Colonel Nicholas “Nick” Joseph Fury was the spy to end all spies. It was said that his secrets had secrets. He stood staring out window of one of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Helicarriers pondering the past.
It wasn’t always this way. At the very start of his career he was an officer in the US Army and then later an espionage veteran of the CIA during the Cold War. During the war he caught the attention of S.H.I.E.L.D., a covert international peacekeeping organization which operated as humanity’s first line of defense against Earth’s most dangerous enemies and was recruited by them. He quickly impressed S.H.I.E.L.D.’s higher-ups and was promoted to the position of Director, becoming the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D.
He soon earned the distinction of “the spy to end all spies.”
And now, at the height of his career, he stood waiting for someone in particular, an agent he had summoned: Natasha Romanoff.
The word ‘stunning’ didn’t even come close to describing her.
She was drop-dead gorgeous.
What a contrast! He was an imposing figure for sure; he was tall, dark-skinned, powerfully built, and bald, with a permanently damaged eye which was covered in scars and hidden by an eye patch. She was, well, the complete opposite; Natasha was beauty personified.
Hearing the repetitive clatter of heeled boots on metal boards, Fury smirked: He had asked for his favourite spy; one of the best, though he only worked with the best, to meet with him for her briefing. Waiting patiently for his agent to arrive, he only spoke when her reflection appeared in the glass before him.
The transparent woman looked to be in her twenties - standing at 5ft 3in tall and weighing in at 125 pounds with green eyes and long luscious curly red hair. The agent was gorgeous, truly stunning, a natural beauty that didn’t require make-up or perfume to make people fall for her. The way she moved was strong and confident, her every move, every gesture smooth and precise and her green eyes keenly intelligent.
Without turning to her, he said: “Agent Romanoff.”
“Director,” she stood to attention, her hands behind her back, tight blue uniform stretching while leaving little to the imagination; indeed she had seen a few junior agents doing double takes as she walked by.
“I need you to infiltrate Stark Industries.”
“Sir?” she asked curtly.
“Stark is ill,” Fury explained. “We need to find out what his condition is.”
She didn’t bother asking Fury how he knew this, Fury was the Spy, a shade of grey that wasn’t even in the spectrum.
“Do you need me to hack his system?”
“No, but find out everything you can about Tony Stark, his condition, and anything relating to it. Be discreet, subtle even.”
She inclined her head.
“What are my mission parameters?” Natasha asked intently.
“For the moment - observation,” he responded. The Director still had not turned to her and Natasha didn’t expect him to; in their time working together, the redhead had learned what that meant before he said more. “Get as close to the company as you can, without being too obvious.”
No more instructions came. Agent Romanoff would not need any. Instead, he listened as the sound of footsteps faded away; The Black Widow had been activated.
As she left, Fury remembered a conversation he had had with Agent Hill.
“Why her, sir?”
“She’s the best at what she does, Maria. She can get in and that’s what we need.”
“But why her?”
“Maria, you look like an agent. She doesn’t. And you’re not comfortable with some of the things I might need you to do...” the Director asserted patiently. Fury continued: “Romanoff is comfortable with everything. That in itself is useful in infiltration. Things are changing, the world is getting bigger; there are different shades of grey out there now and we need to catch up ASAP.”
“It may be too late for that,” the brunette responded coldly, before strutting away.
“I agree...” Nick murmured quietly.
‘ ... You’ve got to keep your eye on the game.’
He thought idly to himself as he watched the brunette leave.
Natasha was very skilled at infiltration. It had been one of her hallmarks.
At a young age, Romanoff was recruited by the KGB and endured both an education and indoctrination into the world of spycraft. Romanoff excelled in this strict training environment and soon became regarded as a master spy and one of the world’s greatest assassins. Her ruthless effectiveness earned her the code name, Black Widow.
Due to both her expertise and her growing threat to global security, Romanoff quickly appeared on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s radar, prompting Director Nick Fury to send Agent Clint Barton, better known as Hawkeye, to eliminate her. Hawkeye disobeyed this order because he recognized her skill, and instead recommended her for recruitment for S.H.I.E.L.D. At the behest of Director Fury, Romanoff later defected from Russia and joined the ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D. From that moment on, she developed a lasting partnership with Barton and together they had missions in Budapest, Abidjan, and many other locations.
She perfected her skills and was soon able to infiltrate companies with relative ease.
Men, she found, were easy to seduce. Women required more patience then men.
First, though, she needed an interview.
She went as Natasha Rushman. It made more sense and made it easy to remember her name and meant fewer mistakes, should she forget at an inconvenient time.
Fury didn’t want information on the company. S.H.I.E.L.D could get that easily enough; all they had to do was hack the systems and they were in - Stark’s firewalls were ridiculously easy to get into.
No, she needed a job to get the inside track on details about Tony Stark.
Natasha smiled; she always enjoyed undercover work. It required less punching...
She decided to keep her hair red, it gave her a ‘fiery’ personality. Then she chose a nice subtle lipstick and a hint of perfume. The trick was not to reveal too much but to let the mark’s imagination do the rest. Thus she wore clothing that specifically emphasized her voluptuous curves and pert assets: High heels, short skirts and low cut tops.
Of course the interviewer was a man, and he was easy enough to seduce. With a sly wink here and the flutter of the eyelids there, leaning forwards and talking about numbers, uncrossing her legs at strategic moments, and BAM, she had a job.
Getting promoted was even easier. Six months in the company and she was bounced up the ladder to where she needed to be. After all, Stark was also a man - same procedure. Except now she had her own office.
So then, when Tony had tried to get hold of Pepper but couldn’t, he contacted her.
He called, which she answered on her Bluetooth; she took the call and smiled when she said, “Mr Stark?”
Natasha answered politely, her tone intentionally simpering.
“I somehow knew you’d be up,” the billionaire chuckled into the mic.
“I was looking through the daily finances, sir.”
“Boring,” Tony quipped. “Look I need you to do me a favor. There’s a file on my desk, nothing interesting in it...”
Tony paused and Natasha sensed a lie:
“ ... but I need you to take it to Pepper. It’s just stuff about my off-shore accounts.”
“Sir,” she replied.
“Hey Miss Pro-active,”
“Call me Tony.”
She smirked, “Yes Sir.”
“Ugh,” the line went dead and the agent chuckled.
Pulling out her PDA, Natasha checked his GPS tracker to see where Stark was and smiled, satisfied the man was where he was meant to be.
The redhead signed off her device, then got up and stretched. The walk would do her good. Arching her back, the agent let out a breathy sigh.
Ever since Tony Stark had starting calling himself ‘Iron Man, ‘ matters in the spying world had become increasingly complicated. Subtlety seemed less important when a flying metal robot went around blowing up terrorists.
On the other hand, it was never easy when you didn’t know who your friends and enemies were. For Stark, everything was black and white. But not Natasha’s world; everything was a deeper shade of grey.
She made her way to Pepper’s office.
In the spy world, she was known as The Black Widow but her alias at Stark Industries was Natasha Rushman. Nobody here knew she was really Natasha Romanoff.
She opened the door and observed what she had suspected; Natasha wasn’t the only person in the building. Sitting behind a desk in the dark room, illuminated by the soft glow of her computer terminal was none other than CEO Pepper Potts. The woman was tall, standing nearly six feet with long strawberry blond hair. Natasha noted that Pepper’s cleavage wasn’t as ample as her own but rather small, perfect handfuls.
The woman sitting behind the desk in the darkness started and looked up before smiling tiredly. “Ms. Rushman, what are you doing here so late?”
“Mr. Stark asked me to return a file to your office. Something to do with his off-shore accounts?” Natasha held up the file for Pepper to see.
“Ah, thank you,” she nodded. “I can take that.”
Natasha stepped into the office, making sure to exaggerate the sway of her full hips.
.... There is more of this story ...