Look For The Tachyons

May 21, 2016:

On their way to a meeting, Thomas and Jemma find another temporal disturbance but this time, the jokes on the attacker

Metropolis

Characters

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Nyx

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

"Does anyone have eyes on the Angel?" A mechanical voice echoes over the radio.

"Not yet. But it's early still. She shouldn't be here for another five minutes or so. Are you sure this is necessary? She didn't show up on any of the research we did. So far as we know she's totally unconnected to this." The man answering him is sitting in an old, nearly empty 50's style diner staring out the window while his companions - a stocky looking brick house of a man and a tan, athletic blonde - pick at their meals and sip coffee. There's no need to feign disinterest. They're only here for one thing.

"We've had to recalibrate since running into… complications." The mechanical voice replies.

"Tacitus and the Yakuza woman." The woman replies, though that goes untransmitted.

"Right. Recalibrate. Okay, well she's still not here. Get yourself a soda or something."

"I don't eat or drink." The voice says.

The man just shakes his head and puts the radio down.

Thomas doesn't walk a beat. He's a Federal Marshal, not a city cop. But he is walking. He has some time to kill before he's going to meet a DEO task force about one of his cases and brief them. DEO folks always look at him funny. It's late. Metropolis doesn't have much night life except in the club district and this isn't it so the street is pretty empty. There's a light fog rolling in from the ocean, seasonal for this time of year. Lends the street a vaugely noir look to it. "Of all the gin joints in all the world, she walks into mine…" He says. Quoting.


Since the last attempt by a time traveller on her life, Jemma's been shaken, which might be why she's with Thomas now. With no results on how to track an event, she has to rely on Thomas' 'feeling'. It's that, or maybe the biochem just likes his company.

"… she walks into mine." she says quietly as she walks alongside the tall Marshal, a very faint smile crossing her face before she returns to thinking.


The prediction is not perfect. But well it is pretty darn accurate. Nyx touches down in a nearby alley and then shrugs her way into her hoodie. She swings out onto the street. She is headed to the diner where she knows she can get a decent slice of pie and some piece and quiet after doing the whole hero thing in Metropolis. She isn't a creature of habit, though part of her is an artificial construct of alien origin and power, so there is something about the familiar and schedules when not specifically running an avoidance routine or randomizer.

A big part of it though is Sam, the girl in the machine really had a thing for crappy new york diners. They were cheap. They were always open. No one asks questions about a girl in ratty jeans and a hoodie. So she likes them and this. This is her Last Dance Diner. She doesn't notice Thomas or Jemma right away, focused on her mission, a malted.


"There's the Angel." The man radios. "Showtime."

"Got the package, Sethi?" The shorter man says in a vaguely Bostonian accent.

"Right here…" The woman takes out a device the size a softball but very complex and mechanical. She rolls it across the floor under a table across the diner. When it hits the wall it starts to silently transmit on a frequency that simply isn't used today. This is tech that's very advanced. It's at least a hundred years ahead of anything Nyx's rider has 'heard' from on this rock since it arrived and sliped into Sam's skin.

Meanwhile the man who had the radio gets up and starts to walk to the restroom. On the way he stops one of the waitresses. "Hey… do you smell that? Smells like… smoke? Are the fryers okay?"

The waitress gets a worried look and hurries toward the kitchen. The moment she does there's a sort of 'ripple' that most people can't sense. Perhaps not even Nyx should her rider not be attumed to things temporal. And with all it has to worry about (magic, of all things) who could blame it?

Thomas senses it though. He looks up to the diner. "Oh no…"


Jemma can't detect these things and as the ripple rolls through, she doesn't even realise something is happening or changing. In previous encounters, men become women, women become men … all sorts of things alter - but noone except Thomas and those temporally attuned see it.

"Oh no?" the biochem looks up and squints a little, she recognises that look, she saw it recently. "Another occurence?" she pales and steps a little closer to the Marshal, unsure whether it's directed at her or something else.


The Temporal anomoly is indeed missed for the moment by Samanatha and Nyx. That is most definitely not an energy band she is casually devoting resources towards scanning or detecting because it is rare and non-efficient. For the moment.

The technology and frequency broadcasting so far above this earth rock's capability though does get Nyx's attention and Samantha's steps slow. One hundred years or more of human tech in the galactic sense of technology isn't that much, but it is definitely enough it is being gauged as alien in origin until further analysis. Time still hasn't entered into it. The HUD comes up with full sensor and spectrum analysis. Max-Threat mode, with every living thing around her being tracked now with active sensory not just.. eyesight. "Interesting." she sweeps the hood of her hoodie back letting it fall around her neck and moves to open the diner door.


Thomas is already moving, coming up the stairs and opening the door to the diner. He's not sure what the focus of the disturbance is yet but he can see the ripples going out. This is one of the first that hasn't happened directly in his line of sight. As he does Nyx may get a view of his gauntlet… and in Max Threat mode, also his spine. A power generation unit capable of immense output coupled with something that isn't quite making sense. It's as if the Gauntlet and Thomas himself aren't entirely there. The readings keep ghosting.

Then, on the other side of the dinner something thuds to a halt. It's big. Eight feet tall, three wide. A hulking robot. Not a suit. Not a cyborg. A mechanical contrivance operating on - if Nyx's sensors are correct - a biosynthetic computer housing what might be a very advanced AGI or a true sentient AI.

Neither of those are things this rock can make right now either.

"Warning. Variance detected. Recalibrating. It's Tacitus."

The other three people in the Diner look from the robot to Thomas (and Jemma) and all produce compact energy weapons that they open up with. The Marshal shoves Jemma out of the way and pulls his pistol… which suddenly isn't a pistol. It's an advanced energy weapon of his own.

The door to the diner shatters as the robot enters the fray as well, bull charging Sam from behind.


Of course Jemma follows Thomas. It's likely safer with him but, as her work colleagues know, she's a bit of a disaster magnet. The biochem blinks a little as she recognises Samantha.

"Samantha, get out of the w—-" stumbling as Thomas shoves her behind a pillar, the brunette presses her back to the column and fumbles for her own weapon. The ICER pistol, not the other one that May has insisted she carry.

Peering round the column, she tries to aim at one of the people shooting at them, and squeezes the trigger of her own … meagre … weapon, just as the back door shatters. "Oh crap … Thomas!! I think that's similar to the thing that attacked us at Stark Tower…" of course, she could be wrong and it just looks remotely similar.


Samantha is … well not very perturbed but then she is in Max-Threat mode right now. She half turns from her target path and the device in the room towards Thomas and Jemma when they enter. Thomas is … interesting. That ghosting effect and his gauntlet are definitely good technology. Good prospects. "Hey Jemma."

That isn't to say Nyx misses the Robot thudding to a halt. Max-Threat and an amazing sensor array and HUD. "So who are these guys Agent Simmons.. other than in trouble?" The energy weapons are more worrisome than a handgun but.. so many upgrades.. it depends on the punch they are packing.

That robot though. That robot seems awfully tasty and it is coming right at Nyx all helpfully. She doesn't really turn to even meet it, instead she shifts her footing at the last moment bracing hard and her wings flare to life. Which really just represent the amount of counter force she is suddenly pushing. In the same moment she lifts her hand up and makes a grab catch motion at the thing… she wants it vs. seeming scared of it… for now.


The Robot and Nyx meet in the middle of the diner with an almighty thud. Both of them grind grooves into the linolium floor with their feet. The thing's heavy treads start to move as it tries to shove Samantha off balance, not realizing she's getting ready for a throw. "Eliminate the variance. Now!" It calls to it's companions.

Jemma hits one, the shorter man, and he slumps to the floor out cold. ICER's are good for that. Thomas pops out and fires a burst of blue-green energy bolts that tear up the seat in front of his opponents. The one they were using for cover. "Stay here, Jemma. I'll flank them."

And then he blurs. There's a sense of dislocation Nyx can feel. Space-Time has a small hissy fit as the marshal and his unusual gauntlet suddenly relocate twenty five feet to behind the people who were shooting at him. They turn, leaving them open for Jemma.


"I don't know, Samantha." Jemma's honest as she answers the young woman, eyes bulging a little as she meets the Robot in the middle of the floor. "Uh… Sam? I'd really like some of that thing to analyse, please?" she remembers how Nyx behaved in the aquarium.

With one shot off, Jemma ducks back behind the column again and looks over to Thomasas he calls to her. "Ready, Thomas."

As he blurs, those who are paying attention will think that the two have practiced the manoeuvre, she's so calm as she pops out again and fires at the remaining two gunmen… so calmly. So much trust in the Marshal.


Samantha sighs even as she grips the robot grinding grooves with her footing. "Maybe." she grudgingly says to Jemma. Then she pivots and twists .. the move is intending to lift the hulking thing up, over, and plant it flat on the floor. Using its own efforts to slam into her against it. Then she is up and on it wings flared behind her .. like some demented bird of prey.. or demon "Hey there.. you look delicious." and she slams those wings down into it.. all the better to open you up like a can of soup to eat the contnets….


Again the diner quakes with metal hitting the ground. Nyx starts to drink up the delicious tech… and gets a surprise. There's code in here, implanted directly into the metal somehow. That's definitely tech that this rock doesn't have right now. The code tell Nyx to report in on a certain frequency and obey any instructions given. It's tricky. It's clever. It seems to have been written just for Nyx.

But it's also clearly written with an incomplete understanding of who and what Nyx is. Doesn't account for her hyperadvanced, alien nature. So it may well not work.

Not that the rider will be pleased either way.

Jemma manages to get one down. Thomas leaps over the seats and punches the other. That's three. That just leaves that hulking metal thing which… yes… does look a lot like the thing that chased them earlier.


Jemma shakes a little as Thomas takes the third gunperson down, her ICER still held out in front of her. Turning to watch Samantha fighting the robot, sure now it's similar to what attacked them before, she calls out "A couple of high powered EMP bursts worked on the last one, Samantha…." she's no idea if the young woman can do that, but it's worth a shot. And she's even less aware about the embedded coding.


Nyx pauses in eating the robot… hands still sunk inside it's chasis at this point. She cocks her head like a dog hearing something that annoys it. "hm." then she hauls one hand out and holds it up, one finger up in the classic One Moment.

Then Nyx plunges both hands in, not eating this time but rather digging for the AI Core and moving to yank it free violently. This she intends to not eat but jack and totally screw over. "You Are Mine." she mutters as she rocks back, ass on heels and focuses. "Then I'm going to tune in and find your friends and make them regret breathing."


The AI is good. Not quite sentient but very advanced, reasoning computer. It's been in contact with someone though the time date stamps are all wonky and it's hard to tell. Maybe it's damage from Nyx…

The core comes out in a chunk and the programming is laid bare to Samantha's rider. Thomas' eyes, meanwhile, are quite wide. He looks to Jemma and then to Nyx and then back to Jemma. That's the Angel of Metropolis! Jemma knows her?!

Wait, why are people trying to kill her? Well, these specific people.


The AI Core is turned over this way and that in Sam's hands as the young woman focuses. Various .. robot bits dangling out and more than a couple sparking and ruining another hoodie dangit. "Mmm…. temporal anamolies are always a pain in the ass." she finishes snagging the code laid bare archiving it for analysis and then straightens standing. The energy wings snapping out of existance. She steps off the chasis giving it a solid kick.

Then with a pivot Nyx looks to Thomas and Jemma. "Embedding a computer virus in to the metals on a molecular level should be well beyond anything in this sector. I." she pauses "I am annoyed. I find time travelers really annoying be it here or the Circadians" the last is said like a curse word. "At least there is no .. speed force in this thing. So. Explain. Now." that is directed to Thomas firmly. .. … . Jemma would have this.. that isn't Samantha feeling about the situation. Definitely Nyx.


"Uh… no idea. That looks like something that chased me earlier but that thing should be a scrap heap somewhere else so…" Thomas is the wrong person to be asking technical questions of, sadly. At least she got it? Embedded computer virus though. Were they deliberately targetting her for some kind of… coopting?

"You're… okay I take it? Jemma are you hurt?" He calls over.


"Wait, what." Jemma squints at Nyx, looking concerned "There was a computer virus embedded in the metals?" she looks at what's left of the creature. That makes the one they got earlier perhaps even more important … maybe JARVIS has already detected that.

Thomas has answered the direct question and she smiles wanly in his direction with a shake of her head "Not hurt, Thomas. Thank you for acting so quickly. Uh, this is … Samantha." well, she thinks.


Nyx raises a hand and there is a blinding slash of particle beam energy as she starts to … well the polite term is melt the robot. She does this without really looking at it. That should wipe the code and leave the advanced metals for salvage. "Yes. A custom tailored virus, for me, in the metals themselves. I think they thought I was from around these parts, which will be .. poor for them."

Unseen she partitions off a section, opens up a secure comlink in a virtual machine as it were to see what these .. problems.. are broadcasting for 'orders'.


It's a laundry list. That's the only way to describe it. Times, places and actions. Some of them are rather shockingly mundane. Ask a man on fifth and forty second for change. Buy a quart of milk at 3:47 AM at the convenience store on Richards Street. Leave a single flower at a particular doorstep on a particular evening.

Some of them are not. Several of them involve injuring or killing people but always at specific times and places. Three that do not have specific times attached to them are Jemma, the Marshal and an asian woman named Kimiko Tatsu. They need to be killed at the earliest convenience.

Thomas can't see her doing any of that, though. "Samantha, mmm?" Samantha's civillian persona isn't known to him. He's not sure it's known to anyone, but it's nice to hear. "Thanks… uh… thanks?" For the help? Well they were targeting her so it's not really help. "Glad you're okay."

That… does seem to be it. He'll have to call Met PD to pick up these three and hold them until he can talk to them.


"I would very much like to see that code, if I could." Jemma's watching Samantha as she works. At least she hadn't 'eaten' the tech straight up. "If there's anything you can glean from it, I'm working double time trying to work out ways to detect the incidents, so anything might be useful."

"And yes, thankyou for the assist." Making her way to Thomas' side, the biochem looks up again "And you've got a meeting to get to, I believe?"


Nyx frowns distracted and then crouches and dips her hand into the pool of molten metals and starts to absorb them now. Shutting down the partition after logging it all.

Samantha looks up and squints at the two of you. "So these jerks want you both dead. Also some cick named Kimiko Tatsu… and like scores of other people. Specific timestamps. They are trying to change history and thought they could jack me …. very mistaken in thinking I am some cyborg or synthetic from around these parts." she straightens. "But yeah you are on their top kill list for some reason.. and you have any ideas why?" she projects the code in an encrypted file to Jemma's phone. "Be cautious of these things running into any earth synthetics…they have …well Nyx says like a couple hundred years on you and Stark even tech wise." there is another pause and she tosses a reading of the temporal signature of Thomas. "It's temporal Jemma.. Nyx says look for the tachyons."


"Sounds like Star Trek." Thomas murmurs. Samantha can probably hear him.

"I'm sure I'm on their list. I've proven disruptive. I'm not sure why Jemma's on their other than I think her removal is part of their changing history. We'll keep an eye out." If other 'synthetics' - cyborgs and the like - can be coopted then this is a big development. Using people in this time to affect change is… well he doesn't know if it's more or less dangerous but it's certainly harder to detect.

"Yeah, I do have a meeting. Uh… can I buy you a slice of pie or something before we go though, Samantha? Seems like the least I can do."


"Thank you, Samantha." Jemma says as her phone buzzes paling at the mention of the kill list. She'd suspected it but hearing it confirmed was something else. Thomas likely has the right of it, but what on earth does she do that warrants that?

The rest of the advice receives a faint smile and a nod. Having Thomas' signature will speed things up, but finding the tech to get those readings? Well, she's resourceful, she'll think of something.


Samantha checks her hands then dusts off straightening her hoodie. "Pie sounds good to me.. maybe a malted too?" she looks between you "I'm happy to help out, they made it both personal and the alloys they have access too is also more advanced than most on this planet."


"Apple Pie and a Malt for the lady please?" Yeah the place is tore up… but the counter didn't get hit and they still have pie.

"Uh… coming… coming up." The waitress who had been sent back says shakily.

Well, pie… then meeting. Pie is better. Thomas knows that for a fact.

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