How Can You Serve?

December 17, 2018:

Natasha, Tony, and Gwen deal with an accident in the Avenger's Mansion, discuss the origins of the rifts. Dimensional Problems.

Avenger's Mansion

The Avenger Mansion is a three-story townhouse at 890 Fifth Avenue,
between the 70th and the 71st street. The building was built by Howard Stark
and was the Starks residence until his death.

The mansion grounds are surrounded by a wall topped by a metal fence that
altogether is twelve feet tall. Appearing like rough stone and aged bronze,
it is actually made of advanced, extremely resilient concrete and steel. The
mansion itself is surrounded by a lawn on three sides. The main entrance is
on Fifth Avenue, and the back entrance leads to a parking space for land

The ground floor is dedicated to common area living space for the resident
Avengers. There is a sizable kitchen, a dining room, a large library, a
living room and a large space converted for public conferences, much akin to
a slightly smaller version of the West Wing press office.


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

The kitchen in the Avengers Mansion was a safe space, its where a member of the team can go and find something to enjoy in the pantry or fridge, or liquor cabinet and to just sit and be at peace.

Natasha Romanoff is there now, she's seated near the large windows that look out onto the yard and she's got a tasty beverage in front of her and a little half bagel with cream cheese spread across it. Its one of the rare moments for the Agent where she enjoys a treat and just… relaxes.

The redhead is in a slim fit brown leather jacket, its unzipped,s he has a white shirt on beneath that and some black pants with black shoes. Her green eyes are down on a tablet computer that is propped up on a Salt and Pepper shaker on the table in front of her. She's watching some gun range video on the Youtube.


Thwip! Swing. Thwip! Leap. Wind rushes past the Ghost Spider as she pirouettes right off the concrete side of the building adjacent to the Avenger's mansion in a trajectory for the front entrance. Just as the momentum from her swing begins to cancel out, she breaks the line and skips to a landing over the gate. Just as smoothly as she arrived, Gwen passes through the front door with a flip-phone in hand.

As Ghost Spider passes the threshold of the entrance, she cheerily calls out, "Hi, H.O.M.E.R!" while closing the door behind her. Turning, she navigates quickly towards the common area. As she rounds the corner, she lowers the white hood to her costume and stops at the sight of another Avenger. At least, she thinks it is?

It would be kind of rude to just like.. interrupt someone while they're reading a tablet or whatever, so she quietly navigates for the fridge around Natasha while depositing her flip-phone on the counter. Spider-stealth go.


There's a strange flare of "BZZZZZRRRR" noise from the hall: it drifted up from an echo in the elevator shaft before the doors closed and contained the sound. Then quiet.

From the elevator, but more recently the hallway, comes a little robotic drone, just over the size of a small trash bin. It drifts quickly but serenely into the kitchen, levitating, going to the lower side of cabinets near the oven, politely maneuvering around Spider-legs. It turns around, along the bottom edge of the cabinet, after flipping open a small access panel. It then extracts the red fire extinguisher there and attaches it to the left side of its apparatus. There's a short grinding of some sounds and a "pff!" of exhaust from a tube as the high-tech extinguisher is attached. Small sensors move on the front panel of the robot as it examines the people in the room, a soft flutter of yellow light emitted along with that scanning process.

It then innocently begins to head to the hallway, in the same manner a child might have been told to 'not run' along the edge of a pool. A speed-walk of very forced casualness.


As it happens, Natasha forgot a napkin from the central island counter in the kitchen so she just pulls her eyes from the man in the desert shooting a high powered rifle at a very far-off watermelon on her tablet PC and she moves to glide over to the counter to get a napkin from the metal holder.

Her green eyes go to the Spider-woman in the costume, she just stares at her as she casually gets a drink or something for herself. "Hello." Natasha says in an announcement-level voice, casual, but still introductory. She doesn't know who this person is.

The drone through, makes Nat's eyes sweep over to stare at it as it is casually making off with the fire extinguisher. "Where are you going?" She asks the high tech robot. "Whats on fire now?"


The white-masked woman looks up to Natasha at the introductory hello. "Hey," she echoes back. Gwen's already claimed a cold cola bottle from the fridge out of a pack of six. "I'm Ghost Spider," she starts at an attempt of introduction.
So much for 'go go spidey-stealth'. The abrupt grinding noises and the appearance of a drone add a little to the commotion of the area, but also immediately catch her interest. "— What," Other hand still on the door to the fridge as she watches it grab the fire-extinguisher, then she exchanges a look with Natasha.

"..I'm remotely interested in that drone," Gwen cracks aloud in response to the query on what's on fire. "Should we follow it?" She closes the fridge door, drink still in hand.


"The kitchen is not on fire," The robot replies helpfully. It has a Very Helpful serene voice, as many of the household robots are prone to having, when they agree to help clean up a mess. In this case, it is the same: mellow. "Fire retardant priority is allocated elsewhere," continues the robot in a way that is clearly intended to assure, but lack the context of WHY Natasha actually wants to know. "Mr. Stark has stated that nothing is on fire at this time." That is very assuring to everyone, no doubt. Since Gwen doesn't ask it anything, it doesn't reply to her directly, just to Natasha.

The robot seems to think it has answered adequately: but then, it never stopped actually moving. Into the hallway it goes with the extinguisher. A second robot has joined it, having taken a second extinguisher out of another room that no one probably even realized was hidden there. The second one is a floor-sweeping robot, which should suggest this call was a little bit 'all robots on deck'.

The power in the kitchen flickers and a few machines whurr as their power sources flux. But then everything seems fine.


Natasha's stare goes back to the young girl and she even just straight up looks confused at her, going so far as to tilt her head. "More Spiders?" She asks. Its because in this past year she's already worked with Miguel and more recently Peter Parker… she knows both of their names, they're on file with SHIELD. This one, however, isn't.

But the robots and their little ways are a bit more pressing. "Uh huh." Nat replies dryly to the one that just swiped their extinguisher from the kitchen. "I was going to make a pizza later, have you seen my cooking? Fire extinguishers are needed in the kitchen of all places." She tells it, and the Roomba-style one that they find out in the hallway.

"They can be challenging to track." Natasha says to Gwen then. "They have their own little annoying robot highways inside the walls. "Tony." Natasha then speaks out. "I know you can hear me. Whats going on?"


"Something like that," Gwen quips back as she starts following the robotic drones down the hallway. She doesn't quite leave Natasha's field of vision, but she's definitely kind-of tracking them to observe their behavior. Her fingers trace along the wall and Gwen turns back to Natasha, pink-outlined eyes wide.

"The power flickered. Are there stairs?" She asks towards Natasha, then looking towards the robot that has actually been answering questions as it hurry-moves away. "Where was Mr. Stark when he told you nothing was on fire?"


"I do not, for reference, listen in on every conversation in the mansion, Nat," Tony's somewhat iconic tone replies after a long pause. On his end, the AI had to get his attention and convey Natasha's message. So there was some natural delay. His voice is a bit /too/ relaxed and there's some audio fuzz in it from the alarm sounds being removed from the response. "I've just relocated a rift, and we're doing a little …. incidental remodeling with it down here. Both labs are a little bit merged now. But I've calibrated my device: so it should just be entirely /intentional/ remodeling from here on out."

Tony's voice is entirely self-assured, but then, that's not an indicator of much of anything. At least he doesn't sound worried: that would be reason to evacuate immediately. "I've also ordered pizza for you. You can thank me later; I'm just a bit busy."

The robot answers Gwen Stacy with, "Invalid request, your security clearance is insufficient for that information. Please inquire into a security upgrade," while it heads into the elevator. Another robot beat them there and was holding the door open. It is possibly a little unsettling to see three robots with fire extinguishers, expressionless and prepared, headed down.


Natasha doesn't have the highest opinion on any other living beings, really not even that high of herself either—not about everything about her at least. "You know I'll never believe that." She replies to Tony's first statement about his monitoring habits.

"Its there." Natasha says to the doors at the end of the hallway. "The stairs." She stops in the foyer of the mansion though and finds a table pushed over, chairs laying on the ground and a lot of the Avengers folders/pamphlets and public 'gift baskets' all knocked down and scattered about.

"Oh for Hulk's sake. What is this now?" She lets the robots go for the time being and she starts to gather up the table and chairs firstly, setting the chairs out of the way of all the mess. She looks to Gwen. "Who're you again?"


Gwen's mask furrows in disappointment at the request denial. Foiled by a fancy roomba. This is not the highlight of her day. She follows Natasha down the hallway and through to the cluttered foyer and door to the stairs.

"What the elf, are you serious?" Gwen looks at Nat, shaking her head as she helps clear up the mess. Setting aside a small pile of baskets. It was still probably a safer idea to take the stairs and not risk getting stuck in an elevator.

She rolls with the question, replying with, "We fought together, Natasha. In my universe."


Natasha doesn't seem all that concerned with where Tony is now and the potential hazard of fire. He's alive, he's not openly asking for help… he probably has things under control. She trusts him at least that much. Kinda. Sort've. Its complicated.

Natasha stacks the chairs up in the middle of the foyer's floor in front of the staircase upward to the second story level and she glances over to Gwen. "You're universe?" She repeats. "So you're here because of the Rifts going on?" Thats an assumption really, it could be any number of things but it seems like the most wise one to roll with for now. "You seem pretty chipper considering you've been displaced from your reality…" She says in a dry tone now as she crouches down to start to sort the books and pamphlets, seeing the ones with Tony's face on the cover of them all just internally makes her seeth a bit, she assumes his droids caused this problem after all!

"You're an Avenger there, I take?" She then asks of Gwen while continuing to pick up the mess.


"Yeah," Gwen answers simply in response to Nat's assumption. There isn't a lot of surprise in her voice; Black Widow has always been smart. She picks up a table as easy as one of the baskets and starts stacking them out of the way up against the wall. "..Yeah." She says again slightly softer to the second observation. What else can she do?

Ghost Spider looks over when asked if she's an Avenger in her universe. "Kind've. Sort've. ..It's complicated." In regards to the rifts, she says, "I've got a path forward. I can help. Like what if there's others like me? I've got to do -something-."


"Yeah?" Natasha can play the Yeahs Game too! She glances over to Gwen and shows a small smirk. "Who let you in here then?" She has to ask that question, its a security concern and she's often very concerned with security. She starts to put the chairs back into place where she's used to seeing them, where their legs make little perfect placement inside the divots on the carpet. "What is it that you 'do' if you don't mind me asking also. By which I mean, what do you bring to a roster of Avengers in a time of need?"

With that out of the way, Natasha turns toward the direction of the stairs and she reaches into her pocket to pull out her phone, she swipes her finger across the screen and the doorway beside it opens, its an elevator. Faster. To the labs.


Gwen stifles a laugh when she sees the smirk. Her own game turned against her. "Mr. Richards did," she offers in reply, "HOMER should have it in log." She stops short of a meter or two from Black Widow after picking her drink up off the floor and putting it on the table where it won't be tripped over.

Pausing at that last question, she looks towards the stairs before replying, "Sling webs. Sick burns. Try to be the best Spider-Woman I can be." Her shoulders slump a bit, "..I need your help more than you need mine, right now."

Once Nat opens the elevator to the labs, she peeks over at them and back at her. "But at the moment, Mr. Stark needs both of us. Right?" With that, she slips into the elevator, "Assuming of course, he doesn't burn the mansion down first."


Natasha softly nods her head to the words words. "Mister Richards, huh?" She catalogues that, ominously perhaps! And when Gwen steps on to the lift, she stays out in the hallway. "He'll do with just you, I'm sure. I've got a place I gotta be. I don't think the house is on fire, yet. But just make sure it stays that way for me, okay?"

With that said, Natasha taps her phone screen and the elevator doors start to close again headed for the labs. Before they close she speaks up once more. "We need all the help we can get around her, Webber. Believe you me on that one." And with that said, Natasha starts to turn back toward the direction of the kitchen to go get her stuff.


The elevator door doesn't open. Instead, it just sits for a brief time, and then it lights up in bright red angry moving strobes. "Unauthorized access. Remain still, or extreme force will be administered," says the elevator, as it starts to make some eerie mechanical noises that sound a great deal like being sealed into an airlock before being jettisoned into outer space.

On the upside, the situation IS being looked into. She might not lose all of her oxygen today for trying to break into the lower levels of the Avenger base. "State your intention and identification," the elevator decides, after having probably done some excessive background checks into why a dead person might be inside the elevator.


"House not on fire, got it." Gwen replies back to Natasha before the lift doors close. That.. was oddly uplifting, and for once it feels like everything might work out. As the elevator descends, Spider-Woman leans up against the back of the elevator railings, facing the door. As it slows to a stop, she straightens up in an expectation of a fireball or something to be happening on the other side of the door.

Instead, the doors don't open. Well, that lasted all of thirty seconds. "Are you fucking kidding me? I was -just- sent down here by Nat." There's a brief pause as she crosses her arms, "I'm Ghost Spider? Spider-Woman? Come on. Open up, I'm here to help."


Perhaps she's persuasive. Or something else happened. What does appear is that the elevator doors open; they open into mini-chaos and some smoke. A few of the robots are spraying down areas down the hallway on the left that clearly were formerly on fire. There's an open doorway just past it, and further down the hall, a second door that's closed on the same side. The robots ignore Gwen entirely.

"In here," calls Tony's voice, from that open door. Indeed, when she investigates, she'll find him, as well as some other things. There's a hemorrhage of parts and pieces out on a long table, and a giant rounded-edged hole in part of the wall, leading into a more biological-looking lab with long freezers and machines. Cords abound on the floor, and drape down from the ceiling. Tony himself brushes some of the jungle-cords aside, stepping entirely through the hole, while pulling off some heavy-duty large, thick brown gloves. He hands them to a robotic arm, and pulls protective goggles up to his forehead. Large marks of black mark his cheekbones and some of his nose; he's dressed somewhat casually otherwise: long sleeves, jeans. A light frost of smoke and black stuff.

"Was the pizza the wrong, toppings, or something?" Tony asks with an aloof half-smile, as if nothing were wrong, crossing to a console at the holy wall.


Yelling at elevators is usually pretty persuasive. She definitely put that elevator in its place. When the doors open, she takes a cautious couple steps out before progressing down the hallway. Her spider senses will tell her if there's any danger, right? Well. Any more danger than there usually is around Tony Stark. In her mild annoyance, she strolls right past the robots blowing out the scorched spots in the hallway.

That is, until she reaches the open doorway to her side. She stops and turns to step through it, hands on her hips. At least it's clear Tony's alive, given his call out. From her spot at the doorway, she glances around the room. It's like the Matrix in here, just maybe with more burning.

Then the prodigal wit, "Two medium, extra tech-eroni and heat, burnt to a crisp? I was wondering what it would take to smoke you out." Gwen takes a couple steps forward, looking sideways through the hole in the wall and then back at Tony. Reaching up, she pulls off her mask to let loose the blond hair. "Another dimension and some things never change, Mr. Stark."


"That does sound like it IS what was ordered. Then why, pray tell, did you not bring any pizza down with you?" Tony sighs a little bit, looking over her slowly without any actual irritation. His wheels move quickly, and he turns to gesture across the screen now, splaying his palm over the lower part with a tossing motion. The footage rolls to show a churning rift, and a white burst of ghostly shape across the surface, and the rift rotates and slides through the wall directly, taking out a whole orb of the wall with it. The fire spreads out from some circuits that collapse from next to it and ignite, but Tony ends before the awesome fireball gets going.

"Fun pyrotechnics aside, make anything of this white thing? As our second dimensional expert, I figured I'd get your take," Tony asks, as if he'd invited her down.


Gwen Stacy's grin is infectious, but it's business time so she strolls over to the screen to look over it clearly as the footage replays. Her expression turns quizical amidst her now-messy hair. Masks will do that. Folding her arm to prop up her opposite elbow, forefinger and thumb holding her chin, she processes the shape. "Rewind to the white flash over the rift?"

There's a few more seconds of her processing leading to her saying, "It looks like I did?" Her face turns back towards Stark, "For a week or two leading up to me arriving, there were paranormal reports of a ghostly white shape near my rift." She gestures to the screen, "Sort of like that. While I was in the rift. I'm pretty sure it was me. Maybe it's another person."


"There's two sorts of ghosts; one like you, and a second thing," Tony answers, while he sets the feed to repeat so that it's easier to watch. There's footage of some other similar white shapes that follow it. "There's a difference here. See how these dock to the ground, and they react as if they were humans," Tony shows, moving a hand to slow some motion across a few little tufts of eerie white. They drift, but hang low, bends of white stretching to the ground now and then.

"And the other one, that was here." Tony adjusts, and it changes back to the somewhat disorienting streak that passes across the screen like a ribbon, leaving a glossy stutter of pink rips, as the playback goes into slow-motion just before the wall disappeared.

"Not a human," Tony clarifies. "I had it here briefly. It took some of my wall," Tony observes, though he's not insulted by the thievery. He sort of instigated it. "Did you see it in-between?"


"They have to walk." Gwen observes, flickering her eyes from Tony and back to the screen. She narrows her gaze and leans in as the second blur does its thing. Dropping her arms to her sides, she takes a couple steps back and looks back at the hole in the wall. "That's crazy town curly fries." A helpful observation, as she returns to her remembering.

"When I was there.. I thought I was dead, in the riftzone or twilight zone, whatever you wanna call it. No one could hear me, but like.. Hm." She pauses, as if choosing words. "I have like this.. sense.. that tells me when danger is going to happen.. When I'm going to be hurt. While I was there, I felt like — I was being watched." Gwen shakes her head, folding her arms behind her back. "I.. can't remember everything, but every part of me told me to leave. If it's not human. Whatever it is. It's dangerous."


"I had a short vacation myself in-between," Tony replies. "Sorted it out, shunted back here. We had something of a head-start, since… well." He pauses, looks at her with a sigh through his nose. "We had demonic portals open all over the place here. Did anyone go over that with you? The city was under siege. Long story short, we had a lot of dimensional anchors available to close those. But now we have this." Tony tosses his head a bit to indicate the ribbon of energy.

"Well. If you remember more, get that info through; might be something," Tony says, stretching his shoulders once, and flashing a confident smile. "We'll get it." He stifles a yawn against the back of a hand, watching some robots come through to patch some wire. "/Probably/ no more fire tonight. You can tell Nat," Tony smirks.

"Put those back now, after refilling them," Tony offhandedly instructs some of the robots by the door with the fire extinguishers. They head off to follow orders. "K-12," Tony says, and one pauses. "Get the pizzas." It sets down the extinguisher and diverts.


"Yeah, I had my advanced info portal search it up." Gwen pauses, leaving the joke in the air. "My phone." Clarified, she shakes her head. "I was alone in there. I've been gone for months." Backing up, she ends back towards the entry way. Her fingers brushing up against the open frame.

"If I remember anything, I'll tell you." There is a weird, pained smile on Gwen's face. As if she did remember something, but it's something in the room making her uncomfortable now. "I'll make sure some pizza makes it down to you, too. Try not to start any more fires, Mr. Stark. Okay?" And with that, she slips off towards the elevator, tugging on her mask and propping up her hood as she walks away.

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