Freeing A Chimera

January 17, 2016:

After taking Nadia the previous day, Jericho, Simmons and May get the opportunity to examine her - sort of - things go a bit wrong

DoD Facility


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

The DoD had wanted blood. Jericho couldn't blame them. If someone had stormed his post and cut down a bunch of his friends, he'd want blood too. Ordinarily he imagines SHIELD would be quite happy to let them have it, but the more-than-human nature of the attack meant that the military really didn't have any holding cells to hand that could be counted upon to be safe. The full capabilities of the woman they'd captured are as yet a huge unknown. More than that, she's clearly been cybernetically augmented and if the people responsible for that are known to anyone - HYDRA, AIM, etc - then SHIELD has the best chance of identifying it.

That's a lot of ifs. But the net result is here they are at a SHIELD satellite facility that is officially just an office building in Langley, Virginia and unofficially has a rather extensive basement used ordinarily for storing dangerous 084 type items. It works for people too.

Jericho himself isn't presently involved in much regarding this. He'd responded to the alarm more for sentimental reasons than anything else. It was an attack on the military. That pisses him off. He'd participated in the woman's capture. At the moment though he's just leaning against the door frame just inside the room where the unknown woman is being held. His helmet is off and under his arm and his blade had gone back in its case hours ago. May and Simmons have only seen the sleek black Stark made armor he's wearing once but apparently it's his new 'public' working clothes.

Jemmas life has certainly become strange and yesterday had possibly been the strangest of them all. First called in to assist with a DoD facility break in and then off to Metroplis, where she'd disappeared down a portal … and reappeared less than a minute later looking like she'd been gone for months.

Yeah, they still had to look into that.

Having passed the EKG that May had insisted she take, Jemma's back on active duty. Hair still two to three inches longer than it had been yesterday but the signs of her trial were 'healed' by Rain.

"Agent May. The individual we're about to see is a female who is cybernetically altered. I didn't get much time to examine her yesterday, but she moves fast and appears to be well trained. We only managed to catch her bacause I have my drones emit EM pulses at her." Sadly, three SHIELD agents had lost their lives to the woman. "I've been asked to, and I want to, examine her."

With that information delivered, Simmons pushes the door open and enters the room. Jericho's new armour gets a good look over "Aspect." She uses his code name in front of the woman.

The last thing anyone ever would want to see or feel is a row of feet upon her back and a big paw that.. could have knocked you out? Or was that the butt of the gun? None of that really mattered, save for when she woke up within the room, laid out upon the cold steel bunk which has her jerking upright with a curl and a press of her hand to her side. The black tracks that line her arms were noticed, her brain-box was still off for the time being, yet how ever there was a little trace of it coming back online. And it feels like a slight crawling on the brain. Slight. Enough to make someone want to push a Q-tip in the ear to try to get at it any way they can. But Nadia doesn't. It's all about discipline.

Drawing her feet off of the bed, she plants them solidly upon the ground, her eyes immediately darting up to the three that enters the room, her head tilted ever so slightly and then she slowly stands. It was obvious that her muscles screamed from the beating that she received, but with a quick stretch and a lift upon her toes righted her and adjusted her to the feel of moving anew.

There was really a no nonsense look about her, her stony gaze studying each of them for the briefest of moments before she turns her attention to the bunker she was housed in.

Melinda May follows Jemma in, back to wearing her usual mission-suitable attire. She gives Jericho a simple nod, regardless of his new chosen garments, then stands off to one side and focuses on the reason that they're here. Good timing, too, as the woman just rather abruptly woke up. The stony gaze? It's met with a positively Vulcan expressionless stare.

"Doc." Jericho says quietly. He's got some questions floating around his head but it's probably best for SHIELD to ask theirs first. Right now he's here to make sure she doesn't do anything they'll all regret later. In the meantime he's occupying himself with network work, among which is a search for any clue to the woman's identity. Face scans are a start, but those cybernetics… well let's just say he's also been doing some digging.

Entering behind May and Simmons are two more SHIELD agents. The ones assigned to Jemma's protection, the ones that won't leave her side - much to her disgruntlement.

"Let me know if you find anything, Aspect?" Simmons murmurs to the hacker. She's worked with him enough to know that he's already digging and things will go more quickly this way.

As the brainbox begins to come online, one of Jemma's devices emits a beeping sound, diverting her attention for a moment "We've got an active signal, Aspect. I think it's emitting from her." She knows too, active signals aren't neccesarily good thing.

Moving over to stand near to the woman, Jemma offers a reassuring smile "Hello, I'm Doctor Simmons, What's your name?" She won't start any exams, just yet.

The only movement caught out of her eye was the approach of Jemma to her 'door'. Nadia's head snaps in her direction, brows furrowing at the way the woman smiles which.. to Nadia, was truly odd and warranted a closer inspection. She walks towards her now, both hands raised to press against the window, her head ducking just enough to watch Jemma's lips at the tail end of the question and then a look back into her eyes.

She seemed, nice? And without Nadia being under complete and total control of the brain-box allowed her to see that niceness in a person. That look that didn't want to do harm only to explore was something that she was met with time and time again with the other technitions that handled her case. Still, she didn't catch a name, and only a mention of her name being asked causes her to give a shake of her head to extend a finger to point right back towards Jemma in questioning. In other words. You tell me yours, and I'll tell you mine.

Seemingly remaining perfectly still, Trent would likely know what it looks like when May goes from simply standing to standing at full alert ready to move at the slightest tell. So far, though, the woman isn't doing anything untoward, so the taser batons tucked into her sleeves aren't being brandished. Yet. She's had enough Simmons-scares already this week, and so much as a THOUGHT against the biochemist will be responded to immediately. And harshly.

Jericho, or 'Aspect' as Nadia has heard him called (she did hear him, right?) cants his head at the lack of verbal answer. He wonders briefly if the cybernetics are impacting her speech centeres but shrugs it off. Surely the Brain Trust over there will figure it out.

"I haven't found anything of her in any kind of criminal or missing persons database." Which only really tells them that no one took official notice of wherever she went. Assuming she was 'missing' to begin with. "No record of cybernetics of that nature either. Which is odd. I'm familair with most of the manufacturers."

"Doctor Simmons" Jemma speaks slowly, looking Nadia in the eye, annunciating every word. The biochem watches Nadia's response closely "Can you hear?" The question accentuated by sign language - rudimentary at best, but she'd started learning when Snake Eyes had joined the team.

She knows May is near and glances over her shoulder, she'll be careful, really! She'll try not to give her anymore Simmons-scares this week. OK, maybe today.

Her eyes dart towards Aspect as she watches him, were they doing searches on her? That.. was not good. Not good at all. It would make the man in black a target at best. Or possibly a persons of interest. As Jemma speaks, her eyes immediately dart towards the nice womans mouth, her jaw tensing briefly, taking a slight step back as she begins to sign out the secondary sentence which actually causes Nadia to smile, but it was a quick, nearly false looking smile that possibly wasn't ever to be seen.

"Your sign language is terrible."

Her voice, it was clear that she was deaf, lacking any phonetics or tone that one would usually carry from speaking their entire life. While it was soft, it sounded terrible, as intended with a brain-box designed as hers. But this does cause her to think, her fingers carefully spelling out the name as she would be called by Cyberdata; Z. A. K. U. R. A.

She was cooperating, at least. That much was certain. Though what was -not- certain was the scare that poor Jemma was going to be in for.

Melinda May continues to pay close attention, but knowing that Zakura is deaf makes things … more interesting. She knows at this point that any movement will get the woman's attention, but if she feels she needs to convey something to either Simmons or Trent, all she'll have to do is step out of line of sight. That actually makes things a little easier. Go on, Jemma. You're off to a good start.

"Hang on a minute…" Jericho's got a match to a slightly corrupted file. He pushes aside all his other searches and brings up the window, piecing the corrupted, partly deleted data together. "Mmmm… someone tried to make her disappear. Good thing they're not as good as I am. I've got a partial. Nadia Mercer, of New Orleans. She disappeared shortly after Hurricane Katrina." So, you know, it's been a hot minute. "No record of military service or anything that would have given her cybernetic implants before that. I have to assume they were added some time in the last ten years."

Yeah, she may identify as Zakura, but that's not the name she was given.

"I am learning." Simmons signs and speaks, the womans tonality no real surprise. "A pleasure to meet you, Zakura." Jemmas heard Jericho, she'll get to that in a minute. Questioning people is not her forte, that's May and Jericho's schtich.

"I'm here to examine you." The signing is slowing the process down … which is better than stopped because they can't communicate. "Please take a seat over here."

Gesturing, Jemma waits for the woman to move before continuing. "Do you have any other names?"

Jericho's sudden realization has her eyes snapping into his direction. The way he held his head had her own tilting lower just to see what he was saying, her rounded pupils soon dissolving into sharp slits as she reads his lips, a frown crossing her own as she takes a slight step back. Disappeared. Hurricane Katrina. Military. Implants.

Her gaze falls towards her arms as another step was taken back, her hands shown as the little screen flickers to life.. then out again as the brain box itself picks up its frequency enough to cause her right ear a sharp pain that sends her wincing.

Jemma's hands were looked at soon after, her on reaching up to plug her ear shut, brows deepning even further as a little hint of anger flashes over her cat-like eyes. Claws soon emerge from the pads of her fingers as she takes a running start, banging both fists against the glass with shocking strength, her teeth bared and visible with a hiss with the intent to scare Jemma off from ever attempting to examinine her under such conditions, or at all.

NO. Was signed fiercely, hands snatching at the air as she takes a turn away to avoid any rebuttal to her refusal. The cool stalk around her surroundings, stops at the chair which was soon kicked aside to show her impatience. I. Want. Out. Was soon gestured, arms sweeping around the room which soon light up, lining her nervous system with activity and beacons.

The moment Zakura starts stepping back from Jemma, the batons are in May's hands. When she runs at the glass to startle Jemma, the batons are snapped to full extension and May moves. By the time the woman signs 'No' emphatically, she's put herself between the prisoner and the biochemist. "Calm down," she says quietly but very distinctly. "Give us reason to think you'll attack and you're not leaving that room. Understand?"

The moment the claws come out there's harmonic hum. May will know as will Jemma that this signals Aspect's traces charging up but for once those aren't visible. The black ceramic and kevlar armor he's wearing is too thick for the light to shine through. He doesn't start projecting anything. Not yet. But the tension in his stance clearly indicates that he's become rather concerned about the fact that there's a 'weapon' in play.

Sign language flashes up on his HUD as he does a search for words and phrases. Stand down. You're in no danger. The signs are mechanical and a bit stilted. Sort of the ASL equivalent of being given a message by Siri. But the words are at least intelligible.

Jemma jumps back, stumbling as the woman batters at the glass. Zakura, Nadia, has been successful in that attempt, she's startled the Biochemist. Eyes wide, she stares as the cat-like eyes glaw and claws appear on the womans hands …

"Not … just … cybernetics, I think. That looked, organic…"

With May between her and Nadia, and the reassuring 'thrum' of Jericho's traces, Jemma stands back for a moment to collect herself.

The beacon of Nadia's location was in full effect. Units were mobilizing and thirty minutes after initial contact to the brain-box was established, the crews were on their way.

The swift movement from May was soon watched with a narrow gaze as she focuses upon her lips, her chin lifting in slight defiance as the gaze soon thumps towards Jericho's aetstetic sign, her lips drawn up and gaze shot to Jemma just in time to miss her hypothesis. The woman looked scared, enough. No examination from her.

Her hands shoot up, signing the words mostly for May and Jericho's benefit, which soon stop mid-sentence as she drops her hands to stroll towards the tossed chair, which was soon picked up and set upright, and then dragged towards the center of the room.

Then, she places a foot upon it, easing into a crouched perch upon the chair, clawed fingers pressed and tersed, eyes keeping the three of them within her sights as she says calmly and evenly.

"Hubris softens the earth beneath the feet of victory." She squeezes out, words that seem to take more effort than they need. "Prepare."

Prepare? Prepare for what? Of course, May doesn't let her confusion show on her face, and simply steps back when Nadia does, hopefully proving to the young woman that she will only react violently if violence is initiated by someone else. Her batons stay in her hands, though. You know, just in case.

Jericho's eyes narrow and he starts scanning network traffic for disruptions or odd spikes. "May, call security. Now." He doesn't know what's going on and that's what's got him worried. In an interrogation the person doing the interrogating should always feel in control. The fact that there does not seem to be an abundance of control…

The hacker reaches back and flicks his blade case open, slowly drawing it out as he eyes Nadia.

The beeping that one of Jemma's devices emitted early? That grows more insistent as the signal from Nadia's implant grows in strength. Looking at the device and the readings she's getting, Jemma's eyes widen "It's coming from her. Aspect, will … knocking her out stop them? I … can hit her with more EM Pulses, they seemed effective."

Amusement. That was all that dances around her expression now as she looks towards the three in proper order. She couldn't tell if May was confused, she didn't have a nose that was adept at sensing the change nor emotion within a person, and for that May was admired for her damned good poker face even though the threat was spoken yet.. not really.

Jericho's rush to security had her head shaking, her clawed hand lifting to extend a finger which was waved, a soft tsking noise drawing from pursed lips which sends the ring within her nose moving just a touch. Priorities. She signs. All wrong.

With a step down from the chair she casually moves from her spot, inching the chair a few inches to the left, the casual turn has her taking steps towards the door that keeps her inside, and them out. But who was safer?

Hands go to the window again to knock, hoping to gain Jemma's attention. And in that moment there was a look of sincerity that even Nadia didn't know she could possess.

R. U. N.

Was signed towards Jemma, even as she spoke. "For.. two minutes. You were kind. And when they have me. I will forget this kindness. So run. Get her out of here and run." Eyes soon cut towards May and Jericho as she looks up towards the ceiling, even now she could feel the tremors of the very, very large mechanism that penetrates the top of the building they were housed in.. and could imagine the screams and cries of those who witnessed it's terror.

They were here.

Melinda May doesn't hesitate. She's known Trent long enough now that when he says something like that he means it. She promptly turns toward the door, putting one hand to the tiny commlink in her ear and alerting the facility's security. Of course, it's too late. When the building shudders, she looks up at the ceiling, then calls into her comm urgently, "Evacuate everyone NOW! No, I don't CARE if you want to get your base commander's aproval. If you don't move right now, there will be casualities. Now MOVE."

Turning back to Jemma, she reaches to help get the biochemist clear. "My superiors will consider this an attack," she tells the woman again seemingly calmly. "They are likely to retaliate." In other words, you brought this on yourself.

Jericho considers several possibilities in an instant. The attackers could be here for the 084's. They could be here for Simmons or they could just hate SHIELD. But the most likely scenario since Miss Mercer here is transmitting is that they're here for her. Which means…

The hacker wolfs out. A large demonic blue werewolf made of light 'replaces' the man that was there a moment ago. And his blade comes out. "We've got to get clear. You're coming." She can't hear, it seems but he makes a grab at her arm anyway. Out the back enterence and into the open where at least he can fight without bringing down the underground bunker around them.

Run. The message was clear and Jemma's no fool. As May reaches for her, she's already moving although her devices are trying to lock onto that signal. If they can track it, they might be able to find the woman…

A look was shot to May as she begins to speak, her brows lowering again as she catches the words. Rushed as they are, Nadia knew what they meant and backed away from the door just to place her hands behind her back, remaining still. Debris in the form of salt trails fall from the ceiling within her room, some dusting upon her shoulder as she gives a little glance at the shadow of a movement and then back in time to see the door itself opening.

That pawed hand that reaches for her was immediately swiped at, claws seeking to rend only /slightly/ to get him to back away. Though, she thinks better. He was trying to.. rescue her? No. This wouldn't do. She needed to save them from the fist that was hammering down upon them as they stood. She grasps his wrist within that time, tugging him backward, her foot snatching back behind her with a pivot and sharp turn of her hips with the hopes to send him flying ahead of Agent May and Jemma all together. He was probably the only one who could get her out. But.. this was just fine in her book.

A clawed hand reaches up to offer up a slight wave as the mechanism jettisons down, slamming into the ground with a crack that causes Nadia to stumble, arms raised over her head as the roof itself begins to cave.

Melinda May hustles Jemma away from Nadia and presumably the epicenter of the ensuing chaos, though when Trent gets thrown past them she yanks the biochemist clear and shields her until she's sure there won't be other projectiles heading their way. And then they're out of the building and Simmons is directed to go meet up with the rest of the SHIELD facility evacuees. May herself stays behind to try and fend off whoever/whatever is attacking.

Jericho gets thrown into the wall just to the right of the security door which cracks and crumbles. Damn she's strong. And it's a good thing she's armored. The techwolf picks himself up angrily. He can't read Nadia's mind, doesn't know that she's trying to do him a favor. All he knows is that she's suddenly gone from reasonable to hostile.

So fine.

"Get clear, May!" He snarls as the facility rumbles again. Yeah they're under attack. But she may be in on it. So he lunges at her, blade whipping about with shocking speed for how large it's become.

"Oooof" Jemma lets out a breath as May hauls her against the wall and then jumps, a lot, as Jericho lands against the door. Directed to leave by May, the biochem hesitates just a moment and then starts to move, getting clipped by a falling piece of ceiling. Dazed, she stumbles in the direction she thinks she's been told to go.

Once she's reassured that Jemma is clear, May turns back to get Jericho out. "Trent, enough! The building's evacuated." Sadly, she feels that Zakura made her choice, so May is going to risk herself or Trent to get her out safely.

Nadia had no time to lose. With Jericho out of the way and hopefully into safety, she immediate turns to rush towards the oversized grappling hook that jammed itself into the ground. Her hand lifts instinctively, the display shown within the palm of her hand sees the blue wolf coming towards her, and with a sharp turn, she backs away just in time for the blade itself to not -saw- her in two, but it does leave a rather nasty cut down the middle of her chest.

Nearly from chest wall to navel, she bleeds healthily, that initial swipe giving room for her to reach out with a snap of her hand towards Jericho's throat. Wild eyes keep him pinned indefinitely as her opposite hand snaps to the wire and a kick given towards a levered switch at the bottom.

"Hubris." She intones towards Jericho, it was a warning. She couldn't save them. She couldn't save everyone. She couldn't even save herself because she lacked the facilities to try. And pretty soon, Jericho will know the horrors that she's faced. For the words that scroll upon her palm was..

One of us.

Melinda May ventures back into the building and toward the holding cell. "Trent!" She's got her sidearm in hand, though she's not at all confident that it'll do any good. It's worth a try, right? She approaches the holding cell cautiously though that only only partly because the ceiling looks to be on the verge of collapse.

Once again the tiny woman is unexpectedly strong. Jericho considers bring his blade back into play but then sees the words scrolling on her palm. With a mental flick he sends Maxwell off into the depths of the networks to send a message and signs to May and Jemma to get the hell out.

Then he shuts his field off, quite deliberately, and lets the woman choke him unconscious.

It's too quiet. May approaches what's left of the holding room and sees … nothing. They're gone, both Mercer AND Trent. Lowering her weapon, May can only look around and breathe out a particularly vile Mandarin curse. Rasputin is going to FLAY her alive if she finds out.

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