Perspective from a 'Pterodactyl'

July 16, 2016:

Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man, performs somewhat routine examinations of Jim Reha from QA. Pepper shows up.

Stark Industries, New York City

Rising high into the skyline with the name of it's Lord and Master for all
to see, the Stark Industries Tower is the most visible component of the
Stark Industries complex centered in Midtown Manhattan. Manufacturing,
office space, power generation and even some inventory is housed in the
tower and its associated subelevels. It also contains guest housing and, at
the top, the penthouse suite that is the domain of the Main Man himself, at
least, when he's not at his Malibu home.



Mentions: Oracle (indirectly) Thanagar


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

It would've been a pretty normal day on the job for Jim up until his computer tells him Tony's available to meet with him. More specifically, JARVIS tells him so, the polite and perfectly rational assistant a useful counterpoint to his boss; Tony might even be smart enough to have programmed him with that in mind. Nothing unusual about that, either— unusual wouldn't start until Mr. Reha had taken the particular elevator (which JARVIS would illuminate a path to for his convenience, as needed) to Stark's private laboratory levels near the very apex of Stark Tower.

It's a brilliant panorama of New York City from this height, a dazzling view with a similarly dazzling price-tag attached to its real estate, and might serve to distract Jim's eyes from the less impressive door that slides open to admit him, one part of a (currently unlocked, but terribly thorough) hermetic vault system. Right inside the door, Jim would find an impressive array of sensor equipment arrayed in a wide semicircle around that entrance, "Stand on the line a minute, if you would." Tony affably invites, from behind a control dais halfway across the room, which is chock full of electronics and basic fabrication equipment.

"Probably want to close your eyes." He drops a dark shield over his, or rather it's suddenly deployed from a sleek headset he wears. There's quite the glow from various power sources and energy emitters as Stark appears ready to proceed with taking his readings regardless of the subject's cooperation; and with no shortage of curiosity, "So you two work together in there? Do you hear him or only when he wants? Does he know your thoughts? Does it tickle?"


From the specialized office workplace (set up at some expense by Pepper) Jim glances at the terminal.

"I.. See. Well, ah, um. Mister JARVIS, please let Mister Stark know I'll be right on up as soon as I close out these ten cases, shouldn't be more than a moment or two."

Uncertain of what route the path is going to take through the tower, the fellow reluctantly approaches the given elevator, folding wings down and keeping an eye out for anyone that wouldn't be 'dialed in' on his current condition.

Namely that of the 'Buddha Bird' and himself being transposed, that is…

As he walks down the corridor and away from the office that had the imaging software coded into his workstation, certain cameras and sensors will pick up strange background radiation readings, unusual alloy compositions, and the presence of a processor that…. well… to put it mildly… shouldn't exist on a humanoid frame. Not even a winged humanoid frame.

The working fellow rides upwards through the elevator, more in awe of the fact that he's about to meet The Man Himself in His Labs than the amazing panorama of the City. It makes him a bit nervous, even. The avianoid form he's in slowly approaches the indicated line and stands there for a moment, protective eyelids flicking into place at the warning as he attempts to —


Okay, that wasn't nearly enough protection for his eyes as slowly they attempt to adjust to the light in the room once more.


Well, that's a great start.

"Mister Stark, I'm Jim Reha. I work in QA. I'm here for the meeting you requested?"

With properly specialized equipment there's things about that body that simply would NOT make sense to a brilliant scientist and engineer not of Tony's caliber. The body… well, it LOOKS organic, and it has carbon compounds, but the layout is almost completely synthetic and layered atop each other in the sort of fashion that industrial diamonds would be. It respires, it has a normal 'breathing range', the metabolism is off the charts, and the amount of programming and/or circuitry that must have gone into the body's creation would probably be enough to make some of the Iron Man suits look like 'a promising start'.

"So, ah, Pepper told you, then, I hope? It wasn't me screwing up and dropping clues somewhere? And actually, sir, right now we're kind of broken up. He's got my body, I've got his. And that gamma wavelength is just irritating, could you cut it out, please? I don't know how I know it's gamma, wait…"

He tilts his head.

"Well, I'll be damned, sir, learn something new every day. Thanks!"


There's a moment of relative non-responsiveness, the questions getting a vague grunt and hmmmm from Tony here and there as the holographic panels around him project detailed pictures of that techno-organic shell, molecular data on the carbon present and its rather unique bonds and… biological alloys, of a sort. Imaging equipment also took a surprisingly close look at Jim's brain, judging by another readout displaying an analysis-in-progress of the humanoid avian's neural activity and inter-connectivity.

At JARVIS' whim it's juxtaposed against what may or may not be recognizable as a remarkably complex, and at the moment entirely theoretical web-way of an artificial neural network; and entire body's communication systems, engineered for high bandwidth and low wear along a different path than Reha's frame. That data is already being automatically interpolated against his own theories and execution— Stark's pretty sure extraterrestrial tech falls into the public domain, anyway.

"So the alien isn't in there? Or just when he comes out, it's meat-suit instead of bird-armor?" He gets over his immediate disappointment fast, and moves right back to hopeful curiosity. "You left some footprints that Jarvis made a big thing of here and there, but yea, good guess." And then Tony proceeded with the caution and courtesy he's known for.

"It's like a suit built right into all the biological processes." He muses, half to Jim, half to himself, as he tweaks the sensors— partly to do as requested regarding the uncomfortable radiation— and then comes down off the dais to cant his head and eye Reha carefully head to toe, before his attention goes to a nearby, sleek and automated extraction syringe.

With an eager step floating like a butterfly, Tony collects this device whilst asking over one shoulder, "Does that whole thing regenerate?" Definitely not a loaded question in this context.


For Jim, with some the processing power being spent towards the QA problems he's still left with an overabundance of 'brain', for lack of a better term, even with storage numbers that range into the nearly ephemeral "We haven't designed or used numbers that huge yet" range. He stands there quietly.

Compared to JARVIS', the base data would seem to indicate that it could run as the server for *the* Internet with a bit of lag due to distance. In fact, the method of data storage is so compressed and utilizes so many different legitimate (and somewhat alien) short-cuts that digging into it a bit more deeply may even leave the noteworthy engineer stunned.

Technically, since it's Jim, it'd be *his* hardware, but that's the sort of thing Legal could sort out, right? Or Pepper. Pepper would be good at that.

"Corv's taking a nap right now, and yes. If you really want him out, be ready to talk philosophy with him, because he's going to give you an earful of strange discussion about the sorts of topics someone at your level of technological awareness should be ready for. It's really not your cup of tea, I don't think, though. He goes *deep* but also does this whole 'platitude' thing that drives me up the freakin' wall. Or at least did, before we had issues. Long story."

The bird-like employee pauses for a moment.

"JARVIS is good people. I'd trust him with my back any day, though sometimes he's a real sneaky sort — No offense, JARVIS. And thank you for turning down that sensor. It wasn't the actual radiation that was bothering me, but it's off a couple of degrees of frequency and it was pumping raw data into a section of my brain. Sort of like getting WiFi streamed without a filter, but it's corrected for now. And… it's more than a suit, sir. It's me. It has all the quasi-biological parts a body might need, and yes, it can even regenerate given enough biomass. Makes me a big eater if I get shot up a bit. I don't recommend getting shot, sir, it fucking sucks, especially when I get whanged upside the head."

He prattles for a bit before his gaze follows the scientist's gaze.

"I strongly don't recommend trying that, sir. You'll either break it or possibly break your system trying to get the data out of it. And that won't be good for any of us. I have autonomous defensive reactions that… won't react well to being poked or stabbed."

Shorthand? No needles, eh?


"None taken, Mister Reha." JARVIS is staying out of this one for the most part, though— either wise or just with a large quotient of the Tower's incredible mainframe currently devoted to analysis, with JARVIS at the helm. "If there's data to be had, I can always build a new machine to have it." Stark notes without hesitation, but he does set aside the (minimally intrusive, sheesh!) extractor and frowning thoughtfully. "The molecular structures and the level of technology they imply would certainly suggest it to be extra-terrestrial or yet another interloper from the future." Tony observes, again as much discussing the situation with himself as with Jim— though a degree of admiration -is- evident in the analysis, unusual indeed.

"I mean, it can be both, right? This here…." The sleek metal frame that fits perfectly on his left hand allows Stark to summon and control his displays from basically anywhere in the room, and the air between the two men fills with lights that form a midair screen displaying the bird-form's tough outer shell and layers of redundancy; its ablative shielding in the form of not-really-feathers. "You look it up in the dictionary, that's armor, chief."

A flick of his hand sends that display away, and a gesturing fingertip brings a holographic image of the birdman's biological processes and nervous system underlayed with the complete picture of the aforementioned physical countermeasures. Tony doesn't even bother to restate his point, he just arches one eyebrow as he tosses a glance aside at Jim, and grins wryly. Jim's body builds its own armor, and presumably replenishes it as well.

"Wish I could do that."

JARVIS' speaker activating is all the warning Tony needs.

".. without someone's help with the armor part."

There comes no protest from the AI after all.

"Getting shot is horrible. Sometimes I think getting hit in the head is worse with the armor." So much rattle and clang, so little abrupt end to his suffering. "So let me ask you— suppose I could guarantee with relative certainty that I can collect a sample without hurting you or endangering anyone due to the countermeasures?"

Beat. Squint. "You're not rigged to explode right? Big explosion, not little one, little one we can manage." He's kidding; mostly. Not hurting Jim was one of the variables in this equation, and Stark is (surprisingly?) extremely sincere about such things.

"You've got to be as curious as I am." Another beat. "At least twelve percent as curious as I am."


"Mister Stark, would you like some perspective? And… you're half-right on the logical conclusion, sir. Actually, it'll sound dumb, you'll laugh, just call me 'Jim'. Easier that way. It works like armor, it takes hits like armor, and regrowing it is a sonuva—-anyways… Tony… can I call you Tony, sir? The armor thing is what we can call a 'nice side-effect' from the folks that engineered this thing, apparently."

Jim considers as Tony relates the stock reaction to getting shot, and weighs a thousand probabilities in a few short seconds. "Might I make an alternate suggestion, Tony?"

There's a brief pause as he strides over towards the syringe.

"Let me do the sample taking. That should keep the internals a bit relaxed if I'm doing it to myself, hopefully. Just… I might not explode but claws might come out and things might get a bit angry if I miss the spot, so do you have a workbench or something I can do this at?" And truth be told, Jim WAS really curious about what was going on inside. He hasn't been able to get a solid real answer from anyone else and it's been almost a year like this!

"Sound fair? Then maybe I can give you a little… no… a lot of history… if you can't pick it up from what I give you?"


Completely unaware of the rather offbeat meeting going on in in Tony's lab, Pepper compiles the current list of papers to take to Stark to sign — thankfully that no long means a stack of papers but loading a series of documents onto her tablet — before heading toward the elevators. JARVIS knows the routine by now, this is one of the rare times that he doesn't give Tony any advance warning, mostly so avoidance tactics can't be employed.

She arrives just in time to see Jim brandishing what looks like a particularly unusual syringe.


"I'm often told I need some." Which is Tony's smart-ass way of inviting Jim to also offer him perspective, as so many often do. This has less of the snark inherent in the acceptance thereof at other times, though; after all, he's legitimately interested in this already. "Tony's fine." He confirms, nodding along with Jim's explanation. "I'd call it an integral design element. This thing had to be built to what, shrug off a rocket-propelled grenade and run off with its feathers ruffled. Certainly sturdier than us." This may or may not be one of the reasons Stark has such an obsession with building sturdy things.

"Probably not an explosive shell, really. Probably supercharged plasma or coherent light. I bet a rail-gun would punch right through it. Then again you build it big enough, that's most things.." Stark stops musing rather suddenly and helps Jim collect the things he'll need— which is basically the contraption he's already got and a couple more capsules for it.

"Just step back to the line." He nods to the marker projected on the floor anew where the sensors initially scanned him, and the ceiling panels open up to deploy a modular workstation that looks, conveniently enough, designed to work with just those sleek metal canisters. "Jab it at any of the bits that are different, it'll prick a bit, but it's a little one." Tony waggles his brows instead of making the obvious joke. Truth be told, large samples would be better— but that was out the window when the guy explained what it took to grow it back. Sigh. Being a humanitarian is rough, rough times.

"Pepper!" He greets her like it's a pleasure she showed up when she did; because it's way too late to change all the displays to cars and pretend he and Jim were talking shop. So it's time to be totally innocent, "Just checking out that alien symbiote mystery for your pal, our.. our pal."

Tony flashes a winning smile to Jim and nods encouragingly, not at all hurrying his sample-taking along as he agrees to hear the whole story. "I'm not going to try to extract some alien codex." Stark admits. At least, not from tissue samples; that angle's more for the other guy, though. "So the oral tradition'll have to do."


"Try atmospheric entry and you're getting a bit warmer—no pun intended. I don't think the body could take that right now, but if it had enough time, resources and desire it could probably be put into that trim. I'd rather not try that, though, there may be design concessions there that would make it impossible to work on-planet and as I kinda live here that'd kinda suck."

Jim considers for a few moments, then places his forearm on the station, aiming the syringe towards the joint of his right arm, guiding it in and letting out a grunt of exhalation as the pressure punctures toughened skin and feather to draw forth… something. It's almost 'alive' for a half-second and then it goes completely still as the syringe arm retracts and he lets out a shuddering breath, giving Pepper a wave with his left hand.

"H.. hey Pepper. Just… checking something out"

He deposits the sample in the analysis bin and then picks up his arm. "Let's just start with that one, that'll probably give even you years of stuff to work with if my guess is accurate." He holds his hand over the arm as the skin beneath already scabs up and begins to heal. It's not a bullet wound, after all.

The system goes to work on the sample and immediately there's a lot of ??? in the data analysis, and then the trace elements that do show up indicate a rate of radioactive decay that would put the age of the body closer to the range of the Big Bang's estimated eruption than the modern day.

Whole orders of magnitude closer…

"Give you the oral tradition in a sec, Tony, just as soon as I make sure that we haven't blown up your system doing this."


Pepper Potts looks from Tony to Jim and back. Twice. Then she says slowly, "Do I want to know what's going on here?" It doesn't stop her from crossing the room though, to offer her tablet to Tony. He should know this routine by now. Look over the documents — the important parts are already highlighted to make them easier to skim — then append a signature, or at least tap the screen to tell JARVIS where to append a signature.


"Sir, I'm picking up unusual levels of unquantifiable elements in analyzing this sample." JARVIS is sorry to inform everyone.

Of course, it also implies that -some- level of the unquantifiable is pretty normal in the day to day routine of the pair.

"Of course you are, Jarvis." Tony doesn't seem alarmed or nearly as saddened by the news as his compatriot. "It's an alien pterodactyl." A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away might not have been the big joke you thought it was, huh Tony? "Your priority is breaking down the repeating patterns in the techno-organic molecular structure. Try to figure out what passes for DNA." Rather than identifying the components, Stark wants to know how they're talking to each other.

What Jim tells him suggests immediately that the organism in question is highly adaptable; a survivor. For anything to evolve to such varied forms across a cosmos of hostile environments and vacuum? Requires order, instruction, contingency. In human beings, those coded instructions and contingencies, the combinations that tell a body what to do what— that's a double helix and one of the most complex puzzles in molecular genetics. At least, for many scientists. Still, who knows -how- complex this question is.

"Sir, such an undertaking will require substantial time at current sustained workload, do you wish to keep current priority levels on the T-Virus analysis?" Stark's codeword, certainly; he thinks he's funny.

"Patch in to Vegas and San Francisco, take 10 over the average idle processor time and crowd-source our problems."

Tomorrow a plurality of Stark employees will bitch about workstation slowdown. And maybe the day after that, too. JARVIS' 'home' is a supercomputer mainframe at the heart of this personal lab complex. He lives there with a number of other personalities under various levels of development and deployment… but the 'brain' of this operation is the interconnected network of cooled sub-basements filled with racks upon racks of top end computers devoted to Stark and his company's vast, vast computing needs.

"What, in layman's terms?" Stark teases Pepper; it's not readily apparent what's going on here?!? The words accompany a compliant acceptance of the tablet and a quick skim and sign on almost all of it. Or rather, skim and confirm— then JARVIS digitally robo-signs in the inconsistent Tony-ish scrawl /someone/ programmed him to use. "What is this Pep, this one says you get my house in Malibu?" He seems stern and holds the tablet out -just- long enough to try to goad her into taking a look at the document on display, then casually signs it as well.


"Tony wanted to take a look 'under the hood'. I told him that'd probably be a bad idea. Probably along the lines of trying to take one of his armor suits apart the 'right way'. So we came to a compromise so we could get a tissue sample that JARVIS could munch on and hopefully not blow up over. It's pretty intense stuff, but you already knew that, I think?"

The avianoid worker pauses for a moment as he listens to Tony's instructions to the computer. "Focus on the first hundred combinations, otherwise you WILL crash your network. It's that dense. Someone looked at some code a year or so ago and almost took down the power grid for Gotham doing it. Don't worry, we vetted them."

"I don't think Pepper needs your house in Malibu, Tony, just guessing?"

Then Jim 'cracks' his neck a bit. "As far as the perspective I was trying to give you earlier, do you have a wi-fi enabled monitor I could borrow for a little bit that you're not too attached to? I'm afraid I might burn it out under the transfer rate…"


Pepper Potts rolls her eyes at Tony's little jab. She knows as well as he does that it was about the MSF office in Malibu, and it was approving allocating funds to organize and host a fund raiser there in the fall. At the house. Then Jim explains why he just used a syringe on himself, and she nods with a faint 'oh'. Maybe she could ask Oracle to send over the data she collected back when. It would be an interesting read for Tony at the very least.

Oh, and maybe it would help them find out more about this Freaky Friday thing that Jim and Corvinus have going on. Because if she remembers correctly, Oracle's data collection was done BEFORE they swapped.


"Gotham, huh?" Tony doesn't inquire further— there's a short list of people with the capacity to do the kind of thing he's doing, and /that/ city narrows it down to a handful of nearly mythical ghosts in the machine. "Video monitor, audio monitor, access point and sniffer, signal detector?" Whatever the answer, the solution seems to be about the same. Another combinations of gestures and neural inputs on a screen only Tony can see, his eyes darting this way and that for the more complex application, and the medical module is replaced by a workstation.

"Sever that hard-line from the network, Jarvis."

All it takes is a few sections of modular wire moved out of place, and this system and its accessories stop talking to the rest of Stark Tower, lending its ears only to Reha. The workstation is top of the line, with more cores and memory than most trios of home PCs, with high end hardware to aid that performance. Most cheap network interfaces are simply translating data from one form into another, leaving it to the computer to parse and control the flow of it all; this one is used to a heavy load, chips on-board to do their own heavy lifting alongside that substantial system horsepower.

Stark hands the tablet back to Pepper after he's finished endlessly not signing things and observes, "You didn't tell me he was a pterodactyl."


"That works, thanks." The bird-person gets distracted for a half-second and then data floods onto the screen and even with the cores and memory it's straining to keep up with the forced trickle that Jim is holding the data transfer to a trickle. It probably helps that he's not doing the *full graphic presentation*, either. A bit entranced, he turns the monitor around so Tony and Pepper can both see it.

"Alright. Bear in mind, please, that I'm not the best of tech geniuses here. Heck, I had a hard time with the remote for the TV before this happened." He jokes a bit nervously, to break the tension.

A simplified graphic presentation appears on the screen, almost reminiscent of 8-Bit Theatre or the like, as the first image is a time chart, measured not in tens, hundreds, thousands, or even millions of years but far longer. The monitor statics a bit as it fights to keep up with the flow that Jim's feeding it.

There is one data point close to the junction of the X-Y axis, and then there are a multitude of data-points stretching as far along as the chart goes, the graph that can easily be charted from the density slowly rising.

"At Point One, Corvinus was sent to a distant world called Thanagar to uplift their people. He was either really good at it or really BAD at it depending on who you ask, or both, because at about this point…."

The data-points freeze their increase for a second.

"…he was driven off by them and started to do the whole 'roam the stars' thing, I'm guessing. There's so much data in here. Hang on, analogy booting up, will give in a second."

He lets the display resume showing the progression of time, even as the graphed line grows higher and higher until it reaches apparently the modern time and the data points stop.

"Okay, imagine someone who just figured out how to light a fire has stumbled into our modern age and has had *every bit of information* that has ever existed to Humanity dumped into their brain. Got that locked in?"

He then produces one other chart, a very primitive rendering of the EEG readings of the Corvinus and himself, apparently. Jim's 'wavelength' is down towards '0' and the upper number is nearly at '100' throughout, until approximately one year ago, when the two readings 'flip'.

"I don't buy the whole ten percent of the brain crap, okay, but… can you see where this is going?"

He pauses the presentation so Tony and Pepper can offer comments, if desired.


"Not at pterodactyl, Tony. He's clearly more Corvinesque." Pepper accepts the tablet back, then comments to Jim as he pauses his presentation, "But Jim, if I ever see you hanging upside down from a clothesline, you will have to pardon me if I can't help but laugh." She looks at the data on the screen and nods. She's gotten the gist of this before, when Oracle did their data collection.


"So were dinosaurs. The lizard thing is mass media propaganda." Tony asides quietly to Pepper as opportunity allows— he's rather interested in the information, after all. "Archaeopteryx is the Edison of the feathered community; gets all the credit for someone else's innovations." Stark cants his head as he studies the spans of time represented on the chart, "Besides, look how -old- he is." Corvinus, not Jim. Jim looks very good for Corvinus' age. And a giant bird, at the moment. Life's complicated.

"Ten percent of the brain is bullshit." Tony agrees, "The problem with the human brain is software. The filesystem, particularly." The whole 'pumping its logic rules full of mood altering hormones' thing is arguable, and a whole different tangent. "Really inefficient getting at data and lazy about pattern recognition." He may have given this some thought. "Basically, you're far more brilliant and productive as a prehistoric avian than using your old human brain the old human way?" Tony hypothesizes.


"Pepper, if you catch me hanging upside down something's seriously gone wrong and stand clear because I'll probably be about ready to hurl chunks." Wow, pleasant imagery, Jim! "At any rate, where were…"

He listens to Tony's comment, nodding a bit. "No, that's kind of where it's at. And don't feel a day past forty, even!" There's a bit of a cough to the side there, then he snap-points at Tony.

"You must work in neural sciences some with the suit, maybe?"" Jim offers that then clears his throat. "It's a bit more complicated than that. Let me show you a different snapshot."

The screen flickers and brings up a different series of data-points. The 'Corvinus' line begins to 'degrade' over time as a 'different' line (apparently analogous to Jim but someone else 'merged', perhaps?) rises upwards until they meet at about the 50 mark.

"That is the *normal* progression of entities that have somehow worked with the Corvinus in the past. The possibility that he got tied up in their biochemistry as much as they got tied up in his 'Enlightenment' is a strong possibility… Why I'm different I have not a freaking clue, but I can tell you that half the Enlightenment crap he may toss at you is crap, and the other half is things that the Buddhists, Taoists, and other folks of faith have been saying for millennia on end."

He pauses for a moment to let that sink in, then adds… "I wouldn't say so much 'brilliant' as 'loaded with a lot of extra data and with plenty of time to use it I could be dangerous. I'd rather not be dangerous if it could be helped, but right now the way to keep that from happening is sort of like working on the QA issues as a 'side project', while simultaneously running a geographic overlay of the Steel City region and charting it against known esoteric concentrations, and also doing daily work and any other projects that come along. That productivity bump you may or may not have seen from QA? That's my fault. When folks would go home I'd run their work for them and verify their math because it was the only way to keep from 'getting lost' in the data."

He may have forgotten to mention that last bit to Pepper…


"Wait, what?" Yeah, that was the sound of surprised and not in the good way from Pepper. "Jim, do you know how many complaints of data tampering I've had to field from QA in the past few weeks? I know you're literally going stir crazy inside your own head, but you need to let everyone do their jobs. If you really need more to do, I'm sure Tony can think of lots of things to keep you busy." And she looks at her boss as if expecting him to have something to offer the 'pterodactyl' instantly.


"Without it there wouldn't be much of a suit." Stark confirms with some measure of pride. Wearing the Iron Man armor is like learning to walk again— how to make the right neural impulses muscle memory. Which doesn't really have a lot to do with muscles at all. Reflex memory, if language were fair.

"You don't get along with the AI. This Corvinus." It's somewhere between an observation and a question, with just a touch of relevant nudge— it seems immediately possible to Stark that Jim Reha and Corvinus never started to merge because the one thinks the other is half full of shit and half played out by New-Agers.

"I do actually have a perfect high volume job that could use your eyes, though not having errors littering our QA seems positive to -me-." The finer details of office morale and people pleasing are among the reasons Pepper Potts basically runs SI, now. "But, get this. How would the two of you like to help me hunt down a murderous AI from the future."

It's Hollywood, baby.

Screenplay material.

Stark seems keenly aware of this fact.

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