1963-11-13 - From Mundane to Too Interesting
Summary: Peggy attends a boring NATO meeting and after saying her piece, walks out, only to find herself in far more action than she anticipated.
Related: All the Peggy-Skrull logs
Theme Song: None

The mundane nature of Directing a major spy organization like SHIELD means that somedays don't involve the excitement of field work; they don't involve gun-toting. Somedays don't require slipping into some diplomatic meeting unnoticed. Somedays don't remotely feel like spy days.

For Peggy Carter, today is one of those days.

The long conference table sees a number of important people seated around it, including Peggy Carter. The NATO council has been busy figuring out mandates for the year, and here, in New York, this meeting is to determine future directions and ways in which to address the problem of the USSR.

"And that is why we need to consider the future and the ways the soviets may try to infiltrate your organization, Director Carter. Do you see the problem?" the portly man at the front of the table, a representative from one of the European countries leans forward. "I can't imagine why you think that harbouring spies who defected as agents is a good idea! They're probably triple agents!"

Across from the table Director Anne Weaver of SHIELD Science and Technology Academy shoots Peggy a look — it's a smirk. All too amused at the insinuation. She presses her fingers over her lips to hold in a chuckle, and her eyes flit downwards. This meeting has been, effectively, derailed.


The older Peggy has gotten, the somewhat more pregnant she's gotten, and the more of *these meetings* she's had to sit through, the less shits Peggy gives about any of this. Generally, the most confident person is the least worked up and the most fire and brimstone is the person who feels like they have the least ground to stand upon. If that rule is true here, Peggy has the world and the portly man has nothing. Dark eyes turn a lazy, slightly smirking look over towards Anne, catching her gaze for a heartbeat or two, before Peggy leans forward in her chair and sighs.

"Borowitz. I recognize that you have been burned by things in the past and that your own security officers aren't as trained as my people in assessments and interrogation. However, I am not going to discount valuable, PROVEN assets whom I *know* are clean because of paranoia. I know how to spot a double agent and there is no such thing as a triple agent, as that would imply I sent them to Russia for them to be sent back here to spy on Russia for me to send them back. Are you even listening to yourself?" She hasn't stood up. She's not giving these people this kind of energy. She simply folds her hands infront of her and continues.

"As I have said before, those countries which do not wish SHIELD operating in their borders? I won't push. We have plenty to do without watching your backs and I am *certain* you can handle it *all on your own.*" A sweet smile there, full of saccharine. "But…those who wish us must trust that my team knows what they are doing. That's the last I'll say on the matter."


"Director Carter," the man leans forward and eyes Peggy carefully, "I don't think you understand what you're implying. We have the ability to disband you if we believe you are mismanaging this particular endeavour." His hand slams down on the table.

Weaver's eyebrows lift. She glances towards Peggy and finally lowers her hand to the table. "All due respect," she starts slowly and then glances around the table, "none of you know how to do what SHIELD does." Expectantly, she leans forward. "Peggy Carter has been successfully managing this organization while all of you have struggled to prevent World War III." Her expression steels. "I don't think you get to critique her method when you can't even manage your own borders." She steals a glance towards Peggy before leaning back in her seat. "Besides, you require our help. To manage the Soviet threat. Or, at least, the threat you perceive."


Silence lingers for a few moments, especially as Peggy raises a single hand to stop Anne's defense of her, even if it might be seemingly needed. She rolls forward in her chair and, with the slight help of the table, does push herself into standing. While she might appear soft, especially now, there is nothing else that says soft about her. Everything in her motions speaks of power, confidence, and the fact that she's about to eat the man alive. "This isn't a fight you want to pick with me, Frederich Borowitz." She states simply. Then he's blustering again, starting to fight back, and her hand jerks up to cut him off.

"I understand why you are fighting so hard against this after you slept with Ashley Maldova — or was that Alexia Petrov — for two years until you realized she was sneaking documents out of your bedroom six months ago. I understand your men made her disappear very neatly. Only her hand was found, but it was enough for finger prints. And, in those two years, how much intelligence *did* you lose to the Russian government because you couldn't keep your pants on?" Then her dark eyes flicker over to one of the other men, the one from Latvia, who had been backing Fredrich, "And should we talk about the night club you run, Carlin?" Her eyes snap to a few other people. No words. But she knows things. About every person in this room, she knows things.


General Ross at the end of the table stares daggers at Carter as he leans forward. "Director Carter, I'm sure you're desperate to enlighten us on that long-term goal we have of a prison to hold powered offenders," one that Ross, of course has in mind.

Another representative adds, "You know this is one of our goals as a committee, what progress has been made?"

Anne glances at Peggy again, but this one is closer to her wheelhouse. "As I've said before, there is a promising pair of scientists who designed something at the Academy but refused to finish it without an adequate power source. We're working on long-term alternatives, but until such a time that we can recover them," her head shakes. "Unless, of course, the Director has something more to offer."


And that's when Peggy Carter gives General Ross a look that simply says she knows. She has something on him too. But she doesn't flaunt it for the entire room. She remains standing, shoulders squared, tired eyes very done with this meeting but not quite walking out yet. Anne saves her a moment of saying something more harsh than she might want. She just lets the woman speak before slightly inclining her head in agreement.

"While I acknowledge there may come a time that we need such a prison, I will not risk my people or any of our countries building it if we cannot ensure it is effective. Right now, there is no power source to make that promise. So, we spend our time ensuring we don't *need* that prison and ensuring our people *trust* us… Not threatening them with walls and locks. That is all the report you are getting from us today. If you need anything else, you can call my secretary." And with that, Peggy turns on the ball of her foot, making her way calmly down the side of the room, towards the door.


"Director, we aren't finished," one of the fellows calls after her.

But when Peggy leaves, Anne is on her heels, muttering lowly about men, technology, and understanding what can or can't be done. As they trail down the hall, her head shakes emphatically, "The pair refused to show how to power it with means we have. Specifically nuclear power… how many times do we have to tell those blow hards the same thing?" her expression steels and she falls into step with Peggy.

A pair of assistants follows behind; SHIELD administrators typically considered unimportant — people who blend into the background, take notes, and manage to keep their mouths shut about whatever happens in that room.


As she hears those words calling after her, she calls back, "Then you all have fun talking!" Because she certainly wasn't staying. Peggy doesn't break her step, even if it's a touch of a waddle, she's hiding that very well right now as she's not letting them see an INCH of weakness in her after that performance and there is no doubt in her mind they see children as a weakness. She has to be a man today, so that's how she walks and that's how she talks. She keeps going down the hallway.

"…While they might find that a priority, SHIELD is here to protect… not to imprison. I don't actually care if we ever find a power source and I'm not diverting all of our resources to find a way to lock people a way. We are not the jailors of the world, we are it's SHIELD. It's defenders." She sighs, turning towards one of the more private levels, though the thought of going straight for car and hotel is tempting. "…Is there anything else on the schedule today, or can we get out of here?"


"General Ross is supposed to corner us to discuss a long-term plan about having powered agents on American soil," one of the assistants says smoothly as he peeks forward and the foursome step into the elevator. The scuttle into the back of the elevator and one of them pushes a button for the main floor.

Anne pinches the bridge of her nose. "And therein is the problem," she offers in response. "You see these things as mutually exclusive, Director. Holding people can be a defence if they merit being held." Her gaze darkens as the doors to the elevator close.


As the doors close, Peggy lets herself relax, just a bit. She leans back against the side of the elevator, exhaling a slow breath. "Yes… but who decides if they merit being held? And while powered agents are well and good… Are we going to have powered guards to keep them there, if we aren't sure of the prison's strength? I won't do this until we can back up our bark with bite, and right now we cannot do that. I'm not risking regular people's lives guarding a place like this when we don't have everything ready." Peggy's clipped tone says that she is not budging about the matter.


"And that, Director, is why you can't last," Weaver replies lightly. "You were given ample opportunity. We gave you all the chances to see the light, and you refuse to consider it. You refuse to see the potential in front of you." Her lips quirk into a nearly sublime smile. "Just as Weaver did," she looks down at her fingernails. "Worry not, Director Carter, in short order, everyone will think you saw the light. That my efforts haven't been in vain." Her smile stiffens.

The two other agents in the elevator alongside Peggy begin to move, edging their way towards her. One of them reaches out to grasp her hair, and the other to trip the Director and bring her to her knees.

The elevator makes it's destination.



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