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CHAPTER FIVE

Old Places, Old Faces

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SIBERIA, RUSSIA


Ana walked down the frozen side walk, her face covered by her black scarf. She was in the snowy mountains of Siberia, venturing for any information from her Hydra days. She was on her own, they way she preferred it this time around. The rest of her team were back at the Avengers facility, waiting for her to check in.

Just two weeks ago, Ben had passed away. She was there for the funeral, and made sure to help as much as she could with May and Peter, burying her own problems. May would constantly cry on Ana's shoulder and all she could do was tell her she was sorry, and that it would get better. She noticed how off Peter seemed. She brushed it off though, thinking he was just mourning in his own way. But little did she know, Peter Parker was becoming a whole other person. Ana sold her childhood home, not that she ever wanted to step foot in that place again, and gave the Parker's every cent in hopes it would take care of everything Ben would usually handle. May, being the selfless one she is, put all of it in Peter's college tuition.

When she left New York, she had given Peter a hug and said, "Don't you ever hesitate to call me. I'm always here for you, bud. Anything that you want to say or talk about, you call me. Okay? I don't want you keeping quiet and carrying all that weight on your shoulders. I love you, Peter."

He had returned the hug with strength she never knew he had, gulping down the words he wasn't ready to say just yet. "I love you too, Ana."

She dug her gloved hands further into her black parka, the wind making her strands of hair blow slightly under the beanie covering her head. It was freezing and she was glad she was wearing her thermal suit underneath. Her backpack carried her notebook, a pistol and pouch of daggers, and her communication device.

She used the monitor strapped to her wrist to follow the map up to the abandoned facility on the top of a mountain. She went by old men and woman, slowly trudging down the path. The sun was setting and soon enough it would get dark and the temperature will drop even further.

Ana stopped and looked around for any people when she made it. When there wasn't any, she detached the monitor from the armguard and scanned the area for any thermal or active technology signals, being wary of security cameras. She walked around the base, waving her monitor to try and get any signal. She smiled when it beeped in confirmation, stating it was clear to investigate.

She removed her scarf so she can breathe better and stalked up to the front gates. The icy air attacked her face as she grabbed the heavy lock and pulled it off, letting herself in. She went to the metal doors, finding that you needed to put the code in using the number pad on the side. She grabbed her phone and scanned the numbers, highlighting the sequence. She pressed 7, 8, 2, 6 and watched as the light turned green.

The door started creaking as it opened, the metal scraping against the threshold. Ana stepped back when the wind blew out of the base, chilling her face. She quickly put her scarf back on and walked inside, using her flashlight to illuminate the abandoned facility.

She frowned in disappointment, seeing nothing but empty space. There were cobwebs draping down from the ceiling, dust and dirt on the ground, flying away when she walked around it, and she thought she could hear the rusting of rats too. Then her monitor started beeping, confirming a signal. She looked down at it and opened her mouth in confusion. She mouthed a 'what the hell' before following the signal.

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