Doctoring The Wolf

March 29, 2015:

Nick inhales smoke, Pepper puts her foot down

New York


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Since Pepper's company built them and Pepper herself had a big hand in getting them made at all, and they've already been used in action a couple of times, Nicholas feels that it's high time Pepper got to enjoy the fruits of her labor. So he's invited the CEO of Stark Industries down on a particularly slow day for an inspection and, if things remain slow, maybe a bit of a flight. Going out in these things is like nothing else and the fuel savings are just amazing.

Pepper Potts arrives at exactly the time that Nicholas had requested, every inch the corporate CEO that people expect her to be. A cream-colored Maserati 4-door pulls up to the Rescue, Inc. building, and Pepper climbs out of the car after a few words with the driver. She apparently planned for this outing, as she's wearing trousers instead of the usual skirt and wedge heels in place of stilettos. Even her ubiquitous shoulder bag is of a slightly more utilitarian-seeming nature.

"Mr. Gleason," Pepper greets cheerily. "Wonderful to see you again. I trust things have been going well?"

"Peachy." Nicholas smiles. "This is Roger, he's one of my pilots. I figured you might like an up close view of what it is that your company built." The werewolf waves Pepper on back. "Oh, can I get you anything to drink before we start?"

Pepper smiles and shakes Roger's hand, making a mental note to ask the pilot before she leaves if there's anything about the control panels that he thinks could be improved. Following Nicholas, Pepper nods a bit. "I'll never turn down a glass of water."

It's a bottle of water that's provided instead. Perrier. Nick appears to stock the 'fridge with Costco's finest. Once Pepper is provided for Nick leads her back (along with Roger) to 'parking lot' where the Stark Flying Ambulances are kept. Under cover. Not a proper hangar but at least out of the sun and the weather. There's Rescue One, proud as you please. "I'll spare you the technical details but I she really is a well designed vehicle. Have a walk around and we'll go on a flight, if you like."

Pepper Potts has never been that big a fan of Perrier (too minerally tasting), but she can tell that Nicholas is trying so she accepts it graciously and takes a small sip as they stop by the Rescue vehicles. "Oh. Wow. They look just like Ms. Donovan's drawings." She steps closer to rest one hand on Rescue 1's fuselage. "It's almost like a mini-van compared to the planes and jets I'm used to seeing." She means that in a good way. Honest.

Nick chuckles. That may be the first time that's ever been a compliment. "Flies really interesting too." He opens the copilot door and gestures for Pepper as Roger gets in on the other side. "These are pretty simple, actually, compared to a lot of the other commercially available aircraft. Way easier than a chopper." As Roger turns the craft on and communicates with the FAA, Nick straps himself in the patient compartment.

Pepper Potts blinks at Nicholas for a moment when he gestures for her to take the copilot's seat but then climbs in readily enough. The Perrier gets tucked into her bag and that is set on the floor between her feet as she buckles in. "So the controls aren't too … out there?" She's asking Roger while putting on the chunky co-pilot's headset.

"No not at all. Took a bit to relearn the harness… and I think maybe the readouts could stand be rearranged. We've got all this lovely glass up here. No reason not to have a HUD. I know that's usually a military thing but I can't usually look down to check the gages while dodging meta energy blasts. But aside from that minor thing, and really it is minor, these is a really well designed rig." They're in the air and Nick is listening to the radio and to Pepper and Roger as they swing out over the Hudson.

Pepper Potts just blinks at Roger for a moment, then leans down to pull her phone out of her bag. She taps the screen just once then says, "JARVIS? Did we equip the Rescue vehicles with HUD?" It takes a moment, but the AI's voice emits from the phone to say, "The feature was not in the original schematics, Miss Potts. However, software revision 2A does have HUD listed. Shall I attempt to interface with the vehicle in question and run a diagnostic?"

As Pepper and Roger and Jarvis are conferring Nick's ears suddenly perk forward. "Rescue One this is NYFD Dispatch, we have a group of civilians trapped in a high rise on fire. Fire Helicopters are unable to approach. Can you respond, over?"

"This is Wolf Cub. Send us the location, we're on the way. Over." He glances back. "Looks like you're going to get a working demonstration, Pepper." The PA says, looking to the west and seeing smoke already.

Pepper Potts blinks. "What? Oh… okay. That's fine. I'll stay out of the way." Of course, with JARVIS now paying attention, Roger might pick up on the Rescue 1's engines gradually changing as they travel, the efficiency and responsiveness of the system improving, but slowly enough to give the pilot the chance to recognize the differences and account for them.

"Miss Potts, I have found the HUD controls in the vehicle's systems. It is currently disabled." The AI's voice is now being heard over their headsets instead of from Pepper's phone. "Shall I enable the HUD?"

Roger looks like he can tell that the craft is changing under his nose, as it were, getting better and better performance just from a software update. Goodness. He looks impressed. Nick looks… focused. "Pepper, I may need you to operate the winch if things got too hot. It's all push button. You can do it from your seat." Then the burning scysraper comes into view. Nicholas winces. He's a medic, not a firefighter. Still as Rescue One dips low the werewolf jumps and lands on the roof, giving a thumbs up before disappearing below.

Pepper Potts drops her phone back into her bag, knowing that she doesn't have to keep it in hand for JARVIS to talk to them or tweak with the craft's systems. She watches Nicholas jump out of the craft and onto the roof of the burning building and worries. Because that's really her super power. Worrying.

And then the HUD activates in front of Roger while Rescue 1 is hovering in one place.

Pepper can hear Nick over the radio. "Found three. They're coming up. Going in for two more trapped in a stairwell." There's a rumble in the building. It's getting unstable. And the firefighters below can dimly be heard shouting. Soon, there are three people up topside. Roger brings the ambulance in close.

Pepper Potts unbuckles herself from the co-pilot's seat and moves to the back compartment of the craft before hooking one hand through an 'oh shit handle' and reaching her other hand out to the people now on the roof. "Over here!" she shouts to them.

The people need a hand up, but luckily Pepper's there. There's a great rumble from the building and she can hear over the radio that the southwest side just caved in. Nothing from Nick. "Come on, Nick. Come on…" The pilot mutters. Still nothing.

It's a solid three minutes before the door opens and Nick staggers out. He's singed and burnt along his left side (and smells awful) but he's got a young woman and a young boy, carrying the latter. He holds out the child, wanting the civilians secured first.

Pepper Potts reaches to take the child out of Nick's arms, and reaches to help the woman aboard as well before handing the child off to her. And then, if he's not aboard himself yet, she'll reach to pull Nicholas onto the craft, even if it means dragging him by the scruff.

Nick does have to be nearly yanked into the craft. It's… he's kind of heavy. Which makes sense. He's pretty solid, all things considered. He's also coughing a lot. Smoke. He is not, as previously noted, a firefighter and he'd only taken this call because the choppers couldn't make the rescue. Not normally part of Rescue, Inc's line. "Oy… get us over to the nearest hospital Roger." He hacks for a moment and then goes about making sure the civilians are buckled in and not having any trouble breathing.

Here is one of the perks of being skinny as a rail: Pepper is wedged into the space between the two pilot's seats, leaving as much room as possible for Nicholas and everyone else in the back portion of the craft. She is by no means medically trained, but she's actually had to deal with smoke inhalation symptoms before. Tony's track record in his workshop is … spotty. She reaches for a small oxygen tank stuck in the space behind Roger's seat and offers the PA the mask… even though she's not sure how it's going to work considering his unique facial structure.

Nick takes a big ole' huff of pure O2 and then passes it off to one of the patients who seems to be having a little trouble breathing. In no time they're at the local ER and here's another handy thing about the Stark Ambulance. You don't need a helipad to land it. Roger puts it down right in the parking lot outside the ER doors and Nick ushers the patients in and deals with the ER paperwork. It takes about twenty minutes to get them sorted before he's out again, coughing a bit and brushing ash off his side. Yeah, those burns are going to smart.

Pepper Potts waits by the DEAV — the Donovan Emergency Aerial Vehicle — for Nicholas to return, and she is apparently unimpressed by something. "No. Turn yourself around right now and go back in there. I'll drag you by an ear if I have to."

Nick shakes his head. "They don't have the…" Cough. "Expertise to treat mutants of my type. My biology's too different." He coughs again. "There's a doctor in M-Town. Runs the Avenue C Clinic. I usually go to him when I have problems." Or deals with them himself. He is a PA after all.5r

"Avenue C." Pepper then tries to steer Nicholas by the arm on his uninjured side back into the ambulance craft. "Roger, do you know where this clinic Nicholas mentioned happens to be located?" Yeah. Hope you had already been planning on heading that way, Mr. Gleason. 'Cause if not, Pepper just totally took over and is doing all the bossing around now.

Roger just grins and his bosses predicament and gives Pepper a thumbs up, starting the DEAV as the smaller woman maneuvers a six foot two werewolf by the arm if not by the ear right into the back seat of the ambulance again. Nick looks rather understandably confused.

Pepper Potts would look even more tiny next to Nicholas if it weren't for the heels. She wrangles him into the DEAV (Donovan Emergency Aerial Vehicle) and makes him sit. If she can get him to lie down that'd be even better, but she'll take what she can get. "JARVIS, can you reach this Avenue C clinic and inform them of what's going on and about how soon we'll be there? … oh!" She leans past Roger to fish her phone out of her bag again and brings it back to where Nicholas is before addressing the AI again. "Can you make any guesses, JARVIS?"

"Scanning, Miss Potts. The results will have sixty percent accuracy at best, as your mobile device has only visual and auditory sensors for me to employ." After a moment, the AI adds. "I have taken the liberty of submitting a retrofit for the vehicle to add a sensor array comparable to what Sir has in place in the lobby, Miss Potts. I hope that is acceptable."

Nick isn't in a position to argue. Mostly because arguing is just going to make him cough more and make Pepper's point for her. Even at a 60 scan JARVIS can tell that he's not anything like normal. Muscles, skeleton, airways. Nothing about him is human baseline. Or wolf baseline. Some weird hybrid of the two body types instead. "Care of Doctor Di Lucci." Nick manages as Roger takes off and the AI calls ahead with a medical report.

OH! Dr. DiLucci! That name she recognizes. "Yes, sure, that's fine, JARVIS. THank you. Nicholas, lie down. Please. We'll be there soon."

The HUD isn't nearly up to Iron Man par, but probably at least as good as some of those computer games out there now.

The DEAV is in the air and winging it's way toward the Avenue C clinic with a hum of repulsor engines in short order. Nick has the good presence of mind not to argue with Pepper, though he is giving her a confused and somewhat amused look. "Decided what was good for the goose was good for the gander, did you?"

Pepper Potts offers Nicholas the kind of smile that likely makes Tony regret many, many things. "Decided that you can keep trying to kill yourself to help others. It's actually the same argument I've had with Tony more than once."

"Is being like Tony a good thing or a bad thing?" The werewolf says wryly. The ride in this thing is incredibly smooth. There's almost no sense that you're in the air when the thing isn't juking around to avoid things.

Pepper Potts chuckles softly. "That depends on whether you listen to me or not." She glances down at her phone to see if JARVIS just sent her a message, but it's just an email. Nothing that requires her immediate attention. "So, are you going to listen to me?"

"Well given that you have convinced my pilot to kidnap me…" And Roger doesn't usually go in for that… "Yes." Nick is wise beyond his werewolfy years. Or maybe he just knows Pepper is a force to be reckoned with.

"Good. Now lie down. We should be there soon." And Pepper is very glad that Roger sided with her. Maybe it has something to do with the smell of singed werewolf hair. It is fairly nauseating. But even so, she stays sitting on the floor near Nicholas. Either she doesn't trust him to stay still, or she's worrying. Again. Some more.

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