Nice Catch

August 25, 2015:

Black Widow & Agent Venom catch up and talk shop.

New York



NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

The Triskelion is a beehive of activity at almost all hours throughout the day. Fighting terrorism is a twenty four hour a day gig that sometimes reaches across the dateline so maybe even twenty five hours a day. The night crew is almost as largely populated as the daytime crew though some of the administrative offices are empty… yet due to the natural circadian rhythm of most… certain parts of the facilities see more action than others at various times.
Places like the cafeteria serves only the main three meals for its timezone, though various nibbles are offered now and then at all hours. The carpark is mostly closed and security is heightened during the evening due to a loss in traffic. And the gymnasiums are mostly empty in the darker hours of the night that span of time after midnight when most folks in the free world are snoozing.
Yet the doors never fully close. Which is something that appeals to the young man known as Flash Thompson. Ever since Project Rebirth 2.0 and the bonding with the symbiote he only has needed to sleep a handful of hours a day. For someone like him that leaves him with gaps in his schedule, gaps that someone like him of late who isn't much of a sociallite and who doesn't have a heap of friends… well such a person struggles to fill that time.
So there he is in the Triskelion's new Meta-Human Training Facility. His coach once told him that one of the best ways to pass the time is to get a good sweat on. And so he is there in the middle of that high tech training gear. Oh sure there is something akin to a danger room a few doors down, but he's in that section where it's just a huge series of what look like pneumatic pistons holding several metal plates in positions around a shape of a man. It's in that sort of molded shape of a man that Thompson finds himself, legs spread a bit and his arms held up high as if he were holding up some tremendous weight.
Which, he in fact, is.
The display reads 20 tonnes, metric apparently as those plates press down with the faint hiss and whine of pistons as if they were trying to crush the young man as he stands there in his grey sweats pushing up and away. Beadlets of sweat stream down his brow as he exerts himself. Yeah maybe this wasn't such a great idea.

Natasha was impressed by what she saw when she entered the metahuman training facility; the place had not been used by her as much despite her abilities. A handful of times she had trained others here, but for the most part, she stuck to the normal training rooms.

From behind Flash comes an amused female voice, "Thompson, you realize I can't spot you on a twenty ten deadlift. I'm not even going to try."

Since that unfortunate incident with Dario Agger, she had been rather busy; taking some time to undertake missions out of the country.

Yeah, no guy wants to be seen by a gal when he's in the middle of a huge mass of exertion making the bodybuilder 'argh' face when they're pushing their limits with a deadlift of a benchpress. So when he hears that familiar voice over his shoulder he winces inwardly and that causes the heavy weight to press down on him all the harder. There's a further grimace as he takes a focusing breath and growls deeper then presses back upwards. His arms lift, stretching out until the elbows lock and then he pushes those heavy metal plate paddles out until the pistons are hissing and humming.
Then finally he says, "My Sharona." And with that safe 'word' the system disengages. Those heavy plates retract, the robotic arms pulling away as the Stark Tech gear retracts back into a quiet state.
And Flash sort of slumps a bit against the edge of the mechanism, catching his breath and reaching for a white towel hanging up nearby. "Ma'am…" He manages in response to her, still breathing hard. Then he adds, "S'good to know that even you have some limitations." He smiles weakly and takes a few more deep breaths.

She had seen worse things happen to bodybuilders in this position, not that it wouldn't have amused her if that argh face turned into something else; with Venom though she doubted it. The symbiote was strong.

Natasha actually laughed at that last bit of the comment regarding her own limitations. Her major ability was her training and experience that had been accumulated over decades.

The truth is, she was glad everyday for men like Venom being with SHIELD rather than against it. Fighting metahumans was a real pain, not like the old days of dealing with mostly flesh and blood men, "We all have our limitations, even Superman, so I've been told." There's a knowing smile behind that, but she wouldn't reveal anything else, "Did you hear about that 'Carnage' thing that attacked the Statue of Liberty? It's hard to believe it was The Joker all along. We never found a corpse." Of course, there was a reason for her asking. Symbiotes.

"Yes," Flash wipes at his brow with the towel, frowning to himself distantly. He lifts the collar of his grey t-shirt, some of the sweat causing it to cling to him as he fans himself, finally able to catch his breath. "Raises all sorts of questions…"
He looks towards her, gaze narrowing a bit as he eyes her askance. "My partner is still very young, didn't have any explanations. But I get the feeling from it that we might if we get within proximity of the other. I know there's the other Venom symbiote, and now this one… kind of scary to imagine maybe there is someone out there breeding them."

"It might be something worth looking into. I'd like to put you on assignment since you have a connection. We weren't able to find The Joker's body or any sign of the symbiote. Eye witness reports claim it was fully destroyed and Joker was killed." Natasha shook her head and sighed, "Never believe it until you see a body though. Let me know what resources you'll need to conduct the investigation whether personnel or equipment. We need to make sure this thing is dead and if it is not, figure out precisely how to kill it."

She was staring at Thompson now, "That might mean, you divulging some of your weaknesses or helping us figure them out. Worst case scenario that is."

"Well, I'm fine with you all knowing." Flash tosses the towel to the side, even as he pushes himself up to his full height, towering over the short red-headed spy. Though as he stands there before her his body language is decently open and respectful as he's seen the Widow in action before. "But I'd appreciate if we could keep the facts out of the general populace if possible."
The former football player starts to step past her, turning his shoulders just so as he passes near perhaps slightly brushing by as he moves towards one of the other large bank of hydraulics and heavy gear. It's a forked piece of gleaming titanium that protrudes from a heavily reinforced housing, perhaps some form of a military press. He gets set beneath it, "But if worst comes to worst, do what you need to." And assuredly she would.

There was no comment on the last bit from Natasha, she hoped it never came down to that, "Of course, nobody outside of those involved will need to know. The Director, myself and any other agents who will be working on the investigation, if we of course, confirm the symbiote was not destroyed." She was working on an absence of proof method here, clearly.

The heavy machine ratchets up, equipment within the heavy metal housing whirring as it readies itself to offer enough resistance for a super human. The young agent gives Widow a nod and slips his head between the fork of the press and proceeds to hold the grips and push upwards, forcing his shoulders to strain with the weight.
He grimaces slightly, perhaps having keyed down the resistance so he can at least hold up a conversation with her. Over his shoulder he says, "So just tracked me down to talk business, or going to haze the new guy some more?" His lip curls a bit, and to be fair she never partook of the hazing… that he knew of. But in his first few weeks as an Agent she did always give him the most difficult assignments.

"I think you've proved yourself by now as more than just the new guy. A few months ago, maybe, but now, you're just one of the team as far as I'm concerned." Natasha seemed entirely sincere in her words, but with her you never know.

"I was going to suggest partnering you with Captain America but, he doesn't seem to be wanting one of those again. It's a shame." Especially since Cap was back to SHIELD full time.

That causes him to stop in mid push. He looks over his shoulder at hers, a touch incredulous and then lowers the heavy weight back down until the safety clicks into place and the pistons whir down again. He dusts off his hands, frowning somewhat and then inclines his chin. "Might be for the best. He seems…"
There's a pause as the young SHIELD agent frowns and furrows his brow. "I mean, I'm not an expert or anything. I just tried to talk to the guy once. He seemed… really distracted and unhappy. I mean, heck could have been anything. But he just seemed like a guy with a lot on his mind."
There's a slight grin, "And I uh, sort of did ask him for his autograph."

"Steve can be like that. He's been through a lot, especially with the assassination of the President a few months ago. For a man known as Captain America, it's a tough burden to live with; failing your nation's leader. It's not his fault, but after that and the Justice League Avengers? I wouldn't take it personally." Natasha leaned against a near-by wall as she watched Venom workout, just shaking her head at the autograph comment.

"So what do you know about the history of these symbiotes? SHIELD files are very sparse on them." Back to business.

"I wish I could be more helpful," Flash settles down on a nearby bench against the wall, leaning forward and resting his forearms on his knees. He reaches for a nearby water bottle and takes a sip, pulling it free from his gym bag. He looks down at the mouth of the container and tells her, "I know the one I'm bonded with is very young, when we operate together it's mostly like shared instinct, there's not like… dialogue between us so it's hard to explain."
The young agent looks up at her, blue eyes meeting her gaze and holding it for the time. "But sometimes it'll have feelings one way or another, and can recognize things… how do I know that? Because suddenly I'll know things I didn't a minute ago. So it's just… strange. I mean heck, I didn't know it was alive alive for the first few months we worked together."

"This is plenty helpful." Natasha wished SHIELD had more info on 'Venom', the other Venom but they didn't seem to have anything beyond a name and photo, "Could you, possibly, sense the other symbiotes if you were near them? We could arrange a test, lure Venom out and see what happens. If your symbiote reacts or doesn't react."

She considered this to be a SHIELD Issue after how public it had gotten, "Hypnosis to bring out the symbiote might be another option, see if it has anything to say. Simmons and Fitz might be a better help in trying to figure out the likelihood of that."

"You been holding up okay? No family issues? Taking your requisite time off?" Maybe she didn't take time off, but she knew other agents would need it, "If not, I'll see if we can't arrange for you to visit a shield post to go do a checkup when this Carnage business is over. Somewhere sunny."

"I think that's likely," Flash says as he again brushes his brow with the towel. He looks off to the side, contemplative. "Sometimes my partner knows what's up before I do, so it seems like it'd be in its wheelhouse to recognize another of its kind. But I suppose the proof is in the pudding if we actually get a situation come up."
At the mention of hypnosis, however, his only response is to give a shrug since he hadn't considered that. Of course then the topic shifts over to himself and he smiles a bit sheepishly. "Oh, hey. Doin' alright. I don't have much family for the most part at the moment… or you know, family I spend time with. I don't know if this is important to you or the psych ward but I did kinda start dating again. Which is nice, for a long time there I was figuring I'd just sorta… you know, be a lone wolf sort of dealio."
Flash spreads his hands, fingers wide as he takes a deep steadying breath. "Other than that, hey a trip to somewhere warm and tropical with little umbrella drinks… that'd be keen."

"That's great." Natasha seemed genuinely pleased. Of course, there was always that pang of loneliness that was there with her at all times. Someone who had been known as The Black Widow, well; their potential for relationships spoke for itself with a name like that.

"Anyone I know? Someone ordinary? Extraordinary? Personal curiosity, so feel free to not answer if you don't want to." No way in hell she would use SHIELD resources to keep track of individual agents love-lives, that was beyond ridiculous; so if she didn't get an answer that would be the end of it for her.

"It was a sorta fling I think," Flash scrunches up one eye as he looks off to the side. It's clear, perhaps, that he's not entirely sure what's what himself, but he doesn't seem mispleased about it. More like pleasantly baffled. "But it was good, but we're not like… dating dating. It was just good to know that there's still life after crippling injury and alien infestation."
At that overly dismissive yet self-deprecating statement Flash tries to take any sort of negativity off of it with a small half-smile, as if to say that he knows that stuff is rough and he's ok with it and how everything's turned out.
Of course he doesn't mention the person's name, perhaps being that little bit of a gentleman. He does add, however, "I just had sort of really figured with my weird circumstances that dating was pretty much for other people. So… yeah."

"Don't be so hard on yourself. You're a lot more normal than you realize." Natasha half-looked away as she said those words and in a way she was envious of everyone; who /could/ have a chance at a normal life. Every time she saw a family or a couple, it hurt deeply; given she could not have children.

"Never forget, that there's a life waiting for you just outside these doors. You're an attractive, intelligent man. You shouldn't be surprised that women might be interested in you."

Uncrossing her arms she stepped back from the wall and asked, "Anything you need before I head out? I'm going to go give that having a life thing a shot." It was a total, reassuring lie. She was going to work, like she always did.

Flash actually blushes a bit, clearly not entirely at ease with being the subject of discussion. Oh sure when he was at Midtown High he liked people talking about him, even if it wasn't entirely flattering. But since his tours of duty… he had found some sense of modesty. He shakes his head in answer to her, "Nah. Thanks though. Normally I'd be all thrilled to be told I was an attractive fellow by a beautiful red-headed gal."
He looks up at her and his smile is easily given, good-natured with no subtext as he says. "But with you, Natalia, I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop." Having said that he pushes up off of that benchseat. "Go on, I'm gonna get in a few more reps then maybe grab a shower before turning in."

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