Pt. 50 A Belated Birthday Present…..
[AVENGERS TOWER SECURITY FILES: 04122017 1800hrs]
Loc: Penthouse Offices AVENGERS TOWER, Broadway & W 58th St, New York, NY
Tony: <pacing the office> Ok, so how are we doing on that list FRIDAY?
FRIDAY: Your search parameters left us with a list of 3847.
Tony: <whistles> What has Aunt Peg said about this Grant guy? <thinking> FRIDAY, remove any that have no prior military or SHIELD experience.
FRIDAY: The list is now at 572.
Tony: <groaning> That’s still a lot of guys to weed through. Are there any that would have difficulty using technology? Powers based in water or EMP bursts?
FRIDAY: That eliminates 6 more. Still 566 to go.
Tony: Ok, shot in the dark. Are any of them actually named Grant?
FRIDAY: Last, First, Middle, Aliases?
Tony: Any of the above.
FRIDAY: List is now at 72.
Tony: Ok, that’s more manageable. Remember the ones we eliminated, but scroll the short list on the monitors.
FRIDAY: On it, Boss. <A list of files with names and photos starts streaming across the monitors>
Tony: <one of the files in a corner monitor catches his eye as it flickers past> WAIT! <enlarges the screen, pulling it front and center> Scroll back two files. <FRIDAY complies, Tony stares at the screen, a mix of disbelief, annoyance and amusement on his face> Sonofagoddamnbitch! <shakes his head, eyes rolling> Fucking hell. FRIDAY, how did I not figure this out sooner? What am I going to do now? I can’t tell Aunt Peg the truth, but I can’t let her meet him.
[AVENGERS TOWER SECURITY FILES: 04122017 1800hrs]
Loc: Residential Level A, Quarters of P. Carter, AVENGERS TOWER, Broadway & W 58th St, New York, NY
Peggy: <standing in front of monitors, sighs, walks over to her desk, plops down in the chair, kicking off her shoes> What else do we have to catch up on APRIL?
APRIL: That’s it for now, Boss. We’ve coordinated with all the groups about account restorations. Network is back to 87%. There’s still accounts to be reclaimed, but the word is out, and smaller teams are assisting members trying to get back into their accounts. About 7% of the remaining downed accounts will have to be abandoned. Either too corrupted to repair, or users can’t reclaim due to lost passwords.
Peggy: Well, we managed to save and repair what we could. That’s good news. I’m still quite perturbed at all the work we lost by scrubbing so many accounts for that seventy-two hours before the attack.. We’ll have to make up for lost time on the Ossoff campaign. I don’t want to lose that energy we’ve built up.
APRIL: You’ve been working non-stop for the last day and a half since you got your account back, Boss. Maybe a little down time before you jump back into the fight?
Peggy: <sighs, looks at the empty chip bag and mug of cold, stale coffee on her desk> Very well. <puts her feet up on the desk> Though I’m not sure what to do with myself. I’ve read so many reports that a book doesn’t sound appealing at the moment at all. If I turn on the telly, I know I’ll just put on a news channel which won’t help me to relax.
APRIL: You still haven’t responded to Grant. I’ve noticed a trend during your chats with him. Those conversations result in a significant drop in your blood pressure.
Peggy: <brightens> I’ve been so busy, I haven’t had a chance to chat with him since I got my account back. <looks at the clock, frowns> It’s 2am wherever he is. Still, I can at least leave him a message to wake to. <rises, grabs the garbage and old coffee from the desk, head to the kitchenette, tossing the trash& refilling her mug with fresh coffee, returns to the office, relaxes in the chair, opens a DM to Grant>
Peggy: Hi Grant! I’m so sorry I’ve been out of contact. It’s been insane here trying to clean up the mess from that hacker attack. Unfortunately, when they scrubbed my account, I lost all my posts and conversations from the last three days previous. So I guess we’ll have to start a new Words game. Unless of course you want to concede defeat, that is. 😉
Steve:<laughs at the screen> Surrender? Fat chance, Mags! 😄 Glad you got your account back, I was worried.
Peggy: I’d scold you for being up so late, but by now I know that’s one battle I won’t win. They told me you were the one who reported it. I’m glad you didn’t get caught up in the phishing. Apparently one of my newer recruits was flipped by a keylogger. When they sent me a link for a news article, I didn’t think twice about clicking to check it out. What made you so sure I’d been compromised?
Steve: <blushes> Ah, the techs didn’t tell you what they had to scrub from your account?
Peggy: No, I simply presumed they used it for psyops disinfo.
Steve: Um, no. They turned it into a pornbot account with clickbait links.
Peggy: THEY DID WHAT?! I’m not sure whether I’m more angry or embarrassed!
Steve: I’m sorry Mags. Though, it was a dead giveaway.
Peggy: Indeed, I’m glad you know me well enough to realize I’d never send anything like that. Thank goodness it’s all deleted. What will Hydra and the Russians try next? I mean, after that Rumlow chap attacked Maria and I during the Day Without A Woman event, we took extra precautions to secure the Tax March. No one expected a cyberattack.
Steve: <stares at the screen, his temper rising at the name> Wait, it was RUMLOW that attacked you? That’s not possible, he’s dead! Maggie, I SAW the explosion!
Peggy: HYDRA seems to have found a way to bring him back. Maria identified him. They’re not sure if he’s a cyborg or something they call a ‘Life Model Decoy’, but it was defiantly him.
Steve: You told me his name was Brick.
Peggy: <cagey> Yes, and I also told you I was a time traveler. I was on a lot of medication at that time, and things were a bit fuzzy.
Steve: That’s it, I’m not waiting for next week. The Accords be damned. Brock Rumlow was a tough fight before HYDRA upgraded him. No offense, Maggie, but I guarantee you, that repulsor watch from Tony is the only thing that saved you.
Peggy: I hate to admit it, but you’re probably right, ONLY because I didn’t know what I was up against. Still, I don’t want you coming back before the Accords are rescinded. I seriously doubt he’ll be popping out of the next alley I walk past. Just wait. Please? It’s not worth the risk.
Steve: I’m sorry, Maggie. I’ve been sitting by watching, wanting to be there, feeling helpless as I read the news, seen GOP, HYDRA and Russia trying to destroy our country. Now RUMLOW is back too? No. I can’t wait any longer. I’ve got some arrangements to make in order to get back into the US, but I’ll be there in a few days. I’ll talk to Fury after I get there. I’ll see you soon. <logs off, starts to pack and plan>
Peggy: Grant? Grant! Don’t do this! THAT’s AN ORDER, SOLDIER! <sighs, knowing his mind is made up, glares at the screen, growling to herself> You plonker, I swear, when I see you, Fury and the Accords will be the least of your worries.