Definitely Freaking Out Now
Roleplaying Log: Definitely Freaking Out Now
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Dani, Carolus, and Gwen do some investigating into what exactly happened to Warren's amputated wings… and then do a lot of the eponymous 'freaking out' when they find out.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: October 20, 2019
IC Location: New York and New Jersey
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 21 Oct 2019 06:39
Rating & Warnings:
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits: Scene run by Warren.
Associated Plots

The entire Worthington affair was not good press for New York Presbyterian Hospital. Well — more accurately, it was not one hundred percent good press. Mutant rights groups were all in an outrage at a mutant being medically treated as if he were a human, and obviously over how the 'human solution' was obviously to just cut off his wings; in the meantime, human interests groups countered that it was awfully speciesist for mutants to treat 'being made to look human' as worse than death, especially when said procedure would also save the mutant's life, and argued that the hospital provided the best care it could.

The law ultimately came down on the side of the latter. No one could say that the hospital didn't do its due diligence, in doing its best to treat a situation which was frankly far out of its expertise to begin with.

Of course, none of that addresses the many other ways in which Warren's stay at the hospital, which terminated so abruptly in that fateful amputation, was pretty fishy.

That's where some classic X-Men Digging comes into the picture.

There have been multiple requests for the detached wings from various parties, for the sake of various different kinds of research (medical, mutant, magical even), but such requests always hit the brick wall of the hospital's polite reply that the wings have already been disposed as hazardous biomedical waste. Some additional 'asking' yields that the swiftness of this decision came down due to the advisement of Doctor James Stuart, Warren's personal doctor… who, as it happens, is an attending physician at New York Presbyterian, and an orthopedic surgeon of long experience.


Carolus Sinclair doesn't actually especially doubt that the hospital provided the best care that it could, within the confines of its instructions. But he's also perfectly aware that the instructions given were not always by Warren— or someone with his wishes at heart. Privately, Carolus doesn't regard the loss of one's wings as something worth dying for. But he knows that his own mutations are more expansive by far than that. You could tear his wings and auxiliary arms off and stop them from regrowing and still he would possess power.

It would certainly be strange, though.

"This might end up being boring." He advises Ghost Spider, who is /supposed/ to just be there to stop him from getting ambushed without back-up, and is /actually/ just ending up at murder scenes and on routine investigations where bodyguarding winds up superfluous.

Today's inquiry is simple: Carolus got an appointment to meet with the person responsible for New York Presbyterian's waste management. He's not interested in /obtaining/ the wings. He's interested in knowing, step by step, how they were disposed of.

"Don't suppose you know anything about magic." He adds towards Ghost Spider, half-hopefully.

But he doubts it. Her world seems a lot more low-key about murderous supernatural bears.


EARLIER THAT DAY:

Ghost Spider recieved a text message while she was eating an enormous footlong-and-loaded sandwich upside down on a building.

You know. As you do.

Thumbtyping one handed as bits of lettuce tumble down forty stories like single pieces of vegetal confetti, Ghost Spider responds.

<It's not another murder is it?>
<Please don't rope me in to more murders.>

SLIGHTLY LATER, AFTER ARRIVING:

Ghost Spider looks at the building - the New York Presbyterian Hospital - and frowns deeply under her mask, the lenses of her costume's vague eye-circles narrowing to slits.

"OK, Carolus, I should have been more clear in my texts: no murders or crimes. I don't want to be a criminal!"

A hand waggles at the wrist as she waves off the obvious concern. "Beyond registration, if that makes me a criminal, I'm not registering and also can't register, so, BESIDES that, thank you."

DURING THE INVESTIGATION:

Ghost Spider normal-person walks around, their hands 'heroically' hip-planted in fists while standing around, at times clasped behind their back as they moved from place to place, or…

Fingers laced behind her head as she sat in an office chair waiting for Carolus to get his information or, as the case may be, ambushed by 30 Purifiers from a closet where they were all hiding like a 2016 action shooter.

"Couldn't you have just emailed someone?"


Dani is likewise here and look, she's quite sober.

Perhaps slowly she's finally pulling herself up and out of that deep hole she dug herself into.

It was pretty dark down there too.

But here she is and Moonstar looks put together and ready to figure some things out. It's what has them all here, after all. It's also why Dani is currently on her cellphone as she attempts to try and get in touch with Dr. Stuart, or someone that can get her in touch with him. Or better yet, speak to him in *person* while they trio is here at said hospital.

Face to face would really be best.

And while she's waiting for someone to answer her call that doesn't mean she's not paying attention. Not when Carolus asks his question about magic nor when Gwen asks her question about emailing.

For now, however, Moonstar flicks a look over to Carolus, even as she listens to the most boring hold music ever. "What's your question about magic?"


EARLIER

<First off no.>
<Second do you really want me to chase The Karenator around myself?>
<It'll gas me with essential oils or something.>

NOW

"This isn't criminal. I literally asked to talk to the guy. We're just dealing with enough potential conspiracy that I wouldn't be surprised if an eight foot tall russian with a metal plate in his head shows up at the end." Carolus replies to Gwen, only halfway joking.

He shakes his head, "And no, of course not. E-mailing people is the option you offer them when you want them to ignore you for three days or spin their social anxiety into a cocoon that stops them from responding at all."

"You make an appointment with a secretary and show up if you want to force them to look you in the eye when they tell you to piss off."

Antennae lift in time with eyebrows as Carolus turns back 'round to Dani, "I was just thinking about the idea of sympathetic connections and what could be done with so much as a spare feather if there's one left anywhere. I don't know how any of that actually works, though."

"I suppose," he shrugs, "I could go speak with Stephen Strange, if I desperately desired pointers on a magical education."


For many reasons, a direct line to Doctor Stuart has never been something that was in the rolodex of the X-Men. Not even Alison got his number, during the time Warren was in the hospital — he was around so often that it didn't seem necessary. Yet calling around the hospital itself yields Dani the information that Doctor Stuart is on the premises today, if currently concluding a surgical procedure on another floor entirely.

Meantime, the trio wait for their appointment. It isn't actually a long wait, fortunately.

The person for New York Presbyterian's waste management turns out to be the director of the hospital's Environmental Health and Safety Department, Marion Weber. She does not have 30 Purifiers in her closet, but she appears as wary of this appointment as if she might. The appointment is a thirty-minute window towards the end of the day, which speaks to the priority which it was assigned by whoever organizes her calendar, and to Ms. Weber's own (low) enthusiasm for talking to people about 'that Worthington stuff' again in general, which could potentially create more work for her.

The meeting takes place in Ms. Weber's office, which has a rather cramped look that doesn't befit someone who is the director of a department. But then, the support staff aren't really the rockstars of a hospital, are they? The director does not speak as if she has a chip on her shoulder about this, but she does speak with the abstracted disinterest of someone who isn't really being paid enough for this, and is probably already thinking about Saturday brunch instead.

"Listen, we don't — we don't actually do the waste disposal ourselves, here, that's all outsourced to vendors," comes the important part. "Especially the hazardous stuff. We usually send that stuff out to — a variety of places, you can get a list from my secretary if you're that invested in this. Though Dr. Stuart was pretty insistent we use a particular provider for this one, come to think. His recommendation. Small shop. New. They're already specializing in handling meta stuff like this in particular. I guess if you want to get on a train, you get on it early, right?"

Ms. Weber does not recall the name off the top of her head. But she advises her secretary might — and the good doctor certainly will.


"Look, ok, I don't know anything about magic…" Ghost Spider begins, wiggling her fingers for effect - though WHAT effect, to be honest, is a mystery - "… but I do know that if we start with 'Ghost Spider, we're totally not breaking in', then—"

She leans over, so that 'mostly' only Dani and Carolus can hear her. And maybe a secretary. "—this leads to that, and it's 'Oh no, Ghost Spider, just crawl in through the back window, it's totally legit, it's not stealing medical files if we're doing it for the person whose medical files they are. Really, it's just righteous document requests in the face of adversity!' or something."

Gwen that's a REALLY SPECIFIC objection. Like, shockingly specific.

Talk of Stephen Strange - and sympathetic magic - go right over Ghost Spider's hoodie-cowl, as they're finally served.

"Wait, so, you've never done any business with the disposal group before? That's weird. For a high profile thing like this, wouldn't you go with a trusted vendor? Well, the doctor instructed you, so I guess that's…"

Ghost Spider shrugs. "As long as they're not named 'Sinister Eliminations: We Purge It In Fire, Inquire For Prices Over Anonymous Chat Program, Payment Up Front' or something."

SHOCKINGLY SPECIFIC, GWEN!


Carolus' explanation of just what emailing really entails prompts a small twitch to Dani's lips. In fact, a corner of her mouth ticks upward in some form of amusement, then her expression flattens out to something closed off before it shifts to thoughtful. Closed off at the mention of Warren's wings, but then thoughtful at the prospect of a sympathetic connection.

"Potentially." She agrees, "There are many spells that can help you locate items as long as you have some form of connection to it."

There's a pause in Moonstar's words, however, when her call is finally answered and when the person on the other end reveals Dr. Stuart is here, Moonstar says, "Thank you." And only after she hangs up does she add, "We'll be seeing him shortly."

Then it's back to the conversation at hand and an unvoiced thought of - but are there any spare feathers - which is definitely not asked out loud by Moonstar.

It just isn't.

Ghost Spider's rather specific examples brings a slight eye-narrow from Moonstar as she considers the other woman, but whatever thoughts that swirl in her head stay unspoken.

"I'd definitely like a copy of that list." Moonstar adds even as she nods to what Ghost Spider states, "Does seem a little odd that your typical vendor wouldn't be used, especially if you have contracts with your typical vendors. There's usually a clause in there about only using them."

Once it seems like Ms. Weber has told all of her information on hand, Moonstar just steps out. Sure, she should have politely thanked the woman, but her mind is elsewhere. Specifically the secretary and the name of this new company the hospital has used.

And if she doesn't know, surely Dr. Stuart will.


Carolus isn't entirely unused to getting runaround mild to extreme from places like this hospital, and he's less surprised to be subjected to it when there's already been a veritable hurricane of tension surrounding the place. Mutant-related politics are a wildfire at the moment, so it's only natural a hospital would want to keep its head down as much as possible.

Which is why he is patient about it all.

His antennae and eyebrows would go through the roof if they could.

"Yes. You do." He agrees, making a mental note to look into that line of business.

"To be clear, all hazardous waste related to Mr. Worthington were directed towards this place? Or merely his wings?" He asks.

Then he turns towards Ghost Spider, "… I'm not— I know how you feel about the legally sketchy stuff, and I stay out of it too. I don't really feel like seeing you figuratively self-flagellate yourself, either."

Besides, they have a few different guys for that. If Carolus thought they absolutely, positively, no-questions-asked /needed/ access to something like that and damn the consequences, he'd just see if he could get Wolverine onboard.

Not a filing cabinet on the planet that could keep him out. Probably.

Once his own questions are answered, Carolus offers a polite thank-you-for-your-time and exits the office to join Moonstar. It sounds like they're making a trip to another facility tonight.


Ghost Spider has a hard time getting a good read on Dani. There's always these little flashes of danger that come and go, a hanging cloud of potentia that claws out at times. Times like her dropping her EXTREMELY SPECIFIC examples.

Sheepish at the cold response she broadly gets from both X-People, Ghost Spider gives a nervous laugh. "You know, like in Dad Cop 3?"

That movie series that probably doesn't exist in this universe!

"Couldn't they use… anything, though? The knives that cut things, the sheets and pillowcases, bloody gowns. There's tons of stuff that sympathetic magic could target. And that's ignoring every time he got into a fight and took a real shiner - pomfff!" She claps one fist into the opposite palm, making her best approximation of a cartoonish strike-against-feathered-being where they explode in a cloud of feathers.

"Maybe Warren really should see Doctor Strange, get magical… ward-y stuff happening. You know, for safety."

With the situation at the office resolved, Gwen gives a quick wave and a 'sorry for being weird!' at the receptionist, before joining Carolus and Dani outside.

"So, okay. Maybe we can do the opposite? If you've got Warren, maybe you could track out the bits of him he's lost, backwards? Like a reverse of the normal! That way, if it's NOT ashes, you can track it down?"

Her tone is hopeful, but there's a soft hesitance that colors her words that belies her immense 'I have no idea how this ACTUALLY works' trains of thought.


Ms. Weber looks irritated at being questioned as to using 'a totally new, untried vendor in relation to a high-profile patient,' but it seems more like the irritation of a woman who does not like being questioned about her choices in her rather narrow domain. …Perhaps. "Sometimes we take up new contracts to service new needs," she says bluntly. "Metahuman biological waste isn't like — " There's a rather pointed look at Carolus, " — isn't like what we're already used to, there's so many variables… doesn't it make sense to start talks with folks who're trying to specialize? You people all get up in arms that we haven't properly updated to these new meta-rich times, and then you get up in arms again when we try something new to enhance our meta-friendly services."

She shakes her head. "Anyway. So far as I know, everything regarding Mr. Worthington was routed there. Talk to Marcia up front, I'm sure she can dig up the name."

'Marcia up front' turns out to be much more agreeable than her boss, and though she releases the name of the vendor with which they worked as regarding 'that lovely Mr. Worthington' in particular — which is, likely to Gwen's disappointment, a rather boring 'Meta-Biologic Waste Solutions,' based out in the grim untrod lands of New Jersey — she has an additional caution, which is to advise that 'I don't know what you dears are on about, but you're digging a little close to a HIPAA violation there.'

Which is a nice way of saying that it might not be protected information which vendors they're working with, the actual material being handled is, and they can probably expect some resistance if it hasn't all already been shredded into tiny bits or fired into ashes.


"You people." Dani throws over her shoulder at Ms. Weber, "I'm pretty sure any person would be upset if they found out the typical protocols weren't followed as they should be for the disposal of their body parts."

But thankfully, Dani leaves it at that and steps outside to the much more agreeable Marcia, who promptly gives them the name of the company. Of course it's something boring like Meta-Biologic Waste Solutions. That doesn't seem to bother Dani as she immediatelly brings her phone out to google the business name and anything she might glean quickly with that internet search.

The additional caution from Marcia brings Moonstar's attention off her phone, "Thank you, we appreciate your help with all of this."

Once the trio is out of the office, Moonstar says, "I did confirm Dr. Stuart is in the hopsital today. He's currently in surgery, but when he's out we could grab him for a chat -" And while more could be said those last of Gwen's words brings Moonstar's attention right back around to the other woman. "You know we could do something like that." Moonstar begins, her tone thoughtful, "We could potentially use his hair, his blood, something of his to power a spell to search out anything that belongs to 'him'."

"It should find anything that's 'him' … whether connected or not."

Or theoretically it could.

But, before Moonstar goes down that particular rabbit's hole she refocuses on the information they currently hold. "I'd suggest going to this waste management business and seeing what we can find." A look slides over to Ghost Spider, "Depending on the situation at hand we may have to go in covertly."

"If nothing pans out there then we interrogate the good Doctor."


"I didn't get up in arms about anything." Carolus pauses and looks Ms. Weber square in the eye in response to her glance and remark, "I am trying to protect somebody important to me, and I acknowledge that you are ill-equipped to handle many of my kind. That is not ideal, but it is acceptable for the time being. You need time, opportunity, and fresh thinkers to catch up."

"I am not currently under the impression that New York Presbyterian has anything to answer for. If it were the legs of a man with gangrene, you would have cut those off too. I do not know how you would dispose of /those/, but I take at faith that it was not so different from how you disposed of Mr. Worthington's wings."

"I regret," he concludes, "that you are the focal point of a deeply unfortunate situation at a politically turbulent time."

His attention leaves Ms. Weber after this altogether, swinging back to Dani and Ghost Spider.

"I need to show you local movies so I can understand your references more often." Carolus states, matter-of-factly. As for Ghost Spider's ideas about sympathetic magic, he shrugs, "It's possible those are all concerns. This is a more immediate concern because of circumstances, but of course its possible that any scuffle he's been in could expose him to such hazards. I do not know."

"— But that," he points at Ghost Spider in answer to her idea about reversing the concept, "sounds like an excellent plan."

"Is Ms. Rasputina capable of something like that? Er… are /you/?" He wonders at Moonstar. Carolus has no idea how deep the X-Men's occult resources actually run. He knows Moonstar is in a bit of a unique position there, but he didn't want to /assume/ too much.


Ms. Weber's irritation only deepens at Dani's cold reception to her aggravation, though Carolus's subsequent rejoinder seems to take the wind out of her sails. No one ever knows what to do in response to a measured, firm, and yet nonhostile response to their own aggression, resulting in the fact that the trio depart without much further objection — or prickliness — from the director.

Dealing with Marcia is much more pleasant. Gwen's apology about 'being weird' gets an 'oh dears you're not weird at all!' which is probably a refreshing change of pace.

The information about Meta-Biologic Waste Solutions did in fact include an address, near Piscataway, New Jersey. From Dani's quick search, it appears to be a rather remote facility, just outside the town, and is not too far out from the city. Maybe forty miles: an hour's drive, or even less by Asgardian flying horse. The website does confirm that it is a rather new establishment, intent on breaking new ground in the safe handling and disposal of metahuman hazardous material.


This whole situation is part of the worst thing about being an IDENTITY WEIRDO who has a strong need to sit around in a costume in waiting rooms. Thankfully, in this universe, there's the noble Spider-Man, who does this while fingergunning people and walking down the street!

Maybe. Has that happened? It's unclear! But still!

Gwen is certainly not really comfortable busting chops with a weird racist lady, when she doesn't even self-identify as 'a mutant' and barely considers herself 'a metahuman', becuase these are labels and she's very punk rock. Normally.

"I'm pretty sure we'd know if you were up in arms, Carolus." Gwen jokes, making a vague high-low flexing motion with both her arms. It's hard to approximate having four with two, but she manages with her meager pantomime skills.

"I mean, if you can't get it asking nicely, the first solution shouldn't be 'ok, time to crime', it should be going sideways. Working the angles."

Thumb and index finger come up cocked into a jaunty finger-gun. "That way, you can make sure the options are exhausted. Sometimes all it takes to solve a problem is finding a new angle."

The 'local movies' comment gets an aghast pop of the lenses. "R-really? You guys don't have Dad Cop? It's a classic!"
Truly, this universe is the strictly worse version of events where everything is worse.

"So… We're going to go break in to a place in Jersey, instead? Well, that's comforting. I'm at least fifty percent certain that breaking and entering is a misdemeanor in Jersey, and that's without a good reason. Just don't say 'interrogation' with that face, seriously."

"You make it sound like you'll want me to dangle them upside down from a building and do the whole 'oh no, my grip's slipping!' routine."

"Which… I've only actually done to a mugger, okay? Just so we're clear. My grip doesn't slip."


At Carolus' naming of Illyana as Ms. Rasputina, Moonstar takes a moment to say with both amusement and definite seriousness, "I'd advise never calling her that to her face."

His question of whether she can do that sort of spell prompts a shake of her head. "Not me, no. My abilities are geared more towards -"

Death, but she decides against saying that so loudly. "Other mystical areas."

As for the issue concerning movies, Dani adds, "Does Kindergarten Cop count?"

It probably doesn't, not that it matters. Not when all are in agreement on their next stop, though Moonstar pauses when Gwen reveals she's done the 'grip slipping' routine to a mugger. There's a moment or two of that very straight-laced expression from Moonstar, but then she simply says, "Sometimes it's warranted."

"Let's get moving - we've some ground to cover to get to the business. If either of you want a ride on Brightwind he can carry the three of us." A look slides to Carolus, "Not that you really need help in the flying department, but if you need a break." Brightwind can definitely carry all three and speaking of Brightwind the winged-horse arrives with a clatter of hooves.

He's a pegasus for sure and when he turns a look to the assembled his gaze holds more intelligence than your typical horse, with wings. Dani takes no time in vaulting up to the saddle and then offers to help anyone who wants a ride with her.

Then once everything is settled it's upward into the sky and onward to the facility.


It is past midnight at the time of their arrival. Waste disposal people probably don't keep hours all THAT different from normal, so it's not all that out of the ordinary that the place is quite dark when they arrive.

What IS out of the ordinary is the fact that once they get in range:

1) Gwen's spider-sense starts to go off pretty strongly that Something Is Up,
2) Dani's death sense starts to go off, too, which is a confirmation of the Bad.

Fortunately, on the scale of 'how hard is it to break into this place?' Meta-Biologics rates as 'not hard to break into at all.' Whatever else is going on here, there's no signs that the place 'is shacked up with mutant hate groups with unusually high technology levels,' 'has made contact with malevolent alien races,' or 'has made pacts with any demonic lords lately.'

It's just a waste disposal facility, entirely normal. Which clearly encountered something it was not equipped to handle.


"Yes. All of you have too few arms to get up in." Carolus replies to Ghost Spider, flatly. He raises both sets of arms for emphasis, then lowers them again because he really does take up a lot of space if he does that. Probably something to remember on the off chance that he gets mind controlled.

"We're not escalating to crime." He adds, 3/4ths because he believes it and 1/4th for plausible deniability.

"Dad Cop sounds better than Clown World. No, uh… let's see… what should I recommend. Demolition Man. You should watch Demolition Man." He considers that, then amends, "We should watch Demolition Man."

He blinks at Moonstar, "Er… how should I address her, then? I am familiar with her only in passing, and a healthy understanding of the broad capabilities of the people in my surroundings."

The moth man offers no comment on roughing up goons. Carolus has /done/ it, but usually only in the heat of the moment when he really needs to. Most of them don't actually assume that people can handle them, in his experience.

The option of whether to fly by his own power /or/ to ride on the pegasus is offered, Carolus looks deeply torn. One finger rests against his chin in an unconscious thoughtful gesture. He looks at a spot on the floor between Dani and Ghost Spider, antennae twitching lightly.

"I feel as if riding a pegasus is an opportunity I ought not turn down." He decides.

The Pegasus gets a smile and a theatrically polite bow when they catch its eye outside.

It seems lost on Carolus that, in fact, they have simply escalated to crime. Whatever— it's Jersey.

Unfortunately, Carolus's special senses are not so specific as the other's, so he just doesn't react independently of either of them prompting him during the SURPRISE ROUND.


"Are you a magical mutant fairy princess? Because if so…"

Gwen stares at the horse, raising a halting hand to brush its MAGNIFICENT, MAJESTIC MANE. "… That's awesome, I'm jealous." She finishes, clambering on with all the grace of a spider, and all the 'eeee, magic pony ADVENTURE' of a young woman.

Look, maybe Dani is just She-Ra, that's probably totally legitimate, her powers are Horse, Muscles, Sword, and Big.

(Dani's team being a punk collection of maladjusted friendpals who fight the Legion of Doom notwithstanding, but you can't say the reference doesn't line up distressingly.)

Getting to Jersey past midnight is an experience, but it's down the 'awful' ladder from 'Being fired into the garbage parts of Gotham', which is already a garbage city with more muggers per capita than cars.

Swooping down on a PEGASUS (eeee), Ghost Spider slides off and lands in a crouch, eyes immediately squinting as she immediately tenses. "Something's wrong."

With halting, hesitant steps, Gwen makes her way to the door and jiggles the handle.

With a considerate thought, and invoking the magic spell "I'm sure you guys can replace a door—" She just firm-handshakes the door and forces the mechanism with her arm after yawing on it for a moment.

With a ginger shove (or pull, AS DOORS ARE WONT TO OPEN EITHER ONE OR THE OTHER WAY, AND IT'S ALWAYS THE WAY YOU TRY SECOND), Ghost Spider cracks the door stealthily.

After probably the metal stress noises of forcing the lock, BUT STILL.


Brightwind sees that bow from Carolus and with a whicker of amusement, the winged-horse dips his head in acknowledgement.

Gwen's reaction also brings a whuffle of amusement from the horse, but let's face it. HE. IS. USED. TO. IT.

And probably loves the attention and expects it here on Midgard. He definitely has an ego to go along with a sugar cube addiction.

Both Carolus' and Gwen's words bring a flash of a grin from Moonstar, to Gwen she says, "I can't say I've ever been compared to a fairy princess, but no." She's definitely a Valkyrie, sure, but definitely not a fairy princess.About the same time that Gwen mentions something wrong, Moonstar inhales sharply as well. "Death is coming."

Those three words are said somewhat softly, but her next words aren't. They're said for both Gwen and Carolus. "Something bad is going on inside, we go in with the utmost care. No chances taken, no crazy heroics. If something is too much you cut and run and we get out, got it?"

Now it's to Gwen as the young woman forces the door open and as long as no one rushes in the Cheyenne woman is quick to say to her partners-in-crime, "I'll take point."


"So it's a 'do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do' situation?" Ghost Spider inquires of Dani.

The mask can't hide her doofy grin. "No heroics. I'm not getting stabbed to death this close to an shady disposal site: promise."

She holds the door open for Dani, one sticky white-wrapped hand splay-fingered across the door's front to swing it open.


'Something's wrong.' 'Death is coming.'

Carolus's wings buzz, lifting him off the back of Brightwind abruptly as he adopts his own ready position. His expression suggests that he's not particularly happy with Moonstar's suggestion of taking point, but he doesn't gainsay her. This isn't the time or place for it, and if Moonstar is confident of her ability to be first in, he's confident of her call.

He casts an apologetic look towards Ghost Spider.

"Be careful, Dani." He offers, only lightly worriedly.


The door, despite being heavy-duty and secured with a keypad, opens very easily because spider-strength is now being applied to it. If there's an alarm attached to it, it's a silent one… or for some reason, it doesn't go off. The latter starts to become increasingly more likely as the trio progress inside, and it becomes evident that everything appears to be down: none of the electrical systems are working at all, everything completely dark and offline.

There's no sign of why, except for faint forked-lightning patterns burnt along the walls in a visible reflection of where the wiring in the building is run. As if something raced along the synapses of the building for half a second, flash-frying everything, before receding back to its origin point.

The origin point seems to indicate the lower levels, down to a vast room where the autoclaves and the incinerator for organic waste reside.

There are no signs of life along the way.

The room is dark as hell, lit only by sparse starlight coming through some distant windows at the far wall, near the large set of doors where offloading must happen.

The place seems to have been left midway through a job. A batch of tightly-packed material sits on a metal table near the incinerator. One of the packages is open, and not in a way that looks like protocol.


A look shifts over to Ghost Spider and while Dani could say something whitty to the costumed woman, she doesn't. Instead she just says in that even-tone of hers, "Pretty much."

Carolus' sentiment to be careful prompts a quick, "I will be." Then, "We all will be."

For now, Dani pulls out her SHIELD issued ICER, sure she shouldn't be using it on a non-SHIELD-off-the-records-'op', but here she is.

Once her gun is in hand the woman steps through the door and immediately her gaze casts all around in the very dark room. It's only by the fifth or sixth step inward, when (for the moment) it becomes clear there isn't anyone near the trio, Moonstar creates the smallest of psionic objects. It shines a small halo of magenta light around the Cheyenne woman. A small beacon in the darkness.

The burnt patterns upon the walls are eyed warily, but it's the table that gets her next attention. "Let's see what's on the table."


The truth is that Carolus innocently expects that Moonstar wouldn't be allowing this if she didn't have a way to make it above-board. It hasn't occurred to him that perhaps it's more important to her than that. He nods to her, and immediately after she's pressed in he follows after.

The dark of the place doesn't register at all to him. Brilliant colors light up the room here and there, though the moment Ghost Spider steps in the room she /probably/ dominates that particular aspect of things with her shockingly ultraviolet color scheme. He frowns slightly, keeping as airborne as the confines of the building will allow him to.

Distinctive dark spots along the walls draw his attention, but Moonstar has something in mind already. His eyes are drawn immediately to the magenta light, which is radiantly brilliant within the scope of his own vision.

After a moment of staring blankly, he shakes his head and says, "Looks like the wiring was burned out really hard here. Some sort of electrical attack, maybe? And isn't it a bit strange that…"

"It looks like a quick evacuation occurred, but there's no… coats, no drinks, no signs that it was /too/ abrupt?" He asks, suspiciously.


Apology looks? For not charging into danger first?

Alerted like she is, her 'nah it's fine' waggle-wave of fingers towards the moth-metaman, her head locked 'foward', towards the danger and the dark interior.

Skulking in and trusting in her spoder-senses to steer her right, she skirts the electrical damage with ginger footsteps, hands readied at either side like a tightrope walker even with the surest footing spider-stickyness can provide.

It's a very alerted walk, as she swings in behind Dani, just short of her magenta halo of light.

The center table doesn't trigger her, but the way down — and the strange package sitting near the incinerator draws her — like a Carolus to flame.

"You know…"

Ghost Spider jumps up like a kid in a supermarket reaching for a hanging sign, but in this case her fingertips touch the cieling easily, and from there, she flexes and swings her arm, attaching her feet and just straight up crawling across to the open stairwell and the waiting, TANTALIZING open package.

"Ok, so… I'd definitely get a bad feeling if this was a bomb or a trap or something…"

Aiming down, middle and ring finger touching the inside of her palm with pinky, pointer, and thump bout, she angles her wrist towards the package, and fires a web-line at the SUSPICIOUS PACKAGE.

"I'll just reel in the goods, and Gary's your uncle."

With a yank, she tries to prize the SHADY OBJECT into her hands from a distance!

This will go great.


The package does not explode as Gwen just — goes for it. It doesn't trigger any booby traps or anything. Not immediately, anyway. It just flies towards her and lands neatly in her hands.

The package contains what remains of Warren Worthington's wings, which — isn't much. Feathers, a few scraps of bone. What's alarming about the remnants is that 1) they clearly weren't disposed nearly as quickly as the good doctor was insisting they be disposed, for whatever reason 2) the remains appear to be leaking some sort of… dark blue organic fluid with an odd metallic sheen. It's not much, mere traces really… but those traces lead towards the compromised area of the packaging, suggesting that the integrity of the seal was chewed through.

Fortunately nothing directly happens to Gwen herself on getting up close and personal with this crap. What's in her hands, on the wing remnants themselves, seems pretty dormant.

However —

Dani's death sense holds pretty steady. Gwen's spider-sense gives her a nice good jolt, though, in tandem with the sudden screaming.

There are five of them, perhaps all the personnel who were scheduled for that shift. In Carolus's ultraviolet vision, they look like jigsaw eruptions of brilliant alien blue, reflective metallic purple, and obsidian black, milling out from the the dark spaces between autoclaves and towering storage racks where they had crawled into agonized hiding. They look like — they were men and women, once. Now they look like men and women who have been left out in the sun for days to soften, and then rolled through a collection of sharp metal and stray wiring. Their flesh has been — reconfigured, no better word for it, the meat rearranged to integrate (poorly) around the blue-black metal and wires which have grown into their bodies. Their eyes flicker like dying lightbulbs, glowing a silvery-white.

Most of them still wear most of their hazmat gear. Not a lot of it survived the transfiguration, though.

Beyond their initial screaming, they are completely silent as they converge towards Dani — the closest — in clear desire to rip her apart with shrapnel claws.


Carolus' observations brings a vague head nod from Dani, clear agreement as she then voices those thoughts.

"Agreed, something isn't adding up."

And when Gwen snags the package Moonstar takes a second to turn to watch the package zip on over to the costumed woman. "What's inside?"

She asks that question quietly, but loud enough for Gwen and Carolus to hear and as soon as the question is asked the screaming begins.

Those sounds automatically cause Dani's ICER to be snapped upward in the directions of those howls, which of course brings her gaze around as well and Moonstar can't help but frown at those men and women.

No wait, somethings that were once men and women. SHIELD training (and X-Men) kicks in, "Hold it right there!"

Not that she expects them to actually stop and so when they don't, she depresses the trigger of her ICER and shoots the tranq bullets at the ones that are in the lead.

Then she does two things one after another - the first she creates a handful of psionic daggers which she throws at the creatures and then second, she literally flings herself away from them.

She's going to tuck and roll herself away from those metallic-infused-things. Creatures. Whatever they are now.


Carolus's mouth falls open at the sight of them. His first thought is that they are, in their own grotesque way, colorful and beautiful. His second thought is, what could possibly have come of disposal of Angel's wings that caused /this/? The flickering lights of their eyes are interesting, but not enough so by themselves to dazzle him properly. The screaming is just horrible— are they still /alive/ as they understand the idea? Could this be undone?

He doesn't know. But he does know he wants to /not/ touch these things if he can avoid it. The mothman remains well above Moonstar's salvo of Ranged Options, moving to the nearest solid wall or surface and slapping the palm of his hand against it. A thread of silk about the thickness of a human hand sticks to the wall, and he draws it out, flying in a broad crescent while exuding more of the material such that it tumbles to the floor in a great arc.

Near the end of it he stops extruding and tugs fiercely on his end, attempting to draw one or more of the biohorrors flush against the wall. Given how… /morphic/ and sharp they are, Carolus doubts that it'll hold them, but it should buy Moonstar some distance.

Ghost Spider is a Spider in a dark building and, he suspects, is perfectly in her element.

"It's like looking at colorful candle wax made of people. Also— Gary's Your Uncle?"

"How long have they /been/ like this? Why'd they stay here?" He carries on, utterly baffled.


"This—-!" Gwen announces, when she gets the package in her hot little hands, and it drips disgusting and probably HIGHLY dangerous biohazardous waste. "Was not properly disposed of"

Thanks, Spider-Gwen. You are a hero of obvious callouts. Dripping evil goo for just a moment, Ghost-Spider's danger sense goes off even as she sprays webbing onto the tear - a bite mark??? - and wraps up the package quickly in a sticky casing of elastic material. It's not a perfect seal, but like gauze, it'd absorb first and provide a stopperage against further leaking.

She doesn't really need the scream once things start shambling out, swinging their thresher-hands at the two lower people. "It's the wings and other stuff! It's leaking some sort of purple stuf-Woah!"

Dropping from the cieling, Gwen rotates and snaps her foot up, delivering a roundhouse kick to the one lunging for Dani. "I got the /thing/, I'm pretty sure SHIELD will want to know about a bunch of crazy… metal zombies! This is the WORST theme for goons!"

Ghost Spider turns to Carolus, eyes widening as she ducks a flailing claw and hops a second strike, heels tight in, before lobbing the package at the moth-man. "You've got some hands free, and I need mine!"

With a tumble, she forward rolls into a half-breakdance pop on her left arm, carrying her back up to the cieling, where she can aim, wrists akimbo, a stacatto of web-blasts at swinging arms and shambling, silent legs while upside down and hanging from her toes.

"Yeah! Please don't question my idioms mid-fight!"


Carolus catches the webbed package deftly, wraps it in an extra layer of silk, and hangs it from the ceiling in a quick set of motions that suggests he does this with small-to-midsized objects regularly. He calls back, "No promises! Trying not to freak out!"


"Just go with it!" Gwen shoots back, crouched on the cieling and shooting tech-zombies with spiderwebs while upside down on the cieling like it's the most natural thing in the world.

"Just tell yourself: 'if I freak out right now, they win, if I freak out later, I win' and stick it to 'em!"

With a 'splut' and a 'fwip!' she swings across the room to perch on the side of the wall, re-aiming as she goes with one hand while her feet and other palm-and-fingers adhere to the vertical surface. "Worst that happens, get the stuff out of here!"


The things definitely do not stop when told to stop — but fortunately(?) they don't seem all that resilient, either. They seem to be just… corpses, really, animated into some grotesque semblance of life by whatever that dark blue stuff is, though it's clearly unstable… and degenerating fast.

The psychic knives don't appear to do much, accordingly — there's no minds — left to effect. The ICER shots are very effective, though. Though the bullets are just tranq bullets, the impact of them seems to be enough to disrupt the fragile integrity of those shambling bodies.

…the net result is that they sort of crumble like over-floured dough when hit, raining down into puddles of dessicated dusty flesh and metal. The dark blue stuff chews on the organic material a while longer, taking it apart and consuming it like a fire burning through the last vestiges of its fuel; once the last vestiges of organic material are gone, the viral blue material seems to turn in and consume itself, until nothing remains but inert bits of gleaming metal.

The same happens to the others, in turn, as they are hit, or flattened against walls. It's rather disappointing in terms of an open fight… but then again, as becomes abundantly clear, whatever happened here to these people…

…it was neither controlled, expected, or at all stable.

The remnants of the wings, safely sealed up in several layers of web and silk, definitely seem to be the source. That dark blue viral load combusted on contact with other bodies, but traces of it seem to remain semi-stable in that packaging.


"Less chatter!" Moonstar shouts to both Carolus and Gwen, "Focus on the threat at hand!"

Which the two totally are, but somewhere Moonstar channels Scott Summers in those few intense minutes of battle. Let's hope she doesn't feel the urge to put anything in powerpoint. That's a true horror.

Her psychic knives do nothing, which is seen, and as she rises back up one knee her ICER comes up again and once more the trigger is pulled.

More tranq bullets fly and when they hit and the bodies seem to 'pop', Dani can't quite stop a grimace.

Only once the things (they aren't people any longer) are down does Moonstar rise to her feet. "Carolus? Spider? You two good?"

Which they likely are since she can see and all of that, but it still has to be said. For them to confirm verbally.

Of course, that doesn't stop Dani from seeing the organic part of those bodies being consumed. It's enough to prompt a, "Spirits.", from the veteran SHIELD agent.


"Nope, definitely freaking out now." Carolus replies to Ghost Spider, which is around the time that his own little trick comes full circle and the techno-zombies snap against the wall and just sort of… fall apart. He makes a disgusted face, nose wrinkled up and everything, but just as soon as things began they come to a close.

He pulls the package loose from the ceiling, applying some reinforcing silk and a little bit of length to keep it away from whoever happens to be carrying it.

He brings the biowaste-laden package down and offers it to Moonstar, shaking his head as he descends, "Condition is acceptable. Not good. You're the senior team member here, so I'm assuming you know better than I do how best to handle this."

"I'm guessing there was something in his bone marrow that wasn't expected. Can't think of anything else that might've gotten overlooked at the hospital, and even that seems like a stretch."

"Unprofessional chatter and my freaking out aside — which I make no apologies for," Carolus adds, "that was well-done. I am glad to have been with the two of you here."


It's hard to claim credit for 'kills' when webs aren't exactly the most lethal weapon to use, but when you're webbing up legs and limbs for a trained Agent of SHIELD to pop with a literal handheld railgun.

And boy, do they pop.

"Eugh. Like candle… balloons. Yeah, I'm fine."

Detaching from the wall one leg at a time, she manages to have one foot braced against a wall, and another let down to toe against the facility's floor. Repeating the slightly awkward looking process, she shoves off with her hand and looks around while her fingers curl into her fists entirely from their shooting posture.

"You know, I'm really just gonna… Let you two handle that. Warren will probably want to know, or see it, and SHIELD will probably want to contain the weird goo."

Carolus grabs the TECH JUICE silkweb bindle and hands it off to Moonstar and Gwen has less than nothing to say against it.

"You're not, though. You'd be heaving! You did good. Me, I'm going to be seeing that in my sleep, jeez. Like I said:"

"Freaking out later is my win. So I'm going to do that. Do you have, like, a chemical disposal bath? I think I need to scrub my gloves with lye. I'm pretty sure that'll make me feel better."

Beyond a mild tremor-shudder in her voice, Gwen's holding it together more or less. She didn't have to see them transform or hear them scream, so there's a layer removed from 'people' that were killed. It's comforting, in a morbid way.


Dani accepts the bundle, gingerly, and then with a look at the room at large she says to Gwen first, "We can get you taken care of." And then to Carolus, "You two did good. Now let's get you both out of here." And somehow Moonstar will deal with the clean-up, because she's definitely going to want a piece of that metal that now sits on the floor where the bodies once were.


"I… appreciate your approval, Danielle." Carolus replies to Moonstar, clearly more than a little troubled by all of this but also obviously pleased.

"Institute has stuff to handle weird clean-ups. Our biology gets real unusual sometimes." He asides to Ghost Spider, looking down at himself and then around the building, "More unusual than this."

"Speaking of, what makes you think I can heave?" It's hard to tell if he's joking or not.

He doesn't clarify the matter as they exit the building. Maybe he'll get around to it later.


Gwen is challenged with a brain-teaser. It's a real headscratcher.

Then, it comes to her. "Because you ate one of those gutbuster burgers and fries. You need a gag reflex to not die eating those. Since you have, queue ee dee."

"And yes, I will take you up on your weirdly specific hygene devices at the Institute, thanks much."

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