Logs:A Grieving World

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A Grieving World
Dramatis Personae

B, Clint, Sam


"If 2020 ends in zombies I'm cancelling all of next year preemptively."


<NYC> NYPD 121st Precinct - Staten Island

The 121st Precinct station house is one of the newest in the borough, its unique top-heavy outline eyecatching where it perches at the top of its hill. There are no police officers in sight now, though, nor any cruisers out front, though some remain in the actual parking lot in back. There are instead quite a number of commercial vans (Strategic Pest Control and Mold Remediation, they read, beside an incredibly generic geometric logo) parked in the circular driveway, and workers in coveralls coming and going at regular intervals.

The working environment around here has been steadily devolving, as things -- well, progress would be putting it kindly. Half the station is collapsed, quick makeshift tenting set up around the site to protect those inside from the elements. Despite the windbreaks and the space heaters many of the agents circulating through the space still look uncomfortably shivery.

B, at least, seems mostly unbothered by the cold, tucked in front of her workstation in an oversized fluffy purple and black sweater, fleece-lined purple leggings and stompy boots under her long layered skirt. Unbothered by the cold doesn't mean unbothered, though, and there's a growing frustration in her expression as she scrunches her eyes closed, rubs at them, rests her temple against curled knuckles. Reaches for a coffee that is -- empty, scowls at that instead before returning to turn her glare back to her terminal. "I always pictured finding a doorway into another world to be a lot more magical adventures and a lot less figuring out where I have an unpaired bracket."

Tucked into a chair in a relatively intact side of the room in a leather jacket over soft cream sweater and pinstripe trousers, away from the flapping of windblown plastic, Sam looks less unbothered but he's weathering it fine. Just a small intermittent grimace with the wind blows too strong. He's got a bottle of orange Crush and a bacon egg and cheese sandwich, munching his way through the latter as he scrolls his phone. He glances up when B speaks, washes his mouthful of sandwich down with a gulp of soda. "Think those kids would prefer debugging to their otherworld adventures."

In his black tactical gear, Clint looks like he could be just another of the site security personnel who have increased in number since the second failed attempt at closing the rift yesterday, except for the intricate custom compound bow and quiver he wears across his back. He looks unbothered by the cold or anything else, perched on a stool on the open-air side of the space, half-facing outward. He glances at B when she reaches for her coffee, then turns more fully to face her when she speaks, his expression attentively neutral and his eyes locked on her mouth. Still, it isn't until Sam replies that he nods slowly. "So would DJ, I think," his tone is as casual as ever. "And yet." He leans over and picks up a stainless steel thermos to offer out to B with upraised eyebrows.

B grinds her knuckles against one eye but then drops her hand, regarding the thermos gratefully. She rolls her chair closer so that she can take it from Clint, pulling one leg up into the seat with her. "And yet." Her claws click against the lid quietly as she opens it, rolling back to pour some out into her empty mug. "Should probably just send the poor guy home again, but I don't know what's the point of him going all that way if he's just gonna get jerked around again." She doesn't quite manage to stifle her yawn; hands still busy with the coffee she doesn't cover it either, wide and revealing several more rows of teeth than are normally on display. "Oh but fantasy did prepare me for weird magical portals picking favorites, at least. Maybe we should get the Tessiers to cast a spell at this instead. Might have better luck."

"What would have to come through that door," Sam is tilting his soda bottle in the direction of where the rift is still unseen but very much marked out, "for you to whip that thing out and shoot 'em." He's been eying the bow on Clint's back with an idle fascination that shifts into a small hitch of brows when he looks back to B. "This point, Lucien walks in, waves a wand at it, seals it up, don't even know that I'd be shocked." He taps his fingers lightly against the side of the bottle. "How you think an interdimensional portal settles on favorites. Maybe this is a God thing. He's got a surplus. Someone out there praying a little too hard and..." Here he trails off, though, his sentence lost to a sudden abstraction. His brows draw together slowly, the rest of his words forgotten in a pensive bite of his food.

Again Clint focuses hard on B while she speaks, his expression betraying nothing save a brief alarmed widening of eyes at all the extra teeth bared by her yawning. His gaze flicks to Sam only at the motion of the soda bottle. "I'd shoot a Sentinel," this reply sounds sort of detached, almost philosophical. "Or zombie, maybe? With my luck it'd just be a visiting senator and I'll start an interdimensional war." He frowns, his eyes skating from Sam to the rift to the Manhattan skyline northward. "Lot of folks praying over Flicker, about the time this..." His eyes widen and he hops off of his stool, stepping over to B's terminal. "Shit, this is embarrassing, but can you check the--date. In the project history. Date the rift was discovered."

"If 2020 ends in zombies I'm cancelling all of next year preemptively." B is sinking back into her coffee, sinking back into her code, but gives Clint a small nod as he draws near. Her webbed fingers flutter rapidly against her holographic interface, rifling through a chaotic assortment of files whose organizational structure is likely intuitive to nobody but the small shark, finally pulling up one of many S.H.I.E.L.D. memoranda. Her hand waves toward it as she takes a gulp of coffee. "Looks like the first disturbance was back in October. Thirteenth. Your people were all over this pretty quick after."

"Shit." This is muttered just under Sam's breath. It's more audible when he says: "You 'member that day? Not often we all feel the monkey's paw curling like that, huh." His eyes have skipped to Clint, head shaking slow. "Probably not quite the answer someone was looking for."

Clint's eyes scan the memo rather than attempting to follow B as she reads it out, lingering fixedly on the date. Then looks up at Sam. "I remember," he replies, quiet and just a bit unsteady. "More than I can say for the entire week after." He straightens, and when he speaks again his tone is casual and even again. "Maybe God--or the monkey's paw, or whatever opened this rift--just figured one Dawson Allred's as good as another."

"Wait, what?" B stares at the display in front of her for several seconds before looking between the two men. Her gills flutter quickly, her eyes gone much larger. "You really think this all happened because -- what, the world was grieving?"

"That more or less weird than the chances of it being random? Can't say I know how to rank the strangeness of --" Sam gestures around the chilly workspace. "Alla this." His expression softens, eyes lingering on the others and then lowering. "'sides. Circles he moved in? World didn't have to be grieving. Just one person, do it hard enough to turn things upside-down." He finishes off his sandwich, crumpling the wrapper into one hand as he shrugs. "Dunno that helps you all much, if something out there's decided this world needs a Dawson in it."

Clint is nodding slowly, scrubbing his chin with tbh backs of his knuckles. "It's brought him here three times." His shrug is minute, his expression blank. "Don't think he'll be too pleased, but maybe it wants him to stay."