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Chamber of Ice

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The Asset was restless again, pacing the floor that had been provided to him by Tony Stark ( Stark, Anthony: Son of Stark, Howard and Carbonell, Maria, creator of Iron Man, genius, billionaire, engineer, dangerous, uncontrollable; Asset ordered to kill on sight ).  It is too warm here, too comfortable, and the Asset doesn’t know what is expected of him.  He has no orders, no handlers, no base.  He is alone here, for all that he is surrounded by other people.  The Avengers are here, and the Asset runs through the briefs again, the words burned into his memory.

Romanova, Natalia.  Black Widow.  Assassin.  Spy.  Defective.  Quiet, efficient, skilled with multiple weapons, or with none at all.  Asset shall attempt to return her to the fold, if possible.

Barton, Clinton.  Hawkeye.  Sharpshooter.  Weapon of choice is the bow - compound or recurve, but also highly effective with firearms when necessary.  Disposable, not useful.

Odinson, Thor.  Asgardian (Alien) prince.  Magic hammer.  Controls lightning.  Has brother: Odinson, Loki.  No further information.  Do not engage.

Banner, Bruce.  Biophysicist.  Previously employed by United States military until The Incident.  Alter-Ego: the Hulk.  Triggered by emotions of anger or anxiety.  Large, strong, dangerous.  Asset is no match for Hulk, engagement not encouraged.

Rogers, Steven.  Captain America. Leader of the Avengers.  Once known to the Asset.  Standing orders to kill on sight.  Asset does not wish to engage in combat.  Deviant behavior noted.

The Asset peered out of the windows at the dark skies, lit up by the city below.  This whole space was too large, too vulnerable.  But Tony Stark had given this entire space to the Asset as his own.  It would be rude to complain, to be willful and disobedient. Disobedience led to punishment.  The Asset did not like punishment, though he accepted that deviant behavior had to be punished, to ensure compliance.  Compliance was rewarded.

Pardon the interruption, Sergeant,” said the voice that came from everywhere and nowhere.  The Asset froze, his eyes dropping to the ground as he settled into parade rest, his hands clasped behind his back.  The Asset had been informed that the voice - Jarvis - monitored and controlled this entire space.  It was best to listen when Jarvis spoke.

“I do not wish to alarm you,” the voice continued, softer now, “but sir is concerned that you are not sleeping.  Are the accommodations unsatisfactory?”  There was no judgment in Jarvis’ tone, but the Asset flinched nonetheless.   Be grateful for such luxury.

“The accommodations are adequate,” he replied quietly, knowing the voice would pick up even a whisper.  “Please tell Mister Stark that the Asset...that I ...am grateful.”  It was still really hard to think of himself as anything but the Asset or the Soldier, but every time he slipped up, Steve would give him those sad puppy eyes that made him hate himself for disappointing the other man, even though he barely remembered Steve beyond the vaguest impression, and didn’t remember Bucky Barnes at all.

If I may, Sergeant, ” Jarvis spoke up again, “sir would wish you to feel safe here.  If there is anything that can be done to make you feel more secure, please let sir or myself know. ”  The Asset nodded, but didn’t say anything.  The rooms were spacious, and there was heavy, sturdy furniture that could be used for cover if necessary.  The room was tactically sufficient, and structurally sound, so it wasn’t that.  The only thing the Asset could think of was that the space was simply too big, far larger than anything the Asset had had access to before.  And it was warm, too.  The Asset was not used to being warm.

The AI didn’t speak up again, and the Asset assumed that meant he was done, for the time being.  He would have to come up with a more satisfactory answer eventually, he supposed, but for now, it seemed both the AI and his master were content to leave the Asset in peace.

Silently, resigned to the fact that there would be no sleep tonight, either, the Asset resumed his pacing.