Virus Hunt Lebanon: Red Crescent

Summary:
August 27, 2014: Hawkeye, Falcon, Jericho, and Coulson take out a virus stockpile set to infect a refugee settlement on the Lebanese/Syrian border.

Near Anjar, Lebanon


Characters

NPCs

  • Aid workers
  • HYDRA agents

Mood Music:


Bequaa Valley, Lebanon.

There are no refugee camps in Lebanon. The Lebanese government has consistently refused to set them up which means that the over quarter of a million refugees in the Bequaa Valley live either in rented housing or in nomadic camps hosted by local communities. They do still tend to congregate though. One is near Anjar. Some 1500 refugees living in make shift conditions. It's pretty squalid, but that's the way these things go. At least there's not a whole lot of tension between the towns folk and the refugees. Not at the moment at any rate.

Jericho is walking, an AK slung over his back as he makes his own approach to the area. "Alright. So, brief background. The leadership of this particular camp is really, really fractured. Four or five different people could make a reasonable claim to it. Of course, that means that no one really quite knows what anyone else is doing which makes this place ideal for smuggling the virus. And of course if they're doing that, then they must be getting it from somewhere." Which is what they're after. "I'll back whatever play you folks care to make. Just don't make me send Partisan up here to rescue us with extreme prejudice." That last delivered with a chuckle because, of course, she would.

-

Sam Wilson is listening in via headset from the sky far above. He's got his goggles linked up to the SHIELD database via Jericho, the amazing human wireless hotspot, and he's scanning in live data about both the terrain and the progress of refugees across the Lebanese/Syrian border. It is the express purpose for which the Exo-7 was designed — a combination eye in the sky and fast response team — and it gives Sam a certain satisfaction to see it fulfilling its purpose in the real world.

Farther ahead but a bit lower, Redwing offers his own form of air support. Although the actual falcon is just hunting for snacks, his reactions to events on the ground will give the human Falcon early warning if the situation there changes.

"I'll airlift you out of there long before it gets that bad," Sam assures Jericho over their communications link. "So, FYI, if a cable suddenly drags you into the sky? It means I'm not impressed with your attempts at keeping a low profile."

-

Coulson, look ever government issue in his suit and shades travels along side Trent and Barton. He can be heard over the comms with a dry chuckle, "Oh c'mon now, public relations is what we do best. Bring some Levis and some Springsteen, and you can win over a town." there is the slight tinge of sardonic humor to his comment. "I don't think they want that crap here anymore than they do, so hopefully it's a pretty straight forward play. But that hasn't always been the case."

-

Bah. Rocks. Dirt. Sand. Refugees. AKs. Been there done that exactly how many times before? Most recently with the Kurds in Turkey about, has it been only three weeks ago now? Hawkeye's in tans, tan combat boots (Israeli- very comfortable!) and sports his backquiver, the tops of the shafts just peeking. Bow isn't anywhere to be seen, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have it with him.

"Yeah, yeah. Not my first rodeo around here." From doof to professional Field Agent in .9 seconds. He's been studying the maps of the area, the movements, the makeup of the refugees. Most of the Bus ride he was 'up top' doing 'this' and 'that'. His work, now, is coming into fruition.

With sunglasses on and a tan wrap on his head to keep away flies (and heat. It -is- still August, after all!), the man -almost- looks like a refugee himself. "Everyone get a tracking tip?" Need to know where the friendlies are. "Coulson, you've got the frequency."

Barton chuckles at the quip, adding, "You forgot chocolate and a soccer ball. But yet. Quiet.. which is something I'm damned good at. Falcon, if you're going high, you're gonna have to direct me on traffic patterns." Normally, -he- is the one to go high and others, low. But… apparently not this time.

-

Jericho comes in on the opposite side of town from the camp and makes his way through on foot. He looks, really, rather Russian in that 'I'm not a Russian spook' kind of way so it makes that very subtle kind of splash when someone unusual and potentially scary shows up. This is, in fact, part of the idea. Give folks something to look at while the professionals go to work. Jeri is prodding for information technology (there isn't supposed to be a whole lot of it out here compared to other places.

Sam's goggles, well they show him the unseen, right? There's a lot of EM coming from… the refugee camp. Exactly where in the camp is a bit hard to say because the signature is muted and diffused. Almost as if it's being purposely scattered or perhaps buried under something.

Barton doesn't get a second look from the refugees as he comes up. Well, no more than anyone who approaches from the outside does. He knows his work though so he blends pretty darn well. Depending on how he wants to play it, there leaders of the camp are probably somewhere close to the center. There's also a Red Crescent aid tent set where the camp gives way to the town.
Hishil? Well Phil gets the real looks. He is most certainly a spook and Jericho's body language is making the hacker appear deferential to him. This guy, the unspoken cues say, is in charge. Harken ye unto what he says.

-

"You want your traffic report delivered regular flavor, or shock jock style?" Sam asks. No one can see his smirk, but after the Bus ride over they can probably picture it. "It's a mess — people everywhere. Clearest paths look like they might be sort of no-man's lands between the factions Trent mentioned. But taking those is gonna draw attention. Other than that, there's a main thoroughfare running to the aid tent where there's at least movement, although you'll have to get friendly with the natives."

Adjusting the filter on his specs, he gives a low whistle and adds, "I'm getting way more EM activity than I should from a setup like this, but I can't get a fix on its location. There's paydirt here someplace, but it's not out in the open. Keep your game faces on."

-

Agent Coulson pulls out his phone, and confirms Sam's findings - a direct feed bouncing off the Bus and grabbing signals from satellites overhead. "Yeah..this place is crazy with EM activity, but not concentrated as to a particular source." he pockets the phone in the breast pocket of the suit's coat. "These guys are gonna make us work for this. That is /really/ going to annoy me. Let's take a route towards the main aid tent, see if we can find anything conspicuous."

-

"Looking for well worn paths and eyes, Falcon. Give me movements, and potential guards. I want to know who is more wary than others." Tech is all well and good, but it's human nature to give those 'tells'. It's something that he's survived on. A twitch, a glance…

"I want to hear classic rock jock style. The 'I'm too old to actually play this crap anymore' style."

Now, the archer is on the move, headed towards the Red Crescent tent. He's not stupid; how many times have people used schools and hospitals as shields? "On my way to the Crescent."

-

"Everybody's wary, man. It's a refugee settlement in the middle of a turf war," Sam answers Clint, wishing he could be more helpful. A sudden change in Redwing's flight path draws his eye. "You might want to circle around to your left, though. Looks like there's about to be a fight about thirty yards ahead of you. Right's no good: it's one of those borders I mentioned — clear path, but more gangs of enforcers."

Taking a longer view, he examines their goal: the Red Crescent tent. "Lots of skulky looking guys around that aid tent. It's guarded almost as well as the turf borders. Could be trying to guard against raids, I guess. They're letting people through, anyway."

-

"You do know I mean relatively speaking. Hell, I'm wary. I just wanna know who looks like they're gonna act on it." Immediate after getting directions from Falcon, however, Hawkeye pivots on his foot and drops his hands into his pockets and heads off to that 'other' direction, away from the checkpoint; headed left and around tents to keep away from the potential fight.

"Not much point in guarding a Red Crescent tent. They don't have a lot in there worth guarding." Other than food, which is a biggie around here. "Unless, well, they do."

Now, Barton checks his immediate vicinity, looking for friendlies. "Gonna see if I can't get into the tent."

"Going offline for a couple of minutes." Barton lifts his hand and pulls a small device from his ear and palms it easily. Now… he can't hear. But he also has a tendency not to 'speak', either. Sign language for the win. Even basic… and he'd pass any and every test.

-

Behind the shades, wary eyes keep watch. The fish out of water act is effective - yes, he sticks out like a sore thumb, but it also allows for some deception and misdirection to take place. He, too, is keeping eyes on people that look like they might make a move on them, and also looking around for what can improvise with if such a thing happens. No need to draw unless it's really time to draw. He looks to Barton and uses the basic hand signals to communicate with him since he's popped off comms. He intones to those on the frequency still, "Still monitoring here, not seeing anything that would to those EM hot spots..unless they've got buried treasure in some of these less luxurious accomodations."

-

Jericho has peeled off to work his way around one of the borders away from the Red Crescent tent. He's actually chasing some code whispers. "Something is talking to something here, guys. Via a network. It's pretty well hidden though. Feels like it's underground. Look for something out of place. Lot of dirt thrown up here, but maybe some odd drainage? You wouldn't want monsoons flooding your pit out, after all."

The folks around the med tent are giving Phil and Barton odd look. And there's a very grumpy looking woman in a lab coat emerging now to see what the hell the newcomers want, if anything.

-

As Barton and Coulson bypass the area Sam indicated, a scuffle does indeed break out: lots of shouting and cursing and, briefly, a bit of gunfire. The nearby enforcers for the refugee leaders abandon their posts and rush to the scene, hurrying to get things back under control. It's serendipitous, as distractions go, except for one thing: it doesn't seem to interest the men skulking defensively around the aid tent. At least it should give Jericho some extra freedom of movement for a minute.

Sam scans and reports: "The guys are armed. That's woman's not. They won't be expecting anything from above, though — I'll get into position to snare a couple of 'em if they start shooting at you." He sheds some altitude to get the ground into grappler range, circling directly above the aid tent. He's still following the ground team's lead, though.

-

Agent Coulson nods, "Keeping an eye out for mounds that shouldn't be around or some conveniently placed drainage grates." as he eye sweeps, careful to keep his look casual even as obvious as he is, when the gunfire breaks out he instinctively goes for his Docker's Clutch. He pauses, though, before drawing. Seeing no need to pull, he goes back to sweep and takes the time others are distracted to maybe crane his head about here and there, looking where otherwise might not have been able to.

-

Barton catches Coulson's hands and nods his acknowledgment; a subtle gesture. It's towards the woman now that could possibly bar his way that Barton makes a hand gesture towards his ears, followed with a shaking of his hands. Explosion, but no injury other than he can't hear… Should anyone shoot a gun next to him, or yell… there is simply no reaction to be had. It's 'far off' enough that it's 'easy'. There is no reaction to the sudden gunfire in camp.

In the next moment, Barton's hands come together with a supplication to Allah, something he picked up in his time in Southern Turkey. He hasn't missed the movement, however. It's exactly things like that he actually watches for. When trouble strikes, there is always the run to defend that which is most valuable.

-

The woman, definitely an Arab, strides over toward Barton looking fairly upset. A stream of words come out in Arabic. She clearly looks upset. When Barton gestures that he's injured though and doesn't react to the gunfire? Her entire demeanor changes. Snapping something in the same language to a pair of attendants in the tent she grabs Barton's arm and attempts to haul him up to the aid station, shooting Phil a look like the one she'd initially given Barton.

Phil's attention to detail is about to pay off. The area near the medical supply tent, behind the aid station, is graded to send any runoff down and away. However, there is also a rather excessive amount of drainage on the north side of the tent.

"Sam." Jericho is now moving among the camp, the distraction giving him a bit more ability to move about. "Switch from looking for RF specifically. Something is transmitting microburst traffic on a very, very low frequency. It's really hidden, I can't get a listen on it. Just a whisper, but if I can figure out where…" ELF frequency is the stuff the US uses to transmit Nuclear Weapons Release orders to submarines. It doesn't have very many civilian applications.

-

Agent Coulson notices the drainage on the north side of the tent, and calls it quietly on comms, "Falcon, check the north face of the tent they're using for aid. I'm eying normal drainage, but I'm also seeing something that's excessive there. See if you can't get a look at it."

When the woman gives him the look, he just acts like he didn't see as he lets himself bobblehead around as clearly the intrusive foreigner here. But he also has a cover story ready if he needs it.

-

Sam is thinking along the same lines as Clint, though with a different perspective. "Gunfire, but those guys have cinched up tighter to the tent. Not very civic-minded, for relief workers. There might be something in there."

Jericho's request has him quickly cycling through filters to pinpoint the source of the signal. It doesn't take him long, he was already looking there. "Yeah, I see the signal — it's centered on the tent, too. Gotta be a transmitter that was designed to be buried — ELF has better penetration through solid material than higher frequencies. I'm guessing Coulson has either spotted something to keep their stuff dry, or that 'drain' is the hole where our payload is being kept."

-

In. Barton is in, which means he can easily get control of this tent. As he's dragged in by the relief worker, he's looking for crates, something that might hide potential electronic equipment. Last he saw, the team was converging to the immediate area (everyone has the same idea!) so each has the other covered.

The rapidfire Arabic gets a headshake, his hands rising to gesture at his ears again… and again, there's the supplication. But, now, in his hand, he's palmed an ECM jammer tip, and when his hand comes down once again, there's a sleight of hand that wants to send that little tip into the sand beside a likely wall of crates. It's not yet active, however. Not until it receives a signal.

-

The crates are marked mostly in Russian and French, those being the easiest ways to get medical supplies in country. There's about the expected amount of armament in the tent for the area. What is odd is the way that the guards seem to be watching the doctor and one or two of the staff almost as much as they're watching Barton. So who is guarding whom? A couple of the staff, the two assisting the doctor, look very nervous. The doctor? She just looks pissed.

"Alright. I'm about to make a scene. Hopefully it'll give you an opening."

Jericho storms up toward the supply tent from the opposite direction of Coulson, unslinging his AK and shouting at the guards near there angrily in Russian. If anyone can understand him, he's demanding to know where the supplies 'Dimitri' ordered are and why they're not waiting for him like he was told. The guards around the supply tent suddenly have that to worry about. The ones around the medical tent itself. Well… it's getting tense in there.

-

"Real subtle, Trent. No wonder I'm always having to patch you up," the team's eye in the sky comments dryly. "On the plus side, Coulson, you're in the clear. Now would be the time to do something suspicious. I'll be ready to drop on you or Jericho — whoever needs a hand first." Sam can only hope that Clint has things under control inside the tent.

-

Agent Coulson slips out of sight of the front of the tent, and moves alongside it towards where the larger, excessive drainage is. He's not large, or menacing. If anything, he looks he should be slinging car insurance for the home office in Sioux City, Iowa. If he can get to the drainage, and if he can do so without being eyeballed with all the distraction, he will go and see if he can get into it, and whatever it might be hiding. If.

-

There's a shift in demeanor; a less than subtle one in terms of the way rifles are being handled. Now, with attention being what it is, there appears to be a decision made. He doesn't sit down, no. However, he does turn his back on the guards, on the relief workers as well. It's in the next second that a practiced hand dips into a pocket to pull out a cylinder, and it humms quickly into place- and at the same time, the archer's got arrows in his hand. Now, an amateur stick-bow archer can accurately get off 17 arrows in the span of 30 seconds (seen it done!). Hawkeye, however, isn't an amateur- and with a leap on a cot, one arrow, two.. three.. and four are let off in succession- silent deaths.

Spinning around, it's in whispered English, "Don't scream," to the aid workers from his spot on the cot, a hand out and palm down in added gesture.

"Lay down."

-

The aid workers go wide eyed and slowly lay down. The doctor has gone similarly wide eyed… and says something in Russian. Then, when that doesn't seem to work, in English. "You… are not with them?"

Jericho intends to make sure that Phil makes it without being eyeballed. He does this by hauling back and cold cocking one of the guards. This, of course, starts an immediate brawl. The fact of the matter is that the ex-commando is a lot better at hand to hand than any of these guys. Not that Jeri wouldn't appreciate some help. It is four on one at the moment.

Phil gains the grate and it turns out to house a computer terminal of some kind… and, he can see, some kind of machine that looks vaguely like an irrigation pump attached to pipes running into the ground.

-

With a deft swerve, Sam maneuvers himself behind the guards drawing on Jericho, then tucks his wings back and dives steeply, arms held out in front of him. With a bit of help from his goggles' targeting assist system, he lines up two neat shots with the gauntlets' built-in 'talon' grappling cable. "Guess it's as good a time as any to see whether this modification works," he mutters as he fires.

The ends of the cables splay into an X-shape, with each leg terminating in a electromagnetic weight. The center of each rescue snare hits Sam's targets, and the cables wrap around, magnets clamping together into a pair of secure harnesses. Then… Sam triggers the tasers he had Tony help him build into the talons. Not quite the noble medevac purpose the talon was designed for, but ever since a certain workplace altercation, he figured the talons needed a stun setting as well as a simple grab function.

That makes the odds against Jericho two on one, for those keeping score.

-

Coulson gets down into the drainage, and eyes the computer in front of him and also takes note of the irrigation system connected to it. He starts looking around to see what else is connected to this computer, and if it's anything like what they're here looking for. His hand slips into his slacks pocket, and he feels the EMP arrowhead that Hawkeye gave him during the loadout. He starts at least trying to get a feel for the system before he has to fry it.

-

Clint shakes his head rapidly, putting a finger to his lips while gesturing 'down'. Now, he's free (for the second) to put his hearing aide/comlink back in. Whispering, "4 down, contained for the minute." Now, he can answer the aid workers, and crouching such that he's got an eye on the tent flaps and can (and will) move in a second's notice, Barton shakes his head once again. "No. Not with them." Or, from the sound of it, Russians. "Stay down, stay quiet. After this is done, if you want, I can get you outta here." Or… "Or I can contact your family for you." Sometimes, with aid workers, -that- is the one thing most desired.

Coinciding his move with Phil (they probably have worked together once or twice in the years he's been with SHIELD), Hawkeye presses a button that is set on the grip of his bow. "ECM active."

Aaaand, is that a scuffle outside the tents? Barton is actually catching that for the first time. Raising his bow, he catches shapes that may move, causing the flaps to move. He's got trackers for friends, and his targets.. one… two.. are certainly anything but friendly. Right through their backs.

-

The terminal that Agent Coulson has is pumping coolant to half a dozen hidden canisters scattered around the refugee camp and town. Hydra has this town rigged to get virused just like Tal Temer. The strange thing is that this isn't a mutant enclave. I mean sure, probably a few of the people here are, but that's it. The only thing that would accomplish is… contaminating this area… and any water sources connected to it. Fortunately they haven't triggered it yet.

One arrow, two arrow. Jericho had been fighting. And now he's not. Still, the scuffle is drawing some attention from people who don't know that these aren't aid workers. "Thanks for the assist, Hawk, Sam. What do you have Coulson? We need to shut this down and get out."

The doctor watches as Hawkeye lets fly and then starts speaking quickly. "They came in a month back and held us and our work hostage. They have some kind of equipment buried around the town. They have to be stopped. Kept saying something about finishing up here so they could catch the boat back to Morocco. Mostly when they thought I wasn't listening. You can stop them, right?"

-

Releasing and retracting the snares, Falcon pulls up out of his dive and slows to landing speed with a few sand-scattering flaps of his wings. Sucks to be anyone not wearing goggles. He touches down, legs bent, and jogs to a halt. "Nice shooting," he tells Hawkeye, drawing an extra-light machine pistol from his hip holster but keeping the safety on. "We'll do what we can, ma'am. Is there some kind of central control for this equipment or are we gonna have to take down every single node?"

-

Agent Coulson shakes his head. Dammit! "They've got at least a half a dozen canisters down here strategically placed and wired like Christmas. They're keeping them cool, but once they go, this entire region is gonna get contaminated down to the water table. I'm gonna start looking for triggers and failsafes and get those disarmed. Hopefully we can do that before they push the button and find out nothing works and send a repair man to figure out why. I'll tag the canisters with trackers so they can be seen from above."

He's already moving, following the coolant feeds back to canisters, getting out an EOD Leatherman to start disarming triggers and cutting wires.

-

"Welcome. Anytime," comes quietly over the com, and turning about to the aid workers, Barton re-opens the channel the moment the doctor and assistants begin to speak. This is so that everyone can hear what is said. His voice is low, and he sounds as if he's certainly in a hurry himself. "Yeah.. we're following them. Morocco? Did they say when they were going to finish up?" Time schedule. It's decidedly important.

Falcon's appearance gains a nod of acknowledgment, but the intense expression on the archer's face shows that he's all business. Once again to the doctor, Barton does offer a sympathetic smile. "We'll get you outta here, too. Won't leave you behind."

Rescuing hostages is good PR. Rescuing hostages with information? -Priceless-.

From infiltration to 'clean up'. Barton hits his com and asks, "Clean up?" The potential of this getting ugly yet is still too high for the Field Agent.

Right about now, with Coulson's report? Barton is ready to kiss his 'Jammer tips.

-

"Sounds like." Jericho comes in over the comm. "Agent Coulson, if you kill the refrigeration the canisters will bake in the heat and neutralize the virus like at the port. Though disarming any charges… still probably a good idea."

The hacker is coming around to the computer that Coulson vacated and interfacing with it to pull out any other data. "Okay… this stuff came off the Revanche like that stuff we found in Lakita. That's two hits on that ship. I get the feeling we're gonna want to find it. Soon."

When he's done he rises. "We good to head back to the Bus when Coulson's done?" Well, they can head back to the bus. He's got a friend to confer with.

-

"So we can kill all the bugs from here. Good." Sam nods and crosses his arms, following Jericho over to the computer and watching as he mind-melds with it. He glances over at Coulson and asks, "Do we want to haul any of their equipment out of here? Maybe one of the guys I tased? I can airlift about twice my own weight before I start to get sluggish."

-

Agent Coulson looks back to Sam, "Well, I still want to pop the triggers even if the virus vaporizes in the heat. These guys aren't going to know anything, though. They're just stooges - we need to figure out how to trace this to whatever viper's nest HYDRA is hiding in. We hit that, we hit them hard, and we might be able to cut them off from this type of model anywhere else in the area."

-

Barton pulls his headwrap off the top of his head and gives it to the doctor to wrap about herself. "Here. We're bugging out." Job is done as far as he's concerned the -moment- Coulson put multitool to wire. "Follow me and stay close."

Barton finally fully emerges from the aid tent, and squints against the sun, even with sunglasses. "Damn. Not gonna miss it. Can't lie."

Now, he begins the task of herding the now -former- hostages. "Plus three for the trip. we can drop them off in the capital." Shouldn't be a difficult detour. And he sure as hell isn't going to send women on their own through the desert.

"There's some equipment in the aid tent. Have at it, fly-boy."

-

"No argument from me Agent Coulson. If you guys have the hostages I'll put this data to work with the rest I've been collecting. I'll pass it on to your folks at Overwatch too. Confer with you soon as I have anything solid. There's two more sites on that map we found to hit too, so I may see to that as well."

Jericho pauses and begins to move back toward his vehicle a mile out of town. "Talk to you folks soon."


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