Opportunistic Butt-Dialer

Summary:
July 22, 2014: As Flash pops by the local Starbucks, Aspect accidentally butt-dials Melinda May (through his computer, the silly man!), who drags Natasha Romanoff along to rub his nose in it. The Russian then presents the hacker with an offer he really can't refuse.

Starbucks — Downtown Manhattan

It's a Starbucks. It smells like coffee and dry, expensive biscuits.


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
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One nice thing about living in Midtown - or living there some of the time anyway - is there are lots of coffee houses for the corporate drones to refuel at. Coffee houses are places where no one bats an eye at a guy sitting alone, staring at nothing and talking to himself, especially if he's got earphones or a bluetooth earpiece in. Today, that's Jericho. He's sitting in a Starbucks, sipping a Hazlenut Steamer (warm milk, mmm) and murmuring softly to himself as he navigates the 'net in search of answers for the upcoming raid. Multitasking is second nature for Trent, but he's only human. Every once in a while he makes a mistake. Today's mistake isn't, at least, fatal. Whilst opening several connections he accidentally opens one to Melinda May's phone. Sadly, when he does so, he's considering information from several civilian weather and mapping satellites and a bit off on a tangent in his semi-internal conversation.

"Freakin' Hill… Would have fit in right well with this 'N13' business with her compulsive need to know and insistence on people being useful to her. Probably would be doing SHIELD a favor if I just de-orbited some defunct Russian piece of junk through her office window…" On it goes in a softly muttered vein that is both colorful and occasionally unprintable.

Melinda May had been in the middle of coordinating with Romanoff over her phone when Trent's voice abruptly cuts in, giving them both a front row seat to the cyborg's stream of consciousness. As much as she's tempted to interrupt him and point out his oops, she hesitates to do to because, let's be honest. It's FUNNY.

She finishes the last of the post-flight checks her bird required, and clambers out of the vehicle to head inside to locate the Russian assassin. She suspects that there might be some 'splaining to do.

Romanova recognizes Trent's voice. Her brow lifts and she pauses in her own conversation with May. A slow smile spreads over her lips as she hears the invective. Indeed, by the time May finds her, the Russian has muted her transmitter, so it doesn't interrupt Trent, and is silently shaking with laughter. One hand is laid against a support strut at the far end of the hangar, while the other is on her thigh as she leans in for support and tries not to let the laughter erupt into gales, rather than the soft snicker it is currently.

The Deputy Director of SHIELD has apparently indeed made quite an impression on Jericho, and even though he's concentrating on working - bits of it sometimes slip through like 'Hrm. Odd encryption for a civilian commsat…' or 'Huh. Didn't think that'd go down quite that easy…' - mostly the hacker continues on a steady impeachment of Hill's character, credentials, upbringing, parentage, professional ability and so on, all with the colorful ease of a man who spent eight years in the army, and half of that doing black ops with an experimental weapon. It's amazing how many non-repetitive ways there are to insult someone, really.

Melinda May isn't one for showing mirth openly (much like Romanoff normally), but by the time she locates the Russian woman she has muted her side of the connection as well, she simply moves to lean against the same support strut and puts her hands over her face to hide the fact that she's grinning like a complete and utter fool. A tiny corner of her mind hopes that Coulson — or worse, HILL — doesn't happen upon the two of them right this moment. It would ruin both of their reputations permanently.

That one stray mention of a civilian commsat finally gets through her amusement, though, and she takes a moment to compose herself before straightening up again and turning to look at Romanoff. Ready to get back to business? She tilts her head in the direction she just came from, silently asking if the redhead would like to go with her to track Trent down and laugh in his face over this.

Natasha's eyes still dance, though the rest of her face schools as she begins to pick up the thread of Trent's work, interspersed through the invective. Though she's not widely known for a sense of humour or often given to open laughter… no one would be surprised at her laughing at Hill's expense — least of all Hill. So, her reputation is hardly threatened.

The hacker's work, however, isn't really something either agent should let go unremarked. "I really should speak to this guy," she comments dryly to May, that transmitter still muted. "He's beginning to get a reputation." Translation: The Director has his eye on him… through her.

All of which would be a roundabout way of saying, 'Yes, let's go rub his nose in it and tell him to knock it off… for his own good, of course.'

He's not actually that far from the Triskelion, as it turns out. His precise location turns out to be in the business district of Midtown Central, in the aforementioned coffee shop that sits in the ground floor of one of the smaller office buildings in the area. He's winding down his tirade as he pulls in a lot of telecom metadata and re-orients a weather satellite at the defunct North General Hospital right in New York. "… most irritating, unbending, stick-spined, tin-plated, arrogant martinet of a woman it has ever been my misfortune to not kill. Ugh!" And with that he takes a rather decisive bite of his scone and forces himself back to reality. Okay. Traces done running, time to do something with all this data… aaaafter he orders another Steamer.

Fortunately the Starbucks isn't crowded in the early afternoon so it's really just a matter of going to the counter and placing his order, picking up another scone and ambling back to his seat by the window.

"Okay… let's see. Adjust sea measurement RADAR so we can get a proper scan of the place… Temperature sensors for IR readings… Need a body count and location… running." That done, the hacker stares out the window as the traffic passes by, seemingly just another guy in a coffee house, chatting to someone distant about nothing in particular. Nothing to see here. Nope.

Of all the coffeebars in all the towns in all the world, Flash runs into this one. By the time he stops, at the back of a long line, he's left a blurry trail of red which quickly dissipates, suggesting that he came from the left. For now, the whole window is red, but in seconds, it'll clear up. He's that fast. Tapping his foot quietly, he waits for the coffee shop to serve the customers who were there before him. A few of them notice him, gawking, gasping, asking for autographs, "Look, I drink my extra grande, 37 sugar iced hazelnut macchiato, just like everyone else, with light ice and extra whip." He begins signing autographs when people put a piece of paper in front of him, or their shirt, or whatever they ask. The perils of being a celebrity hero. Though some of them are wondering why he's in New York, "Oh, yeah, that. I was in New Hampshire for a thing, and decided to make a side trip."

It's only a matter of a few minutes for May to procure transportation — even if the motor pool people have started giving her the stinkeye after what happened to that little Corolla — and then they're on the road headed for that particular Starbucks.

And, even though it's been no less than ten minutes since Nat said she wanted to speak with Trent, May adds as if the conversation never had a break, "And we should insist he buy us coffee for making us listen to that." 'And making us about hurt ourselves laughing' does not get said aloud, but it is very much implied.

"I don't know," Natasha says, shrugging into a plain leather jacket, over the jeans that cover her catsuit, in a superb effort to look more civilian and less secret government agentrix. "I think we owe him a beer for that one." She hasn't had such a good laugh in a long time. Such talent should be rewarded.

Besides. The Director wants her to make nice with the fellow.

Still, she relaxes back in their ride and pulls a pair of sunglasses out of a pocket to cover her eyes — in a manner that's actually very 60's… but still somehow stylish, even today. Gotta love retro.

"The he — oh. Costumed… hero type." Jericho mutters, unaware he can be heard. He turns and watches Flash sign autographs. He does not ask for one himself, primarily because he doesn't need to be noticed. "Let's see. Facial recognition scan… google search… social media databases…" Let's see if he can figure out who this guy is while he waits on the satellite to do it's thing. Gotta keep busy somehow. "Holy crap those tights look… tight."

After looking over his shoulder for just a moment Jericho goes back to sipping his steamer, eating his scone and monitoring police radio and traffic cams for any possible threat. No one's tried to kill him in a few days, so he'd like to think he's dropped of the RADAR but… one never knows.

Flash poses for selfies, he signs autographs, he has a kind word for everyone, talks to them, gives out advice, and talking it out, while in line. Since he showed up, few of the customers seem to have ignored him, though there is one. In a roundabout fashion, Jericho draws attention to himself by not fawning over the costumed hero in the cofeebar. The staff don't seem too interested in making coffee, meaning Flash has to wait to order his even longer. When everyone's had their 15 seconds with him, they're all talked out, the coffeebar goes back to business, making coffees, serving scones, and what have you. Flash will eventually receive the extra grande, 37-sugar iced hazelnut macchiato, with light ice, and extra whip. That in hand, he sips it, slowly, agonisingly slowly, but trying to savour the taste, and heads towards Jericho's table, "So, how are we doing today, Mister… ?"

Melinda May has to fight an amused smirk from spreading across her face at the man's comment about some costumed person's costume. And the fit thereof. Especially considering a comment Detective Manning made a couple of weeks back about Trent himself. Irony, baby.

She offers her phone to Romanoff to do the voodoo that she, um, does so well (okay, that worked in her head) to figure out which Starbucks Jericho is hiding in. Because, yes, there are Starbucks locations quite literally everywhere, most especially around the Triskellion, where the staff has all but replaced their blood with coffee.

Romanova casually patches the phone into the car's SHIELD-boosted GPS and sensor suite. Before long, she's isolated the transmission signal and, given the man's comments and how quickly news of superhero sightings are passed across the airwaves, pinpointed the specific store location he's occupied. She gives May the info and scans the environment as they approach to figure out just how bad the crowds are and whether or not there's a compromising situation developing.

The crowds growing around the elder Flash, really, are actually somewhat advantageous, even if they do create a bit of a sight-line problem. They keep everyone distracted, after all, which means she and May simply aren't likely to attract attention as they eventually stroll into the shop and meander their way between the tables to join the hacker at his spot.

"Trevor. Justin Trevor." Jericho turns to look at Flash. "Nice suit. You're the Flash, right?" Why yes, yes he did look at a crap-ton of social media posts to figure that out. This guy has the internet footprint of Godzilla. "How's the sugar rush drink there? Just in to refuel?" There's the sense that the hacker is concentrating on something else as he converses. Which he is. This is a working lunch, after all.

Flash is in fact so good at distracting people, Trent included, that he doesn't notice May (and wouldn't notice Nat) until they're practically right next to him.

Flash offers a kind smile and a gloved hand, "pleased to meet you Trevor, Justin Trevor." He says that in his best attempt at a Pierce Brosnan accent. "Yeah, I'm the Flash, one of them anyway. It's complicated." He takes another sip of his drink, "It's good. I have a crazy metabolism. This probably tastes to me the way a sugar free drink tastes to you. Unless you've got ties to the Speed Force hiding somewhere. So, you doing all right, how's the family, if you have one? Everything okay at work? Usually I make something of an impression and just thought it was curious that you didn't seem too interested. Is there something I can do for you, Justin?" If he's noticed May and Natasha, he hasn't given any evidence of it. He seems downright pleasant with Jericho, and oblivious to everyone else right now.

Melinda May nods when Romanoff gives her the address — she knows that Starbucks well. She knows EVERY Starbucks in the area well. Why? She works with Coulson. Enough said. After parking the car and walking the rest wof the way, she steps up behind the red-costumed motormouth and crosses her arms, doing her most glowery glower. It's difficult to say, though, if it's aimed at Sir Tightspandex Talksalot or Jericho the world's more impressive butt-dialer. Romanoff can likely tell at a glance, and Trent might figure it out after a moment or three, but her most glowery glower is ruined by the fact that she's actually struggling a little to keep from snickering at the entire situation.

Romanova diverts from May, towards the counter, to snag the pair a couple of grandes — each in their favourite variations. It helps maintain cover, after all. And, frankly, she doesn't really want to tip their business off to the red-garbed motormouth. Of course, it also gives her a moment or two to suppress her initial reaction to the red design that, for her, is actually entirely reminiscent of the Red Guardian… for all that Alexi (or, rather, his handlers) favours white over yellow and a star over a lightning bolt.

By the time she saunters her way over to where the speedster stands distracting the cyborg, she has her own expression under control. Here, in public, in civilian clothes, she appears mildly amused, but certainly good natured and approachable. She passes one of the grandes to the glowering Asian woman and simply stands back to watch the whole exchange like the cat that caught the canary.

"I was on a conference call." Jericho says. If only he knew how true that was. "Dealing with the head of, you know, another department. Real pistol. Kind of unpleasant wo-…" He trails off as he notices May. Very close. And… friend? She looks familiar but he can't quite place why. Hrm. Someone who held a gun on him at the Triskellion? No… that's not it.

Trent clears his throat. "Ahem. Miss May… and… Miss May's friend. What…" What the hell are you doing here? And why do you look like you swallowed a gallon of laughter. "…brings you by today?"

Flash inclines his head, "Oh, I know how that can be," suggesting that his day job might have something to do with business or at least administrative red tape. Looking to Miss May, and Miss May's friend, he offers his hand to them both, "Hello there, I'm the Flash, how's the coffee? Mine's empty, I should probably get another one," but patting his rock hard abs, which are visible through his costume, "I worry that it'll go straight to my stomach, or my thighs. I forget, where does extra fat go first?"

Melinda May touches a button on the phone in her hand, so her voice carries both over the connection and in person. "We thought we'd turn the conference call into an offsite meeting." She accepts the beverage from Romanoff with a nod of thanks and THEN ends the connection on her phone. "The coffee sounded too tempting to resist."

Tucking her phone into a jacket pocket, she shakes the Flash's hand even if her expression goes from glowery glower to unimpressed glower. "May. Romanoff," she says as she indicates the redhead. "My coffee is going cold." She JUST got it, so that's unlikely, but apparently she's got zero sense of humor or something.

Romanova rolls her eyes lightly at May's impolite response to Flash. "Natasha Romanoff," she says with an easy smile. "Don't mind May. It's her first coffee of the day and, given the time? Waaaaaay overdue. She should've gotten it hours ago." She slides easily into a seat, right beside Trent, and sets her coffee down on the table. Flashing the hacker an almost flirtatious, but really just friendly, grin, she adds, "You know how stuffy our offices get. We figured the view here had to be tons better than staring at the Hill all day." And she doesn't mean Capitol — though with them, you never know.

Jericho starts to rub his temples as May indicates to him that he'd had an open line with her. The connection flashes up on his HUD as it closes. "How much did you hear?" He groans. He'd been going on about who knows what to a while. He tends to kind of talk to himself when he works.

"Uh, I don't know, Flash. I try not to drink stuff… quite like that. Makes me jittery." And no one wants Jericho jittery. He's paranoid enough as is.

Romanoff gets a slightly embarrassed smile in return and something seems to go off behind his eyes. "Romanoff…" The smile gets a little wider. "Not a brunette today? Yeah, I'm familiar with how difficult the offices can be. Yeah. The Hill. Get tired of looking at it after a while… buuuuut it's kind of a fixture, I'm guessing."

Speaking of, behind the eyes, Jericho's have… changed. May knows well enough, and Natasha has probably seen the files, that his eyes are grey flecked with amber. No longer. They're… marlbled with amber. Like tiger's eyes.

Flash offers Melinda May a warm smile, but all he gets back is an unimpressed glower. "All right, May Romanoff," he deliberately pretends he misunderstood, "I'll let you enjoy your coffee before it gets too cold. I bet it's already down to a cool seventy, that's 175 for the Fahrenheit crowd," which probably includes Natasha. "Oh, so she's May, and you're Natasha Romanoff. That makes more sense. I didn't think you," directed at May, "looked like a Romanoff." But then as Natasha explains, he puts his hands up, "Gotcha, I'm not myself before I have my first coffee of the day either. I look like Christopher Walken in one of those Snicker commercials. Trust me, that's not something you want to see first thing in the morning." And then to Jericho, "They make it in decaf. Ever tried it? It's not my cup of tea, well, coffee, but I've heard it works wonders for people who like the taste, but don't want the caffeine. Personally, I want the caffeine, and hate the taste."

Melinda May turns to aim that glower at Romanoff briefly before also claiming a seat at 'Justin Trevor's' table, aiming her unimpressed expression at her coffee. Because she understands the Russian's subtle 'knock it off' cue, and plays her part. The part of the coffee-deprived grump. Fine. Whatever. When the Flash finally loses interest and moves away, THEN she'll start mocking J for butt-dialing her. With his BRAIN.

"Just had my hair done," Nat says to Trent, running a hand through the naturally auburn locks as she does. "Like it?" Because, seriously, dude: Do not be tipping the SHIELD hand to the hyperactive speedster over here. You don't want Romanova to start agreeing with Hill about you. ;)

Still, she laughs lightly at the speedster's jokes — she's good like that. "Scary thought," she obliges him, blue eyes twinkling as she does. Christopher Walken isn't high on her list of submissions to Time-Life's Sexiest Men list.

"Very nice." Jericho agrees mildly partly because, yes, there is a speedster here. "I'll keep that in mind Flash, but I'm not often in need of a pick me up."

Okay. This guy isn't self absorbed so much as just… friendly. Jericho thinks he knows how to deal with this. Oh yes. Turning he offers a hand to the red suited man to shake. "Sorry I was so oblivious earlier. Nice to know you're out doin' what you do, Flash. I kinda need to confer with my two friends here on that proposal we have to pitch for their boss. I don't know her that well, she's in another department. But I was wondering, my friend May here is a super big heroes fan. Would you mind signing her cup before we get to work?"

"Well," begins Flash, "speaking as someone who didn't see it before, I think it's a wonderful colour, Miss Romanoff." How little they know about him. Barry is actually a police officer, sure he belongs on CSI, which is totally different from real CSI, but he's still a cop, got a badge and everything. He's sure he has it, probably still in his sock drawer. Actually, best not to look in that drawer. "I know, right? The few girlfriends that I've had, the first time they wake up next to me, boy, they are gone so fast… that even I can't catch up to them. Still, you'd have thought in all this time that one of them would have stuck around for a second morning. I mean, I make a mean breakfast in bed," of course, he's completely joking here, though Jericho seems to have run out of patience with him. "Nah, it's quite all right." And getting the signal that it's time for him to leave, he not only signs Melinda's cup, 'To May, may all your frowns turn upside down, — Flash' in res crescent pen, with a yellow lightning bolt as a dash. And… dear god, he's somehow run off without them noticing, gotten a Flash baseball cap, which he's put on Melinda, a Flash Museum T-Shirt, which he's draped over her chest, a Flash drink holder, and a flash pen. "Well, it was nice to meet you folks, but I'm sure, somewhere, there's someone else who needs me." And he's gone, in a… you guessed it, Flash.

Melinda May doesn't even really have time to turn and glare at Trent before she's … Flashed. No, not in that way, though she can't help but wonder if that would have been preferable. She very deliberately sets the various red items on the table and THEN gives Trent the glare he just totally earned. "Can we get back to /work/ now, please?"

When the items are put down on the table in disgust, they seem to disappear in a blur of red light.

"Thank you," Romanova says to Flash, far more polite and friendly than her companion. Chances are good, in the not-too-distant future, she'll end up looking into just who this Flash is. Especially after his quick-thief routine with the Flashware around May. And the Black Widow is exceptionally good at figuring out who people are and where they really come from — just as she's exceptionally good at keeping that information to herself, unless it becomes necessary otherwise. It's a pet project of hers, actually, to collect information on the various metas she meets. Everyone needs a hobby, after all.

What else can you expect of a 80-plus year old superspy?

She arches a brow, however, when Trent sets May up and can't help but grin. Oh, that boy's got balls. She'll give him that. The Old Man might be right about him, after all…

Jericho chuckles as the Flash departs rather as he came and returns May's glare with a mild look, knowing that he richly deserves whatever she's got coming. "I am working, May. Though I'm somewhat mystified by your turning up. And… a bit clueless about how I managed to call you. What did you hear that brought you out with backup? I can't imagine it's the coffee. I'm sure SHIELD has a highly classified espresso machine buried in there somewhere."

Melinda May keeps on glaring at Trent for a second, then reaches a hand up deliberately slowly enough that he can tell she's not planning to hit him, and then abruptly flicks him on the ear. "We," she indicates Romanoff as the other half of the 'we', "were discussing work matters when you broke in on our call. One hell of a butt-dial Trent. For the record books." And you'd better be glad it wasn't Hill she'd been on the phone with at the time.

Romanova leans back and sips her coffee, now, as May explains just why they came to Trent. "It really was impressive," she says, her expression relaxed and open — though only those that don't really know her (and there are very, very few that truly do) take her at face value. "I have to say, I'm disappointed we didn't record it. I thought my vocabulary was impressive, but credit where it's due. You're a master at invective, Trent. A true master."

"Ooooh. You heard my Hill rant…" Jericho shakes his head… "I'm not… seriously considering de-orbiting a satellite into the Triskellion." Though the thought has occurred to him more than once. Of the things he could do, that's one of the more overtly destructive and he's not really anxious to try it because if he didn't cover his tracks near perfectly, it could potentially bring down a lot of heat on him. But as a manoeuvre of last resort, it's hard to argue with raining down fire from the sky.

"Well, Miss Romanoff…" Natasha apparently merits the same consideration May does, "I was in the army for eight years after all. I picked up a fair number of ways to express displeasure at something… or someone." Oh gods. If they heard that, what else did they hear? And did they come here to amuse themselves? Or to haul him in?

If May had come here to haul Trent in, she would not have put up with any of the shenanigans. Just the fact that still still sitting here, sipping at the likely horridly overpriced coffee should be proof enough. "Partly what Romanoff just said, but partly to ask why you're hacking satellites to focus them on an abandoned old hospital." Her eyes flick over to Natasha, knowing the Russian would have already made sure they were safe to talk here, but she wants reassurance that their location continues to be free of eavesdroppers.

Providing the speedster isn't vibrating so fast even Natasha's enhanced senses can't detect him, yeah. She's pretty sure they're free from eavesdroppers. But, then, she can always swap languages on them, if May wants to be really sure. They all speak Russian after all — though May may not realize that. As it is, the Russian's blue eyes are rarely still, flicking from point of interest to point of interest throughout the shop, her casual pose belying her habitual hyper-alertness. She gives Trent an easy smile. "Oh, I've heard worse. But most of it's repetitive. You scored a lot of points for originality. I'd never really considered the true logistics of hijacking a weather sat to take Hill out. I may have to file that one away, for later."

Jericho shrugs, keeping his voice low. "Civilian networks are a lot easier to compromise than military or alphabet soup agency ones. Lots of civvy satellites up there that aren't used for much any more but still work. One or two of them probably wouldn't be missed if you crashed them in the right area. In the middle of New York… maybe not so much." Of course Jericho has the advantage of being able to do it from a lot more places than most.

"Remember that raid I told you about May? That's where Hydra's hiding. I'm trying to get information. Placements, body counts. The more I know before we go in, the better it's all going to go."

Melinda May takes a sip of her coffee to keep up the illusion as well. "You mentioned one in passing that had strange encryption. Whose was it?" She suspects she'll recognize the name of the owner when she hears it. But then he adds that that hospital is where he and his group of misfits are planning to attack and rescue a group of imprisoned metas. "/That/ is where you're planning to hit? Trent, that's insane. You know that SHIELD will notice within seconds and then your little rescue will be worse than ruined." She glances at Romanoff as if to silently ask that she help convince Trent of … something. No idea what, but something.

Romanova gives Trent a friendly smile. "SHIELD won't ''notice'', if you get SHIELD ''involved''," she notes. She gives May a mild shrug as she says it, knowing it's not quite the tact she was expecting her to take. "You're going against Hydra. Trust me, SHIELD would sanction that. Besides, Hill's not the top dog in the agency. Getting her to like you won't keep you out of trouble — making her dislike you won't automatically immerse you in it, either." She gives the man a direct look, and May probably knows her well enough to know that she's likely just switched to another playbook (a higher paygrade playbook… certainly one over Hill's head). "I can help you with that. Though, it means you'll have to play ball with me."

Jericho rubs his temples. "I'll play ball with quite a lot of people for this. But it has to stay off SHIELD's books. If there are leaks in SHIELD, and Kush says there are, then the risk of it getting back to Hydra is significant. If it does, if they get a whisper of this, they'll move the victims and the hostages and we lose any chance of getting them back, or pulling Hydra's crosshairs off my 'foster sister'."

Melinda May simply nods slowly as she sees Romanoff switch to 'her own boss' mode. She's seen it before, and usually when she offers something like that, she MEANS it. "Trent, you're going to want to play ball with Romanoff on this. Believe me." The only person with more reasons to want to screw with Hydra than the Captain is Romanoff. This is totally up her alley. Though… May gives Trent a look. Partisan is in on this plan, isn't she?

Partisan isn't Romanova's favourite person. But the Old Man has given her very specific instructions: Get the hacker into the Initiative. She can put up with the psychotic, if she has to. For a little while. "I know how to keep things on the downlow, Trent. I've danced this number a time or two before. I can bring a lot of resources to the table, without a lot of questions asked. But, you'll owe me for it." She smiles sharply. "Of course, we'll also tweak Hill's nose, big time, in the process." Yeah. She just might enjoy that. A lot. "Got the stones to handle that?" Her blue eyes dance.

Jericho's eyes go very hard and very serious. "Yeah. What do you need me to do? I've already been putting together a team. Doing recon. Expecting to strike in very short order." He starts to drum his fingers on the table, eyeing Nat now.

Melinda May looks at Natasha briefly for confirmation, but she's pretty sure that there won't be much protest on this. "I have to be included in this rescue mission." Mostly because she would not trust anyone else to 'drive' on so important a task. Barton proved just the other day why she insists.

Natasha won't object to May playing chauffeur. Hell, she'd volunteer to co-pilot, but she needs to watch Aspect in action. And, likely, keep Partisan from blowing up half the city. "I've got another team that can use your services. So, call it quid pro quo, if you will. Frankly, it's in your best interest, anyway. There are strings I can pull that'll keep you just far enough out of Hill's reach that the worst you'll have to worry about is her scowl… as long as you're with the team, anyway." A beat. "Besides that's her default expression."

"Yet another reason to paint it on a satellite." Jericho mutters. "Sounds worth my while but let me ask first… how deep am I going to be getting myself in… and will it come back on my friends?" May knows, Natasha has probably read in his psyche profile, that Jericho will cross all kinds of lines to protect his friends. From anyone.

Another team. May actually stares at Romanoff now. She's heard gossip about this team, but never anything concrete. But, if what she's heard is even half true, it would be ideal for Trent. "You're talking about…" she can't even say it out loud, it's still too much of a rumor at her clearance level. She has no doubt, though, that Coulson knows something. He has that smug version of his bland expression he uses every time she complains.

Natasha doesn't even glance to May, neither confirming or denying the rumour — which for a woman like May should be confirmation enough. "It shouldn't," the Russian tells the Israeli frankly. "The whole purpose is to keep people safe." A beat. "And its operatives will have a high degree of autonomy." Hence why it's going to tweak Hill's nose. She hates that. Hates that a lot. Control freak that she is.

She shakes her head mildly. "Look, Trent. I've read your dossier. I know pretty much everything the agency knows about you. I'm not offering you a cakewalk here. I can't promise you that anyone — particularly you — is going to be 100% safe from harm. You're black ops. You know the deal. But, what I can tell you is this: If this team comes up the way I think it will, you'll have backup second to none when the shit does hit the fan. It's your call, but either you're in, or I walk away and this conversation never happened. And I can promise you, SHIELD will be all over NGH at all the wrong times."

It's not actually a threat. It's simply a confirmation of May's earlier words: The moment the place is breached, SHIELD will know. Even if the pair of them say absolutely nothing. Perhaps especially if the pair say nothing, Hill being the way she is.

Jericho actually shoots May a questioning look here. May told him that 'Romanoff' could be trusted but the fact is that he doesn't know Nat and he does know and trust May. Finally, rubbing his temples again, he nods. "Fiiiiiine… okay." This rescue cannot go wrong. "I'm in. Just don't expect me to move into the offices at the Triskellion." Translation: You've kind of got me over a barrel here. I'll help, but don't expect me to plug to the whole SHIELD system like Rogers.

"Even I wouldn't move into the offices there," May tells Trent. "And I know you think this is a bad idea, but believe me when I say your chances of this rescue mission succeeding have just increased exponentially. Even if Romanoff is the only one who goes with your team." Oh boy, bigtime compliments coming out. What the HELL did you put in this coffee, Nat?

Eh, May probably just wants to sweet talk her outta more rumour confirmations. Nevertheless, Romanova spares the other agent a brief glance, perhaps even a hint of a wry, inscrutable smile. But, her attention remains focussed on Trent for all that. "Don't worry. We're not going to be quartered at the Triskellion. Too much risk of a leak." Kush isn't wrong, after all. "But, welcome aboard, Mr. Trent. I'll forward you everything you need to know — just as soon as we've sprung your Hydra trap."


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