“At the end of XX century, war conflicts became the usual to hear around the world. Problems in Europe, mid-east and even America. For a long time, the weaponry industries had made their fortunes selling their products to those factions, either good or bad. Some industries have a weaponry division besides others. In that case, has always been the detail of how far to get when it’s about weapons… So far, our company has agree to remain in the lowest terms but I guess it’s time for us to start getting involved in war more deeply. We have the technology! We can take the responsibility to take care of the soldiers out there!”
For a moment, an awkward silence befell upon the meeting room as the jaguar in business suit looked at the council. In there, several of the members he knew were on his side. But the strongest word was, ironically, of the youngest fur that was sitting in the presidential chair of the company looking at him with his grey eyes with a red spot in the center. The young lion sighed and looked at the others.
“I know my father would say that the best weapon is the one we never use… that’s something my grandfather taught him and me a long time ago…” started the young male “But, given the circumstances I guess I’ll earn their grudge saying that, we rather create weapons that we only need to shoot once…”
“W-well said Novak!” grinned the jaguar surprised to know that the young make accepted his proposition “I’ll start designing the weapon division for Danvers internation right away.”
The elder male walked away leaving the council room and the members alone. Almost immediately as he left, the gazes fell upon the young lion, Novak Stark Danvers. Some approving his words, others notably marking him that it was a mistake; but he simply stood up and smiled.
“Well, we all know that we are living in a world that is at war… but, seriously, your father wouldn’t have liked this” said a ferret with long eyebrows.
“I know… Stern may be an ex-soldier and previously employee of a military industry, but he knows that this might be a good idea for our enterprise.” Smiled Novak “I trust him… I know he’s doing this for the greater good.”
“Leon Stern is not the trustiest person Novak…” replied a Badger with the black fur already going grey “It might look like he’s trying to help Danvers International, but he is only looking for his own benefit. He knows your father signed for him to be your successor in case something happens since he’s now taking care of other business and your brothers seem to have cero interest in this company.”
“C’mon, let’s have a little faith in the man, ok?” smiled Novak “My father wouldn’t have hired him if he was that awful of a fur.”
“Maybe you’re right Novak…” agreed an old fat rabbit “But have in mind that he might be trying to gain something with this.”
“Fine… I’ll keep an eye on him, ok?” smiled Novak “Besides, I have to admit I’m curious about this war technology.”
“Be careful Mr. Stark.” said the badger.
The other silent ones were the members that agreed with Leon. Of course, Novak knew it. So far, he’d have to start looking at the new division soon. He wouldn’t let Leon to take complete care of it.
Two years after the beginning of Danvers International Weapon division, the company assets had increased thrice the normal and that brought a huge fortune to the company. The weapon division, of course, changed from the hands of Leon Stern to Novak Stark Danvers almost immediately. That didn’t pleased Leon, but Novak followed the advice of his council members, the council members that were close friends to his father.
By that around 2011, the new products of Danvers International were the sensation around the American army. Though it was a Mexican product, they had developed the greatest arms for that country. Numerous invitations and prizes with the years showed that it was a good decision to invest in the weaponry market.
It was late afternoon when the door was knocked two times. Novak lifted the eyes and smiled knowing who might that one be.
“Come in!” shouted the lion reading at some papers faking disinterest in the incoming person.
“So, looks like we’ve been having problems with the meetings lately, huh?” smiled a younger looking lion lad placing the hands on his hips.
“C’mon it’s not that bad Charly!” smiled Novak. Charly Railey have been Novak’s best friend for several years. Now, he agreed to work as his assistant but not under the order of boss and employee but as friends “I’ve been there for hours… it was time for me to leave and let them work… after all, now I’m focusing more in the weapon division. We have made weapons that would recognize civilians from armed adversaries!”
“Well, you want it or not, you are the president of Danvers International!” replied Charly looking at Novak “You have to be there!”
“C’mon, we’ve been friends since… high school?” said like a question Novak.
“Mid-high school” replied sulking a bit Charly “Novak, you have to focus now on the main branch of your company! It’s been enough of war games, ok?”
“Easy there, it’s not a war game… I’m just making sure nothing goes wrong there!” shouted Novak “I don’t know what would be of me if something happens to…” he suddenly shut up.
“To what?” asked Charly “To the company? To your fortune? TO WHAT?!”
“It doesn’t matter… all that…” sighed Novak looking at Charly and then at the papers he had over the desk “Look, I promise to return to the meetings, and to our normal work style once I finish with the presentation of this new weapon ok?”
“New weapon… that… THING is not a weapon…” sighed Charly looking at the device displayed in Novak’s monitor “That’s a slaughter machine…”
Those words feel like a cold water bucket on Novak. He was making weapons, something his father would have never do. His grandpa was a different case since he worked during World War II. Nevertheless, he knew Charly was right. Forging weapons was not the intention of Danvers International. He needed to return to what it was originally intended to be. A peek in technology, a warm light for the world. That was the idea of his mother. That’s why her last name was the name of the company. Though there was also Stark International, his father’s company.
“Novak… man, once you’re done with that… we’ll be the peaceful company we used to be, right?” asked Charly with a concerned look in the eyes “I don’t want something bad to happen to you.”
“I’ll be fine Charly” giggled Novak “I’ve been doing this for some years now…”
“Yes Novak…” sighed Charly “You’ve been playing with fire all these years.”
“C’mon” smiled Novak getting close to Charly and patting his shoulder “Tomorrow I’ll leave to Iraq… once I’m back, weapon division will be closed and I’ll invite you to some nice club, ok?”
“Good, but I get to choose the club, last time it was a lame one” laughed Charly looking at Novak.
“Right, sorry for that one; it was a recommendation of Shane.” replied Novak.
“And you believed in your brother’s word?” asked Charly “When did we believed in his word?”
“He’s one year younger than me” shrugged Novak.
“C’mon, you still have some things to do… Boss” giggled Charly as both walked out of the office right to the council room where the other actionists were already waiting for the lion for the presentation of the “Pegasus”.
The committee reunion was brief. Novak explained the whole project, a small missile that tracked a previously imputed signal or coordinate causing at the explosion an electro-pulse that deactivated all the enemy’s weapons and devices. The demonstration would take place in Iraq. Exactly on an old base that they had previously filled with some computers and scanners so the military forces could check the performance of the “Pegasus”. Leon had ordered the delivery of a missile already so by that time, it should be already there while Novak flew in his private jet to the actual place. Alone in the jet he could only contact Charly via videocall but he rather saved it for later. It wasn’t the time, especially when he have spent some years trying to tell him about his feelings towards him. It was weird, being in love with another guy, but it felt good. At least, it felt like it. If Charly rejected his feelings…
- Sir, we have arrived to the destination – sounded an electronic voice.
“Thanks Jarvis; land the plane and return to your normal activities in the mansion. I’ll call you back once this whole charade is finished.”
- Understood Sir, I’ll wait for your call.
The plane landed and Jarvis announced he was disconnecting the Jet and would wait for the call back. Novak nodded and walked out where the Colonel was already waiting for him.
“Good morning Mr. Stark I hope you had a safe trip” said a rottweiler looking directly at Novak.
“Good morning Colonel Sanders, yes it was a pleasant journey” agreed Novak as he looked around to the other soldiers “Ok people! Let’s get this started ok? The show only runs once and I don’t want to delay it.”
The soldiers laughed at the comment and entered the Jeeps where they would move to the testing area. Novak followed and sat in the back of one of those military vehicles during the bumpy right thru the dunes. Some of them wanted to take pictures with him calling him the “master of the weapons” or “The creator of armed peace”. Again, those words stung on him since he had made his new fortune based on killing machines rather than life renewing technologies as his father had intended. Nevertheless, there he was, in the middle of a desert ready to display the full potential of his latest weapon. An arm that, if were to fall in the wrong hands, would prove a big chaos to modern society.
After half hour of driving, they reached the test area where a lot of old buildings were scattered around a certain perimeter. There were working machines there and solo some computers besides the scanners that were sending signals to the machines securely protected in the vehicles.
“Ok guys, as you know that I’ve said, Danvers International, mainly focuses in new technologies, but now, those new technologies have taken us to this point! Where no explosive power can be used to disarm our foes.” sentenced Novak with his sunglasses on looking at the soldiers. His fine suit now stained with dirt and dust “The best weapon, some would say, just like my father, is the weapon that is never used. But I say, we rather use a weapon that only needs to be used once… and so, allow me to introduce you the “Pegasus” he pointed at the small missile resting in a launching base. Immediately it fired shooting up and to the front against the test area. The machines registering everything detected it. The cameras looked at it. The shell opened deploying several mini missiles that impacted different areas as the main core stuck in the ground. Immediately an electro-pulse was released, the cameras went to static and they could see the machines stopping or falling according if they were making a standing task or a resting one. The cheers came after a bit when all activities were turned off in the test area. Novak looked at the area and sighed. One of those in the wrong hands… could cause a terrorist activity worse than September eleven. That scared people… but with a “Pegasus”… Terrorist would be able to let them defenseless completely.
“So, yet another great master piece!” smiled Sanders looking at the area.
“Yeah! Order ten and I’ll add a nice mini bar” laughed Novak looking at the Colonel.
“Guess we should be heading back now…” said the military dog and all the soldiers covered Novak while he returned to the Jeep he had arrived.
Surely he would have to think of a way to announce the closure of Danvers International Weapon division, but also he needed to think first on a nice club to invite Charly. Maybe there he could tell him. Maybe… but first things first, and having Jarvis taking him back home was a priority. Or at least it was until the Jeep he was flew spinning in the air and slammed against the ground.
“UGH! Is everyone ok back there?!” asked the drive who was upside down and curled against the ceiling. The co-pilot had broke his neck.
“We’re fine here… how’s Donovan?” replied the fur next to Novak that had covered and protected him.
“He’s down…” replied the driver looking at the other fur, a leopard.
“We gotta get out of her!” shouted Novak looking everywhere.
“Easy Mr. Stark.” said the driver “Our priority is to keep you safe…”
“We’re not safe!” roared Novak.
“You stay here…” mumbled the fur that had protected him and he kicked the door open. The driver did the same.
The rabbit and the wolf crawled away but a burst of metal reached them making a hole in the metallic walls of the car.
“AHH! I GOTTA GET OUT OF HERE!” screamed Novak as he kicked the opposite door and managed to open it and crawl out. He took cover and grabbed his cellular pressing the quick dial for Leon. He needed to inform someone. He needed it urgently. And if he were to tell what was happening to Charly, the young lion would get al psycho and would have an attack.
“C’mon Leon pick up!” whined Novak right in the moment the sound of chocking guns raised around him. He looked up and discovered that the whole army that was covering him had been destroyed. And that now, there was a troop of men holding guns that had the Danvers International logo on them “What the…”
Novak couldn’t finish his sentence because one of the men shot at him right in the chest with a fragmentary bullet that pierced his chest spreading thru his pectorals as he feel against the Jeep again passing out thinking he was dying. The last thing he could hear was someone making a phone call… he couldn’t understand the words that sounded like babbling to him, but certainly they went sent to kill him. There was no doubt about it.
--- o ---
After what seemed to be an eternity, Novak finally started to move. He could feel his body but also there was something else. Something that prevented him to move. Slowly the lion tried to open his eyes and found himself in a rocky place. At first he thought it was a cave, but the fact that there were well sculpted walls tossed away that idea.
“Seems like you are finally awake” whispered someone outside of Novak’s view field.
“Wh-who’s there?” asked the lion unable to move his head.
“Easy boy, you have some metal shards in the chest… if you disconnect that battery it will pierce your heart” said again the voice and Novak finally looked at his chest noticing all the cables going out of it.
“W-what the…?!” shouted the lion and finally the other male approached to him revealing a white goat that looked at him concerned.
“We found you out there in the middle of nothing…” said the goat “Figure our surprise… the great Novak Stark Danvers… half dead in the middle of the desert.”
“Who do I owe my life?” asked Novak looking at the goat.
“Oh! Sorry, my name is Shan Ymoveh” said the goat and Novak gasped.
“THE Shan Ymoveh?!” shouted Novak looking at the other male.
“Well, I retired a long time ago. I rather stay with my family than in a laboratory” shrugged the goat.
“B-but… but your work in mechanics and electronics inspired me to design my company when my father offered me the opportunity!” shouted Novak again trying to sit down.
“Well, I didn’t thought my ideas would develop a liking for weapons of mass destruction” admitted Shan.
“N-no… that’s not…” started Novak but he looked away “That’s more recent… we needed to invest in another areas of interest… and weaponry was the more obvious since we had the technology.”
“And that technology caused you that” said Shan pointing at his chest “Kiddo, you better be thankful that we found you. Now, let me help you to stand up.”
Shan pulled Novak forcing him sit as the cables sparked. He made a grimace but finally was able to stand on his feet.
“Thanks…” sighed Novak as he passed his fingers over the battery.
“Was nothing but a lot of work…” laughed Shan “I’d like to ask you… what were you doing there?”
“An exhibition of the “Pegasus”. Danvers International newest weapon.” Sighed Novak “It was a success until we got attacked.
“The ones that did it are called “The Seven Tongues of Hell” and they wanted you dead.” said Shan “It’s safe to say that they would come here looking for you because they noticed you weren’t where they left you.”
“Why didn’t you let me there?” asked Novak.
“Because you were barely alive, but alive nonetheless.” said Shan “It’s safer for you to stay hidden now. They would come here in the next few days. There are a lot of villages scattered around the area so it might take them a while.”
“I need to return home… I will inform everyone of this! I will terminate Danvers International Weapon Division! I… I…” started Novak but Shan shut him.
“No you won’t…” shook his head Shan “With that in your chest, you’ll have to stay here because I don’t think you can live more than one day without the battery. And it will take you at least two weeks to reach the nearest city.”
“DAMN!” roared Novak and clenched his fists. Then he noticed the pieces of metal around the place “What’s all this?”
“I collect this with my sons” said Shan “It keeps me busy…”
Novak inspected the tracks of metal until he reached a huge pile that was hidden in the back of the place. Surely that was the “workshop” of Shan. But more interesting than a pile of metal junk, was the fact that several of the pieces have the Danvers International logo, meaning that it could be something useful around… and finally, he found it. The small deactivated missiles of the Pegasus, just like the main core. Novak smiled.
“I know you’re retired… but I need your help” said the lion.
“I’m not up to make weapons…” said Shan.
“I’m not making a weapon with that!” replied Novak “Look, the main core and the mini missiles have an electromagnetic pulsar that can keep the metal shards away. If we can make them work again, then I’ll be able to move freely.”
“That sounds possible, but it will take us a while” admitted Shan.
“As long as I can make it… I’ll do it, no matter how long it takes” said Novak breathing heavily. Being standing up was a huge task with what had happened to him.
“Fine, I’ll help you” nodded Shan “But that would be all.”
“Thanks Mr. Shan” said Novak politely and walked dragging the battery to the pile of metal picking up the mini missiles while Shan retrieved the main core.
The hours turned into days as Novak and Shan worked hard creating a new plaque that would allow the lion to move freely using it. The improvised forge Shan had in the workshop helped a lot too when they needed to melt the components; but finally, after a long time working day and night on it, both scientist managed to develop an electromagnetic core that Shan surgically stuck on Novak’s chest making a nice metallic spot right in the middle, opening the sternum to fit it perfectly. By fortune, Novak survived the surgery and when he gave his first steps without the battery he smiled looking excited at Shan.
“This… is amazing…” said Novak.
“Good… I have to admit you have to use that as some kind of energy source or…” started Shan but Novak laughed ignoring the commentary.
“My grandfather developed the ARK technology… but it wasn’t until today that I managed to understand it completely.” the lion looked at the goat “Thanks Mr. Ymoveh. This will help me to…”
Novak’s words faded when one of the kids around yelled that “The Seven Tongues of Hell” had destroyed several of the villages looking for Novak. The lion gulped. He knew that he needed to leave, but if he did that, then Shan and his family would die. No, he needed to help. Especially knowing that that terrorist group was using HIS technology for the evil.
“Shan… I’m sorry but I need to make one more weapon…” said Novak surprising Shan.
“I told you…” started the goat but Novak gave him some scrap papers with sketches over them “I worked on this while we were creating my new ‘heart’.” said the lion “It’s not exactly a weapon but an armor… to protect people… I need you to help me with this!”
“S-sorry Novak… I’m not going to create something that might put in danger the people I love…” shook his head Shan.
“If we don’t find a way to defend ourselves against them… we all are going to die Shan!” replied Novak and the goat seemed to understand the point.
“How do you plan to make it?” asked Shan looking at the lion.
“There are tons of steel around here… we can forge it quickly with that… how much you think it will take them to arrive here?”
“Two… maybe three days…” said Shan “One week maximum.”
“Then we have three days to finish this” said Novak running to the junk pile.
The lion started to pull piece after piece of metal from the pile aided by Shan who reluctantly was up to help forge a weapon. The forge burned constantly as they modified the parts they needed creating the armor. A rugged body to cover completely the body of a strong person like Novak. He wasn’t up to put other’s life in risk. Slowly, but surely, Novak and Shan managed to gather the pieces together, creating the arms, the greaves and the full armor. In the middle there was a space for the new electromagnetic plaque to be displayed. The three days ran away like water and the announce of the invasion arrived. Shan hurried Novak and hung the armor so he could wear it.
“This looks…” started Shan looking at the finished work.
“When we start it, you’ll need to stand aside… your family is already in a refuge, right?” asked Novak.
“Yes, they are but if you fail that will not matter absolutely.” Replied Shan as he opened the front of the armor.
“Please, enter the code” said Novak as he entered the armor passing the arms in the gauntlets and the boots.
“Right… it’s CB0058KL45D” said Novak “Then press control, shift and enter 54TY67K”
“Got it” nodded Shan as he entered the code and a loading bar showed in the screen of the improvised computer.
“Is it charging?” asked Novak “Yes… but we’re running out of time.”
“Don’t worry… go with your family…” said Novak and Shan looked at him.
“Are you sure?” asked Shan.
“Absolutely…” nodded Novak as the face of the armor fell over his own covering his muzzle and face “Go and protect them.”
Shan ran away as the initialization sequence marked its beginning. The armor fell to the ground and Novak stood moving all the parts making sure it won’t fail.
The whole party that was dispatched had opened fire against anything that moved yelling asking for Novak’s whereabouts. No one asked because they didn’t knew most of them. The bullets pierced indiscriminately cubs and adults as the troop advanced in direction to the last place in the village, a small workshop carved in stone. And when they arrived, the metallic noise of steel against steel sounded. The group stopped and aimed at it just in the moment the armored fur went out.
Novak looked at the group thru the eye slits in the helmet and smiled when they started to shoot at him without any effect. He ran to them and punched each one of those terrorists smacking them down to the ground. According to the blueprints, Shan and he added what remained from the electromagnetic cores in that armor, what allowed it to shoot some sparks. The lion activated the mechanism and the sparks electrocuted the armed furs sending them to the ground. Novak looked at that and smiled tying them and dragging the whole group out of the village.
“Well, that was good for a small test” smiled Novak looking at the defeated furs as he tied them completely leaving them at the mercy of the villagers.
He turned around and noticed Shan and his family looking at him. The goat smiled and dedicated him a thumb up.
“Well, I’m guessing you’re going to use that to go back home, right?” asked Shan.
“I’ll be calling a friend so he comes to pick me up…” nodded Novak “But yes, I’ll use it… I’ll tell him I’m lost at the desert…
“Here… we found this too but you seemed to focused like to notice we had it” said one of the young goats giving at the armored lion his cellular.
“Hey! It’s my phone!” laughed Novak. It had no charge but still he could figure out a way to use it.
“Thanks for that, but their comrades will come…” said Shan “I’m sure of it.”
“Then move from here… look for a safer place.” said Novak “As I promised I’ll close the weapon division. But I might give a good use to this” he looked at the armor.
“You better don’t” menaced Shan “In the wrong hands… what you create for peace, will become a deadly weapon.”
“You’re right… but it’s worth the try.” argued Novak as he opened a panel in the armor with some buttons “The red one, right?”
“Yes… but it doesn’t have enough fuel…” admitted Shan.
“Works for me” shrugged Novak as he pressed the button and the missiles’ propulsors popped out from the back of the boots and the armor.
“Good luck Novak Stark Danvers…” said Shan.
“I’m hoping to see you again Shan Ymoveh” said Novak as he flew to the air sending a cloud of smoke to the ones looking at him.
With relative ease, Novak guided the suit until it was far away from the village into the open desert, but as stated by Shan, the propulsors had not enough fuel and it wasn’t far enough when they started to fail. The lion flailed as they turned off and he feel to the sand sinking completely from his waist to his feet.
“Well, that was worth the ride” laughed Novak as he took one of the electromagnetic cores and connected it to his phone making it work again.
The first one to be called was the army. They knew he was there and of course could have been searching. Once he ended that call thanking he was right, the next one to inform was Charly. He had worried his friend for a long time… he needed to repay it.
It was early in the morning when the air force plane arrived to the airport. Charly was already waiting next to the limo tip tapping his paw as he looked at the clock nervously. After almost three months lost, Novak had given information of his whereabouts arguing that he was wounded by a terrorist group but rescued by some villagers. He didn’t dig on that; but by the effects of the moment, that was the best version of the facts. By his side, Leon Stern was anxious looking at the plane landing. Finally, when it stopped and they approached, the back door of the plane opened and Novak walked helped by some soldier, but the lion insisted he was ok.
“You moron got me worried for three months!” roared Charly looking at Novak.
“Calm down Charly, he’s been passing through severe traumas surely” reprehended him Leon but Novak smiled.
“C’mon, we gotta make a press conference and got me some pizza… I miss pizza” laughed the lion walking to the limo but when Charly stood by his side he murmured “Sorry our date to the club had to be delayed…” his words came from heart, he didn’t even noticed he told them.
“Date?” blushed Charly looking at Novak.
“I-I mean, our appointment…” blushed Novak looking at the limo and opening the door “You go first…”
“Thanks?” said confused Charly as he entered the limo and Novak followed him.
“Pizza first… Press later, ok?” smiled the lion as the driver started the engine to follow Novak’s orders.
Novak’s orders were taken directly and as he arrived to the press conference munching a slice of pizza he looked at the journalists that were already eager to know what was coming. He smiled and dragged a chair to sit down.
“Sorry, I rather remain sit, my body still aches” announced Novak and some low laughs were to be heard “Well, as you know, the comboy I was with, three months ago was attacked and I was practically mortally wounded… thankfully some villagers noticed I was still alive and ended up saving my existence…”
“How did you get to…” started a gazelle but Novak shushed her.
“Shshshsh I’m not done yet…” looked at her Novak “Those villagers showed me that Danvers technology in weaponry has been used by terrorists… what brings me to my next declaration…”
“And what would that be?” asked a journalist.
“As from now, and permanently, Danvers International Weapon Division is closed” declared Novak surprising everyone causing uproar.
Leon gasped hearing that and quickly ran towards Novak holding him by the arm and pulling him up.
“Well, I guess our dear Novak has been under a LOT of pressure recently… he’s not thinking clearly…” nervously chuckled the jaguar “I’m sure once he rests, he can give another conference talking more clearly.”
“STERN!” shouted Novak “I’m serious… Weapon Division is CLOSED!”
Leon looked at him almost snarling, but he calmed down and dragged Novak out of the conference taking him to the main building of Danvers International. Novak managed to break free from the grip of the jaguar.
“What’s your problem Leon?!” shouted Novak.
“You know what means to close that division?” asked Stern “We’ll go to the bankrupt!”
“We’ll find a way to overcome this little bump” said Novak rubbing the place Leon had gripped.
“LITTLE BUMP?!” roared Leon but then he calmed down “Look, I don’t want to sound egoist… but we need this division because there are still contracts and…”
“Look… I don’t mean to take the company to the bankrupt but…” started Novak and then Leon interrupted him.
“I want to look at it…” smiled the jaguar.
“What?” asked Novak surprised “Look at what?”
“Your chest…” plainly said Leon.
“What?! WHY?!” roared Novak.
“I know you were wounded… show me what saved your life…” smirked Leon.
“Sorry Leon, I won’t do that…” said Novak covering his chest “I don’t know who told you… but…”
“C’mon, you passed thru the metal detectors and they went crazy!” replied Leon “You said it was ok… besides you told us, remember?”
“Oh… right…” sighed Novak “But still I’m not showing you.”
The lion walked passing Leon and exited the lobby. Charly was already outside waiting for him worried by the reaction of Leon. Novak seemed to be worried too. But he knew Leon was looking for the best. Nevertheless, he was too rude to get it.
“Problems, boss?” asked Charly and Novak grabbed his arm.
“No, let’s go to my house…” said the lion dragging the confused Charly to the limo.
“O-ok…” mumbled the younger looking lion.
Novak entered the limo with Charly and ordered the driver to take them home. Meanwhile, Leon looked at them from the entrance of the lobby and snarled. At least, until his cell phone rang and he had to calm down looking at the name in the display. He smirked.
“Stern…” replied to the call Leon “Yes, I know… yes… yes he’s back… I know, I know!”
There was a small pause while he was informed on the recent activities.
“That’s interesting…” Leon smirked “I’ll go for it soon Jin. No, no don’t worry, the kitten is safe… for now.”
The limo arrived to the luxurious mansion and Novak walked to the entrance with some difficulty. He leaned against the door and Charly ran to him.
“NOVAK!” screamed Charly.
“I’m fine, I’m fine…” said Novak with a silly smile as he pressed his handpaw against a plaque that read his digital marks.
- Welcome home sir - said Jarvis – It’s nice to have you back sir…
“Thanks Jarvis” smiled Novak as he opened the door and entered followed by Charly.
“Jarvis, please get all ready, Novak needs a lot of rest” ordered Charly.
- At your order Mr. Railey – answered Jarvis.
“Novak, please, don’t overdo it!” begged Charly.
“I’m fine Charly… I just need to rest a bit, ok?” smiled the lion messing Charly’s hair.
“D-don’t do that!” Charly blushed.
“Go on, take the day ok?” smiled Novak as he walked to his room.
“Thanks… I’ll make sure to have something good for you tomorrow, ok?” replied Charly turning around and walking to the door.
As the younger looking lion left, Novak went up to his room and then, after seeing the limo to drive away, he ran to the basement where his huge computer was.
- Sir, Mr. Railey asked you to rest, what are you doing here? – asked Jarvis.
“I have a project to work on…” smiled Novak taking from his suit the blueprints of the armor Shan helped him to build “I need to get these blueprints scanned, digitalized and virtualized ASAP!”
- As you order Sir – confirmed Jarvis as Novak placed the pieces of paper on the scanner and a digital 3D model formed in the work table.
Novak started to move the model checking what was worthy and what could be improved. He took almost all the exoskeleton out and looked at the cores. He had an idea and he was ready to put it under a test.
“Name the project as… hmmm what could be a good name?” asked Novak and then he smiled “Name as Mark-IL-II”
- Right away Sir… shall I create this under the Danvers International main CPU?
“No, I want it in my personal computer…”
- Sure Sir.
Novak started immediately to work in the plans for a new armor. He knew that the terrorist faction of The Seven Tongues of Hell was using HIS technology to set terror. He needed it to stop. He needed to destroy all the weapons they had and for that reason, he also needed to have a better suit.
With the new design ready, the lion smirked looking at the materials of his workshop down there. Slowly he started to form the different parts, making the tests, failing some, passing others, testing and failing until he got the perfect control on the boots and the gauntlets with repulsor beams, Novak looked at the pieces of his creation.
“I guess it’s done…” smiled Novak stretching his body. It has been several days since he started the design and now only the final details remained.
The lion looked at the 3D model in the computer and smiled seeing the lion-like armor that he had created there.
“What about some… golden?” asked Novak “Lions have golden fur, right?”
- Right sir, nothing obvious for sure, right?
“Don’t be sarcastic with me Jarvis!” whined Novak . the lion looked at his reflection on the platter he used to bring his food. His fur was creamy, not golden. Yet there was something more representative of him. His eyes. Grey with red wasn’t a common color of eyes to have “Silver and red…”
- You always SO discrete, Sir.
“At least is not golden.” shrugged Novak as he looked at the model taking form with the colors. Red being the secondary color and silver the main one “Would look better with Red as the main color.”
- Right away Sir.
Novak looked at the design and smiled again.
“What do we have for today?” asked Novak.
- There’s a party in name of Danvers International hosted by Mr. Leon Stern tonight.
“And he didn’t invited me?!” shouted Novak standing up “Tune the armor up… I’ll go for some fun, ok?”
- Yes Sir, I’ll take care of that.
“Oh! Also, I added the instructions so you can design a new plaque. It’s in the same file folder.
- Shall I make the armor or the plaque first sir?
“The plaque. Then we’ll test it with the armor” replied Novak looking at his clock “How much time will it take you?”
- Six hours for both sir.
“Good, I’ll be back by the morning… don’t wait for me awoke” laughed Novak as he walked upstairs to get ready for the party Leon had made in his company’s name.
A good shower after that, Novak was wearing a nice suit with sneakers and walked downstairs going to the garage and looking at the cars he had there. With a sly grin he picked the keys for the Ford Mustang and jumped in starting the engine and driving it out of the house. The high speed made flew around his mane as Novak smiled getting ready for the biggest surprise he could give to the company members.
The party was held in a deluxe hotel where all the council members were gathered with Leon who had been declared himself as the head of Danvers International during the disappearance of Novak. The lion arrived causing a huge uproar in the people that was out of the place. He wasn’t expected and Leon couldn’t help but to get close to him.
“What are you doing here?” asked the jaguar.
“I’m attending to a party MY company is sponsoring” smiled Novak as he walked far from Leon but the jaguar stopped him holding his arm.
“Don’t do anything reckless Novak… you’re not either in shape nor the position.” said Leon.
“Position? What you mean?!” asked Novak surprised.
“The council decided to give me your position since you’re not currently in your top shape, mentally and physically” replied Leon looking very serious at Novak “I tried to make them enter in reason but they just wanted you out…”
“Of course you did…” sighed Novak “Well, at least can I enjoy the party?”
“Sure, you can” nodded Leon releasing Novak.
The lion leered at the jaguar and entered the hotel. Some soft drinks and a lot of chips later, during the frivolous talk with several of the attendants as the hours passed he saw the only one he wanted to see. And once he did it he went to where he, surprisingly, had noticed Charly talking with a blue lynx.
“Yes, I know he’s not here but…” started the lynx.
“Please, seriously this is not the time for this, we can discuss it tomorrow at the office, ok?” begged Charly who seemed to be worried.
“Mister, I really need an audience with Mister Novak.” said the lynx “I’d say I could use the force but my partner said he hates formal suits and I’m not the best to enter in a fight with a young one like you…” he mocked.
“I’m not that young” replied Charly noticing the lynx was joking about using the force.
“C’mon, sorry for my bad joke about that… but can you make an appointment with Mr. Stark for me?”
“Sure he can” said Novak advancing to the lynx.
“Oh! Mr. Stark, what a pleasure” smiled the blue lynx “My name is Richard Sullivan, from the Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate.”
“Wow, you really have a long name on your agency” laughed Novak “But as you might heard during the press conference a while ago, I closed the Weapon Division for Danvers International.”
“That’s the point” smiled agent Sullivan “I’m not here to talk about that… I’m here to talk with YOU. Sadly my partner couldn’t come… or more precisely didn’t wanted to come, he says that formal suits aren’t his style.”
“Well, not everyone has class” smiled Novak laughing again but agent Sullivan coughed.
“Please, don’t say that if you ever happen to cross paths with him.” said Richard “Agent Nidhoggson is… kind of aggressive when he’s insulted.”
“Yeah, whatever…” shrugged Novak “So, you wanted to make an appointment with me, right?”
“Yes Mister Stark” nodded the agent but Novak smiled.
“Fine, what about… Friday at night in my office?” said Novak and Charly was surprised by that “Then we can have our little interview.”
“Friday at night… more exactly?” asked Richard.
“What about, seven o’clock?” asked Novak leaning slightly his head indicating Charly to go to the balcony, what the other lion did immediately.
“Sounds splendid, I’ll bring my partner if he finds the time.” smiled Richard and extended his hand paw to Novak “A pleasure Mister Stark.”
“The pleasure was mine, Agent Sullivan” smiled Novak and walked away looking at the young lion in the balcony. Sure he needed to say something to him. It had to be in that moment.
Charly looked back and noticed Novak getting close. He smiled and waved shyly. Novak passed besides a waiter and took a glass of cider. He gave a sip and smiled reaching Charly’s side.
“So… how things have been?” asked Charly.
“Considering I was kicked out of my own company after manage to survive a terrorist attack in the mid-east… I’m fine” smiled Novak.
“Hate when you go all sarcastic” reproached Charly.
“I’m not being… I’m fine because I managed to get back here… almost in one piece” the lion laughed again “Also… because I get to see you again, my best friend.”
“I’m flattered” blushed Charly and suddenly he felt Novak’s hand holding his “N-Novak? What are you doing?”
“I… I don’t know how to say this Charly…” sighed Novak looking at his friend “I… I want to tell you that…”
Novak’s words were interrupted when the attendants to the party gasped looking at the breaking news on the TV. The report indicated that in some part of the mid-east, a huge movement of a terrorist fraction known as “The Seven Tongues of Hell” had started to move their men against little villages taking them as hostages and claiming for the apparition of Novak Stark Danvers. The alluded heard that and noticed the look on Charly. The younger-looking lion was terrified.
“You stay here, ok? I’m going to tell Leon about this…” said Novak.
“Wait… why him?!” shouted Charly “Tell the council! Tell the army! The government! Tell the UN!” a moment later he took a small presentation card from his pocket “Richard Sullivan said that if you needed any help you may call his partner… Draco Nidhoggson.”
“It’s ok, I’ll handle this ok?” smiled Novak as he walked away “I still owe you a hang out at the club… and now add to that a dinner!”
The lion ran with his tail flying behind him. he saw Leon but his reactions during the press conference and the one he had with him assisting to the party… Novak decided it wasn’t completely safe to tell him or even let him notice he was running away from there.
Novak called the valet and they delivered him his car. The lion jumped in and drove as fast as he could without breaking the laws to his home. The garage door opened with the click of a button and he entered the area going right to the basement where the armor was already formed and receiving the last touches and adjustments.
- Sir, what’s the hurry?
“We need to use it RIGHT NOW!” shouted Novak grabbing the new core for his heart and quickly he pulled the one in his chest grunting in pain as the slow movements of the metal shards started again. without thinking twice, he inserted the new core.
- Sir, we haven’t tested that core… it might not suit the armor nor your body.
“We don’t have time for tests… sometimes you have to run before you walk” replied Novak feeling the metal shards going backwards to the core as they stuck in the tube. He pressed the center and a holographic display appeared simulating the fur that should be in that part of the chest “Ah! exactly as planned… much better actually.”
- Sir I do insist… Do not use the suit without proper testing.
“Jarvis… open the gates… we need to hurry.
“JARVIS IS AN ORDER!”
- Yes Sir.
Novak stood in the platform where he would be wearing the suit and the mechanical arms that were tuning the suit now moved it to place it on Novak. He clenched the hands when the gauntlets covered them and moved the feet proving the boots. He smiled. And finally the helmet closed over his head as a virtual display appeared in front of him showing him what was outside physically and several numbers, codes and formulas to move and dodge the obstacles.
- Sir, the propulsors are ready for flight.
“Good to hear it because we’re going to mid-east…”
Novak took flight and advanced to the entrance of the garage passing the doors and burning them a bit as they closed behind him. The lion raised into the air looking around. He had made flight tests with the individual components but that was the first time he made it for real… and it seemed easy.
“Ok… right to our destination Jarvis.”
-At your order, Sir.
Novak flew faster than he could have imagined and managed to fly over the ocean in less than three hours at maximum speed. The fuel was enough for a round trip but he might want to save some just in case of.
The lion reached solid ground right when the sun of the mid-east was at the top of the sky.
“Midday…” murmured Novak as he flew a bit slower to the area that he heard that group was.
Nothing to worry about. He would need to rescue some villagers and that would be all. Novak kept that hope in his heart as he approached the coordinates he had implanted in the armor and finally he devised at the group of armored men that were menacing a poor village and killing the people that lived there. He snarled, how dare them?! They were killing man, woman, old people and cubs! He burst in anger as he increased the speed and landed with a “thump” that lifted a curtain of dust. But of course, for him, that didn’t mattered because with the radar in the suit and all the technology it had, he was able to see thru the dust.
Some yells from the terrorists reached him as the translator of the suit worked allowing him to know they were asking to the others what had just happened. He chuckled in his mind and raised a hand aiming at one of the terrorists that was holding by the neck a cub that squirmed and cried.
“Let the cub go…” ordered Novak with a digitalized voice.
The answer came in some kind of Arabic tongue and the man pressed the maw of his rifle against the side of the cub’s head. Immediately Novak shot a beam from his hand surprising himself. He wanted to just aim at him and menace but instead a repulsor beam impacted the fur’s chest making him let the weapon go just as the cub who ran to his mother.
“Now… who’s your leader, huh?” asked Novak looking between the other men scattered in the place who had already taken hostages.
- Sir, shall I engage the mini guns?
“Do it” said Novak as in the virtual sight he aimed at the armed terrorists “Let them go…”
The answer again came in Arabic and the terrorists nudged the maws against their hostages. Novak gave the order pressing slightly a button on his gauntlet and the mini guns shoot at the terrorists leaving them cold on the ground. The hostages ran and finally Novak noticed the long bearded horse that was leader the group. He grabbed a satellite phone and moved backwards. Novak flew against him and tackled the horse making him fall to the ground panting due to the weight of the armor over him.
“Who’s your leader?” asked Novak again with his digital voice.
He answered with an Arabic babbling Novak had to translate.
“Will never tell you!”
“I asked who’s your leader?!” asked again Novak and a mini missile popped from his shoulder aiming right between the eyes of the horse.
“Jin! His name is Jin Tseuming!” shouted the horse and begged for his life so quickly Novak couldn’t even translate on time.
“Fine… thanks…” the lion grabbed the hove of the horse and dragged him outside to where the villagers were “Make sure he meets justice.”
Novak flew away deploying inside the helmet a database looking for the name of the person he was appointed. Finally an expedient appeared and he read quickly the brief. The man was one of the seven leaders of the terrorist group that was looking for him, of course that was obvious. But besides that, it indicated that he was into some demonic ritual stuff and had always been trying to summon demons.
“Magic… puff such thing doesn’t exist!” replied Novak as he flew away noticing a place full of weapons and soldiers that looked just like the terrorists he had just defeated.
- Sir, I’m detecting the presence of Danvers International weapons below us… the people that has them are none of the clients registered in the records.
“Good… let’s ask them politely to return the weapons or destroy them” smirked Novak.
--- o ---
Leon was been taken to a barren place where several soldiers were already waiting for him. There was a tent and inside, a wolverine was waiting for him arms crossed.
“Jin! Good to see you my friend…” started Leon.
“Stop the babbling Stern… you promised us the life of Novak Stark and he survived…” replied Jin.
“I didn’t expected him to survive… but I bet what he got in the chest might be the reason.
“I received an inform that my men in Vulerta, one of the villages we have seized, were all taken down by some mechanical warrior…”
“Mechanical warrior?” asked Leon and he growled “You got what I asked you to get?”
“Some parts… nothing else.” Shook his head Jin “Yet, is almost 90% of the armor that defeated the men I deployed looking for him when he escaped our grasp.”
“The Seven Tongues of Hell surely keep grudges, huh?” said Leon taking a seat in front of an improvised table.
“You shall known” said Leon placing his hand in the table showing a huge ring that had a red gemstone. A similar ring to the one Leon had on his hand, just that the ring the jaguar had was crowned with an amber stone.
“So, how does that issue with Beelzebub is going on?” asked Leon.
“My contacts say that he might been luring vessels to him.” said Jin, but I’ve yet to make sure he ‘lures’ me so I can get my paws on him.”
“He’ll devour you before that” said Leon playing with the gemstone of his ring.
“Lucifer?” asked back Jin and Leon grimaced.
“We have problems with that… I’m about to find a perfect way to summon him without being possessed nor nothing…” replied Leon.
“Well, it’s good to know…” smiled slyly Jin “Now, about the payment…”
“Oh! Didn’t you got the memo?” asked Leon as the noise of guns being fired echoed outside made Jin to stand up in alert “Your services are no longer required…”
“Stern you can’t do this to me! I’m one of the seven leaders!” shouted Jin.
“Just as I am…” smirked Leon drawing a revolver and aiming at the wolverine right between the eyes “And I guess someone looking for that demon of gluttony is not necessary… we need the most powerful ones… and that one isn’t quite what we want.”
“STERN I’ll…!” shouted Jin but Leon shot blowing the wolverine’s head off as his body fell to the ground heavily.
The jaguar walked out and saw his men gathering the bodies of the Arabic soldiers. He smirked and walked to his car.
“Gather the pieces of armor that are in the tent… and for Satan’s sake, clean all this mess!”
--- o ---
Charly had been in Novak’s house since the morning and he hadn’t showed. He had left the party and he thought that maybe the older looking lion went to take cover. But instead, after some hours without an answer from him, he decided to go to his house only to find it empty. Not even Jarvis answered to the younger-looking lion.
“Damn Novak, where are you?” murmured Charly and walked up to his room smelling the scent there. Novak haven’t been in the bed in a lot of time. So where could he been?
Charly rushed his way downstairs ready to leave when he heard noises in the basement someone had just arrived. Maybe Novak! But the noise had been like a crash… was he ok? Maybe he was drunk! But Charly had never seen Novak getting drunk. Nevertheless, he walked downstairs almost running.
- Sir, stop squirming or I’ll hurt you…
“Ah! carefull! HEY THAT’S MINE!” shouted Novak and Charly sighed in relief.
“Novak! I…” started Charly as he opened the door to the basement and found the freakiest show he had ever seen. Novak was standing in a platform covered with some red and silver armor and several mechanical arms were trying to get it out. The lion had one hand free, as one leg and his head, but the rest of his body, including the tail, was covered with the metallic protection.
“Admit it… this isn’t the weirdest thing you’ve seen me do…” nervously chuckled Novak.
“Are those bullet holes?!” shouted Charly pointing at the armor.
“Charly, calm down…” said Novak and the he shouted “JARVIS GET THIS THING OFF ME!”
- As you order, Sir.
The mechanical arms removed the armor and Novak jumped from the platform as he fixed his clothes. In his chest a flick was seeable and Charly noticed the weirdness on that, after some sparkles of light, it stopped and returned to be Novak’s chest.
“What was all that?!” shouted Charly.
“Don’t panic Charly…” begged Novak.
“How I won’t panic!!” roared Charly “You were just stuck in some kind of armor and… oh God… what am I doing?!” he grabbed his head.
“Charly, look, look at me… I’m here, I’m fine… this thing in…” Novak turned the hologram off “This thing in my chest is what helped me when I was wounded. A renowned scientific helped me to build the prototype and I improved it so it can sustain me for life…”
“Y-you mean that without it you’ll die?!” shouted Charly.
“More or less, yes…” nodded Novak “But, look, I didn’t told you because I didn’t wanted to worry you…”
“Worry me?!” reproached Charly “I’m not worried I’m terrified!!”
“Charly please…” begged Novak getting close to Charly.
“Why didn’t you told me?” asked Charly finally looking down.
“Because I didn’t wanted to put you in danger” replied Novak.
“Danger?!” asked Charly “What you mean?”
“I was attacked by a group called The Seven Tongues of Hell…” started Novak.
“Yes I know that” nodded Charly.
“They nearly killed me but when they found out they hadn’t…” continued Novak but was Charly who finished the sentence.
“They went looking for you…” said the younger looking lion as he sighed “Novak why didn’t you told me this before?”
“I didn’t wanted anything bad to happen to you… specially now…” replied Novak.
“Bad? Like what? Being attacked? Why would you worry about me that way?” asked Charly confused.
“I… I…” Novak didn’t knew how to continue, how to tell him.
“Come on! Tell me damn it!” demanded Charly.
“Charly I… I don’t know how to tell you…”
“Then find a way!” roared Charly “WHY DIDN’T YOU WANTED ME TO BE HURT?! Because I’m your best friend?”
“Charly… it’s because…” Novak still couldn’t find the words.
“TELL ME!” demanded now with an dominant voice Charly, his childish tone and friendly tune were gone.
“BECAUSE I DON’T WANT TO LOOSE YOU!” shouted Novak finally.
“Loose me? But loose me why?” asked Charly now surprised.
“I… well… because… hum…” Novak’s nervousness was winning the battle.
“NOVAK!” shouted Charly.
But instead of answering, Novak took the lead and holding Charly’s shoulders he kissed him in the lips sealing his lips with the ones of his friend. the younger looking lion struggled at first and flailed drumming against Novak’s chest, but the struggle and the resistance slowly faded and Charly held Novak’s neck opening the lips and allowing Novak’s tongue to slip inside his muzzle. Charly couldn’t believe he was kissing with another male… and being Novak over all. He knew his own sexuality but he couldn’t expect Novak would be the same. The heat of the moment drove them to lean against the door until Jarvis interrupted.
- Sir, shall I prepare the room?
Novak broke the kiss blushing deeply with Jarvis commentary.
“N-no… it won’t be… necessary?”
“Novak… I…” Charly was completely blushed thru his fur “This… you… we just…”
“I love you” said Novak “Have loved you for a long time but couldn’t find the courage to tell you…”
“Oh Novak… why didn’t you asked for this before?” almost started to cry Charly jumping to Novak’s neck and holding him tight “I… have kept my feelings in secret too because you’re my best friend and… and… my boss over all.”
“I don’t care… I need to have you safe and well, understood?” said Novak “That’s why I didn’t wanted to tell you about this.”
“So, you went to that place in mid-east?” asked Charly surprising Novak.
“Well, yes… and I discovered something interesting…” sighed Novak.
“Do tell” begged Charly.
“It’s not safe to go back to the office…” started Novak “I investigued the leader of the terrorist fraction that was attacking the village. His name is Jin Tseuming. One of the leaders of the terrorist group that wanted me dead.”
“And what does that has to do with me being safe and not to go to the office? Just because I’m close to you?” asked Charly.
“No, because in the relations Jin had made and are under his file…” continued Novak and then he gulped “Other of the leader’s of the group was named and his name…”
“What?” asked Charly noticing Novak didn’t wanting to continue.
“Leon Stern…” said Novak and Charly gasped.
“Th-that means he…” started Charly.
“He might be the one that ordered the attack on me when I went to Iraq.” Said Novak “Charly I want you to stay here while I repair the armor, ok? I need you to be safe because I wouldn’t stand to know that you got wounded… or… worse…”
“I’ll do my best” nodded Charly holding Novak’s hand making him blush and changing the subject to relief the tension that floated over the environment “Well, shall we then… go eat something? I’m starving…”
“R-right… Italian?” asked Novak and Charly nodded.
“I love Italian…” replied Charly.
“Good” nodded Novak and opened the door that lead to the house, but then he noticed that Charly held him tighter.
“Novak…?” asked Charly.
“Yes?” asked the older looking lion without looking back at Charly.
“Does this mean we are together now?” asked Charly blushing and Novak turned around holding him by the hips and kissing him again.
“Does that answers your question?” smiled Novak after breaking the kiss.
“Completely” giggled Charly.
--- o ---
Several weeks passed with Charly spending his time with Novak at home. The younger looking lion had said that he would be taking care of his activities making sure Novak didn’t do anything reckless. Something that Leon took in a very good way grinning and saying that maybe it was the best he could do. Of course, some appointments had to be delayed, for example, Richard Sullivan’s appointment was delayed indeterminately but he kept going to the main office trying to get to talk with Novak.
That night, Novak and Charly had gone for a formal dinner and a night clubbing as the older looking had promised to his now boyfriend. And that opportunity was the perfect for Leon to take a chance and enter Novak’s house. He walked up and down trying to find whatever could help him with the design of his prototype of armor. He had named it IronTitan. It was bigger than the original one he had seen and also was heavier. It had more advanced weapons… but still wasn’t operative since something was missing. The main core for the armor had always failed. It didn’t mattered what kind of energy source he used, it failed.
“Damn you Novak… you have to have something around here that leads me to the…” Leon stopped talking as he went to the basement hearing some noises.
Apparently was all his imagination but he saw something in the table. There was a small package that read “for Novak”. Leon took it shaking it and hearing the sound of metal against glass. Without thinking twice, he tore the paper that was wrapping the package and what he saw made him grin. Inside there was a trophy stand holding a piece very similar to a reactor Ark they had in the main office. The one Edvard Stark had designed in his younger years after the second world war. Leon smirked.
“Bingo…” he laughed and read the inscription “To Novak, for proving you are a champion in the life, besides all the adversities, signed Charly Railey…”
He tossed the glass box to the ground and it broke bursting in pieces leaving the small reactor, that seemed like it still worked, free.
“Fucking faggots…” growled Leon “They thought I didn’t knew why they wanted to spend time together. Whatever! With this under my grasp the IronTitan will be operable soon!”
Leon took his phone and dialed quickly a number. After three tries, someone picked up.
“Richards…” said Leon “I got what you needed… your stupid scientific group couldn’t make it, but Novak made it in the desert with a pile of scrap metal… now I got it.” he paused a bit hearing and then he laughed “Yes, immediately, and I want it to be operational by tomorrow night!”
Leon left the house smirking as he held tightly in his grip the piece of technology Novak had made. Maybe that one was an old one. But he knew that if he delivered it to Richards, then he could improve it even more than what Novak might have in his chest in that right moment.
--- o ---
After the days passed and Charly spent more time with Novak. The younger looking lion decided that it was time to take some risky actions. His boyfriend was by that time in a reunion with the council and that would take him some time. he had asked the members of confidence to have a reunion with him in the hotel where the party had been held almost one month ago. Charly of course, wasn’t allowed to participate in those reunions, specially on that one that was up to be treated with complete secrecy.
Charly knew that by that moment, Leon was in a reunion with some personal of the weapon division. Novak had closed it, but Leon reopened it against the owner’s will. Now, the lion wanted to know what he’d been doing all that time. He would hack his computer and take all the files he could find. And for that, he would need the help of Jarvis, that was, in that moment monitoring him.
- Mr. Railey, I insist that Mr. Stark will feel uneasy if he knows about what we are doing.
“Please don’t tell him…” murmured Charly to the hands free device he had on his right ear, covered as if it were his phone’s hands free device.
- I will if something wrong happens. But I will inform anyways.
“Jarvis, please, I want to help Novak with this… and the best way to do it is hacking Leon’s computer and getting all the information we can.
- I still prefer to inform Mr. Stark.
“Right, go there and let me alone and defenseless.” smirked Charly “What you think he’ll say?”
- I understand your point
Charly entered Leon’s office and started to check over the place to make sure there was no security cam active. He had deactivated all the cams in that room but being over careful wasn’t bad at all. And after finishing that task, he sat in front of Leon’s computer placing his hacking device on it and turning the CPU on. He entered to the main archives and downloaded the data that corresponded to all the new projects of the Weapon Division. But then, Charly found a hidden folder called “IronTitan prototype”. He opened the folder and gasped looking at the design of a heavy armored suit designed for extreme combat. The lion looked around and started to make a copy of the folder inside his hacking device and storage system. Finally, after downloading all the incriminatory data, he noticed one last hidden folder. It wasn’t labeled so he opened it only to find a single video.
“Jarvis… can you detect anything suspicious on this?” asked Charly.
- I’m not that kind of assistant – replied Jarvis.
“Right, a machine with sense of humor… what will you do next darling?” sighed Charly rolling the eyes and choosing to open the file.
Once opened, he discovered it was a video communication with an Egyptian rat sitting against a desk on a tall chair. A message for Leon Stern. He lowered the volume so only he could hear it and pushed the play button.
“Leon, notices have come to us that you killed Jin… I can’t say I’m surprised since you have always being jealous at him… nevertheless…” the Egyptian rat crossed his fingers “I know we can find someone to do a better job than him looking for that one. You on the other hand, haven’t shown us any results yet… so I’m expecting to hear from you. I already have control over Asmodeus. In the past, we all known of the failure of VonClause when he tried to control Belphegor; and his terrible fate. Now, I hope you are prepared… because according to our information, HE is going to where you are… HE is looking for a vessel to attack you. Leon, you were stupid enough to let a trail behind your tail… and The Seven Tongues of Hell won’t help you to defend against Lucifer.”
Charly closed the window and panted after hearing that. The not so beefy rat on a black formal suit had mentioned the name of several demons. Novak also mentioned that the so called Jin was looking for a way to imprison Beelzebub… but now Leon had killed that one. What exactly was going on? What was going to happen? Were they a cult or a sect or a religious group? Because, for what he had heard, they weren’t terrorists. And that rat there was Fennel Sajertis… one of the most renowned merchants of Egypt, but also, a known master of the slaves black market that imprisoned innocents to sell them as slaves… either common and sexual slaves. He shivered…
“What kind of person are you?” murmured Charly after taking his hacking device mindlessly not noticing the message on the computer that read ‘device removed wrongly’.
Charly stood up and walked to a side away of the computer just in the moment the door opened. He suppressed a gasp when Leon entered. From his point of view, the lion would be looking at the statue that was on a side of the office, a replica of the Venus of Milo.
“Railey what are you doing here?” asked Leon.
“Huh? Oh! sorry I wanted to talk to you about the actions of the company… Novak is worried because he thinks we have more military agencies in with actions than medical or technology agencies” said Charly mindlessly faking he didn’t know a thing.
“Well, of course, the Weapon Division is our main branch now, so it’s obvious the military industries are gathering around us like flies to the rotten fruit” shrugged Leon.
“Well, I wanted the informs for Novak…” said Charly hoping Leon would go away with that giving him enough time to escape.
“Right, they are right here” said Leon and he approached to his desk making Charly suppress another gasp.
The jaguar opened the desk and took some folders from it. Then he looked at the screen and smirked. Charly gasped in his mind again.
“So do you think I’m an idiot?” asked Leon looking at Charly.
“Wh-what?” asked Charly nervous.
“This is what you really want…” laughed Leon and turned the computer towards Charly showing the slideshow of cars he had accidentally started when he stood up. The lion sighed in relief “Charly, if Novak is egoist enough why didn’t’ you told me you wanted to change your car?”
“S-sorry?” said Charly.
“Everyone know that I have this slideshow here…” smiled Leon approaching to Charly “I pick models from this one, go on… take these files to Novak, if he really want them, and then come back… I’ll buy the car to you. I know you’re a good friend to him, but also you’re a loyal employee. You have won it.”
“Th-thanks…” bowed respectfully Charly, grabbing the folders and walking away as Leon sat on his desk again.
“One more thing…” said Leon and Charly froze in the spot.
“Y-yes?” asked Charly without looking back.
“Don’t pick the Viper… it has traction problems when you go over 90 mph.
“Th-thanks for the advise…” said Charly leaving the office.
Leon looked at the screen grinning. The poor guy surely had become Novak’s little pet but he still had a greedy desire for material things. He moved the mouse and found the computer displaying an error message indicating that an external device had been wrongly removed. He clenched his fists and growled. Leon roared and punched the screen making it burst into pieces.
Charly went downstairs and breathe deeply but he noticed with one of the mirrors of the reception that Leon was standing on the stairs, going after him. By fortune, agent Sullivan entered the office and he ran to him.
“Oh! Mr. Railey, I wanted to…” started the lynx but Charly cut him off directly.
“You wanted to talk to Novak… you will… just follow me.”
“R-right…” said Richard following Charly who was rushing.
Once they left the building, Charly reached a finger to the device on his ear.
“Jarvis… call Novak… I screwed it up!” whined Charly and Richard couldn’t help but to notice that.
- Right away Mister Railey.
“What was that?” asked Richard confused.
“Leon Stern is member of that terrorist group The Seven Tongues of Hell” said Charly “You work for the government, right? You can help us with this!”
“Well, not exactly for this government but yes I can help… just let me contact my boss, he’s attending some issues in France.” said Richard and after a swift talking on his phone he dialed another number. He said he was calling his partner but after the chat, Richard let his jaw drop.
“He said he’s too busy like to come here…” said the lynx “He’s currently on a mission in Europe.”
“EUROPE?!” roared Charly “Aren’t you of this country’s government?”
“We work for the UN Mister Railey.” Replied Richard “I have some back up near, nevertheless.”
“Then call them!” begged Charly and then he showed him the hacking device “Leon Stern is making a weapon that might be a problem to everybody if it falls in the wrong hands… and for what I know so far, Leon Stern has those wrong hands.”
“Fine…” nodded Richard and out from nowhere a group of agents, dressed on suit appeared from the corner of the street.
“Wow! You weren’t joking when you said near” amazed Charly.
“We work fast…” said Richard.
“Well, now that they are here we could go look for that weapon and shut it down or destroy it…” said Charly thinking out loud.
“It could be a great idea…” nodded one of the agents.
Charly, Richard and the group of agents entered the laboratory area that was behind the main building. He checked on the doors for the room with the extreme combat weapons and once he found it, the lion tried to open the door unsuccessfully.
“Damn!” roared Charly and Richard approached to the door.
“Allow us…” he placed something in the entrance and returned.
“Great! Was that a universal key or….?”
“C4” replied one of the agents and Charly squealed as he ran away from the crouching.
Some seconds later, a small poof indicated that the door had blown. Charly went out of his hideout ashamed of his attitude. Richard smiled at him and entered with the other agents to the laboratory where several weapons and dissembled thanks were stored.
“This place…” shivered one of the agents.
“Calm down, it’s only dissemble the weapon and that will be all” said Richard.
“There!” shouted Charly recognizing the design of the models he had seen in the computer on an armor that was hanging from some chains “I thought it was going to be…”
“BIGGER?” asked a digital voice as a pair of eye slits lightened and a huge armor raised over the chains making Charly squeal again.
--- o ---
- Sir, Mister Railey asked me to inform you that he screwed it up.
“What?!” asked Novak as he arrived to the house. He started to call Charly but Jarvis continued his inform once reinstalled in the building and not the car.
- Sir, Mister Railey was at Danvers International. He went looking for information to show Leon as the criminal he is… but apparently he discovered your boyfriend. He’s currently being helped by a government agent.
“Richard Sullivan” sighed Novak in relief. The lion ran to the basement and pressing some buttons the armor suit sprouted from the ground and he hopped on the platform to suit on.
- Sir, my tracker on Mister Railey indicates that he’s in the Heavy machinery and extreme combat weapon laboratory.
“Thanks Jarvis…” said Novak and the armor closed over him “I’ll go save him…”
Novak flew out of the area and hurried his way to Danvers International. The place was already closed and empty by the time he arrived there. He looked around and rushed right to where Jarvis said Charly was. He blew the door that blocked his way to the laboratories and noticed that the door leading to the extreme combat weapon laboratory was on the floor. He worried by that and entered.
“Charly! Charly!” shouted Novak with his digital voice as the noise of chains being moved echoed over the place.
“Looks like you’re missing someone… Novak…” laughed the voice of Leon.
“Where are you Stern?!” roared Novak looking up and down only to find that up in the roof, Charly was tied with chains together with Richard Sullivan. Both suspended in the air dangerously. And over the ground below them, the bodies of some other agents were piled. “What is this?!”
“My present for your funeral…” laughed Leon as he walked out using a suit that resembled a tank with the muzzle of a jaguar. It had mobility on legs and arms and several weapons attached to it “For a long time I thought I needed you… but now you have given me all I need to fulfill my mission…”
“What you mean?” asked Novak.
“And once I finish with you…” laughed Leon ignoring Novak “I have a friend that can sell those two as slaves… your precious Charly would make a good slut slave.”
“HOW DARE YOU?!” roared Novak and he flew against Leon. But the jaguar grabbed and tossed him against the wall breaking it and sending Novak flying against the empty parking lot.
“What you think, huh?” asked Leon breaking even more the wall and running to Novak “I called it IronTitan” he laughed.
“I guess you picked the right name…” smiled Novak and he stood up aiming with the palms at Leon “Because the titans always fell to their knees defeated!”
The repulsor beam impacted the helmet of IronTitan making it vibrate sending waves to the digital display.
“Agh! You bastard!” shouted Leon and aimed his arm against Novak sending some mini missiles against him.
Novak flew up high and the missiles impacted a wall. Leon laughed and his suit’s boots opened showing turbines that started allowing him to fly.
“Oh damn…” shouted Novak as he flew faster to the crowded street besides the parking lot.
“You won’t escape!” shouted Leon “I improved everything! Your design, your weapons, even that reactor that faggot left for you as trophy!”
“Reactor?” asked Novak and smiled knowing that even if Leon had laid his dirty handpaws on the old reactor… it meant he worked over the defecting one. And that gave him a good advantage. Though IronTitan’s fire power indeed was stronger than his.
Novak flew over the cars, but Leon grabbed one and tossed it at him making the lion land and grab it to save the family inside. He lowered it and the women inside seemed to smile. But Novak moved to a side and kicked the car sending him away as IronTitan landed with a powerful ground pound punch that broke the asphalt.
“Nice move! But not enough” laughed Leon as he aimed at Novak and a set of gatling guns appeared from the arms of IronTitan.
“Oh man… why do the bad guys always have the best equipment?!” shouted Novak quoting some comic books he had read.
IronTitan started to shot at him and Novak flew swiftly to the sky. Leon restarted the engines and flew chasing Novak as their armors started to freeze due to the altitude. Novak noticed that and continued going higher. If he managed to get IronTitan frozen first then he might get a chance.
“Don’t run a way kitty kitty…” mocked Leon as he increased the speed and surpassed Novak flying higher to ready a punch. But when he reached a good height, his articulations were frozen and the turbines went off.
“Looks like you didn’t calculated this correctly” laughed Novak allowing his engines to turn off and fall to the ground to defrost as IronTitan fell like a bag of rocks.
“AGgh! Damn you!” shouted Leon as his suit crashed against the parking lot of Danvers international.
Novak restarted the engines and flew down managing to land on IronTitan’s back. He opened the back panel and started to rip cords and cables while Leon restarted the suit.
After several tries, the jaguar managed to restart it but it was too late for his aiming, motor and visual systems since the armor now only displayed a black front.
“Ah! Damn you!” roared again Leon as he opened the frontal panel of the armor suit allowing Novak to see him completely.
The lion stood in front of the jaguar and looked at him.
“Looks like you’re not going to be able to win Leon… give up…” said Novak.
“No… I don’t think so” smirked Leon as he tried to move IronTitan unsuccessfully.
“You can’t move any longer… I’ll take you to prison for what you’ve been doing…” said Novak.
“NO… he’s coming for me… he knows of me…” he laughed maniacally “HE KNOWS I WANTED HIS POWER AND HE’S COMINGN TO KILL ME!”
“W-what are you babbling about?” asked Novak looking at Leon.
“Lucifer…” he smirked “But he’s rather better fitting for you… all your pride as one of the Stark clan… your pride as a businessman and as a scientific… all that pride you always hide… it will be your ruin…”
“Stop your nonsense!” shouted Novak.
“No… I won’t let you take me to prison!” shouted Leon as he pressed some buttons and the machine indicated that the self destruct system had been activated.
Novak gasped and flew to Leon who was laughing maniacally and tried to pull him out. But the armor had suffered a lot of damage and he was squeezed by the metallic walls. The mechanical voice announced ten seconds for the detonations and Novak knew Leon wouldn’t make it. He got away flying to where Charly and Richard were hanging and melted the chains freeing them holding them on each shoulder. He flew away faster than before and heard the sound of the beginning of the explosion, but when he turned around to see, he saw a blinding light creating a sphere that swallowed IronTitan making it implode before an expansive wave demolished the weapon laboratories and part of the streets behind the parking lot. By fortune, no cars were passing by in that moment and the street fell into pieces without damaging any furry lives.
--- o ---
It was midday when Charly entered the room where Novak was and looked at his boyfriend getting ready for the conference. Richard had asked them to make an announce presenting the IronLion, as he had called the suit, like a new prevention system for catastrophes to the press. Novak wasn’t so happy since he had to say someone else was piloting the armor. He wanted the people to know that he was the hero of the day…
“So, after this, you’d like to eat some fettuccini?” asked Novak.
“Once you’re done, yes…” giggled Charly.
“Ok, ok, you have your cards?” asked Richard entering the room.
“Yes, here they are” said Novak raising a set of blue cards “What will you say about Leon.
“He entered in a stress frame that caused him to blow his own house” said Richard “We have all covered.”
“Man, how many times you’ve done this?” asked Novak.
“Several” smirked Richard “Now, stick to the cards and everything will be fine.”
Novak nodded and after a quick kiss with Charly he went to the podium as the flashes of the cameras blinded him. He gave a quick glance at the cards and sighed.
“You might be hearing recently, that a hero in a robotic suit has appeared…” started Novak “Well, I have to admit, YES, it does exists… but that suit is not a weapon, but a prevention system for catastrophes…”
“Excuse me, do you really want us to believe that?” asked a female cheetah looking at Novak.
“Well, one thing is that you want to believe it and other is that this is the official story…” smirked Novak making Richard give himself a facepaw.
“Official story… then this is not exactly the truth?” asked the same journalist.
“Well you can go out there saying that I’m lying but saying that I’m a hero is too much…”
“I never said YOU are a hero…” said the journalist smirking.
“Well… uhmm…” Novak looked at Richard who was almost bashing his head against the wall due to the lack of discretion of the lion “Well, the truth is…” he paused for a moment “The truth is… that…” Novak smirked “I AM IRONLION!”
The shout from the press came immediately as Richard bashed for real the wall with the announce of Novak making a crack on the wall… or maybe on his skull since he felt dizzy. Charly on the other hand smirked and shook slowly his head.
--- o ---
Novak entered his house after the press conference, the dinner and some time clubbing with Charly. He had left the other lion on his house and now he was back home. He tried to turn the lights on but they didn’t.
“What the…?” murmbled Novak.
“I am IronLion…” said a teenish voice that came right from where a pair of red eyes looked at Novak from the shadows “You’re no subtle right?”
“Well… who might you be?” asked the lion looking at the darker shadow as a flame lit on his hand revealing a wolf with red dragon wings, black horns and red dragon eyes. He was wearing an archaic armor over and below a leather coat. On his hip, on the left side, there was a sword hanging.
“Me? I’m what you called yourself to be… presumptuous lion…” smirked the guy walking close to Novak allowing him to notice more clearly his brown fur “I’m a Hero… my name is Red Nidhogg.”
“Red Nidhogg?” asked Novak and opened widely his eyes “The guy who appeared in Romania some years ago?!” shouted the lion surprised.
“It might surprise you but I’m working with S.H.I.E.L.D.… you already knew one of our agents, Agent Sullivan.”
“Oh so that’s the short name of your agency?” asked Novak.
“Whatever…” sighed Red Nidhogg “Look, my boss right now is busy on France with some temporal void or something like that. He has better issues to attend. So he asked me to come to talk to you about some little project he has in mind.”
“Little project?” asked Novak and Red Nidhogg offered him a folder with the shape of a paw and an A in the middle with an arrow design in the middle.
“Take seat and let me tell you about the Avengers Initiative” said Red Nidhogg smiling and making sway his coat as he took seat on the sofa.
Finally!!!! Final of the stories is here!!! Before Furry Avengers... the Avengers Initiative had to be filled!! (No they won't be six as in the movie, no Hulk here, hulk is mixed with Draco when he goes Berserk).
This time it's Novak's turn! and Novak is IronLion! I know seemslike almost copy paste from the Ironman movie... BUT I wrote changes and more interesting twists. For example, in this story some other villians will appear and they belong to other heroes... ALSO! An evil organization will make its debut!!