At first it seemed I was all alone, but then I heard a cough. I turned to my right and on a balcony stood Tony Stark, looking relaxed and making a good first impression.
“Dakota! Welcome! I’ve been waiting for you.”
He walked down the stairs and came to shake my hand. I shook it abashed. He was so chill, but I could feel he had a busy planning today and he just didn’t care.
“Well, to be correct,” he continued, “I’ve been waiting for everybody. They will come any time soon now. Take a seat over there and have a drink.”
He pointed at a few sofas and a bar. But I didn’t move and looked at him. I smiled at him and asked: “What exactly is my position in the team, Mr Stark?”
“Smart girl,” he commented, “you are the glue, of course. Make everybody like each other again. Gain their trust.”
It was silent for a moment, we inspected each other. He knew I was reading him.
“I am not the only one. There are other mutants.”
“Yes… Well, I wanted to make the team stronger, with more efficiency and specialized forces for extreme situations.”
“That makes sense.”
He laid his hand around my shoulder and guided me to the sofa.
“Please, Dakota, have a seat. You must have had a tough journey.”
That wasn’t a lie and I accepted a glass of water. Soon there was noise coming from the elevator. We both turned around and saw an enthusiastic Black Widow and Hawkeye enter the room. First they didn’t notice me, but soon stood silent observing me.
“Is this one of your new recruits?”
“Yes,” answered Stark, “our new recruit. There are six more, but we will be meeting them on the compound since they already are in training.”
“Well then,” Hawkeye said. He shook my hand and looked me in the eyes.
“You can call me Clint and this is Natasha.”
“I like her, but she doesn’t look like a fighting type..”
Natasha didn’t shake my hand but smiled warmly. She seemed insecure with Clint being so comfortable around me already.
“What are your gifts?”
Stark gave me a warning sign. I couldn’t tell them about the aura-thing and my true mission.
“I can do magic.”
“Magic?” said a voice coming from the elevator. Tree more people came in and joined the group. They were less relaxed. I could feel the tension building up in the group. Here lay the problem I had the fix: Captain America, Falcon and Sergeant Barnes. I couldn’t believe my eyes to even see them all in the same room.
“Hi, I’m Dakota,” I simply said to break the ice.
“Call me Bucky,” introduced the most angry-looking man, but his smile was blindingly charming.
“In private you may call me Steve.”
“And I’m Sam. Nice to meet you Dakota.”
Stark offered everybody a drink and invited them to the meeting room upstairs. We had to wait a half an hour for Scarlet With and Vision to arrive, but I got to know them, but they knew more about me with all their questions fired on my private life. I told them about my hobbies and my life back in Belgium. I explained that Europa wasn’t that communist invaded as they presumed, when Wanda entered the room and had to laugh really hard without even knowing who I was.
I hit off in the group pretty well. Bucky liked me most, after that came Clint, Wanda, Natasha and last in line came Stark himself. The only person who I couldn’t feel was Vision. Whenever he wasn’t looking I tried again with an intense stare.
Stark noticed my awkwardness and started talking about his invention Jarvis.
“…We had a body made off high imitated skin and a living potential. We voted as a team…”
Some chuckled, others frowned.
“So we put the ‘software’ of Jarvis into the body and, boom, there was Vision.”
Vision nodded from the other side of the table and spoke: “I was really confused at first. A highly dose of information had been transferred into my brain and all I saw was evil in the world, but also… beauty.”
“You are nothing compared to what Ultron was,” reassured Wanda, “I saw his mind and it was… disturbing…”
(She could also read minds! But slightly different than me.)
Hereby my interview ended and their real meeting started. I had to leave but didn’t mind, because I was dead tired. I was brought to my room and settled in.
I was informed to only stay here one week and then be transferred without the Avengers to the compound where my training would begin to the other mutants, called recruits. I didn’t dare to ask what that may include and accepted the circumstances as ‘professionally kept secret from outside world’.
I unpacked most of my stuff and went to bed. I started thinking about my own private mission: reuniting them all. Everything had seemed fine on the outside as long as the subject wasn’t brought to the more serious scenarios off their jobs. Talking about my life and Europe was not a trigger to the underlying rub. Also, my aura probably had made them feel drowsy and relaxed.
Tomorrow would be another day and I would begin to evaluate the situation. Bucky seemed a good start, he was the center of it all…
I was wandering off when there was a knock on the door. I sat up and said: “Do come in…”
“You want me to open the door myself?” Wanda asked confused.
“Yes, you can easily do that. Come in.”
I shook the bedspread of and checked myself quickly in the mirror. Wanda entered and closed the door behind her. I didn’t ask her what she wanted from me, I already knew. I could easily guess she had seen Starks intentions and my presence influencing the group.
“Who are you, for real?” she asked skeptically.
I thought about that for a moment. Should I tell her already? She had a faint clue.
“I can do magic…”
“I was born with it.”
“You’re a demi god.”
“That’s one way to look at it, yes.”
I smiled at the thought of being a goddess.
“Loki is my father, but please don’t tell the others. Steve, Stark, Clint and Natasha fought that guy and don’t like him.”
She looked at me in the mirror. I could feel her doubt.
“That’s a serious thing, Dakota. One day they have to know. We can’t keep secrets from each other. We have to be a team.”
She was waiting for me to react. Her eyes colored red. She was looking in my mind.
“Yes, of course… Stark wants me to fix this team spirit you’re talking about. I wouldn’t want to ruin it, I have to prepare this team to fight in extreme battles again and trust each other.”
She turned around and smiled.
“You can read minds too!”
She seemed disappointed. She wanted a sort of buddy. She awfully missed her brother. I comforted her: “But I think we can learn a lot from each other, Wanda. I create illusions, so do you.”
We looked at one another in the half dark and smiled. This woman was about to become a good friend of mine.
“Oh gosh, what time is it?” I asked.
“Three o’clock in the morning. The meeting has just finished. I’ll let you rest. I will be in the tower tomorrow all day, feel free to come and find me in the lodge.”
“I will thank you.”
Wanda left and I went back to bed.