Now That's A Network

October 11, 2015:

Simmons calls in May and others to discuss her findings about the 'devices' that have been found

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NPCs: None.

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Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Psyborgs, unknown objects, bits of building and streets missing - SHIELD has been kept busy … not quite investigating. Well, until now. Simmons has, quite literally, locked herself in her laboratory and worked through all the data they've collected.

This part of the investigation started with the strange being May had apprehended out in Delaware, the Psyborg that had been subdued recently and the strange devices that had been recovered from the last two sites. During this time, she's had a visitor, Jericho Trent - who'd dropped by to find out how her investigation was going. As it turns out, she'd found something - something interesting enough to call in others and she's waiting their arrival now.

Those not with SHIELD clearances will be escorted straight to Jemmas lab. The security staff are learning it seems, when Jemma is working - let her work.


Jes has come of course. She's got something she wants to discuss with May and she is worried about the things that have been happening besides. If there is something she can do to help, or some kind of information has been obtained then she wants to know about it. She's dressed in her usual clothing now that her pregnancy is over. With the addition of solid asskicking boots and knives and gun hidden beneath her jeans and jacket. She doesn't go anywhere without them these days. She looks to be in a very dark mood and the guards eye her nervously as they escort her to Jemma's lab. Jes doesn't even acknowledge their existence. She's got more important things on her mind than twitchy guards.


Melinda May is already there in Simmons' lab to greet each person as they arrive, and probably also to warn them against trying to get the biochemist's attention. When Jesana is escorted to the lab, she simply nods to the guards and gestures the coyote-shifter over toward the small counter space that has been converted into the coffee and tea bar. Better to get out of Jemma's way to talk, if she's interpreting the younger-looking woman's expression.


Jericho is already there, sleeves rolled up which is… interesting. It indicates a degree of trust and comfort, to be openly showing his traces. Or perhaps things have just changed a bit for him. Or maybe both. Either way he's here. His traces are glowing blue has he projects a schematic above his arm, comparing it to what he's looking at with the recently recovered device open. Clearly, he's working.


"What do you think, Mr Trent? Is my surmise correct? These devices are malfunctioning aren't they?" Jemma is reviewing data as she speaks. As Jes arrives, Jemma does look up and offers an absent smile. "Oh good, we're all here. I though I might share something of interest about these devices. But … let me explain what we know." Letting her eyes rest of Jericho's schematic for a moment, she turns her attention back to the two women "These devices are designed to manipulate people pyschically." The question, that Jemma isn't answering yet, is TO DO WHAT! "The ones we've found recently seem to be malfunctioning. I've asked Mr Trent to help me, as … he showed us the first working device, a while ago."

"Oh, please help yourself to tea or coffee… " obviously she's quite distracted by the news.


Jesana knows better than to interrupt people working like this and moves aside with May. As she's attempting to figure out what to say Jemma starts talking. Jes blinks a bit at seeing Jericho but nods. "I um." Jes hesitates. Asking for, or admitting she needs help is not a thing she does well. Or at all most of the time. She isn't so stubborn that she's stupid with it though. Most of the time. "I would like to talk to you about somethings soon." There. And she didn't choke to death on the words either. "ARe these different than those things that were disappering people, or are those what malfunctioned?" She asks Jemma.


Melinda May pours a mug of tea and puts it in Jesana's hands as Jemma starts explaining. She lets Jesana's question stand, as that was pretty much the same thing she was thinking. She adds another question of her own, though. "Will this help us isolate and disable them before they cause further problems?"


Jericho finally shuts the device and walks over to one of the terminals in the lab. Jemma must have given him access because May can see him remotely log in and start transferring data. "Good question. We've encountered these things in the past and they've always been rigged to encourage an odd set of traits. Well, odd because they're so mundane. Specifically, they're all rigged to encourage people to… buy things and engage in consumerism. Sort of odd for kind of nefarious psychic devices. This last set though, had a different list of protocols and if I've read them right, they're intended to make people discontent. With authority. With the state of the nation. With, well who knows. Their breakfast cereal. Generalized discontent that someone can 'focus' on something at the right time. Maybe not to the point of rioting but…" It's supposed to be a lot more subtle.

"Better though, I did manage to tap into the networked signal they're using and… well, have a look." The screen lights up with a map of the tri city are and devices start appearing on the map. There is a network that covers the entire Tri-City area. Dozens of devices in a spiral in that all converges toward one specific location: The diplomatic quarter in New York. That's where the signal is strongest.


Jemma shakes her head towards Jesana "We haven't drawn any parallels yet, or discounted the connection. Although the timing of us finding the devices is … too coincedental." Letting Jericho explains, she settles on a stool for a moment "Yes, Agent May, as you see… Mr Trent has been able to discover other devices." Whether that's all there is in the network who knows, but the number they're seeing is concerning.

"They might be mundane traits, Mr Trent." Jemma adds as she looks at the network "but a society that is looking to continual 'obtain and own' things can be a very discontent society on the whole." Clearly Jemma doesn't think the 'effect' of the protocols are so different … "Can we look at where the signal is the strongest, please?"


Jes raises a brow. People already do that. At least most of them, this just seems to be made exaggerate it. "The diplomats. That makes sense. This looks like terrorism. We're already amidst some major shit. Sending the worlds diplomats over the edge and at each other could start so many wars its just.." She shakes her head. "It's really fucking genius actually, who the hell would expect this kind of attack? Or even think it is one instead of just some kind of re or over reaction to all the things that have happened this year. The president, Hydra, Darque.. the crap in M-Town. All of it has added up. If this had happened somewhere else, somewhere over seas.. would it have even been figured out this far like you have?" Jes doubts it.


"That goes a long way to explaining why everyone in this filthy 'burb are so angry all the time." May looks at the map showing the current location of all of the devices and can't help but think that she's going to be working non-stop for a very long forseeable future. "If you recommend it, I can get teams started collecting these items, starting with the ones closest to the international embassies first."


"You'll want to pick your teams very carefully. These devices as you know have defense mechanisms. Emotional manipulation, summoning psyborgs. I'll help when I have time but I do also have other… issues. Elsewhere." Which means Limbo, May might well know. "This network is new. I'd done some work on dismantling their old one though it's still out there but this was placed recently. Within the last few months I'm betting. Which begs the question, what are they up to?"


"What.. what is a psyborg?" Jes frowns. If it's like it sounds… she looks down and thinks for a moment. "If.. if its like it sounds, some sort of machine that can do this to people and fight or whatever.. I guess I could help collect this stuff. If one gets set off I can.. well. I can resist it." She's had slightly over a decade of training in resisting physical and mental torture at the hands of her stepfather. It isn't just her coyote or demigod half that causes her to struggle with the human part of her being. She was shaped and molded by a physchopath from a very young age. She's likewise skilled in how to torture people but there are only one or two people who know this. That are still alive anyway.


Jemma becomes thoughtful at Mays question and Jerichos' answer. "These devices are typically 'unseeable', from what I can work out. That's how there are so many out there. But they don't affect everyone - that's how we got today's indication - that police office could see it." The report is displayed on the holo screen. "It took them a lot to get their fellow officers to see it too."

Looking to May "Maybe, if you want to do this, we find a group who are … immune to it's effects. And maybe… Fitz and I could beef up that device he created… provide more phsycic protection." It's a thought.

Jes questions gets another image displayed on the screen "A psyborg is a techo-organic being that uses psychic manipulation to control its victims. That's… all I know at the moment."


Melinda May considers both Trent's and Simmons' explanations. "Then maybe we go at this another way. Trent, can you locate the control center for these devices? If we take that out, they all stop working simultaneously and we can collect them more easily. I'd rather not have a repeat of the last one." She's sure as heck not going to ask Rhodes to risk exposure to another one without some serious new safeguards in place.


Jes frowns. Jericho's awesome with the hacking she knows but don't you have to know where the command center is? And she's no technology expert but this shit seems to be a bit more advanced than what even SHIELD has so would be he able to manage it if they do find it? "Have you asked someone to try and scry it? Fenris might be able to. Or a magi.. I can't do it. Maybe eventually." She blinks. "Although, I've been able to travel to people and places by using the leylines and just focusing my will on wanting to go where ever that is badly enough. If this place is on a ley line or near one then I might be able to do that. I could try at least." Now that she isn't pregnant she's willing to risk it if it might help.


"I think this stuff is using and advanced distributed peer to peer network. It's computing technology a couple generations above anything I've ever seen." And Jericho's seen some pretty advanced computers. "Scrying might work but Magik and I are fighitng a couple of different wars and I'm reluctant to add this to her plate. You can ask if you'd like but… I think actually the easiest thing for us to do - if one of the more dangerous things - would be to start taking apart the network and see who comes knocking. If we can capture some psyborgs we might be able to interrogate them, or extract information mechanically." Even corpses they might be able to do that to if they're not too… damaged.


"It's time like this, I miss Fitz." Jemma murmurs as she looks at the display. "There's a dormant Pysborg from an attack the other day in an offsite facility. I was going to start examinations on that tomorrow. But more specimans wouldn't hurt." Yes, she just called them specimans. "I think Mr Trents proposal makes the most sense, Agent May."


"That sounds like a plan to me. I can help catch one of these things as well as I could try to find the damn devices." She'd really like to know who or what is behind this little plot. "Maybe you could get people to evacuate those buildings for a bit too. Until we can disable this stuff. Or at least for a few days to give us time." Without people going nuts seemingly randomly.


"A few days?" May gestures to one of the buildings. "This office building has something like a thousand employees in it during business hours. I don't see it being all that easy to empty it for a few days. We'd be able to manage a few hours at best, and even then only on one building. Someone would pick up on the pattern if we tried to do that multiple times."


"Ordinarily I'd say do it all at once. Get resources in postion and take a bunch of them down at the same time. In this case though… " They want people to stop them. Jericho knows its dangerous, but taking them down one at a time might be just the thing. "Let me know if your agents go out after this May and if I'm not busy, I'll be there to help." The hacker disconnects from SHIELD's system. He's more or less done here.


Jemma listens to the strategising … and pays attention. As Jericho disconnects, she starts shutting down screens. "My next thing will be to examine the psyborg we have… " a look to Jes "Maybe I'll work out how to disable them before the agents go in the field." She really hopes so. "I've nothing else to share, Agent May. If you have nothing?" Jemma has more work to do and she's sure, May does too. "Thank you for coming in, Jesana."


Jes darts forward and lifts herself onto her toes to kiss Jericho's cheek. "Be safe. If I can help.." She owes him and that offer always stands. Then she nods at Jemma and steps back again to sip her tea. "Thank you for explaining what you've found out. I'm happy to help as I can." And far more able to now than she'd been a few weeks ago.


Melinda May nods to Trent. "I'll keep in touch. Try to not go too far out of cell range, hm?" She then nods to Simmons as the meeting is officially closed before turning to look at Jesana.

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