Genosha: Up to Speed

June 08, 2017:

Phil Coulson calls Darcy Lewis to give him an update on the X-Men's plans in regards to the Island of Genosha. He asks her to buy SHIELD some time to craft a sensible response.

Phil's Office at the Triskelion

Get coffee here, just like your old church potluck used to make it.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Scott Summers, Storm, Bucky Barnes, Jane Foster, Gwen Stacey

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It's late morning here at the Triskelion when Phil sends Darcy a quick e-mail.

Come see me at your earliest convenience in re: Genosha.

He's hard at work in his office now, drinking coffee and typing away at a holographic keyboard, reading and re-reading intel both old and new in regards to the island nation. His brow has a faint furrow to it. When she arrives he will, of course, banish it all, gesturing broadly to both offer a seat and some coffee from the ancient silver percolator behind his desk, the kind that used to show up at church potlucks in the 60s and which can brew something like 100 cups of the stuff.

—-

Knock knocnk. Darcy moves in, taking the seat offered.

"It's a piece of shit country and the UN's got its thumb up its ass for not moving on the humanitarian crimes already. Mutants in not a fucking excuse," she states, opening the conversation without preamble as she looks for the sugar and cream.

—-

It's all there. Coulson uses copious amounts of it.

He smiles a bit at her preamble. "Yes, that's a fair assessment," he says. "But it's not that simple, and you know it's not that simple." He drums his fingers against the desktop. "What's your assessment of Summers' mindset? Do you know why he wants to move right now? Could he be convinced to wait a little bit? What precisely does he want out of SHIELD other than our involvement? Does he have a plan beyond taking his people in there and smashing whatever he can smash?"

He smiles faintly and adds, "I know this is a plethora of questions, and I'm sorry. I just read the report recently, I was trying to get out in front of other things. Only to realize that a private school is busy trying to brew a serious International incident. You're my hope of getting a handle on this thing, Darcy."

—-

As does Darcy. Her coffee is little more than coffee flavored sugared cream.

"He wants a war," Darcy says, clearly unhappy about it while looking ready to throw her lot in with them over it. She lost too much already, and is willing to fight.

"That the UN has ignored the situation and turned a blind eye again and again, mostly because it looks like it can legally since mutants aren't recognized as people by some governments is stupid and is the burr in his ass. I haven't gotten any intel on what Genosha forces look like, but he wants the current government glasses and all the mutants held as slaves pulled out. I've been stalling him the best I can, asking for extraction plans, contingencies… I've got access to their training facilities. Soon as I see something that looks like simulations, I'll let you know." She sips her coffee.

"He's recently taken over for Storm. I think he's antsy."

—-

"Do you think he could be convinced to give it a couple of months if we tentatively offer our aid, contingent upon us doing what we can to smooth the problems this is going to cause? Having a private school attacking a nation could force the United States into a war with Genosha itself. And that could create a great deal of anti-meta sentiment at home. I don't think he's considered these angles. You're doing a good job, buying time, I just want to see if we can buy a little more. It is a human rights violation of epic proportions, and it is something that ought to be dealt with somehow. Can he be reasoned with if you point out just how many more lives might be lost if we all go rushing in?"

That's what SHIELD really needs right now. Time. Coulson's hazel eyes are grave as they fix on Darcy. "Especially if you tell him we're gathering Intel?" Because it's certainly nothing for Phil to go ahead and divert some agents to go do just that, to understand what the lay of the land looks like.

—-

Darcy thoughtfully considers all of this, coffee cup coming to rest on a knee. She's got another bruise on her shin.

"I will certainly do my best, especially now that I've been given full status as one of their junior operatives. This is more than just a school, Coulson. He did want SHIELD's full cooperation. I'll make sure he knows the price for it, and I'll make sure that I've done everything I can to convince him to take it," she states.

"Keep me up to date on the intel for that. I'll need to feed him every step of the way, make sure he stays on the leash."

—-

"Let's also keep him up to date on what we're doing to smooth the waters through some back channels, politically," Coulson says quietly. "If he'll agree to give us some time I can do what I can on that front. It'll be tough. This business with Barnes is already giving SHIELD's political enemies some openings in Washington. But it's not impossible. And I know they're more than a school, and you know they're more than a school, and they know they're more than a school, but that doesn't mean it won't necessarily look bad on paper. They're not exactly the Avengers either."

He takes a long sip of his coffee, frowning faintly. "Eventually we'll all have to sit down with one another and hammer out something we can all live with."

—-

"Oh god. What the fuck is Jane's boy toy doing now?" Darcy blurts out, eyes rolling. "Let me know if I need to go sit on that boy and threaten him with Science Nudes. I will, I swear to Jesus I will do it." Because of course she'll keep Summers updated with whatever intel Coulson deems is needed.

—-

Coulson's eyebrows lift, and he says quietly, "He's being put on trial, Agent Lewis. Didn't you see the papers? For treason, and a host of other crimes. I don't like it. If I'd had my way SHIELD would have literally shielded him forever. But politics created a situation that couldn't be stopped. But since he was in our custody and we affected his rescue, there are certain elements in DC which are using this opportunity for a little budgetary sabre rattling. No sitting on your part required. The US Attorney is sitting on him quite enough, along with the entire weight of the United States legal system.

He stands up and pours himself another cup of coffee. "Not sure what we can do about that, but it's a fine demonstration of the types of complications that can arise if the X-Men run off half-cocked to start taking action in foreign nations where SHIELD has no legal rights at all. Not that this has stopped us in the past, but. We just need to make sure we all go about it in the right way. I'm going to have a sit-down with May about this next."

—-

"I've been under a rock," Darcy states dryly, face falling out of the over exagerration and into a seriousness that comes with caring about a person because they are cared about by another person whom is cared about. It's six degrees of caring. Tenderheart Bear would be fucking proud right now.

"I'll make it clear what he can do to Summers, but if he runs in I'm going to go make sure as many of them come home as possible," she states. "Let me know what other info May wants on this. You've got what I've got so far."

—-

Coulson gives Darcy a grave look. "Agent Lewis, if SHIELD doesn't formally attach itself to this mission and you go in anyway, you realize that should you be captured we would have no choice but to disavow you? You'd be on your own, reliant upon the X-Men to come and get you." Not that he thinks the X-Men wouldn't, but he is still required to say this. "I of course cannot tell you where you may and may not travel on your own time, nor would I be adverse to approving any fortutiously timed personal time requests, but…it would be better if we could make this official. Do what you can. I'll start looking into matters."

He pauses. "I have another matter I'd like to saddle you with, if you're game for it." He says no more on the matter of Barnes…there are too many other irons in the fire, and not much that can be done than to wait it out and let his lawyer fight the battle in court.

—-

"I know. I know. I'm a fucking secret agent man. I'd like this official too. I get better toys that way. But given how much legwork I had to do on my own when Apocalypse showed up because no one here was willing to give me the time of day, means I'm not leaving those kids out to dry. Captured isn't a possibility. They get out, period," she says, putting her coffee down, no longer wanting the caffeniene. She's already feeling jittery.

"What's up?" is the immediate request, willingness, to help.

—-

Coulson quirks an eyebrow. "I'm going to have to get this story from you, Darcy, I don't know what you're talking about." Of course, he was in the Arctic at the time, and while he has the vast library of SHIELD's reports at his disposal he still needs to know where to go looking. And if they didn't give Darcy the time of day he's not sure how accurate those reports will be either. Thus, he'll simply ask her to get him up to speed. It's clear he'd like that briefing before she leaves the office, but…

"I'd like you to take over as a caseworker for an 084 I've got at one of our safehouses. Her name is Gwen. She's a transplant from an alternate universe and could use a friend. Right now she's in a holding pattern, because frankly I was going to rely on Dr. Foster to try to find her a way home. But Dr. Foster is not going to be up to anything until this trial is over, and if it goes south…"

He spreads his hands.

She won't be an option for awhile, if it goes south.

"I had Agent Addy assigned to it. But internal affairs has alerted me to the fact that he's spending more money than can be accounted for via his paycheck or his wife's. I suspect he's found another person's payroll to sit on, and he's been routed to routine desk work until I can figure out whether or not he's been compromised. Right now Gwen is being asked to understand our timeline and not much more, but I also feel like regardless of whether or not he's dirty, Addy didn't do the best job of helping her mentally or emotionally either."

—-

"Gwen. 084. Welcome her to Earth. This Earth. Because life is weird. Got it," Darcy agrees easily, a smirk playing on her lips. She reaches for her coffee again now that the topic doesn't rile her up as much. And because talking about Apocalypse requires coffee.

"Email me her file. I'll make sure to spend some time with her. As for Apocalypse…. it all started because I was dating a mutant. Pietro Maximoff, brother of Wanda Maximoff. He's really fast. And caught Apocalypse's attention. Apocalypse is a code name. En Sabah Nur. A mutant from ancient Egypt. No idea how he was still alive, but he fancied himself a god. Used some sort of tech, possibly alien in nature, to turn good mutants into… soemthing not themselves. Pietro died fighting him and En Sabah Nur brought him back as something called Death who used Pietro's speed to… deal Death. He only ever slowed down for me. Apparently, talk of Egyptian Gods comes to Earth is not believable from the girl that tazed the Norse God of Thunder, but what the fuck ever. I led a strike team with the Xmen to drop Pocky-face and get my boyfriend back. Apparently, En Sabah doesn't like being called a pussy bitch. We kicked his ass."

—-

It's kind of an irregular report as only Darcy can give them. Phil listens carefully, then says, with utmost sincerity: "I am sorry you had to go through that, Agent Lewis. I'm glad you were able to resolve matters. Were you ultimately able to recover Mr. Maximoff, or was he too far gone after what En Sabah Nur did to him?"

And sorry he wasn't here to help SHIELD see things differently. But it is what it is. He pulls up the holographic keypad to go ahead and e-mail Darcy the file while it's right at the forefront of his mind. It's a scant enough file, and he has to do an end-run around a security lock to allow her into it, because he's got it sealed to Level 8 and people he personally chooses for it. It notes that she's got a similar power set to Spider-Man, that she's from another universe and…not much else, really, other than some preliminary explanations of how Phil found her in the first place, which is similarly…short.

—-

"He came back. Pink Floyd is the shit and so is my iPOD. But he wasn't really the same. He tried, but…" Darcy shrugs a shoulder, eyes looking at her coffee.

"He wasn't the same. He's running soemwhere, clearing his head. He'll come back or.. he'll find a place that makes him feel happy again. Either one is fine with me." There's an odd flattening of her words at the last part, as if it were a hair's breath from a lie.

Her tablet chimes its You've Got Mail chime, and Darcy flits her gaze to it then up to Phil.

"I'll read it on my way to find her."

—-

Phil feels a flutter of sympathy and concern which actually does make its way across his face. But…it's a stark reminder. This is the life, for agents. Rarely do such things last for any save the most fortunate few. The stresses of the job. The horrors that can be encountered in the field. It makes for fleeting, precious moments as swift as Maximoff's super-steps, gone in a heartbeat and forgotten, never.

"Very good," he says. "Anything else you think I should know about this before I start issuing orders and having those sit down meetings?" This, of course, is Genosha.

—-

"The UN moved when it was humans. Now that it's mutants, they're ignoring the problem. People are people, and they've forgotten that," Darcy says, unfolding her legs and moving to get to her feet.

"It's not something that should ever be forgotten."

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