Examining the Evidence

March 25, 2017:

Peggy Carter and Jessica Jones bring all of their evidence before Tony Stark. They start to compare notes and theories about the perpetrators behind the five murders and the leads they can follow to continue unraveling the case. Things get tense Jessica realizes the elusive Agent Holmes may have a highly specific power set.

Alias Investigations, Hell's Kitchen, NY

Now featuring: celebrity rooftop appearances!

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Obidiah Stane, Bucky Barnes, Jane Foster, Peter Quill

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

After Peggy and Jessica had gone through all the evidence together, as much as was possible, they both agreed on one thing. They couldn't get much farther without Tony Stark.

And so Jessica had instructed her Starkphone as follows. "Jarvis." She really should probably change the default name of the virtual assistant to distinguish it from THE JARVIS but she can't think of a good one.

"Send a secure message to Tony Stark's private line. Tell him that we have a break in the case and to meet Peggy and I at Alias Investigations. Just…find a hole in his schedule and tell me what it is. I'm sure you probably can." She has no idea what the relationship between the phone and all of Tony's tech is, but…the thing could detect arc reactor technology. She isn't sure if over-the-shelf phones really do that, so she assumes Tony set her up with something that maybe could get straight to him.

She paces around the room a little bit as she waits, but she's a far cry from the panicking wreck that Peggy got in the car. She moves to the coffee pot, brewing some not because she wants coffee, but because it makes her feel like she's accomplishing something useful. The evidence is all laid out and clearly marked on the table: the arc reactor they found, the portal pieces, the hard drive, everything else. She's got the video ready to go.

—-

It doesn't take very log for her to get a reply. In typical Stark form the reply is thus.

'Ok.'

Sometimes Tony is…well…too much of himself. Does that mean 'Ok I get you and will make time.' Or 'Ok I'm on my way over.' or 'Ok why are you bothering me or…'

…well its very ambiguious.

What isn't ambigious is the fact that that soon after there is rumble overhead. A thump somewhere high above them from the roof. Then…silence…

…until Tony himself strolls into the door, lugging a large case in one hand. Its painted red and gold. Totally inconspicious.

Totally.

—-

Super inconspicuous. Peggy Carter is already at Alias Investigations. She has had a bit of time to try and process what happened in Baltimore by herself, so she is returned to her more professional self. Leaning against Jessica's desk, her arms are crossed as she first looks up at the roof when Stark lands on it. Then, she looks to Jessica with a raised eyebrow.

"Apparently, an older, more patient woman than myself helped raise Tony," she tells the PI in a very dry statement. It's hard to tell what exactly she is getting to with it, but it seems to say that even she may make mistakes? However, she is still fond of Tony and the connection he is loathe to admit he has with his father. It's just easier for her to make light of things at times.

Perhaps her dryness is directly linked to the evidence that is laid out on Jessica's desk that has not been logged into SHIELD, that is still currently flying under its radar. While she has flown in the face of the government and agency before, that was not one she helped create.

"I have a feeling he got our message," Peggy smirks at Jessica.

—-

Jessica puts the ruined jacket and shirt on the table too, having remembered there might be some kind of something or another traces on them. She hears the thunk and shakes her head. "People are going to realize he hired me…"

Then again she's not sure how stuffed in the bag that particular cat is. "Hey, Tony," she says, sweeping her hand over the entire array of things. "Look what we found for you in Baltimore. Want coffee?"

That's it for niceities, because she jumps right in. "Prepare for things to get about 100 times weirder than we ever anticipated." She glances at Peggy, not sure whether or not the SHIELD Agent wants to take over the actual briefing part. After all, Peggy had made it clear that she feels this is very much SHIELD buisness at the moment, far more than it was when there was merely a rumor that SHIELD was stealing the tech. She's content to follow the spook's lead on this.

—-

"Weirder than standing in the same room with the twenty year old version of someone that was a mom figure?" Tony quips with a smirk. "No offence," This towards Peggy as he thumps the box down near the desk. "Weirder than having someone talk to you about running so fast he breaks time? I don't know. I can handle a lot of weird." A pause. "That last one /really/ upset Jane, so if she ever gets all fired up about something just mention Quantam Cardio and she'll be distracted ranting for at least fifteen minuites."

He peers down at the evidence, the pictures, the clothes? The…arc reactor?

"Alright, sooooo…someone sum it up for me?"

—-

"I'm twenty-eight," Peggy corrects Tony immediately. At Jessica's concern, she smiles and shrugs her shoulders just slightly. "Unfortunately, what I've learned of Tony Stark is that if you were hoping for discretion, you have certainly chosen the wrong client." Though he has been better about it recently, Tony is not a subtle man.

"Offense is not taken, but this may only be due to the fact that there is far more important things for which we must act." Pushing herself off of the desk, she allows Tony to glance about both the scrap and the proper things they have brought back for him to inspect. She gives him a few moments to look at them without any information before she looks to Jessica. Seeing that she expects Peggy to debrief, she quickly transitions into that tone and posture of a professor or the actor telling Luke Skywalker about how he should approach the Death Star.

"Jessica and I traveled to Baltimore to investigate one of the women who supposedly killed herself. What we found was a crime scene and a secret lab. She seemed to think that she was either working secretly for you or was not and worried you had no idea. She had a back up plan that would send all the data she had done to you after a month with no check in. Ms. Anders was smart, incredibly smart, Tony. She managed to make an Arc Reactor and then use it to power some form of dimension into another world. A parallel dimension with doppelgangers of ourselves."

Though she obviously wishes to tell that Jessica was an Agent of SHIELD in that world, she is not about to divulge that information without her consent. Instead, she says, "What was clear is that Ms. Anders was scared for her life. She had a daughter. Before her death, she sent her away."

—-

Peggy's younger than her. This surprises Jessica. It also makes her sigh a little. Yep. During her twenties she molded away watching lots of television. Peggy was out saving the world and starting international badass organizations. Still, she puts that away to examine later, listening to Peggy debrief, looking for things she can add.

"Rightfully. The aunt that was caring for the baby was brutally murdered," Jessica says, grimly. "A week before we got there. Still haven't found the baby daddy." She clasps her hands behind her back. "Which was my fault. I mis-prioritized the lead. I thought it was self-explanatory. And yeah. She said…well. Here. Jarvis, play the video."

Jessica apparently doesn't care what Tony knows about her other self. The case, the evidence, is way more important.

The young woman looks harrowed, like she hasn't slept for days. The date in the corner will confirm for them both that she likely died tired.

"This is my last entry. Aunt Cass doesn't know all of it. I asked her to take Annette some place safe. To someone we could trust. I've recorded and backed up everything SHIELD has asked of me since recruiting me. If I'm not back here in a month, it'll automatically find it's way to Tony Stark. I don't.. ever since we swapped phones, Agent Holmes has been icy. I think he knows I tampered with his. That my excuse was made up. I wish I had never done it."

The girl swallows, and looks down, the light on her face the same one illuminating them both: The light of an arc reactor.

"Building one of these was a dream. Using the other plans.. was a nightmare. I don't know what is going on here, if Mr. Stark is working on this technology or not. I don't know who will find this, an Agent of SHIELD, or someone in Mr. Stark's office. But i'll say here what I'm to afraid to say to your faces. Don't do it. Don't use it. We're not supposed to know our other selves. We're not supposed to know."

The video-on-the-video ends, and another monitor to the other side shows a small progress bar, as if something is counting up and up towards 100 percent, though it's an old DOS-style prompt. It's hard to say what it could be.

The arc reactor glows and hums. and with a sudden pop of a sound the space inside the circle seems to become a mirror. But not like a mirror, exactly. There's a lab there, but no Peggy, no Jessica. Instead, the woman in what looks to be a SHIELD jumpsuit turns slightly, her hair pulled back into a messy ponytail, and her forehead showing evidence of a cut.

"For frags sake, it's been weeks, what the f…" And then, the woman approaches. Cautiously. Slowly. And as she does it becomes clear that she is familiar to them both.

She is Kelly Anders.

"W-who are you? Where's Kelly? Wh…holy shit. Agent Jones."

There's a blip, and the image blurs for a moment, and Kelly looks up and around, a loud blast of a sound shaking her location. "Jess, find Fury, or someone else on that side near the top. Find them and tell them that Holmes - our Holmes was recruited from over here, and that there's no telling how he'll use his power. You have to- oh no. Oh frag. Turn it off. Turn it off! He's finding you. YOU HAVE TO TURN IT OFF FROM YOUR SIDE!"

The sound of battle that echoes through the ceiling in another dimension is harrowing, and Anders braces herself as part of that ceiling shakes loose behind her.There's something more to this energy mirror in the circle in front of them. Something odd beyond the obvious. Dust is floating in front of them. Dust that is not in this very clean space under the house. Dust that comes from over there. There's an explosion from this 'other side', and both of them will get to watch as Kelly Anders reaches for her belt and tosses something towards them.

This is the point where Tony gets video views of Jessica wildly cutting the feed.

"And…this isn't even the end of it," Jess says grimly, when the video is done.

—-

Tony has blueberries.

Where he got the bag, and just why he's popping them like popcorn while watching this harrowing vid-feed is a mystery for the ages, but he has them. Maybe it just helps him concentrate when watching something, or maybe he was just hungry. What is known though is that he is defintally paying attention.

Other dimetions. Different worlds. Different people. "Right. Well." A pause. "Defintally weird." He throws a few more blueberries into his mouth to chew on thoughtfully as he offers the bag of berries towards Peggy.

"First things first, I bet you would look good in a SHIELD jumpsuit." This towards Jessica. "Second thing, JARVIS." The box that he brought it lights up.

"Sir?"

"Get a copy of this, find the biometrics on the kid and start a search. Thats something nice and concrete." A pause again as he looks towards the items on the table. "I'll need to see if she build the reactor the same way I did mine or if there is something wrong with it. Sounded like there is something wrong with it." A longer pause before he glances towards Peggy. "So, agent Holmes? What we got on him? Not that he's gonna be the top of the food chain since he was recruited but he's at least a thread to pull."

A pause again as he looks back towards Jessica.

"I'd like to see the whole thing. I'll get JARVIS to stick it on a propritary server. I'll have the only access."

—-

As Peggy is offered blueberries, she does not waver or take any. Instead, she looks down at the proffered bag and then up at Tony with a disappointed and also confused look. Hearing the entire situation again from Jessica's recording only brought up her own feelings on the matter again. While she's restrained, it's clear she does not appreciate Tony's flippant mannerisms. Indeed, while the bag is offered to her, she attempts to swipe it from him.

Her own findings are not yet divulged. Honestly, as she watches Tony handle the situation, she mentally closes some questions and information down from this meeting. She is not in the habit of revealing sensitive information to someone who may not recognize the severity and importance of secrecy.

Instead, she focuses on his questions. "Agent Holmes is not a member of SHIELD here. It seems this is one of the many differences between the two worlds. We brought all this evidence here for you to examine for exactly that same reason. She seemed to think you may or may not have known about what was going on. It's clear that she thought she was working with some form of authority, though." It might be either from Stark Industries or SHIELD. The communicator was passed along, after all. It all seems entangled.

—-

Tony opines how Jessica Jones might look in a SHIELD jumpsuit. Her expressive face twists into something incredulous, uncomfortable, and reproachful all at once, though she doesn't directly address it. She crosses her arms over her chest instead. She's hardly wearing her undamaged leather jacket in her own home, but she casts a swift, longing look at its location, slung as it is over the back of her chair.

She returns her gaze to Tony when he says he wants to examine the video at length. "Yeah, sure, of course."

"We were attacked by a guy calling himself Merc," she says. "He was able to be briefly in three places at once. He and his associates might have been behind Cassandra Marx's beheading. The burn marks we found were consistent with that. They may also have been consistent with the faux-Iron Man suit. He had some sort of energy weapon—you can see what they did to the clothes you gave me. Which saved my life, by the way, so thanks, cause he got two direct hits on me. The rounds exploded. He said he came cause he sensed a rift. The rift that arc reactor created. We tangled with him and got away. We still don't understand how he's involved, but he may also be a third party who wants to entangle himself in all this, just as dangerous as our first party who initiated this whole thing."

She pulls over one of her chairs and straddles it, using the chair back as something of a shield, giving her body more cover. She isn't sure what Peggy's withholding, but she charges ahead, bull-in-a-china-shop fashion.

"We still don't know how our perpetrator was able to murder all four victims and make it look like a suicide. Maybe our murderer staged the scenes. But the murder of Cassandra Marx is a sharp break from the original MO. There was no staging here. Whoever went was looking for this stuff. They didn't find it by sheer luck, chance."

—-

The inventor gets his food snatched. This only causes him to shrug slightly before looking back to the evidence. One hand reaches out to touch the edge of the rector and the other one to look at the strange portal device.

He frowns slightly, head turning slightly as he notes something. "This part was made at Stark Labs or one of the affiliates. The machineing techniques we use are unique. Give me twelve hours and I can track the facility. The reactor is one of my old designs, uses the same base theories and the palladium core. That'll kill you if you leave it in your own body for too long. Palladium poisoning sucks."

He's speaking via experiance.

"Well, for the record. I had no idea all this was going on or I would have been in the middle of it. Someone stoke my tech and used some kind of variant tech to get the portal. Not sure what or who yet, but it can't be more than a handfull of people who could do something like that. So…someone either high up in SHIELD or Stark decided to dupe on of my employees to get at my tech."

A pause as he taps on the desk.

"She was brilliant enough to work with it, and it got her killed." He adds with a frown. "I guess we need to find this Merc and ask some questions. Let me take a scan of this residue and see if I can get a pattern match. JARVIS can make scans for similar energy, if he used a weapon like that there can't be too many like that either. So its a way to track him…and I'll have Jane step up her armor program, take the damage and apply it to her research too. Should be able to turn out cloth-weight body armor soon enough."

Which they may need.

"They didn't get sloppy on this last one then. They either didn't need to be quiet about it anymore, or they were rushed. Don't know which yet. But no, a portal like this would throw out a specific energy signal. Would be easy enough to trace…espicially if someone used my satalites. I'll check for tampering."

—-

Now the proud owner of a stolen bag of blueberries, Peggy - much like a teacher in class who has confiscated an item - merely holds onto it. Perhaps he'll get it back at the end of class. As Jessica continues to explain about the people from what seems like a different dimension, she nods a few times. If Jessica is speaking about anything she wishes to hold back it either doesn't faze Peggy or she has a good poker face. It really could be either one.

"I still don't believe this is SHIELD. At least, not SHIELD on this side. Holmes isn't one of ours. So, either it's the Holmes here pretending to be a member of SHIELD or it's the Holmes from the other side, who is a SHIELD Agent." Frowning, Peggy crosses her arms, processing Tony's technical information for a few moments before she speaks again, attempting to wrap her mind around the full scope of this. Whenever alternate realities come into play, well, that's when things start to get complicated.

"If she was using one of the older designs, is that because she only had access to the old design or was it impossible for her to build the new one with what resources she had?" That's a question she glances at Tony. Only he'd know if she could even possibly have access to the newer design or how difficult it would be able to build in a bunker lab.

"Tracking him would be good, but I don't believe we'll have much of a civil conversation with him. He said he works for an agency and he was pretty intent on not letting us leave there alive. I attempted to engage him in some conversation, but he wasn't that interested in talking." With a frown, she taps her fingers a few times against her forearm.

"The Kelly from the other side gave us a communicator," she says to Tony. "It had a file on Holmes with a picture. He had the same red colored eyes as we saw that cowboy." That part is directed at Jess. "He's definitely the man we saw in Stane's videos, but it seems that eye discoloration is the reason he wore sunglasses. He worked security and infiltration there."

—-

As Tony gets down to business the set of Jessica's tense shoulders relaxes again. By the time he's done talking the discomfort has cleared, though she remains on her perch, her chin now resting on her folded arms. She listens to what Tony says. "So…given what you both have just said. Let's talk leads and actionable next steps. Once Tony tracks the facility we'll have that to explore. I know where Merc is going…I know who one of his targets is. I am going to warn him. Chances are Merc will appear in Gotham next. But I can't think of an efficient way to monitor that or him, short of…well. Quill is capable. I could ask the Guardians to at least try to detain him or get more answers out of him as they try to survive him. It seems a little brutally mercenary to do that but…none of us can be 8 places at once."

"If you find a location with your satellites…we can look into that spot, too."

Jones tap taps her fingers against the back of her chair and frowns. "If Holmes has the same red eyes he could be from the same agency as Merc. He might not even be SHIELD over there, or he may be a double agent. He could be a rogue from that agency. They close down portals, he opens them up for whatever purpose seems good to him. But…maybe he knows Agent Jones. Maybe if we find him I could don a suit and pretend to be her. Unless of course she'd be carrying some of that portal residue on her by virtue of being on this side, which means you, Tony, would have to find a way to duplicate it."

She stands up suddenly, discomfort gone. "I told Jane, by the way, what was happening, Tony," she says, a little apologetic, but also too naturally honest to hide it. "She matters a lot to me. Once I realized she was in your lab I couldn't hold that close. Still…if you're handing out body armor clothing upgrades I sure won't say no."

But that's not really where the PI's mind is. "So. Marx's killer could be Holmes…but it seems likely to me that it was Holmes he would have staged a suicide. He may have the eyes but we've also seen no evidence he has Merc's weapons. I think Holmes killed your 4 employees, but I don't have evidence to back that yet."

She turns and paces in the other direction. "Marx's killer could be Merc and his cadre, as you suggested, Peggy, but that makes little sense. They'd have found the tech, and taken it, a week ago if it was them."

She finds herself back at the coffee table, frowning down at the assembled body of evidence. "I think the killer was Suit II, the Return of Suit. I think he knew he was looking for something, but not what. I think he got what he wanted out of the stolen tech, or maybe even stole it himself, without this ring of people. Nevertheless…the next time Suit II, Return of Suit … returns…if he does so in a place and at a time where I can, maybe I could follow him with good old fashioned footwork." It really would help if she could fly too, but…maybe roof leaping from a good distance behind would be more subtle.

"Finally, there's Baby Daddy, who may be Holmes, a member of the Agency, someone from their world, someone from ours, or just a guy. He may have answers. He may also want to take custody of his daughter. If JARVIS' search turns up anything on that DNA scan you just did, Tony, would you please let me know? I know Baby Daddy seems incidental, but…it's a maybe yes, maybe no, thing, and it's still important no matter what."

—-

"SHIELD or no SHIELD, its someone with access to top level intel from both Stark Labs and SHIELD. Also access to both, that can't be a horribily long list." A pause then. "And I'm sure I'm on it." He adds with a smirk before be leans back against the wall, watching the scanners play over the items on the desk as JARVIS commits things to personal memory.

"Both I'd say. After I found out all this was happening I scrubbed anything older than a Mark II, stuck it on JARVIS's primary core that only I can get too and scrubbed the rest of the drives. Also the power source that runs the newer Arc systems…tastes like coconut by the way…isn't on any of the servers and I don't do anything with it anywhere people with cameras can get at. Don't want anyone stealing badassium before I get it perfected."

"I'd agree that Suit That Is So Much Less Awesome Than Mine Mk II is involved, and likely made the mess. Seems to be the MO. He doesn't care about colateral damage. Tried to flatten mom's hospital when we met last. I had to object to that."

A pause.

"Its also been upgraded. Its got some kind of ablative stealth coating that also helps shield it from repulsor blasts. Burned it off last time, but I'm not sure it'll work again."

A pause.

"Its one of the reasons I can't easily track the thing though. Otherwise I'd just find it and kick its teath in."

The inventor pauses for a moment again as he looks between the pair of them. "So…I can start retasking my sat systems as soon as I get back to look for this sort of thing, and the residue shouldn't be that hard to fix up."

—-

"Quill seemed to be one of his own personal targets, not so much someone the Agency was after. It's possible that Merc may attempt to kill two birds with one stone, but I'm not sure we can count on that being his next move." Peggy frowns and shrugs her shoulders. "Of course, it can't hurt to have them be on alert and to tell us should he appear to collect his bounty." All she can do when Jessica calls Peter capable is raise her eyebrow. It's not a lot, but it also speaks volumes as to what she herself believes of the Star-Lad.

"I don't believe SHIELD of that dimension is involved in that way. Remember what Other Side Kelly said? Holmes was recruited into something. That is probably the same Agency that Merc was talking about. So, I believe you're right, those red eyes may determine that someone has joined that Agency." She frowns, continuing, "His file also mentioned that he recently had been exhibiting signs of augmented abilities. That checks against what Kelly had said about not knowing how he'll use his power. If joining the Agency gives you augmented powers, that could explain the Cowboy's enhanced reflexes, the woman with the light and Holmes. The file said his ability was one that could influence electromagnetic activity in the human brain. I'm not exactly sure what that means, but it sounds like he can effect how someone thinks."

That stated, she pauses for a moment for that to sink in before she adds, "If that is the case, then I certainly believe Holmes is the killer of those women. He might have the ability to make them think that they must kill themselves. Where the Suit comes in, I am not sure, other than clearly benefitting from the stolen Stark technology. But, I'm wary of having any of us meet with this Holmes without finding a way to ensure he cannot effect us. Undercover as someone he may know or not."

As Tony says that the Suit's suit has been updated, she nods a few times. "So, whoever is in that Suit is either making those changes by themselves, or they still have help on the inside. Perhaps we should work with that as well. At least we know that whoever is stealing your information is not able to get onto JARVIS' primary core." That would be quite a task and a problem, were that the case. "I guess the best we can do is try and find them and work out a plan as to how we can contain them when we do. It might be time to bring in SHIELD. They have the resources."

—-

Peggy raises her eyebrows; Jessica catches it. It may be rare for someone to defend Peter Quill, but Jones does, and stoutly. "He saved my life once," she says. "And it wasn't by accident. It was a deliberate choice to go into a place he knew dick-all about and to get me, a woman he barely knew and had zero reasons to give two shits about. I've seen him in action, and I'm telling you. The man is capable."

With that settled and out of the way, she listens to what Peggy says. And exhales. "Well. There's our proof he killed Anders, Abrams, Katsulas, and Sanderson. He used his ability to influence electromagnetic impulses to force them to commit suicide." And that's when her entire being flickers to rage. Brown eyes flash and an ugly expression passes over her face. "That makes him yet another mind controller, and that means he's too dangerous to live. Peggy. You might have to bring in SHIELD. SHIELD needs to issue a kill order on that guy. And yesterday. I am not trying to be presumptious, guys like that are literal cancer and the amount of havok they can wreak is… we will not get shit out of him. Not unless we can keep him from influencing our impulses and the impulses of anyone in his personal range."

God Damn It.

She looks around for something safe to hit and finds nothing. It's unprofessional anyway. She settles for closing her eyes, hands shaking as she shoves them into the pockets of her jeans.

Will they listen?

Nobody ever wants to believe. About the mind control.

She struggles to listen to the rest through the dark and creepy feeling that is rising up inside of her. She opens her eyes, visibly forces herself to focus, her face white.

"And while it might very well be someone with access to both high-level Stark Industries information and high level SHIELD information, we don't know the combos. It could be access on both sides. It could be access to one in one universe, access to one in the other. It could be access on this side."

—-

MEANWHILE! AT SHADOWCREST!

Peter Quill snores loudly before a shotgun like sneeze raises him from his slumber. The sudden jolt to awakeness tangles him in his sheets aand he looses his footing as he tries to leap up. Instead faceplanting right into the floor of the magical house. One arm comes up. "I'm fine! Nobody get up! I got this."

Totally capable.

—-

"No idea who Quill is but I'm guessing he's not some kind of feathered pen, I'll leave that one up to you two." Tony replies as he taps a finger against his leg and looks longingly at the bag of snacks in Peggy's hand.

Focus Tony. Focus.

"So, if he can control thoughts. Then we don't have him meet with us, we have him meet…onne of my conntrolled suits. Or over a video confrence. What we do with him I'll leave up to you all. But I think I should be able to rig something up so we don't have to be there, even when we are there." A pause. "Its confusing I know but just trust me, I can work up something. I'm working on stuff to counter that damn hulked out piece of trash, I can get JARVIS tracking down other leads, but this is…consistant with what was taken. The actual Starktech that the Mk II has doesn't seem to be advancing anywhere near as fast as what I have, but I'll make sure all the channels I can think of are locked down. This stuff does not need to get out into the wider world."

Its scary enough just him having it.

—-

Peggy certainly understands defending people who helped you even if they look guilty or incapable. That was quite a lot of friendship with Howard. While she will reserve her own opinions about Quill, she doesn't counter Jessica's or attempt to argue with her about them. He helped her, that's good enough to at least give him some benefit of the doubt. For now. Instead, she uncrosses her arms and puts up her hands just slightly in a gesture of opinion surrender. Quill is capable when it comes down to it. She'll let that be. In fact, she won't even make an easy joke of Quill being feather brained at Tony's own quip about Quill's name.

In any event, what is of more concern is Jessica's immediate reaction to her information about Holmes. "I'll talk with them, then. But, there's a lot here I'm not sure I can explain properly. I'll have to take the drives to them as well as this communicator. So, if there is anything you all would like to look at and keep, I would do it now or before I go to them with this. I'm, also, unsure of how they will respond. But, I agree, this man is dangerous and if he has the ability to change what people think, he is more than that."

It doesn't take a good reader of people to see that Jessica is shaken with this knowledge and that something more personal is going on here. She gives the woman a reassuring look - for whatever that will mean to her. "We'll make sure he doesn't do this to anyone else."

To Tony, she nods and finally rolls her eyes just a bit. With a quick flick of her wrist, she tosses the bag of blueberries back to Tony when he looks longingly at them. Call it a reward for good behavior. "So, we need to find out if there is still a mole within Stark Industries as well as if Holmes has been attempting to do this with SHIELD on this side. Tony will work on a way for us to try and subdue Holmes without being effected by him as well as tracking him. I will talk to people within SHIELD, Jessica will continue to try and track down the father of Kelly's child."

—-

Jessica scowls with utter, hot frustration. Tony believes her, but doesn't take her seriously enough.

"The problem with having him meet with a suit or anything," Jessica says flatly, "is that you're basically leaving this guy to wander around. Imagine, if you will, a man who can look at anyone and say 'stab yourself in the eye.' 'Throw hot coffee in your face.' 'Everyone in this room fight each other to the death.'" Jesus. She'd thought about magical traps, but…what about electromagnetic control? Will her mind ever really be safe and closed off? "I want you to really imagine what someone like that could do, especially when he's got secrets to protect. He could turn anyone into a weapon. He could be Baby Daddy, and he could be Baby Daddy because he forced Kelly Anders to have sex with him. You can't just…treat that flippantly, or be like, 'oh it's fine, we'll just talk to him with a robot.'"

Peggy, however, takes her completely seriously. It drags her off the metaphorical ceiling, and she shoots the woman an absurdly grateful look that she doesn't even bother to hide. The combination of being believed and taken seriously when talking about threats that she has historically not been believed and taken seriously when discussing does much to further endear the spook to one emotionally battered private detective.

"And to attempt to follow Suit II," Jessica agrees. "Now that I know this dude's a mind controller I don't want to have anything to do with trying to fool him."

Peggy says she should do whatever needs to be done with the info, and she frowns down at it, picking up one of the hard drives. She's made her case in regards to these before; she's reluctant to press it. In the end she puts it down, looking away, lips thinning a little as she decides not to pursue the matter a second time.

—-

Yesssssssss.

Snacks!

Tony reclaims the berries and munches on a few of them while he listens to the plan slowly being formed. Jessica isn't happy with him, but thats normal. People usually arn't happy with Tony Stark. Even his friends arn't always happy with him. Kinda comes with being who he is.

But like usual for him, Peggy saves the day. At least his mouth is full so he doesn't snap right back at Jess and piss off the lady he hired. Thats never a good thing.

"Alright then, I'll need comprenhensive scans of everything, copies of the drives so JARVIS can go though them. And I'm glad you told Jane, not that it matters to her much I bet. She sleeps in the lab now, and I've had to give Bucky a key so he stops breaking in."

Freeking superspies.

—-

The more Jessica becomes angry with Tony, the more Peggy suspects that her assessment that this is personal becomes solidified. "I'll talk to SHIELD, however, I'm unsure how they will respond to him as a threat. It's just as likely that they will have a similar plan to Tony's rather than move to a kill order immediately."

As they formulate their plan, she nods a few times. "I'm sure you can have that. Can you do the scans here or do we need to take the evidence to your lab?" She'd prefer to have everything done in an orderly and timely fashion.

Hearing that Jane is sleeping in his lab and Bucky continues to break in is met with a bit of a laugh. She can see that being the case for both of them. "At least that sounds like something resembling a plan."

—-

At least the flash in the pan of Jessica's temper is quick and to the point. She probably should be more worried about pissing off the employer; the number of hours she's racked up on his case amounting to an awful lot of billable hours to her. But she'd also observed that Tony, baffling as it was, preferred her when she was just herself. This includes, in this case, getting pissy because she feels the mind control thing is not being handled correctly.

But again, as before, he simply returns back to the work, and whatever ire she'd felt seems to simmer out of her. She smiles a wan, affectionate smile at mention of both Bucky and Jane, though as she pulls up, on her own phone, the surveillance video of one Agent Holmes, she looks darkly thoughtful. Because she sure does know two other people who would take this threat as seriously as she does. Still, she keeps that one close to her chest too. It's not even actionable until she can see them in person again.

Peggy offers realistic information on the kill order and Jessica wraps her arms around herself.

She is not a cold-blooded killer. Peggy knows this. She freaked out when it seemed she'd accidentally killed Merc in self-defense. But Merc was still in the 'person' category. Holmes is now officially in the monster category. "If he hasn't just fucked off back to his own universe. It would be hard to tell if he did, since he doesn't officially exist here."

She crosses to the window, gazing out of it. Dark thoughts when contemplating one Bucky Barnes, but also dark thoughts as she contemplates what she, herself, might do when confronted with Kilgrave II. She needs protection though; and now that means reaching out to two friends, instead of one.

She looks over her shoulder to see what the answer to Peggy's question is, whether he can scan it here or needs his bigger, better lab to do it, face cast in grim lines.

—-

"I can do it here, JARVIS should have the power to do it. I just need to get a bit dressed up first. If you'll excuse me…" Stark steps next to the case as it splits in two. One foot is slammed down into it, one fist thrust into the interrior that is now writing and shifting like a mass of snakes. Sliding up to fit over Tony's form, the gleaming metal of the Iron Man suit bright in the Jessica's office.

It takes less than a minuite before he stands there encased in metal. Obviously of lighter make than his normal suit, the ribbing and armored plates missing from much of the form. Still its powerful.

And more importantly portable.

"JARVIS?"

"Of course, sir."

Bright light of a more powerful scanning system illumates the table. "Just the evidence, already made Jess there mad enough at me. Don't need to see whats in her desk drawers too. Even though I'm already doing everything I can to find the man that I didn't know about till five minuites ago. Are the systems being retasked?"

"Biometric and genetic markers being uploaded. I should be able to begin section mapping the city in less than an hour. It will take some time, sir. There are many people in the city."

They might not be able to see Tony's expression but one can almost see the eyeroll. Apparently there is too much sass in JARVIS' circuits.

Pardon his dry british humor.

—-

"There might be. We all have doubles, right? Or, perhaps not me as my double may have already died of old age on that world. That would mean that Agent Holmes should have his double here as well. There has to be some record of a Holmes, even if it is not that one."

Then, she steps back to allow Tony to suit up and get JARVIS working on scanning the files. It's still weird to hear a British voice that is not Edwin Jarvis give Tony instructions. However, she does smirk when she hears the quip. That was a very Jarvis response to that request.

Pulling out the communicator, she pulls up the picture of Holmes that was in the file. He's certainly the man from the tapes Obadiah showed them, but this time with the red eyes. "Here's a little bit better view of his face, if that should help." She holds it up so that both Jessica, Tony and, well, JARVIS can see it.

—-

Jess can hear the aggrieved tone in Tony's voice, and she sighs, looking down. "I'm not angry at you, Tony. I was angry but…just. Not really at you. And I'm not saying you should find the guy in 20 seconds. I expect it could take days, weeks. I'm angry at the guy. I'm heartsick about all of this." She looks down. God. God. She's so…weak.

"I'm scared. Actually. If you want to get right down to it. Jesus, I thought you'd be angry at me, I just told you I almost fucked this case up to the nine hells. I almost expected you to fire me today. This is your case. I just…wanted you to take the threat seriously, is all. Someone with mind control. Those people can move like ghosts through the world. They don't need ID. They don't need money. They can just say…'check me into your best hotel room. Comp me that meal.' Now maybe it takes him more effort than it took…others. But…"

Oh no. Oh damn it. What is this emotion…no. Fuck no. Fuck it all she is not going to tear up. She moves quickly to the fridge and withdraws bottled waters, offering them around, though she just puts Tony's down next to the suit. She uncaps hers and gulps, really, really wishing it was something else. But she manages not to cry. This is too close to revealing too much to two people she does not know well.

"I just want you to take me seriously, is all." Me, this time, not him, not this. But she doesn't seem to notice the slip.

"If we get a first name we're golden. I can find just about anyone," she says, nodding her head. "And I suppose we should verify the guy can control minds, but…I don't know how to do that safely."

She takes a photo with her own phone, making sure to get the red eyes. She takes several.

—-

"Jess, you know I take everything equally seriously. Which is to say I don't take anything seriously. At least verbaly. I mean listen to me, I never make sence to most people. So when I'm not taking this seriously is when I am taking things seriously. Or something. I'm complicated." Tony replies with a mechanical assisted shrug.

Its just who and how he is.

"But no I'm not going to fire you, I mean hell you've done a hundred times better than my own security team!" He says as he gestures to the table. "Anyway, I should start analzyzing all this. Its going to take some time, as JARVIS so helpfully reminded me just now."

"I try, sir."

"You do." Comes the mock growl.

"Lets start with finding more information on Holmes then. And see where we get from there."

—-

As Jessica talks, Peggy listens. However, she does not go over to comfort her, nor does she do anything but take the bottled water from her when it is offered. Instead, she remains silent and listens. This is a speech for Tony and she will not intrude on it.

When Jessica gets back into business talk, she does the same. She leaves the communicator up for enough time for everyone to get their pictures or their scans and then she lowers it. There are other photos and contacts on there, but at the moment they are not quite as important as Holmes. She'll discuss those with them should they reach another dead end. Or, perhaps when emotions are not running quite this high. Too much information at once can bog an investigation down just as easily as having no information at all.

She smirks at Tony good naturedly when he calls himself complicated. "I'm not sure complicated is the proper word for you, Tony Stark," she tells him dryly. It's remarkable that she and JARVIS have almost matching tones in that. "But, I agree, let's focus on Holmes and see where that leads us."

—-

It's probably for the best. Jessica's agitation settles yet again, the mercurial woman clinging to the actual investigation, the one thing that makes her feel steady and sane when stability and sanity waver. However high her emotions run, she can always make that her bedrock once again, and she does so now. Her dry, sardonic comment to Tony is, "I wouldn't know anything about being complicated."

She is able to readily forgive these things, given how much forgiveness she routinely needs, empathizing is as core to her nature as the prickly anger she's more well-known for.

She fixes that anger on the proper target now, glowering at Holmes' photo, then adds, "Plus the location of that lab where the Arc Reactor came from," she agrees, looking back to Peggy. "Because visiting it in person might help." Really they don't have a lead to tug on with Holmes yet, unless Tony's scans bear fruit. Course. A lot of those other leads are also dependant on the scans.

She finishes one water and opens up the fridge to down a second one, sucking it down before crumpling it and putting it to the side.

"Either way, these people better watch their asses. The three of us seem to be a good team, and one way or another, we're going to nail these guy's asses to the wall."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License