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 It's never just you, Antarctica. Tag: FF (feat. Doom)
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It had taken Reed a long time to finally be able to find what he had been looking for. From the first moments he decided to to rethink everything he'd been doing, and started taking careful readings from Earth itself, instead of focusing only beyond it, to when he started picking up the very specific pattern of energy release, and pinpointing its location to somewhere in a vast area in Antarctica, to deciding he had to take a closer look (which was the fastest part, taking only seconds), to ensuring funding, authorization, and building what needed built and leasing the rest, securing the Army plane and the ship, unloading the snow hovers, and setting on their way... and they still weren't done.

Because of the distortions caused by the geomagnetic field, and the aurora australis, their sensors could do very little to pinpoint the actual origins of the radiation they had been picking up. They would have no choice but to move around, trying to map it through triangulating it, clearing it up as they moved. It would be endlessly boring, slow moving, and, due to the environment, they would be confined to the cars most of the time. Communications to the outside would be limited by the noise, and there would be no internet. Reed repeated those facts, hammering it in, because he was bound by their agreement to let them know of it, but he still remembered what had happened the last time he invited the rest of them on a trip, and he knew how they felt obligated to accompanying him, and he wanted to make it absolutely, absolutely clear he could do it himself, never mind the fact that he could barely remember how to drive a car, much less a heavy vehicle over constant snow, or two. It wasn't like there was much for him to crash into out there anyway. The fact that they had all come was both a great relief, and deeply concerning.

The snowhovers Reed had designed worked much better than the usual snowcats the research stations used simply for the fact that they only touched the snow during full stops, meaning they had even lower impact on the environment. They were built to house four people comfortably, which meant that Ben could walk without hitting anything on one, as long as Reed stuck to the walls in the way only Reed could, and Johnny and Sue would have plenty of space on the other. Both of them had relatively comfortable folding beds, and Reed had made sure Ben's was reinforced, and large enough. One of them carried most of the equipment and material, while the other was the residential one, with the couch, and a small, but functional kitchen. Though both held emergency supplies, so they could survive long enough to reach help, or for help to reach them in case they lost one of the vehicles, they still usually parked and moved to cook, eat, and reassess, before stopping for the night, though day and night were not as simple that far south, where sunlight could be from 0 to 24 hours a day, depending on the day of the year and place, and the human concept of time zones didn't reach. It there was one thing to be said for it, water wasn't really a problem, though the need to conserve energy did mean the heating was controlled.

Several days passed with slow development, though they had to backtrack a few times as they realized they were being led farther away from their destination. It was hours of driving with little else for Reed to do but worry himself about the conversation he had had with Ben, the one about not chasing the wave when it had already done them so much damage the first time, stopping from time to time to get readings. Some yelling at Johnny not to fly too close to the snow, at least, because the melting and refreezing could damage its consistency and they were supposed to be reducing their footprints. They had thankfully managed to still reach it during the warmer period, while there was still natural light, but it was fading fast. He was starting to concern himself with not being able to find anything when they finally reached what should be, according to his calculations, the starting point.

They stopped the cars and left, Reed letting his feet grow larger to lower the pressure the caused against the snow, watching carefully at his sensors. There was an elevation ahead, but that seemed to be only it. "I'm going to check it out." He said into this comms. Unless they were standing close to each other, the dry, cold weather left them hoarse if they spoke too loud, especially when the winds picked up again. Moving up, he realized the elevation was actually very steep, the snow depositing itself over it to hide its true depth. "Careful, Ben." He warned. He was the most likely of all of them to sink into it, and pulling him back would be... well, Sue might actually just fish him out quite easily, but it would be better to save them all the trouble.

They walked several more meters, before Reed was satisfied they had reached the point of high energy of the complex system they had been calling the "cosmic wave". He stopped, and looked around, planning. "I think this it it. We can leave the cars where they are for now, it's not too far away, and we don't need them sinking into the snow. We can start bringing the heavy equipment over, leave it working overnight."

Little did he know the hill gave in only a few meters ahead, exposing the farming area and entrance to the complex cave system where a small tribe, carried over by the cosmic storm that struck them centuries ago, and thousands of kilometers away, had found a way to survive.


@BEN GRIMM, @JOHNNY STORM, @SUE STORM
I hope it works for everyone. Please, let me know of anything I can change, or add, or remove, to make it better for you guys!
Posted: Mar 25 2018, 09:08 PM
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"I thought you said we were going to the South Pole?!"

At first the prospect of an adventure had infused Johnny with excitement, a break from routine and something new to experience. Not that he ever thought that his daily life was boring, it was quite the opposite actually. Comparing his life now to the one he had twenty years ago, Johnny definitely preferred this one. There was much he had left behind in the past and he was more than content with leaving it there, which indicated something about his ability to commit, or rather inability. In that sense, Johnny's powers reflect him well, not only in regards to his temper but also the way he tended to burn out things quickly, be it relationships, responsibility or clothing.

He'd been thorough with packing his clothes, even though Reed had indicated that it was more a scientific excursion more than a vacation, there were more fancy shirts and shorts than proper equipment. Shorts because in his mind anything south meant a golden sun from a blue sky, a luxurious condo, palms and a full female volley ball team on the beach. South meant warmth and vacation. When they had landed though, Johnny had quickly discovered that South Pole wasn't what he'd thought it be. Luckily, it wasn't much of a problem and at least he'd packed his suit, the blue one with the F4 emblem in the center of the chest.

For the better part of the time though, when his help wasn't required during their little outings, he shuffled about in short and flip-flops, taking photos with a selfie-stick, making sure to include a thumbs up and his more fully-clad companions. Part of his attempts to pass time also meant lobbing snow balls at Ben at any given time and flying really high only to flame off and land in a pile of snow. Needless to say, his boredom was affecting all of them and not in a good way. It didn't help that the first few days there, the readings didn't give them much of anything to go on. It was the same today, Johnny didn't expect there to be much but when Reed indicated that there was something, he was quick to follow. "Finally!"

Johnny easily slipped out of the vehicle, for once dressed in his blue uniform. He peaked over Reed's shoulder with a snort. "This just looks like all the other forty-seven places we've visited," he commented and moved past the older man. "Snow, just lots of snow," he said and reached down, scooped up a handful of snow that he started to pressed into a round shape. Assuming the being careful part only applying to Ben, Johnny started to back up in the snow with a grin plastered onto his face and lifted an arm to throw. However, just as he did so, his foot suddenly gave away and the blonde sounded a yelp as he tumbled down the snowy hill and ended up head first in a crop-plot



@BEN GRIMM @SUE STORM @REED RICHARDS || it's excellent! Thanks for setting it up. <3
Posted: Mar 30 2018, 05:47 AM
The Invisible Woman
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Her excitement overshadowed any fear of boredom. They were in Antarctica, one of the final untouched frontiers of the world. Even before they time travelled, this had been a destination on Sue’s bucket list, either for research or for pleasure, she didn’t care. It was here in regions like this, these desolate Arctic wastelands, that the vestiges of the first traces of life ws found. The history that lurked beneath these icy sheets was incalculable, as was the knowledge to be gained from their hard kept secrets. When Reed had said that he’d found traces of the cosmic energy in the snow caps of the South Pole, she couldn’t help but think it made sense that their search for answers had lead them to a place that was almost as cold and lifeless as the depths of space that had first been the cause of their questions. She was even willing to stand being in such close quarters with Johnny, for the sake of the mission.

She had been slightly shocked when Johnny had volunteered to come along on the trip. Ben, she could kind of understand, if only because any glimmer of hope at th Of course she was going, she would never let Reed venture out on such a critical mission alone, no matter how much he tried to warn them of the “dangers” of boredom.Sue wasn’t worried; she was used to long, boring hours simply staring at a screen or a gently vibrating machine, the blank expanse of the banks of snow were no real challenge to her. But her brother was. It soon became clear that he’d had other expectations about the excitement of the trip. His boredom had reached such levels that she was happy whenever he “Flamed On!” and took to the skies and gave her a few minutes of uninterrupted solace with the quietly beeping machines.

And finally, they’d found something. The machines had beeped more frantically, the readings had jumped and they’d exited their steel prisons on foot, all but Johnny tightly wrapped against the freezing air. It was almost unconsciously that two small force fields appeared beneath her feet, effectively giving her “snowshoes.” They’d all been getting more and more used to their powers, not just Johnny, and incorporating them into their daily lives. She didn’t know if this was a good or bad thing, this familiarity, but it was Something, and she was going to roll with it as long as she could, wherever it may take her, especially now that they they were so close to answers. Still, it was with a slight, passing amazement, that she noted the ease with which she was keeping the force fields in existence, barely holding her attention while she gazed almost lovingly at the stark white landscape. Absolutely gorgeous.

“Preliminary readings are continuing to hold steady. There’s definitely something here, though it doesn’t seem to be coming through clearly. Do you think it’s buried beneath the ice? Do you think we’ll need the drill?”

With her eyes on her own set of sensors, Sue followed the trails toward the strengthening signal, her heart pounding at the prospect of finding something in this undiscovered world. Finding the same cosmic energies that had changed them on Earth was unthinkable, but it was one more lead than they’d had before. Perhaps they could gather enough raw data, information that they couldn’t glean from the wreckage of the Fantastic, to begin to understand the changes their bodies had undergone. Her eyes glued almost hungrily to the screens, she never saw her brothers arm raise, or the steps he took backwards. But she definitely heard the scream.

“Johnny?”

His eyes were torn from her screen at the noise, a quizzical look in her eye, as she saw the gaping hole in the earth and noted her brother’s absence. Her quick mind connected the dots instantly

“Johnny!!”

The sensitive, expensive piece of equipment slipped from her fingers with not a thought for it’s worth as she raced towards the gaping hole, almost sinking into the snow as her force field snowshoes faded in her haste. When she was still a good ways away, she dropped to her knees and began to crawl, frantically inching towards the edge of the cavern but still showing concern for safety, so she would not join her brother below. She quickly reached the edge of the crack, slowly pushing herself over while supporting herself carefully on the fragile ledge, looking down for some glimpse of her brother, her heart now pounding in her throat for an entirely different reason. Her eyes were still adjusting to the dimness of the world below but she could have sworn there was an intentional pattern to the ground below. And was that a flash of movement, just outside her range of vision?

“Johnny! Are you alright, are you hurt? Come on Johnny, Flame On!”

The fact that she consented to using his stupid "catchphrase" showed how worried she was about him. She couldn’t help but shout, even though their communicators meant they could hear each other perfectly. She wasn’t going to lose him too.

@REED RICHARDS @JOHNNY STORM @BEN GRIMM
Posted: Apr 8 2018, 12:35 AM
The Thing
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Ben had two goals on the trip. Help Reed and Sue all he could. This included keeping Johnny from wrecking anything and moving heavy equipment when they said to. He was good at the moving part, though Johnny was getting on his nerves. Snowball after snowball his his face, and any retaltion back ended in him on fire and flying away. All of this only seemed to annoy Sue, which wasn't helping anyone.

His other goal was to see a bunch of penguins. If they didn't stop to see some penguins he wouldn't forgive himself. They always fascinated him, and he wanted to see them in person. Sure a zoo would be cool, but he wanted the up close and personal experience. Not watching them in a rock cage crapping on everything. He wanted to real deal with ice, snow, and big clumps with eggs. Though it didn't seem like they'd get much time for adventure.

Luckily he found other ways to keep busy. Included several bottles of booze in his pack, and building snowmen whenever they stopped. It kept him busy, along with the helping and everything else. He appreciated the work that was put into the cars. Lots of space, sturdy, well built. They weren't the fastest, but it was working. He could do with it moving a little faster and getting home sooner, but they hadn't found much yet. Most were just stops or false readings. He was starting to think they wouldn't find anything right now.

It was getting dark by the time they finally found where they were going. After days of driving around snow and ice they came upon some scans. It was good, Reed seemed excited. As the snow hovers stopped Ben prepared to get out. He stopped though, as Reed said to be careful. How careful were they talking? How far was he going to go? Ben decided to just shake his head as he stepped out on to the snow. The snowhover rocked as he got out, but he paid no attention to it.

"That a comment about my weight string bean," Ben said with a grin as he came to stand beside Sue and Reed. He looked out at the snow. "For once I agree with Johnny. Looks like nothing but snow, same as every other stop. Yah sure we got it right this time?" As the two confirmed it Ben just nodded and crossed his bare arms.

As the cold didn't affect him much he opted to wear just the snow pants and some bigger boots. He was shirtless, the snow falling on him. His jacket sat in the car, didn't need it much unless they were going to be out a real long time. He figured they would be on the move again in no time. Just another false signal or whatever they were looking for not being here.

Ben looked up to the structure. "I ain't one ta question you two. But yah sure we're in the right place? Last I checked only people on the South Pole were researchers. I don't exactly think penguin made this." He looked back at the snowhover with the equipment. Seemed he could start unloading it as Reed instructed. He grabbed the device as instructed, lifting it on to his shoulder. He walked behind Reed and Sue, following them to where they were going. Best drop the equipment when he got there. Hopefully he didn't sink.

At the scream of Johnny he turned around, expecting a fake one and a snowball coming towards his face. Instead the little blonde boy was gone. Sue scrambled forward and Ben tossed the device down to try and help. He was careful where he stepped, trying not to fall through either. "Yah see him? Need me ta get some rope?"




@REED RICHARDS, @SUE STORM, and @JOHNNY STORM
Posted: Apr 8 2018, 03:59 AM
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While his erudition spread to involve the entirety of human knowledge (certain areas more than others, no doubt), Reed was not immune to the human need for cataloging, and, as such, he considered himself, first and foremost, a physicist. And while he wore the stereotype with quite a lot of comfort, anyone paying attention could tell he was not the passive, enclosured by books lecturer he sometimes pretended to be. Proof enough, he was, at that moment, standing in the punishing cold of Antarctica, bundled in warm clothes, collecting data himself, instead of waiting for it to be delivered to his own office.

He did have the usual physicist’s ability to be pleased with very little. That Ben could make jokes about his form was encouraging, and made him smile too. That the readings were coming from such a desolated, unremarkable place didn’t faze him, either; in fact, it was exactly what he expected. “Yes, but this snow was irradiated by something extraordinary. This is what we came to find.” He did warn them they would find it boring. He might not have been emphatic enough, because he couldn’t help but be excited about it. Studying the results of their readings might someday result in them finding something more robust than that, but an reasonably level, empty field was exactly what he had hoped for, which would be a place that he could easily set his instruments without worrying about the environment troubling them beyond the inevitable. “Where we are, we can never ignore the magnetic interference. It might be an error in our instruments only. Let’s start mapping, and get a clearer picture. I don’t want to be any more intrusive than we absolutely don’t have to.” Reed had always been environmentally conscious, but he had a bigger reason to be careful. “We aren’t doing anything I can’t fully justify to the Oversight Committee.” To Doom, who will find a way to make it sound like Reed was actually drilling for oil if it suits him.

Reed immediately distracted himself with making a loose reading of the place around them, before he could return to shelter, where he could take off his gloves without his hands freezing - quite literally - and simulate the best positions for their sensors, and deploy the drones. The weather was extreme for instruments and robots, too, and bringing them out for longer than they needed to be would mean a lot more maintenance than they might be able to afford. As such, he never saw it when Johnny disappeared behind him. He was pulled off his thoughts - his mind immediately working on the bits of information he received, even as he knew they were too little to mean something yet - and, finding Sue, started to run after where she ran to, while he worked on a theory of what had happened himself. Antarctica was a landmass, but it was covered with such a thick layer of ice in places, that sinking into it might be a risk if the structure gave in, but their sensors showed rock only a few feet below them. Those thoughts were immediately put aside when he saw the edge of the cave, and realized the size of what he had overlooked. While he wasn’t about to tell Sue to slow down, he approached more carefully than she did, and she reached the edge ahead of him. “NO!” He yelled on his own comm, and then he took running, the risks of not being heard overtaking the risks of the mouth of the cave falling in. “DO NOT ‘FLAME ON’!” He stood at the edge of the entrance himself. “JOHNNY, DO NOT ‘FLAME ON’!” Hoping he had been heard, he continued, lower this time, his throat giving up on the dry, cold air. “If any flammable material accumulated in there, you might cause an explosion.” That was the most immediate risk. Realizing the darkness below, he switched configurations on his own sensor, which he still held, turning on the flashlight on it.

He ran his light straight below them, to find Johnny’s moving form. Safe he was alive, and relatively well, he started to move the light around, watching the exposed soil, and the plants in it. It wasn’t just a pocket of tundra, those were crops. “No need, Ben.” He answered, but even his tone was distracted by what he saw. Intrigued, Reed shifted to send one leg over the border, letting it grow at it slid to the bottom by Johnny, his other one following, before he shrunk them back to normal size, careful not to disturb the struggling vegetation. He offered a hand to help Johnny up, but his sights were on what surrounded them, even the plants losing his interest to the complex maze of entrance caves that followed beyond them. He shone his light across, mapping them, their size, the light not reaching much more than rocks. But there were tiny spots of lights coming from it, that spoke of light sources.

Those lights stretched and turned the shadows of the shapes that approached.


@BEN GRIMM, @JOHNNY STORM, @SUE STORM
Posted: Apr 9 2018, 07:45 PM
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Each and every time their little entourage had come to a stop somewhere, Johnny had hoped that there would be something, anything really, that would differ from their current routine. He knew well enough that they didn't really need him but apart from having hoped for beaches, he also came because he wanted to, dreading to be the one left behind and being excluded even though he knew how to entertain himself. He reasoned the same way they went out on their excursions, that he wasn't there because he was useful, but it was for him the better case scenario. Being left at their shelter seemed like it would be the ultimate TKO of his sanity, he'd much feud verbally with Ben and try to make sense of the science-y chatter that happened between Reed and his sister.

The past months training and exercising control over his abilities was the only thing that didn't have Johnny automatically set himself on fire. Before, whenever something unexpected happened, he usually flamed on whether he wanted it or not, resulting in a lot of scorched furniture and embarrassing situations (for the other three more than him) due to clothes being reduced into pretty much rags or nothing. During the time of his fall, which lasted no more than a second or two, he had the chance to spot the ground which was enough for him to realize that there was no need for him to start flying anyway. There was surprise somewhere in his expression too, given that he wasn't falling down onto snow, but dirt. The sense of alarm was there too, despite knowing that he was way more durable than the average person.

He heard his sister shout but he was too busy to act on her advise or answer her. Instead, he felt something wet and cold trickle down along his face. "God you guys are loud," he grumbled as he pushed up on all fours, finding that his head had crashed straight into a pumpkin. "Oh gross..." He ran a hand along his face to wipe away the fruit juice and pieces of squishy pumpkin, the very same one he also used to get on his feet, with the help of Reed. A look of disgust crept into his features as he realize the extent of pumpkin that had embedded itself into his hair. Glancing up his hair suddenly caught on fire, burning remnants of fruit from out of his hair. "Much better--hey, there's some stairs here or something." How they'd missed the icy formations he didn't know but even so, at the edge of the crops there they were.

Johnny waved for Sue and Ben still up there while carefully navigating the crops. The last thing he wanted to set his foot into more of them, having his hair defiled was quite enough for one day, or several days even. It wasn't until then also, that Johnny noted the cave and the entrance for it. His eyes went wide and he pointed. "Wow, guys! Are you seeing this?!" The youngest of the four moved forward and came to a stop by the assumed entrance, spotting the lights from earlier. "Are you saying, this place still has those readings or whatever, that it's the same as us?" After a small pause, he voiced some assumptions.

"Please, I don't want to live in a cave. The dry air would ruin my hair."



@BEN GRIMM @SUE STORM @REED RICHARDS
Posted: Apr 10 2018, 12:11 PM
The Invisible Woman
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All thought of how annoying he’d been during this entire trip flew out of her mind. Her brother had just fallen through the ice and her heart was in her throat. What was down there? Just an open pocket of space beneath the Antarctic ice? Her shouts for him to flame on were silenced by Reed’s own, warning about the dangers of flammable material. Part of her was annoyed that he was still thinking so clearly about the mission; a man had just disappeared through a sinkhole but leave it to read to see business continuity as the most important issue now. She didn’t care, her brother could be hurt for Christ’s sake! But she silenced that frantic side of her and that spike of annoyance as she knew he was right; they didn’t know what was down there. Their readings let them know that there was the same cosmic energy Who knows what unstable gasses could have built up beneath the surface. This entire stretch of ground could be hollow beneath, just waiting to collapse. But she wasn’t just going to wait up here, even as Reed stretched himself down to check on Johnny. Or, more accurately, where he’d landed. Still, she wasn’t just going to leave this to him.

“Like he said, Ben, no need. We’re going down there.”

She felt certain that if polled, Reed would insist they stay up there, saying something like “you can’t put your eggs all in one basket” but far more technical and far less colorful. Logically, they needed to monitor their equipment up here, do an indepth analysis now that they had a direct line below ground, see what they could find with the stronger tech in the hovercars. Or at least get a lookout for more cracks in the ice. She didn’t care what had happened up here on the surface. That was her brother and she wasn’t going to leave him down there, no matter what. A bubble of a force field immediately surrounded her and Ben at her direction. It’s power was strong enough to keep the two of them, Ben’s weight notwithstanding, suspended in the middle of the sphere as she commanded it to carry them down, through the hole, floating down gently to the ground below. They had no sooner touched the ground then Sue dropped the shield, rushing over to where her brother stood, already making sarcastic quips in typical Johnny fashion.

“Are you okay? How many fingers am I holding up?”

She held up three fingers, her eyes tracking his own, as she grabbed his chin to check for injuries and he tried to pull away from her sisterly grasp. It took her a moment to ensure that he wasn’t in any immediate danger, that it was mostly his ego that was bruised, before she pulled back her hand and slapped him firmly on his upper arm, not intended to hurt but to reprimand for her fear.

“Don’t do that to me! We told you this wasn’t the place to play around Johnny!”

Her heart was still pounding in her throat but already her attention was being torn away, and the anger in her voice by the awe that was transforming over her face. There were tunnels branching off from this room but more interesting to the biologist were the smashed remains of what appeared to be neat rows of...crops. Of all things. Crops. Some smashed after Johnny’s fall but...crops. So much for being unintrusive. Sue’s eyes ran up and down the line of vegetables, her brain trying to come to terms with what she was telling it she was seeing, her beneath the Antarctic ice, when she dropped again to all fours, this time caught in the thrall of scientific discovery, the word eureka practically blooming in the back of her head. Her hand ran over a snake like object that ran throughout the soil, damp yet warm to the touch. Pipes of clay with little holes in them, slowly dripping small drops of water on to the crops. She rose up on her knees, a look of awed confusion clear on her face.

“That’s an irrigation system. There is an irrigation system underneath the Antarctic. Which means there is a source of potable water beneath the Antarctic.”

She could hardly believe the words she herself was saying. Her mind was running with the possibilities, trying to put together a sound argument from what little they knew. There were several hundred subglacial freshwater lakes in Antarctica but none of them should be warm. And neither the pipes nor the crops were natural...

“Which means someone is living underneath the Antarctic.”

Again, her words were incredulous and unbelievable. There were any number of undiscovered native tribes living deep within the hidden recesses of the Amazon or the Congo but Antartica? Who put this here? Where were they? She was both scared and excited that her question may soon be answered.

@JOHNNY STORM @REED RICHARDS @BEN GRIMM hope an irrigation system isn’t too sophisticated for our hidden villagers
Posted: Apr 11 2018, 10:14 PM
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They didn't need the rope, good. He wasn't about to go trudging through the snow to get it, what if he collapsed through some place else. He did however move closer to Reed and Sue, though kept his distance so the edge didn't give away with his weight. He looked down at Johnny. "Maybe yah should just reach down there and grab him." Instead Reed stretched in after him.

It seemed Johnny found something. Stairs? Why the hell was there stairs down below the snow? Or better yet a pumpkin, or whatever Sue was excited about. Didn't seem right, structures under the snow. How was a pumpkin still growing? Wouldn't it be dead by now? Ben didn't want to think about it, but all he knew was he wanted to jump. Sue seemed to agree. As he got closer he prepared to jump in.

Luckily he didn't have to. Sue lifted them both down and he smiled, "Thanks Susie." He said as he looked to Johnny. He couldn't help but laugh at him as he walked closer. "Yah got a little bit of pumpkin your boots." He laughed as past him, looking back to Reed and Sue. He was still confused as what the hell they stumbled upon.

"So what the hell are we lookin' at here? Yah think Penguins did this? Whatever this is looks like we found what we were looking for. He moved back over to the pumpkin scooping it up in his hands. [b]"Looks like a normal pumpkin ta me, don't think is all spaced up." He tossed it behind him, back on the ground.

"Yah really think someone is living down here? Sure it ain't penguins?" he followed the others, looking up the set of stairs. Or what could resemble stairs. They were sculpted out of the ground. "I say we head that way. I'm up for cave exploring." He moved up towards the entrance along with Johnny. "Matchstick, want ta give us some light in here?"

He didn't know what they would find in their, but it was better than watching the snow. At least this was something new. A cave was equally as dangerous for Ben to be in. Each step could cause the roof to collapse. But the fact there was steps, and crops with a watering source it seemed stable enough. Ben looked in to the cave, he could see a light flickering inside, fire of somekind. It quickly moved away, rushing deeper in to the cave as playful giggling could be heard.

"Please tell me you three all heard that too."




@SUE STORM, @REED RICHARDS, and @JOHNNY STORM


Posted: Apr 15 2018, 04:03 AM
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Sue was absolutely right that all four of them going inside the crater was a terrible idea, and that Reed would be one to point it out. Reed, however, was also smart enough to know there would be no keeping Sue away from her brother, so he didn't see the point in disobliging her in trying. They were just going to have to be very, very careful about it.

Reed had immediately distracted himself by analyzing the stairs Johnny had found, and structure of the crater, attempting to gather enough information he could coalesce into a stable theory. He knew enough about the group's dynamic to predict what would come after: Sue would fret over her brother for a while, to make sure he was okay, and then she'd be back to being focused enough so that they could get to work. He did not see the slap coming, and it managed to echo loudly in comparison to the dull, snow-quiet of the past few days. Reed looked back at them in alarm for a moment, a mention to point out the incongruity between her actions and her purpose dying as he realized that it would only delay their exploration. He simply shook his head, accepting the relationship between siblings was still a mystery to him.

He followed the trail of the irrigation system Sue found, examining it for himself. Ben brought up the penguins again - Reed really should have spent an extra day or two in shore an let Ben watch the little creatures, but he had been too concerned with dropping temperatures and the bases that would be their only source of help starting to empty for the fall and winter to want to risk it (and maybe he had been as excited to arrive at this spot as Ben had been about the penguins). "Any of these crops growing in this weather is something most would say is impossible." Though a little less impossible than land-locked penguins discovering agriculture.

One thing was clear. "Those rocks were shaped." They lacked edges, and weren't a natural formation. Whoever lived here, they had skills beyond survival in this environment. Reed could spend enough time studying just what they had found. Ben seemed less inclined. "Be careful." He warned. "Don't stay beyond comms range." If one of them needed help, they needed to be able to ask for it.

"Heard what?" Having moved to the other side of the field, Reed was far enough that no sound reached him.


@BEN GRIMM, @JOHNNY STORM, @SUE STORM
Posted: Apr 18 2018, 07:52 PM
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Johnny braced himself for the impact.

From the moment his sister set her feet on the ground again, it was a matter of seconds and he counted them backwards in his head from three, because really that was all Sue seemingly needed to get over to him. Anyone who didn't know Sue as he did, somtimes underestimated her, a privilege that he'd learned over the years not to do, from them simply being related. The fact that he was prone on getting himself into trouble and making somewhat poor life-choices could have something to do with it, but he wasn't entirely sure. He knew that look on her face though, stemmed from something a lot more fundamental originating from the fact that she'd been the one to raise him from a very early age.

He tried to lean away from her firm grip, but ended up just grimacing profoundly instead while voicing his complaints. "Hey, hey, careful with the face. I'm fine, seriously," he tried to assure her but she wasn't finished. "Five?" he answered to her question, a smile that soon grew into a grin, a tease that earned him a slap on the arm. He didn't agree with her but saying that out loud right now seemed like bad idea. In reply to Ben he jerked his foot forward, hoping that the piece of pumpkin would fly his way, but it only sailed past his teammate and landed in the dirt. Typical.

It didn't surprise him in the least that Sue and Reed was finding the least interesting thing about the place, it had him roll his eyes and gave Ben a pointed look, gesturing with a thumb towards his sister and Reed, underlying that fifty percent of the company were complete dorks. He moved closer to the entrance and at Ben's request he snapped his fingers and glanced upwards, his skull setting itself alight and giving them enough light, at least to begin with. "I heard it!" Johnny said with some level of excitement that stopped him from considering what it could be and what a proper action would be.

Well, for him, the proper action was stepping inside the cave and so he did, the flames on his head creating light figures together with the angles of the cave, them dancing along the arched walls on the sides. "Hellooooo," he called blithely, his voice echoing along the path that seemed to stretch further into the darkness. The light flickered again, like a switch being turned on and off, followed by another giggle. Johnny thought to have spotted a small but vague form and hurried his steps. "Hey! Wait up, I'm not gonna hurt you!" Moments after, he entered another part of the cave that was much bigger but shaped in a circle with a high rock in the middle. It was lighter in here somehow, a small and roughly shaped hole in the roof-like structure letting through some light.

From behind the rock in the middle, a youth peered at him and Ben, no older than four or five. It had Johnny blink, not because there was a child in the cave, but because his hair was on fire, like Johnny's own. "Look! It's a mini me! That's awesome. Hey buddy, how it's going? I love what you've done with your hair," he said with a wide smile and tapped his own skull with a finger to indicate what he'd just said.



@BEN GRIMM @SUE STORM @REED RICHARDS
Posted: Apr 22 2018, 04:14 PM
The Invisible Woman
37 years old
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“Johnny, Ben, don’t go too far!”

She shouted it over her shoulder as they stepped into the cave to explore, her attention still on the plot of land that they had fallen into. She let them go, as long as they didn’t stray too far; they were grown and they all needed more answers. She wished she’d had more of their equipment down here; all of these crops looked like regular produce, pumpkins, potatoes, even some rather large looking tomatoes (whose growing season differed from that of pumpkins and potatoes but that felt like the least interesting factoid right now). To find them growing beneath the surface of the Antarctic, there was no telling what properties they might have. She wouldn’t have believed it if she hadn’t seen it for herself. This system of caves must have some sort of greenhouse capabilities, keeping in what little heat was being circulated through the tunnels. She could feel it on her face as she pulled the fabric away from her mouth, pulling down her hood to get a better look at the vegetables.

A clatter of pebbles drew her attention upwards, to the gloom on the far side of the cave, and as if by fate itself, shapes began to come out of the gloom of the shadows, emerging and beginning to converge on the little plot of farmland. Sue quickly rose to her feet, eyes wide, her heart beginning to pound in fear once more.

“Reed? Can you please come here.”

It was less of a question and more of a gently stated demand, said as calmly as possible. She needed the backup of the smartest man in the world on what she was seeing. Because she couldn’t quite believe it herself. It was a small group of individuals, five of them. The spears they carried were primitive but looked deadly sharp. Still, that wasn’t what had Sue backing away in Reed’s general direction, her eyes wide and locked on their various appendages.

“Reed. Look at their limbs.”

One woman’s arms was dragging along the ground, the fingers clenched tight around a rather deadly looking rock, as if preparing to slingshot it forward. Another man seemed to be missing half his head, the cross section of his brain on full display for all to see, yet he seemed to have no loss of cognitive function, the spear he held leveled at them just as deadly. One had what she assumed at first was a club foot but upon closer inspection, was made entirely of rock. The woman standing next to him had an arm made of much the same material, which seemed similar to the walls of the cave itself. The one standing at Looking at them was almost like looking in a funhouse mirror, distorted images of her and her loved ones staring back at them. The man at their front had a neck that stretch two feet from his shoulders and a face that did not look particularly forgiving. Sue backed up until she bumped into Reed, standing next to him and holding up her own hands, just in case things got ugly.

“I think we found the source of those energy readings.” That was an understatement.

@REED RICHARDS @JOHNNY STORM @BEN GRIMM
Posted: May 4 2018, 11:29 AM
The Thing
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Johnny was quick by his side as Ben figured as much. He left Reed and Sue to study the pumpkins and water system. It was boring, but that only meant someone had been here. Why not find them and ask themselves. Johnny and him would do the exploring, they were good at that. Leave the science stuff to the scientists. "Yeah yeah. We won't get to far." He reassured both Reed and Sue as Johnny lit his head and they both entered the cave.

Ben was surprised by how tall everything was. He didn't need to duck, and there was some light besides Johnny. Made it easier to walk, not tripping over anything. The light flickered again as Ben followed behind Johnny. "What he said, we come don't want ta hurt nothing." He moved behind Johnny, trying to see what the source of the flashing light was. It looked like fire, wasn't electrical at least.

As they chased after the flame shape they came to another part of the cave. It wasn't about the same size, but had a big rock in the middle. Like Pride Rock it stood above the cave. Enough light coming in from the top that they didn't even really need Johnny anymore. Though that wasn't the most surprising part. It was the fact that there was a child in the cave, with a flaming head. Right a child, with fire powers. Did he hit his head? Was he going to wake up next to Reed still looking for dam signals. Or was this real. He wished he could pinch hismelf right now.

"Grest not there's two of yah." Ben folded his arms and studied the flaming boy. "So where's yeah parents? Or yah live here alone?" Probably didn't speak English. Go figure. Wonder what he spoke. He sure stared at them like he didn't understand. Ben tipped forward. He motioned to Johnny and himself.

"We," He pointed between them. "No hurt." He smashed his fist into his hand then wagged his finger no. Hopefully that would help. Looking to Johnny he shrugged, "Uh you stay here and watching the kid. I'll go get Reed and Sue." But as he turned around he came face to face with a young man. No older than Johnny, and had discouldered Rock patterns across his skin. Jutting out like Ben's did, making it loook like a rocky surface. It didn't cover his entire body though, just parts of it. Beside him was a woman, about the same age. Her hands were on fire, though stopped at a certain point. Beyond that we're burn marks, from where the fire had caused damage.

"Uh Johnny, we ain't alone. Maybe you should back away from the kid. I don't think they want us near him." Ben eyed them, standing a good couple heads taller than both. He watched as the guy swung, bringing his stone fists straight for Ben's face.




@JOHNNY STORM, @SUE STORM, and @REED RICHARDS

Posted: May 6 2018, 04:34 AM
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Reed was, if anything, thankful Ben and Johnny had decided to go and explore for themselves. A superficial report of its interior would be decently useful for when it came the time to start mapping it, but Reed wouldn't do that before he was done gathering some basic information from where they were. Plus, if forced to stay around with him and Sue, the two would only distract her with their complaining.

It was clear that what they needed, right now, was to start mapping and taking samples, but the equipment felt impossibly far away at this point, especially without Ben to help them load them out. Reed berated himself, not for the first time, for not taking his time upgrading all their materials, but the truth was, it would be a waste of time. He was dedicated to such a particular field that everything he created was highly specialized, mostly single-use, and lacked enough interest to justify it. It was better for them to be reliable, reusable, and adaptable.

He decided to at least have a couple of drones with them while they entered, so they could build a rough draft of its caves, and record any possible encounter for the future, and quickly, since Ben and Johnny might have found something already. Now that they knew the area was occupied, they should ask permission for it, after all, which was unlikely at this point. He pulled up the tablet, working more slowly than usual due to the extra bulk of the warmer gloves, but there was no difficulty in deploying the scouts. They were more independent than the rest, and could be voice-commanded.

He heard Sue's call when he was almost finished, and he turned towards her while he finished the program, lifting his eyes to see the group, himself needing a moment to grasp the full meaning of it all. He felt more than saw Sue step back to bump against him, and he wrapped the one arm around her, letting the tablet touch her side, letting her know it was there. "I called the scouts. Hide them, and make sure Ben and Johnny are safe, get them back here. I can handle this."

He stepped ahead of her, ready to make himself into a shield at any moment. His primary goal at this point was to keep Sue safe, and buy her time to get the rest of them out. After that, they could work on working out any misunderstandings their presence might have caused.

For a moment, he hoped the group would be unwilling to make the next step, allowing the standstill to go on for as long as it took, but even Reed could tell his movement caused the tension to mount harder. It was the woman with the elongated arm who spoke first, her voice sharp and low, the one standing ahead, the probably leader replying, and Reed immediately moved the tissues of his ears, improving his hearing enough to grasp what they were saying. It wasn't much to go on with, but Reed could swear it was some variation of German. He was also certain she was pointing out they might have been planning something, and the expression "only two".

"<We are like you.>" He spoke as few words as possible, as slowly as he could, hoping it would be enough to make himself understood. "<We want to help.>" As he said that, he raised his hand to stretch itself upwards, making it four times larger. The confusion would, at least, buy them some more time.


@BEN GRIMM, @JOHNNY STORM, @SUE STORM
Posted: May 8 2018, 01:22 PM
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Johnny didn't even bother calling back to Sue since Ben had already done it for them but he gave a half-hearted wave over his shoulder before the two of them proceeded towards Johnny hoped would be adventures. It was nice to finally be able to do something that wasn't sitting around and waiting for better times. This, right there, was why he'd come in the first place. He wasn't interested in numbers on a screen or beeping machines. He wanted to experience and he intended on doing just that.

With his hair and head on fire, their moving shadows danced on the walls, given them an idea of the construct of the cave. It was remarkably evenly shaped but everything about the texture look normal. At one point Johnny had stopped and touched the surface, which left a reddish sort of dust on his hands. He'd brushed it off against his suit before they had continued and encountered the kid.

"Why'd you say that? Two of me would be great!" The young boy seemed genuinely intrigued by Johnny's hair and dared to share a small smile. A hand reached midair towards Johnny, at least until Ben went ahead and put his giant fists together. The child's hand immediately drew back. The youngest member of the Fantastic Four shot his stone-like friend a pointed look. "Dude, that's not helpful." He gave a dismissive wave when Ben said he was going to get back to Sue and Reed, but they didn't get that far. He'd gotten down on one knee and was reaching his hand out to the kid, looking over his shoulder when the newcomers suddenly emerged from out of the shadows.

When the first fist swung, Johnny acted on impulse, flamed on rapidly and got in between the two. The punch was solid rock and hard enough to send him flying some distance. Ending in the sand he rolled some before he climbed back up hurridly but the the sudden scream of the woman with her hands on fire. She chattered in a manner that seemed upset, pointing at Johnny, who was seemingly unhurt by after his little escapade, being on fire that is. The woman flamed off for a few seconds and gestured vividly towards the scorch marks on her upper arms.

"Ben, wait!" he called in case Thing had thought to swing back. Johnny walked over to them again and even though the guy with stone hands still looked about ready to smack either of them, the woman had something different in her eyes. Desperation and hope. "Oh man, Ben, look at her. She can't turn it off. It's... it's hurting her." Johnny held out his hand, eyes asking permission and the woman then nodded, eyes brimming with tears. He took her hand and the heat there, the fire seemingly in her veins, he absorbed it from her but it was only a temporary relief as he could feel it all building back up again. "We gotta them them back to Reed and Sue, they'll know what to do."



@BEN GRIMM @SUE STORM @REED RICHARDS
Posted: May 12 2018, 12:20 PM
The Invisible Woman
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“No, I’m not leaving you. They’ve got each other. You can’t do everything by yourself, Reed.”

He may be Mister Fantastic, but he was still only human. She was not going to let him go through this alone. Even as she admonished him, she raised her eyes back to the hole in the ceiling and the instant the scouts flew in, they vanished; even invisible, Reed would be able to control their movements. Half her concentration on the drones, she ran her eyes over the people in front of them, taking a moment to catalogue all of their various enhancements. They were so familiar...and yet, so different.

“Reed,” she whispered, ”they only have partial transformations on their body.” And randomly placed. Even those with the same powers didn’t show the same expression of them. “If we’re looking at the same energy that we encountered, it’s possible they weren’t hit by a strong enough dosage. Perhaps it was diluted by the atmosphere? Or maybe, falling space debris that encountered a cosmic storm embedded itself into the landscape.” Her mind was rushing through the possibilities; the foremost hypothesis she could come up with one the fly was some form of radiation poisoning, her mind casting back to the effects of Chernobyl on the surrounding environment. Her eyes flashed back down to the agriculture plot at their feet; if something had seeped into the ground, it could’ve affected both the flora and fauna of the area. And unlike Chernobyl, there was nobody with the ability to clean it up, to make the space habitable again. Just a continuous poisoning throughout multiple generations.

Sue’s German was a bit rustier than Reed’s but she could get the gist of what he was saying. They had to let them know that they weren’t here to hurt them. As Reed made his own hand stretch, Sue raised her own arms in the universal symbol for surrender and let her hands go invisible. At the sight of their powers, their eyes widened and their whispering increased. If they were a primitive, undiscovered, indigenous society, they had a duty not to disturb their growth. They had an established culture, advanced beyond hunting and gathering into an agrarian society that should be left to its own devices; however, the sight of their abnormal body modifications was more than Sue could resist.

“Reed, we’re going to need to study them. If they only have minor changes to their DNA that resulted in only partial exhibitions of our powers, they may be the missing link between who we are and who we were. I need samples.”

She spoke quickly in an animated whisper under her breath, trying not to agitate their unwilling hosts anymore than was necessary. They needed to gain their trust; Sue was a stickler for informed consent.

@BEN GRIMM @REED RICHARDS @JOHNNY STORM
Posted: Jun 20 2018, 01:44 PM
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