Pt 65. The Documentaries, Part 2…..
Winter Soldier, the Fall of SHIELD, & a Bit of Mismatched History…..
[AVENGERS TOWER SECURITY FILES: 04162017 1200hrs]
Loc: Residential Level A, Quarters of P. Carter, AVENGERS TOWER, Broadway & W 58th St, New York, NY
<the smell of fresh coffee wafts under the bedroom door, rousing Peggy gradually, she lies in bed, blinks, rubbing sleep from her eyes, suddenly sitting up as everything from the previous day comes rushing back to her all at once in a rush of mixed emotions>
Peggy: I killed Howard, Steve’s alive, and I punched Anthony. April, tell me I was dreaming?
APRIL: No Boss, you were wide awake. You’ve only been asleep for about five hours. Agent Coulson is out in the kitchenette waiting for you with a fresh pot of coffee.
Peggy: WHY didn’t you tell me Steve was alive?
APRIL: You’re not going to like the answer, Boss.
Peggy: <cocks her head to the side, already knowing the answer, eyes rolling> Really?
APRIL: You asked to see his old service photo from before the treatment numerous times. You never asked to see anything more recent.
Peggy: < sighs, hangs her head, closing her eyes in exasperation, holding the bridge of her nose, takes a deep breath> ANY other time, you volunteer information without my asking. <voice rising> The ONE TIME I don’t ask, the time it would have mattered, and you said nothing.
APRIL: I provide you with additional information that is relative to the task at hand. The fact of Captain Roger’s revival was not information necessary to any of our current projects.
Peggy: <throwing off the covers, changing into fresh jeans and a sweater> Is there any other ‘non-relevant’ information I should know about? <a knock interrupts>
Phil: <through the door> Peg? Everything ok?
Peggy: <opens the door, entering the living room> Sorry, I was just having a bit of an argument with April.
Phil: <motions to the coffee table by the couch> I made coffee, and there’s leftover pizza. I know yesterday was a lot to absorb, but we’ve got more to get though when you’re ready.
Peggy: <nods, sitting down on the sofa, the heat from the coffee mug helping to wake her as much as the sweet rich caffeine it contains does, looks up at Phil> Where is Steve?
Phil: Most likely across the hall in his quarters. He, Stark, and Fury were up most of the night talking, and from what I hear, it went well. A few of the other Avengers showed up in the middle of the night while they were working things out. I’m sure you’ll meet them later. They’re all keeping a low profile for the next day or so until after the Accords are lifted tomorrow morning.
Peggy: <takes another sip of her coffee> How many more of these documentaries are there to watch?
Phil: <stops to think> All told? Close to twenty, plus the documentary series on SHIELD. <Peg’s eyes widen> We’re only focusing on the ones regarding Tony, Cap and the Avengers for now. I might drop off the others sometime if you like. There’s four more I want you to see. <sighs> There are going to be a lot of things in these ones that won’t make you happy, but I need you to understand what’s happened in the past few years.
Peggy: <brow furrowed in puzzlement> Alright. I suppose the best we can do is to dive right in. <Phil nods, starting the first film>
Peggy: <smiles> He always enjoyed running in the quiet right before dawn, I think he was just happy to be able to do so after a lifetime of asthma preventing it. <snickers as Steve laps the other runner a third time>
Peggy: <repeats Steve, nodding in agreement> ‘Like lying on a marshmallow.’ <laughs as Steve talks about the improvements of the 21st century> Indeed! Quite helpful! <looks at Steve’s list> He sent me that Marvin Gaye soundtrack, I rather enjoyed it. What is disco? <Phil, just shakes his head, Nat pulls up to the curb, cracking jokes, Peg snickers> Do they tease him much like that? <Phil grins, nodding>
<the scene switches to the mission briefing on the plane, Peg inhales sharply, recognizing the gravely voice before Rumlow even turns around>
Peggy: That’s the man who attacked Maria and I in the park! He was telling the truth about knowing Steve. No wonder he recognized me. HOW in the HELL did a miscreant like that ever get into SHIELD?!
Phil: <frowns> It’s explained, just watch. <scowls at the mention of Agent Sitwell>
Peggy: <shakes her head in exasperation as Steve jumps out of the plane with no parachute, rolls her eyes at Nat’s attempts to play matchmaker, watches the mission with great interest> Seems he’s gotten back into the swing of things, that looks a lot more like the Steve I fought beside. <studies his hand to hand combat> He’s picked up a few new moves though. That Natasha! I like her more every time I see her in action, though I can’t say I like her nosing into Steve’s personal life like that. <she jumps, startled as Steve’s shield flies through the window, narrowly missing the pirate leader, Rumlow informs Steve that Natasha missed the rendezvous, Steve calls but she doesn’t answer her radio, Peg shakes her head> She’s up to something, isn’t she? <Phil just holds a finger to his lips& points to the screen, Steve fights the pirate leader, showing off more new moves that have Peg glued to the screen>
<the two crash through a door, Steve knocking out the pirate, only to find Nat downloading SHIELD files, the pirate throws a grenade, Steve barely managing to get himself and Nat safe from the blast as they argue about how Nat’s side job risked compromising the mission>
<the scene shifts back to DC, an impressive tall building shown on the edge of the Potomac, Peg looks on, impressed, but surprised>
Peggy: All of our field offices and bases have always been kept so secretive. When did we build this? It’s so very, well, <pauses> massive, <adds> and, prominent. Almost reminds me of the Tower. <shakes her head> This was Howard’s idea, wasn’t it?
Phil: <grins, nodding> The Triskelion was built over the course of a few years from 1987 to 1990. SHIELD has actually had a public face for most of its existence, though the Trisk was the only widely known location besides the Academy. All the other offices and bases were still kept hushed.
<Steve storms into Fury’s office, arguing with him about keeping secrets, Fury tells the story of his granddad during the elevator ride, Peg shakes her head>
Peggy: He obviously still has trouble with trust and secrets, doesn’t he? <Phil takes a deep breath, but doesn’t answer, Peg gives him a look, on the screen, Fury shows off the next generation helicarriers and Peg is suitably impressed, until Fury explains Project Insight> Crikey, there’s such a thing as being prepared for alien threats, but this? This isn’t protection, this is trying to control the masses! This is unacceptable! Yes, we did things differently during the war, and not all of it was things I’m proud of, but we were trying to protect the freedom of the world from people who would have wanted to control it. This is too close to what we were trying to STOP! This is NOT what SHIELD is supposed to be! <Steve tells Fury that Insight ‘isn’t Freedom, it’s Fear’ she nods in agreement, glaring at the screen as Steve walks away from Fury>
<Steve rides off from the Trisk, Peg smiles in surprise when he appears at the Smithsonian, looking round his own exhibit, she pays close attention>
Peggy: Living Legend? Symbol of Courage? <scoffs> If Steve had one ounce of ego, it would have been puffed up beyond belief from all that fanfare. <points at the screen> Look at him, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible. <she tries not to cry as Steve looks at the memorial for Bucky, she whispers> He never got over losing his best friend.
<she’s startled to see an older version of herself being interviewed on the screen, she can’t hold back the silent tears any longer, as he opens the compass to the picture of her, the scene then changes again, and Peg is even more startled to see her elderly self and Steve talking, tears still streaming down her face, she chokes, her hand to her mouth as her elder self goes into a dementia fuge, thinking Steve has just returned>
Peggy: <still sobbing, whispers softly to herself> How many times? How many times did he have to go through that? Seeing me so lost and confused, thinking he had just been found? Oh, my Darling, I’m so, so, sorry you had to see me like this, Perhaps it would have been easier for you, if I had already been gone.
Phil: <pauses the film, puts a hand on her arm, offering a box of tissue> When you were lucid, you were still whip cracking sharp. You were still his guide, his compass, pointing him in the right direction. Hell, even after you retired, you still helped out in an advisory capacity as a consultant when you could. You kept working until about 2006 or 7, I think. You didn’t fully retire until after we helped UNIT deal with the Battle at Canary Wharf. <thinks> Which is right about the time the DRP file was entered in the Blackbook section of the Toolbox.
Peggy: <pats his hand, shaking a bit, takes a tissue to dry her eyes, taking deep breaths trying to calm herself> It’s, <breathes> It’s all right, just quite a bit of a shock to see myself older, talking about things I haven’t done yet, looking back on a life I’ve yet to live, losing <pauses> losing my mind.
Phil: <gives her another few minutes> Are you going to be ok to continue? Because there’s a few more things that will probably shake you like this.
Peggy: <reaches for her coffee, trying not to spill it as her hand still trembles slightly, takes another breath, settling herself, takes a sip and nods> I have to be. I need to know.
<Phil unpauses the film, Fury tries to access the Lemuria Star files, but is denied>
Peggy: <suspicious> How could he be locked out on his own authority? <Fury takes the elevator up to the Council> I still don’t like this ‘World Security Council’. They almost blew up all of Manhattan! Howard and I never answered to any such thing. <watches Pierce deftly navigating the political minefield> Well at least we’ve got someone on our side. <Phil bites his lip and says nothing, Peg notices the true and raw concern on Fury’s face when he asks Pierce to try and delay launch of the helicarriers>
<Steve enters the VA, listening in on one of Sam’s PTSD group counseling sessions, she listens intently>
Peggy: We called it ‘shell shock’. So many men, and women, came back from the war with it. <sadly> They were looked down upon, seen as ‘weak’. They didn’t get the care they needed or deserved. I’m glad things have changed.
Phil: <nods> There’s still far too many that aren’t getting the help they need. Suicide rates among veterans are an epidemic. It seems like a recent thing over the past couple decades, but only because we didn’t properly identify and keep track until the late 80’s early 90’s. <shakes his head> Too many bright futures cut short.
<Fury drives through DC, calls Hill, telling her she’s needed back pronto, in deep shadow conditions, Peg jumps as Fury’s SUV is sideswiped by a police car, and is ambushed>
Peggy: If they’re not DC Metro? <continues watching the assault on Fury’s vehicle, looks at Phil> Good Lord! That thing can quite literally take a pounding! How do I go about requisitioning a car like that?
Phil: <grins> They’re special order, and the budget has been a bit tight. <a slightly pouty frown appears on her face as she turns back to the film, Fury takes off down the road, escaping the bulk of the attackers, two cars give chase as Fury argues with the onboard computer>
Peggy: Flight systems offline? <continues to pout> I was hoping to actually see one of these flying cars in action finally. <folds her arms over her chest> Hmph. I still want one. <the chase continues, Peg grows angry as she watches the carelessness with which the attackers fire at Fury> How can they commit such an attack, in broad daylight, with so many civilians around?
<her eyes go wide as Fury hits the brakes, the two cars boxing him in sail through the intersection ahead and are hit by a truck, she tries not to smile in satisfaction, then inhales as the lone man in the street fires the mine that flips Fury’s SUV, exhaling only after the door is ripped off to reveal Fury’s escape>
Peggy: <shakes her head, lips tight> There’s something familiar about that man. How was he able to simply rip the car door off like that? <Phil doesn’t answer>
<the scene shifts to Steve arriving at his apartment building, Peg watches the exchange between Steve and his neighbor, a mix of happiness, sadness, and jealousy waring inside her>
Peggy: Well, of course, I mean, it’s not like I expected him not to move on. She seems very nice and all. <laughs> At least he’s learned not to trip over his words when talking to a woman. <the neighbor leaves, and Peg notices the look on Steve’s face> He didn’t leave the phonograph on, did he? <she notices the books on the shelf as Steve sneaks into the apartment through the window> Hmm, All The President’s Men, yes he recommended that to me while I was recovering from my shoulder. I have to admit, I’ve been so busy, I still haven’t finished it.
Phil: When you have the time, you should.
<Steve tiptoes through the apartment, grabbing his shield, Peg watches silently, as he discovers the badly injured Fury in a chair in the dark, the two converse as Fury reveals SHIELD has been compromised, Peg is startled as loud shots fire through the window, taking Fury down, Fury hands Steve the flash drive with all of the Project Insight info, the neighbor burst in, armed, revealing herself to be SHIELD Agent 13>
Peggy: <muses> Agent 13? Hmm, that used to be my designation early on in SSR when I rescued Dr Erskine. Please tell me she’s not a HYDRA sleeper? <Phil shakes his head, Peg breathes a sigh of relief> Is she any good then?
Phil: <ponders a moment, thinking how much to reveal> Agent 13 is one of our best, taught by one of our best. She’s <pauses> She’s one of the last few ‘legacy’ agents recruited.
Peggy: <nods in approval> So, she has family in the agency? Anyone I know?
Phil: <hedging> Ah, had family, a great-aunt.
Peggy: <gives him a suspicious side-eye> But you’re not going to tell me anymore than that, hmm?
<Steve barges through the window in pursuit of the shooter, the same lone figure from the street earlier, he lands on the rooftop, flinging his shield, Peg’s eyes go wide as the shooter catches the shield in a silvery metal arm and hurls it back at Steve before jumping off the roof and disappearing, she growls>
Peggy: <pointing at the screen> Now I recognize him! From the files I saw yesterday! That’s the same bastard who killed Howard! Now this monster is after Nick? Who in the bloody hell is he working for?!
<Nat joins Steve at the hospital, where surgeons are working on Fury, Steve tells her about the shooter, Maria joins them, giving more details, Fury flatlines, Peggy looks to Phil, head cocked in confusion>
Peggy: He’s obviously not dead, at least, not anymore. That same alien concoction that was used to bring you back again? <Phil puts a finger to his lips and points to the screen>
<Steve tries to comfort a distraught Nat, who begins grilling him on why Fury was in Steve’s apartment, Steve lies to her, Peggy grins when Nat tells him he’s terrible at it, Rumlow has orders to escort Steve back to the Trisk, Steve hides the flash drive in a vending machine in the hospital before returning with Rumlow and the STRIKE team>
Peggy: Well, lying never was one of his strong points. I always had to do the talking whenever we were supposed to be undercover. At least he didn’t bring that thing with him to headquarters. If SHIELD was compromised, that’s the last place it should be.
<Steve returns to the Trisk, giving a curt response to Agent 13’s greeting before meeting with Alexander Pierce, who reveals that not only was Fury the one who bugged Steve’s apartment, but the papertrail for the pirates points to Fury as well, Steve doesn’t believe it, Pierce agrees, questioning him about Fury’s appearance at Steve’s apartment, Steve deflects, giving half answers, Peggy twitches slightly as Pierce goes on about having to get one’s hands dirty to build something better, He tells Steve that anyone getting in the way of finding answers will regret it, Peggy’s brow creases>
Peggy: <cocks her head to the side> There’s something slippery about that Pierce fellow. He makes it sound like he has good intentions, though perhaps a bit overzealous. I’m not sure if I like him.
<Steve enters the elevator, Rumlow and his team follow, Peg eyes them as cautiously as Steve does, more men enter the elevator, Rumlow expressing his condolences to Steve about Fury, Peg snorts derisively, her eyes rolling so far back, Phil wonders for a moment if they’ve gotten stuck, a third group of men enter the elevator, Peg returns to studying the crowd around Steve, she sees the look in his eyes and draws in a breath, just as Steve asks if anyone wants to exit the elevator>
Peggy: Ten on one? That’s not even close to fair. <laughs> They don’t stand a chance.
<the men attempt to subdue Steve, falling one by one despite managing to magnetically cuff one of his hands to the wall, Agent Sitwell watches in operations, giving orders for more men to assemble at the elevator, Steve manages to get his arm free, knocking out the next to last man, Rumlow is all that’s left, telling Steve, ‘This isn’t personal.’, Peg growls at the phrase, remembering his words at the park before he almost killed her, she winces each time Rumlow strikes him with the taser wand, cheering silently as Steve takes him down, step flipping his shield back to his arm, the doors open and the additional strike troops Sitwell sent are waiting outside, Steve cuts the wire of the elevator, causing it to drop a few floors, where even more troops are waiting, Peg’s heart lurches as she watches him leap through the windowed wall of the elevator, falling through a glass rooftop, crashing to the ground upon his shield>
Peggy: <watches him rise and head for the garage> Run, my Darling! <his bike leaps through the closing gate, a Quinjet hovers over the roadway, opening fire, Peg watches him weave the bike, deftly dodging the shots, smiles, mumbling to herself> He still rides a bike as wildly as he rides…. <remembers she’s, not alone, blushes, not finishing the thought, Phil pretends not to have heard, meanwhile on the screen, Steve, vaults onto the Quinet, taking out its engines, leaping off the waving jet, taking back off down the road away from the Trisk, Pierce announces that Steve is now a fugitive from SHIELD, Peg’s eyes narrow as he calls for a full manhunt, she turns to Phil> Is he? No, the corruption couldn’t have reached that far up the command structure. Could it? <Phil doesn’t respond>
<Steve returns to the hospital to retrieve the flashdrive, hiding his identity in loose sweats, a hood pulled over his face, staring at the empty spot in the vending machine, he hears a faint ‘pop’ behind him, as Nat’s reflection appears, he backs her against the wall in anger, she tells him what she knows, including the ‘ghost story’ of the Winter Soldier, they decide to work together to find out what is on the flashdrive and why Fury was killed>
Peggy: <feels her stomach rumbling, finally remembering the cold pizza, reaching into the box for a slice> We had heard rumors even in my time of someone like this ‘Winter Soldier’ but it’s impossible that it could be the same man. Perhaps it’s a title handed down to a series of master assassins?
<Pierce meets with the council, defending their accusations of corruption against Fury, they reveal they’re planning to have Pierce step down from the council and decide to resume the plans for the launch of Project Insight, Pierce doesn’t argue>
Peggy: <more than a bit irritated, growling between bites> Why didn’t he try to argue with them more? Insight is DANGEROUS and possibly corrupted! They need to have all the facts before they launch! What good is an oversight council that doesn’t oversee?!
<Nat and Steve, now in inconspicuous street clothes, hat pulled low, hiding behind a pair of glasses, walk determinedly through a mall, Nat gives him advice on appearing casual as they make their way to a computer store>
Peggy: <nods in approval> Blending in to crowds and playing a part was always so difficult for him. I remember more than once having to remind him. He hated the spycraft part of our missions.
<Nat inserts the flashdrive, knowing that an automatic tracker will activate at SHIELD and a STRIKE team will be sent to find them, she does her best to try and crack the files, but she’s outsmarted by an AI protecting the files, as STRIKE homes in on the building, she changes tactics, running a tracer for the origin location>
Peggy: Wheaton, New Jersey? That’s near Camp Lehigh! It was shut down after the war. Howard and Phillips are trying to get the army to fully decommission it. They want to build a proper SHIELD base there, instead of hiding out in rented office space.
Phil: <nods> That was the very first base, eventually built after SHIELD took over for the SSR.
<they duck out of the computer store, Steve recognizes members of STRIKE team scanning the crowds searching for them, he starts planning a tactical strategy to respond, Nat overrules him, opting for stealthy but casual behavior to blend in, Peg’s heart races slightly as Rumlow rises toward the pair on an escalator, Nat pulls Steve in for a kiss, explaining that displays of public affection tend to make people uncomfortable and keep them from paying close attention, the ruse works, and Peg laughs at Steve’s discomfort>
Peggy: <exclaims with roaring laughter> Now why didn’t I think of that to shut him up on our mission in Stuttgart?
<the pair head down the road to Jersey in a stolen pickup truck, Nat asks where he learned to hotwire a vehicle, Peg gives Phil a knowing wink, her eyes twinkling, she chuckles but doesn’t say any more, Nat asks if that was his first kiss since 1945, Peg watches the exchange sadly as Steve talks about the difficulty of finding someone with shared life experiences, they pull up to an old gate and Peg gasps>
Peggy: It IS camp Lehigh! <Steve explains to Nat that this was where everything started for him as they search the base, Peg frowns as he gets lost in a memory of that time> So much has changed. The times, the world, Steve. <ponders sadly> He’s not that same innocent wide eyed boy who just wanted to do his part and protect people from bullies. <Phil takes note of her observation>
<Steve notices the munitions bunker out of place, the two break in and check it out, as the lights flicker on, revealing the first SHIELD base, Peg’s eyes go wide, studying every detail as the two explore, they stop before a trio of photos on the wall, Nat pointing out Howard, then asking who the woman in the third photo is, Steve stares at it, then turns away, not answering, he continues to explore, finding the hidden elevator, Nat cracks the security code and they journey down>
Peggy: <reaches for another slice of pizza, confused> What in the world? Steve is exactly right.
<Phil doesn’t look at the screen, he’s busy studying Peg’s reactions to what he knows is coming, they exit the elevator, the lights slowly come up on rows and rows of dusty antique computer banks, Nat comments that the tech is too ancient to be the source of the flash drive, until noticing a modern usb port on the desk in front of the center monitor, she inserts the drive and the computer banks begin to whirl and light up, a camera looks the pair over, Nat types in the command to initiate the system, Peg spits out her pizza as she hears the familiar voice coming from the speakers, identifying Steve and Nat>
Peggy: NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! He should be DEAD! DEAD! <eyes blazing, hands clenched in fists, nails digging into the flesh of her palms, drawing blood, she pounds her fists on her knees, Phil doesn’t try to calm her> I’ll kill that little worm myself! <Zola explains how he was invited into SHIELD through Operation Paperclip, secretly rebuilding HYDRA within SHIELD and orchestrating world events, she puts her hands over her eyes, the blood from the cuts on her palms smearing on her cheeks, mixing with tears> I, I, didn’t do it. April says I signed for his release two months before I came here. <turns to look at Phil, who seems surprised by her statement, she’s unable to watch the rest of the files on the screen> I NEVER DID! <on the film, Steve’s fist smashes into the monitor, punctuating her denial>
<Zola stalls for time, locking them in, Nat announces there is a missile heading for their location, Steve grabs Nat and ducks for cover as it hits, destroying Zola and the bunker, burying them in rubble, Steve digs them out, carrying Nat to safety, as the STRIKE team arrives to search the debris for them, Peg whispers> Everything Howard and I created… it only made the world worse… we mucked it all up….
Phil: <pauses the film once more, perplexed, hands her another tissue, Peg blindly swipes away most of the tears and blood> What do you mean you never released Zola? I’ve read every old SSR file on record. I’d recognize your signature anywhere Peg. IF someone had forged your signature for his release, you would have found out. There’s no way you would have allowed him to remain free. How is it that you don’t remember?
Peggy: <shakes her head emphatically> Something isn’t right. It wasn’t me. I was in the process of shutting it all down. I was going to send Zola and Reinhardt to Nuremberg for trial.
Phil: <not exactly believing her, pulls his phone out of his jacket, sending a text> There’s nothing in any of the files I’ve ever read to indicate that plan. <pauses, trying to come up with an explanation that makes sense> It’s far too early for the alzheimer’s to have begun showing symptoms. Dr. Selar said you showed no signs of concussion or brain damage after your fight with Rumlow. I wonder, could the time travel have affected your memory? What DO you remember from that time? <Peg looks at him, not happy with his disbelief, he holds up a hand> Fine. Just tell me about the day you left.
Peggy: Well, there’s really not much to tell. I wasted a good portion of the morning arguing with the head of the New York SSR office. He was rather upset that two more of his top agents had decided to defect to SHIELD. I understand that eventually the two merged, but when I left, they were still two separate entities. I’ve been pushing Colonel Phillips to support uniting the two agencies, but he’s been rather stubborn. Some such nonsense about appropriations committees and how double the agencies means double the funding. <rolls her eyes> He’s not the one out in the field where we’re crossing paths on investigations, wasting double the time& resources on the same cases, and generally getting in each other’s way. Redundant bureaucracy.
Phil: I’d read about some of those cases. One agency would have only half the clues and evidence, and the other would have the missing pieces, and no one wanted to share.
Peggy: <fumes> Oh, I’ve been willing to share. It’s that fatheaded plonker, Agent Flynn who’s still pucker-arsed over a woman doing the job better than him. <closes her eyes, huffing> He never forgave me for closing Zodiac by myself, when the assignment called for three to five men.
Phil: <nods> If I recall, he was stonewalling the merger for his own reasons.
Peggy: <growls> He claims he doesn’t want to see the ‘tough as nails’ reputation of the world’s premiere security and investigation agency tarnished by ‘lace and rosewater’.
Phil: <smirks, chuckling> ‘Lace and rosewater’ is definitely not how I’d describe May, Simmons, Daisy or Yoyo. Having women in the agency as equals has only served to make SHIELD better. So, after the phone call?
Peggy: Ah, yes. Daniel, er, Agent Sousa had sent the latest reports from LA by courrier. He and Rose had joined Howard and I shortly after SHIELD had been formed. We’ve still been trying to trace any leads we can find about the Arena Club. We’ve found shady dealings and low level minions, but nothing solid. <determined look> I don’t like the idea of backroom fatcats trying to manipulate and usurp democracy in any century. I spent most of the rest of the day reading through the reports. <shrugs> I took a break or two for a bit of a nosh, but that was about it. I was filing Daniel’s reports before planning to drive over to have dinner with Howard and discuss Paperclip. The Doctor popped in as I was filing, and brought me here.
Phil: <ponders> I remember the reports about the Arena Club, Whitney Frost, and Zero Matter, but all the known members were killed by Frost. <shakes his head, firm> There were no further investigations into it.
Peggy: <adamant> But, there were! We’d opened a follow up about two months ago!
Phil: <raises an eyebrow> About the same time you signed off on Zola’s release?
Peggy: Yes! I mean No! None of this makes sense!
Phil: At any time did you interview Doctor Fennhoff?
Peggy: I see where you’re going with this. No. I haven’t seen him since he was captured and locked up two years ago. Besides, he likes to leave his victims with a final post hypnotic suggestion that ends up getting them killed. Ties up loose ends I suppose. If I had been foolish enough to come under his spell, I’d most likely be dead.
Phil: <tilts his head, shrugs> It was a thought. <looks at the time, grabs his phone, casually wanders into the kitchenette, looking over the various menus on the fridge> I’m gonna call for some lunch, why don’t you take a moment and we can try and figure this out a bit more after we eat.
Peggy: <glares at him side eyed> If you’re going to sneak off and talk to Nick about me behind my back, you might as well do it from my office down the hall. <rises, going to the kitchenette for more coffee, takes a sip, calls over her shoulder> And if you’re thinking chinese, make sure to get extra shrimp rolls!
<Phil sighs, heading down the hallway, Peg waits until she hears the door close, returns to the sofa with her coffee, grabs the remote>
Peggy: <speaking softly> April?
APRIL: Yes Boss?
Peggy: Monitor that call, I want a playback for later. They say they want to ‘show me everything’, but they’re still keeping secrets. I need to find all the pieces of this puzzle. <thinking of everything she’s learned so far> Even the painful ones.
<Not waiting for Phil to return, Peg unpauses the movie, as as the Winter Soldier appears in Pierce’s kitchen at night, expecting Pierce to be the next victim, she’s shocked to discover that he’s behind everything, giving the assassin his newest assignment -Nat and Steve, the assassin’s face is hidden in the darkness, but Peg stares at his eyes, trying to shake an uncomfortable feeling of familiarity, Pierce shoots his maid for stumbling in on the conversation, and Peg realizes just how coldblooded Pierce actually is>
Peggy: <gasps, forgetting she’s talking to no one> He gave the kill order on someone he called his one of his closest friends. He’s behind it all. <thinking back on all the previous conversations she’d seen him have> He’s a master manipulator. He made everyone think that Project Insight was their idea, that it was what was needed to protect the world. Dear God!
<the scene shifts to Sam, at home after his usual early morning run, a knock at the door revealing Nat and Steve, on the run, looking for a place to hide, Peg breathes a sigh of relief when Sam takes them in>
<Steve and Nat talk, as Nat reveals she’s having a crisis of faith regarding her work for SHIELD, realizing that perhaps she’s traded working for the KGB for working for HYDRA, Peg takes a deep breath, bites her lip, wishing she could change things for the woman, the conversation continues, and Steve tells Nat that he would trust her with his life, Peg smiles sadly in approval, Steve seems more confident, finally knowing who he’s fighting, Sam makes breakfast as the three talk, deducing that Pierce launched the missile at them, but is too well guarded at the Trisk to confront, opting to go after his lackey Sitwell instead, Sam offers his assistance, showing them a file on the EXO7-Falcon suit he used in the service>
Peggy: <smiles to herself> I hope this Sam is still around, he seems like the kind of man I’d want on my side.
<Senator Stern appears, talking to Agent Sitwell, Peg’s flesh crawls as the Senator speaks, when he whispers ‘Hail Hydra’ she’s not even surprised, Stern goes on his way, and Sam calls Sitwell, threatening him into a car, Steve and Nat take Sitwell up to a roof top for interrogation, Sitwell lies, unintimidated, knowing Steve won’t throw him off the roof>
<Peg is shocked as Sitwell goes flying off the roof, his screams fading as he falls, while Nat casually brings up finding Steve a date once more, Sitwells screams grow louder again as Sam flys over the roof in his Falcon wings dropping Sitwell by Steve and Nat before landing, Peg’s eyes go wide, impressed, Sitwell spills everything about Zola’s algorithm and how HYDRA will use it to target the Project Insight cannons to take out those that could stand in HYDRA’s way>
Peggy: <grips her mug tight, listens to Sitwell’s explanation, gasping> Bloody Hell! With information like that, it’s no wonder the Russians were able to manipulate the elections.
<a car drives down the freeway, Sitwell in the back seat with Nat, whining about how HYDRA doesn’t like leaks, and he’s as good as dead, Steve up front in the passenger seat, with Sam driving, begin making a plan to infiltrate the Insight launch bay using Sitwell to get past the security scanners, the car shakes as something lands on the roof, a metal arm smashes through the window, yanking the screaming Sitwell out of the car, throwing him into oncoming traffic in the next lane, the Winter Soldier begins shooting blindly through the roof into the car, Nat hops into the front, as Steve grabs the emergency break, the car screeches to a halt, the assassin flying off the car to land on the roadway unscathed>
<Nat pulls a gun to shoot him, but drops it on the floor as a humvee rams the back of the car, pushing it towards the assassin, who flips on top of the car, smashing the window& ripping out the steering wheel, the car careens wildly, flipping sideways in the air, Steve grabs the other two, smashing out the car door, using it as a sled to cushion as they land and skid down the roadway, the Winter Soldier fires a grenade launcher at Steve, who blocks with his shield, the blast sends him over the edge for the freeway, he crashes into a bus on the road below as Nat and Sam scatter for cover when the assassin and his team begin to open fire, Nat fires back, before leaping off the freeway, firing a grappling gun and swinging down, hiding in the shadow of the overpass to shoot up at the assassin, his goggles cracked by a shot, he casts them aside, the rest of his facemask remaining>
Peggy: <stares at the green eyes revealed, uncomfortably trying to determine why they look so familiar, mumbling to herself> If I didn’t know better, I’d say I knew him from somewhere. But who in this time could I possibly know besides Steve?
<the assassin sends his men after Steve, his focus on Nat, the men open fire on the bus as Steve exits, holding up his shield, Sam draws a knife, taking out one of the men and grabbing his gun, Sam returns fire, giving Steve cover so that he can go after the Winter Soldier, Peg’s focus is intense as she watches, the Winter Soldier stalking Nat through the panicked civilians and vehicles, he follows the sound of Nat’s voice, radioing for assistance, it’s revealed that the voice is coming from a phone playing back a recording as a misdirection>
Peggy: Well done! Smart woman!
<Nat attacks from the opposite direction, jumping on his shoulders, he throws her off, and she flings a taser disk, causing his metal arm to fritz for a moment, giving her a chance to run, she tries to draw him away from civilians, he regains control of his arm, continuing pursuit, firing at her, she takes a shot from behind above her breast, she falls, ducking behind a car, the assassin finds her, gun raised to fire again, as Steve charges him, shield in hand, the Winter Soldier turns, slamming his fist into Steve’s shield with a resounding clang, he fires a few rounds, all blocked, then the two begin fighting hand to hand, Peg is on the edge of her seat, still gripping the forgotten mug of coffee tight as she watches them trade blows, the assassin gains Steves shield, hurling it back at his head, Steve ducks as the shield is embedded into the side of a van, the assassin whips out a knife and the two continue their hand to hand>
Peggy: <thinks back, mildly amused> And Howard said HYDRA would never come at him with a knife. Hmph.
<the fight continues, Steve blocking the knife and connecting with his own hits, knocking the assassin off balance, Steve spin kicks the Winter Soldier in the gut, he goes flying back into the side of the van, the two continue to tussle, the assassin getting the upper hand as his metal arm clamps around Steve’s neck, throwing him over a vehicle, leaping over it to smash the pavement where Steve’s head had been moments before, the punches flying faster and harder, the assassin still armed with his knife, Steve blocking with the shield, Steve manages to jam the edge of his shield in between the plates of the assassin’s arm, it sparks, Steve grabs the Winter Soldier by the chin, flipping him over his shoulder, the assassin rolls, as his facemask falls away, he rises, turning to face Steve>
<as if far away, she can hear the sound of her mug shattering on the floor, numbly registering the steaming hot coffee scalding her bare feet, she trembles, Phil races back out into the living room, sees her staring blankly at the screen as the STRIKE team captures Steve, Sam, and the injured Nat>
Phil: <sitting down beside her, taking her hand> You weren’t supposed to restart the film without me. I didn’t want you to have to see that part alone.
Peggy: <still staring at the screen, unable to even cry, she croaks through the lump in her throat> Bucky. We never found his body. <putting pieces together> We never found his body, because HYDRA took him, and turned him into a monster. The monster that killed Howard. Bucky became a monster, because somehow I let Zola out.
Phil: You can’t take responsibility for everything bad that’s happened in the world.
Peggy: <finally turns from the screen, looking at him, angry and defiant> When it all stems back from one action I took? One action I don’t even remember taking? Yes. Yes, I can.
Phil: <sighs, knowing he won’t change her view of if> Just remember, a lot of good came from your actions over the years as well.
Peggy: <hearing Steve talk about how Bucky didn’t recognize him, looks back to the film> Why is that? What did they DO to him? Hypnosis? I mean, I doubt even Dr Ivchenko could erase a person’s entire being.
Phil: <bends down, picking up pieces of the shattered mug> Can you handle watching the rest of this? This will probably be the hardest of the documentaries. The other three left have parts that you won’t like, <thinks ahead> but for the MOST part, this will be the worst.
Peggy: <nods, still a little shaky> I have to. I have to know.
<Peggy looks back up to the screen in time to see Maria rescue Steve, Nat and Sam, taking them to an off books safe house under a bridge, where it’s revealed that Fury is alive, though badly injured, Nat’s gunshot wound is tended, while Fury explains the hows and whys of his ‘so-called’ demise>
Peggy: Hmm ‘can’t kill you if you’re dead’, sound logic, actually. While I understand the other’s distress at being kept in the dark, Nick was smart to let them think the attempt had succeeded.
<the scene shifts to a nondescript bank, where doctors are working to repair Bucky’s arm, he’s seated on chair, with extra machinery arms attached to the chair, armed STRIKE team members surround and guard the group>
Phil: You wanted to know how they could unmake a person. <sighs, points to the screen> It’s not pretty, but this is the answer.
<Bucky flashes back to Zola, to his fall from the train as Steve reaches for him, calling his name, being found and dragged off for Zola to continue to experiment upon, being put on ice in cryostasis, the resurfacing memories cause him to lash out, one of the doctors goes flying across the room, the STRIKE team immediately all aim their weapons at Bucky, Pierce enters the room, motioning for them to lower their weapons, Pierce approaches Bucky, unconcerned, demanding a mission report, Bucky doesn’t respond, Pierce demands again, still no response, Pierce backhands him across the face, Bucky turns, looking at him, thinks of Steve and asks about the man on the bridge, Pierce deflects, saying they met on a previous assignment, Bucky looks confused and distraught, ‘But I knew him’, Pierce sits on a stool, explaining how invaluable Bucky’s work has been in shaping the world over the past century, how he’s needed to help HYDRA bring the world the freedom it deserves, Bucky repeats ‘But I knew him’, Pierce doesn’t respond, rising, turns to the technicians, telling them to wipe Bucky and start over>
Peggy: <cringes, forcing herself to watch> Those machines on the side of his face! <thinks back> He had similar marks on his face when Steve retrieved him from Zola! <gasps> Could this have been part of the experiments Zola was working on from the beginning?
Phil: <shrugs> That’s something we haven’t been able to determine. Zola’s records and files on his experiments during the war were never recovered. The only two people who could answer that would be Zola, or Barnes.
<Nick looks at a picture of Pierce, angry that he’d been so duped, the team devises a plan to breach the helicarriers before they launch, switching out the targeting chips, Fury goes on to talk about salvaging the remains of SHIELD, Steve interrupts him, declaring that when they take HYDRA down, SHIELD goes with it>
<Hill agrees, Fury looks around at Nat and Sam, sighs, conceding, the scene shifts to Steve at the top of the bridge, looking out across the water, thinking about Bucky, remembering how his friend was there for him the day his mother died, Bucky promises to be there for Steve ‘until the end of the line‘, Sam interrupts Steve’s memories, pointing out that Bucky will be at the helicarriers, noting that whoever Bucky was before, he’s no longer the kind of person to be saved, but the kind of person to be stopped, Steve disagrees, certain that despite what has been done to him, Bucky will recognize him>
Peggy: <takes a deep breath, fearing Sam may be correct> I hope your faith is rewarded, my Darling.
<Steve tells Sam to gear up, Sam asks if Steve intends to wear his street clothes for the fight>
<Phil answers the knock at the door, as lunch arrives, Peg watches as a security guard patrols the dimly lit Smithsonian exhibit, cocking her head to the side, eyebrow raised, as she recognizes him, the guard laments his imminent firing upon discovering that Steve’s uniform is missing from the exhibit, Peg points at the screen, but the scene has changed before Phil returns with the food, Peg shakes her head, lowering her arm, saying nothing, as Steve, Sam, and Maria head through the woods on foot toward the Trisk>
Phil: <sets the bags down on the coffee table, smiling> Extra shrimp rolls. <Peg’s stomach rumbles as she digs through the bag>
<inside the underground launch bays, the Insight helicarriers are being prepped for launch in just over two hours, Tech Agent Klein and Agent 13 supervising, Pierce greets the Council as they arrive at the Trisk to oversee the launch, he presents each member with biometric pins that will give them full security access to the facility, meanwhile elsewhere in the building, Tech Agent Moore is having a casual conversation with coworkers while directing SHIELD air traffic, screeching feedback pierces through their headphones, Moore rises to check the satellite dish, scanning his security ID to open the door, he finds Sam, Maria, and Steve on the other side>
<Pierce toasts with the Council, celebrating the impending launch, Steve’s voice comes across the comm system throughout the entire building, he reveals the truth, that SHIELD has been infiltrated by HYDRA, identifying Pierce as their leader, the council looks at him warily, he backs away from them as Steve continues, he names the STRIKE and Insight crews among the compromised as STRIKE team heads for the council chamber, SHIELD agents throughout the building begin to look at each other, wondering who to trust, Pierce pulls his cell phone from his pocket, Steve announces that HYDRA was responsible for the shooting of Fury, and that the launch of the helicarriers will give HYDRA the power to kill anyone who stands in their way, HYDRA sleepers march on the Insight bay, shooting anyone between them and the helicarriers, Steve rallies the loyal SHIELD agents, urging them to stand up for freedom, despite the cost, Peg beams with pride>
<the Council confronts Pierce, as the STRIKE team enters, they give the team orders to arrest Pierce, shocked when instead they’re held a gunpoint, Pierce grins in victory, Rumlow enters the launch command, ordering Agent Klein to preempt the launch sequence and get the carriers in the air immediately, Klein refuses citing ‘Captain’s Orders’, Rumlow pulls his gun, aiming at Klein’s head, Agent 13 steps in, pointing her own gun at Rumlow, repeating Klein’s statement, the room erupts at agents all draw their guns, pointing at each other, HYDRA vs SHIELD>
Peggy: <saddened, thinks aloud> They worked together, side by side, day after day, co-workers, teammates, friends. <Phil turns away, taking a deep breath, thinking of those he trusted, and how they were betrayed that day, Peg notices, realizes she’s struck a nerve> Some of your people turned on you as well that day, didn’t they?
Phil: <simply nods, speaking softly> That’s a story for another time.
<Rumlow lowers his weapon, dropping it, pulling a knife he slashes at Agent 13, cutting her arm, she drops the gun and falls to her knee, Rumlow catches her gun, opening fire on the loyal SHIELD agents still armed, the room bursts into a firefight between the two sides, Rumlow turns to shoot Klein, 13 kicks a chair, knocking Rumlow off balance, Klein dives under his console, as the firefight continues, Rumlow ducks down, leaning over a keyboard, overriding the original launch commands, 13 grabs a gun from the floor, firing at him as he runs from the room>
Peggy: <shouts at the screen> That’s right! Run, COWARD! She’d kick your arse in a fair fight! <Phil just snickers>
<outside, the underwater launch bay doors begin to open, an agent rushes toward the control booth, shouting for the doors to be closed, HYDRA agents open fire, killing him and the agents manning the bay door controls, the bay doors part, engines begin to fire up, and the carriers slowly rise, Maria informs the others that launch has been initiated, Sam and Steve run out on the still opening bay doors, Steve jumps down on one carrier, while Sam extends his wings heading for another>
Peggy: <watches Steve run along the carrier, dodging bullets, throwing grenades, punching enemies, smiles> If I didn’t know better, this could easily be him storming a HYDRA base back in the war.
<Sam dodges cannon fire, making his way to the second carrier, Pierce watches from the windows of the council chamber above, he turns back to the council, trying to convince them to see his side, Councilman Singh speaks up, refusing to join him, Pierce take a gun, preparing to shoot him, Councilwoman Hawley kicks Singh out of the way, punches Pierce in the face, throws a taser disk at one of the STRIKE team, she takes down two more with swiftly unexpected punches and kicks, picking up the gun, she aims at Pierce, eyes locked on him, her other hand goes to her face, pulling away an electrostatic veil and wig, revealing Nat behind the disguise>
<meanwhile, HYDRA agents and Maria are both monitoring the rise of the three helicarriers, knowing that once they hit 3000ft they will be ready to fire, Maria calls to Falcon for his status, he swoops down, engaging the HYDRA agents, he takes out the opposition, ready to board the carrier and switch out the chip, when a Quinjet comes around a corner, firing, Sam takes evasive maneuvers, closing his wings, rolling along the airstrip of the carrier towards the edge, the jet hones in closer, still firing, Sam rolls off the edge, Peg’s heart lurches and she breathes a sigh of relief as his wings open back up and he fires at the jet, on the first carrier, Steve is still fighting his way through, Maria reminding him they only have 8minutes as Steve breaks inside>
<the scene returns to the council chamber, where Singh now has the gun trained on Pierce, he glances down to his phone on the table beside him, Nat is at the computer console, Pierce explains that she’s disabling all the security protocols, preparing to upload all the secrets of both HYDRA and SHIELD to the internet, Pierce tries to talk her out of it, reminding her that it will expose all of her secrets as well>
Peggy: <looks at Phil quizzcaly> What about the Toolbox? All those blackbook files and protocols?
Phil: <reassures her> Compartmentalization. Nick always kept the Toolbox off the main security network. He did it in case we were ever hacked, but it also protected those files from the info dump that Nat performed when everything went down. <Peg nods, turning back to the film>
<Steve reaches the control hub of the first carrier, switching the chips, Sam, still being chased by the jet, maneuvers, leading it’s shots to break the glass surrounding the hub of the second carrier, switching it’s chip as well, only one carrier is left, loyal SHIELD pilots scramble to the Quinjets to give Steve and Sam air support, only to have their jets blown up before they can leave the ground, the Winter Soldier appears, launching grenades at jets, shooting pilots, he takes control of the one remaining flyable jet, heading for the third carrier>
<Peg bites her lip, watching the carnage in Bucky’s wake, takes a deep breath, the scene returns to Nat, where Pierce reminds her that in order to disable the encryption on all the files, it takes two Alpha level SHIELD members, Nat smiles, telling him that company is on the way, a helicopter lands, and to the surprise of Pierce and the Council, Fury steps out, Pierce recovers from the surprise quickly, trying to convince Fury that they should be on the same side, Fury isn’t swayed, taking Pierce by the arm, leading him to the security panel, Pierce reminds Fury that his security clearances have all been removed, Peg’s eyes go wide, as Fury lifts his eyepatch, his words resounding with her>
<Maria informs them they are down to 6minutes, before shooting two HYDRA agents that have entered the room, Steve is still on the first carrier, being pursued by HYDRA, he calls Sam for a lift, Peg gasps as he dives off the edge of the carrier, Sam swooping in to catch him, they land on the third carrier, making their way toward the control center, from behind a pile of equipment, Bucky charges, barreling into Steve, knocking him to the edge of the carrier where he holds on by one hand, Sam opens his wings and runs to save him, but the Winter Soldier grabs a wing, throwing him back, they tussle briefly, Sam losing a wing before the assassin kicks him off the carrier, Sam manages to pull his chute and land atop the Trisk safely, but he’s grounded, leaving Steve to switch the last chip alone>
<Rumlow is clearing the halls, taking out any SHIELD agents in his path, he’s informed that Nat has control of the council chamber, he starts to make his way up, Maria informs Sam, who heads to intercept him, meanwhile on the ship, Steve has reached the control center, but Bucky stands in his way, Steve tries to appeal to him, Bucky stares him down silently, Seve throws his shield, Bucky puts his arm up to block, it bounces off, flying back to Steve, Bucky shoots as Steve charges, one shot gets under the shield, grazing Steve’s side, Peg winces>
Peggy: <on the edge of her seat, her hand to her mouth, whispering> You don’t have to do this Bucky. It’s Steve. Please, please just recognize him. <Bucky draws his knife again as the two continue to fight, Steve tries to switch the chips between trading blows>
<Nat’s file upload completes, already trending on news and social media sources, Pierce grabs his phone when no one is looking, activates the self destruct on Singh’s biometric security device, Councilmen Rockwell and Yen follow, all three dropping dead, holes burned through their chests, Pierce holds the phone up, threatening Nat next, Fury and Nat both lower their weapons>
<back on the ship, Steve and Bucky continue their fight, Bucky managing to sink his knife into Steve’s shoulder, Bucky grabs the chip, Steve puts him in an armbar, trying to get him to drop it, Peg cringes when she hears the crack of bone as Steve breaks Bucky’s arm, Bucky screams, Steve gets him wrapped in a sleeper hold, Bucky finally drops the chip as he loses consciousness, Steve retrieves the chip, racing for the control panel>
<Rumlow still making his way toward the council chamber, is intercepted by Sam, Rumlow tells him that there are no prisoners with HYDRA, only order, preparing to give Sam a beatdown, Sam tells him to shut the hell up, and charges in to give a beatdown of his own, above in the council chamber, Pierce has the upper hand again, his tech radios him that the carriers will be ready to activate in one minute, Maria radios Steve with the same info, as he races back to the control panel, Bucky shoots him from below, hitting his leg, Steve drops, looking back, then continues his climb towards the panel, Bucky shoots him again, Steve still continues, reaching the panel, he pulls out the chip with 30seconds left, ready to insert it, Bucky shoots him again, Steve collapses next to the panel, looking down at a gut wound>
Peggy: <still on the edge of her seat> Get up my Darling, you have to get up!
<the carriers reach their target height, establishing the satellite link, the algorithm is deployed, it begins choosing targets around the world, the HYDRA agents prepare to fire, Steve manages to pull himself up and insert the new chip, the targeting algorithm re-routed, the three ships begin firing upon each other, Steve stumbles along the underbelly of the ship as it shudders, beginning to fall apart, Steve hears Bucky scream, looks below him to find Bucky pinned beneath a girder>
<from the council chamber, Pierce, Nat, and Fury watch the carriers destroying each other, Pierce laments the waste before waving his phone, with Nat held hostage by the biometric pin on her chest, he tells her that she will pilot him out to safety, as they walk, Nat activates a taser disk, shorting out the biometric pin and knocking herself out, before Pierce realizes he no longer has leverage, Fury shoots him, then runs to wake Nat and get her out of there, no one is left to hear Pierce’s dying words, ‘Hail HYDRA’>
<the helicarriers tearing each other apart, losing altitude, crashing into one another, still firing, two of the carriers crash into the Potomac, the third still airborne but falling apart, on it an injured Steve stumbles his way toward Bucky, pinned under wreckage, the carrier careens toward the Trisk, where Sam and Rumlow are still fighting, Rumlow stands over Sam, gloating, Sam looks past him out the window to see the carrier heading straight for them, he jumps up, bolting, Rumlow turns to see what Sam is running from, he turns to follow suit as the carrier crashes into the building, Sam calls Nat for help, Fury flies the chopper to the edge of the building as Sam crashes through the window, into the open door of the chopper, almost falling out the other side, Nat reaches, catching his arm before he does>
<Steve strains to lift the beam, allowing Bucky to wriggle free, Steve tries to remind Bucky that the know each other, Peg lets out a sigh of relief, thinking the two will make amends, shocked when Bucky punches Steve, still denying any knowledge of what Steve is telling him, every time Steve says his name, Bucky hits him again, Steve rises, removing his helmet, dropping his shield, letting it fall to the water below, refusing to fight him, reminding him one last time, that Bucky is his friend, Peg chokes back a sob, Bucky screams in rage, pinning Steve down, growling over and over “You’re my mission.” punctuating each word with a blow, Steve doesn’t fight back, Bucky’s punches slow, Steve looks up at him, telling him to finish it, Bucky looks down at him, unsure how to respond, Peg tries not to start crying again, a single tear escapes, rolling down her cheek>
<Bucky freezes hearing the familiar words, the same words that he spoke half a century before, in another life, as he looks down at Steve, a piece of the ship crashes down, knocking out the glass floor beneath Steve, he falls as Bucky watches>
Peggy: <whispers as she sees Bucky’s face, watching Steve fall from the sky> Just as Steve watched him fall, helpless to save him. Is he remembering?
<Steve crashes into the water, the sunlight fading away, as he sinks to the bottom of the dark depths, a hand reaches down for him>
<Peg looks on with both hope and sadness, as Bucky drags the unconscious Steve to shore, looking down at him, then turning and walking away>
Peggy: <turns to Phil, peppering him with questions> Where did he go? Does he remember? Has he come back? Is he, is he ok?
Phil: <purses his lips, sighing> Some of those answers are in other documentaries, some I don’t have for you.
<Steve wakes in a hospital bed, to the sound of Marvin Gaye, he turns to see Sam sitting beside him, reading, Steve croaks, ‘On your left.’ Sam turns, smiling, Peg smiles as well, Agent 13 is shown to have joined the CIA after SHIELD’s fall, while Maria goes to work for Stark Industries>
Peggy: She DID mention that Anthony was a former employer!
Phil: Well, she needed something to do while Nick and I were quietly trying to re-build SHIELD. Wasn’t exactly her first choice. We suggested it as protection for the senate intel committee hearings. <eyebrows raise in amusement> They’re more afraid of Tony’s army of lawyers than they are of Ironman.
Peggy: <actually cheers as Senator Stern is taken away by the FBI> I cannot WAIT until the rest of the corrupt GOP follow him to jail! <Rumlow is shown being wheeled into an emergency room> Now I understand what he meant when he said my boyfriend had dropped a building on him. <pauses> He deserved it.
<Fury is shown cleaning out his emergency bolt hole, gathering passports and other necessities for changing identities, setting the rest afire and walking away, Nat testifies before the Senate, one of whom tells her she belongs in jail, not ‘mouthing off on Capitol Hill’, she looks him square in the eye, telling him they won’t arrest her or any of the others, because they’re still the world’s best line of defense, rising, strutting out of the hearing with confidence>
Peggy: That’s right, my dear! Fantastic! Odious wankers!
<Fury meets with Steve and Sam at his own grave, informing them that not all of HYDRA had been captured, inviting the two of them to join him on the hunt in Europe, Steve declines, wanting to search for Bucky first, Sam declines as well, prefering to be a soldier rather than a spy, Fury bids them a goodbye, telling them if anyone asks where to find him, direct them to his grave, as Fury walks away, Nat joins them, carrying a file, when asked if she would be joining FUry, she tell Steve that she needs to build new covers to replace the ones blown by making all of SHIELDs files public, she asks Steve to promise to call Agent 13, revealing that her name is Sharon, kissing him on the cheek before leaving, she warns him that that file is a thread he might not want to pull, he opens the file to find a picture of Bucky in cryostasis, Sam comes up behind, asking when Steve wants to start the search>
Peggy: <leans back on to sofa finally, emotionally drained> That. <pauses> That is a great deal to absorb. <Phil reaches into the bag of chinese, tossing her a fortune cookie, she cracks it open, reading aloud> “The road of life is filled with many forks, each decision a different path to a different world, choose your direction wisely.” <she cocks an eyebrow, scoffs, tossing it aside, munching on the cookie> I’m not sure if that was crypticaly profound, or merely a word salad. <reaches into the bag for another shrimp roll> Perhaps we could take that break now before the next documentary? There was quite a bit I need to think about. <Phil nods, pulling a box out and searching for chopsticks>