Fury had called her in. So here she was. On a helicarrier, waiting for orders.
She couldn't believe it. Clint was compromised. Clint Barton. Hawkeye. That's all Fury had told her when he called her back from her small vacation time.
She was sitting at the table just behind Fury's viewing station, her eyes closed. She must look pretty odd, considering she wasn't wearing her usual suit. Everyone had seen her in her tight green cat suit, not too similar to her best friend's suit, Black Widow.
Alexandra was different to everyone else. She had powers. Her codename was 'Mother Nature', because she could control the elements. Fire, Earth, Water, Air...all under her control. Yet that wasn't all she could do. She had super strength, increased intelligence, increased speed, and the ability to fly and heal surface wounds faster than the human race, not to mention immortality.
She wasn't created, an accident borne of gamma radiation, like the Hulk or the Abomination.
She was a demi-goddess of Olympia.
Alexandra had been born of Zeus, the father of Gods and Men, and Leda, the mortal wife of Spartan King Tyndareus. Back then she had been given the name Helen. She chose the guise of Alexandra in the First World War when she had worked as a nurse on the front line. The name meant 'Defender of Mankind' in Greek, so she thought it was fitting.
Along with Howard Stark, Colonel Philips and Peggy Carter, Alex had created the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, a secret organisation that dealt with the things that the regular government had no hope of handling.
Things like what they were dealing with now; gods and monsters and powers that no mortal had ever seen before.
Alex's fingers tapped impatiently against the table, earning herself an eye roll from an already irate Agent Hill, who the scientist ignored.
She was done waiting for Fury to properly catch her up on what was going on. The information that Hill had given her was limited at best, just that the Tesseract, a cube of incredible power, had been taken by a space-hopping Asgardian prince named Loki, who had used a scepter to brainwash several of SHIELD's agents, as well as Agent Barton.
That was the one that stung the most.
She and Barton had always been close, since the moment she had recruited him, and over the years that they had fought side by side, soon joined by their favorite Russian stray that they had brought back to the US, their relationship had moved into murky waters. They weren't in a relationship. Both of them were too broken for that (or so they had both said), but they also weren't dating other people. Yet she knew what it was she felt for him, and it went far beyond sexual attraction.
There was real love there.
And it terrified her.
Alexandra had loved a prince in the early years of her existence. He was very handsome, and their love was beautiful, but, as it turned out, deadly to all around them. She had been married to the King of Sparta, Menelaus, and she had despised him beyond all belief. So when she fell in love with Paris of Troy, she let him steal her away. Zeus had been furious at her for being the cause of a war, when she had been conceived to protect the Earth, but he had understood when she told him how terrible Menelaus had been to her. The Trojans had ended up losing the war, and their home, but Paris had made sure that she had escaped the city along with the rest of the royals. Paris was murdered by Agamemnon, the brother of Alexandra's husband. Alexandra was heartbroken, but she was forced to live on without him, as per the instructions of her father.
Clint Barton had his own tragic love in the form of S.H.I.E.L.D agent Bobbi Morse, or the Mockingbird, whom he had married a couple years after they were formally brought into S.H.I.E.L.D after the Academy. Their romance was short-lived when a particularly bad mission ended with Agent Morse sacrificing her life in order to save his. Clint has never really moved past the guilt that came with her death.
Now, Clint was being used as an Asgardian god's lap-dog, and Alexandra was pissed. She was unable to contact the Olympian gods, nor the Asgardian gods, and that made her even more pissed. When they caught Loki, she would replace the blood in his body with a fire that would torment him until he died from the excruciating pain.
Alex was torn from her morbid thoughts by the footsteps of people approaching where she was sitting. Her eyes snapped open, and she saw Steve Rogers and Bruce Banner. She'd read their files on her tablet on her journey to the base.
Fury approached them, taking the ten dollars the Captain wordlessly offered him, before approaching Banner, knowing that his best agent was evaluating his every move, her blue eyes following him and watching him and judging.
"Doctor, thank you for coming." Fury said, holding his hand out to shake Banner's.
"Thank you for asking nicely. So how long am I staying?" Banner asked.
Alexandra scrutinized the good doctor. He seemed like a nervous man. His body language gave that away; he would rub his hands together, constantly distribute his weight from foot to foot, and his eyes darted everywhere. He certainly looked like a man who had spent some of his life on the run from the U.S Army and then found himself on the flying base of a secret governmental organisation that had pursued him as well.
"Once we get our hands on the Tesseract, you're in the wind." Fury replied, sounding honest.
Alexandra knew better. Fury needed Banner for more than just locating the cube. He also secretly wanted the giant green monster Banner could turn into when provoked.
"Where are you with that?" Banner asked.
Fury pointed over at Agent Coulson, who, along with Hill, was supervising the other agents while they searched the globe for Barton, Loki, Doctor Selvig and the Tesseract. The Olympian wasn't hopeful that they'd find them that way. Clint was trained to avoid detection and he would keep his princely master out of sight.
The only way that they would find them was if they wanted to be found.
"We're sweeping every wirelessly accessible computer on the planet. Cell phones, laptops..." Coulson trailed off. Alexandra's eyes lapsed on Natasha, who had bent down to look at one of the screens that had Clint's face on. Their eyes connected and the red headed assassin gave her a small smile of reassurance, though it didn't work in the slightest, but the thought was a nice one.
"If it's connected to a satellite, it's eyes and ears for us."
"That's still not going to find them in time." Natasha informed them, and Alex nodded.
"Barton knows how to evade detection. We're going to have to do better than that."
"You have to narrow your field," Banner inputted, and drew all of their attention away from the screens and to him. "How many spectrometers do you have access to?"
"How many are there?" Fury asked.
"Call every laboratory you know," Banner instructed Coulson, as he shrugged off his jacket. "Tell them to put the spectrometers up on the roof, and calibrate them for gamma rays."
Banner kept talking, but Alexandra's eyes had narrowed onto the screen with Clint's face on and she'd zoned out, thinking about what he was doing now. She knew that when she found him, and beaten the mind control from him, he'd probably hate himself for whatever he managed to do whilst under it. And she'd be there for him: friend, lover, and confidante...whatever he needed.
"Agent Cosmos, could you show Dr Banner to his laboratory, please? Agent Cosmos will be working alongside you, Dr Banner. She has fourteen PhD's in different scientific fields. She'll be a lot of use to you."
Alexandra climbed to her feet, and noticed that Captain America had suddenly decided to look her over. She was wearing a green goddess-inspired dress, a white lab coat, and black lace-up stiletto boots that stopped at her ankle. In her hand was her tablet, which she never let out of her sight when she wasn't away on missions.
"You're gonna love it, Doc. We got all the toys." Alexandra said, brushing past Fury, and gesturing for Banner to follow her.
When she walked through the hall to the lab, she hardly noticed the barely hushed whispering by most of the agents she passed. Out of all of the agents on SHIELD's payroll, Agent Cosmos' file was the most heavily redacted and the most restricted.
Nobody really knew what she did, because her orders came straight from Fury and they were the only two privy to the information. This led to a lot of rumors circulating around the SHIELD employees, who were basically like every other kind of worker who indulged in work-based gossip. Most of the stories created about Agent Cosmos were highly exaggerated or just purely fabricated, but there were a few things that the lower agents did know.
Number one) She was a lot older than she looked. They didn't know how old she was, but she was definitely older than Fury himself.
Number two) She was super important. Like regular meetings with the President and the Secretary of Defense kind of important.
Number three) The Director position could have been hers, but she recommended Fury for the job instead.
Number four) Something was going on between her and Agent Barton, but no one dared bring it up, except for Agent Romanoff, who, as their closest friend, was allowed to get away with teasing them both about whatever connection they had; romantic or otherwise.
And number five) They knew that she was highly skilled at what she did, whatever it was that she actually did. And she was temperamental, as unpredictable as the weather and just as deadly. Most of all deadly.
They were as afraid of her as they were Agent Romanoff, hence the quiet discussions about why she had been brought back from her leave when she had been given strict instructions not to return until at least two months had passed.
The whispering didn't escape Banner's notice, but he didn't say anything until they were in the lab.
"I guess you're just as scary to them as I am."
"Excuse me, Dr. Banner?" Alex gave him a look that told him to be cautious about what he said and arched an eyebrow at him as she waited for his reply.
"The slightly frightened and awed looks? I thought they were aimed at me, until I noticed they...weren't." Banner said, as Alexandra showed him all the gadgets they had at their disposal.
Alexandra sighed. She'd been hoping to avoid this, but she might as well explain to someone who would probably be able to understand where she was coming from.
"SHIELD agents below a Level 9 clearance aren't given access to my files. That's why they whisper about me. They know that Agent Romanoff is skilled with a gun and knives and can manipulate anyone into telling her what she needs to know. They know that Agent Barton is the best archer this world has seen. They don't know exactly what I'm capable of. Just whispers." Alexandra explained, connecting her computer to her tablet in case she got called away.
She had hoped that explanation, vague though it was, would be enough to put an end to that particular conversation and that they'd be able to begin focusing on the real issue at hand; finding Loki and the Tesseract before he could kick-start his diabolical plans.
Though as a scientist with an unquenchable curiosity, Alex should have known better.
"So what are you capable of?" Banner asked, as he started his own work.
"I...I control the elements. That's why I got the codename 'Mother Nature', because I'm just as powerful and twice as unpredictable." Alexandra said, keeping her eyes away from the doctor as she started calibrating the spectrometers using the giant touch screen monitor.
Even if he knew what it felt like to be the subject of intense scrutiny and poor judgments, Alex still didn't want to look at him, on the off chance that he decided that she was even more of a dangerous being than his giant green counterpart.
"I know how that feels," Bruce said, shaking his head. "How'd it happen? Gamma radiation? Fall into a vat of toxic waste?"
"Pick up any Greek history book and you'll find my superhero origin story. Everyone knows the story of Troy-"
"You're Helen of Troy? The Helen of Troy? How is that even possible? You'd be at least three thousand years old."
Alex blinked at him rapidly, before she ended up rolling her eyes. She remembered when she had told Clint of her real identity and he'd had pretty much the same reaction. Apparently it didn't matter if you were a world renowned scientist or an ex-circus performer, hearing that someone you know is actually from the ancient Greek period and is a pretty famous historical figure is enough to render you into a babbling fool.
"That's me. That Helen of Troy. Because my father is Zeus and I'm half-immortal and I'm around five hundred years younger than that, thank you very much," Alexandra said, turning to face Bruce, a stoic expression removing any emotion from her face. "When I was born, I showed signs of having similar powers to my father but, while he favored lightning and thunder, my powers were slightly more basic. Air, earth, fire and water, the four basic elements. When I had gained enough control and my father deemed me ready, he charged me with protecting the Earth while living among its people. It's a mission that has become exceedingly difficult with the creation of new technology and weapons-"
"Okay," Bruce nodded, seemingly deciding to just go with what Alex was saying, but feeling the need to interrupt her to get an answer to a different question that was whirling around in that beautiful brain of his. And it was beautiful. Alex had seen the brain scans. "But what's with you and Agent Barton, is it? You seem more focused on finding him than on finding Loki."
"I recruited him, and he's been my partner pretty much since he left the Academy. He's my responsibility," Alex answered truthfully. There was not much point lying to Banner. He was clever enough, she thought, to see past any petty bending of the truth. "I want to find him before Loki's brainwashing does any permanent damage. Clint's loyal to SHIELD, if he does anything...it will haunt him and he has enough ghosts already."
"Sounds as though he means a little more to you than just a partner." Banner prodded into her personal life. He knew he shouldn't of, but the words somehow managed to tumble out of his mouth before he could stop them.
"I'm not allowed the luxury of love, Doctor Banner. My life isn't exactly simple."
"No one's ever is."
"How about we just find this Tesseract, Doctor? Playtime's over."
The first chapter of my Marvel Cinematic Universe fan fiction, starting with The Avengers, including my very own original character to shake things up.
Hope you guys enjoyed it.