“If you just increase the amount of dendrotoxin, we could—”
“We’ve been over this, Fitz. It would—”
“I know, I know. Upset the balance of the blah blah blah,” Fitz replied, waving Jemma off. They had had this argument at least five times the past week. Something was still not working right on their latest collaboration, and it was starting to frustrate both of them.
Jemma sighed. “I’ll keep working on a more concentrated formula for the dendrotoxin, but so far, all of my simulations have proven fatal to the subjects. Since regular bullets have been around for many years and seem to be doing that job just fine, we don’t need to develop something that can do the same thing.”
“I know. I could probably do some more development on the shell casings as well and see if I can get rid of any extra weight,” Fitz responded.
“That’s the spirit,” Jemma encouraged with a smile.
“Well, good. If that’s all we have for today, I’m gonna head home. I’ve, uh...got some packing and...things to do,” Fitz muttered.
Jemma rolled her eyes. “Fitz, you don’t have to lie. We’re not being transferred for another week and I know for a fact you don’t pack for anything until the night before. It’s perfectly alright to admit you don’t like the lab.”
“It’s not—Okay, but why do you all have to leave dead things lying around? It’s just unsanitary,” Fitz complained.
Jemma heard footsteps enter the lab and turned around to find Bobbi, grabbing a lab coat off the coat rack by the door.
“Hey, Fitz,” she greeted, “Haven’t seen you around much. Are you here to help with our next experiment?”
“He was just leaving actually,” Jemma stated, saving Fitz from being recruited for the human trials on their experimental drug. Fitz took the cue and offered a quick wave before slipping out of the lab and down the hall. As he left, Jemma noticed a small group of people walking the opposite direction, all in SHIELD lab coats and whom she had never seen.
Jemma’s eyes landed on the woman at the front of the group. She had short, dark hair that was pinned back from her face and a pair of thick framed glasses on. She glanced into the lab as her group passed by the door and her eyes landed on Jemma. She gave her a small smirk and a wink before passing the door and disappearing down the hall.
“Who were they?” Jemma asked, once she was sure they were out of range.
Bobbi frowned slightly. “Weaver says they’re researchers from one of the other labs just coming to check out our facilities. I don’t know, though. Something about them skeeves me out.”
Jemma hummed in agreement, though she didn’t really notice anyone but the woman in front. Some spy she was. Bobbi suddenly shoved off the desk she was leaning on.
“I’m gonna go see what I can find out about them. Something doesn’t feel right,” she announced. Before Jemma could respond, she had swept from the room leaving Jemma alone with her work. Jemma sighed. At least it was easier to get work done without all the distractions. She bent back over her microscope, hoping this sample would provide a solution to their dendrotoxin problem.
A few minutes passed and Jemma heard a clunk and some beeping that prompted her to look up from her slides. In the hallway right outside the lab, someone was poking around in one of the hidden wall panels. They were wearing a lab coat, so they obviously weren’t from maintenance. Jemma was just wondering whether she should report this to someone when the person pulled something from the computer and turned around.
It was the mysterious woman from before, alone this time. She saw Jemma staring at her and her eyes went wide, knowing that she had been caught.
That’s when the gunfire started.
The woman somersaulted forward into the cover of the lab. Jemma lurched off her stool, searching for cover and something she could use as a weapon.
“You need to come with me now. It’s not safe,” the woman shouted, reaching a hand towards Jemma.
One second Jemma was getting ready to report this woman for suspicious conduct, and the next she was trying to save her life? The gunfire sounded like it was getting closer, along with incoherent shouting.
“I don’t have time to explain! We need to go!” the woman demanded frantically, “Back exit, now!”
The woman grabbed Jemma by the wrist and dragged her towards the emergency exit at the back of the lab. They burst through the doors and found themselves in a dusty stairwell.
“Up to the roof!”
Jemma paused. “But, shouldn’t we get to the ground—”
“There’s an extraction on the roof. Go!”
Jemma was utterly confused, but there wasn’t time to stop and weight her options. Whoever was shooting up the building seemed to be closing in on the lab. The woman whipped out a hand gun and started to return fire. Jemma turned and sprinted up the stairs for the roof.
The woman was only a few steps behind her as they sprinted up the stairs to the top floor. Jemma felt like her lungs were about to burst. Thank god for adrenaline or she wouldn’t have made it this far.
They crashed through the door to the roof and, as the woman had promised, there was a running quinjet waiting with the hatch open and several men standing inside waving them forward. The woman sprinted ahead and gestured for them to start taking off. The wheels squeaked slightly as the turbines picked up and lifted the plane a few inches off the ground.
The woman hopped onto the ramp and held out a hand to Jemma. Jemma started to reach towards her, when she heard someone calling her name.
“Simmons! Simmons, don’t!”
Jemma spun around. Bobbi stood there covered in a layer of dust and her lab coat, which had been pristine half an hour ago, was now splattered with blood. She sprinted towards the quinjet screaming, “Jemma, stop!”
“Okay, time to go,” a voice said into Jemma’s ear. Suddenly, an arm was wrapped around her middle, hauling her from her feet, and she was roughly dragged inside the plane and tossed on the floor. Her back hit the floor hard, knocking the wind out of her. She heard gunfire, pushed herself up onto her elbows, and saw the men in the plane firing onto the roof where Bobbi had just been standing.
“What are you doing? She’s not—”
Jemma cut herself off and her blood ran cold. On the back of the men’s uniforms was the familiar red skull-and-tentacles logo of Hydra. The ramp started to close and she could feel the plane taking off. Even if she was a highly trained field agent (which she wasn’t), there was no way Jemma was fighting off six armed Hydra agents and getting off this plane in one piece.
“What the hell is this?” one of the men demanded, gesturing to Jemma. If she wasn’t fearing for her life, Jemma would be offended. “This was supposed to be a standard intel gathering mission, not a kidnapping.”
“So I went off book a bit. Who cares?” the woman piped up from the other side of the plane. She had shed her glasses and stolen lab coat and was shaking out her short hair.
“The boss is going to care,” the man retorted.
“The boss can suck it,” the woman snapped back, “Besides, he likes going off book.”
She turned her attention back to Jemma, who couldn’t bring herself to move off the floor. She strolled towards her, the heavy thuds of her boots echoing off the metal interior of the plane. Jemma tried not to flinch away as the woman crouched down beside her and gave her a wicked grin.
“I’m Skye, by the way. Welcome to Hydra.”