Aspects of Hydra

Summary:
December 27, 2014: Aspect pays Oracle a visit and drops a HYDRA bomb

Clocktower - Gotham

The Gotham Clocktower is the base of operations for Oracle.


Characters

NPCs

  • K'Nert

Mood Music:
[*<http://insert.video.or.music.link.here>]


There are some things in Jericho's life that cannot be ignored. One of them is the sudden uptick of HYDRA activity in Gotham. He's not quite sure what it is except that they seem to be taking advantage of a lapse in law enforcement to accomplish some of their goals. Their goals are capital B bad news since it generally involves things like subverting local authorities or organizations to make their operations easier and Gotham is dangerous enough without that kind of thing. So the hacker has decided to contact the Oracle.

She has a hint of his presence nearby this time, because the code-demon residing in his systems is reading the networks as avidly as Jericho is and being just a tad less subtle. There's a ripple of sudden, otherworldly characters across the systems. Demonic, not that Oracle will know what they are specifically, though they do crawl and burn at the corner of the eyes before they pass from the screen entirely.

***

The stream of strange characters that flit across her screens coupled with the alarms from her firewalls and IDS, alert Oracle to something but it takes a few minutes to work out that it's Jericho, recognising his digital signature. The proximity sensors are what tell her, that he's near. Given his previous visitors, she speaks to the room "Is that you Jericho?" She doesn't turn just yet, still watching her systems and that dreadfully strange code.

***

Were it not for literally lethal levels of practicality and the fact that he regularly has to tangle with world spanning conspiracies, Jericho could do a fair impression of a Bat-person. His amber wings of light used to be feathered eagles wings, but have been batlike and demonic for some time now. And he likes hanging out on rooftops in Gotham. In his case though that's because if you can manage it they're safer than the streets. Still, there he is a few buildings away, crouching near the edge of a rooftop with wings outstretched and blade in hand.

"Yes that's me." He's not quite sure how she found him. Maybe she was watching her perimeter. He's unaware that Mazwell, in his curiosity, has sent another ripple of demonic code across Oracle's screens. "I'd been coming to find you actually."

***

"You'd better come in then." Oracle knows he can get in and she hasn't really worried about patching that ingress. "Coming to see me about what?" She's not giving anything away just yet, she knows he's had more issues than… well any long running publication really… and he doesn't seek her out lightly.

***

There's a soft flapping noise at that window and the sound of it opening and closing. At least Jericho's polite about coming in through definitely-not-the-door. He also puts the sword away. Odd thing, Oracle may see it on cameras as it folds away and slides into the leather case he always seems to have. "Well…" She can hear his actual voice now and not his digital one. No more demonic on her screens though if she were to really go looking for Jericho's network signature (which is hidden but Oracle of all people could find it) she'll run into a firewall of the same.

"Something seems to have come up that's a bit concerning. HYDRA's digging in here."

***

Oracles's not going to dig, she's tried that and really, when she needs to she will. His news is met with a sharp exhale of breath, almost like a hiss "First SRD and now Hydra" the voices are spat out towards her screen "What's going on here." Turning her chair, she observes the hacker "Tell me."

***

Her comment about the SRD makes Jericho cant his head a little and cross his arms thoughtfully. "I was hoping you could tell me. It's odd that you should mention the SRD though. Based on what I've been able to find out, HYDRA's taking advantage of the fact that law enforcement here in Gotham has completely jumped the shark to start sticking it's many headed fingers into pies. They want footholds wherever they can get them. I just finished cleaning out a nest near the bay." Read, he found a cell and wiped it out.

***

Jericho's thoughtful look is met by an equally thoughtful look by Oracle, except she doesn't cross her arms. She speaks slowly, working it through "I was informed" a slight shudder ripples through her, nearly imperceptible "recently that SRD seems to have corrupted the Gotham PD. Prisoners are going missing, supposedly appropriated by SRD. I'm still looking into it." The experience had shaken her badly and it had taken several hours to pull herself together.

Her lips set in a tight line "I find it interesting that hot on the tail of that news, I now find that HYDRA are digging in. I mean, I know this is Gotham, but this is now beyond concerning."

***

Jericho looks away briefly, back out the window, thinking. As he does there's a crawling in the shadows. Perched atop a cabinet in deeper darkness is a little lizardlike imp. It's glowing, cat-slitted eyes watch everything. "Beyond concerning yes. And we're not the only ones taking an interest in it either. When I went to follow up on the SRD angle someone had beaten me to it." He doesn't mention the name but it's clear that 'someone' is not someone he thinks is good news.

The hacker shakes his head and pulls himself back to the present problem. HYDRA. "They're sensing an opportunity. I'll burn them out where I find them but they're good at this game. And once they dig in, good luck digging them out again. Unless the problem gets corrected soon they will. I can only slow them so much."

***

"Who?" Turning her green eyes to the hacker, Oracle is intense "Who had already followed up?" she hopes it's who she thinks it is, if not things are going to get worse.

Her lips twist in a grimace "Do you blame them, it's in their nature… HYDRA that is. Gotham isn't big, but… " she blows out a breath "lots happens here." Looking down at her hands and then up again "I think I need to call a meeting of the minds X-Men, yourself, SHIELD" she shivers slightly "Batman will hate that" she says absently to herself "Titans maybe… I need to think on the list, but they all have a vested interest in this and I would stake good odds that each of them have pieces of this puzzle and none of them are talking to each other."

***

"Someone calling herself Mystique." Jericho grunts. "I ran a search on her, dug a little. She's a ghost. No one knows what she really looks like or who she really is. Mutant shapeshifter, maybe? Network of operatives with the same name? I've heard that one before about someone else. Just one really damn clever operative? Could be. The name's connected with the Brotherhood of Mutant's terror campaigns several years ago. Couldn't say for sure if it's actually her or someone appropriating the name but whoever it was she's good, she's well geared and she's very dangerous. And if it is the same person or people, that's no good at all." It hadn't been a pretty scene. Four SRD militiamen down before he'd even gotten in the building.

"If you can get them all to talk that'll be a trick. I'm not universally beloved, by the way, so using my name will only work with certain people. Still, if you can get ahold of Agent May and tell her the news came from Aspect she'll at least listen to you." May likes him, more or less.

***

"I'll put out feelers tomorrow. May will be my first port of call along with the X-Men Red team. SHIELD, maybe May can help me with that." Oracle sounds skeptical "Mystique hmmmm. I'll do some digging too… this SRD stuff, close on the heels of the mutant trafficking ring… it's just all bad news, I think." When, oh when, did the world go to hell in a hand basket?

***

"Magik is my best contact with X-Red. I'd start there or the who calls himself Metal." Jericho nods. "In the mean time we've got a serious problem. It'll probably take some time to get everyone mobilized and on this problem and I'm still dealing with an issue in Russia. If HYDRA gets its hooks in too many people and organizations while we're organizing we'll have to tear half the city down to eject them." Something he knows Oracle, the Bats and many of his own allies simply won't do.

***

"No…." Oracle speaks quietly "there has to be another way. We'll just help them meet their aims." The redhead sighs as she leans forward and puts her arms on her knees "I really only know those they call Bobby, hot and cold versions, and the one called Cypher." she shakes her head "I know it's serious. I'll send out requests as you leave and see what comes back… "

***

"Metal also goes by Mike and Magik's actual name is Illyana. She lives with me." Which doesn't always mean Jericho sees her a lot, but he sees her more than many and worse comes to worse he can go find her. Oh, also he's her Familiar. He doesn't mention that. Takes to long to explain and it's not super important right now. "Cypher's good too, if you can get ahold of him."

He doesn't argue the HYDRA point. He knew Babs wouldn't want to do that. And he doesn't blame her. But the fact of the matter is without that, HYDRA's gonna be a permanent presence unless they can put a lid on this fast. And that's just bad news for everyone.

"What do you plan to do about them in the mean time. You have friends with the resources or knowledge to take them on?"

***

"Exactly what I've said… get as much information as I can, find out who knows what." Oracle looks up at Jericho with a hard look "Hit them and hit them hard when I find them. I'll have enough in the short term, but we need to get organised… from what I can see, HYDRAs strength is as much in their organisation as anything else." She cants her head and her eyes narrow slightly "Did I miss anything?"

***

"Just that I don't know which HYDRA we're dealing with yet. Cells don't usually talk to eachother and they can end up working at odds if they're working for different parts of the organization. Could be the folks that have been after me for a while or it could be something else." The hacker shrugs. "Not that it's not plenty bad either way. Oh, also, at least a few of them have decided to start using magic. So watch out."

***

Jericho speaks and Oracle listens, intently "Wonderful, magic." Babs replies sardonically "Something I know nothing about. Fortunately I met someone recently who I might be able to consult with." A hard smile appears on her lips "If they have different cells that work at odds with each other, that could be to our advantage."

***

"It frequently is." Jericho makes his way over to the window and opens it. His traces flare amber and large batlike wings spring from his back. He flexes those experimentally for a moment and then looks back. "But it also makes them harder to eradicate. You can never be sure you've gotten them all, since not even they know except at the highest levels. And as I said, Magik knows about these kinds of things as well. Anyway, I'll be in touch. Just watch your back out there Oracle. These aren't the Mafia that Gotham usually deals with. The last time I dealt with them they were within twenty four hours of enacting genocide. Nothing is beyond these people. Nothing at all."


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