Chapter 1: Contact from the Dead, and Mysterious Phone calls that Don't Exist
After her internship with Dr. Foster, Darcy returned to college to finish her degree under the watchful eye of SHIELD. The only reason that she knew they were watching her was because she had seen the agent assigned to follow her on occasion. Darcy thought it was funny that she could point him out when he was supposed to be sneaky, and had a great time losing him for a few hours every night. Months had passed since the events of New Mexico, and she only had a few more weeks before finals and graduation when she received a call, a call from someone who is supposed to be dead.
Answering her phone with her usual sarcastic greeting of “Thank you for calling Willowdale morgue, where you stab them and we slab them. Which body can I direct you to today?”
“Ah, I missed your brand of snark missy. Whatever you do, don’t say my name I am technically still dead.” The masculine voice came over the line, shocking Darcy enough that she did a great impression of a goldfish. After a few tries of talking, and nothing coming through “Darce, are you okay over there?”
“You- you… but they said, and I…” She floundered for words, and if she was honest with herself, she really just didn’t know what to say to the man whom she loved and had been informed that he died.
“Yea I know, we were set up and faked our deaths, but I needed to hear your voice, I love you and I’ll call you again as soon as I can and we’re in the clear. Oh everyone says hello, and I gotta run now.” The call disconnected and still Darcy sat there in the coffee shop, shock clearly shown on her face. At least enough shock for the agent tailing her to sit across from her and try to get her to snap out of it.
“I… I have to go.” With those words Darcy stood up and quickly exited the coffee house practically running home. She didn’t even notice that the agent that followed her everywhere quickly got on his phone and called someone, not even bothering to follow her.
“Sir, someone just called Ms. Lewis and whatever it was they said may have spooked her.” The agent said, slowly making his way out of the door and toward where his charge should be.
“Thank you Agent, I will look into it. Did you make contact with Miss Lewis?” Coulson asked.
“Yes, she seemed to be going into shock and I wanted to make sure everything was alright. As soon as she snapped out of it, she took off. I’m following her now.” The agent stated, his longer stride catching up easily to the shorter girl.
“Alright, do not make contact again just follow her and make sure she doesn’t talk about what happened. Your relief will be sent within two days.” With that said the phone clicked and beeped signaling the end of the call so the agent stuffed it into his pocket and followed the shorter woman as she walked into a bookstore and straight towards the computer section. He hadn’t known she was into computers; then again he also wasn’t cleared to know what had happened in New Mexico but he; as had everyone, heard about the laptop that they couldn’t hack into. So maybe she was into computers.
He watched her from an alcove as she made her way slowly through the computer section picking up a couple of books and skimming them before putting them back on the shelf with a shake of her head and what looked to be muttered curses. Apparently she wasn’t finding what she was looking for, before she looked up and directly at him before giving him a grin that made the hair stand up on the back of his neck.
He was thankful when an associate went over to her to assist so that he could get a better vantage point to watch her, and hopefully she wouldn’t make him out again. That grin had been fucking creepy, and it scared him that someone who was no taller than five feet four inches could grin in such a cold and detached way.
Oh she knew he had been following her, it didn’t take Jake’s genius-ness to figure it out, especially after what happened in New Mexico. The only thing that had surprised her was the call from Jake, that had thrown her for enough of a loop that her personal agent stalker to come over. Now that she knew exactly what he looked like in civilian clothes she’d be able to pick him out in all her settings. It would make getting away from his watch easier, and since she was sure that he had made a phone call to Agent I-pod thief it was only a couple of days before the watch changed.
She would have to be out of there before that happened, so much for graduating and collecting her diploma. Maybe she could get all her classes switched to online and do it that way; it would be easier, claim a family emergency and then switch her classes. Hopefully the college would do that for her, especially since it would get her out of most of her teacher’s hair. They really didn’t like her; sometimes she was just as bad as Jake rubbing people the wrong way.
Agent Phillip J. Coulson was having a good day, at least he was until the agent trailing one Darcy A. Lewis called. Apparently following meant trying to get her to snap out of shock with one phone call. However, that worried Phil because nothing that happened in New Mexico had shocked the young woman into speechlessness. So it was strange and worrying, and he didn’t know what to do about that.
Sighing he rubbed the bridge of his nose before standing from behind his desk, he needed to go talk to someone in tech to get a trace on Ms. Lewis’ phone for the last incoming call. Hopefully, it wasn’t something that would make his day worse.
Apparently it was enough to make it worse, and he cursed his slightly prophetic thoughts from earlier, he knew better than to say them.
There was no last incoming call, not from the time range that the agent tailing her suggested. The last incoming call had been from two days before and from her mother. Yelling at her, and that was normal for her, mainly because she chose to never settle in college and finish her degree. Which sounded about right from the impression that he had gotten from Darcy when he had met her, she seemed flighty and not a settling down type.
“We’re sorry Agent Coulson, but there are no records besides her mother’s incoming call from two days ago to suggest that she had gotten a call today. Are you sure that the target didn’t make the call up?” the tech specialist suggested.
“That is a very serious consideration considering that you cannot find evidence of the incoming call. However, the ‘target’ as you call Ms. Lewis was speechless and shocked. If you had ever met this young woman you would know that it is very hard to have her be speechless.” Coulson said as he stared at the monitor that was showing phone records for the past three days. “Thank you for your work,” he stated right before he left the room.
Pulling his cell phone from his pocket he pressed the speed dial number for Tony Stark and hoped that the man would answer, or at the very least he talked to Ms. Potts or Jarvis. The phone rang twice before the man in question answered, “Agent Agent so nice of you to call is there something I can do for you?”
“Mr. Stark, I need for you to do something for me, which might or might not take a lot of time, and is somewhat of a puzzle. One of the people we are tailing received a phone call today was shocked speechless and so far we have found no call record for this call. Do you wish to look into it?” Coulson asked, he hated asking for anything from Tony Stark, but the man was a technical genius and he would be able to figure out what happened.
“Oh? A puzzle, and may I ask why you are following around a civilian? The name of the person, what time the call was made and all relevant information needed? It shouldn’t take more than an hour to have the information you want.” Tony stated, arrogantly proud of being able to have a puzzle that he would be able to crack, and he’d make Agent Agent owe him one.
“Yes Mr. Stark a ‘puzzle’. I cannot tell you why we are tailing a civilian, it’s classified. The young woman’s name in question is Darcy Lewis,” the call continued and Phil answered all the questions relevant to the search. He also knew that Tony would attempt to hack into SHIELD to find out the classified information he was that curious.
“Alright, I will call you back when I have the information that you want.” With that Tony hung up the phone and left Coulson feeling older than he had in years.
‘This is going to end badly,’ was all Coulson could think about as he made his way back to his office.
“Who did you just call Jensen?” The gravelly voice came from behind him, almost making Jake jump and spin; however, he had gotten used to his team sneaking up on him.
“Someone who can help someone I trust. She’ll get us a good safe house, and help me find Max, because I cannot do it on my own. As much as I really wish I could, I can’t.” Jake said as he slowly spun around in his chair to face his CO.
“You are going to involve a civilian? Someone you claim to love in a job that will more than likely get us killed?” Aisha asked walking up to stand behind Clay, her face was unreadable.
“Honestly, she isn’t a civilian, not like Jolene and Hannah. She’s kind of like me, minus the military training, but still scary as all hell and better, as much as that pains me to admit it, at hacking. She is the one that taught me.” Jake said, looking down at his hands as they twisted in his lap it was one of his tells that he was nervous.
“She is still a civilian, and a risk.” Aisha said sternly, “She will not be helping us,” she commanded as she looked towards Clay for confirmation.
“Wait Aisha,” Clay said as he turned to look at his tech specialist, “is she really as good as you claim?”
“She is, when she was twelve, she hacked into NORAD in under five hours, left no trace, never got caught. The only reason I know is because I was sitting there at her shoulder watching her as she did it. The only reason I called her is because I know she can help me. She is someone I trust with my life, just like Cougar, Pooch and you, Sir.” Jensen stated, looking directly into his commanding officers eyes.
“Alright, how long until we move out” Clay asked. He didn’t care what Aisha said, he was getting tired of running around and sniffing dead ends, he just wanted to find a nice, safe place and drink beer for the rest of his life.
“It’ll be a couple of days; she’ll let me know, now that she knows I’m not dead. Actually I’m pretty sure she knew that before I called her, and I just caught her off guard but she’ll make sure everything is set up and ready for us at which ever safe house she sends us to. She has a lot of them; started buying them when I went into the military, like she knew something was going to happen.” Jake said as he turned around to his computer setup that he had in the rat hole they were camping in this week.
Clay sighed; he could feel the glare Aisha was giving him and knew they would fight about it later. He really didn’t care anymore. She was turning into a greater risk than anything and he honestly just wanted to finish this so he could get away from her. “Alright I’ll tell Cougs and Pooch to start getting things packed up.”
“You are seriously going to let a civilian into this; you are a stupid man Clay, but I never thought-“Aisha immediately stopped talking, as she heard the safety click off the gun that was pointed to the back of her head.
“Callar” came the quiet Spanish from the sniper that never really spoke, and was rarely ever this agitated.
“Cougs, she isn’t worth it,” came the quiet voice of Jensen, “On the plus side D said hello and she can’t wait to see you.”
A small smile graced the lips of the mostly always stone faced sniper, “eso es bueno.” Just as quietly as he had walked up to Aisha to point the gun at her head, he put it away and walked over to Jensen, hovering over his shoulder to see what he was doing.
“I take it you know what is happening then Cougar?” Clay asked, already knowing the answer but still waiting for the answer. A look over Cougar’s shoulder and a raised eyebrow were the answer to that question. Of course the man knew what was happening; he kept careful watch over Jensen ever since the tech became one of theirs. “Does Pooch?”
A small nod was the answer before Cougar turned his attention once again to the tech specialist this time with a view of everyone in the room. Sometimes Clay thought the man was better than a guard dog, and happy that the man had his back.
Clay watched them for a minute before going to find his transport specialist to see if he was already packing up. The group was quiet for the most part, Aisha really didn’t like that Clay wasn’t listening to her, maybe she would have to make a lead up to get them back on track; although, from the looks of it, it didn’t seem like it would work this time. Maybe she could convince Clay with sex that this was a bad idea.
Darcy was glad that SHIELD hadn’t thought to search her apartment, or if they did hoped that they didn’t do a thorough search because she had disposable phones hidden around the place to get into contact with some old friends. One of whom being Hardison, who she did some work for on occasion when he had to many things going on.
She was also glad that she came off as a talkative, pain in the ass when she met SHIELD and that there wasn’t much knowledge that they had on her, considering anything that she didn’t want known was not made known. Hopefully they didn’t think past scraping the surface, then again even if they did, they still wouldn’t find much.
Unlocking the door to her apartment she stepped in, closed and locked the door and went about her normal routine. It wouldn’t do to make her ‘shadow’ any more suspicious than he was already. Especially after the incident earlier, so as soon as she got into her apartment she was surprised when her phone rang with an unknown number.
“Hello,” was her answering greeting, she was really tired if there was no more snark in her greetings.
“Ms. Darcy Lewis, I presume” came the cultured British voice, “my name is Jarvis, and I work for Mr. Stark, do you have a few moments of free time to speak with him?”
“Uh, sure? Why would Tony Stark, computer guru, want to talk to a poly-sci major?” flew out of Darcy’s mouth before she could stop herself.
“That Ms. Lewis, can I call you Darcy I never much cared for formalities, is the question of the day. Anyway I was asked to hack into your phone records for your last incoming call that supposedly happened this afternoon. However, imagine my surprise when I don’t find anything but a very well done bit of code and a very tenacious series of viruses. Would you care to explain before I have to call into one Agent Agent Coulson?” Another Masculine voice said, one that Darcy recognized from the news, and talk shows.
“Uh, you can call me Darcy I really don’t care for formalities either, unless I know they are necessary. I have no idea what you are talking about; I never got a phone call earlier today. My last incoming call was two days ago.” Darcy lied through her teeth, and she was glad it was through the phone because she knew she couldn’t lie to save her ass.
“Right,” She could hear the sarcasm and the manic grin on his face, “I won’t tell Agent Agent, and really I just want to know the name of this guy so I can hire him. He’s good, not better than me of course, but good.” Tony stated, his grin getting bigger.
“Tony, I really don’t care if you like me calling you that or not, there is no one, you are chasing a ghost, with Agent I-pod thief. Whom I know for a fact is listening to this call, or at least one of his techs are listening. By the way, Agent I-pod thief call off your dogs. I haven’t spoken in months and I am not about to do so now. So far there have been eight agents, a new one at the beginning of every month. They stand out like sore thumbs even when not in suits.
Also, I do not like having my electronics tapped with tracking devices. I am not a risk; I do not want to be a risk. Honestly, I just want my fucking life to be mine and not under a god damn microscope. So stop watching me you voyeuristic bastards.” And with that rant Darcy hung up her phone, sighed into the air and slouched down onto her couch. She really shouldn’t have said that, now that they knew she knew she was being watched they would try harder.
Shaking her head, Darcy got up and went into her bathroom to shower, she was going to have one hell of a long ass day. She really hoped that she could get out without being seen, it had been a while since she needed to run and make a new life for herself.
Stripping out of her clothes she stepped into the shower to get her head on straight so she could plan, and get ready. Hopefully they wouldn’t realize she was gone until late morning. Hopefully, she didn’t just make them go onto high alert to watch her even closer. She was never good at holding her tongue when it was needed, and it was highly needed right now.
Once she was done with her shower, and still she had no plan she wrapped herself in a towel and padded into her room to get dressed in some lounge wear. Smiling at the fact that the curtains were closed, and no one could see into her room from outside, Darcy knelt inside her closet and pried up the carpet and a loose floor board so she could grab the disposable that was hidden there. She really didn’t need this call monitored or give away one of her contacts. Dialing the number she memorized a long time ago she waited for the other person to answer.
“Hello” came the muttered answer of one of her fellow hackers and best friend.
“Well hello there Hardy, I thought I’d call and ask for one of those favors you owe me. A small one, if you aren’t too busy with a job.” Darcy replied with a grin, sitting down in her closet facing the door and leaning against the wall.
“Hey princess! Long time no talk, whatcha need?” Hardison asked he always loved it when Darcy called, though they were few and far between and mostly it was just favors between the both of them, normally hacking jobs.
“I need you to prep a house in Canada for me, food mostly, set up a secure network, and be gone within a day. Can you do that for me?” Darcy asked a small blossoming of doubt began to form in her stomach. She really hoped he’d be able to do this for her. She didn’t have time to do so.
“Sure, what’s happening though? You never need a favor like that.” Hardison asked, the worry seeping through. Darcy heard a voice in the background asking what was wrong, if they were needed.
“I can’t tell you yet, once the shit stops hitting the fan I’ll fill you in.” Darcy really hoped that he got the reference, because she didn’t know if she could be any more obtuse.
“Oh shit! Alright you got it princess, I’ll do this for you free of charge, tell him I said hi and I miss seeing his work.” Hardison exclaimed as he hung up.
Letting out a breath that she didn’t even know she was holding Darcy relaxed and put the floor board and carpeting back into place. She had one more phone call to make and it was not going to be pleasant, twitching as she dialed Darcy really hoped that this would go better than she hoped.
Famous last words were apparently her forte’ because by the end of the call she was pissed off, hungry and tired. She really hated calling Kate, especially when it concerned getting her gear. The woman could piss off the Buddha and she could not understand how she snagged Dade. Shaking her head she stood and walked out of her closet and started to get ready for the nights escapade.
The sun slowly rose of the horizon, painting the sky in a multitude of brilliant colors and sounds of waking animals. None of that registered to Darcy right now as she was asleep in a cheap roadside motel. She twitched, grumbled and tried to burrow back underneath the covers to go back to sleep considering she had been driving until ridiculously early in the morning. She tried to get as much distance between Willowdale and her current location by taking back roads, using cash, and leaving behind all the electronics that had been out when she left for New Mexico, or those that she had taken with her.
Grumbling some more, she rolled over onto her back and sighed before sitting up and throwing the covers off. Standing she made her way into the tiny bathroom for her morning ablutions. Thirty minutes later she stepped out of the bathroom steam pouring from the door and moved to get dressed. At least this time, she’d be able to wear a more comfortable bra without the wrappings to make her chest as small as possible.
Shaking her head, she grabbed her disposable phone, checked to see how many minutes were left on it, and dialed Hardison. “mpph…” the grunted reply made her giggle a bit.
“Rise and shine morning glory, did you finish? I need to tell him if it’s ready and where to go. Also, I really hope that you didn’t tell anyone. I know you wouldn’t, but besides me and him I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone worry about you as much as those voices I heard last night.”
“I didn’t tell them, just that I had a favor to do for an old friend, and would be out of touch for about a day and a half. I’m almost finished here with the house and then I’ll head back. By the way, when was the last time you came here? This place is dusty as all hell!” Hardison mumbled, still half asleep but awake enough to answer coherently.
“Last time I was there was a year ago, mainly for maintenance, before I went to the other couple of houses to make sure that they were still in decent repair. If you look in the master bedroom closet under the last floorboard in the right corner, you’ll find some money. Use it to get some food in the house; I should be there in a couple of days. I’m also going to stop by and visit you for a day, Kate is still holding a grudge against me, and Dade took her side so I need some equipment, I’ll pay you went I get there.” Darcy said as she shimmied into her underwear and jeans.
“No problem D, I have some new things that I’ve wanted you to test anyway, so I’ll make sure that they are ready to go when you get to Boston.” Hardison said his voice clearer than earlier and if the slurping sounds were anything to go by drinking coffee.
“Groovy, I gotta go I’m running out of minutes on this burner and will need to pick up a new one. I should be in Boston in two days, I’m taking back roads and I have to tell you it is slow going.” Darcy said as she hung up.
Powering up her second favorite laptop that she grabbed from its hiding space before she left Virginia she moved over to her bag to grab a bra and a shirt and pull them on. Once she was fully dressed she sat in front of her laptop and started to build the encryptions on it so that she could start connecting to Jake’s laptop to tell him where he was going. It took her about thirty minutes to finish and send the message off to him.
It didn’t even take him two minutes to reply to it, and she was glad and slightly worried that he was still awake. Sending him one more message, this one telling him to sleep before they leave and that she was going to see Hannah before she made her way there she powered down the laptop and packed it up and checked out of the room before hitting the road towards New Hampshire.
It was mid-day when she arrived at Hannah’s house, and Darcy was surprised to find that Hannah was home. She was supposed to be at work; then again, her schedule might have changed. Shaking her head Darcy stepped out of the car, stretched and started walking up the drive way to knock on the front door and knocking.
A muffled ‘one moment please’ followed by some cursing and the sounds of heavy footsteps sounded before the door was being pulled open to show a dirty blonde woman, who was slightly taller than Darcy herself. The woman took one look at Darcy, gasped and then threw herself at the younger woman and hugged her tight. “Darcy! I tried to call you, I was so scared when someone had broken into my house and I wanted to talk to you, where were you? Why didn’t you answer your phone?”
“Hello Hannah, I’m sorry I didn’t answer, I had to get rid of that phone and number for a while. I am actually on my way somewhere, and wanted to stop by and drop some things off. I guess it’s a good thing I did stop by, come on we’re going to lunch and to pick up Addi. Just out of curiosity, was anything taken?” Darcy asked as she watched Hannah walk back into the house, grab her purse and then walk back out to lock the door.
“No, nothing was taken, though whoever it was tore apart everything. I took a few days off of work to clean up the house. I talked to a friend of Addi’s and asked her if Addi could stay over for the week because of what happened, so she’s been staying there until everything is straightened out.” Hannah explained as they got into her car.
“While it is good that nothing was taken, that means that they might have been looking for something specific.” Darcy stated, “I really need to stop watching cop shows because now I’m getting paranoid that your house might be bugged or some shit.” Darcy laughed.
“Why would someone bug my house? I’m a nurse, single mother and my little brother is dead! What could I do that has any interest for someone to do that?” Hannah asked, and glanced at Darcy who had a sheepish-ly guilty look on her face. “Darcy, explain now.”
“Um, I’ll explain when we get to the restaurant; it’s not something that you should hear while driving.” Darcy said while looking out the window watching the scenery and Hannah’s face in the reflection of the window. The rest of the drive was quiet between them, and not even ten minutes later they were pulling into a seafood bar and grill.
As they sat and ordered their drinks and food, and as they waited for their food to arrive Darcy quietly explained that Jake was alive, and trying to clear his name from the accusations levied by the Army. He would have gotten in touch with Hannah but that would have put her in danger. However, seeing as her house was broken into it seemed to be a moot point.
So Darcy explained that they would pack a couple of bags and head to Darcy’s old house, the one that she grew up in. That way she could save money on furniture for a while, and she would have a safe house until Jake could return. Hannah sat shocked, but somehow not surprised at the information. She knew that this day would come, that someone would think that Clay and his losers knew too much and were collateral. It made her sad though that the others that had this happen to them were unlucky enough to actually die, while her brother and his team made it out alive. Though trying to get their lives back, stay under the radar, and fight the person who originally put the kill order on them.
Tony scowled at his phone that was not the normal response that he got when he deigned to call someone. He did not like it one bit, “Jarvis? Pull up all information regarding Darcy Lewis; I want her current address right now though.” He said as he started moving out of his lab and toward his room, he would need to grab a bag of clothes and his suitcase armor.
“As you wish sir, her address has been sent to your phone and a flight manifest has been made and approved.” Jarvis’ voice came from the direction of the ceiling.
“Thank you Jarvis,” Tony said as he hurried from his room and to the elevator trying to quickly make his way unnoticed, which means that every one of his superhero counter parts noticed.
“Tony, where are you in a hurry off to?” Clint asked, his head poking out of one of the ventilation shafts.
“Ah, just going to visit someone I am curious about. Think of it as part of a project of Agent Agent, in true Stark fashion.” Tony said, hurrying away again hoping that none of the others would stop them. However, the muffled thump that came from behind dictated otherwise.
“Why is Coulson giving you a project, and not telling the rest of us?” Steve’s voice carried over from in front of the elevator that Tony was trying to make his escape to without being noticed; apparently he needed to work on stealth.
“Do you know how to hack? Any of you? No? That’s what I thought, it was a good thing he did ask me, or I would have missed out on some very good talent, now if you will forgive me, I have a flight to catch under the not so watchful eye of Coulson.” Tony explained, rushed as he tried to get the elevator doors to close faster before the two of them could get into the lift.
Steve and Clint looked towards each other and seemed to have an entire conversation without saying anything before getting into the lift with their more eccentric teammate. “So where are we going?”
“I am going to see a hacker, a good one; you are going to stay here, far away from hopefully my new hacker.” Tony stated as he glared at them out of the corner of his eye. “Also, do not tell Coulson where I went, he’ll know somehow and I don’t want to deal with the paperwork he’d saddle me with before I got there and she left. She is the only clue I have to get to this hacker and damned if I am going to lose her!”
The doors to the elevator opened and Tony practically sprinted out of the lift, the doors to the tower and into the car that Happy was waiting patiently next to. “Was it just me or was he weirder than normal? Maybe we should call Pepper and let her know?” Steve said looking towards Clint who already had his phone pressed to his ear and muttering what seemed to be obscenities, threats and favors.
Steve pulled out his phone and dialed Pepper, hoping that she wouldn’t be too busy to answer. Once he had her on the line he explained the situation and Tony’s maniacal if somewhat strange explanations, and hoped she would make sense of it. When all she did was sigh and tell him not to worry about it he thanked her and hung up.
“We’re going to Virginia, apparently Coulson asked Tony to do some hacking into Darcy Lewis’ phone records because she got a phone call that is not showing up. Tony must have found something and now is headed to where she lives. Apparently, the techs found it funny that she told him and Coulson off, but the strange thing was that she knew her tech was being tapped while she was under surveillance for what happened in New Mexico with Thor.” Clint explained while they made their way back up to the higher levels of Stark Tower, now called Avengers Tower, to get the rest of the team and head out on the quinjet.
“Pepper said not to worry about it, and sighed. I don’t think that bodes well for Tony.” Steve said, a wry smile tilting on his lips.
Clint let out a huffed laugh and agreed that Tony would be sleeping on the couch for a while, as he went to grab his gear and head off to get Natasha.
Chapter 2: Meeting the Dead, and Catching up
Disclaimer: I make no profit from this story.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
When Darcy arrived in Boston, she hadn’t planned on being there for more than a day or two; however, that turned into five days. Hardison had wanted to give her quite a bit of electronic equipment, clean papers and cards so that she’d have a clean identity when she crossed. Normally she would have all of this done before going, honestly she had several clean identities ready for use, and she just hadn’t grabbed them before she left.
It was rare for her to forget things like that, so she accepted Hardison’s work before she left. Although, she had to say that she did enjoy hanging around his team for those few days. Then again they still couldn’t figure out how someone who was younger than Hardison had practically taught him to hack, or at least not get caught. Seeing as he hadn’t told them, she didn’t feel the need to fill in the gaps either.
Out of all of Hardison’s ‘friends’ because Nate and Sophie weren’t exactly friends more like a CO and XO of the group, Darcy liked Parker the most. The girl was quirky in an almost childlike way and it was refreshing to Darcy to see that in someone grown. Her next favorite was Eliot and that was because he was just awesome to hang around, a great cook and a better fighter.
When she left she had all of the equipment that Hardison wanted her to test, Parker and Eliot’s numbers and her new hopefully temporary identity. She really didn’t want to be tracking this madman, who had killed twenty-five children forever. It was still dark out when she left, and it would take her at least a day and a half to get to Winnipeg where Jake and his team were currently hiding out in one of her houses.
Turning up the stereo once she hit the highway she drove late into the afternoon and hunger made her stop for a brief respite. She was farther along than she had thought she would be, but then again she also left early in the morning to avoid a good portion of traffic. Lunch was at a dinner and consisted of a medium rare burger, fries and a vanilla milkshake.
After she finished she paid, stretched, and filled up her gas tank before heading off again to Thunder Bay and a nice hotel room. It would still be a few hours before she made it there, but at least she would be well rested when she arrived. She had a feeling she was going to need it, she hadn’t met Clay, but everyone else she had met from Jake’s team understood her threats.
Darcy was going to have a serious talk with his Commanding Officer, at least Jake was in one piece, if he wasn’t then well, Franklin Clay would not have to worry about Max, because Darcy Lewis was going to tear him to shreds. There were few things in life that Darcy held precious, and even fewer people, and Jake Jensen was one of those people.
“We’ve been here for a week, where the hell is this bitch?!” Aisha snarled, she didn’t like waiting for this civilian woman who knew nothing of their situation.
“Right behind you, and I’d watch what you call me.” A very cold, and very pissed off voice sounded from behind Aisha making her stop pacing. “I don’t like you already, and I know you aren’t part of the Losers, but I really don’t care, as far as I’m concerned you are expendable the rest of them aren’t, except maybe the Colonel there.” Darcy said as she stared at the woman who was glaring back at her.
“Darcy-“ Jake tried to interrupt what was building to be a great explosion of violence between the two women.
“No Jake, this needs to be said. Aisha Al-Fadhil, born in Pakistan to Ahmed Khalfan Fadhil mother unknown. Year of birth is nineteen eighty making you roughly thirty years of age, you traveled between Pakistan and Afghanistan until you turned fifteen before you fell off the radar for ten years and then started leaving a bigger and bloodier trail of bodies behind you. You have a vendetta against Clay because he was following orders, for the most part, and against Max for giving those orders.
“You are trained in hand to hand, and reconnaissance, you have a shoot first ask questions later policy and a pension for killing Russian soldiers. You’re best friend is Fatima, or as close to a best friend as you can have, who previously worked for Al-Farawi a child smuggler much like your father was before his death. Have I missed anything important?” Darcy said, staring at the woman whom she didn’t trust with her friends and love.
“How do you know all that? I couldn’t find out anything about her!” Jake said slightly shocked that Darcy had found out all the information that he could have had earlier.
“Jake what was one of the few rules I taught you about hacking?” Darcy asked, finally taking her eyes away from the now quiet woman and pinning Jake with a glare.
“Not everything can be found in a computer, and sometimes I need to have contacts outside of coding and hacking,” he replied mulishly, walking over to her and giving her a hug. “I missed you Darce, I missed you so much.”
“I missed you too, you lunk head. Hannah says hello and to tell you that you are a moron of epic proportions and that when this is done you are to go home immediately to get the scolding of your life.” Darcy smiled as Jake winced, hugging him tight, “I’m glad you’re alive, though I wish you had contacted me sooner. Oh, Hardy says hello as well and he misses your work, he also sent me with a few things for you.”
“Pequeño, donde es mi abrazo?” Cougar asked stepping out from some shadows and opening his arms for a hug as well.
“Right here Cougs, thank you for watching over him, and keeping him out of most trouble, I know how taxing a job that can be. Where is Pooch and Roque?” Darcy said as she stepped out of Jake’s arms and into Cougar’s.
“Pooch is in the garage working on the van that we used to get here, Roque turned on us and then died in Los Angeles.” Jake said in a low voice, Roque’s betrayal still hurt.
“I’m so sorry, but if that bastard hadn’t of died after betraying you I’d have killed him myself. I warned him about hurting you, he didn’t listen he would have gotten his eventually.” Darcy said as she stepped out of Cougar’s arms and made her way toward the garage.
“Excuse me, who the fuck are you?” Clay asked, finally piping in after having been shocked into silence at Darcy’s entrance and revealing of Aisha.
“The hacker that is going to find you a man who doesn’t exist, and end your witch hunt,” Darcy stated calmly walking past him and toward the kitchen. Slowly she opened the door to the garage and popped her head in to make sure that Pooch wasn’t under the car before loudly clearing her throat.
“Fucking shit! You guys know better than to sneak up on me when I’m working!” Pooch exclaimed without turning to see who was at the door.
“Ah, they probably do; however, I just got here and wanted to say hello. Hold onto that thought while you clean your hands.” Turning around Darcy pulled out her taser and hit the trigger downing Aisha in one movement. “Listen, stay the fuck away from me or a taser will be the least of your worries, capiche?” Darcy said nonchalantly as she stepped into the garage leaving the now twitching woman on the floor.
“Damn, I forgot how scary you can be D!” Pooch stated as he stared at Aisha’s violent twitching on the kitchen floor. Shuddering slightly, he watched as she put her taser back into her bag and stepped over to give him a hug. “How have you been? Did you see Jolene and the baby? He’s beautiful, you know.”
“I didn’t go see Jolene, but I sent her some things to go into hiding for a bit, at least until this mess that you’ve found yourself in has been cleaned up. She is in a safe location, that I will tell you once we’re done. Also, never forget how scary I can be.” Darcy said smiling and pulling away from the transport specialist.
“What the fuck?” Clay’s voice rang out from the kitchen.
“I guess she’s still twitching then and Clay found her,” Darcy smirked in wicked amusement as she walked back into the kitchen. “Pooch, pack up you, Jake and Cougs are coming with me to another safe house. I don’t trust Aisha as far as I can throw her, and I would rather conduct my business in a place where I feel comfortable. Tell the boys, please.”
“What the fuck did you do to her?” Clay yelled at Darcy as soon as she came into view, and watched as she moved aside for Pooch to slide through and make his way to where Jake and Cougar were standing.
“I tased her, she should be fine in an hour, which will give me more than enough time to get the boys packed and moved toward another safe house, away from,” Darcy looked down at Aisha and sneered “volatile women.”
“Why the fuck did you tase her, and where the fuck do you think you are taking my men?” Clay demanded, looking over toward where the boys were standing and finding empty space.
“I tased her because she’s an assassin and she was sneaking up on me, where I am taking them is to another safe house, away from her and from you. You have been compromised by her, and are no longer fit to lead. When I find something out about Max I will call you, Pooch and the boys will come get you and then you can go get your mad man. Be glad I’m not taking them into hiding and still letting them help you.”Darcy said, the look on her face was enough to make Clay bite back whatever it was he was going to say and nod once, sharply.
Nodding once Darcy walked around the still prone form of Aisha and made her way back to the entrance to wait for the boys. It didn’t take long before they were packing their gear into her SUV and getting comfortable. “I hope you guys are hungry, we’re going to be on the road for at least two hours and I want to get some food before I hit the highway.”
She got resounding agreements before backing out of the driveway and turning down the road, looking in the rearview mirror to find Aisha standing there glaring murderously at the departing car. Smirking Darcy rolled down her window and waved her middle finger before speeding off, hooking a sharp turn and heading toward a small restaurant.
“I’m not sure whether to laugh or be scared that you just pissed off a woman who has no qualms about killing.” Pooch said, watching her drive out of the neighborhood and into the city weaving in and out of traffic like a professional.
“She’d have to find me to kill me, and I can hide better than a spook planning world domination. What I want to know is if he had anything to do with what happened to New York. Which reminds me Jake, Tony Stark found your trail from the phone call, and he complimented you and wanted to hire you. I told him he was chasing a ghost, before hanging up and getting out of my apartment that night. If he was serious, and he sounded serious-ish, then he probably went to my apartment and found it abandoned.”
“Why would he look into your call records, also, why the hell were your phones being tapped? I wanted to ask that but I didn’t have enough time.” Jake said turning to look at Darcy with an expectant look, Pooch and Cougs also turned to her as well waiting for her answer.
“There is another branch of the alphabet soup that no one has heard about called SHIELD, things went down during my internship in New Mexico and they were watching me to make sure I didn’t blab. Apparently when you tase a Norse God it becomes one of those things that you aren’t supposed to talk about.” Darcy hedged; she didn’t want to talk about it yet, not until she knew they were safe.
Jake glared at her slightly, “alright we’ll wait for the explanation, but it better be good.” After that statement Jake, Pooch and Cougs settled back and got comfortable. Five minutes later they pulled into a small restaurant off of Main St called Shooters.
As they ate Darcy asked questions about what they did, making sure that they didn’t say anything that might give them away as supposedly dead men and what their plans were once they were done with this quest. Pooch said he was going to open up a mechanics shop for custom cars, Cougs said he’d go with Jake and Darcy, and Jake was going to see Hannah and Addi to get yelled at. After that though, who knows, maybe a small house in the middle of nowhere with a couple of dogs.
After they paid for their meals and climbed back into the SUV Darcy turned on the radio and hunted for a classic rock station. “So where are we headed?”
“The house we’re going to is in a city called Gimli and is next to Lake Winnipeg, it’s a city so there is enough going on that we won’t be anything out of the ordinary, and removed enough that we aren’t too close to the crazy woman.” Darcy stated, as she followed the signs to get to the highway and hit the onramp at a good speed.
“Ah, so when you said a couple of hours earlier you meant about an hour, especially with your driving.” Jake said jokingly with a small smile on his face that grew when Pooch laughed.
“Yea, yea laugh it up! You two are now going grocery shopping as soon as we get there, I have to go through the house and see if everything is still working, though we might be without cable for a couple of days. Hope you don’t mind.” Darcy replied with her head turned just enough to look at the two in the back seat out of the corner of her eye.
Another ten minutes into the ride to their newest safe house Cougs, Jensen and Pooch were passed out and Darcy was quietly singing along with the radio while weaving through the small amounts of traffic. The rest of the ride was quiet and Darcy enjoyed being in the presence of her friends, she had missed them. So she soaked up the atmosphere and just enjoyed it quietly, because she knew as soon as she started on this project that it wouldn’t be quiet for much longer.
The boys woke up when the car slowed down and noticed that Darcy was finally pulling off of the highway and into what looked like a residential area. The houses were all well maintained, and the neighborhood itself was very beautiful, they kept driving until finally Darcy pulled into a short driveway with a two car garage in front of a nice two story home.
“Enjoy your naps? Welcome to Chez Lewis, one of few there are four rooms’ three and a half bathrooms, a patio, kitchen and living room. There are only two rules don’t make a mess, and if you make a mess clean up after yourself. No offence but I’m not here often enough to come back to a house that might have rotting food in it. Also, take your shoes off at the door; I don’t want scuff marks on my wooden floors.” Darcy explained as she turned off the SUV, hit the button for the garage door and got out of the car.
Pooch whistled, “Nice house, right on the lake too we can go swimming!”
“Yea, you can, I have a job to do and will be roping Jake into it as well. Cougs can join you if he wishes, but I have the feeling he’s going to either be cleaning his guns or prowling around the house.” Darcy said with a shrug as she grabbed a couple of bags and a box. “Now grab your gear boys and let’s go inside, I need to get setup and start checking everything.”
It took them thirty minutes to bring their gear into the house, along with the all of the electronics Hardison sent with Darcy. “Hey Darce, when was the last time you were here? Seriously, this place needs some major cleaning, and food!” Jake said as he walked around the house and sneezed lightly at the dust.
“That is the project that you are getting roped into, while Pooch goes and does some grocery shopping. I have basic cleaning supplies, so we can get a lot done, and when Pooch gets back we’ll put the food away. To start with though, opening the windows and getting the stale air out. You boys start that while I go and get some cash for groceries.” Darcy explained, then turned and walked out of the room.
“Hey Jake, how does Darcy afford all these houses?” Pooch asked, his curiosity finally getting the best of him as he walked from room to room with Jake opening up the windows and letting the fresh air in.
“When Darcy was sixteen or so, she started to invest in some things. Mainly into Stark Industries, but a few other companies as well and made quite a bit of money. When stocks got high, and seemed to peak she would sell. The money would then be broken up into different funds and setup at the beginning of every month to build up interest.
“At the start of the following year in conjunction with that month she would take the interest and more times than not split it in half and give to charities, the other half would sit in a bank account until she needed it. When I joined the Army, she started to buy a couple of houses; I don’t think she intended them to be safe houses of sorts. Honestly, I think she was going to rent them out and make money from that.” Jake explained, as he started to strip the bedding from the rooms to put into the hall way to be washed later.
“Yes, that was the plan. Buy a few houses here and there, fix them up and rent them out. Set aside half of their rent into a fund for those people to later either buy a house of their own or as a college fund. I did that with most of the houses that I have bought. Other’s I fixed up and sold outright, a few of the houses though, I liked them, the remoteness of them and so kept them. The one in Winnipeg is actually the latest of my acquisitions and is still in need of repair, I just haven’t gotten around to that part yet.” Darcy said as she stepped into the room with a small list of items and money.
“Why though?” Pooch asked, it wasn’t often that Darcy would talk about herself. At least that was the impression that he got the few times he met her, and Jolene’s opinion of her.
“Because when Jake got out of the military, though not in the way he did, I figured it would be nice to get away from people for a while. Some place quiet, calm, away from the hubbub of cities and people. The reason I started though, was because it was interesting, and a great way to not only make money so I didn’t have to rely on my mother, but also because I can help others save money to buy their own houses one day. I like being able to help, even though I don’t really like people.” Darcy said, before handing him a list.
“Pretty much this is a list of cleaning supplies, there should be enough money there to buy food for at least a month, but food wise buy whatever you want, and what looks good. There are a few fresh markets around here and a couple of major grocery stores. Just take a left when you get to the end of the driveway. By the time you get back I’ll have the electricity and water turned back on.”Darcy said before starting to gather the linen that was lining the hallway from where Jake placed them, and taking them to the laundry room.
“Anything in particular you want for dinner tonight? Anything special I should get?” Pooch said as he followed her around and grabbed his own batch of linens.
“Ask Cougs to make some enchiladas, I’m in the mood for Mexican food and Cougs has always been the best, so you’ll need to get ingredients from him, other than that whatever looks appetizing, and can be made into a meal.” Pooch nodded before turning around and going to hunt down Cougar to get a list of ingredients. It didn’t take long, because as soon as he stepped out of the laundry room Cougar was there holding a list out to him with a smirk on his face.
“Sometimes man you are scary!” Pooch stated before shaking his head and heading out to the garage.
Darcy was on the phone with the electrical company and working toward getting the power turned on at the house, Jake was cleaning the kitchen with Cougar helping and Pooch had been gone for about thirty minutes. Both men jumped a bit when Darcy let out a loud string of curses. “What’s wrong D?”
“They won’t be able to turn the power on until tomorrow; I’ll call the cable and internet people and setup an appointment for tomorrow that way it will get done at the same time. Until then, clean and rest up. I guess no enchilada’s tonight. Fuck what are we going to do about the perishables?” Darcy asked before muttering to herself and walking outside onto the porch.
Shaking his head Cougar turned his attention back to wiping down the counters; at least Darcy had been able to get the water turned on before calling the electric company. Jake chuckled before following Cougar’s lead and returned to cleaning. It was another ten minutes before Darcy walked back inside and started to help them clean.
Pooch let out a string of curses under his breath, “Take a left out of the driveway she said, there are a couple of major grocery stores and a few fresh markets, she said. Where the fuck are they?” He stopped at a gas station, and asked for directions. He never needed directions before; then again the team always had all routes planned out before a mission. This wasn’t a mission; this was a simple trip into town to get groceries.
Grumbling as he got back into the SUV, he started the car and pulled back out onto the road, he still had another mile before he reached the nearest grocery store. While the house was amazing, it was a pain that it was a good distance from the nearest grocery store.
He thought about that for a bit, and decided against anything that might be perishable, just on the off chance that Darcy didn’t get the electricity turned on today. With that in mind, and finally finding the grocery store he pulled into the parking lot and sighed in relief.
After they got mostly everything inside the house cleaned, Darcy decided to take a break. There wasn’t much to do at the house especially with no electricity; this was only the second time she had been here, so there weren’t even any books stored here.
It didn’t take Pooch much longer to return and once he did, they all went to help unload the groceries. “So I wasn’t sure if you’d have electricity, and so to be on the safe side since we don’t have phones I decided against perishable foods for right now.” Pooch explained when Darcy looked at him in amusement at the food that was laid out, most of it being canned food.
“Good decision, because the electricity won’t be turned on until tomorrow, same with internet and cable, though the water is on. Rest up, tomorrow you’re going back to the grocery store once the electricity is on and getting the rest of the groceries.”
Pooch grumbled, but acquiesced, after all it was only fair that he go and get food when she and Jensen would be finding out where Max was. “What is going to happen with Clay?” He said after a while, and all eyes turned to him, “What? I’m curious”
“It depends on what information you have about Max already, I’m also going to hack into the CIA and see what they have to say about him. It’ll take me a couple of hours to hack into, and then putting out feelers for information.” Darcy said still loading the pantry with the canned food.
“Sounds like fun” Pooch stated sarcastically, he really didn’t understand how someone could sit in front of a computer all day reading the gibberish that Jensen did and call it fun.
“It is fun; your sarcasm is not needed.” Jake said, and laughed. “You, Pooch-man just do not understand the beauty of the code.”
“You’re one to talk Jake; it took you a year to understand the beauty of coding. Let alone what command did what.” Darcy quipped, turning her head to peer over her shoulder at her boyfriend.
“Hey! You said you wouldn’t bring that up around the guys!” Jake accused, but the smile on his face spoke more than his accusing tone.
“No, I distinctly remember not agreeing nor disagreeing, you took it as an agreement. Therefore, your argument is invalid!” Darcy crowed.
“Tch, you win this argument missy! But I’ll get one over on you later.” Jake said, his eye narrowed in challenge and amusement.
“That’s what you think, I will always win arguments, ask Pooch, the woman is always right,” Darcy stated with a smile.
“I plead the fifth, and would appreciate it if you did not drag the Pooch into your arguments, even if they are in jest.” Pooch replied with a decisive nod before turning and walking out of the room.
“Fine then, let’s finish cleaning, now that we have the rest of the supplies, minus electricity for laundry. We can get the rest of it done until tomorrow.” Darcy suggested, before she to quit the room with a bottle of Pinesol, a bucket and a mop.
As you've noticed it's been a while, a lot longer than I really wanted between updates. However, things in life are never easy and I am currently in the process of moving. Don't know where yet, don't really care, just need to move. Added to that I have a lot of school work as of right now. So it's all piling up, and driving me completely insane. I'll try to get the next chapter out faster.
Pequeño, donde es mi abrazo? – Little one, where is my hug?
Shooters Family Restaurant is on Main St in Winnipeg Canada. I actually looked up a restaurant… Some of them that show on Google maps don’t actually show up on Google maps… If that makes any sense.
A/N: All information regarding that of Aisha can be found here - http://www.comicvine.com/aisha/4005-5657/ . If you are interested, although I did leave out quite a bit of information, because it more than likely won’t fit into my story, if it does I will add it later on.
The house is set apart like this one: http://www.interlake.mb.ca/real-estate/display,property/17995280/555-prospect-street
But looks similar to this one: http://www.interlake.mb.ca/real-estate/display,property/17839813/233-maple-crescent
Uh, just so everyone knows I have never been to Canada, New Hampshire, Virginia or Boston, so I actually had to do a bit of research for these areas. Especially while I was typing the chapters themselves, so some of my information might be wrong. Actually I’m pretty sure most of my information might be wrong.
I also did some research into the characters themselves because I don’t really want them to be out of character by a lot. I would like to keep them somewhat around the original mindset, but they will have a bit of an original-ish touch. I’m not sure how much original touch, or all of what has been done to the characters of other stories. Added to that even without trying I tend to mirror on occasion when I don’t even realize it.
Chapter 3: Time to Start Hacking
Disclaimer: I do not make any profit from this work of fiction.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The next day dawned early for the three losers, and Darcy, as they waited for the technician to come out to turn on the electricity they set up an office that Jake and Darcy would work out of. It was in the room that was technically considered the den, and had a beautiful view of the backyard and lake. However, the reason they chose this room as the office area was because of the fact that Darcy had a lot of equipment to setup.
There were three towers, six monitors, two keyboards and mice, and their laptops. Hardison had given Darcy the towers, peripherals and a new laptop. He knew that she didn’t like the one she was using now, it was one of her older models, and the casing showed it. However, it was also one of the few laptops which happened to be constantly underestimated because of its casing, the only problem was that it was also starting to run slow and slow was not what was needed for this hacking job.
It took several hours before the office was completely set up, and by then the technician for the electricity and cable had come by. The only thing left to do was finish the last of the grocery shopping before Jake and Darcy got to work on changing the home drive for the Goliath hard drive and hacking into a few of the government agencies to leave feelers for Max. Pooch decided that he would stay at the house and relax, Cougs decided to go with Jake and Darcy to make sure they stayed out of trouble, which was a good thing.
While they were getting the rest of the groceries that Pooch didn’t get, thankfully, Darcy ended up getting asked on several dates. Even while holding onto Jake’s hand, which annoyed the blonde haired hacker. Cougar diffused the situations with either a glare or a few simple words, words which had the perpetrators backing away from the group quickly.
As soon as they were done getting the last of the groceries that they would need, they headed straight back to the house. Pooch had set up the television and was currently lounging on the couch watching a movie with a bowl of popcorn. “Hey how was shopping?”
“It was alright, although I managed to get propositioned a couple of times. Cougar straightened them out with a well placed glare, and/or a few words. We’ve got food for at least two weeks, and tonight is enchiladas!” Darcy said while she put the food away.
“Jake, boot up the computers. As soon as I’m done putting these away, you can start to tell me what you’ve done so far. That way I know where to start, and then we can begin.”
“Sure thing,” Jake said, walking out of the kitchen and towards the office to boot up the computers. Several minutes later Darcy entered the office, and they began going through all of the information that Jake had.
Cougar shook his head at the two hackers, and moved over to the kitchen to start making the enchilada’s that Darcy kept talking about. It had been a while since he last cooked and he had missed it.
It took two hours for the enchilada’s to cook, and by that time Darcy was all caught up on the information that Jake had. “Alright, we’ll start after we eat. That way we won’t get hungry for a while. I’m going to hack into the CIA first, and put out feelers, and then I’ll take a look at the hard drive, there should be a way to change home ports on it, so that you can have access to the money on it to buy the munitions that you’ll need. After that, I’ll see what I can find out in the SHIELD database.” Darcy said.
“What do you want me to do?” Jake asked, noticing that Darcy didn’t give him any tasks.
“Sit there and look pretty for now, you’re going to be my distraction if I manage to get caught in the SHIELD mainframe. I haven’t been in their system, so if shit hits the fan you’re going to be pinging viruses like the pro I tried to turn you into.” Darcy stated with a grin. “First, food then hacking, I’ve been craving some of Cougs cooking for a while. I don’t plan to pass it up any time soon.”
With that said Darcy stood up and stretched, sighing in contentment when her back popped. Jake followed her example and did the same before they both walked out of the room and to the dining room. “Hey Darce? Do you have a number that I can reach Jolene with? I’d like to talk to her, it’s been a while.”
“Yea, I’ll give it to you once we finish eating, alright?” Darcy asked, as she grabbed plates from the cabinet and began to set the table. The smell of Mexican food wafted through the house and all four stomachs rumbled with hunger.
Dinner was an enjoyable affair, filled with talking, laughter and family. Before long though, Darcy handed over the phone number that Pooch could use to call his wife, while she and Jake retired to the office to work on information gathering. Cougar put the food away and cleared the dishes, with the help of Pooch before making his way into the presence of the two hackers that were quietly typing away with murmured epithets about security and the lack of it.
Cougar smiled at the thought that both hackers thought that the security of the CIA was abysmal; they just didn’t realize that the security wasn’t bad so long as you weren’t really good with computers. To them the security was child’s play; to anyone else it would be like trying to break through Fort Knox. Shaking his head slightly, he leaned back on the couch and pulled his hat low over his eyes, deciding that a nap sounded like a good idea.
An hour after Cougar started to nap he was startled awake by a sound of moaning desperation from Darcy. Tipping his hat back Cougar glanced at to try and decipher what was wrong with her. From all that he could tell was that something wasn’t going her way, “Que?”
However, Darcy didn’t answer, or at least she didn’t answer in English. The noise that came from her throat would have probably made a jungle cat proud. It was deep, and very angry, though Cougar still couldn’t figure out why the noise was made in the first place. “Darce?” Jake questioned, finally looking up from his own screens.
“Don’t worry about it, I got this, it’s just going to take a bit longer than I had suspected,” Darcy groaned. “I should probably start with getting into S.H.I.E.L.D and put feelers out and then work on the hard drive so that I can at least get you a bit of a lead, or at least work towards one.”
“Need a hand?” Jake asked knowing that he would pretty much be assigned what Darcy would consider to be standby for just in case.
“You know what to do, why are you asking?” Darcy stated, giving Jake an exasperated look over the top of her glasses.
“Felt like trying to relive old times,” Jake’s cheeky response was met with an impassive face, “wow tough crowd.”
It would be several hours later, with much cursing from both Darcy and Jake, and a lot of amusement from Cougar that Darcy finally managed to get into the S.H.I.E.L.D server. Darcy made sure to plant a worm that would specifically look for information on Max, and nothing else. Darcy did not want any information that might be on those servers.
There was just one problem, even though Darcy made sure to cover her tracks, and check to make sure that she wasn’t being watched. As soon as she accessed the server she had someone from within S.H.I.E.L.D watching her moves and whether or not she was a security risk, and what the hacker wanted.
However, the agent that was watching the breach in the security was surprised when a small worm with set instructions to look for a CIA agent going by the name of Max. The agent decided to let the worm stay within the system, it had set instructions and didn’t seem harmful, plus it would destroy itself once it found the information that it was looking for.
Marking it within the log, Skye called Agent Coulson and let him know of the small breach and what it entailed. Skye also tried to follow the signal back to the origin but whoever was on the other side was good, better than Skye would like to admit. Coulson decided to let it stay within the system as well considering he knew about the operation that the Losers were on that went south, and that Max was a threat. Not one large enough for the Avengers, but a threat none the less.
However, he was curious as to who knew about SHIELD and how they managed to hack the system. He told Skye to continue following the trail as best she could and to keep him informed.
“Darce, you got a watcher, they tried to track but I made sure that they got lost within the signal stream. Also, I noticed a file about the incident in New Mexico that you told us about, that is linked to something called… The Avengers initiative? HOLY SHIT?! Project Rebirth?” Jake exclaimed before he started babbling about Captain America, and working himself into a frenzy.
“Well if supposed Norse gods are real, I don’t see why Captain America wouldn’t be; however, genetic mutation, especially done in the forties would be iffy at best. If he was actually real, he should have a full medical scan done by someone other than S.H.I.E.L.D with a major set of confidentiality clauses and a few non-disclosure agreements because they’ll keep the information from him that he might need to know. Such as an extended life span, being a Popsicle and then defrosting, so on and so forth.” Darcy muttered fingers still flying over the keyboard
“But don’t you think it would be awesome to have super strength, and be a national icon?” Jake asked, curious as to Darcy’s answer.
“Not really, because if you have super strength then you would have to learn how to control it or fear hurting people just by doing something simple, such as a handshake or a hug. Don’t even get me started on the possibility of hurting your partner during intercourse on accident.” Darcy stated with such ease and thought that Jake startled slightly.
“I didn’t think about that,” Jake muttered to himself, thinking about all the ways super strength could be used to help was one thing, but he never thought about the downside to it.
“Of course you didn’t, because everyone gets so caught up in what it can be used for in terms of helping, that no one really thinks about the cons of having said super strength, and don’t even get me started on the possible extended life span, or being frozen
and defrosted, because I’m pretty sure that something like that is against a lot of rules of nature.
“Then there is also the fact that he would now be a man out of time and the fact that in seventy years a lot has changed. The English language has degenerated to slang and the improper use of words which are now being changed to fit with the rise of its use. Take for example literally, which now can mean figuratively or virtually, along with the fact that in this time everything is about sex and sex appeal when in the forties everything was about propriety. Added to the fact that he won’t be able to grasp a lot of the subtle context of pop culture references because he’s never seen them and well you pretty much have one very strong man out of his element and while he might be able to help in the case of a major disaster when it comes to daily interactions he would be at a loss.” Darcy expounded and both Jake and Cougar stared at her.
Darcy didn’t notice their stares and continued on her rant, “If it is the original Captain America; from the forties that fought in world war two, that was seen during the space invasion that happened in New York then he had a life, friends definitely not including that he might have been in love with someone who is either now dead or very old. So just on the superficial of what the government wants you to see that originally there was a man and not a national icon.” Darcy paused in her rant fingers flying even faster before crowing in triumph that she had not only managed to place her nonthreatening worm within the system with a set of parameters to search for Max, but also managed to send a message to that of the Son of Coul so to let him know that she was fine and in the midst of doing things.
Slowly, because working fast while exiting or entering a highly guarded system, especially one that is a branch of the military would probably end up with charges of high treason she left the system and made sure that she patched the security hole that she made making sure that it was stronger than before. Once she was done Darcy stretched out hands clasped, arms up chest out and legs hitting the back of the desk she was sitting at. The groaning noise she made covering up the noise of her back popping.
“Alright, we’ve been at this for several hours already, and I have to admit that I’m getting hungry. Cougs are there still enchiladas left?” Darcy said looking toward the mostly silent sniper, wondering why it was he rarely talked but never pushed for the information.
“Si, I will heat them up, you relax and hack something for fun,” Cougar said with a small smile on his face at the thought of Darcy hacking for fun, much like Jake did when they were on assignment. Shaking his head at how similar yet dissimilar that the two hackers were it was amusing to him, because he could see Darcy’s quirks in Jake, mainly that of the constant stream of conscious thought babble she kept up even in the midst of breaking into secure systems.
Darcy hummed a noncommittal answer as she connected the external hard drive device to her computer and waiting for it register before she tried to crack the software to change the home drive to something that would help out the losers and leave Max high and dry, hopefully undermining Aisha in the process.
It took Darcy several hours to make any progress on making it past the security on the hard drive, to see what it contained, and even though Jake had told her what it was she still let out an impressive whistle at not only the information contained but also at the amount of money that was on it. Half a million dollars was nothing to scoff at, and while Darcy might be doing well in renting or selling houses and homes she still didn’t have access to half a million dollars at the drop of a hat.
Jake being the curious man that he is walked over and stood behind her staring over her shoulder, “ah I see that you made it passed the security on the drive and can view the contents.”
“Yea, and while I might be better off than a lot of people I still don’t have access to half a million at the drop of a hat. I can see why you want to change the home port of this hard drive, not just for the money on the drive itself but also for the fact that there is a lot of encrypted data that can only be accessed at this drives home port. While I haven’t hacked a lot of Goliath technology I have on occasion done so out of boredom. If this is the newest release it should take me about two days to have the home drive changed.
“However, just be glad that this isn’t Stark Tech that you are asking me to hack because that is infinitely more complicated to do so. Stark tech has some of the best encryptions on it, period. Honestly, if I didn’t know that Stark flew around in a tin can saving the world by flying nukes into a giant hole in the sky that was releasing space eels in a bid to take over the world I would say he did it all himself. However, I have a feeling he does most of the initial coding and then passes on the requirements to someone else.” Darcy stated, barely looking up from the computer screen, fingers once again flying over the keyboard.
“Hermana menor, aquí está el almuerzo” Cougar stated, quietly placing the plate of enchilada’s on the desk next to her keyboard.
“Thank you Cougs, I appreciate it, Jake
“Thank you Cougs, I’ll eat in a moment, I just want to start this scan on the drive to see what I can do to minimize the data loss on the drive when I get to changing the home port of this drive. Also, to be on the safe side, someone should call Clay and let him know that you’re all still alive and I haven’t committed mass murder or something. Although I might tase him next time I see him just for getting you into this mess on principle.” Darcy stated, before pushing away from the desk and grabbing her plate of enchiladas and eating it with gusto.
Three days later found an exhausted but accomplished Darcy, an amused Cougar, and an exhausted and whiny Jake while Pooch sat and watched television or went out on errands.
A/N: I am so sorry that this took so long; for one thing I got caught up in Harry Potter fandom. I even started fics for that fandom as well. One of which is nearly done-ish and the other is going to be epic length... However, neither of them will be posted until I have finished writing them. That way something like this doesn’t happen again and at the rate I’m going they might never really be finished because I was writing so much I fell behind in my classes and am now playing catch up… The only reason that I’m posting the chapter now was because:
1) I felt bad for the long wait
2) Happy Holidays! And this is the only gift that you’ll be getting from me.
While in my rant for Darcy I mentioned how the English language is being butchered, and used literally as an example. For a video that one might like to watch, if you don’t mind angry humor from a very angry man with a lot of cursing, then please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDEi_12JmkE
If you don’t watch the video that is fine, but to summarize the author goes into a rant about how literally has now become the new figuratively and it has even been changed in the dictionary to match, “because everyone uses it in this context”.
I apologize that the chapter ends kind of abruptly, I am a bit stuck on where to go, kind of... I'm still working it out... I do hope that you enjoyed this chapter though.
Hermana menor, aquí está el almuerzo – Little sister, lunch is ready.
Chapter 4: Information
This is to make up for the last accident that I made about an hour ago. all is explained in the authors note.
Disclaimer: I do not own nor make profit from these works. They are merely here to entertain, and to help keep my creative juices flowing.
A/n: I know that the first paragraph is pretty much the same as the end paragraph from the last chapter however, I had added more to it. The reason being is because I didn't realize that I had already posted that chapter... Sorry, so for those of you who were so excited to see that I updated it was really a... er... mistake, but this chapter is not! I promise!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Three days later found an exhausted but accomplished Darcy, an amused Cougar, and an exhausted and whiny Jake while Pooch sat and watched television and went out on errands for everyone just to get away from a whiny Jake. Pooch shook his head at the thought that he was really on a team with computer technician who hacked in his boxers and could whine like the most spoiled brat of them all. Still he wouldn't change him for the world, considering some of the things that he did and said were really embarrassing to the hacker in general.
Darcy while feeling accomplished and exhausted finally managed to change the home port for the drive and transfer the money to a secure account in the caymans for the Losers to use, which the team notified Clay about. Who was excited about the information and asked to meet them someplace public away from Aisha. As it was Clay was finally realizing that the volatile woman was a not quite sane and definitely not good for him.
Everyone agreed that the best time to meet up for everyone would be the following day after Darcy got some much needed rest along with Jake at a small coffee shop in between Gimli, where most of the team was, and Winnipeg where Clay and Aisha were at noon. That way it wouldn't really give away their location if they had to make a quick escape.
This is obviously not a full chapter, but since I accidently posted the last chapter twice I figured that I would give you a taste of what the next chapter will hold. So far this is all I have done on it and I hope that you can forgive me for not posting a full and complete chapter. I hope that I will be able to finish it within the next week for not only making you wait so long but for also posting the last chapter twice.
Chapter 5: Information and It's Uses
Disclaimer: I do not own nor make profit from these works. They are merely here to entertain, and to help keep my creative juices flowing.
A/n: I know that the first paragraph is pretty much the same as the end paragraph from the last chapter however, I had added more to it. The reason being is because I didn't realize that I had already posted that chapter... Sorry, so for those of you who were so excited to see that I updated it was really a... er... mistake, but this chapter is not! I promise!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Three days later found an exhausted but accomplished Darcy, an amused Cougar, and an exhausted and whiny Jake, and an exasperated Pooch. They had finally finished planting the worm in all known and one semi-unknown government agency and it had been one hell of a ride for them all. Though Pooch sat and watched television and went out on errands for everyone just to get away from a whiny Jake. Pooch shook his head at the thought that he was really on a team with computer technician who hacked in his boxers and could whine like the most spoiled brat of them all. Still he wouldn't change him for the world, considering some of the things that he did and said were really embarrassing to the hacker in general.
Darcy while feeling accomplished and exhausted finally managed to change the home port for the drive and transfer the money to a secure account in the Caymans for the Losers to use, which the team notified Clay about. Who was excited about the information and asked to meet them someplace public away from Aisha. As it was Clay was finally realizing that the volatile woman was not quite sane and definitely not good for him.
Everyone agreed that the best time to meet up for everyone would be the following day after Darcy got some much needed rest along with Jake at a small coffee shop in between Gimli, where most of the team was, and Winnipeg where Clay and Aisha were at noon. That way it wouldn't really give away their location if they had to make a quick escape. It would also give Darcy some time to build up different encryption programs to hopefully decrypt the rest of the data on the drive itself so that they could learn about some of Max's plans. At least that was what they all hoped for, really they just wanted this all to end to get their lives back.
As they all piled into the SUV with Jake chattering about the super soldier program, Cougs silently laughing at him, Pooch trying to ignore them, and Darcy listening to music through her laptop it was a relatively calm day. Darcy was still working through what information was available from the hard drive and humming occasionally.
The drive took about an hour and a half and the guys talked, or well Pooch and Jake talked, Cougs pulled his hat down over his eyes and napped while Darcy tuned everything out to check on any information that the worms might have gotten. Which didn't take long, and as soon as she was done with that Darcy went about browsing the Internet for anything that happened to strike her fancy.
It just so happened that she stumbled upon a Tumblr thread on the Avengers that had pictures of the attack on New York and their giant space eels that came through the hole in the sky. Darcy wasn't one to scoff at the supernatural, considering she had watched a fire breathing metal monster demolish a town, and then the remaking of a Norse God taking out said metal monster but the space eels, as she now dubbed them along with everyone else on the thread, took the cake. She saw the pictures of Captain America and compared them to the news reels that she had seen when she was still in the political science classes and well they looked similar, though the graininess of those films might have had something to do with it.
So she played around on Tumblr and twitter, looking up pictures of the Avengers when she saw the archer. 'I know this guy! He followed me all around Puente Antiguo!' Darcy thought to herself, before finally finding a few pictures of Captain America without the cowl covering his eyes. Her eyes widened briefly before clearing her throat.
“Jake?” Darcy asked, still looking at the picture and all of the similarities that were between the captain and her longtime friend and boyfriend.
“Yeah Darce?” Jake answered back, finally giving Pooch and Cougar the reprieve that they had been praying for, for the past hour.
“Did you know that you look almost like a carbon copy of Captain America? The eyes are a bit different, along with the hair style, but seriously, you two could be twins.” Darcy said uncertainly, as though afraid to voice out the concern that her friend and boyfriend might have been adopted and never have known.
“I do?” Jake yelped, startled.
“Yea Jake, you look like an exact carbon copy of the captain. It's actually a bit freaky.” Darcy stated. Still looking at the picture on tumbler, and comparing it to her Jake.
Nothing else was said for the rest of the ride, for once Jake was quiet. Which was something that Pooch and Cougar had never seen before. However, being told that you look like a carbon copy of Captain America would probably shock anyone into silence, especially someone as chatty as Jake.
As they pulled into a small coffee shop in Matlock, Manitoba Canada Jake was still quiet and Darcy was now listening to someone babble to her through her phone, occasionally making an affirmative or negative sound. Honestly, Cougar and Pooch thought she looked a bit glossy eyed. If only they had known that the person Darcy had called was an astrophysicist who had a penchant for derailing the topic of conversation to that of SCIENCE! They would have understood a lot better.
As Darcy sat listening to that of the babble that Jane Foster so lovingly calls SCIENCE! Pooch pulled into the coffee shop. Darcy waved the boys on ahead as she continued to make interested noises at the appropriate spots, while typing away at her laptop. 'At least Jane told me why she called before getting distracted.' Darcy thought to herself. She had already remote accessed the computer and was pulling up all the files that Jane needed and creating shortcuts to those folders on the desktop.
After all was said and done with getting Jane the files she needed, Darcy interrupted her, “Jane. Jane. JANE!”
“What?!” Jane screamed, making Darcy pull the phone away from her ear quickly with a small hiss of pain.
“All the files with the information you wanted is on the desktop, labeled by date, and experiment. I have to go. Have fun, and don't SCIENCE! Too much alright love?” Darcy replied.
“Yeah,” came the distracted answer from Jane, before she hung up, not even remembering to ask Darcy why she hadn’t called sooner, and where she was. The science had called her back and it was as though Darcy hadn’t existed again.
Darcy sighed as she looked at the phone. She had missed the absent minded scientist and hoped that she was eating.
Jake, Cougar, Pooch and Darcy were sitting at a table and waiting for Clay by the time they arrived. When Clay sat down Darcy pushed over a cup of still steaming coffee and quietly stood up, “I will be two tables over so that you can catch up and plan. All of the information that I’ve found is on Jake’s laptop. As I find out more things, more will be transferred over. I am still going through the hard drive. I will let the boys explain everything else. I am sure you would rather speak with them than me considering I tased your girlfriend. Though she really did have it coming.” Darcy said before turning around to head over to her table, “oh and before I forget coffee is on the house for this table, so drink as much as you would like.”
Darcy slipped away to allow the men to talk as she setup her laptop and tablet so that she could hack on one and surf the net on the other while she waited for some of the operations to complete. She still had quite a bit left to do on the hard drive considering some of the files had multiple encryptions. She had happened to get lucky to break the encryption on some of the plans that Max had on his next attack. It had been stupid of him to leave any physical evidence. It just proved that she would have been a better villain than any of the ones that were attacking now.
With the possible exception of Loki, only because he was being controlled and wanted to be stopped, added to that he was an alien. Alien god but still an alien. Darcy shook her head at where her thoughts were going and decided to get back to hacking. Before she ended up screwing everything up and erasing all of the data. It was one of the few mistakes she had made when she began hacking.
As she started to get lost in the code her phone rang. One that only few people knew the actual number to, and everyone knew not to call it in case she was in the middle of a major hack. Grumbling she picked up the phone and answered, “What!?!?” she snapped before typing in the next sequence of commands.
“Now is that any way to talk to your favorite uncle?” Dade’s voice rang over the phone.
“Dade? Why are you calling? Is everything alright?” Darcy asked, concern coating her voice at the thought of her family in a pinch, “Do you need anything?”
“Everything is alright, for the most part, I got a very interesting call about you earlier today from Pepper Potts, Tony Starks CEO. You wouldn’t happen to know anything about that would you?” Dade asked casually, trying to hide his amusement that Tony Stark was cyber stalking another person in the family.
Darcy chuckled and leaned back into the café’s chairs, “well you see what had happened-“
Dade cut her off, “Whenever you start a story like that nothing bodes well.”
“I have no idea what you are talking about, no idea at all.” Darcy denied.
“How about that time when you-“
“You do realize that I know where you sleep, live and how to hide camera’s to get some really embarrassing pictures of you to distribute to your underground fan base right? Because if you continue with that thought I will slowly start to destroy your well known reputation as being an aloof hacker. Especially when they see the picture of you cuddled up to a giant teddy bear. Now what was the actual reason that you called?” Darcy queried slightly confused, because if something was wrong then he wouldn’t have taken the time to calm her down with joking.
“Yes, I just received a most interesting phone call from a Pepper Potts, Tony Stark’s CEO and girlfriend. She was wondering if I would be willing to help Tony Stark locate a hacker who seemed to be as good if not better than C0d3_M@$t3r. You wouldn’t happen to know anything about that would you?” Dade asked, sarcasm coating every word like a miasma.
“That might have been because I inadvertently issued a challenge to one Tony Stark to not look into a phone call that was made to me by someone who was supposed to be dead, but it turned out isn’t, along with his team because he was being targeted by a sociopathic moron who doesn’t realize who he is messing with.” Darcy stated with little to no inflection in her voice. For if she had let the emotions coat her voice, she probably would have ended up yelling them, and since they were in public that would have been a bad idea.
“I see…” Was the only response Dade could give as he was a bit shell shocked at the small information dump that had just been given to him.
“Yea, so if you talk to Ms. Potts again please let her know that I would be willing to mean Mr. Stark once everything has been taken care of and my boys are clear. However, if he could please stop trying to locate me that would be greatly appreciated, I would be willing to contact him once it is all done.” As she was saying this she noticed the guys were starting to get antsy being out in public, and if she wasn’t just seeing things there happened to be a black SUV parked next to the vehicle that Clay had driven in that no one had gotten out of yet.
It seems as though their meeting place had been found out by someone. “I’ll talk to you later D, it seems as though we have a bit of a small issue that we are going to have to take care of. Take everything you hear on the news with a grain of salt please, especially if my name is mentioned.” With that last parting Darcy hung up the phone, took it apart to base components and would be chucking them out the window as they drove.
Standing up she made her way over to the table that the boys were at, “Gentlemen it seems we are more than likely being watched right now. Care to take this conversation elsewhere?”
All of the men but Clay nodded, who watched her with suspicion in his eyes. “Why would I go anywhere with you, a civilian, who while helping us, might have just signed our death certificates?” Clay stated his voice a low grumble so that other patrons of the store couldn’t hear what he said.
“For one, why would I sign the death certificate of the man I love and those whom have befriended him quirks and all? Second, just because you don’t trust me doesn’t mean that they don’t, and they would go with me, because they know I can guarantee them safety. Even if it means changing their lives so much that they technically no longer exist.
“You’d never be able to find them, no matter who you got to hack for you. I’m that good, and no it’s not a false sense of arrogance. It’s truth. I hacked NORAD when I was a teen. You think you know me, you don’t know shit, now either buck up or get up because this offer ain’t going to last. You want Max? I can lead you to him, he’s not as clever as he thinks. Answer, now.”
Clay had never before been talked to like this little girl was doing, but he noticed that none of his men were even going to argue for him, it appeared that what she said was true. That the only reason she was helping them, was to get them back their lives. Which was a hell of a lot better than what Aisha was doing.
Once Pooch had lost their tail, they arrived back at the house, it took about an hour for them to loose Aisha. That was even with Pooch doing some of his best defensive maneuvering. It just so happened that she was a lot better than some of the other people that Pooch had gotten away from.
Soon they were all seated in the living room around a beautiful cherry wood coffee table and their drink of choice in hand. Clay was impressed by what he had seen of the house so far. It wasn’t extravagant or large but compared to most of their safe houses it was a whole hell of a lot better. It was even equipped with everything that they needed.
Darcy took a seat on the floor with her laptop propped open on the table and her fingers once again flying about the keyboard. Clay was slightly impressed by the speed in which she typed. He knew that once Jake got into the groove the boy could type well over a hundred words per minute but he had never seen him reach the speeds that this girl was getting.
About thirty minutes of the click clack of keys being hit before Darcy suddenly shot up and cheered. “I have not only gained complete access to the hard drive and changed the home port for it, but I know where he’s going to hit next. Get ready boys we’re headed to California!”
“Darce, where in California?” Jake asked his head slightly tilted to the side almost like a curious puppy.
“I am so glad that you have asked, we are headed to the port of Los Angeles. The City of Angels beckons us boys and we will head its call. And kick some ass while we’re at it, because I have a taser charge with this assholes name on it.” Darcy stated.
A/N: I know I said that I would get this out earlier and I'm sorry! I now have two jobs, just bought a house and a truck and have barely slept at all... :(
Update from 3 months after the note on top of this: I just got a tablet and keyboard setup so that I can write even while I am at work and I haven’t abandoned my stories yet. I just haven’t had the time to write them out. However, I have been planning out some things. So that hopefully I will have a lot of interesting twists and turns for you. Hopefully.
Please don’t give up on me yet, even if my updating is slower than anyone who ever updated…
Chapter 6: Preparations
Darcy gets the boys ready, tries to get backup and stumbles across code that isn't familiar.
It's been a little over two years since I have updated, and I have no excuse. I would give you reasons but, they would be half-hearted at best. I am hoping to update again, maybe even finish this story... It will take forever... I do apologize for that. Especially to the people who enjoy the story.
Working 15 hours a day is a killer, it hurts, and you feel so much older than you actually are. I'm surprised I even got this chapter this far along. I will try and start on the next one, but I cannot promise when it will be posted. Mainly because I just don't know when it will be.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Darcy and the team, sans Aisha, called in a few favors that they had… discreetly of course. It wouldn’t do for everyone and their mother to know that the losers were alive after all. Especially since they were trying to clear their names so that they could move on with their lives. Or un-lives, as the case may be, seeing as they had been declared dead after all. They had a basic layout of the port, and a rough plan of action, all they needed were some more weapons, and well… Darcy was calling a few trustworthy friends just in case
She at least wanted backup in the event that all of the plans failed. Clay was against it, but he had been outvoted because if they couldn’t finish this thing with Max then someone would have to do so. That and Darcy wanted to be sure he was finished fast and hard. She didn’t want this man coming back to haunt them when they all settled down and got back into their lives.
Hardison and Parker were helpful in getting quite a few guns from one of their teammates, while still being under the radar. Dale had gotten a lead on Max, and they were working on a plan of action. Even though Jake had pretty much stated that it would go out of the window once shit hit the fan. Darcy didn’t doubt that it would go out of the window; however, so long as they had a general idea of what they were supposed to do then all would be good.
It would be another couple of days before they headed out to the port of Los Angeles, Darcy had a few safe houses in the area that they would reconvene at if they all got separated. One of them being in a nice neighborhood, with a straight shot to the 405. It had four bedrooms and four bathrooms and a pool. That would be the house where they would meet should they all get separated, it was roughly half an hour away from the house.
Darcy would stay further back from all of the action, out near knoll hill and be everyone’s com’s specialist, taking Jenson’s job seeing as he’d be going in behind the fence. Added to that she was a better hacker than Jenson so it would just be safer for her to be away from everything going down especially seeing as she wasn’t a military combatant. She wasn’t a combatant of any kind with the exception of verbal warfare, that was her specialty well that and her taser.
Which didn’t count at all especially when the opposition was bringing guns and people trained in actual fighting. So she would be support, even though she wasn’t really all the qualified for it, though from what Jake had explained; she was pretty sure it was the bare bones of it, it wasn’t that hard. Darcy went through the process of checking all of the earwigs to make sure it worked properly, she also made sure to check all of the gear to make sure she had everything that she would need.
Once she was sure that she had everything that she would need she went to check on the small worm program that she had installed in S.H.I.E.L.D to see if it had any news about Max. It didn’t; however, there was a small bit of script attached that she was sure wasn’t there when she placed the code. Darcy took a closer look at the script and let loose a cackle that startled Cougar, Pooch, and Clay.
“Why is she cackling?” Clay asked hesitantly, not really daring to go find out.
Pooched looked around, then looked at both Clay and Cougar and stated, “man, I don’t even want to know.”
Cougar shrugged and continued to clean his rifle, making sure that it was in prime condition for when they got to the port. He knew his part of the plan, they all pretty much played the same roles, with the exception of Jensen, who moved around the team with terrifying efficiency for what they needed.
Darcy looked back at the screen after she had finished cackling, it was going to be a good day. The person who had found her worm attached a phone number to it with the initials P.J.C. Grabbing her phone, she dialed the number and listened to it ring three times before it was answered. “Agent Coulson.”
“Son of Coul! So good to speak with you, how is life?” Darcy said brightly, she actually liked the unflappable agent.
“Ms. Lewis, is there a reason that you are calling me?” Coulson replied it wasn’t that he wasn’t somewhat relieved to hear that she was well but he knew that he had not given her his number. Which means that Skye had something to do with it.
“I just wanted to make sure that you were well,” Darcy stated, she knew that her team was about to create a lot of damage to the port of L.A. However, she didn’t know how to go about asking for a cover up. Especially one of the magnitude of which they might need if Max had indeed gotten his hands on those SNOOK’s.
“I am doing very well, is there a reason that you called besides that? Seeing as you have disappeared from the protective detail that we had for you, I am going to guess that you might need help in the immediate future.” Coulson stated, even though what he really wanted to ask was how she did it. Her file hadn’t shown any special training, anything that would stand out. Even though he had felt that her file was incomplete.
“Yeah, about that,” there was a pause, while she Darcy gathered her thoughts “In a couple of days at the port of L.A. there is going to be a showdown between an ARMY special forces team and a C.I.A. Operative who has decided that destroying the world is a great idea, or maybe he’s planning to plunge it into world war three. I’m not exactly sure. The ARMY special forces team was declared dead in Bolivia, after an OP went sideways.”
Coulson interjected, “The Losers were thought to be dead, after their air support exploded; however, the only remains that the DoD could find were the remains of 25 children and that of the air support crew. The dog tags of the Losers were found in the wreckage; however, that was not enough to support that they were killed in action even though they had been classed as that.
“It was a standard cover up for the deaths of those 25 children, that was then blamed on the Losers. Is there a point to this Ms. Lewis?” Coulson asked only slightly annoyed and slightly curious. He knew that the Losers didn’t kill the children; however, he also knew that they hadn’t followed orders. That was what rankled him the most.
“Max, ordered the hit on the helo, Max ordered the air strike even when Col. CLay asked for it to be stopped, because he saw the children going into the compound. Max denied the delay, so the guys went in, they got the children out. They did their mission without having that innocent blood on their hands. However, because Clay called Max out Max ordered an airstrike on their return helo. Only on that helo were the children that they had saved.
“They left that wreckage there, with their dog tags and vowed to go after Max. Now they have a viable chance at doing so. However, they don’t want help, they want to do this on their own. I don’t blame them. The only thing that I’ll need help with is pretty much what is going to amount to a cover up.” Darcy breathed, she had rushed through the story, she knew she was leaving out some of the minor details, and yet it was still enough to get her point across.
Coulson took a few moments to let Darcy’s words soak in and work out the problem itself. The fact that Col. Clay’s men should have been lauded as heroes and ended up being branded as traitors struck him as wrong. “Alright, I’ll lead a team down there tomorrow morning, you will then brief me on the plan of action that you and your team have worked out. From there we will be working together.”
“Coulson, Max has a bomb called a SNOOK. I’m not sure all that it can do, but I can tell you that it won’t be pretty. I tried to look it up and well even I couldn’t find information on it.” Darcy stated as if that were to mean anything to Coulson.
“I’m sure if I put the right people on it Ms. Lewis we would find the information that you cannot just google search,” Coulson stated as if that were the only thing that Darcy could do.
“Dude, I’m a hacker. I hacked your little underground agency in 20 minutes. I can find information if it is out there, the information isn’t out there. Either that or it’s being kept on a computer that is not connected to any network. If I wanted to I could hack and release all of the files on your computer that shouldn’t be there. Like the worm that is recognising your keystrokes and sending it to a computer somewhere in camp Lehigh. Which I thought had been abandoned.” Darcy said with all of the annoyance that she could muster. Her skills were well honed, and very well tested. She had made sure of it.
“Ms. Lewis, are you suggesting that S.H.I.E.L.D has been compromised from the inside?” Coulson asked, “That is a serious allegation coming from a civilian with no apparent skills in her record. I would suggest that you make not make them if you do no have evidence. S.H.I.E.L.D has rigorou-” Coulson cut off as he watched his computer screen cut out and start going through several files and and programs. Programs that he knows aren’t on his computer. All of a sudden a video box with Darcy’s face appeared and she appeared to be deeply annoyed as she continued typing.
“Listen Agent I-pod Thief, I know what the subroutine looks like for a keylogger looks like. I know what a lot of things look like because I have either used them, or made them myself. Now if you look at your screen, you will see the code that is scrolling by. This code is a keylogger, and the I.P. that it is being sent to is stationed in Camp LeHigh, in Wheaton, New Jersey. Which from all records has been marked as abandoned.” Darcy paused breifly while he took in that information. “This section of code, over here,” at this another box popped up, “is an algorithm to bypass any security measures you have in place, so that at any time access can be granted to personnel even if they don’t have the clearance to see what missions are currently active.
“Now this next one is a bit of a doosy, so please follow along on your screen and save any questions for the end. The next box that is about to pop up on your screen will show certain files that have been marked with a red star of some sort, not sure why. These missions are only going through one person to be approved, and overseen. I don’t even think your director knows about these; though he will in a few moments as I’m sending him a copy of them as well. These are a different type of format than that of a standard S.H.I.E.L.D. mission report, there is only ever one operative listed, his name is Soldat. My Russian is a bit rusty but I’m pretty sure that means soldier. This operative has over 300 kills, and has been doing this for roughly 70 years. So Coulson, I ask you. What can S.H.I.E.L.D find that I can’t, when it can’t even find it’s own compromise? I think I called the wrong agency, I’ll find another way to have backup. Thank you.” and with that Darcy Lewis hung up, leaving behind a stunned Coulson.
Lowering the phone, Coulson could only stare at the computer, he hadn’t actually though that S.H.I.E.L.D could be compromised, let alone hacked. They had the best and brightest minds working for them, ones that could and would continually upgrade their security.
“Darcy, what was that?” Jake asked as he stepped into the room.
“I was trying to find a way to maybe get us some backup; however, it kind of blew up when the agent called me incompetent and I showed him how incompetent I wasn’t. I think I might have broke his brain…” Darcy stated as she watched Coulson’s face from where she turned on the webcam from his computer before closing her side down. He looked truly shocked, like he couldn’t believe what he had just heard.
“Is that the agent that you just called? How can you be sure he’s one of the good guys?” Jake asked he had never had Darcy’s radar for people. He only managed to be as decent as he was with people because of Darcy, otherwise he would have been totally inept with social graces.
“Yea, he’s one of the good ones. He’s a bit of a troll, has a dry sense of humor and is the agent all other agents aspire to be; however, I don’t think he knew how far corruption can and will seep into anything. He’ll find a way to help, even if it happens to be off of the books for now. Mainly cause I don’t think he’ll trust his computer for a while. He had a decent firewall, and sniffer programs. So someone is on his side, but they either missed that or purposefully overlooked the key-logger and file replicator program. I deleted them from his computer and left a pretty nasty return present for when they try to re-install those.
“However, I can’t tell for certain who it was. I’ve never seen code like that. It almost seemed like a stream of consciousness style of writing code. Normally code that people create is fluid, streamlined, each is different I get that, but this code. If you actually look at it, it looks like someone was spewing it out of their brain with no way to condense it into a streamlined program. This, whatever this is, seems to be the largest and bulkiest of programs. Maybe the creator did it this way to mask the writing style. However, even if they did, it probably wouldn’t matter mainly because of the fact that you can’t tell what the writing style is.
“There is no signature to the work, if you could even find it, there is nothing here besides the stream of consciousness that seems to tell you who it is. But even that doesn’t really tell you anything. I don’t understand how this worked in the first place.” By this point Darcy is up and pacing, trying to get all of the words out for an explaination, and Jake has taken a seat at her computer and is looking at the screen shots of the coding that Darcy is trying to explain.
“You said it was sending the information to Camp LeHigh? Isn’t that where Captain America was based? I thought that they brought in some Nazi Scientists toward the end of the war, folded them into the military to use their ideas and inventions. Maybe someone is still there? Maybe it wasn’t as abandoned as we had been told? Just because we’re hackers doesn’t always mean that we have all of the information.” Jake reminded her, it had been one of the few things that she had ingrained into him since she had started to teach him coding.
“I know, I know it’s just that even satellite heat imagery will show that nothing is there. I just don’t understand what the fuck is happening and now we’ll probably not have the neccessary cover-up that we’ll need for the property damage that will happen if he lets loose one of those bombs, and god only knows what those things actually do
“I thought that agent would have at least listened to what I was saying and yeah I could see taking it with a grain of salt and asking for proof, but he just brushed aside my concerns like I had no idea what I was talking about.” Darcy started to get into rant mode, and Jake had to interrupt her before she really got going.
“You mean he treated you like a civilian, with no actual skills because you covered your tracks. You protected yourself so well that they couldn’t even find evidence that you had been trained in anything. No offense, but from what your saying and his actual reaction, he might have had a feeling about you, but if one were to take a look at your background it would show you as someone who is slightly flighty. You’re still credits away from your bachelor's degree, and you have changed your major three times now. Darcy, he was treating you that way because he doesn’t know you, doesn’t understand that sometimes your mind has more things running through it that others.
“This Agent, he doesn’t know what you’ve done because you’ve hidden it behind firewalls and coding so well that even if he had a good hacker, they more than likely wouldn’t have been able to get through your encryption because you are just that much better.” Jake stated. He knew that Darcy would more than likely be classified as a genius if she took the test, but she had never wanted to. Darcy didn’t want to be classified just by her intelligence, it wasn’t all she was. It just happened to be on facet of her, one that made her paranoid enough to hide all of the stuff that she has done.
Darcy humms noncommitally, “It’s time to start packing, we need to head out soon. I don’t know if the person who made that code could track me, and I don’t want to find out.” Darcy turned to the room at large, “Time to head out boys! We need to get to Los Angeles by tomorrow night. I want to be there early so we can review, and scope out the area. I want all of you coming back whole and healthy, or at least as whole and healthy as you ever do. Just no missing pieces and I’d be happy. Pretty sure Jolene would kill me if she heard that.” Darcy mumbled the last part to herself, though Pooch did hear and laughed at her.
“I’m pretty sure she’s just happy that I might have a chance to come back to her. She also asked if you’d like to be the godmother,” Pooch had to stop talking because he has an armful of crying, laughing woman now attached to his midsection saying yes. He looked at the other guys and stated “I didn’t propose, Jolene would kill me! Jake how do I get this monkey to release!?! JAKE!!!!!”
The first House I had looked at first was on the corner of 8th and Harkness can actually be found on google maps in Manhattan Beach, California. It really is adorable looking.
The house I eventually ended up picking is several streets over and larger. It is on Robinson Street between Rindge and Blossom Ln on Carnegie Ln. The address if you’d like to see it is 2113 Robinson st Redondo Beach, California. Though there aren’t all that many pictures, really just what can be seen from google maps, but it will at least give you an idea of what the house looks like.