“Where the hell am I?” This was the first thought that entered Danielle Moonstar’s head as she woke up. The room she was in was cramped, and not much more than three by three meters. At the center was a chair on which she was sitting and a bare table. Opposite of her was another chair. The air was stale, and as she got her bearings she immediately understood that it was an interrogation chamber. The walls were paneled with wood, and there were no windows. Dani got up and checked her belongings: keys, wallet, ID, pocketknife? No, the pocketknife was missing. She checked her boots and found out that the other knife she kept stashed there was also missing. A police station then? No, they would have taken all her possessions, and would not have left her either her shoes or her belt.
Dani got up and walked around the room. She took off her brown leather jacket, and hung it over the chair. She took an old discount pass out of her wallet, and snapped it in half. She felt its sharp edges where it broke, and gave a satisfied nudge. “At least I’m armed…” she thought, and continued her observation of the room. It was warm, and there were no doors or windows. Air circulation was non-existent, and she tuned to gently tapping on the walls. The top half of the wall directly across from where she had been sitting was clearly loose. She tried to pry the panel of, but before she could manage the panel slid up by itself. She looked at a mirror, and a voice sounded through a speaker box that had also been hidden by the panel.
“Good to see you are awake Ms. Moonstar. Please make yourself comfortable as someone will be over to talk to you as soon as possible.” The voice said, followed by a dry click that ended the conversation. Dani remained standing, and gripped the two sharp halves of the plastic pass in both her hands. She was not impressed by the official sounding voice, and there would be hell to pay for anyone coming in this room. Depowered or not, this Mutie would not go quietly into the night. She positioned herself so she could see one half of the room by means of the mirror, while facing the mirror and another half of the room. There she waited, tense yet unafraid of whatever would happen.
A few minutes later the panel to the right of the mirror slid away, and a door appeared. Dani felt her muscles tense up, and when the door opened, she sprung back. She kicked one of the chairs at the person coming through the door, and in one swift motion jumped after it, both sharp object in her hands thrusting forward to slash any opposition. The chair fell backwards, and even as Dani followed she to clashed with steel, and fell backwards. Getting up for the second round, she finally realized who she had tried to attack using a plastic chair and two sharp pieces of plastic. Before her, reaching out his hand stood Iron Man.
“What is the meaning of this, you bloody fascist? Did you get up this morning and decide to hunt down all formerly powered people, too?” snapped Dani, as she sprang back up and backed away, still tensing, still ready for any attack. Iron Man said nothing, and slowly removed his helmet. “Please, there is no reason for this. You have nothing to fear from me. Please, put down your…. knives… so we may talk….”
“I have nothing to talk to you about! The last thing I remember is falling asleep in front of the television, and the next thing I know I’m sitting here in your dungeon. I didn’t think you had to go to these lengths to get girls!!!”
“I don’t. Now, ms. Moonstar… Would you kindly SHUT THE HELL up, and allow to make my point. If you don’t like what I have to say, you can be on your way home, well compensated for your time, and we will never meet like this again. Is that okay with you?”
“Apologize. Are you deaf?”
” Very well. I apologize.”
“Do you have any idea what you just apologized for?”
“I am assuming that it has to do with the way you were brought here…”
“There’s that, but I would also like you to apologize for all the crap you are going to tell me any minute now in advance, so that is out of the way….”
“Are you so sure…?”
“Damn sure. Now, give me your pitch or whatever and get this over with, Stark!”
“Follow me then, Ms. Moonstar”
Dani put on her coat, put the plastic bits in her pockets and followed Tony Stark out of the room. They walked past a camera pointed at the mirror from the opposite side. Dani looked down the hallway and saw several set ups of camera’s pointing at walls. A single guard in SHIELD uniform was standing in the hallway, and sprung to attention as Stark passed him, eying Dani cautiously. Dani and Stark got on an elevator at the end of the hall, remaining silent all the way up. The elevator stopped, and the doors opened. Dani looked out, as Stark welcomed her to the deck. She was on the SHIELD heli-carrier.
The countryside around Berlin was deathly quiet. Although the Wall had come down years and years earlier, that did not mean everything had been all that great afterwards. There had been no happily-ever-after, and a lot of people felt that the bad old days had in fact been better. The man driving his tenth-hand Volvo across the small road leading to his village just half an hour outside Berlin certainly felt so. He had been raised to think the Soviet way was the only way, and that one-day the true workers paradise would come. Now, 20 years or so later that yearning for paradise had turned into an overt loathing for the west, and all it stood for. His children did not understand him, his wife left him to go west, and all he was left with were his job, his ramshackle house and his Volvo….
The flash of light that appeared on the road in front of him blinded him momentarily, and as he retook himself, he was just able to brace himself for the impact his vehicle was about to have with a wooden fence. As he got out after the crash, his first concern was for his car, and when he saw that his radiator had burst, he knew he had to find somebody to blame. He looked back at the road to where the light had appeared.
Rocks were scattered around the woman that stood there. The rocks were glowing and gave of an eerie red light. The woman was dressed in tight fitting clothing, leather boots, leather pants, and an extremely short top. She would have been stunningly beautiful, had it not been for the horns jutting from her forehead. She stood there taking in the surroundings, loosely holding an axe she had swung over her shoulder. “Oh, yeah…. I’m back,” she said, and then she finally noticed the man and his wrecked car.
The man saw her and summoned all his wits about him to exclaim: “What the Hell are you?” The woman started walking toward him, and answered: “Do not be afraid… my name is Iliyana…. And I… Oh, the horns…. I get it….” She waved her hand across her face and the horns disappeared. The man started backing away, and ran of….
“Oh Well” Iliyana shrugged, and walked towards the car. She found his jacket still in the car, including a driver’s license, a few hundred euros and some receipts. She took everything in, and saw the Berlin addresses on most of the receipts…”What’s this? German?” She put the jacket on, wrapped her axe in a blanket that she found in the trunk of the car, put the money away, and muttered to her self “Berlin it is then…”, and disappeared again in a circle that she created underneath her feet.