Black Widow and Hawkeye: Budapest Part 2
Underneath Buda Castle, Budapest, Hungary. 23:00 hours, 16 June, 2005.
“Listen carefully. The Buda Palace is to sustain no damage, which means no big explosions, Clint. The Hungarian Government know nothing about Hydra’s activities, and we’d like them to know nothing about SHIELD’s as well. Gaining intel has become a secondary priority after destroying the WMDs. Do what you have to, but do it quietly. Fury out.”
“OK, so destroy WMDs without causing any real structural damage to the compound, sounds easy” Hawkeye muttered as he turned off his long-range communicator. He and Black Widow were now swimming deep beneath the Széchenyi Chain Bridge in the River Danube. They were outfitted in the best scuba wear available, allowing them to speak coherently and breathe. Hawkeye was equipped with his standard arsenal; a single compound bow with a motorised arrow-dispensary unit to increase fire-rate and ease of reloading. Black Widow had two modified pistols with in-chamber silencers, additional ammo, and her customised Widow’s Bite bracelet.
“Well if you think it’s too hard, I can probably handle it on my own.” Natasha said teasingly. The two found the underwater sewage pipe they were searching for and made their way inside the less appealing entrance to the Hydra Compound. As they crawled through the disgusting tunnel system, they maintained radio silence, lest the AIM soldiers inside were using some manner of sound detection. Upon reaching the entryway, they dispatched their sullied swimsuits and activated the self-immolating device to destroy any trace of SHIELD tech. They were leaving through the front door, or it’s likely they weren’t leaving at all. They had entered through a trash deposit, rather than a sewage pipeline as originally thought, much to Hawkeye’s relief.
Guarding the deposit was a roaming sentry, as predicted. The Hydra sentry was carrying a 5.56mm M16 assault rifle, standard issue for the US military. Hydra had apparently intercepted a shipment and equipped their less-combat prone troops with them. It was a waste to use high end weaponry on soldiers who were probably never going to fire them. Fortunately for the SHIELD agents, this sentry wasn’t looking toward the trash deposit as the two entered the compound. This meant that rather than being shot in the head by Natasha, or through the eye by Clint, they would only take a single high-voltage sting from the Widow’s Bite. After leaving the waste disposal room, the agents moved through a series of relatively small hallways. The compound was clearly not built with comfort in mind. Eventually, after negotiating the halls, the agents came upon a large central laboratory, which was what the entire facility was built around. The lab had two levels; one was an observational deck that circumvented the entire room, while the second level hosted the scientific apparatus. There was around ten soldiers, and five scientists in the lab. Deciding that walking inside at the current time was a bad idea, the agents ascended into the roof air-ducts. They were peering through a grate that was supplying the room with fresh oxygen. The duct itself was approximately 10 feet above the observational level. The key feature of the lab was a large, approximately 9 feet tall throne-like creation. “Check it out” Hawkeye whispered as Black Widow took dozens of photographs with a device in her Widow’s Bite. “It’s like a chair, but the proportions are all weird, like it was made for a giant baby” he continued to commentate. “Or a man with a giant head” Natasha replied. The two agents continued to survey the room and saw a large ring with ramps leading to the centre adjacent to the throne; the other super-‘weapon’. Hawkeye noticed a single word on the side of the ring N-Zone.
“What the Hell is an N-Zone?” Black Widow asked, more rhetorically than actually wanting an answer.
“Not sure, it could have something to do with the atmosphere. I mean, it’s one before O-Zone, and it looks like a portal generator. Like in Stargate.” Hawkeye offered a possible explanation, however unlikely. Natasha looked at him incredulously.
“Mmm, maybe... Either way, let’s mess it up” Natasha responded decidedly. The Black Widow tossed a grenade into the centre of the laboratory which expelled thick black gas. She and Hawkeye then put on a pair of heat-sensitive goggles and, tearing open the grate of the air-duct in front of them, leapt down from their prone position.
As the gas filled the room, the AIM scientists began to run from the laboratory as the soldiers started firing at the epicentre of the gas. Black Widow elegantly descended from the deck and pursued the scientists, before being intercepted by two Hydra guards. The first guard threw a punch as Black Widow ducked, pulled his arm forward and delivered a shot of the Widow’s Bite to the back of his neck; 30000 volts to the brainstem. He collapsed in a dead heap. The second guard decided that hand-to-hand combat was not the best way to contend with this agent, and attempted to draw his weapon. He was met with a right hook followed by a pistol shot to the temple. Black Widow continued in pursuit of the scientists, ultimately cornering them before they were able to reach the compound’s exit. Before Widow could do anything however, the scientists each ingested a pill of cyanide and slumped down to the floor. Black Widow ran her right hand through her hair in frustration and ran back toward the laboratory.
Hawkeye fired two arrows simultaneously, dropping two guards as the arrows pierced their necks and heads respectively. He moved quickly around the observation deck, utilising numerous vantage points and discharging just as many arrows. His right hand became a blur as he continued to release arrow after arrow, some targeting guards while others target pieces of scientific equipment. Suddenly, he clicked a button on his wrist that caused a specialised arrowhead to appear and aimed at the throne. He fired the arrow; and as it soared through the air, a second arrowhead separated from it and flew directly into the N-Zone portal device. The two arrowheads suddenly began to create a miniature dimensional rift that consumed each of the targeted weapons. In an instance, the throne collapsed in on itself and disappeared in a brief flash of light, as did the portal. “Singularity arrows. I have no idea how they work either” Hawkeye quipped before descending to the lower level.
The Black Widow entered the lab and surveyed the carnage; guards dead with arrows protruding from their torsos and skull, gaping holes of space that the WMDs used to occupy.
“Wids, those arrows the ant-nerd made worked like a charm.” Natasha destroyed the remaining consoles after downloading the data of the portal to her Widow’s Bite. “That’s good” she replied distractedly, “they cost 33 million dollars to manufacture.” As she concluded her cleansing of the lab, Widow motioned to Hawkeye that it was time to go. As they attempted to leave, a large electrical current emanated from the floor and shocked the two. The SHIELD agents fell to the floor, unconscious.
Hawkeye looked around the room. He was in a barren, brick and concrete cell of some kind. He was tied down to a chair that was bolted to the ground. His wrists were tied behind the chair, and his waist tied to its back. A single guard was sitting in front of him. He was wearing a suit and dark sunglasses. A walking tribute to Agent Smith. He began to speak; “listen to me, spy. We have your girlfriend. She won’t escape. We have you both captured, tied down. You’re ours, and the only way you’ll get out of here alive is by telling me what I want to hear.” Hawkeye smiled at him.
“What would you like to hear?”
“I would like to hear who sent you. If you do not co-operate, we won’t torture you, we’ll torture her... Then we’ll torture you.” The man’s voice never wavered an octave, he was confident that he had the SHIELD agents caught, that they would not be leaving without his order.
“OK, OK” Hawkeye started, he leaned forward as he continued to speak; “You’ve got us tied up; captured. Well done you. But you see, that’s the thing. She’ll get out. That’s what she does. She learns everything she needs to, and then she gets out. And she’ll take all of you down. All of you. Do you think they call her the Black Widow because she needs looking after? If you’re smart; you’ll run, because if you don’t, she’ll come for you.” Hawkeye concluded his monologue and leaned back in the chair.
The agent moved closer to Barton and spat in his face. “So if that is what she does, then what do you do, Archer-Man? Wait to be rescued?”
Hawkeye moved his neck and wiped the saliva from his face onto his Kevlar. “Sometimes, but mostly, I just do magic tricks.”
Hawkeye then coughed violently and convulsed forward. The interrogator stood up and lifted his prisoner’s head to make sure he had not ingested cyanide, when unexpectedly he was caught staring at a smiling Hawkeye. Inside his grinning mouth was a smooth tube, with a needle-like object at the end.
“Ta-da” Hawkeye said through clenched teeth as he blew on the tube and fired the small projectile directly into the interrogator’s neck. Hawkeye, with his interrogator now dead at his feet, simply sat in the back of his wooden chair, and waited.
“B-Dubs, I’m ready to be rescued now” he said nonchalantly over the microphone. He paused for a moment. “Widow?” he asked sternly; genuine concern radiating in his voice. No answer. He asked again. No answer. Without a sound, Hawkeye dropped his right shoulder slightly, and tucked it behind the back of the chair. Then came a small popping noise as the SHIELD agent dislocated his shoulder and used the unnatural freedom to manoeuvre his arms over the chair and rest them between it and his back. He then proceeded to use the small compartment that held his quiver to wear down the ropes. By repeatedly grinding the rope binding his hands against the metal contraption, Hawkeye finally freed himself. Well, his hands, but then it was just a matter of untying a few knots on his legs and waist and he was completely free. He stood erect, and charged into the wall, popping his right shoulder back into its socket. He winced only slightly, never uttering a sound.
The Black Widow awoke in a dark room; of course, all terrorists seemed to subscribe to the same clichés. This wasn’t the first dark room with a single flittering light she’d woken up in, and it likely wouldn’t be the last. It looked like some kind of prison cell. She was accustomed to those too. The first thing she noticed, other than the five guards standing between her and the door, was that she wasn’t bound to the gurney she was laying on. She was confused. She sat up and checked her bracelet; it was still attached, unsurprisingly. Most of her enemies took it to be an ammo reel, or just a piece of jewellery. Idiots.
“Hey, what’s the deal? Why am I not tied up?”
“One little girl against the five of us, we have no need to tie you up.”
“You did not just say that. Oh, you are all going to die screaming.”
In an instant, the Widow leapt from her dormant position and combat-rolled across the floor, sweeping the legs of two of her guards; completing the attack with a rising uppercut to a third. The standing guards attempted to pull their weapons, only to have Black Widow thrust her right knee into the side of the head of one, roll over their back, and kick-in the kneecaps of another, causing him to crumble to the ground. She then quickly put him in a front-face-lock and tugged back, snapping his neck. The guard she had kneed in the head was stumbling as the Widow continued her assault. He yelped as she broke his nose with a well-placed palm strike and followed with an elbow to the throat, crushing his larynx. The first two were now back on their feet and had their weapons drawn. Naturally, this just meant that Black Widow now had two guns to use. She reached out and wrenched a gunman toward her as his partner fired, hitting him in the chest. He screamed in pain as the Widow hyper-extended his elbow, collected his dropping gun, and then snapped his neck. She delivered a swift back-kick to the sternum of the remaining gunman, before cracking open his skull with the butt of the firearm. The final guard was slumped over in the corner. He had received the uppercut, and was effectively immobilised. The Black Widow pointed her gun at his head; aiming directly between the eyes.
“Where’s my partner?” she asked calmly. There was not a sliver of emotion in her voice. This was her domain, she had nothing to fear here.
“In the next room.” The guard answered, resigned to his fate.
“Thanks”. As Natasha was about to squeeze the trigger, the gunman interrupted, with one final statement of defiance.
“Hey bitch, I didn’t scream.” The Black Widow nodded in agreement, and then suddenyl fired a single round into his ankle. The man cried out in pain, as Natasha then let loose a merciful kill-shot straight into his skull.
“I’m a woman of my word” she said coldly, exiting the room.
She was greeted with a large concrete hallway, strengthening her suspicion that this was a prison. She opened the door to the next room to see Barton leaning against the wall and a guard dead beside his feet. He looked at her with total relief.
“Widow? Why didn’t you answer?!” he asked, still more relieved than annoyed.
“I was busy” she replied coolly.
“So was I!”
“With your one guard? I had five. Come on.” She led the way as they walked toward the entrance to the building.“Yeah, but I bet you didn’t have to take out your damn shoulder.” Hawkeye mumbled to himself as he massaged his arm.
“Nothing, nothing. Let’s go.”
They opened the door of the building to find themselves in an open countryside. Natasha was right; they were in an old asylum or prison, because there was nothing but trees and hills in sight. And throughout those trees and hills, lay dozens of Hydra soldiers.