Captain America: Secret War (THIRTY-SIX)

Sam, Natasha, Wanda, and Vision rushed into the room where they would find Sam’s much needed Falcon exo-suit. The area, designed to be a meeting room for those in Parliament, had become a treasure trove of stolen items that Dr. Frost and her goons had acquired.

“We have to be careful,” Vision said, his face still pained from the attack earlier. “Dr. Frost is near.”

“I sure am,” rose the voice of Dr. Frost as she stepped into view on the other side of the room. She smiled as she beheld the four heroes. Her head cocked to the side. “Looking for something?”

Her hand stretched forward as she sent every piece of metal flying toward them. Natasha rolled toward cover, Sam crouched, Wanda immediately made a shield, and Vision, unfazed by the metal, flew toward the adversary. Wanda at the same time gathered the red energy used to create her shield and unleashed a deadly bolt of power straight toward Dr. Frost.

Dr. Frost’s eyes widened as she witnessed the powerful attack rushing toward her. Raising her hand she used a gust of wind to knock Vision off course while also lifting a piece of metal to shield herself from the bolt of energy. As the shield fell she smiled.

“So you want to give me a hard time? Fine. I like a good challenge.”

As Wanda and Vision continued pressing the attack Sam understood the diversion was simply a chance for him to get his suit. And he knew exactly where it was. It was straight ahead lodged within a heap of stolen goods. His gaze averted to Natasha.

“I see it,” he told her.

Natasha nodded. “Then get it.”

Sam smiled. She was always so practical. With one more glance at the tense fight happening at the other end of the room he darted straight for the armor. At the exact same moment, Dr. Frost’s reinforcements arrived at the door. Natasha didn’t hesitate. She rose from her defensive position and sprinted toward the enemies who raised their guns to shoot her but she was already a step ahead.

She threw three electrics disks simultaneously at the foes and as they connected those three recipients of that attack were down. Releasing her batons she slid forward as a barrage of bullet fire filled the spot where she had just been standing. Going low she kicked out knees, used her batons to permanently damage the men’s nether regions, and then finally stood to take on the rest of the enemies who hadn’t been able to shoot lest they kill their own.

They tried to fight her but she was far too skilled to fend off her attack. She whirled, simultaneously lashing out with the right hand to send a baton straight into an opponent’s face. With the left hand her baton connected with a man’s neck. She ducked as one man swung at her head. She sent an uppercut attack at the man’s chin. Kicked out at the next foe. Used the wall to launch herself onto the next man who she then threw to the ground with her body weight. She knocked him out with one punch to the temple. The next man grabbed her. Bad idea. She used her elbow to bash in his nose before turning and sending a bone-crunching baton straight to his face. The blow knocked his head to the side and as he gazed at her with a slack expression she smiled. Using her index finger she tipped him back to fall onto the heap of men that had made a perfect circle around her.

Sam Wilson, who had just acquired his Falcon exo-suit, turned as if in triumph only to have his jaw drop when he beheld Natasha and the litter of bodies surrounding her.

Pointing he said, “Um…did you…did you…did you just do that?”

Natasha smirked. “Why are you surprised? Now come on. We need to get to The Ancient One.”

Sam nodded, rushing out of the room.

“Wanda, Vision, come on!” she yelled.

Wanda and Vision, still locked in an intense battle with Dr. Frost, turned. The distraction gave Dr. Frost a chance to knock Wanda to the side. Vision retaliated with a beam from the Mind Stone that sent Dr. Frost screaming across the room. He turned to leave the room with Wanda when she grabbed his arm.

“We don’t have to abide by the plan,” she said. “We can take her ourselves. Stop all of this here and now.”

Vision looked at her, looked at Dr. Frost who was clearly in pain as she tried to stand, and then his expression became grim. “The Ancient One is wise. She knows what’s best, meaning we must stick to the plan.”

Wanda wanted to argue but instead, she nodded. Together they hurried out of the room just as Dr. Frost managed to get back to her feet. As Natasha followed after them the Frost released an angered yell.

“You will not get away!” she promised.

With that, she chased after them.

The Ancient One was waiting and hoping that the plan would play out as it was supposed to. And, much to her relief, she saw every member of the team running from different directions straight toward her. She even spied King T’Challa, Wanda, and Sam Wilson among the heroes. Things seemed to be working out nicely…until she noticed the army led by Dr. Frost chasing after them.

Okay, the plan would still work. As the army stopped and fired a barrage at the heroes Wanda halted making a shield to protect them, but she didn’t stop fast enough. One of the bullets caught her right in the shoulder. She screamed, falling to the ground. With one hand still raised and her teeth gritted in pain she maintained the shield. Vision stopped, falling to her side. With his arms around her, he shot a beam from the Mind Stone at the oncoming wave of enemies.

Dr. Frost launched a fierce attack.

Sam Wilson, Princess Shuri, and Colonel Rhodes, noticing the trouble, also stopped to take on the oncoming threat as they shot at the chasing enemies.

The Ancient One ran forward, using magic to create a massive amber barrier between the heroes and the oncoming army. As she reached the heroes she immediately opened the Eye of Agamotto and began turning back time without uttering a single word. They knew the plan.

Everything froze around her but she used her power to bring the heroes back to life under the spell.

The heroes stared around them in wide-eyed awe as everything was sent into a blinding reversal. That is, everyone except Wanda who was clutching her shoulder in teeth-gritted pain.

“I can help,” T’Challa said, taking one of his Kimoye beads and placing it into her bullet wound.

She sighed as it stabilized the agony. Looking at T’Challa she thanked him.

“I’ll be able to fight,” she told everyone.

Vision seemed relieved to see that she was okay.

Meanwhile, Nick Fury was still staring at the blurred world around them with a slack jaw. He cursed in appreciation at what he was seeing. And then it stopped.

The very area where dozens of bad guys and Dr. Frost had just been standing was empty. The Ancient One instantly made a portal.

“We can’t be seen,” she said. “We have to go now!”

Everyone hurried through the portal and just as the final spark disappeared someone walked into the room staring down at a pad of technology, none the wiser to what had just taken place.

The heroes, bursting out of the portal, found themselves in the freezing wastelands of Russia. The wind howled and a snowstorm whitened the tundra. Steve Rogers turned round, looking at the white sky.

“I know this place,” he said. “I was here six months ago.”

“That’s right,” The Ancient One told him, her gaze facing forward.

Everyone turned to look at what she was looking at and they saw the rusted metal doors to the secret HYDRA base inlaid within the rock.

“We’re here,” Vision said.

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