Two spies and a hacker

November 03 2014: Natasha Romanoff and Melinda May catch up with one Jericho Trent to ask some questions.

Rockefeller Center

A large complex of buildings located in Manhattan, famous both for the sights and the companies that make their home there



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Jericho is being positively vindictive with his SHIELD tails. He hasn't taken a normal way of getting anywhere once today in the city, walking for short distances before vanishing altogether only to appear again miles away. He's also ruined some very expensive cameras and other surveillance equipment, or rather, the little imp who often accompanies him has. Not that anyone's seen him do it. So far as they know the stuff fell on the floor and cracked or got coffee in it and other embarrassing, expensive little mishaps.

At the moment Jericho is at the Rockefeller Center enjoying a coffee. If someone's managed to pick him up again, he doesn't mind. He'll lose them again when he leaves, possibly after he breaks something that'll cost them a fair amount of money. Later on, when he's less busy, he can play this game on a global scale and when he really puts his mind to it, frankly he'll be hard to track at all.

Natasha makes her way to the last point of contact in the sleek silver corvette, her HUD S.H.I.E.L.D. sunglasses on giving her intel in real time displays. The car pulls into park as she waits for the next bit of tracking data to come up. She slips the door open, wearing a black leather trench over the Widow outfit she has crafted over the decades to her tastes.

Melinda May can't help but sigh when she hears the complaints from some of the surveillance techs. Monitoring equipment failing in very unusual ways. She considers sending Trent a text to ask him about it, but knowing her luck, her phone is 'being monitored'. Frustrating, really. But, she really has no other way currently to track him down. So, text message. May: Have some offline questions. Where are you?

'Rockefeller Center' comes the reply. 'For now.' Is quickly added. Jericho could be, to anyone passing by, just a guy on a stool enjoying coffee and a hot dog. In a ball cap and a coat sensible for the weather. Not really that remarkable save for the color of his eyes (amber) and the fact that they occasionally seem to light up, but that you have to be fairly close to see. The arrival of the trench coat clad woman is noted on traffic cams. Looks sort of like someone he's met a few times, but there's no reason to jump to conclusions just yet.

Natasha makes no overt moves, it is just one of those things that she can have a happy match. Quick cover and latte. She steps over to the counter, ding the spy thing and evaluating every one around her, Are they too attentive, too comfortable. No days are the not playing with the blackberry, iPad, or other electronic device enough The message about May joining up gets a little smile and she reaches for her own phone. A button pressed and she speaks, "Romanoff on site. Inform May she has the ball if she wants it."

Melinda May is luckily already en route across town when the reply comes back. She checks her phone while waiting at a traffic light, then promptly hits her turn signal and changes course toward Rockefeller Center. About halfway there, an unexpected rain shower has her mentally cursing and activating the generic looking car's windshield wipers. Where did this come from?

The rain sends Jericho indoors. Casually, into the same cafe he got the coffee from. The same one Romanoff went into. That might have been on purpose. He doesn't engage the woman, yet, partly because he can't be completely sure she is who he thinks she is (she looks pretty distinctive but Trent remembers well that she's good at disguise) and partly because he'd really like to finish his coffee before May gets here and possibly chews him out.

Natasha slips the phone down, after hanging up. Once it is pocketed, she orders a latte, as she takes in the room. She takes the cup and walks back to the door to watch the rain a moment. It gives her a good place to observe from without getting wet until there is a reason.

Rockefeller Center. There are few places on this planet with WORSE parking. May ends up having to resort to pulling SHIELD jurisdiction to secure parking at a high rise office one block over. And then she's stuck hurrying through the rain toward the cafe in the Center. Yeah, she's going to have words for Trent when she gets there, even if she didn't have them before having to run through the rain.

Natasha notes the tell-tale signs of a very good operative. One trick is easy, most men don't look at her like she is about to do something dangerous. A few steps away from the door once she has located her target. A moment is given for May to catch up. But she walks in directed steps with purpose likely to make it clear she is aware of Jericho. "Hello." She states, ready to cut off an exit if needed.

Jericho turns to see… wow. Okay. She's good. "Hello…" He says quietly, tracking May's progress through the rain on CCTV. "Can I help you?" The faint smile on his face and actual gleam in his eyes says that he knows he's well and truly caught. Bravo, as it were.

"You'd be Miss Romanoff then? I wasn't sure it was you. Not many can pick me out like that…" But again, The Black Widow is in a league all her own.

"Why don't you have a seat? I think our mutual friend will be here in a moment."

Melinda May finally makes it to the cafe and stops just outside to shake as much water off of her coat as possible. Her hair is a complete loss, not that she really cares. She steps into the establishment and spots Jericho quickly enough … and is not at all surprised that Romanoff is already here. She DID send that message, after all. But, this means that the offline conversation will have to wait again. Some more.

Nodding to the Black Widow, May claims a seat at Trent's table without asking first and without waiting for an invitation. Deal.

Natasha will have a seat, if he is and she will remain with her legs clear. "Of course." She states, hers is the the objective, May is missions. It makes things simple. "I like a good talk. Give me time to finish my latte." Sh says and the predator gaze stays on the man as she takes a slow sip. Romanoff is named the Widow for a reason, and she is not afraid to let that speak for itself.

There it is again, that light behind Jericho's eyes. They gleam, and he smirks a bit. "Glad you do." He just finishes downing his coffee as May approaches and claims a seat.

"May…" The nod is respectful, there's that at least.

"So, to what do I owe the pleasure of two so illustrious coffee partners, mmm?" Not every day he takes coffee with May and the person she recommends more highly than anyone else… except maybe Coulson.

"Good question," May says flatly before turning her head to focus on Romanoff. First order of business is the official business, and after that she reserves the right to tell ANYONE here to mind their own business. She also refrains from reminding either person that she detests coffee. If either of them can't remember that…

Well, Natasha didn't tell the target to get coffee. But, Russians do prefer it. "I think we can just get the matter out on the floor." She states as she looks at May, "We think you have been avoiding just chatting, when that would be easier. Still, you wanted our attention. There must be a reason." Breaking S.H.I.E.L.D. gear gets attention after all.

Jericho sets out a couple of sealed tea bags on the table in front of may. On inspection they turn out to be full of a rather nice blend of Gen-Mai-Cha. Toasted rice tea. One of his favorites.

"I have been avoiding chatting, and I don't want your attention. I'd rather you turn your attention somewhere else, frankly because I'm not sure what I did to deserve it. I've got no idea why my personal life should be of interest to SHIELD but I can promise it would be finding out any more if I can help it." The fact that this involves making the people tailing and snooping miserable is just a bonus.

"Was there something you wanted to chat with me about? I may or may not be inclined but May trusts you so I'll at least listen."

Melinda May looks at the tea for a moment, then looks between the two most secretive people she knows this side of Fury, then gets up to request a cup of hot water. Luckily, coffee shops like this are used to tea drinkers and don't bat an eyelash at the request. Quickly enough she's back with a clean mug and a small, insulated carafe of near-boiling water. "Here's my question, Romanoff, are you here out of your own curiosity, or are you here because Fury sent you?"

Natasha doesn't answer either at first. she just sips at her drink as she watches them. Maybe she expects that to suggest Fury's approval. Maybe she is just wondering if anybody truly thinks she ever acts without it. Before it gets to uncomfortable though, she answers. "I am only my own time, just trying to be useful." There is a small look of apology to May though as she watches her ready her tea. Melinda is one of the few agents Romanoff actually bothers to care about her respect.

"Well… that's actually good news. Since I probably would have left if you'd been here for other reasons. SHIELD is being far too official with me of late." Jericho makes a face, sighs and then nods to May. "So, what can I do for you Agent Romanoff?"

Melinda May snags some of the tea and starts a cup brewing for herself. She sees Romanoff's apologetic glance and offers a slight nod in return. She's inwardly relieved that the Widow is here on her own, as that makes things easier to deal with. She doesn't offer any intel of her own yet, though, as this is now pretty much a Trent solo act and they'll just be the backup singers.

May is being quiet, and Natasha is not really sure how to take that. She settles back and relaxes a moment while she works through how to proceed. Normally she might follow a line of knowing more than she appears. That is a little parental trick, and this is not a time and place for simple approaches. "You got my attention." Simple enough, why go hard dark instead of simply letting S.H.I.E.L.D. watch if there is nothing to see.

Jericho chuckles. "Alright. Here's the deal. I'm investigating a super secret Russian black operation named Black Valley. I don't know anything about it because all the records are on secured mainframes or else non existent. I do know it resulted in the death of a man named Mikhail Rasputin, whom I'm investigating for personal reasons." He pauses. "My leads point to the Cosmonaut program and a secure facility on the Chechen Border controlled by the FSO. There may be more. I have hints that there's something of a join Russian Japanese connection which is, needless to say, weird in the extreme. Right now, mostly I have questions. I intend to get answers… and since this sounds like your baliwick, I'd welcome the help, but not at the cost of answering to SHIELD for it."

Melinda May says, "I'm already planning on taking some vacation time soon," May admits to the pair of them seemingly randomly. "Maybe I'll go visit some friends out of town."For anyone else this would likely seem normal, even expected. But Romanoff at least knows May well enough for the word 'vacation' to be a huge red flag. May NEVER takes vacation."

It would not be the first time Natasha had 'compartmentalized' a project from Fury, she usually finds her instincts to follow things for S.H.I.E.L.D. without 'checking-in' pretty good. If May is thinking of being a part of a gray-op, well, that is too significant to pass up all by itself.. Even if it is Russia. "I will see how it plays out. Too many facecards on it not to at least check it out." Mother Russia might be a little less than adoring of the prodigal daughter's return. "So, I might go home for leave myself.."

"May I suggest, then, if you're headed home, the town of Neftegorsk is rumored to be rather scenic. I hear there are rather… fascinating artifacts of the late 90's space program still there." Jericho grins. "If you're headed that way, that is. I have no idea what vacation plans you ladies might have."

Melinda May hms. "You know, I've visited that part of Russia. Mind if I tag along with you to sight-see, Romanoff?" She takes a sip of her tea and glances at the cup in clear approval. Good stuff.

Another look to May, but Natasha simply nods, "It can be nice this time of year." She finishes off the coffee drink, and presses the cup away for now. "It would be more interesting to have a friend along." Of course, if May would actually cal her tat is anyone's guess.

Jericho grins and stands. "Well, then, it sounds like you two will have fun. I'd say I'll see you around but what would I be doing in Russia? Honestly." With a wink and a wave, the hacker stands and heads out the door. There's a skittering in the shadows near him and a bit of light as he rounds a blind spot in the window from which he does not emerge. He's just… gone.

Melinda May can only roll her eyes at Trent's exit stage left… the other left. "So, when did you want to head back to Russia?" she asks of Romanoff. "I might be able to charter a small plane and do the flying, but they're not the most comfortable for long journeys."

Natasha looks to May, "Small planes don't bother me." The red haired woman states, and glances around, she might have thought about following Trent, but in the end, even she has to have a little trust as a show of good faith? And she trusts May will likely have that already set-up if needed.

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