Tree Farts

Summary:
January 22, 2015: The SHIELD team in Maui unravels the mystery.

Rented Bungalow

Somewhere on Maui


Characters

NPCs

  • Policemen 1-3

Mood Music:
None


Back at base.

Hawaiian vacation hasn't quite been what it was made out to be. The first few days were nice. And then there was relationship drama. And just when relationship drama got worked out, then things actually started to blow up. Which means that both Hawkeyes are now permanent residents of the bungalow, where they can be watched and medicated and kept from getting into any more trouble.

Kate has surrendered to this treatment with something resembling grace. As in, she spent the morning getting a mud wrap and a massage, because why not? And now she's just being quietly unhealthy on the couch, poking at a bowl of poke. "I kind of want a pizza."

*

Clint's sprawled on a chair, a pot of coffee before him half gone, and an empty mug sitting beside it, as well as a mostly empty bottle of ibuprofin. His head is up, back, and there's no grace in the fact that at this moment in time, he's sucking wind; trying to kill an unadmitted headache by sleep. Thing is worse than a hangover!

*

Bobbi strides into the common room of the bunglow waving a file folder around like she's just discovered the theory of relativity. Being as she's wearing oversized sunglasses and a one piece bathing suit made of up orange strips of fabric that show more skin than not, that's probably not the case. "MUTANT TREES!" she announces. Ok, that probably sounds way worse than it is. "My test results are in. The trees are mutating. Acacia Koa only grows in very specific regions with volcanic soil lacking in nutrients. Nature adapted them so that their roots have nodules which contain a type of bacteria called Rhozibia which creates nitrogen for them."

The folder gets slapped down on a tabletop. "Because of the over logging and the natural rapid growth rate of koa, the trees living on the upper slopes of Haleakala have mutated in order to hold a whole lot more Rhizobia so they could survive in a more nutrient deficient, competitive environment. It put them on the fast track for growth at the expense of everything else around them."

Bobbi looks around the room, planting a victorious hand on her hip. "These pockets of bacteria grew to dangerous sizes, essentially becoming highly flammable if encountering a spark or open flame in their compressed state. As the lumberjacks cut them down they'd cut into the roots and release the nitrogen, causing the illness in those who were closest. It would dissipate into the air quickly after though, which is why there was really not much trace."

*

"There'll be pineapple on it."

Natasha, the Russianest Russian ever to Russian, looks like a born beach bunny. Bikini top. Blue and white sarong around her hips. Big white flower in her hair. She's fiddling with her Definitely Not A Phone while the Hawkeyes recuperate.

When Bobbi comes in with her news, though, she looks up with some sincere interest. "So this is a natural phenomenon. Over-logging and tree diseases jumping to humans. That's. I have to say, pretty impressive."

*

Not far away sits a Maria Hill, her attention fully locked onto a datapad as she works on putting together all of the pieces. Hard data, people, hard data! Speculation can lead the way but it doesn't hold up in court. Trying to solve the puzzle also comes to an abrupt halt as Bobbi strolls on in and spoils the whole thing for her. In a good way.

"Are you fucking kidding me?" she blurts out, -staring- over at Bobbi.

Then… Piece. Another piece. A couple more pieces…

Hill's forehead drops into her palm with an audible *Thap!* "Oh, my God."

A few seconds pass without another sound from the Deputy Director before she slooowly lifts her head, looking at the others around the room. "You know what this means, don't you..?" she asks in a tone almost approaching that of dread.

"Bishop was right."

*

"It really was mutant trees?" Kate quirks a brow at Bobbi's exclamation. "Huh." She pauses, then looks over at Clint. "We got our asses handed to us by trees." Hey, at least she's not going to gloat about getting it right. She's busy mulling over the fact that she's dying of tree farts. Dramatically, she flops back onto the couch, arm flung across her brow. "I'm dying of tree farts!" Cough. Cough. Groan.

"Bobbi, pizza's good for recovery, right?"

*

Clint sleeps through Kate's consideration of pizza; it's a now familiar sound, the desire for pizza. It's a veritable staple in the Barton apartment, along with take-out. (Who has time to cook?) It's when Bobbi makes her triumphant entrance that he startles awake, a hand rising to his head in a quiet groan. "Was any of that in English? Any of it?"

Cue 'Tash, the -Russian-, to translate it down into terms Clint can understand. "Oh. Tree—- what? Oh no…"

Tree farts? "Wait. You're not supposed to be the immature one, remember?" Tree farts.

Leaning forward carefully, Clint pauses in mid grab for the coffee pot, just lingering there. "Whoa.." is muttered. "Right. Coffee." The reach is completed, and for a second, it looks like he'll be drinking it from the pot (again) but doesn't. Mug. Okay, mug.

"You might be dying of tree farts, but-" No. He refuses. "I've lived through worse. Puppy farts."

*

"Bishop was right. Isn't that one of the signs of the Apocalypse?" The end of the world, not the galactic nasty bad. Bobbi grins. "But looks like it. They aren't exactly walking around smacking loggers like the Ents in Lord of the Rings, but their self-preservation methods are turning out to be great incendiary devices. This takes the idea of eco-terrorism to a whole different place, doesn't it?"

Bobbi slumps into a comfy chair and props her bare feet up on a coffee table. "Yep, tree farts. It's like that bad M. Night Whatshisface movie where the grass was trying to kill everyone." She eyes Kate and sighs. "You need fluids and if you still look ashy in another few hours you're getting another IV drip," she points out. She arches a brow at Clint. "You got a dog?" They never had a dog.

*

"Exploding, gassy trees. Huh." Natasha glances out the window as if suddenly a bit concerned that the trees around them might start suddenly going boom as well. "I've heard of maple trees exploding in deep winter. Never heard of Hawaiian trees getting — I mean really, it's more like bursting a boil. So you're not dying of tree farts. More like you've been exposed to tree… acne."

Not. Not exactly better.

*

"Alright, everyone thank Morse for putting an end to our workation," Hill announces while tossing her pad aside onto an open seat beside her then rubbing at the bridge of her nose. "I have no idea what to do about this one. The logging industry would absolutely love to have something like this growing in their backyard but if it's going to become an ecological disaster then I don't know if we can allow them to grow in the wild."

Not to mention trying to figure out which ones are mutated and which ones aren't. That oughta be a mighty fun job for some other department to worry about.

Before another thought can be voiced there's a sudden and insistant knocking at the door, prompting her to jump bolt upright and grab her Night-Night gun. "Bishop, you didn't happen to develop time-traveling powers then order a pizza twenty minutes ago, did you?"

*

"Tree acne is maybe not better," Kate smirks at Natasha's suggestion, still holding her arm over her eyes. "And yeah, puppy. HawkPuppy. Because we are super creative people. Someone tried to toss him into the river, which was just not cool. He's staying with 1C, right?" she asks Clint, though she pauses when there's a knock at the door. "If I suddenly developed time-traveling powers, you are probably the last people I would tell about it," she admits. "But if it's pizza, dibs. Future me says so."

*

Trees. "They're still just trees. You know… they're -plants-." Clint finishes pouring the coffee, though his hand shakes a little, and leans back with a sigh. "That's the problem with these things, though. Can't kill 'em and can't leave them here."

Just closing his eyes again to keep the light from bothering his head, he digs fingers into his eyes with one hand. "No, Bobbi. Kate rescued a puppy that was getting dumped into the East River during a stakeout I was on. She was with me on." He pauses, then, "Little guy is cute, though. Golden lab." A slight nod comes, "And yes. 1C has him. I texted her."

Clint's just about to take his swallow of cold coffee before he considers it and leans forward, a little too quickly, to put the mug down. "Okay. I like farts better. Left all that 'acne' thing behind when I was one of those awkward teenager… things."

Not even hungry. Not even for pizza…

*

"Sorry to cut our time in paradise short, guys," Bobbi apologizes with a sigh. "My recommendation would be to let the Hawaiian government see our test results. They have pretty strict eco laws here, and I'm sure they will both secure the area and make sure that the situation gets diffused."

At the door knock and Maria's reaction Mockingbird is on her feet and moving to a table to pluck up…a paper towel holder that's weighted on one end. In a pinch, anything is a weapon in her hands. She moves to the side of the door to cover.

*

But Natasha's gazing out the window — initially looking for potential exploding trees, she's now looking at something possibly slightly less dangerous but more of a hassle.

"Speaking of cutting the workation short," she says. "The local PD's here. Three bluejackets." Her eyes flick over to Maria, because Maria is technically in charge.

*

Blink. "Today just keeps getting better," Hill flatly declares while quickly hiding her weapon about her person. "Yeah, coming!" she calls back while passing a quick look to Bobbi. With the bludgeon already in her hand. 'Only if they have it coming.'

Opening the door reveals three officers in blue, just as Natasha had said. Hill smiles in that 'not quite sweet more like dangerous' fashion, "You boys lost?"

"Ma'am, we've gotten a report about a man who got attacked by an arrow?"

"Right..that," Hill trails off with hands on her hips, looking off to the side in an almost forlorn matter. By the time she looks back to the officer she's got a SHIELD badge in hand and a faint suggestion of a smirk upon her lips. "Friendly misunderstanding."

The lead officer falters slightly, staring at the badge. "Ma'am, if we could just-"

"Dude..that's -Director Hill,-" the second cop leans in to whisper at the third. Two sets of eyes go wide. Then a third.

"I think I hear a whale getting caught up on the beach, gentlemen."

"Right, we'll just ..sorry for the interruption, Ma'am," the lead cop mutters with a quick grab of the brim of his hat before they turn to leave.

Hill lets the door slide away from her fingers, gently closing with its own momentum. "Next time had damn well better be someone with a pizza."


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