Sampson Smith was a good man. At least he believed he was a good man.
He was raised in a backwater Texan county, the youngest child in a family of seven. He was overlooked, undereducated and unappreciated. A young Sampson Smith was a lonely bookish boy. However he was raised in a household that had three strong morals; always stand your ground, believe in America and do the best for your family. Although his siblings had ignored these values and gotten themselves arrested for burglary or shot or married to some nagging wife/cheating husbands, young, ill-treated Sampson Smith had became the only member of the Smith family to attend college and receive a job which paid higher then $20k a year. So naturally he'd moved away and only spoken to them when his parents had died to attend the funeral.
He had married young to a good, dutiful if slightly dull wife named Julia who was proud of her high flying, S.H.I.E.L.D agent husband. They'd had one child; a daughter no less whom they named Mallory after the hotel in which she'd been conceived. They raised her in the suburbs of the capital of his country, her childhood overshadowed by the absences of her father from her brief piano recitals, even briefer gym meets and her college graduation ceremony. He knew his sweet Mallory had understood. And he was there right after her first day at the hospital, congratulating her with a bouquet of her favourite flowers – lilies – and a brand new Mini Cooper spray painted purple, her favourite colour. She sold it a year later to fund herself on the pretense that she was only contributing to carbon emissions. That was the kind of daughter he had raised and he was proud despite his absence.
He believed he was a good man. He'd believed it when he'd gotten the job at S.H.I.E.L.D, when he'd been promoted to be directly under the mastermind of Project INSIGHT, the boss of bosses, Alexander Pierce. He'd also believed it when he was told about the values of HYDRA and they'd struck a cord with him. He believed it when Pierce's face lit up the first time he had shaken his hand, pulled him for a hug and whispered "Hail Hydra." in his ear. This lead to his induction on the secret Department X and his steady position as Director of Operations.
Currently he was sitting in his bosses offices, knees shaking from nervousness. Had he done something wrong? Pierce normally dealt with failures with a bullet to the head, not a face to face chat. The office reminded him of his boss. The sharp-angled glass desk topped with the high tech glass computer monitor, and the glass interface on the wall was very reminiscent of the cold, reflective nature of Pierce. You could stare into those eyes, the edges crinkled with crows feet and feel your the reflection of your soul staring back at you. If he liked what he saw, you went far. If he didn't, then you joined the ranks of failed HYDRA operatives which consisted of a list of names marked out by a black pen.
His boss entered suddenly and gracefully sat, motioning for Smith to relax on the uncomfortable chair. His boss always did things gracefully. No that word was wrong. There was something off about Pierce's grace; he was too stiff, too controlled to be properly graceful. Everything about Pierce was controlled; his hair, his emotions, his personal life. Smith tried to relax but it seemed impossible, his body fraught with tension and fear.
As per usual, Pierce got straight down to business. There was no time for pleasantries with Pierce.
"Smith, I need you to hire me a doctor. The last one quit due to- "His fingers raised to slash the air viciously. "-'emotional stress'. I swear these young 'uns can't handle a damn thing."
Smith laughed but it was too high, too fake. Dr. Harriet, the doctor who had recently 'quit' was a stone cold woman with an unmoving face and a stone heart. She didn't have any emotional stress. "Any requirements, sir? Young, old, blind mute?"
His boss clicked his tongue. "None of that matters any more. They just need to be good at what they do. Four years experience in the field, at least. And someone we can trust." His boss's eyes sharpened, his fists tightening to illustrate his point. "That is imperative."
His boss looked at him with those cold eyes, attempting the vaguest semblance of a smile. Smith swallowed tightly, and then smiled back tightly, the picture in his head of their new employee forming. It made him feel sick to even entertain to the notion. The universe was sick to make him think of her.
She had her mothers hair, long, unkempt, brown. Her eyes were brown as well, the same colour as the last mouthful of Jack Daniels in a whiskey glass. She was short and frail looking, her skin pale from her long shifts at the hospital and a lack of social life due to her long term romantic struggles. He'd been on the phone to her not last night, as she was crying over her redundancy from the hospital. The recession had hit them hard and she was scared over how she was going to pay her bills and feed and keep herself warm this winter. He had assured he would help out if she needed but she'd cried all the same. His sweet meek Mallory. Could he be that desperate to please Pierce?
Yes he could. "I have someone sir, but... I'm not sure if it's ethical."
"Ethical? Don't skirt around your words. Out with it." Pierce said, the human infliction of confusion overtaking his normally solid voice.
Smith swallowed; he knew Pierce hated hesitation. "I have someone in mind. She doesn't have four years experience but I guarantee she will do well. She graduated top of her medical class at Yale and has performed above par in a working medical environment. Alongside that, she's trustworthy and flexible with her time – no distracting commitments, like children or boyfriends or a dog."
Pierce's expression was unreadable even if he huffed a laugh at the dog comment and lent back in his chair. "She sounds perfect. Too perfect Who is she?"
"Sir the only problem I can think you might have is that... well... she's my daughter, Mallory. Although I know she won't be in the front lines – I have that guarantee – maybe Barnes might pose a risk to her-"
Pierce waved his hand in the air, dismissing the query. "Barnes poses no risk unless your daughter directly engages him. Which in the circumstances is incredibly unlikely. I'd go as far to say it's impossible. The man is a brick wall for human interaction." He paused and his next statement sounded like an expletive. "Hell! Maybe the family connection could be an advantage... still, we'll have her sign all the legal documentation... are you certain she can be trusted with something like this?"
He pictured his daughter, his sweet daughter who had cried and cried on the phone. The sound of her voice rang in his head, her choking sobs and cracked voice. And he nodded.
"Mallory is a smart girl, extremely smart and she's... impressionable. Before you know it, you'll have a brand new HYDRA agent on your hands."
Pierce smiled; Smith froze. He'd never seen him smile before.
"Excellent. Call her now, and ask her if she wants to come in for an interview." His voice posed no opportunity to oppose him. Smith was suddenly unsure, but he nodded and pulled out his mobile. He found Mallory on his iPhone contact list, her name followed by a symbol of a little girl and two love hearts. She had had done that, implemented the contacts on her phone. His little girl. He hesitated, before glancing at Pierce's cold eyes and sighing, knowing he was defeated. He pressed dial and the phone rang twice before she picked up.
"Hi sweetie, it's Dad. Listen I wanted to ask you something..."
As he watched his bosses reflection in the glass window that overlooked the facility where the Soldier was being held, he would've sworn the smile turned into a smirk filled with evil.
A/N: So instead of finishing my other fic, I watched Winter Soldier and started this. I wanted to pay homage to the Winter Soldier who didn't nearly get enough screentime in my opinion. I wanted to explore the dangerous medical field of memory wipes and how he must've remembered some things before seeing Steve on the bridge. I also got the idea that before and after missions, the Soldier gets medical attention before going back to sleep. Thus, Mallory Smith was born. As mentioned in the summary this will be set before, during and a little bit after the movie and it will feature cameos from the characters in the movie. So please tell me what you think so far!