2020-08-03 - Hellqueen on Earth


May gets to interrogate one of the Atlantean prisoners

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Storyteller: None
Date: Mon Aug 3 04:02:13 2020
Location: Triskelion

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Recent SHIELD operations have yielded a passel of prisoners to press for particulars on their pernicious plans. There has been such a proliferation that even SHEILD's professional prisoner pressers have so perplexed by the profusion of work that not all of it is done. It's not like they've been procrastinating but they could probably use some help.

In addition to HYDRA agents, a number of blue skinned shark-hybrid atlanteans have also been detained though these have to be in special containment as they do dry out if they're left in standard cells. Of the prisoners there are two who have been particularly recalcitrant toward their interrogators. One is a senior HYDRA agent. The other is one of the Atlanteans. May has been given both dockets and told to take her pick. Curiously, Koa Turner is waiting just outside the holding area.

Leaning against the wall, not far from Koa is his ever constant shadow. Keiko Kurita is dressed in a tank top, jeans and hikers, her shoulders and arms covered in tattooes. "Why are we here again, Koa?"

She's direct to the point of being blunt. A result of her formative years being in a cult that had trained her fight and then seven years in Limbo.

May looks through one docket after the other carefully, then sets aside the one for the HYDRA agent. There are others who can likely get information out of him. Not everyone can face down a shark-person and keep a straight face. And she suspects the two WAND agents are among those very few.

"Have we at least figured out a name for this individual?" Because it helps to not start off an interrogation with 'hey, you in the kiddie pool'. "Also, Kurita. Would you be willing to have one or two of your spirit companions assist us if needed?"

"Because we were asked to be and Agent May might have use for us." As indeed she does, it seems. Koa nods to May and glances at his own notes. "This one seems to be called Nerath. They haven't been horribly talky and most of them seem to expect to die." It's actually quite odd. Koa's contact with Atlanteans in general is limited and their relationship with the surface world is not good but it shouldn't be so bad that they expect to die.

"I can also tell you that some of the other interrogators are starting to suspect that this particular group is not acting on orders from the Atlantean government, though that is yet to be one hundred percent confirmed."

Keiko can surely have something intimidating out, can't she?

Just inside the door Koa is standing next to is a row of cells and one of them houses a pool that Nerath is currently floating in. The pool can be easily drained for interrogation sessions.

"We aren't interrogators and the last person I tried to interrogate you pulled me off of." Keiko answers. Koa might wish she was joking, but she isn't. Keiko's idea of interrogation was to threaten to skin them and use their hides to make her daughter some clothing.

Ah Limbo.

"Agent May." The peruvian gives the woman an even look and touches the tattoo of the Barghest and then the Harpy Eagle. Cullen appears by her side and trots to nose at Koa's hand. Onyxia appears a second later, with the body of an eagle and the head of a woman, and screeches. "Yes, I would."

Hopefully Cullen won't act like the puppy he is now.

"After you…"

Nerath. May nods in acknowledgement to Koa and in thanks to Keiko, Cullen, and Onyxia before leading the way to speak with Nerath. Her eyes quickly take in the corridor leading to the cell, as if gauging to see what surroundings give her to work with.

She stops and just stands with her hands behind her back, staring at the Atlantean for good several seconds, mostly to see how well the non-land-dweller responds to the Teal'c method of interrogation.

"Interrogate, Keiko, not flay." Koa says as he works the controls to drain the pool and watches as May stares at the Atlantean. He had scritched Cullen a bit before they entered the room but not since. Nerath comes to a rest on his back and then looks up at May. The silence stretches out. Finally the shark-gilled creature lets out a small growl and rises to his feet.

"What? What is this? You just wanted to come and stare at the Atlantean? What are those freakish animals you have with you?"

He sidles slightly away from May and toward Onyxia looking as though he may try to cuff the harpy-bird.

Keiko doesn't say anything, just leans against the wall giving the Atlantean the stink-eye. She's good at that.

Cullen steps in and growls, red eyes glowing a bit as he moves the opposite direction to Onyxia.

Onyxia straightens to her full height, 6ft at the shoulder and even taller with her head extended. As Nerath approaches she screeches in his face and rustle her wings.

"Thought you might like something to keep you company." Keiko says drolly.

May matches Nerath's sidle, making it look like she's moving to protect Onyxia from the Atlantean when it's very likely the other way around. Making him think the harpy is a weak link despite her appearance is a good possible ploy, even if it does look strange when the avian is easily a foot taller.

And still, she keeps on staring. He's already started reacting, let's see where this goes.

Nerath steps back a few paces at Onyxia's screech and glares at May and then at the bird. "Why isn't she talking? Why is she just staring?" He speaks to Keiko since she's the only one speaking. Koa isn't talking either but Koa has remained by the door near the water controls so he's clearly considered less of a factor.

"Why would I want the company of your land-freaks? These aren't even normal animals. Even I can tell that. I'll bet your co-workers mock them behind your back."

That's a reaction yes. He's going on the offensive. Trying to get under at least one of the agent's skins. While not getting skinned by Cullen or Onyxia. Or Keiko herself.

Nerath wouldn't know that Keiko is dangerous. She's tiny and even with the ink she looks … cute. There's no reaction from Keiko to the blue skinned Atlatean, just that flat dark eyed stare.

Onyxia extends her wings for a moment and then settles, staring at Nerath as well. "What is normal." That's all she says.

May continues to say nothing, merely taking one small step closer to Nerath. She knows he's been questioned before, so he must be aware of what information they've been seeking to get from him. She doesn't have to ask again. He just needs to talk. And if he's trying to divert attention away from himself, that means she's at least somewhat succeeding in getting under his skin.

That flat dark eyed stare? It likely works especially well in duplicate.

"I'll tell you what normal is: Not you!" Nerath turns away and stalks back from the animals. He's seeming agitated now. He's pacing a bit. He can feel the eyes on him. Koa looks slightly amused but in the back that can't really be seen.

"It's just like you land-dwellers anyway! Go ahead. Stare! Stare like I'm in some kind of aquarium, here for your amusement. Stare like you're looking at a species that is going extinct. You might as well enjoy it. Because even your own kind know that you're not the real masters of this world."

Now… there's something.

And there, he's already beginning to crack. As he paces around, May watches him like a cat watches a fish in an aquarium, waiting for the best moment to strike. And she ever so casually crosses her arms, making the leather-like material of her jacket (and all of the contents in the hidden interior pockets) creak and shift enough to just barely be audible.

For all anyone can tell, she has completely disregarded anyone else's presence around her, but she's really just waiting for a chance to signal either Cullen or Onyxia to lunge at Nerath and unsettle him still further.

"Do I look amused?" Keiko asks flatly. She's tiny and so not intimidating. "I don't know *what* you are, nor do I care. I know who my Darkchilde is and that is all that matters." Keiko really wishes her life was that easy. It isn't and it isn't going to get easier either.

The spirit animals don't move this time, just watch Nerath as he moves, waiting for instruction from … someone.

May doesn't have to wait for the opportunity to signal Keiko. Because Nerath turns on Keiko at her flippant and yet dead tone, snarls and rushes right at her. He's fast and those mutations of his give him claws that Atlanteans don't normally have. He ignores Cullen and Onyxia and even May and goes right for the small peruvian woman. It's not clear what he means to do with her when he gets her.

Koa tenses, ready to intervene but he doesn't think he has to. There's more than enough combat experience in the room to take care of an agitated Atlantean. Besides struggling will just dry him out faster.

May really isn't all that much less tiny than Keiko, but apparently mouthy is more attention-getting. That works for her just fine. Nerath loses his cool and lunges toward Keiko, and she steps into his path. A combination of the Atlantean's momentum along with a neatly executed Judo throw should land him squarely on the floor, and very likely with one arm twisted such that it would be on the verge of dislocation for a land-lubber.

And then finally, she speaks up, just as calmly Vulcan-esque as she has ever sounded around others. "Losing your composure is… ill-advised."

Onyxia shrieks and Cullen growls as Nerath moves towards Keiko - both rushing the Atlantean from behind. When May puts the water person to the ground, Onyxia puts a clawed foot near his eye as Cullen just drools in his face.

He won't have to worry about dehydration for a bit.

Through all of this, Keiko hasn't moved. She didn't even blink an eye. "No wonder your people are going to be extinct or are you just one of they could afford to throw away."


The Downed Atlantean struggles and he is quite strong. But he does slow down a little when he sees the talon near his eye. It takes a few moments of panting before he's back to glaring up at the women. "You haven't even seen me start to lose my composure yet. Your new gods will teach you your place when the time is at hand. The earth will shake and the cities will fall and ALL TRUE SONS OF ATLANTIS WILL-"

The water that was drained away from the pool surges up the drain, forms into a hammer and smashes the Atlantean in the gut.

"Sorry, he looked dehydrated." Koa says as Cullen's drool forms itself into a needle and positions near the Atlantean's other eye.

"But what would you know of gods, I suppose. You've got a little demon on a leash here. This must be hell." How does he know that about Keiko?

While May usually frowns upon physically attacking people she's interrogating, once they've asked for it — which Nerath has — all bets are off. She's also very practiced at not letting her thoughts show on her face, so the Atlantean's vitriol and verbal jabs aimed at Keiko seem to not impress her at all. Well, most of them actually don't, so.

Still keeping that punishing grip on the downed Atlantean despite his strength and Koa's 'assistance', she feels the need to play with the prisoner's words a bit. "I do, don't I?" She leans a little closer and says in a way that almost hints at a coy tone, "Maybe that makes me the queen of hell. Are you sure you don't have anything to tell us?"

There's no response to Neraths jab. "One of the worst then." She says instead. "Frightened of a little demon and her pets."

She won't call May Queen, not even to play along. She's only got one Queen, and that's Illyana. But …

"What is your will, Mistress. Can I have his skin? Elena would like that as a dress."

Koa's going to kill her.

May answers Keiko's question seemingly entirely seriously. "No. Not nearly good enough quality."

Koa blows out a sigh somewhere behind her but it's not enough to blow the act. He simply keeps the drool needle where it is and keeps adding to it as Cullen keeps drooling. It's, um, getting quite large now actually.

"If you are the queen of hell then you can speak to the gods. Some of your land dwellers understand this. The Hive. The Kraken. They know. They know how to speak to the gods. And when the end comes and the waters take you they will teach what is left of your kind your new place. You'll live in harmony with the land, and leave the sea to it's proper masters."

He glares at Keiko. "And you demon, will drown a hundred thousand times. You and your… little dog too."

Damnit. Do not snicker. Do not snicker. May manages to keep a perfectly neutral expression — barely — and opts to play along with this Atlantean's delusions. "Perhaps I do. Not all of the gods approve. Unbalancing the planet in this manner is unwise. Stay on this path and the sea will not fare as well as you have been fooled into believing."

Does this now make Director Fury a god? Hm. Best if he doesn't find out about that implication. He might laugh himself to a heart attack. And she really really hopes that this zealot starts to to see reason. If he doesn't, then trying to press information from him is worse than useless.

"You are right. I would put low quality product on my daughter." the peruvian agrees.

Oh hey. Keiko gets that pop reference! "Something tells me we're not in Kansas anymore, Cullen …" She looks at the Atlantean, then the drool needle before signalling Cullen to back off. "The Kraken and The Hive. Are they the ones that decided you were useless to them?"

She can be a nasty thing when she wants to be.

"Sacrificed you to come to New York and deliver that message?"

She doubts that's why Nerath came here and she's hoping to provoke him more.

She gets that reference as well apparently. Flying monkeys for everyone, then.

The suggestion that Nerath and his compatriots might have been sacrificed has him snarling and struggling again. Koa hefts that aquatic hammer of his again but he will happily let someone else kick him in the tender bits this time.

"Sacrificed? We offered ourselves to drive back the unbelievers under the sea. In time the word of the gods will reach all my fellows but for now we must guard ourselves against heretics and apostates."

This is not the proper word for 'unbeliever', that would be 'infidel' but Koa doesn't make that correction.

"As for useless… let me up and you'll find out exactly how useless I am. I'll send you right to Pele."

Koa blinks. Keiko knows that name. It's the name of a hawaiian volcano goddess. Why would he be invoking it?

"Hellqueen your words will not sway me."

That almost makes Koa laugh agian. May is SO not a hellqueen.

Pele. That's an interesting factoid. She's sure that at least Koa has picked up on it as well. "I didn't need my words to sway you. I just needed them to make you talk." She abruptly lets go of Nerath and steps out of his reach before offering a polite Japanese style bow. "Thank you for your cooperation."

She's fully expecting Koa to be able to restrain the Atlantean if he tries anything.

"Drive back? To the surface?" Keiko shakes her head. "Stupid as well as useless, I see." She hasn't moved from her position against the wall at all, though kicking Nerath in the nether parts does have some appeal.

"Pele? The volcano goddess? The one that the … Inheritor invoked? The Inheritor that I had my dragon burn to cinders? You're right. Let him up, Hellqueen. I'll call Glydril and we'll show him just why he's useless and dumb."

"Pele wouldn't want anything to do with such a pathetic excuse of a follower."

When May let's him go abruptly, Keiko readies herself to call the dragon and prove herself.

Koa gives Keiko a sign to come on out. He's going to fill the pool with water again. They have what they need and if they burn him that might make follow up interrogations more difficult. He hits the switch and opens the door to the cell. The pool starts to fill again but all that water is still under Koa's command. Must be calling to a scion of the sea to have water so readily commanded by a surfacer.

At this point though all Nerath does is glower and snarl. Koa is still threatening him with a water blade made of demon drool so there is that and it's fairly intimidating. They're able to leave without any further issues.

"Well. That was interesting. What did you two make of that?" Koa says when the door is shut again.

May waits until the door is closed and there's no chance of Nerath hearing them before speaking up. "I'm suspecting rogue factions trying to make themselves out to be more than they actually are. Which makes them even more dangerous than the major groups they've splintered off from." That whole Pele mention, after all, is just incongruous with most ocean-dwellers from what little she knows.

Keiko gives a signal to Onyxia and Cullen. Onyxia leaves a scratch on the Atlanteans face - a reminder not to threaten Keiko, perhaps.

Outside the room, Keiko pats them both and then dismisses them - they turn to smoke and form as tattooes on her arm again. "He's a zealot. Like the Nightfall. Promised power in return for service. He doesn't know much but we should look Hive and Kraken. She's not really aware of them.

"He said New Gods and then mentioned Pele. I think we need to look into that Pantheon. We can talk to the gods right?"

"Eeeeehhhh." Koa makes a so-so motion with his hand. "WAND is aware of beings that are probably the sources of those stories but not all of them are as easy to get ahold of as the Asgardians. And the Akua, much like many of their counterparts, are somewhat reclusive. So yes but we might have to do some digging to get their attention." Of course there is Nalani, who has spoken to Keiko in the past. Koa might be forgetting about her at the moment.

"Hive and Kraken are both HYDRA leaders but I have a hard time seeing some of the others signing off on this. We might be looking at a serious split within HYDRA. Or two of it's councilors going rogue?" That would be a dangerous thing indeed.

May nods at Koa's speculation about two of HYDRA's top councilors going rogue. "That is exactly what I'm worried that this new information is indicating. I need to report this." She nods to Keiko as well then. "Thank you both for your help."

Unless one of them has something else they want to ask or contribute, she's going to head on out, and go straight to Fury with what they've just learned.

"I know someone. She spoke to me once. I'll … see if I can find her." Something about dance lessons and using her hips. That will go swimmingly, Keiko is sure.

"Either way with HYDRA, we should try and leak the information back to the others. Maybe they'll look after this …" The peruvian is hopeful. She knows enough about HDYRA to know it's dangerous and split or rogues is bad at any rate.

"That's not a bad thought. And I know just the way to do it. But we need to visit your old stomping grounds again, Keiko." That'll go well. She can be sure what's left of the Nightfall will be SO pleased to see her. "Let us know if you need anything else, May. Or if you find out anything else from command."

And with that it's time to get back to work. Well. Different work.

"See? That's how you interrogate someone without trying to flay them." He says as they walk off.

"I will inform you immediately, Turner." And then May's gone, off in a different direction.

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