Eggs Benedict For Dinner

June 08, 2015:

CorvJimus cooks Eggs Benedict for dinner …. for Pepper and Jemma

Stark Industries - New York


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Guest Resident Apartments — Stark Industries — New York City

Sparse by 'Stark' standards, even the temporary residence apartments at the Tower are opulent in a functional fashion, with a fully furnished kitchen, an office suite, a full bathroom (with hot-tub option) and a king-sized bed. It may seem somewhat extravagant to the outside observer. However, given that the CEO, Pepper Potts as well as the man who made the Tower a reality — Anthony 'Tony' Stark, AKA 'Iron Man' — live here it begins to make a bit more sense.

Aside from that factor, they also serve as nice incentives to well-performing staff members in lieu of a pricey New York hotel — at the cost of taking some time off at the same place one works.

One of these has been pre-empted to act as an improvised recovery and resocialization area for the form-addled Corvinus, who shares a certain section of space and time with a Stark Industries employee known as Jim Reha.

Today, the portly fellow is whipping up something the partner had left as a recommendation, though the timing of it is a bit… odd. Who makes Eggs Benedict at seven o'clock in the evening?

So far, the hollandaise has blended to perfection, the eggs poached well, the Canadian bacon seared to perfection… the hash browns made from fresh potatoes crispy yet not QUITE done, so that it times out well with the remainder of the meal.

Awesome people make eggs benedict at seven in the evening, that's who. Pepper arrives at the door to Jim/Corvinus' current residence after completing her work day and knocks, content to wait patiently for the individual inside to answer. She suspects it might take him a few moments to figure it out, and if he doesn't, she's confident that JARVIS will offer a subtle suggestion. As her contribution to this dinner invitation, she has brought a little something from one of her most favorite bakeries this side of Midtown — carrot bread and ginger-lime cookies.

"Corvinus, Miss Potts will be arriving momentarily. You might want to place two of those dessert trays on the service table."

JARVIS has the cultured air that his creator gifted him with, but he's also a bit of a troll sometimes. A bit baffled, he's setting down the two suggested trays at the indicated table when there is a knock at the door. He opens the door and without even looking bows slightly and motions grandly to the table in question.

"Pepper, those should be ample for what one seeks." Corvinus is not adverse to playing along, either, though lately he's been feeling like quite the mental midget compared to normal conversations with the advanced AI. "Gotta scoot!"

And then he's jogging back to the stove to shake up the hash browns, layer the poached eggs atop the Canadian bacon then gently dribble the hollandaise, arranging it with carefully choreographed care. That sort of attention to detail would be more appropriate at a three to four star restaraunt than an apartment.

He places three dishes like such onto the dining table, placing metal lids over them to keep them warm until all parties have arrived.

Arriving not too far behind Pepper, is Jemma Simmons who has received an invite from CorvJimus as well. She's not really sure what to expect, it's been a busy day in the laboratory but she has had time to grab some freshly squeezed Orange Juice for Corvinus to try.

Following Pepper in as Corvinus opens the door, "Oh hello, Miss Potts, Corvinus." the british born bio-chemist stammers a little. Social settings are a little foreign to her.

Pepper Potts blinks in surprise as Corvinus invites her in and skedaddles away again promptly. Then she ohs as she hears him finishing up the cooking in the kitchen. She smiles a hello to Jemma as she starts to set the two dessert-ish items on the trays already waiting for them. She senses JARVIS at work here. "Hello, Jemma. How are you this evening?"

The portly fellow glances up at the juice container that Jemma is bringing and moves to a cabinet and pulls out three juice glasses, placing them next to the already full water glasses adorned with a slice of lemon. Additionally on the table there is a lazy susan with a carafe of lemon ice water, various sauces and condiments such as salt and pepper (three different types!). He remains standing behind his chair until the two ladies approach, at which point he breaks away to offer to push them in to the table — yes, JARVIS' hand is definitely at work here.

If the other two are seated, then he takes a seat.

"Please offer a full critique to this one. The procedure was simple, but delicate."

The food? Technically perfect, but… missing a little bit of… something. The layout is almost identical to the cover of a breakfast cooking book.

Pepper Potts settles into her chair, equally surprised and amused by the level of seriousness Corvinus is giving this whole 'event'. "This is all superb-looking, Corvinus, thank you for inviting me."

"Ah, I'm fine, thank you Miss Potts." Jemma watches as Pepper puts the desserts on the tray and then takes her seat as CorvJimus invites her too. Taking in the array of condiments, the table setting and the presentation of the food, Jemma smiles slightly and offers up the juice. "I thought you might like to sample some freshly squeezed juice, but the lemon water is perfect too."

Starting to eat, Jemma takes small bites, savouring each mouthful as she does. "It's quite lovely, Corvinus." For someone who has just started cooking, he's done a good job.

"Rituals are procedures for social interaction. Through ritual, one develops methods of gaining insight into the workings of others." The avianoid may be displaced but some of his words are still as enigmatic and confusing as ever.

"And thank one for allowing this one the privilege of utilizing the resources made available." Speaking of, there seems to be an ideal spot on the lazy susan for the orange juice. He takes some thoughtful nibbles of his own, scrunching up his face at points as unfamiliar tastes are logged, then alternatively rolling eyes or tilting his head.

"This one thanks one for the compliment. This one hopes one finds nourishment and experience in this meal."


Pepper Potts takes a similarly small bite. "Technically perfect. Even the hollandaise sauce." She's fairly certain it's identical to the sauce used at one of Tony's favorite high-end restaurants. She offers Corvinus a nod. "This is probably the best eggs benedict I've ever had."

Ever the scientist, even in a social situation, Jemma looks up from her food with a smile. "It is lovely, Corvinus and definitely the best I've tasted" Nodding to Pepper as she speaks. "May I ask what you think of it?" Given the Avianoids response to a simple cup of chammomile tea, the biochem is very interested to hear his thoughts on something as flavoursome as Eggs Benedict.

The salt and peppered fellow nods his head a few times as he listens to the responses. "Thank one again."

He tilts his head and considers. "The crenelated nature of the English muffins acts as a slightly bitter - sweet foundation for the salty protein strands of the Canadian bacon above it. This in turn supports the fluffy aerodynamics of the poached egg, the yolk firm yet not rubbery. The addition of the sauce blends the disparate tastes together in a comprehensive whole. This one begins to understand perhaps a slight bit of the motivation behind the partner's excess energy resources."

That was a really complex way of the formerly birdly fellow to describe the particular build of the partner.

"Clearly it cannot be consumed on a consistent basis, perhaps at most once every couple of months as a treat versus every day."

He's finished one of the muffins, half of the main portion of the dish, and has now shifted to the hash browns.

Pepper Potts tries to stifle an amused chuckle, but might not be entirely successful. "Yes, and in the grand scheme of edible energy resources, this one is rather simple." How will Corvinus take THAT little factoid? Let's wait and find out.

Jemma doesn't manage to stifle her smile, but she's more amused at the scientific analysis of the food. "Well no, it's not a good day to day meal, but it's a nice treat." Grinning a little at Peppers comment, Jemma nods and drops her head to continue enjoying the meal.

The not-currently avianoid entity considers as he continues to peruse the meal, savoring every bite and relishing it a bit more than one might expect the average person to. "It is said that in simplicity, complexity reigns. This would seem to hold true for Human taste patterns, as well. Which… still begs more paradoxical consideration. How is it that — no offense intended — such a backwards series of civilizations can have such Enlightened individuals as Jesus of Nazareth, Gautma Buddha, Mohammed of Mecca, Francis of Assisi, Zoroaster, Kong Zi? How could their wisdom be avoided and ignored… and in some cases… conflict?"

Woah, that's almost a dinner table foul there… pun intended?

"Variety, Corvinus. Variety. We might be a backwards civilization in comparison, but the sheer variety we can and have achieve cannot be ignored. For example," she takes up her glass of orange juice. "How many different kinds of oranges are there on this planet?"

"This is true, Miss Potts." Jemma nods as she listens. "The ability to choose, to have have the options to choose from… to be able to create those options to begin with, is amazing in itself." She smiles a little "By have so many choices available, we can as a people pick and choose. That sometimes means we can ignore things in favour of others, or… sometimes it devolves to conflict."

"The last time this one perused the data on fruits, it was somewhere into the hundreds of distinct varieties. So many varieties, most bred for one particular taste or another. Wisdom at its core is simple, fundamental, and unalterable. With so many choices, the 'white noise', as it were, drowns out the basic premise of each path. Though…"

He pauses as he takes a few more bites of his own meal, then continues. "…the other disturbing tendency is the extreme individualism of some societies to the detriment of humanity as a whole. This one would have imagined this world a radioactive cinder by now, given the history. Again, no offense."

Pepper Potts takes a sip of the juice then sets it back down again, shaking her head with a smile. "None taken. We really have come frighteningly close to annihilating ourselves on several occasions. But, I think at least a little credit should be given to humans in general that we haven't actually done it yet. That and …" She pauses and looks at Jemma. "Have you introduced him to chocolate yet?"

"There's never need to apologise for stating facts." Jemma smiles "I like to think we're learning from those examples, and I believe we are." even if it doesn't seem to be happening very quickly. Peppers question has the biochem shaking her head "No, I haven't, Miss Potts. I was getting around to it, slowly."

"This one is not ignorant of chocolate. However, this one is also given to understand that it was a portion of the partner's diet potentially to excess, so there must be moderation and control in a carefully deliberated environment for exposure to such a sensation. This one does understand the many different purported reactions to the alkaloid sweet, and this would also be a caution as well."

How… right, through Jim. And perhaps he's expressing his own wisdom on that matter with the thoughtful restraint?

Pepper Potts smiles one of those enigmatic, 'cat that ate the canary' smiles, then reaches for her purse. "I keep this with me for emergencies. And I think this counts." She reveals a small box, about the size that would be used to hold a ring and sets it on the table before gently opening it. Inside the box is a single, wax paper-wrapped morsel of chocolate with an interesting decorative pattern on the flat top surface. ( )

"Well, Corvinus" Simmons smiles a little "Perhaps it did contribute to Mr Reha's physical condition, but everything in moderation." As Pepper pulls out the little box, Jemma looks at it interest. "I think Miss Potts would like you try it… so would I."

The portly fellow squints at Pepper's strange smile and considers the piece of chocolate that's been brought forth. To be kept in a position of care like that, in a… jewelry box, albeit a small one? What was that saying… 'Size matters not?'

There's a bit of a pause as he rinses out his mouth with water, fresh water, not the lemon water, not the orange juice. Then he cracks his neck. "This one does not know what level of equivalent exchange to offer one for this item one wishes this one to peruse?"

Pepper Potts gets up to retrieve three saucers and a clean knife. "Consider it a gift, Corvinus, and an example of the uniqueness that humanity has to offer. Oh, and never tell anyone I did this. Some people would be aghast that I dared sully the perfection that is Richart by touching it with a blade." She very carefully cuts the chocolate into fourths, setting one section on each plate and leaving the last in the box. The quarters are then offered to Jemma and the Corvid-in-a-Jim-suit.

"That's something else humans do, give gifts to each other. Providing something and not expecting something in return." Jemma continues to explain as Pepper dissects the chocolate and looks at the piece she is given. "Thank you, Miss Potts." The british born scientist looks over to the avianoid, she's going to wait until he's tried his piece.

Oh dear, it's the Courtesy Stand-Off! The displaced avianoid is waiting for Jemma to try it, hoping that perhaps he can gather a bit of insight as to how to consume the rarefied and specialized treat. And… since he's had a reasonably filling 'dinner'… it could be a bit for him to break down, since he *doesn't* know what he's missing. Though there is some curiosity kicking in his brain.

Pepper Potts takes her own portion of the chocolate and sets it by her plate for when she finishes her meal. Because like Corvinus mentioned, this kind of food is an occasional treat, and she's savoring it like the treat that it is.

Simmons hasn't quite finished eating either but smiles as she recognises Corvinus' dilemma. "Let me finish my meal and we can sample it together?" Of course, if his curiosity is piqued, she'll understand if he tries it now. "That way, we can savour and enjoy it." Good thinking, Pepper.

Courtesy isn't a dilemma, but interpersonal interactions in an alien frame is. Even with months of 'previous experience', Corv has a hard time judging the depth of the comment so he offers a quiet nod and sips at his plain water, biding his time politely for the two ladies to finish eating. "This one begins to understand why the partner was so profoundly interested in food. It serves as a social barrier to avoid complex discussion topics during interaction at one of the most intimate levels humans can participate in. The sharing of a meal is… a profound significance, reducing the wariness of the internal self to the possibility of assault while watching others — this makes some things clearer."

The heck is he on about? Must be something deep and he's discovered that the 'dead air' of dinner meals can be awkward so he's trying to fill it with something meaningful?

Either that, or he really is that clueless.

Pepper Potts finally finishes her meal and start following Corvinus' example, sipping at a glass of water. "It is probably one of the oldest forms of social interaction that exists, Corvinus. As humans are inherently social creatures, and interaction with others is actually crucial to mental health and stability."

Finishing about the same time as Pepper, Simmons puts her cutlery neatly together on the side of the plate and smiles a little "Don't be mistaken, Corvinus. Some people get into some very complex discussions… it depends on how well they know each other or if they have a similar interest." beat "For example, Fitz, my lab partner and best friend, and I have discussed" (which is really a codeword for argued) "the benefits of a particular research method over dinner… " and the dinner had gone cold whilst they did so.

There's another slow sip of water as the salt and pepper'd fellow tilts his head thoughtfully. "A lot of barriers are in place on a primal level. There are ancient civilizations out there that prohibit the eating of meals together for concern of the unease and disruption that observing another sentient consuming some sort of sustenance." he pauses then shrugs, watching the two ladies in the unspoken dare… 'no, you go first'.

"Well, do remember, Corvinus, that humans in general had not even seriously considered the possibility of intelligent life on other planets before about a hundred years ago. And many people still refuse to believe it." Pepper sips at her waiting, waiting a bit longer before starting in on the chocolate. "We are, in the grand scheme of things, a very young race to quote a popular science fiction francise."

"This is true, Miss Potts." Jemma settles back, relaxing a little more "And some still segregate the sexes and other age groups. Humanity," She looks over to CorvJimus "is evolving, but as Miss Potts says, we are still very young." Pepper not eating her chocolate is a signal for the biochem, she'll wait… letting the meal digest and her palate clear before she eats hers.

"This could be an issue in the future, announcement by some folks not withstanding. It is very dangerous out there, and Humanity is so… fragile. Even with all the powers, even with all the technology… there are things out there…"

Such as whatever it was that snuffed out it's Creators, apparently without much warning. And the Thanagarians. And doubtless thousands of others.

He sips at the water quietly.

"That popular franchise is not off the mark, whatever it is. But, 'the Earth is the cradle of the mind… but one cannot stay in the cradle forever' "

Pepper Potts says, "This is true. But there is no reason to push humanity out of the cradle before it is ready, is there? As an example, take the birds which your physical form usually resembles. If a baby bird is pushed out of the nest before it is ready to fly, it will almost certainly fall and die." She finally sets her water glass down and sits a bit straighter. It's chocolate time."

"There are things out there," Simmons is more than aware of them, working where she does, "certainly and it is a concern." She considers "And consider too, the rate of change that humanity is now experiencing. I believe we've experienced as much change in the last 50 years as did in the previous 100 years… or something similar to that. We can't 'coddle' people and, again I agree Miss Potts, pushing someone before they are ready is as much a recipe for disaster as not." Seeing Pepper straighten, Jemma looks over to CorvJimus…. this should be be very interesting.

"If a species is pressed too fast, it may not develop maturity correctly. This one has seen the results of that. This one does not want to repeat that mistake."

The silence and the moment of preparation give it pause as it examines the confection, then the other two. He has no idea how this is supposed to be consumed, and is watching for some sort of hint or guidance.

Pepper Potts can tell the other two are almost literally on the edges of their seats, and finally starts to chuckle. "Okay, okay. I'll stop being evil." And she simply picks up her fourth of the confection and pops it into her mouth. Good chocolate is heavenly. Even just a little taste like this.

Simmons smiles widely as Pepper laughs, "Not evil, Miss Potts" Watching CorvJimus, Jemma pops her own small piece of chocolate in her mouth, letting it sit on her tongue so she can enjoy it. It's the small amount that makes it even more special.

The former avianoid watches Pepper place the item in her mouth, and reaches over, picking up his in a similar fashion and placing it 'just so' within his maw before closing his lips and chewing slowly and thoughtfully. That process goes on for a good deal longer than the perusal of the dinner dish, even as his lip bulges outward slightly, concealing a tongue that's checking every last spot of the closed mouth for any stray particles.

Then his mouth opens slowly, as if he were trying to guard the flavor from either going rancid or escaping.

"A slight alkaloid taste accented heavily by a particular blend of sugar. A slight hint of burnt… something, but not so much as to overpower the entire combination. If anything, it complements it. Yet, given the quantity and the dosage, this one would surmise that it is an expensive commodity, potentially illegal?"

Pepper Potts laughs brightly at that. "Illegal? God no. The planet would be so much worse off if they tried to make CHOCOLATE illegal. It's simply very expensive and even easier to overindulge, so to keep from having to buy the next size up dress I limit myself to one piece and reserve anything more for emergencies and special occasions only."

Jemma watches in fascination as CorvJimus samples chocolate for the first time, a small smile playing across her lips. The chocolate is, indeed, heavenly and the biochem is enjoying every second of the experience herself. "I believe the expense comes from the ingredients used as much as the process to create it it. Mass market chocolate, whilst still delicious, is nothing compared to what Miss Potts has just shared with us."

Listening to Peppers reasoning, Jemma laughs softly "And that is a very sound reason as well. Treat yourself with small amounts of the best, so you don't over-indulge."

"This one is beginning to see why the partner may have such an issue with… excessive girth. At the same time, this one has also seen references to holy figures who were similarily endowed with weight, and they were considered 'enlightened'. This just feeds back to to the paradox I was mentioning earlier. Still. The chocolate… what was it's name?"

He is NOT planning on buying a bunch of it via spurious means, thankfully. But he is going to use it as a benchmark and standard for future perusal.

Pepper Potts shares the choclatier's information with Corvinus while almost subtly pushing the last fourth of the chocolate toward Jemma. "Humans have such a sensitive palate and so wide a variety of foodstuffs available that creating unique food items or making well known food items to such exquisite detail has become an art form all its own. Maybe one of these days I'll drag you both to a tasting party. It's a good way to get to sample the creations of some of the best chefs in New York without destroying your waistline. Though, for my own sanity I only try to do that about once a year."

Looking curiously at Pepper and then the last fourth of the chocolate, Jemma smiles a little and then looks at the woman questioningly. It is exceedingly generous… or, she could take it back for Fitz…. "It's also true that tastes differ. So how this chocolate tasted for me, may not be exactly how it tasted for you, Corvinus." beat "A tasting party, Miss Potts? It sounds very interesting." Jemma chuckles a little herself "And once a year sounds round on the money."

"This one has already noticed such things with the wide variety of toxins and poisons that humans use in their cooking and for seasoning. Most races would avoid such a thing, but on this world, it almost seems a challenge to find the tastiest yet most innervating meals."

"This one has noticed this in research with the foodstuffs this one has been making. And… moderation would be a key issue." There's a bit of a pause as he writes down the information. "Which does bring up another point that's going to need to be addressed in the future, Pepper. The partner and this one…" He trails off a bit. "We will come back to that. Thank you both very much for attending this meal."

"Oh, no. You don't get to start a sentence like that and NOT finish it. What about the partner and you?" Pepper offer Jemma a smile and a nod, making it clear that she is welcome to that last bit of chocolate. And, unless he protests, she stands to start clearing the dishes while he either spills or hems and haws about it.

Jemma looks up as CorvJimus trails up, a quizzacle look on her face and then Pepper in time to catch the smile and nod. "Thank you, Miss Potts." Taking the last piece, she pops it into her mouth and savours it again. Seeing Pepper starting to clear, Simmons rises to assist, happily.

"We've dubious legal situations."

He lets that sort of drop and hang for a few moments.

"There's no good way to approach that."

"No matter how one looks at it, one of us is… not supposed to be here and the other is potentially harboring an illegal alien. At least, that is what this one has discovered in reading legal texts recently?"

Pepper Potts carries the dishes to the kitchen with Jemma's help, then gets a pot of tea started while continuing the conversation with Corvinus. I believe I offered to help with any legal help deal with any leagal issues that might arise. Didn't I?" She steps over to the desserts she brought with her and sets them on the table where they're easily reached should someone want to sample. "And really, so long as you're inside Stark Tower or accompanied by someone who understands what's going on, I really don't think anyone going to actively try to come after you or Jim."

"How long have you been here, Corvinus?" Jemma finishes helping in the Kitchen, giving the benches a wipe down before trailing back to the dining table and sitting back down. After the chocolate, she'll wait a little for dessert.

"If one did not, then one's continued offer is appreciated. The other concern is what this one will be doing since this one does not 'work' and the partner does but is not really capable of working with others as he currently is." The portly fellow sits quietly and sips at some more water.

"On the surface of the planet proper? This one has been here for nearly one orbit. In the orbital plane? About two orbits. Time moves differently when one doesn't have factors to measure it against."

"Well, as Jim is still currently listed as 'on sabbatical leave', neither of you have anything to worry about." Pepper offers the AI in a human body a reassuring smile. "Though, I think his department is starting to miss him. I'll talk with Jim next time he's awake and see if he feels willing to work part time with JARVIS' help."

"One orbit… you mean approximately one year?" Jemma confirms as she listens to the two speak. Looking to Pepper and then back to CorvJimus, she considers "Giving Mr Reha something to do would be advisable but why couldn't JARVIS help Corvinus do something too? Miss Potts, is there perhaps a small project that Corvinus may be able to work on?" It's a thought anyway.

"One should do this thing. The partner is many things, but he needs something to keep him grounded in the now. This one was used to having aeons of memory. He is not. This could lead to dysfunction and discontinuity for the partner in subsequent time intervals. Also, this one would suggest that the circle be expanded to let others one trusts into the informational loop."

Him, work? That's crazy human talk.


Pepper Potts nods. "Consider it done. JARVIS?"

"Yes, Miss Potts."

"I'm going to have Jim start working again part time, could you help him work up a holographic interface that he'll have an easy time controlling?"

"Mr. Reha and I have already begun creating a functional interface. I am sure he will be gratified to have more to keep him occupied."

Pepper can only smile. This is why she loves the buiding's AI. "Thank you, JARVIS."

"Of course, Miss Potts."

Pepper looks at Corvinus again. "I agree that getting out more would be good. If you can Jim could make a list of people you'd like to have visit, I'll make sure they're on the approved guest list in the lobby." She briefly (very briefly) considers seeing if a local kitschy Asian place that makes their own fortune cookies would be willing to entertain some of the avianoid's mental convolutions, but knows better than to mention it aloud. "What else would you like to do, Corvinus? There's really only so much cooking you can do at a time."

"Perhaps Mr Stark has a project that requires some detail calculations, Miss Potts" Jemma supplies, very helpfully, she's sure. "From what I have seen, Corvinus is skilled at philosophy but is also quite good at computing probabilities."

The former avianoid blinks a few times. "This one cannot speak for the partner, but we need to get *out* and *move* and *do stuff*. This one would say 'fly' but…" He glances over his shoulders. "That doesn't seem like an option any time soon. But we do need to… get fresh air… explore… live?" Could an impossibly ancient entity have… cabin fever?

Pepper Potts ahs and smiles over at Jemma. She's already got some ideas already. After all, she has a friend who's a bit of a piloting buff… and there's always day trips to places that offer stuff like parasailing, hang gliding, parachuting…

Jemma smiles back at Pepper. She's sure the redhead has plenty of ideas based on what Corvinus just said and there are always things happening in New York. Settling back she sips her water "I'm sure some things can be arranged, Corvinus."

"Well, then. Enough of the non-culinary discussion." After all, isn't the host supposed to keep things from getting too… 'heavy'? "What sort of desserts are we looking at for this evening?"

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