Solution is up in the air

February 01, 2015:

The Hawkeyes brings Dr. Fitz up to the Watchtower in order to merge the files of the attack on HQ with the baseline files that the Watchtower has on the same area.

Hall of Justice, Metropolis and Watchtower, geosynchronous orbit

Really cool building and an even cooler space station.

Characters

NPCs: Dr. Watson, SHIELD researcher reassigned, Dr. Kinsey, SHIELD researcher reassigned, and Dr. Sullivan, Senior SHIELD researcher reassigned

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Oh hey… it's just as cold in Metropolis as it is in New York City. Not quite as snowy, or maybe it just seems the remnants of the last snow hasn't turned the plow-leavings as grey as the other cities'. Even dispositions seem to be a little brighter in this City of Tomorrow.

Within the Hall of Justice, it's obvious that the weekend is upon the city. Even moreso, the weekend of the Superbowl. Most of the departmental supervisors gave extra time off to be with family and friends on this, one of the most important holidays on the American calendar. The front desk is obviously manned, with their requisite couple of obvious security guards. Beyond that, it seems pretty damned quiet.

Clint Barton's set up the meeting with Dr. Fitz, and set the place as the Hall of Justice, Metropolis. It's just a mag-lev trainride; nothing too unpleasant. No drunks vomiting in it (yet).

Clint stands by the desk, a temporary badge in hand for the SHIELD researcher. Eyes rise at the rounded ceiling above them, and there's a hint of a smile that begins to quirk at the edges of his mouth. Huh… a test for later.

I freaking love this part."

~

Kate leans against the reception desk, playing with her phone. Because she's a responsible adult like that. Then again, maybe she's paying the bills on her phone. It's hard to tell!

"Which part?" she asks, looking up with a smirk as she checks in on Clint. "The part that gets you out of watching football games? Because I've got the puppy bowl and the kitten bowl recording back at the apartment for when we get home."

~

It was the place he may have least expected; a meeting at the Hall of Justice? If he didn't have so much faith in his superiors, Leo may have wondered whether it was a joke, a trick, or perhaps an imposter. Either way, Fitz maintains his undying loyalty and hops on a mag-lev to Delaware.

Seeing such an iconic structure in person is simply incompatible to seeing footage on the news, or catching a crap photo in some online news story. There is a moment where, outside, Dr. Fitz pauses to simply stare at the place.

"… Wow."

The cold catches on, and he rushes inside. When the Scottish engineer's eyes fall upon Hawkeye, he grins slightly and diverts his course, making for the senior agent.

~

"Aw, we were supposed to hit the Plug's Superbowl party tonight," Clint reminds. "What's more fun than hanging out and drinking with a bunch of off-duty cops and agents…" While he's talking, he slowly turns to look at Kate and stops mid-speech. "Point."

Taking up the badge, Clint twirls it around his finger as Fits arrives, and the Senior Field Agent meets the good researcher half-way. "Hey, welcome the JL:A headquarters," is said brightly. "And here is your pass. In it, a tracker. Not that it's going to do much good in a couple of minutes." Clint turns around and nods at Kate; time to head to the transportation room.

"Now, we have lots of techs upstairs. Part of this is because we want you to be aware what's at stake so we have a good understanding, right? The other half, well… I promised the Director that we'd do everything we could to help, but we're not going to jeopardize our security. Nor would he want us to."

~

Kate tips her chin up toward Fitz in a nod of greeting, smile flashing. Once the researcher is there, she tucks her phone back into her pocket, falling in for the walk. "The whole visitors pass with trackers thing was so not my idea," she chimes in as she walks. "Have you ever done the transporter thing?" she asks Fitz. "This one's not bad. Not like Vorpal's rabbit holes. Zee's teleports and Fenris' portals aren't too bad, though. K'nert's limbo drops are sort of somewhere in between, but that could be the heebie jeebies from thinking about it. This one's easier, though, because you're usually expecting it."

~

Fitz accepts the badge without question, unzips his jacket, and fixes it to his lapel. "Never thought I'd step foot into this place," her answers, before reaching out to greet Barton with a macho clap on the shoulder. It just… looks funny coming from the short engineer. He next looks to Kate and offers a hand in greeting. "Fitz, Leo Fitz." A smile is flashed. "There's a PhD after that, but you know, I never use it. Just sounds too cocky." If there were a VU meter that could measure whether Leo is flirting, it would be nervously jittering around in the middle.

"Transporter? No." Fitz arches an eyebrow. "Please tell me it's just like Star Trek. I want to be the one who says, 'Engage'."

So what if 'Engage' is usually associated with going to warp factor one?

Theres a very specific reason why he isn't using the agents' ranks or titles. Its similar to the reason why he came here empty handed, leaving his gadgets of choice back at the Triskelion. If the JL:A has this kind of technology, he's certainly capable of making do with what they have. If not? He's one hell of an improviser, and this way, SHIELD secrets remain what they are supposed to be.

~

The way Kate lists all the portals makes Clint stop and stare at the other Hawkeye for a long moment, his mouth opening to make a reply. Some reply. Any reply… but nothing comes. Instead, he exhales in a sigh and shakes his head. Finally, he thinks of one, and it sounds a little on the 'oh yeah?' side. "This one is the coolest."

Clint thumps the man in return and nods in the direction that he and Kate are now walking. "Oh, Kate. Fitz. Fitz, Kate. She's the other Hawkeye. Member of the JL:A, great shot and happens to be my girlfriend."

It's not a long walk to a rather unassuming door. The door is opened with a slide of his hand on the side in what seems to be a recessed scanner. The door slides open, revealing a mostly empty room with wide… tubes. Three, sitting side by side.

"You can say whatever you want. Hell, I've always wanted to say 'Geronimo' at least once."

~

"Kate Bishop," Kate replies to Leo with a flash of a smile, reaching out to take the offered hand. "Fitz from R and D, or engineering? I've heard good things." Flirting isn't really her thing, but making friends? As Clint says, she's not the most discerning when it comes to that. She'll probably make friends with a potted plant if she passes by it often enough. "Anyhow, you'll probably get more out of the place than I do. Word of advice, though, if Superman's up there working, don't ask him about the place. He's kind of sensitive about it." Yes, Kate, Superman's sensitive about the Watchtower. It's not that you poked and prodded at everything.

~

What did we say about the flirting thing? Leo's face grows bright red, which answers that one. "Well, ah, yes. R&D and engineering. They, sort of, interchange, sometimes." This is one of those foot in mouth moments, and even though it's entirely harmless, Fitz feels awfully bad for lamely flirting with another man's girl! Sadly, it happens all too often.

Following along, he casts a glance toward Clint and mouths the word, 'Superman!?' The look on his face just might be the physical manifestation of an interrobang. "Geronimo it is," he agrees. He won't argue that usually that's something one says when going down. Technically, they'll be going up, but such things don't really matter when one escapes the Earth's gravitational pull and enters actual outer space. Not that he anticipates them going quite that far.

~

Clint nods and offers an offhand shrug in response to Fitz's silent question. Kate is obviously having some fun and he's more than willing to let her
"Okay…"

Clint gestures towards one of the tubes and stands within one himself. "Ger—"

*thump*

"—onimo." There, on the other side, the room looks very much like the one just left. In fact, it could be easily forgiven if there is question as to whether or not the Hall of Justice is actually left behind! It's a smaller room, recessed lights to the point where it's not exactly certain -where- the light sources are. Plants dot the corners of the room, but they're the darndest looking things; doesn't look like anything from Earth. Clint steps out, and there's a lopsided, boyish grin that rises. This just… "This doesn't get old."

A couple of steps are taken, and he's by the door, ready to show the way.

"Welcome to the Watchtower."

~

"Cool," Kate grins at Fitz. "You guys make some of the coolest things work." See? She's got something nice to say.

Once they've been transported, she steps back out, shaking her head with a fond roll of her eyes for Clint's excitement. "Go for it," she nods to Fitz, hanging back to let him get the full effect of the doors opening.

~

The tubes are given a cursory glance once inside. Then, a double take when Fitz properly pegs them as the transporters. Clearly, the scientist's mind has begun to work through a number of possible explanations for just how they work, but he's going to need a lot more time to sort out that one.

Leo doesn't hear the end of Clint's 'geronimo'. The man is just gone, like that.

"Bloody hell."

Kate's next, and after she disappears, Fitz repeats himself, this time with a touch more bravado. "Bloody hell!"

When it's finally his turn, Leo steps into the tube. He may only get to do this once, so, to hell with Barton's idea. A stupid big grin appears on his face. "En—"

*thump*

"—gage." He steps out, looks for the others, then pats himself down to make sure all of him is there. "Matter displacement just can't happen that fast," he blurts out. "N… no form of transport… I mean… that just…" He points to the tubes, then to the others. "That just…" And then they are motioning for him to go first.

The engineer steps forward, beginning to remind himself that he promised not to share his experience with anyone; not even Simmons. He'll manage, but damn, it's gonna be difficult. At the door, he glances to the others with a touch of uncertainty, before reaching out to push it open.

~

"Freaking. Cool." Clint doesn't mind repeating himself. Seems the archer has an appreciation for the technology too, but just damned if he knows what half of it does. The moment Fitz pats himself down, the lopsided grin is leveled to the specialist even while he's reaching for Kate for her to walk with him. "No, you can't," just take it apart.

Out in the corridor, which is larger than any corridor in space has a right to be, there are signs of the familiar. There's life in the halls; SHIELD techs as designated by Fury himself. (Ever wonder what happened to Watson? She's up here! How about Kinsey? Yup, he's there too. So, word of transfer was right… only not really anywhere near what actually happened!)

Once they hit the corridor, Clint's leading once again, "We could do everything from the labs, but it's much cooler in the main control room. Oh, and by the way… we're actually doing a constant scan on the Tris, looking for anything out of the ordinary. That's why we need the files, and we need you to look at them. Between what SHIELD had and baselines that we have, it shouldn't be too hard for you." Why? Two words. Alien. Technology.

~

As Fitz walks through the door, Kate reaches out to pull Clint back just long enough to claim a kiss. "You're cute when you get to go to space," she laughs softly, slipping an arm around his waist to move into operations. The techs working at their stations get a long look. She's still a little fuzzy on just what the relationship is between the league and SHIELD, but at least none of these agents are chasing her out of the building.

~

"Cool is right," answers Fitz. Moving into the corridor has him looking every which way, quickly forgetting the transporters and the fact that no, he cannot take them apart. Not today, not tomorrow, and probably not ever. He notices a couple of familiar faces, but the whole experience has him too distracted to stop for chit chat, or even to wave hello.

"What exactly are we looking for?" he asks. "Aside from the obvious. I mean, if there's enough data, it could take hours, even days to parse through things." Alien technology hasn't quite crossed his mind yet; he's still stuck in the world of the Earthlings.

~

The kiss takes Clint by surprise, and the first kiss that she gives is quickly followed by one of his own. "It's the best nest," is whispered back, complete with the grin.

Sadly, this can't last the entire visit and clearing his throat in an attempt to clear his thoughts, Clint moves through the door, his arm around Hawkeye. It'll come as a shock to Kate when those SHIELD techs will respond to her as if she gave them an order…

The moment they're through the door, there sits the Big Blue Marble in all her glory, slowly turning, the white clouds obscuring a good portion of the brown, green and blue beneath. Consoles that don't look quite of Earth origin line the room, though there are some terminals that are more than familiar to a SHIELD researcher. Interfaces.

"Okay. We have a baseline…"

To save Hawkeye from having to explain, Dr. Sullivan, as identified by her badge, steps forward and extends a hand. "Dr. Fitz." Conversational chit-chat is done, and the SHIELD researcher assigned to the Watchtower begins. "We're looking for anomalies. We have a base reading. Techtonics. Magnetic fields. Electrical currents that are moving through the area by generated by ConEd and by the building itself. What we need from you are the timestamps of when these portals opened so we can try and take the sensor data and extrapolate any changes in the baseline forces in order to anticipate any new openings by assigning a value to the fluctuations."

Clint takes a deep breath, and takes a step back. "What she said."

~

Kate…doesn't seem quite as excited about the base as Clint does. Maybe she doesn't actually like being in space. But if that's the case, she's certainly never going to admit to it. Or maybe it's just that this whole big base thing, for analysis and monitoring, isn't quite her style. Either way, as Clint and Dr. Sullivan give the summary to Fitz, she's over at an empty terminal, looking into something else herself.

~

Fitz introduces himself to Dr. Sullivan, after gawking over the machinery for a few moments. He listens with every bit of his attention, and nods his head in understanding. "I'll need to upload the information to one of your workstations. Fortunately, the data has been encrypted by a dual-node send and receive algorithm, which means that without the code stored in here " He taps at his temple. " nobody will be able to extrapolate the data stream. That's… assuming they can even identify it." After all, a signal that is perceived as HAM radio broadcasts into outer space with messages seemingly directed toward Klingons and Vulcans doesn't really draw too much attention. "The time stamps will be down to the nanosecond. I assume your systems are able to calculate at such speeds." A brief glance is given to the alien technology.

Yeah, probably didn't need to ask that question, Leo.

~

Kate gets a cursory glance from Clint in curiosity, but no one is going to toss the female archer off the system, if that's what she thinks. Up here, she's one of the 'bosses'. The conversation, well… Clint tries to follow it, he does. He gets the concept; things are normal, things aren't. What happens in between? The actual application and discovery of such things, however? That's why there are researchers in this world.

Dr. Sullivan smiles and inclines her head, gesturing towards one of the terminals. "Certainly, doctor." She doesn't need to tell him, however, that there are so many failsafes on the system that virusses are unknown, as is hacking. In comparison, SHIELD and Stark Industries have a revolving door. The smile turns to a grin, and is that a hint of challenge in her tones? "I think they're up to it. If the Earth interfaces bog down, I'm sure the Themiscyran systems will take over to help with the load."

~

"There's something not quite right about dick-measuring with Themiscyran tech," Kate murmurs from her terminal, just loud enough to be heard. The smirk probably doesn't help. Whatever she's looking for, though, she doesn't seem to find it, giving her chair a spin to look back to the others. "Are we really working on the assumption that these portals are tech and not just straight magic?"

~

"Obliged," answers Fitz, who moves toward one of the terminals and makes a show of cracking his fingers.

"…. ow."

Sitting down, he begins to familiarize himself with the interface, his head hunched down and all sorts of focus. Not zoo absorbed, though. "Even magic must have some sort of effect on the environment."

~

Clint coughs in an attempt to hide the barked laugh, and fails. Miserably. There is definitely something ironic in there and he turns his head away from the pair of scientists for a second in order to school himself once more. This is serious business!

The comment doesn't quite reach the same ironic tones to Dr. Sullivan, however. Maybe she missed the English Lit course on the practical application of irony? The woman just looks at Kate for a long moment before she looks between the archer and Fitz.

"Magic doesn't preclude the world reacting to its force. If something opens, a portal, the Earth's natural fields should react. Magnetic. Electrical. Whathaveyou. Nothing happens in a vacuum. And it's a matter of finding the anomaly; what does this portal affect and how can it be measured regardless of the provenance." Which effectively echoes Fitz' statement.

~

"Uh. There's a reason they call it 'magic' and not 'advanced science.'" Kate is willing to accept these things. Kate also hangs out with Fenris, so her standard is a little bit off. But she leans back in her chair, stretching her legs out in front of herself and flashing a guileless smile at Dr. Sullivan.

~

With a snap of his fingers, Leo points toward Dr. Sullivan. Kate does, however, offer a valid point. "Well, if there is no correlation between the two, then at least this study will prove it." He continues working, establishing the encrypted link between the Watchtower and the Triskelion. "Themmmm… issss… cyran," he murmurs to himself. Yes, he's curious… he also knows when not to ask. At least, not directly.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we have contact." He motions toward Dr. Sullivan. "The data is collecting and… Christ it's fast…" He looks up toward her. "The time stamps should be on your terminal now."

~

Clint takes a couple of steps and puts a hand on Kate's shoulder before he leans over and whispers in her ear.

Dr. Sullivan doesn't look ruffled; if anything, something of a smile creeps upon her face, and a quote that every scientist in the world knows comes to her lips. How many times has she heard that? And now, look at them all. In space! "'Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.' Don't simply accept 'it's magic', Hawkeye. Always search deeper. That's how shamans keep fear and demand respect; through ignorance."

Once addressed, Dr. Sullivan will make herself available to Dr. Fitz for as long as he may require assistance. It is, after all, a joint project.

Sure enough, the information pops up onto her screen, and that smile shifts into something a little more professional. "Perfect. Now, we need to look at the local phenomena.. coronas, flares, magnetics.."

~

"But it's-" Fun. Damn you, Clint Barton. Kate wrinkles her nose at Clint, though there's a smile behind it anyhow. "More things in heaven and earth," she counters the doctor with a faint smile, though she watches the whole collection process curiously.

~

"Gravitational fluxuations, air pressure differentials, full spectrum analysis…" Fitz is declaring the different parameters as he plugs them into the system. "I wonder if this system can search for psionic energ… oh hell. It can. Okay, uh, psionics, and let's throw in dark matter, antimatter, and… everything… from… gamma… rays… to… alpha waves." He goes silent as he continues plugging in the data, occasionally shaking his head in wonder at the things this Themiscyran technology can do.

"Sorry, but, no Earth tech can even come close to this stuff. It's like… like putting Wilt Chamberlain up against Rick Moranis. Alright, Doctor, I think that's everything. Now, where's the little red button?"

~

Rather than saying a word, Clint's hands move quickly, down and out of the way. 'Fun, yes.'

Turning about, Clint takes a look at the pair working studiously side by side, and chuckles. "Too bad we can't steal you, Dr. Fitz. I have to leave some people with the Agency. The Old Man would have my head." Nothing like just 'putting it out there', though.

Dr. Sullivan nods with each point her colleague makes, and in some cases, says it at the same time. Nothing like working in tandem! She smiles and cants her head sideways to look at the Scot, "Just makes you want to toss in the kitchen sink, doesn't it?" There's a gesture towards the side, and there it is, scrawled in a language probably not of the Earth. Or the solar system for that matter. "There. Take the honors, doctor."

~

Kate spins around in her chair, looking up at the ceiling. There are some things Kate is good at. Watching, Shooting. Plotting. Telling people what to do. Waiting and actually making organized plans? Less so. Maybe that's why she's not as excited about this place as Clint is.

~

"Oh, I'm certain that my schedule has it's bending points, Agent Barton." Fitz, after all, has earned the distinct impression that their 'jobs' are known around here.

Back to Dr. Sullivan. "From what I've learned of magic, that's not necessarily a bad idea," he quips, before looking over at the 'red button'. He goes back to the terminal first, triple checking the parameters, before leaning to the side and pressing. "Make it so."

It should only be a matter of time before the results begin to stream in…

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