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Anchored Beyond Stars

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Triskelion

Location: Classified

September 2011

 

“Sir, Miss Eisenberg is currently in a secure detention room. Not that it will remain secure much longer, if she ever decides she wants out.”

“Thank you, Agent Hill. I can take it from here,” Phil Coulson says as he gathers the relevant files for this particular case in one hand, a fresh cup of coffee in the other.

“Sir, I think it would be better if I were present for this interrogation.” Maria turns her cobalt gaze to meet Phil’s eyes, face betraying no indication of her intent.

“Interrogation? I don’t think I like it being called that. It’s not like we’re torturing the young lady or anything. Let’s see it as... being the welcome wagon,” he says with a smile.

“But it’s fine,” he continues. “You can go with me, although try not to antagonize her, I don’t wanna end up an ice cube.”

Maria raises a fine eyebrow at his joking tone. “You’re taking this too well. She’s dangerous. You saw the state the bank was left in. And now you want to walk in there unarmed and train her as a SHIELD agent? Sir, Phil, I’ve always trusted your judgment before, but don’t you think you’re being too quick with this?”

“Maria, I appreciate your concern, but that’s exactly why we’re heading there – to assess her. All I’m asking is for you to keep trusting me. I consider myself a good judge of character, and I had hoped that after Romanoff, you would trust in that more.”

“Romanoff’s different,” Maria insisted. “She’s proven herself.”

“And now I’m asking you to give our guest a chance,” Phil countered. “When Barton first tried to turn Romanoff to our side, you knew what a mess that was. Now, we have a young girl in there, who hasn’t even moved an inch and cooperated with all protocol, am I wrong?”

“Appearances can be deceiving. But yes, she’s complied with everything so far. ”

“Look, Maria, just let me do the talking, okay?”

“Okay. But I’m going in there armed,” she said stubbornly. “Someone needs to watch your back.”

“Noted, Agent Hill. But keep it holstered. It won’t be needed,” he called out behind him, already heading toward their guest.

 


 

 

If a normal person were watching the detention room’s security feed right now, they would probably be wondering why a young, platinum blonde woman was being held in a room where previously only the most dangerous criminals have sat bound. Another question that might be raised was why or how she was taking it so calmly.

Elizabeth Eisenberg has been sitting properly for the last few hours, posture perfect as her being cuffed to the table would allow, long white blond hair unruffled, her cool blue eyes staying serene despite the probable danger she was in.

A click of the lock finally drew her attention as the door opened to admit a smiling middle-aged man in a crisp suit who sat across her, and the stern, aloof agent who brought her here, who warily remained near the door with her keen eyes not missing anything.

“Good evening, Miss Eisenberg,” the man began. “My name is Agent Phil Coulson, with the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division.”

“Oh, is it evening already? Well, then good evening, Agent. Time really flies when you’re stuck here with nothing to do,” the blonde said with an amused smile.

“Well, how about some coffee, then?” he asked, offering the cup to her.

“Thank you for the offer, Agent. But in my position, would you accept? You might have questionable substances in there, after all.”

“Don’t mind if I have it all to myself then,” Phil said as he lifted the cup to take a sip.

“I’m sure you have questions, Agent Coulson,” she prodded. “And I’m willing to answer them, especially if it means we get to finish early. I’d like a hot meal at my own home soon, if you don’t mind.”

“Okay then, let’s start with your history,” he turned his expectant gaze to her own calm ones. “This file says you’re Elizabeth Eisenberg, 21 years old, taking Architecture in your second year in Cornell University. No criminal record, great grades, was homeschooled before college, but no living family members,” Phil pretends to not notice her minute reaction to that one. “And, the names listed as your parents died during the year you were supposedly born.  A few months before your birth, actually. You also bear no physical resemblance toward either of them, aside from fair skin. It says here, you were born and raised in New York. But before your enrollment no one has claimed to know you, and security camera records from places you frequent only place you here in the US for the last 3 years.

“We both know there are cover-ups here, Miss Eisenberg. “ His eyes turn stern, but still retain that friendly quality he had when he came in. “So why don’t you tell me what’s real and what’s not?”

“I am a college student,” she shrugs. “Just another good one out of many. Except, “she wiggles her fingers “for these, which you saw in action earlier.”

“And that’s another thing,” Phil says, a small frown on his face. “You’re an orphan, you hold no other job except for a part-time at a book store, and sometimes you volunteer at the local orphanage, but you’re in Cornell University, fully paid for this semester, residing in a really nice apartment. Look, Miss Eisenberg, even without today’s incident, you’re in possession of suspiciously gained money and –

“Agent Coulson,” Hill interrupts, “Sitwell just said he’s on his way with urgent information.” And true enough, another man came in, holding more folders, looking warily at the shackled blonde.

“Sir,” Sitwell addressed Coulson. “You might want to ask her about these,” he says, opening the folder for Coulson to see.

Coulson’s expression doesn’t change, but he takes the folders from him anyway. “I will. That will be all, Agent Sitwell. Thank you.”

As Sitwell leaves, Coulson silently slides over all the open folders to ‘Elizabeth’.

Isabelle Dubois, a biologist in Lyon, France until the early 2000s. Marie Robertson, an nurse in Birmingham, England in the 1990s. Sonja Savolainen, a surgeon in Helsinki, Finland until the 1980s...

All profiles had a photo of her face, of ‘Elizabeth’s’ face. The same shiny platinum hair, but in different styles, the same cool blue eyes, the same small, not-quite-a-smile in each photo.

“Do you want to explain what this means?” Phil asks her quietly, not smiling anymore.

“I don’t really want to, but I will,” the blonde says with a frown. “Those are all me, yes. Those identity shifts were necessary...”

“Necessary for what?”

“To keep myself safe, to keep my life peaceful. If anyone found out me not ever aging, I’d be taken out. Kidnapped. Experimented on, or whatever sick purpose people might use me for. You see all these files, not once have I committed any crime! I’ve never hurt anybody until today. All I want is to be left in peace, to...” she hesitates.

“Left in peace to do what?”

“To find out what I am, to find out why I am like this, to find out why everyone I loved and will ever love will grow old before I even get the first wrinkle.”

Phil considers this answer silently and sits back down, not breaking the silence for a few more moments

“What happened in the bank earlier?” All those years not drawing any attention, why act out now?

She bows her head. “At first, I thought it was just another bank robbery by ridiculously well-armed goons.  But then they grabbed the children along with the money and were planning to not leave any witnesses. I froze the inside of the guns to make sure they wouldn’t shoot, but when the police came and they found out their weapons weren’t working, they became desperate. One guy held one little girl at knifepoint to threaten the police with,” she swallowed, her throat suddenly dry.

“This girl?” Phil asks, sliding another photo of a little, freckled strawberry blonde girl in pigtail braids.

“That’s her,” she confirms. But even as she stared at the photo, it was another child she was seeing - a small child with big teal eyes, asking her to do the magic.

“I couldn’t let them hurt her, so I froze that goon’s hands so he released the girl. I also froze his and the others’ shoes just enough so that they wouldn’t be able to move, but in a way that won’t be noticeable. But at that point, they were out of options. No weapons that worked, nothing to threaten the hostages or the police with. Suddenly one of them stripped off their jacket and there was a bomb strapped to his chest. He started shouting that he’ll level the whole block if they didn’t let his men go,

“But it became clear to me that he was planning to take out everyone in the blast, including the police. I decided I couldn’t let that happen. When he moved to hit the button, I encased the other hostages in the hardest ice I could create, and when it was time, focused on compressing and containing the blast.”

“Then the police found you passed out, and witness accounts from the hostages confirmed that you were responsible for all the ice and their safety. And then we brought you here, to ensure that you will not be a threat,” Phil finishes the story for her.

“And am I a threat?” she quietly asks, eyes suddenly betraying her tiredness of everything.

“I think you have the potential to be an asset,” Phil states. “By the way, the kid's mother was actually one of the tellers, actually. She says thank you." At Elsa's answering smile, he calls out, "What do you think, Agent Hill?” to the woman silently keeping watch.

 “Why have you complied so far, Miss Eisenberg?” Hill asks after a few moments of watching her with piercing eyes.

“If I had fought and run, you would immediately consider me a threat and move to capture or even eliminate me, which I’d probably survive, but I’d rather it not happen,” she stated calmly. “If I comply, I can probably get a chance to be willingly set free. All I want is to be left in peace. I did what I did to save those people and the kids.”

“You realize that even if we set you free SHIELD will keep tabs on you for the rest of your life?” Hill asks her again.

“It’s a price I’m willing to pay if it means I have a chance to go out and discover who I am, what I am,” she says resolutely.

“I’ll be trusting Agent Coulson’s judgment on this one, then.”

Phil smiles. “Thank you, Agent Hill.”

He stands and unlocks her cuffs. “I’m trusting you not to attack us, Miss Eisenberg. I just have a few more questions, then we can go get you a hot meal and somewhere to sleep and clean up.”

“I’m not going home?” she asks cautiously, rubbing her wrists.

“You can,” he assures her. “It’s just, we’re not exactly in New York anymore. So some food and a night’s sleep would be better for you. We might have an offer for you, too.”

“... Okay. So ask me.”

“How old are you? How’s your aging rate? Are you from Earth?”

“It’s not polite to ask a woman’s age,” she playfully reproaches, “But I was born in 1834. Do the math yourself, please.  I was aging quite normally until I was about 19 or so. Yes, I’m from Earth. I was born in Norway.”

“I understand why the bank was covered in ice now, but why all the jagged spikes?”

“Spikes, huh,” she frowns. “I usually have better control than that. My guess is that I was so focused on containing the blast and holding the ice shield that my powers tapped into my emotions and the remaining leaks of my powers took that form due to all the stress I was feeling. It has happened before. My emotions affecting my powers, I mean. Was anyone else hurt?”

“Some of the police probably slipped, but no, no one was hurt. Have you made any inroads into discovering what you are?”

“No, not really,” she frowns. “It’s why I kept going into the medical field so often before - to get access to more knowledge about the human body and its limits. I mean, I’m pretty sure I’m human, mostly. Anatomy-wise, I’ve got all human parts. My heart beats normally, my blood is normal. I just... never get sick. My hair and nails lengthen slower than normal, too. As far as I’ve found, my telomeres haven’t been shortening, meaning either my cells haven’t been getting older and dividing or they have infinite replicating capacity. I have a quicker healing ability, too.”

“A healing ability?”

“Yes,” she nods. “I’ve survived an arrow to the chest before. It caught the side of my heart, and once I took it out, I used my ice to keep it together and stop it from bleeding. It healed in less than an hour.”

“I’m beginning to think my offer will be very well suited to you, then.”

“And what offer is that, Agent Coulson?”

“To you, SHIELD may just be another shadowy government service. But SHIELD is so much more than that. We stand for just one thing – Protection. We are the front lines that protect our world from anything that may threaten it, not limited to, but including, extra-terrestrial beings, uncontrolled lab experiment results, anything really, even other humans. It’s a broad job description. Because of this, we’ve come across... situations similar to or even much weirder than yours, and if you accept our offer of employment, we give you documentation, funded research rights within reasonable boundaries and the facilities to help you discover the answers you’re looking for.”

Elizabeth studies Coulson’s earnest expression. “Offers that seem too good to be true usually are,” she says quietly. “What are the guarantees I won’t be experimented on or kept as your own personal freeze ray?”

“Aside from our word, the contract, and your own abilities to protect yourself? Nothing,” he admits.  “Just the same amount of trust we’re giving you not to freeze the entire world. And so far you’ve done a really, really good job of that, so,” he shrugs with a friendlier smile.

“So, employment, huh?” she mulls over the thought. “What’s a typical day like?” she asks half-jokingly.

“Well, it really, really varies. We get a lot of weird stuff in here. I’ll tell you now despite your lack of clearance that Thor was here a few months ago and defended us from an Asgardian battle automaton.”

“THOR? The Norse God of Thunder? That Thor?! Now you’re just pulling my leg, Agent Coulson,” she narrows her eyes.

“I don’t think he’s technically a god, since Asgard is actually just an alien realm accessible through an Einstein-Rosen bridge, but remember my offer? You can look into it, if you have Asgardian blood or other alien traces, or something. It might be a long shot, being from Norway doesn’t guarantee anything, and this most recent visit was actually the first in a thousand years or so. I’m not really sure. You’d get to head that particular research project. Think about it,” he implores.

“Let’s get real. What’s the catch, Agent Coulson?”

“How about we get you a late dinner and I’ll tell you about The Avengers Initiative...”

 


 

 

“Agent Coulson,” Nick Fury’s eye bored into his own eyes, but Phil betrayed none of his nervousness.

“Imagine my surprise,” he began as he leaned back into his chair, “When Agent Hill informed me that you offered a position for the Avenger’s Initiative without my consent.”

“I’d imagine you were pretty surprised, sir,” Phil comments with a small smile, trying to break the tension.

“God damn it, Coulson. What game are you playing?”

“I’m not playing any game, sir. I genuinely think she’d be in a position to do a lot of good as an Avenger.”

“I’ve only just approached Romanoff and Barton about this. Nothing’s set into motion just yet. What made you think you could just ask a possibly volatile cryokinetic woman point blank if she could please save the world if it was needed just in exchange for data?!”

“Sir, a good foundation is always needed, whether we’re building a structure or a team, and I think that with proper honing, she can be that for the Avengers. She’s not arrogant or needlessly destructive like some of our other potential members like Blonsky, her heart’s in the right place, her instinct to protect is already there. She gave up the anonymity she’s been protecting for the last hundred and fifty years or so because several people needed her to keep them safe. And,” Phil hesitates, “I think one day, we can rely on her research or her genes to stabilize project TAHITI, provided that she was willing. Maybe her genes can even be the key to replacing the guest host tissue and bypassing the side effects without compromising the regeneration.”

A beat. Another. Phil unflinchingly stares back at Fury’s contemplative glare.

“Another project of yours, then?” Fury breaks the encompassing silence.

“I believe in her as I believed in Romanoff then and now, sir,” Phil declares.

“Then she’s your responsibility. It’s your call.”

“Thank you, sir.”

 


 

 

Maria Hill leads her to a nondescript room at another level of the building, the slight sound of her boots pervading the unnatural silence of the facility. “These are your temporary quarters,” she says, opening the door. “There are spare sets of clothes in there,” she nods toward the closet. “If you need them. All are standard-issue SHIELD sets, though I think you’ll be able to find unmarked pants and shirts in there. Shower’s through that door. Spare toothbrushes are in the cabinet.”

“Thank you, Agent Hill.”

Hill nods without looking at her and moves to leave the room, but stops. “Miss Eisenberg, I consider Agent Coulson a great judge of character, and that is why I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. But I’ll remain watching his back, watching you for any signs of ill-intent. It’s nothing personal, and I don’t want you to think of it as such, especially as I suspect we’ll be working closely together in the coming weeks. Agent Coulson took a big risk in offering that deal to you, and I hope you won’t take it for granted.”

“I do appreciate this chance, Agent Hill. Thank you for telling me clearly,” Elizabeth says with a smile. “Just... I hope you’ll entertain my curiosity. Has Agent Coulson been wrong about people like me before?”

Hill considers this, and finally says, “No. But I’d rather he not be wrong this time, too. And if he is, I’m not going to be the only person defending him and SHIELD’s interests,” she warns.

“Sounds like you owe him a lot. He must be a great person if he inspires so much loyalty in you,” the blonde notes.

“Hmm. I suspect you’ll gain your chance to see for yourself sometime soon, if you work with him,” Hill says with a frown, leaning against the doorway.

“I take it you disapprove of the Initiative? Or of superpowers in general?” Electric eyes meet cobalt as the question hangs.

“I just think it’s a huge gamble to rely on a select group of people to defend an entire world,” Hill finally says. “What happens if they’re not available? What happens if they can’t stop whatever it is threatening our Earth? Why can’t there be another solution for normal humans like us to defend ourselves without relying on big bombs and a handful of specials?

“And it’s not superpowers I’m wary of; it’s the people behind them. Who can ensure that all enhanced humans like you will never use it against the defenseless? No one can.”

“I... can respect that line of thinking. Those are all valid points, after all. But for what it’s worth, Agent Hill? I give you my word to use my abilities with proper restraint and reason,” Elizabeth promises with a smile.

Hill nods. “I’ll leave you to rest, then, Miss Eisenberg. I’ll see you tomorrow. Breakfast starts at seven, and the quinjet will leave at nine am.”

The door closes behind her.

 


 

 

 “Hill, report,” Fury says as he looks out of his office window, sensing Hill exactly as she walked into his office.

“The Asset is favorable to Agent Coulson’s offer, sir, although she remains a bit cautious. So far, I see no signs of volatility or aggression. She has not used her powers since the incident. She kept her emotions in check during the interview, managing to stay calm and even lightly sassing Agent Coulson. A possible sore point might be her real family, but our intel has been lacking on that.

“Further digging has found that for the last few years, she has generally been staying under the radar and isolating herself. Her bearing suggests no military or other combat related background.

“My recommended course of action would be to introduce her to Agents Romanoff and Barton. They can probably wheedle out a few more details out of her, and if a genuine bond is formed, then just maybe the Avengers Initiative won’t implode completely on Day 1. I also think it would be good to have her tested so where we can see exactly where she stands in terms of abilities, and then offer her a spot in the Operations or SciTech divisions of SHIELD academy while we smooth out the details of the Initiative.”

“You called her an asset,” he notes, as he turns to face Hill.

“Sir, I’m trusting Coulson’s judgment on this one,” she says impassively.

If Coulson was his one good eye, then Maria Hill was his hidden eye – an ace he keeps hidden behind the patch, its usefulness overlooked by many of his enemies, and even some of his allies.

She was a lioness hidden in the grass. Fierce when protective, more so when provoked into aggression. She certainly was not one to be underestimated, as she has proved to him and her fellow agents time and again, although many still make that mistake.

It’s her unfailing competence and steel spine that earned her position as Fury’s second. It was her level head, her ability to make the hard calls, and her devotion to the core principle of SHIELD that earned her Fury’s trust.

And if both his trusted eyes saw that this person was good enough to be given the benefit of the doubt, then so be it.

“Then I’ll place my bets on your call, Hill. Work with Coulson on this one. “

 


 

 

It was a testament to her control that there was only a light covering of frost on her bed, headboard, and floor, she reflected as she lied in bed. Or maybe she was just getting used to these kinds of nightmares stealing her breath like a punch in the gut, leaving a dull pain in her heart she can never hope to stop.

“E-Elsa-“ Blood dripped from her mouth, around the words she was gasping to get out.

“No.” the blonde said as she closed her eyes. I don’t want to remember anymore.

She hated the sight of the light of life leaving her teal eyes, her brilliant red hair made redder with blood.

“NO!” Elsa sat up forcefully, unmindful of the frost exploding into glistening powder. She dispersed everything with an irritated wave of her hand.

Maybe a hot shower would do her some good, she decided. But her current accommodations weren’t exactly five-star. Still, she made the best of her morning routine despite the lack of warm water, quickly brushing her teeth after a long but cold shower.

Stepping out in a towel, she froze the remaining water in her hair and dispersed it, leaving her hair dry. As she opened the closet, she was surprised at the amount of unopened boxes of sports underwear and clean uniforms stocked in the closer. Quickly dismissing from her choices a spare SHIELD cat suit like Agent Hill had worn, she opted for a pair of surprisingly well-fitting, but slightly too long dark blue cargo pants and a plain black shirt which hung a bit loose on her slight frame. She wore her own trainers again and sat down on the bed to try and tame her long hair with only her hands.

Elsa thought back to her decision of accepting Coulson’s offer. Her instincts haven’t led her astray for the past hundred years, she mused. But she’s not entirely sure why she just promised to use her powers for the defense of mankind when she’s spent the better part of her life concealing it.

Even if this opportunity did not yield full results, this was still the closest she would ever be to discovering her enhancement’s origins. And if SHIELD put her in the position to do good while on her path to discovery, then all the better for it.

Maybe now she can begin to atone for all the havoc she and her powers inadvertently caused all those years ago.

Fixing her bangs as she twisted her bun into place, she secured it in place with a snowflake-topped spin pin she made out of ice.

A brisk knock interrupted her thoughts. “Miss Eisenberg, it’s Agent Hill. May I come in?”

She opened the door and was greeted by the older Agent’s impassive face. Hill’s perceptive eyes roved over the small room, scouring for anything wrong, but finding nothing.

 “I will escort you to breakfast in the mess hall if you’re ready.”

“I am. Is there anything wrong?”

“The sensors detected a significant lowering of the temperature in your room during the night.”

“It’s not anything to worry about,” she assured the other woman. “Sometimes my power reacts to my emotions, so if I feel panicked or angry, it gets cold. It depends, really. But it’s not dangerous to anyone.”

“What happened last night?”

“Just a nightmare,” Elsa says casually. “So, you mentioned breakfast ? I hope you have good coffee.”

Hill meets her eyes. “I’ll refrain from prying, but please make sure that it won’t be a danger to anyone. SHIELD wants you to be the protector, not the one from which we protect ourselves,” she states bluntly.

“I will,” she promised as they begin to walk. Hill had made her position clear. She was giving Elsa the benefit of the doubt, but protection of those she held dear, from her if need be, would be top priority.

“Now, I’ll be introducing you to Agents Barton and Romanoff. They’ll be accompanying you during your tests today and showing you the ropes, so to speak. The quinjet will leave for SHIELD academy after breakfast. There, your physical capacities would be tested, with special focus on combat until lunch. After lunch you have the afternoon off. The SciTech division of SHIELD academy is quite close to your current apartment, so if you would like to get some personal belongings to take with you to The Sandbox afterward, you can,” Hill explains as she leads her to the dining area.

“The Sandbox? Is that what the research base is called?” asked Elsa.

“More like the Toy Museum!” A grinning dark-haired man interrupted whatever answer Hill was about to give, striding quickly into the hall alongside a pretty red-haired woman wearing the same uniform as Agent Hill.

“The freakiest artifacts and the best minds to figure out how they tick, all there,” he claims. “I’m Agent Barton, by the way. Call me Clint! The one beside me is Agent Romanoff.” Romanoff gives her a small smile and nod. “And you’ve already met Grumpy over there,” he grins at Hill, who rolls her eyes, too used to him by now.

“Is he always this lively in the morning?” Elsa asks in amusement.

“Well, he’s already had his coffee fix, so he’s not the asshole he usually is in the morning,” Romanoff comments.

“Well, my name is Elizabeth,” she paused. “Just call me Elsa,” she offered with a smile.

“And call me Natasha. No nicknames. Eat breakfast with us, so we can let Agent Grumpy here get her own coffee,” she says with a teasing smile to Agent Hill.

“Agent Romanoff, Agent Barton, Miss Eisenberg, I’ll meet you at the quinjet later,” Hill states with a faint trace of exasperation. “I trust you can handle them on your own?” she asks Romanoff.

“I’ve had practice with Clint. And Miss Eisenberg seems much better behaved. Go. We’ll meet you later.”


 

 

It had been quite a long while since Elsa’s last long conversation that didn’t involve any of the falsities of her previous identities. She spent her time in university in polite aloofness and avoiding being a significant part of social circles, much like she did before in the last few countries she stayed in. It was pleasant, Elsa thought. She might even say she missed it.

Clint’s playfulness contrasted well with Natasha’s calmer countenance, but although Elsa wasn’t yet cleared to be privy to the details of their infamous career, she knew it was wise to be cautious around them, at least for now. If they were to be part of the Initiative with her, then they were part of the world’s best, most skilled, and most dangerous persons, and her powers did not automatically grant her safety from them, if it ever came down to a battle.

Still, if they were going to be a team, then being nice was a must if they were ever going to watch each others’ backs. In the last hour they had been talking, Elsa had to admit that as far as teammates go, the two assassins were likeable. Natasha’s advice on how to deal with her upcoming training was invaluable and Clint’s jokes were enjoyable. It helped that they were pretty cool about her powers, too.

“Coulson did tell us about the bank incident,” Natasha commented. “Don’t let it bother you. You did it to protect people. I’ve done much worse than that, and the only thing to do is to try and be better. Dwelling on it won’t help.”

She turned to Clint. “Ice powers, huh.” She can practically hear the cogs in his brain turning for a few moments.

“So,” Clint finally drawled. “Can you chill my soda?” he asked with a roguish grin and lightly waved the can in front of her. Beside him, Natasha stifled a groan and settled for raising an eyebrow.

“Really, Clint? Really? She can probably freeze your blood from across the room, and you ask her to just chill your soda?”

Elsa blinked. Of all the reactions she was expecting, that hadn’t been part of it. But then again, master spies and assassins were unpredictable, so, with a shrug and a flick of a finger, she created a mug made of ice. “The mug won’t really melt,” she explained. “But the cubes inside should do the trick.”

“Thanks!” he exclaimed as he poured his soda. “Can you really do that, though?”

“Do what?”

“What she said,” he inclined his head toward Natasha. “Freeze blood from far away?”

“Well, probably?” At Natasha’s raised eyebrow, she continued, “I unknowingly kept up a snow storm in a city once even though I had run away into the mountains. So freezing some blood wouldn’t be a long shot, I guess,” she stated honestly. “I’d really rather not try, though. I’m sort of on thin ice with Coulson right now,” she says with a wink.

“Puns?! Oh yeah, I can already tell we’re going to get along real fine,” Clint laughs out.

Natasha let out a long-suffering, but good-natured sigh.


 

 

The ride to SHIELD academy was surprisingly smooth in the quinjet that Elsa was almost sad it ended too quickly. Just as she was getting comfortable, they landed in a small field somewhat near to an old, but very well-maintained building.

“This is the Science and Technology division of SHIELD academy,” Coulson started explaining as they stepped out toward the facility.  “It used to be the Strategic and Scientific Reserve’s main building, even before SHIELD was founded.” Coulson still had a professional air about him, even as it became obvious he was thrilled to be standing on a piece of SHIELD’s history.

“So here’s our plan, we test Miss Eisenberg’s physical limits. General health, stamina, heart rate – the works. Once we know those, Natasha and Clint will test how she reacts to purely physical combat, close quarters to long-range, and then how she can use her ice powers for defense and offense.”

“We’ll meet Agent Weaver, she’s actually the dean here, but she’ll be the one overseeing your testing because we trust her discretion and skills. In the future, Miss Eisenberg, if you have research projects for your... condition, you may ask from help from her. She has multiple Ph. Ds in fields I can’t even pronounce, but I know her specialty lies in molecular biology. Agent Hill and I will be evaluating, and once we have our results, you’ll be Agent Eisenberg, level 6, same as Romanoff and Barton.” Coulson explained.

Elsa nodded, biting her lip at the thought of using her powers for actual combat, simulated or not. While the chance of actually hurting Clint and Natasha badly was really low, worry still churned in her stomach. The arrival of a well-dressed woman in a crisp grey suit with her hair in a severe bun distracted her from her thoughts.

“Agents Coulson, Hill, Romanoff, Barton, and our newest guest, Miss Eisenberg, welcome to the SciTech division of SHIELD Academy. I am Agent Weaver, and I shall accompany you today,” she said with a reserved smile.

Well, here goes nothing, Elsa thought with a mental sigh.