The Queen City Altercation

April 11, 2015:

Captain America and Agent Carter run down the fugitive Shift, and confront him in Cincinnati. (Lots of vulgarity and some horror elements)

Walnut Hills - Cincinnati, Ohio


NPCs: SHIELD containment team, Cincinnati Police, an old man rocking a 40, Mikey Jackson and his gang, Lavonne Smith and her girls, numerous others.


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

April 8th, 2015

You've drawn too much attention, Kwabena.

He stared into a filthy mirror. The harsh, flickering phosphorescent above grating on his fractured soul.

You've done well, Kwabena. But they'll be after you.

The razor carved through foamy white, removing the stubble that grew. And yet, his attention was not upon the work itself, but rather, it lingered upon silver eyes.

You should have killed her. You should have killed everyone. Leave no witnesses.

The flickering light was like the fractured memories. One moment, he remembered everything about D.C.; in the next moment, he could barely recall what city he was in. Silver eyes stared back at him in the broken mirror, but a moment later, nothing but inky black.

He was losing himself to them. To the voice. To those who had found a way to control him.

You need to disappear.

The blade dug too deep. Red droplets fell into the water below. Yet he didn't flinch. He dug deeper. The pain was all he had left, but even the pain was fleeting… for when he dug too deep, it all became smoke.

- - - - -

April 11th, 2015

All signs say that Shift has gone to ground. Below ground. NSA has nothing on him ever since D.C.; satellite imagery caught a cloud of black smoke disappearing into a storm drain. Then?


SHIELD records have him pegged as being comfortable in multiple cities. Chicago, San Diego, Miami, Boston, Minneapolis, all places he's lived and worked in the past. However, those leads will have all turned up dry, depending upon which order they were worked. One place, however, will prove promising, but it's going to require those tracking him to get their hands a little dirty.

- - - - -

Cincinnati, Ohio

"Nigga, get your muddy ass boots off my couch."

Kwabena opens his eyes, then glances down to his boots. He grunts, shaking his head just so. "Ain't muddy."

"Mafucka I don't care!" Mikey Jackson shoves the Ghanaian's boots off his couch, then takes a drag of his cigarette. "You goddamn lucky I even agreed to let yo' black ass in, so you respect my shit."

The unassuming house is in Walnut Hills. Not the gentrified blocks around Desales Corner, but the dirty, crime-ridden blocks near People's Corner. The spot is owned by Mikey Jackson. Mikey runs most of the heroin trafficking into Cincinnati through his backups in Northern Kentucky, and he's managed to keep CPD off his ass for five years. This is where he houses people who need to stay hidden. There's no wifi, no cable, no dogs outside to bark at strangers, just some ugly and gawdy lawn decorations and an old black man who sits on his stoop, drinking hood wine and cussing out teenagers all day.


The Quinjet streaks across the sky to the west, hurtling at close to top speeds. As soon as they found a lead, Agent Carter and Captain Rogers wasted no time in boarding and heading there. The cavalry (not The Cavalry) would be coming later en masse but that sort of thing needs time to coordinate and time was one thing they could not waste.

"We're coming up on Cincinnati," Steve says, at the controls. He looks over, noticing Peggy looking at him "What?"

"Look, you fly one plane into an iceberg and everyone gets worried about your piloting skills."


In the seat next to Steve, Peggy holds on to the chair. While her attention is on the clouds and the sky, her eyes continually move to rest on him. It is profoundly a strange experience for her to see him behind the controls of a plane again. While she might not have seen him piloting the plane that crashed, she has thought of it often in the years that followed.

However, at his quip, she smirks and her gaze returns to the skyline, her mood lifted. "You must admit, it does quite stand out on your piloting record."

Looking out as the city comes into view, the smirk fades to something a more neutral expression. "Ohio seems a strange place to go underground."


Mikey continues berating Kwabena for a few minutes, but the mercenary doesn't care. He'd refused Mikey's dope last night. He'd refused it this morning. It was insulting to the trafficker, but again… Kwabena doesn't care. Save from finding a cabin in the woods or jumping to some place like Afghanistan, this is about as underground as he's willing to get right now.

Perhaps that explains the voice in his head, berating him. Telling him he's got to dig deeper. Telling him to keep running.

The spoon on the table is looking awfully tempting.

Aside from landing at CVG Airport, there are two small landing strips near the city. One about four miles east of the central community, one in the northern suburbs. Of course, they could just land it in the street, but that would attract a lot of attention.


"The Queen City is a fine place. You should try the Chilli Mac," Steve says before bringing the plane downwards, "This is where he's from. It's the closest place he has to a home. To come here, makes sense. His old neighborhood is our first stop."

After landing at the landing strip near the airport, and after a short conversation with a military liaison from Camp Sherman in Chillicothe, Steve rolls out his motorcycle from the ramp and the pair head towards some of the seedier sites the Natti has to offer.

It doesn't take too long to get to the neighborhood in question, and as Cap kicks the stand down he leans back towards Peg. "Just like the old days," he mutters. "Well, in some ways."


"Perhaps, if there's time, we could grab a bite." Once they're landed, Peggy follows Steve down the ramp, now back to business. "Ah, I see. He's gone to ground in familiar territory. Yes, that does make sense."

She takes in the city as it flies by them on the back of the motorcycle, sitting up straight as soon as they've arrived where they hope Odame will be. Glancing one way and then the other, her eyes land on the tacky lawn decorations and she smiles. "In some ways, yes." A hand remains resting around Steve's waist despite the fact that it's no longer necessary to hold him stay on the motorcycle.

"Did you have his old address on hand, or are we to start knocking on doors?"


Walnut Hills is a pretty nice neighborhood during the daytime, even in the seedier areas. Like most of the more dangerous neighborhoods in Cincinnati, the thugs come out at night. What drug deals that do go down in the day are generally non-violent. The violence happens at night, when the dealers go out to collect, or war with each other, or the drunks get mad and beat their wives. The organized crime here is smart; or the local law enforcement are just plain dumb.

That being said, when Captain America arrives with a dame on his motorcycle, they certainly draw attention. Two of these things are certainly not like the others, but everyone recognizes the symbol of America and the world's first recognized superhero.

People stop on the streets. They come out of their homes. Text messages and tweets are fired left and right. Even some of the hardened thugs on the street stop and look their way, catcalls that would have been immediately sent toward Peggy stopped in their throats at the sight of star and shield.

A trio of little girls run up to them without hesitation. "Are you the real Captain America?" one girl asks. The other looks to Peggy and says, "You're pretty!"


"I do, but I don't believe he'll be there," Steve says as he reaches down towards Peggy's leg and rests a hand on her knee as he looks back and talks to her. "I figure asking might be the best route."

After disembarking, Steve is smiling at some of the children and gives them a nod, "I am. And this is my partner, Agent Carter. She works with me on all of my most important cases and if you girls stay in school and work real hard, you can be heroes just like her."

"Are any of your mothers' home? I'd really like to speak with them about something very important."


Peggy looks around at all the people gathering at their doorways and on the streets. Though she knows nothing about texting or tweets, she knows information being spread when she sees it. She says to Steve softly, "I believe we may not have to do much door duty. It's far more likely that if he is here he will see us before we see him. Let's keep our eyes open."

The little girl is given a sincere smile once she's off the motorcycle and standing. "Thank you." Steve's introduction of her is given a smirk, but all of these people crowding around makes her nervous. She's seen what Odame has done to an innocent bystander and nods at Steve's question. "Yes, please, why don't you three go find your parents?" The further away from Steve and Peggy, the better as far as she is concerned.


"Mine is," says one little girl. Another answers, "Mama died two years ago. Daddy works at the pickle plant." Another says, "My mama works at night. She's sleeping. Mama says never to wake her during the day or I'ma get an aaaaass whoopin'!"

All three giggle at the dropping of some ass.

Regardless, the first one reaches out and grabs Steve by the hand. "My big brother has your action figure," she says, while dragging Steve toward her mom's front porch. "He says you always beat up He-Man, but I think He-Man is dumb."

At the house, an older black lady comes to the door. "Porschina, what the hell are you doin'?" she calls out. "Didn' I tell you stop talkin' to stra—" Then, she reaches a hand to her mouth, gasping at the sight of Steve. "Oh. Oh my."


Another thug comes downstairs in the house where Shift is shacked up. "We got a problem," he says to Mikey, and the two engage in some whispering.


"I don't think he'd openly attack his neighbors if he weren't provoked. I think the much more likely avenue is for him to run. You wanna hang back and keep your eyes peeled while I talk to this lady?" Steve hands Peggy the keys, just in case they need it. He figures if he draws attention to himself, then the attention will not be on Carter.

As the girls bring him over, Steve smiles at the woman. "Good morning, ma'am. Or is it afternoon. Anyways, I'm looking for a friend of mine named Kwabena Odame. He's in some hot water and I'm looking to try and find him before someone else does."


Taking in the information from the children, Peggy glances up at the elder lady yelling for them to go inside. "That is excellent advice," she tells them about not talking to strangers.

"Perhaps not, but from what I've seen he cares little about who he injures." Hopefully Steve is right and that he would not hurt the three little girls just to ensure Steve and Peggy don't find him, but she doesn't wish to take that chance.

Taking the keys from Steve, she nods, slipping them into her pocket. For a moment, she watches Steve and the children as they walk away. Then,hoping that everyone cares more about watching Captain America than a woman in a leather jacket, she starts to move into the crowd, scanning the buildings and faces in hopes of seeing the one she recognizes from DC.


"Well, come on inside then," the woman answers, ushering Steve and the girls to go in. Her daughter plays with these girls every day, they're welcome in her home.

Once inside, the woman introduces herself. "I'm Lavonne, Lavonne Smith. That's my daughter, Porschina. There's Rachel, and that there's De'vonn." She positively beams, while offering her hand. "Saw you in the Enquirer, 'bout stoppin' all those missiles? Can't tell you how thankful we all are." Then, Lavonne looks at the picture Steve carries with him, and shakes her head with a frown. "Sorry, sir. I don't think that I.."

De'vonn, however, darts away from the group and over to the window. She pulls the drapes a bit, then begins pointing toward a house across the street, where an old man sits with his bottle of cheap wine, eyes narrowed. "Over there!"

A pop sound comes from the back yard. A split second later, there's a crack in the dining room window. A bullet streaks across the room, piercing a flower and headed straight for De'vonn's head.

Outside on the streets, gunfire erupts from random apartment buildings and houses, shattering windows from darkened interiors where silhouetted gunmen have appeared. Bullets strike the pavement around Peggy. Lavonne Smith's front porch begins spraying splinters all over the place. People scatter and scream.

It's mayhem.


Captain America nearly knocks over one of the children as he leaps in front of De'vonn just as the bullet was about to kill the youth. It ricochets up into the ceiling, burying itself through the stucco and the floorboards for upstairs. Steve puts his shield and his body in front of the window so that no more shots may come to threaten this family.

"Into the basement," Steve orders them. "Go right away."

"Carter, are you alright?" he asks into his communicator. "SHIELD Team Echo, this is Rogers. Shots fired in Walnut Hills. Painting the house." Steve shines a light that looks not unlike a laser pointer, directing the incoming SHIELD forces as to the house in question.

"Peg," Steve says, breaking character as worry comes to his voice. "Are you alright?"


At the sound of the first shot, Peggy's head quickly turns toward the sound. Then, as bullets strike the pavement in front of her, spraying asphalt and chips of stone about, Peggy is quick to action. She dashes against the nearest house, using it as cover, sure to pull whatever bystanders that are nearby along with her to safety. "Why did I have to be right," she mutters to herself, duckingdown and pulling out her gun.

"Go along the sides!" she yells over the chaos, "Get inside!" Pointing at the back doors and side doors of the houses nearby, she ushers them along.

It's only once they are safely away that she responds. "I'm fine, Captain," she replies. Seeing the laser pointer, directed at the house and the information relayed, she starts edging her way forward. "The first shot came from behind your position. "I'll go check out the house in question."


The children are screaming, but Lavonne Smith, sadly, has been through this before. Walnut Hills isn't as rough a neighborhood as Millvale or Avondale, which is why she works two jobs to live here. Still, this isn't her first drive-by. She grabs the children and ushers them into the basement as ordered.

SHIELD response teams were hot on their tail, dispatched from the nearest bases. The Quinjets move in, peppering the area with a mixture of rubber bullets and gas canisters, in an effort to quickly dispatch the shooters without causing lethal damage to them or the bystanders who get caught in the way.

Meanwhile, at the house across the way, the old man just sits there and observes everything, the bottle never leaving his side. Inside that house, however, something different is unfolding.

Mikey Jackson comes over to Shift, snarling. "You mother fucker! Damn, I knew itwas a bad idea letting your punk ass back in this house, nigga!"

Kwabena looks up at Mikey, silver eyes narrowed.

"Man, get yo black ass up off'a my couch!"

Shift sits upright, eyes still narrowed. "No."

"Nigga, what I say to you, bitch? I said get…" Out comes a glock. "YO BLACK ASS…" The glock gets locked.

And that's when Shift's eyes turn to an inky black.


Steve bounds out of the Lavonne's and into where the man sits with the bottle. Rubber bullets slam against the pavement, and a couple even plunk off his armor, but he keeps charging towards the target, even as the gas is beginning to make the area hazy.

"Carter, I'm headed in the front. Cover the back."


"Copy." Peggy's eyes narrow on the old man across the way. While everyone else is running and screaming, he is sitting on the stoop as if nothing is wrong. "The man in front," she warns Steve without much other explanation. It's something for him to keep his eyes open for: they're both running fast enough that there's not time for much other explanation.

Allowing the Quinjets to get things under control, she takes a breath and lets the dispersal of a gas canister mask her movements across the street. Running full tilt, she keeps moving once she emerges from the smoke. Keeping an eye on her surroundings, she dashes for a back entrance into the house.


The old man just stares at Steve. A red light appears beneath the skin of his neck, flashing twice. A wicked grin spreads across his face.

"Hail HYDRA."

The bomb implanted beneath him goes off, peppering Steve with charred body parts and blasting the porch to hell and back.

The back door is locked, but it won't take much for Peggy to force it open. When she enters the house, however, she'll find a number of occupants. Thug-like dudes. Drug-dealers. They're all screaming. Two of them are rolling around on the floor, one of them is batting at himself. All of them, however, are virtually covered in a horde of mutated, vicious insects. It's a wide variety; arachnids, centipedes, beetles, swarming fireflies, all of them munching and devouring the thugs alive with their venomous mandibles. Mikey Jackson is the last to appear, bursting from the basement door with a blood curdling scream leading the way. Even while a hungry centipede chews through one of his nostrils from the inside out, he turns the glock on himself and starts firing.


"I see him, I—"


Steve gets thrown from his feet towards a car parked in the driveway and into the driver and backseat windows. The pillar in between them bends hard before Cap slips off it and falls to the ground. He has the presence of mind to get his shield up, but he's in a pretty bad wayhere for a bit as he tries to get his bearings.


A locked door isn't anything to Peggy Carter. Using the momentum as she is running, she plants her foot and kicks at the weakest part of the door: right above the lock. The noise is masked by the explosion out front. Turning quickly away from the house, she forgoes the more professional titles, on the com immediately. "Steve?" She cannot go through another radio conversation where she calls his name and he never responds. "Steve!"

In the ringing silence of her waiting for an answer is when she hears the other men screaming. Hand gripping her gun, she steps inside the house, completely horrified by what she sees. "Oh my dear God." It's rare for Agent Carter to be stunned into inaction, but this is one of those times.


The monstrosities continue with their devouring, until the men lie on the floor, skinless and bleeding. Mikey is the last to go; he puts the gun against his chin and blows his own brains out.

The insects collect. They pile upon each other like rabid beasts, forming a writhing column that then just… transforms into Shift.

The Ghanaian's mask is off. His eyes simply aren't there, replaced by an inky blackness that is not entirely of this world. His chest heaves with exaggerated motions, and he stares at her as if looking through his soul.

Carter. The voice in hishead knows her name, and with it, Shift's puppetmasters drive the last pieces of himself deep down into those places where dreams and nightmares are forgotten.


Its not Kwabena's voice. Theres no accent, and the demonic baritone that lingers beneath in discordant harmony will be familiar to her.


"Yeah, I'm alright," Steve groans as he pushes himself up off the driveway with broken glass still tumbling off his back. He gets to his feet with a wince but begins to head, and then to run towards the back door.

"Kwabena," Steve says as he arrives at the back door to look Shift in the face. "What have they done to you?"


Peggy is completely unsure of how to help these men as demonic bugs devour them. It's over in the amount of time it took her to register all the horrible things that were happening. As the bugs resolve into the man she recognizes from DC, she keeps her gun leveled at him. She knows it may not actually do much, but it makes her feel better for the moment.

Her eyes narrow when he says her name. "I don't believe we were properly introduced the last time we met." Never having heard Shift's voice other than his one statement before, she doesn't realize it to be different. In fact, the discordant notes are exactly how he sounded in the massage parlor.

Despite the horrible scene in front of her, she still feels aflood of relief to hear Steve's voice in the com. Her eyes don't leave Kwabena even as she hears his approach behind her.


While it's impossible to tell exactly where Shift is looking, his head moves just so, inclined in Steve's direction.

There is a pause, but the man who is Kwabena is powerless against HYDRA's magic.

His mouth bends open, farther than should be possible. A vicious snarl is spat forth, before his fists curl. Peggy and Steve will both recognize the sound that accompanies his body transforming to super-solid, but Steve has never witnessed it happening so fast before. It's like glass being scraped across rock.


The man bolts into a run, one designed to bowl through Peggy on his way to Rogers.


To pretend that Steve understands the nuances between women's liberation, chauvinism, chivalry, and just being a good person, is probably asking too much. No one from his time could figure that stuff out with a slide rule.

But he'll be damned if he's going to allow Peggy to get run over by Kwabena and so off to the side she goes.

Up comes the vibranium shield, with all its power displacement, up between himself and Shift.


Much like when facing down a bomber in oncoming car, Peggy keeps her firearm level at Shift. The change happens just as fast as it did in the massage parlor, the same glass shattering noise heralding his approach. As soon as it happens, she shoots twice in rapid succession at the onrushing super-solid man, aiming for center mass. She's intent on standing her ground until the last moment.

Despite her intentions, Steve is there, shoving her to the side and bringing up his shield. As her feet were planted, she might have tumbled to the ground were it not for the nearby wall. Instead, she is crashes up against it, bouncing just slightly. Peggy readjusts, gathering her balance and then moves forward again into the fray.


Peggy's bullets bounce right off him, shattering two bottles on the nearby counter. Shift barrels in through, lowering his shoulder as Steve brings up his shield.


The maddened Ghanaian is deflected off to the side, crashing through the kitchen counter and the brick wall outside. He tumbles to the earth, uprooting grass as he goes, and finally comes to a rest after half-bashing through a chain link fence.

A pitbull in the yard bounds over, barking and snarling. A moment later, the dog's head comes flying through the hole in the house, headed toward the others.


Cap blocks the disgusting portion out of the way, smearing his blue and silver painted shield with the blood red color it was missing. He leaps out through the hole and lands upon the grass in a crouch, eager to give Shift chase.

"We're on foot," he says into his wrist. "Switch attacks to electric based. It's our best bet to combat at least one of his powers. Try to get and hold a visual."


While she didn't believe the bullets would actually land, Peggy now figures he won't turn to smoke when hit with bullets in that form. As he tumbles across the kitchen and outside, she follows to the hole in the kitchen wall. She frowns at the dog's head that arcs in and bounces off of Steve's shield.

Not wasting any time, she jumps down immediately after. Keeping a hand on her gun, her eyes following the uprooted grass and the fence hole showing the trail of where he went. Then, she's running forward, determined to not let him get away.


A trail of destruction leads through the back yards of the neighborhood, keeping away from the streets where SHIELD is mopping up the rest of HYDRA's distractions.

"It's HYDRA, sir," reports one of the agents on the street, having identified a shooter. "Sending three units your way, we've got the streets handled."

Just as the pair make him, Shift drops into a roll and barrels through the trunk of a tree, causing it to come crashing down in Peggy and Steve's direction. Behind it, a cloud of black smoke goes soaring skyward.


Steve grimaces as he sees the tree coming. His knees bend and he dips low into a squat, and uses his hips to explode upwards straight into the tree trunk with his shield and attempting to throw it off to one side."

"This is Rogers. He's going to smoke. Hit him with something electric and quick!" In the light, Shift is far easier to see than in the darkness, of course.


It turns out it's easy to follow Shift's trail, as he isn't being coy about hiding his whereabouts. Peggy keeps running. An eye follows Steve and makes sure she jukes to the opposite side to where he's angling the tree to go, but most of her attention is locked onto the black cloud of smoke. If they don't keep on him, they'll lose his trail.

She calculates the trajectory of his ascent into the air, attempting to ensure that should the electricity do it's duty she will be right there to continue the fight.


A Quinjet comes soaring overhead, two SHIELD agents leaning out the side. However, the aircraft passes right over the streak of black as it goes into hover mode. The exhaust blows the smoke right back into the adjoining back yard.

The tree falls in the other direction, crushing a fence but leaving everyone unharmed.

Steve will notice a certain recklessness to his movements and the way he's fighting. It lacks the practiced finesse he's displayed in the past.

"Got him," reports one of the agents up high, who fires a taser down into the cloud of smoke. The black tendrils are immediately electrified, the gaseous stuff turning into a black goo that sticks to the ground and is hot to the touch.


Steve leaps over to where the mess of goo is. He's not sure it will work, but he opens up one of the compartments upon his belt and looks to take that sample that Fitz is worried about. And he's back on the horn, "He's down! He's down! We need a containment team down here right away. He's down! Bring everything you got and make it quick." He looks back to Peggy. His lack of caution almost got them both killed, and a couple of kids as well. The Scarlet Avenger is not too happy with himself.


Once Shift is goo on the ground, Peggy slides to a stop. She's seen him pull himself together quickly when she separated him in his smoke form, so she's not going to underestimate his ability to do so now, either. And she's not going to touch the goo with her bare hands. If he can suffocate someone with smoke and eat others with bugs, who knows what the goo can do.

Her eyes remain on the ground as Steve approaches to take a sample before she looks over at him. She's not about to tell him she told him so. In fact, her eyes soften with a sympathetic expression before she turns her attention back to the gooified Shift. "He reformed incredibly quickly in DC," she warns him, meaning this fight may not be over.


Two more Quinjets join the one topside, forming a triangle around the backyard. A little boy in the upstairs window looks down, eyes wide as SHIELD agents drop down into his backyard, geared up and heavily armed.

The agents begin to surround them all, discussing just how to detain a pile of goo.

The goo begins to move. A slithering sound upon the grass. What once was unrecognizable generally takes the shape of a man, though it's still lying on the grass. The agents chatter a lot, closing in around him. One could virtually hear the orchestra ramping up to a climactic silence, when Kwabena appears in his human shape once more.

The blackness recedes from his eyes, revealing their veiny whites. The eyeballs flutter and tremble, until he finally has the strength to pull them back from where they've rolled up into his head. The irises are very muchhuman, and the silver Steve and Peggy might recognize.

They look from Peggy to Steve. "… h-help…. me…"


As the goo starts to reform into a man, Peggy again trains her gun on Shift. She's waiting for him to attack or change into something more dangerous. For the moment, that attack doesn't arrive. Instead, she watches as his eyes change from black into silver curiously. If he's not going to attempt anything she is more than willing to allow the other agents to contain him.

At the plea, though, her expression almost softens, the gun lowering just slightly. She's very good at telling when people are lying to her or attempting to garner sympathy to use against her. It's part of the interrogation process. This, however, sounds sincere.

"Come with us and we will," she tells him, though she really doesn't have any authority to make such a promise. Though she's Agent Carter, her SHIELD in some ways no longer exists.


But Steve would back her on the promise. Despite all the evidence, he wants to believe Shift was put up to this and keeps erring towards that belief. Nevertheless, he holds his shield up to protect him and Peggy, while echoing her sentiments. "You need to allow us to help you, Kwa."


A great struggle ensues. The Ghanaian's eyes tremble in their sockets, his teeth gnashing, muscles flexing. His head even shudders as he fights against the darkness that encloses upon him from everywhere. The eyes try to roll back, but he fights it. He fights it so valiantly, but their power is just too strong.

He trembles the entire time, until the endless blackness takes his eyes. Only then do his muscles relax.

There is a beat, before the African bursts into a beam of light that heads skyward, charring a hole through the trees above and leaving flaming grass where he once lie.

The SHIELD teams find their gear scrambled, as if an EMP of some sort just hit. Scanners, comms, everything goes down. All they'll have is satellite coverage, and HYDRA's hackers are trying to shut those down, as well.

For the moment, anyway, he's gone… but Steve has his sample, and it would seem they had but a moment to see the man behind the monster.


Captain America takes a step back as the light that was Kwabena shoots past them up into the sky. A second later is quiet and his blue eyes move to Peggy. "I'm sorry. That was my mistake." Had he been able to do it all over again, he would, of course. His faith in Shift was either not well warranted, or wasn't enough to overpower whatever it is that HYDRA is using.


Peggy continues to look upward, eyes scanning the smoldering trees and the space in the sky where Kwabena disappeared. The gun finally lowers completely, barrel pointed to the ground. Then, she meets Steve's gaze. "No, it wasn't. I doubt there was much we could do to stop that from happening today. Your faith in your friend was justified, I believe. Something unnatural may be happening there."

While she's not sure she trusts the man entirely, there is just enough evidence there to believe that something else has taken control of Kwabena that she's willing to explore it as possibility. "It seems, though, that he's still incredibly dangerous. We should ensure that your Doctors Fitz and Simmons get that sample to find a way to ensure we can actually entrap him when we meet him next."


Satellite imagery will, of course, be able to determine where Shift has gone. In the mean while, the SHIELD agents begin bottling things up. A containment team is left behind while others climb back into their Quinjets, and a neighborhood looks on in silent shock.

Barelling through space, Kwabena emits a silent scream. Eventually, the ball of plasma descends like a shooting star into the waters of an Indonesian village, where it buries itself into a rice paddy. When the African climbs out of the crater, he looks around, then lifts his mask over his face and wanders off into the darkness.

Behind the mask, eyes of black rage in their induced silence.

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