Readers: Dr. Fumbles McStupid, LavenderFrost
Format: .mp3, .m4b
Music: OK Go - Good Idea At The Time
Cover Artist: LavenderFrost
@captmarvel4ever: @interntaser you still hosting that thing tonight?
@interntaser: @captmarvel4ever yeah, totally!! You’ll be there, right?
@captmarvel4ever: @interntaser Def!! See you later! Anything I can bring?
@interntaser: @captmarvel4ever Just your cute self! ;) PM-ing you address
@captmarvel4ever: @interntaser WHAT? YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME.
Kamala’s palms were sweating, which was ridiculous, because this was just Darcy. She knew Darcy. They’d met at camp years ago, where Darcy was a counselor, and Kamala was a goody two shoes who was just a bit too scared of her. But they had become friends and hung out now and then. Only this time, it wasn’t just them.
Darcy had an in with the Avengers. Of all people. Kamala didn’t know exactly how; something to do with Thor? Anyway, the point was, she was freaking out because they were meeting at Avengers Freaking Tower, and Kamala was ridiculously excited (...and a little dizzy.) She was feeling pretty sure that she was going to throw up on herself, to be honest; then she’d have no choice but to die on the spot due to embarrassment, and...yeah.
She felt so young and silly and nervous, and she had no reason to be, it was only Darcy. The Avengers would all be out anyway, there wouldn’t be anyone in.
She just kept trying to tell that to her stomach.
@captmarvel4ever going to party at secret cool place, if you never hear from me again, hope I died happy?
She tucked her phone away and took one last look up the face of the building. If she was being punk’d, she might as well get it over with as quickly as possible.
She pushed inside and froze the minute she stepped out of the revolving doorway. If she was one to swear, she’d swear now.
To be fair, it looked like the lobby of any office building, but just knowing that this was Avengers Tower made all the difference. She was here. Inside. Even if it was just the lobby.
Kamala approached the large, sleek desk in the center of the lobby. None of its occupants, two smartly dressed women and one equally well-dressed man, paid her any mind at first. Kamala coughed, and then one of the women looked up with a smile.
“Welcome to Avengers Tower,” she said. “If you’re a fan, you can find the visitor’s lobby on the second floor. Any mail drop off, such as letters or gifts, can be left with security there.”
“Oh, no! I’m-” She hastily swallowed. “I’m Kamala Khan, and um, Darcy said, er, Darcy Lewis, we’re friends, she said to meet her-”
Before Kamala could finish stumbling over her words, there was a screech of delight to her right, followed by the flap of shoes running across the floor.
“Kamala!” Darcy threw her arms around Kamala. “It’s okay, Angie, she’s with me.”
Kamala waved to the receptionist as Darcy pulled her toward the elevator, an arm around her shoulders.
“Common room,” Darcy said as the doors closed in front of them. After a little beep, the elevator began to move.
Darcy pointed to the ceiling. “Voice recognition and DNA scan, all unnoticeable.”
Kamala’s mouth dropped. “That’s so cool!” She pressed her open hands against the side of her face as she scanned the tiny room as if it would give her better vision. “Is it some repurposed alien tech that isn’t replicable but still useable?”
“Uh, I think it’s just Tony’s stuff? But I’ll have to see if we can get some alien tech, that’d be cool.”
@captmarvel4ever: I can’t believe this, I can’t believe this, I can’t believe this.
@captmarvel4ever: I CAN’T SAY WHAT, BUT THIS IS SUPER COOL.
@captmarvel4ever: THERE'S A JACUZZI ON THE BALCONY.
@captmarvel4ever: FRANTIC KEY SMASH AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
Kamala couldn't stop talking. The Avengers Tower living room (one of the smaller lounges, Darcy corrected) was filled with so much cool stuff and it was sleek and shiny and the Avengers hung out here.
She pointed to every little artifact and couldn’t help but exclaim over it. She moved from thing to thing, awed and amazed over the artifacts they had in just one of their living rooms. Plus, the Avengers lived here!
"Okay, so not fair that you seem to know way more about this junk than me."
Kamala blushed. "No, I just... Forums... And fan theories... You know."
'I kid," Darcy said affectionately. "Okay, so we've got poker planned, with loads of snacks, popcorn, chips, candy-"
'Uh, I don't gamble."
"Oh, duh!" Darcy slapped her forehead. "Sorry, K-girl. That's cool, we've got every single game imaginable. I'd suggest D&D but we're pretty far-"
"Oh,no, we are totally doing D&D. I’ve got a character who is an elf Paladin with the Sword of Majesty. Haven’t had a chance in a long time to pop her out though! I have a model of her at home, but I can make do without."
"Sweet, D&D it is."
Kamala sat down on a couch, and she immediately sank down. "Help!"
Darcy, laughing her butt off like a jerk, finally reached out a hand after enjoying watching Kamala flounder for another moment.
"Sorry, forgot to warn you about that fluff monster of a couch. Bruce likes it and he's the only one."
Oh man, oh man, this was the Hulk's personal couch? No way. So cool.
Wait. This was the Avengers' personal living space. You couldn't get more intimate than this. Who exactly else was coming? "Darcy-"
Music blasted out, cutting Kamala off as she reflexively clapped her hands over her ears.
"Sorry!" The volume lowered. "Turned it up when I was getting ready this morning."
It was completely rude and out of line, but Kamala peered over Darcy’s shoulder as she checked her text.
Wanda (212-567-2839): Have to cancel. Emergency in Boston.
“That’s the Scarlet Witch!” Kamala burst out. She clapped a hand over her mouth. “Sorry, I didn’t mean-”
“It’s all good,” Darcy said with a shrug. “But looks like we’re down a few girls tonight. But hey, more popcorn for us!”
In a way, it was good that the Avengers had been called away. Kamala had not expected to actually be spending any time with them, so the sick feeling in her stomach settled down. But she was a little disappointed. (Okay, so she HAD brought a few things that could be signed JUST IN CASE.)
Darcy turned and motioned for Kamala to follow. "So, what do you want to drink? Soda? Tea?"
"Is that Captain America's original shield?" Hanging on the wall, she stared up at the beaten-up piece of cheap metal, awed. She reached out a hand and ran her fingers down the edge.
A high-pitched alarm sounded.
'That wasn't me!?" Kamala tugged her hand away.
“Damn it.” Darcy turned about face and strode in the other direction. She caught Kamala's hand and pulled her along. Kamala tripped trying to keep pace as Darcy led her down a series of hallways. “What’s the sitch?”
Kamala inhaled sharply as a disembodied voice replied, “Breach in the basement laboratories, level B3."
She didn’t have a chance to ask Darcy about it. A second later, Darcy dragged her into a room that was lined with monitors. “Bring up B3 cameras.”
The monitors lit up, but there was nothing on them. “Damn it, system’s down for maintenance, isn’t it? Here, Kamala, take this.”
Darcy dropped a small device into Kamala’s hand. “What is this?”
“It’s a radio earpiece. We’ve got to go down there. I’ve got my tazer, but you’ll be more useful with your Ms. Marvel powers.”
“What?!” Kamala panicked. “I don’t- Ms. Marvel? What are you-”
“Dude,” Darcy said, rolling her eyes, “I know how heroes work. You’re obviously Ms. Marvel. The hair, the clothes. I thought you knew I knew.”
“I-” Kamala felt her face heat. Great. And she’d thought she’d done a really good job with her costume, too.
@captmarvel4ever OK, does EVERYONE know all my secrets??
Kamala, now changed into her suit, and Darcy, sporting a taser and bioscanner, made their way down the halls of level B3. Although the surveillance equipment wasn’t working, the lights, thankfully, were.
The first thing Kamala noticed was the smell. It was the smell of the garbage the week Aamir forgot to take it out before they took their vacation to Philadelphia, coupled with a sickly sweet scent on top of that, like gasoline and perfume mixed together. Darcy blew it off at first, telling her that between the labs, Tony’s workshop, and Jane’s attempts at cooking, strange sights and smells were fairly normal. If this was normal, Kamala would have to rethink her future Avengers plan…
“Holy shit, what was that?” Darcy grabbed Kamala’s arm. They stopped and listened. Kamala embiggened her ears and then she caught it, loud and clear. There was a squelching from a few halls down.
Kamala gestured frantically to Darcy.
“What?” Darcy hissed. “What are you saying?”
Kamala gestured again, but Darcy shook her head. With a sigh, Kamala said, in a whisper, “I hear it. Down this way.”
They tiptoed as quietly as they could (which was not quiet at all) until they could peak down the corridor the noise was coming from.
It was a writhing, slithering mass of goo. It resembled, at best, living snot. It jiggled and jostled as it moved slowly across the floor.
Was it okay to upchuck now?
“Maybe it’s not hostile,” Darcy whispered.
She wasn’t quiet enough. The creature, whatever it was, moved as if it heard them. It sloshed to one side, then jiggled to the other, and suddenly it was rolling at them with speed.
Kamala screamed as she shoved Darcy one way and threw herself in another. She wasn’t embarrassed for the scream. This thing was gross and headed right for her.
Kamala didn’t take the time to think. With a shout, she spun around, enlarged her fist and ran at the creature.
Kamala slammed her fist down. The thing squished beneath her hand; it was revolting, the way it oozed, warm, gooey, and even a little chunky.
“Sick, sick, sick,” she chanted as she shook her hand off.
“You did it!” Darcy shouted in her ear. She waved from some distance down the corridor. “Oh em gee, just wait until I get this all over Twitter. That thing’s not getting back up.”
“Oh, no, did I kill it? I didn’t want to kill it.” There were still bits of slime stuck to her hand.
Having become a possible murderer aside, at least it had been an easy fight. Kamala couldn’t always say that.
Darcy cleared her throat before saying, “Uh, I think it’s getting back up again.”
Kamala did not want to look.
The slime was pulling itself back together, but this time, the gelatinous mass looked bigger. And then bigger. And even bigger.
“Hey, that’s my trick!”
The slime creature pushed through the corridor toward Kamala. It was so large, It filled the entire space. She couldn’t see Darcy through it at all.
“Hey, you could try to use your little scanner toy anytime!” Kamala said as she turned and ran down the corridor.
“What do you think I’m doing?”
There was a groan behind her, and Kamala looked back just in time to see the tentacle of goo the creature shot out at her. She yelped and dodged out of the way. It lanced another goo tentacle at her, and she rounded a corner to avoid that one. She fell flat on her face over her own feet, but she was up in a flash and running again.
She couldn’t grow bigger, and she didn’t see any point in growing smaller. There had to be some way to incapacitate this thing.
“Marvel, I’ve got it.” Kamala could have cheered with relief. “You’ve got to go in there. I think there’s just one small mass controlling the rest of it. If you can trap that, we can contain it and figure out what to do with it later.”
Kamala’s stomach lurched. The smell was already overwhelming just outside of it. However, the creature didn’t look like it was going to stop anytime soon. Smashing hadn’t worked. Water hadn’t worked. Time for something new.
Kamala took a deep breath, counted to five, and dove in. She enlarged her hands and pressed them together to slice through the slime. However, once her feet left the ground, her momentum slowed. She dragged herself frantically through the slime, Darcy issuing orders in her earpiece.
The slime clung to her body, and there was a pressure that made her headache as the creature pushed against her. She could feel it getting into her clothes, and she knew the smell would take weeks to wash out.
So gross, so gross, so gross.
In her head, Kamala composed her next update.
@captmarvel4ever: Now I know what it’s like to swim in sewage.
“Left! Left!” Darcy shouted in her ear. Her voice was growing muffled, and Kamala shook with the realization it was seeping underneath the radio piece into her ear.
This was so not fair.
Kamala should have asked what this mass felt liked before diving in, because she was not opening her eyes nor was she opening her mouth.
@captmarvel4ever: *HASHTAG STRING OF SWEAR WORDS*
“Down! No, up, more up! Yeah, that’s it, a little to the right…”
Kamala reached out blindly, her lungs starting to burn. This was just pathetic, she was going to drown in a disgusting snot monster in the basement of Avengers Tower. Some superhero she was.
Something small, hard, and wholly unlike the slime around it nudged at her fingers. She grasped it, and there was a startled squeak, almost like a mouse, and then all around Kamala, there was a strange shifting sensation.
She found herself sitting in a pile of gooey remains, the small hard object still held tightly in her hand, and feeling like she had a coat of film all over her.
Darcy ran up just as Kamala managed to stand and try to wipe some of the goop off of herself.
“You go, K-girl!”
“Oh, that?” Kamala said with a shrug. “That was nothing.” She placed her hands on her hips and gave Darcy her most self-satisfied smile.
Darcy lightly punched Kamala on the cleanest part of her arm.
“Don’t get too cocky with yourself, young lady,” Darcy said, mock-serious.
They broke into laughter.
“So what do we do with this thing? Kamala asked. She opened her hand long enough to glimpse a textured brown shell, like a walnut, before there was a wiggle and the object started to slime.
“Oh, damn it, here, let me just find something…”
Darcy returned a moment later with a glass jar. Kamala quickly and carefully rolled the ball up tightly.
The thing began to ooze once it was no longer contained in Kamala’s hand. They watched anxiously just to make sure it couldn’t ooze out. When it didn’t, they both breathed a sigh of relief.
“We need to celebrate!”
“No,” Kamala raised her hand, “first I need a shower.”
When Kamala got home, her parents’ faces screwed up in disgust as they smelled the remains of whatever that thing was still on her. They sent her to the bathroom in despair, and as Kamala soaked in the bath (one of many), she checked her phone.
@interntaser: Check this out!
The link Darcy sent her led to a press release that mentioned that although there had been a break-in into Avengers Tower, Ms. Marvel happened upon the scene and dealt with the problem. The Avengers all personally thanked Ms. Marvel for her aid.
Kamala dropped her phone onto the bathmat and sank further into the tub with a happy sigh.