4618/Let's Do The Time Warp Again (Part 1)

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Let's Do The Time Warp Again (Part 1)
Date of Scene: 16 January 2021
Location: An Undisclosed Location in the Mojave, 1949
Synopsis: Agent Carter and her SSR team defends the time bridge machine from a Hydra attack.

Hydra's goal? Capture the machine and capture SHIELD Agent Melinda May. They just didn't count on the fact that these SSR agents are the same people who will become the founding agents of SHIELD... and the family that inevitably represents. Needless to say, May's return trip home is all but assured.

She hopes.

Cast of Characters: Melinda May, Daniel Sousa, Peggy Carter, Daisy Johnson, Bobbi Morse, Natasha Cranston, Jack Nolan
Tinyplot: Times That Bind

Melinda May has posed:
1949. An Undisclosed Location in the Mojave Desert.

The rip in spacetime shimmers under the bright afternoon sun. This being January, temperatures are in the mid-seventies, rather than well over 100-degrees. That's a blessing, especially given the amount of work it took to set up the strange scaffolding surrounding the rippling heat shimmer that is the only visual indicator of just where the breech between times may be. At the base of the scaffolding is a large, boxy machine that once belonged to Hydra, but that has since been completely rebuilt and repurposed by the (loudly) self-proclaimed genius of Howard Stark.

The LA office of the SSR has had this site secured since Agent Carter notified Chief Sousa about the need to do so sometime during the holidays. Helluva way to spend New Year's for some poor schlubs, but that's life on the frontlines. And now, two or three weeks later, all that vigilence is paying off.

The site is busy, today. Working closely with... organizational counterparts somewhere well off-site (a.k.a. 70 years in the future, but only about five people onsite actually know that), preparations are underway to send someone into the rift: Namely, Agent Melinda May, that remarkable Canadian agent with fists of fury and a tendency *not* to talk about why she's really here.

May stands in the shade of one of the command tents, watching as Howard and a pair of SSR scientists go over the last details of calibrating the machine. In her hand is a small device that looks to eyes in 1949 like a miniaturized field radio from the war. To May, it looks like a model she used as a probie... some 40 years hence. Soon enough, it will come alive (she hopes) with confirmation from her friends 70 years from now that they're standing by, waiting for her.

She has a battered, green canvas backpack on her back and a contemporary test pilot's flight suit on to cover the futuristic SHIELD nanomesh tac suit beneath. In that bag is her ICER, her badge, and everything else that came with her from the future. Oh, and a metal sphere that conceals a precious vial of blood. That didn't come with her originally, but it sure as hell is going home with her.

There's a rising tension in the air. Some of it is just because of the highly secretive nature of the work they're doing. Some of it, however, is because there is a cloud of dust on the horizon and it's coming closer. Only, as far as anyone on site knows, there shouldn't be any traffic out that way.

Daniel Sousa has posed:
Chief Sousa had made sure his people from the LA office had Thompsons and shotguns if they wanted them to guard the site, but Sousa himself had settled on simply trading up his Detective Special revolver for a Colt 1911 automatic so he could still use his cane if it came to a fight but with things ticking on towards zero hour that seemed less and less likely. Making his way over to Melinda with the help of his cane he asks "Eager to be going home?" he asks borrowing some of that shade from the command tent, he hasn't spotted the cloud on the horizon yet.

Peggy Carter has posed:
Technically, Daniel Sousa is the ranking SSR agent on site, but Margaret Carter is the one who started this whole mess, summoned most of them here, and has the closest contact with their 'Canadian' agent they are transporting back to 'Canada' with this incredibly elaborate machine. Peggy currently stands in the desert, in a pair of dark combat boots and a white linen jumpsuit to keep cool even in the perfectly reasonable weather of the desert winter. She's got a heavy tactical belt around her waist, armed with more than one fire arm, a few explosives, and some handcuffs just in case they intercept and need to restrain enemy agents.

She stands fairly near to May and others, overlooking the entire operation through her little round sunglasses. "Howard promised it's all up and ready to go. As soon as your Canadian friends give the all clear we can fire her up and send you through, May. It's...been lovely, but do tell everyone up north we said hullo, yes?" Peggy smiles a bit more as Daniel comes up, something strange and bittersweet behind it, but she doesn't let her eyes linger on him. She then looks back out over the distance, thoughtful... only to have her eyes narrow at that dust. She leans over, staring a bit closer.

Daisy Johnson has posed:
After they had done the raid Rose had been *very* busy combing through those papers, getting them all ordered and prepared to be used by the SSR against their enemies. It had been an heavy blow but it also meant they had to put it to use. It also made Rose start to learn all about the techno-ling used on those project papers. Really, sometimes she felt like a Stark. Ugh!

But today it was all about the mission, so she had taken a break from it, making sure to be there alongside Chief Sousa. And as she wasn't exactly the best yet where it came to shooting guns she had went with a shotgun. It's a bit of a cheat..., just aim in a direction and shoot. Easy!

But of course that the first person she makes a beeline to is May, "I have something for you..!" she conspires in a low voice, handing a small notebook over to the other woman.

Inside? Recipes!

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Pants. Agent Theresa 'Tessa' Heat is wearing pants. They're lovely pants. Shiny black shoes, a white blouse and an unbuttoned suit jacket. She also has her hair up and pinned back and is wearing a pair of welding glasses for she is wielding the extremely rare BSA Experimental Model 1. A fancy new carbine machine gun experiment from Britain. There aren't many of them and she has one.

    The weapon has a bump stock configuration and the unusual posture of its ammunition feeding in from the side in a clip. Manicured red fingernails don't quite match the aesthetic (or perhaps they do). She looks ready for business, but her mind hasn't been on the report she must write about the performance of this weapon...

    No, her mind has been on how she can do those flips and slides and jumps that their new Canadian friend was doing. How she can integrate them in to the field. A strap is slung over her shoulder and one hand is on the handle of the carbine. She has the safety on for now.

    Of course Heat is no idiot. Their raid on the HYDRA base and all the things about their Canadian friend tells her that clearly, *clearly*, she is an alien and they're signalling her mothership to come pick her up.

    Her eyes are peeled, who knows who an aliens enemies really are. All she knows is she's _their_ friend and nothing is going to change that. "It's sort of romantic out here," she chimes up casually as the wind sweeps across the desert floor hurling about a tumble weed.

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    "That dust cloud, Agent Carter, is approximately the entirety of HYDRA's combat ready strength in this state as well as more than a few of their assets in neighboring states that could get here in time," comes an unsettling - but by now familiar - voice from a nearby corner, where the Shadow steps out from under the overhang as casually as crossing a New York street.

    "The local commander successfully argued that the potential prize here is worth any cost," he adds before turning to nod apologetically at May and Peggy, entirely unconcerned with the number of guns pointing at the unannounced intruder. "My apologies; by the time I Knew what their target was going to be, I no longer had a way to contact you less... Directly."

Jack Nolan has posed:
Still on loan from Chicago, Kurt Malcom has been working with the SSR group on this issue with the agent from Canada. He doesn't know the whole story, but he gets that pretty easily. Since they're out in the desert, he's brought a couple of different toys from the last time they were out.

He's currently wearing US Marine Corps style fatigues, but with the SSR logo on it, as well as a webbing vest. He looks like he's prepared for a fight. Rising up from where he was kneeling, he looks at the cloud of dust on the horizon. Hearing the words from The Shadow, who somehow just came out of nowhere again, he frowns visibly, "How in the hell does HYDRA have that much combat capability inside of the US? Remind me to yell at the FBI."

He shoulders his Springfield 1903 and peers through the scope, trying to get a better look at the approaching HYDRA forces with the sniper rifle, "How long you think we got?" He asks, glancing over at the other agents, "Probably not enough time to set up a minefield.."

Melinda May has posed:
Melinda gives Daniel a small smile. "I am. But I think I'll miss you people." That's a surprise to her. "Still... my life is back there. It's where I need to be."

Her head turns toward Peggy and she nods, glancing down at her radio. "Should be soon," May tells her. Yes. She'll definitely miss these people. But she's eager to see the Peggy Carter she can actually share all these secrets with. It will be much easier on her on so many levels. "I'll tell them. For sure."

She blinks, however, as Rose offers her the notebook. Her brows rise. She takes it and thumbs through it briefly. A small smile touches her lips. "You are very optimistic as to my culinary talents," she tells the redhead dryly. "But thank you. I will... share this with my friends." She glances briefly to Peggy before adding, "I know at least one of them who will very much appreciate it."

Her attention moves to Heat. Her expression shifts again, smile still wry. "I don't know if romantic is the word I'd use."

And then the Shadow is suddenly appearing -- that unsettling man she really doesn't know what to make of. As he tells them what they're facing, her expression drains to something sharper, fiercer, and far less amused. "Damn," she says, glancing down at her radio. She looks to Daniel and Peggy. This is their call. She needs to stay near the machine. But it goes against all her training not to be on the frontline. "Damn!" she says again.

She glances to Malcolm and then back to the others gathered around. "I'll try contacting home base," she tells Peggy. "You... do what you need to do." She steps away from them, closer to the machine, and raises her radio, turning it on. "Mojave Bravo to Alpha Prime. Mojave Bravo to Alpha Prime. This is May. Do you copy?"

Meanwhile, on that horizon, the dust continues to rise. And a collection of desert-coloured jeeps can begin to be discerned. There are several men in them and, when seen through binoculars, it becomes obvious they are heavily armed. Their orders, however, are to secure the site. So... they're light on rockets and grenades, but heavier on the high caliber guns and firearms. Worse? They still have supplies of those tesseract plasma weapons the Red Skull supplied to his forces all those years ago.

Squidheaded bastards.

Daniel Sousa has posed:
Sousa looks away from that widening bittersweet smile from Peggy. "Agent Carter," he greets in full 'Chief' mode, though he does find himself stealing a glance at her before he turns to look at the cloud. "That does not look goo-" he begins before the Shadow appears and he steps back with surprise, surprise that turns to concerned focus as their strange ally makes his report. "Great,guess they really meant that whole cut off one head and two more take its place business," he says before looking to Rose, to make sure his number two was near at hand and then to Peggy, as May looks to them to direct things. "We're outnumbered and outgunned, we're not going to be able to hold for long, we should be ready to blow the machine, just in case," they couldn't let Hydra have it or god only knows what they'd do with it.

Peggy Carter has posed:
As the voice of the Shadow is abruptly *there*, Peggy's back stiffens and she whips around, rifle drawn down off her shoulder and into her hands, pointing at his chest before she even registers who it is or what he's saying. Yes, she's that on edge about this all. Fortunately, she doesn't shoot. Her eyes widen a bit at the news and she gives him a brief, uncertain nod, "The information is ...apprecaited. Don't suppose you can stick around for the fight? We could use another set of hands. If you need a gun, we've got a few extras."

With that hopeful recruitment, Peggy looks back to their agents. She half growls at Malcolm, "Yell at congress when this is all over." Peggy mutters, perhaps knowing a bit more about certain pardoning efforts that are starting than she cares to discuss. "SSR Agents. We have a large force of HYDRA incoming. Today's objective is to secure the machine until May is back home and then destroy it, understood? Do not restrain your fire. Intercept. The further out, the better! GO!" Peggy calls across the whole team from LA and her few transports.

Then she's looking back to May and Howard..."You stay here. You're through that thing the moment you hear, understood?" Dark eyes then flicker back to Sousa. While she'd normally want him to stay back with command, she knows they are low on people. "I'm going into the fight. They have their orders and we don't have enough numbers out there." She's not ordering him to come, but she's not stopping him either. She then turns to dash off into the desert.

Just on the tail of Peggy's depature, the wireless coughs to life. "Mojave Bravo, we are reading you. Copy. Machine is starting now... we do not yet have connection, but we are powering up with the... special package you sent." Peggy's voice clips out over the radio.

Daisy Johnson has posed:
"Oh, cooking is fun. I feel you need a bit more of that in your life too." A big wide grin from Rose at the other woman. "And remember. Smile." then she hoisting her shotgun over a shoulder to rejoin the 'ranks', jumping when the Shadow comes in unannounced as usual. Eyes go a bit wide. "One of these days you will give me a heart attack.." she says, fanning herself with one hand but soon enough she frowning and looking towards the dust as it's announced to be their enemies on the move.. Great..

She goes to take a pair of binoculars, peeking over at the group coming. "Oh great, they have big guns. Men and their big guns..." Pfffttt, "And some out of a sci-fi book." suddenly the choice of a shotgun doesn't sound as wise anymore..

"Sounds like it, Chief Sousa."

"FISCHER, BRING OUT THE CRATE OF GRENADES!" Rose bellows before looking at Tessa and Malcolm. "No time for mine fields but we can still greet them with some hail marys." she takes out a couple of 'nades to herself before getting ready to stick close to Chief Sousa.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Heat has clearly been inspired to step up her game by Melinda May. Poking out of the pocket, -yes pockets- of her pants is a small hand held set of lessons on learning French. She's starting with the easiest languages to learn. She's got a piece of satin poking out indicating perhaps she's read the table of contents and the forward only.

    "I guess they were upset we ruined their shiny New York headquarters. Given the losses they took in the war, that may have been one of their biggest remaining research facilities. Too bad for them. Small violins and all that," she comments wryly at the approaching dust cloud.

    "Probably too late for a mine field, probably too late for a bomber run either," she says having seen war footage and read about such actions but having never experienced them - or energy weapons HYDRA.

    Her eyes widen again as the Shadow appears once more in that creepy out of no where way. There's a click of the safety going off as soon as Peggy says not to restrain their fire, "Yes ma'am!" She nods toward where Rose is indicating, "Yes I'll take some grenades." She smiles and joins the agents rank and file, most of them men, gearing up for the incoming battle.

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    "Appreciated," The Shadow replies, drawing both his trademark handguns and checking the magazines before reholstering them. "I didn't have time to pack my longer-ranged ordnance, and I didn't want to be fashionably late."

    With a sound somewhat like a chuckle he turns toward the nearby weapons table and picks up a rifle, checking the action with the smooth unhurried motions of someone quite familiar with them, then nods appreciatively at Rose as the grenades are brought out. "I do appreciate a lady who knows how to properly accessorize..." he laughs as he picks a pair of grenades.

    Preparations finished, he returns briefly to Peggy and May. "They have been given do-or-die instructions," he adds, lowering his voice somewhat. "Take this facility as intact as possible..." his glance turns directly to May for a moment, meeting her eyes. "... And capture 'Agent May' alive at all costs."

Jack Nolan has posed:
"Well shit." Malcolm is clearly unhappy with this turn of events. How on earth did they find out about this operation? If they can manage to take some alive, maybe they can find out. He lowers the rifle down and glances back at Shadow, "You're good with one of these, right?" He asks, before tossing the 1903 towards the mysterious man.

You see, Malcolm brought something else. He moves over to a green crate, marked with the USMC logo, and undoes the lock on it with a key from his pocket, "I've still got some friends in low places." He muses, as he opens the crate up, and pulls out a Bazooka and a few rockets, "This ain't gonna be enough to stop all of them, but I think it'll give 'em a nasty surprise."

He grabs a Garand from the crate and slings it over his shoulder, taking some ammo as well, before he leaves the protection of Mojave Bravo and starts towards the approaching HYDRA troops. Assuming he lives through this, he is absolutely going to take Carter up on her offer to yell at Congress.

Melinda May has posed:
Separated, now, from the contemporary agents, May looks at Howard. "Please tell me we're ready to go," she tells the cocky industrialist. "The far side is powered up."

"It's coming, it's coming," Howard says to her, making something of a shooing gesture as he moves from spot to spot on the machine and pushes SSR techs out of the way. "Okay. It's showtime." He pushes a button and starts pushing on a slider. The rift, amidst the scaffolding, flares to life in a very visual fashion.

May raise her radio to her mouth. "Copy, Prime. Be advised, we are under fire. Hydra is in the field. We are engaging now. Let me know when you've got a stable connection. Standing by for transport."

May's eyes glance toward the Shadow as she overhears his report to Peggy. She meets his eyes when he mentions she's the high value target here. It's not a surprise, but it's not a happy thought either.

"Toss me a gun," she calls to Rose. "Just in case." She'll drop it before she crosses the threshhold, but she doesn't want to pull her ICER and she doesn't want to be unarmed, if they're coming for her.

The men in the jeeps begin to deploy -- the clearest sign of that being the sound of heavy machine gun fire and the high caliber rounds slicing through the air towards the agents. One of the perimeter guards goes down, but his companions dive for cover and begin returning fire. The battle is on and the SSR are the plucky underdogs, it seems. Underdogs with really big bites.

Daniel Sousa has posed:
"Rose, c'mon," Sousa calls as he takes off after Peggy, moving as fast as he can on his bad leg, as he does he says to Rose. "Peggy and I have the most range, so you're our last line of defense, anyone gets close enough for that shotgun you let them have it, guys with the blue guns first," he says, remembering them from his time in Bastone. The memory of that battle makes him shiver despite the desert heat. He looks over the enemy closing in, crouching low as the machine guns open up. He takes a moment to aim at the nearest gunner and drops him. As well as one of the men who moves to take his place. "Don't suppose you saved us a couple grenades, Rose?" he asks, lining up his next shot as he moves towards a bit of battered movie set for cover.

Peggy Carter has posed:
The dash into the desert isn't exactly an easy one, the sand is soft to run upon and even in boots, it gives under feet. Peggy's got her rifle in hand and levelled, but the sound of some added assistance from Rose gets her gaze for a few moments. "Rose, you are bloody brilliant." Peggy deadpans. She doesn't reach for grenade yet, her rifle has longer range than the throwing power of her arm, but she is pleased. She brings herself to kneel in the sand, slightly behind a dying piece of old movie set, and starts some very choice, nearly sniper-level shots on those she can see leading the charge. No time for quips now. Just slow, focused breaths and highly calculated shots. She sends at least three HYDRA agents tumbling into the desert, dying quickly of neck wounds. She's going for cracks in armor and taking no risks.

"Blue guns, hell. Right." And her next shot is taken at one of those soldiers. Daniel was right, instead of going for the command, going for the most dangerous weapons was probably wise.

Over the other end of the wireless, older Peggy's voice echos. "We are still powering up. 20 seconds... Thirty tops. Get ready to come through on my word..." From the sound of her voice and various bits in the background, they aren't having the easiest time of it either. But maybe it's just the loud machine.

Daisy Johnson has posed:
"Men and their big guns!" Rose repeats once she notices Malcolm going for the bazooka. She lets out a bit of a chuckle before BLUSHING at Shadow's words. So suave! But it quickly passes. Because there's Hydra to kill. A planet to save. Time travel shenanigans to be accomplished! So it's a normal SSR day.

She goes to the table where a few guns still are, picking up a light submachine gun and tossing it towards May for protection, along with a grenade just in case (this one given hand to hand, no tossing!). "Be safe!" she tells the Agent before starting to huff out behind Sousa.

"Remember, keep your positions, our objective isn't to go out in a blaze of glory, just hold until the big heads can do what they need to do!" she nods at Daniel's instructions and perches behind a makeshift barricade. Just a table, some debris along with some spare tires from the trucks they brought. It would have to do.

"I always bring muffins for everyone, Chief Sousa." she hands a few extra 'nades to Sousa and settles down, waiting until she spots one of their jeeps making way around. She lets one fly, it landing near and making the jeep go over, taking out a couple of cheeky Hydras that were trying to go around their defenses.

"Tessa, how are we holding on that side?!" she asks loudly.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    A grenade in each pocket, the Learning French for the Exquisite Communication unto Europe is placed on the nearest table to make room. She pulls back the loading pin with a satisfying click and lifts up her experimental carbine. "Alright nazi scum, round two is not on you," she says more to herself than anyone else. She was famous for it apparently. Heat is a walking cliche because they modelled the cliche on her.

    She rushes out of the tent and across to the abandoned partly ruined Hollywood set. They'll have to march through her to get to heart of the operation. This gives her some kind of cover. A nice place to lay a trap. Cowboys and Nazis. She sets herself up in a faux saloon and peers out a small opened knot in the wood panelling to watch as HYDRA troops begin to charge in.

    She replaces her eye with the barrel of the gun and a short but loud burst and the tinkle of ammunition hitting the floor boards below her; she ducks down and peers out through a crack in the wood and sees three bodies on the ground unmoving and two more prone with their guns out trying to figure out where they will take cover. More are running up behind them. She pulls the pin out of her first grenade and tosses it with a crash through the glass. Five more HYDRA troopers arrive to reinforce the last two, and all seven brace when the grenade lands.

    The blood curdling cries as some die and some are near death is drowned out by enemy fire back from a third team of five moving in on her location now that she's been spotted. She runs for it across the saloon floor and up the groaning stairs to the second floor and catches her breath.

    It is only once she is up in the air that she realises some of those HYDRA troopers are using energy weapons - as predicted. "Oh heck," she mutters to herself. "There sure is a lot of them ma'am!," she calls back loudly to Rose, "Be a real shame if someone shot the ones with the laser guns smartly in the crown!"

Natasha Cranston has posed:
"Grenade out!" comes the barked warning from just behind and above Peggy, and then the Shadow flings a projectile at the approaching jeep. It's still well out of throwing range for a normal human.. But not, apparently, out of throwing range for whatever the Shadow is. The driver has just enough time to blink at the rapidly approaching dot before the grenade hits the windshield and detonates, shattering it and sending the jeep careening out of control.

    "Time to get behind cover; they'll have the range on us shortly," he recommends, moving to Peggy's side to cover her line of retreat as he brings up his Tommy gun -- shorter ranged than her Winchester, but much more suited to convince people downrange of the virtues of caution.

Jack Nolan has posed:
Malcolm finds a nice piece of cover, and just in time too as several shots from one of the vehicle mounted heavy machine guns pelts the sand around where he is hunkering down. He takes a few moments to check the area behind him and make sure none of the other SSR agents are within the blast radius of his bazooka, before he pops out, lines up the shot on the center of one of the jeeps, and fires.

The rocket streaks through the air like a high explosive meteor, slamming into the engine block of the jeep and flipping it end over end to land in a flaming heap on top of two HYDRA troopers. He quickly ducks back behind cover, and grabs one of those grenades that he took from Rose, "I'm going to send that woman a gift basket if we make it out of this."

He pulls the pin, pops the spoon, counts to two and throws the grenade. It airbursts over several of the HYDRA soldiers, taking them down with the shrapnel. No need to talk trash to the guys on a suicide charge.

Melinda May has posed:
From her vantage point in the heart of camp, May watches the battle intensely. She sees the first flashes of those blue tesseract weapons and swears audibly. Howard looks at her and then out to where those weapons fire.

"Oh, great," he grumbles. "I thought we dismantled the last of those at the end of the war."

"Never underestimate the power of Hydra to steal or recreate whatever you think you took from them," May replies. They're bastards in any era, she's learned. "Where are we at, Stark?"

"We've got power fluctations like you wouldn't believe, agent," he tells her. "I'm working on stablizing it, but your friends in 'Canada' had better get a move on."

Peggy's voice crackles over May's radio and the industrialist looks at her sharply. The Asian turns away. "Copy, Prime. Standing by," she says, moving a little closer to that rift. She doesn't waste words on more. She has no choice but to trust her friends in the future and, with it being Peggy's voice on the other side of that transmission, she doesn't want her talking any more than necessary.

She looks to Howard, "Whatever else happens here, Howard, you make damned sure Peggy or Daniel get that magic brick when I'm gone."

"Yeahyeahyeah." He's not really paying attention. He's working his magic on the spiking power that makes the scaffolding around the rift shudder ominously.

Meanwhile, Hydra is throwing everything they have into their attack. Even with the attrition they suffer at the hands of the brave SSR agents, they have an overwhelming numerical advantage. The grenades and bazooka help the defenders considerably, but those energy weapons are frightening. More than one of the supporting SSR agents meet their end in fiery disintegration. However, as Hydra agents also meet their end... there are blue energy weapons left abandoned in the field.

Daniel Sousa has posed:
Sousa's gun clicks empty as he fires more rounds into the enemy, punching through the heavy armour of one of the blue gun carrying soldiers. "Out," he announces out of habit before grabbing some cover by Peggy and Rose and reloading. Though when the grenades are offered, Sousa smiles. "Remind me to give you a raise," he says to Rose before taking one and passing another to Peggy. "Got the blue guy coming with friends on the right," he says to her, Rose and the Shadow before he yanks the pin and chucks the grenade just behind the charging soldier. The grenade explodes in a rain of shrapnel, before a second, blue, explosion rips through the man and the soldiers with him when the shrapnel pierces his power pack. "Glad they never got wise to that trick." Or knowing Hydra they simply didn't care.

Peggy Carter has posed:
The work of Rose and Tessa cannot help but make Peggy smile. She can't really see their faces, but she can hear the joy and determination in their voices, not to mention the echo of well placed explosions they are lobbing. "Ladies... excellent work." She calls warmly. As the Shadow behind her calls Grenade Out, Peggy instinctively drops, giving him room to chuck it across her shoulder and momentarily shielding her face against any debris and sand that's going to be kicked up from when it goes off. Granted, the whole thing has become a dusty, sandy mess, making it far harder for her to snipe shot the targets she wanted because getting a clear sightline is near impossible. Therefore, she's training her weapon on the blue energy signatures she can see in the dust wave. Slightly above each blue line, where a chest or a neck should be hovering above an energy rifle. "What, movie set isn't enough?" Peggy quips about the old piece of board she was behind.

In truth, it's not good cover. She takes the back up and starts scrambling back... just in time for a slug to nail into her upper shoulder. At least it's near where those old scars are? And her off shoulder. But she hits sand hard for a moment, cursing and scraping to finish dragging herself behind that cover. "Bloody... bastards..." she breathes out. "We...need a few of those energy weapons. NOW." Peg raggedly breathes out to her immediate circle near -- Sousa, Rose, then Tessa and Malcolm on the outside. But if Shadow is still behind her, he might hear too. "Even a Tommy Gun doesn't stand up to them."

And, as if her words beckoned some sort of awful demonstration, one of those energy weapons heavily lays into the cover the group has taken, exploding it nearly as well as it would if it had been one of those grenades. Stark's energy readings skyrocket.

The wireless turns to static for a moment. When it comes back, the end of a phrase is just barely heard, "...you now!"

Daisy Johnson has posed:
With more Agents falling Rose's usual niceness is being turned into anger. REAL ANGER! These are friends dying out here. She tosses herself to the ground when that big blast of one of those tesseract weapons gets through cover like it was knife on butter, having her stay down as more cover fire is sent from the hydra goons towards her position.

First it's Fischer getting taken down by machine gun fire. Unmoving. Then Peggy gets shot... Not on her watch! No more staying down .. So she scrambles up to her feet slowly (but surely), "Tessa and Malcolm with me! Get one of those weapons!" she calls out. A nod is given to Peggy and Sousa, both in farewell because she know she can get die easily here, but also asking for 'cover us!'

She rushes out with her shotgun .., and it turns out that weapon is damn effective with your enemies are rushing your position thinking they have taken out the defenses. Shotgun shots ring out as she lets loose with the gun. Just aim in their general direction and fire! RAAAAAAA!

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    A large corner of the saloon explodes when the blue hydra weapons are focused her way. "I guess I got their attention," she murmurs and moves to the far balcony and there she notices several HYDRA troopers sneaking their way toward the tent. "Oh hell no you don't," she mutters and moves to hike up her skirts.. which she isn't wearing. "Huh," she says to herself with a small nod.

    Tessa slings the carbine over her shoulder and climbs out over the balcony, then jumps on to the adjoining roof. With an ooof she lands and she mutters, "Wish she'd taught us how to do those rolls." She gets up and starts running, leaping from faux rooftop to faux roof top. She slides to the edge of the roof and pulls up her gun, takes aim and shoots.

    The spurt of bullets drops four of the HYDRA troopers, the fifth taking cover even as more are coming up. She slides off the roof and lands hard on the ground, then scrambles to the tent entrance where the weird science is going on.

    "Aaron take cover," she warns a scientist who is just within visual range of a HYDRA trooper who shoots, but thankfully, misses the equipment. She lifts her carbine and shoots back, the aim slightly off, it gets the HYDRA agent in the leg, chest, then head. Aaron's eyes go wide and he pulls away from the monitoring systems he was watching.

    The second of the grenades, the one that displaced learning French, is acquired from her pocket. She pulls the pin and lobs it toward the oncoming group of five HYDRA troopers and then calls out, "We're being flanked!" *Boom* the group take huge shrapnel damage even as they attempt to dive out of the way. Heat lifts up her gun and fires roughly in the area where they dived hoping to hit something.

    She pushes over a table and ducks behind it, then smiles to May, "Oh hey, safe travels. Send us a post card from the moon or whatever it is Canadians are getting up to these days."

    She is panting hard, perspiration on her forehead, but that smile is genuine. Heat is an adrenaline junkie. It takes one to know one. There is a tink as the spent clip is ejected from the experimental carbine and she pulls out a second from an inner jacket pocket and reloads. "In a bad place to get an energy weapon ma'am!," she calls back, her attention leaving May because the battle is hardly over.

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    "Perhaps, but there's one thing I've learned about weapons... the Shadow replies as he helps Peggy drag herself to - admittedly dubious - cover, then stands up straight to look over it...

    The energy gunner is laying down suppressive fire fairly indiscriminately, plugging away at the cover for the lack of more interesting targets -- sooner or later he'll either hit someone, or he'll have destroyed enough of the cover to aim at the people beyond it, it's just a matter of time...

    He turns as he spots the motion at the edge of his field of vision, bringing his energy rifle to bear, but makes the mistake of meeting the Shadow's eyes.

    His weapon freezes in mid-turn as his muscles lock up with the sudden strain. There's no way to see the expression on his face behind that obscuring mask that HYDRA likes to give out to make their troopers look scarier, but even from this distance Peggy can see his entire body trembling...

    ... And then he suddenly whirls around with an anguished cry and starts firing on his erstwhile comrades.

    "... They're only as good as the one who wields them." the Shadow finishes calmly as other HYDRA soldiers finally recover from the surprise and return fire on one of their own.

Jack Nolan has posed:
Moving between cover, Malcolm is trying his best to keep himself from getting plugged by those energy weapons. It's not easy, they seem to have unlimited ammo and extremely deadly accuracy. Malcolm has to reload, but his accuracy is unrivaled, especially by lightly trained HYDRA troops.

Getting his hands on one of those energy guns could turn the tide of this battle, though. He throws another grenade out, and then emerges from his cover, firing his Garand several times into troops as he crosses the line. If he gets close enough, they may reconsider firing on him since he'll be in close quarters and would hit their own.

He gets hit by a HYDRA trooper as he crosses the line, getting kocked off his feet and his rifle clattering away. He grunts in pain, looking up at the barrel of one of those energy rifles. Without much time to react, he slaps the rifle away and the energy shot hits the ground next to his head.

He kicks off the ground, and draws his Ka-BAR off his web gear, slamming its blade into the throat of the trooper as he takes him to the ground in a heap, kicking up a ton of dust around the two.

Melinda May has posed:
May's radio explodes with static and she catches only those last two words. Her eyes dart toward the rift. "Say again Prime," she says, holding the radio close to her mouth again and crouching down as Hydra forces draw ever closer. "Did not copy. I repeat: Say again."

Meanwhile, Howard is shouting orders at the SSR techs. "Nonono! I said 77 megawatts, not 17. Move! Now!" He's pushing his way into the midst of them, hurriedly adjusting dials and power levels, trying to balance everything out. It's not easy. Energy crackles over that scaffolding, feeding into the rift. It glows and sparkles with energy, becoming a swirling vortex of light and colour.

"Howard?" May says apprehensively watching the energy levels increase. "I want to get through this in one piece!"

"You go on my mark!" Howard tells her, ducking as Hydra pot shots hit a little too close to home. "Your people better have it working by now, because we're running out of time."

May watches Agent Heat move in and start taking out the attackers flanking the tent. She pops the pin on the grenade Rose left her and lobs it with practiced ease further out -- to where a group of reinforcements approach.

"Hey, Foxy!" she calls to Tessa, when Tessa wishes her well. "Give them hell for me." Then, she raises the gun Rose gave her and starts methodically clearing the way for Tessa to go on the offensive once more.

And so the battle shifts. Hydra thinks they have the upperhand. But they've failed to count on the fact SHIELD -- for these people will, in the months to come, become the beating heart of a fledgling SHIELD -- is a family. And nothing will keep them from protecting their own.

Daniel Sousa has posed:
"Peggy!" Sousa calls in surprise as he sees Peggy fall, blood on her shoulder. He joins the Shadow in helping her into cover, ducking over her as the energy weapon reduces some of the nearby cover to splinters. As the dust clears he finds her hand and presses a medpack into her palm as he squeezes it. "Gonna be okay?" he asks her, meeting her eyes for a moment before he looks away to call to Rose and the others. "You heard Peggy, get those energy weapons," he tells them, "I've got you covered!" there's one more look to Peggy before he drags himself to a position cover both her and Rampaging Rose and her SSR Commandos on their run for those Hydra weapons.

Peggy Carter has posed:
"I'm *fine*! Keep open fire on them, we can't afford to STOP!" Peggy practically hisses at Sousa, not actually angry, but the pain is enough to make her words sharp and caught in her throat. She accepts the med pack, shoving into the big pocket on the side of her pants but not bothering with it yet. She really believes they can't afford to loose time. She's trying to keep an eye on the battle at large, Tessa's way cleared by May making her smile and Rose's pure, bad-ass leading the charge makes her smile. Over the little ear pieces, that are barely working with all this interference, she calls, "Keep it up, Rose! Tessa!"

And then her eyes see a less encouraging sight. "MALCOLM. REPORT!" As Peggy loses sight of Malcolm in the desert and dust, going down behind HYDRA lines, her heart is in her throat. There's a few others of them down, but he was the one that immediately took her orders to get an energy weapon. He'd be the death on her hands if he's gone. She's dragging herself back up to her feet, shoulder bleeding freely but adrenaline nicely pushing through the pain as she finally reaches her good arm for one of Rose's grenades. "We just need to hold the line a bit longer. Dig in and *hold the line*!" Peggy practically growls to the people around her, pain and anger making her accent gutteral and fierce. She's leaning against a heavy wooden crate to keep upright, but is still fighting herself.

On the wireless, there's a few other buzzes of static, but modern Peggy is getting the sense that the machines are not good for the time-phone, so she's just repeating, over and over, "-Prime. We are ready for you now. We are ready for you now. GO NOW. Go. NOW." Older Peggy's voice is getting more insistent as she repeats. She can practically feel the time running out. Young Peggy, somehow in the chaos of it all, hears those words. She looks back across her good shoulder at May one last time and gives a momentary snap of a salute. 'Good hunting.' She mouths to the woman. Then her eyes are back for the fight.

Daisy Johnson has posed:
"Go Go!" Rose is saying to the Agents with her while they rush into some of the hydra's positions. It's an awkward thing afterall, them knowing they need to suicide bum rush to find this Agent May, but then having a group of plucky SSR Agents charging right back at them. It's when heart trumps orders, and it's indeed what makes SHIELD have the upper hand.

You don't let family down.

So she shoots her shotgun towards the oncoming wave until her shotgun is dry. Fine! Still a club!

She spots Malcolm not too far from her position and launches herself into the fray, a flying shotgun seen rushing towards the man Malcolm is entangled with until a beet red Rose throws herself with all her might against their foe, attempting to have Malcolm have a chance with that tesseract weapon!

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Tessa gets a confused look on her face as May unapologetically calls her 'Foxy'. The first person in her life to do so. Definitely not the last. "You got it!," she says in response as May gives her the cover fight she needs to advance once more. She moves behind a wooden prop cart and finds the survivors bunkered down then jumps over the cart with one hand as she aims her carbine with the other.

    She completely misses her targets but it does scare the HYDRA troopers when she does it and they actually start to try and pull back. Once back on the ground she fires straight and mows them down. Letting go of the carbine, it's steaming hot tip bouncing in the air, she scoops up one of the HYDRA energy weapons and lays down on to the ground.

    "Okay squidies, let's see how you like a taste of your own medicine..." She pulls the trigger *Zang* and then jerks her back on the ground a bit as a fast moving motorcycle suddenly evaporates before her eyes. "Hollly mollly!," she says and scrambles to her feet, "Moving up!"

    She darts down an alley between the faux buildings and adds a new angle of attack for her fellow agents. *Zang* *Zang* goes her HYDRA weapon as most of the shots land and the HYDRA troopers disappear in a brief moment of terror. It does make her wonder - are they being evaporated? or teleported in to a distant part of the universe... eh! who cares. *Zang*

    "I've got you covered ma'am's's go for it!," she calls out as she settles behind a wooden prop barrel.

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    The Tommygun finally clicks empty, and there's no time to reload as HYDRA's agents rush the front line. The Shadow draws his pistols and opens fire, taking down anyone who gets too close to Peggy's location.

    As the signal goes out he turns to May one last time. "Time for you to be on your way, Agent," he calls out. "Travel safe; perhaps we'll meet again in the future."

    With that cryptic remark he turns away again to deck a HYDRA agent trying to rush past, shoots the man in the head before he has time to hit the ground and spins around, tracking and firing and keeping the immediate area entirely clear...

Jack Nolan has posed:
Malcolm isn't able to respond while he's struggling with the squiddy, until Rose comes in and buys him the time he needs. He pulls the knife back out, and slams it into the HYDRA goon several times, until the man finally stops moving.

He rolls over and looks up at Rose, giving her a bit of a grin, "Now I'm going to get you two gift baskets." He then gets back up to his feet and grabs the Tesseract gun, hefting it up. It's lighter than it looks, must be some kind of special material.

Finally he chimes in over the wireless, "I'm alive thanks to Rose, now lets see what this magic gun of their's can do!" Turning the weapon on some of the closest HYDRA troopers, he fires off a shot, impressed by the recoil of the gun, and more importantly, the sheer damage that it does when it strikes its target. He turns to Rose, and then chimes in over the radio one last time, "Tell May we've got her covered, no matter where Stark's contraption sends her. And tell her to give her team my best!" And then back to Rose, "Lets mop these guys up and go home, shall we?"

Melinda May has posed:
"Go now!" Howard's voice echoes Peggy's. May looks to the crackling rift and then at the battle all around. She hears the Shadow's cryptic words and looks startled for just a moment. She even registers the well wishes from the others and finds an odd lump rising in her throat. Then, she catches sight of Peggy, bloodied again.

Damn it! Do you have to make a habit of that, Carter?!

Still... She returns the salute with one of her own. 'Go get 'em,' she mouths back. Then, she turns, drops the gun and *dives* for that rift.

Her body disappears in an outline of lightning surrounding impossible darkness. A flash of light explodes from the rift and energy overwhelms the machine Howard tends. It arcs over the scaffolding. Sparks fly, energy building up to dangerous levels.

Then, the rift collapses in on itself, just as it did in New York. As the thing disappears and his readings flatline, Howard rushes to where the main heart of the machine stands. He grabs a metal wrench up off a table and whams it heavily into the chassis, loosening the 'magic brick'. Then, he grabs hold of it and yanks it out of the machine, falling on to his ass and rolling several feet away as the machine explodes.

Pieces of metal fly everywhere. The techs cower behind a worktable upended in the chaos. And the Hydra personnel that were trying to get to the machine suddenly find their radios overwhelmed with orders from their superiors screaming at them to finish the job -- which then quickly becomes shouts of rage at what looks to be a possible failure. The machine is destroyed, after all... and where is Agent May?

It is not a good day for Hydra. Again.

Daniel Sousa has posed:
The soldier in Sousa responds to Peggy's hissed words, "On it," he says, passing her the .45 and picking up Peggy's winchester and limping his way to a position where he could put it to good use, his cane lost somewhere in the shattered remains of the old movie set. Grunting against the pain flaring up from his bad leg, he lines up a shot, dropping a Hydra soldier before he can level his energy weapon at Rose. The ones after that are for whichever Squiddy unfortunate enough to be in range and closest to the anomaly. Catching May's departure out of the corner of his eye, he murmurs, "Good luck," to the agent before his attention returns to the enemy taking aim at any who don't have the good sense to know they've lost.

Peggy Carter has posed:
Peggy's people are far too mixed in the HYDRA masses now for her to risk tossing another grenade. "Take it!" She hisses to Daniel, as he starts for the Winchester. Her shoulder is shot and she trusts his marksmanship, so she'd rather see it go to good use. Now, it's Daniel's pistol that's her last weapon to fight with. Instead of being the long range snipe shot of the crew, she's now the close range body guard. Any HYDRA agent that even THINKS of getting close, she's picking off at near range.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, she only gets one before the whole machine goes. "...Howard!" She yells in a momentary bit of panic. She knows he was close. She's not certain how close. It isn't until she sees his head picking up off the desert ground does she slump back against her crate and mutter a little prayer, her head turning forward again. But, HYDRA is firmly beaten... most seem to be retreating, and her people have it. She lets out a long, tired breath... "God speed, Melinda May..." She mutters beneath her voice.

Then, ever so curious... she pulls herself up into standing, taking a few not quite straight forward steps over to the mess of the machine and a crackling radio left in the dust. She picks it up, hearing nothing but static for the moment. Quietly, she slips the thing into the pocket opposite the med pac Daniel gave her. Just to keep it from Howard, of course. No other reason...

Daisy Johnson has posed:
While Rose may have a lot of metaphorical heart she doesn't really have a lot of the actual physical one. And with all this activity? Means she is pretty much beat and exhausted. So when Malcolm gets the ZAP gun and starts cleaning up along with Tessa Rose just stays there on the ground, breathing heavily even if at least with a bit of cover with the dead hydra body next to her.

"Muffins.." She tells Malcolm. "Make it be muffins..." because really, she could kill for one right now...

Then she passes out..

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Tessa 'Foxy' Heat is really feeling the cardio workout that Peggy mandated recently. It's paying off. No more muffins or donuts for Tessa. She begins moving up the street noting a change in strategy by HYDRA. "I think they've lost their leader?," she says. Instead of pushing to their target, they are getting defensive.

    Of course, the *Zang* quickly removes the cover they're hiding behind and then them too. She feels zero remorse for these people. They came here to kill them and they are literally nazis with designs on world domination. No mercy.

    She rounds a corner and flanks a group of them, *Zaang* she vanishes them from existence. Wiping the goggles she pulls them off, too much sweat accumulating around them, then tosses them aside. She'll take the dust of the desert over that.

    In a moment of quiet respite she peers over at her colleagues and asks, "Are there any more left?" Her inexperience on the battle field makes it hard for her to discern if they've... won? She peeks her head out - no one shoots at her.

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    A gloved hand reaches down to offer to help Peggy back up on her feet. "It would seem your people have carried the day, Agent Carter." the Shadow remarks as he helps her stand. "Mission accomplished."

    A pause, as the dark-clad man looks around, surveying the carnage with a critical eye. "Those guns were impressive, but dangerous - and not just for the people on the other end. It's probably for the best that you were unable to recover any intact specimens for the army to analyze, wouldn't you agree?"

Melinda May has posed:
When the dust settles, the SSR agents have clearly carried the day. All that's left is clean up. If they had more personnel, they could pursue their foes... but they'll have to wait to settle that score. There will be other opportunities. With Hydra, there always are.

And, of course, somewhere out there lurks Leviathan, too. There's no shortage of enemies seeking to tear down democracy and freedom.

Nevertheless, in 2021...

                             [TO BE CONCLUDED.]