IC Details

Tony enlists the aid of Impulse and the Winter Soldier for a project he's been picking at. Plugging the Speed Force into portal tech? What can possibly go wrong..?

Other Characters Referenced: Emma Frost, Lex Luthor, Jane Foster, Atli
IC Date: January 21, 2020
IC Location: Metropolis
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 22 Jan 2020 07:46
Rating & Warnings:
Scene Soundtrack: None
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

Stark has had several things on his mind lately. Mostly boring and horrible political stuff. Stuff that he does not like. Also the fact that Lex wants to run for president. That is also a thing. Also the fact that Emma is upset again.

It wasn't his fault her security system is terrible.

Or so fun to rewrite.

But now he can get back to important business. Important. Business. Like charging portals.

Which is why he's called three people here. One to test out a device. One to make sure the device doesn't explode. One to make sure if the device goes really wrong, to explode anything that comes out of said device.

Delegation is paramount.

In the lab under Stark Unlimited, a large room. Mostly empty except for the power leads that snake along the floor. In the middle of the floor is a odd ring device with what looks like a little stand under it. The stand might or might not be a treadmill. Its hard to tell right now. It could be just a techy little platform.

"SO!" Stark's voice is loud in the slightly echoing world. "I think I have this about up and running. Been working on it in my off time. I think Jane mostly has the kinks worked out on her end but…she's…off exploring the realms right now I think so she might pop in to yell at me when I do something wrong."

* * *

"It doesn't require blood, does it?"

It's an odd question, yes, but terribly relevant, if only one is familiar with the Atli Incident that took more than a few drones and service bots to scrub and sanitize the bloodied portal room in the basement of Stark Industries. …like as there are many Atli Incidents, and it's just easier to be vague than to assign numbers to.

Bart stands in costume, his headgear down with is goggles hanging about his neck as he polishes off the last of a pack of Mega Stuf Oreos. There aren't many to each package, but who can say how many packages have been gone through? "Anyway, where's the portal go? Did Jane already go through a portal? -ooh! Is she going to be a new bug deity?" Important questions.

* * *

Bucky hasn't been around much lately himself. In fact, Bucky hasn't been in the States much, himself. After the stint with the Suicide Squad went sideways and he quit Waller's questionable services, he's been off in Europe on secretive Peggy-related business. Business which is… probably not really that much more clean and aboveboard, but which is a lot more familiar and comfortable to him than bomb collars in people which should probably be receiving rehabilitation instead.

Well. Most of them.

He stops back in the States often enough, though, because when he's gone too long things like this happen. Tony's summons to be 'the guy who explodes a bad thing if a bad thing comes out of the device' brought Bucky to groan, but in that way one does about a familiar and necessary service that Just Needs To Be Done.

Bucky turns up, some time after Bart's arrival. He's loaded for bear. He even brought the grenade launcher.

"Jane is not turning into a new bug deity," is all he says, grimly, because 'she might pop in to yell at me when I do something wrong' isn't a statement that needs to be commented on OR corrected.

Well, correction. A moment later he adds, "So what IS this supposed to be?" because Bart has a bad habit of not questioning things Tony does.

* * *

Tony was about to say something. Likely about the likelihood of Jane becoming a goddess of space bugs. Then Bucky grumbles and Stark has to keep a hold on the sudden smirk. Because. You know. Now it's bound to happen. Laws of the narrative right.

"Wait what?" He just registered Bart's question. "Blood? This portal doesn't require that. It just requires a bit of science and a whole lot of power. A whole lot. You don't want to see the size of the ARC reactor I'm having to use for this."

Stark smirks slightly though before he looks between the pair of them. "Anyway, this is going to be a portal runner device. Since I know that when speedsters run too fast…well…they tend to break things. BUT!" He taps the device. "If before they break things they get shunted into a different portal. Then they don't break things like space time. Also it'll be something to do to make board meetings less boring. And I'm always for that."

A pause.

"Also for scouting other places it'll be useful. Etc."

* * *

Bart only looks mildly disappointed that Bucky is so adamant about Jane gaining a new deified title. He's just slightly disappointed that Tony doesn't object. He's also popping open another package of Oreos- where did he get that anyway? Speedsters. By the way, Tony? You probably need to restock your vending machines. Now those packages? Don't last long at all.

"We don't-" The kid reconsiders, then nods as he shrugs. "Okay yeah. I guess that's true." It's not very reassuring that he's conceding the fact, but he's heard enough from Max and Iris to know the potential's there. Bart tilts his head. "…but…if we time travel don't we possibly break space time?" he asks, then perks. "Less boring board meetings? Cool, let's do it."

* * *

Bucky takes note of the fact that Tony says this portal doesn't require blood. His reaction is a long sigh.

"So is the ARC reactor you're using liable to cause a blackout in Metropolis once you turn it on?" he inquires. "I think Luthor might notice."

Though if the purpose is to keep speedsters from breaking things, well… Bucky can't really object. He prefers spacetime to be in its proper shape. He's already had enough effective time travel in his life. "Well, I suppose it's for a good cause," he opines. "Let's turn it on and see, then."

Tellingly, he readies the rifle cradled in his arms at the same time he says that.

"…wait," he adds, after a moment. "What other places are you scouting, exactly — "

* * *

"What no, I'm way better than Luthor! Did you know he was trying to schmooze up to Shaw for something." A pause. "I hate Shaw by the way. Never trust a man with that much muttonchops." He says with a short and firm nod there.

He does note the cookies.


"Yes, sir. I'm already activating the restocking drones."

Again a nod.

"Anyway! This portal should create a shield for us. Just get in close to the platform. Then Bart can get on the platform itself and start running. Slow at first cause I might have to adjust some things…"

A flash of a grin then again. "And technically this should use the power that you use to time travel and channel it to the portal and the shield. So we'll portal skip instead of you know. You breaking the time barrier. You shouldn't need to get that fast anyway since technically this is just a test run."

A pause at the question from Bucky though.

"Oh, I think I have some of the nine realms programmed in. It'll be fine. Asgard is supposed to be nice this time of year."

* * *

Already bouncing in place, Bart stops long enough to pull up his goggles, a spring in his step as he all but skips up to the platform. He grins broadly at Bucky, glad that the man isn't outright shutting down the whole idea. The Speedster himself is too curious for his own good.

Oh wait, there it is. The 'wait.' Nope, too late, sorry.

Tony is given a look when Bart's told to go slow at first. Pff. Slow. "Fiiine, I'll jog," he says as he gets into position, and he'll wait long enough for everyone else to do so as well but that's it, because he's eager to get this show on the road. "But when do we get to stress-test it?" Gotta go fast, gotta go fast! Won't do any good if it can't handle the speed! But on the other hand doesn't that just mean he's so fast nothing can stop him? Okay, he's a little torn now…

* * *

Bucky raises a brow. "I did not know," he says. "Though he must be desperate if he's trying to schmooze up to Sebastian 'Muttonchops' Shaw." Which is about the extent of what Bucky knows about Sebastian Shaw. Though really, isn't that more than enough to know? "What's Luthor gladhanding about now?"

He's been out of the country. Don't judge him.

By now fully accustomed to Stark's 'shoulds' and 'maybes,' Bucky moves where directed without too much (outward) concern. He's been through two generations of this, after all; Howard used to do pretty much the exact same thing, though Bucky knows better than to talk too extensively about Howard in front of his son by now. "Slow," he even jokes, as he gets into place. His blue eyes flick over to Bart. "So only Mach 30?"

The levity is brief, though, because then Tony answers his other question.

"Tony?" Bucky queries, in That Voice. "Did you program Muspelheim in?"

* * *

"I mean, its in the list right? Part of the Nine Realms and all." Stark replies airily. "But its fine. I'm pretty sure there is no way it'll put us there. As for Luthor, well I hope you like saluting him. He's going for possibly President. Or political office. Of some kind. But pretty sure he's going to go up against Kelly."

A glance then towards Bucky. "Welcome back. I bet you already want to go out again."

But then Bart is moving. Sparks begin to arc between the curves of the portal as he starts, and Stark monitors one of the screens. "…ha! I knew it would work. Shields up…"

And a thing blue light forms a bubble around the three. Almost like. Well. A giant hamster ball. That is definitely the feeling.

"Right…got a baseline. So…" And a wild grin comes to Tony's face.

"Hit it kid." This to Bart.

A glance at Bucky then, just as he flicks the last switch.

"It'll be fine!"

* * *

In hindsight Bart wonders that he should pay more attention to politics and rich people talk, except it's not really all that interesting to him. He grins as even Bucky has to chime in regarding the 'slow' comment.

"What's a Muscle…Mussple… Musclehime?" he asks as he jogs along at an easy pace. Asgard and their funny names. They're practically tongue-twisters! He glances up as the light begins to flare and a glow of a shield forms. Nothing's blown up yet. That's always a good sign. And then Tony gives the word, and the Speedster's face lights up.

"To infinity….and beyond!"

Impulse pours on the speed, inwardly wondering just how far he'd rocket if suddenly the treadmill couldn't keep up with him.

…it's probably fine!

* * *

Bucky grimaces when he's told the 2020 presidential race is probably going to come down to Lex Luthor vs Robert Kelly.

"Maybe winding up in Muspelheim wouldn't be the worst thing to happen after all," he mutters, though he's probably joking.

There's not much more time to think about the matter of politics, though, because that's about when the test run starts. The hamster ball of energy … seems like a good sign, but Bucky braces anyway. Especially when Tony gives him that look, and says That Phrase.

"You know, the last time I was told 'it'll be fine' — " Bucky starts severely, but whatever he was about to say is drowned out by the surge of Impulse GOING FOR IT.

* * *

The hamster ball of energy flares to full life. The translucent bubble of energy staying solid as Bart pours on the speed. It seems to be feeding off the speed. The power conduits flare to life as Tony pulls the last button and uncouples the entire system from the conduits.


The world outside the globe of energy suddenly flares to life as the world of the lab fades away. "Right. It'll come back to the lab at the end of the sequence. But lets start this off…"

And there is sudden blackness for a moment before colors snap back into view. This time is it a glorious sunny day. The brilliant countryside of Asgard laid out below the three of them as Bart runs…literally though the sky. It seems that the little shield ball is on some kind of predetermined track. The shield giving it enough lift and taking speed from Bart's own movement as it blazes though the sky.

…lets face it. It isn't the strangest thing anyone has seen in Asgard.

"Success! Look at that Bucky! Nothing exploded!"

There are several red lights on the panel. Tony isn't paying TOO much attention to it.

Also the fact that the only thing between them and free fall is a thin shield of energy. Bart is the only thing that gets something to stand on.

"You're doing great kid. Looks like the shield is taking the spin from your running so we can actually move that way and…nothings melted yet. Perfectly within operating parameters."

Of course, there is more blue lightning kind of arcing around the portal ring. But that's probably fine. "Just one or two jumps and we can get back home!"

…if…you know. The portal doesn't start a feedback loop with Bart's Speed Force.

…but really. What is the likelihood of that happening.

* * *

"This is so awesome..!" Bart shouts, grinning like a maniac as everything around them changes, and they're suddenly outside and miles up. It just makes him want to run and see all the things, and he does forget himself for a moment to put on that effort, save that nothing much seems to happen. Maybe they're way too high up for one to tell the difference. Were those sparks? Nah.

He's not even sure how it's working, because there has to be some sort of friction for them to be in motion, right? But if you're entering the Speed Force then that's when things really just go all over the place and time is just kind of integrated out of courtesy. Actually Bart hasn't gotten the whole Speed Force and its workings down, but then he's pretty sure even Max Mercury doesn't completely understand it and he's been in and out of the thing for years.

Hopped up on Oreo fillings, Bart pushes himself a little more as Tony gives the go-ahead. Wait, was that a go-ahead? It's not like the specifics have been explained so Bart's not too sure how jumping between places works, but clearly it doesn't hurt to go faster, right? Around him the usual crackle of energy dances and trails off, and to the human eye he's just a steady red and white blur since he's racing in place.

* * *

Nothing exploded!

"Yet," is Bucky's grim addendum, though even he has to be a little impressed at the outcome so far. A little impressed — and a little nervous, because right now they're standing on 'essentially nothing' and their only visible source of power is 'the blur that is Bart Allen.'

"Have I mentioned how reassuring your 'perfectly within operating parameters'-type remarks are?" he adds, as he catches sight of the flashing red lights and the weird lightning shooting everywhere. "I'm just gonna assume that for whatever reason, you chose 'red' as the right color to indicate success.'

You could probably provide at least half the power this hamster ball needs off the strength of Bucky's sarcasm right now.

Though he IS unable to resist leaning over, like a passenger in a plane during takeoff, to have a look at the view.

* * *

It is a glorious view of the golden city of Asgard. The massive palace towers over all as Stark continues to make some minor adjustments. "You know, Buck. I'm pretty sure I could get at least a five fold power boost out of that tone." He adds as he smirks towards the gunbunny. "The red lights are where we don't want to go. It's fine."

He is defiantly going to keep with that statement.

No matter the sparks and everything else.

"Ok! Next jump! Should be to Alfheim!" He adds as he flicks yet one more virtual switch.

Now. The Speed Force and Stark Tech seem to be getting along pretty well. This might surprise everyone. Except Tony of course. He knows he's that good.

Also that unusual crackle of energy, unseen to the eyes of the other two with him, starts to reach out to almost handshake the lightning now sparking from Tony's tech.

It'll be fine!!

* * *

No one's started screaming or anything, so Bart figures everything's still green. Which is good, because he certainly doesn't show any signs of stopping. That'd probably be bad anyway, right? Especially in midjump.

"You sure you're not just making up these names?" he calls over his shoulder as Tony announces their next stop. He can't help but be a little impressed that things are still running smoothly. That's only because he doesn't seen the blinky red buttons and figures the sparks are typical. But of course Bart would think that.

"Anyway, heeere we goooo…!"

* * *

"I'm sure you could," Bucky says, still dry as paint. "And I'm sure you'd find a way TO draw power from something like somebody's tone of voice to begin with."

He leans back, after looking straight down for too long gives him a bit of vertigo. "Makes a man long for the days when a hovercar was a novel idea," he grumbles.

Tony's clarification about the red lights doesn't… seem to reassure him, per se, but it does seem to clarify some things. "There are an awful lot of places we don't want to go, then — " he starts to point out, before Tony decides to make the next jump.

"What kind of stamina has Bart got, anyway…?" Bucky finds it the right time to wonder, as Impulse piles on the speed for the next leap.

* * *

Lightning touches lightning. Speed Force twisting into the energy of the ARC reactor. Red lights slowly start to flick to green as Stark watches. "Well…" Comes the slow comment. "…that's a thing.."

The whirr of energy picks up a pace just before with a sudden thrum of energy the portal activates and they end up screaming though the air of Alfheim.

…now…trailing what looks like Speed Force lightning.

"OK! Good news bad news! Good news is the gravity system is holding so we don't go flying around inside the shield. Shield is still holding too…just…it's drawing more power from somewhere…"

From the feedback loop that might just be forming between the speedster and the equipment.

"…and it's opening up some other po—" And the sun of Alfheim winks out as a new vista opens up around them. And the temperature drops like a stone. Ice starts to form on the outside of the shield as snow obscures their vision and….

"Right! So! Welcome to Jotunheim…" At least its not entirely freezing inside the shield. And the shield is still moving forward. But it does thump into several snow banks. Then a particularly jarring thump that bounces the sphere into the air.

And the massive head of a Frost Beast slowly rises up from the snow behind them to squint towards the sphere it starts to give chase. Like a particularly large puppy spotting a ball.

…except this puppy is the size of several tanks.

"…right…so…just need to rearrange some things there and…Bart you have any idea where that power is coming from now?!"

The Frost Beast looks to not be stopping…and…possibly actually keeping up. Caught in the wake of the device.

"So. Just so you know." This casually towards Bucky. "Totally fine to shoot out of the shield. Just…you know…don't hit the ring."

* * *

Something's changed. The air around him practically holds a charge all its own that it's a wonder his hair hasn't gone all staticky, and yet he can feel that something else has tapped in. It starts as a prickle at the back of his neck, and he can catch the flashes of lightning out of the corner of his eye. Stopping would be dangerous. He can feel that much in his gut.

Or that could just be the Oreos…

"Wait, so what's the bad news?!" He barely gets that out before everything just shifts around them again, and Tony says another strange but obviously Asgardian name. The sudden impact of their shield-sphere upon actual substance nearly jolts Bart to a halt, except he thankfully doesn't or he can't- he's not sure which of the two it is but when you suddenly have a giant creature starting to chase you, it's probably better not to worry about those details.

There's some weird after-imaging going on around the Speedster too, or maybe it's just because he's moving so fast. "I-I think we've tapped into it-" he stammers, only belatedly realizing how vague a response that is, but he'd gotten so used to figuring that Tony pretty much everything that was going on when it came to his devices. But there's something else going on aside from the Speed Force. It feels different, he knows that much. He's also starting to feel the strain, simultaneously still wired like he's winding down on a caffeine rush. Maybe he should have just gone with Double Stuf.

Maybe it's also because they've got some extra creature towed after them. "-this is fun and all, but…I think we needa lose that thing quick," Bart suggests.

* * *

"You could have stopped at 'good news!'" exclaims Bucky, who is now trying to keep his footing in a hamster ball spinning through the Nine Realms spitting mingled Speed Force and ARC reactor lightning. "I would have been very happy stopping when it was still GOOD NEWS — "

They spin their way straight out of Alfheim and into Jotunheim.

" — and with staying a little longer in Alfheim, that would have been great too," Bucky finishes, because the last time he was in Jotunheim it didn't go very well and he had to punch a Frost giant in the jaw.

Well, punching a Frost giant in the jaw was the okay part of it.

Of course, the Frost BEAST they look to have picked up in their wake seems to be somewhat larger and MORE ornery than a Frost giant, and Bucky isn't in a very good position to be repeating his uppercut tricks what with needing to stay in the Speed Force hamster ball. Though that's why he's come prepared!

…he knows Tony well enough now to know what kind of 'prepared' he needs for any sort of jaunt with the inventor.

"I don't hit anything I don't wanna hit," is his grumpy reply to Tony's instructions, as he slaps the grenade launcher onto the barrel of his rifle and lifts the weapon. "Just saying, this has equal odds of just pissing it off more, so I suggest you rearrange things quick — "

He fires. The grenade arcs in a deceptively quiet arc towards the Beast's face.

* * *

And this is when things get weird.

This should be expected by now of course.

The grenade sails though the shield. As soon as it hits the wake though it…well deceptively fast isn't even the word for it. It shoots towards the Beast's face like a missile. Caught in the wake of the energy bleeding off the portal sphere.

Rocketing into the creature's face the impact causes it to try to slow. The explosion causes it to stumble…and…well. Then Bart knows this feel. When you come out of speed unexpectedly but are still moving at speed and there is a rolling rocketing tumbling Frost Beast bouncing along behind them.

"Nice sho—" And this is when Tony realises that the explosion is now traveling up the wake towards them.

"…um…yeah. Gonna try something! Just a little longer, Bart!" He can see the strain as he literally rips off the panel of the device he's been so carefully shepherding and hands it to Bucky.

"Hold this," And then there is just a pained look as Stark jams his fist into the guts of the device. Interfacing with it on a level that he shouldn't be able to do without the nanites in his blood, creating a mental link that lets him rewrite his own system at the speed of his own thoughts.

Which…is…about the right speed they need right now.

"Oh…OH! Yeah. Definitely tapped into it!" It Being the Speed Force. "So going to shift something…hold on!"

To what exactly he doesn't specify.

There is a vroom of energy as suddenly the ARC batteries on the portal device power down. Just before then though world shifts once again. A wider portal this time, only slightly unstable, but it looks like they are going home.





* * *

Bart glances over his shoulder and realizes what's going to happen even before it does. "Grife…" he future curses. Max isn't here to tell him otherwise. Having something like that behind them is definitely incentive to push on. He focuses on what's ahead, on putting one foot in front of the other, as though he's trying to race completely free of the platform he's powering.

Got to get them all out of this..! Gottagogottagonow!

Tony Stark uses thought to reprogram things as Impulse operates on the usual single synapse theory and just goes with it. Max Mercury said you can't run from all your problems, but he might make an exception for this.

The portal looks pretty questionable, but the Speedster powers on through. He feels the cut of the power around them and yet he still feels like he's thrumming with it. He tries to maintain a steady pace so that when he can bring them to a smooth stop rather than have reality crashing back into place all around them. Not that it will stop them from crashing in general.

* * *

And with a pop of shattering reality they portal appears back in the lab. It skids several feet off the mounting, careens into a wall of…foam and plush. The emergency systems seem to have activated. Which is fairly good depending on how hard everyone was just catapulted from said mounting.

It wasn't at full Bart speed but still…at speed.

Stark lies there amidst the emergency padding and slowly raises his head.

"That!" A pause. "Could have totally gone worse!"

A long pause.

"Also it was awesome."

Flopping over on his back he nods once. "I'll get it right next time!"

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