In The Aftermath (backdated scene)

March 08, 2016:

In the aftermath of the attempt on Pepper's life, three people debrief

Stark Tower - New York


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

The man who had tried to assasinate Pepper had been taken into custody by Thomas … and the US Marshals. It had been so chaotic afterwards, it wasn't possible to debrief. Which is why Jemma and Thomas are in Peppers office, the Stark-Fujikawa phone case, the Stark-Fujikawa phone and images of the man in custody's suit all on the table in front of them.

Standing behind her desk, Pepper picks up the phone case and studies it closely. "JARVIS, can you match this case to any known manufacturer?" If he can, Pepper will get Legal involved for copyright infringement. She looks up from the case to Thomas and Jemma. "How many times have you encountered people with items like this?"

Thomas has just stepped back inside from dealing with his brothers-in-arms. It won't be a Marshal's case per se, not at the moment. And NYPD will be along shortly. Formalities. Gotta love them. "Three times counting this one. It's been rather distinctly unpleasant." Whatever more he has he won't stay just at the moment.

"Analysis inconclusive." JARVIS reports to Pepper and that's not a thing the AI says easily. "The phone is made using very advanced variations on a number of Stark patents. Materials analysis is similarly inconclusive. There are no known matches to many of the technologies in my database. It appears that this particular item doesn't exist, at least not publically."

"Three?" Jemma's only aware of the two … and then, she's not aware that the first one actually altered time around her. "I couldn't find any reference to Fujikawa either and that suit the man was wearing. I've seen prototypes of that, for military use but nothing quite so cutting edge.

"The first man we encountered, the phone … disappeared, leaving just the case." she considers that for a moment. "It had just connected a call though, so maybe that's something to consider." Maybe Pepper can thumb through the contacts on this new phone.

Pepper Potts sets the case down and picks up the phone next. "The phone as well, JARVIS? Set up a secure isolated instance, then try to crack into this phone, please." She is REALLY wishing Tony were here right now. "But please be careful. I don't want this thing causing you any damage." She sets the phone down again, then regards the suit. "So it's not just a regular if ill-fitting suit?

The secret of the suit isn't hard to suss out. There's a harness and hard set of struts and servers underneath. Subtle, but clearly enhancing the wearer's strength and probably endurance. A light kind of exoskeleton. The military is developing something like this. Key word: developing. They're not even close to having the system ready yet.

"No, Miss Potts. It appears to be some manner of concealed augmentive wear. Processing on the phone." There's a long pause. Longer than Pepper would have thought possible for the AI. "Miss Potts I am unable to penetrate this system. It appears to be using a form of computing vastly superior to my own. It is possibly quantum in nature."

Thomas quirks an eyebrow and looks up at the roof. "Who or what is that? And yes. Three, Doctor Simmons."

"That is JARVIS, Marshal Nashoba." If he's going to play formal, so will Jemma. As to the third incident, she'll badger him about that later - he might not remember, but the biochem can be quite be persistent.

Jarvis' commentary on the nature of the tech in that phone has Jemma's eyebrows rising. A quantum leap in technology for JARVIS is … rather mind boggling. "Well. I'm nearly glad Fitz isn't here. He'd be making a fool of himself trying to get a look at that tech." That Jemma isn't is only because she's the biochem, not the tech! "As I said, Miss Potts. I've seen early prototypes for that suit. And it wasn't anything as elegant as that."

"Then…" Pepper shakes her head. Jemma's already explained JARVIS to Thomas, kind of, so she doesn't feel the need to do the same. "How did these items get here? And why was that person after me?"

"And with Stark tech?"

"I don't know and I don't know." Thomas sighs. "However…" Ugh…

The Marshal takes his badge off and puts it in his pocket. "Look, I can't say this as part of any official investigation because only SHIELD is even vaguely aware of this." Actually one SHIELD agent. One. That's it. Whom, he suspects, will be dealing with it more or less on her own if she decides to. "However it is possible that it was part of an effort to affect things of a temporal nature. That's just a theory and a very circumstantial one at best but it fits with what I've seen so far."

That someone had come after Pepper, has Jemma blanching again. She's absolutely no idea why Pepper was a target - except that she's CEO of a rather large and successful tech company.

It's Thomas words that have her stopping "Temporal nature?" Jemma actually rubs her temples and mutters to herself under her breath, though the others may pick it up "Aliens, dimensional attackers and now time… When did I become a Companion?"

Taking a moment to compose herself before she looks at Thomas "What … have you seen so far?"

Pepper Potts stares at Thomas for a moment then sighs and sits in her desk chair. First there were Fae. Then there was Asgardian dieties and magic. Then Russian assassins and LMDs. Now time travel? Somehow, she feels less than surprised. She almost wants to look over her shoulder to make sure there's not a weeping angel back there. But instead she looks at Jemma sharply for a moment. Oh. True. She's English. Makes sense.

"A comp-" Thomas just cuts off. He may have missed a few things in 11 years. Which makes sense considering that he was a ghost for six of them almost literally. "I've had… temporal events happen to me. And around me. It's complicated but I can kind of see it when things shift, and the last few times people like these have shown up they've always done something that changed things. Sometimes considerably. Like, one of the Marshals I work with is a woman. I don't remember her that way because she wasn't always that way."

Seeing Peppers sharp glance, Jemma offers a small sheepish smile. As to Thomas not knowing what a Companion (capital C, thankyou!) was, she'll forgive him. He's American afterall! Just because she grew up with Sarah Jane and Teagan, doesn't mean everyone else did.

"Oh! That woman the other day in the park?" she knew he was looking at her at her funny. "And it doesn't affect you … because you're out of phase?" Heck, that's gonna confuse Pepper some more.

Pepper quirks an eyebrow at Thomas in an almost Vulcan manner. It's passable, but there's another SHIELD agent that Jemma knows that has that down PAT. And speaking of Trek, she can follow the sci-fi babble better than she lets on. But, of course, she can't resist. She looks at Thomas consideringly. "If you're out of phase, why aren't you falling through the floor?"

Thomas just stares at Pepper blankly before leaning over to Jemma and stage whispering 'Did she get winged by that laser? Should I call an ambulance?'. Seriously, this is, you know TIME STUFF! Wibbly wobbly… wait where has he heard that before?

Mmmmm, not coming to him. Anyway, yes. He doesn't quite know what they're going on about, which must be how people feel about him when he shows up and they can't remember him. Which he's wondering if Pepper will be able to manage in an hour. He's betting not.

Jemma covers a small snicker when Thomas leans over. It might seem strange that the two are so comfortable with each other, but there it is. "Out of phase with time, Pepper, not the physical sphere." Jemma starts to explain "It's likely you won't remember Marshal Nashoba once he leaves, time has a way of doing that."

Anyways, as to where Thomas heard that? He and Jemma had spent some time (there's that word again) lost in that portal - not that either of them can remember it. It's highly likely that Jemma used that term at least once … she is British after all.

Pepper Potts waves a hand at Jemma dismissively. "It won't matter if I forget. JARVIS won't. But how did you end up out of temporal alignment?" Yeah, she can toss about the technobabble, too.

Thomas waves his gloved hand. "This is how. Don't ask me to explain it, I'm not real sure. But everyone I've ever spoken to who might know says that it's out of phase and it's knocked me partly out of phase." Which is how he does certain things. Certain other things he does because it's toying with his genetic code but lets not get ahead of ourselves here.

JARVIS might. Jemmas' records had a habit of disappearing - still do in fact - and from what she remembers, Thomas has experienced that across the board.

Her phone chirps and the biochem checks it, sighing slightly. "I … need to go. I'm needed." Since her return through the portal, she's been 'lean' and with her schedule and eating habits it's not improving. All she needs if for JARVIS to comment on it.

"If there's nothing else?" the biochem pushes up from the table, gathering the 'evidence' to her. Just another puzzle for her to work through, in her already 'puzzled' world.

Pepper Potts nods to Jemma as she gathers everything up to take her leave. "I'm fine, Jemma. Thank you for stopping by." She stands again and offers Thomas a handshake. "Thank you again, Mr. Nashoba."

"Pleasure, if that's the word." Thomas rises. "Hope everything turns out okay for you. We'll be in touch if oyu need it." And then he's off. If Jemma's coming down she can come with him.

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