Called before Congress: Agent Carter

April 29, 2015:

Peggy Carter is called before congress. It doesn't go well.

US Capitol

Characters

NPCs: Ballard, Traverstein, Ross, Stewart, Jimenez

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

"Agent Carter," Ballard begins as the room full of people filters to quiet. "Thank you for agreeing to meet with us. As specific request from SHIELD, your interview is being conducted in private. What you say here will not be broadcast and any comments you make will not be linked with your identity, which we understand to be in some sort of flux. Our intelligence committee briefed me, and I still don't understand it, but that matter seems outside the purview of this committee." He chuckles a bit and shakes his head, "In any event, would you mind discussing the night of Orleans from your perspective?"

"Mr. Senator," Peggy greets Ballard with a nod of her head. True to form, she is dressed impeccably: hair curled, lipstick a bright red, dressed in a sensible vintage looking skirt and button down top. With a bit of a smile, she responds to why she is being interviewed in private with a dry joke, "Perhaps they were being intentionally confusing to ensure this would be a private interview."

As for discussing the night of Orleans from her perspective, Peggy nods again, now all business. "I'm not sure how much detail you require at the moment, as I am sure that you have read the reports and heard from others as to what occurred. The briefest of summaries was that there was an attack in France involving undead creatures intent on overrunning the hotel where the President was located. Despite the best efforts of the Secret Service, SHIELD and the Justice League, the President was killed. Perhaps if you could enlighten me as to what insight you were hoping to gain, I would be able to direct my answers in a more specific manner."

"Perhaps, Agent Carter. I can't be sure, and there are some questions I don't even want to ask," Ballard says with a laugh. At Peggy's vague answer, Ballard repeats the question, "I'm hoping that you can take us through the mission from your viewpoint."

Sarah Traverstein, a representative from Washington, pipes in quickly, "We have the time, Agent Carter. Don't be bashful."

Senator Traverstein gets a bit of a tight smile at her comment before Peggy replies, tone again dry, "I believe you will find, Senator, that bashful is not one of my character flaws."

Her attention then returns to Ballard, head tilting just slightly. Her brown curled hair falls over her shoulder. "Of course, Senator, though, as I am sure you are aware there are clearances that must be upheld, even during a private interview such as this. I will answer whatever questions you may have as long as it does not jeopardize operating procedures for SHIELD, as that could endanger the lives of many active Agents."

While she was only the Head of SHIELD for a brief period of time during her own time, she has been an Agent of the SSR for quite awhile. Once her quick disclaimer, she starts to explain what she saw: "After an urgent call to SHIELD was made, multiple teams were deployed in order to quell the attack as well as rescue the President, who had become trapped in a hotel following what I believe was a speech there.

"What, at first, we thought to be a riot, we quickly learned was actually a mass of what I believe the proper vernacular of today would call 'zombies'. While some attempted to stop and hold back the attack, others formed the main infiltration force in order to extract those trapped within the building. I was among those that were keeping a clear exit path."

Traverstein covers her microphone and leans in toward Ballard. The Senator shrugs his shoulders before turning toward Jimenez, the Speaker of the House known for his battles with Ballard in the past. The Speaker from New Mexico shakes his head and it seems on whatever was being considered has been agreed.

"Can you please inform us as to what the chain of command was for the mission?" asks Pete Ross fro Kansas.

As Peggy is still catching up to the modern era: figuring out things like cellphones and computers and something called Twitter, the political infighting of the Senate is not something she knows intimately. Instead, she answers each question as it is presented to her.

Peggy's gaze switches to Senator Ross. "For which mission, Senator? I believe there were at least three agencies requested to the scene, each with their own chain of command and operating procedure. For instance, the Secret Service, of course, was in charge of the President's movements inside of the hotel and I do not know who was the Agent in Charge there. For SHIELD, Captain Rogers—Captain America was the ranking Agent in the field."

Sarah Traverstein shakes her head, "Miss Carter. Is it your intention to just stall us through semantics and your rhetoric? Is it your presumption you will just split hairs until there are none left?"

At Senator Traverstein's question, an eyebrow raises. Peggy replies, hands folded in front of her, voice calm, "I was unaware that attempting to properly understand what it is you are asking was splitting hairs or rhetoric, Senator. I was asked a vague question that barely scratches the surface of how complex a multi-agency mission is involving clearance, rank and operating procedure, especially when there are two separate agencies unable communicate but who both have the same goal.

"If you wish for me to answer a specific question, I have already stated in my first response that I would be glad to provide it. I am simply attempting to provide the best answer that I can without providing you with misinformation. I do not wish to confuse anyone."

"Well, you see, that's sort of why we're at a standstill, Miss Carter. You seem to think you get to decide the line of questioning. Frankly put, your opinions on the questioning are not why you are here. We," Traverstein points to the five people on the dais. "We are duly elected by the people, chosen by the President, and here on behalf of the American government to ask questions. In any way we see fit. You." Traverstein motions towards Peggy, "Are here to answer said questions. A President is dead. I am not interested in your games or false tact. Tell us what you saw that night. Tell us everything you remember, and do it now, or find yourself in contempt of this committee."

Peggy's single raised eyebrow is raised to both of them. Her eyes shift from Traverstein to Ross and Ballard, attempting to gauge where they both stand on this line of questioning as well. "I am not sure how I am deciding any line of questioning, as I have stated multiple times I would be glad to answer any questions you have as long as it does not endanger the lives of my fellow Agents in the field. I was merely attempting to gather clarification so as to better answer the question that Senator Ross asked in the most accurate manner possible."

At the mention of false tact, she can't help but have an upward quirk of her mouth. "There is nothing false about my tact, Senator. I'm British; we are simply born this way." The smile fades into a more serious expression when she adds, "I have already spoken as to my mission that evening and what I remember of it. Is there something in particular you were wishing me to recollect?"

It's not clear, but it almost sounds as if Traverstein whispers the good Lord's name in vain underneath her breath as she shakes her head and rolls her eyes. "I have no further questions. It's clear you'll get nothing out of this one."

Ballard looks around the dais, "Anyone else? Anyone have any strong feelings about holding Miss Carter in contempt?"

The panel seems to pause, not saying one way or another.

As Traverstein swears slightly, Peggy says nothing, glancing between the other panel members with a calm and utterly serious expression on her face. If they attempt to hold her in contempt, she will not fight them, but she will certainly have a few more choice things to say.

"Just go," Traverstein says, propping her annoyed head up with her annoyed hand, flailing her fingers towards the exit. "Just go."

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