2019-10-30 - Protective Custody


Called to assist, Jemma meets up with Spider Girl.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Oct 30 00:00:00 2019
Location: Jemma's Lab

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Theme Song



OCT 30TH - 5:25 AM

Morlun has struck again. This time, the site in question is in Spanish Harlem, a mid rise apartment building that no one would have otherwise batted an eye at. However, the area around the building has been roped off by police; two large holes have been ripped in the building's exterior at its eighth floor.

Agent Harman is already on site, and made the call at Spider-Girl's request. However, the SHIELD agent is currently tied up working another of the spider folk, who's body is broken.

On the eighth floor, where the damage was done, is an apartment that has been vacated by the police, roped off as an official crime scene. One of those holes in the building opens into the apartment itself; the other, smaller, opens into the hallway outside. Spider-Girl is standing outside of the apartment, having a quiet conversation in Spanish with one of the police officers.

Jemma isn't usually sent to these types of requests but given the nature of the call, the Agents assigned had collected her. When the trio arrive, Agents Vasquez and Phillips peel off to speak to the police as Jemma looks around for where she'd best utilised.

Seeing Spider Girl, the biochem pauses to wait till she finishes. There's a lot of damage here and it's not entirely clear what happened.

Told that other agents of SHIELD are on site, Spider-Girl spins around and walks over toward Jemma; the woman seems recognizable from when they met so many months ago, but the sight of cybernetic implants has her startled. "Agent Simmons?" she asks, and walks a little closer. "What the - that's…" She points to the obvious, staring incredulously "That's different."

Science brains have a sort of ESP; the young woman behind the mask is already trying to figure it all out on visual inspection alone.

"Spider Girl. What happen—-" Jemma trails off as Anya gets her question in first. "It is … and it's a long story but let's just say that they saved my life." It will be difficult for Anya to determine a lot, she can tell Jemma's right arm and left eye have been completely replaced. The cybernetic implant on her right cheek that extends towards the woman ear is interesting - and of course there's the rest of the procedure that isn't visible.

"Agent Harmen requested assistance. Vasquez and Phillips thought I might be useful, but it looks like I'm too late. What happened?"

There is a part of Anya's brain that wants to ask all of the questions. SHIELD still has the specs on her drone tech, after all, and it's nothing to shake a stick at. Unfortunately, there are more pressing matters at hand.

Turning to the police officer, she asks in Spanish, "«Could we have a few minutes?»"

"«Yes,»" the cop answers, "«But we're expecting the coroner here any minute.»"

Spider-Girl sighs and is quiet for a moment, before nodding her head to acknowledge the warning. Then she's walking toward the apartment door, or rather, what's left of it. The door itself appears to have been thrown right off its hinges. Inside is a well lived in apartment, and the body of a middle aged man, his head crushed and lying in a pool of blood with an aluminum baseball bat nearby.

"Morlun did this," she tells Simmons, but her tone of voice lacks all of the vibrancy that usually goes with it. It's hollow now, driven by a sense of duty and nothing else. "It's my uncle."

The revelation alone means that her cover as a masked vigilante is all but blown. It wouldn't take long to properly identify the man as Rico Corazon, paternal uncle to Anya Corazon, both residing at this very address.

Jemma looks like she's braced for the questions and the look of relief that washes over her face when Anya doesn't press is obvious. She can't help but run through Anya's conversation with the officer through Google Translate, but doesn't try to eavesdrop deliberately.

"Morlun. I … saw something about him, them, cross my desk. An attack on a bank, yes? Your uncle?" Jemma winces, taking a step towards the costumed woman to hug her and pausing before she does. Not everyone is huggy after all.

After a brief moment, her analytical brain kicks in. "Who else knows this information? The police officers, clearly."

Spider-Girl does not avoid or resist being hugged, but she does not return the favor. This is also very unlike her; but such a response is one of many that can be given when a family member is murdered.

"Only one of them has figured it out," she tells Simmons, "and he's promised not to be a whistle blower." She shakes her head, and for a moment, glances down the hallway for some reason.

"He's after Spider-Man," she explains. "I assume you're already aware that there are multiple 'universes' that exist within a space-time existence essentially parallel to, but different, from ours?" A pause is given, to allow Simmons a chance to confirm or deny this knowledge. "Morlun claims that our Spider-Man is somehow a link to all of them, and he wants to wipe them all out. Starting with ours."

A quiet anger is building inside of the young woman. "He's not gonna stop until someone stops him, and so far… no one has been able to. He's brutal, and he's smart. Like playing chess with a fucking Vulcan, but one without any sense of morality."

The hug is given, quickly, but Jemma's mind is already working as she listens. "Space-time and different dimensions. They are, supposedly, different to ours. Space-time mechanics aren't something I'm strong with but we've theorised a number of times. Parallel or stacked … each with their own evolutionary progression. At least that's what we think based on the little evidence we know."

Seriously, space-time mechanics will do your head in if you try to think to hard on them.

"So, this Morlun is after Spider-Man but came after you and killed your uncle instead?"

It's a logical assumption. "Why?"

"Bait." She turns back toward Simmons, and the frown on the exposed half of her face is palatable. "He was using us as bait. He's gone after Spider-Woman and her family as well. It's… it's a mess."

She shakes her head and finally, some of that numbness drips away. "But that's not why I asked Angel to call you guys."

She reaches up, slips a finger beneath the mask, and pulls it from her face to reveal the young woman beneath. The ponytail is a facade, extensions woven into the mask itself. Anya herself sports a pink mohawk, flattened to her head by the mask, and she has a pretty nasty bruise across half her face.

"My name is Anya. My cousins, he was their padre…" She nods to the open door. "And my grandmother. They're all in an apartment down there, at the end of the hall, and… I need them to be taken somewhere. Somewhere safe. Safer than safe." She reaches for Jemma's hands if allowed, and the expression that comes over her is nothing short of begging.

"Please," she whispers, fighting back tears.

"Bait. OK, so … you have a few things to d——" Jemma's words fade again as Anya removes the mask. Of course the woman can take her hands, her cybernetic one feels cool to the touch, her meat hand warm. Both grip firmly, trying to provide reassurance in a trying time.

"Anya. We … I can do that. To start with, let's get them to The Triskelian and then we'll find someplace for them to stay till this over." It's that easy really. "How old are your cousins, how many are we talking about? I'd like to see them, if I could, make sure they're ok right now."

"You however, likely have other worries as well. Like coming up with a story as to why he was here. We, you… can protect your identity for a bit longer."

The young woman's frame nearly shudders when the words 'I can do that' are spoken. Her hands grasp a bit tighter for a brief moment, but she pulls back out of instinct, for not wanting to actually hurt either of Jemma's hands. "Thank you," she breathes, feeling a weight lifted and causing all of that anxiety and tension to disappear, at least for now.

"Miguel and Arturo, they're twins. 14." The young woman finally let's go and pulls the mask of heavy spider-silk back up and over her head, concealing her identity once more. "They already know," she tells Simmons, "And Officer Rodriguez, he figured it out, but, he's gonna cover for me. I don't really care. I mean, I know I should, but…" she shakes her head. "All I want to do is get them somewhere safe."

And then she's going after Morlun, with the rest of them.

Turning, she walks down the hallway toward the apartment of Angelica Renardo, where the young men and her grandmother are being kept.

"Mi Abuela… she has no idea. She passed out when Morlun… when it happened."

Jemma's in no hurry as Anya collects herself. "You might not care now, but you will. Reach out to your friends who can manipulate social media and the like, come up with cover story and put it out there. It won't take much to make people doubt, but you do need to get on that."

Following Spider Girl down the hallway, Jemma is thinking. "Your grandmother doesn't know that your Uncle was killed? Someone needs to tell her, Spider Girl and I'm not sure I'm the one too. But your cousins, they do?"

"I will," Spider-Girl assures her. She knows Jemma is right, and the voice of reason is something she needs right now. Anything to keep her mind off the very dark thoughts that boil at her core.

"No, they all saw it happen," she explains, darkly. "But… mi Abuela?" The darkness is broken by a brief but dry laugh. "She doesn't follow the superhero social media feeds."

Odds are the old woman assumed Anya was dressing up for a Halloween party.

"Morlun had come at us in Brooklyn. Killed a whole warehouse full of drug traffickers just to get our attention. All of us. We all showed up, and took the bait. He beat the shit out of us, left me in a dumpster… I came back here because my comms were broken. Soon as I woke up." The young woman pauses outside the apartment door, and turns back toward Simmons. "Trying to hit him was like…" Her expression becomes confused. "It was like… like the energy got sucked right out of me."

"Ah, well your secret is safe with me." Jemma nods as they move. "This is something I'm used to doing, Spider Girl. As long as I don't have to lie - people say I don't do that well." She can normally talk around an answer well enough though.

"Got the energy sucked out of you? Like … he's attuned to powers of the Spider? That's what you all have in common isn't it?" beat "I should look at you too, when we're at the Triskelian and safe. I know you're going to go after him, but lets make sure you can do it and it will give you some time to think about an approach."

"If you're weak to him, you need some other way of corralling him. What do the others say?"

"Yeah, I suck at it too," Spider-Girl admits, and that brings a sly grin that is much more her style, and much more similar to the excited, talkative, sassy young superhero that Jemma met so many months ago.

At the questions, she shakes her head. "I don't know. I think so? I mean, there are four of us, all of our abilities are pretty similar. Apparently there are a lot more of us when you get into quantum physics and… and all of that stuff."

Because neither of them need to be getting their brains slammed around by heavy science right now.

"Angel is downstairs, with Spider-Woman. She got banged up worse than me, but… I don't know how much time we have. He's… terrifying, Agent Simmons. He's fast, he's strong, he's… unlike anything I've ever seen."

And she's counting Hulk, Cap, and others in there too. How legitimate those comparisons are might be questionable, considering the generally 'beaten up' state of the spiders right now.

"Jemma." The biochem corrects almost automatically with a smile. Her name, her identity is important to her - more so since the accident. "It would seem so. I can lend you my Dwarves, if you think that will help. You can gather some data on him the next time he strikes. Without data, you're all fighting blind, Spider Girl and that's not the way to tilt the playing field in your favour."

"Because trust me, you don't want to just level this. You need to be have every advantage you can." She'd offer to go with them, but by the time she arrived when Morlun shows up again it would be too late. Anya has proven reliable with the tech they have.

"You won't have any time if you don't think this through and regroup. Call your friends and allies, put them on the alert and if he shows up, get away till they arrive."

Reminded of using the woman's first name, Spider-Girl pauses. Her brain slows down, for just this moment, and she turns to look at the SHIELD scientist with a sense of appreciation. "We need it," she agrees. "And yeah, we need to regroup. Fast." Now the brain meats are spinning. She turns away slightly, raising a hand and ticking off some things. "Spider-Comm's still up, I can patch up my interface in about 15 minutes, give or take. Arana still has subroutines from that crazy op in May, so I can use her to coordinate and collate data from the Dwarves. Gonna need to purge her memory, but I've already got it backed up so, that's fast. Spider-Woman's already here, so, we just need to get the others."

There's the chatterbox everyone is familiar with.

Turning, she looks back to Jemma with eyes wide beneath the mask. "Okay, okay. I need to get started. Let me introduce Miguel, Arturo and Abuela to you so they aren't, like, totally spazzed when I tell them what's happening."

"When we get to The Triskelian and get your family settled, I'll get you those and some dendrotoxin that might work." She'll also see what else she might have that can be loaned. "You do. You also don't need to be rushing into things. I don't want to see you all in our med wing."

"Do the introductions, leave them with me to settle. You get onto your friends and get planning. Remember…" The biochem taps Anya's temple "Think first, then act. You're smart. Don't let age and treachery overcome youth and skill."

Her attention upon Jemma, Spider-Girl nods her head a few times. She draws a deep breath then, and looks past Jemma toward the apartment where she lives. What is the right thing to do? Be with your family, or rush in to fight, to avenge? Both, somehow? It's far too much for a woman as young as her to bear, but, that's the life of a person with powers.

Taking the words to heart, Spider-Girl turns and enters the apartment.

"«Miguel, Arturo? Miss Martinez? There is someone I'd like for you to meet.»"

Both can be achieved and Anya is young. This is an experience she will learn from. Tragic and hard, but she must learn.

Jemma follows Spider Girl in, acutely aware that her appearance may be shocking. "Buen dia, I am Agent Jemma Simmons from SHIELD and a friend of Spider Girls. She's asked me to help you safe." The british accent sounds pronounced next to Anya's spanish "I would like to take you with me, back to our headquarters, The Triskelian. It will only be for a short while until we can find you a place to stay, but I don't think you should remain here."

Shocking for some, perhaps.

The teenagers are sitting at a table with Teresa Martinez, an aging older woman who is Anya's grandmother. The old woman looks up at Spider-Girl and Simmons for a brief moment, before grumbling under her breath and going back to her re-heated dinner-for-breakfast. Carne Asada, by the look of it. The apartment's occupant is hanging out in the kitchen, arms over her chest, frowning.

The boys, however, look up at Simmons and their eyes widen. "Cool!" one says, switching easily to English.

"What about Anya?" the other one, Miguel, asks.

"We will find her," Spider-Girl says with a nod. "We'll start with NYU and look for parties happening in the area." She shrugs. "Her phone probably died or something, you know?"

"But her phone never dies," Arturo counters, only to be socked in the shoulder by Miguel. "Ow!"

"Hey!" Spider-Girl snaps, sounding briefly like the older sister role she's always adopted, before remembering to stay in character. "«We are taking you there to keep you safe.»" The switch to Spanish is natural for her. "«It will not be permanent, and this way, you all can stay together.»"

Teresa Martinez finally looks at Jemma, and then to Spider-Girl. "What about Rico?" she asks in very broken English.

Spider-Girl takes a deep breath, walks over to her grandma, and takes a knee. "«I am very sorry, Miss. But… Rico is no longer with us.»"

The woman closes her eyes and looks down to the table. She goes silent, but, those in the family know that she is praying.

Ah yes, the young would find Jemma's modifications interesting. She wonders if the twins will start prodding her. "I've already sent a message to Anya and I'm waiting to hear from her." Jemma adds, fixing the boys with a look with her one good eye.

"The coroner will have Rico taken care of Miss Martinez and as soon we're able, you'll be able to see to him. Right now though, I need you all to get some things together. We shouldn't wait long, we don't know if the attacker will return. Go now … Miguel and Arturo. Just one bag each, mind. Clothes, some books and if you have handheld consoles, you can bring those."

"Miss Martinez, can we assist you in getting organised? I truly am sorry for your loss."

"It won't be easy," Spider-Girl says, turning back to the boys. There is a softness in her voice, and she reaches out to put a hand on both of their shoulders. "Uncle Rico will be covered up, but… it will not be easy. I can go with you, one at a time. Okay?"

The boys nod their heads, and when Teresa looks up, there are tears at the corner of her eyes. "«He is in a better place,»" she tells Jemma and Spider-Girl. "«This world was dead to him, anyway.»"

Spider-Girl chews her lip for a moment, but then turns back to the boys. "Okay. Who's first?"

Jemma is translating the conversation, poorly, through her implants and she casts Spider Girl a questioning look. Dead to him, anyway.

"Let me help you, Miss Martinez, while Spider Girl helps the young men." Right now, those youths need to feel important. Young men is a good way to help that. "And then we can go."

There will be a transport waiting downstairs for them all. And Jemma will have Vasquez and Phillips to ride shot gun. It should be an uneventful trip. She … hopes.

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