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Ward marched with stealth side-by-side with Thor. They had to travel by foot to the capital building for subtlety's sake. Ward had a pistol strapped to his left hip, and an I.C.E.R. Pistol on his right. His mind was focused on his mission, but Thor started talking, interrupting him.

"Do you do this a lot Agent Ward?" He asked, pulling his hood over his head and cinching the cord.

Ward sighed. "Oh, every now and then. It's only my job," he said sarcastically.

"So you know how this works I assume?" Thor was completely oblivious to the fact that each word out of his mouth was testing Ward's patience.

"I should. Spent four years at the S.H.I.E.L.D. academy training, and spent another 10 going on missions. I'm pretty familiar."

Thor nodded. "So how old were you at your first-"

"Shut up!" Ward hissed.

Thor flashed an astounded face. "How dare y-"

"No, really! Be quiet!" Ward held up his hand and listened. He scanned the area. All he saw was the abandoned streets, strangely empty. The tip of the White House showed itself over the tall buildings about a mile away.

"I hear nothing," Thor whispered.

"Exactly," Ward whispered back. "There's no civilians. No action. Something's not right here."

after a few more moments of silence, they heard a loud, "HEY!" From behind them.

Ward spun around, and faced a tall man in a grey jumpsuit, and 4 other men dressed identically. Each armed with a machine gun.

Thor opened his mouth to speak, but Ward held his hand up. "Let me do the talking," he whispered. He turned back to the armed men. "Gentlemen! It's about time, did you even know... that we were very close to reaching the capital and are ready to take you out?" He made sure to keep his voice casual, to not let his enemies know his fear.

The men didn't speak at first, but them said one sentence in exact, robotic synch. "That is not what the leader wanted."

Ward and Thor exchanged confused glances.

"Where is Agent Coulson, comma, Phillip?" The men continued.

"Did they just voice the comma?" Thor asked.

"Yes, yes they did." Without any warning, Ward pulled out his pistol and shot one of the men.

The man did not cry out, but collapsed to the ground in a flurry of robotic twitches and sparks. No blood. Wires peeked out from the bullet hole Ward had shot.

He blinked. "They're not human," he mused, before having to dive to the ground to avoid his own bullet wound. The robotic men had begun firing, bullet after bullet. Thor threw himself in front of Ward, the bullets having no effect on him.

The men kept firing, even though it did nothing. Thor pulled out his gun, and cleanly shot each of the other four robot men. They each collapsed in the ground in the same manner as the first.

Ward leapt up from the ground, and examined one of them. Looking closely, the bullet hole in the middle of it's chest threw out tiny sparks.

Whipping out a knife, Ward cut a slit in the uniform to look closer at the wound. Torn black wires with copper wires sticking out were nestled inside the chest.

Leaning against his knee, Ward sighed. "We need to get one of these back to Simmons. She's bio-tech. Or, maybe Fitz, our engineering whiz... or maybe both. Ah, I really don't know how this stuff works."

He stood up and walked to a few steps and bent over to retrieve his pistol. "In any case, we need to bring one back to the bu-"

Ward cut himself off when he saw Thor with the robot man slung limply over his shoulder. "Right then," Thor said. "Shall we be off?"

"I knew there was a reason we brought you," Ward said.

/////////////////

"Incredible," Fitz muttered. "Absolutely amazing."

He stood over the robotic man on the examination table, with all his teammates surrounding him.

"Fitz, have you seen anything like this before?" Ward asked.

"Similar," Fitz answered. "But not the same, this is years beyond anything we've created. It's too complex, and yet it retains the ability to be so lifelike..."

Skye looked up from staring at the body. "Don't you guys ever wonder why it is that the bad guys always have more resources than us?"

Coulson spoke coldly. "Because they don't care about hurting innocent people to get what they want."

May spoke up. "Were they a severe threat to you guys?"

"That's the thing," Ward replied. "They were too easy. I know we went in there to scope them out... but it seems they pulled a reverse on us."

Coulson called over to Skye, who was standing quietly in the corner, staring at her iPad™. "You're uncharacteristically quiet," he noted to her. "What are you seeing?"

Skye sighed and stood up. "So far The White House's security cameras only get incredibly boring feed from the public lobby. So far the most interesting thing I've seen was a security guard that fell asleep at his desk, then fell off." She chuckled slightly at this. At blank stares from her teammates, she awkwardly changed the subject. "I've tried digging deeper, but this is all I've got."

"We've been waiting for them to make the first move," Ward said. "Maybe it's time to stop waiting, and strike."

"We strike at the heart of the beast!" Thor cried dramatically.

Ward shook his head at the Asguardian. "N-not yet, big guy."

Thor lowered his upraised arms, frowning disappointedly.

Interrupting the awkward silence that ensued, the team heard a loud gasp from Skye. "Guys," she said with a shaky voice. "There's something on here you might wanna see."

"Put it on the big monitor," Coulson ordered.

Skye tapped a few buttons and the image flickered onto the large computer screen. The image was distressing. The security guard who was previously dosing on his desk was now laying dangerously still on the ground. The sound of a gunshot echoed in the background.

Suddenly, a crazed face appeared directly in front of the camera lens. With bared teeth, he raised a fist and smashed it into the camera, shattering the lens and destroying the feed.

The team stood there in stunned silence.

"It... It doesn't look like they're hiding anymore," Coulson stated obviously.

While Coulson and his team felt disturbed and nervous, Thor looked extremely revved.

Thor leaned over to whisper in Ward's ear. "May I say it now?"

"Yeah, sure," Ward muttered, as he rolled his chocolate brown eyes.

"WE SHALL STRIKE AT THE HEART OF THE BEAST!" He hollered.

FitzSimmons and Skye jumped, startled.

Ward stared at Thor demeaningly. "Feel better now?"

Taking no offense at Ward's sarcasm, Thor flashed a grin. "Very much so."

//////////////////

Agent May carefully selected a pistol from the wide array of weapons Fitz had laid out for the team to choose from. Making sure it was loaded, she stuck it into her holster.

Ward picked up a peculiar-looking metal stick, with a hole on both ends. "What's this?" He asked the engineer.

Fitz's face lit up the way it always does when he's proud. "That's our brand-new electro-chute."

"Please explain?" Ward said.

"Ok, if you take this end..." Fitz took the stick from Ward and held it up to his mouth. "You aim at yer target..." He pointed the other end in the direction of a jar of medicinal cotton balls. "And then ye blow..." He sealed his mouth over the end of the electro-chute and blasted a shot of air. In response, a tiny metal ball shot out from the other end, and hit the jar, causing it to shatter, miniature bolts of electricity running through it until it died down a few seconds later.

Everyone in the lab either jumped for shrieked, even Thor gave a sigh of relief when he realized there was no actual danger.

"What the hell was that?!" Coulson yelled, startled.

"A long-distant electrocuter?" Ward guessed.

Fitz grinned with excitement. "Exactly! Using this little beauty, you can electrify and stun an enemy from up to 20 feet away. Assuming you can aim that well, of course." He gave Ward a sly arched eyebrow to which Ward responded with a death stare.

"Like you can aim better than me," Ward teased.

Skye cooed at the boys, "Aww, you guys totally sound like brothers!"

"We do not!"

"We do not!"

Ward and Fitz stared at each other in horror as they realized they spoke the sentence in exact synch.

Skye smirked at them.

"Whatever," Ward muttered. He muttered even more indistinctly into Fitz's ear, "Can I please take the electro-chute?"

Fitz flashed a very smug, satisfied smirk, and chuckled demeaningly. He slipped Ward the weapon, patting his shoulder and whispering, "Alright, baby gets his bottle..."

Ward rolled his eyes and groaned.

After laughing at them, Skye turned her attention over to Thor, who towered over her. "You ready to go have some fun?"

"Yes M'lady! Nothing helps a man sleep soundly at night than vanquishing his enemies with a simple swing of his hammer."

Skye chuckled. "Speaking of which, where is your hammer, mew mew is it?"

"It is Mjølnir. My hammer will come to me when I need it," he responded with a mysterious glint in his eye.

Biting her lip, Skye nodded. Right when her attention was a little too focused on the Asguardian's physique, Coulson called attention.

At his voice, every eye turned to Coulson.

"Does everyone have a strategically placed array of weapons according to their skill set?" He asked with and air of superiority.

The team subtly rolled their eyes, as Coulson had insisted on taking the most powerful I.C.E.R. as his own. He just couldn't help himself.

Ward looked down and marveled at the electro-chute he held in his hands. "And this should just severely stun, not kill the victim, right?"

Futz stared blankly at Ward. "Sure. Stun. That's what it does..." He turned and pretended to be interested in his I.C.E.R. pistol.

Coulson strapped on a bulletproof vest. "Alright, is everyone clear on the plan? We go in as a raid, we're tossing stealth out the window. They already know we're here, so there's no point in trying to hide. So Skye, I want you to make your way to the base for all the computers in the White House. Ward, you'll escort her and make sure she doesn't get shot along the way."

Skye smirked. "Thanks A.C. Always such a comfort."

Coulson smiled at her. He then turned to look at May. "May, you'll be our secondary defense."

May cocked her head. "Who's primary?"

Coulson tossed his head toward Thor, who had been watching quietly. (for once) "He will be."

Coulson noticed May's lips press together. He knew she was used to always being the primary defense for their team, but he hoped she'd understand that Thor was just a TAD stronger than her...

"Oh," she replied curtly. "That's fine." She whipped her head in the direction of Thor. "But YOU will answer to me."

Thor flashed a smile. "Yes, ma'am."

Simmons took a step forward to ask her leader, "And what of Fitz and I, Sir?"

"You're not required to go in. Yet. I want you two to stay in the van, standing by for medical service. However, I wanted you both suited up so you could be ready to fight, should the need arise."

FitzSimmons nodded, slightly nervous but relieved they weren't heading in immediately.

The rest of the team looked pumped and ready. As Coulson turned and lead them (plus Thor) to the Van, Skye cheered, "Let's go kick some robot ass!"

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