2020-02-22 - T'Challa Always Has A Plan


T'Challa confirms the flower that was found the other day and has plans.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sat Feb 22 04:47:02 2020
Location: The Triskelian

Related Logs


Theme Song



Prince T'Challa, or rather the Prince formerly known as King T'Challa, did indeed come to SHIELD to inspect the recently captured plant extract and it did not take him long to confirm that it appeared to be related to a plant known only to grow in Wakanda. Specifically, it appeared to be an artificially synthesized version of that plant's sap.

That had begged the question 'how the hell did Klaue get his hands on it'. Given that it was being shipped in, it clearly wasn't being produced in Klaue's current haunts. The answer just came in after a couple of hours of combing through data. It is not good news.

"Genosha." T'Challa says, straightening up from the computer terminal he is standing at in a SHIELD work room of the type usually reserved for working with outside experts. "It was shipped to Klaue by a transportation company known to SHIELD and several intelligence agencies to have ties to Genosha and it's military."

And that makes things… tricky. Genosha is one of the few places on earth that SHIELD can't just waltz in and demand answers. Not openly and legally, at any rate.

"And it was moved within the city itself by an intermediary often used by HYDRA."

Oh yay. The news just keeps getting better.

Steve pauses in lifting his coffee mug to his lips at that last bit of news. It feels, for just a second, like the previous swallow of the drink wants to crawl back up his throat for an extra bitter reintroduction of taste. Genosha was worth the sudden introduction of a headache. HYDRA?

It's definitely going to be a migraine if the litany keeps up.

Leaning against one of the tables dedicated to scanners and other miscellaneous tech, the Captain blows a slow sigh. "Could be worse. Could be AIM's involved somewhere in there," he quips in a tone utterly droll. In a plain button-down shirt and slacks, the Avenger is definitely in office-civilian mode. "Who've we got to send as a diplomatic emissary to the place? Can't go into this thinking Genosha as a whole agreed to it. Could be that someone snuck a deal under the radar."

"Reverbiums involved, I don't see why AIM wouldn't be." Mari says quietly, she's perched on the edge of a table as T'Challa works. "Genosha and HYDRA? With a touch of AIM. Sounds like a badly written novel to me. Or maybe a pun - though I find little to laugh at about it."

"You want to send a diplomatic mission to Genosha?" Mari might not be an Avenger or part of SHIELD but she's been around long enough and worked with the the teams to know that one that does not simply walk into Genosha. "You? Me? I mean, I have powers they'll look at me hinky. You … I don't know."

"What does the flower do, T'Challa?"

Of all of them, Chris looks like he somehow got lost and stumbled into a super secret meeting after taking a wrong hallway from a college lecture. He's in jeans, chucks, a t-shirt whose collar can just be seen under the hoodie that is pulled on over it, the hood pulled over his head, his hands shoved into the pockets, and he sits cross-legged in an office chair, just watching the others with a kind of idle curiosity. He's a bit shorter without the armor, and he sounds exactly like the twenty year old that he is — not even old enough to drink legally. "So uh, they're making fake plant sap in Genosha and all the big bads are involved. And we can't just like ask'm nicely to stop. Any way we could like counter-act it? As something we can do here? If we can't do something there?"

"Asking nicely is a tried and true method." The Wakandan chuckles and nods at Chris. "Unfortunately the customary Genoshan response is to wave their hand and say 'these aren't the droids you're looking for.' It does not work, but it does make them most insufferable and uncooperative. We shall probably have to do something else."

And by something he means 'something probably dangerous."

"No evidence yet of AIM's direct involvement. Nor, I should point out that Genosha is producing this though that is a very logical conclusion and is probably true if they're shipping it."

T'Challa is lost in thought for a moment before he shakes himself. "The sap has unusual biogentic properties that can increase physical performance but also puts immense stress on the endocrine and immune systems. It can prove lethal in even small doses. Fortunately it does not grow outside of Wakanda and its sale is strictly forbidden. Clearly someone got ahold of some anyhow and is trying to replicate it. As to whom we can send to Genosha…"

He sighs. "Genosha is not a UN member state and rather dislikes the UN, so going on an official SHIELD mission. Wakanda DOES have some diplomatic channels there. If I asked very nicely I believe I could get us appointed as assistants to our charge d'affaires there." He even says it with a proper french pronunciation.

"Genosha COULD refuse us entry, but doing so would risk a diplomatic incident with one of the few nations that actually talks to them, so I would think they'll simply watch us like hawks instead. I would recommend keeping the number of people in the know small, though. Perhaps limited to just this room."

He's looking at Chris in particular and smiling a little bit. "You might be… particularly useful there."

That sounds feline and… why does 'useful' sound 'dangerous'?

Steve glances between Mari and Chris as they voice their thoughts. His coffee remains held at level to his chest, steaming merrily away and mostly forgotten. Now it doesn't taste so great. There's a weariness that pervades his poise as he leans, a thin cloud over the sun that is his spirit, there and gone again as he catches himself slipping into a temporary mild brood.

Shifting against the counter with the sounds of fabric and the click of a back-pocket's button, the Captain frowns. "Powell's right though. Boxes have already gotten beyond us. If SHIELD's science division isn't working on an antidote, they should be prompted to it. Nobody's gonna mind a correct dose once they get a hit." His eyes linger on T'Challa in particular. "What're you thinking, your highness?"

"Sending you in, could give Genosha a very valuable … hostage, too." Mari points out, none to happy about the idea. It shows on her face. "But you're correct, I suppose, the risk of that is minimal. If it helps, I could remain here and just worry about you all."

She is after all just a business woman and ex-model. OK, she's a super hero as well but she's not an official member of any team. Unless you count Team T'Challa.

Offering Chris an encouraging smile as T'Challa nearly purrs at him. Steve has the right of it though, in asking T'Challa his thoughts. "A way to enhance ones physical performance. What is he up to, indeed."

Christopher Powell is listening, really he is. One knee bounces a little bit as he drops one foot to the floor to push back and forth, twisting in the chair left, then right, then left, then right, then left, then… he pauses, blinks, stares at T'Challa and says, "Me?" His voice might have even cracked just a tiny bit there — not quite a squeak, but definitely not a particularly dignified response. "Uh, why me?" There's a glance to the others, as though perhaps he hopes that someone might have some insight into this that he doesn't. He could probably stand to show a bit of respect to the Ki.. err Prince.. but he's got other things on his mind at the moment, like why on earth he's looking at him like that. He squints.

"Well, Mister Powell, the fact is that Mari is a famous model and business leader, Captain America has been on trading cards since before I was born and I used to be a king, and still am a prince. While we can probably get the Wakandans to get us INTO Genosha, none of us are going to be able to move about without being observed. You on the other hand are a fresh face. Genosha doesn't get much in the way of international news so it is entirely possible that they will not know who you are. Therefore…"

The prince smiles in a rather feline fashion. "I think, Mari, that your celebrity can be of use to us. Let me explain… er. No, let me sum up."

"My thought, Steve, is that we should go. All four of us. The three of us can keep the Genoshan security forces and counter intelligence agencies jumping through hoops trying to figure out what we are doing there while Mister Powell gets the information we are actually after."

Simple. Most things are. Easy? Well. Easy and simple have a very complicated relationship. And they're currently undergoing trial separation.

Now Steve considers Chris. It's probably a little much, having the combined intensity of two experienced members of the world's diplomatic forces with their attention on you — Mari exerts a sphere of influence all her own, so even three separate powers in the end.

"Before you say yes to anything involving this, take a minute to think. You get caught, it's all of our covers blown. Thing is…don't think you will, but…" And Steve lifts a hand up briefly. "Can't countenance not being the voice of reason first before we start gearing up."

Somewhere, Barnes is simultaneously pinching himself and facepalming a la Picard.

"So in other words you want me to coo at them and be charming. Dazzle them with my brilliance and keep them distracted. The two of you will do the same, so Chris can get the information we're looking for. I like it and if it means I get to travel with three such charming gentlemen, then … I'm in."

It's as easy as that. Then again, Mari does have a reckless side and this just appeals to her. That and keeping close to T'Challa.

"What do you say, Chris?"

"Oh, right.. because I'm nobody," Chris smiles a bit wryly. For a moment there, he had entertained some notion that he might have had some particularly useful skill. It is what it is. Disabused of /that/ notion, he resumes his twisting back and forth in the chair slowly as three intensely famous people all stare at him. His brows tick upward though as he looks over at Steve and says, "No pressure, huh?" Then he shrugs and says, "If you don't think it's a good idea, then maybe we need a better plan. I'm fine sitting out if you've got someone else who you think should do it." This is said to Steve. He does offer Mari a bit of a smile but then turns his attention back to Steve.

"Not nobody, no. But you haven't had the decades of media exposure that Steve and I have. Media exposure that even the Genoshans can't ignore." And they can ignore a lot. Chris might have been caught on television but unless it rose to the level of international incident, the Genoshans probably didn't notice. Being on a literal isolationist island.

"It will as Steve says, be risky. But you were trusted enough to come on the mission that started this and I do not hear the Captain suggesting anyone else, so I will trust that you are more than skilled enough to handle this."

T'Challa glances At Mari, letting Steve say his piece about what he thinks of this idea and Chris doing it.

"Not just cooing, Mari. Do things that are suspicious. Let them think you are there to spy on them. They will suspect that anyway. Do everything you can to feed that suspicion without getting thrown off the island." Or in prison.

Steve will, presumably do the same. But in a much more Steve way. Which is to say a way that will have Bucky facepalming more.

"You're young!" Mari smirks "And believe me, sometimes it's nice to be invisible." She looks at T'Challa and grins. "Ah, so you want me to wear a trench coat and slink about the place? Look guilty when caught looking at doors that are marked Staff Only and generally making a nuisance of myself."

"Honestly, it sounds like fun. Unless I get thrown in prison." Mari pauses and thinks about that. "No, even that sounds like fun. It will be a story to tell my grandchildren and have my chidren scandalised. I like it."

She nods in agreement with T'Challa. Steve isn't say 'no' to Chris.

Shaking his head, Steve does finally take another sip of his coffee. It remains warm, at least, not offering insult through lukewarm temperature — that's just awful. His empty mug is set aside on the desk out of immediate potential problems with electrical items.

"You're an Avenger 'nd an Agent. You know what you signed up for when you accepted the invitation. T'Challa is right as it stands: you're not a known factor, but you're also not involved in anything nefarious. You've got no criminal records. You don't want to be in prison just like the rest of us. You also know the consequences if things go badly. I don't have an issue with any of it except for how mant times 'm gonna have to walk around in dress shoes all day." That, at least, is delivered with a mildly grumpy tone.

"Oh, no, I'm nobody," Chris reassures T'Challa. It's not an insult or anything. Chris has never been on television. Darkhawk has been caught on camera a number of times. But Chris Powell is quite literally about as nobody as they come right down to the boring part-time college student with mediocre grades because he spends most of his time superheroing around instead of attending his classes. To Mari, he says, "Yeah, I'm more than aware of the benefits of being invisible. I've got a mom and two brothers and the fewer people who know about me and what I do, the safer for them. So believe me, I've got zero interest in blowing anybody's cover, particularly my own." He nods to Steve, "But yeah. I knew what I was getting into when I signed up for this."

"Wonderful." T'Challa rubs his hands together in a manner that Steve will be familiar with and Mari will only sort of be familiar with. It's that 'I have a plan' look. T'Challa always has a plan. This does not mean that the plan is always good, or always works out, though.

"In that case I will put a formal request in to the Wakandan Embassy and see if I can get my… family to see eye to eye on this. Which really should NOT be very difficult. Before we leave though, may I recommend that we make an effort to… have words with the HYDRA intermediary. They might shed some light on the whole thing…"

Chris and Steve has seen the same files T'Challa has. The man is known to be reclusive and has well armed bodyguards so 'words' probably start with punches.

"Oh one other thing. If we are, as I suspect we will be, appointed to the post, there will be a ceremony involved. A very old and traditional ceremony that involves dancing, and face paint and shirtlessness for the men." And only just technically not shirtlessness for Mari.

Chris's nod is returned curtly: good. Everyone appears to be on the same page. Steve glances over at T'Challa and down at his hands. The smile can't be helped, neither can the drop of chin, because indeed, the Avenger does know of that particular little quirk of delight in the Wakandan royal. He also knows it bodes not well for those involved as opposition in this plan. Woe betide them!

The mild toss of his head to one side is rueful acceptance of this HYDRA intermediary. Maybe not the first person to choose, Captain America, in this process, but he has never had an issue with lingering on the periphery of things in order to make the point known: don't muck with his comades. T'Challa does get a longer, moderately suspicious look.

"…old 'nd traditional ceremony, is it?" he asks ever so politely. "Can't say 've ever been part of a ceremony like that. 'm honored."

Mari sees the interplay between Steve and T'Challa and cocks her head. The look on T'Challa's face - she sort of knows but that Steve recognises has her wondering. "What…." she starts and then beams. Brightly.

"Oh really? Then I really am going to enjoy this."

"Alright. Let's do this thing, then," Chris agrees easily enough once the decision has been made. There's a little bit of a smirk at the mention of having words with the HYDRA intermediary and it's clear that he fully presumes there will be less words than strictly indicated in that statement. The mention of an old and traditional ceremony involving dancing and paint and shirtlessness gets a little more squinting from Chris, but then a shrug of his shoulders. "Sure. Why not? It's warmer there than it is here, right?" Because shirtless dancing in February in New York would be chilly.

"It is, rather, yes Chris." Though the ceremony MIGHT be at the Embassy. T'Challa doesn't say. He just smiles. They'll do this and hey. Some of it will probably be fun. The parts that aren't desperately dangerous.

Well. Those might be fun too.

"You'll do just fine Steve. I might have to hit the gym a bit." This is… just not true. But he says it anyway and smiles.

"Well with that done, we'll go hunt down our HYDRA operative… in the next few days? Just let me know when you think the time is right. Or I can send my cat suited friend."

Either work, really.

T'Challa should REALLY tell Mari about that. Ahem.

"'m sure 'll be fine," the super-soldier agrees. A glance over his shoulder is towards the nearest break room and potentially the fridge. There are little stashes of food all over the Triskelion's break rooms as it stands, all marked for either Barnes and Rogers, and thankfully, no one's been taking them. It might be due to Barnes' propensity to give them his best dead-Winter look from beneath his brows. Serious business, that.

"We'll be in contact with you, T'Challa, about your friend. He'll be a necessary asset in this mission. Let us know about the ceremony in turn, if we need to bring anything of our own to it."

"I'll help you work out, T'Challa." Mari is grinning like the cat who got the cream. There's perks to what she does and this is one of them. "I'm not putting you in danger, T'Challa. Ask Black Panther to come along or I can."

Yes. He might need to tell Mari about this and soon - else she's likely to find out.

"I think I might make some commemorative robes for us."

Seeing Steves glance to the break room, Mari nudges T'Challa. They should be going.

Christopher Powell is going to hold onto the hope for someplace warmer than New York. Don't dash his dreams of warmth in the middle of February, T'Challa. He continues his idle swaying back and forth, back and forth as they talk, that kind of restless energy running beneath the surface. "Whenever you guys are ready, I'm good to go." There's a glance between Steve and T'Challa when the gym is mentioned and he rolls his eyes just a little bit. "You're both pretty," he comments dryly, being the shortest, leanest, and probably /least/ impressive with his shirt off in the room. Then he sits up straighter and says, "Oh.. yeah! Is there anything we should like, bring with us? Is this one of those like gift times? Anything I should know to like, avoid awkwardness or potential international incident?"

"A small token of appreciation is customary, ideally something made of some natural material. And I should point out that if you give something extravagant then the rules of hospitality will demand an equally extravagant gift in return so… perhaps do not do that or the night is going to get very ostentatious very fast." No one does extravagant like a monarchy, after all.

"Well. We will be in contact then. Good to see you both again, Chris. Steve." It's good to see Mari too but she's coming with him. They have a patent office to visit and THAT sadly is going to be a lot less interesting than this.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License