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Drabbles from Stark Tower

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"Sir, there is something you must see."

JARVIS first notified Tony of the video fifteen minutes after it hit the web. Tony was working in one of his labs at Stark Tower, working out the equations that he needed to improve the thrusters on his suit.

"What is it, J?" He asked the AI as he spun in his chair. "Don't tell me it's another video from one of those lovely ladies I've--"

"Sir," The AI interrupted. "This is urgent." The robotic voice sounded almost pleading as he spoke. He brought up a holographic screen and began to play the video.

The screen was black and then suddenly very bright. When the picture came into focus, there was a familiar glint of red, white, and blue visible. Everything else was bright -- too bright and metallic.

"What is your name?" Someone off screen growled to the blond man who was on his knees, uniform tattered and blood already dribbling from the side of his mouth.

"Go to hell," The Captain said angrily, not taking the bait. He hung his head down low to his chest, not wanting to be seen. A gloved hand roughly grabbed his blond hair and pulled his head upwards to face the camera.

"Strip him. Prep him," The voice ordered coldly and the the other moved in front of the camera to do just that, obscuring the view.

The view was obscured for several minutes by whoever had stepped in front of the camera. When it came back into focus, the Captain's uniform was gone. His blond hair no longer fell into his eyes, having been shaved away as well as the stubble from his square jaw. It looked as though he'd been scrubbed clean, his skin showing a bit more red and irritated than before. He was still bound by something unseen -- obviously enough to keep America's favorite super soldier in his place.

"Answer me now mortal. Tell your people who you are," The menacing voice taunted.

"I'm just a kid from Brooklyn," The man answered and this time he would pay for his insolence. The kidnapper that had been thus far behind the camera came into view. He was tall and scaly and blue and like nothing anyone had ever seen before. A sapphire hand went over the Captain's now bald head, blue light emitting from it as the Captain let out a wild scream he couldn't hold back. It looked almost as if he deflated, slumping over after the alien released his grip.

"Who are you?" The blue creature sneered again.

The Captain was gasping for air, trying desperately to get any of it into his lungs that he could. The pain had been like nothing he'd ever experienced before -- and Steve Rogers had known much pain in his life.

"Captain Steven G. Rogers," He breathed softly.

"Louder!"

"Captain Steven G. Rogers of the United States Army," Steve said, finally finding his breath. He looked up at the creature, his jaw set and a rage bubbling behind his blue eyes.

The creature smiled, yellow gnarled teeth a stark contrast against it's blue skin. "Watch as your Captain falls," The creature stated before moving in on Rogers again. He placed his blue hand on the top of Steve's head again and Steve let out another primal scream, shaking against his restraints and the thing holding his head. His full cheeks sunk in on themselves and his muscles withdrew into themselves. Captain America was shrinking down -- the effects of the serum and his life being sucked right from him.

When the creature pulled the hand away, Steve was shivering and terrified, gasping for breath. His eyes were filled with unshed tears. He wasn't going to cry in front of these bastards -- whoever or whatever they were. He was skinny - as skinny as he had been before the serum.

"We have taken the strength from Earth's mightiest hero. By the time you receive this message, it will already be too late. You will be conquered," He glanced over to the weakling on the ground. "We will be certain your Captain is still alive to see Earth fall. See you soon."

The transmission cut to black and Tony sat there stunned. "I'll be damned... This is impossible," Tony muttered. His father had looked for years and years for Captain America. The man had been lost to them nearly a decade after winning WWII. He had been presumed dead, but Howard Stark never gave up hope up until the day he died. Tony was certain Howard never would have guessed this.

"J, analyze the video. Find out whatever the hell those things are and--"

"There is no time, Sir." JARVIS brought up another video feed -- this one live and right outside the tower. Ominous black ships filled the skyline.

"Prepare the Mark 42. Tell Pepper to get to the panic room."

"Already done, Sir," The AI assured him. Iron Man wasn't letting humanity go down without a fight.