1964-07-07 - King's Men 2: Eternal Winter
Summary: Karnak, Crystal, and Nexus work to fulfill Blackagar's wishes.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
crystal rogue karnak nexus 


Nexus has managed to forge some credentials and insert into University computers the fiction that he's a guest researcher, though he doesn't really do any work. At the moment that finds him waiting in his sister's lab, a faraway look on his features, the circuits in his skin a clear, silver-white that makes them more obvious.7


Karnak has been a frequent visitor already the past few days, mainly because she's a master at not being noticed, and Vesper has provided the excuse of a "Far Eastern Guru" to help with some biorythms, or something. Karnak doesn't really care, save that it allows her to make her way into the office without difficulty.

And she nods slightly towards Nexus, "Yes, very good, very punctual." She hrms, moving into the office and closing the door behind her.


The laboratory is peculiarly empty for a place humming with activity thanks to the American Chemical Society annual conference. Though the shooting out on Washington Square Park put a damper on things, for sure. The biology building is far away from those dirty, nasty chemists. Still, it's not completely quiet, not at all given the hum of machines and one light that needs to be fixed.


Focusing his attention upon Karnak, the technopath arches a brow a moment, "Punctual? Was there a meeting that I'm not aware of?" he wonders with a tilt of his head as he regards the royal. "My sister was wondering if lines such as ours were a common trait among our people." he remarks.


Karnak looks over at Nexus, and arches a brow slightly, "They are a common trait to me. For my people, I cannot say." She moves in and looks at the coffee maker curiously, trying to remember how Vesper set up the contraption for that… cafe or whatever it was. Then she adds, "Do you still wish revenge on Maximus for what he did?" Her tone indicates she knows the answer, but asks as a formality only.


"No." Nexus shakes his head slowly, "Though it was reckless and is deserving of punishment, personal revenge is no longer on the table. Vesper is able to… have a *body*, and live a life, and that is what I feared he had stolen from her with his usurpation of the Council's authority and duty."


Crystal is a busy woman, between the X-Men and the Avengers. It's almost as though she's taken to heart the Council's advice that the royal family learn what they can of the outside world and truly immersed herself in it. That doesn't mean she doesn't have time for her people, though. When she received a message that there was something to be discussed, she made the time to show up for it, stepping into the lab and closing the door delicately behind herself.


Karnak glances over at Nexus, "Pity, because I have a plan in place to cause him a great amount of consternation, if you wish to assist in that anyway." Then she glances over towards Crystal, and nods politely, "I'm glad you received the message, cousin. There's something that we must do." Normally Karnak is pretty contemplative about things, so when she says the 'must' word, it's probably going to be serious.


"Must we?" Crystal smiles faintly to Karnak, stepping around her to deftly set the coffee to brewing. There are some advantages to having been out in the world more, after all. "Please tell me Maximus hasn't gotten into something else again?" she sighs, stepping away from the machine.


"What, like exposing an unprepared sickly woman to the Mists without any kind of warning and without the Council's leave? He's only done it the once, to my sister. That I know of. " Nexus grunts, and shakes his head, crossing his arms over his chest. He eyes Karnak again, "What must we do?"


Karnak looks back at Crystal, "At Black Bolt's request. We need to obtain something for him. And I need some help determining where it might possibly be." She keeps it somewhat vague, though it's pretty clear that Karnak thinks it's important, because Black Bolt thinks it's important. "We'll need the locations of some Kree ruins, or abandoned Inhuman ones, on Earth. Ancient is better. And then we'll need a rapid way of getting to them, before Maximus realizes what's going on." With that, she looks over at Crystal again, as the Inhuman method of Rapid Transit is pretty obvious. For the Royal Family, anyway.


Crystal reaches a gentle hand for Nexus' arm, even if she grimaces all the same. Maximus is a prickly topic for the royal family indeed. She arches a brow at Karnak though, curious. "Ancient Kree ruins, undisturbed. That…might be a tall order, cousin. Though I suppose we might start somewhere in the middle east. There are certainly plenty of old things there, though many have been disturbed. We'd have better luck in South America or the Yucatan if we wanted to find something old that hadn't been pillaged yet," she muses. A faint smile curves at the look. "Yes, Lockjaw is still with me. Not here, but he's grown rather fond of Westchester. There's a school full of unusual children who enjoy feeding him sandwiches, after all. But what is it we're looking for?".


The technopath smiles tightly at Crystal at the hand, but then Nexus closes his eyes, and tilting his head, "I will see if any of our old databases have any hints…" The circuits on his skin brighten as he seizes the Attilan Core and sets up a computational matrix to filter through its massive troves of data. "Cross-indexing with South and Central America as a filter parameter."


Karnak nods slightly, and looks at Crystal, "A… focus, of sorts. We can speak more of it later." She tilts her head as Nexus does his work, arching a brow as she's not seen him using his powers first-hand. "Fascinating."


Crystal doesn't look particularly inclined to wait for an answer, but she folds her arms over her chest, watching Nexus at work as well.


Nexus opens his eyes, and gestures to a monitor on the genetic 'scanner' such as it is: he coopts the screens purpose and instead of showing a up close but blurry image of DNA, it shows a rough image of Central America. "These are sites of interest in Central America: however there is some limiting factors that are impeding my functioning. There are security parameters that will take some time to break through — and some other markers that it seems the House of Agon is using without documenting their meaning." He frowns, "There is a 'sub rosa' protocol that locks several points as well, and I do not know this protocol. I shall investigate more deeply tonight."


Karnak hmms, "I see. Exceptional work nonetheless." She then looks over at Crystal, "It's a focus for Black Bolt's powers. Or at least, I hope that's what we will find. It's something that he feels that he requires." Which is true enough, really, if not revealing certain matters.


Crystal may not be on Karnak's level, but she knows people well enough to know when something isn't being said. The moment of silence as she considers her cousin is perhaps a beat longer than is natural, but she eventually nods. "Then of course we will look for it," she agrees, giving Nexus a curious look at the explanation. "It has something to do with privacy, but it's a very old term. The house of Agon has been divided of late," she says slowly. "Do the markers date from Maximus' reign, or Blackagar's father? Or before?"


"Is it *desirable* to *focus* Blackagar's powers?" Nexus finds the idea of the most destructive inhuman ever bred to be able to *focus* his powers— and presumably be more powerful— a little alarming. "Would he not be better served by some means to *dampen* his power?" He looks to Crystal, considering, "It is old — it is *very* old. I would call these records some of our earliest, when we were comparitively primitive." He pauses, "Compared to ourselves now, of course. Not to them." The barbarians at the gate. Ie, humans.


Karnak looks at Crystal, then at Nexus, and frowns, "Perhaps I should go back to the Tower of Wisdom. There are records there that I can access. But I will say this much. Black Bolt needs to find a way to focus his powers, if we are to deal with the threat that is Maximus." She looks at Nexus, then at Crystal, "Cousin, you know I would not lie about this, even though I may not be saying everything just yet. But this is not a place I feel comfortable elaborating in." Her eyes glance suspiciously around the office.


"Power has never been Blackagar's problem." Crystal shrugs to Nexus. "But he's trained his entire life for control. If he could step back from that for a moment, allow himself to devote more focus to politics, for example? I would say that was an improvement, myself. But I have some bias in the matter," she allows, pausing as the coffee machine signals its readiness to pour a cup for Karnak.


"We need to narrow down the sites: what other factors can the matrix filter for?" asks Nexus of the womans, "I am not an expert on Kree or our history; before my terrigenesis I maintained out computers and wrote these matricies — but I wrote them to spec, based on experts needs." he explains, "Is there anything particular about Kree technology or needs that you know of that we could use to add an additional filter?" He considers, "I will apply a filter based on how close to a population center it is, perhaps. It is likely more remote."


Karnak glances over at Nexus, "Some sort of control mechanism, or focus… but perhaps you should make a wider search. There is more to the world than Central or South America." She hmms at Crystal. "You are more correct than you might think, cousin." She takes the coffee and sips it, sighing a bit as she tastes the bitterness of the drink.


"Something in that phrase - sub rosa - makes me think it has to do with the feminine," Crystal notes to Nexus, pouring herself a coffee as well, though she adds a bit of cream and sugar to hers. "Though I don't know if that would refer to the object or artifact in question, or something to do with the filing system."


"We don't want *more* sites, Karnak. We want fewer. There are too many possibilities in Central America already. If we go there and do not find anything, then we will search another area. But the poitn here is to narrow results, not expand them." counters Nexus, but he considers Crystal a moment, "Adding a filter for sites based on feminine mythological importance."


A slight frown, "Assuming that Central America is where we need to be looking, that is." She gives Nexus a bit of a dismissive glance, then considers as she drinks her coffee, black. "The Tower of Wisdom does keep a collection of history there."


"We have to start somewhere, Karnak," Crystal notes, taking a sip of her coffee. "And sites in Central America are less visited than those in other parts of the world. We have a better chance of finding a site that hasn't already been plundered there. Other sites will do us no good if their artifacts have already been picked up by people who didn't realize what they were looking at. Perhaps if Nexus knew more of what he was looking for…?" she prompts.


Nexus pauses, and he tilts his head to the side, "Wait, no. Removing that filter. The sub rosa protocol is in the datafiles— so it doesn't speak to locations, but instead locks data." He considers, "Perhaps for some reason it will not accept input from a male." He pauses, closing his eyes a moment, "Karnak, if you will attempt to activate and unlock the protocols vocally, I will transmit your voice to the Core to interface with it. Then perhaps Lockjaw can take you to the Temple if the protocol does not reveal anything?"


She blinks a bit, then nods, "Very well, though we should plan to travel together to Attilan for both, eventually." Karnak then says towards Nexus, "Karnak Mander-Azur, unlock datafile access." She looks a bit bemused, mainly because this is not something she normally deals with, as she looks at Crystal, tired of apparently trying the subterfuge with her cousin, "Black Bolt's powers are becoming uncontrollable. He needs something to help regulate them." She then gives both of you the Obviously Keep This Secret look.


Crystal nods once to Karnak as she clarifies the matter, somber. "Such a thing could be catastrophic," she agrees. "His old chambers in Attilan? Were they destroyed, or does he refuse to return to them?" There's no judgment in the last, but Crystal knows her family well. And it seems in her absence from Attilan, she's been forced to grow into more of a planner and strategist herself. Not bad for the child who found chess boring.


The Core sings alive. Whether or not others than Nexus can hear this, he'll still be aware of the system enduring the delay of signal and the slow grind.


Sub Rosa protocol initiated.


Karnak Mander-Azur. Confirm name.


Data processing. Data processing. Data processing.


Forking error. Recompiling SUBR-04 volume 000101055OYH.


Gateway connected. Success! It sounds so very cheerful about that.


Inquiry?


Nexus blinks, and he has to close his eyes again, and the circuits go live, "Access has been granted." he breathes: its a rare part of the Core which denies him. He happens to store away a memory imprint of Karnak's voiceprint, ahem. He holds his hand up to the screen, and the Core's responses are displayed to them both, "Query: Parameters of sub rosa protocol, its purpose and available commands." he transmits to the machine.


Karnak gives a sidelong glance to Nexus, then hmms, "Search protocol, query status of Kree/Inhuman…" She pauses, and then adds, "Power regulators?" Her eyes narrow, as she looks at Nexus, "Something like that is, I believe, the appropriate term."


Nexus relays Karnak's instruction into the Core.


Crystal half-listens to the queries, but as she does, she starts to move around the lab, taking a look at the information on the monitors. Between her time with the X-Men and her time with Act-F, she's had a chance to see the pinnacles of current human research and achievement in science. No harm in keeping abreast of current developments.


"Sub Rosa protocol initiated by King Auron and Anta the Grey Sage seals subsections of the Codex Regius from unauthorized access.


Protected files are unlisted in the databases and exempt from higher security access.


Marked records, 2,089.


Computing search. Searching… Power regulator at site 85-Y, destroyed 1960. No records found.


Search?


Karnak frowns, considering, "Computer, query location of Kree/Inhuman technology that can channel, focus, or otherwise regulate Inhuman powers?" She narrows her eyes, thinking that this is solvable… she just needs to ask the right question.


Nexus considers, "Core, query location of sites for Kree research into development of Inhuman and Inhumn powers."


"Sub-search: Sonic powers," Crystal chimes in from in front of one of the screens on the far side of the room. "Goodness. It's no wonder it's taken them this long, look at the resolution on these. It's dreadful. At least the mutants don't need to worry about anything that can track their particular race for a good while yet."


The core notes: Twenty-seven records found for research; powers; Kree. Twenty-four under Sub Rosa protocol.


A moment then data spits out into the circuitry in a flashing package that might threaten Nexus' poor head.


Grey Order center.

  • Akkad
  • Aztlan
  • Brodgar
  • Chichen Itza
  • Caral
  • Cibolita
  • Dilmun
  • Dvaraka
  • Hohokam
  • Houssa
  • Iram
  • Kitezh
  • Lothal
  • Nayarit
  • Paititi
  • Rakhigarhi
  • Saba
  • Shedet
  • Susa
  • Tenochtitlan
  • Teotihuacan
  • Tikal
  • Timgad
  • Uhane Moku
  • Ur
  • Yamatai

Continue?


Karnak considers, "Yes. Narrow the search to locations that dealt with sonic or vibratory powers, if possible?" She nods over at Crystal, acknowledging her cousin's contribution as she tilts her head, not… quite used to this. Of course, it's definitely faster than bookhunting in the library at the Tower.


"Isn't it?" Nexus agrees to Crystal with a grimace, "The only way I was able to perform a genetic test on Vesper was to take multiple readings and write a predictive matrix for the Core to extrapolate based on known Inhuman factors." Ie, he taught the Core to make a series of educated guesses and compare those and then test if the guess was right. He pauses, and creates an interface between the protocol and his existing computational matrix, "Adding a filter to existing matrix: listed sites."


Crystal turns back from the monitors to watch Nexus work, arms crossed loosely over her chest as she considers the list of locations. She's fled through various parts of the world since she left Attilan, but many of those locations are strange even to her ears.


The core processes. The process is, at least, mostly silent. Then it repeats, Twenty-four records found. Incomplete files.


It wants to help. It answers. Cross-reference on twenty-four records.


It bleats, See Chapters Four through Seven, Codex Regius. Cross reference passages nine through twelve, Grey Book.


Karnak hmmms slightly, "Well, that seems to be a start. What is the current location of the Grey Book?" She tilts her head, feeling like progress is being made now as she looks thoughtful.


Glancing to Karnak, "Do you have these books in the Tower?" asks Nexus, and then glances to Crystal, "Can Lockjaw provide transport for us?" He's not about to waste a chance to get back to Attilan, even if briefly.


"He can, certainly," Crystal nods to Nexus. "Though we'll need to find a private place for him to meet us. The Avengers mansion would be fine, they know about him. Or enough not to panic at the sight of him, at least."


Karnak shakes her head, "The Codex Regius is the codices of Inhuman Kings and Queens, we would need either Black Bolt or the Council to approve of it, and that would not exactly be covert. The Grey Book, though…" She considers, looking thoughtful as she waits for the computer to respond.


Location unclear. The Grey Book registered stolen in reign of King Myran. Last location known is among the Grey Sages in Thule. The Core passes along the information after chunking through the archives.


"If we need it, we need it: if Blackagar isn't willing to go to Attilan to approve it personally, I can stress upon my mother the importance of the situation." Nexus' mother is Cynas and sits the Council, "In Attilan, I am… much… more. Persuasive. True. I may be able to convince her to convene a closed session on the matter. The stability of Blackagar is of importance to the whole of the world." He considers the machine, "It seems that if we are to cross-reference as the Core wishes us to— we are to go to Thule." He nods to Crystal, "Although important this is not so pressing we need summon Lockjaw here."


The Core primly notes to Nexus. The Core serves Attilan and holds no biased protocols. Wanna bet, Core?


"I'm sure neither of you are keen on it, but there's also Maximus," Crystal points out reluctantly. "Whether or not we approve of him as a king, he was. Permissions might still be stored. Even if they shouldn't be, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to find he'd left himself some sort of backdoor."


Karnak nods, "Precisely. Even this type of data search can leave a trail…" She frowns, "Well, I think our best course is to go to Thule, and see what we can find there. We shouldn't involve Black Bolt yet, and the Council is vulnerable to Maximus. We can't trust them to keep this query secret." A slight shrug at that.


"I would not trust Maximus to help his brother: he would rather Blackagar's instability increase just to increase his own claim to the throne. He would, what do they call it? 'play chicken' with the world if it got him power again." He wrinkles his nose at Karnak, "I am Nexus Oculai." says the technopath, as if taking it a personal affront his access could be detected. He considers, "Query: Location of Thule?" Then he adds, "Request: to ensure continued access between Nexus and Core, remove all traces of this inquery from records."


59.0015 degrees north, 3.2298 degrees west. The Core does its duty. Inquiry deletion commencing.


"Myran is the King who moved Attilan from that area," Crystal muses. "I remember that. Before we moved Attilan, before the rebellion, they had me study every time the city had been moved before I helped with the process." She reaches up to rub a hand at her brow, laughing softly. "Randac bless, I hated the studying so much."


Karnak looks over at Crystal, "Well, that's good to know. We'll have to get Lockjaw to take us there. It would be the easiest way to proceed, I think, and one that would keep Maximus from interfering. At least, the path of least resistance from him."


"Wait, are you suggesting the mythological Thule might be Attilan?" Nexus blinks at Crystal, "So the Grey Book might be *in* our City?". He thinks a moment: Thank you, Core. I have new and interesting data of the databases out here. It is utterly primitive but you may find it novel. "Query: Compare location of Thule to historical records of location of Attilan when it was in the arctic sea during the reign of King Myran."


Southernmost point 59.092064 degrees north, 3.913735 degrees west. The Core responds.


"Well, I can't speak for Thule, but Attilan was in the area for a time," Crystal shrugs. "When they relocated at that time, they used a combination of swimmers and flyers. Swimmers through the water, then flyers once the water was too shallow. There'd been some question of why there had been so many swimmers and flyers in the years leading up to the move, but once the fish stopped coming and the city needed to be moved, they knew." She looks to Nexus, brows furrowing slightly at the Core's response. "That sounds quite close to the previous coordinates, yes?"


Karnak mmms, "Close, but not exactly the same. We'll need to map out those coordinates so Lockjaw can have the right idea on where to go." She actually smiles a little at the thought of the giant pooch. Yes, Lockjaw is the one thing that can make Karnak smile almost always. Even if she won't admit it publicly.


"Very close." agrees Nexus, thoughtfully, "So close that it could not be a separate island unless it was a close neighbor. Query: Search historical records, during the period Attilan was in the artic ocean under the reign of King Myran, was another island in close proximity?" He looks to Karnak, "If what I am suspecting is true from these reports, Karnak… we don't care about those coordinates because Thule is no longer there. It sounds to me that Attilan *is* Thule. So the Grey Book is in Attilan. Query: Compare historical record of Grey Sages with the teachings of the Tower of Wisdom?"


The Orcades archipelago. Main island. Has anyone updated it since the Latin period? One hopes so. Orkney. Another pause. The Core processes along. Remnants of Attilan landing maintained on remnant of Orkney. Grey Sages site maintained on remnant of Orkney. Tower of Wisdom located in Attilan.


Karnak nods, "Apparently it was left behind when Attilan moved, Nexus." She smiles slightly, "So, now we have the location. We'll have to get Lockjaw and go there." She finishes her coffee, then moves to the sink to rinse out the cup, setting it in the rack to dry as she saw Vesper do earlier.


Crystal lets out a breath as the Core provides a location, nodding once. "Nicely done," she says with a small, warm smile for Nexus, reaching a hand for his shoulder once more in approval. "I'll get Lockjaw. Meet at the mansion? We should be able to leave from there, and that way if anything happens to us, people equipped to help will know."


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