Saturday, August, 7th, 1999
Clint didn't want to admit it, but he was nervous. Only a few days ago he worked in a traveling circus with his wife. Until some bald pirate showed up offering him a job. The pirate didn't really describe the job at first, he just said, 'You'll use the skills you've trained your whole life perfecting, to make the world a better place.' Clint would be lying if he said he wasn't interested, even though he didn't know anything else about the potential job.
Since he was a kid he always dreamed what it would be like to be a hero like Captain America. It was just a silly kid's dream, but it was always there in the back of his mind. It was one of the main reasons he pushed himself to be so good with archery. So after thinking it over some, he talked it over with his wife. Laura, the wonderful woman she was, supported him completely. She told him to take the offer and see what happens.
It was only a few days later and now he was geared up and was about to take part in an invasion of some country he had never heard of before. It sounded bad, but he was fighting for the good guys. How did he know that? Captain freaking America was part of the organization he joined. That was probably the biggest surprise that happened so far. Magic being real was a close second.
Clint glanced around at the other people with him, everyone was dressed up in all black tactical gear. Along with black balaclavas and masks that covered their faces completely. The masks were a little weird, being white and red and shaped like different animals. His own mask was modeled after a hawk.
The masks somehow didn't restrict the person's vision and even seemed to improve it. When he asked how, he was told the masks were inscribed with magic to make it work and that they could also stop a bullet. That was one thing he didn't plan to test though.
Clint glanced at the only person dressed differently than everyone else. It was a large man named Mikhail who was part of the assault squad. Mikhail only wore some camo pants. No shoes, socks, mask, or even a weapon for that matter. Clint had no idea what the man was going to do when they attacked and was too intimidated to ask.
He cleared his mind, it wasn’t his job to worry about it. He was with the first wave that was meant to be stealthy and take out as many targets as possible before anyone noticed.
Someone patted his shoulder and he turned to look at Captain America who smiled at him as he asked, "How're you feeling?"
Clint let out a slight chuckle before he said, "Nervous, but also excited sir."
The man smiled and said, "Just call me Steve or Cap. No need to be formal around me."
Steve gave him another pat on the shoulder as he asked, "I didn't look into your background, is this your first time doing something like this?"
Clint nodded in reply before Cap asked, "Have you ever killed someone before?"
Steve studied the man for a few moments before he said, "The best advice I can give you is try not to over complicate it. Focus on the mission, your skills, and working with your team. Everything else can wait. Afterwards, once in a safe area. That's when you can think over the actions you took during the mission."
Clint nodded slowly as Steve gave him a smile before he said, “You can also check in with one of our resident therapists after the mission if you need to. Remember, no one will ever look down on you for asking for help. So don’t be afraid to ask for it, when you need it. We’re only human after all.”
Steve patted him on the shoulder and said, “You're welcome. Now double check your gear and then go join the rest of your team.”
As Cap walked over to the stealth group, Clint pulled off his quiver to go over his arrows one more time. Once finished he checked his bow over and did one more sight test before he stood up to walk over to his team.
He looked over his group, which was the smallest one with only twenty people in it. He was a little concerned that he hasn’t had a chance to train with any of these people yet or meet them properly, but the team leader said it would be fine. Clint’s only job was to go on overwatch and call out targets for the team. Clint frowned as he thought, ‘Easy, no pressure at all.’
The team leader who had spiky silver hair and wore a wolf mask spoke up as he said, “Alright everyone, collect your gear and let’s move to the portal room.”
As his team started to move out, the leader stayed back with another person in a crow mask. When Clint walked past them, they joined him as the leader said, “Hawk, this is Crow. He'll be your shadow for this mission. He’ll watch your back, while you watch over ours.”
Clint gave a slight nod to the man as he said, “Nice to meet you.”
Crow nodded in reply as he said, “I look forward to working with you.”
They finished the walk to the portal room in silence, where they met one of the wizards that worked for the organization. Clint shook his head, it was sorcerer not wizard. He was corrected the first time he called one of them a wizard. Something about them not wearing hats and to be respectful.
Clint watched as the man in question nodded to the group and waved his hands before the world started to shatter like glass around them. Afterwards the man waved his hand in a circle and a portal appeared which Clint’s team moved through.
On the other side of the portal they appeared just inside a fortified compound. It was the middle of the night and within moments all of his team had disappeared from Clint's sight. Clint looked around for just a moment and then took off at a sprint towards the northwest watch tower, which had the best view of the place.
Once he arrived at the top of the guard tower, he saw Crow was in position next to the guards in the tower. He held a knife in his right hand as he stood slightly behind and between the two men, so that he wouldn’t be seen when he appeared.
Clint took up a position outside the tower with a good view, but he could still see Crow from the corner of his eye. It only took about a minute before a voice was heard in every team member's ears as the team leader said, “This is Wolf, we will be pulled out in ten, nine, eight… One.”
The world started to shatter as Clint and his team reentered the real world. Before it finished Crow didn’t hesitate as he stabbed his knife into one man's carotid artery. Instead of pulling the knife out he pushed it forward through the front of the man’s throat.
The man’s eyes went wide as he reached for his neck. As the man let out a wet squelch from his opened up throat. Crow had already pivoted and thrust his knife into the other man’s right temple, straight into his brain. Crow released the knife and Clint watched as Crow disappeared from the tower as both men dropped to the floor dead or dying.
It took Clint a few moments to realize he hadn’t moved yet. He quickly took a glance around as he knocked an arrow and saw that his team had already taken care of part of the roaming patrols while he was stunned.
Clint then zeroed his bow in on one of the patrols as he scanned the area. He pulled back on his bow as he said, “Patrol on the west side near the gate. Targeting right side.” He let his arrow fly as he pulled out another one and knocked it.
The arrow struck true and took the man through the eye socket as Wolf appeared behind the other man, slitting the man’s throat before he disappeared just as quickly. Clint already had his next target sighted and bow drawn back as both men dropped to the ground. He called out as he let his next arrow fly, “Three men under southwest guard tower. Targeting center.”
Clint wasn't sure how much time passed before Wolf said over comms, "Alpha base is clear, we need a resupply and then a portal to bravo."
Clint glanced over his shoulder at his quiver to check how many arrows he had left. After he finished his quick count, he headed down the tower to the other members of his team. A portal appeared soon afterwards as one of the sorcerer's floated a case through it. As everyone started to restock their gear, Clint asked, "I know we were quick, but how come the alarm didn't go off?"
Crow glanced at Clint as he said, "Ezekiel took over their computer systems when we scouted the place. The alarms are disconnected and the camera system is playing a loop."
Clint nodded in understanding before he asked, "Then why do we have the second team? Shouldn’t we be able to clear everything like this?”
"The second team is to help us with Hotel base, which is where the bulk of the soldiers are stationed." Wolf said as he handed Clint a new quiver of arrows.
The next couple hours passed in a blur for Clint as they swept through the next few bases, clearing them out. Afterwards they met up with the other team and prepared to attack the last base. As they finished with another resupply, Wolf walked over to Clint before he asked, "How are you feeling?"
"A little fatigued, but good."
Wolf nodded as he said, "You can stick this one out if you want, our team might not do much this time with the other team joining us. We'll mostly be working as support for them."
Clint shook his head as he said, "I'll be fine, I've been in a supporting role all night anyway."
"Then we’ll be counting on you again, keep up the good work." Wolf gave him a quick thumbs up as he turned around to check on the other team members.
His team ended up waiting for about ten minutes before they were pulled into the mirror dimension and portaled into Hotel base. Clint’s team disappeared from sight as they spread out to different target areas under the tower that Clint was going to use.
As Clint finished getting into position in one of the tallest watchtowers, a new voice came over the comms as a man said, “Slight change of plans, someone wants to dance.”
Clint heard a few people complain over the comms about someone named Madara, before the same man said, “Settle down, he is test running the new shadow clone technique Tobirama, Orochimaru and Minato completed. Just be ready to clean up the stragglers when he’s finished.”
Clint looked over to Crow as he asked, “What are they talking about?”
“You’ll find out sooner or later, let’s just enjoy the show for now.”
Crow walked outside of the tower and stood next to Clint as a few massive explosions went off on the far side of the base which caused the whole place to wake up.
Within half a minute men started to swarm out of the buildings ready to fight and within a minute commanders were taking charge of the men and trying to figure out what was going on.
The people in Clint’s tower also walked outside to see what was going on and stood next to Clint in the real world. It didn’t take long before music started to blast through the whole base from their intercom system and a man in red armor appeared walking from where the explosions occurred. Clint couldn’t tell for sure, but the man looked like he had glowing red eyes.
Clint watched as the soldiers took notice of the man and raised their weapons towards him yelling something he couldn’t hear over the music. Clint glanced at Crow as he asked, “Is that guy trying to get killed?”
Crow chuckled as he said over the music, “Don’t blink or you’ll miss it.”
A glissando was heard from a piano and the music kicked up a little more and the man disappeared from view.
Some people tried to shoot him as he began to tear through them like they were made of paper. People, body parts and a rain of blood was the only thing that could be made out from wherever the man went.
‘Oh, don't give us none of your aggravation, we had it with your discipline.’
As the man moved from the first group of soldier’s to the next, the only thing left in his wake was a trail of dead bodies.
Clint couldn’t keep up with the man’s movements at all and just followed the trail of carnage he left.
Then Clint noticed one of the commanders pull out a grenade and throw it where the man was moving. The man slowed down just enough to bury his sickle into a man’s head, catch the grenade and throw it back at the commander.
‘Oh, Saturday night's alright for fighting! Get a little action in!’
As Clint watched he let out a sigh before he asked, “Who the fuck is this guy and why are we even here if he can do that?”
Crow let out a laugh as he asked, “Would you believe that this is only about ten percent of his true power?”
Clint shook his head as he said, “I hope you're joking.”
The man jumped back from a rocket that was shot at him, he placed the fan on his back as he weaved a few one handed signs which made a large wall of earth rise up from the ground in front of him.
Some more rocket’s slammed into the wall as the man placed the sickle on his back and he weaved even more hand signs.
‘Get about as oiled as a diesel train. Gonna set this dance alight!’
He brought his hands to his mouth as the wall of earth collapsed and he breathed a jet of flame from his mouth that covered all of the remaining troops in fire.
When he finished he disappeared from view and a few seconds later one of the watchtowers exploded as maniacal laughter could be heard from that direction over the music.
“You're joking… Right?”