Attack on the Triskelion: Blowback
Roleplaying Log: Attack on the Triskelion: Blowback
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

SHIELD is attacked by the Brotherhood and from within. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch tear the building apart.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: March 24, 2019
IC Location: The Triskelion - Operations
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 24 Mar 2019 16:49
Rating & Warnings:
NPC & GM Credits: Nick Fury by Corvus
Associated Plots

It's evening. Sunday night in Manhattan is possibly the quietest the city that never sleeps gets. There are still people on the street, there are cars that loudly honk to let other cars know the light has changed. Every now and again, there's the sound of a siren. Whether ambulance, police, fire, it's hard to tell as they all tend to blend into each other.

Above, it sounds as if a plane is flying low overhead, however upon looking up, there is no plane. Instead, a large black object lists toward the ocean in what feels like horrifying slow motion. Then, from the roof of the building an explosion: ear-splitting. Glass windows from the buildings nearby shatter, showering the street with their shards. A silent alarm has gone out to a few superhero teams with which SHIELD has had dealings.

For a few moments, it's possible to look inside the clean marble Atrium of the building known as the Triskelion. The large open space that generally always has a few people moving across its floor is empty. Bright, red angry lights reflect off the gleaming surfaces and one can even imagine the sound of an alarm, though it is impossible to hear from the street. There's a flash of bright light and suddenly the glass doors turn opaque.

Behind that screen, now unseen, the sound of shattering and heavy metal locking into place.

Inside the magical barrier, throughout the halls is an overwhelming feeling of dread and panic. Most of the lights in the hallways are off. Red lights circle and an alarm blares every minute on the minute. A calm - if robotic sounding - British voice tells the employees of SHIELD: "All Agents, Emergency Protocol 0 - 0 - 1 - Alpha - Zulu." After a few minutes, the voice repeats the same code.

Many agents have already started to evacuate in the eerie flashes of red tinted light. Others gather clearance level materials to either 'burn' or save according to protocols.

Some SHIELD agents remain on the operation level, either there by choice or by accident. A tall man in a leather coat and eye patch grabs for an intercom and presses his thumb against it. "Override Protocol, Director Fury." There are screens behind him showing agents leaving, at their desks or barricading themselves in secure rooms.

Then, across the speakers, his voice cutting into the sirens: "This is Director Fury. Forget Emergency Protocol. Agents, look around you. Whoever's got the highest level clearance is your new team leader. I don't care if they're the mail carriers or coffee fetchers. Team leaders, congratulations on the promotion, get your team and all civilians out. Be smart, leave the superheroing for the Avengers and regroup at outpost Fife Sierra Papa."

* * *

"What the hell is going on?"

Jen sticks her head out of her temporary room and spots a few other recruits milling around uncertainly. "The— where the hell is Five Papas?"

A sharp whistle is blown and the recruit instructor steps swiftly into the hallway. "Two columns, form on me, right now." The scattered recruits regroup into a loose formation. "Follow me," she says, tense-voiced. "We're falling back to the evac point. Everyone hang on to one another and do NOT get lost."

They break into a jog and the short green-skinned meta at the tail of the pack starts getting winded fairly quickly. Up several stairs, down some stairs, across a hallway… she's flagging before they're out of the building and staggers to catch her breath.

There's a noise behind her that draws her attention, then it's gone. She jogs around the corner to pick up with her group—

And walks into a log series of intersecting hallways.

" me," Jen groans. She stops to read the directions on a wallpost and starts hustling in that direction at a speed that at best qualifies as "brisk walk."

* * *

Finesse has been in costume, walking side-by-side the Wasp, and telling the other girl with her, "I have never been insdie the Triskellion before. It seems quite functional," as her first statement inside. This, of course, to one who knows her, is a compliment rather than an observation. Order is needed to learn in, to function in.
And then, the chaos reigns. Things crashing, thundering, shaking, alarms are going off as within the reception area, the entire world seems to instantly go to hell. She takes a ready stance, and looks around towards those already moving to evacuate, listens to Fury's statement. "We should assist with the evacuation proceedings if any need help," she determines to Nadia. "It does not seem you'll be registering today."
Her observation is not intended as a joke, but it might easily come off as something dry and sarcastic with her straight-man delivery of the observational fact.

* * *

"It's certainly airier than the red Room bunker. Still just cas cold as Siberia in some places." Says a young brunette in black and red to the other girl beside her.

"So yeah you can undderstand why I'm skittish about coming here. Sure it seems like the smart thing to do but while my other statuses are in the air. Statii? I mean what do I get sorted out first. Will one lead to the other. I mean SHIELD know who I am." Nadia says, in costume, sans helmet, which is cradled under her arm. Talking with Finesse beside her. "I mean what was I like the third person to show up here and say Hi I'm an escaped Red Room operative. And I'm the daughter of Hank Pym. I swear I think I heard people getting terrified at the idea as much as that evil dry hand washing thing the less scrupulous spymasters do. And they do that a lot." she points out while mimicking the gesture with her own synthetic leather gloved fingers.

"I just hope they understand that I'm technically defecting to the US as much as I'm half American. I'd rather not end up being stuck doing the spy thing. They've got at least two Black Widows already, I am not going to be a third. I'm happy just being Wasp when I'm not in the lab." she admits with a nibble of her lower lip.

When the whole place goes crazy and the lock down begins the freckled little brunette's eyes go wide while she stuff her head back into her helmet. "Not me, I'm friendly!" she says and puts her hands up, making sure no one is pointing weapons at her or Finesse. To the other brunette she pouts.

"You might sadly be right."

* * *

There are few things that can break Ulysses' concentration when he's hard at work on something. Explosions? Alarms blaring? Those are pretty good exceptions, for instance.

There hasn't been a day these past couple of weeks that Ulysses had been really at ease to the point that he's forgotten what it feels like to be relaxed. Day in and out he'd be at his desk, fingers dancing away over keyboards. Pretty normal stuff. Not so normal? The things he's been reworking coding on. His head jerks up at the alien sounds shuddering throughout the building, wide eyes drifting towards the nearest of the installed emergency lights that he'd hoped to never see go off. His tension ticks up a couple more notches than he'd thought possible.

Everything that follows is practically rehearsed to the point that he could have done it in his sleep. He saves the encoding onto a thumbdrive, closes up files and clears caches, erases whatever needs erasing before slamming his side laptop closed and starting to follow suite on his main computer once he's slipped the tiny drive away into a pocket.

His fingers freeze over the keyboard when a familiar and very commanding voice rings out over the speakers.

"Uhh…."

Ohh no is this really happening? He swallows, looks around and then opens a bottom drawer, flipping open a case containing his ICER, which he pulls out and hastily buckles the holster on, all the while hoping he doesn't need to use it. Leaving. Leaving is good. He looks around the rest of the maze of cubicles and desks to see who all else is about as he straightens his blazer and the Hufflepuff tie he wears around his neck out of anxiousness.

There's plenty of people above his lowly Level 4 rank, right?

"…."

There's people around him, right? He's not sure what's worse, having to play leader or finding out everyone's already left his area.

* * *

Being in the city again is a little strange; she had only just started getting used to the (relative) quiet of being in a place like Westchester versus in the heart of New York before she had to return — if not for herself, to maintain some of the relationships she's formed over the last couple of years outside of SHIELD itself — contacts, friends, checking in on those that may owe her a favor.

Trying to smooth over with people bristling with her after her appearance in that ill-fated interview video package, too.

But when the explosions, fire, and all the chaos starts, there's only one place that she can be: Charging to the Triskelion, intent on getting right into the thick of it to see how, or if, she can help. Coulson warned her to stay away, but…

Walking the halls of the Triskelion, searching for familiar faces, she certainly doesn't look the part of a proper SHIELD agent; she wears a mid-thigh black dress with flowery skulls, tights, ankle boots, and a leather jacket not ruined by a space goat and a swimming pool, ginger red hair tied back and badge clipped to the jacket's lapel.

"You!" she calls, catching sight of Ulysses, clutching a pistol in one hand and a canteen in the other. "What the hell is going on?"

* * *

Despite her shift to being a fulltime Avenger, especially with Tony Stark's 'Young Avengers' initiative, Kate Bishop, on some level, still feels some sense of obligation towards her old outfit, what with her mentor's old allegiances. So it isn't surprising that once any available Avengers have been ordered to scramble for the Triskelion, she is one of the first to move, rendezvousing with her small, fledgling team in Stark Tower before dispatched to SHIELD's presently beleaguered headquarters in the middle of Manhattan.

Too cramped, in the end, for a helicopter drop, and she's not about to turn herself and her group into a moving target in the sky just in case. So what she does is ask Billy Kaplan to teleport them to one of the adjacent buildings to the Triskelion - in the end, not as tall as the building, itself, not when it looks like a dead ringer for the Empire State building in size, but it gives her a perfect line of sight towards a series of windows in one of its upper floors.

The drop is significant when peering over the edge.

Her tenure with SHIELD is over, and whatever security protocols she remembers are probably woefully out of date. She doesn't know whether it's safe for her to ask Billy to zap them inside of the building - she doesn't put it past Fury to account for magic types, after all. So she opts for a relatively analog solution to the issue of how to conveniently enter a building comandeered by one of the greatest spies the world has ever known.

Hopefully Billy or Tommy aren't scared of heights.

She picks what looks like an empty hallway through her high-tech specs, and lines up a shot with her Stark Industries bow.

"I'm gonna make us a door," she tells her group, before firing. "And then, I'm going to be a passenger on one of you."

The arrowhead slams into the thick, bulletproof fiberglass, and with another set of fingers, she adjusts the yield of the incendiary, and detonates it, blowing a hole through the glass and sending shards of it scattering to the howling winds.

* * *

Billy Kaplan has Strong Feelings about SHIELD. Or maybe it's better to say:

Billy Kaplan has Strong Mixed Feelings about SHIELD.

Leaning Strong, though.

His interactions with them as an organization has been minimum at best. But as a human being and as an opinionated human being to boot, Billy keeps up with the news, watches video feeds, hears Tony Stark's drunken rambling — and it's enough, he feels, to have an informed opinion about them, that he has no doubt expounded upon to one Tommy Shepherd at length.

Ever since the day he registered as a show of good faith, he stopped voicing those opinions. They didn't go away. They probably strengthened, even.

But suddenly, the world just felt so much bigger and more confusing after that day.

And it isn't like those feelings go away, either, as a faint chant of "elsewhere elsewhere elsewhere" fills the empty halls of that adjacent building and ushers Billy, Kate and Tommy into the next door neighbor of that chaotic, violence-soaked building. They're at the forefront of his thoughts, in fact, gnawing away at him as his red cloak spills around him, blue glow fading from an increasingly worried stare as he stares out through the nearest window.

"It's… terrible. I thought they were one of the best defended places on the planet."

But in circumstances like these?

"What in the world happened here-??"

There's more important things to focus on. Minimize collateral damage. Find out what's going on.

Save the people who can't save themselves.

Isn't that what being a hero is all about?

So, as he shields himself from the outward blow of glass, Wiccan tries to stuff those doubts and worries into the deepest depths of his thoughts, taking a step into that opened portal and trying not to think about how the wind is rushing through his hair or how far down he is as he -jumps- — and -soars-, flying towards that shattered glass. Honestly? Of everything?

The flying, that's his favorite part by far.

It's everything afterward that is both horrifying and exciting all at once.

* * *

"Damn, it looks like a Michael Bay movie down there," Speed comments on the detritus of the explosion, the shattered bits of window everywhere. He is, of course, leaning dangerously right over the edge of the roof, heedless of the late March winds trying to rip them off of their current perch, because honestly this guy. He purses his lips a little, green eyes squinting behind the orange lenses of his costume's goggles, but he doesn't really see anything else interesting going on. No army of angry robots, nobody looks like they're about to turn into a godzilla. Just like somebody decided to stir the ant hill at the Triskelion.

Maybe it was…

"…I bet it was AIM," Speed decides, apropos of nothing. Or maybe it's some kind of logic that only makes sense to him. "Yeah, I've got ten bucks on AIM. I bet punching those weird beekeeper helmets would be really, really satisfying." Ah, yeah, there we go. That's why.

He looks up, his mouth making a small o-shape as Kate declares she's going to make 'a door' and then launches an explosive arrow at the house of one Nicholas J. Fury, only increasing the Bay levels of this whole scenario.

…I'm going to be a passenger on one of you.

"Dibs!" Speed says, maybe a little too quickly, jumping up to his feet. And then, of course, he's going to scoop up Kate, springing off the side of the building they're on with tremendous force to carry them with reckless ease across the gap and into the Triskelion.

* * *

The Operations area is something of a mess. There are files scattered on the floor, some have clearly already made a run for it. Others are slowly trying to find a way out.

In the hallways, Jen, Finesses and Nadia pass each other as people are trying to evacuate in the least panicked way possible. It's not always done well. Behind them, even on the carpeted floor, they can here the quick footfalls of someone running toward the stairwell. The blonde haired operative pushes past them in his desire to get away. Then, however, the source of his fear is made known. Shots ring out and three people dressed as if they certainly belong in government service turn the corner. Studying their view, they quickly take aim at Jen, Nadia and Finesse, quickly starting to unload their clips. Through a hallway around the corner, they will hear another explosion of some kind.

Stepping out of the operations room, Nick Fury finds Sloane and Ulysses. "What are you two still doing here?" He asks with patented directness. The door to the computer room behind him is kept open a crack, but he then shuts it quickly as he approaches the pair of them. "Didn't I make myself clear?"

There's a thud against the bullet proof glass and Fury immediately steps in front of Ulysses and Sloane, raising his gun. This is not a weapon that shoots ICERs. Then, the incendiary fires and the inside of the office is filled with pebbled glass. The eyepatches man remains unflinching. The Young Avengers will fly into a floor of the Triskelion and find a Nick Fury with a gun pointed directly at them. "Explain yourselves."

* * *

Jen rucks smack into Finesse and Nadia. "Finesse?" The green-skinned meta gawks. "Holy why are *you* here?" She looks at Nadia, giving her wild-eyed up and down. "You're SHIELD? Whatever, lady, let's go!" She breaks into a run with the others.

They whip around the corner and Jen spots the men in front of her. "Get down!" she cries, and flings her hands out. A shield precisely the size of the hallway blinks into life in front of the trio and she cringes away from the results, as if expecting bullets to rip through the obdurate light.

* * *

Footsteps, he hears footsteps! Wait, if everyone else has left then why would he be hearing footsteps??

Ulysses is caught between trying to decide whether to dive behind a cubicle wall or fumble for his ICER when Sloane comes into view. Maybe it's her outfit that throws him off, definitely jarring with everything else that would have more immediately struck him as familiar. He doesn't know Sloane Albright personally, but she's a name well-known whether she likes to admit it or not.

But of course none of this processes until after his heart nearly leaps out of his throat when she spots him and shouts. Blinking a few times, he shakes his head as he tries to piece together words into sentences. "I-I have no idea! I didn't do anything!" Why would he say that? That's a terrible thing to jump to and from the look on his face it seems he realizes this, his look of panic shifting to one of annoyance at himself. "-aren't you Agent Albright?" That's the next thing loaded up on his sentence cue apparently.

He's in for another near heart-attack when none other than Nick Fury emerges, and for a split second Ulysses might resemble a deer caught in headlights. "I uh, y-yeah — Er, yessir! That is to saay…." he rambles. The sudden thud outside makes him jump, his hands raised in half a flail as Fury interposes himself between the new threat and himself and Sloane, and all he can do is look from person to person, wide-eyed.

Whaaaat is going on who are these people WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?!

* * *

"No." Finesse's answer is direct, and to the point given the circumstances. She doesn't offer further explination of her presence, no time for that with everything else going on.
Finesse has her escrima sticks already pulled out, and she's already moving as soon as she hears the sounds of the guns firing near them. She tells Jade, simple, direct, "Where's that fist of yours?" You know - the one Jade used when they first met. These words come even as Finesse is running to slide against the floor, putting a desk between herself, and the shooters. At the last possible moment, Finesse pushes up with her legs and does a perfect twisting double backflip. Mid-flip, one of her escrima sticks is thrown out towards the nearest shooter to slam into his head, while her distance would put her to land just in front of him, and her leg sweeps out on the landing, intending to take him to the ground, quickly, cleanly. Clearly, she trusts Nadia to provide some additional chaos. Or, maybe she's just trusting herself to be able to manuever away in time and deal with all three. With her, it's hard to tell.

* * *

She had her hands up, she wasn't going to cause trouble. Nadia finding herself, a friend and another person, being Finesse and Jade in that order. Being shot at.

So the expression Wasp wears is suitably upset, mainly because she can't tell if they're SHIELD agents shooting at them or not. But the fact remains, that they're being shot at.

"No I'n not SHIELD I'm here with Finesse!" she says in a sharp and worried tone as she takes a moment to make use of Jade's forecefield to avoid getting shot.

"I'm Wasp." she offers a smile and a greeting to Jade before she eyeballs the shooters and lines herself up. "Hope that shield allows outgoing traffic?" she says and in a blink is shrinking down to about an inch in height, flying up and in a curved path towards one of the shooters to throw a very hard punch at a temple.

The benefits of Pym Particles, meaning she can keep her full size or greater strength while shrunk. Just using two of the three axes of abilikties for now to start bouncing herself off skulls like a guided bullet.

* * *

A name well known, a face that's unmistakable.

Sloane frowns at Ulysses' response, fiery orange eyes narrowing a small ways. That's — not quite the reaction that she was expecting. Does this guy have a worse poker face than she does? Was that even possible?

"… Yeah," she replies, frowning. "That's me."

And then Nick Fury arrives — and for a second, Sloane just does not know what to say, her mouth open and unable to answer immediately. She's got questions she wants to ask him, demands to make, and that ever-so-classic 'give the old guy a piece of her mind' urge welling up inside her, but then she indicates to Ulysses. "Director, what the hell is going on? I found him on my way through, and—"

*thwak*

Fury steps in front of them, but Sloane steps to the side, crossing her canteen-wielding arm under the gun-arm, pointing the pistol at the others right on cue, her stance practiced and steady. She lets Fury do the talking, here!

* * *

Dibs!

The young archer sighs inwardly, but otherwise doesn't protest when the white-haired teen slings her up.

Glass shatters and given Billy's particularly unique skillset, he is through the window first with Nicholas J. Fury's thousand-yard one-eyed stare directed at him.

Thankfully, Kate and Tommy aren't all that far behind.

She emerges as a figure in purple and black, and basketed in Speed's wiry grip when he makes that ridiculous jump from one end of the line to another thanks to his characteristic disregard for the laws of physics.

Whenever she's set down, she turns to Director Fury, glancing at the guns pointed at her, before lifting her gaze to meet the man's eyes.

….eye.

"Hawkeye, sir, Young Avengers," she tells him. "Tony Stark sent us to assist and cover personnel escape, he's probably causing trouble on the other side of your building as we speak. Do we know anything about the people doing this?"

* * *

The cosmos swirls at Billy Kaplan's feet as he lands amidst a pool of broken glass. Outwardly, he looks a reasonably facsimile of confident, like a hero ought to.

Inwardly, he's thinking 'how did I not step on glass???'

Still, it's appearances that are important. And Wiccan's appearance is that of a young man on a mission, crimson cloak swirling around him and eyes ablaze with frightening sapphire energies that seem to twist the space around them. Truly, he could make for an intimidating sight.

It's only slightly spoiled as those glowing eyes go wide at

"Guns are gee- oh my god you're Nicholas J. Fury."

the sight of a -gun trained on him- by -Nicholas J(esus Christ it's) Fury-.

"… um," he begins, eloquently.

"We're here to help. Avengers."

"Not here to get shot."

"Please."

Cerulean crackles at his fingertips. He might be thinking about turning Fury's gun into a goose if he has to. But then will the other people shoot him? Can he change all the guns into geese? Is he going to die here—

Which is probably why it's a good thing Kate helps explain the situation while Billy is too tongue-tied too. A second passes.

"Avengers," he pipes in, a second later.

Without the Young.

He's not being petty it's important.

* * *

"YOU'RE PRETTY LIGHT," Speed calls to Hawkeye over the rushing wind. "THAT DIET MUST REALLY BE WORKING FOR YOU!"

Honestly it's for the best that they're jumping into unknown danger, because if he keeps running his mouth Tommy Shepherd is probably going to find himself in extreme Kate-related peril.

In fact it's probably going to be hard for even a super genius archer to remember how carelessly the speedster put his foot in his mouth because when they do land, one of the scariest looking agency directors in the world (it's a two-way tie with Director Bones of the DEO, skeletons being naturally extremely spooky) is confronting them with a gun. Well, primarily Wiccan, since he got there first, but if there's anything Fury is good at, it's menace.

"Who's this guy??" he stage-whispers to Kate, since he's still holding her. Honestly it's not as quiet as he thinks it is. But it does become clear, even to him, that the archer wants to be put down, so he (reluctantly) sets her down on her feet, and there goes Wiccan and Hawkeye pointing out that they're the (young, how hurtful) Avengers.

Speed, helpfully, points to the circle-A logo on the shoulder of his green-and-silver costume.

* * *

As Jennifer runs backwards toward the explosion and away from the men in suits shooting at them, the door smashes open and she sees a stand off between Fury and the Young Avengers. Two other SHIELD agents remain nearby.

Finesse leaps forward to take out one of the attackers in front of them. Through bullets and their menacing approach, she twists and lands quite a solid kick against the legs of her attackers. What she is met with feels like a solid wall of muscle or stone. The person she attempted to sweep the legs out from underneath instead remains exactly where he is. His retaliation is an attempt to reach down and grab the woman on the floor and toss her against the back wall.

The Wasp is a bit harder to pin down. Heads knock back and forth as Nadia pings between them, however, the woman on the end steps backwards, eyes narrowed. It's like she is predicting something and then she makes a quick swipe of her hand - impossibly fast - and attempts to swat Nadia backward and away from them.

Nicholas J(esus Christ) Fury, who would take both pride and annoyance in that nickname, keeps his aim at the Young Avengers for a moment until the door is opened by Jen. He looks back at the people behind him and then at the others. "Fine. Prove yourselves capable of not getting shot and get my people out. Then we'll talk about yourselves not getting shot for ruining a window in my building."

Fury gives a look to Jen, "What's out there?"

* * *

Jen rushes forward with one hand extended in front of her to keep cover for Finesse and Wasp, the shield collapsing to a phalanx in front of her instead of a full wall. She gets her feet set and glances to her right when Fury addresses her, without quite pausing to get an identity. Something something SHIELD, that's good enough for now.

"How the should I know?" she demands, crossly.

She gets a running start back towards Wasp and Finesse. Her hand snarls into the air and a manifestation of her grip— crude and amorphous, but functional— goes to grab Finesse's attacker and use him as a giant roll of quarters in the middle of a right cross the size of a Volkswagon.

* * *

As Finesse meets that unexpected mass, she tells her fellow combatants, "Metas," with an unblinking and unflinching approach. It certainly changes things, but not a whole lot. As the looming thug reaches down to grab her, Finesse twists to avoid
"You've done it before," Finesse tells Jade, "Twice. Do it again." It seems obvious enough to her. "I am too busy fighting to assist you in sorting out your abilities."
As Jennifer moves in and Finesse understands what she is doing, she'll use the opportunity to get up, towards the third one trying to swat Nadia, and use his forward motion of swatting to grab his arm and judo-toss him into where she believes the pile of metas will be gathered, if all goes according to plan.
She turns her eyes to Nick Fury, registering who he is, but she doesn't have time for pleasentries, she instead retrieves her thrown escrima stick, while she has a chance.

* * *

Oh, guns. Right. Are they supposed to have guns out now? Getting licensed for using an ICER doesn't mean that one has necessarily had any field experience just yet! As the director greets the three who've just made a new skylight- kids? They look like kids, Ulysses at least has time to calm down a little and wrap his head around…whatever he can of this current situation. It kind of helps that no one's shooting right now, although feeling the odd one out, he awkwardly works his weapon from its holster, just so he can feel included in the club.

He's definitely not hiding behind Sloane while he does so, absolutely not. He's a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and ohhhman is he so out of his league here.

Young Avengers. "I didn't know they had a mini division…" he murmurs, looking at the trio curiously, glad to hear that they're on their side at least.

Of course, just when he's gotten his bearings something new spikes up the anxiety levels all over again. His eyes flick over to the door, practically bugging out at the tone the woman takes with Fury. But more importantly it seems that there's real trouble back in the direction the three have come from. He fidgets a bit.

What're they here for? What do they want to find? Should he run that virus or would that be counterproductive? Coulson's plans never included sudden invasion of headquarters!

* * *

Wow, that hand coming at Nadia is quick. Sometimes though it's better to roll with a hit than brace it. Also, shrinking and growing powers are just one of the abilities Nadia has. Some of the things she can do aren't even based on the Pym legacy. Some of them are in fact from the Red Room.

Assassin Fact: Red Room agents usually master seven different types of martial arts. Nadia only learned five, but they were some of the fun ones. Like Aikido, Judo and Krav Maga. Which combined with her powers allow her to catch the hand midflight and while rapidly growing uses the extra room from being small to growing big to end up inside that arm and aiming the heel of one of those wedge heeled boots right into the woman's chin with Nadia in almost a ballet posed standing splits while pulling the slapping arm down to try and maybe kind of break it at the elbow by tugging down. Maybe she'll only end up flipping the woman while scaling her enhanced strength up with Wasps size but there's all kinds of damage that could happen. Who knows, but she's really trying to just stop the attackers as fast as possible. She'll settle for putting her female attacker in the path of Jade's

From one Bug Sized attacl into another different Bug Sized attack. The Red Room Science class was designed to eliminate metahumans after all.

* * *

Avengers. Young Avengers.

Merrow cannot help but narrow her eyes, again, just a little — like, okay, one of them has a pretty badass red cape and everything, but the way that they arrive just like that — and punch through a window like that — has paranoia-honed senses put a bit on edge.

And who's out there? Metas.

Frowning, Sloane lowers her weapon for the time being, fitting the canteen into her pocket while shifting the pistol in her hand and taking a quick glance over her shoulder to make sure Ulysses is still there.

"Thought I got out of this bullshit," the meta murmurs under her breath. Raising her voice back to normal speaking tone, she pulls a thumb at Ulysses. "I'll get him out of here. We'll take the stairs, I don't want to risk the elevator."

She's got a bad track record with elevators in a time of crisis.

* * *

Then we'll talk about yourselves not getting shot for ruining a window in my building.

If Billy were a more quip-prone young man, perhaps one bitten by a spider, he might well have taken a look at all the carnage around him, pointedly, and gone,

"Uhhhh."

He still does that.

It's just not for quip-related reasons.

"R-right!"

It takes him only a few seconds more to get his head in the game after nearly having it blown off by Nick Fury getting all Nick Furious, at least. Seconds later, he is chanting something under his breath. Reality fluctuates as he tries to get a lay of the land around him. People here, damages, anything that stands out. Glowing blue eyes turn back towards the Director of SHIELD with a frown.

"I… I can make a portal somewhere safe," he offers, hesitant at first, in a way that grows more confident the more he allows the words to flow. His hands clench at his side.

"What's the situation here? How did this happen?" A pause. He knows what's probably going to come next, and so, Billy preempts it, in a way that feels natural, trying to suppress a sigh,

"It wasn't AIM, was it."

There. And with that out of the way —

The door busts open, and suddenly there's a green-skinned woman and some others embroiled in All The Violence. This is… probably going to get worse. Much worse.

"Speed, Hawkeye — we need to start moving!"

* * *

It wasn't AIM, was it.

"Nobody bet against me, so I'm still good," Speed interjects at that. He doesn't seem particularly worried about getting shot, but then he rarely seems particularly worried about much of anything. It definitely never bites him in the ass, though, so it's fine! Totally fine. The finest.

Then there's a green lady, and yep there is definitely some kind of fighting going on, which puts pretty much all the other concerns right out of the speedster's head. Except, they're supposed to be helping getting people out safely, aren't they? But that'll be hard to do if there's actual bad guys going around doing bad guy things…

"Hey, man, I never stop moving!" he says to Wiccan, which is a cool line from a speedster type to be sure, though it's also provably false. He was just standing there!

And then, helpfully, he's gone, suddenly reappearing a few meters down the line, at least as far as anyone else can perceive.

"Last one to punch a bad guy has to buy pizza!"

See? He's treating this with appropriate gravity.

* * *

"I don't know, Agent, because you're the one out there?" Nick Fury tells Jen with a deadpan moment of annoyance. "Have you lost the capability of description?" Jen runs back toward Finesse and Nadia and he narrows his eye. "That is not an answer Agent Hayden."

The man holding Finesse attempts to grab her. He misses my mere centimeters and keeps focus on her. However, on the floor, Finesse crashes her stick against his throat. Again, it is like hitting against stone. The man grabbing at her remains exactly where he is. However, as his attention is diverted, Jen is able to take the attacker and smash him with such an impact that it caves in the wall. The man in his arms roars and then his skin starts to shed some amount of light. Enraged, he grabs onto Jen and runs forward, intent on crashing her agains the opposite wall.

Nadia regains in size and attacks, she tosses her attacker, who crashes off of the one that Jen and Finesse are currently engaged. The third one narrows in, firing shots at everyone in the hallway, not caring who or what he may hit.

"I think elevators are the least of our worries," Fury tells Sloane. Toward the Young Avengers, he shakes his head. "Total shut down, someone has tried to hit us where it hurts. Main goal is damage control, getting everyone one." He raises one eyebrow. "No, this is not AIM."

Moving forward toward the hallway, he suddenly pauses, hair standing up on the back of his neck. Suddenly, there are shots that ring out, but few can see them. Then, a dozen SHIELD agents start to filter out from the offices, their eyes hazed red, guns pointed at the Young Avengers, the SHIELD agents, Nadia and Finesse.

* * *

There are many ways in which metahumans and mutants bend or defy the laws of physics. There are also many ways in which they do not.

An object traveling at high hypersonic speed produces the kind of extreme aerodynamic heating that vaporizes material on contact with its shock layer. And something of that nature is arrowing straight towards the distressed Triskelion's very front doors, tearing a burnt furrow down East 42nd in its wake.

It cranks a hard turn at the last moment, rips parallel to the Triskelion's front, applies its superheated shock layer, and tears a glowing, white-hot scar straight across the building. The barriers lose their integrity at that weakened point, molten glass and liquefied steel sagging open. Whatever passed by loops back around again, moving in an arc as blinding white and quick as lightning. It is aiming for the vulnerability.

A split second before impact, the white mixes with a blinding flare of piercing scarlet, and the front of the Triskelion's Atrium blows open, gutted in half an instant.

There is only half an instant, after entry, in which the moving object slows down enough to be seen. Not to speak, though. For once, Quicksilver has nothing to say. He pauses only long enough to assess his surroundings and secure his grip on the woman in his arms, before he is moving again in a flash of light, coursing up through the building, transparently hunting.

Being Quicksilver, he finds what he's looking for very quickly.

There is no warning of his approach save for the characteristic distant crack of the sound barrier breaking. Only that, before Quicksilver is surging full into Nick Fury's personal space, stopping on a dime. The savage point of a scarlet-hexed blade halts an inch from Fury's one remaining good eye.

He is no longer holding his twin.

"Where is it?" he demands.

* * *

Men and woman alike wear the same, faceless look of vacancy. What unites them is the scarlet: living red in a running film over the eyes of every attending SHIELD agent.

It is the same scarlet that burns from the other side of the windows.

The Witch is here, levitating at a lethal height in the air, surrounded in a rippling field of her red. It fans off her, dress and skin and moving dark hair, coming to rest at the brightest burn of scarlet from her eyes. With a sweep of her arm, the wall is no more, disappearing in a dispersing knot of butterflies. The outside wind howls in.

And still levitating, looking in on the scene, she is silent as she seethes with that terrible energy, saying nothing —

— though she moves a single finger from side-to-side, like a puppeteer. The heads of the agents slowly, mindlessly mirror the gesture, shaking back and forth a chiding No.

Their guns point on those on attendance; some turn their guns to point on each other. One woman turns her gun on herself, tears running from her red eyes.

The Scarlet Witch holds as Quicksilver confronts, insistent to provide the safety for her twin brother to conduct his interrogation. Well, that, and —

Wanda feels it. A barrier pressing on the building, invisible, tasteless, but powerful. A magic to hold out? A magic to hold in?

She can touch it with her spreading fingers, her running eyes spearing particularly on Billy Kaplan. Does he feel it too?

"Is that a magicked barrier, Fury?" Wanda asks in detachment. She considers. She weaves scarlet into one reaching hand, and commands: "Release."

* * *

Jen glances out the corner of her eye at Fury advancing on her and cringes. "Sh*t*uc*," she mutters. This isn't going to look good for her nascent record as a recruit.

At that point a blur shaped like Quicksilver crackles into existence and his wake sends Jen stumbling backwards onto the ground. She lands awkwardly on one hip and fixes a furious glare at the mutant menacing Fury.

"Asshole!" she spits, and makes a crushing gesture with her fist. Coruscating green energy flickers into existence fast as thought in a fine mesh of green threads to reach for Quicksilver before it coalesces into somthing akin to heavy fisherman's net. Her fingers curl inwards with the best Vader impression the green-skinned meta can manage, face twisted in a rictus of dreadful focus on crippling the Speedster menacing Fury.

* * *

It all happens so fast. Literally. The good thing is, Finesse is used to things happening fast - twisting, moving, reacting at peak human physique is well within her repitoire; she just cannot keep track of things beyond that, like the silver flash that is Quicksilver, even as a dozen people, clearly SHIELD agents burn with red eyes and level weapons on her, Nadia, Jen - and the others assisting in protecting and trying to assist in the evacuation and the invasion of the Triskellion.
Then, the Scarlet Witch in all her glory and magnitude appears, her will and prowess superceeding all within the room with seeming effortless ease as she starts to puppeteer those afflicted.
FInesse speaks for the Scarlet Witch, coming to the realization quickly. "They're possessed." It makes sense. The young girl, young enough to perhaps be within the Young Avengers herself looks to the Scarlet Witch and asks a pertinent question. "Does this mean the attack came from within?" Even as she keeps a leveled eye on the 'rock men' she'd at least distracted with her ineffective attacks. She shifts, ready to continue fighting but standing down for now in the wake of the new unfolding events.

* * *

Ulysses tears his eyes away from the impending danger to look at Sloane, relief clearly flooding his expression as she informs the director of her intentions to play at escort. He has absolutely no objections to that! None whatsoever!

"Seconding the stairs," he pipes up helpfully. Isn't that what you're supposed to take during emergencies anyway? Although Billy's offer to make a portal has Ulysses slide a look in his direction. Portals? He can make portals? This is a good thing, yes? Why are we not all taking portals?

Either way, they should move. They're moving. He's not going to argue against being in a group for now. Nope! Groups are just fine by him—

Shots. Fired. Ulysses yelps, flinching at the sound, uncertain as to where they were being aimed and who shot them, but as he raises his head he sees… Well, they're familiar people. They should be, they work here! With him!

"I have a bad feeling about this…"

Red eyes aside, having guns trained on them doesn't exactly speak anything promising. He swallows, knowing that screaming is not going to really help matters any. His own hand tightens on the grip of his ICER, but the thought of actually having to use it against anyone of his fellow agents had never come to mind. But this is unnatural by any means, and that detail doesn't help calm him any, his hand shaky, hesitant as he lifts it in defense.

And then there's another sound, and he all but jumps, his glasses slightly askew as he sees that someone's appeared there, threateningly before Nick Fury. "Wh…where did…" he starts, but recognition dawns upon him. The pale-haired stranger isn't really so much one, not when he's been a marked threat on S.H.I.E.L.D. files. But aren't they supposed to be a pair?

…oh.

His eyes are wide as he watches the other agents as some shift targets. "Oh no…"

* * *

And there's shooting happening again. Nadia frowning under her goggled helmet while she turns to look at the man firing. The woman Wasp threw into the path of an oncoming hard light construct probably a hot mess after all that, no longer the Unstoppable Wasp's concern.

It's not getting anyone shot.

Those biomechanical wings start buzzing again and flies upwards try try and draw the gunfire towards the ceiling. Just cause others have been held up, doesn't mean this last one has yet.

As Nadia reaches the top of the arc she's f;ying in, she lets fly some return fire of her own, a quick volley from her Wasp stingers. Drawing from her own energy supply, and enough that if it hits it should knock out most people for a while. In any case she's curving her flight path to try and dive at him from behind and add another hit aided by physics and Pym Particles used in tanden. Shrinking and landing on the man's cheek in fron of one eye so he can see that small young woman throw a rather nasty looking and precise punch at the bridge of his nose.

* * *

Coulson gave her a mission, one that would keep her out of here, and yet — she came back when the call for help was issued. She's still chewing on this; wondering if she made the right choice, thinking she could've just /gone/ and —

A blur of movement, a roar of wind, and a streak that suddenly comes to a halt — right in front of them. For as weathered and trained as Sloane's reflexes are, she is not nearly fast enough to contend with the likes of a speedster, standing steps behind Fury.

Her arm lifts by instinct; her forearm practically crosses Ulysses' chest as she positions herself to keep him safe, but then she actually /sees/ who it /is/.

"You—"

Wanda's abilities start turning the agents' weapons on each other, or themselves. Sloane's aim is steady and true on Pietro from where she stands, her large canines bared in a fierce snarl and pupils pulled into tight vertical slits.

* * *

"… Okay." The word comes in an exhale as Billy Kaplan's eyes open, his attention shifting away from Nick Fury as he finds his center. There are people fighting. Total shutdown. Nature of the attack is unclear. Enemy unknown.

It's very humble, that smug smile Billy offers Tommy.

"It's never AIM."

Still, Billy has his focus; a certain sort of confidence that only really comes to him from being in the thick of things like this when there's no time to overthink settles over the young Avenger as Tommy darts off in a disappearing smudge of speed (or a disappearing smudge of Speed).

"I think I can feel some stragglers," Wiccan says. His brows furrow mildly. Cerulean eyes tinge with a mild twitch of scarlet on their fringes. "I'll get them… out… of here? Wait. There's something else. Something-"

His eyes widen.

It takes a tenth of a second for the average person to blink.

Let's say it's less than that if someone's particularly alert, say, in a high-stakes, high-adrenalien situation. Maybe a twentieth of a second. Maybe less.

Billy Kaplan hasn't even finished closing his eyes by the time that second streak of silver makes himself known with the crackling edge of a hexblade.

WHOOSH

"There's something—"

Where is it?

"-coming!"

By the time blazing blue eyes have widened, Quicksilver is already there, leveling threats and brandishing blades. Blades made out of — out of —

"Oh, no," whispers Billy, hot on the heels of Ulysses' apt observation.

He feels her, even before he sees her. Felt, really, even if he didn't want to admit it. Want to think about it. A chain of puppets roped together by scarlet, all leading back to their puppeteer.

Wanda Maximoff. Scarlet Witch. He sees her, dead eyed.

And then for a flicker of a second, he sees her with a warm smile, crouching next to him amidst the rubble —

It's a second's distraction that costs him much as he feels her reach out and take hold of that unseen, potent barrier.

His eyes finish widening just as he reaches out with a cerulean soaked hand as if he could stop with gesture and word alone —

"No-!"

And he could have. If he could've found the focus.

* * *

"One day it's gonna be AIM!!" Tommy insists in the face of Billy's extreme smugness. But what will the consequences be when it is?!

Anyway.

The speedster's natural impulse to range ahead of the group (because they are intolerable slowpokes like 99.99999999999% of the world's population) proves to not be particularly helpful here. For one thing, it takes him away from the group around Fury when one of the few other people who is not an intolerable slowpoke comes screaming in, and for another it puts him in a situation where there's a bunch of mind-controlled SHIELD agents pointing guns at him first.

"Possessed?!" the white-haired young man exclaims when he hears somebody say that. "Oh man is this a ghosts situation? Who does ghosts? Should we call, uh what's his name? Doctor Druid?"

He's pretty sure he's heard someone say that name before. Or some kind of wizard with a doctor name, that's their thing, right? But then, he wonders, why isn't Billy 'Doctor Wiccan'…?

But no, wait, no. That's not important right now, Tommy!

What becomes (a bit belatedly) obvious is the presence of the Maximoffs, who fortunately Speed hasn't seen since that really awkward encounter months before where they all almost died. He sees the puppeted agents' guns shift, some of them turning on each other, one on herself, in an obvious bout of hostage-taking, and something… Uncharacteristic happens.

Speed doesn't just charge in headlong.

His fingers twitch with the urgency to do it, one foot shifts forward half a step, but he feels an anxiety that's not nearly as alien to him as he'd like to pretend. A momentary, limb-arresting fear that he wouldn't be fast enough.

* * *

And as usual, whenever the Maximoff twins get involved, things go to hell in a handbasket pretty quickly.

Those blue eyes scan the unfolding situation fairly quickly, the familiar scarlet red of the Witch's power a pervasive thing - from the glowing red dot from the edge of a blade trained right into Fury's remaining eye, to the glowing gazes of the SHIELD agents that will attempt to kill them or worse if they don't do something. Kate keeps an easy grip on her weapon, but when people start to move in retaliation, that is when she does also. She skids across the way, and vaults over the nearest cover.

Release.

The command ripples across reality and makes the hair on her skin stand on end. She doesn't know what the magical barrier is for, save for the most obvious guesses - the mystical was never her forte, always a fan of the most practical solutions whenever she can afford to take them. But she surmises that Fury wouldn't keep one without a reason, and she already knows that if the barrier falls, what is already a tenuous situation will become even moreso.

If they want this to stop, they're going to need to cut off the head of the snake, and from where she's standing, the only person who can do that is—

No— !

She peers around from her cover to watch Billy Kaplan, her lynchpin, slowly unravel by….whatever it is. Something internal that she can't even begin to dig into. While normally calm and capable under pressure, a degree of white-hot frustration lances through the marrow of her bones, invades the rush of her blood. This isn't the first time she's seen him do this, whenever the Scarlet Witch is concerned.

"Wiccan, god damn it, get your head in the game!" her voice crackles through the Young Avengers' shared comms.

"I don't know what the hell is going on with you, and I promise once this is over, we can talk about it if you want, but right now, you're probably the only one we've got capable of neutralizing the Scarlet Witch's reality-bending mojo and if you do not cut her off from whatever it is that she's trying to do or will be doing from this point forward, more people are going to die! And we'll probably spend the next life as…I don't know, frogs or something!"

She trains her bow from around her cover, angles it up, and fires towards Wanda.

The arrow isn't aimed directly at her. And neither is it lethal. It is aimed straight for the nearest flat surface close to where she's levitating, where the point slams into hard concrete. It doesn't explode, though. It doesn't do anything remotely destructive.

What it does, however, is let out a high frequency pitch aimed to cause a serious episode of vertigo - an effort, largely, to knock the sorceress out of her focus.

* * *

At Wanda's words, the magical wards that protect the Triskelion from the outside and the ones that protect the outside from the Triskelion shiver. It takes a few moments but everyone within the building can then feel a shiver, something like a short static shock releasing. Then, the magic shield that covered the Triskelion is gone.

"Where is what, Quicksilver?" Fury holds himself up straight against that blade, not daring to move one way or another. "We have no list involving Registration, if that is why you are here. You'll need to put a sword in Amon Bell's face for that."

Behind them, the trio of suited plants continue forward. One grabs Finesse by the throat and lifts her upward.

Nadia attacks the people remaining and the blasts hit against them, however they continue to absorb her energy bursts. In fact, as she does so, they all start to glow an even brighter red. Strangely, they start to glow against the darkened hallways. However, they continue forward in their goal. The one that Nadia lands on glows even brighter as she lands a precise punch against the bridge of his nose. With a roar, he attempts to swipe her off of him.

* * *

Quicksilver's sharp blue eyes do not waver from Fury's face. But he is listening. He listens as Finesse addresses his twin. He listens, and thereby knows Wiccan and Speed are here — again. Somehow, they are always around…

He listens, too, as Sloane snarls at him. He recognizes the fish-girl's voice, if his acerbic remark is any indication: "Did you not learn your lesson well enough the first time, traitor? Do you need it taught to you agai — "

He breaks off as green energy lunges for him, the movement noticed from the corner of his eye. He flickers and is gone, twenty feet distant; but Jen's attack forces him back, off the offensive. His hex-sword is no longer in Fury's face. The weapon hangs in his hand, tip pointing at the floor, the scarlet unbreakability-hex of his twin coruscating down its whip-thin blade in slow, sliding tendrils.

"You want to defend this man? You want to defend this institution?" His voice lifts, cold and sharp, harsh with incredulity. His best impression of his father… but far too young, and with too many rough, raw edges. "None of you KNOW?"

He points his weapon at Fury. "Don't play stupid, Fury. It's not becoming, on a spy. Explain to them all how you've been developing a mutant-targeted mass weapon. Right here, in SHIELD. A virus to purge the X-Gene from our bodies, and destroy us as a race. Explain THAT away, Fury!"

Quicksilver braces in a characteristic way, his stance winding up tensely in the same agile way cheetahs dig in their claws, just before the sprint. Clearly he is intent to search the entire Triskelion top to bottom. "You can spend the time on doing that while we find and eradicate it — "

That is about when Kate fires a disrupting arrow towards his twin. Immediately recognizing the effect, Quicksilver is forced to abort his departure. He whirls instantly and bolts for it, snatching the arrow from the concrete and snapping it in half before its sonic frequency can disrupt his sister's focus so much that she falls to her death.

Of course, her targeting his twin sends her immediately to the top of Quicksilver's aggro list. He crosses the room in a blur and half a heartbeat, grasping at Kate's wrist. There is a split second where he stops moving long enough for one remark: "Trying to make my sister fall? Try it yourself."

He translates his momentum into a throw, aiming to sling Kate straight out the blown-out windows.

* * *

Undaunted, she keeps firing.

More of the same arrows fly as quickly as she can string them, Kate's eyes narrowed as she sends them in different directions, but all within the same vicinity, to emit that same overwhelming wailing. Targetting Wanda Maximoff always has the effect of making her twin come to her rescue, her bulwark against whatever that might come to harm her. To kill, even in her position as a former agent and Avenger, was never the aim in these excursions, and in the end, all she's really trying to do was give everyone else time to move more effectively and usually, that often means striking at the jugular the first moment there's an opening.

It does make her a target, and she only manages to fire off two more arrows with the first (by shooting them at the same time, because she's a goddamn Hawkeye) before her attempts to do any additional damage is stilled by the sudden grip of a furious speedster with a face that inexplicably reminds her of Tommy.

It isn't as if she didn't hear what the man said - about a virus that could introduce a very real genetic holocaust to the likes of her team members, but in the end, she isn't all that surprised at all. SHIELD is the kind of organization that identifies, monitors and counters potential threats - if there was such a virus, it was probably sitting in a biohazard can next to whatever it is SHIELD thinks could kill the Man of Steel or imprison the Incredible Hulk.

//Trying to make my siste— //

She doesn't wait for him to finish the sentence once she's grabbed. The young woman cocks her fist back and attempts to plow a set of those knuckles right into Quicksilver's face.

And then, she's airborne.

If she screams, chances are nobody would hear it, the howling March winds swallowing up whatever exclamations she has the time to utter as she finds empty air, ejected from the very hole that she used to enter the building.

* * *

Scarlet flares her eyes with a brightness that loses both iris and pupil — burning light that matches the same energy that filaments through her spreading fingers. Probability itself, commanded by the very gesture of her hands.

"You are all in the vipers' den," announces the Scarlet Witch. "Today, the Brotherhood tears it down. If you stand with their genocide, then we shall bury you with them."

And in through the missing wall, open air to Midtown Manhattan below — her promise heralds on the distant CRASH of explosions, and faraway, carried-on-the-air screams of people. Even beyond this very room, more is going on. A full-scale attack.

"Now," entreats Wanda, gentle, "if you would please answer my brother, Fury—"

Jennifer's attack on Pietro cuts her short. It forces her brother to abandon his offence, and Wanda's attention turns with needle intensity.

"Tsk," she judges that. The SHIELD agent, gun pressed against her own head, red eyes begging — pulls the trigger on herself. Her body drops. Punishment for heroics, by the Witch's meter.

With her focus limited, the Witch does not realize Kate's reprisal — unlike Pietro, in a blur, does away with the arrow… then attempts to do away, in a violent fall, with Kate Bishop thereafter.

Wanda does not waste time. She lifts both hands, fingers spread, commanding imaginary puppet strings. The SHIELD agents come to life, and their actions are immediate. Guns turn on Ulysses, Finesse, Jennifer — multiple shots attempting to fire on them.

* * *

People around him react in varying degrees, too stunned like himself, too angry, and some somehow manage to keep some semblance of calm as they act out against the threats in attempt to stop them. Feeling every bit of useless as he is now, frozen in indecision and horror, Ulysses can only watch and hope that they succeed.

Quicksilver doesn't go down so easily, no surprise to him. If the speedster were so easy to deal with then they wouldn't be here causing problems now. But as he makes his demands, questioning them, that feeling of dread just grows and settles like an unpleasant lump in his stomach.

Sloane would be right; Ulysses would be terrible at poker.

Mutant-targeted mass weapon. The words are nothing that had directly come up in his secretive digging, but they pull together other keywords and phrases that he had found.

The revelation makes him gasp, and while the look that touches his face could be taken for horror, there's realization in there too. He'd already been questioning the integrity of S.H.I.E.L.D., was already working on things that could potentially label him a traitor because he wanted to do what was right, but deep down he just hoped that he was wrong.

He stares at the back of Nick Fury, at Quicksilver. His free hand closes around the thumbdrive in his pocket and its nearly reworked, recoded virus.

At first the explosions beyond don't register, everything in this moment is progressing in a haze, broken only by the next sharp report of a gunshot. He watches the poor woman drop dead, and reality, the present, floods back into focus. He'd been wrong. So very wrong. True panic wasn't in the storage room, discussing treasonous plans with Phil Coulson. True panic is now, watching fallen comrades rise up and once again take aim…

* * *

Finesse is grabbed by one of the heavily-massed meta's before she can evade, and a 'urrkgh' sound breaks out of her throat as it's grabbed, and she's lifted up, toes off the ground before she can react. To her credit, Finesse does not panic. She recognizes immediately she does not have position or leverage to turn this around very easily.
Lips curl back as she screws her features up in concentration, and she uses her limberness and flexibility to wrap one leg around the man's arm. Then, the other. Her hands grab the hand choking her - she does not seek to undo the fingers, instead one hand wraps around the wrist joint locking the bones between her hand. She's not seeking to damage flesh, here. To injure. She's seeking something else entirely; using pain, nerves, and submission techniques combined to wrench her body one way, lockpinning the wrist and inducing a great amount of uncomfortable pain and let go of her throat.
Her lower body works oppositely, twisting legs and hips to rachet and wrench the arm to cause him, hopefully, to lose balance and topple over.
She gurgles, brown eyes fixated on Jennifer, "Bags." It's a hissed breath, and it costs her something. She wrenches again, "Over. Heads." She gasps for air. "Suffo-urkghkate." Hopefully Jennifer will understand the intent from Finesse - she's talking about them, not her. A final lurch, as she wrests to get free, and take down her assialant, get free, and get some air back into her lungs.

* * *

If Nadia wasn't wearing a helmet she'd be pulling her brown hair out. At least when her own direct hit seems to do the same thing she ponders and hmms. "Energy absorbtion? Free flowing and applied kinetic? From outside sources. So about self inflicted?" she muses.

So staying small she gets right in close to her target's eye Just on the top of his eyesocket as he tries to swat her off. And maybe knock himself out.

"Please so don't be building a critical explodey mass." the Russian girl says with a worried bite of her lower lip.

Quicksilver revealing that SHIELD has some super secret anti-mutant thing. Not a suprise to Nadia, and it just makes those brown eyes roll behind the red tinted lenses of her helmet goggles.

So while trying to coerce her flailing opponent to knock himself out hopefully not blow himself up. That red glow is very worrying.

A gloved hand starts tapping against the side of her own head as she tries to tune into the Triskelion's probably busted personal address system…

* * *

She can't speak to her allegances here, not through clenched teeth and Nick Fury standing at her side. "I'll teach you s—"

Energy and power surges ahead, and suddenly Quicksilver is no longer in Fury's face. When Pietro speaks, Sloane does not expect to hear much more than the stock-standard babble; the yelling and complaints about the status quo, the desire to see authority topple and all the other zealous speak that the ginger meta's come to reject over time.

The gun trained on Quicksilver lowers, orange eyes locked not on him, but upon the Director of SHIELD. Realistically, she shouldn't believe this. Tactically, this has to be a distraction. But SHIELD, and actions they've taken, stances they've held. What if — what if? Eyebrows furrowed and hand clenching the gun tighter, she stares at the one-eyed man. "What the fuck is he talking about, Fury?"

Whether or not she gets a response — including stepping out of protocol and not addressing him as 'Director' — all hell breaks loose. One woman falls, and agents train their weapons on others in the halls.

"I'm tired of this spy shit —"

Sloane twists, quickly raising her pistol and taking aim — not at agents, not at Fury, not at the Scarlet Witch or Quicksilver — she's aiming at one of the sprinklers in the hallway.

" — And I'm gonna get some goddamn answers today!!"

And then, she takes the shot.

* * *

He hesitates. Doubts himself. Doesn't act without thinking.

Someone dies.

It's not like it's the first time Tommy Shepherd has seen a person die, but he's far less inured to it, far less unaffected than he'd generally like to pretend. Someone dies, forced by the Scarlet Witch to take her own life. Now he'll never know: Would he have been fast enough? Could he have disarmed her, disarmed the others, before they could be forced to pull the trigger? He'll never know, now. He'll always wonder, now.

"You—" How fast could he get to the Witch? Fast enough, with Quicksilver distracted? Anger starts to overwhelm his own hesitation, his own self-doubt. She was crude matter, the same as anything else. If he got his hand on her, he knows he could…

Trying to make my sister fall? Try it yourself.

Kate. Kate gets thrown through a blown-out window by Quicksilver.

"What is WRONG with you dillholes?!" the white-haired young man demands, the sound moving slower than the rest of him: The rhetorical demand seems to come from a now-empty point in space, because of course he's gone. Gone fast enough that the floor under his starting point cracks, fast enough that the only one who can even see him is Pietro, as he goes out the window. And down the outside wall, after the falling Kate Bishop, tearing glass and steel to shreds with every step.

* * *

Framed by the weight of his indecision and uncertainty in the face of the Scarlet Witch, so many things happen around Wiccan. Too many. It's like a cascade of events that seem to pile on all at once, leaving him to frantically try to catch up even as he struggles with memories floating up unbidden.

And as the barrier shatters, it costs him.

The first thing to arrest his attention away from Wanda, away from that cocktail of fear and confusion, is Pietro's words. Not for the first time today, surprise and maybe more than a little indignation seizes up Billy Kaplan's features like a kneejerk reflex as he stares at the speedster — and then at Fury.

"Is that true?" he asks; his voice would be little more than a whisper, if the subtle notes of distrust and slightest dash of anger didn't help to carry it so well. Indecision of a different stripe seizes him up —

And Kate's words cut through. Billy blinks. He looks at his fellow Avenger, already queueing up an arrow. His first gut feeling is annoyance — with himself. Again. He's doing it again. How can he ever be a hero second guessing himself all the time like this?

The second thing is gratitude. A tentative smile crosses his lips. He starts to lift into the air once more, some semblance of resolve found.

"You're right," he breathes, regaining his focus. He can do this. He can do this.

"Thank"
whoosh
"you"
BANG

"… Kate?"

Floating in mid-air, Billy Kaplan slowly blinks as a body falls down. Another falls through the window. He only recognizes one of them. But that's enough.

Someone is dead. He goes pale. He feels sick. Someone is dead. Because of them. Quicksilver is trying to kill someone else he knows, likes — trusts — because he couldn't — couldn't—

He doesn't need to see it to know the gush of wind whipping through his hair and snapping past his cloak is Tommy; he doesn't even think about it. His hands are clenched tight, shaking. His eyes, shut.

"You… you both…"

Wanda needs to focus on what she's doing. He knows that, because he knows -he- has to. It's a function of belief. Of attention. There's only so much bandwidth for concentration. And he knows how either twin responds when they're in immediate crisis. How much attention that takes away. How much focus. And he knows how angry he feels right now—

"… you both keep making things worse. You're bullies. You think you can push everyone around because you're the fastest person in the room?"

His eyes open, shining cerulean. Everything in the room twists.

"Then maybe you should try being the slowest."

And reality responds. Reaches out to Quicksilver. Takes his gift. And changes it. It doesn't strip it away. No — it reverses it. Until Pietro is the one moving slow in a world of speedsters. Until everyone, to his perception, is moving and talking and thinking and acting as fast as he does.

Did.

* * *

Jen's eyes flicker around, wide as dinner plates. This is happening entirely too fast. Too many moving parts. She watches Kate go flying out the window and gasps in shock.

Shock turns to fury. She grits her teeth in a seething rictus grin, clenching her hands into tiny fists. The petite little recruit is far from the physical powerhouse that the others are. Finesse, however, lends some of her imagination to the metahuman.

Spinnerets of green thought coalesce into being and snap once more into reality. They resolve into a fine mesh not unlike a spiderweb that *snaps* shut around anyone waving a gun or looking remotely friendly towards Wanda and Pietro. And of course, pursuing the twins themselves.

And simultaneously: bags. Grocery bags, thin as thought and just as light. She's not ready to kill, but Jen barely leaves enough passthrough for a person to stay conscious for long. Seconds, perhaps, given how heated the situation is.

She turns her face in a defiant snarl at Wanda. Green fire pours from her eyes. It hides her features and frames her in a flickering halo of inchoate power from some distant, unfathomably potent source.

* * *

Fury keeps his pace, eye focused on Pietro and not the blade sharp against his neck. He's dealt with quite a lot of people attempting to kill him and he's always assumed that when his time came he wouldn't be able to look the person who killed him in the eye.

He doesn't answer just yet, gathering the information being given to him as well as the mind controlled SHIELD agents that are pointing guns at him and those he considers under his protection. His finger is no longer on the trigger, but he grips the metal of his gun with a ferocity that had he the strength of a super soldier might snap it in half.

In fact, there is no room to answer before the net is thrown and Pietro dashes backward out of its reach and Wanda exacts her punishment. He can hear the body fall, the gun shot strangely loud in the face of all this. The eye then narrows, his jaw clenching in suppressed anger. His words are biting when he finally does respond. "We haven't been developing a mutant targeted mass weapon. But I don't treat with or explain myself to terrorists." Then, the controlled SHIELD agents start to fire and he takes aim at his own agents, aiming for ways to disable and not kill.

Many things happen at once. The shots from Sloane mix with those of the other SHIELD agents and the sprinklers turn on. Everyone is not immediately drenched in water, but it freely flows. The glowing suited man holding Finesse clutches harder, attempting to crush the life out of her lungs. Even as she lurches, he falls with her. The grip loosens, but he remains intent on his objective.

The man Nadia is focused on smashes against the wall, glowing all the brighter as he does so. Unfortunately, much like she feared, as he stumbles forward to try and grab her, a crack forms on his skin. There is a radiant heat billowing off of him now. As this happens, green grocery bags appear around their heads. The all stop their forward progress for the moment, intent on this new development.

* * *

A woman dies. Another is slung straight out into the open air, to presumably die also. Men and women, controlled against their will, fire their weapons into the chaos of people fighting, screaming, or otherwise trying to process what has just been said.

None of it seems to touch Quicksilver. His blue eyes are abstracted, listening to something no one else can hear — no one else except his sister. And whatever he hears, it cuts a sharp smile across his features. We haven't been developing a mutant targeted mass weapon… "You have not?" he asks Fury, cold. "You lie even now? Do you know how many chances we have given for this to be rectified, before we were forced to this extremity? More than our father would ever have given!"

His gaze refocuses, after. "Believe him, or do not," he says. "It will not change the truth, nor the judgment the Brotherhood will mete today."

He starts to turn, arrogant and indifferent enough to turn his back even as Billy rails at him — and Wiccan's hex hits him a moment later.

The net result, to onlookers, is that Quicksilver seems to freeze in place, stopped to a highly uncharacteristic standstill. The flung green nets snare him easily this time, tightening painfully, because he is not moving — is in fact incapable of moving. At least not in any way meaningful on a normal timescale.

After over fifteen years of life at his accelerated speed, Quicksilver has come to wrap his entire identity around his gift. His powers run through every facet of him, informing how he sees the world, how he exists within it, how he relates to every aspect of the world around him. For it to be taken, turned on him, and — worse — inverted by a power disturbingly similar to his twin's, which twists him in a way he is accustomed to only ever feeling FROM his twin…

There is no greater violation he can experience. Internally, he is screaming. And linked to her twin as she is, the Scarlet Witch feels and hears every iota of her brother's distress.

All the assessments people make, so far as the Twins responding with extreme prejudice to one another's peril, are direly correct. The greater the peril, the greater the reaction.

Billy has successfully made everything worse.

The SHIELD agents in the Scarlet Witch's possession all suddenly drop from their puppet strings, released from her control, but only because her power is focusing towards something else now. The atmosphere shifts tidally, twisting, the world flickering like static between different configurations in sickening jumps of bending reality. The Witch's fury at the outrage against her brother is a palpable thing, pulsing the air like a racing heartbeat.

Her eyes, solid burning scarlet, run with radiating, lashing red light. A corona of pure hex-power steams off her skin, blazing around her in a visualized nimbus of rage. Everything that comes in contact with that aura atomizes and scatters into dust.

A moment later, the entire floor of the Triskelion on which they stand atomizes too, erupting in a cacophony of structural violence. The structure beneath everyone's feet cracks and explodes into vast pieces of concrete, steel, and flooring, the raw chaos energy flinging the guts of the building every which way and shredding them into dust, where common sense and physics would normally dictate a collapse straight down.

The people present, unfortunately, are not so lucky as to be able to avoid the pull of gravity…

* * *

The building's gone, but… not. Not entirely. The small cluster around Fury remains intact, a dome of energy snapping into place around them. Metahumans, injured agents, and humans alike. They stand on a surface of emerald light, reinforced with I-beams of viridian energy. Power surges upwards and downwards through shattered steel and concrete, reinforcing the structure of the Triskelion with something altogether more obdurate than steel. It's amorophous and indistinct in places… but solid enough.

Jen floats off the ground, literally luminescing with an inner light. It suffuses her flesh. Fire climbs along her arms and neck, burns white in her eyes but emits no heat.

STOP

DEPART
LEAVE
FLEE

The voice comes from Jen but it's not *her* voice. It's ancient and vast and rolls from the emerald light coruscating around her. There is force there responding to force, something vast and ancient awakening in Jen as if responding to the sheer power Wanda flings at the building and the threat she expresses to Jen and her allies.

* * *

Finesse is close, so very close to losing her own consciousness, when the stone-skinned heavy meta topples to the floor in direct response to her quick thinking and perfect agility. As they fall to the floor together, Finesse moves to absorb the impact - it's one of the first things you learn in gymnastics, /how/ to fall, if you have to. That doesn't mean the landing doesn't hurt, but it does mean the grip loosens that's trying to kill her. It means that she can suck in a breath to her near-empty lungs, desparate and aching for fresh oxygen. It reinvigorates her, even though her lungs burn still with that fresh breath.
There's no time to tell Jennifer 'thanks', or 'good job'. The possessed man is still after her, a blunt tool to use for a harsh purpose, fixated only on the task of ending her life …

Then everything goes to hell. Almost literally. As the Scarlet Witch goes into a frenzy of rage and begins to rend the fabric of reality with a systematic need to atomatize everything around her Finesse's assailant is released.
She can hear the sounds of lurching. Twisting. Bending. The crack and groaning as the steel and concrete begin to move, become obliterated, and turn to instant dust.

The black-and-white dressed 'heroine' is, to most here, an unknown factor. Finesse has only been active for the lesser part of a month and always managed to leave the scene before the police arrived. She is an unknown factor. She falls, but again, she knows /how/ to fall. To contort, twist, and move her body. And she's seen the weaknesses in both the present assailants. It's a risk that comes with a grave price, but if things keep going this way, they're going to all die. That makes it a risk worth taking.
With one hand, Finesse makes to grab at a steel cable as she plummets down with a keen grip not unused to latching onto things while she twisted in the air in the Olympic tryouts. Even as she does this, with her second hand she's throwing her last escrmia stick with deadly accuracy straight towards Quicksilver's head with force.
She can already guess the ramifications won't be kind. Given the Scarlet Witches seemingly unlimited abilities to do -anything- she doesn't even expect it to hit him. But, she's clearly hoping it will buy them the precious second, maybe two, needed, to recoup, and push the pair back with the momentary distraction it will cause her to 'save' her twin.
"/Now/." It's the only word she speaks. But, hopefully someone will see what's she's doing, and take action. Hopefully, she's bought them that miniscule window of opportunity.

* * *

Between the cracks in skin and the green bags covering heads Nadia eeks a little in a high pitched squeaky voice for the size. Flying up and away from the energy field so she isn't trapped with an asploding head she keys into the PA system and gets talking so everyone in the building and ear shot of a working speaker can heer Nadia.

"Hello, yes. I would assume our green glowy friend is the one doing the attempt to knock them out. They seem to be absobing energy of all kinds and reaching a possible critical mass then maybe explode. So full body containment might be a better idea. Just not too much pressure in case they drain the fields. No adding fuel to the fire." she says softly.

The wasp still stays pretty small as she buzzes around and goes on. "If anyone wishes to know, or care. My name is Nadia, my father was Doctor Henry pym. Or is I dunno where the hell he is. But getting away from things. I can tell you all that of course SHIELD is working on an anti-mutant weapon. You act like this, you just give them reason to act like their the victims. When there is in fact probably about a half a dozen different projects to do the same thing being done across the planet. SHIELD, AIM, Hydra, the WHO/STRIKE, whatever the hell they're calling themselves in the UK. The Red Room labs I came from. I've probably dabbled in the work as well when I wasn't being trained to kill everyone…" she explains as she buzzes and zips around getting a better scope on everyone still active and not being mojo'd to explode.

"If anything happens to these people all you are going to do is give people a damn good reason to speed up their progress. And if I'm guessing correctly, you guys are kind of sort of family. I have a brother that's an omnicidal robot. Allegedly evil mutants aren't even the black sheep." Nadia goes on.

The red and black clad girl resumes her normal size. Letting people see her again a lot more easily, hovering a foot off the ground while her biomechanical wings flutter behind her.

When it's clear that no one was probably listening, and the building itself starts violently falling apart thanks to the chaos magic being flung about. It was probably handy that Nadia kept herself aloft. But with so many people on the ground that's going bye-bye, even at giant size she wouldn't be fast enough to catch more than one. Luckily Jade is on the job there. It's a long way down.

Finding Finesse, the only one Nadia actually knows, and the flying Escrima stick, the Wasp flies to grab the other brunette, and make sure Finesse will have a landing she can eventually stick.

"Magic, seriously. Not a fan."

* * *

Maybe this is a bad time to figure that he's probably not cut out for field missions. Except this isn't a field mission!! The ridiculous thought manages to bubble its way up above the horror, and Ulysses barely swallows down the incredulous laugh that might've escaped with it. This is hardly the time to laugh. They're all going to die here and Fury's either lying by the skin of his teeth or just as oblivious to whatever's truly going on in S.H.I.E.L.D.—

Or there might be a third option. He may be stunned to a stand-still but his mind's working furiously as though mentally processing computer code. But there's only so much he can think of before his thoughts start running circles, and he knows that the only one that he can get a straight answer from is their scary eye-patched director!

Gunshots ring out. Sprinklers go off. The water splashing his face snaps him out of it, smearing across his glasses as he runs a sleeve across it. Things have suddenly turned seemingly in their favor, Quicksilver actually ensnared, green ghost bags attempting to visually demonstrate why they should not be left by baby cribs… The controlled S.H.I.E.L.D. agents collapse, another good thing, right?

He hadn't dared let himself get too hopeful and he's just sorry that he'd turned out to be right. Red explodes around them, the very atmosphere seeming to twist to a nauseating point, enough so that he stumbles, dizzied. His hands find the floor, and for a moment Ulysses decides that maybe he'll stay there as he dares lift his head, looking towards the Scarlet Witch in her rage. Eyes widen as he witnesses the destructive property of that red blaze that bleeds off of her, his shout in alarm lost in the terrible noise that comes not from above, but below them, and he shakily looking down he sees the cracks forming along the floor beneath his fingers (Through the carpet?!? his mind wanders incredulously where his mouth has failed him)). Everything, just gone, and then he's falling—

It's a short fall. It's abrupt enough that he's sure he could have broken his wrist if he hadn't somehow twisted and landed on his shoulder instead, on something bright green. "Oh no, what now," he laments, wondering if somehow S.H.I.E.L.D.'s been built on top of some reactor core to boot. "-oh." Okay, not radioactive? Hopefully? Honestly he has no idea how the green lady is doing this so who knows if everyone might be glowing by the end of it! But not falling is good. Armed, slightly better? Where'd his ICER g- oh there it is. He can maybe shoot things now, since they don't have their people trying to shoot them? He sneaks a look back up towards the Scarlet Witch and decides that he's definitely not leveled up enough to try his luck.

Naturally his phone starts ringing in his pocket then, drawing an exasperated "Really?!" from him as he hurriedly fumbles with it one-handed, if only to get the ringer to shut up.

* * *

'There is no mutant-targeting weapon,' Fury declares, but from the hesitation displayed by the ginger-haired metahuman's expression, she's not sure if she actually even believes him right now. She can't do much with a gun right now; so it's a good time to rely on her powers —

— and so as the sprinkler pops with a spark and a *pang* of metal on metal, water starts to spray through the halls, enough that she can extend a hand backward and rapidly gather a swell of it over her free hand.

Wanda's abilities flare; while she does not fully — or even remotely — understand the scope of them, she knows that it's dangerous letting the Scarlet Witch do her thing. "Stop her before-!!"

Before the scaled woman can extend her arm and let that focused sphere of water fire freely, the ground rapidly webs, cracks, and then everything starts to scatter; tiles shifting, shredding, ripping apart. Her footing is lost, and Sloane drops, falling … only for a moment before she's caught on that web of energy being cast around by Jade.

But she also looks up. "Oh shit."

Rolling back into a crouch, she looks back at Ulysses. He doesn't look ready for this — for any of this, really. "We have to get out of here before the rest of this thing comes down on us," she says, trying very hard to hide her panic. Sloane looks back to Fury. "Come on!! Move it!"

* * *

If the circumstances were different, the fall would be almost peaceful. This wouldn't be the first time she has found herself dropping from a precarious height.

It's just that it's a rare occasion that someone actually manages to throw her off said height.

Above her she can see it, the crimson hurricane that the Witch unleashes from within, ephemeral filaments of her signature color flickering around the destruction she has just caused like fireflies, glinting debris and twisted metal blowing out from all of the windows of the floor she had just been tossed from, ambient light from the city's glowing marquees reflected from them. Her eyes are wide, but her reflexes kick in - instinct drives her to fire a grappling hook upwards as she continues to plummet from hundreds of feet in the air.

The cord snaps taut and she's left dangling there, two hands curled on her bow.

"…well, that's something," she mutters, though her blue eyes catch a blur of movement. Green and white, she knows who it is immediately.

"Speed!" she calls, before curling her body to swing herself closer to the wall in a wide, parabolic arc, careening in a physics-defying interception course. Besides, between the gears and his X-gene, Tommy can probably drag them back up from where they left faster.

Plus they need to back up Billy.

She releases the cord once she gets the proper distance, and leaps at the speedster for him to catch.

* * *

He thought it would distract her.

And it did. Just…

"Wait-"

… Not in the way he expected.

Wiccan thought Wanda might try to help her twin, like how Tommy rushed to Kate's rescue. He thought she might try to take Pietro and run, ending this — whatever this is — before it could escalate any further. He thought something — anything — but this.

But as an entire floor disappears out from under everyone, Billy Kaplan realizes he does not understand Wanda Maximoff at all.

Something about that frustrates and upsets him, and he's not sure why. It's very far from the forefront of his mind, though, as the building starts to collapse on itself under the weight of the Witch's obliterating wrath. Suspended in mid-air, all Billy can do for a solid stretch of seconds is look on in horrified disbelief at what Wanda is doing. The fact that she can do it. The fact that she is doing it. His throat feels dry. The hairs at the back of his neck stand on end. For a second, he can't find his voice, that thing so quintessential to his gift.

"F — float!"

It's a last-second squeak of a command, trying to catch any of the falling SHIELD agents he can — make their fall light as a feather. But this power is so much, do distracting, so somehow incongruous with expectations he shouldn't even have—

The building. The building is collapsing. Someone is trying to support it. But who knows how long—?

There's no time to think. No time to berate himself. No time to wallow in guilt. Billy needs to act. His right hand snaps down. A chant of "somewhere safe somewhere safe somewhere safe" fills the air as a hole rips itself into the fabric of everything that is on that floor beneath them, filled with cerulean light. A portal. A portal somewhere. Where? He doesn't know.

Somewhere safe. It has to be.

"You need to get them out of here!!" he shouts, and he's not even sure who he's shouting -to-. His attention turns towards Wanda in all her fury. He has to try to stop her. His hand reaches out, the words of a counterspell forming on his lips. He can't stop them. He doesn't think he can. But he can distract them. He has to distract them.

But he's so much younger.
He lacks so much knowledge.
He lacks so much experience.
And he's trying to do so much.

The reality strains and wobbles.

The hex binding Quicksilver slips—

* * *

Run.

Run faster.

You're not going to be fast enough, Tommy! You're going to be too slow, and she'll—

There's a curious tingle over the back of his neck as the Scarlet Witch exerts her terrible power, and an entire floor of the Triskelion, the mighty redoubt of SHIELD and a visible symbol of its power in the heart of New York City, simply vanishes.

"What the crap!" the white-haired young man wonders fruitlessly, casting a brief glance over his shoulder. At his relative perception, the instantaneous destruction happens in slow motion. He can watch the structure shred apart under the influence of that chaotic energy as if in slow motion. "Okay, that wasn't me! This time!"

Probably?

He's pretty sure, anyway.

Setting that aside for the moment, he instead turns his attention back to Kate Bishop, also falling in slow motion: He watches as she saves herself with a grappling hook, and then as she very slooooowly calls his codename, and very sloooooowly swings towards him. Expecting him to…

"Gotcha," Speed says at a more normal rate as he does in fact catch the archer, slowing down enough to be more easily perceived, coming to a thunderous stop after he does catch her, an erupting shockwave of glass and metal shearing off of the side of the next several floors below him (sorry, Colonel Fury!) and for half a heartbeat they linger there on the side of the Triskelion.

"…Oh shit, we need to get Billy!" he realises, and then they're tearing back up the side of the building and back into a chaotic nightmare explosion, giving Kate the curious sensation of being at the creation of a sonic boom without being in a plane or anything similar. "Wiccan if you die I'm telling Bucky about your shriiiiiiiine!!"

Not that anyone can hear him say that, but hey.

It's the thought that counts.

* * *

Chaos is certainly the word of the evening.

There's a moment of relief that the SHIELD agents drop, uncontrolled. It's brief. Above them, the building starts to groan and protest as parts of it are simply deleted. While a sound structure, having random support beams and flooring disappear was not part of the architectural math anyone anticipated.

The green beams of light hold the structure together temporarily. However tiles, pieces of concrete, carpeting, desks and office equipment start raining down on the people below. Finesse's well tossed escrimia hits against a cascading desk, shattering it, but also obscuring everyone's view.

Billy's spell hold on Pietro slips and just as it does so, something else triggers. The suited agents who attacked Jen, Finesse and Nadia crash against the ground, the webbing still attached to them and the debris, but no longer a part of any solid wall or flooring. Intensely, they all start to glow and one lets out an unconscious roar even as he struggles against the webbing. He pushes backward, a wounded animal in intense pain. A bright, ferocious energy erupts, making a bad situation exponentially worse. Everyone's vision is obscured for a few moments either from the exposure or closing their eyes to avoid the eye damage and those who fell through the floor are a blasted backward as he is engulfed in a flash of white heat.

Afterward, Fury starts to push himself up off the ground, expression contorted in pain for a moment before he looks exactly like himself again: inscrutable and pissed off. As Sloane takes charge, he gestures with his gun, intention clear. "You heard the agent and the wizard. Everyone out! I don't recommend the elevator."

* * *

The hex binding his powers slips. Quicksilver comes flooding back, his nature accelerating from zero straight back to hypersonic. The world speeds back up to its accustomed pace, and suddenly everything is just — as slow — as it should be.

The thrown escrima stick shatters a desk inches from his face; the debris spins past at the leisurely pace of a floating moth as he twists in the net holding him, towards the storm of hex-power churning the air. The chaotic scarlet destroys everything it touches — but not him. His twin's powers never harm him. Where they touch him, they fold around him, bringing with them a negation field that switches the probability of him being bound to zero.

Half a moment later, he is in Wiccan's face, and the scarlet point of a hex-blade is digging into the spot above the boy's heart. "I should kill you for that," he says. Yet something about Billy's eyes stops the blade.

That, and — "But we have work we came here to do."

He is gone a moment later, dissolving to the naked eye into a crack of white lightning streaked with the scarlet of the hex-blade. The bolt that is Quicksilver beelines straight for the remaining physical structural supports and pillars still struggling to maintain the integrity of the portions of the Triskelion above — and shears through them, driving blade-first in a swung arc of cruel-edged scarlet.

He twists agilely afterwards and vanishes out the open remnants of the window beside his twin, headed farther up the body of the Triskelion, ripping the side of the building open with the spelled sword dragged in his wake. Whatever goals the Brotherhood had here on this day, it is plain one of them assuredly was the mass physical destruction of an edifice that has done mutantkind wrong.

What might the others be?

* * *

For an instant, the Scarlet Witch meets Jennifer's glance. Her head tilts, animal-like.

Beneath the burn of red in her eyes, there is no mirror back of that fury. No indignation. Not even an outward demonstration of hate for all those whom the Brotherhood have come, one assumes, to kill. Neither is there no peace, or anaesthetic tranquility in her expression —

There is nothing at all. The void of someone who, long ago, let go of the last vestigal shreds of humanity in one labourous choice — whose missing father, Magneto, reflects in the gravity of her decision.

It answers, in that glance, Billy's failed judgment: Wanda Maximoff will not be deterred. She will not be driven off, scared away — stopped from what must be done. What must be done for their kind.

"Die with your slavers," she declares — to all, mutant, meta, inhuman, all like her who care to stand with their culture of oppression. They have made their choice. It is time for the Scarlet Witch to finish her father's work.

She lifts herself farther into the air, head drawn back, hands outstretched, fingers playing along the unseen straits of reality as she pulls on its apeiron — it's very chaotic stuff to draw into her field.

The field of scarlet amplifies, tiding out from her in grand, lashing tongues of weaving energy. For a beat, her scarlet eyes blink black.

The Scarlet Witch thinks her last thought — this is right — and loses herself to the void, pushing out her field, widening it as it spheres out from her body. All that it touches, as it grows, atomizes in its wake.

She is turning it on the Triskelion. To tear it apart, molecule by molecule.

* * *

Jen grunts as if weight was dropped on her shoulders. More I-beams slam into existence. The fire roars from her skin like an inferno. She's lost in the flames. Almost impossible to look at as flickering light bursts from her fingertips.

GO
RUN

UN RUN RUNRUNRUNRUN

She's such a pipsqueak. A child trying to hold a firehose, really, barely able to contain the fires of the cosmic entity that roars awareness through her soul. On some level, instinctual, bone deep, she recognizes Wanda summoning chaos itself to undo the Triskelion. To un-make it. It's a level of control that she simply can't match. Not that she'd have the slightest idea *how*. How does one stop the act of un-creation? The sheer obdurate willpower of the Scarlet Witch insisting on making something *stop* being?

"RRRRAAAAAAGH!" It's Jen's voice. Not the Other. She uplifts both her hands to reinforce the structure disintegrating above her thanks to Quicksilver's vorpal blade. She pushes it upwards with hammerblows of force over and over, doing nothing to help hold it together.

Which is precisely, perhaps, her intention, as the upper levels of the Triskelion tilt forward with impossible momentum and Jen Hayden, pipsqueak shit-talker from Skid Row, tips the building towards Wanda Maximoff like a kid batting the top off a Jenga tower. She gets it past that critical mass and lets gravity do the rest for her.

And then the lights flicker and fade, her eyes roll up into her head, and the constructs all vanish and fall apart as Jen collapses with green blood streaming from her nose and ears and plummets downwards towards the broken floors far below.

* * *

Finesse is caught by Wasp, and frowns tersely at the probability factor that stops her one shot to distract. She feels it was their last gamble, and she has nothing left in the moment to offer. She looks directly to Wasp right after Fury gives his directive, leaving seems optimal, considering the damage that Quicksilver is doing to the supports. As she's set down, she agrees, "Let's get out of here, Wasp. Jennifer." She begins to move at a brisk run towards the only way out, once the dissimilation of the Triskellion really begins. That being the portal that Wiccan made. It's not like they are getting out the front doors or past Wanda. It's the only way out, now.
Then Jennifer falls, and Finesse looks at Nadia, "We need to get her out of here." She stops, stoops, and puts one of Jennifer's arms over her shoulder to take some of the weight, and help to carry the green-skinned recruit to safety.

* * *

Even the red tint of Nadia's goggles don't help against the brief flash of light.

Intellectually, the Wasp is aware you can't always save everyone. But when you not even given the chance to try. That just pisses the girl off.

However there's a Finesse in her arms, it slows down the speed Nadia can fly due to the combined weighty of both women on her wings and growing them won't help.

"All she's doing is proving everyone right." she says and sadly frowns. With Jade passing out Nadia puts Finesse down so they can both help the green skinned woman out through the portal. Moving as quickly as three worn out young women can.

Just before Nadia slips through to make her egress she at least makes one token attempt at stopping further distruction. Not like it would work. But a single blast from Nadia's hand. Not her stingers but the shrink ray. Pym Particle powered light that would normally just infinitely shrink something beyond even the microverse.

It's a parting shot but it's all The Wasp had left to try. And with that she steps through the portal with Finesse and Jade.

* * *

"Archie not now, I'm trying not to die here..!" Ulysses hisses at his phone, and then pauses. "-o-oh, hey mom! I didn't — Look, now's not the time okay gotta go talk to you later!" Hopefully, he tags on mentally as he hastily pockets his phone.

They're hardly out of danger here, not with- Wait, why are those people glowing? "Oh sh—!" He throws his arms up in front of his face, feeling himself lifted off of his feet, buffeted by warmth and brightness. Groaning seems a plus, as does being able to feel his everything hurting. Shakily he pushes himself up to sit. His hands are empty, his ICER having been knocked away somewhere but he's not terribly inclined to look for it, not now. His eyes meet Sloane's.

No, he's so not ready for any of this. He'd have to wonder who in their right mind would be. At least he's keeping it together, if just barely. With things happening one right after the other he hasn't had time to really process whether to scream or cry. Sloane however has a brilliant suggestion, and if he's noticed her panic, Ulysses chooses to ignore it, nodding enthusiastically. "Escape, good. Staying, bad," he agrees, shoving himself to his feet, wincing with every movement.

His eyes shift to the new glow of blue, seeing the hole to…somewhere open up, hearing Wiccan's shout. He's still processing this as he points to the rift.

"Portal."

In the back of his mind he'd be thinking it really cool but there's no time. Not with the scarlet light show above and the Witch saying eerie things, headquarters disintegrating. Ulysses gapes, but the increasing damage, the quickly dwindling structure around them at least prompts his feet into moving towards the swiftest egress.

* * *

She isn't quite sure how this is all being held up — is this telekinesis? Is this some weird stuff? — but Sloane L. Albright is glad it's there all the same. Nick Fury confirms what she has bellowed out, though she gives him a hard look at being referred to as 'Agent.'

Everything gets even worse: Pietro is free, and the combined efforts of the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver start making things all the more horrible for those still inside. Dust, water, and debris cling to her hair and clothes and visible scales.

"Go!! Go, go, go!!" she yells, wheeling her arm around, staying near the portal while Jade does her best to hold — and shove — the building, while Nadia throws parting shots, and aids with Finesse and Jade. What about those Young Avengers, too?

"Move it, Agent!!" Sloane cries, reaching out to quite literally grab Ulysses by the belt and toss him into the air, catching him over her shoulder, arm hooking around his legs. Breaking into a run toward the portal, her other arm extends with the intent to hook around the waist of Nick-goddamn-Fury — CONSEQUENCES BE DAMNED — pull him close, and carry /both/ men straight through Billy's escape portal at a dead run.

* * *

It's been a while since Tony Stark had put Tommy and Billy under her care - so when the former seamlessly catches her at her dangerous swing towards the side of the building, there's nothing but trust and determination in every physical motion.

Speed catches the archer, and she locks herself around him tightly as more glass shatters at their wake, more concrete splinters underneath them. As they churn back upwards in irresponsibly dangerous speeds, for just a few seconds, she sees what Tommy Shepherd sees - the world unraveling in slow motion, spooled outwards with scarlet threads.

Silver, too, when Quicksilver himself explodes out of the window they had just vacated, to carve his fury on the outside of the Triskelion. It's a brief window, like two streams of light crossing.

There's no time to even appreciate just how much the damage the twins do in such a short time. With the building shuddering under the wake of the Witch's destructive power, there's nothing else for it but to round up the people that they can and vacate immediately.

When they get to the window's empty frame, there's no floor left, and several spots of light - most belongs to the Scarlet Witch as she marries herself to the void, but there are others, too - the blazing green from Jennifer, the motes from Billy's magic.

His portal.

"Billy!" she yells through the comms and chaos. "Are you— "

He's fine. And not only that, he's made an escape route for everyone else.

She flashes the warlock a thumbs-up, before she latches herself on whatever hanging beams are left. She's not leaving until her teammates are ready to vacate, themselves.

…but she does position herself close to the opening, just in case.

* * *

There's a cognitive dissonance there, in the back of Billy Kaplan's mind, for reasons he can't place. It's been there since he first met the Maximoffs, scratching at the surface. It only intensified that day at the courthouse, when someone who felt so strongly like the Scarlet Witch yet was absolutely -not- her appeared before him like she was dragged there from somewhere far away, looking like she knew him. She knew him.

And it grows to levels almost maddening as an eyeblink brings Pietro Maximoff digging the crackle of a scarlet blade into his chest. He knows that power, because it's his, just manifest in a way that he can't even begin to understand or emulate.

In moments like these, staring at what he's sure is the end, Billy Kaplan can't help but curse himself. His own weakness. His own failings. His cowardice and uncertainty and —

— he tries to look defiant in the face of it. But there's that little glimmer of fear, as he stares into that face that looks so much like his brother's so much like Tommy's and—

— wait —

"Brother-?"

Bewilderment overpowers the fear and exhaustion for a brief moment in that sliver of time when that blade stops and then simply -disappears- like it was never even there to begin with. Billy Kaplan stumbles, a breath he didn't even know he was holding heaving past burning lungs as he looks at that empty space where once was Pietro and now is just…

… things being dissolved from the fabric of creation.

He does what he can. Murmurs of "stop stop stop" are things that can likely only slow it at best because he doesn't -believe- he can stop this, not for a second. He's just trying to buy time. As much time as he can, for everyone to leave. His focus splits. Exhaustion sinks into his bones. His portal starts to wobble and waver with every passing moment.

He can barely even feel relief as he sees Kate alive and well thanks to Tommy's efforts. Tommy — his —

"GO!"

For once, Billy Kaplan's voice actually sounds as commanding and confident as he'd like it to sound. He doesn't have time to appreciate it. He's not leaving until he's seen everyone through that portal.

Glowing blue eyes, losing focus from fatigue, stare as that crimson orb expands inevitably outward. She's going to unmake everything, and he couldn't stop her. He decides something in that moment, before he somehow finds it within himself to stumble out a teleportation hex for himself, before his portal winks out of existence. Before everything dissolves.

He doesn't know enough.

And he can't keep letting that be an excuse.

* * *

"HEY WHY ARE WE HANGING AROUND IN A COLLAPSING BUILDING, THAT SEEMS KINDA DUMB," calls out Speed, not normally known for being the voice of reason. He's not really sure what passed between the Maximoffs and Billy Kaplan, though he does have a weird feeling about things generally. It's not like he has any sort of magical abilities of his own, but there some kind of strange, fundamental resonance with the outpouring of power from the Scarlet Witch - admittedly, it's kind of low on his list of concerns at this exact moment, and there's a decent chance he'll forget about it later.

Easy come, easy go.

If there are still other people on the level below the collapsing floor, they find themselves rather rudely tossed through Wiccan's portal to 'somewhere safe'; as the more magically-oriented Avenger makes an ultimately futile attempt to buy time, the speedster spends each of those drawn out, borrowed seconds to venture further, to grab more people who weren't able to evacuate, who might've been injured in the explosions, lobbing them as gently as he can (it's not that gently, sorry) to some kind of safety, either way it's definitely a step up from an imminently collapsing building, right?

Of course, he only does it because he knows Billy's going to have a catastrophic sulk later and this is the only hope to mitigate it. Plus it might impress Kate Bishop.

That's the whole of it, he doesn't have an altruistic bone in his body!

Indeed, if Hawkeye herself isn't fast enough, she'll also be among those unceremoniously lobbed through the portal in those last, terrible moments before Speed realises he has no other choice, frowning as he looks towards the other young man, lingering in the chaos and destruction. As Wiccan teleports himself away, and his portal winks out of existence, the speedster is the last one through, doing an extremely unglamorous dive.

Seriously, he lands on the other side on his shoulders, pretzeled up with his butt in the air.

It's just not a posture that screams 'Avengers!'

* * *

The Maximoff Twins work in perfect tandem. Between the two of them, silver and magenta energy weave together in a dance of destruction that some might consider beautiful. Pillars sheer as Pietro cuts through them with precise movements impossible for all but Tommy to see. All around them, the building itself seems to scream out in protest against his attacks. A bright colored cocoon wraps around the floors, walls, ceilings in an ever expanding circle around Wanda, pulling everything into strange dioramas of themselves that continually pull apart, apart, apart.

Amongst all that color and chaos, bright green knits itself through, desperately trying to keep structure and what seems to be reality itself from crumbling down upon everyone's head. It holds, despite the obvious and intense pressure placed upon the woman, but the structure remains standing for…how long? Hours? Minutes? Seconds? It's enough time to gather toward an escape.

Still, debris falls and crashes dangerously close to all of them. A computer impacts on the cracked and falling ground beside Fury and shatters. It nearly knocking him off his feet again. Sloane bodily grabs him by the waist and he gives the woman something of a look. It's hard to tell in this moment if he's angry at her forwardness or not. Either way, he allows her to help - or bodily carry - him to the portal. "This way!" He calls to Finesse, Nadia and Jen along with those agents still nearby that can get to safety.

With a cry, it all becomes too much for Jen and she tumbles, luckily caught by the deft hands of Nadia. Finesse moves to help pull their comrade to safety. Immediately, the building starts to decay and crumble exponentially faster. It's immediately apparent that the only thing keeping the Triskelion together right now is luck and that is quickly running out. Above them, the floors crash against each other, the impending collapse becoming louder, closer. Jen's push toward the side leans the collapse to not drop directly downward. A desk falls straight downward, nearly clipping Kate in the head before careening straight through the portal that is being kept open for their expeditious retreat. Tommy is not exactly wrong that they are standing on borrowed time.

Billy's murmurs cause the debris about them to slow, but not stop. In a mimic of what how he hoped to stop Quicksilver, large pieces of building fall in slow motion. However, that luck is fading fast.

* * *

With every last bit of her focus, her strength, her soul — the Scarlet Witch whispers deep into the seams of reality, and makes it heed.

She sunders it, atom by atom — reverses all of man's Something to become her Nothing — and seeks to fell this palace of their systemic oppression in her first and final statement. What the Brotherhood — no, what mutants seek to declare to man's world: they will suffer it no longer.

Wanda holds still in the air, consumed by her scarlet, her empty eyes radiating its light, her dark hair fanning out by an unseen wind. As destruction mirrors against her expression, and tears run her cheeks, she thinks: Is this what you wished, father? Is this what you want of me? Are you alive to see what you made?

Her eyes flicker again, red slipping into black, and the Witch finds herself no longer able to care.

A creeping Nothing slithers under her skin as she holds, as she stares, eyes reflecting her own spreading destruction. She feels nothing.

Then, her face is lit in ambient green. It spreads, an unburning fire, to crown the topmost floors of the Triskelion, the great building groaning as its foundations unhook, and an awesome force pushes it forward, toward the hanging Witch who levitates in the air.

It draws the Witch's blackened eyes. She looks up facelessly — and does not seem to notice as Billy's counter-hex does its trick, halting the lethal spread of her field, slowing it to a crawl to allow escape, and to slow the eventual gutting-out of structure.

The top floors loom dangerously — and topple forward.

Wanda's eyes blink back red, and then blue — and then, in the next instant, she is gone, pulled into the downward rain of breaking mortar and falling rubble.

Her field shockwaves out from her — then disappears. Suffocated into the falling building, as with its lost mistress.

* * *

Finesse gives a silent nod to Fury's directive aimed at her and her 'friends', and assists Nadia with Jennifer, moving them all into that portal while it still remains open, focused on that solely and no longer the chaos going on around them.

* * *

Is Magneto alive? Even if their father would be proud to see what they have done — proud even for half a second — five times of ten, Pietro would still pray the answer is no.

The other five times are what have brought him to this extremity today.

And yet — there are certain things even someone as fast as Quicksilver cannot ignore. One of those things is the entire upper half of the Triskelion suddenly tipping beneath him as he travels its surface. Especially since it is tipping towards his twin, where she hangs suspended in the air. Rubble descends and consumes her hovering form.

Through the link, he feels her struck; the impact translates through to him like a hammerblow, tripping him, sending him tumbling in a breakneck hypersonic skid along the building's surface, glass shattering in his wake.

Several floors down he finally gets his feet back under him, but his interest in the foundering Triskelion is lost. It's focused on Wanda now, and only her. The blade drops out of his hands and vanishes in a wisp of probability as he skims along the falling side of the building, arrowing towards where he last saw his twin.

He pushes off at the last moment, a leaping arc of silver darting among the falling debris in a plunge after her falling form. Both are soon lost to sight in the cascading ruins.

* * *

Well there's not much Nadia can do now. Just help Finesse Watch Jade over the otherside of the portal. The helmet she word taken off and set aside while she keeps an eye out. The Russian looking very, very sullen. Even her eyes look bagged up.

"All those people, couldn't do a damn thing. What was the point. Not like SHIELD doesn't have the ability to rebuild. Most of those people weren't probably even field agents. It's stupid and wasteful." she mutters very, very dejectedly.

* * *

"AAAH!"

Even after yelling at him Sloane still manages to startle Ulysses as she grabs a hold of him and slings him over her shoulder like a sack of flour. He stares as the scaled agent even scoops up the S.H.I.E.L.D. director, but all he can do is watch everything begin to collapse as they make a run for the portal.

It's unsettling, being unable to do anything but trust that someone's going to get you to what you hope is safety but Ulysses has a lot more faith in Sloane's ability to do so than his own, so it's not, at the very least, difficult. He watches as the fallen agents appear to vanish in the wake of a green and white blur, as the Young Avengers do just what they'd come to do, holding off the inevitable, covering their retreat as long as they can.

The distance between them and their means of escape diminishes in seeming slow motion as overhead things threaten to black out, the roof listing, tilting amidst the warring powers. It's like a nightmare Christmas display. And suddenly they're through and the destruction is literally behind them, wherever they are. Unfortunately they all know it's been anything but a mere nightmare, and Ulysses stares through the wavering portal until its collapse.

* * *

Merrow doesn't even look back at Fury — orange eyes are facing forward, holding steady on Ulysses and keeping the Director of SHIELD braced as she makes for that portal at full speed. Even as falling debris, ceiling panels, and conduits break and scatter and fall in their path, even as she's forced to make some pretty wild steps and side-steps as their green barrier protection is forced to hold, even so, she continues ahead.

Once she's burst through the portal to the other side, she keeps moving far enough to not keep the entrance clogged or slowed up for survivor foot-traffic before she tilts back to place Fury on his feet, then let Ulysses slide down off her shoulder and get the Agent set upright.

Then she stops to look around. Then Sloane takes in her surroundings, before ultimately looking back through the portal, looking for real-time signs of the carnage from where they all stand. More importantly, waiting for those Young Avengers to make it through and stay through.

Her eyes pass from Fury and Arngrim to Nadia, Jade, and Finesse, swatting dust off her scuffed-up jacket. "Are you three all right?"

* * *

Through the portal is an absolute and utter wash of silence. It's strange, for a few brief moments everyone feels as if they are not only nowhere, but possibly everywhere. It's dark, it's bright, it's impossible to see, if there is anything to see. After the terror, or the feeling of helplessness, or in the face of discovery and mistrust, it's both awesome and awful.

Then, in various stages of good landings, everyone crashes onto a solid surface. It feels like brick. It's narrow, a wall with windows on one side and on the other railings and…coin viewers? About them is strewn debris of computers, concrete and wood. People dressed in light jackets and scarves are all pressed to the opposite sides, some hold out their phones to take candid pictures. Above them is a tall spire, brightly lit in neon white.

Finding their bearings, they realize they are on the Observation Deck of the Empire State Building. Below them, the muted sounds of sirens now blaring and constant. Nearby, a plume of smoke and dust rises into the evening sky.

Is everyone okay? Is anything okay? That remains to be seen.

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