|Dr. Stephen Strange (doctor__strange) wrote in avengers_logs,|
@ 2018-04-21 14:15:00
|Entry tags:||-complete, jane foster, stephen strange|
|Jane Foster was one of only a few people who knew what it was like to be transported from one place to another.She might be the only human to travel by Bifrost but Norse history was long and that wasn’t a bet on which she’d be willing to stake anything of significance. But she’d done it. Travelling by wormhole through outer space was exhilarating. This, whatever this was, was not that. The feeling, Jane decided, was something close to the unease of being watched by a stranger a party and then mixed with low level nausea. She wasn’t a fan.|
One minute Jane was bent over her work bench in her New Mexico lab. It was sometime either just before or just after the ideat of lunchtime. The next minute she was definitely somewhere else. Some random side street in New York, judging by the skyline. No Bifrost, no building thunderclouds, and no sign of anything Asgardian. This was new - and it was leaving a sinking feeling in the pit of Jane’s stomach.
Ahead of Jane, a portal opened in the wall of a building with the spark of embers and out stepped Dr. Strange in his ful red cloaked glory, with a brightly wrapped package tucked under one arm. Little did he know, but Jane Foster was probably doomed to run into guys wearing red capes, that just happened to change the course of her life. Considering how many times a timeline could branch of into their own separate part of the multiverse, the doctor would insist that course wasn't ever linear. It offered infinite paths in every conceivable direction.
The doctor took a look around before his gaze landed on Jane. He raised a hand in greeting and walked toward her.
"Hello, Ms. Foster," he said as he approached, "I'm Doctor Strange."
And that was probably the understatement of the century, if only it wasn't his actual surname.
“It’s Doctor Foster, actually,” corrected Jane. There was an air of distraction in her voice, and her gaze went past and then though the stranger to the the building he’d just appeared from. Through. None of the methods she knew for travelling through space could account for that. You’d have to transmit matter the way you did radio frequencies.
“What’s going on? How am I in New York? And how - “ Jane studied the stranger. He seemed to come from the Tony Stark school of facial hair and was wearing a red cape not as grand as some she’d seen but oddly animated. She glanced at the sky again. “ - Did you do that?”
Stephen scrunched up his nose a little bit, giving himself a mental reminder to add titles and PHD's into the spell he cast over the city for 'new arrivals', instead of only giving him their names.
The cape, having caught on that it was studied, raised one lower corner of the cloak and waved a hello at Jane. Then it dropped down, downgrading itself to the oddly animated state of being once more.
"That's a good series of questions, Doctor Foster," replied Stephen, holding out the welcome package to her. "I'm not only a doctor, but I broke time. With magic. Sorry, it wasn't intentional. I was saving the world from something else and this is a parallel copy of a prime universe. You've only now been made aware of it. And displaced, obviously, from where you were when you were made aware."
There was a pause before Stephen inquired, "Where were you last at?"
Jane gave a half sort of wave back at the cape. The effect of the thing was something like having the flying carpet from Disney’s Aladdin strapped to your shoulders. “New Mexico. I have a lab there.”
A fractured timeline wasn’t as surprising to someone who had read as much science-fiction as Jane. Dianna Dunne Jones wrote about the valley between alternate earth, Terry Pratchett described it as a split in the Trousers of Time, and comics were creating alternate universe every other week. The universe was full of amazing things that couldn’t be explained. She’s seen plenty of them. Jane could accept it happened, though she had plenty of questions about how.
“Are you saying I’m from the original timeline or the new one? That still doesn’t explain how I’m in New York.”
"Well," hedged Strange, knowing how complicated it could get. He had heard of a Jane Foster and where was it that he had....OH. A look of dawning realization hit him, once it clicked that Doctor Foster was Jane Foster, renowned astrophysicist. Someone capable of understanding all of this...and maybe the implications of it.
"Right, this is a good thing. I was a neurosurgeon, not an astrophysicist," Stephen mused aloud. "Let's walk to the hotel while I explain. First, if you were in New Mexico, you're a copy of the Jane Foster splintered off from the original timeline. You've been in this timeline for a while but unaware of it. Until now. I split the two, or the original me did, into almost identical copies. Everything from the people involved, history, their actions and reactions seems to be the same.. The other Jane in the prime universe is unaware of your existence. This timeline was already fragile and unstable, but holding steady. And then a super dense world exploded and the cracks started to show. You've just slipped through one, and ended up here."
He gestured in one direction toward the street, to allow her to go first so he could keep in stride with whatever pace she wanted. He was certain to add, "Sorry about that."
Jane, short as she was, was a fast walker. She was used to matching pace with someone taller. Someone taller even than this magical doctor. Jane nearly shook her head at herself. She’d been doing so well the last couple months keeping thoughts of that someone out of her head. It was the cape that was doing it. Capes were distinctive.
“You’re saying the timeline is unstable? How many people has this happened to?”
"Yes, it is unstable. There are irregularities," Stephen said, finding that he had to keep up with Jane rather than the other way around. "Around thirty people, coming in from the original timeline, or strange events bleeding over from other dimensions or parts of the multiverse. I believe when Asgard was destroyed, it caused even more instability for us than it did in the prime universe."
Jane stopped in her tracks. Someone crashed into the back of her with a shout. She ignored it. When she looked up at Doctor Strange, eyebrows knit and lips tight, a face more concerned than at any point in the odd conversation. Jane almost didn’t want to ask. Asgard still burned bright in her memories and in her dreams. An awesome place in the original sense of the world.
“Asgard was destroyed?” Jane’s voice seemed to echo in her head and she was completely aware of her breathing. He could die, she knew that. Frigga and then Loki were killed in front of her. No matter what the stories said, he wasn’t a god. He could die.
Someone would have told her. If Asgard was gone and Strange knew, others must too. Someone would have told her. Wouldn’t they?
But if Asgard was destroyed… He wouldn’t have let that happen. He could die.
Strange stopped as well. When he was glared at by the person who bumped into Jane, he muttered "Comic Con" and was rewarded with a f-bomb. As well as a "There isn't any comic con going on right now, either."
If only he was a mind reader, but he wasn't, and he didn't know the full story quite yet. He had inklings and insights, but even those were open-ended, as it was when he warned Thor about his destiny. Instead, Strange was left staring at Jane with raised eyebrows.
"Yes, it was. I heard it from Thor, and the timing of it was too close to the start of these anomalies to be ignored. It's when the noises started on the astral plane." Jane quite obviously knew about Asgard, so he continued. "Some Asgardians escaped, but their whereabouts are unknown. Thor is here with his brother, Loki, and two other Asgardians, Valkyrie and Lady Sif."
Relief flooded through Jane. Her heartbeat stopped echoing in her ears. The grief was still there for the tragedy of what had happened to Asgard. Jane didn’t know what could have happened to destroy such an incredible place but it was gone and its people apparently refugees lost in the universe. “Without the Bifrost, there’s no way off Earth,” she mused. Then, “Loki? Loki died on Svartalfheim.”
A pause. “Oh, that bastard. We thought he was dead.”
"Apparently? Not." The doctor shook his head, at a lost where Thor's brother was concerned. Now that Loki knew that his movements could be monitored, he threw up enough spells to shield where he was and what he was doing at any given time. At least Thor, and apparently Darcy, were keeping an eye on him. "And there's no way off Earth. We're in this together. For better or worse. And even Loki seems to be playing by the rules. For now, at least."
“Of course he’s not dead. Of course. Why am I even surprised?” Jane wasn’t talking to Strange so much as at him. The babble was a nice distraction from horror over Asgard. She mulled wormhole equations.
“Thanks for the update,” Jane offered the strange doctor. “I need to figure out what to do next.”
"You're welcome. Seems we both have a good idea of what a certain trickster is capable of," Stephen surmised, his eyes momentarily widening at the fact his spells still registered Loki as a planetary danger. Less than before, but still on that list of those to keep an eye on. That was a matter for another time, and so Stephen looked to the diminutive woman walking beside him.
"I was hoping, given your expertise," he asked, "if you could help explain some of the anomalies from a more scientific perspective."
Jane nodded. It could help with her own research, maybe open up a way off world. “I’ll need access to what information you have. Any data you’ve recorded. Plus, a place to work.” She wondered what sort of records he kept. Strange said he was a neurosurgeon but was dressed for Magic The Gathering.
"Uhh...the data is...magic-related," Stephen judiciously replied, although he was jotting down some observations. He supposed that stability issues, or lack thereof, would be apparent, given Jane's field of interest. "I'll show you the notes I've compiled in a book after viewing it from the astral plane. If it helps further your research though, that would be welcome."
They might, someday, need a way off this planet. Untold numbers could be saved by Jane Foster, if she should ever be successful.
"The princess of Wakanda is here," he informed her as they strolled along at a brisk pace, " and she's set up a very high tech lab in Tribeca. And Stark's has set aside a few floors of the Stark Industry downtown offices for lab space. You can reach them both on the network. The information and means are in the package I gave you."
Astral plane. That was new. “As long as I don’t have to read it on the astral plane.Don’t think I’ve figured that one out yet.” But she had a project and having one was better than not.