4817/Afterlife: Jacob and Mark

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Afterlife: Jacob and Mark
Date of Scene: 21 January 2021
Location: Afterlife
Synopsis: Bobbi meets Doctor Mark who helped Jacob understand his Inhuman gift. He hopes Bobbi can replicate the magic, but nothing happens.
Cast of Characters: Bobbi Morse, Daisy Johnson

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Daisy has left the room. Bobbi glances over at Matt... and shrugs. "I'm going for a walk," she declares because she wasn't up all night snooping around. Also, she remembers how peaceful and beautiful this place was. Boots are put on, but she leaves the tactical sunglasses behind. They're not going to be terribly useful up here without uplink or her wings.

    Bobbi exits the guest house and stretches her arms out. "Hey," she says to a random person walking by with a small nod. They don't seem too competent with a stranger saying good morning to them, so they nod and walk on. Her eyes adjust to the morning sun this high up and she can feel the weight on her lungs from the high altitude air. Well, the absence of weight which makes them work harder.

    "Ah, high altitude training, how I do _not_ miss you," she says to no one in particular. "I wish I'd found a way to bring Lance. This'd be a great vacation spot," she says to no one else in particular too. Suddenly, the desire to sit down and watch youtube marblympics is strong.. of course she can't. There's no internet up here.

Daisy Johnson has posed:
No internet. No tv. This is the place to be away from everything normal society now takes for granted, a place where these new times have yet to leave a mark. No smell of pollution, the sound of birds here and there, wind on one's face. Who'd prefer youtube videos?! Or maybe it's the company...

"Not a stranger to high altitude training?" A voice heard as one of those random strangers passing by turns out to not be so random, approaching from a path that was leading to the house. Clearly the man was walking towards it when he comes across you. He's tall, not exactly muscly, easy smile to his lips with a short beard on blonde hair. Jeans and sweater seem to be the choice of wear for the man, blue eyes shining with hidden intelligence under them. "That's a good thing, I was coming to check on you. Make sure you are all fit to be here for a time. We don't want our guests to get sick." Perhaps he is some kind of doctor? But then he is extending one hand, "I am Mark. You must be Bobbi Morse, right?"

This clearly doesn't seem the typical 'I don't talk to strangers' type.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Bobbi looks to the voice and smiles back at the man. "Not a fan of it either," she adds and then shakes his hand. "Nice to meet you Mark. I guess word travels quickly in such a small place." Gossip must be very exciting in this village she assumes. Some of these people probably don't come and go too often, otherwise Gordon would be teleporting constantly.

    "Altitude sickness is no joke," she comments as she remembers one of the other ops rookies that was on the same course as her. She shakes her head, "But I'll be fine, so long as I stay hydrated." She furrows her brow a moment and realises that her expectations of just what her body can do in this situation are wildly inaccurate now. "Hm," she says more for herself than anyone else.

    "Thanks for the consideration though, it's appreciated. Last time I was here I had a harpoon dart piercing my leg. I could have used you then, but Jiaying did a good enough job.. then made me limp after her as we talked," she adds that last part with a raised eyebrow wondering just how normal a behaviour that is for Jia.

Daisy Johnson has posed:
"No joke indeed. We have people from all over the world here, some with a physicality that isn't used at all to being in these places. We take it seriously to make sure everyone feels comfortable." If Bobbi had to bet this man most likely is a doctor of some kind. And in a village like this? Maybe they aren't so backwards as one would had thought at first glance. But then again, the whole point of them being here is suspecting there is more to Afterlife than meets the eye..

He gestures to the pathway he just came from. "Do you want to walk with me? I promise I won't make you run to test your condition." a faint smile to show it's mostly a joke, that kind of humor doctors take with patients.

He will start walking down the path if Bobbi accompanies him, taking them between houses to a more open area where a couple of children are seen running around, laughing. Inhumans too? They don't show any marks of it.

"Jiaying has been gone for a long time." He says in ways of explanation for having Bobbi walk around with a dart in her leg, "But she has told me about you, how you saved her, and what you had to pay for it." he dips his head in a respectful manner, he looks ahead to the road and adds. "Jacob was my friend."

Maybe more than a friend, considering his tone.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Bobbi sees no reason to not wander with him. He could be an interesting source of information. Certainly seeing the kids playing makes her re-evaluate the place. "There are kids...," she says in surprise. It reminds her of the joke from Star Trek where the Enterprise was filled with families but flew straight in to war zones anyway.

    "Hmm," she responds to the comments about how she saved Jiaying. The people that were killed to do it and how she ditched them all the moment she got on the submarine radio... Bobbi says, "If I'm being honest, I didn't expect to live."

    "I'm sorry. Jacob.. fought to the very end. He single handedly stopped HYDRA from synthesising Inhuman abilities for their super soldiers. When it comes to Jiaying, it was more my colleague Jemma than me," she says, then frowns as she remembers Jiaying in pieces on that operating table. It's quite a thing to know that Jacob poisoned his own DNA to stop HYDRA and this ultimately killed him too. That level of sacrifice is what is asked for SHIELD agents.

Daisy Johnson has posed:
"We are a community." Mark says about the kids, gesturing, "We live, laugh and love in the same way other people do. These children were born of Inhumans who chose to live here." the word 'chose' seems to have been carefully selected. Noone is a prisoner here, nope. He offers the kids a wave and keeps going.

Blue eyes shift to inspect Bobbi again, more closely. "And yet here you are. Alive and perhaps where you are supposed to be. Our gifts have a .., peculiar way of being. It appears where and when it's needed. We can try to hinder or foster it but either way it always finds a way." very much like life does.

He leads them towards a house with two stories, starting to open the double doors. "He was always one of the best of us." regret lacing his voice. The doors open to reveal dark wooden walls, very much in the same style as the other houses but within there's quite the advanced type of medical laboratory.

"It's an heavy legacy you carry. His self-sacrifice, and also his gift." No doubt on his voice.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Bobbi nods her head, "I can see why you want to keep this place a secret then." The last thing they'd want is for Afterlife to become a battle field.. hopefully they have contingencies. Thankfully, Whitehall is dead. Hopefully no one else is interested in the Inhumans.

    She chuckles, "Ah. Where I'm meant to be. Starting on the cult sell already?" She looks a touch amused but when she sees what's through the door she pauses and turns around to make sure no one is sneaking up behind her. "What's this about?," she asks and cautiously steps in to the room, her eyes taking in details.. locks, this better not be a trap. She's not in the mood for traps.

    What's more, this is far more sophisticated for a small village in the mountains than she had expected. If she wanted answers about what Afterlife is, this seems to be an essential clue. "I'm sorry if you're interested in a blood sample I'm going to have to firmly decline," she says. Her body posture indicates she means the 'firmly' bit.

Daisy Johnson has posed:
"Cult sell..?" Mark lets out a a brief, amused laugh, shaking his head, "Surely you know by now this doesn't happen by chance. We are all part of something bigger, of evolution that should take thousands of years but happens now because there is a need for it." he is making his way inside but stops when Bobbi stays near the entrance looking behind them. He blinks and then can't help but smile.. Spy training. Right.

"No, I am not leading you to a trap of any kind. I wanted to show you we are not just some simpletons who decided to live fully away from the world. We must hide, yes. But it doesn't mean we stay still. Not with the gifts we carry." he gestures warmly. "Come in."

A shake of his head is the reply about the blood sample. "I won't ask you of anything you do not wish to give of your own will."

No, there are no hidden Inhumans in wait to capture her, nor ominous-looking patient beds with straps for 'studying' purposes like Whitehall enjoyed. "What do you know exactly about Jacob's gift? Of what he could do?" The man leads them to a smaller office, perhaps his own, opening his door and walking in, gesturing to a comfy-looking chair and for the woman to sit if she wishes.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Bobbi sizes him up. Whatever his power, she thinks perhaps she can take him.. and no one else is waiting to trap her. Then again, if she did go missing, another third of Team Stick is here. She decides to take her chances and enters too. "Riiight," she says as he espouses his beliefs that 'everything happens for a reason'.

    She takes a seat and says, "Good. I get enough blood tests at work." She looks slightly amused and then frowns a touch. Some of this is edging in to classified territory. Then again, they know much more about Jacob than she does. "Somehow, his spinal fluids were able to recombinate Inhuman DNA with human DNA, granting the recipient the powers of an Inhuman through a simple injection in to the blood stream."

    While that's not the whole story of what she knows about Jacob's gift, it'll do to start with. She has to test the waters, see if this is going to be a two way street. Perhaps these Inhumans are reasonable after all. May be a new relationship can be forged between them and SHIELD. "What about you, what is your gift?"

Daisy Johnson has posed:
"You do not believe it yet." Mark then smiling easily. It always took the non-believers a time to reach and understand the gift they had. And he was patient. "But you will perhaps sooner than you think." ominous? The man's tone doesn't seem to imply it. Perhaps simply a certainty that she won't be different from the others.

He walks around to sit down on the other side of his table. Papers are spread across it, some labelled medical reports, or simple patient history files he was perusing. He starts to arrange those papers to a side while he talks, "Genetic manipulation. He could rearrange DNA, not exactly to only recombine Inhuman DNA and human one but also to alter their properties." He says with a nod, "It was his power. You know it, it was what you used to be able to escape. Dangerous too and .., it tells of your own knowledge and prowess where it comes to bichemistry. But you also can't keep your spy side down, can you? You know exactly what he did, you just wanted to have me say it." he sounds a bit amused.

On one side of the table, wrapped around a small globe is one of those necklaces they use in Afterlife, the old, eroded aspect of it perhaps telling it must have been Jacob's. "My power, mmm." he takes in a breath and places his hand on the middle of the table, fingers up. A moment passes and then lightning surges through them. Just a flicker.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    "I believe," she starts with a smile, "that humans have a proficiency at seeing patterns where there are none. But I suppose it doesn't matter.." She listens for a moment as Mark talks about what Jacob could do.. confirming what she suspected. He was a natural biochemist, able to manipulate DNA with his mind.. somehow. Inhuman gifts are weird. Just like Daisy, somehow, makes things wibble and wobble violently.

    "That spy side has kept me alive since grad school," she says with a small chuckle. She's enjoying this conversation, she always likes it when she can enjoy her work. "So then this laboratory was for Jacob?," she asks. Her eyes glance around the room and she sees the necklace that others were wearing.

    "You and Jacob.. how long were you together?," she ventures.. then watches in surprise as he shoots electricity between his fingers. "You were there then... when they took him. HYDRA copied your power, and took Jacob. We fought against it in the field."

Daisy Johnson has posed:
"The difference is that we are not humans." Mark replies, shaking his head slowly. And with that tone implying she is the same as him. Not human. "There are have been gifts left for us in the past. Those gifts show us that this is not only coincidence. Not a random happenstance." now that the papers have been orderly put aside he leans forward, elbows on the table, hands resting together.

"I am not saying it's a bad thing." Mark says with a faint smile. "Just something that is part of you. We all do what we can to survive. And you at least seem to enjoy it." A brief shake of his head comes after at the question. "This place is for all of us, Inhumans. Jacob helped me here, he was a special man, and had a very special power too. One that our people needs." he explains, pausing to take in a breath, "Not everyone's powers are stable to begin with. We can help if we get access to the person soon enough, but some .., slip through the cracks, and when we find them it can sometimes be too late." something appears to be left unsaid but he doesn't continue that line of thought. Instead he quirks a brow.

"That obvious, hmmm?" about them being together, his eyes straying down to the table a moment. "Jacob saved me. Yes, I was there. I had this foolish notion we could live together out there in the world, practicing medicine, only coming to Afterlife occasionally. There was so much we could do out there to help people." he frowns faintly. "But those .., men had other ideas." hydra.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Bobbi furrows her brow and then lets out a soft aah. "So this is about Jacob's gift. Jiaying's idea that I possess it. I'm sorry to burst your bubble there but I haven't had any magical tinglings inside my brain while doing my biochem work. I merely used the serum containing his gift to combine other formulas in to a monstrosity that no one should ever take again. It's merely a genetic echo that your diviner lit up when I touched it."

    That's Bobbi's working theory anyway. "...Unstable, right. I've encountered a few 'unstable' Inhumans and it seems to me more a psychological issue than anything else," she comments on the way the Inhuman threat has presented itself to SHIELD over the years. Some people aren't willing to accept it, some are willing to misuse it. Fewer still eager to embrace it to help others - like Daisy.

    "I think you had the right idea though. You and Jacob. What you needed was support from a bigger brother," she puns, "like SHIELD. We could have kept you safe from HYDRA." She taps her fingertips together, "...how did HYDRA find you? ..there must have been others too, Whitehall had been at this for decades."

Daisy Johnson has posed:
"I do not know how we were found. But we had contact with other Inhumans.." Mark replies, lifting his shoulders, "Maybe one of them talked. Or perhaps captured and tortured to reveal us. Who knows? That is now part of the past. Jiaying is right, we can only be safe if we remain away from the world. Humanity is not yet ready for us." even if by his tone it seems as if he truly wished that wasn't so.

As for the unstability .. "Our training here is as much a physical but also a spiritual one. You live on a world of spies, adventure, open minded to new experiences." a pause and he shaking his head, "But imagine someone like a school teacher developping a power, or a teenager that suddenly becomes different. Or even worse, someone with an uncontrollable power. Would you blame them for not taking to it well..?" but then he smiles just so, leaning forward a bit more. "The same way that you deny what you have. Rationalize it all you want, but there will come a time you will understand what you can do. Things happen for a reason, Bobbi. Perhaps it was Jacob's purpose to pass on his gift to you. I choose to believe that."

He rests back on his chair again, "I can test you if you want. But we both know it'd take a sample of your blood."

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Bobbi hmms softly and nods her head. A mystery to be resolved another time. "Jiaying is cynical. Look at all the Metahumans and Mutants who enjoy a peaceful life, some even fame and fortune. Sure, there are bigots.. bigots for everything these days. But laws are changing for the better and so is public opinion. Two decades ago if the Hulk turned up, people would grab the pitchforks.. now they debate on TV how he's feeling and whether there are public art installations that might help sooth his mood."

    She shrugs with amusement at the way the world turns. "Perhaps you two were just ahead of your time. You didn't fall pray to society, you fell pray to one of the most evil and twisted cults known to SHIELD. They know of no morality that isn't negotiable."

    She takes a breath and then says, "You need a blood sample because you don't have Jacob? I'm starting to see how he was extremely useful in your group. What else did he do for you?"

Daisy Johnson has posed:
"Yes." Mark replies, not hiding a touch of bitterness, "I remember Genosha. And how those different were called on the streets. I prefer to call Jiaying a realist. Laws are changing, they always are, but they are never enough for what we need in the now. Our people continues to die, continues to being hunted." the man's tone is a resigned one.

"Having Jacob didn't mean no blood samples. He was not a biochemist, his understanding of his power was limited so I often had to show him on how he could work his power safely, not touching ..., what he shouldn't.." his lips pressing to a thin line, "But close to the end, he was beginning to show more potential about using it on his own. I was told he figured how to shut himself during captivity. Regardless, his power was never instant. He always needed some time in order to work someone's DNA. You are a biochemist, you know how delicate one's dna is."

Not that he answers further on what Jacob did for them. Instead he asks, "Why are you here? If you do not believe you have a power yourself?"

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    "May be you hadn't heard.. after Brainiac was defeated, a lot of donations and charity have made their way to that island, as well as emergency supplies and manpower. The country is rebuilding faster than any I've ever seen before. And Mutant Town, the city rallied around their missing mutants," she says. It's true, for the most part. The haters were still there of course.

    "Ah. I see," she says. She wondered why someone with those powers didn't ruin Whitehall's plans sooner. He didn't understand what he was changing. She nods her head, the team up with Mark makes so much sense now. "That must be frustrating - having a power that you have no basis of understanding. Suddenly you have to learn a whole new paradigm of knowledge - biochemistry isn't easy, let alone the practicalities of it. I wish I had met him under better circumstances."

    She smirks a moment and says, "Mark, I'm here for Daisy. She wanted to meet her mother. Her mother wanted to meet her. I confirmed the familial relationship and did a little bit of recon to make sure it was safe to bring her here." She shrugs a moment not mentioning her suspicions about what they might be up to in the shadows.. soon Matt will give them details, "and ultimately it seemed safe enough. I want Daisy to be happy, she's family to me."

Daisy Johnson has posed:
"Yes, an alien invasion." Mark says with a small nod, "And while Genosha was gone, along with it's people, many tried to do harm to the mutants. To Genoshans by trying to take their island again, to those in Mutant Town. Now Magneto is back and with that the fear he bears as well." he smiles grimly. "You will note that no attacks or threats are heard on the news anymore." a sigh. "I hope that is not the path we have to take to protect our people like the mutants did. But the bottom line is that their peace is a lie. They only ..., co-exist because humanity fears them."

"Me too." Mark then says about meeting Jacob under better circumstances, his smile turning into a more kind one. "But we did what we could with the time we had."

He then listens when Bobbi speaks about why she is here, lifting a brow a touch. "Family, eh?" that's a touch of a surprise. "Here I was thinking you were the hardened SHIELD spy and you go and surprise me like that. I can guarantee you she will be safe here, and so will you, once you accept the gift you have. You are part of something bigger than you and me, Bobbi. Don't walk away from it."

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Bobbi grins a moment as Mark is surprised that she has _feelings_. "Oh yes so hardened. I have a boyfriend too. And sort of a daughter," she grins even more at that second one but doesn't go in to further. "I can understand how you'd have notions of what SHIELD is or isn't. We get the job done because if we don't - everybody loses."

    She sighs a touch and she says, "Mark it's easy to walk away from something you never went looking for to begin with, or even understand. So let's say for a moment I humour you.. what is it I supposedly can do?"

Daisy Johnson has posed:
"Then I am glad for you." Mark replies, smiling faintly and resting his hands atop one another, "Yes, SHIELD certainly gets the job done, but it's always the same ones on the losing side." he shakes his head slowly. "Sounds hardly fair, but I am at least willing to listen to what SHIELD thinks they can do about us. It's also why you are here, isn't it?" a pause before his smile deepens, "But don't you see? It all comes together, you think you are here for SHIELD, or for Daisy. Which is true. But you are also here because you are meant to be." clearly this man is one of the believers.

"You should be able to do what Jacob could, or some variation of it. We began...." he stops then, frowning and getting up to his feet to walk over to an old cabinet getting it open.

".... it started with simple exercises." He gets out a small folder, bringing it to the table, "Just understanding DNA strings, what could or could not be changed. I had visual aids to help Jacob understand at first." he opens the folder, flipping a few pages forward and turning it to Bobbi where a basic genetic string code is.

"Take my hand." he then offers, "Try to sense it. Visualize what you can sense."

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Bobbi chuckles, "Well let's see. A quiet little cult filled with superpowers that can teleport anywhere in the world in an instant. Yes, I am evaluating this place and its people and motives. I'm not hiding that. Jiaying knows what she's in for with me being here..."

    Bobbi furrows her brow and then takes Mark's hand, "If you shock me I'm going to be very upset." It's a friendly warning at this point. She shuts her eyes and says, "So.. what do I do? clear my mind of all distractions? focus on a double helix? ... I'm not feeling or seeing anything if that's what's meant to happen."

    She does give it an earnest try though, not just being all snark. At some point, her educated curiosity takes over and she simply must see if there's anything to what Mark is saying. She relaxes her mind and peers in to the void behind our eyes and sees... just the usually exciting technocolor animations that the brain makes up when it can't see anything. "Nope.. nothing."

Daisy Johnson has posed:
The mention of Afterlife being a cult has Mark sighing but he doesn't open his mouth to debate that. Maybe he will just let her figure it out by herself. Besides, she does look rather .., stubborn. It brings his mind to her boyfriend and how in heck he can handle that. Patience of a saint? Maybe that's it!

"I don't shock people without dinner first." Is Mark's reply, shaking his head. But it seems more of a tease to have her relax than exactly flirty. He did just learn she had a boyfriend afterall!

"Jacob said he could see it, and understand it when he knew what he was looking for. Yet a lot came by instinct at first." He explains, letting her then take her time in trying it out at her own rhythm.

The response is disappointing though and he lets out a breath. "It might just take a little time for you to see it." yet his eyes do seem a touch downcast now. "No matter, you are free to come visit another time if you wish."

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Bobbi, "Well. Jacob was born Inhuman like Daisy, so I'm sure it all made sense to him when the powers came online, or, whatever terminology you use here." She opens her eyes and is just a touch disappointed she doesn't suddenly have superpowers like Daisy.

    "I'm sorry you were hoping for a miracle there.. or may be a link back to Mark. I'm not what you'd hoped for. I don't know how you keep in touch with the modern world out there, but I wouldn't say no to catching up for coffee and discussing our mutual lives. I'd like to hear more about Jacob."

    She looks to the heart rate monitor on her wrist and checks the time on it - it's relative, she set it when she got up to be 'morning-ish'. "I should be getting back to the guest house to talk with my friends. Matt is probably bored out of his mind by now."

Daisy Johnson has posed:
"Many of us do not have the understanding of their powers when they first come to them." Mark says, closing the folder and bringing it back to the cabinet to stash it away, "But I understand what you mean. There is that instinct that is intrinsic to us once we awaken to our gifts." he turns back to Bobbi and lifts a brow. Perhaps in some surprise. "Of course, maybe when I decide to go back out again. I would like that. We have much in common, Bobbi."

He starts on his way to the door to accompany her out but looks at the monitor with some curiosity, "An heart rate monitor? Do you have a condition?"

He tracks back, going over to a medical cabinet and taking out a small box of pills. "Take these. Being up here in this environment may stress it. Those should alleviate your breathing and relax you enough until you can adapt to being up here."

"But if you start feeling something abnormal please let me know." Again that kind smile. He opens the door out and waits for her to go. "Until next, Bobbi."

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Bobbi pauses as he asks about her heart rate monitor, "I do. It's complicated. I have to keep track of things." So much for being the super spy - caring about family, having a boyfriend, having a heart condition. Perhaps she's actually the runt of the litter.

    She looks slightly amused at the high altitude sickness pills but accepts them, "Thanks doc." She exits what is either his clinic or his home and then gives him a small wave, "Next time Mark. Bye." She strolls away from the house feeling quite happy. It was fun to simply sit down with someone who knows what he's talking about. Refreshing. Also an easy way to get intel on the place.