Cause for Panic
Roleplaying Log: Cause for Panic
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

When Trish Walker drops some details about the Hellfire Club, Jessica asks her to drop the case. The only question remaining is whether she actually will.

Other Characters Referenced: Lots
IC Date: October 20, 2019
IC Location: Alias Investigations, Hell's Kitchen, New York
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 21 Oct 2019 00:36
Rating & Warnings: PG-13
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

The Hellfire Club. A place of secrecy, wealth, hedonism, debauchery, and all things excess. And Trish, despite all the club has done for her, is not investigating it. Although they seem to have caught on. Although she could have been more subtle, certainly. She's not one to back down, however. So, swallowing any doubt or fear, she took a deep breath and continued on full force.

And now she needs supplies. Trackers. Something deep down inside her tells her she's going to need them, possibly even sooner rather than later. This is where her dear sister Jessica comes in. If anyone can get her what she needs, it's the same sibling that came to her asking about the Hellfire Club in the first place. It's going to be the same sibling, as well, who probably comes to her rescue should she need it.

Having arranged a time and place to meet, Trish makes her way to Hell's Kitchen and lets herself into the office. The two she's approached at the Hellfire Club probably aren't watching her, but if they are, they're less likely to have people watching here, of all places. Her apartment, on the other hand, would be a different story.

She sits herself down, placing her purse on Jessica's desk, idly going through her phone as she waits.

***

It's also kind of her only sibling, but why get picky about it?

Jessica arrives without any visible supplies whatsoever. And her greeting is uncharacteristically abrupt.

"Are you sure you want to do this? It's not too late to back right the Hell off of this."

There is no way she'd just be blithe about this. Two years ago she was still wrapping Trish in bubblewrap. It took her another year to decide she shouldn't, and another one to actually stop. And nowhere in all of that does actually be the one to send her into danger make her happy at all. Deep down, she believes it is her job to protect her sister, even after acknowledging her as a fellow…you know. H-word type person.

***

"No." Comes the simple reply from the blonde. "But when has that ever stopped me before?" She turns to face Jess and smiles. "There are a couple people that should be followed." She states simply. "Well, a third, if you include me." She leans back and sighs, looking up at the ceiling for a moment. "I've been invited onto the yacht of another member a few days." She explains. "Sometime after he returns from business meetings internationally."

Looking back down at Jess, she contemplates what all she should tell her. Of course, 'everything' is probably the best answer. "His name is Sebastian Shaw. He's been around for a while. I think he's one of the ones they'd call a 'legacy'. Meaning he's a member because his family were members." She idly chews the inside of her cheek as she thinks. "I'm not sure if he's a part of this…this inner group that we're trying to find, but he's as a good place to go looking."

Rubbing the back of her neck, she says, "I think there should be at least one tracker on his yacht and one on my person for the entire time I'm out. In case of an emergency. Probably a good idea to get one on his vehicle, know where he gets to when he's not at the Hellfire Club. So that takes care of…" She counts with her fingers. "Three of the trackers I asked for. I figure it's good to have spares for others." Like this one other person she has in mind.

***

"Shaw. Okay. I'll start digging into him from my end."

She pulls out her phone, clicks on an app…

And then reaches inside the phone to bring out several tracking devices that are 100% to Trish's specs. She did not, in fact, forget them. She just threw them into the STUFF app that Zatanna Zatara set up for her once. An app Trish has seen her use on numerous occasions, some feat of technomagic that Jess can't explain but knows how to make work for her. Everything she owns, practically, rides around with her in that app.

"If they catch you with even one of them you're probably screwed," she says. "We need some sort of way for me to figure out you're in trouble."

Unsaid: Trish could be dead before Jess ever gets to her.

***

"I guess that would be prudent, wouldn't it?" Trish hadn't thought that far ahead. How exactly would she let Jess know she's in trouble? Especially if she's out on the water? "I don't know how far out we'd go on the yacht, so I'm not sure if I'll still have a signal on my phone. Wouldn't it be nice if it were a satellite phone?" Of course, that doesn't help figure out a way for Jess to get to Trish.

"Unless…although, no. Maybe? I mean, if we could get you on the boat, that would probably be ideal? But other than that…I don't suppose there are some sort of transmitters we can use to keep in contact?"

***

Jessica shakes her head about getting her on the boat. "No. My stupid face is all over stupid YouTube, I've been in the papers too much. Pretexting is turning into a major pain in the ass for me these days if I'm not doing it by phone. But…"

She chews the inside of her mouth for a second. "I…might…have a solution."

She looks weirdly uncomfortable about the solution. She does not immediately say what the solution is. It's uncharacteristic for her not to be blunt. For her to be hesitant about anything at all.

***

"I guess you make a good point with that." Trish murmurs. Jessica is pretty well known. "Well, getting you on the boat isn't the solution, then we'll figure something else out." She lets out a hollow chuckle. "Wouldn't it be funny if we knew Superman and could just call him up and be like, 'Yo, Trish is in trouble. Mind like out to these water coordinates?' That'd be a hoot and a half."

She raises an eyebrow at Jessica's hesitance. "A solution? I'm all for solutions. If you've got an idea, I want to hear it."

***

"It would be nice to know Superman. I've never met him though."

She sounds a bit absent about that though.

She sighs and reaches into her phone again. "You aren't allowed to laugh at me," she mutters. It's weird, sometimes, how her sense of pride and her sense of feeling weird about things waver. She brings out a flat card with a small button on it. It has a large and recognizable A symbol on it. "It's a panic button. That goes straight to me. It will send an alert straight to my phone, with your location."

Not so different from the one Tony gave her years ago (that she never actually used). She had decided to have a few made on the first couple of days into her new…job? Gig?

Role. Role's good.

***

Biting her tongue, because it would be easy to make a comment on that, Trish merely nods. "I won't laugh. I promise." These are serious times. Serious times require a person to be serious. Seriously.

She remains silent as she's handed the card with the recognizable A. "I…" She looks at the card, then at Jess, and then back to the card. She's silent for a good moment before speaking up again. "Thank you." She manages. "If this is the kind of fancy technology you get from being associated with fancy technologically inclined people? You're not going to be getting any jokes or laughing from me. Uh-uh." She shakes her head, taking out her wallet to place the card inside, for the time being.

"I'll keep it safe." She promises. "And when it's time for me to go on the boat, I'll have it kept on me at all times, someplace where I can easily access it."

***

"I'm not associated. I kind of…am. Now. An Avenger. I'm even living up there. I told Tony I wanted to join up and he like…led me down the hall and opened a door and had this room all decorated to my tastes like he'd known all along that was what I was going to do. So. You were right I guess, and now I am…avenging. When I got the opportunity I jumped on it."

Because though she hasn't admitted it to anyone else…it was a dream she entertained for a while. And…in the current world, one needs a mask or authority to hero, and Jess cannot do the former.

***

"My sister the Avenger." Trish smiles. "Well, I'm happy for you. Honestly I am." She says softly. "Really, as long as you're doing what you wanna do? I'm always going to be happy for you." Even if she has been a bit hard on her over the years. "And hey, it gets you new fancy gadgets that help you to protect me. I'm not going to say no to a little self preservation." Okay, maybe she does have time to joke around a little bit.

"As for our other trackers?" Right back to business for this one. "There's another person. A woman. I don't know if she does have anything to do with it, but she seems pretty…shall we say, close to Shaw? So if either of them are into anything, the other probably knows."

***

"What's the woman's name?" Jessica asks, happy to get right back off the subject. It's hard for her to get comfortable with talking about anything that goes well for her. Hard for her to talk about things that have gone right with her career, too. She just wants to get back to working it, ultimately.

And if she's got Shaw's name, she might as well get the other name on the list. Another bit of a person to go digging into.

***

"Her name is Emma Frost." Trish replies. "She's the CEO of…Frost International. They just had this big business deal go down in Metropolis?" News, it's sorta her shindig. "She may know nothing, but she may know a lot. I get the feeling she has her hands in a lot of the pockets of various members of the Club." She explains.

"She's definitely someone to keep an eye on, I think, one way or another. I just have a…a feeling about her. It could just be the cattiness of the club, though. But you never know until you know, you know?"

***

And Jessica Jones goes white.

"Shit. Shit! Shit shit shit."

She pulls her hands through her hair, dragging it all the way back. "Son of a shitting fuck," she adds, for good measure. "You've got to abort. You've got to abort the whole thing. Emma Frost is a telepath. The chances that she hasn't been rooting around in your head from the moment you met her are phenomenally goddamn small. She knows what you're doing. She absolutely knows. God fucking damn it. You're gonna die on that goddamn boat if you go. Shit! I never would have sent you in if I'd known Emma Frost was in that club."

She paces around, eyes wide. "You may be so far away from the secrets still that it may be okay if you just back off. I may have to just talk to her and come clean with her about the client. Fuck."

***

"Emma Frost…a telepath?" Trish goes almost completely deadpan for a moment. The only indication of life is her eyes flitting back and forth, as if scanning over something quickly. It's a few moments before she speaks again, and even then, it's slow and contemplative. "You may not need to go to her yourself. No…I just have to stop searching for information about the inner circle. Forget I ever wanted to know anything." She takes a deep breath in.

"I'll try to avoid the yacht, but I can't make any promises." She says softly. "I've been indicating that I've got an interest in purchasing my own yacht. To just immediately drop the issue could be suspicious in and of itself. Well, maybe not to Ms. Frost, but…" She shakes her head, eyes closed. "Maybe I can convince Mr. Shaw that I'm just too busy with work to take time off. That should be a viable excuse."

***

Jessica stares at this reaction, this flitting of eyes, as if she's not sure what to make of it. She's tensed, her jaw tight. What if Emma Frost is mind controlling her sister? The reaction is so weird that she can't drop the sensation. She nods grimly. "Yes. Convince Mr. Shaw. Get too busy with work. Find some new story to pick up. You're a reporter. There's lots out there. Find one and make it happen. Find one in Metropolis or something. Three states away should give you plenty of excuses not to go play on a yacht. And by the time you get back, everyone will have moved on from it. Frost may stay suspicious of you, but if she's crawling through your thoughts anyway…Christ, we gotta get you defenses like mine."

***

Rubbing her eyes, Trish frowns. "Honestly, is there anyone out there these days that doesn't have some sort of…" She raises her hands and shrugs, "ability or something? I mean, really? I know I'm not one to talk. Especially not now, but is this my world now? Our world? Powered people and their schemes? Genetic manipulation, mutations, this, that, the other. It's a strange world out there, isn't it?"

Looking over to Jessica, she raises an eyebrow. "It's a crazy world out there. And now…now you're off to be some hot shot Avenger, and I'm becoming aiming to be some street level vigilante? The world sure does go topsy turvy sometimes."
<Pose Tracker> Jessica Jones has posed.
Jessica scrubs her fingers through her hair. "I'm not off anywhere," she gripes. "Avenger headquarters is down the street. More or less. And there are plenty of people. We're only 1% of the population. We just tend to congregate for all kinds of reasons."

She presses her fingers into closed eyes, pinching the bridge of her nose for a moment. "The stupid thing is your entire investigation could be beneficial to that damned club if it makes my client want to join it. But not, of course, if they're setting babies on fire in the ornate basement or whatever. You just…it's not worth it. Be busy with work. You gotta back the Hell off."

***

"Of course you're not off anywhere. Jewel's not off to play superhero, not one bit!" A little sly grin crosses Trish's face. "I see you, Jessica Jones. I see you, and I know you. You can't hide from the likes of Trish Walker. Not forever. We're bound together whether we like it or not."

"Back…the Hell off, you say?" She quirks an eyebrow. "You know, maybe it's no coincidence that there's so much Hell talk these days. We're in Hell's Kitchen, we're investigating the Hellfire Club, and we've got," she points to herself, "Hellcat to investigate. Maybe the time for Trish to investigate the Club is over and it's about time we bring in a kitty cat."

***

Jessica lowers her hand to glare daggers at one Trish Walker. "Jessica Jones is 'off' to protect people."

She puts emphasis on her name, and on protect, and then lets it go.

"Hmmm. Let me think about that. Nope. We have another Hell coming. Hell no. You want to hand Frost your secret identity on top of everything else? Maybe Hellcat should stick to Hell's Kitchen. Jesus, I'd rather see you take on thirty guys right now. That is not a suggestion."

***

"Yes, that's what I meant to say, of course. Jessica Jones will be helping people. She does help people. And in the crown of the Avengers, she'll be the shiniest," she pauses and bites her lip. "Jewel. I'm sorry! Last time, I promise!" For now, anyway. "I really am proud of you, you know."

She sighs. "What if we put in some of that protection that you mentioned? Like what you said you have? If I have that, then Trish Walker can back off and Hellcat can do her thing and bing bang boom, we're all good? Plus, as far as we know, Sebastian Shaw isn't a telepath. As long as Emma Frost isn't around, Hellcat should be able to ask him anything she wants."

***

Jessica gives Trish a flat look as she goes from saying things that Jess actually enjoys hearing…

To making a hard left turn back into Jewel territory.

This is what siblings are for though. This is how one knows they really are siblings.

"Maybe. I haven't seen the guy who put mine into place for a long time. John fucks off a lot, especially if he thinks you're starting to care about him or whatever. It's possible Zee could do it, if she's not out wandering some other dimension or swallowing a goddess or some shit. Maybe another psychic could. I'd trust Dani Moonstar for it. Her method would be different, but still. Thing is…I think that will create like…a signature. Frost can probably sense me six miles down the street just because the way my head reacts to her probes is unique. And for all you know, the Great Secret of the Hellfire Club is that they're a cabal of telepaths using their gifts to perform serious-ass insider trading. That would make Shaw one too."

***

"Look, bottom line? I still want to help if I can." Trish responds. "And if that means I have to take preventative measures placed on me by some…somebody, then let's do it. And," she pauses for a brief moment. "Perhaps as Trish, I'll have to back down a bit, but that doesn't mean I can't stick to the shadow and watch. Wait. Make notes. Track them with the trackers so we know how often they meet."

Lightly tapping her finger against the desk, she says, "For all I know? You could be right. There could be a bunch of telepaths in the Club." She says softly. "But, maybe we could still divide and conquer. You could plant a tracker on one of their vehicles, I place a tracker on the other one's? At least it gives us some advantage, right?"

***

Jessica considers it for a long moment. "This is more a matter of…asking ourselves whether we need to cut losses, Trish. Your plan isn't a bad one. I just wonder how worth it is to pursue to the end. The last time any of my investigations touched Emma Frost the client told me to drop it for the same reason. I was a long shot for this job, a last-ditch attempt on the part of this client. I don't like telling him I'm throwing in the towel on this, but I think it's worth seriously considering. We've learned a little. Identified some of the players. We don't have any evidence they're doing anything requiring heroic intervention, but they have enough money and power to ruin you ten times over without ever once breaking a law if they decide they don't like what you're doing."

***

"In the end, this is your investigation, Jess. If you say we throw in the towel, we throw in the towel." Trish should know better than to push when something requires a person to take a step back and reevaluate. "I probably am biting off more than I can chew with this. I just, I wanted to help so bad that I guess I forgot to take into consideration that backing of was, indeed, an option. Especially since this isn't truly my case."

A quiet sigh emits from her. "Whatever you decision is, I'll follow your lead." She offers a little smile to Trish.

***

Jessica sits down on the couch and laces her fingers behind her neck, resting her elbows on her knees. She doesn't answer right away. Just thinks.

"I need you to pull out," she says at last, not saying whether she is dropping the investigation entirely or not. Probably because she hasn't decided yet. She's just decided this. "I know that might mean you don't get another shot, but that's fine. I need you to start distancing yourself from this club. Stop paying your annual dues or whatever next year. Get out of the line of fire."

***

Taking a moment to contemplate what is now being asked of her, Trish nods slowly. "I'll stop looking into any inner circles." She agrees. "And I'll distance myself from both Emma Frost and Sebastian Shaw. Completely cutting myself off from the Club, though?" She shakes her head. "If I ever do leave the Club, I'm not sure now is the time to do it. It could come across just as suspicious, don't you think?"

She scratches just above her eyebrow as she thinks. "I'll attend fewer events, for the time being. I'll stop frequenting the Club in general. I can do that without drawing too much suspicion. Members' attendance ebb and flow all the time, based on other commitments. I'll just happen to have become a whole heck of a lot busier."

***

"Okay. That works," Jessica says, looking up at Trish. "Thanks. I'm sorry. I wish I'd asked more questions about club member identity when all this got started. I just…I don't even know what I was thinking. I guess cause I was keeping my client confidential that you had the right to keep club members confidential, that I'd trust you to tell me what you thought it was appropriate for me to know based on the parameters of the case. If I'd known from the start I wouldn't have asked you to do this at all. We're lucky, really lucky, she hasn't done something terrible to you already."

***

"Nobody is to blame here. There's no point in playing the 'I wish I knew' game. We're here now. We've learned." Trish smiles. "I guess this just means I've got more time to focus on being Hellcat than I did before." She tilts her head. "Maybe I should call up that Logan guy again. I haven't seen him in a while, he seemed to have a good few tips for fighting." She clears her throat. "Although, I guess so does Daredevil. But hey, I'll take all the teachers I can get." She grins.

"Oh! So, I was doing just a standard patrol, getting used to my suit, listening to the police scanner, sitting on a rooftop. You know, that ol' chestnut. And you know who I ran into? Batgirl! In New York! She was really nice."

***

"Batgirl is really nice," Jessica agrees. Most members of the 'bat family' are. Except, ironically, King Daddy Bat himself. Who the Hell is Logan?"

The detective decides this is an ideal time to tap out a cigarette, to walk to the window, and to smoke it. Healing factors afford many luxuries, not the least of which is the ability to do the job she does without having to worry about reducing her ability to do it with lung damage. Or killing herself with lung cancer. It just all heals up by the time she goes on her next round of chain smoking.

***

"Logan…Logan is this guy I met at a, well, a merc bar." Trish giggles softly. "I was looking into maybe doing a story about mercenaries. Long story short, he became sort of a contact. Haven't spoken to him in a few months, though. But he seemed like a fighter." She tilts her head. "Does everyone refer to Batman as Daddy Bat or Bat Daddy or some form of that? Because Batgirl referred to him as something similar." She finds it more amusing that anything.

***

"Not to my knowledge. Most of them say Batman like he's the fucking second coming," Jessica grouses. "When they're not calling him 'The World's Greatest Detective,' or whatever. World's Greatest Marketer, anyway."

But then, this rant is not new. Jessica has been griping about Batman nearly for the entire three years she's been back in the business of trying to protect people's lives. One bad impression was never forgiven. Though they've never spoken directly.

***

"They'd only call him 'The World's Greatest Detective' because you're not trying to outright out detective him. If you and Batman were in a competition to see who was the better detective, I'd put my money on you any day." Trish nods firmly. "I bet you'd even be able to figure out who's behind the mask, if you really wanted to."

She leans back once more in her chair and sighs. "You know, it's really no wonder that you've become an Avenger. I don't care if I end up sounding like a broken record. I'll say it over and over again, you're amazing and this is awesome."

"That being said," she raises an eyebrow. "Is this Hellfire Club investigation your last one as a P.I.? Or are you still going to do this a bit on the side?"

***

It's a question Jessica has been turning over in her head a lot lately.

She looks up, around her office.

"The number of quote-Avengers-level-threats, unquote, are smaller than you might think even as crazy as shit gets. And then there is a lot of stuff that comes in that gets investigated. I've always done work for Tony, pretty much from the day he first hired me. And I'm pretty sure, now, some of what I did turned into stuff that they went and dealt with. Meanwhile…people still need to be able to get someone they can trust on the phone who isn't a cop. There's still going to be missing kids and shit. I'll probably just…drop all the routine crap and focus solely on cases that help save lives in and around any mission-critical crisis stuff. And…maybe I'll register Alias as a non-profit. The cases I give a damn about I almost always do for free anyway, these days."

***

There's a little nod of understanding from Trish. "Sounds like you've thought this through." Gathering everything up and standing, she smiles. "Speaking of work, I've got some stuff I have to do to get prepared for my next show." She sighs. "There's always something that needs doing, huh?" She rolls her eyes and shakes her head. "And…thank you. For everything. I know this must have been a big job for you. I'm sorry I couldn't have been more help."

***

"It wasn't your fault. Like 100%, it wasn't. And my client would rather here an honest 'I can't do it, and here's why' out of me than have me blow smoke up his ass. I don't like telling someone I can't get the job done, but it is what it is. And unless I think of a way to attack this from another angle, that's where we're at."

That's kind of been the norm lately. She has a ton of information on the Worthington case and her brain has yet to cough up an actual plan of attack for getting any farther with it.

Still, that's a subject she stays quiet on, saying, "Be careful out there, Trish."

***

"Well, that's a chapter closed, then, on the Trish investigative realm." Not that there ever was such a thing. Trish lets out a heavy breath and smiles. "I will, and you too. Don't be a stranger now, ya hear? Just because you're a high up Avenger, doesn't mean you can't make time for your lowly street-level sis." She grins and chuckles. "Be in touch."

As soon as she's out the door, she's on the phone with a car service company that will pick her up here.

***

From within Alias, the eye rolling that takes place next is rather prodigious.

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