Prologue:

"Carrier 1 just crashed in the Potomac. We need medivac units and search and rescue on both the Virginia and Maryland shores."

Danielle recognized the voice as Director Fury, whom she thought was dead.

She had witnessed the destruction of the three Helicarriers as she was driving to the Triskelion. All agents with a level five or above clearance had been called in as back up for the attack on the Helicarriers. With her clearance, Danielle knew about the construction of the Helicarriers, but she was baffled that all three had fired on each other.

Another voice began to speak on the SHIELD secure line in her car. "Be advised. Captain Rogers is M.I.A. He was last seen on Carrier 1 before the crash."

Danielle pulled off the Roosevelt bridge and parked near the river. She had seen where Carrier 1 had landed, and descended the shore to be closer to the river. She began searching the water for survivors.

Up the bank, Danielle could see one man dragging another man out of the water. In his red, white, and blue, Danielle couldn't mistake Captain Rogers lying on the ground, but she didn't recognize the man standing above him. Danielle watched the other man begin to walk away—leaving Rogers unconscious in the mud.

Danielle let the mysterious man walk off down the bank before she rushed to check on Captain Rogers. "Captain, can you hear me?"

Kneeling next to him, Danielle could see his face was bloody and swollen from fighting. She checked his torso and found one possibly life-threatening injury. He didn't respond, but he was still breathing and Danielle knew his advanced healing would soon take over.

"This is Agent Thomas. I'm on the west bank of Little Island, a mile up river from the Triskelion, I found Captain Rogers. He needs immediate medical attention. I'm in pursuit of another survivor heading toward the Mt. Vernon Trail." Danielle didn't wait for a reply before taking off after the man in black.

At the very least, she needed to question his involvement with the Helicarriers and Captain Rogers. She was nearly to the Washington Parkway when she heard it.

Dodging to her right, Danielle barely missed being struck by the mysterious man in black. He advanced on her as she turned, and grabbed her shoulder. Danielle swung her arm into his, but was surprised when his grip stayed firm. She looked at the arm and realized it was pure metal.

"Your arm…" She started.

"Why are you following me?" The man growled.

"I saw you pull Captain Rogers from the river. I need to question your involvement."

"No." He answered.

"I'm sorry, but 'no' is not a possibility. As an agent for SHIELD, I have to—"

"You work for them?" His grip tightened on her shoulder and his voice grew louder.

"I'm Agent Thomas," groaned Danielle. "You need to come with me."

The man pulled her closer. "Leave me alone." He pushed her to the ground and began to walk off.

Danielle got to her feet and pulled her gun. "Stop. I'm bringing you in for questioning."

The man turned quickly and charged her. Before she could fire a shot, he ripped the gun out of her hand, followed by a knee to the ribs. Danielle caught her balance then braced for another hit. He took a step back and Danielle moved in with a jab combo that he easily avoided.

She punched at his body again, but this time he caught her arm in his metal hand. With a quick squeeze, he broke her radius. Danielle cried out in pain, but was cut short when he kneed her again in the ribs. She collapsed to the ground, clutching her side, and struggling to breath.

"Don't follow me." The man warned. Sirens blared around them, and the man looked around like a startled animal. He started running toward the woods and disappeared from her sight.

Danielle got to her feet slowly and pulled her phone from her pocket, wincing from the pain in her ribs. She had to report what happened.

"This is Agent Thomas. A survivor of the wreckage just attacked me. Caucasian male with dark brown hair, standing approximately six feet tall, and dressed in all black. He had a metal arm." She relayed.

"Copy that, Agent Thomas. Paramedics should be with Captain Rogers, head back that way. As for the man, we will flag his description." A voice instructed.

Danielle began her trek back to her car and toward Captain Rogers. When she rounded the bend in the river, Danielle could see the flashing lights of SHIELD vehicles and paramedics surrounding her car. Two paramedics were checking on Captain Rogers, who was still unconscious. Danielle approached the other agents standing a few feet from Rogers, and one agent noticed her holding her ribs and called for one of the paramedics. She was escorted to the ambulance then examined by the paramedic. Soon, Captain Rogers was wheeled into the back of the ambulance by the paramedics, and Danielle studied his wounds again.

His cheek was swollen on the right side of his face, meaning his attacker was left handed. And she knew only one man with a left hand strong enough to cause damage to Captain Rogers. The man in black was a mystery to her, but now Danielle was extremely curious to find out more.