Archives - Part 1

Sam and Niko stepped out of the elevator once they reached the 3rd floor. Power was slowly being restored to the building so they didn’t have to navigate in total darkness. Still, Sam turned on a flashlight to better see the area.

Niko peered around Sam’s shoulder, wishing he’d have brought a flashlight, in his head running with one would look a lot like Tron. “What are we looking for?” The speedster asked. “Besides food. I think my dad said Stark used to hide snacks everywhere. Maybe we’ll find some.”

“We’re looking for anything of interest. There was a sort of inventory list of the equipment left in this facility, but no details on where exactly they are located. So we just have to go searching. Also, I really don't think you’d want to eat anything that was left in here. Just my two cents.” Sam continued walking down the hallway until he came across a set of elevators.

Elevators. The slowest form of transportation ever, next to cars and subways and-- most other things, but Niko waited semi-patiently with Sam and stepped in when the doors opened. “Oh! How did it go with your mom, by the way?” He curled his upper lip. “Was she really mad?”

They stepped inside the elevator and Sam pressed the top floor button. “Actually, she was more proud than mad. More just a mother worrying when her child gets into a mess. I can’t hold it against her. And if it makes you feel better, she didn’t say anything bad about you.” The elevator came to the top floor and they stepped out into a large open area. There were massive cylinder lockers lining the walls and various crates stacked on top of each other.

“Ohh…” Niko replied knowingly, but in reality not knowingly. He rubbed the back of his neck, trying to tell the difference between the angry use of first and middle names vs the actually proud, worried, get you out of a mess kind, because truth be told, they sounded the exact same. He hadn’t thought that Sam’s mom would say anything bad about him, but now that he knew it was a possibility - he did feel better that she didn’t. “Well, she should be proud. We stopped a full on robbery, and now, we took on a lot of murder-bots, just like our parents in Sokovia. I mean, these were a different type of bots, but still, we held our own against them. I’m proud of us.”

He whistled through his teeth looking at all the lockers and storage crates, thinking it would take several minutes to get through all of them. In seconds, he had the first few opened and scanned through, boring stuff like gun holsters and what looked like circuit boards in metal arms. One had Flak gear, he put on a Riot helmet and played with the face shield before opening the next locker. “Holy shit…” He said, impressed, sliding the black helmet off his head. Inside the locker were White uniforms bearing the A logo like on the outside of the building. They were both pretty damn awesome and horrifically constricting looking. Niko had never been fond of uniforms, or any kind of clothing that involved the word 'one piece.' He wouldn’t even tolerate feet-in pajamas when he was little. Not to mention uniforms? Why did he spend seconds a day working on his abs to have them covered up by all that? His cousin, both a fan of matching and one piece clothing, was another story. He quickly closed the locker door. “Don’t tell Theo.”

Sam walked the opposite side of the room, scanning the names on the lockers and boxes. His head snapped to Niko as he spoke out to him, “I’m proud of us t--wait, don’t tell her what?” He ran over and threw the locker door wide open to reveal the set of uniforms. His eyes shot open and he could barely find words. “These...are these their new suits?! We never got to even see them wear these!” He couldn’t contain himself, he was 9 again all of the sudden.

“They're very-- matchy matchy. I mean, the real avengers would be pretty easy to spot, you’d think, even without a uniform?” Niko realized he was talking to someone whose dad probably had the most recognizable suit of all, so he stowed the complaint. In grade school, Theo used to insist they wear the same color scheme. He didn’t so much mind, it made Theo happy and in a way it was nice to not have to pick out his own clothes in the morning.“What if --” He realized suddenly that he may be intruding on Sam’s thoughts. “You’re okay, right? I mean, there’s gonna be a lot of stuff here that used to be theirs.” As if to prove his point, the next crate held about half a dozen heavy bags - the ones boxers trained with, along with gauze and tape hand wraps. Each one was marked with 150 lbs or higher. Niko went to one hand lift one out of the box - but barely budged it.

Sam looked over to Niko struggling to lift the bags and noticed the contents. He noticed the crates near them had “S.R.” stamped on them. He felt light headed for a moment, putting two and two together.

“There’s a lot I want to say. There really is. But there are more important things happening than my feelings right now. And if I don’t stay focused, I’ll only let everyone down and be in the way.” He stepped away from the stack of crates and made his way to the next cylinder locker. The door slowly rotated open and, as if fate itself was teasing him, a gleaming shield was revealed. White and red rings closed in on a blue core, a blazing white star sparkling in the center. There were various pieces of gear and tech surrounding the shield and there was no mistake to be had; Sam had found his father’s shield.

Niko lightly punched Sam in the arm. “We’re all figuring it out. There’s no one you’re gonna let down, Sammy, I promise.”

Sam turned to Niko and smiled warmly. “That means a lot more than you realize. You mind if I meet you downstairs with the others? Think I might need a minute.’

“Oh, yeah, of course,” Niko replied, happy to get out of-- well, almost any situation that would involve standing and talking. “There’s a training facility right back there, if you want to go throw it at something!” Niko replied. “I’m going to go see if there’s somewhere near to grab some food. I’ll be --" He held up his phone. “If you need anything.” He offered a small wave and in a blink was off.

Joint Post Between Paladin & Blitzen

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