Hard Drives and Borrowing

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Chapter 27 - Rachel Stark

I walk up behind him and blow a bubble. He turns around, grabs my arm, pushes me into an empty room and pushes me against the wall.

"Where is it?" he says through gritted teeth.

"Safe." I say.

"Do better." he says.

" Where did you get it?" I say. We are not on best terms right now I guess.

"Why would I tell you?" he says. Does he just NOT trust trust me anymore? Fine, two can ply at this game.

"Fury gave it to you, why?" I ask.

"What's on it?" he asks.

"I don't know." I say. He slams me against the wall again.

"Stop lying." he says, gritting his teeth again.

"I only act like I know everything Rogers."

"Don't call me that." he says. "I bet you knew Fury hired the pirates, didn't you?"

"Well, it makes sense. The ship was dirty, Fury needed a way in, so did you." I say, still playing this game.

"I'm not gonna ask you again." he says, tightening his grip on me.

"I know who killed Fury." I say. When Steve described the shooter, I knew exactly who it was. "Most of the intelligence community doesn't believe he exists. But the ones who do, call him the Winter Soldier. He's credited with over two dozen assassinations in the last 50 years." I say, fear starting to lace in my voice.

"So he's a ghost story." Steve says, starting to calm down.

"Five years ago, when I first joined S.H.I.E.L.D., I was escorting a nuclear engineer out of Iran. Somebody shot out my tires near Odessa. We lost control, went straight over a cliff. I pulled us out. But the Winter Soldier was there. I was covering my engineer so he shot him," I pull up my shirt to show him the scars on my stomach. "right through me." When I show him the older bullet scar, his eyes wander sadly to the other two that now perminatly mark my stomach. "No more rifling, bye-bye bikinis."

"Yeah, I bet you look terrible in them now." he says.

"Going after him is a dead end. I know, I've tried. Like you said," I hold up the flash drive for him to see. "he's a ghost story."

"Well, let's find out what the ghost wants." Steve says. We started to head out to the hospital. We end up in the mall.

"First rule of going on the run. Don't run, walk." I say, decked out in my undercover sweatshirt and jeans.

"If I run in these shoes, they're gonna fall off." he says as we walk into the Apple Store. We walk up to the newest laptop.

"The drive has a Level Six homing program, so as soon as we boot up S.H.I.E.L.D. will know exactly where we are."

"How much time will we have?" he asks.

"About nine minutes from," I plug in the drive. "Now." I start my hack. "Fury was right about that ship. Somebody's trying to hide something. This drive is protected by some sort of AI. It keeps rewriting itself to counter my commands." I say, still trying to override the AI.

"Can you override it?" Steve asks, very tensely might I add.

"The person who developed this is slightly smarter than me. Slightly." I say. "I'm going to try running a tracer. This is a program S.H.I.E.L.D. developed to track hostile malware, so if we can't read the file, maybe we can find out where it came from." I say, focused on my hacking.

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