Personal Issues

February 07, 2016:

Audrey confronts Deathstroke about kidnapping Simmons.

The Resolve

The inter dimensional home of the Authority.


NPCs: Peabody

Mentions: Simmons, Aspect


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Audrey comes and goes. Not so often as to be a drain on the resources of the Resolve, but she made it clear when she joined that she wasn't going to be tied to this place like a prisoner, and she's held to it. What it is she does when she goes out is…less obvious. Despite her relative security, she still travels like she did when she was on the streets. Avoiding cameras, swapping out burner phones, and disguising her features most of the time. They're good habits, and not ones that Slade's encouraged her to drop, either.

This time when she comes back, gear bag over her shoulder, she's as quiet as ever. Her clothes are clean, and her hands are relatively clean, but there's still blood around and under her nails. You can never quite get it all out in the first wash. And for once, instead of simply heading for her quarters, she actually seeks the man out.

Deathstroke is where he usually is, training, this time he seems to be flowing through some form of brutal short fist style of martial arts, but with large weights dangling from his wrists, ankles, elbows, and strapped to his torso. It doesn't seem to be overly effecting him unless one counts the perspiration.

"Sir." Audrey sets her bag down, standing in the doorway as she watches. Always watching. Always thinking. To someone less self-assured than Deathstroke, it might be unsettling. "We've got a SHIELD problem." For all her independence, there's still something of a soldier's attention to the way she stands there.

Deathstroke would call it professionalism, "We always have a SHIELD problem." he says simply, "But it's never as big as people make it out to be." his hands and elbows go through a series of vicious strikes that would maim the limbs of someone trying to defend against them. "Report." he says simply, assuming that's why she's here.

"Whatever your ties were in SHIELD, the Simmons kidnapping's put a serious strain on them," Audrey reports, still watching him. "They've given Trent free rein to come after you. Which he plans to do through your team, since you've got such a stellar reputation yourself. Send a message." The report doesn't end there. "They've got leaks. Someone's been going after SHIELD agents already. Goes by MoonDark, set up an ambush in Mexico for Cap and his team, apparently under the orders of a not so dead Baron Zemo. It sounds like they're not sure if you're tied to this leak or not. But Trent's taking it personally either way. Also, there's more Simmons knows about the creatures."

Deathstroke continues through the motions, "Trent is an upstart with delusions of granduer." he says calmly as he moves first slowly, then in an explosions of short fast strikes, the weights bouncing about on his limbs, "Whatever Zemo is up to it's of no concern to us, though the promise of leaks sounds intriguing." he says softly. "I do have a few questions however. For starters, how would Trent know who's on my team? We're not public and our roster is silent, no one knows we exsist." Not /entirely/ true, but it's not that far from true either.

"He doesn't. Which is why he called me, to see if I'd heard anything." Audrey gives that a moment to set in, then picks back up before he has to press for more information. "I told him I knew you, and how we'd met. That I doubted you were going after SHIELD or were working for whatever you were asking about, since there wasn't likely any profit in it. That if you'd wanted her dead, she'd be dead."

Deathstroke continues the motions, "I thought I was rather restrained," he points out, "I didn't even give her rope burn." It's not his fault that she's weak, if anything that's Trent's fault. If you care about someone you make certain they can take care of themselves. He'd marvel at the idiocy of people who didn't see that but honestly it's so rare that he's just come to accept it. "Feel free to open up lines of communication again if you like. Let him know I have no interest in SHIELD or its petty squabbles. I'm hunting bigger game." He leaps, despite wearing nearly four hundred pounds in weights, and a snap kick turns a telephone pole sized log into a thousand bits of hurteling shrapnel. He lands with a thunk and frowns down at the floor, his eye narrowing in rage. He made a noise when he landed. Unacceptable. "Don't tell him about our various targets or enemies. His agency is a sieve and always has been, I'd prefer our purpose not be known. If he feels like sharing the rest of Simmon's intel that's fine, it would save me the trouble of having to fetch it again." He uses his teeth to retie the weight on his wrist, "Feel free to say that in a more diplomatic manner." he adds with a shrug. It's his way of being polite, offering to let them just /tell/ him what he wants to know so he doesn't have to run about potentially hurting people.

"Oh," he glances her way, "and you might remind him how effective I am at this sort of work. The more information I have, the more effective I'll be." he retakes his stance, "It would be best if all your communications led him to believe I was doing this alone, that there was no team and our affiliation was merely tiertiary. It will keep the rest of you safer longer."

"It would help if I knew what you were going after," Audrey points out, tone neutral. "What's the connection between the tech thing we found in Africa, the ship's restructuring, and shape-shifting dimension traveling aliens? What were you hoping to learn from her?"

Deathstroke eyes her again, "No," he says simply, "it wouldn't. The less you know the less you can give away. You're scout trained, you know the drill. If I tell you what to ask about, you tell the enemy what we seek, which is knowledge they don't need and allows them to withold potentially vital intel. Ask them nothing in particular and they're more likely to give up more then they would have before." He lets out a slow breath and gives up on the form to face her, weights swinging, "I didn't learn what I had hoped to." he admits, "But that does not mean I didn't learn anything of value. I have…" his words trail off and he sighs, deciding to give up on training for the time, his teeth gnawing free the knot he just tightened, "peices of a puzzle." He finishes after releasing the weight and tossing it aside with a flick of his wrist. He begins working on the others, "Something vast, bigger then anyone else suspects. I can see the edges of it, I can make out the shapes in the shadows it casts, but the details elude me." he tosses another weight aside, "I've felt this feeling before and things ended-" he seems almost troubled, "poorly when I finally put it all together. I'm better at this now, seeing all the players, the moves, figuring out the game, but I still need enough pieces to do it."

"You also know intel's useless in a vacuum. Sir." Audrey steps inside to pick up the weights, setting them back on a shelf neatly wrapped. "I get that you're better at this than most people. But that doesn't preclude the possibility that someone else might have something useful to offer. Some piece of the puzzle. If you only use puzzle pieces you can get to yourself, you risk not being able to put it all together until it's too late. Again."

Deathstroke's eye narrows, "I'm not better." he says flatly, "I'm the best." the difference is important, though after a long stare he does offer a small nod on concession, she's not completely wrong after all. "On the other hand," he says eyeing her, "any intel I keep to myself doesn't end up in the hands of the enemy… as apparently SHIELD is just handing out it's information left and right." he pauses, "Like it always does." You know who was good at keeping secrets? Stormwatch. You know how you know that? Because SHIELD and The Authority are currently raiding Stormwatch looking for answers two decades old. Now /that's/ how you keep a damned secret… usually under a pile of corpses, but still. He's quiet for a long moment, "You want to say something Audrey so say it plainly. Can't promise I won't dismiss it out of hand, but I will at least listen." it's not the Army (for all it's militarization) and he's not her old commanders (for all his similarities).

"Keep secrets from other agencies. Stop keeping them from your team." Audrey sets one of the weights down, turning back to him. "If you'd said beforehand that you were going after Simmons, I could've gone in and gotten the full report from her without anyone thinking twice about it. No blowback from SHIELD. No telling them what we're up to. No traumatizing her. No putting the rest of us in danger when someone takes offense to what happened. You're right, sir. You're the best. You're the best because you do what's most effective, regardless of what it is. Impersonal. What went down with Simmons? That wasn't what was most effective. Somewhere this got personal. And that's fine. You're human. More or less. But if you don't admit that it's personal and you don't account for it having an effect, then you're going to make mistakes, and you're not going to be the one that gets hurt for it."

Deathstroke goes still. Not like other people when they go still, no, those people still seem to have hearts that beat and chests that rise and fall as they breath, minute adjustments in their bodies that allow them to remain standing with the unconscious adeptations to shifting weight. When Slade goes still he goes still like a corpse, like a stone statue, he goes so still there's a wrongness to it that the brain tries to classify as 'other'. Ever get that feeling you're locked in a room with the world's deadliest assassin and you went and got all personal in his shit and he's unhappy about it?


Then he lets in a breath and his skin seems to studder with a heartbeat and he sways almost imperceptibly as he readjusts his balance unconsciously and the wrongness is gone. For Audrey the moment lasted a pair of seconds, maybe three, in Slade's mind he burned through minutes. "That," he says slowly, his voice a low rumble, "is a fair assessment." Sooooo… that's what it sounds like when Slade says 'you were right'.

When Deathstroke freezes, so does Audrey. She's spent enough time around him to know that shift. And she's spent enough time training with him to be able to echo it. It's useful when you're doing surveillance. The human eye is drawn by movement. And it's useful, if you're going to disappear, not to give any hint of which way you'll be moving once you're invisible.

When he moves again, she lets out the faintest breath, stepping away from the shelf. "Trent'll call again. Simmons offered to give me the briefing. I'll wait for them to contact me and see what they've got."

Deathstroke continues to stare at her, unblinking, then he nods once. He doesn't say anything to accompany the motion, just the nod. It's enough. "Gather the rest of the team," he says as he turns his back on her and walks over to the wall where his enormous sword awaits him. He reaches out and takes up the hilt, "I suppose it's time I tell all of you my suspicions." which also sounds a little bit like 'you were right' in Sladespeak.

In a whisper on Lux's coms Peabody's voice comes through, <holyshitthatwassooooooawesome!> and then silence.

Audrey is so not going to respond to Peabody. Not even close. Aside from the glance to the monitor, full of: Dude, shut up before you ruin it. "Yes, sir," she nods once to Deathstroke, turning and picking up her bag at the doorway.

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