five

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"Don't get to close, it's dark inside."
-Imagine Dragons; Demons

Russia-1945
(The Winter Soldier)

The school was disguised as a home for girls on the outskirts of Russia. There were 30 girls training here and 15 met all of Doctor Zola's requirements. When we walking in I could make out a few figures in black leotards and skirts in the room across from the entryway. They were getting yelled at it seemed. One girl in a white leotard and full tutu stepped forward and everyone made room for her. She had red hair that was tied back in a perfect bun and I could see her determined green eyes. I watched as she gracefully moved around and dance on her toes like it was completely effortless. She was majestic with movements and when she was done I was left in a momentary state of wonder. She must've been demonstrating the correct way to do something because a few moments later everyone clapped. The music began again and they all followed her lead, though none could outshine her. Our presence was going unnoticed until their teacher heard Doctor Zola clear his throat. She dismissed the younger girls who were wearing flat shoes and brought the older ones into, what she had called, the common room. I stood near Doctor Zola, but also near the door. I was leaned up against the wall as the girls poured into the room. Each of them had their pointe shoes on.
"Come Soldier, we will greet them now." Zola told me in German.
I followed him into the new, much bigger room. It had enough tables and chairs to seat 30 girls, so it was half empty. I stood casually against a wall and half listened to Doctor Zola's speech. After a while I blocked Zola out completely and it seemed several of the girls did too. I scanned the room seeing only a few worthy candidates. There was one girl with pale blonde hair and blue eyes that had a certain fight about her. Another had black hair and dark eyes, she looked ready for anything. Then my eyes landed on them. They must've been twins. They had the same pale skin and green eyes but different hair styles. One was the girl in the white tutu. The other, who was clearly more skilled in combat, had bangs framing her face.
Before I even knew it Zola was explaining the effects of the serum. As I listened I had to stifle a groan and a laugh. He was exaggerating so much it was almost funny and sad. The serum wasn't going to make these girls look 18 in 100 years. At best they'd look 25! Eventually he picked out the ones he wanted to test. Each girl that I eyed during his speech was among the chosen. Especially the twins, he seemed to want them most.

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The blonde was up first. I stood about two feet away as she shot at the targets. She was doing well, then she missed. Zola gave me a nod and I showed her how to aim. Bang! The bullet found its mark, straight through the girl's head. Failure has a price.
The next girl was the one with black hair and dark eyes. She passed the first test, and the second, but when she began to dance Madame B called out all of her mistakes. This caused her to lose focus, then mess up, and fall. Another nod from Zola and I shot her in the head.
The price of failure was high here. Those who failed were used as target practice for the younger ones.
Finally twins were up. The one with who wore the white tutu was up first. She passed the first test and the second by almost ripping my arm off. I almost thought she was going to. Finally when she went to dance, I expected Madame B to comment, but she simply watched proudly.
After Zola told her to pack her bags, her sister was let in. Her sister was faster with a gun and faster to beat me, but her dancing wasn't as beautiful or mesmerizing. Madame B called out several mistakes. But nonetheless she was also told to pack her bags. Zola and I waited in the entryway for them to come down for seemingly forever. When they finally did, they had changed into what looked like school uniforms.
"Misses Romanov. So glad you could make it." Doctor Zola greeted them warmly. I watched the one with bangs, who seemed completely transfixed by the Doctor, then there was the other, who seemed weary and was glancing around the room timidly. She had changed out of her whit tutu and into a uniform. Her hair was down, revealing how curly it was. I studied her for a moment longer before listening to Zola again.
"Follow me please." Zola said as he began to walk. Again, the one with bangs was next to him, but the other hung back and walked in pace with me. She was wise to do so.
We got into the black car, Zola and the one with bangs in the front and the curly haired one and I in the back. I stayed completely still and silent for almost a full hour before I finally decided to ask her.
"Why are you doing this?" I asked in German.
She clearly didn't want to be here, but then again she didn't seem to want to be at the school either. As she contemplated her answer different expressions turned over her face. Bravery but then defeat.
With a sigh she replied, "Because my sister wanted this. And I would follow my sister through a pit of lions if it would make her happy."
I thought about that for a minute. It seemed odd and foreign to me to be willing to go that far to make just one person happy. Happiness was fleeting, always temporary. i wondered if she could even kill anyone? I'd seen her shoot, but could she pull the trigger on a living, breathing body? I wasn't so sure.
"You do not want to be here do you?" I asked her in French, just in case Doctor Zola could hear me in the front seat.
"All I've ever wanted was to be a ballerina. I don't want to kill or hurt anyone." She replied sadly. This girl was in trouble then. Because, at Hydra you either kill or be killed. And I'm not even sure which is worse anymore, but I stick with what I know, and that's kill.


"It's where my demons hide."

I decided to do this chapter in the Winter Soldier's POV! Let me know what you think, there will probably be more like this from time to time. Remember to VOTE and COMMENT!
-jedifb 😘

Edited-4/29/19

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