|Hazing the Newbie|
|What: Arsenal joins S.H.I.E.L.D., but not before a few agents have their fun welcoming him.|
It'd taken too long to shuffle the paperwork from the Central Bureau of Investigations. Not that his supervisor minded terribly Arsenal's departure - as good an agent as he was, the unconventional means left the man grasping for the antacids.
But with the security procedures done, the CAC cards and security badge set up to allow him to key in and enter, Agent Harper was all set to meet with... well, he had no idea what he was meeting with on the other side of the door. Just that he was to meet with... whomever. So there was a tap on the door and an "Agent Harper, reporting for duty, sir," whispered.
It's a ma'am, rather than a sir. Or perhaps a miss. The nameplate on the desk says "Nancy Rushman" and the woman sitting behind it looks like your typical SHIELD analyst. Business-wear, cardigan sweater, hair tightly back in a prim bun, thick framed glasses perched on her nose, minimal makeup. She looks very plain in a very plain setting. Mind you, it's actually Natasha Romanoff in one of her many mundane identities. She finds it useful to make a first impression this way, so new people underestimate her. She rises, smiles, and offers a hand. "Mister Harper. Is it? Nancy Rushman, please have a seat. Would you like something to drink? Coffee, water?"
Sharon has accompanied 'Nancy', curiosity about the new person more than enough reason to get her off of the Helicarrier and to where she finds herself now. A corner has been claimed where she is currently standing, giving her a good view of the room from the back. Her comrade is allowed to make with the pleasantries, the greeting on her part non-existant save for a quick up nod that might be missed. Is she here to play guard? Probably not as she doesn't appear to be armed. Not openly so, at any rate.
Hmm. Prim, proper, thick-glasses. No ring on finger, so unmarried. Single. Could clean up really nice if she let down her hair. Of course, she'd probably gone through his dossier, so she'd be well aware of his family, history, and other nicieties.
The other one... well, he had no idea who she was, other than that she had interesting eyes, and was redheaded... although she did clean up really nicely, as well.
Well, he'll find out soon enough, he supposes, who these ladies are.
"Miss Rushman," he says, extending his hand in a handshake. "Coffee's fine, thanks." A quick glance to regard Sharon the secretary standing by the side. No... wait, she couldn't be the secretary, or she would have let -him- in. There was a hand extended as well. "And you are...?"
Nancy steps to the door. "Ernest, could you kindly bring in coffee for Mister Harper, Miss Carter, and myself?" There is an acknowledgement from the outer room before the redhead closes the door. "Well, it looks like your paper work has finally come through from CBI, Mister Harper," Nancy notes as she settles at her desk, shuffling some folders. "So all that is left is a simple entrance interview. Miss Carter is here to observe as a second impartial party. Please have a seat."
Nancy took care of the introductions so there's no need for Sharon to give her name. All that she does do is put a hand into the offered one of Roy's, giving it a shake. "Pleasure meeting you, Mister Harper." There is a quick smile but that's it for any show of emotion or reaction, the woman a stone. Could be a sign of disinterest or perhaps it's just her personality. Whatever it is, she's just about one step shy of having the term 'cold bitch' fit her.
No ring on that finger either. Well, at least they weren't wearing -charms- that would ward off whatever charms he would employ. But later, after all. Taking a seat in the chair, relaxed rather than being tense, the very picture of nonchalance... someone who's been used to talking his way out of trouble (though usually after getting into it...), Roy flashes a grin in return at the ladies. "Well then, I'm all yours."
"Now, Mister Harper," Nancy begins, pulling out a stack of papers with stuff written on them, and carefully choosing a pen out of the two dozen or so identical ones in a cup on the desk. "Were you dissatisfied with your work with the Central Bureau of Investigations?" She doesn't poise the pen over the papers to jot down his responses as one might expect. Instead she clicks a little blue button on the side, and it bleeps. She sets it down, end facing him, clearly a recording device. Oh SHIELD, you so sneaky.
Sharon raises a brow, trying to watch Roy's mannerisms, how he carries himself now as important as how he will when they're out on an op, assuming he'll pass muster and be allowed to of course. The questions Ms. Rushman is also listened to although with not quite as much attention paid to them as Roy gets, the impartial figure still standing behind where Nancy sits.
"Oh, not really dissatisfied, but..." Roy motions all around the room. "I wanted to expand my horizons a bit." No finger tapping, no shifty looks, just relaxed. Although he does shift his posture so that he could lean forward, so he could focus more on Nancy's questions. Right, Harper, everything riding on this interview, so don't blow this.
"And what made you decide that SHIELD would be a better fit for you than the CBI?" Nancy asks, plucking out a regular pen from the cup as she makes notes on the papers. It could all be terribly important and his entire SHIELD career could hinge upon his answers. Or it could also just be a psyche eval of sorts, determining his fitness for duty. Or it could just be that Natasha and Sharon were horribly bored and offered to haze the new guy, after hearing what a lothario he is. I'd put money on the latter. His paperwork wouldn't have gone this far if there were issues.
Leaning back, Roy steeples his fingers, as if to think, before flashing a grin. "Because I want to do more than chase drug dealers and trying to break up drug rings. I spent a while before that following someone else's footsteps, and then trying to make sure others don't follow my footsteps. Now I want to make my own path." Quirking his lips as he regards the notes. "Isn't this already in my application?"
"Anyone can write an application, Mister Harper. Seeing a person as they answer verbally tells so much more," Nancy murmurs. She pushes her glasses up on her nose. "Do you consider your profession as a detriment to your daughter? Long hours, dangerous missions, etc etc." She waves the hand with the pen around as if she's just bored to tears by this whole process.
"My daughter's five, and she's used to it. The agency has very good babysitters, and frankly... she's better off with me than her mother." Any trace of laughter or humor disappears with the last line, as Roy leans forward. "You've done your homework on me already, right? You know what my skills are. I'm your all-around weapon specialist. I can strip over two hundred government issue-weapons, I can shoot the balls off a squirrel from two hundred yards away with a bb-gun, and we won't even get into the bow and arrows. What else do you -really- need to know?"
"Well, I suppose I could ask for your phone number, since your true skills seem to lie elsewhere," Nancy drawls. "But what I really want to know is just how fast you are." Then she clicks a button on the pen. A blade pops out of the end of it and she hurls it at Roy's head, to test his reflexes.
Registering the blade pop out, Arsenal is already shifting, eyes tracking the pen before catching the blade between two fingers, inches from the center of his head. Response is immediate, as he flips his wrist, tossing it down towards the desk, fixing the paperwork to the desk. Roy's eyes immediately shifts towards Nancy's, meeting her gaze with a studious look, before he flashes a grin. "... well, I wouldn't mind giving you my number... just as soon as you tell me who you really are. You're not a desk jockey, are you?"
The woman chuckles and rises from her seat, tossing off the unneeded glasses and letting her hair down. She offers her hand again, this time a distinctive bracer peeking out from beneath her cardigan. "Agent Natasha Romanoff, also known as the Black Widow. Welcome to SHIELD, Roy. Sorry for the game, we haze all the transfers from the CBI. Snooty damn agency," she says with a grin.
"You've run into Sarge, did you?" Roy retorts, a grin crossing his face as he takes her hand and shakes it, before quirking an eyebrow. "So I have a reputation already, do I?" he says, as he grins, shifting to kiss the back of Natasha's hand quickly before letting go quickly.
"Agent 13 and I are actually here to bring you to the Argus. We just thought we'd have a little fun first." Natasha snorts at the hand kissing. "You're not doing much to belie that rep there, Roy," she points out. "I wouldn't try that with Sharon, you might end up swallowing you teeth." She grins and jerks her chin towards the door. "We can take a ride to the roof on the elevator. I have a flying car waiting up there."
"What's life without a little risk?" Roy grins, as he glances at Sharon, not looking at all repentant. "I'll have you know I'm a serial monogamist, though... well at least nowdays. Got to be a role model for Lian."
Still, Roy flashes a grin at Natasha, before moving towards the door and opening it to allow the ladies to go first. "Got to admit, I was expecting the hazing to involve more people. Should I watch out for, I don't know... shower hijinks?"
"Well if Hawkeye finds out you're hitting on me, you might get an arrow up your nose, but other than that, I think your fine," Natasha quips. Perils of an overprotective partner. Chapter 78. She leads him out while Sharon goes to finalize some paperwork.
"That's okay... if we're going to have to duel over lady fair, he can throw down the gauntlet anytime," Roy quips as he follows. "Besides, I know a thing or two about using arrows." Let Natasha lead the way, of course.
It's a quick flight from the UN Building roof to Central Park, over which the might Helicarrier Argus is stationed. Natasha lands the flying car and then leads Roy on a mini tour of the hangar, the bridge (oooh ahhh) the labs/detainment level, and then to the Personnel level. She shows him where quarters are, and the cafeteria, before bringing him to the training facility. "And this is where we train ourselves, and teach others. We have a weapons range in the soundproofed area at the back. There are boxing rings, wrestling mats, nautilus equipment, anything you can imagine." She's dressed like Nancy, only with her hair down and no glasses. She shrugged out of her cardigan before she got here at least.
One of the wrestling mats is currently being used. One of its occupants is Doug Ramsey, clad in the standard workout sweats that all the fine folks at SHIELD are lucky enough to acquire when they sign up, and he is... not doing very well. Unless his goal was to be pinned face-down in a rather awkward-looking hold by the man training him. "I don't think this is working, sir," he grates out, hurriedly squirming a hand up to try and tap out. "Maybe it was just a fluke!"
After the initial comments, Roy eased up on Natasha, being far more interested in getting on board SHIELD, making small talk just enough to show he was paying attention to what she was saying rather than studying her attentively... well, maybe JUST a little studying.
Still, when it came time to examine the gym, Roy paid far more attention to the ranges than the... well, poor dude getting his face mashed into the ground. "Do I want to ask what the training regimen here's like?" Roy asks Natasha, making a brief gesture towards Doug.
For a total wonder, Phil Coulson is NOT wearing a suit. But only because this was a scheduled trip to the mats. Instead it's a pair of black track pants and a similar grey shirt underneath a matching track jacket. It's almost like a workout version of his suit in some ways. He presently has Doug in an uncomfortable-looking lock with the younger agent's face pressed into the mat, which he releases once Doug actually manages to tap out. "I don't believe in fluke occurances," he disagrees, straightening up. "Not against two men with swords."
Natasha just arches a brow at Roy, letting the mystery of training remain a mystery for now. She heads over to the mats and gestures. "Agent Roy Harper, this is Agent Douglas Ramsey and Agent Phil Coulson. Gentleman, our latest acquisition from the Central Bureau of Investigation."
"I suppose not." Still. Doug sounds skeptical. He manages to get himself pushed up onto his knees before he realizes he's being introduced, and suddenly, he wishes he had better luck with first impressions. Oh well. He lifts a hand to offer Roy a wave while he catches his breath.
Roy acknowledges Natasha's non-answer with a quirky wry grin, as he nods towards Doug and Coulson, taking Doug's hand in a shake. "Don't say it, I already know - I promise not to be anything like the Cibbies that you ran into," he remarks, mostly to Agent Coulson. So one looked like a young kid and the other a bookkeeper. A furtive glance at Natasha. Yeah, one can never tell by appearances anyway.
A hand in turn is offered to Agent Coulson. "Teaching Agent Ramsey how to deal with people who have swords? Just do the Indy way - shoot 'em."
Unlike Doug, Coulson isn't even close to winded. He just smiles in his own unassuming way, nods, and offers Roy his hand in turn. "CBI. Good pedigree," he opines, happy to disagree. "Actually, this is in the nature of research. Ramsey already dealt with swords just fine. We're working on a theory as to how," he explains, mostly for Natasha's benefit.
"What theory is that, Phil?" Natasha asks curiously. Doug has been a bit of a pet project for her. She's been impressed with his intellect and level headedness in crisises.
Doug may be tired, but he's still perfectly capable of a good handshake. He aims a wry smile up at Natasha. "He's wondering if my mutation extends to body language," he explains, with just the briefest hitch of hesitation. He's /still/ getting used to being open about what he is away from the Institute. It's weird. "I'm still not sure, but I'm not sure how else to explain the fact that I'm not a neat little stack of sliced meat, either." Besides, he did talk to that weird cube thing, so maybe this idea is comparatively less insane than he might normally think.
"Mutation?" Roy can't help but lift an eyebrow. Still, it wasn't as though he hadn't run into other metahumans in the past, and so Roy shrugs his shoulders a bit, glances at Agent Coulson, and then flashes a grin. "Well, they're very by-the-book, so yeah..." A light shrug. Anyone who knew Sarge would be familiar with how he ruled that division with a steel hand, but that was neither here or now.
Coulson bobs his head once at Doug's explanation. "He got caught out by a couple of HYDRA elites, Tash. Took them both down. He was moving like a real pro. Textbook." He shrugs a shoulder. "It makes some sense. We're working on it." He fires another grin off at Roy. "So I've heard. But I used to be FBI, so I suppose I wouldn't call it a downside."
Natasha ponders the theory a moment, head tilting to one side, red hair cascading over her shoulder. Then she focuses on intending to smack Doug upside the head while restraining her usual impulse to prevent herself from telegraphing her intent. If he can read body language, he should block, or duck, otherwise he's getting Gibbs-smacked by the Widow.
Either Doug is simply more observant than Natasha thinks he is, or Coulson is on to something, because the trainee jerks out of the way. It isn't a particularly elegant movement, but it does let the hand swing past, and his expression is a rather comical mix of surprise and confusion. It's hard to mix 'why would you even do that' and 'what did I just do,' but he's managed.
Man. Doug was even gonna answer Roy's question, too, but now he's too perplexed to even remember what it was.
Unsure what he was looking at, Roy can only quirk an eyebrow. "Still figuring out what he can do?" he remarks, glancing towards Agent Coulson. Cracking his knuckles, Roy looks towards Natasha, then at Doug. "Can I try?"
Coulson just smiles in a fashion not unlike a terribly self-satisfied, perhaps even smug, cat. Briefly, anyway. At Roy's question, he gives Widow a curious glance, then shrugs a bit. He could go either way on it, himself. On the one hand, it'd be good for Doug to be exposed to more. On the other hand, He's had a track record of being a top-notch junior agent. On the other-other... that's no reason not to push him to even higher feats of awesome.
"I believe that lends credence to your theory, Phil," Natasha says with a faint smile. "I knew you were something special, Ramsey." She pats him, gently, on the shoulder. She arches a brow at Roy then looks to Doug. "Would you like to try your hand against Harper? I think the key might be not expecting or trying to anticipate the attack. You unconsciously seemed to read my body's intent without any conscious expectation of attack."
Doug warily eyes the hand on his shoulder like he's waiting for it to go for another smack, and doesn't actually relax that much when it moves away. "I just wanted to translate intercepted transmissions," he notes in a quiet, mournful voice, reaching up to rub at his face. What is his life. Still, he makes a vaguely resigned noise and finally hauls himself back up to his feet. "Maybe a raincheck? I've been getting my butt kicked all afternoon."
"Sure thing, no problem," Roy grins, a deceptive-type of smile that looked like he was -definitely contemplating an attack. And he couldn't help it... a quick flinch to see if Doug would react to that.
"You're just too good, Doug," Coulson commiserates in a totally disingenous manner. "We just can't imagine squirreling you away in Tech and leaving you there." Sucks to be Doug. But possibly not as much as it might suck to be... "Though, if Roy's really that raring to go..." he muses thoughtfully in the Widow's direction.
"I haven't seen YOU really work out in ages, Phil. Why don't you try your hand at the young buck," Natasha quips. Because she knows damn well Phil is a magnificent fighter. He has the power of sheer awesome.
However useful Doug's mutation may or may not be, he still falls for the feint and hurriedly drops back a step, his hands coming up to defend himself. ...wait. Nothing is coming. He just makes a bit of a face and turns to make his way off the mat to retrieve his towel and water.
"Man, you make me sound like a piece of meat, Romanova," Roy quips, as he pats Doug on the shoulder. No attack, just a pat... really.
"Should come out to New Mexico with me next time," Phil quips in what is clearly a completely unintelligible inside joke for Tasha's benefit. Convenience store robberies, man. Jeez. He steps for the mat anyway, unzipping the track jacket and adjusting the collar. "Harper, you're up," he calls over his shoulder, lifting a hand to crook a pair of fingers.
"I'll have to. You forgot to bring me back my Skor bar from that trip," Natasha quips. She watches Phil and gulps audibly, leaning over to aside to Roy. "He unzipped his jacket. Do you prefer ice packs or raw meet for your face after this?"
Doug plunks down to sit once he's well off the mat, wiping his face off before having a drink. Stay and watch? Sure, why not. Maybe, if he /can/ read body language, it will work even if his is the head people aren't trying to cleave off. He can dream, right?
Hmmm. Well, on one hand, Roy was pretty good at hand to hand combat, giving Nightwing a good tussle. And Agent Coulson looked like a bookkeeper. On the other hand, the FBI wasn't anything to mess with. Still...
"Hey kid, hold on to this for me," Roy says as he removes his crossbow. And then the throwing knives. And then the throwing stars. Then the taser gun. The grenades...
A couple minutes later, Roy steps onto the mat. "Ready when you are, sir."
If it weren't S.H.I.E.L.D., Roy's disarming would probably draw some stares. But it is, and all he gets is patience while he does so, and then a nod and a gesture. "Take your best shot, then."
Natasha moves over to perch by Doug to watch. "I really wish I had some popcorn. This should be good entertainment," she murmurs to the junior agent.
Kid. Right. Doug just stacks Roy's arsenal on the ground on his other side, doing his best not to grumble out loud -- or at least, not do so in English. Latin is usually pretty safe. "He's cocky," he quietly asides to Natasha, leaning back on his hands and eyeing the pair on the mat.
And now the staredown, right? Except Roy sucked at these. Because if he charged, his momentum was going to be arrested, used against him, and so on. Blame Tricky Dicky. So it was just circling around, feinting, and ... "... so loser buys the beer?"
Apparently... not so much. Because when Roy gets all set for circling and psychology and all that jazz, the agent apparently gets bored, and he's in Roy's face in just under a second, swinging an elbow around for a shot at his jaw. It's... quite something how the man can go from calm to extreme violence like that. Sort of his trademark.
The Widow sighs as her comm goes off. "I'm needed up on the bridge. Phil, you can show Harper to his room after you beat him up?" she calls to Coulson.