Sam Wilson and Sharon Carter were sitting in the hotel room garnering as much information as they could about the terrorists and the potential motives behind their European raid when the door to the room opened. Jumping to their feet with their guns drawn they were prepared to eliminate the potential intruder but, to their relief, it was only Steve Rogers. They let their guard down and then was instantly surprised as Natasha Romanoff walked into the room shortly afterward.
Sharon smiled. Sam crossed his arms. As the door closed behind Natasha she nodded at Sam.
“Long time, no see,” she said.
“Romanoff,” he acknowledged with a nod. A second passed before he asked, “What are you doing here? Weren’t you trying to kick our ass the last time we saw you?”
“Yes I was,” she obliged apologetically. “But…my views on the Accords have changed.”
“Tony Stark drove you crazy?” Sharon said.
Natasha smiled. “Pretty much.”
“Don’t worry guys,” Steve Rogers said. “She’s on our side now. We can trust her.”
“Are you sure this isn’t atrap?” Sam said. “You know her history. She could be playing the double-agent thing on us.”
Natasha’s expression soured. “You don’t have to worry, Sam. I’m not working for the Deputy Task Force.” She neared him. “And if I was working for them, I would’ve already caught all three of you.”
Sam snorted. “Keep telling yourself that.”
“Enough Sam, Natasha,” Steve said, standing between them. “We have something much more pressing to deal with and that’s The Horrors. As we speak they’re causing terror throughout Europe. We need to stop them before they get any stronger.”
“And how are we supposed to do that?” Natasha said. “Every camera in the world is looking for us. This isn’t like old times. We can’t just march into battle with the world cheering us on anymore. We’re criminals, meaning we’re no better than the bad guys.”
“Someone’s gotta stop them,” Sharon said. “And we have to try.”
Natasha nodded. “Okay, fine. I’m not going to be able to talk you out of this. But aren’t we missing someone?” She looked around. “Where’s Wanda?”
“She decided to face this Accords situation alone but we’ve kept in contact,” Sharon said. “We called her just a few minutes ago and told her to meet us here in the states. She should be here tomorrow.”
“So…is this where the secret meeting is supposed to take place?” Natasha asked.
Steve shook his head as he started packing a bag. “No. Turns out Peggy has a secret getaway located in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. It’ll have to act like our current headquarters for now.”
“North Carolina?” Romanoff said. She nodded appreciatively. “That is unexpected.”
Sam began to leave to go to his room and get his bags. “We should get moving. The more time we waste here the worst it gets for Europe.”
“Agreed,” Sharon said. She looked at her laptop, at the screaming European citizens who were crying for help, and her jaw clenched.
They needed to hurry.
Slow footsteps echoed in the dark alley as Louie left the bar to throw out the trash. As he threw three heavy trash bags into his restaurant dumpster he suddenly felt an uneasy feeling. He slowly turned and found a bald man with black shades staring right back at him. Shades covered his eyes, which didn’t make sense considering that it was nighttime.
“Whatcha want?” Louie asked.
The man’s stern expression didn’t waver. “Tell me where Natasha Romanoff went,” he said.
Louie spat on the ground. “Get out of here.”
He made as if to go back to his business when suddenly he felt a strong grip on the back of his neck and a blade at his throat.
“I’m not going to ask twice,” the man whispered in his ear. “I know she comes to this bar. I know she was seen with Steve Rogers tonight. Tell me where she is and you’ll get to see your family again.”
“I don’t know where she went,” Louie blabbed. “I only know that she and Captain America are planning to stop those terrorists in Europe and then they left. I swear that’s all I know.”
The Hunter snarled. The man was definitely telling the truth, leaving him in a pretty pickle.
“Good move,” he hissed in the man’s ear before knocking him unconscious with a punch to the back of the skull. As he let the man crumple to the ground he turned around, raising his wrist and pressing a button on his black watch.
From the alley’s wall jumped a metal hound whose red eyes gleamed with deadly purpose. It was comprised of complex AI and was the true secret to his renowned success. He named it Orion.
He knelt before Orion, rubbing its metallic fur.
“Find Natasha Romanoff’s scent,” he ordered.
The dog didn’t need to be told twice. He neared the unconscious man, sniffing his body and hands. His ears quickly rose and his expression became alert. He had acquired a scent.
“You got it?”
The dog barked once more before running down the alley faster than any normal dog could’ve. He too sprinted down the alleyway before jumping on his parked motorcycle. Swerving off of the sidewalk and onto the street he pressed the right side of his jet-black shades. Immediately the digital red screen on the inside of the lenses sprang to life and he was able to pinpoint his dog’s location.
He pressed the gas and swerved through traffic, ignoring the frustrated horn blares and middle fingers thrown at him. He had fugitives to catch.