10786/Surviving Infinity: The Minion of Thanos

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Surviving Infinity: The Minion of Thanos
Date of Scene: 19 January 2020
Location: Dominion Space, Planet ???
Synopsis: Chasing the villain Mikonia, Avengers and Asgardians team up, until the sudden and inevitable betrayal.
Cast of Characters: Wasp (van Dyne), Scarlet Witch, Spider-Woman (Drew), Loki, Sif, Stardust, Black Widow (Romanoff), Thanos
Tinyplot: Surviving Infinity

Wasp (van Dyne) has posed:
"Okay. Game faces," Janet tells her friends. Of the available Avengers, Wanda and Jessica were the ones on hand when Wanda found Mikonia's location. Though not a diviner, Wanda's talents for sorcerey and the mystic arts were second to none. In that respect, she could be as sneaky and duplicitous a witch as Jessica was a spy.

Of course, neither of them currently had an edge on Janet for intensity of feeling. It comes off the petite fashionista like a red heat of anger and impatient frustration, enough to set of the senses of anyone of empathic persuasion nearby.

She hefts a small duffel bag onto her shoulder and slings the crosstrap between the armored plates over her bodice. "Remember the game plan. We might have a matter of seconds," she warns them. "We go in soft unless we have to go in loud. The priority is extracting our team." She seems to be saying it as much to herself as to the others. "Wanda, you're our ride home. Don't get hurt. Jessica, you're looking after Wanda. I'll take lead and try to herd everyone towards us."

She gestures for Wanda to start the incantation and open the portal, and steels herself with a flexion of her slender jawline. Janet's eyes go hard and flinty-- positively murderous, but tempering it for a moment. She fiddles with the little pendant that nestles in the hollow of her throat and clenches her fingers around the strap.

She doesn't look back, but tilts her chin towards her shoulder. "Ready?"

Scarlet Witch has posed:
It's good Tony doesn't get billed for mystical services by the hour or else he might find an eye-watering invoice after all of this is over. The accounting team might have a problem parsing each line entry, since there is no good code for 'mystically adrift in the vastness of space' on par with searching for a specific grain of sand in an emission nebula.

The sorceress exudes an odd calm, once locked onto the signature captured by her spellwork. Preparations aren't only packing, but leaving explicit instructions with her twin and a crystal burning with a spark of magic for Doctor Strange if the worst should happen. A portal with a fixed location is almost an afternoon walk through the botanical gardens compared to prior days.

The first spell is the protective one, infusing her with some modicum of shielding against physical troubles as much as mental. The flickering beams take only a few moments to settle, anchored in place with a swift chant in one of the ancient tongues of the Far East.

With Janet practically ready to pounce through the wall, she carefully forms the sinuous motions of fingers and hands that overlap two places, boring them together through the growing swirl of sparks and pomegranate light blossoming in midair. "Agreed," she tells them as the gateway opens. "No matter what their condition is, let's focus on getting them home. Heal and stabilise here, if we can."

She is second to go, holding the pathway open between worlds, bridging it with a step after Janet. As soon as Jessica is through, the portal collapses on itself, winking out.

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
The action part. Jessica, for all her skill at espionage, has limited skills when it comes to magic and the intergalactic scene. So it's a relief to have something to do where she might actually be of help. "Get the boys, get out," she summarizes with a nod for Janet. "Yes ma'am."

Tugging on her fingerless gloves, she makes a final check of her equipment and weapons. It isn't much - leather uniform, a gun on her hip just in case - but it's all there. "Just potentially another planet a million lightyears away," she mutters under her breath as she gives the portal a long look. "No big. What's one more place. Totally definitely breathable atmosphere."

With that reassurance to herself, she follows Wanda through the portal.

Loki has posed:
"We've got //Avengers//," Loki observes dryly to Sif, as if unwanted company had shown up on the doorstep, and he's considering spraying them with a hose. Sif and Loki are cloaked in invisibility at the moment, behind one of the massive black metal archways, but the sense of magic and movement - that was familiar to Loki, and a quick identification wasn't difficult. The pair arrived recently, and have seen two patrols pass by so far.

The area appears to be a destroyed coliseum of black metal. Spires are tangled, reaching into the sky. A massive ship is overhead, close enough to heat the very ground of the planet and to cause ripples of electrical storms and fog to pulse overhead. The place is long since destroyed: there are no smoking buildings, no fire. It is just a husk of death, yet buildings still stand. It is within one of these buildings that the Avenger trio appeared, the heat of the day a vicious slap. The wind tears like swift, hot knives.

"Normally I'd follow them," Loki smirks aside to Sif. "You're going to prefer the direct approach, aren't you." Loki's very put upon. He's dressed sleekly in Asgardian leathers, but is not seeking to impress at the moment: Loki's in black, without any of his bright gold finery.

Sif has posed:
"I would rather Avengers than elsewise," replies the Princess of Vanaheim quietly to the mage. She stands in full battle regalia, from silvery armor to ruddy leathers beneath, and Brumeoalfold hangs in familiarity at her hip. Her nails make near-silent tic-tic-tics upon its pommel as she stands within the field of invisibility magic.

"We may meet in the middle as to approaching this place and its occupants. I presume the Avengers will recognize us both. Those patrols, however, will wish to remove us. I shall remove them first." And won't she, the Asgardian Goddess of War.

Stardust has posed:
Meanwhile, back in the empty Avengers Mansion, a phone rings a few times and goes to voicemail. Seconds later it rings again. And again. Finally the caller gives up and leaves a message. "Damn it, is there really nobody there? Pick up! This is Stardust from the Titans. I just caught that video of what happened at Tony's New Year Party. Guys? What the hell have you got yourselves into? That woman who attacked you looks like Khund, but uh... I dunno. Way she behaved, my first guess is a renegade. Except that teleportation tech? Kree, at a guess. And her armor is Dominion. And... couldn't be sure from the footage, but something odd with her jaw, some kind of implant, or... look, basically whatever you guys have got involved with is seriously not normal... too many factors, too messy. Political. As in SPACE politics. Basically... this is something big. Don't do anything rash. Seriously, just don't."

Wasp (van Dyne) has posed:
"Damnit!" Janet holds a hand up to her face, then touches something behind her ear. A half-mask of gold snaps into place around her head and a clear visor covers three-quarters of her face. It's enough for some relief from the whipping, stinging winds.

"This is going to make flying tough," she tells the other two women. "Short bursts are OK but I'm gonna get my wings torn off if I get any altitude." She squints at the sky and the surroundings, then gestures at Wanda. "Get out the ol' dowsing rod and tell us which way to go," Janet advises Wanda. "Unless you've got a better idea than the tallest structure around here," she adds, and cranes her neck to look around the area once more.

Scarlet Witch has posed:
The swirling sight of ruin compels Wanda to slip her back to the wall, not fully in contact. Amber eyes take in the devastation, panning too slowly to implicate any one feature for the subtle downturn of her mouth. She reaches back to pull the hood of her cloak over her hair, for what little that might hope to achieve other than shield her face from the unseen. "Oshtur's light, who did they bury? An entire civilisation?" she asks in the softest of tones, words sundered like ashes are on her lips. She shakes her head to Janet and Jessica, a muted note while flexing her fingers. "She was here in the last sixty minutes." Stilling but to move slowly, lines mar her features, a taut mask settling into place. Resolve hardens her shoulders, straightens the line of her back.

"The path is not clear. We start to move, it should become clearer." Taking in another breath, her gaze flicks back to Jessica, pupils dilated to the adrenaline kick accompanying something beyond discomfort. Whatever pricks her isn't touching her conscience, and managed accordingly. "We need cover. Any objections to dropping a shade over us? The energy here is unstable. Chaotic." Facts no one likes to connect with her, but still.

Black Widow (Romanoff) has posed:
A moment after their arrival, a figure in black jumps through the portal just before it has a chance to close. "Sorry I'm late." Natasha frowns as the biting winds and heat hit, having her already wanting to sweat but the winds drying the moisture as soon as it appears. It gives this weird hot/cold effect that is discomforting. "Hydra decided to raise one of their heads." Enough of an explanation for her teammates. They know she is often tied up with SHIELD duties at least.

This was a mission she wasn't going to miss, if she could help it. Thus her arrival at the last second.

"I'd be good with shade." And anything that might limit the chaos effecting their teammate.

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
Jessica winces slightly at the change in the temperature and the wind, though the destruction...doesn't seem to bother her as much. Mostly she's glad to find she can actually breathe. "Tallest building?" she quirks a brow at Janet. "I dunno, my money's on the Death Star over there, personally."

Even before Wanda mentions a shade, she's already looking for a place with more cover, scanning the destruction for paths she can climb along, not to mention anyone //else// using the cover. Like Natasha.

"Hey," she tips her chin up toward the other woman before looking back to Wanda. "If the energy's weird, how reliable is that shade going to be?" Just so she can be prepared.

Loki has posed:
"Enemy of my enemy, something like that?" Loki asks Sif with a smirk and shrug. "Go make friends, then; they probably like /you/. Pave the way for them being all right with my arrival. I'm going to head off that patrol over there, before it notices. I'll be right back." Loki flips a wink at Sif, and appears to dissolve, as his magical cloaking adjusts to be just for himself. He's slipping off; there /is/ a patrol to the south, that stopped to examine something. Sif is now visible, but Loki's fairly sure the goddess of war can handle herself just fine with some Avengers.

The patrol itself consists of 6 large, hulking humanoids; from a distance they seem robotic, or perhaps simply so heavily leaned into cybernetics that they may as well be.

Wasp (van Dyne) has posed:
Janet turns towards Natasha and flashes a tight grin at the agent. "Nice timing, Nats. Any later and you'd have needed to take the C train to get here," she jokes. Tension makes her voice tight-strung.

Janet looks at Wanda, then nods once. "Light cover. Try to keep us as hidden as possible," she warns her. "If you think it's gonna give off weird eldritch radio signals, drop it down to the bare minimum. The only advantage we have right now is surprise and I don't want to give it up."

Janet eyes her bag, then digs in it and comes up with a golden disc about the size of her palm. "I hate wearing this," she mutters, and puts it against her stenrum above the cups of her armored bodice. Straps wrap around her ribs and shoulders and a pair of segmented metal wings appear behind her back. "You have no idea how weird it feels to fly with these. I'm only good for short hops, but I can at least scan around without losing a wing. Takes forever to regenerate one of those."

Janet adjusts her duffel so it hangs at the small of her back, then leaps into the air and vanishes almost noiselessly. "<Start heading towards the spire; I'm going to see if we have any company,>" Janet advises them, her voice tinny over their personal transcievers. The Wasp gets just a few dozen yards off the ground and lingers below the stronger air currents, as high as she dares go overhead.

Sif has posed:
Sif smiles to herself as she watches her beau vanish entirely. The feeling of the invisiblity falling from around herself is like the shed of a cloak woven of air and leaves brief goosebumps in its wake. It isn't a large number of steps before the Aesir warrior steps out of the shadow of one of the destroyed pillars and into view of the grouping of Midgardians.

"Avengers," calls out Sif, mindful of the cutting hot wind and how it tosses about free strands of her dark hair slipped free of the tight braiding down her back. "Asgard still offers its assistance. I am here with Prince Loki. He has gone to pull attention from us in our search. Know that we have observed patrols many a time in this last hour." She continues walking until she's part of the group as a whole, towering by inches. "Our aid is offered without trick," the Vanir Princess is sure to add calmly.

Scarlet Witch has posed:
"I bring my own," Wanda murmurs in response to Jessica, raising a shoulder in a diluted tinge of amusement. "Something, likely that ship, deeply wounded this place. Its people, the energy. Look out for bodies." The faint sparks of scarlet roil around her fingertips, summoned from the blood, given shape and form with elegant precision considering the state of decay around her. It may be slower than she normally would manage, but the blessings of invisibility are conveyed without any obvious distortions to the Avengers affected. First Natasha, given a nod; then Janet, finally Jessica. The window of opportunity for the Asgardian war goddess to note their presence exists, even as the shroud drops to erase any sign of them.

And then it's a matter of talking to thin air, such as it is. Still, the sorceress gives a brief consideration. "Politics," she says. "Please, if you would answer? I have a lead."

She holds out her fingers, examining the span of them as the detritus of the planet continues to hammer on her senses. Abruptly, she stands on tiptoe to the point the only contact between her and the ground rests on the tips of her reinforced boots. The faintest red glow emanates from her pupils, and she orients dead northwest. "Land on me if you need. Patrols are one problem, but we have protection around our target. Look past the coliseum, in that standing cluster. One with the wrecked doorway that looks like the Flatiron Building."

Black Widow (Romanoff) has posed:
The nod from Jessica is seen and returned. A brief flash of a smile at the quip from Janet. Then there is another voice that isn't part of the team.

As the word Avengers is heard, despite the cutting wind, there is a snap of motion from Natasha. One instant she is crouching a bit at the edge of one of the burned out buildings, using it both for cover from being viewed and from the biting wind, the next she is standing with a Glock aimed at Sif. She immediately raises it when she recognizes who it is, keeping it at the ready but not in a threatening manner now.

"You I trust," Natasha says with a nod to the warrior. "Him? About as much as I would a cobra."

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
Jessica catches sight of Sif just as Wanda is bringing down the shade, though with Natasha's gun raised she keeps on looking. There's too much here that she doesn't know about to take her chances on magic she doesn't control or understand. "What horse does he have in this race anyhow?" she asks, a flicker of yellow-green energy between her fingers. Maybe she's a //little// nervous here.

"Wasp, keep your eyes open," she adds softly. "There's a patrol of six, plus one mystery trickster god in the field."

Loki has posed:
The 'Flatiron' that Wanda has drawn attention to is not close; there will be ten minutes of travel, if the group doesn't wander or stop for selfies: faster if they use other forms of transport. It is quite a bit shorter than New York's flatiron, and there are few windows, just empty alcoves in the upper tiers that go nowhere. There are, however, more of those metallic guardians in the alcoves, and a clump at the base of it.

Eerily, it is closer to the starship that hangs above, which means the heat is radiating out from it. The building itself is still, like the eye of a storm. It is, of course, the guarded place that the group seeks. Magical senses agree that it is a place of importance: many souls of high power plummeted from the top of that eerie shell.

To the south, the patrol stays put where it is; whether it has anything to do with an invisible Loki or not may be impossible to discern from a distance. But at the very least, Loki hasn't directed them over to the group. (Yet?)

Wasp (van Dyne) has posed:
"<You're a peach, Wanda. I'll talk to Sif.>" Janet lands on Wanda's shoulder to stabilize herself, then hops down off the Romani's shoulder and resumes her normal scale. It obligates her to look up at Sif, but Janet's angry determination lends her extra height.

"At this point, I'd accept a hand from Galactus," Janet observes dryly. A finger uplifts in front of her face, warningly. "But you keep that boytoy of yours on a leash. If he screws up my chances of getting my boyfriend back, I'll kill him."

There's no colorful metaphor or implication. Full stop.

Janet looks over her shoulder at the other women, then up at Sif and nods once, as if expressing gratitude for the help. "Glad you're here. C'mon. Wanda's got a bead on it. Let's get over there with a good pace."

She breaks into a steady, easy jog and heads towards the central building. With the superhuman constitutions of the Avengers with her, they could probably sprint full-bore and not face any significant exhaustion. Janet's easily the frailest among them, but fueled with determination that casts aside fatigue.

Sif has posed:
"I assure you, I mean you no harm." With that being said at first to Natasha, the Aesir Princess falls into brief travel. Then comes Janet's stoop and sudden appearance, enough to make Sif pause in mid-step. A lifted eyebrow is shot right back at the short fashionista.

"I would not say that the odds are in your favor with such a task, but again, I am here to assist in keeping other more important odds in your favor instead. Lead on." She nods as well to Jessica to include her as a matter of fellowship in this endeavor. As she walks, uninclined to banter, Sif tries very hard to ignore the prickling of her Asgardian senses.

Someone's still screaming on the very border of her hearing -- they died so recently -- and the tickling drag like nails on a chalkboard to run is like a midge about her head. She looks around, plush lips thin. So very many died here...

Scarlet Witch has posed:
"Perhaps, in retrospect, I might have said something." Not fueled by the incandescent rage, Wanda clings to equilibrium enforced by determination and grief sloshing around her ankles. "It reeks of despair here. Death. Expect nothing to be as it is, if we are dealing with someone masquerading in badges and names."

The hissing, seething wind deflects off the tight shell of protective magic wrapped around her, the invisibility deepening the effect. "Look to the left. She is somewhere within there. Distance recon is too likely to draw attention from the sentries there. I would not risk sending out one or two of you without cover. Without a rooftop access, flying us all in presents challenges. We fight our way down, or we become sacrificial lambs on an altar."

Her frown deepens slightly. "The spirits can be called to aid, but with the suffering here, they might be driven mad. It needs cleansing to let them rest."

Wasp (van Dyne) has posed:
"I don't give a shit. They're dead," Janet says, quite curtly. She's staring at the ediface, working the angles mentally. "Can't help the dead. They're not Steve, and they're not that bitch. So they aren't our priority. Focus," she orders them. "Jess, Nats, you see an approach that'd work for you two? Or do we need Wanda to bring the whole group in under cover?"

Black Widow (Romanoff) has posed:
As they travel, Natasha falls silent. She keeps an eye on the surroundings, examining the husks of buildings and the signs of what might have happened. Obviously a slaughter, only added to by the comment from Wanda. "Great. If they are mad, they can't be reasoned with to offer them release in exchange for assistance."

She looks toward the building that seems to be their target. "I see a couple of ways in. Jessica and I might be able to get inside and take out a few quietly. Or provide a distraction so you all can hit them from behind. If they have some form of communication, we will want to jam that so they don't call for reinforcements."

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
"I can take people up the side of the building," Jessica offers. "A couple at a time. Weight's less of an issue than...you know, logistics. If we want to go the rooftop access route. I could take Nat up and we can scout the way back down," she nods to the other spy.

Grimacing, she gives the group at the door another look. "Best to assume that if we hit them out here in the open, someone's going to hear about it. I don't have a clue how their bodies work, so I'd skip trying to ice, shock, or pheremone them. So unless Wanda's got a spell to Sleeping Beauty them, my money's on splitting the party. Nat and I can go in up top, see if we can find anything, and set off a distraction //away// from where you guys need to go for the boys. Hopefully. Ideally. If nothing goes horribly wrong."

Loki has posed:
If Loki is nearby, he isn't showing himself. That must mean he's not around; everything is exactly as it seems.

The patrol to the south is out of view; it may still be there. At the least, it isn't charging at the group. There is another patrol off in the distance past the Flatiron, but it is moving parallel. It's as good a time as any to make a move.

Wasp (van Dyne) has posed:
Janet processes everyone's suggestions without much expression. A few beats more pass, and she nods and turns back to the group. "Okay. Wanda, you take Sif on the long route under your lil' Harry Potter invisibility cloak spell. Up the side, and secure the top. That'll be our exfil point," she tells the women. "If it goes pear-shaped, we head upstairs and bug out over the rooftop. We'll rally over behind--" she looks behind them, and points at a sturdy looking rock formation. "There. Don't be late getting there," she says, grimly.

"Jess, you and Natasha take the short route. I think I see a maintenance hatch." She unzips her duffel bag and digs out a pair of fist-sized explosives. "Here. Spare party favors. Anything that looks like a power conduit, slap these on 'em. I've got two left for me." Janet zips her bag up again, cutting off a low buzzing noise coming from within. "I'm gonna find Bitchtits McGee. Wanda, you'll have to bring everyone in on my position once I've got eyes on her. We'll ambush her all at once, then blow this sucker and go home."

She offers squeezes of the hand to her teammates, and they break to put the complex plan into action.

For once, perhaps, everything goes... kind of swimmingly. Wanda's spell is sufficient to cover her and Sif on their approach to the upper level, and from there it's a savage few stealth attacks for Sif to ensure there's an escape route to the roof. Natasha and Jessica have little trouble slithering through the air ducts and hatches, and leave their little 'party favors' attached in inconspicuous but key junctions. A power conduit's a power conduit the galaxy over, it seems.

Which leaves Janet flitting through the airvents as fast as her little wings can take her. With the mapping software in their various personal communicators, it's not hard to form a hazy but useful idea of the architecture of the building they're in.

Buzzing along, Janet stops only to peek through the various grates and meshes until she hears a voice. A voice she's listened to repeatedly, on loop, for most of two weeks as she grates her teeth in helpless frustration.

Still inch-sized, Janet passes between narrow slits in the duct and emerges warily into the room Mikonia's occupying. "<Found her,>" Janet whispers, quite redundantly. "<Stand by on my location. I'm sweeping the room.>" She lifts one of Wanda's little signal trinkets in her hand, but doesn't break it quite yet. Not until she lays eyes on Mikonia personally.

Sif has posed:
"Your knowledge of the arcane is impressive," whispers Sif to Wanda at one point along their route -- truly, the Asgardian warrior was able to land her blows swiftly and surely with the falling star's wrath of her sword. Their way remains unimpeded. She can't hear Janet in the comms given she wears no such device, but her attention upon Wanda is keen and readied to move in the Witch's shadow.

"Loki, are there others of this Mikonia's ilk? What do your magics sense?" This is breathed even more softly yet, more an exhale than formed words. After all, Sif doesn't have the ability to speak into minds.

Scarlet Witch has posed:
"If you need me, call. Don't doubt, just do it."

On those parting words, the Scarlet Witch tangles the threads of her own making into a wider invisibility spell netted around Sif, giving the goddess a measure of protection that might feel like a soft breeze and moonlight settling down.

Wanda stalks lightly across the ground, mindful for tremors and broken paving. Movements blend into the swirling particles blown by the savage unceasing wind as the Flatiron rears ahead. She falls into silence, listening for the off beat in the symphony, the reckless surge of possibilities among the miserable spires. With her companion at her side, perhaps the Asgardian woman's confidence pulls at her own. "I am glad you could be here." A soft murmur is given in response. "If we meet trouble, stay close. They can be isolated to a battlefield where they cannot hurt the others as easily." Whatever that entails, she gestures up at the building. "Target acquired. She is higher up. Let's fly, if I have your permission?" It takes only a moment to give them wings of a sort, enveloped in a field of force that defies gravity.

Black Widow (Romanoff) has posed:
"On the way." Natasha heads that direction through the air ducts, continuing to keep out of sight. The less it is known of their group, the better their odds. It is always good to have at least one ace-in-the-hole. In this case, there are several.

She keeps track of the route both in her head as well as via the technology they have at their disposal. It never does to rely on the tech alone. When she gets within a floor of Janet's location, she pauses and waits.

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
"It's good to know that some things are the same even on the other side of the universe," Jessica murmurs with a wry look in Natasha's direction as they place the last of the charges. < Surprises are ready when you are, Wasp, > she adds over the comms as she makes her way toward Janet's position. She opens her mouth to caution against vengeance, but...Well. The glass walls on that house are a little thin, so she holds off.

Loki has posed:
Mikonia is not alone, in the technological room that the group has discovered her in. There is a large dome of tech in the center, and several terminals of alien computers. She is establishing communications; a hologram of a strange alien appears. It rasps at Mikonia in a language only a few of those present will be able to understand. It is hard to judge scale of a hologram, but it looks like a flying humanoid, with a massive hunchback and tiny, lowered head and front limbs, more crab-like than anything else. Mikonia kneels quickly, as do the two friends at the other consoles.

Outside, Sif spoke to Loki, and she gets an answer. "Some portals. I'm going to redirect those. It isn't interesting if she /escapes/." Loki 'appears' near Sif in a flutter of the illusion he's had with her invisibly for a time. He isn't actually there, though. "Although the smart move is to just get a thread on her to track, and get out of here. We're in Dominion space, I think. Don't quote me on that, I'm not the god of Navigation."

Wasp (van Dyne) has posed:
"<Stand by.>" Janet examines her options, then clutches the pendant in her hand more tightly. "<Wanda. Time for Plan C. Use my eyes. Everyone got a layout of the room?>" She waits for the others to indicate readiness, linked psychically through the Scarlet Witch's immense power. They can see what she sees, her estimations of distance and movement.

"<Sif, you take Fugly on the left. Natasha and Jess, take the other asshole. Wanda, it's Ghostbuster time; get the trap ready. I've got Mikonia.>"

"<One. Two.>"

"<Three!>" There's zero warning or telegraphing of the attack. Janet snaps the pendant in her hands to give Wanda a mystical signal to hone in on, clear as a ringing bell for the mystic Romani. Janet explodes into motion the second Sif, Jessica, and Natasha appear out of thin air. The timing couldn't be more perfect. Janet leads with a flying knee strike right for Mikonia's jaw, a blow delivered from literally thin air as she explodes to full size. The fashionista almost loses her mind for a moment but instead lashes out with a palm strike right for Minkonia's fancy-shmancy armor, and deliveres the most violent bioplasmic discharge the Wasp can strike with, right into the focusing equipment.

"Surprise, bitch!" Janet shrieks, and without missing a beat starts pummeling Mikonia with hands and feet while changing size and mass almost too rapidly for the eye to follow.

Scarlet Witch has posed:
Sif might as well be a feather, swept up the side of the building at a distance. The diagonal approach has its advantages in the raging wind and soaring heat, for despite the tightly layered veil of invisibility, one can never be too careful. A paranoid sorceress is a living sorceress. Besides, explaining to Thor how a Vanir princess ended up battered by unexpected defenses or a spiky bit of building really isn't on Wanda's to do list. The rapid ascent culminates in a brief landing atop the building, the focal point of sorrow and anguish in equal measure. They leaches into the bones, galvanizing resolve. For a brief moment before Janet invokes Go Time, the witch submerges herself in the sensations saturated into the very structure. A vein opened to Janet's own loss, the pang of friends taken from safety. So very familiar. So unforgiveable.

"Ready. Left target is yours. Write your epic worthy of the skalds," she warns the war goddess before they step sideways.

The world bends backwards to the flash of magic, and stalling is not in the cards. Almost immediately she drops into a defensive crouch, the spindling of energy something completely invisible. For as Sif noted, she is a sorceress. Another legacy is tapped as she stays low; one fueled by the hope, anger, a sense of injustice and protectiveness. One red as blood, hot as stars. She calls to reality in soundless intent, forming and shaping the threads in quick order. Or to the average bystander, aww, look! She's cowering!

Sif has posed:
"Thank you, Loki," breathes the Vanir Princess again as she glances over at him. She would direct sympathy to anyone attempting to use those portals now, but that would be a waste of time. The Trickster will be appropriately mercurial as to where they lead now. "I believe this will be quick." A nod to his warning at Dominion space -- the alien tech race is disturbingly cruel, to say the least.

Lifted to the air, Sif rides the Sorceress's power up to the roof of the building. She makes no sound and if nervous as to heights, shows none of it. Wanda's words are met with a sharp grin. "I predict you all shall merit a mention in the tales."

Needless to say, Fugly on the left doesn't stand much of a chance in defense. The trap is sprung with all the sheer viciousness that can be brought forth in defense of missing comrades. Sif, for one, is pleased to throw herself into the scrum with a war-cry long-practiced and enough to rattle some of the technology's panes. Surely Loki recognizes //THAT// sound: somebody done effed up now.

Brumeoalfold falls again with a wicked gleam and attempts to cleave into Fugly after Sif lands a crushing booted kick to the creature's torso. Her eyes have gone distant and chillingly cold, her lips pulled back into a rictus grimace of war.

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
As the portal opens for Jessica and Natasha, Jessica leaps through toward her designated target, swinging a glowing yellow-green fist at its jaw without holding back on her strength. It's a nice feeling, actually. Usually she has to be careful about that.

When she connects, there's an almost audible snap of bioelectric energy zapping into guard. If that's not enough to finish things, she ducks low to kick out and sweep the leg to bring it down as well.

She glances to Janet - maybe a warning about vengeance //would// have been a good idea - but her next priority is the communications. Whoever they were talking to should preferably not know //everything// about what's happening. Rather than draw any more attention with gunfire, she lunges forward with another glowing fist, directing another venom blast into the machinery.

Loki has posed:
The first strike on Mikonia from the Wasp was entirely unexpected by the bowing warlord; she was on a knee, hands to her sides, loose and outward, in a signal of giving full acceptance to the alien on the communicator. She is, therefore, very easy to jump. The knee is accurate and lands, though the jaw is augmented with something very hard and armored that may make a considerable dent in the knee that struck it. The discharge is absorbed by the energy field of her armor: similar to the energy field that had been seen when Mikonia attacked the New Years party and frustrated Captain Marvel. However, the onslaught of sudden attacks of a physical nature seem to be giving her the most trouble out of the array; she snarls and rolls back, trying to orient and block with her forearms.

The pair of Khund aliens that were with Mikonia are not slouches at fighting, but they did not have their weapons at the ready. Sif nearly cuts the alien on the left in half; his chest armor saves him, but he goes down, with an automatic leg sweep and a snarl. It is in Khund language, but Sif will be able to translate: "Fools, you'll kill us ALL!"

Jessica and Natasha both go for the Khund on the right, a burly, muscular female, a paragon of her race, no doubt, except for the horrifying mutations on her forearms that have created dark patches of twisted flesh. She was more alert than the other two. She was blocking Natasha's attack, and due to that, takes Jessica's leaping strike. It smashes hard into cybernetic skull, and she twists, managing to grab out at Natasha, though the Widow breaks four fingers, bearing her towards the floor, hard, enough to knock air out.

The machinery, blasted a little, does not seem to stop due to that; perhaps that console was not the off switch. The alien on the console from the communications chatters a little bit at the disruption, then begins to laugh and laugh: a cruel, rasping sharp sound, clicking and scraping. It adjusts, and fixes the language problem. The voice cuts through the room.

"Kssss, Mikonnnn'a, lower than slug, Order of Shit. You did not fail fully, it seemssssss...." There's a pause. "All will now surrender: give up the Stone, or all die slowly. It is the will of the Titan. So speaks the voice!"

The temperature in the room is becoming intense. The ship overhead is heating, baking the landscape with a mix of oppressive heat and pressure.

Wasp (van Dyne) has posed:
Janet probably cracked a patella. It's the sort of injury that is a showstopper for most folks. For Janet, it's barely a blip of pain. She's exhausted. Focused. Nearly out of her mind with worry and stress. Combine a lot of adrenaline, fear, and a bunch of pharmacological aid, and it's possible she could break the bones in her hand and not realize it.

But she does notice that the shielding blocks her bioplasma. Not the knee strike-- just the energy. Recognizing this, Janet disappears once more mid-blow, vanishing between Mikonia's furious parries and counter-strikes. Into the armor itself she goes, and wrecks merry havoc inside of it. Anything that looks like it channels power, holds a charge, even if it just maintains the A/C of Mikonia's armor-- Janet fires those bioplasma bursts, tosses her remaining 'party favor' charges, even just rips wires and cables out with her bare hands. At that scale, she's strong enough to lift a few hundred times her own weight. The damage is catastrophic and intensely violent.

And with a *whuff* of air, Janet returns to reality with one hand clamped onto Mikonia's armor at the base of the woman's neck. Being the slip she is, Janet could never hope to flip Mikonia without the aid of that rapid shift of mass and inertia her powers afford. And the techniques of judo drilled into her by Steve's diligent instruction over the last year.

"Wanda! Catch!" Janet howls, and flings Mikonia ass over teakettle at the 'cowering' redhead.

The redhead who rises with spinnerets of red energy on her fingers. A Cat's Cradle of fragmented reality, glittering, sharp-edged, multifacted. Ready. Waiting for just this cue, the 'trap' they'd planned.

Wanda reaches out, and a vortex of light draws Mikonia into a singularity with a pinprick of light at the very point. Trapped in the fragmented reality between Wanda's fingers.

Trapped in a fragment of the Mirror Dimension.

Sif has posed:
The Khund's leg sweep has Sif fighting to keep her balance. Her counter-twisting has the enchanted sword lifting up out of its deep burying into the alien's torso and she knows it to be a near-lethal blow by itself. Dancing away, she takes a moment to shudder as cool-headed logic tamps down on berserker fury. There is a hard line to battle-blood fury and no Asgardian chooses to cross it without thinking first. The alien's warning has her scowling.

She shoots a quick look at the others: shattering screens, an enemy being flung, magic enacted to trap that dratted Mikonia in someplace relatively inescapable -- excellent.

The slavering spitting snarl that comes from the console, however, has the fine hair on her neck rising. Sif ignores the spatter of alien blood up the side of her face while she stares at it, temporarily chilled. "Loki! Loki, flee!" she hisses sharply to empty air before turning back to hack at the wounded Khundian who tries swatting at her again.

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
Jessica grimaces at the cackling alien, drawing the gun at her hip and looking to Janet. "Do we want to wait for the monologue, or should I just go good old human old school on it?"

Hey, at least she stopped and asked. This is progress. Although asking Janet in her current state might not count as stopping and asking.

What gives her pause, though, is Sif's reaction. If one Asgardian is advising another one to flee...

Loki has posed:
The alien from the communicator is doing his race's version of a slow clap. It's creepy from the crab-claw limbs. The oppressive air in the room is not just heat, it's stifling. Breathing is not going to be an option for much longer, and it's corroding at all of the power use. It is like standing in a room of draining //death//. Everything is slowing down. Janet and Wanda safely capture Mikonia, but the main threat in the room is not her, never was her.

The Prince of Asgard reappears, on the opposite side of the console from all of the fighting. In an arc of electricity and magic, his scepter appears as well: long and golden, with the twisted metal-worked top, and the glowing blue gem, fluttering with a strange intellect, as if there were a brilliant mind inside. Loki's scepter, it is said, houses an incredible stone of power.

Loki flips the staff to rest across both of his palms, his head down and aside, though his eyes are not truly lowered. "I am Prince Loki of Asgard. I have what you seek," Loki's voice says, cool and smooth, his charisma and silver tongue clear. "But it seems a shame to settle for one," Loki coaxes. "When with this one, I can gather another. I seek only to exult in the Titan's /vision/, to draw upon his bounty, given generously to those who serve with power and ambition."

"The Titan is unconvinced of your resolve," says the voice.

Loki pivots, flips the staff around, with a quick little motion of inhuman speed. "You serve //me// now, not my //brother//," Loki snarls, bringing the staff head around to Sif's chest in a flash. He was suddenly there, his illusion cloaking the movement until he suddenly struck, his dark emerald eyes a dance of loathing as the blue gem flares. "Take these others captive; I will convert them later if they're worthy," he commands Sif. "We will crusade in his name, if the Titan allows us leave," Loki bows to the center console slightly, though his eyes don't lower.

Wasp (van Dyne) has posed:
"What the fuck." The fashionista's mouth forms the worlds almost soundlessly. Janet's hands brace on one thigh, her gimpy leg kicked out to one side. Loki-- there's no love lost for Loki. His actions validate a raft of petty grievances she's lodged against him following Sif's introduction.

But Sif? Sif's inexplicably on Janet's good side. Maybe it's the power of female harmony. Maybe it's Janet's instincts, keying to the true nobility of spirit that Sif exudes with every breath.

If anything, though, Loki's very right about one thing: Mikonia's not the most dangerous creature in the room. And at the moment, Loki seems more interested in kowtowing and grandstanding for the Dominion than he does paying attention to a wounded, weak little human female clad in black and gold armor.

Janet vanishes. Poof. Fft. Smaller than a housefly.

Faster than one, faster than the most unimaginably quick insect ever could be, and guided by a human brain. A human brain capable of making deliberate decisions, far-thinking, that combination of a predator's alertness and a prey animal's awareness.

Without a pun being intended, Janet makes a beeline for Loki's right ear and flies into his ear canal. The metal guards on her wings prickle and scrape like so many insect legs and she announces herself by knocking on Loki's eardrum with two hard punches, and at that scale they're nearly enough to rupture even an Asgardian's eardrum.

"LOKI!" Janet bellows-- and her voice is made huge, louder than anyone can *concieve* of a voice being. "THIS IS YOUR CONSCIENCE TALKING, LOKI. YOU'VE BEEN A BAD, BAD BOY!"

And then, warmth. Rapidly becoming heat as bioplasma trickles from Janet's fingertips, palm splayed against Loki's eardrum.. "LET HER GO, OR I GET TO PLAY AMATEUR BRAIN SURGEON."

Sif has posed:
"Loki...?" breathes the Vanir Princess, her brows drawn tightly. His words bite at her reserve until it's clear she didn't expect this sudden change in alliance at all.

Horror floods through Sif in the few hanging seconds before the scepter appears to touch at her chest. She inhales brokenly, her face free of any feigned emotion -- it's transparent that she had NO idea this was coming.

It's in the words yet again, however, that filter through her frozen form and shocked state of mind: serve //whom?// She never served Thor. Oh...oh god.

Sif pulls from centuries of courtly airs to wipe her features devoid of expression. "Of course, my lord." Her voice is forced iron-flat. Brumeoalfold is lifted towards the remaining women because...where's Janet? "Come with me. You are in our hands now," she tells the Witch, Widow, and Spider all.

Our hands.

With a swift swipe of the enchanted sword, Sif attempts to open a rent in reality out of the sweltering confines of this horrid place.

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
Jessica Drew has been a spy just about her entire life. Raised. Trained. Agent. Double agent. If she was the sort of person who was inclined to trust any sort of god to give a damn, Loki might be an appropriate one. Unfortunately (or is it fortunately?), she's not. But she does know a thing or two about playing to an audience.

So she's going to give him //a// chance.

Raising a hand toward Loki, she fires off a venom blast that's not even intended to reach the Asgardian. The point is instead to create a flash of light, to confuse whatever visual sensors the console is using, while her other hand proceeds to empty her clip into the machinery. Old school human destruction it is.

Only then does she look to the others, arching a brow. "We done here? Because it's getting warm in here and I don't want to find out first-hand what it was like on Alderaan."

Loki has posed:
Something is very weird in Loki's eardrum: meaning, it isn't solid, it's like Janet can punch right through it. There's no physical thing there.


"The adults are talking, little human. Contain her, threaten the others if you have to," Loki commands Sif sharply.

He (or his illusion?) looks at Jessica, seeming to decide that she's on his side. He issues an order at her, too, as if confident she'll switch to his side: "Extract information and kill the failure." Mikonia.

Loki returns his gaze to the console, silver tongue regained. "As I was saying----" in time for Jessica to attack it. Loki blinks a little at her owlishly. "Spider-Woman Smash," Loki snorts. It's not really a compliment; Loki does not care for the Hulk.

Thanos has posed:
Sif's attempt to rend reality does work, but it doesn't last. The oppressive aura squeezes it shut like a rapidly healing scar. The very air seems to scream in pain. All of it is screaming, rendering Wanda silent, unmoving, only staring.

The console, struck full of bullets, begins to have a lot of trouble; it seems to work! It probably missed what Jessica said.

Then.... an empty zone of black air in the center of the communications display seems to flux. Something is there. It is not disconnected.

"You will seek and deliver three. If you fail .... all which you have touched will be a dust too fine to be resurrected a second time. Asgardian."

The Mad Titan has spoken. His voice is a tangible thing in the room. A voice of someone that murdered the planet below.

The communication ends as the tech fails, and the suppression field lifts, but the heat does not. It continues to get worse. The group needs to get out of there, or they will be boiled alive.

When Sif tries slash again to open a gate, it works. She has permission.

Loki has posed:
Loki abruptly reappears, on the opposite end of the room, weaves his hands and throws open a gateway. It looks very much like the ones he used in New York, years ago. "You people deserve to die here," he says, frustrated and disgusted. Then, he looks at Sif, who is not a 'you people': "Come, slaves," Loki imperiously says, disappearing into the void of his portal...