-June 5, 2010, 1200h local-
"You enjoyed that. Maybe too much, if you ask me." Natasha stated with surety as she flew the Osprey along the Russian air defense zone.
"I'd be lying if I say I didn't." Naruto replied at the passenger seat.
Natasha gave Naruto a sideways glance before smirking while shaking her head.
"I'm not jealous." Naruto quickly replied. Maybe too quickly for some.
"I'm really not..." Naruto defended. "He's just like you before. Using every resource he can to find me just to have the bragging rights to say that he's the 'first' person that could facilitate contact between me and customers."
"I'm just gonna say that I believe you and end it at that..." Nat said with a disbelieving tone. "So, where are we going?"
"I gave you the files, right?"
"Yes, you have. I just..." Naruto looked at Nat when she suddenly paused with the sentence. He saw a relatively rare look. Natasha with an unsure expression. "I know what I want. I want to save my sister, kill Dreykov, and put an end to the Red Room."
"If you want to just get this over with, we can head straight to the Red Room, kidnap Yelena, and blow everything sky-high..." Naruto told her with a dispassionate tone. "Or you could aim a little higher and rebuild what you had before. It wouldn't be the same, of course, but I'll argue that it's better because it's real..." He reached for Nat's free hand and looked at her dead in the eye. "Don't tell me you don't want that..." The moisture forming on Nat's eyes was answer enough. The small nod just further confirmed it. "Then we got a gulag to visit. You can find the way, right?"
Nat just glared at Naruto causing him to laugh.
-Seventh Circle Prison, Siberia, Russia-
-June 6, 2010, 0200h local-
After a total of eight hours of travel, six hours of which were spent in flying while two hours raiding Russian gas dumps spread throughout the country to refuel, we finally reached the тюрьма седьмого круга or Seventh Circle Prison. One of the most isolated, hostile, protected, and dangerous gulags, and that's saying something. In the event of a mass breakout, the whole prison was designed to be buried under dozens of feet of snow by avalanches from the surrounding mountains.
This was where the most dangerous and/or high-profile prisoners were thrown into. A number of enhanced individuals, usually from failed experiments, were also 'contained' in this prison. All of these prisoners combined cause dozens of deaths a year and considering there were only around two hundred prisoners at any one time, it's a staggering amount.
Supposing that the seventh circle of hell was where the souls of the violent were supposedly punished, the name of the prison seems to be more apt.
Natasha landed the Osprey at the other side of the mountain to the North of the prison and hid it in the forest. The pair then started their treacherous flight up the mountain. Even Natasha, with her enhanced physique, could feel the strain of the climb on her body. It's no wonder no one had successfully escaped the prison.
Naruto created a camouflaged nest on the summit of the northern mountain while Natasha started the surveillance of the prison. Naruto had already given her the layout of the seventh hell along with dossiers of the staff and prisoners. She just needs to confirm his information before continuing with her battle plan.
"They really wanted to make this prison as inconspicuous as possible..." Natasha commented while lying prone on the ground and looking through her binoculars. "They even hid their anti-air defenses as abandoned towers or mining equipment."
"Well, this is a black site. A specialized gulag black site disguised as a regular gulag black site disguised as a regular gulag disguised as an abandoned mining facility owned by the state..." Naruto replied while tracing his fingers across Natasha's back. If Natasha was noticing this, she didn't show it. "The number of covers for this place stops most from looking further into it with how many prisons are disguised as state assets. It's like Inception."
Natasha disengaged from the binoculars and turned towards Naruto with a weird look.
"Isn't that the movie that's supposed to come out next month?"
"I was excited so I sent a clone inside Warner and watched the unedited version..." Naruto replied like it was a normal thing to do. "Spoiler alert, it's not a dream."
"And I thought you loved us. You should, at the very least, invited Jess and me."
"Uhhhhh..." Naruto sounded out, staring gobsmacked at Natasha. "Oh, look it's the warden."
Natasha gave Naruto one last annoyed look before looking through her binoculars again. She indeed saw the warden at one of the steel bridges overlooking the prison. He was having a smoke while checking the prison from the safety of the overhead bridges and towers.
"He's the only guy with access to the bombs that would bury the whole prison. The system even has a deadman switch that would detonate the bombs the moment he flatlines within the range of the prison. Paranoid, I know."
"Huh, what happens if he leaves the prison during his vacation time."
"The prison has three wardens, each serving for six months before vacationing for a year. Well, it's not really a vacation since they have waiting offices as cover. The serving warden can't leave without the other warden present cause that might cause the mountain to blow up."
"Extremely loyal. They're all students of Soviet Old Guards and subscribe to their doctrines. They'll be more likely to torture their family before letting the people inside of there to get out."
Natasha took another three hours to observe the guards and study the data packet before being satisfied.
"All right, let's go back to the Osprey. I'll tell you the plan on the way."
-Seventh Circle Prison, Siberia, Russia-
-June 6, 2010, 1600h local-
Alexei Shostakov. The Red Guardian. The Soviet's only 'official' success in creating their super soldier in response to USA's Captain America. Aside from his impressive physical and mental statistics, The Red Guardian's image was designed to stoke a sense of patriotism from the Soviet people.
Alexei himself was a six-foot-three, 45-year-old, with dark blonde hair and blue eyes. He used to have a fit, heavy lifter physique but years of a 'sedentary' lifestyle caused him to fatten up. His several tattoos and scruffy beard makes him rather intimidating.
The betrayal of his beloved country and years in a high-security prison caused him to develop some rather concerning personality faults ON TOP OF his existing issues — patriotism bordering on fanaticism, skewed morals, aggressive behavior, paranoia, and mood swings. Although one thing, in particular, was directly caused by the Soviet military themselves with the help of Dreykov and HYDRA.
Alexei has a delusion that he fought against Captain America several times during missions. These were not something pulled out from nothing. The Red Guardian has indeed fought with a real Super Soldier before, just not Captain America. There were multiple instances when HYDRA loaned The Winter Soldier to the Soviet Military and to General Dreykov himself.
Dreykov used the Winter Soldier to train the Black Widows. In exchange, HYDRA can give a defined number of missions to the Red Room. The symbiotic relationship between the two caused an exponential growth between the two groups. The Soviets, on the other hand, used the Winter Soldier to test the capability of The Red Guardian against an established super-soldier.
That's where they determined that the Red Guardian was generally stronger and tougher but has lower agility and stamina. However, it was also determined that The Red Guardian was significantly less effective than the Winter Soldier due to several reasons. That's one of the reasons why Russia was relatively okay with keeping Alexei in prison even if he could be a significant asset.
Alexei was in his room, laying down and contemplating about his past accomplishments, when a guard tapped his specialized steel door to get his attention.
(Everyone would be speaking Russian until specified otherwise)
"You got a visitor! Stand up and get out of there." The guard shouted with a sneer.
The wardens decided that there was no point in cuffing or restricting the movement of enhanced individuals outside of their cell as they have no realistic way of stopping them except for outright killing them. Nevertheless, the guards constantly look down at the prisoners as they consider them traitors to the motherland, no matter their circumstances.
Alexei, for his part, just stood up and left his cell. He followed the guard towards the management building. They passed through multiple gates and checkpoints. Surprisingly, he wasn't taken to the rarely used visitation room but towards the warden's office. Two guards were guarding the door though Alexei believed that the office could be considered a bunker.
One of the guards knocked twice before opening the door. Alexei could see the warden happily talking while drinking vodka and smoking cigars with a heavy-set man dressed in a thick camo outfit. Beside him was a large bag with what looked like to be some survival gear and an SV-98 sniper rifle specially modified for hunting.
The heavyset man turned around, revealing his face. Alexei immediately recognized the man. Abrasha Tarkovsky, The Bloody General. The primary intelligence officer for the Red Army. He has been called the Red General for his fondness of flaying people alive for information. He was also famous for missing from time to time, hunting game from around the world mostly in secret.
It looks like he decided to, once again, tackle the wilderness of Siberia. There's no other reason for the man to be here.
"The Red Guardian!" Abrasha boisterously declared. "It's a pleasure to officially meet you!" He said as he stood from his chair and kissed both of Alexei's cheeks. "Though washing yourself more often would be appreciated..." He then turned around and looked towards the Warden. "Shasha, can you give us some privacy. Absolute, complete privacy..." The warden just saluted like a perfect soldier before pressing a button from under his desk, probably to turn off all remote surveillance, and started walking out of the room. "Shasha! I would like to talk more later after I finish this small chat..." The warden just nodded before closing the door. "Alexei. Have a seat. Please..." He said like he owned the room. "I would like to talk about someone who you know very well."
Alexei would have rather stayed silent but his patriotism and the fact that General Abrasha was mostly unconnected to his unjustified incarceration.
That certainly got Alexei's attention since he wants to have his revenge.
"What do you want to know?"
Abrasha took his time before answering. He took a sip of his drink and a puff of cigar.
"Is he still alive?"
"Yes." Alexei answered without hesitation.
"Do you know where he is?"
"No, though I know someone who does."
"The Widow? She's still alive, too?" Abrasha asked more to himself. "Where?"
"At a farm outside St Petersburg."
Abrasha stood up and gestured for Alexei to come closer. As soon as Alexei got closer, the General placed a hand around the nape of his neck, where he suddenly felt something pinching at the base of his skull.
"Worry no more Alexei. We're going after Dreykov and We're working on getting you out..." General Abrasha let go of Alexei and sat back down. "You can go now and call for Shasha back..." I reluctantly nodded before walking out of the room and opening the door. "Make sure to listen to the voice in your head. It will guide you well." Abrasha added before Alexei left the room.
After relaying to the guards what the general said, they took Alexei to the mess hall as we finished just after the dining call. They left him alone just after passing through the gate that separates the cell blocks to the management building. He sat down on one of the empty tables and discreetly touched the back of his head. That's when he felt a small bump, like a device, hidden by his long hair. He would complain about it but General Abrasha was obviously trying to tell him something.
Alexei was just about to take a bite of the thing that disguises itself as food when he suddenly stopped hearing a voice he never thought of hearing again.
"Alexei. Are you ready to get out?"
In this universe, the Lucifer storyline ended in 2011. Major changes occurred to the story to fit the current narrative and will be explored if I feel like expanding on the story.
-LAPD 7th precinct, Los Angeles-
-May 3, 2012, 0830h-
Agent Phil Coulson is a man on a mission. It was just two nights ago when SHIELD's Project PEGASUS base was leveled causing the death of 63 people and it was just last night when he had to bring Tony Stark into the Avengers program. It's true what he said, they're way, WAY past assessments. That doesn't mean he knows why Fury sent him to an LAPD police captain to facilitate a meeting with an eccentric nightclub owner. The man in question can indeed be considered an enhanced. According to the file, Lucifer Morningstar has limited physical invulnerability, super speed and strength, and most notably, a limited psychic ability that can pull out people's desires or cause them to go insane making him a very effective interrogator. However, his insistence that he is the Biblical Devil puts his mental status into question making him a liability to the team especially in a team made up of atheists, catholic, and Nordic god.
Nevertheless, now is not the time to question Fury. He got out of the standard-issue SHIELD SUV and walked towards the front desk while pulling out his SHIELD badge and ID. His suit and badge screamed he was a fed.
"Good morning. Can you point me to Captain Decker's office?" Phil asked in a friendly tone while showing his badge.
"Take the elevator to the fifth floor. Head straight down the corridor and loom for the captain's office. You can't miss it. It's the only one with an open door. Unless her husband is there then it would be closed." The desk sergeant replied. The implication of the last part was clear to Phil but the lieutenant doesn't seem bothered by it.
It didn't take long for Phil to find Captain Decker's office placed at the Northeast corner of the building. Even from afar, he could see the whole of Captain Decker's office, floor-to-ceiling glass windows, and walls. Rolling blinders could be seen on the top part of the glass wall in case privacy was needed.
He could also see Captain Decker reading through some files. Her dirty blonde hair is put together into a tight ponytail. She's also wearing a beige dress suit on top of a blue blouse. He could practically see her no-nonsense attitude.
Phil knocked on the door to get her attention.
Captain Decker looked up and did a quick observation.
"Yes?" She asked.
Phil slowly retrieved his badge from his left jacket pocket and showed it.
"I'm Agent Phil Coulson of SHIELD. I'm hoping I could have a moment of your time."
"SHIELD? Never heard of it."
"That's the way we like it..." Phil gestured to one of the open seats. "May I?"
"Of course." Decker warily replied.
Phil promptly sat down on the seat and did another quick scan of the room. He could see the expensive and high-quality items in the room. Way above an LAPD Captain's pay grade.
"What I'm about to say is highly confidential beyond top secret. As an employee of the United States of America, I'm obligated to tell you that the President has ordered to prevent this information from spreading beyond essential personnel and consultants." Phil said in a serious tone.
"You won't mind if I ask my superior for identification right? I'm sorry if I don't just believe an unknown organization or agency."
"There's no need. I have this..." Phil pulled out a folded piece of paper and slid it across the table. "From the office of Deputy in Chief for Special Affairs. We coordinate with his office whenever we need the LAPD."
It took two minutes for Decker to read the authenticated letter from the Office of Deputy in Chief of Special Affairs. Meticulously checking the seals and the signature. By the end of it, she looks to be satisfied with it although her wariness never left.
"So, what can the LAPD do for you?"
"We don't need the LAPD. Right now, we need something from you..." The only reaction he got was a raised eyebrow. "We need to speak with your husband."
There are many reactions he expected from Captain Decker. It could be fear or panic from getting found out that his husband is under possible observation by some admittedly sketchy government agency, but exasperation and a small hint of fondness were definitely at the bottom of that said list. She didn't even look a little worried.
"What did he do now?"
"He didn't do anything as far as we know. We just know that he's an enhanced individual and we need his help to deal with a situation that threatens the world's security?"
"Magic? Demons? Or Another one of the apocalypses?"
'Apocalypse? What the hell?'
"Uhm. No. Aliens."
"Huh. That's new. Details? Nevermind. He'll just tell me anyway..." Decker picked up her cellphone and called a number but nobody answered so she called another phone. "Hey, Maze... Where's Lucifer?... Why?... Uh-huh... So Eve got the kids?... Alright. Can you wait for Lucifer to pop right back? Somebody wants to talk to him and I think it's important... Sure. See you soon..." She ended the call and picked up her landline. "Hey, Georgia. Can you push my meetings until after lunch but be prepared to push it all for tomorrow? I just need to do something... Sure. You're a lifesaver."
-LUX, Los Angeles-
-May 3, 2012, 0920h-
It took half an hour for them to arrive at LUX's expansive underground garage. Captain Chloe Decker is one careful woman. She informed the desk sergeant that she was leaving for a while as well as her destination. She didn't allow Phil to ride in her admittedly beautiful Black and silver Dodge Charger R/T and just 'requested' for him to follow her.
They rode the elevator in silence towards the penthouse but it stopped halfway. It opened to a beautiful woman in a white sundress pushing a twin stroller with, well, twins in them. A baby girl with black hair and a baby boy with dirty blonde hair.
"Chloe! What are you doing here!?" The woman exclaimed before pushing the stroller inside the elevator and hugging Decker.
"This is Agent Coulson. He wants to talk to Lucifer..." Decker hugged the woman back before kneeling in front of the babies and played with them a bit. "How are you, my little angels?"
"Oh, what's it about?" The woman asked in a slightly airy tone.
"Can't tell you. You just have to ask Lucifer." Decker replied while still playing with her babies.
There's nothing in Morningstar's file about kids. Fury had to know about this. We have no idea if his kids acquired any of his enhancements.
"We need his help against aliens." Phil interjected in a deadpan manner. There's no point in hiding it if Morningstar would just talk about it.
"Oh, that's new." The woman replied in the same tone as Captain Decker.
The elevator continued towards the penthouse. As soon as it opened, the strong scent of sulfur and ash invaded his nose.
"Detective!" A British-sounding man walked out from one of the hallways. It looks like he just came out of the shower. Wearing a hastily worn three-piece suit. He's a tall man with a swimmer's physique. Onyx black hair and eyes. Extremely attractive and charismatic.
"Lucifer..." Decker said before kissing Lucifer on the cheek. "This is Agent Phil Coulson. He wants to talk to you."
Phil slowly approached Lucifer Morningstar.
"Like Captain Decker said I'm Agent Phil Coulson. Director Fury sent me."
"Nicky! What does old Nick want?"