dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
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All right, here we go (belatedly, with my apologies!):

A story featuring a countdown.

The prompt runs through Friday so that's 6... 5... 4....

Date: 2016-03-09 02:29 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Title: Untitled (for now)
Summary: Each time he is led to the chair, the numbers in his head get shorter.
Fandom: Captain America
Characters: Bucky Barnes, Arnim Zola, random Soviet scientists
Warnings: Torture, brainwashing, casual dehumanization, trash party adjacent probably
Notes: This is really only partway finished, but I've been so busy lately and wanted to post something even if it's not done, after missing a few weeks. This is also somewhat of a combination fill for this week and last week. It hopefully contains creepiness, and also contains two countdowns of a sort. If I get it more finished, I'll post it on AO3 and add a link later in the week.


“It is ready?”

“Yes, Dr. Zola,” the Soviet scientist said, shuffling his papers nervously.

“What aren’t you mentioning?”

“The test subjects still die when subjected to the level of electricity necessary to remove memories. However, we believe that with the Primary Subject’s enhanced healing factor, it should be able to survive the process.”

“He had better. If he dies, you will be wasting a very valuable resource. I do not like wastefulness.”

“Yes, Doctor.”

“Soviets,” Zola muttered to himself in disgust as he walked away. What he would not give for some proper German Hydra scientists. He would build Hydra back up from its ashes, but for now, he would work with what he had.

The Subject had restarted his mantra when Zola approached his cell. “James Buchanan Barnes, Sergeant, 32557038,” he said, voice still hoarse from the water deprivation tests Zola had run the previous week. He glared at Zola, but it was a half-hearted, pitiful thing at best.

“Come,” Zola said as three guards dragged the Subject to his feet. “We have developed something new to help you with your insolence.”

“James Buchanan Barnes, Sergeant, 32557038,” the Subject said, spitting at Zola’s feet, but he followed the guards.

He resisted when he was shoved into the chair, but there was little he could do in his weakened, one-armed state. Soon enough, he was firmly strapped down. Once the last cuff had been fasted around his chest, he slumped in the chair. His mouth still moved in the familiar words, but they were too low to make out. A technician approached him with a rubber mouth guard, and he clamped his teeth shut.

“I would advise you to take the mouth guard, Sergeant,” Zola said calmly when a growl began emanating from the Subject’s chest. “There is no need to behave like an animal. I understand that the several test subjects broke most of their teeth due to muscle spasms before the mouth guard was implemented. It would be a shame for you to lose those pretty teeth.”

The Subject opened his mouth like a challenge, and the technician slipped the guard between his teeth.

“Three!” a scientist shouted as soon as the technician had scuttled back from the chair. The scientist flipped a switch on the giant computer terminal that took up the western wall of the room, and a large, wire-covered helmet began to lower over the Subject’s head.

“Two!” another scientist echoed from the eastern wall, flipping his own switch. The helmet began to spark and glow near the Subject’s temples.

“One!” two more scientists shouted together, and they turned their keys to start the Chair.

The Subject screamed. Every muscle in his body locked, and then he began to shake and spasm hard enough to rattle the chair.

“We really must train that awful noise out of him,” Zola murmured to himself, noting the thought down on the clipboard he had snatched from a passing assistant.

The process went on for nearly a minute before something went wrong. The thrashing Subject went suddenly rigid, eyes wide and sightless. Zola was about to call a halt, when the Subject lurched forwards so strongly that the restraint around his chest tore free of the chair. His head came out from under the helmet, and he vomited bile all over his legs, the seat, and the floor. Zola grimaced in disgust.

Several scientists and technicians were shouting at each other, each one trying to blame someone else for the shoddy restraints. Zola ignored them all to step forward. He had to breathe shallowly to ignore the stench of vomit, but he was used to dealing with unpleasant circumstances in the pursuit of science.

“How do you feel, Soldier?” he asked the panting Subject. The Subject looked up at him, dazed eyes slowly hardening back into a glare. Zola sighed, preparing himself for the usual evasion.

“James Buchanan Barnes,” the Subject said, breaking off briefly to cough. “3255703.” Zola blinked, and then a smile spread over his face. The Subject continued to repeat his serial number, one digit short, but Zola ignored him.

“Fix the restraints, and then we will try this again,” he said to the first technician he passed. He did not look at the man, too busy writing down his thoughts on his clipboard. Zola was an optimistic man, but the past few years had strained his naturally positive personality. This new development, however, brought back that hopeful spirit that had drooped under captivity and the trade-in of Hydra scientists for Soviet fools.

Yes, he thought. It was only a matter of time now before he would be rid of that pesky Sergeant. Then, finally he would be able to begin crafting the Soldier who would become his masterpiece.


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