Back To Bahrain

April 25, 2015:

May returns to Bahrain, relunctantly

Presidential Palace - Bahrain


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

It would be much easier to teleport to Bahrain. Jericho can do it. May can do it. Simple, yes? Unfortunately their turning up unannounced would probably create more headaches than it'd solve so for this particular occasion the hacker has asked that May get them an aircraft. They'll be making a visit to the Bahrani Presidentail Palace where, he believes, someone has stored some hardcopy documents relating to HYDRA's plans.

Since the two of them might have some trouble, Jerichos' reached out in few directions. One of them was to Laurel Lance who'd seemed keen to work with SHIELD. The hacker has suggested that they bring the woman along. He's also stressed to Lance that this is an incredibly delicate op and while there is a decent chance things will go sideways, that the gung-ho approach here is not the preferred one. She was an operative. If she's worth anyhting, she'll get it. And May can see her get it. Or not.

Meanwhile he's contacted Oracle for overwatch support. She suggested mailing a very special package to the palace. A package that she assures him will help when the time comes. A package with a radio turned on as they approach the airport.

"So, before we get there let me bring you up to speed, May." Jericho says, looking over at the other Agent and producing a stick drive. "This has everything we got from the hack we executed. We got… a lot. Plans relating to their magical operations that I hope the data we get here will make more clear. Also, the entire Smooth distribution network and one of their operatives. Looks like this faction of HYDRA's been active in pushing that though why I don't know yet. There's also an excellent chance they've compromised the mercenary known as Shift." He sighs. "It's all in there. But after we're done here, I'll need to find him. In fact consider this my request for help, because I think I'm going to need it."

Laurel was clear on the directions that this was a sensitive op and she was prepared. Since she had a new costume for superhero work courtesy of Janet Van Dyne, she was presently dressed in her old team 7 tactical outfit; stripped of anything that made it stand out.

A black cap was worn over her head and her hair, was distinctly not blonde but brown. Maybe she was better at hiding her real identity than it seemed or maybe it was a dye job, she would never tell.

"Shift is an old friend and Smooth is a major menace. You can count me in Jericho." She began to check over the various martial arts gear she had brought before she double-checked her earpiece to make sure it was working, "Drake, checking in."

Melinda May sent Jericho's request up to Fury, and only somewhat surprisingly, got permission and access to a quinjet, even with a previously untapped asset tossed into the mix. The quinjet is currently waiting in the vacant parking lot of a recently closed down superstore, cloaked from the view of casual passersby, though anyone who knows what to look for can likely pick out the tiny, Matrix-like visual anomalies of the nearly perfect system.

Dressed in her usual field combat gear with the added bonus of her aviator sunglasses, May is standing in the passenger compartment of the jet waiting for the others to arrive. SHe's already placed a call to Oracle announcing her presence and to have her link her systems in with the quinjet for the duration of this mission.

Oh, and throughout all of this, May is even LESS pleased about things than usual. Hope you're not expecting a cheerful greeting, Laurel.

Nighteyes has been waiting patiently, if somewhat nervously for their arrival. During the day she sleeps in the same box she'd been mailed in, tucked safely away in one of the place's storage rooms. At night she prowls around collecting information and finding animals that won't be missed. She's been banished from this side of the world and is so flying back with them. The sooner she's back in America, the better. She hadn't wanted to tell the woman who'd asked her here no though, so banishment or not, the vampire is there and waiting.

"Canary is that you? Good. You're on ground already yes? May and I are going in through the front door. They're expecting so whatever you do, do not raise the alarm before we get there. Coordinate with Oracle and find the asset we already have in place. She should be in the lower levels aready. She's a bit unusual I'm told. Oracle, you'll probably need to run overwatch for her and help her find the data cache. It should be all hardcopy and it won't be kept in the usual spots which means either the sub-basements or the Presidenial Suite. May and I will cover the top floors. She's got our cover story, but I think it's a SHIELD liason mission expressing security concerns. Either way I expect the cache to be guarded and it's possible that either staff or officials there are HYDRA operatives. Be careful. Don't get caught. Don't get shot. We're landing in ten."

Once on the ground May and Jericho find government transport waiting for them to take them right to the palace post haste. A SHIELD backup crew takes over the jet. Just incase they need to leave some other way.

The Palace itself is sprawling. Labyrinthine. May and Jericho are shown in through the gardens at the front. Lots of guards. "The President has been looking forward to this meeting, Agent May." Their interpreter notes as they move along.

"Black Canary, May, Aspect. This is Oracle. All comms are in place. Our asset is inside the building and awaiting contact." The redhead who occupies the Gotham Clocktower is sitting at her consoles and watching her screens. In one window is the layout of the palace, she's ready to provide direction and guidance as required.

Canary had made her way to the lower level of the Palace through what might have been a combination of skill and luck, the woman putting all of her training to use as she used acrobatics and physical strength to push passed the defenses.

A pair of guards come around the corner, almost spotting her and she grabs on a piece of pipe and lifts herself up. Flattening against the ceiling spread eagle as she waited for the guards to pass.

When the men are out of sight she moves past a set of security cameras, evading detection before arriving where Nighteyes is.

She winks at the other woman, "Nice outfit. You ready to snag the package?"

Nighteyes had of course heard the other woman coming and is not surprised by her arrival. She grins, showing fang but not in a threating way, j ust a quick flash of white. "Thanks, You too." Her eyes travel over the other woman. Without missing a beat her fist slams out into the temple of the guard coming around the corner and she catches him and stands him up against the wall with a sigh. "Hope they stick to their usual routine tonight."

The flight over very likely seemed interminable. But they made it here. A short while before landing May took a few moments on the flight over to change clothes from her combat gear into rather atypical business-ish trousers and jacket suit, with a pinstriped white shirt under the jacket. At least the shoes remained sensible. She also eyed both Drake and Trent, then shoved one of those hanging suit bags at Jericho. "Change quickly. We're about to land." Nope. No explanations why. Just do it.

Now, as they're walking through the palace alongside their interpreter, May is stonyfaced. Even if somewhere buried in her mind she couldn't help but be at least a little amused by Trent wearing an MIB-esque black suit that even Coulson would approve of.

Jericho blinks. Suits are… he hasn't worn one in a long, long time. Alright. It takes him a few minutes to get into it. He's got no idea what May's play is. He's impressed, a bit, that she got the fit so well. Bit… loose in the shoulders, but otherwise not too bad.

The interpreter moves with them through the upper levels as Laurel moves to meet up with Nighteyes in the lower. Jericho doesn't know their 'asset' is a vampire. Though Laurel has just found out. The places that might possibly contain the data cache aren't close together. Nor are they exactly near where Nighteyes and Dina are, so it'll be up to O to make sure they make it safely.

As May and Jeri move through the upper levels toward the presidential office suite he takes time to look around, note guard placements and things of that nature. As they pass one room he nudges May slightly. Two guards at attention in front of a random hall? Seems a bit out of place. But there's no time to say anything. "His excellency will see you now."

Before them are a set of large mahogany doors.

Oracle has all four conferenced together. "Black Canary, Nighteyes. First potential location is the 1st floor, South Wing. The room on the plan is numbered 132, it looks like some form of Janitors Closet though. Right next to the Music Room."

Through communicator she's provided to Nighteyes, the redhead can 'see' where they are heading. "Straight down that corridor, to the end, turn left." She'll guide them through the maze of the building.

The vampire moves with a sure pace. She's gotten pretty familiar with the lower levels during the past few nights. She hasn't gone poking in any of the rooms, just wandered the halls. "I remember that closet. It did smell like cleaning fluids."

Melinda May catches the nudge, and also noticed the oddly placed guards. She nods as they're told that His Excellency is ready to see them, then gives Trent a look. She's expecting their guide / interpreter to see that gesture as being associated with the meeting they're about to enter when she's actually acknowledging that they'll need to find a way to see what's down that hall. And then she looks forward again as those mahogany doors open.

Last time she'd been in Bahrain, she and Coulson had been full time partners and neither went anywhere without the other. If she'd showed up alone, or with a bodyguard in a tacsuit and not another shirt-and-tie agent, it would have raised more questions. Let's just hope Trent's presence instead of Coulson's is accepted without comment. Embassies house the WORST gossips on the planet. Almost as bad as the Triskelion's main control room.

The doors open to reveal the President, a tall, middle eastern man in a suit who stands as they enter. "Agents. Welcome. We've been expecting. It's always nice to get visits from SHIELD." Diplo-speak. SHIELD relations here are a bit on the strained side. The military doesn't want them here but their UN mandate means that evicting them is politically tricky. Of course, upseting the military is politically tricky as well. "To what do I owe the pleasure?" Jericho glances to May. Her show, on this.

There aren't particularly any obstacles that Nighteyes and Canary can't overcome on the way to the room. When they get there though and open the door it really does seem to be just a closet. Well, that's not unexpected. Oracle knows these are just possible locations. Time to check the other one, perhaps? It does sound as if a regular patrol is going to come through in a minute though, judging from the footfalls. And the cameras in the second area are… a lot thicker since it houses the machine spaces and backup generator.

"Alright, good work. We didn't expect this to be easy." Oracle speaks to Nighteyes and Black Canary, although May and Jericho will hear her. "Next area, 2nd floor, South Wing. It's in the same area you're in now, next to what appears to be some form of operations centre."

"Head to the end of this corridor, quickly now, and take the stairs to the next floor. I'll unlock the door for you." The redhead is also monitoring Jericho and May, they can certainly look after themselves, but she can try and make things easier for them if need be.

Nighteyes is prepared for this. She's got a large black marker on her belt and can move fast enough to cover all the cameras. Hell, she could stroll leasurely past and color them, vampires don't show up on camera. The marker might though. She goes full on mist form and reappears behind the patrol. A jab on the right nerve from each hand and the pair of shoulders slump into an unconcious heap on the floor. The vampire carefully straightens them and moves them out of the way before rejoining the Canary and moving to follow Oracle's instructions.

"You come here often?" Canary quips at the other woman with a smirk, giving a thankful nod when Nighteyes managed to take down the guard who had come around the corner. She follows along with the other woman, trusting her lead on this since she had already been on the ground.

"Janitor's closet, roger." She acknowledged Oracle and looks over at Nighteyes when the location is given and just follows along since it doesn't seem like she really needs to do much given the power of the other woman.

Melinda May says, "Thank you," May says to the President. "Our analysts have informed us of a possible security risk, and our superiors felt it worth informing you in person." She brandishes a SHIELD tablet and activates the screen before handing it across to the President (or setting it on his desk if the man has that same annoying foible as Stark). Displayed on the tablet is a very real and official security assessment, though the actual security holes have been slightly … exaggerated. It helps that Oracle can make the computer-based examples look WAAAAY worse than they really are."

Nighteyes approaches the door and then passes through when it unlocks, she waits for Canary to enter and then makes sure its shut and firmly locked again before making her way to the janitor's room. Outside the door she stops and her head tilts to one side. She holds up a finger indicating there's one person inside. "Sleeping. I think." Her voice is low but filled with amusement. This doesn't seem like a good place to be caught napping on the job.

Canary nods towards the sleeping Janitor and provides cover for Nighteyes, managing to take down a guard that had almost stumbled upon the pair quickly and quietly so it would look like he tripped and fell. It may not have been a guard, it may have been Ackbar the Janitor; former Admiral in the Bahrain 'Navy'.

The President doesn't take the tablet, making May place it on the table in front of him. When it's on the table, he leans forward and looks at it. "I see. That is a serious issue and I thank you for bringing it to my attention." he drums his fingers on the table "Would you mind accompanying my aide, I would like my own security analyst to review it and see what insight you have. I'm sure you understand." The door behind Jericho and May opens and an aide enters, obviously signalled for by the President.

In the meantime, Oracle is watching through Nighteyes communicator. "Stop, Nighteyes, turn back to your left. Yes… just there. You see that panel on the wall there, open it." What the redhead has seen in the janitors closet is up to anyone to guess.

"Of course." May picks the tablet back up and with a nod to Jericho turns to follow the aide to speak with the security analyst. "President." She nods to the leader before they leave. Fingers crossed they're heading toward that guarded hallway.

Nighteyes looks up after making sure sleeping janitor is…sleeping more deeply. Her glowing eyes find the panel and she uses her long nails, painted a red so dark its almost black to pop it open. The paint doesn't even chip. "Nice." She comments, examining them for a moment before looking back at the panel. "What now Lady Oracle?"

Canary finds a chocolate bar on a shelf in the room they're in and picks it up and begins to eat it while she waits for instructions from Oracle before taking a further look around the room to see if there is anything else of note, "Want a bite?" She offers the chocolate to Nighteyes.

They are. The aide guides May and Jericho back to the guarded hallway and to a room. Yes, there are armed guards there but if this is a security analyst office, that might make sense. The aide uses the fingerprint keypad to unlock the door, pushing it open and standing back to hold it whilst Jericho and May enter ahead of them.

Through the camera, Oracle looks at what is behind the panel and nods to herself. "Press the green button, Nighteyes." It's a guess but an educated one.

There's the sound of footsteps, heavy footsteps, travelling up the hall outside the closet. Oracles green eyes reflexively look to the security camera feeds but they were blacked out by Nighteyes' marker. "Remind me to speak to you about blacking out Cameras', Nighteyes."

Nighteyes wilts a bit as she catches Oracle's tone. She's doing her best but this isn't her usual line of work. Perhaps lessons would be a good idea. She blinks at Canary and shakes her head. "No, I thank you for the offer though." Her voice is still a low but pleasant tone as she answers and jabs her finger at the green button. Then the vampire turns slowly, waiting to see what happens. Her ears have caught the footsteps and she can get to them in a moment, waiting first to make sure nothing else in here needs done.

May nods to the aide as she steps past and into the security analyst's room, then nods to Jericho and hands him the tablet. Computer tech is his wheelhouse, and she's going to let him technobabble circles around the analyst while she scopes out the rest of the room visually. SHe suspects, though, that there's going to be a whole lot of not much to see.

Canary remains quiet, not commenting on the camera blacking out; she hadn't done it! At least nobody would be yelling at her. She continues to keep watch waiting to see what happens when the door opens.

Two doors open, in different places at the same time. In the bottom room Nighteyes and Canary and Oracle have located the data cache. Boxes and boxes of documents. It seems organized with a purpose. Someone wanted to keep all this. Though why and why here are both excellent questions. Still, this is half a win, now if they can just get out with the data.

Upstairs the door opens to a small side room with several desks where techs are working security screens. There's also several armed guards in here… and a general. May might remember his face if not his name. Same general she and Coulson dealt with the last time they were here. "Ah Agent May. So good of you to come and bring your protege." Jericho steps in behind her and the door shuts. And then locks. Abruptly there are several guns pointing at the two of them. "Hail HYDRA." The general smirks.

Oracle is watching through Nighteyes camera "Take everything you can… we need it." The redhead is certain Nighteyes can manage it.

Listening to Jericho and Mays comms, she closes her eyes. "What do you need, Jericho, May?" She's already running diagnostics on the building management systems, she'll take over control of the building if she needs to, May and Jericho will be coming home.

Nighteyes looks at the all the paper and sighs. "Well, you just kill or kick anyone in the way. From the sounds of it we need to hurry and then maybe go for your companions. The vampire makes two balanced stacks of boxes and then picks them both up. Her hands are occupied with holding and keeping the boxes from spilling so fighting is out for the moment. Hopefully Canary is as good as she looks.

"Why do I have a bad feeling right now?" Canary asked Nighteyes as they managed to find the data and she watched the other woman begin to collect it. Removing a small hand-held crossbow from her belt she began to lead the way, shooting out the guns from a pair of guards on the way out before moving in to take them out in hand to hand.

"Oracle, do we have a sitrep?" She was worried about the team above, hopefully they weren't hailing Hydra.

The only visible reaction May gives is a tightening in her jaw. She doesn't bother to acknowledge the general's greeting. She's standing about as relaxed as Jericho has probably ever seen her, even if there are no less than five weapons aimed at them right now. She's got her pendulum concealed in a pocket and she mentally tries to find the nearest ley line. She's seen the others do some pretty interesting things, maybe she can tap into a source here and … get Jericho out of here. Then she'll come back and burn this place to the ground.

Jericho tenses as well. May can feel the thrum of the ley line. It's near the river about a mile and a half distant. Might have to extract first. Though the power from it could be tapped… if she knew how to use it. Or needed it badly enough.

Oracle gets a text message across her screen. 'Kill the lights in this room. We'll move when you do. Get the others out and May can get us all home without the jet. Will get you a meetup point soon.' He glances over to May, nodding. Just a moment…

"You Americans are so used to dealing with… politicians. Here, power is held with force and the military holds all the force." The General begins to expound. So the military is the power behind the throne here. Makes sense. Not uncommon in this part of the world. "HYDRA made me a better offer. They don't care about your partner, Agent May. But you will do them valuable service. As one of their top agents." He smirks. "They've had some recent success… 'convincing' reticent people to see things their way. You'll see the light too, soon enough."

Down below Nighteyes can hear a shout of a alarm as someone discoveres a blacked out camera. And then sirens begin to blare.

Control of the building comes to Oracle as Jericho's message comes in. His only acknowledgement that it's received is that the lights in the room go out, immediately.

"Canary, Nighteyes, take what you can and get out. You've been discovered. Head to the Quinn jet, Canary, you're flying it." No question. "May and Jericho will advise a liaison point. They've met with some interesting people."

sighs. "Lady Oracle I will take you up on those lessons." She needs to get these papers out of the building and as they approach the storage room they searched first the vampire darts inside and drops all the boxes into a large trashcan with wheels. "This is better." Much better because when she shoves it back outside she can move and intercept the shot fired at the Canary. Nighteyes grunts as the bullet lands in her shoulder and kicks outwards, knocking the soldier back into three others and taking them out before they've finished falling. The quinjet, Nighteyes doesn't quite know what that is but jet is obvious and her previous surverys led her to the closest place they could have landed. "I will get the papers there and the Canary." Then she's coming back for the others.

Melinda May is practiced in focusing her chi, and she can only hope that tapping the power of the ley line nearby is similar enough that this will work. "You talk too much," is all she tells the general, and then the lights drop out. She grabs Jericho by the arm and tries to pull them both to the river where the ley line crosses. Please let this work. Please let this work.

Canary stopped bother with stealth when the alarm was sounded and the next set of Hydra guards she came across were taken down by pair of well-aimed throwing knives, "Acknowledged." She wouldn't ask any further questions, a mission was a mission.

A group of armed men with machine guns end up in front of the pair of women but Canary unleashes her signature canary cry, taking them all out before they can be much of a threat; luckily Nighteyes was behind her.

When they're clear she makes way for the Quinjet, noting, "First time for everything."

It's worth noting that whether or not they know they're working for HYDRA or whether it's just the general, these are Bahrani military personnel that Nighteyes and Canary are dealing with. Oracle may have her hands full now. Building security is trying to lock doors down and vector security teams in their direction. The best way out is probably through the motor pool and the perimeter will need to be shut down lest those machine gun towers come on line.

The world seems to blur for May. Teleporting at this distance from a ley line is very, very dangerous. Ordinarily one has to be almost right on it. Or at least, within a quarter mile. As if sensing her need though, the pendulum seems to respond. As the world goes out of focus, Jericho comes sharply into focus. Though his traces aren't active May can see large glowing batwings hanging off him… and between his shoulder blades, running from the base of his neck to his tailbone, something that looks like the glowing outline of large, broad bladed sword on his back.

Then the world comes into focus. "Woah." Jericho blinks.

With just the trash can that she's dragging and shoving along with her Nighteyes can fight back. She uses her supperior stregnth to bust or kick open the locked doors and borrow, okay steals, a machine gun that she can balance and aim just as easy with one hand as two. She doesn't feed on humans but she doesn't have any problem with killing them if they're not innocents. Willing HYDRA men or not, these are soldiers and not civilians and made that choice, live or die. A lot of them seem to be doing just that at the moment.

Oracles hands fly over her keyboard "We'll discuss it Nighteyes, you did well. It was my oversight in not briefing you sufficiently." the redhead is racing the team on the other end. "Motorpool exit, go now. I'm clearing a way. They're trying to take control back from me."

The machine gun towers are still disabled and Oracle considers what best to do. A few moments later, a series of commands entered and all doors and windows to the palace unlock, all defence systems just stop and Oracle sends an encrypted data packet into the Building Management System. May can burn the building now.

A man in her way is kicked into a wall before she clears the way out of the motorpool with a few well placed pistol shots; hero or not she had fallen back into her old training and more was at stake here than the lives of a few soldiers.

"Come on, jet is this way!"

Scrambling onboard, she started hitting the buttons she hoped would start it up having some limited experience with flying. When Nighteyes is onboard and the hatch is up, she will take off, "Wooooooo, thanks for flying Air Canary."

She reports to Oracle, "We're on our way out. Not a scratch on us."

Melinda May doesn't really have time to marvel at what she sees while the world around them smears and coalesces again as the banks of that river. And once they're there, she abruptly gets the ever so lovely feedback of having forced the pendulum to pull them from so far away. It's like a concussion and an ice cream headache combined and quadrupled. Her grip on Jericho's arm goes from just tight to vise-like and possibly likely to bruise as she squeezes her eyes shut and forces herself to remain on her feet and NOT lose her breakfast.

Jericho mentally sends Oracle their location… as soon as his systems catch up. While he's getting used to sudden dislocation (wonder why) his systems don't tend to like being yanked from one place to another that abruptly. Except Maxwell. Maxwell loves it and he is loudly informing Jericho in demonic text on his HUD that May should be 'recruited' or possibly just soul drained. Immediately.

Jericho tells him to shut up.

"If you've got what you need we really need to get going." He'll parse the documents when he has time. Right now he produces his gunblade as May steadies herself. There shouldn't be immediate pursuit… but if there is, he's cover.

The vampire had made a quick jaunt to the side of where the jet was waiting to grab her previously hidden pack before rushing aboard. Nighteyes grins at Canary's remark. It's true, she has a bullet wound not a scratch and it's healing it's self just fine. A few more minutes and the bullet should have worked its way back out. It hurts but its managable. She'll just need an extra drink before bed. The vampire secures the large plastic can full of papers and then sits down with a sigh by the hatch. She's ready to spring out and grap or protect the others.

Oracle relays Jericho and Mays location to Canary "Go get them. " She's unaware that May is affected. The OracleComm is good, but not that good… yet.

"They're on their way, Jericho. About 4 minutes, maybe quicker." Depends on Canary's skill, really. Canting her head, she winces as she watches the Palaces IT systems disintegrate before her eyes "Tell May if she wants retribution, the doors will be wide open for a while."

Melinda May actually leans her head against Jericho's arm, trying to will the headache to back off enough for her to respond to Oracle clearly. "SHIELD. Drones. Call a strike." She's half mumbling into the hacker's borrowed jacket sleeve, trying to convey the information that the remote Overwatch is requesting.

Crap. Jericho works his arm under May's and around her so that he can support her in case she actually out and out collapses. "Oracle I'm routing you a connection to a SHIELD communication station used for local traffic. It's how I talk to May when I have to. Send up to SHIELD and call in a drone strike. Tell them that the Bahrani military has been compromised. Request a targeted drone strike on the general himself on May's behalf." They'll probably rout a call in May's direction to make sure it's really her. But he can deal with that if she's out. "And ask them to send a fighter escort for the Quinjet. I'd rather not get shot down." He's already moving. He can hear the Quinjet's engines. Soon as it lands they'll be aboard and out. May… might have to lie down. He's a bit concerned.

The Quinjet cloaks and flies through the air under the relatively stable control of Black Canary who was doing her best with the little bit of training she did have. When the coordinates are relayed to her she punches them down on the computer and flies over at full speed.

Canary guides the jet down near Jericho and May, smiling as she got used to the controls and hit the de-cloak button, the impressive machine appearing right in front of them. The hatch is lowered and she says, "You all deserve a rest, why don't I fly us home."

Truth is, she never knew if she would get the chance to use one of these again. Hopefully May was too tired to protest.

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