1963-10-01 - Wanted Panther
Summary: The NYPD has been hunting Spider-Man for a murder Black Panther committed. Spidey asked the Wakandans to clear his name. Black Panther turns herself in to the NYPD. Things take an interesting turn.
Related: A Death in the Concrete Jungle and To Seek the Panther
Theme Song: None
tchalla jennifer clint mree 

Spider-Man is now not just a much-maligned costumed vigilante constantly portrayed as a menace by J Jonah Jameson and his newspaper; now, the wall-crawling webslinger is wanted for murder. And it's all Black Panther's fault. Spidey has made an appeal to people at the Wakandan Embassy, in hopes of getting a message to Black Panther, asking that she try to clear his name and take responsibility for her own actions.

It appears someone was listening.

The first hint that those in the midtown police station have of something unusual would be amongst those cops busy coming in or out from the front of the building. It may be evening, but this is New York, and the streets are well lit. As such, they can't really miss a figure all in black, with a panther motif mask, dropping from a rooftop to the sidewalk and then strolling across the street towards the station.

There's nothing really furtive about the approach. And the hands on the suit are visibly clawed, presenting a very real potential threat. It wouldn't be hard to figure out from the form suggested by the suit that the person inside is a woman; but if so, she is an exceptionally tall, powerfully built woman. She does not speak. She does not nod towards any of the police. She just strolls towards the stairs to the front entrance like she belongs there.

The cabbie who was proceeding down the street at the head of the line of traffic is rather peeved at the required sudden braking. He lets his frustrations be known, vociferously. That and his horn are probably the first big hints to those inside the building that something is up, ahead of cops from out front saying something or radioing in to dispatch.
Just another guy standing under a street light on the side of the road, Clint Barton is wearing some jeans, a sweat shirt… nothing terribly interesting, worth remark, or a second glance clearly. He's just leaning there and looking at the ebb and flow of people around the station. Yeah, word had been that something was possible to go down, maybe some craziness connected to the other craziness that he hadn't officially been dealing with, when he dealt with it. But yeah, craziness.

Clint checks his watch, frowning for a moment but then the regal figure make her appearance. He looks at her askance, brow furrowing for a moment. Then his regard is interrupted by that honk from the taxi cab guy even as he touches a hand to his ear to cup the earpiece closer.

"Sorry, what was that control?" Clint says even as he flips off the taxi driver without looking.
Here's Captain Abel Mies, butter-blonde with a generous sprinking of white in his hair at the temples, and soft in most aspects of his visage; soft-joweled, soft-bellied, soft-thighed. But don't mistake his corpulence for incompetence, nor the grey at his temple for a want of wit. He has speed in reserve when he needs it, a tall frame and a confident stride even as he takes a turn from a corridor and begins a powerful stride down the center of the entry hall, having heard the uproar and determining it best to meet this new visitor head-on, considering all else that's gone wrong for his crew these last few days in looking for a murderer with supernatural powers. For all the figure entering the buildng could likely as not snap him like a twig, he doesn't approach her as if that were the case. "Captain Mies," is an introduction, terse but not rude. "What can I do for you?"
That Spider-Man, the menace of Manhattan, has legal representation acknowledged by the great state of New York may be unsurprising. JJJ's singular crusade to paint him as responsible for every crime, from treed kittens to the declining city revenues from parking meters, inevitably brought the ill-starred crusader to this particular precipice.

Pity for him such noble motivations do not form the basis for Jennifer's presence in Midtown. Instead she carries a slim portfolio pinched between two fingers, and sits before a paper-strewn desk pretty as a picture. Rather than loom over the city's finest law enforcers, she shrinks as much as one can. No doubt a pair, minimum, keep eyes trained on her in the event she so much as breathes strangely. It does not help her credentials come back clean, and for the record, a senior attorney at her firm just name-dropped something about a conviction, a murderer, and someone's divorce settlement into an impressionable ear.

So there she sits, reviewing the paperwork while some beat cop cowers in the records room and another looks for an excuse of where those missing affidavits for a client went, six days before courtroom showtime. How exciting, all the hubbub churned up even further! The henhouse is already upset and then the cat comes by, throwing feathers everywhere proverbially. It's a particular trick Jen has to listen while concealing her interest behind the masterful expressions of boredom attorneys everywhere have to perfect in year one of law school.
Mree has accompanied Ms. Walters. Maybe she knows it, maybe she doesn't. Tens of billions of microbes drift apart through the room, meandering through the air ducts and peeping out their other sides, keeping tabs on the room and neighboring rooms in this diffuse form linked with one consciousness, invisible to the average human eye.
The droning of law school professors in first-year likely helps develop those expressions to a razor's edge.

Approached by an officer of the law in this city jurisdiction, and addressed in a reasonable and respectful tone despite her attire, Black Panther doesn't quite get what she expected. She seems to have paid no attention to anyone else, including that irate cabbie, but when Mies speaks up, she stops and turns to face him, lensed mask eyes intent upon him. Her somewhat altered voice still can't hide the non-native accent, but does make it hard to say whether what is inside that suit is a woman, or perhaps some robot shaped like a woman. If you believe in such things, anyway.

"Hello, Captain. I believe it is I that can do something for you." Black Panther offers. For those with an ear for such things, that's a very well-educated, well-spoken non-native English speaker, likely African or possibly Middle Eastern in origin.

"I am given to understand that you have been seeking the Spider-Man, in relation to a murder some seven blocks from this station. A certain Algerian gentleman. This is so?"

It's unlikely Mies would fail to put together this woman's appearance and the description given in those eyewitness accounts of Spider-Man's supposed accomplice.
Abel Mies, say what you want about him, but the fellow's voice commands attention. His mind's already whiring five or six steps ahead, but this isn't a time to leap to conclusions; this person has, by her own claim, come to help, so he'll answer her questions and let her provide the information at her own pace, leaving him to draw his own conclusions. "Yes, ma'am, that's right," he answers her question, but goes no further, no probing, no trying to direct her. He keeps his eyes focused on… well, where hers might well be behind the mask. He doesn't invite her out of the entry hall. He doesn't offer her a cup of coffee. But he doesn't draw a gun on her, or anything, so there's that.
Pushing off of the street lamp, Clint moves to climb the steps at the front of the precinct. It's amongst the other people of the crowd that he moves, not exactly pressing his claim to any position of prominence. Instead he's content to stay close enough to get a good read on what is said, and of course to get into a position from which he'll be able to observe the crowd.

He leans back against the railing and again touches a hand to the side of his neck as if rubbing it, though really more just updating his handler on the current situation.
After her law school initiation, Jen deserves every advantage she can wrest from a patriarchal system. She'll take all she can get.

Patient as can be, she sits at that desk and reviews one page concealed within a manila file folder, skimming over the text for the umpteenth time in the past hour. A fingernail skims underneath the facts laid out in neat boxes, arranged like a puzzle, all a cover to bide her time. A cover for the changing patterns inside the main office, the way attention goes outwards to a new threat and how someone might be slouching off from the coffee machine to give backup.

Uncrossing her ankles and recrossing them is perhaps reason for the jumpy watcher to bang his knee. Tension is met by the faintest twitch of a smile, almost forgiving. Then she takes that moment to stand up and say quite simply, "I think I'll make that call to the office, and update Mr. Goodman. The payphone is that way?" It may not get her anywhere, but at least standing up, she has the best view of the office one could want. Being almost seven feet tall has its advantages.
POFF! The noise is close enough to tickle Jennifer's ears. She's no doubt heard it before, it's a noise associated with the teleportation powers of her trusty file clerk, Mree. And there he stands, in fact, arms hugged about himself there where he appears behind her. "Ms. Walters? I think you should go out to the entry hall… there's someone here." The guard, who'd just now seemed so jumpy, seems awfully not to mind a random mutant appearing in the middle of the office. Possibly because he can't see him. Possibly because nobody can see him, excepting Ms. Walters.
The black-suited figure nods slightly as Mies acknowledges her question and confirms the information she has had up to this point. "And, you are also seeking an individual matching my own appearance, as an accomplice to this act. This is also correct?"

Black Panther's gaze never leaves that of Captain Mies, despite the fact that she is surrounded by other cops, more than a few with their hands on their sidearms, and a few of them likely looking for some of their riot shotguns, just in case. With Mies having taken the lead, none of them are drawing their weapons, which is rather exceptional given the circumstances. But probably for the safest.

Once Mies confirms her information again, the black-dressed figure speaks again. "I have come to clarify the matter. First, I am the Black Panther, champion of Wakanda." Given the mysteries of Wakanda, few outside that African nation would realize that alone identifies who this woman must be, for the Black Panther is always the reigning monarch of that land.

Black Panther continues. "Second, the Spider-Man did not assist in the killing of this man. He died by my claws alone. The Spider-Man only arrived afterwards, drawn I suspect by the crash of the vehicles and the gunfire as that man's allies attempted to kill me. He merely tried to assist in ending their gunplay with a minimum of injury."

There's something in the Black Panther's tone which strongly implies she'd have been as happy to add a dozen more bodies to the situation, but she acquiesced to the hero's desire to keep death to a minimum. And she shows little outward sign of any concern at having just admitted to murder.
Into the sub-vocal mike inside his hooded sweatshirt, Clint grimaces slightly as he tells his handler quietly. "Things are strained here, could kick off. So far so good." He gives a nod to one of the officers that's moved out onto the front stoop, slipping around the guy to finally make his way into the receiving area where the Panther confronts the other police officers. To a casual glance he's not exactly a guy who stands out, maybe an undercover cop guy, maybe a civilian. Whatever he is, however, he steps out of the way appropriately as if he just discovered something is going down.

Once he's off to the side he unzips his sweatshirt and folds his arms over his chest.

"Delightful," Jennifer murmurs under her breath. She keeps heading for the foyer, where a phone meant for the public probably stands hidden in a booth or behind a privacy screen. Despite platitudes probably meant for her to stay put, she moves past the various desk-bound employees serving to keep NYC a shining bastion of personal safety. Oblivious or impervious glares concealed too slowly, she isn't the sort someone can easily block from going through a doorway. They might want to. They might even try. But a nicely worded, "Pardon me, please," usually does the trick.

To the casual bystander, she stands out like a beacon, almost par to the woman in head-to-toe black. A momentary glance of casual appreciation to the garment brings a faint smile to her lips, but she really is headed off to pay Ma Bell her five cents. Not likely she'll reach the destination, but at least it counts.
Indeed, Mies is taking point on this one, giving the rest of the guys time to suit up and get ready to go. He's putting himself in a perilous situation, but he has the balls the pull it off without even breaking a sweat, much less allowing a lapse in his composure. The armed officers are to stay in the side hallways, for now, and up along the balconies. Unobtrusive, but— present. "Also correct, ma'am," is his assured but casual answer, still waiting for her to get to the heart of the matter. Which, then, she promptly does, and he appreciates her forthrightness with a nod that makes his second chin bulge just so. Finally, he begins to take his own initiative in the conversation, thus: "Thank you for coming to clear the matter up, ma'am. I'm going to have to place you under arrest. Then we can take a sworn statement about the events and find you counsel who can plead your case in court."

Or counsel will find her, as it turns out. Even though the officers are lines up along the wall in the corridor to the entry hall, they're all too keen to hear that they're needed to do much to stop the tall, green attorney and her imaginary cohort from passing through. At any rate, he continues:

"Will you allow me to take you into custody and take your official statement?" Yeah, check this guy out. It's an earnest question; she could obviously swat him like a fly if she wanted to. And even with the weapons over from the balcony, there's not much they could do to save him. He's trying to handle this peaceably, but there are procedures and he's not backing down from their necessity.
Black Panther tilts her head slightly, considering the cop and genuinely wondering how it is she managed to get possibly the one single NYPD officer currently under arms who can be so calm and reasonable in the face of a costumed vigilante admitting to murder, and showing visible weapons. This guy must have been taking Captain American lessons as a kid or something.

"I have just admitted to you, officer, that I am not a citizen of your country." Black Panther clarifies. "As such, I have no rights as you know them." Probably why she's expecting the attack, rather than such calm words. "If you need my official statement elsewhere, lead the way. But understand, I will not allow myself to be placed in custody or arrested. Just as I have no rights, here, I am also not bound by your laws. I am bound by the laws of Wakanda. The man killed committed multiple murders in Wakanda, and violated our national sovereignty." It is the sort of argument that those truly aware of international law have heard regarding the actions of Israeli operatives, and others.
It's at that point that Clint Barton will step forwards, holding a wallet open to the proper ID information, a lovely picture of him looking scruffy as ever with a few day's growth of beard that rather matches his profile right now. "Excuse me, ma'am. Officer." He extends the wallet to the man, even as he gives the Panther a sidelong eyeballing, "Clint Barton, SHIELD. This issue could be what people would call complicated." Yeah, he's an expert or something.

He looks towards Mies, "I'll take the Panther into…" He look at her, "Voluntary temporary questioning custody?" He offers that as if it might hit the right buzz words needed. "A report will be submitted to you and we'll get it squared away. Looks like there might be an international situation at issue, possibility of diplomatic entanglements."

He squints back at Mies, "You got a problem with any of this then call the number at the bottom there. Yeah that one." He look back at Black Panther and cocks an eyebrow to see if she's gonna mess this up for him.
In service of justice, one of those lovely statues of Justice removed her blindfold, updated her wardrobe to the best that Madison Avenue can offer (and be duplicated in a more affordable line), and decided to loiter in a Midtown precinct just in case. That's the myth. Let's keep it going.

Jen never will make it to that phone, will she? In some ways, the seven-foot-tall green woman is grateful for it. The relief does not make it into her voice, though, but she raises her voice just enough to be heard. "I suppose I ought to go ahead and ask, ma'am, if you are familiar with the laws of New York State and the United States before anyone starts jumping for their notepads. Are you part of the Wakandan embassy?" Clint's statement gets a bit of a lift of her eyebrows, and then comes the near inaudible chuckle rumbling deep in her throat, something a little too close to the precursor sound before a lion roars. It's the very sort of tone arrowing straight to the ancient corners of the brain that remember starry nights on the savannah when frightening predators stalked outside the fire's glow. Not that the lawyer intends to intimidate, but her very physical presence, wrapped up in a pretty skirt-suit, does not change she is utterly, completely predatory in a way. Putting bows on a hawk or a bright scarf on a shark doesn't change what they are.

A bit of a tired smile passes over the young woman's nightshade lips. Her face darkens a little in concentration, plucking up what she wants out of the rusty vaults of memory. "If she is, jurisdiction is clear. Per the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, she is not permitted to be detained or arrested. Article twenty-nine, then thirty-one. It hasn't been completely implemented yet. Probably a few months away, with any luck." Her voice carries well, and that momentary lapse of absolute confidence is made with a smile from the She-Hulk over yonder. "But the United States is a signatory, this is New York, and the UN General Assembly is a stone's throw over that way. The State Department is going to have a very hard time not recognizing this, given it's a key axiom of our jurisprudence. We have other treaties, possibly not specifically with Wakanda, but if she happens to qualify and invokes the Convention, we're all and one authorized to abide by it until the head of her mission takes it up with the Secretary or someone else in their capacity. Now, if this nice person is a private citizen, the ballgame looks completely different."
"Now, not being a citizen doesn't mean you lack rights," Mies begins, "And it sure doesn't mean you're not bound by our laws." And then there's a badge being flashed at him, and he gives Mr. Barton a dry glance. He might be about to reply, but that the Jolly Green Advocate is talking his other ear off, and he lifts a finger to the one, and then the other, waiting for them both to fall silent before he replies. "I appreciate both of your efforts to keep this meeting civil. The lady here has been nothing but polite, and I like to think we've shown her the same courtesy. Let's get you into the back and tape your official statement. And then," he emphazes the word, "We can check out your claims on the crimes of the deceased and tke your ambassadorial status into consideration, assuming that you have proof of said status." He keeps speaking to the Panther, even if the words are pointed toward the two others in the room. "Assuming that everything checks out, you'll be free to go after giving your statement. Is that agreeable to everyone?"
Black Panther considers the police officer, the apparent SHIELD agent, and the lawyer, each with suitable gravity and prolonged patience. She does not move, does not act out, and does not speak for a while. She's letting things play out, waiting for the right opening, and trying to make sure she has considered all of the angles.

"Given the international nature of things, perhaps SHIELD should be represented, yes? We can have this man join us, to observe and report. And to call his superiors, if he should feel that is necessary and warranted." Panther waits, watching how her words are received by the officer and the agent, before she continues.

"And, as Miss Walters has explained, the international law of the matter will complicate matters. Since we will have need of an expert in such legal matters, I propose, Captain, that we ask Ms. Walters to join us. I see no reason not to assist you with a formally recorded statement, in whatever means you are used to receiving such." Panther is being very accommodating, really. "So long as no assault is made upon my person, I shall do no violence to anyone else."

It is at this point that the Panther reaches up with her clawed hands, and touches two studs in the neckline of her costume. Then she speaks, her voice unaltered, and one that Jennifer at least would have a chance to recognize, as would her assistant if he is still present. The voice gives clue to what is revealed moments later, as the mask is pulled up and back to reveal the face of Queen T'Challa of Wakanda. "As the head of state for Wakanda, I am obviously the head of the Embassy as well." And that makes her bid for diplomatic immunity much more profound, not unlike Doom.

"Please, Captain. Lead on."

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