Deception

Jayden Roberts stumbles across something big while clearing out the spare room in the house he shares with his brother. What he unearths makes him question both his deceased step-dad, and older brother. What is HYDRA doing in England, and are SHIELD really the good guys? How can Jayden tell his friends from his enemies in a world of international espionage?

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1. Day 0 - The beginning must End

Date: 20th March 2015

Location: Unknown

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"All I want to know, young man, is what you know."

Footsteps echoed on the stone floor. He tried to pinpoint where the man was, but without his sight, he was off balance. He jumped when the voice spoke again, from much nearer. Behind him, he thought, but couldn't be sure.

"And don't bother spouting off a loud of crap about not knowing anything. We know you do. We know you've been tracking our movements. We want to know how and why."

The voice was rough, harsh like the bark of an Alsatian. The shiver than ran through Jayden's body was not just due to the less-than-tropical temperature of the room, or the ice of the steel around his wrists and ankles.

"I...um...what?...who?...please..." His head felt fuzzy, each thought lead heavy as he struggled to form a coherent sentence. A cough built up in his throat - dry, sore, dusty. A million questions flew through his mind, all tumbling over one another and getting tangled in knots in their eagerness to be answered. Jayden was just about lucid enough to trap them inside his head. He did not want to give his captors extra ammunition to use as an excuse to hurt him.

More feet shuffling - more than one pair. More than one person who could hurt him, no doubt would hurt him, and most probably do it with a smile on their face.

"You've knocked him silly, Burns. How do you expect us to get information out of him now?"

A second voice joined the first. Jayden thought he could hear a slight waver in the higher-pitched bark. Nervousness?

"He fought like a wildcat! Almost broke me nose. How else was I supposed to subdue him? Anyway, we've got plenty of ways to make him talk." He could picture the sneer that went with those words. If this was the man he'd been attacked by, a sneer would do little for that face. And now he had a name to go with the face. Burns. He always liked to be able to link names and faces together. It made remembering people a whole lot easier.

"Yes...Of course." The first voice now turned cruel. The embers of fear that Jayden had desperately been trying to control went up in flames. Were all HYDRA agents sadists? "Hear that, boy? There are many ways to get a man to talk. You're just a child. How long do you think you can hold up? Why not save us the trouble and tell us what you know." The man was playing with him, a merciless game with one winner. HYDRA. One way out. Pain. There was no choice here.

Jayden's silence enraged the man. Pain blazed a path of heat like fire across his cheek. A hard edge lined the man's next words. "You will talk. It will be my pleasure to make you scream. I will - "

"Not just yet, Winters. I think we should let him...think on his choice." A new voice joined the fray. Soft. Calm. Dangerous. There was a lilt to it that he couldn't place. In this world of black, he imagined the voices as just that - voices, with no person attached. It was like a out-of-body experience.

"...maybe in the...he's not listening." Cold. Calculating. Slightly condescendi -

His other cheek flamed.

"Enough. Come, you two. We have business to attend to, and this disobedient cub has some thinking to do."

Jayden listened as the footsteps got quieter, until all he could hear was his own laboured breathing, raspy in the sudden silence. His body sagged in its bonds, but he did not relax. He could not relax. One thought kept badgering his defences, one which he vainly tried to ignore. He hadn't gotten himself into a situation he couldn't get out of.

But he could not ignore the fact that he was in way over his head. His immediate future looked decidedly cloudy. He closed his eyes - not that it made any difference - and sighed.

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