Project Sigma

July 21, 2015:

Interrogation time for the person taken captive in France (emits by Ronin)



NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

The SIGMA agent was, due to the lack of abilability of hypersonic transport, taken from Paris to a secure holding facility in England. He hasn't been there long and already senior SHIELD leadership has been contacted to provide some examination and interrogation. He's a fairly high priority target what with his role in the Barton incident and… okay he's weird. Someone who knows what they're doing needs to look at him. Agent Romanov was already in the area. Agents May and Simmons have been requested, due to their familiarity with the case and the need to keep the list of people in the know small.

Natasha is waiting in the observation room for the arrival of Simmons and May as she watches the prisoner through the glass. She's got a tablet in her hand going over any of the known details on the prisoner so far, which is probably sparse outside what she knew.

There's fresh tea and pastries, coffee seemed to be in shorter supply; a junior agent had been sent out on a coffee run for something that wasn't decaf.

"Who or what are you?" Natasha mused as she stared through the glass. Soon they were about to find out.

Melinda May arrives with Simmons in tow, and appears to be a bit less than thrilled by being pulled back to Paris twice in such short order. Granted, she and Jemma could have arrived a LOT faster than by quinjet, but while the Triskelion populace are pretty much used to it by now, she doens't want to freak the locals any more than usual. "This had better be good, Widow."

Simmons is used to being pulled out of the lab by now and trails along behind May. Field kit in hand, she peaks around the back of the Senior Agent to Natasha. She knows when to remain silent though.

The holding area is a modified medical ward, necessary in this case because conventional methods of restraining the man just haven't worked. At the moment he's lightly sedated. Enough to have him snoozing. "Doctor Simmons can wake him up." The agent in charge, a man named Faulkner, says. "I'd be careful once you do though. We haven't been able to identify or disconnect him from the power source of… whatever it is he's got." The circuit traces are easily visible on the man's chest, arms and legs. "We brought the gear requested for examination…" So uh, ready when you guys are?

"The less people brought in on this, the better." Natasha responded to May with professional courtesy for the other Agent. The captive was the armoured up man from Paris she had went after.

A small kit of things including truth serum is grabbed off a table for when Simmons wakes the man up and it might be noticeable she's wearing her widow's gauntlets despite not being in 'uniform'.

She looked to see if May was armed. Clearly she was planning for potential danger during the interrogation. She opens the door and heads inside, truth serum at the ready while she waits for Simmons to do her thing.

May looks at Romanoff and Simmons. "Let me consult with someone briefly." Simmons has likely met the god-wolf already, and Romanoff at the very least has read reports about him. Focusing on her leyline pendulum, she quickly appraises Fenris of the person they're about to interrogate and queries to see if there's anything they can do to break the through the man's own wards to put him off guard. Personally, she'd be entirely fine with swatting him him inside a nullification circle, but she knows they take time to create.

Looking between May and Natasha, Simmons walks into the room and nods to the techs "You know the practice" she murmurs as she takes her equipment from the field kit. "It will take a few minutes for him to be awake enough to speak to him." beat "Let's wake him up."

The traced out man wakes. Slowly. Simmons pushes something to take out the sedative. He's restrained of course, and sees the agents around him. It appears safe. He's not armed, certainly. Well not at the moment. So Simmons should be clear to start scanning him. Any data she gets will take time to go through but this could be very, very good.

"So… name rank and serial number, mmm?"

"We could do that whole song and dance or we could make things more interesting." Natasha smiled at the prisoner before injecting the truth serum in his neck, if chemical knockout gas had worked; she had a feeling this might to especially since they didn't know what they were dealing with.

"What is SIGMA? "

She looks to May to see if the other woman got any information from her source.

Melinda May waits outside for a moment or three, trying to contact Fenris via leyline pendulum for advice. Alternatively, perhaps she could drop a line to Trent, see what he finds particularly unpleasant in terms of his subdermal electrical tracery.

Jemma has the medtech monitoring the mans vitals as Natasha administers the truth serum and asks her questions. There's a battery of tests for the biochemist to run and she quietly moves through them, noting responses and jotting down comments as she does.

The source of power for the traces is of great interest to the Biochem.

The man on the med table, presently shackled but explicitly not depowered and thus possibly dangerous, eyes the assembled agents. All of them will be familair to some degree with the trace work on his chest, arms and legs though there's only been one other man encountered having them. Well, on record. Theoretically there was a small unit of them working for the US Army years ago.

The most disturbing thing about the man is his eyes. They're cold. They utter lack any kind of empathy or spark of life. Dead, almost. Only one of the agents present will be familair with that look. She's seen it, though not this bad, on someone connected to Trent. "SIGMA is a greek letter. We can start with that if you like." He volunteers. Well 'volunteers'.

Melinda May gives up on reaching one contact and tries for another. She uses her phone to take a photo of the man, hopefully zoomed in enough to not reveal the fact that he's secured to a table currently but not zoomed in so close that those subdermal traces are not visible. She sends the image with the message: "Friend of yours?"

Finally pocketing her phone, May steps closer to just stand there an stare. Jemma and Natasha can do the actual interrogating.

The truth serum seemed to be working, start simple and work your way up into more personal questions, "Good. Now, what is your name and what can you tell me about the scope of your job as a 'SIGMA' Agent?" Hopefully this was simple enough for now, Natasha could only hope there wasn't some kind of explosive failsafe built into the man.

The results of Jemma's scans start returning "No incindery devices, Agent Romanoff" she murmurs. The fact that the scans can't pinpoint the power source has her wondering and she opens the field kit again, withdrawing a small device. May might recognise it as the prototype Bio-E detector FitzSimmons was working on several weeks ago.

Passing the device over the SIGMA agents body, Jemma watches the results, her face impassive. She may have questions of her own in a minute or two - let's see what the captive says and what the Bio-E detector tells her.

"I follow orders and execute tasks." The man replies. Nat and May should recognize this. Trained interrogation resistance. Answer but don't answer. Give a little if you have to, but the least useful things you can. Anyone who does it this automatically has been rather extensively schooled in this. He's still taking everything in, watching very carefully.

May's other contact gets back to her. Nope. No one I know. Why?

"Of course you do. What orders did you have concerning Clint Barton?" Natasha kept her patience, she had dealt with tougher nuts before. If truth serums and playing nice didn't work, she would move to less friendly methods of persuasion that not everyone might have the stomach for; that was a last resort of course.

Melinda May pulls her phone and looks at the reply message, then returns her phone to her pocket. "We have the go-ahead to terminate the prisoner the moment he proves to not be helpful." It's a complete lie of course, but it might seem believeable considering the text message she just received. She turns to Simmons to see if the biochemist has picked up on her ruse and will be able to play along.

Simmons looks to May as her Bio-E readings come back "Agent May, do you remember that side project Fitz and I were working on. The alternate energy source?" She really hopes so. Without saying more she nods to the man on the table… that should be enough shouldn't it.

Then Agent May speaks and Jemma blinks "But we can't do that… " and she falls silent, blushing badly - Jemma can't lie! "Yes Agent May."

Picking her tablet up, she taps in some notes, but Natasha's phone will indicate she has a message very soon

Subject is part of an ongoing scientific study. Pertinent to a project I'm running. Simmons

Hopefully Natasha will leave something for Simmons to examine.

The man on the gurney watches May. If the threat to his life fazes him it's only the elevation of his heartrate that gives any indication. "The LMD? Technical support really. Replacing agents is so messy. And complicated. The eggheads wanted to make sure someone was along who could handle it."

He's got no idea what Jemma just scanned him for. He really is rather off the charts on that scale though.

Natasha looks at her phone and seems to acknowledge the text, but doesn't reply back to it.

"Technical support? Sounds like you must be quite the expert to operate something as complex as that LMD for such a long period." She smiles at the man as she strokes his ego and baits him just a little further, "I wish we had people that good working for us."

Melinda May crosses her arms and goes back to being the Teal'c of this interrogation process. Thsi is Natasha's speciality — getting people to spill intel. She's not about to get in the other agent's way.

Simmons really wants to know the mans name and which unit he was in in the Army - or indeed if he had been in the army. But Natasha is doing the interrogating and she won't mess that up.

While she has him though, there are tests to run on the traces… what are they, what are they formed from, how are they implanted, are they implanted… all sorts of questions abound. Maybe she'll find a way to disable the connection and make him less lethal - or perhaps it will encourage him to talk.

While Simmons runs her tests (the results will take a while to get, most of them) the man regards Natasha with a detatched calm. There is something wrong with this man. That look in his eyes. It's not the look of a zealot nor a man gone too long at war. It's almost as if there isn't a person behind the gaze. Something else. He shifts his gaze to May slightly and the entire tenor of his expression changes. Nat will pick up on it easily. All his nonverbal cues and mannerisms switch as if he's suddenly someone else.

"Operate it? Nah your buddy what was his name? Clyde? He did the heavy lifting for us. Brain bugs, ya know." Clearly that's not information he minds giving out. Maybe those are someone else's secrets. "So what's a guy got to do to get the second and third cuties in here to join in the fun?" That's not the man who was answering them a moment ago.

If she was disturbed, Natasha didn't show it. Instead she watched the eyes. If there was control being done remotely it could be found, a signal or something. She feigned disappointment, "I'm sorry I'm not entertaining enough for you, Mister? What should I call you." She would let May and Simmons talk to the man as she moved over to a computer and began to try and search for any kind of signals or broadcasts that could be coming from the man; something to isolate.

Meanwhile, Coulson is finishing off an Apple Fritter and a coffee while watching on a large bank of monitors. He looks over to the green, fresh from the academy rookie and nods. "I guess I better get down there before the guy ends up as a game of Operation, huh? Oh well, at least I have my coffee. Stay here, and if his nose turns red and makes a funny Stark." he rises and pats the rookie on the shoulder as he akes his way on down to where the interrogation is going on.

Melinda May is only too aware of the way the man's demeanor changed completely when he turned his attention to her. "Tell us what we want to know," she says in that completely deadpan manner she's perfected over many years. She doesn't promise him 'the second and third cuties', but if he thinks that what she implied, she'll happily let him delude himself.

Simmons test results start returning and she compares them agains the notes from Project Prometheus… the traces contain an utterly unknown element. She's not surprised.

The personality change 'blips' on her tests, a slight dip followed by a spike in the energy… She's still looking for a way to disconnect the power source or perhaps use it against him.

There isn't a power source. Or at least, not a conventional one. Whatever's in this guy seems to be tapping that Bio-E field that everyone generates and she'd need to mess with the power on the other end, the harvesting one and not the generating one.

Nat's scans come up negative. Though she knows that negative results can be as useful as positive ones. If there's no signal, no outside control, then whatever's happening to this guy is utterly internal. Which is… interesting. May gets a smirk and there's another blip on Simmons instruments as the subject abruptly returns to 'normal'. "What you want to know? I know that you're asking the wrong guy. That LMD business? Not my idea, not really my line. I was just there to make sure the upload went properly."

Natasha frowned a little as she couldn't do anything about it but knowing was half the battle and at least they knew this guy had some sort of outside control. It was unlikely he was being affected by the truth serum though given that fact, which was a shame.

"And who are you? Are you paid or do what you do out of belief?" Money was an ideal that could always be manipulated, zealotry could not be.

Melinda May just looks at the man flatly for a moment longer, then says to Natasha still in full Vulcan mode, "This is a waste of our time. I'm calling it." And she reaches behind her back and very deliberately pulls her butterfly swords from their concealed scabbard at her back. She holds one in each hand, letting their heavily oiled surfaces gleam briefly before pressing one to the side of the man's face. She's not slicing at him yet, instead wanting to see how he reacts to the consecrated oil that's on the flat of the blade.

Jemma's fairly certain the blip is something overriding the mans personality, a demon maybe or someone else? The blip on her screen confirms there is there something. Pity she doesn't know about Maxwell…

"What unit were you were with?" A random question perhaps…. Right now there's not a lot more she can do. She needs to get him into a lab and be able to study the tech more closely.

"Well let me tell you." The man smiles. "The unit that killed three really cute shield agents." There's that blip again and the traces abruptly power up. He snaps the restraints like they were made of paper mache and goes right for May. Coinflip which one in the room is more dangerous, May or Nat, but May's the one visibly armed.

Melinda May tenses when the man smiles, and when his traces power up, she promptly swats him across the side of the head with the flat of her sword full force while reaching for one of her taser-tipped batons. The shocks have proven to at least distract him…

Natasha had full confidence in Agent May to take care of the man quickly and efficiently given the close proximity but that doesn't mean she wasn't going to assist. Her touch is a little more delicate though, she knew what worked.

"A comedian. I guess that answers the question of what you are."

Those gauntlets she wore were useful.

She aims them at the face of the tough talking prisoner and fires out a purplish-pink knockout gas. It had worked to daze him the first time, she hoped it would work a second time combined with Agent May's actions.

Maybe Jemma could jump in and drug the guy to, just in case.

Fumbling with the ICER pistol that May insisted she wear at her waist, Jemma brings it up, aims and fires - closing her eyes as she does… She didn't mean too, it just happened that way - WHAT? she's not a field agent!

The shock from May's baton is indeed enough to disorient and she's on him before his armor can form (huh, his change isn't as quick as someone else's). Then Nat's got him, giving him a face full of knockout gas. He flops back on the bed, trying to get up. Trying to throw a punch. Maybe… maybe…

And then he gets shot. In the mouth. With the ICER. Light's out. Looks like this interrogation is over.

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