2019-08-08 - It's Difficult Being Legally Dead


Steve and Bucky meet Laynia and have a proper conversation, including a brief sneak-peek into the Darkforce dimension.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu Aug 8 03:55:49 2019
Location: Tolliver Free Clinic

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Sadly, poor Laynia's shopping trip ended up with a super battle, explosions and personal injury. Annoyingly, when she recovered her bags they had been mostly destroyed in the melee and splody. Ah well, at least the SHIELD folks and Captain America were so busy dealing with the crime scene that she could easily enough fly away. Unfortunately she no longer has the backing of…well…of /anyone/.

A quick trip to Little Odessa to get changed, and then she left the Brighton Beach Area seeking a place likely not to report her and ended up here - a free clinic in Mutant Town, right on the border of the Disaster Zone.

This is a place that isn't too likely to turn her in, and she can make a donation to help grease the wheels, so that's a fine solution. Of course, her knowledge of modern tech is not terribly acute, Laynia doesn't know how readily a person can be tracked even without such reports.

At present the Russian woman out of time is in a treatment room, explaining about how a friend's efforts at making a deep fried turkey went horribly horribly wrong!

The amount of Russian flying around the battle-grounds outside of the stymied bank robbery was more than enough to make Steve go home and bounce some questions off of Bucky about this mysterious young woman limned in flickering shadow. That, and he owed the brunet the story about Captain Canuck and the Frisbee Fling of Freedom.

As such, after some subtle gumshoeing of his own (and really, borrowing SHIELD's access to public camera systems), he's tracked Laynia to the small clinic on the edge of the Disaster Zone. He and Barnes arrive with little fanfare. Steve, at least, is in civilian garb of a blue plaid button-down shirt overtop a white undershirt and jeans overtop his combat boots. He does sport a Dodgers baseball cap (neener-neener, Barnes) and this affords him mild anonymity. Of course, anyone paying close enough attention will recognize the Captain.

Steve elects to linger outside of the clinic. He sighs. "Don't think they'd take it well if we walked in and said we needed to speak to a patient in one of the receiving rooms," he murmurs to Bucky.

Buck has his own ball cap on - Brooklyn Cyclones. The Dodgers' defection to the other coast being a sore point in the Barnes-Rogers' marriage. Every marriage has ot have the eternal argument, the one tended as lovingly as a treasured houseplant.

He's also in t-shirt and jeans, the arm hidden under a compression sleeve in plain black, with a black glove.

"I mean, we could swing in through a window like Robin Hood,but…..no, I don't think that'd go well, either," Buck says, mildly.

Since the gentlemen from SHIELD are keeping a lower profile, it wouldn't be too horribly long a wait before Laynia emerges, her injuries freshly bandaged and holding a scrip for pain meds to deal with minor things like a couple fractured ribs. Arm in a sling, the woman smiles over her shoulder. "Spasiba…eh, thank you, for your help." And then turns around, the glass door bumping into her behind as she stops dead at the sight of two men outside.

And yes, she DOES recognize the good Captain, his face is pretty well known, and she did make an effort to do some catching up. Bucky is not familiar to her, not personally, she does recognize him after a moment from old briefings, "Bozhe moi." She murmurs as she recognizes the Winter Solder. Captain America AND the Winter Soldier? Together?!

A pause, cinnamon eyes switching from Cap to Bucky, then back to Cap. "So, Captain Rogers…are you here to arrest me?"

"No, don't think it'd be good PR. She's not a fugitive that I'm aware of," the Captain replies quietly to Barnes. "We'll be patient, wait her out." And this plan works in their favor as she appears.

Steve's expression is inscrutible. He glances over at Bucky, not hiding the check-in, and then looks back to Laynia once more.

"Haven't given me a reason to arrest you yet. You were helpful yesterday when things could've taken a turn for the worst. Were they able to treat all of your injuries?" His eyes fall to the sling and then rise to the woman's face once more. Broad shoulders and a tall frame make no effort to hem her in at all, given he stands off to one side of the clinic's door.

So, that's got to be the weirdest jolt. Everyone knows about Cap living in the city, working with SHIELD and the Avengers. But…..the Soldier is alive? And with him? (in more than one sense of that phrase?) He just lifts a hand to her in greeting, like this is a casual encounter. Somewhat behind Steve, truth be told.

"I…could not stand idly by. KGBeast was well named." Laynia says, and then shifts to the side so others can get in and out of the clinic. A shrug draws a faint wince, and then a half-smile. "For the most part, two cracked ribs, some shrapnel cuts, minor radial fracture of the ulna, and a few burns. Mostly I just need time, good food and some rest."

She brushes hair back over a shoulder with her unbound arm, and then looks at the pair of super soldiers. "So..this is social call?" A faint smile curves her lips at that thought. "I am honored, and…surprised." This directed towards Bucky, and a brow raised in question.

"A social call, yep," echoes the blond Captain with a faint pop of his lips on the last consonant. "Wanted to be sure you were on the mend after the brawl. Saw you land some good blows to counter the ones you took. You can hold your own." There's a note of faint praise in his tone, as if he truly hadn't expected someone to face off so well against what he saw show as KGBeast.

Then again, he'd been involved with Flag Smasher and that had been smashing in itself.

All the images of Winter have his expression flat as a Kansas highway. But now there's a curling little grin utterly unlike any of those pictures. "I'm James Barnes, Steve's husband."

His…..what? The Captain married the Winter Soldier? "Just along with him. I don't think you and I ever worked together, but my memory isn't great."

Okay, yes, the news that Captain America is married to an ex-KGB assassin — well, that is pretty much brain breaking for the woman. What really sells it though is the genuinely happy expression on the Winte—on /James/ Barnes' face. It is quite visible this realization, and then the reorg of her preconceptions, and then Laynia offers the first genuine smile of the evening to both men. "Congratulations, then." Going to gush or fluster, nope, the P mentally popped, she'll try it out loud later. "SO, gentlemen, what is on the agenda? I am…recovering, da. And you, Captain, you did exactly as I would have expected! I did not know that other man, nor the Canuck fellow, or the woman cyborg…" A laugh, and she shakes her head, long hair swishing counterpoint. "It was definitely interesting." A frown. "Except for incinerated clothes, not so good."

A little smile traverses Steve's lips at the brunet's introduction of himself. The ease of it offered out makes a small bubble of pride well up beneath his breast-bone. He nods in silent gratitude for Laynia's felicitations and shifts in place, his thumbs slung over the hemline of each front pocket of his jeans, the picture of conversational ease.

"I can imagine the need for some fire-proofing, yep. Didn't know the Canadian individual either, but that shield of his…glad to have it in the appropriate set of hands. He meant well, but he had no idea what he was doing. Could've gotten himself killed." Steve's tone remonstrates the non-present Captain Canuck. "The woman's a coworker," and his slight head-toss towards Bucky includes him as part of this working group. "Insofar as an agenda…nothing really. Still don't have your name though," he notes lightly.

Buck is biting his lip at the mention of the Canadian flagsuit. He shouldn't, it's not nice to laugh inside at other superheroes, especially when you're married to a guy who wears a spangly outfit on the regular, but still.

"Thank you," he says, gently. Whatever they used his body for, the animating spirit that's there now is far more human, far more at ease.

"Oh, my costume, that was fine, I fashioned from Darkforce since no time to wear the proper one, no, I meant the clothing I had gotten earlier, I was there shopping." The woman sighs, a faint pout almost forming. "Stray fire bunt those up." And then she looks back to Steve Rogers, eyes surprised. "But…you are here, I had assumed you would know my name." An inclination of her head in apology is offered. "Forgive my lapse of manners, Mister Barnes, Mister Rogers." Standing straight she offers her good hand. "I am Laynia Sergeievna Petrovna Krylova…but please, Laynia Petrovna is what is on the ID I have, and Laynia will do nicely enough, Da?"

"Ah." A quiet sound of understanding as to Laynia's clarification about her bought goods verses her own fashioned from the esoteric energy about her body. Steve takes a mental note to look through SHIELD's files about this 'Darkforce' later, in his spare time, what increments of it there is. A small, good-natured smile follows her introduction.

"Figured it'd be best to hear what you called yourself, or if you decided to name yourself as something different. That's the same name I found with a little research." He returns her handshake with gentle, polite pressure. "'m still Captain Rogers." His grin deepens to showcase those dimples in passing, making tease of his own introduction.

"Technically I'm still Sergeant Barn. ….no, wait, I'm Lieutenant Barnes now," Buck adds, looking sheepish. Because no one wanted to be the guy who has to prosecute Captain America for breaking the Army's rules about fraternization.

"Ah, what's Darkforce?" he asks, more bluntly, as he offers his own hand in turn.

Laynia shakes Cap's hand with a firm grip, and she smiles good-naturedly as he clarifies about her name. "Da, is the full name I was born with, it seemed harmless enough forty years after my death, mm Captain?" She nods. "It was also on ID from old cache I recovered to help pay the bills whilst I make sense of this topsy-turvy brave new world of high technology, and no more Cold War."

She shakes Bucky's hand. "Lieutenant Barnes, has nice ring to it." A wry curl to expressive lips, eyes crinkling. "Though another ring you bear is much nicer, da?"

Recovering the hand after another firm shake, she holds it up, fingers curled towards the heavens and a sphere of inky, swirly darkness forms above the palm. "Darkforce..is another dimension, a place of confusion and shadow and cold, but it is place I have some control over. Can fashion things…" The sphere becomes the Statue of Liberty. "…or I can travel, it even allows me to fly." She starts to shrug once more, then aborts it. "Control is my mutant power."

Steve's brows dance up at the display of the malleable energy. He looks from the shifting constructs to Barnes and back; the Statue of Libery does garner a thin and openly-awed parting of his lips — that was a fine level of control to showcase.

"From another dimension? How'd you end up getting access to it? Through your mutant powers? You born with 'em?" Now that Bucky broke the proverbial ice about the powers he'd seen displayed, the Captain's outright curious.

He's honestly terribly curious about mutants. His own brows head towards his hairline. What would it be like to have been born with this stuff? He glances at Steve, sees his own wonder mirrored there.

"Wow," he says. "I mean, I don't mean to pry, it's just…..I know next to nothing about mutant abilities…."

A soft laugh, and then Laynia nods. "Da, born with the power, though it did not manifest until I was twelve…and then I trained it along with my brother, and others in the project." Laynia looks to both men, she can see how curious they are, and then she nods once. "No no, is fine, Lieutenant. Is new experience, da?"

She offers her hand, midway betwee the two men. "So…if you wish, I can -show- you, but is not a very comfortable sight." She looks amused, but there's a hint of challenge too. "Shall we take a jaunt?"

Steve glances over at his husband and then back to Laynia, his brows drawn. "Suppose you can show us, sure, but walking into another dimension is another matter entirely. Can you guarantee our safety in all forms? Physical and mental?"

The Captain asks this as if he'd been exposed to other instances of other places and times and being prepared for these occassions had been in his favor.

It's a good thing that Steve is there to be the one with some goddamned sense. Because Buck? Would've just assented to that without a moment's hesitation. His lips are parted to do so, in fact.

But he has just enough brains to look at Steve and close them again. "What he said," he adds, sheepishly.

Laynia meets Steve's gaze. "Is safe, we will only stay a few moments, there is danger if exposure is prolonged. Is very cold, is a place without any native life." Her lips form a thoughtful moue, and then she shake her head. "Well, there is one native life form, of sorts. Prolonged exposure can lead to madness, but I promise that this jaunt will be brief…and so long as you both hold to me, the effects will be mitigated.

She grins, she saw how eager Bucky was, then looks to the Captain, the choice is his.

"Given 'm not dressed for cold, you'll have to forgive me if 'm content with a look-see through a window, if you can do that sort of thing," Steve replies as he shifts his weight again. "Figure you draw it out — you can access it any time you want, right? You can probably stop it from leaking out too. Unless…can you?" His eyebrows lift at Laynia. "Not gonna risk a leakage into this world without a good reason 'nd curiosity's not enough for me."

Bucky is biting his lip. God, Steve, now you choose to be sensible. Right when they could see into another world. Though this doesn't sound as nice as Loki's Asgard, does it? He sighs. "What he said," he repeats, sounding more aggrieved.

Warm laughter at the somewhat divergent outlooks. "I can show, of course. But my intent was to 'travel', just to that rooftop, over there, through a brief portal. In contact with me the cold will be much less, and the transit will last only a very short time." Laynia's voice turns warmer, seeking to convince the man who is hesitating to take that leap of faith. And then she grins slyly to Bucky. "Perhaps I can demonstrate the safety with the Lieutenant, Captain?" Oh, apparently she read up on that whole 'Red Menace' thing!

A subtle tuck of Steve's chin isn't true assent at the idea proposed. If anything, he seems to fight a knee-jerk reaction about Barnes's personal safety and the man being beyond him, a world away, if only for a handful of seconds. Still:

"'s'not my place to make decisions for Buck. He's his own man." And always will be if the Captain has his druthers. "If he wants to try it, not gonna stop him."

Steve won't. The problem is….how can he just jump in and do this after all the years of preaching at Steve not to just go and do something dumb? Especially just for the curiosity of it.

Spoken like a man who doesn't want to sleep on the couch for a week, Buck says, on a sigh. "Nah. I'd better not."

Seeing the tension she causes, Laynia's sly and teasing look fades, and she shakes her head. "Forgive me, gentleman, that was unkind of me. I did not wish to sow discord." Laynia's hand is withdrawn, and a pin-prick of darkness spins open behind her not unilke an iris valve opening. At that exact same moment an identical disc opens a few yards away. "Witn-" She steps back, and appears out the other hole. "-ess." She leaves the portals open though.

Through them can be seen…darkness. Roiling smoky dark, inky black but textured, there's an infinity of blacks there, and briefly an after image of Laynia herself, peering out, or did they imagine it?

The portals both smoke, the wisps that break off fading in an eye blink the instant they separate. And yes, there's a chill around both gateways.


Steve takes a slant step backwards on a roll of his boot-sole, better aligning himself beside Bucky on an instinct born so very many decades ago on the streets of Brooklyn. That's one hell of a trick! Daringly, he reaches out towards the air which once contained the portal into the inky darkness that leered back at them. It's…wow, definitely cooler, and the Captain wiggles his fingers in its subtemperatured state.

"That's…really amazing," he admits, looking over at Laynia.

"Hot damn," Buck says, with an enormous grin. "That's like a cartoon," he approves. "I've seen Bugs Bunny pull that very same trick." Hopefully she won't be annoyed at the simile.

"Is tricky to navigate." Laynia admits. "My range with jaunts is not great, perhaps a half handful of miles, but is nearly instant." She makes a wholly unnecessary gesture of dismissal, and the portals, it is apparent they're literally the same thing in two places at once, unravel like so much smoke in high winds.

A smile. "So…I control Darkforce, they gave me name 'Darkstar', perhaps not most original of names, but it does fit."

Bucky's comment? Laynia laughs. "Da! Much like cartoon I suppose, but at least you did not ask me to say 'Moose & Squirrel'." Deadpool did that…but she's not going to mention it, not out loud. Probably not ever.

"'Darkstar' seems appropriate," agrees Steve with a small nod of his head. He's close enough to brush elbows with Bucky now and does it without thinking, perhaps some unconscious reassurance or apology for being the sensible one…for once.

"That's a nifty thing to have, that energy. Wouldn't mind if you were around again when trouble hits the fan." Captain Censorship, present and accounted for.

Steve is so cute. He gets a little twinkling sidelong look from Barnes. "It's a good name," he says.

The mention of Moose and Squirrel makes him grin. "I didn't get that joke for a long, long time. Then I found those cartoons online…"

"As it happens, Captain Rogers, I am presently…well…legally I am /dead/." Laynia says truthfully enough before continuing. "Granted I have much to learn about this time, I am also currently between jobs, as it were." She takes our her phone, a Samsung from a few years back, so she's not /entirely/ without some exposure to the modern (Thank you, Peter Parker!). "Perhaps…we exchange numbers, or…no…is it 'digits'? I would not be adverse to helping if you require my aid, I…I do not do well without structure, without purpose, da? Surely you both can understand this."

"Moose and Squirrel I knew, I am no Natasha Fatale, nor Boris Badenov." Laynia adds.

"It's difficult, being legally dead." Steve deadpans this with a knowing glance over at the brunet beside him. "Lotta paperwork." The appearance of her phone has him, after a moment, digging into his back pocket for his wallet. He opens the billfold and fishes out a business card. This, he hands over to Laynia.

"Here, it's got my work number — that routes directly to my personal phone if I'm not on-site during times of trouble." It's a crisp and clean card, black print on white paper, dictating his name, Cpt. Steve Rogers, and a number beneath along with extension. "If you feel comfortable sharing your number, I'll have it memorized easily. It'll be safe." He gives Laynia another small smile.

"Amazing how that works," Buck says, drily. "I'm still arguing about my back pay with the VA. And what counts in terms of active service. I should be Master Sergeant of the Army at this point."

No, he's not bitter. Why do you ask?

Laynia rattles off her number readily enough, if Cap says he'll remember, well, he'll bloody well remember!

The card is taken, and for the moment set inside the sling her arm rests in. "Spasiba." She says with a nod. "Well, I short-circuit much with old identity papers renewed, but yes." She smiles to Bucky, and nods. "Who knows, Lieutenant, perhaps someday you will grow up to be president." Oh, now THAT would be something!

A saucy wink to both men, and then she looks upwards, and a field of darkness envelops the woman as she leaps into flight for the trip home.

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