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Children of a Lesser God

Survivor of the Devil's Playground

Natasha kept her eyes glued to the isolation tank as she waited for Clint to comprehend what she had just said. After several long seconds of silence, she heard her partner take a deep breath before replying quietly.

“Where in the lab are you?”
Natasha pulled her eyes away from the isolation tank and peeked out of the room, trying to gauge her location.
“Once you enter the building, there are two corridors that branch out in either direction. Go down the left one; I’m in the third room on the right.”
There was another few seconds of silence. “Got it. I’m climbing down the guard tower now, so I’ll be in there in a few minutes.”
“I’ll be waiting. And Clint? One more thing. You may want to be prepared, since the stench in here is overwhelming.”

The conversation ended after that comment, and Natasha found herself alone again; as she waited for Barton to arrive, the female started searching the room for a towel. She figured that it would have been extremely handy to keep towels in the same room as the isolation tank, but there wasn’t a single one in the room. Of course it couldn’t be that easy. Natasha cursed quietly in Russian and quickly slipped out of the room in search of one.

She thankfully didn’t have to search for long, since there was a linen closet at the end of the wing that contained lab coats, blankets and among other things, towels. The agent had just returned to the other room with a towel in hand when she suddenly heard the sound of Clint gagging; since the stench in the building was so overpowering, she would have been surprised if he had been unfazed by it.

“I warned you about the stench,” she commented grimly.
It was several seconds before Clint replied. “I’ll be there in a minute.”
“I’ll wait outside the room for you.”

With that, Natasha dropped the towel on the lab table and stepped out of the room. The assassin pressed her back against the wall next to the door as she gazed down the corridor for Clint. Only two or three minutes later, the marksman joined her.

“Jesus Christ,” Clint commented quietly, pressing his own back against the wall. “What in the world happened in here?”
“Like I said, the scientists left all of their experiments for dead when they abandoned this place,” Natasha replied grimly.
Clint nodded his head before lifting up a hand and running it through his short blond hair. “So if you don’t mind me asking, why did you tell me to get in here if everything is dead?”
Natasha gave her partner a small smirk before pushing herself off the wall and stepping back into the room.
“I’ll show you.”

Clint hesitated slightly for a minute before following his fellow assassin into the room; she motioned toward the isolation chamber before stepping over to the lab table and grabbing the towel she had placed there only a few minutes prior. She watched silently as her partner stepped up to the isolation chamber and immediately sucked in a stunned breath at the sight.

Floating motionlessly in the Epsom water was a slender female; the very female that the pair had been tasked with hunting down. Natasha watched as a stunned Clint stared at the tank in silence for a good five minutes before bringing his attention back to her.

“Well, I can tell you one thing. The girl could make an incredible supermodel.”
Clint’s comment caused Natasha to roll her eyes. “Instead of checking her out, you should be working on getting her out of there.”
Natasha’s comment caused Clint to chuckle, but he nonetheless reached into the water and pulled the female out of the tank.
“She’s light,” he mumbled quietly, gently placing her on the floor.

Natasha joined the pair with the towel and started drying off the female as Clint checked for a pulse; her expression turned grim as the blond slowly shook his head.
“We’re too late,” he said softly.
The pair stared in silence at the motionless female for several seconds before Natasha suddenly gasped, causing Clint to pull his eyes away from the girl to gaze curiously at the redhead.

“What is it?”
“The Captain,” Natasha commented, causing Clint’s expression to grow confused.
“What about him?”
“While he was frozen, his body knew to go into minimal functioning to keep him alive.”
Clint’s expression grew even more confused for a few seconds until realization crossed it. “So you think this girl’s body knew to do the same thing?”
“I don’t think so. I know so,” Natasha commented as she continued to dry off the female. “Like what happened to Steve, her body more than likely slowed down her major organs as a defense mechanism to keep her alive. The only difference is that she was in a sensory deprivation tank rather than frozen in a chunk of ice.”

“And, now that we removed her from the tank…?”
“Her body should start resorting back to normal functioning soon. She should be absolutely fine.”
“That is incredible.”
“It is,” Natasha replied quietly before turning her attention to Clint. “There’s a linen closet a few doors down at the beginning of the corridor; go grab me something to put on her.”

Clint nodded and immediately pushed himself to his feet; Natasha watched him leave the room before turning her eyes back to the other female. The marksman returned several minutes later with a pair of jeans and an oversized t-shirt. He dropped the clothes on the lab table before kneeling down by Natasha’s side.

“Is there any difference?”
Natasha shook her head sadly. “Still the same,” she replied quietly.
“Figures,” Clint commented quietly. “Well, the only thing we can do is get her dressed and bring her back to base; SHIELD will know what to do.”

Natasha nodded her head and pushed herself up, stepping over to the lab table and grabbling the clothes that Clint had retrieved; she had kneeled down again and was unfolding the pants when the girl’s eyes suddenly fluttered open. The redhead immediately dropped the pants and moved forward so she could rest a hand on the gasping female’s shoulder lightly.

The red-and-blonde haired girl flinched away from Natasha’s touch and focused her hazel eyes on her. “Wie die Hel is jy?”
Natasha was unfazed by the slender girl’s comment in Afrikaans. “Do you know English?”
The female stared at Natasha for several seconds before restating her comment in flawless English. “Who the hell are you?”
“I’m Natasha Romanoff and this is my partner, Clint Barton. We’re here to help you.”
“I don’t need your help,” the girl snarled, struggling to try and stand up.

“Actually, I beg to differ. You were left for dead in an isolation chamber of an abandoned genetic research laboratory. I think you are in desperate need of our assistance,” Clint interjected.
The female was shaking viciously as she kept unsuccessfully attempting to make it to her feet; she would only manage get to her knees before collapsing again. Clint’s comment, however, caused her to freeze and turn her gaze to him.

“The whole entire building is abandoned; the scientists who worked here left all the experiments for dead. Including you,” Natasha told her, kneeling down and extending her hand toward the trembling girl.
The bi-colored hair girl warily gazed at Natasha’s hand before resuming her attempts to stand up, completely ignoring the agent’s attempts to help her.

Clint folded his arms over his chest as he watched. “You know, this would be much easier if you just accepted our help.”
“And, why should I trust you?” The girl finally made it up to her feet, albeit she was extremely wobbly.
“I can assure you that we have no intentions of hurting you,” Natasha commented, again reaching to put a hand on her shoulder.

Without so much as a warning, the girl shoved her elbow into Natasha’s stomach; despite the female’s wobbliness on her feet, the unexpected jab was powerful and had enough force to knock the agent off her feet. However, Natasha used this to her advantage by quickly performing a low reverse roundhouse kick. The female tried to avoid the attack, but her still shaky muscles failed to cooperate for her and she was sent back to the floor.

Natasha immediately straddled the girl, preventing her from getting back up.
“Because I said we didn’t have any intentions of hurting you didn’t give you permission to attack us,” she told the female. “Now, we can either do this the easy way or the difficult way. It’s your choice.”
The tattooed girl looked up at Natasha with astonishment in her eyes; it was obvious that she wasn’t expecting for get bested quite like she had. However, after a few tense seconds the female started struggling underneath Natasha’s weight.

“Relax,” Natasha said. “Struggling is only going to make things worse.”
Out the corner of her eye, the SHIELD agent noticed Clint slip out of the room without a word.
“I know you’re wary of us, but we only want to help you; struggling is only going to make things difficult,” Natasha continued. “Rest assured, we aren’t scientists looking to lock you up again and continue to use you as a guinea pig.”

The female stopped struggling and stared up at Natasha, obviously trying to figure out if she could believe what she was being told. The two women stared at each other in silence for a minute before the girl started struggling again under Natasha’s weight; she lifted her head up and managed to sink her teeth into one of Natasha’s hands, causing the assassin to wince slightly in pain.

An arrow suddenly whizzed through the open door of the lab and struck the female in her arm, causing Natasha to whip her head up. Clint had retreated into the lab across the hall so he could hit the girl with an arrowhead containing a tranquillizer; as the sedative started to take effect, the girl slowly stopped struggling against Natasha and her body became limp.

Natasha gazed up as Clint reentered the room and leaned down on the floor next to the pair, retrieving the clothes he had retrieved for the girl.
“Her modified genes will burn through the tranquilizer quickly, so we don’t have much time. I’m going to get the Quinjet prepared. You think you can carry her?”
“I got her,” Natasha commented, climbing off of the girl and slipping her arms underneath her so she could pick her up.
Clint gazed at the girl. “Still putting up a fight even when she’s she has no chance. Reminds me of someone I know.”
Natasha rolled her eyes at her partner’s comment. “Come on; let’s just get back to base.”

The pair exited the laboratory together in silence and returned to the Quinjet; while Clint climbed in and started up the engines, Natasha climbed into the back with the girl and set her down gently. The marksman turned his attention to back to the redhead as he took off.
“You all right?”
“I’m fine,” Natasha replied, turning her gaze to the female. “I wasn’t expecting her to be so strong, though.”
“Me neither. Although I have to admit, I would love to see a fist fight between her and Cap.”

There was silence for a few minutes on the Quinjet following that comment until the girl started to stir slightly. Natasha caught Clint’s gaze before stepping over to the girl, sitting down next to her. After gazing at the disorientated female for several seconds, she spoke quietly.

“You really pack a punch.”
The girl didn’t look at Natasha, instead staring out the cockpit window. “Yeah, well…apparently not a big enough one.”
Natasha nodded her head as she listened. “You were trapped in a sensory deprivation tank, although for how long, we’re not sure.”
“I had to tranquilize you because you kept fighting us, and I didn’t want you to hurt yourself,” Clint added in.

The female turned her attention back outside the window before replying.
“So, who exactly are you guys? And, where exactly are you taking me?”
Natasha gazed at Clint for a second before replying. “Again I’m Natasha Romanoff and that is Clint Barton. We’re agents of a super-secret law enforcement and espionage agency known as SHIELD. We’re currently en route to SHIELD Central in New York where you will meet our Director.”

The female arched an eyebrow at Natasha. “…SHIELD?”
“Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division,” Clint told her.
“I can definetely tell why you guys call it SHIELD. That’s a mouthful.”
Natasha ignored the red-and-blonde’s comment. “Now that we told you we are do you think you could tell us who you are?”

The girl gazed between Natasha and Clint and back again; when she realized that the two agents weren’t going to reply to her comment, she let loose an infuriated sigh.
“That’s a nice name,” Natasha told her.
“Whatever. Can I go to sleep?”
“If you’d like.”

Clint turned his attention to Jetta and motioned toward the clothes he had retrieved.
“Before you go to sleep, you may seriously want to consider putting those clothes on, since I highly doubt that the Director would appreciate us bringing you into SHIELD Headquarters completely naked.”

Jetta glared at Clint for a second before rolling her eyes and snatching the clothes from Natasha. She tossed them on quickly before laying down on her side and stretching out.

The rest of the flight back to the States went without incident; Natasha and Clint made small talk while Jetta slept the whole time. As Clint landed the Quinjet on the Helicarrier, Natasha stepped up to Jetta and cleared her throat.
“Get up. We’ve arrived in New York.”

Jetta opened her eyes and gazed up at Natasha for several seconds before yawning and pulling herself up to her feet; the redhead took a hold of Jetta’s bicep
“If you try anything, you will get tased,” she told the female, causing Jetta to gaze at her warily as Natasha walked her off the Quinjet.
“What about your partner?”
“He’ll join us eventually.”

With that comment, Natasha walked her off the carrier and to an awaiting SHIELD vehicle. She opened up the door for Jetta and pushed her in before walking around to the other side and climbing in herself. Jetta didn’t look at her, choosing instead to stare out the shaded windows at the city as the vehicle started moving. Natasha watched her in silence for several minutes before speaking.

“You’ve never been to New York before, have you?”
“No, I’ve been here before; that’s why I’m so fascinated by the surroundings,” Jetta shot back sarcastically.
Natasha arched an eyebrow at the slender female. “No need for sarcasm, Jetta. I was trying to start a conversation with you.”
Jetta ignored Natasha’s comment and returned her attention to the sights of New York.

The streets of New York were congested, so it took upwards a half hour for the SHIELD vehicle to arrive at its destination. The ride was silent and awkward; Natasha watched in silence as Jetta stared at the city. When they finally arrived at SHIELD Central, Natasha climbed out of the vehicle first and stepped around to open up the door for Jetta. As soon as the bi-colored haired female climbed out, Natasha took a hold of her arm and led her up to the entrance of the building.

As the pair entered the building, Natasha watched as Jetta’s hazel eyes gazed around the room in astonishment.
“This is…definitely not what I was expecting.”
Natasha gave her a small smile. “I told you we weren’t going to lock you up in anymore labs, did I not? But come on, we should go meet up with the Director.”
Jetta turned her attention to the other female and opened her mouth to say something, but decided against it and stayed quiet as the pair resumed walking.

“Thank you, Agent Romanoff, but I’ll take over from here.”
The sudden gruff masculine voice made Jetta jump a bit and the female whipped her head up to see two men walking toward the pair; the one who had spoken had a dark complexion and was dressed in completely black attire. He was sporting an eye patch over his left eye. The other male had side combed blond hair and was dressed in brown slacks along with a blue-and-green plaid shirt. He had his hands jammed into the pockets of a brown leather jacket as he followed a few strides behind the other man.

Without a word to Jetta, Natasha turned and left her alone in the company of the two men; Jetta craned her head to gaze after her until the man who had dismissed Natasha addressed her.
“Ms. Monroe? I am Nick Fury, Director of SHIELD. If you could follow me, I would like to discuss some important matters with you.”
♠ ♠ ♠
Again, I would like to sincerely apologize for the delay with this update; our air conditioner decided to break down the day I started this chapter. It wouldn't have been so bad if we wouldn't have been in a heat wave for the past several days. I also had to restart this chapter a few times to get it right. I am very pleased with how this came out, though. And now to my lovely commenters.<3

TheAntsInvasion: I'm glad that you think it's awesome. :D I'm assuming that you're happy to finally see some Steve? ;]
OctoberIsForLovers: Well, you're going to have to used to cliffhangers since I absolutely love them. :P Forgive me for the delay in this update, but I wanted it to be perfect.
bonitalita: I really love getting new commenters, and I am happy that you like it. :D
Philaphobia;; Awww, thank you! Again, it makes me ecstatic to see that you're enjoying it. I assume that you're also happy to see a glimpse of Steve?

The next chapter will be started on Thursday, since I have horseback riding tomorrow. I have horseback riding lesson every Wednesday, so I will probably avoid writing on lesson day simply because I'm learning to jump and don't want to be distracted. So, please have some patience with me in that regard, since horseback riding is a huge passion for me. It's 2 AM in the morning where I am, so I'm going to go get some rest. As always if you're enjoying the story, comment, subscribe and recommend. xo