2020-04-15 - Morphogenic Attack Slinky


A visit to see Zemo reveals some interesting information and a Tortie-May

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Apr 15 04:13:34 2020
Location: The Triskelian

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The latest SHIELD operation had bagged a prisoner and a big one. Zemo had been sat on by Steve until they could rendezvous with may and fly him back to a more secure holding facility in the States. Two days later Zemo has been processed and his initial interrogations have been done. As expected he hasn't given up a whole lot that SHIELD didn't already know. Except for one thing, and that was the one thing got SHIELD to call May, Steve, Mari and T'Challa back. He'd said that he MIGHT know something about a Mohanndan amulet but he would only tell it to one of the rightful owners.

T'Challa is waiting outside the cell, having been shown into the hallway by the guards. He is in a suit and looking regal as usually he does. He's out of sight of Zemo himself but he can still see the blue glow of the restraining field. Nice tech that SHIELD has there, really. They break out the good toys for their VIP detainees. And he might be detained for a while. The international haggling on who gets to try him and in what order is going to be epic.

Coming in on one of his vague 'days off' is never something Steve wishes to have happen. It's definitely Barnes who does the majority of the complaining, but the Soldier also understands that the world still needs them both and sometimes specifically Captain Rogers. Steve promises to report any and all insults for processing and concurrent planning of potential beat-down pending on which country gets to keep Zemo. Borders are fluid depending on how sneaky you are.

Steve arrives in a plain pair of jeans and combat boots, a light windbreaker overtop his long-sleeved thermal in black with blue accents down the sides and at the shoulders.

He greets T'Challa with a nod and then observes what he can see of that self-same containment field. "I'd say I pity him, but there's something about comeuppance that I can't resist," the Captain murmurs, eyes and expression cool.

Agent May arrives just a moment after Rogers, as if that had been very much intentional. It likely was. She's her usual nearly silent self, and doesn't announce her presence to the others by speaking up. Not yet, anyway.

The restraining field is old news to her, so rather than study that, she watches Zemo himself. Any little facial twitch or glance might be a clue to his thoughts or reactions, and she plans to miss nothing. One light tap to the commlink in her ear as well, to indicate that she wants any discussion that happens from here on out to be recorded.

As if it wasn't already, but it can't ever hurt to take extra precautions.

Mari doesn't believe for a moment that Zemo knows about the amulet but she's been requested and who knows, maybe it's a lead she can use.

The well dressed ex-model is the last to arrive, looking rather serious. "Captain Rogers, T'Challa, Agent May."

"How are we playing this?"

"For now I think we are playing it his way. He has information, he wants us here. Here we are. The only thing to do for now is to go in there and see what he wants." The Wakandan Prince is at least pragmatic. He nods to the technician nearby who unlocks the cell. And then he steps inside.

Zemo is in a prisoners smock. He is seated on his bed when the quartet steps in and smiles in an unpleasant way. Granted there is no way he could smile in a pleasant way with his face.

"Well. Captain. Agent May. Prince T'Challa." He nods in greeting to each one. "Aaaaaaah. Mari McCabe. Ze Vixen. I must congratulate you on your capture of me. It's a very nice facility you have here. It reminds me of home really. Though our detainment facilities are a bit more… full featured. Zo. I imagine you are all here because I let slip something about a bit of old African Jewelry." He smiles again and peers at May. "Zomeone is taking this VERY zeriously."

A glance in May's direction earns her a silent nod of greeting, homage to her noiseless arrival. He then looks in the direction of Mari's arrival and nods to her as well, this time accompanying the gesture with a small, polite smile. His arms remain folded across the breadth of his chest, apparent even in his civilian clothing not meant to accent it.

"Might as well," the Captain concurs with T'Challa. "Man likes to talk."

He proved it not too long ago back in the underground facility, after all, when he stalled the Baron into nearly giving up everything.

Steve, for his part, is dead-silent as he steps into the cell. His expression is a flat mask but for the shadow of disapproval.

All hail the Disapproving Face.

The Baron gets to talking and he simply listens, arms still crossed, militant air on full display despite his jeans and jacket.

May doesn't rise to the bait when Zemo peers at her, merely raising an eyebrow as if his words were only mildly interesting. Being brutally honest, she knows nothing about any Mohanndan amulet and could not care less, but if it makes the man think that he can play mind games with them about it she's willing to play along to see what manipulations he thinks he can manage from here.

He thinks she's taking this seriously? Fine. Keep thinking that.

Of course, if one of the others want her to play the heavy, she certainly won't say no. It would be kind of fun to wipe the annoying smirk off of Zemo's face. Or maybe slice it off a layer at a time.

"We're here because we were told to listen to you." Mari answers, giving the Baron a disparaging look. "And really it's Vixen. Not Ze Vixen." Yes, yes, she knows he's saying 'the' but she's going to prod at him.

"Do you think you can hurry this up? I had to reschedule my massage and pedicure for you." No need to appear eager to get the information. A piece of old African jewellery indeed. It's an artifact, blessed by Anansi.

The ex-model positions herself to take the attention, letting the others slip into shadow if they want to, though their disapproving company will be a boon. They're all so disinterested in what the Baron has to say.

"Of course. I asked the good people here to have something from my personal effects brought here. It's in the envelope and they didn't want me touching it. But if you will examine it I can explain…"

T'Challa looks at Steve and then the two women, then he goes to pick up the brown envelope. There's a small wooden carving inside. It looks like a spider and is of a size that can fit into the palm of the hand… and then it glows. And Mari's amulet glows.

And May glows. May may find her perspective shift. Everything seems larger and her clothes don't fit nearly so well and um…

No one has seen Tortie May in a long time. And T'Challa and Mari haven't seen her, like… Ever.

"Oh. Vell. Zere is an interestink reaction… Most unexpected."

Steve's attention slides from Mari and back to the captive, his jaw gritting back and forth minutely. Bad for his perfect teeth, he knows, Barnes has noted it before. He returns T'Challa's look before shifting in place, the better to observe what comes out of the brown envelope.

He doesn't recognize it, the sculpture seated on the man's palm, and he frowns, beginning to rifle through his memory.

Beginning to, and not getting very far, because he's noticed first the shine of the amulet on Mari's chest. His arms unfold, entire frame shifting from solemn disapproval to burgeoning action, as he too sees May suddenly engulfed by light. By the time he turns entirely to see the sudden sprawl of empty clothing and the familiar sight of the tortoisehell cat, his eyes have gone wide.

"Oh my god," the Captain breathes.

May's about ready to turn and leave because she definitely has better things to do when T'Challa reveals the odd little object and …

« Liou coe shway duh biao-tze huh hoe-tze duh ur-tze! » It comes out as a low feline hissing, yowling growl, and then, ears folded all the way back and tail lashing, Tortie-May launches herself out of the pile of clothing and straight at Zemo.

His face, to be precise. And teeth and claws are ALL bared. Five of her six ends are VERY pointy.

"What have you go—-" Mari gasps as her amulet glows, the morphogenic field trying to activate. For a moment, a ghostly figure of a spider shimmers in front of her and then fades. That's not an amulet, is it? That's something else.

What is Steve and Zemo looking at? Mari is about to turn when the tortoiseshell cat flies at the bar. "Who let the cat in here?"

"It is an Idol of Anansi and if you will make a few concessions I am willing to show you how to-OH MIEN GOTT!" May lands on Zemo's face and begins clawing. Zemo's face is a hideous scar filled mess but even so the cats claws are sharp and with a bit more effort than usual she can still draw blood.


T'Challa just stares for a moment not entirely sure what to do. He had NO idea that Agent May was some manner of shape shifter. He's about to move toward the mess of HYDRA leader and cat when the glow on Mari gets his attention. Something's happened there too.

"Uh, Steve, something seems to have gone… pear shaped, I believe is the expression. Mari are you… okay?" Beat. "Should someone pull May off Zemo?" Someone like Steve, since T'Challa's not going anywhere near that.

"We'll go with pear-shaped," the man agrees in a bland tone he reserves for the battlefield or…incidents like this. Reaching into his pocket, he pulls out his motorcycle gloves and slides them on. These might save his hands from the worst of claws, but maybe not teeth — and the windbreaker is only so thick as well. "'ve got May if you've got Mari."

Striding over to the now impacted Baron, Steve then slips fingers beneath Tortie-May's ribs and gently grabs at her scruff, all the better to try and trigger the limping action normally biologically associated with the pluck of excess fur at the nape of feline neck.

"Agent May, I'd normally let you keep at this, but 's'not the best time right now," he explains as he tries to extricate squirming cat from Zemo's face and then away from the man. "God, where's Barnes, he's got the metal hand - OW!"

Mari has the morphogenic field under control, mostly. That spider that shimmers and fades is *huge*. It never quite manifests in full but when T'Challa looks, he can see tribal markings on it. Mari's never been able to summon anything like it.

"I'm … ok." The ex-model says to the Wakandan focussing her will on the pendant. She doesn't *need* the pendant to summon the spirits she does but this is clearly affecting her. "Agent May? That's … Agent May. I hope she's clawed his face some more."

Still yowling and snarling, Tortie-May claws and bites and then gets pulled away by Steve. « NO! Let go of me! This Ching-wah TSAO duh liou mahng deserves worse! » Cue full cat-flailing, not sparing Steve her claws as she does everything she can to try and get loose.

At least she doesn't try to bite him? Not yet, anyway.

It takes a full minute for the super soldier to finally get a secure enough grip on the cat to stop her struggles, but by the end of it he's clawed up nearly as badly as Zemo and May herself is panting while still snarling and hissing invectives. No one here speaks Cat, hopefully?

"I've never seen you summon a spider before. And that thing is massive." T'Challa points out to Mari. Zemo backs up as soon as Steve has even a remote handle on May and grabs at his pillow case to start dabbing blood off his face. And there is a lot of blood on his face. All of it - ALL of it - is his.

"Zat is because the idol and her amulet are both tied to the morphogenic field. All of the amulets are to a degree. And you may be able to find the others using that idol. And I am willing to make a deal to show you. If you keep that CAT away from me."

That makes the Wakandan prince snicker for a moment and then shake his head. "So you didn't turn her into a cat on purpose?"

"I am a scientist zir. Nien, I did not. She must have a particularly unstable morphogentic field for some reason…"

Why was he studying THAT?

"Do you have your feline under control, Captain? And no, Agent, my parents were actually quite respectable."

Says the ex Nazi.

"OW — May, it's St - OW — you gotta stop — OW — it's Rogers — OW - OW OW — GEEzus, May, sto — OW — this is why we have gold — OW — fish!"

After a minute of fighting with a living, armed slinky, Steve finally manages to get the tortoiseshell cat under control. Granted, he's got a firm hold at her scruff now, something he wanted to avoid but simply can't. The sleeves of his windbreaker are torn in places and blood seeps up from where the claws got through the cuffs of the gloves on the undersides of his forearms.

He lets out a slow hiss himself beneath the spitting snarls of the cat. "Keep talking, Baron, or my grip on her might slip," he says sharply, doing his absolute best to ignore the sting of being so thoroughly clawed-up. "Why are you interested in morphogenic fields?"

« BUN tyen-shung duh ee-DWAY-RO, » May yowls at Zemo, which is even more satisfying knowing that he… wait. She abruptly stops carrying on, her eyes wide and her ears flung back in surprise when it hits her that the prisoner UNDERSTOOD her, considering she was cussing at him in Mandarin Cat. But she recovers quickly enough, lashing her tail as she keeps hurling hissed and growled insults.

Her tail, thumping against Steve's ribs hopefully where Zemo can't see, though, tells a different story. If he picks up on it, she's swatting him in Morse code. // understands cat // is repeated several times to make sure he picks up on it.

"Well, technically, I can …" Mari murmurs, the spider appearing and disappearing again. "Do do you think you could put that thing away, please?" The disc, she means.

"You were searching for the other amulets yourself?" Mari follows up on Steves question. She's feeling very tired all of a sudden.

"Uh, oh! Sorry." T'Challa puts the idol back into the brown envelope and seals it. Which doesn't turn May back nor give any indication when she will. Though Mari can feel the morphogenic field starting to reset. If she could tell how to affect May Mari could probably do it herself but it should be no more than a few hours by itself.

"It has a great many applications. Most living beings are immersed in it even if zey do not know it. Very few can manipulate it. Can you zink, Captain, what soldiers who could have the strength of Ox or the ferocity of Tiger could do even in this modern world?"

Zemo looks right at Mari. "You know exactly what I talk about. Ze holy relics of your people. We searched for zem for years. Zey are among ze most powerful weapons zis world has ever known. It was zis search that put us in contact with Klaue. Now, as I am indisposed I am willink to share the fruits of my research. But I vant concessions. I vish to be able to answer one final inquiry and for zat… I will need some of her blood."

THAT makes T'Challa bristle.

"And, no more visits from zat cat."


Feeling the cat wriggle in his tucked hold to his ribs, Steve glances down at the thin bundle of whiskers and bared fangs. He then squints at the tip of Tortie-May's ear as he begins tracking what he first thought was simple Angry Cat Tail — it turns out to be something more than that, and the message transmitted by tail-swats makes it through.

"Noted," he says quietly for May alone. Zemo continues to get a cold, level look from the Captain. To his ears, the idea isn't too far off from a bastardization of the super-soldier serum, just a more magical approach.

"Given he's indisposed, can't help him out right now with any blood samples," the Captain notes with infuriating mildness as he glances between Mari and T'Challa. "Better get his scratches looked at first. They might fester. Don't want SHIELD's hospitality getting frowned upon." Zemo gets another flat look.

After Steve acknowledges what she was trying to convey, May does indeed return to simple Angry Cat Tail. Because she is still seriously ticked off at Zemo. But at least she seems to be calming down some, as the snarling and carrying on has settled down to only hissing and growling. Yes, she's still cussing the man out. And she doesn't intend on stopping until Steve carries her out of the room. She even punctuates her continued ire by flaring her claws every now and again. But as Steve's got her rather well restrained, she can't swipe the air in the prisoner's direction. Maybe she should pester someone for paperwork to register her claws in the SHIELD weaponry database?

Which, speaking of, they had BETTER not leave her clothes lying there. Her jacket alone is SHIELD proprietary, even without counting its contents.

"You want … my blood?" The tension in Mari's shoulders that had just been relaxing is back. "I'll think on it." They have the amulet now, so maybe they won't need him. There's WAND and … well, there must be others who can help them.

Then again, Mari might be back to speak to Zemo.

T'Challa and Mari have spoken about what might happen if people had her power. It's not far fetched. It's just horrifying.

"Let's get someone in here to see to him. And let's let May sharpen her nails somewhere."

"Sounds like a good idea to me." T'Challa bends down to pick up all of May's clothing in a bundle. Right. He's got it… is that a knife? Er. Is that four knives? Five? Okay he doesn't want to think about this too hard.

"We'll take it under advisement." Which is polite speak for 'probably not'. Not unless they have no other options. They have the little idol so…

"Shall we Steve? Agent? And then you two can call medical." And an exorcist or whatever for what happened to May.

He turns to go. Once they're all out he's going to find a desk to put May's stuff on and then he and Mari will have a talk.

May will be just fine, right?

May offers one last parting growl at Zemo, knowing he's capable of understanding her. Somehow. « Next time we speak, I won't aim for your face. » She hisses and bares her claws again. « I'll remove you from the gene pool. Permanently. »

As soon as Steve has her out of the room, she stops carrying on, wrenches one front paw free of the man's grip, and very blatantly reaches said paw toward her jacket with as close to a grabby gesture as she can manage. No claws, though. Come on, Steve, get the hint. She keeps a few simple first aid items in her jacket.

Steve nods agreement to Mari and T'Challa both. Ditch Zemo and maaaaaybe drag heels calling medical because an agent is current compromised and the Baron isn't bleeding out? Sounds like a plan.

Once beyond the cell, he takes a moment to look down at May and then his arms, stinging like the dickens in places here and there where claws made landing. Her squirming and especially the reach of paw towards her jacket has him speaking up. "Hold on, T'Challa, think May's wanting something in her clothing. Put it down on the counter there?" He'll be setting May herself down near to the clothing in good faith that she won't be whisking away back towards the cell again.

Mari is quiet as they leave the room, her fingers closed about her pendant. They'll get May and Steve organised and then head out.

She's got some research to do and some thinking. And probably a talk to have with T'Challa.

"I hope Agent May is alright. I'm sorry I can't offer any advice to her. I'm not really sure how my power works … it just does."

T'Challa sets May's stuff down on the floor. "Have at it. I, um, hope that gets fixed soon. Or, not fixed, bad choice of words. But I hope it works out soon."

And with that he rises and looks to Mari. "Lets go for a drive." They can talk and she can research. There's a lot to unpack here.

"See you both soon. Captain. Agent." Agent May, not Agent Floof. Which she DOES kind of look like right now.

May huffs and mrrehs and mrrips at Mari. « I think I know how to deal with this this time. » She noses her way into her jacket and hooks the Altoids tin-sized mini first aid kit out of its pocket and bats it out to where Steve can see it, then after nosing a bit more manages to extract, well, a few business cards as well. A couple of her own, a random one from somewhere else, and one for the Cover Story Bookstore.

Sitting primly and licking the remaining blood from her whiskers (ugh), she mrrehs at Steve and pats the last card revealed. « Take me to Loki and Sigyn. They'll know what to do. »

"We'll be in contact," agrees the Captain as he looks over from aiding Tortie-May in delving into her jacket by lifting up a portion of it. Once the small tin box appears, he nods understanding. Of course. Popping it open with his thumbnail, he takes at least an antiseptic wipe out. Peeling back his gloves, he grimaces.

"Good aim there, May," he says wryly. A wipe-over of his hands stings in all the scratches. Steve ignores this sensation as he leans over to peer at the business card. "Right, Cover Story. 's'true. I remember the last time the owners dealt with this."

And doesn't he because he became an honorary Einherjar in the process.

"I'll give 'em a call in just a second. Let's get you situated in your office for now — yes, bringing your clothing just in case."

His ears pink. How quaint.

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