Chapter 16

The team that had taken Banner's place were strange. They did not make an attempt at small talk, they did not exude warmth, they didn't seem to care much for the plight Danielle had been through. There were three lead scientists, but only one personally interacted with Danielle. He introduced himself as Doctor Rufus Jemenson, and had explained his various credentials in a bit of a monotone. Natasha nervously watched them begin to take the basic information from Danielle. She stood in the corner, glaring at the three of them.

"You must understand our reasoning behind this. If we don't have full access to your abilities and knowledge of your capabilities, we are concerned you could...not that you would, but you have the capacity to become a national security threat. Dr. Banner himself went through plenty of trials before we cleared him." Dr. Jemenson said quickly. Danielle nodded, not really listening. She ached for a further understanding of herself, she had no want for their reasoning.

"We'll need to isolate you in a quarantine chamber. We've converted one of the offices for right now." He said. "We've set up a booth for observation and a two way communication speaker, as well as a small robotic arm that will serve as our administrator for the various stimuli, as well as a gaseous piping system for the viruses and such."

"Can we just get this over with?" Danielle finally said. "I'll go in the little room and your robot can prick me with needles. I don't want the details, just do what you need to do."

"Alright. Come with me." he said, leading her down the hall. Natasha followed, and he turned to her, pausing.

"Your assitance is no longer needed, Agent." he said, and her eyes flashed. Danielle stood in front of her, glaring at the doctor.

"She stays." she said. "My one condition."

The diseases came in phases. They we released in gaseous forms into the sealed room, as she explained that needles wouldn't work. The onslaught of side effects would kick in, and then Danielle would heal. The healing did not exhaust her as the scientists expected. By the fourth disease, a particularly nasty strain of Ebola, she healed faster than ever. With each new infection, the body doubled it's mending capabilities. Danielle didn't like the way they looked at one another nervously after she was done.

She made eye contact with Natasha, who she could guess by looking at her, was similarly concerned at the scientists reactions.

"We'll switch over to some different stimuli now, Danielle." Dr. Jemenson said, and she nodded, smiling slightly.

"Excellent." she said, and again her positive demeanor made them exchange looks.

A thin rotating mobile gun barrel appeared. And the bullets won't kill me either.

Sure enough, as soon as the bullets entered her skin, they were immediately rejected. She felt her adrenaline rise as she watched her skin pushing out dozens upon dozens of hard metal pieces, which soon littered the floor. She was eventually covered in her own blood, but had not a mark on her.

Jemenson cleared his throat into the mic.

"You're responding very well, Danielle." he said, and she nodded, her eyes narrowing. "How does your body feel?"

"Better." she said. "Is there something wrong? You don't seem too pleased I'm doing this well." she stepped towards the window. Her eyes again found Natasha's, who nodded very slightly. From inside the room, Danielle waved her hand towards the three observing scientists, and she watched as they all collapsed from view. The high fevers she'd cast on them rendered them immobile. She walked to the window, looking down at them.

"Somethings wrong here. We need to call Steve." she said to Natasha, who looked shocked and yet pleased. "They're trying to break me." she shook her head. "And they're mad that they can't."

"Healer and a mind reader now?" Natasha said.

"Gut feeling." Danielle shrugged. "I need you to condition the room so nobody in the building will get infected by any left over strains." Natasha went to the control board, tiptoeing over the limp bodies of the mysterious men. She pressed something, and Danielle heard a fan power on. After a moment, she nodded, and Natasha opened the power doors, letting Danielle out. "Can you get into their computer system?"

Natasha raised a brow. "Childs play." she said, before again stepping over one of the unconscious doctors arms and towards the main lab. Danielle followed her closely, scooping her cell phone off a desk. She'd left Steve a couple of voicemails, but they'd been playing phone tag all week. He was in Eastern Europe somewhere, the time difference was throwing them off.

Much to her surprise, he picked up.

"Hey, I was wondering if I'd get to talk to you anytime soon." he said, and she smiled, forgetting about everything as soon as she heard his voice.

"It's...really nice to hear your-" She began, and Natasha smacked her arm before returning her hands to the keyboard. Danielle sighed. "Have you heard about Banner?"

"What about him?"

"He's missing." Danielle said.

There was silence on the other end.

"Nobody told me." he said, sounding angry.

"And they've called in some other doctors, to run the lab here. They labeled me as a threat until I succumb to whatever tests they can think of."

"Did Natasha get you somewhe-"

"She tried, don't worry, but I wanted to come. I'm at SHIELD, and the tests they're doing aren't proving anything we didn't already know, just making me feel stronger, somehow. But something's off, Steve, I can feel it."

"I'll be leaving for the States tonight, but I'll call in a favor just in case you guys need back up. Are you looking into it now? Where are the doctors?"

"They came down with something." she said dryly, and she heard his smile as he spoke.

"You're sounding too much like Natasha. Making me all sorts of nervous." he laughed. "Get as much information as you can and then get out of there. I'll be back soon."

She grinned, thrilled at the prospect of seeing him again.

She heard Natasha swear in Russian, looking at the computer.

"You know, for a government agency, SHIELD is terrible at digging." she said, irritated. "The company those scientists work for...well, it appears our mad scientist friend may have sold them some of the vials."

"That makes sense. That's why they're testing me!" Danielle said, and then felt her stomach clench as she realized. "Tasha, wait, if that's the case, that means SHIELD didn't just not do the digging. There's something deeper."

Natasha nodded, opening a file. "Human weapons." she said. Danielle leaned down, looking at the screen. Everything from biological warfare, mind control, torture, laid out. "They already have administered the serums at their own lab to a few people. Displaying different abilities." she said, clicking through the files, pressing print on each one. "These are the subjects they can control, they can't control you." she said simply.

"Jesus." Danielle said.

"What is it with this organization getting the shit corrupted out of it?" Natasha sighed, scooping up the files and sticking them in a folder.

Danielle felt her throat go dry as she looked at a separate monitor, the camera pointing at the hallway outside. She grabbed Natasha, pointing.

Natasha whipped out her cell phone, and Danielle gave her a puzzled look.

"Did Steve call you?" she asked as soon as the other party answered. She nodded, listening to the response. "Well, we might need some help sooner rather than later. How fast can you get to the atrium? Okay. Meet you there."

She stuck her phone back in her pocket, and quickly slid the file into her cross shoulder bag.

"Clint?" Danielle asked.

"He's with Steve." she sighed, taking her guns from her belt. The doors burst open, and the two women ducked behind a lab table. Danielle shut her eyes, and listened to the first wave of agents fall to the floor, like dominoes. "I am getting real sick and tired of being a rogue agent every few months around here." Natasha growled. "Try not to kill them, if you can." she said to Natasha. "But I don't know how many they'll send in. Alone I'm a force to reckoned with. And with you, shit, they probably called in the National Guard."

"Ebola and treason in one day? Excellent." Danielle said, smirking. Instead of feeling fear, like she had before now, she felt exhilarated.

"Alright, we need to move." Natasha said, looking at the monitor feed. "Knock anyone down you can, I'll handle the rest. We've just got to get to the Atrium."

The pair moved quickly from the lab, Natasha taking cover behind Danielle to avoid any bullet wounds. The few teams sent in to stop them were neutralized quickly. There were about 30 agents waiting on the balcony for the women. Danielle moved fluidly, having to focus on each individual's body, zoning in on the immune system. She got quicker as she went, wiping out three or four at a time, one after the other. Bullets hit her occasionally, but it hardly phased her.

Suddenly, glass shattered above them. She looked up in surprise at a man flying in midair, with a pair of huge metal wings strapped to his back. He flew down, reaching for the women, and grabbing them both by their waists. He hoisted them up, and Danielle felt dizzy as she lost contact with gravity.

Three buildings over, and he lowered them onto the roof, landing neatly beside them.

"Everytime I see you, you gotta be running from something?" he sighed, and Natasha rolled her eyes, smiling.

"Thanks for making good time, Sam. This is Danielle." Natasha said.

"Steve's girl. Yeah, he mentioned you. Nice to meet you" he stuck his hand out, and almost smacked her with one of the wings. "Where're we headed?"

"Stark Tower."

"Does Tony know that?"

"No, but he owes me a favor. And SHIELD knows not to cross his turf."

"Alright. It might be slightly slow going. I loose altitude if I carry too much weight too long."

"It's 20 blocks west." Natasha said. "And air support could be on it's way. We need to move."

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