A Few Favors Between Spies and Vigilantes
Roleplaying Log: A Few Favors Between Spies and Vigilantes
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Daredevil sees a way for Luke to get out of his conundrum, but it involves making a big ask of Agent Carter.

Other Characters Referenced: Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Kinsey Sheridan
IC Date: February 07, 2019
IC Location: Midtown East
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 26 Mar 2019 01:20
Rating & Warnings: PG-13
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

It's too cold for this. No, the front that is rapidly moving towards New York City hasn't hit yet. It'll be the early morning hours when the temperature will make a breakneck dash for outright freezing. Still, it's cold enough, especially on the rooftops.

But the Devil of Hell's Kitchen doesn't really do meetings in coffee shops, or offices — especially not when those offices are as heavily guarded and watched as the Triskelion's.

So when the request to Agent Carter comes, it's for a rooftop, and one in the shadow of that great monument to international spycraft. Daredevil is already there, standing at the edge of the roof, facing away from the entrance to the access stairwell. He's hard to make out, just a dark silhouette against the gem-strewn evening skyline.

It's a potentially compromising position. Some entrant might catch the devil-suited vigilante unawares, and put two bullets in his back before he knew they were coming. He doesn't seem concerned, though, as he looks out towards the Trisk, the FDR, and the dark waters of the East River beyond it.

—-

An entrant does arrive at his back. A sufficiently bundled Peggy Carter arrives: a dark jacket wrapped about her to cut against the wind at being higher up. A hat hides her brunette hair, a scarf covers much of her face. It's her own form of a disguise, but one more out of necessity than a true desire to hide her identity.

"Do you get extra vigilante points for standing pensively at the edge of a roof?" she calls out through the scarf. "Were this the front, a sniper would pick you off from a mile away." She knows this particularly from working with Bucky for so long. Standing against the backdrop of lighting is never a good position if anyone is worried about snipers.

Peggy remains right by the rooftop access. Through their few meetings, she has picked out some peculiars of the Daredevil and how he works. She assumes he already knows that she is there and that her not approaching will prove that she is not attempting to sneak up on him.

"You should know better than give someone an opportunity like that, though I must say you make quite a nice silhouette."

—-

He hears her coming, if the subtle tilt of his head when the door opens is any indication. When she speaks he looks behind him, angling his head so that she can see the slight crook of his half-smile to greet her quip and her compliment. His thick, quiet voice greets her: "Now who'd want to pick me off?"

Except for Wilson Fisk and half the gangs in New York, maybe. But what she doesn't need to know is that he could hear that sniper making ready before the shot was ever fired, just like he heard her approach from three stories down.

He turns towards her, seemingly unbothered by the cold, even if his suit seems only slightly sturdier than leather, its cousin in consistency.

"Thanks for meeting me," he tells her with an upnod.

It's been a while for these two. A while since that nighttime meeting at the open-air park in Queens, or their collaboration to finally take down Wilson Fisk. Or at least bring him in. The wheels of justice turn slowly; it's the new year and they haven't even set a trial date.

"I need your help," he explains, straight-forward and without apology. "Or one of my people does. This new law — it's put them in a tough spot without good options. You're my Hail Mary, Agent Carter."

His people. The crew of vigilantes that brought in Fisk, and earned the street name 'The Defenders.'

—-

"No thanks needed. It was with your help that Kingpin now sits in a jail cell. With those sorts of results, that is a partnership I am willing to continue." Peggy's tone is dry, though it's clear that she means it. Shutting the door behind her, she moves closer to the man in red. Typical of a SHIELD agent to think of Daredevil and the Defenders' part in the plot to be the help they needed to take the Kingpin down, but she does not linger on that.

It has been awhile, but she has heard about his exploits, quickly found that he was still alive after the rumors of his death. Contacts such as his must be used sporadically in order to ensure their safety, though her own tracking would attempt to ensure their continued safety.

The mention of the new law brings a downward twist of her lips, hidden by the scarf. "I'm not a religious person," she warns Daredevil. "I'm not sure what I can promise. Don't tell me who it is, but tell me what you were hoping to accomplish?"

—-

I'm not a religious person. Daredevil quirks another smile: slight, sardonic. "A religious man would say that God works in all kinds of mysterious ways," says the man in a devil suit. "Even through nonbelievers. Just — hear me out."

He spreads his hands. "This person wants to register," he explains, "Wants to abide by the new law. They're one of the good ones. A bona fide hero. But injustices done to this person in a past life make it dangerous to comply."

His jaw sets and resets as he considers his words, even though they've already been so carefully chosen, obsessed over for hours. "This person was wrongly convicted of a crime," the vigilante says. "Framed. Worse, while in prison, they were unlawfully subjected to experiments that gave them their powers. We have a witness, and leads, but not enough time to go through the courts and clear a name that this person hasn't used since they escaped from state-sponsored torture and abuse."

A beat. Tell me what you were hoping to accomplish. "If any organization has the sway to convince a governor to grant clemency to an escaped convict, no questions asked, it's SHIELD. You've probably done it before. If I convinced you of this person's innocense, and even helped you identify a man responsible for creating metahumans out of prisoners and is still doing God-knows what, what I hoped — what I'd ask — is that you use that influence. So that come March they can register under the new law honestly, without fear of being dragged back to prison for a crime they didn't convict, or being convicted of perjury for registering under a name not their own."

—-

"Says a man who dresses up in religious iconography." Peggy's own voice is wry as she responds, however she grants his request and remains silent as he explains why he called her here to this cold rooftop.

As he speaks, her eyes and expression remain rather neutral, as does her breathing and every other sign. She listens without gasps of surprise or anger or wonder. Instead, she is making mental notes, plans.

Thinking, she frowns. "Can I assume that your Defender member escaped custody and possibly jail? Is now operating under an assumed alias? Not only that, he is a metahuman. I can't see how I can convince the Governor to pardon them under those circumstances. I'm sorry. He would never agree to anything of the like, even with SHIELD pressure."

The Hail Mary, the attempt, she wants to help, however, she feels so limited by these new laws. "Give me the name of the man responsible for the metahuman experimentations. I can certainly send a team after him."

There's a pause. "However, that is only part of it. Just because that man is behind bars doesn't mean that your friend is out of hot water. He's still convicted of a crime and under this climate he is not going to get a fair trial." Again, Peggy tries to explain law to Daredevil.

"I could…if you want a Hail Mary?" She looks at the building looming over them. Nearby and yet still strangely far away. "I could arrest them, put them under mine and SHIELD custody and then pardon them of their crimes. However, that would put them on SHIELD's radar."

—-

"They were convicted of a nonviolent offense, and they only escaped because they were being used as a lab rat," Daredevil tells her. It's both an admission and a statement of defiance, said with as much vehemence as his rasp will allow.

He looks as if he is about to push the issue, even after she demurres. For a man who spends his nights battling in the most hopeless neighborhood in New York, the Devil of Hell's Kitchen has an expansive view of the possible.

But then Carter is offering another way. "You would have the power to make that determination yourself?" he asks her. "Who else would have to sign off on the plan?"

He has built a rapport with Agent Carter; a healthy working relationship. He even considered Phil Coulson a friend. But SHIELD as an institution — that's another story, and one he's cautious about.

"I understand. And yet, the governor needs to think of the public image. I would not get past the initial pitch in order to allow this." Peggy is firm. "A plea deal is a non-starter, Daredevil. I am comfortable with concealing information about your friend to the governor to a certain extent, but I can't implicate SHIELD in a cover up about the governor pardoning metahumans that SHIELD recommended. I am walking a thin enough line as it is."

As for her power, Peggy nods. "I do. I am a high enough clearance that I can pick my own team. However, that would put your friend on SHIELD radar. If they are a mutant, we are about to test systematically for them. And if they are wanting to publicly register, that will show up on his SHIELD file. Depending on what they can do, that could put them on a very narrow list of people others may want for their own missions. However, I can assure that person would not be sent to prison."

Pausing, she adds, "SHIELD has its own follies, as I am sure you can guess. This is simply the option I can offer you."

—-

Daredevil's chin tips downward as he mulls Carter's offer. It was Daredevil that asked for this meeting because he was the one who had the relationship with Carter, not Matt Murdock. But it's safe to say he's taking his lawyer's mind is working overtime on behalf of his client, thinking through the ins and outs of Peggy Carter's proposal.

"So once you take them in, no other law enforcement agency could touch them," Daredevil says of this nameless, genderless escaped convict. "Even this New York Department of Public Safety, or a federal marshal hunting for an escaped convict, or the DEO, or — whatever."

The flip side of that is that he would be 'on SHIELD's radar.' "What does that mean, practically?" he asks. "This person has a life. A job. And even if they went back to prison, their term would end sometime. Would this relationship with SHIELD be indefinite?" Indentured servitude rather than a prison sentence.

—-

"No, SHIELD has jurisdiction over their agents." Peggy rubs her hands together for warmth and then tucks them again under her arms. "If I arrest your friend in a raid and then take them under my team, they will be a low level SHIELD agent. I can shield them, literally, from the court. However, I am not the Director. Others may want to use your friend once they're in SHIELD. I can shuffle them as best I can and keep them as a consultant, but they would have that."

His question is met with a bit of a look. "As far as I know SHIELD is not a lifetime contract. It is to many as they find the work worthwhile. However, think of it is like ROTC. If they serve as a consultant for about three years? I can honorably discharge them. I will say this is a turbulent time for SHIELD. I would welcome the help of someone I could trust. However, that may color the answer."

—-

"So instead of the federal marshals arresting this person, you do it," Daredevil says with a tip of his head to the right, like a cat hearing a far-off sound. "And then have their sentence commuted in exchange for serving as a SHIELD consultant for a period of time. They'd be able to register under New York law under their old name, so there's no perjury trap."

There's a long, deliberative beat marked by nothing but the sound of the wind, the plume of frosty breath that follows his exhale. "I've got to run this by my friend," he tells her at last. "And I bet they'll have to run it by their lawyers. But — yeah. It could work."

—-

There's a bit of a shrug as Daredevil discusses semantics. "Yes." Peggy nods her head, her response filled with the dry humor for which Brits are known: "Instead of one government agency arresting your friend, it will be my government agency." However, she works in semantics, thrives in them. "If your friend has - what I deem to be - knowledge or skills pertinent to SHIELD I can commute their sentence. Basically, I will make them a covert asset. Honestly, I could make them do desk duty for me and it will serve. However, if your friend is metahuman and has particular skills, I may be outranked into putting him in the field."

Frowning, she looks at the building looming behind them once more. "SHIELD is not what I thought it was. It may be dangerous, even. You have not yet steered me wrong and there have been many times you could have taken me out of the loop or lied to me. If you let me in on this, I will give you my personal word that I will do whatever I can to ensure your friend is looked after in SHIELD."

She looks back to the red masked man standing in front of her. "This may not be the Hail Mary you were wishing for, however it is all that I can offer."

Pause.

"I know a good attorney if your friend needs one."

—-

"I think they've got that covered," Daredevil says of her offer, as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth. To be fair, in this temperature it might not. "But — thank you for the offer. We appreciate it."

There's a subtle shift in tone, an added weight to the quiet expression of gratitude, that makes it clear he isn't merely talking about her offer of a referral. One of his people is in a tight spot, and she's meeting him halfway. That says something.

He may be about to press her for more details — what the 'desk job' could entail, for instance — when she says something that was always bound to catch his interest. "What do you mean by SHIELD not being what you thought it was?" he asks with a lift of his stubbled chin in her direction.

—-

As the Devil of Hell's Kitchen replies that they've got it covered, Peggy nods in understanding. They've kept this all very hypothetical and - mostly -anonymous. The names of his lawyers can remain hidden, too.

The thanks is met with a brief smile, though it cannot be seen through the scarf that she's wearing. However, it's certainly possible to tell it through her tone: "Sure, what's a few favors between spies and vigilantes?"

That amused tinge to her voice immediately is gone when the question is asked about SHIELD. While she's willing to divulge some information to this vigilante, she's not about to give him top level secrets. Not just yet. "Perhaps it's simply the changes that every organization goes through after decades. It's been something of an adjustment. Involving themselves in Registration at all, for one." That, however, gives her something of an idea.

It's a split second decision and something of her own Hail Mary. "Not to move from tit to tat, but I could use some outside help, if you're willing: information and tracking. That's generally our job, but I need this off the records."

—-

The man in red seems to accept Agent Carter's punt, even when it touches on the organization that he may be consigning his friend to serve. He has been circumspect, and turnabout is fair play. Everyone needs their secrets.

But then she's asking for help. Not tit for tat, but something like it. There's a moment's deliberation before Daredevil says in his quiet rasp: "Tracking and information I can do, or others on my team can." That's not a yes. It's a statement of fact. The Defenders bring strengths to bear. But the variable is…

"What's the job?"

—-

"A man by the name of Palmer. Benjamin Palmer. He was a SHIELD Agent, supposedly died on a mission. A few months ago he resurfaced and killed me." The other her. It's complicated, but it's possible Daredevil saw the obituary for the elder Peggy Carter in the Times….there was a full article. "And others." Like Coulson, like other SHIELD agents. "He's got an interest in SHIELD and I have next to no actual information on him. I doubt I can trust his personnel file, unless my life has turned into a Shakespeare play and he has a twin brother who has come for revenge on the agency that killed his family. I can get you his picture and whatever non to semi-classified information I can spare."

Peggy frowns. "I just need to separate fact from fiction and if he's this interested in SHIELD, I won't doubt he's attempting to track my search for his whereabouts and motives. I'd prefer if he's not prepared for what I have in store for him. Outsourcing seems the best move, as I hope your team is not on his radar."

—-

Daredevil doesn't seem confused or even much surprised when Peggy Carter tells him that a former SHIELD agent had 'killed her.' Not because he read Peggy the Elder's obituary in the papers, but because the Agent Carter here before him had told Matt Murdock the ins and outs of her very strange lives when she was scheming for a way to avoid testifying against Bucky Barnes. There was an older Peggy Carter who lived a rich full life, and it was cut ever-so-slightly-short by a rogue agent. Now it is the job of the Defenders to find out why.

You wanted to get Luke involved in spycraft, kid, Stick's voice sounds in his ear.

It's all he can do not to smirk when she offers him a picture, but he plays it straight. "Everything helps," he tells her. "Last known address, any old personal or professional belongings you can afford to get me. Video or audio files of reports or interrogations he's conducted. For the kind of search we'll be conducting, any of it could probably help."

THAT was probably a yes, it's safe to say.

—-

"SHIELD is generally a full time position." Peggy's reply is not studied nor an attempt to bargain. "However, depending on how things shake down, we can certainly attempt to make Mr. Cage an embedded member. However, that would require frequent check ins and his bar would then quite possibly come under SHIELD surveillance, as it is an asset."

—-

"Frequent check-ins he can do," Matt allows. To the rest: The lawyer's eyebrows drift up, and while he obviously does not 'look' his client's way, there's the sense that Matt's attention rests briefly on Cage to gauge his reaction to the notion of his building coming under regular surveillance. Luke and Jessica are out in public about their work and their natures. Others who frequent there? Maybe less so. Predictably, Luke leans in and whispers to him and there's a quick, hushed exchange. Matt turns his focus back towards Agent Carter. "Giving SHIELD carte blanche to monitor Mr. Cage's bar — which is also his home — won't work. We can talk about individual instances of surveillance related to Luke's operations as a SHIELD agent, but round-the-clock monitoring to pick up chatter? I think it would be difficult to impossible for my client to accept."

Matt's eyebrows lift. "I know you are doing a favor for Mr. Cage's association. But it's a two-way street. Even aside from Mr. Cage's remarkable talents, he has built a reputation in New York through his good works. That in itself is an asset he could bring to the table. Allowing him to maintain those community ties and community trust seems in everyone's best interests."

—-

As the Devil of Hell's Kitchen replies that they've got it covered, Peggy nods in understanding. They've kept this all very hypothetical and - mostly -anonymous. The names of his lawyers can remain hidden, too.

The thanks is met with a brief smile, though it cannot be seen through the scarf that she's wearing. However, it's certainly possible to tell it through her tone: "Sure, what's a few favors between spies and vigilantes?"

That amused tinge to her voice immediately is gone when the question is asked about SHIELD. While she's willing to divulge some information to this vigilante, she's not about to give him top level secrets. Not just yet. "Perhaps it's simply the changes that every organization goes through after decades. It's been something of an adjustment. Involving themselves in Registration at all, for one." That, however, gives her something of an idea.

It's a split second decision and something of her own Hail Mary. "Not to move from tit to tat, but I could use some outside help, if you're willing: information and tracking. That's generally our job, but I need this off the records."

—-

The man in red seems to accept Agent Carter's punt, even when it touches on the organization that he may be consigning his friend to serve. He has been circumspect, and turnabout is fair play. Everyone needs their secrets.

But then she's asking for help. Not tit for tat, but something like it. There's a moment's deliberation before Daredevil says in his quiet rasp: "Tracking and information I can do, or others on my team can." That's not a yes. It's a statement of fact. The Defenders bring strengths to bear. But the variable is…

"What's the job?"

—-

"A man by the name of Palmer. Benjamin Palmer. He was a SHIELD Agent, supposedly died on a mission. A few months ago he resurfaced and killed me." The other her. It's complicated, but it's possible Daredevil saw the obituary for the elder Peggy Carter in the Times….there was a full article. "And others." Like Coulson, like other SHIELD agents. "He's got an interest in SHIELD and I have next to no actual information on him. I doubt I can trust his personnel file, unless my life has turned into a Shakespeare play and he has a twin brother who has come for revenge on the agency that killed his family. I can get you his picture and whatever non to semi-classified information I can spare."

Peggy frowns. "I just need to separate fact from fiction and if he's this interested in SHIELD, I won't doubt he's attempting to track my search for his whereabouts and motives. I'd prefer if he's not prepared for what I have in store for him. Outsourcing seems the best move, as I hope your team is not on his radar."

—-

Daredevil doesn't seem confused or even much surprised when Peggy Carter tells him that a former SHIELD agent had 'killed her.' Not because he read Peggy the Elder's obituary in the papers, but because the Agent Carter here before him had told Matt Murdock the ins and outs of her very strange lives when she was scheming for a way to avoid testifying against Bucky Barnes. There was an older Peggy Carter who lived a rich full life, and it was cut ever-so-slightly-short by a rogue agent. Now it is the job of the Defenders to find out why.

You wanted to get Luke involved in spycraft, kid, Stick's voice sounds in his ear.

It's all he can do not to smirk when she offers him a picture, but he plays it straight. "Everything helps," he tells her. "Last known address, any old personal or professional belongings you can afford to get me. Video or audio files of reports or interrogations he's conducted. For the kind of search we'll be conducting, any of it could probably help."

THAT was probably a yes, it's safe to say.

—-

"I'll give what I can," Peggy tells Daredevil truthfully.

Whether or not she knows Daredevil is blind, she makes not move to confirm or den. "I will. I have one or two things that should be helpful, but as far as I've seen he's practically a ghost. "

Crossing her arms in front of her, she adds, "Anything you can get that's a fact would be helpful. Being able to confirm or deny some of his details would at be a start."

—-

Daredevil's blindness is every bit as cloistered a secret as Matt Murdock's double-life. That's not the least because the two falsehoods sustain each other. As the lawyer, he fakes being ordinarily blind. As the vigilante, he passes as someone who can see. Neither falsehood is fullproof, but he strives mightily to sustain both fictions.

Outside of a very small circle of friends, each half of the man bifurcated red's life is a lie. That makes him a dissembler, yes, but he's not without honor. When he tells Agent Carter, "We'll look into it," he means it. And he also means we. He's well suited to some parts of the job she describes, but he can think of at least two people on his team who are a better fit for others.

He also means it when he say in his low & throaty rasp: "Thanks for the other thing." A beat, a reach down for the holstered sticks at his leg, the grappling hook at his leg. "I'll be in touch. Take care out there, Agent Carter. That storm's coming." And then he's turning back to that rooftop ledge and leaping into the black.

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