Analysing Clues

September 29, 2015:

Simmons calls in people to review the information they've gathered about the devices they've found.

The Triskelian - New York

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

With six incidences where, not quite, explosions have rocked the New York area, have one Jemma Simmons very busy, investigating. She's catalogued the incidences and lodged a report - detailing what she has so far.

In each case, the 'explosion' is accompanied by a humming sound, a flash of light and then the smell of ozone (or as some witnesses described, the smell after a thunderstorm). The devices retrieved from the site appear to be inert - inactive - and not made from a compound known on earth. The damage appears to take out buildings and structures around it - and the number of casualties don't match the number of people that should have been in the area at the time.

That's the main information included in Jemmas' report. She's more data to sift through but she knows May will want that update at least.

Sending requests to various people to meet with her in her lab, the biochem is currently uploading video footage and starting to view it… slowly scanning through it as she waits for her guests.


Melinda May arrives promptly enough, though still concealing that she's having to favor that leg. Damnit. Of course, Simmons likely knows her well enough by now to see past that, not to mention she was there when it happened. But, regardless, she stands seemingly easily by the biochemist's table and waits for whomever else is supposed to arrive.


Phil Coulson saunters in just a few moments after May. Maybe they were speaking before heading in, maybe Phil had been back from his latest "mission" long enough to change into a proper suit. It's hard to tell. He doesn't seem the worse for wear, but then again, he never does.


The last man to arrive is the one who likes it here the least. In the dim-ish lab lighting a certain set of glowing amber eyes come around the corner and peer in. To be asked to drop by this place is unusual. To be asked by someone not named Melinda May is unheard of. Well, generally, anyway. "Agent May, Agent Coulson." Why is he not surprised to see them here.


"Mr Trent." Simmons looks up "right on time. Come in, please." May gets a careful once over from the biochem, but she's not going to say /a word/ about the injury. She saw the /look/ the medical staff got from the senior Agent. "Agent Coulson, Agent May. Thank you for coming."

As she's greeting her guests, a large display screen pops up from the centre of conference table in the room and her report is displayed. The six artifacts recovered are displayed on the same table - four greyish/black cubes, one greyish/black prism and black rod.

"I'm not sure if you've all had chance to read my report, so I'll quickly summarise." It doesn't take too long to explain the situation and Jemma nods to the artifacts "They're inactive and safe to touch, for the moment." They can look with their fingers if they want.

"It's most perplexing that no-one seems to have seen anything. We have the video footage from the street of three of the scenes." Pausing for the moment, to let them all catch up, Jemma switches the display to video. "There appears to be nothing for several hours preceding the incidents."

The first video shows the view from the street of the subway (the first incident). And Jemma might have missed something - there's a figure acting 'strangely' near where the device was found - but they're good… and it will take a trained eye to see it.

Of course, Jemma has a stash of Mays tea - she's just focussed on the work she's been doing.


Melinda May doesn't move to fix any tea. She juset remains standing where she is and focuses on Jemma's report and the devices. "The last device. I saw it just before activation. There were symbols on it that reminded me of angient Chinese, but was not anything I could read at a glance."


Phil Coulson hmms softly, "Well it's either alien in origin or from a group that hasn't had its coming out party yet. Could be chinese, maybe Mandarin..heard there's been some Ten Rings stuff happening."


Jericho quirks an eyebrow. He'd seen the news reports of course. He tracks a lot in his efforts to track the things he's looking for and while that does have the benefit of usually giving him a heads up when something is going on it also means he doesn't always know what he's looking at when he's looking at it. Or have the time to do anything about it.

He looks like he's watching the footage but he's actually pulled it up and is replaying and disecting it in his head. "Simmons, there's a man in a black suit jacket about five seconds before you loose footage here that's behaving oddly…" Well, it's a start.


Jemma hadn't been close enough to the last device as it went off to see that and she hadn't really seen May since then. Amending the notes with that information, she indicates the last cube as the sixth device "That was that one." There's nothing specific about it now, no symbols and no indication that there even could be. "Do you think you could recreate some of the symbols, Agent May?" That might be very useful.

"It could be Agent Coulson. But we're not making any assumptions." Jemma's quite curious about what Coulson knows about alien "I've not been able to access any of those files in SHIELDs systems." Maybe Coulson can, though, and give them something to compare to.

The footage that Jericho finds does indeed show someone behaving oddly, unfortunately their face is obscured from the camera - on all views. It seems they might have known what they were doing. The best they can get is the height and build of the man. "Are you able to scan the rest of the footage, Mr Trent?" Simmons provides Jericho access to the rest of the footage - seems his processing is fast and better than hers. In the other two cases, he'll find similar results… but they're going to take some looking for.


Watching Trent survey their collected data, she's not at all surprised that the hacker almost immediately pings on more than the SHIELD analysts did. His BRAIN is the computer, and it's long since been proven that there is no computer anywhere — okay, MAYBE Stark's AI — that comes anywhere near the sheer data crunching power of the human brain.


Phil Coulson conveniently leans back against something and crosses his arms. We can extrapolate facial features and put out the bulletin to look for him." he pauses, "May, might wanna sit on something. That limp is showing." he sounds deadpan in his delivery. That conversation is for later.


Melinda May shoots Coulson the kind of glare that usually means someone is about to lose a limb, and then … moves to sit on a nearby chair.


Jericho starts in on it. It does take him a few minutes but now that he knows vaguely what he's looking for it's just a matter of the right program. And he does this kind of thing all the time. Because he's paranoid. "Two more Simmons. No faces though, they're playing the angles which means they know where the cameras are. Do you think these were set to deliberately cuase havoc?" He looks around at the other two agents. "Or is something else at play?"


Jemma just sort of looks as May takes a seat. She's never seen May take a 'suggestion' like that. Not even from Fury!

Simmons will leave the answering of Jericho's question to the Field Agents - May and Coulson. "Can you give those images, Mr Trent? And are they different people, do you think?" As the footage he's found comes up on the display, the images are zoomed in on and displayed side by side. Running her analysis software, it soon becomes obvious that two of the figures are different, the third is a close match for the second - so close, it leaves it in doubt as to whether it's the same person or not.

There's one last piece of information that had been collected - the hire receipt for the locker in the bus depot. At the time, the computer system was down and the onsite agents couldn't get the details - but they were sent through a day or so ago. Simmons pulls that data up onto the screen "The locker hire company was only able to provide that the locker was paid for with a credit card. And the video footage of that area was destroyed in the explosion. Well, it was wiped." The credit card number has been traced and the name of the owner provided… it's good being SHIELD sometimes. Martine Reading - of Delaware.

Maybe that's the lead they've been looking for?


Melinda May was fairly sure when that credit card data came through that it was a stolen card — or it belonged to someone who died in that whole Deadzone debacle — but if anyone can verify that quickly for them, it'll be Trent. At Jemma's expression, May doesn't so much as quirk an eyebrow. Let the girl wonder, it's all above her clearance level. Oh, and she finally belatedly answers the question about the not-quite-Chinese characters. "I don't know that I can reproduce those symbols from the last incident clearly enough, I barely got a glance." Aka, she'd just been shot. "But I'll try."


Jericho pauses as he digs through the financials. A lot of people died in the Deadzone incident and their identities did indeed become ripe targets for identity thieves. In this case though… "Martine Reading. Of Metropolis. Works in a private security firm as a middle manager. Ex Air Force. Graduated Suma Cum Laude from Columbia. Age 37." He displays a picture, projecting from his traces above his forearm. Smartly dressed woman in a severe pony tail. Who isn't smiling. If were only Asian she'd be private sector May. "Got her home address too. May, you thinking of paying a visit?"


"We still don't have much to go on." Simmons summarises "But now we have a little more. My next step will be to analyse these devices further. See if I can work out how to make them work." This is one reason she really misses Fitz in the lab - that type of thing is his bailiwick.

"If you could try to reproduce them, Agent May." Clearly Simmons thinks May is some form of God who can withstand that type of beating and still function.

"Thank you for your help, Mr Trent." certainly, it was taking Simmons and the analysts hours to work through that footage "It is very much, appreciated."


Melinda May nods to Trent when he suggests paying a visit, though she also gives Coulson a look. "I'll gather a couple of people to do that." People she knows can handle it, especially if mother-hen Coulson over there (who appears to be stepping out of the lab to answer a phone call) tells her she can't go. Which, sadly, he'd be totally within his jurisdiction to do. Well, she'll figure it out one way or another.


"Right. Give me a call if you need an assit with this." Jericho straightens up and looks down at May's leg for a moment. Yeah, he won't say anything, she knows to take care of herself. "Good luck, and don't get shot. If you can't get ahold of me directly you can always try the JL:A." There's words he never thought he'd be saying.

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