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Vernon Masters

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"The entire Department of War is being restructured, which means that the SSR is going the way of the dinosaur. It's a different world now."
―Vernon Master[src]

Vernon Masters is a veteran of the War Department with a keen understanding of how to work the system. He was also a member of the Council of Nine, helping them to secretly shape the politics and the economy of the United States. In 1947 he came in conflict with the SSR's operative Peggy Carter, while at same time trying to recruit Jack Thompson for the Council's cause. He temporarily took control of the SSR's LA branch when Whitney Frost became the leader of the Council of Nine, only to turn against her when when he made a deal with Thompson, Carter, and Daniel Sousa.

Biography

World War II

"I interrogated her after she was captured, in less than twenty four hours she told me everything I wanted to know, and this was an especially persuasive tool."
―Vernon Masters[src]

When the United States Armed Forces captured Ilse Koch, the sadistic wife of Karl-Otto Koch, the Schutzstaffel commandant of the Buchenwald concentration camp, Masters took charge of her interrogation. He tortured her with various tools and in less than 24 hours she told him everything he wanted to know leading to her prosecution.[1]

Recommending Jack Thompson

Vernon Masters heard that a colleague of his had a war hero son named Jack Thompson, who was seeking employment. Master was able to pull strings and got Thompson a job with the Strategic Scientific Reserve's New York Bell Company Office where he worked for Chief Roger Dooley until Dooley's death at the hands of Johann Fennhoff, at which point Thompson became the Chief. Masters remained a strong supporter of Thompson throughout his career.[2]

Arresting Dottie Underwood

VernonMasters-First-Apperence

Masters arrests Dottie Underwood

"You need to start playing the long game here. The SSR is a war time agency and the war is over."
"Am I being fired?"
"Worse, you're becoming irrelevant."
―Vernon Masters and Jack Thompson[src]

When the Strategic Scientific Reserve arrested Dottie Underwood for her many crimes during Johann Fennhoff's Campaign, Masters decided that the FBI should take custody of her. Masters led his team as they stormed into the New York Bell Company where Underwood was being questioned by Chief Jack Thompson, Underwood's handcuffs were removed and despite Thompson's protests, she was taken away while Masters offered no explanation but invited Thompson to join him for a drink.

Masters-Thompson-DinosaurChat

Masters and Jack Thompson discuss the SSR

Masters joined Thompson for a drink as the young Chief continued to complain about losing Underwood after all the work they had put in to arrest her. Masters reminded Thompson about how he had gotten him the job at the SSR in the first place and had been his biggest supporter, Master advised Thompson to start considering the long game as he believed the SSR were becoming irrelevant now that World War II was over. He revealed that Underwood had been trying to steal from powerful figures but he had stopped her.[2]

Covering Up Evidence

VernonMasters-AmericanFlag

Masters and Thompson discuss Isodyne

"If the material that Wilkes stole falls into the wrong hands, it could be disastrous for the United States."
"Well, if the SSR has it, it's in the right hands."
"Don't be a boy scout Jack; I know you understand what I'm saying."
―Vernon Masters and Jack Thompson[src]

Masters traveled to Los Angeles to meet with Jack Thompson regarding a mysterious explosion at the Isodyne Energy Headquarters. Thompson assured him that the documents regarding the incident were very straight forward and Masters assured him that Jason Wilkes had indeed stolen sensitive materials from the lab which he needed to be recovered. Although Thompson expressed his uneasiness about handing over evidence, Masters reminded him of the SSR's upcoming end.

Smoke & Mirrors 5

Masters is given the Zero Matter footage

Meeting Thompson in Chief Daniel Sousa's office, Masters was handed the footage of the Zero Matter explosion which Thompson was uncovered in his investigation. When Masters asked if he had watched it Thompson claimed he did not watch films which do not include Rita Hayworth. As he checked the footage, Masters assured Thompson that he was doing the right thing. Masters explained that while the history books would never remember their meeting, he always would, claiming that he would prefer to give him a medal just for this action. Masters shook Thompson's hand as Thompson claimed that all he ever wanted to do was serve his country.

VernonMasters-Drinking

Masters meets with Calvin Chadwick

Masters took Thompson to the Arena Club an hour before the SSR Chief was due to fly back to New York City, with Thompson noting how pleased his father would be to hear that they were working together. Masters introduced Thompson to Calvin Chadwick, who assured him Isodyne Energy appreciated all the work Thompson had been doing for them. Masters informed Thompson that Chadwick was to become a Senator soon as his rival Anderson had just seceded from the running, leaving Chadwick unopposed in the race and the group shared a laugh over a drink.[3]

The Threat

Smoke & Mirrors 9

Masters disrupts an SSR raid

"A tidal wave is coming Agent Carter, and you are going to have to work very hard to stay afloat."
"I'll manage."
"Maybe so, but your friends could still drown."
―Vernon Masters and Peggy Carter[src]

Having learned that Daniel Sousa's branch of the Strategic Scientific Reserve was preparing to raid the Arena Club having learned of their connection to the Council of Nine, Masters led a team of FBI agents into the Auerbach Theatrical Agency with a cease-and-desist order. While Chief Sousa argued with the agents about the executive order, Masters and Carter withdrew to talk.

Smoke & Mirrors 15

Masters speaks to Peggy Carter

Masters told her that Jack Thompson thought of her as a free-thinker, but Carter felt that he meant it as an insult. She revealed that they had learned from an informant that the Council of Nine was behind events including three deaths and the Wall Street crash of 1929. Masters asked who the informant was, but Carter refused to tell. Masters told her that she needed to be a team player by bringing the informant to him, but Carter continued to refuse. Masters, angered, told Carter that though she may be able to withstand the coming changes, those closest to her might not. He then proceeded to give Sousa the same speech when he also failed to reveal his source.[4]

Protecting the Council

Party1

Masters attends a fundraising party

"Who said 'kill'? That would be wrong, both morally and strategically. Killing makes her a martyr, shines more of a light on her. I need you to destroy the very idea of her, discredit, disgrace and subdue Agent Carter so all this misguided work that she's done becomes unquestionably invalid!"
―Vernon Masters to Jack Thompson[src]

Masters and Jack Thompson attended a Congressional fundraising party for Calvin Chadwick. Masters took time to introduce Thompson to Chadwick and Whitney Frost and they began discussing their views on fighting communism, with Masters commenting on how Thompson had been responsible for capturing Johann Fennhoff during his attack on New York City, before listening as Frost attempted to flirt with Thompson.

Party8

Masters and Thompson discuss Peggy Carter

Masters and Thompson took some time to discuss what a powerful ally Chadwick could become, with Masters pointing out Thomas Gloucester and Mortimer Hayes who could also assist them. They then spoke to Hugh Jones who remembered Thompson from a previous investigation. Jones furiously informed Thompson that Agent Peggy Carter had infiltrated one of Roxxon Oil Corporation's warehouses and stolen parts of an Atomic Bomb. Once Jones had gone, Masters told Thompson that Carter had been disobeying his orders and needed to be reprimanded immediately before she completely humiliated Thompson and the SSR.

VernonMasters-encounters-Underwood

Masters encounters Dottie Underwood

When Masters went to check on a Council of Nine meeting that Chadwick was holding to discuss the Zero Matter research, Masters instead encountered Dottie Underwood, who was leaving the room and attempting to escape the MacArthur Grand Hotel. Underwood mocked Masters, claiming that it was a good party before turning and running for her life. Masters furiously ordered his men to bring Underwood back to him alive. Although Underwood managed to kill one of the men by throwing him through a window and knocked out the other, she was soon found and captured by Thompson.

VernonMasters-NewCouncil

Masters speaks to Hugh Jones

Masters was informed by Hugh Jones that Frost had killed Thomas Gloucester and various other Council-Members, including her husband Chadwick and had now taken over the Council with immediate effect. Masters was both confused and mortified but Jones assured him that he was finding out this news in the best possible way. Jones reiterated that Frost was now calling the shots and ordered Masters to ensure that Frost got what she wanted, which was a box containing the captured Underwood. Jones then left the building, leaving Masters alone to speak to Chief Thompson.

VernonMasters-DestroyPeggyCarter

Masters vows to destroy Peggy Carter

Masters furiously accused Thompson of causing this disaster by failing to control Peggy Carter's actions, as she was also responsible for freeing Underwood from her cell. Losing patience, Masters ordered Thompson to take Carter out; when Thompson insisted that he was unwilling to kill Carter, Masters explained that he did not want her dead but he wanted him to discredit and disgrace Agent Carter so nothing she said could be taken seriously. When Thompson again hesitated, Masters realized that Carter must have dirt on Thompson which was making him so unwilling, questioning if his unwillingness had made unsuited for high command.[5]

Reluctant Orders

VernonMasters-threatens-Dottie

Masters tortures Dottie Underwood

"I know you're as good as dead to Russia, girl without a country, an assassin without a target."
"Then I could find a target?"
"All alone in the world."
―Vernon Masters and Dottie Underwood[src]

Masters took charge of the questioning of Dottie Underwood once she was tied down in a basement. Masters showed off the many tools that he planned to use to torture Underwood while she remained highly confident, so Masters told the story of how he had tortured Ilse Koch, the cruel wife of a Nazi, into confessing her many crimes within twenty-four hours of torture. Masters demanded to know what Peggy Carter wanted but Underwood however claimed to be resistant to pain so Masters resorted to a Truth Serum.

VernonMasters-Discusses-Leviathan

Masters discusses Leviathan

The effects of the drugs did not prove as effective as Masters hoped, with Underwood clearly able to resist the drugs and mocking Masters. Taking a new approach, Masters spoke to Underwood about her time with Johann Fennhoff, noting that she had been forced by Fennhoff to leave Leviathan and now was unable to return, noting that Joseph Stalin would not forgive her. Masters explained that she was now an assassin without a country or target and not a friend in the world. Masters was interrupted when Joseph Manfredi informed him that Frost wanted to speak to him.

Monsters 2

Masters speaks to Joseph Manfredi

Masters stormed upstairs and furiously insisted that he was on the verge of getting Underwood to talk about her work with the SSR, although Frost remained unconvinced. Masters questioned Frost about the need for Manfredi and his Maggia mobsters, but Frost insisted that Manfredi was provided protection and his men followed his orders which she felts Masters' men did not do. They discussed how Isodyne Energy could make new Atomic Bombs but Frost insisted they must be the same as the original test. When Frost revealed her scars while drinking with Manfredi, Masters had to look away before Frost decided to question Underwood personally.[1]

Taking over the SSR

VernonMasters-Sousa-Meeting

Masters has a meeting with Daniel Sousa

"You know what you need, a nice long rest. I'll be taking over SSR LA Operations for the foreseeable future. At least until you're back on your feet."
―Vernon Masters to Daniel Sousa[src]

Under Whitney Frost's orders, Masters traveled to Daniel Sousa's Strategic Scientific Reserve office. While Masters enjoyed a cup of coffee, Sousa spoke to his mother on the phone. Masters questioned if Sousa had enough resources in light of the theft at Roxxon. Masters tasked Sousa with finding the stolen uranium cores from Roxxon's Atomic Bombs. Masters then complimented Sousa, calling him a war hero and suggested that a success here would mean great things for his career.

VernonMasters-takes-over-SSR

Masters takes over the SSR

Believing Sousa to be a threat, Masters had two men assault him in his home. When Sousa arrived in the office the next day with notable injuries, Masters greeted him. Sousa and Masters agreed it must have been a robbery and Masters asked about the Roxxon case, but Sousa insisted they would likely never find the cores. Masters claimed that Sousa needed rest and therefore took charge of the Auerbach Theatrical Agency, despite Sousa's protests. Shortly after taking charge, a phone-call was put through to his office but as soon as he answered, the person calling hung up.[1]

The Edge of Mystery 4

Masters reassures Jack Thompson

As promised, Jack Thompson located a redacted file which linked Peggy Carter to some form of massacre during World War II when she was working for the Special Operations Executive. Although Masters complimented Thompson, claiming he had gone above and beyond in his mission, Thompson remained skeptical, saying that the file may not be valid. Masters however insisted that as it was an official document, it was true regardless of what really happened. They were interrupted when an agent informed him that a call was waiting for him and Masters asked Thompson to wait outside while he spoke to Whitney Frost.

VernonMasters-PeriodicTable

Masters is caught by Jack Thompson

Frost ordered Masters to collect the uranium rods from the Atomic Bombs which were being stored at the SSR lab and bring them to a specific spot in the desert. When Masters did as instructed he was confronted by Thompson who had listened into the conversation, Masters attempted to talk his way out of the situation, promising Thompson a promotion however Thompson instead threatened to pull out his gun. Disappointed by Thompson's reaction, Masters used the Memory Inhibitor to confuse him before escaping with the rods and drive out into the desert to meet with Frost.

Nuclear Test

UnimpressedMasters-Manfredi

Masters is unimpressed by Joseph Manfredi

"Are we ready?"
"Ready."
Whitney Frost and Vernon Masters[src]

Masters assisted Whitney Frost in setting but the Atomic Bomb ready to be dropped at her order, Masters held the trigger and assured her that he was ready when she was. Standing beside Joseph Manfredi, Masters once again silently questioned why the Maggia guards were involved as Manfredi casually compared the atomic explosion to fireworks, causing Masters to roll his eyes.

VernonMasters-ActivatesBomb

Masters activates the Atomic Bomb

Masters watched as the bomb was activated and the rift that was created sucked in Jason Wilkes until it was destroyed by a blast fired from a device. Edwin Jarvis then attempted to kill Frost but he and Peggy Carter were captured by Manfredi's men once it was revealed that Frost survived the explosion due to the Zero Matter inside her. Masters then sent Agent Vega and another Agent to assassinate Daniel Sousa, Jack Thompson and Aloysius Samberly who had activated the weapon which had destroyed the rift, desiring to have no more interference from the SSR.[6]

New Partnership

VernonMasters-JailChat

Masters makes a deal with Jack Thompson

"How do you think his priorities will change? He'll be after us the very next second"
"I know you have a hard time believing this Agent Carter, but I have no interest in you, I won't kill you because I don't have to."
Peggy Carter and Vernon Masters[src]

Masters discovered that Agent Vega had not killed Daniel Sousa, Jack Thompson and Aloysius Samberly as instructed, but had instead arrested only Sousa and Samberly and locked them up in the Auerbach Theatrical Agency. Masters berated Vega before Thompson explained that the Gamma Cannon they had recovered from the scene could be repaired by Samberly. Thompson then pitched the idea that they work together to fix the Canon and use it to finally kill Whitney Frost, which they all agreed upon.

VernonMasters-Punched

Masters is attacked by Peggy Carter

While working in his office, Masters was on the phone when Peggy Carter stormed inside to confront him. Just as Masters greeted Carter and called her resourceful she assaulted him, knocking Masters to the floor and hitting him repeatedly, demanding to know where Thompson and Sousa were. However the two Chiefs ran into the room and pulled Carter off Masters before explaining the situation to her and saying that he was integral to their operation. Masters meanwhile pulled himself up from the floor and insulted Carter by furiously calling her insane for attacking her superior so violently.

VernonMasters-DiscussesPlan

Masters discusses his new plans

While Samberly repaired the Cannon, Carter continued to question their plan as she refused to trust Masters as she believed he wished to kill them all. Masters however insisted that this was not the case as he had no interest in killing her as he knew that they all had enough dirt on one another that if one tried to stop the other, then they would all pay the price. Carter agreed and they discussed their plan, with Masters noting that Frost needed the Cannon now, so they agreed to send Thompson to distract Frost until the Cannon could be repaired.

VernonMasters-SilverTongue

Masters compliments Jack Thompson

Much to the surprise of everyone, Thompson did return having convinced Frost to wait for the Cannon; when Masters complimented Thompson on his success, Thompson noted that he should not be underestimated. Once Samberly had loaded the final pieces for the Cannon onto the truck, Masters agreed that he should be the one to bring it to Frost with Thompson coming with him for backup. The group confirmed their plan and Masters got inside the van and drove to Frost's base while the rest of the team followed behind.[7]

Betrayed

VernonMasters-FrostTrap

Masters tries to kill Whitney Frost

"That boy can't help you, Whitney; he hasn't got the juice! I've got the connections!"
"Your connections are going to find themselves facing a similar fate, Vernon. I'm remaking the world in my image, and I'm starting with you. Why are you smiling?"
"Cause they got you too, bitch!"
―Vernon Masters and Whitney Frost[src]

Masters and Jack Thompson arrived that Whitney Frost's base with the Gamma Cannon and Masters proceeded to explain how it worked, with Frost explaining that she intended to use it to draw the Zero Matter out of Jason Wilkes' body. Masters then volunteered to show Frost how the Canon worked, attempting to aim it at her and kill her. However before he could, Frost moved the Canon aside and revealed that Thompson was now working for her as he drew his gun and threatened Masters.

VernonMasters-Betrayed-Surrender

Masters is betrayed by Jack Thompson

As Masters was forced onto his knees at gunpoint, he pleaded with Thompson to reconsider, noting that if they went against Frost now they could still run the country together. Frost however claimed that all Masters did his entire life was answer to men more powerful and respected than him. Although Thompson called Masters his second father, he explained that he had learned never to let a good chance pass him by and therefore he left Masters and Frost alone so his mentor and father-figure could be absorbed with Zero Matter.

VernonMasters-ZeroMatter-Torture

Masters is tortured by Whitney Frost

Frost began to choke Masters, slowly absorbing him with Zero Matter while Masters tried to convince her that he was still a more worthwhile ally than Thompson due to his connections. Frost however refused to listen, claiming that she would soon be remaking the world in her own image. Masters began laughing when he saw that a bomb had been left on the Gamma Cannon, telling Frost that she had been betrayed too. Suddenly, Wilkes stormed into the room moments before the Zero Matter inside him overloaded and exploded.[7]

Personality

This section requires expansion
"Why are you smiling?"
"Because they got you too, bitch!"
Whitney Frost and Vernon Masters[src]

To be added

Abilities

This section requires expansion
  • Master Tactician:

Relationships

Allies

Enemies

Appearances

In chronological order:

References

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