Attacking The Trident

August 14, 2016:

Sea Swarm is attacked and the hulkbusters act in concert. SHIELD respond along with a certain US Marshal …


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

The 'Sea Swarm' project is a simple proof of concept. An attempt to coordinate a cloud of drones so that it responds to thinks at the speed of computing and as a single coordinated entity rather than a bunch of disorganized or individually piloted machines.

As such the machines currently being used to test it are not armed. They are, however, at Norfolk with all their hardware. Thomas has been monitoring that in conjunction with DoD security services and he's alerted SHIELD to the fact that the project is at risk while it's being moved.

Risk just turned to reality. Five minutes ago Norfolk reported an attack on the USS Trident, the ship carrying the sea swarm hardware.

SHIELD is good about tracking projects of interest, especially when asked to do so by another organization. Thus, the moment Norfolk reports the attack on the Trident, a quinjet is scrambled to offer assistance.

"Simmons. ETA one minute," May announces from where she's piloting the quinjet, and the tac team aboard do those last moment checks. They're ready to drop into a fight.

Jemma Simmons has been working non-stop on trying to work out a way to neutralise the viral processors and had, what she hopes, is a breakthrough just recently. A way to inject the processors with a viral vector … the problem is, is that TRINE will be able to recode the processors to 'immunise' against her infection.

They're going to have to work quickly if her solution is needed.

"Ready, May." the biochem is decked out in field gear, a live weapon at her side. Not that that will be much assistance against TRINE, but she does feel just a little safer.

There are two drones in the air. And by drones we mean massive hulkbuster suits. They're circling the Trident and blasting at it's anti-aircraft system. There's one on the deck. It's already ripped the door off one of the belowdecks entrences and its about to go down there.

Mey gets a missile lock warning. Incoming. It's gonna get bumpy.

"Hang on," is all warning May has time to give before yanking the quinjet's controls into a evasive maneuver likely to make anyone unaccustomed to her piloting very, VERY queasy. She's relying on the man in the copilot's seat to start with the return fire already.

"Doctor Simmons, make sure you're strap—-" One of the TAC agents starts to say as May maneouvres the Jet.

"I'm fine, really, Hogan…" the Scientist might look a little green, you'd think she'd be used to this by now. Guess she's not. "… May, we need to get the TAC unit on deck… and try to slow that Hulkbuster down."

"Try to alternate the type of firing on that suit. Make it fast enough and it might not adapt in time." It's a long shot. Without any suit to test on, Jemma's rather in the dark.

The evasive maneuver makes it hard to stay upright in the quinjet. Gorman, in the copilots seat, keeps that gatling gun going. Slow down that Hulkbuster is about all it's going to do. One of them changes course as the Quinjet zooms by, going up and putting itself on May's tail.

Below, there's a blue-white blur on the ship. Something's fighting the other Hulkbuster. It's probably Paradox but May's not going to have time to really look because she's still got two heavily armored suits that are now trying to shoot her down instead of put holes in the ship.

Melinda May hastily hits a rarely used button on the quinjet's control panel, causing flares to fire back at the hulkbusters chasing them while she continues with evading their attacks and simultaneously trying to get to the Trident. "Approaching drop zone, be ready," she snaps out at the same time as abruptly inverting the jet and righting it again. "Gorman, as soon as we hit the drop zone, I'm going to pull a Crazy Ivan."

"Oh god…" is all Jemma can say when May inverts the jet and rights again. It's very hard concentrating under these conditions and even harder reading the screen of her computer.

At Mays words, the biochem looks to Hogan who nods in her direction. Guess she's going to drop with the TAC Team. It might be safer.

As the jet hits the drop zone, the agents all pile out quickly, deploying in a defensive position, with Jemma following, watching the blue-white blur as he moves - she knows who that is. "Hogan, get me to the control room." The biochem is already moving. Most of the TAC team will aid Thomas, Hogan and Phillips drew the short straw. They get to escort the disaster magnet scientist through the mess so she can deploy her virus.

The hulkbuster suit dips at the last possible moment and May can hear and feel a chunk as it hits the bottom of the quinjet, grabs on and pulls. It's grip doesn't stay and May's able to drop her team off, but it's coming back and it's going to try to rip the wings off her plane, May has to know that.

When Jemma hits the floor Thomas is ten feet away. he doesn't say anything. He's busy. The sooner she gets to the comm room the better.

The second Simmons and the tac team are off the jet, May punches the engines and they're off again. If she can get at least one of those hulkbusters to follow this'll be worth it. And, without the passengers to worry about, her evasive flying is all the more abrupt. Come on, you stupid machines. Follow us.

The trip across the deck and through the ship seems to be too easy. But Jemma, with her two accompanying agents, finally arrive at the comms room.

"How long, Doctor Simmons?" Hogan barks as he and Phillips take up position in the doorway, guarding it … letting the biochem work.

"As long as it takes, Hogan." Jemma sounds distracted as she accesses the computer system. The Department of Defense hadn't been happy providing her access codes, but she got them anyway.

Plugging what looks like a dataspike into the ships computer, the biochem taps at the keys, deploying her virus … she just hopes she's fast enough and TRINE doesn't adapt too quickly.

She might be holding her breath.

Oh they're following. The Hulkbuster machines are big and heavy and they're actually not quite as maneuverable as the quinjet. There are two of them though and they're trying to box May in with streams of tracers as they chase her.

And then Jemma does her thing. And suddenly it's like they're fighting three separate people instead of one. Three people who aren't talking to eachother particularly well.

And that's the cue May was hoping for. The moment the two hulkbusters chasing the quinjet stop working so perfectly in sync, she hits a set of controls and forces the jet to turn 180 degress in mid-air and race straight back at the two robots. "Now, Gorman!"

"Doctor Simmons?" Hogan barks at the biochem again causing her to jump. She'd been so involved in watching the computer she'd forgotten he was there.

"It's deployed. Go and help the Marshal. I'll monitor the system from here." TRINE won't like this, not one bit, Jemma is sure. "It looks like the virus has disrupted their communications, which is more than I had hoped for. I wonder if… " She starts tapping at the keyboard, "… I can deploy some tracking code and download their current system… "

That would be very helpful is learning about TRINE, she's sure, and hopefully in developing a solution that might neutralise it. Still, she's going to have to be careful - this type of thing can backfire. If not now, later.

Gorman opens up on that chaingun again. The left hulkbuster starts to jerk as it's hit repeatedly. The cockpit sounds with 'tone' as May gets a missile lock on the other one. On the deck of the ship Thomas was fighting the hulkbuster down there. We say was because it's now on the bridge. The window shatters in as it boosts up there and aims a cannon at Jemma. May might be able to see.

That missile is sent off at the hulkbuster that Gorman isn't trying to ventilate, and she sees Thing #3 smashing in the Trident's bridge window. "Oh hell no." Forcing another another burst of speed out of the jet, she aims to try and clip that third hulkbuster with one of the quinjet's wings, regardless of what's become of Thing 1 and Thing 2.

As the window on the bridge shatters and she finds herself looking down the barrel of a cannon, Jemma doesn't appear to think. Something nearly instinctual kicks in and she grabs the data stick as she throws herself away from the console, towards the door, in what would be a nearly expert roll.

Except she lands short and is still in the comms room, now scrambling to get out … still in the line of sight for the Hulkbusting suit.

The energy beam from the suit's arm starts to track. It scores a wide burn mark across the wall headed right for Jemma…

And then May clips it and sends it through the wall. The quinjet's gonna take a hit as well. It's not anything she can't handle but she is missing about a foot of wing now.

The hulkbusters are nowhere to be seen now. All of them have dropped into the bay.

Mission accomplished.

May doesn't cuss at the quinjet's now completely erratic behavior, she kind of knew that was going to happen. But at least the collision helped slow the jet enough to use its VTOL engines to land (mostly) gently in the most open part of the Trident's deck. She leaves the shutdown sequence to Gorman and races out of the quinjet to make sure there's nothing else that has to be punched into submission.

Jemma's scrambling, somehow managing to find to the only slick spot on the deck and sliding as the energy beam tracks towards her. "Shit, shit shit…" she mutters, eyes wide … and then its gone.

Collapsing to the deck, she pants a little and quakes before picking herself up and stumbling out to find the others.

Waving to May, the shaken biochem looks around for Thomas and the others … "Are they gone?" Please, someone tell her they're gone.

They're gone. Thomas is still on the deck. He looks like he took a hit and he's a bit stunned. He's alive though.

"Damage report!" The captain of the Trident is saying as May runs up.

"AA system offline, sea swarm system is offline. Don't think that they managed to take anything. We're gonna need a tow into port though."

Security makes way for May. "Agent. Thank you for coming so quickly."

Melinda May nods to Security and taps at her comm. "Gorman, have SHIELD arrange to two the ship in and send a medical team." She then gets Simmons by the elbow as she moves to check on Thomas. "They're gone."

"Oh, thank god… I'm alright, May…" says the biochem who looks a bit of a frazzled mess. Still she lets the Senior Agent lead her onwards. "I don't believe they got into your system." Jemma adds to security as they pass "They would have attempted to neutralise the Virus I injected, first, I believe." That TRINE hadn't was a blessing.

"Thomas. Are you ok. Let me look you over…"

"Ow." He's fine. He wasn't fine when he got hit. His rib cage was shattered and his back was broken. It should have killed him.

That it didn't is something that may possibly come up later. Of course there's no evidence of the injuries now. It's like it never happened.

"I'm alright. Glad you guys could make it."

Don't mind him. He'll just be laying here for a minute.

Gorman comes up after shutting down the quinjet. He's already calling in the tow as May asked. And a backup jet since this one's gonna be taken out on a flatbed.

May will insist on flying he's sure.

And he's right.

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