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“Doppelganger” – pt 1 of 18

Agent of SHIELD Bobbi Morse drags off-again/ on-again boyfriend and fellow agent Clint Barton to a technology show at Stane International in New York City.

They were there for some R&R. Unfortunately, their break turns into a mission.

Bobbi Morse elbowed her date, Clint Barton, in his side. Hard.

“Stop squirming,” she muttered under her breath in his direction.

“This is your thing, not mine,” Clint whispered back.

“You could have stayed home.”

“You said we were going to lunch and then a show,” Clint blasted back.

A few people standing in the crowd near them cast a disdainful glance at Clint and Bobbi. She smiled demurely.

“Sorry. We’re not trying to be a part of the show,” Bobbi said while motioning to the presentation space in front of them.

A final glare and the people turned away.

Bobbi turned to Clint. She took his chin in her hand and turned his face toward hers. Thank God he was wearing his damn-near trademark, purple-lensed sunglasses.

She often got lost in his baby blue eyes. With them blocked, she could remain her witty, caustic self.

“This is a show,” she insisted. “If it bores you that much, turn down your hearing aids.” She gave him a quick peck on the lips and then let him go, returning to the presentation.

It was indeed a show.

Stane International had pulled out all the stops at this year’s product showcase. They’d turned ten thousand square feet of the research floor of their New York headquarters into an exhibit floor.

New products cluttered various booths, each with a team to showcase the product’s efficiency and place it in the hearts and minds of the attendee.

Bobbie and Clint stood at an exhibit about the latest Stane pharmaceuticals. The company had gone in that direction two years ago after their hostile takeover attempt of rival military armaments firm Stark Industries went south.

Stark’s owner, Tony Stark, had beaten back Stane while in the guise of his heroic alter-ego, Iron Man.

After the very public defeat of Obadiah Stane in his Iron Monger battle suit, his company dumped him and did everything in their power to get out of Stark’s shadow.

Hence pharmaceuticals and computer defense systems. Not as sexy as robotics or big military guns, but much better for business.

As agents of the Strategic Homeland International Espionage and Law-Enforcement Division, a.k.a. SHIELD, Bobbi and Clint rarely got R&R time. When they did, Clint preferred going somewhere he could keep up his marksman skills, preferably with his bow.

Bobbi never understood how doing the same thing you did on the job while on R&R was relaxing.

She preferred a beautiful beach and a good book she could fall asleep reading. Or she’d thumb through the latest issue of some scientific journal.

That’s what brought Bobbi to Stane today. That and the ability to tease Tony Stark about Stane’s new hi-tech toys. They knew him through their SHIELD work, though he rarely played along with their spy games.

Bobbi glanced at the Stane presenter and back at Clint. He was doing better at hiding his complete boredom, though tugging on his collar to loosen his tie wasn’t the classiest of moves.

Then again, Clint Barton wasn’t the classiest of guys. A street punk who turned to the side of the angels, he was the antithesis of all those Ivy League super nerds Bobbi had dated and dumped moons ago in college while studying for her science degrees.

What he lacked in class he made up for in charm. That’s what had ultimately won Bobbi over. That and his incredible ability to —

“Attention exhibit patrons,” interrupted a voice on a loudspeaker. “We regret to inform you that the exhibit must close early today. Please move to the main exit in an orderly fashion.”

Bobbi looked at Clint. He threw up his hands in surrender.

“I had nothing to do with that!” he said.

Bobbi shook her head. She grabbed Clint’s arm and led him past bewildered attendees, not to the main exit, but a door marked “employees only.”

Two nondescript men in moderately expensive suits (better-looking ones than what Clint wore) stood by the door. One of them motioned for Bobbi and Clint to stop.

“You want to go the other way, ma’am,” he said.

Bobbi reached into her clutch and pulled out her SHIELD communicard. Flashing it before the guards, she identified herself and Clint as agents.

The guard studied the card, then looked back to Bobbi. “If you’ll please head to the exit.”

Clint stepped forward, producing his communicard. “We’re just curious as officers of the law what could prompt a sudden end to the show.”

The guard frowned. “Trouble in the building. But nothing you two can help with.”

“On the contrary,” Clint continued, showcasing that charm Bobbi loved. “This is exactly the kind of thing we do.”

To be continued…

Copyright Info

DC Adventures, Copyright 2011, Green Ronin Publishing; Author Steve Kenson. It’s now Mutants and Masterminds, 3rd Edition

Advanced Player’s Manual, Copyright 2005, Green Ronin Publishing: Author Skip Williams.

Proteus Plot, Copyright 2006, Green Ronin Publishing, Author Steve Kenson.

The characters Hawkeye, Nick Fury, Mockingbird, the Black Widow, Arnim Zola, the Red Skull, HYDRA, SHIELD and Captain America are Copyright Marvel Comics

The character Grifter is Copyright DC Comics

None of the characters (or the plot, for that matter) belong to me as this is fan fiction, done for fun and as a creative exercise.

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