2019-09-06 - No Cocktail Weenies


SHIELD Agents go to the apartment of Gwen Stacy to ask her about her encounter with the mysterious smoke mutant in Queens, but something unexpected takes place.

Log Info:

Storyteller: kwabena-odame
Date: Fri Sep 6 04:45:06 2019
Location: Gwen Stacy's Apartment

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Theme Song



On the rooftop of an aged and dignified brownstone building in the heart of the city, stands what could have only, at one time, been a groundskeeper's abode. It stands now as a reminder of what it once was, but more resembles a tiny farmhouse with fading, pale yellow siding and functional white wooden shutters. The door is a cheerful red that matches scarlet begonias in window boxes beneath the front windows. In front of the door, there lies a coconut fiber mat that reads "Doorbell Broken. Yell 'Ding Dong' Real Loud."

Beside the front door, true to the mat's word, is a doorbell that glows with a bright amber light, but the button that should cover it is long gone. But the small abode is immaculately well kept and appears clean, otherwise. Especially when its occupant is expecting company.

In the corner of the kitchen, where Gwen is cutting up vegetables, there is a bright cellphone ringtone. Gwen wipes her hands on a tea towel, and looks at the display. An unknown number…probably a robot. "Yyyyello," she answers, preparing already to hang up.

Out front of the dignified brownstone, a small two door pulls up, a 2007 Mini Cooper. The thing is black, with a yellow roof and stripes to match on hood and doors. The car is not new, but it has been kept up, well enough. The driver's side door opens, and a woman emerges who's dressed in a russet half jacket and pants, a plain white blouse of very modest cut worn as well, and dark flats. The keys to the car are held for the moment, and she looks to the other passenger of the car once they exit, resting forearms on the roof. "So, Gwendolyn 'Gwen' Stacy, daughter of NYPD captain George Stacy, da? Are you familiar with the subject?"

A voice that is familiar to Gwen will speak on her phone, following a brief pause. "Gwen. Is it you? Did I remembah numbah?" There is a momentary grunt of pain that chokes off the last word.

"I'm familiar with the subject, yes." Thea will just not mention how she's familiar. She has her hair back in a smooth french twist, her look quiet and conservative. There's simple gold studs in her ears, and her black pantsuit is only jazzed up by the bright aqua blouse that matches her eyes, and some expensive high heels. "Be prepared. You never know what might happen." She's quiet as they head up.

"DUDE. You actually called me!" Gwen whirls back to the counter and gathers the vegetables onto a tray. "What's wrong? Do you need help? I can come help. Seriously, where are you?" Gwen is animatedly gesturing with a baby carrot as she speaks. Like a tiny orange baton, conducting her own personal orchestra.

Laynia's pale blonde hair is worn loose, hanging to mid-back, and she nods once Thea answers. "Very good." Once they're approaching the building, she clicks the doors locked, and puts the key ring away in her purse. "Perhaps she is secretly supervillain and we are approaching her trap filled lair." Yes, the Russian woman /is/ joking, the half-smile (not quite a smirk but close) sufficient unto the day as proof. She'll get the door for Thea, and follow her inside the lobby, looking for the elevators.

"No!" The voice on the other end cuts through the grunt of pain with a sense of urgency. "No, is not de help dat I need. Is… Is de help you need." It growls again, as if fighting against something. "Listen… to… me. You ah.. in dangah. Police… no help. Find… find… urgh!"

Thea will murmur polite thanks at the door being held, before she's heading for the elevators with her chin lifted. She has the stride of a woman who has every confidence in what she's doing, and where she's going. "I think we're looking less on the villainous side, Laynia." She will smile faintly at the other woman as she presses the button for the lift.

"Find what?? What's wrong?? Kwabena? Just let me come help, you sound like you're in trouble!" Thank God she didn't keep that whiff of him she caught in that container. That might very well have been his dialing finger. "What do I need to find??"

A grin answers the thanks, and then the pair take the elevator to the roof. "No? Not a supervillain?" She almost sounds disappointed, but grins. "I suppose request for her to accompany to be interviewed will have to do." She stands towards one corner of the elevator, positioned to have a clear field of view to one side at least, AND so she's not right in front of say, you know, gunfire. Paranoid? Maybe, but such things can keep a spy alive! Well, ex-spey.

"P… Prev…" Kwabena's voice cries out in agony for a moment, before panting out a different word. "Superiority. Dey have… powered peop-"

The line suddenly and inexplicably goes dead.

"Sadly, supervillains are not as thick on the ground as television shows would have us believe." Thea makes the smartassed remark, hands folded in front of her as they rise up in the elevator. "There's usually a better explanation. Occam's razor, and all."

"Kwa—hey! Hello?? I have powered people too!" Gwen calls out a couple more times, in vain. The call has been dropped. She is already at her laptop, pulling up her HUD from her mask, which is put away safely out of sight. "Where…are…you…" Gwen asks aloud tapping on the keyboard with commands to attempt to triangulate the call's origin.

Exiting the elevator, Laynia heads out onto the roof, cinnamon eyes wary as she looks about, and then nods the all-clear as she moves towards the somewhat odd domicile. A pause at the clearly broken doorbell, and then as she reads the doormat, she laughs very softly a moment. A glance to Thea, and then a shrug as she tap-taps at the door, while saying in a loud (but not VERY loud!) voice. "Ding-Dong."

Gwen's attempt at triangulating an origin of the call will immediately raise suspicion, as something out there seems to be intercepting the signal; every move she makes in an attempt at triangulating the call seems to be blocked. Someone out there has raised a digital defense, and seems to have already been keen to the fact that she, or someone, may very well attempt to do what she is doing.

Thea will find it mildly amusing that Laynia follows the directive of the mat. She will make a sharp, quick rapping against the door. "Gwen? It's Angel." That's how Peter refers to her anyhow, and Gwen may well recognize her voice. "Can you come to the door? " There's a look shot to Laynia. She'll explain later.

"Shit…shit SHIT." Gwen taps more insistently at the laptop, as if the firmness with which she enters the command will somehow demand dominance over whatever is thwarting her efforts.

Then Angel is at the door. Gwen distracted replies. "Yeah, sec!" And she goes to the door, opening it without paying much attention. She is preoccupied.

Gwen's sunny blonde hair is down, flowing over her shoulders in loose waves, and she is wearing a pale pink track suit and sneakers. "Hey, what's u—" She trails off when she sees who's at the door. "How…can I help you ladies?"

Laynia offers a smile, bridge of her nose crinkling ever so faintly. "Love the door mat." She observes, and then nods. "I am Agent Petrovna, with SHIELD." She looks to Thea. "This is…Angel. We were told you were to expect a visit, is this so?" She notes the woman's apparent distress and definite distraction. "I take it is not a good time…" Laynia's voice is fairly deep for a woman, and her English, though excellent, has a definite Russian accent.

There's a faint smile as Thea looks at Gwen with an almost apology in her eyes. "Hey. We're here because there's some stuff going on. It's a little crazy. Can we ask you some questions?" She's trying to be friendly. She knows Gwen is a little on the high strung side at the moment. She also knows what she's capable of, and is on alert.

"Oh, yeah no its fine. I was just…distracted," Gwen explains. "Because y'know…I don't have the…cocktail weenies ready….for company…."

Gwen is a terrible liar, and she sucks at poker.

Seeing how Thea is handling things, Laynia steps back a bit, lets her take lead. She can also read the tension in both other women, and takes a casual seeming stance and concentrates, ready to act as well if need be. "Is always terrible tragedy when the weenies are not being cooperative…" A nod. "…or have gone missing entirely."

"Distracted yes, but not by cocktail anything." Thea says, offering a quick, fleeting smile. "Don't worry, it's not you that's in the crosshairs. Is it okay if we come in?" Most people can't lie to Thea, because of how the physical body reacts.

Gwen hadn't even thought of that. What if they WERE missing entirely? Gwen nods quickly. "Sure yeah…come in, sorry I was just so distracted." She closes her laptop on the way past as she hurries to the freezer to verify the cocktail weenies are, in fact, accounted for. "So..what…ah…what is going on?" she asks, leaning casually against the countertop of the bar that separates a cozy if dated living room from the small kitchen. Everything is tidy, neat as a pin. As if someone OCD lives here. Gwen taps her fingertip on the counter three times. Then two. Then three. Then two. Probably a nervous habit.

Truly OCD people are CDO - that way the letters are properly alphabetized!

"Well, Miss Stacy, we were here to inquire about the events outside the dinner, the other day." She actually takes out a notepad, one of the little ones with the spiral binding? Yeah, that kind, and a fairly nice pen, looks solid, blue-marble and silver. "You were involved in altercation, yes?"

Thea almost sighs, when Laynia takes her notepad and pen out. "Basically there was some video where someone transformed into a semi transparent sort of smoke. And you ran into it, apparently. We just want to know what you noticed, if you've seen it before or since, that sort of stuff." Thea's blunt, direct to the point. "We want to make sure you're safe." Unlike Gwen, Thea's a great liar.

"You're gonna have to be more specific," Gwen stalls. "I get into fights with people outside of diners ALL. THE. TIME." Because Gwen really looks the type to get kicked out of the Waffle House for squabbling with random patrons. "That's a /nice/ pen."

Then Thea becomes far more specific. "I run into…smoke people…all the time…" Gwen, as it may have been previously noted, is not.

"Thank you, was gift from an old friend." Laynia says with a smile. "So you are prone to altercations." Laynia makes a note. And then when Thea asks further information, more specific per Gwen's request, she makes not of the other blonde's answer. A brow quirks. "Really? Run into smoke men all the time? I had not known they were so common." She looks to Thea. "Were you aware of commonness of smoke people?"

What happens next is almost unthinkable.

The room darkens, and arcs of pink and purple dash across the room. The arcs converge upon Thea, and within the flashes is a figure, feminine, garbed in what appears to be a black uniform that borders on gunmetal gray. The figure seems to apparate amongst the arcs of power, paired by a violent wind that whips through the house. Before anyone has a chance to react, the figure wraps itself around Thea, and the two are suddenly gone. The lights come back up, and the room stills. It all happens in the span of a single second.

Hundreds of miles away, in a large farm on the outskirts of Small Town, Illinois, arcs of pink and purple energy appear in a corn field, where Thea is suddenly and inexplicably deposited. Some time after that, the lights inside of an old farm house will click to light, by the hand of a shotgun wielding farmer who is wondering just what in SAM HELL just happened in his corn field.

"Well, there ya go," Gwen replies to the Russian woman whose name she cannot currently recall because SO MANY THINGS are now out of place. Gwen becomes a whirlwind of righting everything that the gust of wind knocked over, and she pauses for a moment while straightening the curtains. "Wait just a second…." She turns around, facing the newcomer. "I only had enough cocktail weenies for—" She looks back to where Thea had been. Problem solved.

But her senses are tingling. "WAIT a second…." she repeats.

Yes…that is definitely unthinkable. Laynia's eyes watch her fellow agent vanish in a burst of pink and purple energy, she could make out a feminine form - which is new, the footage she'd seen was of a man. And then…poof, no more Thea. She turns her cinnamon gaze to the blonde frantically trying to sort things back into order. Her tone is actually pretty mild. "Miss Stacy, perhaps you might explain the kidnap of my colleague?" A nod. "Since you have such great experience with smoke people, of course."

Gwen turns back to Laynia. "I thought /she/ was one of you guys…" Gwen looks back to where the newly-materialized woman had been standing in her home. "So, I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that chick was good at screwing with efforts at signal triangulation." Gwen tilts her head. "Does Angel by any chance..just do this to mess with you sometimes?"

A shake of Laynia's head. "Nyet, purple and pink energy wielder in gunmetal gray costume, not one of ours. If anything she resembles the man from your altercation." Laynia's brow furrows a bit. "If you mean the woman who appeared, I cannot say. As to Thea, no, to my knowledge she is not prone to teleportation incidents, or random vanishings." She smiles then. "So…tell me about the man with the bike, please."

The panic is rising in Gwen. She needs to talk to Peter. She reopens her laptop, tapping in a quick message to him, and then stepping away from it again. "I don't know anything about him. Other than he was hungry because he had been held up at airports like all day and night. And he got weird while we were eating, and then be took off. I dunno what the heck happened. But now we have to find Thea, too"

Laynia nods. "Yes, we do." She takes out her phone and dials a number. "Control, Agent Petrovna, sending authorization code now…I need a priority trace on Cellphone of agent Harman, she has been abducted by a woman wearing costume much like that of the Suspect at bridge and power plant incidents." A pause. "Da, she was abducted, teleported mid interview." A nod. "Da, Petrovna out." She looks to Gwen then, cinnamon eyes fairly hard, after all, the woman has been lying to them from the beginning. AND — there's no weenies either!

"So, Miss Stacy, are you quite sure the teleporting woman is not known to you?"

"Agent Petrova," comes a response, "Recommend taking Witness Gwendolyn Stacy into protective custody. Please advise, over."

" That thing can recommend all it wants. Who do we take orders from? Certainly not small, electronic devices!" Gwen pumps a fist into the air, and then looks back to the other woman. "That's Gwen for 'Not gonna do it.'"

"I see, well then, you do have the right to refuse, Miss Stacy." Laynia takes out a business card, offering it over. "As you are not a suspect, yet, I can only ask that you accompany me to a safe location. This teleportational abduction does suggest you might be in danger. So…I ask you, please, will you not accompany me? It is /me/ asking, not my phone." Not like there's a warrant for Gwen's arrest! Either way, once she has her answer, they'll either leave together, or Laynia will leave alone.

A voice comes over Laynia's comm. "Agent, we have that trace… she's… it appears to be a farm outside Chandlerville, Illinois."

Gwen eyes Laynia suspiciously. "How do you know your 'safe location' is safe at all? My house was a safe location until you two showed up…"

Laynia has come to the conclusion that Gwen Stacy is a little 'off', possibly as in 'off her meds'. Still, the woman is a material witness to /two/ incidents featuring smoky-people who vanish. "Well, nowhere is completely safe, Miss Stacy." She says in her most reasonable tone. "However, as you just pointed out, -here- is definitely not safe. I can promise that we'll get you into a secure location, however, with strong defenses and many people who can be trusted to do their utmost to keep you safe, mm?" A smile. "Excuse please." She talks into her comm. "Control, Petrovna acknowledges. I cannot get their in less than ten hours, request dispatch of Quinjet for priority flight to extract Agent Harman, are there any agents in the vicinity, over?"

"Acknowledged," comes the voice from Laynia's comm. "We will dispatch an agent from the Chicago office."

At this moment, an alert pops up on Gwen's laptop. The alert is in red. SC.NET compromised. Isolating local node for protection quarantine. Tracing hostile signal… tracing… tracing…

Gwen's eyes are immediately drawn to the red message on the screen of her laptop. Her brow furrows, and she slowly lowers into the chair in front of it at the dining table where it sits. "That's odd…" Her head jerks to look toward her bedroom, and she narrows her eyes. The "local node" is her spider mask. If it has been isolated, then it is no longer interfacing with her laptop.

"Son of a bitch…" She looks up to Laynia. "Gimme two minutes and I will be glad to accompany you." She rises without another word, and stalks to her bedroom. A moment later, she returns, carrying a pink backpack with a padded laptop sleeve built in. She closes her laptop and slips it into the backpack, then grabs her phone, hesitantly. Then she puts it down. Then she picks it up again. "Yeah, let's go."

The sudden focus, that's a pleasant surprise. Sadly, she's still pretty new to computers, so isn't really all that cognizant of the red message, though she IS well aware of how that message grabbed Gwen's attention. She nods. "Two minutes, da." She jots a few more notes on her pad, then puts it and the pen away.

Once Gwen states her readiness, Laynia heads out the door, and holds it for Gwen once she's sure there's no immediate threats. "My car is just out front, the black and yellow Mini Cooper."

Gwen laughs, and follows along until they get to the car. "Yeah, this is totally not what I was expecting," Gwen replies, quickly sobering. "I thought you were joking about the car…Like, I thought you guys were required to drive frumpy old Grandma cars…"

From high above, in the general location of Gwen's apartment, there come flashes of light. Pink and purple, similar to what happened when Agent Harman disappeared. Whatever took her is back… and is searching the apartment. Time is running short!

"What? The frumpy car is in shop, so, we took mine." Is Agent Petrovna /joking/? Usually shield Agents are not possessed of a sense of humor that they are aware of, maybe not so bad a girl after all? Or maybe so. She IS a spook!

The flashing of lightning, does draw the eye, and Laynia nods to herself. The priority right now is getting Gwen to safety, Harman is covered for now, hopefully it is her at the cornfield and not just her phone or her corpse, because that would really suck. Much as she wants to leap into flight, she instead opens the door to the car for Gwen, and smiles. "Have a seat, I will take us to safehouse."

Gwen didn't know SHIELD agents joked. So much did she not know this, that she takes a long hard look at Laynia before getting in. Just making sure she isn't maybe an alien in a Russian chick suit. She glances back up toward the flashes of light, and scowls, before getting into the car. "They better not be touching my stuff."

In her defense, it is an OLD Mini Cooper - 2007 in fact, so there's that. Definitely not frumpy though, very clean, well cared for. The bulk of the car is black with twin stripes on the hood, one along each side, and the roof yellow. Once Gwen is seated, Laynia moves to the driver's side and keeps an eye on the rooftop, in case there's an explosion, or incoming super villain, or part of the building falling on them to contend with.

Once behind the wheel she buckles up, and waits until Gwen does the same, pointedly looking if she doesn't, and only then is the engine started.

One more for the 'alien in Russsian chick suit' column - she drives /sensibly/, and only a little over the speed limit. In short - like a normal person, not like a secret agent.

Luck seems to be on their side; the teleporter as it were seems to be hell bent on ransacking Gwen's apartment. It's a good thing she brought her tech with her; now that the laptop is off WiFi, it cannot be traced. Clearly, whomever was behind this has some sophisticated computer hacking skills.

Gwen says, "Oh my God." Gwen finally realizes that they aren't moving because Gwen isn't buckled up. She has not buckled up in SO. LONG. "Fiiiine." She buckles up and looks pointedly back at Laynia. "We good now? Can drive fast in the opposite direction from the flashy ransackmonsters upstairs now?""

A smile. "Da, now we can go, thank you, Miss Stacy." Laynia drives off to the safehouse, though she does keep an eye on the flashy-flash atop Gwen's building where her stuff…is, or maybe 'is being trashed'. She does drive away at a decent, albeit only slight rapid pace. "Well, if I drive fast then it might stand out, much better to drive at same pace as traffic, high speed car chase only happens when person behind wheel is stupid, drunk, high or adrenaline junkie. MUCH more likely to get where we are going if I drive in most boring fashion possible."

And her car has a MANUAL transmission!

"I get it," Gwen replies, leeeaning over to look at the speedometer. "Good on ya. Don't let little things like physical wellbeing or possible threat of death mess with your discount…"

"Believe it or not, is actually -easier- to avoid threat if I do this this way. Physical wellbeing is much better preserved by not drawing attention - now, if bad guys know my car, well, then all bets are off and I use nitrous system to drive like bat from hades, da?" Laynia grins, clearly not averse to that scenario. "Is nothing to do with insurance rates." Beat. "Well, only little, but I get get government discount so works about same."

Gwen is running her hand down over her face. "Ay yay…" She looks back at her. "So if bad guys were ransacking your car right now, we could be headed somewhere faster? You can tell me the truth. Are we gonna be hiding out in the bottom of some old lady's purse with the fuzzy Tic Tacs?"

"Nope, that was original plan, of course…now…we head to fall back house, is former hoarder domicile. Still full of her stuff." Laynia's expression is teasing, well, the lip curl is, her tone and expression are serious, the lip though - dead give way until she laughs. "No, not anything to do with tic-tacs, fuzzy or otherwise. Safehouse is non-descript brownstone, in quiet neighborhood, there are agents present at all times, but they are there undercover.

"Nope, that was original plan, of course…now…we head to fall back house, is former hoarder domicile. Still full of her stuff." Laynia's expression is teasing, well, the lip curl is, her tone and expression are serious, the lip though - dead give way until she laughs. "No, not anything to do with tic-tacs, fuzzy or otherwise. Safehouse is non-descript brownstone, in quiet neighborhood, there are agents present at all times, but they are there undercover."

"Ahh I get it. You just use the boring to throw everyone off, eh? Like no one will suspect a thing!" Gwen nods knowingly.

The rest of the drive is predictably boring, though Laynia is clearly for all her meticulously average driving - paying very close attention to everything around them. The route she picks is at best bewildering, and there's a lot of doubling back. Only once she's sure there's no tail on the car does she finally pull into a quiet and picturesque neighborhood, and then around the back of an utterly unremarkable brownstone to park her small card in a garage on the alley behind.

She leads the way inside and introduces Gwen to her fellow agents, and then they can get the interview underway, and wrapped up.

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