8397/0-8-4 Files: 056

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0-8-4 Files: 056
Date of Scene: 24 October 2021
Location: Novosibirsk, Russia
Synopsis: A deadly runestone is smartly and safely snapped up, then SHIELD gets the hell out of Russia before anyone notices. Hopefully.
Cast of Characters: Jane Foster, Gothic Lolita, Achilles, Cael Becker, Jessica Drew, Sam Wilson, Dottie Underwood

Jane Foster has posed:
1530 hours.
Novosibirskiy Gosudarstvennyy Krayevedcheskiy Muzey. Novosibirsk, Russia.

For the last few hours, Novosibirsk has been torn asunder by horrors. By the time SHIELD scrambled a Quinjet and arranged the debriefing for a mixed team of intel experts, stealth-rated operatives, and "can you shoot and speak Russian, Underwood? How about shoot?", the hulking, bipedal 'hooligans in leather tunics' reported by the BBC World Service have free run of the city centre. They stand somewhere between six and nine feet tall, bulging muscle and bad moods, a cross between bad-tempered bears and slavering bulldogs. Anything moving they eye up, but their wrath has been turned on...

...coffeeshops. Savagely mauled Starbucks and Figaros are completely decimated by a rampage of monsters.


"Our GPS coordinates on this thing are fuzzy at best, we've traced the epicenter to either the state museum or the government building. All bets are on the state museum," Jane explains, fully wired up with her headset in. "You're looking for a runic stone about four inches long, cut into an oval with angular designs on one face." The snapshot of a black and white photo comes up on the holo projections.

She continues, "Maybelline absolutely must not be touched physically. I need verbal understanding from all of you.That includes you, Gothic Lolita. Please no robo-monsters today, with all due respect, agent. Contact causes the monstrous transformation. It may be contagious." No smiles. "Starting with Agent Drew, pass around those kevlar-infused gloves and make sure everyone has a pair."


Their landing point sucks, no ways about it. The cloaked Quinjet swivels above the historic three-story mansion that houses the premier museum in the city, a place of genteel copper roofs and blood-smeared doors. Lights inside and out are off, with a little more than 90 minutes before the sun goes down. Guide wires dangle toward the rooftop as the jet's hull splits, offering a precipitous zipline drop to non-metahumans. The main point of entry is one of the half-moon windows probably not opened since summer for a periodic cleaning, but it offers a drop into a spacious third-floor hallway complete with a scowling set of Siberian hunters facing off against a very impressively horned elk.

Flaming cars litter Krasnyy Prospekt, the main road slicing through the city centre. Overturned vehicles litter the ten lanes slicing past Soviet-era buildings in various stages of disrepair. A department store a block down from the Novosibirsk State Museum of Natural History is in tatters. Ground-level windows twinkle in the waning midday sun, dumpsters, chairs, and occasional sedan haloed by glittering shards of glass. Packs of roaming monsters, at least fifteen in sight, wander around the front of the museum. Others can be seen outside.

Welcome to Hell. Come for the rock, stay for the adventure.

Gothic Lolita has posed:
GL grouses a little at the briefing. She should be immune, because she's not human. Should be isn't is, so she just sighs and takes the gloves. They're going to clash with her dress, but that's her own fault. If she would, you know, wear pants once in a while, she might not have this problem. She at least decided to at least somewhat dress for the weather. A nearly knee-length, long sleeved skater dress, black tights and knee high combat-style boots. Plus a knee length wool peacoat for her to stuff the gloves in. She doesn't look too out of place.

She does barehand the cable down to the roof, because she's heavy enough to punch through the copper and would, in fact, make this -real- noisy. Instead, she creeps to one of the half moon windows and gives it a tug. She doesn't care if its locked. It pops open, and she slips inside quietly.

She probably should have looked for traps. Oops.

Achilles has posed:
    It's almost like Angelo planned ahead a little bit. He has a pair of latex gloves on already. Matte black colored of course, to match the color scheme for his outfit. A mostly skintight body suit with lightly armored plates here and there to reinforce it. The sleeves bulge a bit where he has his bracers under the outfit.

    He's been pretty quiet most of the way here, reading a Russian phrase book just to brush up on his linguistic skills. It has been several decades since he needed to know Russian. And language skills are certainly something that you lose if you don't use them.

    But on approach, he tucks the book into a side pocket and hefts his gear to triple check it. A composite material black bladed knife... sheathed, comm gear, tested. Nightvision visor for his light helmet, check. A pair of sidearms. One ICER, one FN Five-Seven. Both suppressed, ICER on the hip, and FN pistol in a chest cross-draw holster. It is not as if he wants to use either one. But he believes what his mother told him so long ago... and sure, it still translates from Ancient Greek well. . . "It is better to have and not need, than to need and not have."

    But when the gloves are passed his way, he slides on the kevlar lined gloves and stands, waiting his turn at the fast-rope drop... which he rides down like he's done it a million times before. Okay, maybe a few thousand. What? But either way, he reaches the rooftop with a graceful drop and lands almost without sound. He releases the line and moves towards the window, waiting to make sure everyone is down. And only then does he ease said entry point open and peer inside... just before dropping in. He is used to being on point. I mean it's kinda his schtick. Right?

Cael Becker has posed:
    Cael gave her own confirmation of the order, as she pulled on the offered gloves, a serious and determined expression on her features. "That means you, too, you know," she mutters under her breath - though the reason for that comment is probably not immediately obvious to any of those present.
    As the back of the Quinjet opens up, Cael rises to her feet - waiting her turn to snap onto the zipline with her safety harness. The slide down to the historical building is a thrill to the adrenaline junky - a smile breaking her features for a few moments. She hits the bottom of the zipline as she presses the release on her safety harness, neatly tucking into a roll, and them moving to the side to clear the space for the next member of the team to follow her down. Once she makes her way through the window Angelo had opened for them, her ICER comes out into her hand automatically and she looks along the hallway first one way, and then the other, gaze cautious as she searches for any signs of danger.

Jessica Drew has posed:
The mutant agent is as susceptible to cold as anyone. So, it's thermal underwear under the fiber carbon-woven tac gear and fingerless gloves for the outdoors with unique cutouts for her spinnerets. She hates helmets but wears one to resist the cold.

As is her habit while preparing for ops, she doesn't engage in friendly chit-chat, preferring to go over her gear and field maps. Time-permitting, she'll even catch a nap. The rumble of the jet can lull her to sleep upright in the jump seat harness.

She wears extra cartridges of both live and ICER ammo for the H&K pistol and for the modified P-90 she carries.

Nap time over, Jess hangs face-first into a blast of arctic air, getting a spider's eye view of the war zone they are dropping into. She has attached herself from the leg of a jump seat and lowers herself with the speed of a zipline enthusiast on a fun outing straight to the roof, then in through the moon-shaped window to land on the floor facing a magnificent example of Tundra fauna and two armed guards. The spider woman promptly ICERs, both of them not waiting on others to clear the room.

<<Clear>>she announces over coms.

Sam Wilson has posed:
    The sum totality of Sam's Russian starts and ends with "Ne strelyay, ya medik!" So, you know. This is definitely going to go well.

    He makes sure he has a pair of those gloves tucked into a pouch on his belt, and then he grabs a backup pair, which he stores inside of Redwing. Never hurts to be a little over-prepared, after all. And because Sam is a known face across the world, he's got someone else's face on today, via photostatic veil.

    No zipline drop needed for him, though. He glides down to the rooftop, landing in a picture-perfect superhero three-point landing. There isn't a lick of Falcon red on him tonight; it's all grey and black, a stealth suit, and he's careful to avoid running the advantages of that by just running around willy-nilly.

    So instead he creeps up to the edge of the museum's roof to take a quick glance down, across the street. Then he retreats, and reviews the footage from his goggles more carefully.

    "<<Tagging hostiles,>>" Agent Wilson announces over the encrypted comms, and Redwing separates from the wingpack. The drone slips immediately into stealth mode, running silent, as it climbs into the sky. For the immediate future it will remain there in overwatch mode, though nearby should extra firepower be needed.

    He follows Gothic Lolita in through the window.

Dottie Underwood has posed:
Can she speak her mother-tongue? Dottie snorts to herself and shakes her head. It has not been so very long. Not even a hundred years yet.

"Ne trogay volshebnyy kamen'," she says with a too sweet and dangerous smile. <<Don't touch the magic stone.>> She slides on the gloves and flexes her fingers. Well, won't this be interesting?

Once on the roof, Dottie draws her weapon. An ICER -- SHIELD still doesn't trust her with lethal bullets. Wise. And it doesn't make her any less deadly. After entering the building, she separates from the group, falling back into a deserted hallway. She operates best at a discrete distance.

Jane Foster has posed:
Gothic Lolita forces open the half-moon window with difficulty. The hinges are not oiled, eliciting a squeal when forced apart, she foils the heavy glass panel made to resist Siberian winter. A drop of about eight feet leads to the Siberian peoples display complete with elk. Agents passing over the curving roof can gather onto a narrow external ledge and slip in, though it leaves them momentarily visible from the street.

Inside is a little better, stretched out in a series of interconnected galleries that were probably fancy bedrooms for the elite noble family who lived here. Open archways open onto a broad, U-shaped hallway that leaves the middle oval open for dozens of wax statues placed chronologically in domestic scenes from early Russian settlement of Siberia. Peasants, farmers, herdsmen, and miners (hint: gulag workers) all remain frozen in time, caught threshing or weaving or being poor. Their blank eyes watch others coming.

It doesn't take Jessica's super-senses to hear the rattling below, grunts and snarls echoing up the staircases that lead down to the second floor.

Across Krasnyy Prospekt, the local government block has resisted a little better, though blood mars the barred doorway. Furtive movement in the higher floors mark the presence of terrified civilians looking down on a pair of shambling monsters lope up the road. The horrors kick up asphalt as they squeal and roar in completely incomprehensible gurgles.

Achilles has posed:
    "Do we know if ICER's can put these creatures down?" asks Angelo over comms, in a subvocalized whisper that comes clearly over the radios. He has his suppressed ICER sidearm out as he approaches the stairwell down. "If we -are- going down there, I suggest you let me go first. But so long as we're on the third floor, I suggest you all search this floor in teams. Nobody should be by themselves..."

    And he aims down the stairs, waiting and covering... just.. in ... case

Gothic Lolita has posed:
GoLo grimaces at the squealing hinges. Rank amateur level bull right there. if you have lovely windows, you should care for them. Regardless of her Opinions on Windows, she makes it inside, somehow managing to fall eight feet without crashing through the floor.

It's because she left the high heels at home and wore PROPER FOOTWEAR.

At the low light, she does a little internal adjustments to take in more ambient light so she can see better. All this mecha girl does is cheat. She frowns slightly, looking down the hallway. <<Yeah. I have no idea where to go.>>

Cael Becker has posed:
    "Together?" Cael asks Sam quietly, nodding her head towards a nearby room. She moves towards it, ready to help sweep the entire floor as quickly and methodically as possible, as she searches for the item.
    Deactivating her comms for a moment, she adds another quiet mutter under her breath, the remark seemingly directed to no one. "Remember, don't touch it. If you find the thing, come find me and let me know," she insists. Keeping her ICER aimed low in a ready position, she moves as quietly as she can through the rooms, checking all the cases they pass on one side of the room, and leaving whoever chose to accompany her to check the other side.

Jane Foster has posed:
Somewhere overhead, the Quinjet takes to a higher point and waits. Because that is the forlorn state of a pilot: patience.

<Getting bearings now.> Jane's voice over the comm link comes thanks to that there jet. <We don't have intelligence on where it ended up in the museum, only that W.A.N.D. and Ops are certain it never left. Pickup from the dead-drop happened at least twelve hours ago, but our mark never left the building. Security did not notice any thefts from the major exhibits. The first alarm went off after three metahumans exited via the main doors, and others followed.>

Isn't that comforting.

Jessica Drew has posed:
<<Let Angelo go first.>> confirms over coms, she is not a sadist but has been on enough operations with the man to know he can be quite literally a meat-shield.

Gothic Lotlita landing is loud to Jessica's ears as is a more sinister heavy shuffling sound, completely out of place in a building like this. <<We have intruders. At least two. Moving separately. Keep alert.>>

Before Angelo leaves the room, she grabs his arm and points to the doorway, mouthing a word that only he can hear. "I'll be on your six," she says tensely.

Sam Wilson has posed:
    The drop through the window isn't much for Sam either, with a small boost from the wingpack to slow his descent.

    ICER in hand, he nods once to Cael. Sam lets her take point, because they've been training together. Primarily with the wings, but either way it's training, which means they're gaining a level of familiarity with how each other operates.

    Though he's getting a lot of distracting information through Redwing's feed into his goggles, at least he can also use them for nightvision, which helps with the peering-into of dark corners and the like.

    "Oh look," Sam says, voice flat. He, too, has briefly turned off his mic so that it's just Cael (and, uh, maybe anyone with superhearing nearby) that he says this to. Right now, he's standing in front of a display of a small child. Digging. "Child labour. Quaint." His head shakes a little bit, but then, back on comms he says: "<<Nothing yet.>>"

    The footage from Redwing continues, and Sam frowns. "<<Weird that they're going after the buildings.>>"

Dottie Underwood has posed:
Dottie listens carefully, tracking the sounds of disturbances in the echoing hallways. Moving almost silently, she triangulates, letting the inhabitants track the noisier intruders. She isn't interested in the hostiles. She's interested in their source.

Gothic Lolita has posed:
GoLo takes a gander around. She starts to veer off the path, poking into a room full of art of peasants in various states of suffering and ---

"Ooo! Hats!"

She darts in real quick and comes back out with a gigantic Ushanka on her head that is far too big. She seems pleased though, as she catches back up with the group at large.

"On one hand, no rock. On the other, I got this great hat! It's payment for dealing with this."

She's gonna get a lecture.

Jane Foster has posed:
Galleries stretching into the darkness feature many mannequins posed in displays. Since most are life-sized, they look entirely real in the gloom. Easy to mistake the man holding up a hoe as real, or the taxidermied wolfhound poised to sniff as living. The brain aches to turn them into the living.

The shuffling around in the lower levels of the museum remains relatively constant. It fades for a few minutes, only to be accompanied by a muffled thud and a drawn out gurgle. Scrapes sound like something heavy dragged over polished wood floors similar to the ones in certain galleries. Whatever's down there continues to go about its business, punctuated by periods of eerie silence. The nearer one's sounds permeate the floor. The other grows fainter, or stiller. Hard to say which.

As the agents fan out, they view different aspects of Russian life. Some will be intimately familiar to children of the USSR, and Dottie faces the Forties and Fifties melted together into 'factory life' producing munitions and manufactured goods.

When Sam stops and Cael is nearby, a faint, soft whine briefly becomes audible below and far across the museum, kitty-corner to their location. One of the scrabbling sounds picks up, like a very large dog having zoomies on a parquetry floor.

Jessica Drew has posed:
Eyes on the agent that slipped out into the hallway ahead of them, Jessica checks both left and right before taking a left into Siberia's past. The first exhibit shows a Yakut village of tents with a family readying a sled to be pulled by reindeer, red-faced children dressed like their elders in pelts carry hides to be loaded on the waiting sled. Her Russian allows her to read the overhead caption: 19th Century Indigeneous Serfs at Work.

The next exhibit shows the interior of a dacha, a fake fire burning in a stove, a tea urn and a beautifully carved trunk that...Drew stops to listen. <<We have someone hiding in the 19th Century section>> she reports before grabbing hold of the ornate iron clasp and levering it open.

Achilles has posed:
    Everyone here has a use. Everyone has a function. Even if that use and function is trouble. Angelo is here to watch everyones' collective backsides, and not in a pervy way either. His task is to keep others safe. Even at the cost of his own flesh and blood.

    "We're in teams of two, yes? Everyone sound off. If I am to keep everyone safe, I need to know where you all are." he subvocalizes into his mic. He's not in command. But he has such an annoying tendency to behave as if he had some authority.

    "And for the love of all that is holy, please don't touch anything. We are here for one item, and only one item." he says as he catches sight of GoLo out of the corner of his eye.

    But whatever he is doing, he -is- continuing to be on guard duty, trying to make sure everyone is safe.

Jane Foster has posed:
Jess' adjacent gallery is dominated by piled up steamer trunks of the wealthy aristocrats and property owners who ventured east. Plenty of nailed down antiques to sit on, as well as the recreation of a first or second class railway car for the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Hauling open a trunk produces a whiff of sawdust, sweat, and rank fear from a younger man in a tracksuit and coat. His hands clutch at the lid in a vain attempt to pull it back down, and he blurts out incoherent fearful sounds in the heavily accented Siberian dialect of Russian. <<No, no. I don't want to die, don't hurt me!>> If pressed, he covers his arms over his face in a purely instinctive gesture of protection.

Not exactly quiet. Not exactly unlikely to rouse interest. A shrill, "glur-ur-ur!" ululates in movement, and the galloping horror comes racing for the staircase. Something wicked (and smelly) this way comes.

Cael Becker has posed:
    "Always a classic," Cael answers Sam in a dry but amused tone - a smile briefly flashing across her expression. She glances only briefly at each exhibit she passes - many of them seeming to focus on weaving, and prompting her to take her head slightly. Not her sort of thing.
    As she steps out of the room and heads towards the next, she briefly spots Gothic Lolita with her hat - her eyebrows going up before she remarks, "I don't think we're here to rob Mother Russia of her antiquities."
    She seems about to say more, but she falls silent instead, her head cocking to the side. "Sounds like something's having a bad day down there," she murmurs quietly. Honestly, she hopes they don't have to continue this search downstairs.
    <<"How many more rooms need clearing?">> she asks into the comm.

Sam Wilson has posed:
    It is with the deepest regret that Sam realizes he's the most senior agent on the ground. Jane can't deliver a lecture over comms--it just never holds enough weight.

    So as he and Cael return to the hallway, on their way to the next room, he spots Gothic Lolita. His eyes move up to the hat. Then back down to her face.

    Lucky for GL, though, the photostatic veil really takes the oomph out of Sam's 'I'm not angry, I'm just disappointed' expression. "Put it b--" he starts to say, but then there's a calamitous racket upon the stairs, and Sam spins.

    "<<Contact!>>" he reports, even as he begins to fire his ICER.

Dottie Underwood has posed:
Dottie stills, surveying the munitions display. A flimsy cabinet door moves a fraction of a millimeter, swaying in an unfelt breeze. In an instant, Dorothy Underwood stands before it, door ripped open. ICER levelled at whomever is inside. <<Talk. Now. Quietly. And you may survive this,>> she growls in a harsh whisper.

Gothic Lolita has posed:
GoLo makes no move to remove her hat. She takes all of the glares and frowning in stride as she moves to sweep a room close to the stairs. It's full of mining and animal husbandry. She wrinkles her nose.

"Humans are weird."

She does leave the hat atop the head of a stuffed sheep on her way back to the hall. Just in time for the call of 'Incoming'. She considers, cranking her limiter up. She's guesstimating, figuring how much juice she'll need to put these things down without making them go splat. She sets her feet and balls her hands into fists.

Waiting is the hardest part.

Achilles has posed:
    Well, lets start with something as quiet as possible. The moment the hybrid monster that looks like it was dredged up out of The Labyrinth ... but the one that involved LSD and other hallucinogens... becomes visible to him, Angelo begins firing his ICER. One. Two. Yes, it's a double-tap. Fortunately, due to the advanced suppressor, it only makes a mild coughing noise rather than a loud firearm report.

    The fact is, he's been posted there the whole time, doing nothing but watching for monsters coming up the stairs. So as the first one falls, he keeps his aim downstairs, "I got this." he subvocalizes."

Jessica Drew has posed:
Jessica snorts at the sight of Gothic Lolita in her hat. Let brass rein her in if they want.

<<Do you hear that? Like hooves on marble? If I didn't know better I'd say someone let out a herd of goats? Reindeer?>

Motioning for the scared man to stay in his trunk, "Stoy i derzhis' podal'she, yesli khochesh' zhit'" "Stay down and stay out of the way if you want to live."

Gun raised she goes out into the hallway in time to see Angelo and Sam engage a three eyed mountain goat on steroids. With a flip of her wrist, she snakes a web around its feet. <Just in case.>

Jane Foster has posed:
The Quinjet doing recon equally means preparing to deal with something on the ground, if something happens towards the museum doors. Jane's gaze lies on the heat signatures of the agents, tracked by infrared measures. <I'm tracking the other at seventy-five yards from you, second floor. It's halted among the paleolithic and Ice Age life exhibits.>

No, she's not the one responsible when on the ground since, in field operations, there literally is an Avenger with tactical experience. Trust in Sam Wilson is rarely a bad thing to have. <We're circling over the roof still, no contact thus far. The phone systems in the city appear to be deliberately down, guessing Moscow wants to keep this quiet.> Imagine why.

The churt comes barrelling up the stairs, throwing its horned head around. In the low light, its hide blends well, not that it helps avoid Gothic Lolita's sensors. It almost eagerly lunges, sweeping its bony head to try and knock her aside. That won't go well, but it gives Angelo a chance to take a shot. Sparks of blue roll over the creature, which at nine feet hunched and roughly the size of a bull, isn't /small/. Neither is the first shot doing more than making it stumble, the second boiling over its tough hide. Next comes Sam's bleeding blue, creating a weird ripple as the toxin sinks in, and the great heap crashes forward, making unholy noises.

Dottie's gesture reveals a scrawny dirty-blonde girl in a shapeless green polo, one of the museum staff. Clearly she's injured, blood matted in a cut at her scalp and bruises blackening one eye totally shut. Some haphazard effort to make her bloody lips move in a whisper resolves to battered Russian, <<Are they back? The people came back? Not the churt or the angry domovoi?>>

Gothic Lolita has posed:
The big goat-thing tries to ram GoLo. This won't go well for it. It impacts the mecha, and it is strong enough to move her, the soles of her boots squealing on the tile of the floor. She just looks grumpy.

"You," she says sourly. "Are going to ruin my dress, and I am so tired of that!

The mecha draws one of those fists back and drives an efficient, and brutal, body blow at the churt. She holds back. She has to because these are alledgedly people. Still, she's probably at about a 3.5 Captain Americas on the strength scale right now. Hopefully she doesn't just eviscerate this thing.

Jessica Drew has posed:
Super abilities have their good and bad sides. The churt's stink is overpowering as she walks up to it and adds more webbing, taking care to bind its feet.

"Ewww," she whispers, not wanting to be overheard by the other agents. She had heard two moving in the building earlier.

<<Number two is still out there. Underwood, what did you find?>>

Drew takes a few steps backward, gun raised to look in on the man she had told to stay down.

Achilles has posed:
    Okay. One down. Angelo turns his weapons down the stairs. Three shots. It takes three. Next time he'll pull the trigger four times. He traverses the smoking barrel of his suppressed ICER back over the stairs as he subvocalizes once more, "Keep searching. Let's hope it -is- on this floor." he says. "Keep moving." he adds.

Jane Foster has posed:
The ghastly amounts of drool pouring from the monster's maw, and then its face, are certain to stain Gothic Lolita's dress for the moments while it can raise its head and shriek. Gurgling becomes louder, wetter, spewing quite a bit of muck for as long as it can raise its head to turn bewildered reddish goat eyes on her. The punch sends it lolling over to the side, webbed in place. Truly, it's a misery.

Huntsmen stare blindly along with reindeer, sheep, and the occasional taiga deer. The miners in their sea of stony walls and rich seams are hunched over, as though hiding. Helpful Cyrillic signs identify their helpful plunder to either side of the staircase where SHIELD has downed the hideous churt. But they aren't alone.

Sam Wilson has posed:
    The face Sam is wearing for this mission doesn't so much as flinch at the appearance of the transformed creature coming up the stairs. It's down, and only then does Sam allow himself to shudder a little bit.

    He knows what the 0-8-4 they're after can do, so he's sympathetic. But he is also human, and these sorts of things unnerve him. No matter how many alien invasions he lives through, it'll probably remain that way.

    "<<Okay, I'm going to clear the next room. Sounds like we're finding civilians in here?>>" Off he goes, ICER aimed forward, tentative steps as he continues the search.

Gothic Lolita has posed:
"Grooooooooss!" GoLo whines as the thing drools on her nice coat and dress and tights and everything. "Ugh. This is all dry clean only, asshole!"

At least it's not on fire. She goes through more dresses that way.

Now she's mad. Really mad. She starts to go down the stairs. Alone.

Dottie Underwood has posed:
<<Nothing useful>> Dottie murmurs over coms. Then she fixes her eyes on the girl. <<I have seen no one but you. What people? Describe them.>>

Cael Becker has posed:
    Cael has Sam's six this time, trailing after him with her ICER still drawn. That //thing// had been alarming - but honestly, no more alarming than many of the things she's seen of late.
    "Room looks clear," she remarks quietly, turning briefly on her heels, and then sweeping down the opposite side of the room as they check the various exhibits. She could feel the tension between her shoulders growing the longer this all drags on.

Jane Foster has posed:
<You've got a team of four circling the entrance, look to be drawn by the noise.> Jane's warnings come with the irritation of leaning forward in her seat and reviewing the selection of options there for the Quinjet. No flares, flashbangs, or other options against monstrosities. However, she does have one option, courtesy of one Thor Odinson. <Heads up, it's going to get loud.>

They might hear it, about a minute or two later.

//November Rain// pours out from a radio tumbling lightly into a fountain, a little ways down. Guns N Roses is loud. Very loud. A cascade of furious shrieks follows.


<<The patrons. They were looking at t-the gems and t-t-the stones. Vassily was letting them hold everything,>> the girl whispers, lisping heavily, trying to form the words at Dottie. <<Vassily turned. Red. Horns. The others went br-br-brown like churts, and I ran...>>

They might hear it, if Dottie's comm link is close enough. The gentleman stuck in the steamer trunk, likewise, stays down, muttering to himself. Truly he's not up to dying today, not when there's a giant horror that's barrelling through the skeletons of mastodons and mammoths and pygmy rhinos.

Jessica Drew has posed:
Mutations. Drew knows about them intimately. She clenches her jaws, trying not to gag at the idea that the thing they just downed had been a human, maybe with a wife and children, a job. She takes a sharp breath to rein in her imagination.

Backing into the room, she finds the man has risen to stand in his trunk. In Russian, "What were you hiding from? Stay where you are, or I will make you stay there, and you won't like it."

He raises a knee to get out. "Up to you," Jess extends her left arm, and a glimmering strand of silk hits the box he is standing in to demonstrate what she means.

Achilles has posed:
    Here we go again. Angelo takes steady aim. He can hear the next monster on its way up the stairs and literally, he has it timed flawlessly. He fires, and as the monster comes into view, the first ICER hits it. Then ICER rounds two, three, and four. He keeps firing until the thing drops. Just in case.

    Down on one knee, he has fire discipline enough to not panic. To not have his hand shaking. To simply do the job, the task, the duty at hand and to be ready for the next one when that one is finished.

Sam Wilson has posed:
    "<<Okay folks, let's move. The longer we're stuck here the more potential for discovery.>>" Sam nods once at Cael to acknowledge the switch of position, and then he heads forward into the area on... well.

    He can't read the signage but judging by the displays, it's about mining. So many rocks. So many. This is going to take a while.

    He lowers his ICER as he sweeps through each display, eyes narrowed behind his goggles. "Come on, come on, where are you," he mutters.

    Then the music starts up outside, and his chin lifts. "<<I bet that bought us some time,>>" he comments. "<<We're in the mining section, if it's here it's mixed in with the displays. Need another set of eyes at least.>>"

Dottie Underwood has posed:
<<Where?>> Dottie asks her. <<Which exhibit?>> She has not lowered her weapon.

Jane Foster has posed:
<<The miners? Far end.>> The bruised girl doesn't even laugh, clutching her side. Breathing too hard hurts, it truly does. <<By the stair. They were all made into churt and domovoi. I saw their bodies twist...>>

The gallery of mining materials is where Sam digs, surrounded by stones and baskets of coal spilled out, tossed equipment. It ranges from the humble like picks and shovels scattered along the tunnel to a cell phone, a discarded sneaker, and someone's lost keys.

Cael Becker has posed:
    "You think it got mixed up in all this?" Cael asks - letting out a sigh. She keeps to the opposite side as Sam - nudging any rocks that look about like the description with the barrel of her ICER - trying to flip them to check both sides. If they could just find this thing and get clear...
    She keeps her steps as quiet as she can - hoping not to attract unwanted attention, and only briefly distracted by the sound of Guns and Roses. She smirks in amusement, then goes back to the search.

Gothic Lolita has posed:
Gothic Lolita marches down the stairs to the next rampaging churt. She ups her strength just a little bit more. Her eyes shift into the all black with the glowing orange symbol in the middle as Angelo unloads on the beast.

She does too.

She almost seems to flicker as she charges in, grabbing the beast by one horn before she starts jackhammering it in the midsection. Hopefully she holds back enough that it doesn't die.

After her final punch, she skids backwards, shoving the thing towards the ground. Hopefully it stays there.

Jessica Drew has posed:
<<Copy that, Sam. I might web this guy in so he stays put. He was trying to leave." Then, impatient with the man not answer, she makes a circling motion like directing an orchestra and webs him to the trunk.

"Hope nobody comes and gets you." That said over Angelo's shots and the thud of punches as Gothic Lolita stops another churt.

The agent walks rapidly out into the hallway on Sam's trail. She comes on him, going through debris and crouches down next to him to search for the 0-8-4.

"Something went really wrong, didn't it? Were these people supposed to be changed, or was it a bad accident like Chernobyl?"

Jane Foster has posed:
This churt, bulging arms and twisted back, looks nothing human. Strikes from Gothic Lolita cleave her fist into its leathery hide, splitting, spilling bloody gore. Flashes from Angelo's ICER discharge into the convulsing figure that rises above the petite woman of disturbing strength, haloing them in flashes tinged whitish-blue. It's only appropriate to mingle with the rhapsodized bars of power metal bleating out of the radio in its last moments before angry monsters outside destroy the thing.

The churt collapses unconscious, an ugly turn of affairs.

Plenty of digging among the various fallen stones creates something of a problem, as Sam's goggles flash off something bright and then edging a basket out of the way displays an unimpressive polished stone just lying there, innocent, face-down. No trouble at all. Cael's arm is inches away. Jessica does not need spider sense to know rock is bad. It matches the black-and-white photo.

Banging from the steamer chest where Jess' friendly neighbourhood stowaway is now webbed grows loud and fraught. <<I did nothing wrong! I was hiding from them! Let me out, let me out.>> His attempts to be heard are rather muffled, but at least he's not too hard to find later.

Achilles has posed:
    Six rounds fired. Fourteen left in the magazine. "Lolita, it makes it incredibly difficult for me to do my job if you charge into close combat while I am trying to fire." Angelo says calmly. "Might I request that you join me and we both use ICER's?"

    He sighs and shakes his head, and then subvocalizes into the comms, "We find it yet?"

Gothic Lolita has posed:
GoLo just stares at Angelo with her inhuman black and orange eyes. "You don't have to worry about hitting me," she says before she looks back at the thing on the ground. "That gun literally can't hurt me. ... Though it would ruin my dress, I suppose," she concedes.

She shakes her hand to dislodge blood and gore before moving back to join the crew. "I mean, I won't even mind if you hit me with a stray shot. It's the price of doing business as a mecha," she says way, way too cheerfully.

Dottie Underwood has posed:
Dottie finally pulls her ICER away from the girl's face. <<Don't come out until after the noises stop>> Dottie tells her, closing the cupboard door.

She exits quietly. The miners exhibit. The far end. The rocks and stones. It's a start.

"Look near the baskets," she says, as she sweeps in. "Something patrons would have passed around."

"And watch out for Vassily," she warns with a smirk.

Achilles has posed:
    "Not the point. If I am hitting you, then I am -not- hitting the target. Please work -with- me rather than against me." suggests Angelo.

Sam Wilson has posed:
    "Becker, don't move," Sam says, and he takes his off-hand from his ICER to hold it out to Cael. "I can see it and you're right next to it."

    As he steps closer to her, his hand remains extended, like he's trying to soothe an angry beast--though in this situation it's actually the inanimate rock he's concerned about--and he grabs Cael by the elbow, pulling her away.

    Look, even Sam himself doesn't try to pick it up. Gloves? Not enough, in his book. A tap at his gauntlet and within moments the soft hum of Redwing's engine announces the drone's arrival. "<<Drew, can I get some webbing around this thing before Redwing grabs it?>>" He glances out towards the hallway where the rest of the team is guarding them from any other entities trying to make their way towards them.

Cael Becker has posed:
    The response to 'Becker, don't move,' gets an immediate response - Cael puts her foot back down right where it //had// been a moment before - that was obviously a safe spot, but other than that, she remains still. She lets Sam draw her back, and then seeing he's got things covered, she takes a few more steps back. "You guys retrieve the package - I'll help provide cover," she promises, moving back towards the door, to watch for any signs of approaching trouble, while adding into her comms, <<"Wilson has eyes on the package. Retrieval in process. Ready for pick-up momentarily.">>

Jessica Drew has posed:
There /it/ is. "Um." Drew freezes like Sam uncovered a deadly cobra. In a low flat voice, she responds, "Yep, I can wrap it and put it in something. Nothing should get near it."

She rises to search through the debris, hoping the artifact is singular. She comes up with a miner's tin cup, which she places next to the stone.

"I'll put it in here. Stand back in case I don't manage this right."

Arm extended she hovers her wrist to drop a near-invisible strand of webbing onto the object. It appears to levitate until she lowers her arm. The object rattles loosely in the cup. Passing her hand back and forth stitches the top closed with more webbing. "That should hold it."

Jane Foster has posed:
A cup wrapped in spiderweb produces no danger to anyone whatsoever, surely. They still have it, while the howling and wailing outside is a distant, quiet sound.

<If you have it, we're circling. Take the window directly opposite the one you entered, we can get a line down.> Jane again, largely monitoring the hubbub and for any signs of law enforcement. <We have a containment unit aboard. Exfil ready in sixty seconds.>

Achilles has posed:
    Okay. Got it. "Hold here then." Angelo suggests to Lolita as he turns and makes for that window. He gets it open and then turns to play rear guard. Subvocalizing he says, "Exit secured. Everyone out. I leave last."

Sam Wilson has posed:
    From the bottom of Redwing's chassis, a mechanical arm lowers, with a small gripping attachment. Then, like anyone who has taken hold of a pair of tongs, said gripping attachment snaps open and closed a couple of times.

    Click click click.

    "<<Agent Drew has secured the package. We're sending it up with Redwing now.>>" And of course Sam does not abandon his metal bird son to make this dangerous journey alone. Once the drone has grabbed hold of the object in its web and tin container, it tucks Maybelline into its storage compartment. Then it's happily flying away, Agent Wilson on Redwing's six. He glances back to acknowledge the team that, in turn, is covering his back as he escorts Redwing to the rendezvous point for pickup. "<<Moving out!>>"

Gothic Lolita has posed:
GoLo huffs a little, her eyes going back to normal. Nothing to see here, just a young woman in a ... demon-drooled upon coat and dress. Ugh. Dry cleaning! Angelo opens the window for the exfil, and the mecha waits, counting down the sixty seconds in her head, keeping watch in case something else needs punched.

When the minute is up, the mecha waits her turn to jump out the window and snag the line up. She considered waiting out Angelo, but decided it's not worth the pain in her ass that the lecture on the way out would be.

Cael Becker has posed:
    Cael moves up onto the roof for extraction, nodding to Angelo as she passes the man. She pulls herself up onto the roof, grabbing one of the lines, and securing it to her safety harness. <<"Becker ready for exfil,">> she states into the comm, holstering her weapon for the ride up. They got the object. None of the agents were injured - it was a good mission.

Jessica Drew has posed:
<Copy that, Agent Wilson.> On a suspicion, Drew returns to the room that she last saw Dottie in.

"Come with me," spoken in a level voice and a gesture to the door. Drew waits for Dottie to proceed her, ready to force the issue if necessary. Then, she follows the others down the hall to where Angelo waits to provide cover.

With a nod, she points Dottie to the window.

-Twip- a single web shot brings the line closer to the window to allow the women to easily egress.

Another twip of web, she drops out of the window, confident that it will take her weight. After entering the jet, she waits at the entrance peering downward.

Jane Foster has posed:
The Quinjet maintaining stealth is a bit of a difficult thing with a long set of lines trailing behind it like an evil American man-o'-war. Snapping hold of one of those means an automated reel pulling in the agents lucky enough to clasp hold, and kevlar-infused gloves definitely help. They're picked off in reverse while the oblivious churts don't look up much. Not unless someone shouts.

Redwing may be the first to get home, brought to a box. The box has wards all over it, thus something that looks like an infernal child's toy, where the sticky miner's cup ends up trapped. The lid snaps shut and eleven people sprawl out in the middle of Krasnyy Prospekt.

Then come the agents, one by one, free to stagger to a seat and wait.

And hope the Winter Guard got lost on the Ob.

Achilles has posed:
    Last up is Angelo, stepping onto the deck plate and releasing the line before tapping the intercom twice to give a double squelch. Basically the same as a racecar mechanic slapping the hood twice. Go baby go. That done, he flops into a seat and just... sits for now.