Called before Congress: Mockingbird

April 25, 2015:

Bobbie Morse is called for secret testimony, despite the misgivings of the Committee.

The United States Capitol

A locked door meeting at Capitol Hill.


NPCs: Ballard, Traverstein, Jimenez, Stewart, Ross


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

The Ballard investigation has taken a bit of a different turn on its third day of testimony. On the day break a minor political scuffle happened when the investigation moved to agents who move in secret. Ballard and the bi-partisan committee wanted the President to keep to his word and keep the questioning in the public. The President, who technically called the committee, instructed that certain members would not be required to testify if their position as important members of peace keeping units would not be respected.

It was the first time President Fred Upton flip-flopped, and judging by the comments he made in public, he couldn't really give a rip.

After a day break to deal with the fallout, the committee has called Mockingbird, otherwise known as Agent 19 to testify.

"Hello Mockingbird. Thank you for coming to see us. As the President has stated, and as we have, albeit reluctantly agreed, this conversation is taken behind closed doors. Those present are on strict orders not to divulge anything regarding this testimony. Leaks will be handled by the President, and violators will be prosecuted to the furthest extent of the law."

"Miss, if you wouldn't mind, please tell us about the night which the President died."

Mockingbird, or Agent 19 of SHIELD as her documents indicate, is the picture of stone cold calm. She's wearing black slacks and a white blouse under a black blazer. She looks like an FBI Agent, right down to the tight bun her hair is bound back in. Her hair is dyed brown again, just in case any photos or surreptitious videos get taken and she wearing a pair of glasses that are completely unnecessary, but help to alter perception of facial features.

"Mister Ballard. On the night in question, SHIELD received an alert which was also passed to the Justice League: Avengers, that there was a supernatural attack occurring in Orleans, France. Being as the President was currently located in that city, the JLA mobilized immediately. Contrary to popular belief, we are not able to cross the world instantly, nor are we responsible for the safety of the American president, or any nation's leader. That falls to the Secret Service. We were responding first and foremost, to the threat to the civilian population of Orleans. Upon arrival at the scene, it became apparent that the supernatural attack was spawned by HYDRA, and focused on reaching the location of President Pershing in the Hotel Groslot." Bobbi looks among the committee members, her lips pressed together tightly, sizing up each of them for their attention and stance.

"The JLA members on scene split to ensure the safety of the civilians, head off further attack by HYDRA, and secure the president and his family. I don't believe I need to note how many lives were saved by the actions of Booster Gold in containing the fire caused by the shooting down of the president's helicopter by HYDRA." She takes a breath. "I made my way to the hotel which was surrounded by a group of creatures I can best describe as zombies. They were clearly dead, but animated, and intent on reaching the hotel and I suspect the President. I entered the building through a second floor window, and made my way to the basement where the president and his entourage had entered an escape tunnel at the behest of a hotel worker. I caught up to them just as said worker shot the President in the head. It was a fatal shot, so I subdued the suspect immediately before he could commit suicide. Captain Rogers was also present and had likewise just arrived. I cannot speak to the rest of the Avengers as I was not in their presence at the time."

"It's Senator Ballard," Sarah Traverstein the Representative from Washington State, pipes in. A lack of respect from rogue 'heroes' has been a major theme in her questioning thus far, and how Mockingbird refers to Ballard seems something she is willing to jump on.

"It's alright, Representative Traverstein," says Ballard, waving his hand dismissively.

Ballard nods to Mockingbird when she finishes. "You entered through a second floor window. The report we had filed with us from your employer states that President was clearly visible from the first floor. It seems as if you decided to make a specifically inefficient entrance."

"The first floor entrance was barricaded from the inside, and breaking a window to enter would allow the zombies, for lack of a better word, an easy entrance to the building and the innocents inside." Mockingbird tilts her head slightly and stares at the man.

"Senator Ballard, I'd like to ask you a question. Why do you think the hotel employee, who had access to the President's location for his entire stay, waited until a massive zombie attack on the city and saving him from that by moving him underground to shoot Pershing? This man was a clear HYDRA agent by his declaration of 'Hail Hydra' uttered as he fired his weapon, so he had the full backing and support of an organization that has enough funds to raise an army of the dead and operate a helicarrier of their own capable of shooting down a helicopter. So why did he specifically wait? Why did he put on the pretense of saving the President, only to gun him down the moment he had two Avengers there to see it?"

Bobbi smirks and she has not moved a muscle other than her head since she came in. There are no tells of any sort. "There is only one logical answer. This was a baited trap, set specifically for the Justice League: Avengers and the American Government. It was fully intended to make the JLA look incompetent in a duty that is actually not theirs to begin with, while throwing the American Government into a state of chaos. And this inquisition is playing right into their hands."

Ballard chuckles, "Agent 19, you ask if you can answer me a question and then you just go ahead and answer it yourself. I realize that you're eager only to make your point, but this committee is tasked with the investigation."

"However, to patronize you for just a moment, you imply that someone uttering the words, "Hail Hydra" means theyand I don't want to misquote you"mean he had the full backing and support of an organization etc etc.— That would imply that Lee Harvey Oswalt had the full backing of the Soviety Union or that Booth had the full backing of the Confederacy. I would suggest to you that just because someone says they are allied with a cause their word does not always serve as the whole truth. It never is as easy as it seems, I'm afraid. Nevertheless, your comments have been duly noted."

Speaker of the House, Hector Jimenez, is then granted the floor. "Agent 19, will you please discuss the chain of command in charge of the operation on the night at Orleans?"

"The JLA is not a military organization, Speaker Jiminez, but they do follow a mission lead in the field, much as a group of SHIELD agents of the same clearance level do so. This was an emergency situation, calling for all available hands, so it was less a chain of command and more of a cooperative group trying to save as many lives as possible. If there is a defacto leadership of the JLA, I would say it was a cooperative team of Wonder Woman, Captain America, and Hawkeye. "

Bobbi looks again at Ballard pointedly. "I'd like the record to show that the JLA was responding to a city-wide threat to the people of Orleans, France. We were not contracted nor assigned to protect President Pershing, but we did make an effort to ensure his safety in the process. That duty, however, lies first and foremost with the Secret Service. How was it that they willingly followed a hotel employee, one they clearly had not vetted nor even properly searched for weapons?"

Jimenez then adds a follow up, "So are we to imply that there was no clear chain of command as it relates to the JL:A? Would that be a true statement, Agent 19?"

"And I repeat, this is not a military organization. Nor is this a job. We do not get paid for services, we do not get bound to service. This is an organization of volunteers dedicated to helping in emergencies that are beyond the capability of civilian militaries to handle. A lone gunman in a hotel basement is not beyond the capabilities of a civilian security organization, much less a military." Bobbi sets her jaw. "This seems less like an investigation into the murder of President Pershing, and more like a witch hunt looking to shift blame to the JLA. The facts of the President's murder are as follows. He was on a trip in a foreign country with his family under the protection of the Secret Service. During an incident in the city, he was evacuated by the Secret Service, at their discretion and under their leadership, and was murdered by someone they followed and trusted was bringing them to safety. It wouldn't matter if these were zombies, or an earthquake, or an influx of Coachella groupies, and the presence of the Justice League Avengers was not the cause for lack of safety protocol on the part of the Secret Service. In fact, the JLA would not have been present if this city disaster had been natural and able to be handled by normal government resources."

"Agent 19, please answer the question. I do not wish to hold you in contempt of this committee. Was there a clear line of command in the JL:A, one that you understood during the mission you took on to save the President's life?"

"No, Speaker Jiminez. Not during the mission in question. We had to rapidly respond to a threat no one, yourselves included, can be properly prepared for. Unless you are an expert on the walking dead, sir?" Bobbi asks pointedly. "If you are looking for a leader to blame, I will take responsibility. I was the SHIELD representative as well as a member of the JLA, and I was first on the ground." Her jaw sets defiantly, as if daring them to try and take her down in this clusterfuck of incompetence.

Some of the committee members shakes their heads and Traverstein even goes so far as to roll her eyes. Ballard covers the microphone and asks Stewart a question. The congresswoman from California shakes her head. Ballard shrugs and then nods to the the man at the end of the dais. Pete Ross of Kansas is the next person to speak. "Can you shed light onto what happened with Supergirl and the HYDRA carrier?"

"I'm afraid not, Congressman Ross. I was on the ground, then inside and underneath the Hotel Groslot during the incident in question. I held faith that the rest of the team were trying to save civilians, which they were." Mockingbird replies.

Ross looks over towards Ballard and nods his head. "Does anyone have any further questions for Agent 19?" One by one they all shake their heads, including Representative Traverstein, surprisingly, who has only said a few words through the entire proceeding.

"Very well. Thank you, Agent 19. You may see yourself out."

"Before I go, I want to make a statement," Bobbi begins. "I have been a SHIELD agent since I was a teenager. I have dedicated my life, through science and through combat, to helping people, saving lives, and protecting the innocent. I am an independent woman who stands behind her choices in life, and uses that life for the aid of others. I am proud to be a member of SHIELD and of the JLA, as well as a scientist with a doctorate. I gave up my life, literally and figuratively, to do these things. I have died on the table, and I have died in legal record. I have sacrificed everything to protect others. I would hope, as representatives of our citizens, that you are willing to do the same." Mic drop. She walks out.

"Yes," says Ballard with a nod, "You've made many statements here today. Thank you Agent 19." Even as she's speaking, some members of the committee are gathering their belongings, and clearly not listening.

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