2019-11-29 - The Indignity


May is returned to the Triskelian to be … met … by the Squints.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Nov 29 10:43:03 2019
Location: Jemma's Lab

Related Logs


Theme Song



Jemma had been handed a file a day or so ago and told to work out if the transformation had any basis in the Sciences. "Transformation?" Jemma had asked, looking rather puzzled but had taken the file. After flipping through it, she'd put a call in to a friend - she needed a geneticist.

Today, Jemma's in her lab, expecting Agent May to arrive any time soon. "I haven't got any blood samples yet. I haven't been able to get to see her yet." She's saying as her holographic cat, Spot, kneads its paws on Sheps back as she settles to get comfortable. Shep - one of Jeriah Londons robotic dogs.

"I understand that Agent May is being delivered to the lab, anytime now."

Jeriah doesn't acknowledge that they are 'dogs.' Sure they look like dogs and sometimes act like them. But they are combat automatons. They are weapon systems. They are NOT pets.

Even if they sometimes go looking for pettings to his eternal frustration.

"Delivered to the lab? What? By UPS?" Jeriah is leaning on one of the tables and watching the cat. "Get off!" He hisses to the artificial feline. Get off of the weapon system. Shoo. Shoo.

That's not working, is it?

Being delivered is an accurate term. The agents sent to retrieve her from the bookstore brought one of those horrible hardshell carriers, and didn't even bother with putting something in the bottom she could dig her claws into to avoid sliding around anytime the SUV braked or turned. The drive was … unpleasant, and she refused to speak with the agents the entire way.

Serves them right.

Jemma's lab smells like most of the rest of the Triskelion to her, except for the aromas of tea, lavender, citrus, and chemicals. Less familiar and identifiable metallic smells accompany the familiar ones, and the male voice scolding a cat is the first thing she hears. And she replies with a low growl from inside the carrier.

When he got the call from Jemma, Hank made his way to the Triskelion, she's his friend and colleague, if she needs his help he'll be there with bells on. Okay, so, no actual bells will be worn, the thought is still sound. Into Bessy (His car), and then he drives to the building with perhaps a bit of urgency.

He enters the building, gets an escort up to Jemma's lab, and enters with the sort of bag a delivery driver uses to keep food warm for transport.

A warm smile. "Hello Agent London, hello Jemma. I hope you don't mind, I have some leftovers to share - ham, turkey, mashed, corn on the cob, stuffing, and rolls. Didn't have room for deserts or drinks though…"

Might as well make sure they're fed, right? He'll wager that Jemma hasn't eaten anything in hours, if not longer.

"By Courier-Agent, I believe …" Jemma smiles warmly at Jeriah and his antics. Spot meows once in the hacker-soldiers direction and lays down lazily. No. It isn't helping at all.

Jemma gives Hank a blank look as he shares the leftovers. Even with the dearth of people in the Triskelian she's forgotten (again) it's Thanksgiving. Such a quaint, colonial, celebration. "Oh, thank you! I haven't eaten yet. Put it on the bench so can we gra—-"

The growl from the pet carrier as it's bought in has Jemma looking at the Agent in surprise. "Tell me you didn't …" she takes the carrier and shoo's the agent off with an absent "Thankyou Agent Valerius." then "Are you in there, Agent May?"

Without thinking, Jemma opens the door, facing the cage towards Shep, Jeriah and Spot … and starts to reach in with her hand to fish the cat-May out.

Which is when Spot decides to pop up and wander over to inspect the new arrival.

"Oooh! Stuff I don't have to cook. Thanks doc." Jeriah says to Hank, accepting the leftovers quite willingly. He's just about to have a bite when both he AND the robotic dog (the VERY LARGE robotic dog) turn to look at the pet carrier and then at Jemma as if she's lost her mind.

"Agent May wouldn't fit in there unless she's been through a wood chipper." He clearly doesn't quite have the memo that Hank and Jemma did. He probably wasn't hugely paying attention when the project was put to the biochemist.

« Yes, » May replies to Jemma in both a scratchy Siamese-sounding meow and a strange bell-like synthetic voice. And then she sees London with food, the now HUGE dog-like robot, and ANOTHER CAT, and that's just too much for her cat instincts to handle. With a hiss « Don't! », she lashes out at Jemma's reaching hand, though manages to do so without full claws and just slaps the biochem's hand decisively.

Hank grins when he sees Spot is up and running, and then to both Jeriah and Jemma as they thank him for the food. "I was just having 2nd Thanksgiving at the Institute, now that I am back in town, the call came at a good time, and so I packed a bunch up to eat wanting to share the holiday cheer." And knowing that Jemma probably hadn't eaten, yup, that too.

He does study the arriving courier, with a cat carrier. With a transformed Agent May inside, he read the file, and he can't help but be curious as to the cause of the radical transmogrification of a highly active field agent into a cat.

He winces at the hiss and swipe. A surly cat with a bell voice.

Fortunately it was the metal hand not the flesh one. "So…I'm wondering what agent was used to transform the, err, Agent."

Jeriah quirks a brow and leans down to look at May. As he does two things happen. First his big metal dog sticks it's big metal snout into the cat carrier to nose at May. Second something bounces off Jeriah's head.

Hank probably knows what Illyana Rasputina's demons look like. And this is one of them. A small one, not any bigger than May really. It bounces off the hacker-soldier's head and skitters to a halt on a metal table full of equipment. And hisses.

That hiss does not sound like a cat.

"Ow! Hey what the hell?!"

"You can't stay in there, Agent May." Jemma chides gently in that ever so British accent of hers. "Won't you come out and see us…" Jemma is so calm. Maybe this nothing like having Steve growling at you.

"Come on Spot, Shep …" Jemma freezes at the next hiss and turns slowly. "Uh … what the hell is that."

If only she knew.

She's trying to herd Shep and Spot back and caught somewhere between the cage and them.

"Oh bother." The Limbo Imp definitely gets Hank's attention. "This, Jeriah and Jemma, is an Imp from the extra-dimensional realm of Limbo. A sort of minor demon, prone to chaotic actions and often rather on the malicious side." He rubs the back of his neck and moves towards the Imp. "Hello there." He inclines his head to the beastie, a toothless smile offered. "I'm Hank McCoy, Ilyana Rasputina is one of my friends. What is it you wish here, Imp?"

« I know, » May half hisses, half growls at Jemma. And then there's a giant metal dog-nose in her face, and she attacks with every bit of cat instinct available to her.

The rapid slapping and screeching of claws on metal is unmistakable, and goes on for a good few seconds, punctuated by a feline yowl. « Go away! » She's missed the arrival of the imp, and Hank is currently among the least of her concerns.

"Hey!" Jeriah snaps to the dog and that does at least get it to walk back over to him and sit down. Then he stares at the 'imp'. It REALLY is quite otherworldly looking.

The imp looks at Hank and tilts its head. "Came to check on Agent Cat." That comes out rather mangled, difficult to get the human words out of a beak like mouth not really designed for them. But it manages to be barely understandable.

Wait. Agent Cat. May might NOW recognize K'nert since K'nert was present when the, uh, incident happened.

The way the imp is smiling it is amused and not in a pleasant way.

Jeriah makes the 'time out' signal. "Okay, hang on. Agent May is a cat and this 'imp' knows her? And also you, Hank?" To be fair Hank didn't say that. He said he knew the person who knew it. Sadly 'Rasputina' means little to Jeriah. There is a SHIELD agent the name means much more to, two of them in fact, but they're not present.

"A what?" Jemma has to take a deep breath to not snap at everything around her at the moment. Jeriah will feel the surge of emotion as it rages out of control - Kelly's balancing kicks in though and gives her the space she needs to compose herself.

"Stop it, Shep." the robotic dog backs off and Jemma touches the 'brooch' she wears so Spot dissolves. "There see, all except the Imp has gone now. Won't you come out, Agent May?"

If not. Jemma might just sedate her.

The swiping of paws to alloy snout is fairly unpleasant sounding, fortunately, May probably can't hurt the dog in her present form, so there's that. And yes, unlike Jeriah the good Doctor McCoy -does- think of Shep as Shep, not a drone. He is relieved when Jer summons his hound back, and then he can focus on the Imp in more detail. He does not know this /particular/ Imp, but he knows the type. "Oh, no, Jeriah, the Imp and I don't know each other, but I'm friends and teammates with his Queen." Oh, well, that just clears everything right up!

He looks to Jemma. "An Imp, demonic entity from another dimension - a 'hell' dimension.

Hank is thinking of borrowing someone's Icer! Cat, Imp, whomever needs a time out!

« Fine, » May rumbles discontentedly. « Don't reach in at me again like that. » She steps gingerly out of the horrid hardshell carrier, her hackles still puffed up from the disruption, revealing orange-splattered black fur, almost disproportionately large ears, and a long whip-like tail. Around her neck is a dark red collar with a bell attached. Anyone who's had to deal with Besas might recognize the collar.

Once she's fully away from the carrier she sits primly and then looks over at K'nert. His mere presence earns him a yowly hiss, and the bell jangles something vaguely like « BUN tyen-shung duh ee-DWAY-RO. »

K'nert snickers and it's not a pleasant noise. Jeriah just looks at Hank. "Suuuuuuuuuuure… So what is, uh, the Imp doing here other than spying on May and how did it get in here?"

"K'nert." The imp corrects. "I got in here as I always do. And I was keeping an eye on those important to the Darkchilde." He looks over at May. "She's not. She's just funny."

Jeriah blinks again and then just nods as if to say 'yeah that's not going to get any more clear.'

"Okay so… how do we de-catify Agent May? De-Catify? Un-Feline? Make less catty? I don't know. How do we get her out of the fur suit? And how did she GET that way anyway?"


"And how the hell as she TALKING?!"

Hank blinks whe Tortie-May recognizes the Imp, clearly does not like him, and curses him in Chinese. "That's an interesting curse, Agent May, I'm not certain Imps even breed like that. So inbreeding is at best problematic, probably unlikely." Ugly inbred sack of meat - that /is/ an interesting curse though.

"You can leave then before I call someone to get you." Jemma sniffs at K'nert. "We have work to do. Now, shoo." If only she knew what she was doing. Still, she'll send a message to a certain WAND agent if this creature doesn't vamoose soon.

Did you understand any of that? Jemma sends to Jeriah, the puzzlement in her mental voice.

"Welcome out, Agent May. My sincerest apologies, I was simply trying to assist." Jemma adds, gesturing to the let the cat-May wander to the work bench. "That, Jeriah, is an excellent question and the main reason Agent May was referred to me. No one is really sure and I've been asked to see if there was some form of Science! reason."

"Right now, I'm going with a bad batch of polyjuice potion." She nods decisively.

"And another good question, Agent May, how are you talking?" beat "Hank. I think we need to do some tests."

Clearly Jemma has decided to turn a deaf ear to the curse.

Hank blinks whe Tortie-May recognizes the Imp, clearly does not like him, and curses him in Chinese. "That's an interesting curse, Agent May, I'm not certain Imps even breed like that. So inbreeding is at best problematic, probably unlikely." Ugly inbred sack of meat - that /is/ an interesting curse though.

When K'Nert introduces him—her…or itself, he blinks a couple times. "I would infer he can teleport, probably dimensionally, as that's something Illyana can do, and if he's here and she didn't send him then he needs must be able to make the trip on his own." Which is interesting. He's seldom had any contact with such critters, so he might very well have the beginnings of an inkling that this is not a 'minor' demon at all. He doesn't know, of course, but the fact that it is here at all is pretty strong evidence.

Definitely wants an icer now.

Hank shifts closer to the cat, and then just observes from a safe distance. "Looks like a competition grade Oriental Shorthair, tortoise shell fur…looks healthy." And then he shakes his head. "I don't know if SCIENCE! will have much to offer us here, if K'Nert was involved, then magic is much more likely." A smile then. "That said - some tests would seem to be in order, and maybe a memo to WAND?"

May looks up at the rather eerily beefy man, then with every scrap of dignity she can manage, she walks over and hops up onto one of the lab chairs where she's closer to normal eye level with the others.

« The bell on my collar. One of the WAND agents trying to figure this out attached it for me. He said it … was normally used to communicate with ghosts. » It's likely weird, hearing both the bell sounds AND the cat vocalizing normal cat sounds. Her ears flatten a bit and her tail twitches in clear annoyance when Jemma suggests polyjuice potion, and then she looks at Hank again. « WAND already knows. I was in their offices when it happened. Rogers can corroborate. »

Something behind Hank goes… beep. It's one of Jemma's machines and it's detecting something. A quick examination reveals 'gamma radiation'. The machine is picking up gamma radiation. From May. That isn't possible. Any amount of Gamma Radiation should kill a creature the size of a cat. Also she's gotten plenty angry and the room isn't demolished yet.

Then something else beeps. This one behind Jemma. A bit of cat dander landed on one of her machines and it has triggered a positive result for mutant DNA.

Then a third machine goes beep. May is throwing off energy emissions consistent with a small arc reactor.

Um. What?

"Why…?" Jeriah says looking around. "Are all of your machines trying to talk to us all of a sudden?"

"You're talking to us through a bell?" Jeriah quirks a brow. "I suppose renaming you 'Carol' is out, isn't it?"

K'nert snickers. The fact that the demon likes puns is probably a bad thing. Also… is that some of Jemma's tea it's sipping?

"This came to us from WAND, Hank. I'll send our results u—-" Jemma turns around as the machines all go off. "Oh. That's unusual. I wonder if that's, May or something residual from whatever did this." Poor Jeriah and Hank are totally forgotten as Jemma starts to look at things.

"Fascinating." "Amazing." She mutters as she works. Jeriah, of course, gets the conscious stream - she's forgotten to mute that. Things about Gamma radiation, death, and an image of a HUGE green kitty flow through Jemma's mind. Jeriah might need to translate or slow her down.

"I'm not sure. What do you think, Hank? The results are too erratic but I would say that Agent May is a gamma irradiated mutant, at the moment."

"Hey! That's my tea!"

"Well…we'll need to take some blood and tissue samples to be sure. But if the gamma rays are intense enough to trigger the scanner on their own then we're all at risk of being irradiated and Agent May should be dead." Hank nods. "That she is NOT dead, nor huge and green and rampaging through the Triskelion would make me a bit suspicious of the veracity of the readings." A nod. "Also, laughing Imp - could be connected."

He claps two dinner plate hands together then, and digs some gloves out of his pocket, donning them as he moves to prep the sampling gear. "Agent May, do you feel yourself, or are feline instincts and thought patterns fairly prevalent? Additionally - if you are having catlike cravings and such, would you say they're constant, waxing or waning over time?"

May looks at the various machines going bonkers, and can't hep but think it's a toss up whether she's responsible… or K'nert is. Either way, she just lets Jemma 'geek out' over whatever the machines are telling her and answers Hank's questions.

« I feel like myself, but then things will happen that elicit a reaction that is not usual for me. » Like swatting Shep's nose the way she did. « What sort of cravings are you referring to? » She cant' think of any particularly cat cravings, though the change in her sense of smell has certainly changed the way she reacts to things.

Jeriah shoos his metal dog over out of the way, away from both cat and imp. Though those can occasionally be very similar things. He's also dealing with a flood of things from Jemma. Slow down there… He tries to remind her. Some of us are still connected to you.

He does get the gist of what's wrong. May might be in for a lot of poking and prodding.

The imp ambles off the table and walks over to Hank, looking at him consideringly, and then finally…

"This is an improvement over the fur." And with that he turns to amble off. "I'm going to go check on The Turner. Poke her lots. It will be amusing later."

Such a nice demonic being…

"What Jeriah?" Jemma blinks. "Oh. Sorry. Did I give you a headache?" The biochem does make an effort to slow things down and mute her thoughts so Jeriah doesn't have to hear them. "We're going to be a while here, are you going to hang around or…?"

It is Thanksgiving, after all, surely he has something he wants to do.

"Agent May, we're going to have to do a number of tests on you. Nothing out of the ordinary but we're going to need your cooperation. We want to start with skin and blood samples and move on from there. Maybe we'll work out how to reverse this."

«So…no cases of the zoomies? No urge to chase feathers? Or laser pointer dots? That sort of thing, sounds like you're essentially you but in the body of a cat still, though the body seems to have some muscle memory and instinctive responses such as the swatting of Shep's nose." As to the geeking out, Hank is too, but he knows Jemma can handle that side, he wanted to see what Tortie-May was feeling and such. Because: Hank is a curious fellow what wants to know stuff, curiously enough…or maybe too much!

He looks to Jeriah and is about to say something when K'Nert makes the non-furry assessment, and for just a moment Hank is pleasantly surprised! A lot of folks have NOT been keen on it, but then he /thinks/ about it - and realizes that means the little Imp was spying on him - via magic perhaps, via Magik no way, or — crepiest of all - IN PERSON.

He's still pondering things when Jemma gets back on track. "Um, yes, we'll need to take a fair amount of samples." He looks to Jeriah, remembering what he was thinking before. "And we will likely need to borrow some of your computing power, if that's an option?"

"Of course doc. This turkey alone is worth at least a few hours of processing time." The soldier grins. He likes food. And why would he not? For a good chunk of his life 'food' has been 'MRE's' and that's when it wasn't 'bugs or whatever you can catch'.

Spec ops. It is not all glamor. In fact it's MOSTLY not glamor. Actually it's all secret so it's NEVER glamor.

"Just let me know when. I'll be hanging around here, Jemma."

MORE tests. Ugh. May knows that they are honestly trying to help, though, and after staring at Jemma for a few seconds longer than is likely necessary, she finally bobs her head. « All right, Simmons. »
Shehe suspects that she's going to find herself WANTING to put up with a five year old some more rather than let these two poke and prod at her any further.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License