Chapter 86: Revenge Tour (pt.3)
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2014

Canada, Appalachian Mountains

HYDRA Preparatory Academy

Courtyard

A Few Moments Earlier

 

(Brock POV)

Approaching the imposing gates of HYDRA Preparatory Academy, I could feel the tension building in the air.

Beside me, Ava and Zeru also prepared themselves for what lay ahead.

I took a step forward, my muscles tensing beneath my armor, ready to smash through the gates with my formidable strength, when Zeru put his hand on my arm, signaling me to wait.

"Hold on, Boss," Zeru said, his mechanical voice tinged with excitement. "I've been meaning to show you what this suit can really do."

Curiosity piqued, I took a step back, watching as Zeru activated one of the advanced bio-mechanical weapons integrated into his suit.

Raising his arms towards the thick gate, I watched on in interest as the metal on his palms began to liquefy and fuse together, expanding into the long barrel of what looked like a railgun.

Purple energy crackled through the air as the weapon hummed with power and a beam of destructive force shot forth, obliterating the gates in a spectacular display of power.

*Boom!!*

Metal shrieked and sparks flew as the gates crumbled before us, reducing it to nothing more than twisted wreckage.

"Damn," I whistled, impressed by Zeru's growing repertoire of weaponry.

The kid had come a long way since I first met him. His abilities were definitely worth the time to cultivate.

With the path cleared, we moved forward, stepping over the wreckage of the shattered gates as the dust settled.

I surveyed the scene around us, my eyes falling upon three figures emerging from the school's entrance. My gaze swept over them, taking in their appearance and assessing them for any potential threats.

The first two were unfamiliar faces, but their weapons caught my attention.

One of them carried a massive sparking Warhammer, crackling with raw white electricity, while the other wielded a shield similar to Captain America's, but thicker and more mechanical in nature.

HYDRA's attempts at recreating the iconic heroes were evident.

And then I saw him, unmistakable even with his horrific cybernetic enhancements.

John Garrett, my old combat instructor at this very school, now a twisted version of his former self. His once-familiar face had been marred by cybernetics, rendering him almost unrecognizable. Wires and circuitry snaked across his scarred flesh, blending with his remaining organic tissue and creating a disturbing image.

Recalling the grueling training sessions and the harsh lessons he had drilled into me, I couldn't help but feel a pang of pity at the sight. Garrett had been an influential figure in my life, guiding me through the early years when I was still weak.

But now, he had become a mere puppet of HYDRA, transformed into a living weapon.

I pushed my emotions aside and focused on the situation at hand. Assessing the three charging figures, I quickly determined that these three men didn't pose much of a threat to my group.

From what I could see, they weren't even a match for me, let alone our combined skills.

"Ava, Zeru," I called out, my voice steady and commanding, "I'll take the cyborg. You two handle the others."

Ava nodded at my command, the eyes of her visor glowing with an affirmative response as she unsheathed the two sleek deadly blades from her wristbands.

"Aww, I wanted the Cybrog," Zeru said as he adjusted his stance, his suit emitting a low hum. "Could you save me a few of his parts? I want to study them later."

"We'll see," I said, sounding like a father dealing with a kid who wanted a toy.

Ava, utilizing her agility and lethal precision, levitated towards the bulky man wielding the sparking Warhammer. Phasing out of sight just before they made contact.

Zeru activated the thrusters in his suit, propelling him forward with a burst of speed. He closed the distance between himself and the Shield wielder, his exo-suit humming with purple energy.

As those two went off, I turned my attention to my old instructor, now reduced to a shell of his former self.

Charging forward, I closed the gap between us in an instant, launching a powerful crimson fist aimed at his cybernetic torso.

*Clang!*

My armored fist struck his torso with blinding speed. The force behind it sent him hurtling backward and crashing into a nearby school wall with a resounding clang of metal on metal.

As Garrett struggled to regain his footing, I couldn't help but feel a pang of disappointment, witnessing how the man who had once trained me, honed my skills, and pushed me to my limits, was now barely putting up a fight.

He groaned in pain as he struggled to rise from the impact and I moved swiftly, closing in on him before he could fully recover.

Standing over him, I gazed down at his battered form, a mixture of disdain and contempt welling up within me.

"You've really let yourself go, Garrett," I taunted, a shred of pity creeping into my voice. "Is this the best HYDRA could do? A broken-down cyborg?"

"Don't talk like you fucking know me, Bastard!" Garrett growled, a mix of rage and humiliation in his orange mechanical eyes as he attempted to retaliate.

Raising his cybernetic arm, he unleashed a small barrage of energy blasts toward me, but they were no match for my armor, dissipating harmlessly off the dark plates as they made contact.

"Damn, Hydra must be struggling," I mused aloud, as I glanced down at my unmarked armor and back up at him. "Even the kid's blasts aren't that weak..."

Garrett looked up at me, his cybernetic eyes glowing with a hint of fear as he saw his attack do nothing to me.

"W-who...who are you?" He asked through gritted teeth.

I smirked at his question as I again closed the distance between us.

"Don't tell me you really don't recognize me anymore, Coach," I stated mockingly as I crouched down so that we were at eye level. "And here I thought I was your favorite student."

Garrett growled in frustration, his cybernetic fist charging up with energy once again as he attempt to raise it towards my faceplate, but I deflected it easily with a casual swipe of my arm, slapping his cybernetic fist away like an annoying fly.

The force behind my deflection was enough to cause his fragile limb to crumble under the sheer strength of my strike, leaving him even more defenseless.

"Are you gonna put up a fight? Or just sit there and bleed?" I questioned with a hint of disappointment. "You used to be better than this. What happened to the fierce warrior who trained us to be killers? Is this all you've become?"

Garrett's eyes widened, his fear growing more palpable by the second. It was clear that my presence, coupled with the display of my skills, had shattered whatever delusions of grandeur he might have had.

With a swift and fluid motion, I closed the few inches of distance between us and delivered a devastating kick strike to Garrett's midsection.

*Clang!!*

The impact reverberated through his cybernetic frame, eliciting a pained groan from him as he was sent hurling into the side of another wall, debris scattering around him and littering the courtyard of the school.

"Arrraaagh!!" Garrett cried as he was implanted into the thick bricks, clutching his abdomen as small sparks began to flicker in his circuitry.

I approached him slowly, my footsteps echoing through the courtyard.

Bending down, I grabbed him by the collar, lifting him up out of the demolished bricks with ease.

"You're not the soldier you used to be," I sneered, my grip tightening. "Just another pathetic pawn."

Garrett's eyes met mine, a mixture of pain, anger, and a hint of regret lingering within them.

"Maybe... maybe you're right," he muttered, his voice strained. "But...even if you kill me...don't think... for a second... that they won't just... rebuild... something... stronger..."

I chuckled darkly, the sound reverberating through the air as I turned my head away from the broken toy soldier and looked around at the empty grounds.

"The school... it seems empty, Garrett. No students, no staff. Did HYDRA abandon you here? Left behind like a discarded toy to guard an empty husk?"

I tightened my grip, feeling satisfaction as his struggles weakened.

Garrett tried to raise his remaining hand towards me to fire his weapon, but I swiftly grabbed his wrist, my strength overpowering his feeble attempt at resistance.

With a twist of my hand, I literally disarmed him by ripping the cybernetic from his shoulder socket and tossing it aside.

"Arrraaagahhh!!" Garret screeched in pain as his metal arm clattered against the ground.

His face contorted with a mix of anger and desperation as he glared at me. But it was futile. The cybernetic enhancements may have given him some small semblance of strength, but they couldn't protect him from the brutal reality of the current situation.

In the face of true power, he was nothing more than a pathetic pawn, a relic of a failed experiment.

I released my grip, letting Garrett's body crumple to the ground, defeated and broken.

Turning away from his prone form, I glanced over at Ava and Zeru, who were effortlessly dispatching their opponents as well.

Ava, agile and lethal, moved with uncanny grace and precision as she engaged her opponent, the bulky man wielding the electrified Warhammer.

Utilizing her enhanced speed and agility, she deftly avoided his heavy swings and strikes. With each movement, she seemed to dance around him, her blades a deadly extension of her body.

The massive HYDRA soldier swung his Warhammer wildly, but his strikes met nothing but thin air as Ava effortlessly evaded them. Moving with deadly precision, Ava phased in and out of visibility, her blades slicing through the air and leaving trails of crimson as they met flesh.

The enemy cried out in pain as deep lacerations appeared on his body, blood pouring from the wounds. With each dodge, she left deep, precise cuts on her opponent's body. The man roared in frustration and pain, unable to anticipate Ava's movements or defend against her ghostly onslaught.

Blood poured from the numerous deep cuts and stabs on his body, evidence of Ava's lethal skill. He swung the electrified Warhammer with desperation, but Ava's intangibility allowed her to pass right through the massive weapon, denying him any chance to land a hit.

As the fight continued, the man's body became a canvas of deep gashes and lacerations. Blood poured from his wounds, staining his attire crimson. Yet, despite the visible agony, he stubbornly pressed on, his determination unyielding.

Ava's attacks became more relentless, her strikes a blur as she exploited every opening. The dance between them intensified, reaching a crescendo of lethal grace.

Finally, with a swift and precise movement, Ava solidified and appeared directly behind her wounded adversary. Before he could react, she delivered a swift and precise barrage, severing the tendons in each of his muscular limbs like a butcher and leaving him crumpled on the ground, heavily bleeding.

Meanwhile, Zeru's opponent, the shield-wielding soldier, found himself trapped in a technological onslaught.

The HYDRA soldier, now disarmed of his shield, was desperately running around the courtyard, trying to defend himself from Zeru's drone as it relentlessly pursued the soldier, firing purple blasts of searing energy, roasting his flesh, and reducing his armor to mere slag.

As the fight was going on, I glanced over to Zeru, who was seated off to the side of the battlefield, eyes gleaming with curiosity and excitement.

His opponent's discarded shield was in his lap as he studied the mechanics of it, his suit processing the data and analyzing its construction, searching for weaknesses and potential applications.

With a final surge of energy, the drone unleashed a devastating blast, engulfing the soldier in a blaze of searing plasma. The air filled with the acrid scent of burnt metal and flesh.

Zeru glanced up from his project and watched, the eyes of his helmet glowing with a mixture of fascination and detachment, as his opponent writhed and screamed in agony, unable to withstand the onslaught.

Satisfied with the fight, Zeru deactivated the drone and stood up to approach the smoldering figure on the ground, his helmet emitting a soft hum as his eyes scanned the soldier's melting flesh, likely cataloging the modifications of his structure and seeking any valuable information.

Though the soldier's resistance had been futile, Zeru's focus seemed to remain on the knowledge he could gain from the encounter. He was driven by a relentless thirst for understanding, a desire to unravel the secrets of the enemy and utilize them to his advantage.

Together, Ava and Zeru had effortlessly overcome their opponents, their skills and powers showcasing the culmination of their training and growth.

The courtyard was now silent, save for the pained moans of the defeated, as my team regrouped around me, the three of us standing victorious amidst the aftermath of the one-sided battles.

"We make a hell of a team," Ava remarked, shaking off a few specks of blood from her blades.

I nodded in agreement, a sense of satisfaction coursing through me.

"These guys weren't much of a challenge to begin with," I said in a derisive tone. "HYDRA has really let their standards slip."

"And their tech is so outdated. I could probably build something ten times better in my sleep." Zeru chimed in, his suit emitting a low hum as he bent down to examine Garrett's broken and bleeding body.

As he worked, I focused on the other two groaning HYDRA soldiers. They were barely conscious, their bodies damaged and defeated.

"Let's move them inside," I said, my voice firm and decisive. "We need some answers, and these three seem to be the only ones left here."

Ava nodded, her visor glinting in the dim light. "I'll investigate the building, make sure there's no one else lurking around."

I nodded at her suggestion and she made her way toward the school entrance, disappearing into the shadows, her stealth abilities and expertise ensuring she remained undetected.

Once she left, Zeru and I dragged the wounded and groaning HYDRA soldiers into the school.

*****

Canada, Appalachian Mountains

HYDRA Preparatory Academy

 

The school was eerily silent, its abandoned corridors echoing our footsteps. The absence of life only deepened the mystery of why HYDRA had left this place behind.

Reaching a secluded classroom, I gestured for Zeru to bring the wounded Hydra soldiers inside and we deposited them onto the cold floor.

As the groaning soldiers lay there, their faces contorted in pain, I towered over them, my presence imposing and unyielding.

The hammer and shield wielders, still writhing in pain, seemed oblivious to their surroundings, their minds seemingly trapped in a state of pain-induced delirium.

It was clear that their injuries and defeat had taken a toll on their mental faculties.

The hammer-wielder lay sprawled on the floor, groaning and muttering to himself. He swung his limp arms weakly, his strikes missing their mark as he blindly attempted to defend himself from imaginary threats.

The shield-wielder, on the other hand, sat against the wall, his melted face scorched and bloody. His eyes darted erratically as if he were trapped in a nightmare from which he couldn't wake. He clutched his damaged flesh tightly, muttering unintelligibly.

I approached them cautiously, the echoes of my footsteps reverberating through the room. Their presence served as a grim reminder of the brutality of our battle against Hydra.

"Now, gentlemen," I began, my voice dripping with menace. "I have some questions, and I suggest you start talking if you want to avoid further pain."

But my words fell on deaf ears. Their responses were nonsensical, mere echoes of pain and confusion.

Frustration gnawed at the edges of my consciousness.

These soldiers were nothing more than broken shells, their minds shattered by the chaos of battle and the weight of their injuries. Extracting information from them in their current state seemed pointless.

But Garrett, still heavily sparking and weak, struggled to sit up, his eyes darting between Zeru and me.

He opened his mouth as if to speak, but no words came out. I could see the frustration and helplessness etched on his face.

Zeru, focused and methodical, walked over to the old cyborg and crouched down beside him. The glow of his visor intensified as he activated a scanning feature in his suit, assessing the extent of the cybernetic modifications that had been forced upon Garrett.

"Boss, I could just hack into this one's brain and extract the information we need," Zeru suggested, his voice laced with a hint of excitement. "But it won't be a pleasant experience for him. The neural implants HYDRA has embedded in his new brain are designed to resist any attempts at tampering, so it might break him completely."

Garrett's eyes widened, his expression pleading as he looked at me.

"No, p-please," he begged, his voice filled with desperation. "I've already been through enough pain...I can't take any more."

I turned my gaze away from Garrett, dismissing his pleas as if they were nothing more than background noise.

"Let me know when you're done, Zeru," I said, my voice cold and detached. "We need to find out what happened here."

Zeru nodded, his focus fully on the task at hand.

He began the intricate process of hacking into Garrett's cybernetic implants, his fingers flying across a holographic interface projected from his suit.

The room filled with the hum of technological activity and Garret's agonizing screams, as Zeru delved into Garrett's head, searching for the information we needed.

As I walked away from the scene, leaving Garrett to his fate, I couldn't help but feel a pang of regret. The man I had once admired and respected as a mentor now lay broken and defeated. But I knew that extracting the information from him was crucial, and no amount of sentimentality could change that.

Ava rejoined us, her footsteps barely making a sound as she entered the room.

Her visor concealed her expression, but her body language spoke of readiness and alertness.

"Any sign of other HYDRA operatives?" I asked, my voice low.

Ava shook her head. "The building is deserted. No sign of anyone else. It's like they cleared out in a hurry."

I nodded, processing the information.

The emptiness of the school raised more questions than it answered. What had HYDRA done with all the students, and why had they abandoned their own facility?

As Zeru continued his work, his expression focused and determined, I turned my attention to the wounded HYDRA soldiers lying on the floor off to the side.

Despite their defeat, they still posed a potential threat, their loyalty to HYDRA unwavering.

"Kill them," I instructed Ava, gesturing toward the unconscious soldiers.

Ava nodded, her blades glinting in the dim light as she moved to carry out my orders without hesitation.

With swift and precise movements, she swiftly ended the suffering of the incapacitated soldiers, severing their vital arteries with calculated strikes. Blood pooled around their lifeless bodies, staining the cold floor of the room.

Their bodies fell limp to the ground, joining the defeated form of Garrett, who continued to endure the excruciating pain of Zeru's interrogation.

As I watched Ava complete her task, a heavy silence filled the room, broken only by the sound of Zeru's focused work and Garrett's tortured cries.

Zeru's voice broke the silence, drawing my attention away from the grim scene.

"Boss, I've got what we need," He announced, his mechanical voice tinged with excitement. " Seems like HYDRA discontinued the school program here a few years ago. They've transferred all the students to a top-secret HYDRA Research Base in Sokovia."

"Sokovia?" I repeated, a flicker of recognition crossing my mind.

Zeru nodded, his next words confirming my suspicion. "From his memories, it looks like the two high-ranking faculty members, Dr. Whithall and General Hale, took the students there to use them as subjects in their weapons research. It's a high-security facility."

A sense of irritation surged through me at hearing those names.

Dr. Whitehall and General Hale were the targets of this mission, and if they were in Sokovia, then that's where we needed to be.

"So, they took the students to Sokovia to use them as guinea pigs and turn them into weapons.," I muttered, my voice filled with disdain.

Zeru nodded, his face serious behind the helmet. "Exactly. It seems HYDRA had bigger plans for the students than just training them. They want to make them into their own personal superhuman army."

"Did you get the exact location of this base?" I asked.

Zeru shook his head.

"Not precisely," He admitted. "But I was able to get a few rough coordinates that should make finding it much easier for us."

"Let's go," I said firmly, my voice leaving no room for doubt. "We're heading to Sokovia."

Ava and Zeru nodded in agreement, their determination evident in their glowing eyes.

As the three of us left the school building and started to make our way through the courtyard, a thought flashed through my mind, as if something was left unfinished.

I paused, turning back to face the decimated courtyard of the HYDRA Preparatory Academy, the place that had once been a training ground for young soldiers. A sinister smile crept across my face, and I unhinged the skeletal mouth of my faceplate, revealing the furnace of destructive energy contained within.

With a guttural howl, a torrent of crimson energy surged forth from my mouth, forming a concentrated beam of raw power.

Without a second thought, I swung the beam around in a wide arc, unleashing a devastating onslaught that encompassed the entire school grounds. The destructive energy tore through the thick stone bricks of the building, reducing them to rubble and ash.

The beam tore through walls and structures, leaving nothing but devastation in its wake. The sound of crumbling concrete and metal echoed through the air as the school was reduced to ruins.

The once imposing HYDRA Preparatory Academy was now nothing more than a pile of scorched debris, a symbol of the destruction we had brought upon it.

Satisfied with the obliteration of HYDRA's presence in this place, I closed the skeletal mouth of my faceplate, sealing away the destructive power.

As the echoes of destruction faded, the three of us turned away from the smoldering remains of the school and walked away from the scene, the setting sun casting long shadows as it dipped below the horizon.

************

A/n: Hey guys, I hope you are enjoying the story so far, and as always, thanks for reading!

If you like my work and want to support it, check out Patreon.com/Swarthy, where you can read early chapters or go to Paypal.me/xSwarthyx Every bit helps and is appreciated.

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