London. It was Dr. Frost’s next destination. The city that, under her control, would garner the attention of governments around the world. Countries would try to stop her. Blood would be shed. But the conclusion would find her with an easy victory.
She sat in a newly abandoned castle–it was abandoned because she had killed everyone who had once inhabited it–meditating deeply.
Her Winter Soldiers were doing whatever they did when they weren’t serving her. She didn’t know and she didn’t care.
Deep breaths she inhaled, long breaths she exhaled. She could feel the power coursing through her veins. Could taste its metallic tang in her mouth. And then she felt a presence. The unmistakable chill of Sarkras the Mindful who had come to visit her.
“I know you’re there,” she said.
Because I want you to know I’m here, Sarkras whispered in her ear.
Her eyes opened and her head slightly turned. She could see him standing behind her; a transparent wraith who watched her with the disturbing lust of someone seeing a delicious meal.
“What do you want?” she asked. “I have nothing to give you.”
The wraith walked from behind her, sitting before her. His eyes were black dots in his transparent chiseled face and his fangs, while translucent, were undoubtedly sharp.
It’s not what I want. What do you want? the wraith asked her.
“You know what I want,” she responded angrily. “World domination.”
The wraith leaned toward her. And is that what HE wants?
She shuddered in response. The thought of his booming voice speaking to her in the darkness as she sat huddled in a rainy alley, wishing to make the world her oyster, was haunting to this day.
Why did I grant you power? the wraith asked.
“To help him find the stones,” she spoke grimly.
And have you done this?
Her nose curled in a snarl. “I will.”
The wraith hissed. Do not make the same mistake Loki did.
“Loki was weak,” she snapped. “I’m not.”
The wraith scoffed. He was an Asgardian. You are human. One wrong move and you’ll be dead. Do not grow cocky.
With that, she was left alone once more. She grabbed a stray chunk of stone that was sitting beside her on the floor and tossed it as hard as she could. It hit the wall on the far side of the room with a resounding clack before clattering to the floor. Her chest heaved with anger and she looked down at her hands.
This power that had been given to her came with tremendous responsibility. She could do whatever she wanted but she had to fulfill HIS wish or she would undoubtedly face the consequences of her actions.
She stood, walking across the room to gaze out of the window at the beautiful view. There were the rolling hills, the stunning gardens, the cute stream that trickled toward its unknown destination, and suddenly she was overcome with emotion as memories of her childhood resurfaced in her mind.
Her parents had brought her to the United Kingdom as a child. She and her sister would eat fish and chips and try to speak with a British accent. They took an unforgettable drive around the country, meeting new people, seeing fresh sights, smelling unforgettable scents, and at the end of it all, she and her sister promised to one day return and recreate that trip, as adults.
She put a hand into her shirt and removed the medallion her greataunt Peggy had given her and her sister as children. It had a single rose engraved on its surface.
“This will keep you together no matter how far you are apart,” Peggy had told them.
Tears began to well in her eyes, her fist closed over the medallion, and with an anguished scream, she threw the medallion with all of her might at the window, cracking the glass.
“No!” she screamed to herself. She would not let her past define her. Then, she had been weak. Now, she was powerful. More powerful than the Carters could ever be.
She heard footsteps behind her and turned to find the five Winter Soldiers gazing at her with those blank stares. She regained her composure, adjusting her white coat.
“Come,” she said. “London awaits us.”
Header Photo Courtesy: Marvel Studios