XXXIV. Finally At Peace

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Chapter Thirty-Four

The flight back to Wakanda was tense. Khari flew the ship while the rest of us sat silently in the back. Bucky had his metal hand around Analiese's arm the entire time, with Alex on the other side of her. Rhodey had his gun out the entire time, waiting for her to make a move. Nakia and Scott sat next to me across from them, their eyes both glued to Analiese.

Alex looked very conflicted the entire time, fighting between pity and anger in regard to Analiese. The rest of our party didn't have the same conflict, and looked at Analiese like they wanted to see her head explode. Even Scott. It's the most serious I've ever seen him.

When we got to Wakanda, I saw amazement go through Analiese's expression as she took in the beauty and advancements of the secret country. As a scientist I'm sure it peaks her interest; seeing the technological levels Wakanda operates at.

This amazement continues when we reach the lab. Bucky leads her off of the ship, his grip tightening as they walk down the stairs. I follow after them, finding Shuri waiting outside for us. She has the same look of hostility in her eyes as the others do, and she silently nods towards her lab. Bucky nods back, pushing Analiese forward. Her annoyance is clear, but it's being buried under the glazed look of astonishment in her eyes.

"You could loosen your grip," She says through clenched teeth. "It's not like I could go anywhere."

Bucky's anger grows at the sound of her voice. "I'm not taking any chances with you."

"Bucky, let her go. It's okay." I urge him, seeing a look of confusion come over Analiese's face at my intervention.

I see him clench his jaw, staring at me for a moment. He nods curtly and lets go of her arm, gesturing for her to follow Shuri. He walks very closely to her though, barely keeping more than a few inches between them.

I turn back towards the others, particularly Scott, Rhodey, and Nakia. Nakia squeezes my hand tightly, saying; "I'll go alert T'Challa and Okoye we're back. They'll want to be here to see Remington."

I nod to her, watching as she makes her way back towards the ship. Alex and Khari both make their way into the lab after Bucky and Analiese, and as Scott and Rhodey start to follow, I stop them.

"You two don't have to stay here if you don't want to. This process will take a few days and I don't want to keep you both from your lives or family."

Scott rolls his eyes. "Don't be stupid. Of course I'm staying here."

Rhodey nods too. "I'm not leaving until Remington is behind bars. We're with you till the end."

I smile at them, feeling lucky to have such loyal friends in my life. I nod towards the lab. "Lets go see the others then."

The air is tense the moment we reach the others, perhaps even more so than the flight here. Analiese is laying down on a metal table in the middle of the lab; her hands and ankles cuffed along with her chest and legs, just like she had me strapped down when she held me captive. Attached to the table is a long metal arm, with a table length clear piece of machinery attached to it. It's suspended over Analiese, far enough above her to allow Shuri to walk up to her, injecting her in the arm with a needle.

"This is altered chemotherapy," Shuri tells her, a monotone pitch to her voice. "I'll then turn the machine on, which will radiate all of your cells and begin to shrink them. In about an hour I'll put the serum in."

Analiese nods slowly, a bit of fear in her eyes as Shuri begins to turn the machine on. She probably still thinks this is some painful torture we've concocted for her. But as the machine begins to hum, a blue like glow suspends down. This glow makes Analiese's skin and clothes have a blue hue, like she was put under a black light. Her expression softens as the machine begins to work, and a new revelation comes over her. I can see it plain on her face. She realizes she's actually going to be cured. She's realizing this isn't a punishment, a torture, or a painful death sentence.

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