Confounded Compound - Part 1

OOC: Joint Post between everyone on the Team

A familiar voice rang through the kitchen, though the tone was very different than the one that Erik was used to. He looked up to Gwen as he wiped his mouth of the last bits of toast, “I guess that’s our que? Does that usually happen?” He made a move to collect the two plates, now quite confident that he wasn’t going to ruin someone’s breakfast.

“I’m just as new to this as you are … I should change! Did you bring a uniform or are you going up all civilian?” She leapt down to rummage through her backpack, pulling out a mass of red and blue colored cloth.

Erik looked to his own clothes, the jeans and boots were fine for a day of activity, but hero activity? He hadn’t really ever planned to get this far along. “Uhh...I mean I don’t...really...have anything.” His mind quickly raced through anything he might be able to wear that he had brought that might qualify as some kind of hero outfit, coming up nearly blank. “I think I brought a bandana...but...yeah…I don’t know, lets just go assemble and then...i dunno I’ll figure something out.” He went and opened the door, which opened from what must have been a broom closet in the entry hall.

Sam heard the call and made his way towards the group. He rounded the corner and smiled as he spotted Niko and Theo. “Good morning boys and girls, who's ready for a field trip?” He stepped closer to Theo to inspect her costume and found it quite fitting. “You look very nice today. How do you feel?”

“I am strong, Sam Rogers; like a steadfast angel born again. It’s amazing what a fifteen… or rather an eight hour rest can do.” As she spoke she took stock of his weapons and gear. “I see you have come prepared for conflict; ready in mind and body. But do not be alarmed, any of you. We are not anticipating combat.”

Theo turned to Erik and moved to stand in front of him, though not so close as their encounter the previous day at Strangers’ Gate. “And what is an angel without her god? You may take issue at the term, but the world will know you for who you are; Theodosia will see to it.” She squeezed his arm affectionately. “You are your father’s son, Erik Foster, but your own man.”

Erik tensed under her grip and looked at her quizzically but said nothing, eyes darting to the other members.

“We’re all here. We should go.” Niko said quickly, impatiently.

“King T’Challa,” Theo gave him a regal bow accompanied by the soft creak of leather. She looked up then stepped forward to consider him more closely. “I apologize Prince T’Chantem. I was confused by the resemblance and your noble bearing. We are thankful to you for your support and presence, and vow to stand with Wakanda when you call on us.”

Sam's eyes widened at the site of T'Chantem. He crossed his arms at his chest and greeted him, “Prince T'Chantem, my name is Sam Rogers, it's an honor to meet you.”

T'Chantem couldn't help but notice the dramatic change in Theo's demeanor since the last time he had spoken with her. However, he was pleased to see that the events at Avenger's Tower no longer plagued her current thoughts and actions. Even if they had failed in recruiting Clarisse Potts, the Maximoff cousins had made much more success elsewhere, which was evident by the several new faces present. He smiled in response to Theo’s greeting, and accepted her apology with little offense; if anything, it warmed him to know that he reminded someone of his parentage. He then turned to greet Sam Rogers, and returned the traditional Wakandan salute. “The pleasure is all mine, Mr. Rogers. I look forward to working alongside you from now on.”

Gwen snuck back in, sure she was tall for her age but among this group she felt like a shrimp! In either case she was in Scarlet Spider outfit. “Did everyone read the material?” She chimed. “I was doing some digging and noticed a few -”

“Yes, yes, everyone read and is ready. We should go.” Niko repeated, with a slight bit more agitation in his voice.

“Well I just w-” Gwen tried again

Theo moved over to Gwen and gave her a motherly smile. She was only a few inches taller than Gwen, but in her boots she was four inches taller. A woman will tell you, inches matter. “How old are you? Ah, you’re fifteen. So young to be so brave. The Scarlet Spider; a web slinger for a new generation. A fine name you’ve chosen for yourself and a magnificent color.”

“And there’s my little Nikolai; tall as my brother and just as impatient. Where would Theo be without her protector? Dvalajem.” Niko shot her a look, overtly trying to rush her and she finally gave in. “Oh very well.”

She slipped on her Sling Ring and did her thing; by this point they’d all seen Theo open a portal and this one looked much the same though she created it with far more ease. “You’re in such a hurry, Niko, hop to it.”

“Trebda dajdemo” Niko grumbled back, the first through the portal.

T’Chantem listened as Theo took the time to speak individually to everyone in attendance, saving the abundance of new names and appearances to his memory. He had wished to personally acquaint himself with all of his new teammates, but opted instead to follow Niko through the portal, and towards the site of their first task as a team for the time being.

Erik looked in brief amazement at the portal and thought how much his mom would love to study this, but that part of his brain was quickly shouted down by the bit that was worried about the stability of it and the risk of sticking with Theo when she was acting as she was. He gave a quick once over to the group and ducked through the portal.

The spiderling sighed taking her place in the train of people as they walk through the portal. It was still cool as hell! Either way, she was sure they were all aware that there was a possibility of tripping the security protocols right? If that happened it was bound to get ugly, but that wasn’t right? There was a strong possibility S.H.I.E.L.D either dismantled or disabled the defense protocols. Yea.

Theodosia didn’t need to usher Sam through the portal; he was right on the heels of Gwen. Sam checked his gear and walked eagerly through the portal, excited to take another step towards their destiny.

Theo was the last of them to step foot onto the green lawns outside of the secure facility in Sainsbury, New York. Almost as soon as her red cape flitted through the portal, it closed and they were officially on their first mission.The treeline had been cleared and pushed back from the building; probably for security reasons. It was a beautiful property, but clearly had not been maintained in quite some time. Perhaps after today they could look into changing that. For now, they had other matters to focus on. She caught up to Gwen and gently pushed the girl’s phone down from eye level. ”Perhaps we focus entirely on gaining access to the building and do our twit-filming later?”

“Har har Theo…” Gwen said flatly. “…I’m not filming, though I should be…” The teen admitted Theo introducing an interesting thought. “…I’m geolocating us and prodding the security at the facility here. We don’t want any nasty surprises and I don’t exactly have S.H.I.E.L.D level tech so we're going to have to make due with me looking like I’m texting.” She pointed now to wall of bright green code scrolling across the phone screen. “Something WEIRD is going on -- thought this place was inactive?” She said to the group and no one in specific.

“After today you will have all the techno-gadgets you could want. Tell me what I’m looking at; are those bright green lines supposed to be scrolling faster or slower? Hmmm...why do they call it scrolling when there are no magic scrolls? I shall have to ask Dr. Strange about that….”

“Theo, Zaustjavi acest.” Niko warned quietly. “We need you to focus.”

“Erik Foster, you will find an access panel hidden near that door. To the left.” She looked over at Gwen for confirmation. It seemed Gwen had studied the plans as well as any of them.

Erik had been busy looking over the facility, the breeze of the wind and the distinct lack of city smell brought up his spirits. He imagined that the building might have been more grand or bigger, but then again perhaps it was better that it was more low-key. But soon enough he was brought back to focus by Theo’s command, “Yes ma’am.” he responded and made his way over to the left of the door, feeling with his fingers for any hidden panels that she had mentioned.

Gwen nodded and followed Erik to the door so she would be in range to transmit the code. She looked up and around for cameras, something, anything; the system was showing activity but she wasn’t SEEING anything. Was there something running in the background inside maybe? Was there like a rogue Roomba keeping the floors clean for 15 years? “I think it’s over there … these guys LOVE their hidden panels…” Gwen pointed for Erik.

“Ah, yeah thanks.” Erik gave a quick smile and slid his hands along the wall to where Gwen indicated and caught a small bump that raised in to what he guessed was about hidden panel size. “Alright, yeah I got something here.” Erik calls out to the rest of the group. Placing his fingers along the groove he pushes into the wall slightly with his fingers and with a flick of his arm a thin metal panel unhinged and fell to the floor. He steps to the side of the revealed panel for Gwen, “I think this a job for you...if you wouldn’t mind.”

Gwen worked between her phone and the panel. “Awesome…it’s as straightforward as I hoped…” She said cheerfully. “…Transmitting codes!” Gwen said pressing the send button. Gwen looked to the door and back to the phone. “That should of worked,” she murmured scratching her head. Gwen grumbled looking to her phone.

“Oh.” She looked back at the door. Gwen pointed to a little camera that popped out over the door. “OH! BAD! Now that bit of code makes sense!” She didn’t know if they should run at this point. “Saaaaam!” Gwen called. “Tell me you have clearance!” Since he would be the only one she could imagine that might be able to get past the biometrics no one said anything about!

Sam was scanning the area, insuring they were alone, when Gwen called out to him. He snapped to and ran over to her, “What’s going on?”

“We are failing the biometric scan.” Gwen said pointing to the camera. “So unless you already have clearance… what kind of countermeasures are we looking at?” She asked as she saw fail after fail, monitoring the situation on her phone.

“I think we’ll put in a pond just there with a gazebo and maybe a little dock for a paddle boat.” Theo had her back to the door the others were working on and was pointing out to the empty grass. “What do you think, Pietro?”

Niko bristled. “Niko.” He wasn’t eager to revisit how his Aunt often called him by his father’s name. “Maybe we should focus on the task at hand? Sam? Can you help with the scanning thing for Ghost Spider Girl?”

“Well” Sam began, “I may as well give it a shot. If not, we may need to resort to getting a little more physical to get in.” He stepped forward to allow the biometric scanner to properly scan him. But after a moment of scanning, it rejected him as well. “Okay, hard way it is.”

“I can get the door open… but whatever security measures this place has it going to come down on us like a ton of bricks.” Gwen explained.

“So probably best not to do that then, right?” Erik injected, “Just thinking out loud that a ton of bricks doesn’t sound like a pleasant experience.”

“Maybe there’s another way in.” Niko suggested.

“I don't think they left a window open, Niko.” Gwen countered.

“I don’t think they left a window open, Niko.” Niko mocked with his best imitation of Gwen’s voice, which was not at all like Gwen’s actual voice.

Theo turned to the others and negligently tossed a smoky red ball of hex magic at the recessed camera above the door. The small aperture protecting the surveillance device shattered and an acrid haze rose up from the alcove. “Whatever resides inside has seen us, but they do not need to see what we can do. Erik Foster, if you’d be so kind as to open this door with all due force….” Theo stepped to the side and guided Gwen out of the way.

“Oh uhhh alright then.” Thorson moved cautiously to the door. He scratched at his nose and rolled his shoulders once, trying to figure out a plan for how best to approach this. It certainly didn't help that so many people were watching him, but he gave a quick look back to everyone, mentally hoped to all hells he could actually do this right, and pressed both fingers into the slit between the door.

The metal didn't give as easily as the panel, but he managed to force his hands into a suitable position in the crack. The few test pulls he applied assured him the door wasn't about to open nicely, so he exhaled one last breath before tensing all of his muscles and pulling. The door shunted open a bit before it seemed to catch something, though the blockage was shortly overcome as again it slid to another point, and finally Erik pushed the doors apart to his full arm span.

He slowly eased his force and tested whether the doors would shut instantly, and finding that his work would only need to be done once, gave a long exhale and clapped his hands together, “I really need to start working out.” he said under his breath, as he moved to the side. He looked back to the group, “We're good to go...I think.”

To be Continued...

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