Poor Unfortunate Souls

June 01, 2018:

Captain Marvel confronts the resident aliens freeloading at the Triskelion.

Triskelion, NYC

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Phil Coulson, Thor, Peter Quill, Kitty

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Just another day in the Triskelion hangars. Despite the rather strange turn-out of the last mission, activities have resumed as per normal for the alien freeloaders that have made the best of a parole situation. In the space between a quinjet that's gotten some extra teeth painted on its nose and what looks like it might be racing stripes, and a very uncommon model of craft in orange-yellow with blue accents, someone's set up what looks to be a makeshift rec room.

A couch is the defining piece, flanked by a mini fridge and a stack of empty pizza boxes. A coffee table that may or may not have originated from one of the breakrooms sits in front of it strewn with more than a few beer cans and crumbs of popcorn. There's a laptop and a projector set up in front of the nearby hangar wall, currently flashing the colorful images of an animated film, the sound turned up loud enough to be heard halfway down the hangar itself and coming from a very unearthly looking device that looks like its previous life might have been a satellite of some sort. Hah, jokes on you, it's always been a glorified speaker.

Paying no attention to the movie or whatever it is that's beamed on the wall, Rocket has parked himself near the quinjet, fiddling with bits and ends that probably shouldn't be fiddled with, shaking out a hand at a brief electrical snap before twisting things together to refit in the very large rifle that lies partially dismantled before him.


Staring wide-eyed up at the images projected, a small plant-type being sits. No matter how messy the breakroom floor is, there is enough room for a tiny Groot to sit and watch something to keep him occupied while Rocket works. There have been one too many times where the sapling has tried to escape, and they all ended up the same.

On screen, a clear voice rings out. "I'm sixteen years old. I'm not a child anymore!" the redhead claims, asserting her grown status against her father's stuffy rules. Groot continues to watch the heated exchange closely, unblinking as a hand wanders over the floorspace beside him. When he comes across a stray popcorn bit, he absently puts it in his mouth, crunching thoughtfully right as the king regrets his actions.


Normally most in the Triskelion give Rocket and Groot something of a wide berth. Occasionally a few curious individuals have to stare at the adorable raccoon and tree people, but the Triskelion is nothing if not filled with the occasional walking miracle.
Even still, a few SHIELD rank and file agents cluster just around the edge of the far entrance to the hanger. Specifically to watch what is about to unfold as they give the two no warning whatsoever.

As Ariel tells off the tyrannical King Triton, there's a clear 'AHEM' from behind the couch. Standing in the radiant glow is one Captain Marvel. Hovering just a few inches off the ground, having soundlessly floated in to better see the pair in their natural habitat. A real nature preserve this.

She looms with her arms crossed over her starburst symbol. Steel blue eyes watching them both patiently with the mildest expectant smile creasing her lips without mirth. She would be tapping her foot if she was connected to the reinforced concrete. While she had not met the pair before, Captain Danvers is somewhat famous around these parts, at least her likeness has been seen in many motivational posters along with Captain America and Iron Man around the Triskelion.
Generally speaking with the humans the more colorful you are the more important, seems to be the unspoken rule.


For the record, Rocket had nothing to do with the current movie selection playing in their makeshift entertainment center. He'll likely regret it later, or he would if he were paying attention. The red-haired mermaid's plight is completely ignored as the now second-smallest Guardian has his focus on giving his favorite rifle more 'oomph.'

He starts pushing more parts together and brings out a screwdriver of sorts to tighten other things up, his disturbingly humanlike hands moving across the weapon with precision and ease. Finally he glances up as he sets the tool down, looking over at Groot. "Didn't you see this one befo—"

His fuzzy brow furrows as he squints past the couch at the woman behind it. He can't quite see that she's hovering, and from where he sits, everyone may as well be tall, and generally are taller than him. He eyes her for a good moment or two. She does look familiar but he can't quite place it. "…you ain't sellin' cookies are ya?" he finally asks.


Sure, Groot has seen it before. Several times, in fact, within a span of a few months. There's just something entertaining about it.

He doesn't seem to hear Rocket's interrupted question, however, eyes still glued onto the next scene playing out right after the 'AHEM' slips in between dialog. Little feet wave back and forth in front of him, partially rotating out of time to a tune unheard. A little smile creeps onto his wooden face. "I am Groot."

His small hand does wander out again to feel for some more floor offerings as snacks, letting his gaze shift away from the animation and onto the primary-colored costumed woman who floats. And he sits there in that position, mouth gaping in curiosity at their new visitor.

"…I am Groot?" he asks, echoing the raccoonoid's expectations. Because cookies sound good right now.


Behind the couch, Captain Marvel lowers the remaining few inches. Her footfalls now audible as she makes the march around the couch, skirting around the leaning tower of pizza boxes with a frown as she glances about the rat warren with the awe of a straight-laced girlfriend seeing her boyfriend's Man Cave for the first time.

She's starting to take Brand's suggestion of 'burn out the infestation with fire' a little more seriously now.

"…Apparently I'm the pizza delivery woman." She mutters in response, now eyeing the retooled weapon more clearly in Rocket's human-like tiny paws, "My name is Captain Danvers. Special Agent for S.W.O.R.D. According to your files you would be Rocket.." She looks over to the Twig Boy, "And you would be Groot."
Tilting her hands on her hips, "How about you put down the extremely illegally tampered firearm and we can have a little chat about a whole lot of things."
As the little wooden boy seems to question his own identity, Carol's looks askance down to him with a small smirk at what she can only assume to be sass, "Yes. Yes you are."
Daw, he's too cute to get all that mad at. The Trash Panda though?


"Too bad. We were seriously hoping for cookies. Pizza woulda been nice though," Rocket says, still eyeing the woman suspiciously, pulling his rifle closer once he notices her attention falling upon it. Mine.

A snort is the response Carol receives as she names them, his tail curling slightly behind him. "Hah! This ain't illegally tampered with! It's a custom job!" Really, who's this chick think she is? S.W.O.R.D.? That really a thing?

Very slowly he gets to his feet, still hovering possessively over his rifle as though he expects her to make a grab for it somehow from where she is. "Do all the cap'n's around here have'ta wear such bright outfits? What all you wanna talk about? I'm busy and 'a whole lot of things' sounds like it's gonna take a whole lotta time to cover so…"


Looks like they aren't getting cookies. Groot pouts - out of disappointment, and out of confusion for Carol's reply to the three words he knows best - turning halfway from the movie to save his little neck from looking up at the woman.

It's also nice that they're both known at the get-go, but that usually means they did something wrong. But they didn't do anything wrong. Not to Groot's knowledge or understanding, anyway. So he tilts his head. "I am Groot?"


"Oh! You want the quick version?" Captain Danvers feigns sudden understanding with parted lips and a slow nod. Accepting the small creatures attitude with unflappability, "Sure, let me give it to you."
She helpfully settles herself down to one knee, hunching forward just enough to get on eye level with Rocket. Not addressing him from a position of imperiousness but a direct stare that demands his careful attention. Her prior flippant attitude is erased and replaced with the power of career military, "I am responsible for the observation and activities of extraterrestrial life forms on this world as invested me by the highest authorities of Earth. That means Groot and You are under MY direct supervision and if I suspect you threaten so much the smallest crawling insect on this blue ball of rock I will personally compress you and Pinnochio into the smallest space-worthy tin can I can find and throw you at Andromeda for the Skrulls to deal with."
She lets a beat pass.
"Now I'm going to have to ask you to clear your schedule and drop your extremely customized firearm so you can instead convince me why I shouldn't do just that."

Another beat passes.
"Yes. You are Groot." She restates without being too testy. So the little branch isn't going to win the spelling bee, he's still precious.


There's a shrug in response to Groot. So far as the raccoonoid knows, they haven't done anything that would be frowned upon, at least recently.

If there's anything worse than someone looking down at him, it's someone purposefully stooping down to meet him eye-to-eye. Rocket stiffens just slightly, but then lets himself settle into a more casual position as he folds his arms across his chest, red-brown eyes narrowed but not quite glaring at the woman in front of him.

"That right? How come I ain't never heard of you, Captain? Far as I know, our previous 'supervision'-" he says, bringing up his hands to do the air-bunny/quotes, "-was under one drunken Asgardian but has hence been taken up by Deadey—" He pauses, swallowing, then shakes his head, pushing to correct himself. "Agent Coulson." It still stings, even when knowing that things might still be happening regarding that whole situation, but that still doesn't change certain facts. This does make him pause as he wonders if the otherwise ultimatum is exactly why Miss Captain Superiority's suddenly appeared to claim responsibility over them. Now he does glare.

"If you got a problem with insect death then yer a little late. I've lost count of how many roaches I've vaporized," he sneers. "I don't know what the heck this SWORD thing is but Coulson gave me leave to pilot that and blow stuff up on SHIELD's paycheck." He jerks a thumb back at the quinjet behind him. "Now, if you popped up to tell us this crap a few months ago or something, hey, I might've been happy to have an excuse to leave this dirtball planet!"


The sapling steals a glance at Rocket, brow furrowed at the shrug. He then looks back at Carol, his brow furrowing even more as she sums everything up in a paragraph for their benefit. He mentally tries to match up the pieces to what has been assumed of them, being aliens and all, not realizing that she's using these examples in the figurative sense.

He did try to eat a bug once or twice, but he's sure not going to mention that to her if that means it gets him into trouble.

As Rocket speaks, Groot pauses, looking down the moment Agent Coulson is mentioned. A small twinge of pain resurfaces, but he stays quiet for the time being, only half-listening afterward. The discussion between the other Guardian and the Captain gets overlaid with dialog from the mermaid movie, mixing the villain song in with whatever is being said.


She was about to quip back in Rocket's face until he nearly impunes the memory of Agent Coulson. The mammaloid seems suitably abashed and backpedaling from going that route and Captain Marvel wordlessly lets that go.
Indeed without Coulson around anymore, perhaps that's why the little ETs are now vulnerable. Phil's word was a gold standard and many obeyed it even if it wasn't strictly in the letter of SHIELD policy.

As he thumbs the repainted Quinjet, Carol's eyes follow the gesture only briefly. Her expression etched of stone as she continues, "Agent Coulson is exactly why I came to talk to you and why others in SWORD haven't already done what I just threatened to do the moment we found out about you."

Maybe its the mention of Phil that downgrades her stance towards the diplomatic as she drums her gloved fingers on her knee exactly once.

"Look. You've helped us out. That doesn't mean nothing to me. I am willing to continue the working relationship we've got but I don't fly as loose as Coulson did so we need to lay out some ground rules. And, in fairness to you both, give a heads up."

Carol pauses a moment as she notices what song is playing in the background. At that she turns on her knee and points at Groot, "Oh no! Oh no you are not comparing the octopus witch to me. You pause that, you pause that right now!" Her expression very nearly pouting as she can feel her iron will beginning to waiver just looking at the adorable stick guy. Especially since he looks so sad right now.
Damn it that's not even fair!


Under different circumstances, all in which Phil Coulson were not actually dead, Rocket would unabashedly throw around the nickname the Guardians had taken to calling the man, 'Deadeye' after he'd completely missed the shot that would have thoroughly secured them first position in their impromptu participation in a space race that happened to be mapped around Terra's local solar system. It seems like eons ago now.

"Please, we haven't killed anyone recently or blown up any IKEAs. You ain't got nothin' on us to ship us out." Unless this is about his track record. The lady did mention the Skrulls. Obviously she's more aware about things outside of here than the average Terran.

He manages not to roll his eyes as Carol tries to get back down to business, scowling as though he'd taken a swallow of some leftover room-temperature beer. Which he probably has more often than not, judging from the cans sitting around in various positions and shapes of discard.

The Captain's sudden rounding on Groot surprises him, along with the reaction as she makes her demands towards the tiny tree tyke. His ears perking, Rocket looks back over at the movie still going on in the background, picking up the lyrics and fitting it in with Carol's protests before he barks a laugh. "HAHAHA!" It's totally real.


Some seconds ago, the music recedes to allow for a small chunk of discussion between characters.

"But I don't have an- "

"I'm not asking for much, just a token, really, a trifle! You'll never even miss it." The octopus lady leans in, lifting the small mermaid's chin with a manicured fingernail. "What I want from you is- "

Oh no! Oh no you are not comparing the octopus witch to me. You pause that, you pause that right now!" Carol's interjection easily overtakes the important two words spoken on screen.

Groot scowls. Even if he does know what the lady says, he feels like he's been robbed of that moment. "I am Groot!" he yells, jumping up onto his little tree feet. His arms wave in the air, hands balled into tiny fists. Why is Rocket laughing at this? This is terrible! "I AM GROOT!"


Captain Marvel 'hehs' as the armed procyon throws the short list of violent actions he and his wooden partner did not do. She decides to elucidate the extraterrestrial on that point as she points skyward, "Have you.. Have you noticed how many other sapient species are walking around in New York? Do you think this is the melting pot of the galaxy?" She spells out the next words very clearly, "We Do Not Let Other Sapients Live Here. Not yet. Mankind does not have the laws, infrastructure nor technology to manage the other races out there. There are extremely few beings we've worked out very specific case-by-case deals with. I can count them on both hands and that includes you two. I'm not here to bust your ass on assault and battery I'm checking your work visa."
She prepares to continue the argument until the explosion of rage takes her aback. Blinking she halts in mid-word, turning her head to the tiny furious guy, "… I .. feel like I'm missing something.." Slowly beginning to squint, wondering what form of greeting she failed to give as is proper while the plant dude roars introductions repeatedly.


"…so what yer sayin' here is you're spacist."

Rocket arches a brow at her, arms crossed. "You do that with Thor? Actually I'd pay'ta see you try explainin' this load of crap to any Asgardian. Hours of entertainment."

Glancing coolly over at Groot, he rolls his eyes again, sighing. "He's complaining that we made him miss an important plot point- wait, really? You've watched this dumb thing like five times already! You know what happens! She screws up cuz the fat tentacle lady cheats an' then later on they skewer her with a ship so they she can live happily ever after with her murderer prince boyfriend. Yeah, quality family entertainment right there."


In the middle of being angry with Captain Marvel, Groot is ready to fight. Fighting someone who is fifteen times his size is no big deal. He can take it.

But Rocket takes the rest of the heat by spoiling everything about the movie. The bitty tree jerks his head in the raccoonoid's direction as he audibly GASPS, sounding offended in his surprise. The rage soon returns full force, shown in how he's running over to his Guardian friend to bop him repeatedly in the side. "I AM GROOT!!!" he howls, letting his fists fly.


Captain Marvel's expression does not change appreciably as she simply states, "That isn't even a word."
Once again she parts her lips and nods, "Ooh. We're Thor now. Okay, so yeah if you swear a blood oath to defend the Earth against all its foes and bust your ass saving people on a daily basis like he does.. Then you bet, we'll sign your paperwork and we're all good. Is that what you're telling me right here?"
The subject of how SHIELD deals with the Asgardians is happily glossed over otherwise. One does not deal with Asgardians so much as endure them, much as Rocket suggests. She then watches him angrily spoil the Little Mermaid to the tiny plant guy as her expression sours.

As such she does little to defend him against the furious wrath of the topiary as he flails away at the raccoon. She tilts her head while she remains on her knee, only offering a 'see what you did?' expression as she gives him a minute to deal with his raging wood sprite.
She does take a second to consider Rocket mentioning something about Groot 'saying' something, blinking as she reaches up to tap a few holographic keys at her throat. Calibrating her universal translator to see if it can make sense of this Grooting about.


"Oh you know what I meant! It's like 'space' and 'racist' mushed together!"

Rocket sighs as Groot comes rushing at him like this is nothing new, which it really isn't. He's lost track of how many tantrums he's had to endure from the tree tot. He holds out a hand to settle on the little one's head to push him back, which will keep Groot just out of striking range, at least until he remembers he can grow his limbs.

"Thaaat's not what I was sayin' either and you know it!" he shouts, glaring at Carol. "Anyway, you got, what, three, four Asgardians hangin' around? -ow! Okay, that's it."

When Groot finally manages to reach him again with his tiny wooden fists, Rocket grumbles and scoops him up under an arm. "Hey, calm down, you're missin' the rest of the movie. Ooh, how about we ask Miss Captain Spacist if she'll sing along with the next song to make it up to you?" Because it's totally Carol's fault that Groot's movie viewing time has been ruined.


So much flailing goes on, and very little progress is made. Groot is bent on trying to thrash his raccoon friend good, not realizing that he can indeed extend his reach if he shifts his focus back a few notches. His wide forehead continues to press against Rocket's human-like hand, windmilling at the speed of alien tree.

And then he's easily scooped under an arm like a small sack of flour. Which isn't fair. "I am Groot!" comes a muffled shout into the other Guardian's side. Jerking his head up to breathe, Groot bares his teeth, growling slightly before noticing Rocket is right about the movie still playing. Tiny arms dangle as he looks back at the screen, watching Ariel in the middle of her new human antics.

Rocket's suggestion does make him perk, creating an 180-degree flip in his behavior. "I am Groot," he chirps, and Captain Marvel's translator may have captured part of the phrasing. It sure sounds like a "good plan."


As the procyon defends his cobbled word, Captain Danvers just grunts. Otherwise she pauses only a moment while he effortlessly defends himself from the verdant flurry.
"No. But it IS what I am saying." She states evenly, though as he elaborates on the plague of Aesir she makes an 'tsssh' sound, eyes rolling ceiling-ward, "Isn't that the truth?"
Friggin Asgard.

"Listen. Listen! I'm cutting you guys a new deal. And I'm giving you fair warning that things are getting real hot on this planet. Big powers are eyeballing this planet and if you wanted to take your kid and go I wouldn't blame you one bit." Her eyes shifting to Groot with a modicum more sympathy. Her translator finally superimposing audio over the tree tyke's language as she 'hehs' at that.


"Here, you convince her," Rocket says, seeming to ignore Carol's supposed warning as he all but shoves Groot into her hands. At least he's stopped trying to smack him. For all that Groot was tiny, being hit by sticks still hurts, and as tiny as he is, Rocket knows the squirt's capable of some serious damage if he sets his mind to it.

"If it ain't one planet it's another." Oh, turns out he was listening after all. The raccoonoid's turned as though to watch the animated display of a matchmaking gone wrong at the flippers of insidious eels, but his thoughts are anywhere but. "I'd love to cut and run. Can't speak for Quill, but being out there free to roam? That's been our thing. We only got canned cuz'a some stupid misunderstandings."

He shakes his head, turning it to look back at Carol then. "But now we can't just leave. We've got stuff to take care of."


Now that he's been traded between hands, Groot kicks his feet. Not aggressively - it's more of an excited kicking in the air away from any body. He tries to tug on the Captain's sleeve with one hand to get more of her attention.

What Rocket says is true of both of them. And Quill. They have all of the space in the world to travel, and that is something they would like to get back to at some point in time. Groot never thought of the strong ties he and Rocket have created on Terra, but he knows they cannot be so readily ditched - especially now, of all times.

Another tug, and his other hand points at the movie only moments away from the song cue: 'Kiss the Girl.'

"I am Groot~"

Translated: "It's starting! Sing-along sing-along~"


Erk.

Carol accepts the token of appreciation from Rocket as she holds Grootlet at arms length, staring at him in the way one stares at an improvised explosive.
It might go off at any second and you're too afraid to just drop it.
"Yeah, we'll I'm attached to this one." She states to Rocket on the subject of planets always being in trouble. That may not be strictly true in her case but she doesn't care a fraction about her Kree connections as she does her Earthen ones.
As he brings up Quill.. That's someone else she's going to have to deal with later, but since that guy was Earthborne it isn't the same sort of problem.
"By all means. Tell me of this 'stuff' you need to take care of." Captain Marvel states in a fashion that suggests it was not actually a suggestion.

As she continues to argue with Rocket she begins to notice the tugging at the suit sleeve, she absent-mindedly adjusts her attention to hold Groot a touch more maternally, placing him to her shoulder and securing his lower half even if her eyes never leave the Raccoon. As the translator finally manages out the impromptu request, she looks to the screen then looks down to Groot. There is exactly a split second to react.

Well S-
"Theeeeeeeere you see her.." Carol sings with Groot.


Rather than answer her right away, Rocket settles down to resume piecing together the rest of his highly customized and undoubtedly very illegal space rifle. He's content to hold off on a response when Carol's busy indulging Groot in song, and if she glances at him he'll flash her a sharp-toothed grin, waving a hand as if to say, 'Oh please, don't mind me. Carry on!'

Whether the woman actually goes through with singing along with treeling, crab and fish or abandons it altogether in insistance of a reply, the other Guardian will get around to it, either after one or the other. He pushes together the last few components before picking up the rifle in hands, pulling it into its extended form a he peers down its sighting as though picking out a target.

"Track down whoever's responsible for offin' Coulson," he says with a sneer.


Now that's the spirit! Groot is happy he's obliged, perching on the woman's shoulder without hesitation. "I am Grooot~ I am Groot~" he croons, matching the tune as closely as he can. Sure, he could have done more with the words, but this should have been expected of him.

…And as quickly as it begins, the song eventually comes to an end with a great SPLASH on-screen, the small boat overturned by those mean moray eels congratulating themselves on a job well done. The bitty tree squeaks, caught between being appalled by the block and laughing along with them. While he is blissfully enamored with watching, he does peek back in Rocket's direction, immediately trying to match the sneer on his furry friend's face.r


Carol really couldn't help it. It was a split second decision and the friggin little tree is so friggin adorable! Say what one will about Captain Marvel coming down on Rocket and Groot's freeloading, she isn't about to deny a Grootling his joy.
However, once the song ends with a splash, she places Groot upon the couch gently. No longer does she demand the TV's silence as she lets him go back to watching the movie. Her expression darts back to the Raccoon, much of her hardened edge dulled by the Disney sing-along as she instead gives him an exasperated look. She watches the energy rifle very carefully as she processes his request.

Letting an illegal extraterrestrial assassinate someone on Earth with extremely unsanctified weaponry? There are more than a few SWORD protocols against such a thing. Not to mention the actual Law.

Phil trusted him.

Captain Marvel makes a disgusted sound as she rises to her feet once more, somewhere between a growl and a groan of dismay, "Alright! Fine. SWORD hereby deputizes you and empowers you to investigate the matter of Agent Coulson." Dusting her gloves off her shoulders, as if cleaning herself of the matter, "If you make me regret keeping you off-leash or GOD help me if you hurt anybody undeserving I WILL make you into a sleeping bag for baby Badoon. You get me on this Rocket?"


Groot's going to get a cookie for this. A whole bag full of them. And then Rocket will leave him with Peter and Kitty to run off the sugar-rush.

Lowering his rifle, the raccoonoid looks up at Carol as though just daring her to deny him of what he and others have already made claim to. The furrow of his brow eases slightly as the woman grumbles as she gets back to her feet.

He opens his mouth, then closes it. The matter revolving the death of Phil Coulson is a sensitive one, and he's not sure who all in S.H.I.E.L.D. and outside of it are aware of what he and the others who had crammed into that car after the fancy funeral had become aware of. But lookit this lady, granting him permission for something he's already doing like she's got the authority to do so. Rocket snorts. After all that stuff she said earlier….well okay, he still doesn't buy most of it, but he figures keeping his mouth shut about details and corrections is probably the best card to play in this case. Nose wrinkling, he compacts his rifle again, setting it down.

"Loud an' clear, Captain."


Groot, on the other hand, settles back down into his seat on the couch. Permission and warnings are far from his mind, heading even further now that he takes to paying attention to the 2-D projection rather than Rocket and Captain Marvel. Because Rocket can handle himself.

To be honest, Captain Marvel doesn't sound like a bad person. A stickler for rules, maybe, but she's doing what she's supposed to be doing. Just like how Rocket and Groot (and Quill) do things.

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