HYDRA are moving up in the world

July 19, 2016:

After the interruption with Turkey, May, Jericho, Gabby and Simmons manage to catch up.

New York


NPCs: Gabby Trent



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Whilst Jemma would have liked to keep Gabby overnight for observation, the practicality of the situation just didn't allow it. First, her 'offices' weren't set up like that and honestly, both women had work to do. Giving Gabby another supply of the electrolytes, she'd arranged to meet her at back at those offices, where she can do tests if needed.

Though what tests are left to be done at this point, she really has no idea. What's happening to Gabby has her perplexed. But that doesn't mean she'll give up.

She's also arranged for Agent May to be there - if the woman has returned from her Turkish mission. Not only does Jemma have 'real' work to do, there's issues of staffing that she'd like help with.

There's tea currently steeping and Jemma is seated at a makeshift workbench, looking over her tablet as she waits for people to arrive…

Oh yes. There's a bottle of Grey Goose on the counter, complete with a tumbler, as well.

Melinda May has just arrived back from Turkey. She's not slept in a proper bed for about 60 hours at this point — napping in the pilot's seat really doesn't count — but it's not obvious to anyone that doesn't know her very well.

After getting through security she walks right up to where Jemma's at and claims the nearest chair. She can tell the tea isn't entirely ready or she'd have beelined to pour herself a cup.

Jericho and Gabrielle get through the security scan okay though the additional measures mean it takes a bit longer than usual. The hacker has left instructions for K'nert to wait outside. SHIELD personnel are jumpy enough after discovering their organization to have been infiltrated by psychic aliens. He doesn't need to remind them of HYDRA's cross dimensional assault from the year before. At least none of those demons had been from Limbo.

"No weird bone marrow doctors this time?" Gabby is saying as Jericho pushes the door open. She's taken to dressing much like he, hiding the traces that mark her out as something other than normal. In part, perhaps, hiding them from herself. It's no great stretch to think that keeping them from sight somehow made them more distant and less personal when Jericho was on the run even if the measures needed to made him feel all the more isolated.

"Can't promise anything. This is SHIELD. They do strange things here." Like… yeah. Like that. Still, there seems to be no weird bone marrow doctors this time. Jericho shuts the door behind him and nods to May. It's telling that the first place he goes is for the vodka on the counter. Jericho doesn't drink just to drink. If it's been a vodka kind of day, it's been one of those days.

He seems to have a lot of them lately.

"Hey May. Simmons."

"Agent May." Jemma looks May over, noting the agents condition. "When we're done here, you're going to go home and sleep for 24 hours. No arguments, or I'll have to sedate you." That approach, on its own, might underscore how much the biochem has grown in the last year or so. Whether she expects May to comply or call her on her promise … well, she might not sedate the woman. "I received Darcy's report this morning and I'm reviewing it. Agent Gorman will get me the samples by tomorrow. When I know more about you found, I'll let you know." There's not a lot to say on Turkey at the moment, but that's how these things go.

By the time Jericho and Gabby are entering the offices, Jemma's pouring tea. "Jericho, Gabby. Would you like tea?" That's to Gabby of course, given Jericho's helping himself already. "And no…" her lips thin just a little "no more bone marrow doctors or anything like that. I saw your photographs from today, the traces regrew more quickly this time, how are you feeling?"

The first mug of tea is handed to May as she speaks.

"There's ice in the freezer, Jericho. Just mind my samples." One might wonder what Jemma 'keeps on ice'.

Melinda May accepts the mug of tea and takes a sip promptly. Apparently that's her reply to the 'order' to get some sleep. Translated: she'll try, but she is by no means going to promise. She nods a hello to Jericho and Gabby as they arrive, her eyes studying the female Trent sibling for a moment longer than is normal. "Okay, so when did you get the dubious privelege of wearing living tattoos, Trent?" Yup, not beating around the bush today.

Gabby glances to Jericho who nods. It's hard to say what the siblings communicate in those looks but it's likely something along the lines of verifying that it's okay to dredge up these rather painful memories and tell May. Jericho trusts her, which says a lot and by this point his sister realizes just how few are the people he gives that trust.

The younger Trent answers Simmons' questions first. "I'm feeling better, Doctor. No fatigue or dizziness or anything like that." If Jemma bothers to examine Gabby's Bio-Etheric energy levels, she'll note that they're completely recovered, if not ever so slightly stronger.

That said, the ER nurse turns her attention to May. "It was… while I was abducted. They put me under and… uh…"

"They implanted her with a set of nodes that generate traces. Same kind I have." Jericho supplies. "There are only ten copies in the world that I know of. I have one. The other nine…" Unaccounted for. SIGMA has at least two or three.

"Right. It, uh… I grew lines under my skin like Jericho. Exactly like him. All techy and all. After I was rescued…" Which involved having someone else's mind and soul-echo pulled out of her. "… Doctor Simmons did surgery to remove the… implants and most of the… circuitry." She's clearly not comfortable using the lingo her brother does.

"They started to regrow a day or so later, I guess. But differently."

Once the tea is handed out, Jemma does take some readings. Bio-E for certain and other, non-invasive, readings like bloodpressure and the like. "I'm glad to hear you're feeling better. I've got another supply of those electrolytes. I'd like you to keep them with you. If … that happens again and I'm not around, you will probably need them." That is, if the traces activating don't suck her Bio-E to such a degree that it kills her. But there's no way Jemma will say that.

"Bio-E has recovered and is higher than before. Not by much, but it is." the biochem looks between the Trent siblings, frowning slightly before turning to May. "We nearly lost her, Illyana had to do something to keep her with us…" she won't even try to begin to describe that "… but we had to wake her up and use a local so I could finish the work. There were a two or three small patches of the material left behind. They might have been absorbed into her body, but there's no indications of that in any of the tests I've conducted."

Melinda May nods slowly. "That's why they're more organic looking. Good to know you're as hard to kill as your brother." Okay, that's about as close to a compliment as May is likely to get. "Are there any leads on SIGMA?" She's not heard much at all about them lately, but then she's been busy lately dealing with Daemonites and a giant turtle leg with cracks in it.

Man, that sounds really ODD phrased like that.

"Not directly related to this. I have something rather disturbing on my radar concerning the Section though." 'Something disturbing concerning the Section' is rapidly becoming their norm which is not something that Jericho likes especially considering whose name it's all being done in.

"SIGMA itself has been quiet. You guys probably scared them pretty good when you raided that comm center." Also Jericho dropped a satellite on an overseas Section/SIGMA operation. That might have had something to do with it. May might know of it too. It'd scattered nuclear reactor bits over half a kilometer.

The hacker had been kinda pissed.

May might also remember that in Fury's briefing the other day she'd been tasked with finding out more about HYDRA's renewed activity on all fronts.

"I doubt it will last… them being quiet, that is." Jemma murmurs, keeping herself busy reviewing her notes and looking over Gabby. Her experiences with The Section haven't been pleasant previously. Looking over to Jericho though, she frowns yet again "Oh? How so? Will I need to find a new apartment again?"

Melinda May can't help but agree. "Likely not. But, I do have the pleasure of being tasked with gathering intel on any renewed HYDRA activity." Oh yes, all the sarcasm. "I figured that might be something you'd be interested in, Trent." She's addressing Jericho now. Confusing yet?

"HYDRA?" Gabby starts, looking confused and suddenly worried.

"She's talking to me." Jreicho murmurs reassuringly. He gives his sister an appraising look and then glances over to May and shrugs. If May hadn't wanted to talk about this here, she wouldn't have asked.

"They're moving again. Large sections of their cell network have completely reorganized. Seems like they got tired of getting their ass handed to them with brute force attempts and terrorist actions and now they're looking for influence. They've made some rather impressive gains in that department. They've gone out of their way to recruit the intellectual, financial and social elite. They're moving in the old boys clubs now. Backroom deals seem to be their weapon of choice."

They still have thugs and plenty of them, but the goals seem more… forward looking. More focused on defining the future than shaping the now.

"Well that's novel." Jemma murmurs and smiles at Gabby trying to reassure her. Jericho hadn't mentioned The Section yet, but she'll prompt him a little later if he doesn't get back to it. "It makes sense given the ways of waging 'war' these days." She wonders what it means for SHIELD but for now, she's other things to occupy her mind.

Melinda May nods to Jericho. "I'm going to start digging, so if I start getting in your way, let me know. Or, if you find something you think might help me with the digging, you know how to reach me." She suspects that Fury gave her this task because of her past collaborations with Trent. Of course she can't prove it, but…

"I can point you at a guy whose been hanging out in town." Jericho offers. "An Chen Fang. He represents the FAW Group. They're an automotive conglomorate that operates… mostly in China but a number of other places. They've got investments here there and everywhere. He's also as dirty as they come. Not sure what brought him to town but he's been wineing and dining down at some of the more exclusive clubs and restaurants in Uptown Manhattan."

There's 'squick' sound from the table and Jericho glances over. "Jemma what is that in your incubator?"

"It sounds a bit like alphabet soup, doesn't it?" Jemma murmurs to Gabby as Jericho continues to brief May. Of course she's noting the information as well, you never know when it will come in handy.

The sound from the table has her squinting and then looking at Jericho in surprise. "Oh, that. That's just one of my experiements. I'm seeing how Daemonite flesh responds to certain conditions. It occured to me, once I got the space to think, that with their regenerative capabilities that there might be something we could use. So I'm testing…" And that should horrify just about everyone there. "Which reminds me. Apart from the news on The Section you have, I'm going to need someone who understands weapons. I've ummmmm, been tasked to research the Alien tech and paraphenalia we've been collecting and see how we can adapt it."

Chen Fang. May makes a mental note of that name and the intel Jericho offers about him. Sounds like she might have to start frequenting some uptown manhattan swank. Annoying. She gives Jericho a nod then looks at Jemma. "Who are you thinking of tapping to consult?" She can probably help make sure whomever Jemma requests is properly vetted.

"You have to have qualified engineers in SHIELD for that." Jericho doesn't know about the Sci-Tech acadamy but if he did he'd figure it was a lock that there was a SHIELD agent with the appropriate qualifications. You have to be overqualified just to apply to the Sci-Tech school after all.

"I can look into them too but… May's probably a lot more helpful here, honestly."

Gabby for her part just nods and listens and once again thinks of how not normal her brother's life is… and if that's what's in store for her.

"Oh, we do and I'm reviewing them. There's a promising a Scientist who works in another division that looks to fit the bill for some of the work. But I was hoping you would consult as well." Jemma says quickly. "You've got those chemical rounds which I find fascinating and a good brain on you. It's all good and well having us squints do things, but the proof is in the pudding … or in this the case the field."

It's a balance and Jemma knows it. The scientists and engineers can create wonderful things but how those things work in practice. Well, you need people who use them and you trust to give you feedback. And in some cases, input to begin with.

"Doctor Redgyve, Agent May. I'm going to tap him for transferral. He started with DARPA and has been working on biomechanics with SHIELD for a while now."

May nods at that. Someone already inside SHIELD is easier to tap to help, though she's willing to recruit outside help as well if Jemma requests. Finishing her tea and setting her mug down, she looks at Gabby again. "I'll bet about now you're wishing you'd taken the blue pill." And if she doesn't get that movie reference May is going to just give up and go get some sleep.

"Yeah… down the rabbit hole isn't as much fun as Mobieus and Neo made it look." Gabby says wryly. She's got… powers she doesn't want. From traces she doesn't want. From a surgury she didn't want.

Redgyve is one of SHIELD's better. PHD out of MIT, did time in DARPA before coming to SHIELD. He's got an impressive resume as May will find out and more importantly he's not been connected to anything that the Daemonites infested.

Jericho just smirks a bit. "Just a bit of 70's chemistry, Simmons. I just figured out how to make it more efficient." Really he hadn't even done much of that. The chemistry is all there… it just hadn't been in 1970.

"Still, if you're willing Jericho, I'd value your help." Jemma looks at May as she makes that comment and smiles. "All we need now is an Agent Smith and we'll be set." The arguments she and Fitz had had about that movie when they saw it….

"I would have asked Doctor Storm to join me, but she's busy with the Fantastic Four. Apart from that…" the biochem shrugs "… I might recruit some CPU cycles of an AI I know." If she sees anyone though, she'll look into them.

"The rabbit hole can be fun, Gabby. And if you're up for it and can spare the time, I'm sure I can get you clearance to work on some of the things I'm thinking of." That incubator on the table keeps 'squicking'… Whatever is in there … might be growing.

Melinda May looks about to correct Gabby's mistake, but instead she just shakes her head slightly. "Simmons does have a point. You could always help her here." She'd most certainly put her stamp of approval on it. It'd mean the young woman could feel useful again, AND she'd be where Jemma could make sure she's okay if something happens with those new traces.

The comment about an AI earns Jemma a brief look from May, but she can think of more than one AI that might fit the bill. THough if she ends up having to deal with Stark…

"I'll… think about it." It's not no. But Gabrielle is a lot like her brother and has been learning of this hidden world from him. It's possible that she's picked up a bit of his paranoia. Or caution. He'd call it caution. On his better days.

Jericho makes a face. He gets what Jemma is doing but it's one of those things that damn close to HYDRA for him. Of course many things SHIELD does are damn close. Jericho knows that's not reason for alarm by itself but… well it's one of those things.

"You can get an Agent Smith here I'm sure. You've got a billion agents one of them has to be named Smith."

"A lot less Agents now." Jemma points out quietly but he's right. The law of averages has it as a certainty. Smith is just one of those names. Gabby's answer gets a slight nod, Jemma understands of course - she's not sure she'd want to be part of all this after what happened.

"We'll still keep up the visits though, ok, Gabby?" And hopefully Jericho will have some other friends take a look soon. Jemma's concerned and it shows.

Jericho's face making draws a look from the biochem. She's not sure what he's thinking. If she did, she might agree with him - but she's not voiced her own concern about her research might be subverted … for now though, what she's doing needs to be done.

"I think we're done here, for now." She announces to Gabby and Jericho. "If you do have another … incident … you know the drill?" Let Jemma know and she'll be there as quickly as she can be but take some readings if they can. "Agent May, did you have anything else?"

Melinda May considers, then shakes her head no. "Not unless you want to talk to Lewis about our findings in Turkey. If you do, I'll make sure she knows to meet up with you."

Jericho levers off the wall and Gabrielle stands up. "We'll keep in touch." He promises and opens the door for Gabby. As she steps out he pauses and levels a look at May.

"Call me later. I'll have more on HYDRA. We may need a new approach… and I happen to know a place where you can buy a good set of flats."

Because he already knows May has a dress…

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