2019-08-21 - To Recover An Absent Agent


Clint ducks out of his medical observation and a group goes looking for him.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Aug 21 04:48:26 2019
Location: {$location}

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Theme Song



Jackson's REAL BEER and BBQ presents itself jauntily with bright red and blue neon in the windows just off 34th. It's wide front window facing outside is decorated with any number of chotchkis ranging from a stuffed alligator, to a bob sled, to a Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun, with the interior hidden behind a big red curtain.
To get in one has to step down a stairwell off the street, just down a flight of stairs and to the side through a pair of old wooden doors. Once through those doors the smell and the sound hits. Smoke from the cue and from the occasional cigar or cigarette is prominent, then there's the sweet smell of what's cooking. Usually pulled pork or beef shredded up and carted to tables with a bevy of accoutrement for he service. Buns, cole slaw, beans, corn bread, the food in the place is actually pretty good.
Then there are the customers, decent folk usually. A little rough on the weekdays when it's the regulars. The place makes most of its money on the weekends when they jack their prices and play to the tourists. But tonight it's usually just the locals. Though also tonight, there's a new sheriff in town.
"Hah, pay up suckers." Clint Barton's voice carries as he turns away from the dartboard, with his second nine-darter win, the darts all lined up properly as he slaps his hands together and steps back from the firing line. "C'mon, nobody likes a sore loser."
"That's right, come ta poppa." Barton, who ostensibly is in the field, scoops his beer up off one of the elevated tables near the pool table and the dart board and tilts it back, swallowing several times.
Though the three men he had been playing against, they don't seem too enthused with his winning.

Clint Barton had gone missing after the upset in the Mind Machine Lab yesterday. He'd been put on 'rest' in the Medlab but liberated himself not long after.

Jemma's had a long night and long day following and when that information came through. "Find him, Agent Simmons."

Why Jemma? She has no idea except she was the one around when the call came in.

The only intel they've got is from Kelly Dehaven but even she can't tell them exactly where. Jemma's had to seek Jeriah out and ask him to use his drones.

"The only place he could be is that bar." Jemma says to Jeriah and Laynia. "I … guess that's where we check."

In she goes. Implants, cybernetic hand and all so very visible.

At least she's in t-shirt and jeans.

At least, Jeriah thinks, this 'operation' probably doesn't involve a gun. Which is why he doesn't have one. He does however have a little drone hovering above the building to watch entrances and exits and he's been scanning network traffic with his implants for about ten minutes which include poorly secured security cameras.

Which is most of them.

"So a scientist, a soldier and a Russian walk into a bar…" He mutters as he moves to follow, keeping an eye on the feeds in the corner of his HUD.

Yes. He has a HUD. Being a cyborg is somewhat glorious sometimes.

Lacking cybernetic (or other) implants and also ingloriously sans a Heads Up Display, Laynia studies some images of Clint, then tucks her phone away. It isn't even a new phone, her company phone is still on order - CURSE YOU BUREAUCRACY! Ahem. Regardless, she looks a little dubious about the bar, and then she shrugs. "At least is not base teeming with goons wearing high tech body armor armed with particle beam weapons, da?"

Truth be told — Laynia would probably be more comfortable with that!

"Yes, is like bad joke, but question is — is Clint Barton punch line? Or do we end in line to /punch/?"

Hands in pockets, Laynia enters, she's wearing basic black slacks and short heels, and over her top a brown leather aviator's jacket that would have been new in Cap's day.

As they step in the wave of noise and smell hits them, the twanging from the glorious multi-monitor jukebox set up broadcasts country video hits in an array above it while the music filters out with a tinny cheap speaker quality. Against the wall is a /mass/ of broken cell-phones, all STABBED into the wall by railroad spikes and over the cellular graveyard is a declaration, "NO CELL-PHONES ALLOWED!" A sign near where a hostess might be simply says, 'Bar or table, you pick we'll git to ya!'
A quick glance might show them a good cross-section of the people there. Mostly an older crowd, people dressed casual in jeans and t-shirts, though some have the look of still being in their work clothes. A woman with her hair up carrying a tray of beers says to them as she passes by, "Sit wherever you like, darlin's."
At least, for now, Jemma's cybernetics aren't noticed. But from the back those that know him will likely hear Clint's voice raised, "Anyone else? I'm here all night, fellas. All night."

"Don't let appearances deceive you, Agent Petrovna. That's one of the first lessons I was taught." Jemma mutters "And yes, Clint Barton is a punchline, just a very poor one." That man. Honestly. Who leaves medical observation? He does that's who.

"You have visuals, London? And the back door covered?" Jemma thinks they're going to need them. "Out the back, I think." She says to the server and makes her way through the tables.

"Well, if my eyes don't deceive me…" she says rather loudly in that British accented voice of hers. "It's my old friend, Clint…" If he was using a cover, she's just blown it.

Take that.

"Yeah. And a sonic stunner on the drone though I don't think we'll need that? Certainly the NYPD probably wouldn't appreciate me using it." Jeriah says. He's dressed casually but he's kind of hard to miss. It's not the way he looks so much as the way he carries himself. Which is like a soldier. That makes sense. The man has spent his entire adult life in the soldiering profession.

So he carries himself like someone who has spent his entire adult life at war.

"Doesn't he owe you money, Jem? Clint, Laynia here was missing you. Why'd you run off like that? She near panicked!"

Yes, Jeriah did just do that. And while he didn't say that Laynia was missing Clint for any particular reason it's certainly IMPLIED for the bar to hear.

He might get smacked on more than one account for that one.

"So, is possible there WILL be particle weapons?" Yes, Laynia sounds happy about that possibility. She, alas, cannot ID the voice yet, they've never spoken, not yet anyway. "And please, if we are undercover, should I not be Laynia?"

When gear is mentioned, Laynia shakes her head. "All I have is me. oh, and a belt buckle knife, you know…" A shrug. "…just in case." She doesn't mention the switchblade in her boot, hey, she's decent with knives! "Sadly, have not yet qualified for Icer."

And then both Jemma and Jeriah draw all sorts of attention on them, Jeriah's focusing it on HER. He gets a flat look, but only a moment, and then when she can pick Clint out of the crowd she beams. "Oh! Clint Barton, where haeve you been?" Yes, that's acutally a decent southern drawl! The hell?

Laynia /stalks/ through crowd, rushing breathlessly forward to close and unless he stops her, she is going to try to kiss him breathless, right there, in front of god and everyone.

Put HER on the spot? Hah! TRY IT!

Counting out twenties in his hands while those four men slowly sit back down at their raised seats near the pool table, Clint seems oblivious to the daggers they're shooting at his back with their angry eyes. But the archer himself, he seems rather cheerful as he takes another swallow of beer and sets it down with a glassy clink.
Then Jemma hollars over and he looks up, unperturbed at the use of his name as he lifts a hand. "Hey guys! Drinks are on me." He pockets most of the cash and puts a few twenties on the tray of a passing waitress. "Get us a couple pitchers and keep the change, thanks heaps."
Then the rest of the team saunters on over and he looks up, confused for a moment at Jeriah. Then that confusion fades as a finger is pointed at Laynia even as she rushes toward him, "Hey, didn't I save your life?
And then she's in his arms and he's laughing at first. But then she's actually kissing him, and well. He returns it pretty heartily. A little too heartily.
The crowd around them whooop and there's a call up with a few women shouting, "Woooooo!" As if this display was positively scandalous.
But then the kiss breaks after a good ten seconds or so, and his features flushed. His smile is warm and wry as he shakes his head at her, but says nothing to jeopardize the cover, since hey… all of a sudden it's a good cover.
"C'mon I got us a table." He says at first to Laynia, but as the sentence flows his attention shifts over to Jemma and Jeriah.
He moves back over to to that five-seater table, where it looks like his jacket is sprawled on the back of one creaky wooden chair. He pushes it out of the way and drops into the seat unless folks have other things in mind.

Jems? Jeriah gets a raised eyebrow, her only one at that nickname. "Well, yes, Jer. He does." If there's one thing that Jemma really isn't good at, it's lying. She can *do* it, but she's terrible at it. So she doesn't try to embellish.

She colours as Laynia ends up in Clints arms, coughing not to discretely and looking anywhere but at them. Which means Jeriah gets a look. "Uh … I think we should be going …"

But Clints sitting and the biochem looks to the 'muscle' of the team "Are we going or staying?" Can they get out of here if Clint resists, without a fight?

Jeriah would rather not have a scuffle and Clint seems like he's in a good mood - though it'd be hard not to be after a greeting like that. Compliments to the sudden southern drawl too. Almost Jodie Foster from Maverick. But, you know, better.

"Oh come on Jem." Jeriah says giving the woman a push toward the table. "Leaving without at least one drink would be truly… outrageous."

Yes. He went there too.

The hacker-soldier takes a seat and rolls one shoulder. He's still got his drone on overwatch but it doesn't look like Clint is going to bolt.

"So. I suppose if you were going to forget you had to meet Laynia here at least you chose a decent bar. Interesting place, though."

Especially the no cell phones bit. Hopefully no one figures out that Jeriah basically IS a cellphone.

A little surprised (but not /too/ surprised) by the reaction, Laynia will ham it up for the 'well wishers' in the crowd, hands holding to stubbled cheeks. When they finally come up for air, the false southern-belle beams around the room, and disps a small curtsey. "Oh my, yes, I /will/ have a beer." She declares and then plops down onto the seat next to Clint, nestled in against his side a moment, then smiling over her shoulder to him, before leaning forward to pour the beers for everyone. "Jer, Jem, you /must/ join us, especially you, sugar." That to Jem. And yes, leaving would be truly truly TRULY outrageous.

Once the other two sit, she presents them each with a properly foamed beer, and toasts. "To old friends, and paying our bills!"

It is a truly astonishing transformation from fairly prim Russkie, to rampant extrovert beer drinking belle, but — that's what spycraft is all about, right?

"Yeah," Clint answers Jeriah as he sits up a little and adjusts the coat he's leaning back against. "I got a tip that maybe a Latverian monarch might show up here tonight, so I'm doin' a lil bit of recon." Alright that might not be truthful. He looks between them and gets a small smirk, "Look guys, things are alright. Just now and then I gotta blow off some steam. Like once a year or so."
And as he says that he'll take up one of the beers and smiles wryly, "Old friends." And for a moment Clint crinkles his nose at all of them, nodding a few times before he tilts the beer back and downs a few swallows.
Of course that's the moment when a large bald-headed bearded man steps up next to the table, bracketed by his friends as he says. "Hey! Did I hear right? You said this motherfucker owes you folks some money too?"
One of the other men leans forward pointing over the shoulder of the first, "Cuz this fuckhead owes us four hundred dollars!"
"Ain't nobody throw darts like that. Ain't nobody!"

Laynia's southern accent catches Jemma by surprise but with the blushing and the stuttering that's easily covered. Stumbling as Jeriah shoves her, he gets a look of death for the quip, her jaw clenching a little as she thinks of the work back in her lab.

This is not what Hank meant when he said she should get out and have some fun.

"Recon. right." Jemma's mouth opens to deliver a lecture about not leaving the medbay when under orders but thinks twice about it and four times about the next cutting remark she's thinking of.

"What?" The question of the bruisers takes her by surprise "You played him at darts? Well, he can."

"Hrm? Oh yeah. He does. Jem pitched in to help him and Laynia try for some IVF. You know. They were having issues." Jeriah smiles a too-wholesome smile. "But she still loves him and I'm sure she'd hate to see him get beaten up."

The definitely-not-ex-soldier stands as he says that.

"And frankly I would too. C'mon guys, I JUST got back from Afghanistan and I don't want to spend my three day pass explaining to the MPs why shit went sideways on the first day of it."

He'll lean on that 'active duty' thing pretty hard. He's got some options if it doesn't pan out but you know. Maybe they'll back off. It's true that he's recently back from Afghanistan anyway. That's where he first ran into 'Jem'.

Channeling her inner southern-belle, okay, no, Laynia does not have any such thing - but - she tries to think like a norm when confronted with a bunch of burly guys about to beat the crap out of her boyfriend. Sure, Darkstar could level the building, but that's SO not a good way to deal with things! Innocents would get hurt, it would be a mess.

Thankfully Jemma makes her statement about how good Clint is, and that serves as inspiration. "I think you boys might want to think about what you're doin', ain't no cause to be upset because my beau here is the best dart thrower in the world." Cinnamon eyes flash with righteous indignation, and her features are suffused with ire. So yeah, maybe she is hamming it up a bit trying to impress. That's not a terrible thing, is it?

She blinks a moment when IVF is mentioned, she hasn't any idea of what it is! It wasn't really a thing until the year she was shot, for goodness sakes. But—she soldiers on. "Look boys, why don't we buy y'all some beers and make nice? Don't need to get in a tussle, do we?"

One of the guys to the side snaps when Jeriah mentions IVF, "The /fuck/ difference it make what kinda computer this guy's got!?"
The bald-headed man just /looks/ at Jeriah as if the man was speaking some kind of moon language, but it gets through to him. While his skinny compatriot snaps at Jemma, "Ain't nobody, he cheated!" He points at Simmons with /authority/ as if that settled it.
But the bald guy, London gets through to him some. "If he cheated you folks out of yer money, I say we get him ta pay up, together." Sticking on that point as if it was important, and trying to co-opt Jeriah to his cause.
Clint leans forwards and says, "Look guys. This is all good. You can go on and git. I promise I won't hurt anyone too bad. I'll be back in the office tomorra, mebbe not bright and shiny, but there." His back is to the men for now, paying them little heed at the moment.
But then Laynia gives him the shout out, world best, that's right so he leans over to smooch her cheek and says loudly, "Thanks, darlin'."

"Oh come on guys. I knows he's a pain the ass and as arrogant as all get out, but he *really* is that good. You would be too if all you did all day was throw darts. He's not good for much else, well except Laynia here seems to think so." Poor Jemma, she's cherry red at Londons words but she's going to try and use them.

"And Jer and I, we only have three days before he deploys again. Are you going to mess that up for a service man?" The biochem, blushing as she is, leans against the ex-soldier. Totally believable, right? Jemmas *so* good at this.

Clint gets the eye "You'd leave Laynia now? When …. well you know? It's time to make good our investment?" Yeah, truly outrageous, Jemma went there.

And no Clint Barton, they aren't leaving you here alone.

Jeriah sighs. Not at Jemma, because that's not bad for someone who is - and let's be charitable here - an absolutely HORRID liar. Nor at Clint because hey it's actually kind of decent of him that he offers to take care of it himself. But…

"Nah, man. It'd be kind of a dick move to leave you to handle this. Besides I ain't finished my beer yet."

He looks back at the rather burly men and then rather abruptly he's surrounded by a purple haze - almost an aura - and his hands are crackling energy. Last gambit before he actually has to hit someone.

"Alright guys, you're gonna make Laynia cry and Jem grump but if you insist we can do this. I'll even let you throw the first punch. Go on. I won't hit back until after you do."

"Mah beau ain't no cheat, buster. He /is/ that good." Laynia settles in against Clint for the moment, though she turns her cheek when he goes to kiss it. "'Course, ya dope." She answers. "I sweah, you got an uncanny knack for findin' trouble, hell, I bet you call it up and let it know your whole itinerary!" She says with honeyed exasperation and ire in about equal measure.

She looks to Jemma as she comments, and then Laynia's expression turns smug as hell. "Oh, he's good at one /other/ thing." She sultry-purrs. Yeah, she's definitely going to kick Jer's butt after this!

Of course then there's the whole purple haze, sadly in the real world instead of the brain, and nope - not kissing any sky. Laynia's eyes get real wide, and she burrows back into Clint. "I din't know he was no kinda super!" Yup, she is the image of scared girl, though…her foot is up on the seat, you know, the one with that switchblade? Yeah, funny how that worked out!

Jemma's words seem to get through to them, and the skinny guy who had been shouting at her looks a little confused. At the mention of him being a service man there's a bit of a nod as if that was getting through to him…
But then the sudden energy and crackle startles most everyone around them. Chairs skid and scrape, someone hits the jukebox but since it's electronic it just keeps on playing. There's a gasp from the folks near the pool table, and the men asking for their money. They all step back, the bald-headed guy raising his hands as if to declare that truly… he don't want none of this.
Though at that point, Clint gets up quickly, though having to slough off a bit of clingy Laynia though gently as he turns to the men and digs out that wad of cash from his pocket. "Look, here man. Here's $360, it's cool. Just… just say we played for some beer? Right?" He looks back and forth at the men who moments ago had been ready to throw down only now… not so much.
And the tall bald guy, he takes the money hesitantly, but then him and his crew back on up, stepping away. On-lookers still stare at Jeriah. A few people quickly get up from their chairs and move away. Music's still going. But all conversation near them has stopped.
Then there's a clatter of plates being dropped in the kitchen that causes a few people to jump.

It's Jemma's turn to sigh as things start to turn and steps to the side to give Jeriah room. If fists are going to swing, she's not to stop them.

Well she might. If one comes for her. Her cybernetic arm is good for something.

Then the others step off and Clint pays up. That earns a dirty look from the biochem. "Well now, isn't that better. Why don't you sit, Jer and finish that beer." She doesn't say *anything* about the purple haze. It will get Jeriah the eye from people in the bar but maybe they'll leave them alone for a bit.

As quickly as it turned on the haze and energy shuts off. "Thanks man." He says as the guys back off. Hopefully that actually resolved the issue and didn't just delay it for another time.

Giving the kitchen a slight shrug as he turns to sit back down he does the only thing he can think of to get the mood back where it should be.

"Hey Barkeep! Round for the house!"

Go back to drinking people. That's gonna be a bit pricy. Fortunately private military work pays well.

"You make the nicest friends, Clint." Jeriah says, his voice pitched low and clearly somewhat amused. He nods to Laynia and Jemma as if to say simultaneously 'good job' and 'sorry'. At least he seems somewhat aware that he pushed things spinning his yarns.

In his defense they both backed his play. Even Clint played along. Spies. They are good at this kind of thing. Waaaaaay better than he is.

And waaaay waaay better than Jemma.

"Think I will finish that beer 'Jem'…" The hacker-soldier says as he picks it up and takes a drink.

Seems pretty likely they'll be left alone a for a bit, so Laynia shifts to sit more properly, though still propped somewhat against Clint, might not be overheard, but they can still be seen. "Are you okay, Clint Barton?" Ah, THERE'S the voice everyone knows! Pure Moscow, though faint, still audible to the trained ear.

Actually, beer sounds good, so she takes some of hers finally, in fact downing about a third in one go. "Is not vodka, but is good, though why Americans drink it cold…I have never understood."

A sweet smile, to the table, and then she looks at Jeriah as if he were a cobra on the loose, again, for the benfit of any observers. "I thought this was to be covert?"

She's not /precisely/ chiding, but she IS curious.

"Is this point where girls get up and use bathroom while men do mannish things?" She asks the Biochem. "If so…shall we?"

Still quiet, still that sense of unease. Over at the bar the bartender is shaking his head slightly as he turns and says something to one of the waitresses. She gives a nod and moves toward the door into the back. But around the the customers look distinctly nervous, as if one of them just pulled a gun and waved it around.
Then Jeriah places the order for the house and… the bartender lifts his voice, "If it's all the same to you folks, maybe you might want to take those beers and finish'em somewhere else?" One of the other waitresses sort of gives him a look, but then the bartender adds, "Don't worry none about the bill. Consider it all settled up."
"Yeah, darlin', m'just fine." Clint says as he leans over and gives Laynia's hand a squeeze maintaining that facade. He reaches over the back of his chair and starts to pull on the jacket, slipping an arm into a sleeve and then the next. "We should prolly mosey I'm thinkin'." Then his lips twist a little as he adds, "Unless you guys wanna prove a point or somethin', which hey. M'all for that."

"I was told to find Clint, Laynia. Given he was on orders to remain under observation in the med bay, it's a good assumption he wasn't on a 'mission'. I came looking for Clint, not a secret agent." Jemma sighs. London is going to be all over her about this, she's sure.

Why Clint had been put on observation is a very good question.

"You did well. It was very impressive." The biochem gestures as the barkeep speaks up. "I have a car waiting for you, Clint. Out the front."

Yeah, she's going.

"Ah yeah. One of those bars where they don't like soldiers." Jeriah says in a quite normal speaking voice, shaking his head. "Must be a Navy place. Guess I should tell put the word out for the boys."

You know, put the word out that the bar doesn't serve army types. Jeriah isn't quite petty enough to be posting this to Yelp! as he speaks but he does consider it.

"Nah, I don't think we have anything to prove. As Jem is saying. Uber's here."

Uber? Jeriah can see the car that just pulled up. The SHIELD tags. And even the driver. She looks Asian and… kind of grumpy.

In response to Laynia's question the soldier just chuckles. "METT-TC."

Which, when she looks it up later she will find roughly means 'no plan survives contact with the enemy.' Only in American military acronym jargon.

"Thank you, Jemma." Laynia says, and then when it seems plain that the outing is done for the night she scootches over, and then stands, deliberaly missing her footing and stumbling. You know, for The Craft! A soft giggle, like she's a little tipsey, and then when Jemma rises shell take her arm, the metal one even, and whisper. "What is IVF?" She asks on the way out the door.

As they're making their way out the door, Clint manages to catch Laynia and tells her in a low rumbling voice, "Intense Ventral Fortification. S'medical thing." At that he nods, then walks with her to the door. He backs into it to hold it open for his lady love and once she's through… he wanders on out.

Jemma blushes at Laynia's question and then *stares* at Clint for that answer. She'll … clarify that later.

When they make the car lot, the doors to the SHIELD vehicle open. "Hello Agent May…" The biochem greets the driver as she steps back and lets Barton enter first.

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