1964-11-09 - Words in Silent Concord
Summary: Better do something about the troubles that afflict Attilan, right?
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
blackagar rogue 


The halls of the library offer a pleasant escape from some of the busier sides of life, particularly when there's plenty of distractions to be had. Since returning from the Kree ship the temptation for Blackagar was to quickly dive back into the Attilan situation but there was instead a nagging in the back of his mind which has pulled him instead to the library and more importantly to the microfilm collections of news articles from around the planet. He was not certain what he was searching for exactly, just that he was searching. Having claimed a corner of the space and a chalkboard to write on as well, various scribbles are here and there as he returns to the station and begins loading the next selection of global newspapers.

Greenwich Village careens headlong into the holiday season. Not much space between Hallowe'en and Thanksgiving, the artists and the musicians hastening to secure bookings or the materials they need for their long dormancy. Few people look forward to winter. Scarlett is not one of them either, in part due to the punishing schedule at Columbia requiring her attention. Talking about political decisions and lecturing in mock presentations is fairly easy when she has the sum of human history locked up in her head, a number of monarchs, leaders, and the natural inheritor to Agon supplying invaluable information. The duties of student trump those of other roles she fills in the fortnight past, interrupted only for her to fulfill a requirement for one of those shadowy teams she occupies. Or, you know, interdimensional diplomat for the Avengers. Don't ask one day why she returns smelling of brimstone, flicking draconic scales off her gloves.

She drops four newspapers down on the table, the editions fresh: London's Guardian; the Le Monde from Paris; West Berlin's Suddeutsche Zeitung and the more centrist Die Welt. She balances her bookbag with all its various contents on her arm along with a high stack of books from the shelves. "Those might be useful. Would there was anything reliable coming out of Bangkok or Manila, since China is a dead loss. Hanoi isn't much use, neither is Hong Kong with the blackout on the mainland."

Blackagar's hands flash, signing as he speaks and impresses. «Perhaps. It's those areas of blackout that have me most intrigued.» He shuffles a few papers around and then stands up and goes over to the blackboard. «I just cannot shake this thought. If I take the Kree at face value and these disruptions are not caused by them. And they are not caused by us, who is causing them?» He casts a glance at Scarlett with his eyebrow turned up. «What disruptions have we missed? What common thread exists beyond the thread that we see?»

Impressions wind their way through her mind, met by the awareness of fine-tuned empathy and physical nuance. Her energy levels are spiked, the high pitch barely kept under the necessary restraint for a physical location with other students and patrons. Hence the light sweater, the long sleeves, the leggings and boots. Scarlett takes few chances at accidental absorption, for all her soul is starved and perennially craving, as a black hole yearns for matter of stars and spelldust. "The Communists have never been open to journalists coming into the country. Red China and North Vietnam have no love for the media, much less any American, British or French. We do the best we can, but even intrepid explorers hear little and risk much." She glances at the blackboard and then the taller man adjacent her, marking Blackagar's profile and expression for a greater sense of his mood. "What disrptions indeed. I don't think any of your people tried to see why a major crater appeared in a rainforest in South America. We know Mosul was your people in Akkad. Did you disrupt the Olympics somehow? Did someone else? What keeps knocking out satellites?"

The last is what gets Blackagar to point at Scarlett in an affirming sort of way. «Precisely. To what end does that accomplish anything for these situations.» The situations he mentions are motioned to in the papers. «Before an attack, it is wise to eliminate the defense of the target both militarily and socially. Internal undermine before invasion?»

A thin slip of paper in an envelope, marginally crinkled, ends up plucked from her bookbag. Scarlett offers that to Blackagar, the name on it probably in printing he will recognize. "Whatever aims for the satellites caused minor troubles at most. Few people paid the least heed to the problem. It naturally concerns me whenever anything happens, but I look for patterns in events and correllate them." Her fingers rub up the line of her cheekbone, lost in the heavy braid that loses much of its sleekness for the simple fact she's been in the upper atmosphere. "Yes, it would be advantageous. Knock out the sentries. Cloud the eyes. It's what they did with the president, using a distraction, wasn't it?"

«Correct.» Blackagar responds looking at Scarlett, «So the questions that remain. If this is coordinated, to what ends and by whom? What entities know of the Inhumans and know enough to strike at us and at the same time view these other avenues as something that must be dealt with as well. We have been operating under an assumption that the attacks were unrelated, perhaps all of them are related in some greater threat?»

Scarlett shakes her head; the questions are good ones, significant for their asking. "I do not know. Their presence is hardly known, unless you imagine others broadcast it without your knowledge? Could that be done, to force your hand perhaps?" Her fingertips slide along the contours of her hair, chasing the braids to their natural end. "I could be wrong. They may be unrelated, but the coincidence of certain parties showing up all at once? I don't know they are separate matters. More, I am concerned that the conflict building in the South China Sea will go to full-scale war, and any opportunity you had down there is gone. Are you finished with whatever drew you?"

Her lips part, and she sighs. "You should read the letter. Ms. Amaquelin insists on your return, as though I lock you in."

A small amused smile touches Blackagar's lips and he inclines his head towards the letter, «The impression you had when you set the letter down communicated much of its intent. I suspect without reading it that it dwells on topics of returning to Attilan, attempting maneuvers and desiring to know my intents.» He quirks an eyebrow to coincide with his guess at the contents. A moment passes and he looks back towards the board. «What if we are looking at this wrong. Instead of someone on Earth causing this, someone from the outside attempting to destabilize. In the practical Art of War the best thing is to take the enemy's country whole and intact.»

"Indeed. The practicalities lie right here, sussing out possibilities, rather than engaging in endless power plays between varied factions. Not that I would deny the importance of returning home but," Scarlett murmurs, "forewarned is forearmed, as they say." Her smile tips up at the corner, the brushed rose curve of her mouth so entirely at odds with the sobering conversation of geopolitics and possible interstellar invasions between them. "No one would deny the need for your presence. Unless the matter lies entirely with the council, and you must know fully your brother, and now others will insert their opinions." The board stretches before them in all its dark lustre, forest green aglow in the library's warm light. "Forgive me for implying…" The reversion into posture and thought and gesture all follow, a modicum of privacy offered. Neat gestures fit together; she's become quite fluent. «Who gains the most? In your history you were created as weapons. Your people remain so, a unique force. I've read the history in the Tower, much as I was allowed, and your memories supply the rest. Who else beside your makers would gain by having you fall into the palm of their hands? If not the blue space people, then whom?»

The shape changing alien, the one that was found upon the streets of New York from Times Square … some time ago now . That article is pulled from a stack and Blackagar sets it down on the table, turning to look at Scarlett with an upturned eyebrow. He doesn't speak at that point but instead looks at her to gauge reaction to the possibility.

The year-old issue might be a tad mortifying if they got a fine shot through the chaos. More than likely that same photograph above the fold reveals a burning blaze of a figure, humanoid, and another most definitely so with her radiant braids laced by flowers. Somewhere nearby in the crush of buildings and the New York Times building are any other number of individuals, their faces riveted by horror and confusion. Otherwise, green skin gives all the truth they need to know, the wrinkled chin and the dark face. «Altogether likely.» Her expression darkens fractionally, eyes shuttered against the horror of that. «Oh no. No, I've got their imprint too.»

«It is but a possibility. To presume definitively one or another situation would be erroneous. But let's posit; These appear and within one year we see these other spirals of events.» Blackagar tilts his head at Scarlett, reaching out his hand to gently place it on hers reassuringly. «It stands to reason, knowing more about this may be of utmost priority.» His finger taps the alien in the picture.

«They existed inside multiple levels of bureaucracy and politics. So did the Kree. I do not know exactly to what extent they compromised matters, but…» Her expression is clouded, the taking of her hand briefly shooting a ray of surprise through those bright, luminous green eyes. It might almost be accompanied by a jolt that ripples across the distance, though her gifts don't transcend biting into Blackagar's flesh. The prospect is there. «They probably reached as far as the President. I believe there was some kind of power play. When Kennedy died, they blamed the Asgardians. Or rather, the younger prince. I was there on the battlefield, too, when Johnson met the army behind Sif, their goddess of war. He might be someone you can approach if you absolutely must. He knows about the Skrull. To what degree, I don't know.» Her fingers curl around his. «If this means keeping secrecy, then I think you may have to discuss that with the Doctor. He has a very strong sense of the races causing trouble around this world. So, spirals within spirals. The Skrull wish to take advantage of this planet. They hate the Kree. They impersonate the Kree to put them at war with your people. The Kree do not come in force, but investigate, and you are holding your hand against doing harm. It stands to my mind they'll either push the Inhumans or your makers into conflict, or they will pull the superpowers here to do so and use the screen as a cover for some kind of trouble.»

«The pieces fit, however they are merely pieces. Without proof there is limited action to take. So where do we find proof of these ties? How do we force the issue to one where decision and action must be taken without question?» Blackagar asks it with a glance at the blackboard. «If we can tie all these together to the same source, then dealing with that source is attainable. Otherwise we remain in a responsive situation attempting to put out fires as they pop up and accept that eventually we will be unable to continue to do such and will be overwhelmed.»

«How would you bring out the Skrulls? You would need to find one. Offering an alliance is not a good idea, and you can hardly hang a banner outside on the balcony.» Or maybe he will, but the panic that might induce is worth considering. Scarlett approaches him from behind and wraps her arms around his waist, setting her chin on Blackagar's shoulder. «The other sites we know of are in South America or they're in space. Most of the world's nations cannot even get up that high. Or you have the Kree. They can. Though I should imagine the idea of working directly with them turns your stomach. What would lure a Skrull if you baited them? It probably wouldn't be possessing a Kree.» Her breath shudders in a sigh. «Obviously you're a very powerful prize to them.»

«All are true, and in the end it is still on the assumption that the Skrull is the source of this which at this point is merely our educated guess. So we must bait them out somehow. A propsect I suspect you do not particularly enjoy but one that may need to be explored. Offer them a prize they cannot resist.»

Scarlett inclines her head. «We don't even have to do much. Let me get my hands on one, and the information is as good as yours. Mind you, it might not even realize what transpired, but the information would be useful. Implying, of course, it comes from them. Otherwise, yes, you have to find the missing links and proof of evidence. On site investigation is usually best.» Her sterling smile traces a paler shade as she steeps away, considering Blackagar from the side. «I don't like using you as bait. As for me? I am not the leader of a nation nor someone of great importance, am I? I signed up for an adventurous life. If someone's at my side, then what is there to fear?»

The small smirk on Blackagar's lips is rather telling; an amused one that is both flattered and humored. «Most of the time when bait is utilized it is not capable of fracturing a world. I suspect I'd be much more challenging to take advantage of as bait than say a minnow on the end of a fishing line. At any rate, this will require careful moves and careful placements. I will need to deploy resources in a few separate directions in a hope to conceal true purpose.»

«Yes, but the idea is that you do not heroically sacrifice yourself and instead live to guide more of these fine people of yours. You have assured this bait can, under certain conditions, as opposed to you being put at such risk. For all I know, you can neutralize your own cry that I originate, not that we have anywhere to practice.» Let him chew on that for a while, for she surely has. Scarlett twirls around a piece of chalk, sketching a few squiggly lines to create the borders of continents, the sea between them. «You are rather terrifying as a tactician. Tell me more. And how on earth your family fits into this, if they do not agree.»

«They will agree.» Blackagar responds steadily, clearly that is not an issue for him, «They may not agree with the roles given to them, but they will agree with the approach. It is the nature of family and our people. As to how these things will play out…» Blackagar leans back and begins laying out his plan to Scarlett. Simple in many ways, intricate in others; all designed towards a common goal. To apply careful pressure on what appear to be Skrull interests to pull one out and turn the tables.

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