Helluland - Hawkeye and Daredevil

Summary:
June 24, 2014: Lara Croft hires Hawkeye and Daredevil to round out her expedition party.

Penthouse - Waldorf Astoria - New York City


Characters

NPCs

  • Winston (Croft Butler)

Mood Music:
None


Lady Lara Croft is once more residing in the penthouse of New York's prestigious Waldorf-Astoria. Her butler, Winston, has laid out an evening treat of petit fours and tea for his employer and her anticipated guests. Invitations went out, directly to SHIELD in regards to the archer called Hawkeye, and through less conspicuous channels to contact the man without fear, Daredevil. The Lady herself is seated at the long dining table in the suite's living space, perusing paperwork. She's dressed in simple khaki pants with plenty of pockets, and a t-shirt with "Croft Expeditions" emblazoned on it.

Several dossier files are spread out on the table, not for the hired muscle Lara has contracted, but for the rest of the personnel who are experts in various other fields. Giles Everett is an expert mountaineer and cold weather hunter. He understands snow and ice, what can kill you, and how to survive it. Mackenzie Denton is a medic, in her mid-30s, and a former field medic for the US Army. She specializes in triage and emergency medicine. Carter DuBois is a French Canadian historian specializing on the Inuit. Henrik Berger is a Swedish historian specializing in the Icelandic Sagas and the Vikings. Bobby McGee, not to be confused with the one in the Joplin song, is a Canadian archeologist focused on the Artic. Sigrid Hansen is an archaeologist from Greenland who may be descended from the line of Erik the Red.

Unceremoniously, Daredevil exits through the penthouses bathroom, having chose a more interesting mode of entrance than the elevator. The creak of the door is enough sound to emanate throughout the room and give Matt a good picture of those who are seated. But it's not loud or long enough to distinguish which one is Croft. No matter.

The Man Without Fear pauses in the middle of the room and the red eyes of his mask stare blankly at the middle of the crowd. "Got your message."

The invitation was looked at, turned over… and over.. and over in hand before curiosity took over completely, thus leading one Agent Clint Barton to the door of the prestigious Waldor-Astoria penthouse apartment. He's cleaned up completely- shaved even, and is dressed in a (mostly) clean button down shirt and pants, the only concession to 'comfort' being his converse sneakers.

A quick rap on the door in quick succession is given as he looks around at the cameras, appearing as non-chalant and 'I belong here' as he possibly can. Not Hawkeye's sort of digs (he isn't found in Stark Towers often either!), he's got a little bit of a fidget to him. It's only a couple of seconds before he's looking back at the door, holding the invite as if in challenge to any who might say he doesn't belong.

Winston answers the door, and leads the SHIELD agent into the suite, his aged back bent slightly, but his smile warm and properly British. He comes up short at the sight of the red-clad vigilante. With a small grunt he waves them on. "Lady Lara, your guests are here," he announces. "One of them even used the door." That sounds like perhaps he's had other odd entrances in his career with the Crofts. He gestures at the sweets and tea. "Please do help yourselves to some refreshments."

Lara looks up and rises, offering a hand to each of the men to shake. "Lara is fine. No need to dwell on formalities of a British nature here. Please, have a seat. Thank you for coming, and please excuse any vagueness I approach this with, as it requires a degree of secrecy until and unless you are under contract with me." She is young for someone who sounds so confident in her business.

It's not like the man in red to take jobs for contract, but given that this is his client he's willing to make some concessions. The other guest he doesn't know-doesn't recognize his smell or the sound of the exhales out of his nose.

He takes a seat when Lara mentions it, but doesn't bother to grab any refreshments. Too many words, too many movements or mannerisms might let Lara know who he is. He doesn't know her, but she seems rather intelligent.

"Of course I used.." Beat. "Oh." Okay, Barton will file that in the back of his head for later.

Approaching the lady of the suite, Clint extends his own hand for greeting, "Lara.. Clint Barton.. even 'hey you' is okay." Lame, but it works. A slightly lopsided if not a touch awkward smile follows it up before he takes a look at the spread on table- more the dossiers than the food.

Now, the other gent, well.. his hand rises in greeting once again but gets distracted- something's not quite… right? A foot comes out to pull the leg of a chair and he settles down at the table. "Understandable.. the thing about vagueness and secrecy. I can assure you no one'll even know about this meeting."

"Mister Barton, Mister - Daredevil, I am looking to employ your services for a three day expedition into a cold weather territory," Lara explains. "I have a crew of six essential personnel for this trip, who will need to be protected so they can do their jobs with peace of mind. I expect to have some interference by rival explorers, or dangers posed by the environment." She settles back into her chair and pours herself some tea. "I will do my very best to deter my rivals before we set out, but there is no guarantee of that. And no guarantee that one of my own crew might be working for someone else. I need people around me whom I don't have to question the loyalty of; people who are guaranteed loyal by the promise of payment. My contracts have a clause in which I will beat any bribery by a thousand dollars in order to maintain that loyalty."

"I'm not in this for money, Miss Croft," Daredevil says softly, quietly. "I have my own reasons for wanting to see your mission come to fruition. You'll have my assistance." Whatever those reasons are, he doesn't seem quite willing to divulge them, at least not at this point in time.

Daredevil? Barton will have to look him up after the meeting. (Always know who you're dealing with. Files have already been read about the Lady Lara…)

"Three day expedition, huh? Cold.. as in.. 'little nippy out there' or 'damn, wish we were in the balmy outpost of McMurdo'?" Big difference between remembering to pack long underwear versus mukluks and sealskin coats.

Now, interesting again.. protecting the group from those things without, and potentially keeping loyalty from within? "Money only buys so much loyalty, though. I'm sure you know that, so if there's any question about anyone, I'd hope you'd let me know what sort I'd be up against." Or, rather, names so the Agent can look it up himself.

Though, when the other man chimes that he's not in it for money? Huh.. and there's a moment when Barton lifts a hand and looks as if he's going to wave it in front of Matt's face, or rather, at least in his direction. Something's off.

"I'm in."

Lara opens a folder and slides a contract and a pen towards each man. The contract appears to have been drawn up by Nelson & Murdock Law Firm right there in NYC. "Once you've signed, I can tell you more." There is even a section for how they would like to receive payment. Working with mercs and vigilantes seems to be accounted for. "Nevertheless, Daredevil, you will receive payment. You can take it as a donation to a charity of your choice, if you wish." Well that's not too bad. She tilts her head at the horned man, one brow arching. If he's given his identity away to her, she's not calling him on it here in front of Hawkeye at least. "And this is extremely cold weather. Think penguins and polar bears, Mister Barton. Cold weather gear will be provided for you, you just need to bring your skills and specialized equipment. Once you sign, I can provide you information on my personnel."

Daredevil slips off his red glove and slides his fingers along the piece of paper provided by Lara. Without missing a beat, he signs his name, 'Daredevil' along the dotted line. "My share can be donated to St. Patrick's in Manhattan." After he's done, he pulls his glove back on.

Huh..

Barton makes a brief face at the fact that his 'fear' has been realized. Penguins. Polar bears. Mukluks.. and potentially life lines going from building to building. People have died in such harsh conditions.. but an agreement has been made, and the archer is going to see it through (with the minimum amount of bitching about the cold).

Reaching for the paper, Hawk picks it up and scans it quickly. Everything seems to be in order, as far as he can see- he'll look it over tonight over take-out, even if it'll be a done deal by then. As long as she's not asking for his first born (not that he has one of those!) or an arm/leg, he's fine. A pen is taken up, he's a south-paw apparently, and a signature is given, any extra pages initialed before the pen is put down and all are pushed forward once again.

"Okay. I'll just put in a special requisition for 'Hot hands'." To keep his fingers warm.

"That won't be a problem," Lara assures Clint. She collects the signed documents and tucks them away before gathering the personnel folders and handing them to Hawkeye. "These are copies of my personnel files. As you are an agent of SHIELD, I expect you have better resources than I to vet them. If any of them are dirty, or working for questionable people, I want to know, and I want you, specifically, to keep tabs on them. Either way I need their expertise, and better to keep your friends close and your enemies closer."

Croft settles back into her chair. "We will be leaving soon on an expedition to Baffin Island in the Nunavut Territory of Canada. More specifically, we'll be heading to the Barnes Ice Cap. I believe that global warming may have diminished the ice to a point where caves or tunnels, long forgotten, have been uncovered. There is something there, gentlemen, which convinced Erik the Red and his Vikings that Helluland, as they called it in the Sagas, was uninhabitable. That is contrary to Baffin Island having a flourishing population then and now, and a similar climate to Thorvaldsson's native Greenland."

Fingers are steepled in front of her as Lara looks from one man to the other. "Something was there. Something that made even Vikings turn from pillage or conquer. It certainly wasn't the native skraelings. I think there was another civilization on Baffin, under the ice. And I plan to find evidence of it."

"And you're hiring vigilantes for muscle. What sort of problems do you anticipate finding, Miss Croft?" Daredevil asks quietly, folding his own hands over his folded legs. Under his mask his eyes are closed, listening to everything in the room: heartbeats, breathing, the inside and the outside. He can smell the leather of Lara's belt and the metal of Clint's keys. He thinks those are keys, anyways.

Hawk reaches for the proffered files, and glances at the names briefly. Everett, Denton… the moment he's out, he'll be headed to the office to take a look at each of them. By the time he's done, he'll know what they eat for breakfast and what time they take their afternoon naps.. and for how long. "Okay." So his is a double duty; something he's more than willing and able to take on, given his position and training- and his own particular background. Takes a former criminal to know a current (or former) one.

"Wait.. vigilantes?" Now, this is the first he's hearing about -this- particular bit. Makes things a little more interesting in ways he wasn't quite prepared for. Is he up for it? Sure. He'll just make sure he's got his more specialized tips with him.

"I have rival explorers and collectors who have repeatedly tried to ferret out what I'm looking for and beat me to it, or otherwise take it from me once I manage what they can't. I'm even being sued by one at the moment, amusingly," Lara quirks a grin at that, looking at Daredevil pointedly. "I will be filing a decoy flight plan for my private cargo plane, to the western Yukon, with Mount Logan as the final destination of the party. That should buy us a day, perhaps two, before they realize it's just my Butler taking a vacation to the Hot Springs. I've secured another cargo plane to take us to Clyde River, then we'll have truck transport to the edge of the Ice Cap. From there it will be snowmobiles and sledges to bring our equipment as we search. We will also have a native guide.

Croft looks to Hawkeye, "Vigilantes, mercenaries, super spies, heroes, call them what you will. These are people who have reputations for sticking to their word, and that is what I need."

Daredevil turns and shrugs his shoulders at Hawkeye, "Don't tell me that you think I was a gym teacher wearing this costume." He seems surprised that Clint was surprised.

All that their hostess explains is logical to him. It's the whole 'Indiana Jones' thing taken to the 21st century. And going north means that lawlessness may rule the day, which means more than potential for lethal response. So, it's not the clandestine path that catches his attention, but rather the various and sundry with whom the lady is surrounding herself.

It's when Daredevil chimes in that Clint actually chuckles. "Daredevil.." He's got the name, "I work with Captain America. I'm not sure I'd call him a 'vigilante' and he's got a costume too. I don't make assumptions like that. Not in my line of work."

"Well then, gentlemen, thank you for coming, and I look forward to working with you. Winston will show you out, unless you wish to use the balcony or the bathroom window or whatnot," Lara quips, as she rises and moves to put her paperwork into a briefcase, hiding a grin at the eye rolling she knows her butler is currently doing.

Winston has, amusingly, opened one of the balcony doors should Mister Daredevil chose to depart as auspiciously as he came. Clint will be escorted out in the more mundane manner. The SHIELD agent is given a touch to his arm by the old man before he sends him out. "Please keep her safe, Agent Barton." The request given, he closes the door behind the archer.


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