Smiths, Jones, Summers, Spiders and Kangs

April 05, 2016:

Three heroes from divergent timelines meet. The Spider panics a bit as all the time and dimension travelers seem to be "coincidentally" converging in one place

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Spider-Man, Hawkeye II, Doctor Doom, Paradox, Witchunter, Jemma Simmons, Spider-Woman

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

A few weeks ago Nathaniel began tracking time-travelers in the tri-city area. He found Rachel right away, and he mentioned a few others were in the region. But finding them has been more difficult for a few reasons. First, older traces; and second, they keep moving fast and often. Today, he got lucky and spotted Spider-Man.

Wait, Spider-Man is the time traveler? But that made no sense. Or his database is so scrambled as to be useless. So instead of approaching right away, he contacted Rachel and offered her the chance to meet another time-traveler that could have more clues about preventing her future. Because she is a telepath, really.

What does a Spider-Man do in New York? Sling. All day. Like that song about Shoveling by Redzoo and the Vodka guy. Makes no sense to him but then again fads of this era are only vague memory and misconstrued in the databanks of the ;now; the now being for Miguel the year 2099.
A flip over a billboard and a graceful landing on the top of an outstretched arm of a statue has the black and red clad arachnid sitting down, peeling up his mask over his mouth and chomping down in to a hot dog. Even as processed as this thing is it still tastes better than the ones he is familiar with.
"Lyla, any emergency stuff we can busy ourselves with? I'm bored."
"Nothing at the moment Miggy, unless you want to get involved in a domestic dispute." The AI Chimes from his wrist.
"Pass…" Temporal anomaly? He supposes chronal energy likely streams off of him and the AI. His suit of course is a futuristic composition too. These are the things those sophisticated enough can track and trace but that is a very finite number of individuals, maybe only one or two in all of this reality.

Rachel hadn't actually expected to hear from Nathaniel Richards again after their meeting in Mutant Town - she'd assumed that after he'd satisfied his curiosity, he was done with her - and she certainly hadn't expected him to be able to ping her brain telepathically. One one level it's slightly alarming that someone else has been able to track her down when she's supposed to be hiding out in the X-Men's basement…

…but on the other hand, hiding out underground has started to pall, and she's curious. She didn't need any more of an excuse.

It doesn't take her long to track Nathaniel down, although she has the nagging feeling that's only because he's allowing her to. Currently black-haired via a telepathic illusion, Rachel joins Nathaniel and quirks a curious eyebrow by way of greeting. "So what are we looking for?"

Well, Nathaniel told Rachel he wanted to prevent her dark future from happening, didn't he? He was serious about saving the world. Even though if he does his own future won't happen in this timeline. Which is irrelevant since he is rather sure this is not his past anymore, anyway.

Ah, the joys of time traveling. Most sensible people hate the paradoxes. For Nathaniel they are just a mathematical problem he will solve. Eventually.

"Good afternoon, Rachel… hmm, black hair. Oh, it is a psychic illusion." Very interesting, but not for now, really. He points up to the Slinging spider-man, ten stories up. "That one, the metahuman with arachnid DNA. I am quite sure he is Spider-Man, but I had no idea he was a time traveler. Come, lets greet him."

It should be mentioned Spider-Man was one of his childhood heroes, of course. Almost as cool as Tony Stark. Nate was a fan. Still is. So he armors up. His clothes shifts, turns metallic and grows to cover all his body in a few second, becoming a silver and dark red high-tech armor clearly inspired in Iron Man's. Then he flies up, sending a greet to Miguel, or rather, to Lyla.

That also draws plenty of attention from the people in the street, of course. No doubt to Rachel's chagrin.

"Spider-Man… " Someone yells and points up. It's usual. At least its not a Spiderite a Thorite or any other number of insane types from his own era, oh look a shiny armor guy what is that about.
"He is sending us a greeting… both of us."
"Rude, that is like someone walking in to my house and trying to hold a conversation with my microwave."
"I am NOT a not a house hold appliance, I am far more so..-"
"You used to be my house AI."
"Yes I was but I was not simply a microwave."
"Sure, Lyla, keep telling yourself that."

Turning mid air Not-Spider-Man fires a warning webglob off towards Not-Iron Man. "Hold it there, friend or foe? Because I'm going to be blunt, I'm antsy and eager to kick some moron badguys around right now…. " Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man is not an applicable trope to Spider-Man 2099. At least most days.

Somehow Rachel had known that Nathaniel would recognize her illusion for what it was, but it wasn't for his benefit anyway… unless it happens to stop him getting caught in the crossfire if anyone around here recognizes her. After the last couple of disastrous excursions, she feels she's entitled to act more than a little paranoid. "I'll dye it next time. You won't be expecting that." She tells him, clearly with no intention of doing so. Her eyes follow his pointing finger, and her eyes narrow thoughtfully. "OK, how are we…"

She doesn't get time to finish the question, of course, because Nathaniel is now a silver and red suit of armour, lifting off and heading toward the /other/ costumed individual in the area. « What the hell are you doing? » Rachel's mental voice may or may not make it past Nathaniel's defenses, but if it does, it's clear she's fuming.

Looking quickly around, she's relieved to see that most people are looking UP, so with a telepathic nudge she makes the few still paying attention to her look somewhere ELSE. Then she starts walking in the general direction of Nathaniel and his new friend. She'll fly if she has to, but for now she tries to keep a low profile.

An image of Rachel - with red hair, no less - seems to appear between Not-Spider-Man and Nathaniel, the webglob passing through her slightly insubstantial looking form without any resistance. « Hi. » She addresses the Not-Spider-Man. « We're not bad guys. But I can see where you got moron from. » The Rachel-image grimaces at Nate. « Truce? » She suggests, hopefully.

Ouch. Angry redhead. And then, the un-friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. So Nathaniel gets a glob of spider-web on his chest-plate and, it is… uh, sticky. "Hey, wait… I am Iron Guard and… right, what the redheaded lady said. We only want to talk, we are also from other time."

The gob of web slides off his armor when he turns it virtually frictionless. Someone ten stories down will get a face full of web soon.

"Rudeness was unintended, in my timeline artificial intelligences were granted citizenship. Even the microwave ovens," the last one might not have been true. Rachel can contact his mind, as he has no natural defenses. It is the armor that can block her off.

"Whoah!" Brakes! Spider-Man 2099 flips up and angles so he passes over above the illusory projected Rachel he does realize the web shot goes through her and first thought is shes a holographic image not a telepathic one though the voice? That was in his head right? Confusing. Telepaths are so fun…
"Iron Guard? What is that Russian? Never heard of you." Slapping against the wall he takes a crouched position facing them, "Truce, right, for the moment." From another time? How many are there? Seriously…
"Lets get up higher, this rooftop above us should be fine." That said he scales over the lip of the building and awaits them up top. Patiently with a tapping foot and arms folded across his chest.
"Lyla, scan for 'Iron Guard and facial recognition you can on these two… see what pops up."
"Of course. But only if you say please.
Sigh, "Just do it."
"This is why the robots rise up in Terminator."
"Yes, please, bring it… let me tell you all the flaws in this… " He cuts off the arguing convo with his AI so they don't overhear the bickering.

Rachel - the physical, flesh and blood Rachel - takes an adroit step to her left as the glob of webbing splatters onto the sidewalk next to her. She smiles a small, self-satisfied smile, but most of her attention is still on the confrontation happening above her head.

The image of Rachel seems to take a relieved breath as a temporary ceasefire comes into effect. « You need to work on the whole armouring up and chasing people. » Rachel tells Nathaniel, her flare of anger at him having vanished as quickly as it arrived. « It startles people. » It startled HER, for a start. The image of Rachel turns in mid-air and seems to squint at the rooftop Spider-Man indicates. « Got it. I'll meet you there. » She tells him, and vanishes.

Down below, Rachel blinks as she orients herself, and, keeping up that telepathic nudge to keep people looking the wrong way, jogs toward the building. Once she's reached it, she looks around, looks up, and then shrugs before lifting herself telekinetically to the roof. Dropping lightly onto her feet, she puts her hands in the back pockets of her jeans and shrugs. "Let's try that again. Hi, I'm Rachel."

It's arguable whether Spider-Man's AI could get much of a read on a telepathic projection, but the real Rachel that's in front of him now? It's likely that it's finding all sorts of information about her, very little of it good. Of course, that was ANOTHER Rachel, but who'd believe that anyway?

There is no facial recognition on 'Iron Guard' before an incident involving SHIELD a few days ago. But if Lyla digs around the Internet long enough she would find a few reports and blurry pictures of a superhero named 'Iron Lad' wearing a matching armor. Apparently he was a teenage version of Iron Man. It was six years ago and he wasn't around long.

Iron Guard follows Not-Spider-Man to the rooftop, only wincing mentally to Rachel's comments. « You aren't related to Kate Bishop, are you? » he thinks out loud.

"I am not Russian. I am a citizen of… ah, the United Planets." He explains. Not really true, but it makes sense. "The UP are not to exist until nine hundred years from now, so never mind that. I arrived the present only a few weeks ago."

If Rachel was an actual holographic image Lyla would be able to. She is future tech after all but illusory by means of telepathy? Thats a big no. "Meet me there?" S-Man of the 2099 assumed Rachel was sort of like Lyla and part of Kang's suit but apparently she wasn't.

"Oh you are real."
"I was about to ask what other person you meant, Spider-Man." Lyla chirps.
"Shh, company." Miguel replies to his AI.

Folding his arms across his chest Spider-Man in his red and black costume looks different up close to the usual and expected Spidey, slightly taller, costume is sharper edged, talons, bladed forearms. A different yet similar style.
"I'll take your word for that Iron Guy, you'll have to mind me if I'm hesitant to info dump my back story on you. So who does that make you then?" Rachel asked that now. He sure hopes Lyla is recording and cross-referencing, her silence says shes not finding anything on either of them that Miguel's picky self would find useful.

« Never even met her. » Rachel replies telepathically, sounding amused. « Should I find her and compare notes? » In Rachel's limited experience of Nathaniel Richards, he's been the one with all the answers. She might be slightly amused to discover he's not always so in control of the situation.

Real? That question makes Rachel tilt her head to one side with a curious look before she answers. "That depends on your point of view." She says the words lightly, clearly not offended. "I haven't been born yet, but otherwise I'm real enough." Compared to the other two, in her street clothes, Rachel looks fairly ordinary, but she's not showing any signs of being particularly intimidated by either the big armoured suit, or the blades and talons that the Spider-Man is displaying.

After Nathaniel's done with his introduction, Rachel nods toward him and adds, "It's easier just to believe him." It's not as if she can check up on future history. She looks mildly surprised when Spider-Man questions her. "Just Rachel, for now." She answers. "I'm not from as far down the timeline as him." She jerks her head toward Nathaniel, then looks curiously at the Spider-Man. "So are you going to tell us we're crazy, or do you have the same story?"

Nathaniel glances at Rachel and replies « Kate shoots arrows in the Justice League. You could do worse than meet her. » Then he cuts the telepathic channel, not to be rude with Spidey (again).

"I can prove my identity," pause, "well, as long as you are familiar enough with Doom quantum chronodynamic equations." Not likely? Glance to Miguel. "Fine. My analysis indicates you come from eighty, maybe a hundred years in the future, which means you are about 80 years ahead of Rachel's but nine hundred before me. You must know what is coming in the next few decades."

"I suppose I'll play along… since you two sought me out you're ahead of me in the who knows what but, sure… " Spider-Man 2099 glances around they can't see it but he is frowning.
"No outside surveillance detected." A feminine voice speaks aloud from the Spider's suit. She did that on purpose. The quirky AI hates being excluded.
"How did you analyze that? Nothing should be… alright, fine, I grokk your mouth music now. That is fairly convincing." A hearty sigh from Spider-Man.
"I do, I suppose I can bulletpoint some history or some… future… 10 years from now we'll see a separation of mutants from humanty, a massive exodus and those left behind well, we don't want to talk about that. Complete genocidal eradication of a people is never pretty and THEN the Purge… which, is ugly for any metahuman left behind who wasn't a mutant smart enough to leave for outer space or whatever dimension or wherever they went… from there, toxic wars, pollution, megacorporations like Stark-Fujikawa, Alchemax yadda yadda become the real power and DOOM… haha… well Doom becomes president." A low chuckle and he glances skyward then back at Rachel and Nathaniel.
"I probably shouldn't even talk about this to either of you, we're like to spontaneously combust or attract more T.O.T.E.M. killers. Likely that TVA is getting ready to murder each and every one of us time hopping careless skegs." Paranoid much? Why yes. He is. He's already been attacked once and keeps running in to time hoppers.

Rachel lets Nathaniel have the last word in their telepathic conversation, but her eyes do slide over towards him and she nods slowly, as if she's seriously considering his suggestion. Which she really isn't. Getting anywhere near the Justice League is unlikely to end well for her, given what the last Rachel to appear in this timeline got up to.

Rachel keeps quiet as Nathaniel talks about equations. Since her excuse for being here amounts to 'a cosmic firebird dropped me off', she'll let him handle the science and hope she's not asked to chip in. When Spider-Man doesn't call them crazy, though? That makes her smirk a little. Nathaniel's record of spotting time travelers is still perfect, so far as Rachel knows. The extra voice that pipes up is a bit of a surprise, particularly since she's only reading two minds on this rooftop, but pretty soon Spider-Man's talking about his version of the future, and well, as a mutant it's all depressingly familiar.

Rachel takes her hands out of her pockets and crosses her arms as if she's cold, looking away as Spider-Man speaks, across the city, seeing its ruins in her mind's eye. "Add in some giant robots and you've got my world." She tells Spider-Man in a dark tone. "At least the early years. It doesn't sound like I'd have been alive to see the rest, even if I hadn't ended up back here."

She snorts at his 'warning'. "Trust me, I'm used to getting shot at, stabbed… but spontaneous combustion would be a new one. What's another couple of groups who want to kill me?" She sighs, then glances over at Nathaniel. "So what do we do about it? What CAN we do about it?"

Nathaniel nods. "The events of the next years lead to what in my time is known as the Second Dark Age. The slaughter of the super-beings, the Sentinel regimen, and then the rise of the mega-corporations. Either orchestrated or taken advantage of by some of the current so-called super-villains. If takes humankind centuries to recover. What can we do, Rachel? We can design a divergent timeline by identifying the actors and the key events. And we have to, or we doom six billion human beings to Hell." He looks at Spider-Man. "And what would you do?"

"Shock me." Spider-Man 2099 sighs, Witchdoctor, Paradox, that TOTEM, those two Juicers and now Red and Iron Guy. "It's all too close too home and far too coincidental. The patterns, I think thats what we need to find so we have something to grasp at other than straws."
Rubbing his hand over the back of his neck and the costume covered head he stalks to the side of the building, "Look, I'm not exactly comfortable talking about this all out in the open and all at once, it's just got bad spelled allover it. I think we, you, the rest of our time flung pals all need to meet up and figure out where this all syncs up, none of us likely wants to lose our futures and none of us are even a clue in on whose future we are affecting being here. Talking about it well… talking about it could be catastrophic or I could just be paranoid, either one, I'm still out."
"We'll play tag and try to talk about this another time maybe when we can get all of us in one place and just… see if some big temporal paradox occurs and we all just go home and wake up like this is just some bad dream. I dunno but yeah… "
"Lyla, toss them my digits. " A wave, a flip and the Future-Spider is gliding away.
Gone.

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