Disclaimer: I don't own either the Buffy verse or the Marvel verse. See previous disclaimers.
A big thank you to MissE for helping me out a Beta.
Steve broke into Secure Storage 10C Warehouse. This was an unlisted asset. He snuck around the hidden warehouse looking for evidence that Fury was hiding something very important. Bobbi looked on from her hiding spot.
She saw crates stored securely, each in their own berth.
Steve jumped to the upper levels. She moved into a better position as soon as he was out of sight.
Cap was opening a crate. She couldn't see what's inside, but she didn't have to. He pulled out a futuristic looking rifle. She assumed that the crate would contain more of the same.
She'd confirm that after Cap left. Steve grabbed a couple rifles and left quickly.
Bobbi checked the same crate and a few others to make sure.
Among the other crates she found a telescoping battle staff. She studied the quality. She noticed that she could disassemble the staff for ease of maintenance. The crate was full, but a matched pair was in its own case. 'This... This is adamantium.' She took them both. She figured Faith might want the other staff. If she knew Xander, and she did, there was a very good chance she could get him into blackmailing Fury into releasing the staves into their custody.
Her old boss was trying really hard to get them to join on his latest wild ass venture, no way was she doing this without some perks, and these babies were as sweet as it got. She could already tell that they had an energy blaster on one end. When she had the time she needed to see how many charges a staff held, and maybe get Xander to improvise some sort of a stake attachment on the other end.
She looked at the rest of the crates and was about to check the rest of them out. There was bound to be some other goodies in there, but then her good sense took over and squashed the Slayer Weapon aquisition instincts. Xander needed to know what SHIELD was up to. Not that she thought it was wrong; she didn't. However there were enough weapons to start a small war, she didn't know with who, but it was starting to look like these new space aliens Thor was talking about. She just wondered what the weapons were doing in storage, and why they haven't been issued to the combat teams just yet. Another Xander decision. She loved being a Slayer. All the crap was Xander's to deal with. She just got pointed in the right direction and made sure what she was pointed at stopped moving when she was done.
She hurried to the cafeteria. Dawn just confirmed their location. Silent magic communicators a la Willow and her group, gotta love them.
Xander was on his second sandwich and he was still feeling peckish... He dropped the sandwich and sniffed. He couldn't detect anything. "Dawn, could you maybe..." he twigged his fingers to indicate that Dawn should do her witchy thing.
She rolled her eyes she told him that it was just as sandwich. He glared. She sighed. But she did as the paranoid jerk ordered.
She gave him a pointed stare to indicate that the sandwich was clean.
Xander was of two minds. On one hand it was a clean sandwich and it was beyond deli goodness, and he was still hungry. He suspected that his body was still changing and the energy needed some mass to work with. Muscles were still forming and he was getting denser. His center of gravity had changed. Willow was going to have a field day when she got her hands on him. He finished the sandwich and was thinking of getting another.
Dawn looked at him with disgust. 'Pig,' she thought. 'He should just lay a trough down and go to town. '
"Still pigging out I see. So not much changed than the last time." Riley Finn sat next to Dawn and smiled when she squealed with joy, and proceeded to crush him to death (if he hadn't been a somewhat successful participant of the SHIELD super soldier program.)
Sam sat next to Xander and apologized for her husband’s behavior.
Xander waved her off. They were part of the extended family and were allowed to make with the insults.
Sam gave Xander a hug and a peck on the cheek. She pulled back and looked closer at Xander, "What's wrong with your eye? Why is it glowing like that?"
"Saw that too did you? I thought it was more of Willow's witchy-pu at work. What's the story?"
"You know that guy they have in max security?" Xander asked. When the pair nodded that they did, he continued, "He tried to take possession and ran into the Willow brick wall. This guy has a heavy hand so he tries to overpower the mind and spirit, instead of just taking over control. You remember Dracula, he was a master feather-light touch. Our space Overlord wanna-be would have the delicate touch of an M1 Abrams trying to drive on a road made of egg shells. Anyway all that energy had to go somewhere, and so far the pros outweigh the cons."
Riley sighed, "Only you, Xander; voted most likely to be possessed in high school, weren't you?"
Xander threw the sandwich wrapper at Riley while the girls giggled. "So tell me about Fury's Super Soldier program. I thought there was an international ban on this sort of thing?"
"It's more like the ban on steroids. Like the one you went through while you were with the swim team."
"Ugh. Don't remind me. That was the Russian version of creating a Super Seal type soldier."
"No Shit..." began Riley, but a cough from Sam made pause. "Oh...heh, sorry honey. It slipped out."
She held out her hand, "Uh hmm."
"Oh right, sorry... Here you go." He have her a buck. At Xander and Dawn's looks he explained, "Swear jar."
"You won't believe the mouth on him. It's all the Jarheads he hangs around with after they're done on the mats. I will not have my children swear like sailors while they're still in elementary school," Sam told the two Scoobs.
At the mention of the Finns children, Dawn perked up. She was considered the cool aunt, and Buffy the stuffy but rich aunt. She was tolerated because she gave expensive gifts, but as soon as those were handed out it was time to be gone and hang out with Dawn.
Sam and Dawn got down to the important business of getting caught up. Xander and Riley were ignored and left to their own devices.
"So make with the spilly already," Xander waved to the super soldier in training to spill his guts. While they were under Dawn's privacy wards, Riley explained about the new arms race, except with super soldiers.
"Let me get this straight...you have three squads of twelve getting a variation of the super soldier formula based on the one that created Steve Rogers and another three squads work with this Pym character to create 'Giant Men' and you're serious about the last and not pulling my chain..."
"Yeah unfortunately, it's about as serious as it gets. The death rate on that project is two to the times the one on project rebirth. The only success so far is his wife."
"She can grow into a giant, just like Dawny?" Xander didn't believe how far Fury was willing to go.
"Uh...No. She can shrink. Instead of going up they went down. Pym says it's just a matter of reversing the polarity to go the other way. It works, but after a while the subject explodes."
"Ewww. Riley, that's obscene. Is there no one seriously looking at these people?"
Riley confirmed that there was, but the pressure to produce a force composed of super soldiers was intense. "Fury's bosses are really applying the pressure. Something happened in New Mexico, a whole town got destroyed. It wasn't demons, we checked. But the Council, that's Fury's superiors want a response team in place the next time there's a repeat."
"What about your people?"
Riley sighed, "I won't lie to you. For a while it was really bad. That was before they recruited me and Sam and the Sunnydale survivors. There's about fourteen of us counting me and Sam. Things began to get better when Steve Rogers was found." Riley hesitated but he continued, "Ever since then the deaths have stopped and we started getting real results. Most of the candidates are at fifty percent, but my people are closer to seventy to seventy-five percent. Sam and I top our teams at eighty-five to ninety percent of Rogers last performance evaluation. The leader is a Marine by the name of John Walker. He's close to perfect at ninety-eight. He was an ass at the beginning until my bunch kicked his team around, after the arrogance was kicked out and got knocked down face first into the mud.... Let's just say it was a work in progress until he came around."
"Any idea how they turned it around? And why the hell did you and Sam join this crazy farm?"
"Xander you didn't see that town. This wasn't a spur of the moment decision. These people know what they're doing. They took every candidate to what was left of that town. No one wants a repeat. We're at war. We just don't know with who. With the weapons to go toe-to-toe; our only other option at this point is to make the soldiers, the weapons. And I think Captain Rogers donated some blood and that pointed them in the right direction."
"Always about the blood." Xander shook his head in sadness. His family had suffered a great deal, because it was always about the blood. He also made a mental note to get this town checked out. If it was as bad as Riley was making things out to be then the shit coming down the pike will reach the slayers, better be prepared than get caught napping.
"Here comes Graham, and he has Walker with him." Riley saw a couple of soldier that just came in to the cafeteria. It was Graham and Walker. He saw Xander raise his glass to take a drink. He pointed in the soldiers direction.
Xander saw the two soldiers and spit out his drink. He barely missed Dawn and Sam.
The girls gave him the stink eye until Sam saw who caught sight of their friend and Walker. She understood immediately, her husband was evening the score in their ongoing prank war.
"Is, is that Graham? What the fuck?"
"Yeah, Xand. I wouldn't mention it if I was you. He's a little self-conscious about his condition."
"GRAHAM MILLER, WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO YOU?" Too bad Riley didn't tell Dawn as well.
Dawn ran to the much changed man she used to know.
"Hi, Dawny." Graham gave her a careful hug. After the last growth spurt he went through he had to be careful around people; while Dawn was a lot tougher than most of the guys on his squad, he still had to be careful around them as well.
"Is that Pym's fault?" Xander's eyes narrowed as he started to make plans to have a talk with the SHIELD scientist.
"Uh no. He's not part of Pym's group. He was one of those that were having problems, that is until Rogers was discovered. He gotten a lot better since then."
"How much worse could it have been? Christ, he's freaking huge. How big is he?”
"He’s almost eight feet tall. Thank god at least the growth spurts have stopped. He's still coming to grips but he could still pass for human. He's at the very edge. It was a close thing."
"Excuse me; I have to go see a man about playing God."
"Xander don't. The man is under a lot of pressure and things have improved." Riley saw the murderous look that came over his long time friend.
"Not from where I'm standing they haven't."
Dawn saw Xander leave in a rush with Riley right after him. She ran after the pair with Sam right behind. "What's going on?"
"Can't talk. Got a murder to stop."
"Who's being murdered?"
"If I don't catch him... Director Fury!"