On the Horizon

Summary:
July 05 2014: It's been a long night for Aspect between assassination attempts and Maria Hill… but it's about to get longer.

Triskelion Interrogation Room

Boring and High Tech at the same time, this is sort of the ultimate truth or dare locale.


Characters

NPCs

  • SHIELD tech

Mood Music:
[* None]


After Hill's little… Jericho's not sure what to call it… but after it, he's left alone. Which is good because for about ten minutes he just feels like punching the next suit who shows his face. Unless it's May. He likes May. When he ends up doing is sitting down and playing chess with his system, which is to say, himself, aware that he's being watched on camera while he waits for… whatever is in store for him next. His sigh is almost audible at the thought. HE really hopes the next person he has to deal with is more… tolerable.

*

Melinda May is notified by whomever usually does so that Trent is finished with processing and is waiting in whichever room that happens to be. Looking from Coulson to the pair of detectives, she gives them a nod and leads the way to the adjoining observation room. She offers the following explanation to Manning and Pezzini, as it's decidedly old hat for Coulson. "I'm wearing my comm link and will be able to hear your questions and comments. Please try to keep them relevant." Though she's never been averse to some well-placed snark.

*

"Right. So no 'boxers or briefs?'." Paul agrees. They can save that one for truth or dare night on the helicarrier. He follows the SHIELD agents to… wherever it is they're going. He'll be curious to see how their interrogation rooms are set up. Not like there can be a lot of variation, right? "

*

Sara is just coming back from the phone call with the precinct, rolling her eyes as she puts the phone back in her pocket. "So, sounds like we're probably not going to get busted down to a beat, at least," she announces to Paul, turning a brief smile on Coulson. "Nice strings you've got there. Of course, Agent May," Sara adds to the other agent, though it's possible she smirks slightly when the agent turns her back. Because, well. It's like saying not to think about pink elephants.

*

Coulson is walking alongside May, and nods when she finishes speaking and Manning responds. "Right, standard procedures are in play. I'll be in on observation, but can be in the room within ten seconds if things get hinky, which in case they do, May will already be in there. Doesn't hurt he has a soft spot for her already. Hopefully it keeps thing civil. If it doesn't, we have methods for dealing with civil unrest."

*

Checkmate. Well, damn. You'd think he'd get better considering that it's his own brain he's playing against. He's not bothered trying hacking into any of the systems here because as interesting as that might be, it's only going to cause more trouble and he's only here to answer questions and get the hell out before someone else takes a shot at him. This building is, in his judgement, one of the least safe places for him to be. High security… and unknown leaks. Lovely. The door starts to open and he looks up, shutting off his diversion to see who it is now.

*

Melinda May leads the small group to what is likely a VERY high tech version of the 'interview' rooms the detectives are accustomed to. No two-way mirrors here. Instead a bank of displays and monitors showing the room from no less than two different angles, in regular video as well as thermal and a few others besides. There's already a tech there babysitting the equipment and extra chairs waiting. With one more nod to Coulson, she leaves the room again and less than ten seconds later is visible entering the room where Trent is waiting. And apparently losing a game of chess against himself. Inside his brain.

*

Paul looks around at all the equipment curiously, moving to inspect more closely whatever catches his attention. "Nice. I'd have expected a close up of his eyes to catch pupil dilation or something." A stray thought and he turns his attention to the man himself to watch his reaction as May shows up.

*

"Jesus," Sara murmurs as they walk into the interrogation room, taking a look around at all of the technology. "Do you even need to interrogate him, or if you leave him alone in there for long enough, do the machines run all the necessary calculations and come out with an exact story of what happened?"

*

Coulson chuckles, "We can and do pupil dilation, but we don't need close ups to do that. The sensors built into the room do all of that kind of work for us. Pupils, respiration, heart rate, blood pressure, eeg, alpha waves, the whole nine yards. If something even so much suggests something other than the truth, it gets flagged." he stands back against the wall and watches, "but nothing beats old school interrogation. You wouldn't believe some of the stuff we get sometimes."

*

Jericho stands as May enters, giving her a nod. "May." He says, giving the veteran agent a polite nod. "Met your boss." The tone says he clearly less than impressed. "She sounds like a proper stick in the mud. Also like every Hydra philosopher I've ever met. I kind of mourn for my faith in the system. Or… would if I had any left."

He sighs and glances about. Others are probably watching from… somewhere. Just exactly where is a good question but probably not really relevant. "Well… shall we do this, then? What do you want to know?"

*

Melinda May moves to sit across from Jericho, something she doesn't do frequently but isn't unheard of. "Tell us everything you know about Compound 14921-X, the blue substance in the syringe. Start at the beginning." She is almost pointedly not taking the same tactic as the last time she spoke to Trent in a room of this sort, keeping her voice calm and seemingly unconcerned. Definitely not accusatory.

*

"Once he gets done telling us about the liquid, ask him about Partisan." Paul suggests. "She's obsessed with them. He's their target. They were both on that mission. Maybe he knows something."

*

"Agent Coulson, was it?" Sara turns a wry smile on Coulson. "I'm pretty sure we'd believe some of the stuff you get sometimes. We're special cases. We get all the weird stuff." The smile fades as Paul tacks on a question about the Partisan, rolling her eyes slightly.

*

Coulson hmms before focusing on the interrogation, "Then this might be the start of a beautiful friendship."

*

Jericho nods. "That is one of three versions of a bio-weapon that I believe is being developed by Hydra, though I've not been able to locate the source yet. I've come across all three being distributed to criminal organizations for use as a weapon and for other genetic research. Versions one and two are retroviral in nature. They both work by breaking DNA down at the sub-cellular level. The effect, I am told by people who know waaaay more about microbiology than I do, is rather like Ebola. But faster. Subjects would die in hours, in extreme pain, by melting essentially from the inside out. The version you found and gave a government name to appears to be a modified form of the same retrovirus. It 'turns off' abilities provided by the X-gene and then kills the target with enough cyanide to put a rhino down. Though I think all of that information is in your lab report."

The hacker pauses and runs his hand through his hair. "So far, all of the uses I've seen of it are small scale. Individuals and small groups. I know some criminal genetics labs got a hold of it and did…" His expression hardens… "And used it on some kidnapping victims. My sense is that the criminal activity is a form of test. The producers make money and refine the product for whatever their eventual end. It's just an intuition, but I suspect that eventual end is going to be big. And that their timeline is nearing completion.

That's just paranoia and a years’ worth of fighting/running from these guys solo talking, but he does believe it. And it worries him.

*

"That makes sense." Paul notes. "The cyanide kills but the anti-mutant component is there to make sure no one's power can resist it or heal them. Seems like shooting a fly with an elephant gun since if there were that many mutants who could heal, we'd have heard about it by now. This latest version might not be targeted at mutants after all so much as wanting to make sure they aren't left out. A poison no one is immune to. I wonder how fast it kills. Also, what the delivery vector is and how much is a lethal dose. Ingestion? Inhalation? Contact?"

*

Coulson ponders that a moment, "Probably a combination of aerosol and DMSO contact. They're the two quickest routes into the blood stream. It depends on how fast the mutant gene inhibitor takes to kick ahead of the cyanide. There's mutants out there whose healing factors kick in before either of those agents can really take hold. I see it just pissing a few of them off, and they're not the ones you want in that state."

*

Melinda May nods slowly as Trent starts with the information he's already shared. She is apparently after other information. "Tell me about when you encountered those first versions of the chemical, where you were, what was going on at the time, anything else you can think of. As much as you can think of. The more intel we have, the better chance we have of shutting them down for good."

*

"So what's the point of breaking down the DNA first?" Sara asks, just as Paul provides an answer to that question. She grimaces, leaning against a counter as she watches. "Still seems weird to me. Unless there's something extremist about it. Not enough to undo the gene mutation, they have to kill them and make sure it can't be passed on, too."

*

The first time I encountered it was pure chance. I noticed a pair of crooked fed's I'd been investigating - Frederick Moss and Alan Burrows - stalking a mutant girl in midtown Manhattan." SHIELD almost certainly knows, as might Pezzini and Manning, that said agents have been missing for near a month. "They had it on them. I… relieved them of it with some assitance. After that I followed up, found a cannister of the 'pure' retroviral in an underworld Gotham genetics Lab. Traced the one of the buyers listed in their computer systems to several illicit med clinics in M-Town and tied them to some of the recent disappearances there. It's all been one big, tangled spiders web of stuff. I was actually working on something unrelated for a friend and as it also involved mutants I thought it might be related." Here Jericho sighs and shakes his head. "Now I don't think it is. I'm almost certain it's a separate cell. The lack of coordination between the two efforts I'm tracking seems to make that likely."

There's a pause while the hacker gathers his thoughts. "This stuff has been all over the black market, as I mentioned. There seems to be an evolutionary process, which is part of what makes me think its being refined into something very specific. Like a viable bioweapon. My medical contacts tell me that the viral form of this thing could not only kill actual mutants, but with some tweaking or natural mutation of the virus itself, also mutant gene carriers. That's between a quarter and half of the population, depending on who you ask."

Sitting that close to Trent, he can likely see how much his last statement bothers her, though she's for the most part concealing it with the ease of much practice. "How precisely can you place the dates and locations of the feds stalking the girl, that genetics lab, and the clinics? Also, do you still have that list of buyers or any of the information from that lab's computer systems?"

*

Paul's lips thin the more Trent talks. "Don't you dare gloat." he tells his partner. "And I'm not changing my opinion of her but maybe, just maybe, she started out with a decent idea before she jumped the shark." Cause he kinda wants to kill Hydra agents now too and not bother with a trial. Then again, he trusts himself completely.

*

Coulson thinks on that. He offers a theory, though. "It might have to be a simultaneous reaction, especially when dealing with regens and healers. You have a very specific window to do what you've gotta do in there, so it has to work simultaneously. Shut down the mutation, even for milliseconds, and it allows enough of the toxin to get in an work. They know what they're doing with overgunning on the cyanide though - send enough of it through, and it'll kill the target before their mutation and clear it out of their system."

*

"Who, me? Gloat?" Sara arches a brow at Paul, crossing her arms loosely over her chest as she listens to the interrogation. "That's a super specific addition, though, unless they've got a whole lot of healers," she muses at Coulson's theory. "As a side note, any doctor who'd rather find out ways to kill people with regenerative powers rather than find a way to use them to help other people is having some serious issues already."

*

"Yeah. I can get you a list of dates. The second of June was when I picked this up but it's pretty clear to me that it'd been well in progress by that point. I raided that lab in Gotham on… the fifteenth. The clinics I had traced about a week after. Yes, I do still have the information on the buyers list. I was using it to try to run it back to the source. Hasn't been easy, lot of blind buys and such. Every time I get close it turns out to be a dead end. Someone has to know who is putting this stuff out though."

*

Melinda May nods to Trent, knowing the techs will start following up on that data the moment it's shared. "We'll get some data crunchers to start following up on that information. It doesn't matter what kinds of sticks are where, these chemicals having the potential to kill that percentage of the population will get a LOT of attention around here. Ready for the next topic?"

*

Paul continues to frown as he thinks about everything Trent has said. "What about your pet wizard?" he asks Sara. "Do you think he's any good at divination spells?" Ever since meeting Jason, he's been boning up on magic like any good cop would do. "I can't imagine they guarded against being traced magically."

*

"He's not a pet," Sara corrects reflexively. "Seriously, isn't the cranky wizard no one wants to bother some sort of cliche yet?" As she warned Coulson, though, they do the weird stuff. Apparently pet wizards are a common topic of conversation in special cases. "Besides, magic isn't for things you can do yourself with a little bit of legwork. And I'd bet you money the Partisan has a bead on these guys already."

*

Jericho smiles faintly. "I'll take continued interrogation for $100, May." He's shared most of what he knows and considers important so he's really interested in what happens next. It's a pity he can't hear the conversation in the next room, though also a blessing since it'd be making him nervous. None of them seem to have bothered asking where Parti-girl gets her target list, after all. Or how Hydra came up onto her radar.

The interrogation room and adjoining observation room in this part of the Triskelion are not often used and certainly not by so august a group of people as currently occupy it. So it's perhaps understandably, curiously odd that the door is slightly ajar in the observation room. Then again, nothing here is classified… any more than usual. Trent's not cleared to know anything (though clearly, no one told him that) so info-security doesn't need to be as tight as it might otherwise be. Anyone could glance into the room. Not anyone would be brave enough to actually go, but there you go.

*

Coulson cocks an eyebrow, "So wizard, huh? I wonder if he knows Strange. I know it's wrong to stereotype, but the mystic community literally do seem to know all one another. Get word to one, and it's like calling the phone tree to let the elementary school know it's a snow day."

*

"When I was a kid we went to school when it snowed."

Steve Rogers gives a half smile and begins to pass around a bag of bagels for anyone who wants one. He pulls a cup of coffee up to his lips and dips his head to the side. "Just heard. What did we get out of this guy?" He'd caught wind it had something to do with Partisan, which means it has something to do with Steve. Hence him barging in here like this.

*

There's the faintest twitch of May's expression as if she just suppressed a smirk. "Since there has been mention of obsession recently," yes, Manning, that was a dig at you, "I'm wondering what details you can share with us about the Partisan." She knows that there's only so much he'll share, but even a simple 'don't mess with her' might be enough to appease interested parties.

She's been listening via the comlink in her ear to the conversation in the observation room, and picks up when Rogers arrives though it's not telegraphed to her expression. She's better than that.

*

"We are not going to work with Partisan." Paul states quite firmly. "She's a terrorist, a cold blooded murderer and a cop killer. Aside from anything else, she killed a potential source of information. There are right and wrong ways of doing things no matter how tempting it might be to attach electrodes to someone's balls until they talk." His mouth snaps shut as Steve arrives and he takes a bagel. "Umm, thanks."

*

Steve shakes his head towards Paul as if to say it's no worry. "I agree one hundred percent with what you just said, Manning." His head tilts to the bag. "There are all different kinds. Take one."

*

"Probably, I've heard him use the name before," Sara nods to Coulson. "And I think it's an age thing. You get into the magic set, and everything's ancient. Once something's been around for a few thousand years, they all start to get connected. Speaking of things that've been around for a few thousand years," she says as Steve enters, flashing a grin over her shoulder. "Side note," she adds to Paul, "I don't think she has balls at the moment, so you're probably safe to indulge in that little fantasy."

*

Ah. The 'question.' Jericho wonders who asked that one. He also wonders what kind of lie detection hardware the room has, because he's going to get evasive on this. He's not about to give Parti up to SHIELD. In fact if it were anyone but May doing the asking, he might have already tried to crash the observation hardware. Might not have worked, of course, but still.

"The Partisan? We've worked together before. She's a tactical wrecking ball, so good for some applications." It's all in the wording. "She's not involved with this mutant plague though and I really don't advise sending an op team after her. Er, well, not with anyone you like on it."

*

Coulson takes a step back, pours a cup of coffee, black and offers it off to the Captain as he snags a bagel out of the bag. "Captain." he says, with a smile and a nod. He looks back to the monitors, "So far, telemetry checks out - everything he's saying is genuine. Looks like we've gotten in on the ground floor of a anti mutant bioweapon ring."

*

Melinda May nods at that. She'd figured as much. And as long as Trent answers truthfully (if evasively), she can't fault him. "Good to know she's not involved with that plague. Though you do realize that by following her own agenda, she could very easily end up going at cross-purposes with SHIELD?"

*

Paul gives Steve a nod then corrects Sara. "I wans't talking about her. I meant the cop she murdered who we can't question now. And who won't give up anyone in exchange for not being put in general population." Blackmail can be an effective tool for cops when cutting deals. "Anyway, the hacker doesn't seem to be able to trace it so why not try magic? Especially considering the potential scope of this."

*

Steve gives a cheesy smiles towards Sara at her quip, almost as if he were about to stick his tongue out at her. "Don't hate."

He nods to Coulson, "Hey Phil, how are ya.-What's this guy on about?"

*

"Because magic costs, Paul," Sara grimaces at the question. "You don't get the answer fast and easy without paying for it somehow." She reaches for one of the bagels, tossing it over to the endless gaping maw that is her partner's stomach. "He was talking about the anti-mutant virus thing to begin with. Now we've moved on to the Partisan."

*

Jericho shrugs. He wants to sigh, 'cause it's true, but that might give things away. "Yeah, that's true. I'm sure she knows that but from what I hear she's a pretty strong willed woman." Kind of like someone he knows. "Though the way your boss was talking, May, could be that'll have more to do with SHIELD than her." He was really not impressed with Hill. So not impressed that he's actually gone most of the way to writing the organization as a whole off.

"Do we go for a daily double now?" Subtext: The folks that are watching me from wherever are all out of questions already?

*

Even here he's still working on things. He doesn't need to be connected and sending out signals SHIELD might pick up to be running data correlations and trying to figure out how Hydra is moving their weapon.

*
Coulson inclines his head, "Detectives Pezzini and Manning - NYPD - and from what I can glean, heads of the Weirdshitometer division. They're talking about chatting up their resident go to Gandalf to get info on where this Mutation inhibitior-slash-killer can be found. Apparently, it's got HYDRA written all over it. It shuts off the mutant gene and delivers an overgunned amount of cyanide. Which as you know might piss off some of the higher end X'ers."

*

Melinda May tilts her head slightly, a non-verbal signal to Coulson to offer up more questions if there are any more to be had. "Maybe we should talk about Hydra next. They seem to factor rather heavily into everything you do." She's also going to have words with Phil after this 'interview' if they don't save a bagel for her. Serious words.

*

"We've met before." Paul tells Coulson though his attention is mostly on Trent. "We need to know everything he has on Partisan and Hydra." he says for May's benefit. "He's a hacker right? A good one, I assume. Can he look into the financial records of the NYPD brass, working his way down?" He'd really like to believe the NYPD is more clean than not. He would. But he's from Gotham.

*

"Frankly I'm most interested in Partisan. I'm not of the belief that Partisan, or this guy if he's friend with her, knows scraps about HYDRA. I think Partisan is insane." Steve's playful banter is gone.

*

"Jesus, Paul, you're like a dog with one bone," Sara murmurs, stepping back to get herself a cup of coffee. "I'm more interested in whoever keeps trying to kill him, and why," she chimes in for the questioning. "Because for some reason, I keep ending up in the middle of the assassination attempts, and it's getting old."

*

"Yes." Jericho cants his head slightly. That's a very leading question and he's already discussed his concerns about it getting to the wrong people. Presumably she knows who is in the room. "That's because they want me dead. I've been dealing with them mostly alone for over a year now and outside SHIELD here, I don't think I've met anyone with as much insight into their operations as I have been forced to develop. I have a personal stake or two in making sure they don't succeed in what they do. So yes, you could say they factor." They'd love to rip out the expensive experimental cybernetic hardware inside me and copy it is something he does not say, mostly because May hasn't really indicated to him that it's safe to do so.

*

Okay, May is starting to rather completely agree with Sara here, though her well-hidden annoyance isn't aimed at Paul at this moment, it's aimed at Steve. She knows one way to steer Rogers' rather one-track line of thought away from Partisan and onto Hydra, and she'll play that card now, thank you. Because he's got a hot-button about soldiers being used as guinea pigs.

"Why do you think they're trying to kill you? Is it because of the experimental enhancements the Army applied to your person?"

*

Paul gives Sara a Look then glances significantly at Cap. See? He gets it. "It's not like we're unused to working multiple cases at once. We can go after the insane terrorist AND work on taking down a terrorist organization. Along with everything else we're doing." It's no wonder the average length of time in SI is a year. Or less. "You'd think you'd want to take out a cop killer. You think SHIELD would let one of their own be killed and just write it off?"

*

Coulson just looks at Cap and shrugs. He isn't even gonna go there.

*

"You'd think," Steve says giving a nod to Paul. He does take more interest in May's line of questioning, but it doesn't change that he thinks this guy knows jack about Hydra. Mostly because he knows Partisan doesn't seem to, at least not based on their previous conversation.

*

"I think I want to find out if it was justified first, because if we've got rats, I want to find them," Sara says evenly, with a look for both Steve and Paul. "And also, I'm not going after someone I can't actually contain, because I don't really want to have a pissed off, body-hopping werewolf gunning for me when we're working toward the same goal, even if she's going at it the wrong way. Net loss, much worse that way."

*

The look Jericho gives May is mild. He's givin her the same mild look before. It means 'well that was subtle.' Codes, gotta love 'em. "Yes. It does have to do with the experimental cybernetic hardware that I have. Apparently Hydra thinks that digital arsenals on demand could be useful to them." Beat. "Who knew."

He takes a moment to run his hand through his hair and gather his thoughts once more, becoming more serious. "Presumably they had someone in the project or keeping an eye on it, because I'm certainly not supposed to still have them. I can only guess that they figured it would be easier and less messy to snatch a retired ex-soldier than an active duty one in a special forces unit."

"Lucky me, mmm?"

*

Melinda May quirks an eyebrow back at Trent's mild expression. 'Subtle doesn't work on some people' is all but written on her face. "That is true. But, if we go with your hypothesis that Hydra had people on the inside, then we'll need to start a mole hunt, and we'll have to start cleaning our own house first. What details can you offer about Hydra's operations, bases, anything really, that we can start following up on?" Of course, since she's talking about an internal search, that means all KINDS of nasty repercussions that may well start as simply as that tech sitting there in the same room as Coulson, Rogers, and the NYPD detectives, hearing every last thing that every one of them has been chatting about thus far.

"Well, seems we'll never know unless we take the murderer at her word." Paul's tone is bland. "Agent May, is that the only set of cybernetics they had or are there more? And does he know of any other experiments that we might end up facing?"

*

Steve watches Jericho and the talk about the technology. He would have asked a similar question to May's, so just lets it lie for now. He doesn't seem too worried about any mole hunts.

*

"Okay, let's say you don't believe she killed the guy because she at least thinks he was Hydra," Sara says to Paul. "Why did she do it, then? Why the big production? Why him?"

*

"Where do you want me to start?" Jericho answers may with a grim laugh. "I've never tried hacking your systems here at SHIELD, so I couldn't say about your house, though that Kush business isn't really reassuring. I know the NYPD is riddled with informers, which isn't a dig at them personally, since most major metropolitan police forces are. And by riddled, I mean a lot of people on the take who don't actually work for them and a few who know exactly what they're doing. I can give you names, though the list of people I can confirm is a lot smaller than the list of people I suspect. Their cells operate small bases and laboratories nationwide but they don't like taking that kind of risk. Often they operate through criminal contacts. You'd be surprised how often you can solve problems by throwing money at them. I can give you a list of known Hydra operatives and safe houses too, if you wish. There's a few in New York I haven't bothered hitting yet because I didn't want to bring down the apartment buildings they're under."

*

Melinda May nods to Trent. "I'd like that list, please. And how long they've been there, or at least as long as you have been aware of them in those locations." At least he's made a point in his own favor with everyone else by openly admitting to having never tried to hack SHIELD's systems. Considering his abilities, skill set, and level of paranoia, that's a BIG gesture of trust. "Also, a sort of side question. Do you know if there are other sets of cybernetics similar to yours out there? Or similar lines of experimentation that SHIELD might have to take into account?"

*

"Her belief is irrelevant. Every terrorist and insane killer believe in what they're doing. We don't give them a pass either. The more we learn about her, the better the chance we can contain her. And if we can't, someone else can. SHIELD. Or the feds. Or even Jason. I'll have to ask him about it." Paul might say more except something Trent says catches his attention. "He hasn't bothered hitting yet? Is he also going around killing people he believes are Hydra agents? Just more quietly? Are they working together?"

*

"I had a conversation with Partisan before her rampage started," Steve says absently, not even sure that anyone's listening to him. "I warned her that if she started killing people without the benefit of a trial I'd be coming for her. If this guy is with her, I'm not sure I can trust anything he's sayin."

*

Sara takes a deep breath, lets it out on a heavy sigh, then turns to find a wall to gently tap her forehead into. "Guys," she says into the wall. "With all due respect. We can go after these guys, and knock them off, and be no better, and no different, and no wiser. Or we can earn their trust, get access to their information, and rehabilitate them, all while legally and safely dealing with the people they've been killing off. I'm just saying. Frankly, they're doing a better job than we are right now, and I want to know how, and I want to know why before we do anything stupid."

*

Jericho sighs and shakes his head. "There were twelve of us, same system. Two died in action over the course of our four years. The other nine are still in as far as I know but the systems themselves were, allegedly, removed and decommissioned. They're probably at Joint Base Eustis Langley right now, locked away in a bunker. That's the last I'd heard on them, anyway. I'm willing to take some risks checking Hydra, but breaking onto an Army facility just to check and see if some experimental hardware is there is kind of low on the return on investment scale, you know? I haven't seen them show up to be fielded against me… and there's no indication that they want me any less vivisected, so I'm going to work on the assumption for now that they don't have 'em. And yes, I'll get you that list."

*

At that, May DOES finally turn to look at one camera. "Get someone to verify that that hardware is still locked away. And I mean eyes on the actual hardware." She's seen a hint of what Trent can do, and the thought of that stuff out on the street in the hands (skin?) of someone with completely questionable morals? THAT is the kind of thing that scares her.

She turns back to Trent again, and even though she's looking at him, she's addressing this next question to everyone listening to her. "Is there any other information that you feel we should know about?"

*

Paul's listening to Cap. "Before her current rampage started." he corrects. "I'm told she's been doing this for a hundred years." And then he looks at Sara likes she's crazy. Rehabilitate Partisan? Trent, maybe. At least he has discretion and isn't insane. At May's question, he asks "What powers that thing? Solar? Does he have a tiny nuclear plant inside him? Is he a walking dirty bomb? He almost certainly doesn't want us to know how to turn him off but we should know."

*

Steve looks over at Sara with a face she's not seen out of him before. He likes her, he likes her a lot, but they're not going to be able to come to an agreement here on this issue. "When I talked to Partisan before her"a look to Paul"current rampage, I asked her for evidence. I don't want to misquote her, but she wasn't able to give me any and her comment was something along the lines of "I know they are because I know these kinds of things." That was it. People have lost their lives here and without the benefit of a trial." He sighs, "Judge…jury…executioner. Dead without so much as a trial. That's not America. I know I'm new here, but I didn't think that's the way we do things around here. And being scared of Partisan isn't something I'm about to bow down to either. You give her the benefit of the doubt because you're assuming those people were guilty. Based on what?" He folds his arms across his chest and shakes his head, looking out at May and Jericho. "Based on nothing."

*

"Based on the fact that none of it makes sense otherwise," Sara shakes her head to Steve. "Why would she make a target out of herself by publicly offing an NYPD officer if she didn't have some reason to think he was part of the HYDRA thing she's so obsessed with? Listen to yourself, Paul," she snorts. "Turn him off? You know how you turn people off, Paul? You kill them. You think that's better?"

*

Jericho quirks a smile. "I'm going to assume, Agent May, that this is going to get back to people like Hill, if it hasn't already. People who have no reason to believe what I say." He really has no idea who if anyone is looking in on him, but he wouldn't put it past them. "Someone is creating a bioweapon capable of killing half the planet. Someone is orchestrating the abduction of mutants across the tri state area. Someone arranged the illegal transfer of the information necessary to make that bioweapon from Abbot Laboratories to the Polyglobal corporation. Oh, and someone paid a hitman a lot of money to take a very large, expensive rifle and shoot a very large expensive bullet at me, in a police station, through four walls. I'd love to be able to take a SHIELD team down to see some of the things I know are out there, but frankly I don't trust your people that much and I suspect they'll feel the same way about me. That's fine, you take a look at the lists I send you and you'll find out for yourself soon enough. In the meantime, if they feel inclined to think I'm a bit off my rocker… remind them of that."

The hacker blows out a long sigh. "Anything else, May?"

*

Melinda May knows exactly how much Trent thinks he's putting himself at risk here but doesn't have any way to reassure him right here and now that people will have to get past HER to get to him while he's on SHIELD property. "There's some curiosity about your cybernetics. The full range of capabilities, power source, the usual kinds of things that would make someone like the nerds R&D start drooling." Okay, she coudl have phrased that last FAR less politely, but she decided not to for both Trent's and Rogers' sakes. Not for Paul's sake. He's the drooler.

*

"His circuitry." Paul tells Sara mildly. "Turn off his circuitry. Because removing a criminal's access to his powers is what you do when you arrest them. Assuming we ever need to, it would be something good to know don't you think?" She's been spending too much time around certain people.

*

"Crazy people don't make sense, Sara," Steve says with a weary sigh. "I gotta get out of here. Coulson, can we get a transcript of this to read through when it's over? I missed a good chunk of it."

*

"Wanna know what makes me tick, do they?" Jericho shakes his head with a laugh. He'd at least expected one question in the vein. "Bioetheric energy. It amplifies some kind of field humans naturally produce. Don't ask me how, I have no idea. Get the files from the military if they want to know that. Assuming they didn't burn them. The power source is me. Stop my heart, kill the power. That's one reason the extraction proceedure is so tricky." He looks at May, again, mildly, hoping to all the various powers that his trust in her is well placed.


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