Freight Elevators and EMPs (Backdated Scene)

May 19, 2016:

Stopping by Stark Tower to pick up some equipment from her apartment, Jemma and Thomas speak to Pepper and the building gets a robot-type visitor (Follows from Bad Coffee and Plans

Stark Tower - New York

Characters

NPCs: JARVIS

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

They'd needed to swing by Stark Tower to pick up some things Jemma might need. It's a risk - going home when someone is manifestly trying to kill you - but a calculated one in this case. There were things in Jemma's apartment in Stark Tower that they'd need to do the necessary testing. Marshal Nashoba - a man who is hard to remember - doesn't particularly like it but there's nothing for it, really.

So here they are. Thomas is standing in the door just outside Jemma's apartment tapping his foot anxiously while he checks a chronometer built into his gauntlet.


Jemma is agitated and although it's not visible, JARVIS might have picked up on some of the biometric readings. Moving around her apartment, quickly but not rushing, she's collecting the equipment and books that she thinks she'll need.

"Won't be long, Thomas." she calls from the bedroom, where she's currently got her head in the wardrobe looking for something. "This equipment will help us immensely." She knows that JARVIS may well be listening.


If there is one individual in all of existence that will NEVER forget Thomas, it's JARVIS the AI. "Good day, Marshal Nashoba."

At the same time in the bedroom, JARVIS addresses Jemma with equal politeness. "May I be of assistance, Doctor Simmons?"

And, because that's just how JARVIS is, simultaneously in Pepper's office, he says, "Miss Potts, it would appear that Doctor Simmons is preparing for an unannounced departure." He's done similar when Tony's gone flitting off, though not in a while. Pepper glances up from her emails. "Is everything okay? Let her know if there's anything I can do to help to contact me."

"At once, Miss Potts."

Mere seconds after the initial offer of assistance, JARVIS adds for Jemma's ears, "Miss Potts has requested that I remind you of her offer of assistance as well."


Thomas looks back at Jemma. "Should probably at least explain what's going on." Especially since these are, if his hunch is right, the same people who have made at least two attempts on her life as well. Why? Thomas couldn't say. They're quite determined about it though. The last one had involved some kind of terminator type thing.

"Uh, good afternoon Jarvis. Can you tell her we'll be right on down?"


Jemma nearly bumps her head on the wardrobe door as JARVIS speaks to her "Uh, maybe JARVIS. I've some temporal research to do, as in trying to predict when a temporal occurence may occur. How's you're knowledge there?" Thomas can hear her speaking to the AI.

"Found it, Thomas. Can you grab that other bag…" she asks as she joins him, just in time for JARVIS' extra bit of information and Thomas suggestion. "Yes, we should. Peppers been good to me and … who knows."

With her bags in hand, she leads them down to Peppers office, stopping at her assistants desk "Miss Potts is expecting us. This is Marshal Nashoba."


"Miss Potts, Doctor Simmons and Marshal Nashoba will be joining you shortly." Pepper's browsdraw together in momentary confusion, but an image of Thomas put on her computer screen by the AI has her saying 'oh' softly and nodding. "All right. Thank you, JARVIS."

"Of course, Miss Potts." And Pepper gets up to start a fresh pot of tea.

When Jemma asks about his knowledge in temporal research, he pauses for about half a second, then replies. "I have access to all publications regarding the topic, Doctor Simmons, as well as access to multiple databases should they become necessary." The AI doesn't mention that SHIELD is one of them, mostly so the biochemist will have plausible deniability if he gets busted snooping around. Not that he will, mind you.

When they approach Pepper's assistant, she has that momentary confusion at Thomas' presence, but then a ping on her computer accompanied by a message put there by JARVIS, and she offers them both a smile and leads them through to Pepper's office proper, where the freshly made tea is just being set on the small conference table and Pepper is offering them a smile hello.


Thomas smiles and slips in past the assistant to Pepper's office with Jemma. "Hello Miss Potts." Hopefully she remembers him? Or maybe JARVIS has brought her up to date on him. Or back up to date as the case may be.

"Do you recall, uh…" This is awkward, there's no real clean way to say it. "Do you remember when a terminator like robot threw a planter at your head?"


"Could you give me any references to detecting temporal activity, please JARVIS? Really, I'm looking to predict it and I believe there must be some indicators, particles, energy traces that type of activity leaves behind." Jemma prattles on, giving Thomas a faint apologetic smile. "So any information in that direction, would be very helpful. Particularly any research into detecting it."

Entering Peppers office, the biochem gives the redheaded CEO a smile "Hello Pepper. This Thom—, Marshal Nashoba… it's ok if you don't recall him, Time has a way of messing with people remembering him."


"Certainly, Doctor Simmons." The AI starts transferring all of the publications he's already pulled into Jemma's tablet. Let's hope there's LOTS of free storage space there. When Jemma goes to peruse them later, she'll find sections already highlighted by the AI, possibly trying to be helpful.

Pepper steps around the conference table and offers Thomas a handshake. If she doesn't remember him, she's doing a good job of not letting on. "Hello again, Marshal. I do remember a several hundred pound planter getting tossed around like a stryofoam cup, yes. Please, come have a seat. I've just made some tea." She gestures to the small table. "So. What's going on with you two lately? It's been a little while."


"It has been. I'm afraid there's just been an attempt on Jemma's life. We think." It really sounds all very conspiracy theorist. Someone manipulated the time stream so that a car careened out of control and just happened to crash into the coffee shop and wind up running through Jemma's chair and of course there's no way to trace it because so far as anyone knows it's just a happenstance.

"The same people who tried to kill you have also tried to kill her. Well are trying to kill her."


There's a reasonable amount of storage on Jemmas tablet and as the data comes in, she glances at it. "Thank you, JARVIS. Thank you so much." This will definitely help speed up her research.

Placing the bags by the door, Jemma takes a seat and smiles wanly as Thomas explains. "Well we think it's the same people, anyway. That's why I came here, to get some of my equipment so we can start to investigate it."

"I know it sounds fantastical, Pepper… but all my data indicates it was time related."


Pepper Potts waves a hand dismissively at the word 'fantastical'. "You forget who I work for. Six impossible things before breakfast. Are the research facilities here in the Tower not going to be able to help you with this research? I can have a lab set up for your use in…" she glances at her watch. "Well, not today, but by one pm tomorrow certainly."


"It's more a question of not wanting temporal assassins endangering people in the building." Thomas explains. "We don't know what the people who keep coming after the both of you know. They most certainly know you work here, we don't know if they know that Jemma lives here…" Thomas shrugs helplessly. "I didn't want to assume that-" Thump. That was outside the building. On the wall.

"What the hell?"


"I have a private facility setup somewhere…" Jemma hasn't explained to Thomas why that is "… and I think it would be safer if I did this elsewhere, where no one else might be hurt." Shaking her head as she starts to think about the possiblities "They are from the fut—-"

Her eyes widen as the walls echo that thump. "Do we need to go?"


Pepper Potts startles at that thump and turns toward the window. "JARVIS? What's going on?"

"There is a form approximately humanoid in size but with far greater mass climbing the side of the building, Miss Potts."

If Pepper were the type to curse openly, she'd be doing so now. "You'd better go. Quickly. JARVIS, notify Security to get everyone to the secure parts of the building away from all windows, and see if there's anyone nearby that can help." She steps over to her shoulder bag and digs into it, then returns to offer Jemma a set of car keys. "The crimson Audi in the main garage level. Hurry."


Thomas is already holding the door open. "Are you coming with us Miss Potts? There's an equally good chance that whatever it is may be here for you." So far it's two and two so far as attempts on their lives are concerned and he really doesn't want to risk Pepper's life on it.

Thud. Thud. Thud. It's climbing rapidly, whatever it is, it's fists are digging into the concrete and steel on the wall.


"My car is the garage, Pepper." Jemma says as she takes the keys, looking to Thomas and moving to scoop up her bags. "You really should come with us, we can't be sure what this is and that it is here for me."

"JARVIS, can you scan it? Send me the readings you're getting from it? It might prove very useful in my research. Remember, apart from trying to stop it, we're trying to detect it." which brings something else to mind "Did you detect any disturbances in the last few minutes?"


Pepper is already shaking her head no. "I'm not going to run away when my employees in this building are in danger."

"Sending the data directly to your tablet, Doctor Simmons." Then, seemingly out of nowhere, sudsy water starts sluicing down the side of the building where the whatever-it-is is climbing. Hopefully soapy window washing fluid will make its climb more challenging. Or at least slower.


It apparently makes it quite challenging. There's a thud-thud crash below them at some distance.

"Miss Potts, the intruder is now in the building on the thirty fifth floor."

That's some distance below them though it makes a downward trek via the elevator much more dangerous. Much more dangerous. "What's it doing Jarvis?" Thomas asks as he pulls his weapon. "No, I didn't feel anything." Which could mean this thing was here - or in the area anyway - already.

"It appears to be making for the elevator shafts. I surmise it will attempt to climb up one."

The scans rather quickly show a robot. Humanoid in shape but much heavier - almost apelike - in frame. Very advanced. Something Tony would probably like to look at.


Jemma gives Thomas a quizzicle look. "That might mean there's a proximity issue. They need to act within a certain distance of you to be detectable. Or it might mean they were here already." Paling at that thought "It could even be the one from Metropolis."

"We can't take the elevators, then…" Jemma looks at the scans as they appear "Stairwell, or we stand against it … we've beat them before, Thomas." she looks worried and pulls a firearm of her own, definitely not an ICER "JARVIS, please keep reading the entity, any data will be helpful. Is that similar to the 'terminator' that came at Miss Potts previously?"


Pepper had protested when Tony all but demanded she take this thing and learn how to use it, but now she's thinking she'll need to NOT tell him he was right. He'll gloat for months. She opens the bottom drawer of her desk and pulls out what looks like a rather chunky wristwatch. Hastily strapping it to her right wrist, she scoops up her shoulder bag and moves to meet them at the door to her office. "JARVIS, electrify the elevator shaft that thing tries to climb. If that doesn't slow it down, hit it with the elevator." The one that Tony designed to withstand Asgardians and a particular green-skinned individual. Luckily, the security measures she already set into motion means no one is using the elevators currently. "We can take the staircases, or there's the cargo elevator that Tony had built to get large machines to and from R&D." It's separate from the normal elevator banks, and usually not in service.


There's a bang that echoes in the elevator shaft. "I am electrifying the elevator shafts… ineffective. Now attempting kinetic recalibration."

An even louder bang echoes in the hall as JARVIS overrides the safeties on the elevator in that shaft and hits the thing going up at full force, ramming it into the top of the shaft seconds later.

"The intruder has been hit." Creak. Groaaaaaan. "It is still mobile. I estimate two minutes before it untangles itself from the wreck of the elevator car and returns to your present location."

Jemma can see the camera shots and scans of the robot. It's not at all like the 'terminator' and couldn't ever pass for human. It's seven or eight feet tall and three and a half wide. A hulking, skeletal thing with no thought given to asthetics, only function. There's not visible wires or processor and it still does look very sleek. And clearly quite tough.

"Lead the way, Miss Potts. I really hope not to have to mix it up personally."


The cargo elevator, if it's separate would be advisable, I think Pepper. That thing is likely to catch us in the stairs." Jemmas no tactical expert, but she knows enough to not get caught in confined spaces, unless they can control it …

"JARVIS, can you send an isolated EMP at that thing?" The biochem looks at the scans, letting Thomas lead her on as she thinks furiously. "Any analysis of its form would be good. Material composition, electrical impulses, anything."


Pepper Potts nods and leads the way to the cargo elevator at a brisk walk, one hand on that chunky watch she's wearing.

JARVIS is feeding the scanned data directly to Jemma's tablet as fast as he's collecting it. "The being will reach the only properly shielded floor in fifteen seconds." Presumably, the AI plans to zap it with an EMP then.


Thomas steps into the elevator and then lurches a bit as it descends rapidly. God this thing is fast. Presumably JARVIS is controlling it at the maximum safe speed. Moments later the lights in the building flicker a little. "

"Miss Potts the intruder has been disabled." There's a short pause. "It appears to be going into reset mode. My best estimate at full functionality is ninty seconds."

Still it's time. The door opens on the bottom floor. "Which car?"


"Can you zap it again?" Jemma asks, still letting Thomas guide her, lurching and hitting the side of the car as it starts its descent, jarring her shoulder as she does. "I'm not seeing any exposed internals and that scan indicates it's a strong composite. And it's not a composite that I recognise. Whilst I'd like to examine it, JARVIS, nothing seems to sto—- " a thought comes to her "Can you ultra heat or cool where it is? It's a long shot, but it might stop it."

Stepping out of the lift, she hands the keys to Thomas, juggling tablet, bags and weapons as she does. "Crimson Audi …" she doesn't look up, still analysing the results, trying to find a way to stop that thing pursuing them.


Pepper points Thomas in the correct direction — it's pretty easy to spot — and hurries along but stops partway. A few hasty taps at the chunky phone and her hand from wrist to knuckles is covered by a red metallic framework with a glowing disk centered on her palm. Anyone who's seen Iron Man tech would recognize the repulsor tech pretty much right away, though the tiny hand-held design is undoubtedly new. She's prepared to try and stop the thing if it gets past JARVIS, which at this point she's worrying is a distinct possibility.


Thomas tosses open the door and slides into the driver's seat, taking the keys from Jemma and starting the engine in one smoothe move.

"Get in!" He calls out as there's a crash in the other elevator shaft. The elevator tears open at the roof and the machine drops in. It's moving slowly but moving. "You really need to get your boss to make you some armor!" Thomas shouts as he opens up on the thing. His energy weapon rocks it but doesn't slow it much.


Jemma doesn't need to be told a second time, staring where the sounds of wrenching metal can be heard. Giving the 'glove' that Pepper is wearing an approving glance, she urges the redhead inside, sliding in as well. "We're in Thomas, let's go…" she fumbles with the seatbelt as she speaks.

Please, oh please, don't let them get trapped in here.


Pepper Potts backs toward the car, giving the small repulsor unit time to charge, then firing at the thing center mass (she doesn't trust her aim to be good enough to aim for its head). She's close enough to duck into the car when she fires a second shot at the thing, and then she's in the car. "Go!" Seatbelts can wait.


Boom! The repulsor hits hard and the thing flies back into a rolling tool chest. It twitches. Whether or not it moves is unseen. Thomas floors it. The car flies out of the garage as Jarvis hits it with a second EMP and locks down the Garage behind them.

It's a solid three minutes and five miles before he speaks again. "I believe the intruder is neutralized. I do not advise returning yet."


Jemma flinches as the repulsor hits and is thrown back into her seat as Thomas hits it. Holding her breath, or at least breathing shallowly, she waits … and waits to hear from JARVIS.

Finally, she lets out a shaking breath and looks over to Pepper "Are you alright, Pepper, Thomas?" and then for JARVIS "Can you secure the remains somehow, JARVIS? I suspect you and I will want to dissect them."


"I'm fine." Pepper resituates herself so she can put on a seat belt. "Have the bots move it to the ordinance room on sublevel 2, JARVIS." She asides to the others, "It's a room where Tony sends experiments that are prone to exploding."


"He needs a room for those?" Thomas slows the car down to a more legal speed. "Alright. I'll take us somewhere… uh…" Safeish? "I'll, drive us on over to the Federal Building. You can make the calls you need to from there." And then? They'll talk about lab space and experiments.

Someone's gonna want to dissect that robot, he's sure.


"There's my lab space. No one knows it about. At least not in this time." Jemma murmurs "But I'm going to call in Matthews and the others, May won't mind, I'm sure." And that will be four, trained, agents to watch over them and let Jemma do what she needs to do.

"Of course there's a room for experiments like that. Fitz and I have one as well." her voice is still shaking a little. It's been an unsettling day. "Federal building, will be perfect, thank you Thomas." beat "Thank you too, Pepper and JARVIS."


Pepper Potts says, "Federal Building is fine with me," Pepper tells Thomas. "JARVIS, please inform Security of my whereabouts." She nods to Jemma. "Oh, and please schedule the repair crews for as soon as possible. After a moment's pause, she asks Jemma something she just realized. "Jemma, how was that thing able to follow us when it could not have seen where we were going?""


"My guess is that it already knew the layout to the building." Which would be possible if someone were to, say, pull 'historical' archives from some time when that would be history. Thomas glances behind him.

"I will do so Miss Potts. Is there anything more?" JARVIS inquires.

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