|Moment of Awesome - Everett Thomas/Synch: Guarding a portal entrance, Ev and Molly Hayes reach an unsettling conclusion about the magic's half-life.
Molly had circled the portal about eight times, played Candy Crush on her phone, and counted sixteen birds as she and Ev waited for the others (or anything else) to come back. Picking up the silver box that the key was in, she looked it over for the fourth time, studying the markings.
"Is it too much to hope for like… a troll or something? This is boring."
Ev grinned at her. "This is honestly the best-case scenario right now, Agent Hayes. Hopefully it means they're having some success on their side. At the very least, better to be bored than hurt — or worse."
Molly made a face at Ev's optimistic outlook. "I'm totally happy they're okay but… I haven't been on a mission in like… forever. I was kinda hoping to fight something," she said with a shrug, then glanced down at the box.
Ev cocked his head at the box she was holding. "Discern anything new and fun about that yet?"
"There's something about it. It's kinda bugging me. I can't put my finger on it, though."
"Bugging you how?" He leaned over to get a better look at the box, though he knew he had nothing to offer himself. "Does it remind you of something?"
Molly squinted. "Yeah, actually. It… looks a lot like some of tech I saw in Asgard," she said, pulling out a pair of enhancement goggles from her bag to put on. "It's not as advanced, but… it could be used to funnel magic without needing a human or mutant spellcaster. Like a regulator."
Ev raised an eyebrow. "Way above my paygrade. Where would the power come from, if there's no proper spellcaster? It would have to pull it in from somewhere, and I'm no mage, but I do know there's typically not enough abundant magic energy to do that."
Molly lowered the box, turning it over in her hands. "No, there's not," she said thoughtfully, the wheels in her mind turning. Her experience with being cursed made her more interested in researching magic, so she'd spent a lot of time brushing up on it a little… just in case.
"There's got to be a something that keeps the portal open. It's the same with the Asgardian tech. The portal probably runs on a limited supply, so the key — or the key and the box — would keep track of that. Whenever the magic runs out, the box won't have anything to regulate." Molly stared up at the portal with dawning realization.
"And they'll get stuck," Ev concluded.
Molly turned toward him, then pulled out her communicator. "Hey, uh guys — ack!" The communicator made a loud, screeching noise. "The magic might be interfering with the comms. We gotta tell 'em," Molly said. "Are you okay with staying here? I can go tell 'em. If things go pear shaped you're more… authorized to call people in and stuff with your Agentness."
Ev had come to that realization just as she did. Bad enough to venture through a mystery door, even worse to be trapped forever without notice, like the world's worst game of musical chairs. He almost asked her why she was still standing there. "Yes, go! I've got this covered."
Molly gave Ev a salute, sprinting through the portal. "Catch you on the flipside, Agent Thomas!" Hopefully she could get to the others in time to warn them before it was too late.