Hammered Part II
The room was dark and she awoke to a pounding headache and complete disorientation. Rolling off the bed, every step was agonizing. White spots dominated her vision and a wave of nausea slowed her progress. Carol paused to take stock of her surroundings. The cold, tiled floor was the first clue that she wasn’t in her home. The lack of medical equipment meant it also couldn’t be a hospital despite the fact that she wore a medical gown. A plain wardrobe and pedestal sink stood opposite the bed. There was a curtain on one side of the room and, ignoring the pain in her head, she pulled back the blinds. There was only a blank wall, not a window.
She gingerly padded over to the door. Reaching for the handle, Carol was startled when it turned and swung open. A young woman on the other side narrowly avoided being cold-cocked when Carol checked her swing.
“Well, that’s not very gracious of you,” the young woman laughed. “Please get back in your bed. You’re suffering from a concussion.” She took Carol’s arm and guided her back to lay on the bed. “I’m Dr. Barbara Morse, but you can call me Bobbi.”
“This isn’t a hospital,” Carol croaked, “Where am I?”
“No it isn’t a hospital, not exactly, although you’re receiving the best care available. You’ve been out of it for a few days now. You’re lucky we found you when we did.”
The memory of her fight with Hammerhead came rushing back. Feeling her aching elbow, she recalled landing a blow on what felt like solid steel.
“It’s a bone contusion,” Bobbi nodded, “You should be grateful that it wasn’t completely shattered. We believe that his skull is lined with a woven Adamantium or similar alloy. Based on the files we’ve reviewed on your tablet, that’s about the only thing about him we knew and you didn’t.”
Carol relaxed a bit, realizing that she hadn’t been captured by the Maggia.
“I realize that this must be a bit unusual for you,” Bobbi continued, “but we’ve been trying to find you for quite some time.”
“Not that unusual,” Carol chuckled to herself, thinking of Felicia and Oracle.
“We finally got a fix on you and followed you to the Hunters Warehouse. Hammerhead had knocked you out cold and it looked like things were about to get really ugly when we stepped in.”
“Who do I have to thank for that?”
“Agent Mockingbird tracked you down,” was the reply from a well-dressed man just entering the room, “and barely got there in time to save your sorry butt.” Striding confidently to Carol’s bedside, a hand casually resting in his pants pocket, he appraised Carol with a raised eyebrow. He was handsome, sporting an immaculately groomed goatee, dark glasses and slightly greying hair.
“If it’s possible, I’d like to meet him and say thanks,” Carol asked wearily. Her earlier walk around the room had taxed her and she was growing tired.
“Not him - her,” the man pointed at Bobbi.
“You’re welcome,” Bobbi nodded, “Now get some rest. You may need a couple of days off your feet still but your recuperative abilities are off the charts so it may be quicker than I expect.”
“I need to get in touch with my office. They’ll be worried about me.”
“We’ve taken care of it,” the suit guy frowned.
“Uhh, ok? So, who are you and where am I?” Carol inquired.
“You’ve been brought to the Sentient World Observation and Response Department’s facility. S.W.O.R.D., for short.” He paused, waiting for a reaction that wasn’t coming. With a shrug he continued, “S.W.O.R.D.’s mandate is to manage extra-terrestrial individuals and events which is how you popped up on our radar. There really isn’t much we can do about it just yet but we’re aware of what you could call a UFO in orbit. It’s not much of a stretch to connect it to more and more people like you suddenly appearing.”
“Still not answering my question.”
“I’m offended,” he said, stretching out the words and pulling off his glasses, “that you don’t know. Those were my missiles hanging off of your jet, Major. I’m Tony Stark. I also fund this organization. Now get some rest and we’ll talk about your little misadventure soon.” He abruptly turned and walked out.
Carol stared incredulously at the back of his head and looked to Dr. Morse, who’d stood silently throughout the exchange.
Bobbi could only nod in agreement when Carol flatly stated, “What a jerk.”
To be continued...