2019-09-14 - Bombs Over Baghdad


Having traced the source of a recent cyber attack to a remote location outside of Baghdad, SHIELD's nearby tactical team has been completely wiped out. This is the second team, only they've brought some friends.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sat Sep 14 03:28:55 2019
Location: RP1 - Outskirts — Baghdad, Iraq

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Theme Song



Once the site of an old military bunker, the grounds have been mostly
abandoned ever since the ousting of Saddam Hussein. The skyline of Baghdad is
visible in the distance.

The grounds here are a mixture of sand and earth, and the bunker itself
has seen better days from an outside perspective. Barbed wire fencing
surrounds the area, with signs in Arabic and Kurdish that read KEEP OUT
posted at intervals, some of them in the process of falling free. There are
no guards, no signs of life; aside from a massive area within the perimeter
fence where the sandy ground has been scorched into black glass.

The bunker itself doesn't appear too large, but it undoubtedly supports
an underground area. Two abandoned and non-functional tanks sit discarded,
along with crates of old munitions that have been long since scavenged by


The sun rose in the east as it always does. However, this morning it rose to a scene of absolute carnage. The area was once an old military bunker, which hasn't seen use or signs of life since the ousting of Saddam Hussein. That changed, when a nearby SHIELD tactical response team descended upon the location just ten minutes ago.

Back in New York, it hadn't taken long for SHIELD and friendly brains to trace the cyber attack to this location. The team had been dispatched, but as the sun cast its red glow over the scene, it now lay in shambles.

Eleven corpses were scattered where they fell, each body in various states of being, well, cooked. That's the best way to describe it. The bodies laid upon smoking earth, of which the sand had been transformed into blackened glass, but the closer to the center of this anomaly, the bodies were no longer there. Instead, there were piles of ash, if anything left at all.

In the middle of the smoky haze, a figure came to be, seemingly out of the clouds of black smoke and ash filling the air. Enclosed in gunmetal gray, the man lifted his head and looked upon what he'd done. There was no emotion upon his face, only a hand lifted to touch a seemingly insignificant spot on his face.

The words were in Russian, but the voice was African.

I am victorious, but they will not stop here.

Stepping out of the center of the blackened, glassed earth, the man looked around at what he'd done.

Send help.

1:20PM BAGHDAD TIME (6:20am in New York)

SHIELD's reponse time is impressive as always. Taking little over six hours to put together a team and race across the Atlantic, as they close in on the target location, it will appear… abandoned.

After being cleared of any potential exploits and hacks, Jemma had been tapped to join the team that was sent to Baghdad. Her role … definitely not that of a combatant but as a Scientist and with some med training, she maybe able to help. Which is why Jemma, now Cyborg, is decked out in SHIELD armour, sitting quietly towards the rear of the plane going through data.

The Quinnjet is cloaked as it takes a wide circle of the area. "Location appears abandoned." The pilot reports to the teams who are assembled. "Making a final approach. You'll disembark under the cover over there."

"We're not sure what we're going to find here." The british born biochem continues the briefing. "The figure in the video I just played, may be a mutant. A genetically altered mutant, but we're not certain. Caution is recommended."

Well, SHIELD wanted some solid firepower, so they invited Tony Stark out to play in Baghdad. Tony said yes, specifically so he could help stop some terrorists and put his armor through the works again. For once, Iron Man isn't flying outside of the quinjet, but rather directly inside of it, sitting down and in full regalia.

"Got some bio readings in the area team. But here's the confusing part…its almost like its everywhere. Like the air is mobilized. Be advised team."

A pause.

"We might be dealing with some kind of nanotech, biological weapon, or we have enhanced in the field." Thankfully, his suit filters out toxins, poisons, and other small particles, so hopefully this seeming dust-cloud of enemies doesn't affect him as badly.

"As it happens I might be able to assist with the mutant part - in as much as I have a device that can possibly detect them, though the range is fairly limited." Mikhail would recognize the mini-cerebro unit at Hank's belt.

At Ironman's information, Beast looks a little grimmer, his own costume donned, and not even close to a sealed environment. "That would be consistent with the nature of the real cyber-attck, Ironman. The virus was augmented by nano-servers that had invaded the many systems targeted."

He looks to Mikhail. "Any chance you could disrupt or drain the 'cloud'?"

Mikhail just happened to be at the school when Hank found him. He's been putting off making a commitment one way or another and just taking a course or two to get caught up on current events. But since it would be good to be useful again, he agreed to the proposal of going along. "Depends on what it is." he says, his Russian accent thick. "If it is energy, yes."

The Quinnjet moves in, decloaking as it does it, the back opening to let the teams disembark. In addition to Hank, Mikhail, Tony and Jemma there's two TAC teams. Six highly trained Agents in each team - kitted out with SHIELDs latest.

"Whoa … what's that." The pilot swears as the Quinnjet is buffeted. "That … there's nothing to suggest that we should experience that sort of turbulence." He's right. The weather conditions are near perfect for a gentle landing.

With the back open, Michaels - the leader of one team - moves his team out. Jacobs, moves the second and the teams deploy. "Go." For the moment, Jemma remains on the plane. London would be so pleased about that - and then wonder why she's a nuisance to him in the field.

Tony looks at Hank when he questions his thought process on the apparently air-like object they are about to go head-first into. "Thats why I allowed myself two other 'or's, Hank. Besides, I've had enough experience with nanotech to know how weaponizable it is. Most likely I'm wrong if its about Nanotech defenses, but seeing as we're about to find out…"

Tony gives a light shrug before he starts moving towards the Quinjets door, awaiting to be deployed. "Either way, be ready. This is one of those scientific surprises that I tend not to like."

"Actually…Ironman, you said you're reading a cloud of nano-particles? Interesting indeed, it would seem that the cloud is in fact a mutant…one apparently able to disperse itself, would be my theory, and then coalesce." Hank hooks the device into the comms, feeding the data stream directly to anyone on the system able to view it. Stark is /definitely/ one such, in fact Hank is counting on it. "Do your readings and mine match?"

The turbulence gets a frown, but little more for now.

Michaels looks over, and shakes his head. "Not much point shooting a cloud, Sir." The sir part? Kind of generic.

"There are no strong energy sources nearby." Mikhail states as they come in for a landing. "But if there is a… dispersed? mutant, it must be maintaining communication with itself somehow. If it is not telepathically, it could be interrupted."

It isn't until the team has debarked when there comes a gust of wind, drawing against their backs. It is very light, just enough to blow the hair and draw some tumbleweed with it, but as it subsides, a swirling cloud of black smoke appears in the air. It doesn't seem to mind that there are two tac teams flanking it, and soon enough, it solidifies about thirty meters away.

The cloud takes a humanoid shape, and then, with the sound of air being displaced, a man is standing there. He's masked entirely in a gunmetal gray skin suit of some sort, leaving all but the lower half of his face exposed. Dark skin is visible there, and for a moment, the man doesn't say anything to the team. Instead, he speaks quietly to himself in Russian.

"Two teams of six. Handful of others. One in armor." (Russian)

The man appears to be unarmed, but he is standing in the middle of that glasses circle in the compound's interior. Amongst the corpses, as if he owns them.

Hanks device has certainly gained Jemma's attention but the biochem doesn't do more than raise an eyebrow at the furry mutant. He can be sure that he'll get questions at some point.

It's the streaming of the data and the results that interests the biochem at the moment "Those results are direct match from the others we found at the power plant and the bridge. Assume this is this is a mutant and they are responsible. Which means, they have the ability to create plasma blasts. How, I don't know."

Jacobs spreads his team out, taking aim at the gray skinned man "SHIELD. Put your hands where we can see them." He calls out. They don't fire, but the team is certainly twitchy.

"If thats the case, then…" Tony does some more readings as he confers with Beast, eventually nodding once JARVIS collects the data further to further prove that Hank and Tony are certainly on the same wavelength of thought. "Looks that way, Beast. This is going to be a fun one."

He then speaks inwardly. "JARVIS, buddy, can you key in on any radio frequencies that are occuring in mass here?"

"Of course, sir." says JARVIS. "But it will take time."

"Not in a rush." But then the dust storm takes on a human shape. "Well I'll be damned, Beast." is all Tony says.

"Curiouser and curiouser." Hank murmurs as both Jemma and Tony confirm his intuition. "So…Jemma, remember when we discussed how an exotic enough cloud were it to be excited with tech a living mutant could alter their phase, say to Plasma?" He looks to Tony. "Wouldn't it be 'fun' if the nano-tech were able to trigger an excitation, and the mutant in question could become living plasma?"

Michaels has his team fan out, weapons aimed and the team dispersed, separating so that they don't end up like their dead brothers and sisters. His jaw is clenched, the muscle visibly twitching his gun aimed right at the man in the gunmetal grey PJs' head.

"Mikhail, doesn't that sound like the sort of thing one might use for a sitrep?"

"Sand fused into glass." Mikhail points out in case anyone is blind. "Cremated bodies. Extreme heat. Plasma, da." he agrees, not sounding particularly worried about it. "Who do you work for?" he calls to the figure. "SHIELD will pay you more." He's quick with SHIELD's money, especially for someone who doesn't work for them. But mercenaries are in it for money and this might be one.

The man slowly raises his hands as ordered. It doesn't appear to be a menacing gesture in the slightest, but there isn't anything that might tell them otherwise.

Kwabena hears the English, and he transitions. The words are broken, suggesting that he isn't quite as fluent in its execution as he was the Russian, which, minus the Central African dialect, was spoken to near perfection.

"I give dis one a wahning," he calls out to them. "Turn around. Get back on plane, leave." He isn't moving, his hands are in the air, and yet, he seems committed in his warning. "Dis one wahning," he says again, as if trying to say the phrase correctly.

Mikhail's dialect draws a direct look. Though his eyes are hidden, his mouth forms a toothy grin, a malicious one at that.


Subtitle (in Russian): 'Bullshit.'

Iron Man lifts his hands, ready to blast a repulsor beam at this guy at any moment (not that it could hit…but..you know. Worth a shot). But JARVIS speaks to Tony as 'shoot to thrill' is literally about to happen before they're very eyes.

"Sir, the radio frequencies are being disturbed by his attire. They are composed of millions of nanites."

"Dammit, I hate it when I'm right. JARVIS…we're gonna need an EMP."

"Most likely, sir."

He looks over at Mikhail and Beast, the latter specifically in a 'making someone living energy is a horrible idea'. Namely, because of the first bloody law of Thermodynamics.

Jemma has moved to the rear of the plane, down the ramp to stand on the sand, looking out on the tableau as the confrontation plays out. Without warning, six little spherical orbs spin out into the sky. It's her DWARVES and they're gathering data from the surroundings - including anything she can pick up from the mutant.

"What's your name?" She asks the mutant. "And he's right. We will." Of course, he has to get past a security check. "We can't leave. You're hurting innocent people with your actions. Stand down, let us take you into custody."

For the moment Jacobs team stays still. Though they're sure it won't be long before the shooting begins.

Blue eyes bright, Hank studies the entity. "I'm sure Mikhail can provide." An EMP. "Me? I'm more worried about containment." That said, Hank heads for the back of the Quinjet, ostensibly complying with the man's request, in reality he's going to see if he can't jigger the cloaking system into a force field. Okay, sure, it won't last for long, if it is even possible. "If only I had a /wheelbarrow/, that would be something…" He mutters as he probably freaks the pilot out by cracking open the guts of a several million dollar aircraft, and pulling out parts.


That's no problem, right?

"Say the word, Ma'am." Michaels says to Jemma without looking at her. His team continues to spread out, forming a wide semi-circle.

"Nyet." It is not bullshit and Mikhail motions to Jemma as she backs up his offer. "You will not win here." he assures the other mutant. "You will lose and be imprisoned. It is much better to be paid, da?" Is someone paying him? A question for later. Hank gets a very small nod.

The would-be terrorist moves his head from Mikhail to Iron Man, and the toothy grin goes away, leaving a mere expression of stalwart resistance. He shakes his head from side to side for some reason, then turns his attention upon the woman who just disembarked from the Quinjet.

"No pahson is innocent," he answers. "IDTI!"

Russian: 'GO!'

The air suddenly crackles, and it isn't coming from Kwabena. Arcs of purple and blue form, and in the blink of an eye, a female figure also dressed in an identical, gunmetal gray skinsuit appears. There are figures at either side of her, similarly dressed, and before the blink of that eye ends, the woman is gone.

One of these new arrivals is a beastly man, the other opposite the extreme; a field of distorted air exists around him, and something about that field seems off. It's hard to place at first.

The information registers for Jemma, probably at the same time as it does for Hank. "X-Gene carriers." The biochem advises the teams. "Open fire. Bring them down." The time for talking is over and Jemma isn't taking any risks with the team here.

"A Wheelbarrow, Beast?" That has her blinking.

The TAC Teams open fire on the group of three that now stand there. They're aiming to kill. Jemma would have preferred to use ICERs but needs must and all that.

"Beast, what's the reading on the third mutant? I'm thinking a phaser." The dwarves are sending their telemetary now.

And yes. EMP might be useful.

Tony analyzes the two new arrivals and he's mentally saying 'well, shit' in his head. "Gimme some scans, JARVIS!" Iron Man takes to the air, extending his arms to prepare to fire missiles.

"Well, sir, I believe that slim fellow is emitting a distortion that I can only describe as something that shouldn't be there. As if he is bending the space around him. It is severe, I have never recorded anything like it."

"Of course not." Tony narrows his eyes a little bit, his hyper-genius hard at work for finding a loophole. "Mikhail, their suits likely help them stabilize their powers. Do me a fair and release a electromagnetic field if you can? Please? Pretty please?" Sure, Tony might not understand Mikhails powers, but it IS an energy. That being said, if that doesn't work, Tony's going to concoct an EMP to use against these guys.

Even as he is working, and yes, it might be a little freaky that he seems to be using bare feet as often as hands as he continues cannibalizing the jet for parts. Hey! Mikhail can get them home! THIS is much more important. "Actually…the large guy is superstrong and durable, the little fellow with the shimmery effect, if I am reading this all right, can create limited temporal stasis, though not sure -how- limited, or how strong and adaptable." Hank pauses, looking at the readout of the mini-cerebro unit. "Our keynote speaker can alter his body state, different matter phases, quite remarkable."

At this point he has gotten to the power core, and easily hefts it out, and starts wiring stuff into it.

Mikhail Rasputin tucks his hands into his pockets and he looks at the new arrival. His head cocks slightly to the side as he listens to Hank, adding that info to his assessment. He's been absorbing light and heat around him, knowing he'd have a use for it but now he turns it up to 11. The area dims around him and there's a bit of a chill to the air since he wants a nice strong blast as he creates an EMP in front of him, directed toward the enemy. The cone probably catches some of the SHIELD personnel as well.

The field around Skinny Mutant is, indeed, a distortion in space time. He goes running for Mikhail, and the bullets that strike the field become frozen in time; when the field passes behind them, they drop to the ground, all forward momentum having stopped. One would certainly be ill advised to touch it.

The rounds that strike the Large Mutant become embedded in his skin as he goes charging for the nearest of Jemma's soldiers. He's not exactly bullet proof, but bullet resistant would be an adequate example to give.

As for Kwabena, he doesn't move. His head rises to watch Iron Man taking to the air, ignoring the bullets that strike him. They pass through harmlessly, leaving little spiraling tufts of black smoke that are drawn back into his body as quickly as they were expelled. Instead, he forms two fists and bursts into a cloud of black smoke again, only this time, the cloud is shimmering, and expanding.

Two of SHIELD's soldiers become the unfortunate victim of the battering ram, before one of the sonic weapons catch him. He slows, screaming in agony as the sonic field plays havoc with him.

The EMP is intercepted by Skinny Mutant's protective field, it's power rendered useless. However, it rips through the brute's nanosuit, rendering it useless. The brute collapses on the ground, writhing.

The shimmering intensifies, and what was once a black, expanding cloud becomes a flash of blinding light. Superheated, living plasma, exactly as their scientists had suspected. It blows outward like a bomb, threatening to envelop everything and putting a quick end to all of this.

Then, suddenly, it stops. The fiery maelstrom comes short of singing those closest to him, the EMP having shorted out the nanosuit, and Kwabena reforms. Like the large mutant, he's collapsed on the ground and appears to be caught in some sort of seizure.

AAAAAaaand thats why Tony flew upwards, so he wouldn't be affected at all by Mikhails energetic EMP. Even if its clear that it doesn't quite work thanks to Skinny Mutant's protective field…but thankfully, it takes out the Brute. "Another bites the dust!" Tony quips as he takes a lap of flight, targeting the mutant that can apparently bend space time around him.

"JARVIS, remember the four universal forces of the universe?"

"Of course sir. Magnetic, Electric, Centripical, and-"

"Thats right JARVIS. Magnetic. If I can do some thermodynamics and reduce the mag-lev polarity around that guy, I SHOULD be able to force his particles to go out of wack and thus take out his reality-bending prowess."


"Sir, are you-"

"Yes JARVIS, I'm pulling out the Anti-Wanda. Lets do it."

He then flies straight at the stasis mutant, lifting up his hands as it seems to glow and electrify. Here's hoping Tony's brilliance saves the day and he shuts the Skinny Mutant DOWN.

It all happens so quickly. Jemma is saved from Mikhails EMP by her positioning behind the group. There's yells from the TAC teams as the plasma blast starts expanding, agents grabbing the downed ones and dragging them back.

Jemma's eyes widen as she moves back to the Quinnjet. She might be saying a prayer or two as she does. "Back. Everyone back."

And then it's over. Two mutants down, the third still after Mikhail. That doesn't stop Jemma who takes off at a run, dropping to her knees to check on the injured two.

"Beast. Medical attention. They're both wearing suits that … look like they're composed on nanites but they're going into … trauma. I suspect there's a codependance there. We need to stabilise them and get them back to The Tri."

"Agent Simmons!" Jacob yells out in frustration as Jemma willfully puts herself at risk. What's left of his team fans out around her. Somebodies gonna have words.

There IS an awful lot going on, and one of those things, though not nearly as showy as an EMP or repulsor driven power dive into deadly danger, is Hank's work on the power core and stripped systems from the Quinjet. "Working on it, Jemma…in a manner of speaking." The Frankensteined together containment field is hefted outside, and then Hank settles it by the downed two, hopefully Tony's 'anti-wanda' will do the trick with the third."

He throws the switch!

There's some sparks, and the start of a shimmer…that immediately dulls. "Well…bother."

Thinking quickly, he looks to Mikhail, holding up a power conduit. "Power please…a short burst should kick start the field…" When the power is provided as requested the device sparks, and Hank sits down rather hard, and then a shimmering dome of energy forms over the two forms. "Thank you! The Containment field is active…it /should/ suppress their powers…"

There's no glowing disc. Nor is there a bamph. There's just a very brief Mikhail shaped portal as he takes a fraction of a step from where he was to stand next to Hank. Assume Tony's idea is going to work? Not even if he were Russian. Putting a hand on the conduit, he sends a burst of energy into it.

The medical trauma seems to be affecting Kwabena far worse than the brute; the brute is groaning, as if his head feels like it might split into pieces, and he's close to throwing up, but that's about it.

Kwabena, however, is phasing in and out of his natural biological state. It's both fascinating and disturbing to witness; pieces of him devolve into a liquid-like, black goo, while other parts of him are transforming into black smoke. They snap back to flesh and bone again, then become super-solid, as if hardening into something far beyond most natural elements. The transformations are ugly and unnatural, and through it all, Kwabena is groaning and screaming in agony, trying to grasp a sense of reality that seems to be escaping him. The transformations are simply happening too randomly. He's no longer in control.

Tony was right, but there is no 'or'. Nanotech. Biological weapons. Enhanced. And would have been a more accurate word to have used.

The Time Bender's eyes go wide when Mikhail disappears. He slows and spins around, trying to find where Mikhail went, which is precisely when Tony slams into his stasis field.

Time suddenly slows to a crawl, for everyone. For Jemma, for Kwabena, Hank and Mikhail, the SHIELD agents… it's funny what happens when the brain encounters space time distortions. One loses their sense of reality for a moment. The brain tells you that life will never end, that you'll be frozen in this moment forever; watching the batting of a hummingbird's wing over the course of a century.

Of course, there are no hummingbirds in the deserts of Iraq.

The brain tries to compensate for this, by telling oneself that time is in fact racing; racing so fast that one is looping through the single moment of death in a never ending circle. Other brains can react in different ways, based on a number of factors. Mental illness, prior experiences with displacement, teleportation, time flow manipulations, the list goes on. However, more disorienting is what happens when the mind snaps OUT of it.

Fortunately for the lot of them, time is only frozen for ten seconds. Tony's Wanda-Bomb works. Time really didn't slow that much for the team; the countering of its effect caused a ripple of time distortion to pass out in a four mile radius, no doubt giving some unfortunate vagabonds and farmers one hell of a trip. But it ends, and when it does, all is quiet.

The enemies are down, and the two who were encountering trauma seem to have mostly stabilized. The Brute has simply lost consciousness, while Kwabena lies curled up in a ball, his body occasionally twitching, but he's stable enough for now.

It is strange and Jemma's system is going to have a few strange readings the next time London and Hack perform diagnostics. Her enhanced processing actually stutters a moment as it tries to compensate - the processing spikes causing a seering pain through her brain.

Then it's over and she's calling out instructions, completely oblivious to the Agents surrounding her. "Get these three on the Quinnjet along with out wounded. Call in another plane. I'm taking these back to The Triskelion to stabilise them further, Teams One and Two will stay here to secure the area. We'll send an investigation team as well."

This isn't over, but they might have the source of the acts of terror now.

"Is anyone else hurt?"

"Um…unless Ironman is going to carry the jet, it isn't going anywhere without the powercore and ancillary components from the navigational and targeting systems, Jemma." Hank is a little singed but mostly okay. The weird psychological effects of the time distortion have had an impact on the Beast as well, he manages to control the urge to hurl. "I crave licorice." He says then, before frowning.

A shake of his blue head. "Regardless, we can keep the prisoners stable inside the field, you'll need to send for another jet, I'm afraid."

Iron Man lands on the ground in that classic landing position of his. 10/10 superhero landing!

"JARVIS, give me medical scans of everyone in the immediate area within a 1 mile radius."

"Yes sir."

He walks over to the three downed mutants and he kneels down to check and see if they're alive. "We're going to need specific containment unites for these three. Specifically Stasis-Man over here. Electromagnetic field around him at all times at reverse-polarity." He advises…well, any SHIELD scientist that feels like listening.

Its a victory, in its purest sense. When the heroes came, they were facing one. They will leave here with three, plus the tech they are wearing, the mutations in their bodies, and whatever truths that'll come out of them. They have enough information to keep their prisoners subdued and not dead.

Tony's scan will reveal no serious injuries, aside from some mild psychological trauma in the area.

However, they're gonna be stuck here until help arrives, it would seem.

One of the SHIELD soldiers sits down cross legged in the sand with a sigh. "Good thing I brought marshmallows."


An older man wearing USSR-era military garb chomps on a lit cigar. He stands in the shadow of some sort of command center, but what dim light reaches his face shows that he is not pleased.

"General, we've lost contact with Bullfist, Silverlock…" A young man turns away from a computer console, leveling a fearful gaze at the older man. "… and Shift."

For a moment, the General remains silent. At long last, he lets out a long sigh through his nose, unholsters a pistol, takes aim and fires.

The young man's computer console is splattered with viscera.

"You all should have anticipated this," he tells the others in the room, speaking in Russian. "Now give me options, or I'll find a new team. New people loyal to Superiority and our mission!"

He turns the gun on the next person.

"Starting with you."

To be continued…

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