2019-12-01 - The Once And Forever King


A recruit from across the ditch tells some interesting stories

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Dec 1 04:27:47 2019
Location: Shooting Range

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Theme Song



The firing range is in the basement of the Triskelian and it's here that most new agents find themselves within hours or days of arriving at SHIELD. Even those that are seconded from other agencies.

Agent Dylan Grey, MI-13, finds himself one of those - and is being checked out against SHIELD standards with his own weapons and SHIELD standard issue ones.

"When you're ready, Mister Grey." The range marshal is saying. A greying haired Agent named Thoms.

It's busy-ish here today. A number of agents have taken advantage of the Thanksgiving Holiday to get in some practice and most of the cubicles are full.

The door opens as Dylan begins this test - this should be the last one he's told - and a smallish, brunette cyborg woman enters wearing a lab coat and looking a little tired.

Dylan Grey glances over at the trainer at the 'Mister'. "'Agent' would be accurate." he says, turning back to look at the target down range. "Or 'My Lord' if we're using civilian terms." But really, 'Agent' is more than fine. He doesn't usually use firearms but has been training on them since he was young so is more than familiar with them. He checks to make sure it's loaded then aims before squeezing off a few shots.

"Agent Grey, then." Agent Thoms smiles. Bringing the Brits over is always interesting and in a way, some of the SHIELD agents enjoy tweaking their noses. In a nice way of course. He's silent as the new Agent squeezes off several rounds and nods approvingly. "Well that all seems in order, let me sign this off and you can be on your way."

The small brunette cyborg woman stops by Thoms and presents a file. "Here I am for my quarterly check." Jemma Simmons speaks with a distinctly british accent, though to Dylans cultured ears there's possibly a slight american twang. It's the scourage of being an ex-pat - she still sounds British to the Americans but American to the Brits.

"Do we have new recruit, Agent Thoms?" The woman smiles, the expression making her one good eye.

"Dylan Grey, Viscount Clive. MI-13." he answers for Agent Thoms, adding the courtesy title that might tell her he's the heir to Earl Powis given her accent. "And you would be…?" he inquires. Putting the safety on, he sets the gun on the counter and steps to the side, motioning for her to take his place.

"Hello Simmons." Thoms answers and takes her file. "Give me a moment to finish up this paperwork and I'll test you out." The agent nods as the introductions are started and moves away. Leaving the two alone for the moment.

Holding her hand out, the metallic one, the woman smiles. "Agent Jemma Simmons. Science Division. Viscount Clive? If I remember correctly, that's located in Wales isn't it? And that's not because your accent is a dead giveaway…"

"MI-13 are you a transfer or a secondment?" Jemma's eye linger on the torque and the signet ring. "What's your speciality?"

The fact that someone is whistling 'Yankee Doodle' is in this instance entirely coincidental. Jeriah London - American as they come despite the name - simply likes to whistle. Sometimes its old cadences. Sometimes its showtunes. Today it is Yankee Doodle.

The whistling announces him before he comes into view - dressed in his customary black tactical pants and grey tee shirt that he often uses for non-office type work. His carriage is that of a soldier, not an agent and he nods as he approaches the smell group. "Jemma. Agents." He may have come down to watch Simmons test, which makes sense given the experimental nature of her enhancements. Or he may have come down for practice.

Or both. Nothing like killing two birds with one stone.

As he comes up in the middle of the conversation, he is politely quiet, listening to the answer of the only question he heard as he approached. Introductions can come in a moment when he's not breaking in mid answer.

"A pleasure, Agent Simmons." Dylan smiles as he lightly clasps her hand. "A secondment of undetermined length, until MI-13 wants me back or WAND gets tired of me. My specialty?" He considers the question a moment. "Defense of the Empire, technically." he decides. "And given how small a world it has become…" He gestures around him. Hence his being here. As another agent, or something, joins them, he looks over and offers a nod of greeting. "Agent."

It still takes a little effort for Jemma to control the strength of her grip, the light clasp is returned with slightly more firm one. "Well, welcome to America. I'm sure you'll find it … interesting."

Her head turns at the whistling, a small smile touching her lips. "Jeriah. Did you come to troll me in person?" It's a good natured teasing tone she uses with the other agent. "This is Agent Dylan Grey, seconded from MI-13. Agent Grey, this is Jeriah London, a contractor assigned to my team." That's a little unusual, isn't it? A clearly military asset assigned to a Scientist?

"So you're here to improve the relations across the ditch? Or is there something MI-13 has an interest in here?"

There's a tick tick tick, metal on floorboards, that draws louder until Jemma is bumped a little by a metallic canine snout. "Shep…" the biochem puts her hand on the creature head. "Did you lose track of her again, Jeriah?"

"It's not a her. It's a weapon." Jeriah rolls his eyes and nods to Agent Grey. "Pleased to meet you. Just into town I take it? Welcome. Also, don't let me get in the way. I take it you're both here to certify?"

"And yes, just Jeriah if you like. Or London. I work for SHIELD on an an ad hoc basis. They wanted someone with my particular set of skills. Did I hear you say your specialty was 'Defense of the Empire'?"

That's a rather curious way to put it to say the least.

"Mister London." Dylan greets the man. In this case 'mister' is accurate. "As far as I know, there are no specific issues here that I'm to look into. But reports of the cultists and the extradimensional activity were read with interest." Jeriah's question makes him chuckle. "I did, yes. A bit of a non-answer, true enough. Though accurate. To be specific, I'm an artificer and a Knight. It's my duty to protect my kingdom until Arthur's return. At which point, presumably, he'll do the protecting. I imagine he'll need a hand though, as he did with the Round Table."

The huge robotic dog inserts itself between London and Simmons, shifting its shoulders so they have to move a bit to accomodate it. "She acts like a dog." Jemma asides to Jeriah, scratching the top of the mobile weapon platforms head as she speaks.

"I'm not sure why Agent Grey is here…" Jemma leaves that hanging for Dylan to answer. "But I'm here for my quarterly certification. Maybe soon, they'll deem I'm stable enough to put back on the regular certification schedule."

Jemma waggles her metallic hand at Dylan "They're concerned about the conversion …" she starts to explain and lets that sit. He can ask more, she hasn't closed the conversation down.

"Perhaps you'll care to test against me, this time, Jeriah…" beat "You can't cheat though and mess up my systems."

"Wait. Did you say Arthur? Like King Arthur? Do you believe that story, then, that he will return?"

"Who says I would have to?" Jeriah snorts. He does have a sidearm, though he hadn't brought it with him for that purpose.

"Wouldn't the existing monarchy rather have something to say about that?" The contractor asks curiously. He's heard the story before but only in the form of tales passed down by the likes of Mallory. He's never heard it from someone asserting it as something that will eventually happen, like the heat death of the universe. And he definitely hasn't considered what that might mean for the, er, existing monarchical systems in place.

"I too am here to prove my qualifications with firearms." Dylan answers then asks "Conversion?" As the two talk, he watches the robotic dog curiously. "King Arthur." he agrees. "Let us say that, being a proper Welshman, I choose to believe in his eventual return. One of my great great ancestors, the King of Powys, knew and fought for Arthur though he was not a knight of the Round Table himself. It is also true that his body was never found after the battle of Camlann. You can believe they looked for it. So. If and when he returns, I would hope that whoever the current monarchs are, they will choose to step aside in favor of the proper King. Though I am increasingly of the opinion that his return will herald the creation of a world government and each country's rulers will stay as such while Arthur leads the world."

"Conversions, yes." Jemma smiles faintly. "I wasn't born like this, after all…" the biochem is friendly enough and the teasing tone is more at her own expense than anyone elses. "A mishap on mission and the only way they could save me was to make me as you see me…"

"One day, Jeriah …" Jemma sniffs, tilting her nose slightly in the air "… I'll out shoot you." In her dreams. She's a scientist first and foremost.

The news, story, of Arthur gets the faintest of frowns. "A world government would be … problematic … I think. Even led by one such as Arthur." Because people are people and do silly things.

"Which section of SHIELD have you been assigned to? Engineering perhaps, if you're Artificer?"

Because who would think WAND first up?

"Sure. We'll go with that." Jeriah says mildly to Simmons on her assertion that she will outshoot him one day. He steps back to let the two who actually need to qualify go first. He can do his own set after. Because, you know, certifications can and do take priority.

"That's rather an interesting hope." That has the contractor thinking on it for a time before he shakes his head. "Anyway. You mean Cadfan, yes? Cadfan ap Iago?" His history of the Isles isn't the strongest in the world. Thankfully he has the power of the mighty oracle Google to help confirm half remembered lessons and late night sessions on wikipedia.

"I imagine he'll be assigned where most of the magical spooks go, Jemma?" Jeriah offers. Even he got that far.

"Arthur was a born leader." Dylan assures Jemma. "If anyone could unite the world, it would be he. Those in power at the time might object but Arthur would unite the people, speaking directly to their hearts and souls. No government can truly stand against the will of their citizens when united." To Jeriah, he says "Cadfan was king of Gwynedd. Powys and Gwynedd merged by marriage in the 800s. I'm impressed you know of him though. And London has the right of it. I am assigned to WAND though I expect I'll work with the main SHIELD units as well."

Jemma takes the hint from Jeriah as he steps back and nudges Shep to go stand with him. Taking up the pistol, the biochem takes the safety off and waits for a target to appear. The targetting program that Jeriah installed some months ago goes active, giving her the cross hairs to help aim with.

Six shots hit the target. How well? They'll find out in a moment.

"SHIELD can do with the assistance. They're always so short resourced. Just watch out for the cats they've adopted." There's two at the moment. One will hopefully not be a cat for long though.

"The only Welsh prince I'm particularly familiar with is Llewellyn ap Gruffydd." Which is kind of impressive given that not many brits know that much Welsh history.

"WAND does a fair amount of that from what I hear. But that's good anyway. Sounds like they're perpetually short handed over there." Jeriah has no idea WHY, but he also doesn't really WANT to know why. It's one thing to know that the legends and campfire stories of the world are real in some fashion. It's quite another to have to dig into them and deal with them in the real world. And, he suspects, it's rather messy most of the time.

"Cats?" Jeriah quirks a brow. One cat he knows of. Other cats? He hopes what happened with May is not a regular thing.

"Oh I have an interest in the early Anglo-Saxon period of british history. But yes. Gwynedd." It's odd to the American, really, how much emphasis can be placed on bloodline in some parts of the world. He knows, objectively, that this is more normal than the New World state of affairs but it's still strange to his line of thinking.

"So how much of the legend do you think is real and how much do you think is the invention of an imaginative fifteenth century English author?"

"Yes, the last true Prince of Wales before the English conquest." Which does imply that the English aren't really their true rulers. But they'll serve for now."Well, SHIELD covers a lot more territory than the various British departments." Dylan notes. "Undoubtedly why they sent me over. Better to take care of problems before they reach British soil. And they know they can call on me should they need to." He falls silent as Jemma starts to aim and waits until she's finished before continuing. "Everything up until the final battle is true. It is also true that after it, Camelot disintegrated and the allies Arthur brought together fell back into their old way, the knights having been split over Lancelot and Guinevere. Apart from that, who can say for sure as no one witnessed it. I do know that belief in his return started shortly thereafter."

"Cats. Yes. Besas and May." Besas. Has Jeriah met Besas? Odds are that Dylan will sooner or later. Besas is friendly like that. "WAND seems to have a thing for a cats."

The target is bought forward as Jemma listens to the other two. She smiles when she see's it and holds it up for Jeriah to comment. Dylan can too. It's an improvement, right?

"Lancelot and Guinevere were true, then? You believe that?" The biochem considers all that. Poor Jeriah is getting chilvaric images as they float through Jemma's mind - She's forgotten the mute button again.

"That might just be wishful thinking. Things had supposedly taken a turn for the worse. People need something to believe in and why not the return of The King?" She's a scientist. She mentioned that, didn't she?

"Huh." Is Jeriah's more prosiac response. Not dismissive, mind. Just he's not sure entirely sure he has his mind wrapped around that. To his own thinking, his world is much less fantastical. Granted it is full of reverbium implants and semi-autonomous dog shaped weapons platforms so… he might be wrong about that.

"Interesting. How many others in MI13 have the same convictions, if I may ask? Is that your entire department or… something else?"

Cats make excellent familiars. "I know that." Dylan tells Jemma. "I possess my ancestor's memories and remember his life up to the day he died." Which probably answers Jeriah's question. "Arthur's body was never found and people looked for it immediately after. It was gone from the battlefield while all others lay where they fell. Spirited away by Merlin perhaps? Though he had disappeared before it all fell apart. As I said, I choose to believe he will return some day when we need him most. At the same time, I hope events are never so dire for us that our only salvation will be Arthur returning." He turns a hand palm up at Jeriah's question. Who can say. "Some believe, some do not. There are many traditions in Britain."

"You do?" Oh, now that's got Jemma's attention. "You remember all of that? Do you have trouble seperating the memories? How are they passed? Is it genetic or some form of process?" There goes the Jemma babble. "And is it just Cadfan's memories or all of your ancestors?"

"It's a nice thought that he might return. Not so nice that his return heralds a catastrophe."

She's wondering about the missing body though. There's a couple of reasons after all.

That's all rather a lot to take in, but Jeriah doesn't dismiss it out of hand. Parts of him are tempted to but, well, Shakespeare wasn't wrong when Hamlet said 'there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreampt of in your pholosophy.'

"Not bad Simmons. Ancestral memories sounds like it might get a bit cluttered, Agent Grey. Is that something unique to you or is it a family trait? If you don't mind my asking?"

It should be Grey's turn to shoot in a moment and Jeriah is quite curious how well the 'knight' keeps up his practice at arms.

"Cynan Garwyn was King of Powys." Dylan corrects Jemma. "Cadfan was king of Gwynedd, a neighboring kingdom. His memories are passed through his sword to those of his blood when they take possession of it. Only those of direct descent possess his power and may take up his artifacts." So he doesn't need to worry about usurpers it seems. He reaches for his hip and as he graps the hilt of the sword and begins to draw it, it and the sheath it is in become visible.

"Oh. My apologies. I was a little distracted and that was very rude of me." The biochem offers quietly. "It's better than I've managed until now, Jeriah." she hands the results over to Agent Thoms to process but is distracted again by the sword.

"The memories are passed through the blade? I don't suppose …." She hesitates before just diving in. "You'd let me examine that? See if there's some biochemical process that it uses?" Because magic is just science, as far as she's concerned.

"Oh wow… that's impressive."

Jeriah's brow quirks as he sees the sword. That is indeed impressive. Had it been hidden there the entire time? Or had it not even BEEN there the entire time?

Also, how is he going to qualify with a sword?

"Not everything is explainable by science." The hacker mutters to Simmons. They've actually had this conversation before but Simmons if nothing if not a committed scientist. And it would be hard for her to be other wise.

"Are you going to certify on that, Agent Grey?"

Dylan Grey gives Jemma a smile, having taken no offense. And it widens at her request. "You are welcome to examine it but it is sorcery not biochemistry." he assures her but then pauses a moment. "Although… The final step of the ritual was to plunge the blades into his body. I suppose it is possible that the magic infused the blades with some biochemical essence containing his skills, knowledge and power." he muses. "I'd be most interesting in seeing the results." He reverses the swird in his grip and sheathes it again, both it and the scabbard disappearing. "Oh, I've already qualified. I've trained in firearms from a young age. My grandfather was also an agent and planned for me to succeed him."

"Indeed he has, London." Agent Thoms answers. "And quite well too. Though the WAND weapon master will want to test your skill, Agent Grey. That will be addressed at some time soon, I'm sure." Thoms nods to the group and disappears for a moment. He'll be processing Jemma's results.

"How do you know that, Jeriah? If you don't try to find out, how do you know?" Yes, Jemma is a committed scientist and she's found a number of things they can use. She has also been just as confounded by some things, so there's that.

"Let me know when you can drop by the Lab, or just drop by. I'm normally there if I'm not in the field." There's a glance to Jeriah "Sometimes Mister grumpy is there as well…."

"Sounds… painful." And it may well have been or perhaps not. Magic is as magic does and it's so far out of Jeriah's wheelhouse that it's on another boat entirely.

"Because I read and I know that scientists are bad at explaining things." The hacker says, sticking his tongue out. "If that were not the case we would not have entire mountains of theory built upon molehills of evidence." Which is the case in physics, cosmology, certain types of chemistry and nearly anything else where there is a 'cutting edge' in the field. Even boring old Geology is built on guesswork that is every so often proven to be wrong and much more frequently simply proven to be unknowable.

"Well I'm sure that WAND will be happy for the help either way, Agent Grey. Have you stopped by there yet?" Jeriah has. Once. To deliver some papers. And it was so weird he hasn't gone back.

Dylan nods to Jemma. "Certainly. Watching will be fascinating. Extremely painful, Mister London. And fatal. It was his last act as king and his most ambitious sorcerous undertaking. He undertook it to safeguard his kingdom after his death." He glances off in the direction where WAND is situated in the Triskelion. "I have. This is part of my being certified as an agent on this side of the pond."

Thoms returns with Jemma's certifications "You're good to go, Agent Simmons. Keep up the good work and we should have you back on a regular certification schedule soon."

"It sounds … well yes, painful and fatal. But fascinating." Sometimes people need to remind her to be a little more … human.

"I shouldn't hold you up, Agent Grey. Now that I've certified, I've got things to do. Don't be a stranger at the lab, I like visitors." She smiles. But it seems they all have things to do.

"Welcome SHIELD."

"See you around, Agent." Jeriah says as he moves to a different shooting booth. He did come down here to get some practice and practice is what he is going to do. That 'dog' or 'weapon' or whatever it is looks at Dylan in a surprisingly lifelike fashion before turning to follow Jeriah.

Indeed they all have things to do. And indeed, the magical flavor of weirdness is just one of many.

"I surely will." Dylan assures Jemma. "A pleasure to meet you both." He gives them both a nod and Agent Thoms as well before turning and leave the firing range. He has other hoops to jump through before his day will be over.

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