1964-12-27 - Project Virgo: Company of Wolves
Summary: Adam and Kyr receive a visit from a concerned Bucky. And he learns pretty fast that things are going very badly indeed.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
rogue bucky 


With Natasha silent, one of those teams swings into action. Doors open. Presuming Bucky does not deign to stalk off, the approach needs to be polite. "Time to return to your room," announces the unfortunate lead, a gentleman named Agent Roh. "You know curfew was at nine. We're well past."

Kyr chomps another bite of his candycane and sighs. «It tastes good. Not very filling.» Lament of the young, they never get enough. He tucks his elbows against his sides and marks a grin. «Gonna give her the shock of a lifetime.» Statement made in parting, as he wanders up to his heavily armed escort. Two Buckies is bad enough. No telling if the metal armed one is real.

The metal-armed one is very real. And inclined to trail after…to tuck little brother in bed. "GEntlemen," he says to the squad, with a kind of icy politeness, and a stare guaranteed to call up the most unpleasant memories in the veterans who were afield in the not-so-long-ago days when the Soldier was in play. «Kyr, what do you mean?» he asks, not impatiently, but not distracted either.

Following around Kyr is not against protocol, but neither part of their regular affairs. Barnes has some kind of status. They may not know what. But hard to argue the appearances allow for a similar privilege. Tramping along after a team of five for one man may prove to be completely and totally unnecessary, but they take it in stride. A few side-eyes prove, yes, young one and older one are disturbingly similar. Kyr scratches the back of his neck, happy to rely on Russian. «It's no solyanka and blinis.» A wistful sigh.

«There's a place out in Brooklyn that makes great solyanka. I'll take you, when you get out of here.» As if this were just a hospital stay, an uncomfortable procedure to be merely endured. Buck keeps pace with Kyr, posture easy. He's unarmed, after all. No service pistol at his side, no knives on him, genuflecting towards the visiting rules. Nevermind that he could disarm at least one agent, maybe more, before someone brought him down. The resemblance is perturbing - brighter, shorter hair, eyes gray rather than blue….and surely Kyr doesn't have those grim lines etched into his face. «Or I can make you some. I'm a good cook. Could bring it to you here.» Let them dredge the stew to make sure he hasn't hidden a file in it.

Solyanka in Little Odessa sounds like a Christmas miracle if Kyr had any idea of what the holiday was. No one ever bothers to tell them about the changing calendar or his place in the new Ameircan routine. Only the Fourth of July, and that went so very differently in another part of the world. Kyr yawns into his arm, and he does not make a point of trying to reply much. He pads along in his bare feet on the cold linoleum. Tranquil guards they are not, and neither is he. Following along is easy. Turn three halls, take several intersections, and there comes a plain chamber with a green and grey regulation door. Locking from the outside with more than a few mechanisms, one of the guards breaks off to get the door open. Inside, it's about as thrilling as an athletic sock. He nods at Bucky. Don't get your hopes up, Kyr. «Good stuff.»

«Sleep well, Kyr,» Buck's voice is gentle. «Things will get better soon.» For some very strange values of *that* word. No attempts to follow Kyr in, just in case someone yields to temptation and slams the door after him.

Sleep well. The champion says it will be so and it shall as Kyr practically grins over his shoulder. Ushered into the depths of that plain room, he fetches up his one regulation t-shirt and slithers into its warm confines. Freshly dried; see, there are small consolations. He falls all but facefirst onto his cot and waits for the door to clank shut.

Two guards in place, no doubt electricity and more used as the main kind of protection against stray pups. This one in particular packs a horribly strong punch in that thin package. No doubt he'll be down to doing pushups and kicks and chinups the moment htey are out of sight.

Agent Roh shrugs lightly. "Night."

"Now," says Bucky, turning on them, once Kyr has been dispatched to the Land of Nod, whatever that landscape looks like. "Adam, please." He has no authority beyond Peggy's permission to visit them. Surely one of the agents there has the requisite stun bracelet on hand, if he insists on contact with the healer.

Roh thins his eyes a little. Bossing around doesn't get so far in a hierarchy with very clear lines of authority and descent. He jerks his head to the two holding court beside the doors into Kyr's room. "You stay." Not hard to convince them to do their jobs, is it?

"What do you want? It's not his time on the rotation," he says, a tired note there. Someone has to explain protocol far too often. "I can give you the location and you can go deal with Stoermer and Nash yourself."

He lifts hands in a gesture of placation - not as peaceable as it might seem, considering they're ungloved, and the hall's night time lighting runs over the fine plates of the metal hand. "Sure," he says. "Whatever's easiest."

"Floor seven, end of the row." The row might be capitalized, all said and done. A row of cells for patients. A row of reinforced doors, a lonely place on a lonely ward beyond all those labs used by a nameless, changing array of technicians with enough protections wrapped up in broken glass to keep the pups' instability at bay. One hopes. It's not the sort of location where one ventures without some kind of purpose.

"Right," Buck says, simply. And how many of those watching his departing back would like to see him in one of those chambers, again? He heads that way quietly, but not silently. Perfectly legit that he's here.

Right, one floor difference. Because what the hell, SHIELD. Learn to use your excessive numbers of empty floors brightly. Up the stairs or the elevator, as Bucky prefers. He gets looks wherever he goes, nothing at all different about that. Stages within. The point when he gets spat out at is commonplace, guarded by wardens checking for cards and identification, requesting purposes. Of course all those scientists are up to no good with very expensive, rare, or volatile equipment. The paths converge on a nerve center and depart in many a direction, trouble tracks spinning at lightning bolt angles for no reason other than to accommodate peculiar suites.

He's got a legit ID, and the offered authorization, assuming there's a convenient level 7 around to herd him along. The stun bracelet's only needed if they're to be in the same room, and ….that needn't necessarily happen, right? Depends on what he sees when he finds the last stray pup.

Lab techs work late, though it's not that late. Hours slipping away bit by bit, taxing sleep's reserves, keep the skeleton crew of techs and scientists preoccupied. They stare up in their reflective glass panels or peer away from the scopes to stare at the legend — notorious, but a legend still — going past. Pencils falter. Measurements and slides need revisiting. They know what they have. Scans slip troublesome into a burning night, and there it is, the unease restless in the air.

Down, turn, around. Eventually The Row leads to a double set of doors, airlocked practically, the sort of place where the unlucky ones on shift wait out the night. They're already at attention, hands to belts, ready to draw when Bucky shows up. Uneasy looks, frowning faces. He's found the right place.

He's got that sidewalk saunter, the stride that reflects a determination to keep this low-key. Sergeant Barnes may've been spit and polish, but SHIELD agent's gear aside, he's down here as visiting family, or as close as the poor mook behind the door has. "Gentlemen," he says, politely, gesturing at the door. One of them has to be his Level 7…..and there's surely stun gear on hand around.

The hour is late, but it's not quite the hour of the wolf. And night hours drag long especially, for captives. Adam likely won't be asleep.

One of them definitely is. Probably doesn't matter who or what, since those who pull rank down here earn their stripes. Men in black, all and one, turn those cool, long eyes on the lupine beast in their presence. They have no idea what really awaits them. They know enough.

"I reckon it's pointless to ask you to remove any weapons you have," says the one on the left slowly. He reckons aright, no doubt. The arm doesn't come off. The danger is there all the time. "Pens and paper as well. No food." A grimace there, the subtle exchange of unease. "Precautions laid out by O if you don't like it."

Bucky assumes the earthbound Vitruvian Man pose, a wordless invitation for a pat-down or a wanding, depending on their whim. Though the latter won't do much good - he's so much metal, and ferrous enough to make any metal detector have a conniption. "Understood. I am carrying none of those."

Ah yes, da Vinci would have approved greatly. Pat-downs in this case take place rapidly, dispensed with none of the usual speed or rush required by anyone. The agents move quickly. They know their business and other than an accidental rap of knuckles on metal, do what they must. So much metal, so much danger.

"Fifteen minutes. No more." The tones are flat. Instructions come quick. "Exceed it and you're hauled out."

"Understood," he says, again. They can chitchat later, if they want. It's got to feel weird, even brushing accidentally against that arm. Never warm, never anything that can pass for remotely normal. He's got a good internal clock.

The hiss of air passes through the hydralic system. Metal bolts, reinforced by magnetism, disengage with the thunk of a cruise ship hitting a pier. Metal layers sufficient to stop a bullet or a reinforced fist perform an odd curtain effect, withdrawing into the walls, slicing edges dropping into the floor. Fancy stuff. Nothing new, presumably, for Bucky. Standard beat of deep, layered security. Technology supports the target on the other end. Just two doors to speak of, a compromised escape route for anyone seeking to get out. Mind the bulletproof glass, eyes on the many spigots hidden in the ceiling that probably pump caustic gas or some kind of spray as needed. or they're fireproofing, either way.

No other guards here, simply doors.

It's a strange echo of the chamber they used to keep him in, those old days in Siberia, before they wised up and froze him between missions. Someone suspended in cryo has no time to think, to doubt, to remember….

But he pads forward, boots quiet. «Adam?» he calls, gently. «You awake?» The informal 'you', as if they were friends….or siblings in earnest.

Door to the left, empty. The locks and the failure to engage is plainly a barrier to operation. The right waits shoving on a pad and the same maglev style protections falling apart. Before that, Bucky might want to look through a cracked mesh-on-glass window reinforced to be bulletproof. Doesn't stop it from being fist proof, always. Starry cracks show multiple impacts, one wide enough to be an obliterated ballpoint pen.

Inside, dim light shines over complete chaos. No sticks of furniture in there, only the moorings where they sat on the walls. Whole blocks of the ceiling torn to pieces form lethargic shards rammed into the walls, down to the concrete. If Loki Laufeyson or Thor Odinson had a temper tantrum, short of their powers, it would decidedly appear so. The pacing shade in question is busily hacking at his side with a broken shard of plastic.

No. No, no no. What in the holy howling hell? He hits the pad, more than once, the foolish impatience of the commuter who thinks that hitting the elevator button more than once will somehow speed it up. He's knocking on the window with his metal fist as he does - not meant to break it but to draw the healer's attenton, disrupt that self-mutilation.

Yes. Yes, yes, yes. Sliced holes in the self leave a leaking trail of copper running down Adam's side. He's largely stripped down to the regulation grey sweats dappled in blood spatter. Red stains his fingers, blame apportioned for the unworthy. The rent wound in question is actually rather narrow but deep enough for him to poke his ring finger past the second knuckle to somewhere final. Gashes inflicted at liberty across his chest and collarbone show raw, parted flesh and warpaint smears by the hand.

The smacking at the doors as they rip apart don't halt him from the twirling of broken plastic meant to withstand everything short of re-entry to the atmosphere. He briefly looks up, and then down again. The fluids smeared over the plastic don't bear naming, but he tastes them anyways.

«Adam, what the hell?» he asks, but his tone is grieved, rather than angry. Advancing on the healer, hands held out as a plea, rather than any gesture towards attack. «What are you doing?» Please, gods, don't let this turn into a fight for that improvised blade.

One slurp, another. He barely measures an expression, dark stain to mouth and palm matched with the unhealthy medical experiment in progress. A ring of blueness to his bruised eyes flashes through lank hair dark as Bucky's own, the soldier watching the fellow. All over are remnants of destruction, too many makeshift weapons in arm's reach. Wires ripped from the walls, smashed glass to impair footing, ragged chunks of plaster and stone chipped away.

He jams another finger into the side wound, screwing up his face in vague discomfort. Poking about takes time. «It's necessary.»

AFter all the deaths he's left in his wake, it ill behooves Winter or James to be squeamish about anything….but there's a shudder there, nonetheless. «No. Stop it,» he says, quickly. «Why would you need to do that?»

Telling him to stop is akin to asking the moon not to rise. What does the moon care for the mortal's pitiful mewlings, or the request of the fleshbound when it was birthed from the tormented collision of protoplanets in the earliest hours of the solar system's formation? One accreted satellite gazes down on the wreckage of itself and fishes around, teeth grinding together until the task is done. More blood and pinkish fluids run out, organ bits flexing in the mash of split flesh. He turns over the plastic shard, clutching it, prepared for more of the self-surgery perhaps. «Hungry.»

And he licks his soiled fingers down to his palm, teeth worrying at tough flesh.

Oh, Jesus Christ. How long has it been since James Barnes crossed himself? A gesture alien to the metal hand, but hastily sketched by the right, the remnant of incense-scented Masses sat at his mother's side. «Adam. Adam, no.» A glance around for what might remain of equipment for observation, a look down at his own communication link. If they have to restrain him, they will. «We need you, Adam.»

Slurping one finger after another the other has a primal obscenity harrowing to the refined mind. Or any mind, for that matter, reckoning on the source of the slurry coating knuckles. Adam traces the point of the plastic after the look narrows on an unmarked spot. If the chest won't do and the flank proves unsufficient… then the quadricep? «Hungry.» A bit more emphasis but it's more of a toneless statement, no music in that instrument. Pain and focus will do that as he stabs the plastic right into the meat of the thigh. It bends, of course. He hisses in pain at it, neck corded briefly. «You got food?»

«Adam, I'm going to take you there. Stop hurting yourself. YOu're going to go back and have what you need to eat.» Chances are excellent that this may be his one unobserved encounter with one of the pups, while still within SHIELD's custody. «You have to stop. You have to heal. We all need you. We're all dying. This has to end, and we can't go back if you tear yourself apart. You can't kill yourself here, fella. Aren't I your Champion?»

«You are not.» An idle commentary and yet so evocative of truths under the onion-skin layers of all of them. «Colour is fine. Sleeping. Vitals probably fine.» He trails his finger along the jutting, irregular curves of the plastic sticking out of a poppy-bright flower staining the already wrecked sweats. If SHIELD med staff wanted any kind of infusion or sample of his blood, Adam has it freely given there. Not the way they might like, but the self-inflicted injuries give a window into places one should not venture. The split in the soiled pants can be dealt with, torn open. «Hand shaking? Tongue swollen? Lymph nodes at your throat gone hard? Not seeing that. Don't see how it ends for you. So hungry. Show me where the food is. I'll eat.»

«You know where it is, what you need. ANd you know it's going to be a long trip for you to get it. Come away with me, we'll get you there.» They are dying. «Please.»

Where it is, what it is, when it is. Adam's blistered pupils spring back. «The cafeteria?» Mess hall, same difference as far as SHIELD is concerned. He licks his cracked lips. Good luck walking with the muscle tissue torn up by a casual twist here and there. «I'll make do. Not enough in here to eat.» Well, except the blood he's licking up, stained on the teeth and tongue, but hey.

«For now, if you want. Can you heal yourself?» He'll ask bluntly. «After that….do you remember what you were fed in Russia?» Wolves fed on the flesh of men, however scientifically rendered. It's enough to make his own flesh creep, his stomach twist in the grip of nausea.

Organs. Vital flesh. The self. Devouring that is a philosophical exercise and a torment imagined by Hieronymus Bosch, not the likes of scientists in eagle-crested badges and frowning over their notes. Adam chews at the ragged edges of his fingers, biting hard enough into the cuticle until that too bleeds. At least an anxiety trait in some folks, but this goes beyond the pale. «No.» He stares up at Bucky, barely blinking. «Food. Bread. Oats. Whatever they shoved in. Were you given extra?»

«I met Fanya. She gave me one of those drinks. Like a milkshake but….more. Ever since then, there's been a hunger I can't shake. What do you need, Adam? Meat? Bread? Fruit? Not yourself, and not human flesh.» He's taken a tentative step forward, hands out - beseeching.

The name is a knife thinner than the rest. Adam cocks his head. «Ah. Kyr might know. Orel. We were not kept with the smallest.» Melting away into the bitter reminder of pain, he twists the plastic, turns the keys, feels for a broken bloodline twang of pain that melts everything else. Pain is focus, an old taskmaster. Hunger goads him and he does it. «Too late for fruit. Bread, no. Maybe meat. Maybe you.» There's no kind of tease to the word, no laughter lying there. But neither is there a manic look in his eyes, no dangerous little shiv waiting to strike. «So hungry. At this point I'd bite the damn guards.»

Bucky grins at that, mirthlessly. «Adam, I'm all metal, no meat, now. YOu'd break your teeth. You know that. Stop hurting yourself. You'll die.» Then he's clicking on the comms link on the collar of that uniform. "Hey. Watch 1, watch 2, do you read me?"

«Reckon I'd try.» The Russian black humour walks with Czernobog on one side, the gallows swinging on the other, and nothing but corpses and yellowing bones betwixt. «Hunger. Helps a little. Tastes better than bread.» Bits of scoured bodily fluids from inside the intestines and chunks of muscle tissue, tasty when raw, a confessional SHIELD has no comprehension of. They might be having kittens even now figuring out ways to confine and reduce someone causing so much ruin to all. Maybe death is a blessing.

A crackle comes up. Transmissions aren't perfect. "We're on, over."

He glances at the link, disinterested, and limps back to a corner to run broken nails over ragged stone.

Bucky says, "I need you guys to bring me some medical supplies. Antiseptics, bandages…" A glance at Adam, "….suture needles and thread. And then whatever meat-based food you got in this building. Beef and pork are best. I don't care if it's the ham sandwich you brought for your own lunch, bring it.""

"Medical supplies. Needles, thread. Another scrap this time?" The question hangs in the air. All said and done, SHIELD prizes efficiency and availability of resources. Never complain about that much, especially in the Triskelion where they can run things up an elevator under five minutes unless that involves an actual helicarrier — don't exist yet — or smuggled goods.

Adam wastes the intervening time slumped against the wall, balanced on his good leg, unpeeling the cotton clinging to the wounds. Yes, he knows that is a terrible idea, given the cuts can seal. He's deliberately not letting them clot.

"I….don't know. It's hard to explain. This is a wreck," His tone is flat. «Stop that,» he says, coming over to reach for Adam's hand. "For crying out loud," he adds, in English, impatient.

Time trickles through. Doors shut, open, and then along comes a spider to sit down beside… well, at least two people carrying a medical supply kit and pulling along a rattling cart with several hastily grabbed meals on trays from the cafe downstairs. It's not exactly fancy food, but meatloaf, chicken, a few withered porkchops, and about seven hamburgers in a sacrificial pile ought to do. "Open up, we got your order, Mr. Barnes!"

The Rank 7 is kicking himself mentally for that faux pas, but either way, he's there to assess the mess and bark orders when they come down.

Adam stills when dragged away. The urge to fight simply isn't there the same way he hungers, aches to eat.

They can call him whatever they like - Buck's not much of a stickler for rank, though he's generally careful enough in the company of the other agents. HE's on thin enough ice without appearing to flaunt rules and regulations as Peggy's pet special snowflake. «Here you go, buddy. Sit down and lemme fix you up while you work on those.» Please, gods, let him not get bitten in the throat while he's trying to stitch up this pup. Even the Winter Soldier can't survive having his carotid torn out.

Rank somewhat matters. Rank and cards are the backbone of a military operation and even a government agency follows the same general rules. SHIELD is almost under the DOD's purview by sheer number of ex-military alone, sister to the CIA and FBI.

Adam doesn't fight and the mess — the smell — is enough to warrant wrinkled noses, hardening eyes. Whatever happened in confinement brings out a reaction from the pair assigned to courier duty but they wisely retreat to the hallway with the disused room. Reporting follows via comms a moment later. "…looking pretty bad. Lacerations and stab wounds. Ripped up the walls. The glass was bulletproof. Yes. In there right now. Yes, I know."

Adam vibrates. Hard thing to see at first, the tremors from the pain being what they are. His shoulders twitch, back tightening and loosening. Seizures don't begin with a grand mal jerk, they start with an irregular wobble of a falling top. He is rigid as he slides down the corner, knees semi-functional, blood oozing out of the open wounds.

"Oh, Jesus. He's seizing," Bucky's voice isn't a shout of alarm, it's a flat, incredulous statement of fact. The first time, anyhow. Then, then it's a peremptory bark for a doctor, more specifically the knee-jerk call for a medic…and a sedative, with it. The best he can do is take him in his arms, find something to keep him from biting his tongue if it gets to that. None of them are allowed to die, especially not when he's right there.

Froth at the mouth, seizures in the muscles. Adam's rigid throat and neck muscles allow for some kind of mechanical chatter barely more than a gurgle, halfway between a laugh and drowning. He lashes out with all that undirected force, fist a bludgeoning weapon, the cumulative impact of the serum intense. It's the exact sort of force necessary to gravely injure bystanders and put them through the wall. So too the kicks leave blood smeared along his pant legs, and yes, it comes right down to that. Organs and blood and bone, the hungers of a denied appetite, are applied with jaw-clenched force. He's got his choice of demons to fight. Bucky has the opportunity to use broken glass or wires, maybe cement. Not many metal pipes here. Fingers not included.

The staff outside are issuing coded protocols, enough to keep the scientists at their stations, feet flying to reach the site of ruin.

IT's a good thing the guy holding him is the one tough enough to take blows like that, especially on the metal shoulder. Not that Buck doesn't wince - vibranium alloy only absorbs so much force. This isn't the pure metal Tricolor Frisbee of Victory, after all. There will be internal bruising later for that amped up immune system to deal with. But for now….he's just trying to keep Adam in his arms, kicking away loose debris with impatient boots. Part of him's just wishing for a fight, like with Volya. He's murmuring to Adam, meaningless reassurances in Russian.

Adam growls and snarls in the broken soliloquy to agony. They sound like that in craters on the battlefield, and in the hospitals to tend to doomed injuries. His eyes roll back and teeth gnash, like a rabid canine. If he can bite flesh, he bites and tears, shaking to a rag doll tempo formed by an angry toddler of nature. It's vicious.

The medical team can only move so fast, carrying what looks like a glue gun with a corded charge. The end delivers a tranq shot, but it's not instant.

He mostly ends up with a mouthful of rag wound around a metal wrist, like a guard dog working on his bite training. Better to grind on that than tear at mere mortals. Buck's still got him, holding him as the medication takes its sweet time working its way into the system. There are tears in his eyes, unheeded. Volga is right, in the worst possible way.

"We've got to restrain him and lift." A medic speaks in slow terms, rather than excited. Hate doesn't factor in. He keeps his feelings locked up behind the wall of professionalism. Many pairs of hands have straps to wield and bandages to tie down. Mutters at the self mutilation will come later in the privacy of an office, shedding scrubs. What else may they say? Bucky is shaken off, the seven in the other room showing up to put a hand on his shoulder. "We need to get him to an op room and get this cleaned up. You're cleared to wait in the med facilities, but we'll need a statement and everyone out here."

Volga's long hand knows no bounds.

Buck makes no protest, yielding that limp body once he's sure Adam is safely out. The black and white of the SHIELD fatigues are now smeared with scarlet, here and there, bright on the white, darker stains on the black. "Right," he says, with a kind of distant calm, getting to his feet, glancing neither right nor left at the wreckage. His face is drawn.

They've got a limited time to work. The serum in Adam about equals Bucky himself, but the damage is there, carved in deep. The blood on his chest is light, the scratches on his back ugly. Yellow mask of jaundiced bruises will rise soon. The group hustle out with their patient between, forsaking a gurney for an old carry method perfected in the trenches. They fly, and such is a risk if he ever wakes up.
"You going to be okay?" Carr, the badge says.

He looks over, spreads his hands. "Me, I'm fine. He didn't hurt me any," he says, simply. But he's shaking his head, not in denial, but a kind of tired amazement. "That poor kid," he says, before he heads out into the hall. "You want a statement? Where to?"

"Sure." As if he believes it. Carr leaves Bucky to his dignity. "There's a shower on the right end of the science bay. Go get cleaned up. He'll be straight into patch up. Report for the med staff. They'll need to know what set him off. Any trigger phrases?"

"No," Buck shakes his head. "Not that I saw. HE was like that when I got in there. They've got….there's something wrong with all of them. I think he's just the first one to have it really get him crazy. He's going to need a lot of protein and fat in his diet for the next while. Meat's best," he says, already turning for the shower.

"We'll relay it on. They need to get him stabilized, before anything. You need to be taking care of yourself. I can get a second monitor on the other. We got few eyes on the rest. They're blowing up, we have no choice but to suppress what we can for safety," Carr says. He gestures at the door, "Come on. Clear out."

"The rest are okay for now," he says, almost casually. Though….how does he know? And if he knows where they are, why isn't he saying? An upnod, and he's vanishing into the shower. There may be cameras there, for all he knows, and could care less. SHIELD's already had him unconscious in their hands, more than once. It doesn't take him long to reappear, cleaned and freshly clad. Back with a cup of coffee in hand, bitter black save for a single sugar packet. In lieu of terrible Russian tea.

What do they know? Is Peggy Carter aware of terrors in the eastern hinterlands, or the conditioning dissimilar from Bucky's own? Does she know that her golden boy gave rise to a golden girl, somewhere far off? Chances are poor onto that.

Carr watches the departure. Cleaning crews won't show up until every last inch of the room is meticulously covered, photographed, reported. Cleaning is last. Concern goes where it will.

Kyr knows nothing about the young man on a table thrashing against the IVs and tearing at monitors until cuffed to the bed.

Bucky hears nothing of the shrill Russian screams into the night, the howling bay of a monstrous being shaking the body of a young man.

He might only see the shadowy image in a reflection, black brewed, bitter, with pits for eyes and wickedly dangerous intentions. The Winter Soldier stares back up at the man, if the Winter Soldier were a ghost. And the Ghost's effigy is unwavering.

He meets that reflection's eyes - the literal doppelganger, looks up as if he'd see Lazar before him. Mouthes the words, more than speaks, in Russian. «We need to talk, when I get out of here.»

Lazar is of course not there. Any startled bystander would be privileged to nothing particularly exciting except a living nightmare in the flesh staring at things. Good reason to have an early night, or pull furlough time in the weapons crib.

The pitiless stare peers up or down through the liquid. Hard to say which is accurate.

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