Core Competancy

Summary:
March 02 2015: May calls in Jericho to help with a computer problem. It turns out to be a bit beyond him… but he knows someone who might be able to crack it.

Triskelion, Clean Lab

This particular electronics lab houses fairly substantial computer core from the Insight, being examined after the disaster that was the Bronx Incident.


Characters

NPCs

  • none

Mood Music:
[* none]


Jericho Trent likes to avoid the Triskelion where possible, and Melinda May knows this. She generally doesn't ask him to come down there and that tends to work out best for both of them. Tonight though it couldn't be avoided. Or at least, so he surmises since he got a text from May requesting his presence to look at something requiring his particular expertise. When he arrived and was taken to a clean lab he discovered that something was the Insight's computer core, removed from the ship when it had been hauled into a dry dock last night. Ordinarily SHIELD wouldn't let him at something like this but there seems to be a problem. Between HYDRA's tampering and the exotic energies it was exposed to, the data on it is now completely unreadable. It's there, clearly, but not in any format SHIELD's systems recognize or can crack. Jericho has experience in… nonstandard coding and May knows this. Hence his presence here and now.

***

Melinda May at least had the decency to meet Jericho at the door and walk with him to where the computer core is currently being housed, knowing how much he dislikes having anything to do with the Triskelion. "We'd have consulted with other sources, but our computer techs have already determined that the core's data isn't damaged or even erased, it's just in a language that none of them have ever seen before. It won't even parse down to hexadecimal, according to our lead programmer." Whatever the heck that hexa-thing is or means.

***

"I'll have a look." Jericho says as he takes some of the standard issue equipment to hook up a wireless interface so he can access the core directly. Thanks to his implants he can even read straight machine code but if it won't parse down then that might be a problem. Given the possibility of a demonic infusion it might have re-written itself in demonic, which is also a language he can read (and speak). He'll find out in a minute. "Brass wants a look at whatever the core recorded during the attack do they?" Makes sense. He'd heard the bridge had been taken over by Hydra types who were at the controls, so there might be something useful there. "Any other loose ends after that mess?"

***

Melinda May shakes her head no at the question about loose ends. It's a given that Brass wants to know what happened, so she doesn't bother to answer that rhetorical question. "Structural damage, places where the Insight's hull and deck plating were damaged by the fighting, but nothing that can't be repaired." It's the gore cleanup that she's REALLY glad she's not there to deal with.

***

Jericho nods slowly. The casulaties had been high though enough of the crew had survived to at least let the ship limp back into dock, it seems. "Alright. Looking over the code now. Mmmmmm, no coding language I recognize. Including the odd ones. Let me run a few of my tricks and see if I can make any sense of it. May take a few minutes." Fortunately that can all happen in the background. Of his head. Hacker cyborg is odd sometimes. "What about you? Any blowback from the brass like last time?"

***

"None yet, but I don't really have time for them to decide to get their knickers in a bunch. They know where to find me." And if the powers that be decide to take the failures of her direct superiors out on her again, she just might tell them exactly what she thinks of it this time. Of course, Fury is likely very much aware of this.

***

Jericho nods and a couple of icons flash on his HUD. The processes are coming back negative one by one. "Well, I don't think I can do anything with this." Though it was a good try. "And I doubt that SHIELD has tricks it hasn't already tried with it. It's not a question of hacking in so much as it is figuring out what the hell happened to the code and translating it."

He pauses for a moment in thought. "Given that you already brought me in, how would you feel about taking this to someone a bit more… reputable?"

***

Melinda May raises her eyebrows. She really was expecting Trent to make sense of the computer core for them and that surprise is written clearly enough on her face for the hacker to see easily. But, there is a reason why he's a consultant. "Who are you wanting to recommend?"

***

"If you want the last word in computer sciences and strange stuff like this, you go to Reed Richards." The very public leader of the very public Fantastic Four. Scientist and Philanthropist. There is a catch. He's not known to trust the Man a whole lot.

"I can try a few other things but anything I get's going to be fragmentary." Jericho's already trying those things as he speaks. "And from the sounds of things, you really do need the whole thing cracked. If Richards and his team can't do it, I'm fairly confident in saying it can't be done by anyone who can really be trusted with it."

***

Melinda May takes a deep breath. "Richards." Apparently, his reputation IS known around here. "I'll take this to Fury, see what he says." It's almost a given, though, based on May's expression, that she's going to get the wonderful task of approaching Mr. Fantastic (who the hell uses THAT kind of moniker, anyway?) and asking him if he'll look into the comptuer core. "If this happens," duh, given, "you're going with me."

***

Jericho does take a moment to wonder when he became the good cop to May's bad cop. Or the… hacker cop to her agent cop? Demon cop to her… nevermind. He is slightly amused though. He'd felt sure she'd want Coulson along. And maybe she does. She never said she wasn't going to bring him on. "Alright. If you get the okay just let me know when and I'll meet you."

It makes sense. He has a better handle on how computers react to really strange energies than anyone at SHIELD and he can likely better give Reed a place to start. May herself knows SHIELD tech and even if she isn't SciTech herself, she can probably explain the base security protocols well enough for Reed to know what he's working with.

"How's Fitz holding up. His portal buster gun nearly fried him back there, looked like."

***

Melinda May nods a bit. "He doesn't seem to have suffered any lasting effects, though I thought I heard him muttering to himself about whiplash." She actually sounds faintly amused there. "He's probably already planning on his next gizmos already."

***

"He does seem the type." Jericho nods. The type to tinker and fiddle and probably forget to eat unless May makes him. "Do you want to make contact first with Richards or shall I?" The difference is between an official request and an unofficial one. The Four will probably handle an official one just fine, but just in case…

***

May is very clearly debating that one. "We have to do this one by the book. It'll have to be an official request, but phrased VERY carefully to reduce the chances of Richards saying no before even taking a look at the computer core."

***

"I'll let you draft that e-mail then." Jericho nods, clearly considering the angles on this himself. Reed has reason to be untrusting but he has government links through Sue Storm who has worked with scientific organizations before. There may be one or two other things if he thinks about it. And Johnny Storm aka the Human Torch has been active in the celebrity and heroic scene in New York for a long time.

***

Melinda May nods back. "I can do that. So, you're pretty much done here for now?" Goodness knows, she's ready to get out of this room already. For whatever reason, this huge lump of electronics has been making her feel uneasy since she entered the room. She resolves to put extra guards on this room until the corrupted core's secrets can be ferreted out.

***

"Yeah. I've got some code bits I may be able to crack here. I'll keep working on them, let you know if there's anything useful in them." Jericho pauses. "If I get anything at all. Whatever happened to this thing really did a number on it. I'll be in touch though. I always am." Unless he's in Limbo but folks don't tend to notice he's missing thanks to his odd habits and the time dialation.

***

"Sounds good." May then gestures for them to leave so she can walk him back out of the building. After all, K'nert isn't exactly looked upon too fondly in here, and portalling in or out most certainly isn't a good idea anymore.


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