Playing Hard to Get

Summary:
January 01, 2015: Sue and Reed get a strange visitor

Baxter Building

Headquarters of the Fantastic Four!


Characters

NPCs

  • Gorgon

Mood Music:
[*<http://insert.video.or.music.link.here>]


"I think I got it…" Reed says with a whacky pair of black shades over his eyes. His arms are elbow deep into a pair of those rubber gloves that are inside some sort of containment unit. A bright blue light sits inside as he works on it with a pair of instruments.

"I got it!"

CRACK!

The powerful little gizmo flashes brightly and then dissipates. Clearly, Reed didn't have it.

"I don't got it."

While Reed works on some containment field for god only knows what sort of unholy powersource he's got in that container, Sue is leaning over a electro microscope. The sound of Reed talking to himself while trying to enclose the instruments around the tiny element is not even remotely uncommon, but it still has her grinning to herself.

This is the Richards' family-time.

On the slide she's viewing, microscopic organisms are toying at eating some odd bit of element the Four collected on one of their 'exploration missions'. Microscopic traces of whatever it is that Reed is trying to house a few feet away from her.

"I'm sure it's just playing hard to get." She teases him without looking up or letting her grin slip into her voice.

Meanwhile, down in the lobby of the Baxter Building…

The revolving doors that mark the entrance to the fairly iconic building for any who are not of the Four who reside at the top swing smoothly around to allow in two, well dressed men. At first glance, they look like any other pair of businessmen coming in for lunch at one of the three restaurants that lease space on the ground floor. Both are dressed in extremely expensive tailored suits and one of them wears a hat, but on second look, it's obvious the suits are of a style popular decades previously, and the hat that the first man wears is a fedora, causing the pair to appear as if they just stepped out of a fashion magazine from the fifties. Not to mention the one in the hat also seems to be wearing some sort of face covering mask.

After a quick scan, the hatless man points out the elevator doors to the first one and they both make their way across the lobby. Neither makes a move for the buttons that control the lift, but the first raises his hand and points it, palm outwards, towards the doors. With a sudden *woosh!* of fast moving air and a flash of blue light near his brow, the thick slabs of metal bend inwards, revealing a small slit of the darkness of the elevator shaft. The second blast sends the right hand door straight off the wall and into the empty air.

As the lobby explodes with the noise of panicked civilians and probably more then a few alarms, the man with the hat grabs hold of the back of his partner's suit and launches them both into the shaft as they begin to race upwards.

"Is that a joke," Reed asks Sue, looking over at her with his crazy glasses. "If that's a joke, I think it's only partially funny. A: Because I just spent a quarter of a million dollars. And B: Darling, you were all the hard to get that I needed."

He gives her a faint smile, but pulls his arms out of the contraption once the warning klaxon's begin to fire.

"Computer. Give us a scan, immediately. Put out a distress call to Ben, Johnny and Chavez." He turns to Sue, "Fire up the interior self-defense systems." Reed is busy shrugging out of that lab coat of his and growing a few sizes in stature as he moves over toward the doorway.

Sue finally lifts up from the view finder on her microscope and grins over at Reed, "Oh come'on, I wasn't that bad…" Said with a half smirk as she goes to lean back in to return to her work when the alarm's go off.

Never missing the first beat, Sue shrugs out of her lab coat and starts walking over to one of the computer terminals to bring up a feed from the first floor while keying into the self-defense systems. "Looks like someone is going for the elevators. I've locked it down on the fifth floor." Pushing away from the computer and brushing a few strands of hair from her face as she follows after Reed.
"Never a dull moment, is it?" It's not that she's cavaler about it all, but they ARE the Fantastic Four.

The pair in the elevator only make it a short way before the interior defenses kick in, but the masked man doesn't even pause. When the fifth floor gets 'locked down,' he lifts his hand and fires off another wave of energy at the barrier, but this time it fails to break. So, instead, he pours the energy into his body and around himself and his passenger as a clear blue field of pulsing electrons and particles protects them from the impact of slamming into it at high speeds. For a second, it slows them, but the hatted man reaches back and puts a fist straight through the barrier without so much as a grunt of effort before tearing it apart and continuing onwards.

As they progress, the forcefield continues to hum around the pair, protecting them from all sorts of ludicrously dangerous devices and barriers all trying to stop them from reaching their final destination. In the end, though, it was all for nothing…

When the pair reach the levels belonging to the Fantastic Four, the masked man crashes through the solid doors of the elevator once again, immediately slowing down so he can unceremoniously drop his partner. The man doesn't seem to mind though, for as he slams into the ground, cracks appear beneath his oddly angled legs and ill-fitting shoes. With a grunt, he lifts one meaty hand up to tear his suit off at the collar and reveal another, sleeveless, brown and yellow uniform beneath. The design is curious, but what is perhaps stranger, is the fact that his legs appear to have been replaced with a massive pair of bull legs, complete with enormous hooves.

The second man drops down beside him silently and pulls off his hat, revealing the forked antenna on the forehead of his mask that reveals him to be none other than Black Bolt of the Inhumans.

As the king begins to remove his own suit, Gorgon, his partner, grunts and swings his head around to inspect their landing point, looking for their unwilling hosts, no doubt.

"You're can say that again, Sue," Reed says as he looks over his shoulder at her. Whatever is coming for them is big. And impressive. Perhaps they should be more frightened, but this is the downside about having open identifications to the world. You're always in this sort of danger.

Things come to a crescendo as the blast doors open up. It's now or never, and Reed trusts his training with Sue. If this was an invader, they likely would not be here for tea.

He takes a deep breath and is ready to lash out, but then Reed stops abruptly. "Bolt?" he asks, looking shocked as he peers at Sue and then back again. "What are you doing here?"

"And why didn't you just make an appointment?" Sue pauses a little behind Reed and to his right, the palm of her hand pointed out towards the pair of invaders. There's the bare shimmer around the pair of them, the smallest shift in the air density, and a powerful shield is put up between Two of Four and Two of guests.

"Not that it's not good to see you…" See? There's no reason not to be civil.

Her blue eyes flick over to the other of the pair, but she does not remember his name or even if they have met previously.

"It IS good to see you right?"

It's not a long search, it seems.

Just as Blackagar uncaringly tears the expensive fabric of his shirt away to reveal his usual black and silver suit beneath, Reed and Sue speak up, and Gorgon lets out a slight growl of annoyance, hands clenched into large, slab-like fists. "You address /King/ Black Bolt, human, true regent of Attilan and the Inhumans. You would do well to remember your place or I shall—" Whatever Gorgon's threat was going to be, Black Bolt cuts him off by quietly laying a hand on his shoulder. Silencing immediately, Gorgon swings his gaze back to his leader who replies with a very slight dip of his chin towards Reed and Sue, and Gorgon bows in return.
With his temper back under control, Gorgon turns about to look towards the half of the Four that are present and says; "We have come in peace, humans, but there is trouble. As much as it pains me to say i-" Again, Gorgon is cut off as Black Bolt applies a small amount of pressure to his shoulder, his eyes never once leaving Reed or Sue. "That is… My Lord Blackagar of Attilan requests the aid of your Fantastic Four. It is a matter of life and death, not just for Attilan, but for all of Earth."

"I meant no offense," Reed responds, hands up in the intergalactic sign for 'my bad.' He eases as Gorgon eases, and reaches into his labcoat, strewn over a chair, to pull out his pipe. It makes a clicking sound as the plastic touches his tooth—no smoke actually comes out; it's just a hold over from an earlier age.

Reed's graying temples tense and his eyes peer at Gorgon as he delivers the important news. "Danger? What sort of danger? We'd of course, be willing to help, you, King Black Bolt in any way that we can." Though Gorgon is doing the translating, Reed is focused on Blackagar.

All this tension, Sue isn't going to put her guard down quite so easily as that. For now she's content to let Reed and the Lord speak, but her hand remains out stretched. Though it is as unseen as the air around them, that shield remains ever vigilante protection.

Danger for all of Earth?

They do, at least, know how to make an interest with this news.

Gorgon looks back to Black Bolt who, with his hand still on Gorgon's shoulder and his eyes still on Reed, gives another faint nod. Gorgon's focus returns to Richards as he continues: "As you may remember, you and your family are amongst only a handful of humans to discover Attilan and our civilization. Of this group, you are the only four alive today to actually leave with your memory and lives intact. I remind you of this for two reasons, the first is to stress the significance of My Lord's decision to grant you four mercy in the hopes of fostering a future relationship with the humans. It was no small act, and as a result, it has angered a great many of our people. Normally, their grievances would be heard in a civilized manner, but My Lord has… enemies. Chief amongst them, is his own traitorous, mad, and—"

This time, Gorgon actually winces from the pressure Black Bolt places on his shoulder, and quickly quiets. For a moment, he's silent, but he continues again shortly afterwards, "Maximus, Lord Black Bolt's brother, has rallyed the disgruntled Inhumans and forced My Lord from his rightful throne."

Political intrigue may not be scientific exploration, but Reed still seems transfixed at the story. He holds the pipe in his mouth and crosses over the other, his elbow sagging oddly a bit as he gives the idea more and more thought.

"We take the secrecy of your endeavors very seriously, King Black Bolt. Eventually someone from this planet will find out about you, but it is not our secret to give."

Well, Reed thinks as Gorgon goes on. At least the Fantastic Four aren't the only dysfunctional family out there. "I presume that the brother of King Black Bolt has no love for the human race."

Judging by the way they came asking help, Sue reasons, it isn't a far fetched idea that Black Bolt's brother isn't going to be giving them all flowers. Vocalizing these thoughts probably wouldn't do much more than anger the already angry looking Gorgon, so she settles to let Reed handle the business of negociations.

Though she does finally lower her hand down to her side and the shield around the pair of them follows. Seems silly to stand in the hallway of their home protecting them against someone who only broke down some elevator doors.

Seriously, nobody should be this calm in the face of potential danger.

"No, he does not," Gorgon replies, "but as far as we can tell, he does not particularly hate them, either." Gorgon shifts slightly, looking faintly uncomfortable. Whatever his position on Attilan, is clear in his stance and tone that it does not usually involve matters of diplomacy. "While the politics of our race are usually none of your concern, Maximus is…" Gorgon trails off, looking sideways towards Black Bolt, but the statue-still king hardly seems to notice, so Gorgon continues, "Maximus is… dangerously unhinged." Black Bolt doesn't silence his interpreter, but his lips slowly settle into a hard line as his brother is described as 'dangerously unhinged.'

"We believe that there is a great chance that Maximus will use the resentment over your continued survival to whip the people into a frenzy. Using this ill will, he may very well declare war on your kind." With a grunt, Gorgon straightens a bit with pride, "Needless to say, this would be disasterous for the humans, leaving your cities destroyed, and your people dead and dying." Yet, with a single tap of Black Bolt's finger, Gorgon's chest quickly deflates and he begrudgingly adds: "And My Lord believes that it would likely leave Attilan's defenses in tatters, as well. He has seen the strength of your mankind's defenders and has not found them wanting."

Reed takes a heavy breath and exhales slowly. The pipe comes out and balances upon his hip as he continues to consider. "Well, if there's a way that we can head off any pain and suffering for both parties, I'd certainly prefer it."

After a brief pause, Reed asks another question, knowing that it won't be popular but it's something he needs to parse out. "I mean no harm when I ask this, King Black Bolt, but if you return to power, how will the people treat you? What I mean to say, is your brother's rule a popular one among the masses?"

So many questions.

There are so many of them that Sue wants to ask, but can tell the situation is tense enough without her compounding the issue by bringing up something as silly as 'why did you break my elevators'. It isn't like they can't afford new elevators, but what about the people down in the lobby?

"What if someone had gotten hurt in your visit?" She's held her tongue for this long, she's just run right out of patience.

Black Bolt's gaze sweeps from Reed to Sue and the lines around his eyes tighten, the hard-edged line of his mouth sinking into the faintest of frowns as his answer is written all over his face: They weren't.

As if to give vocalization to Black Bolt's inner thoughts, Gorgon grunts back and says, almost incredulously, "No one was hurt because My Lord made it so. It was not fate or chance, but because of his efforts not to cause harm to anything or anyone other then your contraptions."

While Gorgon speaks for him, Black Bolt turns back towards Reed and his expression softens into one of careful thought, before he gives a faint shake of his head. With a slight motion, he calls Gorgon's attention back towards him and repeats the shake of his head along with a quick hand gesture which Gorgon seems to understand. "No. While Maximus had help from a small, vocal faction of Inhumans, it was primarily through the use of the Trikon that he was able to gain control."

Reed gives no pause to Sue's questions. She's a free and damned grown woman. He's been through enough with her and has enough respect for her opinions, that he'd never dare shush her. Black Bolt's response to her question being what it was, the King will have to learn that the Four are a package deal.

Just wait until Johnny makes his opinions known.

On second thought, let's do that when Black Bolt is not in the room.

"Very well, King Black Bolt. I have a few hypothoses as to how we might be able to unseat your brother. I need to know everything possible about him and what lengths you are willing to go to get your throne back. There will be risks."

"Next time, with all due respect to you King Black Bolt, knock." Sue counters. If there was meant some quiet encouragement that she need not speak up further, she missed it in his expression, but she seems to clearly understand his unspoken answer. Like Reed, she speaks not to the mouth peice, but to the one for whom he's speaking.
Arms set across her chest, she settles in beside Reed and watches the pair of exiles. With her portion now vocalized she is again content to let her husband do the planning as to how they will unseat the brother of a King.

"You misunderstand, human. We do not need your help to overthrow Maximus, we need—" Gorgon replies, but stops when Black Bolt removes his hand from his shoulder and steps past him towards Reed and Sue. Approaching the pair, he brushes past them and makes for a small hologram of the Earth that floats above a small projector in the lab. Clearly quite used to similar technology, Black Bolt manipulates the globe until he finds a small blip at the southern end of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and points to it, staring straight at Reed for a moment, before he gestures to the sky, then towards a monitor, ending with another firm point towards the blip.

"You may want to see what you can find on that Island, human," Gorgon supplies, "You may remember it as the home of our city, Attilan."

Reed's dark eyes follow Black Bolt to the globe and he watches the Monarch go for the Mid-Atlantic. The pipe goes into the mouth once more, and by the time Gogon's words hit him, they are to his back.

"Very well. Sue, let's set up a team to head to this Island. Johnny and Chavez. We'll take the Fantasticar. I'll need a few days to work out some technological equipment to help us on our journey." Reed still isn't quite sure what Gorgon means, but he's more interested in the Island.

Sue turns to follow Black Botl as well and traces his point to the small island that was.. or is?… their home. With Reed already cooking up a plan for an expedition, Sue nods and motions towards one of the bank of communications terminals, "I'll get Chavez and Johnny back to the Baxter Building."

She stutters a step and regards the pair of visitors, then shakes her head and slips into an adjacent room.

"Sue?" Reed adds. "Better get Ben too."

As the Two begin to make plans for a journey to the island, Black Bolt approaches Gorgon again, reaching out a hand to pat his shoulder on the way towards the broken elevator doors. "We will go on ahead, human," Gorgon informs the remaining One, just before turning to follow his king, and with little more than a whisper of air, the two drop back into the dark of the elevator shaft.


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