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Doctor Who and the Marvelous Muppets

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Mojave Desert (Earth-012)

            Before it became “The Lost Dimension,” the Earth that Ciciley Livingston and Agent X originally hailed from was not much dissimilar from Earth-M, just as Sarah described. In fact, its atmosphere felt exactly the same, even in the intense heat of the Mojave Desert.

            Supplied with a black Acura SUV, which were standard vehicles for S.H.I.E.L.D. back when Ciciley and X were agents of the organization, Team B – Kara, Ciciley, Agent X, Captain America, Fozzie, and War Machine – drove towards a massive green military base twenty stories high and fifty feet wide.

            The Project Geo base.

            “Somehow, I remember it being navy blue,” Ciciley recollected.

            “Well, you are color blind, Moms,” X told her.

            “Look at the size of that place!” Fozzie awed. “What do they got in there?”

            “A geodesic sphere from another dimension,” Ciciley described. “It arrived in this world shortly after the incident in New York with Loki and the Chitauri. We studied it, thinking that it might’ve led to another potential invasion…”

            “…and it sorta did,” X vilified.

            “Did you say ‘geodesic sphere’?” an alert Kara frowned.

            “Our only item of interest here needs to be that Space Stone,” Rogers reminded his teammates. “When one of us finds it, we’ll notify each other and get out in time to jump right back to our Earth.”

            His teammates determinedly nodded in affirmation with his idea.

            Behind the wheel of the Acura, Ciciley drove to the Project Geo base straight up to its entrance, which was guarded by two armed and uniformed S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. One of them looked on Rogers in surprise. “Cap?!” he exclaimed. “Aren’t you supposed to be stationed at the Helicarrier with Agent Hill and Director Fury?”

            Luckily, Rogers had been briefed, prior to his team’s arrival, on the whereabouts of his counterpart. So, he had a believable story at the ready: “Fury decided I’d be better use here than at the Carrier. He and Hill are handling the intruder situation with Agent Livingston. Sorry to surprise you boys.”

            Accepting the story from Captain America, the one man who was incapable of lying to anyone (ironically), the guard permitted the team entry, opening the main door through a control box mounted against its hull. He pressed a purple button amid a series of multicolored ones, and the main door parted.

            All seemed to have been going well. Ciciley was about to drive right through the parted entrance, until the guard once again stopped them. “Hold it,” he specifically addressed her. “You look very familiar.”

            Ciciley had anticipated the recognition. In this dimension, she was a highly respected agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., next in line with Nick Fury himself. Of course, certain otherworldly circumstances that occurred during the Project Geo event resulted in her appearance rejuvenated to a more youthful form. Seeing as how those circumstances had yet to occur, that only made her presence with Team B more of a risk.

            She wore a black cap and sunglasses to mask her identity, so that she would appear as any ordinary S.H.I.E.L.D. operative.

            Unfortunately, this guard’s eye was too keen for it.

            “Son,” she heard Rogers suddenly address the guard. “If there’s anything else you would like to address, I’m the person you’d want to say it to.”

            The guard immediately stood in attention at Rogers’ stern tone. “Y-Yes, sir,” he stammered, visibly perspiring. “That’s all, s-sir.” As he stepped back from the Acura, he also noticed what he perceived as a stuffed, life-sized Fozzie Bear doll sitting in the backseat with Lieutenant Colonel James Rhodes, a blonde in civilian attire, and a redheaded S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. It was just another thing he wanted to address but avoided it in respect of Captain Rogers.

            Ciciley wasted no time driving into the base, the entrance sealing shut behind them. She was thankful to have Cap by her side; his assertiveness really saved her and the entire mission for the Stone.

            They parked in a large, spacious garage with up to thirty-two other vehicles that were the same make as their Acura. They then went to a large steel door just ahead. To the right of it was a scanner where Agent X placed her right eye, metamorphosing it to physically resemble Nick Fury’s one good eye – same color and all.

            A loud, electronic buzz sounded and the large steel door opened inward.

            Team B went through and instantly felt a surge of energy come through them, migrating into what appeared to have been an observation deck. “I recognize that energy,” Kara remarked before sighting the massive geodesic sphere housed at the core of the warehouse. “The Quantum Sphere,” she identified it.

            “Looks a lot like Spaceship Earth,” Fozzie said, keeping his voice close to a whisper around all the S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel.

            “Quantum Sphere?” Ciciley noted Kara’s name for it. “That’s what it’s been called this whole time?”

            “That’s what I call it,” Kara said. “It’s been a pain in my butt for the longest time now. I’ve been trying to rid the multiverse of it, because of its unstable properties.”

            “Unfortunately, it’s not what we’re here for,” Rogers told her. “The Space Stone is somewhere along the premises. We’ll have to split up to find it. Rhodey and I will masquerade as our counterparts and ask around. Fozzie, you search out of sight. Ciciley and X, you search with Kara.”

            “What if we run into our counterparts?” Agent X inquired.

            “Not possible,” Ciciley told her. “If my memory serves, you and I didn’t arrive here until much later in the day. So, we should be alright.”

            Following Rogers’ lead, the team split into their groups – or, in Fozzie’s case, went entirely solo. The Muppet bear searched in unoccupied areas. Whenever some personnel would walk by, he would pretend to be a doll, just as he did on the way in. It was quite exhausting to keep himself so still for so long, especially when some of the female S.H.I.E.L.D. agents would gush over him.

            “I always wanted one of these!” one agent would say.

            “He’s so cute! Did someone get him as an anniversary gift?” another assumed.

            Once Fozzie was alone again, he would breathlessly reflect, “Woody and Buzz make it look so easy!”

            While Fozzie kept with his Toy Story part of the mission, Ciciley and Agent X – assisted by Kara – searched through every classified and restricted area of the base. In the midst of their search, Kara wondered, “Wouldn’t you gals remember exactly where it was, if you’d been here before?”

            “Cut us some damn slack,” Ciciley griped. “It’s been 10 years since either of us even stepped foot in this world!”

            “We’ve gotten so accustomed to Earth-M, everything here feels almost alien to us,” Agent X stated. “It’s like learning how to ride a bike all over again – and that’s saying a lot for someone who’s never rode on one!”

            Leaving one of the rooms they failed to find the Space Stone in, the three women bumped into an old, pudgy woman in a black leather jacket over a white tank top, dark blue jeans, and black boots. She dressed rather “young” for a woman who looked physically sixty to seventy years of age.

            “Watch where yer goin’, ya greenies!” she bellowed, moving a few strands of her graying black hair away from her wrinkled face. When she stared directly at Agent X, she gasped in shock. “Mama?! What’re you…?!” She stopped herself immediately when she laid eyes on Ciciley. “What the hell…?!”

            Behind her sunglasses, Ciciley’s eyes bulged as she looked on the wrinkled face of her dimensional counterpart, who was somehow in the Project Geo base much earlier than expected. “Aw, shit!” she cursed.

            The elder Ciciley Livingston forcibly removed her younger counterpart’s cap and sunglasses, exposing her identity. At first, the old woman wasn’t sure what to make of this bizarre situation, until she cried out one name: “Loki!” She went for the nearest emergency alarm and sounded it, alerting everyone in the base of the three interlopers, one of whom was believed to have been the God of Mischief, much to Ciciley’s chagrin.

            On the other side of the base, Rogers and Rhodes heard the alarm, making both men more than a little uneasy. “I’m gonna assume that didn’t originally happen here,” Rhodes said.

            “You keep searching for that Stone,” Rogers suggested. “I’ll see what’s going on.”



            At the base entrance, the two guards jolted at the alarm buzzing through the outdoor speakers. For a brief time, they speculated what might’ve triggered it. Then they heard a report through their earpieces of the three intruders and the suspicion of Loki being one in the guise of a young Ciciley Livingston.

            “Dammit!” the suspecting guard yelled. “I knew that lady looked familiar!”

            “Did we really just let Loki into the base?” the other guard nervously measured. “God…Fury’s gonna have our asses for this one!”

            As the guards mused over the sudden state of affairs, they both detected a caravan heading their way. Leading it was yet another black Acura; its passengers were Nick Fury, Maria Hill, and – to their baffling surprise – Steve Rogers.

            “What’s the matter, soldier?” Fury asked the suspecting guard upon noticing the perplexed look on his face. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

            The guard eyed Rogers heavily. He looked exactly like the one from earlier.

            “Maybe not a ghost…sir?”



            For minutes, Steve wandered aimlessly around the base. It was easy to get lost someplace he had never been before, and not by the standards of the base itself. This entire dimension was like taking a trip back through time…in a completely different timeline. He didn’t want to admit to Fozzie, Rhodey, and the girls, but seeing that “Quantum Sphere” (as Kara called it) weirded him out as much as it intrigued him.

            Where did it come from? Was it another strange mystery from space like the Infinity Stones? What was the purpose behind it? How did S.H.I.E.L.D. get their hands on something so big?

            These were questions Steve had to put aside to focus on the mission at hand.

            The alarms blaring all over the base did nothing to quell his concerns for his teammates. Ciciley, Kara, and Agent X weren’t responding on their comms, neither was Fozzie. Rhodey was the only one he had direct contact with at the height of the crisis. “Any luck finding the Stone?” he asked him.

            “This place is like a maze,” Rhodey griped. “Just when I think I’m looking in a new room, it turns out to be the same room!”

            “Just relax,” Rogers directed. “It’s got to be here somewhere.”

            Rounding a corner, Steve stopped in his tracks as soon as he walked right into another man in a star-spangled uniform much like the one that he adorned for the mission for anachronistic purposes. Sure enough, it was the Steve Rogers of this Earth.

            He looked right at Steve guardedly and held one gloved finger along the side of his helmet. “I have eyes on Loki, East Wing of the base,” he informed the personnel, which presumably included Nick Fury and this Earth’s Avengers.

            “I’m not Loki,” Steve told his counterpart, gently removing his shield from his back. “And I don’t want to hurt you.”

            The other Captain America removed his own shield. “You’re not going to get the chance.” He proceeded to kick Steve in the face, stumbling him. Both counterparts grappled, their shields falling to the floor. They both stamped on them, simultaneously flipping them back to their arms. Impressed, the other Steve Rogers noted, “You’ve really studied my moves, haven’t ya, Loki?”

            “I told you, I’m not—!” Steve ducked just as his counterpart swung in for a punch. He countered with a left hook of his own, sending the other Rogers reeling. “I can do this all day…but I don’t have the time for it.”

            The other Steve wiped blood from his lip, squaring off. “I’m sure you don’t.”

            They battled on, both of their shields clashing.

            Of course, the other Captain America proved to be the stronger of the two, younger and fiercer. He caught Steve off guard, swiping at his legs to bring him down and locking him into a submissive choke hold. Feeling himself losing consciousness, Steve made a last act of desperation to appeal to his younger counterpart: “Bucky’s…alive,” he rasped.

            He felt the counterpart’s hold on his throat let up, stunned by what Steve just said.

            “What did you—?”

            BLAM!

            Steve shot his head back right into the face of his counterpart, knocking him out cold. Fighting to get air back into his lungs, Steve stood back up, reclaiming his shield and momentarily regarding his unconscious counterpart. “For what it’s worth, you’re more of a fighter than I was at your age,” he told him before dashing off to find his team.

            In his haste, he rechecked with Rhodes. “What’s your status, Rhodey?”

            The impatient lieutenant colonel did away with the cloak-and-dagger and blasted through wall after wall with the repulsors of his War Machine armor. This tactic drew the attention of S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel, who were already informed of Rhodes being one of the deceptive intruders. They cornered him in one of the rooms, though he couldn’t bring himself to fight them, even if some might’ve been HYDRA agents.

            Thinking he would have to surrender, Rhodey and the agents suddenly heard movement through the overhead vents. One section of the shaft dislodged and Fozzie tumbled out, landing atop the agents and knocking them all out. “Oh, no!” he lamented as he gazed on the downed agents. “I killed them!”

            Rhodey chuckled. “Nah, they’ll be fine. Did ya find the Stone?”

            Fozzie shook his head. “No luck. What’re those alarms all about?”

            “Nothing good, that’s for sure,” Rhodey said. “C’mon. Let’s go find our team.”



            As chaos erupted throughout the Project Geo base, the source of it – Ciciley, Kara, and Agent X – sat in an interrogation room, grilled by Ciciley’s past self. “First thing’s first,” she began, pointing squarely at Agent X. “How did you find out so much about my mother that you conjured this…this…whatever the hell it is?!”

            Ciciley groaned. “I can’t believe I was ever this much a pain in the ass.”

            “Welcome to my world,” Agent X scoffed.

            The elder Ciciley slammed her fists down on the interrogation table. “HEY! Stop acting like we’re the same damn person!”

            “Look, Agent Livingston,” Kara addressed, “I know this all appears to be some elaborate scheme from Loki or whoever you believe we are, but that’s not what’s going on here. We’re visitors from another world…another dimension…and we’re here to set right a huge wrong that’s occurred in a realm designated as ‘Earth-M’.”

            “This crap again?! I swear, it’s like all these nutcases are coming out of the woodwork today!”

            That condescending voice spoke from the door, which had opened so quietly that none of the women in the room heard it even creak. All eyes looked to the individual who entered, and Agent X was stricken to see the face of her previous identity: Agent Sean Livingston. It was like looking into an old mirror. He was dressed exactly the way X remembered in that black coat, shirt, and pants.

            Kara was just as daunted by his presence, particularly how the young S.H.I.E.L.D. agent resembled her past eleventh incarnation.

            “Moms, what’re you doing here?” he asked the elder Ciciley.

            “I came here to have a word with Fury about bringing you into this project, without my consent,” she said. “And then, next thing I know, all Hell broke loose when I found these three.” She gestured to Ciciley, Kara, and X.

            Sean closely analyzed Ciciley’s face. “I gotta hand it to Loki, he makes a good you, even if he is trying a little too hard with the age.”

            “Alright, that’s it!” Ciciley roared, finally at her breaking point. “You want the truth? Two years from right now, a lot of heavy shit is gonna rain down on ya’ll. First, S.H.I.E.L.D. is gonna collapse after it gets outed that HYDRA has been hiding in the organization the whole time. Then, Sean’s gonna get kidnapped by a fat asswipe who’ll kill our mother – who we discover to be alive and preserved in cryogenic sleep for decades – and merge her body with Sean’s, resulting in this!” She pointed to Agent X, who was more than disgusted by the events Ciciley recapped for their counterparts.

            Kara rested her face in her palm. “Never a good idea exposing the future to your past selves,” she uttered in exasperation.

            “You really expect us to believe that bullshit?” the elder Ciciley asked.

            However, while she maintained disbelief, Sean was more convinced. “I dunno, Moms,” he said. “I mean, look at this one…” He motioned to Agent X. “She does look like Grandmamma…a lot like her.”

            “It’s Loki playin’ with your head, baby,” the elder Ciciley refuted. “My mother – your grandmother – is dead. She has been since I was a baby.”

            “Then how does Loki know what she looks like?”

            The elder Ciciley thought she had the answer, but she found herself stumped.

            Suddenly, the door opened again and a female S.H.I.E.L.D. agent entered. Her hair was long and blond, and her skin was fair with discernable cheekbones. Before either Sean or the elder Ciciley could address her, they both unexpectedly fell to the floor and lost consciousness.

            Kara looked on their fallen bodies in confusion. “What happened to them?”

            “I placed a sleep spell upon them, but it’s only temporary,” the blond agent said.

            “Sleep spell?” X frowned. “Are you another sorceress?”

            The blond agent nodded. “I am, but not the kind that sent you here. My name is Yen Sid, but here I am under the guise of Agent Stevens. You three are here for the Space Stone, are you not?”

            “Yeah, but…” Ciciley started, only to be interrupted by this strange “Yen Sid” character when the Tesseract – the placeholder for the Space Stone – materialized right in her hand. She handed it over to Agent X.

            “It’s useless to this world now,” Yen Sid told them. “Take it and finish your mission…or else Earth-M will fall to Merlock and the Twilight Phantom, just as other universes already have.”

            Her warning alarmed Kara. “Did you say ‘The Twilight Phantom’?!”

            Yen Sid didn’t clarify. Instead, she vanished in a flash of light from the interrogation room with Sean and the elder Ciciley. They were immediately replaced by Rogers, Rhodes, and Fozzie, who appeared in the room under the same mystical context.

            “How did we get here?” Rhodey asked, his eyes darting around puzzlingly.

            “Yeah, one second, we were lost in the middle of a hallway, and the next second, we’re here!” Fozzie exclaimed.

            Steve was relieved to see Agent X holding the Tesseract in her gloved grips.

            “You have it,” he said. “Where did you find it?”

            “Don’t ask,” Ciciley insisted. “Let’s just get the hell up outta here!”