Doom
Roleplaying Log: Doom
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Doug sends an anonymous tip to Peggy about the information he has on Hydra. Things are more pressing than she realized

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: May 01, 2019
IC Location: Times Square - Dave and Busters
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 02 May 2019 16:34
Rating & Warnings:
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

You know the guy who shows up at the Mortal Kombat machine and dominates all comers? He's there all night on maybe a buck fifty and there's a line of challengers forming at the machine, along with a crowd of onlookers watching the guy own faces?

Douglas Ramsey is that guy. Except he's been at the machine for the past two hours, and he's still on his worst quarter, and he's using Sindel, the character everybody said sucks—

"There's only one person who's ever beaten me at Mortal Kombat," He says, in a quiet voice to a dejected college student he just spanked, "And she's not here. Better luck next time."

The message he sent to Agent Carter was a hand-written note, delivered by a courier. 'Cut off one head and two more will emerge… unless you sear the stump. I'll be at the Mortal Kombat III machine in Dave & Buster's. Say 'Change is necessary, but the heart stays true' and I'll respond with 'Mutatis Mutandis' so you know it's me.'

He's dressed in a huge gray safety-sweater with a thick collar that's swallowing up his chin, and a soft knit beanie-style cap.

* * *

The woman who has arrived at Dave and Busters in Times Square is dressed much like many of the people in Times Square. She's wearing jeans, a shirt that says, "Burr shot first" and a baseball cap with the New York Yankees logo on it. In other words, she looks like she could be a tourist here to enjoy her time in a large arcade. Staked out at one of the standing tables far enough away from the Mortal Kombat booth, she and her back up have been here for about forty minutes.

"There's a sixty forty this is either a trap or just a horrible prank," she asides to the woman next to her. "This is like something out of a pulp magazine." Not that she didn't have her own secret phrases back in the day, but this was supposed to be modern times. They pair have been watching the man in the beanie stick by that machine the entire time they have been here and finally she squares her shoulders.

"Stay a step behind just in case, there's too many people here, if this turns out to be a rabbit or a trap, we don't want anyone getting in the middle of it." Then, she's stepping forward with purpose. From right behind Doug, she doesn't actually say the phrase at first. Instead, she holds up a token. "Does anyone have next?" Stepping forward, she puts it down on the arcade box. "I have heard that change is necessary, but the heart stays true."

* * *

Standing next to the touristy Carter, Agent May is also dressed casually (for her) in jeans, a dark tshirt, and black leather-looking jacket, and looks more like someone's mom waiting for them to finish playing in the arcade than just another random customer.

"Understood," she tells Peggy quietly. She's already mentally prepared to deal with either the trap or rabbit option. The physcially prepared is always a given.

Waiting just a step or two behind Peggy and thus the sweater and beanie-swathed man, she watches the pair at the arcade machine alertly even though she outwardly looks about as bored as humanly possible.

* * *

The young man stares straight ahead at the machine as he trounces the latest challenger. Flawless victory.

"Mutatis mutandis." He says. "A piece of language that's near and dear to my heart." He jerks his chin up a tic and then says, "Next game is for the lady. Then I'm done."

He curls his fingers around the joystick, and his other hand splays nimble fingers along the buttons on the console. "I'm not going to talk shop at the Mortal Kombat machine, ma'am." He cues up the next match, lets her pick her character, and then plays.

He's *really* good. It's like he knows what Peggy is going to do before she does it.

"You know, it's funny? Video games are so easy I almost don't enjoy them anymore. People, though? People are hard. Nintendo hard. Harder than I remember them being… and yet they mean more to me than ever."

* * *

Hearing the phrase, Peggy picks up the coin again and twirls it in her finger once as if debating something. It's the signal to May that she's made contact and that the person next to her is who sent the note. All systems go.

"That's good, as I have little to say about Mortal Kombat." Instead, she focuses on his phrase. "So, what would you like to change without effect the whole? And why did you contact me to do it with those specific words?"

Spoiler alert: Peggy Carter is not good at Mortal Kombat. Either she is purposefully throwing the game or she is simply a button masher. Her Sub-Zero kicks and punches randomly, his special abilities tossed out at random. While Doug is a master reader of language as a whole, Peggy has also spent much of her life hiding that language to all manner of people. When she wishes it, it is incredibly hard to read her intentions.

"Video games are programmed, people are unpredictable."

* * *

Still with the bored mom routine, May watches their surroundings, mentally picking out people around them and making quick assessments on their threat levels. So far, she's seen one teen with a quick temper, three bullies, and two young women who have clearly been brainwashed by media and the patriarchy to think they have to make themselves out to be sluts to get attention.

Basically, the typical Dave & Buster's clientele. But no honest threats that she can tell so far. Her eyes flick past Peggy as she subtly watches for a signal of any kind.

* * *

"Mmmmm. More that people are constantly changing in little ways. I can read people… but the stories are invariably incredibly complex, ma'am." He finishes, and then turns to walk away from the machine, to the most out of the way booth he can find in the restaurant part of things. Part of the reason he picked D&B was because of all the white noise in the background — screaming kids make surveillance a *bitch*.

He settles into the booth, and unzips his sweater a bit to show his face, before he waits for the other two to sit down.

"My apologies for being so cryptic. I'll tell you the truth. My name is Douglas Ramsey, and I'm an old friend of Danielle Moonstar's. I'm a mutant, I'm unregistered, and even if I wanted to register — I don't — I'm also legally dead."

"I also spent the past four years as an agent of Hydra, after being programmed by a man named Doctor Faustus." He takes a moment to let that sink in, before he pulls back his sleeve and shows a tight band around his wrist, with a black circle at the inside of it.

"This is a Shi'ar biomonitor and tracker the X-Men are using to track my vital signs and location. I could tamper with it, easily — it's a statement of good faith on their part that I'm not. I'm workshopping a more permanent solution, but I wanted you to know, for various reasons, that tabs are being kept on me."

"Before I explain myself further," He murmurs, "I imagine you have questions."

* * *

Peggy, while still on high alert, is leaving most of the crowd control surveillance to May while she keeps her focus on Doug. The pair work well in tandem to each other where they can split things up like this and keep each other's back. The game is finished in very short order. A contest between Doug Ramsey and Peggy Carter in a video game is really just a slaughter. While Peggy is a good strategist, she has not spent much of her time in the present learning video game controls.

As Doug makes his way to a booth, Peggy does not look at all toward May, instead, following him and glancing at the corners of both the arcade machines and the room. It's what she would do if she were alone.

As she sits down at the booth, she tilts her head. "That is rather an extreme way to get around registration," is Peggy's first response to his information, in her dry London accent.

Finally, she looks up toward the bored mom in the leather jacket and then back toward the booth. It's an indication for May to join. The name drop of Danielle Moonstar is something that warrants a two agent talk. Knowing that tabs are being kept on him is met with a nod. "I would have assumed. You don't set up a drop in a crowded tourist space without covering your exits." Still, she has not brought up Hydra. Until, "And so you thought it best to contact us. And you have information you'd like to share?"

* * *

Trailing at a 'not part of this group' distance, May had been about to claim a seat at a nearby table already cluttered with some one else's food leavings, but Peggy's glance has her detouring (thank goodness) away from that table and toward the pair already seated.

Sliding smoothly into the booth next to Peggy, she discreetly activates the USB stick-sized signal jammer in her pocket before folding her hands on the table in front of her. She'll let Peggy do the talking. She doesn't plan on butting in unless something garners a question from her, or the young man tries to make a run for it.

* * *

Doug picks up the menu and flips through it. "I think I'll get the nachos." He says. Then he taps it against the table, and looks up at Peggy and her companion.

"Yes. Hydra is building a complex super-weapon with the express purpose of using it to destroy New York City. I helped them design it. That's one thing." He says, "The second thing is this. This business… this registration business — it's all part of their plan. Stand by whatever principles you need to, but be aware of that. When the time comes, they want to make sure the people who would have the ability to fight them are busy fighting one another."

He laces his fingers together. "Hydra… isn't an army, out to overthrow society and rebuild it from the ground up in its image. Hydra is a parasite. It wants to insinuate itself into society and reprogram it… like the worm that takes over snails. That's Hydra."

"Hydra used me. I did terrible things for them. And worse, I had to deal with the heartache, grief, anger and mistrust that they engendered in the people I love for me." He is quiet, for a time.

"…To adequately express my feelings — at first, I thought I wanted revenge on Hydra. But I don't. Revenge invokes the Lex Talionis, an eye for an eye, a settling of accounts… but I don't want to even the scales with Viper and Doctor Faustus. Then I thought what I wanted was justice, a holding accountable… but that doesn't adequately convey the way I feel either."

"Then I realized that what I want for Hydra is doom. Do you know, linguistically, what that word means? Technically, it's interchangeable with justice. But linguistically…?"

* * *

"The nachos here are almost twenty dollars," Peggy observes as she looks down at the menu and back up to Doug. That's practically highway robbery.

The mention of the weapon is met with narrowed eyes. Taking the Triskelion down is one thing, but setting their sights on all of New York City is something else in entirely. "And how does it work?" That's what she wants to know first. There are a million other questions she will have about it later. As for registration, she doesn't draw herself into that debate. "SHIELD doesn't make laws, we merely uphold them." Or ignore them at times, depending, that's more at discretion.

"You don't have to tell me about how Hydra operates, I know firsthand." As for the linguistics of doom, she gives him a look. "I know the meanings of doom, however you seem to have a specific one in mind?" She's not about to make guesses when it's clear he has a point he wishes to make.

* * *

"I want to break Hydra, Agent Carter. I want to smash them so brutally that when people think of them they'll just think of an organization of evil, wicked people that was crushed so completely that they cringe at the idea of the same thing happening to them. I don't want vengeance to enter into it at all. Call it punishment, if you will."

"As far as registration goes… there's a very dear friend of mine — I've lost track of him since this fiasco started, I think he and his wife may have decamped for outer space. They were thinking about having a child. If they have a child, it will almost certainly be a mutant — Mutancy expresses itself very *boldly* in my friend's family."

"I want them to be able to live in a world where they have the right to raise a child as they see fit, without having to tapdance to someone else's tune based on a twist of genetics they *cannot* change. But that's an argument for another day."

"Hydra stole samples of an alien metal - Alien Metal Sample #9 - Nth Metal. Nth Metal distorts gravity when you run an electromagnetic charge through it. They're going to use it to build a device which, when activated, will compress local gravity to the point of a singularity, for a single second."

A gravity bomb.

* * *

May sits quietly and listens to the pair discussing truly heavy matters, and can't help but think that Registration is truly causing more problems than it's solving. Of course, she's not about to admit that aloud, especially in front of Carter, but she damn sure will think it to herself.

The mention of the singularity bomb is the first thing that elicits a reaction from her — she raises her eyebrows at Doug's statement. "Do you have any information on where they might be building this device?"

* * *

"I understand. I have wished that over many years." And yet still Hydra remains. It's like some horrible constant. Peggy Carter sighs and folds her hands on the table. She also has her own thoughts about Registration which she will not bring up in a Dave and Busters at a table over possible nachos. That's a more private conversation, as far as she is concerned.

Instead, her focus is on this weapon. May's question is the one she is thinking as well. "And do you know how far along in their process of building it they are?"

* * *

"Yes." Doug says, "I know where. Under New York, in the old Morlock Tunnels. Casually projections are estimated to be in the area of ten to twelve million people." He pauses, and then beams at the waitress when she comes to pour glasses of water — when she leaves, he immediately sobers up again.

"It's an incredibly complex piece of equipment, and they have to make sure it works right the first time, since they can't test it first. But… closer along than I'd like. I haven't exactly been in a position to get out and gather the allies I need to stop them. I've had to prove my good faith and willingness to cooperate. I'm still proving it."

* * *

May looks at Peggy. "This intel can't be allowed to sit. I suggest forming a strike team immediately to clear out those old tunnels." She's already mentally making plans. Tap Stark for the tech to track down the epicenter of this bomb-building endeavour — if anyone can track it he can. Perhaps use the Nth metal as incentive to get him on board.

She's still contemplating plans when the waitress passes by to fill water glasses, and then she's addressing Peggy again. "This needs to be subtle." And that's the real challenge.

* * *

There are so many tunnels under Manhattan that it would take forever to search it by hand. Extreme measures would have to be done to find this in a quick and organized manner that would not alert Hydra to what they were planning.

When May turns to her, Peggy returns the look. It's clear that she agrees on all of May's points. With a quick nod, she looks between the two of them. "Do you know where exactly in the tunnels they are holding this thing? You said it was complex, does that make it hard to move? Are they building it on the site they wish to detonate it on?" That would make the most sense to her.

As for good faith and allies? She gives him a bit of a look. "SHIELD does not operate on good faith. We seek and verify. And if you are leading us and our organization into a trap? You will certainly know how we deal with people who attempt such things."

* * *

"Two men could pick it up and carry it." Doug says, before he adds, "But they're assembling it near where they plan to activate it. The less you have to move it, the less likely you are to get caught. Viper didn't reveal that to me. s Peggy a flat look.

"Ma'am, I understand your caution, but I fear losing the people I love more than the wrath of SHIELD." His mouth flattens into a line. "I just — want to do the right thing, and live in a better world with the people I love. I don't want to hurt anyone — I'm the son of two Mormon lawyers from Salem Center, New York. I have a dinky, stupid little mutant power that happens to make me exceptionally useful in an intelligence capacity — but I *don't want to be a spy*."

"I just want to live my best life. And drag a collection of Fascists headed by Femme Fatal, German Guy With Monocle, Doctor Questionable License to Practice, and so on and so forth through the mud for costing me years of my life with the people I care about."

"I think I'm being quite sensible… really."

* * *

May studies Doug for a few piercing seconds, then turns to Peggy again. "I say we get Stark in on this. With Mr. Ramsey explaining to him what to search for, I suspect the man can create something that will help us pinpoint the device quickly." And then a strike team — May will even volunteer to be part of it — can go in and sweep the place while Stark or a SHIELD UXO specialist dismantles the triggering system, or whatever.

She turns to look at Doug again. "If we can get a team to the device with a live camera feed, do you think you'd be able to talk us through safely dismantling the thing permanently?"

* * *

"Stark could work. I have a few other thoughts of who could help within agency." Peggy's attention turns from May to Doug and she gives him something of a smirk. "That's how we like it in times like this." As for not wanting or not wishing to be anything, she raises an eyebrow. "Wishing doesn't make things so." Then she gives him something like a reassurance. "Just because you partake in one SHIELD mission does not make you a spy." Taking a moment, she looks about. This is a good place for a meet, but for a full debrief and planning session it's a little too exposed. "I think we'll need Mr. Ramsey for the intricacies. However, we should perhaps make another meeting in a more secure location."

* * *

"You assume I wouldn't be there myself, ma'am." Doug says, before he murmurs, "Part of the trick is, the device is designed so that tampering with it to try and stop it from going off… will set it off. Madame Hydra is playing to win. Can Tony Stark disable the device? …Yes. But it won't be easy. This is a political weapon as much as it is a weapon of destruction. This is step one in a wider plan of insinuating Hydra agents into positions of influence in business, government, even religion — all with pushing things past the point of no return, until what we have is a global fascist state, operated by Hydra."

He curls his fingers against the table. "I am invested in stopping this, and prepared to lay my life down to do it if need be."

Then he straightens up. "I am an X-Man, ma'am. I am for the oppressed and against the oppressor. Always." He doesn't seem to be bothering with the nachos. Then again, they are almost twenty dollars.

"If you need me, ask Dani to fetch me."

* * *

May studies Doug when he says he would want to be on site when they go after the singularity bomb. After a few moments, she nods in approval and glances at Peggy. "That can be arranged. And Carter's correct. You don't have to be an agent to help with this."

With a nod to Peggy, she moves to stand. "I can arrange something more secure. We'll send word to you thorough Dani."

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