Demon Talk

August 03, 2014: Manning comes in to talk with the DepDir and Barton happens to be in the office.

Deputy Director Hill's Office

Variable, depending upon her mood.



  • None

Mood Music:

After running into Trent and his 'friend', Paul considered what he found out/was told and, more importantly, whether or not he believed it. In either case, it's information SHIELD should know about so he gave the Deputy Director a call and arranged a meeting.

The fun never ends. Not for Hill, (and thus) not for anyone. There have been enough proverbial fires to put out lately without so much as setting foot outside of the Triskelion, she's starting to forget what sunlight is already. With security clearances on top of security clearances and armored glass that's tinted so dark as to be opaque it feels like she's living in a cave some days.

At least the artificial light is strong. In that 'I'm so artificial white' sort of illumination.

Everyone present should be getting to be pretty familiar with her office by now. Smartglass table, fancy black chairs, soundproofed glass walls that can go from transparent to solid on a whim. Today Hill has the interior of the room looking like the Arizona mesa, the artificial blue sky teamed with rich red hued rock formations. Pretty, but entirely fake.


"Alright, what have you got for me, Manning?" she asks in what may well come across as a 'let's get this over with' tone of voice.

Agent Clint Barton is present; on one hand because he wanted to be, and on the other hand, because it was suggested that he be. So, he stands at the door, arms crossed over his chest (now that the shoulder is healing, thanks for asking!). No sign of arrows, but that doesn't mean they're not close at hand somewhere.

When Manning arrives, he's given a nod from the archer, and the stance looks a little more relaxed. Of everyone so far, this detective is the closest thing Barton's got to 'okay' since all this began. (Not to mention was a good sport about having a pistol levelled at him.)


"Nice to see you again too, Deputy Director." Between the marines and the force, Paul's run into his fair share of bad tempered officers and a few have been women. They have to make up for not having balls with attitude. "Barton." A nod is returned to CLint as he takes a seat. "I ran into Trent the other day and actually got some information on the whole demon thing."


For Hill the matter transcends anything to do with gender. The Triskelion had been attacked, from the -inside.- Demons are apparently starting to crawl out of the woodwork. The Tri-City area is always under some global set of crosshairs or another. An X-Gene attacking compound is on the loose. The number of agents she can currently trust comfortably number within the fingers of her left hand. She nearly killed herself in a helicopter crash. She's got Barton in her office. Oh, and Fury's already jumped her shit for her performance within the Division of late.

Well, that and she's naturally got a crappy attitude. If she had a nickel for every time a superior officer screamed at her face when she spent her time in the Marines…

That her chromosomes differ from most of command doesn't mean a thing in the world to her.

"Well halle-freakin-lujah, -someone's- got some damn answers for a change!" she announces with arms outstretched toward the heavens in sarcastic display. "Go on then, Mister Manning. The rest of the class is -eagerly- awaiting your story."


And wouldn't you know it, one of those agents that -isn't- on that left hand of hers is in her office! That probably doesn't help much, he knows, and somewhere in there, Barton derives a certain amount of pleasure in it. He, too, has a crappy attitude at times and is constantly and consistently dressed down- but he's good. So, he has a job.

"You got him to talk? Nice."

"It seems that Trent is not a demon summoner." Paul begins. "Neither is he the pawn of a demon." Those were the two biggies he was concerned about. Actually, they were the only ones. Who could anticipate the third option? "It seems that a 'friend' of his…" and he doesn't make air quotes but they're almost audible, "… is, in fact, a demon summoner. Though she claims it was something thrust upon her more than sought out." Actually, demon summoner doesn't come close but it's accurate enough. "I'm not entirely certain whether to believe her based on one meeting but…" He shrugs. "My first impulse is to give her the benefit of the doubt." A cop's instincts. "Trent's circuitry somehow absorbs the demonic energy from her in some kind of weird capillary action."


This news is ..truthfully, not one hundred percent 'news' for Hill. Jericho's been under surveillance for some time and SHIELD as a whole much prefers to have their every questions answered in full. For a guy that doesn't leave the smallest footprint out in the wild of late, some interesting bits of information have gotten through to her. Hearing about this from Manning serves to further cement a couple of the details, and proves that he's capable of finding out such intel on his own. Which, in her eyes, is extremely beneficial for her, so long as he's still willing to share.


"'The taint of a demon,' or whatever the Hell you had said back in Turkey. Figures that it came from a woman," she almost growls while dropping herself into her chair. "So what of this demon summoning pal of his, do you have a name or a profile, anything at all?" Because it sure sounds to Hill like this is the very same lady that she's been interested in tracking down for the last several days. Not everyone in New York City can summon infernals for a few rounds of Mortal Kombat.

"So… what you're saying is that while he's not a demon, he's compromised. Great."

Barton drops his head forward and shakes his head. Really need to talk to 'Tash about this one, because -really-?

Barton's head rises once again, and he stares at the detective, his brows rising in askance, "Give a demon summoner the benefit of the doubt? Manning, buddy… did you fall on your head? Because, really. Demons. The opposite of angels. Now, I'm not a religious guy or anything, but I do know something about -bad-, and they're the ones the define the damn word."

Apparently, the archer is a little less accepting?


"Her name is Illyana. Last name, address and social security number unknown." Paul tells Hill. "Nor am I certain if she's a real blonde." He glances over at Clint and considers how to explain. "You don't have to tell me about that, Barton. I'm well aware of what demons are like." He saw it first hand. "But she… That little demon she assigned to Trent as a babysitter is more evil than she is even though she's a thousand times more powerful than it. According to her, she was kidnapped as a child and… Well, you can imagine what a truly evil demon summoner would want with an innocent girl. Eventually, she escaped before he could completely corrupt her and took over or something. She claims to be keeping them in check now and I have no reason to doubt that. Yet. Like I said, my impulse is that she was telling the truth. She might be a junkie, but she's not a dealer."


A first name is a start. At the very least Hill could drag Trent back in for questioning and drill him about all things 'Illyana.' The DepDir's not one for smiling but Paul does get a single, thoughtful nod as the information is received. "Great, so the hunt begins for Hellfire Barbie."

As Paul finishes his current thought Hill's stare darts right back to the guy. "Use of the word 'junkie' in regards to someone that summons creatures from the abyss is not comforting on -any- level, Manning."

It's also entirely possible that Hill is somewhat religious. This whole thing is just..way too surreal sometimes.

"'Before he could completely corrupt her,'" she repeats with an irritated mutter while glancing down and off to one side. Claiming a long breath, she decides "There's not a single damn point out of -any- of this which comforts me."

Looking back up and between the two, she adds "I want her found. God willing, she's going to become your coach for all things Hell-bound, Manning."


"Hell, they invented the word 'damn'.." Barton continues before he pauses, adding, "…and hell."

A whistle escapes the man at the story told, and slowly he nods his head once, twice. Yeah, he can imagine it. Not that he wants to, mind.

It's when Manning uses the 'junkie' and 'dealer' that the former criminal sucks a breath, exhaling with an 'ah'. "Gotcha. Still, you think you could go in on it?" Intel is a nice thing. "Because knowing people's intentions is half the job. You know that." Which means the unpredictable becomes predictable.


"I can't think of a better analogy, Deputy Director." Junkie seems very accurate to Paul. "But given what she's said, and her claim that she seems to have control over an entire hell dimension? I'm surprised she's not completely demonic." That more than anything helped convince him. He's about to say more but Hill's… desire just leaves him open-mouthed. "What?"


Here a sidelong glance is passed toward the archer when he reacts to the junkie comments. "Steady, Barton."

Hill could just smirk at Paul's next reaction. She almost does, too! "Rapture," she simply announces at first.

Maria reaches out and swiftly taps the surface of her table a few times, picking through various screens that hadn't existed there until she started prodding it. The Arizona landscape surrounding the three melts away into a view of sunny ..Philadelphia. The riverfront, with Camden just a short ways away from the view of the heavily run-down docks. It's rather bleak, all told.

"I've even reserved a playground for you kids," she continues as two fingers tap a spot on the desk, highlighting one of the several run-down shipping warehouses. "Granted it's not exactly a Chuck E. Cheese playhouse, but the entire structure is way past due for demolition. All we need to put your new tricks to the test are some thematically appropriate targets. A 'not completely corrupt demon-summoning lady' sounds like just what I'm in the market for. We get her to play along, we get to learn all about the Rapture. Should be fun."


Barton looks around at the DepDir, "Never did that stuff. But I get it." A little defensive? Maybe… his file is there for the taking. So far, to his knowledge, SHIELD hasn't buried it. Just made it a little more difficult to find is all.

It's when Hill suggests that Manning work with this Illyana that the expression goes from surprised to impassive. Oh. Shit.

"Oh great, Manning," is given in a distinct deadpan. "Not envying you right now. I'm thinking Turkey looked a hell of a lot better than a burned out Philly dock." And, Barton is thanking his lucky stars that he's not Paul's handler. Nope. "This is a level of wierd that even I don't want to be a part of." Just give him something to shoot.


Paul looks over the panorama and nods. Looks like a good Parkour playground too. He uses something similar on the docks here in the city. "I don't know what you expect would happen but if you can work something out with her…" He shrugs. "I got the impression from when I almost attacked Trent that I'm just very good at beating up demons. It seemed to want that and approve of the idea." He thinks a moment then adds "If they're here. I've never felt any real urge to go through a gate and do so. But K'nert, for all he's a minor demon, does make me want to." Clint's comment does get a wry chuckle. "Didn't have much choice about it, Barton."


"Now, I'm smart enough not to put you two in the same room then walk away," Hill reassures Paul (and possibly Clint) with one hand held upward slightly. "For a multitude of reasons, absolutely none of which I'd assume either of you need to be reminded of, this would still be considered a confidential SHIELD op. We'll be present." And armed. Very, very well armed. "So before you both take off the gloves we're all going to need a friendly sit-down to hammer out the details of this friendly little spar." With emphasis on 'friendly.'

One more tap to the glass surface and the table blanks out. The walls go right back to Arizona, dry and oppressive. Kind of like the woman that lives inside of the room these days. "I want her found," she repeats. "And for the love of God, let's make sure that things remain civil from the get-go. Another infestation is exceedingly low on my priority list, demonic or otherwise."


Confidential. Demons. Barton is pretty sure that if it continues, there'll be department for it soon enough in SHIELD. Unless there already is- the Old Man is good like that.

Blue eyes swing towards Manning; he wants to tell the guy something -after- the meeting. Just a quick comment, but now something that's even more important than ever. Particularly if he'll be dealing with Illyana, and in turn, undoubtedly Trent. "I'll walk you out when we're done." It is sounding as if Hill is winding down. She's given her orders and now expects them obeyed. Such as it is.

"I'm in control of it, not the other way around." Paul assures Hill. "It's not the same as how some of the others are as they were explained to me. Which is almost a shame; I don't get any instruction or past memories. And if I can sprout wings and fly, I sure don't know about it." Barton gets a nod.


"I didn't mean to imply that you weren't in control of it," Hill says in what may well be offering Paul the benefit of doubt. "It's what happens when Illyana gets pissed off that I -don't- know about. We're playing with powers very few of us have any proper understanding of, which means we take very little steps while carrying very big guns. Now, if we've covered all of our bases for the moment I still have to figure out who the hell to incarcerate for scratching my car this morning."


Barton's near the door for a reason. It's so he can lean and poke it, and have the door slide open so he's the first one out. "C'mon."
As for keying the DepDir's car? Oh hell no, wasn't him. BUT he may have information leading to the capture of the freedom fighter.. er.. vigilante.. er.. jerk in Ops that just got his transfer denied.

Once out the door, and after it closes after Manning is out, Barton's voice is low as they start on their way towards the main entrance. "May. You gotta keep an eye on her. She's so far out on a limb that she's looking like she's turning. Trent won't toss her back." He shakes his head as he puts his sunglasses on. "I'm worried about her. When others do this, at least I get a heads-up so I can run backup, but as far as I can see, she's got no safety net. Which is a huge no-no."


Paul nods and stands up. "You have my number." Almost certainly it'll take some time for them to convince Trent to talk about Illyana. Or maybe even just relay a emssage. "But my paperwork finally went through so I'm back on the job. I won't have as much free time as I did." Meaning now he's a cop again, he doesn't have to play at being a secret agent to get his law enforcement fix. Following Clint out, he listens and then shrugs. "I doubt I'll be seeing her much now what with not being an agent here. I haven't seen her since that time she ran off to find Trent."


"Oh hey, you did? Congratulations."

Barton's happy for the guy, really. "And yeah. I saw Trent in the park after. We had a little talk, he and I. And frankly, it worried me. I'd like nothing better than to jack the guy up against a wall and have him spill it all, but that's not going to happen. And for some reason, people around here are acting like we have a hydra sprouting out of our asses. I swear. No one I know took a wrong step, but yet everyone's staring at everyone else like, well…" Three heads.


"My biggest concern about him was the demon angle." Paul explains. "They'd do anything to get their hands on the Rapture. Now I'm fairly sure that's not an issue and the rest of it…" He shrugs. "That's more your department than mine. But he's been crying wolf about Hydra agents so much, it's no surprise everyone is starting to get paranoid about it. If it were intentional, it would be an almost brilliant way to sow distrust. But it's more likely he really is that paranoid about it. I'd love to know his real history. His official file is obviously full of bullshit."


"When you tell a lie often enough, it becomes really believable. Best way to control someone is to take them away from their family and friends." Barton's faced forward, his steps deliberate as they head towards the main entrance. "And she trusts him now." Which, well, in his book?

"And if it's not intentional, then she's feeding into his delusion."

A slight shrug comes and finally he looks towards the NYPD detective. "Good luck with that. If you need me, call." A slight smile comes, a touch on the lopsided side. "But if it's demons, let me know beforehand so I can take a swing by for holy water. I hear they hate that shit."

"They should, yeah. The thing about holy items and holy ground is accurate so holy water probably is too." Paul unclips his ID badge and tosses it to Clint. "I'll do that. Let me know if anything else turns up." Giving the agent a nod, he heads out.

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