While most kids your age where sitting at a plastic desk in some dusty high-school, you were sitting in a café across from Stark Tower with your laptop, digging around in the mainframe network of celebrity Tony Stark. Not that you minded of course, you graduated high school at the age of 15, and went straight into the business of programming and hacking. That was productive for about 7 months, when you decided it was all too easy and figured you could find a decent challenge in hacking the network of the high profile billionaire, Tony Stark. You had made it through his main firewall easily enough, and the 6 other network defense systems to make it into the main frame, in a little over an hour. As you buried yourself in lines of code, you recognized the sound of people coming and going from the café but barely acknowledged anyone.
6232: <Access Network: <Network Locked> <Key: ************>>
There it was, buried under 6 thousand lines of code, the access key. All You had to do know was reset the key and you would be in. ‘:Clear Key:’ ‘Input Key: _’ The line flashed as it waited for you to set up a new password. ‘:Input Key: Password_’ You decided not to make it too difficult, he’d surely figure it out and get back into his network after a few tries. You weren’t trying to destroy his network after all, simply do a little bit of digging. Now you were good to go. Network_Connect> Add_Network> STARK_JARVIS_MAIN> Secure_Network. You hit enter, waiting for your connection to finalize while, unbeknownst to you, a panic was beginning on the upper floors of the tower.
“Mr.Stark, It appears that there is a breach in the main network.” Jarvis Alerted Tony.
“That’s impossible, there’s so much defense, they’d literally have to wire straight into the server upstairs.” Tony Started, setting down his welding tools and pulling his mask off. “Who’s on the network?”
“IP Adresses: 1-9823-7762, Pepper Pots; 3-9921-8862, Mark 32; 4-7119-6623, Unknown. Sir, should I ban the address?” Tony was suddenly very alert.
“No, trace the signal and track their actions. Tell me exactly what they do.”
You wandered through the network, accessing the files of “Tony’s Computer”. You scrolled through, opening basic files and glancing over them, Images, Music, Videos, Documents, and then To the Desktop Folder. Among those, the first to catch your eye was a file labelled ‘Suit Design’. You opened to file, being faced with a mass of file from Mark V to Mark XXI and IRON PATRIOT IV. You opened a few of the files glancing over beautifully detailed blueprints for the coveted Iron Man suits. You screenshotted a few as well, for personal use, you told yourself.
“Jarvis, get the Director on the Line, Archive the User data.” Tony knew the dangers of those suits, should they fall into the wrong hands.
“Unable to access user data sir, their connection appears to be one way. Located Signal Origin; Field’s Café.” Tony Cursed under his breath, he couldn’t do anything without the Director’s approval, not in a civilian location
“Stark, this better be Important.” The Large Workshop monitor buzzed with the fuzzy image of the director.
You were still drooling over the suits when a black armored truck, pulled up in front of the Café. You noticed, as did many other people. Men and women glanced around nervously, some stuffing phones back into their bags, others, like you, who were on laptops, clicked speedily, closing tabs, clearing history, exedra. You power down your device, tucking it discreetly into your messenger bag. You pull out your phone, opening Tumblr and scrolling through your feed as men filed out of truck. They filed into the café, some with guns, and stood post at each of the doors and windows. After a short signal from one of the men a dark skinned man, in a long trench coat, stepped out of the back of armored truck.
The Director, you had seen him on television after the Invasion of New York. He Entered the small building, flanked by another guard and none other than Tony Stark, who was busily tapping at a tablet. “We will be seizing all electronic devices for a few minutes to confirm IP addresses, please refrain from talking or moving.” The Director stated flatly. You handed your phone to tony as he came around, trying to play it cool.
“You’re like, that billionaire, right?” You asked, playing dumb. He ignored you, checking your Phone’s IP. “So like, what’s going on?”
“Something far above your intellectual comprehension.” He sniped.
“The hell is that supposed to mean?” You hissed. “I’ll have you know-“
“I Said QUIET.” Bellowed the Director, tony handed your phone back with a glare and moved on. You let out a breath that you didn’t realize you were holding. You sat quietly, waiting anxiously as they checked everyone else’s devices.
“It’s not here.” Tony said to the Director in a Hushed voice. “I had Jarvis watching the place, no one left.”
“No one leaves until we find what we’re looking for.” There was a collective groan as he said this. “It will be much easier if you admit to the crime, I can assure you your punishment will not be as severe as it would otherwise be.” When no one came forward, he continued his instruction. “Men, please line up against this wall here, Women will be requested to do the same in a moment. He continued to address the men as you turned to a guard behind you.
“I really need to take a piss, can I do that right now?” The man rolled his eyes. “Look it’s not that, it’s like, a female thing.”
“Fine.” He said begrudgingly. You got up and casually strolled over to the washroom. Once inside you locked the door and searched for any possible way ought. There was a small, high, window above the toilet, it would have to do. You reached for the latch and twisted the cool metal between your fingers, slid the lower frame upward and climbed onto the ledge, lowering yourself down with your arms. Just as you touched the ground, an armed guard rounded the corner, staring for a moment before realizing what had just happened.
You took off sprinting down the dark, dirty alley way behind the building. You could hear the guard radio for reinforcements as you came out to the sidewalk, cutting a sharp right and then another. You ran for at least twelve blocks, slipping between buildings, around cars, and through crowds of people. After you thought you were free, you turned to head home, only getting about a block or so before you felt someone’s eyes on you. You spun around, seeing no one. You waited for a moment, only to spin turn around and walk straight into a broad chested man, with dark, dirty hair.
“S-Sorry, I didn’t see you there.” You stammered backing up.
“No, but I saw you, in fact, I was looking for you.” Before you could object, you felt a sharp pinch in the side of your neck, and he injected the contents of a small needle into you. It went dark very quickly, and after that, you don’t remember.
All you heard was the steady beeping sound of the heart rate monitor you were connected to. When you opened your eyes, the lights were bright, too bright, you thought. You squinted and retracted from the florescent lighting. “Well, look who’s finally awake.” It was the same voice from earlier. You look about, trying to determine where it came from. It was him, same bulky sweatshirt and everything. You grimaced.
“Look if this is about the thing with Stark, it was just a little joke, no harm done, right?” you didn’t want to go to prison for this.
“It is about your little stunt, but not in the way you think.” He pauses for a moment. “My employers wish to speak with you, about a job.”
“Your employers? Stark? Whoever the hell he was with when he busted into the café?” you could have sworn he laughed at you, but you were too busy pulling of the heart rate monitor and kicking the sheets off your legs to really care.
“Quite the opposite actually.” You were surprised that he made no move to stop you from getting up.
“Stop being so damn cryptic and tell me whatever the hell it is you want to tell me so I can say ‘no’ and leave already.” You snip, grabbing your bags from a table across the room and pulling them over your shoulder.
“I’m afraid you don’t quite have a choice.” This voice was shrouded by a thick Russian accent, and it came from a much older looking man who had just entered the room. He had a thick binder tucked under one arm, though he extended the other hand for you to shake, you refused, of course. “My name is Aleksander Lukin, I am the successor of Arnim Zola, and this is my associate, the Winter Soldier.”
"Yeah great, can I go now?" You roll your eyes, talk about narcissistic.
"No. You're going to do some work for us, decrypt a few files that we've recovered. Unfortunately they contain sensitive data and are encrypted with some sort of software that will destroy the files or trigger some sort malware attack should you mess up." He speaks calmly and with a slight smirk, and you hate him even more. "My associate will show you to your work space, should you need anything, just say so, and remember, we're watching."
"What if I say no?" You spit.
"Then I'll break your skinny little neck." Replied the soldier.
So that was it, and for the next 13 consecutive hours you sit alone and work on decrypting the files. When you finally decide your file is ready to run, you activate it, only for it to get to 72% before emitting an ear splitting screech. You jump so violently that your chair tips back and you crash onto the floor. You jump up and hit the mute button pointlessly. Rather than an electronic sound, the sound was coming from the machine whirring itself to bits. You panic, reaching your hand into the machine to grab the fan bit, which effectively slices your palm open, you shriek, but reach back in and this time grab the fan, managing to hold it still. You gawk at the machine, in which you notice a small blue, macro input, you tear it out and immediately the noise stops.
Your file, astoundingly, continues to run, the mainframe of the computer seemingly undamaged. Until it reaches one hundred percent, then new windows start opening: medical records, experiments sheets, gruesome images, black and white pictures scans of documents stamped "failure" others with "classified". You clicked through them for a minute, landing on a sepia photo of a man, similar to the Soldier that had led you there.
"Congratulations, you've completed your task, unfortunately, you've seen to much for us to allow you to leave. Soldier!" He calls. " Take miss (y/n) to her holding cell."