5395/Afterlife: Updating Commander Gonzales

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Afterlife: Updating Commander Gonzales
Date of Scene: 01 March 2021
Location: Afterlife Settlement - Nepal
Synopsis: Gonzales is caught up on the mission status and a plan is hatched to smother Afterlife with friendship and love and M&Ms.
Cast of Characters: Bobbi Morse, Matthew Murdock, Melinda May, Elena Rodriguez, Daisy Johnson

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    It seems Bobbi really did need some rest. She was up all night doing recon, had a fight with a teleporting Inhuman, got dumped in a pitch black jail, met a sick Inhuman, discovered she had Inhuman powers, broke out of said jail, snuck around Afterlife, stayed up very very late doing research, all with only a lunch time snack in her tummy.

    She opens her eyes on the quinjet interior and smiles. "Hey. Anyone got something American to eat? hamburger perhaps? shake? I'm desperate for some authentically real unhealthy food," she admits and sits back up.

Matthew Murdock has posed:
Gonzales had been keeping close to the quinjet since Jaiying had made her threats about what would happen if an agent entered the village without permission, coordinating with his team to gather as much intel as they could about the area and its people. Though as Bobbi wakes, he's alerted and stands moving with the help of his cane to come to her bedside. "Barbara, how are you feeling?" he asks with genuine concern.

Melinda May has posed:
May glances back over her shoulder at Bobbi's words. She's sitting in the cockpit, going over sensor logs. "Hey, sleeping beauty," she greets. "If anyone does, Fitz does. Maybe Jemma sent him with an extra sandwich." Don't count on it. And even if she did, don't count on anyone else getting their hands on it.

She turns out of her chair and pushes to her feet, wandering over to give Bobbi a brief inspection. "You look healthier now than you did the last time I saw you."

Then, of course, Gonzales is there, and May takes a step back, leaning lightly on a bulkhead.

Elena Rodriguez has posed:
Sleep was not something that came very easy to Elena even on the best of days, which this had not been. Surrounded by super hostile, super powered, individuals who were less than pleased with the sudden arrival of, as they suggested, invaders, tend to put her in a no sleep for me mood.

There also isn't a starbucks or a McDonalds for hundreds of miles.

So she had to break into her personal stock of goodies just to keep her energy levels up. "I don't have a humburger, but I have three energy drinks, two snickers bars, and half a bag of skittles.." There so much more, but she's not ready to reveal all of her trade secrets.

"Watchamacallit?" Holding up the candy bar as she heads forward with a big ol yawn.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Bobbi accepts the snickers bar and warns, "Turns out I am currently a little touch sensitive, so, no one touch me," she says with a bit of a smirk and then says to Gonzales, "I'm feeling pretty good. I've been up all evening trying to crack a bizarre alien code. Now.. normally I'd think I'd complete lost my mind, but once I figured out a part of it, I could touch this young woman who is photosensitive and endothermic without turning in to an ice block myself."

    She furrows her eyebrows a touch and says, "it turns out due to the incident on Lian Yu - Whitehall's base, I have inherited an Inhuman ability. Much of that mission is classified sir," she says to Gonzales in particular, "but.. I think I'll be okay." She smiles to May and says, "I seem to be reading the DNA of people who I touch. It's extremely nauseating. My inner ear loses itself in the process."

    She looks back to Gonzales, "You will want a proper report on Afterlife. It's a mixed bag. Huge threat, isolationist, anti-human sentiments.. yet also a wealth of knowledge and compassion for their own kind. I'd take Jia's threats seriously, from our scouting efforts it's safe to say we did not bring enough fire power if we were stupid enough to make an enemy of these people. We need them as friends..."

Daisy Johnson has posed:
No sleep for Daisy either. She's been out and about, nervous and waiting to be summoned up to go talk with the people in Afterlife. Clock is ticking though and she is starting to get impatient.

"The timing wasn't the best.." she admits about SHIELD's arrival here. "But we do with what we have. I am sure I can have my mot- Jiaying see reason." hopefully.

She doesn't add further to the report now, letting Bobbi be the one to go on with the details. But she *does* reach over to that candy bar, hand outstretched...

Matthew Murdock has posed:
No effort is made to touch Bobbi, though he does give an approving nod to Elena when she hands the woman some food. "That's quite the power, Agent Morse," he says at the news of Bobbi's new found ability. "And sounds like a steep learning curve," he says. "If there's anything we can do to help facilitate, you'll let us know," he says before he turns over the report in his head. "What about their leader, Agent Johnson's mother?" then Daisy arrives and gives her own report, and Gonzales looks to May for her take on things, she knew Daisy better than he did, and knew how likely it is she could be objective when it came to her long lost relations. "How likely is she to see reason? I have to admit my gut tells me we should pull up stakes and get out of here now, we're at a severe tactical disadvantage against a whole community of powered people, but if there's a way forward diplomatically I'd like to hear it, especially since you both," he nods in Bobbi and Daisy's direction. "Insist a relationship with this Afterlife is in SHIELD's best interests."

Melinda May has posed:
Yeah, May stays back. She already saw Bobbi swoon at her feet. On the bright side, it wasn't the blonde's damned heart for once. Even so... talking to Fury seems like a better and better idea. But, for now, she holds her tongue.

When Gonazles glances her way, clearly looking for support, the look she gives back is... considered. She believes Daisy believes she can talk her mother down. But she also knows Daisy can overestimate the chances of her parents listening to reason. Still, May doesn't know Jiaying at all. Daisy and Bobbi do. Therefore, it's better to give the younger agent a shot than not, so May gives Gonzales a faint nod that basically says, 'Let her try.' If it doesn't work, they can pull up stakes, as it were.

"They don't seem too open to being friends," she says. "What do we need to do to change that?"

Elena Rodriguez has posed:
Elena grins at Daisy's appearance and lets the candy bar be snatched out of her hands, if only so she can use it to prop herself up against the back of a seat. Leaning onto it with one leg stretched out, facing Gonzales, May, and Bobbi with brown eyes dancing between them. "So this is a whole community of inhumans hiding away and offering other inhumans training in habilidades?" Just to see if she's got the jist of it.

"Aside from having a lot of angry words directed at us when we show up, have they really /done/ anything that we need to force issue if they don't feel like being friendly?" Blinking once, "I probably get a little fiesty too if someone just show up on my lawn, after I go to so much trouble to hide the lawn."

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    "They seem to have big trust issues. We should extend them the helpful branch," Bobbi suggests. "Give them anything they want except for us to leave them alone," she says with a slightly amused smirk. "They know too much about Inhumans for us to let this resource slip through our fingers. I'm experiencing a significant shift in my perspective of who I am.. and I know Daisy and Elena know exactly what that feels like."

    "Afterlife, from my understand, seems to be set up specifically to help Inhumans go through their change. It's right there in the name. If we could offer them normal lives outside of this place so that Inhumans don't have to give up their life.." not that SHIELD has been terribly successful at that themselves.

    "We barely know the first thing about helping Inhumans when their powers manifest. And whatever it is I can do now Sir, I wouldn't call it 'quite the power'. It's more of a nuisance right now." She pushes herself up and walks over to where she sees her gear hanging up and grabs the tactical gloves just so she can touch people.

    "Afterlife has families in it and seems to be mostly powered by a hydro-electric wheel about two clicks north of the settlement. They have communications jamming set up some where. They have a reasonably well stocked medical center with research capabilities. They train some of their members nightly in combat and tactics," she elaborates. She might as well convey what Matt found, so as not to say 'the blind guy went on recon for us'.

    "And they have a teleporter I mentioned in a previous report. His name is Gordon. The man is hard to read, but he seems very loyal to Jiaying. He poses an obstacle. I was unable to get in touch because.. it seems.. he was under instructions to keep me in Afterlife," she says less than amused at the notion of being kept as Afterlife's prisoner.

    "No Elena, they've been quite peaceful in that respect. However, we're running in to more and more Inhumans who cause incidents when they go through their change. We need a way to handle that change -- and if we can bring them here for help, ... surely that's something Jiaying wants too?," Bobbi proposes.

Daisy Johnson has posed:
"Getting slow, Yo-Yo.." See? Daisy can joke even under tension. She even offers a small smile at her friend but bites down on the candy bar hopefully before anyone 'snatches' it back. Mmmm, chocolate.

"They have been doing this for a long time now. Years. At least Jiaying has." She clarifies, "But their aim is mostly to protect others like us, teach them and let them live in peace. Even if most remain here." a look to Elena, then to Bobbi, "By choice, from what I understood, or what we have been able to figure out so far."

She looks up at May, thoughtful at that last question, then to Bobbi, "I do not believe Jiaying to be so blind as to not wish some kind of peaceful resolution to this. They were aggressive, yes. But it's like Elena says, we just appeared on their front lawn suddenly. Admittedly, she is not the easiest of people to deal with. But I believe I can influence her."

The same way that Jiaying can most likely influence her back.

Matthew Murdock has posed:
"We only appeared on their front lawn because they didn't let our agents call home," Gonzales says, before giving Elena a nod, "But I see your point, and I gather us sitting here isn't helping matters either."

May's look is returned and he gives a nod. "I agree, Agent Johnson should run point on our diplomatic efforts with her mother," he looks to Daisy. "I hope you're right about your mother wanting a peaceful resolution, obviously with families in the picture it's our preferred resolution, above and beyond the value this place presnts in helping acclimate new Inhumans we encounter to their abilities. As for placement back in society after they've been trained, new identities and the like, that's above my paygrade, but I can certainly make the case to Director Fury about it. I know he's as concerned as I am with the appearance of more powered people and the overall political climate about them back home. For now though, float the idea, to Jaiying as a possibility, see how she takes it, in the meantime let's continue to play this by the numbers, Agent Morse I'll need you to plot out your intel onto a map of the village in case we need it, it should help Fitz with his technical assessment as well. We also definitely need to find out how they're jamming communications, in case it becomes necissary to disable that ability."

Melinda May has posed:
"There's also the reality of the Index," May says seriously. "That's going to be a political nightmare." And they all know it. "I completely agree that a place like this, that can help Inhumans, is a good idea. And working with them, rather than against them, is smart. But how friendly do you think they're going to remain -- assuming we can get them to the point of being friendly at all -- if they think we're profiling them and collecting their names on what could very easily become a hit list." Because that's effectively what it is.

This, from the woman who killed an Inhuman girl because her mental illness made her powers simply too dangerous; she couldn't be left alive. It's no secret May is still torn up about that call. She just doesn't show it.

But in this place? Hell, yes, it's on her mind.

Elena Rodriguez has posed:
Something doesn't sit right with Elena, who does not have the greatest track record for keeping her tongue when that be the case. "Sir..." she frowns and furrows her brow, glancing down at her boots for a second with fingers drumming the back of the seat. "Have they done anything? That we would be scouting out how to disable their defenses? They come as far away from civilization as they can get, off of radar.. and we come.. Obviously, I understand this part, they have our friends here, but if they find out we are putting together strike plan for possibly assaulting their community?"

She shrugs and stares at her feet. "I do what I am told." Which was nothing, thankfully. "Just do not want to be foreign aggressor coming in to make threats if they decide they do not like the taste of whatever pie we sell them."

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    "She really isn't..," she says agreeing with Daisy. "But then again Gordon has a mind of his own and Mark is much easier to get along with. They seem to be the trio with the most influence in this place," she elaborates to the rest of the team. "Mark is their doctor, obviously a very important and integral part of a small community like this."

    She smiles and nods to Daisy, "Good luck with your mother. I'm sure you can make her see reason." Almost everybody in this group has been swayed by a good Daisy argument at least once.

    "May be we don't bring up the index just yet? it's an extremely useful tool. When powered prisoners were escaping last year I was able to look up what I was up against on the fly in my tactical goggles. That saved lives..." Though.. now she'd be on that index too soon. She looks a touch uneasy - then again her entire career and capabilities is on file in various forms in both friendly and enemy hands.

    "Elena, they're brewing anti-human sentiment by staying isolated. That has to end one way or another and I'd prefer that one way to not involve the death of humans. We're SHIELD, we're here to protect everybody, not just one side or the other. We've seen how these small groups can radicalise when left to their own devices. They need to be part of the wider community to stop that happening."

Daisy Johnson has posed:
Yea, the talk about the Index is something that doesn't leave Daisy that comfortable either, the young agent shifting from one foot to the other and shaking her head slowly. "One step at a time." she says in agreement with Bobbi, "They also appear to have some kind of past with SHIELD. And not a good one. Jiaying told me of SHIELD agents killing Inhumans before but .., I have seen no reports about it in the past." clearly she doesn't know about May's past! "So there's that extra step to get over too."

The talk about scouting the place is received with mixed feelings. But spies are spies. She looks between Gonzales and Elena, saying, "I will make sure it doesn't turn into violence."

She finishes half the candy bar and offers the rest to Bobbi. Sharing!

Matthew Murdock has posed:
Lips forming a concerned line, Gozales nods at May's point. "That's a bridge we'll have to cross when we come to it, but I was hoping that both Agents Johnson and Rodriguez could explain the utility of the Index to Jaiying when the time comes, seeing as they're both on it and also valued members of our team, treated no differently from other agents and are in no danger from SHIELD." Though there is no denying SHIELD has crossed off or detained powered individuals in the past. "And we keep it locked behind enough protections to ensure people like the Friends of Humanity or these new Watchdogs, can get a hold of it."

As to Elena's objections he nods, "I understand, and the strike plan is only a precaution, if that anti-human sentiment boils over and they decide to strike against us, I want to be ready to get all of us out of here quickly and cleanly as possible, even if that means we need to disable some of the community's infrastructure."

Melinda May has posed:
May has been around way too long to think that the Index is perfectly safe from people like FoH or the Watchdogs. Of course, it doesn't help that she's up to her neck in an off-the-books investigation about HYDRA moles in SHIELD. She doesn't currently believe ANYTHING is safe.

Peggy's paranoia is rubbing off on her.

But this isn't the time or place to bring that up.

She nods to the conversation, but doesn't add more to it. The reserved expression on her face suggests that she thinks there's a lot of nice sentiments here, but none of them have passed the rubber-meets-the-road test, yet.

Elena Rodriguez has posed:
Elena raises a brow at Bobbi, but doesn't offer an argument to her point. Nodding once to her as she pushes off the back of the seat to follow along with Daisy, "It would be okay if I join you? Maybe it is true what Director says, if they see more inhumans working with SHIELD they are more likely to assist us.. More carrot, less need for stick, si?" It's worth a shot anyways.

Since the alternative is thinking about the registry.

No reason to be paranoid, nope.

No reason at all.

"You think maybe we trade good will for peanut butter M and Ms?" Because she has a bag.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Bobbi chuckles a touch and says, "Somehow, I don't think throwing you in to the mix would actually help Daisy at this particular time. Jia is far more patient with Inhumans, it's true.. but from everything I've observed, I'd guess right now Jia is preparing for war. I think the only person that could get through to her.. is Daisy."

Daisy Johnson has posed:
Daisy considers it a moment, "Maybe that's true.." she says to Bobbi. "But doesn't hurt trying.. Besides, being an Inhuman does carry weight between them." she rubs at her chin, "But I believe I can bring you with me, even if to meet the others, or let you see by yourself what Afterlife is about."

She can't help but to smirk briefly at the mention of the M&Ms, "Of course you had to bring those for this mission."

Matthew Murdock has posed:
Gonzales smiles faintly at the banter between the agents, "Glad you're all still in good spirits," he says before adding. "I'll leave it in Agent Johnson's hands who she takes with her to speak to Jaiying, but I would like someone else there to make sure we retain perspective during the talks." A beat. "Someone other than the civilian," he adds meaning Matt.

That's when Davis pokes his head in, "Sir, we've got a tight beam through to one of the other quinjets and they're able to raise the Triskelion."

"Excellent," he says. "Excuse me I need to report in and bring the current situation to Fury, for now proceed as we discussed and see what Jaiying is willing to consider in the way of an alliance, though let's leave the Index out of it for now."

Then he heads off to make his call leaving the other agents to talk things out amoung themselves.

Melinda May has posed:
May thumbs over her shoulder to the cockpit. "Meanwhile," she says, as the Inhumans in the group make plans to go exploring, "I'll keep the engines on standby." Just in case. "Try not to make me need them."

Paranoid, yes. Optimistic? Well... not really. But, you know. Hopeful. Cautiously hopeful. They've pulled missions out of the fire before now. And this one hasn't even quite caught fire, yet. Sure, it's smouldering, but... what else is new?

She watchs Gonzales go and lets out a soft breath when he's off the jet and headed across the field. Saying nothing about her thoughts, she moves to sit in her cockpit again. It's safe. It's familiar. And there are sensor logs.

Elena Rodriguez has posed:
"I will be on the very best behavior." Elena promises everyone aft, smiling over her shoulder as she makes her way with Daisy. Interested to see what the Inhumans have set up... and possibly to see if there's any way she can help bridge the gap.. That or, at the very least, not send them into a tail spin dive towards earth by offering them chocolate covered snacks when they're on a diet.

"How did you survive without Denny's?" To Daisy.

It's an important question.