Phil Coulson looked blankly at the screen in front of him. Part of SHIELD's responsibility was to detect and prevent threats from other worlds, and the department had certainly had its work cut out for it with the sudden appearance of the Asgardians and the Chitauri.
This, however, was something else entirely. SHIELD had been aware of the numerous extraterrestrial activities that had occurred frequently in the past few decades or so, but since the majority of them had occurred in the United Kingdom, SHIELD and it's predecessors had only paid a minimum amount of attention to the foreign affairs. However, it seemed that the frequency and urgency of these incidents were increasing by the day, and were growing large enough to concern the United States. After all, the Sycorac and the assassination of the President via the Prime Minister had been very alarming incidents.
As a consequence, SHIELD had focused its attention on the strange happenings that always seemed to center themselves around a gloomy little island positioned between Ireland and the European continent. They'd been alarmed at how much they were able to discover when they paid even the slightest bit of attention. Suddenly, extraterrestrial contact and incidents were popping up everywhere they looked, and once they looked long and hard enough, it was easy enough to see a pattern. These events were all centered around one thing, one person.
Curiously enough, it was a man with a blue, wooden box.
Whenever there was an incident of the alien kind, there was always a man with a blue, wooden box on the scene soon after. Unfortunately, SHIELD was having a difficult time figuring out the exact nature of his involvement. The agencies in the United Kingdom who specialized in these affairs were being unusually tight-lipped about everything, and all the visual records they had managed to find were unreliable. There were no clear pictures of the man in question, and all they could discern from the evidence they had amassed was that of a masculine figure sometimes positioned by the small, wooden box.
According to the rare written testimonies they had been able to get their hands on, a loud wheezing and banging noise could be heard before and after the box and the man appeared. Conflict would happen soon after he ran off, or would continue, but in the end, there was always the man and his box in the surrounding area. SHIELD had managed, after some skillful infiltration, to collect readings of the energy the box produced when it appeared and reappeared. Even though other countries were out of their official jurisdiction, they would be able to detect if the strange man appeared on US soil.
And SHIELD would be waiting for him when he did.
"No, no, no!"
A tall, skinny man yelled wildly as he zipped around the console to his TARDIS. The console in question looked like it had been ductaped together, but the man was treating it like it just needed one good kick before he could convince the machine to obey him.
He grabbed the mallet that was hanging under the console and began smashing one of the buttons, almost as if he was punishing it for misbehaving.
"This is all wrong! I'm supposed to be halfway to the coronation of the fourth king of Bhafigljomas! In the fourth upper left quadrant of the Omicronico Galaxy! What am I doing back on Earth!"
The man stopped banging on the console in favor of sprinting around to study the monitor which seemed to be loosely attached to the rest of the machine.
"Let's take a look at these readings," he mumbled to himself. "Why am I being pulled back here?"
He calmed down enough to raise his head and lift an eyebrow at his beloved TARDIS. Although they couldn't talk directly, the TARDIS was a telepathic, eleven-dimensional being who had been his constant companion for the last seven hundred years. If they were going to land somewhere he hadn't intended, then it was either because the TARDIS thought he should involve himself, or it was beyond the TARDIS's control which meant that it was already something that needed his attention. The trick was figuring out which one it was.
He turned his head toward the front doors when he realized the tell-tale wheezing and gonging had sounded, which meant that the TARDIS had landed. The question was, where? Or maybe even when.
Well, there was only one way to find out what was out there. Open the front door.
After a few months of waiting for the any signs from this new threat, the new division that had been created to deal with this phenomenon had finally reported that they were getting a reading on the strange energy the man with the blue box seemed to emit. Thanks to SHIELD's new alliance with Asgard and also thanks to the work of the astrophysicist, Dr. Jane Foster, they were able to get enough information about wormholes and sudden shifts in the space-time continuum in order to predict where this rogue agent would next appear on Earth.
Of course, Asgard had only been minimally helpful, and any information they had received had been due to Thor's assistance. Unfortunately, Thor's knowledge on the subject was limited at best, and the only reason they were able use any of the information was because of the work Dr. Foster had already devoted her entire life to. On the brighter side, Thor and the astrophysicist had seemed to enjoy their time together before Thor was forced to return to Asgard once more.
And now they were seeing the fruit of that information hunt, and soon enough they would possibly be confronting a new alien life form. When they had brought up the topic with Thor and the possible extraterrestrial involvement, he had said that he knew of no other realm that could manipulate space and time except for Asgard. Even then, the Asgardians were mostly limited to creating portals in space. The conversation after that had worried Coulson a little.
"Know this, Son of Coul," Thor had said, somehow making his ridiculous phrasing sound completely normal. "There are few in this universe that have the knowledge or power to do what you are suggesting."
"But you know of some?" Coulson had replied, trying to read between the lines of the thunder god's warning.
"Aye," Thor said gravely. "But they are the oldest civilization in the universe. And though they have this power, their policies are that of strict non-interference. If this renegade is indeed connected to them, he operates outside of their laws."
Apparently, there were whole other worlds out there that not even the Asgradians knew much about or had control over. SHIELD, especially Nick Fury, hadn't been pleased to know that there were possibly bigger and badder things out there than Norse gods from outer space or the Chitauri. However, Coulson only thought that it was common sense. After all, it was a big universe. It was only logical to believe that there were people out there with abilities they couldn't even begin to comprehend.
Unfortunately, this one being had been interfering in Earth affairs longer than humanity had knowledge of the worlds outside of their own, and they couldn't possibly let an unstable element like this run loose. So, SHIELD had assembled an extraction team under Coulson's supervision. The Avengers Initiative weren't directly involved, but Agent Barton and Agent Romanov had volunteered themselves to help with the extraction and the interrogation, respectively.
Coulson was thankful that they had agree to involve themselves since he definitely felt more at ease confronting a more advanced alien life form with the world's greatest marksman, their best spy, and a troop of ex-Marine SHIELD operatives that managed to grow to a size that surpassed even the God of Thunder's (despite the fact that they could never hope to take on Thor in a fair fight as seen from the encounter with him in Puente Antiguo). The last time Coulson had decided to directly confront a hostile alien life form by himself, he'd gotten himself stabbed and put into a coma for his troubles. An incident he'd like to avoid the repetition of if he could help it.
The team had just finished surrounding the area their calculations had led them to believe would be the site of arrival. They were sure from their previous surveillance that the vessel was small, but they set up a perimeter of about 50 feet just to leave room for a margin of error.
Coulson checked his watch and when it reached the desired hour he signaled his team to get into position and stay at attention. Soon enough the banging and wheezing noise started up, but to the credit of the SHIELD operatives, none of them moved a muscle as a blue box slowly faded into existence right in the middle of their perimeter.
The Doctor cracked the door open a hair and pressed his face up against the door just enough so that he could see the outside world. His eye looked this way and that, but everything seemed to be normal... at least from his limited point of view. So, he opened the door and stepped outside. That was his first mistake because as soon as he did, he was surrounded by a large group of very large soldiers pointing very, very dangerous weapons at his person. The Doctor immediately froze and threw his hand up into the air. His large, dark eyes opened even wider than they would be normally, and his eyebrows flying upward toward his spiky hair.
"Um," he began, hoping to break the standstill as peacefully as possible. "I come in peace?"
Coulson raised a brow as he looked at the spiky-haired man in the brown, pin-striped suit and light brown duster. Of all the things he'd been expecting, it hadn't been an obviously British man dressed in a sharp suit and all-star sneakers. Also, now that he was close enough to the box to get a closer look, he saw that the wooden box was actually one of those old British Police Boxes that they used to use in the 1960s. Coulson almost felt like someone was playing a joke on him.
"I come in peace?" he heard the man say, the question mark nearly palpable as the man looked at them with his arms up in the air and his eyes wide with confusion. Coulson felt like this was his cue to step in.
"I would hope so, sir," Coulson said, stepping forward to address the man.
The strange man turned and focused on him, his hands still in the air, and his brow slightly furrowed as he stared at Coulson.
"We've been tracking your movements for some time," Coulson explained. "We'd appreciate it if you'd come with us. Quietly."
"Whose we?" the man asked immediately, finally putting his arms down.
Coulson raised his own eyebrows a fraction as if to say 'didn't I just say quietly?' and nodded at two of the agents that were standing to his right.
The two men walked over to the stranger, very obviously towering over him in height, and pulled him toward a nondescript black van.
"Pack up the shed," Coulson ordered another group of agents.
The newcomer looked around wildly as he was being forcefully manhandled away from his Police Box.
Coulson noted that the man had enough sense not to struggle, and he stumbled along obediently as the two burly agents kept a firm hold on this possible alien life form.
Coulson was just glad that the man hadn't started waxing poetic about world domination. There were only so many evil plots he could handle within a year's time.