Timelined for a few hours after [Instance]Tainted.
<Viper> With Jessica having a lie down and the children hiding upstairs, Viper was free to roam the house while she waited for Sebastian to come home. She sat in the nursery, quietly contemplating her limited options while she watched over Miriam. It was uncomfortable for her being without her usual attire and technology to occupy herself but it was for her own safety and theirs.
<Shaw> Sebastian returned home late, taking another few minutes to check in with the foreman of the construction crew working on converting what would eventually be their new garage and guest quarters, since they seemed to keep acquiring people to house.
<Shaw> His mind brushed Jessica's as he spoke to the man, but she was asleep. Excellent. She still needed more of that.
<Viper> Viper was alerted to the door opening by Sharky's frantic footfalls on the stairs as he ran down to greet Sebastian. She shook her head, so much wasted potential.
<Shaw> Satisfied the work was going on apace, he greeted their family pet, giving Sharky a low whistle and patting his chest to encourage the pet to jump up into his arms. "Hello. Is your mother doing well today? And Miriam?" Sharky's response was mixed and he frowned.
<Viper> Viper got to her feet as Miriam stirred and bent over the crib to soothe her back into sleep. She better not need changing...
<Shaw> "And are the children well?" Sharky snorted and he chuckled, standing with an armful of silver dog as he started up the stairs.
<Viper> Cautiously, Viper decided to check Miriam for diaper issues. Relief! She did seem to want something however. Maybe attention? She reached out a hand to gently stroke her head to let her know someone was there.
<Shaw> Sebastian greeted Widget as well. Perhaps tonight he'd find time to work on him. As he reached their bedroom level he entered the nursery to check on Miriam and stopped short. "Oh, love, I thought you were asleep."
<Viper> Viper paused, turning her head a little his way, "She is."
<Shaw> He froze in place, reaching for Jessica with his mind. As stated, she was asleep in their bedroom just feet away. "Viper," he greeted carefully, stepping closer and looking down at Miriam to ensure she was well.
<Viper> Viper withdrew her hand so he could stop internally freaking out about her touching his daughter and put both of them in her jacket pockets. "I've been waiting to speak with you."
<Shaw> "Oh?" He let Sharky down and reached into the crib where Miriam grabbed his hand.
<Viper> "For a time... I am going to be unavailable to help with anything that may happen." Which he probably didn't consider to be a bad thing but Jessica contacted her frequently.
<Shaw> He looked up at her, studying her face - and her hair. No wonder he mistook her for Jessica. "What's going on?"
<Viper> "Hydra have decided they no longer need me and have been sending people to try to kill me. It has been amusing so far but I would rather keep it all away from you."
<Shaw> That took more than a beat to process. "Hydra fired you?" He smirked, taking in her clothing. It wasn't her typical, true enough.
<Viper> "Hydra doesn't fire people. They erase them." She moved to sit down in the rocking chair again. "They are upset with me because I thought it would be a good idea to tell SHIELD there are giant insects from space on the way."
<Shaw> Picking up Miriam, he schooled his expression before he turned back to her. "Pardon?"
<Viper> "The Brood," Viper elaborated, "They're coming back in greater numbers. SHIELD missed the signs their first attempt, I was concerned they would again so I told them... and gave them some information on The Brood to work with."
<Shaw> "An invasion force?" He held Miriam tighter, despite himself. There were many things he could escape, with his money and influence, but this wasn't one of them.
<Viper> "Yes, that is the concern. It seems Hydra thinks this would be a more preferable state of existence then cooperating with SHIELD." The roll of her eyes was impressive.
<Shaw> "What would Hydra possibly have to gain from that?" He frowned.
<Viper> "I don't know," she shrugged a shoulder, "They are idiots. I only continued to work with them because they were happy to fund my research."
<Shaw> "If they're thinking they can form a truce and then use the Brood to control the world they're likely sadly mistaken."
<Viper> "Oh they certainly are... they probably hope they can take advantage of the chaos and have no thoughts beyond this. They are not very good at thinking ahead," she had grown tired of that long ago and had gotten used to working alone.
<Shaw> "Those mindless drones of yours are one thing, but with the force of their own civilizaton? And, I assume, they will want vengeance for what Hydra did to its advance party?"
<Viper> "Of course they would," she sighed, "There are some original specimens still alive... they are hiveminded so it's very likely that they know where they are. I have done all I can by passing on a warning it seems."
<Shaw> "And who has those original specimins? Is it you, or is it them?"
<Viper> "I did have them but now I have no base... Broo has one." She wondered too if they would sense him even if the drone he'd been studying couldn't potentially lead them to him.
<Shaw> "And what does this mean for Broo?" Miriam fussed at being held too closely and he forced himself to relax.
<Viper> "I wish I knew," she looked down at her lap, "I passed the information to that school so I can only hope they are working on a solution as we speak... but I would appreciate you checking in on Broo from time to time while I can't."
<Shaw> Sebastian closed his eyes, checking the link to ensure she was still asleep. "And does Jessica know?"
<Viper> "No... and I would like to keep it that way if at all possible. She is... not well." Viper glanced at the doorway, "Hope and Shinobi interrogated me when I got here so it may be prudent to tell them not to tell her."
<Shaw> "No, she's not. She's been improving, however." Miriam found his tie and was satisfied with chewing the designer silk. He nodded, once. "I will tell them."
<Viper> "Good." She nodded, getting to her feet, "I'm going to try and regain some of my property but this will take time. I'm unsure how much at the moment."
<Shaw> "I will keep an eye on Broo." He pursed his lips. "There must be a way to contact you. An intermediary."
<Viper> "I work alone." She wasn't about to drop David in it. "I don't make friends easily... and it may be dangerous to contact me at all."
<Shaw> "But I'm sure you'll drop in." He smirked.
<Viper> "I'm not," she replied honestly. "I may not be able to come back at all but, if I succeed, I will let you know as soon as it is safe to do so."
<Shaw> Sebastian nodded once, in assent. "What do you plan to do?" So, she'd notified SHIELD and the school. He needed to call Tony.
<Viper> "Like I said, I intend to reclaim my property. Until I can do this I need to go entirely off the grid... but I may not succeed. Hydra's High Council may be stupid but they are resourceful, they may get lucky."
<Shaw> "Well, if you need my assistance..." He smirked. "And believe me, my offer surprises me as much as anyone, but if ever there is a time to band together..."
<Viper> "Thank you... but you should focus on protecting your family... at least until the threat of giant insects from space has passed."
<Shaw> "Oh, but I am. Disowned by Hydra or not, you're still quite an asset. And believe me, if I could manage to get off this planet until such threat has passed, I would."
<Viper> She raised an eyebrow, "You could, you know. There's a portal to a variety of other realities in the basement of that school. Perhaps you could take a vacation there."
<Shaw> "I'm quite tempted. I could take Broo as well and let SHIELD sort this mess out." Then there was the Hellfire Club to consider. This news would travel quickly.
<Viper> "It's an option," she shrugged a shoulder, "Do whatever it takes to survive, I will do the same." She gave him a small smile, "If I think of anything you can do for me, I will let you know." She probably wouldn't but sometimes it was nice to humour people and staple them to their offers of assistance at the same time.
<Shaw> "I'm sure you will." He sighed and took a step closer, meeting her eyes. "Take care of yourself, then."
<Viper> "I will," she gave him a smile then leaned to look at Miriam, "Be good for your parents, Mäuschen." She turned for the door, pausing when she was almost in the hallway, "Say goodbye to Jessica for me."
<Shaw> "I will." She would not take this well. Frankly, he wasn't sure he was either. An alternate reality might become a viable option.
<Viper> She inclined her head in thanks then, with a couple more steps, she was in range of the alley and disappeared in a flash of energy.
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