1964-02-19 - W-ILD Casting Call!
Summary: After finally getting a solid lead on Seth, the Contingency Plan goes to follow it… only to find that the rabbit hole goes further down the boob tube than expected.
Related: Various Lorna-trying-to-find-Seth logs.
Theme Song: None
tommy lorna billy ava teddy hope seth mojo 

Welcome to W-ILD!

The first room that anyone gets to see of the W-ILD television studio is going to be the green room, and unlike every day for the last few weeks, there has been a fair amount of pedestrian traffic today; various civilians coming to respond to the casting call that's been put out for new talent and hoping to, in fact, become stars.

As those who're immediately entering the room do just that, they're greeted by a rather energetic young woman (is woman even the right term? It almost seems wrong to go beyond 'girl'!) who's sitting behind the desk and waving frantically to greet them.

"Welcome, welcome to W-ILD! Are you here for the call? Oh, don't you look fabulosu? Can I get you anything? Water? Snacks? I think we've got some chips. You like chips, right? Oh, I hope so." she frets, teeth sinking into her bottom lip. "We should've gotten more snacks…"


"Hi!" Billy grin broadly and turns the Dimples up to full power, wearing his absolutely coolest outfit (actual coolness factor: 2/10) to impress the people he's faux-auditioning for. Since the woman has the energy of a hyper bunnyrabbit, he turns his own energy up, "I'm Bobby and this is Theo…" He gestures to Teddy, "And we're here to audition! We would *love* some chips. Chips would be *awesome*." Meanwhile he looks around sorta attempting at covert spyness (actual covert spyness factor: 1/10) hoping that no one notices he's really there looking for someone.


"I've always wanted to be a star." Teddy tells woman, his voice a monotone. He also looks a lot like the bus driver he saw this morning. Just younger. And with a larger nose. "Do you have any pretzels?" he asks cause he's decided to be a homely, talentless pain in the ass who'll never be a star. "I prefer pretzels."


Those snacks have to come from somewhere, and with a little bit of digging and a little bit of misuse of SHIELD resources, Ava managed to find out where, and to get herself a temp position helping to deliver and set them up. It's a perfect chance to be nondescript and in the background, with her hair twisted up under a hairnet and a stock jacket that's large enough to give her room to carry her blades and her pistols. She keeps her head down as she loads up the snack table.


Lorna wavered between an insensity that she'd inherited from her father, and a shyness that was entirely her own. She wore her own 'costume' as it were, metal plates clinging over form fitting leather, this time with the addition of a brilliant shade of green added to it. Over all of this, of course, was a winter jacket of grey wool. It was still chilly outside, and she had no other way of combating the cold than bulky outer wear.

Her hair was pulled back from her face, brown and plain and utterly human looking. Nothing special there. None whatsoever.

The mood that prevailed around her however, was such that not even the chipper greeting could pull an answering smile from her. She scowled though, her gaze intently swinging around the room with a narrowed eyed look.


Under normal circumstances, Hope would be happily positioned in a window pointing a rifle at a problem across the street. Well, she's on the roof, so there's that. She lacks the rifle, not by choice, though and instead has a litany of other interesting alternatives made of ceramic, brass, and steel. The assortment of small pastries gives her a current sugar high responsible for the mildly jittery state of her hands, and the gloves she wears inside-out capture any flakes or sugary finish. Nothing at all to see with her in that lumpy winter jacket and pants that blend in with the urban environment. "Steal me a bag of those potato things," she murmurs in an aside to Tommy at some point. A proper comlink would be nice, but they haven't got anything that small or cool or functional.

Narrowed eyes focus on the building and everyone coming and going. Sooner or later, she's going to have to enter, and the snack tray will probably be empty by the time she does. Her gaze remains trained for a certain brunette, and finding Lorna in that bizarre get up, the temporary dye-job ravenette facepalms. "Rat on a stick." No one's going to mistake her as anything interesting


"Oh, /hi/ Bobby, Theo! It's SO COOL to meet you both, you just have star power written all over you, I just know the boss will love you both! I'm Min-um, ah, Mina! It's great to meet you future stars! So, I've just gotta ask you some questions to get started — don't worry, everyone gets asked the same thing, honest!" Billy is given a bright(er!) smile as he accepts the offer of chips, as the brunette opens a drawer to pull out a brightly labelled bag of /name-brand/ chips (because talent must be treated well!). These are offered happily to him.

Teddy, however, draws a widening of her eyes. "Pret-zels?" Is this were japanese animation, a giant drop of sweat would be forming. Instead, she just looks a bit traumatized and getting worse. "Omigosh, omigosh, I don't think, I don't know—"

Then she relaxes rather suddenly when she spots Ava in the uniform of the company that delivered the snacks; they've made all of two deliveries before, and didn't actually /schedule/ one for today but the girl, dressed in a red top and a blue skirt that ends a bit below the knee, doesn't really seem to care. Instead, she's approaching quickly and waving her hand, "Oh good, you came! It's on the account, right? Or do I have to sign?" She sounds surprised, but again — she's just relieved that someone from said company is here. "Tell me you brought pretzels. Please tell me you brought pretzels! The stars need them!" she begs.

This is about the time that a blur of motion can be seen wooshing past her — by some people, likely only one, maybe felt by a second if Lorna notices those keys in his pocket — into the open drawer and yoinks a couple bags of chips out of it while 'Mina' is busy gushing over Ava. Then these are returned to Hope on the rooftop, grinning brightly over at her. "They stock the good stuff, I'm impressed. Secretary's cute, but all up in Ava's business."

Of course, /Lorna's/ entrance changes everything. This girl appeared in a costume that just makes her stand out… and 'Mina' claps her hands excitedly, "Oh, oh, oh! You look /fantastic,/ miss! What's your name? I need it for the forms. Oh, the forms!" …then she's heading back to the typewriter, fingers arming themselves with keys and tap-tapping away with the info collected so far. "Go ahead! And Mr. Bobby, Mr. Theo, what is it that sets you guys apart from the rest of the world? I've got to ask, he's got to know!"


Accepting the chips with a beaming pair of dimples, Billy nods his head quickly to 'Mina', "Oh, these are my favorite." He nods his head quickly, tugging the bag open and popping one chip into his mouth. He pointedly doesn't pay any attention to any blurring or any Avaing because he's a spy and he's damn good at it (in his mind only). His *absolute avoidance* of looking towards anyone but Ava might stand out like a sore thumb. He needs lessons. "*I* am the strongest guy in the world." he declares, positively oozing confidence, "Besides the green guy."


Teddy remains both chips-less and pretzel-less. "I make the best animal sounds." he tells her. "My mom says when I bark like a dog, she doesn't know it's not a real dog. She says they're the best animal sounds she's ever heard and she was once a judge at the international animal sound competition back in '57. Unfortunately, they stopped having them in 1958 because one of the finalists bit a judge or I'd have won one by now and you'd have heard of me."


"Yes, ma'am," Ava smiles politely to the woman, consulting a clipboard with the rest of the snacks. "It looks like a full assortment was ordered, so there should be an even split. I'll get to unpacking and setting them out, if you like," she offers, looking over at the group of people. Lorna seems to have the secretary's attention. The boys - Teddy especially - may need some help. "Wow, those boys are cute," she whispers. "What're you casting for? Because I'd watch the dickens out of that."


Lorna shifted on her toes as the secretary turned her attention toward her. A grimace tugged at the corners of her lips, and the natural smile that should've been on her face was absent. Instead she crossed her arms, the small ruffle of wind and the magnetic blur of keys across her senses indicated that it was her nephew and she exhaled a breath, her shoulders rising and falling.

"Polaris." She croaked, her voice soft from the tension that rioted through her. Casual and care-free she did not in fact appear. "You can call me Polaris." All at once thankful that Miss Frost had given out the homework assignment for code names some months ago.

Green eyes flickered toward the forms that the secretary dug out and she pursed her lips together.


"Up in someone's business." Go figure. Hope peels open the chips and offers the winnings first to the silver-haired speedster, maintaining her low profile. Once Tommy takes his fill, she selects a few of the crisped potatoes with an absent bite. Dampened sounds percolate out from the warehouse, warranting close inspection. She crouches low, sneaking to look over the lip of the building to the ground and measuring the distance. Hazy green eyes slip out of focus, feeling for the ticklish signature of Lorna, and then she throws a smirk to Tommy. "Over we go. Try and stay out of sight?"

She swings her leg over the edge of the building and measures the drop to the quieter side of the street, then blitzes her way down at a dead run. Using an acrobat's art, she catches the lip of the windowsill, landing in a crouch, rolling off. Once down straight, she dusts herself off, ready to dart inside unseen.


Lucky for Billy, as much as he's bad at being a spy? 'Mina' is bad at rooting them out. It's hard to blame the girl, it's just not what she's built for. Typing? That's more up her alley, it seems, as she's able to keep up with the information that's being fed to her. "Strongest teenager in the world?", the difference between Billy and the Hulk is obvious there. "Flawless animal impressions? Oh, those are wonderful talents! We'll need to see demonstrations, of course, but we've got plenty of space to make that happen." Pause. "I hope we have something big enough for you to show your strength, Mr. Bobby." A look over towards the intercom, now, as she presses the red button upon it and leans down. "Mr. Domo, it's Mina up front. One of our auditions is the second strongest man on Earth,"

She's interrupted by a voice from the little metal box, male and droll-sounding. "/Second/-strongest? Mina, darling… is he as violent as the first?"

'Mina' shakes her head visibly, "Oh no, Mr. Domo! He's really nice and friendly. I don't think he'd hurt a flea."

The voice speaks back up, "Pity. Well, we should have sufficient material to test his claims."

Then she's happy again, looking up, "Oh good! Mr. Theo, your audition should go pretty easily. Do you need a microphone to talk louder or do you do it naturally — oh, and we have pretzels! The nice lady from the vending company is going to be setting them up, I can make sure they're brought in to you!"

To Ava, she beams, "See? We only attract the best talent at W-ILD! We've got this great action show in planning, the kind of stuff that will be hard to believe if you don't see if with your own eyes!"

"And Miss Polaris, what an exotic name! What do you do? Oh, you know what? Just come with me, I'm sure we'll be ready. You too, Mister Bobby, Mister Theo!" With that she gets up and starts walking towards the 'Staff Only' door, leaving the desk unattended.

On the other side of the door is a short hallway with two doors on either side (marked 'Dressing Room' 'Makeup Department' 'Control Room' and 'VIP' and one at the end of the room that's labelled 'Set'. That's the one that the young woman is leading the trio(?) towards, reaching down to open it up without hesitation. This in turn leads to a /very/ large room — in truth, it almost seems to be as big a room as the building appears from the outside. It's very empty-looking — white walls, no windows, lots of lights and some strange orbs dotting said walls and spaced between the lights. There's also what any military buff might recognize as an M26 Pershing tank in the middle of the room, and about five feet from it stands a well-dressed older man with a dark-grey hair that's starting to recede.

"Welcome, darlings. Who wishes to display their uniqueness first? I do hope you won't disappoint. We would hate to have to cancel you before your career even begins."

Meanwhile, outside? Tommy's shadowing Hope like a hawk. Eating the chips from the second bag, all the while. So good. "I'm no ninja, but I'll do my best."


Still munching on his chips (apparently this is genetic), Billy follows 'Mina' into the other room, "Actually I am partial against fleas, I would totally wage biological warfare against their entire species if I could." he notes solumnly, and when Teddy gets a bag of pretzles, he proceeds to try to steal one, lowering his voice, "You're horrible at infiltration." he whispers, but once all the way into this… HUh, a tank.

Billy stares at said tank for a long moment, "Well, er, I'm super duper mega strong so I'll go first but really a tank is a bit much, I'll have to work on that. Got a dumpster? Small to midsize car? Oh heck it all to heck. Theo, hold still." And he eyes Teddy a moment, and reaches out to grab the guy by the waist and then he's lifting him up! Up over his head as if Teddy didn't weigh a thing. Of course, he's not actually strong at all, it's the bands of pure force that are wrapped around him that lift him up. He just pretends its all in the muscles. Fortunately, telekinesis is invisible. "See?" He turns the power of the dimples on this Domo fellow.


"Good. I like pretzels." Teddy/Theo tells Mina and starts following her till they get to the room. At which point he says "That's a tank. I've seen them in the movies. What's a tank doing here? And who are you?" And then Billy is lifting him up and he looks down at the ground. "Hey, cool."


As Mina leads the others into the studio, Ava goes about putting out the snacks, setting things up neatly. Some one a table to the side. And then she moves over to the desk. That's where the secretary got the first bag, after all. She's just being a helpful delivery person, loading things up where they'll eventually belong. Or at least that's the cover, because while she does, she's looking through the drawers, checking for anything interesting.


Lorna's heart hammered away in her chest as they walked down the hall into the new room, the fact that the secretary waved away further questions about what she could do set her teeth on edge. As if the poor girl wasn't stressed out enough with this whole subtle inflitration. Her gaze flickered every which way, scanning the group ahead and noting the internal structures of the building as they walked.

So the tank wasn't particularly a surprise to her, at least the large amount of metal that made it up wasn't. Even if she had never actually sensed, or seen a tank in person.

Her gaze slipped toward Billy and Teddy briefly, and then toward the armored tank in the otherwise empty room.

With a determined glint to her eyes she held out her hands, and focused.

Screws and internal workings came apart under her direction and with a clang, the tank's barrel fell to the floor. Whatever had held it following as it fell to the floor.


Easing in through the front door, Hope blitzes through the front room in a complete blur. She drifts around several times, searching for obvious signs of security measures, noting rather than tampering. Another bag of chips disappears from Ava's arrangement, and the young woman with her hair under a knit cap slows around the fellow hidden redhead. "It's me. Tap the desk twice if all's good." She keeps in motion, having learned something from Tommy about the wisdom of staying on the run. Provided he's running backup, literally, she waits for Ava's response and then zips into the studio hallway, casing the place in turn. Confined spaces are not exactly her idea of fun.

But the other three are ahead, someone she needs to check on, though it's mostly Lorna she tracks with a mildly distracted air.


"Oh really, Mr. Bobby? I'll have to add that to your profile! I'm sure your genocidal tendencies will play just wonderfully to the target demographics. Unless we broadcast to fleas." Then she's fretting again. And starting to pace nervously. "We don't broadcast to fleas, do we? Mr. Domo! Are the fleas one of our demographics? Please say no, pleasesayno."

'Mr. Domo' exhales a dramatic sigh, "No, Mina darling, we do not."

"Oh /good!/ I'll go add that to Mr. Bobby's profile, and I'll be back!" offers the chipper young lady, heading back towards said studio hallway.

Mr. Domo smiles between the boys, folding his hands together. "My name is unimportant; I seek no fame, darling, only to make you famous. If you /must,/ you may call me Mr. Domo, as Mina does." Unlike the skitterish Mina, Mr. Domo's demeanour is cool and collected. The benefit of age? Maybe. Billy's demonstration is met with a raised eyebrow, "That… is 'super duper mega strong', is it?" he sighs, shaking his head. "Even /Hollywood/ has men who can perform such feats." Pause. "Control room? Car, please."

Prepare for a shock! As Mr. Domo makes request, there's a flash of light from his opposite side… and a bright red mustang appears in the room, where there definitely was /not/ a tank before. "If you're /truly/ the second strongest in the world, darling, prove it. You do /not/ wish to waste the magnificant Mojo's time."

Ava will find plenty of material on the desk; apparantly nobody expects anyone to look there — or they don't find the information getting loose a threat. There's mail, of course; headshots are contained within envelopes. There's photographs taken of previous auditioners and detailed descriptions of things they can do — some are clearly labelled 'mutant' with a smiley face drawn. Most of these are found in a folder in the desk labelled 'hired'. One of these is Seth's profile.

Hope and Tommy, meanwhile, find… the 'Control Room' has no obvious opening methodism, the 'Makeup Department' looks as one might expect — although the attendant is obviously non-human, with four arms, purple skin and an animalistic head — something mildly resembling a rhino, really — the 'Dressing Room' has… well, we'll get to that shortly, and the 'VIP' room? If they enter it, the door will /try/ and slam shut behind them. But it's not rigged expecting speedsters.


Mr. Domo's attention turns clearly over to Lorna as the tank starts coming apart, however. "You. /You/ will be a star, for certain, Miss…"

"Polaris, Mr. Domo! She's Miss Polaris!"


Setting Teddy down, Billy blinks and stares at the car as it arrives, "Well you didn't— bah." He pats Teddy a bit on the arm as if to dust him off from being lifted, and then moves over towards the car, takes a deep breath and crouches. Hands go under the front, and he lifts! And the car rises with relative ease. Soon he's stepping up under it, hands moving to the middle, and heave! He's got a car over his head. He's the second strongest man alive! His acting about 'lifting' leaves a little to be desired: the angles are off yet he manages to hold it without it tipping or anything.


Teddy frowns a moment when the tank turns into a car but then his expression clears and he blinks. "Wow, how'd you do that Mr. Domo? Are you a magician? Is that a real, heavy car Bobby?" Walking over, he raps his knuckles on a tire. "Huh!"


Ava taps twice on the desk, murmuring 'they've got him' under her breath. She looks through what she can, but once she hears footsteps headed back her way, she steps away from the desk. Instead, she moves toward the doorway to the studio. Sometimes the best way to hide is in plain sight. What do teenage girls here and now love? The best and newest in television. So of course the girl from craft services is trying to get a look inside. "What're they filming in there, miss?" she asks Mina, looking hopeful. "Gosh, a whole new show. It's so exciting!"


The car's appearance had Lorna jumping, her eyes rounding as she straightened and took a step back. Her eyebrows furrowed as she jerked her magnetic senses over it, feeling over the nuts and bolts in much the same way that Teddy reached up to rap it to test whether it was real.

Still, as Billy reached for it and lifted it up, Lorna turned her attention toward 'Mr. Domo' as he directed his attention her way. Her lips thinned and her pulse hammered once more in her chest. How had this man managed to snare Seth? It confounded her. Still, with so much at risk, Lorna bit back the urge to call out and ask what the man had done with her friend.

Instead she glanced toward Teddy and Billy. "I'm with them. I go where they go. If you don't accept them, then no deal."


The figure seated in the room that mutual manipulators of speed enter is unrecognizable in comparison to the gaunt and greased features in his initial intake photograph. Seth has been groomed for the silver screen, or whatever holographic technology projects his antics into the galactic waves. The high and thin cheekbones are accentuated by a jawline that now appears muscular instead of ghoulish, likely a trick of the careful trimming on that reddish beard that successfully enhances his age instead of making him appear immature as its previous unkempt state did. The sneer tracing his lips was the same as the one in the photo though, an unamused raising of the eyebrow as the door clicks shut behind them, and his attentions turn lazily to the pair. The blue eyes are stunning, a real treat for the producer when it comes to close ups, and they glint in a wicked fashion as the blade in his hand flicks in and out in habitual boredom at being cooped up between events like this. The pommel is inscribed simply with the letters 'SETH' in an artisans' hand.

"Can I /help/ you?"

Comes the bemused words from his slender frame as he slips off the couch in a lazy, liquid fashion like a weasel may creep. He sounded anything but helpful.


Hope's skill for darting in and out of doorways like an electric sewing machine continues even when catching sight of the rhino creature. Her fellow speedster receives a vaguely disgusted look on the back pedalling putting her safely into the hallway. 'VIP Room' simply screams 'Problems here' in a bright red neon sign, so for that reason she allows Tommy to go ahead of her. Not due to being a lady (she isn't) or survival, so much as looking for trouble within the room or coming down the hallway. Doubtful she expects to find a young man whipping his sword out and waving it around at the pair of speedsters unexpectedly. "Wow. They even wrote his name on it." Her sotto voce comment to Tommy might only be audible to Tommy. But the slim figure engulfed in a large coat snaps a look back over her shoulder when the door thinks to swing closed.

Eyes narrow and she darts towards it, possibly intending to catch it with her foot. Her hand thrusts out to grab for the handle. At least that's what it looks like. Somewhere not far away, Polaris might feel the oddest sensation of the neatly organized magnetic lines over her particular chunk of the Earth's surface suddenly dancing up and down like Marines doing pushups to impress their drill sergeant, and metal pins wiggle their way free of their housings. Of course, that might be a heavy door and she's not the second-strongest person on earth. Eep.


As Billy manages the feat that he claims he could, Mr. Domo gives an appraising look. Walking in a large circle to try and evaluate if there's any tricks going on — or at least to determine their nature. "We could use someone like you, too. I respect your ability to hype yourself, darling… but a word of advice from a professional? Don't bite off more than you can chew." he decides, nodding once.

As the three inside will check in their various ways? The car's very real.

Teddy gets the man's sight fully upon him, even as Lorna's making her demands. "Your girlfriend seems to be willing to risk /her/ career on your ability to obtain one, darling. I do hope you can prove your worth."

Fortunately for Hope and Tommy, the pair happened to be in that VIP room when Mina was walking past, and the chipper girl is happy to continue her discussion with Ava — but not to let her past that door. It's shut behind her with a happy florish. "Oh, /isn't/ it, though? It's so exciting to be a part of W-ILD! It's like something that I was /made/ for!" she giggles happily. "It's only auditions inside; we do our filming on location — I hear /next week,/ we're going to be in some place called Pamplona. It's expensive to shoot this way, but it's why W-ILD brings you the best in programming each and every day!"

…and then there's that clattering from the hallway. Mina giggles out in the green room, glancing back towards the door. "Sounds like Mr. Bobby really /is/ the strongest man alive!"

Inside the soundstage, Mr. Domo's attention is diverted sharply towards the door. "Control room, you know what to do." he says, even as he starts to walk that way.

Inside the VIP room, the lights are getting brighter…


Tommy, meanwhile, makes his run to inform the others; communication at high speed is hard when not communicating to a speedster /and/ trying to be subtle, so Ava, Lorna, Billy and Teddy respectively will find their shoulders tapped as a rush of wind passes by them, along with the doors both to the Green Room and Soundstage bursting open briefly.

Poor Mina was standing in front of the former door, so she's sent stumbling forwards in the process. "Oh!" she yelps, surprised.


"Hey, if I want a career, I have to —" And then Billy feels a tap and some doors smashing open, and immediately he's running that way. The car hangs in the air just long enough for him to get out from under it and then comes crashing to the ground. He flings his hand out towards Domo, whoever the guy is, and seeks to grab and contain him with telekinetic force even ashe runs away. And that force seeks to make it so he can't move an inch: can't even open his mouth, ideally. Not long term, as he won't be able to keep it going when he's out of sight, but enough to delay the fellow.


"She's…" Nah, let him think what he wants. "…that way." Teddy agrees. Whatever exactly that means. But then Domo is walking away and Billy is running away and someone is tapping him on the shoulder. "Excuse me." he says and runs after Billy.


"Pamplona?" Ava echoes Mina, brows rising. "Like, where they do the running of the bulls? Oh my gosh, is that why you're looking for-" She pauses, lowering her voice and looking around herself. "Mutants? Is this like, some sort of new sport competition? Like Roman gladiators?" It doesn't sound accusing. In fact, she sighs dramatically. "I just loved Ben Hur." She notes the tap, but she doesn't react - breaking cover is bad.


Between the mangetic pull, or dance or whatever it was that Hope did and Tommy's tap on her shoulder, Lorna knew that she had to hustle. The jig, as they say, was up. Or at least they were done pretending to care about it.

Either way, the young woman was running after Billy, forgotten was the barb about being Teddy's girlfirend, or whatever nonsense that Domo sprouted. Lorna followed after with as quick a step as she could muster.

Unlike Teddy she didn't bother with an 'excuse me' or even a so much as by your leave.


The knife snaps back into its home, sliding casually into a pocket as Seth bends at the waist to collect the cigarette he had left burning in the ash tray. Pressing it between his lips, he took a long drag and glanced to the lights over his head as they flickered then warmed with a buzz that immediately nudged his adrenaline into production. With a wanting shiver, he let out the twirling curls of nicotine smoke and smiled before closing his eyes and waiting. There was no reason to run towards the inevitable. The boy had learned to enjoy the ride.


With Tommy through the door, that leaves Hope in the unenviable position of holding a conversation. Lumpy winter coat of many pockets draped off her narrow shoulders gives no hint of her size, much less general posture or intentions. Three metal pins concealed in her gloved hand give a bit of leverage, hidden by the oversized sleeve. "Yeah," she replies lightly to Seth, checking him over with another pass of those flashing, dark eyes. "Just get comfortable for all the fireworks, right?" Happy metal projectiles balance carefully as she waits, balanced on her heel, ready to move at a moment's notice.


Mr. Domo is… well, not moving at all while he's held by Billy's telekinesis, but one might expect him to sigh if he could. Meanwhile, the lights in the Soundstage start to get brighter.

After taking a moment to stablize herself, Mina turns back towards Ava, blinking curiously. "Running of the who? Oh, are you a mutant? You should've said so, I could—" …and she stops as the lights in the Green Room start to brighten, as well.

Inside the VIP Room, Seth knows what's coming; just like the flash of light announced the arrival of the car, the brightening was what happened before something was about to /leave/ — and in this case? It's the living contents of that room, one expecting to travel, and one soon to be very surprised mimic.

In the hallway, where Billy, Teddy and Lorna are? They'll see a bright flash come from the room that had a door that was marked VIP — Lorna in particular will get an extra sense, as there were metal things there… and suddenly? There weren't anymore.


Granted, Tommy's the /first/ one back to that VIP room, so when he sees it devoid of anyone being left in there, when someone pretty important to him /was?/ He's freaking out. "Hope? HOPE!?" he yells, clenching his fist and glaring towards a wall; moments later? The plaster and wood behind a section of it explodes outwards. Then he's looking at the next wall. "The hell? I'm gonna find you, Hope, then I'm gonna find /him,/ and he's not gonna like it!" he yells, as if expecting to be heard by Seth.


The force falls away from Mr. Domo when Billy gets into the hall and turns the corner, but he heads rushing for the room where the light flashed out of. With Tommy already there, he looks around, "Don't panic." he says quickly, "Worst case scenario I can probably wormhole to where-ever she went. Maybe. I think. Probably. Might need your help. But she's probably just around here somewhere. Hey, let me do a GPS thing—" He's mostly aware of how locator spells work. He takes a quick breath and spreads his hands out, "Finding Hope." He rushes on, "Findinghope." And the last is said loudly, "FINDINGHOPE". And a small four-propellered drone appears from the future, only its not a drone, just an image that is drone-like because that's what he was thinking about, and maybe it will lead them to her… or maybe not."


Teddy is right behind Billy and comes to a stop in the room with the others. "Are you sure she was here?" Not that he's ruling it out considering how the tank was replaced with a car. "We should question Domo." Turning, he steps back intot he hall to see if the guy's still there.


"Oh gosh, no," Ava hurries to respond to Mina. "I just mean, you know. It'd explain why mutants. Way more interesting. Oh my gosh," she blinks at the noise and the lights from the other room, taking a step back from the door. "Are they already filming stuff back there? Oh wow. This is going to be the coolest show, those are some crazy stunts, it sounds like! Could I maybe just…Just a peek?"


Lorna's run ground to a halt long before the getting to the room. As soon as the light flashed and the magnetic buzzing that had been playing in the background of her senses vanished, she'd known. Never mind that she could hear Tommy and Billy just up ahead. She knew what that meant. That she was too late. That Seth, and now Hope, were gone. Some how they'd vanished much as the car had appeared.

Rage, so like her nephew's bubbled up to the surface. Yet rather than take it out on the wall, she turned. Her jaw ground together, her hands curled into fists and she turned to stride back to the room where Mister Domo had been before.

As she walked she pulled on the electricity that ran through the wires of the building, sending lights flickering and other electronics buzzing, glitching and turning over to static if they were near enough.

She didn't think as she reached out with both hands and wrenched the door off the hinges to the room they'd been in previously with a snarl twisting her lips.

"Where are they?! Where did they go?" She shouted as her pace picked up.


Elsewhere, at that very, very same moment in a dimension far, far away…

Hope and Seth arrive in a room that's full of two things that only one of them might expect, while the other may be far more accustomed to; technology, and pretty impressive levels of it. If Hope's eyes are as observant as they normally are? She'll likely recognize some entertainment technology that won't exist for decades on Earth.

Another thing? The two of them are most definitely the /only/ humans in the room with wall-to-wall monitors (including those displaying /every/ room back in W-ILD, various monuments, and other Places of Interest that may or may not be recognizable from a quick glance). There's creatures of all kinds of shapes and sizes to be found there, but the most… eyecatching may be the rather large lemon colored creature of overflowing girth sitting on what appears to be a mechanical hybrid of spider and scorpion, with wires for hair and eyes held open by sharp metal points. "TERRIBLE! Seth, why are your people such AMATEURS?" the creature bellows without even looking at the new arrivals, long, slender arms with knife-like fingers thrown to the sides in exasperation. For clearly NOT being human, he clearly speaks English with no issue. Of course, that may have had something to do with swallowing Gilbert Gottfried for use as a mouthpiece. The world may never know.

As the creature turns, he continues, "DOMO! Ge—" and he stops at the sight of Hope. "You're not Domo. He didn't unionize, did he? You're not a TEMP!? I won't deal with temps! Temps want money, they complain too much!" Cue whining voice, "'But MOJO, I can't bring you those reports because my legs are broken! MOJO, it's been two-thousand years, can I have a day off?'" Normal, angry. "Despicable! Spiral? SPIRAL!"

No response.

"Oh. Right. Missing. The great and powerful Mojo must do EVERYTHING himself!" and arms start to flail around, a certain form of energy starting to emit from around Mojo. Somebody's spellcasting~


Seth lands as he always does, lighting upon the ground with a stumble and a grumble at being transported so. Not that profanity was frowned upon here. He straightened and confirmed his cigarette was still in hand, dusting off the jacket and taking a drag as he meandered towards the monitors surrounding the bulbous, writhing thing with only a meager mustering of effort to care.

"My people?"

The sound of his footsteps faded as his sauntering slowed, angling a hip pop in an almost feminine fashion beside the grotesque abomination that was his boss and current leash-holder. An exhale sucked down the stem of the death stick to mid-point as his picturesque gaze flicked over the actors with about as much attention as he gave tapping embers off the end of the smoke. Giving no evidence of recognition, he mutters nonchalantly,

"She's a makeup artist. Recently hired. Got my cheek bones just right so I look less, ah, how did you call it? Cadaverous?"


Light flashes in front of her and Hope raises her hand as a guard and shield in the moments of dazzling after-effect. The sooner her pupils focus around the fading afterglow, the faster she can assess their new surroundings and react appropriately. The comfortable weight of a gun and precious knives, brass knuckles, and the missing pins from the VIP door hinges remain. Anger simmers in her veins, cold lead and cosmic fire, shadowing the thinned lines of her catlike eyes. She swivels a little, avoiding contact with any of the wires, devices, and panels strung with Christmas flair by a demented metal spider. Then there's the several hundred pounds of flesh ranting at her, and his lot in life.

She tips her head to the side, knit hat shifting grey. "Aren't I?" Hope pauses. "What, you want your split-quad ristretto venti, six pump sugar-free cinnamon, one pump caramel, short sprinkles on whip, dolce soy skinny latte, no foam? I expect benefits." She's apparently truth to a makeup artist because only the very fortunate get to work full time, and the rest have to make up the difference by dealing with Very Important People swilling their ghastly drinks. "I was thinking tin can statue, but cadaverous just sounds nicer on the tongue. Like callypigian."

An almost bored yawn follows, hidden by her hand. "That means you have a nice ass. Well, not you." Sorry, Seth, he'll appreciate her brand of wit later. "I do."


Back on Earth…

The brightening of the lights were a cue; just as they had brightened when Hope and Seth were taken? They were a clue once again. For as our heroes charge back onto the Soundstage / Try to get more information from Mina, they're treated to similar disappearances. Mina, for her part, beams and offers a cheery "BYE!" before there's that blinding flash that takes her away. Domo just shakes his head before the flash takes him too.

These heroes… they could have had a /career./


The drone twitches, and spins in place, as if it has found her right here and now. Only she's obviously not here. Then the drone does something funny: it becomes an image that is perfectly flat and two-dimensional. Then a weird string of mathematical equations spin around it.

Billy stares at his drone-hologram with at first a confused, and then a perplexed expression on his face. "The heck?" he asks it, pointing a finger, "Look, you, I made you and I said FIND HOPE and you're mathing at me?! While two dimensional? The heck does that even mean? I'm good at math you stupid spell but wait." He blinks, "Wait." He looks around, and steps closer to the drone-hologram spell and squints, "Hey, dimension. Hey, wait, wait, wait, wait. I know what that means." He looks wide-eyed to Teddy, "She's in another dimension." Pause, "Other dimensions exist." Mind, blown. He knew about the whole mirror dimension thingy but this is a different matter entirely, "I… don't think I can wormhole to another dimension, Tommy." His voice sounds pained and apologetic at once.


Obviously, with all the bad guys disappearing, there's not a hell of a lot for Teddy to do. SO he just stands there waiting for Billy to figure something out. "Another dimension? She's two dimensional?"


Ava blinks when Mina just disappears, turning in a circle to look around herself. That was definitely not part of the calculations about possible outcomes. "Tommy?" she says in a low voice, reaching out to give the for a jiggle. "Hello?" she calls to the other side of the door.


The fact that not only Domo vanished, and any other hope that Lorna had of catching someone and forcing them to tell her just what was going on, seemed to snap something in the angry young mutant. A scream of frustration, and anger peeled from her lips. All the power that the young mutant had drawn on from the electricity was flung outwards with her scream.

And in her rage, she twisted around the room, arms out stretched as she started to pull the steel beams and structure supports out of the walls, the ceiling, anything and everything she could grasp with her powers. Just to wrench it and twist it and smash it into flattened, twisted pieces of metal.

It was clear that she had every intention of keep it up until either her rage was spent and her powers gave out due to exhaustion or until she brought the building down.


"NO!" Mojo screams towards Seth, fuming, "NO! NONONONONONO! I will not have another HUMAN working behind the scenes! I want my Domo and I want him NOW! Get this /foul-mouthed/ creature away from me, benefits!? HAH!"

It's that moment that Mr. Domo and Mina — better known to the inhabitants of the Mojoverse as Major Domo and Minor Domo, respectively — reappear in that flash of light. Along with the makeup artist, and a couple others who had been in the control room. Mojo's arms swing back towards Hope, and as quickly — no, quicker — than she came? Hope's deposited right back in the VIP Room.

However, she will have /definitely/ seen magic fingers. It /does/ work that way.

"Mojo, darling…" Major Domo starts, turning his gaze upon his master. "The girl you sent away. Did she come with Seth?"

Mojo eyes his assistant, "Yes! He said she was makeup. I didn't hire a makeup human!"

Major Domo frowns. "Pity. From the sounds of it, she may have had as much star potential as that one," A finger points towards the camera that shows the destruction coming in the Sound Stage being caused by Lorna.

"OoooOOOOoOoOOoooh! I like that one!" Mojo replies. "I'll bring her back!"

Major Domo holds up a hand, "It seems she came for him," A point to Seth, now. "She — and the others — may come to our next filming on location. Wouldn't that be marvelous, oh massively magnificant Mojo?"

Mojo pauses. Waits. Considering it. "I JUST HAD AN IDEA! We'll bring /them/ to /us!/ Ratings will go through the ROOOoooOooOOooof! I'll be famous! More than now!" he declares, gleefully skittering in a circle. "But… how will they know?"

"I, um." Minor Domo starts, scrunching up a bit. "Mayhavetoldthesnackgirlwherewe'refilmingne-" And the poor girl shuts down.

Major Domo sighs again, walking over to press Minor's 'reset' button. "It seems, bulbous one, that our problem is solved."


Tommy, meanwhile, is still for just a moment while Billy casts his spell — although 'still' is relative, as he's literally vibrating in place from the urge to move and run and /destroy/ — but when the answer comes back? The rage comes with it. "No! No way! She can't be, she's gotta be… maybe there!" and there goes another chunk of wall.

Tommy may not be answering, but Ava will find that the door to that hallway was never locked upon trying it!


Seth allows the producer, director, dictator to have his rant before the pulsing of light spirits away his only ally in the room and brings back the other two lackeys. A bit of ash was tapped away and he clarified with only a note of petulance in his tone,

"She's only as human as I am. Which isn't much at all. Unfortunate you missed that potential but her."

His eyes flicked to the screen that Lorna was picture on, lingered, a faint smile on his lips, an indulgent sigh as he finally dropped the cigarette finished to the ground and pressed it into extinguishing,

"-Only a fool would think they could tame that. She is not an actress or a pawn. She is a force of nature. Take caution to use her in any of your ploys, Sir."

And with that, he simply smirks, knowing the things that only a man close to such a woman can know.


Mojo may sincerely question his choice in employees, starting with the one who brandishes his blade at perfectly innocent, upstanding urban explorers. Hope twiddles the three hinge pins and when Mojo's arms start to move her way, his distended fingers attempting a demented cat's cradle, she acts on instinct. Lashing out instinctively is a bad thing, given her genetics currently combine the heightened potential of a speedster with command over magnetism. Bundle Erik Lensherr with Pietro Maximoff, bestow Ava's awesome hair, and Nathan Summers' temper, and what do you get?

It's Seth's fault. At least to the mundane eye.

The sword rattles first and goes flying as fast as she can see it, and then the metal wires, flatscreen monitor arms, scorpion-spider legs, nails and shiny tiles, zippers from pants, even door hinges go slamming forward in a wave to paste trouble to a wall. A wave that begins about parallel with the male human, while the female shunts everything like a great bit sheet of tinfoil crumpled up into a ball. A ball stuck to a wall. A ball stuck to a wall as she has an interdimensional fall.

Seth's saber (or whatever, won't matter) flips over, point away, to present the hilt straight into Mojo's bulbous forehead with bruising force that hopefully, the spineless media expert will wear for a while.

Reappearing in the middle of mayhem as she's evicted from the Mojoverse, Hope mutters in a deprecating undertone, "Bibbidy-effity-bobbidy-boo that, Fox News anchor."


"No like…" Billy eyes Teddy, "You do not read enough science fiction, Teddy." He pauses, thoughtful, "Like. The drone went two dimensional to try to convey the idea of dimension but it doesn't mean it that way. Basically think… alternate reality. Other universe. I… didn't know they *existed* but obviously they do and the spell can't track across the line, I'd have to try a … no I'm really pretty sure I couldn't possibly wormhole to another dimension. That's insane. That's crazy." But.. Tommy is freaking out. Billy goes to him, reaches out to grab his arm gently, "Tommy, don't worry. I'll find a way, maybe we just need Stephen for the dimensional wormhole thingy, you know? We'll get her, I promise. If I have to I'll figure out a way to rip a hole there, I just need to understand dimensions more, bro. We'll get her" He's gonna say more, but there's creeking, because a certain magnowitch is going nuts, and he looks worriedly up, "What the heck?"


"I /watch/ science fiction." Teddy protests. It's much more fun than reading it. He listens to Billy going on a bit before he says "Billy, he don't have to open a wormhole. Just activate whatever they use." Really, sometimes the simple answers are the best one. Now what?


When the door opens, Ava draws one of her pistols from the small of her back, holding it in a ready position. She moves quickly down the hall, but not too quickly - she's clearing the area as she goes, making sure she won't be surprised, that she doesn't shoot anyone she shouldn't. But she's definitely headed for the sound of the building being torn apart. Finding Lorna there? Not what she expected.

"Lorna!" she shouts over the sound. "Lorna, stop it! We're still inside here, you're going to kill us all!" The gun comes up, a crackle of blue electric energy building in the barrel and behind her eyes.


Perhaps, while Lorna had inherited her anger and the need to lash out from her father, it was relatively easy to calm her down by comparison. Even as the door opened and Ava shouted for her, Lorna was standing there, panting for breath. Metal hung from the ceiling, wires sparking with electricity around her. Pipes from under ground had been jerked upwards and water leeked, making the entire room far too close to dangerous for most anyone.

The Shield agent wouldn't have to use that gun it would seem, as Lorna simply sagged, her arms at her sides as she dropped to the ground and pressed her hands against her eyes. Tears stung her gaze, and she struggled to keep them a bay, sniffling hard.


"Or HE-" Tommy stops just before putting another speed-induced hole in the wall. What stops him? The reappearance of a very particular redhead. The very redhead /he/ was tearing the place down for. The one that makes him stop what he was doing and hug her /tight./ Give him a moment — maybe not even that — before he realizes that something /worse/ than him is happening to the building right now. Green eyes meet green eyes.

"Spicecake? Getaway Plan. Now."

And while part of him didn't /want/ to let her go just yet? Tommy's a survivor at his core; he knows what it takes — though not as well as some — and his instincts say it's time to get out of dodge. But where to start? Tommy's mind races at a mile a minute; no, faster. What would /Billy/ do?

He'd probably get the civilians out first. Then those without superspeed or getaway powers. Which is why anyone in the hallway is going to start feeling bursts of air going through as the speedster works on dragging people out of the building and back to the street in exactly that order.

He'd never admit it to Billy, but his twin really was the one with the /good/ ideas.


"How the heck do you expect me to do that? My stuff doesn't /activate/ other peoples stuff." protests Billy right back to Teddy, but then Hope is back! And Billy looks relieved, then he remembers, there was something to freak out about. The building? Is not being all stable buildingish. That's bad. He sees Tommy goes to rescue the people and he nods in quick approval, even though Tommy can't do it: truth be told Tommy can rescue everyone before he could get even half a spell done, so. He reaches out and grabs Teddy's hand. OH MY GOD THEY ARE HOLDING HANDS. Only Billy is rushing the words, "Insideoutinsideoutinsideout!" And a Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure sized hole in reality rips open and they fall out of it and appear outside of the building.


"Use…" And then Teddy's being grabbed and ends up on his ass outside the building. "… magic." he finishes, looking around and then standing up.


Space and weariness catch up with the redheaded mutant, her echopraxia resurgent as exhaustion thunders in its wake. Swaying on her feet into a sudden embrace, she lurches into Tommy's arms while still getting her footing. Billy and Teddy lock into the visual puzzle, a brief diversion for the storm of bits and sparks in the air. "What?" Survival can take over from the need to keel over right that instant but Hope drags herself with effort to stay conscious.

And the support is gone, right, great. She takes several steps forward, and from there, pretends the ground is not swirling around in the craziest fashion possible. At speed, no less. "We have to go, now, bad building, bad man." Hand held out to Ava, the agent preferably won't zap her and trust that she can blitz her out of the place fast as possible. Especially to see the handholders so they are commemorated in someone else's memory.

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