I Spy

Summary:
January 21, 2015: Following the slight mishap in the forest last night, agents Barton and Hill dig deeper into what intel they have gathered. (Some language)

Some rented dwelling on Maui

Barton's temporary home away from home away from home.


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
None


Morning. Sun is shining, and the television station(s) are alive with the news of the night before. Explosions on Maui, no identifiable causes, no casualties found as of yet. It's still a 'perfect day in paradise', but some of the charm has worn off.

Clint Barton, for one, is almost ready to go home to a cold, wet, rainy Brooklyn. Even with the tan he's managed.

With the status of the main ops being 'compromised', he's loath to return to it, even for a moment if it means he'll blow his cover. As it is, it's probably almost shot. What surf instructor has cuts all over his back (some requiring stitches, some not!)?

He's moving slowly, but Clint's found a secondary spot, out of the watchful eye of most; a location discovered early in the mission Just In Case. He's good at fall-back, and this is one of those times.

He's out of medical, but only just and he's looking and feeling it all. Coffee is the first order of the day, and second. Sprawled out on the rented couch in the rented space, he's got the pot in front of him, and a concessionary mug to the side. His head is up and back, and for the first time this mission, he's not far from his hold-out weapon. Blue eyes are closed, and the sound of slow, steady breathing can be heard, punctuated by coughs. Not fits… but there's a little fluid there. Probably from lack of sleep.

*

There's only one agent on this island which Hill is not always fully aware of their location. Hint: It isn't Barton. If he wants to hang out away from their clubhouse then he's welcome to do so, but if he's expecting this change of location to keep him safe from the Deputy Director then he's in for a rude awakening.

Knock. Knock-knock. "Kinda hard to do the ol' secret handshake out here, Barton. Get off your scabby ass, we've got work to do."

The woman standing at the other side of the door is looking a bit less 'fun in the sun' and a bit more 'guerilla warfare' today, having replaced a white buttoned shirt with an oldschool jungle camo pattered one atop a black tank and dark earth cargo shorts. If she has to chase someone -else- through the woods around here then by God that's exactly what she'll do.

They still won't see her coming.

*

The knocking (a polite way of banging) on the door rouses the archer, and his head whips up, blue eyes open before he realizes what he's doing. In the next second, a groan exits the man, followed by a cough. Still, Clint gains his feet, and stares mournfully at the coffee that he'd neglected to drink.

"Aw, coffee."

Still, he has to move, and his bow is grabbed, and when he grabs his quiver, he takes quick note that he has to pull the random bits of broken glass from Hill's tablet out of the bottom, and the shards from the fletchings. "Then come in," is groused.

Quick check; four, no five ibuprofin to keep the edge off, and crossing back to the coffee, he lifts the pot, considers… and then pours some in the mug. Pills, downed with coffee.

"What's up?"

*

..What? Really? A second later Hill just..lets herself in. As the door slowly sweeps open she's standing there, outlined by the sun. Looking almost confused.

"It's not like you to leave the front door unlocked."

She notices the bow and quiver already in hand before she steps inside, rolling her eyes as she pushes the door closed behind herself. "Oh put the long range pig-sticker down, I've got plenty of other people in -much- better shape to kick back out into the field. Sit down and focus, today I need your eyes."

If the techie crew already got this place outfitted then the extras she had insisted be included should already be included. Standing in front of the couch but facing the wall she brings up the (not broken!) datapad and taps the screen. An outward swipe of several fingertips get 'caught' a second later by a holographic projector, casting hazy images which now float in midair. Currently it's displaying the last pieces of intel which she had been looking at before coming out here.

Right now this footage includes two different cameras rushing toward the ground before faceplanting against the dead grass. They tumble across the ground a few times before the source comes to land on its side, continuing to transmit all that they see. Including a large tree sloooowly looming overhead. Seconds later it comes crashing down on top of the cameras, pancaking the object with one final blip of static across the two screens.

"It's certainly one of the more original ways we've managed to kill a drone," Hill mutters before jabbing at the screen and pushing these particular recorded memories aside.

*

Another cough sounds as he nods, and Clint sets his equipment down and wanders back to the couch. Falling back into the seat, the tepid coffee in the mug gets a sniff and the rest of it is drained. "Okay."

When the holographic images begin to appear, he has to turn around to face it, coffee in one hand, and the other reaching to dig into one of his eyes. At least he has the grace to wince when the tree squishes the drone, though he is watching everything the camera shows, or rather, takes in everything to be processed. Aw, drone. Now he's never going to get to play with one again. "Trees don't normally just come down," is given in defense. "Lumber yards don't usually explode." So there.

Clint's good. There's something there, or just something 'not right', but he's not got his finger on it quite yet. Looking up at Hill, he brings an arm in to cough before drawing a breath. "You've watched it over and over, I'm guessing."

*

Just what is Clint supposed to see in these two screens?

The death of a very expensive SHIELD-owned drone, of course.

"I've gotten to the point where I can watch it without groaning," Hill admits with a faint scowl. Though, before she gets into the real reason for her visit she hesitates with the presentation, taking a seat on the couch beside the archer then turning to give him a critical looking over.

"Was one hell of an evening for you two," she says in a tone which might..almost be halfway sympathetic. "And you're right. They don't usually explode. Nor do two people under my watch come home with an acute dose of nitrogen poisoning after spending some time communing with nature."

Holding the pad up in one hand, she states "Help me find what we've all been missing."

Turning back to the holodisplay with another flick of her hand across the pad's screen causes dozens of still images to leap into the projected net before them both. Each image includes a timestamp, as well as which camera it was taken from.

"These are all taken from our static positioned cameras around the area over a forty-eight hour period. There have been zero tags for drones, visitors, or anything more interesting than the damn parrots. Just..green. Lots and lots of green."

*

"It was a really nice drone. Thing could move. Had it so I could fly it,"

*cough*

Clint clears his throat and doesn't complete the thought of racing it through the trees. After a day, he could have probably flown the thing with his eyes closed when running with tactile feedback mode on. Blue eyes look toward Maria and he shakes his head. "I'm fine. People get sick in Hawaii too. Too much ocean is all. Lots of wipe-outs."

When the display changes, Clint is all eyes. He's got that all-inclusive look; taking in the whole before breaking it down into constituent parts. Green. Greens. Different shades of green? Gradients. Is it natural? "Bring it back to Camera 2," is murmured, and Clint's reaching out to do just that out of force of habit. "This angle."

*

"And too many close encounters with coral reefs," Hill oh-so-helpfully adds. "And maybe a jellyfish disturbance or two." Yes, of -course- he's fine. The man could be missing three limbs and half of his torso and he'd still be 'fine.' Stubborn to a fault. On the other hand, this also means that she can keep pushing him to do his job.

Hey, if he's going to keep asking for it he's going to keep getting it!

With the request she switches over to Cam 2, the holodisplay bringing up several rows of still shots all taken from the same camera. Then she sets the pad down between the two, leaning forward with elbows resting upon knees as she narrows her eyes at all of the pictures.

"I'm sure the nature nerds would be falling over themselves trying to exclaim about the 'natural beauty' of these, or whatever. It's all very pretty, but it doesn't scream 'potentially unstable' to me."

*

And one, two more ibuprofin are pulled from the bottle next to the coffee on the table, washed down with now cold coffee. Clint's got his attention glued on the display, and when eyes narrow, he's pulling the datapad closer to him. Fingers move quickly; fixed sight. Time of day stamps, and he's shifting everything such that they all lie single-file, one after another. There's really nothing there to give a frame of reference, but positioning. And Clint's got a gut feeling.

"Camera 4," is murmured, and the archer's taken over the datapad. One, two, three flips of his finger, and he's searching the picture before it sounds like he's found something. And, "Camera 6…"

*cough*cough*groan*

"I told Bobbi I didn't want to go snorkeling. Damned fish."

"Look at the trees." Now, Clint moves back to his first request, Camera 2. "Stationary camera. Time stamp. Yeah, yeah.. no frame of reference, but there's something going on here." He pulls an arrow from his quiver to point at the holographic display before them. "Camera 4 has some undergrowth, and you can see it just behind." Time stamp. "The trees." He has no idea -what- kind of trees they are. They're… trees. "They're growing. I didn't notice it before while sitting up there because one canopy looks like another." Even if he noticed things were getting a touch thicker, nothing truly rang any bells.

*cough*cough*

"We have to get back to that site."

*

When it seems like he's picked up a trail Hill's attention drifts away from the images in order to silently regard the archer. Next camera. Then the next. Then-

"So help me Barton, if you're about to make the discovery of the day then can you -please- stay focused?"

With his next comment she looks back to the images, leaning forward just a little bit further as she starts looking at the trees. It's an easy thing to overlook at first. So..very easy. Then the smaller details start to make themselves known. The light grey speck of an exposed rock in the dirt from one picture in particular.

"What..?"

No frame of reference, not up until she takes the pad back and brings up the exact degree of focus each of the pictures had been taken from. It's a messy jumble of numbers, easily distracting when trying to focus on the images themselves, but now..?

The numbers start to line up. Patterns begin to emerge.

"Oh for fuck's sake," she mutters beneath her breath.

Back to the pad she goes, switching over to the night-time images taken before the forest erupted. It's not as easy to see in the dark but once the torch gets thrown and some light gets exposed to the area… Frame by frame she follows what the camera can see until she pauses the display, showing the detonation coming from -beneath- the ground.

"Time to get Bobbi suited up," she flatly agrees while staring at the hazy projected image. "I don't know what the hell's going on here, and that's a problem."

*

Hawk. Eye. There's a reason why he's a Field Agent, and after years of service, it's nice to know that he's got nothing to prove anymore. That doesn't mean Clint doesn't point out his obvious uses, however. "Yeah. Though, what could make them sprout like that-" Nitrogen poisoning?

Farm boy. Iowa.

"Aw, trees. No."

Clint looks as if he's going to rise and grab his equipment once again before he starts coughing. This time, it's for a few seconds before he draws his breath. "Ow."

Fingers dig into his eyes, and he blinks once, twice before he takes a tentative breath, hoping it won't make him cough again. "Okay. I'm good. Let's find Birdie."

*

Hill slowly nods once, still staring at the images. The coughing makes her frown a little, though she's not going to get all 'worried mother' with the archer. If he says he's good to keep going into the field then she's going to trust his judgement there. It won't be until his judgement fails that she'll start to intervene.

"Trees," she repeats in a flat tone. "Jesus, it's been right around us this whole damn time. Looks like Kate will be able to get the lab techs some 'pure' samples, after all."

She taps the pad and the holodisplay blinks out, as if it had never existed to begin with. "I'll secure us a vehicle, we'll hit up ground zero. Romanoff's got a lead on the other drone to follow, if there's a link between the natives and ..whatever the hell this is, she'll find it."


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