Secrets and Oracles

May 29, 2017:

Captain Marvel comes to Oracle with a request for some help with a problem.

Watchtower Station - The Final Frontier

It's larger than a space station has any right to be, with corridors stretching beyond to labs, to living quarters, to mission critical systems, to the command center. Wandering through the corridors at all hours of night and day, techs and scientists.

The most technically advanced space station orbiting Earth, Watchtower Station is an advanced operational station funded and maintained by anonymous donors and the UN, and used by the Justice League. This is a -high- security location.

Current Day: The status of the Watchtower Station is being brought back to life after a year of being emptied and unused.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: SHIELD, Daemonites

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

==Barbara Gordon==
Her short cropped hair hangs in a pixie bob along the front of her face at a slant up from her right ear. The straight hair is firey red with a short undercut. A pair of black rimmed glasses sit low on the bridge of her nose behind which are her energic, young blue eyes. She wears very little makeup. She has a very athletic body, strong stature, and an easy grace.
==Carol Danvers==
A tall, solidly built blonde beauty, she is just shy of six feet tall with broad shoulders and hips, a curvy and athletically muscled hourglass figure, neither thin nor willowy. Lustrous golden blonde hair falls in a thick wave down to frame her face and tumble over her shoulders to mid-back. A rounded, oval face includes wide, deep blue eyes beneath sculpted blonde eyebrows, a pert nose, full lips and a strong but feminine chin, a face full of strength, character and feminine beauty, presenting a woman in the nebulous uncertainty of late-twenties to late thirties. Her voice is crisp, strong and clear, an alto with the snap of natural authority.

She is wearing what no one could mistake for anything but a superhero's costume. A midnight blue bodysuit encases her form, highlighted by a broad crimson stretch cross her shoulders and upper chest, bordered by a wide band of gold lines joining at the heart with a brilliant gold starburst design. THe red proceeds up the neck and forms into a full cowl mask, pushing the gold hair up and out through a mohawk-like stretch along the top and back of the skull, the eyes covered by irridescent white. Matching red gloves encase hands and arms up to near the elbows, and boots cover feet and legs up to upper calf. A matching crimson sash ties at her right hip, spread almost sari-style along her left, the tails draping down her right leg.
==Scene Begins==
Frustrated, annoyed, even a bit bitter, and definitely the worse for wear, Captain Marvel comes storming into one of the smaller conference rooms on the WatchTower, her uniform ripped and charred, a grimace on her face.

"Initiate lockdown, seal this room, authorization Marvel, Captain, A one seven." she barks, voice raspy, as she slumps into a chair and pours herself a cup of water from a waiting carafe, then empties that down her throat.

"Initiate uplink. Connect to the Platform. Send priority yellow one alert to the terminus, callisgn Oracle. Await connection instructions. Isolate channel to this room, disable standard recording protocols, and route all recording to my account only, unless unlocked by Founder access codes. Acknowledge."

The computer responds, confirming Carol Danvers' orders, and then initiates the actions she has requested. The heroine slumps into the chair, drinking more of the water, trying to soothe her ravaged throat as she waits and hopes for a response.


Barbara, having only just returned to the Clocktower from patrol, slips the cowl back to hang against her cropped red-hair. Her right hand flexes and unflexes to work out a new tingling in her forearm, her left hand unhooks and lets her utility belt fall loose in her grip. It's hung on a hook near her bank of computers, next to a backless wheelchair sitting near the desk, and once she's released her burdon her fingers slide across the left most wheel with a sad reverence to an unfortunate, but constant companion.

There on her desk, however, a red indicator flashes to draw her attention towards several sets of monitors. "Initiate uplink." She says and pulls up her chair, bringing the massive computer to life. A green and black holographic keyboard digitally projects beneath her fingers and she goes about the short encryption process that will bring the Oracle to life.

"Captain Marvel." The digital image of Oracle's adrogynous face materializes in the secure room. "It has been a while. Is everything okay?"


"Evening, Oracle." Marvel offers, with a nod towards the holographic mask image that appears before her over the table. "OK? Not exactly." She grimaces, and then continues. "I know you're busy. But if you can, I need a favor. I need to borrow some of that amazing processing power of yours." She pauses. Then, with a shake of her head, she resumes. "And I should probably warn you that SHIELD is likely going to be annoying about this, if they catch wind of you in the circuits." Much as she wants Oracle's help, she wants whomever - or whatever - Oracle may be to respect her tomorrow. That means respecting Oracle and the potential risks to Oracle today.


"SHIELD…" The voice, synthesized as it may be, manages to phrase this as both a question and a comment. Barbara slides her fingers through her short hair and glances at the utility belt hanging nearby, "They have never been particularly fond of intrution, but if the League is requesting assistence, who am I to rebuke?" While she tries not to let her pride get in the way, it's hard not to see the challenge breaching SHIELDs security represent.


Marvel nods. "SHIELD. They're investigating this. But they're not terribly well equipped to deal with the real aftermath."

Carol pauses, shaking her head. She should explain. "I became aware of this threat from a contact of mine off-world. Following up, I discovered that there are a group of alien infiltrators operating here on Earth, including the US. SHIELD is tracking their operations and influence, but has no idea that they're aliens."

Marvel grimaces again. "I moved in at one of their rally points. Everything went pear-shaped. And then SHIELD roared in and it got worse. I'm pretty sure the entire squad at the site is dead. Three of the aliens are dead, but at least three others got away, possibly more. And I'm afraid now that they know they're compromised, they're going to move ahead with something dangerous before we can catch them."

Except, of course, that Oracle can do things with data sifting that make everyone else look like they're standing still.

"Platform, access locked data archive, Danvers, Alpha One Seven, callsign 'Daemonites.' Stream all contents on the subchannel of this uplink, keys first."


"Alien infultration." Oracle reasons aloud, "How deep were they enbed? What do SHIELD think they are dealing with?" From experience, when the group gets involved everything has a tendency towards a particular fruit shape, "Receiving archieve." Barbara turns to access one of her secure terminals to collect the data away from her primary systems. As it begins the lengthy download, even for her powerhouse of a computer, she reaches for a pair of glasses sitting beneath the bank of monitors.

"I suppose you are wanting me to find the answers to the questions I, myself, have just asked?"


"Amongst other things, yes. If SHIELD had known they were into alien infiltration, they'd have been better prepared, which is why I think they didn't know." Carol answers. "As for how deep in they were, I cannot be sure. But one of the humans that was killed today was an assistant undersecretary in the DoD. No idea what his level of access was, but I doubt it was 'low'. The archive has all of my research, and all of the surveillance footage I have from the two meets I had witnessed, and today's fiasco. The only other tidbit I have is that one of the SHIELD agents said 'jericho seven' before she died. I don't know what that is, but it may help you."

Contained in the archive are a handful of messages, and their English transcriptions. The originals are written in a pidgin hybrid of Kree and Thanagarian with some Shi'ar and Martian mixed in for good measure. There are some initial data searches Carol performed based on the hints, cues, dates and times provided by those messages. Then surveillance archives from two other meetings, along with transcriptions. The last is the surveillance archive of today's incident … including the rather stupendous overreaction that slaughtered the SHIELD agents who tried to intervene. Only the fact this all happened at an abandoned shipyard has kept it from becoming a bigger deal.


"Any idea what the invaders intentions might be?" Oracle asks while looking over what data has already started to stream on multiple screens. "Jericho seven. I will do a further search for anything related to this callsign or protocol. SHIELD have always been very colorful with their naming conventions." A small smirk crosses the hackers lips as she slips away from her desk to grab a yogurt from the fridge.

"Who else is on this assignment? I note that you have initiated highest level security for this conference, are there any other assets in play that I can tap?"


"From what I understand, what little my contact could tell me, they are after bigger fish. They never intended to be here. But now that they're here, they're after the resources to go back home and make a lot of trouble for a lot of folks. And I think they're willing to make one Hell of a mess around here to make that happen." Carol answers, as honestly as she can.

"My intel - " That data is unspooling in front of Oracle's eyes, now, on that secondary system. " - indicates that they could, potentially, ride anyone. I'm locking this down as tight as I can until I can get a handle on who is clean. The protocols I'm using are similar to the White Martian protocols, for similar reasons. However, they aren't dupes. They're controlling the bodies of our people." Which means that anyone in the League could - maybe - be compromised. Hence the blonde's paranoia.

"Right now, I'm it. If you agree to help me, then it would expand to you and me." Because Carol believes Oracle to be an AI, and thus immune to the Daemonite threat. Whoops.


"Skin riding our own people…" Oracle repeats that for her own edification, which is more of a human form of communication than AI, though it is just as likely a ''programmed'' conversational hiccup rather than user error. Barbara sits back in her chair with yogurt in hand and brow furrowed as she cursory scans the information spilling out across her screens.

"Who was responsible for site cleanup? If it is SHIELD, I am certain they will do a full biometric scan of the afflicted individuals. That collected data could be used to create a means to tell who has been affected by the invaders." Provided she's able to breach their systems, even if she's fully convinced she will. "For now I will work under the assumption that all unauthorized assets are compromised until such time we are able to decode the means by which they are assimilating our own people."


"To be honest, I didn't stick around to see who was doing cleanup. I figure local LEOs stepped in first, but I'm guessing SHIELD will step all into their stuff soon enough." Carol answers honestly, with a slight edge of bitterness. She doesn't like going it alone. It's wearing on her. But she has to do this right. None of her teammates would thank her for doing it half-assed just because she hates going it alone. "See what you can find. But yeah, until we can confirm they're clean, I need to keep everyone else on the other side of the Chinese Wall on this one." If Carol picked up the not very AI slip, there, she makes no sign of it. Maybe she's just too tired to catch something so subtle? "To take possession, they need prolonged physical contact. That much I know. If ejected, they come out mad and very dangerous, and they tend to go kaboom before long. Something about our atmosphere."


"Interesting." Oracle says in usual detached tones, "That will make combating them complicated." Barbara is still reasoning through what she's reading while lamenting that she wont be able to bring the family in on this investigation. Their involvement would certainly make things easier, "I will start a cursory search of unexplained explosions near the sites of unconfirmed agency involvement. So long as SHIELD continues to work against these invaders their involvement should be a useful meter of activity until they are better equipped to deal with containment. I will leave a secure connection open if you require me further and have programmed a link so that I can transfer information to you under a encrypted datadump."


Carol nods as she listens to Oracle lay things out. "Alright. The Platform should be able to route to my comms no matter where I am, so that should keep us in reasonably easy contact. I know this will take some time, and I have a few things I need to do about my civilian life right now. But as soon as you have something, let me know." Obviously, this is dangerous enough to be a priority. "And keep your records enclosed, so we can share them with others once we know they're clean." Like, hopefully, SHIELD. And others in the League, like the family. "I'm pretty sure one of the ones who got away today is riding a Russian. I didn't recognize him, but that accent is hard to miss. In case that helps."


"In the political climate as it is, that is useful information." Oracle agrees, "I will be of very little use in dealing with civilian life, but I am at your disposal, Captain." The disembodied head bows ever so slightly, "As soon as I am able to acquire more information, I will be intouch. Remember that I am only a keystroke away."

Babs fights the urge to make a Hal reference. It is not easy.


"Thanks again, Oracle." That said, Captain Marvel signs off and unseals the room. Then she stands and walks out of the room, heading for one of the locker rooms. She'll need a shower before she heads to Metropolis and work.

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