2020-03-15 - Disaster Hounds


Plans are laid to deal with the freaky 'hounds' that nearly killed Hank and Domino in the Disaster Zone. Many heartstrings plucked.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Mar 15 21:15:15 2020
Location: RESCUE Campus

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Theme Song



It has been a few fairly tense hours since Domino and Hank were recovered by a concerted effort by RESCUE and all the other alphabet soup parts of the company. Beast was himself in pretty good shape, though he did need to have his collarbone rebroken and then set anew. Sometimes a healing factor can be a bit of a pain! Then he spent about an hour in the shower, and almost two after getting /thoroughly/ ungrimed, he was a MESS. Fur matted with blood, and other substances he doesn't even want to ponder.

Domino's condtion is a bit more serious…numerous cuts, several bite marks, a veritable cornucopia of bruises including a half dozen or so on various bones. What's miraculous is how she managed, somehow, NOT to break anything.

Once the base treatment was done, once Hank has cleaned up, he heads to Dom's room in the Wellspring and so they can all debrief when she wakes.

Looking MUCH more himself, Hank is wearing his reading glasses, and working with a tablet in his feet, and another in his hands as he waits tucked away in the corner of the room where he won't be in anyone's way as they wait.

There are other doctors who work for RESCUE; not many, but Veronica Kelsey is not the only one. That being said, all of those other doctors work for her. So once she is done dealing with Hank - for some reason, Roni rather fiercely declared she would be the only one to treat Hank's condition - Roni rolled over to Neena's room, and she has been there ever since, going over her treatment, her scans, and her situation. She has not treated Domino herself, but she has made absolutely sure that she has received the best treatment available. They can't just make bruises disappear, but they can flush the cells and speed up their recovery. And a low-dose analgesic is tamping down the pain now that they have concluded her concussion risk is minimal - that damned Luck again.

When Hank comes ambling inside, Roni is in the corner in her chair, a tablet in her lap, flipping through various scans and record charts, all from Domino's medical records. "She's fine. She has been complaining almost non-stop, and not about pain, so it's Neena's usual." Or at least what Veronica takes to be Neena's usual after almost a decade of working with Ava.

That could be a mistaken assumption. But it's still there.

It isn't that Neena's ungrateful per se to be getting free state of the art medical care but she sure has odd ways of showing it. Whereas with Hank down in the tunnels she may have rolled her eyes or had some snarky remarks here and there, everything changes once they're at the Wellspring. She's gone all cold and distant, not going so far as to disobey anyone but clearly not enjoying being told what to do. Actual treatment is met with some resistance. The general feeling is that she wants to get out of there just as quickly as she can.

And yeah, Roni had to deal with some less than grateful commentary along the way.

When Hank strolls into the room Neena seems to take that as a cue to sit upright, looking like she's ready to up and disconnect herself from anything wiring her down to walk on out of the room. "Yep. That's me."

There's a particular degree of defiance which comes from her where medical aid is involved. At least she had a chance to clean up. Battered as she is, she can at least feel more human..mutant..about it.

When somebody tried to let Hisako know that Hank was trapped, and later when he was successfully rescued, the messages went to voice mail (if by phone) and were not immediately returned.

At least until this morning. Hisako's return call was a short and simple, "This is Ichiki, I'm on my way," before she was out the door of the Institute. And then it was a matter of heading into New York City, as quickly as public methods of transportation would allow for, with the possible boosts of people headed in the same general direction.

So, as close to "soon afterwards" as trains and buses allow, Hisako shows up at the door of Neena's room, two small bouquets of flowers nestled in the crook of her left elbow, freeing up her right hand to rap her knuckles lightly on the doorframe. "May I come in?" she asks - still looking worried, but if Hank's not in his *own* room to recover, logically, he's not in that bad a condition.

Io sticks her head in, looking very much like she just crawled out of an engine. Which, possibly may just be the case. Her clothes for once are a pair carhardt overalls with a stained white undershirt. The clothes are just as grimey as her arms, hands, and face.

"Hey, I'm headed to Big Belly Burgers. Anyone want anything?"

If she's clued into what's happened, she's not showing it.

"I would, but I am currently not allowed to eat anything substantive for fear it'll come up again." says a slightly irritable voice from behind Io as Toni squeezes past her. The stitches on her head ar still visible, though the bandages at least are off at this point. Still, she looks like she took a baseball bat to the side of the head, and the undercut on the side of her head was not intended to be stylish. Yet she pulls it off somehow. Maybe it's the purple color.

"Maybe a small fry though should be safe." she hedges, nodding to everyone as she walks over to look down at Neena, crossing her arms.

Ah. Someone finally read the emails from Posse and Roni, it seems, concerning side jobs and contractors. "Sit. You get up, Roni will probably neural dart you and put you back to bed. What you get for her getting attached."

She doesn't necessarily sound upset by this idea, but it's hard to tell with Toni when she closes off a bit. But she's here, at least.

Hank really didn't need much care, but to have Roni herself do the break and reset, that's something he notes. Something he'll remember. And then the rather fastidious Hank McCoy /needs/ to get cleaned up before the 'ick' kills him.

A smirk is offered to Domino as she starts to rise. "I really would not recommend that, Neena." He settles in that out of the way corner of the room, and smiles to Roni when she returns and takes up station. After a moment, he offers the tablet in his feet to the other scientist. "I've been working on a thermo-reactive polymer, it holds whatever is encased in it at the same temperature, at least in theory, indefinitely." On the screen is a very complex chemical model. "I was thinking it might be a worthy contribution to operations here."

Eyes of yellow track to Hisako, and he offers a toothy smile. "Hello Hisako-Chan." He greets the girl, truly, he looks fine, the only sign of injury at all a bandage at his throat. Which Roni would know is /odd/. The thing just is not recovering any faster than a normal person might, a bite. The weird part? There's no reason for it. No scientific reason.

Of course poor Domino is not looking nearly so well.

Io's offer is met with Hank tossing her a debit card. "If you're flyin' I'm buyin. I'll take two double bacon buster burgers with a fried egg on top, curly fries, onion rings and a chocolate shake please, anyone else - my dime, get what you like and thank you, Io."

He snickers at Toni's commentary, well aware that Roni /would/ dart the girl if she felt it needed.

Might even be cathartic!

"Neena, I realize you are not comfortable here. But you are not well, yet, and I need a bit more time to verify some findings, for your sake and Hank's, before I release you." Veronica answers. "I would appreciate it if I did not have to - as so crudely put - dart you, to get you to stay." But she does not draw out a dart pistol, or raise her voice. Just a caring doctor's genuine tone of voice as warning.

"I think you are recovered enough to eat, Toni. I would just rather your first meal wasn't greasy carbs." Roni offers her partner. "But, you are a grown woman, and I have a stomach pump. Do as you wish." Was that acceptance? Or a threat? So confusing! The only serious clue is that she doesn't address Io's offer at all herself.

"Glad to see you could make it, Hisako. Sorry to have worried you. Maybe next time I'll send one of the Overwatch teams with a car for you. Please, come in. The pollen won't affect them."

Food? Neena hears a call for food. "Big freaking cheeseburger, right here" she calls out with a hand held up. Hank's order has her soon amending her own, "Also with fried egg." It's the most she's had to contribute in any conversational sense since getting brought back to the campus.

The idea of food is great but the idea of freedom is going to have to wait. Her room seems to be a popular location all of a sudden! She's also being Toni-blocked. A choice curse rolls beneath Dom's breath before muttering "This again…"

Dom doesn't have the energy to work out a third apology and there is just -no way in hell- that she's going to attempt any such feat in front of an audience, so… Toni wins. As does Hank. And Roni. The albino's looking like a bowstring ready to loose but she twists her busted self back onto the bed, looking none too pleased about it.

Despite all of the people in the room it's the window overlooking the courtyard which holds the albino's attention above all else.

The offer of a trip to Big Belly Burgers actually gets Hisako to stop and consider. "I didn't stop for breakfast, and it *is* more 'lunch' time now, isn't it …"

Hank places his order, and the Japanese girl gives him a wry look. "I thought you liked being alive and un-hospitalized?" she asks dryly. But then, who eats hamburgers for the sake of good health? "One bacon cheeseburger - non-Buster - with lettuce, tomato, and mustard; regular fries, bring some mustard for them, and a brownie. I'll grab juice or water from downstairs."

That said, she hands one bouquet to Hank, and lays another bouquet on Neena's bedside table. They aren't that big - both length-wise and width are fairly modest - but Hisako didn't want to go big, and didn't need to. Both bouquets have bluebells and daffodils, and a few four-leaf clovers peek out amongst the larger blossoms. Not the tiny shamrocks most people think of in connection with that phrase, either, but larger, more visible leaves.

"So, who were you rescuing?" wonders Hisako as she settles into a seat, nodding thanks to Veronica. "I appreciate that, Doctor, thank you. Hopefully it won't be necessary."

"Alright. Got the orders in. I'll be back in a few, heading to pick them up." Io lifts her hand in a means of goodbye, as if either it were the most common thing in the world for her to see people bed-ridden after injuries or as if she simply hadn't noticed or it hadn't registered on her radar as 'something different is going on'. The temporary grease-monkey adds, "Bring 'em back up to you before I start working on the new vehicle again."

Then, unless otherwise stopped, she's headed out to grab the deliveries. Luckily the place is only a few blocks away, so she shouldn't be gone long.

Toni lets out a faint snort. "Un-hospitalized doesn't seem like a thing for us lately." she grumps a bit. "Also, if I'm cleared for some regular food, I'm sure I"m good enough to head back to my lab and finish cleaning it up and get back to work. I have servo systems to balance." Which explains some of the mood, if she's been banned from working while she recovers.

Either way, she doesn't seem to be wanting to get into it with Neena either…perhaps she just wanted to let her know she knows now? Either way, she stops looming somewhat, walking over to lean against a wall as she nods to Hisako as she sets the flowers down. "Thanks for coming by." she says, starting to reach up then visibly restraining herself from scratching at the stitches. She's pretty sure Roni was only joking about her wearing a cone if she didn't stop, but she wouldn't put it past her. "It's annoying but it won't take long and then you hopefully won't have to be back for a while." she grumbles at Neena. "Just put up with it for a bit more. No one wants you healing poorly or missing something that'll get you sick later." So…did she just admit she's worried about her?

Hank smells his bouquet, so he knows that Hisako picked and arranged them, a few moments to remember the meanings of the flowers in Hanakotoba, and he smiles up to the girl. "Arigato gozaimasu, Hisako." Bluebells for 'grateful', the daffodils for 'respect', and the four leaf clover naturally enough for 'lucky'. A grin at the teasing from Hisako, and then he shrugs. "Man's gotta eat." Is all he says.

Once the food order is placed, Hank does call out after Io. "Might need your hackery-mastery when you get back." And then he focuses on the room and the people inside it. "So…I would like to talk some things over with you, this first part to Toni and Roni. I would like to sign on as part of the team. I owe you a great deal, again and again you've been there for me, and I want to give back but more importantly I believe in the core ideals that you stand for. It was perhaps foolish of me to want to go it alone, and the BioGen incident only underscored that, so…there's that." He then swipes the tablet left and then right, flinging over his resume to the ladies respective systems.

"Second…I think we need to look into the events leading our present situation. I had spotted some sightings of these 'hounds', plotting the locales and times I concluded there were two, possibly three. Grid search pattern found them, and honestly if Domino was not there the 'matron' would have likely killed me." He looks to Domino. "So…we need to learn about the contract you took, not rebuking…I just feel you were sent in without adequate intel, under false pretenses and we need to find out who was behind it, and where these creatures came from."

He looks to Toni and Roni. "Were the bodies recovered? Analysis might be called for."

Veronica does not immediately respond to Hank's offer to join RESCUE; it's not that she has no opinion, but that as a professional and a leader, she has to present a united, unconfused front. That means coordinating her messaging with her partners, so there will be a discussion behind closed doors before she responds to the offer. "Thank you, Hank. I promise, we will look over this and get back to you quickly." Yep. That's it.

On the rest? "We did not grab the bodies. It's the Disaster Zone, and we did not know what they were or why we should be interested." RESCUE was not part of his research that led to his mission, so she has no idea yet about the attacks, the lost children, or anything else. Explain it, and RESCUE would likely be all-in. But they are not yet. "If we need them, we would have to send another team into the Zone to retrieve them. And if the threat was that great, and someone tried to set up Neena to be killed, then I think we should go heavy, not light."

Something peculiar happens seconds after Hisako places one of the bouquets beside Neena. At first it's like she doesn't notice at all, but give it a count of three and she turns to look at the offering. Another moment later and it's Hisako who receives the mercenary's full attention. Something's changed in her demeanor, the edge dulled and the tension eased. To say that she's left speechless would only describe part of what's going through the lady.

"Thanks" she offers in a much more subdued voice. There might even be a trace smile lurking in her!

Toni's comments aren't missed, either. Dom's eyes fall closed as she gently rubs the bridge of her nose. If nothing else she takes a moment to explain "It's not you guys" in regards to her aggressive behavior. It's the bare minimum she owes the medical staff for being given the attitude.

Back to the flowers she looks, is that..? Some consideration is given before she reaches toward it and removes one of those four leaf clovers with surprising delicateness, focusing instead upon the thoughtful little discovery now held between a thumb and finger.

She honestly looks at peace. Happy, even.

Hank's desire to sign up full time with the team seems to pass her by without notice. It isn't her place to decide, though there's no sign of her being opposed to the thought.

As soon as he mentions the hounds her attention returns to the discussion at hand. "They never do" is darkly muttered about never having all of the intel prior to going into a job. "I was told there was -one.- Not two and a bigass livid mother."

The clover is slowly twirled about in her fingers as she explains "A guy named 'Chalk' held the mark but there's no way he's behind it. Guy's little fish, just a go-to for a quick fix. Upshot is that he should be easy to 'persuade' if you want to dig deeper. A hundred bucks says he'll cave in five minutes if you're doing it right."

Hisako's immediate and direct question - who was being rescued - doesn't get a direct answer, but as she listens to what the others are saying, she puts some of the pieces together. 'Bodies' that weren't recovered suggests that the rescue itself was a failure … not exactly a cheering thought, when you get right down to it. The mention of 'hounds' casts a bit of light on what anyone needed to be rescued *from*, possibly - or at least illuminates a sense of what the threat in question is, what's going on.

And none of it sounds especially good.

Neena's gratitude seems to surprise Hisako a little bit; she hasn't seen Neena show much more than a brusque, business-ready mercenary aspect so far, at least in the Japanese girl's presence. But Hisako smiles, inclining her head politely, and says, "You're welcome," before turning her attention back to the more business-oriented discussion.

"So, when you say 'hounds' … regular if big dogs? Something larger? Something … well, not entirely canid, or lupine, or whatever?" Hisako inquires, looking around at the others. If Hank's looking to sign on with RESCUE full-time - whether for research's sake, or something less lab-focused - maybe she needs to look into extending her internship past strictly architectural study … Not, mind you, that Hank needs *her* help in the field; he's been doing this since possibly before Hisako was born, never mind since before they met.

"I'm mostly wondering if they're natural, engineered, or magical. The former is interesting, not every day you find a cryptid. Magic, hell if I know. Engineered, I'd wonder if it was AIM or the guys in the power armor who felt they needed to close off a loose end." She cocks her head, glancing at Neena. "Though I don't know your past adventures, so not sure if there are others who might be interested in that as well. My impression is you do the job and you're a mushroom fed shit and kept in the dark about what was going to happen though, so it's not like you'd know anything that could bother them overly. Unless they got annoyed with you shoothing them." she says, wrinkling her nose.

"My other concern is that these things might be breeding in the tunnels. IN which case, they're going to become a danger wherever those tunnels turn up, even outside of the Disaster Zone. Most of them have been sealed, but there are breaks all over the place, some big enough for creatures like that to get into the wider city.

Hank morphs his glasses into 'visor mode', and then projects a holographic screen on the air. An emitter array at the join at the bridge of his nose projecting it. "Ah, forgive me, I omitted key details. These creatures have been sighted, and have attacked people, the most recent attack leaving a six-year old girl an orphan, and missing an arm below the elbow." This said through a clenched jaw and with raised hackles. "I believe, based on scent and visuals that these creatures are bioengineered, but my belief is not corroborated by anything more than a gut feeling. What IS certain is that they are dangerous, intelligent for animals, pack hunters and man eaters. If they are more numerous than we know, they represent a potentially serious problem." A firm nod. "Very heavy." He half growls, hackles still raised.

Neena's relaxing, the shift in her scent at the gift of the flowers actually helps Hank recover, it gives him a moment to chill a bit. A nod as the Combat Oreo answers the contract related questions. "So, you were sent in to a situation that might well kill you. Do you think that other mercs were booked too?" That would make sense, then if Dom failed there were others to take up the slack, though it could also have been an open contract, which is a whole different kind of mess. He rubs at his chin, thoughtfully. "Do you know where to find this 'Chalk' person?"

A nod to Hisako. "Canid base, but unfurred, their hide covered with spiky projections, the hide was thick and capable armor. Very strong. Very fast. Aggressive and cunning both." And then to Toni as well. "We /decidedly/ must find the source. That's got to be a high priority if people agree. First step is to find this 'Chalk', find out what he knows, and then plan next steps after that - thoughts?"

On the screen he shows various data points, the sightings with time stamps, images of a hound, 3D renders that are very life-like, the pattern he followed to search, pictures of attack scenes, though mercifully no images of the actual bodies - just a note that the human remains were partially consumed. There's a brief image of the little girl, a still from before the attack. Short black hair in a bob, bright and lively brown eyes, a smile with a gap between her two front teeth.

"Miss Niven might be our best hope to find Chalk.


Here Veronica does not wait. This is not about a business decision; this is about crisis management. "Let's get all of this data uploaded immediately. Hank, I am going to need an introduction to that girl and her legal guardians ASAP, as well as her doctors." And already she is snapping into motion, jotting down notes rapidly on the tablet in her lap, which is no longer on medical charts for combat oreos.

"I'll speak with Posse as soon as we are done here, get a team rolling heavy to the scene to pick up the bodies of the hounds." Assuming they have not been whisked away. "And I will make sure she is informed of the potential risk for additional hound attacks, or mercenary interference." Roni stares at the image of the girl again … and something very hard and angry forms in her eyes.

"Neena." Veronica almost growls. "I know you are already on a contract. I need to ask you to consider dropping that contract to accept one with us. You do not have to say yes. But I am going to ask. And I think you know me well enough to know it will not hurt your bank balance to agree to my terms."

Then Hisako gets the doctor's attention. "Hisako, you need to finish signing the last of your paperwork. I want you covered under our health plans immediately. We can work out compensation and transportation later. Whenever you are ready."

To her partner, Roni eyes the purple-haired asian woman. "You are not going to want to stay behind. But the Patriot is not ready. Your repairs from the Ukraine are not finished. I would prefer you stayed here, ran Ops, and continued recovering." Beat. "But I'm wishful, not stupid. Please be careful."

"Not sure if they were mutant, engineered, alien or what," Domino answers Hisako's question about the dogs. "Whatever they were it wasn't anything I had seen before. Like a cross between a German Shepherd and a -dinosaur.-" As Hank puts up a projection she motions toward it with an upward tick of her head, frowning slightly as she gets another look at them. One which isn't a quick glance before the critter is springboarding right for her face. "Cuddly little bastards, aren't they" she dryly suggests.

Toni's summary of a merc's life has Dom dipping her head and pointing toward the other lady. "We don't get a lot of respect anywhere you look. We're the disposable task-doers. Got an ugly job? Slap a big enough paycheck onto it and wait for someone to nibble. If we had all of the deets going in then most of these jobs would get turned down, a lot of us aren't -that- crazy. At the very least I would have packed a Light Fifty instead of a Remmy SBS." She shrugs carefully. "And a four hundred percent pay increase."

Back to Hank, she suggests a counter-thought. "It could have been that I was singled out because someone out there knows I'm good for the tough runs. There's no telling if anyone else was given similar work. Getting some answers from that pasty grease stain is a solid first step."

Another gentle nod soon follows. "I'm not at a hundred percent. If you think Io can get it done then put her on it. That's our quickest option."

Veronica's tone has completely shifted into 'go' mode. Maybe it's Hisako's gift which puts Neena in the right frame of mind to actually pay attention instead of dig in her heels yet again. The sales pitch is offered..but the albino has a sly grin about her. "As it turns out the last job's been completed..three times over. You've got yourself a merc."

It might seem curious that after having just complained about never having all of the details that she's now blindly accepting one without having ANY of the details up front. Could be that she's starting to trust this crew!

True to her word, Io isn't gone long at all. She comes back with several large bags, apparently having gotten a few extra burgers and fries - just in case, or for noms later on while she's working. She keeps one bag for herself, and passes the other bags around with her still very-grubby mechanic hands.

She sits down, and with said unwashed hands begins to peel back the burger wrapper - and a few moments later a small mechanized cart 'drives' itself into the room with a bevy of drinks. Io asks, "Anything interesting going on? Been working on the garage for a bit. Prepping it up so I can take care of the vehicle once I get it."

"If they're breeding under the Disaster Zone …" Hisako trails off, looking at Hank's holograms of the 'hounds' as the expression on her face turns serious, and worried. There are people who still *live* in the Disaster Zone, for lack of acceptance or affordable rent or any of a dozen other reasons. They might have to pretty much physically uproot what's left of the city infrastructure to dig the hounds out entirely, *if* this is as bad as it might be.

She'll take time to pray that it isn't. Later.

Dr. Kelsey's mention of finishing paperwork draws a nod from the Japanese girl, "Understood. If HR's open today, I'll go there after I'm done visiting with Hank and -" She pauses, glancing at the mercenary in the bed. "Is it okay to just call you 'Neena'?"

Io arrives as Hisako's finishing that question, and the Japanese girl smiles, accepting her bag from Io. "Correction, after we're done eating. Thank you for going out of your way. As to what you missed … finding out what tried to kill one of my favorite teachers, although 'why' is still bugging me."

Toni just watches the picture, nodding absently to Io as she returns, her eyes narrowing. She doesn't make an immediate move to retrieve her fries, though from the tight expression she's wearing, those more used to her moods will understand:

Toni is very, very pissed off at the moment.

"I'll get my armor working if needed. Or something suitable. We need to draw them to a central location. Pheremones from the matron, perhaps. Hunting them in the tunnels will take too long, they'll attack others. We can send the humblebees in but we still might not be able to respond quickly if they do find them. They probably have a lair. Or several." She's purely into analysis mode at this point. "Sonic weapons tuned correctly should disable them, if they have canine hearing, or pepper gas grenades. We'll just have to keep them from running."

From Toni's tone, she's not interested in any escaping. One way or another.

It seems apparent that Hank is looking at more than one screen, though only one is being projected, his fingers dart out into the open air, typing, and then a nod to Veronica. "Uploaded…the girl's name is Kelli Lindstrom, she's currently at the Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital." The 5th avenue address appears on the visible screen, along with her room number. "She has no surviving family, next of kin…appears to be her paternal Uncle Desmond, in New Orleans. Unknown if he's been contacted." A frown at a /third/ focal point. "Ah…he might not be the best 'guardian', criminal record includes a history of domestic violence and drug abuse. Currently an inmate at Orleans Parish Prison awaiting trial for posession with intent to sell, and assault charges."

Hank just does not have the ability to understand why anyone would choose to live as as merc. It is so…nebulous, but, he is trying not to judge. In truth part of his reason for wanting to join up with RESCUE is to keep an eye on the Hellbino, she's making great strides, but…he isn't totally convinced she's going to make the cut and he wants to be there if things go pear shaped. Again. He's truly TRULY hoping he's wrong. "That's a fair point, even so, they should have at least hinted there might be more than one." A mmph at the Io solution. "I'm a gifted hacker, SHE'S a virtuoso. There's no question Io'll get faster results and better." He assures Neena…and then blinks, how did he /know/ that? It is a very brief thing, and then he moves on.

"Ah, speak of the devil and she shall appear, Hello Io." He claims his mountain of food, a happy rumble emanating that he's not even aware of. "Thank you for getting the food." The Cyberpath will surely sense the three screens Hank is projecting from his visor, two of them only on his HUD but still visible to HER senses, she also can 'see' the holographic keyboard he's using. "We need you to help us find a criminal named 'Chalk', Neena can provide details about him. Can do?" Hank seems absolutely certain she can.

Hank's jaw has yet to unclench, he does NOT like the Hound Situation at all, and yeah, hackles are /very much/ raised. "They need to be dealt with, Hisako." He eats with a lively appetite, and if he's a bit more savage with the bites, can anyone blame the man?

Seeing and more importantly -smelling- the rage cocktail in the room has Hank emitting a low level growl, deeper than the human ear can hear, but still there. "If you'll accept aid, perhaps we might help?" With the armor.

No, Hank is not up for escapees either. Not. Even. A. Little.

"I am not letting that little girl be sent to live in … that." Veronica didn't even realize she was saying those words aloud. Oops. Clearly her emotions are engaged. That's not a good thing.

Except when it is.

But for this very moment, Roni will put the question of what to do for the child on the secondary burner. It needs to percollate until she finds the right solution. Where to find good parents for the child? There are professionals that struggle with such questions every day, and she has never tried, so she's not jumping.

"Io, I know you are part time. But I need some of that time to be now. Please, help Neena and Hank find their Chalk. We'll figure out how we are going to get information out of the man once we find him." Life is simple. Just do what it takes. Iin this case it is going to take a lot.

"Hisako, ping me when you are done visiting, I will meet you in HR." Veronica offers. "Excuse me. I need to make a few phone calls. I'll be right out in the hall if anyone needs me."

And with that the wheelchair-bound doctor rolls out of the room and starts with calls to Posse in Ops. Then lawyers. And maybe a call to Aunt Susan.

Hisako's question regarding her name is given another nod to confirm. "Or 'Dom,' or 'Spot' if you're feeling whimsical. Doesn't bother me."

Io's return quickly gets her interest. Free food, another contract, and full comprehensive medical support. And flowers! It's -almost- enough for Neena to forget about her intense feelings against intensive care. Most people wouldn't be so fired up to return to work after having been mauled a couple of times over and dropped through -two- ceilings.

Most people her size also don't pounce burgers of such caloric mass, either. The fight with the hounds took its toll. "You rock, Io."

"Oh, Hank…" she quietly and almost cautiously sides to the bigger mutant while peeling away the greasy burger wrapper. "Thanks for the assist." The other day had been a mutual butt-saving coincidence.

Toni's quiet seething can't hide from the pale gal. A brow is arched, just slightly, but she doesn't press. It's not her business. Instead she suggests "Or a large enough dinner bell? If there's one thing all predators can appreciate it's a free meal" she states while holding up her burger, almost in triumph.

Hank is given a side-long smirk, as well.

Huh. For once the room's getting all negatively charged and it ISN'T Domino's fault! She's still doing pretty well thanks to the clover which has found a home tucked behind the ear of her stubble-lined and heavily bandaged left side. Making a comment here would be way out of line even for her but there's something about the anger and the energy which almost makes her all the more at ease… Familiar territory, no doubt. An emotional spectrum which she intimately understands.

Roni's declaration about them figuring out what to do with Chalk once they find him is also given a curious look from the albino. She looks about ready to say something but thinks better of it.

"If somebody needs to pay Kelli a visit," Hisako offers between bites, "I can do that - after my paperwork," she adds, inclining her head to Dr. Kelsey. No, Hisako's not forgetting that. Paperwork is a pain, but the i's need to be dotted and the t's need to be crossed. "It's not like I'm much help in the lab or the workshop, I might as well do something useful. Hank's assessment that Uncle Desmond would be a terrible guardian or adoptive parent seems spot-on, too; while Hisako can't really plan on taking the orphaned girl in, she can at least be a friendly face and see what Kelli might remember that'll help.

"Incidentally, Hank? I noticed, when we had the nanomachine situation, that you … well, you didn't have to 'change clothes' to *change* your clothes. How'd you do that?" Hisako is carefully trying to suppress her interest beyond 'polite curiosity,' but the *curiosity* is definitely there - heck, there's more interest in evidence than *just* curiosity.

Toni looks over at Roni, getting an uncertain look as she speaks out on where she feels the girl should go. "W-well…it's unlikely she'll be placed with someone like that. More likely she'll be fostered." the engineer notes slowly. "I…I mean, we could probably see about getting her a new arm and maybe make that a corporate philanthropic response, but I don't know that we can, uh, do anything about that?" She's been in the foster program, after all, but she has no idea what would happen with, well…adoption. Or something like that. Generally the foster program doesn't really look well on corporations adopting orphans, of course!

Unless, of course, it was Roni doing it. She's not sure how that would go, but…really, she's got a good shot considering a stable income and job certainly.

Hank's nostrils flare briefly at the intense emotions in the room, tracking to Roni as she excuses herself, eyes of yellow watching her depart. To Hisako. "Her codename is Domino." The fuzzy blue man-mountain provides in his so precisely enunciated bass. Hank definitely understands the need for the protein - muscle requires protein AND fat to rebuild, and grease is definitely fatty. Softly. "Sometines she rolls." Hank murmurs after Dom's comment to Io. He turns to look at Spot when addressed. "Mmm?" And then he offers a faint smile. "I was there anyway, so, really…we helped each other, go ahead and claim all three bounties." Like she wasn't already going to? Still, nice of him to bless it.

Yes, he notices that side-smirk, the only signs of it a faint twitch at the corner of Hank's mouth.

Baby steps!

Having already finished his /huge/ meal, Hank is cleaning up, no doubt about it, Hank's a neatness freak about his grooming. Hey! If's going to be a four hundred and two pound furry ape he's going to be a /neat/ one, dammit. He nods approval of Hisako's offer. "That's a good thought, Hisako-Chan, pending Doctor Kelsey's approval, make sure you run that by her when you finish up your HR foo." Hank is used to being an authority figure of sorts to Hisako, but he has precisely -zero- authority here. And he respects chain of command, insists on following it, in fact. At the question about the change of clothes, he -smiles-. "Oh, well, it is a variant of the standard X-Men uniform. That uses unstable molecules, which adapt to a person's super powers, as the base. I tweaked my own so that I can reconfigure the shape - on the fly if nescessary, but have several presets. Costume variants, but also street clothes. Typically the costume is anchored to something, in my case this visor, and stored out of phase until needed, if you only need the one form I can fabricate a basic costume for you in about ten hours."

Yes. Ten hours.

"Now…if you need something more capable, that will take some time, if nothing else just for the design work."

A snort. "He's in prison, he literally -can't- be her legal guardian and care provider while that's true. One way to ensure Kelli is free of him is to make sure the charges stick." Yet another thing he and Io can assist with! Hank looks to Toni then. "So…can we help with your armour repairs?"

Io looks over at Roni after polishing off her own meal, licking off her fingers from the salt on the fries and whatever other remnants are there, interposes after listening to all of this, "What else you got to go on besides his nickname?" She frowns, "More info, better results. And if the search takes too long, then I can't outfit the military vehicle like I wanted." She glances over at Toni, adding, "Found one in the scrapyard. Just a husk, but, we'll get her back and better than ever." Io grins, then, widely. Apparently, Toni knows what she's talking about.

Domino enjoys the hell out of her burger.

She also gives Hank a curious look when he mentions 'standard X-Men uniform.'

To Io, she offers "He's another albino." Really, that's all she currently knows.

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