1963-09-27 - Wolves and Women
Summary: Peggy checks on the Hellmouth and encounters some wolves. And a woman. It's weird.
Related: Once Upon a Hellmouth Plot
Theme Song: None

The Hellmouth has gotten considerably quieter since it first opened. SHIELD set up their perimeter, and it has been met with mixed effect. Overall, the beasts have stalled in their emergence from the portal that is hell.

Yet the situation remains, relatively, reflexive — always turning somewhat grim when the lights go out for the night.

Which is probably why there's more agents as the day gives way to night.

Tonight, however, strange anticipation seems to fill the air. An extra chill, an extra excitement, bubbles beneath the surface — almost as if something unanticipated longs to engage with the world at large.


While Peggy has checked in a few times before, she's not there every night. Still, something just… tingled in the back of her mind tonight. A worry? Paranoia? Who knows. Either way, on her way home from the office to Long Island, she decided to take a long, winding way home and go up town so she could stop by the guarded area. Her elegant Aston Martin can practically be recognized blocks away and the police tape is raised for her so she can drive up to one of the taped off roads.

She parks her boat of a car smoothly and swings out, high heels clicking quiet against sidewalk as she looks over the place to see who is on duty tonight and who might be in charge. She's also taking in the suspiciously quiet area, any hint of something wrong not totally clear right now. That makes her frown. It was simply too damn quiet. She hugs her trench coat across her hour glass frame a bit tighter, cinching belt at her waist a bit more firmly before walking deeper into the perimeter.


The sound would be normal in more rural areas, yet in the city, the long drawn out howl that echoes through the park is, at least, moderately disconcerting.

Yet the chorus that follows, almost like a choir, ripples like a crescendo running over the park-scape. Feral, angry voices howl at the moon.

Yips suggest something is amiss deeper into the forested area of the park.


"Well, shit. Everyone, eyes out, weapons out, get ready…" Peggy calls to the few agents she's seen in the area. This was beefed up? It suddenly didn't feel like they had enough. But, Peggy hasn't ever shyed away from a fight and she reaches into her jacket, drawing her .38 from beneath her shoulder and getting it ready to fire.

Her body turns out, stepping deeper into the park, dark eyes scanning the shadows for the first hint of what is coming from the forested area. She hugs the side walk, pacing slowly deeper into those shadows, her gun constantly sweeping before her, ready to take down whatever might jump out of the darkness.


Oddly, as Peggy nears the area, and her paces slow, the world silences. Even the sounds of New York itself seem to fall away to the soft darkness in the depth of the Park. The stillness of the world around is cut by a rustle in the brush just ahead.

And then another towards Peggy's right.

And then a third to her left.

A sniffling sound cuts into the silence.

And then.


The bushes seem to still. The howling and yips have ceased.


"Here…little moggy…come out come out where ever you are…" Peggy's clipped, quiet accent calls into the darkness as she takes another step. She jumps slightly as she hears the rustles on either side of her. That's enough to make her stop and take a few steps back, trying to ensure they cannot surround her, but it might be too late. Then things are very still. Does it mean they are getting ready to pounce? Peggy's adrenaline kicks in double time now.

While going down the park pathways might not have been the wisest decision, Peggy's made it. Now, she needs something at her back so she can't be totally surrounded. She doesn't have a partner at her side right now. So, she slips up against the closest thing she can find, a huge old oak tree, stump just about the size of her shoulders. At least it will protect her back as her gun sweeps to all other areas.


The silence continues.

As does the stillness.

Until two large yellow eyes reflect through the greenery of the bush just in front of her.

And as those eyes open, as if on cue, a large black wolf, hiding amongst the shadow on her right, pounces towards her, growling as it moves.

Sharp canines snap wildly towards Peggy, rabid, and wild when the black wolf moves. On her left, a second grey wolf skulks behind its companion, aiming to rip on the woman — wildly seeking out some kind of flesh upon which to make purchase.


Peggy is still one of the sharpest shots in SHIELD. A week doesn't go by where she doesn't visit the range at least two or three times, often more. So, the moment she sees large yellow eyes, her hand gets ready to kick into gear, but it's the sound of a beast pouncing that actually draws the muzzle of her gun and the first shot into the meat of the wolf's body. "BACK UP, NOW!" She yells down the path, really hoping she's not too far from other agents.

As the other wolf pounces, she doesn't panic, but she almost mechanically jerks her gun in its direction and opens fire again. Each shot is methodical, meant for head or heart, done with a marksman's precision. She doesn't move from her tree, not running like prey. Hopefully she will prove the bigger predator before something gets its teeth in her. It's not likely, though.


The first wolf whimpers and recoils at the shot as it goes through the beast's leg. The whimpering continues as the second takes a bullet to the brain, dying instantly. Oddly, however, the beast on the ground, the one that had, perhaps acted as the biggest surprise, drags itself forward to assault Peggy again. Despite the injury, despite the loud resounding bang of the firing gun (twice over), the wolf bites at her pant leg, pulling hard. In fact, the beast is so weakened, that its efforts are lacklustre at best, yet determination seems to continue as it remains relatively undeterred.

Another rustle can be heard in the bush.

The sound repeats on her right.

That pair of yellow eyes opens once again, and a smokey wolf leaps from the bush to nip at Peggy once again.


"Bloody hell!" Peggy half growls, at least her bullets ARE effective on the things. That's if she lands the proper shot, and her second shot was the only one that really mattered. She winces as teeth sink into her leg but it doesn't stop her. She jerks her gun around in the direction of the already injured wolf and coughs out another shot. However, she doesn't have time to really catch her breath or stop. More are coming.

Where the HELL is her back up? Annoyed eyes widen, but she has no time to look for them as a smokey wolf comes out and she fires straight into the meat of it's skull. It's moving, though, so who knows if her first shot will hit directly home. She doesn't have time to line up and breath, she's got to fire as fast as wolves move, and that's not a good amount to focus.


The wolf on the ground only relents as it becomes lifeless under the influence of Peggy's bullet. Even in death, its jaw closes downwards, catching flesh as it closes. The sharp teeth cut like steak knives to butter. It's fortunate that it has no life in it to continue to rip and cause injury.

The yellow-eyed wolf whimpers loudly as the bullet meets fluffy flesh. Blood spurts from the wolf — evidently Peggy hit an artery. And in a rhythmic fashion, blood spurts in regular increments, causing a disgusting mess of flesh and blood across the ground.

The last two are destroyed by Peggy's bullets in quick succession as adrenaline makes easy work of each in turn, and soon enough, a vast array of large canines rest along the Central Park floor.

A last rustle announces the presence of someone else. "Are you quite alright?" a woman's voice, warm and inviting like velvet calls towards the dark night. The words aren't demanding, but certainly have an air of confidence not always common for a woman. The woman herself, dressed in a long-sleeved black dress steps through the brush where the wolves had made their appearance known.


Blood is everywhere. Fortuantely for Peggy, not all of it's her's. Hell, not even most of it. She's got two fairly nasty bites on her legs and another at her arm, but the worst of the damage has clearly been done to the beasts all around her. She still has not a clue where the other agents are, they should have come running with the gunshots and being here quite alone is making her even more unnerved. SHe's breathing hard from adrenaline alone, sharp eyes flickering over to the woman who has approached.

"…I…I'm bit up, a bit, it's alright, I'll get back to my people. You shouldn't be walking alone, there are lots of dangerous things about." Peggy's British tones clip cool and professional in the night, trying to sounds quite a bit more confident than she feels as she lowers her gun. She doesn't holster it, however. Not yet. Things still felt rather off about all this.


"I see," the woman replies smoothly as she steps further into the light. The light red glow of her eyes only seems to make her hair appear darker, yet there's nothing inherently menacing about her appearance. "I've heard some about these dangerous things," she muses softly. "And," she motions to the now downed wolves, "I had hoped to keep my pets close to ensure my continued safety."

With a quirk of a smile, she muses, "I suppose one can't be too care can they, miss?"


Red eyes. Well, that was rather different. Peggy stares across to the woman, much like she didn't run from the beasts, she does not run from whatever is across from her now, but her pulse certainly kicks up a notch or two in her throat. Red eyes aren't natural, even if nothing else is menacing about her. Peggy clears her throat slightly, eyes flickering down to the wolve then back up to the strange woman.

"Your pets attempted violence upon me. I would not have shot if they did not jump to attack. I am sorry for their destruction, but they attacked a simple bystander. I cannot imagine what they would have done to someone not skilled with a gun. We should all be more careful, yes."


"Oh," the woman lifts a hand of apology, "they have much to learn. Surely their siblings will act more valiantly after some training." Her lips quirk into a charming smile. She nods slightly. "And of course, we shall all be more careful into the future." Her smile softens considerably. "I see you are patrolling this area." Her eyes flit about the park, "It seems that the Park is not, perhaps, the most concerning part of the city," despite the Hellmouth. Her smile fades, "I have heard of horrid things occurring in the heart of a place they, ironically, call Hell's Kitchen."

There's a pause. "I suggest concerting some of your efforts there."


"We have a few people investigating there. But this is not a place that should be left unwatched either. We're keeping things under control. Even if I suspect *you* are from the other side of this matter, ma'am." Peggy still hasn't holstered her gun, her fingertips wrapped around the butt quietly, that a firm bit of reassurance just in case the woman would go rather insane or start her own attack.

"Might I get your name, ma'am?" Peggy's voice is *all* cop now. The firm sort of tone that says while she phrased it as a question, it isn't actually a question. She finally does dare take a step away from her tree and closer to the wondering woman.


The gun doesn't seem to threaten the woman, and instead, she eyes the weapon with a quaint kind of look at that consideration. A wry smile follows the question for her name, "Lily. Lily Drake." Her smile grows. "But you and I are not on such different sides, you see."

Her eyebrows lift, "I have," her eyes flit upwards, "a deep desire to see the fiends of Hell's Kitchen put to rest."


"…I have a desire to see *all* fiends who would threaten New York put to rest. We aren't fighting a war for anyone but our people and countries, Miss Drake. So… if you have information to offer, I will take it, but otherwise you should go on your way before I consider you a part of the problem." Peggy warns quietly, all of her hackles up about this woman already, even if she has wisely stilled her hand and not made any sort of threatening gesture.

Maybe she's reading the situation wrong. Maybe Lily Drake is flowers, sunshine and goodness. Maybe Peggy is just old and paranoid. But chances are her spy's instincts are all too correct and this woman is as dangerous as the things in Hell's Kitchen, so her eyes remain keen and Peggy doesn't move despite the fact that she is slowly bleeding everywhere.


The woman smiles sweetly, a saccharine expression that her face doesn't quite take. "Indeed, she murmurs softly. "Just know that some fiends are more fiendish than others." Her eyes turn upwards, "Of course, I suspect you know that. I have seen some of your number who," her chin lifts, "perplex me." There's an odd lilt to her voice. "But then, I believe you know they could be fiendish. Some have the capable but none of the will. Perhaps you should take friends where you happen to find them."

She turns on her heel. "If you encounter those in Hell's Kitchen, I suggest you not mention we spoke. Should the truce break — well," her back issues no tells of emotion. "That would be unfortunate for all of your people."

She steps back towards the bush, and then… seems to disappear.


"…What in bloody hell…" Peggy mutters beneath her breath. Lily Drake. She had research to do. But she carefully lowers her gun the rest of the way now and listens to the darkness. No more rustling she can hear. Still no more agents. She shakes her head and finally holsters her gun, starting to feel her injuries and really not caring to stand in the darkness any longer.

It's a second into putting that gun in her jacket that she double thinks of it and draws it back out instead, keeping it at her side as she limps her way back in the direction of the perimeter, "Didn't any of you nancies *hear* that? I yelled for back up…" She starts at them, the moment she sees a friendly face.


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