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Change is Hard

Chapter Text

The Copernican Celestial Alignment, one of the rarest astrological event to ever occur. Last time it happened a lot of people believed God had come to punish us. People went missing, whole cities vanished. It was, to say the least, chaos. However, in current times most people understand it’s nothing special. It just causes tides to rise and weird gravitational anomalies.
It lasts about 2 hours when it does happen, which was today. Of any possible days it just had to be the hottest, most humid day of all, didn’t it? Everyone was in shorts and tank tops, trying their best to stay cool. Des Moines, Iowa, population of 207,510 people. Not easy to stay cool if you're surrounded by a bunch of people. Some know how to not invade personal space, but most people don’t.
Everyone was excited about the alignment taking place in a few minutes, gathering at the capitol building. Phones flashed as pictures were taken, the sky getting darker and darker until suddenly a burst of electric blue was in the sky. Then suddenly I felt like my stomach hit the ground and I couldn’t catch my breath.
Then, I was on the ground in the middle of some field. It was strange, the sky was no longer a brilliant blue but it was a dark purple color, and the Sun was rising, not setting. And it definitely was not summer, it was chilly. The grain around me signalling that it was, most likely, autumn.
Slowly I got up and started walking towards what I believed to be a road, it sounded like there were cars speeding past. The crickets were chirping, the wind was blowing slightly, the soft sound of my feet crunching the soil below them.
Every once in a while I would stumble and causing some of the grain to bend and break. Eventually I reached the road, trying to wave someone down. Of course no one helped so I just walked down the road until I came across a small town, nothing bigger than a gas station and convenience store. Plus a couple of houses.
"Hello?" I said as I walked into the gas station, "is anyone here?"
"Yep! How may I help you?" a nice looking lady asked, a smile on her face.
"I was wondering, where am I?" I asked. The lady looked at me curiously.
"You're on the outskirts of New York City. Are you alright?" she asked, her hand slowly reaching under the counter. I nodded.
"Uh yeah. How far am I from the city exactly?" I rubbed my arms to keep them semi-warm. The wind had picked up about a half mile back.
"About thirty, thirty-two miles away. Are you sure you're okay? You look freezing." she inquired.
"I'm just a bit chilly." I responded.
"Do you have anyone to call or something?" she asked, I took a few seconds to think. No one knew where I was or if I was okay. But then again, no one would notice.
"No, not really. I think I'm just gonna head towards the city. Is it east or west?" I wondered aloud.
"The city is east of here, so the way you were heading. Do you have a car or something? I don't see one parked outside." she stated. I shook my head.
"No, I'm just going to walk," I told her. I was going to continue but suddenly there were helicopters outside, sounding louder than I had ever imagined.
"What the hell?" I heard the lady exclaim. I looked at her, just as confused about the helicopters. Suddenly a man in a suit walked out. At first I couldn't believe my eyes as he walked into the little store.
"Hello, I'm Phil Coulson and I need to speak with one of you." he, Phil, explained. I couldn't say anything. Was I dreaming? Was I being pranked? I didn't know.
"Sure thing sir. My name is Cheryl, and I own this station. Anything I can help you with?" the lady politely asked.
"Cheryl, as lovely as you seem, I'm not here to talk with you. I'm here to speak with her." Phil pointed at me. I blinked a few times, still not saying anything.
"I, uh, um I, uh." Was all I could say. Phil sighed and took a step towards me and I gulped. I didn't think people actually gulped when they were scared, but I did.
"Come with me please. I think it would be best if we talked somewhere more...private." he held out his hand. I just nodded and followed him to the helicopter. "Now I'm going to assume you've never been in one of these so take the middle seat please!" he shouted over the noise.
About an hour later we landed in the middle of the ocean, on top the helicarrier. It was so much bigger than I imagined. Currently my stomach felt like what I'd imagine a piece of gum felt like when it gets chewed up. Phil helped me off the helicopter and onto the ship.
It was weird seeing everyone on the deck working on planes and things. Everything was so real feeling. I never wanted to wake-up from this dream, if it is a dream.
"So are you going to speak at all?" Phil remarked. I cleared my throat and nodded.
"Yeah just...just give me a moment. Flying isn't something I've ever done before." I told him. He chuckles. "How did you know where I was?" I asked.
"Well, when a person just appears in the middle of nowhere and leaves a never seen before organic signature, we tend to keep track of it and find out what it is." Phil tells me. "Now, where are you from?"
"Uh, Iowa. Des Moines. I was at the capitol watching the Copernican Celestial Alignment when suddenly I woke up in a field of.... something." I told him. He nodded, obviously skeptical.
"What's the Copernican Celestial Alignment or whatever?" He questioned as he walked me inside.
"No one is quite sure. It's the first time it happened in centuries. So, of course everyone watched." I told him. He nodded and led me into a conference room.
"I'll be right back, I need to speak with my supervisor." He told me as he left. I sat down in one of the seats. It was cold in the room but I figured I could deal with it. This dream was really weird.
Just to be funny I pinched myself, hard. It hurt a lot, which meant that this might not be a dream. I quickly searched the room for something to read, knowing that if it was really not a dream, I'd be able to actually read it. It wouldn't just be jumbled.
While I was looking around Fury walked in with Phil and Maria Hill. They watched me as I checked the room. Eventually Phil coughed and alerted me to their presence. I turned around wide eyed, like a child who was caught with their hand in the cookie jar.
"Uh, hi. I was just looking for something to read." I said uneasily. Maria smirked a bit.
"Agent Coulson tells me you come from Iowa, yet we can't find you in any data base." Fury tells me, getting straight to business. "So, where do you really come from?"
"Des Moines, Iowa. I swear it on everything." I told him, looking behind him towards the door, which in big bold letters said 'Conference Room in Use'. Which also meant that it wasn't a dream. This was all real.
"Are you alright? You seem like you need to throw up." Maria spoke up. I nodded and sat back down in a chair.
"Everything is just hitting me at once. Just, uh, give me a second." I told them. Fury sighed and sat down, putting his hands together and looking straight at me.
"Alright, how about your name? You have a name don't you?" Fury asked. I nodded. "Would you mind sharing or..."
"Sydney. My name is Sydney." I told him.
"Last name?" Phil asked.
"Do you really need to know?" I ask, obviously somewhere else in my mind.
"It would be nice." Fury states.
"When I trust that I won't be left in the middle of nowhere by you I'll tell you." I smirk. Fury frowns.
"Fine. Sydney, what is it you want?" Fury asks, obviously displeased with my answer. I bite the inner side of my lip and think for a moment.
"A meeting with Natasha Romanov and Clint Barton." I tell him. Fury looks shocked for a second before his face goes back to stone.
"Fine, as long as you answer one last question," Fury agrees. I nod. "How do you know about Romanov and Barton?"
"I know a lot of things about everything. I know about T.A.H.I.T.I. and the Avenger Initiative, not to mention phase two of the tesseract project that Dr. Selvig is working on." I tell him smiling. "Like you said Director, I'm not from here. I'm not even sure how to explain how I know everything I know."
"So you know everything but you don't know how to explain how you know everything?" Maria asks, an amused tone to her voice.
"I answered your question, so when do I get to meet with the dynamic duo?" I ask.
"Give me an hour or two and I'll get them." Fury says as he gets up and walks out, leaving Phil and Maria to babysit.
"So, you know about the Avengers?" Maria asks as she sits down. I nod. "Then you know who was considered."
"Tony Stark, who is, by the way, most definitely a narcissistic douche but he usually has good intentions. There's also Captain America, assuming you've found him by now. Natasha and Clint obviously. And Dr. Banner. There may be others but those are the few I know about." I tell them.
"So you're from Iowa but not from Iowa?"Coulson asks. I shrug.
"I guess so. You remember me telling you how everyone was watching the Copernican thing?"
"I believe so." he sat down across from me.
"Well last time it happened, not the one I watched but the one the ancient astronomers watched, cities were lost, people dissapeared, some people sacrificed themselves and their families. It caused nothing but chaos, so I'm assuming I somehow ended up here." I say, trying to figure it out myself.
"What do you mean by 'here'" Maria asked.
"I mean that your Earth isn't mine. That this universe isn't the one that I knew. Where I come from you are all fiction. None of this is actually real. So when I first saw Agent Coulson I thought it was dream-"
"Which is why you were looking for something to read. In dreams you can't read. Everything is jumbled and doesn't make any sense." Coulson interrupted. I nodded.
"That's why you know everything." Maria said.
"Yup. I know just enough to use to my advantage. But of course I won't show my full hand. I just needed to let you know that I know important things," I explained. Coulson chuckled.
"So that means you know everything that's going to happen?" Maria inquired. I shrugged.
"Maybe, but I have a feeling that if I tell you the consequences could be drastic. Kinda like the butterfly effect. It's best I keep certain things to myself. Wouldn't want to get someone hurt that shouldn't be." I tell them, smiling slightly.
"You know it's not going to take long for him to get them here right?" Phil asked. I nodded. "Okay, good."
"I have a suspicion that they're already on board and they're just watching." I state. Maria nodded.
"We are." Natasha said as she walked in.
"Director Fury wants you two to go speak with him." Clint tells Coulson and Maria. They both nod and leave the room. I was now alone with two of the most dangerous people on this ship.
"So how are you two?" I ask nonchalantly as they sit down.
"We're good. How about you Sydney?" Natasha asks.
"I'm currently living a dream. Which probably won't last very long, knowing how my life typically goes," I tell them. Clint shifted in his seat. "Now you two didn't just come here for chit-chat did you?"
"Nope, Fury wants to know your play. We're here to find out." Clint says. I lean forwards and grin.
"I don't really have one. I just know that H.Y.D.R.A. and a bunch of other dangerous people are out there and if I want to survive I need to stick with S.H.I.E.L.D. or at the very least, someone who I trust." I yawn.
"Tired?" Natasha asks. I shrug and start to bounce my leg.
"A little tired but I'm too excited to sleep. I'm also trying my best not to freak right now." I explain.
"Why would you freak?" Clint asks. I raise my eyebrows at him.
"Clint, she landed in the middle of nowhere, on another universe, and was flown to the middle of the ocean by a guy in a suit who, for all she knew, was from a fictional world. I think even you would freak." Natasha tells him. He nods.
"Probably." He tells her.
"That and two of my favorite heroes are sitting in front of me, actually talking to me, and they're actually real." I tell him. Clint looks slightly smug hearing that they were two of my favorite heroes.
"Us? Really?" Natasha asks incredulously. I nod and I could see her smirk slightly. She seemed amused.
"Especially you Natasha." I tell her. She smiles as she stands up.
"Well I have a mission to get to and Clint need to go and-"
"Watch over the tesseract." I finish. She nods. "Well good luck to you both." I tell them as they leave. I'm not quite sure how long I stayed awake for but eventually I ended up falling asleep, dreaming of my old life. The one I never wanted to go back to.