Calling Captain America

Discussion in 'ONE ON ONES IN CHARACTER' started by RealisticFantasy, Sep 11, 2015.

    • Discover the hidden history of Cora Matthews and Steve Rogers as the pair fight the world's villains alongside the Avengers. Cora leaves behind everything she's known as a HYDRA experiment to join the people she once thought of as the enemy. As she is slowly introduced to a world where charity and friendship, she discovers the broken past that HYDRA has created for her. Picking up the pieces leads to her discovery of her biggest inner conflict; Will the world see her as a hero or a villain?

      Follow Cora as she learns about the marvels of the modern world and remembers the ghost of romance's past, struggling with whether to rekindle an old flame or to let it die out. Will everything work out for the best or will the pressure force someone to leave the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. for a simpler life?

      • Cora Marie Matthews
        Nicknames: Subject Zero, Project Crimson

        Abilities: Rapid cellular regeneration, multiple language fluency, HYDRA combat training and weapon proficiency, manipulation through sympathy tactics, increased pain tolerance

        Role: Ex-HYDRA Science Experiment/Avenger-in-training

        Age: 91 years old (Appearance of a 20-something year old)

        Gender: Female

        Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual

        Relationship Status: It's complicated

        Height: 5'5"

        Weight: 119 lbs.

        Health and Well-Being: Other than constant operation and chemical experimentation by HYDRA operatives in the past, Cora has a clean bill of health

        Scars/Piercings/Tattoos: N/A

        Known Language(s): English, German, Russian, French, Italian, Spanish

        Notable Relationships:

        • Irene Matthews - Mother (Deceased)
        • Nathaniel Matthews - Father (Deceased)
        • Alice Matthews - Sister (Deceased)
        • Ann Matthews - Sister (Deceased)
        • Benjamin Matthews - Brother (Deceased)
        • Nicholas Matthews - Brother (Deceased)
        • Lillie Matthews - Sister (Deceased)
        • Valerie Mathews - Sister (Deceased)
        • Christopher Mathews - Brother (Deceased)
        • Steve Rogers - Fiancé

      • Birth Date: November 15, 1923

        City of Birth: Brooklyn, NY

        Criminal Record: Previous affiliation with HYDRA

        General Background: Cora was born into a large but poor family. She inadvertently got herself mixed into HYDRA when answering an ad looking for test subjects. Many people weren’t as opposed to experimentation as they used to be before Steve Rodgers had become Captain America. The company was offering much needed money so Cora answered. Upon arriving to the posted address, she was taken to an underground bunker. Little did she know, she wouldn’t leave that bunker for decades.

        Cora was, at first, entirely adverse to HYDRA for taking her captive. But years and years of brainwashing can take its toll on your rational thinking. She began to believe that Captain America and any of his associates were pure evil. HYRDA trained her to kill, as much as it was against everything she had believed before this became her life.

        Through many forms of painful experimentation, she had somewhere along the way gained the ability of what HYDRA called "rapid cellular regeneration." It essentially gave her the ability to live forever. Any wound was healed almost instantly, though larger ones (such as a severed limb) could take a few minutes. It was something HYDRA highly treasured and couldn't seem to replicate. In order to keep from losing their prized possession, they would move her from base to base constantly and keep her contact with the outside world as minimal as possible.

        Agents, soldiers, commanders... they would all come and go. They would age and die, but Cora stayed young. They constantly tested the extent of her abilities, watching her die and come back to life. They tried to replicate her abilities through repeating the same experiments on other subjects but they would all die far before they even got through half the tests she had survived. So they tried to transplant her blood, her tissues, her organs, anything but the subjects would get violently ill as their bodies rejected the transplant, often resulting in death.

        Cora was recently rescued from a HYDRA base by the one and only Captain America. After an HYDRA invasion to Avengers Tower in an attempt to retrieve her, Cora turned against them. She is currently under supervision through a tracking bracelet that records her vitals, location, and various other important elements to keep tabs on her.

      • Hobbies/Interests: Self-education, bring down HYDRA through any means

        Important Goals or Desires: To full retain her memories, to destroy any trace of HYDRA

        General Personality: Cora is a generally kind person, despite the circumstances she has gotten herself into. She loves to learn and spent the majority of her time studying everything from language to math to arts while imprisoned by HYDRA. She can be very manipulative and quickly turn a situation on its head. A conversation with her may seem like fun and games as she makes a constant stream of sarcastic remarks but she uses them as a device to encourage her enemy to let her guard down.

        Having been shown the worst of the Avengers and brainwashed for years, she was under the impression that they were everything that's wrong with the world. If she were given the chance, she would've gone after them herself. The leaders of HYDRA, however, refused to release her because she lacks the inhuman physical and mental advantages that would allow her to defeat them permanently and her emotional willpower was deemed "unstable".

        Her attitude toward the constant experimentation was quiet compliance. After all, compliance, she was told, would be rewarded. She was unaware that the members of HYDRA only viewed her as a pawn in their game, their brainwashing causing her to see them as the heroes. Having been locked in a bunker for decades, she was unaware of the actual passage of time despite watching people she once viewed as friends age and die.

        Having now met the Avengers and been unofficially officially dubbed an "Avenger in training," she no longer sees the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. as the enemy. Though her emotions are generally stable, she can experience episodes of intense aggression and lack of sympathy when it comes to members of HYDRA that played a key role in her imprisonment. She currently struggles with understanding her "memories" and trying to determine what is fact and what is fiction. Despite experiencing inexplicable emotions toward Steve Rogers, she has yet to piece together her past with him.

      Steve Grant Rogers

      Nicknames: Captain America, Cap (by close friends and associates)

      Born: July 4th, 1918

      Abilities: Peak human abilities (including super-strength, speed, enhanced reflexes and stamina), regenerative healing factor, highly trained mixed martial artist

      Background: Born to Sarah and Joseph Rogers on Tuesday June 4th, 1918, Steve lived alone with his mother as a child due to the fact that his father had been killed before he was born during World War I, growing up as a kid with a "small stature" and a generally poor physical condition. Eventually, he came to befriend James "Bucky" Barnes after being attacked by bullies out on the street who poked fun at him for his appearance before being defended by who would eventually be his closest friend, having been inspired by Rogers' strong spirit. Even after his mother died from tuberculosis and attempted to close himself off because of it, Bucky stuck very closely with Steve and vowed to "be with him till the end of the line".

      Sometime after World War II started, Steve became motivated to join the United States Military in order to help with the fight against the Nazis, but was rejected by numerous enlistment offices time and time again for being nowhere close to meeting their requirements. Eventually, he was finally accepted in an enlistment office at the Stark Expo in 1941 by Dr. Abraham Erskine for "Project Rebirth" after he overheard a conversation between him and Bucky involving his determination to assist in the war, and was then subjected to a gruelling training regime where he was often mocked by the other soldiers who trained there. It wasn't until he displayed an act of self-sacrifice upon being tested by Colonel Chester Phillips that he gained recognition for the person he was, making him stand out amongst others and made him become chosen to undergo the procedure that would turn him into a "super soldier".

      Exhibiting amazing super strength amongst a host of other heightened abilities for Rogers to use at his disposal, he went on to be a very recognized figure as the world's first superhero and fought many battles against the HYDRA organization, fighting with the Howling Commandos and- much to his utter despair- losing Bucky along the way after going on a mission to take down HYDRA's lead scientist, Arnim Zola.

      During his final mission to take down Johann Schmidt, also recognized as the Red Skull, Steve was eventually forced to crash a bomber-plane into the Arctic with him still inside it to prevent millions of people in New York City from dying, which led to him being preserved in the ice there for almost 70 years. In 2012, he was discovered by a S.H.I.E.L.D. team that went out looking for his body, and after being released from the ice he was trapped in he was thrust into a world he barely recognized, and was forced to adjust to modern customs and ways of the world that he was not already familiar with. After that, he went on to fight with Avengers for the Battle of New York and is now fighting a war against HYDRA after having managed to stop them from completely destroying S.H.I.E.L.D, following an uprising within the organization.

      Personality: Steve is recognized by the people around him as a very resilient and strong-willed man, always staying true to his beliefs and believing in the ideal of pure honesty and trust amongst people. It's a quality about him that can cause people to think of him as being naïve (this is most notable during some occasions where he interacts with Tony Stark), but that never stops him from enforcing these policies to the best of his ability. He's always putting the safety of everyone else before his own, and resolves to eliminate any threats to said safety before they can cause any significant damage. However, despite all this, he has grown to be a firm leader during his time with the Avengers and finds himself to be the one who mostly coordinates the team's actions during any battle they may be faced with.

    Cora couldn't recall when her obsession with training began. Time wasn't exactly her strong suit. It didn't help that HYDRA wasn't too keen on calendars, clocks, or anything of the sort. She didn't exactly mind it, though. It was almost freeing to not be ruled by time as most people seemed to be. Since she had come to the facility, time hadn’t meant much to Cora but it seemed to mean plenty to things that saw a lot of use and to other people. Time would make their skin sag. It would make their wrinkles more prominent. It would make their voices sad and their bodies tired. In the grand scheme of things, time would kill them. Sometimes she would forget that they had died. Sometimes she would forget death was a thing, let alone a word. She would, on occasion, ask for this person or that person. The response would be short and emotionless. “They’re dead.”

    Perhaps that was where her lack of expression began. HYDRA officers would much rather reprimand her for getting upset than be there to console her. So she learned to keep it to herself. This worked to her benefit and lead to much praise in various exercises that required a stoic demeanor. Cora preferred to think that she had always been this way rather than it being a change. That was because she couldn't recall what she was changing from. As far back as she could remember, this facility or others like it had been all she knew. Before that... was nothing. She was certain there had to be some memory of her formative years even if she found it in someone else but whenever she would inquire about it, she would be told to resume whatever task had been assigned to her.

    The tasks varied from taking an assessment to participating in a drill to one of HYDRA's games. At least, that’s what they called it. It wasn’t much of a game, seeing as she always won and the titles were far too long to pay attention to. Something along the lines of “Let’s see who can withstand more electrocution” or “Who can lose the most blood and still be alive?” The games were not fun. She instead preferred to train on her own, punching her frustration out of a punching bag or a sparring partner. She used to have a partner she would talk to. Now, she didn't talk to much of anyone. Even if she did, they hardly even humored her with a response.

    Cora finishes off the punching bag with a solid kick, stepping aside so as to not be hit by the back swing. "Excellent job, darling." The voice of one of her superiors rang out throughout the gym preceded by a slow clapping that could only be taken as condescending. Cora turns to face the man, biting back a grimace. As obedient as she was, she couldn't help but be at least mildly disgusted by the man that stood before her. "I hope you haven't gotten too comfortable here because we're moving you." Cora's expression betrays her for just a moment to hint to her confusion but she recollects herself and keeps her mouth shut as the doctor continues. "I know you haven't been here long but that's just how the job is."

    As if summoned by the doctor's words, a small group of soldiers enters the room with just a fraction of too much enthusiasm. This evacuation was unexpected. Cora smirks slightly as she comes to the realization and the doctor vanishes from the room. They kept her in a small building a distance away from the main facility. They didn't want her to know this but she caught a glimpse of the area of the flight over before someone snapped the window cover down. The group of soldiers shove her in the direction of the exit, marching at a quickened, even pace. Cora walks along, rolling her lip between her teeth as she wondered what the cause of the commotion was.
    #1 RealisticFantasy, Sep 11, 2015
    Last edited: May 28, 2017
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  1. Another day, another facility to raid, another fight to organize. It was for about a good year that the Avengers- along with whatever was left of S.H.I.E.L.D. after the organization was very severely crippled- had been waging a very intense war against HYDRA following the chain of events that had taken place in Washington D.C., and as per routine, Steve Rogers once again focusing on leading his superpowered team into battle so they could seek out the remains of the shadowy group and then put an end to them for good. This time, they were on a mission in the seemingly uninhabited Alaskan wilderness, where they were able to locate an isolated facility that HYDRA was currently putting to use for what was labelled as "enhanced experiments" and quickly set out to put it out of commission. As long as these places still existed, there would always be the risk that mankind itself would once again be in danger of being either enslaved or nearly exterminated.

    "Stark, have you found an entrance yet?"
    "Workin' on it, Cap. I'm not seeing any force field that's been set up, but I'm also a little busy with the heavy artillery outside the building."
    "Got it. Let me know if you have an update."

    With a forward launch of his arm, the Captain threw his shield towards a HYDRA soldier standing just in front of his left flank and watched it ricochet off of him before it collided into his partner on the opposite side, incapacitating both men and leaving Steve to use the magnetic padding on the right forearm area of his suit to pull the projectile back into his grasp while he sprinted amidst the many trees that surrounded him. Causing the snow beneath his boots to crunch with every hurried step of his feet, he made a lone approach towards the facility while his fellow teammates worked to clear out the rest of the area, hearing many gunshots and explosions echoing through the open air. For a moment, Steve allowed himself to think about how much this was like the old days, back when he was fighting a very real war as America's last hope to turn the tide of it. He had a feeling that he knew for a very long time that he was just destined to follow this path... To work without rest for the sake of the people who couldn't defend themselves. This was his life; the person he'd chosen to become and be recognized as by so many other people.

    "Just opened up an entrance at the West Wing. You'd better get moving, Rogers."
    "I'm on it. You just make sure that nobody inside gets a chance to leave. Romanoff, how's Banner doing?"
    "Eh. He'll probably be occupied for the next couple of minutes or so."
    "Alright. Make sure to keep an eye on him."

    Steve continued moving swiftly and without pause through the forest, encountering several more enemy troopers on his way to the West Wing of the building and taking them out with ease thanks to the assistance of his shield, both defensively and offensively. Eventually he was able to make his way inside after a relatively short period of time, slowing down his pace to more reserved strides as he carefully peered around the interior of the place and checked to see if there was anyone still left. He wanted to be a little more cautious than normal while exploring; thinking back to how he and the team weren't able to confirm if there were any test subjects being held within the base, he remained as alert as ever so that he wouldn't end up getting jumped by an unexpected enhanced that may have been by some chance allowed to roam the halls and seek out the Avengers. For a little while, the Captain's search was uneventful, but then his attention was diverted over another hallway when he heard quick and synchronized steps ringing out across the floor from there, prompting him to hide behind a wall so that he wouldn't be prematurely detected. There were indeed still soldiers inside, but it seemed as though they were heading someplace specific as opposed to rushing outside to join the battle, piquing Steve's curiosity and motivating him to follow close behind.
  2. The sounds of combat were not unfamiliar. Training, drills, and every variation thereof were occurring almost constantly. The sirens and panic that promptly greeted her as she left the comfort of her training area, however, were a bit strange. It felt like it had been a long time since something similar to this had occurred. But, then again, Cora wasn't too confident in her time keeping skills. There was clearly something or some things that HYDRA was hellbent on keeping in their possession.

    Her barrier of escorts made it hard to see her surroundings and their pace increased more as the once distant sounds of combat became longer and more distinct. As they descended the stairs, he mind began to wander. She figured that she could take the six soldiers without too much effort by causing the one on her right - the scrawnier of the pair on either side of her - to lose his footing and fall into the two following. Then, while the solider on her left was still surprised, she would throw him over the railing and be left with two to actually fight. But she, being a smart girl, would have taken the left hand soldier's gun before flipping him over the railing so it would only be a matter of two shots to the abdomens of the two soldiers in front. It would have been easy. She knew she could do it with minimal effort and escape out into the world.

    Although this she had analyzed an escape route in the matter of a few seconds, she didn't initiate the plan. The analysis was involuntary, part of the training that was beaten into her. Even if she did escape, she wouldn't know what to do next. She didn't know how to live without her HYDRA companions. They had become a sort of family despite their cruel treatment. Despite this, she was stupid enough to not dislike them. The 'treatments' and tests had become routine but her acceptance of it didn't cloud her mind from recognizing that she didn't like it.

    The group reaches the bottom of the stairs, standing in front of a large metallic door. It looked like it had just about fifty different kinds of locks and deadbolts built directly into it. The two leading soldiers step to the side and the pair at her side push her forward. "Put your hand on the scanner," one of the soldiers says in a monotonous tone. Her stoic expression falters a moment and her confusion slips into her words. "What? Me?" The soldier that gave the command lets out an exasperated sigh as if she had been nothing but uncooperative all day. He grabs her hand and places it on the scanner which flashes green, reading "Access Granted" at the top. The silence is broken by the sound of mechanisms that had had sat still for years slowly shifting into motion as the door begins to open.

    Cora stares into the corridor ahead as her stoic expression returns but her mind races with confusion. This certainly was a complicated drill for an evacuation. And that was saying something, considering how many she had been through. The corridor ahead provided just enough room for a pair of soldiers to walk side by side and enough light to just see a few feet ahead. A pair entered the corridor in front of her and another pair followed in behind her. The remaining two turned and stood guard in front of the door as Cora and the four started into the darkness ahead.
  3. "How's it going in there, Cap?" Barton asked from his end of his commlink.
    "Looks like we may have an enhanced on the playing field. I'll be in touch; going radio silent for now."

    Steve's quiet pursuit of the small convoy of HYDRA soldiers led him to discover that there was a girl being very closely escorted to what was presumably an emergency exit, taking into account the large metal door that rested in front of the bottom of the stairway close to the wall that he was currently leaning against in order to conceal himself. He heard a brief interaction taking place between one of the guards and the female that they were protecting, and then in the next moment that followed, the sealed passageway slowly began to open with the numerous sounds of metallic clanks that originated from the locks coming undone. He wondered just what exactly the girl's importance here was; while it was likely that she was indeed an enhanced subject as per his assumption, it was also possible that she was a member of importance to the organization in some way whether she was here against her will or not. He didn't have any way of really knowing right now because in all of the research he'd done alongside the team, she hadn't appeared in any of the files left behind by HYDRA, so all that was left for him to do was take her into custody himself.

    The two guards standing in front of the entrance had very little time to react as they were suddenly knocked back onto the ground by the Captain's ricocheting Vibranium shield, leaving him to make his descent down the steps in a single leap after catching it and landing with a front roll that helped him to make his advance. He knew he'd have to act quickly given the very tight coordination between the troops so that he wouldn't get shot, and he did; another throw of his shield knocked down both soldiers on the left, and enabled him to take out the last two defenders with a powerful jumping front kick to the rear one. In all of several seconds, Steve and the mysterious woman who was once being guarded by the now incapacitated men were the only ones left standing, and he almost immediately dealt with her by grabbing her firmly by the hand and leading her down the same path she was meant to take with a briefly spoken, "You're coming with me." Shortly after that, he contacted the rest of the Avengers over the communication device built into his helmet to let them know of the situation.

    "How are things going on the outside?"

    "We've got the perimeter secured," Stark answered. "No need to worry about 'em anymore. I'll just need a moment to check and see if there are any files left inside the building that we could pull up."

    "Good. I've got a captive in tow with me; be ready to meet me at the Quinjet in a few minutes."
    "Who's the captive? The enhanced?" Barton inquired.
    "Possibly one, but I don't have any confirmation of that yet. Natasha; if you haven't given Banner a lullaby yet, now would be a good time to do it."
    "Already on it."
    #4 grey987, Sep 23, 2015
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
  4. There was a sound of metal colliding with the armor of one of the soldier. It was faint enough that her entourage seemed to have missed it but Cora turns around to see if she could pinpoint the source. Instead of following her lead, the following soldiers shove her forward, seeming to be entirely unconcerned with the source. She assumed they were given explicit orders to continue at all costs. Opening her mouth to comment on it, she is interrupted by the sound of conflict right behind her. Dropping to the ground to avoid contact with the metallic shield, she grabs a pistol from the unconscious soldier in front of her and slips it into an inconspicuous hiding spot on her while the man of the hour was distracted. Cora wore a black Kevlar suit similar to that of Widow's, save for the patches of red, breathable material that ran down the sides of her abdomen and the HYDRA emblem on her left breast. It was meant for combat but it had never seen it so it provided many hidden pockets and compartments for weapons and ammunition despite being form fitting.

    After the conflict ceased, she gets to her feet again, her eyes raking over the man with the shield. Decades of training, torture, and brainwashing were intended for this moment. Instead of the hatred and disgust she expected to wash over her when she faced her enemy, she was instead excited and a small bit nervous. Her expression gave no hint to that as her mind raced. For years, she had been brainwashed to believe that he was the reason everything went wrong for her, for HYDRA, for the world. He was only going to hunt down and murder people like her in cold blood simply because they might threaten his glory. As much as she would have enjoyed putting a bullet in his brain and completing her mission, she knew that this wasn't the time.

    The grip he had on her would allow him to use his superior strength to disarm her. She had the advantage when it came to endurance and, she assumed, flexibility so she needed a playing field that would dampen his strengths and heighten her own. For now, she was going to wage an informational war and see what she could learn from being a 'captive' as he so eloquently put it. Her eyes scanned over the men that lay unconscious or dead on the ground as they pass. Some of them she knew, less of them she liked but it was still like seeing her whole family slaughtered at her feet.

    Her emotions were fighting a silent battle, however, as her nervousness - and frustration at the confusing emotions - were contrasted by a thrill. She was finally getting the chance she always wanted to prove herself worthy. She would be cooperative to an extent and observant, playing a game of intellectual cat and mouse until she would reveal some 'deep HYDRA secrets' and earn their trust. They would play right in her hands. And when they let their guard down... Bam! She would swoop in and shatter the Avengers, leaving her superiors with no competition. Because there would be no pride in just killing them. No. That wouldn't give her superiors the satisfaction that would translate to a form of pride as it trickled down their corporate ladder. She would have to break them, humiliate them, and turn the whole world against them. Given their track record of cold-blooded murder, it wouldn't be all too challenging to bring light to the situation.

    She was formulating her plan of attack, all these thoughts swirling in her head and drowning out outside distractions when her own voice broke the stream of thoughts and her focus began to shift back to reality."If you're supposed to be my knight in shining armor, you're a little late." She had to shout slightly and her subconscious mind accounted for that. It had to because her conscious mind wouldn't allow her to speak to Captain Chaos who now held her prisoner. The sarcastic teasing was intended to lighten his attitude, a psychological tactic she learned in her early days. Playing a brooding, confused girl who kept her cards close to her chest but eventually warmed up enough to show her true colors would have the Avengers eating out of the palm of her hand.

    Sirens were still going off but in a different pattern now and red emergency lights flashed about every three seconds. A man who was clearly trying to sound professional and calm - but was failing miserably - was shouting over an intercom system. "Attention, Subject Zero has missed the rendezvous point. I repeat, Subject Zero has been intercepted. Retrieve at all costs. Retrieve. At. Al--" The man is interrupted by a sound of some sort of discharge. The weaponry discharges a few times more but the sound is muffled, presumably by the corpse of the the man before the intercom clicks off. Cora looks down at her feet, trying to pair the voice with a name or a face and mumbling to herself, "Shoot first, ask questions later, I suppose."
  5. "If you're supposed to be my knight in shining armor, you're a little late."
    "Consider it to be fashionable."

    Another modern expression that he'd picked up from Tony, used to counter the sarcasm delivered to him by the apparent nonchalant company he had with him for the moment. It was still rather baffling whenever Steve had taken the time to ponder it, how much the world had changed while he had been trapped in a coma for such a long time. He never could quite get used to some things, and there was definitely still a lot he needed to catch up on if he were to consider himself a man of the present as much as he was a man of the past. As evident in this particular scenario, one of the things he'd managed to learn as time in this era went on was that many people seemed to be a lot more lax about things in general, and would use humor no matter how crude to try to play them off as not being anything to be even the littlest bit concerned about. Sure, that kind of thing existed in his time as well, but still... There appeared to be a lot more of that in this period of time that he found himself in.

    Thankfully for him, the woman hadn't made any sort of fuss thus far or made any attempts to resist against his hold, so that would make the trip outside to the Quinjet all the more convenient considering some of the distance still left to cover from here all the way to the Avengers' aerial transport vehicle. He wanted to have her put in the containment facility Tony had built back at the Tower in New York at the earliest possible convenience, so that he and the team could question her and maybe find out some information about HYDRA that they weren't currently knowledgeable of. It definitely wouldn't be easy, knowing the nature of the organization firsthand, but they had to use any available means they could find in order to shut them down for good and prevent them from causing any more trouble than they already had.

    The Captain said nothing in response to the woman's comment as they neared the exit to the complex, having heard the commotion over the intercom and finding himself mildly disturbed by the abrupt cut-off of the message that was meant to be delivered to the troops. He wasn't very affected by the sound of the firearm going off; it was more so the thought of how HYDRA's higher-ups were so quick to execute their own people if they were to fail to do their job properly. Murdering people of the enemy faction was one thing, but to murder the very people who would side with you was another, and that prospect unsettled Steve to almost no end.

    On another note, now he knew another bit of info from the brief announcement: by all indications, it seemed as though there was something of value to them which was labelled as "Subject Zero", and the girl that was with him was that very thing. He was definitely right to assume that she had some sort of importance to them, and now it was just a matter of finding out what specifically she meant to them.

    "Nothing left to find here, Cap," Tony informed Steve over their comms. "Not anything important, anyway. If there were any files here to look at, then they were all wiped before we managed to get inside. You coming out with your... 'captive', right now?"

    "Sounds weird, I know. I'm headed towards you guys right now, we just left the building."
    "Do you know who it is?"
    "Aside from being female and a very probable enhanced, no. But we'll find out more about her once we get back to HQ."

    The snow beneath the two crunched lightly as they treaded through the bare wilderness outside, the Captain's grip on the woman's arm remaining firm the whole way through. He had absolutely no intention of letting her slip away, because if she did, then the team would lose a very important opportunity to find out more about what HYDRA was currently up to. After their vicious attack against S.H.I.E.L.D. about a year ago, they'd gone back to hiding in the shadows and their activity was not necessarily an easy thing to keep track of. The Avengers would need to be on top of it nonetheless, otherwise the enemy would be making a move and they wouldn't see it coming.

    There were only a few more minutes that passed, then the Quinjet and the rest of the team finally came into view before they boarded the plane. "I hope you like long flights, because this trip is going to take a while," Steve commented in a tone that was a little too serious sounding to truly be deemed sarcastic, noting the holstered pistol at her hip shortly afterward and taking it into his grasp before setting the girl down in a seat and then sitting across from her while the others either stood or sat around inside the Quinjet. Meanwhile, with his armor now stripped from his body, Tony was sitting at the pilot's seat and was working to manually start it up.

    "This is the woman that you took as your prisoner?" Thor inquired with a raised brow, with Mjølnir in hand while he examined the person in question.

    "Indeed it is," Steve answered simply, turning over the sidearm in his hand and examining it quietly for a few moments before looking back at the woman, preferring not to inadvertently discuss anything vital while she was in their presence. Now that he was getting a good look at her, he could see from her eyes that she appeared to be a very cold and calculating person in spite of her evident demeanor; someone who was resilient and refused to crack under pressure. He let his gaze linger on her for a little bit longer before he then finally asked, "You mind telling us a little about yourself, young lady?"
    #6 grey987, Sep 30, 2015
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
  6. The sudden blast of cold air sent a shiver down Cora's spine and an equally chilling thought of just how long it had been since she had been on the other side of HYDRA's facility's walls. She found her gaze dropping to the snow with a childlike amazement that took her a moment to hide. Her mind started to wander to days of before HYDRA that she knew had to exist but she just couldn't recall. Needless to say, her feelings about both HYDRA and the man who currently held her captive were mixed and didn't show any signs of being sorted out soon.

    Cora took the moment of silence to look around the interior of the Quinjet. It wasn't too unlike HYDRA's own preferred forms of transportation but the technology still felt foreign to her. HYDRA was keen on keeping her under strict lock and key and they rarely let so much as a walkie-talkie in her presence. They followed a strict philosophy that if she were to get her hands on any communication device, she might be 'brainwashed' as the public had been to believe that the Avengers were the good guys. As Steve takes a moment to relieve her of her weapon and sit her down, a small smirk tugs at the corners of her mouth. "Are you sure you don't wanna frisk me for more weapons, blondie?"

    As she examines the group , she bit back a frown to keep her impersonal persona. They seemed so... normal to be evil villains. She should've shot him before when she had the chance. Although she fully intended to expose them for the villains they truly were, the thought crossed her mind that anyone who would be proud of the results was probably dead. She was far better off just killing them all, ridding the world of their evil. The HYDRA part of her was certain that the best course of action would be to get in and get out as quickly as she can and not leave any survivors... Yet there was a part of her that was relieved that he had taken the gun, taking away the opportunity to make the decision whether or not to pull the trigger. She wasn't sure what part to believe.

    His voice causes her train of thought to come to a screeching halt. She wasn't used to being interrupted. She was used to spending hours in thoughts. She was used to the majority of her social interaction being commanded around. She chuckles softly, crossing her arms over her chest. "A bit about myself? That's what you're leading with. Where's the intimidation, scare tactics? Is this your good cop, bad cop? They had you pinned for much better interrogators back there. I prefer a bad cop. Why don't you bring Grumpy on over and us adults can have a chat?" She glances over to Barton with a smirk. "Robin Hood, why don't you come join the fun?"
    • Love Love x 1
  7. While it was clear that the girl had absolutely no intention of taking this questioning seriously, Steve remained relaxed and stoic as ever while she tried to keep him at bay for a little bit before she abruptly shifted her focus over to Hawkeye, who was barely amused by the nickname she'd labelled him with along with her antics as a whole. She was certainly very different from a regular HYDRA operative; rather than using threats and blatant defiance, she would instead beat around the bush by being more carefree when she spoke to them and pretending like none of this was a big deal. The woman would definitely be a particularly tough nut to crack, but Steve was still determined to retrieve some answers from her regardless and wouldn't be deterred from finding what he was seeking.

    "Believe me, I'm not your 'go-to guy' when it comes to having fun. That's more Stark's shtick than it is mine," Barton replied flatly.
    Then, after a brief pause, Thor asked, "What is this 'good cop, bad cop' custom that you speak of?"

    "Not important right now," the Captain answered, keeping his gaze trained on Cora all the while. Staying silent for a few seconds, he said, "Though I am interested in how HYDRA apparently portrays us as interrogators. Do you care to explain what else it is that they say about us?"
  8. Cora intertwines her fingers, pressing her palms out toward the man in front of her with a small smirk. "Do you really think I'm just going to answer questions? No carrot? No stick?" At the mention of another reference to a 'good cop, bad cop' routine, she glances over to Thor. "It's a metaphor for a psychological interrogation tactic. The carrot meaning a reward for good behavior and the stick, a punishment for unwanted behavior." Her gaze shifts back to Steve, her smirk widening for just a second. "I'm far more familiar with the stick."

    Cora had initially thought that her escapades with the Avengers would be far more exciting. Well, they were exciting but in an entirely different way that she had been expecting. She had been expecting violence and threats, action and allure. When she had received in return was a ordinary excitement that was not so ordinary for her. The excitement of regular conversation that wasn't driven by psychological training was foreign and thrilling to her. Having opinions and discussing them, watching the Avengers and their verbal ticks, watching Steve stumble over his words momentarily when she said something unexpected: It was like playing a game.

    "If you're really all that curious, they don't say anything too kind about you. They... acknowledge Black Widow's tactical knowledge, Stark's intellect, the capabilities of Banner's alter ego, Thor's strength... Robin Hood's accuracy is a common dinner table discussion." She pauses to shoot Hawkeye a sideways glance at his mention before shifting her attention back to Steve. "But you? Well, they just downright hate you."
    • Love Love x 1
  9. If the HYDRA operative's intentions were to try and agitate Steve in some way or another, it certainly wasn't working. He naturally kept his cool while she continued to provide him with snarky wit, dodging all of his questions and making a point to keep him busy while she remained within his presence. Meanwhile, Thor narrowed his brows in bewilderment once more when she had decided to utilize another 'Earthly' metaphor, who in turn explained it to him briefly before her attention was focused right back towards the Captain, letting him know that she was more familiar with being punished for a lack of obedience than she was with being rewarded for following through with what was expected of her. The answer was certainly of no surprise to him; that was just what the organization was known to do. Volunteer or not, they would mercilessly subject certain captives to horrible experiments that would test both their mental and physical limits to the absolute extreme in their search to gain the upper hand, attempting to create 'super soldiers' of their own that would be able to exhibit marvellous abilities beyond anyone's imagination. Cruel... and insane.

    However, then came the response to Steve's question about how HYDRA assessed the Avengers, and it made things... quite interesting, to say the least. While they apparently all had something appealing to say in regards to the rest of the team's capabilities, it was honestly no surprise to him that they would detest him the most, and he reacted with barely so much as a simple shrug or an ever so subtle smirk at the corner of his lips. Meanwhile, Barton allowed himself to laugh a bit and Stark scoffed loudly from where he was sitting, the two males seemingly the most amused by how the Captain was labelled by their enemies. Especially Tony, who was known to be at odds with him the most even when it was now established that the two of them had managed to become good friends in spite of their almost glaring differences in comparison to one another.

    "See, Rogers? Not even HYDRA has anything good to say about you," the billionaire called out from his seat at the front of the Quinjet, focusing on manually piloting the plane back to the States. "You're just kinda... forced to be here, with the rest of us."

    "Was never looking for any compliments from anyone."

    The sad truth of it was, he really hadn't. That was just how Steve was hardwired; he was a person who valued self-sacrifice more than anything else, and he always did his best to uphold that morale no matter how much he had to suffer through in order to do it. He wasn't looking for any praise or thanks for what he was doing. He just did it, for the sake of others regardless of whether or not they were truly grateful for his deeds at the end of the day.

    "So you know all there is to know about us. What makes you so valuable to them?" the Captain asked, shifting his eyes back over to the operative once more and gauging her facial features very carefully. He had to pay very close attention to her if he was going to get anywhere with this during their trip back to HQ. "It couldn't have meant nothing when HYDRA happened report that 'Subject Zero' had been captured shortly after I got to you in that evacuation tunnel. My only guess here is that you're one of their 'enhanced subjects', and yet you haven't done anything yet that could compromise our safety. I wonder why that is."
  10. "Valuable?" She smirks, letting word roll off her tongue. She knew it to be true. It had to be if they were so keen to keep her captive for as long as they had, sheltered from the rest of the world so that she would never run. She knew that her conditions weren't the best, perhaps they weren't even humane but she had no memory to prove so. HYDRA may have done everything within their power to keep her well-behaved and house-trained like a animal and she did comply but only because she was smart. It wasn't a challenge to figure that resistance to hundreds would be futile, even in her case. There was a surge of confidence that came with the word. She was a bargaining chip, whether that bargaining was for the benefit of the Avengers or HYDRA or herself. She was valued.

    "I'm... an investment." It was the simplest way to explain. Had HYDRA found a way to replicate the results, they would have long since disposed of her and her snarky attitude. They hated her just as they hated Steve, perhaps more, and she knew that hatred stemmed from far more than a few disrespectful comments though, again, it was an aspect in which her memory failed her. She drums her fingers on her thigh for a moment before getting to her feet. There was far too much sitting in her life and her legs grew tired and crammed in a perpetual aching that was more obnoxious than it was painful. She could nearly hear fists clench and hands flit to their respective weapons at her movement. She couldn't tell if it was fear or strategy.

    "Look at you. You've gotten me all buttered up with your sweet-talking. But I've questions of my own that need answers. I prefer honesty but I understand how easy it is to hurt your poor, poor egos. Now, this is a question for the whole class..." She pauses to examine each Avenger in turn. The suspense and tension were vital in learning how they operated and who they were. That was her game. It was something HYDRA had tried to instill in her through rigorous and terrifying methods. It was something she had learned and sharpened herself. It was something that had taken plenty of practice, something that she had used to send hundreds of armored men shaking in their boots and chattering to their superiors. Perhaps the Avengers were different, far more challenging. Perhaps they were just the same. Either way, she liked to play Sherlock.

    The mood of the room had changed entirely. They were far more tense when she was on her feet. Hers, on the other hand, had remained the same, her smirk extending further than before as she started to probe the minds of the threat at hand. "Are you afraid of me? Ah, ah, ah. Let's not be so hasty. Take a moment, let it sink in." She walks slowly and deliberately away from Steve and toward the other Avengers, the echo of her footsteps filling the silence. At the moment, even the best of their combat posed no threat to her. She was rather hoping for someone to jump the gun. A demonstration would be much more fun and seeing their reactions would be priceless.

    "Thinking about it makes you feel a bit silly, doesn't it? You know nothing about me, what I'm capable of. Whereas I, on the other hand..." She pauses to approach Barton and lock eyes with him, less than a foot away. He seemed the most volatile, the most likely to break. "...know everything about you." The accompanying smile on its own might have been perceived as innocent but it was proving to only be a catalyst for tension. "What if I could tear that pretty, little head off that pretty, little body with just a thought? What if I could bend your mind to my whim with just a look?" She keeps steady eye contact with him for just a moment longer before tearing away.

    "You can put on that face and pretend like you aren't the least bit scared. So can I. Then again, it's all psychology, isn't it? What if I can't do anything at all? Maybe I'm just a normal person. Maybe you just fell into a trap that was so perfectly laid out for you that you couldn't resist. Maybe you're just predictable." She giggles softly, turning back toward her seat and toward Steve. His stoic expression had been beckoning to her to make it falter, even if just for a moment. "So what's the verdict? Do I scare you?"
    #11 RealisticFantasy, Nov 1, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015
    • Love Love x 1
  11. Clint was most definitely very on edge once the girl started to approach the rest of the Avengers, settling his gaze directly on her own and doing his best to remain still as they looked at one another, clenching his jaw slightly for a moment when she attempted to fill his mind with all sorts of prospects of what she could be possibly capable of doing to anyone on the team. Her mention of mind-control brought back particularly distasteful memories for him, and it was slowly taking all of his willpower not to allow himself to bring out his bow and send an arrow flying straight into her skull. He couldn't quite place his finger on what it was, but something about this woman was quite unnerving to him, and he didn't like her presence amongst the rest of them. Though 'playful' in her own sense she seemed to have a way for messing with their heads somehow, and most of the group was starting to grow gradually more uneasy with each passing second that she spent amongst them.

    But then there was the Captain; more so than being intimidated by her in some form or the other, he was quite intrigued by the HYDRA operative's demeanor. Something about her mannerisms pulled him in mentally, making his thoughts stir and whirl a little more than usual as his eyes continued to linger upon her now moving form. This was... familiar somehow, and he wasn't sure why, but the feeling was still present nonetheless. She seemed to have quite the thing for speaking, and was obviously using that to her advantage to try and send all of the group into disarray- which wasn't a very surprising tactic, since a nearly successful stab at fracturing their connection to one another had already been carried out on them by a certain Asgardian for them to deal with- yet Steve remained composed all the while, being the one to mediate the situation and keep things from unnecessarily blowing up in their faces.

    He would not be brought down easily, no matter how large in scale the threat really was to him and his allies.

    "So what's the verdict? Do I scare you?"

    "You're certainly doing a good job at trying to," the Captain retorted after a few seconds' pause, allowing the corners of his lips to turn upwards a little while looking back at the girl's face. "You're interesting company, I'll give you that much. But I think it's gonna take a lot more than that to even come remotely close to scaring any of us. Now perhaps I should be asking if we scare you, but I'm gonna go out on a limb here when I say that your answer's more than definitely going to be 'no'. You might even feel differently about us than HYDRA does now that you can get a good look at us. Am I right?" Steve wanted to try his own hand at playing some mind games with the HYDRA operative, interested to see how she would react to some of his poking and prodding. He was sure that he would eventually strike a nerve of hers if he was persistent enough, and believed that was how best to seek out certain answers from her that the team could use for their betterment.
  12. She hadn't expected Cap to be the one to speak up. She was certain that Barton would have some sort of witty comeback or threatening gesture. The moment of surprise is evident in her features before smirk slowly spreads across her face. "I could run this plane into the ground and walk away without a scratch. I could take out Robin Hood here in the blink of an eye. Or I could take on all of you at once and still win." She pauses to examine her nails as if their details were far more interesting that the current conversation. "Needless to say, you don't scare me." She strides back over to the Cap, placing her hands on other side of his thighs and leaning in close, her lips just inches away from his own. She knew could could play it calm and collected up until this moment, she knew that this was his weakness - proximity, intimacy, unexpectedness. It was one of her own as well but with no threat of the gesture being returned, she could pull off the facade effortlessly.

    "But that's just talk. Anyone can talk a big game but not everyone can put their money where their mouth is." She could feel the eyes of the rest of the Avengers on here and she was dying to look away from Steve, to see the look on their faces, but she knew the eye contact was vital as dropped her voice to a low, sultry tone which was more genuine than she had expected. "I can show what I'm capable of, do anything you ask of me. All you have to do is play nice. And if you don't..." For a just a second, the moment consumed her and she bit her lip. For just a second, her gaze flitted to his lips suggesting something that, just a moment ago, she would have died before doing. For just a second, the moment was too intimate, too familiar, too real and she had to break it off.

    She pulls away sharply, dropping back into the seat across from him. Crossing her arms over her chest and her legs at her knees, she shoots a sideways glance to the rest of the Avengers. They expected passion of an entirely different kind. She knew it, she could read them like a book. That little demonstration was just the tip of the iceberg, she thinks smugly. She had gotten so into her little performance that she had started to believe it herself or at least, that was what she chose to believe. "And if you don't, I'll have to tear you apart one by one."
    • Love Love x 1
  13. "I could run this plane into the ground and walk away without a scratch. I could take out Robin Hood here in the blink of an eye. Or I could take on all of you at once and still win."

    "Yeah? Well let's find out, then."
    "At ease, Barton."

    Steve gave the hot-headed archer a glance and a brief lift of his hand to further accentuate his order, not wanting to cause any unneeded trouble during their flight back to base. It was pressing enough as it was that they really had no grasp of what it was that this girl could do while being allowed to board the Quinjet without restraints of any sort to keep her secure, and the last thing that they needed right now was for chaos to spark amongst them while they were still in the air and in an admittedly vulnerable position. It wasn't like they had a choice in the matter, anyway; right now, the stray HYDRA operative was the best lead they had right now in order to be able to root out any more remaining bases belonging to the organization; with luck, perhaps they'd even be able to seek out Strucker and put an end to this long-standing conflict all the more sooner.

    Moments later, the Captain's focus then returned to the young woman as she headed in his direction, abruptly closing most of the distance that lay between them and standing closer to him than he would have preferred. She was catching him off guard with the new approach that she had decided to take, and just as she had intended to do, he now wasn't sure of how to hold his own during this situation. He was not used to sharing this kind of proximity with a girl, and hearing her speak to him in the way at she did while they were this close to each other made him almost visibly uncomfortable in his seat. Now that she was here, something definitely felt off... He could feel that he'd experienced this before- a feeling much deeper than he'd encountered Peggy or Natasha- but he couldn't match a memory to it no matter how hard he tried thinking about it. Steve had fallen prey to the operative's ploy, and now he was just about as cautious as the rest of the Avengers after going through what had just been sparked inside of him.

    Well... For the moment, the team was actually not very much as alert as before so much as they were shocked: even Tony had turned in his seat to see what was going on in the back after asking J.A.R.V.I.S. to put the Quinjet on autopilot mode, and now everyone was staring blankly at the Captain and their captive while simultaneously wondering what they'd just witnessed. Even after the girl had made her threat to destroy them if they didn't decide to play ball with her, everyone's gazes were almost constantly switching from one person to the other as they were reeling from their utter bewilderment at the moment that had come to transpire and tried to get a grasp of what her actual motivation here was.

    "... I for one say that we play nice," Tony commented.


    It was a little while later before the Quinjet finally arrived at the Avengers' Headquarters in New York, allowing the team to feel more at ease once they reached their destination and finally deal with their little 'guest' so they wouldn't have to worry about her making any sudden moves while she remained free to move around at will. Steve exited first with the operative in tow. Once again he held a firm grasp on her arm as he walked out with her and led her inside the building, intending to take her straight to the containment quarters that Tony had built in while reconstructing what was once Stark Tower and repurposing it as a hub for the Avengers to gather when they weren't out on the field. That would be where the Captain could continue questioning her later on and keep her contained in a way that would not end up jeopardizing the group's safety.

    "I think you've caused enough trouble for one day already," Steve commented casually as he strode along with the girl, his mental integrity now having returned and his aura of calmness surrounding him once more. "Time to give you a time-out."
  14. "Are you saying you want to spend some alone time with me, Blondie? Sorry, I'm not an easy gal." She remarks teasingly in an effort to keep up her jovial facade. The flight over had been long but seemed remarkably short when compared to the time she spent detained by HYDRA and in those few hours, her entire world had been turned upside. She had felt things she couldn't recall having felt before and, to some degree, she had made friends. For the first time in a very long time, she felt nervousness and dread. She wasn't feeling all too keen on being thrown back into a cell. For a moment, her facade faltered until she caught Steve looking at her out of the corner of her eye. "What are you looking at, Blondie?"

    From one cage to another. She wasn't certain why the thought upset her. She knew that it wouldn't be any other way. With HYDRA branded on her like an invisible tattoo, there was no possibility of the Avengers putting any faith in her. She knew that. She knew that. Yet somehow she had expected things to work out differently. Suddenly a new attitude washes over her like a tidal wave and she yanks her arm away from Steve, not to find freedom and escape but for the simple pleasure of having his hands off of her. "I hate you most." She mumbles under her breath to the blonde, reminding herself to remain objective.

    Patience was all she could rely on, waiting on HYDRA to hunt her down and infiltrate the tower. They would grant her the opportunity to put a bullet in his head and she would gladly take it. Then these silly feelings, illusions would go away for good. She couldn't legitimate them by calling them feelings. Beneath their heroic facades, the Avengers were monsters. Everything she knew pointed to that fact. It wasn't all just a lie. It couldn't all be a lie. That would be illogical, improbable, impossible... wouldn't it?
  15. An expression somewhat reminiscent of a frown appeared on the Captain's face when he heard the operative's response to his own wisecrack, finding her joke rather distasteful as well as also rather discomforting as he gave her a personal escort into the Tower, putting distance between them and the rest of the team as he went to go place her in what would be her new 'residence' here at their base of operations. Discussing the subject of a relationship with a girl- or anyone of any gender, for that matter- was in no way at all his strong suit, and in a way acted as something that could lower his guard in times like these. When it came to Steve, there weren't all that many physical weaknesses for anyone to exploit considering his heightened condition; the actual fact was that his vulnerabilities lay directly in line with his natural psychology.

    "Never said I was looking for any 'easy gals'. That's not my style, anyways." Rogers clenched his jaw momentarily as flashes of her flitted through his mind while continuing on his way through the uppermost floor of the building with the girl at his side; a woman with short and curly brown locks, eyes with the same shade of that color to match, and that crimson pink lipstick that she always seemed to wear even during the most rugged of times back during the war... Peggy had been everything to him back then. Through thick and thin, she had always stood at his side, looking out for the American goliath who valiantly fought for his people. She provided him with the comfort and solace that not many people knew he needed...

    All up until he'd forced that bomber plane down into the Arctic to save the lives of millions living in 20th century New York.

    Now she was forced to stay in that retirement home over in Washington, plagued by the horrendous disease that caused people to become so forgetful of anything and everything. It was when he thought about it that sometimes, it made him wish that he'd been left frozen in that ice, never to be discovered and never to be awoken from his unknowing slumber. Tranquility... Peace. Occasionally, that would be all that he'd want to ask for.

    A reason to stop fighting.

    Catching a near-subtle shift in her facial expression from out of the corner of his eye, Steve glanced over to look more directly at the HYDRA operative after having noticed the disappearance of that affable mask of hers that she'd been wearing for so long, drawing her attention to him in the process as well as another wisecrack with the nickname 'Blondie' attached to it for the second time in a row. He openly sighed as they resumed making their way through the corridors, heading ever closer towards the building's elevator that would take them to the floor that he needed her to be on right now.

    "I'd prefer it a lot more if you just stuck with 'Captain' instead of that."

    A few seconds later, Steve found that his grasp on the girl's arm was wrenched away by her as she strode alongside him on her own, quietly expressing how he was the one that she detested the most and leaving him to keep his gaze focused straight ahead of him as they arrived at the elevator, stepping inside with her before pressing one of the lower buttons and getting it to take them a couple of floors down. Even if it had been the first time they met, it really didn't come as any sort of shock to him that she disliked him the most out of all the Avengers; being that she was aligned with HYDRA, naturally she would have been trained to treat him as a number one target in contrast to all the others, considering that he was their arch-nemesis and the most powerful- and possibly even most feared foe they could have on their hands.

    She would always have her sights set on him first, and would be sure to keep him from getting any answers from her the most.

    "You know, besides 'Subject Zero', we still don't have a name on you," Steve remarked flatly, staring emptily at the twin set of doors in front of them as the elevator continued on with descending further down the Tower. The Captain was genuinely curious to know her actual name, preferring not to have to refer to her with a label that her benefactors had tacked onto her.
    #16 grey987, Nov 15, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
  16. "You don't care about my name." She bites back with a ferocity stronger than her declaration of her distaste for him. "They're just going to assign another string of numbers to me anyway. Calling me Subject Zero was their kindness to me, giving something that resembled an actual name. You can pretend like you're any different than them. But you're just the same. You're just fighting on the other side." She glances down to the vibrant red emblem on her chest. She wasn't all too certain that the vibrant skull was something she wanted to boast anymore. She never really wanted to boast it in the first place.

    Cora stares directly ahead at the buttons of the elevator. She could kill him. It would be easy. She would be done and over with it before he would have a chance to breath a word. Her fingers twitch and her gaze shoots to the firearm at his side that he took from her earlier. Her stare trails up his side and eventually she finds their eyes locked. He had seen her. She knew that he did. For a moment, she turns the situation over in her mind. For a brief second, she let the tense silence build as she considers her options. Finally, after what must have seemed like an eternity for blondie, her gaze snaps back to the elevator buttons. Her expression remains unchanged.

    "Where are you taking me?" She had decided that she didn't want to kill him. She had decided to blame it on strategy, justify it with the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents on the other side of the elevator doors. In reality, she had no idea why she had decided to spare him. Even if the agents captured her afterward, it would still be one less Avenger to fight later. The worst of them, no less. In her theoretical situation, there was nothing to lose. Still, she decided against it.
  17. The Captain never flinched once as his gaze turned over from the elevator doors over to the HYDRA operative when she gave him her agitated response, likening the Avengers to HYDRA and claiming that at the end of the day, both factions were all the same to each other when all was said and done. It had become apparent to him in that moment that there was no one at all that she trusted to be someone that she could support, and as he looked back in front of himself he thought about how he could possibly sway her to make her see that he and the rest of his team were fighting for a good cause. Given everything he knew about the woman now, he knew for sure that it would take some time before he could get her to believe a single word that came out of his mouth, but there wasn't anything else that they could do. Right now, she was the best lead they had to potentially finding Strucker and bringing down HYDRA with a crushing finality.

    Then, a few seconds later, he caught some subtle changes in detail from out of the corner of his eye; the operative's fingers had shifted a little and her eyes moved a little bit towards the direction of the sidearm that he had holstered at his waist, seemingly in the middle of assessing her attack options for this scenario before she ended up looking up at him directly for several seconds, causing the atmosphere between them to become more tense until she finally broke away and turned her head back in front of her. Steve did the same thing shortly prior to when she finally asked him about where he was taking her, his demeanor remaining stoic and unruffled throughout the rest of the trip further down the Tower.

    "A place for you to stay for a while. You won't need to get too comfortable," was Steve's simple response just as the elevator finally reached the floor they were meant to stop at and opened its doors for the two of them to make their way outside. Walking alongside her a short distance further down the corridor that they were now in, he went to go open the door to a room on their right that had a long, rectangular window that could only be seen from the outside, using his thumbprint to unlock it and then briefly leading the operative along inside the Vibranium-lined space that had a metal table on the side and two chairs on either end of its lengths with his hand firmly gripping her arm before he let her go again.

    "I'd enjoy the solitude while it lasts. I won't be away for long," Steve told her curtly, closing the door back up and locking it from the outside via the same method as just a moment earlier, then heading back towards the elevator afterwards.

    Agent Hill still had to be briefed on the operation, and that was what he was headed up to do.


    (Happy belated birthday response; tried to get this up last night, but I couldn't since my mom got pissed at me for staying up later than I should have and cut me off... I also apologize for the lackluster quality; kind of suffering from some writer's block right now ;_;)
  18. Cora wasn't all too keen on being thrown into another cell. Then again, she wasn't sure she was all too keen on spending time with Steve. His presence aggravated her and she couldn't put her finger on why exactly. She takes a lap around the room, studying the walls with her arms folded across her chest. This was a little bit more on the modern technology side of things and she wasn't used to it. Whatever happened to good old bars where she could see and hear whatever was going on outside her prison?

    The thought of her old 'home' shifted her thoughts back to HYDRA. Although she didn't feel a personal connection to the organization, some unspoken loyalty and fear kept her from betraying them. The more she thought about, the less she could justify siding with them. She wasn't a fan of violence and it was harder for her to justify killing someone. She had been so caught up in her hatred for the Avengers that she had forgotten her stance on violence. The thought of her conflicting ideals prompted a peculiar feeling that she was certain she had felt before but couldn't quite recall. Like many things, apparently.

    The feeling was rather unsettling so Cora decides to stop thinking about its cause. She instead began to consider what HYDRA's course of action was. It was strange how easy it had been for the Avengers to capture her. They had dedicated decades to her persistent protection from the outside and one day, they let it all go down the drain in one surprise ambush. Her envoy had been thin but she had assumed that was due to the need for soldiers. Then it all came together. HYDRA had been beaten by the Avengers and had to recede back into the shadows. This was their comeback, their revenge. She was their roadmap to the Avengers.

    At the realization, fear washes over her and she finds herself pounding on the door before she can stop herself. HYDRA would be here at any moment given how much time had already passed and the need to inform the Avengers, Steve, of the threat was immediate and instinctual. She pushes herself away from the door, taking a deep breath to recollect herself as she fights the abnormal feelings. She didn't care about the Avengers. She couldn't care about them. She had dedicated so much to hating them and she had endured so much more to training to kill them. What was happening to her?
    #19 RealisticFantasy, Nov 26, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2015
  19. "Do we have a name?"
    "Subject Zero's the only thing that I was able to pull up on that. She pretty adamantly refused to give me an actual one when I asked for it."
    "It's no surprise that her reaction would be so defensive; she was undoubtedly made not to trust the Avengers."
    "Seems that way... But she has quite the sense of humor for a supposedly brainwashed subject."
    "At least it's not complete silence that you're forced to work with."

    A painful reminder that was... The dead and cold look in his eyes, and the uncharacteristic silence that was attributed to him for the most part whenever they had encountered one another, regardless of whether that muzzle mask of his was concealing the lower half of his face or not. HYDRA had completely torn Bucky from the foundation that defined him, and reconstructed it as something much more deadly and frightening to gaze upon. A momentary flashback reminded Steve of their fierce clash by that highway in Washington and the contrast it held in comparison to one of their sparring sessions as younger boys, only serving to add more to the emotional pain that was eating away at him from the inside. He couldn't think of anything more cruel than that... The act of turning someone so innocent into someone so feral who acted upon command, and asked absolutely no questions before doing so. There was only initiative, and no thought...

    And that was why he didn't have a choice but to fight him in the end.

    "I think we have something; the reference data points to one 'Cora Matthews'... but I can't find any other background information on her other than that. S.H.I.E.L.D. apparently hasn't recorded it yet, and anything HYDRA might have on her is either deleted or currently hidden away from any prying eyes."

    "And I don't think Cora herself will be too keen on surrendering that information."
    "Maybe if we send Stark in..."
    "We both know that's a risky option."
    "That's not to say it won't work."

    "... I'll go talk to her." Trusting Tony to take the job professionally was nearly impossible to think about, but that wasn't to say that perhaps his 'smooth-talking' ways could get the operative whose name he now knew to be Cora to feel more comfortable where she was and be less opposed to offering a few answers to some of their questions, so the Captain put that idea on the backburner for now and focused on being the one to question her first. Cora... Sounds like a familiar name. For some reason, pondering on that seemed to ring a bell somewhere in his head, yet when he tried to remember why, it only made his head hurt and he was unable to turn up anything from it.

    A minute or two came to pass, and then Steve found himself back on that one floor lower in the building, stepping out of the lift once it had arrived there and then entering Cora's containment room shortly after. "So... I hear that your name is Cora. Nice name, don't you think?"