Status: Active. Read and enjoy.

Children of a Lesser God

Physical Exam

“It’s time to wake up, Ms. Monroe.”

The statement by a man’s voice that Jetta couldn’t quite recognize was the first thing that she heard as she again slipped back into consciousness. Like before, the avian hybrid kept her eyes closed for several moments as she tried to remember where she was. The throbbing in her head and throat caused Jetta to feel a sense of déjà vu, although she quickly realized that she wasn’t being carried this time. Instead, she was on a bed, lying on her back.

Jetta let loose a groan and tried to roll onto her side, but the feeling of something painfully pulling at her other hand prevented her from doing so; this caused the avian hybrid to slowly open her eyes and gaze around her surroundings blearily through her hair. She quickly lifted up a hand to brush the hair out of her eyes, but was stopped by another unpleasant pulling at her hand.

Jetta’s eyes immediately went to her right hand, where she noticed that an intravenous catheter taped to it was the source of the discomfort; seeing the intravenous caused the red-and-blond female to begin to remember where she was and why she was there. She was in the medical wing of SHIELD Central where she had been put under after she had attacked Steve and Natasha at Stark Tower.

All Jetta wanted to do was go back to sleep, but the man who had waken her up acknowledged her again before she could do so; the female was just lucid enough to recognize him as the anesthesiologist.
“How are you feeling, Ms. Monroe?”
It was a few seconds before Jetta could muster the energy to reply. “Horrible.”
The anesthesiologist chuckled before replying. “Well, that’s to be expected. You’ve been heavily sedated for over seventy-two hours.”

Jetta stared at the anesthesiologist in stunned silence as a nurse arrived to check her vital signs.
“Seventy-two hours? Damn…”
“I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true. You were hard to keep under since your modified genes burn through the anesthetics so quickly, which means that you’ll start feeling better soon.”
“Cool…I guess.”

“Are you thirsty? Would you like a snow cone?”
Jetta nodded her head in reply to the anesthesiologist’s question.
“Is there any particular flavor you’d like?”
Jetta thought about it for several seconds. “Uh…not really.”
“I’ll play it on the safe side and get one of the simple flavors, then. I’ll be right back with that.”

The anesthesiologist returned a minute or two later with a grape snow cone and a spoon.
“Here you go. If you eat it too fast you’ll get brain freeze, so take your time. Meanwhile, I’m going to call Director Fury to see if Dr. Banner is ready for you.”

Jetta watched after the anesthesiologist, taking a spoonful of the snow cone; she ate the snow cone in silence for a several minutes until the anesthesiologist returned.

“Both the Director and Captain Rogers are concerned over how long it’s been since you’ve eaten anything, so the nurse is preparing some tomato soup for you. Just to make sure you don’t have a negative reaction to it, I’m going to run some anti-nausea medication through your IV. Fury is going to send someone shortly to bring you to Dr. Banner.”

Jetta didn’t reply to the anesthesiologist. Instead, she continued to eat the snow cone in silence as he switched her IV’s drip chamber. After he was done switching her drip chamber, the anesthesiologist left her alone without another word. He returned a couple of minutes later with the nurse, who was carrying a tray with food on it for Jetta.

“Here you go, Ms. Monroe. Tomato soup, chocolate pudding, and since our agents don’t like getting apple juice, some Welch’s White Grape Peach Mango.”
“I wonder why…” Jetta mumbled sarcastically as the nurse placed the tray down in front of her.
“As another precaution against nausea, don’t eat too quickly,” the anesthesiologist told her.

The avian hybrid rolled her eyes slightly, but nonetheless nodded and reached for the spoon. She spooned up some of the soup and gave it a minute to cool off before eating it; even though the soup didn’t taste that great, it made Jetta realize how famished she really was. She reached for the juice after swallowing and took a few sips to wash the weird taste out of her mouth.

Jetta took the anesthesiologist’s advice of eating the soup slowly, so she was about halfway done it when a brunette woman with a bob cut entered the room. She was wearing a navy blue SHIELD uniform and was carrying what Jetta assumed was a change of clothes for her.

“Hello, Jetta. I’m Agent Maria Hill, Director Fury’s second-in-command. How are you doing today?”
“Well, let’s see. I was under anesthesia for over three days. Obviously, I’m doing just fine and dandy.”
“Fury warned me that you would be in a bad mood.”
“Gee, I wonder how he came to that assumption,” Jetta retorted.
Like Fury and Natasha before her, Maria ignored Jetta’s sarcasm. “I brought you a change of clothes, so get changed when you’re done eating. Dr. Banner is waiting for you.”

Following that comment, Maria didn’t say another word to Jetta and waited patiently as the other female finished eating; as soon as Jetta finished, the anesthesiologist unplugged her IV so she could get changed. After he was gone, Maria handed her the clothes and shut her bed’s curtain so she could have some privacy. Jetta let loose an infuriated snarl and angrily grabbed the clothes, rolling her eyes as she noticed the SHIELD logo on the t-shirt.

When she pushed open the curtain after getting changed, the avian-hybrid found the anesthesiologist and Maria waiting with a wheelchair.
“Are you ready to go?”

Jetta grunted in affirmation, and the agent motioned to the wheelchair. The female narrowed her eyes at Maria and grumbled under her breath, but reluctantly climbed off the bed and into the wheelchair. As soon as Jetta was seated, the anesthesiologist pulled the tape off her hand and placed some gauze over the catheter before removing it. He taped the gauze in place and patted her shoulder.

“Okay, you’re good to go.”
“No, you don’t say,” Jetta mumbled under her breath.
Maria smiled at the anesthesiologist. “Thank you, Dr. Conrad.”
“No problem, Agent Hill. Hopefully, you won’t need my assistance with her again.”
“Let’s hope not,” Maria replied as she turned Jetta around and started wheeling her out of the wing.

“You know, I can walk,” Jetta grumbled as Maria pushed her out of the medical wing.
“Using a wheelchair after anesthesia is protocol, Jetta. It’s to prevent you from falling down if you’re dizzy and injuring yourself.”
“Well then, SHIELD has some stupid protocol.”
“It’s not SHIELD’s protocol. Hospitals require patients to ride in wheelchairs after coming out of anesthesia, as well.”

“Whatever. Also, that soup was awful.”
“Yeah, Captain Rogers had the same complaint about it.”
The idea of well-mannered and annoyingly polite Steve Rogers complaining about something caused Jetta to laugh.
“What do you find so funny?”
“The idea of the Captain complaining about something. He’s such a gentleman that I can’t picture it.”
Maria laughed a bit as well. “Yeah, it was one of those things you had to be there for.”

Jetta was silent as Maria pushed her to an elevator and pressed the “Up” button; several seconds later, the elevator arrived and the agent pushed Jetta into it without a word. She selected the desired floor, before swiping a security card and entering a passcode to get the elevator moving upwards. A few moments later, the elevator arrived at its destination and the doors opened.

Maria pushed Jetta out of the elevator without a word and down a small corridor to a locked door. She entered another passcode to open the door pushed the avian hybrid’s wheelchair through it. A brunette male wearing glasses was inside the lab, discussing something with Tony Stark. Tony was the first to acknowledge the females, wickedly grinning at Jetta.

“Look, Sleeping Beauty finally decided to show up.”
“You have got to be kidding me,” Jetta grumbled under her breath before glaring at Tony. “What are you doing here, Stark?”
“Woke up on the wrong side of the bed, did we? Fury gave me permission to assist Dr. Banner.”

Before Jetta had a chance to reply to Tony, the other man stepped in between the two of them and extended his hand to Jetta.
“Hello, Jetta. I’m Dr. Bruce Banner. Fury has told me a lot about you, so it’s a pleasure to finally meet you.”
Jetta said nothing, but reluctantly reached out and shook Bruce’s hand; as she did so, the female could instantly feel the anger radiating off him. As the pair released each other’s hands, Bruce turned his attention to Maria.
“Thank you, Agent Hill. Tony and I can take over from here, though.”

Maria nodded her head and left without a word to Jetta; the avian hybrid turned and watched after the other female until Bruce acknowledged her.
“Okay, Jetta. We are going to start by checking your height and weight. If you could, please step onto the scale for me.”
Jetta warily pushed herself out of the wheelchair and stepped onto the scale without a word. Bruce jotted down Jetta’s weight and then measured her.
“Five foot nine inches and one-hundred pounds, because of your hollow avian bones. Now, if you could sit down for me on the exam table and pull your shirt up, I’m going to check your heart rate and temperature.”

Jetta grumbled something under her breath and rolled her eyes, but nonetheless hopped onto the exam table and pulled her t-shirt up. Bruce stepped with a stethoscope and placed it on the female’s chest, causing Jetta to flinch a bit from the cold metal. The scientist noticed this and quickly removed it, taking a second to warm it up before returning it to Jetta’s chest and putting the ear pieces in his ears.

“Much faster than that of the average human’s heart rate, that’s for sure. You are the first avian recombinant I’ve seen, but according to the lab notes in your file, your heart rate is normal and perfectly healthy. Your notes also mention the fact that you have smaller air sacs in addition to your lungs. May I?”

“Like I really have a choice?” Jetta asked sarcastically.
Bruce raised his eyebrows at Jetta’s remark, but remained silent and moved the stethoscope’s bell down to the female’s stomach. He listened intently to the air flow in fascination for several seconds before removing the stethoscope.
“An avian respiratory system means that you have more efficient gas-exchange of both oxygen and carbon dioxide than humans do. This allows you to exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen easily when you fly at higher altitudes. Fascinating.”

“To put it simply, you’re a freak,” Tony commented, causing Jetta to glare at him. “Thankfully, you’re not the only one here. You, the Captain, Banner…in fact, we’re all one big gang of freaks. So, cheer up.”
Bruce let loose a sigh and shook his head at Tony’s comment as he grabbed a thermometer.
“He takes some getting used to,” he assured Jetta as he checked her temperature.
“Romanoff told me the same thing about JARVIS,” Jetta commented dryly, causing Bruce to chuckle.
“Hm. One-hundred and two degrees, which makes you slightly warmer than an average human. Okay, now if could would open up your mouth, I just want to take a peek inside.”

Jetta opened her mouth and let Bruce take a look inside with a light.
“Other than the two tongue piercings, which I was not expecting…everything looks normal. Good.”
“Okay, bird girl. Get off the table and let’s step into the hallway so we can see those wings you have,” Tony interjected.
Jetta reluctantly hopped off the table and allowed Tony to lead her into the hallway, while Bruce grabbed her file and followed the other two. She shook her shoulders gently as she stepped out of the lab, causing her wings to unfold slightly; since they were folded up for so long, it was a relief to be able to loosen them a bit.

“All the way, Marilyn. I need to measure them.”
The avian hybrid let loose an annoyed sigh and fully extended her wings; they were mostly a chocolaty brown color, although the long feathers on the tips were a tawny gold shade. Tony let loose a whistle and stepped behind her to measure their span using a tape measure.

“Fifteen feet from wingtip to wingtip. That is a lot of wing.”
“Your file says that your avian DNA originated from an Aquila chrysaetos, which matches both the large wingspan and the plumage,” Bruce observed.
“An Aquila what?”
“Forgive me. You probably know it as the golden eagle. They’re one of the largest and most well-known raptors in the Northern Hemisphere,” Bruce explained. “They's also be one of the most powerful predators in the avian world.”

“And,” Tony again interjected, “they happen to be the national bird of Mexico. This means that if things don’t work out with SHIELD, because I don’t know there’s too much sexual tension between you and say, the old man, you could just move to Mexico and become a celebrity.”
“And, you could shut up before I punch you in the face,” Jetta replied dryly.
“You are quite an angry person, Jetta,” Bruce told her, a hint of amusement in his voice.

“You should be the one talking,” Jetta retorted, causing Bruce’s expression to turn surprised.
“How can you tell that I’m angry?”
“Simple. I could feel it when we shook hands. Actually, I can still feel it. It just, I don’t know, radiates off you. It’s not a very pleasant atmosphere; it’s like being emotionally strangled and is just really unpleasant. Needless to say, something has you really pissed off.”
“Oh, Banner is always angry so can keep the giant green rage monster-wait a second, you can feel his anger?”

Jetta completely ignored Tony’s question, distracted by the calmness that was brushing gently against her psyche. Something about it was strangely familiar, and it took the female several moments to realize that the emotions were coming from Steve’s psyche. Tony suddenly snapped his fingers, causing Jetta to visibly flinch and lose track of the super soldier’s presence in the crowded building.

“Yoo-hoo! Are you paying any attention to me or are you off in la-la land?”
“Sorry. I was a little distracted by the Captain. Before you ask again, yes Stark, I can feel Bruce’s anger.”
Bruce’s expression became even more astonished. “You can feel Steve’s emotions?” he asked incredulously.
Tony looked just as shocked as the other male. “How the hell…? He’s still at Stark Tower!”
“Don’t be ridiculous; I wouldn’t be able to feel him if he was all the way back at Stark Tower. He’s here at SHIELD.”

Jetta paused as she tried to gauge Steve’s location in the building; it took her several seconds to hone in on his psyche, whose calmness was now tainted with annoyance.

“He’s a few levels down from us, and he’s a little irritated. He’s probably arguing with Fury about something. Although hell if I know why he’s annoyed, since I can’t read his mind.”
“So you’re an empath, and a very gifted one at that. Incredible,” Bruce said, turning his attention to Jetta’s file. “It says here that the scientists experimented with different kinds of mutant genes. It also says here that you were also given the ability of pyrokinesis.”
“Pyrokinesis? So, you’re a real life Firebender!”

Bruce turned from his attention from the file to Tony with amusement written on his face. “There’s a small problem with that idea. You see, it goes on to say that she’s not pyrogenic.”
“Do I even want to know what the heck that means?” Jetta asked warily.
“It means that while you’re able to control fire with your mind, you’re unable to create it,” Bruce explained. “A powerful ability, but needless to say, it’s limited by your inability to generate fire.”
“Great, so I have a handicap,” Jetta complained.

Bruce opened his mouth to reply to Jetta, but he got caught off by the sound of the elevator dinging. The trio snapped their heads around to see Steve join them. The blond was waiting a pair of cargo pants and a navy blue SHIELD t-shirt, which showed off his muscular arms; he was lightly holding onto the buckle of his belt with his large hands. Jetta could instantly feel his calm presence overshadowing Bruce’s angry one.

Steve acknowledged the trio with a nod. “Good afternoon, everyone.”
“Well, well. Speak of the devil! Hey, Capsicle! Did know that your girlfriend can feel you?”
Steve’s face grew irritated at Tony’s use of the term “girlfriend”, but the annoyance immediately changed to confusion. “What do you mean she can ‘feel’ me, Stark?”
“She felt your emotions and knew you were in the building, buddy. She said you were annoyed. She can also feel Banner’s anger.”

The male’s expression became even more confused, and he turned to Jetta for confirmation.
“Is this true, Ms. Monroe?”
“It’s an ability called empathy, which allows her to tune into the emotions of others. It seems that she’s extremely sensitive to yours in particular,” Bruce told him.
Steve furrowed his eyebrows together in confusion. “Interesting. I wonder why that is …”

“I may know the answer to that question. Come on, let me show you.”
Bruce motioned for Steve and Jetta to follow him back into the lab; the scientist lead them up to a computer and pulled two images up, before motioning for the other two to take a look.

“The image on the left is a sample of your genetic code, Steve. SHIELD sent it to me after they found you frozen in the ice. The image on the right is a sample from Jetta’s genetic code, which Fury sent me while I was en route here to see if any particular drugs would keep her under easier. As you can tell, with the exception of some obvious differences, they look strikingly similar. However, I haven’t been able to figure out why that is.”

Steve stared at the screen in stunned silence for several seconds, before turning to Bruce.
“Her file. Does it say why our genetic codes are so similar?” he asked sternly.
“Fury withheld most of her file from me. When I asked why, he told me that he gave me what I would need and that the rest of it wasn't important.”
Steve gazed from Bruce to Jetta and back again before letting loose a heavy sigh. “Strange, although Fury keeping secrets isn’t surprising in the least bit.”
“Me and Tony were discussing this before you arrived,” Bruce told Jetta.

As if on cue, Tony entered the lab and stepped up behind Steve and Jetta, wrapping his arms around the two of them.
“You guys would be so perfect together. I mean, you’re both genetically enhanced. Also, you,” he motioned to Steve, “were frozen for more than half a century while you,” he gazed at Jetta, “spent who knows how long floating in epsom salt water.”

“How do you even know that, Stark?”
“Oh, I had JARVIS hack the feeds from SHIELD.”
“Stark, don't. I’m not interested in Ms. Monroe.”
“Please, the idea of us dating is disgusting. He’s old enough to be my grandfather.”
“Oh, come on! Look at how similar your genetic codes look and tell me that you two don’t belong together!”
Steve and Jetta both glared at Tony. “Put on the suit,” they both growled.

The male immediately dropped his arms from the pair and took a few steps back, holding up his hands.
“Okay, okay, I’m going now. But, case in point. Absolutely perfect. You guys even think alike!”
Steve mumbled something under his breath as he watched after Tony, and then brought his attention to Jetta.
“I’m sorry about that,” he commented, causing Jetta to shake her head.
“It’s not your fault, Captain.”

Steve’s lips twitched into a small smile. “If I may, your wings are beautiful, ma’am.”
The blonde’s comment took Jetta by surprise and she brushed her psyche against his in search of any sarcasm; she immediately could feel the male’s sincerity, causing her to swallow and quickly turn away from Steve. She pushed a hand through her bi-colored hair and took a deep breath.

“Why are you here, Captain?” she asked warily.
Steve chuckled quietly. “I’m here to escort you, Ms. Monroe.”
Jetta spun around to look at the blond again. “Escort me where…?”
“Your physical isn’t quite done yet.” The avian hybrid had forgotten that Bruce was with them.
Jetta looked from Steve to Bruce and back to Steve again. “What do you mean…?”

Steve’s smile grew, and he let loose another quiet chuckle. “We’re going to take you flying, ma’am.”
♠ ♠ ♠
So, it has been another busy week. I was at the orthopedic doctor three times in the past week, although the good news is that I don't need surgery. :D I am very happy about that, since three surgeries ie enough. I also am officially now an employee at Target and have orientation on Monday, so I'm about to get busier. Which means that updates may be slower. Or at least as slow as the past few have been. Interesting chapter, though. I hope you guys like Jetta's abilities, since I lot of thought went into them. Although, similar genetic codes? Wait, huh? As much as I'd like to explain, that is a story for another day. As usual, onto my beautful commenters:

OctoberIsForLovers: Haha, I certainly did have to mention Batman. Won't be the last time, either. :P Hopefully this update was worth the wait?
bigmackattack2199: Awww, I'm glad that you think it's amazing. And, I'm glad that you liked JARVIS' comments. :D I had a lot of fun writing him...or it? Ah, who knows.
ThePiesEndure: Eh, she's still pretty much the same. Gonna be that way for a while. And, I'm glad that you think I have Cap's personality down. And, I have a mini Captain plushie that is right now on top of the desk. Does that count!? And, yes! Yes you may! :D

Anyways, I'll start the next chapter tomorrow or Monday after orientation, although it may not be posted until next weekend. I'm not quite sure yet, because I don't know my work schedule. Once I know and adjust to it, updates will come much easier. I promise that the next chapter will be quite fun, though. :D Lots of flying, obviously. Anyways, be sure to comment, subscribe, and recommend if you're enjoying the story; I love hearing feedback. Finally, I hope that you guys enjoy the new banner and the new icons on the summary page; especially the last one. Who knows, maybe'll see a topless Steve eventually? Who knows. Okay, until next time, everyone! xo