13354/NEGATIVE ZONE: The Incredible Shrinking Universe

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NEGATIVE ZONE: The Incredible Shrinking Universe
Date of Scene: 19 November 2022
Location: The Negative Zone
Synopsis: The Fantastic Four and a group of intrepid young explorers head to the Negative Zone and find trouble!
Cast of Characters: Reed Richards, Susan Richards, Valeria Richards, Ben Grimm, Audra Meridian, Johnny Storm, Vivian Vision, Lunella Lafayette

Reed Richards has posed:
Four Freedoms Plaza has always had floors open to the public, most typically the museum and education center that talks not only about the history of the Fantastic Four but the goals and dreams on which they were founded. It's a pleasant afternoon's edu-tainment with a reasonably priced gift shop.

The upper floors of the building, however, are the home and workspace of the group and not usually open tot visitors. Today is an exception, however, as Herbie - a floating automaton with a pleasant voice - leads a selection of invited luminaries through an ordered and well-maintained hallway to a laboratory space the size of a football stadium that still seems to be lacking in space for all the equipment crammed into it. Wait, the building doesn't look this big from the outside ...

Some space has been cleared around what looks to be a faintly glowing dais raised from the ground. A tall man in a lab coat and the blue coveralls of the Fantastic Four - Reed Richards - stands holding a mug with the words 'World's Most Ingenious Paterfamilias' scrawled in the colorful, messy hand of a young child on the side. He takes a sip while his other arm, several feet long, taps away on a keyboard nearby.

"Hey, troops," he calls out pleasantly, taking a sip of whatever concoction is in the mug, "I'll be right with you. I think I've found a fourth weak generation of particles. I've always wanted to name a quark."

Susan Richards has posed:
Sue is stationed up not too far away. Wearing a blue F4 jumpsuit, she's got her hair clipped back and her eyes upon a computer monitor. She looks up toward the sound of her husband's voice, and smirks at what she overhears him saying.

"I'm just glad you didn't insist on naming one of the children Qork." She fires back at him before she stands up and starts to walk at a casual pace around the perimeter of the room, her eyes going toward what her husband is staring at while she ducks under his super long arm, then appears at his side, folding her arms across her stomach as she shifts her weight from her right hip to her left.

Valeria Richards has posed:
Already set up in her Val Suit. A more motorcycle padded version of the family's standard uniform. Just with extra white for the padded areas over Fantasic Blue. The whole thing brimming with unstable molecules, micro-actuators from Thing Suit tech built in to enhance strength and durability. Doom tech forcefields to absorb energy and impacts to fuel the shields and other tech.

It was that or her usual wardrobe which was a fifty fifty chance of merch from the gift shop or something by Van Dyne.

The joke her Mom makes about naming gets a giggle. "I'm kinda glad too. Valeria Meghan actually doesn't sound bad. And yes I know Uncle Doom picked Valeria!" she points out and grins.

Ben Grimm has posed:
Orange rocks, blue tights, a frown, and cracking his "knuckles", Ben Grimm waits to be called to action. Or, save the team from the clutches of bad guys. Side note...or drive the Fantasticar. For the time being, quiet, watching and...we know that is temporary.

Audra Meridian has posed:
The museum was a good precursor to go through first. But now it was going to be time for the main event. An adventure. For SCIENCE!

Though considering the gathering includes one of the most well-known extended families, Audra felt a little bit like the tag-along. But there was no way she was going to pass up the oppritunity!

Another soft whistle comes from her though after taking in that facility. "Man, if my workshop could be even a third as great as this place..." She shrugs, enough time for scientific oogling later. Instead she adjusts the goggles currently strapped over her head like a hairband, to keep them at the ready. When Reed mentions naming a quark she snickers a little. "Someone should name a quark a quirk just to confuse ALL the spell-checkers out there."

Johnny Storm has posed:
Johnny Storm is wearing his FF jumpsuit as he comes along as well, his hair shaved down on the sides and his chin freshly shaved. Gotta look good for the cameras, after all. He gives a grin as he sees Reed leaning over the big glowing dais, "Underlighting looks good on you. Get the cover of Science Dad monthly. You and Bill Nye."

He grabs a seat, plopping into it. "Aw, no wheels? I need to be able to wheel around, Reed, my dude. Does this thing hover? I like a good hover. Nothing like a smooth ride."

"Yo, Benjo, how goes? Still big and rocky and bad?"

Vivian Vision has posed:
Vivian Vision is quite a frequent visitor to Four Freedoms Plaza. Between general GIRL business, the occasional art project and just hanging out with Valeria socially (although to be fair that usually involves as much SCIENCE! as the GIRL visits). With school done for the day she's come directly from Happy Harbour, having stopped only to change into her typical green & yellow outfit. A green sweater and yellow cargo pants. Which would stand out if people weren't so distracted by her clearly synthetic nature.

The teenager has come prepared for a variety of situations, those cargo pant pockets packed with various useful supplies, although she doesn't really need a protective suit or any other gear. Or any of the supplies for that matter, but you never know when having some field rations, bottled water or a medical kit might come in handy.

"At least your last name isn't your fathers first name," she points out. "That always gets confusing when I have to explain that although my last name is Vision my fathers full name is just Vision. And, as they often mistakenly assume, not Vision Vision."

Lunella Lafayette has posed:
    From the freight elevator, one last person arrives. Well, one person and an oversized Cretaceous apex predator colored Bright Red. Pink goggles that 'hide her identity' lowered, hair in a pair of big poofs to either side of a yellow helmet as she sits moderately astride the head of one Devil Dinosaur, MOON GIRLmakes her way in with the complaint:

    "Look, *I* didn't design the frieght elevator, they're not made for tails!" she exclaims, apparently mid-argument before she sits up a little straighter.

    "If you name a quark a Quirk that's gonna make for a whole mess of Star Trek DS9 episodes that're gonna say they're wrong, yaknow." she states to Audra as the massive dinosaur rumbles.

    "Sup Fantastic Four and assorted other Scientists!!" she calls out, excitedly giving a wave to Literal Science and Superhero Royalty! "We are so happy to be here!" she practically bounces.

    Devil Dinosaur does not look as enthused.

Ben Grimm has posed:
It was like a rumbling sound as Ben looks over at Johnny. "Always big and rocky and bad. You wish you were this bad." Ben grimaces, slightly. He thought that sounded better in his head. "Just hang on tight Matchstick, and I'll look after ya! Ah got the wheel, kid"

Reed Richards has posed:
"There's still time," Reed murmurs to himself in a sing-song voice, whistling a jaunty tune and pretending he said nothing at all should Sue glance in his direction. He looks like he's about to say something else before he looks towards Valeria, the stretchy arm retracting to its normal size before he sticks a gloved finger in his ear and wiggles it about with a look of mild irritation.

"Do you have to use Victor's shielding technology, Val? I always feel like there's this annoying hum in the upper nineteen kilohertz range. I can't quite hear it, but it makes my molars shake."

He clicks his tongue several times, making a face as though he tasted something entirely too bitter. One eye closed, he makes a high-pitched hum to himself as though trying to tune some weird, internal piano. That's when he overhears Audra, blinking a couple times and shooting one of those matinee idol smiles that's all teeth and square jaw.

"Once you wrap your head around tesseractic geometry, the polychoron lab format is pretty simple. We used to just move the walls out, but the better half put the kibosh on that once I almost crushed Franklin's nursery. He was fine. He teleported to the Build-a-Bear Workshop on Sixth."

He's momentarily distracted from his speech by Johnny, brow furrowing: "I have a better labcoat - ahhh! He's here!"

Reed's body doesn't move, but his neck extends several dozen feet to fly across the room and get up close and personal with the bright red dinosaur.

"Tyrannosaurus rex of the family Tyrannosauridae! I've seen them in the wild, of course, but this one's so different. Maybe a genetic offshoot of Tarbosaurus bataar? We've got to talk after this."

Then he's retreating back to normal, non-stretchy shape again. The mug placed down, his hands clap together like a school science teacher.

"Alright, everyone! If I can just have your attention for a moment for a few safety announcements."

Susan Richards has posed:
Sue has to look to Reed at his muttered comment. She has to. A smirk is sent over to him before she just turns and struts away. Ending up near to her brother she thwacks him on the back of his shoulder. "Stop complaining about the furniture." She chides him before her eyes look to Ben and she smiles at him.

Val gets a look after that then. "Oh, we argued over a lot of great names for you. It was a toss up between Valaria, and Maud... we got /so close/ to writing Maude down."

vivian recieves a wave at her energetic arrival too from Sue, before she once more looks to her husband at his attempt to garner everyone's attention, which he loves to do.

Valeria Richards has posed:
There's smiles for Vivian and a chuckle for the continued jokes about naming of herself and maybe her brother. "If it comes with an English accent, it'd be a Quirk of a quark, from Cork!" she adds before someone sticks a cork in her.

Audra, Lunella, and her dinofriend get a greeting as well. Hi. I'm Valeria! If your big fcriend gets hungry we do actually keep some carnivorous dinosaur friendly kibble in bulk. I can have some of the HEBIEs bring a wading pool full of it. After the dinoplague a couple years ago it pays to keep a bunch of stuff like that for such a moment!" she states and looks a lot like she wants to give the thunderlizard a huge tummy rub.

He's an adorable dino!

"It makes my teeth hum too dad, but it's long stopped being Uncle Doom's tech. It's also incorporated the shield harmonics you use to replicate Mom's powers. Which probably accounts for the hum. I'm just used to it!" she points out. "I'd be more worried if I don't feel that teeth vibration. It's saved GIRL more than a few times in space." she pointgs out and finger guns.

While her Uncles do their thing she chuckles but soon just gets quiet while her father starts up being all announcing!

Audra Meridian has posed:
".. Yeah. My walls aren't so easily moved," Audra replies with a snicker, having somewhat understood part of that. Though quantum physics wasn't really her usual field of pursuit. Then her attention shift's to Vivian's lament. "Sounds like a Mario Bros. but that's not their last name it's just Mario was known better situation." She might of had more than that to quip on the matter.

But then a dinosaur walked into the lab... and as much as that sounds like the start of a joke that's not where it's going. "Wow, a real dinosaur! That's an impressive way to start things off." She's already seen some strange things in her career, so while a dinosaur is unusual it's not the -weirdest- she's dealt with. Definately still a moment of awe, though.

Finally her focus shifts back to Reed as he calls for attention. The similarity of the mannerism he does so in doesn't escape her either. "Yeah, he looks like he could be a teacher," she chuckles under her breath, "Ready for you to fill us in!"

Johnny Storm has posed:
Johnny Storm throws out his arms defensively, pleading dramatically in Sue's direction after the swattage occurs, "What, I'm not complaining! I'm making my preferences known! It's important data for whatever spreadsheet he uses in his brain. I'm going to get a floating chair for my birthday three years from now and it's because of this moment right here."

He looks back and forth between Valeria and Reed, "Are your teeth made out of the same stuff? Like, do you have rubbery teeth, Reed? Should they vibrate on the same frequency? Because I don't have any idea but I'm just...tossing out a...hyp...othesis?" he says, the last word sounding foreign on his tongue.

Vivian Vision has posed:
Vivian Vision gives Mrs Richards a wave back, then turns and tilts her head curiously at the latest arrival. "It is not every day you see a dinosaur in an elevator," she notes matter-of-factly. "Or anywhere really." She's not really a frequent visitor to the Savage Lands and does Beast Boy shifting into one really count? "Which does rather make me wonder what purpose there is in keeping large volumes of dinosaur kibble on hand. Doesn't it go bad before it's required?"

There's a slight frown. "It's probably your imaginations. Organics aren't generally able to hear very high pitched noises unless they're animal metas or mutants."

When Reed calls for quiet she turns her head back to face him. Clasping her arms behind her back as if she's standing to attention at a school assembly.

Lunella Lafayette has posed:
    "FINALLY Some recognition for you, big guy! He's actually a mutate from the basic Tyranosaurus rex an' got some special upgrades in his genetic material curtesy of some--" she cuts off a moment as Valeria begins introducing herself, and she gets a big smile from Moon-Girl as she crosses her arms, laying on top of the dinosaur's head like it was the most natural thing in the world for her to do.

    "What about localized vibrational dampeners with a sub-energy field? If you mount them on a magnetic cradle and polarity-match so that they float you wouldn't even get any of the jitteryness, but you're probably gonna hafta account for any drag and vibrational resonance between the external energy shell and the sub-shielding in order to make it so it doesn't shake itself loose upon encountering atmospheric drag... maybe really small subatomic builds?" she asks holding her chin in her hand a moment before she looks down.

    "Wait, dinosaur kibble? Uh... do you think they can ship that in bulk?"

    Do not tummy rub the Devil Dinosaur, although he lumbers forward a moment to bow down, letting Lunella down and off his head as Reed begins to talk.

Reed Richards has posed:
"Oh, it could be," Reed says to Vivian with a polite smile, before his gaze turns to Johnny and he just shakes his head with a sigh, "You've known me for over thirty years, Johnny."

Lunella's suggestion prompts a look of affirmation from him - a nod with a 'not bad' expression on his face - before he turns back to the large platform that glows from within.

"In a moment, I'm going to ask all of you to step up onto the platform here. It's a remote access n-dimensional observation mobilized platform. Essentially, you'll enter a quantum-entangled state with your homologue on the platform's counterpart inside the Negative Zone. Keep inside the matter field or else I can't guarantee we'll be able to maintain a connection, and it's no ideal to lose contact with your homologue while still entangled with them. Basically, keep your hands and legs inside the cart at all times."

He steps up onto the platform at last, the massive rectangle easily able to hold the group of them and more. It lights up brighter from below, and an unfelt wind catches his labcoat and causes it to flutter about him.

"What we're looking for, is disturbances in the Negative Zone. I've been picking up strange Valeriquark - that's, um, if you'll forgive me the name I've been using internally for the Negative Zone analogue of boson that degrades into a Valerion and a quark - strange Valeriquark readings. Which, if you know the Negative Zone like me, is unusual because they're supposed to be inobservable and purely hypothetical. So ... something strange is afoot. I invited you all because you look at things from different angles, and ... well, surveying a whole universe is a time-consuming process."

Ben Grimm has posed:
Ben Grimm grimaces after a quick sidelong glance towards Johnny. Another platform. More trust, more "n-dimensional" this and that. It was always something." Reed. The Negative Zone again? We're takin' a chance."

Even though he was expressing his concern, Ben was the first to step where Reed pointed to. "Are you sure this is safe? We got kids here." His eyes move to Valeria. "This is a bad idea..."

Susan Richards has posed:
Susan is right there to step up upon the platform beside Reed. "I thought you invited us here because you need someone to talk to while doing all of this?" She asks him with a small smile. Her eyes go out to everyone else then. "But he's right, you're all integral at offering unique viewpoints. Even Johnny." She states, giving her brother a soft smile before she puts her eyes upon the dinosaur.

"Well, I'm not sure ... about ... that viewpoint... But, hey, we've seen stranger things around here."
Sue pulls her glvoes out of her belt around her waist and starts to wiggle her right hand in to one, then her left in to the other...

Valeria Richards has posed:
"I keep it buzzing, it's a tactile sense of something running. So if it fails, I know and don't have to look at any onscreen details after the fact. Kind of like an old car, some things you just need to feel it to know it's working." she says softly and at least gives the big red Dino a snoot rub. "They can, Dinosaurs sometimes flit into being a popular exotic pet for the rich. But I can make sure you don't break any banks having to pay for it." she offers while trying to not interrupt her father.

Of course as she joins others on the platform. "Can't have us any unforseen Valeriables out there. And Uncle Ben. If something goes wrong on that side and we need tech support. I'm probably the best one to have other there monkeying up a solution. And we have like a whole mess of Miss Smartypants," she points out to Ben with a sweep to Vivian, Audra, and Lunella. "It's always a bad idea those are the most fun. But this is like one of the rare times this year we got the whole Fantastic Four doing adventures and I can go along! Don't Rock Block me Uncle Ben!" she states and puts on a half pout half grin expression. With extra puppy dog eyes which is actually difficult with blue irises.

It's amazing how much influnce all Four had on the girl.

Audra Meridian has posed:
Again while quantum metaphysics wasn't Audra's primary field she has the smarts and enough general science knowzits to get the general gist of what Reed is saying. "Strange readings because subatomic particals are doing things they're not suppose to be visible doing, got it. We're looking for a cause then I take it? Now that's going to be interesting."

She steps up onto the platform when indicated to do so. Then smirks and points a finger in amusement at Valeria. "I like this girl, she gets it. Some of the best discoveries came from 'bad ideas'." Oooh, Rock Block. Because he looks like he's made of... yeah that girl's got some wit.

"Besides," Audra pauses to pull the goggles down from the top of her head, tugging them into place over her eyes. "I'm a stormchaser. It's not like venturing into potentially hazardous situations for the sake of discovery isn't something I haven't done before." And that's not even getting into the superheroing side of things, either.

Johnny Storm has posed:
Johnny Storm points at Vivian, "See? I'm right, that's weird. Vivian gets me."

He gestures helplessly in Lunella's direction after her suggestion, "Really? Why is it, whenever we add a new person, they're smarter than me? I bet the dino's smarter than me, too. They probably speak fourth dimensional space lizard god language and I can't even get to the next lesson on Duolingo Portuguese," he says, "I've been, uh, talking to Giselle Bundchen a little. Just texts."

None from her yet, but it counted. Right?

He and Ben share their traditional look as Reed explained the science part. Johnny might make jokes about not being as smart as the others - and he isn't - but he's not dumb. "Something strange is afoot. Stretch loves his Sherlock Holmes references," he says as he looks over at the team's rock, "And he loves to do it when things are about to get big and crazy and bad. So, you steer the way and put them on your back, I watch their backs (and yours), same as usual? Even if we, uh, have more backs than usual?

He points over at Valeria, "That's my girl. Let's rock and roll, Fantastic Four, look out, Negative Zone, we are about to be in you!"

Vivian Vision has posed:
"Valeria is most certainly too old for you to call her a kid," Vivian points out solemnly. "She's above the age of legal responsibility in the majority of countries on the planet." She leaves out that chronologically Vivian herself is only three (but then organic age standards don't really track to synthezoids). And that she has no idea how old the girl with the dinosaur is either. Audra certainly seems old enough not to be called a kid too.

Idly a portion of her mind scans their images and does some background checks while she still has internet access. Just out of polite curiosity rather than any deep background checks. It's not like anyone with a suspicious background would hade made it past the Four Freedoms Plaza security. Doom excluded.

As she follows on to the platform she frowns. "If he really loves Sherlock Holmes then why do your team outfits not include deer stalker hats?" Of course she already knows the answer to that question. Chances are Reed wanted to but Sue wouldn't allow it.

Lunella Lafayette has posed:
    "Not to mention a whole lotta math. Luckily for everyone here, I like math." Lunella gives a bright, toothy grin as she cracks her knuckles, the goggles not improving her mad-scientist like stance a moment before she looks back to Valeria. "Well if you *like* the buzzing then by all means." she gives a slightly smaller smile to the other smart girl, and she nods her head. "That... would be really nice of you, actually." she admits quietly. "Usually he gets to hunt when I hafta take a break from city life for a bit." she explains.

    "Mrrrooo?" Devil Dinosaur questions at the snoot pat. from Valeria, and then Moon-Girl grabs onto his neck as he lifts up.

    "Anyone else conserving backs that need watching by hitchin' a ride? Also... uh... easier to not step on people when they're on your back." she offers, urging Devil Dinosaur to make his way onto the platform.

Reed Richards has posed:
"Someone has to," Reed answers, glancing towards Ben with a furrowed brow, "And these are some of the brightest minds in the world, and none of them are stayed by preconceived notions. What they teach about physics in school is, frankly, Archimedean. A suitable foundation but arguably so far removed from the reality of the universe that it's like asking someone who's never seen a matchstick to hypothesize one by looking at cottonwood seeds. Sometimes, the only mind that's right for the problem is the open one, Ben."

"Besides, you're not actually going into the Negative Zone. You're just becoming quantum-entangled with a homologue that's already present there. I'm not ready to actually go beyond tele-presence until we know what's happening in there."

He nods proudly as Valeria explains why they have to be there.

"And we'll have you there to clobber things if it gets out of hand. Which it won't."

When everyone has stepped onto the platform, Reed lifts his wrist up to eye-level. A set of glowing panels seem to coalesce out of the air and he taps them in order. Around them, four walls of light shoot upwards to the ceiling. A moment later, the lab that was beyond them disappears and is replaced by space. Not normal space, but a strange place with a greenish glow about it. Nothing about the place looks normal. Great yellow planetoids suspended in the green-red aether.

Surveying and scanning equipment materializes on the platform and Reed gestures.

"Well, troops, get scanning."

Their homologues, should they choose to look at themselves, look like mechanical versions of themselves. Even Devil Dinosaur. Metallic skin, glowing blue eyes and, oddly enough, the ability to use their powers just as they can in the 'positive' world.

Ben Grimm has posed:
"Uncle Ben" looks at Valeria and his expression softens. "Of course Lil V. I'll always be there to provide support! No "rock blockin'" Ya' know it!" Ben frowns as he waits and sees Valeria's pout. It was always her way to get her way with him. He could deny her nuthin'. "Um. Is it gonna hurt?"

His eyes "side-eyes" Audra and Lunella and frowns. Don't even think about it....Rock Block indeed...and math. Ugh.

Ben looks at Johnny. Ben notes Johnny looks at him. Brothers-In-Arms, even though they give each other a hard time. A slight nod lets the kid know that he would do...well, best left unsaid. "Yeah. Sherlock. Huh." Pause. "Same as usual kid. We look after them, and each other, and we all come back alive." A pause. "Gonna be lotsa backs."

As Reed gives him a look, nd a word, Ben almost smiles. "Yeah. Ma' mind is always open Reed. Which is why I'm always pulling your keester outta the fire!" Ben gets ready. Clobber. A grin. "It's Clobberin' Times!" A laugh, and Ben looks at Sue. A slight nod. A knowing look. A sigh. And ready.

Susan Richards has posed:
Sue spends a bit of time adjusting her hair to make sure its out of her face while everyone else settles on the platform and gets their thoughts out. She listens, of course, and watches over them all as best as she is able... concerned for each and every one of them, even if she believes in Reed and this project. Right before it kicks off, Sue drops her hands back down to her sides, and reaches one out to pat Valaria on the back softly, proud of her as well.

"Which it won't." Sue repeats her husband's words with regards to Ben being here to clobber, if needs be.

And when it kicks off? Sue is the first to approach some of the scanning equipment. She just ignores her situation for the most part and starts to do the work she knew was coming, though she does spare a few looks up and around their new location... as the adventure of new places is part of the fun.

Valeria Richards has posed:
"Now you just made it weird Uncle Johnny!" Val states and looks embarrassed as she stands on the platform. "Like sheesh dude!" she teases while she takes her own quick glance of the tech being spun up to send their onciousnesses collectively to remote pilot duplicates in the Negative Zone.

"Lunella, odds on, you might get to SCIENCE over there. Or at least help me engineer stuff. You too Audra. When we're done I'll pass on like contact details so you can get in touch with Nadia Van Dyne, and GIRL. Genius In action Research Labs. Bunch of us girls all doing SCIENCE together. Always plenty of lab space!" she adds.

Once the mental transfer is through she looks down at herself and then with a look to the others and then a touch of her face she grins and lets out a giggle "Behold, for you now face Lady DOOM!" she pretends to threaten and then aims a palm out as if to blast like a super villain. Then giggles as she gives up on the joke. "Kidding, kidding!" she states wiith a goofy expression.

She does however test too see if the homologue body caried over any of her own tech. Seems like at least the forcefields and thing suit strength was replicated. More precisely replicating both Sue and Ben's powers directly.

"Of course Dad you know we need to come up with a better name for these autonomous drones we're piloting. Homologue is a bit on the nose and every fourteen year old in the tri-state area, and Uncle Johnny is already snickering in their heads"

Audra Meridian has posed:
It's her first time doing this sort of thing so of course the first thing Audra does is give herself a quick look over. "Spiff. This is kind of like dropping a TOTO in front of a twister, except -I'm- the TOTO." TOTO being the name for a type of weather probe platform. Assuming the kids have read enough classic literature (or at least seen a few movies) there's no one who shouldn't get where the 'TOTO' comes from. Except maybe the dinosaur, and that's no fault of his.

But facination at the tech used to allow them to investigate without actually -being- there isn't enough to completely distract her. She's very good at putting her mind to matters and focus, right now on the scanning hardware that's been provided. "Let's see..." Then glances back up a moment. "Hey now some fourteen year olds have a fine sense of childish humor." She is not going to deny that she was probably snickering a bit in her amazement as well. "Love the group name. Hook me up after." But now back to work. "If the alternate particles have been doing things they shouldn't be visible at, we might need to track back from observing them doing it to see if there's any signs of why..." Don't mind her, she's use to being by herself and talking it over out loud.

Vivian Vision has posed:
Remote linking into another form & location isn't especially weird for Vivian. As a synthezoid she's been linking into camera systems and drones since she first was activated. But she still takes a moment to run through a range of checks of her own. Ranges of motion, physical dimensions, sensory input and all kinds of other calibration data.

Once she's comfortable inside this new form she rolls her 'eyes' at Valeria and if the form allows sticks her tongue out. "Lady Doom just sounds like something you would need a medicinal cream for..."

"I can upload all the relevant contact details for my Great Aunt Nadia. Or I could provide pamphlets. If either of you prefer physical media." She gives Audra a bemused look. "Are they devices used to test rainfall in Africa?" Presumably these new forms don't have internet access or she'd simply look up the meaning. Instead she's having to rely upon stored knowledge and pop culture data.

"Isn't our trying to observe them going to influence how they behave? Which in turn means anything we do pick up will by definition be unusual?" One of the many benefits of being a synthezoid is the ability to multi-task. So Viv is more than able to talk as she scans!

Lunella Lafayette has posed:
    "Okay. Okay. We're going into the negative zone. We're gonna be in proxy forms. It's gonna be okay, Devil Dinosaur, 'cause we've got each other's backs on this even if it might feel superweird, can't possibly be worse than what happened at the Lego competition..." Moon-Girl breathes, tightening her goggles down as she breathes out. "Don't embarrass us in front of the cool kids, okay? /The/ Reed Richards thought my on-the-fly enegineering ideas were /cool/!" she breathes out, and tightens her hold. She's definitely not nervous.

    And then they're there. Bodies switched out to be metallic, robotic. even Devil Dinosaur has a cool robotic makeover, which he gives a digital-sounding 'mroo?' in question, attempts a couple of stomps and a tail-swish, and decides that this is satisfactory.

    And he lets out a massive roar in satisfaction, jaw dropped, head tilted back, Moon-Girl almost falling off his head as he releases a deafening roar as Lunella slides off his back and grabs some of the scanning gear. It takes a hot minute to mess around with it before she knows what everything appears to do, and she begins to get measurements.

    "This has to be the *second* coolest thing ever done -- and I think by usin' the homologues we're not directly observing them, since technically we're still back in the other half of existence is the idea."

Reed Richards has posed:
Almost any kind of survey can be run from the platform, and the explorers will quickly find that the Negative Zone is nothing at all like the universe they originate from. For one, almost every physical law seems to behave in direct opposition. Mass seems to naturally repel and both strong and weak nuclear forces behave in such a way as to be worthy of a completely different name and definition. Things work as normal within the confines of the platform, but beyond it everything is strange beyond measure.

"Val, honey, don't be vulgar," Reed answers, making a mental note to change the names.

He nods his head to Lunella: "That's right. You might call this something like a loophole. I doubt it'd work in our home universe, but things are a little more fast and loose here. The first time we came here, thirteen months passed on this side and a handful of nanoseconds on the other. But don't worry, I've worked the bugs out of that."

The survey equipment, after a short while, begins to note a few strange things even in this strange land. For one, it's not as big as the positive universe. And, for another, it seems to be retracting at an alarming speed. Crushing in on itself.

Susan Richards has posed:
"'Avatars' might be more appropriate for our maturity levels." Sue mutters while listening to the others. Her eyes are down on the scanning equipment, her focus solely on her research as she taps away at the screen. Her head shakes softly then. Her hands come up and she focuses for a moment, creating a force-field bubble in front of her.

"That's still working, seemingly as intended." She announces before dropping the small force-field away again. Sue turns from her station and starts to walk down the line to observe the others at what they're doing, inncluding the ... giant dinosaur!

Valeria Richards has posed:
Somewhere out there Doctor Doom is probably snickering at the name. Like he could talk.

"This is why we have focus groups for some of our merch Dad. I think Avatar got taken by James Cameron. Duplidrone is nice and maybe unclaimed for trademark purposes. Now we just need to make sure than when we log out, we don't leave copies of our minds behind. That might get upset and feel left behind." she considers and nods. "Do we self destruct? Might be safest if we need to leave in a hurry." she adds and hmms while she plugs what should be her wirst computer but is probably her replicated self directly into some of the equipment.

"So, Viv? Is this how it feels for you like all the time?" she asks and pokes herself in the hand while a holo display feeds her info from the survey equipment and scanners she gets running.

Audra Meridian has posed:
"Talk about time flies..." And the reference to another TOTO gets a snicker out of Audra as she works. "And Duplidrone would fit. As it's duplicates, being used like survey drones..."

The commentary fades though as she squints at her read out. Then pulls the approximation of her goggles up to make sure she's reading readings right. Even with not having all the in-depth scientific fields her sharp attention for details starts to notice things. After a few minutes of doing some properly scientific rechecks she looks up. "So, if this universe is working in the opposite of ours, does that include it's size?" She gestures at some of the readings she's getting. "Maybe one of you bigger omniscientist types should take a look."

Vivian Vision has posed:
"Indirect observation is still a type of observation," Vivian points out. "Although if all the rules really are reversed here then surely the observer paradox is basically not an issue because nothing here cares if you're watching or not." The main asset her synthezoid nature provides for this type of task is her ability to process vast amounts of data at once. Forking her mind into thousands of subdivisions and feeding information in from as many sources as possible. Quite how accurately the avatar maps to her normal form she's still not quite sure. But the best way to find out is simply act as normal and see if/when something doesn't work as intended.

"If I'd known we were going to be using remote access devices I wouldn't have packed quite so many ration packs. They seem more than a little bit redundant all things considered."

"So far I feel pretty much the same as I did before," she notes to Valeria. "So I would hazard a guess that no you probably aren't experiencing a truly synthezoid experience.... Besides there is no internet access here. Which for me is like having no bars on your smartphone except about a million times more."

Lunella Lafayette has posed:
    "... and considering the return trip -- having a mental connection to one another isn't going to switch the 'default' on our bodies, right?" Lunella asks, looking up to DEvil Dinosaur, who is still making a racket with his metallic body and digital roaring.

    But she's looking at her equipment.

    "Uh... yeah, it appears that the universe here is condensing at a much faster rate than ours is expanding, not sure if it's steady rate ooooor if it's exponential though..." she states, and she looks up at Devil Dinosaur.

    "HEY! Stop stompin' around and stay by me. I don't want you wandering off on your own!"

Reed Richards has posed:
"Not an issue," Reed says to Lunella with a shake of his head, "But good thinking all the same. Have you - "

Before Reed can speak further, however, the sickly green light of the nearby star is suddenly eclipsed. In the far distance, there seems to be a shadow of some kind. A great, black cloud that undulates forth out of the void and forms a chaotic smear that seems to swallow the light whole. The scienist's eyes lift to stare at it, his brow furrowing and a deep frown creasing his feature.

"Does anybody have a reading on that signature of there?" he asks, moving to one of the console and peering at it carefully.

To those who look closer, or even enhance their vision to observe it naturally, they will see that the black cloud is not one thing but billions of smaller things. Creatures, like insects given bipedal form and size. They swarm angrily, approaching the platform as a rapid clip.

Susan Richards has posed:
"Oh no, some sci fi Director with a fifty-fifty success rate on his movies being any good doesn't get to claim that words for his own." Susan fires back at her daughter with a smirk striking her lips. She then falls silent, observing the others as they perform their scans, until she ends up walking back to her terminal just as the dark cloud becomes visible on the horizon...

Susan starts running some more tests before she abandons them and the inner sense inside her triggers.

"I don't like what I'm seeing there." She says to Reed in particular, though loud enough for Johnny and Ben to hear it too.

Valeria Richards has posed:
The scanning tech is aimed to focus on the directions Reed called out. "That's a big honking swarm of bugs!" she points out. "And incoming fast. Mom..." she calls out and activates her own forcefields to surround as much areas as they can. "Shields up? Dad based mine on yours but I don't have like the telekinesis part down." she points out a little worriedly.

"So Dad, some answers to my line of logout questiions might also need to include timeframes. I know Uncle Ben knows what time it is. I might not have my hands free to move and help right this second." she adds and isn't sure how long her forcefields can handle that much of a beating when the swarm hits.

Audra Meridian has posed:
"But -how- is it shrinking, and so rapidly." Audra taps a finger against her cheek. "That would require matter outright being removed from this universe, rather than just split up and scattered... but then again, things don't operate the same, so there's no saying there isn't away for things to juse be... wiped away. And we just don't know the specific mechanics ye--"

She to stops, stirred from her pondering by Reed pointing out the blotch against negative reality. "That's like one living angry storm.. or would it be anti-living in the Negative Zone... oh you get what I mean. It definitely doesn't look happy."

She glances down at her side a moment, curling the fingers of one hand. These 'Duplidrones' can use their abilities, right. "I could try to blow them back, but I'm not sure what kind of range I've got here. It might be a risk letting them get close enough for me to try... or for it not to have an effect because of the whole universal reversal deal. I'd rather not have wind actually speed them up instead."

Vivian Vision has posed:
Vivian Vision blinks a few times. "I have repeatedly been warned against watching the Avatar movie," she notes. "I am surprised something that people would issue warnings about came from a director with a record that good." Fifty/fifty isn't exactly amazing but it's better than the success rate for most evil villain schemes. "My enhanced sight seems to suggest we are very much not alone."

There's a pause before she adds "Have you ever communicated with native inhabitants of this dimension? Is it even possible for us to establish mutual communication?" She frowns. "If that is the source of the problem then we might need more re-enforcements. If you do happen to have spare homonoids I could likely split my focus between multiple bodies... But even being generous with how widely I could spread my thoughts we'd still be outnumbered by such a vast amount that violence seems... futile.."

She glances to Audra and rolls her shoulders, like she's expecting to have to punch things in the near future. "Everything contracting does make logical sense given our universe is expanding despite how gravity should just pull everything together. Perhaps the unusual readings have been caused by a hostile alien species invading the negative zone? It seems unlikely that we'd recognise any entities which developed in such a different environment. So it seems reasonable to assume they came from elsewhere?"

Lunella Lafayette has posed:
    "... that is definitely a big honking swarm of bugs." Lunella states, reaching up and adjusting her goggles a moment on her synthetic self. "Uh... Devil Dinosaur? Feeling hungry?"

    Devil Dinosaur pauses, blue digital eyes travking the roaming swam of human monkeybugs, and he curls his tail protectively around Moon-Girl , his head lowering down slightly as he gives a low, gutteral growl.

    He steps forward, the little spines above his eyes and along his back raising up as aggression takes hold, and he of course issues the challenge to the oncoming swarm. This time it is not a happy, testing-things out roar.

    This was a fully digitalized challenege and warming. Devil Dinosaur wouldn't take kindly to anything coming to hurt his 'small people' on this trip.

    Lunella, equipment still in-hand, swings herself up to the dinosaur's abck.

    "I dunno, Vivian, those things don't look friendly, but I've missed social cues before..."

Reed Richards has posed:
"It's almost like some sort of gravitational collapse," Reed answers, brow furrowing, "But it doesn't make sense ... everything should be expanding, not retracting like this."

Vivian's question gives him pause for a moment and he opens his mouth to say 'yes' before he rises from his console, stepping towards the edge of the platform and staring out at the smudge that is now closer than ever. Closing in on them. An angry, chittering darkness.

"Annihilus ... "

He turns quickly, moving towards the console: "Pack it up, troops! We're leaving! Get your - "

But he's too late. A lancing beam of black-cored, scarlet-tinged energy fires from the depths of the swarm. In one strike it cuts through the shields surrounding the platform before lancing through the platform itself. The very nature of the Negative Zone pouring in on them, but the homologues survive - they were built for this.

"Stick together! I'm disengaging the quantum tunnel!"

But the bugs are upon them, seeking to tear limb from limb.

Susan Richards has posed:
A quick look is given to her daughter before Sue looks over the others. She has grievances about this, but it is the nature of this kind of science...

"Right." Sue says at the incoming, impending, threat. Sue steps forward and raises her hands of her 'Avatar' to create a bubble of protective force-field around her. She sends a throbbing, pulsing wave through the bubble then to expand it out right as the 'bugs' arrive!

"Get close to me and I'll bring you in the dome!" She shouts to thsoe who believe they might be vulnerable to the incoming attacks.

With her brow furrowing then, Sue focuses on the horde before them, and she starts sending waves of shield energy out from her bubble. Walls of near-invisible energy flash out rapidly growing in speed and strength as she gets more in-flow with her powers in this realm!

Ben Grimm has posed:
The Thing does what he does. Smash. Crash. Defend. And when Reed says to pack it up, he was the soldier taking the hits to protect the team. "You heard the man everyone! Let's go! Pack it up!" Ben grimaces as pieces of himself suffer a hit or two here and there. "That's gonna leave a mark! Johnny! Sue! Val! Let's go!"

Bugs. "Reed! I hate bugs!" His muscles come to bare as he swings and clobbers, and leaves an opening for the rest of team to get out. "Ah'll be last like always! Do it!"

Ben looks at Sue. Then Val. Then Sue. And nods. "Get them outta here. Valeria! Watch your mother! Reed!" Ben smashes a bug into the hemisphere as he says, "Let's go!"

Pointing at Lunella. The Vivian. And Audra. "We're getting outta here! I'll bring up the rear!"

Valeria Richards has posed:
When the forcefield goes down. Val had been part of the generation of it with her mother, so with it being a duplicate of her mom's power and not just tech Valeria is not used to having it wired into her brain. Not even a duplicate of her own.

She really misses the teeth buzzing feel right about now. The feedback making her scream and maybe because she's in a mechanical simulacrum it sounds kind of like modem chatter distortion.

There's a drop to her knees and maybe some creedence to why the adults in the family. She's twenty, nearly twenty one herself. Might prefer their daughter to not want to be doing all this dangerousn heroing thing.

Getting back up from her knees and pinching her nose bridge with a huge migraine. She looks around for her Father setting things up. Then looks around and then starts punching things into the computer console on her wrist. They might be leaving mentally but the last thing Val wants is for anything valuabkle to be left behind for Annihlus to run his bug eyes over and appropriate. "I'm going to leave a nasty suprise when we log out of these bodies." she states and starts rapidly typing and coding.

The blonde staying close to her mother, but that might just be as much the instinct of a hurt girl as much as Ben telling her to watch Sue.

Lunella Lafayette has posed:
    Lunella braces for impact and she brings her arms up. This was not equipped with her usual array of items, and there's only so much her untrained self can work with as she gives a soft 'ayeeee' sound.

    Devil Dinosaur, however, finds himself in a target rich environment. And who doesn't love that?

    There is the flash of digital dagger teeth, the sweep of a tail overhead as he works to trya nd dissuade the creatures from attacking his small people, stomping, twisting, biting, Lunella holding on and batting the other creatures away the best she can!

    Devil Dinosaur is helping with the rear guard as he snarls, crunches and whips around on the creatures, helping Grim with the crunching, stomping, whipping, if not the clobberin'!

Audra Meridian has posed:
"I'd rather it not annihil us, thanks," Audra quips back, in a so-so attempt at keeping things from moralely plummeting.

The negative universe beam breaks through the shields, but doing so delays the blast just long enough for her to bolt to one side of the platform and avoid where the beam slices down across it.

"I guess we've got no choice but to find out the old fashioned way -- try it for ourselves!" She clenches her hands into fists, and the doppleganger body even replicates the fwooshing hum of her gauntlets powering up. "I always did prefer field experimentation."

Sue starts putting up new barriers to hold the swarm back. Seems Audra isn't the only one that feels this is probably something they can't just fight into submission. But if they keep it at bay long enough for Reed to get them out of here...

"Keep them from swarming onto the platform." Audra raises her arms, letting off a stream of whipping air power from each. Like a pair of minature horizontal cyclones for lack of better explaination. They smash into the swarm, pushing back portions of and scattering some of the homnid bugs. Though they're quick to start swarming back together. "I wonder if they're individuals at all, or just one big hive mentality..." she muses even as she keeps popping off bursts of wind to shove alien bug things back off the platform.

"Okay big guy, you stonewall 'em!" Audra starts backing up, but she's still letting loose a shot here or there, so Ben doesn't get too much on top of him at once. She'll retreat once the kids and Sue are out safe first.

Vivian Vision has posed:
Assuming the homologues (or whatever new name Reed comes up with that won't make Valeria snigger) match the physical abilities of the 'pilot' Vivian should, in theory, be one of the safest of them all (she can after all phase through incoming danger!). So she takes up a position between the group and the incoming threat. Tactically given the number of hostiles it won't make much difference where she stands. But it can't hurt from a moral point of view, right?

Consulting the data she comes up with a firing solution. Waiting until she's within range before unleashing short, precise, bursts of energy. Blast after blast firing at wings and eyes.

She backs her way to the exit point. Arms swinging with inhuman power to swat the bugs as she goes. But like with her energy blasts it's less about destroying the insects and more about making space and warding them off.

Reed Richards has posed:
The swarm that closes on the broken platform divides in half as the explorers unleash their abilities on them, the chittering bug-men looping away even as dozens - hundreds - of them are torn to shreds. In the distance, at the beating heart of the swarm, floats a creature larger than the others. Insect-like, and wielding a short metallic haft that glows a menacing gold. When it speaks, its voice fills the heads of the explorers like the terrible drone of an infinite hive.

"Richardsssss! You trespassssss for the lassssst time! If Oblivion devoursssss hissss own sssson, then ssssso too ssssshall the Death That Walksssss annihilate your world!"

It's then that the great, green bug warlord begins to approach them. But he's only just begun to move when the quantum entanglement is undone, and the group find themselves none the worse for wear in Reed's eerily quiet laboratory. Slowly, Mister Fantastic rises to his feet and looks to Ben and then Sue.

"We've got a problem."