Captured (November 1986)

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Post by Conleth on Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:07 am

2 weeks later after Tony’s capture...

In the video there was a bright light on Tony and he squinted and looked as if he were in a good deal of pain. Men in various field clothes were all around him and they all brandished weapons. He looked terrible. Blood was on his face and a bandage criss crossed his chest. He looked afraid as someone spoke to him in some form of arabic.

Helicopter scouting sorties were being flown around the clock now that they knew Tony Stark was alive. Frank had been extremely agitated when he spoke to her just a few minutes ago. For the 3rd time he had tried to get her to come home but once again she refused. Just like he predicted she had ‘something more’ going on. Something that kept her away from home. She could hear the fury and desperation in his voice. A sign he had had just about all he could from her absence.

Isabella accompanied most of the sorties. Her eyes were just as good as anyone else’s and she had been given permission to remain by Gerald though she had to appeal to him after Lauren ordered her to return. In 2 weeks she had created a rift between herself and Lauren and was about to lose her fiance as well. Alonzo and his whole team died in the attack. Only herself and one other soldier had survived.

Isabella and Rhodes usually were together in the sorties and he wrapped on the frame of her tent and ducked his head in. Isabella had tears in her eyes, the sat phone she had just spoken to Frank on was still in her hand. He saw her and came all the way inside. "Uh, are you alright? Did something happen?" he asked.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:25 am

Though she had argued for more security surrounding Tony, she felt responsible for what had happened to him and vowed to remain in Kazakhstan until he was found. This caused growing tensions between Frank and herself. However, she knew that Tony was out there and alive. These terrorists had not given any demands, nor claimed to have killed Tony and so everyone was operating under the assumption that he was alive. Isabella could feel it in her gut that Tony was alive and being held captive in one of the many caves in this area.

Isabella sat there on the edge of her bed holding the sat phone in her hand when James came in. Tears shimmered in her eyes as she looked at him. "I'm pretty sure my engagement is off."

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Post by Conleth on Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:35 am

At firstJames said nothing. He just came in and sat on the end of her cot. “I’m...sorry Isabella,” He said simply. He would not suggest something like leaving and going home when she would not suggest it for herself. He believed that people made their own decisions and did things for their own reasons. Obviously she knows the cost of her remaining and she was still here.

“One of our ground teams checked out a large cave network about 60 miles out but it was abandoned. There are literally hundreds of such cave networks. But we’ll find him, I just know we will. If they haven’t killed him it means they must be using him for something,” he said than grinned. “I bet he has them filling his glass with bourbon right about now and he’s a judge in some pageant somewhere,” James joked. “Maybe for a miss Kazakhstan pageant,” he said and chuckled. Hoping to cheer her up.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:51 am

Isabella set down the sat phone and glanced down at her engagement ring. She left it on for now. Holding on to the hope that perhaps Frank would change his mind. She wiped the tears from her eyes and listened to James. She actually did smile a little thinking about Tony with a drink in his hand judging a pageant. However, that smile only lasted for a few moments before disappearing.

"What concerns me the most is why they are holding him. My best guess would be that they are using him to build something and that terrifies me."

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Post by Conleth on Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:02 am

“It terrified me to but I doubt Tony would build them anything. Tony’s a genius. He’d know that they’d just kill him after he built it for them. No, he’ll not just give in so easily. You can be certain of that,” He said confidently. “We’ll be do for another sortie in 2 hours. I’ve been told that you’ve not been eating much. Since you’ve decided to stay, you are now subject to my authority. And i'm giving you a direct order to eat. I don’t have time for you to become a liability. I need you and Tony needs you, alright/” he asked but it wasn’t really a question. It was an order.

Tony sat up after Yinson had set the miniature arc reactor into his chest. Now without the battery he could move around easier and he didn’t have to worry that the basic electromagnet would fail. He showed Yinsen his sketches and what he intended to build to get them out of there.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:08 am

Isabella nodded slowly. She believed James when he told her that Tony wouldn't build anything that these men wanted him to build. Tony was a genius and so she hoped that he was figuring out a way to get himself out of that situation. However, she wasn't going to give up looking for him.

"Alright, I'll go eat something," she promised James. She had been so anxious with worry that she hadn't been eating or sleeping much. Before James left she stopped him and looked at him. "We're going to find him James...I promise."

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Post by Conleth on Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:51 am

2 months into Tony’s capture…

A Scouting group on the ground had captured a large truck that contained Stark weapons. When the men who drove the truck were questioned they had heard of Tony Stark being held but would not divulge his whereabouts. Not even when put to the question. Clearly though somehow they were still receiving weapons and this instance ruled out that Tony himself had anything to do with this. Isabella had learned though that one group called the ‘Ten Rings’ had accepted responsibility for his capture. Where their main stronghold was though they didn’t know yet but it was clear they were out there. The fact that they hadn’t killed Tony yet though meant that they haven’t yet gotten out of him what they wanted. And or Tony had not yet finished building what they wanted.

Frank had called her early in the morning, late in the day for him, and he was once again trying to understand why she had stayed so long when the Army had more than enough people there to do the job of search and rescue.

“Your job, protecting him is over Isabella. They will either find him or they won’t but in either case they can do that without you there. I need you here. I have a job too you know and worrying about you and missing you is tearing me apart,” Frank said almost desperately. “Why are you willing to throw everything away like this?” he asked. “Who is Tony Stark to you?” He added accusingly.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:13 am

Isabella felt that they were getting closer and yet further away from finding Tony. It frustrated her to no end but she remained positive and hopeful that Tony would be found alive. She just hoped he was alright.

She felt like she had only just gotten to sleep when she heard the sat phone ring. She knew it was either Lauren or Frank. When she picked up she could tell before he even said anything that it was Frank. Their engagement was still on, but it was holding on by a thread...a thread Isabella now thought needed to be clipped. She loved Frank, but she had come to realize that they needed and wanted different things.

“Frank, I feel like what happened was my responsibility. I can’t just leave. Tony is out here somewhere and I strongly believe he is still alive. He’s my friend...nothing more.”

She was quiet another moment before speaking again. “I love you Frank...I really do, but I don’t think things are working out between us. You’re not happy and I don’t think there is anything I can do to change that. I would rather us not grow to resent and hate each other.”


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Post by Conleth on Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:25 am

She heard the toll tell sound of the sat phone signal being cut which meant that either Frank had hung up on her or the signal had been lost. The latter could have happened but the timing meant that more likely he had hung up on her. Frank did hang up and he smashed the receiver in half on the kitchen counter. He stared at the phone a moment longer than moved to start packing up his things.

As far as her job in New York was concerned, Lauren more or less gave her an ultimatum and though Gerald gave her authorization to be there through official channels, with this last extension she had well and truly burned her bridge with Lauren and Lauren informed her that she had promoted Renee in her place. What this meant was that when she did return she’d likely find her things in a box down in the lobby. She could still work in the DC office but her home had always been New York.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:40 am

Isabella sat there for a while after the call had been disconnected before putting her head in her hands and starting to cry. She had thrown everything away...her future with Frank and her job. Why the hell was she doing this?! Was it truly worth it?

After a while she managed to calm down and she stared at the engagement ring on her finger before she pulled it off and put it away. She thought her hand would feel strange without it, but oddly it didn’t. She figured that there was a sign in and of itself that she and Frank weren’t meant to be.

Sometime later James came into her tent and she told him what had happened. “I’ve thrown everything away for Tony at this point...my life with Frank and my job that I worked my ass off for. Please tell me it’s going to be worth it.”

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Post by Conleth on Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:56 am

James was floored by what Isabella had told him. He himself wasn’t certain why she was still here but he’d never say that outloud. He considered her a friend and he had seen her and Tony banter at one another like they were friends as well. Tony normally didn’t have women as friends though he knew Pepper Potts was one, not just an employee. But this thing with isabella was different he felt. And he also felt that Isabella might want more with Tony than just friendship but also might know where that might lead. Thus was the trouble of going that route and trying to maintain a mindset of friendship. He had made that mistake once and it cost him a good friend as well.

“Well only you know what you’re doing. They can not be in your shoes Isabella. You alone assign value to what’s important to you and no one can choose it for you. If Frank truly loves you, you two will find a way back to one another. I thought marriage and a family were important to you. You seemed so excited about settling down with Frank, if so, what are you even doing here? Isn’t Frank what you wanted? Isn’t what you and Frank want to build what you want? A home, a family, a life?” He asked in hopes she had thought about these things clearly. “We will either find Tony or not but what you had was real wasn’t? And...and whatever you feel for Tony...he won’t feel for you like that. God knows why I love the man but I do know him Isabella,” he said. There was only one reason she was throwing her life through the meat grinder though she vehemently denied what she felt for him.

“Pepper Potts loves him as well and I’ve watched her punishing herself year after year by continuing to work with him Isabella. Continuing to hold onto hope that he’ll come around,” he said. “I consider you a friend too and I would not want that for you,” James said honestly.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:19 pm

Isabella sighed as she looked at James. “To be honest I don’t know what I want anymore. I feel so confused. I feel like though if Frank was the man I was supposed to be with that I wouldn’t feel confused about what I wanted...I would just know. Frank didn’t even really want marriage or children. He was only really agreeing with it because that’s what I said I wanted and he wanted to be with me. I actually feel better now that it’s over between us. I do love him...I really do, but he and I weren’t supposed to be together.”

She took a sip of her water and then glanced at James when he suggested that she was in love with Tony. She paused as she considered that. Was she? No...she couldn’t be...could she? That would be the definition of insanity. Tony wasn’t the type of guy to settle down with one woman. He would sleep with her and then move on. Or would he? She couldn’t deny the feeling she felt growing between them. It wasn’t just sexual desire. It was deeper than that.

She was quiet a long moment before standing up. “We should get ready to head out.”

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Post by Conleth on Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:35 pm

3 Months in captivity…

Tony knew he was in trouble, especially when his left leg stablyzer folded up on him and the weight it no longer supported wanted to bear him to the ground. The weapons and munitions all around him were on fire and he felt the extreme heat of them all around him. He was going to die here if he didn’t get up. With one, last effort he shifted back and pushed at his knee joint in his armor. Suddenly his leg straightened and hope filled him once more. ‘Goodbye Yinsen!’ He thought as he switched the toggle then pushed the red button for his jet boost. As the entire base blew his armor propelled him up into the air. As he began an escape trajectory though he felt a pressure seal blow and all of his thrust ceased. “Wooohhhhhaaa!” he screamed as he began to arc down toward the sand. Tony in his armor hit hard…

When he came to he looked up into the bright, blue sky. “Uhhh,” he groaned. “Not too bad,” he said weakly.

------------------------

A few hours later.

James ran toward her tent. Isabella had been increasingly solitary of late and she had taken to just brooding alone most of the time alone in her tent. He was certain she’d want to hear this though and he barged into her tent without knocking. “Hey, our satellite has detected a massive heat bloom about 150 klicks from here (roughly 93 miles) “Wanna come with me and check it out?” he asked with a smile.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:43 pm

Isabella was still clinging to hope that Tony was alive, but as days stretched out into weeks and then months that hope slowly started to fade. She became depressed as she still blamed herself for what had happened to him.

She was lying on her cot when James suddenly burst in. She sat up and looked at him. When she heard what he said she jumped up into her feet. “Let’s go!” She rushed with him out to the helicopter and buckled herself in. She put on one of the helmets and looked at James and gave him a little nod.

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Post by Conleth on Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:05 pm

James had a co-pilot and side gunner. Isabella made the 4th in his chopper and there was one other equipped with missiles instead of a door gunner that accompanied them. Just like before the terrain was mostly just desert but it soon transformed into a more rocky, mountainous terrain. There were still sand drifts and hills to but the mountains loomed to the east and they knew seeing someone with a rocket launcher would be difficult so they decided to stay fairly far from the mountains. The base in question did appear to be on fire but as they lingered, Captain Watkins, the pilot of the other chopper radioed them. “We’re being pinged Major, someone’s trying to get a launcher lock on us, we can’t stay here!” he said in alarm.

‘Fuck!” he said and the two choppers began to move fast away from the blazing hillside. Hours passed and everyone knew it would be dark soon. Spotting ground threats in the dark were impossible and he turned back to look at isabella. He was about to tell her they needed to return when someone on the radio called out.

“Contact left! Contact left”!” they said. At first he thought it was someone with a launcher and he was about to roll the helicopter to the right in order to avoid them but it was isabella that called out what it was.

Tony had been walking for hours and hours. He was in terrible shape but what choice did he have? He used part of the leather smock he wore while in the armor to cover his head. The hot sun beat down upon him relentlessly and he knew he’d likely die of thirst in another day or so. All thought of that died though when he heard the unmistakable sound of a helicopter. The sound echoed off of the dunes and he stopped and turned his head to look behind him. Two helicopters flew over him at a low altitude and he knew that they were US helicopters. He raised his hands in triumph and he jumped and whooped excitedly at the prospect of rescue.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:12 pm

“It’s Tony! I see him!” Isabella cried out excitedly. Tears of relief came to her eyes and as the chopper touched down she and James rushed over to him. She hugged Tony first and then she stood back to let James hug him as well. She could tell that they needed to get Tony medical treatment. They got him into the helicopter and immediately headed back towards the base.

“How did you get out?” Isabella asked as she sat next to him.

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Post by Conleth on Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:36 pm

Tony drank from the offered canteen heartily and poured half of it over his head. He could feel Isabella’s eyes upon him and he bet she wished now that she had taken him up on his offer to accompany him to the resort. He could tell that she looked tired but also invigorated and also relieved as if finding him was important to her. “You act as if you’re happy to see me,” he said offhandedly not wanting to answer her question right away. Before he could say more though he felt consciousness slip away from him.

When they finally got him into the infirmary the doctors began to cut off his clothes. Before isabella left him though she saw the glow from his chest. She had never seen anything like it and didn’t know what it was, how it got there or why it was there. As they began to cut off his pants she was asked to leave though and James was there just outside the medical rooms and he handed her a cup of fresh coffee.

“You saw it to?” he asked. “I don't have a clue what it is but I suppose he’ll tell us when he wakes up again,” he said then put a hand on Isabella’s shoulder. “We found him Isabella, thats gotta feel good,” he said and smiled at her.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:44 pm

Isabella was beyond relieved that Tony had been found and was going to be alright. However, when they got him to the infirmary and removed his shirt she found herself looking at this strange device that was embedded into his chest. She had never seen anything like it. She reached out and gently touched it and realized it was right where his heart was.

When she was asked to leave she stepped out of the room and found James standing there with a cup of coffee for her. She took it and smiled at him. It was the first time she had smiled in months. “It feels incredible. I’ve never been so relieved about anything in my entire life. He looks like he’ll be ok. I’m sure he’ll be relieved to go home.”

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Post by Conleth on Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:54 pm

James only smirked as he sipped his coffee. Just like Pepper Potts, Isabella refused to address her feelings for Tony. Two women that were so tough and independent were absolutely terrified when it came to their feelings. Or perhaps, how Tony felt about them. ‘Women are strange’ he thought. If they just told him how they felt and he did not reciprocate then they could at least just move on. But maybe it wasn't as simple as that? For Isabella he understood. She had lost alot by remaining and refusing to give up on Tony’s return. “So then your going to tell him how you feel about him then?” He asked putting her on the spot on purpose. He liked to tease her this way. For himself he found isabella quite lovely but it was clear she wasn’t interested in him that way. He had put himself into the ‘friend’ zone with her just like he had with Pepper.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:59 pm

Isabella sighed and looked away before looking back at him. “I can’t tell him. I’ve had my heart broken three times now and it cannot take another. Tony likes his lifestyle. I doubt he feels the same way about me. He just wants me because I keep turning him down.”

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