Chapter 76: Hair Gel Boy and Mr. Light Bulb
At the same time, Coulson and Melinda were walking into a tent that had just been set up in the desert. This dark green tent was surrounded by a heavy tank, two armed armored vehicles, three large armored personnel carriers, five military-type Jeeps, and a radar communication vehicle. Above them, three more armed helicopters could be heard without being seen in the dark.
In this tent, which served as a temporary command center, the highest rank was a white gray haired brigadier general. But strangely enough, the many lieutenants, officers and even the brigadier general himself were all being mainly commanded at by a black man who was actually a Colonel.
Being the first to meet Coulson, this Colonel extended his right hand and introduced himself: “James Rhodes, Air Force Colonel.”
If Saint was present, he would definitely recognize this good friend of Iron Man, the future “War Machine”: Colonel James Rupert Rhodes!
Coulson shook Rhodes’s hand saying: “Phil Colson, CIA.”
Then, Colonel Rhodes shook hands with Melinda, before the three of them and the rest of the military in the room formed a circle and began to develop a plan of operations.
Not long after their discussion, a discordant voice came out: “Wait.”
The middle-aged old-fashioned Brigadier General, who had been silent all along, suddenly made his presence known and pointed to Coulson saying: “All your tactics revolve around your foreign aid, because you have this Super Boy of yours? Won’t that be fun, relying on him because he found Tony Stark? For all we know, he just found out where he was because he is some damn mutant! What did he do to prove himself? How can we rely on him to protect Stark?”
After his long ‘speech’, the gray-haired General turned around whispering with anger: “Why are we putting all our hopes in some 19-year-old kid?”
The many lieutenants and officers around seemed to agree, frowning and nodding slightly. Obviously, the General’s words were something they agreed with, as by habit, they only trusted their brothers in arms, not some random mysterious shady characters that suddenly popped out of nowhere…
“General, I understand your concern.” Coulson looked up to the general, his face unchanged, and he did not hesitate to endorse Saint: “But unlike us, you do not comprehend the power of Golden Boy. I can put my life on the line as guarantee that he could find and protect Tony Start without disturbing the enemy. We just need to wait to hear from him!”
“You’re kidding!” General Baker looked at Coulson with disdain and retorted: “Your word means nothing to me! Your life you say? What’s your life worth compared to that of Tony Stark?”
Coulson frowned slightly, and he answered coldly: “Well, our arguing about this right now is meaningless. Golden Boy does not work for us, nor is he bound by anyone. Right now, he is already in the cave where Tony Stark is.”
“WHAT?!!!!” Colonel Rhodes had remained neutral until now. But now, he sided with the General and screamed: “Do you know what you’re doing Agent Coulson? If something happens to Tony, you be damn sure that I’m taking your ass to martial court!”
With the two highest ranked officers both on the same side, the inferior lieutenants and officers all immediately gave Coulson their gazes of condemnation, and began to question him as well…
Their noise was getting louder, when suddenly the sound of interference noise coming out of Coulson’s pocket could be heard, followed by a muffled: “Hello? Is anyone there?” A voice that’s familiar to many ears could be heard, sealing the mouths of everyone questioning Coulson.
“Tony?” Rhodes recognized the voice instantly. Pushing the Brigadier General to the side, he rushed to Coulson shouting: “TONY! IS THAT YOU?”
“Shouting louder is useless…” Coulson pulled the high-frequency communication device out of his pocket, shaking it in his hand. Looking at Rhodes, he explained: “If I don’t press the call button, he won’t hear you!”
At this moment, from the device, another voice could be heard: “Why is no one responding? You didn’t mess up the device, did you, Mr. Light Bulb?”
The mocking voice of Tony Stark followed once again: “Hair Gel Kid, shut up! I have seven PhDs, how many do you have? Oh, excuse me; did you even graduate from junior high?”
In this dead silence, Coulson remained stunned for a while, before popped up a plate hiding a row of buttons on his device. Holding one of them, he said: “Mr. Stark?”
Tony then immediately yelled: “Hello! Who is this?”
“Tony!” Now knowing how to use the device, Colonel Rhodes snatched it from Coulson’s hand saying: “You son of a bitch! Good to hear your voice again!”
“Rody?” Tony suddenly stopped yelling, sounding much more serious: “You’ve been looking for me?”
“Those were my orders!” Despite his sarcastic tone, Rhodes’s eyes were slightly watery: “Otherwise, do you really think I would come to the middle of nowhere?”
No believing this excuse, Tony did not joke around, saying in a cold voice: “Rody, keep this for later. For now, let’s go home!”
“Alright! I’m coming to pick you up right now! I’ll contact you when I arrive!”
After Colonel Rhodes temporarily ended the call, he slammed the table and began to issue a series of tactical orders. No one argued; in fact, everyone in the tent understood: They were in a race against time!
Well, that’s just what they thought; reality was rather different….
On the other side of the call, Tony Stark pulled out an old grenade from a concealed corner in the cave. He was trying to set it up under the cold Iron Gate, when Saint approached him: “Hey… Hello… what do you want with that?”
Tony, who had already been let down once by the military, was certain that the military raid would not be reliable, at least not as reliable as Saint who managed to sneak in. Therefore, he kept trying to set up his trap, as he answered Saint: “Once Rody attacks from the outside, the Ten Commandments’ men will come to me immediately!”