While you traveled in the car, feet up on the dash, you looked at him. “Who are you anyway? What do they want?” It was a fair question. Well, two fair questions.
With barely a beat passing, his grip tightened on the steering wheel. “They want their property back.” It took a second for your mind to wrap around the idea. He stole from them? Who was he? Why wouldn’t he answer clearly?
Finally your mind wrapped around the larger question. “Who are… They?” Was he some crazy conspiracy theorist? Although, it was clear there was some sort of conspiracy… It was eerie how his head turned slowly until his eyes were boring into yours.
“Hydra.” The way he said that single word dripped with so much venom you felt you were going to asphyxiate by being in the same car. Shit. Hydra? Shit. In the few moments it had taken to process that little tidbit of information he had turned back to the road.
If Hydra was his enemy and Hydra was evil, then he had to be good right? The enemy of your enemy is your friend. That sounded decently sane. “I… Okay. I trust you.” That was your best and only option at the moment it seemed. The car jerked with a burst of speed and you were startled for a moment. Was he okay?
No, but he wasn’t about to tell you that. The world wasn’t black and white. He knew that. He wasn’t sure that you did. The world was grey and darker grey. It just so happened that for once, the darker grey wasn’t him. You trusted him. Bloody fucking great.
Ignoring the darker mood that suddenly fell over the car, you leaned over to look at the dash. “We need gas,” you pointed out. When he grunted in reply you nearly groaned. You were back to monosyllabic conversations, brilliant.
When you finally pulled into the gas station, you nearly breathed a sigh of relief. The air in the car was stale and bitter and a temporary alleviation might be of use. He slipped out of the car and you did the same. There wasn’t a particular item you wanted at the convenience store but you needed to stretch your legs.
As you started to browse the items, you hummed a small tune. That tune was cut short when you felt the cold steel pressed against the back of your head. Your shoulders tensed and you waited for some sort of verbal command. No way you were turning around. Did they finally catch up with Sarge? He was outside, was he okay?
A deep voice rumbled from behind you. “Miss _____ ______. You need to come with us.” Well they weren’t giving you much of a choice were they.
You were nervous to but you finally asked, “What does this have to do with?” Your voice was shaky and you hated it.
“Your father. Walk out the door and follow along with our instructions and everything will be just fine.” You did as the man said, noting that there wasn’t a clerk in sight. Had this all been a set up?
A black van was outside the door and the man herded you into it. Your car, you noted, was gone and Sarge was nowhere in sight. Had he been in on this? You weren’t sure what to think. You climbed in the van and sat in the back, and slightly after you had done that, a sharp pain struck the back of your head and everything went black.
It could have been minutes later or hours later, but you were finally coming to. Your mind painfully and difficulty broached the subject of where you were and why, although the latter part was very vague. Making sure not to stir, you pondered what you knew and what you wanted to know. How did your father have anything to do with this? He was a diplomat for heaven’s sake. And on the security council. Were these the men who killed him?
Very little information had been supplied to you, but you knew that he’d been murdered. After S.H.I.E.L.D.’s secrets had been spilled on the web, you’d read only a little about your father and his death. Unlike most people after losing a parent, vengeance wasn’t your your top priority. These men were highly dangerous and scary. They had to be, your father was surrounded by guards and hired personnel constantly. Or had been at least. But what did they want with you? You’d been his secretary to earn your way through college. He’d probably been grooming you to take over his position, but you never really had an interest in that.
Did they think you knew anything about his murder? About them? You didn’t, of course. No one had told you anything. You had heard that it was some sort of connection to the S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra conspiracy but there had been a ton of rumors circulating. And after the web dump, couldn’t anybody know everything?
You peaked one eye open for just a few seconds before closing them again. Two agents sat in the back but it was clear which one was in charge. The younger one asked his superior in a hushed voice, "Sir, the Winter Soldier was spotted but seems to have gotten away. What should we do?"
His superior shook his head and replied, "We can reel him back at any time. This is our mission now." Your mind reeled. The Winter Soldier. Sargent James Buchanan Barnes. Sarge. Holy fucking hell in a handbasket. You'd been harboring the Winter Soldier. You'd been giving him a ride. And if... These were Hydra men. You'd been captured by Hydra. You were so fucked.
The agent driving leaned back and announced, "Three-six. We have reached the midpoint." Well if you were going to get any information out of them, it had to be now, you guessed. Stirring, you moved, although slowly, so you were at least sitting upright on the floor.
When they noticed your new awakening, they stirred a little bit as well. "You're awake. Listen," the older agent started, "I knew your father. He was a great man. Now we need something from you." Hydra needed something from you? What could they possibly want? You wondered if they knew you knew they were Hydra or not. Would they tell you? Or was it best not to ask. You knew what happened to people who knew too much.
Feigning innocence, you replied, "May he rest in peace. What do you need from me?" You hoped you sounded just willing enough, but not fake. It was best to convince them of your compliance, right?
The man seemed satisfied with your answer and replied, "Simply put, we'd like you to take over your father's position." What? Why would they want that? Diplomatic positions weren't exactly hereditary to begin with and you were so young and inexperienced.
Shaking your head and continuing your innocent act, you tilted your head. "How would I do that?" Again, you reminded yourself it was best to not ask why. People who asked why got hurt.
"When the... Discrepancy between Shield and,” He cleared his throat, “that evil agency happened, there was no doubt in anyone's mind that your father was anything less than noble. He was cleared of any wrongdoings, after his... Tragic end. You have the reputation of your father's name and we believe with your skill set you'd make an excellent choice for this position. You worked for your father for a time, did you not?" The man made a convincing argument, to be honest, but you couldn't help but note calling Hydra 'that evil agency'. So he assumed you didn't know. That gave you an advantage.
That seemed to remind him of something though. "However, before we continue. I have to ask about the... Man you were traveling with." His voice was stern now and you blinked owlishly at him.
You tilted your head pretending to try and conjure up an image of him. "Sarge?" At the mention of that, the man bristled uncomfortably. Shit, you should have came up with a fake name for him. It was too late now.
The man made no reply to your question and continued, "What is your relationship with that man?" Well this part was fairly easy. No lying involved.
Honestly, you answered, "He was at a truck stop I was at and offered me money to take him cross-country." Again, luckily this time, the man seemed satisfied with your answer. If he had suspected you were keeping things from him, it probably wouldn't take very long for things to turn ugly. "I don't really know anything about him." You were on a roll so you figured to continue. "He just grunted and didn't really say much. Probably not more than one word the whole trip."
You might as well add onto your act, you gasped, throwing a little anger in. "Does he have my car still? Did he steal my car?" It served as a good distraction technique and your answers seemed to have satisfied the agent. It was also not totally an act. Seriously, where the fuck was your car.
He shook his head and replied, "Don't worry ma'am, we'll make sure that everything is taken care of. Now about that job..." He paused and you nodded, giving him leave to continue. "We would be willing to... Fund your position, should you agree with certain terms and values our organization upholds."
Things were much clearer now. Now seemed like a fine time to ask. "What organization is that, may I ask?" You made sure to mask any venom in your voice with ignorance and naivety.
The agent cleared his throat and pulled a business card out of his inside pocket, handing it to you. You took it in your hands and read it. "The Mangusto Foundation?" You tilted your head and the man nodded.
With a greasy smile on his face, he recited, "We're an organization that specializes in humanities projects." That sounded shiny. A nice new front for Hydra. "We've taken a special interest in you and we would like to involve you in our work." You had to stop yourself from squirming uncomfortably at his words.
You sat up, crossed your arms, and raised an eyebrow, "Is that why you held me at gunpoint to get me in this car? And then knocked me unconscious?" If you didn't say something he certainly would have found that suspicious.
He crossed and uncrossed his legs, replying, "We needed to take certain precautions that you would... See eye to eye with us." Your look didn't fade but you uncrossed your arms. "Your safety is the upmos--" Before he could finish that sentence, the vehicle lurched to the side, and you grabbed the seat under you.
"We're under attack!" The driver announced. Part of you was terrified and another part was relieved. The driver of the van and the driver of the other car were engaging in a battle of skill and you winced as the agent in the passenger seat withdrew a gun and began firing at the car on your left. You still could barely see it, and your eyes shut instinctively at the loud sound of the gunfire.
A loud expletive from the driver was the last thing you heard before you slammed into the wall of the vehicle and everything went black for the second time that day. You were getting really fucking sick of going unconcious, that was for sure.