IMUC-Chapter 151 Setting the Stage

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On the outskirts of New York, at the former site of the Carl Family estate, on the second-floor conference hall:

“Hello, Family Head!”

As the dazzling portal suddenly emerged from the room, two well-trained young maidens hurriedly approached. Their faces were filled with respect and joy as they stood on either side of the portal, waiting for instructions.

As if sensing their presence, the bald African-American man who had been sitting on the meeting sofa for some time stood up. His left eye was covered with a black eyepatch, and the gaze of his remaining right eye was sharp as it focused on the scene.

“Go fetch the bottle of red wine Howard stored here,” Kyle instructed the maids after emerging from the portal. He then lifted his gaze to the familiar face of his old friend, and a warm smile brightened his handsome face. “Fury, it’s been a few months.”

“Yeah,” Fury replied, shaking his head with a mix of emotions. The stern expression he often wore as Director was now replaced with a bitter smile. “It’s all thanks to you. Being Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. isn’t an easy job. It’s tough, exhausting, and troublesome.”

With that, Fury walked up to Kyle, patting his shoulder. He looked saddened and disheartened as he said, “Kyle, Howard told me about your health over the phone. I’m sorry. I have the resources you have, and I also have the ones you don’t. You gave me the position of Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., but I really don’t know how to help you.”

“It’s not your fault, and not just you, nobody on Earth can help me,” Kyle shrugged and said, “Only I can save myself.”

“Are you leaving soon?” Fury’s already dark face took on a more somber expression as he asked.

Kyle didn’t hide anything from him and straightforwardly answered, “I will remain here for three days including today. On the third night, I will attempt to leave Earth using certain methods.”

“Three days, huh… In that case…” Fury seemed to have something on his mind but didn’t continue.

“Let’s drop this topic. I brought someone with me,” Kyle gestured and moved to the side, keeping the shimmering portal in its circular form. Natasha, with her fiery red hair, followed behind, leaving damp footprints on the floor.

“I know her, Natasha Romanoff, the Elite Agent from the Soviet Red Room,” Fury said with a friendly smile on his face as he approached Natasha and extended his hand for a handshake. “Last time I saw you was during World War II on a battleship. You were badly injured by Kyle and treated in the interrogation room, both of which I arranged.”

“I’m now Natasha Carl,” Natasha responded without a hint of kindness, giving Fury a cold glance.

She wasn’t very fond of Fury. It was too much to bring up her past right after meeting someone.

“Get to know each other. From now on, the two of you will be partners at SHIELD,” Kyle interjected.

Natasha reluctantly nodded in compliance with Kyle’s words, while Fury chuckled and said with satisfaction, “That’s great. Having a Super Agents who I can trust and support while working together in SHIELD, will bring much peace of mind.”

After the three of them comfortably settled onto the conference sofa, the maids brought over the red wine. They poured the wine into their respective glasses and then retreated.

Kyle elegantly raised his wine glass, swirling the rich red liquid within, and asked, “So, have you not been at ease during this time as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.?”

Fury didn’t answer immediately. He took a sip of the wine thoughtfully before saying solemnly, “Kyle, you were right about one thing— you were right in saying that S.H.I.E.L.D. isn’t as simple as it seems. The primary goal of SHIELD is to eradicate Hydra, and that’s true, but many of the managers and staff are Talents drawn from various departments of the U.S. Government and Military. The relationships among these departments have been complex and tangled since the formation of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

“Do you suspect there are Hydra spies among them?” Kyle calmly inquired.

“It’s not just suspicion; I’m certain there are. And recently, I’ve become aware of one— my newly appointed secretary, someone I interact with daily at work.” Fury sighed in frustration as he spoke.

He looked apologetically at Kyle and said, “I was careless. Despite having dealt with Hydra so much in the past, I still underestimated their ability to infiltrate and embed themselves in every and all departments.”

Kyle wasn’t surprised by this. After all, in the original story, S.H.I.E.L.D. was practically a haven for Hydra. So, this situation was actually an improvement.

After a brief contemplation, he asked, “Have you dealt with the spy yet?”

“Not yet. After meeting you, I plan to use that little rat to uncover more infiltrators,” Fury said coldly. His lone eye, as sharp as an eagle’s, held a sense of authority that foreshadowed his future role as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.

“That’s quite simple, actually.” Kyle chuckled, pondering for a moment before saying, “When you get back, accidentally let slip to that little rat about my severe illness caused by nuclear radiation, how I’ve lost my abilities and have been resting here at the estate for treatment. Also, tell them that I’ll be leaving this place in two days to live on an unnamed island.”

“Are you trying to lure them here?” Fury quickly grasped Kyle’s idea upon hearing this.

Kyle nodded and said, “The Hydra organization is like a Hydra itself— cut off a head and another grows in its place. If they dare to come on the eve of my departure from Earth, none of them will be able to leave.”

Natasha raised her hand and interjected, “Won’t this trap be a bit too obvious? I don’t think Hydra operatives would fall for it.”

“Whether they come or not doesn’t matter. It’s just an attempt,” Kyle said, crossing his legs and leaning back against the sofa. His bright blue eyes gleamed with a shrewd and intelligent light as he spoke. “Moreover, half of the information Fury will leak to them is true. Mixing half-truths with important intelligence, along with the allure of killing me, the Symbol of Peace, I believe there are still fools who will walk right into this.”

“Not just remnants of the Hydra organization. They might even persuade other factions to join in for a big surprise,” Natasha nodded in agreement. She understood Kyle’s strategy well.

“Indeed, if they learn about your health issues, even if the credibility is as low as one in ten, the Red Room will undoubtedly send numerous agents to investigate,” Natasha affirmed.

“Not only the Soviet Red Room but also the German Nachtbruch, Imperial Japan’s Samurai and Ninja… By the way, their level of hatred for you has likely exceeded the limit,” Fury chuckled with a wry smile.

“On the eve of my departure, they are welcome to gather at the estate,” Kyle laughed lightly, almost wishing he could send them invitations.

Who would dare to not accept it? Kyle would like it if they didn’t hold grudges into the future; he would rather solve them all directly and wholeheartedly in this era!

“Oh, by the way, there’s something else. I don’t know if I should tell you,” Fury hesitated. Under Kyle’s puzzled gaze, he continued, “Peggy Carter, do you remember her?”

Agent Carter?

The name seemed to awaken memories within Kyle.

Of course, he hadn’t forgotten her. The first Rare Green Card that changed the course of his life was extracted from her.

She was a comrade, a friend, someone entrusted by Steve.

(End of this chapter)

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