The Ice Box

Dammit, Kris, you never put a summary! Then I have to cobble something weird and cryptic together like: 'Hawkeye does shit. But not anything influential because Hawkeye.'

How should I know?!


The Ice Box is pretty much the worst SHIELD safehouse known to man. Or unknown to man as the case may be. Tucked into the side of a mountain that not even the gulag-slavers could touch, it's a makeshift building/cave utilizing the natural ambience of MOUNTAIN complete with icy freezing as the season permits. And the season does permit. Here it's never balmy. Always cool.

And on the outside, it looks like little more than the mouth of a cave. This base hasn't really been in operation for awhile, but Hawkeye knows it well. He'd used it when he'd tracked the Black Widow so long ago.

Now? It's become home to a bevy of SHIELD scientists. Not that Hawkeye knew they were coming. He'd set up here as his own base of operations to track Bruce Banner, try to figure out what Natasha had been talking about, and figure out his next move.

The base itself is a single room, designed for protection and stealth rather than great operations of import. A single ridiculously large computer (come on SHIELD, update your tech once in awhile) buzzes and whirrs and flashes with various lights. But it's workable and does get into the files.

A single cot lingers in the corner of the room. Otherwise there is nowhere to sit. Which is why many of the science-nerds have taken to the floor, huddling together, and wishing they'd had time to get winter coats.

Perched atop a crate on the side of the room farthest from the cave mouth is Clint Barton, Hawkeye. His posture suggests rest, his demeanor wariness, but a pair of dark glasses conceal the truth. His eyes dart from time to time toward the computer, which he set to work on the problem as best he could. Time stretches from minutes to an hour, and more, without a word from him.

Finally, it is the click of boots on stone that announces he has moved. He lands easily on the floor of the cave, and long strides carry him toward the huddle of scientists. "You," he calls out as he approaches, his tone curt. "Brains. If I give you a data set, how fast can you make that relic," and here there is a derisive jerk of his head toward the computer, "Sift through it? Once it finds what I'm looking for, I'll be on my way, and you can…" One eyebrow arches as he glances from one shivering scientist to the next, and he shakes his head once. "…Do whatever it is you came here to do."

A look around the near-empty cave, so long deserted, and he can't help but ask. "What did you come here to do?"

From one cold wasteland to another. Trent, after having been scooped up from the horrible scene in Russia, now is in an even colder place. Wrapped up in SHIELD jackets and sweaters, he is huddled by his laptop, fingerless gloves hovering over his keyboard.

"You know, we have names," Trent tells Hawkeye, his normally cheerful - or at least flippant - attitude tinged with annoyance and a bit of hostility. "And, what it is we do, is help you figure out what it is you need to do because apparently without us you're just adrift in an ocean of infinite possibilities."

This shift in demeanor could easily be attributed to his harrowing escape. Or, to the fact that he just may not like Hawkeye. Either way, he continues typing without even looking up at the Avenger. "If you've got a data set, just tell me and we'll see. Then you can get going with….whatever it is you do."

"Well, Brain-With-a-Name," Clint says, eyeballing the scientist, "My name is Agent Barton, Clint. Hawkeye. You've heard of me." It's not a question, at least not in his mind. He's an Avenger. Everyone has heard of the Avengers. "And I think you know what I do. So ease up — we don't want you blowing a circuit."

Half-turning to face the computer, he points to the aged piece of supertech. "My dataset is on a drive in there. Right…" He trails off for a moment, circling with his fingertip until he finds the spot he wants. "There. In the drive there, under the… Flashing… Thing." The point becomes an openhanded, dismissive gesture, and he turns his back on the machine once again. "So if you can sift through that, I'll thank you kindly and be on my way."

"I have someplace to be," the archer finishes in a tone somewhat more grim, "And I'm late."

"Yeah, uh, I know who you are. I've met you, like, ten to twenty times when I've outfitted you for a mission." Trent looks up from his computer to give Barton a look. One that shows he's not impressed by him and his Agent status. Nor his arrows. "If I blow a circuit, it's because I was just in a facility that just got basically imploded and had to crawl out of a vent after shooting a guy in the face. None of these things I have done before. I'm here to get you guys suited up, not to be doing the…" suiting doesn't work here, so he pauses for a short and awkward amount of time. "…shooting." Right, yeah, that'll work.

"Uh, you mean the raided drive that has one failing partition?" Trent can't help but needle Barton, plucking the drive he means up and ejecting it safely from the aging super computer. He plugs it into his laptop, tapping here and there when needed to ensure that he can access that data securely and without damaging the drive.

"Yeah, you sure do. You were certainly late extracting us from Russia." And if he had been there, maybe Natasha wouldn't now be in the wind. Of course, he doesn't say that. But, does he really have to?


"You can't say you don't know who he is," Natasha states dryly. "He's outfitted us for at least three missions. And you have incredibly good eyes." Evidently the spy's patience is waning. The tech room at SHIELD headquarters in New York City flickered, blinked, and whirred all around them. While not as tech savvy as the actual SHIELD techs, the Black Widow had always been at least competent at hacking, overclocking, and generally using computers. Which could be why, at this moment while she and Clint get debriefed for their latest excursion, Romanoff's fingers slide over keys with ease. Her own files are undergoing a series of updates against the background music of click click click.

Green eyes peel away from the screen as Natasha regards Clint and then Trent in turn. "You're both being ridiculous." The words are matter-of-fact while she finally hits enter on whatever she's working. Her lips edge into a smile, evidently her machinations have turned into rip-roaring success.

The red head turns in her chair to regard Trent now. "He's baiting you," she states simply. "Not a bait and switch, but classic nonetheless." Her eyes blink owlishly and the computer declares Upload Complete. She smirks with satisfaction.

Hawkeye's brows knit, then lift to show feigned ignorance as he shakes his head ever-so-slightly. It's well feigned ignorance, but if there are a handful of men and women alive who can lie to The Black Widow, Clint is certainly not one of them.

"I'm not baiting him," he claims, then says to Trent, "I'm not baiting you. I don't know who he is." He squints slightly, rubs his chin, and mutters, "I know it's not always the same one."

Brightening, he snaps his fingers as he recalls, "There used to be a blonde. The blonde, I remember." Turning to the technician with a one-shouldered shrug, he informs him, "I liked you better when you were a blonde. With nice… Oh, hey." The Black Widow's smirk catches his attention, and his eyes flit to the screen. "It's done. So… Dinner? I'm starved."

"Wow. Wow." Trent is facing forward, all but glaring at his screen at the chatter happening around him and often times about him without being involved. Already he's planning Masters level of pranks against Clint. Nair in shampoo bottles is not good enough for him.

As professionally as possible, he drops a bag down next to Natasha and completely ignores Clint. "Here is all you'll need for your upcoming mission. Comlinks, climbing gear, knock out gas, even a sensor pen. I got that one specially for you," he bobs his head at Natasha. "It writes in red so you'll know it from the regular pens." Clint, Clint who? "If you have some free time, you know, we could talk some more about the file updates I'm doing. Plus, I'm not much for purple."

"Pfffft," comes the elegant response from the Black Widow to Clint's non-baiting-of-the-tech-guy. Natasha swivels her desk chair around to face the men rather than the screen. Her palms clasp against the back of her head as she lounges in her seat. Despite the sound emitted from the back of her throat, amusement reflects in her green eyes. "So, basically, what you're suggesting, is you liked Carter when he was Agent Morse? I'll be sure to tell Bobbi about how much you miss her," Tasha's words are deadpanned and the tone makes it hard to tell if she's serious or sarcastic. There's a pause. "If you want dinner so badly, maybe you should call her?" she arches a wry eyebrow.

A curt nod and flicker of a smile is cast towards Trent. "Thank you." There's a pause. "Red is my favourite colour, so I feel like that works." Red. So symbolic of everything the Widow stands for and does. The Red Room. Red hair. Blood red. "I think the sensor pen will come in handy." She blinks owlishly. "But discussion on the file updates could be useful. I need to be on top of the systems here."

Clint snaps his fingers, points at Widow, and… His short-lived smug expression fades quickly to a mild confusion. "Maybe." A moment of mulling it over, then, "No… Yes. But no on the dinner plans with her. Awkward." He looks to Trent, his expression this time one of commiseration. It's a 'this guy knows what I mean' sort of look, as if they were suddenly friends. No support there? Surprise.

Frowning, he folds his arms across his chest as he leans back against a bank of monitors. "No dinner, then?" Disappointing, but bearable. "So, what's next on our dance card? File… Updates?" He looks from Natasha to Trent, and quickly back.

Imagine, no support from Trent for Hawkeye attempting to take out Black Widow. Amazing. Sarcasm.

"I'd hoped you liked it!" Trent is empowered by Natasha's endorsement. He practically beams at Clint as he toes the backpack closer to the spy and leans on the desk next to her. "Well, the files will take a little bit of time to encode. We have to walk a fine line between truly hidden and able to be accessed to give your cover story the proper security to put the hacker at ease and a little sense of triumph at getting your 'true' identity. All the while I'll be planting a bit of a trojan horse on their end so we can see everything they're doing."

Casually, he adds, "You know, I could totally order some Chinese."

Natasha's head turns towards Clint and then Trent while just a glimmer of mischief reflects in her eyes. Her arms cross over her chest and she leans closer to the computer. "Chinese is dinner," she muses in a dead panned voice. "And mission debriefs are important." Even if things rarely go according to plan.

"I think that works." The idea of the trojan horse merits another nod of her head. "Basically, you'll be playing the role of our guardian angel," with a slight curve of her lips, the Black Widow thinks she's effectively summarized the entire scenario. "You tell us what to do, where to go, and whether they see us. Can you change the picture or loop the cameras on their security system if you have to? Give them a two or three second delay?"

"Did the comlink issue get resolved? Back in Chechnya when they went to static, I had to improvise." Which Natasha is good at, but that doesn't mean she always wants to.

"Aw. Chechnya," Clint mutters, making it sound like a curse word. "I'm not hungry anymore." Nothing like memories of Chechnya to ruin a man's appetite. "If you make sure that com bug is dealt with for good, I'm promoting you to my second-favorite technician." He says it to Trent, as though that were something worth striving for.

Feet crossed casually at the ankles, he appears to be at home leaning against this bank of computer equipment. If Black Widow and SHIELD Technician #3 are going to talk shop, he's finally content to stand by and let it pass. It isn't his thing, and he knows when it's time to settle in and be professional - even if he does generally push things just a bit past that time.

"Loop, delay, freeze… That live edit thing they did when we were in the consulate in Prague… Anything is better than me having to EMP the cameras. Once that arrow's left the string, the op is blown."

"Just watch my back Clint. I'll be able to infiltrate, but as always I need people I can trust." Widow shoots Trent a half-smile. "We work as a team for a reason." Her eyebrows arch upwards and she taps a few more buttons on the loop.

The Present

There's noise at the entranceway and another SHIELD agent causes things to shift inside the Ice Box. "Director Fury is in the sky," Bobbi observes to her companions traipsing behind her. A couple more from the science team are in tow while Mockingbird shuffles into the space. Her eyes widen as she sees the small cavern has already been occupied. She clears her throat, "Carter," she shoots him a small smile and a nod. "Good to see you made it to the rendezvous point. We need to debrief what happened — " Her head turns back towards Clint and her eyes turn downwards, "Barton."

As Bobbi enters, Trent sits up a little straighter. His eyes glance down to the screen in front of him for a moment, scanning through the strings of data currently streaming past that represents the information on the drive. "Agent Morse," he greets formally. "All I know is that I was in a lab, then there was shooting, then there was Agent Romanoff through the ducts, then we were in the ducts and then she left." That's the thirty second version of what he went through. "What'd it look like from the other side?"

"Morse," greets Barton with all the respect of if he'd called her blondie instead. The glance he shoots Trent for that mention of Natasha is as idle as the way he rocks forward to lean against the technician's makeshift workspace. If he happens to block Agent Morse's view of what Trent's working on, so be it. Two hidden fingers brush the cable keeping the drive connected. He leaves it plugged in, but he's got his options. "Feeling kind of like the only guy who didn't get the birthday party invitation here."

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