1965-05-17 - Fuel Part 2: When In Rome
Summary: SHIELD moves on intelligence gathered from captured General Nibiru, and conducts espionage on a location in Rome.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
kitty billy teddy-altman coulson 

Rome, Italy.

The Cheisa di Santa Maria della Vittoria is the location. The 17th century church houses Bernini's dramatic carving, "The Ecstasy of Teresa". SHIELD intel collected from captured Nigerian guerilla Nibiru has pointed to this location as being the staging area for many of his nefarious operations.

There operation is espionage. The primary goal is to locate where Nibiru's agents have hidden away upwards of forty or more African villagers, who are being held hostage in order to motivate mutants he has created; the same mutants responsible for the terrorist attacks that struck New York, Chicago, and other cities across America on Friday.

The secondary goal: secretly collect and apprehend anyone in a leadership position, but only if you are in a position to do so without giving away SHIELD's presence.

Operation Miami is the code name. The teams have been split up as follows: Kitty and Teddy are on reconnaissance. Billy and Wanda are on target engagement and acquisition. Coulson is on overwatch. During the flight over, the team was briefed on everything SHIELD got from their interrogation of General Nibiru, including names and descriptions. Some of those names have faces, others do not. Each team member is outfit with a tooth-implant tracking device behind the left molar, in case anyone is forced to go to ground and off the grid; in addition, the sophisticated SHIELD ear-comms will keep them in contact with each other.

"Hopefully this information isn't a waste," Coulson murmurs. He's seated by himself in one of the church pews, his face looking at a Holy Bible that he isn't actually reading. "Everyone report in," he murmurs to himself.

Back to Italy so soon. For Teddy Altman, it was just earlier in the week when he was enjoying some gnocchi in Florence, yet he still approached this mission with the eager beaver attitude of a young agent finally getting sent on a field mission abroad. It's a boyhood fantasy come true! Now outside the centuries-old church, he's decked out in cargo shorts, a floral shirt, sturdy shoes and ankle-length socks. He's a tourist, and his shifted guise is that of an elderly man in large glasses, outfitted with a map of the city and a camera around his neck.

"This place is actually gorgeous," he mutters as his way of checking in. He's holding the map open and skirting the outside of the church, marking entry and exit points for the other agents, and generally keeping an eye out for trouble should it approach from outside the building.

Tourist Billy finds himself looking at the carving, since that's what tourists do, and he's in no way at all a spy. He's got a camera he's lifting up to take a picture with, and after the flash goes off, Tourist Billy reports in, "Kaplan ready, sir." He has sunglasses, and styles that are a bit flashy (Hawaiian), with khaki's and flipflops.

|ROLL| Billy +rolls 1d20 for: 17

|ROLL| Teddy Altman +rolls 1d20 for: 4

|ROLL| Kitty +rolls 1d20 for: 13

Kitty enters the grand old church and heads toward the back. She has also adopted the guise of a tourist, hair up in a ponytail, wearing jeans and sensible shoes. She's never been to Italy, and never been in the field for SHEILD before. It's a little daunting being out of the lab, but she is strangely excited to be out in the world to help make a difference again. Now, all she has to do is keep her eyes peeled for the objective.

Coulson glances up from the Bible, not yet heading Maximoff or Pryde checking in. Kitty he can see in his peripheral as he enters the church, so he remains silent about that. Wanda, well. She's Wanda. "Alright, stay sharp and keep me updated," he murmurs, before turning the page in his bible. He's yet to recognize any faces, but there are many here. Some coming, some going, others performing acts of ritual that belong in a place like this.

Teddy blinks behind his large sunglasses as he stares up the length of the church, eyeing the top of the central tower as Coulson reminds them for updates. "Affirmative," he says, covering his mouth with the big map, which is then folded into a rough bit of origami apparently made to resemble a mess. "Looks quiet out here." He paces across the front of the church and casually meanders around the corner, where he'll inspect one side of the building while attempting to keep his wits about him.

"I have eyes on 'Cyrus'." Billy murmurs into his comms, "He's lighting a candle at the altar." But he keeps his attention focused on looking at the guy out of the corner of his eye, murmuring so he can barely hear it, "I spy with my little eye, something that starts with C… I spy with my little eye, something that starts with C… I spy with my little eye, something that starts with C." Reality turns very slightly sideways for a moment as, to Billy's eyes at least, Cyrus begins to glow as he is magically tagged, "Tracking tag attached to him."

Kitty cringes inwardly, "Sorry about that," She ducks around another tourist, changing direction to head to check one of the side chapels, "I get the feeling I haven't seen the good part yet, but this place sure is, impressive." She swivels her head from side to side in an attempt to take in art, architecture and company.

'Cyrus' is a particularly nasty guerilla soldier hailing from Nibiru's country, Nigeria. He's dressed the part, but his appearance and demeanor is just plain mean. Once he's pegged by Billy, Kitty will notice 'Cyrus', from her vantage point, turning to make eyes with a Middle Eastern fellow, dressed like security, guarding a door. This security guy nods slowly to 'Cyrus', then reaches behind himself and unlocks the door he's guarding.

"Copy," Coulson murmurs into his bible, while turning to the next page of '1 Corinthians'. "Altman, good work, stay sharp."

"Careful in there," Teddy says as he continues his loop around the perimeter, working slowly when there are people around, more quickly when he feels he's alone. Every now and then, he stops to lean in and study something either on the building itself or nearby, just making as if he's super interested in the place and not the people they're here for. Not seeing anything of note, yet, he just keeps moving and watching.

Billy turns away, so as to not appear to be watching the man he tagged too closely; but since he has the man tagged, he's confident he will be able to easily find him again. He looks around for others, murmuring, "I should be able to retrieve him later when we're done here, just so we know. Anyone else have eyes on any targets?"

Kitty spots Cyrus, noting the exchange with the guy dressed like security. "I'm not seeing anything up here, but I have a hunch we might be aiming too high." She adjusts her meander around the church again, wandering back toward the center, keeping the door easily in her field of vision.

"Explain, Pryde," Coulson answers.

'Cyrus' begins walking toward the door that was just unlocked by 'Security', the Middle Eastern man who suddenly has an urge to pee. He speaks in Italian into his walkie talkie, then begins making for the men's room at the other end of the church. That door is to the right of the altar, which is on the western facing edge of the building.

An old Italian woman not far from Coulson begins eyeballing him. He smiles to her, then crosses himself all Catholic-like. Just praying, ma'am. "Amen," he murmurs to himself, before turning the page again.

Teddy is sliding his hand along the eastern side of the building, heading north around the next corner. When he turns it, he slows to eyeball a vehicle just a short distance away. "We've got a suspicious van out here," here he says, continuing to move along the north side of the building. His path now, however, is altered to take him to a spot where he can best take note of the tag number without appearing too suspicious.

Turning, Billy senses that the marked man is moving, and so he turns to watch; when he heads for the door, "Should I follow the target?" he asks softly into his comms.

Kitty pauses and looks around the room, the door is no longer being 'guarded' by 'security', but she isn't sure if the guard is important or not. "This place is sitting on the old catacombs, right? I think our friend is headed downstairs, since security seems to be on a coffee break or something." She pauses, "I mean, I know I could go for an espresso right about now."

"I hear you, Altman. Location?" Coulson turns to another book in the Bible, within which is hidden a schematic of the building provided by the Italian SHIELD asset. "Yeah, better stay on him, Kaplan. Pryde, you're with him."

'Cyrus' opens the door, but after going in, he locks it behind him. Peering up from the Bible, Coulson grimaces. "Stand by. I'll provide a distraction."

Standing, he replaces the Bible, casually slipping the map back into his back pocket. He smiles at the old Italian lady, but when he reaches the end of the pew, he bumps into an ornate, large vase. It comes right off it's stand, spilling water and there dozen roses onto the stone floor, with a resounding 'THUNK!' that fills the cathedral.

"Oh! Oh goodness! Oh no…"

People gasp and look over toward the reckless tourist, giving Kitty and Billy a chance to get through that door however they see fit.

Teddy lifts a finger as he realizes he forgot that little bit. He'll kick himself later about it. "North side of the building," he responds. Having moved unimpeded into position, he eyes the large van's tag information and files it away for later. Opening the map again, he pretends to study it as he moves closer to the street, the idea being to but himself between the van and an immediate route to the neighboring road. Over the comms, he hears Coulson's feigned surprise and barely holds back a smirk.

Kitty takes a quick glance around to make sure no one is watching before quickly poking her head through the door. The coast is clear, with a small landing and stairs that bend sharply to the right. Kitty pulls her face out. The church is still doing it's best impression of a kicked horents nest, with all eyes on Coulson and the broken vase. Kitty extends a hand toward Billy "Shall we?" she moves to phase them both through the door.

"On it." Billy heads towards the door nonchalantly after giving that report, paying attention to his camera as distraction happens behind him. This is him sneaking: really, it wasn't that long ago before he could barely sneak at all. This is what a year's training in SHIELD does, it teaches you nonchalance. He nods to Kitty, taking her hand, "Let's go." And goes phasing with her.

Footsteps can be heard down the stairwell, and into the basement. According to maps given to the team, the catacombs extend deep into the ground, with a staircase leading outside to the north side of the building, where Teddy has spotted that van.

Speaking of the van, its rear doors pop open, and a couple of men jump out. These two are locals, but there's this universal truth about thugs. They all seem to have ugly faces and bad dispositions. These two head toward the outer door leading into the basement, one looking around with his hand against his belt.

Down below, Billy and Kitty will hear dialogue in what seems to be an African language from the basement.

As for Coulson, he's currently being politely ejected from the building by security. Speaking of security, that Middle Eastern fellow just came back from the men's room, and is eyeballing the altercation suspiciously.

When the doors to the van pop open, Teddy's heart jumps a beat. "We've got company," he says, still hiding his face with the map. He watches the thugs head for the basement, but when one of them go for something at his belt he lowers the map and yells out, "Excuse me!" in his best old man's voice, which is really quite good. He's practiced. "I think I'm a bit turned around here. Could you boys give me a hand?"

Kitty stops when she hears the voices talking. Whoever it is, they are still out of sight, and right now keeping it that way seems like a good idea. She doesn't understand a word of what they are saying. But it doesn't sound like a friendly chat. She turns to look inquisitively at Billy, gesturing in the direction of the sound.

Billy crouches down low when they hear the voices, and he calls forth all the spycraft he can muster, nodding to Kitty, "Let me scout." Very softly, he lifts his hands and covers his eyes, "Through the looking glass, throughthelookingglassthroughthelookingglass." Binding the lenses of his sunglasses to the vision of the man he marked magically, he stares forward to see what might be seen ahead. If it works.

Thank goodness for Teddy's interference, otherwise those two thugs might have opened the door right onto Kitty and Billy! They turn and look at Teddy, both of them seemingly disappointed. One stays there by the door, while the other, hand still on his belt, starts walking over toward Teddy. "Lost?" he asks in broken English. "Go. Over there. Information." He points toward the main entrance on the eastern side of the building. "Go! Go now!"

Billy's incantation works like a charm. He's now seeing through 'Cyrus' eyes, and is also able to hear what Cyrus is saying in English. The words of the two men Cyrus is speaking with are still in another language, though. "Show it to me," he says, and follows the men into the catacombs. Left, right, down old stone stairs into a room where a table, portable lighting, and a number of supplies have been stashed. The men point to a location on a map, which is deep in the Italian countryside, between Como and Verese. "Okay," Cyrus says. "Here's what we do. In forty eight hours, we move them north, trough the mountains, into Switzerland." He points at an area on the map west of Engelberg. "Duman will be there waiting for them. The convoy will pick them up at 3am."

Nothing from Coulson on the comms just yet…

Teddy walks right up to the man who suggests he go check with information. As if! "Oh, no," he says, giving a slow shake of his head as he thrusts his index finger onto the map, managing to hit several random places in the city, none of which are remotely nearby. "I'm not looking for information. I'm meeting my wife at a restaurant nearby, but my memory just isn't what it used to be. She said something about the best ravioli in town…" He trails off, expression contorting into confusion before he looks the thug in the face and shrugs.

Billy glances over to Kitty, nods his head slightly, and then lifts his glasses up to rest them on his forehead, "Coulson, I think I know where their base is down here. Shall we engage or hide?" He begins creeping forward then, padding not slowly but slow enough that if he hears anything he can reverse course. A glance to Kitty on the way has him adding, "They're moving them to Switzerland in 48 hours."

Kitty sticks with Billy, following silently behind. "It might be easier to grab them on the road." she muses. "Did you catch anything about how they plan to move?"

Outside, the thug guarding the door smirks and lights a cigarette. He shouts at the other guy in Italian, and both laugh for a moment. "Ah, ravioli!" he says to Teddy. "Ristorante, yes?" He points to a place on the map. "There." Then he points out the cathedral. "Here." He then roughly shoves the map down, and reaches to grab Teddy by the shoulder. "Now, you go." Unless Teddy resists, he'll get a shove in the right direction. "That way."

Coulson's voice finally comes back on over the comms. "Negative. She's right, Billy. Find out when and how they're gonna be moved, and we can set up a sting."

Inside, the people are now worried over the Middle Eastern security guard, who seems to have suddenly passed out and fallen asleep. Meanwhile, Coulson exits through the front door, casually slipping a pen back into his shirt pocket as he goes.

Teddy does not resist, because that would blow his cover and possibly ruin the whole mission. Instead, he smiles broadly and says, "Wow, Italians are so friendly. Thank you boys!" He waves and turns around to make his way slooooowly in the direction they indicated. With his back to the thugs, he can then more freely speak into comms, though still in a hushed whisper. "Heads up, you've got two hostiles heading in through a north entrance." Then, as an afterthought, he suggests they all rendezvous at the suggested restaurant, because even spies need to eat.

Pulling his glasses back down, Billy continues to report, "In italy, between Como and Verese, the convoy will pick them up at 3am. It's taking them to Duman, west of Engelberg in Switzerland." Still he creeps forward a bit and goes back to watching through his targets eyes. He reaches a hand out to Kitty, "Hold my hand, since they're coming in behind and are ahead, I'll evac us and we can keep watching through the glasses." If she takes his hand, he murmurs, "Rendezvous, rendezvous, rendezvous, rendezvous, rendezvous." The space around them swirls slowly, blurs, and both he and Kitty vanish, only to reappear behind the restaurant Teddy mentioned.

Kitty blinks as the catacomb stairway is replaced by a back alley. The smell of garlic and butter that wafts through the air. "ooo, Maybe I can get that espresso after all," She grins, letting go of Billy's hand to rub her own in anticipation. "What say you we head in and find a table?" She gestures to a narrow pass that cuts a path between the tall stucco buildings toward the main street and front entrance.

The thugs open the door, and they might have spotted the tail end of Billy and Kitty's disappearance! Fortunately… they were still gossiping about that stupid lost old tourist they had to help outside. Their exit remains unseen.

Coulson is already walking down the beautiful road leading up to the cathedral, staging his own withdrawal. "Billy," be says quietly, while putting his sunglasses on and using his hand to shield his lips. "Report. You two outta there?"

Meanwhile, through Billy's incantation, he'll see more of the plans laid out, including the use of two busses as part of a convoy to move the villagers.

"Two busses, sir. That's the convoy." Billy taps his sunglasses, walking carefully as one image overlaid over the other makes him not running into something a little challenging, but thus is the life of a spy. "I put a tap on Old Cyrus. Anyone wearing these glasses for as long as it lasts— might be an hour, might be a week— sees and hears everything he does. Someone should have them on at all times until it runs out or we stop getting useful intel out of it." He heads towards the restaurant entrance, nodding his agreement for Kitty, "Espresso, yeah."

Kitty offers her arm to Billy to help him navigate the lunch crowd. She finds a small table tucked away in a quiet corner. "You can find us in the small nook to the left of the entrance," She adds, "Would you like an espresso?"

Lola is parked not too far away. Coulson smiles slightly, and waits until he's inside. The top's down, and Italy couldn't be more beautiful this time of year. "See you in a jiffy," he says. "And… great work, everybody."

Somewhere between Comp and Verese, Italy

Mountains rise into the sky at dusk, and an encampment has been made between two foothills that don't quite qualify as mountains, but are impressive enough in their own right. There are five to six tents, and two dozen men roaming the encampment, armed with machine guns.

Inside one of the tents, one guerilla soldier comes to the other. They speak in a foreign tongue, and exchange papers. "Two days," one says to the other, ignoring the villagers huddled around each other for safety. Men, women, children, all of them taken from their homes throughout the African continent. "We move them again in two days."

"Get everyone ready," says the other soldier, when suddenly he's distracted by a woman reaching for him. "Please," she begs of him. "My son." Beside her, a young boy is wailing. "He is hungry!"

The soldier turns on her and lowers the butt of his rifle into her face. "QUIET, INSECT!"

To be continued…

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