Roleplaying Log: IT'S FINE, JANE!
IC Details

It's really not fine when 'quantum racetrack' is on the table.

Other Characters Referenced: Owen Mercer, Dani Moonstar, Bart Allen, Tommy Shepherd, Maximoff Twins
IC Date: February 22, 2019
IC Location: Avengers Mansion, NYC
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 23 Feb 2019 06:24
Rating & Warnings:
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

James Barnes had, perhaps, a rather surprising-at-first-blush reaction to the Avengers Mansion when the team started to use it as a base of operations not long ago. He'd tilted his head when they first arrived, squinted a little, tilted his head back as if picturing it somewhere other than where it currently is, and then nodded to himself.

To Jane's inquiry later, he had explained rather briefly that he had in fact been to the place once before. "1944," he had said, "back when it was Howard's. The last state-side leave we got before the end of the war. Howard pulled some strings transportation-wise; we stayed over, the first night we were back."

A long pause. "I remember it being a lot closer to the street," he says, because that's a shorter way to encapsulate all that's changed about it than to try to run down all the other changes.

By now, they've gotten a little more settled in to the place, and have taken to coming and going rather freely. Tonight finds them near the QUANTUM SHENANIGANS room, but not actually in it, Bucky is hanging around Jane's inevitable lab area as she no doubt inspects the setup. He has already, of course, looked at BUCKY'S CLOSET and deigned it quite acceptable.

"Ah, Mister Barnes." JARVIS' voice is proper as ever. Seemingly very comfortable in the stately old home. "Mister Stark had it moved. Said it gave the defensive systems more time to work."

He's helpful as usual.

Of course as the AI informs the good Mister Barnes of this fact there is a thump of a feet on the floor. Then suddenly the appearance of Tony Stark swings around the corner. "JANE! Oh hi Bucky. HEY JANE! Are you here? Wrongly manipulating the laws of time as space! I had an idea!"

…oh dear. He had an idea.

"…ah, Mister Stark seems to have had an idea on something to entertain a speedster…" JARVIS slowly explains. "…I think. Forgive me, Mister Barnes. It is hard to keep track of his ideas sometimes."

With the last two years she's lived, one faces an increasingly high bar when it comes to 'surprising Jane Foster.'

Tony Stark can still do it. He does it the moment she steps first foot into the Avengers mansion, looks up, and her handbag plops unceremoniously down at her feet. Fallen right out of her hand.

"Jesus fingerlickin' Christ," Jane murmurs. "I thought my trailer was huge, back in the day."

After her first greetings to JARVIS, and taking in the tour to one of James Buchanan Barnes's Old Man Stories — Jane's used to those, now, and there's one every day of her life: "Please tell me there weren't any lurid fondue parties, James," she warns, with an amused slant of her eyes. "Swear to God, if I'm working on top of somewhere you spent making out with three women —"

Then they find the lab, and Jane forgets about her wry jokes. To this day, it's still hard to imagine herself 'an Avenger.' She doesn't have the cavlecade of powers. She doesn't have James's decades of skills. She certainly doesn't have Tony's technological empire. She just has —

A small shock when there is a SUDDEN TONY. "AHH!" Jane answers her shouted name, nearly tripping into Bucky. "Tony, for the love of — what do you mean WRONGLY manipulating spacetime? The laws are already invariant — I mean, theoretically, you could — what kind of idea?"

As used as Jane is to his Old Man Stories, Bucky appears equally accustomed to Jane's irreverence about all of his Old Man Stories. "Of course not," Bucky says to her extremely indecent question, looking aggrieved. "Well, I mean, of course there were lurid fondue parties, but I wasn't there for them. Howard didn't let anyone else get in edgewise with the women, anyway, it'd have been pretty pointless. He'd — "

Fortunately, he stops in his anecdote about Howard's sex life as JARVIS speaks up, and — more importantly — as Tony shows up.

"Ah," says Bucky, at JARVIS' helpful clarification about why the mansion is suddenly set way far back from the street. "Thanks JARVIS," he begins, only to trail as Tony starts talking. Mostly at Jane. For James Barnes, there's this —

Oh hi Bucky.

"You say just once that you're not on board for bending spacetime, and you're chopped liver," Bucky grumbles, as he 'completely fails to move' when Jane bumps into him. "I thought you two would have learned about encouraging one another on 'ideas.' …this one isn't for Tommy, is it?"

"Totally not engaging old dad stories, nope. They don't even exist." Stark says cheerfully as he he smirks towards Bucky. "Also I never said I wasn't, and totally going to say you break the laws of space time as much if not more than I do."

This last towards Jane with again that smirk of his as he crosses his arms. "You two seem to be settling in just fine. And yes. For Tommy. And Impulse. And a /little/ for Owen. Since he is not dead…just…being himself. And possibly to shove the speedy one of the wonder twins in if I can ever get my hands on him."

A grin.

This? This right here is how Stark distracts himself from all the horror going on around him. He /finds/ things to do that are dumb. And if he can't find anything. He'll make something up.

"Quantum Racetrack. Entrance in a closet somewhere at the Tower or at the Mansion or both. I'm pretty sure some kind of pocket dimension of folded space would be enough room for that sort of thing…"

There is a slooow sigh from JARVIS. "Oh good." The AI murmurs in Bucky's direction. "He seems to have forgotten all about his idea for an asteroid base."

"The look on your face," Jane returns to Bucky, unable to keep the laugh out of her voice, or the genuine amusement sparking her dark eyes. "Did I just scandalize you? I totally did. Offended all of your gentlemanly sensibilities. And, in return, allow me to express my relief that I don't have to be jealous of another woman who could be my grandmother."

Her grin widens, goes crooked. "I mean, after that one story you told me, about Howard in Paris with the four women he dressed up as — "

And there's Tony. Furiously denying that Howard Stark Was The Greatest Sex Machine of the 1940s stories ever existed.

Thankfully, he weaponizes this well, conveniently distracting Jane Foster entirely — not that it's a hard task. 'Quantum-anything' is basically the quickest way into her heart.

"You — want a quantum hamster wheel for the speedsters," Jane echoes, half-curious, her eyes assessing Tony. Not just his idea — but him. His nanites are always on her mind, how they're doing, how he's doing — since she thinks herself responsible for some (most) of it. She slips a gentle-eyed glance to Bucky.

"I'm going to pretend you didn't say that about the twins I know you're not talking about, because I'm a scientist who only endorses sensible ideas," begins Dr. Foster, "but — it's. Hm. This is mainly theoretical — I don't even know if you'd need a pocket dimension. I was kidding about the hamster wheel, but if you think — something that exists so long as it's in motion. Or they are. It exists if they run. It doesn't exist when they don't. Quantum tunnelling could let them run forever and never really go anywhere. No time passed, no energy needed to sustain the space because they are providing it through the hamster running — what do you mean that Owen is dead-not-dead?"

"Truth be told I don't wanna discuss them either," Bucky mutters, on the topic of Stories of Howard Stark's Sex Life. He cuts Jane a SHUSH look about grandmothers and Howard in Paris. "Happy to drop it."

The topic that comes up instead, however, is not really all that much better. Bucky glances back and forth between Tony and Jane with a deepening sense of alarm as the conversation skews towards putting speedsters into quantum hamster wheels. Of course Bucky guesses at the real reason behind the mania of Tony's spontaneous ideas, which is why when Jane slants him that askance look, Bucky is already looking back.

The quiet mutual pact to assess whether Tony is Okay is made.

He's certainly studying Tony for any signs of nanite-induced insanity, though his gaze can't help but interrupt briefly to roll at Jane's insistence she only endorses sensible ideas. He has little to say about the science, but — "Being himself' usually means pretty close to dead, for Owen, far as I can tell," Bucky says grimly.

" — Wait," Bucky asides to JARVIS, sotto voce. "His idea for a what?"

It is somewhat difficult to assess signs of nanite-induced insanity in a man that…well…usually has more than enough energy and ideas for a whole room full of more traditional science types. Stark's ideas have never been small. Never been 'normal'. They only have grown with the times as he realizes just what /can/ be done. Been exposed to new techniques for /doing/ said things.

It hasn't helped slow him down any.

The nanites though? Those nanites allow him to get less sleep. Wake up with more energy. It is debateable if this is a good or a bad thing.

"Well see I thought about the hamster wheel thing." Stark admits. "It would be the simplest to do. But they would get bored, you know how easy they get bored. Speedsters I mean. So we have to have them go /around/ somewhere. Tunnel though different areas to let them keep seeing something. Else it won't really help much…"

A pause again.

"Anyway. Owen kinda ran out the window on the Tower after Joker. Twice. We saved him the first time. Bombs distracted us the second. But…yeah. He's not dead just…"

A shrug again.

"…space station, Mister Barnes." JARVIS replies quietly. "Do try to keep him focused away from that?"

It truly does appear a miracle: Tony Stark's resurrection from near-death into what Jane now witnesses with her own eyes. A mixture of unreasonably stubborn man, an enduring spirit, and the nanites based off her original dissemination code for a nightmarish no-soul reality she tried to infuse into everyone and everything.

Coupled with the late genius Erskine's math that he put into developing Steve Rogers, and now —

The math was solid. It seemed to work without fail, and then went on to outpace any of her dreams. So why is it she keeps waiting for the other shoe to drop? Jane Foster doubting herself? Or afraid — deathly afraid — that some derivative of her work may exist to hurt someone one last time, much less her friend?

In the meantime, it keeps Tony spry. And keeps Jane in a familiar place, barely trying to keep up with his information downloads. "Right, right. Hamsters don't get bored. People do. Right. All you'd need to do — and I'm stil saying theoretical, here — is curve spacetime back on itself. A wormhole turned into a worm…donut. We're still talking massive amounts of energy to sustain it, so I'd let those guys do the work to power it through their running — let that energy power the mass needed to sustain a very stable singularity at the center of same — divert the rest into some holo-program that shows them a beach or a Poke-whatever movie those kids like, or something, and — Owen went after the JokeWHAT!" she sputters. Let it be known Jane Foster does not care for Owen Mercer. In face, she really can't stand the guy: rude, abrasive, dismissive of her work, and all-around a boomerang-throwing trashfire where she's concerned. Only that, well: he was there, when it counted, when they were possessed. He put his life on the line to fight them. He's also been — she is loath to admit — a friend to Danielle Moonstar. Speaking of.

"How can you be dead-not-dead! This is kind of a binary state! Dying isn't really a continuum type thing! Does Dani know about this? I'll text her. But he's fine? Does he need James to slap him in the head?" Jane unloads question after question.

She also swears she hears 'space station' somewhere, but she's too worked up to catch it. Another thing that's all Owen's fault!

There isn't much different to see about Tony, it's true, other than the fact that he seems to be looking great off even less sleep than usual. That in itself is a concerning observation, though Bucky is sure that Jane can help keep Stark's notoriously boundless energy in line.


Bucky frankly isn't listening that much to the talk about the worm-donut, but he tunes back in once he hears about Owen going after the JokeWHAT! "I'd need my left hand to slap hard enough to get sense into him," he opines, "if he was dumb enough to run out a window after the Joker twice." There is a brief pause. "How do you even run out of a window twice? Was this two separate incidents?"

Bucky rubs his face. "Maybe it IS a good idea to build a quantum racetrack. You can lock him IN it. Maybe farm energy off him while he's running around. I mean — I assume there's a point to the racetrack other than keeping a couple speedsters exercised?"

He doesn't quite answer JARVIS aloud, but he does flicker an eye in a wink which he presumes the AI can see. Focused away from space stations, check.

"Technicly two I guess? Raven pulled him back in the first time. Then he ran out again. Speadsters right?" Stark can only shake his head. "I can't judge him too much now can I? There was that girl involved. He seemed preeety actually angry about it. Then he sped off somewhere…" A pause. "…and I suppose he ran /down/ the building. Yeah. He was that mad."

"But he's /missing/ not dead. Lets put it that way."

A shrug.

"Anyway! I suppose the point would be to give them something to do and figure out some way to entrap a speedster in the process. Cause I am /very/ tired of speedsters." Will it ever work on them? WHO KNOWS. It'll be fun to build anyway.

"The self powering thing would defiantly have to be involved. With the amount of energy they can put out too some kind of VR sim wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility. Obstacle course or high tech training sim." Or worse depending on how it would be programed.

Still he feels good though. And surprisingly enough he looks good. The nanites don't seem to have too many lingering side effects.

…of course. That is just Tony's nanites. Those tiny miracles of collaboration. That doesn't mean there aren't /other/ versions of Extremis out there…waiting…


Jane Foster sure wishes for a small slice of Tony Stark's definitely-nanite-fuelled hyperkinetic energy — especially lately. The long hours she's used to pull effortlessly are beginning to become a burden, and even her vivacity for her work isn't providing the bridge to push her endurance forward. Could be the migraines. Or her negative appetite, which is even worse these days than normal. The fatigue is awful.

Thankfully, today is a good day. A good day enough that she has more than enough energy to frown fiercely, pull out her phone, and angrily type out a quick text to Dani Moonstar. If Owen Mercer intends on being an idiot, then he's going to have to settle for consequences. Moonstar will sure reel that crap in.

"Down the — entire building?" She's quiet a beat, stunned. "Well. Remind me to thank Raven," Jane says, on a sigh. Thank god for the Titans. "Whatever the hell, Owen. You moron."

She is silent a beat. Bucky's comment — about trapping in speedsters. It's an off-hand thing, but Jane is giving the idea considerable thought. Her head tilts, the wheels moving in her brain — manipulating the parameters. "You know — I was thinking about source energy sustaining it — but if one were to base the quantum space on one's attempts to escape it — you're brilliant, James."

Jane's eyes are back on Tony, her gaze dark and calculating. "You know what? I'm in. I'll start work on the first proofs. I'm skeptical, but — if we can get this to work, I'm a step closer in my own work. Just. You'll promise me — no absurd revenge fantasies on certain terrorist twins. Right?"



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