Thirty Seconds In A Portal

January 16, 2016:

Called to the Federal Building, members of SHIELD are given permission to examine a detainee. A 084 activates and … Jemma and Thomas disappear.

Federal Building - Metropolis

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NPCs:

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

The followup call with SHIELD - Thomas had to follow up, since it appeared Jemma had forgotten - was quite simple. The Marshal's service had asked if Manny Valdapena would be willing to be medically examined by the UN Agency and he'd agreed. Indeed he seemed rather sorry about the whole violent episode and quite confused about it which was even more evidence so far as Marshal Nashoba was concerned that there was something odd going on.

At any rate the invitation ahd been extended for SHIELD to come visit him at the Federal Building in Metropolis. And SHIELD had been advised to send… more than just a medical team, in case things got out of hand.


Rain is about in her lab. She is definitely one of the odder members of SHIELD in an odder division. Captain is hard at work as a morale officer. Actually, two junior agents are dangling feathers on a string and he's trying to grab them, rolling and jumping about.

For her part, she is available. She does healing, odd work. She is sealing up what looks like a small GPS. One a pedestrian might use.


Was this the kind of situation SHIELD normally handled? Definitely. Was it the kind of situation that WAND normally handled? Unlikely. BUT. Fury said deal with it, so May has to deal with it. And she's brought her entourage along. Biochemist Simmons, Specialist Moontree (call her Rain, please), and Specialist Assistant Captain. (He's got a service animal license, legally, too.)

They arrive at the Federal Building in Metropolis precisely on time, May dressed in her equivalent of a business suit. The others were instructed to do similarly except Captain. He, sadly, has to wear a VERY unbecoming Service Animal vest, as May is not going to take any chances that someone here misunderstands. At least May was able to get him one edged in blue to offset his orange tabby fur.

She speaks with the front desk receptionist, then leads the way to where they're supposed to meet Marshal Nashoba.


Jemma had forgotten to contact Thomas. In fact, it was a little worse than that, she'd forgotten Thomas totally. In fact she's forgotten the conversation they had as well. All she has is the report from the other scientists that contains the information Jemma had passed on verbally.

"I've reason to believe that Valdapena was host to a Daemonite, Agent May." She's quickly reviewing the notes as she they walk "It appears that I requested the examination. I … just … don't remember doing so."


The man who greets them at the front of the access controlled area is a fit, lean olive complexioned man of fairly evidently mixed ancestry wearing jeans, a light blue tee shirt with the Marshal's logo over the right chest and on the back and a badge hanging around his neck. He looks pretty normal really… until you get to the part where he's wearing a sleek, techy looking metal gauntlet that covers his left hand and forearm to the elbow. Definitely doesn't look standard issue. "Hello, Doctor Simmons, Agents. I'm Marshal Nashoba. Come with me if you please?"

That apparently sufficing for introductions he turns and opens up a metal sliding bar-gate and then a heavy secured door. "I'll be taking you to see Mister Valdepena. He's… a bit intimidating, but not until recently known for violence. It'll be in the secure wing of our detention area but there may be a bit of foot traffic. Any questions before we start?"


Captain doesn't get a suit!? BLASPHEMY! But he grudgingly accepts it. Looking as excited as cats do about these things. At least he can't really see colors, right? Right. Hewill walk along with the others, Rain in her suit. At least being tall and slender makes it work for her. She nods, listening. There's a polite smile to the two. "Surely." She nods. A look to the others. "Is there any conversation or questions we should avoid?"


Melinda May nods to Marshal Nashoba and gestures for the other two women (and cat) to follow him ahead of her. "How long has it been since Mister Valdepena was detained? And did you manage to get any CT scans at any point since you apprehended him?" She'll leave the rest of the questions to Jemma, though she IS watching everything around them alertly while they walk.


"Marshal Nashoba." Jemma seems a little surprised that the Marshall knows her name. "According the report, about two days ago." Jemma answers May. "Apparently, I told Doctor Richards that … " her eyes widen as she looks at the tablet and then Thomas "Marshal Nashoba had said that a big Lizardlike creature came out of his chest."

"I would like to see all work ups conducted on Mr Valdapena, please." The biochem considers as they walk, the two agents assigned to her safety following closely behind. "How has Mr Valdapena's behaviour been since that incident?"


"Baseline for him." Thomas responds to Jemma first. Apparently the request about current workups on the man was anticipated and he hands over a folder containing the latest medical reports.

"Manny was in Big Sandy High Security Prison for grand theft and a number of other convictions related to a string of high profile meta powered bank robberies. He'd… used chemical enhancement to build himself to superhuman levels and just smashed through walls and vault doors. He was very, very careful though to minimize danger to civillians for which reason he's not considered that kind of 'danger'. He has an almost pathological fear of hurting people. Which is why his behavior when he was apprehended a couple days ago was so odd."

"As for topics, uh, he has a crippling psychosis relating to siamese twins." Thomas is apparently dead serious. "Along with most other things from Thailand. Including Thai food. So… yeah, don't talk about pad thai."

Thomas security card opens one more door and they step into a room with a seven and a half foot tall man, presently seated, manicled and hooked up to an EKG. He's four hundred pounds of muscle, easy. Pretty… er… pretty intimidating.

"Hello Doctor." He says with a very thick Peruvian accent.


Melinda May makes a mental note about the whole Thai phobia and then they're in the room with the proverbial Fezzik of a man. She steps to one side of the doorway with the intention of remaining there unless Mr. Valdepena becomes violent. And then she'll put him down decisively. But she's really hoping that that won't be necessary.


Rain ohs. And nods. "Good to know, thank you." She would also chuck up a fear of reptiles, but she doesn't comment. She does nod politely, peering to the tall man with violet eyes. Captain ambles in behind the others, as they are in the middle. Her eyes widen a bit. Huh. How strange.


Following Thomas into the room, and although Jemma remembers Valdepena she still blinks. "Hello Mr Valdapena. I'm Doctor Simmons, thank you for agreeing to let me visit. You can call me Jemma, if you like." beat "Let me take a moment to catch up."

Taking the folder from the Marshal, she starts to read over it, pulling the brainscans out to show May, Rain and Thomas. "These were the scans taken when Mr Valdapena was bought in." Jemma traces the scan "See, there's a shadow? Normally, I'd say it was an issue with the imaging equipment, but this is the fourth set of scans I've seen it on."

Looking back to Manny, Jemma offers a reassuring smile, "Rain and I are going to do some tests and ask you some questions." Jemma will let Rain, ask the questions, whilst she operates the EKG. Questions like, do you remember what happened just before you broke out? Trying to get a baseline on how this man might have encountered a Daemonite.


For those with experience in things like, oh, say, possession Manny bears certain marks. The marks of someone who has had his will usurped and his body taken over. Not by a ghost though. Or a spirit. Or a demon. Hrm. That's actually really odd. It's certainly not likely to be the sort of 'fingerprint' Rain is used to seeing in the eyes and auras of those who have been possessed.

"Hello Doctor. Um, I was working out. In the common area. It is good to be seen as strong in prison." People tend to screw with you less if you're overwhelming and Manny hadn't been in a Meta-Max (that's the level of prison beyond SuperMax, intended to, well, you get the idea). The machines start up and as Jemma reads them she can already get the hints of residual dimensional energy and odd Theta wave patterns. Or the leftovers of those.

Thomas leans over toward May, dropping back as the other two do their work. "He completely destroyed a bagel shop. Well, the effort to apprehend him did. He's really, really not to be underestimated. But I'd never seen him go berserk like that." He mutters. There's a knock on the door and a woman opens it and pokes her head in. "Marshal Nashoba, a moment?"


Rain looks to Jemma. Her asking questions, huh. She will activate her magic senses, to peer at his aura, his soul. She has a quizzical look on her face. She is uncertain. But she goes with it. A deep breath. "Hello, sir. I'm Rain." She nods. She asks the question Jemma suggested, She is duly peaceful, but she lacks the forcefulness May and others had. TIMEY WIMEY WOBBLY LINES AS THE CONVERATION THING HAPPENED.

"And what are your hobbies?" Maybe something he is into lead him to it or to be selected?

Captain is nearby, quiet. His ears flick. Cats can sense things people cannot, after all.


Melinda May responds to Thomas quietly, "I'm not underestimating him." And then a woman asks for a moment Thomas' time and she returns her attention to the conversation going on in the center of the room. She might not be wearing her usual mission gear, but that doesn't mean that doesn't have at least a sidearm and a pair of taser batons on her person. At least.


Glancing over as the woman knocks on the door, Jemmas attention soon returns to her scans and the frown deepens. "Another one, Agent May. The shadow is still there, but it's fading." Looking then to Manny, she considers "This is going to sound like a really strange question. Do you feel … like you've lost any size recently?"

As she waits for him to respond, she picks up the file again, looking for blood test results. Ah there they are. He's lacking certain minerals and vitamins in his system and the indications of malnourishment are there, but … not a lot. She'll share that once Manny responds.


"We recovered this from that raid. What do you want us to-" The woman who is talking to Thomas lifts up the thing in her hands to reveal an 084 cylinder like the kind that Jemma's been dealing with for a while. And in an instant Manny's brainwaves suppress and he roars, breaking the chains as the cylender starts to glow. Thomas' head whips back as he sees the convict get loose. "GET CLEAR!" He snaps as he goes for his gun. This… may be a problem.


Well, so much for answering those questions. Captain bolts at the roar. Rain backs off, moving to get clear. She might have trouble casting a newtation fast enough, so she watches the others as she moves out of the way to make sure no one gets nailed.


Melinda May sees the cylinder and … well, it's too late, but she still shoves the woman and the 084 cylinder back out the door then promptly brandishes her taser batons. This room is WAAAAY too small for her sash whip, but she'll bust it out to restrain Valdepena if need be. Yes, silk IS stronger than steel. Sometimes. It's all in the leverage. "Simmons, get clear." Let's hope the biochemist had the presence of mind to pack an ICER.


Jemma stumbles as Manny launches, trying to get clear of the roaring man. Moving backwards, she slams into a counter but keeps backpedaling to put distance between him and her.

Even in her panic, things start to click for Jemma "Agent May, don't kill him… he's still a host." Of course, she'd be worried about the SCIENCE! first.

Oh yes! ICER Pistol… right there on her hip. Fumbling to remove it, it gets stuck…


Thomas is still clearing his gun, moving, coincidentally in the same direction as Jemma as he brings it into play. The woman May shoved squeaks in surprise and drops the 084… which goes rolling along the floor, crackling with energy, right next to Thomas… and Jemma. A portal appears in the floor. The device drops through and so do the two people nearst to it. And then the portal shuts.

Which leaves Rain and May in a room with a rampaging metahuman. Drug fueled metahuman, even. Maybe that newting really is needed…


Oh holy shit. Magic senses and a portal thing. "No!" Rain yelps. "Oh shit." She is going to have to speed this up. Her body tenses, and the metahuman will find himself an adorable, speckled newt. "… Jemma?" She looks around. "Um, hang on, someone get a jar for that newt."


Melinda May actually curses aloud — in Mandarin — when Thomas and most notably Jemma disappear, and then the rampaging man is abruptly a newt and snatches up the nearest water cup. She slings the water out of the cup and then tries to catch the newt. Let's see what happens.


The newt gets caught. Rain's certainly getting good at that. And then May gets yanked across the floor. The newt is running and while it only weighs as much as a newt… it's still a really damn strong newt. Um. Someone help her?

Actually yes someone help her. As the newt bolts caught in that cup, the portal opens again about ten feet in front of May.


"Agent May!" Rain winces. « Remake the beast. I hope this floor has over a ton weight capacity… » And she turns into a freaking Siberian Godbear trying to grab May and NOT fall into the portal. "I may regret this. Should we go in?"


Huh. That was eas…WHOASHIT. May gets yanked right off her feet and wow is this suddenly very undignified. "Oh hell no," is her reaction upon seeing the newest portal open, and she does try to pull the cup / newt back. Really she does. "Whatever you're going to do, Rain, do it quick." Because this cup isn't going to withstand much more abuse from the newt trapped underneath, if they don't end up going through that portal first.


There's a strain on the bottom of the cup as the newt tries to lift it up and escape. Godbear Rain does manage to halt May's forward hurtle toward the portal, but only by more or less sitting on her legs. Which can't be comfortable for either of them.

Fortunately it's not necessary for long. The portal gutters for a moment and then spits out what certainly looks like Thomas Nashoba. Except… well except he has a scruffy kind of short beard and his clothes are dusty and worn to hell as if he'd been wearing them for months… and he's holding his right arm as if it's injured as he rolls to the floor.


Rain is not going tosit on her. Rain is hugging carefully. She winces, as the cup strains, putting her paw over it to help May out. "…" Then a stare as Thomas comes out. "Where is Jemma?" The bear asks.


Melinda May winces, but Rain isn't actually hurting her. It's more in reaction to the newt-Valdepena nearly getting loose. And then suddenly Thomas is back. "Where's Simmons?" she asks nearly simultaneously with THE GIANT WHITE BEAR who just happens to be hugging her and holding one HUGE paw over a white styrofoam cup that is doing its level best to get away from them.


The portal stutters again… and a woman appears, clothes well worn and torn, hair much much longer but unkempt. Grazes and bruises grace every visible piece of skin and her left leg is bandaged, with blood soaking the fabric. It's Jemma …

"Agent May…" Jemma croaks as the portal behind them closes, and she remains sitting on the ground, clearly exhausted. "… what happened?"


That's something Thomas would like to know too. But for right now THERE'S A BEAR IN HERE! The somewhat haggered looking Marshal makes a grab for his gun and there's some kind of distortion near it as he does. And as the air ripples it turns from a simple pistol to a glowing, sleek, white weapon with a fore-guard. Humming. Yeah, that's not a regular gun.


Stare. Rain is a freaking Godbear. A larger, fuzzier relative of a dire bear. She squints. "Hey." Her violet eyes glow as she talks. "Jemma?" Pause. "Jemma! Crapcrap, you need help. Okay, um. We have the prisoner in the coffee cup but it's still strong and DON'T POINT THAT THING AT ME."


"Stand down, Nashoba!" May's voice is decidedly strained, because she's STILL trying to restrain a seriously strong TINY AMPHIBIAN. "Get me a stronger container, someone. NOW." She's almost positive that one more 'leap' from Valdepena-newt and he'll bust right through the cup.


Jemma stares at Thomas' as he points the weapon and it transforms … "Marshal Nashoba. She won't hurt us." she murmurs wearily "Put the weapon down, so they can help us. Please."

She looks puzzled and not a little concerned.


Thomas slowly lowers the weapon. He's still staring at Rain and his eyes are shifting around the room. "Wait… where's Valdapena… what the hell…"

And then the lizard breaks free and makes a beeline for the door. He's going to have to run right past Rain to do it though.


"You shall not PASS." WHUMP. A big, white paw is going to land on the amphibian. She knows he is durable enough to get whumped and be just fine. "Seriously. Please. A container. I need to turn back and help." Rain's eyes glow as she speaks. Magic. But her ability is severely limited in bear form.


Melinda May bites off a curse when the newt gets free, but then Rain-Bear swats him flat. She scrambles back to her feet and looks around the… of course. Pretty much completely bare room. Tehre's NOTHING in here that can be used to contain a super-strong amphibian. Finally she just removes her jacket and after tugging at it for a moment pulls what resembles one of those bulletproof plate things from the back of the jacket and forces it into a roughly cylindrical shape. It makes ominous cracking noises. She secures it in shape with her sash whip then moves to hold it over Rain-Bear's paw. "Ready." And, catch the newt Round Two. Begin.


The newt goes belly up, flopped onto it's back by the quick compression and decompression of impact. Stunned, not dead, to be sure. Hopefully he'll be normal when he comes to.

And if not, he may know how to save fifteen percent on your car insurance.

Thomas shakes himself and slowly rises to his feet. He seriously looks like about ten thousand miles of bad road. "What… what happened?"


Rain looks apologetic, and nods, lifting her paw. "I - oops. I forget how much I weigh. I need to shift back before I put a hole in their floor." Rain can squish a car easily enough. She likely weighs close to a ton of BEAR. She will let May do her thing once her paw is up. She looks to the others, before shifting down. Rain is just a Rain and Captain returns. "… ooh, a newt." The cat is intrigued.

And it's about then Rain goes to tend poor Jemma.


Upon seeing that the Valdepena-newt is temporarily stunned, she reaches to move him back to the middle of the room where she puts the jerry-rigged kevlar-esque cage around him. Kind of risky, though, as the top is completely open. "You and Simmons fell through a portal, Nashoba. Here less than thirty seconds passed. I'm guessing you experienced far more than that. But, can we get a more secure container for Mister Valdepena here before he regains his senses and tries to run again?"


Jemma slowly gets to her feet, wincing as she puts her weight on her leg. OK she winces becauses she's covered in bruises AND she puts weight on her leg.

As Rain attends to her, she'll find minor bruising and grazing, it looks like Jemma fell down a gravel pit, several times. The thigh is the most concerning, it's deep and oozing blood - although it seems to have been cleaned and dressed fairly well.

"We went through a portal?" she looks confused "I remember being here and Mr Valdapena breaking free and then … " frowning, she shakes her head "… we were here again."


May gets a flat look. Which is actually kind of impressive. There aren't many who can match may in the flat look department. "So it may come as surprise to you that we don't house many newt prisoners here… but I'll go find a box… Just… keep an eye on him… Hey! Cat. Don't eat my prisoner."

Thomas rubs his arm, feeling better thanks to Rain, and then slips out. He'll be back… he's gonna have some explaining to do.

God he hopes they all remember him when he gets back.


Rain is going to tend to poor Jemma and Thomas. It takes a few minutes to get everyone all mended up, but they'll be back to mint condition in no time. "Yeah, you guys fell through a portal opened by that cylinder shortly after Mr. Valdepena went totally cuckoo for cocoa puffs," Rain explains. Captain backs off the newt, though he sort of stares flatly at Thomas.

"Oh, please, sir. I would hardly eat your prisoner. I would swat him around, bite him a bit, maybe kick with my hind legs and throw him, but /eat/ him? What do you take me for?" Smart ass.


Melinda May just returns that flat look. Because unamused May is unamused. Once he leaves the room, she turns to look at Jemma. "So you don't remember anything between the time you feel through the portal until you returned here?" She looks the biochemist over, making note of the wear and tear on her clothing and the state of her hair.


Jemma sighs as Rains healing takes effect and she watches Thomas leave the room. Not even Captains sarcastic retort gets a smile, she's preoccupied by what just happened.

Mays questioning keeps her focussed, "I really don't Agent May. I don't remember anything. I … How bad were those injuries, Rain?" She's finally starting to take how she looks in … "My clothes… " Running a hand down her hair, she glances up at May "Is it much longer?"

If May pays attention to these sorts of things, Jemmas hair is somewhere between 2 to 3 inches longer, at least.

"You say both Marshal Nashoba and I went through?"


It actually takes Thomas more than 15 mintues to come back. This is partly because the change in his look is so radical that he has to stop and explain who he is. Eventually he does come back though. With a cardboard box. Into which he flops the newt. He leaves it on the floor though. Which may be a mistake.

"Everything in order here?"


Rain nods. "They were pretty rough. Mild to moderate. And your hair is like, 2 inches longer." A peer. "Were you keeping it up?" She seems baffled. "Errr… please don't leave your newts on the floor," She offers to Thomas. Someone might step on it or get an angry newt on their leg. Being leg humped by a super strong newt would be tres awkward and terribly painful. "And I think you may want to move him into people sized restraint soon."


Melinda May reaches over and pulls a lock of Jemma's hair straight(ish) and presses it against her back so the biochemist can feel where it ends now. "Rain knows what she's talking about." She is, after all, the one that newted Mr. Valdepena in the first place. And then May wants to get CT scans on both of them to make sure neither has returned with … baggage.


"Right… I'll take this guy to lockup then…" Thomas sighs. "Okay. I'll send someone to see you guys out…"

He's not aware of what May wants and if he were… he'd doubt she'll remember him for long enough for it to happen. But that's in the future. Also in the future is the fact that in about six hours a guard is going to come by detention Cell 4C to find Manny Valdepena laying flat on his back, unconscious, with the shreds of a duct tapped cardboard box around his head.


"Thanks," Rain offers to Thomas. She smiles. She looks to the others. "Captain can stay with you, if you like." Cats are good for the soul, and have keen senses. "Otherwise, we- here." She hands Jemma the experimental GPS. "We wired it for magic and odd energy fluxes. Let me know how it goes. Thanks for having us. The help is appreciated." She will go back with May and the others.


As the other two are preparing to leave, May turns to Marshal Nashoba again. "I want you to get a CT scan done as soon as possible. Don't take any chances that what's happened to Mr. Valdepena hasn't happened to you as well." She then offers him a card. "Notify me when your results are ready." And then unless there's anything else, she's going to escort the two women (and a cat?) out.

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