In A Field Of Wheat

June 10, 2016:

Jericho calls May, Jemma and Lunair to a field of wheat turns out to be just a holograph. A holograph that's hiding a research facility - that horrifies Jemma.

New York


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

When last Jericho Trent saw Lunair… it had been kind of a bad day for her. It had been kind of a bad day for all of them really. They'd discovered an underground laboratory of the most horrific type. They'd captured a number of mutants - all of whom had been compatriots of Lunair's - and killed three of them in the process of Vivisecting them. They'd also recovered a lot of data.

Jericho hasn't finished decoding all the data and he's not entirely sure that Jemma has finished with her medical analysis.

However he's discovered a new site, so he's put out the call again. This time the location is out south, outside Metropolis and about an hour inland. The spires of the city are visible from the growing wheat field in which the hacker is waiting, but only just. Mostly what's available is slowly growing wheat. At the moment it kind of just looks like a lot of grass, which it really is, but there's something else out there. He'll wait until the others show up to explain.

Melinda May shows up soon enough, and luckily there's a ley line just a few dozen yards away. And if Jemma's opted to join the raid again, she's had to deal with the ley line travel. Again. Maybe she might be about to start getting accustomed to it?

Jemma, unfortunately, hasn't finished her analysis. She's had a few distractions to work on. Arriving with May, her arm still in a sling from being shot in the park by a time travelling assassin, the biochem looks a little nauseus. Probably a combination of the travel and the pain from the wound.

And yes, Jemma had filed a report about the attack - she just might have downplayed it a little.

Lunair will be there. She cares about her friends. She's also worried about suffering the same fate as the vivisected ones. And so on. But there's wheat here. Lunair would be more curious if she weren't enraged and grumpy. She offers poor Jemma a mint. But then, she watches, listening. "Hiya, Aspect," She greets her old friend. INTERNET WOLF. Brought together by railguns.

Railguns and really dumb HYDRA assassins brought them together. Jericho nods as the others arrive. "Hey folks. Nice day for a walk in a wheat field, isn't it?"

He could explain to them why they're here, or he could just hand them what looks like a set of highly modified IR binoculars. "Have a look." Is all he says.

One by one he passes it around. The wheat field is nice… but apparently not entirely real. In the goggles they can see several ramps going down that could fit an eight lane highway. All of them descend to large bunker like doors. The closest one is only about 300 feet away.

"It's completely inert… at the moment." Jericho says. "No thermal, no radio, no power. Nothing. Completely sealed so far as I can tell. It might be abandoned… but I don't have a key and God only knows what'll happen if we knock. Speaking of Knocking…" Now he looks at Lunair. "Care to do the honors?"

Lunair nods. "Okay, please stand back and cover your ears." Or use ear protection. Deep breath. "Time to open ourselves a door. It won't be quiet unless you want me to try chemical or light saber cutting," She remarks. If they object, she will not use the C4 piling at the door. Yes, dozens of tiny C4 ponies. She's a smart ass.

There will be an explosion after a time, and she did warn people because once it's planted, she's going to back off and hit the ground.

Okay, this is NOT the kind of situation May would have brought Jemma to if she'd known. While Lunair's preparing to 'knock', May pulls Jemma to a VERY safe distance there the two of them wait. Oh, and May covers Jemma's ears, because she didn't think to bring TWO sets of ear plugs. Next time, she votes for the light saber cutting.

Taking the mint from Lunair with a grateful smile, Jemma puts her field case down to take the binoculars and have a look. Holding the glasses to her eyes, her eyebrows rise as she looks at the ramps before glancing to May, Jericho and Lunair.

"Well that's interesting. How did you find it?" she asks, handing the glasses on and picking up her bag. Knowing she'll be the weakest link (more so than usual), she hangs back, letting May take her to cover… and would take her ear protection from the bag - but there isn't time - whilst Lunair 'knocks' on the bunker doors.

Jemma would have come along, anyway - contriving a way to be there - she's not a disaster magnet for no reason, after all.

Jericho would have asked that Jemma come along partly to ensure that in the aftermath someone is there who can tell what's what.

He stands back too. May might notice, Jemma might as well, that he's not got his blade case with him today which is odd since for months he's never been without it. Never. Even at social gatherings. Not today though. Today he racks an M4 and checks his pistol while he waits for Lunair to 'knock.'

When she does the holofield ripples like water. The door's just steel. It cracks like an eggshell.

It's what comes out that's a problem. They look for all the world kind of like terminators. Metallic skelons with machineguns instead of the right arm. They come out shooting, twelve of them.

"Holy shit. Guess it's not dead after all."

Lunair noticed Jeri's lack of sword, despite more penalties to her social observation than Cronut, the minmaxed barbarian. Ahem. But she does manage a smile back to Jemma after the mint. Se listens, but then she notes, "Maybe next time the light saber thing. Explosives are fun but…" They tend to bring all the Terminators to the yard.

And they're like, damn right, we're gonna kill you. Wait, that's not how it works. There's a blink. From the ground, Lunair blinks again.

An antitank rifle arrives in front of her. "Taking requests now, before I get busy." And she'll get busy blasting Terminators, but she does honor requests, electronic checks and large acme signs.

Melinda May mutters a curse very faintly. "Stay down," she tells Jemma, then pops up just enough to try a headshot on one of the robots that just swarmed out of that base like a kicked ant hill.

One armed, Jemma might be more of a liability in this fight than not. Except … even though May has said 'stay down', which she totally will, she's got some tricks in that bag of hers. Does that make it a bag of tricks?

It's not long before a gleaming sliver sphere is buzzing through the air, being directed at the nearest Terminator. When it gets close enough, it will emit a strong but focussed EMP that will have an effective distance of about 6 feet.

Watch your electronics everyone.

Jericho opens up with his M4 but frankly that is not a weapon that is designed for terminators and he quickly abandons it, especially when he's forced to drop to ground by a spray of machinegun fire.

When he stands back up there's a demonwolf there. And is it folks imagination or are those fields slightly darker? More opaque, less vibrant. Are those… little ones and zeroes and demonic looking sigils winking in and out on the field? Did he have slight, downward curving horns before and a spike on the end of the tail?

Certainly Jericho doesn't stop to answer those questions. He lunges at the swarming group of machines (there's something like 18 of them now) and lays into them. It's noteable that he's not all feral fury either. Ever the trained soldier, the hacker's moves are deliberate, trained and precise… just brutal.

May takes out one, but her position is being flanked as the robots spread out in a line. Lunair's downed three by now but there's more coming out. The good news is that there's really nothing out here. Explosives? Railguns? Lasers? Go hog wild. They're certainly not holding back, spraying high caliber lead every which way.

Considering, as far as Lunair knows, Jericho spends more time in limbo than the entire island of Jamaica, she might not be entirely shocked. It's like demon herpes. Except his crotch isn't bursting into flames, his soul is. Like space herpes but kinda worse. She's not sure how they rank that, really.

Anyway, who is she to judge a guy who is horny? Between the antitank gun, she'll pause. "Oh, that is-" Well, time to give May the rail gun today. Lunair keeps to the antitank riflee because switching is totally a bother. "That was a good throw," She offers to Jemma. She tries to be encouraging.

Melinda May accepts the rail gun from Lunair and … holy hannah. Okay. She starts laying into the robots with this honestly terrifying weapon, doing her best to make sure that Jemma's position is not compromised. The distinct lack of cover is going to make this increasingly difficult. But if she can take them out fast enough, it won't be too much trouble.

She's too busy to really notice the differences in Jericho's demonwolf armor aspect.

The sphere returns to Jemma, it's EMP exhausted and the biochem hunkers down behind the cover she can find. Machine gun fire rips into the ground on either side of the woman and she winces as her shoulder pulls. She's still rifling through her bag to see what she's got - ICERs won't do any good and shooting her pistol one handed? Probably not a good thing.

She does notice the difference in Jericho's armour, eyes narrowing just a little… but that's something she'll ask about later - when they aren't being swarmed by robots.

The really horrifying thing about the railgun is the way the transferrance makes bits of the robots she hits just sublimate, sometimes explode. Small steams of molten metal often run down their husks, making it look as if they bleed.

The number of bots caps at two dozen and goes down swiftly from there. Jericho physically tears apart any that get too close enough and Jemma's EMP takes down half a dozen more. The rest fall swiftly to Rain and May.

At some point during the fight, likely when the EMP went off, the holoemitters failed. Now instead of fake grassy field the enterence to the underground bunker is easily visible. This place must be pretty large, the size of a city block if the front door is any indication. Odd that other than these automated defense bots there doesn't seem to be anyone home.

"Clear." Jericho calls after a moment of quiet and lets his field drop. "Anyone hurt?"

Note to self: Give May rocket boots and big guns in the future. This is pretty glorious.

But Lunair's keeping THAT to herself. "Aspect! You're horny!" She noticed the horns. Unfortunately, this is what happens when your social skills all took massive penalties. "Also robots are dead." Sagenod. "I am okay, but super dirty and covered in wheats." Hey, all the fire had an effect. She looks like lawnmower man.

"Fi—" May's reply is cut off as she stops and STARES at Lunair for a moment before finally really looking at Trent's wolfdemon appearance. OH. He has horns. Yes, for a moment there, she thought Lunair was calling the man anxious, if you know what I mean. "Fine." Apparently, a few minor cuts from all of the crashing, exploding robots and a bloody stripe high on her left arm near the shoulder bone is inconsequential enough to May to be dismissed that readily.

There wasn't much cover to begin with and even less when the holoemitters failed. Jemma looks pale when she realises just exposed she was. "I …I .." she blinks at Lunairs exclamation and blushes furiously (yes, her mind went there) before shaking herself and staring at Jericho properly. "That seemed to be an interesting adaptation of your traces, Jericho." At least having something to focus on settles her a little.

"I'm fine… thank you." Her shoulder hurts, again but that's all.

Jericho blinks. He hasn't used his wolf armor in a bit nor has he really looked in a mirror. "What, do I have something between my teeth?" Yes he heard Lunair call him horney. It took him a minute to parse but with the way May and Jemma are staring at him.

"Uh… let's… just go on in. If no one's hurt."

Changes. He can think of why, but he doesn't want to go into it. Not here. Not yet.

The interior is dark. The air is musty. There's not even an internet signal here. Jericho leads them through several dark and samey corridors they come to a wide room. "Wait here a moment."

The hacker slinks off into the darkness. A minute or so later the lights come on.

This is a medical bay. A big medical bay. Dozens of beds stretching on for fifty or sixty yards.

It may… look a bit familiar to Lunair.

Lunair is fine. At least, at first. "No, you are horny." She reiterates. Though, she blinks at Jemma and May. That is how you say it, yes? She looks a little boggle. "Demonic cooties," She simply lets it go at that. And then they go in further.

And then Lunair loses it. "NO." She's going to bolt out.

No on ever said phobia or bad memories were rational.

She should have expected that. May looks after Lunair, then tells the others, "I'll go after her.' And then she's heading out after the young woman. HOpefully she'll be able to calm Lunair down. What a frigging mess.

"Uh, Lunair." Jemma says absently as she follows the group in. Waiting for the lights to come on, she peers into the gloom, trying to make out … oh dear. Not again. That's an awful lot of beds.

The biochem looks torn as Lunair freaks out, but May has that handled, so she turns back to Jericho, she can't see how many have people in them - it doesn't seem that any of those closest to them do. "We don't have much time. Let's start searching…"

None is the answer. There aren't any people in here. This place looks like it was abandoned but for the guards which may have been a recent addition. The power still works but none of it was running until a moment ago. So far as Jericho knows, so far as he's related to Jemma, Lunair's compatriots aren't this many in number. There's no reason for a facility this large… unless you were running a really large program.

Relatedly… The first thing that Jemma notices is the fact that a lot of this equipment appears to be pediatric sized.

As May chases after Lunair the lights turn on in the base. She can see recreation rooms. Quarters. There's room for dozens, perhaps a couple hundred here. Something blue green flashes near her, near Lunair.

And then a holographic form of a young, bespectacled woman appears. "Welcome, Lunair."

Just run, run, run. Lunair is going to take out whatever gets in her way. And then? And then she's welcomed. She takes a swing at the holograph, almost reflexive. "NO. GO AWAY. HOW DO YOU KNOW MY NEW NAME?!" She seems upset and she just hisses at the holographic image. She's going to get away from it. "Just LEAVE ME ALONE."

Jemma takes her time in exploring the area, hampered a little by the sling. "Jericho, this is a facility for children." She's horrified and outraged at the same time. "Didn't you say that there weren't many in Lunairs group?" It's not often that Jemma gets angry, but this is pushing her "Look at how many beds there are. Is there a computer you can access? I'm going to catalogue this equi—-"

She breaks off as Lunairs voice carries through the facility and then May's more dulcet tones "I hope May gets her out of here. I can now understand her fear of my lab."

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