March 11, 2018:

Owen, Dani, Bucky and Jane are doing SCIENCE. Magical science. Okay maybe Owen is just sleeping off some alcohol poisoning. :)


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…


That is what's going on currently. In Stark Tower. In a lab.

It all began with Tony Stark and the broken arrow that was used to take the bear down. The arrow definitely has an unusual energy signature, one that still sluggishly fluctuates. Now it continues with fragments of other mystical artifacts along side the arrow. Some of those new artifacts are what magic users would call white, whereas others are not so pure. Let's not ask Dani where she borrowed them from.

Now the fragments and arrow lay upon whatever work space nearby and Dani is careful not to intermingle all the magical trinkets.

"I thought perhaps we could see how the energy signature react when we bring different mystical items near it. It might give us some insight on how to counteract other magical threats."

It seems simple enough - NOTHING CAN GO WRONG HERE.


Which is why Bucky is very close at hand, as Danielle and Jane peruse through these artifacts of mystical power. He's not interacting much with the artifacts himself, merely sitting off in a rolling chair a few feet away and slowly revolving with apparent boredom… though he is watching quite closely as they work. He's never trusted magic, trusts it even LESS after their recent ordeal, and if anything starts glowing or moving in ways it shouldn't, he's totally going to shoot it.

He doesn't care if weapons aren't technically allowed on Stark grounds, or if the various AIs all yelled at him last time he fired a shot in the building. He would be quite justified, he thinks, if unauthorized magic started happening.

"Sounds kinda trial and error to me," he grumbles at the plan, but he's certainly no authority to think of a better one.

Back to work at Stark Labs after… everything… still nettles Jane Foster around the corners.

It's strange to be back after everything she did — and to this place in particular. Strange that Stark, himself, even allows her here, now that she's assured that her clean-up work of scouring its systems free of her code is almost over. Strange that she even wants to be back here — and she does — rather than let the remorse take over and cull her scientific process forever.

John's voice is an echo in her mind, even now: everything she does is a conscious choice that comes with a price to pay, consequences to yield, and her willingness to participate in this world makes Jane dangerous.

She just can't be naive about it now.

So in the face of tests on magical artifacts, Jane checks her excitement over and over. No time to be as innocent and passionate as before. And, maybe a year ago, she would have sighed long-sufferingly at Bucky insisting to bring guns to a lab —

— she gets it.

"Hopefully we'll have more trial and less error," Jane murmurs, her eyes on the artifacts. "As it is, I've officially hung my hat up on technomagic, so any calibrating you want to do with me will be the long and arduous kind. Unfortunately." Apology softens her eyes as she glances over at Dani. "We should probably beg Tony for a synchotron. Fortunately, I do have sensory equipment calibrated for this sort of thing. Quantum field fluctuations. Sometimes magic has crossover."


What was that noise? It sounded like one of the desks just moaned… slightly. From behind one of the desks in the lab, pops up an Owen. Well his head sticks up at least as he sits up from apparently having been asleep on the floor. He looks around from his position on the floor and blinks a few times. This is not his napping place. Normally he takes a comfortable couch in a lounge area when napping, fine, when passing out.

What happened? Owen tries to recall and slowly it comes back to him. There was day drinking, obviously, and a desire to to improve the range of the flaming boomerang knife. And then it didn't go well and he decided to just say screw it and get after it which leads to here, now.

Slowly it dawns on him that he is not alone and the voices he is hearing are not just friendly if occassionally sarcastic AIs warning him about alcohol poisoning and the dangers of smoking in a lab environment. He opens and closes his mouth, running his tongue in and out in preparation for speech. And by then he realizes just who is sharing his nap space. And even worse, what they are discussing.

"Oh fuck me sideways… who is letting the group of you touch anything magical ever again? That's like something I would decide sounds like a good plan."

All this while still seated on the ground, behind a desk, with his hair a mess and the imprint of a keyboard on his face from the one he was apparently using as a pillow.

Dani sees nothing wrong with guns in labs.


And while she is helping Jane as best she can there's a definite lack of understanding when Jane says synchotron. A look is focused on the other woman, "A what?", she asks, before there's a cautious nod at the mention of magic crossing over to the quantum field fluctuations. "I've heard others say something similar. As Mr. Stark said energy is energy."

Even the magical kind.

It's only when Owen's head pops up above the line of a desk that Dani's attention shifts away from the assortment of magical finery. Surprise flares briefly in her brown eyes and then that surprise turns to a narrowing of her eyes. "I'm pretty sure we could say the same to you, though with the caveat of touching *anything* within these labs."

A what? Danielle wonders. Bucky winces in her direction. "Jane does that a lot," he warns. "You better get used to it now."

And then suddenly, an Owen. Bucky, having apparently known he was there, doesn't seem surprised, his gaze panning over with a 'finally!' sort of expression. His eyes tighten a little at Owen's choice of greeting, but Danielle's rejoinder smooths out some of that tension. Amused, he leans back in his chair and stops swiveling around.

"Same guy who let you pass out dead asleep on the floor of this lab," is Bucky's brusque addition. "Who is, incidentally, a different person than the one who let you continue to sleep on the floor of this lab."

A pause. "That guy would be me."

He watches Owen, a measured look to his blue eyes. It's a perusing sort of look. He might feel remorse for his and Jane's actions having caught Owen in the crossfire, but there's only so far even the erstwhile Winter Soldier's guilt can go, and he doesn't know the boomerang-slinger well at all beyond Emery vouching for him.

And right now, he's not doing a very good job vouching for himself. The smell of alcohol has had time to dissipate some, but James Barnes has senses sharper than the average human.

"Synchotron. It's a particle accelerator. It —" Jane's very helpful explanation stalls, however, intercepted by commentary from the peanut gallery.

"Does what a lot?" she grumps back at Bucky. "Be properly educated? Why don't you go hunt some pokemon in the tower, James."

The physicist sniffs regally and resumes her lecture. Or — Jane derails a little, sighs, and sticks to layman. "Anyway. It's a circular electromagetic that's about as big as a building. And really useful for this sort of thing."

With that, she wanders off a few steps away into the lab — making sure to pretend to glare at Bucky on the way and give his right shoulder a light, fake punch, because he's being a Sgt. Jerk — and scrounges for her sensor array. Who knew her work chasing portals would have this much alternate application.

"And Tony's right. The only issue is being able to detect that kind of energy. The closest I could come to doing so was field applications using both methods — but as we all know, there's a — AHH!"

Jane, unlike Bucky, did not notice that Sleeping Owen, and seems about one pace from stepping on his previously-unconscious body. "What the hell! You — you?! What are you doing here?! Who the hell sleeps in a lab!"


Jane's mouth works a moment longer, cheeks flushed from her fright, and the rest of her — deflating at mention of them mixing with magics. Bullseye hit right to the guilt. "Your St. Patrick's Day impression is a bit early, Captain Judgment."

Owen looks confused as Dani talk at him at first, maybe even a little hurt as if he he is not a bastion of responsibility. He holds up the plastic coated badge around his neck, looks at it and then shows it to her. See? He actually is allowed to be here. By some minor miracle.

"Weird. Cause I had this crazy ass nightmare that you three unleashed a demon zoo that tried to end all life and more importantly murder me on a couple occasions. Wait! No. That actually happened! Raise your hand if you haven't tried to murder me … not so faaast"

He's smiling when he says it, thoroughly enjoying getting to joke about this, regardless of the fact that his audience will likely fail to see the humor. He makes it to his feet and raises a finger as if asking for a second. He places a hand to his head and seems to vibrate in place for a few brief seconds.

"Wait, let's start again. Are you still in the not eating people phase? Cause I just want to double check that first…" He doesn't really wait for an answer before blustering on. "What are you actually planning and does Stark have magical failsafes or like Emery's fuckbuddy doctor on speed dial?" Because he knows failsafes exist. Specifically he's seen Waller have to utilize them with the Enchantress in the squad. He also is aware somewhat of Dr. Strange's ability to help clean up magical messes. After the little blur motion he appears to have shaken off some of his drunkeness, at least enough to ask reasonable questions.

"And I was power napping after a couple failed tests… and a half bottle of jack." Yes, this is his defense, poor as it may be.

While Dani has quite the group of friends she clearly doesn't have any 'smart' friends. Well, not in the same league as Jane, or Tony Stark, and so when Bucky offers those words of wisdom - better get used to it now - Dani looks amused. That amusement turns to bemusement as Jane defines just what a synchotron is.

More could have been said, but currently Owen has pulled the majority of focus off of scientific machines and more onto the appropriateness of sleeping in a lab.

HIs joke falls a bit flat, at least for Dani, as the Cheyenne woman's gaze follows the man as he rises to his feet. "You do realize part of my powers are animal empathy, right? I could easily unleash a 'zoo' of critters on you right now." She says rhetorically, her tone hovering somewhere between dry and sardonic and something slightly sharper.

A look transitions over to Bucky and then Jane, before it returns to Owen. "I don't think we're the only one that needs failsafes here, and Mr. Stark is quite aware of what we're doing. He started this line of inquiry."

Why don't you go hunt some pokemon, James? Jane fires back. Bucky looks offended. "I stopped playing that last year, get with the times," he grumbles. He gets punched for his insolence, too, though he doesn't appear to notice.

What he DOES notice is Jane demanding of Owen 'who the hell sleeps in a lab?'

The stare Bucky levels at her after this proclamation is flat enough to slide under a door.

Of course, then Owen gets mouthy, and while it's evident it's all a big joke, the humor does rather fall flat on the once-Winter Soldier. 'Trying to murder people' is a sore spot for James Barnes. "I might be in the 'punching an asshole' phase now instead," he grouses, though he makes no actual moves other than to reach for Jane, to give her arm a reassuring squeeze as she visibly deflates.

Well, and this: "Did the half bottle of jack come before or after the failed tests?" Bucky asks, voice dry.

Jane's dark eyes burn down into her equipment as Owen ribs the former heralds of their Bear-influenced misdeeds over and over and over again. She's far more expert at the stiff-upper-lipping than most, but her hands linger too-long at particular moments, fidgetting in the telltale way of someone not all there.

It hurts. A lot. There's a salve, at least, in the white wine-dry look Bucky gives her, enough to lift her mood, and equipment weighing down both her arms, she looks on him with appreciation to the touch on her arm. His remark back at Owen does make her exhale sharp amusement. Jane adds, faux-blandly, "I think the only test you can do on that much booze is whether or not you peed yourself. Don't wanna know the results to that one either."

With an added look to Dani, clearly detecting that sharpness out of the woman — with a half-smile her way — Jane gets to work assembling an array around the broken artifact arrow. "Anyway," she concludes, her voice lifted loud enough — talking to Owen. "That's a serious amount of alcohol, and kinda gross. Does someone know you're here? I could have someone call Emery. He's probably wondering where the hell his boyfriend is."

That part is said without amusement or irony. Does Jane think Emery and Owen are lovebirds? Yes, she does.

"Animal whatapy? Oh god, no more fucking birds lady. I give. I give." Owen manages to sound sincere in his surrender at the thought of being once again attacked by more of those maggot crows. He even raises his hands in mock surrender. But he does give Dani a questioning look as she mentions her powers. He had taken her for a non-powered SHIELD agent based on what little he knew of her. It hadn't crossed his mind that any abilities that she showed under the bear's thrall might have been inmate to Dani.

"Stark also let's me blow shit up in his lab so obviously his judgement is garbage." Though apparently a dig at Stark, it's more about Owen making a joke at his own expense from the tone.

/I might be in the 'punching an asshole' phase/

"Weird. That seems to happen in my vicinity." Here he does a fake gasp and gives Dani a fake look of excitement. "Maybe that's part of my powers? That would explain … a lot." He shrugs it off and looks back to Bucky to answer the second part. "After. Mostly." Which is kind of true. He wasn't actually paying attention to how much he was drinking until after the fifth failure.

"I .. " He blurs again and then cracks his neck. "Tend to sober up fast. And the answer to that test is no.. this time." Because Owen is the definition of shameless. "Why would I call Emery.. Are-." And here, he's actually sober enough to now ask if they have gone and lost their souls again! See? He just needed to sober up some. Granted the fantastic glare game of ones James Buchanen Barnes is certainly helping him get his focus back.

"Oh Emery and I aren't fucking. So yes, to answer your next question, I am available." Obviously this is not her next question. But even in his semi-more sober state the rejoinder of sorts.

"But seriously, is the room warded? If those are possible magic items they might attract attention if activated. Even if nothing goes boom it might get some pissant minor god of skull fucking suddenly very interested in all of us.." Owen's been on some weird ass Suicide Squad missions. And touching the magic things is very low on his list of to-dos for many good reasons.

Three against one isn't the fairest thing in the world, but Dani doesn't seem to mind.

She just gives her fellow ex-heralds a quick look, before her gaze shifts back to Owen when he raises his hands in surrender. The mention of birds causes Dani to frown slightly, but she's not stupid enough to ask what. She remembers those crows.

It's Jane's words, however, that cause Dani to snort with amusement. Emery and Owen. That sound of amusement from the woman turns to a vague noise now, as Owen seemingly one ups what Jane just said - 'he's available'. "I'm pretty sure we all /knew/ the answer to that question already."

But, and it's a big but, Dani shifts away from trading barbs with Owen and back to the magical fragments they have. "I don't think the room is warded." She begins and then turns thoughtful, "I should bring a friend here sometime soon and ward some specific rooms for Mr. Stark. Have one lab earmarked specifically for magic, perhaps." Muses the Cheyenne woman, even as she turns back to the experiment at hand.

It's not fair odds, no, but Bucky doesn't seem bothered to dogpile Owen a little bit. It's always been his job to fight dirty. Let Steve be the Boy Scout.

That, and he's known Jane long enough to know when she's really feeling hurt, deep down. She toughs through things well, but the wounds here are a little too fresh… and her without Bucky's own prodigious experience in coping with being responsible for tragedies. His squeeze for her arm is a steadying thing. Let Owen take some ribbing in his turn; it's well-deserved, for him being such an ass.

Bucky can hear that joke Owen makes at his own expense, however. It relents him a little. "All the Starks have piss-poor judgment," he says. "I knew his father. Apple don't fall far from the tree."

His amusement only increases when Jane slips in her innocuous remark on Emery and Owen's presumed relationship. Owen takes it well in stride with a slick turn-around, as one might expect, though Dani's quick rejoinder to Owen's comment about him 'being available' has Bucky snorting a laugh. "Nice try, but she'd be downgrading, Mercer," he says, with an amiable lean back in his chair.

From the keen way he watches 'Captain Boomerang,' however, he didn't miss those odd moments of blurred motion, and the way he sobers up in minutes. Interesting.

The conversation inevitably turns back serious. James falls silent as people start to talk of wards and magic defenses. "For the best," he agrees,, his gaze darkening. Never again, he said. Time to take all necessary precautions to make that reality. "'ourse, I've shot demons before with great efficacy, but can't say that'd work for everything. …More's the pity."

Neither does Jane miss that distinct, unnatural way Owen Mercer just… blurs through the air. A line creases briefly between her eyebrows. Metahuman. She remembers as much from those morbid, crystal-clear memories as the songbird. Quantum tunnelling?

Something to consider for later. Because, for now, she's at a loss for the scientific method to quantify the pure reams of crap coming out the guy's mouth.

Those previous digs come and go — Bucky, in his quiet, watchful way, ensures Jane does not brood long — and helped between him, Dani's sharp remarks, and the grounding familiarity of work, the physicist lets that pang go. For his part, Owen seems to be using his sharper jokes to cover up for something else — probably to do with the drinking himself cold on one of Tony's floors — and Jane intuits herself into a bit of pensiveness.

Not for too long, though. Not when Bucky is making his own sassy remarks, one of them sparking a low laugh from her before she can stop herself. Grinning crookedly, she spares the boyfriend a fond look. Downgrading, indeed.

As for Owen's romantic availability: "I'll make sure to pass it along to SHIELD," Jane replies, amused. "They can warn the city or something."

Back to business, however, not one to ever stray too far from work — her dark eyes follow-up on Dani. "We can hold off until this is done, if you're more comfortable. Your call. I'm at your beck and call, either way."

"See? You've already been thinking about it." Is Owen's rejoinder to Dani about considering his singlehood.

Owen gives Dani a wink and his best charming smile, which probably falls somewhere between sleezy and discomforting.

Stark's father? "Oh right. You're super old. … Weird." Owen of course has some awareness of Bucky because of his celebrity but hadn't thought much about it upon meeting him. Owen's met plenty of famous super types, usually when they would stop him from commiting crimes, so he didn't think much of meeting Bucky. "Ooh. What did you shoot 'em with? I feel like incendiary rounds would be best. Unless you could just blow 'em up. I've found that to be generally most effective." Owen isn't really a science type. But boy he loves talking about exploding things, burning things, shooting things or preferably boomeranging things. And he's suitable impressed that Bucky has experience fighting demons, not just being corrupted by one.

And indeed by now most of the alcohol has been burned out by Owen. Sure he's still an asshole, but he's not a drunk asshole and that can make a big difference in being palatable, sometimes.

And now he's kind of curious about their plan and what magic they are poking at. "Do you at least know what crazy whackadoo stories there are about whatever the hell shiny bits you're poking at? Because usually you can take those, make them about a thousand times more fucked up and get a good idea of what to expect."

For Danielle the blurring quality that Owen exhibits doesn't seem too surprising for her. She's read his SHIELD file, after all, and that filled in quite a few missing blanks for the woman.

It, however, doesn't stop her from watching the man with a vaguely. narrow-eyed quality to her expression. His rejoinder doesn't seem to help, as a corner of Dani to snort ever-so-softly.

The subject of demons and incendiary rounds brings a quick murmur of, "Fire is usually quite effective against demons. So is holy water." Then her attention shifts to Jane and the Cheyenne woman can't help but grin a moment, "I'll make sure SHIELD sends out a city wide alert." And while Moonstar could conceivably make further jokes about Owen and his romantic status, the talk of waiting brings a shake to her head.

"No, I'm good with continuing. It was just a random thought for a future state of things. Just a place that we can truly use safely while working with magical items." Dani says to Jane with a quick smile, before her gaze flicks to Owen again and Bucky too. Her head tilts in acknowledgement of what Owen says, "The arrow is what we used to handle the Bear." She states, "The rest are some odds-n-ends I borrowed from a friend's collection. While I can't say what each one is, or does, I thought if we could get a reading of what each thing gives off energy-wise, perhaps then we could start unravelling some of what might be out there."

Idly Moonstar picks up one of those baubles, a vaguely oval-shaped red-black stone, then she offers it to the three - in case they'd like a closer look. "I'm told these are pretty tame magical items, so I don't expect trouble from them."

Bucky's expression at 'oh right, you're super old,' hovers somewhere between amused and depressed. "Just passed a hundred and one," he says. "You wanna hear the whole nine yards about how good you kids have it these days?"

He executes another slow spin of his office chair, which somewhat dilutes his proclamation of his august and wisdom-conferring age. "Not that I feel that old," he admits. And not that he tries to think too hard about the things he was doing for most of those decades — though trying is a far cry from succeeding.

He doesn't seem particularly affronted that Owen didn't think much of him on meeting, and still doesn't act like he's 'around celebrity.' It's nice not being treated differently or like broken glass, for once. And it's nice not being pestered about 'omg can you introduce me to CAP?'

Questions about what kind of rounds he used to shoot demons are much more to his taste, in fact, and he warms to the subject. "Sanctified," he says, with a nod towards Dani. "As the lady says. Cast your own bullets, laced with silver, quenched in holy water. A little silver from a cross in the pit of a hollowpoint gave Mammon a bad enough day." A pause. "I'm sure God forgives me borrowing from the church, in light of that." He leans back in his chair. "Loaded with them today, in fact, since the girls wanted to play with magic."

He examines the object when Moonstar picks it out, though he doesn't get too close — his job, so far as he sees it, is to keep an eye out in case the baubles start doing weird shit.

As the others talk over and around her, Jane's eyes cut down on that familiar arrow, losing herself to give it a too-long look. Her mind churns with thoughts and feelings that are both and not hers. Her lashes lower a moment, pensive.

Then Dani's voice breaks it, Jane back to life, head tilted up with an upraise of her eyebrows. She trusts the woman's judgment to proceed without much hesitation; equal parts faithful in Moonstar's reason and assured by the fact she won't be bringing in extraneous magics to make like acids and bases in a volatile situation. Science may not even glean that much, but she's more than happy to start playing things safe for a while.

Back to work, back to positioning her sensor arrays around the artifacts — and in the presence of Stark's futuristic lab, Jane's engineering looks a little homegrown, someone who was able to re-determine the very shape of the universe out of tech assembled in her old home's garage, and has had no time or opportunity or desire to upgrade same — Jane settles in at her laptop. She could also indulge far more in Stark's holo-tech, especially per her love and ease with technological advancements —

But she's used to what's familiar. And probably needs the muscle memory of her keyboard to soothe her. "Gives me an idea how to go with this. I use most of this work per my theory — Einstein-Rosen bridges — but I think quantum entanglement may have a role to play with this stuff too. What if magic could be no more than one half of particle pair, with the other existing as some form of measurable energy? I detect traces of the quantum field, excite the particles — maybe get the artifacts to respond in some way you can detect, Dani."

Owen leans over the desk to peer at what Danielle and Jane have laid out. No crazy looking silver pitchers filled with something like mulled wine to be seen, so he relaxes a bit.

"As much as I appreciate the offer of notifying all the ladies about my status, I don't need SHIELD's help in getting laid." Yea… that is not what Dani and Jane were offering.

"Wow. And Nope! I have no interest in hearing that." He smirks as Bucky punctuates his aged wisdom with a chair twirl, how fitting. But then the topic switches back to weapons and Owen's eyes light up. "Holy boomerangs!" No, Owen didn't just change into Robin, he literally means holy boomerangs. He gets a kind of crazed look in his eye. "That'd be fuckin' boss. Laced with silver. Maybe an aerosol delivery mechanism for holy water.." He then frowns and says "Shit, they'd prolly burn /me/ though." And then laughs at the thought that he is so sinful as to be affected by holy relics. But… well, it is Owen and that's not entirely outside the realm of possibility.

And then Jane is starting to go deep science with talk of quantum fields and Einstein's Relativity Bridge club and what not. He squints his eyes and tilts his head but then gets distracted by a thought, back on the subject of holy weapons. "Oh right, but like holy water only works on demon demons probably. I would need something maybe more general purpose for like shitty deities and angry rape-y spirit chicks. If there are energy signatures, something to disrupt them would be clutch." Because Owen might not be a science nerd, but he is a weapons guy who has faced a variety of weird stuff.

Girls. That's enough to bring Moonstar's eyes over to Bucky and with another soft snort, the Valkyrie adds with a sense of self-deprecating humor, "Yes, us girls like to play."

Then it's back to Jane and the Cheyenne woman doesn't miss that focused look Jane has upon the arrow. There's a sympathetic cast to her expression now; she understands that thousand yard stare. She's caught herself doing something similar during quiet or more reflective times. Still, it doesn't take long for Jane to pull herself away from her internal thoughts and back to SCIENCE. That explanation of science from Jane causes Dani to frown ever-so-slightly. "I'm not going to lie -" Remarks the woman with a wry tone, "- Some of what you just said went far over my head, but I think I get the gist of what you're saying. I think when you began to scan the artifacts you'll find some sort of measurable energy. Mr. Stark's equipment definitely picked something up from the arrow." She continues with, her hand hovering near the arrow. "Though its magic is still active in the general sense of the word. The others -" She frowns, "Are quieter in feeling, but let's see what you can pick up. I think it'd be interesting if we could find a way to determine whether something falls into the category of 'helpful' magic versus 'destructive' magic."

And while more could be said, Owen's last statements pull at Dani's attention and brings the woman's gaze back around to the man. A frown tugs her mouth downward, "Demon demons? Really?" There's a shake of Moonstar's head, "While I can't say I'm down with your description of the various types of magical entities, I have to agree. If we can find a way to disrupt the magics, or contain them, or even shut them off, we'd have the advantage."

Bucky doesn't appear to notice that he's once again gone and 'done one of those Mad Men era things,' as Jane puts it, up until Dani gives him a dirty look. He blinks, then lifts his hands in a gesture of defeat. "Right, we don't say that anymore, I getcha."

There is one voice that is missing from this exchange, though. Over the last year and a half, Bucky has developed a certain seventh sense for when 'Jane has been quiet too long.' It pings now, bringing him to glance over to where she studies the arrow in extensive silence. He watches her carefully, up until he's sure nothing in particular is troubling her, before he looks away.

He has no comment on quantum entanglement or particles.

He does lift his brows as Owen gets real excited about holy boomerangs, however. "I can safely say I've never thought about that," he says. "But why the hell not."

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