2019-07-05 - A Small Family


Hanks called in to consult on an ongoing SHIELD investigation

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Jul 5 23:56:36 2019
Location: Upstate New York

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It's a remote location that Hank McCoy gets a call to, late on Sunday afternoon. Somewhere just south of the Canadian border. It's a house on the outskirts of a town, far enough out to occassion no comment, but close enough for a 'quick trip to store' if needed.

When he arrives, the place is cordoned off by SHIELD and the command truck is clearly visible.

By it is a young woman with brunette hair in SHILED field gear. Her right arm a cybernetic one, her left eye an implant and another implant on the right side of her face. She's talking to another agent, rather seriously.

Hank might recognise her as Doctor Jemma Simmons - perhaps. She looks very different.

A little surprised to be called by SHIELD, Hank is definitely quite willing to make the trip. They do good work and he's not adverse to consulting. It is good to build a positive relationship with the authorities after all. The Beast isn't about to borrow the Blackbird for something lower key, the invite from SHIELD seemed to imply some modicum of discretion might be good, and since he has no movement powers nor a 'Beastmobile' he simply drives, the car a simple Ford Grenada from the 90's that he's restored and reinforced the frame of a bit. Dark blue, the car is quite non-descript.

When he arrives Hank emerges from the car, and proves to be dressed in sensible attire considering the season and his fur - a simple t-shirt of black, khaki pants and a pair of massive boots. Eyes of blue study the deployment, and then he approaches a (semi)familiar face. He doesn't know Jemma Simmons, but he knows OF her.

A befanged smile is friendly enough. "Doctor Simmons? Hank McCoy." A dinner plate spanning hand is offered.

Jemma, the cyborg'd woman, looks over as Hank approaches. "Ah Doctor McCoy. Call me Jemma, please. I'm glad we could get hold of you, we have something we'd like you to look at." She holds out her right hand, the cybernetic one, hesitantly. Not because of Hank or his hand, he can see a concern about her own ability.

"We got a call a couple of hours ago from the local police, five people were found dead inside." That SHIELD was called, and subsequently Jemma and Hank, it's not usual, obviously. "I … hope you have a strong stomach?"

No hesitation at all about the cyberlimb, Hank shakes her hand in a firm but not threatening grip. Not that he's stronger than it - she can lift several times what he can — which fact he's not aware of, but hey, cyberlimbs are usually strong. "Very well then, Jemma, and please, no need for formality, call me Hank, or Henry if you'd rather."

That the call went from local, to federal authorities to inviting him in as well? Definitely not going to be the usual sort of a crime scene, that's for sure. "Reasonably so, Jemma." He frowns faintly, more than a little concerned by the ill-omened comment.

Hank soon finds out why Jemma hesitated. Her grip is a *little* too strong when she shakes his hand. At least she seems to realise it and loosens it. "Sorry. New to it and it seems I don't know my own strength." beat "And Hank then."

Gesturing for him to follow, the biochem takes up a tablet and her field kit. "I have to ask, it's not as bad a some I've been to, but not everyone is ready for a crime scene." She explains. Perhaps it's not that bad, after all? "As some background, I've been tracking the creation of a bioweapon by A.I.M. A SHIELD team and myself managed to get a prototype…"

There's a look that crosses her face that might tell Hank something about the implants she's now fitted with.

They enter the house and the inhabitants are there. A man and a woman and three children ranging from three to nine. All arrayed around the living room - the TV still on, snacks and drinks laid out on the side tables.

All of them … have a a 'rash' that is visible on their exposed skins.

"We believe the woman, a Marcy Greenhouse, is a registered mutant."

Hank should know that name. She was a brilliant mathematician who had managed to get a position at the NYU.

Fortunately Hank is pretty resilient and crushing damage is a specialty of that resilience! He doesn't wince, in fact he smiles. "No harm done, Jemma." A smile that widens as she accepts the informal naming accompanied by a slight inclination of the head.

Falling along with her, Hank's eyes are peeled, and..yes..he's sniffing the air from time to time, okay, that's a little odd. "Biological weapons can be very nasty things indeed." He agrees. "I can see why you might have wanted me along." After all one of his degrees is in Pathology!

Nostrils flare as he takes in the scene and scents. From one of the many pockets he produces a pair of nitrile gloves, and carefully dons them. Must be custom made, his hands are way too large for anything off the shelf. "Ah yes, Miss Greenhouse, absolutely brilliant mathematician, she had a bright future."

Hank will carefully examine the scene first, moving in a circle as studies the placement and any scents or exotic vibrations. "Do we know the vector and delivery system?"

Hanks nose picks up the distinct scent of toxin. It's distinctive, organic and chemical with something of mineral, scent. That's not a smell he knows, at all.

"Aerosol." Jemma answers quietly, stepping aside to the other Scientist look around. That he has his own gloves gets her approval, that's why she carries her field kit with her. "The cannister is over there." If it's aerosol, does that mean there are remnants in the air.

"Fired through that window." She gestures to the side of the house. "My estimate is they were dead within minutes." Which is horrifying.

"Organo-chemical toxin, hints of some sort of mineral…definitely exotic, nothing I've scented before." Hank murmurs thoughtfully in a profoundly bass voice. As she points out the delivery system, and the canister he frowns faintly. "There's still some in the air, I don't know know much is significant, but we'll want to run full bloodwork of everyone here, including you and I."

Moving over to the bodies he hunkers down, carefully studying the rash to see if it is quiescent or still growing, also trying to figure out how much of the skin is presenting the discoloration. A blink as he looks up to Jemma. "Minutes? That's horrific, possibly good news though - if it is a pathogen with that rapid onset time it probably isn't virulent for very long, though I can't be certain."

"What would you say if I told you the toxin was keyed to target certain biologic conditions?" Jemma answers quietly. "That the particulates that remain in the air are unlikely to affect any of us, because we were not its targets?"

The biochem takes a breath though "You are correct in that we will all be screened."

Hanks investigation of the rash, shows it's eaten through the flesh. Cellular Necrosis. Which means, the effects aren't just physical - they've attacked the victims internal systems as well.

"I've come across this before. Was nearly victim to an earlier version of." Jemma says quietly, getting out her tablet and connecting the to port on the right hand side of her face, near her ear.

"I would say that this is a scary piece of work, Jemma." Hank shudders a bit. "So…a toxin that targets very specific genetic markers." His eyes are bleak as he meets Jemma's gaze. "An assassination or genocide tool." And (at least) one of the victims here is a mutant. "You said you had a prototype." He's quiet a few moments, then stands to approach the canister. "We might be able to isolate the substance by comparing the residue in the canister, the prototype and the victims." A grimace. "It is definitely not something to trifle with, arosolized, and the substance ate through the skin much like a necrotizing fasciitis, so it might be more than just toxic, it could be toxic /and/ a bacterial agent." He looks to Jemma. "Whatever I can do to help I /will/ do."

"I'm glad you said that." Jemma answers. "I need help with this version we've got today. We believe that children were Ms Greenhouses and this is her husband. The oldest child is the only one old enough to be registered if they were a mutant but, as I understand things, they aren't old enough for their mutation to have activated. We need to know what the toxin was targetting because nothing I have at the moment makes sense."

She turns her tablet and shows Hank the data displayed there. A chemical structure of the bio-virus she'd contracted herself. "This is the compound you detected." With no visible gestures, the image zooms in. "It's a mineral compound we're called Reverbium, a synthentic version of Vibranium."

There's not much known about Vibranium, but Hanks heard of it probably.

After a moment, Jemma continues "Reverbium has several mutagenic qualities and their lacing these compounds with out."

"There's any number of attack vectors considering familial ties, however, since there's both male and female victims in this room the markers have to be carried on the X chromosomes, so that's a starting point." Hank turns and strides over to Jemma as she pulls up the data on the bio-virus, and he nods. "Reverbium, nothing I've heard of. Vibranium, yes, though I've not worked with any. It is entirely possible the mutagenic properties were a byproduct, an accident if you will, when 'they', whomever they might be, were developing the synthetic." Blue eyes study the screen showing the agent that was used on Jemma. "I assume this is something I can't take back to my lab, do you have a facility I can work at with you on this? I'm sure I've already been vetted, or I wouldn't be here right now…correct?"

"A very good question, Hank." Jemma nods as the other Scientist conjectures. Gesturing for him to follow if he's finished in the room. "I'm not sure and I've only just become aware of the material myself. Byproduct or not, though, they seem to have worked out how to use it."

As they move, the british born biochem takes a data stick from her pocket. Unplugging the tablet from that port in her head, she plugs the data key in and removes it a few minutes later. "It's encrypted. You'll have to use the keys you were provided when you were successful vetted."

The key is handed over to the mutant with a wry look. "One of the upgrades I got. It's very handy, isn't it?"

"We'll take the bodies into SHIELD and autopsy's will be performed. If you want to be present, I can arrange it. Otherwise, I'll send the information over when we have it."

"I really appreciate you asking to help. I'd like you to help develop something to counteract this, if we can."

"Indeed." Hank sighs softly. "They certainly have learned to weaponize it." He agrees readily, albeit sadly.

Hank can't help but grin as Jemma ports the data to a memory stick using the port built into her HEAD, via the table. "Oh, very handy I admit." The stick is taken, and tucked away in one of his pockets. He nods when she speaks of the bodies. "Yes, I should very much appreciate being present for the autopsies and subsequent analyses." Hank once more meets Jemma's gaze, and nods firmly. "I am…well, not delighted, per se, but -determined- to be of help. I thank you for extending the invite. This is appalling, I would even go so far as to call it evil, it must be stopped and I cannot in good conscience /not/ help, if that makes sense." The last asked with head tilted at a faint angle and a somewhat bratty grin.

"Thank you." Jemma answers as she leads them out. "Command, send the clean up squad in. I want the data on my desk as soon as its available." She says into her comms.

The biochem take her time and walks Hank to his car. "I wish it were happier circumstances we were working together under. I'd say I'm looking forward to it but … you know." The whole thing is just terrible. "I'll be in touch, Hank and you've my contact details if you find anything or need more information."

With a final, careful, shake of the mutants hand, Jemma watches Hank depart.

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