1964-11-10 - Project Virgo: Sunshine Patriots
Summary: Freedom doesn't come cheap.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
nick-fury wanda 


// 1045 hours. West Berlin. SHIELD Operations. //

Morning brings a certain hum of activity to the West Berlin operations centre. Never mind the highest people in the organisation happen to be installed, or headed to cross the border to make contact. Every asset who can be in play is, technicians on the horns and monitoring radios, handlers contacting their spies, the usual assortment of informants being tapped just in case. If the military is aware of what and who are present, they haven't altered the rhythms in the Allied quarters of a city deep in the heart of the GDR. West Berlin is the cold war in a nutshell, heavily subsidized to show off the joys and wonders of western life.

That includes a secure telephone line, as much as anything is secure, routed right into command. Arnalds, one of the seniors here and the handler for Agent Smythe who made contact with Leo in the first place, sends out his polite little secretary to go and find Mr. Fury. In fact, find him, stop his car, fetch his coffee, spill the damn coffee on him.

The woman is chasing him down now in her perfunctory German way, such that she inclines her head. "Confidential communication from America. Says it's urgent."

Fury is fuming, as always. "Can't get a damn thing done." Shaking his head he wipes the coffee of his coat as much as possible and follows her. "This better be important." He mumbles as he keeps step with the secretary.

The polite secretary shows a flinty exterior to the complaints. She gestures and says, "This way, please." Through two manned doors and down a corridor, they will end up in an office that boasts a phone, a table with paper, and not much else. Given the depths of the building it rests in, chances are good the room is free of bugs or parabolic microphones, and whatever else the Soviets try to throw. Arnalds waits. "Call from America. O Division psychologist, level five. Doctor Elizabeth Farnsworth. Says she's got an incident and needs you on the line to advise."

Fury just eyes the secretary. He swallows anything he has to say and pukes it out with a healthy exhale from his cigar. A quick shrug of the shoulders and he sits. Calmy he picks up the phone. Putting it to his ear he says nothing. *puff puff puff* The smoke drizzles from his mouth and nose now as he says, "Fury here. Whats the situation?" Resting his free elbow on the table he waits.

The woman on the other end sounds vaguely English, rather than straight American. The line has a tinny quality though. The secretary steps out and Arnalds follows, shutting the door. Not before he says, "Just green light when we can return. You can step out when you are done."

There isn't an ashtray in here, which will make his cigar tricky.

"Agent Fury?" This question is a formality. "Elizabeth Farnsworth, New York. Level five clearance." See, she's no supernatural agent of scary things. "I represent O Division," as in, the shrinks and psychoanalysts, "and I've been assigned to profile the subjects brought in from Vietnam. Colloquially, our patients who share a physical resemblance to Sergeant Barnes. The Winter Soldier."

Tricky? Not for Nick. He just ashes on the floor as he listens. "Speaking." He goes back to puffing as she continues. He squints as she brings up Bucky. "Hymm. Well, are they as off there rocker as he is? Is the resemblance as uncanny as I've been led to believe?" HE straightens his back and adds, "What is it you need? Compare notes?"

The professional reaction on the other side must be galling, though her professionalism remains intact. "The patients in question suffer from obvious psychological traumas as a result of unknown sources, and in my professional opinion, torture, negative reinforcement, and violations of the Geneva Convention." Elizabeth doesn't mince words. "I've professionally observed four of the subjects for more than thirty hours a week since September. Their baseline behaviours show a building rapport to us. They are by no means incoherent or erratic, irrational, or mentally handicapped in any sense. But let's cut to the chase. I am calling because the Director issued an order to isolate the patients at the Triskelion in individual cells. We of course complied." Who argues with Peggy? No one. Maybe her partner. "However, I must make strenuous objections and not lieu of reaching her, I'm talking to you. Solitary confinement for these patients is tantamount to reversing our weeks of work with them. They're responding badly, particularly Nikita and Evgeniy. They show the highest degree of… difficulties, you could say, consistent with soldiers who have come back from Korea, special operations, and the like. And the decline has been worrying for Evgeniy. My hands are tied if I cannot get permission to get /someone/ in there, or at least broaden the protocols to have him out and about."

Nick litens, scowls unseen and smokes. "Ehhhh." The audible sound of annoyance is clear. "I wouldn't normally go over her head? When last did you speak with her?" He removes the cigar, another ash and a puff afterwards. "You know what, it doesn't matter. Let me it this way, Doc. If /you/ think they are a harm to themselves and you would consider them, any of them, an asset to shield weather it being from a future aspect or simply for knowledge that they may have then you do everything you can to preserve that. If at any moment you feel that they would endanger personel or there value to us is limited then strict isolation. I don't want the possibility of losing a valueable piece on this board to become a reality. You answer directly to me now. I will speak with the director personally. I will contact you tomorrow and I want a full report. Do what you deem neccesairy. That's your field. Ya' think you need added support? I am curious as to why Miss Carter ordered that but I doubt either of us have time for the whole story right now. Makes me uneasy though." He pauses, thinks, of course smokes…. "I am sending a few agents yer' way to keep an eye on them. Do not, I repeat do not relax yer' orders from the director unitl they arrive. Are we clear?"

Farnsworth puffs out a breath audible over the line. Letting off steam or uncomfortable, it's hard to say. "Three of my personnel are in front of a committee explaining the ins and outs of these boys, when we haven't got an adequate picture to make a full diagnosis. I will say as much, they aren't hurting anyone and we have no illusions over here in O they are anything but potential threats. Risk assessment allows them few privileges, and they get no where near mission critical sites. But confinement is causing anxious responses. Evgeniy in particular is… The symptoms don't line up at all, Agent Fury. The shaking, heavy sweating, obvious discomfort. As a precaution he was restrained, and he doesn't seem to be responding to that. He isn't hallucinating as far as we can tell, but his readings are concerning. Accelerated heart rate, erratic breathing, monitored blood pressure far too high. I will keep him in observed isolation until your people get here, but he's behaving like he's going through withdrawal. I have absolutely no explanation for it. We haven't been dosing their medications with anything other than mild sedatives, nothing out of the normal regimen. The med staff aren't talking about changing anything up, and Evgeniy is the only one demonstrating this so far. I've got my Russian interpreters on their way, once they give me back Ricoult from the committee taking testimony. But we've had them for eight weeks, strict security. What the hell were they dosed with?"

When she asks what they were dosed with he grunts. "Above yer' pay grade doc. And you listen here. Despite what yer' little notepad tells you /I/ am telling you that each and everyone is potentially dangerous. The director knows that as well as I. That being said I will still give you clearance to give 'em what you see fit. If thats exercise, a cigarette or joining a damn book club. There pychies are what I would assume to be quite fragile so nurse 'em along. But play it cool. No unneccesairy risks. Understand. I don't want this biting either of us in the ass. Barnes is unstable enough and he's running the streets." Oops, maybe too much heart on the sleeve there. "ARe you in any way unclear? Wait on my personall. They will be there in the A.M. at the latest."

"Agent Fury," the doctor says quietly, "O Division has to know about all chemical interventions to perform our work. Something that would induce a withdrawal symptom would have to be cleared and none of the med staff here know what this would be. If you're talking a program above my pay grade, fine, but these men are our patients. If one of them is having fits and seizures, they're a risk. Imagine Captain America on an LSD bender and tell me how well that looks for the public. I know they aren't popular, these patients, and I am concerned that someone may have slipped one something."

Let him chew on that. Or his stogie, either way. She rattles something, probably paper. "We won't release any. I will try — when your people arrive — to reintroduce one of the patients to Evgeniy. They do better together. If Barnes is somewhere in residence, send him down to me. Maybe the visual resemblance is enough. No action until they show up in the AM tomorrow."

"Is someone did it happened under yer' watch. I don't know nothing about any thing being administered that you weren't aware of." Or not saying anything. "Agent Barnes is unavailable as far as I know but I will look into it." She could hear him exhale through the phone now.

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