Hushed Tones Outside of SHIELD

Summary:
March 18, 2015: Steve and Booster discuss SHIELD right under SHIELD's nose.

The Triskelion

It's the place where SHIELD hangs out.


Characters

NPCs

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Mood Music:
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Booster Gold has been kept busy with a steady stream of incidents, but he has not forgotten the necessity of discussing the recent rash of anomalies with Captain America. He brings Skeets with him, not as backup, but just in case any audio-visual supplementation is required. When he flies in and drops down to the pavement, Booster looks faintly uneasy, as if he were waiting for someone or something to swarm out and attack him from the shadows.

"Hey," Steve says as he leans against the wall of the Triskelion. He's been working nearly around the clock (what else is new?) and has stepped out for the meeting here. Despite the stress he's under, he gives Booster a smile. "It's good to see you, all things considered. What have you got?"

"This is Skeets, by the way," Booster uses his thumb to indicate the little golden robot hovering nearby. "I don't recall if you guys ever met."

"Hello, sir," Skeets says, politely.

"Anyway, I'll try to sum this all up." Booster holds his hands up, palms facing each other. "There have been holes ripped in time, except they're not like normal time portals at all. Something or someone has really mangled things up, and when that last one opened up I went up to get some readings. I'm worried that if we don't get this dealt with soon, its going to start eating up reality. The problem… well I mean, one of many problems… is that because it's all mangled, I can't figure out when these are coming from or leading to."

Steve nods gravely, "Sounds pretty bad. Do you have any idea on how to combat this sort of thing? Any tricks to the trade from the future that you'd be able to share on how to solve this problem?"

After a brief pause, it looks as if Steve is about to ask something, but then falters just a moment, falling back silent.

"Well, to be perfectly honest, time travel is illegal when I'm from," Booster admits, looking around again. With Skeets there to pick up on possible eavesdropping, it is an unnecessary gesture, but Booster is only human after all. "I just have, you know, a lot of experience with this stuff. If it was a normal time portal I'd be able to see where it was coming from, and I'd go there and deal with whatever was causing it."

Booster looks to Steve again, his eyebrows arching up behind his visor. "Everything I get from the portals and the beings that came through is…" he makes a vague wave with one hand. "It's like… everything that exists in time has a time signature. But when I tried to read those they were mangled up as if they were put in a, uh… what's it, those things." He whirls an index finger.

"Blender," Steve says absently.

"Do you think things are only coming to the future, or maybe things can go to the past?" Steve says, not making eye contact with Booster. "I mean, maybe if it's something we could figure out— manage — Maybe we could…I dunno."

Booster snaps his fingers. "Blender. That's it. Sorry, I'm not great with tech in this era." He briefly smiles brightly, but his expression quickly sobers once more. "Well, I can't tell when that stuff is coming from, but things can go to the past. I mean…" He gestures at himself. "Only a few people know this, Captain, but you should know it, too. I can travel in time when I want. It's not something I really wanted SHIELD or other big organizations to know, because…" Now he spreads his hands in a sort of shrug. "Can you imagine what they'd do with that?"

Steve turns to him, "Can you take people with you?"

"Oh yeah. That's not a problem," Booster waves his hand as if this were a simple detail. "Not big groups, though. That would get difficult because I need to shield whomever I take, see. The time stream is really rough on most people if they aren't protected."

"Would you take me to 1945?" Steve adds.

Booster's eyebrows are arched up again. "Do you have reason to believe that's when all this trouble stems from? Yeah, I could do that, Captain, but…" His brow furrows now and he rubs his chin. "There are a few rules, just so you understand that. Major changes to a timeline can … well, form a new timeline. And then this timeline is still left with an unsolved problem."

"No," Steve shakes his head. "I don't believe that's when all this trouble started, no. I just…" He shakes his head as if embarrassed at his moment of weakness. "Had a dance."

Steve seems to regain his composure a bit, "Alright, what we need to do now is figure out how we can either figure out your shredded information on how to close these things, or find out through some separate means. Who are all the people we could talk to for more information?"

"Oh…" Booster tilts his head, his expression compassionate. "It's okay, dude. I know how it feels to have unfinished business, unsaid things. Its natural to want that." But he moves on, saying, "I'm not sure who can help. The fact is that the computers I've tried to work with in this era don't seem up to the task." He looks thoughtful, then, as he admits, "It'd help if I could get my hands on some of the stuff that's come through the portal. I got a heck of a reading from that lion. The problem is that SHIELD seems to sweep all of it away and won't let anyone touch it."

"You want me to get some of it for you? Maybe get you inside?" Steve asks. "I'll see what I can do."

"That would help a lot," Booster nods to Steve. "I've kind of avoided approaching anyone there." After a silent moment, he asks, "Captain, do you trust SHIELD?"

"I don't know who to trust, Boo," Steve says with a shake of his head. He works for SHIELD, of course, but he knows they are keeping this from him. He wants to believe Nick Fury, but this might be too much. It's clear Stark's SHIELD prints were all over this at some point in time. "We can only work with what we have."

"Yeah." Booster seems glum for a moment, then comments, "If I could just break in and get things done, I'd be searching through their stuff as we speak." He looks very thoughtful then, as if he were seriously considering this, but then he shakes his head and says, "Eh. Last resort." Gesturing to Steve, Booster says, "Whatever you can access, then. This isn't something that'll just stop on its own."

Steve nods, "We need to at least give them the option to cooperate. If they don't, that sort of tells us everything we need to know. I have a couple of others working on it as well. I'll let you know anything I hear. And I'll let you know about what SHIELD says."

"Thank you, Captain," Booster nods. "I'm kind of obligated to deal with this kind of thing." Grimacing faintly and glancing sidelong towards the building, he adds, "If SHIELD does try time travel it might not end well. It takes a lot of energy and even if they succeed, whoever gets sent back might get stranded there. If they arrive in one piece." He brightens up as his focus returns to Steve. "Call me up or whatever, I gave up trying to figure out celphones, but Skeets is taking care of it."

Cap nods, "Will do, Booster. Thank you for all of your help on this. Both on behalf of the JLA, and SHIELD — whether they agree to it or not—, and behalf of myself. I appreciate your effort on this. We're lucky to have you."

Booster Gold smiles brightly, and points dual finger-guns at Steve. "Dude, it's my pleasure. And I mean, it's all about keeping this reality intact. I think that's something everyone wants. It's important enough that if I need to admit a few things to SHIELD, I'll do it. Thanks for hearing me out."

"Anytime," Steve says as he makes his way toward the door. "Thanks for your help."


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