Servatis a periculum ...Servatis a maleficum.
Natasha has a naturally quiet reserve about her. A very controlled individual she rarely lets her true emotions show through other than a neutral repose. It is difficult for anyone to get a true read on her. She has had years to master her emotions and has learned to control her body's reactions so as not to give anything away though when the time is needed she can be the most charismatic and alluring of individuals. She is a social chameleon with ability to adapt to any social environment and take on a plethora of persona's to meet her needs but when not 'on the job', she is quiet, contemplative and reserved.
She is pragmatic and logical rarely allowing feelings to get in the way of a mission or a job, though through the years in working with others as part of the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. she has grown to believe that she's been 'compromised'. Though she will not readily admit it to anyone she has grown fond of her teammates, this 'fondness' does concern her since in her line of work it is best to have no attachments. Never form attachments, never have anything you cannot readily walk away from, that was one of her cardinal rules. But time had softened her stringent rules. Even her conscience over killing had worn her down. She does not see herself as a hero but rather just the opposite. Her history is drenched in blood and she will be the first to admit that she is swimming in it. Her very moniker is testament enough to what she once was; one of the world's deadliest assassins and spy and that carries with it a certain amount of guilt and a need to make amends for the atrocities she had once committed.
ENHANCEMENTS & ABILITIES
Artificially Enhanced Physiology: Through Red Room's variant of the Super-Soldier Serum Natasha's body was enhanced; subjected to similar painful treatments as Captain America once under gone. As a result, her physical and mental abilities had been enhanced beyond human limits. The following are a list of enhancements:
• Peak Human Strength: Physical strength is at the peak level of the natural limits of a woman her height, weight and build. She is capable of lifting up to 500 lbs.
• Peak Human Speed: Her speed is at the peak of the human condition; as fast as a human can be without being classified as superhuman.
• Peak Human Agility: Agility is heightened to a level greater than that of an Olympic gold medalist, able to coordinate her body with balance, flexibility, and dexterity with ease
• Peak Human Reflexes: Reaction time functions with near superhuman efficiency and capability.
• Peak Human Durability: Due to the serum and Red Room's experimentations, her body has been augmented to the pinnacle of human development. Though she can be injured in the same ways a human can be, Natasha possesses exceptional durability, endurance, and stamina.
• Peak Human Senses: Her five senses are enhanced and function at peak human capacity.
• Peak Human Immune System: Enhanced by biotechnology her body is resistant to aging and disease and heals at an above normal human rate. What takes months to heal it only takes her body weeks, what normally takes weeks would take only days and what would take a day would only take hours but in no way is her healing instant. It is simply better than the standard human but below super-powered individuals.
• Extended Longevity: The serum variant Red Room gave her has also extended her lifespan by dramatically slowing the natural aging process.
• Ballet Dancer: Natasha is an exceptional ballet dancer.
• Acrobat: She is an Olympic class athlete, gymnast, acrobat and aerialist capable of numerous complex manoeuvres and feats.
• Multilingual: She is fluent in Russian, English, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Hungarian, Latin and various other languages.
• Master Martial Artist: Natasha is an expert in the field of martial arts. She is proficient in Krav Maga, Karate, Eskrima, Aikido, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Savate, boxing, and multiple styles of kung fu.
• Expert Marksman: Natasha is a very accurate marksman skilled in sharpshooting and knife throwing.
• Gifted Intellect: Similar to Captain America, Natasha possesses the ability to quickly process multiple information streams like threat assessments and rapidly respond to changing tactical situations. She is a very fast learner and picks up concepts and skills rather quickly.
• Expert Tactician: She is a very effective strategist, tactician, and field commander.
• Hacker: Natasha can hack into most computer systems. She is comfortable with programming languages, familiar with firewalls and security systems that she can normally by pass and maneuver around them.
• Seduction and Manipulation: She is an expert in the field of seduction and manipulation as that was a crucial part of her Red Room Academy training in becoming the Black Widow.
• Spy: Natasha is a dangerous assassin and trained spy excelling in infiltration, espionage, stealth, disguise, and sabotage. She displays an uncanny affinity for psychological manipulation and can mask her real emotions perfectly.
• Assassin: Trained in various arts of assassination from poisons to firearms and martial forms, Natasha was trained by Red Room to be an efficient killer as well as a spy.
Although more resilient due to the tampering of her body, Natasha is still susceptible to all the fatal trappings a normal human can die from and she can still bleed out so critical wounds are still fatal for her. Her healing ability may slow things down but without medical attention she would die just like anyone else and a clean headshot would equal death. She is also susceptible to telepathic attacks much like anyone else though any attempts to alter or reprogram her mind results in extreme biological reactions like vomiting and blackouts on her part ; safeguards implemented by the Red Room Academy during her 'unmaking & remaking' as the Black Widow. Though the Super Soldier serum has kept her in her physical prime, its effects on her body have rendered her sterile.
View On The War
Natasha has nothing against mutants but she believes those posing a threat to the general populace need to be taken down. She has 'red' on her ledger that she wants to wipe clean and she sees this path as a means to redemption.
Does this darkness have a name? This hatred, this cruelty? How did it find us? Did it steal into our lives, or did we seek it out and embrace it?
Bright lights pierce through slits of swollen lids, strobe a near constant rhythm in time with the swing of the low hanging interrogation lights. I can almost keep time with it; can predict its flashes to when the next bout of piercing light strikes. Shadowed silhouettes loom their faces almost discernible save for the insufferable light, that piercing God damn light that. Would someone shut that thing off?!
Voices speak in flurried streams of Hungarian; I understand them perfectly. I have special skill sets and being fluent in a plethora of languages is one of them. From their conversations I am able to tell where I am, who they are and who they work for. The idiots are so giddy with their perceived victories they fail to guard their tongues providing me with useful tidbits of Intell. My eyes flutter with discomfort at another flash of light and my captors suddenly notice my consciousness.
The loud slap of a backhanded strike echoes within the small confines of the room and my face is set a flame from the strike. I might be resilient, made more durable than a standard human thanks to Red Room's variant of the Super-Soldier Serum but I still feel pain and the sting of the strike burns and imprints upon my skin. Artificially enhanced I possess peak human strength capable of lifting 500lbs, peak human speed faster than a standard human without being classified as superhuman. My natural agility was also heightened by the serum to a level greater than that of an Olympic gold medalist, I can coordinate my body with extreme balance flexibility and dexterity easily. I possess inhuman reflexes to which my reaction time, similarly enhanced by the serum, functions with superhuman efficiency and capability. My bodily tissues have been augmented to the pinnacle of human development. Though I can be injured and killed in the normal ways other humans can be, I do posses an exceptional strength, durability, endurance and stamina.
I heal faster than a standard human, oh I possess no mutant healing factor and my body does not recover as quick a mutant however what normally takes a person months of recovery from injuries it would take me weeks, what would normally take weeks would take my body days to heal and what normally would take a baseline human a day to heal, my body would only take hours. Even my immune system is at peak levels. The serum has enhanced my body to resist disease, toxins though that also means I don't get drunk so easily. Where's the fun in that? My body even resists the effects of aging. But none of these enhancements are without a cost. Such tampering upon my body has rendered me sterile I am told. The ultimate human at peak physical form who's five senses are enhanced much like the rest of the body, to function at optimum human perfection and I am unable to do the simple God-given function all women are able to do; conceive a child. So maybe I am not so perfect after all, not that I am shedding any tears over that. I would never bring into this God forsaken world another life, not in this screwed up wonderland. So maybe it was a blessing in disguise for me. Be that as it may I am the by product of genetic and psychological tampering compliments of the Red Room Academy.
My already swollen face is struck again apparently I had failed to answer their question, I did digress after all. They injected me with something for I feel the prick of a needle on my restrained arm; truth serum no doubt, or something to that effect. They have questions for the 'spy'. But fat chance, it won't work on me or not very well at least, Red Room was too smart; they saw to that possibility. They designed me with fail safes for that eventuality. Their psychological conditioning that suppresses my memories of true events as opposed to implanted ones results in extreme biological reactions like vomiting and blackouts. In fact I feel the growing need to throw up right now. I swallow to try to keep the contents of my stomach in at the moment.
"Your name! Who do you work for?!" my abuser questions, not the greatest of interrogators I have come across, thankfully, for I am still sore from my injuries sustained and the truth serum injected into my body is waging war with my system at the moment. I feel his fingers lace itself into my hair, cruelly scrunch at it then pull back my head with a violent tug. I wince reflexively.
"Who are you?!"
I can't think straight for a moment, my eyes rolling back briefly as I feel the fiery burn of the truth serum fight against my body. I go black momentarily, a pocket of memory I will never get back only to instantly answer in an almost autonomic response.
"Natalia Alionova Romanova of House Romanov." I speak in a whispered shattered voice with the unmistakable lilt of a Russian accent.
The man's hand released my hair and I lowered my head to mask my bruising face with the dark tendrils of my red hair as I tried to pull upon my focus. I don't remember anything of my early childhood only fragmented images at times that come in flashes but now with the serum waging war upon my system pieces come filtering in. Images I had not had before. Either I have suppressed them out some horrid memory which is now coming back from the weakness caused by my injuries and fighting off the serum, or Red Room had 'programmed' it into me, as a trigger. Either way I 'remember' being orphaned as a child trapped within a burning building during an attack on Stalingrad. My family massacred and I was pulled from a fiery inferno, rescued by a Soviet soldier who took me in and handed me over to the Red Room Academy. I remember a woman frighteningly beautiful; tall and elegant with jet black hair and Alabaster skin. Black piercing eyes stared down at me as she puffed at a long elegant cigarette stick. I remember the stink of tobacco and death that lingered around her.
I was born upon the fires of a revolution I never asked to be a part of and thrown into a government 'Program' I don't remember ever volunteering for. Did you ever have people 'play' with your brain until you don't know up from down, right from left, real and illusion? Rip out every last ounce of what you thought you knew, who you thought you were, make you hollow, only to shove something else back in...something worse. If anyone knows what it is like to be unmade, it is me. They broke me as a child, undid every ounce of morality within; they undid everything and made me a clean slate.
They trained me with specific skill sets in mind, molded me into an image fitting their needs and then unleashed into the world. My cover; a ballerina trained at the Imperial Ballet School in St. Petersburg. From there I was accepted into the Bolshoi Ballet Company and travelled the world. As one of the finest Ballet companies in the world I danced for celebrities, dignitaries, world leaders and politicians; the rich, the influential. But beneath the shroud of a dancer's fame I was their little 'spider', one that wore the unassuming mask of an innocent Prima Ballerina and who also wove webs of deception to gather intel, one that also stole and killed for her country. I had given everything to Red Room, to Mother Russia and yet it was still not enough. My mistake was believing in the illusion of my so called 'freedom' of falling into the fantasy of a 'civilian' life. I fell victim to my own tangled web.
It was a child's hope, an innocence of belief that such a thing would be 'enough' . His name, Alexi Shostakov a test pilot, and the son of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces; Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation. I was sent to spy on the man and Alexi, his son was my entry point though I never counted on falling in love. I was in the employ of deceivers and killers, raised and trained by them to be like them; only better. Love was to have no place in the equation and my mistake was warning Alexi of an assassination attempt on his father. In hind sight I never should have warned him, I never should have told him what I was. I had thought he would understand, and forgive me. I had thought the love we had would be enough, but love is for the innocence of children it had no place in the real world, in the heart of an assassin, in the heart of a spy.
Red Room framed me for Alexi's father's death, turned Alexi against me, forced my hand so as to have no choice but to kill the only man I loved and in killing him, I killed that child in me. I hated Red Room for it and I hated 'Her' the most. The true Spider, the Mistress of the Web, I learned from her all that I know and once I thought her near close to a mother until she drove home that dagger and forced me to rip out my own heart. There was to be no trust among assassins and spies, only veiled alliances. We are a breed of deceivers and manipulators we are to have no heart, no compassion, no love. It was her final lesson and one I have never forgotten or forgiven; in her or myself. And just as a name comes to mind I am pulled back out of memory's recall by the violent strike of a hand.
I am struck again, my interrogator yelling something along the lines of being too stupid to count and the impossibility of me being the last remaining Romanov; the last one died 70 years ago and I look to be in my late 20s maybe 30 at most to him. The impossibility of it and my seeming 'non-compliance' made him angry mixed in were colourful words in Hungarian to describe me and they were far from genteel words. Were my hands not bound and I was not in the middle of my own 'interrogation' I would not have let the man lay hand on me let alone call me what he did, but I need to hang in there, I need just a little more intel and I know he is close to giving it to me...the moron.
'She' had taught me this, the soft skills of an interrogation. The heavy hand was too obvious too blunt of a means. She taught me that an interrogation need not be so 'messy' and torture is never a reliable means. Suggestibility, deception, pride and ego, Reid techniques and a woman's own sexuality, all of these tools used to spin a web meant to entangle and ensnare the information needed; gathered. This was how I worked. Who would have known after all these years, after breaking free of Her I would still be her little 'Trivet' (spider); the Black Widow.
I had broken free of her, of Red Room gained my freedom through the very tools of deception and manipulation she had taught me, I threw back at her all that I had learned and blackmailed them for my freedom. It was a strained agreement but so as not to expose the Black Widow Project or Red Room they were to let me go; alive and free of them. And so started my 'Freelance' work.
I had a specific skill set thanks to Red Room and now entering the world a free agent, I didn't care who I worked for, who I used my skills for or on. I did what I did to survive and I did it well. Over time I made a name for myself which garnered the attention of some rather powerful people and suddenly I was on SHIELD's radar in a bad way.
Back to the present and more shouting once again, even as the serum they injected in me has almost run its course through my body I still give them nothing of substance and they are getting more frustrated, more agitated. So much so they babble on with threats mingled with questions and names that unwittingly dropped, give me what I need. Their very questions tell me what they know and don't know as well as the key players. All the while they are standing proud and strong above a woman bound and from their perspective beaten. Can't say I blame them for being duped, I am the consummate actress, Hilary Swank and Jodi Foster do not have a thing on me.
The hammer of a gun is pulled back and now I stare up at the barrel of a gun pointed at my head; my interrogators are getting more impatient. I fight the urge to smile as this scene is reminiscent of another more dire event in my life, less funny at the time but the years have dulled the barbs. I mentioned I got on SHIELD's radar in a bad way right? Well enter the Hawk as I stare up through the pointed tip of an arrow; at an assassin's mercy. Sent to kill me, the man makes a different call. Heh who would have thought?
I am rarely surprised by people or caught off guard but I have to say that night I thought I was about to die, I never expected him to play the mercy card not after what I did to him and his men and what I am capable of. SHIELD saw me as a threat that needed to be put down, Barton saw something else. Though I will admit at first I wished he had killed me as being on a government organization's leash once more just stank of Red Room all over again and I was going to be damned if I was about to become some government's play thing once again but the need to survive won out in the end. I was SHIELD's reluctant participant at first. But like the very man that saved my life, the place, the people and yes even 'He' grew on me. Now I am without tracking chip embedded into my skin, I am here of my own volition.
Now I find myself working for a government agency once again and hunting mutants of the deadly 'public threat' variety; wading into a war that is slowly growing murky by the day. I have nothing against mutants in general, but those that threaten the civilian populace I have a slight bone to pick or well, my superiors do, but since we are walking on the same path for now I play by their rules. It's less spy work but on occasion my skills are utilized...like now.
The serum is completely out of my system now, compliments of my enhanced immune system; it really doesn't take long for my body to work its way through it. Despite the trembling look I give my Hungarian interrogator I am the epitome of calm inside because even within this state of chaos around me, I am in control; I got this. He and his men had given me everything I need and I feign acquiescence to lower their guard a mistake they barely even have time to regret as I spring into action. Even restrained there are still many ways I can neutralize a threat, being bound to a chair doesn't stop me; I just get 'creative'.
With a kick to the groin and a butt of my head as the man doubled over; the first man crumples down in pain and a gush of blood from a badly broken nose. Next is man number two. Gun in hand is kicked away and then swatted with the legs of the chair which at the moment is bound to me it knocks him back and against a wall as I press my attack by backing into him thereby stabbing him with the leg points of the chair. I hear the click of the hammer of a gun and know that aim has been taken on me but my reaction time is heightened so I manage to dodge out of the way as the bullets rittle the man behind me. He, sadly was humanly slow and wasn't fast enough to dodge the bullets. I keep moving though, allowing momentum to carry me as I roll up close to the gunman, step up and flip kick the man pushing him back and separating gun from man. My flip lands the back of the chair onto the first man I took down as he was trying to get up. The chair breaks against the man's back smashing him to the floor again and freeing me from my restraints. I grab at the now broken pieces of chair and snag two of the legs using them like Kali sticks. I strike at the remaining and recently disarmed gunman and break his bones; wrist, arms and knee with fluid precision and with a final blow to the head I render him unconscious. He won't be able to shoot, he won't be able to call for help; neutralized.
With a huff I straighten my stance and push back the locks of red from my face as I survey the scene. On my earlier days these men would have all been killed; no trace, no witnesses, no mess. But times have changed, I kill only when I need to now and only if necessary. The rest of the time I leave it for SHIELD to bag'em and tag'em. I just make sure they can't get away.
"Nat..." a voice comes into the communicator that I just pressed into my ear and activated, opening communications once more. His voice sounded as though he were right beside me as opposed to the adjacent building up high on some perch no doubt. Even with his neutral sounding tone and my name uttered, that one word and I still know exactly what he is asking.
"I'm fine." I reply back in equally neutral and controlled tones, as I grab what I need from the men and this place. Everything about me is a state of control. "Notify SHIELD, they got it wrong. It's not going to Kiev."