Magic and Science: Unlikely Partners

August 07, 2015:

Members of WAND use science and magic to begin tracking the whereabouts of Shift's soul shards

The Triskelion - New York City

The Headquarters, Armory and Fortress of the Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics division is, for the most part, an unassailable tower in the midst of the diplomatic sprawl that is Midtown East. The primary intelligence clearing houses and most of SHIELD's senior leadership are all housed hear, along with a veritable army of agents and staff to keep the place running, the world spinning and the weirdness at bay.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The rumor mill works fast within SHIELD, especially the WAND division. As soon as Leopold Fitz had a chance to review the incoming reports, something had caught his eye, and he'd send word for Rain to come and meet with him in his lab at the Triskelion.

The question of whether or not Fitz should actually be here, well… let's just say he hasn't followed all of the usual parameters, aside from the minimums. His SHIELD status is still active, but he's on administrative leave. So what?

Inside the lab, Leo is looking over some files, scrolling through one by one. His expression seems tired, but at least there's some life in his eyes.

*

Rain's side of the place seems to look like something out of Fantasia now and then. Captain is there in a business suit, looking smart as most do in said suits. But it's double because he's a cat. And people might like or loathe having a fuzzy critter in the lab. She's well mannered enough to bring some coffee and Captain jogs along after them.

She seems quietly curious. With a free hand, she knocks on the frame of the door.

*

At the opposite end of the scale, Jemmas' on self-imposed confinement to The Triskellian, until Wanda's corruptive energy can be removed. It's not that it affects her ability to do her job - well, it does, but only when Bobby Drake is around - hence, her staying put.

Returning the lab after getting a tea stash replenishment, she pauses behind Rain. "Hello, Rain and Captain, come on in. Who were you look…." she trails off, eyes lighting on Fitz. "You're not supposed to be here."

*

"Oy!" Fitz exclaims when he sees who it is who's knocking. He promptly closes down his workstations and scrambles over toward the door, excited to finally have something productive to do. Even if it wasn't really something official.

Which is precisely why he skids to a halt at sight of Simmons, immediately blushing and looking guilty.

"Simmons!" Hit reverse. "Yes. Well. Um, there were some…" He hooks an arm over his shoulder, thumb pointed elsewhere. "HR matters, and… papers… digital papers, I needed to fill out, and…" Giving up, he rolls his eyes and cants his head pleadingly toward Simmons. "Jemma, I can't stay cooped up at home forever. I needed to see our lab again!"

When Captain comes scampering in, Fitz yelps, clearly startled. "Och! What on earth is that - is that cat wearing a suit?" He darts his head toward Jemma. "Simmons, don't kill it, it's not a science experiment!" Also. "Hullo, Rain."

*

Rain smiles politely to Jemma. "Hi there," She offers quietly. Rain suffers from overfocus, thus fulfilling at least one mundane and one magical stereotype. It's not e-z being a witch sometimes. Even if her favorite season is coming up. She looks quietly amused by Fitz's reaction, but the one who is most amused is the cat. Who laughs. He's an orange tabby with stripes and slight jowls. He stares evenly at Fitz. "I'm a Morale Officer," He remarks, his tone wry. He has a deep, rich baritone voice with a Gotham accent.

"That's Captain. He's my familiar," Rain explains. "And I would be /very/ upset if someone tried anything like that. Hi!" She offers a greeting secondarily. "Are you alright? You look kind of tired," Rain asks. Captain's tail flicks slowly. Amusement. More humans to - well, do as cats do. "We were called here," Rain explains. "How about you?"

*

Jemma fixes Fitz with a flat look. "I've met Captain before, Fitz." There's a level of exasperation in the biochems voice. "And tht joke is really starting to wear thin." Not everything is a science experiment for Simmons, just well… a lot of things.

"I work here, Rain." Jemma motions the woman to enter the lab before glancing back to Fitz "I can also confine you to The Triskelian, if you don't want to be cooped up at home." She could make good on that promise as well.

*

Jemma receives a look. There was that one time with the dead cat and its liver next to his sandwich and… well, he may never forgive her for that one, but he has the strength of will to bite back that story, given the talking cat. Before being assigned to WAND, he may have been shocked at such a sight. Instead, Captain receives an understanding look, followed quickly with tired amusement. "Morale Officer, aye? Alright then." He crosses the room, heading back toward his computer station, where he sits down and pats his leg indicatively to the feline. "Come on, then."

Rain is beckoned to join him. "Rain, I was going through those reports on Odame - by the way, I don't know whether to say the man has the best or worst luck - but anyway, I think there might be some legs to your idea of using sat feeds."

"Oy, no thanks," retorts Fitz quickly to Simmons. "Then I wouldn't be able to see Felicity at all! She's already broken up over the gunshot wound, and the… the…" His jovial expression briefly falters, and he develops a thousand yard stare that lasts a full three seconds, before it refocuses and he shakes his head. "Nevermind. Anyway, satellite feeds. Right."

*

Rain would probably be glad. Being a fairly stereotypical witch, she is decidedly pro-cat. Also, Captain is right there, listening. He laughs softly. "Yeah," He likes being petted by two-thirds of the agents around. It's good to be a talking cat sometimes. "Well, I meant in general, but um, we brought some spare coffee." And there's some sugar and creamer. At the talk of Odame, Rain settles quiet. The two inch closer t listen, setting down the drinks.

"if we can help…" Rain is a healer, yo. But then she settles to listen in. "Yeah, I was hoping to at least have a visual. The more I have a tie to something, the easier it is to divine. I thought Miss Zatanna was going to do it by herself, but we're glad to help. Of course, I have no idea what his soul shard might look like. I guess any particularly odd flying objects." Then again, she herself might qualify as an odd flying object.

*

Fitz should have been paying attention to where he put his sandwich that day. Jemma had been engaged in the experiment when he came in… And he still hasn't forgiven her for that.

Jemma heads to the area in the lab where they prepare their tea and coffee, placing the refilled tea cannister down "Thank you, Rain." In reponse to the coffee "Would you like a cup now? And what would Captain like?" the besuited Cat gets a smile from the biochem. "Fitz, what would you like?"

Listening in to the discussion, Jemma waits for the water to boil, making herself a cup of tea as she does, when the others respond she'll prepare theirs as well. "How does divining work, Rain?" Scientist is still scientist.

*

As soon as Captain has taken his place on Leo's lap, he begins petting the animal with his free hand, while the other manipulates a computer.

"Well," he says toward rain. "Interestingly enough - when the reported incident took place, the cloud cover went away, giving his a clear view of ground zero."

Satellite images are pulled up on the computer, zooming in on the town square of a small city named Townsend, not far from Metropolis. Frame by frame, the satellite imagery displays snapshots of Odame's resurrection, but Fitz freezes shortly after the nearly naked mutant comes into view.

"There." He zooms in on a frame, which shows a handful of white objects that look like energy bolts spraying out. "You see those?" he asks. "Well, I've run a search through all of our sat feeds, and these objects flew away from the battle. And what's better - we can track them."

Over his shoulder, he calls to Jemma, "Tea! Thank you, Simmons!" Then his gaze slides over to Rain, all squinty eyed. "Yeah, how does that work?"

*

It's hard work being a ca— morale officer. But Captain is amiable, and totally cool with pettings and laps. He closes his eyes a little, tail curling and ears folding beneath pets. Cat(TM). He's nice and fuzzy. Rain listens and moves over to join them more closely. "Water, please." The cat asks. "I usually drink coffee or tea," Rain offers.

She looks between the two as they ask about divining. "Well, I could repeat a meme and say that I'm a witch and I don't gotta explain stuff, but… okay, so. People and the objects they use form connections. By being around one another, or even simply having something forms one of these invisible ties. Sometimes, it's just meaning. Sometimes it's emotional, or proximity. We call these sympathetic ties. Every person and thing in the world is connected to something or another - even if it's just by existing. Make sense so far? It's like how - even at the subatomic level - things never *truly* touch one another. They simply form bonds," She explains. Thankfully, Rain is an engineer and fairly well versed in a good deal of things. "Most of us who divine use the ties around the object we seek to find the object. Think of ummm, a ball in a pool with a lot of ropes around it. You have to find it with your eyes closed, so your best bet is to grab a rope and follow it."

*

Given Rain had bought coffee, Simmons will make the lavendar eyed woman a cup of coffee. How to serve Captain his water leaves her momentarily perplexed, finally deciding that a bowl would be the best option… drinking from a cup or a glass might cause his suit to get wet.

The explanation of divination has her nodding along as she turns to hand over the mugs and set out the bowl somewhere convenient for Captain to reach. "I see…" looking at the display Fitz is using, she casts a faint smile in his direction "May I see that again, please?"

*

It was a fantastic explanation, but when Rain draws the scientific correlation, Leo grins. An approving look is sent Jemma's way, before he nods to Rain. "Makes perfect sense," he agrees.

A year ago, FitzSimmons would have scoffed at the idea. How the things do change…

Prompted by Jemma, Fitz replays the satellite imagery. In frame one, there are three necromancers, and a collection of items on the ground before them. In the next frame, there is Shift, with ten to twenty glowing objects surrounding his body. He scrolls back and forth a handful of times; the frames are only a couple of seconds apart.

*

"Thank you," Rain says to Simmons. Captain looks quietly amused by poor Simmons' dilemma. "Thanks," He offers. Cats. Sweet and more than not above being amused by the hairless, bipedal great apes that tend to them. It's a pretty sweet arrangement as far as the felines are concerned. But he does appreciate it.

Rain smiles as Leo grins. She wasn't always magic - but most of her family was, so she's sort of used to the surreality. At least she doesn't have to deal with wiccan nudists on the lawn anymore.

She watches the footage again, furrowing her eyebrows. "Well, aside from the necromancers and stuff… I'd think those glowing objects are probably what we're after," The white fireball-y things. "At least, that's the simplest start. I doubt they did much to cover their tracks. They've been as subtle as magical bulldozers," She muses and keeps peering.

*

Simmons stopped scoffing at Magic when she ended up in Limbo… and had that imp K'Nert show interest in her - something about … livers. If Fitz knew…

"Do you think that was deliberate? The fact that parts of his soul were sent out like that?" Jemma's not sure on the whole magic thing, or necromancy or things relating to it. It certainly doesn't look to the bio-chem that the glowy things were trying to hide themselves "Do you think you can track them?"

*

"Watch this." Fitz punches in a few commands, then motions over toward the large holotable at the center of the room.

The satellite feed expands into the air in three dimensions. The image quality is enhanced, causing it to look slightly more like a CGI render rather than actual footage.

"I've had the system chugging through all of the sat feeds for the last three hours," Fitz explains, before pressing 'Go' on the computer.

The image zooms out much in the way of Google Earth. The white objects are tracked; two of them casting off to the Midwest, one striking LA, another making its way to Washington, D.C. The rest, however, all land in the tri-cities.

"Jackpot."

*

Rain is magic. And life gets kind of weird, whether or not she wants it. Just ask about the Avon Lady Cenobites. Rain has Seen Things(TM). "Probably. It would make recovering difficult for him, and he'd be easier to use as an instrument of destruction. Course, right now, he just sounds like an instrument of —" Pause. "… ill manners." Rain has a talent for understatement and she's using it. "I think we can, yup." She nods. "Well. I can divine. Other magi might be able to do the same," She doesn't assume. It would be rude.

And she watches as Fitz says to. Usually, when someone sciency says that, they either have a huge, walrusy moustache and there's about to be an explosion or something is about to happen. She watches intently, violet eyes a little narrowed. "… well, that's handy. And nifty." Captain lets the humans do their things, valiantly protecting Fitz's lap.

*

Simmons has been spared this round of investigation with Shift, the previous one wasn't exactly unpleasant but it wasn't comfortable either. She's also not the seen the video recording of the discussion in the cell - if she had, she's likely to blush for a week.

Looking between Fitz and Rain, she sips her tea and quietly listens as they discuss the process, looking impressed as Fitz's image displays for them.

*

Another few keystrokes, and the satellite imagery splits into over a dozen individual frames, each one detailing a final destination for each of the white objects.

"We can't determine whether these are impact sites or not. Satellite footage only refreshes every two seconds. But, using mathematics based on speed and vector, we can safely narrow each impact zone to roughly five square kilometers based on the last captured image."

Fitz turns to face Rain, not minding when Captain jumps down from his leg in search of water. "That ought to make your job a bit easier, eh?"

*

Rain watches quietly. Captain hops down to get said water, and proceeds to lap up water. Cat'll be back for his lap later.

"Neat," Rain murmurs. She is watching quietly, intently. "Mister Odame is a bit - part himself. His manners and filter are set to off. So he's - well, he's ill. Just be prepared if you need to talk to him," Rain explains. "We hope to mend his soul once we find the shards," She explains. Rain looks to Fitz. "That is handy, and a lot easier, yeah." She smiles. "I'll probably divine one shard at a time, since if someone finds them, they may be moving." Soul shards are valuable in the magic community and not all are nice about it. Also if it fell into someone's couch or something. "I'll let folks know we can start ASAP." Captain is lapping at water.

*

With Rain and Fitz still talking, Simmons nods to them and bendsdown to give Captain a pat, before making her way to her workstation. She'll listen in to the discussion as she goes about her work… there's a bit to do!

*

"If it's helpful," Fitz offers, "I can send a tac-team to his apartment. Grab some personal effects." He glanced toward Jemma, whom he expects might complain about the necessity for search warrants. "Odame may not exactly be a terrorist, but he's being used, against his will, by a terrorist. USA PATRIOT Act applies."

Meaning… no search warrant is necessary. Thanks, George W. Bush, for something!

*

Captain is pettable. He closes his eyes a moment at the pettings. Maybe even a little purr. "That would help. The ties grow stronger with personal effects, that sort of thing. It's part of why voodoo dolls and their ilk often have say, a lock of hair." Unfortunately for Rain, Kwa's head is kind of … shiny.

"Close enough, I guess. We can apologize to him later." She'll give him something expensive from the booze cellar. "Thank you guys, this is neat."

*

Simmons won't object, she's read the file and is aware of what happened. She's also aware of the legal requirements. Fitz's exclamation gets an indulgent smile "Just so, Fitz. No search warrant will be needed for that."

Looking over to Rain, Simmons moves to the refridgeration unit behind her and pulls out a container of something. "Skin cell samples from Odame, Rain. I think they may help you to start with?" She's not going to tell the other woman they were taken from Shifts dismembered hand… that… had been freaky.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License