Like most humans (part and whole), The Mighty Captain Marvel had certain situations that made figurative alarm bells rattle and clang in her head. These situations varied in shape, size, and/or intensity -- a busted coffee pot, a sick flerken, a sticky clutch, galactic unrest -- but regardless of the magnitude of the situation, there was usually a nagging sense of foreboding; a stark, insistent breed of fear that'd be the thing to push her through whatever the world needed her to do.
More often than not, there was a certain kind of fear that shot her forward and was more effective more than anything else. Converse to any survival instinct that the fight-or-flight instinct had tried to provide.. Carol's single-greatest fear was the fear for what would happen if she didn't act.. If she didn't stay.
This was one of the days when she stayed; heart hammering in her chest and focus honed. The reality stone -- the very reality they'd all been dropped into, built, and found one another in -- was literally up for grabs, and Carol wasn't about to let it fall into a titan's palm. One step beyond that steely purpose, in Carol's mind, however, was a minefield of chaos. Everything butterflied from one potential scenario to the next, and it'd all stemmed from one writhing, crimson gem. The stone, the aether; a conduit to bend the fabric of reality, of matter itself.. And Thanos beyond that.
She dealt blows as often as they were given to her, eyes alert and searching for any sign of the tiny prize, increasing her own speed and inertia for every second that the stone wasn't spotted. Carol Danvers didn't care who was watching; when she brought her knuckles down and through any adversary brought before her.. They most certainly did not get back up.
She's ruthless, Ebony Maw had crooned as he'd all but mentally dragged her best friend away, and with her brows tilted in pain -- Captain Marvel smashed her fist down again. Ebony Maw was right.
Everything seemed to slow when the aether touched down in her palm; everything warmed, and serpentine tendrils of energy twisted around her wrist as it sought to make her its host. Entropy, Cara's brain bellowed, but the girl's astute observation, her fighting certainty was drowning in the chaos held beneath and between her fingers. The ground felt like it'd caved, and the sky felt like it'd curled -- bending in time and space to meet her. She hardly noticed the way the boulder they'd been ducked near had started to float.
The gem's power grew from a hum to a howl in Carol's mind, and its thundering rush of interdimensional connectivity shot through her synapses before she could actually name it. The stench of acrid, sun-burned skin filled her lungs while her fingers closed around the tiny rock -- the one that tried all on its own to seep between her fingers like blood from a wound: a veritable rip in the fabric of the universe itself. The least she could do was throw herself over the grenade as it blew. Durability had its perks. Despite her best efforts, however, durability wasn't the only thing that'd dug itself out of her; streaming freely between the bars whatever mental-emotional cage it was being held in.
When the palm of her right hand closed down over the top of her closed left, Captain Marvel all but went up in flame. At least it looked like a flame.
Cara's fine, smooth blonde hair tangled and blew backward with the force of it all; and yet, while her brow furrowed with concentration, her gloved fingertips didn't shake. Despite appearances and the white-hot light streaming from between her fingers and her eyes.. The electromagnetic inferno had merely found its kindling, and while it regulated, a lean young woman was caught in its center -- looking far too fragile to be equipped with that sort of bewildered smile. Captain Marvel, in a dated leotard, scarf and mask.. Stood tall when the universe had tried to pull her in on herself. This was not a military colonel, a superhero, nor a physics professor.. This was something else all together.
The silence of space was one of the things Carol had missed the most: it was the hard-reset button that'd never fail, her omnipresent retreat. It was there during moments of incandescent joy, and ones when the pressure of being Captain Marvel (capital C, capital M) had grown insurmountable -- moments when Carol Danvers had just become too big for her skin. For those moments, hovering among the stars, pushing farther and farther than she ever had before, space had become her respite. The quiet vacuum of stars was a comfort in that way. No friends. No sounds. No responsibilities. No breathing. No thoughts. Just her.
All things considered, if space was enough to hold her.. A nearby galaxy could certainly hold a glorified rock.
At full power, Carol was capable of reaching her destination in approximately one-hundred and eighty-two seconds; hurtling, unarmored, like Icarus himself straight toward the sun. With no tether and all the potential in the universe, this event happened often. Now, ensconced in green light, with her fists curled around a tiny, crimson gem, Captain Marvel lifted her head one more time.. Relying on a man she'd only just barely known, but was trusting with an actual multiverse. Simon, his name was; Simon had launched her into space with something she'd only be able to call a slingshot (she'd no idea what the actual mechanism he'd concocted was), and now here they were, staring ahead at something she could only hope would contain a facet of the big bang itself. Faith that it would. That sounded legit.
With enough firepower, she figured, they'd shutter this situation for a good, long while.
Carol let her hands roar, flicking the tiny gem into the air like a coin for a flip -- watching it rotate as a consequence of its new environment. With a few inches placed carefully between her and it? Carol unleashed a barrage of light, illuminating and firing every photon she could muster with the goal of launching the reality stone forward into its trap: summoning every bit of strength and energy from every star that she could reach to bury the bastard there.. Deep in space, where it belonged.