Phil's Angels...?

August 09, 2017:

Agent Coulson summons a select group of SHIELD agents to reveal a terrible truth - and begin the fight to burn out Hydra's presence in the agency.

A small boat not currently partaking in a three hour tour.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Steve Rogers, Peggy Carter

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It's been a weird day for four spies.

Mostly cause everyone got ordered to a separate Denny's somewhere in New York City, only to be awarded with a piece of pie and a sealed note from a waitress which directed them to a specific dock, where an unmarked but reasonably nice pontoon boat was waiting for them. This bit of cloak and dagger is not, given the look on the face of Agent Phil Coulson, a game, however. He stands on the boat, wearing his sunglasses and a grim expression, his arms folded as he waits for each of the four trusted individuals he has brought here to arrive. By necessity, they'll all arrive at different times.

And he won't even say a word till they're all here, and cast off. Attempts to talk are met with a raised finger and a shake of his head.

Once they are all here, however, he casts off and drives the thing out to the open water, anchors it, and comes out to the leisure area to sit down with them. "Thank you, everyone, for your indulgence," he says mildly. "We should be in good shape to speak freely now."

May was the first to arrive, being familiar with Coulson's tactics. And this one, this usually means something very, very bad. "That bad, Phil?" she asked while moving to stand next to him to wait for the others to arrive, even though she already knew he wouldn't say a single word.

Now, she simply looks to each of the others to see what their reactions will be.

Pie is always a nice surprise. And Sally, at least, decides to indulge a little - the note that comes with it was a surprise, however. But maybe she should finish the treat, since it would look odd if someone was watching her. Or something spy-ish like that; she's still trying to get into an intelligence officer's headspace sometimes.

It's also pretty good pie.

Sally does end up making her way to the dock in the address, leaving the Lotus behind and boarding Coulson's boat. Of course she's got questions, but he's not having them…which leaves her sitting around quietly, with nothing to say until the agent decides. She doesn't have May's familiarity with the agent's battle plans, and instead…finds herself sitting around waiting.

Waiting for what? It's like sitting on the start line, waiting for a timer you can't even see to hit zero and turn green. At least she's dressed for the water; no fancy suits or anything on a day off. Just a nice shirt, dark jeans, and sneakers; all wrapped up in confusion and concern. And just a little annoyance at the silent treatment and long wait…

Who doesn't love feel pie? Darcy very happily enjoys her pie before opening the note only to find herself confused by the information she found. Well… Work is weird some days. Next to arrive and when waved into silence, Darcy shrugs, digs out her trusty iPOD, and shoves her earbuds into place. Leaning on the ech of the boat, Darcy bobs her head to her music while thumbing through a 'I don't need internets to play this' game on her cell phone. She glances over the edge as the boat shoves off, but misses Phil giving the okay to talk. Game calls her attention.

Rin knows this Denny's well, she frequents it when she isn't working. However the note is strange, she had expected to see Phil and talk with him face to face, but she gets the feeling that something is up. She scarfs the pie and hops on her motorcycle and books it down to the docks, arriving right when she's supposed to be. The bike is hidden, and her she's left with helmet as she trots down to the dock and onto the boat.

Seeing Phil's grim face and his reluctance to talk, she spends several moments walking around the boat, scanning for bugs with her eye-screen and even dropping her phone in the middle of the boat for -reasons-. Hopefully it's waterproof.

Once Phil speaks she tilts her head at him. "Just how freely are we speaking today? What's has you in such a paranoid mood?"

"That bad," Phil had said, agreeing with May in a way that had deepened the grim lines in his face entirely.

Phil Coulson nods approvingly at the bug sweep, then gestures to Sally to tap Darcy on the arm; perhaps that will get the ear-buds out so they can talk.

"I'm sorry to bring you out here like this, all of you," he begins. "But this is a serious situation. Right now, other than Agent Carter, who has been suspended, and Captain America, who is in no position to help with this, you four happen to be the only four Agents of SHIELD that I know for sure are not Hydra at this time. And that's a problem for all of us. One you four are going to have to help me solve. Because at least one of those Hydra plants is one of the Level 9 Agents."

He waits for the reaction from this dropped bomb.

May was just reaching over to yank Darcy's earbuds out when Phil drops the word Hydra. She goes instantly into full-mission mode, mentally reviewing the actions of every Level 9 Agent she's been around in the past month or so. "Do you have any suspects yet, Coulson?"

A gentle tap on Darcy's shoulder, and a quick mime of pulling stuff out of her ears. Then Sally turns back to Phil, one eyebrow raised as deep blue eyes focus - and then stare hard as he continues. She'd been about to make a flippant joke about a nice vacation, or whatever that old TV show was about the boat that gets lost, but…

Her accent's quite clear, even if it's not that thick. "Shto - wait…what? Hydra? The people…?" She glances back to Rin and Phil, implying something they'd both just dealt with in her homeland. It takes a few seconds for her to really parse what he'd just said, and she can't help but sit back in the side of the boat.

Maybe it's the motion on the waves, she thinks, but the sudden surge of nausea can't be blamed on that. "Am I hearing this correctly? That the fascists have…" Forgive her her shock, she's still new here.

Tapped on the shoulder, Darcy looks over. Her chin inches foreward at the miming, eyes narrowing behind her glasses. One earbud is tugged out and Darcy inhales to ask a question when she realizes Phil's talking. Her face turns to him, one ear bud still in. Her eyes widen at the word Hydra, and just as she's about to pull out the other bud, May's yanked it from her.

"The fuck?" Darcy blurts out, glaring lightly at her SO before letting the moment pass and turning back to Phil.

"Shit heads in our house? I'm with May. Got names? How are we doing this? Ya'll hold 'em and I'll cut their knee-caps or what?" The earbuds are coiled up, the iPOD paused, and everything put into her pocket. She reaches out to give Sally's shoulder a pat, just as gently as the other agent had tapped her shoulder to get her attention.

"Hurl over the side, yeah?"

Rin glares as Phil drops that bomb. She doesn't like this news one bit, however her thoughts are kept to herself for the moment as she listens to eeryone elses reactions. Already her mind is flipping through the list of Level 9 agents, and just how she would slip into interrupting their communications.

"They're everywhere, I cannot say I am surprised that they have found their way into SHIELD's ranks. Not that I'm pleased with it, mind you." Though she returns to being quiet and waits to hear more news.

"There are only 4 local level 9s we can take a look at," Phil says quietly. "And it's very likely they are supported by several other proxies and moles within the Triskelion. I suspect what I suspect both because of data that was suddenly classified, data that was erased, and data that was copied and physically relocated to a Hydra facility. So our four top level suspects are Victoria Hand, Alvin Christianson, Roscoe Grenon and Lionel Shepherd. They almost certainly have someone in your department, Rin; they'd have to, but I don't know about anyone else. You'll have to look very carefully at their activities. There is also a Rank 6 Agent, Brian Addy, who I pulled to low-import projects after discovering he is living above his means. I'd like to know how he's paying for his lifestyle; he might not be Hydra but red flags like that are a good place to start."

He looks into the eyes of each person on the boat. "I can't be directly involved. It can't look like I suspect a thing. This is going to come down to you four. You're going to have to work together, and you're going to have to recognize that if you tip your hand too far, too fast before gathering enough evidence to oust the Level 9 traitor, your own careers and lives are going to be in the crossfire…and when it comes to helping you, my hands may in fact be tied. It will be dangerous. On the other hand…it might just save SHIELD."

Sally shakes her head, bangs brushed to the side under the hairband. "No, I'll…be alright. Dear god." Hydra, an offshoot of the ideology - or possibly the very heart of it - that ravaged her homeland decades ago. Still in living memory, among some of her family.

But Darcy's harshness has penetrated some of the slight greenness that colors her face, and as blood settles back where it should there's a nod to Agent Coulson as he lists the names. Victoria Hand? The operations-head of SHIELD? That's the only name she knows - by reputation only - at a glance, the others…if they're all Level 9 agents, they have to be just as good.

Sally can't help the nervous foot-tapping, but she can at least do her best to compose the rest of herself. And then she can't help the slight snarl of her words as she addresses the seniormost SHIELD operative with them. "Agent Coulson. I know you spoke with Baba, my great-grandmother. You remember what she said. Now I say it too."

She takes a moment for a breath of fresh air before repeating her family's war vow. "Z ts'oho momentu, Budynok Stoyespala, zarady yiyi krovi ta lyudey, dlya kokhannya, yde do yoho smerti. My napadaty, moyi lytsari! Na moyemu zadn'omu, slid! From this moment, the House of Stojespal, for the sake of its blood and its people, for love, goes to its death. We charge, my knights! At my rear, follow!" And then her lips quirk in a slight smile, glancing around the others. "Maybe not so much knights…but I did not join SHIELD to hide behind a desk."

Sally puts one hand out in a team-handshake gesture. "And I will not allow some fascist bastards led by a silly little man with a silly little moustache to destroy what I am building."

Darcy repeats the names to herself over and over and over again. Like a little sing-song, turning the names into the weirdest nursery ryme in existanc, muttered under her breath. Vick toe yer Hand on Alvin's Christion son. Roscolon Gets none and Lion-o Sheepdog herds a fucker. Oh Bryan. Bryan. Add me.

She looks over at Sally as she starts talking, head bouncing a bit as she listens to her. When it's done, she looks back at Phil and points at Sally.

"Ditto." A beat, Darcy grins and flips a hand at the wrist. "Psst, we got this. Right, girls? Oh, dude!! It's just us girls! We're like… Phil's Angels. Fuck yes!"

"I'll get started immediately. Lewis, Sally, I'll bring you dossiers and we'll plan." She doesn't offer the same for Rin, because she knows the 'wired-in' agent has access to as much of SHILELD's computer systems as she wants at any given moment.

"Phil, I'll keep you appraised of anything noteworthy. Queretaro." The last should clue him in to exactly how she plans to share intel with him — a method employed when they were teamed up on a mission in that city.

The enthusiasm from Darcy is a little infectious. There's a determined nod as she speaks, and then as May chimes in. Though admittedly she doesn't know either the TV series or the movie, and just gets a whispered "Phil's Angels?" from Sally.

A nod is given to Agent May as she explains a plan. "This works. Hrm…Agent Coulson, I imagine bringing Mr. Stark in this is entirely out of the question." She holds up a hand forestalling the expected vociferous agreement. "But on a technical level…like you said, much of his equipment is used by SHIELD. If these Hydra people are using Stark-made SHIELD hardware; I mean they'd have to be to do their job, maybe…"

She shrugs. "Maybe there'd be some backdoors or something, a secure way of checking things from that route." There's a glance at Rin before she looks back to Coulson. "I'm not as good with computers as Agent Nakano, but at least it's something I think should be considered? I mean, I spend most of my time there, so maybe?" She's casting about in the dark, but at least it's a starting point.

Rin pulls out a tablet and her fingers start dancing over the screen as she takes notes. Each name is recorded, and while she doesn't dare access SHIELD's servers from here, she already has her plan to do so. Rin is a little engrossed with her work as everyone elst starts talking, but it's Darcy's words the bring her out of her own head. "I'm not feathering my hair." She says flatly.

"When we get back on land, I will set up a secure server for us all to compile our work on. I will send instructions on how to use it, please follow them to the letter. I am sure they will be monitoring everyone else as much as we are monitoring them." Smirking at Sally she nods her head. "If there is a back door, I will be sure to find it. Just give me time." And energy drinks.

"I suppose you'll get that tour sooner than we expected," Sally adds with a grin at Rin.

"Aw! Come on! You'd be an amazing Farrah! Dibs on Cheryl!" Darcy quips, grinning at Rin, because she GOT the reference and that's awesome! She holds up a hand for a high five.

Phil Coulson considers the matter of bringing Stark in. "Stark is absolutely trustworthy," he says slowly. "What he's not is circumspect, but…I believe he has his own reasons to carry out a molehunt, for the Project you're already on, Sally. You can talk to him, just make sure that you do so carefully.He may have back doors in some of the technology that can be exploited."

He just ignores all the banter, though he slowly nods at May; he gets her reference and apparently approves. "Move slowly. It's more important to develop a solid case than it is to root them out quickly. We're going to have exactly one shot at this, and our evidence has to convince the other Level 9s, as well as Fury. If it doesn't…"

He spreads his hands.

"Game. Over," Darcy adds, voice going for dramatic.

There's a nod from the Sokovian. "I agree…but, hm, that's true. If it's threatening SHIELD it could be a danger - likely would be - to him. And he's mentioned fighting them before, so." She frowns, then nods. "I see…but at the same time, while we're investigating…" They're doing whatever their Hydra things are.

Then again, Sally realizes, they've already been doing that. And her team's a lap down and a lot of places back, as far as analogies go. Something also twigs at her memory, something Phil said earlier. "Agent Carter…what happened to her?"

"No." Rin says to Darcy at the mention of her hair, but her lipts twitch into a smirk as Sally points out the obvious. "It is overdue." She responds flatly, but it's hard to hide that she wants into that tower and into their servers.

Turning back to Phil she nods her head. She can do slow, she just did that with Icarus, and this will be easier since she knows the systems.

"If it doesn't, we're toast, and you get to wash us fry at hands of Hydra, as I am sure they would be more than happy to deal with us in the worst way." She's just being pragmatic.

"I'm not at liberty to discuss that, Sally," Phil says quietly. There will always be times, sadly, when Phil errs on the side of giving less information rather than more information. By the firm set of his mouth, the one that radiates anger and displeasure, he certainly does know, but as always he's not quick to share. "If it turns out to be something that you all need to know about, I will make sure that you know."

And that's the end of that topic.

They all weigh in on what happens though, and he is pleased to see they understand. He nods once and says, "All of you will do your reporting to May, who will report to me. It would be best if I don't break patterns overmuch, and while I do deal with all of you directly from time to time…"

He shrugs his shoulders. It's not a comfortable reality, but it's the one they've been handed.

"Any further questions before I take us in and let you all loose to pursue this?"

"Can we sit around a little white speaker phone at least once before this is over?" Darcy asks.

There's a long stare given at Darcy, not getting the reference again. In her defense, Sally's only eighteen. Much more in her defense, Americans are strange.

May nods to Phil. She's got her marching orders, she's already ready to hit the ground running. And she doesn't react to Darcy's repeated TV show references. She's used to them by now.

Darcy returns Sally's stare, green eyes open wide. Like a staring contest.

"First one to blink buys the Frosties," she states.

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