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The Monster

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Brock Rumlow paces the room in front of three STRIKE squads and part of the Insight crew. The men and women, all in uniform, wait in relative silence for the debrief on their mission. It's the biggest, most public thing they've planned since the Red Skull. But they've grown since then. They're ready.

"First off, thank you for coming and also, for willing to stand against what you have been told is right, and instead fight for what is actually best for this world," Rumlow begins with almost ceremonious elegance. "It takes courage, so, thank you.

"Now, Project Insight's been delayed. Fury got suspicious and shut it down until he's certain it's safe. You and I both know that means he won't launch those carriers at all." Rumlow shifts from one foot to the other. "So, we need to take him out."

Surprised murmuring floods the room. To take out Fury is to take a huge risk. It's been attempted several times before but with no success. An actual demigod, no less, has tried and failed. But Rumlow continues talking like it's nothing.

"Now, Delta, you're in charge of taking out Fury. Security around the director is heavy, so the plan is to go undercover as MPD officers and take him out while he's on his way to rendezvous with agent Hill. Your best shot is when he's in his SUV. "Alpha, your goal is to make sure the helicarriers make it into the air, and lock onto their targets. If things get out beforehand, your job is to kill anyone who tries to stop the launch or damage the carriers. Once they're in the air, your part is done. The Insight crew on the carriers will take it from there, their mission hasn't changed.

"The Council's gonna need convincing to launch the carriers early, same as the rest of the SHIELD staff. If your colleagues have suspicions, lead 'em somewhere private and take 'em out. Pierce is taking care of the Council." He pauses, looking around the briefing room. "And finally, Captain Rogers."

A hush falls over the room. Rumlow sweeps his eyes over the STRIKE team again, breathes a second, and explains.

"Rogers is a known enemy to Hydra. If he catches wind of any of this, there's no way he's not gonna meddle. But-- just shooting at him won't be enough; Rogers has a reputation for being a hard man to kill. We've got a more complex scheme planned to take him out. "Rogers fights back. He'll fight anyone to do what he thinks is right, no exceptions. Still, the best way to get to him is through his friends. Romanoff is close with him, but she won't kill him, she'll only get suspicious. However," he says, barking out the last word and pausing a second. "We have a better option; Steve Rogers' childhood friend, Bucky Barnes."

Jack Rollins, sat all the way at the front of the room, begins to shake his head. "No way that's gonna work, Rumlow. The asset ain't even stable enough for regular undercover work half the time, what makes you think he's capable of dealing with Rogers?"

Rumlow shrugs. "He cracks sometimes, yeah, but he's done a whole lot of successful undercover missions over the years. Wipe him thoroughly beforehand and you can convince him of anything. Having a history with Rogers, he can get close enough to take him out when he least expects it. Besides, we got countless failsafes in place if things don't go as planned. We're good at contingencies."

"So how's that gonna work?" Says a woman from Delta Squad. "Tell him he just happens to look like Steve Rogers' dead best friend and also just happens to match with his DNA? He's malleable, but he's intelligent. He'll figure it out" Her brown eyes are directly on Rumlow, but he stares right back. He starts to explain, his voice starting out somewhat unnervingly calm, but steadily becomes louder and more agitated.

"The asset is convinced he's a pick-and-choose mix of bodyparts with a little metal involved. He sees himself as Frankenstein's monster without even knowing what the hell a "Frankenstein" is. He trusts his handlers to tell him everything he needs to know. Point is, you tell him you gave him plastic fuckin' surgery to look like Barnes, he'll believe you. Tell him you'll alter Barnes' DNA records to match his, he'll believe you. Tell him you implanted fake goddamn memories in his head so he won't freak out if he remembers shit that ain't part of the mission, he'll believe you. He'll carry out the mission without even considering that he's the real Barnes."

The woman, Hendrix, is reluctantly silent. She smooths down her jacket and nods, breaking eye contact. Her finger catches on the patch over her left breast, a small, light blue triangle. Delta.

"Fury is headed out in an hour, I expect you to be right where I put you and your team."

"Yes, sir," comes her reluctant affirmation. Rumlow nods at her, and addresses the remaining team.

"Beta, your task is to assist the asset in his mission. You'll be briefed about the specifics later, and I'm dispatching the time and location for that to your comms now." As Rumlow works on a holographic screen to provide the squad with the necessary information, a minute of silence ensues. No one is willing to be the first to speak. It only lasts shortly. Rumlow waves his hand and the screens turn off.

"Alright, dismissed. Not a word about anything in any place other than this briefing room," he announces, and plucks a USB drive from the computer, swiftly leaving the room. Team Delta immediately stands up and begins to check their comms for the specifics of their mission, leaving the room as a unit. Team Alpha discusses quietly about their own assignment. Several members from team Beta share looks with each other, others leave the room with their eyes glued to their comm screens.

Rollins sighs, rubbing his hands along his thighs and pushing himself up. He leaves the briefing room still shaking his head and mutters something about a "crazy fuckin' plan", just before he lets the door fall shut behind him.