The world has been thrown into turmoil. Two alien invasions in as many years resulted in thousands of casualties, with both only narrowly beaten back, and dangerous advanced technology falling into unscrupulous hands. Magneto's defeat by the Sentinels drove mutant supremacists to increasingly desperate and savage lengths. Rumors grew of uncanny monsters stalking the shadows and taking the unwary. But, through it all, humanity placed its faith in S.H.I.E.L.D.
And then S.H.I.E.L.D. fell.
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Gracie Nance Show, Gracie Interviews Henry Gyrich of AEGIS
Posted: Jul 4 2017, 03:51 PM
The studio backdrop is plain, meant to not take away from the discussion on hand no matter how dry the subject matter may be. A diamond shaped table, two glasses of water, and some papers to one side for the host. Both Henry Gyrich and Gracie Nance sit behind the table, one on each side of the rear corner so they partially face the cameras and partially each other.
Gracie Nance takes a sip of her water, squares up her papers, and looks across at Henry. "For those just tuning in, we are joined today by the head of the Operations Division of the AEGIS agency, Henry Gyrich. Well, first of all let me thank you. Both for the very necessary job you are doing and for making time in your, no doubt, insanely busy schedule to come speak with us here on the Gracy Nance show."
"Thank you for having me here, Gracy," Gyrich says. "You're very right that it's a lot of work setting up a new agency like AEGIS, though thankfully we have many good people who've already agreed to come on board and are working very hard to bring everything together. And it's important, too, that people understand who we are and that we're there for them, so I'm glad you've given me the opportunity to do that tonight."
"Speaking of coming on board, how did you come to be appointed to such a position of trust and responsibility?"
"Well, as you might imagine, dealing with superhuman threats is not a very common profession," he says with a wry, friendly laugh. "But I've always felt drawn to defend those less able to protect themselves. It's what I did in the Army, and continued with the company, SWORD, I founded when I mustered out. Sometimes the threats we found ourselves protecting against were more than just garden variety terrorists or criminals, but when someone is relying on you to save his life or get her or her child out of danger, if you have to step up your game," he moves broad shoulders in a shrug, "that's what you do. The late Senator Kelly, rest his soul, heard of us and the work we did, and before he was assassinated he recommended us to Senator Creed. I believe you're aware of the incident in New York where mutant supremacists attempted to assassinate him as well?"
"Yes, I think everyone is familiar with those events by now." News reel footage scrolls through a inset box on the screen all the same, carefully edited to emphasize what little footage of the actual incident there had been as well as some of the more painful fall out. "So you have a long history of encountering these threats, even before the general public became aware of them and were tapped for this experience. That's comforting, I have to tell you, to have someone with knowledge and practiced skills in place in such a valuable position. And, correct me if I'm wrong, but yours is a position of active enforcement, right?"
Gyrich smiles modestly, then nods in answer to her question. "Yes, Operations is what we call in the trade the 'tip of the spear.' We have the specialized training and equipment to go into those situations where a rogue superhuman needs to be stopped or taken into custody. Believe me, 'resisting arrest' takes on a whole new meaning when the suspect is strong enough to toss cars around or, say, set people on fire with his mind."
"Oh, the very thought makes me shutter. You and your people must be made of stern stuff indeed, I reach to imagine the courage it takes to rush sometimes into the literal unknown. Especially given that there are already so many reports of these creatures refusing to register, leaving you without even the most basic of descriptions of what the given individual is capable of. Are you employing specialized equipment? Oh, I just realized that might be a secret."
"The exact capabilities of, say, the Sentinels are classified, yes. I can tell you that they're well-armored against attack and possess a variety of offensive options. I'd also like to return to something very important you said a moment ago about not knowing the e-" he catches himself before saying 'enemies,' coughing and taking a drink of water before continuing. "Sorry, about not knowing the suspects' capabilities. Intelligence is vital. Jeffrey Mace and his people are very, very good, but as a former prosecutor you've worked closely with law enforcement and I'm sure you know the value of ordinary, law-abiding, patriotic citizens who are willing to step up and tell the authorities when they see something that's not right."
"Yes," she perked up as he gently reminded her of the official statement sent over ahead of his arrival. "AEGIS would like to remind everyone to never, ever approach a powered individual or unusual creature. If you see something, report it immediately but not attempt to detain, capture, or distract. Their abilities are unpredictable, sometimes even to them, and in many cases cannot be determined simply by physical observation. Do you have anything to add to that warning, Mr. Gyrich?" She asked as she looked up from the paper she'd been reading from.
"Please, call me Henry," Gyrich says almost off-handedly. "And I'd just like to stress the importance of calling us. Once you've gotten yourself and your loved ones to safety, please don't hesitate. We have a toll-free number and there will soon be a free app available, all completely anonymous. We've seen in the past the tremendous power of an alert and aware public to both put some very, very bad people behind bars where they belong and to bring missing children home to their families. You all," he looks out across the studio audience and at the cameras to those beyond, "are our eyes and ears. Please, help us help you."
"Well, Henry it is. Now, if you don't mind, we'd like to read some questions tweeted by our audience using the special hashtag. Would that be okay?"
Gracie smiled genuinely and picked up the tablet that had been set up to stream the carefully selected questions. "From WorriedMama: With all of this preparation, do you expect a lot of resistance from those subject to the Reg?"
"I think there will be some resistance in certain quarters, yes. There will always be those who want to use their extra-normal abilities to abuse those around them and resent being told 'no, that's not acceptable behavior.' But I also think most people, powered or not, are basically good and will understand that this is for the best for everyone."
"Very good. From TrueBlue76: How would such creatures be restrained if it's even possible to catch them?"
"An excellent question," Gyrich says with a nod. "A lot of very smart people have been working on that problem, and they've come up with some amazing solutions. For security reasons, I can't get into specifics, but we do have ways of capturing and containing them effectively."
Gracie smiled again, loving the mild secrecy that would keep the audience intrigued, hooked, waiting for new details. "From NegasonicTW: Isn't this like when they were listing soldiers, cops, and security guards as domestic terror threats? Were you in favor of that as well... this seems long for a tweet..." She blinked at the screen and then looked at her producers, because it also wasn't in the tone she had expected for the selected questions. "We seem to be having a problem..."
Gyrich tilts his head slightly, not appearing the least fazed by the question, but then he's a soldier and no stranger to conflict. "It's all right," he says, "though 'they'" he crooks his fingers in quote marks, "is a bit too vague for me to answer that question."
Gracie looked down at the screen again as a new message appears. "Uh... you got an answer, Henry." She seemed unsure of what to do about that.
Clearly completely unsurprised, Gyrich asks, "What does it say?"
"Um... The same government appointing you head enforcer in charge of persecution. The same government that considered you a national security threat because of the training they gave you and the loyalty to the ideals of America you showed them. Here, have a look at the report they wrote on you back when you mustered out... there's a image of a document, Henry."
Gyrich touches his ear as if listening to something, then flashes a quick, oddly conspiratorial well-played-sir grin before answering. "In other words, 'they,'" he doesn't do the finger thing again, but it's there in his voice, "are the democratically-elected government of this great country. I'd dispute the 'persecution' part, but put that aside for now. They consider me dangerous because I am dangerous. Guard dogs that aren't don't stop many wolves. The difference is that, unlike a wolf, I choose to obey the law, not put myself above it and run around biting whoever I please."
"Another response... But plainly terrorist rhetoric that misrepresents the moral high ground of the act as violating their 'rights' instead of protecting ours. I think we've indulged this propaganda more than enough." She set aside the tablet. "I apologize, Henry, and I want to remind the American public that AEGIS has only just been created and is still in the process of being set up. I'm sure this sort of thing will quickly stop happening as they become operational. Isn't that right, Henry."
"It's not your fault, Gracie. This Negasonic person has clearly been upset and misled by all the alarmist propaganda and downright apocalyptic rhetoric that's floating around, and I'm glad to have the opportunity to set the record straight." He looks at the camera again. "To the metahumans out there watching, AEGIS isn't the Stasi, or the Gestapo, or anything like that. We're peace officers in a nation of laws. If you feel those laws are unfair, then fight them in court or the election booth, not in the streets." Gaze shifting back to Gracie, he says, "I'm just sorry it took time away from others who also had questions or needed to be heard."
"Clearly. Thank you for joining us, again. And I think we're all impressed with the level of poise you showed in dealing with that unexpected interruption." She gave him another genuine smile as the shot switched to another pundit panel, already vigorously debating the terrifying nature of the hack and the obviously completely wrong comparisons the hacker had made.
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