Two Captains and an Amazon

February 11, 2016:

Captain Rogers and Fairchild bring Captain Marvel in to Fort Kirby for a look around.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

"I just got an IM from Captain America," Caitlin tells Carol, over the phone. "He says he's good for a meetup. And now's a good time. D'you mind flying?"

So not long later the two women were heading for Fort Kirby, Captain America's little home-away-from-home. It's not a big installation— 'Fort' might be an adjective too far— but there's a sense of purpose about it. Like it's an ambitious project in a little patch of land, striving to do great things. It's a lot like Captain America himself, a relic of a different time, and everyone holds their chins a little higher and walks a little straighter knowing The Man Himself is overseeing operations.

Caitlin dangles from Carol's grip, a situation she's gotten accustomed to. It's not terribly comfortable, but it's not horribly unpleasant either, and it's the easiest way for the two of them to get from point A to point B in a hurry. She dials up her phone as they get a few miles out and sends an e-mail to Cap's anonymous address— 'Red and CM on approach from the SE, ETA 4 minutes.' Wearing her purple catsuit, Caitlin is dressed for work, not for pleasure, and her black hairband's been pulled down to keep her hair from whipping in her face too much.

Captain America emerges from the hangar, not through the giant door that blocks view of Old Abe from the runway, but from a smaller door that leads to the 'offices' of the team's headquarters. The sun is shining decently bright, so he's wearing a pair of his aviator sunglasses and a brown bomber jacket over his shoulders and body. It doesn't seem like anyone else is around here, just Cap and a couple of buildings and miles and miles of green. He looks up to notice that Caitlin and Carol are coming in and gives a nod and a wave as they begin to land.

"Flying? Sure. Where are we headed?" Carol answers Caitlin with a shrug and a nod. She did ask to talk to Cap, and she still wants that chat.

As the two are flying in and Carol gets a look at the 'Fort', she comments wryly, "You know, if you'd mentioned there was an air strip on-base, I'd have given you a more comfortable ride in the Piper Cub." Not that she's complaining; she flies one Hell of a lot faster than the Piper Cub, and doesn't use up gas to do it.

Catching sight of Captain America, Carol lands Caitlin first, and then sets her own feet on the deck. Given Cap's civilian-esque attire, her bold primarily-colored uniform flashes with a golden hue and is replaced with Carol's own flight suit and bomber jacket, aviator glasses in place. "Afternoon, Cap." she offers, extending her hand. She doesn't seem to pay much real mind to the chill in the air.

Caitlin removes her little suede knapsack and lets it dangle from her fingertips. "Hi, Captain," Caitlin says, flashing a dimpled smile at Steve. "Thanks for the coordinates. Is there somewhere I can duck into and change real quick?" she asks, hefting the parcel in her hands. "I wasn't sure what protocol was so I figured I should bring out a change of clothes."

She glances back from Captain Marvel to Captain America, seemingly a bit unsure of protocol, and opts to fidget a bit awkwardly while the Captains make their greetings again.

Steve nods towards Carol, "Captain Marvel. Come on in, I've got the card table set up. If you want anything to drink we've got water and whiskey. Banner drank all the beer with Odame and I haven't made a grocery run, yet."

Steve nods towards Caitlin, and in softer tones, adds, "Yeah, there's a locker room back behind the office."

By office, he means Hawkes' office. The forty-plus year old is snoring loud enough to be heard in the main room as Steve shows them in. There's a small card table in a waiting room area with four chairs around a side. In the corner an overturned bucket props up a radio. First class all the way.

Carol accepts the hand and then follows Steve, those eyes of hers sweeping this way and that, taking in all of the details around. She's the observant, inquisitive type, and she's not shy. "OK. So, we're talking shoestring, not covert op. That answers one question I had." Then Carol toes over one of the chairs and sits, watching Steve and waiting for Caitlin to return. "Red told me about the operation you'd put together. Said you were looking to assemble a team. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't curious. But I guess I want to hear it from you: What are you after accomplishing, Steve?" Interested? Hells, one of her biggest disappointments was that once she was finally on with the League, Cap had disappeared.

Caitlin's back in just a few tics. She probably good have just changed in a corner, seeing as how she just makes a few adjustments to her unstable molecule uniform— the sleeves disappear, the legs shorten. She returns in a pair of jeans and white t-shirt that says 'Warning: Wild Gazebos' in hazard-yellow block print. "Thanks guys. Sorry." She eyes the chair a bit dubiously and picks the one that looks the strongest, then starts eaaaaasing her weight into it. It creaks protest, but holds, and she looks relieved when it doesn't collapse under her.

"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't pretty happy you are curious," Steve says with a smile as he takes a seat in the metal chair. "It's pretty simple, really. Grunt and I got to talking about all the sitting on hands we were doing. He and I decided we could make a difference in the world again. Cutting through all of the red tape, bureaucracy, and the drama and just get back to basics. The Traverstein stuff had me thinking about giving this sort of life up, but in the end it just sort of pushed me to re-evaluate." He takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly, "I love the League. I really did, but satellites in the sky and humanitarian missions with political envoys, that sort of thing isn't me. Grunt and I just wanted something simple and we're lucky enough there are other people who are looking for that sort of thing too. No job too big, no job too small. We don't answer to anyone and have only two rules. Be a good person and do the right thing. No elaborate set up; now delineated power structure. We just are what we are."

Carol sits, and Carol listens. She doesn't interrupt. She just takes it all in, from every word to every gesture, every tone and facial tic. And then, when Steve runs down, she nods. "Alright. All of that lines up with what I'd heard, and what I've seen. Next question is: how are you getting intel? You put together a team of people with the kinds of talents your friends carry, you have to have things for them to do. Ways for them to contribute. I get that there'll be a social club aspect, and I'm more than fine with that. But … how do you find the things that need doing? And how do you decide?" Carol has no love for Traverstein, or the rules that followed those incidents. But if they're merely going to be casual, chaotic vigilantes, there's no need to add herself to that mix. What she wants is teamwork, doing the right thing … and knowing what that right thing is, and where it needs doing. One of the reasons that despite any frustrations, she has stuck with the League this far.

Caitlin listens with a wide-eyed attentiveness, and unconsciously even holds her breath a bit. It's obvious there's some big time hero worship going on, and she's a bit spellbound by the conversation between Steve and Carol. One of her heels drums absently on the ground, a bit of jittery motion that betrays her clear nervousness at wanting this to work out.

"Intel comes from all over. I still have a lot of contacts with governments all over the globe, as well as people I've met over the years. But, in what happened this past weekend, our mission essentially chose us. As far as the other questions you have, Captain, I know it would be great for me to give you concrete answers to those, but the truth is, I really don't know. I don't know how we decide. We're all equal here, and we will all have our input. I think a lot of us really respect one another and each other's opinions, and in my opinion that's a great foundation for a team. It'd be presumptuous for me to lay down the law and say how everything's going to go, but that's not my right. The team is everyone's."

During the mission it did sort of have a feel that Cap was calling the shots, but as far as the team goes he doesn't seem in all that much of a hurry to put his stamp on things.

Carol listens more, tuned in, nodding, but still she doesn't interrupt. It's pretty obvious she has something to say, but she holds it close to the vest, and she listens. It's the only way she knows how to do it right. But once Cap is done, she lets her thoughts spool out, and then she orders them and says what comes through.

"I'm all in favor of a decentralized command structure, democracy and mutual respect. But some organization will be necessary. We have to be able to get our intel into the group, and redirect it to others. We need analysts who can put one piece of my intel together with another piece of yours, and come up with what needs doing out of that." Go figure, Carol takes things seriously.

"Isn't the whole point, though, kinda um…" Caitlin trails off, as if having spoken without realizing she's doing so consciously. "I mean… if we sit around waiting for intel analysts and reports and stuff, then we're kind of in the same predicament the JLA is in. Where we can't do anything until the, um… you know, Oracle… says… so," she says, mumbling and looking at the most interesting can of paint in the world.

Steve looks to Caitlin for a split second. He didn't know the first thing about what the League was going through these days. The only person he's still close with is Kate, and they talk about pretty much anything but the old team.

"I don't think it's much something you're going to feel comfortable with, but the only thing I can offer you is that those sorts of things will be sorted out as soon as possible. What would you suggest?"

Carol Danvers considers the question asked for a while; she doesn't speak up immediately. Obviously, she's giving it real thought. Eventually, though, she does speak up. "I agree that we don't want to become hidebound like the League. If we want that, we stay where we are. Nothing wrong with it. But the reason to do this is to build something different. Something that is, to us, for us, better than what we have." A statement of directive purpose, that.

"We keep things as streamlined as we can. A rotation of watch, at least one on duty at any time to take a call and field intel. Those with a talent and a calling for it volunteer their time to sift intel on their shifts. What they find, they route back to the team. We'll need a lightweight, secure communications platform."

Carol considers for a bit more, then continues. "Not sure what your relationship was with the Oracle, but I'd imagine that to be an ideal recruit, if the Oracle could be convinced. It would provide the team with an expert in communications, and in intel analysis. The rest, how what is known is acted upon, should probably be something the team, as it is formed, votes on. But I think the ideal would be that what we know is distributed to everyone on the team, and those that can make themselves free act alone or together on what they have as they are able."

Caitlin looks relieved when no one stomps all over her observation, sagging back into her chair and exhaling through her nose. She listens as Carol effortlessly outlines the requirements for forming a covert operational cell, eyes widening a bit. "So like… working from here? Do we make this an actual base?" she asks, looking dubiously at the incredibly underdeveloped airstrip masequerading as a fort.

"Those all sound like reasonable options, Captain. And I think they're good ideas. As far as Oracle goes, I had a positive relationship with that person, or persons, but I would be surprised if they would be willing to be recruited over here. You're certainly welcome to ask, however," Rogers responds.

Another deep intake of air before Steve smiles at Caitlin, "Well, it has the benefit of being extremely cheap. As in free. And it is able to house our plane, which is a big deal." Steve's mouth twists as he looks around, "Does leave a little bit to be desired, I suppose. Hawkes likes it, though."

Captain Marvel smirks a bit at that. "Well, he snores well. I can help with aircraft maintenance, and piloting. We'll want to pool resources and talents as best we can, as we add up. I'm no Stark, but I have some stocks I can liquidate, if we need some cash flow to get things started. And I'll contact Oracle, just to see if he, she or they would be interested. Not telling them doesn't help us: I'm sure Oracle already knows." And if Carol reaches out personally, maybe they can keep it out of DEO hands a little longer. It's worth a shot. "There are those who will view this venture as an almost criminal enterprise. Especially after the incidents in question. We'll have to be prepared for that. We won't fly under the radar for long, with our talents and our urges to be in things, making a difference." Too bad they can't hire Pepper Potts away from Stark; the woman is truly gifted at organizational detail.

"Yeah, but… I mean, the wifi here probably sucks," Caitlin observes, peering around. "Where would we sleep? And eat? Where do we go for food?" Big surprise, that's Caitlin's top concern. "I mean, it's hard to feed a bunch of people, right? And if someone gets injured, we'd need medical care for them. If nothing else, trauma services to make sure that anyone we bring back can recover safely," she says, eyes glazing a bit while she looks at the far hangar wall.

"Plus the approaches from the north and east are wide open and we've got no control of the local battlefield airspace. We'd need to establish forward defilades along the major approaches and possibly checkpoints or disguised barriers to keep curious bypasses out, and then we should probably work out a ground and air evacuation route out by going through the back of the woodline between those hills, where the river route will disguise troop movement and prevent air radar systems from picking our low fliers up."

Caitlin looks back at Steve and Carol. "And how do we pay for something like this?" she asks, as if completely unaware of the diatribe she just went into. "Isn't airplane fuel expensive?"

"I've put everything I've gotten into this place and Old Abe in there," Steve says waving his crown towards the parked C-130 at the end of the hangar. "If you want to pitch in, we won't tell you no," he adds with a smile.

"I know some of us were wondering if we intended to remain a secret or operate in the open. My simple answer has been that I don't care, and that it will be for others to decide. I tend to think you're right though, that it won't stay under cover for long."

"There isn't really wifi here, unfortunately. But I guess we could get a router," Steve says plainly. "There's a bunk room that Grunt, Hawks, and I put together below here. It holds about a dozen at any given time."

For food?

"Closest place is a McDonald's down the way," Steve jabs his thumb over his shoulder. "Medical is being done by Beacon for the time being. He's pretty good at it."

"To me, this sounds like meeting material. If you ladies would be interested, I'd be happy to set something up."

"Cap? Phone for you. It's Dastern," Hawkes says as he enters the small shack of a room.

Steve nods to the others, "If you'll excuse me. Caitlin, feel free to show Captain Marvel whatever she wants to see. And please let me know if this is something you'd want to pursue. I'll catch up with you both later."

"Oh, and yes, it's very expensive."

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