Aspect Ratio

Summary:
July 05, 2014: Aspect is about to learn that Maria Hill really does not like him. (Language warning.)

The Triskelion

The interrogation room. Not a place many would like to be.


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
None


Moments like these it could be argued that the Deputy Director of SHIELD loves her job. May had -insisted- on being the only one to interrogate Jericho Trent, which had never been her say to begin with. However, Maria Hill needs May to fulfill this objective. She's the right person for the job and a strategic element which she cannot ignore.

Nothing had been said regarding pinning Jericho to the wall for previous offenses, however. May can have her happy little interrogation.

Hill's going to put the fear of God back into this guy.

The room is made up of dull grey plates shaped with hexagonal depressions all around, making it look like something one might expect from a virtual reality environment. There's one table in the middle and 'mood lighting' leaving the room relatively dim.

Hill arrives without any sort of file or bundle of folders. Just herself, and her sidearm. The door closes and she takes a seat at one end of the table, her back ramrod straight as white-gloved fingers slowly lace together. "'Aspect,'" she starts in. "You certainly do have a peculiar interpretation of the world around you."

*

This is not the first interrogation room Jericho's been in. It is the first one that's been owned by a multinational spy agency with a budget from God, though. So it's a bit surprising how… samey it all looks. Guess some things really don't change. He does raise an eyebrow when 'Hill' comes in without May. Damn it. He should have known he couldn't trust these guys.

His eyebrow raises higher when she addresses him by his hacker alias. "Oh?" Is all he says, rather mildly. Not his best move perhaps but the first one that comes to mind.

*

"Tell me, does trouble love to follow you wherever you go or are you loving to cause the trouble, yourself? Brawls across the Tri-City area don't concern me, you want to risk getting your face broken by a depressed forty year old biker then by God, you go right ahead. You want to mess around on the web and pull some petty crimes, I couldn't care less. You want to poke at good old HYDRA and I'm content to sit back and watch then tear you apart. Tales of the brave and the stupid always make for entertaining reading and there's rarely a sequel, bite-sized stories for any woman on the move."

"The problem that we have is that you've started to put that nose of yours into places where it does not belong. It seems that you've rattled the cages of a few of my techs, not to mention several of my agents. Not content to leave it at that, you then did the single most foolish thing you could have done. You -ran.- There is no place on this Godforsaken planet that we will not find you."

Slowly leaning forward across the table, Hill's voice drops into a cold, dark tone just above that of a whisper. "Welcome to Hell."

*

Hill is perhaps the only woman on the planet who is not named Illyana, Partisan or Melinda May who could have delivered that speech and not been laughed at. It's something about the eyes, the delivery, as if she knows she can make the threat stick. If Hill as read his file, though, she'll see the SF SEER training kick in as he sighs and folds his arms.

"Your techs should secure their email systems better if they don't wanna get rattled. I try to stay away from SHIELD networks, but sometimes needs must." Yes. Sometimes your hundred year old werewolf friend needs a coded message sent to the head of a spy agency. Don't ask. It's best that you don't know.

"And yes, I ran. You would too if you had as many people as I do wanting you dead and messily autopsied. It's a survival skill."

*

"Let me be blunt about this so that I'm certain it gets through that thick, ignorant head of yours, you pissant," Hill continues as though she's imitating a giant rattlesnake about to lash out for the kill. "I catch you messing with my agents or fucking with SHIELD property and you're going to -wish- that sniper hadn't missed. When you are in these walls you have no rights, you have no life, you have no freedom. You belong to -me.- One word and you'll never see the light of day again."

"If your 'survival skill' is worth half its weight in bullshit then you'll pay -real- close attention because I don't make a habit of repeating myself. This is the only warning you're going to get from me. If you interfere with SHIELD operations, if you withhold information from us, if you try to access our systems, if you so much as -sneeze on one of my agents- then you can kiss your twisted views of reality goodbye because your ass will be living in -my- world."

*

Jericho's eyes flash, actually flash, dangerously. Hill may or may not have noticed while his ID's list his eye color as grey, there are most decidedly amber flecks in his irirs. Those light up briefly. This. This is the kind of thing that makes him mad. This is why he doesn't trust SHIELD. How is someone supposed to be able to tell the good guys from the Hydra plants when they're all paranoid control freaks like this one?

"Take your best shot then. Hell. Why don't you go ahead and kill me? I'm sure Hydra would like that. Maybe they'll send you a fruit basket. I don't apologise for doing what I have to to stay alive. You've got all the cards here so if you have a problem with that, do something about it."

*

"Because right now you're more use to us alive," Hill readily admits. "And as much as I would -love- to drop you into a deep, dark hole for putting the lives of my agents at risk, your work is not done yet."

What many people seem to not understand is that she has one single job to do. She has to look out for the safety of the planet as a whole. Technically, SHIELD are the good guys. They're also not afraid to use anything and everything that they have in order to continue to do their jobs. The fact that Aspect endangered the lives of several individuals under her command places him on a very special sort of shitlist.

"If I wanted your permission I would have personally ripped it out of you, though I also don't make a habit of wasting my effort on anything which holds no value. Now listen up because this is the one and only deal you're ever going to get. Either keep finding ways of making yourself useful to me or learn to find some Zen in staring at solid grey walls for the next dozen lifetimes."

*

Jericho's eyes harden. "Useful." He practically spits the word. "Spoken like a true Snake. I wonder, do they have you yet? Or are they just working up to you?"

"I'm not SHIELD property any more than I am Hydra property, though I'm sure they'd be quite happy to hear you talk like that. Do you know why I came in, instead of going to ground like an intelligent man? I came in because you sent someone I trusted. And I still do, but I wonder, was their trust in you misplaced? I'll help my friends. But I'm not in the habit of being 'useful' to anyone. Maybe you should get started on that hole."

*

Here Hill starts to smile, though there's absolutely no humor in the expression. It's more akin to the smile a demon might make when a mortal came to realize that their soul is about to exchange hands and there's nothing that can be done to prevent it.

"Then we must be better friends than you realize." Aspect -has- been helping SHIELD. Why else would they have let him run amok all of this time?

"Understand this. The safety of -every agent- within the Division is my responsibility. Their lives, from my top ranking operatives to the goddamned -janitors- are of greater importance to me than you are. I wouldn't let you become SHIELD property if you -begged- me to take you in."

That he happened to trust one of these agents could easily be marked as another mistake the guy has made, but she's not about to suggest as much. Not this early in the game. She's still planning on using that.

"I can tell you why they trust me. Because I keep their asses -alive.- As for you, right now you can trust me on two points. First, I'm doing you a favor. You're still a free man, Jericho. You're here to speak to your buddy and you will get that chance. As soon as I leave this room, this conversation is over."

"Second," she continues while rising out of her chair, "you can count on us never having this conversation twice." Because the next time it's going to be much worse for the guy.

*

Jericho watches her smile, his own expression deadpan. "Trust you? I wonder if they really, really do. Trust you to have their backs in a firefight? To watch for the knife in the dark." Jericho leans forward slightly on the table. "I rather doubt that, Hill."

Then as abruptly, he stands up and his demeanor changes. The anger isn't gone, just pushed out of his emoting. "But then, what I think doesn't really matter does it? You've made that abundantly clear. Just as well probably. I'll do my best to spare you the headache of having to do this a second time." It'd be more of a 'headache' for him, he's sure. SHIELD has unlimited resources and if anyone could find him - eventually - it'd be them. Could they throw him in a deep dark hole for the rest of his presumably short life? Oh hell yes they could. Does that scare him? Well he's not crazy, so yes, yes it does.

Would he fight them anyway if it came down to it, knowing it was suicide?

Yes he would.

*

Suicide is an option, ultimately it cost them less and takes up less real estate. As far as the ability for the rest of the Division to trust Hill, no comment is made. It's possible that Jericho struck a nerve, though it's also possible that she -does- believe that and isn't about to waste her evening arguing the point with the man across from her. He's welcome to think whatever he'd like to. Everyone else around here certainly does.

"I'm glad we could come to an understanding," she replies in a tone that is so completely sociable that it could probably infuriate Fury, himself.

As Hill opens the door she stops herself short of completely exiting the room, turning back long enough to say "Oh, and do remember one more thing. Not every eye is digital."

SHIELD will be watching.


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