2019-07-23 - Collars and Car


Nicks teaching a wilderness class. Hank drops by.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue Jul 23 03:24:39 2019
Location: The Institute

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Nick Gleason is often a private detective but sometimes he is also an instructor at the X-School, which is where he is today. It's quite convenient really. He'd been meaning to come down and see Hank McCoy, as he had some questions for the blue fuzzy scientist and had indeed sent said fuzzy scientist a note asking if they could meet. But at the moment he's finishing up his class.

Not that that looks like what he's doing. The big brown werewolf - one of the school's first class - has a burlap sack over his shoulder and is whistling as he walks to one of the outer buildings in the School's complex. The burden in the bag is heavy. It seems about… person sized, actually.

And that makes sense when Nick opens the sliding glass door into the single 20 by 20 room the building houses. He opens the sack and dumps out a student, bound hand and foot next to three others similarly bound. Then, still whistling, he heads over to a low table where some hot eggs and bacon and coffee, and an orange are waiting. The brown werewolf flicks open a folding knife and starts to peel the orange.

"So… what do you think you did wrong?" He says looking to the students.

"Listened to Isis…" One in the back mutters.

Nick chuckles and places the knife on the floor, then slides it over. "See if you can get out of those. And don't take too long. I'm expecting a visiting professor."

Isis is perched on a table to the side, in a three pointed crouch as she watches the others. Mostly human looking, her facial features have the sharp lines of a feline but it's the cats ears on her head that gives her away as a mutant.

She's smiling broadly, the feeling of satisfaction rolling out from her can't be missed. The students mutter just intensfies that feeling. "Breakfast for me?" She asks, leaping from the table and stalking to the low table and takes the bacon, starting to munch on it.

Nick probably got extra, didn't he?

"They can't get out of those…." Is it any wonder the students here don't like her?

Doc McCoy (No, not that one! Hank doesn't mind teleporting!) has been working a lot of hours away from the school, in fact he's been absent the whole weekend after going into the city. Having returned, the first he he does is brew himself a liter of coffee! The second thing is get caught up on his emails, and it is during that process that he finds the note from Nick.

"Ah, good, I need to speak to Mister Gleason anyway." He downs about half the liter, then pours the rest in a sizable travel mug, and heads out to meet with the erstwhile gumshoe and survival instructor. A brief pause to query Nick's location on the grounds, and then off Hank goes at a lively lope.

It is shortly after the love earning comment from Isis that Big Blue arrives, and knocks at the door. Sure, he could probably just walk in, but that's rude! Hank is seldom rude. He's dressed tonight pretty casual, not even a shirt, just a vest and Khaki shorts. Oh, and a travel mug full of coffee, though that's more of an accent than garb!

"Hank!" Nick smiles as he rises. "Come on in. I'm just letting class out." Only one student has gotten out by that point so Nick walks over and cuts the rest free. "Alright folks, wash up and get ready for your next class. We'll do a refresher next week."

That sends them out. Nick's finals are notorious. And they often end like this.

"Isis please leave some for me. I was chasing those kinds over hell's half acre for four hours." Given that it's still morning, class started early.

"Glad you're here Hank." The big brown werewolf extends a hand. "Hope I didn't interrupt anything, but thanks for coming on out. Can I get you anything. There's fresh banana nut muffins if Isis hasn't eaten them all yet."

"I'll try…" Isis answers as she happily downs more bacon. Most of the eggs follow as well. "It's not hell out there…" she points out though. She turns to see who's at the door.

"Doctor McCoy." She knows of Hank at least. She hadn't been at the school long really. About eighteen months, most of which was spent trying to 'deprogram' her and teach her to … get along with others. It had been mildly successful but at eighteen, she'd just left.

And now works with Nick.

"There's muffins?" That has looking. Ooooh. There is.

"Good morning, Mister Gleason and thank you." Hank grins toothily at the departing kids, amused by the hangdog expressions. Once they're gone he shakes his head, laughing softly. "I see you have yet to lose your touch, Nicholas." Yup, Hank pretty much always goes with the long or formal names of people. Even he's not entirely sure why, it is just how things are.

His smile shifts to Isis at the point that Nick asks her to spare him some bacon. "Bright the day, Miss Marik…and please, feel free to call me Hank." This along with a half bow.

"Most auspicious timing, Nicholas, you sent your note and I also had something I wanted to discuss with you, as well." The rather large hand is shaken by a comparably large hand. "Oh, muffins? I should not wish to miss out, sir." Once he manages, IF he manages — Isis is closer — to get a muffin, Hank will smile. "So…you invited me over, so, you first, sir."

"Maybe one of these days but not yet. There's some good kids in the next class. Some of them might make good outdoorsmen but they're a long ways from it."

Nick reaches down, bats one of Isis hands away and rescues a few muffins to share with Hank. "Isis, do you have the noisy metal for Hank?" It was in her bag, hopefully she didn't drop it in the woods somewhere.

"I've got something I was hopeful you could look at for me. Well, a couple of things. I've got some stuff that folks are calling 'Reverbium' that's connected to a case I'm working. It's nasty stuff. Amplifies vibrations. It's been weaponized by some people and I'm hoping to learn more about it. I also have a car I was hoping you could go over? It was owned by someone I think may have been connected to all that, but I don't have a forensic lab to analyze it. So I thought of you, naturally."

Nom. Muffin. "Sorry. That was a mouthful. What was it you wanted to talk about?"

When Nick bats her hands away, Isis literally pouts. "I was going to share…" Of course she was! There would have been two left. One for Nick and one for Hank. The rest for Isis. One day, Nick might be able to teach her otherwise.

"Noisy … met… oh yeah!" The feline-like mutant stalks to the backpack in the corner and brings it over. It takes a moment to find the right compartment. "No, not here, I could have sworn… Nope, not that one either. Not there. Nick, where did I put it?"

Eventually she brings out a package wrapped in bubblewrap, it's about six inches by three inches by two inches, and hands it over. "Careful when you open it. If you drop the metal it goes boom. Knocked Nick and me off our feet." Well, a bigger piece did but there you have it.

There's a lot of bubblewrap when Hank starts to open it. Layer after layer. Then there's a square of silk and a small fragement of metal wrapped it inside. Really? All that wrapping for something so small?

"No, no yet." Hank agrees, clearly he isn't expecting 'some day' to be soon either. "I should probably sign up for some refreshers, I promised Catseye I'd take her to Africa to hunt if she pulled good enough math grades, the girl is SMART." This from a geunine bona fide super scientist, that's high praise indeed.

No comment on the hand batting, Hank definitely accepts a muffin, time honored tradition to substitute calories for rest - one way the Romans in particular managed such impressive forced marches.

Hank's expression grows very amused when Nick mentions the Reverbium, though that amusement shifts to interest about the car. "Oh, of course. We'll just have to get the car to my lab and I'll be happy to give it a thorough going over." He might not be a CSI but he has some serious science chops all the same and a really impressive set of labs.

And then he grins again. "Actually…I was going to ask you about Reverbium." The ironic timing…it be lethal! Then the grin fades. "I've been working with S.H.I.E.L.D. the last couple days on the bio-weapon applications of it, truly dreadful stuff, and I was hoping you might have some I could analyze, and a small amount for my own use in a personal project."

Unaware of Isis' concept of fair portions, Hank will just have to learn the hard way at some point. He can't help but smile as he sees the amount they have, even with the disappointing dwindlage (Sort of like Peter Dinklage, only completely not.) there's a good amount of a very hard to find material. "Oh my stars and garters, yes. I'll be most careful indeed, Miss Marik." He suits action to words as he accepts the small sample. "So…innocuous looking." He murmurs.

"I'd be happy to check your wilderness credentials but I don't know that you have ever forgotten a thing you've ever learned." Nick smiles. "Or that's what I'd heard after I left the school."

Nick's heard a lot about a lot of people. Comes of being one of the older mutants to graduate from it.

"It is but small amounts of it seem to go a long way. We've encountered mutant werewolves like myself who have collars designed to amplify their barks and howls into sonic attacks. And we've seen it used in the city to call pigeons and then turn them violent. Or, well, as violent as pigeons ever get."

It had been a LOT of squab, that's for sure.

"I'll have the car sent over this afternoon. But you're working with SHIELD on a…"

He glances to Isis and then back to Hank, frowning slightly.

"A bioweapon, you said? I recently had to turn over some evidence to SHIELD that people are disappearing. Mutants. Specifically mutants with noted animalistic characteristics. And we have some evidence that for several years someone has been modifying those mutants with reverbium infusions or implants. Isis was an early test case, we think. Though we rescued her before the final operation could be completed."

He motions for the feline woman to come forward. Would Hank benefit from examining her?

Very possibly, yes.

"Isis." The woman corrects Hank, scoffing down the bacon - there's a couple strips left for Nick but they're getting cold - and taking a muffin. She … eats a lot. An awful lot. And never puts on weight. It was noted in her file that she had a high caloric intake requirement.

Not commenting on hunting - Nick knows the type of hunting Isis prefers to do, the feline-like mutant watches and listens. "Bio-weapon? Using Reverbium? What's that?" Not that she expects anyone to answer it. Nick will explain it later - if she remembers.

"I don't like the barks. They remind me of the place I grew up in." Isis looks at Nick as he gestures her closer. "I wasn't modified, but I was getting to the age… Some of the others held with me, were. I heard them. Some … died. They smelt bad for a long time before they did."

Meaning she could smell the infection that had set in.

It is very true that Hank doesn't forget much, okay, pretty much anything. Still, memory and practice are very different things. No doubt he'd be back in proper form before too long, he'd rather be in proper form BEFORE having to rely on his skills! "Well, that's fair, I do have a fairly good memory, I'd still appreciate a few refreshers, sort of 'top off' the old Survival java." A bratty grin. "To make a horrible mish-mash of the language."

"Yes, I heard something about the 'voice boxes', but few details were available. If you have any after action reports on the incidents, I'd very much like to review them, Nicholas." A nod about the car, and then he turns his attention to Isis as Nick explains, and she approaches.

"Of course, Isis. I don't like to presume, and will likely revert when there's others around." A helples shrug. He is who he is, can't be anyone else. Unsurprised at the consumption Isis engages in - he has indeed read her files on record at the school, he reads them all. Does a lot of the security coding too.

"You could -smell- the wrongness? Remarkable. I wonder, Isis, if you might allow me to examine you?" Oh dear, that's ominous sounding. "In my lab, of course, no here. Studying you could prove invaluable in fighting the bio-weapon." A nod. "It is a necrotizing toxin that adapts to the target's physiology, a 'smart toxin'. It has been used to strike at and akill a mutant family, and several Asgardians. It was precisely targetted, the necro-toxin as I have called it precisely targeting specific genomes. Horrifying, it was able to target a specific /family/…mutants."

"I can do you one better than that, Hank." Nick reaches holds up a large brown collar. It's definitely made for a thick neck and it's dangling. It's been sliced by small, sharp claws. Not Nick's probably Isis's. On one end there's a compact speaker module. Odds are there's more reverbium in there unless that was the fragment that Hank was given already, though given the size of the module it won't be much more even if it is more.

"Target a specific family and leave everyone else in the area alive." Nick's no nerd but he followed that well enough. "Talk about a way to send a message."

The message being, of course 'we can get you any time we want.' Whomever we is.

"Any idea who is using it? It's not something that has come up in my case yet but if they're using Reverbium for it I have to wonder if it all doesn't have a common source."

Isis, well, Isis he will let answer questions about being examined. He knows she's squirrely around labs. But Hank is one of theirs so hopefully it will be okay, because yes. It would be helpful.

"Why don't you come sit in on my next class if you have time. After I have the kids doing their exercises I can get you started on something more advanced."

A lot of what Hank is saying goes over Isis' head. Genomes and necro-toxins and the like. Not that it bothers her, she's clearly preoccupied.

Hanks request has the feline-like mutant pressing into Nicks side and rubbing her ears against him. "Not all of them. Just the ones that got sick. Those, they took away and I never heard them again."

Heard. What type of place did she grow up in?

"I uh… don't want to but … I will. I don't like labs or stuff like that but … I will."

They can feel the unease as it radiates from her. Her empathic broadcasts are incredibly strong.

Hank postively beams when Nick produces the voice box. "Mind if I share my results with S.H.I.E.L.D.?" He asks with a quirked brow. After all, Nick said it was a case, he might have privacy concerns and Hank wouldn't want to cause him any trouble. "And once the testing is done, mind if I strip out the Reverbium for use and study?"

A grimace then at the message. "A rather explicit one, the deaths caused by the necro-toxin are agonizingly cruel." He ponders long and hard. "This goes no further — there IS a common source, A.I.M., Advanced Idea Mechanics, would-be technocrats seeking world domination, because unmoderated science should rule the day." Nick is sure to have at least heard of them, the X-Men have tussled with them on more than one occasion, after all, and he was First Class. A smile at the class offer, and Hank nods agreement. "That sounds splendid, Nicholas, thank you."

Hank sees her fear, feels it, and he can smell it too - Beast's sense of smell is quite acute. "Isis, I promise, I will not hurt you - I will not harm you, or force you in any way. The INSTANT you ask, the testing ends." Hank is most emphatic, extremely earnest. "Immediately. You have have my word."

Nick has indeed heard of them and Hank can see the recognition in their eyes, though Isis is even more intimately familiar with them.

"I won't tell a soul. Isis will keep quiet about it too." Won't she? He glances at her. Not a word to anyone else.

"But yes, actually we have some hints that AIM was at least at one time involved in the case I'm working on though I'm not clear if they are any longer. That goes a bit too far to be coincidence in my mind. As for the collar? It's all yours. And please, share with SHIELD."

Nick, being one of the mutants who is 'out there' in the world is all for using SHIELD if SHIELD is going to be helpful.

"Hank will take care of you Isis. He's been with us a long time and he's never done anything to hurt our own." Nick says gently. "He's a good doctor. Trust me."

Isis hisses and hides against Nick at the mention of A.I.M "Men in yellow jumpsuits are bad. Hurt Isis and friends." She does this when she's reminded of her time in the cells. Isis - not her. That was a different person, wasn't it? Someone else that happened to, not her. Jean had delved into her mind and had found some of it.

It wasn't pleasant for either of them, at all.

At Nicks look though she nods. "Isis won't say anything."

"I .. Nick wants me to, I'll do it and I'll try to be good." Maybe Hank won't threaten to declaw her if she panics, right? "When do you want to do … that?"

Intimately familiar and clearly NOT in a good way, but it follows — if she was a test subject, of COURSE A.I.M. was there, they're the masterminds pulling the strings for the whole set of malefic shenanigins. "Thank you." Hank makes eye contact with both Nick and Isis so they know his thanks are to both of them. "I have a security clearance to work with various government agencies, but there's protocols I have to follow even as a mere consultant." Hank nods to Nick's musing. "We believe that they're the ones actually creating the Reverbium." Another quick nod. "And assuredly so, too many hits to be mere coincidence."

He's quiet while Nick offers reassurance, and then when Isis agrees, Hank's heart goes out to her. Terrified as she is, this young lady, this poor, abused young lady is incredibly brave. "Perhaps tomorrow, I haven't slept in going on four days now." Yeah, super stamina — not JUST for breakfast anymore! His smile is incredibly kind, it reaches his eyes, he even smells of it! "I am very VERY pleased you're willing to trust me, I avow and affirm, you need not fear, Isis."

"Oh hell. Hank if I'd known that I'd have waited until you had a nap first." Nick smiles and hands Hank another muffin. "Go get some sleep. You need it. Can't have you going crazy. You're the best of us." Or one of them, in Nick's estimation.

"See Isis? I told you he's a good doctor. We'll get her down here for you to examine her soon. And I'll have the car here this afternoon but please, sleep before you do any work on it. Four days…"

Nick gets all owl eyed and punch drunk when he's gone more than two or three himself. It's sort of amusing until he accidently claws someone's pants off or something like that.

Isis nods slowly "I'll try to be good." It's hard sometimes though. The memories of that place, when they surface put her in a distinctly feral state of mind. "Four days? I … sleep all the time." In spots of sun when she finds them. She really can't imagine going more than a few hours without a nap.

Poor Nick.

"I'll come by. We need to work this out. They've got someone hunting my dreams, trying to find me." That's in her files, that she can dreamwalk - though the information is very patchy. Maybe Hank will find out more when he examines her. He might be able to get her to talk.

"Can we get ice cream, Nick? I'm hungry." Because of course she is.

"Well, that's the thing about supverillains…they're very inconsiderate with their biological terror weapons, and then one has to try and clean up their messes." The words are light-hearted, the sentiments clearly are not. Hank waves off Nick's apology. "Not to worry, we definitely needed to talk and compare notes, and you've provided me valuable research materials in the collar and car, and the opportunity to meet a very brave young lady who can help with other research I need to work on, it was fortuitous on every level, save that of missed sleep." A wink. "Fortunately I got your message -before- I fell on my face for a few hours." Probably ten or more are incoming! "Now that we -have- talked, however, now I can indulge in that aforementioned sleep."

Hank smiles to Isis as she promises to be good. "I have no doubts of that, dear lady." A frown at the dream-hunting, he knew in theory about the dreamWALKING, but that she's being hunted is not cool. "We'll work it out, indeed."

Finishing his last muffin, Hank makes a grand and sweeping bow, the coffee cup tossed to be caught in one foot as he does so, then the foot flips the thing back to his hand as he turns to depart. "Enjoy the ice cream, my friends." And off he goes to faceplant…he actually makes it to his lab! Then…THUD…

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