2019-08-24 - The Explosion at Plant Daniel


Plant Daniel, a coal power plant serving the Mobile Alabama region, has been destroyed. The Department of Homeland Security has determined that it might have been an act of terror, but can find no evidence to support that. However, it doesn't appear to have been an accident either. SHIELD has been called in to conduct an investigation.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sat Aug 24 23:07:30 2019
Location: Plant Daniel, Moss Point, Mississippi.

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Theme Song



Plant Daniel
Moss Point, MS
9:45 pm CT

If you've ever seen a power plant up close, you'll know that it's size from a distance is misleading. Once inside the grounds, it's a massive structure with warning signs all over the place. Security is always tight, but things have certainly ramped up since the incident this morning. Federal Agents from Homeland Security are all over the place, many of them armed like military soldiers. State and local county law enforcement have blocked off all roads leading to the plant, and helicopters patrol the area.

The plant itself appears mostly intact, save for the two main cooling towers, which have collapsed. Fire trucks are all over the place, with fire fighters on the scene to provide safety oversight. Lights flash everywhere, and occasionally, PA speakers will make announcements directing the plant workers. The station may be offline, but there's still a lot of work to be done, so the place is absolutely bustling with activity.

The Quinnjet arrives with a Government and SHIELD contingent, landing and letting down the ramp. From the back, comes Agent Jemma Simmons, in jeans, longsleeved t-shirt, a shield jacket and hikers. She's … not a normal woman. Her left eye has been replaced with a cybernetic replacement, her right arm too. On the right side of her face, just above the cheek bone and extending to the ear, is another cybernetic implant - though it's purpose isn't fully clear.

"Alright. Where's the Agent in Charge?" the woman says in that British accent of hers. Spying the command tent, she gestures to those with her and makes her way there.

If this hadn't been a major power outage, SHIELD probably wouldn't have been called.

"Agent Jemma Simmons, SHIELD." She introduces herself when she gets there, pausing to let the others with her introduce themselves.

Thea had been allowed to tag along, her most well known 'skills' aren't likely to be needed, but she does have observational skills as well. She'd been mildly fascinated by Agent Simmons at first meeting glance, and she's curious, but doesn't want to make it an issue or make it uncomfortable, so she's been restraining herself from looking at the woman as much as she can without being rude on the flight in the jet.

She follows along like a good junior agent duckling, strawberry blonde loose over her green summer weight blouse with jeans and sneakers. She will shift her backpack on her shoulders, packed with basic first aid and snacks, just in case. She will duck into the tent, nodding. "Agent Harman." That's still so weird to say, it feels odd on her tongue.

One of the people coming off the Quinnjet isn't an agent. He's a contractor whose tactical gear says 'London.' A trio of little drones fly out behind him and take off to establish surveillance over the perimeter. Call him paranoid but he feels better when he has eyes on things even if those eyes are electronic. Especially if they're electronic.

London doesn't say anything. Just folds his arms. He's here to keep an eye on things mostly. Other people can do the talking.

Buzzing and bustling with activity is an understatement. Already at the scene were two lone SUV's, parked a few clicks away, the engines were running and the windows were dark, save for a few flashes of something inside. It could be a cigarette.

But outside, a man was there giving orders. The others were in their basic field uniforms, most gathered by a white hazard truck that sits next two a few of the fire engines in motion. Water was sprayed everywhere; the ground nearby the trucks were wet due to their hook-ups, the fire department crews were still working at clearing the rubble and the debris while some of the Homeland Security Officers aided in their approach to cool the bricks so that the crews could move in. Orders were being taken and shouted, a man runs across the field to the SUV, the window cracking just enough, and slamming yet again as he runs back. Apparently, he was speaking to a man, and that man spoke to another.. who relayed the information whilst the small crew begin to move to the white truck to take out extra uniforms. Uniforms which were donned on the spot, zipped up, gloves smacked on and masks.

Most of the commotion stops once the Quinjet arrives, all of the workers glancing up to shield their eyes of the wind just to see who the hell is that and what for. After it touches down, it was back to work.

Another dark, SUV arrives, pulling up upon the side of the other to obscure the view of just who was inside. The door could be heard shutting as it drives off, heading down the block and stopping -not- too far from where the other dark clouds of cars were parked. It was a clear commotion.

"And who are we going to be today?" John says to Amanda.


The briefcase was opened, many badges were flipped and shuffled through. "Let's see." John starts. "Office of the Mayor. Office of the President. CIA. Homeland Security. FBI. NSA.."

Waller holds up a hand, then turns it to wriggle fingers in the mans direction. "Ten-Seven-Three." She says, and with those words, badges were shuffled and handed to Amanda, each shuffled and put into different coat pockets. "Now you get to stay in the car."

The door opens, and the black woman steps out, buttoning her suit coat so that she could approach the situation with a modicum of comfort. She doesn't say anything, doesn't even introduce herself. If she were going to get the nitty gritty, she may as well hear it for herself.

Second hand information was akin to lies told by children who didn't want to get scolded.

"John Stewart, Homeland." The man who steps up to greet Simmons and her counterparts is a silver fox around 50-some odd years of age. He's wearing a suit and badge, and is escorted by armed DHS agents. No hand Shake is offered. "Glad you folks are here, cause none of this makes any damned sense. This way."

Stewart approaches a large flat panel monitor attached to a laptop, and starts pulling up security footage and reports. "1:30 AM, combustion furnaces A and B - that's both and all of them - exploded. Significant damage to the generator systems, total collapse of the cooling towers, and fire crews are still trying to put out fires in the coal supply. It's a god damned mess. However, we've gone over security footage again and again, and there's no sign of any breach. Nothing physical, nothing electronic."

Stewart turns to a man nearby, a civilian wearing a hard hat. "You wanna tell them your part in all this?"

The man steps up, nervously. Similarly aged, he's not in the best shape and seems to be so on edge one might assume he's had three whole pots of coffee today. "Uh, hi. I'm Randy McNut, plant manager and director of operations. So, I don't wanna waste your time with a bunch of gobbledegook, I'll just say this. There's no way this was some mechanical error. I've gone over it a hundred times. No breach of protocol, absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. I really didn't want to alarm anyone, but… but I can't say with any conviction that this was an accident."

Jemma notes the vehicle as they approach, and the woman exiting, giving Jeriah a look before turning back to Stewart. "This is Mister London, a member of my team." She adds. "Mister McNut." She's greets, watching the security footage as it plays. "London, can you scrub the footage? Look for artifacts?" Anything that might indicate the footage was doctored in anyway. "Also download the reports and share them with me, please."

Jeriah can connect to Jemma's systems. It's not something she was too happy with to begin with but now, well sometimes it's useful.

"I take it Mister McNut, you've reviewed all your personnel for today? I'ld like to see those files as well and the security vetting you've done on them."

"Do either of you have anything?" That's to Jeriah and Thea.

Thea will just watch each person in turn, before her eyes will latch onto and look over Mr. McNut. She will search him over for signs of lying, before her eyes will flick away back to Mr. Stewart. Hands will clasp together in front of her, in a demure posture. "I don't have anything yet to add, no." She says softly to Jemma, before she will look at McNut again.

Jeriah nods to Jemma and starts to look through the footage as soon as it's available. He's good with this kind of thing. Computers. Code. Images. Digital things in general. But there's a lot of footage and it's going to take him a few minutes.

"Got a newcomer." He nods in Amanda's direction though he doesn't recognize her as anything important. Why would he? She's likely just another government agent in an area already SWARMING with them. In fact he probably won't pay her any more attention unless she does something to draw it to herself.

At the moment, with Jemma requesting files, Amanda does nothing but retrieve her cell-phone and begin to text. Her thumbs were moving fast, occasionally glancing up at the Homeland agent and the witness, and then up to survey the scene ahead.

Just behind them all where Amanda's own convoy was parked, a few more black SUV's arrive, but they don't appear to move.

"I'll need copies of those files and footages. Please. Mr. McNut, Mr. Stewart, any other witnesses here today besides this one man?"

"Mi casa su casa," Agent Stewart answers Simmons, and nods to one of his techs, who immediately gets started with sharing all of the files requested.

Agent Stewart and Director McNut are being truthful, which is likely a relief for all involved. Randy McNut is understandably nervous, and when the question is posed, he sighs. "Uh, I'm a little unclear on this. Our lawyers have indicated that we are to cooperate with Homeland on this, but I probably need to check with them on how this works with SHIELD. If you'll give me a moment, I can make that phone call?"

"That won't be necessary, Mr. McNut," says Stewart. "We're obligated to share everything related to this with any other authorized agencies. Make the call if you want, you'll be told the same thing."

"Thanks," says Randy. "I will make that call." Our comes his cell phone and he steps away for a moment.

As the files download, Agent Stewart turns back to Jemma, then eyeballs Waller. "Excuse me, ma'am, I'll need to see your credentials." He then turns back to Simmons. "So whats the plan here, Agent Simmons? And how else can I help?"

Amanda's request gets a look from Jemma but much like Jeriahs thoughts, there's *a lot* of suits here. What's one more really? Even as a foreboding as she seems, after dealing with Director Fury, you kind of get used to it.

"It's fine Mister McNut, if you don't want to cooperate. I'll just turn my team around and we'll go back to what were doing before we got here and you'll have a power plant that blew up *for no good reason*."

Really, it's not like Jemma and her team aren't busy already.

"The plan, Agent Stewart, is to review everything you have and do a top to bottom analysis of the site. I've agents in the Quinnjet who are ready to do a walkthrough. Once Mister London gets the footage and reports, that's a start. I think, Mister London, we want to see where the explosion was actually centered though, don't we?"

Jemma can think of a few reasons why something might happen for no good reason.

And no. They're not called Jeriah.

There's a soft smile for Mr. McNut, and she will resist the urge to give a soft touch to take the edge off his nerves. Eyes will shift to the other newcoming woman, a sweeping gaze over her. There is a slow breath in, held for a count of four, and let out slowly. Her suspicious nature has been drilled into her, but that doesn't mean she has to expect everyone to be lying or duplicitous.

"So if it wasn't an accident or a mistake, what are the theories?" She will slide her gaze from Stewart to McNut on his phone.

"Someone or something got into your plant." Jeriah finally says. He tosses back the videos he's reviewed to all local electronic devices, edited to highlight an odd 'artifact'. It looks like a thin trail of smoke. It's barely visible in the lot of the footage but once it's pointed out it's hard to track, and it tracks from camera angle to camera angle.

"The videos were not edited or tampered with, but there's this odd thing here. It heads toward one of the main furnaces and then can be spotted heading away. That's the only thing out of the ordinary on the footage."

How he was able to do that in his head he does not say. But the fact that some animate smoke got into the plant may well distract from such questions.

Sure, the others were giving Amanda looks, but she pays it no nevermind, still texting and typing on her phoe until her credentials were asked for. Each badge was placed within her pockets strategically for this moment. For the phone was put away and Agent Stewart was approached, the badge itself presented. "Special Agent Waller - Secret Service, direct Liason to the Office of the President of the United States." As if that wasn't enough, whomever she was texting managed to ring her phone right then and there, which was offered up to the Agent in question. She was being nice, at least.

"Once you're done with the phone call I'd like to have a copy of that footage. As well as files on everyone who was on shift at the time this occured. They will need to be questioned. Also, agents are here to take Director McNut into custody as well as those who were here to witness. It goes without saying that these people need to be sequestered if the suspicion of foul play is afoot." SHIELD has plenty of places to keep them, Amanda herself doesn't want them, only information.

For it was like magic, when she spoke the needs of her own office, that the officers in the vans step out, one by one, to wait for her command by their respective SUV's.

"Home addresses, too, at the ready. Their family comes with us."

"I want to cooperate," the plant manager explains anxiously. "But… my job's already on the line here. I have a family. If I don't make the call, they'll nail my ass to the wall." He turns back away, then swings back around to look at the agents angrily. "I lost a lot of good workers today. Friends. Of course I'll fucking cooperate, but I'm also making this god damned phone call."

Randy McNut isn't there when Jeriah makes his discovery, because he's on the phone with the power company's lawyers, but it's a short phone call. He's returning right when Agent Stewart nods to Waller and declines the phone call. The credentials apparently are all in order. "Sounds like a plan, Agent Simmons. Like I said, mi casa su casa." Then he's turning to Jeriah and reviewing the footage with a frown. "What in sam hell…" He turns toward Randy, raising his voice. "McNut, we got something here. Get off the damn phone."

McNut returns, unaware that he, his family, and all of the other witnesses are about to be put under protective custody. "What is it?"

Stewart points out the smoke and asks, "This normal? This in any way a normal operation of a coal power station?"

McNut stares at the footage, his eyes wide. "No. No way. That doesn't even make sense. Smoke rises. That smoke isn't rising."

"My thoughts exactly. Is there any where in this plant where it's unsafe for our guests?"

"Just the supply store areas. Really hard to tell when that burn is up. Fire crews will be working on it for days. But… what's left of the control room, and the furnaces, yeah that's safe to enter."

Jemma smiles as Jeriah finds something. "Do you have the personnel reports, I requested? I want to review them and cross reference them with your people here today. Is there anyone that hasn't been accounted for so far?" beat "Good work Mister London." she asides quietly.

There's raised eyebrows at Amanda's assumption they're to take people into custody. The biochem thinks on that for a moment and nods slightly. "We will of course, wish to speak to the people who were here and will take them to our facilities in the Triskellian." Innocent until proven guilty is still a thing and detaining people has process to it.

"If it's safe, I'd my teams to look at the areas. See if we can work out what happened. If you wouldn't mind leading the way?"

"If that's not smoke, what is it?" There's a sidelong look Jeriah. Some new-fangled spy tech? Or something or someone else? Powered people have all sorts of abilities.

Thea will turn a look to Jemma when she's asking what it is if it's not smoke. She's afraid to say the word mutant or anything akin to it outloud. Alabama is not exactly a hotbed of civil rights defenders, and Thea doesn't want to start a panic. But she's very much thinking it could be a person with powers, and it may be plain in her expression for that moment. She will glance from Jemma to Mr. London, because her specialty is biology, not this sort of thing. She's here for the experience.

"Thank you Doc." Jeriah says, arms folded. "I have no idea what it is. If I had to guess I'd say tech or a mutant. It's not propagating like a natural phenomenon. It's directed, somehow." And it's the only unusual thing ON the footage so if there was sabotage his money is on that.

There's a quiet 'ping' on Jemma's system as those personnel files arrive from Jeriah. There's a few of them and of course a lot of them will belong to the deceased which is… unfortunate.

The drones above are still watching the smoking ruin of the plant. It would be difficult for him to pick out any oddly behaving smoke with how much natural smoke there is but he'll keep an eye out anyway.

"Wow. Secret Service don't mess around…" London whistles low.

With the phone call declined, Amanda presses it to her ear. "We're good. See you in twelve hours." And she hangs up. But, with the video being shown, Amanda steps to the side to look over the shoulder, then looks away, back to her phone and texting. Whomever she was speaking with, was getting real time information.

The other Homeland security agents were already suited in their protective gear and ready to go. Upon hearing that SHIELD's agents were entering in, the leader of the squad issues a few orders to the agents in wait. It was clear that SHIELD was going to be the lead in this phenomena, and that they'll be the back up. Just in case, it wouldn't hurt to have more protection.

"Crews ready when you are, Agent Stewart." The field officer says to the man.

"Wait, what's going on?" Randy asks.

"I'm downloading the personnel files to you right now," Agent Stewart answers Jemma.

"What facilities? What's happening?"

"And I'm forced to agree with Waller," Stewart continues. "Protective custody is warranted in this situation and under the USA PATRIOT act, does not require court order."

"Am I - are we being arrested??"

Stewart finally turns to McNut, irritated. "Protective Custody, Mr. McNut. You, any witnesses, their families. It's for your own safety. Now, if you'd be so kind as to direct us toward the areas that were seen in this security footage, along with the source of the explosion?"

"Dear God. My son, he… he has a football game next week. He-"


"Jesus! Alright, alright, fine! Don't get your panties in a bunch." Randy turns and starts leading them into the plant proper.

"Thank you Agent Stewart, but you're a little slow. Mister London has already sent them to me." That's going to raise some eyebrows isn't it? Nothing obvious passed between them. "I've reviewed them and there's nothing that would trigger our usual flags. Of course I'll get our intelligence folk to go through them again. I think we can assume that whatever that smoke artifact is it's breached your facility from the outside."

Which is terrifying. Also - Jemma did that review in seconds.

The SHIELD team follows Randy as does Jemma, signalling to Jeriah and Thea to follow.

When presented with it, Jemma dons the protective wear - hardhat and glasses at least.

"Tell us what we're looking at here."

"Mister London, anything on your drones? And have you heard of tech like this? Tech or mutant, it's a good assumption to take. But troubling either way."

Thea will fall in line, keeping her senses and powers as open as possible without overloading herself. She will put on any of the protective gear offered, shifting her backpack as necessary. She is in agreement with Jemma, of course, but nodding or bleating agreement aloud isn't going to further anything in this situation.

She will glance at Mr. London, chewing lightly on the end of her tongue. "I've yet to see tech without a more solid form. Small enough to go into the furnaces, but I don't know if something that small would have the capability to cause such an explosion. A mutant with further reaching abilities, or a way to boost their powers might be an avenue to consider."

Jeriah glances back at Thea. "Cloud of nanites in some kind of colloidal suspension, possibly? But I've never heard of anything like that which was more than just theoretical. So yes, I'd agree that mutant or similar is probably the primary likelihood here."

As the group moves the soldier's eyes vague out and he shakes his head. "Mmmmm. Maybe. Hang on. I've got something I'm trying to run signals processing on Doc. Just give me a moment, may be nothing."

Glancing back at the woman who seems to have very news hungry contracts, the presently orange eyed man considers but does not say anything.

He does look forward again quickly enough to avoid colliding with anyone when they make a sharp turn, though.

Now it was Amanda's time to fall back. Gesturing to the vehicle which she emerged from, John (which is a totally comically common name) steps out and jogs his way forward. He was another suit, another suit who offers up nearly the same but a lesser form of credientials as Amanda, and begins to follow the crew.

Amanda says nothing, he was going to be her eyes and ears, and as she watches the few begin to approach the vehicle, another unnamed suit approaches.

"You see that?" She asks, and the man nods.

"Got their names?" The man nods.

"Good. Schedule me an appointment with the Director, I think the asshole disabled my badge the last time I was there." She turns and begins to walk away, heading towards her vehicle. "Make sure -our- agents are in place when construction starts again, I suggest you head to the Mayor's house -tonight-."

What in the world is she cooking?

Either way, the grunt work left to the others, Amanda makes it to her vehicle and hops inside, the trail of cars driving off, save for the few that are on standby to collect the families to ship them to the Trisk.

The explosion utterly decimated both of the coal combustion furnaces. It is fortunate for the investigation that damage to the cooling towers above caused them to collapse sideways, rather than inwardly, otherwise it would be days before the furnaces themselves could be investigated. The walls and ceiling are simply gone, possibly vaporized. A concave shape in the floor is charred black and slick, as if it had been melted into that shape by some severe heat or energy. The nearby control room took a brunt of the explosion as well; however it is somewhat easy to recognize shatters computers, consoles, chairs and the like, all of them bearing excessive burn marks.

Then there are the bodies… well, what's left of them. Burned down to the skeletons, suggesting that whatever did this wasn't your usual bomb or explosive.

The turbines are visible and have also been damaged, parts of them burned and melted away, but the real brunt of the damage seems to have been in the furnaces.

"There are more things on earth …" Jemma mutters. The tech might exist. Genosha. HYDRA. AIM. They're all doing things but mutant is the way she's leaning.

"Can you feed it to me, London?" she asks, her left eye changing colour as it slips from 'normal' vision to infra-red to X-Ray. "There's nothing on the I/R or X-Ray spectrums that I'm picking up. Except … it got hot." Which is interesting. "Hotter than I would expect for your standard incendiary, actually."

Thea is looking at the skeletons, keeping the thought that they are…they were living, breathing people just hours ago out of her mind. "Look at the bodies. They're not .. separated into pieces like you'd get with a bomb or a full out explosion. They were just.. burned, not blown apart." She's seen the work of bombs, and this isn't what the bodies looked like to her.

She will turn her eyes to Jemma, before she's studying the surroundings again, looking for clues to who, what, or how.

Jeriah frowns as his signals processing resolves. "Hrm… there's electromagnetic noise here that's only possible if some gas got really, really hot. Like…" He pauses and thinks. "Like hot enough to strip the electrons off. Plasma. Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think there is anything IN the plant capable of getting that hot."

Maybe an electrical arc would do it but that's about the only thing he can think of. And that much of it?

"That's why the bones are stripped to the skeletons and that's PROBABLY what damaged the turbine."
rAs he's speaking he feeds the images to Jemma.

"Oh… sweet Lord Jesus." Mr. McNut is staring at the bodies and quietly praying under his breath. He's not a bigot, fortunately, but the sight is disturbing to him. "No, there's no way. Not in these plants. Fossil fuels can't burn that fast or that hot. Jesus…."

Agent Stewart has his arms folded, a frown on his face. "So what we're saying here is… this was not an accident. And we're talking about an unknown weapon, with an unknown delivery method. Or at least an unclear one."

"I… I have to get out of here." Randy turns and runs… he can be heard losing his dinner in the hallway outside.

Jemma should be affected by this. In truth she is - but she's in the field long enough to deal with it. Randy will be ok - they'll get him some counselling back at the Tri. This whole thing is horrifying.

"Plasma. Or something like it." The biochem shakes her head. "And yes, Agent Stewart. It would appear this malicious intent and that … smoke … was to blame." beat "Mister London, I'll request all the surveillance footage of the surrounding area. That … thing … had to get here somehow. Maybe we'll get lucky. I'll need your help to review it when it comes in."

Jemma doesn't hold out much hope though.

"If there's nothing else? I think we need to get Mister McNuts people and head back to the Triskellian." It's going to be a long day.

Thea swallows the words that want to bubble up. Depending on the who, if there's more than one, they may not see anything on the nearby footage. She's heard of teamups where certain mutants can help extend powers further, but she's never seen it in action, nor experienced it herself. She'll keep quiet for now, and try to think of a way to explain what she's been told previously without getting too into where or from whom she heard it.

She will glance towards the hallway, before there's a glance back to Jemma. "Shall I..stabilize his stomach for flight?"

"The odds of this being an accident are astronomically low, yes." Jeriah agrees. "I'll grab the tapes for you Doc." And he'll help review them. Everything else is someone else's area of expertise. So he'll stand by to extract because he's pretty sure that until they get this stuff cleaned up and in a lab somewhere there's not a whole lot more to do or say.

But this is bad. Real bad.

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