1963-12-08 - Baxter Building Blow Up
Summary: Sue invites Mar-Vell for a meeting. Nothing goes according to plan.
Related: Out of Time Plot
Theme Song: None
coulson heather ben liv mar-vell sue reed kang 

Was it a good sign, or a very bad one? To be contacted by Dr. Susan Storm of the Act-F Task Force so soon after her courier came to collect skin scraping and tissue samples of all prospective group members? Captain Marvel couldn't say for certain, but his experience in the Kree Star Fleet had set his inner compass toward the pessimistic in most circumstances. Certainly, there was an optimistic spirit thriving and hoping within Mar-Vell, but the other voice, the more worlds-weary one, often shouted it down. And, too often, was proved right.

Still, the meeting today would determine his future on this planet. It would be progress from the geosynchronous orbit he'd maintained in Earth culture, learning all he could about the people, the technology, the strain of metahumans that were appearing across the planet. The astrogation course that would be laid in for him, that was the question. Hopefully, it would be one to new frontiers, and not one into the heart of a star. From what he had read of the Fantastic Four, Dr. Storm had relatives who could mimic that very effect.

Captain Marvel shut down his jet belt in front of the Baxter Building after notifying Dr. Storm of his approach. He slowly walked into the lobby area, hands visible and weaponless, while Mar-Vell battled the feeling of- what did humans call it?- deja vu from his last visit here. That had turned into a desperate fight against powerful beings, though not the Fantastic Four. May Hala decree that this visit not end the same way.


The elevator dings and Doctor Sue Storm treads into the lobby. Sue's appearance doesn't match what everyone would expect. Dressed in a yellow dress, a pair of tall white boots, and a white sweater, the good Doctor looks more the role of 1960s secretary than scientist. She gives a small tick towards the elevator. And then, with a small tick of her eyebrows and a faint curve of her lips, she finds a greeting, "Captain Mar-vell?" the two haven't met each other's acquaintance, and the invitation that had accompanied the man's blood test warranted further discussion.

"You should maybe come upstairs?" she suggests quietly. Apparently, even with the presumed irregularities in the sample, Mar-vell hasn't lost all faith.

The ride up the elevator is nearly silent, a quiet lift to the Fantastic Four residence until the elevator dings again… upon which Sue treads out. "I thought talking in the open might not be the best option. Please… come in…"


Mar-Vell nods his greeting, and uses the moment to take stock of Dr. Storm. She's not what he expected, based solely on newspaper and magazine photos. In fact, he almost didn't notice her getting off the elevator, not until she spoke. But then, that is part of her gift he realizes with a smile. "A pleasure to meet you, Doctor," he answers before following her to the upper levels of the buildig. "That would likely be best, yes."

Once the lift comes to a stop and the door opens, Mar-Vell is on his guard. But apparentl, only against a very civil invitation. "Thank you for your hospitality," the Kree warrior intones and follows her.


A single hand lifts at the word of thanks. "Not at all," Sue moves towards the sitting area and beckons Mar-Vell to choose a perch amongst the chesterfield and armchairs. Tea and pastries have already been laid out on the coffee table; they've turned into something of a staple in the Residence as of late (for many reasons, it would seem). "So," her tone bears some weight. "It seems you and I are overdue for a discussion." Her hands clasp lightly and she leans forward, away from the back of her seat.

Of course, even as she suggests as much, she reaches for the teapot and pours herself and Mar-Vell (whether or not he wants tea, evidently he's being supplied with it and it's left in front of him) two cups to rest on two saucers. "I have to admit, I haven't seen anything like that under a microscope yet — " it certainly didn't match the Skrull DNA nor the Asgardians.


For just a moment, Mar-Vell thinks Sue's talking about the tea she's pouring. In the seat across from her, wearing his ghostly white and green uniform that seems a cross between armor and fabric, along with his mask…helmet…he certainly clashes with the decor. And his teacup, the one he was in the process of raining to his lips -stops-, the man apparently peering into the contents.

Then he understands; the samples he gave, not anything in the tea. Does he seem relieved? Maybe a bit. At least, he takes a sip and finds it pleasant. Not as good as coffee, but after a cold flight across the sky, the warm tea is most welcome. "I was curious what you would make of it," Captain Marvel admits, putting the cup down gently on the saucer. "How it might even compare with your own."


"Hey, anyone down in the living room?" Heavy steps can be heard trodding down the stairs from the lab. "Has anyone seen that new-fangled tool I've been using? The one with the little laser and that makes the 'bzzzzzzch' sound and according to Reed explodes if it gets too ho…" Ben Grimm stops at the bottom of the stairs and gazes toward Sue and their guest. He clears his throat. "I apologize. I didn't realize we had company." The rock-like man glances from Sue to Mar-Vell, stepping toward the latter. "Ben Grimm." He introduces, holding a rocky hand out to Mar-Vell in greeting.


A cheeky grin pulls at Sue's features with the thought of her own blood samples. "I've spent ample time staring at my own blood. More than I'd like to admit," especially lately. She takes a sip of her tea and she finally allows herself to sit back in her seat. "This is going to sound incredibly rude, and I don't mean it at the way it's about to come out," because Sue is all-too-aware of how she's about to come off, "but you're not a human. You're not a mutant. You're not a Skrull," because Sue can identify those. "And you're not an Asgardian." Her lips twist to the side, "What are you, exactly?"

Sue's eyes sweep upwards towards Ben and she manages a small smile. "I can't say I've seen it," nor has she really been keeping her eyes open for it, "but," and it is a large but, one she intends to leave hanging, "maybe Joon borrowed it?"


Captain Marvel tenses at the arrival of the famous Benjamin Grimm, the very not-invisible member of the Fantastic Four. For a fleeting moment, he expects a trap has been sprung. Until Ben speaks, and then Mar-Vell can't help but grin. He's walked beside Accusers and Admirals and special operatives of unusual power, and most with power levels as ascribed to Ben are aloof at best, deadly serious and, well, just plain deadly at worst. Yet this man, this transformed human powerhouse, seems no different than any other citizen of the city in his countenance. Sometimes, this world just suprises you. And delights you.

Mar-Vell stands and offers a firm handshake to Ben in return. "I'm called Captain Marvel, in the papers anyway. Good to know you, Ben." And still standing, Mar-Vell does a alf-turn toward Sue and gives a sideays lilt of his head. "I'm curious," he says quietly. "Dr. Storm, have you read anything about what I've done?" A question, with a question, but followed by, "I mean, since appearing in this costume. My…track record? Might it indicate that what I am is someone who just wants to make a difference? For the better?"


"That's not… " Sue's eyebrows lift and she inhales a sharp breath. "…exactly what I meant." Her lips twitch again as the smile falters. "I'm sure you're aware the situation is rather tenuous. And growing increasingly complicated by the day. At this moment, strategy is variable." Her lips press together tightly and she watches him a few more beats. "And believe me, I've read everything I can about everyone on our team," her smile tightens.

Upstairs in the lab, various gadgets begin to emit strange and unusual readings. All things science suggest something is rather off as they whirr, buzz, and generally ping with alarms of various sorts.

Undoubtedly, something is amiss in the devices' vicinities.

An impressively loud POP around a gizmo to detect atmospheric pressure alerts many different kinds of changes.

And then… silence.

Down in the living space, however, everything seems as it should. With the exception of the unusual conversation being had. "So the question remains," her lips hitch up on one side. "So far, I've been privileged to become acquainted with many people from different backgrounds," including Lucy and Crystal, "and know too well I have a lot to learn."

The change in the room's energy comes subtly at first. Following the nonsense of the lab, it's a wonder that things shift so minutely, yet those paying particular attention may know. The reflection of light in the kitchen might miss some people's view, but the white bolt of energy that emits from the blue rip through the space-time continuum, is unmissable as something gets sent through — causing all matter of life to be knocked off its feet — including ridiculously large rock men.


"At ease, soldier." Ben gives the man a little wink and a nod, smiling as they shake hands. Evidently it's no shock to him that someone might be shocked. Of course, he doesn't known the extent of the other man's worry, but he knows worry nonetheless. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Captain Marvel. I'm apologize for having intruded on your meeting with our brilliant, and quite prodigious, Dr. Storm."

He gives Sue a little grin. In reference to the Johnny, he frowns. "That tool could be anywhere now. I'll have to ask him about it later." And then, suddenly, he's on his back, staring at the ceiling with blured vision. "I…what?" He murmurs.


And what better time than this for the elevator outside to softly ping as another person arrives to this most fantastic of residences?

Clad in jeans, a warm sweater, and her motorcycle jacket, Liv comes striding off the elevator and heads for the Four's front door with an anxious frown on her face, quietly wringing her hands as she goes. Whatever the Asgardian has come to discuss, she's quite clearly troubled —

— and then that wave of energy from within the residence knocks her clear off her feet. Her eyes go wide in surprise, but then she's swearing and scrambling to her feet, sprinting towards the front door to let herself in. Hopefully, it isn't locked.

'cos she might be shoulderchecking the door open if it is.


As the energy signature of the room begins to change, Mar-Vell notices in the midst of Ben's observation about something called a johnnytool. Kree reflexes react, and Kree senses determine the origin point before the fabric of reality is actually opened. Captain Marvel does his best to put himself between the resulting energy wave and Dr. Storm, just before he also discovers himself prone and bowled over by the brunt of the pulse. He hasn't forgotten that Sue's waiting for an answer, he's just occupied at the moment, trying to remain conscious.


Liv, unhelpfully, will find the door locked upon tracking it.

While Sue can typically defend herself, surprise has her collapsing as the chair she's on is sent backwards with incredible force. Moments later, a large bubble forms around her, an absent reaction as much as a defensive move. Her body recoils with a dull ache through her body, and her hands subconscious trail around her midsection. Dizzily, her head shakes and her eyes squint to seek the anomaly now opened in their kitchen.

Just in front of the fridge, a blue hole, a crack in the space-time continuum gapes open. A blue figure, dressed in a green suit with purple accents, steps out of the bright blue hole. His booted steps, heavy and true meet the floor with extreme purpose. The weapon at his arm opens fire, blasting the apartment with red streaks, and decaying various objects through an emission of vibrations across the room's surface. Even the walls of the Baxter Building oscillate with the thrum of nervous energy.

Attached to his other arm, the figure allows a long spray of nerve gas to form along the room. Whatever the man's purpose, he doesn't intend to allow any survivors.


ROLL: Ben +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 4


Pushing himself up, a little wobbly at first, Ben eyes the tear in the kitchen. He doesn't know what it is, but he sure doesn't like it. "I hope this isn't because of the tool I lost…" He mutters, more annoyed at himself than anything. He starts to, unsteadily at first, approach this tear. Or whatever it is.

Oh hey. Now there's somebody exciting this rip in space. "He…hello?" Oh great! Just what Ben needs. Someone shooting at them. He springs into action, jumping toward the weird looking being. It's then that he's hit by one of the red streaks. He falls back, cracks forming on his chest.


Note to self: apologize profusely to Doctor Storm for this later. Liv takes a step back from the door and narrows her eyes.

A moment later, the front door is kicked open beneath the Asgardian's boot and she rushes inside, blue eyes darting attentively around the room. "Doctor Storm?! Is everything o— "

Red streaks. Gas. And she is pretty sure that was Ben Grimm going down like a… well, like a stone. Okay, no, things are definitely not okay. With a wince, Liv darts for the nearest bit of furniture to use as cover while she tries to think of some kind of a plan.


Mar-Vell's head reels, but he identifies the first wisps of the released nerve agent. The telltale hiss of chemical death is part of his Kree battlefield experience and it's one that sticks with a soldier. The clear lower half of his helmet deploys, sealing his battlesuit even as he positions himself, still low to the ground, taking stock of the attacker.

Ben moves to intercept first, and Captain Mavel watches as he is struck down by one of the scarlet energy waves. Some sort of deconstruction weapon? The Kree's eyes narrow behind his helm and he deploys the jet belt, launching first with his, as Dr. Storm poined out, non-human legs to leap as the belt rockets push him forward. Mar-Vell does his best to make it a hard, fast strike designed to impact the intruder with maximum force. And hopefully one too fast to be stopped by the being's energy weapon. His final thought as he moves is, 'Did the front door just fly past me?'


ROLL: Mar-Vell +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 63


ROLL: Sue +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 71


The intruder manages to dodge the flying assailant, issuing a large-armed-bat of the door-shield, sending Mar-Vell off course. The green-suited stranger lifts his energy gun upwards — almost like he knows exactly where to aim. In fact, as the weapon emits a bright beam of red energy towards the lab, everything almost seems to slow down.

Time seems to stand still as the plan takes shape. The bolt of energy meets the bottom of the lab. And slowly, like a kind of domino effect, within the lab one item and the next causes a series of explosions like the lighting of fireworks one after another with the pomp and circumstance expected of the fourth of July.

Even with the aim towards the lab, Sue lifts her hands to create a solid forcefield around her and her comrades. The psionic energy emitted from her thoughts, contains the people on the floor of the residence, protecting them from the series of explosions that light up the New York skyline.

Smoke filters outside the bubble, leaving nothing to be seen outside of it, like some eerie kind of fog behind a pane of clear glass.


A moan emits from Ben as he props himself up on his elbows. "Wha…." A hand reaches to touch his chest. "That's…that's not…what…?" He lifts his hand up to his eyes, looking at his fingers closely. "Is that red? Am…I…I think I'm bleeding." That's new. He hasn't bled while as a rock before. He knows his insides are practically the same as they were when he was human but there's not much that's able to actually harm him like this. "Sue!" His next thought is of his friend. Is she okay? He looks over to her. "Sue!?" He looks at her, and around them. "Thank goodness you're not too hurt." He murmurs, though he does point to the nearby door. "What's our front door doing…" No, that can be answered later. "We need to stop this guy!" He groans, wincing in pain as he starts to try to push himself up, not noticing their new Asgardian arrival as yet.


As the red beam cuts into the lab and sets off a series of explosions, Liv finds herself wishing that she'd gotten a chance to speak to Fitz about weapons. She brings an arm up to shield her head before she realizes that there's something she can't see keeping the flames and smoke at bay, and with a blink, she immediately gets to her feet and rushes towards the voices she can make out.

"Doctor Storm? Are you alright?" Liv asks quickly, but it's Ben that she's crouching down next to, leaning over to peer worriedly at his chest. Oh, that doesn't look good, does it. She saw a third when she came in, where did the man in white and green go?



The elevator doors open just as the carnage really begins. Inside the elevator car are two people; Senior Agent Phil Coulson, and Agent Heather MacNeil, of SHIELD. Whatever conversation they are having comes to a quick halt, as Coulson turns to look toward… that.

"Get down!" he cries, and moves to grab Heather and throw her to the floor, willing to use his body as a shield.


ROLL: Sue +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 79


ROLL: Sue +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 41


ROLL: Sue +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 96


The batted door careens at the airborne Mar-Vell, and he takes evasives, managing only to get sideswiped by the deflected barrier. The confines are close, but he does his best to bank, turn, and most importantly keep moving and dodging the red energy tendrils so long as they are seeking targets. It's a flying ballet, putting the jet belt through paces its never attempted before. But it also gives Captain Marvel an opportunity to view the scene from varying perspectives. The attacker, the portal he came from, all is obscured by the smoke.

"If he's used a teleporter or dimensional gate of some king, maybe there's machinery on the other side keeping it open," Mar-Vell thinks. "It is worth a try, to probe for weakness if nothing else." Trying to recall the location and dimension of the portal before all the smokeobscured things, Mar-Vll aims his unibeam wrist blaster and sends out a small energy orb. An explosive one, with the detonation delayed until he triggers it.


Heather goes out to get plans for all of a hot minute and…the building goes up. That's incredible and horrible and even as she's thinking how bad it is, she's sprinting into the building to get back upstairs. Oh, there's Senior Agent Coulson on the way up as well, that's….helpful. They emerge into a disaster zone and as she's taking it all in, Coulson takes her down and she's sprawled under him. Noble and awkward at once. Just her type.

Her first thought is that she should say she's dating someone, the second thought is: "Are you armed?" she hisses at him. She isn't. This is problematic.


Sue's resolve strengthens as Ben calls her name, she needs to keep them safe and protected. All of them safe and protected. Solidly, something assaults the forcefield from the outside, and her arms shake at the immense force being sent against her bubble. Her hands maintain their position, but a single step backwards has her staggering backwards.

The vibration causes every muscle in her body to twitch. Slowly, the force begins to bring her to her knees as if an immense weight presses upon her. Her hands remain raised, and streaks of tears train down her face. Someone wants the bubble down.


Another shock reverberates the entirety of the floor. Her will, her very sense of self, fails, and Sue Storm collapses on the floor of the residence.

The smoke remains, entering the lungs of all of those present without a barrier to protect them. The heat of flames licks downwards through the building, and whatever remained of the garage is in question.

And when the smoke clears enough… there's no sign of the assailant or his portal.


The heat, gas, and smoke starts to get to Ben a little. "I don't get it." He coughs into his fist. "What…" When he notices smoke going where it wasn't before, he calls out, "Sue!" He frowns at Liv. "I don't know who you are, but you should…" He winces, coughing again and placing a hand on his cracked chest. "You should check on Sue." He wheezes. "And that guy…Captain Marvel. Make sure they're okay." He wants to know they're okay before he's taken care of. "And then…and then point me to wherever that son of a beehive went. I need…" He coughs and winces once more. "I need to teach him a lesson or two."


Mar-Vell starts to call back the energy orb, but it's gone. Possibly it was swept back to the interloper's source point. Well, small a charge as it was, it might still make a nice little backhanded slap to the villain. Or not. But still, the mental image of a delayed detonation in the safety of one's own supervillain lair brings a grim smile to the Kree's lips.

The emerald and white-clad Captain Marvel drops down to land on the floor, searching for Ben and Sue. He'll also check what seemed to him the main supports he saw when he entered, to make certain they haven't been unduly weakened. His re-construct unibeam lens setting might be able to strengthen any theat seem in jeapardy.


As the shield goes down, Liv has just enough time to give Ben a very apologetic-sounding "It's complicated," before she sucks in a deep breath. She's going to need some air to work with. The Asgardian hooks one arm beneath the ever-loving blue-eyed Thing's shoulders and hauls him upright, carting him in the direction she saw Sue fall in. They need to get out of here. Like. Quickly.

Liv is pretty sure she heard voices from the elevator outside. That… that might not be good. So much for keeping the air in her lungs. "Fire department!" she barks towards the front door, blindly groping around to try and find Sue in the smoke. If she does… she'll scoop her up with her free arm. "Out!"


"Briefcase." Coulson shimmies off Heather, pulling his briefcase close and popping it open. A secret compartment is pulled open, and in there, a standard issue SHIELD firearm. He leaves it for Heather to pull out, and turns to watch what's happening in the room. "Not that it'll do much gu-*HACK*"

The coughing gets to him as soon as the smoke fills the elevator car, and he raises an arm to try shielding his eyes.


Heather takes the gun and plunges onward. "Sue? Reed? Anyone?" This is not good. "Elevator is still working for the moment, we had to get up here. It's Heather and Agent Coulson!"

Onward. She hears people yelling to eatch other.


The not quite conscious Sue Storm murmurs a few quiet thoughts, non-words monosyllabic in the quiet humming back of her throat. Dirt and dust cling to the moisture accumulating on her cheeks. Blood trickles from her nose, and her eyes strain to open amid the glowing light from the flames that have overtaken the floors above.

In Liv's grasp she mumbles something incoherent that turns even slightly coherent with the murmured assessment, "Ugh. My head." She groans again. "We need to get out of here," she murmurs softly.


"What the…" As he's lifted up, seemingly with more ease than it would take a normal person, Ben furrows his brow. "Whoa! You must eat a lot of spinach!" Yes. That's Ben's response. He can still be heard wheezing. "You'll be okay, Sue. You'll be fine. Just you watch and see. Don't you fade on us." He mutters. "Wait…who're they?" He hears the voices. "Why're there other people?!"


Captain Marvel can hear more of the disjointed conversation than a human might be able to under the circumstances, including the voices of Ben and Sue being—carried away to safety? His battlesuit keeping him from suffering the ill effects of smoke inhalation, he remains behind, locating each of the main support structures and, if they are compromised, he takes a moment to aim a stabilizing blast of recominging energy at them. It's a fast, temporary fix; fire rages above, and as soon as possible, he finds an exit to the exterior and jet-belts his way into the sky, circling the check for anyone visibly trapped against the outer windows. Second priority after saving anyone here or on the roof: Back inside and see how much water pressure he can crack loose to combat the flames themselves.


It's an odd mixture of relief and worry that hits her when Liv hears Heather calling from the elevator. "Friends," she assures Ben, but that's all she manages to get out before the smoke starts playing merry hell with her ability to talk and she starts coughing hard instead. Hell.

Not about to let it stop her from carrying Ben and Sue out of what remains of the residence, she puts her head down and hurries for the elevator. Liv at least manages not to trample over Heather and Coulson when she reaches them, staggering into the elevator and making sure it's her back that impacts the wall when she stumbles, not Sue or Ben's.

Ow. This is a bad day. "One more," Liv croaks out, blinking hard as the smoke stings her eyes. "Captain Marvel's still inside — "

She, sadly, does not know about the man's battlesuit.


The Kree warrior makes for an exterior opening and launches into the sky, circling the roof and upper floors on the search for anyone trapped. Captain Marvel then begins a floor-by-floor search for the same, but also to fight any fires he can lessen with release of water mains and conduits, and by using extinguishers. The areas around the elevators will be a priority, and Mar-Vell will try to keep them functioning safely as long as he can. Any supports found on the different levels that appear in danger of collapse will get a boost of recombining energy to attempt stabilization.


As the emergency sirens in the distance become less distance and the residents of the building start to pool safely across the street, another figure appears, striding down the sidewalk.

Reed… well, he's better than he looks. Dr. Richards's Fantastic Four uniform is largely immaculate, thanks to the wonders of UNSTABLE MOLECULES, but he is less so. His face is dirty with soot, his hair is still smoldering a little up top, and he is wearing the left half and right sleeve of a labcoat, whose edges are a decidedly crispy black fringe. His eyes find Sue and Ben first as he reaches the gathering, and he relaxes visibly, then turns, raising a hand to shield his eyes to peer upwards at the roiling smoke with a thin frown.

"So… I'm pretty sure that wasn't me."

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