Precinct Predicament

July 05, 2014:

Jericho comes in to answer a few questions for the police… and things go wrong from there. Sara and Paul find it amusing, mostly. Hill and May? Maybe not so much.

NYPD Precinct

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

It has not been Jericho's day. After a cat nap, he woke still sore to find Parti back at the safe house. They talked shop a bit more and he was obliged, over lunch out to tell her the story of those bruises and burns he still had. Lunch had been pizza… in a very crowded shop. No sooner had the two parted ways than the NYPD pulled up looking for him specifically. Not, thankfully, by name or he'd have booked it, but him. They wanted him to come down and answer a few questions.

So it is now an hour later that he's found himself 'detained' in an interrogation room - yes they're called interview rooms but call a spade a spade - with Detectives Nieves and Cabbrini of the Vice division.

"So Mister… Tristan…" No, Jericho had not given them his right name. And he'd used fake ID too. Really good fake ID, thankfully. He learned a long time ago not to skimp on this kind of thing. "Tell me again about your association with this young lady?"

He holds up a photo. It's a picture of Partisan on a camera phone wearing her tactical chic get up: kevlar skirt, nomex leggings, tank top instead of the usual long sleeve…

Jericho, or rather 'Justin', sighs and rubs his temples. "I've already told you. She's a friend."

"Seems a bit young. What is she? 16? 17? How do you know her?"

"I've already told you that. Look, will you get to the point?"

"The point is we have a witness saying that you were maybe a bit too friendly with her. There are laws against this kind of thing in New York, you know."

*

Mrs. Kurkiewicz is sitting in a much more comfortable room, drinking a cup of tea with the officer that she's been talking too.

"And she isn't the only one. He's had other young girls in that apartment. The other one was a blonde girl. Very pretty."

She sips at her tea and then holds the cup on her lap, sitting primly. "Now, I know I shouldn't be looking in other peoples apartments with my binoculars, but I just use them to look at birds. You understand that, don't you dearie? It was just coincidence I saw into his apartment while following the flight of a red breasted nuthatch. The first time. The second time I was watching a yellow warbler."

*

Sara Pezzini has told Jericho they really need to stop meeting like this. On the job. At least this time there's no violence, right? Baby steps. She and Paul are just getting back from a scene, which explains why Sara is keen to do anything other than sit down and deal with the necessary paperwork, and why she catches sight of Jericho as she passes by an interrogation room.

"You have got to be kidding me," she says, steps coming up short as she looks to Paul and jams a thumb toward the window. "Right in our laps. No shit."

*

Paul pauses when Sara does and he too stares at Trent. Then he looks around to see if any of the officers are flagging them down. But they didn't put an APB out on him and almost certainly no one knows they're looking for him. And yet, here he is. "I wonder if we can get a surgeon to implant a GPS device in him." he muses. They're probably get written up for that but it could be worth it. "Hey, O'Brian." he calls to the nearest detective. "What's he here for?" He indicates the interrogation room in case the question wasn't clear.

*

The blonde junior detective looks up from his desk. "Some lady called in a complaint about him palin' around with some underage girls. So we brought her into make a statement and file paperwork. She had a cell phone pic or two so Vice went to ask him to come in and 'clear' the matter up…'" He looks back down and keeps filling out the paperwork. "Scumbag." Yes, justice and due process is blind, but that doesn't prevent officers and detectives from having opinions.

*

"Laws against having underage friends?" Jericho looks up at the older of the two detectives grilling him, deliberately misunderstanding the question. "That's a new one, no I didn't know that."

"Look." The younger one says, playing Nice Cop. "I'm sure it's all a misunderstanding. Just tell us again how you know… what did you say her name was? Bianca? We just want to make sure nothing inappropriate is going on."

Clearly, they think something is. Some of the photographs show Jericho and the girl quite close. What they don't show is the two of them stripping radio hardware and modifying it, because you can't see that from the angle. It certainly looks suspicious enough, though.

"Oh for the love of- Yes, I know you think I'm doing 'stuff' with her, but in the first place just no and in the second, do I look that lucky to you?" Trent is getting exasperated at this point. An hour of repetitive questions trying his patience.

*

Meanwhile, Mrs. Kurkiewicz is talking to the officer in the lounge about 'the man across the street' at some length.

"Do you mind if I knit while we talk, dearie? I'm going to be a grandmother again soon and I really do need to get these booties done before the little one arrives. This will be my fourth grandchild. My eldest has two, my second one has one with another on the way, and this is going to be for my youngest. This is his first. Do you have children, officer… "

The old woman adjusts her glasses as she tries to look at the cop's name tag. "Taylor? Oh! Are you perhaps related to Elizabeth Taylor? She was an actress, you know. Before your time, dearie. What? Oh. My neighbor. Well, like I said, I was just using my binoculars to look at the birds and I saw into his apartment from my own. The blonde girl I've only seen there once, but he wasn't wearing any clothes when she was there. Oh yes, I'm quite sure."

*

"Blonde, tiny, looks harmless? Except for the occasional addition of tactical gear?" Sara sighs when the other detective mentions underage girls, rubbing a hand at her brow. This is her life. Pulling her criminal friends out of interrogation.

*

"Tactical gear?" Paul repeats, turning to look at Sara. "Her?" He doesn't know that Jericho has ties to Partisan but they were all on the same mission to kidnap that dictator. And now Sara's implying it. "Well, let's listen in then before we call SHIELD to come get him."

*

"Uh, one dark haired slip of a girl he ID'd as Bianca… and one taller kinda gothy blonde? He didn't give a name for her." Detective O'Brian provides.

"I wish we had enough to book him, but there's not a whole lot other than some pretty suspicious shots of the two of them together… well and the lady's testimony." He winces as Mrs Kurkiewicz prattles on.

"Which as you can hear, is ongoing." He says jerking his head a few desks over to Detective Taylor's desk."

"Now, Mister Tristan, no one has said-" The detective Cabbrini begins.

"You have implied pretty damn well." Jericho sighs. "So once again, both are friends. I work with Bianca."

"What was she doing with you, if you don't mind my asking?"

"I'm in construction. I we were going over some plans." Which is yes, a lie but not a huge one. They were going over plans for building encryption into their radio systems.

"Which I think I've told you like ten times now."

"Sir." Detective Nieves breaks in. "There's no reason to get agitated now."

Jericho's jaw sets in irritation. They have not yet seen agitated. He reminds himself that it's not their fault. They're just doing their jobs…

*

The clickity-clack of knitting needles now acts as the percussion to the conversation. Poor Officer Taylor is rubbing at his temples as he tries to be patient with the octogenarian.

"So, as I was saying. I was just looking at birds, minding my own business, and I saw that man with that young girl in his apartment. Now, at first I thought they might just be related, but then the other girl started showing up too! And him with no clothes on! Well, it doesn't take an Einstein to see what's really going on in there. Shameful! It's shameful, I tell you. When a man like that takes advantage of a young girl. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out that they think they're in love with him. They think are the only one he's with. I went straight to you. After getting photographic evidence with that new smart phone my children got me. You know, when I was your age, we didn't even have touch tone phones, let alone these little smart phones. I don't trust them. How do you really get all that stuff into such a little thing. A camera, a phone and a little computer? What will they think up next? I almost feel like I'm living in a James Bond movie with all these fancy devices!"

*

"Right, because it sounds like it's going super well in there," Sara sighs at Paul's suggestion, leaning a shoulder against the window.

"They know we can't hold him, right?" she arches a brow at O'Brian. "I mean, whatever pictures the old broad brought in, there's no law against talking to girls who look young, and I'm pretty sure she didn't get a picture of the girl's ID."

*

"Why don't you give our friends a call."

Paul suggests to Sara and then raps on the window before opening the door and walking in. He gives Jericho a smile that isn't before nodding a greeting to the cops.

"Detective Nieves. Detective Cabbrini. I see you found him. Excellent work."

*

"He came in voluntarily, so it's still on the up and up." O'Brian says maybe a bit defensively. Which yes, he had. He figured it was better than having the cops get suspicious. Ugh. He's getting blackout windows for that safe house. And going to work on setting up his own places. "He was polite enough for the first half hour. I think he's just getting pissed off now." Brilliant deductive reasoning detective."

Jericho's eyes widen when he sees Paul. "Detective." Found him? Great. Why, now, where they looking for him? And more to the point… who else knows he's here?

"Detective Manning." Both other detectives greet him. "You know this guy? We were just asking him some questions. Some confusion on a matter we wanted to clear up. He's been most… 'helpful'." Translation: he's been evasive, snarky and in the last fifteen minutes, borderline insulting.

*

The old woman takes a moment to pause in her knitting to have another sip of tea, putting the cup back on Taylor's desk. He looks over at O'Brian with eyes that shoot daggers into the other officer's back. Take the old lady, he said. She'll be easy, he said. Just get her statement and then you're done, he said. He should have known that it looked too easy. No one gives the rookie the easy job. "Mrs. Kurkiewicz, if you could please stay on the topic at hand? Now, do you have any evidence that they were doing more than just, say, talking?"

The old woman starts to knit again, looking at Officer Taylor as if offended. "I don't see why a man needs to be talking to a young girl with his clothes off, still dripping wet from the shower. And look in that picture! Look at the way she is just eyeballing him while he's putting clothes on! You can tell what she's thinking. The little hussy. It's a den of ill repute! I tell you. He might be turning those girls to a life of crime! Turning them into prostitutes! We don't want that sort in our neighborhood!"

*

Sara rolls her eyes slightly at Paul, but steps away to make the call, leaving dealing with the other detectives to him for the moment. Which is probably the best. There are many reasons Sara hasn't had a partner for a while.

*

"I've seen him before." Paul agrees truthfully, even if the implication isn't quite accurate. "Didn't you get the alert? Though I suppose it's possible they didn't get to it yet since he's only wanted for questioning as a potential material witness. This man is wanted by SHIELD. I imagine they'll be coming to collect him soon enough."

*

Jericho glares daggers at Paul. It's the kind of look that says 'what have you done?'.

"Wanted by SHIELD?" Detective Cabbrini turns a sharp smile on the hacker. "Well isn't that interesting."

"They know, Detective." Jericho's addressing Paul here, "How to find me if they want me." Well… May knows how to find him if she wants him. The rest of the Agency? He'd just as soon they didn't know he existed. Which apparently is a bit too much to hope for.

"Do we need to put him in lockup, Detective Manning?" Nieves asks too casually.

*

"Why, you worried he's going to hit on you, since you're both such pretty little girls?" Sara asks as she steps into the room, flashing a nice, bitchy smile at the pair. "Come on, guys. You had your fun, you brought in a guy someone actually wants to talk to. Let's stop while you're ahead, yeah?"

*

"And they want you." Paul tells Jericho. "And here you are, all unexpectedly. But I don't think there's any reason he can't stay here and wait for them. Unless you were planning on charging him with something?" he asks the other detectives. "The business with SHIELD should probably take priority over anything but a felony though. They don't play around with minor things."

*

"Nah, Detective." Cabbrini shrugs, eyes narrowing a bit as he ignores Sara's barb. "This was just a little informal questioning. I think we can let it go at that." He and Detective Neives nod and stroll out of the room, both clearly thinking that maybe there's some investigation to be done here if they can get it cleared.

Jericho rolls his eyes as he watches them go, then turns his gaze on the newly arrived pair of detectives. He's so going to have to burn that identity. And he just got it set up, too.

"So… SHIELD wants me and they told you? I didn't know they were in the habit of farming work out to the NYPD."

*

"We make friends well. Or something. Maybe it's just me," Sara says with a glance toward Paul. "Believe me, I find it weird, too. Hell of a thing to get picked up for, though," she adds, smirking faintly.

"Underage girls, huh?"

*

"I'm certain there's lots of things you don't know." Paul points out with one of those pleasantly bland smiles that's used to hide what someone is really feeling.

"But since you're going to find out sooner than later, we were consulting on a case. You might recall a vial of blue liquid."

*

"One of them is a hundred and twenty, so I don't think that counts." Jericho sighs. "Yeah, the vial I gave them. Well gave you to give them. Is that what this-"

The hacker cuts off and his eyes widen as Detective O'Brien walks in to ask a question. Whatever it was is quickly forgotten because Jericho shouts at the top of his lungs as he kicks the table right at him.

"DOWN!"

Then he's on the floor himself and not a moment too soon. There's a loud crack as a hole opens up in the wall behind the good detective, who is now on the floor with a table on him, and a very large bullet passes through where O'Brian had been, where his own heart had been and then embeds itself through the far wall. Given that it passed through three walls to get here…

"This…" Jericho picks himself up off the floor, his eyes somewhere else for a moment. "This is why I don't come to places like this."

*

"This," Sara grimaces from where she threw herself to the floor, "Is how we usually run into each other. Too much to hope it was going to be normal."

*

Paul's reaction is somewhat different from Sara's. Instead of assuming Trent is warning them and taking cover, he's drawing his weapon and in the process of aiming it at him when the sniper's round misses. Point for Trent. "What the hell? That's not an outside wall!"

*

Officer Taylor is trying. He really is. She's a little old lady, much like his grandmother, though he's hoping his grandmother doesn't take pictures of her half clothed (possibly naked) neighbor. As the bullet flies through the precinct, the old woman screams. Shaken, she asks if she is done giving her statement because she would really like to go home now. And maybe have a nip of brandy to calm her nerves. Or two. Or six.

*

The hacker sighs and looks at the penetrator in the wall behind him. He doesn't want to dig it out because it's still hot and he can already guess it's some kind of penetrator intended more for car engine blocks or armored things than people. Neat trick to target his heart so accurately through four walls though. Neat, really worrying trick.

"I assume you're gonna want me to wait for SHIELD to show up?" He says somewhat resignedly as he sits back down. He doubts there'll be another shot. Professionals don't usually take two. Right now he's really hoping it's May they send and not someone he doesn't know and can't trust.

*

"Not sure exactly where we'd put you that someone who could take that shot isn't going to be able to take another one," Sara admits, glancing up to the camera in the corner of the room with a faint grimace. Armoring up is not a great idea right now, either. "Good thing we already called SHIELD," she adds to Paul.

*

Lacking someone to shoot, Paul puts his gun away then helps O'Brien up. "You assume right. Not to mention that you probably shouldn't be wandering around at the moment."

*

"People take far fewer shots at me when I am." Jericho sighs, glancing back at the large divot in the 5th wall. He snickers. It went through four walls. His sniper broke the fourth wall. It's the sort of thing that's only funny when you've just barely survived an ambush. As expected, outside the room the Precinct is going on full alert.

"Is the coffee here traditionally awful? And would anyone mind if I had some while we wait for SHIELD?" Yes, he does still snark some.

*

The word came in that the NYPD detectives have Trent in custody, so May calls dibs on getting him back to the nearest SHIELD facility. She's in a (closer to) inconspicuous black helicopter prepping for take off when a tech tells her all nervous-like over the comms that a sniper has taken a shot at the precinct where Trent is currently being held. She mutters a curse, especially as Barton's not where she can snag him by the ear and make him accompany her. Because after all, the best way to beat a sniper is with a better sniper. She sends back the request for a team and/or a sniper to ride along for the pick up, knowing that that might attract particular attention but not really sure of what else to do at the moment. If Trent goes to ground again or slips from the detectives' grasp because of this, that Partisan woman will be the LEAST of their concerns.

*

"It's traditionally awful, but you're not leaving this room right now," Sara answers Jericho with a shake of her head. "Maybe SHIELD has better coffee. They've probably got fancy machines or something." Standing, she pushes the table toward the hole in the wall, if only so she doesn't have to look at it anymore.

*

Knowing that their mystery man is ready to be picked up is all the excuse that Hill needs to accompany May on the flight out. Knowing that Aspect's already getting shot at -while at the police station- has her barking out orders. May's call for reinforcements is good… Maria's not happy with just 'good.'

With SHIELD's usual star players unavailable at the moment she's made the call to scramble other teams, including counter-snipers and urban assault teams for no other task than to secure the perimeter for their arrival.

That they're using a chopper has her practically gritting her teeth together. "Is there any sound reason why we're using one of the slowest vehicles in our fleet? I'd much prefer we bring him in -without- the giant hole through his head." At least she can count on May pushing this bird in the name of speed, dead people aren't nearly as useful for interrogations.

*

"Absolutely horrible." Paul agrees. "It's tradition. Unlike in Castle, we don't get an espresso machine. There might even be a regulation against good coffee. We should get him to the lower level. It's harder to fire a bullet through the ground."

*

Time seems to crawl but Jericho has advantages in this matter. He can play solitaire in his head. Or chess. It's a little odd with chess though since the Polymorpher uses his own head as a processor and so in a way he loses quite frequently to himself. At least he knows he could be good at chess.

By the time the Precinct has gone on lockdown patrol cars have a description of the shooter, black haired woman in a fancy BMW, but she matches the description of someone who's been on their radar for a while. Odds are good she'll dump the car and the weapon. Which doesn't mean they won't find her. Just that it might take a little longer.

Because he's got traffic feeds and so on streaming into his head, Jeri does notice when SHILDIES start showing up. "Well, that means the pickup can't be far behind." He mutters loud enough to hear but mostly to himself.

*

"Because a quinjet would make it completely obvious who is collecting Trent," is May's terse reply to Hill as the helicopter lifts off and heads for the aforementioned precinct at a pace that is likely strongly ill-advised. Hope the counter-snipers and other team members in the whirly bird have strong stomachs. A roller coaster has nothing on how abruptly May is making the black helicopter maneuver through the city. Oh, she's also flying at a level usually reserved for traffic and police 'copters.

*

"We could have an espresso machine if we sucked up to the right people," Sara points out, helpful.

"It's just, you know. We're NYPD, so we're not great at sucking up. What're you picking up, Trent?" she asks at Jericho's murmur, arching a brow.

*

Fortunately the chopper itself isn't packed full of operatives, many are called out at street level. There's Agents all over the coast, it boosts response time something scary. "And half of the city won't recognize us in a matte black chopper?" Eh, she's just being pessimistic.

She's also got a death-grip on part of the chopper's frame, May doesn't screw around when it comes to piloting. Sometimes it's good to be reminded of these things. In fact, Maria may well have her pilot in mind for the Next Big Ordeal in the works.

"Heller, get me info from that station. If they know -anything- about the shooter then I want to know it, too." Because she has to do something to pass the time while May's doing her flying. 'Are we there yet?' doesn't work so well at this point in her career.

*

"Oh, is that how it's done." No, Paul's not good at sucking up. He sets the table back upright and the chair as well before sitting down on it. Though he's quite careful to place it away from a direct line with Trent's head or heart.

"That was Hydra I assume? They want you that much to assault a police station?"

*

"Trent now is it?" Jericho chuckles. "Someone's been taking lessons from my SHIELD contact, I see." He doesn't know for a fact that Sara's talked to May other than the one time. He does know that he introduced himself to Sara and Paul as Jericho.

"I'm picking up SHIELD traffic. I assume they'll be here pretty quick. Don't know what they're saying, I've not bothered to try cracking it, but the triple encoded radio microbursts can only be so many things."

He sighs at Paul's question. "Yes and no. Hydra wants me dead or alive, but they're too smart to risk their own people most of the time. Most of the guys who come after me are contract killers, plain and simple. They've got enough resources to simply throw money at me. Though every once in a while I see a legitimate Hydra operative. Those guys are pretty scary."

*

The shooter is alleged to be one "Mantis", codename for a wetworker connected to the Italian Mafia. She's known to favor the sniper MO, though she's never used something as large as would be necessary to shoot into the police station like she did. No eyes on her just at the moment but the NYPD is sure to be pretty heavy after her in very short order.

*

The helicopter reaches the precinct quickly enough, but before just settling on the roof of the building, it stops to hover a bit away and stays there for several seconds as May calls out a few potential snipers nest locations to the teams on the ground. THEN they're on the roof. Without bother to do more than the equivalent of throwing the vehicle into 'Park', May unbuckles and moves to get out, her eyes catching on one of the people that did accompany her and the depdir. It's unspoken but standard procedure — one agent stays with the vehicle. Just in case. Don't move the seat or play with the stereo, May will be right back.

*

"Well, I could come up with other names, but, you know. No need to get too friendly in the precinct," Sara smirks at Jericho, taking a seat against one of the walls to wait for SHIELD to show up. No need to rush, right? That's what the professionals are for.

*

This 'Mantis' individual is, in Maria's eyes, little fish. Let the police handle the situation, the Italian Mob's got nothing of interest to her. The important thing is that her agents know who to keep an eye out for while they're sweeping the area, lest there be a second shot taken from the sniper. She has her priorities and right now there's very little which is going to change them.

She can't afford to lose Jericho.

"That's the Chrysler Building," Hill deadpans while -staring- forward as the chopper comes dangerously close to the tower. It's something of a blessing when they do reach the station then settle onto the roof. Hill brings one other agent with them, mostly because she doesn't feel like being the one to lug anything larger than her sidearm along while they go to retrieve their person(s).

The NYPD will know that they have arrived. In another moment Paul, Sara, and Jericho will have more company.

*

"I have just one question." Paul says, looking at Trent.

"I can see wanting you dead. I can see throwing lots of money at it. I can see how everyone and their uncle wants to score it rich by taking you out and earning the bounty. I can even see firing on a police station if it's large enough. What I want to know is how the hell did the sniper know where you were? Do they have a locator in you? Or is all that…"

He motions up and down Trent's body "basically a locator that they can read and see where your heart is?"

*

No one needs Trent to announce the arrival of the chopper. It's clearly audible through the whole building. Ah yes, SHIELD on scene. Standby for the second most frightening woman in Jericho's life, presently.

"That'd be them, I think." Yes, it's redundant but… you know.

"That's a good question Detective." Clearly it's one that's bothering him. "No, I don't think they can track me like this because if they could they'd have abducted or killed me in my sleep. However I've had trouble with information from police departments getting out before. No offense but I have to assume that's what happened here." He puts up his hand to forestall protest.

"Though that's just cynicism and close calls talking. There are other possibilities, one of which is that some branches of Hydra deal in tech…" He pauses to hold up his left arm and let the circuit traces pulse briefly. "Like this."

Jericho stands, awaiting the impending arrival of SHIELD.

*

Melinda May waits for Hill and that one other agent with a flat stare that's the silent equivalent of "could you go a little slower?" before she turns and heads for the roof access door. May has entered the building. And she snags the first person she sees by the ear (hopefully only the ear).

"Detective Manning or Detective Pezzini. Now." Ahh, once again displaying her manners learned from Wednesday Addams.

*

It's easy enough for any of the officers to find Manning and Pezzini. It's not like they don't already get blamed for all of this. Sara is just standing up as well, hearing the tell-tale tromp of boots.

*

With agents like this at Maria's disposal she can save the trouble of doing the talking, herself! She'll get the job done, Hill's got her other people to coordinate, and watching May take all of this on such a personal level is -immensely- entertaining to watch. Who needs Reality TV for a little character conflict? She's surrounded by it!

There's little that's subtle about their arrival. Hill instantly recognizes the two detectives, despite one being on her way out. The third guy… The third… highly underwhelming 'I swear I'm not emo' guy…

Hill actually stops short. "Is this some sort of joke?" THIS is what all of the fuss was about? Looks can be deceiving and all, but..really?

*

"Even if someone did tell them where you were, that would pinpoint you so exactly that a single bullet would be a guaranteed kill." Paul point out. "They'd have used a rocket propelled grenade to take out the entire room. This was an aimed shot." And if the sound is any indicator, here comes SHIELD to take their problem child away.

"Agent May. Agent Hill. How nice to see you again." Though it's obviously not nice for everyone as PEZZINI can be heard bellowing down the hallway. "I was wondering when the Captain would be demanding explanations." Looking resigned, Sara goes to provide them.

*

Jericho is just standing there, and as Hill and May walk up he is, no question about it, the absolute most boring thing in the room. It's not that he's awful to look at. He's certainly not ugly, he's just not a standout next to, say, Paul. "Fair point, Detective." He murmurs softly enough that the other officers milling about may have a hard time hearing it.

Jericho winces as Detective Pezzini is called off. "Poor Sara…" He says mostly to himself but certainly loud enough for Paul to hear. Clearly he feels a bit bad about bringing his private hell into the station.

The moment he sees Agent May though his body language changes and the whole 'boring' vibe he's throwing off simply evaporates. It's nothing superhuman so much as it is a practiced ability to appear unimportant using nonverbal cues. And he simply stopped using it.

"Agent May." He actually sounds relieved. He'd been concerned it'd be someone completely unknown to him, which would have been both awkward and dangerous.

*

Melinda May looks at Paul and Trent, then at the table pushed to one side and the bullet hole it was attempting to conceal. Any sniper (that isn't Barton, anyway) making a shot this far into a building HAD to have some sort of edge. And she's not willing to believe that Trent's enemies would have found a sniper with superhuman abilities… at least not one that SHIELD hasn't already flagged. So that leaves—

"Someone scan for tracking devices. Now." Yeah, Hill, you're included in that if you have the capability.

*

The change of demeanor in that peculiar man can be noticed, which coincides quite well with what Hill had already seen from May regarding handling this transfer, and the questioning which has yet to begin. (And this is what we call 'leverage.') Nothing like a familiar face, albeit not precisely a friendly one.

With Sara having departed Maria turns her attention on Paul. "There's room in the bird if you want-" ..To tag along, that is. She would have continued the thought if not for May cutting in. (The fun never ends…) Here Hill turns to their silent third, giving the man in black and white an expectant look. No dice.

"Unless you've decided to pack along a few extra toys we'll have to get back to the bird first." Bug trackers, not part of the usual urban field loadout. Now she's wondering how difficult it might be to adjust that detail.

"So now we've got a possible bug on top of everything else. I've rather had it with unexplained bugs in my home. Tell me he's had his shots," she sides to Paul in reference to Jericho.

*

Paul nods approvingly as May picks up on the implications instantly. Had she not, he'd have mentioned it himself.

"I most certainly do want. But I'd suggest going to get it and bringing it back here before he goes anywhere with an actual line of sight. It would be nice if he got to your HQ alive and if he is being tracked, they'll know as soon as he moves. The next sniper might have to wait till there's less than four walls between them."

*

Jericho frowns. That's two people who have mentioned bugs today and while he's usually pretty careful about this kind of thing - paranoid really - it never hurts to be a little extra paranoid. His look briefly becomes unfocused. That's the best way to describe it. Then he frowns and reaches up to scratch the back of his neck… pretty hard actually as he watches May and the agent he doesn't know (another snark machine, apparently. There can only be one…) talk to Paul. When his hand comes down May might have a good view on his hand moving in the manner of a street magician, palming something moments before there's a snap so faint that only Paul may pick it up.

"Son of a gun…" He coughs and takes his shirt off, maybe a bit self consciously and chucks it in a trash can, then appropriates a department issue jacket that someone left behind in the scramble after the sniper shot. Doing so gives Hill, May and Manning a brief but close look at the circuit traceries all over his chest, arms and back. They look like they might run down into his legs too… but his pants are staying on.

*

Melinda May watches Trent sharply and even though she's certain he's just removed the tracker on his person she turns to the agent that has been Hill's shadow thus far. "Go get a scanner." Because clearly, no one ELSE is going to bother doing so to keep up the farce. She already has her answer all thought up for the Yakuza-level circuit traces on Trent's skin. She's not going to say unless someone asks her directly, though.

*

All it would have taken is another glance from Hill to Agent #3 to send him on his way back to the chopper to retrieve the necessary hardware. Once again, May beats the DepDir to it. Maria slowly rests hands onto her hips, narrowing her eyes slightly at May. A good agent, sure, though it would appear that they still have a few issues regarding the chain of command.

It's true, if a sniper is capable of putting a hole this big through a cement wall then even an armored chopper would struggle. The rotors are downright impossible to protect against that kind of attack.

It's when Jericho reveals his skin, however… "I take that back, this guy just became a whole lot more interesting," she softly admits, half lost within her own thoughts. Just how difficult would it be to get him down to R and D for an 'extended tour?' It's a man with circuitry for veins, of -course- they'd like to get a closer look!

"This is turning out to be slightly less boring," Hill says to no one in particular as the agent comes back with the scanners. He doesn't need a go ahead from anyone to start the scan.

*

"Found one, did you?" Paul says as the shirt comes off. It's not really a question. As May sends for the bug sweeper anyway, he doesn't ask about the pants. And since he's seen Trent in action, he doesn't ask about the circuitry. It merely answers the question of how he does what he does. As they wait for the bug sweeper to arrive, he says "So I just have to ask. Was there some reason you were naked while that girl was in your bathroom with you or do you just like them young? I'll assume she was of legal age."

*

Jericho ignores the first question in favor of the second. "She's a friend. She came to ask for my help on a matter. She simply has a very stilted sense of timing. It amuses her, I think." He turns a glare on Paul, suspecting he said that simply for SHIELD's benefit. "As I told your esteemed colleagues in Vice: do I look that lucky to you?"

He turns his gaze back to the SHIELD agents. "So…" He sighs with an almost resigned sigh… "Not quite how I'd hoped to see you again Agent May. To what, exactly, do I owe the pleasure?"

*

Melinda May accepts the scanner from the agent and uses it to start scanning Trent's shoulders and head for any (other) trackers. Please have a brain cell and shut down all the outside connection stuff, Trent, at least while Hill is here. "Hill wanted to talk to you. Manning and Pezzini agreed to help look for you." so that means May is here strictly as the driver. How illustrious.

*

Wait wait. Naked with a what now? Hill promptly brings a white gloved hand up to pinch the bridge of her nose, closing her eyes more firmly than really necessary. "Can we please stay on target here, gentlemen?"

May's turning out to be more than just the driver. Frankly, she's been getting to every point before Maria has had a chance to that she may as well not have tagged along in the first place. Fortunately, there's an easy fix for that.

"Well May, since you -clearly- have everything in order here I'll leave you two to catch up on the ride back." Yeah, the ride back. Not the flight back. "And just in case you happen to miss any bugs along the way, I'll be playing decoy up high."

May can fully expect the seat and the radio to be thoroughly messed with later. For now, that chopper belongs to the Deputy Director.

"I'll see you kids when you decide to show up."

*

Paul shrugs at the question. "You do seem to be fit." he notes. "And not bad looking." That's all the answer Trent gets as he falls silent once the bug sweeper arrives. "Clean?" he asks once it's done and then glances over at Maria. He can recognize a takedown at a thousand paces and a certain Agent just got spanked. Someone's got latrine duty in their future.

*

Trent has a brain cell. Two in fact. But he didn't want the one bug get burrowed any further into him. Damn Hydra spooks. He'll deal with that later. He does shut down his connections but there is an RFID tag on his pants, behind his left knee. Small and easily removed but really, sneaky little thing.

He is rather fit - spec forces workout is a good one - though not bad looking is not something he hears often.

"Hill wanted to talk to me?" He watches the unnamed Agent's exit. "Please tell me that wasn't her."

He makes a lead-on gesture to May and glances to Paul, wondering if he'll be tagging along. Just… not his day. "Where are we going, may I ask? And what's this all about? Paul was mentioning something about that syringe but really you guys have better facilities for that kind of thing than me.” Which is to say any at all.

*

Whether or not May agrees with Paul is something none of them will ever discover, if her lack of expression or reaction is any proof.

"I don't lie," is her only reply to Trent as she plucks the RFID tag from the back of his trouser leg. She's similarly unperturbed by Hill claiming the bird to take back to base and leaving May to return some other way. She knows better than to expect anything less from the depdir. Though if that twig of a woman aims any more snark at her they just might have to have a throwdown. Which honestly could be interesting. She'll just have to remember to let Romanoff know about it.

When Trent gestures for her to lead the way, she looks at Manning, actually (gasp!) deferring to him for the way out of this building. Maybe he's got a route to the street that a sniper might miss if they're relying on trackers.

"The contents of that syringe are … going to require a LOT more information that can be gleaned with a mass spectrometer."

*

"That was her." Paul agrees. He seems happy to be the bearer of the bad news. He watches yet another bug be disposed of and the look bestowed on Trent kind of wonders how he's managed to stay alive so long. See? An aimed shot.

"We should bill you for the repairs." When they're ready to go, he stands and looks up at the camera in the corner. See Captain? He's making nice with the SHIELD agents. And turning a problem over to them which should make the man even happier.

"You have a car out front? Tell him to meet us around back." There's less places for a sniper to blend in. Without waiting to make sure she does, he leads the way to the back.

*

The look on Jericho's face says he's not really sure what kind of help he can be. Of course he has been tracking this since he discovered it some weeks ago so… it probably depends on the questions they're going to ask. 'I don't lie.' Huh.

"Alright… I believe you." Is his answer to that. No more questions about where they're going. He's just going to have to trust May. Which is harder than it might seem. He falls in behind the SHIELD agent when and if she begins to move.

Heh, bill him for repairs. "You do that." Hope you like getting paid by dead hitman. The very thought makes him grin.

*

Melinda May looks at Paul flatly as the sounds of the helicopter making it clear the bird is departing again. "No, I don't have a car out front. We're going to have to take alternative transportation." Which is Mayspeak for 'drive us or I steal something'.

Getting her bearings by the other people moving about the precinct, she gives up on Paul leading the way and starts leading Trent toward where she's guessing the motor pool will be. What are the odds she's actually correct?

*

Paul stops and turns to look back at May. "Why didn't you say so. You're also going the wrong way." He retraces his steps but then turns down a hall in the opposite direction May picked. There's usually a bunch of police cars out front. His unmarked is at the side and that's where he takes them.

"Pezzini will know where we went and show up once she placates the Captain." He doesn't bother to tell them where to sit. Should Trent try to claim shotgun, he assumes May will… correct him.

*

Jericho just… doesn't mention that he could hijack an onstar equipped car. Probably not a good idea. Bad enough that he's done that kind of thing before remotely for use as a weapon.

"May." He says quietly from behind her. "If it's all the same to you I'd rather not stay anywhere super connected to SHIELD. Leaks, you know." He says, by way of reminding her that there's a small but statistically significant chance that him being recognized by SHIELDies is simply not safe.

Trent does not try to claim shotgun. He is of the distinct impression that this will not go well, and in any case she may need to give Paul directions. He's certainly not going to.

*

Melinda May nods to Manning and follows to his unmarked vehicle, but pauses when Jericho addresses her quietly.

"Fine. But we at least need you to go in and share any information you have about where you got that syringe and so on. Okay?" She then opens the car's back door as to silently tell the former soldier, 'get in the car already'.

*

Once the two are in the car, Paul drives to the Triskelion. He doesn't need directions. "We need to know more of the back story about it than what it actually is. The techs did that but can't speak to the story behind it. They have the what, we need the how and why. Or as much as it as you have."

*

"Sure, give you any help I can." The you there is clearly May. He knows what he's got is important, but he doesn't trust SHIELD as an organization and doesn't know Paul well enough to be fully able to trust him either. Sara seems like good people and he's willing to bet Paul is… but not willing to bet his life on it. Yet. Before he gets in the car May might notice him slipping something in her pocket in a manner subtle enough that it's clearly not supposed to be seen by anyone else and obvious enough that it's clearly supposed to be seen by her.

"I first found it… ugh. Four weeks ago? Five? Something like that. I was working on… mmm, another project, let's say. Two FBI agents who I knew to be on Hydra's payroll were stalking a mutant girl Midtown. Long story short she got away from them pretty easily and I iced them to see what was what. Turns out they each had two syringes."

He rubs his temples a bit. This stuff's been a huge headache. "The girl, Blink is her name if you can ever find her, took two of them and left. I kept the other two. Gave one to you to give to Agent May and the other I passed along elsewhere. That got me curious though, so I started digging. At the time it seemed like it might be related to my other thing, but it turns out this is probably being developed by a different cell. And it's bad. I recovered a canister of a nasty retrovirus designed to target mutants from an underworld Gotham medical clinic. Stuff could kill a mutant in hours and with a little tweaking or natural mutation, could kill non mutant carriers of the X-gene complex."

*

Melinda May watches the route that Paul is taking and is also watching to make sure they're not being tailed. When Trent starts explaining, she doesn't stop him but she does take a moment to mention,

"You're going to have to tell all of this same information to Hill again when we get there, so you know." Oh, and in the sake of disclosure… "The analysis of the substance in that syringe proves it would be fatal to /anyone/, not just mutants. There's enough cyanide in it to take down Andre the Giant in a matter of seconds, and no way to counteract it once it's administered."

She glances over her shoulder toward Aspect. "And it seems like it would not be too much effort to aerosolize it. So you see why Hill wants to know everything you can possibly remember about the stuff."

*

Paul's not taking a direct route, not after someone already tried to kill Trent once. If he was a cabbie, he'd have a report filed against him for running up the mileage. "Could it be reading falsely as cyanide? Or maybe somethign about it, in interaction with another chemical, only makes it dangerous to mutants? A targeted poison somehow?"

*

"I can remember an awful lot." Actually he cheats and stores it in his buffer but Paul doesn't need to know that. "What I can tell you right now is that a friend of mine named Doctor Angelo DiLucci was doing analysis on it and possible countermeasures. I also passed on his information to one Doctor Hank McCoy." And quite a trick that was too, one of the few people more suspicious than he. "I know the one was going to try to collaborate with the other and as neither of them are hiding from hit teams, I'm sure they wouldn't mind some contact from the NYPD or SHIELD. In fact, I'm almost positive Angelo at least would welcome it. I doubt either have the facilities to actually make any countermeasures."

He frowns when may mentions what it is, thinking. "That'd be the third form of it I've run across, then. One in virus form, one cyanide enhanced one that if I had to guess is supposed to be loaded into tranq darts and used on high resistance mutants… Now that? Did it involve a retroviral component? Or something else?"

He shakes his head. "Damn it. Someone's gotta track this stuff back to the source. I've been working on it but no dice yet."

*

Melinda May purses her lips and nods to Trent, turning back to pay attention to their surroundings. Too many cars and she's apparently trying to pay attention to ALL of them.

*

Paul's just as focused on his driving and taking a roundabout way of getting there. As May said, they'll just need to do this again anyway with Hill so he doesn't bother asking more questions. There will be time when they get there.

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