The day after Winter left the experiments stopped altogether and Solntse recovered most of her energy. She felt stronger and surer of her movements, her memories of the outside world her dim but they were enough that she felt and urge to escape. When the guards came for her she was waiting and attacked, her superior strength and deadly claws easily tore them apart. Solntse snatched the key card from a guard and left the bloody mess of men behind, sprinting through the corridors toward the exit. She met another trio of guards and killed them before moving on. She raced through the corridors and an alarm began to sound. A platoon of guards came running around the corner and Solntse reversed direction but not before they spotted her. She was faster but she ran headlong into another group of guards. She was trapped between the two groups, she turned frantically between them and a tranquiliser dart pierced her neck. It didn’t knock her out but she was paralysed as they dragged her to a room she had not seen since she was brought to the HYDRA base. The Commander watched as they tied her to the Chair. “You will be a good weapon” he said smiling as the machine began to sizzle with electricity. Solntse twisted and yanked at the restraints but they didn’t budge as the machine lowered over her head. A bolt of agony seized her mind, her mouth opened in an inhuman scream as pure pain coursed through her. She felt herself slip away as memory was ripped from her mind and replaced with blank space.
The machine stopped and released her, gasping for breath. She saw men standing around her watching, who were they? Something felt wrong. She knew- Who was she? “Who am I?” she asked
“You are Asset… Solstice. You belong to HYDRA. You follow our orders.”
“But that’s not my name”
“You don’t have a name. You are a weapon.”
She was confused, a weapon? She thought weapons were inanimate objects not people. “Why do I have to follow orders?” she asked. The Commander stepped forward and forcefully slapped her face “Do not ask questions”
He slapped her again “No questions. Follow orders.”
She paused before nodding assent. “Good. Begin her training.” The guards led her to a large concrete room lined with a variety of weapons from M16s to eating knives found in any families house. There was a man waiting, he turned when she entered “I am your trainer. Do as I say” he stated and gestured for her to join him in the centre of the room. They stood facing each other for a moment before he flashed out a fist and punched her in the gut. She staggered back grasping her arms to the painful bruises “Why did you do that?” she gasped and the trainer smacked the side of her head, leaving a stinging red mark. “No questions” he reminded her “Stand up straight!” he barked and she hastily complied trying to ignore her aching ribs. “When I throw a punch, you either dodge, you block, or attack.” The trainer reached out and lifted her arm in a punching position “The dodge” he slowly demonstrated the twisting manoeuvre. “The block” he lifted his own arm and swiped his forearm sideways to knock her arm off course in slow motion “You can probably do it this way as well” he reset the situation and lifted his forearm in front of her fist, effectively stopping it.
He had her practise the moves in slow motion before punching toward her face, she brought her arm up in time to block. “Good. Again.” They repeated the sequence, he occasionally snapped off a random punch to test her that she mostly stopped but still had a split lip and several bruises by the end.
“Now for attacking” he once again lifted her mock punch and in slow motion showed how to latch onto the wrist of the attacker and twist so that the elbow joint would snap with enough pressure. Solstice picked up the move quickly and the trainer set up a dummy with its fist out. “At full speed. Attack.” He ordered, she waited a moment before grabbing the dummy’s wrist and twisting her body. The fake bones in the dummy’s arm snapped and Solstice released her hold, stepping back to survey her work. The dummy’s arm was broken in three places. “Very good. That is enough for today. You are dismissed, Asset.”
Solstice frowned at the name he gave her but followed the order and exited the training room with the guards as they took her to her cell.