5274/Iron Fortitude: Proof Positive

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Iron Fortitude: Proof Positive
Date of Scene: 20 February 2021
Location: Iron Fortitude HQ, New York
Synopsis: Fitz and Hunter use their cover identities as new recruits of Iron Fortitude to enter and explore their Head Quarters. Hoping to find incriminating evidence against the senator, they instead find the man who had been ahead of them all along.. but had finally run out of luck. Beaten and tortured by the senators men, he held on to his secret until SHIELD arrived to rescue him. Now the incriminating evidence of Iron Fortitude hangs over the senators head like the sword of damocles.
Cast of Characters: Bobbi Morse, Lance Hunter, Leopold Fitz

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    The multistory building for Iron Fortitude is modern and wholly oversized for the company. But the company has made a lot of money in the decade or so that it's been in operation. Who knew private war would be so profitable? Senator Roberto Feavits did, that's who.

    The party is being held on the 7th floor for the newest recruits. Hunter and 'Pitch' aren't the only two newbies to be joining the team. Speaking of the team, the company is staffed entirely with ex-military and mercenaries. The pay is good, the jobs are the adrenaline seeking kind that they love. The culture is extremely masculine and no doubt, under the surface, extremely toxic.

    The 7th floor is mostly empty, save for a few tables with cocktails and nibblies. Wassail is there, as are Dizzy and Primrose. Blackjack didn't make it. The battle they went through was not the usual kind of heat they take. It got that way because Wassail went off script. There are a lot of other extremely buff men wandering around. Some in suits that barely fit and some wearing Iron Fortitude merchandise. Music is playing and the mood is relaxed, friendly.

    Peters approaches, "Hey. You two are new too right?," and offers his hand, "The name's Peters. Just did a job in Mali for my trial run. Piece of cake. How was yours?" The man looks to have a baby face on the body of an olympus god. He must be young.

Lance Hunter has posed:
Hunter is dressed in his IF duds trying to make a good impression on the bosses while simultaneously eating them out of house and home digging into those nibbles. It was a fact of spycraft villains always had the best spread, and Hunter was determined to make the most of it. Swallowing down a Jalapeno latke he wipes his hands on a napkin and offers a hand to Peter's to shake. "I'm Hunter, this is Pitch," he says. "Ours turned into a bit of a dogs breakfast but we got the job done," but then if not they wouldn't be here. "So, you know what the plan is for today? Just a standard meet and greet for the new folks?"

Leopold Fitz has posed:
It would appear that Iron Fortitude does have a type. And Fitz definitely isn't it. He's definitely in better shape then he was when he was pretty much sticking to the lab all day every day. While he has a preference for the hsooting range when he decided to try and add field work to his repetoire he did get a little more responsible about getting to the gym. But he most definitely looks and feels out of place. Of course he probably always was going to. While there should be a whole lot less shooting on this particular mission, it might take awhile for Fitz to get used to this whole undercover thing.

He is, understandably, sticking close to Hunter. That has been his mantra from the beginning of this assignment and he certainly sees no reason to change. "I think maybe I'll start with the steroids aperitif. And then maybe move on to steroids for the main course. And then maybe to top things off a nice steroids dessert tray to clense the palate," he suggests as he glances about the room.

He does quickly shut up however as they are approached, falling quickly and naturally back into that silent and stoic persona that he has built up, offering a nod of greeting to 'Peters' but otherwise letting Hunter fill the man in on their own more... problematic assignment.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    The mission brief was simple enough. Their ruse with Nassif el-Lodi had revealed that Roberto Feavits kept videos of his kills, of his missions, and all the other illegal stuff his Iron Fortitude had done. Trophies. Enter the building and break away from whatever this orientation was meant to be and get the real dirt. The building had 8 floors and how they were utilised was not intelligence SHIELD had yet to gather.

    Speaking of the man, the elevator dings and he steps out with a beautiful lady on each arm.

    Some of the more senior employees of Iron Fortitude go over to greet the senator and their business fondly. The women break away and head over to where the alcohol is because while they're being paid really well to be here, this isn't their scene.

    Peters nods his head to Fitz but talks to Lance since he's the one talking back, "Can you believe how much they're paying us to do these jobs? a couple of years in this company and I'm going to be set for life. Roberto is the man." He says and turns slightly as their new boss saunters in and starts shaking hands with his employees. Peters wanders away too to see if he can get some face time with the senator.

Lance Hunter has posed:
"Don't forget to wash it all down with a healthy dose of Axe Body Spray," Hunter remarks to Fitz before they're approached only half listening to what the babyfaced gym rat has to say, "Good money for sure," he agrees watching the Senator enter the room. "And guess our boss likes to live large himself," he says with a look at the two women on the senator's arm.

When Peters goes to go press the flesh and get a bit of face time, Hunter asks Fitz keeping his voice low, "With an entrance like that, no way this ponce doesn't have his office and his best stuff on the top floor of this place, yeah? Think we should go have a look while the Senator's meeting the rest of this lot."

Leopold Fitz has posed:
"I may also need to go shopping, pick up a few shirts that are about two sized to small," he muses under his breath as Peters starts to walk away, over to join the crowd of admirers who almost immediately crowds around their new employer. And hey, why not. The pay is good and it is quite the entrance, seeming to directly appeal to the hyper-masculine world that the man seems to have built up around these mercenary concerns. And while Fitz is not exactly as deeply in the know about this sort of world as his partner on this mission, his understanding is that other private 'security' firms like this are not appreciably different. They just don't have a senator running them.

Glancing towards the elevator and then the stairwell, Fitz turns towards the stairs -- more discrete and out of the way. "Agreed. We might want to stop a level down, or at least look for a computer somewhere on the way, see if we can find out anything on their security and layout," he adds quietly.

He's not a master hacker like Daisy or some of the other agents directly assigned to Cybersecurity. But he has a way with machines and a lot of electronic devices designed to help get past security and break encryption at his disposal.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    The floor up has a receptionists desk - unattended. Several offices are empty. They haven't found a use yet. The main office at the end with the corner set of windows is where Roberto has set himself up with a large oak table. Also, a secret room. What evil private military contractor doesn't have a secret room.

    Someone has broken in to here. The place is a mess. Books thrown off shelves, wires exposed, and of course the secret room is opened up. It's a small vault and it still contains money, bonds, documents, precious stones. Whatever they were after, it wasn't that.

    There are tell tale signs of a fight in here. Including some bullet holes in the oak desk and blood on the carpet. It looks dried, so it's not completely fresh. But it also doesn't look like the senator has had time or interest enough to get a crew in here to clean up. If there were secret tapes in here of his wrong doings, either they were found and taken by the theft, or they were never here at all.

Lance Hunter has posed:
"Bloody hell," Hunter says seeing the mess, he makes a b-line for the open secret room and safe hoping against hope there's something there beyond loot and finds himself disappointed. "Damn it, cleaned out," he says, standing again, palming and pocketing a couple of stones as he does. "My money's on Lodi's people but let's get out of here and see if he's got some back ups, and before someone comes in and blames for all this mess."

Leopold Fitz has posed:
It would appear that they are not the only ones after the senator. Not surprising really. Anyone who has this sort of sideline almost has to have all sorts of enemies. And that doesn't even include the ones that he would have accumulated in his more 'legitimate' political career. Still, it is a bit of a surprise. Clearly this didn't just happen. No one beat them to the punch as it were and just managed to sneak in before they could do the same -- though certainly fitz and Hunter would have been cleaner. But it is definitely a good reason to be pretty darn careful.

While Hunter moves to check out what would have been a secret chamber if it hadn't been ransacked, Fitz moves to the computer to see if there is anything he can salvage. And unsurprisingly there does not appear to be. If the intruders didn't get it, it looks like the Iron Fortitude internal security probably took a scorched earth approach to things. Maybe that's why there's been no effort to clean up. Either way, it doesn't look like they're getting anything from here so Fitz nods to his partner. "Agreed. If there's still something to be grabbed it doesn't look like it's coming from here."

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Heading down past the party floor, as they head out on to the 4th floor perhaps looking for a server room, they see down a corridor a man in urban cameo standing with a gun in front of a door. Guarding it no doubt. But they also hear the telltale signs of a man screaming. It sounds strained, like he's been doing it for quite a while. The lights on this floor flicker briefly.

    The door suddenly opens and a man wearing a long white lab coat steps out. He's wiping down his hands with a towel. Blood. There's blood all over him. "Make sure to call me if he starts to talk," the man says in a distinctly German accent. The guard nods and the torturer turns and heads down the corridor in the other direction.

Lance Hunter has posed:
Hunter blinks as they hear the screaming and spot a guard and the torturer. Bloody hell, what a madhouse this place is. He gestures for Fitz to follow before he slips out of the elevator seeking a place to hide while the torturer walks away. If Fitz joins him, he whispers "We'll wait until Herr Doktor is gone and then jump the guard when his back is turned." That was the plan anyhow, how successful it will be... remains to be seen.

Leopold Fitz has posed:
Again, Fitz can't really say that he's surprised. While the people they worked with out in the field seemed decent sorts, their employer is clearly a man of questionable morality. Probably leaning towards the Dark Side. At least he assumes that anyone who employs an in-house torturer is not one of the good guys. Still, the young scientist has to bite the inside of his cheek to keep from growing pale at both the sounds coming from the room and the sight of the man emerging covered in blood. In fairness anger seems to be as much the cause as queeziness.

"Agreed," he says tersely, lingering around the corner and just out of sight, waiting for Hunter's signal to go before they rush the guard and see just what's going on down the hall. Well... at least find out just who is being held there and what he might be able to tell them. What's happening to the man is pretty damn clear even if they can't see into the room.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    "Ich kann nicht glauben, wie stur dieser Mann ist," the torturer mutters to himself as he processes down the hallway and turns in to a room marked as a men's bathroom. There's a guttural moan from within the room where whoever they're torturing is being held.

    The guard rubs at his nose a bit, not too concerned with the noises. Though, he does turn a bit and crack open the door to peer inside. It's extremely brightly lit in there, not dark like a dungeon. Whatever he sees he seems amused by, a smirk cracking across his face.

    The plan is not a terrible one, though, neither of them are armed with ICERs or regular munition guns for that matter. When Hunter jumps him from behind the man is startled and then hits the butt of his gun in to his attackers stomach and whips around wildly trying to dislodge him, presumably to see Fitz too.

    He attempts to fight two people at once, lifting his gun to shoot at Fitz even as he is trying to smoosh Lance against a wall. He's a big muscular guy and clearly comfortable in combat. It is, at least, good timing as the sound of a shower kicks in down the hall from the bathroom.

Lance Hunter has posed:
Hunter tries a sleeper hold at first but the gun butt to his stomach and being slammed against the wall puts a quick end to that plan. Still holding on tight, he forms fingers like claws, and makes a move for the man's eyes gouging them if he can find them blind. "Sorry mate," he grunts out to the man as he does it.

Leopold Fitz has posed:
Hand to hand combat is not his forte. Fitz has made that pretty clear on any number of occasions. He's pretty skilled with guns, given the amount of time he has spent designing and testing them it only stands to reason. But he is really barely passable up close. At least compared to the ranks of his fellow SHIELD agents.

Not to mention that Iron Fortitude seems to like their employees big and beefy to put it mildly. Fitz is not exactly a tiny guy, but he's certainly feeling a bit like it amongst this group of giants.

So he has no problem letting Hunter take the lead, no problem letting the more experienced field agent try to take the guard down. And while they are engaged, Fitz casually slips what looks to be a pair of black driving gloves out of one of his pockets, walking down the hall. Only when the guard brings that weapon around to bear on him does he abruptly crouch low and lunge forward, grabbing at him. "Let go of him!" he barks out to Hunter as he does so.

Which, of course, is when he lets the fifty-thousand or so volts of the taser-gloves run through the man.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    The torturer hangs up his coat and takes off his clothes. The room already fogging up from the heat of the shower. The sound of cries of pain filter down from the hallway and he smiles, "I am an artist." Clearly, thinking his prisoner is still suffering from the after affects of what he did to him.

    The cries instead come from the guard as Hunter goes for the eyes. He slams Lance up against the wall twice more as he completely loses sight of Fitz. Feeling the gloved hands on him he starts to move to grapple with Fitz too. But then the big guy suddenly crumples down on to the ground twitching as he is hit with the taser load.

    Small involuntary muscles spasms continue but it's clear the man is out for the count. With his quietness settling, the sound of a German man singing begins to filter down the hallway. He does not sing well.

    Inside the brightly lit room they see a man cuffed to a metal chair that is bolted to the floor. He is dribbling blood and it's clear he's been brutalised, possibly for days. Fitz has met this man before - Gavin Hedgecroft. A mercenary. The same mercenary whose team attempted to assassinate Naasif el-Lodi's son in New York. The same mercenary that they arrested on the highway heading toward el-Lodi's son's safehouse. The same mercenary who somehow bought SHIELD gear from the blackmarket, including gravity manipulation gauntlets.

    The same mercenary who the Bedouin in Saudi Arabia that SHIELD met said he was an honourable man, who had once worked for Iron Fortitude but when he realised just who they truly were and what they were capable of, he switched sides and took the job from the poor Bedouin. And his price? pro bono. The same mercenary who was freed from SHIELD custody by order from the United States President's office.. and who then mysteriously disappeared.

    It's clear where he disappeared to now... slowly he looks up as he thinks his torturer has returned, or perhaps Roberto himself again. His squints at the two men and spies Fitz, croaking awkwardly, "I know you... you're SHIELD. I knew you were working for the senator, you sick fucks."

Lance Hunter has posed:
Hunter leans on the wall to catch his breath after Fitz's gloves take down the man mountain of a guard. He gives Fitz a thumbs up, and the guard a good kick to the ribs before he relieves the man of his weapon and once Fitz is ready enters the room coming face to face with Hedgecroft. "Shhh," Hunter says. "Unless you want your German friend to hear you," he says to the merc moving to unbind him from the chair. "And your half-right we do work for SHIELD we're only pretending to work for the senator, but if you can help us find his stash of recordings we'll be happy to get you out of here and give the Senator a big screw you when we air his dirty laundry to the world. So, what do you say, mate? Sound good?" Regardless Hunter is cutting the man free.

Leopold Fitz has posed:
There is a certain amount of satisfaction at watching the man crumple into a heap, half-blind thanks to Hunter and one hundred percent unconscious thanks to Fitz and his little toys. Technology is such a great equalizer. Is it any wonder that the SHIELD scientist is such a big fan? And of course the added benefit is that it doesn't take any time in the gym at all to use it. Definite bonus marks there.

It's tempting to reach down and zap the guard again but it does feel a might bit petty under the cirumstances, especially with Hunter taking care of the man with a good swift kick. So carefully removing the gloves, he tucks them back away in his pocket to give them a chance to build back a charge. Then he follows the other SHIELD agent into the room.

It is unexpected to run into another familiar face inside -- though he does look considerably worse for the wear. "You shouldn't hurt our feelings," he says mildly. He can hardly blame either the man's hostility or suspicions under the circumstances. He probably wouldn't be all that happy if he had been tied up and tortured for who knows how long. "Like my friend said, we're on the same side. You might want to consider sharing anything that you happen to know," he suggests, lingering near the door to keep an eye on the hall outside. They definitely do not want to get caught by surprise in here.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    The man coughs and slumps as he's uncut, "You've got to be kidding me." More softly he speaks this time with a low pained wheezing chuckle, "Can't believe I'm being rescued by SHIELD.." He squints up at Lance and then over to Fitz, "Hell you get me out of this place alive I'll give you everything I've got on him. I stole his bloody snuff films. Why do you think he's been torturing me huh?"

    There's another pained chuckle, because he's damn proud of himself for getting one over on Roberto. He coughs again and accepts Lance's help, "You've got a deal."

    With Fitz loitering near the door and checking the hallway. He sees something curious - a wet German man's head poking out from the bathrooms, "Carlo I need a towe~..." he pauses as he sees the crumpled up body on the floor, "Scheisse!" A naked man steps out of the bathroom and starts running for it down the hallway awkwardly and wet.

Lance Hunter has posed:
"Well, like Mick said, 'can't always get what you want'," Hunter grins at Hedgecroft's distress at being rescued by SHIELD. "But we will definitely make that deal."

"C'mon, let's go," he says helping the merc to his feet. "Fitz, you alright mate, what's going on in the hall?" he asks, beginning to move with Hedgecroft towards the door.

Leopold Fitz has posed:
Well, the senator just sounds like a worse and worse asshole with every passing second. How exactly do these people get elected? With an accomodation apparently been reached, Fitz turns his attention back out to the hallway. And very quickly he is extremely sorry that he did that he did. The face that he makes probably tells a story all it's own to Hunter before he still manages a "We've got a runner," he barks out to Hunter. "You really don't want to know more," he says as he darts out into the hall after the man.

Look, it's not like getting shot but when he got up this morning the idea that he would be watching a sick german torturer running away from him naked probably would have been enough to make him pull the covers back up over his head. "Working undercover sucks," he mutters. Between the explosions and getting shot at and now the floppy dangly bits that he really could do without this assignment has been pretty awful.

Wet feet and tile don't go terribly well together clearly, and while Fitz might not be an Olympic caliber athlete he has one big advantage -- proper shoes. "Go ahead, become a SHIELD agent. See exotic places, meet fascinating people. Sure," he mutters. "They get tuxedos and Monte Carlo casinos. I get naked German torturers and Senators with torture pron fetishes," he grumbles before throwing himself at the fleeing man's legs.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    "Nein!," the man calls out as Fitz chases after him. He's oh so close to hitting the fire alarm on the wall when the tackle has him lose his footing entirely and fall flat on his face with a meaty *thunk* of his head to the tiled floor. He's out like a light.

    Hedgecroft puts his weight on to Lance and starts to move with a limp. "Hell this time I'll tell you the whole story if you want," he says in a raspy whisper, his breathing is laboured and his movements stiff, but he's moving. "Please tell me you've got a way out of this place."

Lance Hunter has posed:
Hunter peeks down the hall before dragging Carlo out of view. "You alright mate?"

As for Hedgecroft's question, he says, "We're SHIELD, of course we do," he tells the man, before putting something in his ear and tapping it. "Piper, you been listening, we're coming up now, get ready for take off." He says before he shouts down the hall. "C'mon, let's go, ride's waiting."

He leads Hedgecroft to the stairs marked roof, saying, "Just a bit further mate and you're home free."

Leopold Fitz has posed:
"Define alright," comes Fitz's retort as he gets back up to his feet, doing his best not to look at the sprawled naked man beneath him. Again, it is a temptation to deliver a kick to his ribs as well, but he's unconscious and right now the priority is to get out of here with what they have managed to gather. He supposes leaving Herr Doktor here like this is suitable punishment of a sort.

Still, this has definitely not been Fitz's day.

He quickly trots after Hunter and the man he half-carries along with him, falling in behind them, eyes darting both up and down the stairwell as they start towards the roof.

"Lets just hope we don't run into any other surprises," he mutters

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    The quinjet would only be a surprise for Iron Fortitude if anyone had noticed. Eventually they will realise their prisoner has escaped and the senator will be extremely annoyed and probably extremely worried. Piper has cycled the engines up and is awaiting on top of the roof of the building.

    Modern buildings are great for quinjets, they usually have a helipad or an area that can support something similar. "Agents," Piper says glancing over her shoulder and then looking very confused at the bloodied man they're bringing on board, "Don't get blood on my quinjet." Not that it's hers per se, but she will have to clean it up.

    The ramp shuts behind them as the quinjet lifts off from the building. The sun dips down over the skyscraper skyline of New York at just the right time to scatter their cloaked silhouette like a rainbow.

    And then... SHIELD is gone. Like they were never here.

Bobbi Morse has posed:

    Senator Roberto Feavits angrily rights the phone on to his desk and sits on the chair in his ruined office. Since Hedgecroft trashed the place he hadn't had it fixed up yet. He still needed to get his tapes back. He picked up the phone and rang a number.

    "They will have my tapes... WikiAdmin (talk) 05:10, 1 March 2021 (UTC) ...SHIELD. You promised me they wouldn't be a problem! WikiAdmin (talk) 05:10, 1 March 2021 (UTC) I'm a goddamned Senator of the goddamned United States of America. I can't be linked to your bullshit! WikiAdmin (talk) 05:10, 1 March 2021 (UTC) ...You had better have it under control or else I'm coming for you next," Feavits slams the hand piece down on the phone and broods.

    His chair swivels to look out over this part of the lower Manhattan and he can't help but think his days might be numbered. He presses the intercom button, "Irene... clear my schedule I'm going on vacation. Let my wife and kids know I'll be off on a hunting trip."