All in a Day's Work is a web series that acts as a companion piece to the Midnight Sons as well as a prelude to the multiseries finale event, Mighty Avengers.
Episode One: A New Face
“No, I’m telling you, Dave, it has been such a crazy day.” Louise Fisher is in a lab in New Attilan, talking on the phone. “Black Bolt was too busy trying to sort out the story of the space pirates, Raava and Molyb, which means he couldn’t be there when Toz and Ajaxis were discussing negotiations between the Moloids and the Lava Men…”
“I still can’t believe they started a race war over a prize fight…” Dave interjects.
“Okay, but I bet that was at least entertaining!”
“I mean it could have been, except we’re also still preparing for the Utolan and Ennilux delegates to show up tomorrow, except now Arcutus is trying to get a hold of the Royal Family with something about New Attilan needing repairs..!”
“Jeez, it never ends, does it Louise?”
“I’m telling you, Dave, sometimes being a human working with the Inhumans, is just… some days I just need a bottle of wine.”
“Oh, Louise, you work wonders there! Crystal and I will be back at New Attilan in a couple days, we can all grab a couple drinks then!" Beat "Look, I gotta go! You stay sane, alright? No more ‘strange’ characters or impromptu fights breaking out!”
Louise hangs up her phone, and packs up a few things, before heading out of the lab, and out of New Attilan.
Louise gets just outside the compound onto the streets of Honolulu when she is approached by a panicked middle-aged woman.
“Please!” The woman begins, as she sees Louise, “You’re one of those Inhumans, right??”
“Miss, are you okay?”
“Please… I don’t even know what happened… last thing I remember was my skin turning into some sort of stone… and then I woke up with this husk lying all around me… and now– and now–”
“Hey! Hey, it’s okay! It’s okay!” Beat “Have you been experiencing anything weird? Are you okay?”
“I– I just want to know what’s happening to me! Please tell me you can help me!”
“We’re gonna take a look, okay? Come with me. Everything is going to be alright. My name is Louise Fisher. What’s yours?”
“Barbara. Barbara McDevitt.” And Louise leads the woman inside.
Episode Two: Inhumanity
Back in the lab inside, Louise is talking to a still nervous Barbara, while prepping for a blood test. “So have you actually been experiencing any powers?”
“Umm… yeah, a little bit.”
“So... what can you do?” Louise is genuinely interested.
As Louise says this, she turns to pick up a needle from a nearby tray. As she turns back, the needle slips out of her hands, but before it can clatter to the ground, something miraculous happens. It is as if time slows, as Louise and the supplies come to a slow crawl in midair, but Barbara, unphased, moves and catches the materials before they can hit the ground.
“Wow. So that’s what you can do…”
“It’s like, the object slows. I didn’t go any faster, but you and the needle slowed down, so I could catch it...”
“Impressive!” Barbara smiles reluctantly but genuinely, and hands the supplies back to Louise.
With that, a tall man with slight-purple skin, a ridged brow, and long hair from only the back of his head enters the lab, and Louise passes off the supplies to him.
“This is General Ator, he’s going to take some blood and run some tests on it, okay?” Barabara nods in agreement and Ator sits down.
“General Ator is the head of our new Genetic Council. If you knew enough about where to find us, you probably know a little bit about how we got here. Is that correct?” Louise says with a sly but lighthearted smile.
“When I came out of my… husk, a friend told me a rumour of where to find you… but yes, I’ve heard some stories of what happened here on the island, and… off the island.” Barbara glances vaguely up to where the Moon would be in the sky.
“Well, I should probably clarify then! I am not an Inhuman.” Louise is warm and patient. “I’m just here to help… we’re all here to help now. This new Genetic Council is here merely to document your powers, for your own health. No more castes or forced labour or warring megalomaniacs… we hope.” Louise winks and Barbara laughs at the joke, her tension easing slightly.
“All done!” Ator says.
“What’s it say, General?” Barabara asks.
“Please, Ator is fine… But,” and now he laughs, “all it says is you are in fact Inhuman. We’re going to have to run a few more tests on the blood until we find out more.”
“Well, Barbara, like I said, we’re a secret compound, but New Attilan is a free city; it functions just like the outside world. Why don’t you go outside, and explore the square a little bit. We’ll come find you when we know more.”
Outside of the lab, and confident she is out of sight of Louise, the shy, concerned Barbara suddenly becomes alert and on the move. She navigates through a surprisingly busy nighttime market of Inhumans, inconspicuous but looking for more than what is there.
There is a shrill but quiet beep, and Barbara pulls out a communicator device, with an incoming call. She quickly parts into a side alleyway and slips slyly down a corridor, to take her clandestine call.
Episode Three: Checking In
Alone in the empty hallway, Barbara answers the hail.
“Q?” Barbara seems a little irritated with a mix of concern.
“Barbara! My little ‘Quickfire’, my number one corporate spy, how are things pretending to be civilian for once? Found any Terrigen Crystals yet?”
“Congratulations, sir. If this frequency is being monitored, New Attilan,S.H.I.E.L.D., Honolulu P.D., the Rising Tide , literally anyone they now have enough to put you and me in a deep, dark hole for the rest of our natural lives. It’s called ‘radio silence’ for a reason–”
“Oh, come on, Barb. We both know how good you are at this stuff.” Beat "So what're you thinking? How's things in paradise?"
“My guess is Black Bolt and the Royals have all but plundered their entire supply, what, after the fall of Afterlife and Jiaying, Maximus and Attilan, and Hive and all the new Inhumans, such as myself… probably to stop it falling into hands like ours. Just too much heat.”
“Well, how dare he. I have great hands, Barb. I moisturize compulsively. Cortique lotion, with just a drop of aloe vera–”
“Have to stop you there, sir. I’m picking up a reading on my contact lens…”
From Barbara’s point of view we see a heads up display tracking signatures and pointing her where to go.
“Not sure if it’s Terrigen energy, the signature is a little off…”
“Oh! Is it Phlogistone!? Tell me that’s real, tell me they brought it down from the Moon!” Quantrell sounds giddy.
”I… I don’t know. It's a pretty weak signal. I think it’s coming from the otherside of the compound… I’m going to see if I can cut through, to get there faster.”
“Don’t keep me in suspense… You’re the expert on weapons, Barb. Find me something good and dangerous. Something fun!”
"Have I ever let you down?" Barbara hangs up the comms device and checks her surroundings. With noone around, she makes a line for the closest closed door in the direction of the signature reading. Quickly, tempting lady luck, she tries a simple key fob that Louise gave her.
Sure enough though, the panel squawks at her and blinks red, and the door remains locked.
Barbara pries at the electric lock, hoping to be able to hack into the wires, but just as she is about to get the panel off, two figures come around the corner.
“Hey! You must be the new girl!”
Episode Four: Quickfire
“Uh, hi..! Yeah, my name is Barbara…” Barbara straightens up quickly and plays off her actions.
In front of her is a young woman with large blue butterfly wings, and an older, larger man with unruly hair.
“Is there anything we can help you with??” the man asks, noticing her proximity to the door. "Sounded like that door locked you out..."
“Oh… no. I’m just… I don’t really know where I am going..!”, she laughs timidly.
The young woman laughs too. "Oh, that's alright! My name's Iridia. This is Sammy."
“This place is a nice little slice of paradise, but there’s still private business and government buildings with restricted access, you know.” Sammy fiddles with a set of keys on his hip toyingly, while setting the scene a little tense.
“I’m sorry! Louise said I should explore…”
“There’s a middle ground between controlling everybody’s movement and letting everybody go and do whatever they want. But that right therrre is a private residence.” Sammy breaks the tension with a hearty laugh and a big smile.
“It’s okay,” Iridia laughs too, “Every newcomer makes the same mistake. C’mon, we can help show you around!”
The two begin to lead Barbara away as Sammy continues trailing on in the background rambling and laughing, “It’s just so funny! Everyone thinks we’re either going to be putting trackers and numbers on everyone, or we’re some hippy commune with open doors and no privacy. Instead we got Starbucks and movie theatres and jobs. You don’t want to control everybody, but then some people think that if you put in any regulations, it’s ‘1984’...”
He get's quieter to Barbara, as she begins focusing on her previous goal; Barbara’s contact lens begins to narrow in on the energy signal, but Sammy and Iridia have no plan of stopping and instead attempt to lead Barbara even further away, back to the main square.
Barbara takes a quick look at Iridia and subtly twists her wrist without being seen, and suddenly Iridia’s wings begin to move in slow motion, majestic, like a hummingbird on a high speed camera. Barbara and Sammy continue to walk along at first, before Sammy notices Iridia lagging behind and checks behind him.
“Iridia? Iridia, wha–” but as Sammy turns to look at Barbara in confusion, she sweep-kicks him and knocks him to the ground, catching him by surprise.
With Sammy stunned on the ground, Barbara tries to quickly grab some keys from him. As she gets them however, he comes to and grabs her wrist. Using his strength he pulls her down and close, but using her training she manages to overpower him as they roll around, and she ends up on top of him choking him.
Reaching out Sammy grabs a hold of her wrists one more time, and his hands begin to glow as he starts to use his heat touch on her. She recoils at the burn and lets go at his throat, but his hands glow again and this time he launches a fireball just past her head, as she rolls off of him and scrambles to her feet.
Sammy gets to his knees and fires another, larger fireball at the escaping Barbara. Barbara reaches out her hands and manages to slow it and Sammy to a crawl, the fireball slowly burning it’s way to her and Sammy teetering like a precarious statue.
As she does this though, she turns to look at Iridia who has seemingly come out of her slowdown. Iridia is greatly confused at first but quickly takes in Sammy on his knees, the slow-moving fireball, and the lightly scuffed Barbara that it is aimed at. Realizing something is going on, Iridia divebombs at Barbara.
Barbara however anticipates this and takes a small step back, one hand outstretched towards the fireball and one towards Iridia; she sets the fireball back to its normal speed while simultaneously causing Iridia not slow down, but speed up. Iridia launches herself further and faster than she intended, straight into the fireball. Back in real time too, Sammy watches as Iridia is blasted and knocked back by his own fireball.
Instinctively, he runs to his friend, but as he leans over her, Barbara slows him down, approaches him and knocks him out.
Barbara sneaks away and finds herself in a secluded hallway; her contact lens points her through a closed door. She fiddles with a few keys on Sammy’s keyring before getting in.
Inside, her sensors are going haywire. The room is stocked with various artifacts and memorabilia, but the sensors are directing her to only one thing: a simple, small stone tablet, decorated with some kind of rune or sigil, otherwise unremarkable, but according to her readouts, is the most dangerous thing in the room.
Episode Five: Something Dangerous, Something Fun
Back in the lab, Louise is looking through a microscope, with Ator working in the background, when a shaken Iridia arrives, a little worse for wear.
“Oh my God! Iridia! What happened!?”
“That new girl… Barbara… Sammy and I were showing her around… and then… it’s like… I slowed to a crawl, everything else kept going but I could barely move, and I could only watch as she jumped him!”
“Oh, Iridia..! It’s her powers…”
“She can slow things down. That’s how she ‘froze’ you..! Are you okay? Sammy??”
“Sammy’s a little bruised, but he’s okay… we don’t know where she went though.” She grimaces though as she moves toward Louise.
“Yes, ma’am.” And Ator rushes off.
Louise looks back at Iridia, “Let’s get you cleaned up.”
Back in the dim room, Barbara has lowered herself to inspect the stone tablet, kneeling down to brush her fingers across the rune. Suddenly, she hears a rustling noise as something quickly runs past her. She hears it again, and then again, but this time, a little green blur strikes her. It comes back and hits her again, but she’s able to lock on to it.
As the little green man comes at her again she raises her hand at him and he speeds up uncontrollably. She dodges past him as he can’t slow in time and crashes into a pillar behind her. A short, green-skinned form with an enlarged head – Eelak – crumples to the ground.
Barbara then hears a shriek behind her, and turns in to see a bird hurtling towards her. She again raises her hand, and like with Eelak, causes the bird to speed past her, out of control.
In the doorway to the room are two Inhumans – a tall but stout man with tree bark skin and branches for arms, Rootar, and a slender dark-haired woman, Falcona, whom the bird came from.
Falcona gestures and another bird flies into the room. Again, Barbara trains the bird to scream past her, crashing into some artifacts.
Next a prized falcon swoops in, much bigger than the other birds, and this time, as it gets close, Barbara slows the falcon down, grabbing it out of the air from a near standstill.
“You know,” Barbara starts, “‘super-people’ have never really been a part of my world. To be honest, I thought they were a little silly. But that was before spending forty-three hours mutating in an Inhuman chrysalis. These days… I can see the appeal”, and she tosses the falcon aside violently.
Falcona howls in a fit of anger at Barbara and tries to come at her, but as she does, Rootar roars in his own frustration and lashes out as his body grows and vines reach out from his fingers toward Barbara. Barbara though uses her powers and causes his growth to accelerate.
Rootar begins to grow faster than he could have imagined, branches and vines and overgrowth reaching out and swallowing up Falcona, so that only her eyes were visible, and anchoring themselves to the walls so that neither Rootar or Falcona could move.
“Well, that worked better than I could have imagined!”
Barbara turns back to the small stone and picks up.
In an ancient, ornate mirror off to the side, a form grows in its image. Slowly, breaching the surface of the mirror like water, a silvery-blue, mirror-like man – Woz – steps out of it. Not noticing him, he quickly and quietly attacks Barbara. He grabs her from behind and the stone skitters across the floor.
Surprised, Barbara struggles to get free, and rams her head backwards into his, but having little effect on him, she cracks her head on his hardened silver surface.
She winces in pain and slumps forward slightly. Woz lowers her to the ground and stands over her as she nurses the back of her head, woozy.
“It’s over.” Beat “I’m sure the Royal Family will have several questions for you.”
Woz bends down to grab a hold of Barbara and pick her up. As he does though, Barbara, still in pain, slows him down, and slides through his legs. Standing up behind him, she kicks him forward into a glass artifact display cabinet. Instead of crashing into it however, Woz disappears into his reflection.
Confused and taken aback, Barbara is a little stunned and hesitates. Woz rematerialzes from the glass and jumps at Barbara, knocking her down.
Barbara, getting annoyed, charges at him, but he passes through the first mirror and comes out another reflective surface on the other side of the room. She goes for him again, but he portals away again. He comes out of the glass once more and moves on Barbara, but this time she is able to grab him.
Barbara grabs Woz and drives him backwards against a wall, slamming his back into it. The two struggle against each other, and slowly Woz is able to push Barbara back, centimetre by centimetre, until the light catches her eyes just the right way, and Woz teleports through his reflection in her eyes.
Frustrated and a little freaked out, Barbara lets out a shriek as Woz comes back once more. This time however, before he can make his way to her, she slows him to a standstill. She grabs a hold of him and, unfreezing him, throws him towards the old standing mirror he first came through.
Again, right as he is about to crash into, he instead, enters it through his own reflection. This time however, Barbara slows him down again, so that he is inching through his portal, caught halfway in and out.
Barbara quickly begins covering all the reflective surfaces she can and smashing all the other glass and reflective surfaces in the room. She finally comes back to the mirror, Woz slightly further through now, and sets him back to his regular speed. He quickly disappears inside the mirror, and without hesitation, Barbara topples the mirror on it’s face.
Catching her breath, Barbara picks up the stone and leaves the room. Rootar has been slowly bringing his body back to a normal size and shape all this time, and Falcona’s body is now half uncovered.
As a parting gift, Barbara reaches out and slows his recovery process, just a little more. The wood of his roots and branches groan as they slow, and she steps over him, and out the room.
Episode Six: Chronokinesis
Back in the lab one more time, Louise is touching up a couple of Iridia’s burns, “How did you get burnt?”
“After I unstuck from her powers, I went to charge at her, flying, but then… next thing I knew, it’s like I was flying at twice my speed. I didn’t have time to control it, I went flying into one of Sammy’s fireballs. It was the opposite of before…”
Louise puzzles for a second, and steals a quick glance at Ator, in the background, before turning and walking over to a computer running Barbara’s DNA, “Chronokinesis…”
“Localised time manipulation. She doesn’t just slow things, she can control the time field around an individual to make them go fast or slow” Ator concludes.
“So it’s like she put me on fast forward, and that’s why I couldn’t stop in time.”
“Exactly." Louise answers, "And there’s one more thing...”
On coms, Louise is trying to reach out the Cadre.
“Crimson Cadre are you there? Can you hear me?” Beat “Woz, Falcona, Eelak?”
“Yeah… we hear ya’”, Eelak finally responds. The Crimson Cadre are grouped together, recouping, Eelak, Falcona, Roota, Woz, and a gloopy, putty-like form whom we didn’t see before, Glaboo.
“Are you all okay?”
“My birds will need some nursing, and I think I’ve got a couple splinters, but I think we’re all okay”, it’s Falcona’s turn to speak.
“I don’t think any of us were expecting that”, Woz adds.
“It’s her powers… she doesn’t just slow things down. She has full manipulation to slow down or speed things up!” Loise finally informs them.
“No, you think?” Rootar groans sarcastically.
"Some of us learnt that the hard way", Eelak says as he rubs his head. "She got away with something too. Some sort of talisman – some stone with a rune..."
"The Talisman of Kamar-Taj" Ator surmises, "An ancient artifact Attilan has been safekeeping for centuries."
“There is more still", Louise brings the conversation back. "Barbara can manipulate the time of an individual and maybe another small object or two. But she cannot expand her radius beyond that to more beings or a large number of objects. One thing she didn’t lie about is her powers are fairly new, and she hasn’t figured that one out yet; that genetic potential is still unlocked.”
“Oh, great! So you’re saying she might get stronger still!? Fantastic.” Eelak quips dryly, and Glaboo adds an enthused, “GLABOO!”, which is all he can say.
“What I am saying is, she can’t target all of you at once. You need to overwhelm her. She’s going to come at you quickfire, and she may get one, even two of you in sequence, but the others need to use that as a distraction. Remember, she doesn’t actually have super speed, of her own.”
Barbara is hightailing it out of the compound, moving as quickly as she can without trying to raise too much suspicion from any other Inhumans.
She enters into a quiet and small, but empty courtyard.
As she is crossing it under the moonlit sky, there is a quick rustle in front of her as a green blur crosses her path. She stops in her tracks, as Eelak runs by her left, and then quickly by her right.
She hears him rustle beyond her and turns around, “You really want to do this again?”
As she turns around though, she doesn’t see Eelak, but instead Woz, standing at the edge of the courtyard, in front of a mirror.
“I told you, the Royal Family is going to have several questions for you.”
“You say that like I care.” As she is saying this Woz enters back into the mirror behind him; he comes out of a reflecting pool on the other side of the yard.
“Well if you do, I could help you study. Give you a few of the questions in advance”, Woz mocks. Barbara whips around.
“Ya know... I think I can guess what they’ll be, thanks though.” She's equally sarcastic. Woz enters the reflecting pool, and comes out from a reflection in a mirror, behind Woz now. And then Woz teleports himself to another window, and another.
Barbara is so busy twisting and spinning to keep track of Woz, that she doesn’t even notice a yellow, waxy, mudlike substance creeping up her boots.
She is finally able to turn and catch Woz, slowing his escape, but as she turns and shouts, “STOP!!”, her feet finally catch in the goop, and she trips.
Only finally noticing it, she scrambles back to her feet as the goop gathers up to her calves. She concentrates on the thick substance and slows its ascent up her legs, but as she focuses on that, a weave of branches begins to encircle her, it too growing up from the ground.
She tries to stop the branches, but then the mud slicks up to her knees, and when she focuses back on the mud, the thicket gets thicker and taller.
Finally when the branches are up to around chest height, and she has near nowhere to go, Falcona attacks with a flock of birds. The small raptors begin to divebomb her, and everytime she tries to manipulate the birds, the branches only grow faster, around.
Shrieking and screaming, she is overwhelmed, and the last bird slips out through the top of her enclosure as the branches close above her head, encasing her in a bird cage design.
Exhausted and defeated, the waxy substance begins to fully cover her body, before it wraps entirely around to her front and begins forming a humanoid form in front of her. The goop comes together until Glaboo is standing in front of her.
“GLABOO!” he shouts, and he knocks her out.
Louise is packing up in the lab as General Ator walks in.
“We have McDevitt in custody and Medusa will be interrogating her tomorrow, about what she wanted with that Talisman. Thank you for your quick thinking today.”
“Well… if it wasn’t for me she never would’ve been here anyway”, Louise replies, tired and a little dejected.
“And if it wasn’t for you, she’d just be out there using her powers to scam someone else. You saw an Inhuman in need, and you took them in. No one will hold that against you.”
“Yeah, well, ‘all in a day’s work’!”
“Speaking off… you look exhausted. You know there is more than enough room in New Attilan. You’re practically one of us now, you may as well stay here too.”
“That’s very kind General,” the shot changes now to Louise driving home and entering her house as her voice continues over the scene, “but when you are surrounded by miracles everyday, sometimes you just need to go home and see the beauty in the simple things… like a tall bottle of wine.” And Louise tosses herself onto her couch with a bottle of wine, and a big, exhausted, smile.