[Dr. Ernst POV]

Things have been rather interesting with his favorite test subject as of lately. Just when he thought he was close to understanding the requirements to be met before his abilities experience a qualitative increase.

He just couldn't phantom what train of thoughts someone had to have to not be able to understand the impossibility of what his abilities represented.

Even when he tried explaining to them, a futile endeavor, about the intricacies of the subject's gene the first question they put forth was if they would be able to improve upon their super soldier serum with it.

If it wasn't for his high tolerance and level-headedness, he probably would have cursed at them for the imbecilic fools they were.

The ability to adapt was a broad subject that its theories could branch out infinitely. What the boy was showcasing was but a tip of the evolutional iceberg.

He looked at the report in his hands as he perused through it. First of all was the rate of his physical improvement which was seen to have slowed down quite considerably which he expected to happen at some point.

While his physical strength wasn't that high, it did fall within his scope of expectance albeit on the lower end but that was inconsequential.

No what he was glad about was his resistance to extreme temperatures which saw an increase of approximately 17% above his own estimates.

This discovery opened more avenues to tests to be carried out: why did his resistance to extreme temperatures experience a massive increase as opposed to his physical strength? Was he more adaptable to external stimulus rather than internal stimulus? How does his healing ability respond and evolves in respect to these changes?

The more the subject grew, the more the questions increased. The more the questions increased, the more discoveries he made. And he was always happy when such questions came forth.

It was with these constant questions that increased his understanding of the subject's gene. As it turns out, there was a limit to how the subject could grow and his recent decline in physical growth only confirmed it for him.

His regenerative ability was still increasing but that was just in rate of how long it took as averse to regenerating critical organs, so there was not much progress there either.

What did pique his interest mildly was how the subject learned how to fight that quickly. While it wasn't halfway up to the level of their top soldiers, it was still a massive improvement compared to what someone else would be able to learn in the same amount of time.

He suspected that the subject's brain itself was either reacting faster or it was getting smarter, that however opened up new possibilities. So with that in mind, he observed the subject and also read the report on his background.

As a 25 year old male, his information was nothing interesting, not that he doubt it would. As mundane as a humans life could get was how the subject lived, average in physical stature, graduated two years ago at the age of 23 with an all the more unimpressive second-class degree in Biology. While not much, he was able to learn a lot from this tidbit of information that helped narrowed his conjectures.

Considering that the mutant gene manifests itself during childhood or mostly during adolescence where both the brain and body experience a qualitative growth either randomly or due to high brain activity which could be caused by intense emotions, the fact that the subject was a decade past his mid-teens and also based on the fact that his academic records were subpar, it was more unlikely that his ability affected his IQ but it did affect his nerves and maybe the speed at which information travelled through it.

As much as it would have been most intriguing, it seemed that his abilities only affected his physical state as opposed to his mental state.

He looked once more at the information regarding the subject's recent physical evaluation training, nothing exceeding his estimations, as he recalled how the subject recent behavior.

Turns out letting him kill someone like that did more harm to his mental faculties than intended, but it worked in their favor all the less. He was surprised when the subject picked up the knife instead of the gun, well the cartridge was missing, but it still killed the amusement he would have had when the subject tried firing it only to find out that the gun was empty. Well you can't have them all.

Since that day the subject behaved rather out of it. He obeyed orders to the latter without so much as a hint of defiance which could be attributed to PTSD due to his recent action, but who was he to look a gift horse in the mouth. He immediately suggested that the subject undergo their mental conditioning therapy since this was the most opportuned time.

He did resist at first, the first few weeks at that, but as time went on he became acclimated to the treatment and responded positively with it. Maybe due to his trauma, the therapy had more positive results than any of their other patients which was another boon to them. Even he had to admit that this subject was the spitting image of an ideal soldier.

It has been over three months now since his first treatment and under heavy scrutiny he never once showed any signs of relapse.

When this was first reported, he was a little tense at first worried about whether this would affect the subject's response to data and basic intelligence. But after many intensive experiments and evaluations, he was glad that it wasn't so in the slightest but instead increased his ability to focus two-folds.

Without unnecessary emotions like panic, fear, desperation and uncertainty he was able to perform greater than ever, making him one of their most valuable assets.

All in all, this was his most interesting subject in recent years.

This brought him to another part of his research that wasn't as forthcoming.

Was is possible to extend part of his abilities, most likely his adaptability factor, to others? The most likely answer was yes.

This has been proven true for decades now but somehow his gene-code was different. Entirely different from the other mutant-gene codes he had observed, his was complicated.

Not in his structure, no. His gene structure was rather simple as compared to other mutants with rather powerful or complex abilities like those of the Omega classification with more complicated gene-code, his was rather simple.

It was how it worked that made it one of the most complex codes he'd ever seen. It was like wristwatch, simple with its structure and functions but it was its mechanisms that made it very delicate.

Still, none of this meant it couldn't be cracked. He had already made some progress with it but the results weren't substantial. He still couldn't figure out what caused him to be able to gain such resistance to physical stimuli. If he could figure this out, he would be able to replicate the gene in others even if to a lesser degree.

He put the report of the Draugr down as he picked another one up. This one however gave him a pensive look. The reason being it was a file that proposed the subject be sent into the world so that they could see how he acted on the field.

He could see how it was a perfectly reasonable proposition, but a part of him didn't want to be apart of his favorite test subject for too long but the sacrifices we make for the greater good…*sigh*

Well they had almost 2 months before he was sent out so that was a lot of time to unearth more questions and discoveries from the young man.


[Draul St. Cross POV]

Two things first:

1 - I'm never going back there.

2 - Never mess with your brain. Apparently the Walking Dead didn't stress that out enough.

The moment I woke up, finally, the vertigo that hit me had me tumbling in my bed for minutes as if I was falling from the sky. It was as if I drank a whole bottle of Irish ale after smoking weed.

After I landed from my fall, and quite literally at that, I saw myself in a different room. This one was an upgrade from the one I had before…. Hell it even had a bed… and PILLOWS.

What the hell happened when I was gone? Wait, how long was I even gone for?

I don't think Hydra would relocate me to a new room in few days, so quite some time had to have passed.

I looked around the room and couldn't help but be quite fascinated by it. It had light bulbs, two in fact and a fan. It even had a bathroom.

It was kinda small, but to me who had to lie on a piece of plank every day for the past year it looked like a presidential suite. No seriously, how many of Hydra's rooms could boast of a bed AND blankets? I was certainly moving up in the world.

Ending my sarcastic thoughts which were beginning to gain an outlook too dark for my tastes there, I tried to remember everything that happened to me for however long I was out and I started getting images.

The images came in sequences like a documentary and I had to lie on my bed for almost an hour for me to remember enough for me to piece together how long I was under.

6 months.

6 months of constant training and brainwashing before I could make it out.

I had no idea I took that long. I expected a few days and a week at most but not months. This further fueled my decision of not going back there.

All I can say is I was extremely lucky to get out. I'm not even sure if could even get in again… not any time soon anyway.

From the looks of it, I was going to be assigned a mission soon together with a team. At least this was progress as I would soon get out of this hell hole, even if I was been supervised.

As I laid on the bed, I tried to remember my time inside my head and the memory was… short. I mean, everything that happened to me there always pass in a flash every time I try to remember it as if it all happened in a single moment.

You know what, no more thoughts today. I'm very tired.

[2 days later]

Today was the day I was going on a mission and I was being lead to the team I was in. While I would have preferred to go solo, it wasn't my choice to make.

As I was led to the room that had 6 individuals in it – my team apparently, I couldn't help but wonder how long we would be out. I would give a penny for every second I spent outside this place.

I checked out the black-ops get-up we all wore and I had to admit that I really dug this outfit. Silently appreciating the outfit, I looked at the other occupants of this room. Apart from Dr. Ernst, I didn't know anybody here.

As soon as I finished looking at all of them, Dr. Ernst began.

"Agent Floch, I want you to meet the new member of your team, Mr. Cross, codenamed 'Draugr'."

"This him? For a myth he don't look much doc." The one named Floch spoke in a derisive tone, his displeasure all too clear.

"That may be true, but his value to the brass is higher than all of you combined."

"Tch." Seriously Dr. Ernst, is that anyway to promote team spirit? You just made me public enemy No. 1.

If it wasn't for my impassive state which now came natural to me even since my tangle inside my brain, I was sure the scowl that would have formed on my face would have shut Ernst's mouth.

I looked at Floch and nodded to him but the scowl on his face just deepened. Hey at least I tried.

"Good to see you are bonding already. Floch, the Draugr will be under your direct control." Ernst said as he looked at both me and Floch.

"Your mission is in Russia where you'll be briefed about your target." He ended.

"Why us though, can't the strike team in Russia handle this one?" Floch asked as the rest of us just listened.

"They lost a few members in their last mission and this target is high profile. That's all you'll get from me. You will all leave in thirty minutes." With that he picked up his files and left.

With that, the rest of the room focused on me.

"So robocop, what's your deal?" One of them with a tomahawk and looked Asian asked as he made his way around me.

Seeing as I had no reaction to his poor act of intimidation he just whistled as he came face to face with me.

"Looks like we got a tough one again. Hey boss, can I get the controls for this toy next time?... I think we can do… a whole lot of… plays" Another with a French accent cooed as he stripped me bare with his eyes.

Ok, first target acquired. I think he got the message from my stare as he let out an 'oops' while the others chuckled.

"OK people pack up. We've got 25 minutes and counting till take off. You can pick on Hercules here later."

Here's to hoping I don't blow my top and kill them before the target.

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