Chapter 25

The tarmac was in chaos as the trio ran outside. Helicopters swarmed the sky, three dozen armed SHIELD officers decked out in SWAT gear marched towards the building that was the source of the noise. Loud thunder and lightning rocked the compound, as a miniature storm brewed over the lab building.

"The Amazons are already on it, looks like." Ana said, and the three radioactive men ran past them.

The Hulk burst from the building in a great explosion of concrete, metal, and glass. Danielle tried to get a sense of him from the distance, maybe she could return him to his human form, but there wasn't any hope.

"This is madness." Danielle whispered as the helicopters rounded on the monster. "If this gets out, there's going to be action against us."

"Come on." Steve said, running towards the Hulk. She followed in turn, Ana at her heels. "Get into the lab, we don't know who he could have injured on his way." he ordered, and Danielle nodded, running around the beast and towards the broken building. She heard the hollow buzz noises that the Radioactive group's blasts made, as they fired on the Hulk.

She jumped over the rubble, heading towards the center of the building, searching for any injured. She glimpsed Hakim near the entrance to the lab, which was now crushed, and she fell beside him, putting her hands on his neck. She watched him return to consciousness, looking up at her with wide eyes.

"You alright?" she asked, and he nodded, rolling his shoulders. "What set him off?"

"One of the Amazons." he said, pulling himself to his feet. "Bruce was trying to run tests and they weren't understanding and one of the girls shocked him and it- it happened so fast."

"Where's Kiara?" she asked, looking around the destroyed lab.

"Must have gotten the worst of it, he was right next to her when he powered up."

She was on her feet, eyeing the rubble, trying to detect the woman. She felt a fading life energy near the back of the lab, and moved towards it.

Her neck was broken, her eyes open and unseeing. Danielle felt her stomach clench. She gently ran her hands over the chest of the doctor, feeling all the shattered bones snap back into place. She took a deep breath, pushing the breath of life back into Kiara. Kiara's eyes snapped open, terrified.

"It's okay." Danielle said quickly, finishing off the other smaller wounds.

"I've never...I've never..." she stuttered, sitting up. There was a cracking noise as all the pipes in the room burst, and Hakim hurried towards the action, taking a great wave of water with him. It splashed down on Kiara and Danielle as it flew over them.

"He crushed the mutant who shocked him, she'd over there." Kiara said, pointing to the other side of the lab. Danielle hurried over, Kiara on her heels.

She found the broken body of the beautiful slender woman, Aya, she believed, but for some reason when she went to heal her, nothing happened.

"How much of their DNA isn't human?" she asked Kiara.

"A good percentage."

"I can't heal them." Danielle said. "It's not working. We need to move her, though."

"Does she have a broken neck?" Kiara asked. Danielle felt for one, and shook her head. She could, at the very least, read them. "Is there a gurney or something in here we can carry her on?"

She heard someone shouting for her out on the compound. She could see through the holes in the wall that the Hulk had rounded, and was returning to the lab.

"Grab her!" she shouted, putting her arms underneath the unconscious woman's armpits. Kiara grabbed her legs, and they picked her up. They moved her further into the building, towards the back exit.

They burst out onto the blacktop.

"Go on, leave me." Danielle said, helping Kiara take the full weight of Aya. "Hide in the forest. I can at least be a distraction." she said, and Kiara nodded, rushing away.

She turned, looking up at the Hulk as he crashed through the back door, leaving a huge hole in the side of the building. She gasped, turning to run, but he scooped her up by her legs and hurled her across the cement. She landed, hearing her own bones break, feeling her skin scrape off against the blacktop. She screamed in pain, rolling onto her back, letting herself heal, gasping for air.

Steve landed in front of her, turning towards the Hulk, holding his shield out. She sat up, dizzy, trying to catch her breath.

Hakim followed him, the water floating in midair behind him. He moved his hands, and the huge glob of water moved with them. He lowered the water over Hulk's head, effectively drowning him. The Hulk flailed around, lunging at Cap, who held his shield up, protecting both him and Danielle from the blow.

"Don't stop." he ordered Hakim, who nodded, keeping his eyes focuses on the panicking monster. With each furious roar, he only inhaled more water into his immense lungs. Steve turned, helping Danielle to her feet, and pulling her to his chest, so they were both covered by his shield.

And then he watched something he'd never thought he'd see. He saw the Hulk collapse.

"Hold him there until he changes back." Steve said, and turned to Danielle. "You alright?"

"Now." she said. "Oh, the Amazon girl, Aya, I couldn't heal her." she said, remembering. She grabbed his hand, pulling him to the trees where Kiara was hiding.

They moved past the pines and inside the treeline a bit before Kiara appeared, sitting beside the unconscious Aya.

"Is Bruce alright?" she asked as soon as she saw them.

"Hakim subdued him." Danielle said. Steve scooped up Aya gently, and they returned to the compound. She glanced over at Hakim and Bruce, who'd shrunken down. He looked terrified, and was sitting against the edge of the building with his head between his knees. Steve looked angry, and didn't say a word to Bruce as he walked past. Kiara, however, walked right over to him, bending down beside him.

"Are you alright?" Kiara asked. Danielle paused to watch the pair.

"I killed you, didn't I?" he asked, trying to breathe calmly. She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, nodding.

"I'm alright now." she said. "And we stopped you."

He shook his head. "I need to get out of here." he said, standing. Danielle could tell he was still shaky. He walked away, and Kiara followed him, her voice pleading with him.

Danielle jogged to catch up to Steve, who flagged down a medic. One of the other Amazonian mutants, Dante, saw Aya in his arms and ran over.

"Do not touch her again!" he shouted at Steve, hissing slightly. Steve clenched his jaw.

"We were trying to help." Danielle said. He looked up at her, glaring. She waved Ana over. "Tell him we were trying to help."

"Ellos estaban tratando de ayudar." Ana said to him, and he growled, looking down at Aya. He brushed his thumb across her forehead, and her clear white eyes snapped open.

"Dios mio!" she cried out. "Estoy en el dolor!"

"She's in a lot of pain." Ana said.

"Heal!" Dante shouted at Danielle angrily, and she put her hand on Steve's chest as he opened his mouth to defend her.

"I'm sorry, I can't." she said softly, feeling utterly helpless. "She's not human, I can't help her."

"Ella no es humano, Dante, ella no puede ayudar." Ana said to him.

Dante stood, seeing Banner walk across the tarmac towards a group of medics. He made another aggressive noise, and started to run towards him.

"No!" Danielle shouted, but Steve was faster than he was, and was trying to stop Dante from going any further, but Dante was putting up a fight.

"No! Él le hará daño a más personas si lo hace!" Ana shouted, running towards the struggling men, trying to explain that it would only make the situation worse.

Dante pushed him away, but stopped moving towards Bruce. "Ella es mi compañera. ¿Qué haría usted para salvarla?" Dante shouted in Steve's face, pointing at Danielle.

"She is his mate." Ana translated. "What would you do to save yours?"

"Anything." Steve said quietly.

"Todo." Ana said. Dante sighed, rubbing his bald head in frustration.

Kiara walked over, wiping tears off her cheeks. "I might be able to figure something out." she said flatly.

"Banner?" Steve asked, and she shook her head.

"I need to get her to another lab. Explain to them I won't hurt her, I only want to fix her." she said to Ana. "It's going to be a while."

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