Indexing

August 08, 2014:

At Ted's Internet Cafe, Jeri and Nan run into… an Agent.

Ted's Internet Cafe

A cross between actual cafe and internet cafe, Ted's is the place to go for a long working lunch or a lazy afternoon hangout. Coffee is okay, if a touch on the strong side. Food isn't bad. Prices are… well, this is New York, after all.

Characters

NPCs: SHIELD Support Agents

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Coooooffffeeeee. Nancy had a late night the night before and is feeling it. She's acting like her zombie self, but not from lack of sugar at least. She orders herself an iced mudslide mocha with extra whipped cream and waits.

*

A trendy cafe, not just any trendy cafe but Ted's Internet Cafe located only two blocks away from the disturbance that shook New York Last night when a Godzilla like prehistoric monster allegedly /attacked/ the city. It's all over the news. Every single one of them.

James "Jimmy" Woo is actually standing in front of Ted's with a sucker in his mouth, chewing it loudly with loud *crunches* as he thumbs through the Daily Bugle. Front page, Predator X crashes the party. What he wouldn't give for that Red Ronin prototype. That would have been wonderful. Spider-Man, Hell's Kitchen garbage, yadda yadda yadda, horoscope, the funnies! Happiness attained.

"If Storks… hrm, deliver babies, who handles abortions…. vultures?" A short, clipped laugh escapes the man before he folds the paper up and strides in to the cafe.

Ring Ring

Door chimes upon entrance of the sleek, well dressed, man of an age that looks far too difficult to gauge, he could be anywhere between 25 and 40. A very youthful healthy 40 but 40 none the less. NYC right now is covered in clouds with spotty rain. This is a good place to be out of the soon to be (possible) downpour.

*

Jericho looks up from the table he's sharing with Nancy. It had actually been a bit of happenstance that they both were in the area, but once they realized, of course, coffee and food had to be a thing. He's got a few windows open on his HUD, tracing various 'work' related things. A lot of hacking is waiting so he's got a few side projects going. And of course when the door rings he looks up to see who it is and run the face quickly through his 'oh shit' database. No hits. Good. Not diving for the floor.

"You look like you had a rough night Nan." Jericho looks a tad short on sleep himself. He had another 'bad night'. A PTSD and Flashbacks night. It turned out okay, though.

*

Upon receiving her coffee, Nan makes her way to the table Jericho is at to look out the window as she fingers whipped cream into her mouth and watches the soft pitter patter of rain. This is good. The summer has been so hot, so humid. This rain will hopefully clean things out, the dry city smell that accumulates with a dry spell. She smiles over at her Brother Wolf.

"Met Roberto for the whole plant thing last night. Turns out we get a long really well. Then went home and talked for like hours with Bobby. And yes, I actually mean *talked*. Okay, not just talked, but there was talking going on in there as well. Don't judge me."

*

Mr.Woo makes his way to the counter a person behind Nancy. A young girl who was practically bouncing in place with far too much energy and she even demanded triple shot. Probably definitely not something she needed.

A casual side glance at Nancy has him drifting his attention to who she is with then back towards his order, he's all ears, most people in these places are not. They're here to focus on schoolwork, research, playing games or facebook without their significant other's notice or monitoring, nope, not Woo. He's here to get out of the rain and make nice with some of the local celebrities.

New to the region as he is, he's all about making a splash.

*

Jericho's eyes slide off Mr. Woo. He's not a hit man… that Jeri knows of, so all is well.

"I never judge," The hacker says with a faint smile. Okay, that's not true. He judges all the time. But not over things like that generally speaking.

"Talked about boyfriend things or talked about other things?"

Hrm. This firewall shouldn't be here. What's DataViz hiding? Eat code, 128 bit encryption. Hee. So satisfying sometimes. Okay, back to waiting.

*

Nancy takes a deep breath and sighs. The coffee is doing its magic. Yummy mudslide mocha. After the whipped cream is all gone, she finally starts to drink it. "So, you hear about the Godzilla thing last night. Holy crow. The moms were all in a tizzy about it. And we talked about a bunch of stuff. Explained about the plant thing to him for a start. Assured him that while Roberto and I flirted, it was just that. Talked about the farm. I haven't told anyone yet that you're not allowed to visit. I don't think they'll take it well. Especially mom. How did she get it in her head that you and I were engaged? Never mind, schizophenic. It just showed up in her head and she's latched on. She hates Bobby. Called him a homewrecker."

More lingering required as James smiles pleasantly at the acne faced young barista boy. "Hrm, I'm easy. I'll take a Chai Latte." Easy enough but as expected he'll be standing there a moment longer. That is of course long enough to be updated on the inhabitants of Ted's, even some of their activities right now upon the world wide web. Dirty dirty Mr.Shuster. James drums of his fingertips and he turns around to look at everyone here, in turn of course this allows for the video feed of his earpiece to pick up and scan around. Small, amazing little bit of technology. Transmits data, voice, audo, feeds. Keeps all the fun information necessary for field based Agents readily handy. Kind of makes the job lazy at times. What happened to good old fashioned profiling? Way of the dodo.

*

Jeri blinks. "I'm not allowed to visit? When did this come about? Actually, more importantly, who decided it and why exactly should I care?" Jericho's eyes have narrowed and gone hard. He'll take a lot of things, but this? Unless it's Nancy and the people there who don't want him around…

"Oh, that's not entirely your mother's fault. Your landlord came up with that one the second or third time we met and I just never bothered to correct him. Sorry. She got it in her head at some point that… yeah. But seriously. I was going to visit with Ange and I'm now not allowed?" The soldier's indignation and anger flashes on his face in a way Nancy has rarely if ever seen. He reached out for help, worked with what he had, put his life and his friends on the line and bled for these people. Not allowed is not going to sit with him. He's about to say something else about the matter when his HUD beeps. Hrm? Electronic signal, transmitting? Encoded in a way he can't immediately hack and spy on?

*

Nancy can't help but laugh at Jericho's response. That's her Big Brother Wolf. "Some of the instructors feel that I'm too young to have the responsibility of being in charge there. They also don't approve of the… heavy handed tactics we took. Parti Girl was a little… well… She was Parti girl. They want me to cut you and her out of my life. I… I have decided to tell them no. If it's their way or the highway, then I guess I take the highway. I just… what's gonna happen to the other nutates?" Nutates. Nancy's play on N-Series Mutates.

She rolls her eyes at being told it was the landlord. "Mr. Gillespie? Nice guy. He was always telling me I was a good girl. I guess he just wants me to find someone nice and with you there taking care of mom… wishful thinking maybe? Say it often enough and it will come true?"

She raises a hand to try and calm Jericho. "You might be able to go, but you have to call Hank for permission before you go. I'm not happy about it. You and all those others… You did us all a solid. It just sorta sounds like wham, bam, thank you ma’am to me."

*

Feed cuts as quick as it was live, data tossed back and forth, two people flagged in one little internet cafe? Who would have known. SHIELD of course. They were anticipating this. It's what happens when a place gets visited more than once by a high profile. Woo and his newspaper flop down to one of the empty seats and he begins to pluck at his cell phone, checking his Clash of Clans before he begins to type at one of the rental computers in front of him.

Agent Woo is not exactly hiding his actions but he isn't being blatant. No need to interrupt just yet. This isn't even a social call really he's just kinda announcing himself in a rather casual manner. Kind of.

The rain begins to beat down outside, windows spattered and drummed on now.

*

"And how is that their call? If the Nutates look to you for leadership, that's not on them. So just because they own the place, they get to call the shots is that it?" You want to talk about heavy handed tactics, these are some that clearly stick right in Jericho's craw.

"Yeah, that's him. I mean he seemed a decent man. I would have cleared things up, but I had a cover to maintain. Which is going to be awkward explaining to your mom. I'm kind of hoping that she can get in a better place before I do." And Ange had been the best chance for that, and indeed, the other nutates.

And then Nancy drops the other shoe. "Wait. Clear it with Hank? Absolutely not. Not a chance in heaven, hell, or anywhere else. Where the hell does he get off with that?" Jericho is practically fuming now. Clearly he needs to choose his allies a bit more carefully.

"Okay. They're taking over, plain and simple. They want to cut me out, which is petty. They want to cut Angelo out, I'm going to guess, which is idiotic. And they want to cut you out of the leadership role? How does everyone else feel about it?" Nan may well know that look. It means the wheels are turning in Jericho's head.

Jericho's banded amber eyes cut over to Jim. He's noticed the looks though it could just be because he hears the conversation. He'll call Nan's attention to it… in a moment. Nan may well note, while he's fuming, that the bands in his eyes are notably larger. Probably close to about half his eyes are amber now instead of grey. Jim may note too. His files don't list that particular physical quirk.

*

Nancy looks out the window at the rain and smiles. The trees she planted for Illyana will be certainly loving this. She sips at her drink and sighs happily. At least the weather is proving to be helpful. Plus the rain will help get rid of that awful dinosaur stink a few blocks away. She is lured back into the conversation. "Yeah, that's why I've not told them. It makes it feel… Okay, I'll be blunt." When is Nancy ever *not* blunt? "It feels like the Nutates are just being kept prisoner again, just a much bigger cage. It's like… the San Fran Zoo. Those animals are still caged, no matter how big that cage or how nice it is, might be."

She puts her hand out to touch Jericho's. Those amber bands mean that something is up and with this revelation of hers. She keeps her voice low.

"I told you. I haven't told them yet. I've been acting like things are all status quo. I know Gus isn't gonna be happy. And what happens when guys like Hank show up there. I don't know about the other moms, but mine? Yeah, she'll freak right out. I'm not happy. I feel responsible for these people. And that that responsibility has been … stolen from me, because they think I'm inept. And you know, they might be right. But they aren't even willing to let me… " Nancy pauses and looks over where Jericho's attention is. "Time to go?"

-"Time to go?"- That is Jimmy's queue and he coughs, hand coming up to cover his mouth with a closed fist before looking at the two; openy right now. "Afternoon. I couldn't help but overhear the two of you talking, Mr.Trent, Miss… uhm… " He picks up his phone and scrolls, "Seems it's doing something funny. Trying to crash." A tap on the side of it and he shrugs, "It does this every time I try to play games on it. I think it's some Starktech garbage."

A motion at one of the empty seats closer to the two, "Do you mind if I join you?"

*

Jericho shakes his head at Nancy's question, momentarily cutting off the conversation.

"I'm not sure yet," the hacker answers honestly. He's not gonna keep the man standing though. "I don't recall meeting you. May I ask how you know my name?"

He hasn't reached for his gun yet. Though he's thought about it several times in the last couple of minutes. On the other hand, hitmen don't usually come over and introduce themselves politely before they kill you. Well, American ones don't. He's heard tell that Triads hitmen do sometimes. But they're Chinese.

… … Damn.

*

As the stranger comes over, Nancy takes her cues from Jericho. She gives the stranger a once over and frowns, giving him a look that says she's suspicious of him even if she's not 100 percent sure why. "A Starktech phone crashing from playing a game… that doesn't sound right."

As subtly as she can manage, which from the point of view of military/special ops trained people like Woo and Trent isn't very, Nancy slips her hand into her shoulder bag, getting a hand on her stungun.

*

"Agent Woo." The man's pleasant features split in to a smile. White teeth showing before dark eyes waver over the chair again and a hand extends, a friendly handshake. No Agent Woo with CIA, Checkmate, SHIELD, Interpol, Allstate, FBI, just Agent Woo.

A crunch escapes him, sounds like he is concealing the last of that sucker he was eating. The watermelon flavor tastes oh so good with his chai tea. "Oh, wait. "A blip sound and he retracts his hand to pull his phone back out, "O'Neal! I knew it was something Irish sounding. I'm not very good with those kind of names, I apologize."

Phone shakes on display which on it is a file of her face name and general information below it. He's got it nicely scrolled so it doesn't show layout or who the data comes from. He's also aware she is reaching for something but doesn't quite at this moment seem particularly stressed. Always cool under fire.

"I dropped this phone a lot." He explains. There is actually what looks to be a spider-webbing on it that looks like it may have at some point taken a bullet. It did.

Still garbage. His old iPhone took two bullets and a katana.

*

Aaaaand now he knows Nancy's name too. "Pleasure to meet you Agent," Jericho says shaking the man's hand. He's still not sure it is a pleasure but as Winston Churchill once said 'It costs me nothing to be polite to a man, especially if I may have to kill him.'

"Which Agency are you from, now?" He has a sinking feeling he can guess. There's really only one agency he's been on the radar with. Sad Panda.

That was kind of insensitive wasn't it. Well, sad Jericho, in any case.

*

HYDRA's found me! Crap! Crappity crap crap crap! Nancy's eyes go wide. She hopes she isn't shaking. She feels like she's shaking. She tries to smile at the agent who is showing her face and information on his phone. She flicks her thumb on the power button of the stun gun, ready to zap this guy if Jericho so much as even flinches.

*

"Oh? I guess I was expecting something different when I gave my name. Like, one of those cool moments where you could pontificate and inform me you knew all about me because you are all CrashBurn Overide amazing." A sigh escapes Woo, perhaps on the side of melodramtic and forced but one could tell he is kind of serious or sarcastic?

"Special Agent Woo with SHIELD." A fingertap on the edge of the table and smiles, "It has been a very long day. I just got in from Ganzhou and haven't even had time to unpack yet." He's mindful of Nancy's movements. Sudden ones will illicit activity of course.

*

"SHIELD doesn't like it when I hack their personnel files," Jericho deadpans. "I try not to antagonize them. Much. So forgive me if I'm not up on your latest exploits, Agent Woo."

Jericho looks over to Nancy and gives her the 'it's okay' motion with his hand. "So what does SHIELD want? Sending an Agent over to an internet cafe to look us up doesn't exactly sound like a high priority operation."

The hacker grins an impish grin. "Did you upset someone? Or is this about… someone else?" He swears if the man's here to talk to him about Agent May that he will scream and possibly injure someone.

*

When Nancy hears the word SHEILD, she visibly relaxes. They don't want her. She hopes. The stun gun is turned off and she pulls her hand out of her shoulder bag, going back to sipping her mudslide mocha. "What did we do now. If yer recruiting, I'm really not yer sorta person." Yep, cause he's here for her. Hell, not even Nancy buys that.

She leans back in her chair. If this guy is SHIELD, then he is here for Jericho. She's just… window dressing. Good thing she wore her newest set of Illy-created boots.

*

"Fair enough." Jimmy says before he does seat himself one leg crossing over the other as he then proceeds to clasp his hands around his tea, taking a sip. Not bad. Not great but not bad. A silent moment as he determines just how much he likes the taste and whether or not he'll be returning to Ted's.

"Recruiting, trouble? No. Unless you would like to tell me something." His eyes drift up from his focus upon the drink to Nancy then Jericho.

"I'm actually not here on official business to be honest. It's part chance and part curiosity that has me here. Why not mingle with two individuals who somehow ended up on the Index? Which, I assume you're aware of." If they weren't they probably are now.

*

"The Index?" The image that immediately conjures is an elephant sized roladex guarded by four unsmiling men in black and a very cranky secretary behind retina-print locked blast doors and automatic minigun turrets. That's… probably not it. "No, I'm not aware of the Index. But apparently we're on it? No, nothing to tell really. Just dealing with some trouble at home, as it were."

Jericho has his financials open. He'll talk to Parti later this evening and… it might be time for Nancy to meet Pepper Potts.

*

"Speaking of. Nancy, talk to the others. Tell them what's going on. If they're okay with it, I'll take my issues with your friends elsewhere. But if they're not, I agree with you that they're just being imprisoned again, and this is exactly the kind of thing we were working to prevent. Maybe I was wrong to bring Hank in on this. And I'll correct that mistake. If anyone, so much as even one person, wants out? I'll make sure they get taken care of. Angelo I'm sure will help us and he has other medical contacts. And I'm running down leads on another location right now. If your people want it, any of them, just say the word. I'll have 'em out tomorrow."

Ah the wonders of business in the information age.

*

Sipping at her mocha, Nan decides it needs to be a little sweeter. Having heard the crunch of a hard candy from this agent guy has given her a craving anyway. She reaches into her bag again and pulls out a lollipop. One of those oversized, round ball type lollipops that looks more like a jawbreaker on a stick. She takes out a second one then and lets it skitter across the table towards the agent.

"Blue Curacao. I make them myself." Does he trust her enough to eat something she proclaimed to have made. Especially when her own is a milky brown colour that matches her mocha?

She arches a brow at Jer as he continues the conversation they were having earlier. "We'll talk it over at dinner tonight. Dinner is a big deal there. It's where we… sorta bond. Even Charmer is starting to warm up to us. Slowly. Kinda."

*

An exhale, "Well, I've gone and done it now. Curse my honest nature." Is he teasing? It's really hard to tell with the man, everthing James Woo says comes out very flat to almost mechanical in its friendly delivery. The sarcasm is strong in this one.

"I doubt you're surprised that Big Brother keeps tabs on all of us lowly lifeforms. Especially those of us with particularly unique talents. Maybe why you have so many 'friends' within our organization." A drumbeat again, this time on the sides of his cup and the S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent goes silent briefly as he lets them carry on their conversation, he's patient after all, then the Blue Curacao slides across the table and he can't help but pick it up and examine it, popping it in to his mouth after it's unwrapped.

"Mm, I mean, very good." A thankful tip of his head given. She would be an idiot to poison him. He's very good at his job and is being monitored. "So, can I be part of this juicy gossip you both speak of?" Aw how cute. He's being playful in an odd way.

*

Amber-banded eyes cut over to Nancy. Hrm… Well…

"We have some friends we just got out of Hydra's way. Now the folks we were counting on to help them recover want to cut us out of their care. I'm supposed to play a ridiculous game of Mother-May-I with one of them and I'm simply not going to." Frankly, his hard and somewhat angry eyes say, they can try to stop him.

"So right now it comes down to what they want. Nan'll lay it on the table for them. If they don't like it, I'll work with people I can trust to give them an out. If they're okay with it, well, that's their call too." He's really rather curious which way it'll fall out. Or he would be, if the thought of dropping a few defunct satellites down on people's heads didn't sound so very appealing right now.

"So we're being watched, hrm? How lovely. I actually only have one friend in your Agency. Everyone else seems to not like me that much."

*

Yeah, Nan's not stupid enough to poison someone. Besides, one does not poison the lollies! Those are sacchrinsanct! See what she did there? Yeah you did. She nods as Woo pops it in his mouth, smiling. Okay, apparently gaining her approval is as easy as being a fellow sweet tooth. "Big Brother is always watching. Good to know that Orwell wasn't too far off. Maybe he could see the future."

She arches a brow, letting Jericho take the lead. He has more experience with this, after all. That and the guy is SHIELD. Heck, they might even have the whole raid thing on file considering who was involved. "Let me talk to the guy that actually owns the land. The ones giving us problems are one tier below him. Let me see if going over their heads works. Then… yeah, if it doesn't work… we'll do it your way. I.. I feel bad about this. I feel like we should be working harder to just get the F along, you know?"

*

"Orwell? Smart man… in a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutonary act." A wink given Nancy before he listens to what Jericho says again, realizing it's about the mutant Farm episode he knows nothing about. "Aw you're talking around me about it. I suppose I'll just have to figure it out on my own."-A wave in the air and Agent Woo turns his head to the side, a crunch heard. Dude may be patient but he doesn't seem to enjoy wearing his hard candy down. That shit gets straight up chewed to bits.

"Yes, which, if you think about it, if we watch you, they're watching you so in the long run this is us being protective." Assets that are not on anyones side should always be safeguarded.

"Really it's nothing. I'm just suggesting you keep a low profile and consider my words. We got you on file, they have you on file. You sway too far one direction or the other and things go really crazy. People get nervous and paranoid, things just snowball…. "

Another crunch.

Bravo Miss O'Neal candy for the win.

"Which friend? Rumor mill isn't always accurate." So blunt. He just fires the questions out there. No beating around the bush with this guy.

*

"Oh, just your bus driver." Jericho shrugs with a grin. If he's cleared to know, he'll know. If he's not… Well, probably for the best. No reason to get May upset with him. She legitimately frightens him some days.

"Sorry Agent, I just don't want to name names." Actually, he does want to name names, but he's not at that point yet. Turning people over to the tender scrutiny of SHIELD is something he's come to regard as a torture method.

"Maybe, Nan, but there's nothing I can do on that end. Like I said, it's up to you and your people. You decide you want me to butt out, I will. That's their choice. But if they don't like this I won't let it stand. Keep me in the loop, okay?"

*

Nancy gets up from her seat as the rain starts to slow down to something reasonable. "I'll give you a call when I have more info then?" she says to Trent. She then looks over to Woo.

"You say you're the good guys, but a lot of time, the 'good guys' and 'bad guys' are just guys, each trying to get what they want. It depends on what angle you're looking at them, that makes you decide if they are good or not. That said, if you really are watching me, then keep me the hell out of their little hospitals. Cause I know names and faces, and I'm bettin' it won't take them long to get either out of me." She salutes Trent, her lolly still in her mouth, far more patient about the candy thing then Woo is.

*

"Speaking of loops this conversation has become one. Despite that it has become a pleasure to meet the both of you. I look forward to our next friendly chat. We're like old school chums already." More of that oddly delivered humor and the man is standing up; carefully preening at his suit, taking time to straighten it out before he picks up his Chai tea and waves at them with it.

"Have a nice night, Trent, O'Neal."

On that note Agent Woo spins on his sharp glossy pointed dress shoe and strides off in to the rain only to be assailed by a voice in his ear, "Oh hello. I was wondering when you would decide to finally speak up. It is rude to eavesdrop you know."

"It's our job you jackass. What the fuck do you think you're doing, Woo. You just blurted out the Index of all damn things to a hacker and a fucking HYDRA weapon!"

"Is that what they were? I guess I should have read their files more closely."

"You sarcastic shit. You can't do that. You're supposed to be a professional."

"You think some entry level intel we give to level one agents is going to break our operation? You lack faith my friend. I was simply trying to earn their trust. Drawing back the fist… "

"Whatever, I'm reporting you."

"Go right on ahead. Hey, do you know any good Mongolian restaurants around here?"

CLICK

A finger tap on his earpiece and he shrugs, continuing his walk through the rain while whistling the tune from The Guns of Navarone.

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