by Lilian Colby
Getting not so settled in.
Wow. Tony has a daughter... I don't think anyone saw that coming. I'll have to admit though, she was pretty hot. I could tell Kyle thought that too...
Kyle gave me a dirty look.
"Should've said it sooner." I said smirking.
"James, I'd like to have a word with you." Dad said.
"Crap." I muttered under my breath. We walked off to the side, and I could tell dad heard Kyle and I's conversation.
"James, I think you already have an idea of what I wanted to speak with you about."
"Good. I don’t want you looking at Rueben like she's some sort of competition between you and Kyle. She just got here, we don't want her feeling uncomfortable. Do you understand?"
"Okay. You are dismissed."
I really didn't want to be in the room with everyone now.
"How about we ditch and go to my room?"
"Sounds good to me. What'd Steve want to talk to you about? "
"He wanted to make sure I knew that Reuben wasn’t competition between us and wants her to be as comfortable as possible."
"Well, she isn't really competition seeing as how you called dibs on her."
"Shut up!" I told him.
"My mom like a ninja. She always knows what we talk about."
"I'm really surprised you didn't get any of those genes. You're like a cow dying of thirst when it comes to stealth.”
“Jesus Reuben!! You Scared us half to death!”
“Yeah that might happen a lot. It’s not intentional, I swear! So where are you two off to in such a hurry?”
“We were going to my room to hang out. You can join us if you want.” I said.
“Nah, I’ve got to unpack.”
“Can we hang out with you?” I suggested.
“Sure, don't touch my stuff though I hate people who do that.”
“I’m going to go to my room instead.” Said Kyle.
“Okay.” Reuben and I replied in unison.
We went to Rueben's room. God she was so awesome. I noticed an electric and acoustic guitar, also a drum set.
“You’re a musician, huh?” I asked.
“Of course. I also know about every AC/DC song that was ever created on drums, piano, and guitar… Actually, James, if you don't mind I think I'd like some space to myself. I just want to get settled in and used to being back home.”
“Yeah, sure. No Problem. I'm really glad that you can finally be back with your Dad.”
“Yeah, me too…”
Just then the phone rang, and I could tell my Dad picked it up.
"Everyone to the lounge for a meeting please." JARVIS announced.
Pretty much everyone was in the lounge except Kyle, James and I.
"So much for unpacking." I muttered to myself.
"Nick wants us all on the helicarrier right away, including you Rue." Dad Announced.
Thirty minutes later, we arrived at the Helicarrier. Scott was already there waiting for us. Well, right off he asked for me. he handed me a manila folder and told me to read it. Inside a read a large number, in the thousands.
“What does this number represent?”
“The power core for the ship.”
“You're gonna want to slit your wrists with this folder.”
“You're gonna wish you did if I can't fix this!”
I yell as I run into the ship with Scott close behind me. We disappeared into the bellows of the ship. I was sprinting as fast as i could, trying to make sense of what was happening. I don't know what those scientists were thinking, but these numbers were way too high for the power core to handle!
I ran into the room, and was utterly struck stupid. I didn't understand, how could this be!? There was a main core in the center of the room, with four surrounding backup core in each corner of the room. The main core was basically “charging” the other four cores. I walked up to the board that controlled everything in that room.
“What is the Tesseract doing in the core?”
“Nick thought it’d be a good idea.” Replied one of the workers.
“Well, Nick now qualifies to be as crazy as a loose wagon going down a bumpy hill. Shut it down NOW.”
The power of the Tesseract was way too high for the ship to handle, even a big one like this.
“It’s shut down, ma’am.”
“It’s not enough!”
I knew what I had to do. I Had to take the tesseract out from the core. I’m not sure how much more of this “connecting to the tesseract” I can handle, but if I don't die from this, it’ll definitely be the radiation. I’d much rather one life taken than thousands. Slowly walking towards the entire power source of the ship, my hands began to sweat, and each step I took got heavier and heavier. I felt as if I were walking in a spider web, and if I made any sudden movements, I was dead.
“Reuben, what are you doing?” Scott asked, I heard the fear in his voice. He knew what I had to do, but he didn’t want to believe it.
“I have to get the Tesseract.”
I was at the middle of my forearms of reaching into the core when Dad, Nick, and the Avengers team came into the room. Instantly, their facial expressions all changed at once to the same, terrified, concerned expression. All of a sudden, the Tesseract shot out of the core, and I was pulled in. All I could see was white. All around me. I could hear Dad screaming my name, but I couldn’t move. I couldn’t speak. It was as if all my nerves had shut down. I couldn’t feel anything, I was completely numb. I began to see flashes, memories of my life. It was as if I were back with Dad in the living room and we were watching a movie off of a projector, except my brain was the projector, and my eyes were the screen.
Suddenly, I was in an arena, like a gladiator arena. I saw a little girl about ten feet away from me. I took a closer look, and realized what was happening. This was a memory and that little girl was me. I was experiencing a memory in third person. This feeling came over me, of sudden fear. My instincts told me to look to my left, and what I saw was unreal. There was this thing on the other side of the arena, coming fast toward my six year old self. That thing, it was yellow, and was like a scorpion, except 3 times my current size. I tried moving, but it was as if my shoes were glued to the ground. i tried to unlace them, but when I touched my laces they burnt my fingers. I looked up, scared and heard myself scream. Mini-me was pinned to the ground, but she wasn’t looking up at the thing, she was looking up at the jumbo screen. I followed her path of vision to see a blood curdling face on the screen. His skin was green, almost like a baby. There were these wires attached to his head, no to his brain. I could just barely see past the screen to see a figure. I couldn’t find out who it was.
“DADDY!!!!!” My six year old self screamed.
I guess I did know. There was a white flash of anger that surged in between us. I was so angry, and I watched as my six year old self used her powers to get that thing off of her. I had powers when I was a child? All of a sudden, time began moving in reverse all around me. Now, I was in the garage below Dad and I’s childhood home in Malibu, California. There were other cars there too, that dad was working on. I didn’t see the Iron Man suits anywhere. Maybe Dad tried keeping the fact he was a superhero from me. I watched my four year old self as I observe the car engine in front of me. I guess I was building it, but I don’t understand why I can’t remember this. I only remember little bits and pieces, but they were blurry. They were only good parts too, like when dad brought me to work, or when we would go on road trips to places like Washington, D.C. Why didn’t I remember this? Obviously my brain was developed enough that I should. I mean, I was building a car engine!
Then, time passed to when I was a newborn. Dad was holding me, and making me laugh. I looked so happy and adorable. My eyes were so bright and full of curiosity. My attention turned to Dad. He was sitting in a rocking chair, and holding me in what used to be my room. It was a light pink with baby green polka dots. It had picture frames with Dad and I and there were pictures of Uncle Rhodie and I too. I know he’s not really my Uncle. Dad seemed so happy, his eyes were so bright with hope and joy. I laughed, raised my hand, and it turned blue. I was looking away from dad to the building blocks. They were floating, with the same blue aura around them. Dad was smiling down at me. He was proud of me then too?
The situation once again changed. This wasn’t like all the others though. I was myself, and I could actually move. All around me was white, but I was standing. I looked around, trying to figure out where I was. There was nothing around me except an arch with a door.
“Why are you here?” Someone said from behind me.
I whipped around and got so scared, I didn’t know how to react. She had the same, olive colored skin as I, the same heart shaped face. Her honey blond hair in a bun as she would always wear, with her bangs too short to put up, they framed her face so perfectly. Everything about her was elegant. She was wearing a long, flowy white dress. I’ve looked up to her since I was six years old, she was always so beautiful and youthful. Elegant, no matter what she ever did.
“Mom, where is here?”
“This is the middle-way. A place where spirits go before they cross onto the other side. I couldn’t go, something was telling me I had to stay. You can’t stay here. You have a long, wonderful life to live. You will grow old and have children, so your father can be a grandparent. Do NOT give up on life now. I won’t allow you to. Please, just this one time, listen to me.”
“Mom, did Skull kill you?”
“I’m not going to say, because I know you’ll go after him for revenge. Are you going to listen to me? Or do I need to make you listen to me.”
“Mom, just tell me who killed you. Please.”
“I love you sweetheart.”
Then, mom shoved me towards the door, and as soon as I went through the door it felt like I was falling. I wasn’t scared, I knew what was happening. That doorway lead to my body. I began hearing voices all around me. Everything began to get dark, almost like I was about to black out. Everything went black when I heard dad's voice. I think I’m back in my body, but I don’t know if I’m looking at my eyelids or not. I try opening my eyes, and suddenly everyone’s around me.
“Reuben, can you hear me?” Asked Dad.
“Hey Dad, what’s goin’ on?”
He let out a breath and seemed relieved, but still worried. Ok. I died, so that might be why he’s still worried. I then came to the realization of what had happened, and that my mother was dead.
“Mom’s dead.” I suddenly blurted aloud.
“What?” Dad asked, shocked. I knew he didn’t care. She was just some one night stand gone wrong.
“I said Mom is dead. I was in the middle way and she’s the reason why I came back. She was murdered by Skull, and I’m going to avenge her.” I say as I get off the floor.
“You can’t just get up and go after Skull when you were dead not even 3 minutes ago.” Dad tried to argue.
“Really? Watch me.” I say walking away.
“You can’t do this on your own.” Dad said.
That was it. I was done with his antics, feeling bad for himself. Trying to make up for all those years he never came.
“I had my powers when I was a child, didn’t I? You knew that I had powers that Skull wanted ever since I was born, yet you still let mom take me. You knew we would be in danger, and you hoped that Skull would find us and kill her so you could have me all to yourself. That’s why you never came. If you never came my Mom might still be alive! You never cared about her, she was just another one night stand gone wrong, and I’m the result! I know I’m the mistake you could never fix, so stop acting like the fatherly influence you never were!!”
I walked out. I had to. I couldn’t stand to be in the same room as him anymore. I was so angry and confused. I wanted to just disappear. I never thought I could feel so much rage in one moment like I do now. It was like a dam had broken. The water was my words, and the little town below that was devastated was Dad. I didn’t know where I was going until I got onto the upper deck of the heli-carrier. I went to the edge, sat down, pulled my knees up to my chest, and just sat there. I just looked out at all the clouds. I was fine until James came and sat next to me. He didn’t say anything. It was like he knew what to do. He just pulled me into his warm, strong embrace. That’s when I broke. I just buried my face into his chest and sobbed. He stroked my hair and rubbed my back. I just sobbed for so long. Until I felt better. Then I just rested my head on his chest and listened to his heartbeat.
His aura was so calming, but strong. Kind and protective. His heart was big and welcoming. I wish I could be like James. Normally, I push people away. With James, it was different. It was like I couldn’t. My mind told me not to. Then I realized something. James has been trying and trying to get my attention, but I’ve always blown him off. I was being comforted by the one guy who could actually be good for me.
“I’m sorry about your Mom.” He apologized.
“Everyone dies at some point. I’m sorry you had to see me like that.” I apologized back.
“Better now than never.” He replied.
“When am I going to see the Hulk in you?” I said jokingly. We both giggled.
“Hopefully never…. are you ready to go inside?” He asked.
“I don’t think I’ll ever be, but better now than never.”
Just as we were getting up, Steve came out. Great, he was the last person I wanted seeing me at my weak point.
“Are you alright?” He asked concerned.
“Yeah, because finding out your mother is dead is always easy to get over.” I replied.
“The subject is still touchy.” Said James.
“I see. Okay, well Tony wants to talk to you.” Steve said.
“I wonder how much more of this I can take.” I mumble. “Tell him I’m not in the mood, please?” I say.
“Okay, well you can’t avoid talking to him forever.” Steve said.
“You’d be surprised….” said James.
I don’t know when I’ll be able to talk to dad, but now is not the time. I began to walk away to go inside and study. I needed to read all files and cases that had any relation to Red Skull. This was so I could have an advantage against Skull. I needed to study each and every move he has ever made. There was also the fact that I had face to face combat with him. I had to train, I couldn’t rely solely on my powers, I hardly even know how to use them, let alone what they can do.
“Where are you going?” asked James.
“I’m going to make a game plan.”
“Do you need help?” Asked Steve.
“What I need is for the Avengers to stay out of my way. Either you're with me, or you’re not. If not, stay out of my way.”
If this was going to work I couldn’t afford any distractions. I had to seclude myself in the file room and get all files and read every one of them, word by word. I had to read them going from the most recent to the oldest. My research has to start with me. Walking into the room I suddenly got nervous. I would have to relive what happened to me… at least I would know what happened in the end. What happened after I smashed the Tesseract on the floor.
Looking at the shelves all stacked with boxes with different files in them, I knew how hard this was going to be. I went to where the files that began with ‘S’ were. I took the rolling step ladder and went to the top shelf. There was 6 boxes dedicated solely to “Skull.” I stacked three onto one another and brought them to the steel table with a flimsy tables lamp and chair. The first box I went into was dated 2030, the earliest and most recent case. The first file was mine. Where I had gotten abducted, beaten, and became and super-human. Not a hero, I haven’t done anything heroic quite yet. I read my name, and opened the file. The first thing I noticed was a photo of me paperclipped to the top left corner. I then began to thoroughly read through my file.
‘Reuben Bailey Stark'
‘Daughter of Anthony Stark and Rachel Bailey’
‘Parents whereabouts: Mother- M.I.A. Deceased. Father- Manhattan, New York’
I crossed out Mom’s whereabouts because I wanted to make sure they knew she was dead.
‘Date of Birth- 7/4/2012’
‘Attacker: Red Skull’
I skipped to the end. I knew everything they had in the beginning. How he torchered me, asked me questions, how he abducted the Avengers.
‘She smashed the Tesseract on the floor which became smoke and enveloped her until it all sank into her skin. She was then glowing a solid, bright blue, the same as the tesseract. She then went after Red Skull who escaped. The power of the tesseract then receded into her, and she passed out. Tony Stark managed to get the submarine up to the surface, where shield met up with them. Reuben was then in a coma for two weeks. When she woke up, she went to her mothers’ home in Alabama. Her mother is still currently M.I.A. Red Skull’s last know location is unknown.”
Ok, so I’m an alien. I’ve never met a Superhero or mutant that ever glowed one solid color. Well, this file was done with. Time for some other files. File after file, word for word, I read every file that shield had, and I found another file with the name “Stark” on it. It was about my grandparents. If they are in the file of Red Skull, that means they were involved with hydra, which meant they had something to do with their death. I skipped this file, because I wasn’t strong enough to learn about more death in my family. I read file after file until the last file that I could bear to read came. I already knew who this was about.
‘Captain Steven Grant Rogers’
I just skipped to what happened. I read how he tried to stop hydra, how he crashed a ship in the ocean near New York. How he was found frozen, yet still alive. How he was in a coma for 70 years. Skull didn’t kill Steve, if steve had died, I would’ve considered it a heroic sacrifice. Skull had a pattern, either sending his henchmen to kill someone, or making them kill themselves. I don’t know how skull killed mom, but I know that I’m going to avenge her by having Skull rot in jail for the rest of his time on Earth.
I needed someone to help me, and I already knew who. I walked out and down the long corridors to the front of the ship. This was the area where all controls were for the ship. To my right was a big class panel, looking out to the sky in front of us. right before me was where all the computers were lined up. sort of like N.A.S.A. but more advanced in technology. the thing is, there were only about three people out of 60 that were on the computers. This made me realize what time it was. Everyone was in their quarters sleeping, just to wake up to another day of work. I was assuming that Scott would be in his quarters. Before I was able to walk out, Dad came walking in. Of course, he looked straight at me.
“Don’t…. just….Don’t…” I said as I walked out and to Scott’s quarters.
I interrupted him. I was hurt beyond compare. He knew that, and I knew that he wanted to talk, but I couldn’t handle that right now. I walked to what I thought was Scott’s room, but I guess my feet had a different idea. I didn’t know whose room it was until I knocked, and James answered. He was wearing a grey t-shirt and blue flannel pajama pants.
“Hey Reuben, are you okay?” James asked, concern covering his face
“I don’t know. I just don’t know what to think. May I come in?”
“Yeah sure.” he gestured that I go in, and I went in and sat on his bed. He closed the door and moved a chair in front of me.
“I think you already know what I want to talk about.” I said to him.
“I’m all ears. Good or bad, which ever one, I’ll listen.” I don’t believe how kind he could be.
“I can’t look at my Dad without remembering my mother. I can’t look at him without remembering everything I said to him. I want to make it so nothing like this happens again. I can’t handle this. It’s too much pain to bare. I wish I could make all of this go away.”
“We all do things we regret. You just need to move forward. Stop living in the past and live in the present, while the opportunity is still there.”
“Thanks for listening.” I said.
He nodded his head, and I walked out, closing the door quietly behind me. I felt like I still had things to say, but I couldn’t put them into words. I started walking to my point of origin, Scott’s room. Walking around the corner, I felt like something was wrong, but shook it off thinking I was just a little sleep deprived. Just one last stop, then bed it was. Room after room I walked. I felt like I was lost. Now I began to have anxiety. What’s wrong with me? Breathing heavily, I B-lined it to my room, thinking I was too tired and it could wait until tomorrow. I felt like someone was still following me, so I decided I was just going to go onto the platform of the helicarrier, because it always calmed me down. I zipped up my brown leather jacket, thinking it’d be slightly cold out at 1:30 A.M. It didn’t take long for my eyes to adjust to the dark. My anxiety slowly began to recede, but I went to the edge, lied down, and let my legs dangle. It began to get really cold out after a while, so I decided to go back to my room. Before I reached the door, I looked one last time at the stars, thinking my mother was watching me. I turned to the door, and Red Skull was just inches away from me. He had a mischievous smile, and I was knocked out from behind. I woke up back in a cell, but this time it was more high tech. I rubbed the back of my head where I had been hit. I should’ve seen that coming. I was going to need brain surgery after taking all these hits to the back of my head. Red Skull has already made a strategy for me. His strategy was for there to be some sort of distraction, then knock me out from behind.
“How does it feel to be back here again?” Skull said.
“Great! Remember how much fun we had last time?” I said as sarcastically as I could.
“This won’t be like last time. The cell you’re in has a mechanism that can track and power related to the Tesseract, and absorb it. You’re slowly dying as we speak.”
“You really want me dead? Without me nothing will stop the Avengers from killing you.”
“Yes, but your death will give them time to figure out where we are, and right as they get to you, you will die. Your death will be slow and excruciating, not quick like your Mother’s.”
“At least she didn’t suffer.” Shock covered his face.
“Using my mother as leverage for me to give up won’t work. You see, I’ve already had a near death experience, where my Mother and I had a very thorough conversation. I’ve had time to mourn over her death. You won’t find any leverage against me.”
“I do not need leverage to kill you.” He said calmly.
“No, so why are you talking to me? Why not just watch me suffer from one of your T.V.s because you obviously have this place littered with cameras.”
“I like to torture my victims before their death.”
“Here’s how your death will go. If we stay on schedule, you should die in approximately five hours. Every thirty minutes, the rate of the absorption will increase.”
“If everything goes right.”
“You better hope everything goes right, not that anything would change your fate.”
“What, are you going to kill me and hope the tesseract will still thrive within me? That’s not possible, because as soon as I die, the tesseract dies.”
“No. We will torture you and make you wish you were dead.”
I was not expecting for her to be as accepting of her Mother’s death as she was. She is stronger than I imagined. I would use her for my team but she is too much of a danger, and without the tesseract, she would be of no use. It has been four hours, forty-five minutes, and there has yet to be any sign of the Avengers. Something is wrong, they wouldn’t let a savilian die, so they would NOT let one of their own kin die. Out of all of them, I would have expected to see Tony Stark by now, with how hard- headed he is. The fool would think he could come in and rescue his daughter all on his own.
“She grows weaker by the minute, Tony. Better come out now before you try to save her when she is already dead.”
Soon, she will be on her last breath of life. Then, possibly my biggest threat will be taken care of. She was what you would call a soldier at heart, never giving up until her mission was complete. Hmm, maybe I’ll revive her after she has died, and “rewire” her brain. In other words, I will have Modok cause permanent memory loss. She is to be my winning chess piece against the avengers.
“Modok, cloak our signal.”
“I thought you wanted the Avengers to find us?”
“DO NOT QUESTION ME.”
“Right, sorry. Hail Hydra.”
“Soon, we will have the most valuable member on our team.”
“Wasn’t the plan to kill her?”
“That is only half the plan. After she is dead, she will be revived and you will cause permanent memory loss. Then, Reuben Bailey Stark will no longer be Tony Stark’s daughter, but my protege.”
“What if she wanders and learns the truth?”
“We will keep her under twenty-four hour surveillance and tell her the Avengers are trying to cause her harm, and that it is for her protection.”
“Our plan will come together perfectly. Hail Hydra!”
Reuben actually came to me to talk. Not just about something that happened that was funny like she normally would, but about something serious. Something so personal, that she probably wouldn’t have told me if it weren’t so late. Maybe I shouldn’t bring it up until she does. She probably won’t even remember she told me, because she looked like she was in dire need of sleep. Hopefully, she went straight to her room. She was smart, so she would know when it was time for her to go to sleep. Although, she was much like her Dad, meaning very stubborn. I should go and check on her, just in case. I was already dressed. Well, in my pajamas, but I walked out into the long, empty hallway. It was so quiet, weird because normally people would constantly be walking through here. This was such a complex place, and yet Reuben treated it like it were her home. I was getting close to Reuben’s room. Maybe a few hundred more feet, when I got a sense that something wasn’t right. As if something was going to happen, but I didn’t know what. I was a few feet past the stairs up to the deck when I heard a blood curdling scream. Little did I know it would be the last thing I heard out of Reuben’s mouth for a while. I flew up the stairs and out the door, but there was nothing. No sign of anyone. I figured maybe I was hearing things. There was a liquid substance on the tarmac, but it was too dark to see, so I thought nothing of it. ‘Ok, back to Reuben’s room.’ I say to myself. There was still a weird feeling, like something was lingering in the air. The closer I got to Reuben's room, the more nervous I became. After knocking on her door three separate times, I gave up. Maybe she wasn't in the mood to talk anymore. I still had a weird feeling, so I knocked again.
"Reuben? If you don't answer I'm going to come in."
"Okay Reuben, I'm coming in, don't say I didn't warn you."
I opened the door, not knowing what to expect. Maybe she was listening to music loudly, she's always listening to loud music. I pressed the button that opens the door, and peeked my head in. There was nothing except her laptop which was sitting open on her bed. It plugged into the wall and the apple on the back of the screen glowed. She had what I'm guessing wws her own covers on her bed since they didn't look like any of the others. This made me think of how often she was here on the ship, in this room. I wonder how much of her life Reuben has spent on this ship...how many nights she’s stayed here. Could it have been days, weeks, months even? Maybe I could try calling her phone, I’m pretty sure the ship has it’s own “cell phone service.” I took out my black iPhone 4s and went to my ‘recently called numbers.’ Reuben’s was the first number. I tapped on her number and put the phone up to my ear, waiting for Reuben to pick up. Instead, I was surprised to hear her recognizable ‘T.N.T.’ ringtone by AC/DC. I began looking around, and found her phone under her bed. I hung up. This is not right. Maybe I’ll just go to sleep, she’ll probably turn up in the morning. Then I began thinking about the possibilities of why she hasn’t turned up. Could she be hurt? Could she have collapsed from earlier? What if she needs help? I B-lined for Nick’s sleeping quarters, thinking that he would know what to do. After I told him, he went to the main part of the ship and began looking through the cameras. Finally, he went to the upper deck cameras, and we both noticed blood. He then rewinded the tapes and found Reuben standing on the deck. She was always fascinated with stars, and the sky. I guess it some how calmed her down. She began to go in, but turned around. Then Red Skull was suddenly behind her, and when she turned around, he smiled at her. It looked like she gasped, and suddenly Viper was behind Reuben, and knocked her out. Viper grabbed ahold of Reuben, and they disappeared. I looked at Nick, and at the same time we said “This isn’t good.”
Now that all the Avengers knew Red Skull had taken Reuben, they were all concerned. The one who was most concerned was Tony. It was his daughter that has been taken by Skull two times now, and I think he is blaming himself. The last time he had a "conversation" with Reuben, she was screaming at him. I wanted to tell Tony it'd be alright, but even I can't convince myself that. The one thing that I did know was that Tony couldn't lose Reuben, not after he just walked back into her life. He would blame himself even more than now thinking what would happen if he never even came back into her life. I also know that reuben wouldn't go down without a fight. Red Skull took her and there has to be a reason why. Maybe, just maybe, he knew that Reuben was connected to the tesseract. Was he going to use her? What if she thought Red Skull was the good guy and we were the villains. There are so many things that Skull could do, but I don't think killing Reuben is on the list of those things... at least I hope not....
“I never should have let her go. I should made her stay with me, or at least walked her back to her room. God, what was I thinking?” I said quietly to Kyle.
“You couldn’t have known that this was going to happen, James. It’s not your fault. It’s no ones fault. Red Skull acts rashly, and no one could have predicted that he would strike so close to us, especially on the helicarrier. All we can do is find Skull AND Reuben.”
“There is an unknown signal, and I think it’s Red Skull.” Said Scott.
“Where?” Asked Nick.
“About two hundred kilometers north off the coast of Ireland.”
“Avengers, assemble.” Said Tony.
“Wait, Tony. There is no guarantee that the signal is Red Skull. Scott, see if you can hack into the signal and come up with an identification.” Said Nick.
“Already on it.” Said Scott.
“We don’t have enough time, we need to find Reuben, as soon as possible.” Said Tony.
“I’m almost through. Just one more firewall.” Said Scott.
A look came over his face, and I could tell something went wrong.
“What is it?” I asked.
“I got through, and into the cameras.” Said Scott.
“Isn’t that a good thing?” I asked.
“Not if you’re seeing something bad.” Said Tony.
Scott pulled up the video feedback on a holographic screen, and there was Reuben! The thing was, she wasn’t moving, and was a heap in the middle of a jail cell. This wasn’t normal for Reuben, she would be standing up, yelling to get Skull’s attention. She looked…. dead. She didn’t look like her self. She was olive skinned, but there on the floor, she was more pale than a ghost. Her lips had a bluish purple tint to them, and she wasn’t moving. What shocked me the most was her hair. It was white, white as snow. Seeing her like that, I couldn’t even think of what to say. I couldn’t move, the fear was so strong, I was frozen in place.
“Avengers assemble.” Tony said in a deeply enraged voice.
Nobody really knew what to do. There Reuben was, lying on the floor in a cell, and here Tony is, telling us to suit up, and just go busting in to save her.
I couldn’t move, my body was numb all over, and I felt so weak. Almost lifeless. I should have just gone to my room. At the least, I should have stayed with James a little longer. What if….what if I never even went to see James? What if I went straight to Scott? What if I never even went to them, and stayed to talk with Dad? What if I never even blew up on him? What if I never even agreed to live with him? What if he never even came? Mom would still be alive, and I would have a job, and live on my own. There were just too many what ifs. Then, I heard footsteps, with a certain metallic sound that I would recognize anywhere. It was Red Skull, and I bet he was coming to see if I were dead yet. I could just barely open my eyes, and looked at the timer on the wall. Ten minutes, that’s all the time I had left. Then he laughed.
“Oh, how pathetic. You seem strong, until you have the life sucked out of you. Where is your father? That’s right, he doesn’t care about you, he is only using you for your powers. Why do you think he waited so long to see you?”
“That’s not true. You’re wrong, he isn’t using me! I’m his daughter, his blood relation!”
I began to feel stronger, physically and mentally. I stopped doubting my decisions, and my mind became clearer. I knew what he was doing; trying to provoke me to emanate more energy to shorten my life. The thing is, it was working, I knew it was, I just couldn’t stop myself. I stood up, anger radiating from me.
“My father is not using me. He is going to come, and he is going to save me, and you are going to prison.”
“Well, I don’t see your father anywhere. You have only nine minutes to live. Where is your hero, Reuben?”
He walked away, and my knees buckled, and I collapsed. I closed my eyes, and then something amazing happened. I could see Dad, and the team! I could also see them in the Avenjet. What worried me the most, was the looks on their faces. James’ face was grim, his eyes were red, and I could tell he was deeply upset. Everyone else’s faces were solemn, but Dad’s expression, I couldn’t explain. I’ve never seen him like this. I then heard Dad’s voice, but his lips weren’t moving. Was… was I inside his head?
“My baby’s dead, and Red Skull is going to be.”
No. No no no! They think I’m dead! That explains it! Wait, if I’m inside his mind, that means that he might be able to hear me. I tried as hard as I could, but backed out before I could.
When I came to, I looked at the timer. I had three minutes. What I heard got my hopes through to the sky. I heard screaming, and metal on metal, and Dad! The bars on my cell were no longer there, and now was my chance. I wearily stood up, with my head feeling like it was going to fall off. Then, I saw a familiar blue orb.
“Ah, so we meet again.” I said.
“It appears so. I am going to go inside of you, and this will be the last time we meet. I will give you enough energy to beat Red Skull.”
I didn’t even need to give consent for the orb, it just went inside of me, and I felt a jolt of energy. Slowly but surely, I began walking toward the sounds of a fight between Red Skull and the Avengers. I was about fifteen feet from the fight when I heard a blood curdling scream, and it sounded like James. Fear shook me, and I hurriedly began making my way to the screams origin. This was just like when Mom went missing. I rushed in too hastily, and almost got myself killed. I needed a plan. I made it to the doorway of the room, and there James was, dead. Natasha and Steve were holding James, weeping. Tony was screaming at Red Skull, and Kyle and Clint were staring at James’ lifeless body. Dad was screaming at Red Skull, things like “Not only have you killed my daughter, but my friends’ son!” or “You will pay for this.” These were the only things I heard, because I then blocked out Dad, and found myself charging at Red Skull. I was so angry, I couldn’t control my body. It was as if it had a mind of it’s own. I wanted to use my powers so badly, but I remembered what the orb had said before entering my body. Soon I was on top of him, and my hand was hold the arch reactor of the armour. The only thing he could move was his head, and sadly, his mouth.
“You should be dead. I have all of your powers, you cannot do anything to me.”
“I don’t need my powers to defeat a villain like you.”
I punched him square in the face, knocking him out. I then stood up and looked over to James. I dropped the reactor, and walked slowly over to James. I felt Dad’s eyes on me, but I stayed focused on James’ lifeless body. I walked past Kyle and Clint, who turned their attention from James to me. Finally, I stood over his body. I knelt down at his head, and put my hands on both sides of his head. Both Steve and Natasha looked at me, but I held my ground and stared at James’ pale face. My eyes lingered towards James’ chest, where a would burned his skin, deep red and purple. As if I had brought one from the dead before, I casually reached down and placed my palm upon his would, and my hand glowed a familiar blue. I felt relieved that I still had the power that orb had promised. Before my very eyes, the wound healed, and James once again took a breath of life. His eyes opened, and I stood up. Natasha cried out, and Steve let out a sigh of happiness and relief. Dad began walking towards me, and I took a few steps. Then all of a sudden, my knees buckled and Dad caught me, and there, I took my last breath as Reuben Stark, a minor, and turned to Reuben Stark, an adult. I almost died on the night before my birthday. It was midnight of July 9th, the time of my birth. I also saved someone very special to me.
I woke up on the helicarrier in what I assumed was the medical unit. Wearily, I unwrapped myself from the sheet that cocooned my healing body, and I rose to my feet. I got light headed, and plopped back down onto the bed. I looked around, and noticed all the wires and cords attached to me. I detached the heart monitor from my chest, and removed my IV cord. I rummaged through the nightstand drawer and found a band aid, and applied it to where my IV was. I once again stood up, but slowly, reaching to the wall when the lightheadedness came to. It soon passed, and I went to the closet. I found a pair of white slippers, a pair of light blue hospital pants, and a white tee shirt for me to change out of my hospital gown into. After changing, I walked into an empty hall, and began to make my way to my room. There was no way I was going to stay in these clothes for much longer. Finally, I made it to my destination of the night I was taken. Everything was in place of where I left it. My laptop was on my bed, obviously dead, and my phone was on my nightstand, plugged in. This wasn’t where i had left it, but I didn’t care. The night I was taken, it was July 8th, and the night I was once again reunited with Dad, it was midnight of July 9th, my birthday. I looked at my phone screen, and was utterly stuck stupid. It was 2:15 am on July 16th. It was fully charged, so I unplugged it and set it on my bed. I rummaged through my drawers and found an outfit that I have been dying to wear. Well, not literally. I grabbed a pair of dark wash skinny jeans with a leather patch over the knees. I bought these a few weeks ago, and yet I haven’t worn them. I then grabbed an AC/DC Back in Black band tee. Thankfully, with each room there was a bathroom. I grabbed a towel and my clothes and went into the bathroom. I stood in front of the mirror and flicked the light on. I felt the urge to scream, because nothing was the same. My eyes were bluer than before, almost as if my eyes were the tesseract. My hair, it was white. It was as white as the clouds in the sky, and I had a cut along my cheekbone, on my right eyebrow, and I had a split lip to the left of my lower. I turned away, and turned on the shower. Warm water rained down from the shower head, and with that water, my worries and horrors seemingly flowed down, and washed away into the drain. Yet, my guilt has still remained. I knew what I had to do. I knew I couldn’t avoid talking to Dad forever, and I am wrong for expecting him to come to me. I wouldn’t blame him if he didn’t forgive me. I got out of the shower and got dressed. I ran a brush through my now white hair and put it into a bun. I brushed my teeth, and turned the light to the bathroom off. I grabbed my laptop charger and plugged it in, and set it on my night stand. I unlocked my phone, and went onto my Facebook. There were so many notifications, by the time I went through them all, it was 4:30. I was almost positive that no one was awake, other than those with the graveyard shift. I guess that I definitely had a lot of work to make up for, so I grabbed my Monster Beats earbuds by Dr. Dre and put on my still favorite song, “For Those Who Wait” by Fireflight. I put my phone in my pocket and put on my black low rise converse.I walked out of my room, and went to the main part of the ship. Then I realized I forgot my notebook. I quickly went back into my room and grabbed my notebook out of my nightstand drawer and yet again began my journey to the main part of the ship. When I got there, about twenty people were working the graveyard shift. There, sitting at the Avengers table was Dad, working on something. I pretended that I didn’t notice him, and went along to the main computer. Time to start my homework I guess. I logged in, and a bazillion files popper up. Jesus, was it really that long? It seems like it had been a month instead of a week. I began to write down numbers, and important stuff like that. Finally, I made my way to today’s file report at about 5:45. The number for the power reactors was thankfully down to normal. Why was Nick such and idiot, the thought of the tesseract in the power core still makes me shiver. I exited out of that file, and logged out. By now, “Unstoppable” by Fireflight was playing. I took out my phone and pause my music, and released myself my little bubble of music. I wrapped my earbuds around my phone, and put it back in my pocket. I guess that Dad was really wrapped up into what he was doing, because he never even noticed my. It wasn’t until I was standing next to him that he noticed me. His face broke into a smile and he jumped up out of his chair and gave me the biggest hug of my life. It felt good, actually. It’s been too long for me to feel the love of a parent. I hugged him back, but probably not as big. After what felt like an hour of silence, dad released me from his grip, and cupped my face in his hand, and kissed me on the forehead.
“I’m glad you’ve decided to finally join us.” He said.
“I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
“Dad, it’s been a week.”
“And in that week, your were comatose.”
"I think that it's time to go home." I finally said.
"I think you're right. I love you Rue."
"I love you too dad."