Agents of Shield: At the Heart (chapter 1)

Seattle, October 26th 2013

Cava pushed her way through the crowd, trying her hardest not to let her skin touch another human being. She reached a hand up and brushed at the bangs of her shaggy brown hair, attempting to get the mess out of her eyes, but it fell right back in her face. And even though it had been growing out, it was still so short that most people thought she was a boy.

She listened to her heart beat, its rate quickening. Out of the corner of her eye, she caught sight of a man pulling a knife out of his pocket, and moving towards her. Adrenaline pumped through her body, and she turned to face the man now plunging towards her with the knife, a crazed look in his eyes. .

~~##~~

Five minutes earlier. . .

Agent Phil Coulson stood outside of a cafe, surveying the crowd beside his partner, May. The two held a cup of coffee each, but neither even took a sip as they watched the crowd in seach of one face.

Vena Cava was a point of interest to S.H.I.E.L.D, not because her name was exotic, but for her unusual powers. The identification photos that Skye had dug up for them weren’t the best-and the info on her didn’t even give them a current residence.

“Is she homeless or what?” Skye said over the radio earpieces that the whole team had. “Fitz? Simmons? Do either of you guys have anything on your. . electro-thingy-ma-jig?”

Simmons shortly replied over the radio, the scientist instantly launching into teacher-mode. “Yes. Barely. The electrocardiogram is picking up traces of energy deprivation and absorption, and abnormal tachycardia rhythm. . .”

“Meaning?” Skye replied.

“Meaning,” Ward interrupted grumpily over the radio. “We’re getting close.”

“Stay sharp everyone,” Coulson muttered, finally taking a sip of his now cold coffee. “We’re just about-”

Suddenly, a woman in the crowd screamed, pointing to two people wrestling-one apparently attempting to slit the other’s throat; and on the ground beside the pair was a lifeless man. The woman knelt beside her husband, sobbing hysterically.

“He’s had a heart attack! He’s dead!”

Inside of an internet cafe a block away, Fitz and Simmons did their best to look like they were on Facebook rather than pinpointing one of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s targets. Simmons whispered to the others, “We’ve got an isolated case of complete cardiac arrest-there’s no electrical activity at all in this heart! And there’s massive energy absorption in another nearby: Keep an eye out for our girl!”

Coulson nodded, he and May walked towards the collasped man, now moving purposefully. They almost had her.

~~##~~

As soon as the man beside them collapsed, Cava felt a surge of power go through her body, her heart pounded and her muscles gained superhuman strength. The man attacking her had grabbed her bag and tossed it aside, but now he dragged her into the alley and tried to shove her to the ground.

Instead, Cava did a backflip and landed on her feet, in the position she had taught herself with her own special fighting style: Knees bent, hands in front of her face. She wished she had her gloves, bare-fist fighting took a tole on her poor hands. Nevertheless, as the crazed man dove at her, baring his knife before her, she grabbed his wrist and jammed it upward.

May rounded the corner into the alley while Coulson knelt beside the heart attack victm, laying on his back on the ground. Pressing two fingers against the man’s neck, he confirmed his teammates’ theory. “No pulse. He’s dead.”

Back in the alley, Cava had kneed the man in the stomach, quickly followed with an attack by May, who ripped the man off of her and slammed him into the ground, where he remained, unconscious. “Are you o-” She began to ask Cava, not expecting the girl to attack her, but she barely deflected the high kick that the teen threw at her.

She’s fast! May thought, not hesitating in going on the offensive.

Cava’s blood was boiling. Her heart beat with the extra electrical activity she had absorbed through the man that now lay in the middle of the sidewalk, dead. Her pulse was insanely fast-150 beats per minute, well above the norm even for children, whose hearts regularly beat at a higher rate than adults.

“Found our girl!” May exclaimed over the radio, and Ward instantly responded from his position.

“Where?”

“Alley by Coulson’s post.” May swept a leg across the ground, hoping to topple the adrenalized Cava, but it was no use. The girl slammed her fist down into May’s thigh, but the more experienced fighter didn’t even flinch at the pain this caused-even though she felt her entire leg quake. No teen could punch that hard. She thought to herself, then glanced up for just a fraction of a second, over Cava’s head as Ward came running down the alley, silently.

The tiny movement of May’s dark eyes alerted Cava of the enemy behind her, she turned on the large man and threw a punch at him. Ward was slightly surprised Vena Cava had lasted that long in a fight against some guy on the street and May-but he wasn’t about to go easy on her just because she was a kid.

“Whoa, kid’s got some spunk.” Skye laughed over the radio, watching them from video camera feeds in her van.

“Yeah,” Ward grunted, dodging the menagerie of moves that Cava threw at him, many connecting with surprising heaviness for the girl’s small, thin body.

Fitz crackled over the radio. “And her vitals are off the charts! Pulse is 150, Blood pressure is 170 over 110, and respirations are twenty five a minute!”

“Whoa. I’m guessing that’s a lot?” Skye muttered.

“It is a lot.” Phil walked down into the alley, where May was now waiting for the right opening to land a finishing blow on the rampaging Cava. “And I want to know why.”

Ward managed to get a hold of Cava’s wrist as she attempted to land a killing punch on his solar plexis. “You’re getting slower.” Ward noted, quickly twisting her arm around her back, forcing her to her knees.

“Now,” Phil walked up and knelt before the sweating, panting girl. “I want some answers. What exactly is it that you did back there?”

“What the hell are you talking about?” Cava said with vehemence, her brown hair that feathered onto her cheeks pasted to her face. Her complexion was rapidly losing its color, turning to a pale gray as her heart slowed down to normal, then lower. “I donno whatchu wan’ wi’ me. . .” She began to slur. The electrical activity in her heart was plunging as the pumping organ exhausted both the energy it had taken from the man laying on the street, now being revived by paramedics, and its ability to create its own.

“Pulse is plunging dangerously low! Almost no electrical activity~!” Simmons exclaimed. Cava suddenly slumped forward in Ward’s grip, completely losing consciousness as her heart slowed to a complete stop.

Suddenly Ward dropped Cava and the girl slumped to the ground.

“What’s the matter, Ward?” Phil asked, looking concerned as his fighter rubbed his chest; then all those present raised their hands to their hearts.

“What. . .the. . .hell?” Ward muttered, glaring at the girl lying unconscious on the ground. “I hate to admit it but. . .”

“She’s stealing electrical power from your hearts.” Fitz explained, eyeing the electrocardiograms of all the team and Cava. “But not much. It’s not as massive as before. . .Oh! Pulse is returning to normal in all of you!” He stated just as the pain in their chest diminished to nothing and Cava blinked her eyes open, heart now beating of its own accord.

“Wha. . .?” She asked no one in particular. What was she doing? Her body hurt; she felt heavy.

“May. Tranquilizer.” Phil ordered, and the addressed plunked a syringe, thick needled and heavy with liquid, into his hand.

“Wha’re you doin’?” Cava muttered sleepily, trying to stand but unable with weakened legs.

“Helping you,” Phil answered, plunging the syringe into her neck. The girl gasped, eyes widening momentarily and muscles tensing, before her eyes rolled back into her head and she fell backwards.

Cava listened to her heart beat, the incessant noise that accompanied her everywhere, that was her only friend, the only consistency in her life. She felt the drug crawl through her body, reaching her heart and slowing the muscle down until it spread through her, numbing her and casting her into deep, deep sleep.

We’re getting places! Stick around to see what happens next-will Cava join Coulson’s team, or will she rip their jet apart in a mass of crazy energy?

I love it! I want to keep reading!

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