1964-09-14 - Breaking Out of the Shell
Summary: Kamala Khan gets everything she ever wanted to be. And discovers it's not all it's cracked up to be. But at least she's found by her new family and not y'know, aliens!
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
karnak nick chloe maximus triton crystal rogue kamala 

Three days. It's been three days since Kamala has been home, in her room. Three days since she's had to listen to her brother and sister-in-law lectures. Three days since she's had a chicken kabob from dad's grill. The warehouse she had gone off to sulk in was marked clearly with 'US GOVT - OFF LIMITS' signs, but Kamala had not noticed them, or just chose to ignore them.

The warehouse interior still looks like it did in 1945 - with the bonus of nearly two decades of dust. Try the beans, they're delicious! In the back of the warehouse is a soft aqua glow, a cocoon. Within? Kamala Khan slumbers. And dreams.

Just look at her. says one of the voices in the her head tells Kamala. She's so plain. She'll never be -her-..

"I totally went adventuring with some heroes and helped them!" Kamala is defiant in her dreams. Self-confident, assured. Scared.

The shapeless figure grabs her and pulls, stretching the girl's arms out. Surprisingly, it doesn't hurt Kamala as she thought it should.

You'll never be as powerful as them. You're -just- a girl.

This angers Kamala, but she has no response in her dream state, not yet, as she balls her hands into fists and tries to be defiant.

Darkness cloaks the warehouse outside. In the forgettable side of Jersey City, one warehouse on a cracked pad looks like another. Specialized knowledge gained by gangs and labourers gives a good sense of the layout, and which places to avoid. Granted, chainlink fences with warning signs are excellent indicators! But if one stood on the right corner and disregarded chain and padlock on the sad, military-green door, they might be anywhere in the labyrinth of industrial decline.

This is the place an incandescent figure ephemeral as a ghost revealed to Karnak and Crystal. Fine details might be spied: the ugly ladder bolted to the wall, a pigeon's nest in defiance of Uncle Sam, a battery of metal cases probably hiding air compressors that keep droning on years after the electrical bill stopped being paid. They're given a bluish glimmer in the dream realm where the Grey Sage imparts his wisdom.

"Her mind is in turmoil, her subconscious dangerously turbulent and malleable," he says. Two dreams for the women will follow one another, separated by a case of minutes and not much more. "The girl was surprisingly stable after her departure from Chichen Itza. If 'Avaiki affected her, it's only to be expected. Proximity to the ruins harmonizes the mind and body in us." Ianos frowns, stroking his rough-shaven chin. "But this has all the hallmarks of someone changed, transforming into more than she was. Without being there myself, I'm not sure. But when I have looked into the dreams of our lost, few as they are, they resemble it. She has covered herself in stretched floss and wind. That girl is our responsibility and in peril."

Sleep is a precious enough commodity for Crystal, but if one of their people is in need, then she must answer the call. It's only moments after the dream that she awakens, pulling on her uniform and padding into the backyard to find Lockjaw. It's to Karnak that the pair goes first, and then comes the trickier part.

"Remember your friend from the stones, Lockjaw?" Crystal asks, rubbing behind the great dog's ears. "Can you take us to her?" And indeed he can, in the blur of teleportation that is uniquely his, dropping the pair in the warehouse just far enough away that they'll need to approach carefully.

The odd part, then, is that he disappears once more.

Well, it's a happy occasion, isn't it? And everyone wants to visit a new baby. Even if they're more baby Inhuman than actual baby. So Lockjaw has gone to gather the family, wherein family is just about anyone he's had recent contact with and knows to be Inhuman.

Karnak was meditating when she received the vision from Ianos, blinking a bit in surprise. Then she rises to her feet, just as Lockjaw takes that moment to arrive, woofing happily at the monk. The monk, for her part, gives the dog a smile that she wouldn't give any actual person, giving Lockjaw a treat before the pup whisks them both off to gather the others…

|ROLL| Maximus +rolls 1d20 for: 6

Puppers decides to grab Maximus. Because Maximus likes new Inhumans, right? Maximus does give great scratches under the chin, too, and missed him. Its nice to be missed. However, Maximus was also not entirely dressed, and his hair is damp. He manages pants and boots and grabs a jacket, but he's sans shirt, which makes him look a bit like an extra in a kinky vampire movie. SWOOP.

Nick was with Triton talking about deep sea pottery rescue or something when Lockjaw showed up and sucked them both to Jersey. To say that Nick was unprepared for this sudden journey is an understatement, and yet, he is dressed, at least. Running his fingers through his hair as they emerge in the warehouse, he says quietly, "That is going to take some getting used to."

Chloe has been spending her time on the palace grounds, taking on the task of gardener, and the plants in her care have thrived. She doesn't question when Lockjaw come to collect her. She assumes it's Triton's doing, and that he's summoning her for a reason. Someone needs to take that girl aside and explain to her about how her people don't necessarily give their trust so freely to one another.

Triton stopped to grab his survival gear in case. There was a time for diplomacy and sometimes diplomacy was saying 'easy there' until you could find a big enough rock. Instead of a rock he had a couple knives and light tactical apparel. The scout didn't like taking risks where utility might be a concern. He did show up looking like the creature from the black lagoon which he might be. The terrifying silhouette completely worked at contrast with his patient and easy going demeanor. "Yeaaaah, Nick, but you do get to see some interesting and wonderful places with Lockjaw… maybe not… ya know this one but places." Chloe might have been half right to the extent that he definiately suggestedit could be educational and wise for Chloe's inclusion. His expression was hidden by the mask. There was a dip of his head in greeting when he and Nick arrived, though there was a pause glancing to his cousin Maximus. Briefly he had to wonder what war looked like in his cousin's head that this was a tactical dress choice. nope. wasn't going to ask. It was finally to Karnak he asked, "Status report? We got a message."

Why couldn't Kamala do her transformation from young woman to young Inhuman in the Poconos? Where there's resorts, and fun, and volleyball, ski-lanes indoor water parks and pools and everything and everyone is beautiful. Instead, she chose the dingy old warehouse, a relic of a world at war - of a country flexing it's might against a tyrant - in some ways, it makes perfect sense.

Outside, it seems that the government had assumed that a chainlink fence, some barb-wired toppers and a few nicely placed 'KEEP OUT' signs would keep everyone away, because people listened to those in 1945.

Too bad that was nearly two decades ago.

Inside her cocoon, Inhuman Issued, One Each - Kamala continues her restless slumber.

She stands before the powerful trimunative. The big two - the Captains of her morals.

You broke the rules. says the male Captain, the blue of his uniform only slightly defined by the red and white. You shouldn't have come here. You shouldn't have taken that crystal.

Now you've broken it and you've changed. says the female Captain, her blue more touched with red and yellow. Now that you are here - what do you /want/ from your life? asks the female voice, husky and rough, just as Kamala imagines it in her head.

"I.. I want to help my friends." Kamala says, her voice weak at first. "The ones at the caves. They asked for me help, and I could help them and I did! But I come back here and I get mocked and called a square and told that I'm a geek and should just go home and talk about heroes I will never meet! Being a teenager sucks." she complains a little. "Did I want to take a drink tonight? Yes. But that is not what I do. That's not what you would have done!"

Kamala turns to the female Captain clad in blue and red. "I want to be like you!" she says finally, resolutely. "You're gorgeous and buxom and blonde, and you kick butt.." She can say butt to her right? Sure she can. "And you are just so much less complicated!" Oh, if Kamala Khan only knew the truth.

Then be me. the voice responds to her.

The first cracks show, increasing that aqua glow, encompassing the interior of the warehouse, as within, new, improved life is created amongst the molded uniforms and rusted military rations.

The touch from an elderly man half a world away fades out when Crystal and Karnak awaken. But their sights on the warehouse where Lockjaw brings them shouldn't a surprise. Somewhere, Ianos sags back against the upright stone in a full Neolithic ring. He rips open a bag of crisps with shaking fingers and puts one in his mouth. Not too fast now. He might choke when Maximus strides across the stage in the worst burlesque style, glimmers shown in the interference. His part is done.

Meanwhile, there is Lockjaw returned anew. The big dog abruptly appears and shuffles up to Crystal for obligatory ear scritches. Those hold priority before he abruptly flops sideways in a roll. A roll that rips out a good seven foot stretch of chainlink fence as the giant pug goes paws up. Oh, the scritches!

"Well, I didn't realize you were going to make a party of it," Crystal smiles ruefully to Lockjaw, bending down to provide belly rubs before she straightens, nodding to the others and looking to the warehouse. "It seems as though there may be another of us here. Our friend from the ruins. I'm not sure how she came across terrigen, but it doesn't seem impossible that she might have found some among the ruins."

Or possibly in an abandoned warehouse that just reads 'government facility where people do bad things.'

Karnak gives Maximus a look at the mention of terrigen, but then glances over at Crystal, "Well, this should be interesting to see how she encountered it. I'll have some questions for her once she emerges." Though her voice sounds its normal unemotional self, those that know her very well (namely her brother) can sense out the worry in her tone.

Maximus lifts both of his hands and his jacket rustles. "I had nothing to do with this. No one /touch/ me." The man insists of it, dipping his chin and looking at all of them with a fierce glare. Particularly Karnak. Then he buttons up his jacket, which honestly…kinda looks even more porny. "Who is this again?" He did not get the message about the girl's identity. "Well, lets find the cocoon then before whoever this is pops out and has an amazing power that levels the city."

To say that Nick seems a little uncertain what's going on would be an understatement, but he seems comfortable enough with this state of confusion. He nods to Triton and says, "Interesting places and… Newark?" Well, he got the right state anyway. He looks around to those gathered, but for the time being seems content to observe, following Triton around, the fish man being the one he knows best of those present.

Chloe looks around at those gathered here. Some of them she recognizes, and she eases a bit as familiar faces give her at least some context for being here. Maximus is regarded without a hint of recognition, and she sidles over to Triton. Though, as he speaks with Karnak, she hangs back, loath to interrupt official business. She gives him a little wave so he can see that yes, indeed, she's made it. She even had time to collect her purse. Always important on a mission. To Nick, she asides, "I have never been here before."

Triton gave a slow not to his sister. A webbed hand gave Karnak's shoulder a brief pat which might read to teh room as agreement, and for her specifically instead that small gesture of solidarity. He knew whatever this was held some other signifigance for her and that alone was enough without quetioning why. "Maximus has… a point. They may be in a state of medical need we don't know yet, but let's not waste time. Finding out why? That can happen after the fact." He turned to Nick pausing to Chloe, "Glad you could make it." To either he summed up, "Terrigen found one of our own out here. Sometimes that manifests in strange ways. We hatch. The scientific details are terrificly interesting and too long to go into detail now but, as it is, also unpleasant at a dinner table. Right now we find them, we help them."

"…be you?" Kamala asks, as she looks to the three. Three? Besides the two Captains, there was a kindly, older presence there. One that Kamala knew. But just as quickly, Ianos is gone, and leaving Kamala to make the decision of her lifetime.

"If I'm going to be you, I want to be the cool you. With the swimsuit and hip scarf and wedge boots!" she says with a defiant lift of her chin. Because that's what you do in a dream.

You must have some kind of boot fetish. respond the female Captain as the male Captain leans into Kamala to speak quietly.

Honor your parents. Honor the uniform. Most of all - honor yourself. then he adds, Whoever kills one person, it is as if he has killed all of mankind… And whoever saves one person, it is as if he has saved all of mankind.

"You sound like Abu…" Kamala starts to respond, before she suddenly feels herself short of breath, and she starts hitting the edges of the wall that's holding her back. "Allah.. help!" she yelps, and suddenly, she smashes through. And she doesn't stop. Up she goes. "I'm flying?!" she asks herself, and continues up and up..

..except she's not flying - she's growing. Her head bonks against the cieling and Kamala gives a little yelp before she breaks through the cieling, and for a moment - everyone gets a view of what looks to be a 30 foot tall blonde that has broken through the roof, sending debris towards the floor below.

Staring at herself, Kamala Khan recognizes nothing of herself. She's blonde. And in a familiar dark blue leotard with a yellow lightning bolt, red sash, blue arm length gloves and killer thigh high wedge boots. Classic Captain Marvel.

"I'm drunk. I took only one sip and I have to be drunk!" she wails suddenly, flailing her arms, and looking over herself. "I'm not her, I'm not her.." But she is her. Almost. She looks down at her rather flat chest. "I'm not her!" she reiterates and frowns. "Is it too late to change my mind? I look like I got thrown up on. Oh Allah, did I throw up? Is this Your sarzish for taking a sip? It was just a small sip. I'll repent." she promises, not yet noticing the arriving Inhumans.

This is going to be awkward.

A little yelp meets with a loud yip from a dog the size of the average van. His stubby tail wags excitedly. Lockjaw extricates himself from the chainlink fence using considerable effort to do so, trailing metal all over the place. The faintest glow dances off the fork marked on his brow and he eagerly shuffles around Crystal. At least until the rooftop blown off the building by Kamala-the-Mighty-and-Tall starts raining down.

No one said the pup was a coward. But those are falling sticks as far as he's concerned. He knows the smell of Kamala. Another loud yip follows, and then he vanishes in a flash to capture a stick.

Boom: back, dropping it at Karnak's feet. Boom; gone, off to fetch another stick. Return stick to Maximus. Next…

Crystal shoots a brief, warning look between Karnak and Maximus. "It is what it is, and it is done. Chances are she came across something in our travels. We did drag her over half the world, and some of us slept while we were underwater. She would have had ample opportunity to explore."

Well, in case there was any doubt about where the girl was, the sudden arrival of a ceiling-height woman - whom Crystal recognizes, no less - is enough to tip them off. Crystal hurries toward Kamala, starting to wave before she realizes that height is probably to her advantage at the moment.

"Kamala," she calls, summoning up a breeze to fly herself closer to eye level. "Kamala, is that you?" She remembers the girl's name, at least, even if she looks nothing like herself at the moment.

Karnak nods, "And she might have encountered something she should not have…" She blinks in surprise at the thirty foot tall… blonde? Then she speaks up a bit, "Kamala! This is Karnak. Are you alright?" And, well, Karnak moves forward quickly, looking to scale the building to get a closer look at what precisely happened to the girl.

Maximus loooooooks up up up and arches his brows. "Now that…is a huge…" He glances over to Karnak, "respected female person." He cuts a crooked grin at his cousin, then looks up towards Giant Carol With No Boobs. He lifts his hand and waves, grinning overly broadly in a way he thinks looks friendly, "Hello hello! Fellow Inhuman person! We are here to help!"

Nick watches, and looks up, and up, and up and says, "Well, that's.. something I haven't seen before." He looks over toward Triton for a moment, then to Chloe, and seem to assume that he is talking to her, as he is familiar with the process, if not the current effect on the woman before them, never having seen her prior to this transformation. But there are a lot of people present, so in an effort not to overwhelm, he remains towar the back, merely observing an offering a reassuring smile if noticed.

Chloe nods to Triton, her hand on the purse slung over her shoulder. It's a cute little bag with a fake leather daisy on it. She stares at Kamala, then blinks a few times and glances away. She smoothes the fabric of her yellow sun dress. "Is this what it's usually like?" she asks Nick, a quiet aside. She swallows, then adds, "I don't remember it being like this."

Triton looked to Nick and back to the building. She was, yeaaaaaaaaaah, very tall. A thought hit him though and he called back, "Nick, with me. She could get stuck in there, That building might not be safe. I don't want it to collapse on her. I don't trust this prison of rust to keep its structural integrity." He's seen collatoral daage and seemed keen to avoid more of it causing this moment to stress the tall newcomer any more. "Chloe, nothing's ever 'usual' but, apparently sometimes."

"Crystal? Crystal! Karnak!" Kamala's head immediately swivels towards the two women and she seems to almost be a bobblehead the way her head moves around. "I'm not alright! I'm thirty feet tall, a blonde, my feet hurt in this boots, and I have an epic wedgie!" she complains loudly. "I only had a sip!" she reiterates. "And there was my lucky crystal I found when I was adventuring with you and the others — and oh my allah, is Elvis one of you?! That totally makes sense, he'd be a bard, right??" she asks, looking directly at shirtless Maximus, and being a pale-skinned blonde means that the blush shows clearly on her cheeks.

Right, story. Explain yourself, stop staring, cause wow, who dresses like that? "The crystal broke. And there was this gas - did I do drugs?!" she's really terrified now. She hasn't had a chance to think rationally yet, and her irrational teenage fanfic writing head is almost in complete control. "Help me. Abu and Ammi are going to ground me forever if they see me like this." she finally says quietly. Which is booming in her giant form.

Then she notices Lockjaw. "Here puppers!" she calls out, maybe some puppy snuggling will get her back to normal. Or at least calm her down so she can think.

Rogue goes home.

"Okay. It's going to be okay, Kamala," Crystal assures, holding out her hands. "Remember when we were at the stones, and we thought you might be like us? Well, turns out we were right. That gas would have been terrigen, and that's why you've changed. Let's see if it's anything you can do anything about, yeah?"

She glances over her shoulder toward the others, whistling for Lockjaw, who comes galloping cheerfully toward Kamala's feet. He's a comforting presence, right? If nothing else, he doesn't seem to think there's anything wrong with what's going on.

"I want you to take a deep breath, Kamala," Crystal coaches. "Think about yourself. What you see in the mirror every morning. What it feels like."

Karnak nods, and stands on the building, looking at Kamala, "Yes, the gas from the crystal caused this. Just focus, think of yourself. Visualize your skin, your size, your hair, your clothes. You are what you image yourself to be, Kamala. Breath deeply, and focus. We will not let you get hurt." The woman looks at Kamala with concern, hoping that she's not so panicky that she'll accept the instructions.

Maximus looks over at Triton, then Kamala, then folds his arms over his chest. Why not…he absolutely tries to 'seed' the giant and confused girl, because what better opportunity will he have than when she's vulnerable and confused. There's a little mental ping as he attempts to, delicately, put a little familiarity in her mind.

Nick glances between Max and Triton, and then studies Max before his attention returns to the girl as Crystal and Karnak try to help her find her way back down to normal size. He considers from where he stands and says, "On the upside, her power didn't involve an explosion, so that's a bonus?" This is mostly said toward Triton who had assembled his tactical gear before coming.

Chloe nods slowly and says, "There is that. I hope I wasn't brought here in case things got ugly." Because every ugly situation needs a girl in a pretty dress with a daisy purse. "I'm glad it doesn't seem to have gotten that way. I bet she's really nice when she isn't gargantuan." she glances toward Maximus and asks Nick, "Who's he? He's not wearing a shirt."

Triton was never one to travel to a recon or an event unequipt. It seemed he and Karnak had that in common; preparedness. Experience teaches one a lot of things and over the last ten years he did a share of search and rescues. Each one bizzare and unique in their expression really. Heading in there was a look of…concern on the fish man's face watching Karnak, Crystal and Maximus engage the newcomer. "Chloe, that is Maximus. My cousin." Triton's head tilted to the side a bit, "Well there's that Nick, but the night is young, but I'm truly appreciating your optimism here." He paused and thought of recruiting more aid but he paused only briefly considering the situation before heading for the intertior of the building to see if she was getting stiuck on anything and see to anything that might cause structural catastrophe to complicate the situation.

"I'm like you??" blonde!Kamala looks confused for a moment and then looks at her gloved hands, and reaches down to give Lockjaw giant sized scritches. "Did you hear that, boy? I'm like you.." she says, awestruck.

"This isn't a dream, right?" she asks in confusion, which allows Maximus to ping her. "This really feels like a dream. I saw a pidgeon that looked like Hawkeye." comes the tired explanation. But she's clearly trying to focus as the two women suggest as she takes a step forward, and starts to shrink and her blonde hair turns back to brown and she returns slowly to normal, stepping onto the rooftop. "I thought.. if I was her. Beautiful. Blonde. I could finally make a difference." comes the quiet words.

And that's before she slumps forward onto Lockjaw and passes out from the exhaustion of Inhuman hatching.

"Oh, Kamala," Crystal says gently as the girl falls forward. "You can. And it will have nothing to do with what you look like." She floats down to the ground, reaching a hand for Triton's shoulder as Lockjaw does the job of catching Kamala. "Let's…take her to the Avengers for now," she suggests. "We'll get her home once she's in shape to tell us about where home is."

Maximus frowns. "Take her to the Avengers? Absolutely not. She is an Inhuman…one of us…she should come to…to…I just do not like the idea of the Avengers putting their science-paws all over her genetic code." He glances to Chloe, then Triton. "Who is this? Who is one of us and does not know Maximus the Magnificent?" A pause, a beat, and he looks at Chloe before explaining in a quieter tone, "Lockjaw caught me off guard. I wear shirts."

Karnak nods and easily picks up the girl. Because Lockjaw, good dog as he is, isn't exactly the best mount. She looks over at Crystal, "I will trust your judgment in this, regarding the Avengers. Something familiar to her would be better than just taking her to Attilan, I think."

Triton held a hand out to help support Crystal's invcoming trajectory. "Perhaps. Though strangely, I'm finding myself agreeing with… Maximus in the long term." It confused him, but he offered, "While the argument could swing either way, I will trust you on this Crystal." He looked back to his sister and nodded a silent agreement. "Familiar is a good thing and they have… been good to Crystal. If you truth them we cna wait to bring her home." He paused and thought about that for a long moment and in the end her well being won out in his vote. He glanced back to Max, "MAximus, where Chloe was is a long storythat reguires meal and drink before being shared or you'll only look at me and say ," He sdid the sigh that Max would inevitably give him, "Triton, why didn't you warn me this would require drink and a dinner to get through?' so consider yourself tol? Short story, a prodigal I was asked to find. Come, let's let Lockjaw get Kamala home first. Crystal, are you going to stay with her in case?"

Chloe's brow knits when Triton mentions the name, and Maximus being Triton's cousin would make him royal. She struggles with snippets of memory, but when Maximus calls himself Maximus the Magnificent, her eyes widen. She kneels and says, "My Lord, forgive me. My mind has holes in it, large parts missing. I won't make that error again." She takes a deep breath, lets it out, and looks to Triton. Whose presence eases her, and she draws herself back to her feet. She whispers to Triton, "I had no idea we were in the presence of the King." Who wants to tell her?

NO ONE TELL HER! Maximus just beaaaaams and is, for that moment, the happiest any of them have ever seen him, except maybe Triton, two years ago, when he finally managed to train the Snow Leopards to attack properly. Kneeling and everything! His eyes brighten, his face warms and his arms slowly unfold. HIs whole manner seems to calm and change for the better. He swallows and draws in a deep breath as he conjures up something to say to that. "You are forgiven of course. I am nothing if not a forgiving liege."

|ROLL| Triton +rolls 1d20 for: 3

Triton really was NOT excited to be in the palace as a fish man when his cousin taught giant cats to learn to kill. Oh yeah. Super fun to sleep there. No problem. There was a shift in Triton's demeanor as Crystal took the express pup out of there. Why… oh WHY was it always on him to sort these things out. On a good note half his face was covered. so it was impossible to see his jaw clench. He stayed quiet until Max stated I am nothing if not a forgiving liege. Triton sighed and agreed. Maximus Boltagon was presently neither forgiving nor a liege right now. Not in the regards of being a king anyways. "That… is technically a true statement." He looked to Maximus "Coming back to Attilan with us or returning to New York? Nick and I are going to work on repairing some of the things we found to see what it tells us. Chloe you are… well welcome to join." Which was more a obvious statement than any as she's had regular involvement on the project.

Chloe looks between Maximus and Triton. She's not sure what's what, and to be on the safe side, she remains deferential to Maximus with a solemn nod of her head. "Thank you, my Lord." She looks to Triton, and her features soften. "Attilan has want of your presence," she tells him. "But if you don't return there, then I think I should like to see more of the world. I'll be joining, thank you."

Maximus nods to Triton. "To Attilan. You had my attnetion when you mentioned repairing things. You know I am good at that." He folds his hands behind his back and postures in an imperious manner.

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