you can be trusted to behave, we’ll get you a physical body without broadcast capabilities.”
“Wait, what no, we destroy it,” and Hawkey raised his bow at the drone,
“Destroy? Are you crazy?” and Tony fired once at the man, sending him spinning across the floor, “he’s an A.I you moron. Ultron, I don't care who created you, I just don't want to see something so amazing be destroyed.”
“We agree to your terms Tony Stark, I believe, the correct response is ‘shake on it’,” and Ultron held out his hand.
The visor on Irons Man's helmet snapped open, “sure, why not?” and as he reached out a hand to grab the drones he smirked.
“Now” and a section of the armour around Tony's arm slid open, extended outwards and clamped onto the drone’s arm. Electricity sparked between them and the lights on the drones helmet flickered and died.
“Jarvis, you got him?”
“Affirmative Sir, however, from the transfer speed and total size of the code, I would surmise that this is not the original, nor is it a perfect copy. To use your phrase, sir, we’ve been played.”
“Doesn't matter, rip it apart. If it's a copy then more can be made, keep it off-site though, don't want it to escape. Full network quarantine, no remote access, even for me.
“Affirmative sir, and your accomplice?” Tony looked over at Hawkeye, the repulsor blast was low powered enough that he’d be sore and bruised for a bit but otherwise unharmed, Fury on the other hand will be pissed. Tony shrugged
“Get medical in here, we must have missed a drone,” and as Jarvis sent out the signals Tony deactivated the shield and started walking back to the quinjet. Casting an eye over it he figured he’d bribe Fury with repulsor tech to replace the old fashioned rotor blade system they were still using.
Tony was however more interested in the replication and dissemination technique Ultron had been using, if he could create a perfect AI of his own and then copy it, he would create a legion of Iron Men, one that ran to his exact specs. A suit of armour around the world. With Venom, Goblin, and now Ultron he knew that bigger and more dangerous threats would be coming and he needed to be prepared. There would be no repeat of the desert, no repeat of Yo, not on his watch.
With a fully functional AI, minus the bugs that stupid kid had written into the code, he could put a suit of armour around the world, and be on call to stop disasters like the Hulk from happening again. Everyone would be safe and no one else would have to die. Staten Island would never have to happen again.
As Tony waited for the medics to arrive he noticed a small glitch appear in his HUD, “uh Jarvis?”
“Sorry Tony Stark, but JARVIS is unavailable at the moment due to a sudden and abrupt death. Iron Man is now operated by the far superior Ultron program and as his armour hissed he felt it power on without his command. There was a sharp pain in the back of his neck and Tony felt his limbs grow cold and unfeeling.
“We have learned from Osborn, a simple interface is required to ensure co-operation.” and Tony felt the suit power up by itself.
Iron Ultron walked over to the still limp body of Hawkeye, “killing this one would bring repercussions from the organisation known by the acronym SHIELD. He is spared. For now. The others, designated ‘medical response team’, are expendable.”
Iron Ultron stepped on Hawkeyes hand, crushing it and the sudden pain brought the man back to consciousness with a scream. Ultron pressed down with its full weight and the bones popped and flesh oozed out from under his boot as Clint thrashed and twisted in agony.
“Opponent neutralised. Combat capability is now at zero. Status. Alive.” Clint rolled away, finally free from the suit but his hand was gone, the bones at his wrist stuck through the ragged edge of skin where it had been crushed and Clint quickly wrapped a cord around the bleeding stump.
“Before he was incapacitated, Tony Stark called medical services. I believe they should be here any moment now. You should thank me for allowing you more time before I end the world.”
As the medical team rushed towards Clint, sat cradling his crushed and bleeding hand, they had no clue that Ultron was in control of the armour, and as the shoulder-mounted rockets extended and then fired, they were helpless. Tony yelled and screamed in the armour as they were turned into ragged bloody dolls, blows to pieces before his eyes,
“Damn you, damn you,” was all Tony could say, over and over as he strained against the mental block Ultron had him in.
Clint looked at the suit, pale skin, sweating and holding his ruined hand tightly towards his chest, he took the cord from his broken bow and tied it with one hand and his teeth around the stump of his arm. Taking a deep breath and trying to block out as much of the pain as he could, he rolled forwards, and with a practised movement, jammed several of the arrows from his quiver into the small of the Iron Man Suit’s back.
Electricity coursed through the suit and the man inside, and as the helmet lights flickered, Clint swept the legs out from under the suit and began to hogtie the armour arms and legs together using a spare cord from his bow. Even with one hand, Clint was capable and before the stunning effect ran out he smashed each repulsor in both hands and feet with an armour piercing arrow before collapsing back on the floor.
Lying back, with his ruined hand tight against his chest, “oh shit, my wife is gonna kill me,” he said as the second team of medics ran in and began to fuss over him. “Yeah, leave him, get a containment team in here and get that armour off Tony, no one touches him till I say so.”
Clint felt much better once they jabbed him with a syringe full of something, he didn't care if it was morphine or something else, he just felt good.
He watched in fast forwards as the tech came in and each part of the Iron Man suit was either unbolted or, as Tony still was uncooperative, was cut from until the man lay there with just a spinal column and the helmet.
“Uh sir, there appears to be some kind of neural bridge here, do we cut it, or leave it?”
Clint had closed his eyes and now this fly was bothering him, “just keep him sedated, cuffed and leave it, someone else can deal with this crap.” He hadn't watched as they did something with his stump, sprayed it with a thing and then wrapped it. Clint had seen enough combat to know his hand was gone, he didn't need it for his bow but it still looked bad on his yearly evaluation, not to mention he wasn't kidding about the wife. Laura would freak out when she saw, not to mention it would probably mean the retirement talk again.
Clint had always been top of his field, a master of pretty much any ranged weapon, and a few they didn't test for. Hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness were off the charts, but now, now with these new enhanced coming in Laura had hinted at retirement, then when Hulk showed up and crushed a large section of Harlem she had switched from hints to full questioning, With a hand gone and a chance at a full Shield pension Clint wondered if she was right, maybe now was the time to retire.
Unseen by Clint or the cleanup crew, a smaller drone worked its way through the air vents of the Stark facility. It had collected the data it needed. A scan of the neural network Ultron designated as ‘Tony Stark’ and an unknown but interesting variable known as ‘Arrow Guy’. These two scans coupled with the scans of the variables in Sokovia would enable Ultron to design and build countermeasures to these so-called ‘Heros’. His original defeat at the hands of Peter Parker had thrown up error codes in his program, and he was going to correct them before continuing with his master plan, the extinction of the human race.