Planning For Justice

June 15, 2016:

Regrouping after Gabby is taking, plans are made to go get her back.

X-Red HQ - New York


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Gabby Trent had been taken. Taken … hostage … by The Section. The message delivered by way of a destroyed coffee shop and a special delivery for Agent Melinda May and Brinley Myers. Something neither two women were happy about - and they'd got a message to Jericho.

Now - it is war. Well, Brin hopes it's war. The Section had preyed on a mutant activist and now taken one of 'their own'. It's not a common place for the small brunette to be in - angry. But she is. Not as angry a certain demon-tainted hacker, she suspects, but the mutant who would rather change hearts and minds than fight - is most certainly up for a fight.

“Do they really think they can cow us?” Us, not you … the message from The Section had been simply and directed to Jericho. Back off. Leave The Section alone and he might see his sister again.

They’re gathered, for the moment, in X-Red HQ. Vodka, grey goose to be exact, set out for Jericho. Tea, coffee and things much harder for the rest.

If it's not war because Trent made it so, it damn sure is war in May's mind. And she has already requested WAND resources, citing Gabby's abduction as action against one of the SHIELD division's contract agents. And higher ups be damned, that shit don't fly.

May would be pacing if she were prone to doing that sort of thing, but she is eyeing that bottle of Grey Goose over her cup of tea. Drinking is the WORST thing she could do right now, so she doesn't. It'll wait until after they get Gabby back. And, she's going to voice the opinion that Jericho will likely argue with the most loudly. "These people clearly have no idea how much trouble they've just bought themselves. I think, though, for the sake of appearances, Trent, you should back off like they said." And then she and Brinley and whatever other resources she can call in will come down on the Section like every woman ever scorned.

Jericho does take the Grey Goose. Interestingly, as much as people often see him sipping vodka no one ever sees him drunk. This is a holdover from his soldiering and running from HYDRA days when being impaired or out of control could get him killed. While there’s less chance of that usually these days the habit stuck. He doesn’t allow himself to go that far.

Though there are other ways to be out of control. While the hacker isn’t physically doing much he is jacked into whatever display and computational resources X-Red has been kind enough to allow him access to. Maxwell is helping his internal processes as he crunches an absolutely obscene amount of data. If numbers were nails, Jericho would have chewed through enough to build a few houses.

“We? There’s no ‘we’ in their minds, Brinley I can promise you that much. They think they can make me back off, yes. They know that I’m aware they’ll carry out their threats. They’re betting that I won’t risk Gabrielle’s safety in a rescue bid or they’re betting that they can fend off any effort I mount.” Its an open question how good the Section’s intelligence on the hacker is. Even SHIELD doesn’t know as much as it would like. One thing’s for certain, though: even if they haven’t underestimated his means they have underestimated his fury and the depths to which he will sink to help those he cares for.

If May was expecting disagreement she’s not disappointed. The hacker shakes his head. “I agree that we shouldn’t tip our hand but I’m not backing off anything. Don’t worry. I’m not doing anything until I’m sure I can get her back. I’ve managed to trace the abduction attempt to one of about eighteen possible sites that I’ve confirmed are under the Section’s control. I’m in the process of eliminating possibilities right now.”

The hacker takes another sip of vodka before going back to what he was doing, which is loading what looks like AK bullet casings with what looks like some kind of iodine solution and then capping them with what appears to be a finely ground lense.

Roberto got the gist of the message, but perhaps missed some key details about just how feasible an immediate response would be. So when he walks in, he's wearing his full X-men outfit, armored up and ready to play tank. (Or half-indecent eye candy, of course. The team of designers he hired were very keen on multifunction uniforms.) He clomps into the room on armored boots, gauntleted hands clasped in front of bare abdomen, and stares around the room, gaze finally settling on the refreshments.

"Drinks?" he asks, accented voice brittle. "Where's the Blackbird? Where are the other teams?" He walks over to the tray, fingers dropping to the stopper on the bottle of Cachaça that he has insisted upon as standard issue at all X-Red facilities. "I've been known to get into fights after a few drinks, but I'm not going on a raid armed with cocktail shakers."

"The Blackbird is where it should be." Brin speaks quietly to 'Berto, eyeing that uniform of his. She'd never say it, but the designers had really done well. "Information first, then action." It's not unusual for her and the brazillian to fall at opposite ends of the spectrum - even when working to achieve the same ends. "We didn't even know where to start looking."

She had, of course, given Jericho access to their systems - within reaons. The X-Red ones, that is. Not the full X-Men network. The hacker had been working with them long enough and … his connection with Illyana went a long way.

"You're right, Jericho." the brunette offers an apologetic look. "You do know that we're going to help you, though." But she'll, at least follow his lead.

"I'm assuming that the longer we wait, the harder it will be?"

May looks at Robert flatly, and after setting her tea mug down with a clunk starts dumping her collection of concealed weapons on the table to shut him up. She starts with the one weapon she couldn't conceal — a katana that looks subtly different somehow, though not instantly obvious to the untrained eye — then pulls a matched pair of machete-sized swords from under the back of her jacket, then a pair of telescoping titanium batons with taser-ends, then a 1911 pistol that is most decidedly not mass-produced, then a bulkier pistol of SHIELD issue whose attendant clips hold strangely blueish non-metallic rounds, then a shiny steel and chrome chain with a handle on one end and a bullet-shaped weight on the other, then no less than three throwing and two standard knives, even a simple looking piece of narrow black silk fabric that makes a metallic sound when it lands on the table… and she's reaching into her jacket again.

Sorry for the discomfort, Trent, all of the blades and the chain-thing are freshly oiled and gleaming. "I have WAND resources ready and waiting, and I've sent out requests to some other contract agents that could be useful." So bitch again, Berto. Please. "Brin, I can't commit any of SHIELD's tac teams to this, but I can — I will get a cloaked quinjet. All we need to do is narrow down that list of possible targets."

There’s a definite shift away from May’s weaponry and that’s not just because she’s a scary, angry, tiny person. That’s only part of the reason. The other? Well… May knows, or at least she knows what happened the last time Jericho caught a cloth with her favorite oil on it.

The hacker tosses Berto one of the shells as he reaches for his drink. He’s fairly sure Berto was referring to the vodka (which he presumes is not a ‘real drink’) but in case the businessman was curious there it is. A little packet of death to go with the AK leaning on the table which curiously also has a lense capping its barrel. One that looks, oh, laser grade.

“Thanks for coming Berto.” The hacker is quiet, if somewhat intense. Who could blame him? That he seems a bit off… that’s probably related to the fact that his sister has been kidnapped by a conspiracy theory. “I really do appreciate it. If you haven’t already, you should have Natalia moved. Gabby isn’t trained in interrogation resistance…”

He doesn’t go any further but she’s already been gone long enough to have been interrogated which puts any secrets she knew at risk. One of those would be Natalia. Clearly, Jericho doesn’t like the idea of his sister being interrogated but he knows it’s a possibility.

“The longer we wait the more opportunity they have to move her somewhere I can’t find.” Which means so far as Jericho is concerned they have a limited window to act. If Gabby goes well and truly off grid it could be months to years before Jericho finds her again, at least using conventional methods. He’s capable of playing a long game like that. He’s not sure she’s capable of surviving it. “I think I can have a probable location in an hour. Maybe two. I could get it faster if I had a military grade satellite or something similar. Has the Section made a move on anyone else we know of who’se been involved against them?”

That’d be folks mostly like the ones in this room, but Berto and May in particular probably know of others that Jericho doesn’t. It’d be good, at any rate, to know if he’s got to look for more than just his sister

"That's all well and good for you, but I wasn't making light of your personal armament," Sunspot answers May, unable to wipe the pugnacious look from his face. "Or SHIELD's, for that matter. No offense, but I'm wondering about us." He taps the X insignia on his breastplate. "We should have more resources on this than a computer network and a James Bond sports car." He shifts his weight from one foot to the other, gestures over his shoulder, and explains, "It's outside."

The black mutant unstoppers the Cachaça, lifts the bottle to his lips, and takes a quick swig, staring ahead intensely. That done, he carefully replaces the cork and wipes his lips on the back of his hand. "I don't want to have to move her. I want to punch them in their maldito Tronned-up faces until they know better than to try anything ever again."

“Enough.” Brin speaks quietly again, dark eyes flicking to Berto and raising an eyebrow and then to May. “I know we’re all worried, but … “ she lets out a frustrated exhale of breath “… bickering, picking at, sniping at, each other isn’t going to get Gabby back.”

Something ‘Berto just said gets a quizzical look “You drove the sports car in your armour?” She might have liked to have seen that. “I’ve let the team know what went down. Illyana particularly.” Although Jericho had done so as well. “What other resources can we bring to bear, right at this moment? We’ve no location to target and too much activity will just endanger Gabby even further.” beat “Unless you know of a military satellite that we could get access to?” Brin, can’t think of one right at the moment. “And whilst I appreciate you don’t want to move Natalia, I think we should. Even if you stay to punch them in their … tronned-up faces.”

“Can you hack a military satellite, Jericho?” That’s actually a real question from the small woman “I’m sure Kitty and Doug would be able to lend assistance there. We just … need to identify something..” That type of work isn’t what she excels at … give her people and paperwork any day.

“It’s been awhile since we heard from Kwabena, Jericho. I know he had something planned there. May, have you had any updates from him?” That silence might be a reason for concern. Mays offer gets a very faint smile of acknowledgment - for all Brin knows, they might need all those resources and then some.

When Jericho mentions 'military grade satellite', May promptly pulls her SHIELD issue phone from yet another concealed pocket in her jacket. Stepping a bit away from the others, she has a short but rather angry (on her side) conversation with someone, then ends the call and steps back over. She sets her phone on the table in front of Trent and uses her own authentications to allow the hacker to use the phone as an uplink to SHIELD's entire computer infrastructure. Now his limitation will be the wireless connection on the phone. Which, if one were to compare to a civilian-level phone, is nothing to sneeze at. Hopefully it'll do and her bosses can just deal with it.

"I haven't heard from Odame in a while," May tells Brinley, then addresses Jericho. "Include another name in your searches. Cornwall, Julia." And then she starts stowing all of her weapons again.

“Not quickly, Brin. I try not to play too much with the DOD’s toys unless I need to. They don’t like it.”

Jericho interfaces with the phone and nods, adding the search terms to the programs he’s already running. His own plan had been to locate the people responsible and redecorate their homes with a lovely shade of dark red but hearing Berto talk gives him an idea. A much better idea.

“You do, huh, Berto?” The hacker’s amber eyed gaze turns on the armored mutant considering. Yes. Yes that might work if Sunspot is willing… ”Good. Because there’s something I need and I think you’d be the perfect person for the job.”

The holotable lights up on its own as Jericho takes it over and projects a map of the greater Tri-City area with sixteen addresses highlighted. Sixteen, not eighteen. Jericho’s making good progress it looks like. “Alright. This is a map of every Section stash house and safe haven I know of minus the two that I’ve already eliminated as possible locations for Gabby. These…” Another ten or so locations light up. “… are active Section operations in this sector and this…” Now a big one lights up right smack in the diplomatic quarter of New York. “Is their local nerve center. They coordinate all Northeastern Operations from there. I’ve known about some of those for a while but I’ve refrained from trying to shut them down piecemeal on the theory that it was better to be able to watch them until I could find a way to shut them down all at once. Otherwise I was worried they’d simply open new locations and operations I didn’t know about and we’d be back to square one.”

The hacker pauses to make sure that everyone’s following so far. “With May’s… assistance here I can track them much easier and get visuals on places not covered by CCTV and traffic cameras. What would make this much quicker, and send a message to boot, is putting them in panic mode. They know your face, Berto. If you, or you and some friends showed up and kicked in the door with intent to do justice upon them…” Well they’d send out an alarm signal and any rat not caught in the crossfire would go bolting for the nearest unused bolt hole and start sending messages up the chain of command. That’ll give Jericho a very clear idea of what safe houses were already in use.

There’s a short pause. “Also I’ve seen your car. It’s nothing to sneeze at. You’d make Jay Leno green with envy.”

"Just the pants," Roberto admits to Brinley, a trace of a smile flitting across his face. "There's actually a button I can press to armor myself up while I'm in the driver's seat. I just have to remember not to do it when I'm wearing anything dry clean only." And given how little he knows about doing laundry, figuring that out probably involves a texted selfie to his ever-overburdened personal assistant.

Jericho's talk of a faster reprisal target perks up his interest, and he sets the bottle back down. "You want me and a bunch of my friends to go punch down a building?" he asks, features breaking into a hot-tempered grin. "You should have led with that, camarada." He whips out his own phone — from where, it's probably best not to ask. "Let me see who I can put together. Where's Sam Guthrie when you need him…?"

“I see…” Berto’s slight smile is met by one of Brins “… next time tell me…” yeah, last time they got into a verbal sparring match, Bobby had managed to make her flush bright red, so she’ll just focus on the holotable right now.

“Count me in, Berto, Jericho. I’m not a heavy hitter, but I’m good at distance coverage.” Plus there’s that new ability of hers. “Not withstanding the damn headaches, I can control my empathetic broadcasts better. It’s helped more than hindered lately.” And yes, Brin wants to go and punch something. Go figure.

May giving Jericho access to … her phone … gets a curious look. Brin can guess what that entails, but … she’ll work on a need to know basis.
“When, Jericho?”

May watches Jericho bring up the holodisplay and studies the locations pointed out on the map showing there. As Berto and Brinley start to cobble together a working plan, she looks at them and offers, “I’ll need to go get that quinjet now if we’re going to do this in the next hour. Do you have any problems with my landing it right outside?”

She also makes a mental note on who to call in for extra firepower or muscle or thylacines.

“Soon as you can Berto, the sooner the better.” If May wants to provide fire support for that, all is well. If not, he could still use a cloaked quinjet to get where he’s going. Wherever that is.

“Punch the building and nab everyone you can. No reason not to. They’ll pull out all the stops to get their people away and you’ll be live and on camera since this is in the heart of New York.” With May on board they can probably very quickly pave the way with the NYPD so that this doesn’t boomerang onto X-Red legally, something he’s sure that the Sector will otherwise try to do.

“While you’re doing that hopefully their SOS’s will help me track down my sister and I’ll go get her.” Probably with Illyana. He’d take the rest of them too, can’t have too much backup, but there’s a good chance that having Berto and company go wreck face will actually significantly reduce any threats he has to deal with.

Which means increasing the threats that they have to deal with but somehow he doubts that’ll be a problem for the Brazillian firebrand.

"Certo. That plan makes sense, and I like it — possibly even in that order," Roberto says, flashing one of his movie-star grins as his fingers fly across the Starkphone's screen. "Don't sell yourself short, Brinley. You have been valuable in every fight where I've had you at my side, and I'm sure this will be no different. If nothing else, you'll be excellent at making sure no civilians get hurt.”

Never mind that X-Red are all technically civilian contractors. Roberto may have gone legit after leaving Xavier's, but he never really lost the outlaw superhero mindset, no matter what the PR says.

"A quinjet will be excellent. Probably less red tape than the Blackbird, too — for me, anyway." May gets a look of gratitude and sympathy.

“I’ll need to do something with authorities, May. Your assistance there will be welcome.” At the secret agents question about ‘parking’ the quinjet, Brin nods. “The space is rated for Rescues’ ambulances … speaking of, I’ll have one of their teams on standby as well. If we need to evacuate wounded or need emergency extraction, they’ll be good as well.” That was part of the contract she’d hashed out with them, all those months ago.

Berto’s praise gets another nod from the woman. She’s not a heavy hitter, but she’s smart. Plus she’s trained with these people and they know each strengths and weaknesses.

“Seems like I’ve some calls to make…” Not to mention getting ready. Somehow, she thinks that armour the Stark Industry CEO made for them is about to get another workout. Brin … is pretty squishy afterall.

“Anything else?”

Go in noisy, distract the Section. May's starting to like the plan more now. And while she doesn't like the thought of wrecking a physical building — that kind of thing is a paperwork nightmare — she's totally on board with kicking butts and taking names. She's not overly worried if she can't get any of the contractors on this short notice. She suspect that if it really warranted it, Jericho with Illyana's help could amass a rather impressive army very quickly. A rather demonic army, but still.

Nodding at Berto then Brin's words, she adds those things to the mental tally. "Local law enforcement is no problem. I can put in that request with SHIELD when I get the quinjet." Brin should know by now, though, that making May deal with the logistics and attendant paperwork usually means reciprocation at some point. The terms of that reimbursement can be hashed out later. "I should go do that now." Prepping a quinjet isn't exactly the fastest thing, after all. …wait. "How much longer will you need my phone, Trent?"

“You can take it now. I can tether to it. I hope the battery on that thing’s decent though. I’ll be using the satcom code until I can locate Gabby.” So possibly a bit more than an hour, but hey she’ll be able to use it too during that time.

“Don’t just distract them. Make them scream for help and bolt for cover.” If ever there was a time for righteous fury, this is it.

As for the unrighteous fury… leave that to Jericho.

“Nothing more from me at the moment. Kick ass, take names and watch your six. I’ll want to see you all alive and well when this is done, because after I get my sister back…”

Jericho’s eyes flare dangerously and so brightly that they actually cast shadows across his face. It gives him a very briefly sinister cast to his looks.

“… I’m going to make these people hurt.”

"Battery should be good. And once you're on the quinjet, it has a more direct connection to the satellite system," May tells Jericho. She scoops up the phone and it disappears into her jacket as she heads for the door.

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