SHIELD EP 2 4-20-2013
Agents Mgwanze and Copeland present.
(Agent Talon is deeply involved in the first moving test of Talon Teleportals: a remote site at Edwards AFB to a small, expendable, RC ship well out in the Atlantic, out of shipping lanes. Successful — Talon pwns the doubters.)
Gina Nixon’s (Vertigo) papers arrived. Elizabeth Harris, who isn’t about to give up her family, no matter if she has to personally burn every MS-13 gangster in the world to death (that’s a quote; unrealistic but heartfelt), wants someone to brief her son Scott on what happened to her and set up some security.
Agent Elvis takes Nixon. Checks Nixon’s schedule and calls at a good time. They eat good Salvadorian street food near her condo. Mgwanze enjoys food spicy enough to be pleasantly warm; Nixon is pretty daring — for an Idahoan. They meet with Ass’t District Attorney Richard Langley who if fully cooperative with the feds, SHIELD and President. The necessary paper records will be adjusted and he himself will attend to problems.
Next is the shrink, Dr. Abraham Stein, half-practicing, half-retired and a little research. Nixon takes to Stein and Mgwanze catches Stein with an expression that says, roughly, “If I file off the serial numbers really well I could do some fascinating papers about this subject” and gives him a hairy eyeball. Stein reminds himself just whom he is dealing with.
Elvis allows Gina to hijack him for errands: open a bank account with $82,000 in cash with Federal assurance that it is not criminal money, car shopping and advice — she’s going for a used BMW.
Scott Harris, a regional manager for Apple, meets Agent Celeste meets him in a Century City Starbucks. Copeland manages to convince him she’s for real, his mom is alive but changed. Green, rejuvenated, green, super-powered, Witchy. They go across the street to a bar; Scott downs two shots.
It makes a certain amount of sense to him. Elizabeth is an Oz fan, a SF and comic book fan who dragged him to many a convention, and an occasional costume show participant. If whatshisname can turn into Edward the Sparkly Vampire, and whatshername into Tinkerbelle, more or less, then why not? Mom must be ecstatic. Aside from the danger from the gangers. Yes, he’ll happily accept a free gov’t security system, cards with Copeland’s and Burbank’s numbers and a secure phone.
Upon their return to Disneyland Agent Ellis informs them that new orders have come in. Proceed to Fort Huachuca, AZ where Agent Dukes will meet them to provide backup.
Five Minutemen volunteer border militia went missing in the Sonora Desert near the border with Mexico — radio chatter was roughly, “OH GOD NO! FLOOR IT! FUCK! FUCK! WHAT IS IT! AIIIEEE!” Three more investigated. One got away, badly injured, and died near Fort Huachuca.
Deal with it, whatever ‘it’ is. Take other backup if wanted, hiring authorized*
Fred Dukes is famous for several videos of him fighting aliens in New York, naked aside from tatters and scorch marks most of the time, sort of a chubbier, shorter, Caucasian Hulk Lite. Very Lite. His file says he has some desert experience but he’s no tracker.
Rahne Sinclair (aka Wolfsbane) lives in a condo in Culver City. She takes some acting and other classes at UCLA and gets work through S-T, mostly film jobs as a wolf or wolf-girl or as a sniffer (a bloodhound who can talk, more or less). She just finished a low budget ‘wolfsploitation’ flick with K-9 (Jorge Ivalde, can turn into any sort of canine) and Mr. Hollywood. She’s best known to the public from appearing in Twilight 2 & 3. Her acting is fair.
Agent Copeland called Super-Temps, Sinclair called Copeland and agreed to the gig. A little action would hit the spot.
Copeland and Mgwanze loaded the car for bear, picked up Sinclair and drove to Edwards AFB. A quinjet met them there and shuttled them down to Fort Huachuca. The base exec met them there and assure them of full cooperation: Humvees, Drone Controller school teachers and students and drones at their disposal, etc. Agent Dukes’ quinjet dropped him off, literally, from 200’ up (because he could) and introduced himself.
Elvis, Copeland and some Army helpers installed Stark batteries into Raven mini drones to increase their duration from an hour to 11 hours. Video was reviewed, including satellite IR which showed the Minutemen, their gunfire and no attacker. Mgwanze examined the corpses (MINOR RETCON): the guy who almost made it died of a bullet wound. The only corpse found on the scene the morning after the attack was missing an arm (torn off) and had some deep pressure cuts… with tiny bits of chitin in them. Pattern was consistent with a scorpion, crab or lobster the size of a horse. A big horse.
Radiation readings showed nothing unusual. Sinclair scoffed at the idea of atomic mutant animals. This wasn’t anything weird, just another shapeshifter like her. Googling scorpions (because lobsters or crabs are not desert creatures) revealed that they fluoresce in UV light. And that UV scorpion-illuminating flashlights were available. In town. Closed now, but the base Exec got one open and they made 3 UV spotlights from 15 ScorpionMaster flashlights.
Dukes got the base armorers to use parts he’d brought to modify a M2 machine gun into a personal weapon.
Minutemen were all over the area that night, occasionally shooting at coyotes or nothing or, once, some illegals in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Reports of Sinaloa Cartel activity: some honcho killed in Ciudad Juarez and a hit team, with supers, sent west. Getting close.
Sinclair checked the wind readings for the target area (from the south) and they worked out a good route for her to sniff for corpses — lots easier than something/ someone that might or might not smell like a real scorpion, and might not be in scorpion form any more. Copeland and Mgwanze suited up, Dukes stuck to fatigues and Sinclair went wolf, hanging out the roof hatch to catch the scents.
They ran across a Minuteman camp and warned them out of the area. They seemed unconvinced so Dukes stopped, demonstrated some super strength Intimidating them — and was recognized, despite not being naked. They made no trouble.
Sinclair picked up the scent of several bodies, plus something odd. The scent trail led to the border, fenced at this point. Dukes made a hole. They got near the source 22 miles into Mexico, in a dry river bed.
A drone operator reported something odd. Video showed a small dust devil/ source making it’s way towards them in short bursts of 100+ mph speed. Resolved to a short, skinny guy with binoculars, scouting for three 4-wheel-drive SUVs. Full of — radio chatter confirmed — Cartel soldiers. Kid seemed to be a draftee as there were threats about his family. Gangsters discussed the premium bounty for an intact head and cock. How to find a head or a cock on a scorpion. How they were better off forgetting the premium and blowing him to hell with the rocket launchers and not becoming freak food.
Rocket launchers. Shit.
Ambush? Warning? Indecision. We’re law enforcement officers, sort of.
Elvis called up the chain and got Agent Romanov. (Regarding the Sinaloa Cartel, they were known (personally, by her, was strongly implied) to murder rather large numbers of people, mostly women and girls, in Satanic/ faux pagan Azteca ceremonies.)
Right, no warnings.
The Cartel SUVs stopped in a nice open area, put a man with a knockoff Russian rocket launcher out each roof hatch and sent a kindly-looking, avuncular fellow out to “earn his pay”. The gentleman shucked his clothes and turned into a nasty, 400+ lb. were rat and scampered away to shadow the speedster kid, who was bait.
Our Agents found a good ambush point. Sinclair figured out where she’d go to scan the area if she was the kid and hid right close. Dukes set up with the .50 cal to watch for the scorpion.
Waiting. Copeland and Mgwanze aimed at the SUVs on each end of the short row.
Sinclair, wolfgirl, grabbed the kid, Intimidated him into silence and tossed his radio. He says, “Mi familia.” She says she’ll help them.
King Rat was sneaking up on Sinclair. She’s picked up his scent and located him — damned close.
Alacran (scorpion reached the end cover — burrowing under sand) readied itself to charge. Dukes has seen the moving bulge in the sand.
DAVE IS NOW RUNNING COPELAND & SINCLAIR, CALVIN RUNNING MGWANZE AND DUKES.
CAN’T REMEMBER IF THINGS STARTED UP WITH DUKES TRYING TO HOSE ALACRAN OR WHAT.
Fire One and Two! Both hits. The SUVs are blown to fuck along with the rocketeer and rifleman in each.
King Rat goes for Sinclair. She grabs the kid and scarpers. He pursues.
Alacran rushes up to Dukes and grabs both his arms in its huge claws, immobilizing the gun; it tries to lift and rip him and half loses its footing instead.
They’re evenly matched in strength, but Dukes if far more invulnerable and hits harder. He head butts it, hard. It’s Dazed. It stings him, a solid hit but Dukes’ skin is tougher than that and he feels the stinger break.
The remaining rocketeer shoots a the only target he can see
- Sinclair and the kid. Hit! Hero point- miss, though she takes some damage… and so does the kid: incapacitated.
Mgwanze takes out the remaining SUV.
Copeland shoots the scorpion, with her pistol: no damage.
Dukes kicks the hell out of the scorpion: KO.
Copeland, Sinclair and Mgwanze stabilize the kid, barely.
Discussion. Sinclair finds Alacran’s pantry: six corpses in a burrow. Dukes finishes the were-scorpion, which does not change to human. Thankfully.
Copeland and Sinclair want to help the kid’s parents. Dukes says hiding them probably won’t work, not with the Sinaloa Cartel after them. Copeland and Sinclair are determined. He says they’re not Romanov… Romanov… sounded like she had a grudge against these guys.
Dukes: “Ever hear of W.I.T.C.H.? The Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell?”
All the rest: no.
“Sort of a joke in the ‘60s, but for two weeks there’s a bunch of supers calling themselves WITCH, running around India healing women who got acid thrown in their faces for getting uppity, and fucking up the men responsible. Word on the ‘Carrier is it’s some X-ies, one of the telepaths, Copycat, Flint — Sandman, he’s supposed to be on vacation, Lila Cheney moving them around, maybe Logan. And their intel is way too good to not come from us — and Romanov can run rings around almost anybody when she wants. Cap’n’s chasing around after them, quiet like, with Monroe, who probably ain’t really helping.
Anyway, they should have got to hell out of India three days ago, they’re all together, and Juarez sounds like a similar sort of proposition.
It’d be ugly as hell, but sometimes…”
So that thing happened, mostly off camera. Almost all the Sinaloa Cartel leadership, half the soldiers in Juarez dead. Gov’t officials and police who were on the take or frightened into cooperation missing a finger each and their short term memories. The speedster’s family in X.I.’s version of witness relocation.
Romanov left clues that the Vatican’s Opus Dei supers did it.
That the Zetas made it look like Opus Dei did it.
That Hydra is responsible…. with enough info that SHIELD won’t believe it and waste resources.
Backstory on Alacran:
19 year old poor kid came up a Power, joined the Cartel. Super macho, full of himself. Cartel boss’ daughter’s fiancee dissed the kid. Kid scorped out and killed him and his bodyguards. Took his car and fled west. Hijacked another car, left the road. Holed up for a while, mostly in scorp form. Hunted out the area, started in on humans.
1) SHIELD and US law enforcement in general can deputize volunteers/ consultants/ mercs with powers. Super-Temps has Hazard and Combat rates for their clients who are willing.
2) Battle suits: Impervious Protection 4, -1 Dodge and Parry, goggles do IR, LLV and flash protection, gas mask and rebreather built in. Comes in MARPAT (Marines) Woodland, Winter and Desert patterns. Yes, this temporarily makes you (most of you) PL 6.5 defensively.