Guest- Yeah, eventually we'll get a chapter around that.
Before we start, fair warning, there's not going to be a lot of action around until Thanos comes around. Mainly just going to be talking from here on out.
"We're approaching Wakanda." Said Proxima as she steered her ship towards the hidden city of Wakanda, perhaps the most advanced city on Earth to date. Her ship was cloaked so as to prevent Wakanda from intercepting them and shooting them down before they entered communication range with them. "You might want to speak to your friend here before they detect us and either demand who we are or open fire on us, depending on the mood and personality of those operating their defense network." Steve nodded at that before operating the console in the cockpit that Proxima told him beforehand operated the communication systems of this ship. She also told him how to operate it as well so as to prevent him from making a mistake that costed them their lives.
After a minute or two, Steve began to broadcast a signal on open channels before speaking.
"This is Steve Rogers." Said Steve as he spoke. "I'm currently on a cloaked ship approaching Wakanda. We're going to uncloak soon and appear on your scanners, Wakanda. Don't shoot us down. We're on very important business. Business that I need to speak to your king about." With that, Steve looked at Proxima, who sighed. Hoping that he didn't just make a mistake, Proxima uncloaked her ship, revealing themselves to the world and the Wakanda air force. Another minute or two passed before, they received a transmission from someone.
"Captain Steve Rogers. Your ship is in sight and we are approaching it." Said someone over the radio. Just as soon as they said it, a few Wakanda fighters appeared and began tailing their ship. Proxima had to restrain herself from either trying to escape the fighters or opening fire on them, reminding herself that they were friends. At least she hoped so. "We'll escort you to our king. Be advised, if we detect even the slightest hint of aggression from you, we will open fire on you."
"Understood." Said Steve. Soon the fighters went in front of their ship and began escorting it to the city of Wakanda. A few minutes passed before the technologically city of Wakanda appeared before them.
Proxima, though she has seen arguably superior races build more advanced cities before in her travels, she had to respect the humans of this Wakanda for all this. A single large asteroid containing only Vibranium, perhaps one of the largest source in the history of the universe, landed near them and they began to harvest it's properties to create the city that was before her know while keeping their culture relatively intact. It was impressive.
"I hope this king T'Challa is as understanding and resourceful as you make him out to be." Said Proxima. "His people's technology will be instrumental in stopping Thanos from acquiring the Infinity Stones on Earth."
"I know." Said Steve as Proxima followed the fighters to a large landing pad in front of a large tower. "He'll help fight Thanos. I promise you. He fought his own cousin when he tried to use Wakanda's resources against the rest of the world." Proxima gave a grunt at that, before powering down her ship.
"Let us hope that your faith in him is warranted." Said Proxima as the two walked towards the exit of the ship so they can meet up with this T'Challa and inform him of everything. Opening up the rear exit of the ship, Proxima first jumped out and landed perfectly on her feet with Steve not to far behind. Looking around them, Proxima saw a group of warrior women walking towards them, all armed with spears. With them was a man in royal garbs. Upon seeing the man, Steve went up to him and greeted him, to which the man did as well.
"It is good to see you again, captain." Said the man in royal garbs, extending a hand, to which Steve took and they shook. "As much as I wish otherwise, I suspect that this is not a meeting just because you wish to see me again." Steve nodded at that.
"I'm afraid so." Said Steve. "I've come to warn you about something. Something that threatens everyone here on Earth." The man nodded seriously at that.
"I'd see." Said the man before looking at the Proxima, a brow raised at her appearance. "Does it have anything to do with that woman you're with?" Steve nodded at that.
"Yes." Said Steve, completely serious. "Very much so." The man nodded at that, gauzing at Proxima with hardened eyes, trying to gauge her, to which Proxima also gauzed at him, showing no fear or contempt towards the man. After a minute passed, the man stopped starring at Proxima and looked back at Steve.
"Very well, follow me." Said the man. "We'll discuss this in private." With that, the man urged Steve and Proxima to follow him to the large building before them, which they did. As the three walked, the warrior women began to follow them, keeping an eye on both Steve and Proxima, their weapons ready at all time and ensuring there was little distance between them and the two outsiders of Wakanda.
"I assume this man is the king of Wakanda?" Asked Proxima, looking at Steve as they walked, uncaring to the crass way she said it. "T'Challa, correct?" Steve just nodded at that.
"Yes, if there's anyone that will listen to us and take us seriously as well as make preparations for his people to fight off against Thanos, it's him." Said Steve. "Trust me, he'll listen and help us." Proxima wasn't sure about that, but decided to trust Steve on this. Entering the building the group entered an elevator and they went up. A few guards had to stay behind as they couldn't fit in the elevator though.
A few seconds later, the elevator arrived in a floor with very few people on it. Exiting the elevator, the group moved around a few more seconds before T'Challa opened a door and entered it.
Entering the room as well, Proxima and Steve saw that it was a simple meeting room with a good view of the city of Wakanda. Sitting on a leather chair, T'Challa beckoned Proxima and Steve to take a seat, Proxima on his right and Steve on his left, while his guards took their positions near T'Challa. Once they sat, T'Challa spoke.
"I assume what you wish to speak to me is something that threatens the world, correct?" Asked T'Challa, knowing that Steve was wanted by the UN and that he wouldn't risk his nation's sovereignty if it wasn't something important.
"Yes." Said Steve, looking at T'Challa. "But it's not just Earth, though. It's for all life in the universe." T'Challa stayed silent at that, taking this in, before beckoning Steve to continue. "There's this alien madman called Thanos. He's collecting gems of incredible power called the Infinity Stones in order to wipe out half of all sentient life in the universe. All in a bid of saving people." T'Challa stilled stayed silent and expressionless on this, but it was clear that he was shaken on what Steve just told him.
"Do you have proof of this?" Asked T'Challa after a moment. He knew that Steve wouldn't be going to him in order to tell him this unless he was absolutely sure that this mad man would actually do this, but having proof would help his case, especially for something outlandish as this.
"I do." Said Steve, looking over at Proxima. "She's it." Seeing the attention directed to her, Proxima spoke.
"What he says is true, human." Said Proxima. T'Challa guards glared at her for her disrespect for T'Challa, but the king of Wakanda raised his hand to keep them from acting. "Thanos is trying to retrieve the Infinity Stones to commit a mass genocide the universe has never seen before in it's history. All in the name of saving them from themselves. I know it because I used to be one of his most trusted warriors before I realized what was going on. I assure you, human, what Steve is telling you is true. Thanos will come here to Earth to collect the Infinity Stones here and when he has collected them all will use them to commit a mass, simultaneous genocide. If you have any conscious and even a portion of the good man Steve tells me you are, you'll help us or else a great deal of people will die." T'Challa stayed silent at that, gauzing at Proxima for a good long while before speaking.
"Captain Rogers." Said T'Challa. "Do you trust this woman?" Steve, upon hearing that, nodded while speaking.
"I trust her, T'Challa. She's both saved my life and provided the means to permanently take down HYDRA. That info that came from me? It came from her." Said Steve. "That, at least, deserves some of your consideration, T'Challa." Processing that, T'Challa looked between the two of them before nodding.
"I trust you, Steve, but my council may not be the same." Said T'Challa. "Nor the UN. I may be able to mobilize my army for Thanos and his coming, but I will face backlash and conflict if I can't provide evidence that supports an alien coming to commit mass genocide. The testimony of two people may not be enough for some of the council and definitely for the UN. So, can you provide some physical evidence of this." Instead of being infuriated at this, Proxima nodded.
"I have some recordings that may support what I'm trying to say." Said Proxima. "Recordings of Thanos announcing his grand plan to his allies and him defending his actions to several people that earned his personal attention." T'Challa nodded at that.
"That will suffice." Said T'Challa. "Bring this to me and I'll judge if it is sufficient enough for my council. My guards will escort you to your ship." Proxima nodded at that before getting up and leaving with two of T'Challa's guards. Once they left, T'Challa motioned for the rest to leave them as well, saying he completely trusted Steve and saw him as no threat. Once they left, T'Challa looked at Steve and spoke. "That woman, Steve, do you truly trust her?" Upon hearing that Steve frowned.
"What do you mean?" Asked Steve, looking at T'Challa.
"Do you trust her like you trust Tony Stark and the other Avengers before the U.S. government restricted you all? Like your old friend Bucky?" Asked T'Challa. "Will you risk your life and the trust of those that are still willing to work with you by placing your faith on her while others don't? Will you save her life?"
"Of course." Said Steve. "She's had plenty of times to leave me to die or kill me during the whole time we worked together, even if the time we worked together is short. She's aggressive and blunt to her allies, but she's a good person at heart. She wants to take down Thanos as much as you and I want. She can be trusted." T'Challa, upon hearing that, nodded.
"I assume she has done something that has earned such trust from you?" Asked T'Challa. "Do not lie to me captain. I know you enough that you won't do the things you do for her without you fully trusting her." Steve sighed before nodding.
"She told me of what she did during her time as one of Thanos's soldiers." Said Steve. "She told me that she was his adopted daughter after he came to her world and that she committed genocide on countless worlds in his name because she thought she was doing it all for the greater good. To prevent a species from dying out due to overpopulation." T'Challa just motioned for Steve to keep talking, withholding judgement until he was done. "She eventually realized that her way of thinking was wrong and that all she was doing wasn't saving people from overpopulation. She was just leaving decaying societies that are descending to anarchy. It broke her and made her want to take down Thanos for everything. For all that died in his name. All that she killed in his name." T'Challa nodded as he processed all this.
"I see." Said T'Challa, looking at the table before them. "And did she discover all this on her own?"
"No, her younger sister helped her figure it all out." Said Steve, causing T'Challa to nod again.
"I see." Said T'Challa, still not looking at Steve. "This plays into my question, Steve. Will you risk your remaining allies and friends for this woman? She has committed many vile deeds in the name of a madman. Even if she now wants to atone for all that she did, that provides very little comfort to the amount of blood that is on her hands. I very much doubt that some like Hawkeye and Bucky Barnes would like to work with her when they found out her history."
"They will." Said Steve. "We're all not clean. Romanov has done a lot of morally questionable things as well and so has Bucky, albeit under mind control."
"But not to the same extent as her." Argued T'Challa, looking at Steve. "I will work for her Steve, do not doubt that, but I fear some of our allies will be infuriated, or at the very least, uncomfortable, with working with someone that had helped kill so many people, regardless of species, when they discover her past. They may want to be locked up for the rest of her life after we've dealt with Thanos. So, I ask again, will you risk your remaining relationships to protect this woman? Do you believe she doesn't deserve to be incarcerated for life just because she wants to atone for all that she's done?" Steve stared at T'Challa, the two men staring each other down. A minute passed before Steve spoke.
"Yes." Said Steve. "Even if she killed a million people and did it without remorse at the time, if she genuinely feels remorse at killing those people and want to atone for it all but also doesn't want to do it by remaining in a prison, then yes. I don't believe she should be locked up for life. Maybe serve a good amount of time for it all, but not for life." T'Challa nodded at that.
"I see your morality is still intact, captain. Good." Said T'Challa, remembering his cousin Erik Killmonger and how he wanted to spare him and give him a second chance at life. "But I fear that she may not give you that choice to defend her when the time comes." Upon hearing that, Steve looked at T'Challa in confusion, asking what he meant. T'Challa then spoke. "I see it in her eyes, captain. Seen behind the mask of indifference and see the crushing guilt. Of all she's done and her want for penitence and forgiveness for the things that she's done. And the bitterness she has that there is only one way to achieve it." He then looked at Steve with a serious look on his face. "You know what I'm speaking of." Steve just stayed silent as he realized what T'Challa meant. "If you disagree with her decision and wish something else, then I recommend talking to her and convincing her to live beyond her want to see her adopted father fall." Steve just nodded as the two waited for Proxima to come, the air heavy with the realization of what Proxima wanted to do after Thanos is defeated.
Few minutes later
"Here it is, human." Said Proxima as she arrived with an advanced looking chip in her left hand. Placing it on the table before T'Challa, Proxima sat next to Steve as T'Challa took the chip. "If you wish help in accessing it's contents, send for me. Steve and I will be staying in Wakanda for some time before we make our next move."
"I thank you for the offer, but I fear my top engineer would like the challenge of dealing with this by herself." Said T'Challa, wondering if this little chip will give his little sister some challenge. "In the meantime, you are my guests. As a result, you are under my protection and supervision. I expect you two to be on your best behavior."
"We will." Said Steve. "If it's alright, king T'Challa, can I see my friend. Bucky. I want to see how he's doing." T'Challa nodded at that.
"I will have one of my guards escort you to him." Said T'Challa. "I suspect he'll want the visit and to be informed of this dangerous individual that is Thanos." Steve nodded at that, agreeing with T'Challa completely. "Good, I'll arrange some rooms be given to you during your stay here and for your ship to move to one of our hangers. It would be incredibly rude of me to not give you accommodations during your stay in Wakanda. I'll contact you when it's all done." With that, T'Challa left the two alone, leaving with his guards. As he made his way out, T'Challa looked at Steve, who nodded. Once their host was gone were gone, Steve looked at Proxima, a serious look on his face, before speaking.
"What are you going to do when Thanos is defeated?" Asked Steve, completely serious. Proxima, upon hearing that, looked at Steve.
"Why are you asking this of me?" Asked Proxima, looking at Steve as he looked at her with that impassive look on his face. Getting no answer, Proxima scoffed. "Once Thanos is gone, I'll be ensuring the last of his foul legacy is gone from the world. So that, no one can pick up his insane work ever again."
"And by legacy, you mean yourself included?" Asked Steve. Upon hearing that, Proxima looked at Steve with her own impassive look.
"What do you mean?" Asked Proxima, wondering what is going on.
"You're going to kill yourself once Thanos is gone, aren't you?" Asked Steve. Actually, blinking in surprise, Proxima opened her mouth to speak when Steve cut her off. "Don't try to lie to me, Proxima. I know what you're planning. T'Challa figured it out when he looked into your eyes. He told me of your plan. What you plan to do after Thanos is defeated. And I want to say, you don't have to do it. You can still make things right. You can atone for all that you've done." Upon hearing that, Proxima's temper flared. Getting up, she brought out her blade and placed it near Steve's heart. Instead of acting on instinct, Steve stayed calm as Proxima glared at him, eyes full of anger.
"You have no idea how many I've helped slain!" Yelled Proxima, anger present in her voice. "How many I've gladly slain for my father, thinking it was all for the greater good! How I did it all without question! If it weren't for my little sister, I would still be a puppet for my father. You think I deserve to continue living after all that I've done!? That any amount of atonement can fix what I've helped accomplish!? You're sadly mistaken, Steve. Why should I continue living when millions, perhaps billions, lie in unmarked graves and even more living in worser conditions than they were before Thano arrived? All of which I helped because I didn't think for myself. That I allowed myself to stay loyal to Thanos for so long." She then leaned in closer to Steve, their faces literally centimeters apart. "Why should such a person live after doing all that? Even if she's willing to rectify those mistakes and atrocities she's committed. Will you allow any of your genocidal madmen or women to continuing living because they saw the errors of their way and want to rectify them?" Steve just stared at Proxima for a moment before nodding.
"If they truly want to, then yes." Said Steve, causing Proxima to glare at him harder. "It may cause people to hate me and call me a naïve fool, but if those madmen wanted to truly reform, then I'm all for giving them that chance. And the same thing applies to you Proxima. You saw the errors of your ways and want to rectify them. You want to atone for your mistakes. You want to make things right. And that is enough for me. How you want to atone for all your mistakes is up to you but killing yourself isn't the way to do it."
"How!?" Demanded Proxima, glaring at Steve. She knew he was naïve, but this was taking it to a whole new level. "The people I've killed, helped kill, will receive the peace they want, deserve, when I die. Their spirits will be at peace knowing that I'm no longer going out and killing more people like them and bringing misery to others. Why should be continuing to live bring them peace!?"
"By continuing to atone and rectifying your mistakes. To prevent others from suffering like they did. You think that Thanos isn't the only one that will ruin people's lives? There's always going to another thug or villain that will exploit the weak. And we need all the people we can get to stop those people when they come up." Said Steve. Upon hearing that, Proxima scoffed.
"Are you suggesting I be a hero? Like you?" Asked Proxima. "I've have blood on my hands, Steve, far too much of it for people to ever consider me a hero. The moment people know of my history, they'll recoil away from me in revulsion and fear. I can never be a hero."
"You can." Said Steve. "And people can see you as a hero as well. You just need to work hard on it. To change the image you built up on yourself. And if people continue to look down on you, call you a monster that can never change, then I'll be there to support you all the way." Upon hearing that Proxima actually blinked in surprise. She looked at Steve's eyes to see for any deceit in them. When she found nothing, she spoke.
"You'll receive more hate and criticism from your populace, your government for siding with a mass murder as me." Said Proxima, confusion in her voice. "Your own allies that sided with you might leave you as well because of this. You may even be called a madman for supporting someone such me. You'll risk everything for someone such as I."
"Yes." Said Steve, causing Proxima to blink again. "Because I know you and what you want. I know that your hurting for all the things you thought were right and that you want to rectify your mistakes. I also know how your mistakes can drive you to think that nothing can be done to fix your mistakes and that the only way to end it all is to just end your life. But that's not the way, Proxima. Do that and everything your sister thought of you will be for nothing. And if I need to help you see that, then so be it." Proxima, hearing all that, was speechless. A human soldier, who should be all rights hate her for what she did and bring her to justice, even if she's trying to help him defeat a greater evil, is potentially throwing away everything he had to help her. Opening her mouth, Proxima couldn't do much but look at him in stunned silence. Retracting her blade, Proxima moved back away from Steve, blinking all the way. Sitting down in a seat, Proxima looked at Steve, confusion in her eyes.
"Why?" Asked Proxima. "Why would you help someone like me? You stand to lose much for so little. You are not like my Gamora. You don't have any sort of attachments to me that provide any sort of bias. Why help me?" Steve then went over to Proxima and held her right hand, causing her to look at his blue eyes. Soft and full of naïve hope that Proxima couldn't help but find endearing.
"Because I refuse to let you die a pointless death when you could do so much more for both yourself and others." Said Steve. "Trust me. You can turn around and atone much more than just helping defeat Thanos and killing yourself after. You just have to believe. I can help you." Proxima's gut churned and her heart skipped a beat at Steve's genuine words of sympathy and pity. It was much like Gamora's own want for her to fight with her and see the truth about her adopted father. But unlike that, Steve wanted her to forge a better future for herself and try to rectify her mistakes by saving those that couldn't defend themselves from those that prey on the defenseless, much like him. And he believed that she can do it. It was touching. Naïve, but touching.
Looking at Steve's hand around her own, Proxima sighed and looked at Steve.
"I don't believe I can be the person you think I can be, Steve." Said Proxima. "But I once thought I would never betray my father and look where I am now. That was changed by my sister. Perhaps you can do the same with my plans after Thanos is defeated." Steve just nodded at that.
"If you think I can do that, then so be it." Said Steve, tightening his hold on Proxima's hand, to which she squeezed as well. A few seconds later, the two let go and Proxima looked at Steve again.
"I suppose you wish to see you friend. This Bucky." Said Proxima. Steve nodded.
"You can come if you wish." Said Steve. "I think that Bucky will like you." Proxima doubted that, but agreed to come. Nodding at that, the two left the room to go find T'Challa so they can tell him that they wish to see Steve's old friend. As they walked, Proxima looked at Steve and felt her heart flutter slightly at him. This human was intriguing to her. So naïve, yet she found herself being endeared to his naïve traits, something she usually found abhorrent. Perhaps it was because he was giving her a chance to be something better and continue to believe in her since their cooperation started. Or perhaps she…no. That couldn't be possible. She couldn't be developing feelings for this human. She couldn't.
Shaking her head, Proxima looked at Steve again and pursed her lips. Then again, he wouldn't be a wrong choice for a mate. He was rather handsome and quite strong. And a good set of morals she didn't have a problem with.
Yes, perhaps a good choice for her as a mate. Resolving to get him for herself later, Proxima wondered what would be an appropriate way to make him hers and what humans find appropriate and inappropriate as mating rituals.
Whatever they were, she very much doubted Steve will appreciate the idea of them going out and killing a mutual foe or engaging in a fight for dominance in a relationship. And probably starting a relationship via sexual intercourse. Yes, she very much doubted those will help her odds to snare him as her mate.