Whale of a Tale

Summary:
January 13, 2015: Part of the SHIELD contingent on the Maui expedition go on a whale-watching dinner cruise, looking for clues. There's a false alarm that makes quite a splash.

Ambergris

A dinner cruise yacht.


Characters

NPCs

  • Dr. Ka'ahanui (Biology Professor at U of H)
  • Dr. Sato (Chemistry Professor at U of H)
  • Bob Smith (Cruise guest)

Mood Music:
None


The yacht is named "Ambergris" and takes out groups of tourists every evening off of Wailea to look for humpback whales while enjoying a fancy meal and champagne. Tonight is no exception, although it has had a few bookings under false names, the false names of SHIELD members. One of those members is going by Doctor Mari Roberts.

She looks every inch a 1940s starlet. Bobbi Morse saunters along the deck of the yacht — her dye-darkened hair is done in deep finger waves and she's strapped into a body conforming white bandage dress dotted with rhinestones in bands. There's a sultry, mysterious smolder to her look, fully intended to draw the tourists and locals alike into conversations.

Kate Bishop didn't go quite as fancy for the cruise. Whether it's because she doesn't care to impress anyone or because she's playing the part of disinterested socialite…well, that's not entirely clear. But she's worn one of those tourist trap Hawaiian dresses in a colorful print, high-waisted and flowing. She did pull her hair up into a twist, but even her makeup is light and natural. And rather than heels, she's gone for simple sandals.

As usual, she makes friends everywhere she goes, and tonight is no exception. She's standing by the rail with a group of middle-aged tourists, rattling off a list of restaurants back on the island that they absolutely must visit before they leave.

Clint isn't a 'spy' tonight; he's a surfer by day, boy toy by night cruise. So, dressed in a rather well-worn deep red Hawaiin shirt with stylized koi fish and linen pants, he's strolling the deck with two drinks in hand. Sidling up to Kate, he leans over to whisper something in her ear as his arm swings around to hand her the fruity drink. Smiling his 'apologies' to the people he'd just interrupted, he's more than happy to stay in the background.

Swinging around, Clint catches a glance of Bobbi, and it's all he can do not to wolf-whistle. That would blow his cover. No, really. Well, okay, maybe not. Rich-girl Kate doesn't keep him around for his manners!

How many SHIELD agents does it take to watch whales off of the Hawaiian islands? ..Better make that one more. Maria Hill can be found, fairly easily by the solid rose red dress and delicate trim of gold jewelry glinting off of slightly browned skin. She's got her own cover story, not that it's in use much. People have been less interested in where she's been and more interested in where she's going. It's worked out well so far.

She's taken her time in wandering around the yacht, making mental note of 'strategic points' and all of that spy jazz. Crew and passengers alike are checked over with a subtle yet critical eye, taking note of the finer details. She may not be the next Black Widow but she's one of the best trained spies of her generation.

Lifting a hand to make lightly brushing hair behind her ear, she turns -just- so to quietly speak into the bottom of her watchband. "Blue coat, white pants, middle-aged man with a middle-aged gut. Looks somewhat nervous."

Maybe it's nothing, but it doesn't escape her notice.

Bobbi/Mari is chatting with a few professors from the University on the island, for whom she is class auditing as a mainland teacher, according to her credentials. The Biology and Chemistry professors are tripping over themselves to show the woman the sights, and it was nothing for the spy to note she'd love to see whales to get them to escort her on this trip. She accepts a glass of champagne from Dr. Ka'ahanui and leans against the rail as Dr. Sato points out a whale breeching. "Amazing. We should probably find our table though," the woman points out.

Their table, of course, also happens to be the one the rest of the SHIELD contingent and their escorts are assigned to. Looking for it makes for a good cover as Bobbi wends her way across the deck, maneuvering closer to the man Hill pointed out. She artfully spins to walk backwards while chatting to her companions, "I have no idea which table we're at. I seem to get lost in a circle." It's a move designed to accidently back into the target. "Oh goodness, I'm so sorry."

Kate has alcohol! Win! SHIELD can be fun. She takes the glass from Clint with a flash of a smile, taking a measured sip as she exchanges a few more names with the other couples on board. "Well, for what it's worth, though, I heard there was food poisoning at some of the places around the island," she adds, lowering her voice. "If you hear about any of it, would you give me a call? I would hate so much to be telling people how good the food was somewhere only to have them get sick from it, you know?" And then she's passing out business cards around the group.

Linking arms with Clint, she bumps a hip against his. "Did you find the table?" she asks, grinning up at the other archer.

Clint keeps his attention split; watching Bobbi and the over-eager academics and the social butterfly that is Kate Bishop. The DepDir? She could easily kill everyone on this boat within minutes and never leave a bit of evidence behind. Of course, so could Bobbi, but Hill isn't an ex-wife.

The last bits of conversation offered gains a lingering glance towards Kate before he turns around to look for the table. As his gaze swings around, he catches Hill for a beat before checking the guy with the blue coat, white pants middle-aged guy. There, Clint holds before a grin exits the man at the hip-bump, followed by a laugh. "Of course I did, Princess." His free-hand drops to the small of Kate's back in order to direct her, turning her such that she can get a good look at middle-aged guy before the table is discovered. "Over here."

Time to find a seat!

Hill catches Barton's glance, offering the subtlest incline of her chin as her gaze passes onward. That's two..three..everyone's in position and ready for Bobbi's move, nice as you please.

The 'nervous looking man' Bobbi 'accidentally' bumps into makes a quick sound of surprise, spins about to face the person (woman-that's a woman!), then ..looks kinda green? He promptly holds up a hand and bolts without saying a word. Seems like he's having a bit of trouble with the waves.

How much you want to bet his wife demanded they make this part of their trip?

"Yeeeah, I'm gonna call that a false positive," Hill mutters as she finally gets her hair situated -just- right. "Enjoy your dinner."

She'll just enjoy another drink in a chilled glass along the railing, taking a moment to breath a happy Hill sigh with the cool evening ocean breeze. She's actually content to stay distant from the crowd, keep their surveillance a bit more spread out.

(Maybe it's the whales..? I just bet they're behind all of this.)

As the seasick man rushes off, Bobbi grimaces in sympathy. "Someone forgot their Dramamine," she jokes with the professors, who laugh along at her every quip. "Oh! There's our table!" she declares, and leads them over to it, settling into a seat near Clint and Kate's assigned places. "What a beautiful night for a cruise, isn't it?" she asks the table at large. Not a beat missed in her performance.

Princess? Clint gets a fist to the ribs from Kate at that one, along with a smirk. "So how were the waves out at the beach today?" she asks as they head for the table. Her day was spent visiting with the social crowd. There was breakfast, and then there was brunch, and then there was lunch, and then there were cocktails…Somehow the rich people always want to do their talking over food. On the other hand, you'll rarely find people who are more interested in talking about what everyone else is doing.

As soon as they're at the table, she's smiling at everyone, introducing herself and making polite compliments about everyone's outfits.

While Clint doesn't react physically to the punch in the ribs, it's more than obvious he felt it, and he's trying hard not to burst out laughing. "Oh, they were pretty amazing. Not as good as they've been, I heard, so nothing I could really ride all the way through, but you, Princess," and there's the easy grin, "Lesson. Supposed to be nice."

As 'abort' is called, Clint actually looks a touch disappointed, but that can easily be chalked up to the fact there is no more pina colada in his coconut shell. "Excuse me," is given to the table at large the moment Bobbi takes a seat. There's a gleam in those blue eyes, and it can only mean he's up to no good. Swiping a glass of water from the spot in front of his seat, he fills it with a pitcher of ice water and makes his way back to the guy that is tossing his cookies overboard.

Quiet conversation ensues, an occasional word can be heard, "… buddy… not… good…" Clint's got a chummy hand on the guy's back. In the next second, the guy is no longer there, and a muffled *splash* can be just discerned. It's a tribute to the Captain, however, that caught the fact that he has one less passenger and stops the boat, horns blaring in 'man overboard'.

Clint simply turns around and begins to walk back over towards the table. "I couldn't stop him."

Hill grins a trace amount as Kate nails Clint in the middle, just before the Crimson DepDir slips away from the tables. The water looks great, the boat looks mint, no signs of a struggle anywhere…

Okay, now she's just fishing. Not even literally. The fishing must be amazing out here!

A day in paradise is all fine and good but she can't help but fret over what they might be missing while the search commences. What's going to come up next?

Somewhere out there, there is a tiny God waiting to dump a bucket of rain on Hill's little parade. It's like an ice bucket challenge but without the publicity stunt.

The tiny speaker hidden away in an earring chimes to life. "Team ORCA, we've got another ping. Third confirmed illness checked into the hospital twenty minutes ago. No evidence of rapid onset, probably picked it up sometime during the day."

Hill gently slips a little further into a patch of shadows, bringing her watch up once more. "Home nest go to code two, alpha-level recon and report. Start digging into that patient's f-."

(Splash? That didn't sound like a whale…)

Hill quickly turns around..right in time to see Barton strolling along with a grin all over his face.

Hill looks -stunned.- Wide eyed and staring. Mouthing 'What the Hell are you doing?!'

A moment later she overhears his response, releasing a long breath through her teeth as she ducks her head and tries to regain her composure. Resisting the urge to facepalm.

"We'll talk about this later."

Bobbi settles her napkin in her lap and her champagne, barely touched, on the table top. She really doesn't think the two middle-aged professors would try to drug her, but she's not taking chances. Especially as they are both accomplished in their fields and could be suspects if whatever is making people sick is manufactured by human hands.

Morse watches Clint and has to control the urge to facepalm when he shoves the poor sick man overboard. Of course the commotion that follows makes it extremely easy for her to rifle through the dinner jacket pockets of the two professors for anything of interest of the incriminating sort.

Hill isn't the only one staring at Clint. The man goes overboard, and Kate just stares at the other archer. Luckily, she has one small advantage: ASL. « What the actual fuck was that about? » she signs close to her body. Out loud, she clears her throat. "I didn't realize this was also a scuba expedition," she murmurs to one of their tablemates, arching a brow and looking back toward the edge of the ship.

Clint's taking a seat again, and he's looking back and over his shoulder as he does so. Clearing his throat, he reaches across for Kate's water glass to fill it with ice water, the cubes *ting* against the glass. Blue eyes gleam, and the smirk is just -there-. Looking down, he catches Kate's signing and simply looks at her, the smirk remaining.

Clint catches Bobbi's search and lifts the glass of water to his lips, a quick 'You're welcome' sign given with a single hand. See? It had purpose to it!

The news regarding yet another victim to illness doesn't sit well with him, and the smirk dips slightly. "I'm sure everything will be okay, right? I mean, everyone knows how to swim when they get onboard these things. It'd be stupid not to."

Hill doesn't need to know sign language to have a solid idea of what Kate's asking. It's pretty much the same thing -she- had just been asking! "This is why we can't have nice things…" she mutters under a sigh to herself.

There's a chance this actually makes it over their comm frequency.

(Think of the whales… Think of the whales…)

Maybe she could shove -Clint- over the edge and get lucky enough for one to mistake him for dessert?

"Ma'am?" the voice returns to her ear.

"Standard follow-through procedure, go to it," she sighs once more while eyeing the ship's crew fishing the soggy man out of the sea. (Don't let this get back to Fury…)

A thank you is signed back at Clint. Clearly Bobbi knows ASL too. Not surprising as she was married to Barton. She glances at some pamplets and business cards her search turns up, then puts the items back where she found them. She gives a tiny headshake to the SHIELD contingent at the table. "Nothing on the professors," she murmurs into the mic concealed in the bracelet on her wrist as she moves to push a lock of hair away from her face.

The crew is fishing the sputtering, flailing man out of the water, and looking around the table, Clint sighs and relinquishes Kate's water glass back to her. Rising to his feet, it's time to be a damn hero. "Okay, I'll go help. Maybe even try and find out why he did it." After all, he was the last one the man spoke to before making that leap! That's the story, anyway.

"At least the Captain knew enough to kill the engines." Really? Chum jokes at the dinner table? Stepping away, Clint tries to help by not helping, but helping in exactly the way a man of little experience would help. By getting in the way…

"Please stop talking now, Kate," Hill almost pleads with the other archer. "You too, Clint," she then pleads with the OTHER other archer. She's already got enough to think about with the latest bit of news. Sure there's still drinks, dinners, and big freaking fish, but now her attention is going to be divided one more way to Sunday. As soon as the yacht makes it back to shore she'll be looking at another long night.

At least she doesn't have to worry about freezing her butt off this time around.


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