Summary: After their encounter, Whisper and Logos talk while both are being kept cooling their heels, not leaving the Helicarrier and not quite being told what's going on yet. Eventually, Colonel Fury shows up to have his say. Apparently, they did well.
Location: The SHIELD Helicarrier above New York City
Participants: Whisper, Logos, Nick Fury
A tall young woman, standing maybe five foot nine. Dark brown hair is secured close to her neck in a pony tail. Her complexion is a little on the dark side, although not nearly enough to be accused of being 'ethnic', and her eyes are a lighter brown. She might be pretty, were her expression and makeup not so severe. She moves quickly, with a certain confidence to her. Her voice is mezzo soprano, and carries with it a strong accent of Eastern Europe.
She is wearing a black double breasted suit, with a light blue shirt visible in the V of the jacket. Her sleeves are long, and she wears black shoes with a couple of inches of heel. Around her neck is a gold chain, but the pendant on it is hidden inside her shirt. Small gold rings glint in her ears.
Tall for a woman but not towering, there is a solidity about her that draws the attention. Broad shouldered with a decent hourglass figure, she has visible musculature that does not detract from her feminine beauty and curves. Mid-back length raven hair tumbles down to frame her face while swept well clear, leaving her dark slightly almond-shaped eyes unobstructed, peering out of a oval face with a strong jaw, high cheekbones, full lips and a pert nose. Her skin tone is a darker golden shade, the sort that speaks of countless hours under the sun. She does not seem to have bothered with much in the way of cosmetics, perhaps merely a shaded lipstick and some eye liner. Her voice is clear, a rich soprano with just a hint of Southern California to her accent. Her movements are confident and strong, a sort of unconscious grace.
Currently dressed in moderately loose-fitting black fatigue pants with plenty of extra pockets, a black t-shirt tucked in at the waist, and a black harness vest strapped on, she looks like what she is: a soldier. Currently unarmed, she looks a little light. No facemask to hide her features, her long hair is currently pulled back through the hole at the back of an all-black featureless baseball cap.
Tough is a good word to describe the man before you. Serious is another. Apparently in his mid-40s, it is clear this man has seen some action, given the patch over his left eye. His form is trim, proof of a life spent in action, or training for it, lean and muscled, a well-oiled fighting machine. His hair is cut short, brown except at his temples, where it is slowly turning white. Most of the time, he has a five o'clock shadow, unless he's wearing a suit. No matter the attire, there is a cigar in hand or mouth, always lit, laws against smoking be damned. His one good eye, a dark and mysterious brown, gives the world a stare that indicates tightly-reined-in power, a look that forebodes danger to anyone who messes with this man and his job in life.
He's wearing a dark blue bodysuit made of body armor from foot to neck. Tough blue boots encase his feet, boot daggers sticking up out of them. Strapped around his waist is a thick belt with various pouches, a gun in a holster strapped to his right leg. A second handgun resides under his left arm, cop-style. There is a SHIELD badge on his right shoulder, and the nametag on the uniform reads FURY, N. The various straps on the uniform are of silver, the color indicating this man's rank as Executive Director.
Being rather used to being able to see all around herself, there's a part of being aboard the SHIELD hellicarrier that is almost relaxing to Whisper, as the energy fields that course through the walls mean that most of this place is shut off to her, one room at a time. Her senses are isolated, and much quieter. Except that those energy fields sizzle across her senses, giving her a bloody headache almost constantly. For now, she has retreated to the observation lounge, the bubble of the outer wall not permeated with energy like all the others. Here, she can at least 'see' quite a ways away. Right now, she is tracking three stealthed fighters running patrols around the carrier. And watching the news. Hooray for satellite feed television.
"One thing about this job. The view is fantastic." Slava, stepping into the observation lounge. Unlike the last time Whisper saw her, she looks like she would be the *owner* of the office she was pretending to clean...reasonably expensive suit, hair secured at the back of her neck.
Whisper is still wearing the same fatigues gear she changed into aboard the airvan they boarded to leave the site of the incident. She has showered since, however, and her other clothes are cleaned, in her backpack against the wall. "View is pretty good, I'll grant you. When I can see it. Doesn't look like they fired you. Or pitched you overboard. Guess I won't need the jetpack or the parachute."
"No, but the paperwork is awful." She moves over next to Whisper. "I can see why cops avoid using their guns." Making light of it...of course, the guy had intended to kill himself and everyone in the area, so...
Whisper frowns, but only slightly, then nods. "I guess it's different for you guys than military." Then again, they still have to write after-action reports and all of that mess. "I am glad you chose to trust me. I'm not sure I could have kept that from getting lethal for others without your help."
"If he hadn't been so visible," the Slovakian woman admits, "I might not have. Honestly...I don't think he was that experienced. And I wonder about that vest..."
"He wasn't experienced and didn't need to be. He was fanatical." Whisper is familiar with the type. "The vest was wired into his body, feeding off of him. I ... don't know enough biology to tell you more, but it was going critical before I drained as much energy off of it as I could and switched off its circuits." She doesn't bring up that she's pretty sure doing that is what killed the rest of his body. He was already brain dead, and she knows the rest of him would have died anyway. But still.
"No. I'm working on the assumption it was the FoH that were the targets. Which means the vest...but I'm no engineer and studying it isn't my job...might have been drawing off of some kind of energy. He was probably a mutant." Of course...how much does that really mean in terms of firepower.
Whisper shrugs. "Both at least marginally probable, given his final words. I can tell you there was an energy source inside the vest, but I cannot tell you whether it was onboard, or a storage for energy he was creating." Of course, she has yet to explain to /anyone/ how she knows any of this. Or did anything else Slava witnessed her accomplishing. But being SHIELD, they may already have checked enough records to find Whisper's profile and know the answers.
Obviously Whisper is some kind of meta. Slava has not yet pried further. "I suppose it does not matter." She glances at the view again. "Sometimes I do have to remind myslef its our job to protect *everyone*.
"Usually, it's just my job to follow orders. But yeah, that's what those orders are supposed to be about." Whisper comments. "Problem is, fighting an enemy that doesn't follow the 'rules'. Things get grey and messy in a hurry."
Slava Chaika nods. "And the guys we were protecting are no better than the one trying to kill them." Yeah. She heard most of what they said.
Whisper just nods. Not a whole lot more to say to that, to be honest. They disgust her, not the least of which because if they get their way, she'll lose her dream and be hunted in her own country, the one she has fought and nearly died for. It sickens, to say the least.
Slava Chaika lets out a breath. "I hope they don't have too much popular support. We have nothing like them in Slovakia."
"Maybe not, but the Slovaks have their own difficulties. Unfortunately, anywhere that speech is free, someone is going to find a way to promote fear and hatred at some point. And when things are bad, people need someone to blame, and those fear peddlers get stronger as a result." Whisper comments. OK. She may play 'just a soldier', but she clearly has a head on her shoulders and an education in sociology. Granted, one might also chalk it up to a lifetime of experience. But she's not that old, and it's still rather insightful for anyone pretending to be 'just a pro'.
Slava Chaika nods. "But the alternative is for speech to not be free at all, and my grandmother has many stories about why that is worse." A pause. "We do...but most of our problems boil down to lack of money."
"Or the vile sick bastards who find ways not to lack money and lord their having it over everyone else who doesn't." Whisper comments. OK. Apparently she's also not unaware of global geopolitical and socioeconomic issues. Not something one would expect, even of an American soldier. "Your grandmother is right. Open democracy is an absolutely terrible, vile form of government. Except for all of the other kinds, which are even worse."
Slava Chaika smiles. "The question is, is there a better one? Could a better one be invented?"
"In two-hundred fifty years, no one has thought of one better." Whisper offers, simply enough. "And not for want of trying. Like it or not, governments are made of people. People are fallible, and they'll screw up anything given a chance. So there's a limit to the success of anything."
Slava Chaika nods. "Suppose we'll never be out of a job, then," she adds, rather wryly. As for the FoH...well...
"Probably not." Whisper observes, calmly. She keeps watching what's going on outside the carrier. "Dumb question? You got any idea why they're keeping me here? I'm not complaining, but eventually I have to check in or I'll get reported AWOL."
Slava Chaika shakes her head. "Nobody filled me in on that. But if I manage to see somebody with enough rank, I'll...mention it."
The other woman merely nods. "Thanks. I appreciate it. I'd rather not piss off anyone more than I have to. It's a long way down to the ground at this point."
"Yer not gonna get busted fer goin' AWOL," announces a new voice from the entrance of the observation lounge. Nick Fury's there, stogie for once not actually alight, just present, a thick folder in hand as he comes into the room. "I had a chat with yer people and said you were our guest, so don't worry about that." He skims the folder for further information on what's gone down recently. "Read about the incident... I'd rather hear from the horse's mouth, so to speak," he adds belatedly.
Slava Chaika turns as Fury enters. "I think Whisper actually saw more of what *happened* than I did." Okay. Here it comes...
"It would be hard for me not to. Given he has my file in hand, I'll assume he understands that." Whisper comments, not even bothering to turn around and make the pretense that she spotted that with her eyes at this point. She just keeps facing the open transparent bulkhead bubble. "My after-action statement is on file, Sir. But I will repeat the salient high-points. For reasons that should be obvious if you have read that file, I had some interest in the activities of the Friends of Humanity. I was on leave, my time was my own. So I followed a few leads, found that meeting, and attended. Found easily a dozen different surveillance ops going on there as well, including Agent Chaika. I stayed out of it, beyond reading their data feeds to observe the meeting. Then I spotted an odd energy signature distorting things. I focused, and found a visible source: a guy who looked like a vest-wearing classic bomber."
Given her time in-country in the desert, it would be easy to understand why she'd spot that, and react as strongly as she did. Whisper continues after a pause. "Given what I could pick up, he presented a potential serious threat to civilian safety in the area. I evaluated the teams on site, and deduced my best shot for backup lay with a lone agent rather than a team that would be bureaucratic and hide-bound to procedure. I cracked Agent Chaika's comms frequency and communicated my concern, as I moved to intercept. I intended a simple brush contact to confirm the presence of the vest before taking action. The brush confirmed, but also warned and freaked out the subject. The vest appeared to be wired into his body somehow, high-energy, and going critical. I jumped for the vest, Chaika took the head shot. I was able to pull in enough energy from the vest and then shut down its electronics systems, before it could detonate. I have no idea what it would have done. Bad, I'm sure. Chaika called in for backup, your EOD field team arrived, and we extracted before we could be clearly identified or photographed, though there were three active cellphone video cameras on site I could not blank out in time. Too much to do at once."
Nick Fury grimaces at the mention of the classic suicide bomber. He's seen too many of those in his life and never wants to again... but he knows he will. Listening to the report in silence, he finally nods, still looking through the file folder, which has more than just her AAR on there. Flicking a couple of the sheets up to read subsequent ones, he remarks, "Good investigation, good assessment. Swift takedown with the least amount of civilian damage. In short, just the sort of person I need on my team. Hence why you're still here coolin' yer heels instead of being released." He looks at Slava for just a moment, coolly assessing her role in the caper as well. "Iffen ya want, we've got a place for ya here in SHIELD. The beancounters apparently already had yer file in my shortlist of candidates, but I been a bit too busy to look at it."
Slava Chaika relaxes a little bit. Make that a lot. Fury approves...and given Fury can send her back to Slovakia, that's a good thing. "Cell video...at least that tends to be rather poor quality."
Wait. Did he just ... Whisper pauses for a good five-count, before she spins on her heel smartly - someone still knows parade ground moves - and strides over towards the eye-patch-wearing, cigar-chomping man. "Are you ... serious, Sir?" she asks. Her? Short list for SHIELD? But given what he just said of her efforts ... maybe it does make sense. She got into the military to prove something, to herself. She has. But she also found a calling. A duty. This would be more of that. A lot more of that. "I don't want to be rude, Sir. You have seen my file. You know what I am. Will that be a problem, Sir? I don't want to be a problem. I want to serve."
Whisper glances at Slava and nods. It's true, the cell video is likely of poor quality, and it was further away, even better. Cellphone video doesn't zoom for crap.
Nick Fury rolls his one good eye. "Kid, we've got other folks from the pajama party in this-here outfit, so it's not like you'd be the first. I don't care /what/ ya are s'long as ya know how to do the job and can hack it," he adds, stabbing the air with his stogie between his fingers. "SHIELD ain't a bigoted organization under my watch, and I don't give a damn about what Joe Q. Public thinks s'long as we get the job done."
"I'll vouch for that," Slava says, softly. "Fury doesn't care who you are or what you are, he just cares what you *do*." She knows from experience that...MOST people here don't care. There's the odd one who's uncomfortable with her, but...SHIELD agents are only human. Or mutant.
Whisper considers this for a few moments, and then nods and extends her hand to Fury. "Alright then, Sir. If you're serious, then I'm in." She won't explain her reasons. They are her own. If he wants to know, she's sure he'll have the SHIELD headshrinkers read up her file and tell him. But what matters is that she means it, and does the job. And she does and will, both counts. "Thank you, Sir."
"That's 'Colonel' to you, kid," Nick says pointedly to Slava, but smiles faintly. "Ya get a couple of days to figger yer stuff out and tell yer mom and dad or whoever your buddies are in your old outfit. One of the transition officers will be in touch to help ya get squared away, and then you'll get an assignment and a supervisor 'n everythin'. I'll have them arrange all the signin' in blood and other paperwork the beancounters looooove to have done proper-like, and then you'll be on the team."
Slava Chaika blushes very slightly. Makes a great show of looking at the view. But she caught that smile...she knows he's not *that* upset with her.
"Thank you, Colonel, Sir." Whisper offers, simply enough. She'll take the days. There are a few people she'll want to contact, but most will be short video calls. A few won't understand the change. Others may applaud it. But she isn't going to look back. She would never have thought of it, but this is the right move for her. She's sure of it. And she shakes Nick's hand firmly. "Alright. So how do I get off this crazy ride? Parachute, jetpack, or do I just jump and pray?" She's kidding. Humor. See?
Nick Fury overlooks Slava's blush to give her a chance to recover, but focuses mostly on Whisper. "I'll have someone requisition something from the motor pool to give ya a ride downstars," he says to the other woman. "If yer lucky, it'll be one of our newer flying cars. They're a barrel o' laughs. But I got more work ta do, so I'll leave you ladies to it. Good job on this," he says, including both women in the compliment, something he doesn't hand out too often, turning and heading out of the lounge.