“I see the prodigal daughter has returned.”
Narrowing her eyes, Vivian glanced around the underground bunker, not rising to Schmidt’s comment as she took in her surroundings. They were in a bunker that she’d never seen before and there was an older man watching her carefully. The man’s hair was thinning and his hands shook as he hunched over a table writing down equations and listing medical equipment he would need. Moving closer, Vivian peered over the man’s shoulder before speaking up, “And I see you’ve been keeping busy.”
“Advancements must continue.”
“I was actually talking about the blatant kidnapping and imprisonment, but that too. Let me guess, you sent his family to one of Hitler’s disgusting little camps? Which one? No, wait, don’t tell me. Let me guess. Oranienburg? Esterwegen? Dachau? Wow, really? You sent them to Dachau? You must have really wanted him. What for?”
“He wants me to make a super soldier.”
Sitting down next to the man as he spoke up, Vivian glanced back at Schmidt who was glowering and spoke while letting her fingertips trace the desk the prisoner was working on. Glancing up into the man’s brown eyes, Vivian spoke up, “He wants you to make a human super soldier…I’m sorry, I just realized I don’t know your name.”
Nodding, Vivian leaned back in her chair, a soft smile playing across her lips as she gently replied, “Abraham? Fitting for a man charged with creating human soldiers. Although with this place human is a little relative.”
“The experiment is none of your business, Hecate.”
“Really? I’m thinking that’s a lie, because otherwise you would have never let me anywhere near Doctor Erskine. You want me here for some reason and you wanted him to meet me. My only guess is that he’s going to study aspects of my blood so that he can perfect parts of his hypothetical experiment. I mean, you already found out you can’t recreate me, not in a regular human anyway, but maybe this man can learn…something from me?”
“Be quiet, you abomination.”
Ignoring Schmidt, Vivian glanced carefully at Erskine before speaking in a soothing tone, “How many vials of blood do you think you’ll need?”
“Four or five. I’ll need to do multiple tests.”
Nodding, Vivian slipped off her jacket and held out her left arm before watching carefully as Schmidt glared at her. She sighed though when he stormed out and the rest of the Hydra agents followed. She could hear the distinct click of the lock though and knew for certain that the room was being guarded. A needle going into her arm had her glancing back at Erskine, although not even flinching, as he began to draw blood.
“I’m sorry about your family.”
Vivian hadn’t meant to say the words out loud, not when she knew they could be walked in on at any point, but then felt Erskine staring at her in confusion. When the man continued to stare at her, Vivian averted her eyes and spoke up, “What? I’m not allowed to give condolences that a crime was committed against your family?”
“You see what they did was a crime?”
“Well, yeah. Kidnapping and imprisonment are basically always a crime. Hell, pretty sure crime is all Hydra knows how to do. I mean, they’re friends with Nazis. Nazis are awful.”
“If you know that, then why are you here?”
Brow furrowing, Vivian tucked her blonde curls behind one ear as she admitted, struggling to find the words to explain her situation, “I’ve always been here. I was born into this. Madam Hydra is…”
Glancing over at the vials being filled up, Vivian found herself staring at them, the warm liquid making her stomach turn as she finally whispered, “Blood.”
“Don’t use that word.”
Silence fell over them once again until the vials were all full. Waving aside the man’s help, Vivian removed the needle, barely pressing a thumb against the wound before releasing it. Ignoring the man’s protests, she carefully wiped up the blood before speaking up, “And good as new. Don’t look so panicked, Erskine. This was basically healed as soon as the needle left my skin. Takes seconds for wounds to heal.”
Twirling her finger, Vivian had some of the equipment begin to spin, a soft smile on her face as the man jerked back from the desk, his eyes wide and frightened.
“Haven’t you heard? I’m an abomination.”
Stopping as the door opened again, Vivian leaned back in her chair again and spoke loudly, “Does it bother anyone else that Hydra’s symbol isn’t actually a hydra? It’s an octopus. Makes the whole ‘cut off one head’ spiel everyone always give seems super dumb since octopi can literally not do that. They just have a lot of legs. The symbol is an angry octopus. Not that scary.”
“Your trainers do not like to be kept waiting.”
Getting up, Vivian sighed, but then paused when the guards walked past her and grabbed Erskine, handcuffing him and bringing him along as well. Heading down the hallway, Vivian followed an agent to a door before going inside. She’d been to one of these training rooms before, and she’d even had an audience before, but never someone like Erskine. Everyone before him had been a true believer, someone hand picked by either Schmidt or Viper.
Vivian stretched and yawned though when she saw that she was going up against a basic Hydra agent in full gear. She herself was in a lightweight outfit meant for stealth, no combat. The damn thing didn’t even have any protection to it. Still, she tilted her head and smirked when the man twirled his knives and made grunts that were probably supposed to sound intimidating, but really just made him sound constipated.
“We going to fight or dance there, vollidiot?”
The man called her something highly unpleasant back while charging toward her, but Vivian slid across the ground, taking out his feet and immediately getting upright again. Raising up a hand, Vivian sent the man flying against the wall, taking a step forward but then pausing as four more men dropped into the room before immediately attacking at once. Dodging and sending blasts away, Vivian only stopped when a sharp knife pierced through her outfit and through her side. Gritting her teeth, Vivian quickly pulled the knife and spun around, dragging the blade against the agent’s throat.
Blood sprayed across the room and Vivian spun around again, throwing the knife and her heart racing as it landed deep into another agent’s skull. Running over, Vivian jumped up and ripped the knife out, flipping over before heading toward the next target only to freeze as she could hear weapons powering up and a voice commanding, “Stand down or we put a bullet in your head, Hecate.”
Tossing the knife aside, Vivian backed up, her pulse calm and her breathing steady as she glanced up at the observation window. Erskine was looking at her with an odd look on his face, especially as orders were given to take Vivian down for more experimentation. Smiling up at the man, the smile not quite reaching her eyes, Vivian shrugged and called out, “But seriously though, that logo? We going to fix that? It’s starting to really bug me.”
Agents swarmed in and Vivian smirked as her hands were handcuffed behind her back, guns pointed at her from all sides as she was led from the room, a smile on her face as she spoke louder, “Just think about it. I’ll be here all week and maybe we can do coffee. Vodka? I’m willing to help you rebrand. No? Good talk.”