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 you're a back street driver on the side of the road, @grant carter, peggy carter
1297 words.
tag: grant, peggy carter.
song: geronimo - stereophonics
I am an unwritten book.

Dottie. Her name was Dorothy Underwood now. Not Ida. Not the nameless child. Dottie—an archaic name for an archaic person.. During her research, canvasing the United States both virtually and physically, she had discovered entire communities—little pockets of aged tradition set up next to empty highways—who viewed the 21st century with ambivalence. It wasn’t those who spurned technological advancement altogether—she might miss a century she knew and understood, but she didn’t miss using the restroom outdoors in the blistering cold, or the lack of central heating that turned her lips blue—but rather, those who viewed society as traveling headfirst down the drain, and who turned their backs on the rest of the world in order to live out their meager little lives amongst each other.

It was here that she pieced together her newest identity. Winterset, Iowa, to be specific. No one would willfully travel to a town of 5,100, and what was more, she had lucked out on the identity itself: a real person, very real, who had left the town as a child and disappeared into the miasma of modern American life not long thereafter. So far as she could tell, Underwood had made no significant mark on the grid, and formed no roots—for all anyone knew, the real Dottie might be dead (she was, and by Ida’s hand, too, but… who knew?). It didn’t matter. What was important was that she had no handler to write her stories for her—she had to pull together her own, not because of a mission, but because Ida Emke didn’t exist. Once she had the details in hand, though… it was easy enough to pull on Dottie’s life and its past like an old dress. She was familiar with the lost and the waylaid, with the forsaken. What was one more lost daughter in this modern future?

But why was she even in the U.S. in the first place?

When her overseers and handlers shut her into that coffin of a space decades ago, her mind had been given the basic foundation of the future mission for which she was being kept: support Mother Russia (and those under Her wing thanks to the Warsaw Pact) in its endeavors; remove the enemy (America and its allies) from the playing field wherever possible; show no weaknesses. And to be sure, a weaker comrade than her might have awoken too afraid to adhere to those orders, but she was not weak. It had taken the better part of months to establish the board in her mind, and to figure out where she stood, but from these details she had plucked her new orders and arranged them to her liking to follow.

She didn’t need someone telling her what to do to act to the benefit of her homeland. The faces and places might change, but the threats did not. And how could she do anything else? This is what she had been made for.

This is why she was in Seattle.

It was one thing to discover that Agent Margaret Carter and Captain Grant Edwards were alive; it was another to discover the web that surrounded them, adhering them to a time in which they did not belong. When she/Ida/Dottie had gone under, the world still reeled from the euphoria of a victory over Hitler’s гитлеровцы. However, as conquests in war are wont to do, it had come at a great loss for many countries. She remembered the day Agent Carter and Captain America crashed Schmidt’s Valkyrie into the ice—or rather, she remembered hearing the news whispered amongst the other girls, overheard from this teacher or that guardian… and she had thought back to what she was doing that day that the papers had said they died. That had been a torture day. Удалите свои ногти с помощью этих плоскогубцев. Remove your nails with these pliers. Cry, and you will have to hold hot coals in your hands for the same amount of time. Faint, and it will be far worse.

She hadn’t cried, nor fainted. But another girl did—not a friend, but not an enemy, either—and their “class” became one less in number. Their overseers had been angry those months after the end of the war; she hadn’t entirely understood why. Eventually, she stopped having the capability to care: caring didn’t help her survival, and she was nothing if a survivor. She knew the Americans and the British were enemies to her homeland. She knew no love was lost for them, regardless of who Russia had sided with during the war. And she knew, because they had told her so, that she and others would have been and were used against figures like the Captain and his entourage, or Carter and the SOE. That she, or one of the others, might have been the knife thrust between their ribs to take them down, were it not for their grave beneath the ice.

She was fragments of a person. Mere memories, mingled with unbidden emotions seeping out from beneath the cracks. She did not remember why, but she knew the two heroes—risen, somehow, like her, out of death and history—were her enemies. Putin himself didn’t know she existed, but she would continue to serve him and her country by completing the mission that comprised who she was—even if she had no idea why she should, or would, or could.

Make a person a weapon, and a weapon they shall be, even when there’s no longer a hand to wield them.

Underwood (the original, not the copycat) had had a surprising amount of money banked away (to the tune of about $50,000), so Underwood (the copycat, not the original) was able to secure a house for rent not far from where the Carters lived. The new Dottie adopted a dog, because normal people had dogs, and because for proper surveillance, one needs a good excuse to move around… and what better reason to move around than to take in a pack animal in need of a walk? Of course, if asked, she couldn’t explain why either of these decisions were made… but she was fabricated to blend into society with the utmost perfection… so that’s what she did.

The dog, a mutt with red, glossy fur and a constant smile, led the way down the narrow sidewalk through the neighborhood, just a few steps ahead of his owner. Dottie had unimaginatively named the creature “Red”; when she wasn’t home, a neighbor a few houses down from hers watched him, showering him with all the affection and love she couldn’t. Despite her oft cool attitude towards the animal, Red still seemed to want to please Dottie, staying close to her side and listening attentively to any authoritative command she issued… otherwise appearing as the perfect dog (perhaps hoping that one day she might let him on the bed to sleep with her, or be tossed a toy she had explicitly purchased him). With her blonde curls bouncing with each step, and his tail wagging slowly in unison, they looked for all the world like the perfect pair, enjoying the bright, if chilly day.

On other days, she had passed the Carter residence without so much as a glance… but today, with a tupperware of something tucked beneath an arm, she made turn down the front path. Red sniffed curiously at the grass, and she snapped her fingers to urge him to walk in step with her; when her knock on the door was responded to, he was seated at her side, quiescent and patient.

Hey, hi there! I’m your new neighbor! I thought I’d stop by… is this a good time?
and you're gonna explode
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