Pain flooded Amber when she came to. Every noise in the room hit her ears, making her head throb. She had never heard this acutely before. Every key tap, every scratch of pens. It all registered and she felt like her head was spinning. Her limbs ached as well, and she felt weighed down. It took her several moments to register the steady moment of a heart monitor, considerably faster than a normal human. Was that her heart rate? Where was she? What had even happened?
She had signed for that program... to help America and become well known. They'd chosen her, she remembered. So she showed up and ran her through everything she needed to know. They were going to do a surgery on her, and make sure she was well taken care of, and she would become an American symbol. 'Like Captain America,' they had told her. She agreed.
She remembered being put under, but that was it. So now it must be shortly after that. That would mean it was 1994. Her head spun as she tried to collect herself before someone finally stepped near where she was resting. "Ms. Burks? Are you awake?" The male voice had such a clarity to it that was... strange.
Finally she opened her eyes, seeing the room clearly and sharply. It was definitely a new experience. What had they done to her? She looked around, before staring at the man by her, taking in his aging appearance. "Where am I?"
"You're in a medical center in Nevada, Ms. Burks." He informed, looking at a clipboard in his hand. She nodded slightly, shifting to sit up.
"Easy. You've been unconscious for a few weeks. How are you feeling?"
"I... ache. Things are a lot clearer than they used to be, too. I feel heavy," She complied with her answers, rubbing absently at her wrists.
"The surgery probably caused the ache. The heaviness would be accounted to the wings," The older man stated, writing on the clipboard before reaching behind Amber and tapping on something. She jolted at the feeling, turning her head to stare at what he had called her wings. Right where her shoulder blades were sat a pair of folded wings, their brown feathers ruffled slightly. How the hell had she failed to notice those? And how did they even get there?
Wordlessly, she shifted, focusing on the new growths in attempt to stretch them out. After a few minutes of hard concentration, they unfurled, stretching to their max span. They hit a few things on tables, making her wince and furl them back towards her body. It felt weird. She'd spent 22 years not having wings, living life with wings now was going to be… weird.
"At least you have control of them. We will do tests on you soon, especially physically. You will also be taken to new living quarters." The man informed, before turning and leaving the ward. What had Amber gotten herself in to?
It had been nearly a year after the procedure on Amber had taken place, and each day was easier to deal with than the last. For the most part, at least. She was physically adjusted to the changes in her body, that was surprisingly easy. Even mentally it wasn't that bad. What was hard on her mentally was the state she was practically forced to live in. Sure, they gave her a nice room, but she felt alone. There was no one besides medical specialists running tests on her. They had filled her in on what exactly happened to her. They had managed to recreate parts of the super soldier serum given to Captain America. She was now… well, she didn't age. Supposedly. She was stronger, too. That was evident in the beginning when she had lashed out at her doctors. Beyond that everything seemed normal. If you ignored the bird-like qualities she possessed.
She wanted out. She had grown restless, pacing her room. Her wings would flex just the same, eyes darting around the room. She couldn't do this anymore. It was too much. She just wanted to hide. To be kept away, in peace. It would be hard, with the wings. No one could live normally like that. Perhaps there was something else she could do. She didn't know what. She just hated living like a caged bird. The thought only made a wry laugh leave her lips. How ironic.
Perhaps she would wait until they took her out to do some flight tests. She could strike then, maybe. If she bested the small number of assistants there, she might be able to fly away. Of course, this would mean a life of running and hiding, but she could manage it, couldn't she? She hoped so. It was her only chance of something beyond this, and part of her deeply craved the feel of wind beneath her wings. Maybe she could trade comfort for that. For this new part of her, that wanted nothing more than to fly and be free. Eagles weren't meant to be like this. This was no way to live.
Amber turned, eyes taking in the surroundings of her room. Not a place to perch, the ceilings too low, stark white walls. Even the bed, small and not enough blankets or pillows. It was uncomfortable and cramped. Maybe soon they would take her out to fly again. That was all she wanted right now. Exhaustion suddenly weighed her body down, wings drooping. She could only hope for now, as she crawled into bed, trying to add more padding and warmth with her wings. Soon, she would have her freedom.