1964-01-01 - Thought Exercise
Summary: Following the death of !Peggy, Bobbi and Fitz try to figure out what the Director was doing.
Related: Kree Skrull War Plot
Theme Song: None
fitz bobbi 

Bobbi exited the Director's office without a file in hand, but exhaustion was written all over her features. She'd been locked in there for /hours/ combing over files, reports, and other data that had been amassed in the office proper. The one thing she could show for it? Besides the knowledge of certain mishaps and issues within Shield that she would've never known about before?

Whatever the thing was that had been pretending to be the Director, hadn't gone through Shield's information or at least accessed anything old.

Blonde hair was combed back and up into a ponytail as she made her way over to the coffee maker in the corner, automatically putting together the required items to make the world's strongest, black as pitch, cup of coffee.


Weary and not-quite-all-there, Fitz, with one of the DWARFs in tow, trails into the bullpen from the lab. His hair has a frazzled look, almost like his hands have been raking through it for hours, and his plaid shirt has (rather scandalously), been unbuttoned a total of THREE buttons at the top. Clearly it's a stressful day.

He trails to the coffee maker and pauses as he meets Bobbi there. A lopsided, very tired, smile tugs at his feature, and he notes, "Be careful. We'd hate to get gamma radiation from a cup of Joe." His eyebrows lift comically and he chuckles at his own joke while the DWARF bleeps two rather angry high pitched beeps in response. Yeah, he's got his quirks.

His lips press together and he forces another tired smile. "I think my brain is melting from running equations around the radiation and the dampener needed to contain it."


Bobbi turned, offering Fitz an exhausted smile as she waited for the coffee maker to do it's damn job and make coffee. So she leaned back against the table, reaching up to rub the edges of her temples. A small, exhausted breath of air escaped her as she nodded in sympathy as Fitz joked in much the same manner she had earlier.

"I know what you mean though. Just damn. I've spent the last few hours trying to find anything in common or links or /anything/ to what our fake was doing. But there's no leads. Nothing about accessing Shield intelligence.."

She pursed her lips together closing her eyes briefly together. "It's more like.. I dunno, like it was giving us information. The technology in that jail.."


Fitz rubs the back of his neck, "The crystal, yeah?" His eyebrows lift and he pinches the bridge of his nose to stave off an impending headache. He inhales a slow breath and considers, "Well, the prison was a long-term NATO goal. We were told to design first prototype back in the Academy. It's why it came together so quick." He issues Bobbi a shrug, "But we'd refused before." He actually smirks at that, "Ironically didn't want to expose civilians or prisoners to potential radioactivity; figured we'd need a nuclear source."

At that he chuckles mirthlessly. There's no question he can see the irony. "Think NATO was more excited bout the find than anyone."


A nod, "I got that much from the files. Up till the sudden move to implement it, the files look like Director Carter was delaying it. But.. I guess whatever that thing was, it moved up the paperwork. For some reason, it wanted that prison built. And what worries me? There's technology in there Fitz.. that.." She paused, glancing around and back.

"There's stuff in there that isn't just the Crystal that is well beyond what anyone on Earth is currently capable of. Things that go way over my head." She pulled back, and as the coffee maker's light goes off, pours herself a cup of the steaming lidquid.

"What I don't get is why. If you have gone to the length to replace someone of an organization like Shield, why do it to establish a prison?"


Fitz stares at Bobbi a few beats as the cogs of his mind work around the question. It's something he's given ample thought to over the last couple of days. His lips purse and he leans against one of the walls. "Why would you do it?" His eyes soften, his gaze drops, and he emits a tired breath. "This is a necessary thing, you know. During it's implementation I've already been accused of being a Nazi. But this isn't about imprisoning whoever arbitrarily. It's a step in due process so people like Sam Sterns can be put somewhere they can't hurt anyone else."

Now it's his turn to rub his temples. "But…" he swallows hard. "…if I was an alien race infiltrating earth and I wanted to build a prison that could hold anyone," his gaze becomes heavier on her, "…I'm pretty sure my motivations would call to a much larger, longer purposed plan."


A small curse escaped Bobbi again as Fitz speaks and the tired gears of her brain click into place. "If I was invading Earth, and I knew Earth had people like.. hell, Wanda— like Banner, shit." She exhaled and pursed her lips, moving toward the blueprint in the center of the room.

Her eyes scanned the layout again and she looked back to Fitz. "How many people could it hold her? Why bother with holding prisoners? I mean, yeah Banner is a thing.. But Wanda? Liv? Like those mutants out in the city? Most of them will still die with a well placed bullet." She scowled.

"Why bother with holding cells.. Fitz, has Nato put up other facilities like this in other places? Are there plans for others?"


"This is the only one," Fitz offers in turn. "We were only ever mandated to design one. So we did. It was a lark, a tool to help us. Despite popular opinion, I'm not a Nazi, Agent Morse. I want justice. I want us to be able to help people like Doctor Banner. Like James Barnes. We need to have the resources to do that — this is a tool. A resource to do that."

His lips turn downwards, "But you hold hold people because you can't do anything else. You eliminate anyone that would oppose you by criminalizing them." He swallows hard. "And in doing so, you successfully make a planet ripe for the taking." His shoulders sink and he shakes his head. "I don't think this is just a solution to those individuals they can't kill. I think it's an invasion plan." His lips purse. "Which is why we need to coordinate with Act-F."


A nod, and Bobbi offered a sympathetic glance. "I know you're not a Nazi, Fitz. I was for the idea too. There are good and bad people on both sides of the line. Powered or not. A fair trial requires being able to hold them /for/ trial. The problem being is that we had no means to do so till this." She grimaced and gestured to the blueprints again.

"If they already had this plan here.. well, then they're likely already in place in other parts of the world. You can't only have this place unless it's a tester. One country at a time, make powered people a crime. Sow the seeds of 'other', hatred, fear. Destablize a region and get rid of those that would oppose you.." She grit her teeth together.

"Then move in when no one else has the ability to stop you.."


"You're one of a handful," Fitz chuckles that same empty chuckle — a sound of irony and exasperation rather than humour. "It's a very long-term plan if it's what we think it is." His lips press into a thin line. "But removing the opposition before it anyone knows there's a problem? That's ingenious. By any stretch of the imagination."

His lips purse again. "Our work, it's… it's not easy to replicate. We were brought here to create this place on Governor's Island. We were asked to come." And then, perhaps more to the point, "I was a reluctant participant on that journey." He issues her a near-smile that doesn't meet his eyes. "Simmons has always been more of an adventurer, but Governor's Island was the chosen site, and we were offered the assignment before anyone else. Like I said, we'd already brainstormed a design. This progress wouldn't be possible without it."


A frown, and Bobbi traces her fingers over the blueprints again in thought. "If they're invading, I have to assume that these things are.. After all, why else would they go to the trouble of manipulating events? Why else would they take the Director. The other problem of course is that if they've taken her, who else have they taken? What other events have they twisted to their ends?" She arched a brow, stepping back.

"Or how long they've been here.." She muttered, and paced a few steps. She picked up her coffee mug, taking a sip.

"And how can we use this information to bring them out again?" She tilted her head head to the side, her gaze narrowed in thought. "We obviously can't track these guys.. but maybe.. we can set a trap."


"To our credit no one seems to know not-Peggy is gone. No obituary, no announcement, nothing. And I think the key is keeping it that way. I'm not even convinced that NATO higher-ups can be trusted." Fitz frowns slightly. "And we don't know what those cells look like when, you know, not in dead-green-alien form."

HIs lips purse slightly. "I have to say though, Sterns did us a weird favour. While plenty had suspicions about the Director, he created a reveal of sorts, yeah?" He shoots her a side smile.

"What kind of trap you have in mind?"


A nod at that, "We have to keep it quiet as possible that the Director isn't Director Carter for as long as we can. Keep it from NATO, and outside sources as best we can. I don't know if it had some kind of a check in, but most inteligence operatives do. So we're on a time crunch if there's a report in somewhere and that replacement doesn't call in.." She tapped the mug with her fingers, pacing again.

"But we know what they want, what they're already willing to do to get what they want.. and they want that prison built and rapidly. The damage to the facility has already slowed things down.. but we need to draw them out entirely. Make it so that they /have/ to send someone here to get their ball moving again.." She glanced toward Fitz.

"Besides you and Simmons, is there anyone else that is a must to make this project happen? Someone that.. without the project wouldn't continue?"


"We were mandated to design the structure in the first place at the Academy," Fitz offers in turn. "The project wouldn't have any legs without Professor Thurgood. He's in the engineering section of the Science and Technology Wing of the Academy. He had all design one in partners. Simmons and I worked together and came up with," he motions towards the blueprint. "Bit different, mind." His lips hitch up on one side.

"Thought it had potential. It was to be powered by a nuclear source. As I said, I could've made that work, but the risk seemed too high. Thurgood disagreed." His eyebrows lift, "It's why we took the power source out of the design. Basic parameters meant that it couldn't be used without how it plugged into the rest of the machine." His face scrunches into a scowl, "It's possible — " he starts and stops before his head shakes.


A raised brow followed Fitz' statement. "It's possible he's one of them, that or the information he had was planted there for him. I dunno, it's possible he has ties to those things. It's also possible, that if he were to go missing, some of them might turn up. But that's a stretch. So long as you and Simmons are here and working on it, I imagine that they'll see it as acceptable enough." She tapped her chin in thought, staring back at the blueprints.

"You said that the thing that was pretending to be the Director seemed less than pleased with your presence on site?" She glanced back to Fitz.

"Also, what else is 'possible'?"


"What if this isn't the test site? These blueprints have been in the Academy's possession since we took this course," Fitz motions towards the plan. "We got an incomplete on the project. It's the one we took in our years of training; a decision we made together because — " his lips twist to the side. "Because we're not Nazis," he finally lands on. "Because we don't believe in hurting people to make the world a safer place."

He inhales a long breath, "It's possible someone tried an alternate power source already. I mean, fission isn't that new. Someone may have attempted it and failed at another site and then gave us," he points to the crystal in the blueprint, "when it didn't work because Simmons and I weren't going to let nuclear power work in our machine."

He swallows hard. "Could be a stretch." He sucks on the inside of his cheek, "And yeah, the non-Director didn't like me. It was obvious. All she wanted were progress reports on this, but," he taps his chin, "the time anomalies I tried to tell her about weren't important to her." His lips purse. "At least that's what I gathered."


Bobbi's eyebrows shot upwards and she lowered the mug to stare at Fitz. "What if there's already been a test.. with shit, how long have these things been around? This is a long game.. if.. if say, they tested it already with Nazis.." She bit out the word like the curse it deserved to be.

"The academy.. everything that.. they wouldn't bother with Shield's inteligence because they're already involved, already have access.." She dragged a hand through her hair, and pulled a chair out from a desk to sink down into.

"This is so much more than I expected, hell.."


"It's not impossible," Fitz replies lowly. "I don't know if it's likely. But it means that if someone comes to inspect it, they might finally learn how we did it. It's a series of relays. The power source couldn't work any other way. It needed to create a multi-beam across each of the cells. You see, it's easy to create a pin-prick of energy; it's more important, however, to fan out that energy and redistribute it. We merely used a series of mirrors to make it possible. And some other lenses, of course. Simmons was the one that suggested the fan, it's brilliant."

His lips twist uncertainly, "I just found a way to make that happen. And then together we constructed and designed it. But SHIELD never got that part. They got us instead. To do it ourselves in a way that would keep civilians safe, which was why we'd abandoned the project the first go-round."


Bobbi frowned, and rose again, grabbing up her coffee. "So we can assume that these things are in the higher ups of other oganizations. Possibly throughout the world and have been here for a long while. With our working theory, possibly as far back as the last World War. Okay. They've tested this thing out before. They know what works or doesn't work, in theory, at least with our world's technology."

She paced, "Let's assume they gave us this crystal. They know how it works then. All faults and strengths. Without tipping their hands, they've passed along the idea of this place before, made sure it got to the best and the brightest of our's. Made sure they were in a place to implement these things. And when there was a road block from on high. They removed it."

She gestured toward Peggy's office. "But suddenly they want it done in a hurry. There's pressure to get it built sooner rather than later. Why? They've been patient up till now.."


"And that's the question," Fitz agrees. "Why would you need to do it now? I don't know anything about aliens, but the logic suggests they need it sooner than later. Which makes me ask: who do they aim to put in there? Or…" his gaze turns up to the ceiling "…is it because we know about them far earlier than intended? I mean, one died in New York pretty publicly. That caused that whole alien partnership thing, yeah? Another presumably assassinated the President… what if the plan got blown? What if the long-term plan needed its timeline moved up?


A nod, and Bobbi paused in her pacing as she pointed at Fitz. "They're exposed already to the public eye in a form. Plus, we've seen Asgard's hand here too, right? That chaos? There are more players involved perhaps that they want on lock down. More powerful mutants too. Wasn't there a number of them that have been in the public eye besides those in Act-F?" She arched a brow.

"If public opinion gets swayed too far toward the positive then that would damage their plans. If we have a defensive line ready to go against them? It makes their subtle manipulations all for nothing! They /have/ to move that time line up if they want a smooth take over. If they want to take Earth without the need for open war. Human beings are anything if not a stubborn, violent lot after all. We've made up most of our history with ways to kill each other. An alien race?" She snorted dryly, and rolled her eyes.

"So, they're on a time crunch already. Which means they're paying close attention. They're already pressured. So.. what has to happen? We have to turn up that pressure. Make it seem like the timeline isn't working out here. Something goes wrong. We need a way of figuring out /who/ they are.. then I'm betting we can lure them out when they come to check on their little pet project here."


Fitz nods slightly. "And I can't see them not checking in. At some point someone is going to want to see our progress or lack thereof. This is a major setback. Containing the radiation is eating a portion of the crystal's energy. It means…" his lips twitch. "Well." He slowly releases a breath.

"And here's the thing, until I can figure out a way to contain the radiation, I have no intention of taking down that power source. Ad even then," his head shakes. "We promised Doctor Banner protection. We need a place for James Barnes. We need… to keep that prison active." He sighs softly. "And yes, we need to lure them out. And… we need a reliable detection. Because now? If I was them? I'd take over the science wing. WE did what they needed. And now we put them at risk. If someoen can figure out how to detect them outside of Act-F, it's Jemma Simmons."


Bobbi pursed her lips, and downed the rest of her coffee, the drink having cooled during the pacing conversation. "They won't see the need to replace others in our structure, there's no issue anymore with building the jail. It's getting finished now. And you're right. Science and development is where they'll strike next. That's where they'll want to put in their own techs, to make sure things are moving faster." She frowned, looking over Fitz.

"We need to make sure that you and Simmons are safe, without tipping our hand that we know or that we're on high alert for them. We can't pull you either, if you disappeared that means they'd go looking for another target. One that we might not know." She passed Fitz a sympathetic glance.

"You guys are on a crunch now to find out how to test for these things. Before they come for you. Otherwise we'll lose the Director, and both of you if we miss it again."


Fitz shrugs, "Maybe I'm wrong. But, honestly, whoever puts them at risk would be the next ones they should strategically take over." His eyebrows lift. "And Simmons does that. We're not needed anymore either. We got the prison working." He inhales a sharp breath, "I'll talk to Jemma and we'll work harder at getting the autopsy done. Honestly, if they replaced us, your information source would be diminished. They could write whatever they wanted int hat report and few here would really understand it. They could come up with a false detection — go on a witch hunt and put you in that prison."

He nods faintly, "We're not incapable, but if one of the took out the Director," he shakes his head, "it's concerning. Maybe I can get the DWARFs looking for them.'


Bobbi closed her eyes briefly as that scenario played out in her head, and she could picture it a little /too/ well for her stomach to not twist in her gut. "I'm staying in the lab with you. I've got the degrees for it. It's why I came to Shield's attention in the first place. Just.. ended up as a field agent rather than a lab coat." She rolled her shoulers back.

"So at the very least you know I won't screw up your research. They won't necessarily expect me there, though I doubt they don't know every single 'effin thing about me already. It won't be a surprise per say that I can fight.. if they bother to read files that is." She shrugged, and crackled her knuckles.

"But my presence in the lab won't tip anything off either."


Fitz pauses a moment and considers the assertion before nodding. "Good. And we'll keep at our work. The real Nazis down the hall don't know what we're working on, but they also concern me." His eyebrows lift at that thought. "WOuldn't want one of them anywhere near our work." Which is why they're down the hall. "Thank you, Agent Morse. I think this is a good plan. We should probably talk to the acting Director about it. Like I said, in their shoes, I would replace Jemma and I next. I'd rather everyone be on guard around us rather than blindly trust any report we provide…"


Another nod, "I'll speak to Coulson as soon as I see him, unless you catch him first." She paused in reaching for the coffee pot to refill her mug.

"Fitz.. we can't make some kind of a code signal to prove it's actually us, can we? These things.. when they replaced the Director.. she acted strange, a shorter temper.. yeah.. but.." She turned around, and there was honest concern flickering over her expression.

"It came across as Peggy otherwise. The concern was there. The knowledge that she needed to run Shield was there. This wasn't a 'watch for a few weeks to get a target's patterns down' gig. This was way more.."


"Maybe we can?" Fitz shrugs. "Depends how deep they're already embedded. Depends how much they already know. If they don't think we know then they have no reason to try to crack a code we come up with." His cheeks puff out with exasperation. "The Director didn't know she had to be on the lookout. I'd guess they came to her as someone she knew. I can't imagine Peggy Carter as someone easy to sneak up on," his eyebrows lift and he manages a vague shrug.

"So maybe a signal. A greeting. A phrase. Something casual, but a bit different." His lips twist to the side. "The non-Director still needed us to function. She still needed us to achieve things. But she didn't get everything exactly right,…"


A nod, and Bobbi frowned faintly. "Come up with something, I guess. I don't know how they play at getting things on us to replace their targets. Maybe it's just a 'get close and watch for a long time'. Maybe it's something else. I dunno. That's what you do in the field.. but on this scale? This is .." She sighed, making a grumbling noise.

"Hell I dunno how I'm gonna be able to sleep at this rate." She rubbed her eyelids.

"Right, well, I guess I'll just get to what needs to be done. You still working in the lab or calling it quits for the night?"


"I'll be downstairs. We need a solution sooner than later, so it means… a long workday. Plus, the autopsy is still pending so — " Fitz nods lightly. "There's a cot in the closet downstairs if you feel like crashing there?" He shrugs. "Sometimes we take turns on it. If you're so inclined," he shrugs again and then treads back towards the stairs. "I'll catch some sleep in a few hours, but again, in shifts, likely." He shoots her a lopsided smirk.


A laugh, "Shifts it is. Better that way in all honesty. No one should be alone. I'm too wired on this coffee to sleep anytime soon. Let's go get to work with what we can at least." She raised her mug up high as if in a 'cheers' motion and toward the door.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License