S.H.I.E.L.D. Los Angeles

Episode Thirteen

Agents Copeland and Mgwanze are vacationing separately in Florida. Cpt Rogers is with Copeland, dancing, dining, jet-skiing, speed-boating, screwing their brains out, etc. Mgwanze is mostly checking out the many cuisines available and kicking back. Carlysle joins him for a couple of days, resting from channelling Ford on a healer-tour of South Africa.

They get called up to check out a very strange mass murder in Miami. A dozen traffickers died in a shootout by 1) blade, 2) friendly fire and 3) dropping dead. A couple of traffickees took stray rounds. And six things that looked exactly like WOW trolls were in the fight on the traffickers’ side. The troll corpses melted away to nothing but not before pics were taken, some by the first cops on the scene. One traffickee saw things: there was a blur and blood and flying limbs and gunfire and one guy threw down a bunch of colorful eggs and the monsters popped up and got hacked or blasted apart. Several of the traffickers’ guns had been disassembled and scattered.
Our Agents took the eggs to a lab, started to work - and Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch (Piotr and Vanda X, not in costume - and Q got over his Billy Idol phase decades ago) quietly walk in. They admit to attacking the traffickers and seem to think that Mgwanze and Copeland will not have a problem with that. Vanda tells them that he mentor, Agatha, insists they find and deal with the Summoner responsible for the trolls. She comments on the idiocy of giving constructs forms that have resonance with lots of people. Given egg pieces, Vanda should be able to locate the scumbag. She can. They go (in, sadly, a normal SHIELD SUV) across the bay on the Venetian Causeway towards Miami Beach. As they get near Di Lido Island there’s a blast of fire from the other side of DLI. As the get on DLI a 30’ true-to-the LotR movie Balrog flies heavily up to the Causeway and starts booting cars, then lights others up with a big blast of fire breath.
Quicksilver is gone, blurring around the monster. Copeland and Mgwanze get out the Mk IVs and start shooting. Q pops up and informs them that the monster regenerates, fast. Vanda says she’ll take care of that, grimaces at it, gestures, says, “Got it. But that will take all my attention.”, nods and hops the Causeway railing.
Q distracts it. M & C blast it. Q gets swatted into some trees. They blast it some more. Q comes back. More blasting — it has red hot gaps in its black armor skin now. It starts to take flight and Q tornados a car into a wing, then stops to rest. More blasting while it’s and easy target and it comes apart, leaving scorch marks and smoke.
Copeland speeds towards the burning house the monster apparently came from. Vanda levitates up and flies, slowly, the group to the house. The waterfront house/mansion isn’t nearly as on fire as it should be. Rich-ass neighbors are trying to keep it from spreading to their homes. A MFD fire boat is on it’s way. Copeland enters and finds one person, male, unconscious in an elaborate pentacle on the second floor room missing one side and part of the roof. The others arrive, Mgwanze produces SHIELD ID. Q is still exhausted. Vanda does fire suppression. Copeland and Mgwanze remove the unconscious guy (crowd ID’d as the neighbor) computer data and safe contents: lots of money, plus occult-looking stuff — hand of glory, vials of something, amulets, a child’s skull… Vanda says nothing is mystically significant but the demon-head amulet the perp has in his hand. Vanda insists that she take the amulet to her mentor. M & C want it in SHIELD custody or destroyed. C: Who is this mentor, this Agatha? V: She’s in charge of this sort of thing in North America. Now C knows SHIELD Really wants to know. Yadda yadda. Then Vanda says, “All right,” Q/Piotr slips the amulet into C’s pocket, C, from M’s perspective, goes black and two-dimensional and disappears. Vanda says, “She wanted to talk to Agatha, now she can. She’ll be back.”
Copeland finds herself touching a big, black, oval mirror in a big, Victorian mansion facing an elderly woman: Agatha. Harkness.
They have a talk. No, Agatha does not want to talk to Fury. Yes, she is in charge of policing the Art in North America. Why her? Because she can. She’s particularly down on Summoning, either constructs or things from beyond the world. Even the constructs, like the balrog, are easily influenced by Outsiders or by the… ‘collective unconscious’, and are almost always used for bad ends. AH serves tea telekinetically, with no apparent effort or attention. Copeland gets a phone number, an assurance that AH will destroy the amulet safely (and that the summoner is not much of a threat without it) and is sent back through the mirror. (Minus surprise, Copeland could attempt to resist being teleported.)
Meanwhile, cops have helicoptered in and met the wall of SHIELD. The fire is out via MFD boat. News helos are hovering around. Copeland teleports back . Vanda levitates all and sundry to a vacant high rise on Miami Beach — Q knocks out annoying newscopter spotlights along the way.
They talk. V & P say they raid human traffickers as a regular thing, with intel supplied by WITCH (the 8th or 10th group calling itself the Womens International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell, sponsors of Vanessa Carlysle’s India trip)… M & C are pretty sure that WITCH = Agent Romanov and others at SHIELD and at the Xavier Institute. There’s organized help for the victims; Vanda gives them a card. Copeland calls Mindee Grace about interrogating the perp. She’s in, and calls in a favor from Lila Cheney. Lila, half smashed, teleports (with her fellow partiers) to the XI, teleport them and MG to Miami Beach, then the two of them to the top of the high rise, and leaves. MG makes him speak truth: he’d murdered three people via constructs, he was helping the traffickers as an in to the Devil King, who has the secret of immortality. After the trolls were wiped out within seconds of manifesting (he could feel it) he tried to summon something much more powerful to protect him. Most of is occult stuff (fakes) he bought at a Miami botanica, the very real amulet he bought at an estate auction and the phallic amulet is an authentic BC Greek good luck piece. If they want to kill they guy, Vanda says she can turn the body to dust and steam. M & C remand him to SHIELD instead. Reluctantly. Mindee, Vanda and Piotr go to find Lila. C & M join them after a very quick debrief via phone, saying they should keep the telepath, the teleporter and the ex-terrorists sweet.

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