Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Come on an adventure in the Marvel Universe. Your character could be a superhero, regular person, or a wacky alien...Basically, anything else that exists in that 'verse.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Quaxo9 »

The black SUVs pulled up to the front of the McIvor's house and began unloading forensic equipment. Back at base, agents were scanning the security cameras in the area. The field team let themselves in the front door. Seconds later, an agent re-emerged, clearly talking into an earpiece. There were supposed to be two children in the house...

Base replayed more recent footage, watching the children run, then walk casually down their front walk. They watched the exchange with their Skrull guest - a discreet memo was placed over his exiting the domicile without an appropriate human disguise - and relayed the information to the field team that the children were now residing at "George Collins'" house. They then returned to the older footage.

If they had continued to watch the newer footage, they likely would have seen Marshal walking down the street into one of the other typical suburban houses. A house that would soon become a house of interest as SHIELD watched the same footage Marshal had downloaded minutes before.

Back in the suburbs, the agent gathered a second person and the two made their way to the Skrull's house, banging on the door. They were as interested in speaking to the McIvor children as they were to speak to Imiel about his lapse in judgment.

~~~~

Marshal would find little to go on. The house was tidy and clean, except for the pile of mail by the door that had been brought in, but not sorted. In fact, he would find little amiss - except for the bodies stuffed into the basement freezer.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Marshal Knox and Imiel

"Oh man..." Marshal muttered as he opened the freezer and saw the bodies. He brushed away enough ice crystals to ascertain identities, to make sure the corpses weren't Rhiannon or Cait, but he didn't recognize them... and was ashamed of himself for the relief he felt. These were people too. Only a man truly past the moral brink could feel any relief at all in such a situation, he admonished himself.

His next thought was an instinctive urge to hide the bodies. There was no particular reason this was necessary, or even desirable. But his gut reaction was that bodies needed to be hidden. He suppressed the impulse.

He heard the sounds of vehicles outside - multiple, probably SUVs, arriving in tandem. Not just the soccer carpool arriving home, then. He cautiously emerged, staying out of sight as much as he could, trying to determine who it was. SHIELD, or someone even more problematic?

***

Imiel was wearing his human face set in a smile when he opened the door. He could tell it was SHIELD. He'd seen their style often enough. Even so, he stepped out onto the porch and pulled the door shut - and locked - behind him.

"Hello," he said. "I... wasn't expecting this visit. How can I help you?"
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Quaxo9
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Quaxo9 »

The SHIELD agents at Imiel's door did not return his smile.

"Mr. Collins. We understand that the Thomas children have taken refuge here. We will collect them now. Thank-you for your service."

~~~

The agents entered the home with weapons drawn, each one stepping around the pile of mail. One made his way up the stairs, one cruised through through the main floor, and the last crept down the basement stairs. She had the feeling that she wasn't alone.

~~~

Rhiannon sat alone in the back seat of the SUV. It wasn't totally by choice. Walking out to the car, her feet were several inches off the ground and no amount of hemming on the behalf of the agents or snickering from her sister could improve her state. Even if anyone had wanted to get into the vehicle with the surly woman, they wouldn't have made it inside.

Cait sat in the front seat, window rolled down, one hand playing in the wind as the other one pressed the window button down as the agent driving grit his teeth and pushed the button up. The mechanism inside the door squealed in protest.

Rhys sighed and pinched her nose. 900 years old and still a child.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Imiel/Marshal

Imiel eyed the SHIELD agents with a level gaze. He hoped he looked more confident than he felt - he wasn't sure exactly what he would be able to manage to do against armed agents if they pressed the issue. Well, hopefully it wouldn't come to that.

"I don't think so," he said. "I'm responsible for these children until their mother is back. I won't be handing them over to anyone else."

Taking a chance, he added, "If you want to be helpful, you can help us find Rhiannon and Cait. They're the ones in need of assistance right now, not these kids."

***

Marshal considered his options. He didn't see anywhere to hide down here. Even dark as it was, she'd spot him in an instant. The stairway was too narrow for him to try to pass her. Oh, well, nothing for it, then...

"Hey," he called out. "I'm down here. My name is Marshal Knox. You're not in any danger. I didn't want to startle you by popping out of nowhere. I came here to try to find my friends who I think may be in danger. I found human remains down here, though. I think the homeowners got killed by whoever broke in."
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Quaxo9
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

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The agents at Imiel's door gave no indication of their feelings on the matter. Perhaps they didn't have any. They certainly didn't seem to have a clear opinion as they didn't make a move to try to move the skrull aside, nor back down the walk. The second agent put his hand to his earpiece, eyes invisible behind sunglasses.

"You won't have long to wait then." Then quietly to his partner, "We'll need to talk to the kids. Apparently mom's been a bit ... mum on what happened."

Yet another innocuous SUV rolled up the street. This one was quickly vacated by Cait, who'd opened the door and hopped out before it had even come to a stop. She took stock of the situation. The vehicles in front of their house. The agents at Imiel's door. And one lone SUV in front of a house down the street - its door was open. Without looking back, she walked down the middle of the street toward the other house.

Rhiannon alighted with greater dignity, especially now that she'd calmed down a bit over the course of the drive over. Perhaps it had been the wind moving through the cab. Or the feeling that her children really were alright. That whatever had befallen her and Cait hadn't gotten to them.

"This way, ma'am. Your children are apparently with a neighbour..."

She didn't give him time to finish, but fairly ran toward Imiel's house. The fact that he didn't quite look the same didn't quite land on her. At this moment, so close to them - she had to see her children.

"Imiel - are they alright? Please tell me..."

~~~~~

The agent on the basement steps of the little yellow suburbian house levelled her gun at Marshal. "Down here!" she yelled. Hurried footsteps above, then some talking. The agents sounded...surprised. Cait appeared next to the woman and breezed past her and the end of the gun.

"Hey Marshal, what are you up to over here?" She gave him a grin and a wink before walking straight up to the freezer.

"Wait, what are you...don't!" the agent protested as Cait hefted the lid and looked thoughtfully at the bodies within.

"Well. That's strange." She muttered. It was likely that no one but Marshal heard her statement as now all three agents were in the basement yelling either into their headpieces or in general. Cait closed the lid carefully and placed her fingers gently on the lid before turning toward Marshal, face serious.

"I've got a few things I need to tell you."

The fact that the room was bristling with guns didn't seem to phase her. In fact, she looked ready to simply walk right back up the stairs, SHIELD or no SHIELD.
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Imiel/Marshal

"Rhiannon..." Imiel said with an intake of breath when he saw her. He was so relieved, so glad that she was safe...

...But there was no time for that now. She wasn't here for him. She was here to see her children, and he wouldn't delay her a moment longer than necessary.

"They're fine. They're inside with my girls. They were very brave."

As he spoke, he unlocked the door. When it clicked open, he stepped aside to let her in.

***

"Cait!" Marshal called after her softly, trying not to attract undue attention. When she didn't hesitate, he allowed his voice to raise slightly. "Cait..."

Did she not see how badly this was going to end? When he'd been caught down here with dead bodies in the freezer - not his doing, sure, but it looked bad - and a knife hidden in his jacket for an expected confrontation with kidnappers?

Belatedly, he realized she must not expect him to follow. That this situation was his to deal with alone. Of course it was. He was being stupid, as ever, to imagine she'd come here for him. Whatever she was seeking, she must have found.

He blushed a little, then reflexively shoved his hands in his pockets - which caused all the armed people to tense and the weapons to level at him even more emphatically, so he removed his hands from the pockets again and held held them up, showing his empty palms in a gesture of nonviolence.

"Okay, it's cool, I'll catch up," he said in an attempt to salvage some shred of dignity.

Marshal calculated his odds. One super soldier against a room full of SHIELD agents... so the odds weren't actually terrible. Still, he didn't want to kill or injure a bunch of people unnecessarily, so he'd talk his way out if he could. Uh... somehow.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Quaxo9 »

Rhiannon and Cait McIvor

As she passed him, Rhys lifted her arm to touch Imiel's, grasping his elbow briefly as she did so. She was breathless or she would have thanked him before entering his house.

"Mom!" Ewan spoke first, though Charis was already running toward their mother. The two clung to her waist as she awkwardly reached around them to ensure her hands touched nothing but their clothing and that her face didn't draw too near to theirs. "Are you okay?"

"Yes, yes, I'm fine. And before you ask, Aunt Cait is too. The nice agents were very good to us. Are you two alright?"

She wanted to ask them if anything 'happened' - she desperately hoped the answer was no - but if the answer was yes, she didn't want SHIELD overhearing the conversation. Certainly, they had been helpful, but if there was one thing her sister was right about, it was that they couldn't fully trust the government agency to have their best interests at heart.

Back at the front door, the agents were still standing there, insinuating that they expected entry.

"Look, Mr. Collins, the children have their mother back. Now we'd like to come in and ask them some questions."

~~~~~~

Cait turned and gave Marshal a curious look before she turned to talk to the lead agent, still ignoring the other two.

"What? You don't think he's responsible do you?"

The agent set her jaw and began to reply, "Well, he's under suspicion..."

"Oh yes, because I'm sure he stayed down here to wait for them to freeze solid after he murdered them. That makes sense."

"We he could have been coming back to make sure we didn't discover his handiwork..."

"Except that he's been on camera this entire time? In fact, I'll bet you have cameras all over this neighbourhood. You know exactly who's been where and when, don't you?" Cait knew for a fact there were cameras on practically every hydro pole and windchime on the street. They made a horrible high-pitched noise that most people didn't have to deal with. She grinned at the agent as the woman lifted her finger to her earpiece and began mimicking the voice coming through it - as well as the agent's own voice as she anticipated what the woman was going to say.

"Marshal Knox is not a suspect."
"But sir! We have him on camera poking around - he seems to have hacked our camera system."
"So he could have hacked in and altered the footage."
"Unlikely, agent. At this point he's not a person of interest. Let him go."

The agent was now openly glaring at Cait, who gave her a pitying smile. "I told you so."

"You're free to go, sir." The other agents had already holstered their weapons, though the lead looked reluctant to do so.

"What, no apology?" Cait pushed, knowing that none would be forthcoming. Still, she gave the agent a chance to respond before adding, "You know what's weird? I could swear that I saw that man in the freezer on the street after the fire yesterday, but if he was here and this is his house, that pile of mail in the front hall doesn't make much sense. Just saying."

Hooking her arm through Marshal's, she indicated the stairs, "Shall we?"
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Imiel and Marshal Knox

When Rhiannon touched his arm, Imiel felt as if warm electricity had shot through him. It was a pleasant feeling. Very pleasant. He hoped she hadn't noticed his reaction. Surely she had too much on her mind to perceive the evidence of his little crush.

He didn't step aside for the SHIELD agents. Without being aggressive about it, Imiel simply didn't move out of the doorway to let them pass. This might be his house, but these were Rhiannon's children. It was her decision, not his.

"When and if they're ready will be up to them and their mother," he insisted calmly - heart starting to pound slightly. He knew he was playing with fire, defying SHIELD even politely, but it had to be done.

***

"Uh... thanks," Marshal said. He was totally dumbfounded by the reversal that had just happened, but he took the offered arm without hesitation. When they were out of earshot, he asked quietly, "Cait, are you okay? What happened? We were trying to figure out where they took you and your sister. Are you... are you alright?"
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