Chapter 2: Beware the Ravens


Marino pulls the threadbare blanket closer to her small frame as she shivers in the morning air. She can feel the light of the rising sun dancing on her bare skin but it holds no warmth. It doesn't help that the smooth concrete walls and tiled floors of her room do nothing to keep any heat in the room. She buries herself deeper into the blankets in an effort to escape the chill. She lays like that for a awhile, too cold to pull herself out of bed.

Her eyes began to droop as she is lulled back to sleep. She almost dozes off but the loud clanging of someone knocking on the metal door keeps her eyes open.

A soft voice rings out from the other side. "Breakfast is going to be ready in 15, if you want to join." As soon as they are done, Marino hears footsteps echo as they leave.

While she doesn't really want to get up and brace the cold, she hasn't gotten a chance to leave her room since the alarm was raised two days ago. She decides she should bite the bullet and face the cold, being stuck in her room for so long was starting to make her feel claustrophobic.

As she gets up and puts on the clothing SHIELD provides, she stumbles around, feeling for the reinforced door. She knows she found it when her fingers brush across something that feels like ice. She fumbles for the latch, pushing the door open, and exits her room into the hallway.

Marino lets her fingers brush the wall as she makes her way to the cafeteria. As she walks the path she has many times before Marino notices there isn't as many guards as usual. She doesn't take it to be a bad thing. SHIELD has a habit of making sure there's always multiple sets of eyes watching her every step and every other kid in here. It made her skin crawl. She isn't going to complain that she finally gets a little breathing room and doesn't feel like she's always walking on thin ice.

It doesn't take her long until she reaches the cafeteria. From what she can sense, she seems to be the last one to arrive. One of the agents at the entrance guides her to a table. She grabs for a chair and sits down as the agent leaves to grab her meal. The agent comes back and lays the tray in front of her and leaves to go back to their post. From the smells that waft up from the tray she assumes today's breakfast is eggs and toast. She starts to dig in but is interrupted when she hears another tray placed down on the opposite side of the table. She can't tell who it is right away but she knows it's not Alec. He's never talked to her of his own volition, and it's not Tarca for the same reason. They both seem to prefer being alone. The only other person it could be would be Montse.

The person, who she assumes is Montse, is shaking their leg up and down in what Marino assumes is impatience. She seems to be distracted as well with her food remaining untouched since she sat down at Marino's table. Marino stops eating for a moment, puts her fork down and clasps her hands together in her lap. She tries to drum up the courage to say something to Montse but the sudden feeling of tightness in her chest stops her. Montse seems too distracted to notice or care and, thankfully, is the one to talk first.

"Hey Trace, you know what's up with the new girl?" The voice confirms Marino's early thought about the person being Montse. Her voice, though, sounds a little muffled as if she's not facing Marino and looking somewhere else. The line of questioning takes her by surprise.

"What new girl?"

"The one over there with the black hair." Marino assumes Montse is pointing in the direction that had her distracted earlier. There's a slight pause as Montse realises her mistake. "Right, sorry. Forgot about the blind thing. There's a new girl on your left."

"I thought that was Tarca." Marino can sense someone to her left but she can't exactly identify who it is. She had just assumed it was Tarca because that's where she usually sat.

"Nah, pretty sure Tarca got tired of the whole confined to your room thing and got into a fight with an agent. Or at least, that's what it sounded like. She either got more days in lock down or they finally gave up on her and moved her to some secret prison or something." Montse says nonchalantly.

Marino unclasps her hands and picks her fork back up as she pushes food around on her plate. She doesn't know what to say to that but she does hope that Tarca is still here. This facility is their last chance. If they're considered a lost cause here, then that's it for them. They'll be confined to a cell for the rest of their lives.

Thankfully, Montse picks up the slack in conversation.

"You know, I bet new girl has something to do with the lock down. There's no way someone shows up right after a supposed lock down drill and they aren't related. She even has the full set of jewelry, collar and bracelets, so she has to be dangerous." At the reminder of the collar Marino briefly ghosts her fingers over her own, the metal feeling like ice. When she first arrived, SHIELD told her it was to keep her from using her abilities without supervision. Not that she had any, but SHIELD was always overly cautious.

"Do you think she has anything to do with the missing guards?" Marino asks.

"Probably." Montse says.

There's a long pause as the conversation lulls once again. Marino tries to think of something to say but her thoughts are interrupted with Montse loudly slamming her hands down onto the table, her bracelets making a jarring noise as they make contact with the tabletop.

"I bet she could help me, I mean, help us get out of here!" Her voice is giddy, filled with far too much enthusiasm. It makes Marino nervous.

"Don't let someone over hear you." Marino hisses.

"Relax," Montse waves her off, "we're stuck in a glorified prison. If we didn't think of escaping they'd be suspicious of us."

"Still-"

"Shh. No worries I got it all figured out. I just need a sacrificial lamb." Montse's eagerness does nothing to aleve Marino's worries. She doesn't get much time to dwell on them as Montse gets up and drags her along to the new mystery girl.

Marino doesn't even get time to voice her objections before Montse stops right before the table, pushing Marino just in front of her. She stumbles a bit before coming to a stop in front of mystery girl. As she finds her footing she doesn't know what to say so she just stands there awkwardly. Montse looms behind her, using her as a human shield if the new girl gets violent. Marino can't tell what expression is on new girl's face and it's only adding on to her nervousness. She tries to think of something to say to lift the awkwardness but her brain just keeps short circuiting.

After a few seconds it becomes clear to Montse that Marino isn't going to say anything. Her impatience gets the best of her. She moves out from her protection behind Marino and puts her hand forward as she introduces herself.

"I'm Montse Graciana Andréia Laurita Torres." The mystery girl does not respond nor take Montse's hand so she lets it fall back down. However, she does have the mystery girl's attention, her pale grey eyes scrutinize the girls before her. She seems to come to some conclusion, judging by the disapproving frown on her face. She gets up to leave, deeming them as not worth her time. She turns her back as she prepares to walk away.

"Hold up." Montse says as she grabs mystery girl's arm before she leaves completely. The mystery girl immediately tenses beneath Montse's grasp, her hands forming fists. What few agent's are in the room immediately focus their attention on Montse and the mystery girl, with some of them reaching for their holstered weapons. Marino notices the tension in the air and tugs on Montse's shirt, trying to indicate they should leave the new girl be. Montse gives no indication that she knows nor cares. Mystery girl turns to look back at them.

"Remove. Your hand." Her voice is taut and her words are laced with a violent threat if they're not followed. Montse does not cave in.

"At least tell me your name first." Mystery girl looks like she wants to punch Montse instead but out of the corner of her eyes she can see the agents, many of them with their weapons at the ready. There's a moment of silence as she contemplates what to say, all the while Montse gives mystery girl the best puppy eyes she can. In return mystery girl gives her a look full of disdain but she concedes.

"Valrun"

Montse removes her hand and Valrun immediately leaves the room. As she disappears out of sight, the agents in the room seem to give a sigh of relief as the tension leaves their bodies and they remove their hands from their holsters.

Montse goes back to sit at the table and continue breakfast, Marino trails after her. As soon as they sit a smile lights up Montse's face.

"She's definitely our ticket out of here."


A/N

Surprise! The stories not dead! I do apologize for the long wait. I want to thank everyone who sent in a character, there was so many good ones to chose from. Unfortunately, I can't make every character a main character becuse that would just clutter the story to much and make it confusing to read. However, I do plan to integrate some characters in smaller roles and such so keep an eye out! Thanks for reading and I hope you stick around for the next chapter!

Marino Trace belongs to ObligatoryCoolName

Alec Laviolette belongs to TheSilentBlackBird

Tarca Haynes belongs to ShABlA2000

Montse Graciana Andréia Laurita Torres belongs to tobi-is-an-artist-too

Special thanks to CharlesAtlasJohnson for helping me with this chapter!