Hope Found

June 01, 2018:

Dani gives an update on the status of Coulson's lost soul. Sharon finds some hope.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

The mystical world has been quite busy - or perhaps the afterlife has - either way things are now in play that Danielle Moonstar is on the look-out for a particular person.

Sharon Carter.

That's what's brought her here to the Triskelion today. It's what has her hoofing it all around the various floors, until finally someone points her in the correct direction. "Thanks." The Cheyenne says and then she's trotting across the way, toward the last destination that someone saw Sharon Carter at.

Hopefully she's still there.

Dani's dress this day is very SHIELD casual-chic, with black pants, shirt and boots, helping to blend in with the variety of other agents around.

Ever since the op that killed Coulson, Agent 13 has been… a bit intense. It's not that she ever neglected her work, but she was usually a bit more cheerful, a but more relaxed. Then again, SHIELD has rarely seen Sharon Carter out for blood and vengeance before.

She's on the go a great deal, but that doesn't mean she's unfindable. Today finds her in a small sitting area near the outer wall, a spot that gives her a good bit of natural sunlight but also a bit of privacy. It will take a few people's vague directions to bring Dani there, but when she does, she'll see a grim-faced Sharon with a tablet in her hand, flipping through pages of… something. Files? Surveillance? Whatever it is, she sets it down when Dani rounds the corner. Leaning forward, she snags her coffee and raises it in greeting: "Well, hello there. I hope you're well."

It seems many people are much more intense since Agent Coulson's death.

One has to wonder if he ever realized just how much his death could impact the people of SHIELD. Perhaps he'll find that out someday. Hopefully that day will be soon too.

The raised coffee-mug-greeting earns a return greeting from Dani, though sans cup. Instead the black-haired Cheyenne nods her head, a vague smile flickering the corners of her mouth upward. "Agent Carter." She states, "And I'm as well as can be expected. How're you doing?" Comes the return question as she steps a pace or two further inside that small sitting area, and while she could follow that question up with 'do you have a minute to talk', Dani waits for Sharon to answer before Moonstar ask that next question of hers.

"Much the same. My responsibilities have broadened a great deal, and I'm trying to be up to the challenge." So saying, she takes a sip of her coffee and rises. She's dressed in a not unusual style, at least for Sharon: a sky blue dress shirt and a pair of khaki slacks. Sliding the tablet into a neoprene sleeve, she continues: "If you have a few minutes, I could do with a breath of fresh air. I was thinking of taking a little walk around the fountain?"

A favorite haunt of Sharon's. It also helps that it's harder to surveil them when they're walking or around rushing water.

While Dani doesn't necessarily know Agent Carter as well as Agent Coulson, when the woman speaks of being up to the challenge Moonstar simply says, "I know you will be."

As to the question of whether she has a few minutes, that brings a nod from the woman and also the murmur of, "I do, and we probably should catch up on a few things." And then at that point, Danielle Moonstar follows the other woman out to that fountain. On the way out Moonstar keeps a quiet string of idle chit-chat going, just so it doesn't seem particularly 'serious or intense' as the women walk.

It's only after the two near the fountain that Dani slides a bit of side-eye at Sharon, then once the sound of water adds a layer of white-noise to their conversion Dani says, "Some of what I'm going to say next might sound crazy, but just know it's not." Then with a slight breath in, Dani says quite baldly, "Agent Coulson's soul has escaped the after-life." Now the Cheyenne woman waits, her gaze focused upon Sharon.

The vote of confidence is certainly gratifying, though Sharon responds to it merely with a smile and a quick nod that say quite concisely: 'I hope so, though I'm not as convinced'.

When they walk, she settles into the easy conversation, the gentle banter and small-talk one might expect from two acquaintances.

And when the white noise is aiding their confidentiality? She pauses, takes the final sip of her coffee, and takes a deep breath. "I know enough to believe what you say," she begins, "so I'm just… going to take it as it comes. Including the assumption of, you know, souls existing. What… does this mean for him, exactly?"

The slight tension Dani felt eases some when Sharon takes her explanation much better than some.

That second question of hers brings forth a faint smile, only because it's one of the correct ones to ask. Her answer, however, brings back the more serious expression to Dani's features. "We have to find him soon or there's the possibility that his soul will lose itself. Once that happens there's no chance of bringing him back. He'll simply exist as a wraith upon the mortal plane."

"I have some thoughts on how to locate his soul -" She adds, then continues with in a quiet murmur, "And then once we have his soul in hand we need to get it back /in/ his body."

"The sooner the better. Most experts think he could have up to a year before his soul loses cohesion, but it's not an exact science." She ends with, her expression turning rueful.


"So it's true — he can come back."

Sharon lets out a long held breath, closing her eyes for a moment and seemingly steadying herself. She doesn't want to rely on the hope too much. Hope like this has a way of slipping through one's fingers. But ever since the order to bury the LMD instead of the real Phil, things became even more complicated than a simple death would have made it.

"This is a little more mystic than I know what to do with," Sharon says at last. "So we have to find him and we have to bring him back. And I somehow doubt either of those things are easy — or, for that matter, that he's going to have an easy transition from being a disembodied soul to being himself again."

"He can." Dani agrees and while there's more to say she pauses when Sharon takes a moment to compose herself. When Sharon opens her eyes again, Dani speaks in a somewhat gentler tone, "He didn't die completely." She finally admits, "Not in the full sense. His body did, yes, but not his soul and that allows us a chance to bring him back."

"It'd have been /far/ easier if he hadn't escaped out of the limbo the higher powers had put him in, but what can you do. At least we can still find him and put him back where he belongs."

"I have a bead on how to locate his soul, but like you said it's not going to be easy. IF we can find him, however, I should be able to help him get back to where he belongs. If I can't I know someone who's even better at all this soul stuff than I am. He's not SHIELD but I trust him with my life and I'd trust him with Agent Coulson's too."

The mention of transitioning sparks worry in Dani's eyes and another nod, "It's not going to be easy for him, no. I think he's going to find areas within himself that he needs to address. Or, at the very least, face."

And while she could say more, she doesn't. She probably already said too much, but it had to be said. "Are we any closer on figuring out where the leaks are?"

"Are you willing to tell me who's going to be helping you? If you need the help, that is?"

There's a light in Sharon's eyes that wasn't there before. It's purpose, it's hope, it's… well, it's more than she had yesterday. Or an hour ago. No one, especially a spy, likes dealing with that much uncertainty. Knowing the path ahead, or at least knowing that there IS a path, is a hell of a boost.

"I expect his body will need to be repaired, too," she murmurs. "No sense in coming back to a body with its heart carved up like a — "

She stops herself. Deep breaths. She needs to be solid, sensible. She needs to get that image out of her head.

"Everywhere," she admits lowly. "Particularly in lower-level agents and operatives but it's not restricted to them. More… more than I ever thought possible, because for every one that surfaces I know there's more that are keeping quiet, more who'll surface later. But I think… I think they stem from the man who killed Coulson. I have a lead on who that is, but I need more."

Turning to face Dani at last, Sharon relaxes just enough to let the stony lines of her face ease. "What support can I give you?" she asks.

Consideration flickers across Dani's expression at the question of who she's working with. "For my friend I'd like to keep his name quiet, unless I need to bring them in." And there's an apology there in her eyes with those words of hers, "He's a little paranoid." And while she wants to say more that's all she leaves it at. "If we need him I'll clear him before he comes in." Are the last words on the subject, before she moves onward, "James Barnes and Jane Foster are also assisting in locating Coulson's lost soul. Once we have it we can bring it back with us, which means yes, you definitely need to have his physical body healed."

The revelation that SHIELD has so many infiltrates earns a look of shock which quickly turns into dismay and anger. "I hadn't thought it was that many." She murmurs softly and then more firmly, grimly, "But when we do find this person -" Not if, but when, "We'll make him pay."

"Right now I think I have most of what I need. If you can work on getting his body healed for when we've located him we'll be good." And now the question is rolled back to Sharon, "How can I help you?"

This answer is accepted calmly enough from Sharon. She nods, quirking a smile from the corner of her mouth: "Probably best I don't know. After all, 'my SHIELD agent friend will keep your secrets' is generally on the level with oceanfront property in Nebraska." It's not even unfair that SHIELD has a reputation. It's been carefully, painstakingly earned.

She inclines her head a little in agreement: "I need to start having private conversations somewhere other than this fountain, too," Sharon adds. Though where in the building is truly secure? Maybe she can use Fury's office. Hah.

"I will… talk to some people, see what I can figure out. Maybe Stark has worked more with biology than I think, who knows?" But how she can help Sharon… that gives her a moment's pause. "I'm honestly not sure. 'Bring Coulson home' is a tall order already. My biggest answer to that: let me call on you when I need help. Be part of my team that way. I have no proof, but I believe there's some kind of… brainwashing, mental conditioning, possibly even something psychic affecting some of these moles. I don't know if that's something you can read or detect. There's someone else I plan on speaking to who specializes in that; someone Coulson trusted. I can't say more than that."

Nebraska. Dani looks amused by that. Then it's onward to the more delicate topics of privacy and other friends who can't be named.

"I'll bring him home." She promises resolutely, then, "And call me for anything, even if I don't have the answer I can be a sounding board to potentially point you in the right direction." Dani states, though the question of whether she can sense the mental brainwashing gives her pause. "I'm not psychic in the same manner of a true telepath, but if the person you plan on speaking to isn't up for the task I could potentially try and read the victims. There's the possibility I could pull the memory of what happened to them if it's something they fear greatly - which I imagine brainwashing would be."

The mention of not saying much more is understood quite readily enough by Dani, "Not a problem. We should probably get back inside soon, before too many get suspicious - but call me if you need anything? We can even meet off site to make sure we're unobserved."

"Sounds like a plan. I know a place." Sharon smiles faintly. Wearily. She never wanted to do this job without knwoing that SHIELD had her back. But she's going to do the right thing regardless, and people like Moonstar — and Coulson — can help her feel grounded.

"Thank you," she adds. "For all you've done and continue to do. I will call on you, and probably soon. Until then?"

And then she's headed back for the Triskelion. She has more to do: more puzzle pieces to put together, more problems to solve. But knowing she has someone else she can count on… that's lifting her spirits.

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