Shopping with May

January 04, 2015:

May and Hunter end up in a shopping car park, surrounded. Oracle and Jericho get involved!

Shopping Mall

A car park


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

The Fox has been seen in Gotham City and the first sighting by Oracle had resulted in Changeling and Vorpal acting paranoid of the Druid (perhaps understandably), Nightwing pulling his best "I'm Batman" impression and Melinda May punching the druid in the face. All in all, not a great introduction for either side of the equation.

One might ask, as Oracle has been since that night, what Agent Melinda May was actually doing in Gotham and why she was shadowing Red Robin on patrol.

Certainly, May and Oracle have worked together in the past, successfully and May had "ridden to the rescue" of Robin when The Joker had beat him stupid…. but that still leaves the Information Goddess of Gotham wondering.

Deciding to find out, Oracle has pulled up Mays communication channel and sent out a call to her "Agent May, this is Oracle. I was hoping we might speak." The redhead is sitting in front of her screens, monitoring the streets of Gotham. She sits back in her chair and waits to see if the call is answered.

Back in Manhattan, May is in the middle of doing all of the post-flight checks on a quinjet that she just flew back from a mission. She's got the pilot communication headset resting around her neck, so when Oracle's call comes in, the computer-distorted voice is just barely loud enough to carry in the now almost completely silent cockpit. May doesn't startle at the voice though she does THINK a good curse in Japanese and reaches to move the headset's mic to where she can reply.

"Acknowledged," May says tersely, aware that there might still be someone aboard the quinjet that could possibly overhear. "Give me fifteen."

Someone else is truly aboard, and Hunter is making his way towards the cockpit to tell May something when he overhears the conversation. Curiosity killed the cat, and so he moves to join her, giving her a grin and a nod, along with the coffee he had as a bribe for their conversation, his own held in his other hand. The mercenary takes one of the seats, settling there, watching May with an attentive expression.

"Acknowledged May, make contact when ready." Oracle respects May and knows she has other calls on her time. Fifteen minutes gives her just enough time to make a cup of tea and the redhead heads to the kitchenette to do so. As usual, her tablet and communicator go with her, and she settles in the kitchen waiting for the water to boil.

Melinda May looks over at Hunter when he settles in next to her and offers her a coffee. Poor guy clearly hasn't learned yet that she HATES coffee. She accepts the cup anyway because he did at least try, and she continues with the post checks. She doesn't mention Oracle's request to the mercenary, and when the checks are done she gets up to disembark.

His lips twitch as she accepts the mug, and he glances up at her as she gets up. He follows, a puppylike behaviour perhaps a little unlike him, his free hand in his pocket. "So what's next, boss?" The question is more like him, cheekily requesting information perhaps he ought not to have.

Water boiled, Oracle prepares her cup of tea from one of the blends Rowan has bought her. After letting it steep for a few minutes, Oracle removes the infuser and rinses. Taking her cup, she heads back to her desk and her screens. May will contact her when she's ready.

Melinda May pauses to look at Hunter consideringly, then seems to make a decision and turns to walk through the Triskelion toward the motor pool, clearly expecting this odd baby duckling behavior from Hunter to prompt him into following her. With the tagalong Brit in tow, she claims a very boring little import sedan from the motor pool and drives them both away from the Triskelion, only to stop in the parking garage of a major shopping center less than a mile away. It's an area with plenty of bright light, lots of foot traffic, and strong cell reception. As soon as she stops the car in its parking space, she pulls her phone and taps in a text message that she knows Oracle will intercept. Ready, but have company. Is this eyes only?

Hunter is indeed prompted into following her, his mug lost half the way through the Triskelion, his hands shoved into his pockets. It is clear the man has nothing better to do, and he settles himself into the passenger seat, sprawling there with confidence. His eyebrows arch when she parks, "Shopping? I hadn't thought it was your thing…"

A text message, interesting. Oracle tilts her head and nods to herself. Opening a window on her screens, she responds back to the originating number Wanted to discuss why you were with a mutual acquaintance the other night. Assume your company shouldn't know?

Of all people, May knows that Hunter would understand about 'side jobs'. So, she looks at him a bit piercingly and says, "This does not go beyond this car. Understand?" If he accepts this, she starts a call to Oracle, setting the phone on speaker.

"Understood." A single word, and Hunter is suddenly more himself, alert and on the job, his eyebrows drawing together.

The call comes in on Oracles comms unit and she opens the channel. "Agent May. Thank you for getting in contact." The redhead takes a sip of her tea as she settles some more "May I ask who your company is first?"

Melinda May answers the digitally-modified voice calmly enough. "Lance Hunter, on contract with SHIELD." She figures that's enough for the disembodied voice (or whomever is behind it) to find out a few choice tidbits about Hunter. And she gives Oracle time to do that search, too, while glancing at aforementioned 'contractor' to gauge his reaction.

Hunter's reaction is silence, and attention, his eyebrows quirking at May before he settles in to listen to the call. Even as he listens, his gaze moves all around them, watching for any sign that this is being overheard.

Oracle has information on Lance, and she smiles slightly. This should be an interesting discussion then, if Mays decided to include him.

"Welcome Mr Hunter" Oracles voice will be emotionless as the altering tech filters it. "Agent May, thank you for your assistance the other day. It was unexpected and I was wondering if we might discuss how you came to be with our mutual acquaintance." The tea is sipped slowly as the conversation progresses.

"I offered." Okay, yeah, May knows that that is a completely inadequate explanation, but she's never been known as the chatty sort. She does relent and offer more after a moment, though. "I had the time, he wanted to show off that new car, and I wanted to make sure he was truly ready to be back in the field."

Lance is listening, but his gaze is outside of the car, alert to any danger, any risk to May. Her self-appointed protector. But the details of the call are noted.

That makes Oracle smile, an awful lot actually. "That explains it." May's intervention had saved Robins life, something that Oracle is not likely to forget in a hurry. "I'm interested in your opinion. I was impressed to see him 'level up' to Red Robin but a professional assessment would be appreciated." she pauses slightly "A pity about the car though."

A professional assessment. Okay, here goes. "He's bounced back too quickly. If he were an agent, I'd have him pulled from field duty until Psych could truly determine that his head's on straight." It's been done to her at least once, not that she's about to even breathe the word 'Bahrain' around Oracle.

Listening, listening but alert, and Hunter straightens, a tiny fraction, his gaze following one car as it circles. "May, that has gone past us and four spaces three times now." The murmur is soft, just alerting her to an oddity.

"Agreed, Agent May. He's a stubborn one though. He has however, taken a leave of absence and I expect that will help." Hunters response has Oracles interest "You have visitors, May? Do you need eyes on?" She's already tapping CCTV and security systems in the parking lot and surrounding shops… the cell phone has given their location.

Another reason for choosing this parking garage: It's wired with surveillance cameras that Oracle can likely very easily employ if needed. She nods to Hunter, then says to Oracle, "Please." The only other reaction she gives to Hunter's warning is to rather subtly pull a small pistol from the tac gear she's still wearing to offer to him grip-first.

Hunter takes the pistol, leaning back in his chair as if he were going to take a nap, his sunglasses covered eyes moving from that vehicle to others that are circling for spaces. "The blue sedan has passed several spaces too. May, we have company." That is a definite from the mercenary, a certain thing, and he draws a second weapon, placing it neatly to the side of the seat, preparing for the worst. "Still want to shop?"

"What, the last store we were at wasn't enough?" May's implying the mission they just returned from, though considering she was just the driver she's perfectly willing to lay out a bit of a smack down if needed. "Can you tell how many people are in there?" She's asking the question of either Oracle or Hunter. Or maybe both.

The feeds are displaying and Oracle pulls them to the centre of her display. Identifying what appears to the blue sedan, poor resolution can mess with colour, she chooses a camera in front of the car and zooms in. "Blue sedan. Two passengers, one male, one female. Appear to be casually dressed." She reports as she scans the lot for more anomalies.

Identifying two more cars that just seem to be circulating the same identification routine is followed. "White Station Wagon, Three passengers,two females, one male, all casually dressed; Green sedan, on passenger, male, casually dressed" the registration plate details are also provided with that information.

Information provided, the registration details are run through Oracles systems. "Checking registration details now, Agent May"

"Three in the first car, one in the second, two in the third.. and another parked sitting over there with nobody moving in it." Hunter has been counting, observing, while they were on the call. He turns his attention briefly to checking weapons, preparing to defend from the car, in a crowded car park. "Any reason we aren't high tailing out of here, May?"

"I want to know who they are before we do anything." Her 'danger sense' is starting to ring warning bells inside her head. "Not to mention, we're smack in the middle of a camera feed, and if we move they could catch us in where Oracle can't see to help."

The registration checks really don't take long to come back, but there's a little research required on the information provided. "All vehicles are registered to the same corporation, May" Oracle provides the update "A quick scan of that corporation indicates it may be HYDRA front, but the information is sketchy and may be an obfuscation. I'm digging deeper." The redhead, her tea sitting on the console well and truly cold by now, is pulling up maps of the area. "If you want to get out of there, I can give you a couple of routes that I can track through the CCTV systems, and maybe even slow them down."

"I'll just pop over there and ask for their ID shall I?" Sarcasm, as only the British can, and he glances briefly at May, serious apart from his words. "HYDRA. You don't say." The mutter from the man in the passenger seat is almost ruffled and he glances between the three cars, his body relaxed despite the situation. "Nice to meet you, Oracle." A belated greeting now that May has confirmed her name.

Hydra. May is very quickly becoming as sick of them as Trent very likely is. "We're relocating, Oracle." She starts the car's engine and begins to pull out of the parking space. "Be ready," she tells Hunter, even though she knows it's not at all necessary.

"Ready May. Hello Mr Hunter." Oracle leans forward in her chair. "If you can get ahead of them, I'm going to try and close the parking garage doors on them." Sure it might cause some of the shoppers some inconvenience, but that's a minor thing. She's already tapped into the Building Management System to get the security feeds, the door control isn't anywhere near that difficult.

"Ready when you are, boss." The murmur is soft and he balances his pistol out of their view but ready, relaxed and prepared, his warped good humour surfacing, as it does in fights. "You know, I think it is your perfume, May. I never have this problem when I shop alone…" Cracking jokes.

Melinda May doesn't bother to acknowledge Hunter's cracking wise. She's in mission pilot mode. Their little sedan pulls out of its parking space, timed precisely so that an approaching car — not one of their tails — will stop to claim the space and hopefully give them a few seconds to put some space between them. She is careful to not drive noticeably faster than is reasonable in the parking structure, and watches for the other cars to start following.

As that car parks, one of their tails pulls up behind it, frustrated in the desire to follow them. The others, however, start their engines, circling towards them. Lance considers for a moment before he attaches a silencer to the weapon, giving May a brief smile, "Wouldn't want to startle the other shoppers…" The murmur is soft and he rolls down his window, considerate of the budget if nothing else. One of the cars looks set to intercept their trajectory.

Melinda May nods once to Hunter, then when that one car angles to intercept she makes their little sedan LEAP forward abruptly, accelerating in a very short space before executing the sort of handbrake turn that would likely give Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson a 'crisis'. If you're gonna take a shot, Hunter, do it now.

Hunter's gun comes up as she leaps the car forward, his aim precise as he takes out the two front tires on the car intercepting them. "One down…" The murmur is soft, and he turns, taking off his baseball cap to cover his weapon with, taking aim at the ones behind. "I get a bonus for this, yes?" Wisecracks, a good way for him to relax during ops, not always helpful. But his aim is true, and the car behind them loses a tire, leaving a neat blockage to either side of their escape route.

Melinda May sets the little car to accelerating as fast as she dares inside the parking structure, knowing they could happen upon civilians at any point, and she's fully expecting more 'friends' to appear ahead of them. "Oracle, going to try for the west exit."

"West exit, acknowledged May." Oracle has the control system open and identifies the west exit roller door "Ready, May. I'm watching." The redhead will operate the door as soon as May clears it.

Lance spends his time watching for the friends, and blocking the routes. It is amazing how many cars are getting abrupt flat tires today, his pistol working overtime. "There are four routes they can't use." He is frowning now, serious and attentive. "So far.."

Melinda May takes a final turn at probably too fast a velocity, then as they race toward that exit, May offers Hunter an extra clip for that pistol. It's looks like they're about home free when May has to very abruptly slam on the brakes, stopping short of a child bolting across their path despite audible parental protests. CRAP. That was too close.

Lance, in the process of changing the clip, catches himself on the dashboard, his gaze flying up at the danger, stopping well short of shooting the child. "Too close…" He echoes May's thoughts without knowing it, his frown deepening. A glance behind shows trouble, heading their way.

Melinda May has to wait for the family to get out of the way, refusing to react to the dirty look the child's mother sends their way. They're civilians, she repeats in her mind. They're civilians. Then, she starts for that exit again, expecting the worst now that their followers have had time to catch up.

Lance leans on the side of the car, as if he catching some air, or looking for someone, the gun hidden under the unhappy baseball cap as he shoots carefully at the followers, finally hitting one windscreen, to give them more time. "That is unsubtle but necessary…." Muttered words.

"This whole thing has been unsubtle." God, what an understatement. Their little sedan races toward the exit, hopefully clear of any other obstacles, and May mentally braces to bust through that little 'stop here' arm that's in their way. It won't do a whole lot of damage to the car, but it's annoying. And unsubtle.

The 'stop here' arm magically swings out of the cars way as May guns the engine. Oracle is watching and has the controls primed to go. As soon as the car passes under the raised bar, Oracle operates the control to bring it crashing down, while the roller doors (just in front of the bar) starts to descend.

Lance leans back, watching the roller doors close behind them. "So, you have to question how they knew we were there." The comment is quiet and thoughtful, his eyebrows lifting up, as he puts the weapons away. The baseball cap now sports a number of holes…

Melinda May drives away from the parking structure and away from the Triskelion, hoping to lose any other potential tails in Manhattan traffic. It's worth a try, anyway. She glances over at Hunter and makes a mental note to replace that baseball cap for him. "We're clear, Oracle. Have any guesses about how they knew we'd be there?"

The redhead in the Clocktower frowns, knowing May she knows this isn't just 'any' car. Pulling up her satellite feeds, Oracle punches in several codes and ''looks'' at the car as it speeds along the highway in a purely digital way. "May, where did you get this car from? There's a transmitter that's only sending on a really specific frequency on it. They tracked you with it." Gotham's Information Goddess frowns again and worries her bottom lip "I'm going to trace this back as far as I can, keep the transmitter alive for as long as /you/ can May."

Of course, if the car is from the SHIELD car pool, that raises much larger questions like HOW and HOW MANY?

Lance is watching behind him, the expression on his face neutral suddenly. "That is interesting." The mutter is soft, and he glances at May for a moment, before returning to his surveillance. "Look it up fast, sweetie, because we're sitting ducks out here."

Jericho Trent… is a bit late to this party. He picked up on HYDRA network chatter after the chase had begun and when he realized there was an excellent chance it involved May he assumed the worst and got his digitally enhanced butt over toward her at the double. There's a flash of something amber in May's rearview mirror and then a light thump and a polite knock on the passenger's side back door.

Melinda May keeps driving seemingly aimlessly, hoping the transmitter won't cut out now that the attack appears to be behind them. "Wait, that tracker's not on a SHIELD frequency?" Many many choice curses are being repeated silently to herself.

"It's not the frequency that I speak to you on, no May" Oracle doesn't admit whether she does or does not know all SHIELDS frequencies "Wait." she doesn't mean to be rude but Lance said work quick, she's ignored the 'sweetie' bit. Tracing the signal back to the satellite she follows it as far as she can…. "Still tracing… but it's being bounced off at least one satellite and several routers."

Lance is watching, and he speaks softly, "We've got company." And then there is a knock on their door, and the gun is pointed at it, the mercenary taking careful aim. "Two cars behind us as well, two black hatchbacks, three people in each." Briefing May even as he keeps that weapon on the door, slowly leaning out to get a view.

Jericho should be glad he chose to do that while they were stopped at a traffic light. May would not have otherwise so much as slowed down to give him a chance. Of course, someone just blithely asking entrance into their car is weird enough, most likely. "Trent, Hunter. Hunter, Trent. And we've got Oracle on speaker." There, all caught up. As soon as the light turns green the little sedan is off again, May's driving fit to rival even the most skilled yellow cab driver in the city.

The hacker opens the door and slides in, giving Hunter a wary smile. "We've met." He nods to the Brit. "Please tell me no one's used magic on you yet. Either of you." He's not sure if May's told Hunter about the files they found, but they're disturbing in the extreme. May - and Oracle - might detect a hint of worry that isn't just professional concern or (stop the snakes determination). May is after all a friend and about as long standing an ally as he has.

"Trent's there?" Oracles voice filters through and then there's a pause "I have a location…" the signal has bounced all over the world but in the end it's terminated in New York. Oracle runs one on more search before responding to May "Battery Park, NY. It looks like an upscale apartment building. I'm sending details to you now."

"Nice of you to drop in." Sarcasm, and Lance returns to watching their tail, his reply to Jericho quiet, "Nobody has done anything but track us. Can we break it now, sweetie?" The question is to Oracle, his eyebrows arching, "After all, I prefer not to make it easy for them to find us, and I don't want to die in a car crash. The She-Devil would never let me live it down." A long speech for him in the field.

Narrowing her eyes, Oracle looks at the signal "I'm shutting it down, when I do, get out there. Trent, I think we need to discuss this." the redhead enters a series of commands into her console and the signal disappears "Turn all your phones off and remove the batteries. Go dark right now! May, let me know if you need anything. Good luck you three."

If her instructions are heeded, the signal will disappear from her screens.

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