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TIME: 6:15 PM
PLACE: CENTRAL PARK
"...Look, just don't embarrass me and if you have questions please hold them for after the movie." Peter chastised Vision, his charge for the day. Somehow "Showing Vision human stuff" had become delegated to Peter Parker, placing him on babysitting duty as he saw it. The next time that Tony said he had a "Special mission" for Peter he'd ask what it was specifically before showing up. He definitely didn't mind Vis, but it always felt like, despite Vision having the form of a somewhat well aged adult, there was still that three year old in there...albeit with more knowledge and power than most could understand.
Eventually there came to be a mutual understanding that it all could have been more fun. Despite Vision technically being Peter's responsibility he...kind of, sort of, came to an agreement that they could part ways for now and considered it would be a-OK for Vision to wander the city alone and unsupervised.
"Why would the, I assume, blasts of energy in space have sound?" Peter mocked in a pseudo-Vision voice, the best he could muster. Despite his choice to disapprove of his AI appointed younger brother, he had to admit he didn't have any better or bigger plans. Here he was, quite literally sat upon the awning of a monument scrolling down twitter on his phone. Then he saw an update, that Johnny Storm in costume had been taking selfies with a group of Victoria's Secret models out on the town not far from here before disappearing to meet up with a "mystery woman" in his car.
Peter figured he'd share the wealth and tamper with Johnny's day similarly to how his was dismayed...maybe worse, since Vision was all but the most innocent and kind of androids you could meet while Peter fully intended a little bit of malcontent and teasing in part to the friend he wouldn't easily admit was his friend.
A swing of the web and he was overlooking the pair. He performed a front flip and dived down, shot a web upward and hung upside down to lower right in front of the pair "Good evening! Blink twice if you're being held hostage and need rescuing! Wait a sec...aren't you --" Peter teased and attempted to identify the female party just as a blinding rainbow colored light encircled the trio and pulled them skyward in an instant.
TIME: 7:14 PM, ONE MINUTE BEFORE INCIDENT.
PLACE: SURTUR'S MONUMENT, MUSPELHEIM.
Peter collided with the ground roughly, pain rattled through his body from the speed of the unfamiliar form of travel. He sat up slowly with the feeling of heat abounds. The surroundings being the pair he had interrupted and would now be able to better identify the woman in Johnny's company as the Scarlet Witch herself, Wanda Maximoff. There was no time to dwell on that surprise as Peter's eyes searched the hellish landscape around them.
He pulled himself up to his feet and took in the red horizon, the crimson hue of everything was alarming to say the least. If this was still Earth then they were in deep...deep trouble. "Oh, oh god." he managed to say. Breathable air, so it wasn't the worst of the worst options. There were rolling hills of fire and brimstone, releasing a scent not too pleasant. They stood in a pit, a valley between several flowing hills that resembled emptiness.
"Torch! What did you do!?" Peter asked, turning toward Johnny with his hands raised, figuring that the presence of mostly fire meant it had to be Johnny's schtick at work. Peter then turned his attention to Wanda. "Hey, nice to meet you again with less punchy punchy going on," he diverted then looked back to Johnny. "Put it back!" he requested with a wild gesture to the surroundings. Peter then looked below to see they were standing in oddly shaped holes, almost carved like letter-like symbols into the ground.
Another flash of light touched down a few feet away from them, a similar coloration of rainbow to it and from it a dark skinned man with a piercingly golden eyes and panic about his form burst forth. He walked toward the trio quickly and stopped within speaking distance.
"...Uh, hi?" Peter timidly said to the man.
"Three of you? Why are there -- never it mind, it is of no concern, which of you is the possessor of great power...?" Heimdall asked, his eyes roamed over the three before landing on Wanda. "Ah, correct, you." he placed both hands upon his blade and set it into the ground below him. "Your strength is required, Midgardian. Odinson's predisposition to protect your realm makes means for exchange, one that you must answer in kind. I suppose these are your...as they are called, sidekicks? If they assist you in the mission I must task you with, then so be it."
His hands folded behind his back as he stood upright. "This is Muspelheim, former realm of the savage king Surtur, the fortold bringer of Ragnarok and destroyer of Asgard. His fall has left a power vacuum answered by his only known successor, the only child to survive and pass his trials: Sindr. She threatens the balance of the universe through genocidal ambitions and thirst for supremacy...I believe your power will be enough to vanquish her and her ilk. SHe has risen to the throne and used the power to reclaim rule of this realm. Goblins, Dragons, and Demons alike have answered her call to order and prepare for galaxy wide conquest. Midgard is within their sights along this campaign, I am withheld from answering this call myself on this front as I must parlay with the other realms and amass an army for the oncoming battle...however, if you can dethrone Sindr we could stave off this battle or, better, vanquish it at its source." Heimdall explained with a short nod.
"I've seen your power, I've witnessed your struggles and the adversity you've faced, your uncertainty and the challenges to your heroism. In that, I pray to Odin that you will receive this endeavor and serve as an Avenger for our cause."
Sometimes the best cover was the one offered in plain sight so when Wanda had contacted him, he understood her need to be discreet and to stay out of trouble. The way he viewed it, the last place that anyone would look for Wanda Maximoff was close to Johnny Storm, magnet for attention. After he'd finished posing and signing cleavages with the permanent marker he always had in his car for such occasions, he'd went to pick Wanda up and to his relief, his plan had worked and the former Avenger was dismissed in social media as another woman, even if so a mysterious one.
Johnny had driven them away from the city core, a handful of blocks before parking. No sooner than he'd turned the key and let the engine die, the peace was interrupted but a familiar, masked face. That didn't, however, mean it was welcome. The Human Torch barely managed resisted a roll of his eyes. "Don't you have something better to do?" he questioned with a scowl, calling out through the rolled down window on his side, one hand still resting comfortably on the steering wheel. "Since you're here, I'm guessing no. We're kinda--"
"I...no...I mean...well..." Peter was uncertain of how exactly to directly respond to Wanda's question. In a way, it was a trap.
Peter held his hands up in surrender at the sudden appearance of what could only be described as the highest budget Broadway costume he had ever seen. Being referred to as a sidekick earned a pair of narrowed lenses from Peter. However, he could not deny that he might have been right about Wanda's power. Had he signed up for this experience, especially the heat of the place? No. However, there was a great responsibility needed to be taken and they did have great power in their arsenal. "Sorta, just with less chances of rolling for initiative giving us a fair shake." Peter quipped only to be answered in kind by a raised hand from Heimdall demanding his silence. "Kay, rude?"
Peter turned his attention to Johnny's car. He evaluated it a few times, turned his head while observing it. "Don't have a cow, it's kind of salvageable. The essential parts are damaged by still intact, which isn't too bad, as long as it -- " Peter started right before an aforementioned dragon appeared with the threat of making a snack out of the likely far from tasty remnants of Johnny's car. "EXCUSE ME?!" Peter shouted with a flail of his hands a few reflexed steps back from the sight. His spider-sense had been going berserk since they got to this place, for good reason as it turned out.
Johnny's attempt of an attack attained the dragon's attention. A simple, quick inhale, fed the dragon Johnny's flame in an instant. The meal causing it to grow in size as it accumulated the fire Johnny encased himself with and extinguished it.
"Well this is just great." Peter sighed as the dragon gave a strong flap of its wings, departing into the distance it had arrived from, it dipped below into a chasm several miles away.
"Droney, give us a look see." Peter instructed and it sent the drone above to reveal that in the large expanse of terrain, there were a good deal of challenges ahead. A river of open lava to be traversed by an old bridge, a watch post in it's way. Further ahead a derelict city, further could not be explored within Droney's range, but the visual of the depths the dragon ventured toward had been visible.
Droney returned with the information and Peter covered his face as he took it all in. "Could we please get an adult?" Peter requested of Heimdall.
Following Heimdall's departure, silence set in and Peter looked from Wanda to Johnny. "Okay, so I guess we should do the whole save the world thing, right?" Peter asked with a look about, trying to read the room. "What Droney got is that we have a bit of an obstacle on the other side of that hill over there, giant river of volcanic lava running off all the way around as far as is visual. There's an old stone bridge, looks pretty wide so I think we can traverse it...what's the worst that could happen?" Peter encouraged with a shrug. The rest of the way looked like a cake walk. A little hot but civil.
Heimdall received her threat with a relaxed demeanor. The activation of her magic, hands swirling with coursing energy. Rather than receive a threat, he felt encouraged by the display and it's ability for success.
"I think what I know, and what I know is that you possess powers beyond gods themselves." he expressed with a short nod.
Heimdall's golden eyes were hid by glaring eyelids toward Johnny. "I believe the young lady has plenty ensured. " Heimdall misunderstood what Johnny referred to and believed it to, instead, be a casting of doubt on Wanda rather than a need for an information exchange in regard to Johnny's car.
Heimdall's composure changed when the dragon made it's appearance and, literally, reared its head. A hand rose before his blade was shouldered. "Do not tempt the beast with combat! Conserve your strength, the journey ahead will be treacherous." As Heimdall could foresee, this was the most peaceful place he could summon them to apart from the chaos of the realm that would progressively worsen as they grew closer to their goal.
As the dragon fled, Heimdall lowered his blade and returned to a neutral stance. "I must part, but I trust you with this task. Venture forth and --" Heimdall heard Peter's question lastly and paused momentarily. "No." he stated and the Bifrost consumed him, leading him to instantaneously travel into the skies above. Silence fell after his departure.
The relief he felt for Wanda being alright, was short-lived as he had begun to discover what was left of his car. Peter's evaluation following his small outburst had Johnny shoot the vigilante a look that was the equivalent of 'are you out of your goddamn mind'. Nothing about his car seemed salvageable in that moment, not to mention the problem of getting a truck to tow it from... well, wherever they were. It sure wasn't Kansas.
Johnny could only shake his head, lips pressed together in a defiant, thine line when Wanda voiced her opinion in regards to his car. He was about to cross his arms and make what he thought was a compelling argument but it had been in that moment the dragon had appeared. He could swear there had been a glint of arrogance just before the dragon inhaled his flame, sending him towards the ground with flailing arms. Too short of a distance to have time to flame back on, Johnny braced himself mentally for the impact, but there were none. Instead he was capture by something and cracking one eye open, he spotted Wanda coming towards him. "Oh," he said and opened his eyes fully and climb to his feet. "Yeah, I'm fine--" He turned around just in time to see the beast disappear into the distance. "Ugh." With his car.
He wasn't pleased with Heimdall's departure but too consumed by the loss of his car, he couldn't muster much of a protest. Instead he placed a comforting hand on Wanda's shoulder after having heard them both out. "He might not be a good luck charm, but he's right." As much as he hated to admit it, Spidey had a fair and good point. They were already here, they had the capacity--might as well give it a go. If anything, maybe it would be a good story to tell Ben. "I got no plans tonight," he announced and weaved his fingers together to stretch his arms forward as far as he could extend them. "Plus, I want my car back."
After been directed towards where they wanted to go, Johnny started but passing Peter, he threw his arms up into the air in as if he couldn't quite believe what had been said. "Dude!" he said as he passed him with furrowed brows, "That's what they always say in the movies and you know what happens after that? It gets worse." With a final shake of his head, the Human Torch started towards the hill and arriving at the edge of it, he started to trudge upwards. "What are we supposed to do again? I forgot."
Fire, brimstone, and car scraps. Either they were in Detroit or this was a legitimate different "realm" altogether.
Luckily, Wanda captured Johnny before he could retain any harm. The battle that may have raged was one they were not yet ready or powered for. The dragon showcased it's lackadaisical mettle by enjoying a meal of the stomach and of its energy as it would be.
"You know what, Torch? I think I miss your car too." Peter said, the car was the last semblance of Earth they had left. No more safety nets, they were literally out of the frying pan and into the oven from the look of things. A quick stretch and a sigh, Peter figured he'd lead the way. He climbed along the soft stones of the path laid before them through the mountain ridge. "Oh, I'm actually bad luck. I never have good luck." he admitted candidly. He figured there was no reason to let them believe that the worst that can happen won't happen with his additional presence. "Yeah, me neither. Mets started the season terribly so what's the point."
"I'm mostly just bummed that he wouldn't help us. Why can't he handle the lady? Heck, we could have done the rallying troops...what's going on back on Earth that requires so much preparation?" Peter asked with a look toward Wanda and Johnny.
Peter pushed ahead forward, trying to walk faster than Johnny to lead in direct, testosterone induced competition. Johnny's question earned a roll of Peter's eyes, the lenses of his mask narrowing. "You're impossible...well, first of all we gotta cross that" he pointed to what was now an easily viewed pit of lava the size of four blocks with a really old stone bridge across it. When he looked downward he took note of something...strange afoot.
A gray goblin festooned in armor trotted out on a wild looking beast down one side of the bridge and an orange goblin, in his own armor atop a similar beast approached from the other side. They met in the middle before heading back the way they came. Soon, horns sounded and armies steadily marched. "Gonna go out on a limb and say we've stumbled upon a turf war...we gotta get across that bridge and whoever wins, we'll probably lose." Peter guessed. There was enough space on the far side of the mile and change wide bridge for them to sneak by.
"Let's try and get by undetected, that means nothing too ostentatious...hey, um, Scarlet Witch?" Peter asked while looking toward Wanda, his tone of voice distinctively kinder. "Do you think you could float us over them so that we don't make too much noise?" he asked but as soon as he said it one of the goblins engaged in battle stopped right before he would bring down his sword. He sniffed the air, made a few growls toward those around him. Goblins both orange and gray looked directly toward the trio's direction. The two armored gray and orange goblins who met on the bridge prior to battle pointed their swords toward the trio with a battle cry.
"Oh cool. They hate us more than each other. That's actually pretty sweet...and it sucks." Peter lamented and took a better position. "We've got the high ground!" he pointed out as the units, about thirty strong each and sixty in a combined total, charged forward astride wild, tusked, and horn toothed pig-bear like beasts.
Johnny's grief for his currently lost car was overcome by the task at hand. Given that the direction they needed to go was sort of the same way that the dragon had taken off, his hope to see his beloved car again was rekindled. At Peter's statement about being bad luck, the older of the two males gestured towards his friend with a hand and a puzzled look on his face. "That's--that's exactly what I said. I mean it never really works out for ya. Like that one time--" Rubbing the back of his neck, Johnny glanced at Wanda. "Y'know, maybe another time."
Wanda wasn't wrong to mark his words. Technically he'd had plans but they had been crushed by rainbow-teleporting and dragons that ate cars. He would much rather do what they had planned, than to be where they were but as it was, there seemed to be little choice in the matter. "You know what I mean! It was a figure of speech. Sort of." He followed the two then with lengthened steps. Coming side by side with Peter, he noted the younger doing the exactly same thing, which lead to Johnny increasing his face as well with a frown. "I'm impossible? You're... possible, which is way worse--whoa..."
A horn sounded after the two goblin generals had raised their swords towards them, causing Johnny to take a step back. "Helmet guy didn't say anything about this! Alright, let's me try and bedazzle them," he said after Wanda's suggestion and with his arms to his side, he focused and there was a flash of flame that went as soon as it came. "What? What's going on?" There was an ounce of concern in his voice as he quickly glanced at his two followers, the armies approaching steadily. "Argh, flame on!" As if someone had blown out a vent, a burst of hot air that came and went was all he could produce. "Okay. So... how out of the box does it sound that the dragon stole my juice?" Johnny was more concern than he let on but for the moment, the armies coming for them was also another reason he couldn't lean into that feeling.
"Hey guys," Johnny said somewhat apprehensively as the goblins closed in, "Did I ever tell you about the time when I was five and Sue brought me to the zoo so I could ride the ponies? It was great, I ended up crashing into the chicken enclosure." He took off to give himself a running start and with what little heat he could produced, he gave himself a boosted jump, having him end up on his stomach on the butt of one of the raging beasts. It was a bumpy ride across a sandy dune before Johnny was able to grab a hold of the saddle, knock the rider out and put himself into it. Luckily for him, the beast didn't seemed to mind the chance in the saddle so when Johnny managed to get a hold of the flapping reins with one hand, he turned it around, coming back to plow the pig-bear through the first line of goblins that charged for his friends. "Piece of cake!" he called to them with a certain a mount of false bravado, as his other hand was clamping down on the saddle hard enough for his knuckles to go white.
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