Title: Cleaning house
Atlas - December 5, 2009 03:06 AM (GMT)
It was about time. Edwin Goldman had become reckless. There were stronger adjectives he could have used, but reckless was the nicest. He sat at what would be considered the head of the command centers table, a few files laid out before him. He had his morning coffee next to him too, as well as several very important looking documents. CIA files, requests from the FBI, warrants, etc.
Facedancer - December 5, 2009 12:05 PM (GMT)
Goldman walked into the Command Center, holding a rather thick set of dossiers, the cases he was working on - Silver Fox, Omega Red, and Ares, not to mention Green Goblin himself. There were two much slimmer ones on Sebastian Shaw and Senator Robert Kelly. He set them down and sat down across from Atlas, putting the dossiers in a stack in front of himself, no less impressive than Titan's own stack. He leaned back slightly, resting his elbows on the arms of his chair and steepling his fingers. It would look oddly philosophical, and somewhat unlike him, until one realized that it was a mimicry of Professor X's way of sitting in a meeting.
"You wouldn't have called this meeting if it wasn't extremely important. Based on that stack of papers, you're going to officially tell me to cease and desist work on several of my cases. Needless to say, I'm more concerned in the unofficial. With regard to the car, the perp was as much in our jurisdiction as it was HAMMER's. When I brought my weapons to bear, he slashed the poor girl in two. Gaffer's said he can get that and my 904 back on the road and back in the air in, and I quote, 'a jiffy'. He's just got other projects that take priority. In the meantime, we do have the Aston when I need it, not to mention the fleet of Porsches. The first one was lost similarly. I remote-controlled the darn thing, and Omega Red crushed it. I mean, come on. I use the thing exactly as we're trained to use it, and it gets totalled. I'm really starting to think we should reconsider training."
Face stared across at Atlas, his eyes open and unblinking. It wasn't an intentional moment to creep the man out, which wouldn't work. Rhodes had been around the shapeshifter too long. He simply was focused enough that he forgot to blink.
Atlas - December 5, 2009 04:05 PM (GMT)
It had taken all of Atlas' will power not to flip the table the second Edwin had started talking.
"You seem awfully cavalier about this entire ordeal. While you're worrying about your cute little James Bond car, I'm currently trying to keep HAMMER from pressing charges, I'm getting calls from old friends at the CIA wondering why you're targeting their agents on the streets of New York and Russia, and generally cleaning up after the wake of Hurricane Goldman. So if you're wondering why the vein in my forehead is popping out, why my blood pressure is raised, and exactly why I want to rip out your jugular right now, let me explain. My therapist says I'm misplacing my rage on to the wrong targets. My therapist if a f***ing idiot who couldn't diagnose a case of DID if the voices were in his head. See, it's because while you're leading the life of a secret agent, I'm the guy that takes the fall for every bad decision you make, whether or not you realize it.
So let's see what's on the agenda today. Oh. A meeting with the head of the Department of Defense wondering why you shot two HAMMER agents for arresting a criminal they had jurisdiction over. I'll get to the car later. But right now, it seems you have a personal vendetta against a man given a full god damn pardon by the former President. Since you apparently have no idea what that means, let me spell it out in black and white. You assault their agents again, you lose your badge. This isn't coming from me. This is coming from my boss. You know. Nick Fury. The guy you slap in the face every time you step over the boundary. You aren't an X-Man anymore. You're apart of a world peace keeping organization where your actions have repercussions.
Next on the list. The CIA agent Kayla Silverfox. Why is it that I've been trading in favors with very, very dear friends of mine to once again keep your ass off the chopping block? They want to know why we're investigating one of their agents without letting internal affairs know. Y'know, the people we still have to go through based on the conditions of the U.S. being in the U.N. I'd like to know why too, seeing as how you've apparently been on company time for these cute little extra curricular.
Right now, it seems like you're running on emotion, and enjoying playing lone wolf. I've given you leeway so far, because I thought at some point, you'd be able to demonstrate some common sense. I've given you too much credit. There are a lot of people that want your head right now, and I'm half tempted to let them have it. I had to cut a lot of deals to keep you on staff. A lot of deals I didn't want to have to make. I need you to drop off the radar. And seeing as how it turns out I can't trust you to handle yourself, it appears I'm going to have to find you a partner.
You've got a new case. Nick Fury needs someone to make the rounds and check on the Avengers. I'm sending you, because it seems like the only place you won't threaten to blow something up with your car. There's a lot we don't know about going on with the Avengers, and we're still trying to figure out who's targeting them. So you're going to find out. If this case doesn't keep you busy, then I don't know what will. Y'know, I'm not always going to be around to keep you here. So either you start taking care of your house, or I'm going to have to do it for you. And that's something that neither of us wants."
Facedancer - December 6, 2009 05:57 AM (GMT)
Edwin looked at him and sighed, calmly. He was rather cavalier about it, because in his mind, this was his job. He tossed over Silver Fox's dossier, opening it to the first page with a Weapon X profile. "You want to know why I'm following Zora del Plata? It's because that's not her name. She's the Silver Fox, a Weapon X project. And I have reason to believe that the Russian excursion was something made to save her own life, from this fellow." He tossed over Omega Red's folder. "Omega Red. He has a thing against Weapon X agents, even former ones. And quite frankly, the reason he busted the car was because I was trying to use it to save her life. Alright? I'm trying to keep the girl in one piece. Maybe I am trying to be a hero for her, because gods know it's something I've never really been. Now, do you want to be the one to tell the CIA that I'm chasing her because she's being called to pay for a debt Logan made, and Logan saved my life back at Krakoa, and now I feel that I'm the only one in a position to even try and help her out of this mess? I've been trying to talk to you about this one for months, but you've always been conveniently out of your office. So don't go blaming me for all the s*** you've had to do, when I was trying to ask your advice for things but you weren't there to give it.
As far as HAMMER, maybe I do have a vendetta against him. Every goddamn hero on this planet should, because the President is an anti-mutant bigot with no sense of what that bastard did to all of us, and I want a warrant for him - for conspiracy and aiding and abetting a known criminal. I also want one for Robert Kelly. But you don't understand, because you weren't around then. When the news came out that Gobby tossed a girl off a bridge and Spider-Man couldn't save her, you could have pushed us over with feathers. That was the man who made killing even an option. He turned it from a game into a war. Before that, we were just teenagers having normal teenage problems and feelings, led by two guys who couldn't just get over themselves and have a friendship. The Green Goblin changed the entire landscape into a battlefield. Even if he was pardoned, there's no way a man like that belongs in charge of an organization that might come into contact with superhuman individuals. The reason he needs a God as his bodyguard is because I'm just the most vocal about it. Give anyone else an opening, and see what happens."
Face leaned in, his hands on the table as he made eye contact with Rhodes. "You really don't want me dealing with the Avengers, Titan. Especially not now. I see them all as a bunch of cowards who can't live up to their own names, and whose team name is ill-chosen. They make no vengeance. They do nothing to avenge those the villains kill, letting them walk around free, and run about in parodies of their own costumes. Even Logan's become a wimp since he joined them. I can go run some investigative stuff on them, but that's the one place where, you're right, I won't threaten. I'll just put a bullet between Stark's eyes first time he opens his mouth, bigoted bastard that he is. If you need a special suit to make you a hero, you're not a damn hero in the first place. Hell, the She-Hulk defends the villains in court! The very people she swears to fight and protect the world against, and she defends them so they walk free! What the hell is up with that?" It was an honest question, too. One he'd probably have asked Jen if they hadn't met only to deal with one thing where, frankly, she'd been an excellent distraction and little else.
Atlas - December 6, 2009 06:28 AM (GMT)
"Protecting her? Man, have the Intel reports from the advanced satellites, as well as reports from eyewitnesses been way off. Some kid tried to get in the middle, you pulled out the car unnecessary. Then the Russian attacked. You lost... two agents, and one of the Wildhearts was injured. Had to take leave. Oh, and I'm well aware of what Kayla has been doing. OR did you forget that I was CIA before I came here? The CIA mission statement states that agents aren't even supposed to operate in the U.S. But do you know what my first job was? Informing Governor Jesse Ventura of our presence and ongoing investigations in to matters of international security. One of which was Norman Osbornes manufacturing plant there. Something we thought was shipping weapons to known terrorists overseas. Don't tell me I wasn't there. While you were some kid playing superhero, I was out in the jungles fighting for survival shutting down drug cartels, shutting down dictatorships, and watching my friends get blown away beside me. Have you ever heard the sound a child makes as it watches it's mother get blown away? I have. When that mother was pointing an AK-47 at me in the Brazillian jungle while she cooked crack in the backroom." He sighed, pouring himself some bourbon.
"Edwin, as your friend, allow me to express me deepest condolences about Gwen Stacy. But as your superior... I don't give a flying f***. Like I said, these orders aren't coming from me. I'm getting them from the powers that be. You want to pick fights? Then do it off duty, and leave the badge and the car at home. Because until Norman Osborne breaks down, and I have no doubt that he will, we don't move.
And Agent Goldman. This team isn't a democracy. With this investigation comes orders to kill whoever is involved in targeting the Avengers. Because whether you like them or not, the guy I take orders from thinks they're the best defense the world has to offer. And so far, they've been proving it."
Facedancer - December 6, 2009 08:17 AM (GMT)
Edwin looked at him and sighed, looking away. So Atlas knew about his "dealing with" a few bigoted men when he was off-duty. Oh, goody.
"So what am I supposed to do? Just back down and let S.H.I.E.L.D. look like a bunch of cowards? I mean, come on, HAMMER's out there, making both us and the Avengers look like a laughingstock. you want to know who's targeting the Avengers? Two out of three guesses point to just one place - HAMMER. Otherwise, I don't know where to begin. And no, I don't know that. But I do know the sound a child makes when it's being run over by a subway train. That good enough for you?"
He shrugged and sat back.