4865/Germination: 'Steve'

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Germination: 'Steve'
Date of Scene: 09 July 2018
Location: Unknown
Synopsis: An interview with Steve reveals information on the Fungus People and some terrorists.
Cast of Characters: Shadow King, Spider-Woman (Drew), Hellboy, Superman
Tinyplot: Germination

Shadow King has posed:
    The hospital staff is critical at first of anyone visiting the man. Police have been in and out. But once the appropriate SHIELD credentials are used, the forceful nurse scowls some, and leads them back to the room Steve Clayton is occupying. She makes them sit in the hallway while she checks on him. They end up sitting a good ten minutes.

    But then they are allowed in. Steve looks horrific. He is a severe burn victim, and is more bandage than man. This also means there is not much to describe. He's clearly medicated and flying high. His face and throat are in decent shape, which is fortunate. "Hi," he says when they come in. "They told me..... special agents were visiting me."

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
Jessica was prepared for the extensive nature of Steve Clayton's burns. But it's always a shock to the system to see it firsthand, even if his wounds are covered in bandages. Her gasp is light, almost imperceptible, as they are led into the room. "Mr. Clayton," she greets him professionally. "My name is Jessica Drew, and I am an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. I am sorry for this intrusion. We were informed of your presence here and have come to see to it that you are being properly cared for. I trust the hospital is treating you well and meeting your needs in an efficient manner?"

Hellboy has posed:
Jessica might not have been ready, but for Hellboy and his usual line of work, seeing things like this were depressingly common. With a grace that he shouldn't have had with his wide frame and massive right hand, Red snuck past the senior agent so that he could stand in the corner of the room and take up as little presence as he could. The man had been through a lot, seeing something that reminded him of fire and Hell and demons might not have been the best thing for him, right off the bat.

Suddenly Hellboy was feeling self conscious though he immediately buried it down and ignored it. Instead he pushed himself into his work, studying the man in the hospital bed closely throughout this interview. But, though HB's ugly, red stoney face wouldn't give anything away, his tail twitched every so often beneath his trenchcoat. And his left hand was idly feeling the rosemary beads and crucifix that hung from his utility belt.

Superman has posed:
Clark sidesteps out of the way of a lab technician pushing a cart of blood and other samples. "Sorry", he says to her. Then he follows Jessica and Hellboy into Mr. Clayton's room and closes the door behind them. His brow furrows at the sight of the man, offering a bit of a nod in greeting. He discreetly glances around for any of the man's belongings in view that might be of interest.

Shadow King has posed:
    "I'm not busy," Steve Clayton says slowly. His television is on, but it's on mute at the moment, the nurse probably did that for them. "They're nice here." Steve moves his eyes over each of the people who come in. Specifically Hellboy, and some alarm shows. Worry. He has eerie light blue eyes, but most of the eerie quality is due to the redness to his face. They'd be normal eyes if he wasn't sporting the burns. He doesn't seem to be much of a thug, if he is one: just a somewhat scared man in his low thirties.

    There are some heavily burned clothes in a plastic bag over on a shelf, and someone brought him flowers and a 'get well' balloon, and a potted cactus near the window. It's from somebody named 'Mom'.

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
Jessica nods quietly, glancing around the room, before meeting his gaze with her own. Making a personal connection. Her expression conveys sincere concern. "We're also concerned about the circumstances surrounding your injuries," Jessica explains. "I understand that they were associated with the death of another. Is there someone out there who may be looking for you? And what can you tell me about the death of the woman you brought in?"

Hellboy has posed:
As Jessica spoke, Hellboy remained quiet. His job here was purely to study the man in detail, his trained, experienced eyes watching unblinkingly for tells. Emotional responses, nervousness during questions, signs of lying. HB was solemn during this even as he tried to ignore the feeling he got from hospitals like these. It was funny, the man spent most of his time in graveyards, crypts, Nazi laboratories and haunted hotels, but it was a location like this that put him on edge.

Perhaps it was this unease that caused him to speak up suddenly, with that smooth, smooth deep voice of his.

"Does the last name 'Peck' mean anything to you?" His glowing yellow eyes were now watching him intently, paying attention to every single detail.

Superman has posed:
Clark stands on the opposite side of the bed from Jessica watching the interaction. He fishes through his blazer's pockets and eventually comes up with a pen and small well-worn notebook. He jots down a few quick notes about the extent of Mr. Clayton's injuries.

Shadow King has posed:
    Steve isn't unwilling to talk, but does have to gather himself for her question. "Dana was gettin' in really deep, like, obsession," Steve says, sadly, with great loss. It's more than obvious that he loved her. "But ever since she lost Kelly and Tara, she'd been having trouble." He breathes deeply. "Just in with bad people. The fungus people. Then these others. Criminals. ....they /stabbed/ her when she wouldn't take their deal. I tried to save her."
    Steve's voice breaks. He looks to Hellboy's question next, glad to divert. "Peck?" Steve thinks about it. "Creepy telepath. Yeah." His reaction is one of uncertainty and revulsion. He didn't like Peck.

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
"The fungus people?" Jessica quickly inquires. His information created so many revelations that she's having to triage them in her mind. She is certain the other two are doing the same. "Is there a specific group planting the fungus? Anything you know could help us avoid further deaths."

Hellboy has posed:
Steve spoke, and Hellboy's left hand went to his front pouch before he stopped himelf. They were in a hospital. Smoking wasn't allowed anymore, he reminded himself and would continue to do so while they were here. After some fidgeting the red half-Demon decided on a compromise, and the Babe Ruth bar came out. That would work to distract him, allowing him to focus on the case at hand.

Which was wandering toward the cards and the wishes and the cactus, looking down and looking at it all carefully while he spoke.

"Wait a minute...you know Mr. Peck? And you're saying he's some sorta Miss Cleo? Where exactly do you know him from?"

As he spoke, silently he reached in another utility pouch, pulling out another chocolate bar. Silently, he nodded over at Clark and held it up as an offering. Sharing was caring, the Professor always said. Hellboy still missed him sometimes.

Superman has posed:
Clark declines the offer from Hellboy with a smile and shake of the head, then he turns his attention back to Mr. Clayton.

"We're worried someone put Dana up to what she did, and that they might try to do it again. Whatever you can tell us will be a big help," Clark encourages, offering an out that saves face for Dana.

Shadow King has posed:
    "There were a few of these guys. Mutants like Dana and me. Dana called them the fungus people, haha. They came to us, with the idea about we could get money for these families that had lost kids, they had a plan. Dana had... she'd a little group too. WE were trying to... I don't know anymore. Make people /care/ about what happened in Mutant Town. Nobody took us serious. We weren't trying to hurt anybody at first. So these guys said they could control the mushroom things. And Dana could make it grow, so... she tried to get money first. But. Everything just sort of /happened/. It was just supposed to be a demonstration: it was supposed to grow, scare them, and they'd pay money. Not what it was. And /then/ these other people noticed us, and... and Dana's dead."

    "Mr. Peck brought us the mushroom for central Park," Steve replies. "I hadn't met him before that. But I guess the others knew him. They told me he was controlling it. That means telepathic, right?"
    Steve nods a little eagerly at Clark. "She... we all wanted things better. But we didn't think it was going to attack or hurt anyone! Why would it? It was controlled. Just going to scare. Get attention. And now Dana's some kind of terrorist, murdered by other terrorists!"

Hellboy has posed:
"Yeah, well sometimes you eat the bar..."

Hellboy trailed off, his sympathy for the kid's situation tempered by the knowledge of his previous actions. Finishing his snack, the wrapper was tossed into the biohazard bin, allowing the half-Demon to shift through the cards and some of the belongings. Really though, he didn't expect to find anything than written sentiments and maybe some pocket lint.

"So did Peck ever put the whammy on any of you? Would you know it if he did? An' yer a Mutant, right? So can you breathe fire, turn invisible, become a human mood ring? Anything like that?"

Superman has posed:
Clark's expression is sympathetic, he follows on from Hellboy's questions. He glances over at Jessica, brings his attention back to Mr. Clayton.

"I'm really sorry, sorry about Dana. Sometimes things get out of hand, even with the best intentions," he pauses and sighs. "Can you also tell us more about who Mr. Peck was working with? About his group?"

Shadow King has posed:
    "I teleport. I brought Dana here to the hospital," Steve says to Hellboy, with a sort of 'I may as well just say it' tone after some hesitation.

"Yeah," Steve says quietly when Clark is sorry about Dana. "We'd known one of the guys. Mutant town friend of Dana's. Ron-Something. It wasn't all strangers. I know Ron was a telepath. I guess I assumed Peck was. If they did something to me I dunno? Dana really was the one talking to them. She'd been in some support groups. I think they were from that."

Hellboy has posed:
"Well, your little mushroom friends are currently germinating all over earth an' the ones you messed with have made a lot of people sad. Next time you wanna shake things up, can't you just throw an ACME doomsday device at Superman, like every other supervillain who think they're good guys because they didn't get hugged enough? At least then you won't be putting women and children in danger that way."

As he spoke, his stone right hand immediately flared up. His great big hand slowly balled into a fist, and those glyphs and ancient runes were lighting up in bright yellow, almost bright enough to bathe the room. Despite his calm tone of voice and expressionless face, it was clear that he wasn't impressed by the antics of Steve and his friends.

Superman has posed:
While Mr. Clayton talks, Clark steals a couple more glances in Jessica's direction. He clears his throat, shakes his head slightly.

He looks to Hellboy when he talks and then back to Mr. Clayton. "A lot of people are really upset by what happened," he agrees quietly, playing foil to Hellboy. "What about these terrorists, the ones that hurt Dana? You said they came to you after the incident. Tell us about them."

Shadow King has posed:
    "I won't be doing /anything/ for Dana anymore," Steve says, with deep sadness and loss. He's a Big Man, but it does sound like he was probably just following Dana around like a puppy: "She was a good person though. The best. She loved her family. It's not her fault. I should've protected her better. You should catch the people that killed her. They're so much worse: they murdered her!" Steve starts to have trouble now, coughing, and whimpering in pain.

    "They... we met with them. I didn't want to. Dana was afraid, I could tell. They weren't fungus people. They were /real/ criminals. They thought we controlled the fungus."

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
"Steve," Jessica begins gently, moving closer to his bedside. "It's important that we find out who /else/ is trying to move into place on this board. You've seen what a dangerous game we're all involved in." She glanced up to Clark, her gaze lingering a moment before moving to Hellboy, then back to Steve again. "What can you tell me about Dana's murder? Who did it? Did they try to kill you too? How were you burned so severely?"

Hellboy has posed:
After his outburst, Hellboy was quiet, letting Jessica take over. HB was perceptive, he was the detective of the group, but he damn sure wasn't the face of this operation for a reason.

Instead he backed off a few feet, not bothered in the slightest by standing for so long. The benefit of hooves, meant he could do this all day. Out came the rosemary, with Red shifting the beads and crucifix between the fingers of his left hand as he cooled down and got back to focusing on the task at hand.

Superman has posed:
Clark turns his attention to his notebook, studiously avoiding looking anywhere else as he catches up on his notes before he forgets anything. He is grateful this interview was not going to be as long as the recent flight to Mexico with Jessica..

Shadow King has posed:
    "They... there was an argument. And one of them stabbed her because she said no. She defended with fire but I--- grabbed her and got her out of there. Dana didn't mean to burn me. She was dying," Steve says, starting to shake.

    "It... was all code names. I don't remember. Two 'Clans', two leaders. One wanted to us to help them take over areas of the city. The other was some kind of arms dealer. Cyborgs or something. They... all scared the shit out of us, honestly. It was all /insane/."

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
Jessica's voice softens, and she tilts her head. "You risked your life trying to save her." It wasn't a question, and she gives pause to allow the statement its full effect.

"Do you remember anything at all about the clans? Their names? A more detailed description of their leaders?"

Hellboy has posed:
For Hellboy, the moral line between good and bad was a clear one, something that had been taught to him relentlessly all throughout his childhood. To see others make mistakes this severe, to get things so fundamentally wrong really bothered him to the point that he often didn't know what to do with himself.

But he'd calmed down from his initial outburst, though the distaste and displeasure was there. It might have explained how testy he was with his questions, now.

"Yeah, and were they wearing anything? You know these crime groups, they're never just wearing jeans and ski masks anymore. Everyone's got some kinda 'look'."

Superman has posed:
"You know, it's really hot in here," Clark says uncomfortably. He glances at Jessica despite himself and clears his throat.

"I'm going, I'm going to just step outside for a sec," he says, moving toward the door. He bumps into a chair near the bed., stumbles a bit, then makes his way around it to the door. "I'll just be, be out here."

Shadow King has posed:
    "I didn't think she'd burn me," Steve mumbles, guiltily. Maybe he's not so brave after all. He'll have to deal with his own bravery or foolishness in his own way for the rest of his life, though.
    "I tried not to really stare. It was... you knew not to look. Like you'd be dead if you looked too much. I'm still not sure who was leader of the um, the military ones. Nobody said it, it was like we were supposed to know?" Steve looks at Hellboy for his question about attire. "Military group - they were all masked up and wrapped like in a movie of stealth people. The arms dealer guy, he wasn't masked at all though. Cyborg guy. Awful. Big dragon tattoos. His people were military-like. Lots of guns."

    The nurse reacts to Clark when he steps out. "Are you finished?" she asks, looking at her watch. "You've had more than long enough.... he's fragile."

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
Jessica looks from the nurse back to Hellboy, and sighs resignedly, turning to Steve again. She leaves a business card among the ones that well-wishers have left him. "My number is right here. If you think of anything at all that could help us catch Dana's killer, please don't hesitate to call me. Day or night. Any information you remember may be helpful. And take care of yourself. If you need anything, let us know."

Jessica turns back to the nurse and nods. "Thank you so much for your time and patience in dealing with this obviously very delicate situation." She picks up her briefcase with that, and exits the room to join Clark. He looked a little piqued when he left, after all. Maybe she can help.

Hellboy has posed:
Hellboy said nothing, following Agent Drew's lead as she was the senior agent on this, and there were no vampire snakes or demon chimpanzees or whatever.

When he left though, his clumsy tail trailed out behind him and knocked the cactus over to the floor. Oops, that was clearly an accident.