A Direct Reponse

August 20, 2014:

Jericho brings Partisan up on the massacre in Syria and the two make plans to follow up.

CCU Operations Center

A converted K-Mart distribution center with living quarters, machine shops and hangers.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

It's late at the CCU Operations Center and Jericho is wrapping a feedback burn he got from fighting freaking angels of all things. Seriously, someone thinks he doesn't have enough trouble without involving the DnD 3rd edition bestiary. At least they weren't after him, per se but taht doesn't make the burn on his right hand and forearm any less real. On the plus side, it's small for compared to his usual set of injuries. On the downside, he'd got a lot on his mind, much of it involving Syria.

*

"Jericho Trent, what in the fuck is wrong with you. You’re like a mother fucking moth, drawn to whatever is capable of burning your dumb ass. So what was it this time, back blast from an RPG, handling live power lines, fighting dudes with flame throwers, or let me guess you fought a dragon (PG.23 AD&D bestiary) and used a plastic spoon to do so?"

This isn't the Partisan actually being angry, this is her being like pretend angry. You can tell because she hasn't cursed all that often, for the Partisan anyway. "Baked Potatoes don’t get cooked as completely as you, difference is you’re doing it one part at a time you stupid shit."

Hoody, what looks like a variant of her beloved "combat skirt" only in charcoal, ballcap turned backwards and skateboard. That'd be what she casually glides towards Jerry upon, that ratty looking longboard of hers. "Gimmie a minute, you want pain killers?"

*

"Pain killers would be great. And it was a sword. I caught a sword to the hand while fighting some angel-things that were going after Sara." Jericho looks up. He hadn't heard Partisan come in, but then he'd been a bit preoccupied with the burn cream and the bandages.

"It's my traces. Any time the fields get stressed there's a chance the energy feeds back into me and burns me. Or bruises me. It's a real hoot, gotta say. And those angel things? They hit hard. I watched one split open the Witchblade's armor. And… since when do you skateboard?" He seems almost amused at that."

*

Partisan shrugs "I dunno like seventy eight? I never got into the fancy trick riding, but as a way of getting around I think they're great." And well she performs a kickflip just to drive the point home, but well yes thats a kickflip. No it just does not look snappy and neat when performed on a longboard.

"Skaters dont carry guns, so you skate and you're invisible. "Gliding over to a bank of cabinets to dig through pill bottles, before flipping an amber bottle full of something marked ‘FOR VETERANARY USE ONLY!’ Anywho, she doesn’t take long before she's gliding back yonder. "So it was -Angels- this time, ok great. We're to the point where I'm just gonna roll with that, because fuck it why not?"

*

Jericho shrugs. "Well it was Sara. She seemed to know who or what they were but she didn't stick around to answer questions and I didn't ask. Frankly, I've got more on my mind right now. You been following the news?" He pulls a couple pills out of the bottle after reading it and knocks them back.

"At least they could be clawed to death." He mutters.

*

Partisan ahhhs. "I read the paper, Syria? Yeah really takes me back, I did an op there like a million years ago now. Not surprised someone kicked over VX or something after all this time, not like Syria ever had any shortage of really nasty chemical weapons."Pumping the board back and forth some so she can drop into a pretty casual swooping orbit around Jericho.

Fishing her cigarettes out've her hoody as she goes. "Why do you bring it up?"

*

"News reports have it wrong." Jericho turns and leans on the table he'd been using to hold his medical supplies, facing Partisan. "I've been tracking a tailored Retrovirus that targets the X-gene. Hydra's been testing it out small scale here in the States and I've been trying to trace back the cell responsible for making it. I thought I had a line on a lab near that village, Tal Temer. Except…" He sighs. "I got there an hour too late Parti. It wasn't a lab. Hydra was field testing their weapon, and it works. Killed the entire village."

*

Partisan slows to a stop with a sigh "Well fuck, alright. Lets go shake the place up shall we?" nodding back to the big Casa-295M just sitting there. "Get'cher ass inside, I'll load the shit and you can snag some sleep over it's gonna be like a fourteen hour flight or something stupid."

*

"Plan for a stopover in Libya. I've already started analyzing what I found on my first trip, but we can hold off moving right away. Much as I hate to, I need to bring SHIELD up to speed on this. I'm not going to let them stop me from doing my own tracing because so far as I know I'm the only one, but an actual live field test kicked this up from ‘personal war’ to ‘Houston we have a problem.’ I'm going to bug May tomorrow… just because it's too late to bug her tonight and get anything done."

Jericho pauses, thinking. "That used to be your old haunts. Anything you can guess on who might be involved in moving this stuff?"

*

Partisan raises a brow "More than fifty years ago, oh sure. I knew dudes, Libya these days? I know a few names, but nobody heavy duty. More people know me these days, though I gather most think I was some sort of Mossad psyops and never actually existed which is pretty amusing. If we're bringing Shield in on this then call May and have her bring over a bird, we'll be able to load the truck that way. Otherwise we're down to UTVs, which is fine just yaknow. No cruising around in triple digits in an armored vehicle, yaknow?"

The 295M does have a somewhat limited roof, the big Ford just doesn't quite fit unfortunately. Such is life with second hand logistics. "That shit in Iraq and Afghanistan got most of the dudes I knew killed, they turned jihadi after the Iran Iraq war. Well and then there was Arab Spring, and I doubt anyone left."

*

The hacker sighs and folds his arms very carefully. "Right, so we'll be doing this the hard way then. This virus breaks down rapidly at desert temperatures unless it's sheltered or in a host. What we'll be looking for, among other things, is the sale of some ordinarily fairly innocuous mechanical components and some pretty sophisticated compact refrigeration tech. But… someone still has to be moving the virus itself and I doubt they're chumps, so we're looking for someone big and unscrupulous in the black market arms sector. I've got criminal contacts but they're not into that."

*

Partisan shakes her head "Chem-bio, no way. Thats a SEAL or SAS invitation, nobody over there dabbles in that shit. It's too hot, risk and reward. Our best bet will be to head to the surrounding towns and ask around, seen any big trucks or busses? Any helicopters that weren't Assad, did you know anyone who worked in that town? That sort've silly shit is going to be way more productive, but we're gonna be mixing it up with the Syrian intelligence services at the least."

"Between the Syrian National Coalition and ISIS, I'm willing to bet they'll have their hands full. No one noticed me going in the first time… then again I did cheat. It was an emergency." And he rather doubts he'll be able to do it again anytime soon, but such is Jericho's life.

"Alright, so we canvass the area. Good thing I speak Arabic." Jeri flexes his right hand a couple times. The burn should heal in a couple days. Good thing it's not his shooting hand.

"It's possible we'll run into others out there. When I investigated Tal Temer there were a couple of other people. X-Men, they called themselves. I'm following up on it but I get the feeling this is related to the people we recently had a tiff with. Not been able to confirm that yet though." Pause. "If it helps, these two were quite reasonable."

*

Partisan glides over to where she keeps her sort've uniformy things, and bulk clothes and so forth and gets to packing. "I'll buy a car in country, but we roll heavy. No western gear, so makarovs and AKS. Do you speak any Russian, whats your Arabic accent like?" Easing out of sight as she presumably gets to changing into something less distinctly American.

*

"Sounds like I come from Jordan," Jericho shrugs. "And yes, I speak Russian. And Urdu and Pashtu. I was spec forces for a hot minute after all."

"Meantime I'll see if I can work on something that'll get us there and back without a fourteen hour flight… though airplane is going to be the only way if we wanna haul any heavy gear. No one's gonna give any trouble for being a redhead out there, right?"

*

Partisan emerges in baggy sand colored trousers, neat button up field shirt with a blue and white striped shirt on beneath. "Nyet, mi droog." That'd be swapping over to Russian, and holy fuck that accent is good. "We are not American, we are individuals from a Russian state security apparatus we do not need to name. I will dye my hair anyway, and cut it into a little more of a Russian bob. Do not speak Arabic unless you can fake a Syrian accent, we want them to think we're their friends not some random guys with strange accents claiming to be Russians. I'm from, lord knows where and you’re a Russian Marine think you can pull that off? I'll need to buzz your hair."

*

"Marine, or a really bad cover story for an OSNAZ operative. Either way." His hair's fairly short, but he can put it into a military cut easily enough.

"I look more Russian anyway. Nice thing about posing Jordanian though is that most folks don't hate their guts over there. Er, well, you know, to the extent possible. But I've used covers like that before. I can snag you some ID's if you'd like before we move out." He pauses. "We're not gonna have a whole lot of time for this, by the way. I'd give us weeks, at best, before they move again. Network chatter's spiked again."

*

Partisan nods "No documentation, it's best if we have -none- than we have fakes. There are makarovs in the uhh, fourth rack down. Make sure you snag spare mags, and the Russkie chest rigs are on the opposite side. I'll take care of your clothes, then we go barbershop over here and we get going."

*

"Right. I'll get May on the line. And, uh, Koriand'r if I can." He shakes his head. He’ll have to bring Illyana up on this the next time he sees her if only to make sure her friends can take steps. "She may be helpful if we have to bounce back and forth." Jericho glances over to Partisan and holds up a hand to forestall questions. "Long story. I'll tell you on the way over. Let's get Rangered up."

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