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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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Imiel

Seeing the way Charis looked at him, Imiel could have kicked himself for neglecting to disguise his true form.

Idiot. Humans are afraid of aliens. As if these kids needed more to worry about.

"I'm sorry," he said, and was about to change his face back to the semblance of human when Charis said he didn't have to. He found it... heartwarming that she was willing to look at his real face.

He followed the ping-pong conversation as best he could, and the gist was clear - Rhiannon and Cait were in grave danger.

"Listen," he said. "I'm going to find your mom and your aunt. I'll go get Marshal Knox, and we'll go find them. I promise. But I'm going to need your help, okay? I can't just leave Annie and Mia alone. Can you stay with them and keep them safe and calm? I know your mom wasn't sure about the babysitting thing, but I think she'll understand it's an emergency."

His mind was already leaping ahead - what was he going to do? Marshal would probably know better where to start. Imiel had no doubt Marshal would help - it was clear Cait was important to him. Imiel just hoped they wouldn't be too late.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

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Cait and Rhiannon McIvor

The reports drew SHIELD in and soon enough the whole district was cordoned off and black SUVs surrounded one warehouse in particular. The agents crept through the whole of it and found nothing on interest except the two women who had been through their office only a couple weeks ago. They were unconscious. The mother was in a simple nightgown, a fresh, elaborate scar on her chest. The sassy one had blood spray around her and her shirt cleanly cut open, but there wasn't a mark on her.

Two SUVs backed in, medical personnel coolly stepping out with gurneys and supplies. An oxygen mask was placed over Rhiannon's face and she was quickly loaded up, strapped down and rolled toward the vehicle. The other paramedics knelt by Cait. Her shirt was nearly torn completely off - it would likely get caught as they tried to load her into the gurney, so the man leaned forward and tugged the shirt apart.

Her eyes popped open. The man's arm snapped in two a second later. Guns flew from holsters.

Cait spun around the second paramedic, holding him in front of her as a shield. Just until she could get her bearings. What had happened...where was she? Why did she feel so... She retched, vomit spattering the ground at their feet. Just then, her shield slipped away from her, leaving her exposed. Like an idiot she just stood there and watched the darts enter her chest. She looked up, edges of her vision beginning to blur.

The man just stood there with the strangest little smile on his face. Same boring black suit as everyone else, but there was something different about him. Something special. The little smile never changed - even when he shot her again and the she lost her grip on the world.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

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Charis and Ewan Thomas

For a moment it looked like Charis might protest. The scowl on her face was thunderous - she looked an awful lot like her mother at that moment.

"Charis? I'm missing a glove."

Ewan's voice trembled as he dropped to the ground, feeling around for the lost garment. His sister looked down at her hands and stared at them as though she'd never seen her fingers before. Tucking her hand under her armpit, she looked around wildly - finally locating the gloves on the ground on Imiel's doorstep. It was enough. Enough to break through the bravado and remind her there was a very real reason to be afraid.

"Yes. We'll take care of Annie and Mia. You can count on us. Please..."

Charis' facade crumbled as she fumbled for Ewan's shoulder with her gloved hand. He stood and the two ran back to Imiel's house, Charis picked up their gloves on their way by and the two disappeared inside.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

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Rhiannon and Caitriona McIvor

"Oh good, you're awake."

Rhiannon's attention turned from the inspection of her hospital gown to the window across from the foot of the bed. There was a man there - he looked familiar - and he seemed to be smiling kindly. But she got the feeling that he was about to give her some very bad news. She tentatively reached one foot toward the floor, sitting on the edge of the bed, keeping one eye on the agent. Yes. He was an agent of SHIELD.

"Now, we have some questions about what happened today. At the warehouse."

She turned her face away from him, starting at the wall, searching her memory for a hint of what he might be talking about. The last thing she remembered...was fighting with her sister.

"Because, from where I'm standing, you haven't been honest with us."

An eye glanced at him, then wilfully turned back to the wall. Where was Cait? She called out for her - reaching with her mind - but it felt like the walls pressed everything back at her. A room...resistant to telepathy? Was this...some kind of...prison?

No. Not again. What did they know? Where was her family?

The bed slid across the floor, slamming into the groaning wall. Rhiannon was visibly floating above the floor. A darkness fell across her face as she turned back toward the agent. He seemed to have been expecting that response and made a grimace she could only construe as apologetic.

"What have you done? Where is my sister...my children? If..."

The man lifted his hand. "I think we should start again. My name is Agent Coulson and you're here because we found you and your sister lying unconscious in a warehouse." Rhiannon's face didn't seem to change, so he added, "A dozen workers in the surrounding area were dead."

That made Rhiannon stop short. Oh no. But how...if it hadn't been SHIELD...her hand rested on her chest as though to steady her heart. The touch of her own fingertips made her flinch and she had to resist the urge to look down her gown to see why. The bed clanged back to the floor as her anger dissolved.

"You have a burn. I sent some photos of it to a specialist - I'm sorry that I couldn't wait for your approval - and I am guessing that you don't know for sure what happened today exactly." He stepped closer to the glass, "But I can tell that you have an idea. So, I'll say it again. You haven't been honest with us. What killed those people?"

Rhiannon was now clearly distressed, pacing the small room, hands clutched together in front of her new wound. They hadn't been prepared and people had died. Of course, if they didn't fix this...a lot more people would die.

"My sister. I can't, I won't, talk to you without my sister."

Agent Coulson nodded, "I see. We will continue this discussion at another time then." The window became a mirror and Rhiannon stared at herself, searching for something. Anything to prove that she still contained them.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

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Caitriona McIvor

She was surprised. Surprised to find that there weren't any restraints on her. After all, she was clearly captive in some hospital - the antiseptic smell and the needle in her arm gave it away. Mighty decent of them to be giving her straight saline instead of some infusion of drugs. She was admittedly curious.

"Good afternoon, Miss McIvor. I trust you're recovered?"

Cait propped herself up on her elbows and smirked at the man on the other side of the glass. "Well, if it isn't Guy Smiley himself."

"I hadn't pegged you for a Canadian..." he countered, clearly amused.

"Why whatever do you mean by that? I thought I've been indelibly polite - though, I suppose, one can't make assumptions about transference between other dimensions."

"As much fun as I am sure this is for you, I'm afraid we must cut to the chase. A dozen people are dead and you and your sister were in the middle of it. What did you leave out of your welcome survey?"

The agent was still smiling, but there was that edge. She did admire that edge. Cait sat up, inspecting the intravenous line before applying the shut off, pulling back the tape and expertly removing the needle. A moment's worth of light pressure was all she needed to seal up the tiny hole it left behind. Her bare feet hit the floor, making little spatting sounds as she walked purposefully toward the glass. While the agent seemed nonplussed, she was sure someone behind a camera somewhere was shitting themselves. She enjoyed that thought. It was the little things in life that made it worth living.

"My sister? How is she?"

He said nothing - just held her gaze. Seconds ticked by. She folded her arms over her chest, her mouth mimicking his small grin.

Finally, he took a breath. "As I said, Miss McIvor, we don't really have time for games."

"I couldn't possibly know what you're talking about. I don't remember a thing after I went to bed this morning." That wasn't completely true, but she wasn't going to admit that she remembered puking on some agent's shoes.

"This morning? Late night?"

"Always. I'm a bit of a night owl."

"Figuratively or...?" he raised an eyebrow.

Cait laughed. A strange little barking laugh that didn't seem entirely genuine, nor utterly fake. "Metaphorically, of course. Sheesh, you government types take everything so seriously."

"We do that have tendency," he allowed. The agent pulled out a cell phone, poking at the screen before showing it to Cait. "Do you recognize this?"

All sense of humour fled her as she stared at the markings burned onto human flesh. She instinctively put out her hand as if she could take the phone from him and pull it closer. The bump of her fingertips against the glass startled her. Her nostrils flared. Heart rate picked up rhythm. A cold sweat formed uncomfortably on her skin.

"Yes."

She'd whispered it, and Agent Coulson thought this was probably the first time this woman had been completely honest with him. Her reaction confirmed that he'd done the right thing in sending the picture to Stephen Strange. Hopefully he'd get back to him soon - preferably with a solution.

"Who did this."

"I'm sorry, that's not how this works. You failed to..."

"NO. Well, yes, ultimately I failed, but YOU don't get to decide what happens next. Where is my sister. I need to see her right now."

He tucked the cell phone back into his pocket and pulled his mouth into something resembling apology. She saw it happening and angled her head to better glare at him. It struck him at that exact moment just how much the two women looked like each other. Funny how they could appear so different from one another most of the time.

"Thank-you for your co-operation. We'll be speaking again." He nodded to an agent outside of her field of view and the window winked into a mirror.

Cait stood seething at her reflection. That skin...had belong to Rhiannon, she knew it. And if she'd translated that rune correctly...well. A dozen bodies was the least of SHIELD's problems right now.
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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

Imiel hastily ran to Marshal's house. He was confident that the other man would help. Marshal had gone into a burning building to save a stranger... surely he would do whatever it took to find Cait and Rhiannon.

He was surprised to find Marshal... playing with a hamster? And carrying on a baby talk conversation with it? Imiel's eyes widened for a moment at the sight of the super soldier cuddling the tiny rodent, but he put that aside; there were bigger fish to fry right now. Quickly, he filled Marshal in on the situation.

Marshal carefully put the hamster back in its cage as he pondered. Then he said, "Of course we gotta get them back. But first we need to figure out where to even start looking. I'll go check the house for clues. You need to find a way to barricade the kids in at your house..."

"I was thinking the same," Imiel agreed. "Whoever did this may be coming back for Charis and Ewan. We have to make sure they're as safe as possible..."

Imiel was worried, and it showed. Marshal could tell he cared about those kids; he nodded in acknowledgement.

"Still safer than getting dragged who knows where on a rescue mission," Marshal pointed out. "Damn, I just hope they're okay. I hope Cait..."

He trailed off, but Imiel understood. "You care for her," he said. A statement, not a question.

"Yeah," Marshal said simply. "She's a good friend."

He had... maybe hoped for more than that? And maybe they would have had a chance, but he screwed it up by telling her he'd slept with Ginny. Cait hated Ginny. Marshal would never be able to come up with a satisfactory explanation for Cait about how that had happened. How he'd let himself be hoodwinked into doing something so stupid. It was his own fault, he reminded himself. He could've said no. He could have left. He could have done anything, except for... what he did.

Oh well. He was too messed up for a relationship anyway. Cait deserved a lot better.

Imiel went to try to set up as much protection for the kids as he could, while Marshal searched the McIvors' property for clues. He found precious little. A few footprints, tire tracks - nothing to match them to, so it didn't help. There was some kind of residue on the grass. Marshal sniffed and tasted the slightest trace of it experimentally, and frowned; good thing he was a super soldier, or he'd have to be more careful about things like that.

None of this was helping. Marshal was getting frustrated. Time was ticking, and he had no leads. But then he had an idea. He wasn't sure if the McIvors had security cameras... but the neighborhood surely did. SHIELD would have seen to that. Something high tech and wireless, the signals hidden - but Marshal had a few tricks up his sleeve, too. He pulled out his phone and began to scan.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Quaxo9 »

Cait and Rhiannon McIvor

As the seconds ticked by, the itching intensified. She knew it was just a trick of her mind. But...she'd never had so much as a paper cut for over 700 years. Not a single blemish on her skin. The idea that she'd been injured was just too much to bear on top of everything else. She had to know what had happened.

Rhiannon approached the mirror from the side - aware that everyone outside could see her no matter where she stood, but still wanting to offer some pretense of privacy for her self-inspection. She tugged at the front of the hospital gown just enough that she could see that the edge of the burn mark. That alone was a fascinating discovery. The way her skin was red...and blistered... Against her better judgment, she pulled the gown down further to expose the whole area.

A Mark of Barring. No. It couldn't be. If that mark was there, then...that meant...

Her reflection disappeared as the mirror effect winked away. Rhiannon turned a startled face toward the woman who now stood very close to the glass.

"I see you know what that mark means. Would you like to tell us?"

Rhiannon was trembling, her thoughts flying so fast that she couldn't choose one to speak out loud. The agent seemed to take this for belligerence.

"Of course, we could pick up your kids. Maybe they can tell us mummy's secret?"

The trembling in the woman's hands stopped, but the glass panel shivered instead. The fear - no, the horror - that had been so plain on her face had morphed into something slightly more concerning to agent. Anger. Of course, it wasn't like she could get out...

The panel shattered. Rhiannon didn't bat an eye as she floated through the opening, chunks of glass skittering away from her as she touched down outside her temporary prison. If she was aware of all the weapons pointed at her and the alarms blaring, she didn't give any indication. She simply stared at the woman and mouthed the words, 'You will not touch my children."

~~~~~~~

There was a shudder just before the alarms sounded. The mirror disappeared nearly as quickly as it had been produced, Agent Coulson's smile conspicuously missing. Cait gave him a tight, almost condescending smile.

"Let me guess. She saw the mark. And someone made a vague mention of her kids." Coulson nodded, but she cut him off before he could speak. "She doesn't mean to cause a problem for you. Right now, she doesn't know who the enemy is. Let me talk to her - so we can talk to you."

"And...will you? Talk to me?"

"I don't make promises I don't intend to keep. But please, before she does something she absolutely will regret?"

The door slid open and Cait stepped into the hall, her mind instantly assaulted by her sister's internal screaming. She put two fingers to the front of her skull and managed to only wince instead of scream aloud.

"Rhys."

"Cait! Where were you? Where are Ewan and Charis? What did they do to them?"

"These people are not at fault."

"You can't know that!"

"I can. And so do you."


The trembling in the floor ebbed as Rhiannon slowly came to nearly rest on the floor. A sharp eye would see that her bare feet didn't quite meet the polished linoleum.

"Oh dear." As she spoke the words, she knew they weren't enough of an apology, but she still couldn't muster anything else. She stared helplessly at her sister who had approached steadily, but slow enough for the guns trained on her to follow easily. Cait stood before her, bowed her head briefly, then turned to face Agent Coulson.

"We apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused you and will do our best to make recompense for damaged property. But at the moment, we must speak with you about an urgent matter that has been brought to our attention which may impact your world. We would prefer to discuss this matter with...a limited number of people, if we may ask for any favour."

The was a slight motion and blush from Rhiannon before Cait added, with a smirk, "Though if we are allowed to ask for favours, perhaps we could also ask for some pants prior to the interview?"
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Quaxo9
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Quaxo9 »

Marshal would have some luck in his pursuit of clues. He'd see that a plumber's van had gone into the back alley behind the house before the cameras all lost signal. When the cameras came back online, there was no van. If he followed that van back, however, he'd find that it had pulled out of the garage of a regular home down the street. In fact, he'd be able to make out the faces of a man and a woman in the front seat. The man was wearing plumber's coveralls, but the woman was wearing a mage's robes.
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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

"Hm. Got it," Marshal said out loud. "We're supposed to fight a... wizard? Weird. Well, whatever."

How convenient that they'd clued him in to exactly where they came from. He hadn't even needed to pull DMV records. Marshal was under no illusion it was going to be that simple, though. He doubted they were keeping the sisters prisoner here in the neighborhood. It was too public, too close to help, too many nosy neighbors butting in.

He told Imiel this - as Imiel was busy barricading the kids in the house and putting up the handful of precious shields he'd salvaged that would create optical illusions to deflect enemies.

"...But I'm gonna check out the house anyway," Marshal finished. "It's our best lead. Maybe they left some clue for where they're going."

"You don't want me to come along?"

Marshal glanced the weedy, unassuming Skrull up and down. In a fight, Imiel wasn't going to even the odds much.

"Nah," Marshal said. "Just finish getting the kids settled. We're probably gonna have to take a trip, and we need to make sure they're safe before we do. But lend me a kitchen knife or something. I don't have anything to use as a weapon."

Obviously, SHIELD wouldn't give someone like Marshal a gun. Even his knives were dull, barely useful even for cooking - not that he cooked. Normally, Marshal was fine with that; why tempt fate, when he never quite knew what his brain was going to do late at night with a few drinks in him? Right now, though, he was wishing he had a little more firepower as he headed to investigate the house, with Imiel's most threatening kitchen knife tucked under his jacket.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Welcome to the Suburbs. Population: Odd.

Post by Quaxo9 »

Rhiannon and Caitriona McIvor

The two women sat two arms' distance apart from one another, the distance only obvious because it placed them at the extreme edges of their side of the table. They'd both accepted the offered jumpsuits without mentioning how much they resembled prison attire. Rhiannon's posture was perfect - legs crossed at the ankles, hands folded gently in her lap when they weren't picking at the front of her jumpsuit as though the fabric could touch the burn mark underneath. Cait had flipped her chair around - straddling the seat, crossed arms leaning casually over the back. Both kept careful eye contact with Agent Coulson and conspicuously avoided making that contact with each other.

"So, if I have this right, you just unleashed a horde of soul-sucking Fae into our world?"

"We didn't." Rhiannon's disgust was plain.

"And they technically take years owed to Death, not souls. Souls aren't the bean sidhe's department."

Coulson was leaning forward in his chair ever so slightly. A plain manila folder before him. No notebook, which Cait found odd. He flipped the folder open, revealing pictures of the deceased workers. Rhiannon's face pinched with concern as she glanced at the pictures, then immediately looked away. Cait, on the other hand, leaned forward and pulled the folder closer to inspect them further.

"Ah. Well. I guess we have a bit of good news after all." Before she could be interrupted by Coulson, she continued. "These people did not have their years taken. They were killed by the Wail. Completely different. This suggests that our banshees aren't on the loose. They only unleash the Wail when they are upset. That, coupled with the Mark of Barring, suggests that they were captured somehow."

"The Marks kept them from returning to us - we are reliquaries, yes, but also their safe haven. Their removal is equally as disturbing as their release. And equally as dangerous." Rhys glared at Cait for suggesting that there was good news to be found in the current events.

"So, what happens if you two make contact again? Will it recall the spirits?"

The two women shook their heads in unison, Cait adding a shrug before Rhiannon spoke again. "We don't know. Usually after a release, the bean sidhe are allowed to gather a certain amount of time from any number of people before returning. As they can't return..."

"So we're in uncharted waters?" Coulson asked, this time receiving nods. "We have some mages on call - they're working on this problem as we speak, though this new information will no doubt be helpful."

"Mages." Cait snorted. "You should probably be interrogating them, not us. Not very many people could pull something like this off - fewer still are even aware of our existence. We may have brought the banshees here, but someone else has plans for them and we want to know what."

"On that note, may we go? We have nothing further to offer you and I have not yet received a satisfactory answer about the welfare of my children."

Coulson paused before standing and reaching across the table to lightly flick the folder closed before drawing it to him. He looked between the two sisters, Rhiannon wearing an impatient scowl, Cait seemingly contemplating her fingernails.

"Yes, you may go. Thank-you for filling us in. We will keep you apprised of the situation. Someone will give you a ride home now. We'll be placing you under guard for your safety, so please stay home and make it easy for our agents to keep you safe."
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