1963-12-07 - This is My Hat
Summary: Weird readings bring some to Midtown. Others get distracted by hats that once belonged to them.
Related: Out of Time Plot
Theme Song: None
scott liv steve fitz kang 

The foot traffic around midtown at midday is extreme. People line the sidewalks milling about the area, bumping into each other as they move. One particular hot dog stand has a ridiculously large line that curves around Fisk Tower in a long array of people waiting for the delicious smelling hot dogs - the smell of which wafts well down the block.

Fitz, with Sleepy tucked under his arm, squints at the outputs on the machine, prompting his nose to wrinkle. "You're broken," he observes to the DWARF. "Your readings are off! No invisible spaceships from parallel worlds or the future here," he rolls his eyes. And then cranes his neck to see the line in its full depth. "I suppose though… since we are here… maaaaaybe a hot dog would be smart, yeah?"

His lips quirk into a smile as his hands tuck into his pockets, retreating away from the gust of wind that picks up around him. "Completely ludicrous," he mutters with a smirk. "I feel more American just waiting in this line," he observes to a bystander.


"Noone does queues quite like New Yorkers." The agreeable comment does not come from the bystander, but from the person behind Fitz in the line. It's Liv. Who has followed her colleague and Sleepy away from headquarters. Again.

She just smiles peacably and leaves her hands buried in the pockets of her leather jacket, craning her neck to try and see the front of the line. "She trying to tell you they're going to crop up here?" Liv asks, glancing curiously towards Fitz and the drone.


This is one thing Scott did not miss about New York City. Several things. Cold. Snow. Slush. Crowds. Okay, that's four things. He's sure if he keeps counting it'll be more. He shrugs his shoulders to try to keep the wind out of his collar, cautiously avoids people so he doesn't get jostled to the point of losing his glasses.

On the other hand, he'd have a clear path to where he planned to do a little Christmas shopping…but no. He kind of envies people who get to use their power for convenience. He sidesteps the Viking and her companion with the…you know, New York just gets weirder all the time.


Steve Rogers is huddling against the weather, wishing he would have brought a hat. He does have a scarf and a leather jacket, which will have to do. He's making his way from a meeting with some of his informants, and headed home to try and see what Jack Pace's plans are for dinner tonight. To remain inconspicuous, he's keeping his shield in a large art bag made for wide canvases. He's been doing that a lot, lately, ever since he was jumped in his own home.


Fitz lifts his chin to look at Liv. "My gosh you are tall," his nose wrinkles. "Are all Asgardians tall? I imagine all Asgardians are tall. Maybe all aliens are tall — " oh dear. This might count as rude. It's too bad Simmons is not around to tell him as much. Lingering on the sidewalk, he shifts to eye the line, "Is it getting longer?" It's not. His stomach loudly complains at the wait, prompting a deep frown.

Down the alley of Fisk Towers, a thirty-something man's steps speed up as he has a similar drone tucked underneath his own arm. His paces rush as he breaks into a run, calling a name as he moves, "Lex! I'm getting a rea — " but unfortunately, the sandy-brown haired man collides hard into Steve Rogers as he turns a corner. In a way, it's fortunate that it's Captain America the bookish young man with ridiculously small spectacles runs into. Because instead of knocking anyone over from the momentum, he's creamed agains the pavement. Hard. Causing his own bot to clatter hard against the surface.

Simultaneously, Sleepy begins to beep and whir and complain. Fitz's eyebrows draw together as his eyes flit about the line. "Sleepy might think he's getting a hot dog, yeah?"


Fortunately for Fitz, the questions don't seem to bother Liv at all. She smiles broadly at him and shrugs her shoulders, taking one step to stand next to him in line rather than behind. "My people do tend to run a bit large," she admits warmly, reaching over to pat him on the shoulder. She can't speak to aliens, though. Other aliens, anyway. Is she an alien? Whatever.

She casts a brief look after Scott when he dodges around her, offering a polite smile before taking another look around. If Sleepy had brought Fitz out here, there must be a reason for it.

Liv notices Steve a ways away, her brow furrowing, but Sleepy's complaints draw her attention away at precisely the wrong time. "I don't think Sleepy wants a hot dog. Can she fly?" she asks, giving Fitz a questioning look. "I can keep up with her."


People running. Some shouting. Machines beeping and whirring. Yeah. Scott stops where he is turns slowly on his heel, surveying the scene with the air of a man who knows that things go to shit the moment he exhales.

He caught 'aliens' in the conversation between the Viking and her companion with the drone. They could just be spectators — chasers of a sort. But the guy on the ground also has a weird machine that just clattered across the ground and is flashing at Scott's feet.

See, he tells himself as he scoops the strange little machine up carefully in two hands so walk it over to its owner — once the man regains his feet. This is why you brought the visor with you. Because this is New York City and there is not a chance in hell that you could get your Christmas shopping done here without an alien invasion or something. Hope springs eternal and really needs to learn not to waste its time.


"I'm really sorry," Steve says to the fallen man. He pulls his hands from his jacket pocket, leans down, and offers it to the bookish fellow in an effort to help him up. "I didn't see you coming. Are you alright?"

Steve looks down at him, inspecting both the man and his strange contraption, wondering idly what the gizmo is.


"Uh…" the man stares at Steve as the hand is offered to help him up. His lips gape, and, for a moment, it seems as if his brain has short-circuited in some way. The gaping doesn't stop, even with the hand offered in his direction. Steve, thanks to his peak human condition, can hear a faint buzz, almost like a voice that echoes into the man's ear. "Uh…" he tries again. He shakes his head and extends a hand. "Uh… " his eyebrows draw together. Maybe he hit his head on the way down?

"I should make him fly," Fitz considers quietly. "That could be pretty incredible. Hard to compact all that tech into something manageable, but definitely not impossible — " evidently Sleepy doesn't fly, but Leo really does think he should consider making that a thing in the future sometime. "But I could set Sleepy down. Why have you anthropomorphized her — er — it? I may have to take it apart for component parts someday and that's markedly harder if — " right. Focus. "I can set Sleepy down." And he does.

The DWARF buzzes and whirrs and … treads towards Steve Rogers and the fallen stranger.

The bot at Scott's feet makes a defiant bleep! And, unlike Sleepy, begins to float from the ground. Evidently some robots can fly.


Liv just raises an eyebrow when Fitz asks why she's anthropomorphized the drone hot on the hells of referring to Sleepy as 'him,' amusement dancing in her eyes. "You named him," she notes. Look, if the guy who built Sleepy says the drone is a 'he' then Liv isn't going to argue.

"Keep our spot in line," Liv says brightly, giving Fitz another friendly pat on the shoulder before she falls into step behind the DWARF. "I don't want Jemma to be mad at me if he really does have a bead on something, and you're still on the mend."

With Steve and Scott both already there, Liv hangs back a ways for the moment, not wanting to risk making whoever Sleepy's headed for feeling cornered. She gives the flying drone a rather curious look, cocking her head to one side. Hm.


Okay, then. Scott watches the bot take off. Fly, be free, little one! But no one is minding it so he follows it. "Sir, your…thing…is flying?" Far be it from Scott to grab something electronic with a mind of its own. When he catches Liv's look, he holds up his hands. "It's not mine," he says almost defensively.

If the thing causes any trouble, Scott supposes he can just shoot it down.


Hannibal arrives from Midtown.


Hannibal has arrived.


"Are you alright?" Steve asks the man down on the ground, still not sure what's going on. But as the device takes flight, the hairs stand on the back of the Star Spangled Avenger's neck. This is not another attempt on his life, is it?


Hannibal leaves, heading towards Midtown [out].


Hannibal has left.


"There are seven of them! Sleepy is one of seven! You know… like the seven dwarves? Or… do they not have that on Asgard?" Because maybe Liv has never heard of Snow White. How is Fitz to know. Fitz follows Liv as she trails after the drone at a bit of distance. He looks over his shoulder and a really tall blonde woman bumps into him, effectively pushing him out of the hot dog line. Sadness is real.

The tall blonde statuesque woman, dressed entirely in black, with a black hat flopping on her head, and a pair of black boots, seems to follow the flying drone as it leads her to where Steve, the man on the pavement, and the others are gathered. "J.R.!" she calls loudly, until she sees the sandy-haired man staring from his spot on the pavement. "J.R., stop goofing off we need to get rolling on this and move on the," she points up to the flying drone, but that's when her gaze finally follow's J.R.'s gaze…. to Steve Rogers. And Scott Summers. And Liv Sigrunsdottir. She frowns. And while JR continues to gape, she begins to backpedal, "Wait, are you Steve Rogers?" her eyebrows lift. "Sorry, my friend is a huge huge HUGE fan. Big fan. Big fans. Both of us," she steals a glance towards Scott. "It's why he looks like his brain has freeze framed, and needs a good reboot — "

Meanwhile, the flying drone has begun to scale Fisk Towers, and Sleepy has begun to pick its way up the building in a slow-climb.


If Liv was paying more attention to the people around her, she might take more notice of the other statuesque blonde that has arrived on the scene. But aside from a brief look and a blink spared in her direction, Liv is far more focused on keeping track of the DWARF and its flying counterpart. Hm.

"They don't have it on Asgard, but I've seen it," Liv calls distractedly back towards Fitz, her brow furrowing as the drones start to go up. Oh, boy. That… that's a tall building, isn't it. Did she just whimper?

Scott's closest to her, so he's the one who gets the tired look from the Asgardian. "I really hope these people have an elevator," Liv grumbles, and then she's sprinting towards the nearest entrance to Fisk Towers. Please, please, please don't make her take the stairs all the way to the roof.


"What's up there? What are those things?" Oh, for… Scott is resigned. "I'm going up there, aren't I? I'm going up there. This is great," he mutters as he follows Liv into the building and makes for the elevators.

"Security emergency," he barks at the person in the one open elevator who's about to hit the button for their floor. Everyone's going to be inconvenienced today. "Clear the elevator, please." Sometimes, sounding like Colonel NoFun has its benefits.

Maybe it's his tone, maybe it's the blonde Viking a few strides ahead of him, but the woman clears out, so do the people with her. It's like dominos. They stumble past Liv and, there we go. Elevator is all theirs. "I was going to do Christmas shopping today," Scott says, as he follows Liv into the elevator.


"Is that so?" Steve asks as he leans back and looks up at the flying mechanical device as it soars higher and higher up the building. His blue eyes turn towards the lady who was speaking with him, "What's that machine do?" The question is a casual one.


"Uh…" the blonde woman's eyes widen as Steve asks the questions and Scott and Liv disappear into Fisk Towers. "…yes?" the woman squints as she looks down at her friend who is still gaping up at Steve. "I…" she points towards the roof "…should collect J.R.'s toy! I mean…" she takes a step away and issues her comrade an apologetic shrug before traipsing after the others into the building and elevator. When she enters, her gaze turns immediately to the floor and her hands clasp lightly behind her back.

JR finally seems to get his mind together and brings himself to a stand. "Hi," he says almost hesitantly. His eyes turn up towards the building and his head shakes, "Uh sorry about that." He swallows hard. "I bet you get that a lot, huh?" Is he trembling? He might be trembling.

Fitz, meanwhile, stares at the ever-disappearing Sleepy, but the red that emits from the drone warrants a very earnest, "Thats… not good."

And even as the words are spoken, a bright blue beam of light emits from atop the building. "Definitely bad."


"You don't have to come along," Liv tells Scott as they both go rushing into Fisk Towers, but she in no way stops him from coming along. Especially not when he so effectively gets them an elevator. She looks quite pleased, maybe even a little impressed, as she steps into it with him and prods the button to get them headed for the roof.

She's about to say something when the blonde from outside makes it into the elevator before the doors can close. Normally, Liv might observe Elevator Etiquette and just ride in awkward silence, staring at anything but the people she's in the car with. But something is nagging at the back of her head… and abruptly, she figures out what it is. Blink, blink.

"…that's my hat."

Sorry, Scott. This elevator ride is going to be very, very strange.


"That's your…hat." On someone else tall and blonde. "Flying robots and shit and that's where we are. Hats," Scott mutters very quietly as he closes his eyes and exchanges his glasses — tucking them away in their case which, in turn, he tucks into his inner pocket — for his visor.

"I really have to stop bringing this thing with me." Ah, the world is a whole shade of the same old red as it always is, only with a different field of vision. If he didn't have it, he'd have thought: I can't help these people, it's too dangerous, what if I lose my glasses, then I'll be blind — or a wrecking force of unimaginable proportions — and also useless. And then he'd be doing his Christmas shopping.

But no. He brought the visor. Just in case.


Steve cats a skeptical eye on the woman as she talks, believing less and less of what she's saying the farther she gets to explaining herself. He nods a bit, in passing, and moves toward a payphone nearby. He's going to call SHIELD.


LOG NOTE: Cats=casts


The blonde freezes at Liv's observation. Her jaw tightens. Her hands ball into tight fists. Every muscle in her body stiffens. Her eyes remain trained on the floor. She swallows hard, straightens, and lifts her chin to meet Liv's gaze. Hauntingly familiar dark eyes meet Liv's blue ones and the woman manages a small smile. "You must have good taste," she notes easily as she straightens. "I got it from my mother," she replies easily enough.

The fellow named JR backs up as he looks at the building. "Lex! We're in trouble — he's here. You need to — "

"Who are you talking to?" Leo Fitz stares at the sandy-haired man.

But even as Leo asks the question, a swarm of bugs seems — dense and a giant mass moving in unison — descends from the top of the building.

The sandy-haired man turns to Fitz, "You need to get to safety, they're not friendly! Lex, you need to move faster! Get one of the others on channel, I think we've pinpointed a location!"


"I lost it a few nights ago," Liv explains to Scott, but she sounds extremely distracted. "On a… on a ship, on the roof of the… Bugle…" Her voice trails off when the other blonde looks up, and her brow furrows in clear confusion as she meets her gaze, her head slowly tilting to one side. Something about those eyes. She recognizes those eyes. She knows those eyes, but not the face they're in.

Liv casts a quick look to Scott, and it probably says something that she doesn't even bat an eyelash at the visor he's replaced his glasses with. That is notable, but not the weirdest thing in the elevator by far.

She and Fitz are going to have a really weird talk after they get back from the rooftop, aren't they?


"Okay, then. That's how today is going to go." Scott has already adjusted to this new weirdness. This is how he's going to make it through life. The person in front of him is obviously the time-travelling offspring of the woman he got in this elevator with and…yeah. Okay, then. Until someone tells him differently, that's what Scott's going with.

They got here from hats. He glances over at Liv, then at the woman in the hat, then back at Liv.

"You okay?" he asks Liv mildly. Just in case, you never know. They're strangers but stranger things have happened than a stranger needing a little emotional support from him.


Lex's eyes roll at Liv. "This is my hat," she asserts. Of course, there's no time to defend her position further as JR's voice comes through her earpiece. "Roger, Roger," Lex replies to her comrade with the edgings of a smirk. Even in dire moments, she can find humour, it seems. She pads to the end of the elevator, an effort to descend upon the roof before the others have any opportunity.

When the elevator dings, the roof sees a swarm of tiny — nearly invisible — nanobots that have created a massive swarm. While alone one would be unseeable, together, they make a giant mass that consumes everything they come into contact with. They buzz menacingly as the blue light, the rip in space and time, reflects a face towards the great unknown.

Almost immediately, the blonde reaches for a seemingly innocuous buckle on her belt that when she presses it, emits a violet pulse back towards the tear.

The feedback reaction of the two meeting causes a pink pulse to reflect outwards until it collapses upon itself. Yet the bugs remain. "Jack! I'm going to need backup!" she calls loudly.

On the ground, Fitz continues to stare at the other bookish man, "Where did you get your drone?" His eyebrows draw together with the question.

"Uh… no time to talk…" JR is already running into the lobby of Fisk Towers.


"Ask me again when we're back on the ground," Liv mumbles to Scott, and her tone is not unkind. It's nice to be asked after, and she does appreciate it, but right now — she needs to try and keep up with the young woman in the hat.

The swarm of whatever-those-are is not what she expected to find on the rooftop. The blue light is more familiar, and Liv gives Lex a very curious look when she clearly uses something on her beltto get rid of it. "I don't suppose you have a spare one of those, do you?" she asks hopefully, but she clearly isn't holding out much hope.

Especially when she's calling for backup. Liv sets her jaw and clenches her fists, levelling her gaze on the swarm. Okay. "Tell me what to do."


"Are those the bad guys?" Scott points at the nanobots. He knows not to just shoot things at random. Especially things they might not want to scatter. He glances over at Liv, then murmurs. "Someone point me at whatever needs blasting and maybe we can wrap this up before the stores close."

Priorities. If he has to write a report up on time travelling women and flying robots and those tiny machine things, he's going to have no time to find Alex a gift in time for Christmas.


"Those are most definitely the bad guys!!" Lex replies as she motions towards the horde of bots. "They eat everything — don't get too close!" With only one ray-weapon (if that's even what it is), she motions Liv towards the flying drone. "Get Ringo! He's got a spare in the bottom of his circuitry!"

The swarm comes closer, chomping on the building as it draws near, prompting a sharp blast of that same violet energy being sent its way. The ping of the energy shoots some of the nanobots backwards, and exploding others in tiny mini-fires that glow hot and bright underneath the ray's influence.

Ringo buzzes and whirs as it soars through the air just out of reach. If Liv wants the weapon, chances are high that she's going to have to jump.


Bad guys, eat everything, don't get close. Get Ringo. "Got it. Don't let them eat me before I can get to him, alright?" Liv asks, and she's asking Lex and Scott. She doesn't know either of their names, but in situations like these, you just kinda have to run with these things.

She clicks her tongue and gives a slight sideways nod — okay — before she breaks into a run for Ringo, doing her best to avoid the swarm on her way. Liv has done weirder things in recent memory than shouting up at a robot as she skids to a halt beneath it and raises a hand upward. "Ringo! I need the spare!"

Always ask first. If he doesn't just come into reach, then, then she'll do it the difficult way.


Scott picks a nice narrow cone of force from the aperture settings on the visor, and then flips it open. The effect is…impressive, maybe. If you're impressed by a red swath of destruction cutting through the swarm, crushing everything it touches.

Scott stands his ground, adjusting the beam as he works, trying to wipe out a good chunk of the swarm with each pass, focusing on the denser parts of it first. His work like this doesn't require any posing or fancy heroics. Point and shoot. His main concern, outside of killing these things, is flicking the visor off if anyone enters his peripheral field of vision so he doesn't blow them off the roof.


Liv easily reaches Ringo, and her hands find the device at his bottom. It detaches much like the belt buckle and is easy to use with a very easy-to-identify button in its metallic centre. Perhaps more challenging is the kick-back of the weapon. The energy emission gives far more than expected.

Scott's beam definitely kicks the swarm backwards and, definitely picks off several of the bots as it catches them in its fire.

Lex's weapon with its violet light keeps incinerating the bots as she scans the laser across the horizon. Evidently she's intent on taking out whatever she can.


Liv tries not to look too relieved when she gets her hands on the gadget, and she gives it a very quick looking-over. Well, this looks straightforward enough. "Thank you, Ringo." Always ask first, and always say 'thank you' when it works. That's just manners.

Lex doesn't show any obvious signs that the device has any kick to it, so it clearly catches Liv off-guard the first time she hits the button to emit a pulse into the swarm. At least she keeps her balance, and she's able to adjust, using the purple pulses to destroy as many of the 'bots as she can catch, and herd the rest towards Scott and Lex's own beams.

All while silently reflecting that, yes, she is going to have a very uncomfortable conversation with Fitz when this is all over. Focus for now, Sigrunsdottir.


Oh, well, this is better. Whoever the women are, they're competent and their gadgets work. Scott has had worse days. Maybe they will be done before the stores close.

It's good practice doing some more delicate work — well, more delicate than taking out planes or buildings — with the visor. Scott watches the nanobots split, spark, crumple as he rakes through the mass of them with his beam, over and over. There's a decent rhythm to it.

He does rather want to get one or two to take home, though. Probably a bad idea, but that's never stopped an X-Man before, more's the pity.


Thanks to the efforts of the trio, the bots are all destroyed, causing Lex to sigh with relief as the elevator dings once more. Her head turns and JR walks out. She shrugs at him, "I think we have it in hand." She motions towards Ringo, "We should bounce."

JR frowns slightly at the turn of phrase and whistles sharply, causing Ringo to come towards him. "Uh, I need his laser gen array — Val will notice if it's missing."

Lex frowns and reaches her hand out towards Liv, "Sorry. Apparently we need that back…"


Liv glances between the gadget in her hand, Scott, and Lex. (She's not ignoring you, JR. You just don't have her hat.) Slowly, she raises one finger and keeps her grip on the device, taking a small step towards the other woman.

"…I'm not trying to be difficult here," Liv says slowly. "And I am going to give this back to you. But this is not the first time my colleague and I have found one of these things," she says with a vague wave of her hand. The anomaly. "But we don't have one of these — " She raises the device slightly. " — to stop them. Throw me a bone, here. A wavelength, or something."

Liv is pretty sure that's the right sciencey term. Fitz, get up here, she's out of her depth.


"She's right," Scott says firmly. "You can't just leave us to deal with this without a solution. We need something. And don't give us any timeline mumbojumbo. Things are already a mess if that's what up, the timeywimey thing." He steps up beside Liv, crossing his arms over his chest. "What if you mean to show up and you don't? What if we get left on our own? We need something and we need it now so we can get working on it."


Lex frowns and casts a look towards JR. It's JR who holds his ground, evidently Lex is easier to win over somehow. "No. You can't have it. We need it," for reasons. Also introducing tech to another earth is probably not ideal. "Ringo needs it. Val needs it." He now holds out his hand. Evidently he really does expect the weapon to be relinquished.

When Scott mentions timeywimey, JR's expression deadpans. "You told them?! Really?! I can't believe — I leave you in an elevator for what, ten minutes?! And you can't keep your mouth shut! Did you forget why — "

But as JR goes off on her, Lex tugs on his ear, prompting a silencing kind of response. "I will drag you off this roof, young man." Her throat clears. "My very dementia-induced partner-in-crime and I will take our array and go — "


"— just as soon as you give us something to let us help you." Liv gives Scott a quick look of gratitude as he comes up alongside her and a small smile, and then she's looking between JR and Lex again.

Oh, good. Confirmation of time travel. That's… yeah, that's exactly what Liv wanted to be handling all on her own up here. What even is her life lately.

"I am going to give this back," Liv repeats. "Just… give me something. Anything. We don't know what we're dealing with here, only that we're being targetted by somebody or something. And while we are very, very grateful for your help," she's quick to add, levelling a vaguely plaintive gaze onto Lex, "You can't do this all by yourselves. Please. Tell us something so that we can help fix this." Whatever this is.


"Okay." Scott holds up a hand. "In her defense, whoever she is, I was trying to encompass the worst-case scenario here. Because you know what happens if I don't? I get home and it's like: Gee, Scott, you idiot, why did you let the weird shiny-portal-tiny-building-eating-robot-high-tech people wander off without at least asking them if they were from the future?" Breathe, Scott.

"But this woman here is right. We need something. We need a way to know this is happening, a way to fix it, anything." He's not about to budge. "She's right. I'm right. You people crossed that Rubicon already. The tech is here. The little robot menace is here. The shiny portals are here. Let us help you fix it."


Lex levels a look at Liv, and Ringo whirrs brightly. "Nothing to do with anything," she replies. She reaches out for the array again, "I need that." And evidently she's giving no information in reply. Ironically, a similar blue energy emits from the rooftop — forcing everything back again as it rips open a portal.

With a shake of her head, Lex pulls JR through it with Ringo in tow, and it, quite solidly closes behind them….

…leaving the array behind.

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