4605/Passing Intel

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Passing Intel
Date of Scene: 05 January 2021
Location: Across Time, 2021 to 1949
Synopsis: Peggy discovers intel in 2021, which she passes on to Melinda in 1949. Finally, the two get to talk about what happened without filters.
Cast of Characters: Peggy Carter, Melinda May
Tinyplot: Times That Bind

Peggy Carter has posed:
The only other 'work' Peggy has to occupy herself while she's baby sitting the anomaly is to continue going through old files. They're her private project, that came in a private suitcase and sees no other SHIELD eyes. If anything, they motivate her to take some time off, even when she's on this 'work' trip. It looks like time off, when she's buried away reading somewhere from any prying gaze.

Today's stack of files yielded something incredibly interesting, however. The likely HYDRA base that the squad in 1948 had poured out of shortly after May's arrival. Nothing was ever digitized about this but, just when she needs it, here the file is. While they are supposed to limit contact on the phone, Peggy's own sense of urgency overrides. This is time sensitive.

That means, well out of their normal contact hours, May is getting a call...

Melinda May has posed:
Swearing softly at all the damned hair pins women in this era are expected to manage, Melinda May tosses a handful of them down on dresser and runs her fingers roughly through her long dark hair. Several more pins go bouncing across dresser top, carpet, and wooden floors. What she wouldn't give for modern hair products and a proper curling iron. All for the sake of maintaining a cover she never thought she'd have to wear. Certainly not for this long.

It occurs to her, even though she knows Carter will pitch a fit at her, she needs to get out and *do* something. Even if she has to do it alone, and under cover of darkness. She simply can't continue sitting on her hands. She'll go mad, if she does.

Her thoughts are already slipping broodier when she hears the unexpected ring of the time phone, hidden in a drawer of that dresser. Brows rise. She glances back over her shoulder to see that her door is properly closed, then yanks that drawer open. Quick fingers unwrap that phone, and she flicks it on.

"May here. Go ahead." Her voice is steady, even. It betrays none of her frustration, apprehension, or -- dare she admit it -- anticipation.

Peggy Carter has posed:
Fortunately, May seems blessedly alone for the moment, so it's not too much of a risk to answer that phone. When she picks up, the voice on the other end of the line is recoginzable, but not the one that normally comes over. It's Peggy's clipped British tones instead of Bobbi's more north American accent. "Whom am I speaking with?" It had better be May, but she's playing more safe than sorry. Then she gets May's steady tone. That's all she needed to hear.

A little breath of relief comes, "May, it's good to hear your voice. I... might have some useful intel. How much of a help do you think it will be to you and your colleagues of that day to have a location on where HYDRA was doing some New York, time based research at the time? Because, I think I've found it..."

Melinda May has posed:
May's brows rise when she hears Peggy's voice, rather than Bobbi's. Not that she's not glad to hear it. "Lay it on me," she says, trying to maintain that professional agent calm. But truthfully? A hint of that anticipation rises in her tone. "I'll take everything you've got -- or can remember."

Because, yes. She's going a little stircrazy, here. She's been pretty good at hiding it from Peggy's younger self, but there are those broody moments with a glass of whiskey in the evening that are doubtlessly telling.

She pulls a pencil and pad of paper from the drawer, moving to a table with a chair, to jot down whatever she needs.

Peggy Carter has posed:
"I was going through some of the Operation Paperclip files to keep my mind off things, and I found a base in New York City that was repurposed from 'previously running work' in 1951. Apparently, it was entirely HYDRA until they got a pass from the US government for doing experiments on Time and Location based science. Some real high up physics stuff that the US decided they'd rather get their hands on than try Nazis for bloody war crimes." Peggy's anger at Paperclip is still so hot it practically burns over the phone, but she forces herself to stop, take a breath, and refocus.

"Anyway... it's Gardiner Labs up in Washington Heights. 178th and 11th. They've got a whole warehouse to themselves, first few levels are shipping, though I suspect they are doing training there as well. Third level is all laboratories, fourth more research. It's quite the operation and it's going run under the SSR's nose."

Melinda May has posed:
May purses her lips at that. "178th and 11th," she echoes, committing that to memory, rather than writing it down. "So, they came all the way across the bridge to try to pick me up..." From Brooklyn to Chinatown.

She frowns, and settles in a chair as she starts to think. "So, walk through this with me, Peg," she says, perhaps relying on the older woman's memory -- not that she knows how good or poor it may be now. "Roxxon Oil, where the first anomaly showed up in down in Red Hook." Brooklyn. "Hydra's up at 178th and 11th." Also Brookyn. "The SSR is in south Tribeca. And I was in Chinatown when they attacked." She scowls, now. "They only way that would all hook up is if they'd keep tabs on me from the moment I rolled out of the portal in Red Hook. This is 1948... 49. What sort of surveillence would they be using, Peggy? What am I looking for?"

She actually allows herself an obvious sigh, now. "Jesus, I feel like I'm a probie again. Even when I was a probie, I knew more than I do, now."

Peggy Carter has posed:
"Well, it's Washington Heights. All the way up town. So, I don't think they hopped a bridge to get you, but yes, they came a long ways. I'd put some pretty good money on that Roxxon is tied into HYDRA, or...what is going to become HYDRA, in the city. They've been specifically watching that site since things happened. Especially considering their research. And..." Peggy sighs, digging deeper through the file. May can hear pages moving across the phone.

"I'm looking to see if there are any other locations noted. That's just the one where they have the biggest lab and the most space to do the work. It seems... there's at least one small set of offices down near Red Hook." Peggy rattles off another address. "But only two rooms listed here. A safe house, maybe. They might have more locations or better paperwork there.."

Melinda May has posed:
May nods to that, starting to jot addresses and connections down with a light hand -- light enough not to press into the page beneath the sheet she writes on. She's rather glad there are so many fireplaces around -- despite the fact she doesn't particularly feel under threat in Howard's house. She's not willing to take chances any more.

"Alright. I'll... pass it on to... you, I guess. See what resources she can marshall." Because her personal resources are highly limited. Not that she isn't still considering a quiet foray out into the world on own, regardless.

Peggy Carter has posed:
"It's worth while writing. Half this original report is in my handwriting, even if i don't really remember covering it. There was so much in those days... I'm just glad I found it again. I don't think there can be much damage telling her, and if they are already doing work on this issue... Then, all the better we get ahold of it before they do." Peggy states with a game little smile behind her voice. She's trying to be reassuring over her own nerves about how much this might mess with the time stream.

Melinda May has posed:
"I don't have a choice, Peg," May replies. "I have *nothing* back here to work with, except what I can coax out of you or sneak behind your back." There might be a bit of wry humour in that last phrase. "I've seriously considered approaching Howard directly, but I think the fallout on that would be disasterous, so..." No, she won't be doing that.

"My only other choice is to infiltrate the lab on my own and look around. I'm not opposed to doing it. But you tell me: How will you react to that?" There's a dryness to her tone. Like she needs to be told?

Peggy Carter has posed:
"Howard is still..." Peggy sighs, the weight of care behind her voice and wariness is so much that it practically spills over the phone, "Howard is brilliant. He still might be our best shot at getting this solved. But he still has eyes bigger than his brain and letting him know you are from the future is a... highly dangerous risk. Talking to my counterpart is probably wisest. Start there." Peggy reassures her.

Then that question comes, no matter how dry it is. Peg considers, but her frown is immediate. Both in sympathy for her younger self, and the thought of May going alone. "I don't think either my predacessor OR myself will very much like you going alone into a nest of HYDRA. She's there. She knows who you are. Use what resources you have."

Melinda May has posed:
Which is precisely the response May expected to hear. It occurs to her that she probably knows Peggy better now that she ever would have, had this not happened. She doesn't say it, though. Instead, she just makes a soft noise that comes across the line as assent. "That's my plan," she says.

Her tight, suppressed smile fades. And her voice takes on a more serious tone, perhaps faintly beseeching. "So, tell me the truth, Peggy. Please. Not whatever Morse is filtering. What's happened there? What are you all doing?"

Peggy Carter has posed:
That makes Peggy hesitate for a moment. Both May and Bobbi are her superior officers and she's trying not to tread on toes. But May is the one stuck in the past and Bobbi has a dozen other cases. So, after a moment, Peggy lets out a quiet breath. "Someone else here is trying to get access. Someone I thought was dead, a certain Dottie Underwood. We managed to handle her and I've got her in custody again, hopefully for good, but she killed a few of ours. It was messy."

Melinda May has posed:
May winces at that. "How many?" she asks softly, not really speaking to Peggy as her superior. "We've got Underwood in custody here, too. Frankly, I'm pretty sure Agent Carter would love to throw away the key. The fact Underwood survived as long as you and Rogers?" She doesn't like that. "I've been keeping that under my hat, by the way. But she's the prototype that lead to Romanova, isn't she?" She's been keeping quite a bit under her hat.

"How much of any of this do you remember, Peggy? Do you have any clue what more I'm walking into here?"

Peggy Carter has posed:
"...she is. And she's been supposedly dead at least three times. I'd say they have some horrible sort of cloning project going with her but, in truth, I really think she is just that good and that lucky. I don't know. I need to question her longer here." Peggy sighs over the phone. The thoughts of Dottie just exhaust her to the bone. Another problem she's been dealing with her whole career.

"I don't remember... much. Whether that's because we're making new memories as we go and it hasn't happened this way before, or because I'm a hundred years old, I... really don't know. But I think this is one thing we're going to discover all on our own. Which is no worse than we've done before. And we lost 4 before getting Dottie under control..."

Melinda May has posed:
May accepts the information simply. But she closes her eyes at the number Peggy gives. She wants to ask 'who'... but she knows that information won't actually help her here. It will only make her crazier. So, she makes a silent vow to raise a glass to them when she finds their names on the wall at the Triskelion when she gets home. Whenever that may be.

"What was she trying to do?" May asks after that moment of grief. "Why did she attack? Is she Hydra? She's not Hydra here. At least..." Now, she grimaces. "She killed four out of the seven Hydra agents we faced. But that doesn't mean she's not Hydra. Agent Carter says she's with Leviathan, but..." May has no idea what the connection is, really. She thought Leviathan died out decades ago.

"What did she want?"

Peggy Carter has posed:
A quiet sigh comes over the phone. Peggy is so incredibly tired of dealing with Dorothy Underwood. "She had some sort of... box. Transmitter. We believe it had a whole ton of information on it from the future, and she was trying to send it back through the anomaly. Most likely to advance Leviathan's goals beyond any of it's competitors. We managed to recover both her and the thing she tried to launch through. So, those agents did not die in vain. But it was messy." Peggy explains simply across the phone. While Bobbi's been hesitant to give so much information, Peggy's leaning on her own instincts and her trust of May.

"She wasn't HYDRA then... now adays? I suspect the few bits that are left of Leviathan have been aquired by HYDRA and they all work as one. I could be wrong, but that seems to be the pattern. They both think they can return to greatness soon. They both operate on many of the same principles."

Melinda May has posed:
May grunts softly at that. "I don't suppose it's really a surprise." She grimaces. "At least, no one's trying to arrest me as a Communist, any more." It's an improvement, as far as she's concerned.

She frowns. "Alright. Well, we'll try to keep our version on ice as long as we can. I know you'll do the same. Not that I need to say it, but if the budget's as healthy as Bobbi says, pull in as many agents as you can on security. More than it seems you need. I'm sure you haven't seen the end of Hydra. And I'm betting we haven't either. I know Agent Carter's alerted the L.A. office--" which probably means Daniel Sousa-- "to the Mojave site. I still want to get out there, but we need to check out the base here, first. I don't know what resources the SSR has to throw at this but, I don't see how much longer we can keep a lid on this. On me. Not if Hydra or Leviathan hit the desert site. And certainly not once we hit the Washington Heights site."

Peggy Carter has posed:
"HYDRA is working on, from what I can tell, very similiar interests to what we're trying to do at the Roxxon site. They might know as much as us, if not more. It's worth the risk getting into that lab and getting all the information you can. Just tell Carter... Tell them it's an 0-8-4. She's got extra money for those already and SHIELD is formed half just to handle them. This is an 0-8-4, through and through. Maybe you can even get away saying that to Howard without him pushing." Probably not. But maybe. However, the doubt is pretty clear in ehr voice.

"We're going to get you out of there one way or another. If we can do it while shooting HYDRA in the foot? I feel like we'll all sleep better at night."

Melinda May has posed:
May nods, for all that she knows Peggy can see it. "We will. But, I'll tell you, I don't like this cryo idea. Most of the scientists I've met in your SSR..." She grimaces. "Well, they're not Fitz-Simmons." Nor even Howard. They're men like Aloysius Herbert Samberley. Is it any wonder she's *concerned*? Nevertheless, she'll do what needs to be done.

But she's really counting on Fitz-Simmons to come through, if Stark can't.

So, she shakes her head. "Right. I'll couch it as an 0-8-4." A beat. "A really dangerous one." So she can get more resources. Hopefully. "We'll see how it flies."

Her head comes up as she hears familiar footsteps tapping crisply down the runner in the hallway. "My window is closing here. Anything else I should know?"

Peggy Carter has posed:
"No, I don't think so. I'll... be on the phone for your regular call, and if anything else changes, I promise, I'll let you know. Go, take care, May. I suspect you have enough to keep you busy for a bit now, at least." Peggy's smile cracks through her voice, though not enough to entirely hide the worry she's feeling. With that, she hangs up before May can be caught with the phone by anyone else. She sinks back in her chair, letting out a slow breath as she considers the file she was reading.

Then she hears someone else coming down the hall, and she's shoving away the file in some other, more generic files, hiding it from regular SHIELD eyes before any other questions are asked.

Melinda May has posed:
As the connection dies, May looks at the phone for moment and then swiftly wraps it and replaces it in the drawer for later on this evening. But, yes. Now, she has direction. Something productive to do.

She picks up the page with the addresses she wrote down and heads for the door of her room. It's time to get to work.