To Stop the Unstoppable

April 10, 2015:

Steve and Peggy need to hunt down and stop Shift, so they go to FitzSimmons for advice on how to stop the seemingly unstoppable mutant.

SHIELD R&D - The Triskelion


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

SHIELD R&D, during the working hours, is a busy place. Immediately following a national catastrophe, it's even busier. There are any number of technicians and scientists running about the various labs, evaluating material evidence collected at the various sites the Ultra-Humanite had terrorized.

The stuff just keeps coming in, as more field agents collect more items and data. It's overwhelming.

Regardless, the dynamic scientific duo affectionately referred to as 'FitzSimmons' have cleared everyone out of their particular workspace. They are putting the finishing touches on Captain Rogers' RECOIL gauntlet; Simmons is feeding the biometric data into the brains of the device, while Fitz works with a pair of goggles and micro-welder to connect all of the mechanical dots.

"Alright, Jemma. Let's go ahead and load up the inertial load-bearing gyrometers next."


Simmons looks up from entering the data, which really entails watching the data taken from the readings the other day scroll up the screen of her computer as the program does the heavy lifting. "OK then, Fitz. Let me get that data set and you tell me when you're ready."

"Are we expecting Captain Rogers in today? I really need to test this data set, make sure it works correctly." The biochemist looks back to her screen with a small frown that indicates she's considering possibilities and probabilities.


"The testing is going to need to take a back seat," Steve says as he enters the lab with little fanfare. "In all the craziness of last night, a lot of people missed that a Congressman is dead. Agent Carter has been working the case and found it to be the work of Kwabena Odame, former ally of SHIELD. His powerset should be well chronicled in our databanks. We need technology to overcome his powerset, and we need it yesterday."


"We'll test it," agrees Fitz. "Now, send the -"

Captain America's entrance prompts him to jump a little. The welder strikes something, and a shower of sparks flies upward. "Wot the bloody -" He whips off the goggles, only to see who it is. "- oh, hello, Captain Rogers." He listens for a moment or two, before storing the goggles and tools, so that he might reach for a computer console.

When Odame's file is brought up, a lot of details have been redacted to a security clearance above his and Jemma's. However, the metahuman's power set is available. He sends the data to Simmons' screen. "Uh, some of these details need a security clearance."


Turning as Steve enters the lab, Simmons frown deepens at his words. "What do you mean, it was the work of Kwabena Odame?" Just as the data arrives on her screen. Her attention diverted, she watches the final pieces of bio-metric data feed into the gauntlet and saves the results.

Odames' abilities have her eyebrows rising "Interesting. Very Interesting."


"I know, Simmons. I was shocked too. I wish it was another way, but it isn't. Agent Carter herself got a visual when they fought." Steve swallows with some difficulty. "I realize this puts you under the gun, guys, but I need something as soon as you can get it. We don't have a lot of time, here, and more people could die." He nods to Fitz, "Anything I can unlock, I will. Anything that we need from Fury, I can go to him, but I'll need a list to get it approved."


"Look at this, Simmons!" While news of an ally's betrayal certainly bothers him, the engineer is first and foremost a scientist. "It says here that his metahuman genetics allow him to attain all four states of matter. Liquid, gas, 'super'-solid, even plasma."

He looks up to Steve, frowning at last. The pertinent details, such as what this person has done, may not be relevant. What is immediately relevant is information regarding the mutant's fighting technique. "What can you tell me about how his metagene works in combat? Can he be detained or subdued using conventional weaponry?"


Simmons is distracted as she reads through the information presented. "So I see, Fitz. If we're going to combat him, we need to study the weaknesses that are noted and focus on a way to exploit those."

Looking at Steve, "It would be helpful to speak to Agent Carter about the way Odame attacked the Congressman. It would also help if we had other data that shows the way he fights." Shrugging slightly "Knowing the weaknesses is one thing, but knowing whether he uses his abilities in a set manner might prove useful too."

"I suppose the dendrotoxin might work when he is in his human form, Fitz" Simmons chews on her lip as she thinks "But whether it will stop him phasing… I think we should consider each known form and develop something." Pointing at her screen "Like the Smoke Phase, it seems he's susceptible to energy weapons."


Steve shakes his head towards Fitz, "I really don't think so. In fact, I'm not sure what could stop him. Honestly, if I was, I wouldn't have stopped by here. But, make no mistake, Odame is dangerous and, apparently, capable of murder." Steve still doesn't want to admit it, but how much evidence does one man need to change the opinion of someone he once called a friend? "Basically, I've seen him either become rock-like or burst into a cloud of smoke."

Cap nods to Simmons, "Agent Carter should be here shortly. I think she'll be able to fill you in best. As far as Odame's style, I imagine there should be files on that. At least, if SHIELD is a thorough as we think. But, I might have to go to Fury for that."


"Conventional, ranged weaponry ineffective." Fitz is tabbing through what data is available. "Same with conventional melee items." He frowns, digging a bit deeper. "It would seem his gaseous state happens upon impact. Makes sense, especially if it's X-Gene. Most X-Gene mutations are automatic, usually endorphine based, right Simmons?" He's going off what he's read; she's the real expert there.

"Well, any energy weapon would destroy dendrotoxin upon release," he answers Jemma. "And if this file is right, the Night-Night Gun won't work. He'd just… you know… smoke-I-fy and the serum would be useless."

A pause.

"Unless…" Fitz scratches the back of his head, while his other hand fidgets. He's thinking.


Did someone say Agent Carter? Much as Steve predicts, she is there shortly. Peggy enters the room silently, listening to the conversation for a few moments without interrupting. She has little to offer as to all of his powers and how to stop them. If she did, perhaps the Congressman would still be alive. It's only when Simmons mentions that talking to her would be helpful that she steps forward.

"Actually, he tried to shoot him first." Right down to business, she nods in greeting to the scientists. "It was only when I knocked the gun out of his hand that I found out he was capable of turning to smoke. There were civilians there, otherwise I would have shot at him. As it was, I tried to bludgeon him with a vase, but it passed right through his head. That's when his hand turned into very sharp obsidian and he took a swipe at me."


Simmons is nodding along to Fitz ruminations, reviewing the data on her screen at the same time. "Yes Fitz, that's correct." about the X-Gene, the words are distracted. "Dendrotoxin won't work in the phased forms." She's thinking too.

Looking up as Agent Carter speaks, Simmons offers a small smile and then looks serious "So he used the forms in whichever way worked for him at the time? Yes, Captain, if we have any information on his fighting style, it would help."

Canting her head at the data again, Simmons looks up at Fitz "Remember when we were developing the Dendrotoxin and the delivery mechanism, the trouble we had with the gunpowder turning the compound to gas? What if….."


How a cloud of smoke could manage to think is completely beyond him and it hurts his own brain just thinking about it. Steve grimaces at Peggy's remarks about what she went through. He's a professional, and doesn't show it on the outside, but Agent Carter being in danger pains him. Part of what they do, and all.

"From my own eyes, I basically saw him rely on his powerset," Steve says to Jemma. "I can't shed any light on his fighting style. Sorry."

"I wonder why he'd try and shoot first. It would be far more easy to use his powers than a firearm. It would also prevent anyone from identifying him. At least in some manner. It's almost as if he wanted to be caught. Or wanted to be seen. Fear? I'm not sure."


A blink of the eyes at Peggy's tale, especially when she tells of his head turning to gas, while his body remains flesh. "That… would suggest the X-Gene maintains its bio-molecular integrity when his body transforms. Otherwise…" He looks to Simmons. "He'd come back with brain damage. Right?"

Then, Simmons poses a very interesting question. "Dendrotoxin… has a low sublimation point, which is why gunpowder couldn't be used. It was flashing the serum into a gas, which cannot be metabolized by the human body." He turns to Steve and Peggy. "That's why the Night-Night Gun uses capsules of highly compressed nitrogen to expel the rounds."

He turns back to Simmons. "What if we engineered a special bullet, with the same stopping power, except, I could use an electrical charge to sublimate the dendrotoxin upon impact?" He looks back to the others. "The bullet would hit. He'd transform into smoke." Back to Jemma. "Can you create a form of dendrotoxin that would bind to bio-molecular material in its gaseous state?"


"Yes, his shifts were all very deliberate. He also used the smoke could in an attempt to suffocate the Congressman. I managed to block the entryway before he was entirely absorbed, which apparently separated him from himself, forcing him reform back into a solid matter." To say that Peggy knew what she was doing when she did it would be very generous, but she's not about to say that without prompting. "If you're able to find a way to pull the cloud apart, it might effectively render that state useless."

That suggestion offered up, she continues, "He was also has some form of enhanced strength. A blow to the head meant very little to him." She pauses before adding the next part, face turning sad and serious. "He was able to kick in the Congressman's skull in one blow."

What Odame did in the past is nodded at, frowning. "What he did was planned. I saw him in the lobby of the hotel Congressman Burbridge was already at. He did not attack there. Instead, he went to a secondary location, arriving only moments before and attacked him there. He knew the man's schedule to the minute. I'm not sure he would have ever used his powers had I not happened upon the scene."


The talk about why Odame did it gets scant attention from Simmons, she's looking at Fitz and considering. "It's possible Fitz but I'll need a sample of the gaseous form to test it with. This is not the sort of thing we want to be messing with in the field."

Drumming her fingers on the bench of her workspace, Simmons nods slightly "What about a dispersal method for when he's already smoke or gas? Something that is injected into the cloud and bonds as well? It would be the same formulation, just a different delivery mechanism… and gives whoever is using it the option of attacking his solid or gas form."


Steve nods towards Peggy, "That's brilliant, Agent Carter. It seems like he can't be two places at one time when he's in that state, so, just separate the cloud." He's sure what Simmons and Fitz are talking about is pretty brilliant, but he has no clue what they're even saying at this point. "I suppose we need to figure out how to find him above everything else," Steve says to Peg. "We can circle back and touch base with these two when we do."


"Well, that's easy," answers Fitz, "But you wouldn't want to breath it in by accident. I don't imagine it would be pleasant."

Fitz looks back to Steve and Peggy. "If you find him, get us a sample of that gas form." A rueful smirk. "We can take bets on what body part it is."


Much like Steve, Peggy doesn't have multiple theories on what they can do in order to turn Odame into a solid again. That's why they came to Fitzsimmons. She may understand the science a little better, but it's still not her strongest subject. At Simmons' suggestions, she nods at each idea. They all sound good if they'll work.

She smiles at Steve when he calls her brilliant. "You're right. All the weaponry we can carry is only useful if there's a target at which to aim it." It seems like the visit to the lab is coming to an end.

"Yes, it's not exactly a pleasant experience," Peggy tells Fitz with a wrinkle of her nose, as she did have that happen to her. "And we'll see what we can do about a sample, though I'm not exactly sure that it will be possible." Essentially chopping off a piece of someone else's body to study it sounds a little barbaric. Turning, she nods at the scientists, ready for her and Steve's contribution in stopping Odame.


Simmons nods to Fitz "I'll start working up models for the Dendrotoxin then. It will take a bit of work, I think." Smiling apologetically at Peggy and Steve, the biochemist shrugs a little "If I can work out a way to get the sample, I'll let you know. But I've only the written data to go on, at the moment." By the way she's glancing at her machines, Simmons is ready to start work immediately.


Steve gives the two scientists a nod before he exits, looking to take Peggy to some of the intelligence portions of the building, hoping they can find a way to track down Odame and prepare to confront him.

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