I wait. Those are my orders. If he reaches my position alive, my mission is to eliminate a Nicholas J. Fury. Pierce says he is an enemy of the peace. Suddenly my earpiece crackles to life.
Target has survived. Engage.
New orders. I stand, the familiar hardness of my grenade launcher in my hands. Of course, I can only feel that with one hand. Metal arms aren’t known for their tactile abilities. I jump off the fire escape I have been waiting on, calmly walking down the center of the street. The target comes into view, riddled with bullet holes. I stop, raise my grenade launcher, and fire. It hits its mark, exactly as it has done a thousand times before. The van explodes from beneath, flipping over before sliding a few hundred feet. I calmly walk forward, the grenade launcher hanging idly from my hand. By the time I reach the car, Fury is gone. All that’s left of him is a hole burned through the side of the car into the street. The metal is still red. He can’t have gotten far. I calmly walk past the civilians, melting into the darkness of the back alleys. Failure isn’t an option.
It is night. Using the infrared setting on my goggles, I have tracked Fury’s heat remnants to an apartment complex near the edge of town. He must have gone inside. Looking into a window from the building beside the complex, I can just barely see Fury’s dark shape in the dimly lit apartment. He is stationary, which should make this easy. With a practiced familiarity, I assemble my sniper rifle in less than thirty seconds, holding it steady with my metal arm. My metal arm is often better than a stand for stability. I aim slightly to the left of the part of Fury I see, knowing that way I will hit him solidly in the torso. I can’t be sure of a kill shot without a visual, so I will fire more than once, to make sure the hit will be lethal. I pull the trigger three times, packing up my rifle with equal speed. Mission accomplished. I have to return to base. I turn, running across the rooftops, faster than most humans. My speed is enough to shake any normal pursuer. Yet when I glance down, I catch a glimpse of a tri-colored shield and blond hair. Someone is not only chasing me, but keeping up. I increase my pace, leaping across rooftops, always keeping an eye on the flash of color. Who is he? He’s the first person who’s ever been able to keep up with me. Something stirs in me, but is quickly stifled by my training. He’ll try to stop me. I can tell. I accelerate, leaping across a small gap to land on the next roof over, rolling to avoid injury. I hear him break through the window behind me, and my advanced senses alert me to a projectile hurtling towards my head. I whirl left, catching the projectile solidly in my metal hand. It is the shield I caught a glimpse of earlier. I am staring straight at my pursuer. He is a muscular man, with tousled blonde hair and a slightly confused expression. He may be able to keep up with me, but he doesn’t look very dangerous. I decide to let him live. I don’t have the time to kill him. I throw his shield back at him with a powerful burst of my arm, then turn, running and jumping off the edge of the roof. As I vanish into the shadows, I catch one last glimpse of the blonde man, his eyes searching for me from above. Something tells me I will meet him again.