December 14, 2018:

A persistent rift spits out a SpiderWoman under the watchful eye of Uncle Sam and the Avengers / Justice League



NPCs: Two cops

Mentions: Tony Stark, Captain Stacy

Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Under the MTA's metro tracks by Bushwick, a persistent rift has been present by the support struts just off to the side of a fenced-off basketball court. A high-rise apartment building built in brick joins the opposite side of the basketball court, which is empty now at midday. School isn't quite out just yet.

The rift in this location has popped in and out of this location persistently at least a couple times. Largely, it has been non-interactive to the environment and only locationally bound. That is, until last week. Last week there were reports of 'paranormal activity' surrounding this rift. The odd ghostly white-blob of shapes momentarily materialising in the area or buildings around the rift, before disappearing again in a flash of light.

Though the rift's temporal appearances have been largely unpredictable, the predictable location of the rift has attracted government interest. Some equipment and yellow tape decorate the area masking it as a construction zone that spills out to the sidewalk.


The presence of a recurrent rifts point has of course drawn the attention of the authorities and research institutions. But after a few days, most agencies left. There is police tape, and there are a couple beat cops huddled in winter gear and chain-drinking hot coffee. There is a STAR Labs van, too, but the technicians stay inside and take readings of the energy fluctuations, they take 6 hours shifts.

And then there is Iron Guard and Fairchild and the white and red sleek form of the Avenger One anti-grav aircraft, currently parked a hundred feet over the street and carrying some very advanced Starktech and Justice League sensor gear that might be based around Kryptonian or Thangarian components.

Nathaniel promised not to peer too closely.

Besides, there is plenty of data to review and comment. For instance, "and Ms. Van Dyne told me she believed inanimate objects were also rifted, not just human beings as I had been told. So I did extensive verification. She was mistaken, and yet she was absolutely right at questioning the common assumption. -Living- beings are being rifted. Not just human beings."


"Site #29 again," Caitlin sighs. She swings the science monitor station away from her face and blinks owlishly up at Nate. "Yeah. We found some bacteria and fungiforms that were definitely not native to our reality. Back to that weird P-brane entanglement."

The ginger scowls at her readouts, tapping the display twice. "I'm picking up increased baryon emissions. I'd like to go in for a closer look."

She indicates they should land, and once they're on the ground she picks up a cargo container that must weigh five hundred pounds and balances it on her hip. "Can you set the perimeter sensors, and I'll get the emitter online? We don't have long until the rift collapses, I'd like to get some good data before it seals shut again. I still don't have a good pattern for this guy."


Energy readings slowly start to spike at a quickly multiplicative rate, spiking high across the usual ambient readings of the area. Charge builds up around the recurrent rift point. A normal rift event, for whatever passes as normal.

Then something different happens. A distorted, echoed sound event with the origin being the rift. The last quarter of a shout? It sounds inhumanly fractured. But the sound punctuates the thud of a white-suited woman who faceplants into the ground right in front of the rift. Her feet are the last thing to hit the ground. Her white hood is up, the costume baring black and white web patterns with hints of pink. There is a bulky beige-green cargo backpack on her.

"Urrrgh.." she groans, all but hugging the ground in front of her as the energy of the rift begins to dissipate. The collapse has already begun. To herself, the masked woman mutters, "..Hello, ground." So graceful.


"Yes, the rift is forming again, third time in 48 hours." Nathaniel lowers the faceplate of his helmet to have full access all the armor sensors and flies up a few yards into the air. "This time it is different, the string frequencies are not symmetric, it is not a spatial displacement!" Which is very interesting because time-space rifts are very rare and he had yet to be able to study one.

"Wait… there is a psychic resonance… no! It is gone, but I have the signature… and the tachyon stream is unsynchronized too," which means… okay, it might mean a number of things, but it is not a time-portal, which is disappointing.

Then the white-clad girl faceplants through the portal. The cops see her too, and one of them advances cautiously, while the other runs to the police cruiser to use the radio.

Nathaniel flies closer, trying to read Gwen's biosignature for analysis. Blurry, because she is clarly a 'dee-bee'. "We have a visitor from a parallel, Fairchild. And maybe some answers."


Caitlin winces. That sounded like it hurt. "Ouch, and 0.5 from the American judges," she mumbles. The cops move in, and she turns and slashes a hand through the air. "No! Stay back, guys," she warns them. Despite the surprise nature of the event, Caitlin works diligently and with methodical precision that lends her speed over mere haste. "SIRIN, patch in and give me a spectral overlay," Caitlin tells someone. Lights flicker in her left eye, and she looks around the immediate area. The colored lights are already fading and the kaleidoscope of radiation (visible only to herself and Nate) is disappearing as well. "Local spacetime curvature is resolving to proper geometry… and P-brane modality is stabilizing." She frowns. "Are you seeing this? I think the waveform's collapsing entirely this time."

She looks to Nate, then to Gwen, and steps cautiously closer to the girl. Caitlin's wearing a sleek purple leotard, with forearm-length sleeves and green pinstriping underneath modified tactical gear. "Hey. Hey, miss. You okay?" she asks, trying to project gentle reassurance. "You've had a bad fall. What's your name? Can you feel your fingers and toes?"


Hearing voices, Gwen slowly climbs onto all fours and rubs the dirt off her mask. Everything is sort of out of focus, apparent by the confused expression on her mask. Her vitals are stable to any sensor readings, though there may be some out-of-spectrum neural electrical noise. Desynchronization. Normalizing fast.

Putting a hand on her knee, she pushes up to her feet quickly enough and with barely a stagger as she looks at Nathan and then Cait. "Uh, gwe-..ost Spider. I'm Ghost Spider." That's right, she's still in costume. She turns to look around the environment, "I've had worse Mondays." It's not Monday. Then the words start as she looks to Cait with renewed interest, "Wait, aren't you Caitlin Fairchild? And uh.."

Looking over Nathaniel, "..Is that Mr. Stark?" She rubs the eyes of her mask.


Mr. Stark? Two years and people still make the mistake. Maybe he should completely change the design of his suit. Oh well. "Er… no, I am Iron Guard. Nathaniel Richards. Good afternoon, do you know where you are? You just passed through a rift. Which has closed now," Nathaniel double checks that. Less than three seconds, that is far less the previous two.

The Avenger database has nothing on a 'Ghost Spider'. Plenty of Spider-Women, but not Ghost-Spiders. "It is Friday, December 15th, 2018," he points out, watching for Gwen's reaction to this.


Caitlin blinks. It's not uncommon for her to get recognized, but she didn't expect it from a ghostly spider-type who'd just faceplanted hard after phasing through a dimensional gateway.

"Uh, yeah, that's me," she confirms, nodding at Gwen. She offers the other woman a hand up if she'll take it, but once Gwen's steady she backs out of the newcomer's personal space with a polite concern. "You're uh… you're on an Earth," she says, carefully. Green eyes gauge Gwen's body language, the mask making the conversation a little trickier than usual. "I think you fell through a dimensional gateway. Try not to panic, things might not be like you expect them."


Gwen happily accepts the hand up when offered. She seems… excited? Almost like she's bouncing on the soles of her feet, given the pitch of her speech. "Holy shit, I traveled through time?!" Is that normally how people react to interdimensional temporal travel? It must be.

The words seem to come faster, "I was there and it was like.. different — and blue! And no one could hear me and I thought I was dead but then I wasn't and now I'm here!" She turns and takes a couple steps away, taking a deep breath in. "Sorry! This is just like.. wow! I can't even."


Nathaniel smiles behind the faceplate. Hey, that is taking it well. Like an adventure, which it is. And not like being lost with no way back, which is also likely. "Well, dimensional travel is not an entirely unknown phenomenon right now." Not to mention he -is- a time traveler.
"And the Justice League and the Avengers are actually dealing with a case of… well, it is usually space displacement, but there have been exceptions," he adds. In fact quarantine protocols might required, the DEO makes it extra hard for people of other dimension. Fortunately they have little reason for them to suspect the young woman is from other dimension, since it would be the first registered case from a rift.
He glances at the STAR Lab van, wondering if they have the technology to realize it was a dimensional portal. Probably not without extensive study of the readings. So they have time. "You seem to be in good health, but I would like to offer you the Avengers installations if you need a place to stay and want a more complete checkup. I am sure the League would do the same, but we are closer."


Caitlin discreetly taps the wrist-mounted controls for her PDA, and sends telemetry data over to Nate while he's making with the introductions and invitations. Either their sensors are wildly underperforming, or …

"There've been some kinda complicated gravity anomalies," Caitlin clarifies to Gwen. "It's all hands on deck while we try to figure out exactly what they are and where they originate from. I fell through one a few weeks ago," she says, wryly. "Apparently scared the heck outta a few hundred people while I ghosted my way through Midtown."


Turning back 'round, Ghost Spider looks up to Nate with her wide white eyes, "Thank you, Mr. Richards, but I really can't." She needs to check on her father's house. The time jump was only a month or two, but he's probably worried sick. She looks towards Caitlin then, and says "You'll call me right? I can help. Just let me kn-Oh! Wait."

Lifting her shoulder, she unslings and drops her backpack. Unzipping the back pocket she pulls out a burner flip-phone and raises it towards Nathaniel Richards, "Call me using this."


Nathaniel catches the burner and sighs. "It might be better if you take a communicator. I think you will need to contact with us soon," because a burner from other dimension is not going to have a valid number, for starters. "Feel free to come to 890 Fifth Avenue in any case. I think Mr. Stark will want to talk with you."


"I somehow doubt that," Gwen snarks in response to Stark's name. "But I'll be there right after I check up on a couple things." With a single leap she scales a meter or two, landing and balancing on one of the metal rods that make up the fake 'construction site'. Looking over her shoulder at Nathaniel she adds on, "Just call me if there's an emergency. Bye!"

Leaping off that railing, she shoots a web from her wrist assembly to the bottom of the metro railway and swings away.


Yes, that is not going to work well.

Nathaniel puts the burner on his wrists and lets his neurokinetic armor slip tendrils of superconductors into the system, mapping and examining the circuitry for differences with Earth 626 standard technology. Maybe he can use it to track Gwen's phone as it tries (unsuccessfully) to link with the local phone networks using all the wrong codes.

Or he could just follow the young woman, sometimes the simpler solutions are best.

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