Dissension in the Ranks

JP with Winters+Blitzen+Turk

As the group dispersed from the meeting and were all on their way to their different locations, Erik was quick to his phone as might be expected of a teenager, but he had other plans. He had gotten out of the room, but the plan was still on his mind.

FINALLY away from the meeting, where nothing happened but talking, Niko slid the airpods he picked from Theo’s pocket (shooting fish in a barrel when everyone around you is slow) back into his ears.

A text went out to the same group that had just a few scant days ago organized what most would consider an impromptu training sesh.

>Yo, hey this is Erik again
>Can we talk? Sorry if you're not around atm just need to talk something out

“Dude I’m literally right here still.” Gwen chuckled walking from the other end of the table.

>Unless this is like super-secret talk? Ooh a conspiracy!<

>Sup< Niko texted back, wanting to use as little words as possible.

Erik groaned a bit as he thought carefully over his next few sentences.

>Needs to be a more secret thing, no HELEN, no leadership, especially no Coulson.<

>Okay wait, that sounds really sketchy, I just want to talk about something with the plan we have and not have anyone be listening in because it might not be a plan that aligns with SHIELD's plans<

>You all realize it’s a moot point texting each other … SHIELD can crack our phones like eggs and skim our text … probably as we type it.<

>out front, be prepared to breathe through your nose. I know a place<

“Ah not ag-” Gwen said taking a breath before being whisked away. Niko picked up Ghost Spider Girl along the way, zipping out front and waiting impatiently for Foster-Thorson.

Erik hurried through the hallways, only stopping to appear disinterested and walking slowly for any security cameras or where he figured sensors were. Of course H.E.L.E.N could probably track his movements and relay them to SHIELD, but hey if the rest of the team didn't buy it based off of security cam footage that was something. He wasn't as fast as Niko, but he still managed to get a decent pace out to the facility. He had thrown on an OKC Thunder zip hoodie with a single white strip and 'Thunder' emblazoned across it in blue and orange. He opened the last door, "Sorry, sorry, I'm late I know. So where's the spot?"

Moments later, Niko sat on the curb noisily sipping a slushy ice through a straw outside the Fast Ticket Checker. “What’s up, Foster-Thorson?”

Gwen blinked dizzily breathing through her nose. “So … am I here for a reason? I’m pretty sure I’m still benched since SHIELD, apparently, is calling the shots.” Said the teen still finding that pill bitter while in the throes of her teenage hero anst.

“They make good slushy ice.” Niko offered, waving the cup in her direction.

“Ooh what flavor!” The teen said easily distracted by a proclaimed good slushy!

“Cherry Lime.” Niko replied, squinting his eyes closed and holding his forehead tightly in pain after taking a fast sip.

Erik flipped his hair back into order and checked the area around them. Seemingly satisfied at the location he cleared his throat to attract attention from the sugary drink, tasty as it may be. "So yeah umm….I just, I just wanted to get you guys out here so that we could.."

He thought his next words out carefully, "I can't be the only one who thinks what we're doing to David is a little fucked right? I mean the plan is...I mean it's fine but the goal feels wrong right?" He looked over his two compatriots, or at least he hoped they would be.

Niko took another loud slurp, nodding his head. "Kid had a go-kart track. You have to wonder if it was all the suit said it was, why a sixteen year old would want to leave. It smells a little off."

“A little?” Gwen snorted. “Spoiled milk smells better in comparison.” She said arms crossed. “Wait … if you had such a problem with the mission why didn’t you say something during the actual meeting?” She asked eyeing Erik.

“Because that would have made the meeting longer." Niko replied, holding his now empty cup up to his eye to peer inside the clear cap. "Outcome would be the same."

Erik caught Gwen's glare and looked to the ground, "I mean...there was a lot going on...plus Sam and Coulson are both...it wasn't the place for it…" he looked off and then steeled his resolve just a bit. "But if David has the kind of power that they think he does, then I...I sympathize with that and I also know that just locking him up isn't going to change anything." He looked back to Gwen and Niko, his fist clenched tight at his own thoughts, "David needs to be allowed to make his own choices, that's the least he's owed as his own person. He's not his father and he's more than his powers... sooo...I guess I'm asking you to help me sabotage this mission a little?"

“Uh-hu.” Gwen said with an arched brow. “I would love to but last I checked only 4 are going on the mission and I wasn’t one of them. Sam’s 180 inspired zero confidence and honestly I’m tired of him always dismissing everything I say based on my age regardless of its merit.” Gwen had made it clear how she felt in the meeting so she was game to help in anyway she could.

“I’m game.” Niko replied.. He couldn’t help but feel for the Banner kid. He and Theo had been pulled from school when her powers manifested, and he could easily see how someone would feel lonely if they didn’t have a cousin to raise.

But being ‘game’ wasn’t really the response he was looking for and it seemed that he had somehow become a leader. Shit he hadn’t really thought this out that far, only the base impulse and reasoning of a plan, not the actual implementation of it. He let out a brief sigh and put his hands to his sides, much of his previous gusto, or what little there was, knocked out of him, "Couldn't…" he started but brought a hand to his lip as if to stop the bad idea from escaping.

He paced for what felt like an eternity, at least to Niko, before continuing, "I mean...you got into SHIELD's system before right? Even if you're sidelined you should be able to get in and...I guess the right word is disrupt their communication and observation systems? I mean beyond that Niko and I are the ones who it seems will be actually intercepting so as soon as we have some time I...I dunno I guess we just let him go? Do what he wants to do? It just feels wrong bringing him to another cage or something." The plan was shoddy of course, and likely full of enough holes that it could qualify as swiss cheese but damn if it wasn't what he had at the moment.

Niko leaned back on his elbows and dropped his head. “Your heart is in the right place, Foster-Thorson. But -- if we let him go, they won’t just stop looking for him. I think what we need to do is find him before the others which won’t be hard, because everyone is slow as shit, and find somewhere he won’t be found, no matter how hard they look. But you’re right, choice has to be his, because if they’re sending us in? He’s going to be hiding at least until he hits 18, which sounds like a different sort of cage. As for Ghost Spider Girl, we can sneak her in. She’s tiny. She’ll fit in my luggage. Or we just tell them she needs to come.” He glanced over his shoulder, checking out the girl checking out customers. “We’re going after a sixteen year old boy, they want us to convince him to do something? There’s no one better equipped to do that than a pretty 15 year old girl.”

Erik put his hand back to his chin, 'stupid' he thought to himself considering his own plan, there was no follow through he could think of. He had lived in what he had considered the middle of nowhere, and SHIELD still had a file on him that seemed painfully current. "You're right...I guess that's just one we'll address when we get there..." He followed Niko's glance over to the checkout girl, "..but uhh...I don't think she's 15…" he didn't quite follow the logic but his glance back to Niko showed he was willing to be proven wrong.

Niko curled his lip and raised one eyebrow,then pointed to Gwen, “I meant Ghost Spider Girl, Kvedjeso. She’s the pretty 15 year old. Why would we take the Fast Ticket Checker? Maybe you should leave the planning to -- smartish people.”

Erik's face dropped, "but you were look…" he pointed half-heartedly toward the checkout counter but stopped remembering how rude it is to point. "It..I w…of course sh..." he exhaled, now visibly flustered. He was smart damn it...maybe... honestly he probably needed to work on it but at this point he felt his brains were being challenged. He gave a look over to Gwen, only this time with a more critical eyes. He wasn't used to 'evaluating' girls like this, so he was certainly untrained in how to do it subtlety. Turning quickly back to Niko, "Of course she's beautiful, but I don't think that's all it's going to take! He's been in captivity and under observation so maybe it's not the...what are you two looking at me for?" He noticed the strange looks on the pairs face and lost all trains of thought.

Honestly poor Gwen did know what to do. She was going to say something but being called beautiful drowned out the rest. The poor girl's brain needed a reset!

"Uuuhh Sheild codes thing … FIREWALL ... would be hard to ki-rrraaaccckkk … and they would know if muc-eesssssed around in the backend since they'll be watching IRT." Gwen said trying to keep her head on straight. "Also remember they are tracking him via gamma radiation discharge."

Niko gave Gwen the same “What the actual fuck” look which he’d thought was reserved for Thorson, happy he was passed the whole awkward puberty/threshold from adolescence to adulthood shit.

Gwen shrugged looking at Niko."What?" She asked innocently.

“Uh - huh. This plan would work.” He decided. “But - where would you hide a sixteen year old kid with potential breathtaking anger management issues that isn’t prison like?”

Erik hadn't realized what he had done wrong yet, but knew he was now being cut out of the plan, "What? No! I can talk to him. I think I understand what he's going through and maybe I can get him to stop and talk at least." He looked to Niko, almost shocked himself at the fight he was putting up, "I'll write something down if you want, I just think...I think I can help him out."

“Shit, no.” Niko replied. “I don’t need anything written, or spoken. If you just want time to talk to him, I can run interference. No one runs better than me.”

“Okay then, Gwen and I talk to him and find out what he wants, you keep the others occupied with...something...and then if we need extraction we’re good for that as well.” He gave the group another look, “So yeah...good plan, I’m sure it will all workout exactly as we planned. So should we fist bump or...hands in...or something…”

Niko nodded, and slightly sulking dropped his ear pods back in his ears with a thumbs up.

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