We Have A Destination

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June 26, 2016:

After weeks of watching, Jemma has news on where the Daemonites might have ended up.

New York

Characters

NPCs: None.

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Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

After the raid on the Farm House in Atlanta, there'd been some decoding to do on the data they'd recovered and then a lot observing. Some of those results are starting have been filtering and hopefully, Jericho's been able to spare some time to decode the emails written in Daemonite. Although he's been fairly busy recently, so he might not have.

Jemma's put a call out to a few people to meet her - they've got intel of interest. Intel that might break the Daemonite case.

As usual, she's chosen a quiet cafe somewhere and is sitting a table, reading her tablet.


Jericho showed up to the meeting in all black, which is often a sign that he's been 'working'. At least it's not all black leather with a mesh shirt (which is often a sign that he's been working in Limbo). He doesn't smell of gunsmoke, per se, but there is just the faintest hint of black along his hands. And maybe the faintest hint of something dark and vaugely red under his fingernails.

He hasn't said anything about it though and he's munching on a scone thoughtfully as he decodes. It's probably not something that Jemma would agree is a scone but damn it if it's good enough for the pastry case…


Melinda May shows up last, which is very much not normal for her but seems to be the case more and more of late. She beelines for Jemma's table and sits down, then after looks at the other two for a moment, she stands again and goes to order something for herself. If Jemma's been minding the rumor mills, May's been working severe amounts of overtime lately covering for several non-WAND missions.


Jemma eyes Jericho's fingernails, opening her mouth to say something and then thinking better of it.

"How's Gabby today, Jericho?" May would be aware because of the message that Jemma left her, that the biochem had been 'in the field' for a few days. The fact that the message was sent with the codeword 'disaster magnet' meant that disaster magnet Scientist was alright.

Once May returns to the table, the biochem starts right in. "We've had operatives monitoring the ports related to the passports we found in that farmhouse in Atlanta. Watching the activity. Some of them had the Daemonite Detector we created, but with Nth Metal being in such short supply, there weren't many available though."

The detectors are great and work quite well, but they've only been able to manufacture a handful of them.

"It took a bit of time, but they tracked a few of those we identified and all of them, once they hit those sea ports, boarded another vessel and headed back out again."


"As alright as she can be expected to be." Jericho says quietly, looking up from his scone and dusting some crumbs off his shirt.

"Still having nightmares." Or rather, reliving rather horrific memories that aren't hers but are so very, very real.

"Almost done here. Give it a few more minutes." Decoding that demonite would have taken most computers weeks and most supercomputers hours. That's how potent harnessing the computational ability of a human brain is. It helps that Jericho cheats. He's got a number of botnets he operates to steal processor hours from for particularly big or dispersed jobs. So it's not really just his brain in play, it's also the stolen and fractional computational power of thousands of devices.

Sometimes it really is like magic.

"Do we know where that vessel is now?"


Melinda May says, "How long did those identities stay in port? Hours?" May is not liking the sound of this at all, but before she can add more, she gets up again to get her food. And it's apparently a full meal for her today instead of just tea and a snack. Once she settled again, she continues with her train of thought. "WHat's the likelihood that the Daemonites are jumping hosts when the make landfall?""


Jemma nods slowly as Jericho speaks about Gabby. "I'll drop by when we're done here, spend some time with her." and also make sure there were no further developments.

"No. We don't know where it is." judging by the look on Jemma's face it's vexing. "The harbour masters are very confused themselves. The entry in the logs shows they were headed to one of the recreational islands in the areas, but the vessel didn't arrive there." Sighing Jemma shakes her head "It's likely the Daemonites exerted psychic pressure to make that happen."

Mays question gets a raised eyebrow "I think we're going to have to assume that, May. We've not enough detectors to check them all and it's a sound tactic."


Jericho puts his scone down now and pushes it away. "Done." He says quietly. There's a short pause while he parses what it is he's decoded and makes some related searches.

"Okay. Nothing on the ship's destination, at least not directly, however I do have repeated references to a set of coordinates that appears to be in the Baltic Sea. "I wonder if…"

His eyes widen. "Crap. They've infiltrated BALTOPS."


Melinda May narrows her eyes at Jericho. "That does NOT set a good precedent." Even if she's highly unsettled by that news, it doesn't stop her from starting in on the wrap and fruit juice. She's likely in 'refuel while you can' mode. "Can you tell how far the infiltration goes?"


"I'll put a check on the local hospitals and clinics in the areas, if they jumped hosts, there will be people reporting malnutrition at the very least. Some of those might have sought medical attention." Jemma considers the possibility of 'host jumping' "I'll see if we can review police reports too, that might give us something to follow up."

When Jericho mentions that he's decoded the data, her eyes turn toward him and the discarded scone "What are the co-ordina—-" she stops as Jericho mentions BALTOPS, eyes widening "You mean the NATO thing?" You'd think a scientist would have a better way of saying things. But this really did catch her off guard. "What makes you say that?"


"Because the data contains copies of messages sent during BALTOPS with military datastamps on them. They could only have that if they pulled the files directly from a warship's computer and to do that they'd have to be on the warship."

It's bad news. Best case scenario, several NATO warships have or had infiltrators on them. Worst case scenario, the daemonites directly control one or more NATO warships.

"All of the messages seem to have to do with one of the resupply exercises…" That gets a suspicious look from the hacker, his amber eyes glinting fitfully. Resupply means cargo means large amounts of freight being moved around with less than the usual amount of internal checking since it would have supposedly all been done prior to the ships setting sail. Aircraft were involved as well… which means it'd be a perfect time to take something somewhere.


"Not clear how far up the chain it is, May. At least far enough for them to have access to the communication systems." Which wouldn't have to be far. It's just impossible to say.


"Is there a way to track every piece of freight moved during those exercises?" May knows she's asking a lot there, but also knows of only two individuals that could possibly track all of that, and only one is not an AI affiliated with a major international corporation.


Jemma gives Jericho a speculative look "Supply. Well, that would be one way to transport what they bought through, I suppose." The thought of the Daemonites in charge of a warship though, makes her pale "Even if they aren't too far up the chain, it wouldn't be hard for them to change that."

"Do you know which ship, Jericho? Or was it multiple?" She's not sure his data could determine that but it's worthwhile asking.


"There are two ways to try that, May, one more dangerous and invasive than the other. It'll take me some time, but I can try. The problem though, is that both ways depend on protocol being followed. If the Daemonites fudged the paperwork or turned off the transponders, they might not have left a trail I can trace." Their psychic abilities, being able to suppress and alter people's memories, help greatly with secrecy.

"If I had to guess, though, I'd say it has something to do with these coordinates here." The hacker writes them down on a napkin. "Good a place as any to start looking." He pauses. "Though that is in the middle of the sea."


The middle of the sea. It might require asking a favor of an acquaintance of a friend, but that might be more feasible than it seems. If nothing else, she can take a quinjet out that way. "If I can get that arranged quickly enough, would you want to go along?"


As Jericho writes those co-ordinates down, Jemma enters them into her tablet and starts searching databases and looking at Google Maps. What? Just because it's the middle of ocean doesn't mean it's not already mapped.

"Let's have a look at what we've got." she murmurs as May and Jericho speak "Google Maps doesn't show a lot, it's in the middle of the Baltic Sea. It could be one of the smaller islands the—-" she pauses as the database scan flashes up a message on the screen.

Eyes slightly wide, she turns the screen so the other two can see it "According to our databases, May, that's the location of Bagalia."

Bagalia, the nation that Falcon had said was overrun by Daemonites. "What on earth could they want there?"


"If I have time at the time, I'd be happy to come, May." Jericho's one of the few in May's regular 'stable' who can engage the Daemonites on anything even remotely approaching equal terms. That combined with their threat level means it only makes sense for him to be along if possible.

"Bagalia? Doesn't sound familair." If the Federal Government is aware of that place, and it might be, it wasn't anything he was ever required to know. "Island or… If they're taking things there it could be because they feel secure there."


Melinda May nods in agreement with Jericho's words. "That could even be their Earth-side base of operations. But if there's that much activity there, psionic interference is going to be at its worst. We need to find a more portable way to counteract that."


Jemma takes a deep breath "Do you remember when Sam had that run in with a Daemonite a month or so back? How it scrambled his brain? He said that Bagalia was basically taken over by the Daemonites. It makes sense that whatever they're doing, they'd head there."

Looking over to May and then to Jericho "That's our next stop, then. But May, I'd suggest we go we in strong. Our intel on Bagalia says that before the Daemonites took over, it was cesspool to begin with. We don't know what we're dealing with."


"Sounds like you have your work cut out for you then." The hacker says, chomping down the last of his scone and wiping his mouth. "Stay in touch, let me know if you need me. I have some things to attend to here." Whatever things are, it makes his eyes blaze.


Melinda May nods to Jericho and puts a little more attention into finishing her meal. "Any heavy hitters you think would be amenable, either of you, get me their contact info." She has no qualms about requesting the Bus if need be to fit everyone this might require.


"Julia, Clancy…" Jemma could likely think of more, but for now she's thinking about going in there. "I'll let you know who else I can think of, Agent May." For now, they need to regroup and plan - this isn't going to be an easy mission, not by a long shot.

"Thank you, Jericho."

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