Devin followed the man up a set of stairs and into an elevator. While the doors closed the man pulled a small silver card from within his clothing and touched to a spot that looked like it was part of the decorations. Soon the elevator began to ascend and the two men remained in silence. After a minute the doors opened to show a hallway that lead to a wood door that had a carving of a panther on it.
"After you sir." the man that had been leading gestured for Devin to enter the room first. Devin nodded and walked through only to have a blade at his throat immediately. The blade was held by an African woman with a bald head wearing a leather overcoat and pants. Another woman who was also bald began to pat Devin down for weapons. Devin looked forward at an older man sitting behind a desk. He had glasses perched on his nose and a purple robe with a matching hat. His hands were folded as he waited for the women to finish. Once the pat down was done he was pushed towards the only other chair in the room that was in front of the desk.
"Please, have a seat." The older man said as he gestured at the chair. Devin knowing that he kind of expected this somewhat when he name-dropped Klaue to the ones with a vendetta against him.
"Would you like something to drink?" the man offered as the man that had lead Devin to this office sat a steaming cup of liquid on the desk.
"No, but thank you for the offer." Devin replied as he crossed his leg over his knee at the ankle and interlaced his hands before waiting for the inevitable. The man for his part was calm and collected as he added a couple sugar cubes to his cup with a stir before taking a sip and placing his cup back on the saucer.
"My name is Ussom Chaba and I understand that you have some information on a man of particular interest to our country." the now identified man said.
"If that man happens to be Ulysses Klaue then yes, I might have some relevant information that you might be interested in." Devin said as the two women who had frisked him earlier went stiff and a grimace appeared on Ussom's face.
"I would assume that the reason you are here is not to give this to us for free." Ussom said as Devin shrugged before speaking.
"Life is never easy or for free." Devin said as he looked at the women over his shoulders at each of the women to gauge their reactions. The passivity and neutral expression that he saw was anticipated, but also disappointing.
"What would you like in return for this information?" Ussom asked as he picked up his cup and took another sip of his tea.
"I was thinking about roughly a hundred pounds of your favorite, secret metal." Devin said, causing Ussom to choke on his tea and the female warriors to draw their blades and ready themselves. Ussom covered his mouth with the knapkin that was laying next to the saucer as he coughed while Devin just sat waiting. Soon the coughs subsided and Ussom regained his stoic face.
"I have no idea what you are talking about." Ussom tried to deny only for a chuckle to sound from Devin.
"I hope that this room is secure against sound because I can name it if you want." Devin said which made Ussom frown before looking to the two women.
"If you truly know about that resource of ours then what's to stop us from keeping you from leaving?" Ussom asked as the two warriors slowly crept up on Devin in his chair. A chuckle from Devin again froze the two women in their tracks.
"There are a couple reasons why I'll walk out of here. The first is that I've told numerous individuals that I will be coming here to discuss sensitive information as a precaution so that if I go missing there will be people looking and asking questions. The second is that none of you know what I am capable of and are assuming that you will have an easy take down due to the two women's training as well as superior numbers." Devin said as he had his head lowered to his chest as he occasionally shook from a chuckle or two.
"And this would deter us from acting? You are one man. What could you possibly do?" Ussom stated as he leaned forward in challenge. It was at this moment that Devin looked up with his eyes transformed and the shock on Ussom's face told the two dora milaje that something was wrong.
"I can do more than you know." Devin said before blinking and his eyes were returned to normal. Ussom stayed frozen for another minute before looking to either woman and giving small nods. Devin could hear the two women move back from his seat.
"Glad we can all be civil about this." Devin said with a smile.
"Let us try this again. You are here to give us information on an enemy of our country in exchange for a hundred pounds of a valuable resource." Ussom simplified to which Devin nodded before speaking.
"As long as it is a hundred pounds of the resource we were speaking about before then yes, that would be correct." Devin said as he wanted to make what he wanted clear.
"That will be difficult as that particular resource is heavily controlled and not allowed to leave possession of one of our countrymen." Ussom stated as Devin frowned.
Well then, I guess we are at an impasse then." Devin said as he stood up and pulled on his left cuff before turning and heading for the door. As he tried to pass the two warriors both reached out and grabbed a shoulder each to stop him. Devin held still for the moment to see what would happen as he was ready to draw one of his blades at the drop of a hat.
"Do I take this as an act of aggression?" Devin said to Ussom as the women's grips tightened on him.
"Wait! Let me finish, please." Ussom replied. Devin considered it for a second before looking down at the hands on his shoulders then the hard eyes of the warrior women looking at him, before the hands lifted and Devin turned back. Sitting back in his seat Devin gestured for Ussom to continue before leaning back.
"If you could give me just a little bit of time to contact some higher ups to see if your proposal is acceptable." Ussom said as he gestured for everyone to calm down and not only to Devin but the warriors as well.
"Fine, but as an alternate. I'm willing to reduce the amount to half the weigh if I am given all of the equipment that is on Klaue and his men." Devin offered to which Ussom nodded before stepping out of the room. Devin knew that in some of the comics Klaue had lost his hand in his first encounter with the Black Panther. He then replaced his hand with a sonic emitter that was eventually enhanced with an artificial type of vibranium called reverbium which rapidly amplifies and projects sound and vibratory energy until it self detonates violently unless controlled. A grumble under one warrior's breath alerted Devin of their discontent.
"Feel free to speak. I'll hold nothing against you speaking your mind." Devin said as he was genuinely curious just what the trained warriors were gonna say.
"You are nothing more than another outsider that wishes to steal from us for your own gain." The one on his left said with disgust lacing her voice. Her companion grunting an agreement.
"If I came here and told you that I had this information and wanted nothing in return then you would still be suspicious of me regardless. Why not ask for something that will help to ensure me and my loved one's future." Devin reasoned with a flip of his hand. A snort from the one that had spoken was their only refute.
"Look miss?" Devin lead only to realize that he didn't know what to call the two warriors.
"I am Ondati Dzambaba and this is Irindi Khuso." the one that initially spoke replied.
"Look Ondati, allow me to share a secret with you. Just because you guys like to hoard that special metal like a dragon on top of a mountain of gold doesn't mean that you and your country will be safe and sound forever. Times are changing and maybe everyone should get on the same page." Devin said as Ondati let out a frustrated growl before walking over and standing in front of Devin in an aggressive stance.
"You outsiders know nothing about honor or peace. Only greed and violence. You are just like the rest and just like the rest you will be dealt with." Ondati said with defiance in her voice.
"We shall see." Devin said with a shake of his head as Ussom reentered and sat down and Ondati was now back in her spot, silent as a grave.
"I have talked to my superiors and they have agreed to your secondary set of conditions though they have a stipulation for you." Ussom said as he leaned forward with his fingers crossed, looking over his glasses.
"Okay and what would that stipulation be?" Devin said with a raised eyebrow while he steepled his own fingers.
"They want you to come before the council to report the information in a brief." Ussom said to which Devin chuckled. He found he was doing that a lot today for some reason.
"Did you happen to mention my slightly abnormal trait?" Devin asked to which Ussom nodded.
'Interesting. So either they have a plan to handle me or they don't believe the man.' Devin thought as he made it look like he was thinking it over seriously. He was still gonna accept as he now had an idea on how to complete the mission for Izabela, but needed several materials and a set of blueprints that had yet to be created.
"I accept though I will need a day or two to prep and pack. Are we leaving by airplane or by other transport?" Devin informed before asking an important question.
"We can give you till tomorrow afternoon to prepare then we will leave for Wakanda by plane." Ussom said as Devin nodded in acceptance.
"Alright, I will meet you at the airport at 3 o'clock tomorrow. Have great rest of your day." Devin said with a slight bow before turning and leaving. As he passed Ondati, he whispered a short couple of words to her then left. Once Devin was out of the room, Ussom turned to Ondati with a questioning look.
"What did he say?" Ussom asked of the warrior who was looking at the door that Devin had departed through.
"He said that even dragons need to be aware of their own greed, lest they invite trouble on themselves." Ondati said as a puzzled look came to Ussom's face.
"What does that mean?" Ussom asked hoping for clarification.
"I don't truly know, but I hope that we never find out."