2019-10-06 - Return To Sender


Nick finds a dog collar with a device that sets Isis off.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Oct 6 05:04:24 2019
Location: New York

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Nick's cases take him to some odd places. Mostly those odd places are uncomfortable or dirty or smelly or occasionally dangerous but if Nick had to choose one thing to describe the place that he's in now it would definitely be 'tight'. He's wedged in a small opening in the side of a building that contains a bunch of electrics and is stuck at the shoulders. He's been trying to get himself out for the last five minutes but hasn't managed to do anything but make himself sweatier.

Isis should be along shortly. At least it's late. And there's no guards here. But if someone sees him… like, say, the police…

Nick had called Isis sometime ago and despite her getting better at being responsible, she's still … part Cat. Which is why he's been stuck here for as long as he has - he might be imagining she got distracted. Probably by finding the bottom of an ice cream tub.

"Nick …" comes her voice from somewhere behind him. He can't see her because you know, stuck. "… what … are you doing?"

"I was trying to grab something that's hidden in here. And I got it. But now I'm stuck." Nick jerks a bit but that doesn't get him any more unstuck. He COULD just break the wall. He's strong enough to do that if he starts clawing at it. But he's not sure what parts of this wall are load bearing and doesn't realllly want to be responsible for bringing the building down.

"Did you find anything?" She'd gone to look for what he wasn't quite clear. Maybe that ice cream. Either way he can't see her. He can't even smell her.

Nick can *feel* the amusement from Isis as he tries to get free. "Uh… why did you do that? I could get in there." So helpful. If he can't smell her, it's only because the scent of where he's stuck is overwhelming. He can definitely feel when she touches his shoulder.

"Mmmhmmm. I found soap. When you said something was stuck … I didn't expect it to be you. I could … No, that probably won't work. How are you going get out?"

"You weren't here and I didn't want someone to walk by and call the cops or something. If that had happened we wouldn't be able to come back for several days." Nick says. His voice is muffled.

"Well I don't know. I'm hitched on something but I can't see it and I can't reach it. I only know that it's around my shoulder blades somewhere and I don't want to break the wall to get out."

He sighs. "Soap? Right. For lubricant." Soap is better than other things she could have found for that. "Can you just see what it is please? It's getting really hot in here and I'm starting to sweat into my eyes."

"Well it works to get things like rings off and stuff, right? At least that what they use on the TV show I watch." Isis asks. There are other things she might have found and bought with her. "Oh yeah, right. I still don't know why you didn't just wait somewhere else until I got here."

She's much, much slimmer than Nick. Smaller too.

"Alright. I need to… just let me …" He can feel her lean over him trying to see what he's caught on. Then he feels her climb up, using his leg for leverage.

"Uh. I… oh there it is. It looks like a hook or a nail. Or a screw. I might be able to …" Her claws come out as Isis tries dig the thing out.

"What are you-OW! Careful!" She does managed to get it dug out though and that unhooks Nick enough to let him back his way out of this. Not gracefully. Nothing he's doing is graceful at the moment. He does get loose though.

"Thanks." His fur is matted slightly. He shakes a bit and smiles at Isis, holding up what looks like a… dog collar?

"Got it."

Isis can smell the thing. It smells like the werewolves they've been fighting but also not unlike chemicals from the lab she was rescued from.

"I am being careful!" Isis mutters as she works at the nail, draping herself over Nicks back to do so. "Next time…" she tells him as he manages to wriggle free "Wait for me. Look at me, I'm all dirty now …" She had been dressed quite nicely, too. Just as Nick likes.

"You're welcome though. I wouldn't have left you there…." She frowns at the collar and backs up.

"Wha what is that doing in there? It smells like the lab and those werewolfs …" Nicks forgotten as she peers into that gap.

The wall is brick and Nick had to actually pull a circuit breaker panel loose to get in there. But in there, there's a little hollow that was purposely bricked in. It's empty now, but the air in it smells musty. It also smells like Nick's sweat which makes sense.

"I don't know but you remember the last place we went to? It had this address. I figured that since the building was renovated right around the time there might be something hidden. I was right…"

He peers at it. There's an electronic box on the side… "The question is what does it do?"

As he flicks one of the buttons a signal begins to pulse. He can't hear it, it's too high pitched for him, but Isis can. It's a recall signal. One that sent her returning to her handlers.

When Nick and Piotr had recovered Isis, she'd been wearing a collar but not like that. There'd been no tech found in it either. Without a doubt though, Isis had a recall signal. Just how they achieved that, no one knows.

"I remember, yes … " Isis's slitted blue/grey eyes flick from the collar to the gap and back again. "That was in there? Wh—-"

When Nick hits the button, Isis' head cants and her eyes seem to go vacant. She turns and starts to move away from the big brown werewolf. With purpose.

"Um, Isis?" Nick looks at the collar suspiciously - he still can't hear anything - and then at Isis very concernedly. "Isis!"

He hurries after her to get in front of her and when she just tires to move around him he grabs her. Hopefully she doesn't scratch.

"Hey! What's wrong with you?"

Nick will remember the look in her eyes. She was like this when she fought them that first time. Focussed on the fight and nothing else, nearly unable to stop. When Nick does step in front of her, the slim feline-like mutant, steps around him.

His hope he's not going to get scratched is a futile one. Her claws lash out, trying to get free of him. He might need to remember how they calmed her when she was captured and after.

Nick tries to immobilize Isis essentially by hugging her. She's clawing at him but if he can just get his arms around both shoulders then all she'll be able to do is kick and bite. And hopefully that's not as bad. As long as he doesn't let her near his ears.

"Isis… Hey. Isis!" Nick had to basically… Alpha her, last time.

Growling, Isis struggles against Nick. Kicking his shins and trying to bite his arms. It's easy enough for him to get his arms her shoulders and pull her in, though. When he growls at her like that she stops …

"Ni Ni Nick …." Her voice muffled by his arm. "Wha what's going on … I need to go …" He hasn't turned that collar off, has he?

"Go where Isis?" No, Nick hasn't turned it off. He hasn't realized he turned anything on yet and hadn't put together that he needs to. So instead he just keeps her immobilized. She knows what this is like, she's felt it before. But not so strong in a long time, the urge to return and complete her mission.

It was the only thing in that life that gave her any satisfaction. The only thing that she was rewarded for.

Isis tugs a bit, trying to break Nicks grip but not biting him at the moment. Caught in that place between his control and the one that's calling her.

"Back to them. They want me to go and report on my mission. I … they're waiting in the facility for me. I'll get chocolate when I go…"

"Let me go, Nick. I need to … " she shakes her head like she's in pain.

"Isis, no. You need to stay right here. They hut you, don't you remember?" Nick still has the collar in one hand but as he squirms and she does the button gets flicked again and the signal stops. That should help though what it's triggered may not stop immediately.

Isis was so very well trained after all. She was perfect until the X-Men came for her.

Isis was a prize for AIM until the X-Men came. One of the ones they liked to deploy in the dream or the physical. That she was broken mentally, didn't bother them. They kept her feral after all.

"I … have to go, Nick. Please it hurts if I don't…" She struggles more, trying to free herself. When the signal stops, the head shaking stops at least.

"What did you do?" She doesn't stop trying to get free though. She was well trained and this is programming.

"I'm not sure?" Nick doesn't let go. He's not letting her go back. He knows what would happen if they got her again. He likely wouldn't see her again until she was sent to kill him. Or would she? Being interrupted, rescued and allowed to live on her own might have done some messy things to what they did to her head.

"Stop squirming!" At least she's not wearing baggy clothing that she could slip out of. And hey, now that she's not biting the squirming isn't all that bad.

"It's stopped hurting." Another shake of her head, causing her ears to brush under Nicks chin. Isis tries to pry Nicks fingers open and get him to let her go … at least for a while. Then that bit stops but she squirms.

Little minx.

"They want me back. I … have a need to report." Nick can hear Isis' voice quaver a little. "Uh. When you hit the button on that collar, it was like a switch had flipped."

Nick still doesn't let go. He just keeps ahold of Isis though she has a little bit more room to squirm now. Just not enough to squirm away. "The collar must have done something I couldn't sense." He murmurs. "It has buttons. I'll bet it was used to transmit recall orders to agents in the field."

Which means it probably had two way communication ability and if they take it apart they can figure out what frequencies were being used.

"You're not reporting to anyone but me. And right now I don't want you to move. So… there."

It doesn't seem that Isis is complaining about being held now. She's certainly picked up on Nicks mixed emotion - the concern for her and the fact that holding her like this isn't quite so bad. "It hurt my ears, Nick and made head all … foggy. Even now, with the sound gone, my brain feels like it's on fire."

If they could trigger her like this, what would she do?

"How would I get to the facility? They must have had somewhere I would go …"

"You coudln't hear it? That means … it's for creatures like me. Can, can we track that?"

Nick looks down at Isis seeming to sense that she's teasing him at least a little bit right now. She might almost see him smile and she'll definitely feel it. "We could, but if they were transmitting it constantly you'd have heard it before now. And the signal couldn't be telling you where to go. You must already know that. It's just… buried."

It's possible that wherever she was going to go has been long abandoned by AIM. But if they can dig the location out of her head, they should look.

"Use the collar and follow me?" Isis looks up, her ears brushing under Nicks chin as she does. "Put me on a harness and follow along." Yes, she just suggested that. It might tell him a bit about how she was trained as well.

"Buried in my head means we need a Teep to scan me and that's uncomfortable and not a little bit dangerous." As they'd discovered. It doesn't mean she won't, but Nick can tell she's not happy with that.

"Do we have to stay here?" Isis wriggles in his arms again.

"Actually there might be another way. We could try looking for the information in your dreams." Nick is surprised he hadn't thought of that before. It's a better idea he thinks than strapping her to a backpack harness and taking her for a walk. She can walk other people's dreams. Can she walk her own?

"Um… no." Nick loosens his grip but takes her hand by the wrist. He's really not letting her get away.

"I … don't dream like that. Well, I don't think I do. What are you thinking, Nick?" She's not said no and he can sense the curiosity from her.

Shaking her wrist to make him loosen his grip, Isis laces her fingers between his. He can hold that way.

"It's not a bad idea, but how will I dream of that? I can bring you in, you know that."

"It doesn't matter what you dream of to start with." Nick starts to walk. He'd like to be away from this area very soon. Very, very soon. Having someone spot them here will occasion awkward questions about how that hole in the wall got there.

"Once we're in the dream we can try to go deeper. Into the parts of your mind where the dreams come from. Some part of you knows where to go Isis. We just have to find where that is."

It's probably not a real pleasant part of her though.

"You're worried." Isis looks up as they start to walk. "About me or … being here or something else?" She's good at reading emotion but not at determining what's behind it. Nor should she be, she's not a telepath.

She's quiet as they walk, thinking on what Nick has said. "If we do that, you're going to see parts of back then … how I remember them and what was done to me. You … won't like it Nick." The memories or the kitten she had been.

"Have you had anymore trouble with that telepath?" The one that had blanked him in the icecream shop.

"I am worried about a lot of things. You and being caught here are high among them." Because it's suspicious at the least and Nick doesn't want the entanglements.

"I know I'm not going to like it but I don't think we have a choice unless we want to have a telepath dig through you again." They've had that done twice and it is always dangerous. For everyone involved.

"Mmmmm? Not that I'm aware of…" Though if he had… would he be aware of it?

"Well, we're leaving. Where did you park your car? So that's not a problem for the second thing." Isis squeezes Nicks hand and sends a reassuring wave of emotion at him. "As to me, I'm with you. What could happen?" What could happen, indeed.

"I… wasn't very nice, Nick. I was a kitten that was taught to maim and kill. You know what I was like when you found me. I was like that all the time. I… don't want you to think less of me."

She hmmm's at the telepath, they hadn't discussed it really. "It's strange that happened and nothing. Maybe you should get your brain scanned."

"I'm sure it's fine." That by itself should be a red flag but Nick tugs Isis along toward the car. "Come on. We'll pick up some ice cream and then head back to the office." It's a quick change of subject but it's one to something that Isis likes very, very much.

"I can't think less of you Isis. That wasn't you. I know who you really are." He gives her a squeeze back and, ah, there's his truck.

Isis should be worried by that response but her is still muzzy from the signal and Nick deftly distracts her with ice cream. He knows his kitten well. "Ice cream? I want chocolate and so do you." She's slipped a little back to her old ways. He might not blame her for that.

"I hope you can't, Nick." She's quiet as she walks to the passenger, slides in and then over as far as she can maintain contact with the big brown guy.

"You need a shower, Nick."

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