MGH: Who in the World is Aaron Kelsey

Brief Title:
MGH: Who in the World is Aaron Kelsey?

Ms. Marvel, American Dream, Sandman, Iron Man

Scene Runner/Watcher:

IC Date:
07/16/12 15:00

Small town in Tennessee

The Avengers follow up on the Mutant Growth Hormone problem, researching one of the now-identified mutant children recovered from the facility and in SHIELD custody

Social or Plot:


The quinjet's engines whine as the pilot - Colonel Carol Susan Jane Danvers, callsign 'Cheeseburger, USAF, Retired - banks and twists the craft about nimbly and then lowers it towards the surface of the parking lot below. It's quite the piloting job, but then again she's quite the pilot.

"OK, folks. Here's the situation. As I said, we're following up on intel from Vision's computer searches on the MGH case. We finally found some documentation matching the kids Bobbi and Logan managed to free from the damned MGH dealers. We found mutant registrations for the kids in the MRA databases that line up. No missing person's reports, though, for any of them. Except one. Aaron Kelsey, formerly of Martinet, Tennessee. It's a pretty tiny town. The Census puts it at just over four thousand people, spread over an area of almost a hundred square miles. The missing person's report says Kelsey disappeared from here six months ago. We need to find everything we can about what was going on around here before he disappeared, anything that might lead us to how or why he disappeared, especially anything that might connect to him being disappeared on purpose." Carol explains.

Ms. Marvel turns in her seat and spins around, standing as the hatch unseals and the landing ramp lowers to let the team get out of the aircraft. "I've landed us on the parking lot of the Sherriff's station. Now, I want ideas. How do we follow this up? I don't want us wasting manpower, so if we need to split up so that everyone is following the kinds of leads they're best suited to follow, we do that. Speak up: no ideas are stupid or a waste. Let's get it done. The sooner we can find answers here, the sooner we can try to assure no other kids disappear like Kelsey or end up like him." Poor damned kid.

"We had a Mutant Registration Act." American Dream says. She's sitting in one of the Quinjet's middle seats. "It was repealed years ago. One of the dumbest, most bigoted.." She sighs. "Sorry. Small town, right? That means the a gossip. Everyone will be in everyone's business. The local kids, maybe. Or the local bar. If there's a hometown newspaper..."

Having been in the back and quiet for most of the flight, Sandman moves forward to join his teammates in the main cabin of the Quinjet. "Good flying, Carol." He adds on his own and out of nowhere. When she asks for suggestions, he looks about to his other teammates for ideas. Questionably the thickest of the Avengers in the intelligence department, he looks to Tony first, being the obvious genius on the team. When Shannon gives her suggestion, Bill nods in her direction and scratches his chin, "That seems like a good idea. Plus, we probably reviewed the case records from the police. But maybe another interview with his parents and his friends?"

"A lot of ground to cover. It may not be a bad idea to start getting an idea of just how many live bodies are out in the surrounding area as well, start tieing those bodies to names, could be everyone's accounted for, or a good detailed scan finds a camp of people out in the boonies somewhere." Iron Man says, having closed his helmet up just before the door to the QuinnJet opened, already starting to sweep the area with various sensors as he talks. <REPOSE>

"OK. So. Our thoughts are local gossip, the cops, a scan of the area, and make contact with the cops and interview family and friends." Carol sums up, moving quickly as they march down the ramp to the parking lot. "Iron Man --" Carol is careful to use his codename, since they're in public, "-- You've got the sensors, so you're on the scan of the surroundings. Take a sweep as wide and as detailed as you think is prudent. Stay in radio contact, and let us know if you find anything you think is important. Dream, you head to the local newspaper if you can find it, and then out to the school. See what you can find. Stay in contact. Sandy, you and I are going to meet with the cops. One of us will stay to go over the case notes, and we'll get one of them to take one of us out to the family to meet them. Any questions, folks? Remember: we need to find out as much as we can about when and how Aaron Kelsey disappeared. If at all possible, who took him, how they found him, and where they took him from here. We stay in touch. We're our own backup. The rest of the team is all busy with other missions right now. Any questions?" Ms. Marvel inquires, before the team splits up.

"Got it." American Dream promises. She leans forward and slings her shield onto her back. This is a intel gathering mission to small town America but that doesn't mean there's no chance of danger. The truth is, you put four Avengers in a room? You'll get five plots to destroy them and three to blow up the room.

Following behind Ms, Marvel as he makes his way out of the Quinjet, Sandman nods in the affirmative, "Got it, boss. I'm not the paperwork reading, report going over, kinda guy. But at the same time, I may intimidate the family, so your call on which you want me to do. I'll do either." In this situation, Sandman puts aside what he would rather do for what is best for the case and what is best for Aaron Kelsey.

Iron Man nods slightly, taking one step and then another, before the jets in his boots light off and carry him upwards amidst the faint backwash of air and dust from the takeoff. Over the radio that links all the team members Tony's reply comes clearly, "Already in progress...though this whole scenario brings to mind a need for more detailed Earth scanning satellites for tasking for just this sort of purpose. Perhaps a LEO ring...HOMER, start up some models on modifications of the ST-17 Geo Sat for LEO modification..."

Given their approach, it should come as little surprise that soon enough there are folks coming out of the local sheriff's station to check on them. When they do so, Ms. Marvel steps up to the fore and extends her gloved hand, smiling. "Good afternoon, Sheriff. Deputy. My name is --" she begins, but is cut off pretty quickly.

"Holy cow, you're Ms. Marvel! They said you're the head of the Avengers, now!" the deputy gushes. The Sheriff gives his deputy a quelling look, and silence reins again.

"Yes, Deputy. I am the Chairwoman of the Avengers. That --" she points up in the air at the retreating form of Iron Man. "Is Iron Man. Pardon him, he's taking a sensor sweep of your town. This is American Dream." she offers in introduction.

"Wow! You're that female Captain America I saw on the news!" More quelling looks for the excitable deputy.

"If you could help her out, and point the way to say your local newspaper office? She'd appreciate that. This is our teammate, Sandman. We'd like a chance to look over your files on the missing persons case of Aaron Kelsey. And if one of you would be free to escort us, we'd love an introduction to his family. We're looking into his disappearance on the chance it connects to another case we're on. We'd like to help."

Soon enough, American Dream will get an escort - Bob, who was here to visit the Sheriff, offers to lead her over to the newspaper office and introduce her to Clem Dickerson, who runs the office as a reporter for the county newspaper.

Sandman will get, after only a slight wary look, a chance to review the case file on Aaron's disappearance, which is sadly pretty light.

After she sees everyone else off and settled in on their work, Ms. Marvel gets an escort in the station's only cruiser, out to the Kelsey family farm to meet with his family.

American Dream smiles, happy to answer questions to the best of her ability. To make small talk and compliment the beauty of the smal, American town. When they reach the newspaper office she's polite to a fault. She asks to see the papers from a week before and a week after the young mutant in question vanished. She'll also pick the brain of the staff, asking questions and following up. Strangers in town around the time. Unusual rumors or sightings. Anything from lights in the sky to earthquakes.

Having gotten the address for the Kelsey farm well ahead of their arrival, Iron man quickly plots out a scan pattern and programs it into the suit to work in detailed fashion in an expanding pattern from that location. He makes sure to cover last known sighting spots, as well as the school and other obvious teen hangouts with the full breadth of his scanning capabilities. Iron Man flies below the speed of sound, however, with his armor camoflaged and the exhaust from his jets damped enough so as to not scare off anyone below as he does his survey of the area.

For his part, Sandman heads to the police station with an escort, of course. The wary look earned. He asks for all the records on the Kelsey case and begins perusing the files for any helpful tidbit of information. Any detail that may have been missed by the local authorities as he searches, he lets out a yawn and continues reading with an annoyed look on his face.

American Dream will not originally turn up a great wealth of information. The newspapers don't seem to have any mention of anything important or related. There is mention of Aaron's disappearance, and that the Sheriff is looking into the matter. A search of the archives will pull up something from quite a bit earlier - nearly two years earlier - wherein young Aaron was noted as having hurt a few local bullies who were picking on himself and another student. Mention is made that the bullies suffered moderately serious acid burns, but that they were expected to make reasonably full recoveries. Given that the article makes no mention of them being in science class at the time, that might be a clue. Interviewing the reporter and others, however, does turn up a few interesting tidbits. Apparently there /were/ sightings that were classified as 'potential UFOs' around the time of the kidnapping, within a day or so both before and after Kelsey disappeared. There were also some explosions one particular night, up in the mountain pass above his family farm near an old campground. These were attributed, at the time, to juvenile delinquents. The damages were extensive, but as no one is maintaining the campground, no one has any solid figures. No one seems aware that Aaron was a mutant, but those who are asked don't seem, on the whole, to care much. Out of sight, out of mind, perhaps? No sign of folks people didn't know or any further problems Aaron may have had.

Iron Man's scans will turn up the campgrounds above Aaron's home, and signs of the damages done in the area, including two large and several smaller craters. His more detailed scans will then turn up evidence of destroyed pieces of advanced body armor and weapons, most showing signs of significant acid damage, looking quite literally melted. A further survey will also turn up one campsite that shows a curious set of burn patterns in the dirt, very closely reminiscent of a quinjet's VTOL systems.

Sandman's search of the police records will turn up a few statements from those interviewed after Aaron disappeared, stating that they had seen a couple of folks they didn't know around town. No one can say they were doing anything untoward, and none mention that they were paying Aaron any undue attention. But every statement that mentions these folks - at least three different descriptions are mentioned, implying at least three different people - mentions them at the time being in reasonably close proximity to where Aaron Kelsey was at the time: the post office, the local general store, school grounds, the Little League field and such. Their descriptions seem quite generic and overall useless. Sandy will also find a copy of the local sheriff's report from the incident three years prior, when Aaron fought off a group of five bullies intent, apparently, on one of Aaron's few friends, a Billy Phillips. Billy had apparently 'humiliated' one of this group in class that day, and they intended to pay him back. Of note is that the 'fight' did not happen in the science lab, but instead took place at the side of the road three miles outside of town, towards the Kelsey farm. None of the boys were killed, but all five sustained some degree of burn injury, apparently from acid. Aaron admitted beating them up, and so he was charged with juvenile assault at the time. The charges were eventually dropped, as the five bullies would have faced similar charges for their attempts to beat up Billy and Aaron. There is no mention in the file that Aaron was a mutant.

Ms. Marvel speaks with Aaron's family. From them they find that Aaron was registered. Apparently, after the fight with the bullies, Aaron spoke to his father about what had happened, and stated that he was very concerned about /how/ he had managed to fight off all five boys and hurt them as he had. His father had agreed with Aaron that this was important, so they had gone to Chattanooga together to speak with a mutant registration center. Aaron spent that summer being tested and volunteered for a limited access special program with a piece of alien technology. This tech suppressed his particular mutant power completely, leaving Aaron perfectly safe and of no threat to himself or anyone else. He remained registered with the MRA, but returned home in time to register for classes and continue with schooling uninterrupted. The story was circulated around town that he had gone away to an anger management camp. Aaron's parents had never brought up that their son was a mutant, because to them it had stopped being important. Everything was fine, and they had no reason to connect what was going on to their son's mutant status.

American Dream listens and reads and chats. The information is vague but it gives them a place to start. She excuses herself from the paper's editor and three reporters, then steps outside to use her comm-unit. "Ms. Marvel, I'll report most of my findings in person but this one might be important. There were explosions near an old campgroud, up a mountain pass near Aaron's family farm. A lot of damage. It might be important. If it involved weapon fire or explosives, Iron Man might be able to find chemical traces or energy signatures that could clue us in on the kidnappers identities. Or at least where they get their tech."

Having finished reading the files and everything, it has taken Sandman many hours to accumulate the information in the manner to present it to his leader. Once he does so, he reports in to Ms. Marvel and prepares to meet up with his teammates

Iron Man's scans will turn up the campgrounds above Aaron's home, and signs of the damages done in the area, including two large and several smaller craters. His more detailed scans will then turn up evidence of destroyed pieces of advanced body armor and weapons, most showing signs of significant acid damage, looking quite literally melted. A further survey will also turn up one campsite that shows a curious set of burn patterns in the dirt, very closely reminiscent of a quinjet's VTOL systems.

American Dream reports in, and mentions that there were 'UFO sightings' in the area on the nights in question, and explosions at the campground near to Aaron's family farm. She makes the suggestion that if possible, Iron Man should investigate and see if there is enough residue of the explosions to track down the ordinance that may have been employed, whether mutant powers or military-grade weaponry.

Iron Man is all too familiar with weapons analysis, and starts HOMER on the process of doing a detailed inspection on the scan results to determine yield types and likely trajectories as well as once the type of weapon is determined if possible. While doing that, Tony does a slow circle around the site to get a better feel for what it looks like happened here as well as scan for any residual energies. In the back of his mind he begins to think on who else has QuinnJet like aircraft, aside from the Avengers and SHIELD, remembering the VTOL burn patterns from earlier.

Once he's gotten all the immediate data from scans that he can, Iron Man connects to SHIELD and then from there to the satellite imagery data for the surrounding area, along with FAA flight plan records, and even the weather satellites and radar that covers the region to begin to backtrack through the imagery until he can pinpoint a time of the attack at the very least and perhaps also catch the attack in action.

Obviously, the analysis that needs to be done takes time, but it will go far faster with Tony Stark and HOMER on the job than likely with just about anyone else on the planet. When completed, Tony will end up with a reasonably detailed three-dimensional motion-map of the unfolding of the brief battle that took place here in the hills of Tennessee. A strike from the air hit a particular seating area near a cooking pavilion, marking the second biggest crater on the site. A secondary explosion apparently erupted there, leaving a rather unique, alien radiation signature. Tony could put that together with the information from Ms. Marvel's report to figure out that whatever weapon was used destroyed the device that had been suppressing Aaron's mutant power.

Acid burns and destroyed plantlife lead the motion-map of the battle to where young Aaron must have landed from the explosion, probably 'sweating' the acid that was his mutant curse. Remnants of small arms bullets and casings indicate that at least two, more likely three subjects armed with P-90 military-issue weapons hit the ground and fired on Aaron. No signs of blood clearly indicates that somehow none of those bullets pierced the boy's body. A theory holds that his acid somehow melted the bullets, leaving him at most with bruising.

More acid destruction of plantlife and campsite equipment makes it clear Aaron fought back, destroying some of the body armor and gear worn by his attackers. Straffing fire came in from the aircraft above the fight. Then somehow one of those aircraft plummeted out of the sky, crashing and exploding, the largest crater in the area as a result, the wreckage largely destroyed by high-molarity acid. There are signs of energy weapons being employed. The VTOL landing and take-off was the last thing to happen in the area. Traces of the expended fuel will definitely track back to quinjet systems.

Quinjets are definitely limited to the Avengers, SHIELD, and a few specific government agencies (X-Factor, DoHS, the FBI's Code Blue team, certain highly classified military specialty units).

Feeding the approximate date and time into the rest of the searches, along with the approximate flight patterns of the 'fight' according to the simulation, will grant Iron Man some sparse footage from various satellites of aircraft that also matching the Quinjet profile, flying into the area a few nights ahead of the attack, and again a few nights after the attack, and two of them coming in on the night of the attack and spending fifteen minutes in overflight over that campground. No flight plans were filed with the FAA for these flights, and the best aerial-view satellites for radar telemetry wered tasked elsewhere, meaning the footage is less than conclusive. Most of the air traffic control sources show nothing, but a smaller unit nearby to the mountains has a semi-complete record of all three flyovers, including the fact that for all three flights, the aircraft in question were squawking no transponders or IDs at all, and made zero radio contact.

Further paranoid checking will also determine that those particular birds were re-tasked only an hour before those flights, and heavy burns were used to move them to other orbital patterns. One might almost surmise someone with an extreme level of clearance managed to get all of those satellites re-tasked specifically for the purposes of keeping them from watching this incident.

With all of the information gathered, it's all forwarded on to Carol and Vison both, before he begins to set up the process and access required to begin to investigate just what codes were used to move those satellites and track that process back using both legal Avenger access and less direct methods at the same time. He also delegates the task for remote tracking and reporting procedures for the QuinnJets to be retrofitted in with the next firmware update to help shorten this process in the future.

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