4572/Escape from Bunker BT-0!

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Escape from Bunker BT-0!
Date of Scene: 02 January 2021
Location: Bunker BT-01 - Beneath Manhatten
Synopsis: The SHIELD team makes their strategic retreat from Bunker BT-0. But they will surely be back...
Cast of Characters: Leopold Fitz, Peggy Carter, Bobbi Morse, Melinda May

Leopold Fitz has posed:
Sometimes these things happen. Usually it is an issue where some relatively low-level player is captured and to get themselves a better deal they offer up information on the location of a base -- usually decomissioned but occasionally still active. This one, this one was a little different. It was an urban spelunker who discovered this one. It didn't take them very long at all to realize what they found was more then some abandonned fallout shelter, or anything else of the legitimate sort. At that point they did one of the smartest things they ever would do. They got in contact with SHIELD.

Which is exactly where the current team comes in. The number of passages and tunnels and sewer lines and everything else under New York City is impressive indeed, the infrastructure for the city climbing down considerably beneath Manhatten. And the other boroughs for that matter. But this is well below all that. There's no flying in a comfy Quinjet, or even arriving in a black SUV. No, this is a hike through a world of complete darkness at times, past a whole matter of the history of the city in long abandonned passages. And then deeper still.

It is a maze, and it would be all too easily for the unprepared to completely lose their way in those twisting passages. But it isn't like just anyone has been sent down here in search of this decommissioned AIM base. They are, on the whole, quite a bit better trained and prepared then the average urban spelunker and while it might be a hike, they do eventually reach their destination -- a heavily reinforced door sitting at the end of a long passageway signalling the end of their journey... and the start of their mission.

The door is more of a hatch, a pressurized seal like one might find on a submarine and when opened allows the team to enter a cavernous chamber that is almost sphere like though cut off at both top and bottom leaving boot floor and roof flat. Various levels run in rings about the room, rising upward towards that roof -- perhaps a dozen in all -- open at the center and blocked off only by railings. Walkways criss-cross that vast gulf in the middle and a central spire rises up in the very center of the chamber -- what looks to be an elevator perhaps. The hatchway appears to open up close to the middle level of the sphere and the walls appear to be lined with a variety of dated computer equipment. At various points on the different levels corridors are cut into the rock, passages disappearing into shadowed darkness leading away from this central hub.

Nothing stirs, no lights beyond what they bring offer any illumination and if the equipment they can see works, it certainly gives no sign of it. It is eerily quiet.

For the most part Fitz has trailed towards the back of the group, not bringing up the rear precisely, but close to. He occasionally rubs his sleeve across his forehead -- it is considerably warmer down here then on the surface above -- though he keeps any complaints to himself today, his attention instead focused on the control box that is draped around his neck, dangling in front of him, the screens showing him displays for the drone scouts that he deployed on their descent, letting the little flying automotons light the way for them where needed, or scout down side passages to insure they don't run into anything unexpected. He only begins to reel them back in closer to the group when they finally reach that hatchway, waiting for it to be opened before stepping into the cavernous, abandonned base. "Huh. Lots of wasted space. You'd think a bunch of science geeks would know better," he says dismissively. Apparently he doesn't luimp himself in with the standard AIM crowd. Maybe being an AGENT OF SHIELD gives him enough street cred to rise above his science geek roots. Maybe not too.

Peggy Carter has posed:
While Peggy's a slightly higher level than when she first woke up, the old dame of SHIELD is still simply a field agent. But a highly specialized one at that, especially when they are diving back into old AIM bases. Not her traditional enemy, but still someone whom she's been fighting and investigating since the war. This is a base that she somehow missed in her early tenure with SHIELD, but is now going to clean up her old messes.

She's clad in shield leathers and armor, two ICERs on her belt, zipline, several lengths of rope, anything she could need when they are basically spelunking in old Manhattan. Otherwise, she's quiet and following orders. She looks strangely comfortable in the bowels of the city that had been her home for most of her life. She's picked through places like this before. Just not this one.

"...they... Needed the space. Trying to get propolsion, for something. Or perhaps throwing atoms... We'll have to see more, but one doesn't waste space in New York. Especially space like this."

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Bobbi was deep in to recording information on Afterlife in a SPOT cache locked away tightly enough even Fury would take a while hacking in to it. There was something wild going on with those people and she needed to be careful about it. That's when she got the knock on her office door.

    Geared up, in her mission blacks and split cape, her shnazzy Mockingbird yellow goggles on, linked up to the drones she gets a small window in the upper left of her peripheral vision of what one of the drones is currently looking at. More tunnel.

    Bobbi steps in to the grand demi-sphere and walks around slowly in awe. "Now this is the hayday of super-science. This looks like a large base, may be it was a central point of operations for AIM. Beats the Amazon eh Fitz?," she says with a grin. It is warm down here, they must have had an interesting power setup and air conditioning.

    So far, this has been a nice bit of walking exercise, a jaunt through the plethora of tunnels and in to something out of a novel. "I like the Triskelion, but it lacks the kind of pazzazz on the inside that it has on the outside."

Melinda May has posed:
As their portable lamps light up the heavy door before them, May takes a moment to assess just what they're looking at. It's basically an airlock. That should probably tell them something important about what they may be walking into. Like, maybe they should have brought an independent oxygen supply. Or at least masks with filters. That's in addition to the weapons and scientific gear they're already hauling.

Thus, by the time they're inside the cavernous space, the experienced agent is cataloguing skills, equipment, and long odds in her head.

"Okay," she says, holding up her light and turning in a slow circle to sweep the space as well as the beam will allow. "Let's do this by the book. Assume the space is hostile. Whether this was an AIM base or Hydra, or someone else entirely... it's not one of ours. Therefore, no one goes off alone. We stay in pairs or triples. Fitz? You've got the scanners. Let them out. I want to know if there's a chemical or radiological danger *before* we meet it."

Because Peggy's right. You don't waste space in Manhattan.

"And see if you can mock us up some sort of schematic or layout of this place. This room alone is damned near big enough to be a hangar." Which means potential weapons, vehicles, and -- god forbid -- maniacal machines just waiting to be unleashed.

(Don't laugh. May grew up in the sixties and seventies. And she's Asian. She knew what Kaiju and super robots were long before the Americans realized they were a viable threat.)

Leopold Fitz has posed:
Regardless of who's base this might be, there does seem to be a decent chance that there are some sort of traps, right? In theory perhaps something forced whoever built this place to abandon it before they could arm up the defenses. Or before they all died down here, far beneath the city. But it is probably a good idea not to count on that.

Following in after the others, his little fleet of DWARF drones gathered around him, Fitz glances about the dark, cavernous chambers before giving a small nod at May's instructions, moving towards the railing that circles this level -- the flooring underfoot all metal grating, little diamonds tightly interlocked, leaving a view of the level below. Or above as well. It does creek a little underfoot, though everything seems stable enough and there is minimal signs of rusting, despite the years that it would seem to have been abandonned. "Spreading the drones out to get the lay of the land," he agrees, almost whispering to keep his voice from echoing oddly through the giant, hollowed out sphere. And sure enough the drones begin to disperse, little pockets of light in a sea of darkness. A quartet of the little flying machines lingers nearby however, one for each agent, shadowing them as needed.

They do appear to be on the 6th level out of what appears to be 11 seperate levels -- smack dab in the middle. A walkway sprawls out into the darkness of the center of the chamber, aimmed at that spire in the center while about a third of the way around the room a corridor juts off from this main chamber, disappearing into the darkness of a side passage.

Peggy Carter has posed:
"Yes, ma'am." Peggy echoes to May's orders about assuming the space is hostile. She already had that in her mind, but now she's hugging a bit closer to the wall and making certain she's got the team half in her sights at all points in time. She's watching them protectively as much as she is the area around them. She has one ICER out, in her hands, pointed towards the ground in severe trigger discipline, just in case something does come out of seeming nowhere.

She ducks a bit to the side as those DWARFs fly out about through the rest of the cavernous room. She watches them go before returning to her dark eyed vigil of their group. She makes her way slowly down that walkway, looking down for a moment. "...definitely needed this space for *something*..." She mutters.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Bobbi nods her head and looks at her options.. well, she's happy to wander in pairs with any of these people, they are her colleagues and she trusts them with her life. Fitz isn't even complaining about the heat. She moves over to him and says, "Spelunking evil AIM deserted base buddies." And of course offers a fist bump.

    "This is actually kinda fun. May be I can convince Lance to join an Urbex team after this," she says and then moves her flash light around the near area. Fitz tends to have his head down a lot when the drones are out collecting data, so she figures who better to keep an eye on him than her.

    "May, this place is kind of amazing. We should think about setting up an inner Manhattan base here. Call it, The Dome.. or something similarly fun," she suggests. She has pep in her step today it seems.

Melinda May has posed:
May waits to find out what Fitz has found out through the dwarfs, but moves toward Peggy as Bobbi moves toward the scientist. That keeps them in pairs. She takes a moment to set up a small portable light beside the entrance, marking it for them. Because they will doubtlessly be going further in. So, having the visual later might be helpful.

She glances to Peggy, "Let's walk the catwalk perimeter. See what we find." Because this place is definitely huge. "Stay on comms," she tells the others.

But as Bobbi suggests making the place into a SHIELD base, she actually offers a grunt that doubles as something approximating a dry chuckle. "More like Thunder Dome," she says. Two men enter. One man leaves. Perhaps not the best anaology. But, hey. The middle of this place seems plenty big enough for a Godzilla v. Mothma fight. So, maybe it's not so far off.

"Carter and I will start mapping the perimeter. You and Fitz keep scanning. See if you can find any clue as to what they were doing here."

A beat. Then: "Just watch out for Xenomorphs and Chestbursters." She's kidding. Right?

Leopold Fitz has posed:
Sure, the place is a little strange and a little eerie. But you can't fault the location, right? Prime Manhatten real estate, even if it is hundreds of feet below the ground. And it certainly is a lot harder to get to then the Triskellion. A little harder to get out from as well, at least taking the path they did.

Still, Fitz smiles briefly at Bobbi's suggestion, even offering up his fist for the appropriate bumpage. Clearly someone has been bringing him up to speed on proper social interaction in this respect, as he doesn't just look confused at the offering. "We might want to make sure that it doesn't try to kill us first, but otherwise I can see the appeal," the young scientist agrees before glancing towards Agent May with a little nod at the instructions. "Got it. Getting the first data back now. I'm bring up a holographic map now. It will fill out more as the drones spread out," he offers up.

And indeed, the drones that linger nearby begin to project that map, increasingly displaying the giant sphere of the main room and the 11 platforms that wind their way around, along with that central spire and a number of ramps and walk ways that lead up, down and across the dark void. Increasingly as well those passages that jut off out of the sphere are shown, though not yet mapped. The levels seem much the same, the walls lined with computer equipment that appears at least twenty years out of date -- though clearly state of the art for their day.

Far down below, as one of the drones on the bottom level begin to explore into one of those side passages there is a sudden burst of light and an electronic squeal, the central chamber illuminating for just a moment before plunging back into darkness that is only illuminated by the wandering drones and agents. "One of the DWARFs just went offline," Fitz says, a hint of anxiety creeping into his voice.

Peggy Carter has posed:
"Perimeter it is." Peggy echoes to May, falling in at her side and not getting too far ahead. She even leans down, helping set some of those lights up quickly, but much ofher attention is still on everything surrounding them. She really is ready for something to jump out ontop of them at any moment.

That means, her eyes are up and out when that flash of SOMETHING comes from one of the dwarf drones. She blinks, standing upright abruptly, her ICER aimed in the direction of the floors below them, readied for an actual enemy to appear. But it all seems darkness and stillness now. "Light went off down on the lower levels. The first one, I think. I couldn't exactly tell. it's dead again now. I suspect your boy angered something, Fitz."

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Bobbi mentally maps out the space in the sphere. Definitely plenty of room for her to fly around. This really could be an awesome base of operations. May be she can convince Gonzales to move the Special Priorities Operations Team here. A sly little smile crosses her lips.

    "Lower floor. May we have options. You two can check out 'get out' room and Fitz and I can try and head to the most tech heavy area, perhaps figure out what all these state of the art 80mb hard drives are actually for." She shrugs a touch and draws out a low yield small proximity EMP grenade in to her left hand. You never know. Sometimes it's the fastest way to shut down automated defences.

    "If it's xenomorphs I'm blaming you May. If it's Skynet.. I dunno, I'm blaming Fitz. If it's cybernetic Hitler, I'm blaming Peg."

Melinda May has posed:
"Do you know why?" May asks Fitz, her own dark eyes having caught that flash Peggy indicates. Cautiously, she moves towards a rail that gives a slightly better view of where that flash came from. She slides a scope from a pouch on her tac belt and puts it to her eye, adjusting the focus as she does. Perhaps she can get a better view with the nightvision mode it offers.

She nods faintly to Bobbi's recommendation. "Get to the tech center," she agrees. "Don't get sucked into the matrix." She glances to Peggy. "I guess we get to sweep up the electronic rats." Electronic R.O.U.S.es, no doubt.

She purses her lips slightly, looking for the most expedient, and theoretically safest, route down to the disturbance. "That way," she suggests to her partner, putting the scope away and drawing out an ICER. "Keep your eyes open."

Leopold Fitz has posed:
With Peggy's visual confirmation at the very least Fitz can be relatively certain that it isn't just an equipment glitch on his part. Even still as he falls in with Agent Morse he fiddles with the drone control that he has hanging from his neck, a small frown on his face. "Hard to say. It's like it just went dead. I'm playing back the last received video from it now," he says.

Again, those drones that trail each agent come in handy, showing off that scrap of video feed to everyone at the same time as Fitz is reviewing it. The drone appears to be heading into one of the passage ways leading out of the main room, the lights illuminating a hallway where scraps of machinery and other devices of questionable purchase rest. Suddenly there is a flicker of movement and what looks like a metal tendril suddenly lashes towards the drone. The camera goes wonky, shaking wildly before static fills the screen and then goes totally blank as the signal cuts out entirely.

"Well that can't be good," Fitz mutters.

It is almost unnoticable at first, lost in the lights of the trailing drones. But after a minute or so it becomes impossible to miss. The cavernous, spherical room is no longer completely dark. A soft, almost diffuse reddish glow seems to be coming from some of the consoles scattered about the chamber. It grows in intensity for fifteen seconds until it is unmistakable to all. And then it begins to flicker wildly even as it spreads across the chamber, more and more of the computer banks coming to that flickering, almost strobing half-life.

Peggy Carter has posed:
"Always do." Peggy response to May's comment about keeping her eyes open, but she doesn't protest going deeper. She knows the others will be better on the computer, so she's happy to explore the ground with May. She gives a sharp nod and starts down the corridor, towards the lower levels with the other woman, still moving slow and very carefully scanning a flash light over anywhere they are about to pass so they hopefully don't trip anything else. It means her ICER is only in one hand, but also that they are moving half blind. Being that May is leading the way, it means she can light her path without May needing to take hands off the weapon.

Then those consoles start lighting up. She blinks, giving a low curse beneath her breath. "...this cannot be good. Fitz. Morse. Did either of YOU do that?" Peggy asks over the comms. She's not stopping their approach, but she is definitely more concerned now.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    "Revising. Everyone is to blame except me if it's a Tentacle Cybernetic Hitler," she says wryly as she spots the footage and that metal tendril lashes out at their drone. "Okay Fitz, it looks like we've awoken the behemoth. Univac is in the building." She reaches in to the holographic map of the building and starts turning it this way and that, zooming (and enhancing) in and out of rooms looking for something that looks..

    "Aha, this might be the control room," she suggests pointing at a 'bridge' like room of computers. "We might have our best luck understanding what we're up against there Fitz. You know, it's missions like this that I wish we had Daisy along. On the other hand, you and she were five year olds when this was state of the art. I'm no hacker, but this weirdly is my era..."

    Over comms, <Not us Peggy. If we're up against automated defences, I'd sway out the ICERs for real bullets or better..>

Melinda May has posed:
Sooooo... Not electronic rats, then. More like an electronic squid. "Are we sure this isn't a Hydra base?" May asks dryly. It doesn't need an answer, because it really doesn't matter. Before Bobbi's voice has even come across comms with the suggestion, she's already swapping out hardware -- ICER pistol for the rifle slung across her back. In her experience, ballistics are far more effective than dendrotoxin against evil cybernetic anything. Tentacles included.

"Shoulda brought a plasma cannon," she tells Peggy, thinking of the treasures hidden beneath the floorboards of the quinjet. Nevertheless, they make their way steadily down to the level where the drone disappeared. She holds the rifle at the ready, a light attached to its top rail. <"We're down,"> she tells the others over comms. <"Moving to investigate.">

Leopold Fitz has posed:
Hry, if this really is a Hydra base it would seem pretty likely that there will be some giant Nazi robots around as defense mechanisms. Everyone knows that there are always giant Nazi robots in places like this. Then again, that might be the best case scenario. Then at least there would be something to strike out at. The alternative could be a lot more troubling.

As more and more banks of computers begin to activate the strobbing effect of the lights becomes more pronounced, almost like a light bulb that is not getting enough power, flickering wildly, on and off. It sends a cascade of weird shadows all across the room, dancing about wildly. Rahter distractingly, at least it might be for anyone less professional then the senior agents on site.

Like Fitz. He grimaces slightly, glaring at the nearby banks of computers. Dumb, ancient things. Power up or power off already. Still, he gives a quick, sharp nod to Agent Morse and steps lively to the bank of computers and consoles that look more command in nature. "On it," he says without hesitation. Dropping into one of the seats there he starts tapping at the computer -- which starts to respond and then dies. Then comes back on. Annnnnnnnd it's off again. "This is getting old. The power seems to be fluctuating pretty wildly," he warns.

Around the room the other drones continue their circuits, mapping out the chamber, feeding information back to the agents on the ground. With all the distractions they might be excused to miss the fact that another of the DWARFs suddenly vanishes, yanked back into the darkness of one of those side passages. As it goes offline there is another surge and the lights throughout the chamber begin to brighten, to flicker a little less. A third drone join joins the second and then again the i;;umination level seems to increase, seems to stabilize.

Down on the bottom level of the giant, spherical room a pale, sickly yellow mist begins to roll out of the side passages, just inches off the ground for the moment, the flickering lights playing off of that slowly expanding cloud. And as that mist begins to roll out so to comes the sound of metal skittering over metal. Something that looks like a giant metallic centipede emerges from the passage closest to Agent Carter and Agent May, a dozen or so flickering metal tendrils lashing this way and that, one of which clutches the remains of the first drone to go missing.

Peggy Carter has posed:
"Look, it's certainly not my fault if someone made techno-Hilter. We were trying to kill that bastard for ages and I got rather good at taking out his other tech friends. But if anyone came up with it, that's something Von Strucker would have up his sleeve. Or the other...illustrious minds at AIM. I'm not putting anything past these sods." Peggy states flatly, a touch of light teasing hiding the fact that she's absolutely unnerved by most of what is around them. SHe's been through too many graveyards of tech, and people, that weren't quite dead. This all feels like a flashback to the first place she woke up in this century, or the last place she went to sleep. She gives May a sharp, approving nod as the rifle comes out.

It's not until the third drone that goes missing is grabbed does Peggy catch the actual motion out of the corner of her eye, snapping the flash light she's still bothering to fight with towards it. "I... think something is... grabbing them? I can't really tell..." But then it doesn't matter, because something far more dangerous is coming out towards them. The flashlight is dropped, it's cord slung about her waist hanging loosely there, and her gun is up. She fires two shots into the nearest tendril, automatic instinct and muscle memory already in place, but those opening shots might also help tell them how tough the things are. <<We have company!>

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    The eerie metal creeks and groans of the structure don't help Bobbi's mood one bit as the computer banks come on and off over and over again. <Looks like the power is cycling, whoever made this place didn't make a power station to last. Either they have old dead battery banks somewhere, or the connection to the Manhattan power grid is decayed, or they're doing some sort of independent hydra thing and they don't have the water flow now that they once had>

    She brings up the map again and zooms in trying to find the power plant room. <There's a room that looks promising as a plant, right down the bottom,> she says over comms and then says to Fitz, "This place isn't so bad..." just as she hears 'we have company!' over the comms and says, "I jinxed it, my bad. That was my bad."

    <May, your call, but I'm beginning to think we're not properly equiped for clearing this place out.. we could work off the notion that these defences are using the same power plant as the computers. Heck these computer may be running the machines. Shutting it off would then solve our problems. Option two - we leave and combat with appropriate levels of plasma rifle and explosives>

Melinda May has posed:
<"Fitz, pull back your drones,"> May says, raising her rifle and shooting a short burst toward what looks like the thing's optics. <"Pull them all back, now!"> She's no tech, but her instincts are correllating the disappearance of the drones to the strengthening of the electrical fields... and the emerging centipede monster.

"Pull back," she tells Peggy. "We do not have the firepower for that thing." Her hand drops down to her belt. A disk snaps off in between her fingers. She presses a button and flings it forward with a sharp flick of her wrist. It's an EMP disk that should short out anything electronic within a 15' radius. Which means, May's backpedalling some to keep out of range of her own weapon.

She hears Bobbi's suggestions as she goes. But, again, she's already come to the conclusion they're out gunned in this scenario. <"If we make it out of here in one piece, Bobbi,"> she grumbles at the blonde, <"You're totally buying the drinks later."> She fires her rifle again in a tight burst, still pulling back towards the ladder that takes them up to the next level. "You first," she tells Peggy.

Then, however, she's back on comms, <"You've got until Carter and I reach the fifth level to try a tech solution up there,"> she tells Morse and Fitz. <"If that doesn't work, see if there's a self destruct protocol and haul ass to meet us on the main level for evac. Failing all else, we'll lock this place back up and come back with some proper ordinance or a friendly Godzilla.>" May isn't big on guns and explosives. But she'll make an exception for this.

Leopold Fitz has posed:
Chances are whatever it is they are facing down here it is not Techno-Hitler. Then again, looks can be deceiving. It is entirely possible that they have transferred Hitler's mind into giant metallic centipedes. Retro-tech can be used for some pretty funky things. Though in all fairness while this tech might seem ancient to Fitz, it is hardly truly classic. There are no vacume tubes here. This might be turn of the century electronics. Really, it doesn't matter though. They have to deal with it one way or another.

As Agent Morse mentions the likely location of the power control center the map helpfully illuminates the likely location -- as well as a couple of secondary possibilities. As more power surges through the system the computer terminal in front of Fitz seems to stabilize, no longer flickering on and off, but actually booting up. It's still a little bit painfully slow for someone used to almost immediate gratification. "I'm in," he says before lifting his gaze and shaking his head at Bobbi. This is now indeed all her fault. Isn't so bad? Really, she should know better by now.

"It's possible that those things are using the drones like jumper cables. That might be why I'm getting no signal at all from them. Their batteries might have been drained to kickstart the base's power source," the young engineer speculates though at Agent May's orders he instantly begins to do as instructed, directing all those drones up into the center of the room and away from any of the passages. His fingers dance over the keyboard in front of him. "I think I got it..." he says, his voice raising with excitement right there at the end.

He most definitely does not 'got it'.

Instead of solving all their troubles things seem to get considerably worse. For one thing the entire base is suddenly filled with an absolutely ear-piercing wail, a steady, high-pitched mechanical shriek that seems more designed to cause pain then to actually provide any warning. It is joined by a rapid rise in the illumination level until the light seems to radiate from every available console, every available lighting panel, absolutely flooding the tiered levels with a one-two assault on the senses.

Down on the lower level that metallic insect advances on the pair of agents, those tendrils flailing dangerously. Until one less tendril lashes about, Agent Carter's shot true, severing one of those metalic strands. Only a dozen more to go. But then Agent May is there, flicking that disk and when it lands, when it unleashes that localized EMP the centipede creature gives a high pitched squeal and collapses. So to does the nearest bank of computers, several light panels and at least one speaker. It's not much, but it makes things a little more livable. For the moment.

Peggy Carter has posed:
As May tells her to go first, Peggy gives her a single, unhappy look but does not disobey an order. She's retreating as fast as May is, well wanting to dodge that EMP disk, but she's also switching out for her own rifle just in case they are going to have to shoot their way out of here. The light fire power just is no longer called for.

She remembers the way back up clearly, even without her flashlight leading the way. The wild power cycling is helping with ambient light enough that she's not too worried about her foot falling the wrong place and she stumbling off a skywalk. She's running, keeping one eye behind them incase she needs to shoot something over May's shoulder, and then one flickering ahead to be sure their way is clear.

"It's a bloody stage show down here, this place is so bright." Peggy calls over the ear piercing shriek that is making it hard to think, but not hard to retreat. She's good at keeping a single mind on the goal of staying alive. And, while the EMP worked, it's good to know the tendrils are vulnerable to their weapons, as long as one is a sleek shot. <<This place is lit up like Christmas now. The thing on us... it's tentacles are vulnerable to even a small ICER, but they are moving fast and hard to hit. >>

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Bobbi huhs to herself at the explanation that the machines are jumpstarting themselves from the drones. "Well. That might be problematic," she says and glances at Fitz. "These Thanagarian anti-grav plates can't be easily discharged. They hold on to energy, which is great for energy efficiency, but I can only turn off my onboard computers, not the plates themselves." She picks up a draped cloak half, it is evidently segmented, embedded alien technology inside of it.

    "Soo.. I need to stay clear of these things if they can recharge that much off of one of our drone batteries, imagine what'll happen if they sap an alien anti-gravity device."

    She leaves that room they're in and peers out over the cat walk down to the depths below.

    <Just say so if you need backup, Fitz is packing up now - we're preparing for evac>, she says and hopes that that's true. "Well, whatever that was Fitz, it was definitely not 'got it'." She frowns a moment and walks back over to peer at the screen terminal he's using. "If you can't turn it off from here, I'm going to fly down to the bottom where the plant room looks to be and shut it off manually..."

Melinda May has posed:
May is quick on Peggy's heels, have no fear. Barring a lashing tentacle knocking her off course, she hauls herself up hand over hand, relying on Peggy to use her rifle to cover her ascent. The wail nearly causes her to let go, however. At the very least, she flinches and bunches her head closer to her shoulders, grrimacing in pain at the piercing shriek.

The EMP flash goes off. Her feet hit the deck and she spins to check that the creature's really down. "That's one," she says to Peggy, fully expecting they'll find something else down there.

There's always something else.

<"Cthulupede is down,"> May tells the others over comms. <"Seems it doesn't like EMP disks. I've got 5 more. Anyone else?"> Because she's thinking they might be able to use them on that powerplant. Kill all the power means killing all the monsters.

She hopes.

<"We could yank the main hard drives for analysis back at base, and short out the power plant...>"

Leopold Fitz has posed:
It is kind of like being in the worst club ever, isn't it? Not that Fitz has a ton of experience in such places. Largely because he doesn't see the appeal of being blinded or deafened. But if he was going to describe the experience -- or guess at it -- this would probably be right up there on the list. The noise is skull-splitting and the light makes it difficult to keep his eyes opened any wider the the narrowest of slits as he tries to read the computer display. But perhaps most concering is the fact that more of that sickly yellowish mist seems to be pumping into the room, rolling out of the various side passages now, already knee-deep on the lower levels and rapidly beginning to fill the chamber.

"Yeah, my bad. I won't be mocking retro-tech like this again," he shouts, trying to raise his voice over that piercing, unrelenting whine that makes both discussion and thought difficult. WIth evacuation looking increasingly less likely, he begins to direct the drones towards the hatch that they initially came through. His brow furrows as he tries to ignore the overwhelming noise, to focus on that terminal. With the light, the noise and that focus he almost misses it, the sudden surge. Abruptly he jerks back, for an instant electrical sparks dancing between the keys of the keyboard as he gives a cry of pain, the tips of his fingers scorched from the electrical discharge. "Bloody hell!" he curses. "I don't have it, sorry sir," he shouts with a pained grimace. But he does gesture to his dufflebag as Agent May makes hers suggestion. "My bag. I have a box of those EMP disks, just in case I needed to arm the drones. There should be a full hundred in there," he manages, getting to his feet shakily and gathering up his gear as best as he can.

One hundred mini-EMPs might be plenty to wreck a little havok on this place.

Down on the lower level that sickly mist continues to rise, continues to build. And more skittering shapes can be made out, their main bodies lost beneath that growing cloud of gas, but those whip like tendrils still flailing about. At least another three emerging from the passage on the far side of the room, away from the likely location of the power plant.

Peggy Carter has posed:
<<Hell, Bobbi, stay clear of it *all*, you're practically a juicy steak to these things and they've been surviving on scraps for ages.>> Peggy chimes in over the comms, but now realizing that EMPs are far more effective than anything else they have on them, and she didn't pack any, she realizes her job is to keep the things OFF of those who could disable them. <<You all work on getting the EMPs distributed. I'll play trick shot with anything that even thinks of coming close to you.>>

That means Peggy is doing her best to take a 'snipers' position on that 5th floor there, her rifle out and eyes scanning the whole room for every little hint of movement. The moment anything ducks its head out, it'll get a round in it from the near century old, multiple award winning markswoman. Peggy's in a good place here. She likes a challenge. "May, I've got your back and I'll keep it clear. Take out as many as you can."

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Over comms Bobbi replies, <Just three for me, one primed..> She squints at the bright lights, trying to look anywhere but everywhere,.. and that noise. Dear gods that noise. She grits her teeth, "Okay.. off to do something stupid." She scoops up two handfuls, almost a dozen and a half of the things. <May, doing something stupid - heading to the plant room. Say something cool at my funeral>

    She steps out on to the ledge and with a glance in to the eye-menu of her goggles, her cloak snaps in to the shape of two wings and begins to glow an eerie alien purple. She hops up on to the railing and then drops down over the edge. The fast way down to the bottom. Right in to that disgusting yellow fog.

    Bobbi lands with a thud. Almost a super hero pose, but she's no super hero and she has anti-grav to slow her down so she doesn't go splat. Another glance in to her goggles she activates heat vision mode, since she thinks she might not be able to see much in that haze. This is bound to have been a bad idea, but she follows the 3D map projected in front of her by the goggles screen toward what she thinks muuuust be the plant room.

    Bobbi switches her comms to subvocal because this air is not .. air. <Entering plant now>

Melinda May has posed:
Bobbi announces she's going to 'do something stupid', and May lets out a soft growl. That gas concerns her -- they don't know what it is or if it's even breatheable. So when Morse lands right in the midst of it? 'Saying something nice at the funeral' is the last thing on her mind. Her inner monologue is anything but 'nice'.

She turns to Peggy and pulls out the extra mags for her rifle, passing them to her. "Here. Cover Morse. I'm going to grab more disks and start bombing those damned things." Hey, if Fitz has a whole box, why stop at just a couple dozen?

She starts by priming the five she has and throwing them overboard, aiming for the largest clusters of cthulupedes writhing within that yellow gas. Then, she's running about as fast as her legs can cary her -- which is pretty damned fast for an unenhanced human, particularly one less than a handful of years away from 60. Up catwalks, ladders, and past obstacles, her goal is that box of EMPs Fitz has. She scoops carton, stopping only long enough to see where he's at with his evac before she's sliding back down ladders and parkouring her way over the sides of railings to drop back down decks and, eventually, land back beside Peggy. She's not winded, but she is breathing deeply.

Crouching beside the older woman, carton spilling between them, she primes more of the disks and starts raining EMP chaos down on the robo bugs.

Leopold Fitz has posed:
It's not entirely easy to gather up all his things without actually using the tips of his fingers but Fitz does his best, that pained grimace almost a permanent part of his expression at this poin as he tries to ignore that unrelenting wailing, stumbling his way back towards the hatch, in the direction that Agent Carter has positioned herself to rain down destruction on anything that pokes it's head out.

And increasingly it is a target rich environment. While those crawling around the lower levels are mostly lost beneath that rising level of mist more and more start to appear -- first on the second level and then the third -- skittering around with those whip-like tendrils flailing about dangerously. It suggests that it is only a matter of time before some of those cento-bots come crawling out of one of the fifth level passages.

Switching the view is no bad idea given the extreme levels of light -- a thermal outlook almost certainly less painful. But more importantly? The big red spike coming down that passage suggests that there is a lot of heat there. Possibly from generators? Likewise avoiding breathing the gas seems like an excellent idea as well. The chemical composition shows up on the display a moment later -- not something that will necessarily kill a healthy, fit human being without prolonged exposure. But incapacitate? Almost definitely, with potential long term consequences. Nasty stuff.

As Agent Morse starts towards the generators, those shapes in the mist freeze for an instant. Then, acting almost as one they begin to skitter in her direction, only faint outlines beneath that obscuring cloud-cover.

Fortunately for Agent Morse, Agent May has her back and those mini EMPs land amidst the biggest cluster of cuthulpedes, frying them an instant before they can pursue the SHIELD agent into that passageway. Of course then May has to get back up to the fifth level with a growing number of the mechanical monstrocities in the way. Good thing Agent Carter is there to provide some cover fire, huh?

As Fitz makes out the shape of the approaching Agent it is not hard to make out her intent and he gingerly tosses her the box of the remaining EMPs. Then, while the three professionals deal with the threat, Fitz does his best to try and extract a little of the technology, maybe a few hard drives so they can bring something back.

Just in case they have to melt the place down just to get out.

Peggy Carter has posed:
"It's getting hard to *see* any that might be on her back, but I'll do my best to keep you BOTH clear. The EMPs are more effective so... I'm just here as a bandaid!" Peggy calls to May as the woman orders her to keep the things off Bobbi. She's not completely disobeying, leaning over the walk way to take a few solid shots at things in the dim smoke AROUND Bobbi, but May coming in with those EMPs is a blessing.

Carter has to take a few seconds out, waiting until May is really getting deep into her parkour delivery of EMPs everywhere, and that buys her the seconds she needs to change out her magazine. Then she's got her rifle up again and is taking those targeted, sleek shots. She'll worry about the smoke later. Still on floor five, defending their backs is more important to her.

<<Fitz, can you give us an ETA? I think we can only play whack-a-technopede so long...>>

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Bobbi is holding her breath, for now. She has minutes, probably less given she's being very active. The shapes of the machines become evident to her - she doesn't want to waste the EMPs she's carrying, but then.. she doesn't have to. May and Peggy save the day.

    She rushes in to the bright hot room. Either she's running toward the biggest scarriest bad in the building, or she's running toward a generator. Given the way the power was coming and going, she's guessing chemical batteries charge by a hydrogenerator somewhere. They're over 20 years old now, those batteries must be really hurting.

    Speaking of hurting, she's getting bits of that gas in her nostrils and doing her best not to breath in, but she can feel the burn of it already. This confirms to her that they needed better gear, and also that she was the only one that could pull this off. It reminds her to check her heart monitor. Slightly elevated, but not myocardial infarction yet.

    She starts to toss the EMPs as she runs along the banks of hot stuff, noting they link to her detonation menu in the goggles. SHIELD technology has come leaps and bounds in the last decade - the connected age. When she's run out of EMP grenades, she stops realises she needs to breath.

    Her SHIELD training is kicking in as her vision starts getting blurry from the need for oxygen and the overwhelming desire to suck in even the horrid yellow stuff. Her heart rate starts to rock up up and down, up up and down, ever creeping faster. She pushes herself to jog back to the doorway to the sphere space.

Melinda May has posed:
May's eyes track the flow of the gas and the skitter of the technopedes. <"Come on, Morse,"> she says into comms, now. <"Clock's ticking. It's time to haul ass."> She picks up a handful of the remaining EMPs and sets the proximity sensors on the, tossing them down the 5th level passages. She taps Peggy on the shoulder. "The moment the first one of those sparks, head topside and help Fitz out of here. We need to get that intel back to base." She picks up her rifle and an extra mag. "I'll cover Morse as long as I can." She's The Calvary. There's no way she'll leave Bobbi behind. Psychological impossibility.

That said, until those prox mines go off... it's the two of them clearing Bobbi a path back out. She'll take Peggy's help as long as she possibly can.

"C'mon, Bobbi," she mutters. "Move..."

Leopold Fitz has posed:
It is not pleasant, trying to utilize tools when all his fingertips are good and scorched from that electrical discharge, but coming away with something is absolutely necessary in his eyes. Especially given the fact that he wasn't able to shut down the defenses. This would have all been moot. He might understand that he is not going to be able to solve every tech problem in thirty seconds. But it's still a bitter pill under the circumstances. Squinting against the bright glare, he keeps his focus on the task at hand. << I don't think I'm going to get it shut down. It's up to Agent Morse, or else we're going to have to get out of here and seal up the door behind us. >> he offers up glumly in return. And hope those things can't burrow their way on out.

There are no shortage of targets for Agent May and Agent Carter to deal with, though as levels two and three are cleared those cthulupedes begin to spill out onto level four, just below them. And then the first of them shows their ugly head on level five as well, stalking towards the agents with flailing tendrils.

Down below the building gas cloud has reached level two and is still climbing, any hints of movement from the lowest level of the sphere entirely obscured by now.

There isn't a whole lot of time for recon at this point is there? It's more of a hope for the best scenario. Those EMP disks go flying, flung about the passage the room, the detonators giving Bobbi mere moments to get by. And then they explode, the blasts rolling over the nearby machinery and more importantly, the generators for the base. The lights in the room brighten even further for a moment, blindlngly so. And then they fail entirely. The siren goes dead, the computers go dead, even the lights go dead, plunging them back into darkness.

By the hatch door, Fitz finally yanks those hard drives free and tucks them away as he straightens. "Augh, my ears are ringing. Is Agent Morse...?" he asks quietly, directing those drones to guide their light down towards that roiling cloud of toxic gas below...

Peggy Carter has posed:
The look on Peggy's face is UNHAPPY, as May says she's staying behind for Bobbi, but she understand the orders. "Got it. With protest. You two don't be far behind." Peggy practically growls that last bit to her current 'partner', and then she's moving higher on the walk ways. Still shooting behind her, but she's retreating back as she goes to get closer to Fitz. She can barely see Bobbi in the fog and while it makes her chest ache to think of retreating without, she has her command.

When she's gotten back close to Fitz, she gives him a brief nod, "Orders from May. I get you out of here. They'll follow. Come on, Fitz, you have the drives? Let's go. That intel is invaluable." It's clawing under Peggy's skin to leave someone behind, but she is still moving in that direction. Over the comms, she calls, <<Fitz has the drives. I'm getting him out of here. You two follow fast as you can. We'll wait for you outside. Double time!>> Like calling urgent over the coms is going to help anything. But it makes her feel a bit better as she works on covering Fitz for the retreat.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Bobbi coughs and draws in a lung of the yellow noxious gas and gags. Her vision goes wildly and even though the alarm is off a noise is ringing in her ears. The heart rate monitor reflects a fact she already knows, that her heart is going wild. Whatever this stuff is, it is not good for her.

    There is a moment of radio silence from Bobbi until suddenly the Mockingbird shoot up out of the yellow cloud and crashes in to the wall next to the other agents. Gasping and spluttering and trying to puke all at the same time. She can't even get a word out the pain from whatever that yellow stuff was is so great on her lungs. She claws at the wall and slumps to the ground, her eyes watering behind her goggles.

    And then she feels Agent May's hand on hers, yanking her back up to her feet. Her arm is slung over shoulder. She clings to May as she stumbles along with her, not at all unable to tell which way they're moving but, just following her colleague on instinct alone.

Melinda May has posed:
The moment Bobbi crosses close enough for May to grab her, she's taking hold of the other agent and veritably hauling her up the ladder to the sixth level and their egress point. Therefore, only moments after Peggy as pulled Fitz out of the bunker, she's dragging Morse out behind them.

<<"We're out!">> May says into coms as she gently deposits Bobbi off to one side of the external airlock. She manhandles the heavy door back into place and seals it up again. Because, yeah, the last thing they need is that gas escaping into the sewers, subways, and streets above.

Then, she's gathering Bobbi up to meet up with Peggy and Fitz so they can make the rest of their escape together.

Leopold Fitz has posed:
While Fitz might prefer his lab to the field work he is increasingly getting a feel for, he is not thrilled with the orders either. Leaving anyone behind feels wrong. But this place has proven to be a tougher nut to crack then they might have expected. It's still a danger -- maybe more then anticipated -- and they will need to deal with it. The information that they're taking away might help them do that. It all makes logical, tactical sense.

But look, even Fitz can occasionally go for emotion over logic.

He does not object however, tucking the retrieved hard disks into his bag and giving a simple nod to Peggy, proceeding her out into the passageway. He does not run -- no need to trip and fall or anything of the like -- but he does his best to make good time, occasionally glancing back over his shoulder to see if he can get a glimpse of Agent May or Agent Morse catching up to them, while also monitoring the comms.

Someone's probably ending up with another visit to the medical center when they get back. That gas is nasty stuff, and while one breath probably won't do any long term damage, the trip back up to the surface probably isn't going to be a whole lot of fun for Bobbi. But at least she can take some comfort in the fact that the facility seems to be powered down again. It's difficult to tell if the gas will drain away, but it seems likely that it isn't being pumped into the room any higher.

Still, it might be a good idea to make sure the hatch is closed and sealed behind them.

And then Agent May's voice sounds out over the comm, confirming that they are indeed all out.

The job might not be finished but they are all out and they are all alive. A little battered and a little bruised perhaps, but they have important intel, hopefully enough to insure that the underground bunker is dealt with sooner rather then later. They'll be back.

So the abandonned base is vacated again, that sickly yellow gas slowly draining away. And somewhere deep, deeper then even that bottom level of the spherical room a slow thrumming begins to build, to pulse. It would seem that Bunker BT-0 might not have surrendered it's last secret yet...