Sins of the Future #8: Omen

Summary:
<March 09th, 2016>: Shadowcat, Cypher, Doug and Marvel-Girl analyze the data stolen from the secret military base they encountered in a prior mission. They discover the true capabilities of Project: CENTURION.

Xavier Institute

The Computer Lab.


Characters

NPCs

  • Lockheed

Mood Music:
http://youtu.be/0GjO6KRQODI
Mt. Eden - Omen


The computers had been running decryption algorithims for Kitty since she had brought the data back from the secret military base the X-Men had recently been to and finally, it had found something! What may have been major or minor, but there was something there for her to check out.

Presumably, Doug who was interested and Beast being the smartest X-Man were invited to see what had been found and also bring him up to speed on the situation. Rachel being nosey, was making her way there to see what was going on.


Beast was debriefed a bit as to what happened and he and Scott did have a short conversation about it. He did check in on the computers' progress every now and then and when the 'thing' was found, he made his way to join the others to see just what was found. Surely it's not the schematics for those mutant-targeting robots and the like, but one can hope.


Given the task of trying to figure out whatever else she could on the information she pulled from the government facility, Kitty has been by the computer. And, of course, called up Doug to tag-team whatever they could find. If she missed something, she was sure that Doug would find it. And with Hank and Rachel there, more egg-heads was always better.

Legs tucked up underneath her, the computer science teacher is on a wheeled office chair right by the desk. It rumbles and creaks as she nervously pushes and pulls against the desk as she waits. The way people were talking about this project makes her want to know everything she can find out about it immediately.


That the decryption algorithms had turned up -something- was a plus, and Doug whistles. "Hey, take a look at this…!" While Hank's speciality wasn't computers, he -did- know something about genetics and the tags that would be identifiable - and possibly, the mechanisms used to identify them, which is why the young blond mutant spins and points at the screen. "Take a look, Hank. Is that anything like a genetic tracking device?"


The schematics of a large robotic unit several stories tall, the 'Centurion' unit displays on the computer screens, the decryption having managed to complete some technical data. Of course, Doug would likely be able to clean it up far better and probably complete the encryption.

Rachel stared towards the screen with interest, asking, "What did you find?"


Beast steps closer when Doug points something out and he peers at it for a moment before the Centurion schematics are revealed. "Well. This is something. I'm thinking we can work with this, if need be…" although the idea of these giant robots hunting mutants all over seems a bit ridiculous. "This is like something out of a 1950's Science Fiction movie. Just a bit obvious." It might help to make them seem more understandable and maybe a little less frightening.

Maybe. It's a hope.

"I wonder if they're using much of the same technology as we do to find mutants…"


Leaning forward, Kitty puts her elbows on the table and crowds around the computer screen. At least she was able to take the information this far. Stopping her wheeling back and forth, she lets the chair rest for a moment. "Those things were creepy looking up close, let me tell you. Plus, the fact that the government has them off the record and other mutants were trying to break in? Doesn't give me a huge vote of confidence as to what was going on there."

Lockheed, curled up in Kitty's lap like a scaly cat, rests his head on her knees, dozing slightly as they wait for results. Using the other hand to scratch the top of his head, she turns to glance at Hank, frowning. "What do you mean? Doesn't the Professor go find mutants?"


"He meant Cerebros, she meant the Professor runs Cerebros, and until we get into the system here we won't know how similar they are…." Doug clarifies for the two of them as he works on the encryption. C'mon, explaining Kittyshorthand was a lot more -complicated- than this encryption, so what was taking so—- AH!

"Got it!" Doug crows, as he hits another key. "Kitty, hit that thingy, will you?" The thing, you know, to get it up on the bigger screen so everyone can see better.


The hard work with the files pays off and the data begins to unload across the screen like streamers and fireworks on new years, you had done it; you had found something real data on these sentinels despite the corrupted technical specifications.

Project: Centurion - Overview & Progress Report.

General.

Prototype Units Alpha and Beta have been completed. We have already begun mass production of the first production run with your pre-approval.

I've provided a brief rundown of the units specifications for your meeting with the committee. As always, it is a pleasure to work with you towards bettering mankind.

- Dr. H

  • Unit is armored with top secret Alloy A, an adaptive armor system that has been created to adapt to different situations and attack types. This should provide consistent protection against Metahuman threats as the Alloy is also known to be highly resistant to psychic and 'magical' phenomena.
  • Each unit is armed with a payload of 24 Rockets containing air dispersal Neutralizer Warheads. We will need a new source of Sample XHD-18P if we are to maintain a steady supply of the Warheads in future production runs, we have no doubt this will be easy when we have a constant source of Metahumans to process. As you already know from testing on military jets, the Neutralizer Warhead is capable of entirely neutralizing the powers of most Metahumans for a short period of time.
  • Other armaments include a variety of mission specific equipment including energy, ballistic and close combat weaponry.
  • Units are capable of being remote controlled as drones, piloted or used autonomously as requested.
  • Operational Time of the units is not limited by any factors, each Centurion is outfitted with a miniature reactor providing an unlimited power source.
  • The metahuman scanning system (MSS) has also been tested with great success allowing a Centurion unit to identify a Metahuman simply by scanning an area and isolating patterns and data.

Beast nods to Kitty, "Yes, he does. But Cerebro is also technology that enhances Professor Xavier's own abilities. It's not like it couldn't be figured out," the mutants just did it earlier. "We know that HYDRA has been working on ways to target mutants for the last year or so…who is to say they haven't figured it out and sold it to whomever developed these things if it wasn't them?" When Doug finds the details, he leans back so that he can better see what gets posted to the larger screen.

There's a long moment where he's silent before he offers a quiet, "Dear god."

Scott said it was bad, but he didn't quite realize it was this bad.

"Save this a number of places, Kitty…make sure we have backups of backups. We may need this as evidence that there may be genocide attempts from our own Government."


"Yes, exactly, thanks Doug." Kitty grins at her hacking partner, realizing a bit too late that she may not have been completely clear in what she meant. "Right. But, if they're finding people like us with something like Cerebro, they'd need something like a Professor to run it, right?" At the vague question, she nods, apparently understanding his request without further explanation. "You betcha." With a few keystrokes, the information is up on the bigger screen so they don't have to crowd around the smaller computer to read everything.

As all the information resolves, she scrolls intently, though keeping the pace of the slowest reader amongst them so that everyone can read it if maybe not completely digest all of it before they reach the end. Her mouth opens just slightly and Lockheed's head picks up at the sudden shift of attitude in the room.

"They might not…that base was entirely off the army's servers. When we called in to alert them of our support, they didn't respond. It's possible the government doesn't know what is happening here." Her voice is soft and worried, as if she's not sure she truly believes what she is reading. Eyes focus on a point near the middle and she stares for a good long while before looking down at the table, grimacing. "'A source of Metahuman's to process.' Whoever this Dr. H is, he or she is using metahumans in an attempt to neutralize other mutants and metahumans." As for backing it up, that's already been done. Plus, the thumb drive the files originally came from is safe with her.


"Not necessarily a -Professor- to run the mechanism itself, just someone who knows what they're doing… I wonder if we could track back to the source and get in from there…" Doug muses, looking back up.

At length, after Beast's already said what they were thinking, Doug moves back. A quick glance at Kitty. Right. She already saved it, of course she did, so it was on to checking for -traces- of other data that referenced these files, to see what they would have beenconnected to, and maybe -who-.


When Rachel reads the information, she throws up in her mouth and looks incredibly pale. If only Cyclops had ordered them to destroy the base instead of withdrawing, she can't look at this any longer.

She stands up, "Let the others know, we can't waste time when we could be striking before those machines are completed." She was going to be sick, very very sick.


"The communication is in English, so that narrows it down," Beast points out. "We already know that the Government didn't respond to us and it's addressed to a General. That pretty much leaves a handfull of English-speaking countries with similar military ranks." There's another pause before he offers, "We know HYDRA has been chasing down some mutants…whether for this or not. We also know that some students have been missing…" if they could get some genetic data, he could probably say if there was a match to the students. "Even if it's a private lab doing this research, it's being pitched to someone's Military," and he's just assuming their's.

"Although, I'd like to think that the general populace wouldn't approve of this…or of these monstrosities rampaging about. But if we try to stop these, it means we could be attacking government property. If we reveal ourselves and try to get the public's approval…would that even stop them?"

A concerned look goes to Rachel and he takes a few steps towards her, "I agree that our community needs to be warned, but I don't agree that we should attack and destroy them. At this point, we need to think of Public Relations. We're obviously seen as a threat and that needs to change."


Beast is quiet for another moment before he adds, "Let the others know, but don't let them know where this is. We don't need strike forces going out against this thing until we have a plan. This…just warn people. Please." And with that, he turns and heads back towards the hallway. Xavier definitely needs to know this.


There are many things they can do to try and figure out where this came from, but at the moment, the teacher looks pale as her focus remains on the desk as opposed to the information in front of them. Kitty only looks up when Rachel quickly makes her exit, following the woman with her eyes. "Hey," she jostles Lockheed a bit, talking to him softly. "Go check on her, would you?" While Lockheed isn't really cuddly, he can be good at comfort. At least, he always has been for Kitty. The purple dragon grumbles slightly, but then flies off in search of Rachel.

Then, her attention is back at the task at hand, though it is hard to focus on what they've found means without feeling sicker. "You don't understand, Hank. They were making these things. Scott and I saw them inside. It's not just a theoretical." But, then the scientist is gone and it's just her and Doug. "This is bad, Doug. Really bad. And I don't know that warning people that large evil Iron Giants is going to really mean anything to anyone."


Leaning back, Doug considers, before jerking a look at Kitty. "Or we could try and hijack one and march it right out in public view, and force people to answer questions about what it is…" His voice trails off, as he considers the ramification. They'd be hacking -into- government networks to find out all about it. And even if they could pull it off, they were bound to have counterintelligence trace things back. They'd need to be -really- good at covering their tracks.

Surely, at least, Kitty had better ideas, because Doug wasn't sure about the deeper ramifications of doing those.


At that idea, Kitty gives Doug a horrified look. "Where it could turn on people? What's to stop it from just attacking innocents? And then we were the ones that unleashed it." Not only would that be morally wrong, it would just show everyone why they need protection from mutants. She shakes her head quite strongly just once at the idea. "No, if we have to do anything, we have to find out a way to shut it down. Or show people this research to prove they are doing horrible things. The very idea that they're testing on Metahumans…don't you think that would have people asking more questions?"

She sighs, pulling the information off of the big screen. It's too depressing to look at it enlarged there. "I can talk to Jericho. I think he knows a bunch of people in SHIELD. And…if we want to put it out there, I met a journalist awhile ago, maybe he'll publish it, though I'm not sure he'll remember me. Or, I just met a CSI guy for the NYPD. Maybe if we get enough agencies on the lookout for it? But, you know, he doesn't know I'm a mutant. Though, he seemed pretty cool about Lockheed. Does Berto know any of this? He should definitely be briefed."


"To get it out in the public eye, doing nothing but standing…" Doug's voice trails off. She had a point, at least.

Running a hand through his hair, Doug rubs the basse of his neck. "Right. Though if we brief Berto, we might have problems. He's not an American citizen, is he? So if we get -him- involved, we'll turn it into an international one."


"And how are we going to make sure it's doing nothing but standing?" Kitty sighs. "Their computers were really well protected. They have people who know what they were doing. Closed networks, incredible firewalls…the only reason I got anything out of them was because I was actually there and Scott was making sure no one shot me. How are we going to be sure that they don't have some sort of backdoor where should anyone else take control of it, they will go bonkers?" It's not like the young hacker to sound so dire about anything. Even in combat, she's normally at least quipping. "I feel like us being the ones to actually bring one of those in public, it won't be any good. If we bring out the information and they bury things, well, we get painted as hysterical, but at least those machines aren't out there."

The thought of briefing Berto making it an international issue gains a shrug from Kitty. "Maybe it is an international issue. This is a threat to mutants everywhere. It'll be hard to have Red Team in on anything if Berto's not involved."


"Yeah," sighs Doug. "Fine. We'll grab Berto and the rest and sort things out."

Tilting his head, Doug frowns at Kitty. "And we probably should do a lot more beefing up of security around here. If these robots can track mutants down, they're going to come here pretty quickly. Think about it… how many 'innocents' are they going to say are here? If they can portray mutants at terrorists, it's going to be entirely too easy to say this is a school for training terrorists…"


Kitty sighs and glances about her quickly. "Well, if they really think of us as threats, they're going to have to come up with a good reason to come after a school full of children. But, yeah. We should probably talk to the Professor about this, if Scott hasn't already. Better safe than sorry." The last thing they need is another attack on the school. "And if the government is planning something as bad as…" her hand waves at the computer and all that it entails. "…that then I think we may have more to worry about then just being labeled at terrorists."


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