5589/From Russia with Reversed Charges

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From Russia with Reversed Charges
Date of Scene: 14 March 2021
Location: Somewhere in Moscow
Synopsis: Natasha makes contact with Shield and Bobbi and more or less demands their future help freeing the captured Red Room candidates while Natasha attacks Mother.
Cast of Characters: Natasha Romanoff, Clint Barton, Bobbi Morse

Natasha Romanoff has posed:
Natasha's been gone for... a long time. Which isn't to say she's been completely invisible. If anything she seemed to make a big show out of turning up inappropriate dressed to a performance of Swan Lake, followed by a string of carjackings a week or two later, but after that, she's been a ghost. Always on the move, but seemingly never leaving Moscow.

    There's a been a development, though. A very old-timey spy signal started transmitting on a frequency occasionally used between Natasha and Clint Barton. Almost ironically, if there was any such thing as a hipster spy, but Natasha saw value in being able to get a signal out if all modern means were lost to her. She only shared it with Clint, however.

    The signal leads, curiously enough, to a single trash can in a crowded, busy district of Moscow. Should one draw near, one might hear a peculiarly chipper ring tone suddenly begin emanating from the bottom, beneath some trash.

Clint Barton has posed:
Clint went to talk to Bobbi after Nat's signal came in. She backed him on recruiting Nat, after all, and she's had his back since. Plus, this all started with Nat going off alone, he's thinking it might be best if he didn't just invade Russia solo as well.

He scans the area as the two of them approach the trash can, then seemingly stumbles, knocking the can over and spilling trash everywhere. Cursing, he starts cleaning up the mess he made, coincidentally picking up a ringing cell phone at the same time.

Gesturing to Bobbi, he leads her off to the side of the area against a wall, leans against it and answers the phone, holding it so Bobbi can hear as well. "Barton."

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Ops like this are exactly what SPOT was made for. Special Priority Operations Team. It's.. strange to authorise a mission without her boss Gonzales, who died recently on mission in Afterlife when HYDRA attacked. She's currently filling the role but without all the authority of access to information. Treading water, as she feels it is, but it has meant more time behind a desk than she'd like.

    So when Clint came to her with this mission proposal, she went through the prescribed motions, but was secretly happy to have an excuse to get out from behind the desk. The trip to Russia using well established over identities went smoothly as expected. Bobbi slipped back in to her St. Petersburg accent relatively quickly and sounded like a native once more. Not of Moscow, but certainly of St. Petersburg.

    Black leather jacket, a t-shirt that's too big for her with ManU on the front of it that she clearly stole from Lance, blue jeans, a black cap, fiddling with phone in hand as a prop as she leans against the wall not too far from Clint as he looks for the dead drop. When he signals to her she approaches and puts her ear near the phone.

    The last time she saw Natasha she was riding a fancy new plane filled with abducted red room rescues and Bobbi had just deliberately crashed her quinjet in to their plane in the hopes of grounding them. It didn't work. But it was Natasha and whatever weird game she's playing has her worried and perplexed.

Natasha Romanoff has posed:
    "Romanoff." Her voice is emotionless. She's more or less been trained not to physically or verbally express much emotion unles she specifically chooses to put on a performance, even if that performance reflects her actual feelings. With Clint, she doesn't feel the need to perform, usually. So that's familiar, at least.

    "I don't have much time." She says quickly, "And if they're smart they didn't send you alone."

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Bobbi figures they're being watched right now. Natasha would not want to do this blind. Security camera? good angle? vantage points? She might still be annoyed with Natasha, but the anger has faded, "Morse."

Clint Barton has posed:
He's relieved to hear her voice, even if it is in 'work tone'. He's probably closer to Nat than anyone else, and he's been worried. Some of that probably comes through in his tone. "So talk to me Nat. And it's more I chose to bring someone."

He looks at Bobbi, then also scans around the area, looking for too curious people as well as devices. It is Russia, after all, they like to keep tabs on.. well, everyone.

Natasha Romanoff has posed:
    Where Natasha is, it's hard to tell. The space is crowded, constantly moving, and most everyone is dressed for the cold. There don't APPEAR to be any security cameras in immediate view, so either Natasha's rigged something else, or she's had the courtesy (or the foresight) not to create such an obvious visual record of their presence in Moscow that... others would make note of.

    "Hmph." Is her soft response to Clint's assertion, and Bobbi's name drop. "Looks like we're all going soft these days." Trust was never really Natasha's thing. Clint has generally been the only exception, and that's only as far as anyone can tell. She's not quite... rational about Clint. He's just managed to be Important. "First thing's first. Why does Shield think I took those girls?"

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    By entering as Russians they are afforded more privacy than a tourist would get. That their covers have a proper lengthy history in the country, so much so they could each settle in their respective cities and simply be Russians, means they can operate under the radar. For all the hype about sleeper Russian agents living in America, America did the same to Russia. And SHIELD has been doing it to everyone.

    Now it's time for Clint to get some answers. Her obvious question of 'why did you kidnap all the Red Room rescues' is more than likely to raise hackles. She could feel the tension from Hill when she gave her mission report.. it was Clint who brought in Nat instead of killing her.. and it was Bobbi who stood up for Clint when he wasn't immediately given the benefit of the doubt. They have a strong stake in this.

    "Everybody back home is missing you," she says. A carefully considered set of code words. Translation: No one has orders to shoot you on sight. But then the question comes in... Bobbi can barely contain her eyebrows raising. In measured tones, all business like, she explains:

    "Someone tripped the fire alarm at the chatteau" (security at the facility was breached) "and the guests left a mess" (there were finger prints and footage) "But I still love that selfie we took" (I saw you there) "I'm going to tag you on social media" (I will leave the file behind). Natasha might feel like she can speak freely, but Bobbi is in enemy territory. SHIELD is not welcome in Russia and never has been.

Clint Barton has posed:
Clint listens to Bobbi list the facts in spy-ese. It's never been his strong point, he finds shooting things in the face is usually a good deal more satisfying, even if he can do the spy thing is he absolutely has to. This is why he likes hanging around with the Avengers.. he's kind of overmatched, but at least things are usually straightforward.

"Worried about you Nat. I know better, but things look messy. What can I do to help?"

Natasha Romanoff has posed:
    Wherever Natasha is, she shakes her head slightly at Bobbi's first statement. She's killed more than one person after using that line on them. Soft pass, it seems. She's quiet for a long moment. "That's impossible. I was-." Natasha stops. No, it's not necessarily impossible, is it? Her will's already been manipulated once, who's to say it didn't go farther than that?

    She doesn't have time to puzzle this out. She has to get through this quick. "I need you to get those girls back. And I need you to trip alarms before you leave. I've... made contact with an insider. Says he knows where they are. I don't trust him. Don't have anything better."

Clint Barton has posed:
Clint Barton snorts, "Great, now we're playing hot potato with a bunch of teenage assassins. Ok, so say we go take them back again, and set off alarms, which makes the getting out part a lot less likely, where does that leave you? Hoping we find a fake Nat tucked away with them to explain everything?"

Bobbi's head is probably spinning trying to keep track of the number of people who could be overhearing this extremely uncoded conversation. "I mean, you know I'll do it, but I don't get where it fixes the main problem."

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Bobbi furrows her brows. Natasha steals them, then wants us to steal them back? what bizarre game is she playing? If she had some grand plan, it would have been helpful if she'd told Fury.. then may be Bobbi wouldn't feel so dizzy from it all.

    She clears her throat and simply asks, "How loudly?" because heck she could fly a whole fleet of quinjets in to the country and start a small war and a huge diplomatic mess if there were grounds enough to do it. The usual surgical strike team is what's on her mind though. A trap possibly?

    Her eyes turn sharply to Clint as he makes the suggestion that there's another Natasha. She hadn't considered that, she figured Natasha was playing a long game, or had just flipped sides. 'You should have shot me' still rings in her ears every time the Red Room is brought in to her life. Or may be Natasha had no choice in any of it. That's the reality she'd like to believe.

    Of course, that does beg the question.. with her as 'acting' in charge of SPOT can she authorise an operation like this? ...do it and ask for forgiveness later? seems like the best way possible. Unless it's a trap and she sends a heap of SHIELD agents to their death or imprisonment. That'd look bad on the ol' SHIELD record.

Natasha Romanoff has posed:
    A fake Nat? That's a nice idea. Convenient. Nat doesn't typically grasp for convenient truths, but... it might explain the blood they drew. But that was AFTER they attacked Shield.

    Too many problems. Focus.

    "Something they can't ignore. Something that makes them think there's a chance to stop you, even if you're already gone. I don't know if they'll show up for a big public spectacle, but... I need their eyes on that building. I need them to send operatives that way. Just for a little while." She says, dodging the 'fake Nat' question. She's clearly planning something else, and whatever it is, it requires the Red Room higher ups to be distracted.

Clint Barton has posed:
Clint considers that, thinking it through. It's pretty obvious what she's looking for them to do. "It's a decoy play. But I don't like this, you shouldn't be out there alone. You're part of a team now, and you just took off and left us.. hell Nat, left _me_ behind without a word. Something's not right here, in big ways."

He looks around, still watching for anyone loitering too close. "A lot about this stinks. What if it's all a setup to get you to do just what you're doing, all by yourself without any of your friends to back you up? Think about it, you could be gift wrapping yourself in a big red bow."

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Bobbi looks less than pleased or impressed. Natasha doing a Natasha thing.. this is why these two are Avengers. Natasha didn't grow in to SHIELD, she was pulled in to it by Clint. And Clint is SHIELD through and through, but someone needed to stay with Natasha.

    Now they're talking to someone they believe is Natasha and she's asking them not to shoot. In a round about way.. trust her, don't put the bullet in her head, go rescue the girls from this building. In some ways, it's what she always kept telling Natasha to do - trust other people. Certainly she trusts Clint. Is this really the best time for personal growth though?

    How does Gonzales make these calls? Clint is going to try and do it regardless.. based on that she should make it a proper operation so he's not left out dangling. This needs to be done smartly. They will get the girls back _and then_ make some noise. That way the girls aren't in danger and if the first op is sprung as a trap, they'll be ready.

    "Wanda is wearing your red jacket," she says casually. Spy-speak for 'Wanda stole your jacket again', but really it means: We will do it, we will steal the 'red' room girls back. Also, hey, you have family. Layers. That sentence had layers.

Natasha Romanoff has posed:
    "Barton." Comes the voice on the other end, only to be followed by a brief pregnant silence. "Clint. You know who I am. You know what these people do. I would do anything... an-y-thing..." she stretches the word out slowly, "... to make them stop. I didn't know what was going on before. I didn't didn't know where I'd point you if you were here. Now I need it to end. The girls need it to end."

    Her voice becomes very soft as she says "This is the best I can do. Cut off the head, and hope the one that grows back is dumber than the last one. If it makes you feel any better... they won't take me alive."

    After Bobbi gives confirmation, Natasha begins speaking very quickly and frankly, she says "The address is written on a piece of paper inside the phone. I'll be waiting for you to start. If you see me, shoot me. Also..." she pauses, "... There's another Black Widow active. Blonde. Blue eyed. Pretty. Shoot her, too. She's good, but naive. Easily shaken. I..." Natasha sounds faintly frustrated as she says, "... I couldn't take the shot." With a soft sigh she says, "That's all. Thank you, Clint. Everyone."

    And without further warning or ceremony, she hangs up.

Clint Barton has posed:
Clint starts to answer, "Nat, we... " when she hangs up. A quick muttered "Dammit" is followed by his opening the phone and stripping the paper out for a quick glance before handing it to Bobbi.

"Thanks Bobbi. I know you're sticking your neck out again here. Comon, let's get the hell out of here and figure out what our next move is."

He's not happy. Nat's out there doing something likely very stupid, even if she feels it's necessary. There's another Black Widow apparently, like the world needs that, and he's stuck playing decoy and re-rescuing the girls.

Clint's not having a good day.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Bobbi accepts the piece of paper and then folds her arms. She doesn't look happy. Not one little bit. Does she blame Clint? may be a little bit. But she also respects the hell out of him and his big stupid heart. "Yeah I figured you were going to try and do it regardless so I should at least make it a real mission so you don't die or get captured. I can't even imagine the looks I'd get from the Avengers, heck, Stark, if that were on my head."

    She's making light of the situation. She starts making a mental list of the things they'll need -- ultra hot boring laser, rapid ascent lines, a working quinjet, a busted up quinjet, road worker uniforms, radar jamming and EMP, at least four more agents.. the mission is starting to take form in her head. "Welp, being acting head of SPOT was fun while it lasted.. might as well go out with a bang," she says with a smirk and heads off with him.