2019-07-19 - Collaboration 101


Hank visits Jemma to discuss the Reverbium laced bioweapon.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Jul 19 21:49:05 2019
Location: Jemma's Lab

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Theme Song



Doctor Hank McCoy is on Jemma Simmons' list of people to talk to about the bio-weapon that AIM is developing. She's made some progress in her own investigations, not to mention the other attack that occurred recently and, it seems, so has he. He's asked for a meeting to discuss their findings.

Which is why the mutant is being escorted to Jemma's lab in the Triskelian. "Here you go, Doctor McCoy." The SHIELD security guard opens the door to the lab. "Doctor Simmons, we have a visitor for you."

When the door opens, Jemma is at her workbench, a 3D model of something organic turning lazily over it. The biochem uses hand gestures to move the perspective and zoom in on a section, pausing when the guard speaks. "Thank you, Steven. How's the family?"

"They're well, Jemma. I'll be sure to tell them you asked."

Jemma smiles and holds her hand out to Hank "Hank. Thank you for coming in, how are you and would you like tea or coffee?"

Hank enters the lab, and inclines his head politely to the guard. "Many thanks, Mister Hansen." He's not on a first name basis with the guard, after all, and Hank does tend to be a bit formal at times. Okay, most of the time.

Bright blue eyes take in the lab, admiring the sheer quality of the toys that S.H.I.E.L.D. provides its scientists. FINALLY, a government agency that appreciates good science! Okay, sure, they weaponize a lot of it, but still! The organic model rendering does draw his attention, and then he closes the distance to Jemma and offers his had. "Doctor Simmons, thank you for seeing me, Jemma." Her hand is absolutely engulfed in his massive mitt, and then he smiles. "Tea would be lovely, actually. Earl Grey perhaps?"

The fuzzy genius is dressed in a sharply tailored black suit, and wearing a burnt umber silken shirt, really makes his eyes and fur pop! A tablet is offered. "Here's findings to date on the samples and data you provided, this Rerverbium is /fascinating/ stuff."

Jemma is careful not to crush Hanks hand with her cybernetic one. "It's really my pleasure. Having someone to consult with is such a boon in these cases, don't you think? And yes, of course I have Earl Grey, a premium blend." Her british accent is still quite pronounced, even after all these years in America.

There's a kitchenette on the side of the lab and that's where Jemma moves after taking the tablet, putting the jug on to boil and setting out mugs.

Of course, there's a lot of state of the art equipment in Jemma's lab. The model is probably one of the more interesting things at the moment - the detail and the way she was manipulating it.

"It is fascinating stuff and quite terrifying. I've learned a little myself as well." While the water heats, she checks over his findings. "Let me bring you up to speed quickly on what I have before we delve into the weeds. Let's see, there was another attack during the week. A restaurant and the only affected people were those with Asgardian heritage and I was given a small sample of the metal from Private Investigation firm, Paragon Investigations. They've come across the stuff in another, unrelated, case."

Hank might know of Paragon Investigation - it being run by one of the Xavier Institute mutants - Nick Gleason.

"Without question, Jemma. Having a peer to work with, a bona fide -peer- is not something methinks either of us encounters all that often." Hank's smile is broad. "Truly it is what science if meant to be - the collaboration of minds working towards the truth. Pure." And then he winks. "And I counted on a girl with such obviously fabulous taste, and breeding having only the best of teas." Yes, he figured the British in her would mandate it!

As Jemma puts the tea on, Hank moves to examine the render, hands clasped behind him, and eyes backlit from the reflected light. "Interesting…like a more surly and aggressive version of the sample of the necro-toxin. Greater density…" He is careful not to break the field, he has a decent idea of the area based on what he sees and the working it that he briefly saw Jemma doing. "Oh, interesting - it has pen-aids." A smile. "The culprit in the Asgardian attack I take it?"

He has indeed heard of Paragon Investigations, but has not had much time to check it out, nor much contact with Mister Gleason. A brow quirks. "How much of the material do you have?" He asks with interest.

"Not sure about the breeding, Hank. I just a woman from Devon, after all. The bastion of pirates and smugglers." Jemma smiles. With the water boiling, it doesn't take long to make the tea and let it steep. It's handed over soon enough though.

"Hmmm? Oh. Yes. It's the necro-toxin. If you like, you can call up the composition of the one you have." Jemma demonstrates, of course. Soon the existing model has a side by side of the 'original' virus. So very, very similar and yet different. "I was about to look at the similarities when you arrived, so your timing is good."

"The Asgardian attack. The compound was released through the air conditioning as best as I can tell at the moment. We're still reviewing the security tapes of the area to work out how they got access. The restaurant was full but there were only five casualties. Two have been fatal, the remaining three aren't in great condition and I'm working on an antigen to try and help. I might … not have the time."

"As you can see though, there's points of commonality. Here, here and here … " she points. "That's the Reverbium and what makes it so effective."

"How much of the Reverbium? Only a tiny fragment. It was being used in a 'voice box' I believe, on a werewolf." Hank might have heard about this through other sources and Jemma doesn't know much. She was asked to identify the material and she has. "Why do you ask?"

"And most royal lines got their start with brigands and pirates." A soft laugh. "And I was more referencing your being from the UK originally, a land known for a certain fondness for tea." Hank is in no rush for the tea, steeping is important, and there's so many interesting things to see!

He watches as Jemma demonstrates how to interface with the modeling engine, and soon is making his own comparisons, and having a great time at it. He LOVES tech. He LOVES science. This is one of the best days he's had in a long long time.

Despite the subject matter being studied. That…yeah…none too great.

"And structural parallels here, here…and here." He nods. "The Reverbium is clearly the key. Naturally the Asgardian strain had to be more robust to attack their formidable physiologies." He shakes his head. "The damnable part is it shows that our malefactor is proven to be just as brilliant as he or she is ruthless."

He meets Jemma's gaze, and yes, his smile turns a bit chagrined a moment. "Oh, I have a project of my own, I was hoping you might have some to spare…it is highly personal, so I fully understand if there's not to spare."

Jemma laughs "It must be my dry sense of humour. But you are correct, we do love our tea."

Nodding as Hank identifies the areas of interest, she gestures again. "Let's make this easier and overlay them. Highlighting the commonalities to begin with." The two models fit nicely over each other, the differences fading in intensity and the similar points becoming a touch brighter. "It's this area here, I was looking at. It seems to be the key, don't you think?"

In both models, there reverbium seems to be 'rooted' in a base pair.

"It's such a small statistical base to work from … " she sighs. They'd need more samples to be more confident and that's problematic. There's a third one though - Jemma might not be thinking on that, the one that infected her. Surely, they've got something on that stored away.

"What project? I'm intrigued. Unfortunately I don't, I've asked Jimmy Baxter, one of our consultants who's working on this, to request more if they find it. Most of my tests end up being destructive, so I'm careful. But what is it you're looking to do?"

"As it happens, I do too." Love tea. Hank grins at the laughter though, Jemma's a lot more serious than the girl he met in school, it is good to see a return toward those days of not so very long ago.

"An excellent idea, Doctor Simmons." Hank strongly approves of the overlays, he even goes so far as to create side 'windows' with the various layers just in case there's internal commonalities to be found. He leans close to the base pairs Jemma points out, adn then nods once, firmly. "Without question. THAT is the anchor and root of the problem."

"Small…but there's always the fact that once is an event, twice a possible coincidence, but three times is either a lady, though not in this case precisely, but a pattern." He smiles. "You DO have some of the necro-toxin used in the attack on yourself, do you not? I thought you'd mentioned it at the crime scene the other day."

when queried about the nature of the project, he leans back against a worktable a moment, sipping his tea with care as an excuse to gather his thoughts. "How much do you know about me, about my origins?" He asks before formulating his answer.

"Something else in common, Hank." Jemma is serious. It's been commented on before. Her commitment to her work possibly to the exclusion of other things.

"You learn quick. I've had people stand here and just stare at it. It's a nice little toy, isn't it?" She looks at the results, frowning slightly. "The Asgardian one has progressed more slowly. It *might* be because of their natural resilience or it *might* be by design. A third… oh, yes. Hang on a moment."

The third variation is displayed quickly enough. "If anything, this should make a good baseline. It wasn't DNA keyed, as far as I could tell." It certainly doesn't seem to be, but there's the root pair, just like the other two. What *else* this has is another pair - what they might be used for isn't clear.

"Would you like to see the progression of the virus in our current patients?"

His question gets a shake of her head "Not a lot, I'm afraid. I'm curious but I'm not rude enough to go looking. I always figure that if I need to know, I'll find out."

"Yes, there's a lot of that going around today, Jemma." Hank is light-hearted of mien as she can be serious — his grin is ample proof of this.

"Well, thank you, Jemma. And yes, it is a -lovely- toy, share me the specs sometime, we can make beautful techno-babble together." This with a ludicrous waggle of his fabulously fuzzy brows. Of course then she gets back on task. Cupping his chin, he ponders. "It could be both, we lack data to be sure, I'd posit the resilience is the key factor. Proceeding from that assumption we can probably eliminate an Asgardian designer, I know that's not much, but every data point contributes to the sum."

The third sample is illuminating. "I wonder what this -other- pair is there for, it almost certainly has a purpose. Perhaps it used when forming the targeting matrix?"

A shake of his head. "I wouldn't like to, but I /need/ to." See the progression.

With her answer to his question, he nods. "Well, you knew me before I became the splendidly hirsute specimen before, this is not, as many might think the result of my powers manifesting. I was a mutant long before, no, this was something I did to myself. I have been working on reversing it — for years — and our work here has sparked some ideas, but to -enact- them will require some of the Reverbium. I suppose I could work with actual Vibranium too, but it has different properties, it is not as good a fit."

"I can do that." Jemma answers, slightly distracted as she looks at the result. "I'm not sure what the pair is for, but that's good conjecture. Maybe we can tinker with that and see what comes from it." It's a dreadful they do, in the Science! labs. Take horrific things like this and try to recreate them. If they don't though, lives could be lost.

Lives could *also* be lost because of that. It's a game of risk, really.

"You do need to see. Here …" The other two models are dimmed and the 'Asgardian strain' becomes brighter again. "This is the sample we got from one of the fatalities. This is where it had progressed to on our first encounter. And this is how it progressed…"

It's an animation, showing the virus adapting to the genome. It's not big adaptations but it was certainly keyed to look for certain genetic markers.

"Actual Vibranium is even harder to come to by. We think this is why AIM is developing Reverbium. A 'cheap' knockoff. " The rest of that story gets a look from the biochem. "You want to use Reverbium to bind your creation better, don't you? The mutanagenic properties make it nearly perfect."

"Then we'll need to find evidence that supports of denies that WAG." Wild Assed Guess, aka 'Conjectture'. Hank studies the horrid thing as it simulates the destruction of a person…i really is a dreadful thing they're doing, dread but essential. If they do nothing, it kills, if they make a mistake it might kill by accident but without their work there's no chance of a cure, adn that boys and girls, /that/ is the hope that keeps them hard at work regardless of personal risk.

"It is adaptive, self-evolving. That's terrifying." Hank observes.

He has to admit that vibranium is worse to get, but it may be all he can manage. "Actually, no, not /this/ creation." A hand presenter style waved to his fur. "I'm working up a serum to reverse many of these alterations, Once it is tested I'll want to remap my chromosomes, premlimary testing has been encouraging, I think I'm close to initial trials, but the key will be the remapping — done by means of chemical and radiological treatments as aids to a retrovirus delivery system."

"We will. We can at least use computer simulations for now to approximate it but I'll need to find other samples of the compound. I've a team working intelligence, trying to find their facilities and I've been assigned a new team member. Someone who worked with AIM on one of their Reverbium projects." They have more than one project. More than two it seems.

"It seems to be, doesn't it? It's nice to know I'm not seeing things, I suppose though it would have been nicer in this case, if I was. Let me give you the rest of the simulations so you can assess them in your own time - we've three patients in critical condition that we're trying to stabilise."

It's not clear they'll be able to.

Jemma considers Hanks request, nodding slowly. "That's a big undertaking, Hank and it's very risky. Are you sure you want to do this? If you do, I can see why you think the reverbium will help you. You do realise that we don't know what the sideeffects are, don't you?"

"Sims are good, sadly we will need actual clinical trials to be sure." Hank nods understanding. "I'll see if I can find anything out, perhaps Nicholas might have some information." He quirks a brow about the defector, and then nods. "That's promising news, the new team member - that there's more than one project makes me wonder if they're planning on eradication of all but one strain of people, it won't be the first time someone has tried such." Ugly thought that, but it would make sense.

"No, Jemma, I don't think you are - the behavior is consistent with learning, in fact the progress is very analagous to that of an artificial intelligence. Which is even worse - a mutagen, a necrotizing toxin, /that thinks/." Can you say 'shuddersome'?

Hank meets Jemma's gaze, baby blues bleak. "Can I assist? I don't have a formal MD, but I have much to offer."

The side effects, the ambition, he's well aware. "There's risks, of course. Great ones, and no, I don't fully know what will happen. This is why I want to proceed carefully, staged work, trials." A smile. "I would not be opposed to collaborating on this as well, if you're so minded."

"Different projects. The voice box is one. This weapon. And the one for Mister London was tech based, drones and such. They seem to be using for a variety of applications, which makes me wonder. This material is extremely versatile."

Then so is Vibranium there's just not a lot known about it.

"Finding the motive for what AIM are planning with the necro-virus though, might give us impetuous in how to combat it. You might be able to help, Hank. It's biochemistry we need, as opposed to a MD. I'm not sure we can save these three patients but we need to try."

Those results are shown on the model and Jemma points "This is where they're at. If we look at the simulation for the two deceased, the next steps are here, here and here. If we could arrest it's progress, that's one thing. It will buy us time to see if we can reverse the effects." Though she's not convinced on that either.

"I'd be happy to collaborate as time permits. Anything to help a peer.

"Interesting, as in a literal voice box? I should like to see the files on that, if any." As Jemma goes on, his brow quirks up ever higher. "I think I'll need to see them all, there might be some common thread." And minds like theirs see connections that others might miss.

"Then count me in on the healing efforts, Jemma. I'm quite adept at biochem, and I'm about as skilled in Pathology, the combination seems well suited." He nods firmly. "And we definitely must try, to try is to RISK failure, to do nothing embraces it." And yeah, he's not so keen on failure. ESPecially when lives are on the line.

Studying the model, he ponders. "Perhaps a protein blocker here, that would buy time…another at the other points, but we'll want to use differing blocking agents, it adapts, need to keep it off balance. Agreed?"

Hank can't help but smile when Jemma aggrees to help. "Thank you." Simple. Heartfelt. Genuine.

"You'd be best speaking to Paragon Investigations for the other. But from what I've seen, it was a device on a collar that amplified the werewolf's bark. I was given some of the metal that formed it to confirm what they thought it was. I'm sure they'd love some input though." She considers the model again and pulls up a new 'window'.

"If we introduce a protein blocker here …" An area lights up. "… by the simulations we have, it might do the trick. We can try that now, if you like and see what type of results we get. Do you have the time?" It's going to take several hours of work to achieve and then a little longer to see what the results are.

Looks like Jemma is ready to settle in and start working on this. It's a problem that it's hit and miss and it's people they have to work on.

Hank McCoy says, "\"I'll contact Mister Gleason, then." Hank says with a nod. "This tech is fascinating. What would be really helpful would samples of -actual- vibranium for comparison purposes." He rubs at his chin. "I might have to stop by the Wakandan embassy and speak to Ambassador Shuri about acquiring a small sample." A smile then. "BUT…another time."

He looks at the spot, and nods. "But lets give it a multi-faceted protein blocker to chew on, in fact…" Taloned fingers flash. "These /three/ blockers have similar composition, if we combine them, it might confuse the necro-toxin…mm?" And then he looks at Jemma with a quirked brow. "Lives are at stake, I have whatever time we need." A hint of smile. "Might have to switich from tea to coffee, however."

"I'll contact Mister Gleason, then." Hank says with a nod. "This tech is fascinating. What would be really helpful would samples of -actual- vibranium for comparison purposes." He rubs at his chin. "I might have to stop by the Wakandan embassy and speak to Ambassador Shuri about acquiring a small sample." A smile then. "BUT…another time."

He looks at the spot, and nods. "But lets give it a multi-faceted protein blocker to chew on, in fact…" Taloned fingers flash. "These /three/ blockers have similar composition, if we combine them, it might confuse the necro-toxin…mm?" And then he looks at Jemma with a quirked brow. "Lives are at stake, I have whatever time we need." A hint of smile. "Might have to switich from tea to coffee, however."

"Actual Vibranium? I … might be able to help with that. SHIELD has a small sample but perhaps the Wakandan embassy will have more on it."

"Well, let's get started then. I'll brew up some coffee and when we get the compound into the machines, we can eat in the cafeteria. Let's get to work." It's going to be a long afternoon, possibly evening for the pair of scientists. At least having someone to work with will be better.

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