Till the End of the Line (Captain America & The Winter Soldier)

Discussion in 'ONE ON ONES IN CHARACTER' started by CaptainObvious, Oct 7, 2016.

  1. The Winter Soldier's arm was definitely broken ... Stacey had snapped it trying to subdue him in a chokehold, but it had been necessary. He'd have killed her if she hadn't found a way to knock him out. Even then, he'd shot her in the side, beat her bloody before for a fraction of a second his old self, Bucky broke through.

    The fight had been horrible, dreadfully brutal. The Winter Soldier was a ruthless and efficient assassin, Captain America a Super Soldier. They were evenly matched, but The Winter Soldier was hunting to kill and Captain America was trying to appeal to the shred of humanity, the shred of Bucky, she believed was buried deep inside HYDRA's toy-soldier. She, and also Bucky, were fortunate to find that there was just enough Bucky left inside him, to spare her life.

    He couldn't remember her ... not really, but part of him understood he had to spare her ... he had to save her and figure the rest out. She fell, unconscious and lifeless from the falling helicarrier, and crashed into the water. The Winter Soldier couldn't explain why, but he jumped after her, pulled her unconscious body onto the lake-shore so she wouldn't drown, and then he fled.

    Running on instinct, he sought a hideout, to vanish from HYDRA. They expected him to reach his rendezvous point, to check in again soon. But he never arrived.
    Bits of Stacey seeped into his head ...

    "You know me."
    "No, I don't!"
    "Bucky. you've known me your entire life. Your name is James Buchanan Barnes..."
    "SHUT UP!"

    "I'm not gonna fight you. You're my friend."
    "You're my mission! YOU ARE MY MISSION!"
    "Then finish it. 'Cause I'm with you 'til the end of the line."

    His head ached from the thoughts and memories trying to claw their way through. He knew Stacey ... he couldn't remember where from, or how, or what they were, but his gut, deep down inside him, he knew that she was important.

    When he knew he was moderately safe, off the grid, he jotted down what he knew.
    Your name is Bucky? ... James Buchanan Barnes ... maybe? You have a name. An identity.

    Stacey Rogers. Friend(?)

    You know her.
    Stacey is not your enemy.
    You can trust her...

    "I'm with you till the end of the line"

    A few days passed. Stacey recovered in hospital, Natasha Romanoff keeping a bedside vigil along with Sam Wilson. She was expected to make a full recovery given time, the Super Soldier Serum certainly helped with the healing process.
    "I dunno if its good or bad news" Sam sighed. Natasha wasn't quite sure either, it depended on how Stacey reacted whether this was good or bad news.
    "Yeah well ... at least if The Winter Soldiers gone rogue, he's not under HYDRA's control ... but I've seen him in action more than once before ... He's dangerous. Real dangerous."
    Sam shook his head, he knew where this was going to go next ... Once Stacey knew The Winter Soldier ... James Barnes, was out there, she'd hunt him down tirelessly.
    "HYDRA or no, that dude ripped off my wings and threw me off a helicarrier ..." Same let out a frustrated noise, "If it weren't for Cap ... I'd kill the Son'f'a'bitch without a second thought"
    Natasha agreed ... but she trusted Stacey. Bucky meant a lot to her, and there was no one more righteous and true than THE Captain America.
    "Hey, I think she's waking up-"

    Bucky wasn't so lucky ... there were no friends waiting at his bedside or worrying for him. HYDRA wanted their "Asset" back, but they didn't care about what he wanted, or his pain.
    He tucked his frantic confused note away. If anything, he could remind himself he had a name ... Bucky- ... James Barnes ... It was the first time in decades that he had an identity. It felt ... strange, but it wasn't painful ... Being captured by HYDRA would be painful. THey'd wipe him and shove him into cryo again.

    Confused and lost, he didnt even know what he wanted, but he knew he had to stay away from HYDRA ... just for a while-

    But HYDRA hunted him relentlessly. They found him, squatting in a homeless shelter, routing through his head for memories, barely getting by ... but he was free ... Briefly. He fought back, he resisted. 14 HYDRA agents were incapacitated during the firefight and chase that ensued, but eventually, they wore him down. He had a broken arm from the fight with Stacey, he was exhausted and hungry, disoriented and lost ... The fight was bitter but, eventually he just couldn't fight them off and he was dragged back. Wiped clean and stitched back together.
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  2. Stacey Rogers (open)

    "You're my mission! YOU ARE MY MISSION!"
    "Then finish it. 'Cause I'm with you 'til the end of the line."

    Those were the only two sentences repeating in her mind over and over again.. What had they done to him?, How did she not figure out he was alive sooner... there was so much going on in her head..

    Having been in a deadly bout with her long time best friend. Stacey was left battered, bloody, broken and also confused. She should have died from that fight. Gone plummeting into the water never to see the light of day alive again.. But somehow that was not the case she was alive, lying in a hospital bed with two of her friends around her. She only caught the very end of Sam's sentence and choose to not comment due to the lack of context it held.

    "On your left." she said softly as a more in-joke to Sam as she made herself sit up. Her voice was a little croaky as she felt a slight twitch of pain. As she looked around the room the weird feeling of relief that she had not woken up another fifty or so years after dawned upon her. "how long was I out for?, Was Bucky found?." she asked both questions very quickly as she cringed at the end as the pain struck again. Though the pain was rather minor it caught her of guard. No matter what the answer was she had to get back on her feet. Stacey did not wish to waste time which she could be using to track down her lost friend.
  3. "He's not stable ... We need more time to assess the damage" one of the scientists insisted. Barnes was strapped into the chair, a series of guards standing to attention with guns pointed to his head. Part of him knew the restraints wouldn't be enough to hold him, he could break out but Hydra had conditioned him to comply. Even in his confused state, he didn't feel enough to resist what was coming next.
    "Just fix him up and put him on ice again. We got him back that's all that matters. Even if he's broken he's still too useful to let fall into someone else's hands" his new handler, since Pierce was dead, ordered.

    The HYDRA psychologist came in to analyse him. Asked him where he went, what he did, what he remembered. Barnes did something he shouldn't have... He lied.

    "Do you remember where you went or why you went there?"
    "I don't remember"

    "Did you talk to anyone?"

    "And your mission report? Did you eliminate your target?"
    Stacey ... My target.
    "I threw the targets unconscious body into the lake. The helicarriers were already compromised by SHIELD"
    I carried her out and checked her pulse ... She was alive.

    "Then where did you go?"
    "I don't know"

    "What did you do?"
    "I don't know"
    I remembered ... James Buchanan Barnes ... My name is James Buchanan Barnes

    He hoped they wouldn't wipe his memory and shove him into cryo. Send him on another mission and he could get away. He chanted his name in his head, willing it to stick in his memory.

    It didn't. The brainwashing tortures cleared it all out but at least HYDRA didn't know about the scribbled memories he tucked away with his knife in his thigh holster.

    Sam smirked, slowly, but widely. Stacey was awake. "Well I'll be damned, look who's awake" Sam beamed.
    "You were asleep for a couple of days, you took quite a beating but you're going to make a full recovery" Natasha answered ... Then came the question she knew Stacey wouldn't forget.
    "Barnes was-... He got away. I've been monitoring bugged HYDRA channels and it seems they haven't found him either, they're scrambling to recover him before SHIELD does in case he has HYDRA secrets... SHIELD want to bring him in too. SHIELD have been combing the lake searching for a body in the wreckage but there was nothing found ... He's vanished."

    It went without saying that either HYDRA or SHIELD capturing Bucky would be disastrous. HYDRA would indoctrinate him again, SHIELD would have him pay for The Winter Soldier's crimes. Stacey had to get to him first.
    #3 CaptainObvious, Oct 8, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2016
  4. It certainly was a soothing feeling to be told you only slept through a few days and Stacey slightly relaxed upon her hospital bed. 'a few days.. That's good I suppose' she thought to herself as she looked across to Natasha and listened to what he friend had to say. It was a very bittersweet moment really. Falling silent she looked down at the bed she was stuck in.

    "He pulled me out of the lake... instead of leaving me to drown." Stacey says after a moment of silence as she forced herself to sit up and turned to get up. "I must find him first... and I do not expect either of you to join me." She says getting up on her feet feeling the iv line and tugging it out. "I'm doing this mission as Stacey Rogers not Captain America." With that said she looked around the room for something to wear. Her preferred choice was the brown leather jacket, blue fitted jeans, a white singlet and combat boots. In a bag tucked to the side there it was. Her clothes and her shield.
  5. "I don't like this one bit" Falcon sighed. "You trusting the guy who tried to kill you ... But ... I told you I got your back, so, I'm in"
    Natasha had been shot through the stomach by the winter soldier but even she was on caps side.
    "I owe you my life Stace, of course I'll help .. Why do you think I snooped around HYDRAS files? At least they haven't got to him yet, we still have time"

    First things first though, they needed a plan and Stacey needed more rest to recover. Fury had gone off the radar entirely so they were on their own. Fury may have helped but the rest of SHIELD wouldn't. Natasha didn't even trust asking Maria Hill for help. Maybe Tony would help but they were largely on their own. Keeping SHIELD off their backs was essential.

    "If we can rope Tony into the search he can try a facial recognition search on CCTV cameras, I'll watch HYDRAs comma and see if I can chase up any possible leads" Natasha volunteered.

    Back at the avengers tower, Nat kept working on narrowing their search area, sending Falcon out from time to time to do an aerial search of the tea and note any suspicious activity. Eventually Natasha got the news they'd all been dreading and called Falcon back, meeting Stacey and Falcon to update them.

    Message Intercepted.
    Encryption level 8.
    Message: Asset recovered.

    With a sigh she told Stacey. "They got him... HYDRA got him".
    Things were now considerably more difficult.
    "Breaking into a HYDRA facility is a suicide mission. What do we do now?" Falcon asked.
    "I don't know ... I'm so sorry" Natasha apologised.

    In HYDRA's secret holding cell for the Winter Soldier, a vault beneath the National Bank no less, the soldier was wiped, frozen and then yanked out of cryo again for further analysis. There were no traces of Bucky left yet they took extra precautions, performed extra torturous procedures. They couldn't risk another potential failure. At least the target, Stacey Rodgers, had been eliminated. The media had kept quiet about the death though ... HYDRA assumed it was a propaganda cover-up. No one wanted to hear their courageous hero had died, they'd hide it as long as possible. Stacey had been hospitalised under an alias name and since no reports of a body in the lake had surfaced yet, HYDRA had no reason to believe Stacey was alive ... not yet at least. Bucky was the only one in HYDRA who knew Stacey wasn't dead, and his memory had been wiped clean.

    Commander Karpov, The Winter Soldiers new handler, had just flown in from Stalingrad. New plans were under way, new operations, but Karpov wanted to see the state of the Soviets greatest weapon for himself before issuing orders.
    The reports about vanishing during a mission were unsettling, but once he was before him, Karpov saw a shell of an American soldier, utterly broken and remoulded by Soviets.
    (<<in Russian>>)<<"Is he compliant?">> Karpov asked, HYDRA guards loosed the shackles on the Winter Soldiers electric-shock chair, he didn't move.
    The Winter Soldier remained silent.
    Karpov turned to the scientists, "Why does he not respond?"
    "He is a weapon, he does not think, does not feel. He obeys orders."

    Karpov decided to test this. He'd read the reports, but seeing was believing. He grabbed a gun, clicked off the safety and handed it to the Soldier.
    <<"Put it under your chin.">>
    The Soldier complied and pressed the gun beneath his chin without hesitation, without question.
    <<"Do you want to live Soldat?">>
    The Winter Soldier didn't answer. He wasn't allowed desires, he couldn't "want" or "like" or "dislike".
    <<"Just one word and you can walk away.">>
    Still nothing.
    <<"Pull the trigger.">>
    The Winter Soldier complied, the gun "clicked" but no bullet left the barrel. The test was adequate. Karpov snatched the gun away, loaded it and handed it back to the scientists.
    <<"Good work Soldat. Now I have jobs for you.">>
    #5 CaptainObvious, Oct 9, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2016
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  6. Stacey listened to her friends concerns and final resolves to help her in finding her long lost friend. She understood that it was no easy decision to make. Both have had serious confrontation with the shell of what her friend was.

    "Thanks.. both of you." she said with a respectful smile right before two nurses came in insisting she had to lye back down, which the Captain did. It was a fact that she needed to let her body heal. It was like a friend once told her. She was incredible not invincible.


    The days of waiting for news grew more and more tiresome, though sure to the super serum her recovery went well. Stitches that normally would stay on a person for weeks were gone and bruises healed. The multiple gunshot wounds were nearly gone. But scars were being left behind.

    Dressed in her clothing of choice she sat in her new apartment with Natasha and Sam. They brought bad news with them. News that upset the Soldier to her core. "blast it.. I had hoped he would stay hidden from them.." Stacey said in frustration as her hands balled into fists. It was not possible to just enter Hydra's base and take him out of there. Heck.. he was probably brain washed again.. 'what to do...' she thought as she stood up from her chair.

    "there must be a way we could draw them out right?, since entering is suicide.." Stacey stated as she begun to pace a backwards and forwards. She needed a plan.. "at the moment do we know if Hydra thinks I am alive or dead?." Cap asks as she stopped her pacing entirely and looked at both her friends. Due to the media most people think she was missing or dead. Though nothing was confirmed. Maybe Captain America was the best way to draw out the Winter Soldier?.
  7. Natasha perked up slightly at Stacey's idea. Infiltrating HYDRA wasn't a viable plan, but luring the Winter Soldier out was possible, plus, if they were lucky, they could set a trap in just the right place so that they had an immeasurable advantage ... There were a few kinks to work out of hte plan though. Setting the trap would take careful consideration, where and when and how. They also didn't really know what they were going up against, what if HYDRA deemed the Winter Soldier a failure after his brief vanishing act? What if he was "decommissioned" and shot in the head as soon as HYDRA caught him? Natasha needed to be sure Bucky was kept alive, so far all she knew was that he'd been recaptured. Next she needed to set a trap that she was sure only Bucky would be sent to investigate, they would only get one chance, luring out some other agent would totally ruin the element of surprise.

    "HYDRA appears to think you are dead ... until they figure out otherwise, I think its best we keep it that way" Natasha confirmed. "Barnes vanished after his last fight with you, if they discover you're alive, they'll brand him a failure and who knows what they'll do ... but if he's still brainwashed, you're the only one who has what it takes to snap him out of it ..." Natasha sighed, as much as she hated to do this to herself, she knew Cap and Falcon had her back so the risk was justified.

    "I'll be the bait"

    "Wilson will be our eyes in the sky and diversion if we need it. If HYDRA sends him after you, they'll send back up to make sure he finishes the job ... I don't think they think I'm as big a threat, they'll send him alone and it will be a lot less messier. When we lure him out, Wilson and I will take out any HYDRA goons that might be tailing him and serve as your backup, you take care of Barnes and then we'll meet you for extraction" Natasha thought quickly, mapping out various escape routes and alternatives. Last time she went up against the Winter Soldier, she hadn't been prepared and it had been a tough fight, she'd been shot in the arm and almost bled out, not to mention the other injuries, and the time before that he'd shot her through the stomach and killed the scientist she was covering as they made their way to Odessa. At least if she picked the fighting ground, she'd know its strengths and weaknesses.

    The plan was a relatively simple one in theory, but once the guns started firing it could all go to hell. Still, Natasha spent the next couple of days setting things up while Wilson flew above the city and surveyed every street he saw.

    Natasha planted false information in HYDRA's networks, gathered what she could on the Winter Soldier's status... It wasn't all good.
    "With Pierce gone, he's already been assigned a new handler ... Its Vasily Karpov Jr ... His father was one of The Winter Soldiers earliest and most ruthless handlers ... Not a good sign" she shook her head, "The good thing is he's a Soviet, and I know how he's going to play this game. The trap has been set ... We have roughly 12 hours ... If you have a battle strategy Rogers, I'd really love to hear it" Natasha said, glancing between Sam Wilson and Stacey.

    <<"Romanoff has been selling misinformation to some of my colleagues!">> Karpov fumed, <<"Take the Asset out of the freezer and get rid of that red-head bitch for good">>
    Karpov lit a cigar while Bucky came out of cryo

    ... so cold ... too cold.

    <<"Good morning Soldat.">>
    <<"Ready to comply.">>
    <<"I have an assignment for you. Neutralise target, level 8, Natasha Romanoff.">>

    The name wasn't familiar. Bucky didn't know her. He wouldn't recognise her face. She was just another target.

    In the armoured vehicle, cleverly disguised as a non-descript white van, one of thousands in the city, The Winter Soldier prepared his weapons, double checking safeties, ammo, making sure the barrels were clean. It was during his weapons check, a rather standard routine, that he found a note he'd left himself.

    Your name is Bucky.
    Don't listen to HYDRA.
    Run. Now.
    Find Stacey. Trust Stacey.
    Smithsonian Museum, go there.

    He was momentarily disoriented ... A buzzing pain in his head as a memory threatened to claw free, yet he couldn't remember who Stacey was, her significance ... a face didn't pop up in his mind when he read the name, he didn't even know her surname ... but something pulled at his gut, his instincts kicked in and told him to listen to the buzzing in his head, the nagging in his stomach, the hastily scrawled note that he didn't understand.

    There was an address, the Smithsonian Museum ... that wasn't where his target was, but that was somewhere he had to go apparently. Betraying his orders was a risky game ... he knew he had an assignment he had to carry out ... but, his handlers trusted him to get the job done efficiently and cleanly (or not so cleanly if the situation called for it). He could take a diversion.

    <<"Stop here. I'll find my own route">> The Winter Soldier said, hopping out of the van and vanishing into the maze of back streets. He didn't have much time. Whatever was in the museum, he had to figure it out quick. The longer he spent away from his assignment the riskier it got for him. He needed a plan, right now he was between plans, either follow his orders, or ... change plans depending on what he found at the museum...

    Wilson flew overhead, scanning the sky, he tailed the white van, but that was only after the Winter Soldier hopped out and vanished into the throngs of crowds on the street. He tailed the van and reported back to Natasha.
    "Okay Rogers, the mouse is in the trap" she said, getting in position to fight as the white van parked innocently on the opposite side of the street. Any second now, she expected the Winter Soldier to burst out guns blazing, Stacey had a split second to act once it all kicked off ... they had no idea the Winter Soldier had taken a whole other route.
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