It was a cold winters night. One of many. The stars were falling in the dark Novosibirsk sky. The November frosts covered the streets in a deep snow, it was quiet. Soviet flags still waved from outside of homes who's residents were now soundly asleep or gathered around their fires with their families. Outside there was only the woman with the light brown hair, and her pursuer. She ran, as fast as she could. She had sworn to herself that she would, flee to Western Europe, to America. West, she had to go west. In her right hand she clutched tightly her silenced pistol, in her left she held even tighter a briefcase. The briefcase which she intended to hand over to S.H.I.E.L.D. Despite the precarious footing she ran perfectly. Her pace was swift and efficient each movement of her form was perfect. FFFPT. CRACK.
Rolling forward at the last second the woman narrowly avoided the bullet zipping down, instead of hitting its target it imbedded itself into a brick in the wall behind. The woman aimed her gun up at the roof and fired off two shots. The obscured figure had already stepped back, the two bullets are sent off up into the night sky. The woman rushed around the corner into an alley and pressed her back up against the wall, with her gun out she peaked around the corner.
Her pursuer had gracefully leaped off of the roof, landing with practices finesse, silently in the snow. Before the woman could understand what was happening her pursuer had kicked her gun out of her hand just as she peaked around the corner to try and see where she was. Panicked the woman threw the briefcase onto the snow behind her.
"Please. We don't have to do this." The woman pleaded as her pursuer drew closer. Throwing a punch the woman's fist was caught by her pursuer, and the woman was pulled into a judo throw, sending her onto the ground on her back with a powerful impact. The woman could see the steam of her own breath escaping as she exhaled painfully. Grabbing the blade at her waist the woman quickly rolled onto her stomach and lashed out with the knife, slashing horizontally at the legs of her pursuer. Unfortunately her pursuer had intercepted the blade, slamming it down into the snow, trapping it under their boot. The woman's head snapped back as she was kicked in the face, she could feel the blood begin to drip out of her nose.
Before she could rise to her knees her pursuer grabbed hold of her body and threw her at the wall. Colliding with the wall side first the woman cracked her head against it before she fell to the ground. "Please... Nat. Alya. We could leave this together. Live in peace. Away from this..." The woman tried to rise to her feet, the world spun as she got to her knees. She knew that she was outmatched, in speed, strength, durability. She was a Widow too, but not one like her.
There was no indication that Natalya was listening to what she had said. The woman watched as she brandished her pistol, identical to the one that she had held. The feeling of the silenced barrel pressing into her forehead filled her with fear. She had hoped S.H.I.E.L.D would have protected her from this. But in truth she knew that even if she had made it to the West, this likely would have been how her days ended even then. The woman looked over desperately at the briefcase she had discarded. The files on the Red Room she had been bargaining with for her safety, for her freedom.
"Dasvidanya." Natalya said without emotion in her voice, her face a mask, her eyes empty. CRACK
The woman fell lifelessly onto the floor. Her lifeblood escaping from the wound in her head. CRACK
a second shot to make it completely certain. Natalya collected the dead woman's knife and pistol as well as the briefcase that she had been sent to recover. The body may as well not have been there for her, she had been told not to worry about it, that it would be handled.
It was not the first time that Natalya had been ordered to kill one of her 'sisters'. She was anticipating the coming injections, being hooked up and restrained on the medical bed in the Red Room. Strange machines and instruments being brought in. They always flooded the other Widows with stuff like that whenever something like this happened. But Natalya most of all. She was their prized possession. Natalya felt nothing towards such thoughts, those had been extracted out of her. Anything that happened, for a long time it was not happening to her, a spectator in her own body. That made it easier to kill anyone.
Unlocking the latches on the briefcase she opened it up, confirming that the files were really there and not hidden away somewhere else. She would take these and later burn them, the files and the briefcase both. Natalya picked up the briefcase, holding it firmly in her left hand as she walked into the frozen night. She was due in Moscow the next morning...
Finding Fury - Black Widow Tie In #2
Location - Alpha Base
"We will be landing at Alpha Base in 10 minutes Agent Romanoff!" The pilot of the quinjet called back to her.
Natasha nodded her head. It was about time. There was something about flights that brought back old memories for her. Although in part it could also be from who she was about to meet. She had been to Alpha Base only once before, since then she had tried her best to avoid it and so far had been successful. Anchorage Alaska, perhaps it reminded her too much of home.
Once the quinjet landed she collected her equipment and carried it out off the quinjet and onto the airfield. Where a squad of S.H.I.E.L.D agents were awaiting for her, including Alexei Shostakov, the 'Red Guardian'. Or at least that is what he was once known as. Now he was known simply as Agent Shostakov to most, Natasha was curious if some of the younger agents had even heard of the Red Guardian outside of history classes. With his arms wide open he had a stupid grin on his face. "Zdrastvuyte Natalya! It is good to see you again, how have you been?!" "Natasha will do Alexei. No one has called me Natalya in a long time. Let us keep it that way."
Alexei snorted dismissively "Oh come on Natalya, we are not Americans there is no need for that."
Before she could respond he continued speaking."It has been so long Natalya, far too long. When was the last time we met eh? The world was much different place then no?"
Alexei and Natasha began to walk towards Alpha Base from the airfield as the other Agents who had been gathered boarded the quinjet which Natasha had arrived in."Yes. It has been some time..."
Natasha spoke stoically."Hah, some time. Yes that is true no matter how you put it I guess. Best not to think of the years no? Will only make us feel old."
Alexei extended his hand to Natasha, in it he held a flask which he was offering to her. Natasha shook her head and waved her hand in rejection."Natalya. You used to love this stuff give it a drink it will do you good. It's Vodka. Russian Vodka not American. From home."
Reluctantly Natasha accepted the flask and opened up. Tilting her head back she took a drink of the Vodka. It burned violently as it went down. In truth it was a truly despicable drink, one to make even the harshest drunk take a second to think about whether they should take a second swig. However for Alexei and Natasha it had become a sort of comfort. Or at least it had, she had not tasted it in years.
There was some feeling of nostalgia to it, a feeling that Natasha quickly snuffed out. Handing Alexei back the flask it was now his turn to take a drink from it, only his was much longer and far more greedily. In fact he drained the rest of the flask in that single gulp. He laughed loudly as he wiped his mouth "Ah nothing matches that no?""That is one way to put it.""See? You always enjoyed it Natalya. These American's couldn't tell a good drink if I forced it down their throats! I convinced one or two of them to drink with me but you know after that I couldn't find anyone. Says a lot about them no?""I see. That really is a shame isn't it."
Natasha spoke with a not so subtle sarcastic tone, even so it seemed to scathe over Alexei's head."Yes. Yes a great shame. But you are here now."
The two of them entered Alpha Base and walked down its corridors, Alexei leading the way.
The two of them now entered Alpha Base properly. Natasha placed her equipment onto a bench with pegs of large warm coats hanging above it."How long do we have until the next flight?""Around two hours I would say. Hmm, are you hungry Natalya? You must be hungry." "No, not particularly.""Well I am sure you can eat some. I am starving come we shall eat! This is like old times eh? We shall feast before departing for our mission yes?""About the mission-""There is no rush I shall get to that, I have not forgotten you know?"Ah Natalya, you are always so to the point. Relax please, we shall get to that after we eat I do not forget such things you know?"
Alexei led the way to the cafeteria. When entering Natasha quickly found a table on which she could sit with her back against the wall and quickly made her way towards it. Meanwhile Alexei was gathering up a platter of food. There was various kinds of fish, sausages, crabs, a few different scoops of ice cream into a bowl. He had a smile on his face all the while. He brought the platter over to the table once he was finished and placed it in front of the two of them as they sat across from each other."I swear to you Natalya you will enjoy this. This here is some of the best they have to offer in Alaska I promise you that.""So-"
Natasha was about to try and bring back up the topic of their mission but was interrupted before she could get even a second word out."So! Let us eat Natalya!"
Alexei broke off a few crab legs and began to quickly eat up their contents. Natasha resigned herself to testing some of the salmon, with sparing bites. Alexei handed her one of the crab legs he had broken off, accepting it she found herself rather enjoying the taste of the crab leg although one would not be able to tell by watching her. It was not long until the platter had been completely cleared off, the vast majority of it had been done so by Alexei but it seemed as if he had made an effort to ensure that Natasha had at least tasted a bit of everything that was on it.
Once finished Alexei stretched out his back before leaning forward, his elbows resting on the table. "Now. What have you been told about this mission of ours?""From my understanding we will be taking a flight to Sokovia. To investigate some reports coming out of there concerning something that both Director Fury and Director Rogers took a considerable amount of interest in."Yes... There have been several reports of sightings on the Winter Soldier. And even a Hydra base deep in the heart of Sokovia. The odd report of seeing the Winter Soldier here and there over the years is fairly common but, to have so many in one place in such a short time?""Well. If that is the case then I suppose a Hydra base would come as no surprise.""Really? There have been several Hydra based without a single sighting of the Winter Soldier. And we both know that he has shown up in places where we know there is none don't we?""Why even ask that Alexei, you already know the answer?""Yes yes, I know. I just wanted to see if you could remember it.""You wanted to see if I could remember it? Why wouldn't I? Alexei?""It is nothing Natalya, you worry too easily. Somethings given time can slip free of the grasp of our mind yes? It was a long time ago after all.""Something can never be forgotten Alexei.""Well now, that isn't exactly true.""What do you mean?""Ah nothing, you remember that night. Let us get back on track.""Alright... If Hydra is so deeply imbedded in Sokovia, just what are they doing deploying the Winter Soldier there so carelessly? It ought to be something big if they are willing to risk that."
Alexei took out a second flask from one of his pockets and twisted the top open. "Or it is part of the plan."
He drank from it deeply, once again draining its contents in a single gulp.Speaking honestly. I do not know. Nobody does. First thing we will be doing when we get there will be determining whether these reports have been accurate and from there was can plan what to do next."
Coughing into his fist Alexei looked to Natasha with a warmth in his eyes. "Earlier you did not answer me Natalya, how are you doing?""As always.""A fine enough answer. I do not think I could say any different."
Alexei nodded his head."Still missing the old days?""I had to move on. Gorbachev and Yeltsin saw to that. Did not have much of a choice. Thought that either way the West had won. Why not fight for S.H.I.E.L.D. Better them than those who call themselves our leaders back home now.""Of course I need not return such a question Natalya. An Avenger. Make sure to put a word in with them for me yes?""If I remember to. Maybe."
Alexei chuckled "Ah time has treated both of us well no?"I guess so."