|Meeting with the Black Widow|
|What: Channel and Black Widow meet to discuss Vorpal's request of Channel.|
It wasn't often Channel had occasion to talk mission stuff with Black Widow. But after Vorpal's request of her, and Channel's involvement in getting to Apokolips the first time, the woman had reached out to Black Widow. They'd agreed to meet in one of those abandoned buildings in Queens. Now, who actually owned this building and how secure it was, well, that was a secret that someone else had. Possibly SHIELD. Possibly some developer. All Channel knew was that the building was secure, and unmonitored on the inside.
The tall woman is dressed in her actual 'work clothes', for a change. Of course, she could slip a pair of jeans and a shirt on over most of it easily enough, so it wasn't hard for her to be ready. She probably arrived dressed casually, just in case. Channel didn't need anyone knowing she was meeting with Widow, and she knew that people like Black Widow liked a bit of...discretion. The woman stands against one of the walls, away from any windows, waiting for Black Widow to both arrive and make herself known.
The Widow's steps are purposely sharp as she emerges from a shrouded hallway into the light of the room in which the younger heroine stands. She gives the mutant a tight smile in greeting. "Channel," she greets, footsteps lightening to nearly silent once she knows the girl has seen her. "Nice to see you again. You have something for me?"
"Black Widow. Good to see you," Channel says. A nod is given to the older woman. Her voice is soft, and if the woman had already picked up on Widow's lifesigns, she gives no indication. "Vorpal has spoken with me about Iron Man. I'm here to offer assistance. I was with the frontal assault group that attacked Darkseid directly, and I was the one who powered his teleportation device and was able to create the necessary energy to power it". Simple and to the point. Widow would possibly have seen as much in Tony's notes. "I also know a little bit about the insides of the planet, if it comes to that, as I've been inside it".
It was about as pleasent as it sounds. The woman's voice is serious, lacking the usual lightness that accompanied her statements. Of course, that was probably because this was a far more serious topic than the times Widow had trained Channel. As serious as Channel took that, there was room there for levity.
"Then, I guess we'll need you," Natasha says, that tight smile still on her lips. The fact is, the Widow doesn't actually have a problem taking back-up on this mission. Darkseid killed Iron Man. He nearly killed countless other heroes, too. She's not blind to these risks. "When we go in, it's going to be a small team, it's going to be quick, and it's going to be as quietly as we can manage." So says the woman who's fully intending to be in the newly repainted and recustomized Rescue armor. So much stealth in that. (Well, at least it's black, now. But its chest glows.)
"Infiltration. I'll wear my blacks then. Do we have any idea on the number of hostiles and which we expect to encounter? Or is the hope to be in-and-out without contact? I imagine that with the data gathered from the initial attack, the computers have more precise information for teleporting us in". Channel does nod at the statement about taking her with. Channel considers things for a moment. "He's likely to detect the portal the second it opens up. He did when we all first arrived. His response was instantaneous. I'm not sure if there's a way to cloak the portals," Channel admits, chewing her lips as she considers the options.
"It's also my understanding that Pepper is not to be told about this operation". That much had been made clear to the woman.
"She's not," Widow confirms. Her arms cross over her chest. "Miss Potts is having difficulty enough coping with Tony's death. To raise her hopes only to potentially shatter them again? I won't do that to her." She shakes her head. "Better she sees him walk through the door as whole as we can manage than to lose him twice." Because Widow's under no illusion. Failure is a huge possibility, here. She purposely doesn't think about Pepper's reaction should their failure include any more deaths. That will be even less pretty than when she yelled at Banner... and then the Hulk.
"If the portal will be detected," and she can't say she's surprised, "we're going to need to move all the faster. JARVIS has some estimates about the resistance we'll face, but they generally sum up to 'lots'." A tight smile. "However, Tony left behind some technology I'm hoping will even the playing field." BFGs. Lots of them. "The goal, however, is to get to ground as quickly as we can and leave them searching the perimeter while we breech the inner wards. Timing will be tricky. We're going to need a distraction."
"I've seen the energy of the planet. I know what it's typically composed of. If there is some sort of device that can emit energy we can all wear, like a wristband, I might be able to convert it to emit the proper mix that will make us more difficult to detect. I might be able to do that for the portal emitters now, too. It could buy us some time," Channel muses. She suspects that Widow might even have access to something like that in terms of SHIELD technology that could be modified. "It might also completely fail to do anything useful for us, however. I don't know completely how far ahead technologically he is. But it's better than going in announcing our presence".
She's also probably need to work with JARVIS to do the necessary changes on the technological end. She wasn't a whiz at actually building it, but she could provide the juice, and JARVIS could handle the actual changes. "Has a distraction been determined yet?" Channel asks. "I'm also betting that he's expecting someone to come after Tony soon. It'll have to be something big".
"It either has to be something big," Widow says, having heard about the assault lead by Wonder Woman, "or something that looks big." She's a spy by training. She understands the value of misdirection, illusion, and false appearances. "We only need long enough to get past their perimeter and into their ductwork, so to speak. Unless we're extremely lucky, extraction will almost inevitably be a brute force operation." A beat. She regards Channel for a moment. "You can heal, can't you?"
"True. An illusion of some kind would do quite a bit," Channel says. Provided Darkseid didn't see through it quickly enough, but that was something to worry about once the question of what distraction would be used. At Black Widow's question, Channel nods to the woman. "I can," she agrees. She was no Wolverine, but she could heal fairly easily.
"I need you to heal Vorpal," Natasha says. "He went and stabbed himself in the leg a few days ago, but we need him in fighting form now." Her tone suggests she's thoroughly unimpressed with that. Stopping another's soul from being devoured is laudable. Nearly disabling yourself to do it, when something less debilitating would have worked just as well, is the height of idiocy.
She grimaces. "My current working plan is this: Agent Barton and I are the best suited for infiltration and we have access to tech that will even the odds for us a little better, making us less likely to be as squished as we might otherwise be. But, Vorpal can teleport, and he can create illusions. You can mimic energy signatures and take a greater hit than he can. If you can cover him... you'll be our distraction and, hopefully, our extraction, too."
"Already healed him earlier today when I spoke with him," Channel says. "Don't know why he didn't just call me. Took me about thirty seconds to fix his leg". The woman shakes her head. Stubborness. "He's physically back in shape now". That much, Channel had already done.
When Black Widow outlines the basic plan, the woman nods. "If nothing else, I should be able to do something about his Omega Beam, if he aims it on us, and if I catch him trying to teleport...". There's a small smile. "Let me just say teleporters don't like it when you screw with their teleportation energy. I'm pretty sure I can say I'm going after him to avenge what he did to Captain Marvel". She and Carol were close, and though Carol was healing, Jocelyn would very easily 'act' like she was angry with Darkseid over that.
Natasha nods, again with that tight smile. She isn't planning on bringing Carol along on this little adventure. Actually, she isn't planning on bringing most of the Avengers along. Someone needs to stay behind in case this seriously goes south, which she fears it will. She's already composed her own farewell messages, just in case. And updated her will. "As long as you keep his attention," she tells the younger woman, "You can recite poetry at him, for all I care." She chuckles dryly as she says it.
"God, I could kill him with bad poetry from middle school days," Channel comments with a snort. "Alright. I'll work on some plans to deal with him from the distraction. Let me know when the next meetup is," Channel says. "I should get moving. I have some things to put into play on my end". Channel knew that Widow would understand not all that stuff would be said verbally. Things had to happen, and Channel had to make sure they happened before they left. She'd have some options on the table for getting out as well, if it came down to it.