Posing as Brass

February 20, 2016:

Shift and Cypher infiltrate a secret military organization, supported by Agent Simmons. They encounter an unexpected contractor.

Secret Army Installation outside Metropolis


NPCs: Various U.S. Army soldiers, Agents Jefferies and Matthews of SHIELD



Mood Music: Big Shot by Pearls

Fade In…

One week past, Shift was on a little operation that took him from the bowels of Gotham's underworld to the vine of organized crime in Greece; a country so ravished by economic disparity that organized crime has been quite prolific. Sparing a bounty of exposition, he returned to New York with information; a lead on something called 'The Section', and a pair of falsified U.S. Army CID IDs.

The work was good; names driven deep into DoD databanks complete with social security numbers, credit histories, the whole nine. It's convincing work, but whatever this team does, it'll have to be fast; so much digging and the falsified IDs could be easily exposed.

X-Red have paired Shift up with Cypher. Given his skills and a close match with the second falsified ID, that of one Major in the U.S. Army, he'll have to do. However, a third person has entered the mix, a particularly clever SHIELD Agent named Jemma Simmons.

The Section operates out of a military installation twenty miles outside of Metropolis. A supply depot to the outside world, the real work is being done ten floors underground. Shift, dressed as a U.S. Army CID Colonel named Steven Nigel, is driving a blacked out Government SUV out toward the base. "I have been working on my American accent for the last week," he tells the other two who are with him. "God help me. I feel filthy. Speaking this way, wearing these ornaments." His words come more slowly than normal, what with the effort of hiding his accent, but it serves to make him seem a bit more commanding. Brown contact lenses conceal his mutant, silver eyes. "We're coming up on the checkpoint. Please be sharp."


How Doctor Jemma Simmons worked out that Shift was up to something, was likely thanks to some systems Fitz left with her before heading off on long term assignment. She misses Fitz. Knowing that Executive Directive 51 is something to be looked into, but being a little stretched thin with Daemonites and what not, she'd set up some 'keyword searches' across multiple media stream (ahem) and got a hit. Very Project Echelon.

Poor Kwabena had then been contacted by the biochem who insisted he tell her what he knows. And then inserted herself and her security detail, Agents Jefferies and Matthews, on the mission.

Seated in the back seat of the vehicle, between Jefferies and Matthews, Jemma looks over to Colonel Nigel "So we're conducting a surprise audit of The Section?"


Having turned in a thumb drive with 'evidence data' that is supposed to lead The Section to a local cell of terror activities…. otherwise known as a handful of subverterswho literally just want freedom to pursue their own agenda. It may not be American.. but it -is- trying to raise funds for their home nation to feed their people.

She is in costume as she stands back and lets the officer at the desk reviews the data. "Good work Agent Cornwall. You may go now." says the man.

Julia nods and turns to head out. She doesn't salute because, she's not military. She is just.. an agent. So she opens the office door and steps out into the hallway in her black and white skintight costume. Gotta love a universe full of metahumans!


A bit young to be a Major, but it was all in the bearing and attitude, and while Doug Ramsey didn't have the -experience- to do it, he -could- at least play the part by using his body language to carry off the part. That would be Major Paul Layman to you, sir.

Being told by Brin that this was an undercover mission, and that he would be working with SHIELD operatives for this one eased Doug's discomfort in forging ID, particularly when it was a CID case.

While properly subservant to the Colonel, Doug salutes. "Sir, if I may…"

When they pull up, Doug whips out his IDs, holds it up for inspection, with a proper -sneer- at the lieutenant doing security duty. That's RIGHT, you, salute your superior officers. Got a problem?


"Yes," Shift tells Jemma. "Easiest way to get the job done is to do the job itself." While he speaks, soldiers wearing Army fatigues step up to greet the SUV as it reaches the security checkpoint, assault rifles held. The Lieutenant promptly salutes Shift once the African rolls down his window.

"At ease, soldier," Shift answers sternly, but not until Doug has handed the fellow their IDs. "Colonel Steven Nigel, CID."

The soldier examines the IDs, then looks back to those in party. "And your company, sir?"

"They're SHIELD," he answers evenly. "Anything else?"

"No, sir!" The Lieutenant steps back, motioning for the enlisted to raise the gate.

Once they are through, Kwabena looks over toward Doug with a raised eyebrow. "Good work," he murmurs, clearly impressed.


And so, Julia comes down the hallway. She's eyed by pretty much every soldier she passes. Male and female alike. It's not a 'checking out the skintight hot chick' angle so much as it is… soldiers eyeing the civilian in their midst.

But then as the SUV comes through the gate, she steps out of the exterior door. Once outside, she breathes a sigh of relief. She hates dealing with those stuffed shirt military types… But she is out there in plain sight to arriving vehicles for certain.


Whethere Jemma is there officially? Who can say? She's dressed in a smart suit, hair pulled back and has her tablet sitting on her lap. You can't mistake her security detail for what they are.

Doug gets an approving look from the young woman, as she gazes out the window of the car. "Seems we have a welcoming a committee… " she murmurs, preparing to exit, when given the all clear.


"It's all in the presentation, sir," Doug replies, the serious mien on his face softening into a jovial one, body language going from military proper to that of a young man highly amused by the playacting.

The regard the people have for the new arrival has Doug quirking a grin, before it fades. Military bearing. Step out, smartly, and incline his head in ackowledgement. "Good afternoon, ma'am. We're from CID. This is Colonel Nigel." Snap, turn, wait for the Colonel to speak. Introductions have been done. Commence operation.


As the SUV pulls up, Kwabena raises his eyebrows at the figure who is departing. "Doesn't exactly fit the description of 'mercenary', does it?" Then again, Kwabena was a mercenary, and he wears a skintight costume, but that was more out of necessity than design.

Shift glances Doug's way and forms a smirk at the sudden shift in demeanor. He parks the car and retrieves a pair of aviators, fixing them over his nose because he's a hard-assed Colonel and needs more than mutant body language to fit the role. He steps out, walking slower than Doug, until taking a single step in front of him to address the woman. "Your name?" he asks simply.


Lifting a brow… her skintight mask shifting to show it, Julia opens her mouth and says, "J… Spider Woman." after eyeing the Major and then her eyes turning towards the Colonel. "Civilian Consultant." she adds, giving her cover ID. After all, she hasn't met either of these people before. "I was just on my way out, unless there's something -else- I need to do?"


Jemma leaves the vehicle after Matthews and Jefferies do. She's really not trying to cause them trouble today. Following the Colonel, her bodyguards in tow, she's quite for a moment.

"We're here to audit your facility. Would you please escort us to your commanding officer or superior?" At least Jemma's polite.


Inclining her head, Julia looks to Jemma for a moment. Then she shrugs, "Well, I can take you to my handler. I am a civilian as I said. So…" She reaches for the door, opening it. She has every reason to trust a Colonel. Also, she has no -real- idea of all the specific details of military stuff, so she's -easy- to bluff in that way. She holds it though and gestures for you all to head inside. She -is- polite after all.


At least it was convenient enough that Jemma was close enough to the Colonel to look like she -and- her bodyguards were -his- escort. Still, Doug couldn't help but raise an eyebrow at that introduction. He supposed the skintight costume with a Spider on it -was- kind of a giveaway, but… best not to say anything to the Colonel. At all, or he was getting demoted to buck private.


Spider-Woman? The name prompts Colonel Nigel to remove the sunglasses from his face and squint at the mask, frowning. He waits until Simmons and Spider-Woman converse, then points the glasses toward the consultant.

"I will expect full disclosure on your real name, or else your C.O. will be advised to release you. I will allow you to divulge this information to myself and Major Layman in private."

That being said, he follows along with his hands clasped behind his back, before slowing. "Spider-Woman." He waits until he has her attention, then gestures to his party. "Tell you what. It's been a long drive from Virginia. I'd like to have a rest before we get started, give your C.O. some time to sweat things out. Instead, why don't you show us to guest quarters, and inform your C.O. of our arrival? I would like to speak with him…" He checks his wrist watch. "At fifteen hundred hours."


"Well, that's where we're gonna have an issue." says Spider-Woman. "I was told point blank when I signed on.. that only my handlers have access to that information. So… if you want it, I suppose you could order -them- to give it to you. But I am not in your chain of command Colonel." she says as she lets the door shut. "Again… CO… I have handlers. That's it. I get orders from on high that way. I'm sure -they- have CO's. But I am a civilian."

She grins a bit and adds, "So, grab some rest, no problem. I'll tell the gate guard to have the base commander come speak with you on my way out, but.." She's not going to say she has a babysitter waiting for her to come pick up her daughter. "I'm afraid I have some unavoidable family business to handle. So if you'll excuse me…."


There's no arguing the point. Though Shift makes it quite apparent, by his scowl, that he isn't pleased with Spider-Woman's answer, but he doesn't exactly press the issue. "We'll see. It may not be worth the trouble, so long as this operation remains on the up and up." Then, he smiles. "Family is the cornerstone of American life. However, if you can make some time to come by tomorrow, I'd like to ask you some few questions about your work here?"


"I'll inquire with my handlers." says Julia as she reaches the door, "If they say I can meet with you, then so be it." She pauses, and can't resist a little dig, "Though, most of my work is everywhere -but- here…" She looks back and studies your group for the first time really. Her eyes behind her white eye-coverings soaking up detail. She isn't a solider, but she -is- a trained spy and student of behavioral stuff. "And you're right. Nothin' an American wouldn't do for their family, right?" she asks as she lets the door shut behind her… ominous music -should- be playing about now…

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