Proper Leverage

Summary:
September 13 2014: Kate needs some information and turns to Jericho to help get it

Grand Central Station Food Concourse

The food court of Grand Central Station is much nicer and much larger than most would think


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
[* None]


How does Kate get these things? Somehow, she managed to get information from enough different sources to figure out how to contact Jericho, and sent him a message saying she had something she needed someone with certain skills to take a look at, and could he meet her at Grand Central? She'd buy lunch. Or something.

Why she isn't having SHIELD techs look at it is another good question, but surely she has her reasons. At the appointed time, she's sitting at a table not far from the fast food area, sipping at a cup of Starbucks.

-

The Grand Central Food Concourse actually got a grin from Jericho. It's an ideal meet location. Noisy, public, lots of exits, lots of security and of course, food. All the elements of a covert meet in one easy to access location. It's only thanks to the recognition software he runs that he's able to ID Kate. He's only ever seen her 'in action' really and people tend to look a bit different in civilian clothes. Thankfully she's not too far in, just sipping a coffee while waiting, seemingly, for someone getting off the subway. Clever girl. He doesn't go right over. Instead he gets himself a coffee and sort of drifts over in her general area. "Nice day to catch a train, isn't it?"

-

Kate seems to be playing on her phone, scrolling through something. As Jericho comes closer, though, he may see that she has a reflective screen protector on it, which means…she's been watching the reflections. She looks up, a wry smile tugging at one corner of her lips. "You could say that," she agrees, tucking her phone back into her pocket. "Though there's something to be said for the in-between places like this."

-

"True. Or are these the real destinations and the tracks the inbetween? I can never get my philosophy straight." Jericho sips his drink and watches a train trundle out below them. "Well. We're both waiting, care for a bite?" A nod of his head indicates a cafe style restaurant about fifty feet away. "Or…" Or would she rather get right down to business.

-

Kate's smile flashes at the suggestion, and she pushes up from her seat. "I think I promised food, yeah? How do you feel about sushi?" she asks, tipping her head toward another restaurant. "It's, uh. You know, it's probably worth some decent sushi," she admits in regards to the issue at hand.

-

Jericho quirks an eyebrow and makes an 'after you' kind of motion. Whatever Kate needs it must be either technical or off the books. Those are kind of the two things he's known for. It's curious to him though that with SHIELD on her side she'd need to go off the books to him. Very curious indeed. Once they're seated and ordered Jericho leans back, regarding the novice spy. "So, what can I do for you Kate? Your message sounded… mmm, well not exactly urgent but fairly important."

-

Kate gets settled in, passing a menu to Jericho and leaning back to look over hers as she considers her answer to that question. "It's sort of…" She pauses, lips pursing. "So, it's the sort of thing that probably leads to someone dirty, and SHIELD is great at what they do, but there's too much chance of the wrong sort of person coming across it and deciding to do something about it. If it has some of what I think it does on it, at least." She glances up, looking at him over the edge of the menu. "And you seemed like someone who at least tried to get all the information before he did anything."

-

"I like to, anyway." Jericho nods. One benefit about being him is that there's no one looking over his shoulder and screaming about protocols and proceedures and calling down strike teams to mess up deliciate situations. "Do you have it with you? I take it we're talking data of some kind?" Implied in that is 'what's this all about anyway?' He figures she'll get to that when she's good and ready.

-

Kate leans forward, pulling a small card out of her pocket and nudging it over with one finger. It's a video card of some sort, relatively high tech. "I took this off of a, um. Guy." Dead guy. "At Montauk. When I picked up a friend who's been having some trouble with a particular branch of…people. We're trying to figure out what the game in play is."

-

Jerichho frowns slightly, taking out a phone that seems to have been modified with an SD card reader. "May I?" Taking the card he pops it in and syncs to the phone, setting it down so he can do his work internally. It's encrypted and very well to boot. May take a little bit to work out. "Montauk. I heard about that. Big item in the news. By people I take it you mean 'government people'?" Jericho just came from a conversation about this, ironically. "That's been going around lately. Do you happen to have any idea 'whose' people?"

-

"I know he went there to meet Checkmate's Amanda Waller," Kate says slowly, reaching for her water to take a drink. "I'm not sure what happened after that. He asked me to check in if he didn't get back in touch in four hours. I showed up four hours and five minutes later…" She gestures slightly toward the reader. "And came back to a lot of ugly. I took this off of one of the guys, because when something goes that bad, someone has to know why."

-

Jericho quirks an eyebrow. "Believe it or not this is not the first time that name has cometo my attention. Waller, mmm?" He looks down at the phone. It's showing a screen of cycling ones and zeroes that are slowly firming up into a pattern. "The data is encrypted but the encryption isn't hugely complex. Give me a few minutes and I should be able to see what's what."

The sushi arrives and Jericho takes a moment to enjoy an ahi roll. "I'm going to guess this friend of yours isn't SHIELD and maybe that's why you didn't want to bring it to them?"

-

"Partly, yeah." Kate reaches for her chopsticks, going after her own spicy tuna. "But also because I don't know what's on that card. And I don't want him to get in trouble for, you know, defending himself, or losing control, or whatever happened there. Also, SHIELD still has to work with other agencies, and they're huge. It could leak."

-

"Yeah. I've seen that happen once or twice before." Leaks are a big part of why Jericho himself doesn't trust SHIELD. "Okay… looks like the encryption is up. Let me see what we have." It's not easy to tell that Jericho is actually looking at anything. He just gets a distracted, far away look in his eyes. It lasts for a few minutes before he blinks and shakes his head. "Oooh boy. You're not going to like this, Kate…" He glances around to see who might be listening.

"Before I show you, who got this for you? Your friend? Or someone else?"

-

"I got it," Kate says. Surprise! She picks up another piece of tuna, watching Jericho carefully. "I'm not SHIELD. Maybe some day…I don't know. It's not really me. But Clint's taught me a few things, and I've taught myself some other things. And one of them is, when you come across a whole field of aggressively dead bodies, you try to figure out what happened."

-

"That seems like a good thing to have learned." Jericho shoots a video file over to her phone so he doesn't have to draw attention by replaying it holographically. The video seems to have been shot from a helmet cam. There's gunfire, a lot of it, going on off camera. Kate can hear shouted commands, panic. The image swings up wildly to engage a phantasm, but it's gone to fast to recognize.

"Where'd he go?" The wearer of the camera asks breathlessly.

"Then the camera swings around. More gunfire. There's an image of a glowing red, curved sword wielded by something shrouded in darkness and shadow. The blade swings and the camera goes tumbling. Then the image fades to static.

-

Kate pulls out her phone, as if to check her email, popping a earbud into one ear to catch the audio. She frowns slightly at what she sees…but then again, the shaky camera footage isn't exactly as visceral as taking the ship in Syria was. "Did you recognize the encryption?" she asks after a moment, pulling out the earbud and wrapping it around her phone before putting the whole back in her pocket.

-

"Yeah. I wrote it." Jericho says, furrowing his brow. "Well, the base program. That one's been modified. It's an old US Army code we used five years ago. Someone appropriated it and took it else where. It's definitely US government and definitely not SHIELD. Their stuff is pretty distinct. If I had to guess, I'd say CIA or something related. You said you got this from a place that your friend had gone to meet Waller?

-

"Yup," Kate grimaces, reaching for her water again to take another drink. "He said he went to meet Waller there. I didn't…Given that we found him in what was left of that, I haven't really pressed him on the details of how it went from meeting to that. But she's Checkmate, apparently."

-

"And Stormwatch. And probably other things as well. Seriously this is not a woman anyone wants to tangle with. I'm a bit nervous from just having looked into her." Which he had for Phobos, who had asked him to some time ago. "It's one thing to meet with a spy agency head. It's another to do… that." Not that Jericho hasn't killed and killed a lot, but he doesn't generally kill agents of the US governemnt, be they ever so clandestine.

-

"Correction. She is not a woman anyone should want to tangle with," Kate says, making a face. "Unfortunately, she sort of blew up Titan tower, and she's been going after Phobos hard. And I don't really want to tangle with her, but I don't much care for the idea of letting her continue doing whatever she's doing, either."

-

"Getting people like this off your back is largely not a question of power." Jericho muses as he grabs an eel roll. "It's usually one of leverage. That's why I've not been able HYDRA off my back. I don't have any. So I've had to do the grunt work of dismantling their network one cell at a time, at least the parts after me."

There's another pause and he runs his hand through his hair. "With Waller… might be easier. She's a spook but a government spook. You've got SHIELD contacts. Might be time to work them to get yourself something to trade or threaten with."

-

"She blew up a building on American soil, was publicly named, and nothing's happened," Kate points out, wrinkling her nose. "I'm not sure there's a lot else to be done in terms of leverage, honestly. Though it's something, at least." She tucks a piece of hair behind her ear, frowning down at her sushi. "I was kind of hoping we'd be able to pinpoint who these people were," she admits. "Confirm if they were hers, or someone else's."

-

"Do you know what morgue they were taken to? Get me that and I'll do the rest. That'll clear up real fast who was involved here and also whether Waller is involved as we think or not." Also whether Waller is operating rogue or not. Though that's neither here nor there for now. "Of course nothing happened. Publicly. Waller has the most valuable currency in government. Secrets. So she blew up a building and the news reported it. She's a ghost. Her public ID is a facade and easily changed. Nothing was threatened that would induce anyone to stop protecting her. You need dirt if you want to try leverage, Kate. Either on her or someone highly placed enough to twist her arm. You need the kinds of secrets that will end careers and lives, not something that threatens a shell persona crafted committee. Your other option is… more direct, and likely to be a lot more bloody. I'd understand if you went that route, but I'm telling you right now, it's going to end poorly for someone."

-

"Yeah, that's probably not the best plan," Kate shakes her head. "But I can look into the morgue part." She takes a deep breath, letting it out slowly. "I just…it's wrong, you know?" she says quietly. "Letting someone get away with these things. Playing people like that. I don't know, maybe I'd feel different if I knew what was going on, but if she set Al- If she set Phobos up for that?" she nods toward the card. "That's wrong."

-

"It is." Jericho agrees. "But life is cheap in that corner of existence. As it is in a lot of the world, you'll find. People will do anything for their causes. No matter how awful, illegal or wrong. Anyway, look into the morgue thing. And keep in touch when you find something. I'll work it on my end and see if we can't come up with something between the two of us to de-escalate this before it gets completely out of hand."

-

"Thanks," Kate says with a small smile, leaning back in her chair again. "For the help, and for answering the message, too. I wasn't sure it'd get to you," she admits, picking up the last piece of sushi. "I guess the whole international man of mystery thing can get a little bit, uh. Wearing."

"I have ways of getting messages, but it gets old, mostly because it comes with a side of lots of people wanting me dead. I'd be a regular guy if not for that little detail." Jericho, unlike some, doesn't do this for the fun or the pay. "Is there anything else I can help you with, Kite?"

-

"Nothing I need," Kate shakes her head, smile quirking. "Though I sort of feel like sushi's not a real great payback for it. You'll let me know if there's anything I can do for you, yeah?" she asks, taking the bill from the waitress despite a bit of an odd look for it.

-

Jericho chuckles and tosses Kate a wink. "You kidding? How often do I get out for sushi?" Not often, in point of fact, sadly. "But I'll keep that in mind. Thank you." It's always nice to have allies. And Kate's proven both reliable and capable in the past. "And thanks for lunch. I'll be in touch and you can e-mail me at that address if you have to." He pauses, considering before adding. "You can call there too, oddly enough. It all goes to the same place." He taps his temple a couple of times and gets up.

"Mean time, watch your back. Talk to you soon.


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