I stood in the corner of the room in Demetria's flat, quietly thinking to myself. I had several things on my mind, and of course they were all organized, businesslike and strategic.
First order of business: why had the breach of security at Stark residence been so easily shrugged off by everyone, when it was obviously a major disturbance?
Second: How had I, specifically, allowed myself to be so easily caught off guard? What was wrong with me? I should've known better, and I was sure my dad would give me hell for it. After he was done "saving the day," again.
Third and last issue I was concerned with was, now that I was in this situation, what could I do to get out of it - and ensure that all the others got out, as well?
As for the first issue, I quickly cast it aside. It wasn't important at this point. The second point, however, gave me a great deal of concern. For a first actual mission of this magnitude, I needed to be at the top of my game, not lagging behind. I figured that I was probably just distracted by the party and then by the all-day training session...which of course had ended at about midnight that night.
Finally, I arrived at the last problem. A straight-up fight was definitely out of the question - Loki and his allies would quickly destroy us, of that much I was certain. Stealth wouldn't do us a lot of good here, either, at least not how I was looking at it.
I began devising a plan in secret, without the input of the others - when the time came and I had it all figured out, then I would share it with them. For now, this would be my problem.
I would need a great deal of equipment from SHIELD, which would mean getting their cooperation...a shaky bet at the best of times. All I currently had with me was a short blade and my own physical abilities - not that that was such a great limitation, of course, but I was still under-equipped. Oh well. For now, it looked like the others were discussing a battle plan.
I kept my secret scheme to myself, but I did contribute to their plan as much as possible - no reason to hinder them, simply because I had ideas of my own. It looked like they were planning a long siege of pitched battles and attrition...time-consuming and, in my opinion, strategically weak in support.
Sometimes, I really did hate my father's strategic genius that he'd passed to me. It got to the point where picking a video game was a major tactical move.
Soon enough, Katherine looked at me kind of sideways. She could always tell when I was distracted.
"You look like you're deep in thought about...something," she said, trying to guess my motive. "What's on your mind?"
I looked around the room at everyone, saw a few of the adults beginning to filter in, and then my will broke. Later on, I reflected that my willpower in my teenage days was pathetic.
"All right," I blurted out. "I've got a plan. And it would at least be quicker than what we've got here."
"So, what is it?" Jeremy looked at me with curiosity - sometimes, I really didn't get that kid.
"Yeah, what is this 'brilliant plan,' oh strategist extraordinaire?" Now I could tell that Kat was mocking me, at least just a bit. Whatever.
"Here's what I was thinking," I began.