The report that Kaylee put in must have been somewhat alarming. To wit, the report had been that a giant invisible robot tore the side off a warehouse turned HYDRA lab that was growing nanite infected brains and experimenting on them.
Okay, the report must have also been somewhat confusing. Kaylee and Jericho had gone to check on Ian right thereafter. Nothing had happened at the institute though so the scientist and the hacker had invited Ian to come check with them at SHIELD the next day after they’d had a chance to investigate things a bit.
At which time, of course, the report will have been filed.
Jericho isn’t a scientist but he is in Kaylee’s lab with a partly disassembled laptop. He’s got several tools out including one for reading the solid state storage that makes up the bulk of storage these days. He’s been quiet for a bit.
Kaylee looks tired as she works at the bench, not far from Jericho. She’s got a vial of cloudy fluid in a rack in front of her and a … brain in a jar … next to it.
A real brain. Not a quantum brain. And she’s experimenting with it, by the looks.
“I need more tea.” she yawns and stretches, glancing to the hacker as she does. “Do you want something?” This would be like the sixth pot of tea she’s made today.
It’s always twice as concerning when Kaylee and Jericho are concerned about something and come to check on him, and while Ian was thankful that nothing amiss had happened on his end of things, it had made things difficult to concentrate on for the rest of the day, and anxious to meet up with them the next.
He hadn’t heard anything further about whatever had happened with those people who suddenly sprouted armor from their skin and attacked them the other day, but he can’t help but wonder if whatever it is that the two have to speak to him about is related.
As he steps into S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters he greets whoever’s at security with a nod before starting towards the lab as he usually does. Hopefully without being stopped, but then he’s been coming here enough that he may as well be considered an employee. All he’s missing is an ID badge.
A beat up ancient car of an indeterminable color aside from one shiny pink new passenger door had shown up at HQ earlier and ejected a very bewildered former mercenary before speeding off again. At first Kenlaris had just wandered around the halls with a blank expression, one that very slowly started to turn to recognition of his surroundings. For the past couple of hours he’s just been sitting on the floor in Kaylee’s lab alternating between watching her with complete fascination and staring into space with a concentrated frown. He’s yet to say anything about where he’s been for the last several months or anything at all actually which may or may not be worrisome.
Finally, he turns his sad brown eyes to Jericho and then Owen. *BlinkBlinkBlinkStare*…*Squint* *…* “New buddy!” Kenlaris exclaims and grins. Then, “Boss!” He smiles bashfully at Kaylee. “Glowy Guy!” He points at Jericho. “Uh. I mean, Sir!” Ken gets to his feet in a hasty manner and salutes Jericho.
With the way that Cailean has been going through tea, Samantha felt it was prudent to go out and purchase more. She’s duly concerned about the implications of the objects the biochem is currently studying, and she also now exactly how much she doesn’t know about those sorts of things. So, this is really all she can contribute. And, while she was shopping, she found something else that might prove useful for Simmons’ lab. Maybe.
Having returns just a bit after Ian’s arrival, she steps into the lab just in time for Ryden to scramble to his feet and salute Jericho. “Welcome back, Mr. Ryden. It has been a while.” She sets the bag of her purchases on a section of counter space well removed from where Cailean is working and starts revealing what she’s brought. It’s tea (shocker), and a good-sized box of the sort that usually holds consumer level electronic appliances.
“Oh right. I used the last of the tea….” Kaylee says rather mournfully as she eyes her small kitchenette. She’s been at this most of the night. Well, maybe all night. It’s not clear if she’s slept or not.
When Ken comes in, he won’t know the extent of the changes that Kaylee has experienced but he’s probably heard the rumours that something happened to her. What the merc will know is the faint silvery lines that trace under her skin – visible on her arms because she’s got her sleeves rolled up and under the collar of the t-shirt she’s wearing.
Line that are very similar to Jericho’s except they’re not a techy pattern, they form chemical like valances.
“Hello Ian. There’s coffee if you like. I’m all out of tea, though. Ken. Agent Carter, what have you got there?”
Greetings done, she gestures to the items on the work bench. “Jericho and I were in a building that was attacked by what we think is one of the original Sentinels. We think it was after this … brain. Maybe.”
Ian’s lips twitch into something of a smile at Kenlaris. It had been a while since he’d last spoken with him. “Ken, hey.” Still ‘new buddy?’ They’d sort of known each other for months now, hadn’t they? “How’s…the duck?” he asks, unsure of what else to really say.
He nods at Samantha when she enters before turning back to Kaylee, a grateful look at the mention of coffee. He’d not drank any all day given he had been anxious enough without the extra caffeine, but now that he’s here, well.
Pouring himself a mug, he turns and looks towards the jars and things, grimacing a little. “Is that the…ah. Test?” He gestures a bit with his free hand to his own head as he eyes the jar, sort of glad that they’d resorted to this over reactivating the nanites in his own head.
From the way his eyes widen and he blushes, Kenlaris doesn’t need any time or studying to jog his memory of Samantha. “It’s good to be back, Ma’am!” He straightens and smiles and salutes her too. His clothes are definitely a bit worse for wear although they are clean, there’s holes all in his jeans and nothing beneath the flannel shirt that’s started becoming almost sheer in places. His leather jacket and usual assortment of guns, knives and explosives seem to be missing entirely. He’s also barefoot and judging by the missing back pocket, possibly not wearing underwear. His curly brown hair is down past his shoulders too and his face a bit scruffy and unshaven. When she speaks, Kenlaris turns back and looks at Kaylee then Jericho and then back to Kaylee with a puzzled frown. Things are… coming back to him, slowly. Far more slowly than he’d like. Some of the stuff the car had said is starting to make sense and the mercenary wishes he had listened a little better. Like, what had it said after “Shit happened to your boss!” For example. “Duck? ..Duck..goose!” He laughs. “hahaha I.. oh wait. Goose, that’s the car! I remember.”
“I’ve brought more tea,” Samantha starts off with, “and this gadget that seemed like it might be useful.” She doesn’t break out the gadget quite yet, though, instead getting a fresh pot of tea started right away. After all, she knows how grouchy SHE gets when she’s not had her tea. It would be exponentially worse coming from Cailean, she thinks.
“Please don’t ‘Ma’am’ me, Mr. Ryden. I work for a living. Would you care for some tea or coffee?” Maybe the caffeine will help his memory. Or maybe it’ll make him even more incomprehensible. It’s a bit of a toss up.
Jericho takes off the eye piece he’d had on and shakes his head. Reading data on solid state drives, especially with things like quantum superpositions to deal with is a bit of an adventure.
“What ‘the duck’?” He hadn’t heard all of that clearly. Duck. There’s not a… oh. Goose.
Yes, Ryden’s here. That’s right.
“Yes. There was a big invisible giant robot. Near as we can tell. I don’t think it was after the brain per se, though, Kaylee. I still think it was after the transmitter. After all it had plenty of chances to watch us make off with a brain and it didn’t chase us.”
There’s a lot in there that might occasion question Jericho just moves on. “There’s more in here though. It’s Halloween or getting there. Who wants to see a scary movie?”
The hacker’s traces activate and start to project. What comes up in the space between Kaylee and Sam looks like footage from a flight cam. Clouds and not much else. Not much else that is until the forward motion of the camera is suddenly and violently arrested and the aircraft turned unnaturally toward what definitely looks like…
A sentinel. There’s no other words for it. That’s a sentinel.
Kaylee makes grabby hands at the tea that Sam bought and sighs happily as she inspects the canister. “Mays special blend …” That won’t make sense to anyone really, though Jericho will have more context – Agent Melinda May had been a good friend to Jemma Simmons.
And apparently a tea connoisseur herself. Kaylee doesn’t waste time in getting a pot brewing and setting out mugs for all present. Ian, of course, will get coffee.
“Test, Ian?” Kaylee blinks and thinks. “No. This was what we found at the building Jericho raided. There were four brains in jars – cloned I believe. Three were human and this one, that’s a mutant. It seems they were doing tests using signals much like the one we encountered the other day with Aegis…” She’s got one brain. Where are the other three?
Whatever else she’s about to say is cut off as Jericho begins to speak and project … “So it wasn’t my imagination. We really did see it. Someone has created, or restored, a Sentinel.”
“Goose. Right. I…guess.” Ian only vaguely remembers and still really doesn’t quite understand. He wonders if he should have just let the matter rest but felt he had to say something. Thankfully with the reasons for his being called over spoken, the librarian turns his attention towards Kaylee and Jericho then.
“Raided..? Ah…” He’s…not sure if they’d mentioned any such raid but this is certainly the first he’s heard of other brain experiments. It’s troubling, really, that Kaylee’s not the only one conducting experiments with such things. “Wait, what signals?” he finds himself asking, although by his expression it seems that he might be piecing the details together. It’s difficult to forget any encounter involving Aegis after all, even if he couldn’t quite remember how the last of it had gone, having been knocked out during the conflict.
Brow furrowing at the recording that’s projected, he brings his mug to take a drink of his coffee as he watches. His swallow is loud in his own ears, his eyes wide at the form that appears quite suddenly. Slowly he lowers his coffee.
“…is…that the thing that was flying after us that other night..?” Up until now it seemed that these impossibly big things were just as impossibly difficult to catch sight of.
“Yes Ma-uhm-y Lady.” He flushes “Boss!” Ken turns and covers his face with his palm. Great save, man, great save. Coffee. “I like coffee.” Yes he does, he drinks it all the time. Or he had before he went.. went.. where did he go? The form merc sighs and starts fixing a cup while watching the others through his long dark lashes.
He takes a big hot sip and then starts choking on it. “A what?!” He does a double take. “You.. stole a brain from a giant robot?” He watches Jericho with some bemusement. “You sure I’m not already in a scary movie?” Wait, did he say that aloud? Oops. Ken focuses on the footage. Oh, well clouds aren’t scary, they’re nice and soothing and he opens his mouth to say so when the image violently twists and Ken gasps. “Oooh that isn’t good. I know that much. Those things suck, man. They suck bad.” He pauses to listen to Ian and his expression grows increasingly worried.
Samantha smiles at Kaylee, having seen the tea label amongst the biochemist’s collection before and figured it would be appreciated. Odd, though, that the name the younger woman gives the tea isn’t what’s printed on the label.
She’s just about to take a sip from her own mug when Jericho displays that film clip and the Sentinel is revealed. “Bloody hell. I thought those things were fifty years extinct.” The fact that they’re not — right along with Hydra — is extremely frustrating.
The clip goes for another fifteen seconds. The camera shakes as something is ripped off the aircraft’s back end and then a pair of beams from the eyes slice through the field of view and everything goes black.
Jericho’s traces power down. “No it wasn’t your imagination and yes, Ian that is likely what we saw the other day. According to the file metadata that came from a HYDRA transport flyer operating over Norway. I’m not clear what was missing but it seems like the back half of the aircraft was missing when it was recovered. So whomever is operating these things it isn’t HYDRA.”
That makes it worse in a way though. Some unknown third party has these things and god only knows where they are or what they want.
“Kaylee you had some more ‘good news’ about the nanite infections?”
Kaylee gives Ian an apologetic look. Sometimes it’s easy to get ahead of herself. “The other night with Aegis, those people that attacked us, remember? They were … activated by a electro magnetic pulse at a certain frequency.”
As to raided, she shrugs. She has enough trouble keeping up with the Hackers activities but she does add “Jericho found a facility in the South Sprawl that had these. He called me when he found them.”
“And Jericho’s right…” the biochem takes a moment to sip at the tea she’s just poured herself. “… though ‘good news’ is a misnomer. What we’ve found, is that the nanites seem to ‘excite’ the centre where mutant powers are activated and if my surmise is correct, it’s forming some kind of proto-sentinel from the infected people.”
“So that’s what happened,” Ian frowns. Which just opens up a whole new avenue for questions but he keeps from doing so, not wanting to stray too much from the current topic. He however does not look happy about the thought that they have more than just HYDRA to deal with when it comes to unwanted attention by Sentinels. Then again that made a bit more sense as to why HYDRA was interested in trying to get the information from him, but all the same…
He flicks a look between the hacker and the former LMD, frowning. Yeah, he wouldn’t necessarily call any nanite news ‘good news’, but he’s curious all the same to hear what it is.
“…err- wait, what? Proto-sentinel? Is this related to what happened with the people back by the crepe truck?”
Scowling, Ken mutters to himself. He’s always up for cutting off snake heads…but if this isn’t them then who? He has nothing beyond knowing what the robot is. Well, no, that’s not true. He might stand a good chance at being able to stop the thing if they can find it. Or at least, he’s the best suited to try he thinks, since he can’t die permently anyway.
Nanites are like, the tiniest robots or something, right? Ken tries to recall. That isn’t his specialty. If it doesn’t shoot, stab, hit, punch or explode.. Well. That’s Kaylee’s arena. So he relaxes and leans against the wall to sip his coffee. There seems to be a lot to catch up on and he wonders just how long he was gone. He squints a bit at Kaylee’s explanation. Well damn, that just sounds freakin terrible. “Haaaappy Halloween!” The merc grimaces. One brow raises. “A creep truck? What were they doin’ in there?” Kenlaris asks, clearly confused.
Samantha can only sigh over her tea at Kaylee’s explanation. Because of course. “Am I presuming correctly that this Sentinel is not trackable by current surveillance technology?” Though one would think that a robot THAT large would be impossible to miss.
She takes a sip of her tea and … oh, that IS a good tea … then turns her attention back to the matter at hand. “Kaylee, what do you think your chances are of determining how to counteract this proto-sentinel you’ve mentioned?”
“We think so. The signals that activate the nanites that the Sentinel responded to are very similar to the one that caused those people to transform.”
Those people are in SHIELD custody now and Kaylee should have access to their treatment files shortly.
“I think beyond the HYDRA angle the better question is how these things got seeded into our population in the first place and what prompted the activation signal. I’ve not heard any reports yet of similar incidents to the one by the food truck but if there weren’t witnesses…”
Jericho glances to the others as his phone goes off. “Speak of the devil. Gabby was looking into something for me. I’ll be back in a bit.”
Jericho answers the first question about the proto-sentinels and Kaylee supports that with a nod. “Trackable Agent Carter? Not … easily. These things were amazing and had stealth technology built in. We *might* be able to create something now but it will take time.”
“And I don’t know if I can counter it. It’s what I’m looking into and I need access to the older SHIELD files on Sentinels. I’ve put in a request but you might have more success than I.”
As Jericho walks out, Kaylee sighs and rubs her eyes. “I have a test running that will take about 30 minutes. If you two wouldn’t mind sticking around to keep an eye on it, I could get 30 winks…”
Not 40, just 30.
Where they came from and how they got where they were is also something Ian wonders. He’s still not so sure about how he’d gotten his own nanite infliction, but all these things just don’t amount to good news more than complications. Further complications, rather.
He sucks in a breath, expelling it in a sigh as he lifts his coffee for another sip. He doubts he’ll get any sleep either way, so he might just help himself to another cup after.
“Yeah, I’ve…got nothing else to do,” he says, nodding at Kaylee as he steps over to sit somewhere. “Take as long as you need, Kaylee,” he adds. At least one of them can get some sleep.
Kenlaris hasn’t remembered the house he is fixing up yet and if the car told him, he hadn’t been paying attention and so he isn’t planning on going anywhere even if he can’t be much help at the moment. He reaches up to take of his jacket and realizes its gone. Oh. Uhm.. He looks around and fails to find anything resembling a blanket so he walks forward and gently pats Kaylee’s shoulder. “Get some rest, Boss. I can watch the whatchamcallits too.” He settles down with his coffee to do just that.
It's a regular party at S.H.I.E.L.D. labs as Jericho and Kaylee go over their recent findings with the others regarding the reappearance of the Sentinels.
October 20, 2051