That's Not Natalia

January 13, 2016:

A news broadcast about Natalia Utrecht has Aspect, Mana, May and Rain contemplating


NPCs: Natalia Utrecht



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Stabilizing Natalia was a near thing. And she hasn't woken up. Jericho has moved her twice since last night, burning another safehouse in the process. Now they're in Harlem. Another industrial building, kitted out with everything someone on the run might need. Medical supplies. Food. A bed. Gabby's been with them most of the way. She's getting some sleep now. Jericho himself had to leave for a while after the second move. He's back now, listening to the steady beep of the EKG as he watches the news.

On it, Natalia Utrecht's image shows, a video of her in a hospital bed talking about the future. Given that that's the same woman who's lying in a bed behind him, clinging to life and still having not awakened, it's perhaps understandable that he's not pleased by what he's seeing.

May is equally displeased, especially as she knows the same thing Jericho does. And, she's planned ahead this time, requesting that a particular violet-eyed witch and her feline come along. She also imposes on Rain horribly by requesting they travel by broom (lets see the bad guys track THAT), though by the time they arrive she might be regretting the request. Riding brooms CLEARLY takes getting used to.

Imagine getting used to it while maintaining concentration to keep in flight. Rain slammed into a lot of things early in her witching life. She does hold and support May while Captain sits in front of them. To her credit, broom travel is swift, silent and she has flown over the cities for years. She has learned the shadows, the popular drone paths, the power lines… STILL HATES THE INFERNAL PIGEONS… but she is a steady, familiar pilot.

And Rain's healing services come with a punch card. 13th visit is a free ice cream sandwich. No ice cream today, though. Rain is travelling at May's request. She seems glad to help out, if rather worried about it all.

Brins dozing in a chair beside Natalia's bed. She's been with them all of the way. Focussing on Natalia, the moves and all the things that go around that has meant she's not been thinking about 'Berto. Which is good for two reasons - she's not fretting about whether he's ok or not (despite the reports she's had on him) and not fuming about his irresponsible behaviour.

The sound of the news, Natalia's voice or perhaps the emotions of those in the room bring her to wakefulness and her eyes fix on the screen, watching the woman who is /clearly/ in the bed beside.

"Jericho, who is that …" yes, she knows who they say it is … but really? After Reignfire, Brin believes in doubles.

"That, unless I miss my guess, is Miss Omega Protocol." Exactly who or what that is Jericho doesn't know but he got some vague hints last night - just enough to tantalize and alarm him - that Omega Protocol does not begin or end with the target's death. It isn't enough to remove a disruptive element to the system, after all. The system must be soothed and corrected. That is Omega Protocol. The most extreme actions taken to remove a potential problem before it becomes an actual one.

"Hello May, Rain. Not followed I take it?" He greets the two women coming in the side door. The only access to this place other than the roll up door is through a dimly lit, bare concrete block hallway that connects this unit to the one next door - a rarely used automotive shop. Which is part of the reason that he has this safehouse.

"If anyone managed to follow us, they deserve to know where we are." It's partly a irritated grumble from the discomfort of broom-riding, and partly a typical May compliment for the witch's ability to travel and avoid detection. "I take it their goal this whole time had been to replace Utrecht?"

"Yeah. Captain helped watch and scent the winds, too. We didn't pick up anything," Rain shakes her head. She smiles politely at Jericho, though it seems it's more a habit than a sincerely happy thing. "It seems so. Is she holding up? We can help mend her. Captain's mostly moral support."

The cat just sighs at Rain. "Felines are good for the soul." Though, the more canid or lupid types might cheerily add they make great treats- when a canid can handle a cat, at any rate (for cats are incredible hunters - and certainly, some of the best solo hunters).

"Miss Omega Protocol?" Brin looks grim, which just adds to how tired she looks. Her hair had been pulled back into a loose ponytail whilst they worked to save Natalia lives, and now strands of hair are escaping and falling round her face. She looks a little bit of a mess.

"So replace the Mutant rights activist with a double who is … whichever group this … mouthpiece." The brunette unfolds from the chair and stretches, looking over Utrecht, checking her vitals and updating her chart. Until Gabby returns, Brins not going anywhere. "I suppose this will forward their agenda."

"Given the speed with which it happened, I have to assume it was." Jericho mutters darkly in response to May. "I checked the hospital records." Hacked them he means. "Same blood type, same ID's, they had access to her bank accounts, her social security, her social media, her medical insurance. What or whomever that is that double is damn near perfect. Even if she wakes up, proving that's not Maria Utrecht isn't going to be easy. Especially given that the police just an hour ago issued an all points bulletin advising officers to be on the lookout for a shapeshifting mutant called 'Refractor' believed to be involved in baiting Utrecht out so she could be attacked. Apparently they're saying that he's capable of mimicing people on a genetic level and are advising extreme levels of caution." Ah the thing he hears hacking…

"She's… stable, at the moment Rain. But she hasn't woken up. We're not sure if she sustained some kind of traumatic brain injury… there's no indication that she has brain damage but we just don't know. Her spine got clipped in the attack, so…" There's a lot at play.

Melinda May takes a deep breath, clearly disgusted by the tactics of this Omega Protocol group. "The only way to out that impostor would be to get her to break her disguise in a very public forum." Which she knows is very close to impossible anymore. "What are our other options?"

Rain is quiet, listening. There's a frown. She nods, listening. "Well. I can try to help as I can. While I can mend physical damage, it will take a long while with the nervous system." Hey, it's her focus in life - besides the bear thing. Rain looks thoughtful. "Altering someone's very genetic material is no small feat, even with magic…"

Brin shakes herself, realising she missed Rains question and offers the lavendar eyed woman a smile of apology. What can she say, it's a trying time for all of them. "Be my guest, Rain." She'll stay beside Natalia's side, if the others agree and Rain does use her healing.

"That must have been who was in the red maz, May." Brins working this through in her head. "Mays correct, I think. Without DNA testing, and something that truly is Natalia's to use as a DNA baseline, the only way to out whoever that is, is to get them to do it themselves." she pauses as she considers the woman on the TV and shakes her head. "We're going to have to manage the damage control from this. Whatever they're planning? I'll guarantee it's going to hurt mutant kind."

"I don't think it's someone who was actually involved to be honest." Jericho shakes his head. "Their entire plan was predicated on luring her out to a place where they had a clear shot at her, startling her long enough to get her to hold still and then shooting and kinapping her. They don't need a Berto look alike for that. All they needed was a voice alteration program and a hacked cellphone. And a sniper. Which they had. No, I promise you that bit of news is to make it difficult to impossible for the real Natalia to resurface while they look for her to finish their work."

There's a pause. "Unless the person replacing her is a shapeshift, I suppose but then it doesn't make sense to 'out' that. You wouldn't want people thinking there could be a second Natalia around if you didn't have to. And it doesn't seem to fit the profile anyway. We haven't seen any mutants involved yet."

"Anything you can do Rain, would be welcome. She's just in the next room."

Melinda May starts pacing slowly with her arms crossed tightly. From her, that's about as unsettled as she visibly gets. "It's going to be impossible to spin this back in our favor." Or at least really, really difficult. "And what are the chances this has already happened to other people we don't even know about?" This is getting beyond even her level of weird ass nasty, and she's getting further and further our of her comfort zone.

"Though, far as I can see, the work already done on her is excellent," Rain remarks. She can appreciate Brin's talent(s). Not THOSE talents, her actual talents. Gosh. Rain feels uncertain, uneasy. "I suspect you could peek at her aura or soul, but convincing people those things exist…" Rain waves a hand. "It would be like trying to make sense of internet comments and then convincing THEM." She furrows her brows. She taps her chin. If only, if only.

Nevertheless, Rain will go in to the next room, gently setting Captain on the poor woman's bed. Cats ARE good for the soul. If nothing else, a few hours with Rain will mend the physical damage. The psychological, well. That is beyond her purview.

"It was Gabby that did the bulk of the work," Brin murmurs to Rain at the compliment "I managed to her alive long enough so Gabby could save her. Thank you, though, we do what we can." And even then it had been a close thing.

"Not having seen mutants, doesn't mean there aren't any" she quietly points out to Jericho, although she agrees and can't quite get her mind together to work through the puzzle. And it is a puzzle …

"If it's not a mutant and she looks like Natalia, and that's a pretty good likeness from what I can see, could it be cosmetic surgery?" Because if it is, there may be ways to track that down … but they might need a good look at faux-Natalia.

She's not forgotten the APB on 'Refractor' but if mutants aren't involved … that could be a red herring.

"You'd need to select the perfect candidate even with very good surgery. And under medical examination surgical scars would be noticed." Plus duplicating things like finger prints and blood type would be challenging if not impossible. "I have no idea what she could be at this point. Not even speculation… well okay I have a couple of wild guesses but I'd hesitate to say… other than…" Jericho glances over at May. "How long has SHIELD had LMD technology… and how many other people have it?"

Rain's efforts to mend the damage do bear fruit. There's a lot of trauma on the woman. She can strengthen her vitals, heal broken ribs and punctured lungs. But she still doesn't wake up. It's almost, she might suspect, as if she doesn't want to.

Melinda May stops and looks at Jericho at that. "A while. And it's supposed to be a closely guarded technology." Though with the recent appearance of LMD-types like Howard Stark, she can't be at all sure that it's been guarded well enough. "As to who else has it…" She shakes her head. "If it's been leaked there's no telling."

Rain frowns a little. She will mend what she can, even damaged nerves - but that will take hours, painfully long. "I don't know if Miss Natalie wants to wake up," She finally admits, as Captain does his best impersonation of a pinball. Roundcat is round. She nods to Brin at her words. "I am having trouble figuring out all of this," She adds.

"LMD technology?" Brin looks over to Jericho and May. It's been spoken of, of course, but it's not something that the X-Men are overly familiar with. "Did they manage to replicate the finger prints?" she questions nearly vaguely, listening to Mays slightly tense answer.

As Rain speaks about Natalia, the small brunette goes to stand by the bedside, brushing the womans hair back from her forehead, reaching out to see what she can sense now that Rain has cleared some more of the injuries. "I didn't want to wake up either." the words so quiet, it's possible no one heard them.

"Advanced infiltration tech." Jericho glosses over it. "Something I only recently became aware was in SHIELD's arsenal." Quite by accident too. But there you have it. Hang around long enough and you learn a few things. So this is lovely. He can't rule out that it's an evil robot. Or at least… a planted robot.

"We need to get close to her and try to figure out a way to find out what she is. The docotrs are completely taken in so I'm betting that regular medical proceedures just aren't going to tell us what we need to know here. And we have to keep Natalia hidden… god. Someone's going to have to tell Berto and keep him from going on a rampage."

"I'll tell DaCosta." At least if he tries to go on a rampage she can swat him down quickly enough. "Also, SHIELD can keep Utrecht safe, so long as we can get her there without being seen." She suspects that Trent might have to call in help from external sources to do that, like Rasputin or, the person with the purple-tinted Star Trek teleporter.

Brin looks over as May takes on 'Berto duty. That kind of suits her. She and 'Berto still have to talk, but Brins not sure she can keep the Warm Twin calm. May can have all that. "If you want me to come with…" she'll be there but she's never seen 'Berto so angry not even when … yeah, not thinking about that.

"I don't know what a LMD is or however that should be phrased." the diminutive brunette speaks "But would they have emotions that could be detected? If not, then maybe I could help there." This is actually beyond her … "Unless SHIELD have the 'how to' on how they may be detected, I'm … not much use at the moment."

"If that tech has gotten away from SHIELD there's no telling what's been done to it." Which means no sure way to know SHIELD will know what the tells are. It could have been modified a lot. "If that's what it is. And I just don't know Brinley. All I know is that that-" Jericho stabs a finger at the television. "Is not Natalia Utrecht. And someone went to a great deal of trouble to take her out of play."

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