Stalking the Wiley Hacker

Summary:
January 29 2015: Hunter tracks down Aspect

Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art is home to some… rather odd pieces.


Characters

NPCs

  • NOne

Mood Music:
[* None]


Art Museums are not… really places you expect to find Jericho and for good reason. But, if you're expecting someone and want a public but discrete place to meet, there are worse places. Lots of securty, other people and no one looks at you funny if you lean over to whisper something quietly to someone else while looking at the wall. Currently Jericho is in front of a piece of Modern Art trying to decide whether it is more appropriately labeled crap or junk. He can't decide and sighs, turning to look at a scuplture which provokes similar questions as his blade case swings behind him and his amber eyes glimmer.

-

Hunter had been stalking Jericho, his methods more involving talking to people than IT or hacking. It seems he is rather good at that part of things, listening to people enough for them to talk more and more. Put the pieces together and you find… a Jericho. Hunter looks like someone who would look at art, bizarrely. Expensive clothes, a suit that hangs beautifully on his body, and he walks along the pieces, apparently marking the catalog, as if he might be considering buying some. He comes to a halt beside Jericho.

-

Jericho's seen Hunter once before. Before the whole Russia thing when he was annoying SHIELD survieling teams and, secretly, testing his 'I need to vanish' system. It works. But he doesn't need to vanish now. The news May had given him that it was going to be Hunter and not, you know, an actual SHIELD agent coming to find him has him rather curious. Why send a contractor? Time to find out. "I think this one's from the 'roll it in flour' school of constructionism." He murmurs.

-

"A valuable contribution to the art world." The British voice truly can be used by the man, despite his usual sarcastic tones. He pauses before he murmurs in reply, "You were warned about me and you let me find you." A statement and he glances at the other, his eyes narrowing slightly, "Then you know why I'm here. An independent contractor, I imagine, to keep it at arms length." A cynical view point, and probably accurate.

-

"I was told to expect you. By May. And she didn't tell me to run, so I expect that whatever you're here for I'll find interesting." Jericho says, looking at the odd sculpture and wondering what it's creator was on when he made it. "I'm a bit curious why you specifically, but since I'd not likely get along that well with anyone else I'll roll with it. What can I do for you, Mister Hunter?"

-

"Maybe that is why." The information about May interests Hunter, his eyebrows rising briefly. "Hunter, just Hunter." The quiet correction is given with a smile and he turns to face Jericho. "I believe the message is pick a side. They don't like the ties to HYDRA, and they want commitment. Come aboard or show that you aren't with us." He speaks bluntly, not the diplomat they sent, but his eyes are amused.

-

"Mmmmmm…" Jericho muses for a bit and then motions. "Come on, let's take a walk. Beer? There's a bar not far from here." He starts to walk, waiting for a moment as they pass slowly through the museum. Nothing to see here. "So far, SHIELD isn't giving me very many reasons to make me think that's a particularly good idea. I mean, I show up, risk my life and that of one of my dearest friends to repel an attack on SHIELD's doorstep and in response they bench my best contact, lock down the building and send you to tell me to 'get with the program.'" He shrugs. "No reflection on you, by the way. I know you're just a contractor. Anyway, this isn't the first time I've done this dance with SHIELD. I stay off your grid, out of your systems and mostly out of the way. I fight HYDRA and they want me dead. I help out and get no thanks, little benefit and a whole lot of hassle for my troubles. So far, coming aboard is not looking like my best move, you know?" He shrugs. "What do you think?"

-

"Beer is more my thing." The glance at art is dismissive and he tosses the catalog on the side. He walks beside Jericho, listening. A good skill of his. The other skills aren't best used on Jericho, since neither kissing nor killing is appropriate. "What did you want them to do?" The question is challenging, "I stood in his office with the wall missing, and Fury was tamping." English slang, meaning angry. "Personally I get paid for my help, and that is Independent Military Contractor, thanks mate." He is taking a light approach to this, seemingly amused. "You look dodgy. You turn up at the time of the attack, you have contacts with HYDRA, enough to hear things. You won't commit, you aren't predictable. If I were Fury, I'd be having you removed, let alone hired. That is May's influence there." Blunt.

-

"I don't have 'contacts' with Hydra. Hydra wants me dead. I got tired of it and started making them dead instead. The closest contact I have with them is at bladepoint." Used to be at gun or clawpoint, but hey! He has a blade now. "I get, honestly, that I look suspicious. But you'd think after warning them time and again of danger and doing my level best to head it off, they'd realize that I'm not a threat to them. Not unless they decide to make me one." He shakes his head, bar's coming up ahead. "I came home from that fight with feedback burns over most of me. And, if I may be blunt, if it hand't been for me and the other non SHIELD people there, there wouldn't be a Triskelion right now. Why that's ignored I can only guess at, but it's not a real good way to make me play ball. I can answer questions, some of them. Quite happy to. But as for coming aboard? Right now it's looking like I do a better job of this." Smirk. Jericho adopts Hunter's light joking tone. That's the way to handle this. Don't get upset about it (upsetting as it can be). "Maybe they should join me." He jests.

-

Hunter turns them towards the bar, seemingly knowing where the nearest one is. He lifts a hand, silently ordering two bottles of beer, as he takes a table. His reply is quiet, the humour fading, and paused until the beer is there. "Do you want to go up against Fury? At this time?" The questions are quiet, his gaze steady, "It isn't ignored but they are angry, and controlling what they can. Fury will throw a whole world of trouble at you if you don't say yes, and you know that. May already told you. Warrants in every country for cyber terriorism… even for stealing candy from those kids that sell it here." Bluntly spoken. "You aren't a threat, you are an asset and they need you. Same as they need me. But they need to know their friends more. They know that I get paid, I do the job. They don't get you."

-

"You're in a better position to trust SHIELD than I am. I don't and I can't. I don't trust that they don't have leaks that won't get me killed - because they most assuredly do have leaks - and I don't trust their own agents to do right by me." Jericho shakes his head. "Consider, Hunter, that aside from Melinda May you're probably the only one I would have had this conversation with." There's a pause as he signals the barterder to put whatever Hunter wants on him. Polite is, after all polite. He takes a sip of the cold beer.

"Aaaaaah. Good choice. Anyway, that is not just because I'm a paranoid bastard. It's also because SHIELD and a history that's a bit less than cordial. Put simply, for brevity's sake, I got burned the last time I decided to play nice with them, and it just won't happen again. I'm willing to go out on a limb for you and May and give info, but that's it. I can disappear pretty damn completely if I have to, if Fury really wants to play that game. But I'm betting he's smarter than that because he knows as well as you do that I'm still your best bet for staying ahead of this mess. I have the info from HYDRA and I have the magical contacts to get it done."

He waves a hand. "None of which is really your problem or fault or responsibility or however you want to put it. I mean, I know you can't control what Fury does, so I won't hold you for any kind of result or hold against you whatever he decides. So… wanna play twenty questions or was 'sign on the dotted line' the only option he gave you?"

-

"May is one of the links. She warned you." The quiet reply has some concern to it, and he lifts his eyebrows, giving Jericho an odd look, "Why honey, I never knew you felt so strongly about me. You aren't my usual type but…" Sarcasm comes as standard, and issued in those British tones, is effective. "The question is, how do you have that information from HYDRA? You see the problem there? May leaks to you, HYDRA seems to, which begs questions, mate. Hunter leans back in the chair, nursing his beer, his gaze on Jericho, the good humoured expression effectively hiding any thoughts, "I quote, Get him in as an asset or make sure he is well aware he will have a list of warrants in every country we can from cyber terrorism to stealing from girl scouts."

-

Jericho rolls up his sleeve so Hunter can see the traces on his arm. "I'm a hacker with some rather unique equipment. And I'm rather good at what I do. I've also been known to interrogate the odd HYDRA operative who manages to survive sliiiiiiightly longer than his compatriots." Sometimes. When Jericho thinks he needs information from a human source. Otherwise he just hacks networks and rips out hard drives. "HYDRA's oh so modern. They like cyrptography and electronic storage. Lucky me. It's kept me alive. So you see they don't leak to me so much as I take the information I want from them because, at least so far, I'm better at a few of the aspects of the game of cat and mouse we're playing. And as for leaks, May's not the one you need to be worried about. Before you came on, if you wanna pull the records, there was an operation in Kush where someone told the bad guys you were coming. Lost a Quinjet full of army rangers to that one. That's the kind of leak that makes me nervous."

-

Hunter leans forward, giving Jericho a look, amused, his grin in place. "Impressive equipment, mate, but don't feed me a line. I get that I can trust May, I do, but you are avoiding the point. Fury, my friend, has his arse out and unless I'm walking back in there with you signed up as an asset - whatever that means for us - I'm walking back in to tell him that I screwed this up and that you are getting those warrants." He sits back, lifting the beer, watching Jericho before he adds softly, "Now, he never defined asset."

-

"I'm listening." Jericho says slowly. "Frankly I'd say I'm already an 'asset' in the sense that I do things for SHIELD that they then proceed to get huffy about. Like save their agents' lives. I'm not sure how much more 'assety' I can get."

-

"So what difference does it make to you then?" Hunter is idly playing with his beer, giving Jericho a grin. He looks more like a seven year old plotting trouble than a competent IMC. "We call you an asset. You say sir here and there, play the game a bit. Give Fury what he needs, which is to know you aren't playing HYDRA's game for them." He takes another swig of his beer, waiting for Jericho's response. "You need to look distant from May, because you are hurting her position, so we agree I'll be your handler. That secures both of us in one swoop, and keeps the money rolling in for me."

-

Jericho considers. "Look, you wanna tell Fury that I'm your asset, I'm fine with that. I'm even fine with working with you. But I'm not going to heel for Fury's frankly, short sighted, myopic, backwards-ass division and I will continue to operate as I have been. If Fury wishes to come find me about that, he can. If Fury really wants to pull the trigger of making an internationally wanted criminal, he's going to find out exactly how quickly I can be unfindable which, he will also find out, is not something he wants right now, considering I'm the one feeding SHIELD magical expertise to keep you all alive. If you can spin that, great. As for May, I'll talk to her off line. I don't want to hurt her career but I also won't make these choices for her. She wants me to back off, I will. Otherwise…"

Jericho shrugs… "Otherwise I'll keep solving this problem with or without the Division. I did that with the Virus and you folks eventually came around. I'm just… not worried about it the way I might have been six months ago."

He cants his head. "Can you work with that?"

-

Hunter finishes his beer, putting the bottle on the table, along with a note to cover his own drink. "I'll report back and see what I can do. Just, for the future, tell May to be more subtle about warning you, and I'm not SHIELD. Independent, remember." The grin is brief, almost a baring of teeth if it weren't the good natured Hunter. "I'll do my best, mate. Tell May this is on her dime." The grin widens into a true one, "I'll put money she tells me to stick it up my arse." And then he heads off, giving the waitress a wink as he passes, a good natured flirt with nothing behind it.


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