Adjusting The Belt

March 10, 2016:

After a bit of work, the power-inhibitor belt that's been created for Bobby needs final adjustment

The Triskelion - New York

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Jemma's been working on a solution to help Bobby control his power, in between other projects. Bobby had found somewhere she could work on the research but there's still some equipment that she needs to use in the Triskelion to calibrate the belt she's created.

Letting Bobby know that she's ready, the biochem can be found in her lab, making the final adjustments.

Security has been told to escort Bobby through, when he arrives.


It's actually the Nest. Unfortunately it's not like the Nest has a super secret lab. But it does have a lot of property and power off the grid and an isolated workshop can be built fairly easily, which is what has happened. The catch was while doing the work… no security detail. Well, trade of security details. The Nesters will certainly defend any friend of Bobby's.

When the call comes though it's from the Tri even though none of the research and fabrication were done there. It's coming none too soon either since the ice nerd is starting to feel abnormally chilled again.

Bobby slides through the door and shuts it behind him. "Hey Jemma. Got your call."


The trade in security detail had taken some convincing - Jemma's guards were a little grumbly. Not that she could blame them, but she also understands that the Nesters were helping her out and she'd made her guards wait on the perimeter of the property.

Today though, Matthews and Jefferies are back on duty … Matthews in good spirits because Jemma landed a punch on Audrey earlier.

"Hello Bobby. I think it's ready. I needed to calibrate it and this is the only machine that could do it." She gestures to one of the pieces of equipment as she speaks "Want to try it on and test it?"


"Sure." Bobby leans over to look at… it looks like a belt. There's a small machine that might be a computer on it and that's about as far as the ice nerd gets. He's got no idea what else it may or may not do and he doesn't want to ask with the other two guards in the room. "Keyed to only me right? How will we know if it's working?"


It does look like a belt with a stylised X on the buckle. When Jemma had it fabricated, she considered when he would want to use it… so she designed with everyday and 'business' use in mind.

As to how it works, it's a rather bio-tech explanation about taking samples, testing them and adjusting the chemical concoction that it delivers.

"Well, I can make the settings a little stronger and see if inhibits your abilities totally for testing, then adjust them back down." She'll also be able to monitor his readings herself.

"Yes, it's keyed to your DNA. If there isn't a match, it simply won't operate."

As Bobby puts the belt on, he should be able to feel his powers being inhibited.


Bobby nods. They can discuss what exactly the nature of the failsafe is. He wants this thing to be useless to anyone who wants to deprive a mutant of his or her powers and to destroy itself before anyone really has a chance to try to figure it out in the event he loses it but it does need to work for him or he may as well resign himself to semi-exile.

"Okay well…" Bobby puts the belt on. Hey, she even got his measurements. Nice to see those workouts are paying off. "So should I be aware of anything in particular?"


"A mild sensation I'd imagine as the belt samples your level and then delivers the inhibitor." Jemma looks over as her own machine begins to deliver results… it takes a few moments for the first computation and then the others flow a little more easily.

"Tell me if you can feel your power and whether you can use it."


Bobby closes his eyes and his hand starts to ice up. "Yeah they're there… they're a bit… dull. Sort of like my hand's been asleep for a while. Maybe a bit…" Jemma's machines pick up a spike in Bobby's powers. His powers are fluxing again. The machine is compensating but it could be fine tuned up a little bit.


Which is why Jemma wanted him here, when she did this. "There… " she murmurs as the readings spike and she taps on the keys of the keyboard. "Dull… mmm." A little more adjustment - poor Bobby is going to feel like he's been through the wringer at the moment, until they get this fine tuning completed.

"How often have you noticed your power fluxing?" Oh, is that another spike just beginning?


"Too often, and there's probably a bunch of small ones I don't notice. It's just…" The newly 'fixed' ice nerd shakes his head. He's gonna have to wear this thing in bed too to prevent from blowing out his apartment and all the ones next to it, but it's better than the alternatives by a long shot.

"Come on, let me get you a latte. Least I can do after everything you've done." Bobby heads out, taking Jemma and her security detail with him. The streets around the Triskelion have a lot of small cafes and restaurants that cater to the large counterintelligence agency and its various administrative workers. Not everything with SHIELD is spy hijinks and high stakes missions.

Bobby's phone goes off and he pulls it out and looks at it, chuckling. "That's Wanda. I think she's trying to find me." His thumb slides over the on screen keyboard.

You're working it fine right now. I'm near the Triskelion at the Grindhouse a couple blocks up.


"So I'm seeing." Jemma grimaces at the readings before lifting a shoulder. "That's done, Bobby. But I'll want to see you again." What? For a check up - no, that sounds just as bad - to check that the belt is still working and damaging him.

"Coffee sounds great." Matthews and Jefferies just roll their eyes as their biochem blushes a little and follow the pair out of the building.


Wanda is soon wandering down the street holding her phone up as if it will direct her to where Bobby is. With a scowl she shoves it in her pocket and tries a different way. Her eyes close as if she is trying to hear something, concentrating on a sound that no one else can hear, and then her eyes are wide open again and she's walking right for the correct cafe. Oh…and it's called 'Grindhouse'. That makes sense.

Wanda is dressed in jeans and a white blouse - though there is a scarlet coat over it all. "Hey, Bobby" she grins before eying off Matthews and Jeffries for a moment. "Oh…you're…um…" This is for Jemma's benefit. "Bobby made you sick after I made Bobby sick. You were his girlfriend. Oh, are you still his girlfriend? Is this a date?" Another look at the two bodyguards.


Bobby glances over to Jemma and then back to Wanda. Ah, yes. That's right. "No, Wanda, she's not my girlfriend. I've been… sick? My powers have been a bit out of control. Jemma's been helping me find a way control them so that I dont' wind up snap freezing an entire residential block." He gestures to the counter. "You two want something to drink?"


Jemma blushes even more at Wanda's questions. "Uh, Jemma…" that's her name, it seems that Wanda had forgotten. "… nothisgirlfriend…." the words all sort of run together.

Matthews snorts and covers his mouth to hide the chuckle. The two body guards find a table where they can keep eye on the woman.

"A cup of tea, english breakfast, please Bobby." the blush slowly fading "It's nice to meet you again, Wanda."


"Not a girlfriend?" Wanda glances between the pair before shrugging it off. She still hasn't got this relationship thing down. "That was one of the things I wanted to talk to you about, Bobby. This running away because you are worried you would hurt people…it…well…it hurts people. Brinley ran away too. It does not make me feel very good. Why do you think I cannot help you or that I want either of you to run away?"

At least it is only mild aggravation on her face as Wanda sits at the table. "I'll have an iced chocolate please. No…caramel thickshake." She offers a warm smile to Jemma. "Is he fixed? At least he comes to you for help."


"I'm sorry Wanda." Bobby does sound contrite. "But I did also snap freeze a cabin. If there'd been people nearby they'd have been killed. I think I should be okay to be back regularly now." The ice nerd glances over to Jemma. Wanda's had it hard with people leaving. Everyone from her brother to… er, well everyone. Stability is important to the scarlet clad mutant and he gets it.

But again, snap freeze. He's killed people with them before accidentlly. Well, Jamie dupes. Jamie dupes are people too right?


"We're … " Jemma looks to Bobby "… friends." They are friends right? Maybe it had been more for a very short while, until the dark magic that infected her was removed.

"He's stable." She won't say fixed. Bobbys mutation, like many mutants, is unstable and he's going through an evolutionary process. "I'll need him to check in regularly so I monitor it."

For the moment, the biochem won't say anything about leaving and hurting people. She knows Wanda has had it tough.


"And you didn't think I could help you with that?" Wanda asks Bobby. She would like to stay mad but he did apologise so she can't keep it up. "There are things I could do…I think. Or I could do before they took my power away. Though I guess it was their power, not mine so is it really taking it away?"

A frown for Jemma. "He will be sick forever? That is not good…" Wanda looks over at Bobby, deep in thought for a moment, probably considering options that would seem rather extreme for most. "Will he get bad again?"


"I didn't think of it, honestly, Wanda. Just thought of a Doctor first." Which Jemma is, biochemistry being her specialty. "I'd appreciate it if you'd help me keep an eye on it, though. I can't tell how bad it may or may not get." And if it overwhelms the machine he's certainly going to need the help.

Drinks are ordered pretty quickly and Bobby ushers them all to a table. Whether or not he will get bad again he can't say but he doesn't think this is over by a long shot.


For all that Bobby's mutation can be dangerous, Jemma is sure they won't be able to stop it forever. All the readings she has suggests it's going to keep happening. Now, it might and probably will, plateau out but he has to survive it first.

"He's not sick, Wanda." Jemma tries to explain "But what's happening is dangerous and needs to be monitored. The evolution could happen forever." In a way, Jemma's fascinated - Bobby's put a lot of trust in her and she's getting a first hand view into mutants - well, this mutant anyway.

Slipping into a seat, as Bobby ushers them back she shakes her head to Wanda "Bad? He may well experience a relapse …"


Wanda settles onto a chair and doesn't seem at peace with all this talk about Bobby exploding again one day. "I will keep an eye on you" she nods to the ice nerd, though her mind seems to be wandering. Probably thinking once more about those drastic solutions.

"What about that drug? The one that stopped our powers?" Wanda asks…though it actually gave her clarity and more power. "Could that be used to hold back Bobby's problem?"


"Smooth? Maybe, but I heard that it was mostly off the streets. Also I'd like to not be a drooling addict and I kind of need my powers to do my job." It's a little bit like taking, oh, near lethal doses of viccodin to dull the pain of a surgery. It'll work, but there are probably better ways to do the job.

Bobby's eyes narrow. "You don't know people still selling it do you?"


"Smooth?" Jemma's eyes widen in shock and horror. She did some basic analysis of that drug and it was all bad. "If I thought it would have worked, I would have used it. As it is, the solution we've come up with is tied to Bobby … it will only work for him." Bobby can explain why that's important.

Jemma has a nagging concern that the type of research she's doing can be subverted … and used against Mutants just as easily.


"No…I do not know anyone who still has Smooth" Wanda replies…and she does sound sad having to say that. It did her good! "It was just an idea but I am not a scientist or a doctor, I am just a gypsy witch so it is okay if it is a silly idea." Her fingers nervously tap the top of the table. "Why do you have guards, Jemma?"


"Wanda you're a very intelligent woman." Bobby says rather… firmly? She speaks ill of herself often and he doesn't know why. "It's just not a good solution for that." As to why Jemma has guards, er, well Jemma can field that one.


"It is always good to voice ideas and discuss them." Jemma meets Wanda's eyes and smiles a little. "Fitz and I used to argue about ideas for hours … but that's what gave us some of our best inventions."

The question about guards has Jemma glancing at the two who have her in their sights and sighs.

"Disaster magnet…." Jefferies coughs from his seat.

"I'm investigating a lot of things that have people interested. Interested enough to try and kidnap me." Several times, one at least was successful. "So I'm not allowed out on my own."

"What are you doing with yourself these days." She's not caught up with Bobby, except for his mutation, in awhile.


"Being kidnapped is not fun" Wanda nods, glancing over at the guards before looking back at Jemma. "You do not have powers, da? Do your guards?" She doesn't want to put fear in Jemma's mind but she doesn't seem that well protected for the world she moves in.

A shake of Wanda's head for Bobby. "Pietro is the smart one" she replies in her tone that will have no argument. "How am I doing?" Wanda is thrown if that question is for her. Not many people ask her that. "I am okay, thank you" she rote replies. "I am trying not to wander away as much as I used to. Hoping I can help more."


"We should talk about that actually…" Bobby need to catch up on Operation Extinction but there's a very real possibility that not having Wanda wander away is going to be necessary.

"Meantime, though, I'm going to get some coffee cake. I'll be back in a few."


"No, none of us are powered." Jemma and her guards are muggles. "But my detail are trained in combat and we've resources." Although with the current troubles besetting SHIELD, Jemmas been relying more on outside resources.

Watching as Bobby leaves the table, she turns to the other woman "Thank you for agreeing to watch him."


"I have spent a lot of time watching Bobby" Wanda replies with a blush, "So I think I can do it for a bit longer. It would have been nice if he'd like me watching him but…" A shrug. Even a 'possessed' Jemma has got further than Wanda did. "Resources are no good if they take too long to get where they are needed."


Jemma blushes too. She's looked at the Ice Nerd more than once … but that's water under the bridge.

"That's true, about the resources. But powers can be overcome with some thought." It is possibly that Wanda has no idea how scared Jemma is, all the time. Never knowing when something might grab her. "Or, you know, you could disappear down a portal and not remember what happened … "


"Be careful with portals" Wanda notes softly. "You never know where they will go…or if you can get back. I suppose I should go" she sighs - at least she got her thickshake. She starts to rise before leaning over to whisper in Jemma's ear. "What if we took away his mutation? Completely. Forever."


Yeah, Jemma knows about that. Gone a few minutes in this world, but seemingly she and Thomas had been gone for months. If only they could remember. Well, at least they're starting too now.

"That's … not a decision either of us can make." Jemma's eyes are as big as saucers! "If you think you can do it, you should speak to him about it…. " please, oh please, don't do it without his permission.


"It's just a thought" Wanda shrugs, "Just an idea that might help…or not." She offers a faint smile to Jemma before slipping away. A quick fingerwave for Bobby and then she is gone.

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