|im_always_angry (im_always_angry) wrote in reality_crisis,|
@ 2012-05-26 18:24:00
|Entry tags:||!status: complete, bruce banner, pastor john tudor|
Stranger in a strange land (Open, but can work as narrative)
He tried to inhale, and water filled his mouth and nose. Bruce erupted in a fit of coughing, and jerked his head to the side. His face had been half submerged in a puddle. He spat out a mouthful of muddy water and opened his eyes. What he saw didn't make him feel much better. Concrete streets and sidewalks overrun with grass and foliage, half collapsed skyscrapers towering all around him.
Bruce pulled his aching body up from the ground, looking around him in awe. "Alright..." he said evenly, going over the last thing he remembered. Stark Tower, the lab, 2:30 in the morning. My research. Time for coffee. Then a point of light, tearing across the wall. The Tesseract? Similar, but it lacked the blue-hue. And none of my Gamma instruments gave any kind of warning. A portal of some kind. And then- white. All white.
Bruce paced up to what had once been an intersection, and looked down one street, then the next, then the next. In every direction it was the same thing. Empty streets, cracked pavement, rodents and small game grazing next to traffic signals and deserted vehicles. He thought about yelling, but his instincts prevented him. The gravity of the situation began to dawn on him. "Right, so I'm alone, in what looks like a major metropolitan city. Aaand it's deserted..." He nodded, interlacing his fingers, turning in circles as he considered his predicament.
This isn't right... A sinking feeling came to his stomach, the kind that happened when the data was inevitably pointing in a direction the researcher didn't want it to. Bruce was too well read to have missed a major city of this size suddenly being deserted. The vegetation suggested it had been this way for some time- at least a year at his best guess.
"So there are three possible explanations, " Bruce muttered to himself. "One, that I've been away long enough for some disaster to strike, for a major city to be deserted, and for vegetation to overrun it. Two, that I'm experiencing some sort of hallucination, or have finally lost my goddamned mind. Or three, that I'm not on Earth at all...". He thought about Thor and Loki- maybe this was one of the nine realms they talked about? He took a deep breath for a moment, closing his eyes, accepting the crushing terror and hopelessness of the situation. That it was a distinct possibility that he had had a complete break from reality, or that the world had finally descended into nuclear war. That he would likely never see any of his friends ever again. Exhaling his eyes snapped open, a serene expression on his face. "So par for the course, really."
An hour later saw Bruce in full-scale survival mode. A lifetime spent on the run from every government agency had given the man more than a few skills that would come in handy in this bleak new world. He'd located some shelter in a ruined storefront, then had set about gathering whatever resources he could. He'd quickly discovered that a number of items from the laboratory had been pulled through the rift with him, and he scoured the are for anything he could find.
As night fell, he made his way back into his shelter and hunkered down for the night. A small pile of objects sat at the opposing side of his small fire. There were a few pieces of lab equipment which wouldn't be of any immediate use, but it was nice to have all the same. The real find had been his "go-bag". Really it was just a canvas shoulder bag any college professor might carry, but Bruce was always ready for the possibility of running at a moment's notice. He had a change of clothes, some dehydrated fruit and energy bars, a bottle of water, a shaving kit, an empty shoe polish tin filled with basic survival supplies, and his laptop, the real gem of the collection. A Stark Granitebook- the same model used in combat zones, but Bruce's titanium casing had a drab green sheen- Tony's idea of a joke. Add to that the smartphone he'd had in his pocket, his wallet, his watch, his glasses, and the clothes on his back. He'd been worse off.
Something rattled in the street. Bruce looked up with concern, his heartbeat jumping. His fire was small and concealed behind rubble, but Bruce quickly stomped it out all the same. Peeking over the edge, Bruce saw there were figures in the street. He stayed silent, prepared to wait out the night unless he heard some actual human voices...