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"I don't understand why we even bothered to purchase this company. Hydra is completing its own space exploration programs within the US and the Soviet Union. What could we possibly need from the defunct Life Foundation?"

 

"The Life Foundation completed deep space missions before the Americans or the Soviets. I suppose our superiors were hoping to figure out how they completed those missions. Besides, it's not our place to question Hydra's motives anyway. Finish cataloging the experimental program, so we can stay on schedule."

 

"Wait, what's this file? 'Alien organism experimentation'? Did you ever hear of the Life Foundation discovering aliens?"

 

"Let me see that…," the man skims the file for a few seconds, “Incredible. Apparently, they discovered more than asteroid compositions. Send this file and any associated cargo to the deep space science division immediately."


 A man in a long white lab coat, holding a manila file folder, approaches a sealed oil drum in a mostly empty storage room. Two security guards in military-style gear accompany him.

"I want this drum sent to level 18. Whatever the Life Foundation was doing with these creatures, they failed to gather much data. Hydra has slightly hardier subjects to test. The file states that the alien organisms require a host to survive in the Earth's atmosphere. When the creatures bonded with animals, they could give the beasts super strength and enhanced abilities. Hydra already has a slightly more-than-human host available. Perhaps we can finally fix Arnim Zola's failed experiment and create Hydra's greatest asset.”

"Zola's pet? We're going to try that? He's always been unstable. I'm not sure if making him stronger is a good idea," one of the guards grumbles.

"Every animal and human that bonded with these organisms died, and the Life Foundation was idiotic enough to let some aliens die. This is the last surviving alien organism, and I'd prefer to start my own research with expendable resources. After Hydra sees what this organism can do to the failed asset, perhaps I will be allowed to try more subjects," lab coat replies as the guards begin to roll the drum towards a service elevator. No one seems to notice the creaking and soft thumps from inside the drum. The drum has a few notches bowing outwards, but it appears intact. The long concrete hallway out of the storage room is empty except for the trio.

"All right. Everything should be set up by 1400. Just make sure you seal the whole area. I don't want to give up many upper level guards for your little experiment."

"Fine."


 

James Buchanan Barnes. 32557038. James Buchanan Barnes. 32557038.

"This experiment will either be a roaring success or will finally rid us of Zola's expensive prisoner."

Two scientists stand outside an exam room. The room has glass on three sides and shows another man, emaciated and naked, strapped to a table. Metal cuffs hold the prisoner’s wrists and ankles to the table, while thick fabric straps hold his calves, thighs, hips, and chest to the barely cushioned surface. The sound of the scientists pulled the prisoner from unconsciousness.

"Arnim Zola's grudge has cost Hydra enough resources. Sure, his faulty serum saved the life of Captain America's right-hand man, but the serum has done nothing else besides keep him alive. No super strength, no tactical abilities to match the mighty Steve Rogers. The serum still leaves our greatest investment without an arm! I'm sure at this point, it would be a mercy to finally kill it. Still, I would like to learn something valuable about these aliens so that Hydra will approve more testing."

James Buchanan Barnes. 32557038. James Buchanan Barnes. 32557038. Fuck, I have a horrible headache.

The exhausted prisoner passes out again before he can hear the rest of the discussion.