2019-08-05 - Explosive News


Jemma delivers more disturbing news to Lady Sif

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon Aug 5 07:37:37 2019
Location: The Daily Grind

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The Daily Grind is a little out of the way cafe not to far from the Asgardian Embassy, but far enough that it's not a 'regular' haunt for its employees. It's here that Agent Jemma Simmons, biochemist, has just claimed a table with enough seats to accommodate some guests. She, of course, has a pot of tea that's steeping and her tablet is on the table beside her.

The cafe itself is nice and somewhat quiet at this time of day, but not too quiet. Just right for a meeting that you don't really want overheard.

It is here that Sif, and others, received an invitation to meet.

Jeriah London, a man who apparently controls several metal 'warhounds' has indeed shown up. Though a military contractor for SHIELD he is dressed casual today and in this heat that means a tee shirt and jeans. No bagging, heavy military clothing. Just a rather short haired, well built man showing up to look at…

"Tea? Is it… good tea?"

That's not really meant to be an insult. He wants to know if he should be prepared for a real treat. Because like most military types he will drink coffee. Unlike most of them he doesn't really like it.

Having passed by this little tavern many times, Sif had never actually set foot inside before. The dark, steaming beverage on the sign never really caught her interest, and the dark, slightly bitter smell that came from the establishment was equally underwhelming. But, after consulting with an embassy employee and seeing that that is indeed the location Agent Simmons cited, she walks over to be promptly on time.

Walking seems more efficient than the 'cars', anyway.

Entering the coffee shop, her eyes scan the room, and then she approaches the table as Jeriah is asking about the tea. "Agent Simmons?" She doesn't presume to just take a seat at the table.

Jemma might be forgiven for thinking that Jeriah is teasing her, the man does have a habit of getting under her skin. She looks up as he joins her, considering the question. "It is, actually. Some of the best I've found in New York, actually." She lowers her voice a little. "I think they get in specially because I'm here so often." It's possible. Jemma is a bit of tea snob, after all. "Would you like some?"

Pouring two cups, she nudges one in Jeriah's direction. "I see you got my message and weren't too busy rebuilding your dogs to join me."

"Ah, Lady Sif. Would you like tea? Or is coffee or some other beverage more to your liking?" beat "Please take a seat and thank you for coming. I've news that you both want to hear."

It can only be about one thing, right? The bio-attacks aimed at the Asgardians. "And call me Jemma, please."

"I would actually." He says as he takes a seat. "I was not too busy rebuilding my dogs. No one has broken them recently, thankfully. I see you were not too busy communing with the collective, Jemma-of-Nine."

Sif's arrival gets a slight quirked brow but he kicks out a chair. "Lady Sif." At least he's not calling her Xena this time, right?

With a nod of thanks, Sif takes the offered seat while trying to decide how to answer Jemma's offer of a beverage. She finally settles for simple honesty.

"I have not tried either beverage yet that I am aware of, though I have heard many speak very highly of the coffee." She still hasn't fully figured out this Midgardian fascination with beverages being either hot or cold. Why not simply the temperature they are, like mead?

Steve's arrival is understated as well. Baseball caps do offer relative anonymity after all, and Captain America would take his hat off indoors like the old-timey gentleman he is — so this clearly CAN'T be the senior SHIELD agent joining them at the table with a curt nod to each person present.

"Evening, folks. Haven't tried this place yet. How's the coffee?" he asks, glancing between faces with a pleasant, polite smile on his features.

Jemma gives Jeriah a flat look for the collective comment. "I'm not sure what you mean, Mister London." At least Jeri Ryan looked good? "You did well to catch Barton the other day, by the way. I hope you gave Fido an extra quart of oil for such a feat of derring do." beat "Agent Rogers, thank you for joining us. Have you met Lady Sif of the Asgardian Embassy? And honestly, I have no idea about the coffee, I'm a tea drinker myself."

"Two coffees thought…." There's a 'terminal' at the table that allows for orders to be placed. It will be a few minutes before Sifs coffee is bought out and the biochem wonders how the Asgardian will respond to it. "How long have you been on earth, might I ask? Or should I say Midgard."

"There's a reason I asked you to meet me here. We've received intel about AIM and that bio-weapon that was used against your people, Lady Sif. First … let me show you."

Turning her tablet so they can all see it, a video plays. It's traffic cam footage and shows a car pulling up to a building - this seems to be a roller skating rink, one that Sif might recognise. The car is approached by a man who taps on the window which is wound down as another car drives by.


The parked car rocks and the person outside is blown backwards, as other vehicles are jostled and moved and other pedestrians are knocked off their feet. There's no way the occupants of that car could have survived.

"I believe, Lady Sif, you'll recognise that building?"

"Oh yeah. I gave him a scoobie snack, mmhmm." Jeriah laughs and nods to Steve as he comes up. "Captain."

It's hard not to recognize Steve, he's got a face (and a posterior) known the nation if not the world over. His attention and any introductions though are cut short by his leaning forward to see what Sif is playing. When the car explodes he makes a face. Jeriah spent YEARS in middle eastern and central asian nations dealing with exactly kind of this. The fact that the car is not seemingly destroyed by that - even if the occupants were turned into gazpacho - does have his brows raising.

"A reverbium bomb. Cute." He's assuming the device is tech because… why wouldn't it be?

Sif looks up at Steve and nods to him respectfully when he joins their table. When Jemma slides her tablet over for the video to play, she leans forward and watches the footage. Her eyebrows draw together as she recognizes the location, then visibly startles at the explosion captured in the video and almost reflexively starts reaching for her sword.

"The creators of these bombs need to be stopped." She's gone from polite and calm to 'thunderstorm would be brewing outside if she were a different Aesir' angry almost instantly. "Midgardian /children/ frequent that establishment!"

Oh yeah. Volume control? What's that?

"I do know Lady Sif, yes." Steve inclines his head towards the Asgardian warrior as he does every time. Coffee is ordered and he leans forwards to squint at the video on display. His fine features fall into a silent anger showcasing itself in the hardened line of his jaw and the glint in his true-blues. Sif beats him to it, honestly: he's seen children near that building far too many times to not be moved to an elevated pulse and pink at his cheeks.

"Lady Sif, please," he's quick to say, moving his hand to hover over Sif's sword-wrist without touching it. His expression asks her for patience while plans are laid.

"Oh Agent Rogers, have you met the newest member of my team?" Jemma remembers herself "This is Jeriah London. He's been assigned to help out Consultant Harper, Doctor Dehaven and myself." Jeriah can explain what he is does. "Mister London, this is Agent Rogers."

Of course, he knows that.

"Funny you should say that. It wasn't a reverbium bomb. At least not in the way in your thinking." Jemma nods in Jeriah's direction. "And you're right, Lady Sif but it's worse than you think. This footage was taken about midday on Tuesday, two weeks ago."

Sif had been there about 1pm. The timing is all but coincidental, right?

"Our analysis of the scene is that there wasn't a bomb. They had a cannister of gas they were going to put through the airconditioning. That car …" Jemma winds the video back to the passing vehicle "… emitted a particular frequency - it might have the music is playing - that caused the reverbium in the gas to … explode."

That's horrendous.

Jeriah gives Steve a two fingered salute. He's clearly a soldier type. It's the way he carries himself. Special Forces, if Steve is any judge and he probably is. He's got a 'lifer' quality about him. But if he's working with SHIELD that means he's not in the uniform anymore. So… curious there, possibly.

The news makes the hacker shake his head though. "So, they have developed a bomb that they can deploy in gaseous form. And worse, if it's the same biophage it will STILL infect the targets even if it fails to detonate and kill them anyway. Just… slightly less messily. I don't think, Captain, Sif, that these people especially care about kids."

He knows the type. There's a word for them. 'Scumbags'

Sif relents, but only because Steve bid her to. She settles back into her seat, but is no less stormy-faced. She all but stares Jemma down as she explains further, then after a moment of contemplating what's been said, she comes to a conclusion. "Whoever planned this attack was targeting me specifically."

She is now VERY seriously considering calling for Heimdall and asking him to track down who is the instigator of all of these attacks. And then she can deal with them. Personally.

Glad to have no swords on imminent display and as a result, no NYPD called down upon them, Steve returns to sipping at his coffee. Black, no cream or sugar, it's…not as good as what he keeps at home and around the Avengers mansion, but it'll do, especially given the news at hand.

He returns Jeriah's salute with a nod and look of understanding — yes, Mister London's been pegged for being spec-ops in a flash. "Whatever assistance we can give the Embassy, we'll give it," he says quietly, including everyone at the table in his thought. "I'll be sure to look over the latest findings involving any reverbium samplings we've got in R&D, just in case we're missing something."

"Honestly, Mister London, I don't think that was an intended effect. From what we can piece together from the scene and chatter from intel, they didn't expect the gas to explode at all. They were just going to pump it into the building. That it did explode … is as much of a surprise them as anything."

"Reverbium is … unstable. We knew that. We just didn't realise how unstable - there are trace amounts of the matter in that gas."

When Sif faces her down, Jemma actually blanches a bit and leans back. There's an old saying - don't shoot the messenger - she's kind of feeling that feeling now.

"We believe so, Lady Sif. You and whoever from the Embassy that would be there that afternoon. From what I can work out, that gas can be active for several hours and whilst I can't be sure - yet - it was targetting Asgardians again, it's a logical assumption to make."

She looks at Steve when he makes that comment "Drop by my lab, Agent Rogers. I have a file … a big one … on the stuff at the moment." Then to Jeriah "But you're correct. Now they know it can be denotated … all they need is the right tone and …"

"Lady Sif, I think you need to get word to the other Asgardians, perhaps a quarantine on any newcomers to Midgard for a while. And did you find out if there were any commonalties in the original victims?"

"It's likely an unintended chain reaction. The viral matter will be essentially in colloidal suspension and even though there are only trace amounts, they would sympathetically detonate when any part of the cloud detonated. It's like what we call in the military a Fuel-Air munition." Which is to say, spray flammable liquid into the air in a fine mist and light it all on fire.

Jeriah IS a nerd sometimes, it is important to remember.

"Er, sorry. That's a really nasty weapon. Even if it's an accident you can be sure that they'll try to capitalize on it soon enough."

Her and whomever from the Embassy was there. It makes a sick sort of sense. "Ms. Lewis. She is a recent employee in the Embassy and invited me to join her to learn how to skate." And just like that the 'blame the messenger' glare is gone, Sif rubbing at one temple roughly with the heel of her hand. "And no, I have not yet found the commonality in the original targeted Midgardians other than their similarities in appearance to Fandral."

She breathes out a heavy sigh. "I will notify those in charge of the Embassy, have them return all those not absolutely needed to Asgard, and restrict the rest to the secure grounds. At least for now." She is NOT thrilled with that thought, and she can almost confidently wager on who will be the fastest to break that restriction. Her mind immediately goes to the younger prince.

Almost as if in afterthought, she finally picks up her cup of coffee and takes a sip, and promptly grimaces. "What is the Midgardian fascination with BITTER?" It's almost as incomprehensible as their predilection for burning their mouths on spices.

"You're drinking that black?" Jemma smiles "There aren't many who do, Lady Sif. Here … let me." Adding some honey to the liquid and little milk, she stirs it well. "Try that but many Midgardians like things that are … tart. Or bitter if you will."

Jeriah gets a raised eyebrow as he spouts that bit of science. It's almost like being back at the Academy with her friend - translating the babble to something more intelligible. But Jeriah does that for himself. That's something.

"I would agree, Mister London. Now they know about it, they'll be looking to weaponize it, which makes our job even more important."

"Could you make enquiries in Asgard about commonalities? Perhaps there's something we're missing. It's possible, I suppose, they're just targetting a latent Asgardian gene but … " better to be safe than sorry. "Is there anything else you need from me? From us?"

Sif watches Jemma add things to the black liquid that change its color. Milk is obvious enough, but the other… honey. She gives the coffee another try. Still the bitterness lingers, but the honey and milk do much to make it actually palatable. She'd likely not ASK for it again, but at least she knows now what to do if there are no other options available.

"I will continue my inquiries. It is … well, Asgard does not function at the same pace that Midgard does."

"I understand." Jemma nods, collecting her things and glancing at Jeriah. "Perhaps you could suggest what might happen should these people work out a way to let such a … virus … throw to Asgard. With the rate at which they're research is progressing, it might be possible to infect one person and have them …"

She shakes her head.

"The thing is Lady Sif, we don't know what we're dealing with and any assistance I can get is helpful. Thank you." But it's a concern, right?

Just how far could this be weaponised … and why?

She'll finish her tea, then she, Jeriah and Steve will head back to The Triskellian. "If you need anything, anything at all, you have my number."

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