December 29, 2016:

When a pair of SHIELD agents turn up dead, the First Avenger and one from the future talk with one of SHIELD's most connected young Agents to talk shop.

//Central Park - New York City //

Sitting on 843 acres of public land, Central Park is one of the most famous
sight-seeing spots in New York, and is considered large enough to have its
own police precinct (the Central Park Precinct) dedicated to its protection.
The Park boasts several lakes — all of which have been created artificially
— extensive walking and bridle paths, two ice skating rinks, a variety of
outdoor theatre spaces, several playgrounds, and a considerable collection
of whimsical statuary. It is home to Belvedere Castle, the Carousel, the
Central Park Zoo, the Conservatory, and Cleopatra's Needle (one of three,
70-foot Egyptian obelisks from the Temple of Ra in Helios, its mates
residing in London and Paris).


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Peggy Carter, Thor, Jane Foster, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

It's been a few weeks since the Bugle reported what NYPD had discovered about a half dozen random murders throughout the city. And two days since May found something in Central Park that she took back but then lost. It was later that night that two more agents, left at Central Park to monitor the area, turned up dead.

Agent Lewis, probably because May wanted to a) teach her something b) wasn't happy with Darcy's life choices or c) some other May reason, was dispatched to the area to help with clean up and to make sure things were set up to prevent more losses. She stands at he perimeter of the Park, a good distance from where it happened, in her office Men In Black uniform. Black pencil skirt into which a white tank is tucked. A black fitted jacket over that, and nice tall high heels. Her wavy brown locks are pulled up into an office worthy bun, held up by bright red chop sticks. The same color as the frames of her hipster glasses. She's tapping on a tablet, leaning on a light post, her cup of mocha sitting on the lid of a park trash can.

Usually investigations aren't Captain America's thing. Compared to Batman, Peggy Carter, or even your standard SHIELD agent, Cap is not necessary the best at checking out a crime scene and figuring things out. Still, he's a smart guy and considering that there seems to be a lot of deaths, it seems natural to send the guy who is known for keeping people safe and always having a level head. Just having Cap head into a crime scene is usually enough for local law to say they are handling something and it's nothing to worry about. One of the reasons why SHIELD wanted him out here more than likely.

Dressed in his crime-fighting best, the super soldier moves toward his agent contact, which is perhaps the second reason why he took the assignment, perhaps wishing to make sure a friend of a friend of a friend doesn't get into trouble. He carries himself with a confident stride, looking over the park with a faint smile as he closes the distance between himself and Darcy. At least it looks mostly like he remembered it and that always brings him a measure of piece.

Once he's in conversational range, the war hero extends his hand out with a pleasant grin. "You must be Agent Lewis. It's a pleasure to meet you. Heard you've been a big help to building bridges within the superhero community," he states with warm tone. He certainly is a friendly sort.

Investigating murders are not usually business Iron Guard would get involved either. That is police work, or maybe vigilante detective work, which he is not. But then again, it is not the New York police which is here either, is it? SHIELD usually means international terrorism involved. Or supercriminals of global scope (and even then the DEO will dispute every inch of jurisdiction like the dicks they are).

But this is New York and the Triskelion and the UN Building are around the corner, so important people pull strings constantly. Like, for instance someone told someone else that maybe the Avengers should get involved and an email was sent to Nathaniel Richards' official UN account. He could ignore it, but he needs the goodwill of 'someone' and probably that 'someone' friends too.

So the armored man lands a few yards from Darcy and he greet, "agent Lewis, fancy see you here. What do we have here? Ah, and Merry Christmas. Or is it too late for that? Christian mythology is confusing."

Darcy looks up from her tablet, smiling at the good ol' Captain. She tucks the stylus into its holder on the edge of the tablet and tucks the whole thing under an arm as if it were nothing more than the 21st century equivalent of a clipboard.

Basically, it is.

"Likewise, Captain Rogers. I… It's a little overwhelming to think -you've- heard of me," Darcy says, cheeks turning the faintest pink as she shakes hands. American Icon. Dreamy looking. Who WOULDN"T blush? "But, really. Just doing my job and… making friends. I like hte second part the best."

"Oh. Iron.. Dude. Merry Christmas. It's only late after New Years. And then it turns into way too early until after Thanksgiving. I don't give a fu- uuh…" Her eyes slide to Steve a moment. "….don't care if stores are putting up Christmas stuff in October. It's stupid and Christmas comes after Thanksgiving not before Halloween, spankyouverymuch." Darcy rambles. She rambles well. It's a gift. Her eyes turn to the scene, then she smiles and shrugs lightly.

"Usual New York insanity. Weird is the story of my life."

"Well, keep it up, it's clear you're a natural."

With the final bout of encouragement, Cap takes back his hands and holds it behind him. His stance gives away his past military training, clasping his hands behind him in a classic 'at ease' stance. As the armored man makes his appearance, Cap gives him a nod referring to his superhero identity because he's in the get up. That's usually the way it works for other heroes, though Steve usually doesn't care when it comes to himself because, well, everyone knows who he is. "Good to see you here, Iron Guard, hope your Christmas was a good one." As expected from the man who stands for the 'traditional' America, Steve's a firm believer on Christmas being the primary holiday greeting of choice. Thankfully, work keeps him from talking about things like 'Reasons for the Season' and so forth.

"It's okay, Agent Lewis. You mess with the weird long enough, it becomes normal. I learned that a bit after dealing what the Nazis and Hydra. Hopefully we can get to the bottom of it soon," Cap admits before looking to the city skyline. "Don't like the idea something stalking people in a big city like this."

"Captain," Iron Guard removes his helmet and offers a hand to the veteran hero, "good to see you again," he is also relieved to see him recovered from Starfire's sparring session. Because… ouch, that lady was rough.

He turns to Darcy and hrms. "Well, we should try to bring some sanity, right? How were the victims killed? Do you have forensics records around? Ah, sadly the number of super-criminals in the city is huge; we have to work harder on that problem."

"Ain't that the truth," Darcy quips at Steve, grinning broadly. She pulls out her tablet again, scrolling through the report.

"Stab and slash wounds. Half had their throats slit. And no, I can't give you our records without the right clearance level, and no NYPD won't share what they have," Darcy is saying, eyes on her tablet which she sets on the trash can lid to collect her mocha. Did she leave the screen on to the forensics reports? Ooops.

"So, Captain. You read the files on this case? Not that there's been a whole lot so far but…" Yes, Darcy has turned from Iron Guard to look directly at Steve. Not even her peripheral has Nathaniel in it.

The handshake is returned as Nathaniel offers his hand. The young Avenger might see the faintest of bruising around Cap's face, but the cowl hides most of it and as expected, the super-soldier heals rather swiftly. "Always a pleasure."

As Darcy does her thing, Cap rubs his neck as he sees her talk and then put the tablet down where Nathaniel can see it. "But I thought we were all in this together. You know, helping people and stuff. And if you aren't supposed to sharing information, then shouldn't the tablet be-" The light bulb goes off. "Oh, yeah. I get it." He just nods in response, content that he solved this mystery. After all, Cap is still parsing exactly how people and groups get along. After all, it isn't a 'us vs. evil' mentality that he would expect. But rarely does the world work in the ways that Captain America would prefer, despite his best intentions.

"I didn't really study 'em, just got some the basics. Something about some sort of attack, we thought we had it handled and took something in we thought was the cause and now… more attacks."

Nathaniel nods, "of course, and I will request the information through the proper channels. Hopefully I will have it tomorrow. Nice Starktech tablet," which he is not hacking or anything, not at all, pay no attention to the almost invisible wire-like tendril that briefly connects to the usb port.

"Meanwhile… stabbing and slashing? I suppose we should do a list of criminals that use archaic weapons. That narrows the suspects considerably," in fact he already has the list and no obvious matches. But that doesn't mean too much. It could be someone from out town. Or someone assumed dead that is back. Or even someone new. "How many victims so far?"

"Half dozen, plus two of our own. Still waiting on May to upload the last of her report." Darcy says off-handedly to Nathaniel even as she gives Steve a wink for being so up to speed on things.

"Attacks where the victims have zero connection to each other. Ages all over, heights, weights, professions and lack there of. Some were petty thieves with juvee records, one was a hardcore thug. Most? Just regular people, college frat boys, that sort of thing," Darcy adds, still smiling at Steve, still ignoring whatever Nathaniel is doing to her tablet behind her back.

"Well, remember, there is always the chance that this person is a new attacker. There might be a lot of bad people, but there is tragically always room for one more it seems." Captain America's words come with a sigh. To hear of six random deaths seems to weigh on him as if losing an entire battalion, but it appears that the care for life only seems to drive him onward that much more.

"There are only three things I can think of off hand," Cap suggests as he scratches the side of his nose in thought as Nathaniel offers his insight. "The first, it's more the location than people. They were at the wrong place at the wrong time? Could be something in the park that we are missing, something they are protecting or trying to keep hidden. Second, there could be a link between the people we don't know about. I remember hearing about dark rites from those in the occult about having certain people needed like 'one pure of heart' and 'one dark as sin', mysterious stuff like that." It's clear that when it comes to the magical arts, passing knowledge is about all Cap can offer. "Could also be a third thing, they just want to kill and it doesn't matter who it is."

There is a long pause as First Avenger notices exactly what Iron Guard is doing. While sharing information is one thing, it seems like Iron Guard's acquiring it in a way that Darcy might not be aware of. Unsure if this was what exactly was intended, Cap makes a variety of odd noises of discomfort as he looks toward the tablet. Whatever he is trying to do, it just ends up being like a horrible unhappy Marge Simpson 'mmmmm' impersonation.

Not that Rogers would get that reference.

The tendril retreats and Nathaniel dons his helmet again so he can call up a retinal display map with the positions of the killings. "An occult related murder spree would be way out of my skill-set. But I will check it up with Scarlet Witch." Not that the young mutant knows a good deal of occultism, but she is connected to several shady characters that do know.

"On the other hand those events might also leave some unique strange signatures," he notes, walking closer to the killing area to see if his armor sensors catch up anything.

Darcy has to fight NOT to giggle in Steve's face. The Marge sounds are adorkable. She smiles though, crossing her arms over her chest until Nathaniel says or does something to make her think it's safe to turn around again.

"Really great ideas, actually. I was going through the victim files again, see if there was anything we missed. I don't know about protecting, given that it was only recently that the killings all grouped up here at the park. All the others are all over the Buroughs," Darcy says to Steve before Darcy hears Nathaniel's voice through the helmet. She turns to collect her tablet.
"And when you see her, have her CALL me? Seriously. Save her brother and she doesn't even join me for coffee," Darcy quips as she scrolls through her intel again. "You can come too. Double date. Bring your sensor data."

But, he's right there, doing the things!

Cap figuring that she MUST NOT KNOW does slight head tilt toward the tablet. Then another. To a random passerby, it seems like poor Steve Rogers has a serious nervous tick. But by the time she gets her tablet, the cord is gone. Now he seems like the crazy one. But the important thing is he (sorta) did his part to help SHIELD cyber-security!

There is a long pause as Captain America considers as people talk about gathering information to deal with the threat. "I could try my contacts and see too." Of course, this is just a fancy way of saying 'I'm gunna go ask Peggy if SHE knows someone, since she has a lot better information network than me'. "But I don't have a date." Half a beat of awkward pause. "But I'm sure between the four of you, you guys will figure something out. You guys seem really smart."

"Dating Wanda in front of her brother seems like a… sub-optimal idea," comments Nathaniel, obviously amused. He gets as close to the place of the killings as the police lines allow him and spends a minute there. Then turns back to the other two. "Good news is I have something. The bad news is the killer or killers are able to teleport. But I have an energy signature and I might be able to recognize it if I see it again. Hmm… there was also an entropic-enhancing effect of some kind."

Darcy just drinks her coffee at Steve's head-seisure dance. Her shoulders shake lightly with internalized laughter.

"You're smart too. And you could bring your contact and it'll be a three-way," Darcy says, voice innocent, smile not even close to innocence. She glances at Iron Guard, rolling her eyes at him.

"Well, I'll be dating her brother so if you turn over your goods I promise to be extra distracting to him… or.. you know.. I can leave him at home and date Cap and his +1. I'm easy like that." Darcy is grinning way too much for any of that to have him not naughty. But then Iron Guard is coming back with news and Darcy is mostly business again.

"Oh good. Anything you think SHIELD sensors can track too? Two eyes are better than.. you know what? That's a fucked up saying in this case. What's an entropic-enhancing effect?"

There is a pause. Mentally, the outdated bastion of morality puts that on the list of things to ask about: Threeways. It just sounds like three people hanging out, but yet? Cap's been fooled before. He's been fooled before. "I'll ask" is all he concedes on the point, figuring that he can at least check with the contact and see if they are okay with the threesome.

Captain America pauses as Darcy curses. "Language," he offers to her softly, as not to make her feel embarrassed with her current company. Really? Yeeeep.

"Well, just make sure that the energy signature isn't forged because if they are criminals, they might try that sorta thing." Tech is definitely not his bailiwick either, it seems. "But, either way, at least we know they aren't your common criminal anymore."

Iron Guard shakes his head at Darcy, "not now, not with current technology. As for the entropic effect… well, something accelerated the atomic decay of the elements in the area without using a tachyon stream, and I am not sure what useful purpose could it serve, so my hypothesis is it was a side effect of something else."

But still counts as some extra clue, or something, so Nathaniel will call it useful. Darcy 'dating' plans (plots?) are noted for future reference, too. "Definitely a super-human criminal, or criminals, indeed. I think we could move to cross-examination of the killed and the places of the killing. But I will leave that to SHIELD forensic experts. I will be running some city-wide scans this afternoon using drones, maybe we will get lucky."

Steve promises to ask and Darcy smiles to angelically. To be a fly on THAT wall! But then Steve's reminding her about her language and she clears her throat once. Sorry, Pops! She turns back to Iron Guard and tries not to go cross-eyed at his Star Trek impression.

"Oooooooooooookay. So I'll hand that over to the Science Guys… But, keep me informed on what those drones pick up, please? I'll key in May, see what she found with WAND." This was definitely pay back for the farm animal incident. It really was. She looks to Steve and smiles.

"I think we've done some good work here. You two wanna go grab some lunch?"

Steve's eyes slightly squint at the talk of science, despite his attempts to understand it. He really really tries. But in the end, it's all in vain and Cap just shrugs it off.

"Hopefully, they'll be able to shed some light on all of this. As for food, sure I could get some lunch. Unless there's anything else we need to talk about before then?"

Captain Rogers' baby blues go from Iron Guard to Darcy as he waits for their go ahead.

Iron Guard nods, "I will send you an email with the information in a few minutes, Agent Lewis. As for lunch, that would be great." And since Iron Guard's presence is no longer necessary, his armor slowly retreats and shifts, becoming a normal-looking dark outfit, this time including a coat in consideration with the weather. The transformation taking a little under a minute.

"Don't think so," Darcy replies, smiling brightly as both guys agree to lunch. She holds elbows out to each.

"And you can call me Darcy," she quips with a grin as she leads the two to a good burger joint she knows. Because she's the Ghost of Christmas Present bitches!

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License