Welcome, Recruits

February 14, 2016:

Dead Drop Rho - SHIELD, Jericho and Audrey head into the Canadian wilderness and find … something surprising

Canadian Wildnerness


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

In the end it had been easier to fly.

Not quicker mind you. Jaunts through Limbo generally cut a lot of time off these kinds of things but Jericho hadn't really wanted to drag three other people through that place. Not the way it is now. So flying it was. As promised and honestly because he thinks they'll need the help, he'd contacted Audrey when he'd made the arrangements with Jemma and May for the flight out.

The site to the dead drop is in the Canadian Shield, a rugged expanse of wilderness consisting of old granite mountains and lots of trees and snow. Rugged doesn't even begin to describe it. Nor does isolated. Very few live out here, which makes it the perfect place to hide something. The site itself is unsuited to landing really any kind of aircraft. Even a small one. The best that could be done was a few miles away. They've been hiking for some time, following a GPS signal toward the appropriate coordinates with handsets or, in Jericho's case, in his head. Ah the benefits of being weird. The hacker is dressed for the cold. He looks like he's comfortable in it to. He's not… very heavily armed either. Blade case and a sidearm is about it at the moment.

Audrey hasn't had any complaints through the hike. Appropriately geared up for both cold weather and potential combat, she's kept up with the rest without any signs of suffering. For someone who's been staying off the grid, she's really in excellent physical condition. Amazing what happens when you're not malnourished from living on the streets. As they walk, she keeps an eye on the horizon, ready to throw a veil over the group if needed should they run into any interference.

Melinda May is at the back of the odd little group, having let Jericho take the lead (he doesn't have to hold a GPS in his hands) so that she could also keep an eye on the other two members of this little excursion. She's also dressed for the cold but doesn't seem any more armed than is usual. Which to anyone who knows her means she's carrying a decent arsenal hidden in her clothing.

Out of all them, Jemma is likely the least suited to this type of activity. Spending more time researching and experimenting than anything else. Still, she keeps fit - Jericho and Audrey had tried to help with that - and is weathering the hike, reasonably well.

Dressing for the cold is something she's fairly used to, being British and all, with the grey scarf that May insisted she wear around her neck.

As to armed? The british biochem has a sidearm … and she's left her Security Detail behind. What could possibly go wrong out here?

After what seems like forty five minutes or so of hiking (it was a pretty brisk pace) Jericho holds up a hand to signal a halt. The place doesn't look like much. It's an expanse of snow and trees that's visually indistinguishable from the expanse of snow and trees for miles around. The hacker had been expecting that part. What he had not been expecting…

"I'm getting an active network signal. Just came up. It's up ahead somewhere." Which means either someone has set up some kind of portable transmitter or there's power around somewhere. The snow is fairly thick here but hasn't fallen for a few days and there aren't any tracks. Not even animal tracks. Which seems to argue against anyone else having been here recently.

Up ahead, by one of the trees, there's what looks like a trio of military storage boxes. Of the group, Audrey will be the most familair with them and it's she who'll probably pick them out first. The kinds of boxes normally used to store ammunition but they're sturdy and sealable so they're good for all kinds of things. More interestingly, all three of them seem to have some kind of electronic lock.

May and Jemma, with the SHIELD tech, will note something else too. That network signal? It matches the signals from their operations in Baghdad and London. It's not a daemonite signal. It's something else.

"You sound surprised." Audrey quirks a brow at Jericho, chin tipping up as she looks toward the boxes. "Doesn't look like anyone's been here, though. Since the snow fell, at least. Can you access a weather report, see how long since it came down?" She crouches lower once they've come to a stop, not quite taking cover but ready to if needed.

Melinda May lets Jemma be the one to check the weather. For her own part, she pulls a sidearm from a holster hidden inside her jacket, then looks over Jemma's shoulder at her scanning equipment. "That's not a SHIELD frequency."

Jemma glances down as the monitor on her wrist starts beeping and spends a few moments reading the data, turning slowly to see if the signal waxes or wanes as she does, even as May looks over her shoulder.

"That's the same signal we saw out of Baghdad and London, the one that had the emergency signal go out … " she sounds a little concerned about it - the guardians in London had been rather nasty.

As to weather? She googles it … although Jericho's likely just thought about it and has the results already.

"A little bit…" Jericho nods to Audrey's question. "Mmmm, let's see. Four days ago was the last snowfall. So it's been a minute. Signal's weak. Like it's distant or… underground." Jericho gives the others the 'spread out' signal, sighting the boxes Audrey points out.

"Mmmmm. Now this is interesting. Hang on."

The locks are pretty solid but Jericho has a couple of ideas about how they can be bypassed. "Okay… got it."

The click of the locks opening one by one triggers a sudden mechanical noise. Something heats up beneath the snow about five feet away and moments later a vaguely humanoid projection springs into being. It's features, even gender are uncertain but its definitely human-like if not entirely human. "Agents. Welcome. Please submit your identification and voice print for access to the data center."

Even the voice is kind of androgynous. As for the boxes themselves? There's nothing inside. Opening the locks was apparently a trigger for some kind of security authentication system. Whether or not the projection is aware of them it is certainly looking at each of them in turn.

Audrey is so not speaking for SHIELD. She's pretty sure they don't even have a real file on her, let alone anything that would grant her access to a secure location. And so far as she knows, Trent's not likely to have that sort of access, either. Which is why she looks first to May, stepping to the side. Simmons is an agent, but she's a lab agent. And there's no doubt May's likely to have the highest clearance. She doesn't say anything, careful not to register a false reading with the projection.

Melinda May watches their surroundings warily as Jericho works on the locks, and when the projection appears she allows herself only a second of surprise. "Melinda May." She adds something in Mandrin that coudl well have been an insult. Difficult to tell.

Agents? Jemma peers at the hologram, fascinated. Did it really mean SHIELD Agents? As far a Jemma knows, this doesn't look like SHIELD tech … and the projection is looking at each of them in turn.

"Doctor Jemma Simmons" she decides to err on the safe side of things. If they were entering any other secure facility, she'd be require to authenticate after all .

"Accessing. Error, unable to establish connection with Khera Prime Information Network. Defaulting to local settings. Error, primary information failsafes offline. Entering maintenance mode. Voice print unrecognized. No Melinda May on file. Creating new record. Standby for biometrics scan." A beam of light lances out to play over May from head to toe. "Registering Doctor Jemma Simmons. Creating new record. Standby for biometrics scan." And then the same thing happens to Jemma.

"Welcome, recruits. This facility has not been serviced in Five Hundred and Thirty Nine days. Operator level maintenance needed. Please proceed inside the data-drop. Observe all standard operating proceedures. Information Security Protocol Alpha is in effect."

Whatever all that means there's a shift in the snow and a sound of hydralics operating as a section of the woodland floor just sinks down, becoming in short order a staircase.

"So… that's fun…" Jericho mutters as he stands and the projection winks out. "Maintenance mode, mmm?" The hacker heads on down the stairs, drawing his sidearm as he does.

Turns out his caution is not required. After a sharp right turn and a short hallway the 'facility' turns out to be a single octagonal room. The walls are covered with screens and monitors and there's a single data station and what looks like a large server style mainframe which is operational. The moment the first person enters the room the lights come on and the work station flickers to life. "Acessing archives. Welcome recruits. This data drop will serve as your primary informational resource. In order to maximize security against possible enemy intrusions, this station is equipped to recieve data only. Any efforts to trace back to the source will result in the destruction of this station and its data. Be vigilant, as our enemy knows no limits. Standing by for questions."

Jericho quirks an eyebrow and glances to the other three woman then walks over to the server stack. He'll let them ask questions while he looks over the hardware.

As the scanner comes out, Audrey winks into invisibility. There's no being sure how it works or what it runs on, but she's not taking her chances. Invisible, she follows the others below, trying to get a look at things without being tracked by whatever is running this place. She'll be quiet until she has a better idea of what they've walked into.

Melinda May looks around the room but stays roughly in the center, letting Jericho and Jemma deal with the computers. She'll answer questions as they come up, though. If she can. And Audrey… where did Audrey go? She frowns ever so faintly and turns to look at Jericho.

"Recruits? Khera Prime?" Jemma glances to May, eyes widening as Audrey winks out, and follows the trio into the room. Audrey might get some questions about that … later. For now, Jemma's in tech heaven.

An interesting way to distribute information … "Who is the enemy?" Jemma asks "and how does one perform 'operator level maintenance'?" She might as well try.

Jericho glances back, also briefly surprised when he doesn't see Audrey. May sees his eyes flick red for a moment and… ah, no, she's still with them. Audrey himself will notice him glance where she is and chuckle quietly to himself. Well, can't fault the woman for caution.

"The enemy is the Daemonite race. You may have encountered them in your lives prior to your induction into the global resistance against their presence. Our goal, and the goal of our leader, is to eliminate the Daemonite presence from the globe by any means necessary. This is expected to be a long term operation as reinforcements from elsewhere are presently unavailable."

Jericho speaks quietly next. "The computer system is a hybrid. Local tech combined with something I've never seen before. Looks similar to systems I've worked on for Hawkgirl though. Pretty advanced whatever it is. It's running some kind of… embedded AI and pulling off a database it has stored locally that's petabytes in size. It's huge, seriously. I'm detecting a one way information link as it mentioned earlier but it appears to be dormant. My guess is this place was abandoned for some reason." There's another pause.

"I'm also not presently detecting any recording or security. I think this site was supposed to be entirely black. Secrecy was its biggest defense. It's sustained some damage and data corruption which is probably why the computer security protocols are fritzing. Lucky us. It thinks we're authorized to be asking it questions."

"Which also means it'll think the next person to show up is authorized to ask it questions, including about the people who stopped in here," Lux points out in a low tone at Jericho's observation. Or rather, the disembodied voice from the position she usually takes does. "Who's our leader?" she asks, raising her voice enough to be heard.

Nodding her agreement with Audrey, she doesn't protest the question the woman poses to the comptuer. It's a good question, honestly. Though, she does add to it. "And where on this planet does our leader currently use as a base of operations?"

"It also means that this information is dated. By potentially five hundred and thirty nine days." Jemma notes, looking in the direction of the disembodied voice. So, Audrey can be heard but not seen… "Are you able to download the database, Jericho? Petabytes …" she shakes her head.

"Who forms the Global Resistance?" the biochem is assuming that this is human network … well people of earth although Jericho's comment about Hawkgirls tech has her wondering a little. She'd really like to get her hands on that …. tech.

"Point." Jericho nods to Audrey and then to Simmons. "Which is why we strip what we can and then wreck the place before turning it over to the Canadian authorities. They'll want to know anyway and it gives us another group of people to watch for odd reactions." Besides which they will, hopefully, not have left anything behind that can be used against them. "I'm working on seeing what I can get, Simmons. It's a lot of Data."

"Senior Officer File: Codename Leonidas. Actual Name: Redacted. Leonidas has been leading the global resistance against the Daemonite infestation for decades. He is well versed in Anti-Daemonite strategy and tactics. To protect him and the global resistance as a whole, his true identity is kept secret. Error. Corrupted file. Partial read. Leonidas has been active in the human intelligence and business communities since the middle of the Vietnam War. His previous activities and origins indicate extensive contact with Daemonites prior to that time. Error. Unable to establish data link. Leonidas' present location is unknown."

There's a pause from the AI. "Cross referencing: Gobal Resistance. The Terran Liberation Front is a network of agents and operatives established by Leonidas to eradicate the Daemonite Menace. Its recurits are hand selected by Leonidas himself and consist of individuals with key skills or security threatening experiences concerning the Daemonites."

Jericho frowns and speaks up now. "Why was this location abandoned?"

"This location was made dormant after the massacre of the Northern Canadian Cell eighteen months ago. You have been recruited to replace them."

"Well that explains that, doesn't it…"

"Vietnam?" Audrey tilts her head, quietly mulling that over. Who does she know who's been involved in recruiting people since Vietnam? Well, there's Deathstroke. There's another potentially awkward conversation. But it's a moot point at the moment. Get the important information first. "What's the most effective way to stop the daemonites?"

Another good question. Maybe May should have just stuck to being the soccer mom ferrying all the cool kids around. She does find it interesting that the leader's code name would be taken from Earth historical military figures. "As of eighteen months ago, how many resistance cells were there around the planet?"

"Leonidas" Jemma's a little amused. "Warrior King of Sparta. I guess we've all just become Spartans…" Excellent questions from Audrey and May, Jemma thinks for a moment. "What and Where is Khera Prime?" Yes, she might be getting a little off topic, but it prove useful.

The mention of a massacre has the biochem wincing. She'll get to that in a moment. "I know, Jericho. I sometimes get ahead of myself. Drives Fitz mad usually."

"Leonidas died fending off an invasion." Jericho notes wryly as he continues to work on the server hardware. If the AI notices him doing so, it makes no mention of the fact.

"Daemonites are incredibly resiliant physical beings with immense psychic prowess." The AI tells Audrey. "Thus far the most effective weapon observed against them in terrestrial environments involves Ninth Metal alloys, however these are not considred viable due to the scarcity of that material and its tendency to upset its owners. Conventional means of stopping them involve applications of metahuman class or vehicle scale weaponry. Physically, they can be combatted. The greater danger lies in their infiltration abilities, which are unmatched. Extremely fragmented cell network structure has proven the only method workable for maintaining information security in the fight against them."

May's question is apparently easier. "At last census there were one hundred and sixty four active resistance cells and five special projects cells. Error. Unable to update listings. Error. Daemonite counteroffensive suspected to be in progress."

The gaze turns to Jemma now. "That information is classified." So… no infomration on that. At least, not at this stage.

"What is Nth metal? Where does it come from? Who are they owners, and why does using it upset them? And why does it work on the daemonites?" Audrey is young, but she's trained as a soldier and a spy, and apparently…some natural curiosity is a part of that. Although, to be fair, she's been keeping her own counsel and staying silent about a lot of questions for a long time lately. Might as well get some of them out.

"Can you give me the locations of any other outposts as of eighteen months ago?" May knows that it'll be outdated information, but it's better than nothing, and it might help them start to find potential allies.

Jemma looks at where Audrey's disembodied voice comes from. She wants to hear what the AI has to say.

The information on the Daemonites is what she's coming to understand. "Counteroffensive? That could well be the secret war we've been warned about." Seems the four of them have stumbled on 'the enemy of their enemy'. Good thing? or bad?

"Do you have any biological data on the Daemonites? Physiology?" Whilst she's got one complete one on ice, examining it has proven … challenging, that's the word she'll use there. Getting hard data to compare against the physical speciman, will make things move a little more quickly.

"Ninth Metal is a transuranic element with known anti-baryonic and anti-esoteric properites." The AI replies. Further study is difficult as the primary source is on a world populated by warlike and hostile beings." So its not an element native to earth. Interesting. "There are some theories that it may be alive, though the difficulty of study makes this impossible to confirm."

Now May's question gets a go. The AI 'fitzs' as Jericho works on some of the connections and scans the internal storage. "The next nearest cell is in White Plains, as of last census. Contact number displaying." Of course, because the cell network is what it is, there are no names attached. Only a contact number that probably belongs to a burner phone. Limiting contact between cells is integral to an arrangemetn like this. It's a place to start, though.

"Daemonite Biological Studies are accessable through the archives." A mass of data appears on one of the screens, not all of which is readable, either due to being corrupted or in another language.

"I can pull that Simmons. We'll have a look at it, see if it tells us anything we didn't already know." He's not sure it will but can't hurt to look.

"Sub-atomic and anti-magical, with a possible sentient property," Audrey summarizes to herself, voice quiet. "So we might have luck with other anti-magic weapons. Otherwise you'd need very specific tech. Probably something you'd find in the Baxter Building." Still invisible, she moves quietly around the room, looking for anything out of place. "What is the daemonite end game?" she asks, raising her voice again.

Melinda May makes a mental note of the contact phone numbers, knowing Jericho has likely also recorded them. His memory is way better than hers for that. Then, another question comes to mind. "What are the most effective ways to defend against the Daemonites' psionic attacks?"

Simmons looks over to where Audrey was, head tracking at the voice moves. The woman is rather knowledgeable, it seems. "Why does Ninth metal upset the owners? And by owners, do you mean the warlike and hostile beings or … those who come into possession of it?" Of course, the most telling question is yet to come.

"Thank you, Jericho." Jemma watches the data stream on the screens "I may need assistance in decoding that. Fitz is going to be cranky he's missing this."

"High level anti psychic conditioning is the best way to protect against Daemonite attacks." The AI intones. "However, in most cases, it is also necessary to be ready to terminate an infiltrated cell member. Constant vigilance is necessary to ensure that the daemonites do not compromise our network." In other words, if you think your friend has been compromised… kill him.

Jericho tries not to track Audrey too obviously. He's working on the hardware anyway and can't spare the attention to keep flipping to thermals and looking around for her. He trusts the woman not to put a knife in his back. He wouldn't have asked her along if he didn't.

The room is fairly bare. Spartan, almost, ironically. There are large screens on the upper halves of each of the walls of the octagon except for the one they entered through. The console sits in the center of and appears to get it's power through conduits in the floor. Ditto for the server. The walls are made out of some kind of… titanium like metal. Jemma and May might recognize them from the two other facilities they've raided. Audrey might recognize it from…

Well lets just say from somewhere else. There's a grain to it though, a feel to it, that's very, very familair. Not the same, of course. It's blended with titanium and alloyed with earth metals, clearly, but… it's similar.

To a close observer there are signs of a fight. Spent shell casings in one of the corner and a powder burn on a wall behind the server. Both of them old. Odd. If there was a firefight in here where are the dents or bullet holes. Good guess that the massacre of the Northern Canadian cell took place fairly close to here.

"The Daemonite ultimate goal is conquest and destruction. It is for this reason that Leonidas established the Global Resistance. Our efforts to fight them continue as work progresses on contacting Higher for the resources necessary to purge them outright."

Jemma gets the regard of the AI which seems to almost shrug. "Ninth Metal is a sacred material to the people of Thanagar. They take its use by beings outside their race extremely… poorly."

"Conquest and destruction isn't a goal, it's a method," Audrey mutters, crouching to get a closer look at the shell casings, brushing her fingertips against the wall. Well. That explains why the Resolve went nuts. And really doesn't help the possible Leonidas theory. "Who or what or where is Higher?"

Melinda May looks at Jemma when the AI says that the Nth Metal is sacred to the Thanagarians. That Prince Hol actually loaned some to Jemma to study is … telling. She steps over to talk with Trent quietly. "Can you lock this system down to keep others from accessing it?"

"The Thanagarians?" Jemma looks between May and Jericho. That the metal was sacred, was certainly a thing. That Ninth Metal was Nth Metal … was another. That the Thanagarian take the use of the metal by beings outside their race, poorly? Jemma blanches. But Prince Hol, gave her the sample, right?

"You said primary source for the metal. Are there others? Are there any places on earth?"

"Higher represents the forces arrayed against the Daemonite campaign of conquest. Leonidas believed it may one day be possible to enlist their aid. Further information on Higher is classifed with special projects cells and not available to this database." The AI sounds almost apologetic that it can't provide the information Audrey is asking for.

"I am sorry, Recruit Doctor Jemma Simmons. I do not have the available scanning resources to locate Ninth Metal deposits." Though that does suggest in theory someone does or at least someone knows it can be done.

"I know who does. But we'll have to talk to Shayera or Katar to find out." Jericho says aloud as May comes over to him. Hearing her question he shakes his head. "I can try. I've got some pretty clever locks and you know I code fairly… uniquely. But really I'd prefer to grab the hardware and data and blow this place to hell. Or call in a wrecking crew. I know a good one." Odds are good he doesn't mean men in hard hats with sledge hammers. "We can always share with anyone who needs to know. Your call though. I know you and Simmons have been working on this one pretty hard."

The hacker glances up, looking at an empty spot in the room (or so it seems to Simmons and May) as his eyes glow red again.

"There are a lot of questions we haven't asked," Audrey muses at Jericho's suggestion. "Ones we might not even know yet that we need to ask. We blow this place, the answers are gone. Don't blow it. Trap it." She straightens from the shell casings, looking back to Jericho. "Add surveillance, add something to shut the place down. If something comes in and sets off the trap, then we get an idea what we're up against. And a chance to get more info. If nothing does, we can come back when we need it."

Melinda May says, "Besides," May adds to Audrey's protest as she reaches to knock lightly on the wall. "This alone would make the location worth keeping intact." Just the thought of a quinjet that would HEAL its own injuries…"

Jemma nods to Jericho. "I can try and contact Prince Hol. Please don't destroy this, Jericho - it's too valuable." It's a problem, she knows … and scorched earth is often a good strategy. But Audrey and May has the right of it.

"I'd like to bring a Science team up here. Study it more, see what we can learn from … all of it." Of course Jemma, would.

"I think you're all forgetting that I can - and will - put that entire database in my cortex." Even if Jericho can't read it all he can at least take it all. Finding somewhere else to put it might be a trick but he'll work something out. His tone suggests that he really thinks leaving this thing intact is a bad idea. But… if the others really want to run the risk of leaving this place for examination thats their call. And since all three do, lets just say he asked them along for a reason. May and Audrey both know the stakes for games like this and Simmons is likely to know if there's anything here of a non digital nature that bears further examination.

"Alright. I'll lock the AI down and put in a manacode encryption if you guys really insist. May, how much access to you need to the site without me?" Because that determines how many surprises he leaves for anyone who isn't supposed to be here. And what kinds.

"You don't even know where this came from. Don't put alien tech inside your brain, you'll catch techno-herpes or daemongitis or something." It's probably a good thing that no one can see Audrey's expression when she says that. The strength of the eye roll alone would injure someone. "Besides, we don't know how much this facility's functioning as a translator for the information. It'd be pretty embarrassing if you downloaded it all only to find out you didn't get the rosetta stone to go with it."

"I have to agree with Audrey. I don't like the thought of you filling your brain with this outpost's data." It makes May think of navigational charts and a brain … leaking. Is there a way to just … disable the access point, or maybe change its recognition…" She stops abruptly and turns to the AI. "I am the new leader of this outpost and I need to reset the security locks. How do I do that?"

"Exactly." Jemma turns to hide a small smile at Audrey's comments. The woman has wicked sense of humour.

As May speaks, she falls silent. All she wants is a chance to examine this place better.

That actually makes Jericho chuckle. "I think I'm okay on that front. Got my own personal-" There's a flicker near Jericho and a blue hologram that looks rather like his wolf-armor appears beside him, only it's about two feet tall and moving on its own rather than moving with Jericho. It sniffs a bit, moves in that sort of 'half on all fours' kind of gait associated with apes and peers up at Jemma and May without seeming to see Audrey. "And there he is. Knew we were talking about you, eh?"

"I appreciate the concern but having backups of this kind of thing is always good. And I can read it. In fact the only reason I'm reading it now is because a certain alien woman let me crawl around inside her ship and poke at it. I had to piece through two different languages to get this far, believe it or not." He sighs. "You would not believe the favor I owe for that one."

"Access codes are controlled by voice print and visual authentication. Resetting appropriate command protocols…" The AI Starts.

"Yeah, I've got that, there, Cortanna." Jericho mutters as he starts to work. "I can make it so that it'll only respond to a very specific network ID key. Or I can make it so that it'll only react to my presence. Just depends on whether or not you think you'll need to be here without me. Which is good to know in either case, since booby trapping the place is not at all a bad idea and I need to know how nasty to make it."

Jemma gets a look and a roll of the eyes. Scientists. At least Audrey is thnking of things tactically. Techno-herpes makes him snicker again, though, when he thinks of it. His next custom virus for HYDRA's consumption is getting called that.

"That's…" Creepy. But it's rude to call someone's random currently symbiotic case of techno-herpes creepy, so Audrey says nothing instead, moving back toward the exit. "Is there anything else you need now, Dr. Simmons?"

As the digital construct appears, Jemma startles and then becomes rather interested in it. "What … is this?" She shouldn't ask, she knows she shouldn't but really …

Audrey's voice brings her out of her musings though "Uh, not right now, thank you, Audrey. I'll bring a team back here though and investigate further. It really is rather fascinating."

"I expect that I'll want to spend time here. Will you be able to babysit me, everytime, Jericho?" She knows he's busy and hard to get hold of. And who knows where her own investigations will take her?

Melinda May tilts her head at the odd new little construct, but doesn't otherwise comment. She doesnt' want to distract Jericho from resetting the security protocols. "Set it to allow each of us access separately but no one else." Yes, Audrey, May just put the onus of trust on you. You'd better prove you're worth the trust that's been given.

"Alright. I'll craft an entry key for each of you." Jericho nods. "Take me the better part of a day but I'll get it to you all. Audrey, contact you through the usual channels? I assume you still want to be kept up on this when we follow up on the other potential cells… if they're still alive." And whatever data they glean from this place. That's a given.

"So no on the C4 firebombs, then." Jericho smirks. "Get back inside Maxwell." The construct vanishes. Jericho looks up at Simmons. He'll explain later.

"I'll need to spend some time here doing the lockdown. You three can head back without me. I've got my own way out." He looks up at the others. "Thanks for coming with me." That's to everyone, but mostly to Audrey. He knows May and Simmons have a vested interest in this. Audrey, so far as he knows, is doing it because she thinks its the right thing to do. And he appreciates the time and risk that is for her.

"Usual channels should work," Audrey replies to Jericho, still cloaked. The trust is an awkward thing, especially given the situation, but it's not something for her to question. Not right now. "And yeah. Whatever these things are…I don't think I'm ready to accept them as my alien overlords."

"Agreed. Simmons, you'll get the chance to come back. For now, though, let's get going. Trent, contact us if you find anything especially important or if you do need a lift out after all. Audrey, after you." Since she can't see Audrey, she can't gesture for her to head out, but hopefully the young woman will understand.

"Thank you Agent May, Jericho." Simmons glances to the digital construct again. Jericho is /soooooo/ going to have explain that one. Following May out, she mentally prepares herself for the hike back.

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