“It means that if there’s something wrong, those with the ability to take action have the responsibility to take action.” - Ben Gates, 2004
some of my favorite riley poole quotes  →that means… by the time ian figures it out and comes back here, we’ll still be trapped, and he’ll shoot us then. either way, we’re gonna die.
Of all the ideas that became the United States, there’s a line here that’s at the heart of all the others. ‘But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and provide new Guards for their future security.’
Riley shrieked when Nick grabbed him. Not like a girl. No… not a girl. Like a man. He didn’t struggle. Or rather, he tried and failed miserably. Nick was going to kill him! He just knew it. When they entered the alley Riley was at the point of praying to anything he could. “Dear God, I’m sorry for putting glue in my teachers sandwich in third grade! Buddha, I didn’t mean to set my dog on fire during Christmas dinner!”
But when they warped, wooshed, zoomed, zapped, zwooshed, teleported, zazoomed to… where ever they were… Riley froze. Sitting in the chair with his eyes wide, he looked around the room. He spun around in his chair a couple times even, trying to figure out where he was. When he was done spinning, he stared straight in front of him… then promptly vomited on the floor.
Enough new recruits had thrown up in her office right in front of her that Mala had stocked her desk with a few things to deal with that problem. After tapping a code into her computer to let maintenance know a clean up was required, she opened the bottom drawer on her desk and pulled out a bottled water, a few plastic cups stacked one in the other, a motion sickness pill in a blister pack, and a still wrapped toothbrush.
Walking around her desk, she held both objects out. “You may wish to avoid spinning a chair around for the next hour or two. Sliding tends to disrupt one’s equilibrium.” She smiled reassuringly though she wasn’t sure how effective that would be since she was in her SHIELD uniform complete with a few large knives and a gun in a shoulder holster.
“I am afraid I must ask you to move so we can clean up here,” she said. “If you would be so kind as to switch to the other chair Mr. Poole, we can start on your paperwork.”
He gave her the weirdest look before everything sunk in. He weakly moved over to the other chair and plopped in. He glared at the items on the table like they were some sort of newfangled technology. Once he realized ‘Oh yeah! That’s water.’ he took a few drinks then quickly downed the motion sickness pill. He just stuck the toothbrush in his mouth and chew on the bristles, not even bothering to brush his teeth.
“I’m better now.”
Fury had watched the kid spin around in the chair and gave him a few points for checking out his surrounding before starting up on the questions or protests, then deducted one when Poole tossed his cookies (or whatever the hell he’d been eating) on the floor in front of Mala’s desk. Not that he could blame him for that; being unexpectedly teleported somewhere else did mess with one’s head. However, it could also mean the kid might suffer from motion sickness in certain situations and that chucked him out of field work and into a desk job. Not that the kid wouldn’t excel at a desk job in SHIELD but the more field agents he had, the happier he was. It probably was just a teleportation issue considering all the things Poole had been through on his little adventures with Gates but it would still have to be checked out.
He moved out of the way when the clean up crew arrived, moving to stand behind his secretary as she slid form after form at Poole. There was a bit of complaining around the toothbrush Poole was chomping on at all the paperwork Mala was shoving his way, but it wasn’t until Poole got to the ‘In case of accidental or line of duty death’ form that there was any protests put forth. That was usually the one that brought things to a screeching halt and he’d heard more than once from Human Resources that they really should change the form to something less intimidating—having a line about supplying hi-res photos of your ears, eyes, identifying marks (with notes explaining locations of said marks), and hands and feet in case of dismemberment so the body could be identified did tend to freak new recruits out—but Fury had stood firm on keeping that form as is. If a recruit couldn’t handle that information laid out in black and white about what they were getting into, then they had no business being in SHIELD.
“What?” Fury growled when Poole looked up at him. He waited to see if the kid was going to run screaming from the room or not. He was surprised to note that he was putting his money on the not category for the moment.
He flipped through the paperwork as if it was nothing. He kept repeating in his head “This job better pay well.” He eventually took the tooth brush out of his mouth and stuck it behind his ear like it was a pencil.
He filled out paper after paper. He talked to himself. “Where was I born..? Do I need my birth certificate? What’s my mom’s maiden name? What’s my father’s maiden name? Is that even a thing?” And then he got to that page…
The page saying that they needed pictures of his ears, eyes, and stuff… in case he was unrecognizable after BEING BLOWN UP OR TORN APART BY AN ALIEN. He looked up at Fury. Could he do this? Could he actually go from treasure hunting to sci-fi alien battle? But imagine… that’s what it would say on his tombstone. “Riley Poole. Killed by an alien.” That was awesome. He turned back to his paper and without another thought, he signed.
There was the normal hesitation after Poole read through the release form, but the look that slowly crossed over the man’s face as he glanced up before signing was not. Fury had seen a lot of different reactions to that piece of paper but this was the first time anyone had looked like Christmas had come early and it was time to open the presents. He was sure Poole wasn’t even aware of the dreamy expression that crossed over his face as he signed the form and announced he was done.
As Mala retrieved the form and added it to the pile in front of her, Fury grabbed the back of Poole’s shirt and hauled him to his feet. “Oh no,” Fury said as he gave the man a slight shove towards the door leading to the hallway. “You’ve only just started.” Taking the lead, he led Poole down the hall to the elevators. He caught a few knowing and sympathetic looks directed at Poole from a few agents that exited the elevator but he ignored them as he stepped in and punched the button for the second basement level where the weapons locker and shooting range was. As they headed down he glanced at Poole. “Let’s see how well you handle weapons.” There was a ding and the door opened as Fury added, “We’ll start with the enchanted spear.”
Glancing at the SHIELD agents that passed, he couldn’t help but notice the looks on their faces. It was not a good look. He couldn’t stop that shiver going down his spine. The minute Fury mentioned weapons, he tensed up. He’s never even held a gun. The most he’s swung was a bat, and that was in junior high. But wait… what was that about a spear?
“An enchanted what?” He stayed at the back of the elevator. “Seriously?”