Uncle Sam Wants YOU

May 25, 2014:

Captain America recruits some people.

A Mexican restaurant in Harlem.


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

The invitation came to Sara and Paul through an email to the latter. Very deep throat style from an email address with various letters and numbers; any traceback would be fruitless. It was a simple message, the American military would like to speak with him and his partner involving a very important matter.

Because the email wasn't immediately returned, a man dressed in a black coat and tie with a pair of sunglasses hand delivered the message, this time to Sara. A simple envelope was handed over with a curt nod and nothing else.

An address of some Hispanic restaurant in Harlem. 2 p.m.

That's all it said.

"The government never likes taking no as an answer." Paul noted looking over the letter Sara handed him once she read it. "I guess that email was legit." Not that it would have made any difference to his ignoring it. Emails are easy to send and what the government considers important ain't necessarily so. But hand delivered is another matter. And so he's at the restaurant with his partner.

Sara has done her share of undercover work. Enough to recognize when something fishy is going on, at least. And enough not to particularly like being handed things by men in suits and sunglasses. On the other hand? She's entirely too curious not to go to the meeting and find out what's going on. She's just not going unarmed. "At least it's in public," she murmurs to Paul as they approach the restaurant. "Of course, whether that's because they don't want to start something or they don't want us to start something is up for grabs."

Right. An order like that, to a restaurant. Strange place, but it might have been a semi-business meeting.

When Agent Harper shows up, it is in semi-formal attire. A business shirt, a red tie, black pants, and a black jacket, and red shades.

Tucking the red shades into a shirt pocket, Roy eyes the restaurant. He'd been told to meet there, but who it was he was supposed to meet, he wasn't sure of yet. Deep breaths, Harper.

And opening the restaurant door, Roy steps in.

Inside the restaurant, the wooden floors are old, as are the chairs and the table. There's a mini-bar on the side of the diner where Hector takes orders for his cooks in the back. Hector is sipping on a Corona and watching international sports highlights in Spanish. Even though it's still spring, Hector is sporting straight summer wear with his form fitting tight white tanktop that stretches over his large frame. The shirt is both practical and allows him to show off his massive amounts of tattoos that run down his arms. He's in need of a shave and a haircut, aside from the top of his head which is downright shiny.

The lone person in the restaurant not named Hector, Romero, or Jaimie, is a familiar Caucasian man with neatly combed blonde hair, a white t-shirt, bomber jacket, and pair of blue jeans over black boots. A pair of aviator glasses is worn over his eyes as he's clearly been waiting for a while.

Being early for everything is important to Steve.

As the group makes their entrance, Steve removes the glasses and looks up at each of them. On the table is an untouched verde burrito with rice. "Do you guys like Mexican food? I didn't even ask because I'm not sure that would be appropriate, but Hector makes a pretty mean burrito."

"You responsible for this, Harper?" Paul asks as Roy steps in just moments after he and Sara. First he sics kids on them and now the government? But then Steve speaks up and Paul's expression changes to something more respectful. After their initial meeting with Steve, he did his homework and discovered just who the man with the shield was. "A burrito sounds fine, sir."

Sara looks to Roy and Paul once they're inside, hanging back by the door for a moment until she's gotten a look at the place. "Paul likes anything that fits on a plate," she finally answers with a brief, wry smile for her partner. "You've probably saved me a stop at six food carts on the way back to the precinct." She moves to take a seat, pushing up the sleeves of her jacket as she does.

"I've got nothing to do with this," Roy replies, as he straightens the tie, and adjusts the jacket once he's noticed who brought them here. Irreverent he may be, but one doesn't just not straighten up his act when there's a living legend in front of him. At least for now.

"Sir," Roy greets, as he takes a seat. "I like Mexican, but I'll take a beef enchilada with chili con carne."

"They're great, Officer Manning," responds Steve. "I started coming here in January. It's a long trek from Brooklyn, but whenever I'm up here I try to stop by. I don't know if you're a red sauce guy or a green sauce guy, but either way the bill is on Uncle Sam. So even if you say no to me about this, you'll still get a free meal out of the deal."

Steve nods and smiles to Sara as she takes a seat, "Well, they give me a big budget for this sort of thing. I hope it's enough."

"Sold," Cap says to Roy and he nods to Hector who starts yelling in Spanish as he goes to the back of the restaurant.

"In Arabic and African cultures, sharing a meal is meant as a sign of respect, even between enemies. I know this whole thing is kind of secretive, so I hope that puts you at ease. In any event, I'm Captain Steve Rogers, and I'm here to recruit you. I'm going to ask you each that anything I say to you here that you keep it to yourself-no matter what your eventual answer is."

"Simply put, a lot of good Americans died yesterday for doing nothing other than advocating for peace. Our nation is going to respond, and we're going to respond soon. At my disposal is a small group of US Army Rangers as well as a command force, partially of the military's choosing and partially of my own. You three are the 'my own' portion of the command force I'm looking to put together."

"Spicy." Paul answers as he takes a seat. "And some nachos would be good too." he adds to Hector. As Steve starts his pitch, he nods his agreement to the request for his silence. He can't help but raise his brows as he discovers just what the pitch is. "I've heard the news, of course. But I can't help but ask why us. Or rather, why me?" He doesn't need to wonder about Roy's affiliation and just assumes the government knows about Sara's magic tentacled armor. "I haven't been active duty in over a decade and my reserve status has ended." Which is, no doubt, why they're asking and not ordering.

"I'll try whatever the house special is," Sara turns toward the bar for her own order, flashing a smile that fades away when she turns back to the table. "We're usually the ones who show up after the crime's been committed, Captain," she says slowly, looking between Roy and Paul again. "I know Paul's ex-military. Roy's government. I'm just NYPD." And, despite her steady face, really not a great liar.

"Thanks, sir," Roy replies as he removes his jacket, and begins unbuttoning his shirt's cuffs so that he can roll them up. "And I don't think there's even a question, sir. I'm in." In that particular situation, there wasn't any question for him who was the aggressor and who wasn't.

His attention shifts towards Sara and Paul. Paul, he wasn't so sure of in a non-combat situation, since he knew little about his background, but Sara… Sara had an ace up her sleeve. The question was, did Cap know it?

Cap nods towards Paul. "I thought you might ask that. In addition to your service to the country during Bosnia, Officer Manning, you're also skilled at interrogation. The second reason is that SHIELD has asked me to put together my part of the command team with people I trust. The thing is, I'm pretty new to SHIELD myself-I'm actually pretty new to everything. And you three, plus the kid in the sky are the only people I've really fought alongside that aren't dead. My goal for your, Officer Manning, if you accept, is to take the witness and interrogate him. I'm not intimately informed about whatever happened at Guantanamo Bay over the course of the last decade-only what I've been able to put together on the Google, but I'd really like to do this the right way before I'm forced to turn over al-Tawhid to the rest of the military, which is something I imagine will eventually happen."

"The house special is Carne Adovada, and its to die for, Officer Pezzini." When she goes into her lie, Cap can't help but recoil in a chuckle and he shakes his head. "No you're not, Officer. You're anything but 'just' anything. I asked the Director about secrets and identities and those sorts of things. You know why I've asked you, but I'd just as soon not get into it."

Steve nods to Roy, "Harper I'm glad to hear it. We've got another bowman in our group, but frankly I've never seen him shoot under duress. I've seen you shoot under duress, and I don't like unknowns."

"As far as the officers go, we may need to work with the NYPD to get you out of your current investigations. I've authorized a plan to have the FBI talk to the NYPD to request your assistance in a national investigation. Technically, I guess, that's true."

Paul's silent as Steve explains and continues to be for a few moments after the man's done as he consider what's been said. "I understand the need for an official response to what happened. I even agree with it. If you can arrange things with the force, I'm in. I don't know how much help I'll be as an interrogator though. Criminals are a different breed than terrorist fanatics."

"Coordination shouldn't be a problem," Sara shakes her head, fingers tapping on the edge of the table. "I've worked with the feds before, paperwork should still be in order. We've got two other big investigations underway right now, but one's waiting for DNA and the other's waiting on toxicology, so there's not going to be any movement on those for another week or two." She takes a deep breath, letting it out on a sigh before turning back to the bar. "Can I get a Corona over here?"

She gives Steve a long look when she turns back, considering. "I guess it was too much to think some things would stay under wraps the way things work today. We can skip talking about it, but if you know what it is, then you know it won't stay that way if I come along."

"I'll have an horchata," Roy calls out, adding to Sara's order, before he turns back to Steve, leaning back, and then eyeing Sara, before turning back towards Steve. "So, if this is a SHIELD operation, I assume we've got international sanction?"

Hector eventually interrupts the conversation by bringing out the burritos to the men and the carne adovada for Sara, the latter is a spicy chili-style pork served over rice. Just a split second later, there is an ice bucket filled with bottled water, bottled soda, and beer. Cap passes a Corona to Sara and takes a Modelo for himself. The horchata for Roy comes out separately.

"Well, I'll be sure to handle the red tape, Officer Manning. As far as how much help you'll be, I'm going to have to go ahead and respectfully disagree with you. If I didn't think you were qualified or ready, I wouldn't have asked you to come."

Cap chuckles at Sara, "I really don't want to get into your business or tell you how to live your life. What decisions you make regarding all of that is going to come down to you. For me, it's easy. I have no secrets and no family to protect. Heck, I don't even have a lot of friends. So me telling you how to go about things wouldn't be fair. Just know I'll support you in however it plays out."

"That's a great question, Agent Harper. The United Nations and all its operations came after my time, so the particulars on that I'm sort of leaving to the State Department and the President. My guess is that while our allies are going to support us in word, it will be something more tough to back us with any forces given the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Paul just nods at what Steve says. He's willing to give it a go if they are. "They can slap a security classification on it high enough that only the brass will see it, Sara. Make that a condition of your agreement. That way anyone in the field who happens to see won't be able to talk about it. The force won't find out unless you want them to."

"NYPD isn't," Roy observes. "But Checkmate is. SHIELD is. Hell… there are special teams for this. Think of this as a case where you're being reassigned to a case more suited for your skillsets."

Looking back at Steve, Roy tilts his head. "Right. If this is a UN-sanctioned act, you might want to find a few less Americans, too. Otherwise…"

Steve looks between the NYPD partners and sits back with the Modelo in his hand. "Everyone involved in this mission will understand that those involved will have secrets that need to be maintained. In addition, the Rangers will be separate from the command group. I can't make any promises for things I can't see coming, Officer Pezzini, but I'm committed that when our mission is successful, you'll be able to go back to your normal life."

Cap takes a swig of beer and swallows it as he considers Roy's words, "Have you got anyone in mind? Frankly, I'm not very concerned about the political fallout. It's not my job or my concern. I'm only concerned with finding al-Tawhid, any of his men, and seeing them put on trial."

Paul shrugs at Sara's comment. "There's always something else you could be doing." he points out. "Any time you read the paper or listen to the news, you can find a dozen. And you don't go rushing off to do them. It's no different than someone asking you directly. You can say no. But whether you do or don't, you can still take the precuation of having them classify things."

"That's sort of what I'm saying, Roy," Sara grimaces faintly, starting in on her food. "I do this, and I'm making a decision about where I'm going. Because this?" She lifts her right arm, shaking the bracelet there. "It's not going anywhere." A few bites later, and she looks up again. "Besides, at least he wants to put them on trial," she adds, pointing toward Steve with her fork.

"Yeah. If he's keeping track of where they're going once they get into the system, I'll trust him," Roy nods, as he picks up his fork, and beginning to eat on his own. "Take your time, making your decision, though. Both of you."

"Well, that's the thing, guys. We need a few days to train, but we're talking about leaving the country on Sunday. I'd need your answers by Friday at the latest, and even then…that would make me nervous," Cap answers honestly. "I absolutely want to see him tried. Tried. Convicted. And sentenced."

"I'm in." Paul doesn't really need more time to consider. A living legend is asking him to volunteer and while he's not anywhere near as patriotic as Cap, the answer's going to be yes.

"I'm not turning down Captain America," Sara snorts to Roy. "I mean, come on. That's like kicking puppies and yelling at your mother or something. With a side of putting ketchup on your hotdog. Wow, this stuff is good," she says between bites, reaching for her beer to wash down the spice. Afterward, she lets out a breath, nodding to Paul's words. "I'm in, too."

"Well then, Cap, lead on. But after lunch, if you don't mind." Saluting Steve with a forkful of enchilada chili con carne, Roy begins eating.

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