1963-11-27 - Not of this Earth
Summary: After being summoned to Istanbul, a team from SHIELD investigate the Haggia Sophia.
Related: Kree-Skrull War
Theme Song: None
heather ava dugan steve liv betty 

The intel had come in yesterday, and needed immediate response. SHIELD had assembled a team to go to the remote location in the middle of the Turkish desert. The jet had landed and the passengers had assembled at its base in, what looked to be, a never-ending pit of desert. It was, essentially, a remote area in which they were picked up by one of the local agents.

Vehicle transport was arranged, and the group were taken via 12-passenger van back to Istanbul, a virtual hubbub of activity and life. And here, under the veil of darkness, the local market begins to open.

Word had suggested that something untoward was happening in Hagia Sophia, and of course, it would be late at night. Down the busy market, blending seemed entirely plausible. Taking a direct route into the museum would yield far too much attention, and catching anyone in the now-secularized Greek Orthodox Church would be far too conspicuous.

The humidity and heat from the Bosporus Strait separating Istanbul between Europe and Asia makes it feel much warmer than it is, and the smell of salt water and fish from the market fills the warm air.


Hope arrives from RP Nexus.


Hope has arrived.


Now out of the van and on foot, Dum-Dum Dugan finishes fiddling with his beloved rifle — Vera — having checked and re-checked his equipment while glancing about at the other agents around him…

But mainly at Steve Rogers.

The real conversation will have to wait — now is not the time — but the last he had heard about his old friend was that he'd been K.I.A…. and then Dugan had died.

Years later, but died all the same.


"Shoulda snagged my lucky bowler…" he mutters to himself as they go along.


Ava arrives from RP Nexus.


Ava has arrived.


Hope leaves, heading towards RP Nexus [O].


Hope has left.


Steve is wearing his special mission fatigues, the bold blue replaced with a duller navy, while the red is changed to a darker hue as well. Even the shield has a plastic covering on it to make the white a grey and the red a darker shade of blue.

He's doing his best to focus.

Until today, on this mission, he'd thought his good friend Dum Dum Dugan was dead. Now, he wasn't. With everything going on with Bucky and President Kennedy, it was a reminder that things were not all bad. And he needed that right about now.

"Was always a good look," Steve responds with a faint chuckle as he moves along. "Not sure I could have pulled it off. It's the mustache that makes it work."


Most SHIELD agents wear either a uniform or a suit. But most SHIELD agents are not from Asgard.

As Liv follows along a few paces behind Steve, the Asgardian armor that she wears and the sword at her hip are presently hidden beneath a long, dark cloak, adopted in the name of blending in until it was no longer an option. She's even thoughtful enough to hold it closed.

She glances sidelong at Dugan and doesn't bother to hide a smile, her eyes flicking between him and Steve. "It's definitely the mustache," Liv agrees in a low voice. "Don't worry. I'm sure that hat will prove its worth."


Heather arrives from RP Nexus.


Heather has arrived.


For once, Ava isn't swathed in layers of oversized clothing. Even SHIELD doesn't have much for a girl her size when it comes to mission gear, so she's shown up in her own - a fencing uniform carefully tailored to fit her frame, stitched with a pair of hour glasses that form a sort of red cross over her chest. The hilts of her modified sabers hang at the small of her back, and the modified pistol she carries for shooting electric bolts is strapped to her thigh.

The white isn't terribly stealthy, though, so she's followed Liv's lead by putting on robes over the whole, enough to blend in with style. The red hair and fair skin are going to stand out regardless, though.


It's been a while since Heather was in the field and she's feeling a little awkward about it. Still, someone at SHIELD helped her find something suitable to wear — close to her old military gear — and she's keeping pace with Ava. It's a strange feeling but she's determined to pull this off.

"Just going on a work trip," she'd told David. Good thing they both know when she's lying about something like that. She says it anyway. Like it's nothing. He understands.


The rest of the SHIELD crew are relatively nondescript. A mousy haired woman named Jane serves as the field medic, a foppish young man named John is an expert on the Haggia Sophia and its varied history, and Ahmed serves as their local Turkish guide and informant.

As they near the mosque, turned church, turned mosque, turned church, turned museum complete with its four large minarets and large dome shaped rooftop, it stands out as an incredible piece of architecture. No matter how many times the city has been sacked, Haggia Sophia remains.

The backside of the museum yields a darkened alley, and a very different way into the building. Lowly, Ahmed instructs the crew, "We don't know exactly what has been happening, but strange light has emitted from the museum at night for a week straight. When asked about it, the staff has no memory, no ability to discuss it, yet bystanders have taken to noticing. We've had to say that the museum is undergoing renovation." He turns to peek at the others over his shoulder, "Then yesterday, a beggar child ran away from the museum screaming. Telling us all about some horrid thing he'd seen inside the museum. Deep inside the museum. We knew we required more hands on deck."


Dugan sniffs.

"Magic? What, memories wiped 'n all? Jeepers…" Hefting Vera in his arms, he glances back at Steve and then at Liv, giving a shake of his head.

"So we're goin' up against 'strange' an' I ain' got my hat… at least they got the moustache right — ." And he smoothes it over with a forefinger and thumb.

A thought occurs to him.

"Mind-wipin'… wonder if it'll affect us. Awlright. Gon' hafta play this one careful-like."


A horrid thing, deep within the museum?

"I can take point?" Liv offers, glancing between Dugan and Steve. Of those present, she is by far the sturdiest, after all. Still, Dugan's not about playing it carefully gets a solemn nod of agreement. No arguments from her on that score.

She gives Ahmed a thoughtful look, her brow furrowing. "Well. If the bystanders can remember the light, it is probably just a symptom and not a cause," Liv murmurs, glancing back towards Heather and Ava.


It wasn't so far away or long ago that Ava was in a similar position. Hunting down a secret bunker of experiments hidden beneath an ancient mosque. That ended…poorly, all told. And the similarities are enough to make her wonder. "Wiping memories can be done," she says quietly, a few sparks dancing between her fingertips. "But for it to be a show?" She shakes her head. "No one I know of who would do that would want to be seen doing it."


ROLL: Betty +rolls 1d10 for a result of: 1


"Probably a good idea," Steve says to Liv with a nod. When in doubt, send the tank first. Of course, he wonders, idly, what Jack might say about him putting Liv in front. For some reason a Bible passage about David leaps into his mind.

He listens to the stories with interest to the field expert who is clearly very knowledgeable about this sort of thing and Steve feels like he learns a lot.


"Proximity, perhaps. Or duration." Heather is used to weird. Weird magic, weird tech. None of it bothers her. Still, she does double check that her pistol is in place. David's, now hers, really. "I'm guessing your research doesn't mention glowing lights," she says lightly to John. Why a child would be less affected, that speaks to either the quality of its mind or the shortness of the time it was exposed to whatever it is.


The back entrance to the museum is without the pomp and circumstance of the front. It services mostly as a maintenance entrance — a place where workers come in and out so as not to ruin the effect of the museum's front. The small door, likely used by the imam when the building was first in use, creaks open, and darkness ushers the group inside.

Despite the mention of light, everything remains dark. Everything remains still. Nothing seems immediately off base. The quiet might even be peaceful if it weren't accompanied by the hint of edginess exuded by the host.

John, the expert, murmurs wonder at the cavernous feel of the museum. "It's incredible how well the frescos kept underneath the white wash that the Turkish painted over them! Truly! I think we should shed some light not he situation," he reaches for a flashlight on his belt. It's given a sharp tug and he lifts it to one of the many extremely large walls featuring a painting of the Madonna with the Christ-child sitting on her lap.

"AMAZING!" he declares loudly. Extremely loudly. This might not have been the fellow to bring on this mission.

The sound of the word echoes through the church, creating a wave of silence through the building.


Scowling, Dugan stalks up behind John and taps him on the shoulder — hard. Well, it was hard enough to hurt at least; Dugan didn't want to break the man's collar-bone (even if he did think of it)

"Hey. Shut it. An' keep it shut. I ain' bein' no bullet shield fer you, ya big-girl's-blouse." The moustache-man turns around then and looks at the rest of the team, mouthing the words: where'dya find this guy? He then murmurs to Steve, "Want us scoutin' up ahead? Could be jus' like old times…"


"Could you—" Steve starts but then it is Dugan who takes care of it. "Yes. That," Steve makes a face and shakes his head slightly. "Pipe down, hotrod," he says to John. "We're on a mission, not sightseeing."

Dugan's question catches him offguard. This was, literally, Steve's first mission back. Twice now people have asked him his opinion on things. He sort of figured he'd be back down at the bottom of the totem pole.

"Let's have Liv in front. I don't know much about Asgard, but she's best equipped to handle anything we might face. Dugan and Me, then Heather and John. Ava, you bring up the rear to cover our six."


As John's exclamation echoes off the walls, Liv just stares quietly at the young analyst, her expression resigned. She doesn't add on to Dugan or Steve's admonishments, though. No need.

Wordlessly, Liv simply nods and pushes her cape back over her shoulders as she moves inside, one hand lightly gripping the sword at her hip. She does her best to move quietly, even though surprise is long gone, John, and squints a bit as her eyes adjust to the light. Or lack thereof.

"I make excellent cover," Liv murmurs quietly, trusting the others to be following at least closely enough to hear her. "And I am happy to provide."


Ava nods to Steve's direction, shrugging back the layers of fabric that let her blend in outside. In here, they'll be more of an encumbrance than anything helpful. Leaving the sabers hanging at the small of her back, she reaches for the pistol on her thigh, bringing it up into a guarded grip. Her steps are near-silent as she pads at the back of the group, keeping her eyes open for any attacks from the rear.


Heather will keep an eye on the civillians. She takes hold of John's elbow as they're shuffled into their new positions and murmurs, "Anything you need to say, say it to me. Very, very quietly. And I'll pass it on if it's relevant." They can hope that the man knows how to whisper. Jane is quieter, at least.

Ahmed seems incredibly anxious and that makes Heather wonder — is he just antsy or is there something else going on. She's been in a place like this before and, then, the anxious guide was only anxious for fear of getting shot when they were ambushed. There are good days and bad days in any job.


The quiet chatter, while nothing compared to John's awe has the agents getting into the line discussed and moving further into the building. Silent space between the icons means that noting really seems to be alerting anything or anyone.

The museum vibrates and hums with some energy deep within its depths. A loud thunk thunk thunk echoes in the silence and then stops dead.

Near where the last sound had emitted, a second makes a similar noise: Thunk Thunk THUNK!

Again the sound stops.


The sound of a charging weapon, alighting blue on two sides of the museum is a brief warning before the loud: ZIP ZAP ZIP ZAP

Bright blue light emits from two sources, giving a strange and eerie glow to the metallic faces, complete with elfin ears, long pointy noses, and thick builds.


"LOOK OUT!" Dum-Dum bellows as he dives for cover… behind an exhibit actually. Probably something priceless. Something… breakable. And priceless. Without really looking, he lays down some covering fire for his team-mates, and then sneaks a peek at the attackers.

The big man blinks.

The moustache… wriggles as he wrinkles his nose.

"I'll be… My firs' mission back an' I'm bein' shot at by Santa's Helpers… YER RUININ' CHRISTMAS!" he yells behind him at the pointy-eared creatures shooting at them.


ROLL: Liv +rolls 1d10 for a result of: 6


ROLL: Dugan +rolls 1d10 for a result of: 3


ROLL: Liv +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 51


Steve takes refuge behind one of the pillars and braces himself with his shield, giving himself some added 'protection.' He peers out over it and towards the odd looking men. Mutants? It doesn't explain how they would be similar…


Thunk thunk thunk zoooooom? "GET DOWN!" Liv barks, and then the Asgardian is in motion. She is, of course, ignoring her own advice. Like any good tank, when bolts of bright blue energy start flying towards the group, she picks one — the one on the left — and charges right for it.

"Sentry robots!" Liv calls out as she ducks beneath one of the blasts, yanking her sword from its scabbard as she nears her quarry. "But someone's changed their faces! They aren't supposed to — " Her words pause as she hauls back on her sword with both hands and, with a roar, brings it thundering down towards the sentry's elbows.

The sword bounces off. From the look of surprise on Liv's face, that was not supposed to happen, but she has no time to say so. With another flash of blue, the Asgardian lets out a very pained noise and is sent FLYING across the room, slamming into the wall above Dugan's cover hard enough to form a crater and end up stuck in place. Smoke comes wafting lazily off of her chest.



Ava, at the back of the group, is a half a second behind the rest. She's watching their tail, so she has to turn to see - Wait, what? Her eyes widen at the strange sight, but by the time Liv is shouting for people to get down, she's throwing herself toward the wall, head tucked between her arms. She bounces hard into the wall (she's getting used to that feeling), raising her gun to fire electrical bolts blindly down the hall ahead of them. Just a few warning shots.


Heather grabs Jane by her pack with one hand, John by his pack with the other, and all but throws them behind a pillar. She resorts to actually tripping John so he goes down and she can get a clear view over him from her own place behind the pillar. Her gun is already in her hand for all the good it will do her.

"Stay down," she orders, nudging John with her knee when he tries to get up. She can spot a problem child from a mile away. At least Jane behaves so far. "Jane, stay in cover, even if someone's hurt, at least until we know what we're dealing with. We need you in one piece."


Dugan's bullets ping as they hit metal — ricocheting as they become dented by the bullets that rain down on them. The damage is minor, but it is present. "You will not survive," a tinny voice emits from one of the sentries. "Resistance is futile. Forfeit now. We will take you for experimentation."

A bright blue light floods the museum, almost like someone turned a light switch, from steps seen leading downwards far into the museum's depths, causing the expert, John to peek out from his hiding spot to stare downwards. He turns back around his pillar where Heather has positioned him and yells, over the din of the weapons, "There aren't supposed to be steps downwards! There's nothing under the museum!"


A blue bolt scrapes the pillar John is hiding behind, prompting Jane to murmur to herself from her spot: "It'll be fun, he said. We'll go on an adventure, he said. No big deal, he said. We'll meet field agents, he said… there's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place like…"


"I can see me a staircase says yer wrong!" Dugan calls back. "An' di'n I tell ya to shut up?!" The big man would say more but he is too busy gaping at the effect those weapons had on the Asgardian…

"I gotta get me one o' them guns…" he breathes, eyes wide and longing, then almost immediately afterward he turns back to Vera and loving strokes the high-powered rifle. "Oh no, darlin'," he tells the big gun. "Ain' no one prettier 'n you…"

With that, he quickly ducks out and fires again multiple times — but at the ceiling right above the… sentry-droid-things. Soon it shall rain concrete…


When most people's pulse quickens in moments like this, Steve has learned to slow his; to focus when things look their bleakest. Quickly, he devises a plan. The sentries may or may not be weak at the neck joints. Most mechanical things built to look humanoid are.

Phase one of the plan is Steve letting the shield go in a mighty arc, using its ability to carom off the edge of the wall as he tries to line up a triple strike, and, hopefully, send the shield hurling back to the other side of the floor.

And for Phase 2: He tries to keep the sentries occupied while moving across the space from one side of the chasm to the others, doing flips, dives, somersaults, and all that jazz as he tries to get to the opposite side and towards cover.


At least the severity of the shot has done nothing to the Asgardian's sense of humor. Chuckling comes from Liv's crater. "I'm fine, by the way," she calls out in an amused voice as she starts prying herself free of the wall herself.

A moment later, Liv lands in a crouch just behind Dugan, and she stays low, making a grab for her sword where it had clattered to the ground nearby. She takes a peek over the big man's shoulder to see the staircase, pursing her lips.

"If we can't make it there, we can always make our own hole," Liv notes in an aside to him, casting another look back to check on Ava, Heather, and their squishiest pair of charges.


Once the first glare of light has faded from her eyes, Ava pushes up against the wall, leaning out just enough to get a look at what they're actually dealing with. She nods to Liv when she looks back, then checks their exit path again, making sure they haven't been cut off. "Liv?" she calls ahead. "Do these things run on electricity?" Too much to hope, probably, but it's what she's packing. With a more clear look, she fires off a few more bolts at the attackers.


In another time and place, Heather would have powered up her suit and shot down the stairs ahead of everyone. As it is, she grabs John by the scruff of the neck and gives him a shake. This is obviously beyond his area of expertise.

"You tow need to get out of here," she murmurs. "While they're busy. You, too, Jane." She crouches down, shutting out the chaos going on toward the front of the room, and gets a pen and field notepad out of her pocket. She writes 'mechanical sentinels, blue light, tunnel under basement, stay close' and folds up the note, then tucks it in Jane's pocket.

"Both of you, fall back." She starts herding them back toward the door, keeping to the wall and the shadows.

"This is an incredible find, though," John protests, pulling away and stepping toward the combat ahead of him. "I ca—"

Heather neatly pistol whips him, then shoves his sagging figure at Jane. "Go. Help him out."


Cement rains atop the sentries as ceiling falls upon them, dusting both the bots and the world below. A few large chunks slow down the bots, irritating them as they have particulates enter their circuitry. Whoever built the bots is going to be irritated with cleaning the mess later.

One bot receives a shield to the throat, and it rather effectively, causes it to stumble backwards. Blue energy sparks at the base of the neck. Evidently that is their weak spot. Exploiting it would be smart.

The second bot, however, lifts an arm to block the shield, evidently seeing it coming after his cohort has suffered from an attack. Unfortunately, for the first bot, the shield ricochets off the second bot's arm, hitting the second in the neck once more, and causing its neck to slice partially from its base. The half sliced head precariously dangles.

As Steve jumps through the air, the second bot fires at the moving captain America.

The bolt of energy from Ava hits first bot and has the rough looking metal tin can stumbling backwards.

Jane looks wide-eyed at Heather, nodding silently as she trails back to the alley dragging John as she moves.


In concert with Rogers — in fact, as if they had done this a thousand times before, and as recently as 'yesterday' — Dugan charges out from cover, Vera clutched close to his breast, and slides across the ground underneath the path of the shield.

Oddly enough, the big man knocks debris out the way as if it had been made of styrofoam — like movie-props. When he reaches the nearest of the damaged sentries, instead of shooting, Dugan punches a hand straight up through (what he hopes is) a chink in the armour plating, and…

Tries to understand.

Rather, he encounters machine-code — intercepted transmissions between the sentries — and it shocks the living hell out of the old soldier-turned android.

"Aww, crap…" is all he manages to say.


Captain America exhales in a sigh as the shield does not come back to him. That's always the problem with such a weapon. When it works, it's awesome. When it doesn't, you've lost yourself a priceless shield.

Time for phase 3, which is to try and get it back. And in the process, try and get them to shoot at each other.

Steve runs straight towards the sentries, gaining ground, before juking at the last moment and ducking behind the next pillar. He does this a few times, getting close, before he tries to run in between his enemies, and, if he's lucky, gets out alive. And if he's even luckier, puts them in each other's line of shot.


Liv looks back towards Ava and makes a bit of a face. "Normally, sure," she calls back, pitching her voice to be heard over the chaos of battle. "But these sentries are wrong. Their faces are all wrong, and they definitely don't normally hit like that."

She shakes her head. "I can still make that hole, Dugan," Liv offers, turning back towards… where Dugan just was. She blinks once, immediately moving into the space he's vacated and leaning to peer after him. Huh. "Ain't that a hell of a thing…"

Well. She can't just leave Dugan and Steve out there by themselves. Liv shoots an almost apologetic look towards Heather and Ava as she sheaths her sword, but then she's sprinting out from behind her cover to take advantage of the distraction Cap and Dum-Dum have so expertly provided. She just charges right in on the sentry whose head has been nearly severed and takes a flying leap towards it, both hands outstretched.

Ideally, Liv will latch onto its head and rip it off with her bare hands. Ideally.


"Okay, so if they run on it, then they can-" Oh, hey. Liv is making a run for it.

Ava mutters something under her breath in Russian, then takes off after the Asgardian, using her for cover as much as she can. Dugan seems to be able to take care of himself. Liv is indestructible. So maybe Steve needs some help. She does still sort of owe him for the whole shocking thing. While he plays the robots against each other, she dives toward the downed shield to recover it.


Heather makes sure her two charges are on their way to the exit before she begins to work her way toward the stairs, keeping to the periphery as long as she can. Shooting things isn't going to help here. What will help is being in the right place at the right time. She sees Ava dive for the shield — smart girl. Hopefully that helps.


A round of blue bolt energy is shot at Dugan after he touches the robot. While the technology gives him strange jolt of energy just by touching it — the machine code is different; an entirely different language with symbols that Dugan has never encountered anywhere.

Phase 3 does have the first bot that is already damaged, shooting at the second bot. And second bot is hit by a bolt of the energy, forcing it backwards, causing it to crack against the wall. The wall cracks against the force, and the second bot now purposely fires at the first. "You are defective. You must report home."

But as the second bot fires twice, causing first bot to stagger backwards again, Liv tackles the first bot, ripping its head off the remainder of its neck, and causing it to smoke madly while sparkling with that same blue energy as it falls to the ground.

Ava manages to recover the Shield amid all of the chaos, giving her some space to get in, and god-willing, get out.

The stairs that Heather encounters reveals a large, incredible lab beneath Haggia Sophia. Strange, unknown, technology flickers with that same blue energy that causes blue light to flash into the world. A single door on the far side of the lab is open, and heat flows in from the street. Evidently someone has made a speedy exit.


Horrified, Dugan jerks his hands out of the robot's innards, pulling circuitry with him. He has to duck to avoid the energy bolts that fly between the droids just over his head.

Until one bolt lances straight through the bowler hat (not his original hat, mind you) he is wearing, and Dugan reacts with a roar.

"That. Were almost. My dang-blasted. HEAD!!" he bellows, kicking at the bot's legs to further put it off balance, and then… he reaches for one of the droid's weapons.

"C'mere, ya whoppin', great, big, huge… zapper-thing…" the man mutters as he gets up in order to go after his comrades.


Ava gets to the shield before Steve did, which prevents Phase 4, which is to block with his shield. He's out in the open, now, and has gotta make a move or risks getting hit. He ducks down into a roll, narrowly dodging one of the blasts that comes his way. It's easier now with only one sentry shooting at them, but he doesn't want to find out what happens if he gets hit.


ROLL: Liv +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 23


Heather skitters down the stairs, careful not to touch any of the equipment as she dashes through the lab. The door is open, anyone who had been here is long gone. She can't even be sure which way they went. She doesn't want to step out of the room, in case that memory trick takes over her and she forgets what the hell she's doing here…ending up shopping in the market is a bad end to her first away mission.

Instead, she comes back in and begins looking for some clue as to who was just here. There's a large blue weapon here — she doesn't even know what it does, it just looks like it kills people. There's other technology she can't even begin to understand. And there's a button. In the center of the lab.

"Yeah, like I'm falling for that one," she mutters, holstering her side arm.


One down, one to go. Always reassuring when decapitation works.

Dropping the head with a clang, Liv wastes no time in rounding on the remaining sentry as it continues to make a nuisance of itself. "The neck!" she calls out, rushing forward to close the distance as the robot fires on Dugan and Steve. She plants a foot and, in one motion, draws her sword from its scabbard and brings the blade swinging around towards the sentry's neck. It's thinner than the arm, perhaps it will go better. "Cut them off at the damned — "

The sentry's arm snaps up with robotic precision to parry the Asgardian's blade, and Liv has just enough time to look genuinely annoyed before she catches another blast in the gut. This time, she's sent flying down the stairs, mercifully missing Heather's head by a few inches as she goes head over heels tumbling across the laboratory in a tangle of limbs.


Ava doesn't hold on to the shield for long. She skids across the floor, only to give it a solid kick that skids it back across the floor toward Steve. "Captain!" she calls out, making sure he at least has an idea that it's coming. Again, she draws her pistol, firing at the sentry that's just sent Liv flying. Because now it has no Asgardian tank to distract it, and that means better to hit it before it hits her.


At Liv's warning cry, Dum-Dum does his best to put his own opponent between him at the other droid — with partial success. The droid fires at him just as Liv makes her attack — and just as Dugan gets his hands on the alien rifle.

The blast catches him in the side of the chest, just under his arm — and propels him (just as it had done to Liv earlier) back across the room to smash into a wall. Dugan disappears in a cloud of dust, concrete and other debris — without a sound.

For a few, eternal seconds nothing happens.

Then a beam of brilliant energy lances out from the debris-cloud, catching another of the sentries in the throat, followed by: "Aww, dagNABBIT that HURTS!! Uh.. I'm… leakin'."


The bot that is still standing gets assaulted from all sides. While Dugan grasps one of the droid's weapons, he quickly realizes it is the bot's arm (it really is Mega Man). That said, he can use it to fire at the other bot thanks to his ability to speak to technology. The bolt of energy that flies from the weapon hits the other droid squarely in the chest, causing it to stumble backwards into the cement wall and crack an icon of St. Peter.

It's fortunate that the bot gets hit when it does because it narrowly misses hitting Steve with one of its bolts. The blue energy continues to fire at Captain America until it seems to register that Liv is hitting it with a sword — which then makes her into a target.

Ava then wins the bots' ire, and it shoots at her in a mad array of light, again, however, it's entirely off-kilter as the bot staggers away from the wall, meaning the aim is getting progressively worse.


Steve dives out of the way, apparently accepting his fate as a moving target as the others move in towards it. As the shield slides over towards him, he picks it up and uses it to block his approach as he tries to slam the sentry right in the kisser!


It takes Liv a moment to regain her senses and her feet, but once she does, she looks… irate. Rather than sheathing her sword, she gives it a short, angry jab downwards to plant it in the floor of the lab, murmurs a dark "I'll be right back," to Heather, and goes stalking her way back up the stairs.

When she comes back up behind the sentry, it is just in time for Steve to come charging up towards its head; Liv's hand immediately snaps up to catch the droid by the back of the head to hold it in place for the impact. Maybe she lets her fingers dig into the metal a bit. Maybe she looks a little too satisfied to be doing so.

Sue her. Those guns stung.


Ava yelps, jumping to the side as the blast splinters bits of stone from the wall at her side. Those are just the worst kind of splinters. Steve and Liv have the robot on the ropes, though, so she moves into a crouching run, headed for those downward stairs to see if there's something that needs help down there.


Everything in the lab is luminous with that eerie blue, pulsing light. It's the near-organic heartbeat of it that's especially unnerving. There are several types of weapons in here and all kinds of equipment and all of it is powered by this blue light running through … veins. She tracks back the largest veins to find a crystal set into the wall.

"Well. I'm guessing you're coming with us." Heather looks around for some kind of tool to touch it or grip it, gloves, anything of the sort. And a container. Something to put it in would be good. It had to get here somehow. No matter how the fight ends, they may need to move it.


The sentry staggers backwards when the shield meets its head. It's head snaps back — right into Liv's fingers. The Asgardian's strength cranes at the head, pulling it away from the bot's body. The force it takes Liv to remove it is still ample, but pulling up seems to have the desired effect.

Blue sparks emit from the place where the head had once been, and the bot collapses like a giant pile of metal, lifeless on the floor of the museum.


Out of the debris in the corner marches a moustache.

With a man attached to it.

Rather, an android that looks very much like a man. Dugan is NOT happy. His left side is leaking blood as well as other fluids that are most definitely not human… and neither is the exposed circuitry deep beneath the ruined synth-flesh. "Don' pay no attention to me, folks," he grunts as he rejoins them, alien rifle in his arms. One hand holds the trigger mechanism of… what remains of 'Vera'. "She's… in a better place," he mutters, speaking of his beloved rifle.


Steve gets to his feet, breathing heavily through gritted teeth. He stares down at the sentries, trying to figure out what that blue energy is. Firs tthings first, though, "Is everyone alright?" His face saddens a bit as Vera is done for. "Sorry, Dugan."


As the sentry collapses between herself and Steve, Liv brings its head down to peer at it closely, turning it to face herself with both hands. Her eyes narrow critically.

"These were Kree," Liv says in a very low voice. "But they've been altered beyond anything I've ever known them to have. And the faces are all wrong," she adds, lightly poking the crushed droid's face with a fingertip before she looks up towards Dugan.

Oh, dear. "You are leaking," Liv says with a worried frown, immediately shrugging out of her cloak to offer it to Dugan. "Here."


Ava doesn't go more than a few steps down the stairs before she stops, unwilling to explore much further alone. "Heather?" she calls down. "Are you okay? I'm fine," she calls up the other side, though she does have to wipe a bit of blood from the cuts on her face with the back of her hand. "What is Kree? Is Dugan-" A robot? Blink. Blink.


"I'm good," Heather calls up to Ava. There it is. The gloves and the box. Heather pulls on the gloves. "Let's get you out of here, lovely." Gingerly, she takes hold of the crystal and draws it out of its socket, then settles it in the case. The light around her dies out and the room is … very dark. "Fuck. Me," she says crisply. "Shoulda seen that coming." She closes the case, then takes her flashlight off her belt to illuminate the room.

"I think we'll need to secure this area," she calls upstairs as she returns with the case in her arms. "And bring in a team to remove the weapons and other tech downstairs. It's more than we can carry and we should be careful. But I think I have the good bit here. Ready to go home."


With the dust settling and the items being collected, it seems that the mission in Istanbul has mostly been a success. There are items to catalogue, questions to answer, technology to consider, and undoubtedly, debriefings to be had. But increasingly it becomes obvious: whatever happened at Haggia Sophia was not of this earth.


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