The Cat Came Back

April 28, 2017:

In which Isa Reichert learns of the capriciousness of cats, and quickly decides that black cats are more trouble than they are worth.

The Triskelion - New York City

The Headquarters, Armory and Fortress of the Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics division is, for the most part, an unassailable tower in the midst of the diplomatic sprawl that is Midtown East. The primary intelligence clearing houses and most of SHIELD's senior leadership are all housed hear, along with a veritable army of agents and staff to keep the place running, the world spinning and the weirdness at bay.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Phil Coulson

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

The Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division has managed to claim a chunk of the East Side, sprawling over an isolated landmass of its own to lord over the surrounding boroughs of New York City. It's almost a city unto itself; with the facilities and residencies needed for its own agents, the whole of its operations are very nearly self-contained.

There are even runways for the few aircraft that aren't designed with vertical takeoff and landing capabilities. The flight line is a cramped and crowded place of the strictest kind of order – any mistakes could cost billions of dollars in advanced aeronautics hardware.

A short distance from the actual runway, a chain link fence separates the miniscule open area from where the jets make their ascent. Most of the time, it's a desolate and empty place. There isn't even any grass here to distract the eye from the monochrome of the urban jungle; there's simply not enough room for it.

But that's alright.

Isa Reichert did not come here for greenery.

If anyone in New York City goes looking for that, they can go to Central Park, and have their fill of it. It was the smell of jet fuel and oil that she had sought out; the low basso thrum of engines and the whine of turbines as they accelerate and decelerate.

The SHIELD pilot stands at the chain link fence, outside the actual flight line, leaning against the pole and smoking a cigarette with grim single-mindedness.

From behind and from the left side, she's a classically beautiful woman; mature, probably closer to forty than thirty, with strong features and just a touch of exotic blood in the slight slant of her eye. Her hair is a rich auburn red, and going by the way her eyebrow and even eyelashes are red, it isn't dye as so many city-goers might use. Her eye, however, is the arresting feature of her face – blue and crisp as a winter afternoon's sky.

From the right side, she is human wreckage.

The entire right side of her face is a ruin of burn scarring, not of acid, but of fire; long healed, the texture of the skin somehow wrong; ropy in places and too smooth in others. A dove-grey patch covers where her right eye should be. It stops just shy of her hairline, and plunges down past the line of her collar – not just her face, then.

Right now, her attention is fixed rigidly on the aircraft parked on the tarmac. She's smoking a cigarette with single-minded determination, puffing smoke every few breaths, the stick jutting from her mouth at a downward angle. Her face seems to be semi-permanently fixed in a scowl; not necessarily reflective of her emotions, but half of it is immobile and fixed.

Kind of a scary-looking woman, honestly.

Her clothing does nothing to soften her image. She has a bomber jacket perhaps half a size too large on, service patches sewn onto it – but they're not American. They look Russian, with Cyrillic lettering from various operations, mainly the Afgahn war. The jacket is over a plain black tee-shirt, tucked into a pair of dark blue jeans.

At her throat, where the scarring partly circles around to the unscarred side, is the faint glint of a chain around her neck. It's tucked under her shirt, so whatever's on it is a mystery. Scuffed combat boots complete the vaguely militaristic ensemble. Her hands, at the moment, are stuffed into the jacket's pockets.

No matter how many times he sees it, Grymalkin is astounded that human beings mastered flight.

A simple black house cat prowls along the wing of a parked Quinjet near the VTOL section of the runway. It should be impossible for even such a small, common thing to reach one of the most heavily secured air strips on the Eastern seaboard yet there he is. His rare gold and blue eyes spying the other vehicles in various state of preparation as crews do their work at all hours, day and night.

He takes a moment to settle himself on the very tip, lowering himself into a loaf-like configuration as his tail waves behind him in slow contemplation. Gaze spying the massive central Triskelion tower a short distance away as he basks in the mighty works of modern mankind.

He remembers when the Gates of Babylon were constructed so long ago. Such magnificent edifice was the apex of human achievement, he had thought at the time. Hilarious in retrospect.

Though he is searching for very specific individuals, Grymalkin is very easily distracted. New York is full of wonders and none quite so tantalizingly forbidden as the Triskelion. The modern-day Olympus with Gods and Heroes striding it's labyrinthine halls. Even he does not risk prowling it's inner depths but he still finds himself prowling the periphery and various outer facilities.

Does the Iron Man land here? He wonders. His sweeping feline gaze falls upon the Russian cyclops not far from here, scowling with general disdain for the world.

Perhaps this is another 'Super' hero? She looks different than the other flight crews. What strange power does she have? Hm.

The cigarette is dropped to the concrete ground and extinguished with a twist of the heel of one combat boot. It's a quick and brutally efficient motion, one that speaks to long practise of doing exactly that thing. Isa stoops to retrieve the remnants with her right hand – when her hand slips from the pocket, it's clear that the same scarring that disfigures her face also disfigures her hand. The skin tone of her hand and fingers is mottled where the scar tissue healed back unevenly.

As she moves, it's also clear that her left arm is in a sling. The sleeve of her jacket is tucked into the pocket, but it's empty; the jacket is unzipped, and the slight twist as she stoops shows her arm is immobilised, pinioned to her chest by a dark blue medical sling.

She pulls a lidded metal ashtray from her pocket, tucks the cigarette butt into it, and drops it back into a pocket. No sooner is that done than she pulls a fresh one from the carton at the interior pocket of her jacket, a lighter from the other pocket, and manages to briskly light another one, one-handed, letting the lighter drop back from whence it came.

That single blue eye wanders over the flight line as she puffs thoughtfully. It even passes over the nearest quinjet, and at first, she doesn't notice the incongruous shadow over the wing.

…Wait a minute.

Her eye snaps back to the tip of the wing, and for a half second it doesn't even register correctly that the shape is a cat.

Isa Reichert frowns deeply, puffing on her cigarette. Now how did a little house cat get out here? Did someone lose their pet? It doesn't look like it's wearing any kind of collar, so presumably it must be a stray mouser. Is there even enough to survive on, out here on the Triskelion's landmass? Probably not, she'd guess. So how did that creature get out here?

Crouching down, she brushes the fingers of her right hand together in time-honoured 'coaxing a cat over' gesture, clicking her tongue. Here, kitty, kitty!

Chances are it won't move, because cats are jerks, but she can always try. That's probably not a safe place for a cat to be, and she'd hate to see something painful and bloody happen to it.

The black cat's attention is gotten. His gaze affixes to the burned woman as she works at getting his attention.
It's a good thing details are hazy at this distance, otherwise seeing a cat smirk briefly would be uncanny.
True to form, the cat does nothing. Laying down on the very edge of the wingtip without care in the world. His paws resting over the lip, pawing nothingness as he purrs inaudibly against the backdrop of the roaring jets.
Why the little guy doesn't spook and run at the racket of the jet engines is beyond understanding, among the other mysteries of his presense.
None of the other ground crews seem to notice him, going about their business as they leave the Russian spitfire alone. While the Quinjet beneath him isn't due to take off soon, it won't be long until the crews get around to prepping it for yet another endless chain of sorties. She could leave him alone to his fate.. Which would be certainly fatal if the jet did happen to take off with him still on the wing.
Feline eyes watch her, daring her to do something about it.

Cats are typical. Isa flicks her scarred fingers a few more times, but after that it seems obvious that the animal has no intention of moving.

On one hand, it's none of her business. The flight crews should handle chasing an errant animal off the flight line. It's a little surprising that the noise of the engines hasn't done the job for them. Most animals won't stray too near to operational aircraft. Why don't the flight crews see him…?

"<Stupid cat,>" the woman mutters in Russian, eyeing the animal and considering how best to take care of this.

So she does the next logical thing. She turns and strolls away, hands in pockets, cigarette dangling from her lower lip. Her footsteps take her out of view around the edge of a nearby building.

When she reappears, it's not from where she had come. It's on the other side of the fence, having flashed her badge and gained access onto the flight line itself, with the promise that she wasn't here to fly; she was only here to take care of something quickly, and that yes, she has security clearance to be here even without piloting.

She may or may not. She'll have Coulson handle it later, if it's the latter.

Strolling towards the cat-laden quinjet, Isa has her hands back in her pockets (or the illusion thereof on the left side) and seems to have traded her cigarette for a toothpick (because not setting the tarmac on fire is a good idea). She rolls the little spike of wood to the other side of her mouth, frowning and considering how best to handle this. She can't reasonably expect to climb up there with her arm in her sling, but she can't leave the animal there, either…

Looks like she might wind up having to do that anyway, if it doesn't listen to her. Closer now to the quinjet and the cat on it, she crouches again, flicking her fingers in the same kitty-come-hither. "<Come on,>" she murmurs in Russian, affecting as much of a soothing tone as she can muster. "<You're not going to want to stay up there. They're going to take that quinjet soon, and you won't want to be on top of it when it's time to fly…>"

Please, oh please, don't make her climb up there with a bum left arm. The medical teams will strangle her. And then they'll make her stay out of commission for even longer, and she's already going insane being grounded as it is.

The Cat looks away as she wanders out of view. His attention captured by another flight team as they dress down a non-VTOL aircraft a short distance away. A VIP jumper by the look of it. He watches and wonders exactly what the experienced team are doing as they go over panels and components with meticulous detail.

The black cat finds himself surprised as he catches movement out of the corner of his blue eye, turning to spy the scarred woman having gotten inside and approached the plane. Small detail of house cat vision, it isn't all that detailed. Movement-based. Only when she approached can he get her ruined half in view.

Now her grumpy expression makes sense. And what seems to be a lame arm at her side. Heh! What's this? Some kind of Handicap Charity?

His ear flicks at her as she croons in Russian, beckoning him over. To which he then rises to his feet, getting in a real good stretch from front feet to back feet. And then.. Walking in a circle then sitting back down again in the exact same position. Whiskered maw smacking his lips a moment before staring down at her imperiously.

What now, cyclops? What now?

Unsurprisingly, the cat does everything in his power to completely ignore her efforts at coaxing it down from the wing.

"<Stupid cat,>" she mutters again, glaring at the creature as though her single eye might have the power to do grievous harm. It's tempting to write the whole encounter off and leave the ungrateful little wretch to its fate, but she isn't so hard-hearted as that.

Standing up, Isa reaches up to move the toothpick to the other side of her mouth, chewing furiously on the end of it as she considers what to do.

Ladder. She needs a ladder. Her eye falls on one not too far away, unused by the flight crews, who are tending to a different jet. They won't miss it, so she uses the power of confidence to seize it and wrestle the thing one-handed over to the becatted quinjet.

If you act confidently enough, nobody will ever question your presence someplace. Isa has been around long enough to know this, and it's especially true of flight lines in her homeland. She's gotten this far on sheer force of personality in a society conditioned to obey – another good reason to be done with that place, and somewhere that she needn't stifle her own personality.

The ladder makes ungodly screechy metal sounds as she tugs it into position, and finally a hollow clunk as she leans it, very carefully, up against the wing.

There's something important to know about any aircraft, and it's the fact that every airframe is really just a thin skin of aluminium alloys over an actual framework. Unless they're designed specifically for combat, they're not going to be very strong; certainly the prospect of walking across a wing is a dicey one on anything but a fighting jet. Quinjets have the added drawback of having mechanisms in place to fold the wingtips, enabling them to be used on aircraft carriers and stored belowdeck. It has the unfortunate side effect of making the wing an extremely precarious place to stand or climb.

Well, in for a penny, in for a pound, as the Brits say. She's already committed herself, so now all she has to do is wrestle her way up, which she does with raw determination, the occasional snarl of pain, and virulent curses spat in Russian. Something about a goddamned cat and the possible parentage of said goddamned cat are audible in snatches.

After a moment, panting, the pilot manages to pull herself up over the edge of the wing, careful to keep from slipping right off again. This would be a lot easier to do if she had the use of both arms, but she's going to have to soldier on without it.

Panting, she gives the animal a positively evil look.

"<You'd better be grateful, you miserable wretched fleabag. What are you doing here? I've never seen any other animals on the Triskelion.>" Isa affects a fixed smile, which looks a little scary on her haggard features. "<Here, kitty, kitty. Come on. Let's get you down from there. I'll even give you a nice meal. I'm sure I can bargain with Coulson to keep a cat for a little while, at least until I can find a home for you…>"

She tilts her head, frowning. "<You're a pretty one. I don't think I've ever seen eyes like that before…>"

The black cat's eyes sure are pretty. Even from over there.

Wait, over there? Lets back up.

At first, Grymalkin was giving it sixty-forty that she'd walk away from all this. However, as she moves away.. To a ladder, his ears perk up in mild surprise.

Aaah humans. Just like that soft-hearted Miss Jones. They may have an angry exterior but on the inside? Such compassion.

He watches her placidly as the metal of the ladder screeches across the tarmac. His tail slithering back and forth as he watches her pull herself up step after anguished step as she finally manages to pull herself onto the wing of SHIELD's most advanced multi-role jet.

The Black Cat now looks up to her as he draws himself into a sitting position. Watching her approach as he meows audibly in a brief moment the air strip is not filled with the sound of engines.

Though it's inadvisable to crawl out on the wing of most planes, the Quinjet is far more ruggedized than any similar vehicle of it's class. Not that it's safe to walk out on the very edge by any stretch of the imagination.

However, another sound fills the air just as Isa makes her way over. A wrenching metallic sound behind her as the ladder somehow collapses on it's own, falling sideways and crashing to the ground. Leaving her completely stranded by herself on the plane.

Yes. By herself. Because when she looks over to the fallen ladder a good distance away.. The Black Cat is seated placidly on top. His little cat tongue sticking just past his lips in what common internet parlance would term a 'blep'.

Should she look at where the cat was .. He is indeed missing. Somehow managing to bridge the impossible gap in the blink of an eye. Or did he sneak over somehow when she was moving over? What's.. How?..

That cat does have pretty eyes. From this close, she can see that they're not only different colours, but contrasting colours. Except that the view isn't close at all. Wait, it was just in front of her. Where did it go, and what's that clattering metallic sound?

That would be the sound of the ladder toppling over, squarely out of reach from the one-eyed pilot. She leans over very slightly from the edge of the quinjet's wing just in time to see it bounce once or twice. And somehow, inexplicably, the cat is on top of it as though he'd been there the whole time.

Can cats make expressions like that? Isa could swear the cat is making fun of her. Maybe she's just overtired; spent too many hours last night poring over the paperwork Coulson had given her…

Isa Reichert frowns, looking between the quinjet wing and the fallen ladder, and her expression is a little bit reminiscent of a brewing thunderhead. It's a good dozen feet to the ground from up here, if not more, and she's fairly confident she'll break a leg if she takes the chance.

That blue eye flicks left and then right, considering her predicament. If she shouts for the flight crews they're probably not going to hear her. She'll also have to explain why she, under medical orders, is out on the wing of a quinjet while her arm's in a sling. If she takes the risk and jumps, she's reasonably confident she'll have a shattered leg for her trouble. That would put her out of commission and ground her for even longer.

It might just be worth it if she can get down there in time to strangle the little fleabag.

So. That leaves her with another option.

Drawing her feet up under her, she settles down on the wing, scooting back until she's closer to the fuselage. Stretching her feet out in front of her, she lets herself fall back with a dull, metallic thump, folding her right arm behind her head and looking up to the sky.

It's so blue today, and clear. There have been warmer spring days, but thin wisps of cloud scud across a blue sky, driven by an intermittent breeze. It's a beautiful day. If she can't be up there among those clouds, at least she can watch them from down here, and this vantage point has the added benefit of watching the aircraft come and go.

Having nothing better to do, Isa Reichert resolves to ignore the cat. Now that it's down off the quinjet, some other fool can chase it off the flight line. She'll just stay here untl the next flight crew comes to inspect this quinjet. Hmm… she can tell them she wanted to inspect something, and the ladder fell. It's a reasonable enough explanation.

Her eye hoods a little. She used to do this when she had spare time in Russia. She would visit the ordinary flight lines, able to get by with her rank and sheer force of personality – by acting like she belonged there, she did, and her security clearance got her in with no questions asked. It had always been a nice opportunity to clear her head. Maybe that's what she needs, she decides. A chance to clear her head. Approach that assignment Coulson gave her with a fresh perspective. Maybe she can find something she missed…

Idly, she glances over to see if the stupid cat is still there. She's reasonably certain the little wretch was gloating.

See if she ever helps a cute little kitty out again after this…

Grymalkin was giving it forty-sixty that she'd try the jump. The only reason he gave her that much of a spread is because she may yet have some super powered device up her sleeve for just such an occasion. Of course, she would have used it to get him down in the first place.. But one never knows.

Instead? She gives up. Simply making the best of her marooned situation as she lounges in the cool New York dimming sun.

He should just leave it at that and meander off. Though he does want to watch her explain herself to the exasperated flight crews as to why she was up there. He had a nice chuckle at her expense, best to leave her be before he does something that could incriminate him.

But just as he's about to turn away.. A thought occurs to him. Mismatched eyes roam to the cockpit and a thought occurs to him.

Ears lower as those eyes narrow with his lips curling in a decidedly not-feline way.

This is way too good to pass up.

As the lounging Russian idly glances back down she'll find that the cat is gone. Clearly he's moved on after her moment of altruism. At least now th-

The wing flaps suddenly shriek to life not far from her head. Tilting upwards as if the pilot was pulling upwards into the sky. Similarly the tail flap begins to shift back and forth?

Should she scramble to see who's at the controls.. She'll find that same damned black cat somehow managed to get inside.

He walks back and forth across the control board.. Pressing buttons with paws and bumping levers while he nudges the flight stick with his chin. As he does so, the fog lights flair to life a few inches from her feet.

From the look of it, the cat wandered off to go make some other sucker's life interesting. That's fine by her. Straightening, Isa turns her single eye up to the wide bowl of the sky, painted now in dimming twilight colours. There's even a hint of what might be Venus in the middle horizon, although her guess is a distant aircraft. Stars aren't really something you can see from New York City, even on an isolated island like this one.

It's relaxing up here, watching the sky turn to night, and listening to the sound of the aircraft around her, and the crews who tend to them. She should probably have ear protection this close to the flight line, but that can be overlooked for just now. It won't do any lasting damage, although she might be hard of hearing the next day.

"Bozhe—!"

With a startled and strangled curse, the peace is broken. A few feet away from her, the ailerons on both wings tilt sharply upward, as though the quinjet were flying into the sun. The vertical elevators on the tail turn one way and then the other, as though the quinjet were yawing back and forth.

What the hell. Isa is on her hands and knees in a moment, although in a three-legged sort of way, left arm still pinioned by the sling. She manages to half-crawl, half-scuttle over to the top of the cockpit glass, crouching down and peering down into the aircraft's cockpit.

"Prokylatiye…!"

It's that damned cat again. Isa strikes the cockpit glass, hard, with the heel of her hand; the tempered fiberglass makes a dull sound.

Looking left and then right again, Isa scowls, unable to find anything that might help her get down from the aircraft's back. She edges closer and closer to the edge. A quick glance helps her to check the distance, albeit with some difficulty, because depth perception comes seldom to those with only one eye.

It's enough to know that it's too far to jump. She wouldn't have a prayer of landing without a broken leg, and even she knows she's not that young any more; not enough to casually shrug something like that off.

Turning, she heads purposefully towards the back of the craft, where the slanted engine intakes curve back smoothly into the propelling engines. What's she doing…?

Isa finds the spot between the two air intakes, which is conveniently away from any bothersome lights – and settles down between them. Let's see that stupid cat try to disrupt her nice quiet evening now.

Honestly, she should probably tell someone there's a stupid mangy fleabag in the cockpit wreaking havoc, but she can't shout over the sound of the comings and goings of other aircraft. The next flight crews will find him and punt him off the flight line.

Right?

Isa settles down carefully with a grunt, folding her right hand behind her head and shutting her eye.

Maybe she'll just nap here until the next flight crew arrives.

As the irate Russian glares from above, the mischievous black cat looks up at the window pounding. Mismatched eyes connect a moment before he goes back to prowling along the dash board. It appears the small ruckus she raises is enough to urge the cat from the cockpit controls as he jumps back down onto the comfy chair. Seating himself down and licking his paw absently, unaware of any so-called wrong doings he might be party to.

By the time the burned woman secures herself in the least articulated place on the plane, perhaps the cat's reign of terror is over. Many minutes go by and it should only be a matter of time before one of the crews notices her.

Except that she hears a sound that should not be possible. More importantly, a sensation she -feels-. The Quinjet begins to start up. The whine of the initial pre-flight sequence hums through the cold metal beneath her. Air turbines at her either side begin to spin faster and faster.

The black cat issues a meowl of triumph as he watches the controls continue to manipulate themselves across the cockpit while the woman is away. He has no earthly idea how to fly. It took him many minutes to figure out the right combination of switches and buttons to get the stupid thing to turn on.

"Hmmm.." He mumbles to himself as the throttle begins to slowly ease forward, "..This looks promising.." Eyes glinting as the mighty craft begins to rumble.

She's all set for another nap, but Isa should know better. This afternoon seems to be cursed; every attempt to try and find some peace of mind has thus far been foiled since she laid her eye on that little odd-eyed cat. What gives?

There's another metallic thump as the pilot bolts upright. She knows the familiar whine that precedes a startup sequence, as the turbine systems are fed electricity and the avionics begin their bootup sequencing. Next the control surfaces will engage in a self-test, overseen by whoever happens to be flying the bird for the day; the computerized check will be followed immediately by a manual check to ensure all systems are in proper working order.

Normally this is done when the quinjet is on the flight line itself, off the tarmac, after having been checked over thoroughly by ground crews.

She hasn't seen any ground crews.

Somehow, she can only surmise that stupid cat's been walking on the controls. How on earth did he manage to key in the startup sequence, though? That's not something that can be done accidentally, as a safety measure. It's not just the press of a single button.

Isa frowns as she considers her predicament. She can't get down, and the stupid animal is wreaking havoc. She can't force her way into the cockpit from here; that fiberglass shield is meant to absorb even bullet impacts. Her hand would break before the surface did.

"<I'm going to skin the little monster myself,>" she growls, even as she tries to think of something to do. Her eye flicks back to the forward section of the plane.

Even at the lowest point of the quinjet, the tail elevators that rise up to either side of her, are too high up off the ground to jump. Over ten feet. Enough to possibly break a bone if she lands incorrectly, and with one arm fixed to her side, her confidence in her chances isn't so great.

If that engine is starting up, and she can distinctly hear what sounds like the throttle moving in the pitch and timbre of the turbines, then bad things are going to happen. The quinjet's tires don't appear to be secured. At best it could tool around the tarmac and do all kinds of damage ramming into other quinjets. At worst she's going to have more than a broken leg to worry about.

Growling another curse, her eye darts between the various parts of the jet's anatomy that poke up from its back, but none of it is particularly helpful.

The best she's going to have to do is jump down.

Edging back onto the horizontal part of the tail fin, balanced next to the air intake for the rear turbine, she leans over as far as she dares to gauge the distance and curses again.

Too far. But she has no choice at this point. That little monster is going to do damage, whatever the hell it's doing. What kind of normal cat bothers manipulating things like that, anyway? Is there something it's chasing in the cockpit or is it just brain-damaged?

"<Going to take it out back and shoot it, whatever it is,>" Isa mutters to herself, something around her eye tightening as she makes a final check of the distance.

Well, maybe she'll get lucky this time. She's fallen from heights before, and knows how to ease with it. The only uncertain factor is the sling on her arm.

Isa steps carefully off the edge of the tail.

It's a short drop and a sudden stop, but rather than take all the brunt of the weight on her legs and knees, she rolls onto her right shoulder, trying to stay as far from rigid as she can, in an effort to absorb the impact on her spine and right shoulder.

Judging by the loud grunt she hits the pavement with, it's painful as the blazes even if she didn't break anything, and she's a very long moment reeling back to her feet. She seizes the ladder from where it had fallen, brute forcing its way across the ground and growling virulent curses culled from her military service all the while.

It's a moment more before she finally wrenches the cockpit door open, and by the time she gets the door to open she's not expecting it to give way, which nearly sends her sprawling. The stomp of her combat boots is unmistakable over the deck.

"<Get out of there, you miserable little fleabag!>" she barks, banging the interior cockpit door open. She's already moving to swat the animal aside, whether or not he's there; her only real interest is in shutting down the startup sequence before the quinjet does any damage. Her hands are practically flying over the controls, growling even more curses as she does.

Little monster. She's going to grab him by the scruff and throw him out the door if he tries to take a shot at one of her hands.

It'd be her day for that kind of nonsense, wouldn't it?

Truth be told, Grymalkin could likely do little more than to ease the plane awkwardly into the chain-link fence skirting the parking section and possibly careen the vehicle into the river. For the life of him he cannot figure out what combination of levers and buttons makes the jets go at full burn like he sees in all the cool movies people watch these days. Sadly, he can only get the wheels grind against their breaks and braces, only managing to get the machine to wiggle a little before he notices the sound of the cockpit door being yanked open.

Turns out, Grymalkin never managed to get into the Quinjet himself. He dismisses his doppelganger illusion a moment before Isa actually risked the jump like he was wondering.

He figured it was seventy-thirty she'd risk the jump sometime during the joyride but that woman has grit to not wait to be saved! Women in this era are so -interesting-.

He then drops his invisibility the moment she rushes into view.. As he was actually standing on the cockpit glass most of the time. Occasionally stepping out of the way to avoid the beatings she issued the glass. Just manipulating controls with the small bit of force he can manage.

As such, Isa can only wonder then how the Cat managed to get outside so damned impossibly fast as he stands over her head in the glass. Offering the girl a sheepish meowl as he then climbs up and out of view on the plane and out of sight.

Which is when she sees the flight crew -running- across the field, having finally noticed someone just started an unauthorized take off. Security running along a few dozen steps behind. SHIELD does not like it when someone tries to steal one of their Quinjets. Not. One. Bit.

Shutting off the engines and slapping the console with an open palm, Isa whirls only to find that there's no cat in the cockpit. There's a cat up on top of the cockpit glass. It's probably looking down at her with that awful blep expression, too.

The mangy little fleabag is starting to work her last nerve.

Her head jerks to the cockpit glass, then the cockpit, then outside; she had absolutely not passed by the thing when the door had been open and she'd been climbing in. So how…?

Oh my God, it's enough to make anybody hate cats forever after this.

Speaking of which, the cat's gone and there's a security detail headed her way. She immediately puts her hands up, backing away from the cockpit under their directions.

If looks could kill she'd have skinned that awful mangy fleabag by now. But she can't look after it for too long, because now she has to explain herself to the Triskelion's security.

Thankfully the footage does eventually produce her long and convoluted saga in trying to extricate an animal from the tarmac, up to and including the image of the cat inside the cockpit while she's physically outside the aircraft.

It takes a while, though. And it really pisses the pilot off. There may or may not be a call into Coulson about this, because seriously, that was just weird.

Also the Triskelion's security might look at her a little funny after that.o

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