Getting with the Program

Summary:
August 21 2014: May and Trent see Director Fury to sort out his uncertain status with SHIELD. And then Trent volunteers some information.

Triskelion

The Headquarters, Armory and Fortress of the Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics division is, for the most part, an unassailable tower in the midst of the diplomatic sprawl that is Midtown East. The primary intelligence clearing houses and most of SHIELD's senior leadership are all housed hear, along with a veritable army of agents and staff to keep the place running, the world spinning and the weirdness at bay.


Characters

NPCs

  • Nick Fury

Mood Music:
[* None]


It'd had been late when Jericho had initially contacted May. So late that really it'd been better to wait until the next day to follow up on it. Between needing to get his general affiliation with SHIELD sorted out (as in, is he going to have to drop off the grid and run like hell) and the sudden, dire news about Syria and how it relates to HYDRA activities he'd been tracking, a face to face meet was the only option. That meant meeting at the Triskelion. As much as he hates going into that building for all the leverage it gives people he doesn't particularly trust, this was for May. She'd asked him to trust her just one last time and given all she'd done on his behalf, he wasn't going to say no.

At least no one tried to grab him when he entered the lobby.

*

Melinda May is only to glad to finally get this dealt with, as the rumors flying around have gotten on her very last nerve. Escorting Trent through the Triskelion involved a LOT of glaring, but they made it to this conference room without actually running afoul of Hill. Standing by one wall where she can see the whole room, May waits inwardly impatiently for Fury, outwardly her usual stern-looking self.

*

When Fury enters, he's alone and he's wearing his trademark black trench in addition to the usual black uniform and eye patch. "This better be good," he says brusquely, striding into the middle of the room and turning to face the two within. His arms cross over his wide chest and he fixes them both with a single-eyed stare. (It's a special talent.) "Bottom line it, May."

*

Jericho knew he was meeting the big boss for this. He did not know that the big boss was an intimidating man with an eye patch. Who wears eye-patches these days? You wouldn't think a guy like that would be a network ghost… but he is. Sensibly - for once - the hacker bites back his usual snark, sticks his hands in his pockets and waits. This is gonna be May's show for a bit. At least until he has to drop his line about Syria.

*

"Romanoff told me Trent," May nods toward Jericho, "was being considered for the avengers initiative. I've been monitoring him for the past few weeks, and Hill amongst others seem to think this means I'm shacking up with him." And she about ready to tell Hill exactly how she feels about those stupid rumors.

*

Fury arches a brow over his good eye. "You brought me down here to squash a rumor for you?" he says with all the acerbic incredulity for which he's known. He's not, however, known for having much patience. At least, not with things like this. "Do I look like a high school principal to you, Agent May? You've got bigger balls than most men in this outfit. Handle it."

*

Jericho looks at May for a moment and chuckles. "Yet another woman I've been accused of sleeping with… if I got half the action people think I do…" He shakes his head. "Sir, I've been working with Agent May for some time now. Kush Op. Turkish Extraction. HYDRA Hospital Rescue. I get the feeling that I'm not trusted or liked here by anyone but her. Which is fine, I get that. I'm on the run and operating beyond the law. But I've got one of your Agents breathing down my neck who will, if I don't play to her tune, certainly try to throw me in the deepest hole she can find, and another on my case about being bad for May's career." Which he may be. He's go not idea.

"Agent Romanoff approached me about helping out with a team. Promised I would since she kept SHIELD from screwing up one of my ops. But at this rate I'm gonna have to make it very hard for her to find me. I'm not about being leveraged. Or thrown into places where assassins can find me."

*

Melinda May stops herself from saying that yes, Fury does look like a high school principal to her. She nods once, taking his comment as permission to put Hill — and especially Manning — down decisively the next time either of them opens their trap. "I don't give a rat's ass what people say about me. But if the Initiative loses Trent because of Hill's narrow-mindedness, all of us are losing a potentially game-changing resource."

*

Trent's explanation is a little fuller than May's first kick at the can, to be sure. The Director eyes him. "You were placed on Agent Romanova's list for a reason, Trent," he tells him. "And, I can guarantee you, if you go to ground, she'll find you again. As for Agent Hill, her authority does not extend to the Avengers Initiative until I say it does. And, right now, it doesn't. If she does stick you in some deep hole somewhere, I'll deal with it." Or he'll have Romanova deal with it.

His eye fixes on May. "The Avengers Initiative is need to know. Romanova has the authority to manage it as she sees fit. Hill has the authority to deal with the rest of SHIELD's business. You're going to have to walk that line, May. Get used to it."

*

"It wouldn't be Romanova…" Interesting, Jericho notes, the differences between the last name given to him and the one Fury is using. That goes in Romanoff's file.

What? SHIELD doesn't have a patent on those.

"It wouldn't be her I'd be worried about finding me. But that's good to know." May might be able to tell that the hacker is already feeling more at ease. Knowing that, at least, there is in theory some recourse here even if he'll never see it in action or know it's in play, is somewhat comforting. Somewhat.

"I hope, then, you won't object if I continue working with Agent May? Something's come up recently that I need to bring to SHIELD's attention." He looks to both spooks now. "You've been following the news out of Syria?"

*

Fury nods simply. "I have."

*

Great. Just great. But, this does give her a way to push back at Hill, at least. "Yes. Fury, request permission to get a team assembled to look into it. And suitable transport." Because a quinjet would likely for everyone, but it would NOT be comfortable for more than a relatively short hop. And Tent is talking Syria. That's more than twelve hours one way, and would take at least one refuel stop on the way if they take a quinjet.

*

Telling this to a spy agency maaaaay be preaching to the choir a little, but there's no sense in taking chances. After all, SHIELD didn't know about the virus itself until he brought it to their attention. "The news reports that Tal Temer was wiped out by Sarin or Mustard Gas are inaccurate. It was actually a HYDRA designed retrovirus, of the same type that I turned over to Agent May some months ago, being field tested against a mutant enclave… And it worked." Now Jericho looks unhappy. "Seven thousand people are dead… one hundred percent lethality. I've been tracking this for a while. The spike in network chatter suggests they'll use it again soon. Weeks at the latest, is my best guess right now."

Team? Oh you may want more than one team for this…

*

"I'm aware of the inaccuracy of the news reports," Fury replies. It's his business to know these things. Besides, he always assumes the news in inaccurate about such things. That's one of the reasons he has the job he does. "Hydra doesn't wait weeks," he notes. He glances to May. "Take the Bus," he suggests. "Get a team you believe can work with Trent, but keep everyone in the loop on this." By 'everyone', he means himself and Hill… like it or lump it. Letting Coulson and Romanova know is a judgment call May is experienced enough to make.

He fixes his eye on Trent now. "As for you… I get it. You're a lone wolf and you like it that way. You got an axe to grind with Hydra, and I get that, too. But, like it or not, you're gonna need to play ball with us on this. And even as an Avenger, when that launches, sometimes you're gonna need to play ball with Hill, too. I am not running a nursery here. I'm running an elite, international counter-terrorism and intelligence agency. Time for you to get with the program, Mr. Trent. I want whatever intelligence you have on this on my desk ASAP. I'll tell Hill to play nice with you in the meantime. But, do not expect preferential treatment." He's associated closely with both May and, more particularly, Romanova. Hill will dislike him just for that alone, never mind everything else. Then again… Hill dislikes everyone. She wasn't hired for her winning personality.

*

Melinda May nods to Fury at that. She had a feeling that's where this was headed, and is already mentally compiling names for a team (or plural?) that she knows will work well with Trent. This might also be a chance to see how well other Initiative potentials work together. She'll have to talk with Romanoff about that since it appears she's Fury's second in that regard. Coulson is a given, if his other duties allow. And she has to take into account how many the Bus will accommodate, both comfortably and in a pinch.

*

"I'll settle for not being thrown in a hole and her keeping her hands off my friends. They're not leverage. That's Hydra BS there." Not that Hill's tried that. Not even close, though her nosing around about Illyana put him on alert and made him consider the possibility, especially after the way Romanova so deftly strong armed him. Have we mentioned that Jericho's paranoid? He should probably see someone about that.

"Beyond that you'll have my cooperation. I gave my word, I'll keep it." Well, so long as SHIELD's end of the bargain is held up at any rate. No need to belabor the point though.

"Look I know I'm an unknown quantity in a lot of calculations. I don't mind helping. I like to think I've demonstrated that. But if you really have been looking into me you know what my limits are." Oh his psych profile is a mess. And he'll cross all kinds of lines to protect people he cares about. But he will play ball, and make hard choices. SF soldiers don't last long if they can't.

Ah, the Bus. He may have some quicker methods back and forth but there's no need to go on about those right now.

*

Fury simply nods again. He looks between the two of them. "Well?" he demands sharply. "Is there anything else, or are we done here? You know what you have to do."

*

"That's all for me, sir." May is ready to get going, she has a Bus to prep and likely very little time to do so. But first… she looks at Trent. It's the 'we have more to talk about' look that he's probably sadly becoming familiar with.

*

Jericho actually gives a polite half bow. "Thank you for your time, sir." He doesn't call anyone sir that May can remember. "I'd say see you soon but I doubt that'd be ideal for either of us." He steps back and lets May lead the way.

*

Fury watches the pair retreat, not at all missing the meaningful look May gives Trent before they leave. Once they're gone, he snorts softly and leaves the room behind, himself. Goddamned preschool…


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