Chapter 24: Darkness and Cold, Mix Quite Well

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"Where is he?" I demand yet Simon doesn't even spare me a glance, nor does he stop walking as we roam the never ending labyrinth of corridors within the HYDRA facility. "Lilly, where are we going?" Sophie's soft and delicate voice begins to waver, as if she finally understands what is coming to head around her. "We're going to see Captain America, alright Sophie?" My attempts to soothe her somewhat help, but she continues to quiver ever so slightly, staring up at Simon's goons almost petrified. "Captain Captain Captain. What do you see in him Lillian? You used to be the best at what you do. Then, of course, he came along and ruined everything. Like he alwayss does." Simon at first seems cocky and having fun with toying with my emotions, yet towards the end his voice gets dangerously dark, his s's taking on a more snake like sound. Must only happen when he's angry.

"If I weren't mistaken, it ssounds like your sscared there Ssimon." I mock the way he pronounces his s's, and he doesn't fail to take note of it. Stopping abruptly in front of me, almost causing me to collide into his back, he turns around fuming, his pupils dilating in their reptilian manner and his snake fangs piercing his bottom lip as they extend further, a small blood trail trickling from his lower lip and dripping from his chin tediously.

"I would watch your tongue there Nightshade. While I may not be able to kill you, that doessn't mean I can't remove unnecessssary body parts. You're still usssful without handss or a tongue." His face is dangerously close to mine and even though I should be scared right now, the first thing that comes out of my mouth is a genuine curious question "Did you shave?" Giving an unamused hiss, he turns back the way we were originally heading and stalks off, expecting the rest of us to follow obediently. I notice his own men withdrawing and stifling their silent chuckles before one of them gives me a rough shove forward and I continue, the cuffs around my wrists beginning to dig into my skin irritably.

We finally reach an old warehouse room, completely barren except for a giant metal contraption consisting of a huge iron cylinder with a bolted door and a small glass window, wires and assortments of technical equipment sticking out of it. "How did you even get the XCX machine? I hid it on a different USB away from your grasp and deleted it off Reed's computer. The only blueprint of it left was on that USB which I hid incredibly well—"

"Oh I know of your bothersome plan. I plug that damn decoy USB into a computer and what do I find? The blueprints to a damn coffee machine!" he bellows, yet I can't seem to bite my tongue as I correct "And tea. It's a tea machine as well." His greenish hand meet my throat in a tight and angry grasp, his long and almost talon like nails causing blood to dribble down my neck in an agonizingly slow manner. However, it doesn't last long, for he almost immediately jerks back, frost partially covering his hand. "How the hell...." He breaths raggedly, staring at his hand in alarm and perplexity before levelling his gaze with my own. "Those cuffs are supposed to suppress your powers. They're even more advanced than the SHIELD ones...." He trails once more, continuing to take in greedy gasps of breaths.

I quickly raise my hand, holding it out to spout fire.... Yet nothing happens. "What the...?" I mumble, confused beyond compare. Simon shares my confusion, coming to the conclusion of "Must only happen when I touch you. I won't make that mistake again."

"Aww, you hurt my feelings," I jest, earning an aggressive scowl from him in response. "Back to the topic at hand," he pauses "You may have deleted them off Reed's but nothing is ever fully deleted. While the Fantastic Freak show were playing babysitter with you and that obnoxious friend of yours, one of my agents snuck in with a team of expert hackers. Took about six hours but it was accomplished. Although, their AI system... Herbie? Is it? Anyway, Herbie put up a decent fight, almost successful in calling the Fantastic Four, the CIA, the MIA, the FBI, the navy, the army, SHIELD and the Avengers but HYDRA has good hackers. You know that. There was also the brute force. Either way, we got what we wanted, you just stalled it."

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