2019-08-24 - Not All Is As It Seems


Clints network has SHIELD heading to a AIM facility in the South Pacific. What they find when they get there…

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sat Aug 24 05:26:17 2019
Location: Remote Island

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Theme Song



One of the problems with intelligence work is it can take time to get a result and time is not something that SHIELD has when it comes to the bio-weapon that AIM is working on.

The death toll, whilst small at the moment is mounting and there's still scant information on what's going on.

Clint Barton has a lot of contacts and that network paid off about a day ago. There's rumours of a research facility on a remote island in the Pacific Ocean. One where the apiarist flourish, or so the spy's contact said.

The Quinnjet is cloaked inbound, the island is visible. The Pilot has circled at least once and a facility identified in the centre of it. A reasonable sized structure - concrete and metal - only one storey visible above the ground.

Imaging has identified potential ingress and egress points.

"Ready when you are, Agents. Just give me the word" says the Pilot. The rest of the SHIELD agents wait, mostly patiently for things to happen. Some are even playing cards.

Agent Jemma Simmons has accompanied the group, decked out in tac armour and carrying her 'bag of tricks'. It's a good question as to whether the two Agents leading this group will let her off the plane or get her when and, if, she's needed.

It's a quick hand of cards that the men are playing, Barton amongst them. All of them seem to be playing it at speed, as if the mental calculations were being done, no bets were being made, yet somehow sometimes it seemed like one of them would fold for some reason. No words spoken, just a quick flip-fnap-fnap of a person laying down three cards, then the four players taking their turn with barely a movement.
Sometimes one of them will lay out all their cards, then another takes them all in. 'Winnings' are apparently tallied on the off hand of each player. Honor-based? Maybe. Or maybe there's another level to the game they ain't letting on about.
"We set?" Barton asks on the comms as he trades out his seat to one of the other agents, letting that man take over as he steps forward in the bay of the quinnjet. He makes one last quick equipment check, primary quiver loaded and set, secondary loaded and set. The small holographic display on his bow cascades through a virtual inventory.
Other men start to check gear, and Barton leans into the cockpit area. "3 minutes, then start the run." That should get things moving.

Along with the tac teams there are three dogs. Well, there are three large metal robots that look very much like dogs except for the turrets sticking out of their backs and the red eye glow that makes them look like a cross between something from a Terminator Movie and the Hound of Baskervilles.

The one controlling them, an athletic dark haired man with 'London' on his tactical gear, unslings his weapon which folds around itself until it resembles something very much like a shotgun.

"Tac-2 should be reporting in soon…" Tac-2 is actually three separate tactical teams that are all landing on the OTHER end of the island to draw fire and generally make a huge nuisance of themselves.

""How good are you firing that from here, Barton?" Or would he rather go in directly? Either are good for Jeriah so long as the sharpshooter can provide cover. As for Jemma… she gets eyed.

The sounds of explosions and gunfire start and the radio goes off with combat chatter. "This is Tac-2. We have contact."

Jeriah nods. "Ramp." A purple haze surrounds him. A 'disruption field' he'd called it and he swings his leg over one of the dogs as the ramp opens. All three take off and jump jet on the way down to brake their fall.

That seems handy. London didn't even need a parachute.

"What?" Jemma answers giving Jeriah a look "You don't have to tell me *again* *Mister London*. I'll stay here until you or Barton call for me."

No, no. Jemma's not sulking. Not at all.

When they land, they can see the building and the entry way. A huge door in the ediface - that has no handle. There's a control panel to the right of the door.

Not that they need it, the door slides up, and eight heavily armoured figures stream out - all in the yellow of AIM. Two of them are huge canine type people, large shaggy heads too big to fit in the helmets.

Seeing the dogs and the SHIELD agents hitting the ground, it's ultrasonic weapons that are opened on them.

As for Clint he sorta holds up a hand in Jemma's direction as if either acknowledging or fore-stalling, either/or. But then he slips back into position as the ship starts to make it's run with Jeriah already out of the plane and making his move. The archer thumps one of the other men on the shoulder as they start to move, "Dispersal pattern, go."
And then it's out the door and into the mayhem wildness of coming under fire while deploying from a VTOL.
// Alright people, go loud. // Clint's voice is heard on the comms as he breaks from the jet and darts twenty feet to the nearest cover, skidding to a halt. He rises up from behind the length of felled tree and brings his bow up. Nocks, fires. Explosive arrow sent towards the target.

"Oh good." Jeriah says on his way out. "Now watch the plane get shot down." That's AS he's already out though Simmons might hear it on the comms.

The hacker-soldier dismounts his hound and the four of them spread out as the SHIELD Tac team disperses like Clint told it to.

"Covering fire coming up."

Clint said go loud. Jeriah does. The sonic weapons on the dog's back unleash pure hell and the one with the grenade launcher is firing electro-plasma 'bombs' similar to the blasts coming out of the more human soldier's shotgun. In less than ten seconds they've demolished a sizeable section of wall and anything (and anyone) behind it. That should give Clint a good eye on whomever responds to the attack on this end of the facility.

"Alright. Taking point."

Jeriah is built for this. His disruption fields can soak a lot of different kinds of harm but the sonic weapons being used by the defenders are still quite dangerous. Fortunately the initial assault should have them suppressed. How they will react now that people are moving into close quarters? That might be another story.

At least the plane getting shot down would be exciting and Jemma wouldn't be sitting here fretting. Of course, London might be right - Jemma does have a habit of attracting trouble.

Clints explosive arrows take out the first three beekeepers as they pile out the door. That leaves one enormous, completely suited beekeeper who takes off at a run in the direction of the archer. The thumps of his feet are felt through the ground, his speed? So much faster than anyone would expect.

The canine headed beings turn towards to Jeriah and dogs, one reaching for the man with the disruption fields as he draw nears. The other tries to grab for his one of his drones.

A shadow passes over them as they fight. A bird? That's a big shadow for a bird.

The unit moves forwards, cover to cover, laying down suppressing fire when needed while the big guns are leveled and aimed at taking out the positions of resistance. As for Clint, he's got the roll he calls 'goalie'. For he brings up the rear, combat boots thumping in the dirt as he breaks cover and runs, skidding into the next point with clean fire lines.
// On your right, Nickels.// He says even as he's nocking, drawing, firing. There's a whumpf of an explosion and Nickels is in the clear.
But then he's coming up, quiver whirring as it spins to the next arrowhead he's activated. And the ground shakes with the heavy whud-whud-whud of the charging beekeeper moving at speed.
There's a faint beep in his earpiece as he aborts the arrowhead he chose and clicks to a new one through a quick series of three direction pad presses. The beekeeper keeps charging, whud-whud-whud. The arrow comes up, connects, drawn, nocked, fired all in the same smooth motion with that clean muscle memory.
Though the arrow doesn't hit the keeper, instead it hits the ground around his feet exploding in a heavy thick tarrish sticky substance that migh well slow him down in time for the next tazer arrow to smack him in the forehead.

Things get ugly and personal where Jeriah is. His disruption fields don't entirely protect him from being grappled and he has to give ground, shooting two, then three blasts of spray-plasma at the dog-headed being while his own drones go 'hand to hand' with the other. Steel claws and jaws rip and rend flesh extremely efficiently. He wasn't wrong when he told DeHaven these were 'Canine Death Machines.'

"Contact up." He calls out, still dealing with things up close. He's gotten into hand to hand himself and there's a significant difference that Barton can see between him and the tactical team. SHIELD Tac Teams, while soldiers, are often required to take prisoners by the demands of the mission. Jeriah was military trained, though. His combatives style is designed for one goal only: to generate corpses as quickly as possible.

"There are a LOT more of them here than the brief called for and since when does AIM have mutants?!"

There are a lot more combatants here than they expected. TAC-2 is still engaged on the other side of the island by the sounds of it. though that seems to be dying off.


The marauding beekeeper's steps slow enough for Clints second arrow to hit him in the forehead of the helmet.


Not even the helmet will protect from that. The beekeeper keens loudly, body tensing as the charge runs through him. He's down but it was questionable for a moment.

Jeriah's drone make a mess of the mutant their fighting. He's bought to his knee's and then falls on his face. The spray-plasma hits true, causing Jeriah's attacker to slow and claw at its face, which gives the Contractor the opening he's looking for.

Around him, the TAC team is bringing the others down. Are they nearly done? They still have a building to clear.

On the comms Barton's voice comes across, // Stay focused. // That eerie calm he has when he's moving, firing, moving, firing. It's as if he's not even looking through his own eyes as he works his way through the mental list of targets that need taking down. With that Beekeeper down Clint walks to stand on top of him for a moment, getting a higher point of view as he tilts his head one way slowly, then brings his bow up and fires it to the side without looking, though likely bailing out one of the team.
// We got some cover on the right flank, I'll shepherd a path. // And as he says that two other SHIELD agents simultaneously come under attack by charging opponents. He nocks two arrows and turns his bow to the side, sending a pair of razor-tipped armor piercing arrows at those two split targets and with a _thrum_ looses on both.
One benefit a team gets when they have Hawkeye, is they just need to survive and give him time. Just long enough for him to work down that list.
He skids back into cover off the Keeper now.

Jeriah spraws the downed mutant with electro plasma once more, ending it. There's several smoking fallen foes around him now. His drones are all reporting operational as they move into the building.

"Exterior looks secure. I think. Any eyes on what cast that shadow?"

He's moving in now. They're going to have to do this room by room and this is the WORST kind of warfare. But he's well familiar with it and being at least a bit bullet proof helps survive the various pitfalls of fighting inside buildings.

"TAC-2 reporting. We've secured this perimeter. Breaching the building and drawing their attention."

With the combatants down on Londons and Bartons side, it's relatively quiet, except for the hum of the Quinnjet engines as the jet pitches in the air. "I do London. A flyer decided to try it's luck." beat "We have it handled."

One of Jeriah's drones has a collar hanging from its mouth - when he and Barton see it they'll know what it is. An inhibitor collar. Who uses mutants and strips them of their will?

Inside the facility, the alarms are blaring but there's no further trouble heading their direction at the moment. They should be able to make their way to the computer centre - which is located near the middle of the facility.

Should be fine. Right?

// Alright, TAC-2 back up London, TAC-1 double sweep the perimeter, secure the survivors, make sure our LZ is clear, stays clear. I got a bad feeling about this. //
That said the archer breaks into a run, shifting his grip on his bow to hold it against the curve of his arm as he leaps over some of the fallen AIM defenders. He's heading towards the breach and clear, moving to back up the others.
Though it'll likely take him a bit to catch up to the others.
// When you go in I wanna hear steady feed on contacts. // Since it helps the archer prioritize.

"Can you say that again, but more like Han Solo?" Jeriah says as he moves through the building. Once the computer core is reached he slings his shotgun, moving from commando to information specialist rather quickly.

"We're clear here but I don't know how long it'll stay that way. Cover me while I try to breach their defenses." It's not an easy thing to do with computers of this caliber but this is one of the several things he is trained for. The hacker-soldier connects his implants to the AIM computer banks and begins a rather unsubtle but very powerful brute force hack on the encryption. He'd try being clever but there really isn't any time for it right now.

Unlike Jeriah, most SHIELD agents are little more staid but he does get the response "I can tr- Would someone get this flying fleabag out of my way" Oh they recognise that accented voice "y. Agent Simmons … has it handled."

Jeriah's connection to the computer takes him a moment to breach. The connection is different though. He hadn't experienced the neural network that Kelly had - but this is the same. A thinking network that evolves it's algorithm even as he tries to brute force it - and disconnecting? Well that's a problem too.

Which becomes a problem for Clint as he enters the building to provide the cover that's needed. Automated drones come flying down the corridor at him - firing lasers in their direction. At least their not highly targeted - yet.

With the appearance of the drones, Clint slams his back against the wall beside the doorway, breaking line of sight just long enough for him to flick through the next few options on the bow and then he ducks low to shift his position from where they were tracking him.
Without looking he twists to the side, fires that arrow into the hall causing it to ricochet several times where it embeds in the wall and bursts with several plumes of smoke which quickly fills the hallway.
Once it's sufficiently filled he taps a finger and pulls the goggles on his head over his eyes activating the IR. Three arrows are taken from the quiver and held in hand though only one is nocked. Then he rolls back out of cover hoping to catch those drones while they fire skewed and perhaps weakened lasers.

It might - to a suspicious mind - be kind of suspect how quickly Jeriah can breach these presumably hardened systems.

"Woah, there's something here. Smart computer. Learning network. It's curious and… oh hell. It's locked me in."

What he's doing no one else can see but the effects of it are felt throughout the compound. Doors open, shut, lock and unlock randomly. The fire alarms blare. The suppression system activates and then shuts down. It's like the place is possessed which it kind of is. Every single system that is in any way connected to the computers starts behaving erratically.

And Jeriah's dogs start growling. Like they're agitated by his troubles.

"Holy… shit this thing is fast." And that's saying something considering the person saying it has his own BRAIN being used as a computer.

"Clint I've got two more contacts. Bigger ones. I thinnnnk I just tripped some kind of island 'extermination' protocol so… uh… good luck? Maybe the doc can help you out."

Jeriah's battle turns nasty as the thinking computer goes on the attack, trying to compromise the hacker that's compromising it. Kelly had said something similar, hadn't she?

There's a 'spark of interest' as the thinking network finds the connection to his drone and sends a command, trying to get the dogs to turn against their owner.

As it is, Jeriah can just make it through the system and finds the filesystem. There's a heap of data here that he's going to have to get - while making sure he, himself can survive.

For Clint, the hallway fills with smoke obscuring vision, the last three arrows he fires hitting the drones and sending them spinning - one right at his head.

That's not his only problem. He can hear the footsteps of something large coming down that corridor - it's large black humanoid form, very familiar - he saw the video of something like this in Asia, just recently.

It's the bolt of plasma that whizzes over his shoulder that should cinch just what he's dealing with.

// Noted. // Barton's voice is clear on the comms, as he ducks under the flashing barreling dying drone, slamming his back into the other wall as there's a quick explosion behind him once the drone impacts and dies. He grimaces and takes a few steadying breaths…
Only for that big shadow down the hall to resolve itself into a black large humanoid figure that fires a blaze of heat and flame at him. // Shit! // Is heard across the comms, with him perhaps having not had the time to disable the feed. He's trying to get back outside with a quick sprint as he keys comms again.
// TAC-1 get ready, likely incoming to your position. Hunker down. //
Still running he drops and spins, bringing the heavy impact arrow up and nocking it, drawing, aiming… then once the figure is bracketed by the doorway he fires.

Shit is right. Jeriah now has to devote precious cycles to retaining control of his own hardware which he does mostly by repeatedly sending shutdown commands to the dogs. The hostile system will counter them but he can keep the dogs locked in a cycle of boot up and shut down and that's a win in the not getting shot department.

This requires something clever and that's when Jeriah notices the secured satellite uplink this thing is hooked up to. "Alright… prepare to catch the flu…"

The hacker has a number of custom viruses at his disposal but he doesn't need them. He just deliberately starts logging this thing onto infected websites and getting adware and other common malware. Those eat up system resources and slow the learning computer down. That should let him make a grab for control of the most precious resource IN the system. No, not the processor. Control of the cooling apparatus. Overheat things and he'll be able to cripple the system. Then he'll have all the time he needs to get what he's after.

"Inco-what?" Oh crap. Maybe NOT all the time he needs.

"We have contact. What the hell is this thing?" The sounds of explosions and weapons fire is clearly heard as TAC-1 comes under fire. They should be able to hold their own - that's three separate teams after all.

Another bolt of plasma hits the wall near Clints shoulder and another that sears his shoulder. The fact that archer is moving is the only thing that saves him.

The arrow flies true, hitting the robo-archer in the chest. It's knocked backward and one hand leaves the bow, letting the weapon flail in the air a moment. Nearly down.

Jeriahs battle should be giving the Hacker a headache, though the use of the satellite is quite ingenous. He can feel the neural network start to chug as the temperature in the room starts to rise. The data starts to flow more freely, though the system still tries to turn his drones against him.

Nearly got it all, just a moment more and he's done.

Armored kevlar suit sizzling, plastic beadlets melting into his skin as he grimaces. The pain causing his fingers to clench around the bow grip. He runs to the side, zig-zagging to try and break its line of sight then dropping into a roll.
// Two things that suck about those plasma bows. //
He's out of view of the recovering archer, and then lets fly with the two other arrows he had in his fingers, each of them slicing into that bare sliver of a doorway he sees from this angle, each slipping through then ricocheting to where he had left the target, their explosive tips igniting on impact.
For now Clint remains kneeling as the explosion flares through that doorway.
// They don't bounce, and they don't got no english on 'em. //

"Stop that. No. Stop. Stop. I said… stooop. Stooooop. Shhhhhhhhhhhhh…" There. He's got it. The program, whatever it is, on the back foot. He's got the data they need. Jeriah disconnects and rubs at his temples. He can feel a migraine coming on.

"I've got everything I can get. Let's pop smoke."

He really WAS in the military, wasn't he? Still this might all be slightly suspicious.

"Are the threats handled, Barton? I'm on my way out."

If they're not handled then maybe they'll like some electro plasma to snack on. But Jeriah sort of hopes they are? He needs a lie down in a quiet room and he's not going to get it for several hours at best what with the flight back and the debrief.

"Please tell me Simmons hasn't done anything silly while we weren't watching."

"TAC-1 target neutralised." TAC-1 reports "We've taken several casualties though." There'll be a Quinnjet to their location soon enough for extraction.

Bartons arrows hit home and the bow is liberated from the robo-archer. The android itself topples to the ground. He's out.

As the Agent and the Contractor start to leave, the TAC teams round up the beekepers. They'll be going with them. Most, if not all of these, appear to be mutants.

"If you don't call engaging a flying hostile in the back of the Quinnjet silly, then no, London, she didn't."

The Quinnjet lands as Barton and London make their way out. Jemma waiting on the ramp, peering at them "You two look like shit." Is all she says, making her way to offer assistance.

Yes, it's going to be a long flight home and even longer debriefing.

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