The Long, Short Trip
One week after inauguration…..
[SHIELD IN HOUSE SURVEILLANCE FILES: 01272017]
Loc: NYC SAFEHOUSE Madison/59th
Fury: That dumb-ass motherfucker is ALREADY making a fool of himself. We need to step in. After he put the gag order on National Park Service, I’ve gotten calls from agents in every government department out there. They’re setting up alt & rogue govt accounts to show solidarity and keep information flowing to the public. While I can’t prove it yet, I’ve got an itch that says HYDRA had a hand in putting that idiot in office. He’s too dumb to have managed it without help.
Coulson: So what’s the plan? We need to be extra careful right now. SHIELD is about to go public again under Mace. He’s got no idea we’ve been running illegal ops. If he knew we’ve been violating the Accords, aiding and abetting Daisy on the run, sending Roger’s secret team to contain threats, he’d turn us in to Ross and Talbot without even blinking. Hell, he doesn’t even know you’re alive.
Fury: And I intend to keep it that way for the time being. SHIELD needs a face the world can see and trust, but it also needs direction from level heads that know that sometimes things need to stay in the background.
Coulson: This is going to be one hell of a juggling act, Nick. Especially if our people are going to be multitasking to cover both ends. We’re already short handed. The last few years have thinned our ranks a lot.
Fury: I have a few ideas on that. Some favors I can call in. Some strings to pull. Push comes to shove, I’ve got the numbers of a few big hitters on standby. I’m hoping it won’t come to that. The Accords are a big thorn in our side, Where do we stand on that?
Hill: Well, King T’Challa has been one of the strongest advocates at the UN regarding the push to repeal the Accords. With the revelations of Wakanda’s advanced technology making then a sudden power player in world politics, his voice is carrying a lot of weight. If the Accords were lifted, that would untie the hands of some of our Inhuman assets.
Coulson: It’s also going to rile up the Watchdogs. They were big supporters of the new administration during the election. They feed off spreading fear of anyone not like them.
Coulson: They’re on OUR watchlist, and anyone aiding them. Sources tell me they’re getting getting geared up for something big soon, and their equipment isn’t coming from the local Walmart.
Hill: Any luck on their supplier?
Coulson: Whoever it is, they have capital and they have connections. I’m wondering if there’s a link between them and the new weapons Rogers’ team has been clearing from the black market.
Fury: So far they’ve been able to confiscate the weapons caches but they’ve come up empty on the dealer or the manufacturer.
Hill: You know, if we get the Accords lifted, we could use Rogers help back here to punch some sense into Congress.
Fury: <shakes his head> Violence and force aren’t going to work, we need to rally the country into a Resistance. We need brains and heart on this. We need spies and detectives to root out the truth in the corruption. We need tacticians and strategists that can guide and inform the grassroots groups on the ground and on the net. We need everyday Americans to step up, unite, and take a stand.
Coulson: So, you don’t think we should attempt to re-assemble the Avengers?
Fury: Oh, we’ll need them too. Though Stark’s still nursing his wounds and his pride, and Cap is in Wakanda babysitting the Winter Popsicle when not sneaking out on some side work. Getting them to play nice is going to be a challenge.
Coulson: Plus we have all these rifts popping up around the world. Do you really believe the new visitors about our world somehow bleeding through the multiverse?
Fury: Until last week, I didn’t even believe IN a multiverse, much less that we could affect dimensions other than our own. That’s a question for someone with more knowledge in mystical mumbo jumbo. In the meantime, I’ve got an idea on some backup. UNIT still owes us a favor, don’t they?
Coulson: Bluebox? Are we that desperate? I mean, that’s a one pony trick.
Hill: <looks from one to the other> What’s Bluebox?
Fury: Bluebox Retrieval Protocol. My predecessor set it up off books on the chance that Hydra ever surfaced again. She never expected us to actually need it. I should have initiated it when we found out they infiltrated SHIELD, but there wasn’t enough time. This was one of the few original blackfiles she left us access to. Take a look at the GOP and tell me we can take Hydra on again without calling in the Expert? Besides, <tossing a tiny black and silver box in the air and catching it> every Director has had a Toolbox of some form or another, Don’t you want to see what’s hidden in hers? We haven’t even been able to FIND it much less crack into it.
Coulson: I’m sure she had her reasons, but there may be something we can use in there. Or, the intel may be so outdated that it’s only good for historic value. <smirks happily> And here I thought meeting ONE of my heroes was the experience of a lifetime.
Hill: Careful. Last time, you died and didn’t even get an autograph.
Fury: Cap can’t know about this. Stark either. It’s a round-trip ticket, has to be. We have to watch how much we risk messing up the timeline. She can’t know what we’re digging into either.
Coulson: I agree, but still, it’s not fair to any of them.
Fury: The mission comes first. SHE taught me that.
Coulson: Fine. <sigh> I’ll recall Daisy, I want her eyes on what little intel we have on these portals. Hill, contact UNIT, and YOU <points to Fury> get to go wrangle Stark this time. Tell him I say ‘hi’.
Hill: <tries not to snicker> That should be fun.
Fury: <hangs his head, sighing in exasperation> Shit, I guess I’ve got some explaining to do.
[TARDIS Record Footage, Loc. SHIELD HQ, NYC 11121949]
Doctor: Ah, yes. No. So, Sorry, my mistake. Yes, I was sent by UNIT to collect you, Agent Carter. I’m,
Peggy: the Doctor, yes, I know who you are. The Brigadier has mentioned you and your TARDIS before. However, I don’t remember this face in your file.
Doctor: One of the perks of being a Timelord, my dear.
Peggy: <hands on hips, glaring slightly> Tell me then, what do you mean by ‘collect’?
Doctor: There is a new war, Hydra has returned. You’re the expert on dealing with them, so I’ve been sent to recruit you for the fight.
Peggy: <suddenly concerned> Another war? So soon? I thought we destroyed Hydra and all their bases? Why was SHIELD not contacted sooner?
Doctor: OH! NO! Wait! This war hasn’t happened yet. I’m to bring you just a smidge ahead in time to join the fight. <a muffled explosion is heard outside, at the same time, a wordless shout echos from down a hallway> WIFE! Is that you? How did it go?
River: <voice calling back down the hall> Of course it’s me! I almost lost my wig, hell, I did lose the hat, but I got back just in time. I told you it was the perfect plan, Sweetie. I’ll be out in a jiffy.
Doctor: Good, then we’re all set. <flips a switch, and a whooshing noise is heard>
Peggy: Why not just go back a bit further then, and save Steve? He was the fighter you need.
Doctor: I’m afraid Captain Roger’s sacrifice is a fixed point in time. It cannot be changed. I’m so sorry.
Peggy: <Gathers herself with a deep breath> But why me then?
Doctor: <looking thoughtful> I once told myself, that great men are forged in fire, and it is the privilege of lesser men to light the spark. However, sometimes two people light that spark in each other. You lit Captain Rogers spark, giving him support and direction. His burned bright and hot. Meanwhile, the inspiration and respect he gave to you smouldered beneath the surface, waiting for the moment it would burst forth. I believe this is that moment.
Peggy: <eyebrow raised> How far into the future IS this war, that you were sent to retrieve me? Why not just recruit my future self? Unless, <realizing> oh dear.
Doctor: We’ve gone almost seventy ahead. It’s now 2017. The rest of your questions can be answered by the man on the other side of that door.
<Peg exits the Tardis, as a woman in a 40’s style dress comes into the control room, fluffing a mass of golden curls with one hand, a brunette wig in the other, on her wrist is an odd gadget on a leather strap>
River: What a blast! Wait, weren’t you supposed to make another stop before dropping her off?
Doctor: <flaps his hand dismissively, gesturing at the TARDIS around them> There’s always time. I can swing by for that little errand after we pop in on your parents for a family reunion.
River: <excited, but confused> I thought they were trapped? We can’t get the TARDIS to their time and place.
Doctor: <smile widely holding up a finger> Normally you’d be correct, but we’re discovering that the barriers between dimensions and timelines are thinning. Still dangerous, but it’s not impossible. We’ve already been places the TARDIS shouldn’t be able to go, crossing in and out of the cracks in the Time Vortex.
River: Splendid! I do miss Mummy and Dad! <pauses, giving him an eye> You won’t forget to come back and take Agent Carter for that visit, will you?
<he flips another switch, and the TARDIS disappears>
[SHIELD IN HOUSE SURVEILLANCE FILES: 02022017]
Loc: NYC SAFEHOUSE Madison/59th
<Peg steps out of the TARDIS, the door closing behind her before it makes a distinctive whooshing, grinding sound and disappears, a man with an eyepatch steps out of the shadows, looking her up and down with his good eye before greeting her>
Fury: It’s good to see you again, Carter. <pauses> You’re younger than I expected.
Peggy: Hmph! My age does not necessarily mean a lack of knowledge or experience. You may call me Agent, as I’m sure we’ve never met. I want to see whoever is in charge here. What bloody fool thought it would be a good idea to pull me from the past?
Fury: Well, as for who’s in charge here, that would be the Directors Council. Only two members at the moment. Director Coulson, and Director Fury. You’ll know Fury when you see him. A tall, dark, handsome, sarcastic guy with an eye patch.
Peggy: <lips pursed> Hmph, I see. I assume he’s also the fool?
Fury: You know what they say about assumptions? Or is that not a saying yet? My predecessor, Director Margaret Carter created the Bluebox Retrieval Protocol.
Peggy: <suddenly speechless>
Fury: Now I know this is gonna be a lot to absorb. We have to get you up to date on the tech and tools, as well as enough history of the last 70 years as we can safely give you. Once this war is won…..
Peggy: I go back. <deep breath> Understood, you don’t want me mucking up the timeline.
Fury: <nodding> Amongst other things. Too much of the progress we have today was shaped in part by you and SHIELD. GOP & Hydra are trying to erase all that and drag us back to the ’40s.
Peggy: <becoming irate at the thought> Like flipping hell I’ll let that happen! Why are we still standing here like a pair of chattering monkeys? There’s work to be done!
Fury: Now that’s the Peg I remember! Always ready for a fight!
<Cell phone rings, Fury answers as Peg stares at the odd device>
Fury: Hill? Good. He wants to meet WHERE? Goddamn it, Stark! Fine, have the chopper ready.
Peggy: <momentarily hopeful> Stark? Howard Stark? Is he still alive?
Fury: No, I’m sorry. That was someone else, Howard’s gone, I can’t tell you any more. There’s going to be a lot of things we’re not going to be able to tell you. What happens to you and your friends is just a part of that. You will have access to all files about the current situation, but anything related to your own past will be off-limits. You understand. Now if you’ll excuse me, I apparently have a meeting at a doughnut. Director Coulson, Agents Hill and Johnson will get you settled in along with our other visiting recruits.