She was just finishing off the latest psychological report when there was a knock at the door of her private laboratory.
‘Come in,’ she called out absentmindedly, attention still focused on her task as the hinge creaked indicating someone’s entry.
‘Dr Roberts.’ A woman’s voice called her and her head to jerked up in recognition.
‘Dr Cho, this is a surprise. To what do I owe the pleasure?’
Dr Helen Cho, her unofficial mentor was there with a concerned expression on her face. Ever since her breakthrough in the genetics field, she had been promoted to head of the facility and with the influx of demands for her unique technology, she was a very busy woman. Even though they were friends, their work rarely intersected and the surprise was genuine.
‘I’m sorry to barge in on you like this but there is someone who requires your skill.’ She regarded Roberts with a look, alluding to more than her ability as a psychologist.‘As much as you prefer not to use them, I’m afraid that this case will require your unique abilities.'
These 'abilities' mentioned could only mean her capabilities for telekinesis and mental manipulation. Helen knew that while Eleina Roberts wouldn’t go so far as to call herself a telepath, she was, to a certain extent, able to modify and control thoughts, memories and upper brain functions. She had developed these mysterious trait when she was younger and though she struggled to keep them under control, both SHIELD and Hydra had sought to utilise her skills.
SHIELD found Roberts first and after being subjected to various testing, it was found that her aptitudes extended to enhanced durability and endurance as well as altering her body density. She was informed that she belonged to a new sub-species of homo sapiens, plainly known as mutants and there were others like me around the world, possessing abilities as unique and powerful as her own. And naturally, she became Director Fury’s top pick for the special task force he was assembling. Upon her refusal, Roberts was enrolled in basic and intermediate levels of training before assignment to the U-GIN Research Facility in Seoul where she concentrated her abilities towards research in clinical psychology.
‘Look I know you hate to use your abilities but I’m afraid our client will not take no for an answer,’ Helen explained, her expression emphasising the gravity of the situation.
Somewhat reluctantly, Roberts agreed.
‘Better do some research because it’ll be a long flight.’ Helen quipped, handing her a thick blank manila folder. ‘Plus, Eleina, it would do you some good to get out a bit.'
Eleina chuckled slightly. Helen was always trying to drag her along to events and conventions.
‘Where will I be going?’ she asked, not wanting to pursue that train of thought.
Helen’s eyes glimmered with mischief.
‘And you are sure about this, Your Highness?' A tall blonde man stood beside the young King of Wakanda on the facility’s private airstrip as they watched the jet’s landing. The doubt in his voice was reflected in his broad frame situated next to the slimmer figure of the king.
‘I am certain, Captain Rogers. And to be entirely honest, she is your friend’s best bet right now.'
James Buchanan ‘Bucky’ Barnes.
The name of the patient.
The name of the infamous Winter Soldier.
You’d have to be living under a rock to have missed the countless headlines regarding his return in the last couple years, integrated seamlessly with the collapse of SHIELD and the devastating event at the UN meeting in Vienna. Naturally, Eleina had been briefed on the secrecy of this mission and the dangers it would pose to the outside world as well as Wakanda if anyone learned his location or her purpose there for outside these borders the Winter Soldier was still a wanted menace.
While most of the world hated the deadly assassin, she couldn’t bring herself to share their sentiments.
The file provided a bare sketch of who Bucky Barnes was before his unwilling involvement with Hydra and from the few black and white photos it provided, she could tell that he had been an extremely vivid and charming young man. Subsequent documents described in varying lengths of detail the procedures and assignments completed by the Winter Soldier.
- Artificially Enhanced Physiology
- Superhuman strength
- Enhanced reflexes, speed, stamina, durability,
- Regenerative Healing Factor
- Cybernetic arm
- Skilled at almost all forms of hand-to-hand combat
- Proficiency with all types of firearms, bombs
- Master marksman and assassin
- Proficiency in knife combat
- Aviation, sailing, and vehicular skills
Thaw, wipe, point, kill, freeze, repeat.
That was the pattern for the last 70 years and by the time she reached the end of the file, her heart ached for the soul of James Barnes.
It was explained that Hydra had implanted certain controls and trigger words within his mind and though there had been little detail enclosed about her role, given her abilities, she understood that her primary function was to remove them.
Before she could cogitate further on this, the Wakandan air hostess appeared, ‘Miss Roberts, we will be landing in 20 minutes.'
Snapping the folder closed, Eleina looked up at her pleasant smile ‘Yes of course, Thank you for your assistance.'
‘Will you be requiring anything else, madam?'
‘No thank you. I’ll be fine,’ she replied politely and when the woman was gone, she opened the manila folder again to find the photos rearranged: James Barnes, smiling brightly with his former best friend Steve Rogers while on the left the wild haired, formidable Winter Soldier glared up at her.
In that moment, Eleina swore to herself that she would do everything in her power to help restore this broken man to the young strapping soldier he once was.