1964-02-02 - The weirdest log you'll read tonight.
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emma pepper sue reed 

Emma has arrived.


It's not even clear what this thingamajigger does, really. Most people in the room, all dressed to the nines, tens, and twelves, seem like smart capable persons, but very few understood Reed Richards' opening comments regarding the testing phase of his Dimension Conduit. If for nothing else it's a way for everyone who got in on the funding to prepare to make a ton of cash. Or, for those who didn't, to learn their lesson.

There are waiters. They wear tuxedos. There is shrimp and other small appetizers. And there are those little hot dogs rolled into the croissants, because Reed loves those.

"I am so excited, I can hardly stand it." Reed's eyebrows waggle reflexively, every so often, and not at regular intervals like at all as he whispers to Sue. H.E.R.B.I.E., the best impersonation of AI Reed could muster, packed into a white robot form, raises his own eyebrows and gets away from Reed as if even he feels irritated by the scientists giddiness.


Emma has a gift for smart investing. And when planned properly, investing in Reed Richards' projects is smart. If you choose wisely. It doesn't hurt that Emma has a knack for certain types of tech herself. Given the various projects that demand her attention, though, that part isn't known to many.

She's come to the gala, of course. What's the point in putting money into things if you don't show up to the parties so that everyone knows you put in money, after all? Her white silk off-the-shoulder dress is just short of scandalous, clinging tightly to her curves. The diamond necklace and bracelets she wears probably help distract from just how tight it is. She has a flute of champagne in her hand, hair falling to her shoulders in loose waves.


Rule of thumb: whenever occasion permits, wear the red dress. The floor length number Sue wears acts as a bright backdrop for her dark features, but leaves a bit of space around the middle — a vastly different impression than Emma's. Her hands lightly clasp behind her back, and unlike Reed, there's subtlety in her expression. Its warmth, however, is unmissable. Sue Storm always conveys that warmth, even when she doesn't quite intend to.

"I'm fairly certain you always are at least on the verge of hardly-stand-it-excited," she muses softly. But the near perpetual smile that edges her lips upwards has an extra extension today. Delight, it seems, is contagious. "But then, I suppose, you have the benefit that most don't, Doctor Richards," she is feeling cheeky today. "Invention and innovation are kind of your things."

Her eyes flit towards each of the guests, lingering a moment longer on Emma's dress that then produces a faint flush of Sue's cheeks. All the scandal.


Pepper wasn't here to show off or steal the show. She wasn't here to hob nob or brush elbows. She was here to do her job — Support Sue Storm and Reed Richards, along with the rest of Act-F, without ever really being seen or noticed. She tries to melt into the background. It's easier these days, having lost enough weight that she's gone from pleasantly curvy to a little rail thin and gaunt. She doesn't quite draw the eyes that she used to. Still, Pepper looks stately and elegant in a dark green evening gown, her hair pulled back in an oddly tame manner, heels a mid-range height so she can run across the room to fix any catering, drinking or publicity emergencies as they come. She stands to the side of the stage, in the shadows, keeping a neutral smile on her face as she watches everything but comments on nothing. She is a very nice, useful piece of furniture. Still, her pale eyes return rather routinely to Sue, worried and a bit hovering for her female boss.


Reed does a double take at Sue's words, for a moment, thinking that she meant something else. He never gets to the three quarter compliment as he steps up to the podium next to some giant machine. "Well, uh, thanks everyone for coming. This has been a long time in the making of course. Thank you to all the donors and investors who helped make this happen."

"As, uh, anyone who knows me knows that I uh, love the idea of another dimension and all of the possibilities discovery of such a thing might bring, and so this is why this project is such a labor of love for me and my future wife…"

Reed drones on. And on.

One unsuspecting trophy wife sets her champagne glass upon the edge of the machine and no one seems to notice. Certainly not her, as she's busy talking to one of her husband's social climbing underlings. She doesn't even notice when her elbow bumps the glass, sending champagne into the crevice between two metal pieces, just as Reed gets to the part that people are waiting for.

"So let's turn this dag gone thing on, how bout, huh?" Reed says as people begin to cheer.


Emma is actually listening to the science parts of Reed's speech. It probably doesn't hurt that she's also lightly skimming his mind for the words he's not actually saying, when it comes to getting a sense of what he means. But that's all background activity for her, picking off of minds in the room. When she finds another familiar one, she glances toward where Pepper stands in the background, a small smile flickering across her features.

She takes a sip of her champagne when Reed announces a start to the demonstration, setting the flute down to clap politely with the others in the room. She doesn't seem to have noticed the spill either.


The speech causes Sue's smile to sparkle just a little more. Her hands clasp lightly in front of her, and her eyes hone in on the machine. With a vague nod, she takes a single step forward, mentally preparing for whatever the machine will do.


Pepper didn't quite miss the fact that Emma was in the crowd — she's too observant to miss anything. She might sense the woman's eyes on her for a heartbeat or two, and she gives a friendly smile with a little wave, but doesn't quite approach yet. No, Pepper is remaining on stand by for whatever great success or complete disaster this technological unveiling shall be. She worked for TOny Stark too long not to be bracing for a minor disaster, so she's already popped a Vigor tonight and is prepared for damage control as quickly as possible. Hopefully her paranoia is wrong.


The machine starts up like a charm, whizzing and whirring, and it sounds good. Like when you start one of them new fangled Ford Mustangs good. It sounds powerful.

Reed doesn't notice the smoke immediately, off to his right. He's too busy looking back at Sue and smiling. But then, his nostrils flare to impossible widths as he sniffs once. Twice? What?

The cheers begin to slow as people look at each other worriedly. Inside there's blue energy crackling all over and it looks as if it wants to come out.

Reed finally sees there's a genuine problem and he's leaning over it with an extended abdomen, trying to figure out what could have happened. He focuses on the flute down on the ground. The wet spot on the rim of the machine. The sm—-

and poof. Reed is gone.


Emma is watching intently enough that when the smoke starts, she straightens up, leaving her champagne flute on the table and taking half a step toward the machine. "Dr. Richards, I believe you have a-" Small short-out problem that he's dealing with…

And then the good doctor appears to be gone. That could be a problem. If he's still there, though, perhaps she can reach him. « Dr. Richards? » She opens her mind up to the room, carefully sifting through thoughts.


Reed's look towards her warrants another relatively easy smile until his nostrils flare and he smells the smoke. Her own expression changes as he begins to examine the machine, but instinctively, she throws up a large invisible shield around the machine — thoughts of it blowing are too easy to come by. Reactivity and reactions mean doing rather than really truly thinking.

"Reed, check — " but there's no Reed, just Sue with her hands held in the air, trying to ensure that the machine doesn't explode and damage all of their guests.


And there it is. The disaster that Pepper had sadly been bracing for but really hoped she'd be wrong about. Her pale eyes go wide as things go a bit strange and she's already running for the massive industrial plug that was put into the thing. Sadly, she can't get there fast enough to save Reed from disappearing, but within a few seconds of that happening, she's dragged the power out of the wall and massive surger protector (something she insisted on so they didn't blow the whole hotel's circuit work.) But it's too late. He's gone. Her eyes go wider, now moving closer to Sue's side, "…What… did… Did people see what happened? Where did he…?" But there was no where TO go. She looks quickly around, almost begging with her eyes for him to return. One hand remains protectively near Sue's back.


A shocked gasp goes up throughout the crowd. Pepper pulls the plug, but the energy continues. Blue energy envelopes the cord, moves down it like a snake, and grabs hold of the redhead's arm. In a split second, she too has disappeared.

Not to be outdone, of course, because Emma is never to be outdone. Her one step does her in. It's one step too close to the energy which too grasps at her. Like Reed and Pepper before her, Emma disappears right along with them.

But Pepper pulling the plug eventually gets the machine to shut down, albeit amid some clanking and hissing by the machine. The woman who spilled the champagne is totally wide eyed. She picks up the flute and tries to hide it behind her back.


Both Pepper and Emma live, but when they wake they find themselves deep within some alternate world. Whatever sun is here seems to be gone. Instead, the horizon is dominated by a large blue energy beam that shoots off into a nowhere sky. Behind the sky is bathed in colors between purple and pink.

In the crevices between the rocks, flourescent green liquid flows. They are a very long way away from home.


This was not in Emma's plans for the evening. She finishes that single step in a strange land, then comes up short as she takes a look around. "Well. This was not the dress for this." She's not happy, but neither does she appear to be panicking like most society women would be.

One arm crossed over her chest, a finger tapping at her chin, she turns in a slow circle as she reaches out with her mind to see who or what else might be here. "Dr. Richards?" she calls out. "Are you here?"


Well, this was the LAST place that Pepper expected to be. It was strange colors that slightly hurt her eyes already. There should be *water* places, but it's growing. Green. That was not water. She looks down between the rocks, and then back over to the other scandalously, elegantly clad woman. "…E-emma… Are you alright? Reed? Are you here?" Pepper calls into the distance, echoing the other womans words as her high heels carry her picking over in Emma's direction. She is VERY glad she did not wear spike heels tonight.


Emma notices his presence just before, but about 30 yards up towards the gigantic blue pillar of light Reed (Emma can confirm) sits up and struggles to pull himself upwards. His arms and legs are all stretched out weird and he seems disoriented.

Worse. Emma can feel the minds of four others even closer to the blue light.


"Aside from the fact that I have serious doubts about the likelihood of this dress coming out of this adventure in the same state it came in, I'm quite all right," Emma assures Pepper with a small, distracted smile. "I'm not certain just how long that's going to last, though," she says as her smile fades. "This way."

Without hesitating, she starts toward Reed and that light, walking as smoothly as possible despite her heels. « Dr. Richards, you are not alone here, » she speaks into his mind ahead of herself. « There are four unknown entities, in addition to Miss Potts and myself. » Whoever the voice is, at least.


Well, Pepper didn't have NEAR Emma's confidence or go get them attitude, not when they were in seemingly mortal peril. Pepper could handle a lot of challenges, but some alien dimesion? That was no one of them. There is a small part of her having a very large break down, but she's trying to swallow her heart back down her throat as she double times in Emma's direction, catching up to the woman, and then continuing after her. "…That way? What… is that way? And I'll be quite happy if either of our BODIES come out of this in the same state. Where… where in hells are we?" Pepper breathes out as she follows the woman.


As Reed writhes on the ground, Emma can feel that he's desperately trying to pull his mind and his body back together. It's as if he turned into a liquid and is going through the mental hoops of how to get himself right.

Meanwhile, four figures dressed in black emerge on the rocks about 50 yards away. Apparently the commotion of our heroes' arrival has not gone unnoticed. Three of them seem normal sized, but the other is gigantic. Two to three times the size of a normal man.


"I honestly haven't the slightest idea, Miss Potts," Emma admits. The dress is definitely not made for this sort of thing. The hem is already starting to snag on rock as she walks, pristine white picking up black and green stains. Pity. That's never coming out.

"But I'm reasonably certain that Dr. Richards is the only one who knows how we might get back to our rightful place. And he's not doing particularly well. Do try to keep a low profile, I believe we have company. You may want to stay behind me." Why? Whatever her reason, she sounds confident.

Meanwhile, it's time for some emergency psychic surgery. With a deft touch, Emma does what she can to straighten Reed's mind. It's rather like trying to repair a Rembrandt given some crayons and five minutes, but she does have a knack for it, shoring up weak spots and slipping constructs into their usual place. « Dr. Richards, we're really going to need you to pull it together here, please. »


The redhead is more than happy to listen to Emma and stay behind her. Pepper is always the prime beta — very good at being very competent, but more comfortable when she can take second fiddle to someone more put together and confident than herself. So, she settles into stepping behind Emma, almost exactly tracing her steps in the strange sand and ground beneath her. At least she knew those were safe places to stand. Pepper rolls up her dress, meanwhile, hiking the skirt up enough to tuck the edge into the thin belt of her dress. It made it easier to walk, at least. "I'm… I'm with you. Just… just tell me how to help and I will." Pepper whispers, even trying to keep a low profile in voice. Better safe than sorry.


Emma can feel her efforts on Reed's mind working. Gradually, he's getting more control, but it works so slowly and so gradually that it surely won't happen before the company arrives. Speaking of those four, their features seem to be a bit more easy to pick out now, despite the low light. The giant has some sort of rocky exterior, while the other three look to be humanoid. One light skinned man, one dark skinned man, and one woman with bleached blonde hair. Or, it's a wig. Emma can probably pick that sort of thing out from a distance with her discerning eye. Pepper nearly gets her shoe caught and nearly gets some of that green goo on her. Who knows what that would do? Better not to know, of course.


"As soon as I have any idea how, I will be certain to tell you," Emma murmurs as they reach Reed's side, keeping a wary eye on the group in the distance. "Miss Potts, this is going to get very strange in a few moments. I'm going to need you not to panic, and to do what you can to get Dr. Richards up and moving."

She continues to organize the doctor's mind, crouching down to put a hand on him once she's close enough - physical contact usually helps. "I'm going to be very honest with you, Pepper. Right now, I'm reassembling Dr. Richards' senses. Now, if those people in the distance are not friendly, I'm going to have to stop. I can do this, or I can be strong enough to deal with them, but I can't do both at the same time."


A slight yelp escapes Pepper's lips as she almost gets some of that STUFF on her shoe. She half jumps out of her skin, stumbling away from it. She was not built for this sort of thing. "…S-sorry… sorry. I almost got… well… touched that… stuff…" Pepper stammers out to Emma. Hopefully the woman would understand how quite disgusting and worrisome that was. But the four looming figures in the distance were even more worrisome, and the words about Dr. Richards' mind. "…Reassmbling? What? How…? A-alright… alright. I… I'm here. I… I took some of that vigor… I should be able to command them, if I need…" If they worked like human minds. "I'll help. I will."


Reed opens his eyes and looks at Emma with a bit of an eyelash flutter as he starts to get it together. "Pretty sure that Sue is gonna be jealous," he mutters as he tries to smile. His return to consciousness is enough to distract just for a moment. by the time Emma or Pepper look back, the four visitors have arrived.

"Is he alright?" says the first man with light skin, a pointy nose, and bad black hair. "Kate, do you want to check and see if he needs help?" He gives an upwards nod towards Emma and Pepper. "How did you guys get here?"

The young black man watches on with some slight irritation as if he has somewhere he should be. Wait, weren't there four?

The large rock monster makes his way up the crevice a little later than the others, and Reed goes wide eyed. "Ben?"


"Oh, I'm quite certain she'll forgive me," Emma smiles ruefully to Reed. "Assuming we get you back to her in one piece." She's still shoring up his mind, cautious as she looks up to find the mysterious others have arrived.

"We're not quite sure how we got here, actually," she answers, glancing to Pepper and sparing a thought. « Patience. Let's see who they are before we start anything. »


Patience. That Pepper can do. Still not quite trusting the power of her voice around someone whose mind isn't shielded against it, Pepper doesn't quite speak yet. She just remains behind and slightly to the side of Emma, like she was the woman's shadow. Her head slightly down, worried eyes flickering deeply in Reed's direction. She reaches over, trying to offer Reed her fingertips, "…Reed… hey… it's… Pepper… you alright? Let me help…"


"Yeah, I think I'm feeling much better," Reed says as he uses Pepper to bring himself up next to the redhead. His eyes are on the big rock monster that looks like Ben, but isn't.

"Ben?" Slowly he shakes his head, "No, I'm Jamie." Slowly the giant seems to be fighting some sort of internal battle before his eyes disappear from inside the rock monster molding. A moment later, a short young man with an accent comes out from around the large costume. "But I play a guy named Ben. Or did, anyways, before we got here."

"Do you guys know how to get home?" says the young black man, eager to cut to the chase.

"Mike, chill. Obviously this guy's hurt."

"Who made you the leader, Miles?"

"Guys, shut up," interjects Kate.


"Dr. Richards will be fine in a moment, I'm sure. He would be the one who could best say if any of us are going home." Emma straightens as Pepper takes over working with Reed, gently drawing her mind away from his in favor of a broader search of the new arrivals. It's a light, cautious touch, but she'd very much like to know if they're a threat.

"This is Dr. Reed Richards. Miss Virginia Potts. And you may call me Emma."


The woman next to Reed remains close to him, fingertips slightly out, there should he need caught or any sort of steadying. She doesn't really recognize the others there, a touch of confusion dancing across her pale features as the group mentions 'playing' someone named Ben, and names she doesn't recognize. "..were… WEre you sucked here too, mysteriously?" Pepper dares ask, a bit hopeful that, maybe, they weren't totally alone in this strange situation.


Emma will sense no threats. She'll learn a lot about season premiers of something to do with some show about cards, and each of them are fairly sure that the choice of this movie may end their lives. If not physically, then at least their careers. This decision is the worst thing any of these actors could ever have done.

"Reed Richards?" Miles responds. "But I'm Reed Richards."

"Not quite," Real-Reed responds as he straightens. "That suit…is it some sort of containment apparatus?" Reed asks Miles. "I dunno. Our director made us wear these dumb things. They've got all sorts of gizmos and what not. I don't understand any of it."

"We were," Kate says with a nod. Yes, up close her hair really is a wig. You can definitely see some of the red coming out from under it. You'd think Hollywood could do better.

"We were in the middle of a shot and we just ended up here," adds as he holds Kate's hand for support.

"Quiet," real-Reed says as he winces. "I think I have an idea."


Emma blinks, taken aback. Apparently, the truth about these people is more surprising than showing up in this world.

"You're actors." She looks from one to the other, making a quick dive into their minds for more of the strange truth. "That is…fascinating. So then, this must be some sort of…" She looks back to Reed, setting her hands on her hips. "Was your machine supposed to lead to some sort of interdimensional waystation?"


"…Actors. You said you… play Ben? There are people… playing… Act-F Members? God, and I thought working for Stark Industries was weird. Tony said he always wanted a movie made about his life, but…" Pepper is somewhat fascinated, but still mostly scared and put off. They are trapped in this strange alien world and things are only getting more weird by the second.


"I didn't really plan on going," Reed says with a shrug of his shoulders. "I thought things would be coming to us. Something must have shorted the circuits out." He approaches Miles containment suit.

"Act-F? What's Act-F?" Kate asks, perplexed. With a sigh, she rips off her terrible looking wig. "We're making a movie about some dumb team called the Fantastic Four from years and years ago. Trust us, when it comes out, don't go and see it."

Later, they're all very close to the blue energy field. Reed has rigged up some antenna contraption which dangles periously close to the energy beam and Mike is eyeing it warily. "You sure this thing will work?"

"If it doesn't, then you're going to be stuck here the rest of your life."


"Dr. Richards." Emma sets a hand to her face at the lack of certainty. She's been surprisingly helpful when it comes to wiring and electronics, though her dress is quite done for by the time it's all been said and done. "I'm sure there's no need to worry," she says to Mike, crossing her arms over her chest and taking a step back.

"But you all have been here longer. We really ought to send you home first." Smile.


Emma has partially disconnected.


The writing, fixing of things, and mkaing whatever strange contraption Reed has made has been greatly assisted by Pepper. While the redhead has kept herself rather mysteriously quiet, still not trusting her voice, she certainly takes good orders and knows how to use her hands to make the strangest of science gear. Once it's finished, she steps back, giving it a wary sort of side eye. "…I… I think it's worth the risk. Not much of a life in a place like this… But… well, if you all… want to go first…" Pepper is not volunteering to take that first step. Emma offered the idea first anyway!


Unfortunately, this is a one time ride," Reed says with a bit of a twisted face. "We get one shot, so if you don't want to risk it, then feel free to check out the real estate in this wonderful place." All four of the actors stepfowards to grab one of the wires, almost in unison.

Once everyone is on, Reed dips the contraption into the energy and suddenly all 7 are teleported: Our three heroes to their dimension, and the actors to theirs.

Emma, Pepper, and Reed arrive back into their dimension, just moments before they left. As the woman is about to knock over the champagne, the flute is caught by a long, extended hand. As the shocked woman turns, Reed Richards gives her a wink.

For our friends, they're teleported quite a bit earlier. They find themselves with their agents in an office at Fox studios, ready to sign their contracts. One by one they look to each other, and in unison, they think better of it. Saving the world. of Cinema. Forever."

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