7 It's more important to master the cards you're holding than to complain about the ones your opponents were dealt

A shower and a quick breakfast started Devin's day before he called the Sokovia representative that had called. After a quick chat it was decided that Devin would catch a flight that afternoon and begin the work the following day. After a quick check, Devin set his phone for 2 o'clock so that he would know when to leave. Packing some clothes in both a backpack and his inventory just in case Devin moved to the armory for some practice with his sword. As he swung the blade around, his thoughts began to drift towards what he would find when he got to Sokovia.

'In the movies Sokovia was embroiled in numerous events from A.I.M. and the Mandarin to the riots that kicked off the revolt of Ultron, but in the comics and other sources things were different than the movies. This could complicate things as this is more an amalgamation than pure MCU.' Devin thought as he finished his last bit of practice. Soon it was time for lunch and departure time for the airport. Needless to say that the flight was uneventful. Stepping through customs with his backpack, Devin saw a man dressed in a grey suit holding a sign that said "Mr. Price" on it.

"Wilhelm Strom?" Devin said to the man as he approached.

"Yes. Mr. Price I assume?" said Strom with a faint accent.

"Yes. So what is on the agenda? Does your government want me to start tonight?" Devin said as they started towards the exit.

"No, you can start first thing in the morning. I will be picking you up at 7 am." Strom said as they stepped through the automated doors.

"Ok, do you have files that I can look over tonight so that I have an idea of what your employers want me to do?" Devin asked as they finally got seated in the back of a black SUV.

"Yes. Be sure to look them over and compile a list of all the necessary supplies that you will need. We will make sure that you will receive them." Strom said as he opened a suitcase that was sitting in the center console before handing a manila envelope to Devin. Opening it, Devin glanced over the files.

Security systems, fortifications, and numerous other projects needed to repair a base that has been abandoned for close to forty years. This is gonna require so much work and materials if his memories and knowledge from the new identity hold true. As Devin discussed with Strom of all the workers and materials he could think of off the top of his head, the SUV pulled up to an extravagant hotel. Devin proceeded to pack up the files and jump out of the car to check in.

On reaching his room he started a shower and ordered food. Upon exiting the shower and placing a robe on, a knock on the door sounded. Looking through the peep hole he saw a young girl in hotel attire waiting with a trolley covered in silver domes and a pitcher of water. Opening the door caused the girl to roll the trolley in next to a table in the sitting area where two couches and a medium sized table before unloading the trays and the pitcher before turning around to address him. Upon seeing him in just a robe caused the young girl's face to light up like the cherry on a cigarette and bite her lower lip.

"Are you ok Miss?" Devin said as he saw her face become red and approached her to check on her condition.

"Yes sir." the girl said in a small, hushed voice filled with a thick accent, getting redder by his approach. At this behavior and the fact that she averted her eyes from him, Devin finally understood what had happened to her, causing a small grin to appear on his face.

"I apologize miss. I forgot that I am not in my own home and caused you so much discomfort. Is there anyway to make this up to you?" Devin said as he leaned down to catch her eye, knowing that he was teasing the poor thing that much more.

"No! I mean no, your great! I mean no, I'm happy with you! I mean...! I'm SORRYYYYYYYYY!" the small girl stammered before running out of the room while apologizing, slamming the door on her exit. A small chuckle escaped his mouth at what just took place with a small amount of guilt appeared and disappeared in a flash at the teasing he had given her. Changing into a pair of white cotton, draw-string, sleep pants, Devin sat on his bed with his food and the file to get some work done. An hour later Devin put the file into his inventory and decided to do some research about this world.

Checking on the internet gave a few clues to what had, or more accurately what hadn't, taken place. Tony Stark hadn't been kidnapped yet and there was no mention of Captain America beyond his feats from WW2. There was mention of Hulk having caused some damage in a few small towns in the Southwest. There were dozens of articles on mutants and there was even a website for Professor X's school. The Fantastic Four had several articles as well, including a rather sizable battle between them and The Mole Man. Since the FF are around that must mean that Dr. Doom has gained his abilities. A quick search later proved that Latveria wasn't too far from Sokovia. Before closing out for the night Devin found phone numbers for Nelson and Murdock Law Office, where Matt Murdock AKA Daredevil worked, as well as Alias Investigations which was the detective agency owned by Jessica Jones. Devin couldn't find anything on Luke Cage so either he hadn't broken out of jail yet or he was missing something. With all of that out of the way Devin made the decision that when he got home he would get a computer to monitor everything that he had just found. Crawling beneath the covers and twisting the knob on the lamp Devin turned in so that he could begin his mission of investigating Sokovia and what they were doing with this base.


|Baxter Building; Manhattan, New York|

Sue Storm had been thinking about everything that had happened when they had checked out the site of the energy reaction and the mysterious individual that they had met at the site as well. She decided that a conversation with Reed was in order. Walking into the main lab, she could see Reed typing away at the computer with various graphs and readings.

"Reed, can I talk to you?" Sue asked as she stood next to him.

"Sure Sue, I'm just going over those readings from yesterday. I think I may have found something. It turns out that the readings hadn't completely disappeared as we thought previously. Thanks to the readings that you and your brother took I found that a faint reading continued to come from that general area, but it disappeared shortly before you left." Reed said with an enthusiastic tone before turning to Sue and seeing the complicated look on her face.

"Reed, when Johnny and I arrived at the area where the reading came from we found a person already there. He said he was walking through the woods and heard what he described as a crash and went to investigate." Sue said as she looked out a window showing the nearby buildings.

"Did you question him about what he found?" Reed asked as a frown formed on his face from this turn of events.

"Yes and he said that he found a trench that looked similar to an airplane crash, but he couldn't find any debris. We checked the area that he mentioned and we also found the trench with no debris, but I've just got this gut feeling that he knows more than he's letting on." Sue said as she turned to Reed to see his reaction.

"Did you happen to get his name?" Reed asked as he turned back to the computer and began typing again.

"Yeah he said his name was Devin Price." Sue said as she joined him at the computer to see Reed typing his name into a database of some kind. Soon a picture of the very individual that they had been discussing popped up on the massive screen.

"Devin Price, 25 years old and unmarried. Single child whose parents passed five years ago in a car crash and holds twin degrees in technologies and biology. He currently works as a private defense contractor." Reed read out. Sue a pang of sympathy at the mention of his parents passing as her and Johnny's parents had also passed when they were young as well. That sympathy disappeared when she found that he worked as a defense contractor as it renewed her suspicions as to why he was there. Was he hired to test out some new weapon or other technology for a corporation or group? She didn't know and probably shouldn't assume anything, but still the whole situation felt off to her. Reed also was beginning to have some suspicions as well now.

"We should contact Mr. Price and set up a time for us to ask him some questions as well as get some scans to see if he is or has come into contact with whatever created that energy influx." Reed said as he looked at Devin's info again. Sue hummed in agreement as she crossed her arms. Maybe they were over reacting but if Mr. Price was hiding something maybe they could get the leverage to get to the bottom of this.


|Devin's Hotel; Sokovia, Europe|

Devin awoke to another unfamiliar ceiling. Sitting up Devin remembered what was planned and checked the clock to see that he had just enough time to change and grab a cup of coffee before Strom would be there to pick him up and head to the base. The thought that something might be going on behind the scenes elicited two feelings in his mind. The first being excitement, but the second a sense of caution as he currently only had one weapon and one skill set with no Spirit Power to activate his Dragoon Spirit. Maybe he should look into some other skills or items as backups, just in case.

"Alice, open the 'Shop' tab please." Devin said as he got dressed.

[Yes sir]

Clicking on the weapons filter showed all of the various weapons and manuals for them. Each type of weapon having different prices. Though there seemed to be weapons that fell under the broad sword category that held different characteristics and/or attributes. An example would be a sword called 'Heat Blade' having a fire attribute. Devin already had a close range weapon so a long range one should be next right? Looking at the options for long range there were two categories the classic 'Bow' option from the game and a new 'Gun' option. The difference being that the guns were more expensive than the bows. With so many options to choose from, Devin decided to hold off and check the other options. Looking through the other items in the shop, he soon found an item from the game that could help with filling his Spirit Power. Spirit Potions in the game gave the player a single use of the Dragoon Spirit per use and it seemed that this translated to Devin's current situation as well. One look at the price though spoke of just how valuable they are.

"25,000 Shop Credits! What the crap baskets!" Devin said as he stared in disbelief. Most of the basic weapons and their manuals ranged from 4,000-10,000 credits. Well that wasn't happening. Looks like this is gonna require more thought.

"Alice, how do I get additional Dragoon Spirits?" Devin asked as he left his room and headed to the elevator.

[Master, you will be given additional spirits through missions or when you reach level 4 of 7 in all currently owned spirits.]

'Wait in the game there were only 5 levels to each spirit. Is this another thing like how there are more weapons to use, like now that it's the real world they've advanced?' Devin asked Alice as he stepped off the elevator.

[Master, you are correct. The spirits are no longer bound by the game rules and therefore have advanced, though there are ways to level them even higher than what is currently unavailable.]

'Alright let's get through this first day and see what happens. I don't want to jump the gun and get into a bind later.' Devin thought as he purchased a coffee from the small coffee shop in the lobby. Turning around he saw Strom walk through the front doors in a blue suit and grey tie.

"Good morning Mr. Price. Did you sleep well?" Strom asked as he shook Devin's hand.

"Like a lamb. I have the list of materials and a list of workers we will need for the project. I will have to see the condition of the building and the surroundings before I decide on whether to accept the long-term contract you proposed yesterday." Devin said pulling the two lists from his pocket and handing them over as they walked out the door towards the same SUV from the day before.

"Understandable. I will see to it that these lists are fill as soon as possible." Strom said as he pulled a phone from his pocket and began chatting with various other individuals about the items and individuals needed. Devin turned and watched the scenery pass thinking how this could either be nothing at all or, in the words of a famous general, a trap!

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