The Captive: Part 2

April 26, 2015:

SHIELD is ready to awaken their prisoner, Kwabena Odame, and try to find out what happened to him. Things get dark.

Top-Secret SHIELD Holding Facility

Location: REDACTED

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: Rest My Chemistry by Interpol


Fade In…

Given the sensitive nature about the prisoner they're holding, the SHIELD scientists, with the help of Beast, deemed it necessary to keep Kwabena Odame asleep for a few additional days, so that they might conduct the necessary tests. Findings findings on his genetic structure, thanks to the severed hand returned by Peggy and Steve, have proven no possible explanation for the reports of Shift's ability to, quote, 'transform into a mass of carnivorous insects'. This was never on SHIELD's dossier for him, to begin with, and as such, it remains a mystery.

In addition, biochemist Jemma Simmons had discovered a way to inhibit this 'alternate personality' that seems to have taken over the mercenary's primary functions. By keeping those brainwaves in check, the group ought to be able to have a conversation with the real Odame, unless it's deemed necessary that this 'other person' be encountered.

The time has come to wake the man. The cell in which he's been stored remains air-tight, with a sophisticated hatch designed to deliver him food, or other items, the walls capable of withstanding the 25,000 decrees celsius that it is theorized to be the maximum level of his plasma output. The uniform of unstable molecules he wore remains safely out of reach, leaving the prone man lying in a SHIELD prisoner's jumpsuit upon the same table upon which he's lain for the last several days…

*

Captain America is here out of necessity and the need to watch to see what happens. He's sitting off to the side. On so much of these types of science missions he's left with not a lot to do and not a lot of background knowledge. Better safe than sorry, of course, as he sticks a lone sunflower seed into his mouth and cracks it.

*

There are quite a bit of science going on that Peggy can only somewhat grasp. She may now know all the different scientific terms, but she's able to - at least - get the gist of what is going on. And, as she's been involved with helping (or attempting) subdue the man the past few times, she feels strongly about being present when he's to be woken. Within her easy reach is the pistol - two of the special bullets Fitz and Simmons created already chambered. Otherwise, though, she stands back by Steve.

*

It's been an intense few days but progress has been made, especially with isolating that second personality and gleaning genetic information from him. Beast is in agreement that it's time to have a conversaion with the man and waits, patiently, for SHIELD to do whatever they do to wake the man up.

*

Once again, it was May's job to pick up and transport Dr. McCoy from Westchester to the SHIELD Facility. Considering how well he did NOT take the last trip, she arrived in the parking lot of Harry's Hideaway to meet the scientist. And this time she didn't bring a vehicle at all. Just herself and a dark-haired woman wearing a diamond-encrusted collar. Once the Doctor arrived, the collared woman spoke some words in a strangely nuanced and oddly almost familiar language, and they abruptly appeared in the middle of the facility's lab. Just about exactly where Beast had his hissy fit last time. The woman and May exchanged nods, and then the former disappeared again just as abruptly.

Currently, May has finished repeating the hot tea ritual that seems to have become habit, and is leaning against the counter with a slightly steaming mug in hand. She's also here mostly to just watch, though that's more because of SHIELD regulations regarding bringing outside resources to secure facilities than anything else.

*

Simmons has been running some tests in another part of the facility and having received notice her guest had arrived is just now entering the door. "Agent Carter, Captain Rogers, Agent May" Simmons nods as she places her tablet on the table and accepts the cup of tea May hadns to her. Offering Hank a small smile, "Dr McCoy, thank you for joining us again. I was just checking some last things before we begin today, please excuse my lateness."

Simmons barrels on "As I outlined in my briefing notes, I've been able to synthesise a way to inhibit Odame's alternate personality which means, should we wish once our initial tests are run, we can switch it on and take a look at it, ourselves." Looking at the assembled group "Shall we then?"

*

There are a few moments where the computers show Kwabena's vitals rising from their induced state. Beneath their lids, the eyeballs move back and forth, suggesting life. Then, suddenly, his eyes flash open. There is only a split second before he leaps off the table, landing on the floor in a three-point stance that soon becomes a scramble backward. A sharp intake of air, and his eyes, silver irises revealed, are dashing about from side to side, looking at those on the other side of the glass.

The burst of adrenaline spikes on the monitors. He remains crouched against the rear wall of his cell for a moment, before slowly rising to his feet. Lips part, but not a word comes out for a few moments. Eventually, he takes a few testing steps, barefoot against the cold floor, until his hands come to rest upon the cot he'd been sleeping upon.

"Steve?" His eyes flash from Steve to Peggy, then to May. "Agent May?" He looks to Simmons and Beast, brow furrowing a bit a the sight of what is clearly a metahuman or mutant of some sort, before his eyes finally fall back to Steve.

A wince forms, and he reaches up to put a hand against his temple, clearly in pain. Upon the monitors, his natural brainwaves fluctuate; the oppressive, now-dormant brain waves that had been imposed upon him stutter on the readout, as if trying to fight back, but seem unable against Simmons and Beast's programming. "What… is… happahning to me?" asks the Ghanaian, his voice wrought as if suffering a migraine.

*

"We wanted to ask you the same thing, Kwa. You haven't been yourself lately. Me and a couple of others are really hoping there's an explanation for it, because you're in a heap of trouble, old friend." Steve flicks away the shell, wipes his hands and gets to his feet. "What's happened to you?"

*

From her place by the wall, Peggy's hand shifts toward her waist and the pistol as Kwabena crouches and moves. It's a quick movement, merely ready for an escape attempt of any sort, her shoulders tense in anticipation. She meets his eyes with a steady sort of gaze, though she doesn't say anything. Not just yet.

*

Melinda May straightens away from the counter she's leaning against when Odame's vitals start moving toward 'awake', and she's ready to defend McCoy and Simmons by the time the man in the containment room scrambles to his feet. Thankfully, though, he seems to be in control for the most part so she nods when he looks at her and otherwise remains where she is. She's totally okay with letting Steve ask the questions everyone's been wondering.

*

Beast merely waits, watching quietly. He doesn't know the man like the others seem to, so he's not entirely sure what to expect or ask. He'll let the others do the talking while he watches the readouts. For now.

*

Simmons places her tea on the table beside her tablet and moves to look at Shifts vitals. The oppressed brain waves get a frown and she looks at the silver irised man. "Mr Odame, please do try to relax. I'm Dr Jemma Simmons and this is Dr McCoy." she twists her lips as she considers her next words.

"Agent Carter and Captain Rogers bought you to me, we're trying to determine what's happening but need information. Information that, I'm afraid, only you seem to be able to give." Nodding to Steve, Simmons steps away "If you could tell us, what you remember, we'll go from there."

*

It would appear, when Peggy and Kwabena's eyes meet, that he has no recollection of her. He's looking at her much in the way a stranger might. His eyes flick down toward her gun, which only causes his brow to furrow further still.

Steve's words bring him back to the moment. "I can see dat," he murmurs reproachfully, in regard to being in trouble. His eyes look down at his feet, then toward the cot, then over toward the sophisticated hatch that he is guessing must be air-tight, before flashing his silver gaze toward Simmons when she addresses him.

"I - I don't… dere ah only pieces. Flashes. Like I was… gone, den back, den…" He truly can't remember the heinous things he'd done, and it shows in the broken, confused speech that is altogether unlike him.

Finally moving from his spot, he comes around the cot and approaches the glass, though he doesn't seem ready to make any aggressive moves. "I remembah going to Paris. Richard Dackleman was dere. I tracked him down, cut off his narcotics Empire, but… I don't remembah where I went aftah dat."

His eyes look around, wide and fearful, a true sort of fear that only a handful of people have ever seen. He's not afraid of the trouble he's in; he's afraid of himself.

Then, he notices the stump where his left hand used to be.

The vital signs begin to spike. Readouts from the scientists' computers show his normal synaptic activity in flux, while the oppressive foreign brainwaves struggle against the inhibitors Simmons and Beast put into place. Kwabena staggers back, flinching sporadically until he strikes the cot with a loud noise.

Wherever Simmons has put his severed hand, the piece suddenly bursts into a cloud of smoke, which begins bashing around at its enclosure madly.

*

"Kwa," Steve says as he steps closer to the glass after Odame staggers backwards. "You need to tell us about HYDRA. Anything. Anything you can remember."

Rogers doesn't pay attention to the hand going crazy, instead, his eyes never leave his friend. "You need to tell us anything you remember."

*

When Peggy meets Kwabena's eyes to see no recollection there, she frowns. Before, when his eyes were dark, he knew her. Called her out by name. This man doesn't seem to know her from Eve. The sudden bashing of the smoke at the jar does catch her attention, though, the woman moving toward it in an attempt to ensure that remains where it is. Who knows what could happen should it get loose.

*

Golden eyes look to the hand as it begins its freak-out, "Fascinating…" is murmured. Beast moves closer to look at it, "It's still connected. That's amazing…probably because of the way his mutation manifests itself in his fluid molecular structure." He looks back then to Kwabena, "Mister Odame, it seems like your hand isn't fully severed, so there is no need to be so upset. If you could focus and answer our questions, it would be a great help as we'd like to figure out what has happened to you."

*

Melinda May watches everything with a growing sense of trepidation, though thinking on the intel that Jericho shared with her, she decides it might be worth a try. She steps over to Simmons and addresses her quietly, intentionally turning her back to Shift as she does so. "I want to try something based on Trent's intel. But only with your approval."

*

The hand bursting into smoke has Simmons eyebrows rising and she turns to speak to Shift. "Mr Odame, I am sorry. If you will try to calm yourself, we'll see about getting the hand reattached. But whilst you're in this state, none of the agents are going to allow me anywhere near you."

Mays statement and body position, has Jemma stopping "Can you explain, Agent May? I want to know what to look for. I don't believe it will be a problem, though." she murmurs.

*

Kwabena's eyes snap back to Steve, and they look confused. "HYDRA?" he asks, befulled. "I don't know anything about HYDRA!" he nearly snarls. He's not mad at Steve. He's not really mad at any of the others. But a part of him is missing, and he doesn't like that. Not… one… bit.

Beast draws his attention before any further outburst can be had. He looks to the furry mutant, then notices the smoke in Simmons' jar, and for a moment, he as well seems awestruck by it. Eyes stare, lips part, as if he'd never experienced that facet of his mutation before.

"I… okay." He looks back to Steve, grimacing against the pain, but… his vitals begin to stabilize. He puts his arms back, one hand gripping the cot while the stump moves to do the same but… just leans there. He sighs at that, but moves on. He tries to remember.

"I can't… remembah what happened aftah I encountered Dackleman. It's… dahkness. I remembah booking a flight at de Gaulle, back to New York. Visited some few friends. Was taking some time off. Felt I deserved it." Those memories were intact.

He frowns, struggling for a moment. "When I heard smooth was back on de streets, I put de beat down on some few of my old contacts. Hit pay dirt in Littah Italy. Found some bastahds who claimed dey were still selling it." He frowns. "Lunair found me. She said I was… acting strange." A shadow begins to cross his expression. "I remembah going to D.C… I remembah… preparing for something, but, I don't know what. A job. Maybe? I don't know." He grimaces again. "Den I went back to Cincinnati. Lay low for some few days, dough I don't… know… why I would have… needed to…"

He does hear Simmons' voice. He is trying to remain calm. However, his active consciousness only has so much information to go on. Broken memories, no recollection of any actions that should have landed him in a cell. He looks back up at the lot of them, frowning deeply.

"…. Steve? Will one of you please tell me what de fuck is going on here?"

There's a bit of a growl in that one.

*

"Which friends? Maybe we can track them down and it can help." Steve's words make it clear he's trying, searching for a way to exonerate his friend. He doesn't want to be the bearer of bad news for Kwa, but he deserved the facts. "Well, you killed a Congressman. And you also tried to kill others. Myself. Peg. A neighborhood in Cincinnati. It's real bad, Kwa."

*

From her place by the jar, Peggy looks to Simmons and the answers. At Steve's mention of the Congressman, she adds, "Yes, your preparations were for murdering the Congressman. I tried to stop you." But, now he's looking at her like she's a stranger. She, looks to Steve and then quiets, deciding that keeping watch over the jar seems the best thing to do at the moment.

*

"We think, Mr. Odame, that something's been put into you…something that alters your mind. Right now, we're surpressing it so that we can talk to you about all of this," and see his reaction. Beast turns away from the hand and back to the the others. He sseems rather intent on seeing Kwabena's reaction to this news, especially before they reactivate the other persona.

*

Melinda May can offer some information there that might help Kwabena's peace of mind, if not legally exonerate him. She nods to Simmons and turns back to address Shift directly. "According to intel collected by Trent, it looks like you were captured by Hydra and subject to a rather unorthordox procedure." Though depending on where in Europe they were at the time, it might be more correct to say Orthodox.

Stepping around to approach the clear pane separating them from the distressed man, she offers about as gently as anyone might have ever heard her speak, "Trent's intel describes the procedure as something resembling an arcane — a magical — ritual. As if you were ensorceled." In her mind, it seems more in keeping with demon possession.

*

Simmons eyebrows go up at that piece of information. "Well, that might explain what we're seeing." Did the Scientist just accept that magic could have been used here.

"As Dr McCoy says, Mr Odame." Simmons stops and then starts again after blowing out a deep breath. "Mr Odame, we're seeing two sets of brainwaves. We've supressed the other set, which is why you're probably experiencing some discomfit, to allow your normal personality to come to the surface. Which might explain why some things are a little fuzzy for you too."

*

"A Congressman??" Kwabena looks between Steve and Peggy, mouth ajar and flabbergasted. "What -"

Whatever he was about to say gets caught up at Beast's words. He looks toward the mutant, then over to Simmons, speechless for a moment.

"You… ah saying dat HYDRA did dis?" He looks from the scientists to May, his anger slowly subsiding. In so much as she may have displayed a nature most haven't seen, the same happens to Kwabena. He backs into the cot again, then seems to slump against it, weakened. "Dere… was a man in Paris. French. He was dere in Dackleman's suite. He said…" He squints his eyes. "He said to me…" What was it be said?

"He said, welcome to my new home."

For a few moments, Kwabena stares at the floor, frowning and looking defeated for the first time in his life. His eyes finally rise to look at Peggy and Steve, wondering what power could have possessed him to try killing either of them.

Then he looks toward Beast and Simmons. "You're saying dis oddah thing, dese oddah brainwaves? Are dey still here, inside of me?"

His face seems to have lightened a few shades.

*

Steve looks to Simmons and isn't even sure if he wants to do what he's about to ask. "Can we dispose of the second entity? And if not, can we talk to it? Maybe get information out of it." He pauses. Stopped without a way to get out, it could just commit suicide in its host body as HYDRA agents are wont to do.

*

Beast blinks at May when she offers her information, "Why didn't you tell us any of this before?" Not that they would have been able to test for such a thing, "It would have been useful," is muttered as he looks to Simmons. In fact, he murmurs something that sounds awfully like, "You should have listed that among our assets" even as he goes to look at the scans again. "I think that maybe we should talk to it before figuring out if we can destroy it." He looks over to Simmons, "I know someone who might be able to help if we don't have ways to Dispel Magic…"

Apparently Hank's Geek is showing.

*

Melinda May turns to look at McCoy. "I was given this intel just last night." She turns back to Steve and then Shift. "I might have a way to remove that alternate personality, but I suspect doing so will be uncomfortable at best. And no guarantees that it will even work." After all, she's not the one that's fluent in Latin. That'd be Romanoff.

*

"Dr McCoy" Simmons fixes Hank with a stern look "You have all the data I have. Unfortunately, working with a field team often means that more information comes to light at" she pauses "inopportune times and Agent May here has delivered it as quickly as she can."

She turns her back and regards May, nodding slowly. "I would like to find out more about that, Agent May." Simmons suspects she knows the source of the intel.

Shaking her head slowly at Steve, and inclining her head towards May, Simmons is slow in responding "I don't think we can remove the alternate personality but it sounds like there could be a solution. As to speaking to the other personality, I believe that's possible. But first…." Simmons looks to Shift "Mr Odame, yes, those other brainwaves are still there. We would like to activate them and speak to that personality. Would it be o.k if we did?"

*

"I killed no Congressman," defends Kwabena. "If you peopah think it will help?" He pushes himself off from the cot and takes a step toward the glass. "Den do it."

That being said, once he's committed, the Ghanaian clenches his fist and closes his eyes. He doesn't want to watch as they do whatever it is they plan to do.

*

At Odames' words, Simmons nods and picks up her tablet. A few swipes of her hand and the machines and monitors start to flicker. The 'dominate' brain waves, those of the real Shift, fade and move into the background. The suppressed waves, surge forward strongly and take the foreground.

Looking at the man in the room, Simmons addresses him "Mr Odame, are you there?" Because Shifts eyes are closed, it's impossible to tell if what the monitors are telling her is true.

*

Melinda May looks at Simmons as she makes whatever changes are needed to let the 'other personality' surface, then watches Kwabena alertly. She's pretty well convinced that it's some variation on demonic possession, but a change in the man's usual quirks and mannerisms are what will confirm it for her.

*

Kwabena opens his eyes. They are silver, for the moment, but when Simmons addresses him, he seems claimed by violent seizures. The eyes roll back into his head, only to be replaced by an otherworldly, inky blackness.

The voice that comes next is not Kwabena's. There is no accent, and a twisted undertone lies in a discordant octave below.

"There is no Kwabena." His mouth is moving, producing those words, and a vicious snarl appears. "There is no… Odame." His face turns to Steve, then to May, as if it knows them.

Then, the man's mouth comes unhinged, opening into a disgusting length while an unearthly snarl is produced.

*

Steve watches on, staying quiet and saying a silent prayer for his friend. "If you're not Odame," he asks as the new identity takes hold. "Then who are you?"

*

"There is only Zuul…" Hank catches himself and glances around at the others before bowing his head and looking intensely at the readouts.

*

Melinda May refuses to be unnerved by the thing that takes Odame's place, and she very consciously crosses her arms while looking at the black-eyed prisoner. "Answer the man's question."

*

Simmons covers a chuckle at Hanks comment with a cough and continues to monitor Odame's vitals. Apart from the fact that the brainwaves are very active and the active regions in the brain have changed, nothing seems particularly off. Sharing the information with Hank, the scientist ponders "It's quite fascinating, really. Whatever they've done, everything else is the…" Then Shifts jaw changes and Simmons blinks "Well now, that's different."

*

"Bringer of the serpent," hisses the voice at Steve. "Slave to the master Hydra! I am the servant of the many heads."

Shift's jaw comes back to its usual place, but the eyes remain an endless black. "Reconnect me," he hisses.

*

"No," May replies almost immediately. "You are not in control here. We are. Why did Hydra summon you?" She keeps watching the possessed man alertly, waiting for any little slip or tell.

*

Beast looks at the readings as Simmons points them out, "I suppose it makes sense if it's some sort of true possession, which is actually quite amazing…I suppose it's something like with multiple personalities. Where one personality doesn't remember what the other does…" he does look over as Shift's jaw elongates and he shrugs, "Not surprising. He's able to shift his form by his mutation. I'm surprised he hasn't chosen a more intimidating form, but I suppose it might actually be physically demanding."

Indeed, they really don't seem intimidated by the posturing.

*

Simmons cants her head at Shift. "Reconnect you to what, precisely." She's not going to make any assumptions here. "How about, I turn on my protocols again and suppress you instead? If you want to stay around, answer the question."

*

While Peggy has been mostly silent, watching the conversations and science breakthroughs happen from a distance, now she steps forward. The dark eyes, the voice: she knows that voice. It's different than the accented Ghanian of Shift. "You know me," she tells whatever it is that is in control. She's seen mind control, she's seen hypnotism and what it can do to people.

She keeps her body placed between the jar containing Shift's hand and his gaze, effectively keeping it out of view. Her eyes narrow and she studies the man. "You were in DC. And in Indonesia. Who are you?" Because it is clear that it was not the man that stood there before.

*

May is the first to earn a response. Shift looks toward her, his black orbs menacing in their own right, but the fearless way in which they treat him is irritating. "The master Hydra has summoned many of my counterparts, into other vessels worthy of my presence. This one…" He chuckles eerily. "This one had an encounter with an ancient evil. His soul was ripe for…" He sneers menacingly. "Harvesting."

When Peggy steps forth, he turns his face toward her and smiles. "Carter. Yessss, my masters know of you. Intimately. You are one that we have been most interested in, yet we find it puzzling to find you here, looking so young. So healthy. So…" He grins again. "So inviting. Yes, you are one we have sought after for many decades. Now that you are here, we shall have our many eyes upon you, Agent of the Light."

Beast's words draw a curious cant of his neck, a tightening of the jaw. Simmons, however. When she makes the threat, Kwabena steps forward toward the glass. "You will do no such thing, mortal!" His eyes grow larger, the skin stretching out around them in an unearthly way. "You will release me from this place, reconnect me to my masters, or you will PERISH!!"

The man suddenly bursts into a blaze of white. The monitors declare that he has transformed into his plasma phase, and the cloud comes at the glass with a sudden movement, flattening against it. Alarms start to to sound as the temperature within that room rises to dangerous levels, but the high tech glass holds for now.

From inside the cell, and electric scream fills the air, loud and painful to the ears.

The klaxons grow more urgent; the glass is reaching its temperature threshold!

*

Beast doesn't really seem fazed by the display behind the glass. "He seems very single-minded in this state." He shrugs and looks to Simmons, "Time to shut him down again. I think dealing with Mister Odame might be easier for now, if we can keep this other thing surpressed. I have a few contacts who might know something about this sort of thing if you'd like me to get in touch with them." He looks to those members of SHIELD for an answer to that one.

*

Melinda May backs away from the glass when demon-Odame goes glaring white. "Do you have fire suppression in there, Simmons? Douse him, quickly." She's hoping it's a CO2 system. That would be ideal. "Then I can try the procedure that Trent and I worked on."

*

Simmons jumps as Shift shifts into plasma form "According to my information, he should burn out the material in there before doing any harm to the structure." She seems willing to wait. If things get too hot, she'll switch him off, but right now, this is interesting. None the less, Simmons does activate the CO2 suppression system installed in the cell.

"Did you hear what he said? He said 'reconnect him with his masters'…." She ponders that and looks to the smoke-hand in the jar and then back to the white glowing form. "I'm really not sure he's referring to the hand, there was nothing we noted on it. No tattoo's or markings, implants… nothing. But this bears looking into. We seem to have stopped him, it, communicating with his masters." tapping a foot, she frowns, deep in thought. "See Dr McCoy, his brainwaves shouldn't be this active…."

*

Peggy keeps her ground as whatever it is that is speaking turns his attention on her. She's dealt with criminals and Nazis before, but still his words make her skin crawl. That, however, doesn't mean she'll give him the satisfaction of showing how much what he says creeps her out.

The sudden flare of light and burst of flame causes her to very quickly look away, shielding her eyes against the blaze until her eyes are adjusted to it. Then, she looks back, face pulled together in a thoughtful, serious expression. "That is not Mister Odame," the former head of SHIELD tells Hank rather matter of fact manner, brow furrowed in thought, though she adds almost as an aside, "And it might be more precise to label them as separate." She trusts Simmons and May to douse him or know whether the cell will hold them from danger.

*

The glaring white suddenly dies. A black cloud lingers amongst the Co2, and it quickly reforms into the mutant seen before. His SHIELD prisoners jumpsuit has been completely incinerated, leaving him naked.

For a moment or two, he glares at them, chest heaving. Then, the blackness begins to fade from his eyes, drawing back until the whites are visible. Irises flutter and shake as they try to draw themselves back. It appears to be a struggle.

Upon the monitors, one set of brainwaves are being replaced by the other. It would seem that Kwabena is fighting back.

One final unearthly growl is given, the undertones slowly fading until something resembling Odame's voice returns. His silver eyes finally roll down and focus for a moment, until he collapses on the floor of his cell, breathing heavily.

He's only given a moment to look at the others before he passes into unconsciousness.

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