1964-07-21 - King's Men 10: White Star Line
Summary: Captain America, your star sharks are calling you…
Related: Plot: Kingsmen
Theme Song: None
steve-rogers rogue 

The Avengers Mansion, 06:42 local time.

New York traffic is awful. The heat bubbles away to the point tarmac makes a second La Brea tar pits for pigeons. No one who has to be awake wants to. That won't stop a succession of angry vehicles honking loudly outside the windows of the Mansion. Brakes applied liberally add their vaulted squeal to the usual noise. How well did they soundproof the place, anyways? A cacophony of angry honks and shrill protests finally subside somewhat.

"What the /hell/ is that?" someone growls loudly, even as shadows eclipse the lower most windows of the building. Another resonating thud answers, one that probably shakes the drapes if indeed any drapes exist.

English, clipped and gracious, responds in the feminine register without. "I am making a delivery, sir. Please pardon me." Then the doorbell gets a buzz.

Every few seconds a snap that sounds almost like a rubberband rings out in the office of the Avengers Mansion, located not too terribly far from the front door. One might wonder what in the world is going on, but upon closer inspection we see that it's Steve Rogers playing solitaire. The noise, thankfully, is kept at bay, but the flicker of light behind the simple curtains causes the Star Spangled Avenger to sit up and take notice. A moment later, the doorbell.

He gives a short jog to the door and opens it up and smiles and looks up.

It would be nice if the door opened to the awe-inspiring view of Central Park. That's what Tony and Lamont pay the money for, right? Unfortunately not a jot of a green tree, iron rail, or lawn comes into view. Instead there's a horrific shape roughly the size and dimensions and colour of a war head lying sideways. It is, fortunately, not such a thing. No one could possibly mistake the more organic curve of the thing's body for being metal or a rigid tube. Warheads don't bleed. Nor do they show signs of some serious bombardment of the blunt force trauma kind. However, the grey and white body is at least thirty feet long and, more alarmingly, full of teeth at one end. Metal plating sticks to the front sides, three 'horns' poking out, and several shattered disks on the front have the taste of foreign technology well beyond the Chryslers and televisions at the World's Fair. It is, for a mercy, thoroughly dead.

A highly torn up outfit and a weary young woman lean against the door frame, her feet better visible than the rest of her. "Hello. I brought a package."

It truly does beg the question, what /does/ a Columbia student do on her off time? Scarlett may be giving an interesting answer.

Cap reaches out his arm towards Scarlett, bracing her if she should decide to use his help. "What in the world?" Steve has simply never seen anything like this before. His blue eyes are wide open and shocked as he stands there in his white t-shirt and gym pants. "Are you alright?"

Leather gouged by distinctly weird bites makes her jacket more scraps than anything else. Scrapes show through her salvaged shirt. The dark pants are bloody in places, not all of it her own. Only Scarlett's boots have really survived the experience, in large part because buckles and laces in excess really do hold up against the ravages of a celestial terror. If Steve peers around past her, he might see what appears to be a shark right up until he gets to the jaws. Rather than the pointed nose of a great white or even the weird oblongation of a hammer head, this thing… it's a horror of nature. Teeth filled jaws converge into a thinner arrow point, and the bottom jaw centers on a circular buzz saw row of teeth. Said saw is four feet long and very, very clearly broken in places. Teeth are missing, each of those long pieces capable of chomping through something soft and squishy, like humanity, with ease. Its black eye fixes on emptiness, and it's very much dead. The lasers on its head, possibly less so.

"Not from this world. But I found it here, and more were coming." Her expression is weary, to say the least, pinched at the corners. "I found these ones when in… south." Her shoulder weakly gestures to the vague direction. "Flying sharks. A giant, angry, flying shark."

Steve's head tilts as he can't quite fully comprehend the terror on his doorstep or the ridiculous nature of what they are or may have come from. He just can't seem to figure it out. His offer of propping not taken, he takes a few steps down from the door and walks out to get a better look. "When you say you found it here, do you mean you found it in New York, America, or…" He pauses, folds one arm over his body and braces his face with a backwards palm, "Or Earth?"

"I found it at the top of the clouds. A bit spotty on the right corner of the continent," Scarlett replies. She isn't adverse to help but with that much skin showing, Steve is in considerable danger. Her head tilts forward and she murmurs, "Let me try and remember. We stayed mostly overland for a while. It took a bit to soften it up." To say the least. "The others were headed west, towards the sun. Very much in the atmosphere. No reports of bombers shaped like sharks yet?"

Steve shakes his head, "No. I haven't heard anything at least." He exhales and rubs his hand over his brow as he tries to think. He's come up with every sort of tactical decision imaginable in some of the worst firefights of war. But this? This is a new one. "If they're flying over American airspace, this isn't just an us issue, it's a military one. Let me make a call to Washington and coordinate. I don't think they're going to take to having these things over our country. Better get a scientist familiar with biology. Animal biology would be preferable. We need to get every flyer we have on call and for those of us who can't, we're going to need to figure out a way to get up there." He pauses, reaching up to touch the shark on its side, still in awe. "I take it they attacked first. How intelligent would you say they are?"

"I wonder if 'swimming' through the sky counts or if that's just semantics." Scarlett's expression fades to dimness for but a moment, her slowly curdled thoughts jarred out of an ice flow. She can do the math; military, airspace. A giant shark causing traffic to remain halted and people to still look absolutely bothered at the beast lying in its deathly slump on the sidewalk. "What if someone thinks we launched a missile strike? They look like that. I… I'd say they are smarter than they look. Sharks swim around and eat things with fair bit of discrimination. This thing dive-bombed me and tried to shoot me with the light things on its head." Hence the interesting cuts and scorches. "It wasn't fleeing after I tried to fling it back out of orbit, and there was a frenzy of them out there. Ah, like a school of space-age death sharks. Smart, death sharks."

Steve raises his eyebrow as he looks back to the tattered Scarlett. "One question I have is whether these beings are doing this themselves or whether they are having help. Or if they're maybe being forced. They don't look like they have the finger dexterity to build such a laser and it certainly doesn't look natural." He looks back to her and a look of worry is unmistakable. "You alright?" he asks again.

For a moment, Scarlett merely stares at the bastion and icon of all things American, in his all-American blond earnestness. The tattered sleeve of her jacket slides away and she starts to laugh, the ache pinging through her rib cage and up her spine, but not without a dose of humour. "Sharks building lasers. If there is some world around a distant star doing that, I'm not sure I want to see it." The tumble of laughter is hoarse and tired, but not without some refreshing effect. "I faced off against a thirty-four foot long saw blade with eyes. I'm not sure what I am right now other than deeply concerned. These things are beyond my ken. I have never heard, much less seen, sharks from space. Why would anyone take us seriously if we mentioned them? I'm sorry. The shark.. I didn't think anyone would without proof. "

Steve nods solemnly, and in truth a bit sadly, "Well, I think as sad as it'd be if this were something extra-terrestrial, the idea that they're from here is even worse." Looking back at the shark, Steve shakes his head, "I need to make a few phone calls to get this thing looked at and to make the military aware. Don't want to tell you how to live you're life, but I think you need to get some rest, get cleaned up, get some food in you. After that we're going to need to debrief you."

Scarlett utters a dry, dark chuckle. "I need to be rinsed of this shark blood, yes. It wasn't quite safe enough to dive through the ocean, given there wasn't a drop of water around for miles. Could you put a sign on the body so no one thinks to arrest the corpse and carry it off as evidence? Perhaps we should paint your shield colours on it, just to be sure." This is how rumours that Captain America rides a giant death shark with a saw blade in its face get started, and certain factions in the world recoil in terror. "I can stand for a bit of sleep. Though not much. These things are still in the air, doing whatever they meant to do, and people could be at risk. Sleepless nights aren't my loss, if that means happy days for everyone."

"You're right, people could be at risk. That's why I've got to contact the military and someone with a science background. You, on the other hand, have fought the good fight. By the time you wake up, the shark will be out of here and we'll start having a plan on of attack. Was anyone else with you up there?"

"As long as the shark doesn't get up and start walking. Be forewarned, it took glee in biting me." Not that the bites are much evident except in her clothes. Durability is a blessing when it comes to the redheaded bohemian, even though she looks practically ready to march back out the door to check for a pulse. How does one do that with a giant grey terror of the primeval deep? "Wake me in two hours, or ask someone to, please? Alarm clocks are past my abilities at the moment. And I do believe a shark was trying to make dinner out of a Norse thunder god, but they were moving too fast to be certain."

"Well, if he does wake up, hopefully he won't find me as tasty as he found you," Steve says with a chuckle and a nod. "Get some sleep, I'll wake you."

It's about two hours and twenty-four minutes when she finally hears a light rapping at her door. Steve figured that he would let her sleep and didn't want to wake her unless he had something to tell her. "Come on, kid, I'm making breakfast." It should be said it's late evening, but he does not seem to care.

Two hours of rush hour on a Friday with a space shark in front of Avengers Mansion is a story that /will/ happen. The only question is who will cover it, and whether someone blames Spider-Man, hate mail, or the Russians.

Whatever passes for belongings maintained at the Mansion, Scarlett really carries very little of interest. Her choices are odd and patently absurd. Apparently the black formal dress will be the choice, complete with opera-length gloves, from another time when violence lost out to a golden ticket. This surely might be the oddest breakfast one has ever had. She is light enough on her feet, albeit in spidery heels, and probably bound to reconsider shopping any time. "Delightful. I'm dressed to kill, and may hope no one is, in fact, dead. That smells divine."

"What can I say? I spent a lot of time in France during the war," Steve says. It seems he's cooking for his army buddies. Several meats and a ton of eggs in some sort of scramble. By the time she gets down there, it's almost finished. "We've got the Department of Defense investigating from military bases across the nation. I wasn't able to get a hold of Reed Richards, so we sent for Dr. Hershing Perrence from Stanford who boarded a plane about an hour ago. He's going to meet up with some scientists from the government at an offsite holding ground. Shark's already gone."

Very little defines the preferences of Scarlett's palate, at least where memory supplies only a limited degree of understanding for what she may have disliked once. The list starts and ends with hot dog, so in this respect, Steve serves admirably in his capacity as a chef and leader of their merry band of earthly Guardians. He will not find her unwilling to contribute, wiping down a counter or fetching silverware, anything that eases the cook's work and contributes after a fashion. Even if she's dressed like someone about to see a show.

"You do work fast." Her mild amusement mingles with a more serious note. "All those parties already in action. That speaks to something, at least. I intend to try to line up a map and find out where they were relative to me. No doubt someone will ask for a briefing, but more significantly, I want to see sure everyone is all right." Grounding her is, in effect, a form of torment for which Scarlett is never accustomed.

"Would I knew anything more about why they came, but they have no means…" She catches herself. Gravity settles in as her nostrils flare slightly, and she reaches out to pet the countertop. "Not quite true, they can tell us but understanding would be the problem. They communicate by… Cloudy emissions of something. I briefly got a good idea of being called dinner about ten times."

Hashbrowns, sausage, ham, eggs, and peppers get scraped onto a plate in front of the Bohemian, steam billowing upwards towards the ceiling. Steve shrugs his shoulders as she discusses how quickly he has worked. "When it comes to these types of threats, the President likes to move pretty quickly. Don't want to get taken off guard again, I imagine." He fixes his own plate as the toast flips upward. "No one has reported an attack, yet, but that doesn't mean it hasn't happened." As she talks about their communication, he winces, wondering how that must look up there in the sky.

Peppers, oh, the great joy of breakfast foods. Scarlett will tuck into those given the first opportunity. Her sigh of absolute delight practically encroaches upon indecent, if not explained in the exertion of hauling a shark airborne into New York. That thing is heavy with the added metal. "No doubt. How to explain flying sea creatures. How they can survive without any kind of water…" Nose wrinkled a fraction, she spears a piece of egg with her fork and makes very short work of that piece. "You're looking troubled. The notion of coordinated thinking sharks is disturbing? I would rather forget." She would probably rather not descend into the possibility of a total frenzy of her own if the opportunity rises. At least she's not starving for squid.

"It's the waiting," Steve acknowledges as he leans against the counter with a plate in one hand and a fork in the other. "I don't like the time in between knowing there is a problem and fixing that problem." He looks down towards his food and gives a single shake of his head, "Waiting on the military to give us an idea of where to go next. It's not a good spot to be in."

"The waiting," agrees the bohemian, wobbling her fork between her fingers. "I do not sit still happily. In truth, I am nearly prepared to snatch you and your shield up, and be gone." A moment halts her progress. Scarlett tugs on the end of her braided ponytail. "Or, more likely, I need to find something to wear, and then we go yell at a shark."

"Do you think we could take them all?" Steve says looking up from his plate. The metal of the fork makes a clinking sound as he puts it down on his plate. "How quickly can you get dressed?" he asks, renewed by her idea to cut that unknown feeling and turn it into action. "I'll leave a message with my contact at the DoD to relay the message from someone here."

"Dressed? Five minutes to my building and ready." Scarlett pinches the hem of the dress, and releases it, her calculations found on practically. "I know having a shield against teeth helps. That was my problem, I kept sliding off that because I had to dodge the teeth, the lasers, the horns." Horns, on a shark, are something odd indeed. "I'll need a map. I have the advantage of knowing where I was."

"I'll be ready in less than five," Steve says as he scrapes the rest of his food into the trash, and begins to wash his plate quickly. "I'll see what I have as far as maps. We'll meet back here as soon as we're both ready." Steve doesn't even wait for a reply. He disappears into the hallway, getting ready to suit up.

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