5863/Vodka Springs Eternal

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Vodka Springs Eternal
Date of Scene: 05 April 2021
Location: Chita, Zabaykalsky Krai, Russia
Synopsis: Peggy, Sousa, and May travel to Russia to follow up on a lead about an old spy with a vendetta against a LOT of people and a drinking problem. They learn the truth about the moles in SHIELD and drink a lot of vodka. Like, seriously. A lot, a lot.
Cast of Characters: Peggy Carter, Melinda May, Daniel Sousa, Bobbi Morse

Peggy Carter has posed:
Vasily Karpov was once a great spy, Peggy knew that much from what she could get from his file. But that once was a long time ago and finding note of him was impossible from the US. So, she dove into one of her old contacts who owed her more than one favor from the cold war, thanking every star she has that her old 'friend' was still alive. It meant all debts were cleared between them, she basically burned one of her last living sources in Russian to get this information, but he was ancient anyway. How much longer could an old spy live?

Well, an old spy that wasn't her.

Her contact told him that he'd been transferred some while back and was now pulling border-baby-sitting duty in Zabaykalsky Krai, specifically in the biggest city there, Chita. It meant that they could try to get into an airport in Northern Russia and still have an incredible amount of train travel across land, or they could rely on May and her contacts to get them in another way...

Melinda May has posed:
Getting a cesna to travel from New York to LA on the downlow is one thing. Booker was perfectly willing to pull in that favour for May -- despite the fact she can't pin down the exact day she'll need need that particular favour. But getting from New York to Shanghai? That's a whole hellva lot harder. Especially since, in order to pull it off, May has needed to reactivate one of her non-SHIELD aliases. She won't risk that HYDRA or Talbot's Taskforce has compromised her SHIELD aliases.

Regardless, it does mean that she's able to smuggle the small SHIELD team into the Asian mainland and then get them a local charter to fly north to Beijing and then on to Harbin, where they can get the train to the northern boarder into Russia. Getting across the border means May ends up posing as a Shanghai business woman, bringing the Westerners along as part of her retinue. Just as well, really. Her Russian accent sucks. But her Chinese is perfect. (Go figure.) It's much easier to go with her natural heritage.

Daniel Sousa has posed:
Daniel was doing his best not to stand out on the trip over to Shanghai and from there to the Russian border. He'd seen China before but not like it was in 2021, where just New York had him staring at almost everything. So, he worked doubly hard to keep his eyes in their sockets as they made their way loong journey to Chita, sticking close to Peggy and May, following their lead, and falling into the role of a businessman on his first trip to China and Russia. Which was near enough to the truth that it was easy enough to portray convincingly.

Peggy Carter has posed:
It's about the long train ride west that Peggy finally is tired enough to drop off against Daniel's shoulder. While they are business people on a trip, the cover includes being husband and wife for the sheer fact she wanted it. Occasionally, she's allowed to have nice things. So, it doesn't break anything at all that she's gently snoozing on his shoulder until they get into the place that still calls itself a city. A very quiet, boring, fairly small city. It's practically country compared to many regions of China.

Peggy's arranged a small hostel for them just down the block of the biggest bar in town, a place where many administrative professionals and other law sorts go to drink the days and nights away. It's the most likely place for Vasiliy to be, if he's been located here because he'd rather be in a bottle than the office. She's got a photo, not too recent, and a name. Hopefully that would be enough.

She's dressed not to be noticed. Dark slacks, a boring blazer, a somewhat casual black leather jacket. It's enough to obscure weapons and fit in while in the administrative district. She's shared the photo with both of them before but speaks in quiet English before they finally enter the bar, "Keep eyes out... who knows if he's here or not. After a first sweep, we'll get somewhere in the back corner and keep eyes out." Then she's switching to Russian, which neither of them might be fluent in but she certainly is. <<My friends! Welcome to the city... Find a good seat, I will get us drinks!"

Melinda May has posed:
May dresses in fashions that wouldn't be unusual in Shanghai. Fortunately, that means dark trousers, a neat blouse, and long blazer. Add a thigh-length tailored leather coat overtop and she's almost comfortable. The fact it lets her carry a weapon or two helps. And that holdout blade. It goes *everywhere* with her... which is why a charter was a very good flight choice.

The senior agent is fluent enough in Russian. She understands what she hears. That's not a problem. Her pronunciation merely needs some work. She gives Peggy a surprisingly demure smile, her head curling in a nod that is, culturally, very Chinese in its execusion. Subtly different than the American nod, especially when combined with that unusual smile, but evident. She gestures for Daniel to follow her, dark eyes sweeping the bar for Vassily's face as she finds them a decent table to scope the place from.

Daniel Sousa has posed:
Daniel has no complaints about the cover including him and Peggy playing husband and wife. Like Peggy, Daniel is dressed not to stand out, having grabbed suitable modern clothing for his role, a suit and tie, hardly a stretch for him fashion wise, even if the fabric and cut was different than he was used to.

As Peggy dozed Daniel read, using one of those tablet things to catch up on the latest in Chinese and Russian history, as well as world news.

Arriving at the bleak border town, Daniel can't help but remark, "Wow, this place looks like where I grew up... in the 30's," he shakes his head and once in the bar he follows May, scanning the place subtly for Vasily, using the mirror behind the bar and any reflections he can find to avoid obviously staring at anyone. <<Sound good>> he says in Russian that needs a little work, but he understood Peggy well enough.

When May finds them a table he sits, eyes still alert for their target or signs of trouble.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    The biggest bar in town. It's in a weird juxtaposition between being well attended but with dated soviet architecture. Around the back there are booths and in the farthest one from anyone and near an exit sits Vasily Karpov. Technically a colonel but what does rank matter when you're stuffed in a tin forgotten corner of Russia.

    Disheveled and with a bottle in his hand. He's drinking straight from it. His other hand is doom scrolling through Russian social media. Another day, another chance to drink his miseries away. Former KGB, now FSB, wishing he was nothing at all.

    The bottle is empty, so he pulls himself up out of his booth and wanders over to the bar. He hasn't shaved in days and the smell of alcohol on him is part of his persona these days. The bartender takes one look at him and reaches for another bottle of cheap vodka and places it on the bar top for him. "Put it on tab," Vasily suggests and the bartender shakes his head, "Nyet." Reluctantly Vasily takes out cash and puts it on the bar top, "No one likes you Pietro." to which Pietro responds, "Go back to your stink corner Vasily."

    A general gesture of displeasure is given by Vasily which the bartender shrugs off. Vasily does as instructed and ambles back to the corner booth where he flops back down and pulls the cork off the top of his new bottle.

Peggy Carter has posed:
The sight of Vasily is enough to give her hope. Peggy wouldn't miss that face anywhere. She flickers a look back towards May and Sousa, the most subtle of confirming nods give in their direction. She's got an ear piece hidden beneath her soft, curling hair, mostly having grown out to it's previous length and well hiding that faint line of scars along the left side of her face. It means they can hear almost everything she's saying as she slides up next to the man and looks over him and the bartender.

"Pietro?... Get the man something better quality. Midshelf, at least...the bottle." Peggy says in crisp, comfortable Russian. She might have the faintest hint of an accence, but she's been fluent in this language since the 40s and only gotten better. The she's flashing the man a bit of a red lipped smile and she asks Vasily, "Let a girl buy you a drink for some company?" She doesn't mention friends. Yet. She's just trying to see how easy it will be to get him to sit with them. And she trusts the other two to watch her back, to keep eyes on if there is anyone else in the room watching Vasily.

Melinda May has posed:
May notes the indications Peggy gives. Her gaze tracks to where the ex-KGB man slumps and she moves through the bar to find a table that's really not that far. Close enough to provide support, far enough away to keep from drawing attention. She slides into the table, angling herself to watch the door and the rest of the forward bar, while letting Daniel take the spot that will allow him to watch his wife and make sure no one comes at them from the opposite direction.

She flags a server to order them a couple of drinks so they blend in. Her accent is genuinely horrible, to be sure, but purposely skewed to reflect her comfort with Chinese rather than English. Hey, there are always workarounds.

Daniel Sousa has posed:
Daniel for his part nods as their drinks are delivered to them, saying <<Thanks>> before lifting his glass to May and taking a sip. As he lowers the glass he settles back into his seat and chats idly with May to keep up appearances while watching Peggy and Vasilly in the reflection of the mirror behind the bar, and occasionally when the false conversation allows for it takes in the door for any sign of trouble or new arrivals.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Vasily pauses placing the cork back in to the top of the bottle and he rests it on the bar top, "I'm keeping this bottle too." He says with a cheesy smile. His spy brain is warning him this is unusual, but his Russian heart says nothing truly matters and why not enjoy this while it lasts.

    He offers Peggy his hand, "Vasily. You want to drink with me? Okay." When Pietro brings out better vodka and two shot glasses, Vasily pours and pushes one over to Peggy. "Za Vas," he says and lifts his shot up and knocks it back, then pours out another, expecting to pour Peggy another as well. She speaks Russian, she must come from good Russian family and therefore be a good drinker.

    The washed up spy scans his eyes around the room looking for who else might be watching him. Not that he's going to object, but he does ask "You are here to kill me?," in a slightly softer voice, then adds "I request in my sleep da? best way to go." Eventually they were going to forcefully 'retire' him. He knows too much after all. "Not fall off balcony. Too messy. Slow horrible death, undignified," he continues morbidly discussion his death preferences.

Peggy Carter has posed:
"Za Vas." Peggy echoes, knocking back a shot of the vodka without even so much a blink. It burns, but buying a man that much alcohol comes with some expectations that she's going to share it. She pours him another drink immediately, if not herself, though a bittersweet smile crosses her lips at his supposition of her reason to be here. Peggy lets some genuine sympathy show through -- playing things for the truth she has will just make everything else seem more earnest. And she does understand. She's had those exact same thoughts herself. <<No, no...>> She continues in soft Russian. <<If I were here to kill you, you would not know and it would be done. I promise. I am here to drink with you... to talk. Maybe to help you remember. And forget.>>

Her eyes weigh on him a bit heavier, hoping that May can translate some of what she's saying if Daniel's Russian is still rusty. Even when her voice drops to Sotto voco, meant just for them in the booth, the ear piece should pick it up loud and clear. She is silent a long moment, as if weighing just how much to tell him, then she gives a faint nod in May's direction. <<I am a...broker. Translator. Working for that woman there. She's more dangerous than I am but her Russian... Eh.>> Peggy makes a little wobbly motion with her hands. <<You may have information she wants... we prefer to get it with drinks and smiles. Not knives. I will help that happen.>> All those words are *technically* true, even if it's stretching things for the spirit of what truth is. <<And, of course, our body guard. Handsome. Effective. Not so bright. But effective.>> She's assuming he's sharp enough to catch that May is not alone, so explanation is needed.

Melinda May has posed:
May lets her emotional awareness drift across the bar. It's not like she can stop it, anyway. She tries to focus on Vasily. Peggy has become a familiar emotional signature to her now. It's only now, in this entirely unfamiliar environment, one so far removed from the safehouse, her friends, and the culture she is better familiar with, that she realizes she can pick Peggy out so clearly among everyone else. That unique combination of guilt, remorse, anger, determination, and unconditional love for the stalwart man that sits opposite the Asian. It's unique and as clearly identifiable to her as a fingerprint.

Which makes it relevatory.

And easier for her to isolate Vasily's emotional signature now she she has some faint clue what she's looking for. He is close enough in proximity to Peggy that he almost overlaps her, which allows May to focus her awareness on him. She sips her drink and, for just a moment, blinks in mild surprise at just how easy it is to do -- even with the muting that little blade gives to most of the sharp emotions in the room.

Then, she's listening to Peggy's words. So, when Peggy indicates her, she lifts her glass and gives a slight tilt of her head toward Vasily in a sort of distant greeting and subtle invitation.

The Brit's description of Daniel brings a smirk to her lips. "I always knew she only wanted you for your body," she mururs to the handsome man opposite her, a faint twinkle in her dark eyes. It's not often the Ice Queen teases. But... she does now. She trusts Daniel. Of course, it's probably very reminiscent of Lily, who was always more comfortable with such displays of affection with her friends than post-Bahrain May has ever been.

Daniel Sousa has posed:
Daniel gets the gist of what Peggy is saying and has to lift his drink to cover his smile and faint chuckle at her description of him. "What can I say," he says, "Peggy's got good eyes," with a self-depricating twist to his smile. "Going to pay her back for that 'not too bright' bit though," he says with good natured amusement as he lifts his glass to Peggy and Vasiliy as well a moment or two after May a slightly confused look pasted on his face as if he wasn't sure why they were doing it, just that they were, might as well sell the role after all.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    The look on his face is one of disappointment when she admits she's not here to kill him but instead wants information. "Always the way," he says and knocks back some more of the vodka, refilling both of their shot glasses. "I am old and terrible at this game. You tell me who she works for," he says peering over at May and Sousa, then back to Peggy, "and I decide what I can sell you." They're in business.

    He even shuts down his phone and sets it to the far corner of the table. This is clearly a man disillusioned with his work and his life. A perfect target for this kind of information hunt. But, given his history, he is most certainly more on the ball than this drunken state suggests. "No lies from you," he says waggling a finger, "no lies from me. Za!" he knocks back another shot. He taps the shot glass to his forehead, "I will know, da."

    His emotional state has changed from boredom to curiosity.. the game is back on. It's been so long. Like a starved plant feeling rain for the first time in months. That sly fox inside of him awakens.

Peggy Carter has posed:
As he mentions no lies from her, a slightly more wry smile crosses her lips. She continues in Russian, because it seems the easy tone of the conversation, "Fine, no lies. I'm sleeping with the body guard too." She winks, the way and old man in power would talk about sleeping with his secretary, but she's played this game a long time. It just so happens the statement is true as well.

She then nods for May to come over, the slight tilt of her head indicating JUST May, since that's the cover they are going with. "The people we work for no longer exist. So, now, I work for her... she works for those who *should* be in power and are not. We are making certain that power is secured. SHIELD's... fall fall from grace in the United States has opened a lot of...interesting doors." Peggy states quietly. Once more, nothing is a lie, it just implies things that it might not mean...

Melinda May has posed:
"Stay here," May murmurs to Daniel, for all that she's pretty sure he can interpret Peggy's expression as well if not better than she. "Watch our six." Especially if they're going to end up drunk before this is over."

She pushes back from her spot at the table, picking up her glass as she does and giving Daniel a fond smile before she saunters over to join the pair in their corner table.

"Good evening," she says in Russian, the pronunciation heavy with her Chinese accent as she slides into the table. It certainly seems to prove that her Russian sucks. And might imply that she's not a Chinese operative whose focus has been on Russia, but perhaps directed elsewhere. Which isn't a lie, either.

She feels that curiosity rise in him, the vague pleasure that there could be a new game afoot and that he's not so far out of it as to be expendable just yet. And even the depression that lurks underneath, that sensation of mourning for things long since gone and far out of his grasp. Frustration. Depression. Desolation. Those form the foundation of his emotional signature.

It's morbidly fascinating.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    He lifts up the shot glass, vodka filled once more, and stares through it at Peggy and frowns. "Boring," he declares and says, "If you are HYDRA I am not interested, I left and have no interest in coming back. If you are cabal I don't think you'll ever get what you want, because the next shiny thing will always entice you too much. If you work for AIM you are incompetent and I hate you. If you are left over from SHIELD falling apart.. boring."

    The shot is knocked back and slams it down on the table for another, "Fine. Ask your questions. There's reason not to see where this is going." Morbid curiosity is driving him forward in this negotiation. "Make questions interesting, a pretty woman drinking with me should not be a trip to central bureaucracy." Then again, his declaration of boring is clearly a tactic to keep them slightly off balance, or perhaps buy him the time to think through his drunken state - that's how they were trained after all.

    He nods to May and says, "Now you join us, you drink too." He motions to Pietro who lifts his chin.. some how Vasily has guests tonight. He cleans a shot glass and brings it over to the table. His hand towel is used to dust the space before May and clean it down before he sets the pristine shot glass before her, then walks back to the bar.

Peggy Carter has posed:
"If she is drinking, another bottle of the good stuff. We are not drinking that swill. You can pick it up when we're gone." Peggy states flatly to Vasily, not complaining about the drinking, but she'll be as snotty about it as he is about her being boring. The glimmer in her eyes says she's more than willing to give him a run for his money and keep him on his toes if he's going to push back like that. After all, he's not the only old, good spy here.

"Who does HYDRA have in SHIELD? And no dancing around that SHIELD does not exist. Who was there before it fell?" Peggy asks flat outright. He's buying for time but has also challenged her to not boring questions, so she'll start with the most spicy one they have and go from there. It might not be a tactic that works, but she pours all three of them another shot to keep the lubrication going. Her eyes flash over towards May, silently asking if the woman has a better question or more clarifications.

Melinda May has posed:
What's truly amusing to May is just how much Peggy is *enjoying* this game. She's a trifle surprised that the Brit isn't warming the man up to the topic first, pushing in with the big gun immediately, but she can't deny the fact there's really nothing to lose, here. Her emotional read on the man suggests he actually doesn't care one way or the other who they are, where they're from, or who they're working for. He only cares about getting to play a little longer. Of course, some of that is personal bias and interpretation -- and she knows it -- so she doesn't really discount any possible motive or reaction.

She accepts the shot glass willingly enough. She's small, but she can hold her liquor. Not to mention the fact she's willing to put Peggy in the spotlight for this one. Play the dumb foreigner. Sometimes it really is the best play.

She makes it clear, however, by looking back to Pietro, that she'll wait for the good stuff, not sully her palate on the piss.

As Peggy glances to her, she gives a subtle shrug, that seems to indicate she's fine with the question. But her eyes suggest the truth: If they're going to avoid speaking any lies to the man, she's going to avoid mangling too many questions with her piss poor accent. But she'll jump in when it's appropriate. "Many people want to know," she confirms. "If you know, you could become rich man." Not necessarily by them, of course.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Pietro returns with another bottle of the vodka and places it on the table before Peggy. He wanders off again and can't believe Vasily is getting so lucky tonight. The man actually looks happy for a change.

    More than happy, Vasily slaps his hand down hard on the table top and barks out, "HA!" There is a smile on his face and he lifts up the shot and knocks it back. "Now we talk," he says and grins slyly at the pair of women sitting with him.

    He shuffles a hand toward May and says, "No no no. No money. This is the way things work, no money. I have vendetta's to settle." Index finger is pushed to the table top and he whispers softly to them both, the smell of alcohol on his breath is particularly strong.

    "Once upon a time I would have died for HYDRA, fought to the last to keep their secrets.. but I lose.. and I lose.. and I lose.. again and again. I ran secret operation, winter soldier program. One by one, they take my soldiers from me.. lose.. lose.. lose. Why play with bad guys if you never win? no point," he says and leans back again.

    He takes in a deep breath and then spins his vodka shot glass on its rim to make it dance in circles. "There was academy of HYDRA. Stupid idea, rich kids playing spies learning spy craft. A brainwashing cult. Elites. Vasily was not invited," he says motioning to himself. "Best spy in Russia, not good enough for their club - but I tell you some of them went to SHIELD."

    He leans in again and says, "Two high up.. which name do you want first. The one that stabs in the dark or the one that stabs in the light?" ... "SHIELD isn't done," he adds, "if you were counting on them to disappear - no. I know SHIELD, fought them for decades. They would never stop because of bad PR. Nyet.. but must commend them, dropping nuke on AIM facility. Stealing from the Silver Scimitar. I did not think they had it in them."

Peggy Carter has posed:
There is a moment of honest sympathy that Peggy shows when he talks about how HYDRA betrayed him. While she normally is so very careful to reserve her emotions and let nothing bleed through, she's carefully letting a few select, genuine reactions bleed through to the surface in this moment. Reactions that might help their case. It means he might, if he's as sharp as his old spy self, see a flicker of something on her face when he mentions the Winter Soldier program. A mix of raw ache and strange protectiveness. Bucky is something close to her heart. And, depending on how close Vasily was to the program, Peggy's face was one of those on the assassination list int he 70s. But surely she can't be the same person? And that reaction is there not even half a heartbeat before she's pouring another shot of vodka and knocking it back.

May is given a long look, like Peggy is trying to read something off of her boss and get an indication of the money and power how she is doing. It still plays into their cover and, technically nowadays, May IS her boss. She arches a brow at the offer, a smirk twisting at her red lips, "Asking which we wish first, you play with us... you just want more vodka, no?" She asks, pouring him another shot with a throaty chuckle. "The dark, first... if someone shoots you before you finish talking, the one in the light will show himself eventually anyway." She makes carefully no comments about SHIELD, but let's a rueful smirk come in response.

Melinda May has posed:
Security levels aside, May hasn't been Peggy's boss in months. They're partners. And the fact Peggy used to be THE Director trumps most everything else, anyway. Adusting to a new time period doesn't negate those skills.

May ought to know.

She does, however, find the fact Vasily's not motivated by money to be interesting. A jaded henchman. Y'know, she always wondered why more HYDRA goons didn't give up, given how often they get kicked in the teeth. She assumed it was just because they had a short life expectancy. Who knew?

Still if he ran the Winter Soldier program, then he was fairly well connected at one point in time. She ignores Peggy's reaction to that news though, absorbing the emotional hit and letting it roll away -- once more thanking that little blade strapped to her ankle.

But the news of a HYDRA accademy? That's impressive. And, in the interest of the game, she arches a brow at it. "Like who?" she asks, her tone, despite the Cantonese twist to the words, curious in the way someone might be asking about an old friend who got a divorce. An interesting curoisity, but not life-and-death.

She leaches his emotions enough to allow her a convincing laugh at the idea SHIELD had the balls to drop a nuke on an AIM facility. "You think SHIELD will rebuild?"

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    "SHIELD is pain in everyones butts. Of course they rebuild," he says answering the last question first with a smirk on his face. He shrugs to Peggy a little, "You cannot begrudge an old spy for wanting more drink." But now they want names. "You won't get them all if I just give you names. But I can give you something better. I also give you names," he adds that last bit flippantly enjoying being the king of the information tonight.

    "Jasper Sitwell," he says naming the head of Triskelion Security, Level 8. One of the more mundane and trusted commanders. "Hide in dark, carefully sabotage SHIELD for long time. Always looked down on Vasily - glorified pencil pusher. Not like real spy," he lifts his shot glass and knocks back more of the good vodka.

    "But he is not the worst. No, you want John Garrett. He was the real monster in SHIELD, killing in plain view of all to see," he shakes his head, "Smart, made HYDRA's goals in to SHIELD's goals."

    He smirks a moment and says, "HYDRA.. SHIELD.. they are like this." He intertwines his fingers, "Share so much, like conjoined twins. There is pass code phrase to activate coup d'etat, take over SHIELD if it becomes too much of problem."

Peggy Carter has posed:
Suddenly, Peggy's a bit happy she's been drinking. She's still stable enough that any reaction to Sitwell's name is kept totally neutral, along with Garrett, but she does slightly lean her head into her hand, double checking that the little comm unit she's wearing is still recording. This record is the first bit of hard proof they have and she's not going to lose it for the world. A wry, cold smirk crosses her red lips as he mentions how alike the pair are. "Yes... I have noticed. How alike they are... Not the code phrase. That would be interesting to know." She prompts quietly.

But then she falls silent, looking to May again. While Peggy's asked most of the questions up until now, May's question of 'Like who?' and if SHIELD will rebuild -- they are steps that are showing her 'boss' is more interested in taking an active hand in the conversation. Therefore, Peggy artfully slips back, letting May lead questions while she pours a bit more vodka. Vasily is getting full shots. She and May are getting halves.

Melinda May has posed:
Jasper Sitwell? Jasper-fucking-Sitwell? The most mundane, unassuming, pencil-necked, regs pushing... Sonuvabitch. That Garrett is the other name is... somehow less surprising. He's always been a bloodthirsty bastard. And his control of STRIKE, well... they were designed to be the real teeth of SHIELD. That May keeps her specific incredulity off her face is a testament to YEARS of training and experience. Instead, it telegraphs as mild, surprised curiosity at both names.

Still, she agrees. The pass phrase. That's crucial. It just can't *look* crucial to them. She tosses back her shot. It seems the thing to do. And, if this man's intel pans out -- and he lives through it, too -- she may just send Pietro a stipened to keep him in the good stuff until someone decides to put him out of his misery. Because...


"Both SHIELD and HYDRA are pains in everyone's butt," she says dryly, agreeing because she knows its true. "Is no wonder they combine."

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    He sits back and nods his head, "You want pass phrase. I do not have pass phrase. Only Jasper has pass phrase, it is his job to do SHIELD stuff.. he takes orders from only one man. You want pass phrase you will ask Sitwell and tell him Vasily says Who is fuck now hm?"

    Garrett and Sitwell, of course, take their orders from someone else. But not someone _in_ SHIELD it seems. "It's okay," he says with a hands down motion on the table top. "I know who you are. You can stop pretence. I hold no grudge with you," he says with a smirk. Confidence coming from him.. may be he has figured it out from the micro expressions and the pointed questions.

    "I told you, I have vendetta and you will make me a happy man," he says and then takes another shot of the nice vodka. "KGB was fun.. CCCP falls. HYDRA was fun.. all my jobs they fall. Now FSB.. Putin put the boot in, so they say. Just another tyrant ruling Russia. Nothing changes, FSB will fall too. SHIELD falls. AIM falls. Everything falls. Nothing ever changes. Nothing ever goes away. Take Russian philosophy - nothing matters - you live happier life."

Peggy Carter has posed:
The comment about knowing who they are gets a quiet amused smile from Peggy and she tilts het head, still speaking in perfect Russian. "You do, hmm? Give you another bottle for the road if you get it right. Who are we?" Peggy's now appealing somewhat to his ego. She suspects he might know, if he was that good, but she's giving him a chance to show off, maybe even feel good about himself even when he's drowning in his life's own failures. She raises her glass to him, fingers wrapped in a way to carefully obsure her's not being totally full, and downs another shot.

"Who is Sitwell answering to? And where did Vogel come into all of this?" Peggy asks once he's had a chance to gloat, if he wants, or at least to get more alcohol in him. She doesn't pour another shot -- not yet -- she'd prefer the man not pass out before they are finished getting as much as possible out of him.

Melinda May has posed:
'We stand between the right and the wrong, human nature dictates that this is the eye of the storm where we shall call home.' That phrase keeps coming back to May. It seems to be the theme of their investigation. She's starting to resent it. Yes, everything falls. Everything changes. But... principles endure.

And May's principles say it's time for HYDRA to fall.

She is as adept as Peggy at concealing the quantity in her glass. She leans back, fingers cupping the glass, watching the man, silently probing his emotions for those tells that might suggest he's lying. She's not surprised to find those tells largely absent.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    "A whole bottle just between friends da?," he says with a small laugh. "May be I even go to work tomorrow. You are SHIELD," he says flatly and then his eyes widen a touch and his nostrils twitch, "Vogel.. why you speak his name to me hm?"

    He leans forward feeling a rant coming on, "You know who true monsters are in this world hm? they sit behind desk and they take away hospitals and schools and community to make money. They move pieces on chess board so they get to keep playing their games. They kill more in a month by passing law against third world contraception aid than Nazi party in World War 2.. and it never makes it to news, because they own news too. Perception is true power. Vogel is worse than Red Skull," he says and taps his shot glass to the table and slides it to Peggy for another pour.

    Spitting nothing to the side he says, "You want to know boss of Sitwell and Garrett?" He lifts his chin and says, "I am proud Russian. I believe in the people. You take this monster down you are hero of Russia - United Nations Diplomat Alexander Pierce." He lifts up the shot and mockingly says, "Hail HYDRA."

Peggy Carter has posed:
Peggy's eyes darken just a bit as he asks why she speaks the name. A little snerk crosses her breath, "...We share the same feelings about Vogel. That is why he is sitting trapped in my basement, only alive as long as he's useful. He was among the worst of them." She pours him another full shot, bowing her head in quiet approval to his guess that they are SHIELD, but he doesn't know names. That's useful. It told her what she needed to know. And the conversation seems to be continuing.

The information about Pierce gets a side eye from Peggy to May, but they'd have to really talk it all later. A cold smile crosses her lips, "We'd be happy to take them all down, but... I don't know how much a drunk, washed up spy from Russian is going to go for evidence. Do you have any actual proof? I believe you. The rest of the world?" Peggy shrugs coolly, "They like to turn a blind eye to things that make them uncomfortable. I believe in the people as well. In this, we can stand together." And she takes her next half shot.

Melinda May has posed:
May knocks her half-shot back with the man simply because it makes absorbing the bad news easier. Besides, if this man knows who they are, and knows so much about their adversaries he's willing to share, May doesn't see a lot of point in continuing the charade. Sitwell. Garrett... Pierce.

She nods her agreement with what Peggy says. "Vogel's not going to last much longer," she notes, her Russian still influenced by her Cantonese. "But his organization needs to be more thoroughly dismantled if *any* people anywhere on this planet are going to be free of him."

She looks at Vasily. "There are others. Aren't there? Gideon Mallick, maybe? What about Maelstrom? Is he in their pocket? Or just a patsy?"

She purses her lips slightly. "Do you know anything about Arturo Malevolo?"

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    He shakes his head a touch and double takes at May. "Now you want to talk about the true believes hm? Don't tell me you buy in to the prophecy," he says and laughs loudly again. "Medieval nonsense," he says and picks up his phone to look at the date, "prophecy has passed, so it doesn't matter anyway. The great return of HYDRA's original head. Arturo Malevolo who will bring with him weapons unimaginable."

    He then motions with his other hand to the phone he's holding, "I do not think medieval people ever imagine smart phone da?" There's a smirk on his face and he waves a hand, "Baaaah stop pulling chain. You have what you want, go clean your house. You know when FSB told me they knew I was HYDRA? they said.. Vasily, it doesn't matter, HYDRA are irrelevant. Disavow them and you are good." He rolls his eyes, "If I were a true believer that would have been big mistake."

Peggy Carter has posed:
It's now Peggy's turn to be mostly silent. She pours one last round, killing the first higher shelf bottle she bought him, but there's a whole second one for his night's enjoyment. When May asks about Mallick, she turns an mildly interested look, but is still trying to play this as calm as possible and a whole lot of vodka in her veins certainly helps with that play. She arches a brow at the medieval nonsense thing, curious, but doesn't disagree with him, even if she can practically feel the presence of Daniel across the room. The nonsense of who he came through that mirror with.

Melinda May has posed:
May lets her lips curl into the derisive sneer both Vasily's emotions and her own frustration with the bastards prompt her to express. "Me? No. None of us believe in medieval nonsense." And it's the truth. She totally believes in the threat the time travelling Italian represents, however. If nothing else, Vasily just confirmed it.

She's travelled through time. She's seen magic. She's essentially *used* magic, now -- even if by proxy. She's not going to dismiss a 'prophecy'. Isn't that what Lily's leter contained? When she sees Daniel again, she'll know I'm telling the truth...

The fact Vasily doesn't confirm Mallick or Maelstrom, however, isn't lost on her. And it doesn't take them off her suspect list. Perhaps Pierce will shed light on it. Or Vogel.

She doubts it, but that won't stop her from asking. Won't stop her from digging.

"Nothing else to tell us, Vasily?" she asks him companionably. "Nothing more to say to achieve vengeance?" The smile she gives is sharp, predatory, and entirely genuine. "Trust me. I will happily take out any of the bastards you want to turn over proof on." They need proof, yes. Because principles are still principles. But, still...

She's done playing nice.

Though that could be the vodka and emotional influx talking.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    "Proof? witness? evidence? what game do you think we are playing here?" he says with a hearty laugh. "I like you two and your bodyguard. But don't ever come back to Chita. It may be shit hole, but it is my shit hole," he says and lifts his glass up, "Za!" He knocks one back and then pats the table top.

    "You have made evening fun but it's time you go. Your problems are not Vasily problems," he says and glances over at Pietro briefly. A shared look is given and the threat that perhaps there's more support here in this bar than was initially obvious. They are on his turf after all.

Peggy Carter has posed:
A simple card is pushed across the table. No names, but an email address. A dummy account Peggy's set up just like burner phones. And her international burner's number. Just in case. "The email should be good for a while. The phone... not much longer. If anything comes up... let us know. Otherwise, enjoy the vodka." Peggy shifts to move out of the booth, though she gives May one last look to see if her boss does have anything else. Still, the man has given them much, Peggy has it on voice record, and she does want to respect that. The old spy earned her understanding, if nothing else.

Melinda May has posed:
No. May knows when the conversation is over. She pushed the last little bit. She won't push further. She gives the old drunk a nod of respect, a smile still playing on her features. But she slides out of the booth, letting Peggy out in the process and glances to Daniel. Her eyes flick to the door, telegraphing clearly:

Time to go.