4596/The Saudi Arabian Debrief

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The Saudi Arabian Debrief
Date of Scene: 04 January 2021
Location: Ready Room: Triskelion
Synopsis: SHIELD reviews their intelligence in a debrief and comes up with an elaborate plan with many moving parts to take down a US senator, a Saudi war criminal, and may be, just may be, finally catch up with the stolen SHIELD technology.
Cast of Characters: Bobbi Morse, Daisy Johnson, Jessica Drew, Lance Hunter, Melinda May, Phil Coulson, James Barnes

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Bobbi makes her way in to the ready room. She takes a seat at the head of the table and takes out her tablet, syncing it with the holographic displays that emit from the middle of the table proper. She checks her watch and then nods.

    "Thank you all for joining me. The Faux task force has had some very bizarre missions of late. Our stolen technology has taken us to unexpected places." She pauses, suggesting this is no different, "Because now we're officially investigating a sitting United States Senator."

    She lets that sink in for a moment and says, "The timeline as we now know it thanks to the intelligence cache retrieved from the Saudi Arabian vault.
- Roberto Feavits founds Iron Fortitude, a private military company who get contracts to provide security in the middle east.
- Roberto Feavits meets General Naasif el-Lodi in Saudi Arabia's eastern contested region
- General Naasif el-Lodi makes a deal with Roberto Feavits to test experimental weapons
- General Naasif el-Lodi commits warcrimes testing the weapons on unarmed bedouin encampments."

Daisy Johnson has posed:
Daiy had made sure to be here, even with all the problems plaguing her life. But she had been released from medical bay, and for now she was up for active duty, so it was all good. She sits up on one of the seats on the side, nodding to the ones present and looking up at the holographic displays, taptapping already on her own tablet.

"Well, this certainly escalated quickly." It's not as if she didn't expect dirt. But a Senator. That's dangerous.

"Dangerous grounds, investigating a senator. Has anyone outside of SHIELD been informed?" She wonders. She figures not but .., better cover all bases.

Jessica Drew has posed:
Tablet lined up in front of her, Jessica raises her head from reading when Bobbi enters the room. Dark hair brushed back into a coiled bun at her neck, she sits straight, expectantly, green eyes trained on her as she covers the salient points concerning Roberto. A grim nod punctuates the point made concerning warcrimes.

With a nod to Daisy's observation, she echos, "Dangerous grounds, indeed."

Lance Hunter has posed:
Hunter is leaning back in his chair through the briefing though he sits up a little at the mention of Iron Fortitude. "Heard of that lot," he chimes in. "Never worked with them but know 'em by reputation. Nasty bunch," As for the Senator, he seems less than phased by that, potential international incidents aside. "So what's the play then?"

Melinda May has posed:
Beyond the war crimes or political conflict of interest presented here -- a senator with such strong ties to the Middle East in this sort of manner is certainly troubling from the perspective of US defense, after all -- there's now the question of what either he or el-Lodi have on their agenda moving forward. May leans back in her chair, flipping through the info set out before them. "Even if US federal agencies are investigating this, we're looking at what is effectively an independent paramilitary organization with access to cutting edge technology and weaponry loose in one of the most unstable regions on the planet. Even if there are no Hydra links buried in all this," and she's not going to dismiss the possibility there aren't, "the fact is, it's our job to make sure those weapons and resources aren't in play where people like Hydra *could* get their hands on them."

She purses her lips. "Where's el-Lodi at now? Are there indications which direction he's moving? Whatever intel we have, those resources are still in play in the field. Will picking-up Feavits derail his plans, or are we just closing the barn door after the horses have already escaped?"

Phil Coulson has posed:
Phil Coulson leans forward in his seat as he listens, frowning as he listens to what's being said, listening carefully to what's being said, nodding a bit as he hears people speak. "True. Investigating a senator is dangerous grounds, but so are letting those weapons be where they are now. Who knows what they might do with them, either work on masking the entire region far less stable, or selling them to the highest bidder. Which could lead to HYDRA or someone equally bad taking hold of them."

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Bobbi shakes her head, "This hasn't even made it to Fury yet. Unless someone in analysis is a traitor, we're the first eyes to lay on the full timeline of what's been happening under our noses. When Hedgecroft said we were protecting the bad guys.. I think this might be what he was talking about. Naasif is currently back in Saudi Arabia with his son. If we simply grabbed the senator.. well, there's more going on.

    "Well, speaking of those weapons...
    - Saudi Arabian coup succeeds over a period of three weeks with the help of General Naasi el-Lodi and in the backgrounds, Iron Fortitude.
    - Naasif el-Lodi rewarded with ambassador to the USA
    - Roberto Feavits elected to USA senate
    - Bedouin survivors band together to exact revenge on Naasif el-Lodi -- unknown #1"

    She looks back up from her tablet as various images of the Saudi Arabian coup are shown. Lots of civilians hurt, weapons used in the streets. The war barely touches the western cities where the majority of the population exists and the government. From their eyes, an almost bloodless coup. From the eastern cities, a show of power. This coup was a flex.

    Occasionally, in the backgrounds of images, Iron Fortitude troops can be seen wearing no identification and actively engaging in the warfare. "Pictures taken by a British journalist by the name of Henry Smith who went missing during the unrest. I guess we know what happened to him now."

Daisy Johnson has posed:
A deep frown goes up to Daisy's features. Hurting innocents to go up in life. Thats a big no-no for her. She leans back on her chair, shaking her head. "Classic case of 'I scratch your bck, you scratch mine..'" she puts her own tablet down, "Despicable. But we all know by now what people are willing to do for power."

"It seems more as if they are using it to take control of the region already." she runs her hands through her hair, thoughtful, eyes roaming the other people in the room.

Lance Hunter has posed:
Hunter nods, "This is why I don't miss that life," he says watching the vid of the mercs opening up on civilians. "Too many scumbags in the business," He nods in agreement to Daisy, "Seems like, yeah. Question is what we're going to do to stop them? Especially with people in two of the governments who sign our cheques involved."

Melinda May has posed:
Saudi Arabia has, traditionally, been one of the more stable countries in a deeply troubled region. "Do we have enough hard evidence to detain and question or even outright arrest Feavits? Or do we need to pass what we know on to the FBI and hope they do the right thing while we work on dismantling Faevits company and intercepting el-Lodi's forces?" May asks. "If we're going to move directly against a US senator on US soil, we need to be damned sure we've got both the proof and the jurisdiction to do so. el-Lodi is a much clearer threat to neutralize."

Jessica Drew has posed:
Jessica hmms, frowning, to herself at Henry Smith's name. "Has his death been confirmed? I've met him. He's a good man."

James Barnes has posed:
Buck's slipped in, better late than never. For once, without his service dog. He's in black SHIELD fatigues, hair tied back in a low tail. He's got his head cocked, listening, as he props himself against the wall. No input or questions, as yet, but he's looking to each of the others in turn.

Daisy Johnson has posed:
"I am willing to go pro bono on their as---rears." Daisy then says over to Hunter. A comment to them writing up their cheques! But May's words have Daisy considering for a few, tapping fingertips over her chin, "Mmmm." a pause, "Maybe work on el-Lodi, get him, then use him to lead us to Faevits?"

"Of course that if Faevits gets wind of it he may start cleaning house so it's dangerous." Right now they seem to be mostly throwing suggestions still, so she looks at the other Agents for alternative plans.

Phil Coulson has posed:
"Of course, if we took down el-Lodi first, that route might possibly reveal some of the proof we would need to do something about Feavits," Phil offers, after a few moments of pause. "Do we have any idea of where the weapons are at the moment?" Another brief pause, before he adds, "And whatever we do, don't underestimate the bedouin survivors. I suspect if they are going for el-Lodi, they will be an important factor in however this plays out."

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Bobbi can see that peoples minds are ticking over. This situation is an international mind field. She shakes her head to Jessica and says, "If Smith's alive, he'd likely be in the Saudi Political Prison.. location unknown, occupants unknown. We know less about it than about the Vault. But I wouldn't get your hopes up."

    She picks up her tablet again and resumes the presentation, "Saudi Arabia has been fairly peaceful since the coup a decade ago. The weapons are standard issue in their military forces. The UN has been debating whether or not chemical weapons were used in the region. Now we have photographic proof they were. It's taken this time for their enemies to gain enough footing to try and fight back. So, further:
    - Mercenary Gavin Hedgecroft gains access to a black market dealer in stolen SHIELD technology -- unknown #2
    - Mercenary Gavin Hedgecroft and his team blow up Naasif el-Lodi's son's car as a threat to lure el-Lodi out
    - SHIELD detains Gavin Hedgecroft and his team
    - Senator Roberto Feavits calls in a favor with the President of the USA to have Hedgecroft and team released, even though the mercenaries worked against Feavit's agenda and the President doesn't like the senator -- unknown #3
    - Mercenary Gavin Hedgecroft and team go missing -- unknown #4
    - SHIELD raids Saudi Arabian intelligence vault"

    She pauses to let some of this sink in, "Which brings us to the current day events. Saudi Arabia is accusing the President of the United States of sponsoring The Punisher to rob one of their vaults based on a partial picture of a quinjet. Ambassador el-Lodi is the one spearheading this accusation. Senator Roberto Feavits is throwing the President under the bus and saying on radio shows that the President must have known about the attack... meanwhile Hedgecroft is missing."

    She pauses again before saying, "We have one primary objective in this special priority operations team: get SHIELD technology off the market. But... I'd by lying if I didn't think we're in the midst of some shady stuff with Iron Fortitude here. Dangerous territory indeed."

    She raises an eyebrow and adds her 2c to the discussion, "Technically... _technically_ the senator has done nothing _legally_ wrong, but with what we now know we could ruin him politically. Who exactly are the bad guys here? Hedgecroft? the bedouins who hired him? ...or the General committing warcrimes and the Senator pulling strings for profit."

    She glances around the room, "So... what is the team consensus here. Do we go after Feavits, do we go after el-Lodi, do we go after the Hedgecroft, do we go after the Bedouin tribes?"

    A beat, "Because I know what I'd _like_ to do. I'd like to interfere with the US government, take down Feavits, and his private army, and expose el-Lodi's warcrimes. Odds are, the President will be very happy if we pull it off sneakily enough."

Melinda May has posed:
"So, let's do it," May says in response to Bobbi's wish. "I think Daisy's got the right of it: We take out el-Lodi and expose his warcrimes, dismantle Feavits' private army, get el-Lodi to turn on him." She pauses a moment, tapping her lips as she thinks. "What are the chances we can make el-Lodi believe Feavits and his people sold him out? And vice-versa?"

James Barnes has posed:
There's a rusty little laugh from Bucky at that. "Nobody in their right mind who wanted something done subtly or deniably would sic Castle on the situation. Least of all the President. Castle's a wind-up toy - the best you can do is point him in the right direction and watch the destruction happen." His tone isn't as scornful as it might be, though.

"Do we have any intel sources in Iron Fortitude itself? Because it seems to me that the safest bet right now is to start in Saudi. Warcrimes are something the UN has a legit reason to investigate - we could use that as a cloak? Especially if we've got Bedouin survivors to talk to."

Lance Hunter has posed:
"Agreed, Saudi is the place to start, talk to the Bedouin, get their stories, maybe work with them to find our friend the general and roll the whole mess back at the senator," Hunter says. "Though we may want to keep eyes on the Senator when we're doing the first part doesn't sound likely to just sit by and let it happen if he gets wind, and who knows maybe we'll get lucky and he'll say or do something we can add to the pile of evidence against him."

Jessica Drew has posed:
Tapping the desk with her finger, Jessica contemplates Bobbi, "We become judge and jury, taking down Feavits. Do we out him and let the judicial process take care of his, ah, behind? Or do we dismantle his organization and then out him?"

She turns to glance at Barnes, "I second that idea on war crimes and Iron Fortitude. What do we know about them?"

Settling back into her chair, arms crossed, she adds, "I have no compunction about el-Lodi being taken out."

Daisy Johnson has posed:
"Depends on how far we want to go. Conversations can be fabricated, deep fakes are a thing too. We have the tech for it. Having el-Lodi believe Feavits wasn't on his side anymore should be feasible." Daisy says, her eyes on Melinda. Scary what people can do with computers these days! She does seem to agree fully with going all the way with this. Taking them all out. People have to pay.

"Well, it was us that sicced Castle on Saudi Arabia..." She says to Bucky. OOOPS! But she lifts her shoulders in a small shrug. "He is effective though, I will give him that."

She then nods slowly. "Work from the ground up, getting the bedouins to lead us up to IF and el-Lodi? What about Hedgecroft? For them to have made him disappear means he knows something. He could be dead by now but..., could be a lead."

James Barnes has posed:
That has Bucky raising his brows, lips pursed, for a moment....and then he spreads his hands. Like 'what'm I, chopped liver?' ..but therhe's no serious annoyance in his face. "Like a wrecking ball," he opines.

But then he's nodding. "If this is something we want to be able to lay out in the open for later prosecution, either before the UN or the US government, yeah. I mean, usually I'm all about kicking doors in, but....this sounds like something with enormous geopolitical implications. I'm not saying we plod along like the Keystone Kops...just that we should be gathering a clear chain of evidence while we move."

Phil Coulson has posed:
Phil Coulson nods as he listens. "I agree. Starting in Saudi Arabia is the best idea. Find out more there, maybe find a wedge to drive between el-Lodi and Feavits. But we should still keep an eye on whatever Feavits might decide to do as news reach him. Discretely keep an eye on him, that is. But it seems clear it's easier to find something in Saudi Arabia."

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Bobbi sits back and listens to the opinions of her colleagues. "I'm hearing an overwhelming desire to do the spy thing, which is good - considering we're spies." She smiles and then nods her head as if making a decision, "In that case. We're going to split in to three actions. I need some one, or two to infiltrate Iron Fortitude. Join up, become recruits, once you're on the inside we need to get evidence of their actions in Saudi Arabia and potentially other parts of the world. You may have to gain their trust. Volunteers?"

    She taps on her tablet, "Second action, travel to Saudi Arabia and find the Bedouin tribes who hired Hedgecroft and record their stories, which we will collaborate with evidence we've already secured and evidence we will secure from Iron Fortitude."

    She taps on her tablet again, "And the third action, I need a team to covertly infiltrate el-Lodi's compound in Saudi Arabia to abduct him in to our custody. We will be posing as Iron Fortitude. We'll need an agent to play Feavits who will tell el-Lodi their deal is off. The rest of us dressed as SHIELD will then rescue him and we will use this to turn him against Feavits. He will sell himself under the bus."

    She smiles wickedly, "We then release all the footage and statements we've gathered to the UN. We can't force Saudi Arabia to punish el-Lodi, but the international warcrimes courts will be able to try him with all this evidence. Which brings us back to Feavits. At this point he's lost Iron Fortitude and el-Lodi has sold him out. We have a quiet discussion with the President.. but we still need to know why the President helped him, perhaps Feavits has some dirt on him. We can't go nuclear on Feavits until we know the President can be brave. Thoughts on this final point? How do we secure the Presidents support?"

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    She closes her tablet, "...and that just leave Hedgecroft and the black market of SHIELD technology. Hopefully, somewhere along the way, we will find out where he and his team disappeared to..."

Lance Hunter has posed:
Lance glances around the table as the list of tasks is brought up and reluctantly raises his hand, "Guess I'm going to be signing up to join a bunch of war criminals since my whole mercenary ID is still intact," he says. "Though going to need to dirty my rep up a bit, maybe an Interpol red notice or something, give me a reason to hide with the likes of IF," Lance volunteers.

James Barnes has posed:
James Barnes grins at Lance. "I'll go with ya, if you want," he volunteers. "Winter Soldier's still a name to conjure with, in those circles, I think." By the gleam in his eyes, he's enjoying the prospect.

Melinda May has posed:
"Put me where you need me," May tell Bobbi. She's probaby best used in the Saudi op, but she could handle the Bedouins, if she needed to. And she does well in a one-or-two person op, thanks to her specialist training.

Regardless, it sounds like they have a direction to move forward with, and that's the main thing. The Saudi side of this equation is all but guaranteed in the bag. It's Feavits, she expects, that will be the biggest challenge.

Jessica Drew has posed:
"Put me where I will do best," Jessica says, her face lighting up at the idea of going to a bunch of war criminals. "HYDRA agents will make me in a second unless I do something radical to my looks. Up to you, boss," she adds with a smile.

Phil Coulson has posed:
Phil Coulson smiles as he looks between the others as he hears their replies to the plan. "I suspect that if we get el-Lodi to turn against Feavits, he'll probably tell us what happened to Hedgecroft too," he offers, before he adds, "As for the President, might need a little more looking into. To be entirely sure he's being blackmailed and not a part of the whole thing in any other way."

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Bobbi relaxes back in to her chair, "Well. We have a bunch of unknowns still. But this is SHIELD. We make a plan, it falls apart, we make another one." She shuts off the holographic display and puts her tablet away in to her thigh, "Hunter, Barnes.. best of luck infiltrating the Iron Fortitude. The rest of us will be working Saudi Arabia from two angles. May be we will get lucky on these unknowns. Or may be it all falls to pieces."

    She lets out a long breath, "Okay team. We're a go. Let's begin."