2019-07-10 - Our Jurisdiction


Jemma hits a remote facility and meets an interesting character

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Jul 10 05:49:17 2019
Location: Remote Facility

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Theme Song



Jemma has been investigating the bio-weapon. It's been a long and frustrating trail, that mostly ends in dead ends. There's one lead that she's found that's bought her, a TAC team, to a facility in remote location. It's a warehouse type building that's far enough from civilisation to not cause comment, but also not far enough to do the same.

Jemma and her team entered the building about a half hour ago and have been methodically clearing it, room by room.

They've just entered what looks like the research area and Jemma is waiting for the team complete its sweep. There's a series of computers here, a containment room and refrigeration units line one wall. They … aren't empty and Jemma's fingers itch to be able to look at them. Fingers on both hands - her cybernetic one included.

There's a noise outside that sounds very much like a helicopter flyby. That alerts the tac team which immediately starts talking.

"Something just fast roped down near us."
"Confirmed but I don't see any - what the hell is that?!"

CRASH. The exterior wall to Jemma's left explodes inward as a very large something makes its own entry apparently dissatisfied with the existing ones. It's a… dog?

Actually no. It's dog shaped but it's decidedly robotic and it's huge.

And it's got a weapon turret on it's back.

CRASH. There's a second one entering the hallway just outside the room Jemma is in.

"Agent Simmons, fall back." The TAC squad leader instructs. It might be amusing to an observer to see the armoured men, form a protective barrier between the obviously Cyborg woman and that Dog that just came through the wall. They don't open fire, just yet, but their weapons are trained on it - they're attention so caught, they miss the second one.

Jemma turns to see the second one and draws her own service weapon. Only to crush the grip in her cybernetic hand in her surprise.

"Report, Matthews. What's the status." A helicopter could be bad. It could be AIM coming back for a look or any number of nefarious organisations looking for an easy hit.

"The helicopter just flew over us again. It's a European make with military markings on it. Not quite sure wh- There's someone approaching your position, Doctor."

Both big robots have what look like advanced weapons on articulated turrets on their backs. They peer over the SHIELD agents for a long, long moment before the weapons retract and fold into their frames leaving no sign that they were there to begin with.

"SHIELD?" That voice is human. It belongs to a man in multicam holding a rather futuristic weapon and with a sort of purple haze surrounding him like an aura. "That's not quite what I was expecting. Jeriah London, I'm working with the Legion Etrangere, they have operational control in this AO. What in the blazes are you folks doing here?"

At least he's not pointing anything? Though Jemma feels… something. It tickles. Like… in the back of her head.

"How did they get past you?" Jemma asks. No matter how she looks or how augmented she is, she's still really just a squint. Who has to squint a whole lot less now. "Nevermind. You can tell me later."

The droid dogs are quite interesting and she knows someone who would be gushing over them about them now - she's not. This is an AIM facility and the results could be bad.

"Yes, SHIELD." She answers, in time with the Squad Leader. Phillips frowns at the introduction. "Since when does the Foreign Legion claim jurisdiction here? We have the necessary authorisations and we're following a lead on a case Agent Simmons here is following."

The TAC squad lower their weapons but don't put them away while Jemma frowns at that tickle in the back of her head. It's not Kelly, she knows that much, she's too far away. "There's an active network in here, somewhere." She finally says, watching the man. "At least I think there is." beat "Do you have any credentials to prove who you are, Mister London?" She's already producing hers whilst Matthews is trying to confirm the legitimacy of London's claim.

Because this is sticky, to say the best.

"Since they're part of the allied peace keeping forces." The man named 'London' responds. "And no but if you contact allied HQ they'll be able to vouch for me."

Actually they could probably contact SHIELD and get confirmation as well though they wouldn't know that unless they asked. Jeriah finally slings his weapon but the haze around him doesn't abate.

"This area was flagged as being potentially involved in insurgent or terrorist operations. I was tasked to clear it. I take it you all beat me to it? And yes there does appear to be an active network here."

As he checks her ID she can feel something begin to probe her implants. They do have some network functionality though no one has ever tried to, you know, log onto her before. The implants aren't really designed to interface with most commercial hardware. A well heeled hacker, though…

Matthews messages back that London is clear and the TAC squad spread out again to finish clearing the room. Leaving Jemma and London alone - except for his drones.

"That was how it came to my attention." Jemma provides. "I'm following a case involving AIM. Research facilities like this are being used to create a bio-weapon and I'm looking for anything that will help me create countermeasure to it. As well as trying to stop it happening."

The rooms nearly clear and she starts towards to the fridge units. She'll get to the computers next though maybe he'll help "There shouldn't be, an active network I mean. This place was abandoned." When they augmented her, they'd put the neural implants in. To help her processing and also to aid in data transfer. The implants respond to London's probing with requests for his key.

What could a well heeled hacker do? Good question.

"How do you know there's an active network?" London says as he watches Jemma. He hasn't moved toward those 'fridge' units and when he provides a few AIM keys it doesn't work. New security eh? He can tackle that.

What Jemma experiences next is a focused, concerted and very determined attempt to break her encryption. Just as she is starting to open those units.

"Bio weapon. Sounds dangerous. Shouldn't you be in a suit then? A hazmat suit or something?"

"Oh, I can sense it." Jemma answers carefully, peering into the fridge and pulling on gloves before opening it. The attempt on her implants has her freezing momentarily as a searing pain shoots through her head. It's a pity she's so far from Kelly, the other woman might have been able to help. "What the hell…"

The tray of vials in the fridge are nudge violently but not spilled. "What the hell is going on. Agent Phillips, there's an active attempt on my system. Someone is here…"

"Uh. I was. The first time. It didn't save me .." She hadn't meant to say that but she's distracted.

"We're reading it. There's no active AIM equipment in the building." Phillips returns. "Trying to localize the source. Whatever it is, it's close, Doctor Simmons. Very close. Look for something nearby. A small communications device or… something. Maybe a boobytrap left behind. It only just became active, whatever it is."

"Then why aren't we blowing this place to kingdom come?" Jeriah asks as he steps a little bit back from Jemma. If she spills those samples he doesn't want to be nearby.

Her system is good. And it's agile. It's not designed so just anyone can break into it and after several seconds of effort it shifts onto a new band and alters its encryption, effectively hiding and locking London out.

He frowns slightly as he loses the ping he had. Well, he'll analyze the data. He's got a lot on AIM. He'll be ready for it the next time.

"Are your systems okay? Whatever it is, it seems to be gone?"

Yeah. It does. He must have been reading it too.

"I … " Jemma knows she's not fully tuned but this is annoying and very distracting. "… can't find it but I'm not calibrated that way." That should tell London an awful lot. Then it stops and the biochem lets out a sigh of relief. "It's gone. At least I didn't spill the samples here, not that they're dangerous just … unique."

Jeriah's question has the brunette looking at the man "Let me guess. Ex Military?" she says dryly. "And if the contagion I'm chasing is airborn? You'd just blow the place up and put it into circulation. We're *trying* to find out what we're dealing with so we can shut it down more permanently."

"Running a diagnostic." Jemma goes quiet, as she pulls the vials out now things are settled. "My systems don't seem to be violated and they're operationally stable. I'm not detecting a connection attempt, either. Which is worrisome. It leans to an active attempt on me." It has her worried.

"Tell me about those … things with you, Mister London. They're autonomous? They're certainly well armed."


"Unless the contagion dies in fire and most of them do." Jeriah points out wryly. "And yes. Ex Military. Most of the people in my line of work are. It pays better, I will say that." It pays a LOT better, especially for the skill set and unique abilities that he has.

"What would happen if your systems were compromised?" He can see she's a cyborg. The eye gives it away. He has some familiarity with augmentive robotics but that stuff looks really, really advanced.

"These? XT-221 tactical drones. They're semi-autonomous. I can give them instructions to follow but to make them do anything particularly complex I have to pay attention to them and give them orders."

The apparent mercenary gestures the two metal dogs to come forward and they do, moving to flank him to either side. They are huge - or they would be if they were real dogs.

"It shows." Jemma sniffs. That he's ex Military. "And you're a chemist as well, I take it? If it were, then I'd lose a valuable resource to help combat it." The vials are inspected and then packed carefully in a box that she's bought along before the biochem moves to the computer.

It's glared at for a moment before she starts to access it. "Last time one of us accessed a system like this, it had a sentient processor. I'm going to have to hack this to get access." Her tool kit for hacking consists of SHIELD issued keys that run the protocols. She's so far from a hacker it's not funny. "If I was compromised? That's a good question." And one she's not answering.

Those dogs get Jemmas attention as she inserts her key into the computer. It's going to need a moment or two to run, she's sure. Unless someone can make it go quicker. "They're connected to you? Are you augmented?" She peers at him, trying to see any obvious implants. And yes, hers are really, really advanced. Experimental even.

The dogs are big, they'd come to nearly her hips if they were standing next to her. "Are they weapons only? Or do they do they more?"

The dogs are enormous. Four and a half feet at their shoulder. They're big enough to sit on, well, would be when they're not bristling with weapons.

"Do you commonly ask people with big metal dogs if they're augmented? I mean I've had some work done but…" London smirks slightly.

"I am yes. It's on my SHIELD file which I'm sure you'll look at later. They're weapon systems, not pets. They're not very good at emotional support or playing fetch." The latter mostly because they'd tend to break the frisbee.

"They're quite good at fire support though. And if I'm a chemist it seems that you're a hacker? Good enough to hack sentient processors?"

"I might have wondered if you were compensating for something with their size." Jemma deadpans in return "And it figures you had some work done." She flushes a little at the inneundo. "You said you gave them direction, so I wondered. Maybe it's just something I do now that I am." So it's new for her, it seems.

"Oh I'll be sure to look, given you've crashed my investigation scene." Jemma promises. "And I meant more funcationally than emotional support creatures. They look like they might play a mean game of fetch, though."

"No, I'm not. Hence the stick. Standard SHIELD issue. It's not perfect but it usually gets the job done. I wasn't the one who hacked the sentient processor - that was someone else and it went very wrong."

It's a few minutes before the login screen changes to the menu. "OK. Let's see what we can find here…"

"From my point of view, you've crashed my hostile site. And yet you don't see my complaining." The soldier returns, walking over to observe the computer that Jemma is working with.

"If you're not a hacker, why not just cut out the hard drives? If SHIELD needed the data right now they'd have sent an actual hacker, so you can clearly just take it home with you and peruse it at your leisure."

That may or may not be true. Still, Jeriah seems content to hover over her shoulder and watch.

"I mean they have all of the functionality a mobile weapons platform needs. They don't, like, lock together and form a giant robot or anything like that."

"Complaining? We filed our intent to search this facility." Jemma gives Jeriah a flat look as the system information starts scrolling. "That's why. They've built a failsafe in. Any attempt to remove the hard drives or the CPU from the building network will cause it to wipe the data. So I'm left having to find the data and download it myself. We've encountered this a few times and before you ask, Mister London, why I didn't bring a hacker - those aren't a dime a dozen, you know."

"You mean that don't form a larger dog that can perform all sorts of amazing technological tricks?"

She's right, though, this encryption and search is going to take a while.

"Oh, well that's easy. Take the network with you, then." Jeriah leans against a wall and continues to watch. The data is pretty dense and he's not really reading as it scrolls by so much as skimming it. As to whether or not they filed notice, he's sure they did. But the wheels of bureaucracy turn slowly even in - or rather especially in - the military. So he's not at all surprised it hadn't come through to him.

"They don't do that either no. They ARE very good at shooting things. And running fast. And scaring people." Because, you know, huge metal dogs.

"What are you looking for?"

"Take the network with … Are you just trolling me?" Jemma sighs as she scans the data. She theoretically could plug herself in here, but that seems like a danger to her. An unnecessary risk. Clearly she doesn't think its possible to take the network with them or there's more that she isn't telling.

"Well my diagnostics have run and my system is clean." For which she's thankful. She's got enough problems as it is. "Anything really. Relating to the bio-weapon or the metal they're using in it. What's this…" Really all she has to do is just copy the data to the drive she's connected. It's tedious work but there have it. What she's found is a folder that can't be copied. She's going to have to see if she can break that.

Or you know. Maybe someone else can. Or at least brute force the copy.

"How did you come by your pets, then?"

"They were a gift from a research company that I levelled when I found out they were going to sell them to Genosha." Jeriah says, still leaning. "Such a thoughtfull gift as well."

"You could try taking the network infrastructure with you. They have to have local repeaters. If you took them to your lab you might be able to set up the their network in a contained space and examine the files there. What have you…"

"Oh." He watches her for a couple of minutes and then just sighs.

"Move over." He'll do this. He cracks his knuckles. This isn't hard. He's seen movies.

"Genosha?" That gets a sour from the biochem. "And by gift, I suppose you mean one that you exacted." She thinks for a moment before glancing at him. "Did you get your work done before or after that?" Yes she's digging. He can't blame her. "And maybe we could and we will. Or maybe we've tried that and it's not been successful. Is there any problem really with a belts and braces approach - particularly because this isn't a combat situation?"

So she's some experience in combat situations?

"What do you mean, move over? Ex-Military, a chemist and now a hacker?" She's being a little trite as she reluctantly steps aside. Jeriah is going to have his work cut out for him. It's a rare cypher and when he cracks the first layer, it seems to switch - he's going to be on his toes.

Then again, all he has to do is hit the enter key hard enough.

"Pft. Yeah. I've seen movies." The man named London says as he begins typing and… oh yes. He is a hacker. Jemma might not be one herself but she knows what it looks like when one goes to work and yes. That's what it looks like. So he is a hacker. Maybe not a chemist but definitely a hacker.

"SHIELD really should have sent a specialist with you if it wanted this data. No worries. I'll tell them that you did all the work when I bill them." He seems to go in for the dry wit, this one.

"Mmmm they really wanted this remaining secret. So what's this fancy bio-weapon for anyway? WMD attacks? That doesn't seem like AIM's style."

"And yes. Genosha. You've heard of them, I'm sure. Nation of utter assholes."

"I'm sure you have." Jemma answers, watching London as he starts to type. OK, he's a hacker. She's seen one of the best work and London might be up there in comparison. He's got two layers done, then a third. How many are there?

"I told you, specialists like that aren't a dime a dozen and they figure they can spare my time if I need to break this stuff." It's true about the specialist but Jemma's time? Not really. This is something very personal for her.

"Genosha, yes, of course. Right up there with Madripoor really. It's somewhere that SHIELD monitors as closely as we can. How did you find out about the research program?" She tries that again from another angle.

The question about the weapon has her pausing. "Strategic, targetted attacks. They're keying the toxins to specific genetic traits. Programmable by whoever controls the toxin. We're already seeing the results of their testing."

"Madripoor is a chaotic hive of scum and villainy. Dangeorus, but not on Genosha's level." Jeriah says as he works. "Come on my droogs. Time for a spot of the old ultraviolence…"

That last bit is muttered. Apparently he quotes things when he hacks.

"A genetically keyed toxin. Then you'd be very interested in the target list, wouldn't you? But what do they get from that? There are plenty of ways to kill specific people and most of them don't involve billions of dollars and years of research efforts."

"Clockwork Orange, hmm. Not a favourite of mine." Jemma notes as Jeriah quotes. Another layer goes and then another. He's nearly there, surely?

"You've avoided my question twice now about that research organisation. You know I'm just going to have pull your file when I get back." she says, watching over his shoulder but not in a obtrusive sort of way.

"The target list, sure. It will help to protect them but I want to know the components and how they're keying it. Shutting them down will be effective for a while, but they'll start up again - I want to develop a countermeasure." That's a good question Jeriah asks and Jemma lets out a sigh.

"The buyer list would be just as helpful in answering that but imagine if you could target the genes in one particular family or ethnicity? Wipe them out overnight? No more mutants. No more heirs to a throne. No more sons to inherit a business. What would some people be prepared to pay for that?"

"I was in the research program. It seemed legitimate when we signed on. But we later found out that it was a front for AIM research."

AIM. AIM again. Why are they cropping up so frequently?

"Now. I've almost got this… how do you develop a countermeasure to something that is genetically tailored to each target? It'd be like trying to cure the flu." Which for is something medical science STILL hasn't managed.

"You wouldn't need something that tailored for that though. And most of the people who would try aren't that picky. There's got to be another angle to this…"

"This facility was AIM facility, you're aware of that I'm sure." Jemma murmurs. Another research program, this time technological. She sighs, filing that information away. "I'd like to know more … you were in the program?" Her brain catches up with her ears at last. "As in you were the subject of the research they were conducting? Or you were on the staff as security or something?"

"That's a good question, though, Mister London. I'm not sure but there's a common element to all the compounds I've seen so far. It contains something called reverbium, a mineral compound that has mutagenic qualities."

There might be another angle but Jemma hasn't found it yet. "Maybe there is, Mister London but it's not immediately obvious and it's beyond me why people want to kill others to begin with."

The encryption is through and the folder unlocks, starting to copy. The information in here, when Jeriah looks is interesting. It's the introduction of Reverbium to the human genome - how it can be used to kill particular genes or in some cases, cause tech to bind to the system.

"I was a participant in the research. Subject if you like, yes, that fits well enough." London says as he works. Beep. "There. Got it."

He smirks, somewhat self satisfied that he's cracked it. That's always a good feeling.

"Mmmmmmmmmm. There's more in here than just your bio-weapon I think, judging by the file names." He wonders… well. He'll just take a copy of this for himself…

"The name sounds familiar. Is it something AIM is known to work with extensively?"

Because, you know… he might… er… have some.

In him.

"You were, were you? I don't suppose when you burnt it down, you saved the data?" He's a soldier. Probably not. They don't think like that, in Jemma's experience. "Or at least know the projects name?"

"Well, I'll give that your hacker. That was going to take me hours." The data copy is working again and the biochem watches. "Reverbium? It's a synthetic metal that has audio qualities. As far as I can work out, AIM probably created it. They're the only ones I've come across working with it. Highly experimental and no one really knows much."

Mutagenic qualities she said. Experimental. That should be concering for the hacker soldier.

"Why do you think it sounds familiar?"

"I did save data." Jeriah gestures to the two dog-robots sitting nearby. "They were from that project. And they're fairly good as far as first hand data is concerned. Though I haven't had many people I thought would do a good job of analyzing them yet."

There's a pause as he steps away from the terminal. "No, don't know what name they had for the project. Never much cared while I was doing it. But reverbium. Y es… I think that's what's in my… uh…" He flickers the haze around him. "… subdermal armor."

He has that IN him?!

"I'm not an engineer but there are ones that I trust in SHIELD. If you're ever in New York, we'd love to look." she offers. Love to? She's literally champing at the bit.

Oh the haze. Jemma had seen that but was slightly preoccupied with giant robotic dogs. "Subdermal armour?" That has her looking more closely at the haze. "That … wait, what? That compound is experimental at best and they put it in you? I … really would like to get you in my medbay and lab, Mister London. To see what they've done to you …"

Because holy cow.

Holy cow indeed. Jeriah takes a step back and cants his head as he hears a helicopter returning. "I'm sure you would. And perhaps I'll take you up on that. But, for the moment. My ride is here. So it will have to be another time."

Just as well. She doesn't have her lab here anyway and she's going to have a lot of work with what she's recovered.

Jemma always has a lot to do and she's cursing not bringing a specialist this time. She's going to pull the building network too, she hopes.

"Think about it Mister London. That's experimental tech at best and it's in your body. Everything I know about Reverbium is not good." But he's leaving and Jemma isn't going to get her TAC squad to try and stop him. One it's rude, Two Jurisdiction is a thing, Three She's not sure they could.

"Alright, finish your sweep of the building. I've got heavy lifting that's going to need to be done and I'm not doing it all myself." He can that as he leaves.

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