Shit Rolls Downhill

January 29, 2015:

Fitz seeks out Deputy Director Hill, and Hawkeye asks the engineer for some help.

The Triskelion - New York City

Characters

NPCs: SHIELD Security guards

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Disheveled, baggy-eyed, working too many hours. All words to describe Leopoldo Fitz. He's at least otherwise presentable, with a clean lab coat worn over a shirt-tie-cardigan affair, and the SHIELD R&D badge flops around as he rushes through the hallways, dodging the people who are generally taller than him, with broader shoulders.

"Sorry. Yes, pardon me. Hello, Barry. Pardon. Yes, excuse me. Sorry."

Finally, he comes into the general area of Deputy Director Hill's office, where he's promptly blocked by security. The agent scans his ID card, then peers down at Fitz.

"You got an appointment?"

"Nope."

"Been summoned?"

"No, I'm sorry, but tell the Deputy Director that its bloody important!"


It's almost something of a miracle that Hill happens to be in her office at this moment, too. There's details to see to all over the flipping Triskelion. She can barely make a pitstop without having a security detail present. At least no one's going to be getting lazy for the coming days.

The guard posted outside of the door makes the call over the intercom, her only hint that someone's even outside of her door at the moment.

"Agent Fitz, level five science division, Ma'am. Says it's important."

"Did you check him for contraband?" Hill flatly replies.

"Contraband, Ma-"

"-He's one of ours,- Agent. Godknows he wouldn't be up here unless it's important, let him in."

Sometimes all of the heightened security can lead to nasty headaches and irritable moods, too. It's a double-edged sword. The security detail outside opens the door and stands aside, allowing Fitz to pass.


It's like playing 'Where's Waldo'? Clint Barton has his newly found badge hanging around his neck, giving him access to most areas of the building, though not all all. What it does give him is access to his system, and he swears to God, he's going to put a tracker deep into the -calf- of every member in R&D.

So, Clint stalks the halls, dark sunglasses on, and his expression set to 'no nonsense'. There are some who recognize him and move out of his way, and those that don't, whisper. It's those whispers that brings a hint of a smirk to his lips. While he doesn't have his weapon of choice, he has his pistol strapped to his leg. The moment he catches the door opening, Hawkeye calls out, "Hey, keep that door open."

Let's see if they do…


Fitz rushes in when the door is opened. The scientist seems beyond nervous, though it's worth noting that his injuries are healing up. The eyepatch is gone, as is the sling, and the left side of his face looks less like a bruised pear now, and more like his own.

"Dep— Deputy Director, ma'am!" He comes to a sort of rigid attention, which is always funny when it's the R&D nerds trying to pull it off. "I'm, uh, sorry to, ah, intrude like this, but, there's, just, I can't, I mean…"

Signs that Leo's really fucking nervous? That, right there. The stammering.

"With Operation: Wand, you see."


The door almost -doesn't- stay open, until Mister Sec Man recognizes the approaching Hawkeye. Chances are the recognition alone isn't what stays the guard's hand so much as the Office Occupant having left note to let Clint through. Hill knows he's got enough on his own plate to not bother her with social calls. She knows what he's up to, what weight is now on his shoulders. If he makes the trek down here, it's for reason.

This doesn't stop the guard from reporting it in, though. "Hawkeye on approach, Ma'am."

"I heard, may as well take a fifteen minute break here." It's followed by a distracted pause, then a dull sounding "Thanks."

She's trying.

Then like a shot there's a Frantic Fitz standing bolt upright in front of her desk, stammering away. Hill's attention slowly shifts from a datapad in her hands to the befuddled scientist, her head canted a few degrees off true north as she just watches him try to get his thoughts together.

Is she really so intimidating..? Or is it just because of the project?

She calmly sets the pad down then slides her hands out across her desk to either side. "Take a breath, Agent." It must not be another breach or he would have contacted security first. Right..?

As Clint shows up she gives him a slight nod, both in greeting and in 'make sure the door is closed' before returning her attention to Fitz. "What's the problem?"


"And I'm grabbing the second wire," is muttered at the security agent at the door. Probably loud enough for Hill to catch, and as he swings into the office, he naps the door with his foot, and closes it with a *click* of the door jamb. His sunglassed attention moves first to Hill, and with a nod, Clint gesture-points to Fitz.

"In line, I guess." About that thing he'd mentioned before… but there are t's to cross and i's to dot. And added security.

This 'Operation: Wand' thing is news to the archer, and brows rise, that pointed finger gesturing towards the door again in silent question. He's not the least bit offended, really.


Fitz does just that; he stops and draws a deep breath, even going so far as to close his eyes for a moment or two. When he opens them again, there's Hawkeye.

"Oh, Agent Barton!" He positively beams, and is also, apparently, easily distracted. "Two of those items we discussed some time ago are ready for field testing. If you stop by my lab later, I can give you the ten minute crash course."

The engineer's head rolls back toward Hill, losing its smile along the way. "There is progress," he starts, though clearly, he's sparing her the brunt of the technobabble. "But, frankly, it can't be done. Not without outside help. We don't have the resources, the material, the knowledge to accomplish what Director Fury has demanded."

The words come with a rush of boldness not often seen in the young, but brilliant scientist. Soon enough, however, his meek nature shows its head. "I- I'm not saying it's impossible. Anything is possible. What I'm saying is… is…"

Cue boldness, aided by a frustrated swipe of his hand through the air. "—is this bloody lockdown has my hands tied!"


Here's a good question, indeed… Now Hill has someone else in her office (Barton) who, while he does have two levels of security clearance over Fitz, also doesn't know about Operation Wand. Yet. The right thing to do would be to tell Barton to step outside for a moment. Then Fitz dives right into the matter, regardless. Point in the scientist's favor, he doesn't release too much information about the project. Most of this Clint already knows, the lockdown and all. Though, now that they're all here she's going to have to make sure that the subject continues to be treaded upon delicately.

Slowly rubbing her forehead with a white gloved hand, Hill looks back to Fitz at the moment which he pauses in search of the right words. She already knows what he's going to say. For once.

"I see," she replies in the same flat tone as earlier. "We'll address this matter in detail in a moment, Fitz."

Looking around to Clint, she asks "Barton, is your business cleared for all ears present?" It's quickly become a balancing act around here, doing her job -has- gotten to be more difficult. Still, she's not going to argue it.


Now that's unexpected! Barton's ghost of a smile rises and he nods, "Cool. We'll check that out. I'm a little busy at the moment, but I have to make it a point to swing by the labs." The smile dips a little, and his tones turn towards that professional.

"We're on lockdown for a reason, Fitz. It's not because we want to. It's because something happened, and we're getting our ducks in a row, seeing where the leaks are and the breaches. You're gonna have to bear with the Agency and not walk off the reservation. Everything has to be done -right-. In this case, ends and means are a toss-up. And it's not your pay-grade to make those decisions. Hell, it's not even mine."

There are some things with which he's got a little bit of leeway, however. Turning back to Hill in answer, Clint nods. "Yeah."

"Fitz," the archer begins again. "Do you have any recordings of the attack? Telemetry? Any sensors, any scanners going on at the time when the place got attacked? I mean, not the 'usual', but you've got weird shit going on in the labs, right? High security R&D?"


The response from Hill, perhaps surprisingly, sets Fitz at ease. A visible change settles upon him. He nods his head, relaxes, and answer, "Thank you, Ma'am."

The young engineer takes a step back, turning so that both Hill and Barton are acknowledged. No one seems to be in line any more, Fitz has adopted himself to stand next to, perhaps a bit behind Hawkeye. "Oh, I understand. Completely." Then, he angles his head slightly, considering the man's question. "What I do have has already been fed to the proper channels," he answers. "I haven't had the chance to review it myself, but, so long as everything checks out, I can have it sent to you. There was… a lot of damage."


In response Hill dips her head in Fitz's direction. She's willing to hear the guy out. Despite being on full lockdown she does still have the final say in allowing others inside. She just has to make sure that every..last..duck is in the world's straightest line or she's going to lose her head, and her career, within the hour of her fated decision.

Then it's Clint's turn to claim the floor. She sits upright a little further in her seat and laces fingers together, leaning forward just slightly on her desk as she watches the two. Intel like this concerns everyone, she's just as interested in hearing more about the situation.


So Clint knows a little more than he did before, but his question is answered. And, it really may help. A whole lot.

"Consider this an official request, then. I have resources that might help predict where the next attack is coming from." There's a sidelong glance at Fitz, and brows raise, "I'm gonna need help with it, though. I'm not a geek. You just have to understand that -NO ONE- knows about it. Not a little sister, not a big brother, not your co-workers, not the guy who pours your coffee in the morning. NO ONE." Clint's voice lowers and his tones take something of a lighter tenor, but there's meaning under them, "Because if I find out there's a leak?" His ass is on the line. And he doesn't like that. At all.

"Shit rolls downhill."


Both of Leo's eyebrows rise upward at Barton's words, and the scientist's head angles one more time. He blink-blinks, still digesting the vague revelation while the other agent stresses the importance of secrecy in the matter. His eyes glance back toward the Deputy Director, before he looks back toward Hawkeye.

"Smells dreadful, too," he answers. "Makes an awful mess." In other words, secret's safe.


This could be ..interesting. Given what Hill's already seen of Fitz's nervous demeanor just moments ago, Barton's request is placing a lot of faith within the scientist. Hopefully he can handle the extra pressure.

So far, so good.

"The sooner you both can figure out how to put us back on the -offensive,- the better. You're both focusing on important elements of the Division's well-being, I'm sure the two of you working together will be beneficial."

There isn't much else for her to add here. She's seeing progress being made. She -likes- seeing progress being made.


"Spaceship. Well more like a space station in…" here, Clint tries to drag the technical terms up from memory, but he's failing. "In some.. geo.. something-something or other orbit." Still, that part doesn't seem to be important to the archer. What is important? "If we can feed it into the kick-ass, high tech, ooga-booga computer systems up there, we might be able to make some progress." But what he needs are those files.

"I'll follow up my verbal request for those files with a written one, Deputy Director?" That way, yes… it's on record that he is in possession of them, or conversely, was denied.

"Oh, the spaceship? Doesn't belong to SHIELD."


Going on the offensive has also been on Fitz's mind. All of the work he's done thus far has been purely defensive in nature. The idea that they might be able to stop another attack is certainly more appealing. His attention now fully upon Clint, a smile draws across his face.

"Geosynchronous orbit." It's important to the scientist to get things right. That, or, perhaps he's just so much of a nerd that he bears a natural tendency to show off. Either way, he's entirely focused upon Hawkeye's words, even going so far as to grin a bit at the remarks. That is, until he mentions that the space station is not owned by SHIELD. The frown deepens when he realizes that Hawkeye is, well, asking him to go up there.

"In space." He glances toward Hill for a moment, before looking back to Bartonl. "So, I can help you from down here, right? You don't need me to go up there." It's an assumption. For the moment.

Beat.

"Do you?"


To the suggestion Hill looks back to Barton and nods once more. "Document every step you take, gentlemen." This way, heaven forbid everything happens to blow up in Clint's face later, it will all be there in black and white for the resulting investigation. Still, she isn't expecting it to happen. Clint's got this.

Well, he's got it better than his grasp on techie lingo. She could have facepalmed back there. -Twice.-

When the discussion focuses on whether Fitz is going to get shot out into low Earth orbit in the near future or not puts a small grin on Hill's face. "Look at it this way, you'll both have been off-world before I have. Join the Division, see the world -and beyond,-" she teases.

Back to the other..other matter… "Speaking of documentation. Fitz, I want a list of names of any non-SHIELD personnel that you would like to include, whether it be an old school buddy to help you build a new flux capacitor or someone you want to play Chess with on your lunch break. I can make no promises other than a proper review of every name you hand over to me."


"Up there. With me." Clint's not sure he could deadpan that any more than he already has.

"In space. Where no one can hear you scream." That one, however, causes the archer to lose the straight face. He personally thinks that it's way cool, too. Kid. Candy store.

Hill gets her acknowledgment, "Every step, absolutely." He just loooooves documentation. No, really… he does.

"I need you to pack your bags. Tomorrow night. I'll be putting a rush and walking the orders through for the files." Every step of the way. It's back to the researcher, but only a second. "Not a word of this, though."

Now, the archer looks done. Eyes of blue encased behind sunglasses turns back to Hill, and brows rise. "I'm done here. Heading to Plug Uglies after this. If you're in, I'll save a table."


"Oy. That's a real knock on the napper," the Scott murmurs. For a few moments, the guy just stands there, still digesting the whole Low-Earth-Orbit, Geosynchrous satellite station part, until Hawkeye makes that joke. A goofy grin spreads across Fitz's face and he answers, "The Final Frontier."

Suddenly, the man grows dutiful. "Documentation," he says, looking from Barton to Hill. "I'll have every piece of it ready for you by the end of the day. Today. I appreciate your time, Director." More than she may realize; for a day or so, the poor guy felt as if he was being bounced between Fury and Hill, and he didn't like it one bit.

Not that those words are ever going to come out of his mouth.

"Don't worry, Agent Barton," he says. "I won't even tell Simmons."

Now that's dedication.


"Christ, Barton, you're going to give the guy a panic attack," Hill almost groans while dipping her head enough to run fingertips through the hair around both ears. Slowly. "Try not to keep him up there for too long, he's still making himself damn useful at home." As well as something of a personal investment in some of the tech that had been stolen out of R&D, as she's been led to believe.

If he's up in orbit then it should give her a little more time to review his list, anyway. Oooor not. Well, gotta admire his work enthusiasm. One more nod to Fitz follows.

With the offer of holding a table at Uglies she glances at the time, then at the datapad still awaiting her attention on the side. "Fashionably late but necessary," she grumbles. "I've still got a few dozen cattle to round into the pens."

Look, a farm joke! -Just- for Barton. Yee-haw.

"Good luck out there, Agents."


Barton grins at Fitz; first time for the meeting, as he straightens. "Good man."

Turning about, Clint makes to open the door but pauses. "You -do- know that you need two good riders, right? Reiner and a cutter. Or a good horse and dog. If it's just one, the cows'll just move away from you. You need to have a block on the other side so they don't move."

Now, Clint opens the door, and whistles softly before he comes back with, 'Yee haw' once he's in the hallway. Off to Plug Uglies for a beer, then… Metropolis?

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