What Do You Want?
Roleplaying Log: What Do You Want?
IC Details

Director Fury dresses down Captain Danvers for her actions in Mutant Town

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: April 03, 2019
IC Location: Roosevelt Island, NY
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 05 Apr 2019 02:35
Rating & Warnings: PG
NPC & GM Credits: Nick Fury GM'd by Corvus
Associated Plots

Roosevelt Island.

The SHIELD base those that remain of the New York City branch of SHIELD have retreated to is not the most up to date of SHIELD branches. This one in particular was built in the late fifties and stopped being updated in the 80s. While structurally sound, it is not the most technologically advanced place SHIELD agents have ever worked. Everything is under ground. Above them is the ruins of an old smallpox hospital. The rookies, if they're skittish, wonder if the place is haunted.

Everyone is still getting a feel for the place, trying to carve out spaces and renovate. It feels almost like SHIELD is brand new again, forging their paths. Things have been cleaned by now, desks are being assigned. There is an organized chaos atmosphere here. People generally know what they are doing, but many remain shell shocked or needing moments to process.

Even in the eighties, there were conference rooms. Carol Danvers is shown one that has been cleaned, but has no table, no chairs. It's an empty room. She's still on administrative leave and the agent that brings her here has no other instructions. She leaves and shuts the doors behind her.

When Carol first saw the Roosevelt facility roughly thirty hours after the initial attack she.. Had doubts of the viability of the facility. Perhaps in a pinch the place will do after a whole lot of sweat and elbow grease. The dust and cobwebs were something out of ancient legend. She cannot imagine the electrical is anywhere near their requirements let alone.. Anything else.
She had been in the field all but constantly, occasionally flying to other SHIELD locations around the world to personally keep them up to date and reassure. And in the last few days, well, she hadn't been allowed to return until this moment.
Under normal circumstances, Carol would be impressed with how well the facilities have come around. A clear night and day difference from just a week ago. But..

..This is not a normal circumstance at all. Carol does not wear her starburst flight suit costume. Instead she wears a standard SHIELD uniform in a vain attempt to be inconspicuous. Oh, everyone knows who she is but she has done her best to keep eyes forward and not see their faces. Walking into this spartan accomodation with the aire of the condemned.

As the door closes behind her she remains standing, both for lack of a place to sit and she would have prefered to stand anyway. Hands folded behind her at relaxed attention as she awaits the Director. Steel eyes staring straight ahead, completely drained of emotion and haggard in a way that shouldn't be possible on someone with all the energy of a small nuclear weapon.

Carol does have to wait awhile. There has been quite a bit going on with SHIELD and the director has been occupied putting out multiple fires.

It's a windowless room here, there is nothing like the technology of the Triskelion, that gave one way windows or fake atmospheric lights to make the underground feel as if it was above.

At some point, the doors open. It's not so much a burst so much as a statement. Then, they shut. "Goddammit Danvers." Nick Fury enters in all his restrained and not so restrained anger. The door shuts behind him with a decided sound. "You've picked the worst goddamn time to give me a PR headache. This is the last thing SHIELD needs, you realize this, right? You think I want to deal with press conferences yelling about you? That I want the fucking Brotherhood telling the world they think we have a mutant killing virus?"

He comes to a stop and puts his hands behind his back. "I saw the tapes. What do you have to say?"

It is wholly unlike Carol to show no emotion. She is a disciplined soldier and can absorb a lambasting like nobody's business but she has her tells. Indignation, suppressed anger, resolve; Things her current expression completely lacks. Fury's outrage pours through her with barely the bat of an eye.
The less perceptive might suppose a complete lack of guilt or concern over what she did. But she looks.. Tired. Tired in a way that fighting demons for over ninety hours straight did not accomplish. Blue eyes hollow and distant as if seeing something else, somewhere else, than Fury's tight grimace.

"I responded to DPS stating they saw Neutron. I arrived on scene and visually identified her. I ordered her to stand down. The target disengaged, retreating towards a nearby building - a common bait and ambush tactic. I .. eliminated the target. The target was .. misidentified." It is the single most rote and rehearsed statement ever uttered by Carol Danvers and that includes a series of SHIELD pressers and NASA advertisements she's done on television and live streaming. Mechanical. Only those brief pauses suggest hints of emotion.
Its all she has to say for herself.

"Yes, I saw all that on the tapes, Danvers." Fury narrows his eyes at her. "I know what I saw. I know what happened. I don't want a rote debriefing. If I wanted that, I'd have gotten that from the witnesses. I'm asking you what you have to say after this. It's not for an official report and it's not for a hearing, I want to know what you think."

The tone Fury gives her is not gentle, he's not a gentle man and he does not really go in for those sorts of things. "I'm not here for a press briefing, Carol. Tell me what the fuck happened."

Carol lowers her face precisely ten degrees. Her posture does not change from its full attention but there is movement. Her right hand seems to be twitching, curled fingers shaking faintly.

"I don't know." She manages to speak, her voice a fraction softer without the strength of the practiced lines. Her eyes slide back and forth just slightly, as if reading something unseen.. Or seeing something happen again in the back of her mind for an uncounted time. "I.. Made a mistake. The crowds erupted into violence. I tried to assist in the disengagement action."
Hundreds of voices screaming at her, reviling her. Pelting her with rocks and worse. She briefly remembers Doctor Foster of all people in the crowd, yelling something at her. She couldn't hear over the roar.

And for all of that haze, she could remember that girl's dying words so clearly. As crystal as if she whispered it into her own ear.

'C..can't take.. take my sister..won't.. please don't?'

Her head tics faintly, ".. I don't know."

"Well, you failed in disengaging them, in fact you inflamed them."

Fury does not hold back on his attack on Carol's behavior. "You know that, though." It doesn't take a master spy to read Carol's body language. "You're a soldier, you've seen violence, you've seen civilians be violent against you. You let your own anger about what happened to SHIELD color your mission and that got people hurt." He doesn't need analysts or anything else to tell him that.

"The smartest thing I could do for SHIELD right now is to fire you and make an example of you. I could show the country that we are neutral. Or I could make you the face of stricter enforcement on Registration. Those are the two most extreme options."

Fury looks around the room they both are in and then back to Carol. "What do you think, Danvers? Where should we stand? What do you think you deserve?"

Carol's gaze continues those microshifts. She's been in both major theatres of American war. Her time in Afghanistan was the main reason she suspected ambush. It was an old tactic, have an insurgent run into a building and chasing soldiers would run right into a killbox of IEDs. She had seen it before.

Fury is not wrong. The rage in her was strong. She cannot imagine a universe where Fury himself does not feel it. All those co-workers, colleagues and confidants.. Dead. But as much as she wants to let that rage be a shield against feeling.. Anything else..

She can't. In that moment where Eliza looked back to her with pleading eyes, her anger died. Possibly more within her died with the girl.

In the end, Carol speaks with haunted resignation yet a soft sincerity, "I must be held accountable for my actions. The Law.. Everything we do.. Everything I worked for.. Is to show the world that no matter how powerful someone is they can be held to account by the people."
Carol slowly places her twitching hand behind the small of her back, perhaps finally noticing it, "I should show that I am not above the law."

Fury takes all this in with practiced stoicism. He doesn't move, nor does he attempt to cut her off. Instead, he waits a few moments. After that silence, he adds something else: "You met with AG Archer recently. What did he want?"

There is a moment of hesitation as Fury changes subjects. Carol is left confused for a moment, so lost in her thoughts and convinced as to what Fury would say next that she's left grasping at words.
Catching herself she begins to recant that meeting with honesty, ".. Archer wants to call me to the stand for the upcoming trial." She doesn't see a need to elaborate on which trial. The trial. If it wasn't for the fact that the moniker 'Trial of the Century' has already been taken, the attempt to repeal Superhuman Registration as unconstitutional would absolutely claim the title.
"I'm.. One of the extremely few meta-humans that supports the law. He also asked for protection since the Brotherhood will almost certainly target him."

"There is a private security firm already tasked with protecting Archer and those who protect registration." Fury thinks through this.

"Do you wish to testify?" It's an honest question. While short and still to the point, Fury is not playing spy games with Carol, at least as far as she can tell. He's asking questions and then cataloging those answers.

Fury's revelation that Archer already has a dedicated security team does not surprise Carol in the slightest. The man is going to need all the security he can get his hands on and then some. She does not begrudge him trying to sign on one of the strongest hitters in the world in addition to whatever high-class detail he can get his hands on.

The question of testifying is met with a slow, lifeless blink. She nods with equal lethargy before adding, "I.. Don't know how much good I would do right now for his case with.. Everything." An acknowledgement of how deeply unpopular she is with a good chunk of the population in the aftermath of the Mutant Town incident, "But if he thinks it will help.. I'll go to the stand and tell the truth."

"And if you are called the stand and asked about what SHIELD knew about Terrigen? About what you know now?" Fury raises an eyebrow. "The truth is simple, but the right answer is rarely so."

"Do you want to be a hitter for the DPS? That's what Archer is priming you for after what happened. DPS is a narrower blade point. SHIELD is more ambiguous. Before we move forward I need to know: can you handle the greys? You can't stop everyone with force."

"Nothing, of course." Carol answers immediately. The corner of her lip threatening a frown. A .. mote of outrage bubbling somewhere beneath the languid pool of melancholy. That ridiculous lie that Quicksilver threw down like it meant something.. The sheer audacity of thinking some kind of made up weapon of genocide could justify what they did? It galls her.. Even now.
Her head slowly tilts to and fro beneath the battery of questions. She answers slower than the previous, her voice lowering, "I've always been a hitter. I was hitting with smart bombs before photon blasts. DPS.." She shakes her head, "I don't know. Not anymore. Not after they put those warmachines on the field. Sicced them on civilians. I.. I might have made a mistake but Bell did that on purpose."
Her left hand moves up, pinching the bridge of her nose to ward off fatigue. Fatigue Carol should be all but immune to, "Grey? I always relied on you for that, sir. I've always trusted SHIELD to point me at what to hit. Then I hit it. I'm no spy."

"We're reaching a point where grey is necessary. I don't need you to be a spy. I need you to be more than a soldier." Fury crosses his arms. "We're more than military, Danvers, and if you can't see beyond being point and go, I don't know what to tell you. I get what you've done, but things are different now. Can you handle that?"

Carol's stare is distant. She's hearing what the Director has to say but it's clear she is uncertain. Extremely uncertain. Without doubt her confidence has been shaken to the core. Things are indeed different now. So many things she's worked hard for have gone up in smoke. Everything she worked for to make Registration a good and safe thing.. Now lie in tatters.
".. I don't know.." Again that tepid answer.

"Don't give me that crap, Danvers." Fury's tone is sharp, but he's not yelling. Instead, he's got his eye focused exclusively on the woman in front of him. "This isn't a multiple choice answer." It's not hard for him to know that the woman standing in front of him now is different than the one from two days ago. That doesn't take a spy as trained as he is. However, he keeps prodding, pushing. "What don't you know? You've got to tell me."

He doesn't approach, but his words become more forceful as he speaks. "Do you think testifying will help? You're not a soldier anymore. I need you to think for yourself. What do you want?"

If you boil away the trappings of Carol Danvers, if you peel the layers one by one and smelt her down to her purest essence - She is a fighter. That instinct to rise, to confront and do battle is what she is at her very center.
She had always thought that instinct was honed to do good in the world, but she's no longer so sure. But the creature in Carol's body tilts her head this way and that, emotionally evading Fury's inquisition. Words come to her but she's uncertain of them, unfamiliar to them. Her reason cages them to prevent making things works.. But Fury is unrelenting. A different person would crumble to tears and flee.

Fury's final emphasized demand strikes as deep as words can go. Cracking her resolve. Her hidden hand swings around as she holds it up, her right hand shuddering and spasmodic as she yells.

Hollow eyes rekindle, striking blue flame as she steps up to the Director of SHIELD's face, no longer thinking only speaking, "I WANTED to drag something GOOD out of that God Damned Law but I FAILED. I DID NOT WANT to be the mouthpiece of bigots and oppression but now I AM!"

She stalks up to Fury within a few inches of his remaining good eye as her face contorts into rage. Rage almost entirely directed to herself, but he gets to feel the burning heat, "I WANT to save this God Damned country but now I have to save it from MYSELF!"

Fury must have known this was coming as he doesn't flinch when Carol outbursts. The blue flame in her eyes, the fury…he stands his ground. He blinks as the rage and fire flickers close to him.

He lets the whole thing play out, as it seems he's been prodding her to this moment since the beginning of the conversation. There's a long moment as the word 'myself' rings out in this empty room. The echoes catch and rebound. Once the last '-lf' dies down, he nods, understanding.

"Good intentions and paths to hell, etc." He doesn't seem to be phased. "You are now, though, and the kid is not dead. All that has already happened. More is happening now. We're going to fix it and the country doesn't need to be saved from you, it needs to be saved from itself."

Fury stares down Carol, close up, in an empty room and knowing full well she could punch him through four of the concrete walls. "This job doesn't have the easy answers. You still you want in on it?"

Carol offers a deep exhale from the back of her throat, a sound of frustration as she turns away and stalks at a ninety degree angle from him. Both hands covering her face, coming to realize just how much she let her control slip.
It's clear she does not want to answer that. Every part of her is giving different answers in her mind and she doesn't want to choose at random.
Over and over again he hounds her. 'What do you want? What do you want?' It shouldn't be her call to make, so she thinks. He's the commander, she's the soldier. He refuses to do the expected and it frustrates her. On top of the soul crushing loss of everything that's happened.
Everything in the last few years. Maybe now it's all finally starting to catch up to her. The invasions, the bombings, burying friends. Does she really want on this ride anymore? Shouldn't she just accept defeat and walk away, let stronger people deal with it?

Carol Danvers knows the answer to that the moment she thinks the question.

After a period of silence, Carol turns around. Hands falling from her face as she addresses Fury with regained composure. Somewhere between her previous states in a state of frustrated impatience, "Yes."
Carol does not run.

Fury, again, waits it through. While Fury is not a patient man on some things, he is on others. This is a decision that Carol needs to make and while he knows what he thinks is the right one, he's not going to prod her into it. At least, he will not verbally do so.

When Carol says she wants in on it, he nods. "Okay." That's that.

"This isn't going to be easy and you're going to have to take your lumps. Starting with the fact that you're still on administrative leave for the next month. When you're back, you're at Level 4." An eyebrow raises. Does she still want in?

Carol seems to be losing energy fast. The brief geiser of conviction slows to a trickle as her shoulders begin to slump. The trembling in that hand worsens as she returns the limb to hiding behind her.
As he finally lays out the penalties, Carol processes this. The loss of clearance will make her job even harder as crucial intel will be denied her but.. Demotion seems a reasonable penalty. Her head slowly bobs in consideration, a grimace plays on her lips but she accepts, "Okay. Alright."
It makes a lot of sense. She needs to stay away from the spotlight now. Let things die down and she feels so.. So very tired. A month on her hands would have been horrible torture a week ago but now.. It sounds fine.

Fury can sense the energy loss.

"Take the leave to straighten things out." It's why it's there. It's clear she is going through things and Fury is not going to have her in the field in such a volatile time while that is happening.

"Look into some things. I've heard yoga's soothing." He's not trying to be a jackass here, he's actually suggesting something.

"Request to leave, sir." Carol all but cuts him off as he begins to hint at something approaching flip. Under normal circumstances she would trade snark with the best of them but she's had enough of men in power telling her how to heal.
She's bared more of her soul than she intended to for this dressing down and it has done nothing to settle her emotions. Stirring the roiling anguish beneath the sea of icey despair has already made her snap once. Verbally.

She needs.. To get away from this place. To just not do this. To not be Captain Marvel for.. For just a little while.

"What did I tell you, Danvers? You're already on administrative leave."

In this case, she doesn't need Fury's leave to leave. He's not going to dismiss her.

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