Pasts Divulged
Roleplaying Log: Pasts Divulged
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Merrow, Moonstar and Warren gather to discuss what they've each found on Domino.

Other Characters Referenced: Domino
IC Date: May 10, 2019
IC Location: Warren's Posh Apartment
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 11 May 2019 13:51
Rating & Warnings:
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

Whenever the venerable legion of SPYFISH told Warren that they had information to pass along about Domino, Warren told them in turn where to come meet him; the duplex penthouse at 902 Fifth Avenue that is, in effect, his main residence as of late, given its convenient location roughly in the middle of the various locations which he needs to frequent on a regular basis. As might be expected, it's a quieter area of Manhattan, with a certain pristine asceticism that is rather rare in the city that never sleeps. Part of this is because directly across Fifth Avenue from the upscale apartment building is the greenery of Central Park.

It's the kind of place which can easily be mistaken for a really nice hotel and not a place where people actually live. The 24-hour staff lurking about the double-height foyer, done tastefully in that distinct pre-war Art Deco style, likely contribute to that general impression — especially the excessively-solicitous doormen who get the door upon arrival. If they have any impression that Miss Albright or Miss Moonstar might not belong here, they are much too professional to show it; especially since all visitors have to stop by the front desk anyway, and they are likely confident any riffraff will be tactfully stopped there.

Their names have been given, however, and once they identify themselves — whether they arrive together or separately — they will be shown past the regular elevator banks and back to a private one which only goes to two floors: 19 and 20. The attendant helpfully sends them to 19.

19 turns out to be the lower floor of the duplex, though 'lower floor' doesn't appear to mean much given that the entire place is an airy, minimalist open-concept with few blocking walls to obstruct sight lines out the floor-to-ceiling windows, and a second floor that is more balcony than separate space. The views are primarily of Central Park and the open airspace above it — Warren clearly picked the place to suit his bird instincts, and birds don't do well without constant views of the sky and trees.

Warren himself is waiting in ready sight of the front door, perhaps so nobody gets lost or intimidated. He's seated on the sectional in the middle of the space, leaned over a table spread with rather important-looking papers, his wings ruffled behind him with thought.

———

The members of Mission Impossible: SPYFISH gather.

As such, Danielle Moonstar finds herself arriving at the specified address. When the doorman holds the door open for her Dani can't help but offer a murmur of thanks to the man. Then once inside the Cheyenne woman automatically pause to gaze about the foyer and room itself. Only after a moment or two of that assessment does Moonstar step over to the front desk and its occupants.

"Danielle Moonstar." The black-haired woman states in quite the professional and business-like tone, "Here to see Mr. Worthington.", and with that dropping of names the wheels begin to move.

Dani takes the private elevator to the appropriate floor and when she steps out onto the 19th floor, she can't help but say -

"I sure do feel the urge to hum the Pink Panther song right about now."

———

Expecting to meet Warren in the darkened halls of the mansion — still unaware of what's in the lowest levels — or in the confines of the base, getting told to come to the city is … not exactly unsurprising, but it is more where in the city that catches her off-guard. Standing outside the building, even as someone that has lived for the last few yeras in New York, she's still caught off-guard, rubbernecking a bit as she looks way, way upward.

"Whoa."

After passing doormen and attendants and walking into the lobby, the feeling that Sloane gets is much like the kind when she first moved in upstate: She's terrified of actually touching anything for fear that it might break or set off a security alarm or thirty.

She arrives all of two minutes behind Dani; the shocked stares and moments taken to soak up all of the wealth apparent taking her off her guard, all the way to the elevator and the ride up to 19.

She's clearly expecting a hallway when she enters, her eyes going wide as saucers as she pivots to look back at the elevator doors closing, then turning /back/ around.

"Goddamn." It's hard to say if she actually processed the presence of Dani or Warren just yet. "And I stayed in one of Tony Stark's apartments for awhile."

———

Warren was warned of the impending company, of course. A call had gone up to him to notify him visitors were en route. Such it is that he is quick to rise and greet both of them when they arrive, half a smile for Danielle's remark that turns into a full grin at Sloane's.

"Tony tends to have other things on his mind than decor, I think," is Warren's comment on the matter. "All that engineering knowledge, for example — I imagine it takes up a great deal of mental space. Me, on the other hand? I am not burdened with genius, and thus I have room in my head for frivolous matters like interior decorating." His smile widens. "I also don't tend to leave gadgets laying all over the place. That does wonders for how a place looks."

He flicks a wing in the direction of the wet bar. "Get either of you anything? Or shall we get straight to business? It will be a nice distraction from going over the annuals."

For given values of 'nice,' of course. It's not exactly frivolous business that brings all of them here today. Warren himself has found some things out about one Domino, though he seems intent to hear from the others first.

———

Sloane's arrival brings Moonstar's gaze around as she offers greetings to her fellow SHIELD-y, "Sloane, good to see you. How've you been?" As to the other woman's remarks about staying at one of Tony's apartment, that prompts a grin from the Cheyenne woman.

And while she could say something to that, Warren's greeting brings Moonstar's gaze back over to him. "'Frivolous'." She begins in a rather dry tone, "It makes me wonder what your non-frivolous places look like.

Though she possibly has an idea with the handful of his places she's now been to.

For Dani the offer of drinks is waved aside, "I'm good with whatever you two want and also ready to dive straight on into the business at hand."

And saying that the woman pulls her smart phone out from the pocket of her jacket. Likely where she stored all the information she's found so far.

———

"Dani, hey! I'm good! Ah — good. Not gonna lie, thought I would've had to bust a lanyard out on the way in or something," the ginger SHIELD Agent replies, letting a nervous laugh slip through.

At Warren's joke and Dani's rebuttal, she laughs again and holds up her hand. "Oh, no — it wasn't a workshop or anything. Me an' Rachel were staying there during the big Hell thing," Sloane says, shrugging one shoulder. "It was just a place for us to crash between … y'know. Demons. — Also, water's fine."

Right. Work!

Rather than a smart phone, Sloane seems to be doing this old school: A messenger bag that hangs at her hip, beaten and weathered with age and use and by-hand repair. A laptop is present, but she instead pulls out dead-ass, for-real manilla folders complete with paperclips and little plastic tabs sticking out of the top for sorted reading. Clearly, the X-Friend took the idea of 'doing this as under the radar as possible' quite seriously.

————

With both women settled on water for the evening, Warren fetches them both glasses. What does one of his non-frivolous places look like? "Like Worthington Tower, I suppose," he says. "Business only."

Setting down water and retaking his place on the sectional, Warren nudges them both to sit if they are not already. "Any place Tony is in for longer than five minutes tends to turn into a a workshop," Warren answers absently to Sloane's clarification, "so he must not have been using it often." But he quiets afterwards to let them organize their thoughts and get their information together.

"I was able to dig up a few things myself," he says, leaning back and regarding their differing methods with some interest, "so I'm expecting some interesting material here. She's got a hell of a past just from what I heard. People take such a grisly interest in the making of living weapons."

———

The big Hell thing; oh yes, Dani remembers that very fun time.

Not that she can say much what with the Demon Bear blizzard tucked neatly into her own past.

Thankfully, the talk of Tony allows the woman to pivot into another quip, "Even cardboard boxes." Because one day Moonstar will rescue all those poor magical artifacts from Tony's magic thingamajig box - or did he call it doodads? Thoughts for another time for certain.

Now it's back to the topic at hand; Domino.

The nudge toward a seat prompts Moonstar to settle onto an end of one of the sectionals. Once comfortable, the woman turns her gaze to her phone for a moment. Her fingertip touches the screen and slides up as she scrolls through her notes. It's only at Warren's last words - making of a living weapon - that Moonstar pauses in her review of notes to look at the winged man for a quiet moment.

Then Moonstar shifts her gaze between both Warren and Sloane and begins, "I can definitely say it wasn't easy finding information on our friend, but one of our -" Our being SHIELD, "- facial recognition programs finally got a hit I was able to use."

"It turns out Domino spent some of her childhood at a Church in Chicago - a Church of the Sacred Heart. I was able to talk with the priest who was there while Domino was. During that time she was going by her first name, or the first name she gave the priest and nuns, of Neena. She came with another woman too, a woman named Beatrice, who the priest believed to be her mother. He mentioned they weren't close, or didn't seem close, so I'm not certain if this Beatrice was truly her mother or not."

———

Moving to sit with some space from Dani, Sloane unshoulders her bag and sets it down on the sofa section she claims for herself. "Thank you," she says, glancing up at Warren. Dani leads off, giving her some time to check her own notes; her face scrunching and looking rather studious as she does so.

Opening the folder up on the coffee table, she shoves a few papers to one side, some up, and some to one side. With eagle eyes like his, Warren at least will be able to see the labels are tagged with years, as well as photographs clipped adjacent to specific sections of the text on the page.

"Chicago? Huh. I didn't get," Sloane says, frowning. "But, I've got sightings going back to 2010. Shoot. — Sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt," Sloane quickly adds, picking up the glass of water to take a big drink.

———

Warren leans back, pensive, and slowly lets his wings spread. They drape along the low back of the sectional, one to either side, in pretty much exactly the same way a regular human might sling his arms along the back of a sofa. It's a clear sign he's comfortable in current company; old habits die hard, and he's still not fully used to letting his wings just hang out fully on display.

He seems to appreciate the rare opportunity to stretch them without side-eyes or nervous looks.

His mouth thins a little at Dani's reaction to his asided remark, but he doesn't interrupt as first she, then Sloane speak. His gaze crosses Sloane's organizational system, at which he gives a low whistle. "I've seen professional personal assistants who aren't even half that organized," he says, obviously impressed. " — Not Kiff, he's great."

He folds his arms after, thnking. "I suppose that's where they went, after they escaped," he says, of Dani's explanation on the church in Chicago. "I'll back up a little bit. I was… contacted, after I did enough digging, by someone who was presumably a researcher on the Project which resulted in 'Neena.'" The word Project is obviously capitalized. "A Project intended to create a 'perfect weapon' with a power to counter any other sort of power in existence. Far-fetched as that might seem. It appears Beatrice was the woman chosen to carry the seventh experiment to term after the first six failed to take via strict in vitro procedures."

His feathers hackle a little, a clear sign of discontent with the topic he's discussing. "So… she was her mother, in a sense. Mother enough to have an attack of conscience and run away from the Project with the child."

Warren's eyes turn to Sloane. "You mentioned sightings?"

———

Sloane's folder of infinite research brings a look of approval from Dani.

And when the other woman apologizes for interrupting, Dani is quick to raise a hand in dismissal. "No apologies needed. I figure we'd all interrupt as needed - I've a feeling we're all going to find our information intersecting at various points during this discussion."

Which brings Moonstar's attention over to Warren as he reveals some of what he's learned.

"Project." Dani says with a clear tone of disgust to her voice, "I'm really getting tired of all these 'projects' we keep ferreting out from the shadows." Which causes Moonstar to slide a quick look to Sloane; SHIELDs own dabbling into crazy science projects clearly still fresh in the Cheyenne's mind.

Still, when Warren's information coincides and validates with her own concerning Beatrice, Moonstar is quick to tap a note into her phone.

"Domino left a few years later after an incident the priest feels is connected. A fire that killed a group of teenagers, though there's very little to be found on the fire or the youths. The police reports were very thin for the supposed accident."

And when she's finished speaking, Moonstar focuses on Sloane as well, especially as Warren asks the questions about sightings.

————

"Ah — well. I've had to put together dossiers in the past, but I've also had a lot more information to work with there, too. I even tried facial recognition, but the route I ended up going down was a lot different," she says, glancing toward Dani.

'Projects.' Sloane catches Moonstar's eye, her mouth pulling to a flat line, then her gaze shifts to Warren, then down to the papers. For as much as she's good at her job, there are times when her poker face just falters; just another house of cards. This is certainly one of them.

She starts shifting the first stack of papers. "Um. … Right. I did get the name 'Neena,'" Sloane starts, looking up and gesturing at Warren. "Just 'Neena.' She was part of a salvage team working shipwrecks near Indonesia — The 'Seaward Skallywag.' That was in 2010," she says, shifting the first page toward Warren — a brief list of Sloane's personal notes, a photograph of the manifest, and a blurry photo — but just clear enough to show a figure with hauntingly pale skin and a distinct black mark on her face.

The second stack, with notes and varying newspaper clippings. "2011, a news story pops up. 'One of the Biggest Treasure Discoveries in Modern History.' I don't speak the language, but I managed to track down an English version of the story — it was off Christmas Island. The Seaward Skallywag was involved."

Sitting upright, she lifts the third page, much more thin and with only a few notes. "2012, a salvage boat named 'White Dawn' was bought by someone that only called themselves 'Neena.' Couldn't dig up more than that on the boat. But, there were rumors of 'The Ghost Girl,' and it sounds like pirate vessels in the area started going dark."

"The trail went cold in 2013. A freighter named 'Aurora' — um — I had to have that translated, too — went dark and nobody knows why. It turns out it went to the bottom of the sea. Not long after that, a contract goes out on the Ghost Girl to the tune of ten thousand US. Contract's still open."

Settling back in the seat, Sloane lifts her glass again to take another drink of water. "That's all I've got."

———

Warren's blue eyes flick upwards when Dani expresses her disgust at all the 'Projects' floating around trying to make weapons of living beings. "I share the sentiment," he says. "Not the first product of efforts to genetically engineer soldiers that we have seen, not by a long shot… but the pattern does grow tiring after a while."

He is musingly silent a few moments, his abstracted gaze looking out the wide windows over the green body of Central Park. "This fire," he eventually asks. "It was at the church? Or elsewhere? Or do we not know?"

His attention turns towards Sloane after, as she speaks up to say her piece. Leaning forward with a rustling shift of feathers, Warren takes the page when it's slipped towards him, long fingers smoothing and sorting through the paper as she summarizes its contents. The stories of salvage work, treasure hunting, and a Ghost Girl haunting vessels in Indonesia… that's harder to relate to the other pieces at the moment, though the news there's still a contract out on the Ghost Girl brings him to frown.

"It sounds to me," he says after a moment to process, "that our friend was developed to be a weapon by a secret government project, freed by the remembered conscience of one of her handlers, and took to mercenary work in her adulthood to put her past far behind her in her rearview mirror." He is silent a few moments, and then, almost brightly: "It's not as bad as I feared."

After thirteen years of X-Menning — yes, he's seen more outlandish things.

But he sobers a little, afterwards. "It does explain some of her behavior in the present. The natural compulsion towards lethal force. She was intensively trained as a weapon since birth. However… I have lingering concerns about elements of her past catching up to her in a way that catches our people in the crossfire, unaware. Her former handler was unaware she was still alive — it seems she's done work to cover her tracks. The man I spoke to seemed to have had an attack of conscience of his own, so I don't think he will betray the fact she is still alive to the others associated with this Project. But there is always the risk that he will, one way or another… and we must take care that we don't stir up so much dust with this investigation that they don't find out from us."

Warren's wings flick, in what appears to be an instinctive restless gesture. "And there's still whatever Kitty might find, to contend with."

———

Moonstar listens intently to all that Sloane reveals. The talk of boats specifically brings a thoughtful frown to Dani's features - there's something there. A sense of something forgotten, but it doesn't quite coalesce for the woman and she let's it go for now.

"What treasure did she find?" Asks the black-haired woman curiously, even as her gaze strays back to Warren when he speaks up about projects, genetic engineering and then his question about the fire.

"An abandoned building. Per the police report the fire wasn't 'suspicious', but Father Boschelli felt fairly certain her leaving was connected to that. I believe he was worried she caused the accident in some way. He said trouble seem to follow her wherever she went."

Warren's summarization of what the three found out prompts Moonstar to nod several times at various points. The mention of a handler causes the Cheyenne woman to once again look disgusted, but she doesn't speak any of her thoughts out loud.

Not until Warren expresses his rather optimistic take on this whole situation. A bit of side-eye is given to the winged man by Dani, but eventually she adds, "I agree. It could have been worse." And while there's the question about what exactly Kitty found, Moonstar still asks, "What are next steps then? Help Domino stay hidden from her past? Help her deal with it?" Moonstar's head tilts at that last thought of hers, "I'm not sure she'd be … very receptive to our help. Overall she seems to be a very-extremely-private-type-of-person."

———

'It's not as bad as I feared.'

After hearing all of that, Sloane looks a little more blown away, sinking back in the seat even as she finishes off the glass of water. Setting it back on a coaster, she shifts her weight — weight also sunk lower in her seat than either Dani or Warren, of note — to scoot forward on the sofa. "I didn't find that," she says, glancing to Moonstar, "but —"

Sloane lifts the sorted paperwork again. "Uh — shit. 2012, there it was. There was a ship called the 'Nyai Roro Kidul.' Big pirate ship. Whole nine yards — the pillaging, stealing, sinking other ships, kidnapping, you name it. When that went down, 'Neena' … uh … was no longer associated with the Skallywag."

"That's everything I could find, for real this time," she says, elbows on her knees and frowning.

With a gesture, the glass slowly refills with water — though from the bottom-up. "I have to agree. She'll probably be a little grumpy if she finds out any of us were digging into her."

———

Warren's sharp eye is caught by that brief moment of thoughtfulness on Dani's features, though he doesn't prod about it; her expression says quickly enough that it isn't quite clicking at the moment, anyway. He simply notes it down mentally, and moves on.

Her clarification on the matter of the fire brings him to nod slowly. "She did explain her powers to me," he says, though he leaves out the part about car crashes and certain amounts of recklessness on his part. "To some degree. When she's endangered, probabilities… shift to suit her. And only her — if there's other people involved, it'll leave them flat in order to see her through safely." He tips his head towards Dani. "She might well have 'caused' it, though not intentionally. Same with all the other 'troubles' the Father was convinced followed her around. They were all… simply the best 'coincidence' that would get her out of whatever she was facing at the time."

His eyes half-lid. "One has to wonder if she took 'trouble follows her' to heart," he muses. "If she left because she thought she was bringing it down upon others…" He is quiet a moment, before he shrugs. "Or if it was something else."

He takes in Sloane's additions in silence, a flicker of concern appearing in his blue eyes. It's a complicated picture being drawn, to be sure, of a woman with a checkered and morally-fluid past. "Leave me a copy of this material you've found," he eventually requests. "Kitty might find something more that will shed more light."

As far as his ultimate conclusion on how to proceed? Warren waves a dismissive, languid hand. "If I have my way, she won't find out," he says, with all the arrogance of a man raised to believe he can do whatever he wants — and who has had that reinforced over the years by evidence that yes, he in fact can do whatever he wants. "Of course all of this is going to be held to the highest secrecy — " a pointed look at both women, " — and it's not going to be used against her. It's — well, it's a background check. Nothing more. It puts my mind at ease to know a little more about the person beside us in the trenches, and what to expect from her."

He glances between the two young women — with a brief doubletake for the refilling water. "She is very private and touchy about her past — doesn't want to discuss it at all really — so no need to do so. I don't think we need concrete next steps, especially as it seems her past is currently thoroughly buried… but knowing more about it better equips us TO respond in the event a situation does arise surrounding her."

Warren closes the folder. "Either way, thank you both for your work."

———

Warren's explanation of just how Domino's powers work is absorbed silently by Moonstar.

The further explanation of the possibility of the fire being something of Domino's fault causes the Cheyenne woman to glance away momentarily. Her gaze stays fixated off to the side for a moment longer at the possibility that perhaps Domino did leave because she felt responsible.

"There may be something to that." States Moonstar quietly, but then something of an amused look brings her gaze back around to the group and Sloane specifically. "A little bit grumpy is definitely putting it mildly."

Then to Warren's mention of secrecy, "But yes, this is definitely our little secret."

His thanks prompts a quirk of a smile from Dani and an almost reflexive, "Hey, that's why we're here. To help. I'm glad we could."

———

She can make things — do — like.

Briefly, the orange-eyed Inhuman looks lost in possibilities. "Whoa."

Seeming to — finally — relax in the setting of the apartment, Sloane lifts her hands as part of an exaggerated shrug, her voice huffy and melodramatic. "I could've said 'frickin' shitstorm,' but I am trying to be professional."

She can't help but smirk a little when Warren reacts to the filling glass of water. Picking it up, Sloane takes the drink quickly, setting down the empty glass with briefly puffed cheeks and putting a scale-backed hand to the corner of her mouth in the most dignified of manners before swallowing.

And then, Sloane nods at Warren, sorting and stacking the pages of the report before putting it all back into the folder. She even makes sure the tabs line up correctly before pushing it across the table toward the winged X-Man. "These are all for you. I've got my original notes."

Grinning at Dani, she nods, rising from her seat. "Absolutely. If you need anything else, I'll see what I can do, too. Just be careful, Warren. We don't know what else she might have hiding up her sleeve."

Like big, angry guns.

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