Welcome To SHIELD, Contingency C

April 27, 2015:

The Dept. of Defence tries to 'take possession' of Contingency C, Director Fury has other thoughts

The Triskelian

Characters

NPCs: Nick Fury

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

April 27th, 2 PM, Triskelion. The accused traitor Corporal Eugene Thompson was shown from the holding facility that served as his quarters into the myriad of hallways that is the center of SHIELD Headquarters. It was at the behest of a junior agent, and when he arrived at the conference room he saw that some individuals already preceded him.
There behind the large particle board table in full dress was the new representative for the United States Army, the two silver bars on his uniform declaring his rank as Captain and the word upon his lapel proclaiming him to be a McDonald. On either side of him were a pair of functionaries and opposite those two were some of the SHIELD agents who had been performing the role of his legal defense.
In his own dress uniform, Flash enters and gives a salute as required but says nothing, though perhaps spares a curious glance around before taking the designated seat for him.


Melinda May arrives with Thompson, her own usual combat attire completely devoid of any ranks or identification, other than the SHIELD emblem on one sleve. But that's black on black, so it's not like the thing is a neon sign. As the corporal takes his seat, she stops and stands behind him and a little to the right with her arms crossed. Take that as you will, Captain McDonald.


Having been collected from her R&D Lab, Simmons is sitting near the back, a tablet on her lap, looking around with undisguised interest. She'd been told to have all the data they'd collected on Thompson at hand, and she has. She's even remembered to remove the safety goggles and lab jacket before coming.


"Well, now that we're all here." Captain McDonald puts a good face on it as he closes the manila folder before him and then sliding it to the side where one of his aides picks it up. "We can get started." He pauses to look up and around at the other Agents present, "I'll begin, shall I?" He offers as if expecting that to be denied, but then seems to press on even before getting an affirmative to his words.
"We know why we're here, a final review and perhaps a bargain can be reached. I know you were at loggerheads with my predecessor but I come before you with more information and perhaps a new perspective." That having been said, Captain McDonald links his fingers together and looks as if this was just some traffic ticket they intended to sweep under the rug. "In the interim since our last discussion we've had the opportunity to gather some intel on Corporal Thompson, and things are not looking good. We'd like for you to consider the following terms in lieu of a court date and the following prison sentence."
The folder is pushed across the table towards the lawyers and May as so it happens. As one of them picks it up to peruse he continues. "You led something of a sordid past, Corporal Thompson, did you not? Violent tendencies, juvenile delinquency, insubordination in school as well as in the military. This will read a lot worse than the hero image you've been cultivating."


Melinda May leans slightly to look at the contents of the folder as one of the SHIELD lawyers opens the manila folder. She's looking at it for barely five seconds before she levels a flat stare at the Army Captain. "No." Eloquent as always.


Simmons sits back and crosses her ankles, a small frown crossing her brow. At Mays rather blunt assertion, her eyebrows rise, but she remains silent.


As for Flash he sort of lifts his eyebrows then leans over to look at the contents of the folder, but not really able to parse it so quickly he looks up at May as if reading her body language. That seems to be enough for him as he looks back at Captain McDonald. "No deal,"
But then something seems to stick in his craw, "Sir, insubordination?" He asks, his tone lilting upwards as he's clearly dubious as if asking for elaboration.
To which McDonald seems willing to explain. "Indeed, on the date of March 2nd, 2014. During your tour in Afghanistan. Your commanding gave you an order and you refused, Private Wilkinson explained…" He pauses and lifts his own folder as if needing to jog his memory. "The L.T. shouted that Corporal Thompson was to remain in cover, get away from the hum-vee. But Thompson broke and made a dash for the vehicle." He stops there, closing it.
To which Flash sort of explodes, "You mean when I was trying to pull the lieutenant into cover? The hell!" He seems inclined to go on further.


The door opens and a man with an eyepatch steps in with the authority that only a man with an eyepatch can have. He looks around the room, assessing and then nods to one of the guards. "Take Corporal Thompson to the break room to cool off." He says evenly. "Son, go on." He glances up to May and then Simmons, indicating that they should stay but jerks his head to the legal team. They can go.

—-

Melinda May glances back at Nick as he arrives and steps out of the way to let Thompson and the legal team take their leave. She gives the corporal a nod to second Fury's surprisingly close to kind command. It's about time Fury got here. She is completely aware of his love for dramatics, but still. The contents of that folder are enough to make her want to leave to cool off as well.


As Director Fury enters, Simmons jumps to her feet, looking a little stunned. And at his direction, starts to move to the door, only to stop, step back and sit back down again.


Thompson had already been leaning forward against the table, but then his outrage is broken by the appearance of Nick Fury. He straightens up abruptly, turning to look at the man, then the other agents, then back to the man. He gives a short sharp nod and then says quickly, "Sir."
The legal team rises, gathering their paperwork and proceed with Corporal Thompson out of the room. Once the door is closed, Captain McDonald finally seems to acknowledge Fury as he lifts his voice. "Director Fury," He smiles sardonic, "What a surprise. Figured you'd make an appearance when you and yours realized we have him dead to rights."


"Son." The word carries none of the softness it just did when Fury used it to address Thompson. "Sit your ass down."

His cyclopean gaze turns to the file. "Agent May, take that file and toss it in the incinerator. I don't want poorly written fiction on my conference table. Agent Simmons… take notes."

His attention turns back to Captain McDonald. "Let me explain something to you, son. You've got a very, very big problem. You've got a bright young patriotic boy who volunteered to serve his country. And his country? Well they've kind of shit on him haven't they. They put him through a black budget program with no oversight and when he got out from under their thumb? Well they tried to haul his ass back so he couldn't spill their secrets. And you have secrets. Secrets you want kept. Secrets that are going to get two Lieutenant Generals very, very courtmartialed and a lot of people's careers ruined if they ever come to light. And the Army doesn't want that. No, that'd give them a black eye. All for some piddly little E-4 Corporal? Bad move, son. Now, if you're smart, you'll listen to what comes next and not argue because I'm about to offer to make a lot of your problems go away."

He looks over. "Simmons, you had a look at his suit yet?"


Melinda May scoops up the folder and goes to the incinerator set into one corner of the room. Yes, convenient that. It's only a matter of moments and the entire manila folder and its contents are ash. She then steps back over to take up a spot behind and slightly to the right of Fury. Familiar? Quite possibly.


Simmons does indeed start to take notes, listening as Fury speaks and watches May burn the file. This is a new experience for the Bio chemist. Fury's question has her raising her head "Yes, sir, I have. " She looks unsure as to whether she should add anything more to that at this point.


McDonald's features darken, his expression souring at the way Fury speaks to him. But then that's to be expected. He straightens up in his chair and looks across the way at the Director of SHIELD. He shoots a look at Simmons, almost daring her to speak further, but then the tall Army Captain scowls. "Get to the point, Fury. This isn't something you can dig into your jacket, pull out your magic wand, and make go away."
He jerks a thumb over his shoulder to one of his aides, "We've got a crap ton of testimony that'll bury the kid and we got the venue that'll make sure none of this gets out." Of course… that's the trick isn't it?


"Hell no, son. That's going to take a lot of work and your beloved Army's going to do most of it." Fury glances back to May. "So here's how it's going to go. You're going to relase Thompson to SHIELD. He's going to ours. No questions, no buts, no little fine print under the dotted line. Agent May will handle all of his orientation and get him properly situatated. In return I'm going to assign two very good agents to help the Inspector General root out all your rogue project problems in this department and shut them down quietly. And if you're very, very good, I'll let Agent Simmons share some of her findings about the suit." He pauses and glances back to May and Simmons, nodding. "Or, we can go to court. I'll drag it out of the US Army's jurisdiction and in front of civilian authorities with our arbitration agreement and then this entire thing gets very publically messy and embarrassing for the Army and the US Government as a whole. White House press corps leaks are so… annoying."

"May, how would you like to assist the US Army's Inspector General in making sure their black budget programs are properly ethical and legal? Simmons? I think you'd know a lot about what is and isn't ethical science, wouldn't you?"


"I'd relish the chance, Director." May's words are completely sincere and her eyes are still unblinkingly focused on the Captain. "Just tell me when and where."


Nodding slowly, Simmons look to Fury and back to the Inspector General "Absolutely, Director Fury and what I have here" she taps her datapad "is not ethical. Not at all."


As Fury starts to lay it on the man, Capt. McDonald's features darken further and further. It's only when Simmons pipes up that he leans forward against the table and scowls towards Fury. "You think we're afraid to take this the distance? Sure we might get a black eye, and sure this'll damage us for a decade, maybe less. But you, Fury, and SHIELD, you're on pretty damn thin ice…"
But then one of his aides reaches forward to lightly rest a hand upon the Captain's shoulder. The other army officer leans in to whisper a few quiet words to McDonald, even as he holds a pair of fingers to the earpiece at the side of his head. It takes a few moments for the message to be conveyed.
McDonald looks back at the man who just spoke to him, then says something quickly under his breath, almost sounding like a protest. He turns back.
The man rests his hands flat upon the tabletop, still scowling as he gathers himself. He looks up towards Fury and says simply, quietly. "I have been instructed to entertain this offer. However the Army will require a few things to proceed. The first of which is an act of good faith, we wish for the data now." He looks towards Simmons, then back towards Fury. "The Army also shall have primary claim to any remains of Corporal Thompson or the Suit in the off-chance that something should occur to them. Also if there are any… advances in research or creation of prototypes directly connected to Thompson and the Suit… then we are included."
He stops and looks at each of the SHIELD operatives in turn before looking back to Fury.


"If you really want to face a congressional restructuring and the loss of confidence of the American public, be my guest." Fury's apparently not impressed. "I only have to deal with the UN Security Council." And he only needs one veto power to stop anything from happening. There are enough rivalries on that table that that's pretty much always a possibility. "You get the data on my discretion and only after we both find out how rotten your black ops project really is. Because if there's one thing I will not do Captain…" So much scorn in that word. "It's have the conversation a second time. As for Thompson's remains…" Fury pauses…. "That's more doable."


Fury nods to Simmons to start packing in her things. He knwos May will take the hint. Take it or leave it. McDonald.


Melinda May promptly steps toward the door to open it for Simmons and Fury, and that's the ONLY reason she stops staring at the Captain like a crocodile watching its chosen prey. Her eyes then go to Simmons. Get to Thompson.


Simmons packs her datapad in quick enough time and meets May eyes. Nodding slightly, the young biochemist goes to stand by Thompson, holding her field bag in her hand.


As for Thompson, he's out in the hall just outside of the break room and holding a cup of coffee. He glances over as the door opens to the conference room and watches as the SHIELD agents start to make their way out.
But then McDonald's voice lifts and he snaps quickly, "Agreed. We'll get the paperwork drawn up and signed. As of now we'll transfer Thompson over to your authority. This goes away and you provide what is promised." The man's voice is strained, clearly not wishing to leave the table in such a way, but orders are orders.
The Army officers begin to stand up as well, gathering their paperwork into their briefcases and then snapping them shut with small electronic beeps.


Fury sticks his hand out. "I'm a man of my word. Many secrets yes, but I keep my promises. May, Simmons, I'll be putting you both in touch with the inspector general. Expect that call." And have fun kicking those out of line army asses who think they're above the law. He doesn't say that. But possibly he means it.


Melinda May waits with the door held open for Director Fury. It's a very clear silent statement.


Simmons is out in the hall, waiting beside Thompson. She doesn't say word, just looks up at the man and then back towards Fury. She'll be ready when the call comes.


Reluctantly, perhaps a touch angrily, the man grasps Fury's hand and gives it a firm shake. From a distance people can see the two are perhaps straining for dominance in that ancient gesture between two leaders of men. Then again… perhaps it's all on McDonald's part. But then the next moment it's finished, the two seperate and the army officer again nods, "Would've been a good fight, Fury. But…" He looks across the way towards where Flash is standing, then back to the Director of SHIELD. "It's better this way."
And as easily as that he's stepping away, moving around the table and out into the hall. The aides trail along behind him. The red-headed one that whispered in McDonald's ear nods to Fury. "Director Fury."


"Stryker." Fury mumurs and turns to May and Simmons. "Go give the boy the good news. And make the rest of it happen." And then he's off. He has a phone call to make.


Melinda May lets the door go as soon as Fury's through and steps over toward Thompson and Simmons. "With me." It's a given that she means both of them. Presuming that they're following, she leads the way to the office where new recruits are processed and holds the door open there. "Mr. Thompson, welcome to SHIELD."


Simmons follows May into the office and finds a corner out of the way. "Congratulations, Mr Thompson." she murmurs as she settles "That was an interesting way to get recruited."

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