2019-12-14 - It Was A Cloud


Hank brings samples of 'Terrigen' he's found to Jemma while Dylan does more investigation on the Gorgon

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sat Dec 14 21:03:29 2019
Location: Jemma's Lab

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Theme Song




Hank had mentioned he had something he wanted Jemma to look at and another SHIELD agent may be looking for her. The biochem is currently in her lab, this time with Christmas music playing. It sounds like an accapella mix.

"What do you think, Spot?" the biochem says to the holographic cat that is currently sitting 'Bast like' on the back of a huge robotic dog. "And you Shep? If we change this sequencing here …" She gestures to a 3D holographic and the chemical structure displays modifies slightly "… will that do the trick, do you think?"

Yes. Jemma is talking to … a holograph and a drone.

Dylan is indeed looking for Jemma and, as he's learning, the best place to find her is in her lab. "Agent Simmons." he greets as he steps in from the hall. "Do you… Oh, very cool. I've always thought about getting a familiar. A holographic cat would be splendid."

As it happens Hank DOES have something to chat about, he arrives in short order and is carrying a case with him, one of those nice metal ones with all the bio-seals, you know, for transporting super dangerous stuff? Yeah, that kind. Entering the lab, the man is also carrying a white bag that looks to be the sort one would find at a bake shop. "Hello Jemma…" He starts, then blinks as he sees Dyllan. "Ah…Agent Grey, good to see you again." A faint smile. "And I'm here to address those concerns you had, in a manner of speaking."

He turns back to Jemma, not at all phased by drone and holo-cat. "Have you eaten? Let me rephrase, when was the last time you did?"

"A familiar? Like witches have?" Jemma gives Dylan a puzzled look. "I'm not sure I'd call Spot a familiar but she is a friend and good company, as well as being a bit of a minder." The cat turns its head to watch as Dylan walks, standing and stretching as she does.

With a short leap, she lands on Jemma's workbench and walks over to peer more closely at the mage.

"She was a gift from a very dear friend…" the biochem says. "I'm afraid I don't have much more on that crystal, Agent Grey and the searches for Gorgon are taking while. Whoever they are, they're buried deep."

That's why Dylan would be here, right? Jemma's used to people dropping by, but normally to get an update on their work.

When Hank arrives, Jemma smiles "Hello Hank. I was just talking about you, in a way. You two know each other?" She glances between the mutant and the Agent. "And I ate about an hour ago, Spot wouldn't let me work till I did…"

Clearing a space on her workbench for the cannisters, the biochem gives them a curious look. "What present have you bought for me today?"

'Like witches have, yes. I don't actually need one." Dylan explains. "My method of magic doesn't really lend itself to needing a familiar. But I do like animals. Actually, I was wondering if you'd give me a hand calling up satellite pics of Staten Island. I"m not familiar with your equipment yet. And yes, we've met." He nods a greeting to Hank. "Actually, that reminds me. I had wanted to ask you if you knew anything about Terrigen but got distracted by everything else. Good to see you again, Doctor McCoy. How's your friend?"

"Indeed, we met on a field op, sort of. I had reported in and Dispatch felt I could use some backup, so he crashed a meet with my asset involved with Rising Tide." He shakes his head. "That almost set the meet pear shaped, but it is how I acquired the samples you see before you." He absolutely does not mention the fact that the Minder coding in Spot was his insert, though Jemma's certainly shrewd enough to suspect. He offers the bag. "Chocolate iced bavarian donuts from a bake shop I know of in Queens." And yes, he deliberately misinterprets the question. "Oh, you mean in the case? I managed to distill about six ounces of Terrigen from the contaminated samples that Skye had for me." A smile to Dylan. "I took them to my lab intending to condense the materials before coming here, actually."

Spot takes a step forward and nudges Dylan's hand. Like most cats, if ignored she wants attention. "Ah. Well, she's good company most of the time and I don't have to remember to feed her or be worried that I'm called away on mission and she'll have no one to care for her."

The request for the map is an easy one and without any gestures, the holographic model disappears to be replaced by a SHIELD satellite pic of the Island. "There you go. You use hand gestures, like most smart phones, to move the image around. Feel free…" she gestures to the image.

Now that Spot isn't on Sheps back, the robotic dog ticks ticks to the corner, turns in a circle and lays down, letting out the equivalent of a canine sigh when it does.

"Terrigen? Hank, you mentioned that yesterday too… There's not a lot known, really but SHIELD might know a little more than the general science community. To start with, there's some conjecture whether it's terrestrial or not. No one really knows where it came from. One thing we do know, if concentrated enough, it can cause terrible things to happen to humans. So where did these samples come from, exactly?"

Dylan moves his hand to scratch the cat but pauses since there's not actually anything there to scratch. "Umm." Ah. "Tal, want to manifest and meet Spot?" Dylan pulls his cell phone from his pocket and sets it down. A moment later, a crackling disturbance appears in the air above it and seems to peer at the hologram. "Electricity elemental." he explains. Since they're both energy, they should be well suited for each other. He lets them get acquainted as he looks at the map. "There must be a reason for the placement of the crystal." Reaching out, he marks each of the 5 spots then zooms out to get a better view from above to see if there are any patterns. "Whatever it is, it's not magical or I'd feel it."

Rising, Hank starts the tea to brewing, he knows his way about the lab clearly. "I'm glad you like her, Jemma." Hank says with a genuinely fond smile at the woman as he preps the tea. A glance to Dylan, and a quirked brow asks if he'll want any, once he knows that will adjust how much water is heated and the number of cups set out.

"My contact acquired samples of contaminated materials gathered by Paragon Investigations, they wanted her to deliver them to SHIELD, and so she contacted me instead, not knowing I had ties to SHIELD. When Agent Grey showed up that was revealed and she was not happy, but…I think she might be a good candidate for recruitment, she's got the paranoid mentality down pat, probably good spy material and an excellent hacker."

Hank can't help but stare at the electro-elemental, eyes avid with curiousity. "Crystal?" He asks.

The cat arches as the elemental appears, hissing a little to begin with. Then she circles and peers, batting a paw at it. They'll be at this a while.

Taking the bag of donuts from Hank, Jemma sets them out on a plate as the man makes the tea. "Feel free, Agent. And I do Hank. With Jeriah and her, and Kelly, life is bearable."

One day, she might explain what that all means.

When Dylan zooms out, he can draw lines between them. Triangles of course. Well, one full one and part of one that overlaps. With the two that they found in the centre of it.

"Six ounces isn't much. Terrigen has been known to contaminate a number of things. A few years back, a concentration was found in the air in the Himalaya's. The only reason it was found was because a seismic disturbance had been recorded and we went to investigate. The first agent in, was a casualty. After that, the Science team went in with environmental suits. Not that it lasted long - it dissipated quickly enough."

"I'm sure you've heard the conjecture in our circles, Hank." With a glance to Dylan, Jemma adds "An unknown substance, that we couldn't get a large sample of."

"Please." Dylan tells Hank. Some tea would be marvelous. "Crystal?" he inquires. What? "Her? An agent? That seems rather unlikely, given her opinions of authority. Any authority." Looking over the selection of donuts, he takes a moment then picks out a chocolate glazed with a creme filling. "So now you've a large sample of it. Relatively speaking. What's your interest in it, aside from wanting to know what it is and why it was found in the Himalayas?"

Hank nods, and preps three teas, the good British stuff, nothing less would be available in Jemma's lab! Hank peers at Jemma a moment, about the bearable thing, and will ask later when he can be assured some privacy with his friend. He actually likes Dylan, but he doesn't KNOW Dylan yet. So, he moves slowish.

"No, six ounces is not a lot, but it is what I could isolate and extract from the samples I was given, and it is far more than any other samples I've heard of. Granted, I don't have the contacts and resource SHIELD does, but it is enough to run a couple tests on."

He nods about the theory it might not be terrestrial in origin. "Actually, I think it might be a mutagen. I have a patient I've been working on who experienced something similar to the cloud event, and ended up in a chrysalis. When she emerged she had powers." Hank rubs his chin. "I'd like to see your data on the Himalayas events, see if there's more than superficial commonality, but if so it would suggest that some people exposed to the stuff are changed."

He looks to Dylan. "That's my interest, a patient came to me seeking guidance, she was brought by an acquaintance. I want to see if this is related, see what it is does and why, and see how it is that Paragon Investigations came to have contaminated samples. My contact Skye also made mention of Terrigen…so…"

"I think he's asking about the Crystal I mentioned, Agent Grey. The one that you showed me an image of." Jemma answers. It's not unlike this when they start working - multiple topics, interweaving together. "Agent Grey found a crystal, a couple of them actually, in Staten Island and was asking me to do some research into them. I'm trying but I know he has contacts down there who might have more information …" Still, the biochem hasn't forgotten after all.

"I'll get you what I have." Jemma agrees with Hank, pulling Dylans map to the side, she pulls up the data in another window.

There's the chemical structure of what they got from the air. The details on the agent that died.

"Oh, those crystals. I thought you meant ones involved with this Terrigen." Yes, multiple topics can be confusing. Leaving his phone on the counter, Dylan reaches over and flips through the gallery till he finds the crystal. Tapping the screen, he flicks his fingers upwards and it's projected above the phone. "That one. Magical and enchanted to alter those within its field into a medieval version of themselves. Two have been recovered, three are still out there."

"Yes, that." Hank agrees. He knows how Jemma takes her tea, and he knows how he takes his own of course, so then he looks to Dylan. "Lemon? Creme? Sugar?" Once he's told what, the tea is prepared and he returns to the others to deliver their cups and sets his own down as well as he dons his visor - transforming his reading glasses as he presses them to his face, and then opens a data feed to Jemma's airgapped computer system. "Here's the data I have acquired so far in process of distilling the sample."

He then projects his own model of the molecular structure of the substance, and is not terribly surprised when they're very much the same. Like to several decimal places the same.

Hank frowns faintly as he considers the crystals' purpose. "Why?" That's the hundred dollar question! "Why transform people like that?"

"So you found this data on a patient of yours?" Jemma frowns as the sample is shared. "What do you know about them? Is there anything unusual? You said mutagen, I take it they … are a mutant or similar?"
urning to Dylan, Jemma explains, highlighting parts on the model that's showing. "This is the sample from the cannisters. And this is the sample from Hanks patient. So similar. So …"

"It's a good question. And the next one, Hank. Was it meant to or is it a side effect?"

Dylan takes his tea without anything in it so just lets it steep for the moment. He looks curiously at the molecular model but, unsurprisingly, it means less than nothing to him. "To bring back the good old days, one could assume. While I sympathize with the goal, that ship has sailed unfortunately. But that's just conjecture and we have no real information." Turning back to Jemma, he asks "So do those crystal locations mean anything? I don't mean mystically; does SHIELD have anything on those addresses?"

"Well, not as such, my patient described lead up events very similar to what you mentioned in the Himalaya's event, only in her case she went through some sort of metamorphosis while encased in some sort of chrysalis, alas, it melted and she had no samples. Still, there's trace amounts of the same stuff, this 'Terrigen' in her bloodstream as well, and signs that the substance effected broad spectrum physiological changes that seem consistent with mutation, but I don't have enough data to be sure of that, so it is conjecture with some evidence to support it, at present."

Dylan's tea is delivered. "I have no idea." About the reasons or whether the effect was the goal, or a twist.

Dylan's answer about the good old days furrows Hank's brow again. And he looks at the sites on the map grid to see if he knows anything about them of interest, after all, he has sources that SHIELD doesn't — very different from the intelligence agency's sources, if not as far reaching.

"Good question." Jemma says to Dylan "The SHIELD databases are showing that this one, near the North side of the island, is a known Gang location." She shakes her head at the others. "The others appear to be businesses mostly but nothing that's known about them. I'll give the data that we have, maybe the owners have some connection to the Gang but maybe your Staten Island contacts have something."

"What old days though, Agent Grey?" Jemma ponders, frowning at Hanks information. "So no X-Gene, Hank? Just a trace of the terrigen in her system and her description of what happened. Hmmmm."

"How long ago did you patient experience this, Hank and where?"

Dylan can only shrug at the question. "Not enough information to answer that. Or even to know if it's accurate. It could just be a way to sow chaos. The Fair One, understandably, is rather bitter about what humans and their encroaching technology have done to their homes. And unlike the the animal species' going extinct because of it, they have some means to fight back. Whether it's just revenge though is impossible to say. Probably not as there are easier ways to do that." As for the terrigen, he just listens with interest.

"I have nothing." Hank admits looking at the map points and zooming in on the addresses. His eye color masked by the amber lenses of his visor, Hank is definitely interested in what's going, and yes, he does keep an eye on the 'getting to know you' perambulations of Holo-Kitty and Lightning Elemental.

A moment to shake his head. "Mm? Oh, no, definitely no X-Gene, and her description and the traces in the samples I took. In a way it reminded me of the transmog serum, but the similarities are far from conclusive."

Hank looks thoughtful. "I don't actually know the exact date, but it was during a party, a cloud rolled in from the sea, she was in chrysalis for 72 hours or so, and then emerged with her new powers. She was baseline human prior, so far as she can recall. I have no samples from pre-terrigen exposure, so I can't be sure of even that."

"Your issue, Agent Grey, is a conundrum. You might be onto something about them fighting back or maybe they're trying to manifest something else. I know that WAND is currently investigating an interdimensional invasion, why not another? It is Christmas after all."

Jemma is being a little cynical and she smiles to indicate that she knows it. The businesses that are provided to Dylan are interesting - one has a greek name and another a celtic origin.

"Have you ever come across anything like this with MI-13, Agent Grey? The Terrigen, I mean. Hank, I meant roughly when. During the last couple of weeks? A year or so?" Jemma chuckles.

"A chrysalis?" Dylan asks. "Like with a butterfly? Interesting. I can't think of any legends or myths involving those off hand. Nothing western anyway and my knowledge of other traditions isn't anywhere near as complete. But it does seem likely that there's no occult involvement in it. Never ran into anything like it with MI-13." Studying the map, he muses "The gallery I found the second one had both Greek and Celtic artifacts. Japanese too. Wonder if there's a connection there. "Agent Simmons, can you look deeply into all those business and see if they have any common ties?"

"Agent Grey, if there's anything I can do to help, let me know. If nothing else I make an excellent meatshield." Hank IS fairly durable, after all. "I honestly don't know the exact time frame, but it was likely around the time that Miss Marvel made the scene in Jersey City, I'll get back to you on that, Jemma." He nods then. "The cloud also made some of the other guests at the party ill, though no fatalities."

He nods to Dylan. "Yes. A chrysalis, apparently rocky until she emerged, then it melted away." He listens to the assessment, relieved a bit that magic isn't likely part of the equation.

He finally eats one of the donuts, and sips at his tea while she is asked about the businesses. "Celtic, Greek and Japanese…that's an odd mix."

"I can, Agent Grey, but I do have other things that I'm working on. It will take me a while. Send the information to Oracle and ask them - with a link to Staten Island they would have a better in there." Jemma offers a smile. Neither of them men can fail to notice she's looking tired.

"If you get me the time frames, we can check the meteorological reports for the time and see where the cloud came from. That might help. But Hank, it looks like we have another mystery to solve. Or at least be aware of. It doesn't seem to be an immediate threat and we do have immediate threats to deal with."

"Since you vouch for them." Dylan agrees. He's a bit leery about working with unknown vigilantes (as opposed to known ones) but since they've worked some with SHIELD, he's willing to give it a shot. "And you should get some rest. And not on the couch. Go home and sleep." He knows her type.

"Agreed, and we have the samples of Terrigen to study, but agreed." Hank frowns when he realizes just how tired Jemma is. "Don't make me initiate Spot's 'Nag to Sleep' mode." So yes, Hank admits he put the minder routines in it. He does rise, and hands Jemma a thumb drive. "The data I uploaded." Just to make sure she has a backup. "I've sent to Skye to get in touch to see if we can meet about the hacker who'd been killed. No reply yet, I'll keep you looped in."

Jemma just nods at the instructions. She won't tell them that sleeping is difficult - too many nightmares or disturbed images when she sleeps. "It's a cot, Agent Grey, not a couch." Is added with a pale smile.

Taking the thumb drive from Hank, Jemma glances over to Spot and Taliesan. The feline is laying with it's paws in front, ears perked forward as the elemental hovers in front of it. Don't move Taliesan, Spot may pounce.

"I'll get you what I can, Agent Grey, but the Bats are known to SHIELD." Vigilantes, working outside the law, but one does what one must when the world is threatened. "If there's nothing more, I thought I might get bite to eat in the Cafeteria. You're both welcome to join me."

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