Internet Blackouts

June 13, 2016:

With a big group of Daemonites coming through a portal, they need to tracked and found. Whatever they're doing is likely not good.

New York


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

A week or so ago, SHIELD got a signal that the Daemonites had operated a portal. A portal that had opened in a small town some distance from New York and, by the account of one person, saw several Daemonites carrying something come through.

What they don't know is where those creatures were heading and what it was they bought with them. Jemma's been working on that and she's asked for some assistance - from a certain demontainted hacker.

Of course, there's more than just Daemonites to discuss, there's the fact that someone is trying to splice alien DNA into people that Audrey used to work with.

"Did you manage to get any footage from the traffic camera's, Jericho? I doubt they went straight to the highway. It's likely they took hosts along the way - but maybe there were glimpses before they did." They're meeting in a coffee shop, somewhere in the heart of New York. "I'm also checking missing persons in the area, seeing if I can bring up some correlations."

"Nothing definitive. Certainly nothing so damning as big alien equipment moving along the roads." Jericho had looked in a number of places for that but the fact is that the Daemonites are too smart to make it that easy.

"I did note a few truck convoys passing out of that area at roughly the same time. Impossible to say if any of them are involved, though. Physically tracking those shipments may be kind of a bust. I did, however, manage to track a series of network outages headed south." The hacker points to a map, tracing his finger along the main roadway down the coast. "It was a rolling set of outages that crossed provider networks and was generally localized. Short too. Ten to twenty minutes each. But if you put it all together, something traced a solid path down the coast to here…" He taps his finger on Atlanta, Georgia. "That's where I lost it."

Jemma looks over the map, nodding slowly as Jericho speaks "They're too clever by half to be actually be caught and honestly, if we hadn't known to look…" no one would even know. "Why a series of network outages, do you think? Was it something interrupting the communications, or designed to obfuscate their progress? I mean, that's assuming they are even related to this." That's still a long shot, an educated guess but … a long shot none the less "And why Atlanta?"

Jemma pulls up a list of names as she's talking "Missing persons are so hard to track really. We know there were about twenty of them come through, and that's a lot of people to track. Of course, with the Daemonites ability to shape shift - they wouldn't need to … uh … harvest all in one area. But with that route, we might be able to cross reference things."

There's at least four names on Jemma's list that Jericho can track 'public' appearances for. Not exactly the same route as the convoy he was tracking but all of them have appeared in the surrounding area - some in backwaters and some in cities just along the highway.

"No internet, no social media. Cuts down on sightings and ways to track them. It could have been coincidental, though. It's possible that whatever they were moving generates some kind of EM interferance or that they were coopting the networks for their own use." Still, a path is a path and the hacker knows that it's all they have at the moment.

Jericho tosses the list of names into his standard search algorythm which looks at social media, financial transacations, CCTV camera sightings with facial recognition and government records among quitue a lot of other things. People leave a lot of data around in their day to day lives. Most don't even know it. Depending on how the searches turn out it could help him track them. If nothing else an absence of 'usual' activity will at least give him a clue that he's on the right track. They'll likely take a few minutes.

"Atlanta has a deep water port. The surrounding area is also pretty wooded. Either of those could have been the reason. Alternately it's possible they were bringing it to someone specific but I can't give you any insight on that."

"With all the time I've spent in this country, there are things that still don't register for me." Jemma shakes her head as Jericho outlines Atlanta. "If the network outages were trying to stop people tracking them, they've not considered that people might be able to track that. Then again …" the biochem considers "… they might not think people are even looking for them."

"Do you have any information on where that convoy ended up? I'm thinking that we might need to investigate it." Jemma watches as Jericho starts processing - not that there's any real indication that he's doing anything. "I know I'm asking a lot … there's few I can trust though."

"Not specifically." Jericho points to the map again. "I know the last cell that was disrupted was here. It's about five miles outside the city. a bit inland. The cell gives us a rough area to work with but precision is not something those particular instruments are built for. The disruption, whatever it was, died away. Either it left the area or they ceased doing it. It's a place to start but finding anything will require actual people on the ground."

There's something about Jericho's manner that's… different. He's quiet. Intense. There's a sense of tight control about him, even more so than usual for the already generally 'in control' hacker. It may be a bit disturbing.

"It's a start, at least. I'll organise a team to go in and search the area. No use, I suppose looking for places that would 'house' that type of convoy. If it's a deep water port, I'd imagine there's a few. But, we should be able to find out any new residents, so to speak." Jemma gives another sigh. It might be all part of the job, but she's certainly feeling pulled every which way at the moment.

She's also noticed Jericho's demeanour, not to mention the change in his traces the other day "Do you want to discuss what's changed with you?" she asks quietly "It's none of my business, but I did note the change in your wolf aspect and you seem … more reserved." Jericho is generally disturbing, Illyana more so, but with the weird that is Jemma's life right now - that he's even more so, seems to be par for course.

Jericho sighs. How does one explain what happened? He hadn't really done much explaining of what had happened to him before even to people he knew much better than the SHIELD doctor.

"Not really, Simmons. It's a lot to catch up on." To even begin understanding he'd have to give her a lot of the background and he just… doesn't want to. He feels hollowed out and he hasn't been sleeping well either. Nightmares.

"I can look for that kind of thing, new residence, but canvassing may be more effective."

"I'll organise a team to attend onsite. I know that we'll have more luck with that. And time … we don't have much of that." Jemma agrees watching Jericho's response to her question. "If you're ever feeling up to it, I would like to get a new baseline for your traces. Offsite, of course, perhaps at The Nest … but I understand if you'd rather not."

No, she's not going to push.

"Any luck following up on Audreys' stuff? I'm still reviewing the data files you recovered. It's all fairly cryptic though. Like they're talking in code."

The question seems to refocus the cybernet hacker and he nods slowly. "Yes, though none of it good. The timeline I put together indicates that they did a lot of lab study at a secure offshore facility. Facility, not ship. Whatever it was they stopped using that facility a about two years ago. I don't have the coordinates yet but I have a good idea about where to look for them. I may want some help when I figure that one out, though." At the very least he may need a lift. One cannot always relay on stepping disks for that kind of thing if it's K'nert driving them and not Illyana.

"A facility? Well, that might be good. Seeing where they worked may well provide some clues." Jemma considers the hacker, noting how he refocuses. She's definitely curious, but she's got enough on her plate. "I'll go their data and see what I have for about that time frame. And I would rather like to be there."

May might not like it, but Jemma knows that searching the actual research facilities gives much better results for her.

"On another note, I've been working with the Dendrotoxin, using the samples that we recovered last time. I've think I've managed to modify it sufficiently to work agains them - although, as with all things, I'll need to field test it."

"Them being the Daemonites now?" Jericho shakes his head. "Good luck. Those things are fifteen feet tall. Are you going to be able to deliver enough toxin to affect them?" Body mass tends to be important in these kinds of calculations and a little bullet's worth of toxin isn't a whole lot when it comes right down to it.

"I'll let you know when I locate the facility. I'll have to try and look at it first and see if it's even… investigateable. If it's offshore it may well have sustained damage over the years."

"Please do. In the meantime, I'll keep analysing the data as I can … maybe I'll come across something." Jemma isn't sure it will, there's too many questions, right now. "If there's nothing else, Jericho?" They're both busy and her phone just buzzed. She's … needed elsewhere.

"I don't think so. Stay safe, Simmons." Jericho sips the last of his drink and stands up. He's got places to be as well and most of them aren't even remotely 'here'. Before that, though, he really should check in on his sister and see how she's doing.

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