On Mission

October 31, 2018:

In which a cursed Michael Carter brings tricks, not treats to SHIELD HQ.

Triskelion

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Michael Carter may have been given a directive, but that doesn't mean he's going to rush in, full guns blazing. He's strategic. He waits. He watches. He keeps on the move so that SHIELD can't pin him down. They've gotten close a few times - which is probably Rami's fault. There's some kind of tracking technology embedded in him that she still has access to from their days in Six-Five together.

The perfect opportunity does present itself. SHIELD's defenses are lowered from recent attacks. Agents are spread thin across the city. That, and it's likely that the people chasing him aren't expecting him to show up on their literal doorsteps.

He starts off as just another dark-clothinged figure with a good haircut who often walks with purpose up to the entrance of the Triskelion. Likely what they're not expecting is for that casual walk to quickly turn into a pair of drawn weapons raised and fired at the most heavily armed guards. There is zero hesitation, and no pulling of punches. Rule Britannia is on a mission.

*

While the time displaced Peggy Carter does not have quite the same ability to track down or locate her brother like her previous version did. What this version does, have, though, is the absolute and definitive knowledge that her brother is alive and has disappeared into some sort of demon hole and also Rami Ghai. Both of these things give her quite an edge.

When a pair of guards do not check in, Peggy is already on alert. There has already been a security breach lately and she's not about to allow another go unchecked. Michael is smart enough to avoid the general hot spots and the cameras, so Peggy is quick to hit the silent alarm and move to intercept the intruder. She does not know that it is Michael, nor is she sure that it is, but he is at least somewhere on the list of people who would be able to pull this off at this moment.

Rami is, of course, called for as she rushes toward the confrontation. "Silent back up requested, Hall H." Peggy puts her back up around a corner and then pulls out her compact, using it to old school look about the corner to where the perp should be.

*

It helps no one in this scenario (except the one who laid a curse on Michael) that he memorized what visible cameras there were on previous SHIELD visits. That, and his HUD can pick up the amount of signal a camera gives off. That means although one or two might have registered a threat in the building, none have as of yet gotten a good look at his face.

He moves quietly, carefully concealing his weapons to move past people who streak past him. It's not that he's trying to minimize casualties, but rather, he knows that most of the individuals he passes are competently, if not highly - trained. As formidable as he is, that's a bad numbers game.

What Peggy sees with that reflected mirror is probably nothing she ever wanted to see. She gets it lined up just in time to see her brother firing a silenced pistol into the downed figure of a SHIELD guard.

*

Parambir had been working in one of the tech suites when she got the call from Peggy. She didn't wait to turn off her music, didn't wait to shut down her program — she literally grabbed the wrap of oil leather she had been keeping by her at all times and spun out of her stool and into the hall. She takes off through the corridors at a speed that indicates one thing: she's got places to be.

What Peggy may never want to see is something Rami has been preparing for. She doesn't see the headshot that takes out the downed SHIELD guard, but she does see Peggy when she comes up the corridor opposite of Peggy at the corner. She slows, sliding quietly into the corner edge across from Peggy. She's slipped the wrap of oiled leather into her off-hand, and her kirpan — her holy Sikh weapon — is visible at the shoulder holster. She doesn't have a gun. She's learned from Emery why a gun is useless against Michael.

She makes eye contact with Peggy, and her head cocks slightly in a silent: that way?

*

+MEET: Rocket Raccoon has arrived via +meet.

*

There is a brief moment of immediate and visceral joy and relief to see Michael alive and well carries through even through the headshot through the SHIELD agent on the ground. Then, her eyes narrow, the sudden jump in her stomach turning into a plummet. She feels more than sees Rami edging into the opposite corner. She has been through enough ops to have the peripheral awareness that can feel someone approaching.

The compact is brought shut. This is something Michael told her was possible and now they are facing it. Unlike Rami, Peggy does have a gun. She has one loaded with normal bullets and one that is loaded with ICERs. Seeing the deadly force Michael is willing to exact against the SHIELD agents, she knows what must be done. Pulling the gun loaded with real bullets, she flicks off the safety and points it at the ground. f
Taking a breath, she looks at Rami and then, points down the passageway toward another doorway. Then, she gives her a countdown. Rami should run to that doorway and Peggy will hopefully flush Michael toward them. They are now running a dangerous cat and mouse mission.

Her hand raises and she counts down.

Three.

Two.

Then, she pushes herself off the corner and shoots toward Michael. She sprays the bullets deliberately, spraying up debris and dust to obscure view, while also getting the shots close to him.

*

Bullets are answered with bullets almost immediately, though Peggy's suppressing fire does enough to obscure his aim that it's not the deadly move it could have been. Two of her shots land true, hitting shoulder and the side of his neck. The bullet pierces his jacket, but there's nothing but a faint ripple at the spot on his neck.

And it doesn't slow him down one bit.

He's advancing now, stepping confidently, weapon raised, fire rattling off through the barrel of the silenced gun. This is his mission mode. He has an objective, and he's been told to not let anything stand in his way.

*

Rami gives a sharp, single nod of affirmation at that. Then she breathes out a slow exhale, rocking back on her heels briefly before finding balance in the balls of her feet. She shifts her grip on the wrap of leather, and then she waits… until the bullets fly.

She moves quick, taking off from the corner and into the fray as she darts toward the open doorway. Her movements are quick, precise, trained. She barrels herself into the gap in the wall, pressing herself in tight into the doorjam and into its room. She breathes out a slow breath once she's cleared behind the frame. Then she looks up briefly, almost in prayer. Then she looks back to the corridor, reaching up to touch the space just behind her ear. It's an instinctive gesture, though she knows Michael has blocked those systems. So, if she can't whisper in his ear, she shouts: "Rule Britannia, this is Courtier." Her words carry sharp and hard through the loud. "You are ordered to stand down."

*

Where the hell is Hall H? And silent back-up? Pff.

Rocket pulls up a map and then makes with the shortcuts. At least, they're only shortcuts to someone who can actually fit. Unfortunately that means no bringing his rifle, which is probably just as well since he's having issues with the stun setting. …or was that one of his pistols? Eh, he'll figure it out.

It's not long before he hears the sound of bullets. You can silence shots, but not the ricochets. So much for silent, he thinks. Well, it makes things easier for him. Now he knows he's getting close.

Shots have been fired. Michael continues to advance, Rami makes her move, and from above, the ventilation grating is kicked outwards, swinging open as Rocket drops down in front of Michael, both guns blazing.

*

Peggy watches the immediate and imminent approach of her brother with murder in his eyes with a cool calm. Much like Rule Britannia, Agent Carter is on a mission and she is determined to see it through. She can here Rami making her way through their plan behind her and she makes deliberate and measured steps as she is prepared to meet the man who was a MI:6.5 ghost for decades with a adrenaline filled calm.

Bullets crash around her and she weaves about them to make herself a harder target. The gun she brought with her with regular bullets clicks out of rounds and she tucks it away, pulling out her ICER. This one, she is more careful to ensure she hits him.

And then Rocket Raccoon bursts out of a grate right in front of Michael and her and she has to blink a few times. The Guardians always tend to pop up in the most unlikely of places. "Rocket! He's mind controlled, don't kill him." That is an order, but she doesn't feel the need to spell that out exactly as necessary. "He's also Steve level powerful." So he should keep that in mind while engaging.

*

Michael Carter has seen…a LOT of things in his life. More lately. But still, an armed raccoon dropping from the vent to shoot at him is new. If Rami was expecting her words to cut through whatever has a hold on him, she's going to be disappointed. Ordinarily, he has quite extraordinary mental resistance. He's been trained and conditioned to resist mental intrusion and torture. But demonic curses are an entirely separate beast. Unlike when he faced Emery, the people (beings?) in front of him cannot be seen as anything other than an obstacle to his mission.

Rocket's rain of bullets pepper across him, tearing into his clothing but apparently not slowing him down. He fires off a few shots at the alien creature, then takes a swipe with the butt of his gun for good measure. He's fast, he's strong, but he's not used to fighting something as small as Rocket.

By now, his jacket is looking like Swiss cheese, but there's no blood to be seen. His expression hasn't changed. It's neutral, cold, calculated.

*

Rami frowns at the change of tempo in the sound of the bullets. She turns her head slowly, arching out to glance down toward Michael and then she sees… Rocket. Her ears pick up the demonic curses, and her expression darkens into quiet, contained… BRITISH… rage. She slams the palm her hand against the doorframe and then she leans her head into the door.

"Rule Britannia!" Her shout is loud, but there's something emotionless about it. She recites the memorized code without hesitation — it was always a safeguard. If Michael went off the deep-end, and needed to be taken out, she would use it… if Michael needed bullets extracted, she would use it. It is always about saving Michael.

"Lilac, gold… ivory, ivory, emerald!" She ensures she can be heard, shouting the codewords out across the din of gunfire and demonic curses.

*

"Yer lucky I didn't bring my rifle then," Rocket mutters at Peggy's insistance not to kill the guy that's been shooting at her. His eyes narrow as she mentions Steve-level, which admittedly takes him a moment to connect with who she's talking about. At least in the interim he can still shoot.

Bullets, contained blasts or otherwise, still don't seem to do much against the man, which strikes the raccoonoid as more annoying than worrying. Clearly he shouldn't have to be too careful about trying to kill the guy if he can shrug off something like this.

Rocket twists about as he's fired at in turn, which serves to help him avoid any return shots but does compromise his landing enough that he can't quite avoid Michael's swipe. Fast and strong- Rocket notes that right off as he gets smacked right off his feet, tumbling towards Peggy. Growling, he shakes his head as he shoves himself up, ears perking at Rami's shout, words not making any sense, but his own modded guns are once again leveled, triggers pulled to start picking at Michael regardless.

*

Peggy allows Rocket to take up the part of cover fire. It's a part he was born for. Above the racket of bullets and the approach of Michael, she can her the shout of Rami behind her. The words start to tumble out of her mouth and she starts to blink. They sound familiar. They sound like what she was told would help shut Michael down.

Quickly, Peggy slaps Rocket's guns downward again as he brings them up against Michael. "Agent Ghai's bringing down those Steve defenses." Tossing Rocket the gun she has in her hand, she pulls a smaller one from inside of her shoe. "ICERs. They should bring him down without killing him."

Her own rounds are far less powerful, but with the pair of them, that should mean something.

*

It is a move of last resort, because it is functionally like skinning Michael alive in a split-second. The skin mesh that makes him bulletproof also counteracts the extreme sensitivity of his skin that arose as a side effect of the imperfect supersoldier serum. "No, no you bloody do not," roars Michael with uncharacteristic emotion entering his tone. He knows that those words have a very strong possibility of derailing the mission. and that's not something he wants to happen.

He fires out at the source of Rami's voice, his HUD angling for the best chance to hit her.

But he's too late. The last word lands and sets in place the undoing of the skin mesh's protective surface. The sound he makes is disturbing to hear. He doubles over, roaring in pain, as ugly red blotches erupt seemingly out of nowhere across every bit of exposed skin. He tries to raise his gun and fire again, but his aim is completely off.

*

"I'm sorry, Michael," Rami half-whispers as she hears the roar of defiance, and the raw emotion that comes with it. She ducks down low as the doorframe explodes into shards of material around her, and she continues to crawl backwards as she feels the shrapnel cut through skin and clothes. Then the gunfire stops, and she is rising smoothly up while she withdraws her ceremonial knife from its sheath. The spearhead is still gripped in her hand, wrapped in the oiled leather.

She emerges to look at the raging Michael, and her expression turns into stone — except for the deep emotion in her dark eyes. She ducks slightly at the desperate shot, turning to see where the plaster bears the bullet hole. Then she looks back at Michael, trying to reconcile what she's seeing. "We're going to get you back," she says firmly at Michael as she approaches slowly. "And if you still wants to shoot me, then you can do it yourself."

*

"Hey!" Rocket blurts, his shots striking the ground not two feet in front of him. He squints at Peggy as she hurriedly explains. "Wait, what? You can switch that off? —did you seriously take this out of your shoe??"

He holsters his own guns before hesitantly taking the ICER he's passed, nose wrinkling. Oh sure, it's fine when he smuggles things in unmentionable places but the moment someone hands him a shoe gun it's disgusting.

All the same, he's still got a weapon, even if it feels so obscenely small in his hands despite looking like it's a better fit. Non-kill guns? Where's the fun in that? The ICER is trained upon Michael, Rocket flinching only slightly as the man still attempts to move against them, against Rami. He can't help but gape a bit at the transformation he witnesses, although even with Rami moving in, he stands at the ready to take Michael down if the other agent looks like she might yet be threatened. You never know.

*

Unable to help herself, Peggy looks behind her to ensure that Rami did not take the brunt of that force. With Rocket right in front of her, she is allowed that sort of distraction even as Michael bears down on them. Seeing that she is alright, she raises her gun in a less distracted manner.

To Rocket, she gives a raised eyebrow and a snort. "You're a space raccoon that crawls through vents and from what my reports say scavenge bomb parts. Are you truly about to turn up your snout up at a shoe gun?"

*

Unable to help herself, Peggy looks behind her to ensure that Rami did not take the brunt of that force. With Rocket right in front of her, she is allowed that sort of distraction even as Michael bears down on them. Seeing that she is alright, she raises her gun in a less distracted manner.

To Rocket, she gives a raised eyebrow and a snort. "You're a space raccoon that crawls through vents and from what my reports say scavenge bomb parts. Are you truly about to turn up your snout up at a shoe gun?"

As for whether she could turn this off or on, she shakes her head. "I'm not sure I could have. I think that's a handler thing." Or, maybe, she didn't want to have to do it.

Stepping backward, but in time with Rocket, she shoots Michael a few more times with the ICER rounds in an attempt to put him down.

*

The ICER rounds explode against Michael's skin. The supersoldier constitution takes them, even through the unbelievable pain of raw skin. He tries to raise his gun but can't muster the hand strength. Rocket, it seems, is going to get the honour of firing of at least one more ICER shot to put the agent down.

His eyes are bloodshot as he glares at them all. Or rather, one is. The other is very obviously threaded through with fibre optics and various other implants. He'd say something cutting, but he can't muster the breath to form words.

*

Emotion is held in her serious brown eyes rage on — anger, sadness, guilt. Only once Rocket delivers the last ICER does her shoulders seem to relax and she settles into a hard, thoughtful frown. She glances toward Peggy and Rocket. The latter gets a tired, but thankful smile before she looks back to Peggy. "We need to secure him." She returns her attention to Michael, and then slowly squats down to almost touch him. But she stops. Instead, she reaches out and gently removes the gun from him and out of his reach.

*

"I'm not a raccoon!" the space raccoonoid insists. "An' you make it sound like that's automatic qualification for accepting guns stowed with people's feet!"

Notably he does not refute the part about scavenging bomb parts. He won't argue that one, but he won't say where he's been scavenging them either.

Even so, his own weapon trained upon Michael does not waver, following the man with each stumble. "You'll thank us later," he says, perhaps in answer to the glare directed at them.

A clawed finger delicately pulls the ICER's trigger as though he's afraid any more pressure exerted upon it would break the thing.

It's out of habit that the small Guardian keeps an eye on Michael even once he looks to stop trying to struggle, watching as Rami goes to check on him. He allows himself to ease up a little, returning the woman's smile with a wink before he turns and hands off Peggy's little ICER back to her.

"So uh, what was that all about?"

*

The anger and hate are met with Peggy's own rigid expression. It is neutral, though not as hardened as he may expect from the Cold War era Peggy. Instead, there is a tinge of anger and sadness on her face as she watches her brother collapse onto the floor ina. puddle of rage and disbelief.

Once Michael is down, she does not exactly trust it. Much like Rocket, she continues to watch. "You certainly accepted a gun from a shoe," she tells him without much wiggle room to get out of that. "I'm sure you've hidden things in stranger places." She has heard something of the Guardians…how could she not? Taking the gun back, she holds it for a few minutes to let it cool off before sliding it back into her shoe. Better there than elsewhere.

"Demons," she frowns. "I can only assume. His last report in was that he disappeared in some sort of portal." As Rami disarms him, she nods. "Yes. There are cells downstairs. There's…." she frowns. "There's a recently vacated one that should work for Michael."

*

The proclamation from Rocket does sooth a smile onto her lips — as does the wink from the Guardian — and she glances sidelong to Peggy before she sheaths her knife once more under her armpit. She reaches down, and leans in close to murmur something into Michael's ear. The reverse codewords reactivate the mesh in his skin — to stop the man from going into shock. Close to Michael, she murmurs something more in his ear before she leans back away. She rolls slowly up to stand over Michael. The handler looks down at Michael. "Demons," she repeats quietly.

Then she looks back to the pair, turning slightly so that she can both watch Michael and look at the two. "I ran into an old… friend… who is also an old friend of Michael. He said that Michael was on a mission… which means he was performing that mission here. We need to find out what he was out to get." Then she looks back to Peggy. "I want to call him in… Emery Papsworth. I think he may know what must be done next."

*

Rocket opens his mouth as though to say something about stranger places to hide things. Then he closes it again, because he can't really refute that. Probably the less Peggy knows, the better.

He sighs at the mention of demons, although there's a furrow of his brow as he gives it deeper consideration. What had happened here was undoubtedly unpleasant, and talk of a mission of some sort while under demon influence just sounds troubling.

"'course it's demons. Every flarkin' other thing seems to be," he murmurs, running a clawed hand over his head with another sigh. "Need me for anything else while I'm here?"

*

Eyes narrow as Rami brings up Emery Papsworth. "What do you mean an old friend?" There is a pointed note to that question. It is not exactly a no, but it certainly does sound as if this may be something that is a contention for Peggy.

To Rocket, her expression actually softens slightly. "No, I would actually like to thank you for coming to the silent alarm, however, Rocket. You were quite helpful. Maybe one day you will have your own SHIELD issued shoe gun."

*

"Could be worse, love," Rami says to Rocket. "There could be ghosts." She's seen Ghostbusters — both versions. She knows that this could be worse. She's about to say something more to Rocket before Peggy lands her with that question.

"… You mean how he's my old friend or how he's Michael's old friend?"

Then she glances slightly down toward Rocket once more, and offers a mute shrug that is accompanied by her own smile of thanks.

*

"Ghosts," Rocket snorts. He's seen Ghostbusters too. Except he's thinking by way of their weaponry, but then of course he is. Still, he's not going to ask for further trouble when New York's still up to their necks in demons.

Peggy gets a nod, the corner of his mouth quirking in a smirk at that. "Maybe." And then he can tweak it. But he's wary about the potential of such coming with a badge, and he likes very much being freelance.

"All right then, ladies," he says, flashing a smile at Rami as well before he starts to turn. If he's not needed to shoot things anymore, he'll just make his way back to…well, he'll figure out how to get back to the hangar from wherever this is.

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