AKA Merit Badge

September 06, 2017:

Michael Carter and Jessica Jones check out a spot they suspect holds a drop box for certain elements moving stolen weapons around Wakanda. They find a bit more than they bargained for.

Birnan Azzaria

My God. It's full of libraries.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Luke Cage, Bucky Barnes, Daredevil, Peggy Carter, Melinda May

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

A pillow pyramid from Luke, a visit from Daredevil, a perhaps ill-advised hop out of bed to go dissect severed heads on the border with Jane, and some Good Drugs from one Melinda May. Jessica Jones is mostly moving normally today, though maybe not as fast as she normally does. And she has absolutely no fear about returning to Birnan Azzaria, because that is where she feels a lot of the case is taking her. Today, she'd asked Michael to come with her…traveling alone is less than smart right now. She'd explained about the assassin, asking him to come watch her back today, opting for his company for a variety of reasons.

Specifically, it has occurred to her that Azzaria has paper records. Which means a library is the perfect place to pass messages or even create a physical drop if you're, say, smuggling WIS weapons deeper to the west.

There are a few other things she's thought to do here too. She has books she wants to read, genealogies she wants to study. Maybe she's grasping at straws. Maybe it's just the novelty of paper records.

There's one library in particular though that has caught her attention. It's out near the westernmost point of the city. It's off the beaten path, tucked away from almost everything, a narrow silver spire with about five stories and a small collection. It sees very little traffic. And when she steps in, inhaling the scent of old pages and ink, she gazes at the librarian behind the desk…only to find he's ancient, and sound asleep.

Her estimation of this spot as one which might bear fruit rises a notch. It is virtually unattended.

She keeps her voice pitched low as she gazes across the rows of books. "Okay, superspy," she whispers, because you know. Libraries are for quiet, and because she doesn't want to wake the old man. "If you were gonna plant yourself a drop box in here, where would you do it?"

"Look, I know my accent makes me seem like I should be in a dusty library, but…" Michael doesn't finish his thought, because Jessica elaborates on why she wanted him along. Ah, well that makes more sense. He's still been sweating his ass off, so the air conditioned building is quite the relief. Also having something to do that is in his wheelhouse.

He takes a moment to look around, then walks further in. "I will do my best, but no one in this country seems to think quite like you'd expect." Then he's suddenly very focused, eyes sweeping over the library, looking for likely drops. Normally, radiators are handy, but even if Wakanda needed to heat its buildings, it's likely they'd have something much more sophisticated. "It has to be somewhere that wouldn't be found by cleaners or by patrons."

"What is it with people thinking I stereotype lately?" Jessica whisper-grumbles. "I got news for you, I love dusty libraries. Does my look and accent scream bookworm? Jeez."

Somewhere it wouldn't be found by cleaners or patrons. She frowns, then looks up at the beautiful spiral staircase in the center of the room. It twirls around like a silvery serpent.

"Up?" she suggests thoughtfully. "Top floor? Whatever collection is up there is going to be the smallest, least visited, least popular thing."

Her grumbling is already forgotten, of course, once she has something to latch onto she latches right on to it. This library doesn't even seem to have an elevator, perhaps in keeping with Birnan Azzaria's basically lower-tech themes. Maybe it's a spiritual climb for knowledge or something. Sometimes, after all, decisions made in this country have highly spiritual themes.

A little spiritual cardio. Michael can dig it. "Very possibly. It couldn't hurt to start at the top and work our way down in any case." He starts up the staircase, ever watchful of their surroundings even as he climbs. "During the sixties, I used to leave coded messages in books. I'd find the least relevant, least borrowed book in a given topic and add a cypher in pencil on the inside of the back cover. My handlers would then pass on the dewey decimal number to retrieve the message. It was risky though. I once had to track down a doctoral student who checked out a book containing the coordinates of a drug drop." He grins at the memory.

But, back to the job at hand. "Do you think there may be an object here, or a clue to the location of an object?"

"My guess is location clue," Jessica says thoughtfully. She follows him up the staircase, listening to this drop description.

"Bucky taught me about bricks, so I guess we could check outside too. He left me a location in a loose brick once. He thought it was funny when I wanted to practice setting up one of my own, but you know. No knowledge ever wasted. I got him a BBQ gift certificate."

She sounds both fond and wistful. She misses the crap out of her friend. But there's no time for that shit, and she soon murmurs, "Even if we don't find a drop these libraries might have something we can use. Geneologies. I guess spies might not be super obvious about their families…I still think 'Wright' doesn't sound much like a Wakandan name. Bhekizizwe. If it shows up a lot in a given family line it might be his line, and we might pinpoint some people to talk to who might know his location, or have a guess. My Mom's name was Alisa, and her Mom was Alisa, and then I think I had a Great-Aunt Alisa somewhere…"

"I was wondering about that," says Michael as he climbs. "The name Wright, that is. It's an English surname. Usually, what with colonialism and all, it wouldn't raise an eyebrow. But this place has been so deeply isolated, it seems rather unusual that an English surname would find its way here." Michael looks to her and nods once. "Good instincts."

He doesn't comment on the reminiscences about Bucky. His own memories of the man are considerably more violent and not exactly warm and fuzzy. Recalling them now won't exactly stoke his enthusiasm for the mission at hand.

"I think we may have an advantage in this particular treasure hunt. The person hiding this would be hiding it from other Wakandans. So in this case, not thinking like a Wakandan would be to our benefit."

Jessica grins a little at the compliment about her instincts, but she doesn't address it directly. "I thought maybe it was an alias, Wright, since he was an external actor, and one that just kind of. Stuck."

The topmost floor offers a wide circular array of shelves cram packed with books, tall enough to require one of those rolling ladders. Jessica pulls one book very gently down and flips through the pages to try to discover what's up here. The sections here aren't labeled the way they would be in a library back home. She frowns at what she sees. Drawings…"Ok, this section is technical manuals. Old ones, I think. Kept for historical value, maybe. So, thinking like an American, or a Brit, who used your book method…if I didn't want people to touch it I'd hide it in plain sight, up near the top where it's a pain in the ass to go, and it would be…um…I'd make it something that would fit here if you didn't look too closely. Like something tech related, but not a manual, or new enough not to be historical."

She puts the book back and goes to a rolling ladder. "You go right, I'll go left?"

"It could be, but I wouldn't imagine he'd want it to stick. A name like Wright, that is." Michael purses his lips and looks around the topmost section even as he muses on names. "Has Wakanda ever accepted refugees, do you know?"

As for the books? He fingers some of the spines as well. "Look for disturbed dust in an otherwise still section." Then he turns back to her and snaps. "If you're a technologically superior country with a negative view of the outside world, wouldn't you think books on technology from outside of the country would be particularly useless?"

"I think these are past manuals from Wakanda," Jessica says, looking for the dust. "The one I pulled down had notes in… um… Well. Not English. Like. Stuff that they made 20 years ago and is now obsolete, but now they're holding on to it because it's history. The same way we keep specs of the first airplane. Heh. Wright. Wright brothers. Maybe he's an airplane enthusiast. Though I suppose Wakandans probably invented the airplane six hundred years before we did."

If she's put off by his snapping as she carefully inspects spines, she doesn't show it. Then again, it would be patently unfair if she were, given he hasn't been put off by her shouting and grumbling yet either.

"I don't think so," she adds. "About refugees. They take insular and just leap it up about seven hundred and fifty levels."

As Michael fingers spines he will see disturbed dust in one section. With an English Title. "7730 Lasers," reads the spine.

"That's not a bad idea, though a bit of a stretch. An external actor might know about the Wright…" Michael trails off as he finds the book. The English word leaps out at him.
"Well, if none of the books are in English, I wonder what 'lasers' means in one of the languages here?"

He reaches up and slides fingers along the spine, tugging the book gently from its spot.

Disappointingly, there are no notes in the margins. No scribbles in pencil, no bits of code. It really is a manual on various types of lasers with all manner of different uses, but on page 73, nestled next to figure 7, there is a folded piece of paper slipped between the pages. Drawn in ink, with a bit of poetry on top in what looks like Xhosa, and a winding ink drawing that looks like it could be a map of some spot in the jungle.

Meanwhile, Jessica has paused in her search of the books, looking straight up into the sort of steeple of the place. It's not very big, with small windows that offer the little archive room some sort of natural light, and it's hard to see up there in the shadows. But something has caught her eye. She pauses, then scrambles down the ladder to lock the casters on the wheels before climbing back up the thing again to peer back up into the little space.

Michael's ocular implant is very useful for picking out the bit of language and identifying it. He pulls the piece of paper gently out and replaces the book. He stares at it as he moves towards her. He unfolds the note as he does. "Jones, I believe I've found something. I'd suspect it's some child's doodle, but why would a child be looking through an English book about lasers?" He looks over and blinks. "Do you see something?"

"Awesome," Jess says, grinning. They found something! That's cause for a minor celebration. Now if they can just figure out what it is.

But he's asking what she sees, and she frowns. "Yeah. Give me a sec."

She gathers her powerful legs beneath herself and power leaps right up into the little space. And then hisses, because mostly-healed is not all-healed, and the twinge of pain that travels down to her knee and up to her neck for pulling that little maneuver is not pleasant. She can just hear Matt's exasperated puff of breath now, were he to see it, or even hear it from whatever perch he's on somewhere in this self-same city. She wedges herself right in there in spite of it.

But then?

"Um. Yeah. We have a problem up here. I uh. Can't be sure. Cause I'm not an expert. But um. Remember how the charges were planted real high at the conference so they would drive the fire in multiple directions?"

"Jessica…" comes Michael's voice from below. Not Jones this time, Jessica. "…are you…holding onto a bomb right now?"

"Holding on to it? No. Is my nose less than three inches from one? Maybe?" She wedges her body around again, reaching for her phone.

She takes a picture. She sends it to his phone. Charge. Remote detonator. Some sort of case that might well hold propane fuel, welding fluid, and polyethelyne microfilaments. Or. Something else boomy in this highly flammable library. Full of paper.

She wets her lips. "If you wanna tell me that's a funny sort of a Wakandan air filter, or a Christmas ornament, or like…a My First Wakandan EZ Bake Oven that got wedged in here somehow, that's okay too."

Michael Carter pulls out his phone. He takes that moment to take a picture of the note and send it to Peggy. And perhaps to an offsite server as well. At least someone else could solve the mystery if they end up in pieces.

Then he opens the picture of the bomb. He spends a moment zooming in on it. "Well," he drawls. "That's decidedly less than ideal." Cue the British tendency to understate.

"Look on the bright side…at least we got a good look at the kind of device that blew up the conference?"

Dry humour aside, "The good news is that it has a remote detonator, which means it's probably not motion activated. The bad news is that it's possible this room is monitored."

"So trap for us or trap for someone else. Um. What do I do? We can't let this place blow up for like. 105 reasons. I guess I could shove it in my phone? But it might blow up my phone. I'm not sure Zatanna's magical app was meant to carry live bombs. I could carry it outside and throw it in some water maybe…um…do we try to disarm it? Somehow?"

And then a tense exhale. "Jesus Christ, this is a bomb."

There was a day, with Peggy, where she'd had a whole freak out about whether or not something was a bomb. That day, it hadn't been. Today? Totally a bomb. Her internal paradigm is forced to shift once more. Cultists? Now normal for her. People from other dimensions? Check. Murderers. Check. Assassins. Check. Now, coming nose-to-nose with a bomb is normal. She swallows. "Never a dull fucking moment…Seriously, what do we do?"

"Trap, or as a method to cover tracks," says Michael. For his part, he sounds quite calm - perhaps too calm given the situation. "Or perhaps we weren't meant to find it and the tragic destruction of the library would be pinned on us. Anyway, theories later, preventing explosion now." Ahem.

"I think I may be able to disarm it. I've had a fair bit of experience with explosive devices." That, and it helps that he has a live feed through his ocular implant with a bomb specialist back in the UK. Or at least, the connection is trying to establish itself. Wakandan connections have been unreliable.

"Okay. So can you get up here? Do you need me to get down from here? Do you want me to carry it down? Is it safe to do that?"

Pause. Beat.

"Please for the love of all that is holy don't tell me you have to talk me through it. You don't, do you? You don't have to talk me through this. You can get right up here and do this right?"

And then she exhales. "I mean. If you need to talk me through this I'll step up. I can. I mean I don't want to." She wants to get down now. Should she get down now? Would another power leap jostle the bomb?

Something wet hits the floor. A bead of sweat, traveling a long way down to splash against the shining floors of the obscure library's little tech history section. Jessica Jones doesn't sweat due to heat, much, but fear? Fear has its way.

"Jessica, we can't risk you climbing down." Michael reaches up to gently grasp her ankle to give it a reassuring squeeze. "The bomb doesn't look motion activated but it might be sitting on a pressure sensor, or you might have triggered one on your way up."

His voice remains incredibly steady and calm. "You can do this. I promise you. These bombs are meant to be detonated remotely. They're not meant to be tamper-proof." Which is something he's inferring based on his own experience, which as they've seen, doesn't always map onto Wakanda.

"Fuck," Jessica whispers. The reassuring squeeze is noted with some gratitude. Michael has either worked his way onto the list of people she trusts enough for touch, or right now BOMB is the only thing on her mind, and any human contact is welcome. Either way she takes a deep, shuddering breath. "Okay. I um. I have tools in my phone if it will help." She puts her phone on the ledge next to the bomb, not wanting to lose that or drop it or break it, but also knowing she might need stuff out of it. Jesus, maybe she really should just risk the stuff app, but if she can't move plucking it into the app will be just as bad.

"What…what do I do first?"

More sweat hits the floor below.

Part of Michael's feed clicks into view. He can see a schematic of the bomb in his HUD. With subtle movements of his eyes, he can rotate the image, though it's imperfect because of the weak connection. "All right. The good news is, you shouldn't need tools. The bad news is…" he hesitates, then says, with a bit of tightness in his voice. "…I'm going to need you to be gentle." And he knows Jessica Jones well enough to know that gentleness is not her forte.

The noise Jessica Jones makes at the back of her throat might kill her reputation as a badass forever. If the place is under surveillance, someone could trigger the bomb at any minute. But…maybe they're not watching right now, and that's why it didn't go off the moment she leaped up there. Maybe they're watching something else, or waiting for some other important event?

A dozen horrific possibilities slither through her mind. She tries to focus.

"Gentle. Right. Gentle. I can do gentle sometimes. I'm good with babies. Did you know that I'm good with babies? My sister's shit with babies, but I'm good with them. You'd think it would be the other way around. I mean I took care of my baby brother all the time. I guess if we blow up I get to see him today. Gentle Jess Mode. Activated. God. Fucking…shit of all shit!"

Her breathing picks up speed even as her voice kicks up those few notches in pitch.

"OK…" begins Michael, "…so the bomb is a baby. A baby that just fell asleep and if you wake it is going to be very cross." He's…not good at metaphors, okay?!

"Now, what you need to do is disconnect the fuel supply, and then clear the line of any remaining fuel. That should prevent ignition. Do you see the line?"

"Very cross. Right."

Jessica wets her lips. Then Michael is giving his instruction and she stares at the thing. "Um. Is it this grey hose looking thing, or this black hose looking thing, or is it this clear tube thing?"

She props herself with one hand and her feet, abdomen throbbing away, her other pale, slim, sweaty hand hovering over the bomb. "I don't ah…I don't look at a lot of fuel lines."

She's going to have all sorts of nightmares about babies with bomb heads tonight, isn't she? Shit. SHIT. But if she does, she'll have lived through her second near-death trip to Birnan Azzaria. Who knew a city full of scholars could be so damned dangerous?

"The black hose. It should be connected directly to the fuel source." Still, Michael's voice is unnaturally steady. He could be talking about what's in the paper for all it shows. "There should be a valve. You need to close that, then remove the black hose without tipping any of the fuel in the line into the housing. You can dump the fuel out away from the mechanism, but it's likely to be corrosive, so be careful."

"The housing is the…which part is the housing? The tank thing? And okay. Are there any more steps? Cause if there are other steps I should know. Before. I start touching this thing. I see the little valve. Shit…Righty tighty lefty loose? I need to turn it right to close it? How will I know if it's closed all the way? Nevermind, that's a dumb question. I'm asking a ton of dumb questions."

Up there, she's frozen. "Um. Seriously though. Do I turn it to the right?"

And then, "If it's corrosive will it be dangerous on the floor?" So many questions, so little time, so many opportunities for someone to literally detonate this thing in her face.

But Jessica Jones has never been afraid to admit when she does not know something, and if there was ever a time for double checking? That time is now.

"Righty tighty," Michael affirms in an encouraging tone. Unless things are backwards in Wakanda, but he isn't going to go there right now. "There are other steps that need to happen to render the bomb totally inert, but this should remove the most immediate and pressing danger." ie, blowing a hole in the building and them along with it.

"The liquid may burn a bit. It may damage the shelves, but that's a small price to pay. And don't get it on yourself." A pause, then, "I would say it would be double the strength nail polish remover, but you don't seem the type to get French tips." A beat, then, "Like oven cleaner. Pretend it's oven cleaner."

Jessica chuffs a laugh. "What the hell makes you think I use my oven enough to clean it?"

But okay. She reaches up and turns the valve. "Ok. Valve's off. Now I'm going to gently remove the thing. No shaking the bomb baby, no yanking…"

Slowly but surely she works the thing off. She isn't actually that worried about getting burned, but she's kind of not interested in signing up for new pain either. Soon, the harsh smell of the fuel fills the air as she tips it slowly to the ground in a long, slow trickle. There's no preventing the splashes, but she's at least trying to aim it, as awkwardly as she can, for center floor. "I'm really glad you didn't say I had to suck on it or something to get all the fuel out."

The woman watches a LOT of movies.

"We're disarming the bomb, not siphoning it, Jones," drawls Michael. He shifts out of the way but nods approvingly as the chemical spills out onto the floor. It's probably wrecking the finish, but compared to the alternative…

"All right. Come on down. I'll take it from here. It should be safe to move now. And even if it does go off, it won't make that big of a boom." Or so he says.

"Really? That's it? Fab."

Jessica Jones plucks up her phone, and the bomb (gently) from its location. Then she drops lightly down in her version of a superhero crouch, which sometimes she can manage and sometimes she can't. Today, she does, because HEY, she just disarmed a motherfuckin' bomb, and she's hitting that adrenaline point where she's feeling more awesome than scared. She puts it down in front of him awfully quickly though, and then pulls rags up out of her phone to clean up the chemical spill just as quick as she can. "Do you think they would have planted them on other floors?"

"Seems like it would be unnecessary. This would likely do the job of taking out the building, and it's likely that it was designed to take out someone in this room." Michael crouches down by the bomb. He works quickly and precisely, tugging at components or removing cables. He moves one hand away quickly as a bit of additional liquid dribbles out onto the ground.

He dusts his hands together and straightens up. "Good show, Jones. I know seasoned agents who would have broken down under that kind of pressure."

She revises 'I just disarmed a BOMB' to 'I helped!' Because, after all, there are still entire worlds of things that Michael is having to do to get this thing inert.

She grins at the compliment, though she wonders if he's serious— seasoned agents breaking down in the face of a bomb seems counterproductive. But she'll take it, cause even if he's exaggerating a little to make her feel good a compliment is a compliment, and it's not like she's been 'on the job' as far as this level of work has gone for more than 10 months. So all she says is, "Thanks," as she wipes sweaty hands all over her jeans.

Wrapping up the afternoon with some reading on Wakandan tribes and genealogies is looking fucking great, and maybe trying to figure out what the map corresponds to. She also hadn't been kidding when she'd told Luke that usually, good detective work is more about talking to people and using one's mind than dealing with exciting things. But at least it's dealt with.

Meanwhile, her detective brain kicks back into high gear. "Hey," she says slowly, "is that something they would have had to put together on site? Or would they have had to transport it mostly whole and then hook it up? And if they had to transport it, how far is it safe to carry those chemicals in the housing of that bomb?"

Michael is particularly adept at encouraging strong women without seeming patronizing. Or at least, he tries his very best. So maybe there was a bit of inflation of her good work, and maybe the agents he's referring to were on their first field assignment. But still! Bomb disposed of. Mission accomplished.

"It would be a bit bloody conspicious and dangerous to walk around with assembled. But it's possible. If you know what you're doing, you can transport it safely."

"Shit. Not what I was hoping you'd say." What she was hoping he'd say was that they couldn't take it beyond a thirty mile radius or something, narrowing down where the chemist who made the thing might be. But. They didn't blow up the library, and they didn't let the library get blown up. A win.

She eyes the disarmed thing dubiously. "So it's totally safe now? Cause I'm thinking maybe we need to collect it as evidence. And also not be caught walking around with the damned thing. That might. You know. Raise questions."

She eyes the library. "I also wonder if I'd recognize a Wakandan surveillance device if I saw one."

"It is relatively safe to transport, but yes, the bigger problem is, we'll definitely be charged and executed with a high crime if anyone catches us with this thing." Michael looks down at the remnants of the bomb. "I can take a 3d image of the device for future study, but we might not want to take the physical device with us. But…"
He kneels down to get another look at the thing. "Perhaps we can remove a component that may be traceable."

"Well I can put it in my phone, as long as you are 100% sure we are past all the boomy risk," Jessica says. But then he's talking about a traceable component. "That would be damned useful. I mean…wandering around Wakanda looking for welding shops hasn't come up with jack crap, for all that the welding connection keeps coming up again and again. Either cause there's too many or like. Nobody wants to tell foreigners where they can find some incendiary material, or both. Or it's all just too common and ubiquitous. But if there's another component that could lead us to our bomb mixer…"

She decides to make herself useful while Michael looks though, frowning around the library and then taking herself around the room on a search for a camera or any other device which might have tipped someone off that it was time to hit their big red button.

"Look for something that looks like an insect," says Michael without looking up from what he's doing. "It's just a wild guess, of course, but the Wakandans tend to do a beautiful job with combining the elegance of nature with techology."

He pulls out a kerchief and wipes down any spot that Jessica has touched. He doesn't need to worry about that. He hasn't had fingerprints for decades. As he looks, he's also scanning the device with his ocular implant. Of course now the connection is secure. It's sending a stream of information back to MI-6.5.

Watching him do that prompts Jessica to produce her evidence collection kit from STUFF, and then from there, gloves. Then, she goes on a literal bug hunt, sweeping her fingers slowly across shelves, moving from spot to spot with a patience and even slowness that might come as a surprise. But while she's probably the type to lose her patience in, say, long lines, or when people are being stupid, she has nothing but meticulous care and total dispassion when it comes to her job.

She falls silent as she looks, concentrating, though it's a companionable enough sort of a silence.

Meanwhile, Michael finds the barest traces of a serial number on the bomb's housing, parts, it seems, are indeed marked even in Wakanda. Someone did take the time to file it off, but…someone might not have been expecting everything Michael has at his disposal. He might be able to reconstruct the number with his ocular device, though. It looks like it might have 21 digits.

To Jessica, it will look like Michael is in a staring competition with a bomb component. But what he's trying to do is get a high enough resolution scan of the serial numbers to send it back to HQ for reconstruction. It takes a few minutes.

After which, he says, "I may have something, but I'm not certain. A serial number. I think we have to hope the components were manufactured outside of Wakanda, or else using that serial number to trace anything may be a lost cause."

"Not necessarily," Jessica says, looking up. "Pawn shops are a thing in the bad areas of town even here. Wandering around in the bad areas isn't great, but…a morning visit should be okay. Pawn shops, the world over, know damn well how to match a serial number to a manufacturer and/or a police report, because if they sell stolen merchandise they're usually liable for it, and I can't imagine things are any different here. And if asking a pawn broker the question doesn't work, I can still feed that number into SHORO."

The long string of digits does indeed ding back to Michael's implant, resolving the numbers to his eyes.

She keeps running her fingers along eye-level shelves, figuring those, or higher, are the ones she needs. And then she gets to one…

And a tiny blue metallic beetle shoots out at top speed. "Drone! Damn it!"

Jessica tries to chase after it, but it is up and through a vent. She leaps high to try to get to it, but it's gone before she does. She drops down again, scowling.

Michael Carter pulls out his phone again and types the digits into a message. "This is what it seems to be." Might be odd he got that just from looking, but. Her phone pings a moment later.

He looks up at her little bug-chasing escapade. "Well. Let's hope that drone didn't have sound." Or the enemy just heard their plans for visiting pawn shops in thee early morning hours.

Jessica sighs unhappily. "Well, maybe we visit one now, before they try to stop us," she says.

As for the rest, well. She already knows he has powers. She doesn't need to know his entire roster of powers. If he says he can do a thing, he can do it, and that's good enough for her. If he says that's the number string she has no reason to do anything other than trust him. She digs around in her phone, looking for something that she can maybe. You know. Offer to pawn off, if she needs to. She's not finding much though…except maybe her third best leather jacket. Which…while highly fashionable…might not see a lot of demand in a country as hot as Wakanda.

"Done with the bomb?"

"A phrase I've heard far too much in my career, but yes," says Michael dryly. "I've wiped your fingerprints off it just to be certain. Perhaps the best course of action might be to put it back where we found it." And hopefully staff will find it in a few weeks when they're out of the country and Bucky's name has been cleared.

Jessica shakes her head and says, "Nope. No way. We're not giving some garbage bomb maker a second chance at this shit."

She realizes, though, that Michael might not have seen the STUFF app in action, and might have simply dismissed all her talk of putting things in her phone. She takes a picture of the bomb. A hole opens in the air. The thing is sucked right into the hole. The hole? Sucked right into her phone. "Magic," she says, with all due seriousness. She does the same for the evidence kit she just pulled back out of it. She stows her gloves in her pocket.

It may be for the best. Wakanda is not above kidnapping people they suspect of things, after all. It would suck to have to do this all over again, this time to clear either Michael or Jess herself.

Michael is aware of her Hermione phone, but he's been choosing not to address it directly. For a man whose existence is based on science (albeit far-fetched science to some), mystical things make him uncomfortable. He watches the whole black hole phenomenon with that very particular British brand of discomfort that tries its best not to reveal itself.

"I do hope that thing took the bomb somewhere the Wakandans can't search," is all he can manage.

Jessica frowns thoughtfully. "Maybe there's like. A volcano I can throw it into." Wrong part of the world. "Or I can throw it in the river or something. Dash it on a waterfall. It'll make it out of Birnan Azzaria I think, anyway."

She wipes her hands on her jeans again. "Let's hit that pawn shop," she suggests. "Before whoever it is closes that avenue off for us. Then maybe…a different, not-rigged to blow library for the other stuff. We've still gotta decipher what we found in here too."

"I'd say this was a succesful treasure hunt, Jones. And you disarmed your first bomb. There's a merit badge for that one, you know." It's a light tease. Also, that deflects talk away from black hole phone.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License