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Whatever It Takes

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Carol Danvers was the woman they’d found in the old files, the person Fury had paged.

She was a pretty slip of a woman, Steve thought. She must be something special for Fury to have called her in case of trouble.

“Fury got turned to dust with half the galaxy,” Steve finally said to her.

“Darn! I was afraid of that.”

“How did you get here?” Natasha asked.

“I flew. My technology is a little more advanced than yours.”

“Have you come to help us?” Natasha asked.

“I am sure that is why Fury called me. Do you have a plan?”

“We are in the process of making plans, but Thanos already defeated us once. We feel that we're a bit out-manned,” Steve said. “Your help will be welcomed.”

She smiled at them. “Can I meet you all?”

“We'll meet at dinner. I think everyone will be pleased to see you,” Steve told her.

*

Wong was dreaming... or he thought he was, anyway.

The Ancient One stood before him.

“You are key to getting them back and defeating Thanos. The stones must be scattered again to make them safer. The stones, some of them, have a will of their own. You must figure out which ones do. They will exact a price. It must be paid.”

“Is he well?”

“Ahhh, the sorcerer. He is as well as dead men are.”

And she was gone.

*

Dinner was interesting with their new companion.

“Where did you come from?” Tony asked her. “I've seen the files and they are so redacted that your name is nearly the only thing that is left there.”

“I was a pilot on a secret project. Women weren't allowed to be fighter pilots back in then 90s and I was working on a top secret project. We were flying planes that were far beyond any technology here on earth and I didn't know until several year later what I was flying oir who I was flying with.”

“Project Pegasus,” Tony said.

Carol nodded. “The Tesseract.”

“My father worked on that project.”

“Well, things went sideways and I ended up on Hala with no memory. I was blue blooded like a Kree and they told me I was one of them. They had no idea what I was. I had no idea what or who I was. It turned out I was way more than anyone knew I was.

“I ended up here on earth and Nick Fury became my ally and my friend. I left him the pager to call me if he needed me while I helped other people in the galaxy who needed my help.”

“And he paged you,” Tony said.

“Yep. So let's do this thing,” Carol said, smiling. “I would also really like a good beer and a burger.”

“We may have to get back to New York for that,” Steve said.

“I can wait. Let's fix this thing.”

“How much are you not telling us?” Tony asked her.

“I've been gone over twenty years. There's a lot I'm not telling you yet. It's not important that you know any of that yet. I do not personally know Thanos, but I did know one of his ...children. Ronan left the Kree and went off to do something for Thanos. He was chasing Infinity Stones, I heard, when a man named Peter Quill killed him.”

“This is true,” Nebula chimed in. “I knew him well. He worked for my father.”

Carol nodded. “You I have heard of.”

Nebula smiled, always a bit painful to see.

“Tell me a little about this gauntlet and the Infinity Stones.”

Bruce told her what Wong and Stephen Strange had told them what seemed like years ago, but was only a few months back. Tony and Thor filled in about the Gauntlet that held the Stones. Natasha told her of the Snap.

By the time the tale was told, several of the people at the table were openly weeping.

Carol looked from one to the other all the way round the table.

Steve said, “Some people move on, but not us. Not us.”

“Even if there’s a small chance, we owe this to everyone who’s not in this room, to try.”

“We will, whatever it takes,” Steve said.

They looked up and spontaneously said, one after the other, “Whatever it takes.”

Carol smiled at them, a sad smile that others finally understood what she had known for a long time. “Let’s do this thing, then, my friends.”

“How do we know that we can win? He already beat us once,” Bruce asked.

“You didn’t have me before,” Carol said with that small confident smile.

“Where were you?” someone asked.

“There are many planets out that who don’t have you guys to protect them. They had me,” Carol said.

After dinner, they were talking about their plans and Thor was talking to Natasha when Carol came up and stood in front of him. She was tiny in front of the god, but even he could see power in her eyes. He reached his hand out for his axe and it came flying to him. Carol glanced at the axe as it came by her and a tiny smile played on the corners of her mouth.

Thor told Natasha, “I like this one.”

Natasha realized that Carol Danvers might be their best hope of defeating the mad Titan and regaining what they had lost. She also knew they might all pay a dear price for it. A very dear price.