2020-05-05 - Bounded Privilege


Agent Odame approaches Emma Frost with an offer of assistance in investigating the attack on the Horizon Academy.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue May 5 00:25:25 2020
Location: Horizon Academy - Emma's Office

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Theme Song



In the wake of the attack on Horizon, Emma has been working tirelessly to deal with the aftermath. She's spent most of the evening, much of the night (save for a few hours cat nap), and all of today working on the myriads of details. She delegates, thankfully she has two amazing and capable daughters who she uses every bit as ruthlessly as she uses herself. She is FURIOUS at the attack, though admittedly sort of expected something of the sort - hence the considerable security on hand for the event.

Eyes of icy blue are hard as she reaches out to every contact she has - and there's a lot of them - political, business, even shady. She hires private contractors to look into things, calls in favors, and helps with the repairs and clean up, though administratively for the last of those. She's far more use HERE, after all.

A man approaches the Academy; stopped by the police outside, he must only provide his identification to be allowed through. Once on private property, however, his credentials don't mean a thing.

This time, there's no tuxedo; no high tech, gunmetal gray skinsuit, at least visibly. Kwabena Odame is dressed simply in a pair of denim jeans, a dark wash in color; a burgundy shirt sans collar that hugs his chest beneath a blazer of a mid-toned tan. Not exactly the best with fashion sense, but then again, he was raised in a torture camp. He might have done better in a barn, and there were no preparatory agents to dress him this time.

Stopped by security, he provides his credentials. "Agent Odame. I know I am not expected," he says in his heavily accented, broken English. "Howevah, I would be so happy to see Miss Frost. I am sure she is so busy, but, I think she would want you to tell her I am here, yes?"

Voodoo has been stalking the grounds intermittently; as always, she and her sister have been trading off shifts between looking after Emma and looking after the rest of the school. Where Catseye stalks where everyone can see her, daring them to try anything, Voodoo stalks from the shadows even in full gosh-darned daylight. Alien-hunting ninja.

As such, there is no real warning as the gold-accented purple-clad curvy woman with the sword on her back and a blaster - yes, an energy weapon - on her hip just turns around the pillar to face Kwabena. « Mother. SHIELD agent from last night is here, asking to see you. I assume, since he did help and is not threatening, that we let him live. Are you receiving visitors? »

Emma's girls are out for blood, at this point. No one gets a pass.

Fortunately the security guard knows Pris, knows she's one of the headmistress's daughters, and that she's cleared full-access for the entire school, still, the young man starts at the sudden appearance. "Ah, well, here's /a/ Miss Frost, if not -the- Miss Frost, Agent Odame." Up in her office, Emma replies mentally even as she works on allocation of resources to speed the repairs. Thanks be to God that she has access to some very advanced tech and building resources to call on.

«Agent Odame? He is welcome, so yes, please spare him and escort the man up with every courtesy.»

Emma will rise then, and spend a moment rinsing her face in the restroom, knowing she is likely a bit drawn looking and wanting to keep up appearances. She has a reputation to uphold, after all.

Voodoo's appearance doesn't startle Kwabena; his eyes turn from what is clearly low level security to top level security with casual ease. The silver eyes stand out quite remarkably; when the light catches them just right, there is a reflection within much like those of certain nocturnal animals. They move from the slim band that reveals the woman's eyes, to the blaster at her hip, then back to her encased head once more.

It is the lower level security person's startling that causes a very small grin to tug at his otherwise blank expression. "Is not my intent to make insult," he says, and then turns his attention back to the stammering security guard. "But it is, as you say, de Miss Frost that I hope to see." His attention then turns back to Voodoo, his smile fading from existence.

The masked woman nods her head slowly towards Kwabena. Her seemingly vocodered voice - hooray shapeshifting tricks - comments, "He knows that. He's just also aware no one sees Emma unless Catseye or I say so." Most are not aware that they ask Emma telepathically before answering. "You, though, she will see."

The guard bobs his head and opens the gate, allowing Agent Odame through and then closing it.

"Tim, query all stations, and heighten the alert until Catseye or I am back." That said, Voodoo turns on her toes and strolls away along the walkway, allowing Kwabena to follow her. "Thank you for your help protecting Emma last night. My sister informed me of what you did." And then Pris read it from Catseye's mind, because details are important.

The stroll will take a good eight minutes from the gate through campus and up to Emma's office. More than a few of the guards seems startled to see her; she doesn't walk out in the open much at all. But they know to let her pass, and do so. The security systems all know to let her pass as well, so there's no trouble in reaching Emma's office. Pris does keep Emma updated, so there's no surprise of timing when she arrives and open the doors without an obvious signal.

Sneaksy telepaths.

"Agent Odame, Mother." Pris murmurs. She gets his name, every inflection and accent, perfect, matching his own. She has quite the talent for languages.

The guard nods. "Yes sir, as Miss Frost stated, after the attack security has been on high alert." Tim looks to Voodoo, and nods crisply. "Yes ma'am, on it." And he moves off then knowing that Kwa is well in hand with her, a mic at his lapel leaned towards as he relays per her instructions and does as ordered with efficiency.

Once they arrive, Emma is seated behind her desk, dressed in a demure power suit of stark white that probably costs more than most cars. Rising, she steps around the desk and offers Pris a warm smile. "Thank you, Priscilla." They're in front of a stranger after all, before turning her smile to. "Agent Odame, thank you for your kind assistance yesterday, it was most appreciated and highly effective. I was not expecting SHIELD to be on hand." After all, it is a UN agency without any local enforcement powers without being requested.

A graceful hand is offered, and then she turns and motions him into the office. "May I offer you some refreshment? To what do I owe the honor of your visit?"

Of anyone, Kwabena has a great appreciation for heightened security. Especially following such horrible events. An expression of respect shows, but he does not offer a verbal response beyond bowing his head in gratitude.

A smile is given to Tim when the gate is opened, and he moves into a position that remains behind Voodoo, but also off to the side, so that she can see him with more than just peripheral vision. "I would have done so even without de badge," he tells her. Which is a lie, of sorts… without SHIELD, he would likely still be a brainwashed terrorist. It's impossible to know just how he'd have reacted. Then again, without SHIELD, he wouldn't have been there. It causes a pause in his words, a slight slowing of his steps, as he considers the actual mind fuckery of it all; no longer the man he was raised to be, but quite happy with who he has become. So, not exactly a lie, but an admission of where his heart is today. "I only hope was not too bad for insurance claim. My methods are fast and effective, but dirty. Very dirty." He turns from his visual inspection of the grounds as they walk, attention now upon Voodoo. "But dere is no price on human life."

Beyond that, he's not much for small talk, even off the job. It is sure to make the eight minute trek quiet and peaceful, and ample silence to allow Kwabena absorption of the atmosphere. People react differently following a traumatic experience, and part of why he's here is to gain an understanding as to how the people under Emma's care are responding to the events. Many things can be gathered by way of silent observation.

Entering Emma's office, Kwabena's attention becomes centered upon her, after allowing a quiet, "Thank you," to Voodoo. He does not visually inspect her surroundings; only her, eyes on her face, making eye contact only as appropriate.

"Call me Kwabena," he tells her. "Most men from Ghana adopt a Christian name, but I have no name. Genetic examination tells me I was born on a Tuesday. Dis makes me Kwabena."

Offer of refreshment brings a smile to his face. "Vodka, with no ices. Neat, yes?" He walks into the office then, finally taking a moment to look around. "SHIELD asked me to come. Dey apparently caught word of kidnapping attempt, and were concerned something would happen during Gala. Because of dis, ah, nature of school, dey sent me, because I am from Powered Persons Unit." Full disclosure, of things that can be disclosed.

Voodoo nods towards Emma and steps out of the way, leaving Kwabena to the meeting as she herself instead crosses to kneel down beside the 'napping' purple lioness in the corner. She is quite sure Catseye is just closing her eyes for a bit to concentrate on what she can hear of the guards relaying commands and adjusting security watch. Meanwhile, she scritches the lioness and settles calmly for a bit. She does not interrupt their chat.

Emma is, in a word, stunning. She's also clearly a bit tired, though putting on a brave face, no doubt any woman who could do what she's done, risen to the heights she has is going to be no stranger to hard work, and working herself hard. Still, icy-blue eyes are clear, there's a keen mind behind them and if her 'mask' is hard to read, is that a surprise?

She does appreciate his frank look, the courtesy implicit in keeping fixed on her face, and the way his eye contact is carefully schooled. She motions for him to take a seat. "Of course, Kwabena, and I'm Emma." A faint smirk. "After all, you risked much and did not need to last night, it seems the least I can do."

Moving over to the wet bar, she finds a proper glass, fine crystal of course, and pours him a drink - the Vodka on hand is Chase, from the UK and definitely high end. It is served chilled, but not over ice, and though it is tasty it has a bit of a bite to it. He seems the sort to appreciate such, also - gluten free, bonus.

"Interesting that SHIELD sent you without my request, I suppose it would make sense to keep an eye out, of course." Emma allows. "Still, your assistance was most welcome. Have you any word from your higher ups? And though it was not requested before, SHIELD's help is indeed asked for and appreciated now."

She watches as Pris settles by her sister, a faint smile softening her mask a moment, and then walks to offer Kwa his drink.

A brief eye is spared to watch how Voodoo interacts with Catseye before taking a seat. Kwabena adopts a relaxed posture. He never was a diplomat, and doesn't care for that kind of work. He's not a spy, after all, and doesn't care for that kind of work unless he's going behind enemy lines.

"Oh, SHIELD does many things without request," Kwabena tells her. "I only do what I am told, and follow guideline." He accepts the chilled glass with an expression of thanks, but does not sample the drink yet. He's waiting to see if Emma will partake as well.

"I filed report. Since funding was from offshore source, is now international mattah. Dis is SHIELD territory now, but, I do not think they wish to…" He pauses here, considering how to speak the words in English. "To, uh… 'interfere' without invitation." He shrugs a little. "But dey did not send me here today. I came on my own. I want to offer my help, and SHIELD's help. You see, we do not want innocent peopah in danger, but you did nothing to put dem into dangah. So, we want to help find out who is responsible. I see two things. Dey will not come back, or, dey will come back, better prepared. Do you agree?"

He still hasn't explained just why he came here without SHIELD's orders, of course. No, he's only danced around that subject.

The pair of girls are clearly close, and there's no doubt that they're comfortable with their natures, it is kind of relaxing to see. The trust. That level of trust is something one doesn't see all that often, really. Not in the circles Kwa has lived in almost assuredly.

"Mm, I'm sure." Emma does partake, but not of alcohol, she takes up a tea cup from where i it was on her massive desk, and leans against it as she sips. Interesting that this woman, who has a reputation as a drinker, doesn't.

"Ah yes, the offshore account, I hope you do not mind that I impressed it…directly?" Emma is intent, studying Kwa's reactions, watching his aura but not scanning his mind directly, that's rude. Still, Emma can read a LOT in an aura, and she is very deft at picking strong thoughts and emotions out even without a direct scan, or more invasively, a probe.

"Quite the contrary, I took steps to protect, had measures in place to protect people." No question of that, the security teams were not military, but they were professionals and very good at what they did.

A sigh. "I expect they will be an ongoing problem, so…if your superiors at the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement Logistics Division did not send you, might I ask as to /your/ reason for coming?" She's not off-put, merely curious.

Once Emma takes a drink, Kwabena does so as well. His eyes visibly brighten at the flavor and the bite, and he looks up at Emma with an expression of appreciation and surprise. "Za storovia," he tells her, with unexpected vigor.

Funny, that a man from Ghana would use a Russian toast; stranger still that his heavy dialect seems to fade, as if he spent the majority of his formative years in a much colder climate.

The question draws a curious look. Why would she care about using her powers? Ah yes. The morality argument. Kwabena gestured dismissively. "Dese men broke into your school, and tried to kill countless peopah. You owe no explanation to me, Emma." As far as Kwabena is concerned, the use of powers is a given when violence is imminent. The checks are removed the moment lethal force is implied. Deep within, Kwabena not only justifies the action… he yearns for it. There is a secret aggression, a sort of violent bloodlust, that no amount of conditioning or education will ever break.

The question isn't unexpected. Kwabena considers it for a moment, meeting Emma's eyes while wondering why she doesn't just take the information from him. Clearly, she could. He finally looks down to his drink, swirls it once, then takes a larger sip from it.

"You and I both have history dat is… tarnished," he tells her, and looks up from his drink with a frankness that's matched by his tone. "No one knows who I really am, Emma. If dey knew, dey would not so comfortably let me eat with them, drink with them. And yet, here I am. Doing de good work. I was given chance to be something dose who raised me did not want me to be. But dis was my choice. Not SHIELD's. I feel personally vested in…" He gestures around. "What you are doing here."

Because Emma Frost is not kidnapping mutant children from third world countries and training them to become heartless terrorists. Sadly, Kwabena has no mental shielding.

"Za storovia." Emma toasts with that smirk intact. Clearly, it is one of her 'default' expressions, though the eyes are a bit warmer than earlier. It /is/ a bit odd that he's declared himself to be from Ghana, and yet seems more comfortable with Russian expressions. Interesting dichotomy.

Noteworthy dichotomy.

"None other than what courtesy demands, Kwabena." Emma can be a right bitch at times, and is widely feared in business circles, with good reason. Still, she strives to be polite, when she can, manners important to the woman - respect as well.

And it is that respect that prevents her simply deep-diving and /taking/ what answers she needs, not lack of ability to do so; simple respect.

A sip of her tea, the scent of it a bit cinnamon, a bit cardamon, a lot of things blended to a fairly pleasant mix. Emma listens to his reasons, measuring the man's sincerity and then she nods. "We do." She admits. "I remember the news items feature your actions prior to joining SHIELD." The power plant, the bridge. "I can only assume you were acting under some other agenda or mandate, by the sound of it you were compelled but are now your own man." The lack of shielding? That's nothing surprising, though there /are/ techniques even a non-psychic can employ to mitigate that. A brow quirks. "So. Are you offering some sort of 'off books' alliance?"

Called out. Kwabena expected it; you see, he prefers to have any advantage he can have in a situation. With friend or enemy; because sometimes the two become interchangeable. He fixes upon Emma's eyes when it happens, and nods his head. Nothing more needs to be said about it. His freedom and status is a complicated matter.

"Depends," Kwabena admits. "It can be one, or de oddah. Even both. But with that, I must be careful, and dere are certain rules I can't break. Others dat can bend." He lifts the glass of vodka. "What is it de Americans say? De ball is your court."

Another drink is taken, and he fights the urge to look away and catch the name upon the bottle. He can get it in his way out.

Anyone that /doesn't/ prefer having the advantage is a fool, in Emma's experience. Or a saint. Neither of which either of these two are. Sensing there's more underlying, Emma simply accepts the nod as intended. It is something she can understand quite easily.

Emma's smirk turns almost predatory, ooh she loves this sort of thing, Emma does. "And might I hope to know which rules and which are in which category from your lips, or must I infer?" Or take more direct action. Because make no mistake - Emma Frost cannot and will not take chances that can impact her family, her school, or her business. Not if she has any say in the matter. Surely this mindset, this sentiment is one that Kwa will grok in fullness, bone deep.

A smile as she sees his drink getting low, and then Emma moves to retrieve the bottle and places it on the desk within reach, even as she sits in the other chair in front to enjoy her tea in an informal position, this is not something she does all that often.

"Russian?" Kwabena asks, following a moment of frustration. He waits to confirm that she can understand the language, before changing to the tongue that comes much easier to him.

"The rules," he tells her in Russian. "There are so many. But under SHIELD, I don't really have jurisdiction limits. Sure, there's a huge difference between Switzerland and North Korea; I have to be careful not to exacerbate an international incident, and all of that bullshit."

He gestures with the glass. "But as I said earlier, this already is an international incident. A military style attack on civilian, private property, funded by an overseas benefactor. This is SHIELD territory. Within them, I have resources beyond belief, and a hell of a lot of flexibility on what I can legally get away with."

One could smell the 'but' a mile away.

"But I would need to report on my findings. And," he raises a finger. "Anything you disclose to me can remain privileged information, until it becomes necessary to disclose it to my superiors. There's a whole lot of 'what ifs' there, but… you know, whatever gets disclosed to SHIELD isn't public knowledge, unless the UN forces our hand. So, there's that."

He happily drinks the rest of his vodka, but doesn't reach for a refill just yet.

"On the flip side, I do have time off. What I do in my time off, with another person's resources, is my business, not theirs. It does mean that I have no protection to fall back on for the choices I make, and… I'm already an international criminal. Operating in this way will limit what I can do. No offense, but I've come to like my job, and my freedom even more. I won't easily risk that for you."

Emma nods once, at the question of Russian, and promptly borrows it from her daughter Pris's mind. Such a thing doesn't take long at all, and is something that goes even faster with a willing telepath on the other end, despite any skill disparity. "Da." She says with aplomb.

"The only limit I'm aware of would be that you don't have local jurisdiction normally, unless aid is requested, at least this is my understanding of such things." And yes, she replies in Russian.

Emma nods then, ceding the point that the attack is within SHIELD's purview due to the overseas accounts employed, though who knows where the attack originated? The contact was setup via the darkweb, after all, could have been setup from literally anywhere on Earth with internet access.

Her smirks turns to an expectant smile when that 'but' arises. "So…an alliance, extending me courtesy in matters I deem private so long as you needn't report findings, and of course so as not to risk your standing within the agency."

A firm nod. "I seen nothing wrong with this. I would be a fool to risk your standing as you're offering me an ally in a multinational agency with extraordinary police powers. Naturally, allies support each other, I think you'll find that my resources are also considerable, and can be made available to you in turn."

A sip of her tea. "Provided they don't cost me or mine unduly." This with a hint of laughter lurking behind oh so expressive eyes.

This is a VERY dangerous woman.

"Only reactive jurisdiction," Kwabena clarifies. "Until a scenario flips that proverbial switch." He nods his head. "SHIELD also very much understands that, there are times where privileged information must remain privileged, in order to protect the privacy of innocent citizens. I believe you're familiar with the terms, 'eyes only' and 'redacted'?" He grins in a manner that borders on mischievous. "They typically go in that order."

He reaches over to refill that glass, and takes a moment to study the label, filing it away in the 'eyes only' category. "I'm also allowed to extend agency resources to hired contractors of considerable talent." He gestures with the glass toward Catseye and Voodoo indicatively, the suggestion clear; he could, given reason, allow them to come on mission with him, and even be paid for it.

He settles back upon Emma then, and his eyes glimmer with a very subdued mischief. "And… should I happen to find myself in, say, Switzerland, on the dime of a woman who simply wanted to pay her thanks for help that wasn't demanded… and it just so happens that there is something in, let's say, that same region of Switzerland that happens to be of benefit to someone like yourself… like I said. What happens in my own private time is my own business."

It seems Emma, Catseye and Voodoo aren't the only dangerous people in the room.

Kwabena lifts his glass, smiling pleasantly with his face while that tempered mischief remains in his eyes. "Za storovia."

The glass is downed in a single shot, before Kwabena rises, as if to leave. "Oh." He reaches into his blazer, retrieving a card with his contact information and the SHIELD logo; a personal cell phone number is written on the back of the card, beneath said insignia.

"Will your daughter be escorting me out?" he asks, glancing toward Voodoo with a pair of raised eyebrows… and perhaps a wayward thought of reading the desert menu.

"She will, yes." Pris will escort Kwa out. Emma does take a moment to seal up the bottle, offering it with a graceful gesture. "Please, enjoy with my compliments. I think this is going to be the start of a lovely and fruitful relationship." And really, an expensive bottle of Vodka? Doesn't even blip on Emma's radar.

She takes the offered card, and then lightly touches his brow, impressing her own contact details directly into his mind, indelibly. Softly, her mind voice enters right after. The clarity of it shocking without the distortion air and background noises can make it is quintessentially 'Emma'. «Do not hesitate to call if you need assistance, Kwabena Odame. Indeed, feel free to drop by for dinner sometime.»

Her mind touch is withdrawn along with her fingers, and she smiles and nods to Voodoo, who rises and moves to escort the Ghanan SHIELD agent from the office, and the grounds.

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