Far From Home

May 04, 2019:

Iron Guard finds fellow time traveller Lar Gand in the middle of New York. Some advice is given.

Midtown Manhattan, New York

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Looking for temporal disruptions and events is Nathaniel Richards' self-appointed task within the Avengers. In part because he has a decent understanding of a matter that still holds some mysteries many millennia into the future. Also, because he has the capabilities in his neurokinetic suit. Mostly because he wants to be able to dodge Kang's devices to lock him in this timeline.

Not that he really wants to leave, but he wants options.

And there are a considerable number of temporal anomalies. After all, this is the Heroic Age. The time draws the attention of many travelers and would be historians, and technology advances in strange and wild jumps of insight among the great thinkers of the time.

So it is not too surprising the Avenger in silver and red is not following any of his usual patrol routes, but instead hovering over midtown Manhattan, trying to find something, or someone, that has been (or will be) about a thousand years into the future.


As a member of the Avengers, Nathaniel is probably aware of the fact that a few weeks ago, an alien vessel crashed along I-95 between New York and Gotham. Various branches of the US government have been working on investigating it, which is where his expertise might have been requested—given they appear to have found vials of some kind of "Serum XY-4" with dating on it from a thousand years in the future.

He's been told by the authorities that someone had been alive inside, but had run off with Captain Cold following a confrontation with Spiderman. They tried to track him down, but Cold was apparently with him and convinced him to fly away from them…and he was far too fast for them to catch up to. He's been given a description of a young dark-haired kid in his late teens and some grainy photos that were taken of him on the rooftop of some apartment building, and asked to track him down.

As fate would have it, Lar is wandering around in New York, unaware that anyone is still after him. And still just….trying to get adjusted to such a foreign place.


Alien vessels are in theory SWORD's problem. Which is SHIELD's little sister agency and in charge of dealing with extra-terrestrial people and events, such as spaceships. But there a many conflicts with national agencies about where does SWORD jurisdiction begins and ends. After all they have a space station up there and few agents in the ground. In theory.

In practice the DEO will usually go there and assert their claim. Nathaniel heard about the spaceship too late, and little about what it contained. Even within SHIELD his security clearance is low.

He will be annoyed later, if he finds out the whole spaceship came from another timeline and no one told him. For now he is looking for a living being, scanning the streets looking for an unusual tachyon trail.


Aaand there it is. The trail of something or someone who has been in another part of time. Lar is milling about midtown, along with the crowds of both tourists and residents. He is headed toward one of those cutesy little souvenir shops full of various I<3NY knicknacks, but ends up crossing a street full of heavy traffic in a place where there wasn't a crosswalk. But only the front of the car ends up getting bashed in, as if it had hit a lamppost or something. Lar himself hasn't even been so much as knocked over.

The driver is pretty pissed off though. The man gets out of his car and starts shouting a string of curses that are best not repeated at the alien, who just seems to be apologizing over and over again, yet failing to appease the agitated driver.


Indeed, definitely an alien. Nathaniel saw what happened to that vehicle and makes a quick scan on Lar's form. Living solar energy battery gives a short list of possibilities. All of them interesting.

There is a 'thud' sound behind Lar as he drops to the streets, "the Avengers will pay for the repairs on your vehicle through the Maria Stark Foundation, citizen," he states, his voice coming with an obvious metalling distortion. And the irate driver receive a phone call jut then, distracting him.

"As for you," adds to Lar speaking Interlac, "I have some questions, if you would be so kind."


The angry New Yorker is startled by Nathaniel's sudden arrival, staring up at him. But then he is reassured that the damages will be taken care of, which calms him significantly. Then he receives a phone call about said matter, and quickly answers it, walking off to handle the issue and probably arrange for a tow truck or something.

Lar peers curiously at Nathaniel. The language he was speaking was one of those -things- that sounded soooo familiar, yet for some reason he couldn't quite remember what it was. Well anyway, he tries English. Still not the best at it yet, but at least he can make sense most of the time. "Hey, um….I -just- started getting English, so uhhhh…." What was that thing people liked to say? "…one thing at a time?"


The armored man look at Lar for a few seconds, trying to figure out if he understood Interlac or not. Then switches to English. "As you wish. I am Nathaniel Richards, code name Iron Guard. I think we should get out of the streets before someone else crashes on us. Follow me, please."

He takes off, flying to roof level and then looking for a suitable, interesting place to settle. But no, better stick to rooftops given the alien has been on Earth less than a month and clearly still not mastered the traffic regulations.


Lar nods when Nathaniel suggests they get out of the street. Yeah, that was probably a good idea, they were definitely blocking traffic. He offers a handshake to the man, but then he flies off to a roof, so Lar just withdraws it again somewhat awkwardly and then follows him. "Uh, okay!"


Handshakes are so much Twenty First Century. Sometimes Nathaniel forgets. Well, the hand is offered once they are out of sight and not drawing too much attention. "A spaceship crashed recently near this city. I saw some schematics, it was not a standard galactic design." But he didn't recognize it from just some blurry pictures. "Were you part of the crew? Where are you from?"


Lar takes the hanshake once they're up on the rooftop, if a bit gingerly so as not to cause any broken bones, or bruises, or…anything like that. "It's nice to meet you, Nathaniel." he says politely, then listens to the question. Oh, right. the ship. "I'm from Daxam, Rao system, sector 1760." But then he glances around a bit nervously before looking back to the man, rubbing the back of his head. "Uh, I um…" he stammers, trying to find the right words. "I guess I must have been? I do not remember."


Nathaniel grip is firm enough. Inside his armor it would take some effort for Lar to break his bones. He nods at the ship statement. But he knows it was not from Daxam. Then again Lar said 'I guess' and… "Did you say you do not remember?" That is mildly alarming. "Were you injured, then? With your metabolism you should be fully recovered by now, I suppose. Daxamites under a yellow sun. Wait, the lead content in the atmosphere alone should have killed you."


Lar nods at the first question. "I don't remember what happened." he confirms. "Maybe I was injured, or maybe, something else happened." Like maybe some kind of mind-altering device, or something like that? Who knew.

He gives Nathaniel a puzzled look. "What's lead?" he asks. "Oh, maybe that's what made me sick before."


"I would have been more severe than a passing sickness," states the armored man. Which makes the young alien quite the mystery. He should be dead. After all it will be almost a thousand years before the cure for lead poisoning is found. Except he -is- from the future.

And he claims amnesia. Because of course.

"Lead, element with atomic number eighty two, is deadly to Daxamites, and it is very abundant on Earth," he explains, watching Lar reaction to the news, to see if the information is known to him. "But if you have survived so far, then something quite interesting must be going on."


Lar stares at Nathaniel, then something seems to dawn on him. "Oh, yes. That…that must have been it. I did, um, I thought I was -going- to die." he admits. "But, Lena gave me a…serum. I had it with me, when I came." he explains. "Then I wasn't sick any more." He says, nodding and smiling.


"Ah, you did not came alone, good," since it means Nathaniel is not now obligated to try to arrange transport for an amnesiac Daxamite back home. Probably not. Maybe. "Still, you should get in contact with a global agency able to return you to your home world," he suggests. "The Justice League or SHIELD are likely the best candidates."


"No, I was alone." Lar corrects, shaking his head. "Lena found me. "And Peter Parker." he adds. "I guess…she must have, um….just guessed that it might be important for me."

He sighs at the mention of going home. "No home to go back to." he says, his face falling for a moment. "The fallout from Krypton…uhm, wiped out everything alive. I mean, anything that couldn't get off-planet or deep underground."


"No… Krypton destruction was decades ago," remarks Nathaniel. "Given Daxam technological level was significantly above the Galactic Standard, a good deal of rebuilding must have been accomplished by now." A small pause. "Look, there are a number of inconsistences in your tale, my friend. There is no known cure for lead poisoning. You carry a tachyon signature that hints you have been in the remote future. I believe you are being sincere, your memory is damaged, and more than you believe."


"Maybe." Lar says at the prospect that Daxam may have rebuilt by now. "Unless everyone who lived has not gone back home yet." Or, maybe, he actually just doesn't -want- to go back home, for whatever reason.

Yes, he knows his memory is damaged, there was no doubt about that. He nods. "I know I don't remember. I—" But the future? Huh. "Oh…"


"With an 89% assurance," confirms the armored man. "There are a few other possibilities for the temporal signature, but they are highly unlikely. Also, hmm… actually it is roughly the time period a cure for lead poisoning become possible. Which reminds me, you will need periodic doses for the rest of your life. I hope this Lena person has more serum." He glances at Lar, some concern obvious in his voice. "Otherwise, you need your startship back."


"…." Lar goggles at Nathaniel. Well, that would explain the 3100s dating on those vials of serum he'd found in his pockets earlier. "Uhm—well, I found 2, used one…" he sighs. "You are probably right. Lena does not have more, what she has, is what I found in my clothing."


"Indeed?" So Nathaniel adds, "Daxam does not date chemicals using Terran time scales." He offers. "I doubt that spaceship was from your people. I would have to study it to be sure, but in truth, it is you who should try to find the vessel and hopefully more doses of the serum. Otherwise you need to quickly analyze and duplicate the remaining vial and hope you can duplicate using Earth comparatively primitive facilities."


"I…know where it is." Lar says, nodding. "I can search it, find more. If…there is any left. Other people were searching it." he recalls. "But I think I can make more." he says confidently.

He pauses, then gives Nathaniel a curious look. "Were you looking for me?"


"For you specifically?" He asks back, "I have no idea who you are, and you have yet to tell me your name," he taps the helmet with a finger, and then faceplate recedes, then the rest of the helmet, merging with the shoulder plates. He is a young man of Lar's age under the metal. "But I am not from this time either. And I am always interested in meeting other time travelers. I would like to hear your story. Once you remember it, that is!"


"Oh, sorry. I'm Lar Gand." he replies. "Yeah, I would not mind telling you more, when I can." That is, once he can remember it. "If you're from another time too, how did you come here? Why?" he asks.


"That is a complicated story involving, ah… time travelling terrorists, the Avengers destiny and time paradoxes. Best saved for a moment when we are not in a rooftop and you are not amnesiac," Nathaniel forms the helmet around his head again. Then produces a card to give Lar. It is thin and metallic, having several static holo-images he can visualize by turning it. The address (with maps) and contact for the Avengers Mansion and the Titans Tower. "If you need help, these places can probably offer some. Get your ship back, such comparatively advanced technology cannot be allowed to fall in the hands of Earth criminals."


"Okay, you are probably right about that. But I'm looking forward to a good story!" Lar takes the card and nods. "Thank you, Nathaniel. You helped a lot." he says with a smile, as he turns the card a few different ways, looking at the various holograms. Then he looks back up at the other man after a brief pause. "Maybe this is very unrelated, but what is a 'honey'?"


"Depends on the context," replies Nathaniel, turning to go. "Honey is a highly energetic substance produced by lower life forms and very appreciated for its flavor. It can also be also term of affection in some cultures." He hovers up, "farewell, Lar Gand. Good luck finding your way back home."

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