Desperately Seeking Carters

March 26, 2018:

Rami Ghai seeks out Peggy Carter to ask after Michael.

Agent Carter's Office, The Triskelion

The Headquarters, Armory and Fortress of the Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics division is, for the most part, an unassailable tower in the midst of the diplomatic sprawl that is Midtown East. The primary intelligence clearing houses and most of SHIELD's senior leadership are all housed hear, along with a veritable army of agents and staff to keep the place running, the world spinning and the weirdness at bay.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Michael Carter

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Rami Ghai has been avoiding this meeting for the last few weeks. She had kept her head down, focused on the assignments coming in from SHIELD and sending her reports into MI-6. It has been a wonderful repetitive routine that helped her memory, but also meant she was avoiding Peggy Carter. Carters. She fucking hates Carters right now, despite her loyal affection for the brother of the woman whose door she is staring at.

She stalls, raises her knuckles, drops her knuckles, turns away from the door, presses her bright red lips together, sighs heavily, rolls her eyes at herself, and then turns back to knock with a firm rap. Almost immediately, Rami turns back away from the door as if she is part of some childhood prank. Doorbell ditching, she recalls, the American kids call it.

The mood of SHIELD is one of a very bustling office. Everyone has important places to be and important things to do. However, many as they go about that are a bit more somber than general. The mood is more hushed - though Rami might just equate that to the general ambiance a spy agency.

There's a pause and then through the door, a very firm voice that commands and also beckons: "Come in." It seems as if Rami may have a little bit of time to hide if she so wishes.

"Shit," Rami says to nothing, and her forehead furrows together tightly while she stares back at the door. "Shit." Then she reaches for the handle, and pushes open the door. The tall woman hesitates there in the doorway, and tucks a bit of dark hair behind her ear. "Hi, um. Hello, Agent Carter?" There is a half question there, only seeking confirmation.

As Rami opens the door, she will see Peggy Carter just standing at her desk, apparently going to open the door to see who knocked. There's a stack of papers in front of her, ones she was apparently going through right up until the knock. The woman's eyes are a little red, but she is otherwise perfectly poised and collected.

"Yes," she replies, a note of curiosity in her tone as she doesn't recognize the woman who is knocking on her door. The British accent is not exactly a mystery - SHIELD hires from all over the world - but she generally knows why people are knocking on her door before they arrive. "Did we have an appointment scheduled?"

Appointment! She forgot about making an appointment. She can hear her mother's disapproving voice. She should have made an appointment. "Fuck," she says, the language slipping instinctively, and then she shakes her head apologetically. "Sorry, ma'am… no, I did not make an appointment. I, um… I'm Rami Ghai." She steps forward to offer her one of her hands in polite greeting despite her slip. "MI-6, on loan to SHIELD. I… I…" Just get on with it, her inner voice reports. "I am, was… your brother's handler. Brit's handler." Using, of course, Michael's codename — or her diminutive for the codename.

The language does not seem to upset or faze Peggy at all. The confusion melds a bit into amusement at the apology and then the polite greeting. Smiling, she reaches out a hand to shake Rami's in a firm, though not crushing, grip.

However, the mention of being on loan from MI-6 and then that she was her brother's handler causes her a moment's pause. There's a narrowing of eyes for a moment before her expression turns more genial. "Ah, I see. Of course. I take it that is what brought you to my door? Is this a social call or something more…official?" If she's merely there to introduce herself, that's one thing. If she's there to try and find out information about Michael? That's entirely different. He's still disavowed and his former handler coming to her door cannot be a coincidence.

Rami immediately catches the edge of her lip in her teeth, chewing at it in a nervous expression. She starts, and stops, and starts again, stepping further in and closing the door behind her. "No, I'm not here officially… I mean, I am, just not in this room, at this time, rambling this poorly, ma'am. Agent Carter." Beat pause. "Peggy." That didn't feel right either, so she just powers forward. "I was with Michael for a long time… and," her words taper off as she loses a bit of that bluster. There is a long stretch of silence before she concludes, "I'm worried about him."

A hand gestures for Rami to take a seat opposite her desk. There are chairs situated there just for that purpose. Peggy flips the the papers sitting open there closed. For a moment, the title page: "The History and Importance of SHIELD by Phil Coulson" is visible before the folder top is closed to hide the paper from prying eyes. The folder is slipped off the table and carefully placed on top of another stack.

There is a raised eyebrow at Rami moving from Agent Carter to her more familiar name, an emotion that crosses between wary and unamused resides there. As the other woman continues, stumbles through what she's trying to say, a theory crosses her mind. She studies the other woman for a moment. "It's alright. Everyone rambles at times. I would dare say you know my brother better than I at this point. I understand your worry, being disavowed does not exactly do wondrous things for an agent's health or mental state."

Rami takes the offered chair, perhaps because just the process of stepping toward it, sitting down, and giving her hands somewhere to rest helps her own focus. She had caught the look in the raised brow, and backtracks quickly to the less familiar. "I want to say I am notoriously good at rambling, but I'm really terrible at it." There's a small twitch of a self-deprecating smile.

Then the gearhead releases a slow breath, settling into herself now that she's seated. She looks up to Peggy, and the mention of mental state draws a quick frown to her red lips. "He's still my responsibility, ma'am." Her mouth tightens even more. "Brit's still someone I need to look out for. It's my job." Even if, by the books, it isn't. Michael is not her responsibility, nor her job, but here she is, telling his sister that he is. "I need to find him, ma'am… and help him."

The somewhat confession is met with a smirk. Peggy sits back down and keeps up her thoughtful study of the woman in front of her. "I see."

She lets that thought hang in the air for a little while. The agent in front of her doesn't seem like a practiced Field Agent. She's not one to play the double game with her. She could keep the questions coming, keep Rami squirming, but she makes a character call.

"You're the one that sent me the message." It's not so much a question as a statement, but she doesn't elaborate. She doesn't feel as if she needs to do so.

Rami blinks at that, and it actually startles a bit of her nerves loose. There's a long, almost stretched pause, and then she nods. "Yes, ma'am." Then she straightens up a bit, tugging on the arms of the chair as she does. "I figured… you would know how to find the wanker… and someone would notice if I poked around directly."

She hesitates just a moment, and then she scoots almost to the edge of her chair as if to speak more confidentially. "He's here, in the States. I know the Agency sent me here because they think I'm going to snoop around for him, which is bloody well right, but… I actually do need to find him, if you do not mind my over-exaggeration of urgency."

Peggy relaxes a bit at the confirmation from Rami. Reaching into the drawer of her desk, she pulls out a notepad and writes something down on it. "Coming to me, to be honest, is rather direct." The woman gives her something of a warmer smile, now that she thinks she knows who she may be.

"I cannot give you any information that I have, however my niece may be able to help you: Sharon Carter. She is also a SHIELD Agent, you can ask for Agent 13." Pushing the piece of paper across the desk, she adds, "Give her that. She will be quite distrusting at this given time and this should effectively explain things for you."

Rami offers a chagrined smile. "I don't know, ma'am… the Agency marked you as a non-starter when it gave me its suggested list of informants or sources. They didn't think you would trust me without a shit of work, and that I was better to put my energies elsewhere." The handler shrugs lightly, and her smile widens a bit. "But, they've also marked down that I'm no longer Brit's handler. I think they are both underestimating us."

Then she reaches for the piece of paper and looks down at it briefly before folding it in quarters and tucking it into an inside pocket of her blazer. "Yes, ma'am. Agent 13. Niece." Had she not already known Michael, she would have been smarmy about how Peggy doesn't look young enough to have a niece as a full-blown SHIELD agent. But, well. The Carters, how she hates them.

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