|Femme Fatales - Meet and Greet|
|What: Maria Hill enlists a cabal of women agents to defend SHIELD from STRIKE accusations.|
Pace. Pace Pace. Pace.
"I assure you, Director Holmes, both those agents are in the United States. There's no possible way they could have done what you're suggesting." For anyone who knows Maria really well, she's doing as much as possible to maintain her composure. But there's that little facial tick...
"So you keep telling me, /Acting/ Director Hill. But I assure you, the evidence is solid..."
Hill pauses, eyes shutting as she pinches the bridge of her nose. "Because the proof you have specifically singles out two people who received training that dozens of others could have received?"
"Are you saying you doubt the capability of my staff to perform a thorough forensic inves--" at this point, Maria loses it and slams both fists on the counter between herself and the monitor. "I doubt it when it comes to two agents that make you unspeakably nervous! Send me your damned 'evidence' and I'll have someone competent to review it!" She makes a small gesture, and some poor (startled) agent cuts the transmission.
Two agents step off of the Lift at the same time, and one of them is Katherine. She's gained a knack of moving from place to place without really ever registering herself. She's learned patterns of other agents, and has taken advantage of that to move around the Helicarrier, but she hasn't gone anywhere but the Bridge (usually to see Hill), Research Lab and Hangar.
Headed towards the Director's office when this whole communication yelling and break down occur, Katherine is in a Shield Agent outfit, skin tight and zipped up and she's got on a pair of glasses that make her look more the science-y type. With that she's pausing as the conversation ends, and then she hmmmms, "Something... I shouldn't be here for?" She questions, not wanting to overstretch her privelages, "Was just coming up to see if you wanted to eat, again?" This toward Hill, and before any answers she's already starting to edge her way back toward the lift slowly, just incase. She's seen biologicals mad before, they throw things.
"Want me to pay Director Holmes a visit, boss?" comes Regan's laconic suggestion, from her not-as-intrusive-as-usual position near one of the monitoring stations. Not her shift yet, but she's learned (eventually) that being early is far... farrrr preferable to being late. Apparently. "You know I could make him see things any which way..." Bonus: it gets her off of monitor duty!
Standing quietly to the side, ostensibly doing duty at one of the communication stations but actually paying undivided attention to the (Acting) Director and her conversation with Agent Holmes, one of the only masked SHIELD agents makes no move to interrupt, nor to draw any attention to herself. But she is a bit concerned that Maria is quite so openly, visibly upset by the other. She ponders this for a moment; Holmes is a bit too far away, and a bit too highly placed, for her to solve the problem the way her instincts would demand. So instead, perhaps she ... mmm. She turns, gesturing to another agent to take over her station, and moves towards the (Acting) Director, but waits patiently in the background for an opening. Ever watchful. Scary how well she can blend in, even here, with clear differences in play.
Her red hair appears first as the lift slowly rises Natalia to the Bridge. She stands alone, but to her ear is a small cell phone, and in her other hand a small file folder. Stepping off the lift she can be heard speaking as she walks closer to where Director Hill stands; but it is clear she is ending the conversation and in the cutest little Southern Belle accent, "I have been looking forward to it Mr. Birmingham all week. I'll see at the presentation event." The phone is hung up and there is a visible roll of her eyes, "I'll be glad when this one is over." The bridge is busy, and it would appear that Director Hill seems to be in the middle of said attention. Natalia can wait, and she moves to lean against the edge of a set of monitoring screens, looking down at the operator, "Smitts." All she says before turning her attention back to the Director.
"No, Wyngarde. Let's not give him an excuse to really think we're trying to bully him." Still pacing, Maria fails to notice Katsuko's presence behind her until she turns around. Katherine receives a headshake, too. "No. I'm glad you're here. We're going to put your lab access to some use." The Acting Director's eyes alight on Natalia, too, and she looks from Katsuko to the Russian. "Neither of you have headed off to the United Kingdom in the last week to terrorize any of the military intelligence sections of their Ministry of Defense, have you?" She knows the answer - reasonably confident, anyhow - but it needs to be heard. The half-masked SHIELD ninja arches an eyebrow eloquently. "No, Director. I have not. I was not given any orders to do so. Should I see to taking care of that immediately? Or perhaps it might help to have a copy of Holmes' files, data and samples /before/ he is willing to share it, so that we can have it properly cross-checked?" Yes. She's suggesting she go and steal it. It's not like it would be the first time she's ever done such a thing.
There's a pause in Katherine's motions as she's about to sneak off the Bridge and let the SHIELD folks be SHIELD folks. And then she's called out by Maria. "Oh, my lab access? That sounds somewhat fun." Katherine reaches up and re-positions her glasses some, "If it's about doing back traces on forensic information and figuring out mayyyyybe who did what and when, I might need more processing power than the LMD possesses. We can try, but I'm at limited run times on this model, and well, I would hate to look stupid in front of an entire class." She smirks a bit, upturning half of her mouth. And then re-fiddles with the glasses, "Do you think these work for me?"
Natalia does not even move from her half reclined positioned against the computer setup; tho her full attention is given to the Director now, "Neither have I director. Between that recent thing in Yekaterinburg, and the groundwork for Atlanta...I have had little time fr anything else." She pauses a moment and then adds softer, "Tho that does sound like fun. If that ever needs to be done, let it be known that I am up for that assignment. I have not messed with Minister Fallon in a while." There is a casual smile and then a soft exhale.
Regan Wyngarde shrugs to concede the point. There's a reason she gets to follow orders and others get to hand them out like candy. "I can be a subtle bully," she mumbles to nobody in particular. Then sticks out her tongue at the monitoring agent beside her when he rolls his eyes. The unfamiliar face gets a longer look, as she studies Katherine... with a vaguely befuddled expression. "Sure.. glasses are cute," she replies absently.
Maria Hill makes the introductions. Nope, Regan doesn't get a scolding this time. "Agent Regan Wyngarde, this is Katherine." The way she says that might imply there is more to that story. "She's training with us as an agent and helping Doctor Pym in his lab." She considers the offer from Katsuko for a long, long moment. "Don't steal the evidence itself. Copy their records. Make sure they're copies of the original. That way we have something to compare." She gestures with a hand. "Take Wyngarde with you. They're already claiming you've given them trouble so they might have measures in place to try to stop you. They don't know we have Wyngarde." She glances at the assembled women as a whole, and to the other agents that work the nightshift. "For everyone who is unknowing, that was Director Tobias Holmes from S.T.R.I.K.E.." Not Maria's favourite person to deal with. She then turns to Katherine. "If Agent Yamaguchi provides yo with original recordings of evidence, can you pinpoint if anything's been altered in what they give us?"
Katherine looks around and wave to everyone present as she's introduced. She smiles to Regan and says cheerfully, "Thanks. I'll take your answer into my results when I have access to internet again. Glasses offer a level of perceived intelligence, and were suggested to women attempting to be taken seriously in any corporate environment. I figured, this must be close..." Quieting herself she closes her mouth a moment, and then gets a bit more focused, talking to Maria directly, "Well, there are a lot of 'ifs'. If I were given an edited video, in most situations I could detail out what has been altered. There's pixel level connections in frames that are hard to compute, but given the entire video I could find the value of the compression..." Again she stops and states, "More than likely. If there's original recordings 'somewhere' then certainly."
The half-masked agent nods. "Yes, Director. Wyngarde, prep for an infil op. We'll go over everything in briefing room Alpha Seven in two hours." Yamaguchi offers, clearly accepting the Director's orders without question or debate. She'd rather sneak in on her own; it's how she operates; but she will take backup and make it work. Somehow. She offers a nod toards the introduced LMD figure, curiously.
Regan Wyngarde preens a touch when Maria mentions her as an 'unknown asset'. She's a secret weapon! Muahaha... ahem. "Haven't been to London in ages. This will be ..." A brief glance at Katsuko, and another at Maria, and she wisely reassesses her comment: ".. a quiet in-and-out with no time for fooling around." Which isn't to say they couldn't visit the Eye after they finish their little jaunt, right? Naturally, Katsuko is much more focused on the task at hand, and while Regan's acknowledgement may be a slightly playful salute, it is a /prompt/ slightly playful salute. She slaps the long-suffering monitoring agent on the shoulder and assures, "I'll have Gillen cover my shift. He owes me a favor." Then she's rocking up to her feet to scamper off and gather her kit.
It is quite clear that Natalia is impressed. Liserning carefully to the conversations at hand, and seeing how the agents are handling the mission and all its components truly has impressed her. Her eyes drift to the Director and she gives a narrowed eyed nod of obvious appreciation for the other agents. She knows them, but some of them she knows better. However, she is moe than content to sit back and observe; quietly raising the folder in her hand in a gesture that seems to say /I have what you wanted/.
"Good. That's what I like to hear." Maria and the other agents are all assembled around the back of the bridge. A nearby widescreen monitor still reads 'Disconnected...' showing a call was just terminated from the SHIELD side of things. "Romanova," she says, turning to Black Widow. "How quick is this Atlanta thing moving? I need someone to look into the STRIKE agents they've placed here in New York." Oh sure, allies and everything, but they've got agents here. Hey, SHIELD has agents over there. The difference? STRIKE agents are a little too obvious. "If you and Yamaguchi worry STRIKE that much, this team may be prepared to try something." She does not add 'which is likely throwing themselves uselessly at you' because... do the ninja and Russian spy really need ego-boosting?
The elevator opens and out steps the blonde, Karla is sucking on the straw from a frozen coffee drink of some sort. "Good day." She says and steps over briefly to check the high score on Galaga, then her attention goes back to th others. She tries to catch up woith just what is going on, more because it just sounds interesting than that she was a part of it.
Waiting at this point, Katherine puts her hands behind her back and clasps them together. She looks around at the other folks and sort of keeps moving her mouth between smirks, smiles and grins. For anyone who might be good with facial expressions, it seems she's just expressing some ranges of the motions of her lips. Trying to assess the variety of pleasantries her face can make in response to someone. It might not be the most etiquettely appropriate thing but there's idle time, and she needs to figure all this out. "Question." Slightly raising her hand, like she might be in class, "Is this something where I am going to be leaving with a group? Either in body or not? Just curious, and do realize that if you need me for things here, I can duplicate and multitask with no loss in capacity. I can keep comms safe from infiltration, and should there be a need I can infiltrate other systems, but I'm sure most of everyone here can do that, in other ways, so just..." She pauses, "Uh, just putting it out there."
Yamaguchi does not speak up about dealing with the STRIKE agents. Those aren't her orders, and she follows orders. OK, OK. Except when she doesn't, but that's only when she honestly believes it's really important. She tries to be good. It's an honor thing. She offers a nod to Katherine, trusting the other woman/computer/thing to take care of her side of matters once she has the evidence to be examined. She eyes Sofen's arrival with a half-mask-hidden smirk. Why is it almost every time she sees that agent, she's eating or drinking something? "Sofen."
Regan Wyngarde waits politely for the elevator doors, then does her best to sidle past Karla without being overly noticed. She's no ninja, it's true, but psych evals are still a regular requirement. And she's got gear to gather and a briefing to stay awake through! Jab jab jab at the button. Close close close go the doors.
Investigate STRIKE agents in the city. Simple enough. She has had her fir share of travel as of late, and to be honest it might feel good to stay around for a spell. Natalia pushes herself away from the computer desk and walks slowly closer to Director Hill, "One day on Atlanta. Some presentation soiree for that new technology; which he thinks a certain Southern Heiress names Alexandra Rockwell is going to fund. Really just a simple slip away, file transfer, and a trojan horse encryption and I can be home by morning. Putting weeks of groundwork behind me, before he thinks about proposing."
She shivers slightly at the thought and switches gears, "STRIKE agents. I know of two for sure already. They are staying in the Soho district. One of them goes for a morning jog every morning at 6:00 . Then eventually heads for coffee and a scone at the local cafe by 7:30. Gets a paper from Vinnie on the corner near the cafe, then does not usually come back out until evening around 6:00, where he heads to Chinatown for dumplings. He's back to the hotel by 8:30. Never changes his routine. I have nicknamed him Clockwork."
"The other, he likes to spend a lot of time at the museums..and the toy store over on 5th. I've nicknamed him Kringle. Thought it fitting." There is another casual shrug given and a stoic nod, "I'll step it up a little bit on the two of them, I have always liked toy stores and dumplings."
"I hadn't actually considered that," Maria admits. "If you could secure their transmissions, then, that would be helpful Katherine," she says, gesturing to Katsuko and the briefly-departed Regan. Or rather, where Regan had gone to. Karla's entrance is noted, and she nods at the blonde with familiarity. "Doctor Sofen. Welcome to our little pow wow." Maria isn't surprised that Natalia's already got tabs on these people. Or nicknames. "Good. Pass whatever you have on to the standard agents just so we're not the only ones with the information on them."
Following along the conversation is easy, people speak rather slowly. Why the speed of sound, at this altitude, in this temperature, creates an atmospheric pressure to make light nearly 779 thousand times faster. And when you are speaking about a quantum AI thinking, even in a limited robot, there comes a nod from Katherine as she focuses away from math and on to the matters at hand, "That is some kind of routine. I wonder what his foot steps are like, if they are exactly the same. Routine individuals, its funny, they usually take about as many steps to get to the same places, again and again, and well... I just find that fascinating, really. Avoiding the same cracks in the sidewalk, people they see day to day but can't recognize at all, but when missing they notice..." She stops herself again, "Sorry, chatterbox." Turning her eyes to Maria she offers, "It'll be easy, but you'll have to allow me access to their comms. That way I can install myself onto all sets that are important, and then I will use my self as a form of quantum encryption." She chuckles a little, "Easy peasy. And decrypting me will prove impossible, just observing the comm data will change the encryption and alter the message to gibberish." She reaches up and fiddles with her glasses again, and hmms, "I'm beginning to really like these. I feel smarter already."
"If you want her to come along, just make sure she's at the briefing." Yamaguchi mentions to Director Hill. Then the half-masked agent nods to others and makes her way towards the elevators herself. She is in no apparent rush. She does not jab at buttons. She just waits ... and then leaves. Much to do, a mission in the offing. She is rather curious why it is STRIKE is convinced /she/ could have had anything to do with anything. Darned interagency politics! Katsuko has disconnected.
Why is Karla always drinking, and rarely eating? Coffee is the true source of power for any med student, once you realize how vital to ife caffiene is, you do not just stop. Then Regan is skipping out, and Karla is pretty certain people are just altogether instill worried over her. Very flattering thought, really. There is a smile at the conversation about routines. Then the rest seems a little odd, bt, she doesn't really know the hacker.
"Consider it done Director Hill. I will make sure all of the standard agents have the information they need. And tell them to not enagage the subjects. Took me days to remedy the little /bromance/ Agent Killian established down in Key Largo." She drops that story completely and sets the folder in her hand down in front of the Director, "The rest of the report from Yekaterinburg. I know even though I don't ask for an extraction...you like to know how it went." She then turns to go, "With your permission Director Hill. I would like to get some rest. I got a 6:00 morning jog ahead of me. Lucky Clockwork runs slow."
Maria Hill nods slightly. "Dismissed. Be careful, as always." Not that anyone needs a reminder to be careful, but they occasionally slip out of Maria's mouth. Because believe it or not, she really does care for the agents under her command. "I'll get you the necessary access myself," she tells Katherine. That way, nobody's to blame but herself if things turn bad.
Walking in the direction of Maria, after it seems multiples of the agents are beginning to drift away. "It would be advisable to include me in the ground mission without body. I could operate a body here, there, and the comms, but I would likely draw more attention than those who have practiced, and my protocols disallow me from allowing the harming of biologicals. I imagine, they may do that, soooo, keeping me on the comms only is the best option." She makes note, because it was unclarified before, and well, AIs don't like incomplete operations. Once closer she quiets a little, "Though it -will- require me to be in contact with communication hardware. Are you okay with that at this point?" She has a concerned tone, but she's speaking in low volume so only those with exceptional hearing likely can hear her.
"I'm comfortable if it means my people are safe," Maria replies. She beckons Katherine to follow her to another console, where she herself brings up the necessary information to give Katherine access. "Use this sequence to gain access. I'll let you do what you need to do, but keep our comm officers apprised of what you're going to do so they don't panic."
Oooh. Ooooooooh. Katherine walks over to the console and she looks to Maria, and she smiles, and then back to the system. "Thank you. Not only for letting me do this, but trusting me." She offers, "Your comm officers will likely not even notice what is going on." Thinking for a moment she hmmms and eyes the console some more. It's interface is different than what she is used to and she analyzes her own LMD, it'd have to have a data port for updates and uploads even though all wireless communications were removed as per Hill's order. Reaching up she pulls on a data cord from behind her ear and looks at the console, trying to see if there's some kind of connection. Key pad interfaces aren't really her thing for this kind of interaction. "Data port?"
She wants to sigh, but Maria won't. "We're going to need to upgrade you to a new LMD, aren't we, if we want this to proceed as efficiently as possible." She taps her earpiece, alerting the agents several floors below. "We'll get that done tonight. It's a long process."
Letting the data port cable go, and then folding back the small portion behind her ear, Katherine offers a slight nod, "Yes we will. I am not sure if your LMDs have internal weaponry or not, beyond their person, all of that can be disabled." She grins, "I primarily need communication access. And, nanite healing factories, which is their self-repair unit." There's a pause before she concludes, "I can work with the technicians, or do the modifications myself. I much prefer the help of Pym and Janet, they talk a lot, and are very excited about me. It's sort of an ego thing."
"Come on then, we'll get you set up. And I'll advice Doctor Pym and Agent van Dyne," Maria says, as she heads towards one of the many elevators that lead to lower floors.