Chapter 48: Rescuing Hostages
When Kyle walked out of the building, he saw the color of the sky had changed. It was overcast. Under the patter of rain, it scoured the training base whole.
This scenery felt a little too familiar with the current timeline.
Kyle was pondering over the matter when he noticed a woman hurrying her way over with an umbrella, frantically searching for someone.
When he saw the beautiful woman’s cold face, he cried out in surprise and said, “Peggy?”
“Kyle!” Peggy saw Kyle standing under the eaves of the public shower ground. Regardless of the wet ground, she ran towards him, foot splashing the water, and creating a pitter patter sound.
“If you’re not here with Steve, what are you doing here next to the public shower?” Kyle joked. “You really don’t like looking at that all too perfect of a man.”
Kyle was a recruit the last time they’d met like this. It just happened that he’d finished taking a bath when Peggy broke in the dorm. Coincidentally, he’d just finished bathing this time around too.
Peggy had not the time to retort and said anxiously, “Kyle, I was looking for you! Please go and persuade Steve. You’re the only one who can convince him!”
“Huh? What are you talking about?” Kyle scratched his head in confusion.
“I’ll tell you on the way. It’ll be too late if we don’t hurry!”
Peggy held Kyle’s hand as the two ran in the rain.
*** *** ***
Near the tent area of the barracks.
“You mean the soldiers from the 107th Regiment in Austria’s frontline warzone had been raided by those damn enemies, and only a small number of them managed to flee? Amongst the missing soldiers was a sergeant named Bucky Barnes, correct?”
After listening to Peggy’s brief recounts, Kyle understood why she was in a rush.
Because of Bucky Barnes.
He and Steve had known each other long before they became a soldier, long before he became the Winter Soldier controlled by Hydra in the near future. And it was because of this that Steve later fell out of touch with Iron Man and had a big fight.
Now that Bucky encountered a mishap, and given the location not being too far away, Steve was determined to save his best friend’s life.
“So, Peggy… you want me to persuade Steve and ask him not to go?”
“Of course!” Peggy replied affirmatively. “Not to mention, the soldiers who’d been attacked are waiting for us to save them, but we currently have no troops large enough to carry out a rescue operation. Kyle, it’s too dangerous for him to cross Europe’s most dangerous war zone and enter the enemy’s quarters alone!”
“I see…” Kyle smiled and said nothing more.
Peggy frowned slightly, feeling a bad premonition in her heart. But for now, her hope was placed on Kyle. Only he can stop Steve’s erratic behavior.
The two walked to the barracks and entered the tent. There stood Steve wearing the white and blue striped American tights, ready to head to war.
Seeing Peggy, Steve hurriedly fumbled with excuses, but when he saw Kyle standing behind her, his face suddenly grew unnatural. “Kyle, you’re here to persuade me too? I know it’s risky, but if I had the ability and I didn’t do anything about it, I’d feel guilty for the rest of my life.”
“Hey, I haven’t said anything yet. How do you know I’m here to persuade you?” Kyle shrugged.
Steve patted Kyle on the shoulder. The two smiled at one another in understanding. They need not say anything more.
“Kyle, you…” Peggy looked at him in disbelief with eyes wide open.
“I’ll be with him. It’ll be alright.” Kyle reassured her. “It’s much safer with two people.”
Peggy looked at Steve then back to Kyle and bitterly said, “Don’t you get it? This isn’t something that one or two people can handle!”
What happens when a madman with clear goals meets another madman who claps his hands and encourages the madman?
In less than half a minute, Peggy’s attempt to stop Steve resulted in complete failure. So, for the sake of their safety, Peggy resorted to using the military’s resources.
Ten minutes later, a plane took off amidst the thunderstorm, taking advantage of the dark, rainy night to venture deep into the war zones.
*** *** ***
In the cabin of the plane.
Steve and Kyle sat one side while Peggy sat on the other, briefing them, “Hydra’s barracks are located here in Kreischberg…” She pointed to a map. “….Sandwiched between two mountains is a factory. Anyways, we’ll keep the plane as close as possible so that when you come back, we’ll be nearby. As for Stark, he’s the best pilot I’ve ever seen. He’s the only one daring enough to take off in this thunderstorm too.”
As Peggy spoke, a gentleman near his 30’s in the pilot’s seat casually waved back.
Howard Stark? The founder of Stark Industries and Iron Man’s father?
Kyle’s eyes lit up. He’d long wanted to see this legend.
“Howard from the Bureau of Science Strategy?” Kyle inquired. “I’ve seen your scientific inventions during an exhibition, and I lauded it as a work of a genius.”
“Second Lieutenant,” Howard responded politely, “I’ve heard of your name too… Rejecting the Super Soldier Project, the Counterattack Campaign, and titled as the American Hero. Need I go on?” He chuckled. “If we get a chance, I’d like to take you out for a bite. Of course, it’d be great if Agent Carter and Steve tags along too.”
“It’s a deal!” Kyle smiled. Regardless of the danger he’d soon face, he spoke in a manner that he’d surely return back home safely and triumphantly.
And besides, he’d like to know what sort of cards Howard had. It’d be truly interesting to know.
“Attention, we’ve now entered enemy territory!” Howard gave a grave warning, operating the machine to avoid the gunfire, and resulting in the plane triggering a violent tremor.
Through the window, they could clearly see thunder and lightning form above the clouds and gunfires from the enemy below. Both natural and man-made attacks affected the plane’s flight condition.
“It’s too dangerous! Steve and I will go down from here! We’ll be back soon!”
Kyle made a sudden lapse of judgement within the span of a second. He opened the hatch followed by the echoes of the howling wind. The plane was a hundred meters above.
“It’s also very close to the enemy’s factory…” Steve nodded and stood next to Kyle by the hatch.
“Steve…” Peggy stopped him and said slowly, “Please come back alive.”
“Don’t worry.” Steve smiled and jumped first.
“Steve will be fine. I’m here, after all. I’ll buy you a real, nice dinner when I get back.” Kyle patted her shoulder and gave a comforting smile before jumping off.
In mere seconds, the two men disappeared into the night sky.
“It’s not just Steve… Come back safely too, Kyle.” Watching the two figures, Peggy whispered to herself on the plane. No one knew what she was thinking.