|Vision (vihz) wrote in avengers_logs,|
@ 2019-06-10 16:04:00
While the labs at Stark Industries were quiet this afternoon, the buzzing in the back of Peter's head wasn't.
What had begun a few days ago as a headache had grown into a dull roar, a steady background noise he was struggling to tune out. There was an explanation for it, at least - another upset between dimensions according to Dr. Strange, but Peter couldn't shake the feeling that something was just wrong. He wasn't dreaming (at least, not anything other than the regular old nightmare of being back on Titan and trying - and failing - to yank off Thanos' gauntlet again), and that made sense. He was dead and dusted in that world, and though he was lucky enough to get a second chance here, he wanted to go back. He wanted to fix things, he wanted to help Tony puzzle out the time travel he'd mentioned, he wanted to make sure that his aunt in that world was okay.
But he couldn't do any of that, so distracting himself seemed to be the next best bet.
He worked for a few hours on yet another version of his web fluid, notes scribbled everywhere and a few test tubes steaming. Peter was upside-down hanging from the ceiling by the time he strapped on a web shooter filled with a canister of his latest attempt, aiming for the whiteboard. Webbing shot out erratically with a thwip, and it was only after the botched formula landed that he realized there was a shadow in the doorway close by. It wasn't Tony with the usual 'and what did I tell you about crawling on my walls?’ - but Peter recognized his company, at least. Even if their first meeting had been fleeting and in the middle of the chaos that had been Germany, Vision was hard to forget.
"Crap." Peter hopped down from his perch, splaying his hands in an apology. "Sorry - sorry, that didn't get on you, did it? Total misfire. It's non-toxic, I promise."
Vision was drawn toward the sound of activity he heard in the lab; assuming it was Tony, he didn’t think to announce himself or call out before entering the room. And now he was seeing the error of his ways, so to speak. Vision’s expression was a mixture of detached curiosity and confusion as he glanced down at the substance on his chest. He reached up to remove it, but it just ended up sticking to his hand; and then his hand was stuck to his chest.
He glanced up to see none other than Peter Parker - the gifted individual that had joined to assist them during the fight in Germany. “No harm done,” he said, still trying to tug his hand away from his chest. Clearly that method wasn’t going to work, so instead he altered his density to become intangible, then took a step back as the webbing that was clinging to him fell to the ground. Having never interacted with it before, he was surprised to find how durable it was. Then again, it had taken down Mr Lang when he was in a massive form - no small feat.
“I am rather relieved that we were fighting on the same side in Germany,” he said, offering the younger man a smile.
Peter was already nudging aside various beakers to look for the dissolving solution - it was here somewhere in this mess - when it looked like he wouldn't be needing it after all. He hadn't been able to fully grasp the extent of Vision's powers in Germany, but it made sense now that Tony had once told him his apparent robo-son wasn't big on walls. "Me too," Peter said sheepishly. "I don't think this stuff would hold up great against someone who can walk right through it."
He found the spray bottle he was looking for and gave the floor and whiteboard a spritz, just enough to have the wayward webs shrink away. "I don't think we've ever met-met? I'm Peter. You probably know that, but - hi." From the stories Tony had told him, it felt like he had known Vision far longer than just a brief exchange of greetings before the airport battle. Despite not being new to the concept of everything that Vision was, there was still some unfiltered awe in Peter's eyes as he took him in.
"Mr. Stark said you're new to this timeline? ...Which feels really weird to say, but I think that's supposed to be the new normal now."
“It is a pleasure to officially meet you, Peter,” he said, watching with curiosity as Peter spritzed the webbing and it dissolved quickly. “That’s quite impressive material.” It must have taken great talent to be able to construct a substance so durable, and it made Vision wonder what exactly went into that process. This setting reminded him a little of Tony in his earlier days - spending hours in the lab, buried underneath whatever piece of technology or construct he was engineering.
“Yes, I arrived a few weeks ago. The timeline I came from was quite brutal, and I am still… adjusting to this new reality.” Which was putting it lightly. He was beyond grateful to be suddenly given a second chance - to be with Wanda again after having been ripped away from her. But there was still a distant fear that whispered in the back of his mind occasionally, reminding him that Thanos existed here as well. Even though their odds were much better here, it was difficult to fully let that caution go when the Titan still lived.
“How long have you been here?”
"Hey, thanks - you're pretty impressive yourself." Peter was trying not to go into full robot enthusiast territory, but he was someone who grew up fixated with movies like the Iron Giant and Star Wars. His main takeaway from re-watching those dozens of times had been that synthetic lifeforms had a lot to offer the world - and from everything he’d heard from Tony, Vision more than affirmed that belief.
"I've been here for almost five months. I wish I could tell you it gets less surreal, but I think I'm always just waiting for the other shoe to drop." People disappeared, sometimes, and different versions of them came back. It was hard to see anything as permanent when they all seemed to live in a constant state of fluctuation. "I was in space before. With Mr. Stark? And it...it didn't end so great."
It had ended in a lot of dust and tears for him, and from what he'd learned, those effects hadn't been limited to only the planet of Titan. The thought made him scrub at the webbing on the wall behind them just a little harder - almost clean. "I wasn't really around long enough there to see what happened next. But when you say your universe was brutal, it sounds like we might have been from the same one?"
Vision nodded and remained quiet for a few moments, watching as Peter scrubbed at the wall at little too vigorously. That he felt distressed over those events was clear; and it made Vision hesitate a moment as he debated on how best to respond.
From what Peter was saying, it did seem as though their experiences from the other timeline were similar - perhaps they were from the same time and space. If that was true, then there was less of a reason to filter his response.
“I can relate to that feeling,” he said. “For all that I know, logically, the events that happened in the other timeline haven’t happened here; I still find myself reacting as if they are about to.” Those echoes of trauma were difficult to set aside, which made him feel quite human; oddly enough.
“I believe we are from the same universe,” he agreed. “In spite of every effort made to stop him, Thanos was successful. Half the population was destroyed; myself included. Tony has relayed to me what happened on Titan… I know how profoundly your loss affected him,” he finished, his tone a bit softer and less clinical. Every loss had affected Tony, technically, but Vision had known him long enough to know that Peter’s death had been particularly impacting.
Peter had heard similar detailing from Tony when he'd arrived fresh from Titan - the plan didn't work, they'd lost, there had been a battle in Wakanda that went badly. In this universe it had all panned out differently, but back there? The more Vision told him, the more a few missing pieces were put into place. Vision had the mind stone; it was part of him. And if the mind stone was part of him and Thanos won, that couldn't mean anything good.
"I'm so sorry." Peter meant it, too, because they'd been so close to ripping the glove off, but it hadn't been enough - not for him, not for half the population, and not for Vision either. He knew even the dream memories of him dusting had rattled Tony, and he never wanted his mentor to feel that kind of loss or guilt again. "I know Thanos was sent packing in this timeline and all, but if he’s still out there…I want to be ready, I guess. Or as ready as I can be. My aunt always says it’s better to be safe than sorry, so It’s why I’m holed up in here trying to make this formula stronger."
His attention wandered to Vision’s forehead where the mind stone gleamed. As small and unobtrusive as it was, there was the kind of power within it that apparently a giant purple alien would start a galaxy-wide war over. “So the mind stone-“ He could only hold back his curiosity for so long, and he hoped the question didn’t poke too much at painful memories . “Could you exist without it?"
Vision nodded in acknowledgment of Peter’s apology. He didn’t hold him responsible of course, but he could understand the sentiment of regret at having not been able to do enough to prevent Thanos from winning; it was a feeling Vision knew all too well - he wished he could have done more during that final battle; he wished he could have spared Wanda from that entire experience.
“I agree with your aunt, being prepared is a wise choice,” he said. “Perhaps I can assist you when it comes to the formula,” he offered. “Trial and error is something I’m quite used to, having worked with Tony for so long,” he said with a slight grin. He could help with running tests, ruling out anomalies within the formulas structure, that sort of thing. He visited the labs on a frequent enough basis that it made sense for him to offer, though if Peter preferred to work alone, that was alright too.
He didn’t mind the question Peter asked next. Vision had a curious nature himself, and often missed social cues for when to stop inquiring about certain subjects, so needless to say, it wasn’t a topic he minded talking about; especially since he’d thought of the answer from many different angles.
“I am not certain. My identity is an amalgam of so many different pieces, and the mind stone is one of those facets of who I am. It gives me my abilities, that much is clear. I also feel as if the stone has it’s own sentience, and that sentience is somehow woven with my own.” He paused a moment. “I think I would be very different without it, assuming I even survived. Aspects of my personality would likely be lost, as well.”
"Oh man, really?" Peter visibly brightened at the offer of help with his formula - he was lucky to have gotten input from Tony and Dr. Foster on his various versions, and the idea of having an intellect like Vision's on his side was exciting. "That would be awesome. I've been trying to up the strength without losing the flexibility, and that's where I'm getting stuck. Literally, I guess you could say. I was thinking I could make some sterile cannisters in case I run into anyone with an injury too - it can hold stuff together temporarily, at least. So I'm working on getting it better from a few angles."
Peter was already thinking about the benefits of Vision's phasing ability - he could walk right out of his webs, so he might even get the chance to test out the formula. He would have chattered on about that, too, but everything Vision said about the mind stone had his thoughts spinning. He'd been to space and had seen magic firsthand from people like Dr. Strange and Loki and Wanda, but the power behind the infinity stones seemed somehow more inexplicable than all of that; and a little scary, too, because Peter imagined there were books to be filled on everything they didn't know about those tiny gems.
"Then we definitely want to make sure you don't lose that." They had a chance in this universe, and if Thanos or anyone else made a grab for the stone here, Peter would hopefully be on Earth this time to help protect both it and Vision. "I think...I mean, I hope things can be different. The Avengers are all in one place, and we didn't have that back there. Maybe this universe is here so we can get it right." Which was a very optimistic way of looking at it, but Peter had to or else he'd go right back to worrying about everyone he'd left behind in that world.
“I would be happy to assist you,” Vision said with a smile. “Two minds toward a common goal are better than one, and anything we can do to keep people in this universe safer, I think it’s worthwhile.” He was glad to see that Peter was enthusiastic to his offer, he seemed eager to learn and to help; and that was something Vision could relate to. He was of the opinion that if you had the means to help (via having enhanced abilities or otherwise), it was your duty to do so; especially when the world was such an unstable place at times.
“What you used today would’ve been next to impossible for me to get out of, without phasing,” he said, some amusement in his tone because that would have been quite the ordeal otherwise. “Which I imagine would be quite valuable in of itself. But if you want it more flexible as well, I can run some tests and see what adjustments we can try.” He was impressed by how hard Peter had worked on it; and was certain with enough trial and error, they could figure out how to expand on what he’d already created.
“That is a very hopeful way to look at it,” Vision said thoughtfully, and he’d meant it as a complement. An optimistic perspective was a valuable one, at least in his experience. Ultron had leaned so far into pessimism that he’d nearly destroyed everything, all the while thinking he was ‘helping’. It was better to cling to hope, even if you weren’t sure what might happen in the future.
“From what I’ve seen so far, and what others have told me about the battle at Wakanda; I think we’ve all had a chance to do much better here, than we did in the other universe.” The two of them were still standing, for one; which meant they could do much more here to try and make up for what happened when Thanos snapped his fingers.
After Titan, after everything on Earth that had happened as a consequence, a second go at it was more than most people could ask for. Peter had spent much of his time in this universe holding his breath and waiting for something to go wrong; but in this moment, no matter what might come up next, he just felt overwhelmingly grateful that he and Vision and so many others were alive and well now.
"I'm all ears," Peter said about those tests and adjustments, already working on clearing his slightly messy lab table to give Vision some room to join him. He hadn't known until Vision joined him that company was just what he needed today - and a friend and a sounding board for his experiments made it all the better. "I've got a list of the ingredients here-" He gestured to a very beat-up notebook that was nearly filled. "And a list of binding agents that definitely haven’t worked here..."
Peter nudged aside more beakers and test tubes until there was at least a semblance of free space. Like Vision said, they did have a chance to do better here; and that could start with the smallest step forward.