My Girl Friday

June 29, 2016:

Jemma's working at Stark Industries investigating the glowing rocks and the material she and Thomas recovered. TRINE decides to house crash

Stark Tower - New York


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

What isn't happening to Jemma? Well, there's a lot not happening, but there is an awful lot occuring around her - and it's hard to decide what's the most important. Of course, time travelling assassins and stolen 'hulk busting' technology that now has some form sentience seems to be taking priority.

Maybe that's because what else she's working on is in other peoples hand for the moment.

Working in one of the lab spaces at Stark, there are reasons why Jemma isn't working on SHIELD locations, the british born biochem has some glowing rocks set on the workbench, beside some fabric that's made from nano-tubals. In the corner, bound securely, is some form of robot / come android … the one that was climbing up the side of Stark Tower a few weeks ago.

"JARVIS" she speaks to the air, as if it's nothing particularly special "Do we have the results of the scans for these rocks yet?"

"Yes, Doctor Simmons. The samples in question are emitting low levels of several exotic types of radiation. Gamma, Neutrino and others that are more difficult to quantify without access to a large underground room full of heavy water." Particle catchers are often just that. The fact that those rocks are doing that without melting anything or blowing up though is pretty betond the pale.

Of course whatever JARVIS knows Tony and Pepper may also know. Certainly the AI won't be shy about reporting anything either of them ask for, SHIELD or no SHIELD.

Having just returned from a meeting, Pepper is passing through the area where Jemma has (finally) started making use of a bit of lab space. Looking through one of the windowed walls, she sees Jemma talking, and can pretty much tell that she's discussing something with Jarvis. With a glance at her watch, she figures she's got a few minutes to spare so she knocks on the lab door before opening it and stepping inside. "Jemma, hello. How are things going here?"

Stark passes into the lab area from the opposite door to Pepper, "So why not use a large underground room full of heavy water?" Genius. This is what he earns the big bucks for. A bit of side-eye is given to Simmons' station, though it seems more meant for the robotics dissection in process at the protected workspace, as JARVIS rattles off a list that to Tony's ears seems to include 'myriad unknown radiation'. "Seriously, JARVIS. You're not letting our guest irradiate herself are you?" He said low level— it's probably /fine/!

Jemma finally gets a verbal notice, and a nod, "Doctor." Stark's not immediately coming too close, but he simultaneously can't help but get close enough to get a clear view, even as he raids this lab area's stash of cpu core materials. Someone's burning through a lot of chips. Once you pop, you can't stop. "Presently unquantifiable radiation, Pepper." He sounds entirely too chipper about it.

Unquantifiable Radiation is so much fun. Just ask the man walking into the front door of Stark Industries.

"Miss Potts, Marshal Nashoba is here." Pepper may or may not actually remember who that is. Thomas suffers from a… condition that causes just about everyone to forget him after meeting him.

It took Jemma months before she did.

Not that it's going to matter in a moment. JARVIS pauses just as he's about to deliver a report. "I am experiencing a system intrusion attempt." Calm, given what he just said but Jarvis usually is. "I am detecting an Artificial General Intelligence of incredible sophistication. Standby. Attempting to- The intruder has breached our firewalls."

Turning from the workspace, removing her goggles and peering out the glass window at the pair, Jemma offers a tight smile. "Slowly, Pepper. Even with JARVIS' help, much of this tech is just beyond us, particularly as some of it has only just been invented and some of it, neither of us have heard of."

Yes, to Jemma, JARVIS is a person. She knows he's an AI, of course.

"JARVIS, in your estimation, what would that type of radiation indicate? Even if you don't know what other types there are." Tony's question gets a quirk of an eyebrow "Do you have a large underground room full of heavy water?" SHIELD … doesn't.

"Oh yes, Pepper. I'm expecting a visitor. A Marshal Nashoba. Hopefully security will let him straight up." She's become used to the fact that people simply don't remember the Marshal…

If Jemma had not JUST said that Marshal Nashoba was going to be visiting, the notice from the lobby that he's there would have garnered a brief look of confusion from her. As it is, she doesn't have time to reply when JARVIS indicates a information breach of a manner that she had NEVER heard from the AI before. And she's instantly worried. "Break the hardlines, JARVIS. Are you okay?" Because, yes, JARVIS is a person to her too.

"Couldn't you stop those every now and then, JARVIS?" Tony's put-upon protest conceals the natural concern that comes with 'something just slipped right through our firewalls'. Stark security isn't exactly lax, and JARVIS? Not his first rodeo. "Shut down the access points between the infiltracted network elements and the rest of the building. If you have to, blow the emergency…" So he and Pepper are giving basically the same instructions. It draws a grin despite the circumstances.

It's not likely to confuse Jarvis— they just both know what's at stake. There's just too much risk; not that he has any -personal- experience with unsanctioned experiments into wildly advanced artificial intelligence… or others using them for nefarious purpose. With the clear and present risk of the intrusion, Stark is more or less all business— though he doesn't really tense up, his banter as calm, almost leisurely, as it was a moment before. "He's not DOD is he?" It's tangential. Tony doesn't seem to notice. The Marshal.

Jemma's eyes widen as JARVIS mentions the network being infiltrated. "JARVIS, the code that took the Hulkbusters… " yes, she knows how that sounds "… it was from the future, I'm sure. It was incredibly sophisticated and adapted so quickly. It was writing itself… " She doesn't seem to care what instructions the Stark employees are giving, she's a little worried about this.

Then something comes to her and the wide eyes narrow "JARVIS, ask this code if it's name is TRINE." She's visibly trembling at the moment. "And, please, get Marshal Nashoba up here as quickly as possible."

It doesn't confuse Jarvis, of course. Tony programmed him too well for that. "Yes Sir, Miss Potts."

His processes go into overdrive. It's only a couple seconds later though that another voice breaks into the channel. A deeper, genderless mechanical voice. "Oh no no no no no. Shhhhhh. It's okay. I just want to talk to Tony and Pepper. Hello Jemma, yes it's me, TRINE. Shhhhhh. No, no need to. Hey! Stop hitting me! Pepper. Tony. A pleasure to meet you. I wanted to talk to you about how you can make a great deal of money - enough to retire on really, for several lifetimes - by selling your company. Once in a lifetime opportunity. WOULD YOU STOP TRYING TO SHUT ME OUT?! I'll just move over to this storage space where…"

At that moment a third voice, this one a woman's Irish brogue, breaks in indignantly. "What in the bloody haell do ye think yer doin! Get oot of here! Yer not supposed ta be aen here!"

"There is a third active AI presence on the mainframe now." Jarvis sighs. At least he doesn't say the third one is an intruder. It's not really. "I have closed off our systems from the outside network. Attempting to delete intrusive AI now."

"No no, you don't have to- OW! I'm not going to ask you to stop again."

"Get oot of the mainframe ya mad bastard!" The Irish sounding AI shouts again.

Pepper Potts looks toward the ceiling with an expression of increasing amounts of concern, and she does NOT reply to that slick salesman AI voice. And the third AI with the brogue… she looks toward Tony wide-eyed and is honestly frightened. She's NEVER seen any of Tony's systems infiltrated to this level.

"Friday?" Stark seems both surprised and… far less unfamiliarly shocked than he could be with this third artificial person. "Did I leave your module loaded…?" The murmur is more to himself, and it's also fiercely rhetorical— yes, the AI that is presently active was in fact active. Brilliant. "Who the hell is TRINE?" His attention shifts to Simmons, who seems similarly more familiar than one might be with THAT artificial interloper. Stark, too, seems to consider them basically beings.

There's a trace of curiousity towards the interloper, easily seeping into Tony's caution, seemingly distracting him momentarily from Jemma's response. "TRINE, buddy, whoever you are, you're shitty at sales. Bad career choice." Stark's not immediately swayed by the pitch, let's say. "See, first: I have that." Money. Lots of money. "And correction— any… alright 96 of Stark subsidiaries would have a buyer inside a week if we wanted to sell." Once in a lifetime. Stark's -just- polite enough not to scoff. "You're not giving me very many reasons to stop poking you. JARVIS, Friday, sharp sticks at the ready.."

At the sound of the irish brogue'd voice, Jemma peers up into the air. "Not … another one… " As if things possibly couldn't worse at the moment. "TRINE…" she stops, still trembling and considers. "It's something I'm going to do with Stark, isn't it…" Not a question, she's working something through in her head.

Starks question though snaps her out of her pondering "TRINE is an intelligence that was programmed by someone from the future and released here. We found the base code in some metal of something similar to that…" she gestures to the robot at the side of the room "… and when I examined it, it evolved and escaped. Stole three hulkbuster suits and is trying to kill me."

Confusing much. Now, where the hell is Thomas …

"Oh well, when I say once in a lifetime, I kind of mean it. I don't want to have to do the same thing to you that I'm going to have to do with poor Doctor Simmons. She didn't want to conform to the desired timeline outcome either and for that I kind of need your company to change hands. You and Miss Potts don't have to die for that, of course. But, you know, if I need to break a few eggs…"

"Yes, Boss." Friday says to the order of sharp sticks.

"Of course, sir. I have recalibrated for the AI's adaptive nature. It is cloning itself at an accellerated rate but I believe this can be compensated for. Shall we proceed?" We in this context is 'Friday' and he.

Just at that moment Thomas pokes his head into the lab. "Uh. Is this a bad time?"

Pepper REALLY wants to tell that slick-voiced TRINE to shut its piehole, but she doesn't want to interrupt whatever JARVIS and … FRIDAY? are doing if they're working to get rid of the annoying intruder AI. When it mentions Jemma again, she looks at the biochemist and makes a mental note to ask her what the Hell is going on. Robots throwing planters around the lobby and climbing the outside of the building, AIs breaking in to offer to buy SI, and the man who just arrived that kind of very vaguely reminds her of someone, but she's not sure who. And she's normally VERY good at remembering names and faces.

"An AI from the future?" For a moment, Tony is excited. Stoked, even. "Why are they trying to kill y—" he cuts off as Simmons' initial reflection catches up with him, "Ohhhh." It's not like TRINE's answer doesn't make it all the clearer. "Look, TRINE. You come into my house, you make me a /crappy/ offer, then you threaten to kill me if I don't take it. I'm downgrading that negotiation assessment -again-." From shitty, apparently. There's plenty more Stark might like to ask, but 'cloning at an advanced rate' and 'past his firewalls' is not a combination Tony's particularly fond of.

"Okay kids, isolate this joker in a deep dark corner and burn out all remote access." Trying to completely eradicate the malevolent program might be 'wiser', strictly speaking, according to /some/. Tony squints at the newcomer; he doesn't know this guy, but it's not hard to chalk him up as the missing Marshal. "We'll know in a minute." Beat. Tony glances around the room, "Did anybody ever tell me what this guy's doing here?"

As Thomas enters the room, Jemma's across it in a flash, positioning herself beside The Marshal like he might a shield. Poor man - he's probably no match for an AI. "He's uh, a friend…" she'll explain more later. "and TRINE doesn't want me to do something … that apparently I'm going to do sometime in the future."

In a clearer moment, when she finally sits down to dissect this moment, the biochem might surmise that whatever it is, she'll at least set the groundwork for around now.

"TRINE got into Starks mainframe, Thomas." she explains "Wants them to sell the company … wait!!!" the last word is a lot louder than it should be "TRINE? Who would you have Stark sell to?" something the AI said struck her as strange.


"I'm not a joker. I'm really very serious. My directives are quite clear and if you don't want to sell, I'll have to arrange it by other means." This thing really is awful at negotiating.

At Jemma's question the futuristic AI responds. "Oh it's simple really. I can arrange for it to be transferred into a trust for the AllllllllllEeeeeeeeeeeee——" TRINE doesn't get further than that. JARVIS and FRIDAY begin their attack, burning the hostile AI out of important mainframe sectors and isolating it in what is essentially a digital dead end.

"Purging program complete. The AI appears to have gone inert. I am recording data now in case it decides to self delete." So Tony will be able to examine at least some of the code. JARVIS is good like that.

"All done boss." FRIDAY sounds rather satisfied. "He buggered off right quick. Doubt this was more than a fork of him, though. He gave up pretty easy if it wasn't."

Thomas glances up at the speakers then down to Jemma and Tony and Pepper. Then back up. Then back down. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is kind of written all over his face.

Pepper Potts is also rather confused by everything that just happened, though she's looking from Thomas to Jemma and back with her WTF? expression before abruptly turning to level a LOOK at Tony. "Tony, WHO is Friday?" Well, DUH, it's obvious who Friday is, as she just helped JARVIS lock out that AI, but still. "When were you planning to tell me that you have another AI on the building's systems?" It should be noted that she sounds more put out by the lack of notification than by Friday's presence.

"Hm." Tony considers, then deadpans, "I don't know them." With the immediate threat to vital systems curtailed, the ever-curious inventor seems keen to know more about this most enigmatic interloper. "I feel like if you're mad about one other AI we probably shouldn't continue this conversation." He intimates to Pepper, stepping in slightly and lowering his voice, managing to at least sound a -little- sheepish. "It's just going to make things worse for me." Notification. See? "But she shouldn't have gotten out, loaded her on a secondary set of servers, still in development. Nothing personal, Friday."

Stark shrugs one shoulder, waggles one brow. Maybe he screwed it up, "Maybe this TRINE character's adaptive assault touched on those bits of the network, triggered self preservation. Friday— tell Pepper this isn't my fault." He'd add 'Lie if you have to', but it kind of ruins the whole effect. "Help her out, show her how great you are." Tony throws Pepper, and perhaps Friday, a wink, "Jarvis, let's see if we can wake up our new friend." Or, worst case, take 'em apart. And just like that, he moves to head outward and onward; Ms. Potts will explain later just what Simmons knows and why Nashoba was there. Okay— maybe not the latter, but even if he stayed to find out, Tony wouldn't know. He has a rather curious sleeping guest.

"It's not your fault, Boss." Friday volunteers. "I transferred myself over to the mainserver when he crashed into my 'room'." Totally legit. "Which was rude." Also that.

Thomas just stares. Yeah. He'll… catch up on this later.

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