"Please stop staring. It’s kind of unnerving."
"I do apologize wholeheartedly. I have often been informed that I can be perceived as rather unnerving."
"Please stop staring. It’s kind of unnerving."
"I do apologize wholeheartedly. I have often been informed that I can be perceived as rather unnerving."
"I mean, yeah, Wiley’s pretty grouchy, but we’ve had some good talks.. mostly about baseball, but I feel like we’re sort of.. friends, y’know? I- I hope she comes back soon.
I don’t want to take over.”
"As do I, Agent Nichols. As do I. She too, is a dear friend of mine. Do you have any idea as to where she has absconded to?"
Lashes brushed the tops of her cheeks as her eyelids fluttered shut, fingers burying themselves in long tresses to push them from her features, tilting her head back as she inhaled; the various scents that hung over the crash site, intermingling until they were indistinguishable from one another, not unlike the various perfumes worn by the multitude of women who occupy a single bar after a hard day of work on a Friday would. An exhale was blown through partially parted lips, the tigress opening her eyes once more as she crouched down to be closer to the section of the wreckage that she’d (inadvertently) claimed as her own to search through.
Brows drew together while claws pulled back pieces of the debris, a mild hesitancy lacing each one of her movements owing largely to the fact that she did not know what exactly they expected to find from their endeavour, pushing dented metal either side of her to allowed her to move further into the mess that the crash had resulted in. Greer glanced upward as Maria declared she had found something, allowing the edges of her mouth to turn upward to send a fleeting smile in her friend’s direction - the interaction of her team mates carrying over to her on the wind, meaning she did not need to move to hear them - though her attention was soon summoned by the fluttering of paper in the breeze, like the wings of a bird beating intensely in the hope of taking flight.
Irises shifted left and right, mirroring the movements of a jungle cat whose rhythmic advances parted the grass while it stalked its prey, until they fell on the offending piece of parchment. However, a quick gloss over allowed her to draw the conclusion that it would be useless to the rest of the team and was efficiently discarded as a result. “I don’t have anything either,” the woman called out before she stood, dusting off the dirt that clung to the fabric of her coat before she continued - beginning to walk back toward where Hank, Maria and Wanda stood - “It would probably help if we know what we were looking for though, I’ve never been very gifted at hide and seek.” She told them, an amused grin upturning the edge of her mouth while her shoulders moved up and down in a shrug.
Thing’s were turning into a dead end quickly and Wanda hated that. She didn’t want to return from the mission without anything to show for it. In a weird way the pressure felt as though it were on her specifically. She was the team leader, but she was also the one who didn’t have the keen nose on them. The capture she could do, but the hunt was best left to those who were skilled in that. They needed leads soon, before the trail went cold and as soon as she heard the other’s speak up. Wanda hoped there was something useful
At first she was hearing that there was nothing useful to be found. It started to alienate Wanda on some level. She couldn’t help but wonder what the other teams had found so far. Maybe she needed to talk to one of the leaders for advice on how to go about this. The brunette turned though at the sound of possibility. Wanda dusted off her hands and headed over to where Maria and Hank were conferring. She still wasn’t completely sure how to tell who a Skrull was or not. Everyone was acting apprehensive and it hit her that maybe they were all doubting each other. Wanda didn’t want that and walked over. She kept an eye though on the other’s who weren’t heading to the devise
"I feel like SHIELD may have missed finding whatever this is." Wanda replied as she stared at what Maria had found. She had absolutely no idea how it worked. She wasn’t at all skilled in alien technology, especially considering how that had seen better days. She looked between the two of them. " I have no idea if this is junk or not. Maybe if we can get it working we can find out something:" Wanda replied noting how Hank seemed to have a handle at least partially on what it was.
Wanda let out a sigh and rubbed her temples slightly. She was getting a bit of a headache from all this guessing and looked over to Greer who was joining them. ” I think this is a game of hide and seek. A very messed up version of it. ” She added before thinking on what Hank had said. It seemed deliberate, but the wreckage was an interesting thing to explain. “Maybe it was to distract us ?” She offered looking around. She really wished she could pick up scents.
Ears attuning themselves to the surge of investigative queries and tests of knowledge that passed between his teammates, a four-way conversation he had self-elected to part himself from for the time being, the runt ventured nearer the trail of smoke. Old habits conspired to send Logan off alone, too absorbed on his own salvage quest to contribute anything that might aid Hank in reverse engineering the recovered alien tech, though he did on occasion turn around and confirm he had been listening.
Reaching the edge of a crumbled building, its structure along with many others having been severely compromised in the near collision with the space ship’s fiery descent, Logan took hold of a slanted section of the mound of rubble and began to scale it, utilising both hands and feet. “Makes sense. Usin’ Staten Island as their personal landing strip would’ve created one hell of a distraction t’ divert attention away from their plans.” A gentle groan was weaved in between his opinions being explained, words that were made louder than usual to carry across the open space. “Granted they even have any.”
Dusting off hands barely even used, the addendum directed at the enemy was included for his own benefit as well as for everyone else, he who’d seen great quantities of lives fade to nothing over the reckless actions of unprepared foes. Acquiring a sombre visage Logan set to work tracking down the source of the smoke, gingerly overturning fragments of mortar and brick the further he submerged himself in the remains. Lamentably a sharp change in wind direction had smothered the lingering smog arising from the point he sought to locate, relying for now to move ahead based on what he could recall. He remained undeterred however, and thus Logan proceeded to slide down the mound of rubble he’d climbed at the other side, vanishing from view to the sounds of brick tumbling in freefall without another word.
Maria could see from her position near Beast and Wanda the lone silhouette of the tigress, stark and slender against a backdrop of storefront and apartment window lights, and she watched as the woman moved methodically through the debris, bending to inspect something and then discard it before standing and turning to them- her prior attitude apparently done away with. Her gaze slid back to Dr. McCoy as he spoke. He seemed just as unfamiliar with the device as she was. That, or he was a good actor. She squinted, first at the object and then meeting the doctor’s gaze. “It seems pretty convenient that a navigation panel would surface, even after S.H.I.E.L.D.’s combed through this site… don’t you think? Is it real?” she wondered aloud, reaching out with one finger and flicking at the underside of the glass panel. “How long til you can figure it out, Dr. McCoy?” she asked pointedly, though her tone was polite. She sighed as the wind shifted, wrinkling her nose as she caught the scent of something sharp and foreign- it tasted like burnt metal on her tongue and she chalked it up to the wreckage. A small smile was afforded to her friend. “Me either,” she replied as Greer drew close, stepping away from the group to join her. “Should we follow him?” she asked lowly, nodding toward Logan’s lone form at one end of the wreck site.
“I think it was an accident, truly,” Maria added- she’d been half-listening to their conversation during her exchange with Tigra. “Until we know otherwise, I think we should treat it as such. Why crash the ship when they could land and infiltrate our population secretly? Like they’ve done before?” She slipped her hand into Greer’s- a gesture meant to comfort the woman in spite of the memories she was likely bringing up. “I’m going after Logan,” she declared after a beat of silenct, breathing in the salt-rife air and the familiar scents of her teammates, finding nothing amiss. She was eager to escape the metallic, foreign smelling wreckage.
The Latina picked her way through the site, looking with dismay at the lower portions of her feet and legs stained black from the carbon, but she willed herself onward until she reached the building that the mutant was inspecting. Almost without warning he’d begun to climb the structure, snippets of words and phrases reaching her through the thick night air. “Que?” she asked, looking up at him from the bottom. It only took her a moment to shift into the form of a bird- borrowing eagle’s wings and lifting herself into the air. She’d gasped slightly, a throaty bird-like sound catching in the back of her throat when Logan all but tumbled over the side of the rubble, and with two beats of her wings she was hovering at the top, looking down, searching for the small man amid the wreckage. “What are you doing?” she asked, landing at the base of the pile of rubble and regaining her human form, though keeping the mercurial sheen, just in case. “Hola? Logan?” she called, crimson eyes aglow as her gaze swept the area.
"Ideally, I will complete the data retrieval process within a few hours. However, as I am unfamiliar with this technology, perhaps it will take longer," the scientist said with a weary sigh. It appeared that deciphering the navigational system was Dr. McCoy’s assigned task for the night. Computers were always more of Kitty’s forte than his. Now Henry had to access a damaged system, and an alien one at that. There was no time to call her for help, as he knew she had her own responsibilities leading one of the other Skrull response task forces. He hunkered down, sitting on his muscular haunches as he examined the piece of wreckage for a port of some kind to plug in. Fortunately, the mutant genius had managed to bring a portable tablet with him. It would get the job done. Hank hooked the two devices together and started his attempt to retrieve and reconstruct the data.
He was so engrossed in his work that he did not noticed Logan wandering off into a recently abandoned building. Nor did he take much notice when Maria flew off after the hairy runt. “We shall see…” Hank said absently, after Silverclaw had left. Any hostility or suspicion was irrelevant. Her absence freed him of any distractions. The doctor remained in that spot for the next few hours as he slaved over the navigational computer. All the sounds and smells of the city around them melted away. Hank’s attention was held only by the lines of code before him. The basic coding language was surprisingly similar to those of Earth. A Shi’ar translation program managed to make up the difference between the two. Slowly, but surely, the information was being compiled.
For hours the blue man sat there in the hot summer night. The air hung heavy around him and sweat clung to his fur like pungent dew drops. Occasionally he would remove his thick-framed glasses to rub his eyes or rake one of his massive paws through his swept back hair. Eventually the coordinates programmed into the system revealed themselves. “Oh my stars and garters,” McCoy said in awe. “We were indeed correct. They had every intention of journeying here. Not just Earth, but here. Right here. This was the exact location the Skrulls had input. For what purpose, I am unaware.” He looked around slowly at his teammates. There was some sort of plan in motion, but as to what it was, Hank did not know. That was perhaps the most frightening part of all.
"I missed you!" Jubilee smiled, almost running to hug him. She has glad to see him again. "I’m sorry I was threatening you. But, ya know, you can never be too careful now-"
"As I have missed you," the mutant physician said, hugging Jubilee in return. Hank shot a broad grin back at her. "Yes, it does pay to be punctilious and apply caution in these present times and circumstances. However, once I had confirmed my identity, it was undeniable. No simpering, shapeshifting Skrull scallywag could look this handsome."
Jubilee recognised the voice and paused, wanting to believe that was really him… “Hank?” she asked, the faintest hint of hope in her voice, “Is that really you?”
"I am indeed myself. At least I was, the last time I checked." Beast placed his hands on his own body, feeling the structure of his muscles and bones. "Torso, head, two arms, two legs, fabulous hair, all blue and covered in fur. Yes, everything appears to be in order." He gave a smile and opened his long, gangly arms to embrace the young woman.
Carol immediately brightened upon hearing Henry’s voice, especially when he assured her there was no call to assemble. She mumbled a thank you as he passed the remote and hauled herself up to make room for him, grinning as he appeared beside her.
"Definitely too long," She agreed, "I’ve been good, so glad to be back here though. How’ve things been going for you? You look as exhausted as I feel."
Following the movement of his foot, she let out a groan at the sight of coffee, knowing it wouldn’t be long before she broke her abstinence from it. The aroma was far too inviting and the caffeine always helped her shake the morning blues. She got a little lost in the memory of it’s taste as she absentmindedly flicked through the channels before settling on the news and turned her attention back to the blue man before her.
"Peaceful days are so rare but is it bad I find them a little dull?" She admitted with a laugh.
Hank chuckled heartily and took a sip of his drink. “That is a splendidly astute and accurate observation.” Quite a bit had happened recently. So much that the mutant struggled with a life-threatening disease, saw the horrifying return of the Sentinels, lost contact with two of his oldest friends, and had begun helping the Young Avenger Cassie Lang with controlling her powers. “Well, I have been conducting research,” he said, choosing to focus on the more positive. “And erm- aiding a superhuman with their abilities…” The Beast’s words trailed off. He could not go into detail as he had sworn to secrecy for Stature’s sake. “It is not unusual, I suppose. My lending assistance to young super-powered beings has just taken another form.” It did not matter whether or not that person was a mutant. Henry knew that anything he had to do to help the next generation had to be done.
"And how was your session of exercise? A pleasurable exertion, I hope." He glanced back and forth from Carol to the television. "I have been sadly lenient with my daily calisthenics routine. I am afraid my research has presented itself as an obstruction to this." Hank sighed, happy to finally have some time to relax and appreciate his coffee. Additionally, it was good to be seeing an old teammate once again. "No, no, it is hardly surprising coming from those whom live hectic, action-packed lives, such as we do. Though I find it is best to acknowledge the miniscule delights we enjoy during this downtime," the overworked geneticist postulated with a soft smile. "And you? What endeavors have you been engaging in?"