2019-08-16 - An Unlikely Reunion


Natasha is having a relatively normal day at the Triskelion when she spots a familiar face, that shouldn't be there, and definitely not be that young. She winds up inviting herself to a meeting between Laynia Petrovna and Jemma Simmons.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Aug 16 21:59:01 2019
Location: Triskelion

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Theme Song



Natasha walks out of the science lab, decked in her tactical gear, after having just gone over recent finding with the scientist assigned to her op. She's about to move towards the Director's office, when she stops, turning to look aside towards the hallway leading to the entrance curiously. She almost felt like she saw someone familiar, who under no circumstance should even be there.


Perhaps a tad nervouse, Laynia has come to the Triskelion, it was actually fairly difficult to find. The check in processes were…well, a bit draconian, actually. Not that the woman is surprised by this. Fortunately she has one of Cap's business cards, and Agent Simmons left word with security, so the process isn't TOO horrible, not nearly as bad as what might have happened. Finally cleared after a /thorough/ scanning and search, she takes her handbag back, and looks to the young man assigned to escort her. "You are private Worth, da?" The young man nods. "Yes, Miss Petrovna, if you'll follow me, I'll take you to a meeting room." She nods. "By all means."


While Natasha herself, looks every bit as she did in the 60s to the precious few who are actually aware she was active at the time. She is astounded to find someone else she thought long dead, not only alive and well, but withing the halls of the Triskelion and likewise looking just as she did back then.

The unlikely encounter, has Natasha cancelling her immediate plans, as she walks ever so casually towards Worth and Petrovna, "a new recruit, Worth?" Natasha asks ever so casually, offering Laynia little more than a polite smie for the time being.


That voice…eyes of cinnamon shift towards the red head, and she blinks. The recognition is impossible to miss, and then she takes in Nat's behavior, and manages not to react more than politely herself. Private Worth turns towards the Black Widow, and nods. "Contractor, Agent Romanoff." He tries to look quellingling at Laynia stressing. "Potential…" before turning back to Nat. "…Contractor." Young agents, so cute sometimes.

"Indeed…I am /potential/, recruit, Laynia Sergeievna Petrovna." Her hand offered along with a bland smile, no matter her true feelings.


"Ah…who is she scheduled to meet?" Natasha asks curiously, before quipping, "I may have a few questions of my own, can't be too careful after the episode in South America," she reminds Worth as she kinda-sorta tags along towards the meeting room.


"Sure thing, Agent Romanoff, actually Miss Petrovna's here to see Agent Simmons, but she's early for the meet." Worth is only too happy to have Nat along, he's young enough to value having a much more senior operative involved.

Laynia withdraws the offered hand, moving to fall in with her two escorts, quiet for the moment and taking the opportunity to study the area, and her old friend. Who looks AWFULLY spry for an octagenarian!


True to her rep in SHIELD, Nat maintains a rather cold exterior, as Worth would not in her clear lack of notice of the hand Laynia extended towards her. Regardless if done deliberately, or honestly missing the gesture, Nat does a lot to retain a cold distance that saves her from quite a few questions about her phone number, or offers for cups of coffee. When they enter the meeting room, she looks directly at Worth and notes, "you can leave us, I will grill her until Simmons gets here…" her tone of voice not implying a suggestion.


Worth is not in the least bit surprised at the chilly reception, and when told he can leave, he nods, even going so far as to hand her the tablet he had. "All yours, Agent." He says, and then — not even sure why — salutes before he withdraws. Listed are stats that Nat is sure to recognize, this is an ID she backstopped herself decades ago, she hardly even needs to glance to see that. Once the young man leaves, Laynia stands, and waits, assuming they're being recorded.


Natasha nods at Worth, taking the tablet and giving it a brief glance, before setting it down on the table. Once they are alone in the meeting room, she reaches to turn off the cameras and voice recorders in the room, and only then down she turn to look directly at Laynia. "So…Temnaya Zvezda lives, that's news…" all semblance of coldness drops for a mere moment, as Natasha walks up to her protege and embraces her tightly, if briefly, can't have anyone walk in on that, as she quickly returns to reasonable distance. "How do you come by that miracle, tovarisch?"


Once the recorders are off, Laynia grips back just as tightly. "The Dark Star lives, da." Husky voice? No, not at all, must be something in the air or something. She does wince very slightly at the hug, and then /beams/, calling into question the 'Dark' in her name. "Natalia Alianova Romanova…that is long story, probably best shared with excellent vodka I get from a witch." True story! Really was a witch. Once they break apart, she composes herself, albeit with some difficulty. "Dorogoy drug, I am…astonished that YOU are still around, and…" She peers closely, eyes dubious for a moment. "…so much…the same."


"From a witch…?" Natasha remarks with a raised brow, "you deal with Baba Yaga these days?" She jokes at the very fact Laynia is there, very much alive, and still so very young, all things considered. She smiles at Laynia's words, and similar note to the one she made just moments earlier. "If Temnaya Zvezda can do it, surely Chyornaya Vdova can do the same," an obvious joke, considering the remarkable difference in abilities between the two. "Funny, same can be said of you, surprising how student and teacher can both pull incredible feats. I would like to discuss it with you in depth, but Triskelion is not the place, they call me Agent Romanoff, it's quite less red in here, but should you join 'potential' agent, you'll find the feeling is familiar."


"Da, a witch named Ursula, though she did not look like a she-bear." A snort at the Baba Yaga. "No hut, merely office in Queens, depressingly minus chicken feet." She grins then. "If anyone could it woudld be you, oh how I have missed you. Suffice to say it was Darkforce that saved me, oh teacher of tradecraft." And then she sobers, a moment taken to dab at suspiciously silvered eyes a moment, and then she puts on her game face. "I will remember, Agent Romanoff."


"Thank you, Davis." The British accented voice floats in the hallway. "Get a tac team together and head out to the location, maybe this time we'll be in front of the curve."

"Very good, Agent Simmons."

"Beat, Oh Davis? Take London and Barton with you. They would appreciate a run in the field, I'm sure." The comment is dry as the door opens.

"Of course Agent Simmons." If anything, Davis sounds to be laughing, well not quite, as his voice fades.

"Sorry I'm late, Miss Petrovna… Oh, Agent Romanov. I didn't realise you were back in town." Natasha would have soon the 'all departments' notice a month or so ago about Agent Simmons brush with death and the fact that Doctor Eli Phillips had saved her.

What wasn't broadly announced was the fact that Death Lok protocols had been modified and used. Which *might* be why Jemma's appearance is somewhat of a surprise. Her right arm is cybernetic, clearly visible under the short sleeves the biochem wears. Her left eye, the 'pupil' a dull red, completely replaced with an implant and an implant that extends from her right cheekbone to the her ear.

"And no, Ursual wasn't a bear nor was she a evil mermaid from under the sea." The biochem smiles and holds out her hand to the potential recruit, and then Natasha "You two … know each other? I don't think I should be surprised."


"I don't always realize it myself," Natasha quips at Simmons with a playful wink, she has been doing quite a few runs for the Director lately without too much sharing in the where and whyfore, which is of course par for the course with the special status of Agent Romanoff. "Heard from Agent Worth about the potential new recruit, had to take a look for myself, she seems capable. I understand she was invited by yourself, Agent Simmons? Care to relate the tale?"

Natasha has the where withall not to ask any personal questions of appearance out of Agent Simmons, particularly not with a potential new recruit in the room. She just files it for a different discussion some other time. "Of course, we've just met as Agent Worth was bringing her in, a Ms. Petrovna, fellow Russian, I'll finally have someone to converse and share a drink." Nat notes, before adding jokingly at Jemma, "American born Agents don't seem to fancy Russian tea quite as much. Too strong, and not sweet, I believe is main complaint."


"Neither bear, nor mermaid, that is confirmed." Laynia states after Jemma's commentary. Goodness the lady has some serious amounts of energy.

Taking her cue from Nat, she smiles. "Both remember Moscow fondly. And da, I would love that, Agent Romanoff, tea -proper- tea, would be most welcome." A look to Jemma. "Not that British teas are not good, but there can be nothing like that which one grew up with, would you not agree?" A smile then. "And please, think nothing of delay, I was in fact early for our meeting, you are at worst on time."

She'll pause then to see what she says to the Widow, and how. SO far they seem to be on fairly friendly terms. Strong indicator of trustworthiness in Laynia's book.


"It's a good thing I'm not American born then." Jemma offers with smile. Both of the women won't miss how tired she looks, but that's part of the job isn't it? "And I love Russian tea. Do you *know* how hard it is to find a decent cup of tea in New York? I've scoured the streets and found a total of *three* places."

Jemmas love of good tea might be legendary amongst the agents. Some of them certainly enjoy teasing her about them.

"Just met, hmmm?" She had caught some of the discussion as she entered. "Of course. And yes, Miss Petrovna assisted in quelling a disturbance the other day and we met onsite when tracking down another source. We can always use good help in the field, particularly … the powered kind. As to the tale, let me show you."

The holographic display above the conference table flares to life without any seeming physical assistance. After a moment, a clip starts. Of Flagsmasher and KGBeast causing a disturbance down town. Of a man in a red and white costume with a shield much like Steves, except the shield is painted red and white, stepping in to intervene - and the shield 'detonating' instead of skipping like it should. And of Laynia's brave intervention with the Dark Force to stop Flagsmasher and KGBeast.

Captain America, Barton, London and Jemma are all in the video, but it's the part with Laynia that is highlighted and made the focus.


"Except Russian tea is better than British tea, as any avid tea drinker would know, honestly…milk and tea?" Natasha teases following Laynia's most amicable approach to the very loaded topic. Americans just might be surprised to learn just how loaded the subject of tea can be in certain geographies. Meanwhile, in America, a mere Lipton would do. Tragic.

"That absolutely correct, you'd have to be a field agent to find out the truly good places for tea," Nat jokes, though she certainly seems in full agreement with Jemma about the elusiveness of proper tea. In the world of spycraft, all is about perception and presentation. Nat has no way of knowing how much Jemma picked as she walked in, but she does know what she'd like to keep private knowledge. For the time being, she'll keep to having just met Laynia. Jemma, of course, may choose to press the issue, that is after all her perogative. "Indeed. Russians get along famously. A camraderie if you will, naturally brought up national pride."

Natasha observes the holographic projection devoid of emotion, smirking at the sights of KGBeast, Flagsmasher and…was that the Red Guardian? Fascinating.

"Manipulation of the dark force is a very rare ability," Natasha remarks as the video runs its course.


"Da, just met." Laynia confirms. "I assume that if not accepted as full agent or contractor I can still beg for the tea shops worth frequenting? I am too new to New York to have much hope of finding without expert guidance." Laynia's nose crinkles up very faintly as she offers a grin at that. And then the video is played, and she studies it herself, noting her performance, and lips pursing mildly in thought as she realizes consciously something she had not noticed before. She'll have to do some testing! But later.

She nods at the commentary about the Russian Tea being better. "Well, of course, but the British tea is acceptable if one cannot get the good stuff, da?" Thankfully Laynia has yet to encounter Lipton's 'tea', hopefully that sorry substance will never pass her lips. Ever.

To Jemma. "Did the Canny Cannuck of Courage get medical treatment for his arm? I do hope he was okay, he seemed like nice boy." Red Guardian for all his faults would have at least been a better fighter! Laynia smiles to Natasha then. "Da, is very rare. My mutant power is to control and manipulate…" She looks to both women then. "…is permissible to show?"


It's not the Red Guardian. It's Captain Canada or the Canny Cannuck of Courage as Laynia just noted. "I won't disagree about British tea. The best of that is imported and I agree, who puts milk in tea. Certainly not me." Jemma answers. "I've certainly noted the natural camraderie amongst your fellow nationals." Jemma isn't sharing anything that neither women don't share openly.

"And yes, he did, Miss Petrovna when I could get him to settle for long enough and stop being heroic." To Natasha, Jemma adds "This was a man who purchased a 'knock off' Captain America shield from EBay and painted it in Canada's colours. Unfortunately, the shield was made out of Reverbium - a synthentic form of Vibranium." Vibranium isn't all that well known outside SHIELD but that should be of interest to Natasha.

"I've found some sealed files on one Laynia Petrovna in SHIELDS databases, Miss Petrovna. I don't have the clearance to access them but I take it, you're known to the Agency?" At the question, Jemma nods and smiles. "I would very much like to see a demonstration."


"I'd say I'll show you mine if you show me yours, but that's not true, I like to watch more than I like to perform," Natasha says with a big grin to Laynia, looking at her intently, eager to see a demonstration of her abilities. Not that she hasn't seen them before, she saw them just now in the holographic recording. But there's nothing like an in person demonstration to truly appreciate one's ability.

"Not to suggest there is lack of patriotic camraderie among other nationas, but history is far less soaked in blood, in most other regions," Natasha offers a personal observation. It would surprise some to learn just how much of a share of blood she'd seen in her time.

Natasha does look quite grave at the idea that knock-off vibranium shields ALA Captain America's are attainable, even if imperefect, but says nothing to that end. At least for the time being. Her brow arches again at the mention of sealed files about Laynia Petrovna, giving no indication if she's familiar with the content of the files or their existence at all. "I would imagine Director Fury could choose to share more if you take it up to him, Agent Simmons," Natasha offers, before looking intently at Laynia. "Let us see it then."


"Milk in tea should be criminal." Laynia murmurs with a delicate shudder, after all, everyone present knows better! "Oh yes, we are prone to being friendly, when not in doldroms of course, we are a passionate people, Agent Simmons." She is clearly quite relieved to hear that the CCoC was okay after all.

"I have not heard of this 'Reverbium', it sounds like good name for band, however." She says with a flip little grin - and serious eyes.

"I cannot say what may be in your files, but I was in process of defecting some time ago." She says, and then laughs at Nat's teasing. "Duly noted, tovarisch." Ooh, 'Director Fury', a name. Interesting, she'll have to use 'The Google' when she gets back to Little Odessa!

Once given permission by both ladies, she nods. "So…perhaps there is gunnery range for more impressive show later, da? For now…" She raises her hand, and a small ball of…well, Darkness, really, forms. The ball is perhaps the size of a cantaloupe, a sphere of swirling black, like ink had crossbred with smoke. She offers it to Jemma. "Is very solid, yes?" Once the woman feels the chill sphere, Laynia concentrates and it rapidly shifts to a variety of basic shapes growing ever more complex - sphere, cube, pentagon, hexagon, all the way up to an icosagon — before she shapes a reasonable image of Nat's face, which turns toward the real thing. "Control is key of course."


"Reverbium is, as far as we can tell, made by AIM, Agent Romanov." Jemma supplies knowing that there's a lot going on and keeping up with the latest is sometimes impossible. "Unfortunately, if not manufactured correctly, or even if it is, it creates vibrations that can be rather catastrophic, as you just witnessed in that video."

Jemma sighs "AIM has little to no quality control on their projects. The cost of human life doesn't factor into their equations. And it's not the only place we're seeing it. It has mutagenic qualities as well and there are operators who are getting hold of it and using it to increase the effectiveness of viruses and phages. That's infact the line of enquiry we were following when I met Miss Petrovna the second time." Which *might* explain why she was dealing with Witches? Or maybe not.

"We have a gunnery range, yes and we'll certainly get you access. They're still testing me out with new enhancements, maybe we'll get time down there together." beat "Ohhh. Very impressive. What can you tell me about the energy you use? This isn't something that I've ever seen, I don't think."


"Defection…?" Nat sounds quite concerned, "lack of loyalty is a bad trait to have," she chides. Albeit the feigned chastizing would likely be more apparent to Laynia, if at all, things considered. "May I ask what brought about such a defection?" Nat presses as if it was a truly contestable issue.

"Your control of your ability is impressive, Petrovna, I would wager years of practice are at hand?"

But she gets a bit more serious at Jemma's sharing of Intel, "AIM is such a dumb collection of brilliant minds," Natasha quips, frowning at the idea they've found a new toy to unleash on the world.

If witches were supposed to be self explanatory in the given context, it seems to sail over Natasha's head, as she insists, "and the witches…? AIM hiring mystics now?"


And of course that information was not meant to be shared with Laynia, of course not! Laynia makes note of all that's being said. "AIM has never been concerned with decency, or right, or proper." She observes with genuine disgust. "For a 'knock off', this substance sounds very dangerous and very versatile, and this is a copy of 'vibranium'? I have not encountered this either to my knowledge." Not like Cap's shield composition was advertized on her side of the Iron Curtain!

A broad smile. "I look forward to range testing." She says, and then looks thoughtful. "Is more than just energy, is whole dimension, Agent Simmons. I can draw large amounts of it into this world, or travel short distances instantly using it as conduit. The Darkforce itself is old, and cold, and baffles the senses, it is place of fear and madness for the unwary. But is not 'energy' as such." A shrug. "I cannot say much more on that, though if you wish I can show you portal."

Nat's defection question is pondered seriously. "Mostly? I did not like being asked to do things that were against my morals. I was tired of betrayal the coin I was paid for my loyalty and service. It gets very old to come in from day's work feeling dirty both in and out, da?" Yeah, no question that Nat will know what Laynia is saying from personal experience. She doesn't know Jemma well enough to guess,

A sigh, and then Laynia shakes her head, clearing it. "Da! Years of training, started when I was very young, ramped up considerably when powers first manifested, then I train in other things AND powers. Until was ready for field work."


"I'm sure Reverbium has been around for a while but we're seeing a major uptick in it in the field." Jemma confirms. "I'm trying to work out how to synthesis it myself. We've recovered records from AIM facilities we've raided but whilst their scientific ethics might be lacking, their security is not. The information is distributed across multiple facilities and I'm piecing together things as they come to hand."

"AIM might be hiring mystics, but Ursuala … wasn't employed by them to the best of my knowledge. A contact of Bartons in fact." Which might tell Natasha a lot. Contact. Spies. "Who had knowledge of who might be paying to target Asgardians with the bio-weapon AIM are developing. The weapon that caused this to happen to me." Jemma gestures to her eye and hand.

"Oh. Now that's fascinating, Miss Petrovna. The ability to channel from a dimension to this one. I might like to see a portal, if you think it safe here. Can you travel to this dimension? Send people there?" the biochems mind is already reeling and if they're not careful they might end up with a Jemma babble to complete the day.

Laynia's commentary about defection gets a slight nod. Jemma knows enough from working with others the base sentiments that the woman is espousing. "Perhaps thinking of defection as holding true to ones values is a better way of thinking of things. Might I ask when you started the process and what stopped it?"


"Interesting…" is all that Nat says to the news of Ursual, AIM, Barton and the target drawn on the Asgardians, she may have more thoughts, but she's not sharing at this point. "I would advise Ms. Petrovna wouldn't demonstrate such an ability, we both may not quite return," Natasha warns Jemma.

"I would suggest a conundrum, Agent Simmons, how do you know your values from the ones imprinted on you? When we serve SHIELD, do we serve the country? Is there a place for ethics in the threat levels that SHIELD handles on the regular…?" Natasha muses, before noting, "there is always more than values, self worth and guilt to the act of defection. But that is not a conversation for now…I am satisfied from what I've seen, as far as I'm concerned, Laynia Petrovna would make a good agent."

She reaches to extend the tabelt given to her by Agent Worth back to Agent Simmons, "you may finish your scheduled appointment, I need to go see the Director," she notes, and turns to leave the room.


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