Tell Sstass....

April 05, 2016:

After his brush with the Daemonite, Sam awakens in SHIELD medical and … reveals some interesting knowledge.

The Triskelion - New York


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

After the incident at 'Lower Khera', Simmons had transferred Sam back to SHIELD medical and left Scientists she trusted to finish cleaning up the site. Strangely, none of the pieces that they collect will make it to The Triskelion, based on Jericho's advise, the biochem has a bait and switch in place.

May might have words for her - later. If Fury doesn't.

Sam is currently laid out on a bed, the suit removed and stacked appropriately in the corner. Jemma's hovering, as she has been for several hours, watching his vitals and the dreadfully strange but now familiar brainwave patterns.

She's just going to have to wait till he wakes.

Of course, given what he just went through, the instruction was given - keep the Avenger restrained until she's sure he's not a danger.

With her training, it's possible that Simmons picks up on the shift in Sam's biorhythms before he reaches consciousness. Regardless, as soon as he wakes, the man tries to reach up and rub at his forehead, only for the bed's bindings to frustrate that attempt. "The hell…?" he mutters in a voice raspy with a solid 24 hours of disuse. His eyes flutter open and he looks around, uttering the hoariest of clichés: "Where am I?"

He attempts to sit up or shift in the bed, but again, he's tied down. He has just enough slack to spot Jemma, focusing on her with some difficulty and then continuing to stare as though offended. "Simmons? Seriously: What. The. Hell." His head jerks toward his dominant hand, restrained by a leather cuff. He quickly regrets the gesture, as subjecting his gray matter to even that tiny sliver of a G-force sets the world spinning, and sinks back down onto the pillow. "Owwwwww."

"Easy there Sam." Jericho's voice comes from somewhere off to his left. He'd actually just been here by chance, checking up on other things and came in to see how Sam was doing. The flyer has been an off and on contact for some time and a pretty good friend too. He was worried. What? Just because he lives in a hell realm doesn't mean he can't be worried.

"Someone tried to melt your brain, I think. Bound to make things a bit wobbly. Also you were spasing a bit when we brought you in. Ripping out the IV's. Had to tie you down."

"Oh, thank goodness." Jemma breathes as Sam wakes, moving to the side of the bed so he can see. As he tests the restraints, she winces. "Med Bay in The Triskelion. Easy, Sam." she murmurs, placing a hand on his head as she eyes the monitors.

Passing Jericho a look, the biochem watches the brain waves. The overlay is still there. The extra theta waves that they've come to recognise as possession. What they're not seeing and need to find out is whether Sam is affected or whether this something new to consider.

"Do you think you can sit up?" She's concerned and he can tell it. Hell anyone around her can… the one thing that Jemma doesn't do well is lie and she's not trying to hide her worry. "The Daemonite… it did something to something to you."

Opening his eyes and leaning forward again, more cautiously this time, Sam gives his arms a check and says, "No bruises on my wrists, no track marks from yanked-out needles." He narrows his eyes at Jericho and adds, "I'm not that out of it, Trent. What's really going on?" Suddenly, his eyes widen as a memory looms out of his mental fog: "Oh, Jesus, the lizard thing." He turns to Simmons. "You think I've been body-snatched." He sighs and tries to sit up, but there's a belt across his chest preventing him from doing more than leaning in a vaguely upward direction. "Come on, guys. Do I look Bagalian to you?"

Jericho snorts. Well he caught it. "I think he's okay Doctor." The hacker says to Simmons.

"Not Body snatched so much as brain melted, Sam. But you're sounding okay." He's still here which hopefully means if Sam goes homicidal he can do something about it. He's fairly sure he won't though.

"How do you feel, headache aside?"

Jemma casts another wary look at Jericho. She didn't like the last time one of those got loose in her lab. It had nearly turned her and Mays brain to mush as it escaped.

Loosening the restraints, one of the other medics moves to help Sam sit up and adjust the bed. "No, not body snatched, Sam. Well… ok, yes, that was a concern. But that Daemonite has certainly been in your brain."

The theta waves … just aren't changing. There are definitely signals there. The stronger, more visible one, Sams. The other that looks more like an artifact except… the SHIELD equipment is too good for that.

She'll let him answer Jericho's question first before … well anything.

"I feel — gunky," Sam says to the ceiling, letting the medics have their way with the restraints that bind him to one of SHIELD's sturdy hospital beds. "Like someone turned me upside down and dunked my head in the Hudson overnight and now my brain is full of sludge." A couple of medics under Agent Simmons' direction adjust the bed to let Sam sit up without releasing him, and judging by his wry expression, that distinction doesn't go unnoticed.

"So, yeah, the little bastard went for my brain," he agrees, glancing at Jericho Trent while Simmons is studying his brain patterns on the other side of the bed. Sam winces as he thinks back to the experience — running over it in his mind is like staring directly at a bright light. "I think he sort of… dumped off a pile of stuff. Thoughts and memories and information, in no real order. Like he was trying to say a lot too quickly."

"Sounds like a hacking attempt honestly. DOS. Dump so much info on a server that it just crashes." Telepathics is not hacking but if the similarities are more than just 'skin deep' then what was done to Sam is more than a little bit chilling. "Do you remember any of it? What it dumped on you that is." The bastard is still alive too. SHIELD has him on quite literal ice. Jericho had objected but not too strenuously.

Jemma watches the monitors as Sam speaks, noting miniscule changes in the theta waves "That might explain the overlay brain waves. I don't suppose it's too dissimilar to how they control their 'minions' or hosts" Brushing a strand of hair behind her ear she motions for the techs to remove the restraints. Jericho had said it would be alright, didn't he?

"Hacking attempt or Data Transfer." she agrees nearly absently "Anything at all, Sam. It might give us insight into what I'm seeing here."

Jemma, Jericho and Sam are in the SHIELD MedLab, Sams currently sitting in a bed, restrained. One of the monitors is showing his brainwaves and for the trained eye, there are two theta patterns being displayed.

Melinda May arrives while Jericho and Jemma are discussing recents events with Sam, who is sittign up in a bed but still restrained. She'd have been here sooner, but she had to stop and report to Fury and then decided to bring reinforcements along in the form of a tall witch who perfers to go by the name Rain, and an orange tabby feline wearing an MiB worth suit. And to make sure that the doctors in Medical don't protest, May is carrying said cat tucked under one arm.

Captain is indeed under May's arm, nametag, suit and all. His tail is in a contented ? shape, and he looks alert. He seems to respect May, so the sass is duly stowed. She's one of the few humans he doesn't really sass. Notable, that. Rain is tagging along quietly, a tall, lanky shadow. Not ominous, aside from her eye color and looking like she busted out of engineering club. She lifts a hand in greeting, politely.

Sam winces again. "I… think so?" he ventures. "The moment it happened is kind of" — he grimaces as he searches for a word — "burned, I guess. Hard to think back to. So I can't — I don't know what was new right then, if that makes any sense." He trails off as the med techs start untying the straps holding him down. May and Rain enter, but he doesn't meet their eyes, embarrassed at being trussed up like a mental patient. Once freed, he starts to rub his newly bare wrists, and pointedly says, "Thank you. You wanna tie up an undercover daemonite, go to Slokovia and get yourself one. Leave me out of it."

Jericho chuckles and leans back on the nearby counter. "Awww Sam, let Jemma experiment. She's new to this." Yes, yes that was phrased like that deliberately.

"It's interesting that it would have deliberately tried to prevent you from knowing what was new and what wasn't… or, well, I'm going to assume that was deliberate. Can you recall anything clear? Anything that seems out of place now that you think about it? Or is it all kind of muddled."

The hacker looks up and his eyes glint. "May. Rain. Captain."

Jemma blushes as Jericho makes his quip and casts the hacker a dirty look. No fun picking on the scientist who's known to blush, particularly with that type of phrasing.

"I'm sorry, Sam. We couldn't be sure." It's not really a great excuse, but there's been enough bad things happen and they've still little information on the Daemonites.

Still faintly blushing as three new arrivals come in, Jemma offers a faint smile "Agent May, Rain, Captain. Just in time, Sams not been awake long."

"That's still some ability though, being able to implant memories and mix them up like that." Jemma can't help but wonder that they hoped to achieve.

Melinda May nods a greeting to Jemma and Jericho and Sam, setting the cat on the foot of the formerly retrained man's bed gently but with an air of, 'one person so much as opens their mouth to protest…' "So no progress yet." She steps back out of Jemma's way. "Rain, have you ever tried to facilitate a clear recall of jumbled memories?" She knows the likelyhood is probably slim, but if the witch is willing to try, she's willing to authorize it.

Rain is totally oblivious to the teasing. "Hello there," Rain greets the hacker and the others. "Um." There's Sam, and she looks puzzled. Captain makes his way over to Sam, to sneef with a freckled pink nose a-wiggle. New person! Probably in need of animal cuddles, yes? Or at least willing to offer tribute pets. For such is the right of the feline overlord. And besides, there's toebeans and orange stripes a-go-go.

Rain looks curious. "I - haven't, but I mean. I guess I could try. I saw Doctor Strange do it once," She taps her chin. "And magic is totally cheating sometimes, so …" She takes a deep breath. "Just - you have some sort of backup?"

The joke that so flusters Jemma passes right by Sam without registering. Give the poor guy a break; he's still out of it. Freed from his restraints, he does regain the basic courtesy to give the newcomers a wave of greeting. (Although he does stare at the besuited cat for a second, before shaking away the inexplicable sight and giving him a scritch between the ears.)

"Not exactly filling me with confidence, here, lady," he says to Rain with a wry half-smile. "Please no magicking my brain if you aren't really sure it's safe. Or at least until we've tried safer options." He frowns, then struggles to explain to Jericho and May, "It's not jumbled, so much as — I know what I know, but it's all just sort of… integrated, now. None of it seems out of place anymore, it's just knowledge. Maybe if you asked me specific questions?" He shrugs, at a loss. "Sort of a '20 questions: secret daemonite invasion version.' I mean, this is a SHIELD facility, but as long as the answers don't get back to DivDirector Howitzer, we should be…"

He trails off, staring into space, then reaches up and pinches the bridge of his nose. "Wait. Remind me why we haven't arrested Howitzer yet." The woman he's referring to heads up the SHIELD Logistics Division.

Jericho quirks an eyebrow and glances at the medics and then to May. "Clear the room." He says flatly. It's not that he doesn't trust the medics but… er… yes it is.

Not that Jericho has the authority to order SHIELD personnel around but he knows May and Jemma know how serious this is and what's at stake and he's sure one of them will back him up. Once one of them does and the room's clear of all but the WAND personnel, Sam and Jemma he looks back to the recently brain melted medic.

"What's that about the director of the Logistics division?"

Jemma does though and at Sams words she blinks and gestures all the medics and attendant staff to leave. That will leave the room to just the six of them. She knows what Sam is implying.

"Logistics was one of the Divisions that had been mentioned, May." Clint had given them places to look. Jemmas been checking SciTech and the Academy, the other divisions, they've yet to get to.

Melinda May follows the medics et al to the door to make sure they all leave and to close the door after them. When she turns back, she's holding a small, USB stick sized device in one hand. She presses on the device, and the light on the end goes from green to red. "Any surveillance in this room is jammed, but it won't last. Either SHIELD's systems will compensate, or security will show up. We have three minutes, tops." She walks back and sets the device in front of Captain. "Wilson, tell me everything you can think of about Division Director Howitzer, even if it seems insignificant."

"Thanks man," Captain mrrprprs. He digs being pet and now loops about Sam's hand. He's a good, hardworking morale officer!

Rain pauses. "Call me Rain. And it is generally safe. I'm just an electrical engineer and prefer to always have safeguards. That's all. It would be simply divination on a level unlike the usual." Then she settles quiet. "Worst case scenario, I can cheat after the 3 minutes… anyway." Rain goes quiet to listen.

"Howitzer's a daemonite," Sam says, using the wary tone of voice reserved for informing people of the stupefyingly obvious. If asked what year it was, or whether summer was warmer than winter, or which member of the Supremes had the most illustrious solo career, this is how Sam would have answered. He's so distracted by everyone's apparent interest in this entry-level trivia, he doesn't even seem to notice that the suit-cat is talking. "Um. Her division's peppered with moles, and they've got a few isolated agents elsewhere, but she's the highest ranking they've got in SHIELD, right?" He stops and laughs, appending, "I mean, it's not like you're Bagalia. Not even as bad off as Slokovia."

"Sam…" Jericho says very carefully. "Howitzer has been in charge of routing supplies and sensitive recovered artifacts for years. Her entire division is rotten? Anyo ther SHIELD noteables we need to know about who are possessed?" Or are a daemonites. Shapeshifting, psychic, possessing aliens. These have to be absolutely the worst. Even worse than dealing with things in Limbo where at least you can be confident that everything is bad on some level.

"Bagalia and Slokovia…. oh god. You mean they've taken over there?" Jericho knew they were trying to infiltrate governments and corporations but to hear that they've succeeded in taking over entire countries (even small, crappy ones)…

And now it becomes clear to Jemma. Why Sam had mentioned Slokovia and capturing a Daemonite. She had thought it was an after effect of the attack, even a manner of speech. "No…." she breathes and looks to May and then Rain. Two small countries had been taken over "How on earth do you … clean that up?"

Jericho's asking the right questions and the biochem is just getting paler and paler. She won't say it couldn't get worse. It totally could, but she's hard press to see how.

Melinda May simply stands back and listens, her arms crossed. What she didn't tell the others is that that device also records. She has every intention of taking everything they say directly to Fury. He needs to decide what to do about Howitzer, after all.

Rain and Captain play audience, too. Captain is just going to lean/sit on Sam.

"Well, I mean…" Sam trails off, squinting. "Obviously, you go for Logistics. Everybody needs stuff, so those guys have their fingers in everything. It's the perfect place to start. Even better, any Red Mercury that gets to SHIELD goes through Logistics. Serendipitous, right?" He grins broadly.

No one else seems amused, so the expression falters as he awkwardly continues, "They started a couple of months ago, replacing a few low-level operatives, but there was an opportunity to get to Howitzer back in late January and they took it. I wouldn't say the whole division is in hand, but she's been systematically bringing it under control ever since."

He glances over at Simmons, and says, "Well, yeah, Bagalia's basically gone. But Slokovia's opposition party is mostly clean. I mean, you didn't think Yuri poisoned himself, did you?" Again, a joke that no one else seems to find funny. Sam lapses into uncomfortable silence.

Red Mercury. Jericho's never heard of the stuff. He glances over to Rain, May and Simmons to see if it's anything they know of. Secrets are nothing new to him and there's a lot that passes by him. He tends to be very focused in his information hunting. Deep, more than broad. "Might have to get someone we can trust over to Slokovia and make sure it doesn't get worse. Simmons, you were working on a detector weren't you? Tell me you're almost done with it."

"Wait, Sam. Red what?" Jemma squints at the Flyer on the bed. "Red Mercury? That's a joke. It doesn't exist. It's a hoax." Can she say that in any more ways? "So there can—-" Jemma rubs her head. "Someone wrote a paper about it, a few years ago. Turned out the researcher had lied. The substance just does not exist."

She really wants to say there can't be any Red Mercury but there's that substance she's found in the latest 084, Thomas' backbone and Psyborg equipment… which matches with something called… she looks to Jericho, eyes wide and then May and then Rain "Compound R… the unknown substance in the latest 084 and that place back there was riddled with traces of it."

Melinda May nods at that. "Sounds like you found the official name for Compound R." She glances at a clock. "One minute left. Wilson, are any of the other division heads compromised? Fury. Hill. Sitwell. Coulson. Any one."

"… well. They did play with a lot of mercury then, and an opportunity to make something AND troll the hell out of other countries…" Rain muses. Captain keeps circling Sam, being a comfort. "Interesting," She muses. Rain seems curious about it all. "An entire country…" Frown.

"Nah, the daemonites don't have their claws in those guys," Sam tells May. "Hell, they've got kind of a 'worthy opponent' respect thing for a couple of them." He smirks over at Simmons, shrugs, and says, "Hope you're right. If it doesn't exist, we're set: they won't be able to keep their portals stable and — eurgh." He pitches backward slowly, energy seeming to suddenly drain out of him as his hands go to his temples. "Twenty questions might have been… optimistic. Ten? Five? Feel like I need a week's sleep," he mumbles from the pillow. "Tell Sstass he's a dickhead and" — yawn — "next time I'm gonna spill disinfectant all over his cuts…"

From fully alert, it took less than thirty seconds: Wilson's out.

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