6367/The Framework: Data Retrieval Old School Style

From Heroes Assemble MUSH
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Framework: Data Retrieval Old School Style
Date of Scene: 28 May 2021
Location: The Sphere (Bunker BT-0), Deep Beneath Manhattan
Synopsis: Angelo and Jessica team up on a very important mission: Retrieve the data Fitz and team went to get from deep within the Sphere -- without suffering the same fate.
Cast of Characters: Melinda May, Jessica Drew, Achilles
Tinyplot: The Framework

Melinda May has posed:
The Sphere has become very busy, lately. Once Collingwood and McLaren managed to set up a proof-of-concept data recorder to scrape the strange digital matrix and translate its datafeeds into sensory input directed to and from the captive agents -- as well as the VR rigs SHIELD set up for their rescue team -- yet more equipment has been moved in. They don't want to lose a scrap of data, just in case.

It's impossible to watch everyone's feeds in nearly realtime, in any case. There's just too much happening. Instead, bio monitors are set to trigger when adrenalin and cortisol readings, along with heart rate and blood pressure, spikes too high, matching those time codes to time codes on the retrieved data. A whole rack of new mini-servers has been set up to accommodate the sheer volume of data.

The real problem, though? They have NO idea about the basic framework running the matrix. Nor have they been able to crack the pods the captured agents rest in. They need schematics pulled straight from the source.

Fitz took a team into the Sphere's manufacturing hub sometime after the Sphere appeared to be subdued, but before the rescuers first entered the game. Unfortunately, he and his whole team were lost, pods containing their bodies emerging from the mess of cables receding into the center fo the ceiling in the pod chamber, until they came to rest beside the first four. There are now nearly a dozen agents trapped in those pods.

Sending out another team isn't what anyone wants to do. The hope, though, is that this team, given they're metahuman and highly experienced fighters, will be able to accomplish what Fitz and his team couldnt: Make it into the heart of the manufacturing center and figure out just what happend there. Maybe even retrieve some useful data.

McLaren, an L6 field specialist with an enegineering degree, gave them their marching orders. "Get in, take a look around, retrieve any equipment Fitz left behind, and get back here. If, at any point, you think you're going to be overwhelmed, set off these disruptor charges and abort. We simply can't afford to lose anyone else to the matrix."

Thus, some while later, Drew and Tampambulos are following the same holomap, the same passage way, Fitz did... into the dark.

Jessica Drew has posed:
Jessica pats herself down. Her fingers brushing over a toolkit with cable cutters and various hardened titanium widgets strong enough to break into a mainframe (or possibly a pod) in a case strapped to her back, a dual-purpose gun with rounds of ammunition wrapped around her body reminiscent of Yosemite Sam, a com device in her ear. Her dark straight hair is slicked back into an elastic band.

"I feel stiff with all this. This kit has got to weigh all of thirty pounds," she mutters, half to herself, grouchy with apprehension. She hates this metal sphere and its builders.

Achilles has posed:
    Geared up for a covert insertion, Angelo has his weapons laid out before him. He is sliding the balaclava over his head and adjusting the nightvision goggles onto his forehead for quick deployment. Then he begins attaching weapons. A combat knife on his right forearm. An ICER in a crossdraw holster on his waist, and a FN-Five Seven sidearm on his right hip. Both firearms suppressed of course. Lastly, he lifts a highly tricked out and suppressed P-90 Submachinegun. Why that weapon? Well the ammo is interchangeable between it and his sidearm. Makes it easier to swap out if need be in the field.

    I mean he has his old school stuff stores still in those bronze bracers he wears under the black arm-wrappings. Once the weapons are secured, he begins applying other tools... lockpicking tools... an automatic lockpick release gun, and some nylon rope, other lengths of knotted rope just in case. Also.. about two hundred Zip Ties just in case. Those things are so useful! These are all packed in various places on the bodysuit. One of the few times Angelo bothers to show off any of his muscular shape really. Skintight armor is easier to move in. Until and unless the -real- armor comes out.

    He is preparing without words, having a thoroughly professional outlook on all of this.

Melinda May has posed:
The basalt passage they move along is dark. There are footprints in the dust that prove that Fitz and his team came in this way. They obviously didn't leave this way. The faint smell of machine oil blends with rock and soil. There's not a lot of air movement. And, indeed, the pair were told to keep their rebreathers handy. The engineers are fairly confident they've managed to pump all the gas out of the place, replacing it with oxygen. But given they don't know exactly where it was deployed from... well, it's best not to take chances.

In the darkness, there's the occasional sound of a skittering mechanical critter. They've seen those before -- the small spider-like bots that dragged the corpses of broken robots and pods away from battle sites. They're not terribly evident in the corridor the pair follows, but the sound is unmistakable.

The far end of the passage receeds into a vaster darkness of a potentially larger space.

Achilles has posed:
    Rebreather, check. Footprints, check. Nightvision goggles deployed over his eyes. Sure, it makes your sight a bit tunnel visioned, but it's better than shining a flashlight into the dark in a 'HERE I AM' mode. Either way, Angelo moves along smoothly, heel-toe-heel-toe in a gait that might seem strange. But the P-90 in his hand is aimed downrange. He brought the -real- weapons because mechanical skitter-stuff tends to not care about dendrotoxins like the ICER uses. So when in down... break the stuff, with extreme prejudice.

    However, sometimes you need a little verbal exchange to get people less tense, more relaxed and in the moment. So, he subvocalizes to Jessica via comms, "We find anything that needs to be hit -really- hard, or so heavy I can't lift it, I'll let you open the pickle jar."

Jessica Drew has posed:
Things that skitter in the dark shouldn't be a problem for Jessica, considering her heritage, or so she tells herself as she breaks stride at the sound of metal claws ticking down the corridor. The night vision goggles flatten everything but give the old footprints depth as though the dust of ages had infiltrated the Sphere. She walks to the side of the trail, sniffing at the traces of technology that feel alien to her.

Pursing her lips, Jessica lifts her chin. She chuffs a quiet laugh; her British accent clipped and haughty, "After I bean you with it, my dear."

Melinda May has posed:
The passage opens up into a large chamber. Large enough that its extent disappears in the darkness. While it's only about 75' across, it goes up a fair ways, its heights shrouded in shadow. The real problem with night vision in a place like this is taht it still requires some sort of ambient light. There is none in this place, save for what the agents carry with them. It's not like the mechanicals need it.

As they emerge into the chamber, it's clear this place is full of a considerable level of tech. A couple of dozen feet in, the dropped and scattered equipment Fitz's team brought with them can be seen discarded in the dust. Ten feet or so beyond it is a bank of consoles against tall machines that rise up into the darkness above.

Jessica Drew has posed:
The traces of Fitz and the others remain. The beam of her tac light bounces from object to object, lighting unidentified boxes, discarded bags picked over by the scavengers that inhabit the place. Jessica has an atavistic reaction to the chamber - for one moment, it is a dry cave filled with spider-hating crabs that scuttle out of holes. It sends a chill up her back. Unprofessionally, she wants to double-check the Emp grenades attached at her waist. Circling in place to reassure herself that they have no other company than the cleaning bots she walks over to a discarded bag to kneel beside it.

"Empty. What is at the back of the chamber?" She doesn't look above her though her spider-sense has begun to tingle.

Achilles has posed:
    Gesturing towards the discarded gear, Angelo moves without a word. He steps forward, weapon sweeping left, then right. Head on a swivel. When he reaches the gear, he stops and crouches down.

    One hand reaches for the gear. His left hand of course, so he can keep his right hand on the grip of his weapon. But at Jessica's words, he nods his head and gets back to his feet, to move in the direction towards the back of the chamber. Only one real way to find out, right?

Melinda May has posed:
There's a reason Jessica's spidey-sense has started to tingle. The clicky skitter of mechanical legs buzzes in the darkness. The spiderbots can be heard approaching, possibly drawn by the tech the agents carry. Above, there's the hissing slide of metal over metal as cables shift like movable webs, a net that's lowering itself into place.

Toward the back of the chamber, there's a console straight out of the 80's. It's been clearly tampered with -- Fitz's work, no doubt. The spiderbots, though, haven't cleaned out the cables behind the console wall, nor the console itself. Probably because that tech is pre-established and not new snack food brought in by the organic intruders.

Approaching closer, however, brings with it an awareness of bots moving in the dark. The spiders have started to form a net with their own bodies, creating walls of sorts. They're starting to attempt to corral the two agents.

Jessica Drew has posed:
Angelo undoubtedly hears the glide of metal on metal as lairs open above them; still, she subvocalizes a warning. "Above us! More than one. Laying a trap." Jessica shudders at the travesty of the mechanical imitations and the danger of being caught in their web. After holstering her gun, she springs over a box with a light step, moving obliquely to the nets she senses falling from above.

"Going up the wall," she announces as she leaps to cling to the metal side of the chamber. "See if I can cut them off."

Achilles has posed:
    Spotting the net enclosing about them, Angelo narrows his eyes. "Drew." he says. And then Jessica is off and moving. "Yes. That." he states as he drops to a knee. "I will endeavor to retain their focus." he says as his P-90 comes up to his shoulder, he flips a switch to set it to single shot mode, and then places the red dot of his holographic sight at the junction point of a few of the robots in the net.

    With a chuff, the suppressed weapon sends a round down-range. And then another. Rather than fully automatic fire, Angelo is conserving ammunition by sending as accurately aimed shots as he can to discombobulate the formation of said net. Or at least make it less easy for them.

Melinda May has posed:
The rounds from the P-90 are effective at shattering some of the small bots. The effectiveness depends on the size of the bots, of course. The smaller the bot, the less effective it is -- not because of damage, the little bots are completely blown away, but because the smaller bots leave smaller gaps in the net. The mechanical critters skitter and keep moving forward, despite their attrition. There are more where the first ones came from, after all. Just where they're coming from is hard to say, however.

The higher Jessica goes, the more she'll discover herself having to dodge animated metallic cables with shining blue ends. These, of course, are the same things that ensnared every other agent that's been trapped in the matrix. Which means, getting caught by the things isn't a good idea. They, however, seem to be emerging from large conduits overhead, above the static cables that are nothing more than power channels or other such necessary engineering systems. Amist those animated cables are metalic cylinders capable of ensnaring an unwary body: empty matrix pods waiting for their prey like some sort of strange, subterranean sea anemone.

Jessica Drew has posed:
Reflexively, Jessica reaches out a hand to meet the blue glow of a cable targeting her. Her palm glows with the bio-electric charge she can generate. Warily, with a glance around her to find an escape route, she leans into space with only three points of contact to blast the cable, unsure whether it will attract more attention and bring even more trouble down on her head. A leap takes her higher up the wall as she scampers out of the way. She then reaches for the gun at her belt, hoping to cover Angelo below.

Achilles has posed:
    Well, it is a good thing that Angelo was not remotely trying to break free or ruin the net. He was just trying to keep them focused on him while at the same time slow down their advance. But...

    Then his eyes flicker upwards as he hears that Bio-Electrical blast go off. He smirks a bit and with his thumb, he flicks the fire-selector to full-auto.

    And now it's the rapid fire *chuff* as he riddles robots with bullets. Then he lifts his weapon and aims for the sources of those tendrils. Those lines. Whatever.. and Semi-Armor Piercing rounds rip towards the pods and the housings for the cables attacking Jessica. *chuffchuffchuffchuff*.... and as the net gets closer, his magazine reaches empty. He simply drops the weapon onto the sling that attaches it to his torso.

    When in doubt, cut your way out of a net. And so the Xiphos sword appears in his hand as he rips the blade upwards through robotic bodies as he moves to get out of the center-point of that net.

Melinda May has posed:
The nets collapse as Angelo dives in with his sword, though there are enough of the small bots that they reform in waves quickly. The larger, heavier clacking of a centipedebot becomes audible amdist the cascading skitter-crash of raining spiderbots shattered by bullet and blade.

Shattered matrix pods fall toward the basalt floor, caught by static cables and swarmed by spiders that pull them back into the darkness, toward the recycler.

The bioelectric charge Jessica unleashes on the animated cables is enough to stun it and cause it to recoil away from her. The clearest escape routes are either up the sides of those huge conduit columns the cables and pods spill from -- i.e. above them where gravity works against them -- or down the side walls back into the midsts of the spiders below.

Achilles has posed:
    Taking it all in, processing the information at a speed that only a veteran of countless battles could do in the midst of combat, Angelo spots the upward escape. Into his throat mic he says, "Drew. Throwing you a line. Open the jar of pickles and haul my ass out of here, eh?" he says as he kicks a mass of robots away from him, dismisses his sword while at the same time summoning his bronze spear.

    He reaches his other hand into the waist-pouch and produces the thin yet strong nylon line and with a deft twist, he loops the end about the head of his spear before he takes three steps and hurls the spear straight up... or as best he can. So it sinks into the surface of the wall hopefully within reach of Jessica.

    "I think that might be a silver medal quality throw. Bring home the gold please." he says as his sword comes back out, swinging to keep his space as clear as he can make it while his left hand grips the line, and wraps said line about his wrist and forearm a couple times by twisting the arm just so.

Jessica Drew has posed:
There are times that Jessica forgets just how old the man she is teamed with today is. It shows in how adroit and cool he is under fire.

She can just make out the bots closing in on him. It really is going to be close. The line is in her hand almost the moment the spear pierces the wall.

"Gold," she answers as she double loops it around one hand. Bunching her legs, she coils into a spider shape, "Come to me, pickle jar." Biceps like steel tense as she begins to haul him up the side of the wall. Back against the wall, she pulls with all her considerable strength.

Melinda May has posed:
As Angelo swaps spear for sword, his heel rolls up against a strange fragment on the stone floor. It's not metal shrapnel. It's a small flash drive about the size of two fingers. It has a SHIELD logo etched into its hardened casing. If he's fast, before Jessica hauls him up, he might be able to snag it.

Because it's probably the data Fitz tried to collect.

As he shoots ceilingward, the mechanicals scramble to keep up, though the spiderbots aren't really made for those sorts of maneuvers. It's a good save, though, since the centipede sentinel breaks through the spiderbot lines to land very nearly where Angelo had been only moments before.

Achilles has posed:
    Okay, it's on the floor. Hell with the sword. He can survive damage. So he dismisses the sword and lets the rope slide through his grip. It's a good thing that his skin is about as tough as worked leather. So the line slides through his grip and he drops enough to grab the drive.

    Just like in the movies, he gets it JUST as the rope yanks him skyward. "Yep. Gold." he confirms as he goes upwards. He tucks the drive into a pouch and then quickly draws his sidearm, plugging semi-armor piercing rounds down towards the centipede even as he goes upwards.

    He is truly putting -all- of his trust in Jessica at this point. She has his faith to get him out while he covers their six. It is not -entirely- appropriate, but... UP UP AND AWAY!

Jessica Drew has posed:
Pleased with the result, Jessica puts her back into it. Her instructors in SHIELD chided Jessica for it; her former-HYDRA sensei punished her for it. In the tensest of moments, Spider-Woman wants to break into song. She has gotten it down to a hum to channel the energy (and nerves) coursing through her. Humming under her breath the refrain, 'In my beautiful balloon,' she lets loops of cable fall slackly from her fingers as she pulls Angelo up the side of the wall.

"Book it, my fair Greek. They really want us to stay overnight." She braces him with her arm, "You ready to dangle in space? Keep your gun ready. I'll try not to swing you too much." Jessica secures the line around her waist. "Up we go."

Melinda May has posed:
And up they do go, swinging through the cable choked rafters and dodging animated pod cables and springing spider droids alike. It's an obstacle course like no other. There's more than one close call.

However, they reach the far side, dropping down into the mouth of the passage way they first came in through. Half a dozen disruptor charges later, the manufacturing hub is a sparking mess of shorted out droids, glowing red and blue in the darkness.

When they do finally make it back inside SHIELD's defensive perimeter, they may be winded (or not) and they may be a little the worse for wear... but they're also triumphant. Fitz's data download can now be put to constructive use.

Let's hope.