5795/Timely Intel

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Timely Intel
Date of Scene: 30 March 2021
Location: Central Park, Chinatown, Carter-Sousa House, Long Island
Synopsis: When news reaches Melinda May of a SHIELD agent who looks remarkably like Daniel Sousa turning up at a Manhattan precinct, she's not sure whether or not to trust it. But with the possibility of its truth confirmed by an unlikely source, she has no choice but to take her discovery home to Peggy... and pray it doesn't give the old woman a heart attack.
Cast of Characters: Daniel Sousa, Melinda May, Peggy Carter

Daniel Sousa has posed:
Agent Caldwell of WAND knew Agent May mostly through reputation rather than personal experience, the odd meeting or mission but nothing more than a nodding acquaintance but he knew people who knew her better and it's through them he reached out to the now rogue agent to set up a meet. A hedge wizard with a degree in parapsychology, Caldwell was not exactly a spy, so when it came to pick where to set up the meet, he went stereotypical, a park bench by one of Central Park's many fountains, he'd be the one in the green hat.

And so he was waiting at the appointed time in a green trucker cap and a nervous look on his face.

Melinda May has posed:
May doesn't need magic to make it seem like she's just appeared out of nowhere. She jogs up to his bench, dark running leggings, a layered running tee, hair back in a ponytail, but a Mets cap on her head and sunglasses. Remarkably enough, she doesn't really look like herself. So, when she stops to tie her shoe, placing her foot on the opposite end of his bench, he may not even realize it's her.

The message she got from Wilcox was cryptic. All it said was 'Something you need to see. Green cap. Bethesda Terrace fountain.' Thus, as she evaluates the young man out of the corner of her eye, she arches a brow faintly. She can feel his nervousness, even without the expression on his face.

"You don't look much like Wilcox," she says casually, keeping her voice low and her attention on the fussy knot in her shoe. "I should probably warn you, if this is a sting for Talbot, I fight dirty."

Daniel Sousa has posed:
Caldwell blinks as the woman in front of him turns out to be agent May herself. He shakes his head quickly. "No, not with the Task Force, but Cape and me found something yesterday at the 112th Precinct in Queens. He shifts a folded news paper on the bench beside him. "Flash drive is in there," he says. "There's a guy, on video, uh, he flashed an old ID, we got a look and it said his name was Daniel Sousa. THAT Daniel Sousa, ID was even from the right period and everything."

Melinda May has posed:
May's fingers pause momentarily on her laces. Even Caldwell should be able to sense the spike of surprise and tension that just lanced down the senior agent's spine. She sucks her lips silently, tight against her teeth for a moment, before she ties a sturdy bow in her laces and resumes a more casual air. "Did you confirm it?" she asks evenly.

She switches to her other foot and unties that lace slowly, adjusting the tongue of her shoe carefully. "WAND, right? How'd you guys find this?"

Daniel Sousa has posed:
"It /looks/ like him, the ID number is right, but how much we can count on either of those things are definitely in question," he says, after all when you deal in magic, it never pays to trust one's eyes entirely. "Especially with the company he's keeping, there was an unidentified woman, with him, killed a cop in a /very/ bloody fashion, or at least he looked like a cop, anyhow you'll see it on the vid."

As for his position and how they found this, he says, "Yes, ma'am, WAND level four, and we picked up a major magical surge in the Crystal Ball," WANDs magical monitoring vehicle. "And the vid..was weird like there was some temporal flux going on, we had to apply some of the arcana filters to it to actually see what happened, but I think we've got some pretty clear shots of everyone involved, including the guy claiming to be Agent Sousa."

Melinda May has posed:
It's the words 'temporal flux' that tighten the knot in the pit of May's stomach. "Everything you've got on that flashdrive?" she asks. Because, if not, she's going to want the rest. But if so... she needs to see it STAT.

Good thing she's got her running shoes on.

As she puts her foot down off the bench, she 'accidentally' kicks that newspaper off with a toe. "Oh, hey, sorry," she says for the sake of show, listening for his answer to the earlier question. She bends down, picks up the newspaper, and palms the flashdrive as she does.

Then, she extends the paper to him politely.

Daniel Sousa has posed:
"Yeah, it was like someone rewrote a section of time... which is like STUPID hard, only some extradimensional beings, the Sorcerer Supreme and the Scarlet Witch can usually pull of that kind of thing and not burn themselves out. Anyhow mine and Agent Cape's reports are on the drive as well as both versions of the video with and without the filters. Defintely don't watch the filtered version on a full stomach, some serious blood magic going on, it's not pretty."

He takes the paper from May, "Thanks," he says more loudly than the rest, before he drops his voice again, "If you need anything from us at WAND get in touch with Wilcox and we'll do what we can."

Melinda May has posed:
May gives the agent a small, tight smile. "Thanks," she says. "I'll call when we need the help." Note, it's *when*, not *if*. She knows how this game is played. And if she can take advantage of WAND, she surely will.

She runs her fingers lightly along the brim of her hat in an casual farewell. "Stay safe out there, Agent," she tells him softly. Then, she turns and starts running along the path once more, leaving him on his bench alone.

Daniel Sousa has posed:
Caldwell nods, catching that it's when and not if, the little gesture with her cap is met with a small nod and a "You and the others too," then as she runs off he lingers awhile longer to make things look good before walking off into the park with his newspaper under his arm.

Melinda May has posed:
Catching transit from the Park, May is in Chinatown within 20 minutes. Taking the 'friends and family' route into the back of the restaurant -- which is to say through the prohibition era tunnels beneath the old building -- she gives Wendy a tight smile when the woman passes her a black knapsack with a change of clothes in it. "I need to borrow a laptop," she tells her friend.

"Sure," Wendy says. "I've got one in the office."

May's lips press tightly together for a moment. "I need it off the wi-fi and network," she tells her. "That okay?"

Wendy looks a little surprised, but she nods. "Yeah. Get changed, I'll boot it up."


Some few minutes later, in dark jeans and a more non-descript jacket than she usually wears, May slides into the seat behind the desk and double-checks that the machine really is offline. Once she's satisfied it is, she plugs the flashdrive in and starts pulling up files.

Although the reports are the first things she opens, it's the photos that draw her attention. She leaves the videos for last, though... Call it a need to prepare.

Daniel Sousa has posed:
The reports are standard fare, major magical disturbance at the 112th Precinct in Queens, potential temporal manipulation involved. Upon reviewing the police video without filters it shows a normal day at the office but with Arcana filters engaged it shows a blonde woman in her early twenties and dark haired man in his thirties enter and be shown to interrogation rooms where two detectives attempt to murder them before the woman demonstrates high level blood magic killing one man before everything resets. Woman to be considered extremely dangerous given the levels of magic on display. Man displayed old school SHIELD ID issued in 1950 and claiming his name was Field Director Daniel Jordan Sousa.

The photos back it up, the man they show walking into the precinct with a cane looks like Daniel, even if he's dressed in blue jeans and a Star Wars t-shirt.

Melinda May has posed:
Not to mention the fact -- unless he replaced it between 1949 and 1956 -- May recognizes that cane. She zooms in on a still of the man's face, studying it intently. She pauses the video, rewinds it, plays it again, until she can all but trace the trajectory of those slow moving bullets and the sudden, horrific splash of blood magic that keeps both the witch and... yes, Daniel... from dying in the detective's place.

"Shit," she swears softly, seeing the confusion and alarm on Daniel's face in the video. You can't fake that. She studies the photos of his badge and his signature that accompanies it. She knows that signature. She saw it on requisitions in LA.

She watches the whole thing through just one more time before she scans down those reports to verify details. The personnel at the precinct have no recollection of anything happening, though they certainly found North's body afterward. But if their footage is the unaltered stuff May watched first then... They have nothing to go on.

"Shit," she swears again. There's a really good chance Daniel's still out there, not imprisoned by Talbot somewhere. But she has no idea where to begin to look for him. "We need Daisy." Because May is quite certain that a) that's really Daniel (the words "temporal flux" and "magic" used in the same sentence aren't anything she would have thought she'd ever find credible but her life recently has taught her otherwise); and b) Daisy is still the best hacker out there. If anyone can narrow down surveillance in Manhattan to find him, it's her.

Daniel Sousa has posed:
Definitely the same cane he had in '49 simple wood with a metal head and the way he moves and his facial expressions on the video all ping correct to May's honed observational skills, adding to the genuine emotions and authentic looking signature on the pile of evidence that it really was him. Further viewing does offer other clues, the way he walks in, leaning heavy on the cane, it suggests he walked to the precinct rather than drove. Which narrows the range Daisy would have to work with in tracking him down. Even as driven as Daniel could be, he could only walk so far without being in much more visible discomfort.

Melinda May has posed:
The mental notes Melinda makes are... lengthy, actually. And all of them need to be memorized because there's no way in hell she's writing anything down. She spends time studying the face of the woman, too. Memorizing it. She'll recognize her, if she sees her again.

She studies the look of complete horror on the girl's face as the magic begins affecting the bullets and then as blood and flesh warp and tear. It doesn't take her long to conclude the kid is terrified. Which means she may not actually be in control of the magic -- whether it's her magic or not.

So, Melinda starts putting a profile together on her, too, paying attention to whatever clues she can find. Mannerisms. Small details in clothing or accessories. Whatever ID they could find on her. A driver's licence, maybe? That's a surefire way to find an address. But it may be more luck than she can hope for, really.

Still, by the time she's exhausted herself pouring over what evidence is there, she knows -- as much as she'd like to do otherwise -- now is not the time to follow up on any of it. Now, is the time to go out to Long Island. These types of investigations are always better done in pairs. And her partner... *needs* to see this. Needs to be involved.

Some people would think that sheltering Peggy Carter from this would be kind. That, maybe, she's suffered enough. May knows better. Peggy will never forgive her, if she keeps this from her.

So, May starts shutting down windows and erasing file histories on the laptop. Then, she ejects the drive and turns the machine off.

She rakes one hand through her hair, tucking the drive safely away in a small pocket on her jeans. "Hey, Wendy," she calls, coming to the office door. "David still got that old bike?"

Her friend sticks her head out of the kitchen and purses her lips. "Yeah. You mean the old Honda?"

"That's the one."

Wendy snirks. "Yeah. He keeps saying he's going to fix it up, one of these days."

"Does it run?"

"Sure. He just wants to supe it up to racing specs."

"Can I borrow it? I need to get home and I'd rather not call a cab."

"Please!" Wendy says, flashing a grin. "It's taking up too much room."

May gives a faint half-smirk and extends her hand, silently asking for the keys. "Tell him I'll help him with the paint job, later."

Wendy just laughs.

Thus, less than ten minutes later, she's heading towards the Manhattan bridge and off for Long Island.

Peggy Carter has posed:
While Peggy definitely never thought she'd be a homemaker, she's been doing more home making now than ever in her life. She's trying to make certain the smattering of agents who are using her house as a safe house are comfortable -- take out food often around, sheets being changed, what bit of weapons and supplies they could gather from other areas being brought in. The house feels more lived in than it even did when it was just their house. She's still not taken down all the old artifacts of her previous life. Once everyone had seen them, it seemed silly to box them away like she was ashamed. They all remain, hovering in the background, like quiet ghosts waking up to watch a new life spill into existence.

That means Peggy's only now back with the most recent round of take out for dinner. Indian food tonight, variou spreads of creamy and spicy dishes, lots of naan, lots of rice. It's set out for people to come and go as they need with lots of reheating containers because no agent keeps a normal schedule. She's still in her 50s styled clothing and even has tossed an apron on over her dress because better that than splashing Indian food all across an actually vintage piece. She's dug into her old closet. Shockingly, most of it still fits, if a little loose nowadays. She was softer the last time she lived in this house.

Melinda May has posed:
The sound of the Honda in the drive is distinctive. May pulls it to a stop and parks it. Moments later, her expression tightly schooled very nearly back into that neutral impassivity that plagued her for so long, she steps into the house, the black backpack over her shoulder. She takes a moment to look around, acertaining just where Peggy is. When she finds her in the kitchen, the irony isn't lost on her. That impassivity, slips into something a little neutral, a little more wry.

"We've got to get you some modern clothing," she says, framed in the kitchen doorway. "That's far too distinctive for you to be out on the streets with." She speaks as if she *expects* that Peggy will be out on the streets. Possibly in the near future.

Peggy Carter has posed:
The Honda is *not* a sound she's accustomed to, so the moment Peggy hears it coming down the street her head perks up a bit. Then it's turning down her driveway and she's in full over protective mode. The gun she's keeping in the kitchen drawer beneath the counter is quietly slipped out and into her hands as she hugs the wall, moving towards the front door. There's the little spy mirror that Howard installed (so one could use the peephole without actually putting your head right in the line of fire). Fortunately, she sees May through it. She exhales a little breath of relief, dragging one hand down her face.

It means Peggy is just back in the kitchen by the time May is coming in the side door from behind the house. She's sliding the gun back into place, which May might notice, but she looks a little more relaxed than she was 45 seconds ago. A smirk crosses her lips, "Until we get more targets, and I think I might have narrowed down Huttz' location, but I need another set of eyes on it, no reason for me to go out there. Better to keep everyone safe and grounded here. And when I go out, it's generally in something tactically protected anyway. Besides, jeans are... " Her nose wrinkles, trying to figure the best word for it. "Stiff."

Melinda May has posed:
May notes the gun being put away. She's entirely unsurprised by it. She'd have been more surprised if that *wasn't* the case. Still, as Peggy tell her about Huttz, she nods briefly. "I'll look at it," she says. "But we need to get you some more modern clothing." A beat. "I'll find you some jeans with spandex in them. They're not so... stiff."

With that said, she disappears out of the doorway and retreats down the hallway to the room once used by Lily Chen. It's several minutes before she returns. When she does, it's without the bag, without her jacket, but with a laptop and with Lily's diary in its red and gold silk wrapping. She lays them both down at the back of the table.

Peggy Carter has posed:
When May has returned, Peggy's got a kettle going so she can get a pot of chai to compliment the dinner they are eating tonight. There's nearly always a pot of appropriate tea on in this house, even if she's still using the old set from Lily that wasn't quite made for this type of tea. She doesn't care, the set matters a lot to her and she'll use it until the day she dies. Well, now that she's *found* it again. A little huff of a breath comes at the thought of jeans, "I can find some... acceptable slacks, at some point." Peggy is still of an era where jeans were nothing but clothing for greasers and labor work.

She's then pulling down two plates for herself and one for May, giving a pointed nod in the direction of the food. "Someone should eat it while it's warm, even if no one else is around. Then you can tell me where you got the Honda and how worried I should be about it." Though she's finally turned enough to see the old diary in red and gold silk. She tilts her head curiously, a deeper frown on her lips. "...What is that?"

Melinda May has posed:
May looks at the food. She looks at her friend. She makes a very quick decision and sits down at the table where the food is. "Food... Is a good idea." she says, knowing full well she's risking getting herself shot after dinner. But... Peggy won't eat, otherwise. "The Honda belongs to David Quon. It's fine."

And for all that the senior agent isn't actually all that hungry, herself -- hell, she forgot to even grab takeout from Quon's when she left -- she's in mission mode, now. Which means eat when the food's available. She picks up her fork and glances to Peggy. "Tell me about Huttz," she suggests. "Then, I'll fill you in on my afternoon."

Peggy Carter has posed:
There is something about May's attitude which is a little more reserved and a little more excited than Peggy is used to seeing her. It might just be the mission brain, but the older woman looks incredibly curious as she tilts her head and studies May just a bit deeper. "...The way you are looking, I'm rather curious to do it the other way around, but..." She signs and settles in. The quicker she gets her part out, the quicker she'll get to whatever May is sitting on.

She makes a dish herself of some chicken mehkani, grabs a bit of naan, and is then settling into the old formica kitchen table which only seats 4, but is fine for a meal like this. She slides the tea pot between them with two cups, pouring one for herself before she dives into a bite of food. Then she's speaking. "In the Pacifica files, I found another small lab. It's only referenced a few times, but seems to be where the higher ups check the final products. It might be dead by now... Probably is. But if she's touching base at all about the mess, it'd probably be there. And if it's active at all, it's worth cleaning out."

Melinda May has posed:
"Where?" May asks, dishing out some of the food for herself. She gives a nod of thanks for the tea, picking up the pot to fill her own cup. As she eats, she doesn't so much seem to unwind as she seems to will herself to relax. It's not an obvious effort, but it is a conscious one.

Regardless, as she listens to Peggy, she eats... efficiently. She's not quite preoccupied, but she's obviously trying to sort through the priorities.

Daniel keeps coming out on top, somehow.

"How many agents do we need to get in and out without starting World War III? If we're going to go after her..." Her nostrils flare slightly as she inhales thoughtfully. "She's old school, I think. Used to boardroom politics. Used to being the only woman in the room. Daisy tracked down her family when I was interrogating her. If we miss her at this lab, we may still have another shot. When do you want to do this?"

Peggy Carter has posed:
"Shit..." Peggy looks around the houe quietly, "I hate bringing the woman's family into this. *Hate* it." The implication of the memories she has of when people brought her family into it. How unfair it all seemed. She takes another bite of food, mulling this over. "Probably six. It's a small installation, but important. If we want in and out as quick as possible, we can't make this a team activity. But six to keep our backs covered, clean the place out, grab as much intel as possible, and go. And, of course, anyone who knows has to know this could be it for them. We get caught, we're locked up for a very long time... Everyone has to accept the risk."

She then takes another sip of tea, just cool enough to barely drink but that's never bothered Peggy in the past. "If the lab doesn't work, then we go for the personal life. But that's... the last resort." Peggy murmurs flatly, still some authority behind her tired voice. "So. Done. Your turn."

Melinda May has posed:
"Six is doable," May says. "Otherwise, we're going to be scraping for both personnel and equipment." She cants her head slightly in something of a conciliatory gesture as Peggy hesitates at going after Huttz family. "We may not need to bring the family into it," she says. "But it's a good bet tracking them will lead to her. It's really just a case *when* you want to do this."

She fills her mouth with rice and chicken, taking time to eat it, rather than wolfing it. Finally, she breaks off a piece of naan and draws it through the sauce, mising more chicken and rice with it. She doesn't pick it up, however.

"A WAND contact of mine dropped me a line. Asked for a meet." She continues to play with the naan for a moment more before she picks it up, finally, and eats it. Once she's swallowed, she continues. "They detected an anomaly in the City. The 112th precinct got their hands on a high-level SHIELD asset, but they weren't able to hold him thanks to a magic user they're unfamiliar with."

She raises her dark eyes from her plate and meets Peggy's gaze. "Finish eating," she tells her firmly. "As soon as we're done, I'll boot up the laptop and show you *everything*. Just... We need to finish eating, first."

A beat. Then she grimaces. "Although, it does get a little bloody, so... How strong is your stomach?"

Peggy Carter has posed:
"When? Might as well as soon as possible. I don't feel like I'm doing anything else useful and I need... some way to fight back. So, we continue the hunt. We'll root out as much as we can, maybe we'll finally find the names in SHIELD and... maybe we can clear our names some day. If not, we just take down as many of the bastards as possible with us." Peggy admits, a touch of that anger she's trying not to feel welling up behind her voice.

She takes a few more bites, swallowing back quickly, and the one more bite of naan. "...My stomach is fine. I've been doing this too damn long. And... anomaly? Magical? Why is Wand binging this to us?" Peggy slides her plate aside, mostly finished, but her curiosity beats appetite intensely now.

Melinda May has posed:
Given Peggy's plate is very nearly empty, no less so than her own, Melinda pushes her plate aside and scrapes her chair back from the table. "They contacted me," she says, carrying both their plates to the counter, "because I'm the only one they know who's had an up close and personal encounter with a temporal rift." She sets the plates down, and turns from the counter, crossing to get the laptop.

She's not hurrying, but neither is she stalling. She lets Peggy react how she will to the strange statement, before she opens the laptop and boots it up. "The magical anomaly they were investigating had some sort of 'temporal flux' to it. So -- don't ask me why -- but they thought I might be interested."

When the machine is through its bootup sequence, she takes great care to shut down all of its networking capabilities. Given she's turned the screen so Peggy can see what she's doing, it's obvious she's very concerned this intel not somehow 'escape'.

That's when she pulls the small flashdrive from her pocket and plugs it in. The folder opens. The documents are displayed in list format, rather than as little icons. Instead of opening the report immediately, she moves to one of the image files. The mouse hovers over it. "This image is an enhanced camera still of the SHIELD agent at the precinct. Before I open it, I need you to believe me when I tell you, I wouldn't be showing you this if I thought it was a hoax."

Then, she clicks on the file and opens it.

Peggy Carter has posed:
Even her *tea* is forgotten by the time May is plugging in the hard drive and vamping this up quite so much. Peggy looks downright confused and more than a little suspicious, sitting up straighter and about to practically order May to get on with it when the file starts loading. "Melinda. I'd never think you were shitting me. I promise you that." Which is different than someone else hoaxing them, but Peggy clarifies, "I trust your eyes."

It might be the wrong thing to say. Because, a moment after she's said it, that photo of Daniel comes up on the screen and Peggy wants to take it back. Her stomach hits her shoes, expression actively paling out a little as she stares at the screen. A cold, sick little laugh escapes her lips, "...this... This is fucked. Whoever did this? Put this in our laps? This...this is fucked up, May. HYDRA are awful bastards but this is... a step beyond. Clearly, someone fed them something to fuck with our morale." Peggy's not screaming, not standing, not doing anything visibly emotional short of how vulgar her language has gotten and the fact her hand is now slightly shaking.

Melinda May has posed:
"Peggy, I spent a good two hours going over everything before I brought this home," Melinda says evenly, breathing through the spike of emotion she senses from Peggy. It doesn't matter that the other woman isn't really showing as much as she could. Even Melinda is a little shaky now. "I'm very certain HYDRA's involved in this, yes. But equally certain this isn't a fake. I trust my contact. But... More than that..."

She takes a deep breath and reaches for Lily's diary. "I have corroborating testimony from a source we both trust." She hands the silk wrapped book to Peggy. Her voice is soft. Tense. Earnest. "Check out the last entry. It's bookmarked."

When Peggy opens the book and finds the entry, she'll discover a letter written Lily's hand, in Chinese characters...

Melinda May has posed:
November 20, 1963.

Happy Birthday, Qiaolian.

I would call you by your English name, but I'd rather it didn't stand out on the pages like the others. I suspect you'll understand. And it's the one name we share, so it seems appropriate.

I've said my goodbyes to my friends, my family in this time and place. Now that you're here, it's time I moved on. You will need your space and people will need time to forget my face. Our face. So they can know you for who you are, rather than who I have been.

I know we've never met. At least, from your perspective, we haven't. But, we will. One day. Briefly. It will be a happy day.

Regardless, I remember you right up to the point you stepped back through the portal to 2021. I remember being you. I know that must disturb you. If you want to know more of who and what I really am, read the rest of this book. I don't want to waste the words here and now.

This house has been abandoned since Peggy lost Daniel. I know she'll never sell the place. She doesn't have it in her to part with this life she never got to live. I can't say I blame her. But it will see use again. So, it's a good place to leave this message for you.

I've known Peggy much longer than you, now. She went into stasis so early in your career and had only been out a few months by the time you arrived back in 1948. But she and I have been like sisters for nearly 15 years now.

Watch out for her, Qiaolian. I'm sure you already do. You may hate the name, but you were the Cavalry long before Bahrain and you will continue to be long after it no longer matters. Cavalry. Caretaker. That will always be you.

I've seen more through time than anyone realizes. I've learned to jump from time to time and place to place. I've been checking in on everyone through the years. There are dark times ahead for you and for her and for the agency she built and has loved for so long.

Remind her it's not her fault, if you haven't already. And when she objects, as we both know she will, tell her Lily said so. Tell her I've seen it. I know what happened, what's going to happen, and even though I can't stop it -- I'd only make it worse, if I tried -- I can promise: It's not her fault.

I doubt she'll believe it. I've felt the depth of her guilt and remorse every day for so long, it's become a part of me, nevermind her. I suspect you'll find the same, in time. But try to convince her, anyway.

If nothing else, tell her when she sees Daniel again, she'll know I'm telling the truth. I've seen it all. It's not her fault.

It's not yours, either.

Be strong, Qiaolian. Find happiness.

And go kick some squid-headed ass for both of us.

~Lily Qiaolian Chen~

Peggy Carter has posed:
As Melinda says she spent two hours going over the files, Peggy's jaw tightens and she leans forward, clicking on the actual video so she can watch it. Her jaw is so tight she's near to cracking a tooth. She hits play two... then three times on the video, watching his handsome face, the terror on the woman, the blood splatter, over and over again. She's looking for the thing that May missed. Desperately looking for some sort of out from the storm of emotions she's feeling. But it's not there.

Then May is handing her that last entry. She blinks, looking across the page, "...this is Lily's handwriting." Ironically, she doesn't really know what May's handwriting looks like. They've been in the computer age so long that it's a rarity she ever sees a single thing that May would write down. But she knows Lily's, even after all these years. The confusion as to why she's being handed this now helps tamp down some of the anger at seeing someone else wearing Daniel's face. "...where did you get this?" She asks about the diary, beginning to open to that page.

She reads it once and May can feel the anger draining from her. She reads it again, and then there's a strange numbness creeping in instead. It's a response to a momentary leap of hope in her heart. The thought that Daniel might actually *be* here. Because she doesn't dare hope. And she has no clue how else to feel. A strange mingling of nausea comes with it, shock something she doesn't often feel this bone deep but she's lost in it now. She takes in a slightly shaking breath against thay nausea. "...h-how... where... where is he now... How?"

Melinda May has posed:
Melinda watches, her hands in her lap, as Peggy goes through the very same motions she did when she first discovered all of this. "Somewhere within *his* walking distance of the 112th precinct," she tells her friend softly. "He walked there, Peggy. Look at his limp. He only limps like that when he's walked too far." The truth, and an inadvertent reminder that Peggy's *not* the only one who actually knows the man.

She moves slowly, laying a hand on Peggy's shoulder before she reaches for the trackpad and moves the mouse pointer. Scrubbing through the video, she pauses on a shot of the girl's face. "If I have to guess: If we find her, we'll find him. She came in with him. She kept him from being shot. Cape and Caldwell are positive she's the source of the time magic. And she's from *now*."

Gently, she takes the book from Peggy and closes it, wrapping it up in its silk again. "I found this in the dresser in the guest room." She gives a small shrug. "If I hadn't... I'd never have brought this shit to you. But it fits."

Peggy Carter has posed:
The letter is read one last time and then gently set aside. Peggy's dead quiet now, a little too calm. Shock is so strange. She lets her fingertips gently trail across Lily's diary and the silk cloth it was in, a welling of other memories coming up at just seeing it. "...she helped me close out the house, when I... moved out with the baby. I didn't realize she left anything behind." Peggy whispers quietly, blinking against a sudden sting behind her eyes that she's been trying not to let go. But now it's there and she's not certain how to hold it back. It's might be better than the nausea, but not by much.

She then forces herself to reach for the computer, studying how Daniel is walking. Her brow pinches with concern and a fierce, quiet love which somehow hasn't died after all these years. "It's him... it really... Is. God..." She breathes through her nose against that strange nausea, "We... we have to find him. Is it...safe to find him? I don't want to... the timeline..." She's never really had a panic attack, too in control of her emotions, but right now there is a waterfall of so many and breathing isn't exactly easy.

Melinda May has posed:
Melinda lays her hand on the book. "That entry was dated on the day I was born. Unless you moved house that day, I'd say she was in here afterward."

Then there's that rising sense of panic, fear at the unfamiliar sensations. That's new. May isn't given to them, either. And as she feels it rising in Peggy, she breathes deeply to push it away. Her hand lays on Peggy's shouders again. "Breathe," she says, perhaps pushing a little of her uncertain, instinctive power at her friend, trying to give her some space. Not that she knows if she can do that. Regardless, May has had hours, now, to work through these emotions. Her shock is fading. She doesn't want to be overwhelmed by Peggy's, now.

She's perfectly willing to let Peggy cry, if it comes to it. Just, maybe, not hyperventilate.

"Just breathe." She splays her fingers on Peggy's back and gives a small, tight smile that might be reminiscent of Lily's. That's not her fault. "That's why I said you need some modern clothes. You don't have to wear jeans but... The precinct called Talbot. He'll be combing the area, too. We're going to need Daisy's help. We can't canvass the whole area by ourselves. But if we can track down that girl, we can track down Daniel."

And in saying his name aloud, she stills. It somehow makes it real.

Peggy Carter has posed:
Whether it's May's actual powers, or the centering influence of a friend who she trusts, Peggy doesn't dive right into the almost panic attack she was having. She forces herself to take in a few deep, slower breaths, and then looks back from the book to the computer and that too-familiar face. "Fine. Dammit. Fine. I'll put on a pair of jeans and go. We can try to call Daisy on the way but... we just start combing the streets. How hard is it to search a 20 block radius from that area? Is there anything in the news about that woman? Fuck not having SHIELD databases.... dammit to all of this. He has to be so confused."

Peggy is then up and out of her seat. May was utterly right that they needed to eat first because any thought of food now is gone from her brain. She shoves dishes into the sink and puts a few fast lids on the left overs for other people, but that's the last thought about food. Even her tea is abandoned. "What about WAND. They can't trace this magic any better for us?"

Melinda May has posed:
"Maybe," Melinda admits, brows rising slightly. She finds herself silently relieved as Peggy's breathing deepens and evens out. And as she starts *thinking* again. "I don't know how it all works. I do know, though, they said they'd help however we needed them to. I'll call Wilcox." Somedays, she wonders just how her life got this weird. Other days, she's just glad it did.

"I also can call Davis and Piper, for more boots on the ground. Even Collingwood and McLaren. They've gone to ground, but they'd come back for this. Daisy. Simmons. Barton... We can start the search ourselves, but we need help."

She pulls the laptop to her. "I don't know much about hacking, but this is the 21st century and that woman is young enough, I'd be very surprised if she doesn't at least have a social media profile." And the laptop does have *some* useful search programs left. "Let me clear off these files so they don't leak out. Then, I'll look."

She gives Peggy an evaluating glance. The Brit has a couple of extra inches in height on her, but she *might* have something that will fit her in the meantime. Their curves aren't *that* different -- especially now that May is approaching the far side of middle age. "I've got some stuff I stashed in the dresser. Find something practical. Tee shirt or a sweater instead of blouse. Maybe some leggings rather than jeans; boots will hide the length and they'll stretch otherwise. If we're lucky, you'll find something that won't be too small and that you can move in." A beat. "Or find some leggings and grab one of your plainer blouses and a jacket. That'll do."

It's not like she's going to dissuade the woman from starting to look tonight.

Peggy Carter has posed:
"I... I'll see what I can find in your things." Peggy admits quietly, at least giving into the fact that she can go around downtown Manhattan looking like this. She pulls the apron off she was wearing, "No... names? Did she give a name in that report or the video we got? We certain got his..." ANd that's been the entire focus of Peggy's mind right now, probably why she missed if any essential information about the woman came up in the video.

"Do...what you can on the internet. I'll go change. We'll see if we can get anyone else and just start moving..." With that, Peggy is out of the room and moving to the stairs. She takes them two at a time to get up to the room where Lily used to stay and May is now. It only seemed natural that the woman end up in there, even if it might have been a bit on the nose. She's doing her best not to completely tear through clothing but is moving as quickly as she can to find comfortable leggings and something that will go with one of her more casual old shirts. Then she's coming back downstairs to go into her and Daniel's room, piecing through those old things and thankful the moths never were allowed to get to this place. Amusingly, she ends up with one of Daniel's old shirts, plain and button down, worn open over Melinda's tank top it's perfectly servicable for the modern world.

Melinda May has posed:
May spends several long minutes plugging a crop of a still of the witch girl's face into a facial rec engine and lettimg it loose on the net. It's a risk, but the connection here is encrypted; it was one of the first things they did. It also uses a sophisticated VPN to make it harder to track the IP. So... there's hope.

Still, all she can do is let it run.

She sends a brief email to Wilcox from a little used account, including a phrase she knows she'll know came from her. Then, there's nothing to do but wait for a reply and wait for the search to pan out... or not.

She rises from her chair and cleans up dinner while Peggy changes. When the other woman comes back, her brows rise slightly. "Looks good," she says. "Add a jacket and a pair of boots and you're set."

Peggy Carter has posed:
"Boots. Jacket. An ICER, at least... we should." Though it was a risk if they got stopped, Peggy feels more comfortable taking that risk. She goes to the front closet, pulling on a pair of unremarkable black knee high boots across the leggings she's wearing. Then there's her old leather bomber jacket which is actually back in style, so that will work. She looks in them mirror in the bathroom for just a moment, trying to breathe out the last of her restless energy and focus her head. She then abruptly sweeps her hair up into a tight, boring twist on the back of her skull. It emphasizes just how thin her face is these days, but that's for the better. She doesn't look like herself and that's the point.

"We've got at least one guest sleeping upstairs. I think our basement dweller will be fine for the night with that. Let's go before I start thinking too hard about it. You can summarize the rest of the report in the car for me." With that, Peggy's heading out into the garage. She won't comfortably fit on the back of the Honda, so SUV it is. They had a long night ahead of them.