981/It's time for Science!

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It's time for Science!
Date of Scene: 04 April 2020
Location: Fantastic Four Inc. - Four Freedoms Plaza
Synopsis: There was much deliberation over a data crystal with more work to be done!
Cast of Characters: Valeria Richards, Daniel Hastings




Valeria Richards has posed:
Science!

There's always some sort of science going on at Four Freedoms Plaza. There are fifty floors of science. Well. Forty-nine. Sue did request that they manage to keep the living quarters free of...as much science as is possible in this particular family.

Valeria's current project doesn't //look// like much. Whatever it is, it has to be worked on through a microscope, with very fine-tipped tools. The lab coat doesn't exactly go with the sweatpants and the over-sized t-shirt, but hey. She actually ate breakfast this morning, which puts her ahead of her father.

Daniel Hastings has posed:
    Agent Hastings had called ahead. He had a .. trinket.. that he wanted to share so long as there was quid pro quo. It also involved science. Because what doesn't really? And so, having given some degree of warning, Daniel simply steps out of nothingness and appears in the lab nearish the door. Not too close, of course, delicate work does not need startling. Which means he also gives a light rapp on the door frame with his knuckles as he further announces his presence with a cough, "Good afternoon, Miss Richards." The way he says it.. he's not being ageist so much as.. decorously polite? He is from the forties and a society influenced by England more than the casual US.

Valeria Richards has posed:
"Hey," Valeria calls back without looking up, a cheerful note in her voice. "One second, just..." There's a faint smell of ozone as she solders something into place then pushes back her chair, rubbing the back of her hand over her eyes and blinking owlishly to refocus on the distance.

"Hey," she says again after, this time with a quick smile. "I see you made it. I'm not going to ask how," she adds, amused, as she hops off of her stool. "So, what's this you wanted me to take a look at?"

Daniel Hastings has posed:
    Daniel gives a thumb over his shoulder. "I started to use the stairs but.. seriously.. who takes forty flights and gets there in the same lifetime?" Then he moves further into the lab, taking a look around the space. "All yours?" There's a show of appreciation in a nod. "I share a space with a fellow named Branson. He's a nice enough fellow but every time I get inspired.. he wants coffee and seems to think I can just nip down for a fresh cup in a flash. Which.. I can.. but one of these days I'm going to nip HIM down to the cafeteria."

    Daniel steps forward and.. offers his hand somewhat awkwardly as he realizes they're already introduced. So he takes his hand back. Then realizes well.. should he offer it anyway? Oh good grief. He just lets it hang there in case she choses to and then laughs. "How've you been?"

Valeria Richards has posed:
"Not //all// me, but I've got a few irons in the fire," Valeria says with a crooked smile, looking over the lab space. "Luckily, there's no shortage of space here. And even if there is, we've got tricks for that too." The smile deepens, the corners of her eyes crinkling with a laugh. "We kind of tend to have the opposite problem here, honestly. I think Mom's got a schedule for whose turn it is to make sure the scientists have eaten a meal."

Seeing the outstretched hand, she reaches out for a spare lab coat, passing it over to fill the awkwardness. "I'm doing all right. Working on a sort of...personal space bubble right now. Kind of inspired by Mom's powers, but I figure if I can get that figured out, they might worry less. How about you? Any interesting secrets?"

Daniel Hastings has posed:
    Lab coat. Daniel dips his chin to her in thanks and exchanges his jacket for the coat. She'll note that while his jacket has some odd weight in it (likely from pocket items) he's not wearing a gun.. though handcuffs are present at the small of his back. "Thank you." He offers as he slips the white garment over his frame. "I very much appreciate the attention to detail." Referring to the meal schedule. "It reminds me of my days back at Oxford. Long hours. Chalkboards with endless scribbles." Another chuckle. "Though now those are replaced with touchless projector screens. Much less chalk to get on the clothing." His attention turns to where she was working as she mentions the space bubble. "Force field.. or some manner of distortive device?" Yes. Cat. Easily distracted. "Oh! Yes! The trinket. One moment." And then he moves back to where he'd hung the jacket and fishes out a crystaline disk in a metalic frame. "So.. this is a Kree memory core. I imagine I have two options. One.. build the interface to current operating systems. Which since I'm still learning the various machine languages available is going to be a bloody pain. Or.. come to my new best friend who might already have one." He winks. "In exchange, all I ask is that I get a copy of the star charts I made certain were in them."

Valeria Richards has posed:
"Something like that, yeah. I've been playing around with different ways to accomplish the same thing. It just becomes a question of what it's most important to block, of course." Valeria catches herself before she goes too deep into her thoughts on personal protection, hands going into the pockets of her lab coat.

While she holds herself back, the excitement of alien technology is hard to hide. She's definitely interested. "Kree?" she asks, taking a step forward, hands fluttering as she //almost// reaches for it. "I think we've seen a few pieces. But it's usually not intact. Is it intact?"

Daniel Hastings has posed:
    "Thankfully, the holes that were put in my ship were mostly in the engine." Daniel offers wryly. "Which is to say the computer core is intact. The flight control systems. The problem, of course, is getting it to fly." He nods then. "But yes. That crystal is intact. So far as I can tell. I examined it with an electron miscroscope and couldn't find any cracks. Now it's just a matter of retrieving the data. It's a civilian ship so I doubt you'll find any military secrets in it."
    Extending his hand, Daniel passes it over, "I'll need it back of course. Lest someone in the office realize its missing."

Valeria Richards has posed:
Valeria is quick to take the crystal itself, bringing it over to a different station for a closer inspection. "I've got no interest in military secrets," she waves a hand dismissively. "Fun fact, humans are some of the most ridiculously creative creatures in the cosmos when it comes to military ideas. Seriously. We really don't need help on that front."

Putting on a pair of safety goggles, she sets the core down to add gloves to the equation. "Your ship, you said? You had a Kree ship?"

Daniel Hastings has posed:
    "I can assure you that humans don't have the market cornered on creative ways to kill another sentient." Daniel offers with a sigh as he follows her over to the station. "Which, unfortunately, means the likes of SHIELD and the Avengers are necessary in the event that Earth becomes a.. planet of interest." It's probably the only reason he's still an Agent. "Had.. well.. I'll be honest. I stole it. Once I'd gotten food taken care of, I learned the language. Then I studied every avenue I can think of for getting my hands on a vessel. Let me tell you, it's not easy when everything is controlled by a centralized Artificial Intelligence. I had to find a vessel that was pirated. It also meant that when I took off.. the local constabulary were looking for it."

Valeria Richards has posed:
"The local constabulary," Valeria chuckles, mostly to herself. "You know, it sounds very civilized when you put it that way. The language part will certainly be useful. Can you tell me about it?"

She doesn't look at him for now - she's definitely distracted by the puzzle of the core, setting it under a magnifying glass to get a closer look, flipping on a light. "The structure of the language can tell us something about how they think, which can probably contribute to figuring out how to link it up with our systems. Also, what do they use for power? We could try various sources, it's just that then again we have to worry about frying it, which would be bad."

Daniel Hastings has posed:
    "Ahh. Tell? Certainly. Though you might want to take notes.." Daniel gives her a side eye as if wondering if she's eidetic. He wouldn't call himself eidetic.. but some have. "At least, I won't be able to just plug a wire into my skull and download a primer on the Kree language. So.. call it an excuse to break for tea and I'll be happy to start teaching you the language." Thankfully, with two briliant minds in the room, he doesn't expect the process to take very long.

    "As for power, plasma seems to drive most of their systems so the core should function by some manner of electron induction.. if high energy. The downside, of course, being that if you use too much energy you could well decouple the crystal matrix which is the framework for storage." He's at least gotten some idea how the crystal is constructed since he looked at it at a nearly atomic level. "If you look at the ring surrounding the crystal, you can see the mounting points. There's four of them with a fifth that has a multipoint connector. I suspect that's the data junction." He reaches out of reflex to point at where he means. The ports are barely visible to the naked eye though the magnifying glass makes them easy to see.

Valeria Richards has posed:
"Ah, perfect. I think we can hook this up fairly easily," Valeria nods. "Then yes, it's the matter of an operating system. But we can definitely build something for that. Of course, you mentioned they're run by an artificial intelligence, so we'll definitely want to make sure we keep the system quarantined. The last thing we need is to release a Kree artificial intelligence into the internet or something."

Notes? It's not so much that Valeria has an eidetic memory. It's more that she grasps things quickly enough that she has a solid understanding before she needs to reference any notes. "Out of curiosity, if you don't think there are military secrets on it, what do //you// want it for?" she asks, finally looking back to him.

Daniel Hastings has posed:
    Blink. "Because.. there's a wealth of information there.. other worlds.. other cultures.. planets.. solar systems.. galaxies.. locations of jump gates.." Daniel points at the crystal as if it might as well be the holy grail for his existence. "I'm an astrophysicist, Miss Richards. That.. crystal.. is the jumping point for the entire rest of my life. Why? Because I want to generate an algorithm that translates /that/ data in correlation to EARTH and not the Kree homeworld of Halla. I want to put us on a map. So that we know who's out there. So that we can get that much closer to understanding our universe." He'd carry on but.. he's really hoping she gets it.

    His hand drops back to his side. "I'm not at all keen on that information just sitting in some SHIELD database somewhere collecting dust, either. The sooner we realize that we're a tiny drop in the collective bucket of existence.. the sooner we can maybe get this idea that political boundaries are just holding us back. We need a centralized planetary government and quickly if we're ever to respond to an assault as a society. Short of superheroes doing the heavy lifting." As they always seem to.

Valeria Richards has posed:
"Jump gates," Valeria echoes, brows rising as a bright smile lights up her features. "I assume those are exactly what they sound like. Some sort of...either teleportation device, or accelerator so that you don't have to actually, physically //travel// the distance between galaxies? It's the most sensible thing, if you can make it work."

His explanation seems to resonate, her smile crooked as she nods. "I get it. I mean. All of this..." She gestures around herself. "This came from people wanting to see more of what was out there. To go into space and explore the stars. We're those kinds of people."

As if that's an actual kind of people.

Daniel Hastings has posed:
    It is most assuredly a kind of people. Daniel would have been an astronaut if such a thing had existed in his time. Instead.. he became the first human to touch alien soil quite by accident. He points at her. "Yes." He approves heartily. "Yes, you are." Then he grins. "And so am I. And.. that's why I brought it to you. You get it. At least, I hoped you would. And you do. So.." He stops babbling and just lifts his palms to reinforce your gesturing about them.

    "But yes. Jump gates. I was heading for one with a route programmed for Earth into the computer." Daniel pauses to let that sink in a moment. "Yes. The Kree know about Earth. Have apparently been here before. Have.. deemed us not worthy of attention. But that was years and years ago. Imagine what they might think if they find thousands of metahumans, technologies advancing in leaps and bounds beyond what is.. a fairly stagnant society. The Supreme Intelligence, as they call it, runs a nigh galaxy spanning military force. I've read tales of them eradicating populations for less."

Valeria Richards has posed:
"Well, they wouldn't be the first to try," Valeria points out. "But that doesn't mean we shouldn't keep an eye out, of course. But it isn't as though we can make Earth disappear from //their// systems. You know, even if - when - we figure this out and get the charts set up, you're not going to get very far without a ship." She grins, propping her chin up in one hand in her best attempt at looking innocent.

Daniel Hastings has posed:
    "No.. but forewarned is fore armed." Daniel rebutts somberly. "The Kree have been at war with a number of species for a long time. The Skrull, for instance, have been a thorn in their side for a long time.. and apparently ours as well since they can shapeshift. Captain Marvel indicated that the Skrull aren't exactly our friends either. But.. that's for another day."

    Her last words get him to smile slyly, "I was going to settle for a telescope for now. Perhaps something that works well with my.. particular abilities. My biggest issue right now is that.. I can generally handle anything global in scope or scale.. get as far as the moon.. but to try to view something much further away? Takes far too much time, focus and energy for me to get anything out of it other than black sky and stars. I know.." He lifts a hand and clenches an energetic fist. "I know I could get a better look at our own planets.. if I could just.. focus faster?" He lowers his hand and looks to her in a semidefeated fashion. "If that makes sense?"

Valeria Richards has posed:
"And then you get the time issue," Valeria points out. "Even with a telescope, by the time the //light// of seeing it gets to you, things have changed. Sounds dangerous. Sounds like you need a ship." She grins, straightening up and moving to a different station. "Anyhow, I'm sure we've got something plasma based here. I just have to remember the last project we worked on with those sorts of requirements, rig up something for a connection, then we'll need to build the linguistic database..."

Daniel Hastings has posed:
    "You forget, dear dear Valeria Richards, that I have a cheat for that." Daniel dared to use her first name as an impish grin appeared on his face. Without looking, he extended an arm and then closed his fingers around a beaker that was on a desk at the other end of the lab. His arm didn't stretch like Reed's would. No, he simply closed his fingers and took hold of an item far away as if it were actually right there in his grasp. Which it is. Now. And not on the desk. He offers it to her as proof of what just happened.

    "All I need is for the telescope to be able to.. help me scan faster?" Daniel has a concept. Making it into reality is going to be hard. Especially since what he did just violated all laws of physics. "Maybe I'm spitting in the wind. All I know is that every time I try to.. let go and focus on the vast.. I /really/ let go and almost lose myself to.. everywhere." He finds a stool and sits on it heavily. "It's not an experience I want to repeat."

Valeria Richards has posed:
"Point being," Valeria says as she takes the beaker, "That you still need a ship." She winks, setting it aside. "By which I mean once we get this figure out, you should definitely not travel alone. Always take a team. I make an excellent science officer," she grins, giving her stool a spin. "Besides, who else are you going to bring? SHIELD? Definitely not the way to not start an interstellar war."

Daniel Hastings has posed:
    Okay, now it sets in. "So what you're telling me is that I should be bothering your dad with this and turning it into a family project?" Daniel looks askance. "Because.. right now I'm trying to keep this subtle. Like.. no headlines.. no SHIELD.. no.. well.. okay I've told /you/ but you had this way of getting under my skin that made me think you were the right person for the job. So.. you cheated. Somehow." He wags accusatory finger her way. "Anyway, I /just/ got back to Earth. I'm not quite ready to leave it." A beat. "Yet."

Valeria Richards has posed:
"I'm not saying that. Exactly." Valeria tries to keep a straight face, but a grin keeps trying to break loose in the process. "Besides, Dad's got like a million other things he's working on, while I am an underappreciated genius with no one to answer to but myself." A beat. "And kind of my parents, but again, Dad is easily distracted and Mom's busy keeping //him// in line, so. There's some wiggle room there."

"All I'm saying is that space travel isn't the sort of thing you should do on your own, whenever you get around to it," she waves a hand. "And you should think about who might be watching when you do, if you're worried about keeping things peaceful."

Daniel Hastings has posed:
    Daniel pauses. Looks up ever so slightly. Then back to Valeria. "Should I be worried that your father is going to shoot me with some manner of particle weapon for planting the idea of interstellar travel into his daughter's head?" This is not exactly the angry father scenario that plays out in movies. Welcome to the Fantastic Four? "Not that I disagree with you. But.. I can survive in a vacuum. Much to my surprise, of course." He squints a little. "Are you telling me you've developed a cloaking device? Because that would be phenomenal. Not that we don't have that technology but its fairly limited in scope within SHIELD. It would need to cover broad spectrum EM and.. going into those details is classified. So.." He smirks with a twinkle in his eye.

    Daniel takes a moment and scratches the side of his neck. "How.. about we start with the primer.. the map.. stellar database.. and.. before I go make your /mother/ angry.." Because she's more important. "we then discuss a jump gate interface of some kind."

Valeria Richards has posed:
"Right. My father, who built a rocket for the express purpose of going to space, is going to assume anyone had to //give// me the idea to go to space," Valeria smirks. "Also, you're assuming I haven't been," she notes. "As it happens, I'm perfectly capable of piloting several different types of crafts. Through atmosphere, water, dimensions..."

She trais off, then shrugs, turning back to the magnifying glass to get another look at the core. "But you're right, one step at a time. I'm just planning ahead. For the different kind of fun part."

Daniel Hastings has posed:
    There's a moment where Daniel almost looks like he's going to object. About. Well. His mouth opens. And darned if nothing comes out. His finger lifted. Then.. lowered. "Alright, I'm sold. Never let it be said that an intrepid Richards is willing to go somewhere that a commander in Her Majesty's Naval Air Corp was afraid to go." A beat. "Retired. Officially. But still." He folds his arms across his chest and seems to study her for a moment.

    "Do you like tea?" Daniel inquires out of the blue. "As opposed to coffee. Which is your preference." Oh his brain is cranking alright. Maybe he's just used to stimulating it with caffeine. Either way, he moves towards the station where she's looking at the crystal and leans on a nearby cabinet.

Valeria Richards has posed:
"Are you officially retired, or officially dead?" Valeria asks, arching a brow with a teasing smile. Reaching into a drawer at her side, she pulls out a pad of graphing paper and a pencil, starting to sketch a copy of the core and scribbling a few notes and calculations next to it.

"Tea, coffee, soda," she lists, shrugging comfortably. "I'm good with all of them. Kind of depends on the situation, you know? You need caffeine?" she asks, looking up from the glass. "I can send HERBIE to the kitchen."

Daniel Hastings has posed:
    "Touchee, Miss Richards." Daniel taps his nose. "Though thankfully, SHIELD worked a little magic and revived me from the dead. Bureaucratically speaking. The Navy felt it best that I not be reinstated given the issues of chain of command, policies.. myriad other concerns. Director Fury felt that I was still an asset considering my.. abilities. Otherwise, I'm sure they'd have retired me as well." He shrugs. "Still. I received a brevet promotion from leftenant to leftenant commander upon my death in service to His Majesty.. so that's a nice pad in my monthly." There's a laugh at that.

    "I'm afraid pop wasn't much the fad as yet. It was a growing thing but hadn't hit the world as a craze the way McDonald's seems to have." Daniel wrinkles his nose. "But no. I'm good. It was an academic question. For later. You see, I should probably be nipping that back to the shop here soon. I know.. tease you with a fancy bauble then take it away. Men." He rolls his eyes at himself.

Valeria Richards has posed:
"Ah, I see. You want to take away my screen time!" Valeria protests mockingly, taking a few more notes and then reaching for the core. "One more minute, let me just get a scan of it so we've at least got the information to work off of."

She moves over to a small machine, adjusting a few settings on a touchscreen before setting the core carefully inside of it. "Don't worry," she says preemptively. "This creates a sort of dead zone before it scans, so that it doesn't accidentally activate anything."

Daniel Hastings has posed:
    Scan? Daniel looks at the device with a hint of nervousness. But then he'd bombarded it with raw electrons so.. maybe it won't be so bad. He can't help but laugh outright at her mock tantrum. "You realize of course that I can't revoke your television priveleges, yes? So I don't exactly have much more bite than please. I'd like to keep my job. For the moment, at least." He winks at her then moves to follow what she's doing. Technologies seem to vary from one super tech lab to another and he's always curious as to how they compare to Kree tech.

    "I did hit it with an electron beam and nothing seem to panic. So that's helpful." Daniel offers. "Handy things those. I wish I'd had time to map the latticework but /someone/ else in the lab had booked time on the microscope. So.." Having to /share/ SHIELD resources. Pfft. So annoying.

Valeria Richards has posed:
"Luckily, we don't tend to run into that problem here," Valeria chuckles. It doesn't take long for the machine to do its job, gathering what baseline information it can for her to start working on it later. "Actually, you know, something you said the other day's had me thinking about that. Here we are with all this equipment and lab space and ideas. And sure, we're all about sharing the //results// with the world. But it seems like we could probably be doing more."

Daniel Hastings has posed:
"What? Having your television priveleges revoked? That's good to know. I've gotten to enjoy some of the Britcoms on the BBC America channel." Daniel profers deadpan. For about half an instant. Then he breaks into a grin. A grin that shifts to a curious eye and a tilt of his head. "Such as? Not that I'm objecting to 'more' but that word covers a great variety of sins." Oppenheimer comes to his mind.

Valeria Richards has posed:
"Sharing the //science// with more people," Valeria clarifies. "We're not the only smart people in the world. And a lot of them don't have resources like this. If just a couple of smart people can accomplish all of this, what could five, ten, a dozen? Mom and Dad can't do everything for everybody. We should be looking toward the future. For who's going to be saving the world in ten, twenty years."

Daniel Hastings has posed:
    Daniel seems a little confused. "Well. Yes. That's why I came here. The proverbial force multipliers to coin the military phrase.. but also those who.. lack a certain political constraint? That's the whole point, you see. I've been doing a /lot/ of thinking and.. as much as I support the mission of SHIELD.. it's the barest hint of a beginning. We still have world powers that refuse to sign on to the idea of a global government such as the UN. Scientists.. well.. at the risk of sounding idealistic.. we think beyond political borders to the future of humanity as a whole." He gestures to her as if to say she's the perfect example. "But first.. I want to make sure there's nothing in that database that might be considered a.. mm.. shall we say weaponizable? That much I'd like to redact for now."

Valeria Richards has posed:
"Yeah, but you could come to us. You happened to be here, and you happened to have a badge, and you..." Valeria trails off, waving her hand in a circle. "That's not something most people can do. I think..." She tilts her head to one side, thoughtful, as the scanner finishes its work. "I think it's time we started recruiting ourselves."

Now that the scanner is finished, she retrieves the core from it, passing it back to him. "We'll make sure it gets used for the right things. Promise."

Daniel Hastings has posed:
    Daniel chuckles. "You say that like I won't be coming back to check on things." He smiles at that then muses, "You mean to say.. form a think tank as it were?" There's a certain interest in his voice at that. As if the idea of being in a room full of Brains (Big B) appealed to him. Accepting the crystal, he lifts it to turn it about in his hand and look it over thoughtfully. "Do you think he might go for a... SHIELD liaison? Say? Or would he be worried that the government was spying on his copyrighted work?" The hand is lowered and he walks over to where his jacket is hung to put it back before changing back into his own clothes. "Food for thought." His smile returns and he looks at her thoughtfully for a moment. "Root beer floats. Fan or no?"

Valeria Richards has posed:
"Anyone who doesn't like root beer floats is a monster," Valeria deadpans. "But if you're asking about the think tank, I think Dad's pretty easy-going," she adds, smile crooked. "We've helped out with government-related things before. As long as SHIELD doesn't think they're //in charge// or get to make any decisions, then we can hande anything else. Besides, big brains work better in numbers, right?"

Daniel Hastings has posed:
Daniel nods at her recognition of root beer floats but then has to knit his brow at the latter. "I.. you haven't been in a room with a lot of big brains before.. have you. Sometimes.. yes.. you're right. It can be magical. Other times.. big brain means big ego.. and that can cause just as many problems as they help to solve. Decisions though.. should come as a concensus.. not from any single entity. No matter whom they represent. I think we can agree on that?" His coat settled, the crystal back in his pocket, he pats himself down as if to make sure he hasn't forgotten anything. "Until next time? I will.. work on a primer in the meanwhile. Perhaps we could chat in Kree over floats."

Valeria Richards has posed:
"Well. I've been in a room with at least two big brains pretty often," Valeria laughs. "We'll figure it out. I think it'll be worth it. And yeah, send over the primer and I'll get started, and we can keep working on this, and we should be able to crack this thing in no time. Figuratively speaking," she adds quickly. "Not literally. We want to keep it intact literally. And...thanks." A softer smile crosses her features as she moves back toward her earlier microscope. "Not often I get new alien toys to look at."

Daniel Hastings has posed:
    "Yes but they married each other so I'm assuming there's enough love between them not to cause a crack in creation." Daniel winks at her with a grin on his face. "But. Until next time. Do take care, Miss Richards." There's a last regard of her then.. he simply ceases to be present. In the tower that is. He's present somewhere else most likely.