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DrAshFjorde's avatar

Barking Strawberry

Caught off guard when the woman suddenly lunged at her, Spider-Woman stumbled back a couple steps. And the moment she was fully within a shadow, her teleporting ability, something she still did not have full control as it sometimes reacted automatically when she was frightened or surprised, took over. And as she felt herself dropping to the ground, she felt familiar shift and wondered if she was taking her opponent with her and what the effects might be.

Mere seconds later, Spider-Woman appeared across the store and unsure if the woman had transported with her, she instead focused on getting up. Rolling to her right, she pivoted and allowing her dexterity to take over as she leapt into a standing form. Glancing about, she began to look for the woman while she did gained her footing, preparing herself for another attack.


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kierena's avatar

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When you live as long as I have...

Veronica contemplated some of her paperwork with a look of absolute boredom. S.H.I.E.L.D was as alway true to their word. However, she always hated the bureaucracy of it, in other words she loathed the paperwork involved with it all. She was only just finishing statements on her movements and activities for the duration of the time she was under. The good part of it all was the ability to contact her family again. They had felt the lack of her to be incredibly hollow, and where ecstatic to hear from her. The contingency plan had worked, and her company was well taken care of as well as her family. In her time jumping through the paper hoops Veronica had kept the color she had opted for before, the pale almost blond brown, but it had grown out straight and choppy without her formative regiments of curling and product usage. The long-lived woman had also used her time to do more studies into the after-affects of her exposure to cosmic radiation, which where still ongoing. The serum that was originally used on her was of course confiscated for research and cataloging, but what now flowed in her blood stream was far more potent. The radiation had ramped up her system tenfold, she could sustain any for of physical injury without repercussion, and her immunity to disease improved. However her ability to drown, be poisoned, or burned to death where still valid weaknesses. Though after and incident with a stove she discovered that burns healed faster now than before. She felt, despite this, incredibly poor. What she craved more than anything was interaction, and while occasionally seeing peggy and chats over vid comm or phone with her family where nice it wasn't enough. She had craved it while in hiding and now it just seemed intensify as the days went by. Some nights she'd talk to the photo she kept on or around her, talking about all the scientific breakthroughs her husband had missed. She talked to him for hours about her family and how the world had changed so much. Finally, the night before she looked at his photo with a fond smile and murmured to it for the last time. "You know, I bet if you could talk to me from wherever you are you'd tell me to let you go." she stroked the photo fondly taking it to a luggage piece and placing it in a little pocket gingerly. "Good bye my dear James." She whispered to it before zipping it up and stowing it, telling herself that moving on and focusing on the future, HER future with S.H.I.E.L.D was the most important thing.

...you get tired of loosing everything that matters to you
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Stray_Dog's avatar

Justice Champion

XXXXXXSteve Rogers


Two soldiers stood outside of Peggy Carter's home, knowing they were about to meet Captain America. Just like nearly every other person who had seen or met with him since his awakening, it was a strange moment for them. Doubly so today, as they'd been sent by Peggy herself for Steve's protection.
Hearing the knock, Steve immediately put the laundry aside and came to answer. The two agents greeted him by showing their badges and explaining the reason for their presence, not divulging the specific nature of the threat they were protecting him from. Steve immediately invited them in, thinking if Peggy wanted him to be protected she could have just sent his shield down. But then again, it wasn't really his shield. Maybe they decided to take it back.
As they shuffled in, he closed the door behind them, offered to take their coats, and finally showed them to the living room. "Please, sit down anywhere," he said. "Can I get you fellas anything to drink? Coffee, tea?"
They declined and instead sat in silence, and Steve sat in the chair adjacent to their own place on the couch. The moments seemed to drag on as Steve made small talk with the agents, trying his best to be a gracious host in Peggy's home. Eventually the subject got around to why Steve was here and not out there. He thought it might, but he wasn't prepared with an answer to give, so he just spoke honestly.
"I've been dead for seventy years. I just thought it was a sign that I should retire. I'm an old soldier, I don't really belong out there." He spoke with finality, and the two had too much respect to try to rebut.
Achikah's avatar

Enduring Initiate

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Black Widow-------

____________________________________________________



Dodge. Shoot. Duck. Kick-jab-jab-thrust, snap. Leap. Slide. Roll. Cover. Shoot. Run.

Second nature had taken over Natasha as she raced down the halls of HYDRA's inner sanctum, or what remained. Bruce's rampage had taken its toll on the underground facility, so much so the walls had begun to cave in, now replaced with the murky brine of the Boston waterfront. If that wasn't enough, the abandoned henchmen of Viper's reign still littered the complex, each armed and willing to take the plunge for their absent leader. However, none of this crossed Natasha's mind, nor did the mission, or the creatures, or even the man who fought where she could not. Everything was blur- from feeling, thought, fatigue, even sound- the world was miles away, and though she walked through the muted abyss she fought her way back with each shot and every step. Through water, over pillars and debris, climbing over then up- it was a muddled flash, all until the piercing sounds of sirens, megaphones, and chopper blades echoed around her.

Bloodied and battered, Natasha emerged from the collapsing warehouse to the docks, the scene overrun and corralled with SHIELD and military forces alike, both on land, air, and sea. Though the ground below her shifted with each step, she never wavered and continued her journey, bee-lining straight for the hovering copter that rested a few meters away. It's repel ladder was down, and she quickly grasped on, hoisting herself into the craft to be greeted by a familiar face, and two others armed to the tee. There weren't pleasantries though his face held no anguish or worry. It shouldn't, he'd be the only one in on her ruse. However, there was always protocol, and what would a director be without that? She let them take her weapon without fuss as well as bound her hands and feet with several forms of restraints. Once secure, Fury spoke freely.

"The creatures?"
"Wiped."
"Viper?"
"Gone."
"Bruce?"
"Still fighting."
The last phrase left the two in silence for a moment, each looking out as the ground and harbor waned to the imploding bunker.
"Was it worth it," Fury asked, returning his view to her.
Despite the inquiry, Natasha continued stared out at the destruction. Her emerald eyes gazing over as her numbness subsided to an even great war raging within.
"Cryogenics," she stated, her gaze still on the carnage below. She missed the Commander's look of confusion, but she took his silence as such and elaborated. "They're kept in stasis by the cold-"
"-so that should put them in their place again," he finished, grasping the concept. He began making a radio call then, one Natasha didn't follow. Instead, she watched the ground continued to quake as the surrounding agents moved in to claim the last of the gamma monsters.
_________________________________________________________

User Image-------Nick Fury, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.
kierena's avatar

Lonely Genius

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When you live as long as I have...

Veronica, finally free of reports left her room, a formerly sparse barrack that she had managed to make a little more homey with a little work. knowing that something was going on the moments she set foot outside. No where near as many agents where in the hallway, and on her end of the place. She was placed in the helicarrier by a request voiced to her liaison and case worker, agent cousin. He cleared it through due to the changes in the serum in her blood. She needed to be studied and declared fit for duty, which she very recently had, and now that paperwork was done she had to wait for assignment to whatever job they felt fit. She was due for assignment the next day, yet she had a feeling that may not be the case. After a moments deliberation she wandered out noticing the alert lights actually going off. "No wonder know ones out and about." She muttered to herself, she figured no one had thought about her in all the commotion, but then again she wasn't even an agent again yet technically. Veronica followed the hallways with ease, remembering the layout from when they brought her through. Finally making her way towards what she thought was the command room, keeping to the shadows. At the edge just before the room she stopped and listened. She knew they where at NYC, but she almost walked out when she heard someone murmur about Boston. Things where obviously NOT pretty right now, and considering Peggy was who she saw in command rather than Director Fury, it was a particularly nasty brand of not pretty. "Peg-Agent Carter." Veronica said finally slinking out of the shadowy part of the hallway out, catching attention from the agents who had been serving as her retainers. They moved to get up and escort her back to her room, but she ignored them, she had been in the game far longer than them and she felt it was finally time get a chance to show it.

...you get tired of loosing everything that matters to you
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Achikah
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Enduring Initiate

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"Where are we?"
"Cryo-Troopers should be ready for send off in 5, ma'am."
"And containment-"
"-will be arriving right after confirmation of capture."
With this, Peggy gave the analyst a satisfactory nod. It wasn't long since she had gotten off the line with Fury. Banner's deduction for freezing the creatures was helpful and combined with the nullifying compound he had developed, the odds were looking up. It was only a matter of deploying the troops.

Despite her distraction on the battle below, she could hear the small tussle behind. Turning once addressed, she noted Veronica as well as the agents that seemed bent on keeping her away. She was extremely busy, and small talk wasn't ideal at the moment, however, Veronica was an old friend, and if she begged attention at this point, Peggy knew it wasn't without good reason. Clearing her throat, she gave the hindering agents a stern nod. Though it wasn't immediate, they knew to leave well enough alone and finally departed.

"Forgive them, we're all a bit on edge," she explained as the agent approached. Her eyes then drew back to the window as she looked down at the crumbling city below. "Myself included, so you'll understand my impatience for pleasantries as I skipped to what I can do for you."

kierena
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When you live as long as I have...

"I saw the posts all clear of people on my end and had a mind to find out what the situation is." Veronica started, shooting the agent a quick and impassive glance as she approached Peggy. "It may have come into my mind to ask if I could be of any help. I may not be fully reinstated yet, but if memory serves I never actually resigned from S.H.I.E.L.D in the first place." Veronica shrugged on her last statement before taking up a rather naturally taken demeanor of seriousness, she truly meant her offer. She knew Peggy wasn't lacking for agents at the moment, but she realized from the view of the city below that there was a certain urgency to the situation. That and she was itching to get off the flying command center in an awful way. it was nothing against the carrier, but it reminded her too much of some of the old soviet bases she wound up assigned to infiltrate in her later years. She could do with a "walk" right about now.

...you get tired of loosing everything that matters to you
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Achikah
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Enduring Initiate

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At her inquiry, Peggy raised a brow. It was true, Veronica still was an agent from a bureaucratic standpoint, but her disappearance was frowned upon in the higher circles and merited an observation period to ease into the life of an agent once more. There wasn't much to be done at this point for her or any one else besides more paperwork, but from the anxious look in her eyes that wasn't the type of help Veronica wanted to give.

"I'm afraid it's more of a waiting game now as far as the threat is concerned," she explained. "However, though we're powerless in these creatures' presence, their paths are littered with collateral damage and injury. If anything, you could head down with a recon team and aid in civilian distress. That is, if you'd like."

kierena
DrAshFjorde's avatar

Barking Strawberry

Author's note: If there are any issues with this post, please feel free to send me a private message

Looking about the store, Spider-Woman found herself alone. Wondering what had become of her opponent and whether the woman had either taken off, May had transported herself to a different store, which it didn't appear so, or if her opponent was at this moment preparing to attack. Taking a cautionary step forward, she stopped when something puzzling caught her eye.

As she focused on it, Spider-Woman couldn't at first figure out what she was staring at. Than, as the brume began to become even more pronounced in the store, Spider-Woman realised what she was looking at.

Turning about in place, seeing the curiosity snaking its way through every part of the store, she wondered if this was some new attack by some other opponent. Soon, her vision was totally obscured and waving a hand, she began to move forward. As she took the tentative steps toward what she knew to be the front of the store, for a moment she considered using her powers of teleportation. But seeing no shadows, she gave up on such a notion and continued forward.

What seemed like hours passed, though in truth it had only been a couple minutes, and Spider-Woman still hadn't reached the front of the store. Stopping and looking about, in a attempt to get her bearings, she glanced down
and noticing that she was wearing nothing, not even her costume, she immediately thought that she should be bothered by such a predicament, but decided that she didn't care that she was nude.

Taking another step, she paused again when she heard what sounded like a shotgun going off. Understanding flooding her as she realised that it was actually the sound of ice cracking and looking down, she peered at the floor, which had suddenly gone cold beneath her feet. Seeing nothing suspicious, May took another step and once again heard the sound of ice cracking. Bothered by this, she stopped, pondered over how she should move as the floor beneath her feet grew colder and colder.

Another cracking noise and glancing about, May was preparing herself to fire a line of webbing when the floor beneath her suddenly gave way. Finding herself free-falling, May began to point her hands in various directions, alarmed as suddenly her webbing did not work. Her fall accelerating, May had only a moment to wonder how she would save herself before...she...hit...the...


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Stray_Dog's avatar

Justice Champion

User Image-------S.H.I.E.L.D. Special Operations Division - Team C3:
--------Cryonic Capture and Containment


The SHIELD RnD team had put all their resources into rushing out the weaponry that Bruce had developed, and though it took some time for the troops to be outfitted and for them to gain traction, when they came they came in force. The teams rushed to tackle each creature in turn, beginning with the behemoth. They waisted no time, and dozens of soldiers pelted its hide with small syringes while many others lobbed smoke grenades with vaporized doses of the chemical agent. Slowly but surely the massive beast went down and the soldiers moved on to the next.

The cryoteam moved closely behind. They covered the prone monster with a special insulating tarpaulin, under which they could safely lower the temperature, then using a winch they moved him onto a large truck which would be used to transport him to a more permanent facility.
Achikah's avatar

Enduring Initiate

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SHIELD Helicarrier
Off the coast of New York City
Roughly 9:00 EST


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"Well. This is marvelous."
It had been nearly ten minutes since the trio had converged down the halls of the Helicarrier and Peggy couldn't contain her disdain for the entire ordeal.
"I hope you two are proud of all this."
"Thrilled," Fury stated.
"Ecstatic," Natasha fired back.
Her face was nearly red at this point, but it had been for most of the night and now into the day. Giant, uncontrollable gamma creatures were one thing, as was saving the world, but doing it in such a brash, careless way, and under everyone's nose at that.. It was just in bad taste and even worse in protocol. Now, the directors, both former and acting, walked the cuffed spy towards the board room. It was her first, formal hearing after the events, and even with Fury's acknowledgment of her 'defection,' Natasha remained under lock and key. After a few more paces, Peggy spoke out again.

"It's not that I don't understand,” she explained, "I do. Most of all, it worked, and though I'm not a believer of 'what-if's, this one is far too grand to overlook."
"It was in everyone's best interest," Fury replied gruffly. "Mainly Natasha's."
"And what of Bruce?” she asked angrily. "Was it in his best interest?"
Natasha's stoic stare turned to the floor, almost in shame. Fury was also at a momentary loss for words.
"It was for the best of the world, Peg."
"Could have bloody well fooled me-"
"-and we did. That was the idea, for everyone," he stated definitively. "You know this was the right thing to do, and you damn well shouldn't take it personally."
"If you knew the circumstances, you'd think otherwise."
At that, Fury knew better than to interject; he could read between the lines, or the stripes in this case. Even if he wanted to, their conversation took a turn as they were joined by another.
As the woman approached, the three shared a moment of oblivious silence. She was the elephant in the room, and she not only knew it, she was proud of it. Biting the bullet, Peggy mustered up a greeting.

"Maria," she replied with as much sincerity as she could muster.
"Margaret," she greeted, her tone as cold as ice. Peggy tried to take no offense, but she hadn't the best experience with the women.
"I assume your presence isn't a chance occurrence then?"
"Playing liaison," she stated without a passing glance. "You understand the Board's position given your the attachment to the issue.” She gave a brief glance at Fury. "Both of you. I'm here to provide an unbiased voice to the actions of Ms. Romanova." The conversation seemed to be over as Maria quickened her pace to take lead, Peggy simply sighing in annoyance.

In silence the three trudged on, each with their own clouded thoughts. When the double doors came into sight, they each seemed surprise, for the initial pang of dread didn't seem like the end of the world, not with the shame and guilt they bore for actions far graver than this.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Some time later, Natasha once again ventured the halls of the Helicarrier, this time with a different entourage.
She had said her peace, but it fell on deaf ears. At least for now. She knew the process was far more in-depth than a simple verdict. SHIELD was all about shades of gray, even for someone bathed in red like herself. What was beneficial for them was beneficial for the world, and unlike others, Natasha knew her worth extended far deeper than any of those holographic faces could admit, at least outright. Her escort to a cell rather than a execution table was proof of that.

Hands wired before her, a crew of four officers lead her down to the lower holding cells. She was familiar with the area from her late night walks, but would soon find a more intimate side of the corridors. The walk should have been degrading, embrassing- a public shamming of sorts. However, the entire ordeal was a mere daze as she went through the motions, much like instances from her past. Perhaps it had to deal with the sinking feeling in her chest, one she had been at the mercy of since her plan has been orchestrated.

As she began to let her mind wonder further for her own selfish plight, her ears perked to a pair of hushed voices that the party was coming up upon in the distance.

"-another apocalypse averted." A clang of metal rang out as the man placed the fuse cover down upon the hallway floor. Another simply stood beside him, handing him tools in assistance.
"You say that so often-"
"I know, but did you see the size of some of those things?" He grunted as he fumbled with the loose wires again. "God help the place they're headed.." The other handed him a smaller set of pilers.
"Banner go off with them?"
"No," he huffed back in a strain as he reached into the grating, finally finding the charred wire in question. "They never found him. Even in the rubble. Just a bunch more of those things mangled and-"

The conversation hit a brick wall as the approaching party came into sight. The two men were quick to end their banter and continue with the task at hand, only feeling the piercing eyes of Natasha's captors as hers simply remained on the halls ahead. There was no stopping on her end, nor look at the conversing maintenance crew, yet her guard yanked her along at a quickened pace. She had heard all she needed to - he was still alive.

The remainder of the journey was uneventful as the party went straight through the motions until Natasha was placed in her cell. Protocol was enforced as they removed her restraints in the tiny room and made sure she was secure. Though everything was checked twice and thoroughly precise, it was done in a quickened fashion, and with good reason. The guards couldn't wait to rid themselves of her, only exchanging muddled glances of dismay at the eerie sight. Natasha, on the other hand, slid down to the metallic floor, then crossed her legs, a small, sweet smile plastered on her face.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


The trial hadn't taken long, and soon, Peggy found herself reflecting in the arms of her office chair. There would be penalties on all fronts, all parties, but really, the ordeal could have been worse. Natasha got the blunt end of it, but without another to take her place, she wouldn't be caged for long. Her own title and job, however, was a whole other story, and, from what she gathered, under intense review.

It didn't take much for Maria to throw them all under the bus, but as each fiber dwindled down, it seemed Peggy was at the source. She didn't have a defense; she had let her work slip for various reasons, and what work she did was sub-par at best, as was the life she had tried to rekindle in its wake. Juggling the two never seemed to be so hard in the past, but now, it seemed near impossible.

She had retreated to her office after it all, enjoying its sanctity for what it was worth. There wasn't a verdict yet, but she felt it wouldn't be long before another took the room over and she wanted to get the most of what she had left. Looking to the lone picture on her desk, she soon realized it was a reccurring impulse she had picked up long ago. He smiled back at her, and she tried to do the same but fell utterly short.

"He's not quite how I remembered."
She didn't look towards the door way, merely let him hover as she continued to stare at Steve's photo, one she began to put away along with other personal items she had collected over the years.
"People rarely are," she chimed back, "And with me, it can be a complete lie in the end. A trick of the mind for the heart. How clever."
"Want my advice?" Fury asked sincerely. "Go back to your vacation, Peg. This'll all be here waiting when you get back." She packed another object then sat back, looking towards the piles upon piles of dossiers that littered the corner of her desk. After some time, she nodded and finally pried her eye off her workload to meet his with a stern gaze.

"And that's precisely why I can't."

There wasn't much room to argue after that despite his own reservation, and Fury merely threw her a nod in defeat. Turning, he ventured down the halls again and allowed her office door to close once more. Peggy simply turned to the hot plate and put another kettle on. It would be another late night.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


It had been several minutes since the meeting had officially convened, yet in the Board Room, Maria Hill sat in wait for an unofficial rendezvous all her own. It didn't take long for the large screens littering the walls to illuminate with the true face behind the curtains, each quite unamused and rightfully so. Though she remained calm, she wasn't quite sure what to expect. Fury usually dealt with the Board, sometimes Peggy. This was her first encounter and she was eager to make it memorable. She stood at attention, gazing at them with stern, dutiful fervor.

"Good afternoon-"
“Agent Hill,” one intervened, cutting off her introduction. She ceased pleasantries and gave a nod to which the older man looked down, thumbing through the dossier that rested before him. “According to the text file as well as the audio from the previous meeting, the Widow is in containment, NYC is under construction once more, and the creatures in question have been shipped off to The Cube for aid and study. Aside from Dr. Banner's disappearance, the situation was handled with minimal trouble... yet you, Agent Hill, seem quite on edge. Was the meeting not to your satisfaction?” She didn't quite know how to take this, but knew how to react.

"I believe the Board acted in the best interest of the organization, sir."
“But not to you?”
"With all due respect sir, I keep my opinion where it belongs. The affairs of the Agency isn't one of them."
The man finally looked up from his documents, seemingly pleased with her response. She expected as such. He nodded and closed the file, clasping his hands together as he gingerly laid them upon his desk.
“That's a professional outlook, Agent Hill, but given this isn't a 'professional' meeting, I think I'd like to hear your thoughts on today's events, specifically the outcome of Agent Romanoff.”
Reluctantly, her gaze faltered to the floor trim as she pondered her next words, carefully.
"She doesn't play well with others. Except Barton. Even then, if it came down to her or us, his steadfast endeavors would take a backseat. That's almost a guarantee. She doesn't communicate nor work well with others. She might not be reckless, but she is a danger to the entire operation, but I take it you've read such concerns in my monthly reports. Sir.”"
At this he nodded.
“But?”
"But," she answered, her head shifting from her own hesitance. "Her tracking skills are superb and her actions towards Banner and his research speak bounds for their connection. Each of these are our best bet to getting him back- be it here or in The Cube."
“Then there isn't a problem with our ruling?”
"None, sir."
Again, he simply nodded and turned back to his notes, Maria's confidence shaken. However, his next words seemed to change that.

“There's also the matter of Agent Carter.” At this, Maria heart clawed towards her throat with anticipation. “It seems both her usefulness and ability to be a figure head has come into question. With the current events afoot, as well as her absences and inability to keep the good Captain alongside us, we've made the decision that she'll be stepping down as Chief of Executive Operations, including her duties as Acting Director in Fury's absence.” The steadfast spark of determination reignited in her wary eyes.
"She'll be missed," she said simply.
“Indeed,” he chimed back. “So, given this circumstance, the Board would like to extend our thanks for your handling this 'situation' as you have by offering Agent Carter's position to you.”
Though she swelled with delight, Maria remained coy, a mere smile of gratitude plastering her face.
"I'd be honored, sir," she replied.
Again, the man simply nodded and closed the file.
“Again, this is all off the record, you understand?”
"Of course."
“We figured as much.” There was a silence that engulfed the room, each party eager to speak of the true reason for this engagement.

“With this behind us, I'd like to inquiry about our 'package' and its whereabouts.”Maria simply nodded.
"The 'package' has been secured for transport," she stated, her words direct and reflecting her precision once again. "It should be reaching The Cube in the next few hours as long as the fleet isn't tied up by weather."
“Good,” the man cooed. “We expected nothing less from you, Agent Hill, and know that the organization owes you a debt for your service. I don't need to explain the impact that sample holds for the world around.”
"No debt nor thanks needed, sir. It's my job."
“And you do it well.”
"But, sir, if Dr. Banner does return-"
“-he'll be none the wiser. This is merely a contingency plan, as well as highly confidential, I remind you. He needn’t find out.”
"Yes, sir."
“Good. Then I believe our work here is done. You have done good work, Agent Hill, and the world will be better for it.” There was a nod from both parties before the screens went dead, Maria simply left in the afterglow of the disconnection screens. Arising, she left boardroom and headed directly to the hangar to see her precious cargo ship out. She had spilt some necessary blood to get to where she was today, and the doctor's was no different. With vigor, she walked down to processing, deciding she'd like to see the crate off, personally.

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[So ends this thread. New revamp coming 6/16/13! Stay tuned]

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