Disclaimer: THOR is not mine.
A/N: Aella in Greco-Roman mythology was an Amazon killed defending her queen from Hercules, but the name means whirlwind, which seems appropriate to the character. Also the song referenced is "Indestructible" by Disturbed, great song – which I also do not own.
Dark eyes scanned over the array of instruments she had set up to monitor her abode for intruders – and as usual found nothing amiss. It still never stopped her from entering her home tense enough to jump at the slightest sound, until verifying that no-one had been there – and that no-one was watching her.
Feeling unexpectedly weary, Aella sank into the beat up armchair and tried –unsuccessfully - to calm her racing heart. Frustrated, she muttered: "You're going to give yourself a heart attack, idiot – and all for nothing. No-one is coming for you."
Perhaps if she repeated the words long enough, she would start to believe them. At any rate it had been six years since she had defeated that last of them, taken up a new identity and moved to the outskirts of a tiny town in New Mexico, and no-one else had come for her, but the tension in her never entirely faded away.
Tired of dwelling on a past that could not be changed, she got to her feet and set one of her favorite songs to repeat while she sparred with her punch-sack, raining down kicks and punches of every variety in rhythm with the music.
Another mission, the powers have called me away,
another time to carry my colors again,
my motivation, an oath I've sworn to defend:
to win the honor of coming back home again
No explanation will matter once we begin,
unearth the dark destroyer that's buried within,
my true vocation – and now my unfortunate friend,
you'll discover a war you're unable to win.
I'll have you know that I've become
Half an hour later she was definitely feeling better. Heart hammering from the exertion, she felt calmer inside than she had for days, in part due to the fact this song did not let her dwell on past losses, in part because as she pushed herself to keep going, she was reminded that she had indeed learned to defend herself, and if they did come for her, she would not go down without a hell of a fight.
50 minutes…. 55 minutes… 60 minutes. Finally she stopped, dropping to her hands and knees as the world tilted and spun around her. Each time she did this she pushed herself to last a little longer, determined to reach the maximum stamina the human body was capable of, and each time it seemed like she had reached that limit, still never stopped her from pushing harder the next time.
When she felt able to stand again, she turned off the music and stepped into the shower, letting the hot water drum against her back while she enjoyed the peace left in the wake of her exertion. Perhaps there was something to be said for endorphins after all.
Stepping out, she looked into the full length mirror as she dried off, and felt a glimmer of arrogance spark in her as she twisted and admired the lean toned muscles beneath her skin, lyrics from the song racing through her mind. Yes, she thought, come and get me – if you can…. I've become indestructible…
The latticework of fading scars covering her back and some of her torso reminded her that she was far from indestructible. Even with all the hand to hand fighting skills she had learned, all it would take was a single bullet to kill her, a single lapse of attention on her part, and it was these reflections that led her to wonder if she should exercise the other 'talent' she had been born with, perfect her ability to control it just as she worked on her physical training.
Then she shook her head forcefully, reminding herself aloud:
"No, that's what got you here… never again."
Stepping into clean jeans and a black tee she reminded herself that she had chosen to live as a normal human, and hope that life would let her spend the rest of her days as one.
For six years it had worked, why change anything now?
Seconds later an alarm started screaming out the warning for abnormal electromagnetic effects.
Aella picked up her bug-sweeper and tried to locate what had to be a bug, confounded when her search for peak signal led her to an exterior wall of her house. Confounded as to how she was even able to detect a bug outside a concrete-metal-mesh wall that she had designed to keep signals out, she viewed the original data and was shocked at the strength of the electromagnetic wave that was apparently coming from the sky about 60 miles from central Puente Antiguo – literally in the middle of nowhere.
She could not see anything in the sky yet, but at those wavelengths it would have to be visible soon, so exact coordinates were irrelevant.
Grabbing a coat and her emergency black leather satchel containing weapons, emergency cash, fake IDs, and a couple MREs, she slammed the door behind her and raced out into the darkness at her motorcycle's top speed. Whatever this was she planned to meet it head on.
Fifteen minutes later she had stopped in awe as the sky burst into a rainbow of colors. Then she cautiously backed away from what she could only describe as the cross between a tornado-in-reverse and the aurora borealis which drilled into the ground with an unearthly howl.
Just as suddenly as it came the light and the funnel cloud disappeared into the sky, and Aella let out the breath she had been holding, only to have it catch in her throat as she realized that the silence was broken by the ragged breathing of another. Looking through her infrared vision goggles she could see another person kneeling with a hand pressed to his abdomen…. and she knew that before whatever this was, the field had been empty for miles, she had checked.
The figure got to his feet somewhat unsteadily, and she could hear him calling out for a hammer – a hammer! of all things – as if he expected IT to respond.
Deciding that was enough, the man was probably not going to be a threat to her if he was having conversations with hardware, Aella put away the goggles and picked up her flashlight, switching it on to get a better look at him and let him know she was there.
He immediately turned to look at her, seeming a lot less surprised than she would have been in his situation, and Aella swallowed hard at what she had to admit was the most impressive man she had ever seen before. The blonde radiated strength all over, but it was his eyes that caught her, they were bluer than any she had ever seen before – electric blue, and in them was something decidedly not human.
His stance had stiffened for a moment as he apparently sized her up, then he turned away and continued his frustrated pacing, now directing his words to the sky:
"Father! Heimdall, I know you can hear me. Open the Bifrost!"
Aella's brows reached her hairline. Something in the words he was using tugged at her memory, but she could not connect them to anything, so as things stood she would have been less surprised if he had started calling for nails next, or maybe pliers.