2020-05-10 - Tactical Ruminations


Agent Odame approaches with some new information, possible plans are discussed regarding the attack on the Horizon Academy and finding the assailaints.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun May 10 23:10:02 2020
Location: Horizon Academy - Emma's Office

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Theme Song



It is amazing how much can get done when you're willing to spend the money, and own several contracting firms to do the work, AND have connections and access to some very advanced tech. In the week since the Gala was attacked the school grounds show barely any signs of having been shot up, even the holes eaten into the ground have been filled in, though…as a reminder of what happened, Emma opted to have the circles filled in with contrasting colors to what surrounds them. There's also a placard in the student center in memory of the security guards who lost their lives defending the school. Naturally she took care of their families too, in fact going to them *personally* to see things done right. To say the least, Emma is quite passionate about Horizon, and quite devoted to her people.

This afternoon finds her finishing up some final touches in her office, yes, on a Sunday. A moment to lean back in her comfortable and very authoritarian leather chair, a gusty sigh released as she just lets tension drain from her frame. The woman is dressed in a white power suit, exquisitely tailored, hand crafted of course…Emma generally only wears coture, or haute coture. The blouse is a satiny material and for once the material is /not/ white but an icy blue. Sapphires are worn at neck, and ears, and a bracelet, all accented with diamonds of course and set in white gold.

Kwabena's third visit to the academy involves, once again, no visible sign of him being a government agent. Rather, he holds the appearance of a silicone valley venture capitalist; Nudie Jeans, a designer t-shirt in gunmetal gray, and a light blazer. No suit, no shades, no SHIELD emblems aside from the one he uses to identify himself at security.

Once escorted into the waiting area, he quietly retrieves a tablet from the messenger bag worn over his shoulder. It has remote access to the SHIELD database, and he takes the time waiting to check his files, closing ones that are irrelevant and preparing the ones that might become relevant.

After a few moments, Emma presses a part of her desk, speaking to her assistant outside. "Go home, Marjorie. I'm done for the day." The assistant nods crisply. "Yes ma'am, and happy Mother's Day. Oh, there's a gentleman in the waiting area, Mister Odame." Emma pauses a moment, and then nods. "Go ahead home, I'll speak to him on the way out." The assistant smiles. "Thank you, Miss Frost." Emma just nods. "Of course."

Ending the connection, she rises and heads for the door, heels adding a couple inches to an already tall woman, her steps suiting her middle name.

Once she exits her office, she offers Kwabena a friendly enough half-smile, moving to offer her hand. "Hello, Agent Odame. I was just leaving for the day. Is there something I can help you with?"

Rising when the door opens, Kwabena offers Emma a smile, as much as one of his can be called that. "Apologies for de late arrival," he tells her, and tucks the tablet to his side in order to greet her handshake.

"Dere has been some progress. I thought you might care to see. Dis will not take much of your time." A pair of eyebrows rise, wondering if she'll spare the time, or if he'll need to leave the information with security.

"No apologies needed, Agent Odame. My thanks for stopping by personally." Emma's handshake is just firm enough to say she's committed, but not enough to challenge, a fine line walked with consummate skill from constant practice. "Progress is very good." A moment to consider, then she leads the way back into her office. "May I offer you another vodka?" She motions for him to sit by the desk and then will get him one, this time a different brand, Absolut - an old stand by and VERY smooth in taste, might even be worth the grand a bottle it costs.

Emma does not partake, again, instead pouring herself a glass of lemonade, of all things. "I trust you've been well?"

"Well enough," Kwabena admits, and nods his head again to the offer of vodka. "I am very much more happy in field, den in office. Office is stale, and de coffee is so very bad."

The tablet is immediately withdrawn, and four files open. "But office has very good computah persons who can hack very well. We have narrowed down potential foreign financiers to four organizations."

The agent begins pointing them out, one at a time. "Russia. Afghanistan." Here he pauses, sliding his eyes up toward Emma with an expression of distaste as his hand slides across the map, headed toward Asia.

"North Korea."

That would be a most dangerous operation, indeed. His hand then slides down and westward. "And South Africa."

Drink delivered, Emma once more sits in front of the desk, one leg folded over the other as she enjoys her lemonade.

"Well, there's 'the office', and then /this/ office, very different things I'm imagining." Says the billionaire CEO headmistress. "Good coffee is important." She notes with sympathy. "Still, it is something of a tradition that government issue coffee is—distressing, is it not?"

Eyes of sapphire hue shift to the tablet, and she takes in the intel. "Interesting indeed. My own information tends to indicate that neither Russia nor North Korea are involved, but I will revisit those investigations." A moment to rise and get a thumb drive from her desk, and she offers it Kwabena. "Can you download the data, please? I wouldn't want your hacker's work to go unappreciated."

"I would prefer not visiting either," Kwabena admits. "My last trip to Russia was also for business, and it was… well, it was not a warm trip home." To that he grins a little, before accepting the vodka with a nod. This one is sipped.

A universal adapter is produced, and it automatically flips through peripherals until the proper USB-C is engaged. Kwabena attaches the thumb drive without question, sharing those files; they've already been scrubbed of data SHIELD deems cannot be shared, after all.

"I have some few contacts in Afghanistan. I would prefer not using dem unless absolutely necessary. Dey are Taliban. South Africa, we fortunately have a presence. It is a toss up, though. On site visits may be de only way to push any deeper."

"I will be honest when I say I have never really enjoyed North Korea, too—fluid." That's one word for it. "Russia, however, I have enjoyed on many occasions." Emma states with a smile. "Naturally if you have history, well, that will flavor things." The vodka is /smooth/, it is VERY high end, high quality, and the distinctive bottle is one used in many many Bond films. At a thousand dollars a bottle, it is not cheap but man - you do in fact get what you pay for.

Or in this case what Emma did.

"My resources in Afghanistan are less than stellar, but we'll focus on South Africa for the time being. Reach out to your contacts, to your 'presence' if you would be so kind, I'll speak to the people I know as well, and we'll compare notes, mm?"

The glass comes away from Kwabena's lips, and he eyeballs the glass for just a moment, a confused look on his face. Prevoshkhodstvo never gave them such quality beverages to drink.

"Yes," he agrees. "But, be careful. Dis is no slouch." His use of English slang is… well, it leaves much to be desired, even sounds funny when he uses it. "Peopah like dis? Dey get one smell of…" He stops, then, considering his company, and seems to be reconsidering the term. "One smell of trouble? Dey recalibrate." He lifts the glass again, though this time he doesn't drink. Instead, he eyed the silvery clear liquid, looking through it toward Emma's eyes. "Are dere organizations you are associated with? Ones that may also be at risk of an attack?"

"Oh no, they were clearly well funded and had access to advanced weapons and technology, possibly to supers as well. These are not small time players, whomever they are." Emma is definitely one to recognize high quality villainy, having once been a villain herself, some might say she still is, though she's trying very hard to do things differently - to wit: Horizon Academy, for one thing.

"Yes. Blood in the water draws them, if it is /theirs/ it sends a very different message and will provoke a different response." She looks thoughtful. "Not really, I am a member of the Hellfire Club with some standing, but my influence there is much less than it once was. Other than FI and my associates that worked on establishing this school, I am not a member of any organizations that we need worry about."

The X-Men (Cyclops specifically) and the Institute made it very clear she was not welcome there.

Information is a fickle thing. It means there may be no other places to look out for, which is good; it also means there are no other places to use as bait.

"Dere is… one other thing," Kwabena says, after taking another drink from his vodka. "I do not wish to hold you up, but, you may find it… useful."

A new file is called up, unlocked, and a security code followed by thumbprint identification allows it to be opened. It contains a map of the academy; at least, one that can be put together by public record and satellite imagery alike. Kwabena slides it around to show Emma; there are green lines drawn about that symbolize a frighteningly accurate representation of the security measures and patrols she has in place.

"Dis is… an endgame proposal. One to consider if all trails lead to dead end." Kwabena is watching Emma with perhaps a touch of wariness as he presses a 'play' button.

The green security lines are altered; many of the lines remain green, while others change shape and color, symbolizing changes to the academy's security protocol. Some lines yellow, others red.

"Wealth does have limits, and when limits are reached, cuts and changes have to be made," he suggests. "Reducing or changing de security protocols, laying off workers, and such things…" He indicates the yellow and red lines. "… create weak spots."

Blue lines then appear, which seem to be in some sort of a 'backup' position. "Which, of course, can be bolstered. In secret."

Kwabena's endgame, as it were, involves using the academy itself as bait.

Leaning back, he folds his hands and explains, "Only if all oddah plans fail, of course. As you said… blood in de watah."

Emma's gaze hardens as she reads the plan, elegant lips thin, her demeanor much colder than it was before. But not at him, not aimed at Kwabena. "No. That's not even on the table. I will not risk my students, my staff for such a thing. We'll just have to find another way."

A moment to rub the bridge of her nose.

And then she makes an effort to unclench, visibly letting tension drain from taut muscles. "I admit that the plan is solid, if I were me from just five years ago I'd have considered it." And then she shakes her head. "But I am not that me, I will not take measures that me would have found not only acceptable but laudable in the name of getting the job done. My first responsibility here is to protect my students. Nothing can interfere with that, least of all a plan that explicitly puts them at potential risk."

A soft laugh. "You are an interesting man, Agent Odame. Very much so."

"They… would not be at risk."

Kwabena swipes his hand across the display. It zooms in to one of those security details in particular, and standing there is a man. The man flickers, and becomes hexagonal shapes that dissolve into a mere drone.

"Holograms," he admits. "Very… very realistic. Very much not real."

Kwabena leans back, his expression very firm. "Dere are students here. Children. If it comes to it… it can be done. We have those resources."

An interesting man, indeed. A person with the mind of a terrorist, but the heart of something else. Cunning and brutal, but not without morality.

At the correction, and then the explanation, Emma looks far less closed to the idea. "Interesting." She looks thoughtful, and then nods slowly. "If other avenues, ALL other avenues, dry up we can un-shelve this plan and see about it." She allows finally.

Rising, she puts her glass in the sink, and will reclaim Kwabena's too if he's finished it.

"You've given me some very valuable information, Agent Odame, allow me to offer my thanks - would you care to grab a bite to eat? I have a table at the Hellfire club, and standing reservations at many of the best restaurants in the city." A moment of consideration. "Or I can have my chef whip something up, if you'd rather."

"Students, as well. All of them." Kwabena gestures toward the drone. "A simple 3D scan, takes… 27 seconds each." He then nods his head in grave agreement. "All oddah avenues."

This is also one SHIELD agent who doesn't like to lose.

The file is closed and loaded onto Emma's thumb drive; there is, of course, no detail around how those drones exactly work, but the recreations are striking. He finishes the vodka with a single drop, then smiles. "I have never visited Hellfire Club," he admits. "Am I dressed appropriately?"

"I gathered." About the students. "Do they also emanate bio-signatures? If so…that's some extraordinary tech." And she wants one! Her smirk turns into more of a smile. "All other avenues." She agrees, a solemn nod offered.

Not liking to lose is something that they have in common!

The drive is reclaimed once the last files are uploaded, and then Emma laughs very softly. "It is a fairly exclusive place, members and their guests only." The smile grows. "And I am one of the highest ranked members there are, you could be dressed in a burlap sack and it wouldn't make a difference. That said, I'm sure you'll be fine unless you wish to change into something more formal?"

"Dey can," Kwabena admits. His eyes sparkle a bit at talk of technology. "I do not undahstand any of these technologies, but, using them is not terrible."

As for the hellfire club? Kwabena tucks the tablet hack into his messenger bag. "It would be waste of time, yes?" he claims. "Besides, dese are not cheap clothes you buy in mall." He grins just a little before motioning toward the door. "I will have to leave some few things with driver, and can accompany you instead?"

"Mmm, that's truly impressive." And that gives Emma cause to consider the plan much more viable. Sure, wouldn't fool /here/, not if she scans for minds, still…that's darn good tech right there. "Indeed. I would hate to be limited to technology I had to understand, that would be very inconvenient."

A moment to shut down her desk systems, a quick check of the room, and then Emma smiles. "It would, yes. But…you're to be my guest, if more formal would make you more comfortable, then that's fine." Emma inclines her head and then makes her way to the exit, holding the door for Kwabena to follow after him once he passes through. "Very well, off to the parking structure, and we'll head to the Club in my car."

A chauffeured white Rolls of course.

Truthfully, Kwabena sees no issue in being himself. After all, there are times to act a part, and times to be ones self. In the extremely unlikely event that someone is watching the Hellfire Club, his appearance could send ripples down the line, and ripples always strike dirt.

Once in the parking structure, Kwabena quietly hands off the messenger bag to his associate and driver, and quietly explains that he will be taking the rest of the night off. Instructions are given to return to the Triskelion and update the file, before he makes for the white Rolls Royce. It isn't his first time in one of these cars, but, suffice it to say this trip isn't likely to go like that last one. No blood, no pieces of brain and skull splattered over the very expensive interior. Yes, this trip will be different.

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