Mission Report – Mission 28593XB
December 20, 2001
Asset ‘Winter Soldier’ was deployed at 0700 EST on the morning of December 16 to mission assignment. With the recovery of Captain America, A.K.A. Steven Grant Rogers, from the arctic by the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division and project leader Howard Anthony Walter Stark, it has become increasingly apparent that additional super soldiers are essential to furthering the cause set forth by our organization’s illustrious founder. See: Intelligence Report 5367DL92Z. Sources inside of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division (referred to as S.H.I.E.L.D. for the remainder of this report and its accompanying file) provided the necessary information related to the recovery of samples purported to be viable super soldier serum. See: Intelligence Reports 5367DL94A – 5368QP02.
Samples were reported to be in the custody of known enemy Howard Anthony Walter Stark (referred to as Howard Stark for the remainder of this report and its accompanying file). Security measures at the Stark Mansion were deemed too extensive to risk a break in. Opportune moment for acquisition was reported to be mid-transport on the evening of December 16. The asset ‘Winter Soldier’(referred to as WS for the remainder of this report and its accompanying file) was directed to take point on this mission. No additional forces were appointed to participate. Howard Stark was meant to be in the company of Maria Collins Carbonell Stark (wife) and Anthony Edward Stark (son). All three targets were to be eliminated.
WS took position on an old service road off of the route where the targets were said to be set to travel on at 1700 EST. See: Attached map diagram for exact position. The targets passed the road at 1946 EST in a Bentley Arnage. WS pursued on motorcycle, following closely for 25 meters before delivering a single blow to the left, rear fender with the asset’s metal arm to unbalance the car and send it into a crash. The vehicle spun off the road and into a tree, rendering the vehicle inoperable. WS then confirmed that only two targets were in the car, Howard Stark and Maria Collins Carbonell Stark. Howard Stark’s injuries from the crash led to death within minutes while WS smothered Maria Collins Carbonell Stark to ensure her death before retrieving the case of serum samples from the trunk of the vehicle.
WS delivered the samples into HYDRA custody before being dispatched to the Stark Mansion in New York, where the Starks had traveled from, in search of Anthony Edward Stark. When the target could not be located there, teams were dispatched at MIT to attempt to find him in his college dorms. At 0817 on the morning of December 17, word was discovered that Anthony Edward Stark was in Afghanistan to present a weapons demonstration of the Jericho missile to the United States Military. His convoy had been attacked by terrorists and his body not recovered. Teams were dispatched to monitor the situation.
WS returned to cryo on December 19, after being transported to the proper facility. Re-deployment will be evaluated when more information surfaces as to the fate of Anthony Edward Stark. His death remains an open mission for the WS until the kill is confirmed.
Tony reeled at the turns his life had taken, hardly able to believe it. Three years ago, the omega genius had been just 17, attending his first solo-weapons demo, when he’d been kidnapped the same day his parents had died in a car accident. He hadn’t even learned of their deaths until months later when he’d blown his way out of those caves and come back home. Finding out that Obie had been the one to set him up had been a shit-storm when he was also having to take over Stark Industries. Thank God for SHIELD swooping in to smooth everything over. Tony would just never admit it where Fury could hear.
Learning that his father had been involved with, had helped found even, a super-secret government organization was more surprising than it probably should have been. Tony blamed the shock and the number of things he was dealing with for being so slow on the uptake. He’d just become a superhero, after all. Then all of a sudden he found himself being invited to join the Avengers, despite Black Widow’s frowns of disapproval, and they were saving the world from an alien invasion. It was a lot to take in.
Now he was twenty years old, flipping the bird to every stereotype that said he needed an alpha to run his life for him, and kicking ass every week with the newest upstart bad guy. He finally felt like a part of the team, hanging out with Brucie in the labs and hosting the entire team in the Stark Tower he’d renovated for just that purpose. Even Natasha seemed to have accepted him into the fold. She’d snuck him an extra donut last week. If that wasn’t love, Tony didn’t know what was. Of course, last week was also the forty-fifth attempt on Tony’s life since Obie had hired the Ten Rings, but who was counting?
The point was, someone wanted Tony dead. Possibly someones.
“This has to stop,” Steve said from the head of the room, frowning deeply. “We have to find out who is responsible for these attacks.”
“Aw, Caspsicle! I knew you cared!”
“This isn’t a joke, Tony! You’re in danger!”
Tony huffed and leaned back in his chair, throwing his feet up on the table. They’d had this conversation enough times for Tony to know no good would come of it.
“Rogers is right,” Fury grumbled from his seat ensconced in shadows like the creepy person he was. “Your father asked me to keep you safe, Tony. I intend to make that happen.”
“Is that why you send me into battle to fight supervillains?”
The look Fury sent him was wholly unamused. Clint reached over to ruffle the young genius’s hair.
“Come off it, Stark. You know we’re just worried about you. Let us protect you, okay? We’re superheroes. It’s kind of our job.”
The omega bristled.
“I don’t need protection. I can look after myself.”
Clint’s muscular arms wrapped around him to pull him close, nearly pulling him clear out of his chair.
“Of course you can, sweetheart. We’ve never doubted you for a moment,” the stupid, obnoxious, jackass said soothingly. “You’re our adorable baby boy, though. We’d be lost without you.”
Tony struggled to get loose enough to punch the bastard.
“I am so not catching your ass the next time you jump off a building.”
Clint grinned at him before finally letting him go. Tony aimed a kick his way that the alpha archer laughingly dodged away from.
“Whoever is behind these attacks, they’ve managed to avoid each and every other attempt to track them down. We’ve caught underlings here and there, but nothing we can make use of. The only thing we know is that someone desperately wants you dead. They’re not even being subtle about it anymore,” Natasha cut in, frowning. “If we want to stop them before they manage to stop you, then we need to be more proactive.”
Tony sulked in his chair.
“How much more proactive can we get? You personally test every member of my security team. No one who isn’t absolutely necessary knows where I am at any given time. I can’t take a piss without SHIELD busting down the door to make sure I’m alright.”
“Exactly,” Natasha acknowledged. “We’ve cut off every avenue of contact, made you completely inaccessible to them. You’re guarded by a team of superheroes on top of your security detail at all times. There’s no way they could get to you without catastrophic collateral damage. It won’t be long before they decide that’s a justifiable approach if it means taking you out, too.”
Tony’s fingers tightened on his armrests. He hated that just being who he was put others in danger. Pepper’s security force already rivaled his own. There had been multiple attempts to take her in order to draw him out into a more vulnerable position.
“Fuckin’ super villains,” he growled.
Steve sent him a disapproving scowl.
“Language,” he reprimanded. “But you’re not wrong. Something needs to be done before things get worse and people get hurt. I take it you have an idea, Natasha?”
The female beta shrugged delicately, her gaze cutting over to watch Tony thoughtfully.
“If we want to draw them out, we’re going to have to give them what they want.”
“You mean using Tony as bait,” Bruce finally contributed. He didn’t sound happy. “Absolutely not. It’s too dangerous.”
“If we orchestrate the whole thing and take the proper precautions, it doesn’t have to be. We can control the situation instead of letting them control it.”
“And if Tony gets hurt?” Steve challenged. “That’s not a risk I’m willing to take.”
“All due respect, alpha,” Tony drawled, “that’s not your decision.” He turned to Natasha, raising his chin. “I’m in. What’re you thinking?”
Natasha’s sharp grin was wicked and proud.
The Winter Soldier slipped easily through the shadows of the loading bay area, having exited the back of the lorry without being seen. His handlers had been excited to find this little loophole in the Stark Industries security for the New York tower. It’d been cleverly hidden, which is why they’d missed it before, but they’d suited the Winter Soldier up as soon as they’d discovered it. They weren’t going to risk missing the opportunity. The Winter Soldier was just focused on completing his mission. It’d taken far too long already. He’d never had a target able to evade him for years at a time. Of course, he’d never had a target that ran around in a suit of technological armor surrounded by superheroes either.
He moved towards the express freight elevator that went directly to the executive levels of the tower. The ones that went to the topmost floors, where the Avengers dwelled, were wrapped many times over with layers of security. The one for the executive floor was much easier to get through. He used the key card he’d swiped from one of the delivery workers to activate the lift and was soon on his way. Once he reached the executive floors, he would be able to steal another access card or break into the office of Tony Stark, his target, and take the direct elevator therein to the higher floors.
The plan was risky, considering the number of heroes that lived in the tower and the high probability of the asset being noticed, but nothing else had worked. HYDRA wouldn’t get the chance to get this close again. The asset was the only one with the skills it would require to get in unnoticed, if it was possible, and eliminate the target. It remained to be seen whether he’d be able to get back out again. HYDRA would take whatever steps were necessary in the event he couldn’t. If it came down to it, the asset would be eliminated. It would be worth it to remove the target from the equation.
The carpet on the executive floor was plush beneath the soles of the Winter Soldier’s heavy boots. It was probably meant for comfort, but it muffled his footfalls even more. He was in a bland, navy jumpsuit instead of his normal leathers, with a cap pulled down low over his face to keep it hidden from security cameras. He was carrying a pocket jammer, but he wanted to save that for when he was escaping. Shutting down the cameras too early could tip someone off before he could reach his target. A tool box held in one hand guaranteed no one would pay much attention to him.
Department Heads, board members, and secretaries passed the asset by without a second glance. He’d long ago been trained to make himself invisible while standing in plain sight. It was much easier to do that when the people who saw him immediately wrote him off as unimportant.
Anthony Stark’s office took up the space of three regular offices, based on what the Winter Soldier could see from the hallway. The doors were clear glass, floor to ceiling, and the walls were a glass that had been fogged over. Intel provided by the handlers suggested that the opaqueness could be changed at any time. The Winter Soldier was glad that he wouldn’t be on display once he was out of direct line of sight. It would have severely limited his time frame. There was a keypad next to the door, requiring a code before the door could be opened. The Winter Soldier set his toolbox on the ground and pulled off the cover for the pad.
It was a matter of seconds for him to attach a decryptor to the keypad and start it running through all the possible sequences. The occasional person still passed through the halls, but none of them seemed overly concerned. He marked each of their passages, including the young, twenty-something brunette who slowed to a stop behind him. A whiff of the air identified the boy as another alpha, though his demeanor didn’t mark him as a particularly confrontational one.
“Um, what are you doing?”
The Winter Soldier didn’t spare him a glance, feigning the indifference of an overworked employee.
“Maintenance,” he grunted. “Routine security update.”
There was no way this kid, who was barely older than the target himself, would have been around the company long enough to know how things worked. He probably wasn’t even out of college yet, just some intern or executive’s son who got dragged in for the day.
“I’m not…” the boy started with a frown, sounding unsure, then switched tactics. “Mr. Stark usually does his own security updates.”
The Winter Soldier heaved a one-armed shrug.
“I was told to come up and do it. I just do what I’m told.”
Mentally, he calculated whether or not he should just kill the kid and get it over with. The decision was made for him as the decryptor beeped completion at the same time the kid pulled out a cell phone. He grabbed the kid’s arm, yanked the door open and threw him inside. He tossed the decryptor in after the boy and hastily shoved the cover of the keypad back on without securing it. The other alpha was back on his feet by the time the Winter Soldier was through the door as well. His hackles were raised.
“If you’re here to hurt Tony,” he threatened, “then you’ve got another thing coming.”
The asset growled viciously, reacting to the threat and making the boy stiffen more. No alpha could ever let another alpha’s challenge lie. He knocked the phone from the boy’s hands, taking hold of his wrists and twisting them behind his back to wrap them both in metal fingers. The boy struggled, but stopped quickly as soon as the Winter Soldier nudged the back of his skull with the muzzle of his gun.
“You are familiar with Anthony Edward Stark.”
It was a statement, not a question. The younger alpha had slipped when he called the target ‘Tony’, a known and regularly used name but one that a simple employee wouldn’t use in a professional environment. The Winter Soldier could use this.
“Don’t do anything stupid,” he warned, before slowly lowering and holstering his gun. It’d be a simple thing to kill the boy without it, anyway.
The Winter Soldier frisked him quickly until he found the other alpha’s security pass card. Then he marched the kid over to the understated elevator that took up the far wall, between Stark’s office and Virginia Potts’s. He held the card up to the scanner, then ushered the boy inside as soon as the doors opened.
“Take me to Stark’s private lab,” he said, getting the gun back out. “Take me anywhere else and I shoot you in the head. Try to escape and I shoot you in the head. Try to warn anyone and-“
“Let me guess, you shoot me in the head,” the kid cut him off, seeming more pissed off than actually scared. “Tony’s gonna kick your ass, you know.”
“If you do as I say,” the Winter Soldier continued, ignoring him, “you will make it out of this alive.”
It was a lie, but the boy didn’t need to know that. He just needed to cooperate. Judging by the expression on his face, the boy didn’t have any plans to.
“No shooting my interns,” a voice said, filtering through the elevator’s speakers. The Winter Soldier cursed internally. “I like Parker’s brains right where they are. I’m bringing you up to my lab now, okay?”
Placating, soothing, trying to keep the Winter Soldier calm. There was a reason more hostage negotiators were omegas than any other orientation. Those techniques wouldn’t work on the Winter Soldier.
“No tricks,” he demanded, as the elevator began to move.
“No tricks,” the disembodied voice of Anthony Edward Stark agreed.