Meanwhile, At The Academy (Backdated Scene)

April 12, 2016:

Peggy and Jemma investigate the Particle Acelerator they found and … sabotage it. (emits by Aspect)

SHIELD Academy


NPCs: Clara, Nestor



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Follow on scene from A Trip Back To The Alma Mater

Whether or not Peggy Carter has ever seen a Particle Accelerator is a good question. Certainly they weren't exactly a thing on the Earth she recently vacated though she has had some time to catch up. They also don't look like much being for the most part giant circular tunnels in the ground and while this one has something of a 'window' into it, it still just looks like a portion of a giant tunnel.

It does kick any notion of this being a lab for the school quite firmly in the nethers though. SHIELD has a lot of money, yes, and they have access to some very, very high tech equipment, yes, and they spare no expense to make sure that the people coming out of the Sci-Tech academy are the cream of the crop but they don't exactly have a few billion laying around to build a cyclotron that's going to be used by students even if the students in question are all Ph.D's. The other lie they've recently been told that is immediately destroyed by this room is the notion that it's not done yet. This room is quite operational and looks to have been used already. Which opens up a number of other questions like who knew about it and Clara - their recently departed host - lying or has she been duped as well? And what of the Doctor Nestor who is supposed to head up the 'department' in charge of this 'lab'? Is she in on this? What about the Academy's commander?

One thing's for sure, Clara is allegedly waiting for them in classroom 1024 with Doctor Nestor so whatever they're going to do with this place and it's wealth of computers and lab equipment, they'd better do it fast.

As Peggy enters the room, she looks about them. She's been here for long enough to recognize incredibly complex equipment when she comes across it. However, she does not recognize a Particle Accelerator for what it is on first glance. Instead, she looks to Simmons. This is what she is here for. "What is this?" she asks the scientist with wonder, worry and curiosity. She is easily able to infuse all those emotions into one question.

While their chaperone and tour guide is waiting for them, she figures they can waste a little time in figuring out what is going on here and what it means. "This is, this is not at all what was said to be here. It's not under construction at all." She may not be a scientist, but she can recognize that. She looks to Simmons. We need to figure out what this room is here for and why they wisht o hide it.

Jemma is speechless. She just stares at the Particle Accelerator before starting to babble "Oh, this is not good, this is so not good." as she fumbles in her bag, shoving her phone at Peggy "Please, Agent Carter, start taking photo's and I'll explain."

Out comes a data spike from her bag and she walks over to the computers "We need to download as much data as we can, without tripping security." A big ask, surely? She could really use a demontainted hacker right now.

"It's a Particle Accelerator. Designed to… " she breaks off, now is not the time for a high energy physics lessons "Let's just say that it's a really big energy source."

The computers are very advanced. Which makes sense, anything that pertains to research on this scale would have to be but when Jemma plugs in the data spike it immediately starts to struggle. Which is a red flag. That spike is made to allow non technical agents to quickly compromise most computer systems. The fact that it's chugging means this one is unique on either the hardware or software level and honestly… that just shouldn't be necessary.

Unless someone was starting from, as it were, a different starting point.

The moment Jemma plugs in, though, one of the screens near Peggy flashes to life. It's a data log entry.

'March 14th. We have received new directives from Higher to accelerate research. New breakthroughs on one of the more technically advanced forces on planet have yielded a suitable power source that is to be integrated into figure efforts. This source has not been previously encountered and is of incalculable potential. Promising students at the Academy are to be taken in and 'introduced' to our mission. We'll start with the top ten percent and go from there. The process is estimated to take three to four weeks to do right. With the faculty either subverted or sidelined, no one should noticed. Meanwhile our testing here proceeds apace.'

While Peggy may be originally from the past, she does carry a smartphone now. Plucking it from her pocket, she starts to take pictures of their surroundings, only stopping when a sudden new screen starts to flicker. She clicks a few more photos before moving forward. She takes a picture of this screen for good measure, too. “I have seen my fair share of scientists who have made incredible power sources.” Tony Stark’s arc reactor is one. Howard’s own scientific endeavors are another. “I’m not scientifically inept, Doctor Simmons. I worked with the Strategic Scientific Reserve for many years. Science was in the name. This is meant to be a source of energy, then? I’m assuming by accelerating particles, if the name is at all accurate.”

Her attention is then overtaken by the data log entry. Immediately, her brow furrows as she explains for Jemma. “This data log entry. It makes it sound like they are brainwashing the students here to bring them under the fold. It seems as if no one is exempt - the teachers have also been either taken under the cause or pushed to the side. This seems to be their main focus.” Reaching forward, she tries to see if there are more entries.

"Yes, Agent Carter. By speeding particles and colliding them, essentially causing them to explode." Jemma frowns as the data spike struggles. "This system is using some very advanced security. These spikes are state of the art. That it's struggling to compromise the computer and access the data …" The biochem looks up when Peggy mentions brainwashing. "What do you …."

Reading the entry herself, Jemma pales. "Not brainwashing, Agent Carter." Her voice might even shake a little "Possession. Daemonites… will possess these students. Remember when I said we thought SHIELD had been compromised but didn't know who?" Taking a moment to breath slowly and compose herself "Given project Longbow was compromised by them, it's a logical assumption that they've got here too."

And if that's the case, the two women need to get moving. Jemma glances at the data spike, willing it to move faster, even as she sends out a text message to Jericho. If things go south, they might need a quick trip out of here. She … just hopes not.

"We need to disable this, or something." Perhaps sabotage it somehow so it fails at an inconvenient moment.

Jemma will know that particle accelerators generally drink energy to the tune of gigawatts if not petawatts. What they might need one like this for…

Peggy’s searching yields a mass of technical data for several entries that probably required a few double doctorates to produce. Going back to six weeks ago, however, there’s an entry that appears to be partly corrupted. On the surface it’s simply a log entry from Doctor Nestor musing about the future of this lab and the work being done here. There’s something under it though. It’s like two files have been transposed and even on the screen Peggy can pick out the beginnings of a pattern in the jumble of machine code symbols that usually make up a body of text when a word processor doesn’t really know what it’s looking at. It’s incomplete though, or rather what peggy can see is incomplete.

As for disabling this? It’s going to drink power, turning off the lights will at least delay it. While the particle accelerator itself would require explosives to dismantle, the electromagnets that drive it, and the delicate observation equipment are probably easier to dispose of and no less difficult or expensive to replace.


Peggy continually takes pictures of every screen. It’s helpful for later and will hopefully serve as some form of proof. “The Daemonites are behind everything?” While she thought the information given to her by Jemma to be two separate cases, it seems as if it’s truly just the one. The woman frowns at the information. This is getting rather deep into the system.” That’s a bit of an understatement from the agent.

“You would know best on how to disable it,” she tells Jemma, glancing over her shoulder. While she can understand the basic scientific terms, that doesn’t mean she actually knows much about how to stop them other than either shooting at it or completely shutting down its power. “If there was a way to overload the grid, I would suggest that, but it seems that is out of my capabilities and into yours.” She pauses, eyes dragged back to the screen. “There seems to be a code here.” As a code breaker, it’s one of the things she’s used to picking out. Quickly, she starts to try and pry it apart.

"So it seems, Agent Carter. Well, at least behind this. They've infiltrated a number of SHIELD projects around Portal technology." She knows what they need the Particle Accelerator for "That they've built this … likely means they want to a big portal across a relatively large distance." After Project Longbow, the biochem really feels like she's in the cast of a popular sci-fi show.

Glaring at the data spike, Jemma takes a moment to think before moving quickly. Removing panels, thankfully she carries a small toolkit with her, lenses, magnets, the more expensive and easier to remove parts are taken out. It would be slow work if she was trying to save the machine, but she's not … so it progresses rather quickly. Of course, the parts are coming with her.

"When you're done there, Agent Carter. I'll overload the power supply." Jemma can see the switchboard in the corner of the room. Fortunately she bought some of the Black Widows shocker discs. Although making sure the overload is sufficient to cause a meltdown, will take just a moment's work.

Getting the ‘text’ of the file is the first part of the problem. It’s nothing ‘readable’ per se. It’s just a jumble of symbols comprehensible only to some kind of parser. But there is a pattern and it doesn’t take Peggy long to decipher it since it is after one that she is in this time almost uniquely familiar with: It’s Morse Code. Three groupings of three letters. SOS SOS SOS, and then 41 06 N 72 07 W. Not very specific but definitely the kind of thing that strikes Peggy as the sort of message one might send if one were afraid of it being read by unfriendly eyes.

Things are starting to shut down in the room as Jemma sabotages components. They’ve been here for nearly five minutes now. The data spike beeps, though whatever it’s found may be moot. Either way, they should clear out quickly… are those footsteps echoing from the doorway?

“That certainly doesn’t sound like something we’d like to allow,” Peggy replies dryly with just a tad bit of understatement there. “Just a moment. Almost got it.” It’s not exactly cracking the enigma code, but the system is unfamiliar to her. Luckily, she still has codebreaker tricks up her sleeve and she’s able to decipher what she can of it. She’s quick to take a picture as well as commit the symbols and numbers to memory.

“I believe these are coordinates,” she tells Jemma quickly. “It seems to be an SOS of sorts.” Something for them to check out more of later. “Alright, I believe that may be all I can find of these files. I’ve got quite a bit documented. I believe we have a tour to resume.” Slipping her phone into her pocket, she moves forward to gather Simmons up and have them be on their way. The footsteps echoing from the doorway cause her to pause. “Hide, Doctor Simmons, quickly. Near to the door if you can.”

That the contents on the spike might not be usable is a chance that Jemma has to take. They don't have much time and stopping this thing working is her prime focus. Well, that and not getting caught.

Looking up at the message as she moves towards the powerboard, she frowns a little and nods. "I agree. Do you have the maps app on your phone? Plug them in and see what might be there." Pulling the door to the powerboard open, the biochem stares at it for a moment. "I really wish Fitz was here…" That's not the first time she's said that, though she's saying it less and less, these days. "… let me see…"

It takes a moment to put the shocker discs in place. Positioned for the biggest fireworks she can manage. Peggy's last words have her eyes widening and she moves… quickly. Towards the door, to try and hide. She doesn't try to draw her weapon from her bag … yet.

The two women barely have time to be hidden, and yes, near the door, when two others walk in, one being Clara from before and the other being a short, slender woman with dark hair and a sensible skirt/blouse/boots combination that still manages to look fashionable. “You don’t think they came in here do you?” The former says to the latter.

“No not really. It’s locked.” Doctor Nestor responds as they halt on the landing that overlooks the whole room from the faux under construction entrance. “But I like it here. The power thrumming through the accelerator. Almost soothing.”

“Someone’s waxing poetic.” Clara chuckles. “It’s a pity we couldn’t show them.”

“Someone might have noticed. Let’s get our house in order before ordering theirs. Now come on. Goodness knows where those two have gotten off to. Hopefully Doctor Simmons is just having a deja vu moment by the fountain or something.”

The voices retreat, leaving Peggy and Jemma in the clear. Close call.

If the two were wondering if Clara was involved in this backroom fiasco, they now have their answer. Peggy presses herself up against a pillar out of sight of the doorway, waiting out the two interlopers. A limbs tense, ready to spring forward into action should they spot them or attempt to raise an alarm. However, they manage to make it through scot free.

“You can always tell bad guys from their love of power trips,” she sighs. “Come on, we should get out of here and go find that fountain they were discussing. Think of the end of a story to tell me to make it seem like you got caught up in something from your old school days. That should buy us some time.” She moves to the door, quick to usher Jemma through when she’s ready.

Only when they’re outside does she take out her phone again and put in the coordinates from the SOS to see where it might lead.

Jemma trembles a little as Clara and Nestor enter, holding her breath until the pair leave, she happily lets Peggy guide her out. The discs in the powerboard will detonate in about half an hour.

Blinking at Peggy, the biochem stutters as she leads them towards the fountain. She remembers that well. "Oh, ok…" She is really such a bad field agent! "What are we going to do about those two? I think we should leave them, don't let them know we we've found them out." Better the devil they know, right?

Still, by the time the make the fountain, she'll be yammering about a certain tech expert and an misadventure with that very same fountain.

Peggy will find the coordinates are located in Gardiners Island, New York. Not really a long way away.

Not long after the two SHIELD agents make the fountain, Clara and Nestor arrive. "There you are, Doctor Simmons, Agent Carter." Clara exclaims, whilst Nestor chuckles "See, I told you."

There's still a few minutes till Jemma's jury rigged device will go off. Perhaps it's better the two women be away?

Seeing that Jemma is a bit at a loss for words, Peggy smiles at her warmly. “You did very well in there, Doctor Simmons. And we’ve also found some very valuable if also disturbing information.” She sighs, the smile turning into a far more serious expression. “You were right in not trusting most of SHIELD. Who knows who might be infected from what that woman was saying. They wished to attempt to turn us into their puppets.” Something her voice shows extreme distaste at the very idea. “And, thankfully, now we have another lead on a location.”

However, once at the fountain, her pleasant mask is in place and she puts the phone up to her ear, only lowering it again when she notices Clara and Nestor arriving. “Forgive us,” she smiles pleasantly, all charm now. “Doctor Simmons saw this fountain and it reminded her of her schooling days.” Putting her phone back in her pocket, she adds, “I’m afraid I just received a call, we must head back. There’s an urgent matter to attend which requires the pair of us. I hope you don’t think us too rude to cut the tour a trifle short? I’d love to reschedule for a much longer stay sometime soon. What you do here is incredibly fascinating. But, for now, I fear, we must be on our way before the trail goes cold.”

Peggy looks to Simmons and smiles. “I hope you don’t mind cutting our tour short, Doctor Simmons? I know how much you were looking forward to seeing your old alma mater.”

Simmons smiles at Clara and Nestor and manages to look a little sheepish. "Uh, yes, I did. I'm sorry…" she glances to Peggy. "That's fine, Agent Carter. Work comes first. I'm sure we can reschedule for another time."
Nestor and Clara nod their agreement and escort the two women back to the entrance.

Not too much longer after the car pulls away, the two compromised women are standing in the faux construction room, looking at the mess of the power system. Of course, it's managed to take a lot of the surrounding labs power out … a major setup for the Daemonites … at least for the moment.

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