The Shield the Wolf and the Hacker (language)

June 26, 2014:

Jericho Trent invites Agent May over to meet the Partisan. Could have gone worse…

Trago Mine Number Six, upstate New York

A sprawling mine property… now under new ownership.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

It had been a simple invitation to May's e-mail. "Going to be at the Trago Mine, upstate, helping move some things. Please drop by if you have some time. There's a friend I'd love you to meet. -Jericho." Short and relatively vague in what was becoming the classic Trent style. He never gives anything out that he doesn't have to over lines that aren't he isn't absolutely sure are secured. It may seem like a silly precaution to take when contacting a SHIELD agent, but Jericho has nothing if not an abundance of paranoia.

Friend, though. Perhaps that's the thing most likely to catch an astute observer's eye. Jericho has contacts. He has allies. He largely does not have friends. His act has been a solo act for close to thirteen months for a reason. People tend to get dead if Hydra thinks they might be used as leverage. So an offer to introduce May to one of them is an extension of trust, which is something the hacker displays very rarely. Helpfulness, yes, but trust? Rarer than vibranium.

Jericho had been waiting up near the gate, in work pants and short sleeves, evidently not worried about his markings being seen here. He's dusty and sweaty and drinking a cold beer by the guard shack. Near the mine shaft entrance a trio of helicopters, BO-105's, are loaded and secured to flatbed trailers in transport configuration. A pair of twenty foot CONEX's are sitting nearby, closed and locked and also apparently ready to be shipped. From further into the mine occasional muted Thuds and sharp tatatatatatatat noises echo up.


Down in the mine, the Partisan works. Grunting with occasional burst of efforts as she races through the most pitch black dark, goggles giving her a distorted and somewhat limited view of her surroundings. Such an odd thing to adapt to, but war moves on right? Her little suppressed KACPDW barking with suppressed fury as she skids to a near stop at the little shooting stations before breaking off for the next one. She let Aspect run the course without a break for an hour and a half, the air down there is stifling. Yet here she is, gasmask and all not less than four hours later. Running lower on ammo than she is on motivation.


A silvery grey Audi A6 pulls onto the unpaved track headed for the mine out past that Stark industrial complex, May driving with her aviators shielding her eyes. The rather nondescript vehicle pulls to a stop just outside of the gates, almost as if the driver were unsure that they'd reached the correct destination, but then the engine cuts off and May exits the vehicle to look unerringly at Trent.

"Okay, this beats Coney Island."


Jericho stands with a grin and steps forward, offering May a second, reasonably cold drink. "Never again, Miss May. Promise. Especially not in Gotham."

Ick. That 'Slade' guy. No desire to repeat that. Ever. He'd spent a day and a half on that rooftop concentrating mostly on not bleeding out.

"Glad you could make it though. Come on, she's this way."

The hacker turns and heads back down toward the mine, past the CONEXes and helicopters on flatbeds.

"Sounds like she's winding down, down there."


Partisan is indeed, but well if only because she has a limited number of pockets you know. Slowly she comes to a top, lifting that gasmask to spit before giving a little grunt and an audible crack of her neck. She does a second check of her mag pouches, before retracing her steps to scoop up her emptied mags. Winding her way towards the entrance as she flips those goggles out of her face, lifting a gloved hand to her throat "Cease fire cease fire, exercise concluded," shoulders rolling under that as yet unfamilar PC of hers.

She doesn't look like the world's most experienced freedom fighter, but whatever is that supposed to look like anyway? Wolf gray bump lid, black breachers gloves and hiking shoes. Reinforced breacher's shin guards that come to rest just above the knee. Kevlar leggings, and a tight long sleeved compression shirt under that tailor cut BDU patterned shirt. That combat shirt and the -skirt- which thank goodness Aspect seems to have finally gotten over, are cut from vintage Vietnam fucking Tiger Stripe. Her plate carrier set in a dull almost wet concrete sort've color, and well of course there’s a gas mask. This one's been painted with colors out of her camo palette so no it isn't quite so colorful as some others.


Melinda May looks at the birds all packed and ready to relocate, then hears the sound of weapons fire as they approach the mine entrance. Her sunglasses go into a pocket on her vest and she looks at Trent a bit questioningly. Then the person she's supposed to meet (she guesses) strides into view, and May gives her the standard visual once-over, taking in the attire, the weaponry, everything.

"Mixing patterns. Classy."


Jericho chuckles. "It was more the combat, kevlar and nomex skirt that threw me the first time. The patterns I can handle." He keeps walking until Parti's close enough to hail without shouting at the top of his lungs.

"Hey Parti. Finally run out of ammo?" The hacker half turns so he can see both women. "Partisan, is Agent Melinda May of SHIELD: The only spook I trust at all." He nods to May. "May, this is The Partisan." He waits for the reaction. The list time May saw Parti she was wearing Ingrid, and was thus a good eight inches taller and blonde.


"Well if nothing else I do endeavor to bring a little class to the world of modern asymmetric warfare, what can I say." Part casually sweeps that emptied PDW across to press the suppressor into a barrel catch at her hip, before peeling off those heavy gloves.

"I never got an opportunity to tell you at the time, you know what with our African associate having just ventilated an innocent woman's skull and shit. Truly though, your stick work is excellent. Very clean, excellent situational awareness and battle space management skills."

Yeah that whole, Ingrid vs Bianca thing. Last time she saw may she was like 6'2" and now she might qualify as 5'6" if you're being generous. Still she gently peels her lid away and hangs it from its own catch, gloves go in a pocket and then finally off comes the mask with a blink and a roll of her jaw. Right hand outstretched towards May.

"It's nice to finally meet Jerry's spook friend, they call me the Partisan." She looks, well eighteen or nineteen at most?


Melinda May reaches to shake the Partisan's hand, though her expression is still very much suspicious. She's also using the handshake to gauge the woman's strength. "Is that a title, or a name?" If it's a title, that would explain why a different person is using that moniker now.


This is something that Jericho really feels it's best to let Parti-Girl explain… so he stands back at this point sipping his beer and watching. Moooostly he doesn't want the two women to kill one another. But he doesn't really think that'll happen or he wouldn't have asked May to come down in the first place. He's also wearing a somewhat… knowing smile.


"It's a description, I renounced my given name around on 1904 or so? Fate had something in mind for me, and I didn't want my family suffering for it. Since then I've been called a bunch of things, The Partisan, Pericoloso, Istrebitel, Lang, theres a hundred other names people have given me that I've worn."

Partisan's shake is -firm- but not crushing, and her gaze cool and calm. "The CIA called me The Partisan, and I worked for them for oh fuck about eighty years? So it seems fitting to wear that moniker now that I'm in America."

Pausing to motion to the card table stacked with ammo and a few folding chairs.

"Please, have a seat. I expect SHIELD didn't give you a peak at the service jacket the CIA let them have?"


Melinda May glances at the card table then moves to claim a chair, sitting casually but straight-backed so she can regain her feet at a moment's notice.

"Wasn't need to know as I was only piloting."

Which means she likely also knew nothing about Odame and his penchant for shooting innocents. Because one thing's for sure. If she'd known that about the African, she would never have let him ON her plane, much less off again.


Jeri flips his seat around so the back's facing front and takes it, still watching. "That was the argument that got me cuffed on the helicarrier ride back?" He asks. "Or was that my general 'you are cleared for less than nothing' status?"

It's almost amusing really, or it would be if it hadn't been such a damn pain in the ass. At least they took the cuffs off when they saw May though that's likely only because they assumed she could kick his ass if she had to. He's… not in a frame of mind to really find out one way or the other.


Partisan smirks, gently setting empty magazines out on the table. "Here's the deal, I'm guessing none of you kids over there have any clue who or what I am. I was most active before most of you were born, so I know what it looks like. You run one bad op with this crazy bitch, an innocent woman gets shot in the fucking skull by a coke head and now she's out running around killing cops and slaughtering people like sheep. I look like some crazed ultraviolent conspiracy theorist, and everyone is fucking mystified as to why you guys aren't running ops on me am I right?"

She glances after Aspect with a grin. "Do an old woman a favor, and get me my smokes and a soda for our guest? Business or not, no need to be rude."

Pausing to lift her hands to rest against the bulk of her ammo pouches, "By the way, if anyone had fucking asked the hundred year old most experienced operative alive I would have told them he was a coke head. I'd have told them that, because I traded him coke for kit when I first got into New York. He has a reputation as a user, but I guess nobody did any fucking semblance of a like basic check out."


Melinda May's expression goes flat… flatter than before at Partisan's blunt explanation and observations. "Water, please," she requests of Trent if he's going to bring back beverages, then she formulates a reply for the younger-looking woman. "Like I said, I wasn't in the need-to-know. You have a beef with who let that ass on our mission, take it up with the Director or his Deputy. I put my request through, and I was told it was being handled." And she's good enough a SHIELD agent to leave it at that, even when it rankles.


Jeri nods as he rises. "Water it is, May."

May, or Agent May or Miss May. Melinda? Hah! He likes his teeth.

"Beer for you, Parti?" He asks as he rises. She can radio him if or call it after him if she really wants something. Or, as seems more likely, may have something stashed. He walks, whistling a James Taylor song as he heads out of the mine pit and up toward the office trailer. At least his blood cleaned off the table and carpet.


Partisan nods, "I won't wrap you up in politics, I promise. Here’s the deal, I'm very rational and I don't take life for fun. I was America's favorite guerilla warrior for eighty years, tried to retire. They asked me back, I relented and did as was asked of me. They arrested me to avoid some political fallout, when congress found out. I was tortured by the CIA, when I didn't crack they brought my husband in and tortured him in front of me. By that point, nothing I had to say swayed them. They shot him in the head in front of me, and threw me in a few different black sites for a little over ten years. I break out, and go after the fucker responsible. Your associate, Agent Romanov puts a stop to that and I get asked to begin my work again."

Finally cracking her neck rather audibly again. "I play ball, I do as I'm ordered and I stay on the reservation. Then I get info that our op was blown because there are rats in the house, and Hydra is fucking running them. Fuckers I last fought in like forty seven? So I let a senior field agent know, no I won't name whom. I followed SOP, I tell him I'm going somewhat dark and I'm gonna make it very fucking violent and very fucking public and I'm gonna kill a fucking lot've those worthless fucking try hards. I give him a phone with a number, tell him if at any point I go too far he's to call me and the operation ends immediately."

Lifting her hands with a shrug. "No contact, as far as I know they haven't tried to contact me in anyway. So the Op is still green, this SHIELD sanctioned op against Hydra. Does that explain things, Agent? I'm not trying to be a smartass here, If you have any questions just shoot. I'm a Guerilla fighter not a spook, I suck at lies too much to play those games with a professional."


Melinda May simply raises her eyebrows at Partisan's verbal diarrhea there. "Why do you think I care about any of that? I wasn't told to, so I'm not here to hunt you down. Personally, I wish you'd stop making such a blatant mess, because I'm the one getting the /wonderful/ task of cleaning up after your sloppy work. But again, you're not my mission." Her current mission? She doesn't have one. Ask her again tomorrow, though. It might change by then.


It's not a short walk up to the office. So Jeri makes it worth while, grabbing a few waters from the fridge, a couple more cold beers and, of course, Parti's smokes. He's taking his time, partly because he knows it'll give the womenfolk (well, womanfolk and werewolf-folk) time to chat and partly because he's running a couple of data traces on things related to both the Kaibilie problem and his own investigations.


Partisan smirks. "You kids have a rat in the house honey, you're a smart cookie. The LZ was a fucking killbox, we walked right into an ambush. The pilot of that other bird, and those poor kids died because someone wants to play conspiracy games. My boy Jerry there says you're a straight shooter, so I'm taking his word. The longer this spools out, the worse it gets. As for sloppy, well obviously. A guerilla war, is a theatre piece. I need to present a certain character so as to produce the desired end result. I need to appear wild, reckless and blundering. Truth of the matter, is I have a very clear power structure for these fucks. I am chosing targets and methods for maximum emotional response, and I am getting the results I need to increase the stress. We've been going after their hardest targets, not their weakpoints."

She pauses to offer Aspect a smile as she tears into the pack and lights up. "I start surgical strikes, and they can reverse engineer exactly what I know and then potentially they can figure out how I know it. That shuts down my intel, and that brings this to a halt."

Puffing eagerly away with a happy little sigh. "Do you want in, Agent? You agree, you get the killswitch for the OP but no sitting on the sidelines and whatever happens stays off the books until this is resolved."


Melinda May says, “No." May moves to stand, partly to get away from the cigarette smoke, partly because she REALLY dislikes what Partisan just said.

"My orders come from Fury, and only Fury. If you really ARE a SHIELD sanctioned operative, he'll give me the mission specs to work with you. Otherwise, you're still on your own. I won't try to stop you, but I sure as hell am not going to help you."

She looks at Trent, gives him a single curt nod while plucking one of the water bottles he brought from the rest, then starts walking back to the mine entrance and where she left the Audi.”


Jericho knows better than to put a hand on her to stop her, partly because dealing with Hydra for a year has given him very finely honed survival instincts. "Well that could have gone worse." He says. Better too, but hey, they didn't try to hurt one another which is mission success in this case.

He pauses for a moment and grimaces. "Ugh. Want to tell her about the other thing before she gets away? She's probably gonna find out at some point anyway if they start hitting civvy targets."

Depending on how fast May is moving, she may hear that.


Partisan doesn’t rise to follow "I'm very sorry to hear that, Agent. When you talk to Nick, would you do me a personal favor between him and I? Ask him if any of the old OSS crew are still kicking, I'd like to buy a few of them a beer and say hello. Never met Nick actually, but we've shared a whole lot've coworkers over the years. He knows how to get ahold of me, wish he would if only for old time's sake."

She pops her beer and gives a wave off towards Jericho. "She's made it clear that's not her job, and she doesn't wanna do anything that isn't her job. Can't say I'm impressed but I hardly know what lead her to feeling that way so who the fuck are we to judge? Some folks don't want to walk the hard road, their call."


Melinda May stops and looks back at Jericho, then at the Partisan. "I don't give a rat's ass how old you are, and I don't care what your sob story is. I have my reasons for what I do or don't do, and you haven't yet earned the privilege of know what those reasons are."

You want to tell her about 'the other thing', Jericho, you'd better talk fast.


Jericho considers for a beat. May might, in fact, just walk if she hears… but he trusts her enough to not tell anyone anything that'll jeopardize himself or Parti.

"Some foreign SF are in town. Two of them made a run at me a couple nights ago with half a dozen dogs. Text book hit. Got lucky that they didn't see Parti and I was just a little more aware than they were counting on. They're operating on a very third world playbook. If they can't run us down soon, which would be bad, they'll start hitting high profile civilian targets in the city and telling the media that they'll keep doing it until Partisan comes out to play. I'm working on running them down but even I can't have eyes everywhere. And these guys are smart. Legitimate special forces, not taliban idiots who couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a wrecking ball. I dunno if that's SHIELD's remit, but I figure you might have wanted to know, May."


Partisan puffs at her cigarette "Guatemalan special forces, old hands I trained back in the seventies. Very experienced contra-guerillas who are very good at what they do, CIA twisted them pretty hard and then threw them away when they were done. I figure a few are in town thinking I'm some CIA agent who took the persona of a woman many of them called mom. The rest, have been working in Mexico and are largely responsible for the mass civilian graves there. They're doing this exclusively for the money."

Pausing to ash her cigarette aside, "We're talking proper mass casualty incident, several hundred to several thousand depending on what Hydra has given them access to. They won't hesitate to use a WMD, if Hydra has given them access to one."


Melinda May looks between them at that. "I'll take this info to Fury." Clearly, even if these two don't trust her fully, she trusts Fury to NOT be in Hydra's pocket. "Foreign nationals working on US soil is a HUGE peeve of his. He takes is personally, no matter what their reasons are."


"Oh good." Jericho says mildly.

"Watch your back out there, May." The hacker says, sipping his beer. "And thanks for dropping by." He seems to mean that.

"You know how to get a hold of me if you need to. I may have something for you later, so don't be surprised if you get another e-mail." Jeri carefully doesn't mention Dragon. He gets the feeling May wants that kept on the down low.


Partisan nods softly. "Their reasons, are to bring a fascist dictatorship to America by undermining it's defenses and basic legal channels. It's called ‘Lawfare’, where non-indigenous personnel recruit nationals to their cause and then use their relative positions to force the government into submission through its own constitutional legal channels. Unless you pop these folks for Treason, well you have no legal means of fighting them off. This requires the use of asymmetric forces domestically, which if linked directly to the government will cause widespread public outrage of non-judicial killings of sovereign nationals. There’s a book maybe you should read, Nick has a copy of it and probably nobody else these days. Ask him, if this sounds like a play from the very first CIA operations manual, I wanna say it's OSS-11-11-13 or something like that. Nick'll know what I'm talking about, these fucks are using our own tactics against us Agent."


Melinda May gives the Partisan another three-second stare, then simply nods. If this woman is legit, Fury will prove it by understand all of that jargon. If not, this may be enough info to have the Director deal with this mess in a different way. Whatever the case, May knows she'll have something unpleasant to deal with in the near future.

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