2020-03-04 - Hidebound In City Hall


T'Challa and Mari go to visit Pepper and are … tracked … by a Coyote.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Mar 4 05:42:10 2020
Location: Stark Industries

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With all that's been going on, Mari hasn't had a lot of spare time to catch up with Pepper but with Klaue moving in the city and the blooms coming in, both she and T'Challa agreed it was way past time.

Which is why the ex-model and the Wakandan ex-monarch have just been shown to Peppers office. "Pepper, thank you for taking the time to see us." Mari smiles as a security guard comes in just behind them.

"Uh, excuse me, Miss Potts?" The Guard sounds unsure and has a … large … dog … is that a dog? …. on a makeshift lead beside him.

Pepper stands from her desk and greets Mari and T'Challa with a smile. There's already tea brewing. "I'm glad I had a bit of free time today. Please, have a se—"

She looks at the guard and the … dog? that he's got with him. Her eyes go from the dog to Mari to T'Challa and back. "A friend of yours?" In an almost entirely unconscious gesture, her right hand covers the inside of her left forearm despite wearing a long-sleeved blouse. She doesn't sound disapproving of the quadruped, merely a bit surprised and questioning.

As soon as Mari and T'Challa are in sight, Jesana drops the minor illusion that makes her look like some sort of shepard mix and now looks like a very large very pretty coyote. She gives Mari a toothy grin and wags her tail in T'Challa's direciton. Looks around at the office and the important looking woman Mari is talking too and blinks. Hm. She might be interupting something important. She hopes not but these two weren't entirely easy to find. Still, she'd managed and wanted to check in and see how Mari was doing and if things have progressed with the underworld stuff.

The coyote turns her head up looks at the Guard. When he glances down she winks at him. She will wait til he's gone though to shift. No need to startle anyone more than she has.

"Uh. No. I do not believe I have seen that dog bef-" He stops when the dog changes into something still doglike but much, much larger. "I might know that dog. Er. Jackal. Um…" What was it again? Forgive him, still, he's only seen coyotes once and while it was quite memorable the word apparently didn't stick.

"This does actually bear somewhat on what we wished to talk to you about. Mari and I wanted to discuss ways to help people still in the Zone. Well, additional ways, since you are already assisting us with what we are doing now. We ran into this, er… canine… whilst exploring those possibilities."

And exploring the zone, dangerous as that is.

Mari blinks at the dog and frowns as Pepper speaks, eyebrows rising as the shepherd 'all american' becomes a coyote. "Coyote, mpendwa…" she murmurs to T'Challa. "That's … Jesana. An … acquaintance, you might say."

The coyote gets a quelling look from Mari. Had she followed them here? Or was this just a coincidence?

"As T'Challa says, we met her in the Disaster Zone one evening while we were doing some investigation."

"Ah." Pepper looks at the shepherd-now-coyote for another moment, and seems surprisingly okay with this rather unusual meeting. She gestures toward the couch and chairs in one corner of the office. "Please, have a seat."

She nods to the guard who leaves and closes the door.

She busies herself with carrying the tea over for them. "I have heard that there are some people who refuse to leave the Disaster Zone despite all of the dangers there. I can't say I entirely fault them, but I do worry as well. I've already asked R&D to speed up the development of their cargo-capable drones so we can use them to carry supplies into areas that are difficult to reach even on foot."

Her eyes go to T'Challa and roll and the coyote gives Mari a look of long suffering patience. Then she catches the rest of what T'Challa says and blinks. Wait, there are people trying to live in that mess? She'd seen a few in passing and sented others but just figured they were looking for salvage or something. Jesana sniffs in Mari's direction, checking for signs of illness or plague. Those things they fought had done a number on her and she'd been worried. Usually she's pretty damn hard to hurt. Apparently weird magical underworld shit has an effect though.

Nodding at Pepper in thanks, after the guard leaves, Jes wriggles out of the lead and shifts to her human form, a tall and muscular native american woman with long black hair. She's wearing a white leather top and skirt that show of a remarkable amount of skin and a lot of turquiose and silver jewlerly. She sits on the couch and smiles. "I didn't follow you so much as track you. I wanted to see that you were okay after all that." She herself is still bearing some well and semi healed slashes and pecks. "Thank you for allowing me to join you." She tells Pepper.

"Ah yes. That is the right… coyote. And there she is." The not-dog form of Jesana, the surprisingly evasive woman when it came to who she was and where she had been. Though she's clearly… special.

Coyote. It's difficult for the T'Challa to form the word. He's good with languages and quite fluent in English but that's a strange word. Being as it is not STRICTLY speaking English, after all.

"I am well and I believe Mari is well too. Tracked us did you? Uh, Pepper, this is Jesana. Jesana may I introduce you to Pepper Potts, the most important person in this company…" Possibly the most important person in this company who isn't the owner, possibly just flat out most important.

"Secure supply lines will help. I have been thinking what we could do about power. It costs a lot of money to run diesel generators and they get stripped for parts by scavengers. But if we could somehow get a few of the buildings powered again we could make life a lot more livable for those people, and make security easier."

Now T'Challa looks to Mari and then Jes as he takes a seat. "The trouble is there are mercenaries operating in that area under a very, very bad man. Mari and I have spoken to SHIELD about it, but in the mean time if we put anything high tech in there, it's quite possible that it will get stolen or the people it is supposed to help will be attacked." So security is a MAJOR concern.

Mari sighs as Jesana appears as a woman. "We are fine, as you can see, Jesana. I told you where you can find me, if you wanted. It would be better if you did that next time." McCabe Industries. They're used to Mari getting … interesting … visitors.

Taking a seat next to T'Challa, Mari nods. "The drones will help , most certainly. As T'Challa says though, power is our next concern - not withstanding getting these people their paperwork back - but with the mercenaries in the area…" She shakes her head. "Someone has 'retained' a group of local gang bangers and equipped them well. Those gang bangers are using their windfall to create side gigs."

"I was hoping you'd have some news on City Hall, as well."

Well. So much for having the drones carry portable generators into the Disaster Area. "Getting power restored to the area is going to depend heavily on whether or not that section of the city power grid is damaged too badly to activate as-is. But I can at least found out if it's possible or not."

After getting everyone a beverage of their choice — sorry, no liquor — Pepper settles into a chair by the couch. "I'm not sure there's really anything I can do about gangs trying to make the area even more of a disaster. SI's security isn't exactly a private police force." Though it likely comes very close to qualifying.

"City Hall," she sighs. "That place is so deeply mired in red tape I'm amazed they can get the lights turned on each morning." In other words, no news ISN'T good news.

Jesana perks up. She wouldn't call herself an assassin, not really. She thinks of it as hunting because for her, it is. This is something she could do. "What kind of bad man? A human or a mutant or something else? What about the mercs? Do you want them captured or gone?" She considers for a moment, a speculative look on her face. It's true she's in need of large sums of cash for a plan she has at the moment but she's also in need of more contacts on the right side of lady law. "I'll do it for free. It'll be fun." She grins. It's a very predatory grin.

"And I am truly glad you are well." She had been worried and glad she found them and took the brunt of damage. She'dve been half convinced it was some weird dream were it not for the wounds. "I could also do it in a way that would..discourage the criminal element from intruding for awhile." She can be quite terrorfying when she wants but when you don't have a problem with killing people and are willing to do it in creative ways, and then make creative use of those deaths, it isn't hard. She's been doing this for a very long time and is quite good at it. There's always people that the law has failed who want justice or veangence or just plain to be protected. She helps the good while satisfying her wild and chaoctic side. It's a win-win. Jesana just grins at Mari in response. She likes testing her skills and she'd wanted to learn more about these people. She quiets then to sip her tea. City Hall is not a thing she can help with.

"I suspect that, given the damage, city hall will be reluctant to commit the resources it needs to fix the problem. Which leaves us with outside solutions. Like generators. Stark Industries is well known for it's energy technology. Is there anything you can do either on the infrastructure or generation front?" After all, if you need power where better to go than the world's leading expert in how to get it from A to B.

"Really? Would you be willing to guard those people Jesana?" It would be difficult. She'd have to patrol a lot, gain their trust and the sleeping accommodations and food would be… iffy. But if she could do it, well, she seemed effective and that would be one less thing to deal with on their end. Because they're going to have to chase ghosts a bit. And Jes might help with that too.

"We've been having problems with a Mister Delaney in the Department of Environmental Protection. He's insisting on a number of lengthy, and costly, impact assessments. All pro-forma, I know, all things that the law gives him the power to ask for but it sort of seems to be missing the forest for the trees, Pepper. I don't suppose you know him at all?"

Mari can attest just how annoying he is.

"If you could Pepper, that would be wonderful." Mari says. "If anyone can help with the power, it's Stark. And when you get a moment, we should show you the work that's been done down there. It's not a lot in the scheme of things but it is given the situation."

Jesana gets a considering look "We're not in the habit of putting people in danger, Jesana and Klaue is an *extremely* dangerous man. If you want to work with us, we'll discuss how that can be done. There's a few that we know that have … scores … to settle."

As to the rest though, Mari nods "If you would protect the people, that would help us immensely. There's a group of us that patrol the Disaster Zone but most of it is done at night and with this change, it's keeping us busy."

At Delaney's name, Mari sighs. "That man. Look up hidebound in the dictionary and you'll find a picture of him. He's very literal in his interpretation of ordinances, Pepper, and could do with someone to point out other … ways of reading things."

"That's exactly the roadblock I've been encountering as well, even when I offer SI resources to survey the infrastructure." She sighs again. "I'll talk with Legal and see who they have to go to City Hall and get them to give us at the very least to start annoying them until they agree just to get us to go away."

She looks over at Jesana. "If you do decide to help inside the Disaster Zone, maybe R&D can program the drones to carry the supplies to you instead of dropping them off in the same pre-arranged place that could end up being a garget very easily."

She shakes her head no at the name Delaney. "I don't, but I can very quickly find out." Well, JARVIS can.

"I'm not guard, I'm a hunter. I can protect them by getting rid of the problems, and maybe hang out for a bit and discourage new ones from moving in but then I have other work to do. If that isn't enough then I'm not sure how to help these people. They won't be safe with some asshole and his hired army going at them." She could stay a few weeks or as long as it took to root them out but after that..

"I can do something about some of the ghosts though and I'm working on that. I just need a few more supplies and I'm awaiting them. You could definitely do that with the drones and I can make sure the supplies get where they need to go. That's a good idea." She understands people not wanting to leave their homes. She would like to do something for them.

"Well, that will probably help, so if you'd do it I would appreciate it. The people might help you. Tell you where to hunt." Give her scooby snacks, though he doesn't say that. Instead he looks out the window toward the DZ.

While he does a voice speaks up. "Miss Potts, Mister Tamworth from Finance would like you to come to his floor. He says there are a few things he would like to go over in person about the executive accounts." Yaaaaay finance.

"These people have been through a lot and they are slow to trust Jesana. But if you can earn their trust, you will find them very steadfast. Mari, what more do you think we might do?" While Pepper is busy they can at least talk about that, even if they're talking on the way to the elevator.

Pepper'e eyebrows draw together at the mention of ghosts, but before she can ask she's informed that Tamworth is asking for her to talk with him directly. Again. Closing her eyes and counting to three, she finishes her tea and stands.

"I'm sorry, work calls. You're all welcome to stay here if you like, but I have no idea who long this is going to take." She detours to her desk to get her phone and tablet, then is ready to walk out the door to head over to Finance.

Mari looks at T'Challa and wisely doesn't say anything on that matter. "What we might do, T'Challa?" She considers and watches as Pepper gets ready to head to that meeting. "Lunch, soon, Pepper. Away from the office."

"These people need to feel that they're not going to be dispossessed. That will be allowed to stay in the homes they've been living in. If you must hunt, Jesana, find the small groups that are annoying them. Show these people that they can come to you if they need help. "

After all that's worked for Mari and the Black Panther.

"What supplies do you need and is this something we might help with?"

"It's okay, I have some ideas how to get them working with me. I've been doing this kinda thing a long time. I don't need anything any thing at thte moment. The stuff I'm waiting had to be sent from somewhere special is all. The rest I can handle on my own. If I need anything brought in I have a friend who might help." She thinks. She's got weapons covered, won't need much shelter and has a few tons of ready to eat very high calorie meals in storage in various places. She should be able to manage.

She has no idea why Mari seems resistant to the idea of her getting read of the head honcho but whatever. If he gets in the way or she gets a shot at him she'll take it. She can probably give these people some tips on defending themselvews too and certainly on security. Still she wonders how sustainable it will be for them to stay long time. She reckons she'll find out.

It is because the head honcho is Ulysses Klaue, a very clever very mad man who always seems to have a trick up his sleeve and is bad to take on solo, but they don't say that. She might find out herself soon enough. Hopefully not to her cost.

"In that case you should meet Mari's other friend, soon. I am sure she can arrange it. He is in the zone often enough and he is a good person to know, or so I am told."

Mari gets a bit of a wink. T'Challa of course knows full well that he is a good person to know. But Mari doesn't know why he knows that. Ahem. He's going to have to deal with that and soon.

Not just because the head honcho is Ulysses Klaue but also because Mari doesn't really know Jesana's abilities. The woman seems capable but it would be akin to murder to send an unseasoned hero against the villain and Mari wouldn't do that, not at all.

T'Challa gets a nudge. "I have more than two friends, thank you very much." She kids. "But yes, you should meet the Panther as well as a couple of others I know. Soon. And he is a good person, very much."

Jes raises a brow. Panther? Okay. She's been meeting all kinds of interesting people lately. New York is fun and a lot more exciting than where she'd last been. That's for damn sure. "Sure. I'd love to." She's not quite ready to reveal what she is to these people. She needs to know them a little better. It does finally occur to her though that they don't know how old she is or how good she is and she starts to get it.

With the exception of that guy in the park, she rarely trusts people without knowing them well and what she truly is, that's something she hides most of the time. It's better that way. Probably she'll tell them eventually. If she thinks they'll believe it. If not, well, they'll at least learn she's freaking strong and powerful. She does laugh at the interaction between the two. They're cute.

T'Challa smiles. They shouldn't really hang out in Pepper's office though it was nice of her to offer. "Now, I am feeling lunch. There's a deli down the street and a Ruben sounds like just the thing. Shall we?"

He's already headed out the door. Mmmm food.

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