Reality Check

April 22, 2017:

While reality was shattered by Alfie in Steel City, two Avengers were on watch at the Mansion.

Avengers Mansion. Monitor Room.

Desced on scene.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Varanus, Starfire

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Sun has set over New York and the Avengers Mansion is pretty quiet. Somewhere, possibly the kitchen, the android Varanous is doing his android things. Meanwhile Nathaniel is doing his science things down in the labs, trying to recalibrate an experimental scanner that overloaded and broke down a couple days ago.

When H.O.M.E.R. warns him Spoiler’s skycycle has arrived, he opens a channel to the hangar. “Spoiler, join me at the monitor room, please. We have a situation here.”


Landing down, Spoiler makes her way toward the monitor room, head on tilt as she walks in.

"What's the problem?" she asks as soon as the doors let her in.


Nathaniel doesn’t responds right away. He is armored up but for the helmet, and hologram screens appear around him, and then float towards the walls that are not already alight with more screens. “We have a reality warp incoming from Steel City. I am quite sure it is the same power signature than Hoboken and Hell’s Gate, but… a hundred times stronger.”

SHIELD satellite feeds fill several screens, showing what seems to be a super-powered battle between a small group and a large horde of bizarre creatures. The cameras fail to focus close enough. The weather over the city seems to be changing quickly.


"A… reality… what?" Spoiler says, her voice revealing her youth as she draws near to look over the scenes.

"Hundred times stronger," she murmurs, taking up a place next to Nathaniel, hands starting to type up predictions on effect radius. She looks up at the feeds, frowning.

"It's reckless to try to get a closer look…. Doesn't look like shutting this thing down is a possibility, does it?"


Nathaniel glances at Spoiler briefly, “someone is trying to readjust time and space to a different configuration. This is considered the most powerful and dangerous of the super-human powers available to humans. Pretty much incontrollable and highly damaging to the human psyche. The Fourth Eugenic War was fought by genetically engineered reality warpers, they all ended up dead or insane.”

He sighs, “I was building a tracker for this… creature, but it overloaded when it struck the DEO installation in Metropolis. The Justice League failed to capture him. Now it is too late.”


"Too late." She stops her attempts to zoom in, head turning to Nathaniel. She peers at him, a thousand unhelpful quips about Time Dragons and Dr. Who Plot coming to mind before she turns to look at the screen. The Justice League couldn't stop him. This explains why Batman's been quieter than normal and she stopped getting texts from Barry… Flash. Spoiler inhales.

"What happens?"


“Someone is fighting there,” points out Nathaniel. “Steel City was destroyed over a year ago in a supernatural disaster.” The public has been kept in the dark about the full details and the huge death toll, but Batman certainly would have known.

“It is up to those people, or… stay close,” the cameras die one after another, and several holoscreens go red. With a hand, Nathaniel grabs his helmet and puts it on. With the other he grabs Steph and pulls her closer. The room goes blurry as his forcefield covers them.
All goes black for a second.

There is a weird sense of discontinuity as the timeline BREAKS… and reforms.

The room returns. All seems normal… no, a couple consoles have changed place. The chairs are a different hue. The holoscreens are gone, the others show nothing interesting, regular monitoring.


Spoiler watches as the cameras fail one by one. A growing sense of dread starts to sink in, eyes widenin beneath her cowl. Her bike is fast. Maybe she could… get there.. with no time to help anyone… And she'd be out in that field alone, not knowing what it does. She swallows, half nodding when Nathaniel says to stay close.

Of course, stay close to a batling means turning away and back to the computer console, hoping to discover why things are failing.

But then a strong hand has her, pulls her in close, and Spoiler looks up at the faceless mask. She inhales to say something, plum lips parting, only for the forcefield to surround them and blackness to decend.

In his grip, Spoiler shivers.

And she's blinking as the lights return to normal. She looks about, seeing if Nathaniel will let her press from him.


Nathaniel lets Steph go, and he stumbles back, half the armor systems disjoined, failing or rebooting. He says something that sounds like a curse in an alien language. Then a weak, “you okay?” Before stumbling against a wall and sliding to the floor. “That was… as bad as usual,” he grunts.

The main screen lights again, satellite feed showing Steel City, a thriving industrial city of nearly a million people. The lights are back to the streets, and cars and trucks runs lazily on the evening streets. There are no ruins, no monsters and nothing unusual.


Freed, Spoiler is about to look at the computer console when Nathaniel stumbles. She immeditately recloses the distance, hands reaching out as if she could help rebalance him.

"Fine. You? Wait. Usual?" she asks, mind trying to catch up while shaking off the WEIRD sensation of Time Warping.


“Oh… yes,” Nathaniel pulls off the helmet again, looking a little pale. “Not my first rodeo. Is that how it is said?” He glances at the screen and his eyes widen. “He restored the whole city. Crazy bastard. But the cascade of events might have caused far worse.”


Those hte worry in her eyes is hidden by the cowl, her light frown can't be missed.
"Yes. That's how that's said," she assures him, stepping back a half step and following his gaze with her own.

"The whole city? Ohmygod. Is…that a bad thing? I mean… I.. I dont' understand."


“I suppose not,” admits Nathaniel. “Unless another city was destroyed in its place,” he adds. “The timeline is different, anything might have happened, or not happened. I need to find out the breaking point,” he stands up, and then flops down on a real chair. “And see what consequences it has for me, and for the Avengers,” he reconnects to the computers and starts checking for inconsistences. There are many, but nothing important… yet.


Spoiler watches, taking his words into account.

"…I'm still here. Should I .. if things changed… I don't feel changed." This is HER first rodeo.


Nathaniel looks up at Spoiler and shakes his head, “I anchored you, remember. The forcefield blocked the reality shift. You are not synchronized to this new reality, you are the Spoiler from the one -before-.”

He pauses for a few seconds and then he sighs again, his face showing sadness and distress. “We lost Starfire. She left Earth almost four years ago. No one has seen her since then. Good news is there are a few recent reports about Spoiler, so you are not dead here.”


A blink.

"But… If I'm the …Original Spoiler… and there's a Spoiler already -here-… There's TWO of me?" Her voice cracks into a tiny squeak as the potential ramifications settle in. AH! Tiemy Wimey!


“What… no,” Nathaniel looks at Steph again, “you just did not adjust the new reality. You are unchanged. No one gets duplicated… at least I do not think so. Reality warping is unpredictable. And I am quite sure this… being had no idea of what he was doing. He could have destroyed the whole Earth. Instead I am seeing only minor inconsistences outside the eastern section of the US. There might be aftershocks, though. The next weeks might be very strange.”


"Like… how strange?" Spoiler asks now, trying super hard not to look at relieved as she feels in knowing she won't have to deal with herself. She fails, but she tried super hard anyway. It's replaced now, however, by the next start of teenaged freak out.


“Like people having contradictory memories of what has happened in the last months,” explains Natheniel. “Because the past might still change in small ways. Stability will take some time to settle down. Subjective time, I mean. Also, dimensional rifts are likely.”


At that Stephanie drops to a chair, one hand to her forehead.

"Dimensional… Okay. You had me until dimensional rifts. Those sounds terrible."


“They can be bad,” admits Nathaniel. Screens are coming alive again, as are some holoscreens. All show a quiet evening in the tri-city area. The news reports say nothing about Steel City. “So we better… yes, I am going to place the Avengers in alert. But there have been some rifts during the last month and they have been handled by SHIELD and several super-humans.”


Spoiler looks over at the screens as they come to live. She straightens up a moment, torn between going over to have a look for herself and checking things with her Spoiler Phone. But then a thought stops her. What if… one of the changes was… no more Oracle Net? No more DELPHI? Worried into inactin, Stephanie just nods to Nathaniel's comment of being On Alert.


Nathaniel looks rather unhappy, himself. Starfire was the one that brought him back to the 21st Century. How much more has changed? Lunair? Roy? He will know soon. “Alright?” He peers at the girl. “You should start making your own… verifications.”


Oh boy. Not what she was hoping to hear, but mostly schooling it from her face, Spoiler nods and pushes to her feet.

"I will. I mean. I'm fine. Thank you. I'll…. get on those verifications."

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