4700/At a Crossroads

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At a Crossroads
Date of Scene: 12 January 2021
Location: Times Square
Synopsis: Crisis Averted. Well okay maybe. Jury is out on this dimension. SHIELD Strike Team Averted?
Cast of Characters: Talia Wagner, Terry O'Neil, Andi Benton

Talia Wagner has posed:
Times Square is sometimes referred to as 'The Crossroads of the World'. Probably mostly by self important Americans but still it totally is called that.

In a moment though it will be a very literally Crossroad of Worlds though.

An ominous looking purple energy storm, though one that is most definitely a flat disc and not a storm cloud forms above the Naked Cowboy. The center glows a bright yellow as the rend in reality roils around it. This causes a good deal of scrambling and running from the Naked Cowboy as he was busking for tourists. Of course when he looks up at what all the commotion is about he also runs. Joining a knockoff Iron Man street performer and more than a slew of tourists.

Out of the portal nearly head first careens a young woman, not even remotely human looking, covered in a velvety blue fur wearing brown leathery looking strategic armor. The crash looks particularly unpleasant and hard, though she does manage to twist despite being very out of sorts and take it to the back of her shoulder and roll with the impact instead of braining herself.

The creature or .. maybe person.. from the incursion skids off the sidewalk and bounces in front of an oncoming cab who slams on his breaks with a squeal of tires.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Katz's Delicatessen. The Pastrami to die for- eveybody knew this, as well as the fact that you /had/ to get a knish on the way out. Vorpal had come to get some special things for his boyfriend, who was currently trying to grow back his arm and whom he thought could use a nice treat. The night was nice enough that he wanted to walk over to Central Park before heading over to the Tower... granted, it was an hour's walk, but after being locked up in a lab for two days, he wanted the air.

He could only imagine how poor Gar must feel. And will feel, considering what they were going to do soon...

He's in Times Square now. The storm is the first thing that attracts Vorpal's attention. People don't notice him because of the glamour he has cast over him, making him look like a very non-descript human. Which is also the reason why he tries VERY HARD to ignore the sole bootleg Vorpal costumer in Times Square. "... my tail doesn't look like /that/" he mutters to himself, as he glances up and notices something... falling.

The screech of tires, the smell of rubber. "Oh no-" he runs to the focus of the commotion, holding on to Gar's baggie. It sounded like the car stopped just in time, but he has to get closer to see...

Andi Benton has posed:
//We want chocolate, Andi.//
<<Well, there isn't any down there. Just some hot dog vendors. Guess you have to wait.>>
//Then we want chocolate-covered hot dogs.//
<<...I'll find some chocolate-covered bacon later on, now pay attention. We're patrolling, remember? Food later.>>
//Doing nothing makes us hungry.//

Andi ignores Mania, the 'pair' perched atop a Times Square building, looking for trouble. That whole conversation? Internal thought. When you talk to yourself, are you really crazy when the one who answers is actually an alien entity bonded to you? There's weirder stuff out there.

Like purple portals or whatever that is just ahead. "What the fuck?" That, said aloud. Mania's head tilts toward one side as they witness someone simply dropping out of the opening and sliding into the path of oncoming traffic. That's not good. The..creature stands up, seeing someone else arriving to help.

//Now we can do something, and we will be more hungry.//

Mania moves to begin scaling the wall down toward street level.

Talia Wagner has posed:
The cab did screech to a halt in time, well almost in time. Talia rolled when she heard the oncoming squealing of tires and blearily saw the cab coming right at her like that.

Once the immediate threat of being turned intro fuzzy road pizza is past she decides to just lay there in front of the cab and think about everything that hurts right now. "That.. was the worst portal yet Blink." she rasps eyes closed. Then her yellow eyes open wide, look no pupil or iris, just all yellow. "Ohgod." she rolls halfway up to all fours and then leans and is violently ill into a sewer drain. Despite the violence it doesn't look like terribly much though. The blue chick is left panting when it is done after a few digusting moments. "Yeah.. definitely the worst trip in a long time."

She manages to get stagger up to her feet and looks around at the commotion of time square and a lot of people staring from a distance for the moment, including soem cops not sure what to do yet. There is a lot of furitive looks as the Blue Fuzzy One turns around looking. "Guys?"

Vorpal doesn't really stand out after all right now under his glamour, just another human staring for now.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Vorpal frowns. This new arrival looks very disoriented, and it doesn't help that she is very much non-human looking and rather intimidating. Some people might get nervous.

It was, perhaps, time for a non-human looking person to appear. Vorpal does have a little more public presence now, so he takes a deep breath and steps forward, dismissing his glamour.

Kitty, indeed, Mania, is here. Noticing the cops, Vorpal holds up his T-Comm so they can see it, just in case they don't recognize it, and walks slowly towards Talia.

"Hello?" he says casually, as one would upon encountering a fellow birdwatcher in the middle of the scenic trail. He thumbs at the sewer drain and says, "... let me guess. You ate ate Louie's. First rule of Ny'awk: Don't eat at Louie's. You okay?"

He's trying to be nonchalant. Hopefully this doesn't turn into 'Aaaaah she's trying to eat my face!'

Andi Benton has posed:
Mania pauses on the way down. Head tilts in the direction of Terry, who becomes Vorpal, who becomes...

<<No! This could be one of those..things from another world! That was a portal! Stay focused!>>

Thankfully, Mania doesn't act on any urges along the lines of violating Vorpal's personal space. Yet. Instead, the black-clad thing with the white spider motif and the spikes lands within feet of Vorpal and Talia, eyes narrowing. "You are not one of the ones from the crazy planet, come to destroy our world, are you? If you are, we are warning you that we will not allow you to," she says to Talia directly, and the voice is, again, a mix of young woman and something decidedly alien. The eyes narrow, awaiting a response, and a line begins to form where the mouth ought to be, a line that was not previously there.

Talia Wagner has posed:
Nocturne seems very aware of the cops over yonder trying to decide what to do about her, she just doesn't seem to really care, yet, since they seem indecisive about it for now. She pops her neck probably getting a crick in it hitting the cement just moments ago and rolls her right shoulder. "Where in the ...." is muttered as she turns.

Right into line of sight with Vorpal who is a walking talking feline joking about eating Louie's and adopting a New York Accent and all. The blue chick blinks a couple of times "Morph?" she asks Vorpal unsure. I mean the jokes are just as bad as the ones Morph always goes on with after all.

Mania arriving though gets a very different response. Her whole form tenses, shifts, and she falls back two steps putting some distance between her and Vorpal now. A very defensive stance, definitely knows how to fight though her hands aren't up in the classic I am going to punch you stance though, more the blast you stance for those with a keen eye for these things. "Symbiote Morph!" though to be honest she still isn't sure if the cartoon cat looking guy is Morph.

Though after half a beat "You.. are the punkest Venom I have ever seen... also a girl..."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
DARK ELMYRA! Vorpal takes a few steps back, and then hods his hands out. "Mania, whoa, whoa... easy on the threats right now. We don't know exactly who this lady is and what she is doing..." the feline says, and then faces Talia, clearing his throat.

"I apologize for my colleague. She gets a little zealous in the... you know, carrying out of justice. She's learning from Spider-Man, but she gets very /enthusiastic/." He shoots Mania a nervous glance, and then looks back at Talia. He hasn't run into Kurt Wagner, so her looks are completely unfamiliar to him.

"That being said... /are/ you, by any chance, someone's doppelganger irrupting into our universe with the nefarious purpose of murdering and supplanting your counterpart? No lies-" he says, wagging an accusatory finger, "For I happen to be a personal friend of Wonder Woman... who punched me but /nevermind that/-- and she can detect lies. So you had better be outright honest with us."

Andi Benton has posed:
Mania crosses her arms, standing up more fully after having leaned closer to inspect Talia, peering with those slanted, all-white eyes. "We are not Venom. We are Mania." Which Vorpal has just said as well, launching into as quick an explanation as he can give for what Talia has seen looming.

She's not entirely wrong, though. It's a symbiote, and there are certain traits and qualities to her that are very similar too Venom. The line disappears, though. No sharp teeth, no strange alien tongue.

//She fears us, Andi.//
<<But do we want her to? What if she's not a bad person?>>
//We will see one way or another.//

"His name is not Morph. His name is Kitty," Mania says, flashing Vorpal a look of challenge, as if daring him to contradict it. "There are copies of people in this world, trying to destroy it. Some have already killed their counterparts. You do not want to lie right now, whoever you are." The spikes along the arms flex, akin to a porcupine.

The eyes, just for a moment, do inch upward as a show of pleasure. "And yes, we are very punky."

Talia Wagner has posed:
The blue young woman nods slowly to both of you, her eyes still flicking around like she is looking for someone. Or someones. "Right. Well it is a good look Mania, better than Venoms." clocking details. She has gotten pretty stoic about parsing weirdness. "I've never met a Kitty here before." she notes helpfully.

She looks past them both towards the cops on the radios then back to the two maybe heroes chatting her up. "Okay so this is a Wonder Woman not a Power Princess sort of place. Got a Justice League then not an Avengers?" starting to play a bit of twenty questions. "Would you say this whole invasion of evil dopplegangers is putting your whole world at risk and in crisis?" man she wishes Blink was here.

Also a lot of asking not answering questions. She blinks. "Oh.. uh right. No I am not an evil doppleganger." she isn't sure they have some sort of Truth Sense so she specifically avoids saying she isn't a doppleganger, because as far as she knows there could be a Talia here. Also she avoids saying she isn't her to destroy their world, because for all she knows that is the mission right. "My name is Talia, though go ahead and call me TJ." to the very alert, yeah she is being evasive.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Vorpal raises his eyebrows and clears his throat. "I'm actually Vorpall. /The/ Cheshire Cat.." and he frowns for a moment, holding up his hands, "Okay, we have the Avengers /and/ the Justice League, and... are you by any chance... here, let me ask you this question, and maybe we should sort of get off the road or go somewhere with less ... attention. Give me one sec..."

He waves, "Hey guys. Vorpall of the Titans here! Nothing to worry about. Just a potentially disoriented person, we'll be going somewhere else soon..."

He turns back to Talia. "So I know this girl... America Chavez. Ever heard of her?" he asks, "Because it sounds like you kind of have a 'gig' like hers, hospcotching around different universes and somehow made wrong turn at Albuquerque."

Andi Benton has posed:
Mania does not noticeably look at any of the people gathered and gawking at the weird trio. Mania can still see all around, so there is no need to turn. She ends up not needing to answer the question of the super groups thanks to Vorpal doing it first, so she remains playing the more stern role, watching TJ like a hawk.

Then, of course, Vorpal names the Titans as well. "There is danger, yes," Mania confirms. There, however, is no sign of recognition to the name Vorpal gives, and a shake of the head follows.

"Rooftop, there." A clawed finger points in that direction, a few buildings down, and she immediately casts out a webline to head up to it, away from the street, away from the people.

Talia Wagner has posed:
TJ tilts her head "The Cheshire Cat.. okay well I have never heard of the Cheshire Cat either or Vorpal. Though it is a much better codename than Kitty." she grins at poor Vorpal at that point.

Then she whistles "A Justice League and an Avengers... dang.. Squadron Supreme?" she ventures unsure. "Titans.. okay that I've seen mostly with Leagues.. it is like the sidekick program right?" well she isn't wrong. "Never met an America Chavez though...." which for those following home makes sense, Chavez comes from somewhere outside Space and Time.

"Okay so danger yes..." looking after Mania "She is ..very punky and very decisive." glances at Vorpal "Hope you can climb." she notes and then takes off at a run and leaps wall running and then climbing just as well as any Spider type.

Which causes a lot of stress for the two black SUVs with SHIELD Agents that are just now pulling up but haven't announced themselves yet.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"We are /not/ sidekicks!" Vorpal says with some indignation. "I mean. That's how it started. But we're our own now..."

And people are leaving. He reaches for the communicator he got from Nadia and radios in. "Vorpal of the TItans here. About to Rabbit Hole. Checking out a potential situation. Not certain yet."

He doesn't know, of course, that they're already there. He steps through the Rabbit Hole and appears off the other side, on the rooftop signaled by Mania. "You have /never/ heard of the Cheshire Cat? What kind of blighted childhood did you /have/, girl? I'm literally literarily famous. Millions of children know me... and have the totally wrong impression of what I look like because of a stupid cartoon."

He glances from Mania to Talia, "So... what's your story? Why don't you start at the beginning, continue into the middle and when you reach the end, stop."

Andi Benton has posed:
"And pinky swear that you will tell the truth," Mania interjects, leaning closer to hold out that claw-tipped hand, curling the fingers so the pinky is easiest to take.

She was already waiting, unless Vorpal beat them there with the portal. "You look nothing like the Cheshire Cat, either," he's told after he boasts of how well-known he is, or should be.

Mania butts in. "We hope this will not be a long story. We are still hungry." It's more that alien voice than both, contrasted by Andi's coming out more next as she says, "That was out loud." The retort? "We know."

Talia Wagner has posed:
TJ clears the roof and lands with the grace of an acrobat, already recovering from the rough landing and rougher ride to get to this messed up mesh of a dimension. "Pinky what now?" she looks at Mania unsure then cautiously extends a pinky crooked towards Mania. "I uh pinky swear I'm not an evil doppleganger?" cautious not evasive about this part. Cautious cause she has seen what Symbiote's can do.

When Vorpal gets up there she looks at him. "Of course I know Alice and Wonderland. I just haven't heard of any heroes going by Vorpal or the Cheshite Cat is all. Big difference."

Then back to Mania "I am not for eating... uh either of you." she notes firmly, a step further back from Mania. "And... the story is complicated and usually I am not the explainer.." she leans to look down at Time Square from the vantage. "Usually Blink or Mimic does that... but I don't see the rest of my team anywhere." squints. "I do see Government Suits though.. classic Black SUV too. Almost never changes..." she leans back from the edge in case there are snipers honestly. "So. Mm." thoughtful look at you both. "I may need to talk to someone more... senior about this but long story short my .. team's job is to fix broken timelines. If we don't your dimension is probably going to cease to exist and destabilize more dimensions. The problem is without Blink I have no idea what is wrong here."

"Oh hey, do you have X-men here?" she cocks her head. Always easier to explain to X-men.

Okay not always. Sometimes.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"That's 'cause there's only /one/ Cheshire Cat. One. You wouldn't have run into any other mes, because I'm unique." Isn't that special. He does frown, though, and looks over the edge of the roof to where TJ gestures. "... so I see." He taps the comm, "Guys, really. I've got this. I'll tell Captain Marvel if we need ya." click. "Cheeky bastards. Just because they can track my rabbit holes..." he grumbles. He was going to have to have some serious words with someone once the Doppelganger crisis was over. He did not wish to be tracked.

"Unstable timelines? That's... comforting. I didn't notice anything when I first came here..." okay, that was twenty five years ago, and since incarnating himself here he didn't have that nice pan-dimensional viewpoint he had enjoyed anymore. "But yes. We /do/ have X-men here. We saved the world together about three months ago... we can contact them. We could take you to the Titan Tower and we can send out a message to the Xers. It'll probably take them until morning to reply, depending on how crazy things are..."

He looks over at Mania, "What do you think, Mania? Do you know any X-ers yourself you have on speed-dial that could be faster? Or does Spidey?"

Andi Benton has posed:
Open skepticism registers in the 'expression' of the symbiote's strange face. With no visible mouth to give away a frown, it comes down to the shape and angle of the eyes along with body language, and none of it is in a great spot right now after doing the thing with the pinky fingers.

"We are not going to eat you," they answer impatiently, and while Vorpal deals with fielding the story from TJ, Mania approaches the edge of the roof and looks down toward the vehicles and people below. She's seen the black SUVs as well. Body language? Not reassured. Eyes? Doubtful. Uncomfortable.

"We do not know any X-Men, and we do not like being anywhere near SHIELD." Already, Mania is edging toward the other side of the roof. Seems there is something that has them wanting to become scarce. "You should take her to your Titans and go from there. We cannot help." Definitely uncomfortable.

Talia Wagner has posed:
"Oh are they SHIELD and you have a Captain Marvel.. well that is good?" she asks glancing at the edge of the roof. Maybe good. Maybe bad. She has no idea what the mission is yet after all.

"I'd.. much rather talk to the X-men than SHIELD about this problem first. They likely stand the best chance at finding Blink and the others." and no she does not elaborate why.

She glances at Mania though "Well hey thanks for not eating me and it was great meeting you Mania. I definitely like the look." a gesture with her three fingered hand at the spiky lady.

Then she looks to Vorpal "Well.. you being unique in the dimensions may have something to do with it. Could also just be you never happened on the worlds I have been too." reserving judgement on pandimensional theories. Not her specialty and he would be the first she has ever run into.

"I guess Titans tower works and we can call the X-men then..." she would rather catch a ride to Westchester but she isn't about to tell this guy where the X-men live. "Do you have a catmobile or are those portals usable by more than one person?" yeah she didn't miss that.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"How about you run along, Mania? I can see the boys in black aren't your favorites..." he snaps his fingers, and suddenly another Mania appears next to her. "Let me give you... a convenient distraction."

The illusion leaps off the roof and heads south, leaping in streaks of darkness past people, and then up buildings, and then out into the distance. "The invisibility should last long enough for you to go north for a couple of blocks. Depends on how long I can hold my focus." What invisibility? The one that is covering Mania right now.

"The Rabbit Holes can be used by anyone. You just have to remember that I am the Vorpal express, and you must follow the rules of the Cheshire train. But first..."

He taps his comm, again. "Guys, we are heading out. Nothing to be here. The Titans have this under control... and stop tracking me..." and the streak that makes him rather mean at times with certain organizations emerges "... because I am going to go see my boyfriend after this, and you do /not/ want to know what I use those Rabbit Holes for. Vorpal out."

Taps the T-Comm. "Donna, we need clearing for a guest... meet me out on front."

He pauses, and then he looks up at Talia. "... that was me messing with them. I /don't/ use them like that. But I bet you they'll think twice."

He opens a Rabbit Hole that leads to the parking lot of the Tower, and gestures. "Apres vous!"

Andi Benton has posed:
In the short time Vorpal had seen Mania, he likely had not witnessed her actually spooked. There is even a hint of motion around the shoulders and arms, as if the symbiote itself is roiling with the desire to simply not be here.

"Thank you and we think you look interesting too," Mania rushes to say, adding, "Good luck finding who you're looking for."

With her about to go, the second version of her that appears has her staring openly after the fake as it intentionally allows itself to be seen. The real Mania's head swivels back and forth a couple times between the fake and Vorpal, then TJ, then back again, until the second Mania is out of sight.

Taking steps backwards, she seems to disappear from their view, even if she can still see herself. Silently, Mania just..goes. The appetite is still there, but it is secondary to the mass confusion now present in the mind of both the symbiote and its host.

<<I..I have no idea. I don't know what any of that was about.>>
<<We are! Stop yelling in my head! Do you still want the chocolate bacon or not??>>
//Oh. OH. Yes. Yes we do. We will feel better after that.//

Mania may not have been able to help TJ get anywhere with what she's looking for, but there's no question all three of them had an experience that probably won't be forgotten any time soon.

Talia Wagner has posed:
"Nice trick." she notes about the illusions, committing the tricks to memory. She hates it when she can't trust her eyes around people though. Absolutely hates it.

She watches Mania take off then looks back to Vorpal "Honestly I am not sure if I would lean into the Rabbit Hole thing or not if I looked like you do and had a boyfriend. I mean yeah I get you are messing with them but ..wow they are likely to believe you."

She has to get some digs in. Habit.

She looks towards the portal and through it now squinting at the parking lot beyond. "Well okay." she step step leaps through the portal hoping this isn't a trap.

On the bright side she has so much experience going through rough portals. She might be able to handle Raven's even.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"I want them to believe me," Vorpal smirks, "If they're going to spy on me, I want them to yearn for brain bleach for every waking moment. And then I probably should talk to Waspette about fine-tuning her gadgets so I don't set off their Doppelganger alert every time I open a hole. And... I'm dating Beast Boy. Nobody would believe me who knew him... he's adorable and vanilla as hell!" he grins.

"So, we'll meet Troia, who has the god-given power of identifying lies. She'll ask you if you are one of the Doppelgangers from the universe where ZZGU took over Earth, and if you pass, we'll contact the X-Men. The bright side about this is that you'll be considered cleared from being said Doppelgangers. Now..." the Cheshire gestures, walking towards the tower, "Follow me."