Disclaimer: I do not own Avengers, or any of the characters except for my OC, Serena Raven Sato. I am not making money off of this endevor. It is purely for my own amusment and that of anyone who cares to read it.
AN/ I know I should be working on my FMA fic, and my others, but this got lodged in my brain and would not leave. So bear with me a little, I hope you all enjoy!
Seattle was a large city. Large, busy, and overpopulated. So large that the buildings towered over the streets below, creating dark foreboding shadows. So busy and hurried that no one had time for anything but themselves. So overpopulated that two people who have lived near each other for years would not recognize each other on the street. The perfect city for a girl to get lost in.
The Sun was beginning to turn orange in the atmosphere and she sat on a bench in a park, her Darker than Black messenger bag at her feet, which were swinging back and forth lazily as she flipped idly through her magazine. Well, it wasn't really her magazine, and it wasn't really anything that interested her at all-'Horse', oh joy- but it was a good cover.
People see a girl who looked as young as she did, dressed as she was, who looked like she did, and ignored her. She looked 13, two years younger than she really was, was wearing a long sleeved black t-shirt, dark purple ankle-length ruffled skirt, lighter purple sleeveless mock turtle-neck vest, gray leather ankle boots with clunky zippers on the outside.
Her ink-black hair was cropped chin length and tucked up under a knit cap which matched her vest. She had some small silver hoops in her ears; those were her only pieces of jewelry. She was of obviously very mixed heritage; although even she was not sure as to what she was. Nor did she care.
If people were able to see her face she might get a double-take or two for her exotic skin tone, and for her odd violet colored eyes, but that was what her sunglasses and the magazine were for. She appeared as neither someone who had a promiscuous or scandalous way of dressing, or someone who was too conservative in dress. She was neither too loud in her dress, or too Goth, or punk, or hippie. She was not being loud, not drawing attention in any way. So eyes slide right over her.
And that was just how she liked it. She had been living here for over 3 months now, with no stirrings in the waters. A record. She had come north from California (recently she had lost herself in LA, but she got antsy and left as quickly as she could) and had settled in Seattle, she had a small apartment south-side. She was starting to even feel safe enough to try and make some friends, let her barriers down a little. Enjoy herself.
It had been a very long time since she had felt safe enough to enjoy herself, to not always feel breath on the back of her neck, the collar around her throat, manacles around her wrists, muzzle locked around her mouth and jaw. The drugs in her system clouding her thoughts. Forcing her to sing.
She shook the thoughts away before she had another panic attack and glanced over the top of the magazine at the other people near her in the park. No one was paying her any attention. She had thought she was being followed, but it would seem that she had lost them. She breathed a sigh of relief, tucked the magazine back into her bag (next to Bad, her wolf plushy she took with her everywhere) and stood to her feet, slinging the strap of the bag over her left shoulder. Aside from the magazine and Bad she also had a pair of brass knuckles, a can of mace, a Taser, a couple bottles of water and her anti-anxiety meds as well as some low-grade tranquilizers in case she started to have a panic attack. She liked to be prepared.
The problem with being prepared is getting the items that made her feel safe. She tried not to think about how she obtained her equipment. She did not find thieving an acceptable way to live. It piqued her pride. But of course it was difficult for a child to get a hold of such weapons like a Taser or brass knuckles, or especially chemicals such as anti-anxiety meds or things like Valium or Rivotril , and even harder to hold a job when she moved so often. But thankfully odd jobs were always available, and if you knew where to look and who to ask, you could get ones that paid well. She had stolen the Taser a year ago, the brass knuckles earlier than that. The anti-anxiety meds she could buy herself, as long as she did not draw to much attention to herself or buy too many at a time. The tranqs she had to steal, but thankfully did not need too big a supply.
She'd been on the run for 5 years now. Firstly from the laboratory responsible for her….condition, and secondly from those people called 'Shield' who kept chasing her, who she did not trust not to do the same, no matter what stories they told her. She would never trust such as them. She knew vaguely that they were tracking her, but it never was a conscious thought. If it had, maybe she would not have been so surprised. As it was, the alarms had chimed in the back of her mind, but then quieted, she had been left alone so long, that even though she was often sick with stress and anxiety of being recaptured, she had not really, truly, thought they would find her.
But as she was walking through the park on her way back home the small hairs on the back of her neck stood on end, and she felt her muscles tighten in anticipation. Flight or Fight instincts revved and she began to walk faster, fighting the urge run or look around like a spooked deer. She could not hear anyone pacing her, could not hear the crackle of radio, the sounds of guns being leveled at her. But that meant nothing. It could be all in her mind, paranoia borne of reality, there had been so many false starts in the last year. But she could not bring herself to ever doubt her senses, not when this time could be real. Them again.
She came to the end of the park and immediately picked up the pace to a trot, turning the corner, and then loosing herself in the crowd of civilians going about their way. She slowed down to match their pace (and not draw attention) and weaved her way deftly through the throng. She was a short and petite girl (only 5'0" flat) and so she was confident that she was hidden as long as she did not draw any attention. She followed the street for a good ways, and then cut into a dark and narrow alley. She knew these alleys very well indeed, she had taken a week to memorize them thoroughly as soon as she had moved here. She was not afraid of running afoul of any street tough or gang, she could handle them just fine.
It wasn't until she had gone several street lengths worth of alleys that she realized that she was being herded down towards the docks. It was little things really. A sound off to the left caused her to automatically go right when she could, shadows on the wall in her peripherals, the echoing sound of hard soled shoes. Her realization came as an epiphany, her respiration and heart rate spiked and she felt the start of a panic attack in the back of her mind. She gasped, hyper ventilated, expanded her lungs. She would need to scream.
She left the alleys and moved back to the open streets and then stopped and pivoted to face her pursuers. At first she did not see anyone, and the cold sweat that had formed on her back trickled down her spine. She had a moment of panic where she had thought she might well have imagined the whole thing, AKA totally lost her mind.
But then she saw them. Several men in natty black suits wearing sunglasses with earpieces came out of the alley she had just left, more down the street towards her. She whirled around on her heel and fled headlong down the street, which she suddenly realized was empty of all but the suits. Well… that just meant no innocents would be hurt. A salve on her conscience there. Oh, why couldn't they just leave her alone?
"Miss Sato!" One of the men called out, and she was so shocked she skidded to a halt and turned to gaze at the man in astonishment. What had he called her? Was that supposed to be her name? She gave the man a quick once over, and then turned to continue running. He was probably late-20s, mid-30s. Balding. Looked nice. He was the dangerous one, the nice looking ones always were.
"Miss Sato, we are with S.H.I.E.L.D, we request that you comply and come quietly!" A different man called out after her, authority ringing in his voice. She ignored him, her eyes skipping left and right, looking for a defendable position to put against her back.
"We don't want to hurt you Miss Sato!" the first one called out again, and she almost doubled up with hysterically laughter before swallowing the sound down. She did stumble to the side with some bitter chuckles escaping before regaining her balance and her stride. They must think her a moron. Like she hadn't heard that ploy before. She wasn't that innocent or naïve.
Once she found a nice place she would start screaming. These men would never take her alive. As far as she was concerned, S.H.I.E.L.D. was no better than Hydra, and they were as pure evil as you could get and still be human, not that she thought many of them were human. Not anymore. And neither was she. That was what they had told her. She wasn't human, so was not subject to the basic human rights most people had. She didn't even have a name.
She skidded to a halt when she realized she had come to a dead end while her thoughts had been sputtering all over themselves. She took a deep breath and calmly turned to face the S.H.I.E.L.D agents sent to capture her.
Director Nicholas Fury stood with his arms akimbo, watching the computer screens display the data his people were compiling. He was dressed neatly in black, including his eye patch, his eye lost during World War II. S.H.I.E.L.D. was an up and coming world organization, and he was trying to recruit strong 'hero's to his cause. His cause being the total destruction of HYDRA, and everything they stood for. They had survived for far too long. Far too long with the freedom to unleash their atrocities. But no longer.
He would build S.H.I.E.L.D. strong, and powerful. Dig out the HYDRA facilities wherever they were.
His best agents were out there right now, recruiting his first 'hero'. Someone who hated HYDRA as much as he did. But he had a feeling she'd not be easily won. He had found out about the girl five years ago, when she escaped from a HYDRA facility in the south. He had been surprised, he had not thought that Wichapi Win Sato had even had a daughter, much less that that daughter had survived the destruction of the laboratory that she had worked in. It had been blown up from within, apparently by a HYDRA sleeper agent. Wichapi Win had been one of his best scientists, married to a chemical analyst by the name of Akil Sato. He had been fond of them, they were hard workers, geniuses in their fields, and also good people. And to lose not just them, but the entire lab where they had been working was a hard hit.
But then he had found out about Serena. She was every bit her mother's daughter, intelligent, canny and very adaptable if her escape was any evidence. But Serena was also suspicious and very slippery, they lost track of her many times over the years, and every time they got close she always managed to get away. He was determined that this time she would be brought in. Not only for her powers, but in remembrance of her parents.
AN/ This is just the beggining, I hope you all R&R! And just a small note, this takes place about 4 years before the movie, so the Tesseract has not been found yet, and none of the nominal Avengers have been recruited yet.