The Human Condition

January 01, 2016:

Sam comes to visit Jemma … and finds her with May.

New York

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Jemmas … been busy lately and as a result, she's been keeping her 'holograms' busy. The other day, there'd been a Daemonite (as she's come to know the Lizardlike creatures to be called) attack what seemed to be a young woman. Report duly filed, she's sure that her escort duty have also provided their own report.

And that's just one of the many examples of how strange her life has become.

Having worked through the holiday period - she'd normally spend at least some of the time with Fitz, but that wasn't happening this year - the Biochem can found having lunch at a local cafe … not too far from The Triskelion. Of course - ask those assigned to watch over her - and with the right clearances, you'll find her.


Call it paranoia, call it habit, call it what you want. May ALWAYS knows where Simmons is. And she proves it by showing up at that cafe uninvited. What? She's got to eat too. She nods to the biochemist as she passes by to go place her lunch order.


Sam Wilson hates getting attacked by robots almost as much as he hates getting attacked by cyborgs. And yet, here we go again: apparently it's time for the JL:A to take its turn under seige by robots and cyborgs. Fortunately, as a man with fewer neckties than hero team allegiances, he knows the organization whose turn just ended well enough to drop by and ask favors. (He's also very familiar with the FitzSimmons escort detail.)

He shoulders through the café entrance a minute or so after May enters, waving to Simmons as he does so. "Afternoon, Jemma," he calls, before spotting Melinda and adding her to the greeting. "How's it going, May? Mind if I sit?" He gestures to the seat opposite Simmons. "Not entirely a social call, but it's good to see you, all the same."


Nodding to May, as the woman enters, Jemma rearranges the table, to make room for the woman. She's not entirely surprised to see her senior agent there, May had been away on operation … and with the information they know about Jemma's problems, it was only a matter of time before May came looking for her.

There's a teapot on the table - and May can be assured, that Jemma is only using the tea from the stash …

And then Sams there and she smiles "Afternoon Sam." she says with a smile and nods slowly "Not at all, it's always a pleasure to see you. What's on your mind?"


Melinda May arrives at Jemma's table just as she's asking what's on Sam's mind, two empty coffee mugs in hand. "Wilson." She lets the man explain while she sets one mug down in front of him and fills the other from the teapot Simmons already has prepared.


Sam takes a seat and smiles gratefully as May passes him a mug. "It might be something you've already had inquiries about, but I figure it's worth a shot. You guys were dealing with those psyborgs for months on end — I'm assuming you came up with some better countermeasures than improvising with a manhole cover." He gives them both a sheepish look. "I know there's no official connection between SHIELD and the JL:A anymore, but if you have any tools we could put to use, or even just particular lines of research that might help us with our current problems, I'd be grateful for the assist."


Jemma watches as May pours tea for herself and Sam, sipping from her own mug. Cutting her eyes to May, not … exactly … seeking permission, the biochem sighs deeply. "We have a solution that suppresses the Psychic abilities, but it's a little cumbersome." She'll let May explain how that solution, works.

"I don't really care if there's no official connection, if I can help, I will." That … might get her in trouble in the long run, but if it saves people… does it really matter?


Melinda May offers tea to Sam with a look before filling his mug. "Make it an official request and SHIELD won't say no." She won't let them hangs unsaid. "The dampeners are a group of three pylons that have to be deployed in conjunction to blanket an area with the suppression. Deploying can be … tricky. But they've worked well so far."


"Please and thanks, May," Sam says, nudging his mug toward her. "I'm not sure the guys who came after us are psionic, but it's definitely worth a look. Did you ever find anything that helped you track their movements? I remember the whole teleportation thing was giving us fits for a while."

He sits back, drumming his fingers on the tabletop. "And in general, I really appreciate that sentiment, from both of you. I always felt like the whole point of the JL:A was to break down the barriers between the different people trying to fight the good fight. So long as people like you aren't going to let red tape get in the way, we can keep at that goal."


Jemma has seen the report about the attack on the JL:A… well the Halls of Justice and she shakes her head. "They …" she sighs deeply "were entirely different. And I believe another Science Team has one of the chassis to work with." The Sentinals / Reavers / Purifiers issues haven't been passed over her desk, thankfully.

"However, if Agent May agrees, I can direct you in the right direction." Jemma smiles as Sam expresses his thoughts. "We're all aiming for the same thing, right?"


Melinda May nods to Simmons. "The Reavers and Purifiers are a different group. And again, all I need is an official request. They're in a way simpler to deal with than the Psyborgs." She pauses there as one of the cafe servers arrives with May's lunch, and presumably Jemma's as well. Once she's gone again, May continues. "They don't tend to try to attack with psionics."


"That's good, at least. I like my brain intact," Sam answers May with a smirk. "As far as an official request goes, I can make a personal one, but I should probably check whether I actually have the pull to make one on behalf of the group. That said, I absolutely will. No reason we shouldn't work together on this."

Turning to Simmons, he continues, "Any help you can offer is much appreciated. Especially since I know being targeted by those guys wasn't the most fun few weeks of your life." Sam's expression sympathetic. "We definitely don't want to paint a target on you. In a way, it's good that they're coming after the JL:A. We're set up to deal with people like them. Cuts back on collateral damage."


Jemma sits back and waits for her food to be delivered, maintaining her silence until the server is gone. "It's not been fun, Sam. And it hasn't finished… " she murmurs before looking to May. "It seems…" she really hates this, being the focus of /anything/ "that I've attraceted the attention of several groups. One of which have made it necessary for me to move out of my apartment." At least Ronin had helped her avoid capture there. "Seems the target is painted, already."

"I can…" she looks at May, carefully, before continuing "pass whatever I can through to you… but I don't have information at hand."


Speaking of… "How are your accommodations working out, Simmons? No troubles there?" She pushes her plate of honestly enormous hoagie and rosemary potatoes and fruit salad partway toward Wilson, silently offering to share the food with him. She won't be able to eat it all herself anyway.


"You had to leave your apartment?" Sam's concerns about the League are momentarily forgotten. "What happened? And where are you staying?" Sam glances over at May. They're both treating the situation levelly, so it's presumably under control, but he's still concerned for his friend. Apartment hunting in New York is pure hell, as he well knows.

He isn't really here to eat, but after an inquisitive glance to be sure that May isn't just being polite, he does indulge himself in some potatoes, because they smell so good. "There's no particular rush; we're just preparing, gathering information. Whenever you've got something, you know how to get it to me."


Jemma blushes … she really can't help it… and glances at May. "It got shot up. A Sigma agent…" this is such a long discussion and Sam might want to dig a little deeper "can looking for me. Ronin found me first and got me out. But not before there was a fire fight in my living room."

As to where she is staying? Jemma smiles a bit "Miss Potts offered a suite in the Tower. And for only the stipend that SHIELD is paying me."

Taking a delicate bite of the open grill - avocado, chicken and cheese - Simmons looks to Sam and May before adding "I … can see what I can find on the Sentinels?" A question for May.


Melinda May nods to Simmons as permission to start looking into the Sentinels, starting in the fruit salad. She seems pleased (and unsurprised) that Jemma's housing situation seems to be taken care of for the moment. She trusts that the biochemist would either have told her or dealt with it herself if Stark had tried to be a lech in her presence.


"Oh! I didn't even know," Sam says, a little abashed. Sure, his position at Stark isn't even remotely security-related, but he doesn't think that would stop someone like May from knowing who was moving into the building. He might need to step up his game. "Welcome to the neighborhood, then," he finishes. "If you're poking into the Sentinels, you might want to start with the systems they use to detect mutants. I don't know about the rest of your science team, but that kind of thing is probably the closest to your personal field of study."


Tony … is ever the letch … but Jemma has worked that out. Besides the man is truly polite, even if he is suggestive. "It was kept hush, hush, Sam." Jemma looks to May again "We … think we might have an internal leak." Jericho had shared something about that recently.

"And thank you…" the biochem cants her head as he mentions the mutant detection systems. Taking a few moments to tap on the screen of her tablet, she frowns "The ones the SRD were using? These may be my line investigation. How … concerned are you?"


Melinda May looks over at Sam when Jemma asks him how concerned he is. She's otherwise just quietly eating for the moment. Well, that and listening to a covert op in Amsterdam over the commlink in her ear.


"We think it's the same tech, yeah," Sam answers, "although to be honest, I don't think anyone has been able to verify that. I can get you recordings of the fight, maybe some debris, if you think you can solidify that connection."

He pauses before answering her direct question. "Look, I've seen urban warfare before. I don't want it happening here; that's the whole reason I got into this racket. These 'Sentinel' drones are designed specifically as domestic war machines. Racist war machines, as if that wasn't already bad enough." Sam's expression becomes as grim as it ever does. "You could say I'm pretty concerned."


"The recordings and debris will be helpful." Simmons answers Sam as she eats. May's already recovered artifacts but more would be useful.

"It's possible, Sam, that similar tech has been invovled. Stolen or purchased … does it matter to what purpose it's put too?"

Glancing at May, as Sam talks more about the Sentinels, Jemma sighs. "I'm a scientist … I never expected … it to be racist or discriminative."


Melinda May offers almost idly, "You can always trust the human condition to take an innovation and find at least three ways to make that innovation a weapon of some sort or other." She finally picks up one half of the hoagie to take a bite. Can't talk now, food in mouf.


"What she said," Sam says with a frown, pointing at May with his fork. She's a woman of few words, but they're always worth saying. "There's always someone afraid enough to lash out at another group. Now they've got the kind of tech to turn downtown Metropolis into a war zone. That's scary."

With a quiet sigh, he shifts his focus to the potatoes. "But, like I said, this is just me asking for help. We can already fight them to a standstill, if we have to. If you can figure out their supply lines? Where they're building these things? We can skip the fights entirely. Or at least keep them away from the general population."


"Serial numbers … " Jemma watches the pair. That May is eating and not saying much, says … A LOT. "And if not serial numbers, the base components used it the manufacture."

Forgetting her food and tea, the biochem is tapping at her tablet "Let me see … what I can find…" Supply lines come back negative … all the parts have been reported stolen from legitimate businesses. Something flags in the system though, a suspect shipping ine - X-Red have noted it of interest.

Glancing to May, Jemma shows Sam the information …


Melinda May nods to Jemma again, though she does also nudge the biochemist's plate. Don't forget to eat. "Wilson, you find anything you think we need to know, you'll share it in return, hm?" It's kind of not a request.


"No question," Sam answers May in a heartbeat. "I do rescue and recon. I keep people alive with good intel just like I do with antiseptic and bandages."

He peers closely at the tablet when Simmons shows it to him. "So if I'm reading this right, we haven't got much on where they're getting the parts, but we may have a lead on how they're moving them around." He grins. "That's incredibly fast work, Simmons. And it'll do just as well as a factory. Put them on the defensive instead of us, and keep the fighting away from the city."


"Honestly, Sam… " Jemma flushes again "it's not much, and I've just put together certain reports. Maybe it's fast … " she reviews the information that she's been able to retrieve "Really, Sam … X-Red and Kate Bishop are your best contacts. And yes, I agree … keep the fighting away from the city." At … least … as much as they can.

Mays nudging of the plate isn't forgotten, and Simmons eats absently from what'son there.


Sam nods. "I've already talked to Kate about some of this stuff. And yeah, I guess the X-Men would be handy to talk to, as well." He sits back and shrugs. "I just don't know them very well. I worked with some of them on that op last year, but… they didn't seem very trusting."


May takes a moment to name a couple of individuals that Falcon can contact directly in X-Red, knowing that sometimes a specific name helps get information and assistance going where just a generic, 'uh, hi' doesn't. Other than that… Trent, maybe? She looks at Simmons before offering the hacker's name, to make sure she thinks adding him to the list is a good idea.


Jemma watches as May gives Sam the list of names, nodding slowly to the fliers comments. "X-Men, yes. But try X-Red. They're a slightly different flavour …" SHIELD has worked with the X-Men in the past, but the group has been very closed mouth - and Jemma might love to get hands on their …. gene sequences. "The X-Men prefer to keep their identities secret."

"Of course, Jericho is often knowlegeable about these things… " the biochem's word giving May her thoughts on the matter "But, I will get you what I can from our own examinations … "


"Yeah, Trent did a briefing for the JL:A on the Sentinel drones, actually," Sam confirms with a quick nod. "Thanks, both of you. This will give me a great place to start. And anything I can find out about who is stealing this government drone tech will come straight to you, promise." He offers them both a grateful smile.


"Good. I want to nail whomever is either intentionally leaking this tech, or too stupid to realize it's being stolen." May wraps up the remaining half of the hoagie and offers it to Sam to take with him.


"I'll get you whatever I can, Sam." Jemma sounds a little sorry she doesn't have anything more to offer the flier. "I … owe you so much." The holograms were his instigation and they've save her innumerable times.

She's already accessing the records from SHIELD science division, but the ones she's after need a higher security level.

"Come visit me, at Stark Tower?" she invites the man. "I'm not there often, but welcome visitors, are welcome."


"Absolutely. I'm there at least a few times a week — I'll be sure to swing by, next chance I get," Sam tells Jemma. He shakes his head, grins, and accepts the sandwich from May. "Between you and my mom, I swear: you'd think I was in danger of wasting away or something," he says, laughing. "Thanks again, both of you. I'm going to chase down some of these leads, but I'll be in touch." He scoots away from them and stands, offering a casual salute before he makes his way back to the door. "Stay safe."


May will totally take it as a compliment to be associated with Mrs. Wilson. She nods to Sam as he takes his leave, then turns to Jemma. "I'll make sure you have clearance and access to the data to follow up on this."


"I look forward to it." Jemma sort of blushes. Sams a good friend to her. With Mays confirmation that she'll get the access she needs, the smile broadens slightly "And I'll pass on whatever information I find." Watching him leave, the biochem focusses on her food … it's truly not often she gets to eat like this and she intends to make the most of it.

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