1963-07-06 - 99 Problems.. and Peggy has one
Summary: Director Carter sends for Dr. Pinkerton for a candid discussion about Armin Zola and Operation Paperclip.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
peggy poindexter 

While Peggy hadn't actually gotten the chance to meet the newish doctor among the staff, she'd heard good things and interesting things. And read that report. Finally settled back in after two weeks in Geneva, the woman has sent one of the runners down to the medical level with a message that Agent Poindexter should join the director in her office at Poindexter's leisure. Peggy is there now, settled behind her desk, several personnel files laid out in front of her and a cup of cold tea to her side.

However, it's not the files she's working on — its a shoe. She's got a size 10 men's shoe in her hand and is very carefully working on laying something into the heel of it. Maybe it's an experiment. Maybe the 40-something director has just gone nuts. Either way, she looks utterly exhausted behind a careful layer of make up and red lips.


"No no no. We do not want to discard the brain matter." Dr. Pinkerton gently scolds. "We want to conserve it. Careful with scraping. Ah. Good. We will put Mr. Carter to good use."

(Mr. Carter bears no relation to Director Carter, of course.)

The summons to meet with the director was met with surprise and afterwards, apprehension. Everyone secretly knows that when 'at your leisure' is used, to American's that is, it really means post haste. Soon to now. Or five minutes ago.

Clue received! Annamena doesn't waste time, putting on her best labcoat and her shiny new badge, buffing it up with a little bit of her breath, glasses thrown on and hair politely fixed as she rushes out of the office in breakneck speeds. Speeds that.. really weren't all that fast, but it was enough to keep her winded.

There was a soft knock upon the door, and much like Fury, Dr. Pinkerton just enters. No wait for a word, for if she was called upon she was -there-.

"Director Carter? You requested my presence?"


It's just a few moments as Peggy finishes with the tweezers, ever so carefully putting that wire into the show, her dark eyes determined on the tiny bit of work in front of her. The doctor gets to wait and watch the cobbling surgery, but as soon as Peggy is done, she flashes a red lipped smile up and over the shoe to the woman. "Indeed. I do hope you didn't rush, I did say at your leisure." British. She's painfully British. When she says such things, she means them.

Never the less, they are together now. Peggy rests the shoe down on her desk top and stands smoothly. She's an hourglass woman, still soft around the edges from at least one child, a touch of gray in her hair these days and that exhaustion behind her eyes, but she still has pure command about her presence as she steps around the desk to meet the woman. She extends her hand. "Director Margaret Carter… It's good to finally meet you. Shut the door behind you, yes, give us some privacy?"


She practically ran.

It was easily told by the way her chest rises and falls with a quickened motion, but she gives herself a moment to breathe it out. It was clear that she barely even passed her field testing, and was very, very thankful she was stuck in a lab. Very thankful. Extremely, thankful. And very thankful that Director Carter was taking her time with her task.

"I did, Ma'am." She stands up straight then, a rather wide grin marring her features as the woman stands. This is how Dr. Pinkerton shows her respect. (Read: Fear) Wide smiles and a display of bubbily sunshine that could or could not be infectious or off-putting.

As the woman approaches, Dr. Pinkerton moves, just a slight pace back to keep that personal barrier there, yet not too far for her own hand to reach out to lightly grasp the Director's hand in a slight limp-wristed shake. Wimp. She reads wimp. Through and through.

"It is my honor Director Carter, truly!" Bubbles, remember! But as she withdraws her hand, she turns almost immediately to move towards the door, one hand upon the handle and the other upon it's surface, pushing the door until it joins with it's binds and a soft click is heard.

"If this is about my report, Ma'am, please allow me the liberty to explain?"


A single brow arches as she gets that weak touch of a shake from the doctor. How in the *world* did this woman pass her fields? Peggy takes note of a few things, her eyes dropping, catching the still slightly quickened motion of the woman's ribs, the way she stands, even the cut of her clothes. Poindexter might get the feeling that Peggy has just taken her entirely apart with her eyes in 2.5 seconds, but then the director has been a spy for over 20 years. That's what she does. Her smile never wavers, though.

"…Ah…the report was low on the list, in truth, but please. Explain. And sit before you have a coronary. In the future, Dr. Pinkerton, trust that I mean what I say and take your time up those stairs, yes?" Peggy tosses her a wink that is almost teasing, before she leads the way over to the little couch area and folds down into sitting herself, trying to put the woman at a touch more ease.

"…Tea…Scotch? Do you smoke? Get comfortable, and explain…" Peggy slides an empty ashtray over to the woman. The office doesn't smell like smoke, Peggy probaby not a smoker herself, but it is only polite.


Self-consciousness was a virtue that Poindexter really couldn't afford. But damn if Peggy didn't stare her down and nearly makes her silently regret the fact that she actually took this job for a moment. It was clear that there were other unspoken of elements in her file, some that were probably only meant for her eyes only which probably could give a testament of how she actually managed to pass. But, that was neither here nor there!

As the door was closed, Anna turns to give the Director a grand ol' smile, thankful that it was all low on the list. That she wasn't being reprimanded or possibly fired. SHIELD was paying for her college! What kind of job would even offer -that-?!

"Yes. Sorry Ma'am.." Anna wheezes out, immediately moving to a chair opposite of the desk, flopping into it with a lack of grace, her fingers pinching slightly at her nose as she tries to time her breathing. "It'd take a tea if it's alright? And I promise to take my time next time, or.. at my leisure. I was just afraid that it would be next week by the time I gained your audience and I didn't want to show disrespect." She rolls her shoulders, then straightens up.

"Turns out, Madam Director, that I seem to anger people whenever I offer up the truth of a situation. Well, I see that now it's my version of the truth. As such, I've enrolled myself into sensitivity training and I would hope that it would prolong my time under your employ." She looks serious then. "And the abnormals were fairly nice to me. I do wish to repay them the favor in some kind of way. But.. I also would like to outfit our laboratories to benefit our studies of them."


"Tea it is." Peggy doesn't stand on ceremony, no buzzing her secretary on the intercom to make them both tea. No, Peg does it herself. She stands up and moves to the little booze cart — which also carries a tea tray, and fills up the strange electric kettle device Howard made her with water from the pitcher below. It flips on and is boiling in an uncomfortably short amount of time. That's probably not safe. But it hasn't burned down the office yet, so it works! SHe pours out a good bit of it over two bags of tea into a pot — she'll be having tea as well. She listens as she's making the tea, brow remaining arched at the commentary.

".. Well, first, we do appreciate being frank in this office, but beyond the doors sometimes, yes, diplomacy is necessary. I am glad you are taking such training. As for the 'abnormals'… I would not even mind recruiting a few, so making friends would be good. Find something you wish to take them as gift and charge it to the offices here. We'll cover it. Since they recognize your face, you can continue the outreach, yes? Maybe get one or two willing to come to the labs.

Peggy then sighs, reaching over to pour them both out some of that tea. She pauses, though, as it's not quite steeped enough. She'll have to wait. "But… you are soon to have other assistance in the lab. We've got some… Friends coming over. From Europe. A project called Operation Paperclip. It'll be publicly announced soon but… I felt it best to give you an early heads up, since you will be one of the departments working directly with these… new additions." Something in Peggy's expression look like she wants to puke."


Those small moments where Anna was allowed to relax, still pinching at her nose beneath her glasses, counting subtily upon her fingers, her eyes lifting to watch the backside of Peggy as she begins to make the tea. Perhaps then, is when she notices that she could have been exhausted. Even though she carries herself with poise, there were little nuiances that could be seen. The pictures of Peggy showed her with a straight back and stalwart, feminine shoulders. Commanding, much like now. But there is the slightest incline there..

And that tech! Pinkerton braces herself briefly, but all seems well, especially once the tea was quickly finished and left to steep.

"I do not think that I'm in the position of recruitment, but if I am allowed, Madam Director, I could pass along a word or an application?" She shrugs faintly. "I can find something that could fit them to the frame but that would require some bit of study. I suppose I could use the stealth training (that she failed horribly at) to figure something out.." Her eyes nearly grow vacant, but then she perks up. Now was the time for official business.

She listens accordingly, reaching out to take the tea even though it wasn't finished, gripping the string to dip the bag idly. "Operation Paperclip?" She questions, her brows shooting upright. "I.. well.." She grunts a little, leaning forward. "I see that you are less than pleased with the new liason. What is Operation Paperclip and is there anything that I am to look out for when working with the new additions to SHIELD?"


"They're Nazis. Or… they used to be." Peggy doesn't even bother to hide her hate. She picks up the file of a certain Arnim Zola off her desk, the Swiss scientist who did his damndest to replicate the super solider serum, and brings it over to Poindexter. She lets the file hit the coffee table right in front of the woman. "This man will be joining medical to work on replicating Erskine's serum… by order of NATO and the US Government. Apparently, they consider almost 20 years enough to… well, that these men have done their time and the world could use their minds again. I find it sickening… but…" Apparently, someone has tied Peggy's hands.

Having set that file down in front of Anna, she sinks down into the couch again and leans back. Exhaustion really didn't begin to cover it, even if Peggy hid it well. The anger over Paperclip, other issues… It's been a long few weeks. She then sighs and does actually pour them out some tea. There is sugar on the little tray, but no milk. "…and yes, do let the … Mutants… know that we are taking applications." She murmurs after a calmer moment, her mind jumping back to the last loose thread of their previous conversation.



There wasn't a question behind that word. What used to be a happy demeanor went from one hundred to zero in a matter of seconds. Her fingers curl into a slight little fist as she fights to try to regain that hint of calm, her teeth clenching and grinding against her teeth. She counts internally, her lips nearly curling into a frown as she finally speaks. "They're not going to like me, Director Carter. I don't think they like black people at all."

The file that was smacked upon the table in front of her was taken and looked over, the tea forgotten for now, her fingers thumbing through the sheets as she studies each page quietly. "There are plenty brilliant minds within our own community to help. I.. this is.."

She breathes out, putting on a cheerful smile, the file closed soon after and rest upon the table as she watches and.. well shakes her head. "I'm sure we'll come out ahead on this, Madam Director. Everything is going to be on the up and up and I'll keep close watch on our new additions and report to you anything untoward." She was confident. About the mutants? That.. seems shaky.

"The mutant that is named Logan seems like he would be a great fit for active duty. But I am still unsure that he's alive after the tuss up."


"…I know. I know. I just spent the last two weeks screaming my head off in every diplomatic way possible in Geneva trying to make them see the folly of this plan. But…" Peggy shakes her head quietly, staring down at that file of the man who, if Poindexter actually reads it, Peggy had a personal hand in putting behind bars in the first place. And now he gets to work for her. She exhales a slow, shaky breath, trying to calm her blood pressure and put down the anger she's been feeling for weeks over this.

"…I know you are over taxed as it is. We don't have enough resources and now we must play babysitter. WE… are handling the security of them. An off-site building has been purchased. You will need to work with Zola in the labs there at least two days a week. ANd, yes, I expect full and routine reports… Otherwise, we all carry on as we have been. You have two weeks to prepare before he joins us. I wanted to give you… warning, at least. And time to study the file." Peggy explains gently to the woman. "And if he says one damn thing about the color of your skin, you tell me and I will ensure that he has an…unfortunate lab accident." Peggy states that through slightly gritted teeth. She does not seem to be joking.

Another slow breath. Her head was spinning. Surely just exhaustion and anger. She slips forward to scoop up her own tea before actually slouching back in the couch. Not the best first exposure to new staff, but it's been that kind of few weeks. "…Keep your ears open about the other man. Hopefully he made it." Peggy adds quietly, after a few calmer heartbeats. She then pauses, like she's on the edge of saying something else, but she doesn't quite yet have the full push to bring it up yet.


It was all very much to take in. Even listening to Peggy, Poindexter feels.. tired. Worn out. Nearly defeated. The smile still doesn't deplete, her lips pursing to blow out a breath of air as she brings her hands up ro tub away at her temples, "I've learned to make due with what I have, Madam Director. I will not lax in my responsibilities, and any small thing that I do notice I'll report. I'll create a diary for your eyes only." Yes, that would be the best way to handle it. Everyone believes women and girls have diaries. She may even encode it.

The threat was slightly frightening, but it actually warmed her heart. Madam Director was on her side! Though her interest in the other man was seemingly.. odd.. it was slowly making since to the little woman. "I shall do my best." She states. "Two weeks, right?" She finally stands, moving towards the tea to begin to assemble, three sugars, left to molt and spun. "I can try to find the man in one."


"Two weeks. He's still in Europe, in prison. It's… an ordeal to get all the paperwork to get a war criminal pardoned." Peggy states coldly, still not making any attempt to hide her opinions that it should be an even harder ordeal. She exhales slowly through her nose and leans forward, grabbing her tea and just taking a long sip of it in efforts to just calm and clear her head. That was the goal of tea, correct? Her dark eyes stare ahead for another few moments, fighting with herself before she speaks again, more quietly.

"…the last matter is of a personal nature and… Truly cannot leave this office. I trust I have your complete confidence, yes? There are laws… Doctor patient privillege, yes, in this state?" If Anna felt studied before, Peggy's eyes are practically reading her mind on her face right now. Every little twitch or hint.


"I'd possibly stall. But I assume that you're not handling the paperwork?" If it were Anna, she'd stall as long as she could, possibly even pushing everything to a month out.

She finally sips her tea, her eyes cut over the teacup towards the file upon the desk, her head tilting faintly as she draws herself closer again, unable to resist the urge to thumb over the file.

The question was nearly lost in translation as she glances towards the Director with her brows high, curious. "Why yes. I've often kept the musing of my live subjects quiet. Even though most of them decree that I lack the bedside manner they still find the need to speak to me as if I were their confidant. Not to mention, I believe it is highly illegal to share personal information about a patient to another person. A woman in my unique position could be lynched."

While, that may seem like a joke, it really was not.

"But you have my complete confidence, Madam Director. Nothing shall leave this office."


As Peg notices the woman tempted to finger through the file, she nods towards it, "I did not pull out the file so it could collect dust. That is yours to read. Please return it to my office when you are finished but… Do study your assignment. He is one of the most dangerous men I've ever met. And no, I can't delay the paperwork and further, sadly…" When she's finished giving permission, if Anna does pick up the file, she'll find a brilliant Swiss doctor who didn't just work for the Nazis, but then for HYDRA. Captured when the Red Skull was destroyed, by Captain America, Peggy and the Howling Commandos. The medical experimentation crimes he's guilty of alone are horrific.

But, Peggy has given the woman permission to take the file, so she doesn't expect it all to be read here. She's brought up other matters and risks may be taken. The director sighs, pushing one hand back through her hair to pull it out of her face as she considers how to bring this up. Very few things make Director Carter uncomfortable. This is one of those things. Finally, she dives in, her voice quiet, even and emotionless. "I have… not been feeling the best as of late. Exhausted — beyond the jetlag exhausted. Uncomfortable. And I can't stand the scent of cigars even more than usual. I would like to rule out… well… That I'm not coming down with… the flu, or something."


"I will. It should take only a few hours to assimlate the information. I'll have the rest of the crew that Agent Fury assigned to clean the lab to continue on without me. At least, the office is finished.."

She muses on this for half a second, then directs her attention to the older woman. Oddly enough, as she speaks, her eyes were already shifting towards the picture of Captain America, pointing with his shield as everyone else looks on..

"There are only a few things that we can rule out at this stage with just a cursory look alone." It was then, that Anna decides to sit, one leg crossing over the other. At this moment, Margaret was no longer Madam Director. She was a patient.

"I can hypothesize a few things given your age and your state of posture. But that would require a very invasive procedure in which I think you should be scheduled for post haste." She clears her throat, then takes a sip. Not in the least nonplussed.

"For starters. Have you been sexually active as of late?"


While there are photos of Captain America on the wall, there are other pictures on her desk. A dark haired man with a crutch — Division Head Sousa, in fact — and one of a painfully young dark haired girl that looks rather a perfect mix of Peggy and Daniel. Small touches of personal life, but they are there. Peggy has never made it hidden around the office she's married to another SHIELD agent — they both consistently act with nothing but professionalism and have earned both their places here. Their marriage was never relevant inside these walls.

Until it very much was.

That last question actually makes the director shift a touch uncomfortably. She doesn't look surprised or offended. Not even in denial. The doctor is speaking to a woman who is smart enough to have her own suspicions, especially having been through it once. She clears her throat quietly, jut a touch uncomfortable now. "…I.. am a married woman. I do get a touch of enjoyment in my life." She states with a thin smirk to her lips. "…But, at my age…I figured it best to… Rule out any other… Concerns. Maybe it is just jetlag."


There was a little pause at Peggy's shift, one brow raising and the other falling as she decides to take a sip of her tea. In that moment, she does take stock of the entire room, her attention so focused and narrow minded that she -does- miss the other photos of Captain America, her husband and the young child. Cute! Poindexter internally squees.

"At your age, it is a delicate thought, I admit. But there are also other factors to consider. Cancer becomes prevalent in women who have experienced childbirth through a number of factors." While second hand smoke isn't a thing…

"I'd like a full medical history delivered to me sealed. I would also like to take a look of missions you were on recently that could have possibly exposed you to harmful substances. If there is anything that you've eaten that was a touch different or tasted funny, I would like to know. And a description of the taste."

"It may seem like it's overboard, but you're Madam Director. And this is important."


Now this was a woman she could respect. Efficent and thorough. The list of items the woman is requesting so firmly actually seems to make Peggy feel better about things. Maybe it's not what she suspects. Maybe it's poison! That'd be easier, right? "I'll have it all on your desk in the morning. But other than the two weeks in Geneva, being director doesn't much afford me opportunities for field work. I fear you will find my file more boring than many." Peggy offers with a wan sort of smile. That is meant to be a joke. Mostly.

She watches Poindexter for another few heartbeats, just considering how badly the woman may be taking this. "Thank you for being… understanding. And keeping this between us. Best not to give anyone else anything to worry about quite yet, yes"


Its always poison!

Or Cancer. Could be cancer.

"It still affords you luxuries that most of us do not have the chance to have." Ann points out. She does rise from her chair, taking the last few drinks of her tea to politely settle it upon the tray.

"You're very welcome, Madam Director. And as an aside, it's no ones need to worry but your own. I'm certainly not worried. And if someone else other than us two are worried than you should possibly sweep this office for transmitted devices." Ann laughs. And it was a laugh that was obviously fake, but there was a little backdrop of happiness in such a trepid time.

"I shall have the lab prepped in two days time. Please clean and dress appropriately for your pelvic exam." She reaches over to take the file, hold it close to her chest as she approaches the door. The horrid thing about Ann, is when she's done. She's done. There weren't even any goodbyes.

What a dork.


The woman blinks as Poindexter just…Ups and leaves like that. She's about to say something more but, apparently, the conversation is finished. Peggy just gives a brief nod, "Thank you, Doctor…" She calls after the woman's departing back, but it's too little, too late. She then just sighs, sinking back into the couch a bit more as she stares at the ceiling.. "Bloody hell." She mutters to herself. Then it will need to be back to work.


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