1963-12-12 - Call Johnson
Summary: Agents Coulson and Sigrunsdottir react to the incursions of ice giants across the world.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None' — please, don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
coulson liv 

It has been thirty-two hours since Loki was murdered outside the courthouse where he had just been formally charged with President Kennedy's assassination, and the killer's identity reported as Ichabod Jones, agent of SHIELD. To say that the agency is in a state of chaos would be an understatement.

And that was before the frost giant-spewing portals began opening up all over the planet. It's a mess.

The last anyone had heard from Agent Sigrunsdottir was shortly before the world went to hell in a handbasket. She was on her way out with Fitz to meet Reed Richards for lunch across town, seeking a consult. She looked a lot better on her way out than she does now.

It is definitely Liv that comes trudging into the bullpen, or they'd never have let her in with the sword clutched in her hand. She's missing most of her braid, to say nothing of the tattered remains of a long coat that's clinging to her shoulders. Her suit hasn't fared much better. There's blood, but no visible wounds, so… probably not hers.

"Where's the Director?" Liv rasps out, her voice hoarse.


"Well, tell General Davis that if he doesn't get the National Guard on those bridges, he's gonna have a hell of a mess on his hands!" Agent Coulson is on a telephone at his desk, standing up and hunched over a mess of files. "We have people trying to flee the city. Traffic's a mess. If he doesn't deploy, I'll get on a goddamned phone to Johnson himself!"

He slams the phone into its receiver, sighs deeply, and reaches to run a hand through his hair, which is no longer perfect. At the voice, however, his head darts upright, and his temper is suddenly stilled. "Oh my God."

Moving away from the desk, he walks toward Liv with concern evident in his eyes. "She's out. Liv, what on Earth. Are you injured?"


"Am I..?" Blinking, Liv reaches up to touch her face, then checks her fingers. Even though they come away red, she lets out a tired laugh. "Oh, no, no! It's not — it's not mine." That… that sounded more reassuring in her head.

Wincing, Liv makes sure she's keeping her blade down, the tip aimed at the floor almost like she were holding a loaded gun. "Sorry. Thank you for asking, it's been a… a bit of a day."


"Tell me about it." Coulson turns around, eyeing the bullpen. It's never this busy so close to midnight. "The Federal infrastructure is not prepared for this kind of situation, and that's nothing to speak of local response efforts."

With a sigh, he reaches into Agent Calloway's desk, retrieving one of his spare undershirts. The item is tossed Liv's way. "Clean up. Tell me what's happening out there."


"As poorly announced as it was… when Loki told Ed Sullivan that he was the Protector of Midgard, he wasn't kidding," Liv says, diving immediently into trying to explain what's going on even as she reaches up to catch the shirt. "Killing him killed any protective wards that he'd put in place to keep something like this from happening. I told her this would happen." That last part, she mutters in a very quiet voice.

Liv stops by her own desk to lay her sword down next to her typewriter. "So what we're seeing out there is… one of the other Realms, being opportunistic. The frost giants are not traditionally fans of Asgard's or Earth."


Agent Coulson is listening intently. Reports from the front line are of critical importance. "Swell," he answers. "So they're creatures that are hungry for destruction? Hungry for death? Or are they simply interloping because Loki saw fit to defend this place?"

Coulson then strides over, inspecting that sword. He's curious, and unless Liv intervenes, he will place his hand upon the hilt and attempt lifting it. "How do we send them back to where they belong?"


Rather than use the undershirt as a towel, Liv drapes it over the back of her chair and shrugs what's left of her coat off. There's no salvaging it, so she uses the interior fabric to try wiping her face and hands clean instead. "Any and all of the above, I'm assuming," she replies tiredly. "They do enjoy a good monologue, though. We could probably just ask."

Liv makes no move to stop Coulson from inspecting her sword, or lifting it — it's heavy, but not If Ye Be Worthy-style heavy. Just, you know, a broadsword, in very much the style of old norse vikings. She just watches, and once he's tried to lift it, actually cracks a small smile.

"In the long term? We need to get those wards back up," Liv says slowly, lips pulled into a tight line. "Doctor Strange can almost certainly do it, and if he isn't out trying already, I'd be… shocked. In the short term, all we can do is keep kicking them back through the gates they open." She looks down at her hands, thinking hard. "Asgard honors its promises," she says, and from the way she says it, she's repeating something she has been told. "I would expect them to be massing reinforcements at the embassy."


"Goodness," remarks Coulson, at the weight of the blade. "I suppose, in a pinch, I could use it as a blunt object, but I'm frankly not strong enough to wield this with any skill." He bounces it twice, eyeballing it from tip to hilt. "Incredibly well balanced, though."

Setting the blade down, Coulson looks toward Liv, attentively. "Is there any way, you can think of, that we might be able to…" He raises his hands, gesturing along. "… predict where they are going to appear? It would help us rally some sort of defense, not to mention handling the civilian response."


"Thank you. My mother made it," Liv admits, still seeming entirely comfortable allowing Coulson to handle the blade. If it's precious to her (and with that context, how could it be otherwise?), she apparently trusts him not to do anything untoward with it. "I'm not nearly as talented a teacher as Brunnhilde, but if you find yourself a sword that isn't quite so heavy…" She lets the implied offer hang in the air.

Thoughtful, she drags a (mostly) clean hand down over her face at the question. "I'm… honestly, I'm not sure," Liv admits, wincing. "I don't know if there's any rhyme or reason to where they're appearing. It might… maybe leylines?" she suggests, but it's clear from the way she cringes as she suggests it that she's grasping at straws. It's not her department.


"You know, I was among the first of the Army's Ranger division," Coulson tells her. "We had some instruction with bladed weapons. Nothing so sophisticated as a broadsword, but, I would never turn down an opportunity to hone my fighting abilities."

It may be hard to imagine the suited, balding man as being much of a fighter, but he speaks of it with such casual confidence.

At the recommendation, Phil squints his eyes a bit. "Leylines, as I understand, are rooted in arcane practices that predate Christ. I suppose the craft may have been inspired by… otherworldly matters, but the practical person inside me suggests there might be a scientific solution to all of this."


"Once this is sorted, I'd be delighted." Liv does not seem the least bit skeptical about Coulson's capabilities. Maybe it's the obvious trust the Director puts in him, or something in the way he carries himself. She's never been given a reason to doubt his word, so why start now?

She smiles a bit wider at that. "Magic and science aren't that different, no matter what scientists or sorcerers tell you," Liv muses, dropping what's left of her coat in the trashbin next to her desk. "Or, I've always thought so. If anyone could figure out how to track and predict these things, though, it's Fitzsimmons — "

She stops abruptly, some of the color draining from her face as she turns to look towards the stairs that lead further into the headquarters, and the lab beyond. "…I'm sure Fitz is fine," she tells herself quickly. He was with Reed Richards. Surely he's safe.


"Oh, I agree," Coulson answers. "Magic, though it may seem mysterious, still has an effect on the world around us. Penicillin was discovered by accident; I've often wondered if magic isn't simply… science we haven't found a way to explain yet."

He's coming to the same conclusion. Barring any intervention from Doctor Strange, FitzSimmons may be their best hope. He worries about them, too; worries that they may be pushing too hard, relying upon them too much.

However, he still tracks Liv's eyes, and looks toward the lab. "Where was he when last you saw him?"


"A diner across town," Liv groans, reaching up to pinch the bridge of her nose between her fingers. "I was introducing him to Doctor Richards when the reports came in, so he's probably fine. That man had his lab blown up around him and didn't even seem that perturbed." She sounds almost envious.

She also looks like she's resisting the impulse to go rushing down to the lab to see if Fitz is there. Liv glances over at Coulson, then down at herself. "…I don't suppose they might let me take my armor back out of the lab, under the circumstances..?" she asks, sounding hopeful. "I'll give it back."


"Under the circumstances?" Coulson answers. "Yes." He then rises from the desk, reaches into a drawer and withdraws a set of car keys. "I'm going to go out there and find Fitz."

He then turns and points toward one of the other agents. "If General Davis doesn't have National Guard deployed in half an hour, I want you on the phone with Johnson."

The agent looks up, nods, then does a double take. "You mean, President Johnson?"

"Call him, 'Mister President'," Coulson confirms. "He likes that."


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