Chapter Five

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"So who is she?"

Marie sighed. Tony had been grilling her ever since Christine left the room.Their reunion had been cut short when the team began to question them.

Maria hadn't seen Christine since Amy  died. She didn't take it easy, and she left before they could say goodbye.

She could tell that Christine was uncomfortable by the way she avoided eye contact. Soon, she cleared her throat and excused herself from the room, claiming she had a phone call.

Everyone gathered around Maria, awaiting answers.

She sighed before answering. "Her name is Amara Wilson, she goes by Christine though"

"How come we haven't heard of her?" Bruce asked.

Maria fiddled with the locket  around her neck before finally deciding on debriefing them."Before she left, she asked me to erase her profile.She wanted me to forget about her, but I couldn't bring myself to do it."

She pulled up Christine's profile on the computer screen.

They all looked on at the picture of their new member. The woman in front of them looked nothin like the one that they had met today. First of all, she was dressed in a S.H.I.E.L.D agent suit. Her arms were crossed behind her back and she had perfect posture. Her deep skin looked like it had a natural glow to it. As if, she was happy to be apart of the organization.Thick, kinky hair that she now flaunted today was  pulled into a slick bun. Her haunting grey eyes were a contrast to her dark skin, it made her look even more threatening.

Everyone was transfixed on the picture. It was a stark contrast to what they saw today. The woman in the pictures seemed to be happier, the hint of a smirk on her lips. You could tell that she had deep laugh lines.

It was different now.

Maria even noticed the difference. Her friend from long ago was gone. To be replaced by someone else who barely showed emotions.

After a long pause, Steve cleared his throat and looked at Maria. She seemed to be fiddling with her locket more than usual.  "What can she do?"

Maria snapped out of her trance. She clicked a few buttons and a video popped up.

A young black woman was using one of S.H.I.E.L.D's facilities to train. She was surrounded by agents, outnumbered by them. She paused for a second before sprinting into action.

Two dark figures appeared and flanked her. They were able to disarm the agents. While she used combat to handle the other two.

What the hell are those things?" Tony exclaimed.

"Shadows. Christine Wilson is able to manipulate shadows into anything she wants them to be.Shields, weapons, camouflage, all of it. In this case, they are her puppets." Maria chuckled. "That's one of her favorite tricks"

It was Bruce's turn to speak. "You're telling me that she could make an army of those-those things?"

"Not necessarily. She needs darkness, anything will do. Even the shadow you're casting right now will be enough for her to create at least one of her puppets."

There was a hint of pride in her voice.

It looked like she was about to win when one of the agents grabbed her from behind. She struggled against him, but he persisted. Finally, she slumped to the ground and the agent let go of her.

With her being knocked unconscious her shadows disappeared too. It wasn't until the agent turned that you noticed the real woman standing behind him.

"What the hell?" Someone whispered.

She put him in a chokehold, as he did her and won.

"Can't a certain god we hate do that?"

"Illusion casting?" Maria questions. "It's another form of shadow manipulation. The shadow looks like her, but it's not actually her."

"So what, we blast it with a big lightbulb and it goes away?" Tony says.

A sigh. "In the simplest form, yes."

He nodded, amazed at what he has just heard.

"I've taken the liberty of sending you a copy of her file" she motioned towards the large screen. "Except you, Steve."

He went to interrupt. " I printed yours out, its sitting on that desk. "

Steve reached for his and flipped through the file. He frowned when he saw the black lines and deleted parts of the files. He slammed the file down in irritation. "It's been redacted."

Maria nodded. "Some of that is classified."

"Classified, my ass." Tony pulled up the file on his tablet and attempted to retrieve the redacted information. When he failed, he grabbed Steve's copy and held it up to the light to figure out what the ink said underneath.

"You're on a need to low basis with Christine, anything you have questions about you will need to ask her."

"Good luck with that."

Christine wasn't stupid, she knew that Maria would pull up her profile as soon as she left. She wanted to be angry at her, but she didn't care.

Christine stood by a nearby window in the living room. Looking out at the busy New York streets. All the cars looked like ants crawling around. The height she was at was high enough to make her dizzy.

She closed her eyes while leaning her forehead onto the glass and took a deep breath. She continued this until she felt better. When the glass started to fog up, she heard a voice behind her.

"You were always scared of heights."

She chuckled.

She could hear her footsteps near her and stopped when they were at her side. "I remember when Amilla told me, that you were scared of heights, I just laughed. You could fight off 12 men and this is what you're scared of."

Christine smirked. "Of course she told you, she couldn't keep her mouth shut to save her life."

Maria bumped her shoulder into her. "I remember a time you were like that."

"Yeah, that was a simpler time."

And with that, Christine decided to get some sleep. She pat Maria on the shoulder and went to go find her room for the night.


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