Like Clockwork

April 16, 2015:

An inspection of a factory goes just like clockwork

Harlem - NYC


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

There have been enough recent run ins with… oddities surrounding Wanda that Bobby's actually started looking in to it. Of course, tracing things like 'The Clockwork King' would be difficult even if he were a hacker… which he's not. Just a physics nerd. But he has been corallating the information he knows about, looking for patterns.

He's not sure if he's found one yet, but a lot of the trouble with these strange and highly destructive clockwork contraptions is centered around the northern third of Manhattan Island. And there's one area that seems suspiciously, conspicuously clear of any activity: Harlem. Which is odd enough that Bobby called up Pepper Potts to see if she knew of any suspicious heavy manufacturing rolling into the area recently. It may be red herring. Bobby might well be chasing his tail, but it's odd enough that he wanted to look into it personally. If Pepper wants to come, she most certainly can. Might be a good idea to let some of his friends know he'll be out here too. Friends like Armory and Zatanna…

Lunair is pretty okay with IceBuddy(TM). She likes him and doesn't mind coming out of hiding a bit to help out. The armored mutant actually did bust out some magical girl looking armor for the occasion- white with pink and red ribbons and trim. Even little winged boots. Freaking weirdo. At least she's earnest and listening to the voice of the cosmos when deciding what to wear.

She'll look for Bobby, waving from above. Rocket boots!

Pepper Potts did indeed choose to accompany Bobby, though she wanted to show up in Tony's Rolls wearing her sharpest suit to intimidate whosever these manufacturing people are into letting them have a look around. Did she manage to get her way? Unclear. What IS clear, though, and likely fascinating to physics nerd Bobby, is that she's having a full conversation with her phone. Not a phone call. With the phone itself. Wait, maybe it is just a phone call.

"And you're sure of that, JARVIS?"

Zee needs to speak to Bobby, let him know at the least that she's whole again…. so his call has come at a good time. Focussing on the Ice Nerd, she teleports in, near to him. She certainly looks more like herself today, even if she's dressed heavily in black… except for the cherry red crop top, diamond encrusted collar and emerald pendulum at her left hip.

Walking over to Bobby and Pepper, Zee waves a little to Bobby and waits for Pepper to finish her conversation.

Nyx senses the magic. Of course she doesn't even realize she is sensing the magic. To her she just has this urge to head down to a certain part of town and see what is going on. Perhaps bad guys. Anyhow she tilts her wings and dives off a high building and soars through the city headed right towards Zee and coincidently the others now.

So this is Harlem. It's not how Wanda imagined it all. Pietro kept telling her it was full of soul music and ruined ghettos and people dancing in the streets and dealing drugs on every corner. From what she can see, it looks all very middle class and well-to-do. The scarlet jacketted homeless person wanders down the sidewalk, mumbling to herself and causing others to cross the street to avoid possibly catching her eye. "I think we're lost" she whispers to the nothingness beside her but there is always a reason she is where she is, even if she doesn't know what that may be.

This is Harlem. Specifically it's Weyland Heavy Industries, LTD. Right at the edge of Harlem, really and about half a block from where Wanda finds herself. The glitz of the Harlem of yesteryear (in whatever form it may be) is not to be found here. The gate is shut and there just… doesn't seem to be anyone around.

Well, anyone normal, that is. Other than Pepper. Bobby waves to Zee as she portals in and then is alerted to the presence of a magical rocket girl. Named Lunair. He waves to her too. Pepper seems to be… he can swear he didn't see her dial.

"Miss Potts, who's that?"

Nyx can likely sense… well it's not high tech, that's for sure. Rather low tech, really, all things considered though it's really well made low tech. In the factory. That allegedly makes farm and construction equipment. This… doesn't seem right somehow.

And for Wanda perhaps, the only thing to be heard is ''tickticktickticktickticktick''…

Oh wait. There is someone normal. Here comes a security guard up to the gate. "Oh hello. Sorry, you're Miss Potts and company right?"

Lunair is totes magic. Totes. But she does land near Bobby, and waves. "Hiya!" Lunair is nothing, if polite. She greets the others and looks around. There's Pepper, and Zee. Wait, is that- Wanda! Wavewave. Lunair remembers Wanda! She'd been looking all over! "Ah!" Flail.

Pepper Potts approaches the gate, lowering her phone as if that'd keep JARVIS from hearing anything (not). "Yes, hello. Thank you for agreeing to let us have a tour." She turns to the others, using a silent glare instead of sharp words to hopefully get them to fall in line. "I really do appreciate it."

Zee doesn't need a sharp glare and she smiles at Pepper to say she got the message anyway. Waving to Lunair and to Wanda, she looks to Bobby "What's the occasion?"

With a flare of white light Nyx touches down behind Bobby and then snaps out the energy angelic wings. She is wearing banged up jeans, sneakers, and a heavy duty sports bra. God she needs a real costume. "Hey Bobby…" she tilts her head and gives Zee a look, a very long thoughtful look, then the look turns to Lunair. Zee can probably detect a slew of odd magical signatures in Nyx right now. Limbo. Hell. Other.

There are people waving at her. Maybe Wanda should hide before they call the police on her…oh…it's people she knows! Without regard to traffic, the scarlet clad witch runs straight across the road towards the group. Cue horns and cursing drivers. She hasn't seen Lunair in ages so the bubblegum armour clad woman gets a hug from the slightly pongy Wanda. "We've missed you" she tells her with a smile before grinning at the other three she knows. "Zee!! Nyx!! Bobby!! Oh…is this a date?" There's another woman with them but she looks quite severe…and with a guard. Wanda takes a step back from those two. "Can you all hear the clocks?" she asks her quartet of friends.

Bobby glances over rather suspiciously at the building as Wanda mentions clocks. The security guard glances over to Pepper as the apparently homeless person runs up. Bobby does too briefly. Pepper's met Wanda right? "Uh, no not a date." He says to the scarlet clad woman. "Though it is nice to see you Nyx."

Well, everyone's here. "Uh, shall we?"

"Is, um, everyone here with Miss Potts?" The guard looks particularly at Lunair and Wanda. Nyx… well she's a recognized hero. She might well be with Miss Potts. Angel of Metropolis and all.

Lunair catches The Look(TM). She starts looking more normal now. "Should I take my costume off before we go in? I was um, cosplaying a bit… and testing some shoes…" Yes, there you go. Lunair smiles at Wanda. "Hiya!" She hugs Wanda back too. "I missed you too! I tried to find you, since I found-" Pause. "Well." Lunair got the nice Scarlet Witch a room. "I got you a room near mine so you can visit." Yes, it avoids admitting Wanda is homeless. Lunair has SOME social skills. "Clocks?" Lunair looks confused. Theres a smile for Nyx, too.

Pepper Potts turns to look at the suddenly very motley group of people that have converged. She gives Bobby a Significant Look. If even ONE of these people causes trouble, on his head be it. Then she turns back to the guard and nods. "Yes. They're all with me." And no, she doesn't hear clocks. She's been busy talking with that person JARVIS on her phone.

Nyx is busy giving everyone significant looks. Not the act cool looks though just significant. So many magic batteries and … JARVIS on a phone. She ponders Pepper and her AI via cellphone. The sad part of all of this is she isn't even sure why she is giving them all such meaningful squints. "I think Wanda is right. More clocks inside." to Bobby.

"Hey there Wanda," Zee will let Bobby handle the date thing… "Miss Potts have you met Wanda, Wanda this is Miss Potts. It's Nyx, though, that catches Zee attention and the young magi lets her senses wander a little… interesting. "No, no clocks for me Wanda… "

"You got me a room?" Wanda replies to Lunair. She looks a bit stunned by the generosity. "That is very nice of you, thank you" she smiles, "Shall we go see it now?" Her voice still has its Eastern European accent…and it seems she is still easily distracted. Thankfully there are others to refocus her on the job at hand. "Oh…is it in here?" she asks Lunair of the factory; significant looks seem to pass her by. At the introduction to Pepper, Scarlet wipes her hand on her skirt before offering it to the woman. "Hello" she smiles, "I am Wanda. Do you know my brother? He knows all the pretty women." Then a confused look for those who can't hear the clocks before she shrugs it away. "Be glad you can't hear them" she sighs before tapping the side of her head hard. "So annoying."

"Come this way then." The guard says leading them toward the plant. Its a long walk through the parking lot and the first thing Bobby notices is the thick layer of dust on most of the cars. He leans back and whispers to Pepper. "None of those have moved in a while."

On the one hand. Wanda's here. Which means that he and Pepper were likely right and this place is trouble. On the other hand… Wanda's here. And this place is trouble. And while he has Zatanna and Nyx and Wanda and Lunair with him… he also has Pepper Potts. And he'd really hate if anything happened to any of them, really, but especially her.

The door opens and a tall, aristocratic looking man in a suit greets them. "Miss Potts. I am Scott Weyland. Nice to have you here."

There is… something wrong. Zee and Nyx can both sense unnatural energies. And the ticking has gotten louder. Even Lunair and Pepper might notice a slight Uncanny Valley thing about the man.

Nodnod. "I did! You are welcome. And it's not in here," Headshake. "This is a factory," Lunair explains. "We can see it right after." She goes quiet a moment. Lunair is going to be good, at least. Lunair goes quiet a moment. She seems uneasy after awhile. "…" Lunair rubs the back of her head. Well, she can put armor on Pepper if it gets ugly. She at least pulls off her helmet to smile politely at the tall fellow.

Something seems wrong, even to the socially inept mutant. She just can't put her finger on it, her face going blank and distant as she looks thoughtful.

Nyx will follow the others in now. She trails behind quietly studying Wanda more than Zee at this point. Lot of magic there. Though she does spend some time on Zee as well. When they get to the factory she frowns. "Well this is right messed up…. Bobby. Definitely what we said outside…"

Okay, Pepper is used to Fenris. And even compred to him, this guy is hackles-raisingly WRONG. She can fake it like a pro, though, and JARVIS is still actively scanning everything he can through the phone. "Thank you, Mr. Weyland. We were hoping for a tour of the new facilities?" Please buy it and let them through.

Zee moves to shadow Pepper. Somethings wrong, she can sense it, and although Pepper can more than look after herself, Zee would hate for something to happen to the redheaded CEO and her friend. She's not really ignoring everyone, it's more than Zee is on edge and focussing on what's wrong.

Wanda strolls along with the others, no idea why they are all here. Do they follow the same voices? Maybe they can hear the clocks now? She certainly can. They even sound like they're laughing. Then there is a man meeting with Pepper and it's all Wanda can do to not fry him on the spot. He may claim to have a human's name but there is too much wrong about him for that to be true. Wanda actually growls for a moment before suddenly switching back to her half maniacal grin. Then she starts to sing under her breath - 'Ca plan pour moi'.

The entire thing gets a bit more… uncanny as they move in. "Miss Potts, I am not detecting any signs of human habitation in your vecinity." JARVIS informs her quietly over the phone. There are workers moving in and out of the factory floor but they too provoke the same kind of uncanny feeling. Bobby shivers a bit and nods to Nyx. "Definitely." He glances back at Wanda as she starts to sing wondering what it is.

Mister Weyland takes a turn at a starwell and starts to descend. "We have an extendsive underground production line as well. Fully automated." When they reach the basement level there is, indeed, a second factory floor. One worked by robotic arms that seem… rather baroquely ornate. Steampunk, almost. "YOu'll find the view is best in this direction."

"Anyone else have a bad feeling about this?" Bobby murmurs.

Lunair is trying to pay attention to people and not be obvious about her unease. Wanda's reaction makes Lunair blink. She at least keeps her helmet off for now. Fidget. A nod at Bobby. "Really?" She asks Mister Weyland. "That seems kind of tough to coordinate, isn't it?" She seems curious, and polite. Being a good tour guide. She looks to Wanda again, no idea what her words mean. Hmmm. Well, she'll keep her eyes out.

Nyx murmurs back to Bobby "I have a feeling I am going to have to excite a whole lot of electrons away from other electrons…." well that was awfully scientific. For now though she follows.

Pepper Potts follows Mr. Weyland, doing her best to seem politely interested in everything, when all she really wants to do is shudder and run away. This place is getting creepier by the minute. She acknowledges JARVIS' words with a single tap on her phone's screen. Strangely enough, she finds the steampunk-ish robotic arms to be LESS disturbing than the factory floor with all the 'people'. She tries to maintain her professional facade as she addresses Mr. Weyland. "This is an impressively extensive set up you have here." Would be be overkill if she asked Zatanna to pull them all out of here and then had JARVIS bomb the location with a few 'borrowed' drone strikes?

Zee's possibly already thinking about teleporting the group out of there… but she wants to know more first. Not saying a word, Zee keeps close to Pepper, eyes open and starting to draw on her power, getting ready.

"Why don't you like people?" Wanda pipes up to Weyland before waving a hand in the direction of the assembly line. "People would like those jobs" she suggests before tilting her head as she studies the robotic arms. "Pretty" she whispers. Her head tilts the other way. "Evil" she whispers now. Maybe it was meant to be one sentence. "And they would also like the jobs upstairs" she adds before her brow furrows, "Shells. Shells on shells. And not from the beach." That last sentence said to her companions with an earnest tone.

"Aren't machines people too? You know some people talk about ghosts in the machine. I've never much understood the concept myself but…" He opens the door. Bobby just… gapes. Instead of the office there's a large, cavernous room in which sits what can only be described as an immense mechanical spider suspended from the cieling. It turns with a clank and rumble of gears. "I rather suspect you'll all understand it well enough soon. Begin with Miss Potts."

The huge thing slaps Bobby aside and into a wall about forty feet away with a crunch of bones and makes a grab for Pepper.

"…" Lunair tilts her head at it all. And that is the strangest looking office she has ever seen. Ater it makes a grab for Pepper, Lunair will armor Pepper up! That is, Pepper is in a rather sleek, high tech looking set of armor a lot like Lunair's but less frilly and far more sensible. "Look out! And argh, spider, seriously?!" It's time to get a MAGNET GUN. But since she took time to armor Pep up, she doesn't have time to wield it

Pepper Potts gasps and scrambles to one side as the giant spider thing swats Bobby and takes a swipe at her, hoping to get clear. This thing isn't nearly as nice as the stage lighting rig that KISS used on their last tour (also a giant mechanical spider), and that incongruous thought actually keeps her from noticing the sudden appearance of armor around her person. For a couple of seconds, anyway. "JARVIS," she say into her phone hastily, "Is there anything you can do?" And please, oh please, don't have lost cell coverage because of the underground nature of this place.

Nyx watches Bobby go flying. She really hopes he sluehs his fall or something. Hopefully. Meanwhile her arms reconfigure and glow a blinding white as she arms up her cannons and with a gesture unleashes a lance of pure particle beam cannon at Mr. Weyland. Sure the spider is a heavy hitter, but he is the talking thing giving orders to it as far as she can tell and well Nyx really wishes for him to cease to exist at this point.

Zee watches Bobby go flying, she'll see to him later, the crunch of bones has her wincing. Stepping in front of the now armoured Pepper, Zee focusses that power on the mechanical spider.

~~ eltnamsiD tahT redipS ylkciuQ dnA yllatoT ~~

And lets her power flow… hopefully Nyx get's Mr Weyland or this might get interesting.

"I knew it!!" Wanda yells triumphantly at Weyland. "You have ghosts running your machines!!" That /is/ what he admitted…right? Her fingers start to glow red as she draws her little shapes in the air and starts to mutter to herself. And then Bobby goes flying through the air. "Bobby!!" Mutant, or magical, instincts kick in subconsciously and by sheer fluke of luck the iceman finds himself landing in a pile of empty cardboard boxes…even if he ices up. No one hurts her friends! Nyx has Weyland. It looks like Zee has the spider. So that leaves…mystical red energy crackles and shoots from her hands as she blasts at the robotic arms. "You're free!!" she yells at them, expecting grateful ghosts to start shooting up to the heavens.

Not… every clockwork atomaton here has a ghost in it. But it's true that some of them seem to. Weyland vanishes in a spray of molten slag and just collapses without a head or chest. The spider… doesn't disintigrate… but Zee's spell does result in a clunk and a mechanical grinding sound and it's movements become considerably jerkier as it alights on the ground and moves toward them.

"I am attempting to overload the power supply of this building Miss Potts. Standby, processing." The spider takes another swipe at Pepper which bounces off her armor. Then it skitters closer still and tries to snatch her up. "You will make a fine agent." A mechanical voice says.

Bobby gets up slowly. A bit painfully. Wanda saved him a fall but the hit hurt quite a bit. He lashes out with ice and cold, causing the spider to slip a bit.

To be fair, Scarlet's theory could be perfectly valid. "… I always thought it was a meta-" Pause. What IS ghost in the machine? Besides an anime? Hmm. Lunair is lost for a moment. She winces as Bobby goes flying, too. This whole thing feels like a bad steampunk fanfic. "You stay away from her! That is a BAD SPIDER!" It's time to fight metal with metal. … wait, aren't steel types weak to fire?

Finally, Lunair learns something of value from Pokemon. And that magnetic power is also a good idea for using an arm against the spider.

Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself.

Pepper Potts yelps when one of the spider arms swats her, even though she actually barely felt it through the armor. Wait, what? Armor? She looks down at herself, and thus the spider thing has a perfect chance to scoop her up. Uh oh.

Nyx moves next to Pepper and blasts out again as Lunair turns the Spider's own limbs against it. Small spiderlets (and by small we mean man sized) descend from it's body and begin to scuttle toward - who else, Pepper - but the big one looks like it's in trouble.

Zee stands in between Pepper and the man spiders, no it won't be taken her friend. Magnetism, she can use that and draws on her power again.

~~ esU ehT msitengaM oT lepeR ehT sredipS ~~

Wanda would continue to triumphantly free ghosts but there is angry yelling around her. She hates yelling! Spinning round she finds the giant spider about to topple and she has to grin at the way it hits itself. "Like the sewer!" she gleefully calls out to Nyx and Bobby; because people are always happy when they think of sewers. But in the sewer, the little spiders were…littler. Wanda steps forward, side by side with Zatanna, and starts blasting the horrible 'little' things as fast as she can.

"Any luck on that overload, JARVIS?" Pepper asks uneasily. THere are MORE spiders now, and she's worrying about Zee and this other young woman putting themselves in harm's way to protect her. "Or is there something I can do to help?" Like, maybe, find a breaker switch or something.

The little things begin to turn into ash one by one as Zatanna focusses. Bobby freezes another and kicks it into splinters. And then the big one scoops Pepper up. "Prepare to be repborn as a Servant of the Clockwork King." The spider rumbles.

And that's when Zee hits it with reverse magnetism and it flies back into the wall with the screech of abused, collapsing metal.

Then JARVIS overloads the power and everything goes dark… and still.

Pepper Potts gasps as the large spider robot manages to pick her up off of the floor, her phone falling out of her hand to clatter somewhere behind Zee and Nyx. And then she is carried by the spider when it goes flying across the room. She finds herself briefly wondering if everything going to suddenly dark and quiet means she's dead, but then she feels a twinge of pain. Okay, so, not dead. "JARVIS?" she says weakly, honestly a bit afraid to move.

Zee see's Pepper go flying and her phone lands near her. Bending down, the young magi picks it up. Straightening, Zee speaks once again… having learned her lesson from several weeks ago….

~~ tropeleT ssiM sttoP oT eM, yltneG dnA ylefaS ~~

Now, if she has this right, Pepper will be teleported to Zee from the grips of the spider… and Zee won't be suffering bodily damage by forgetting about inertial dampening.

Thankfully it doesn't stay /completely/ dark. Not with an eerie scarlet glow coming from Wanda's hands and making those around her look like they're standing in Hell. Though maybe they are? "Ms Pepperpot?" Wanda calls out, walking towards where the giant spider had disappeared. Any of those smaller ones are blasted along the way. "Are you okay?" She has no idea that her target of concern may just vanish to safety so she walks onward, a glow of red in the darkness.

There's still a fair bit of residual magic around the spider. So rather than pulling Pepper to her… Zee gets pulled Pepper just as Wanda finds her. "I'm here Miss Potts. Shall I summon the medical authorities?"

Bobby will be along shortly. He's fairly sure he has a broken rib and a fractured wrist.

Pepper Potts is THANKFULLY still armored as she starts to stir amongst the pile of rubble that used to be a giant spider robot. She heard JARVIS' voice. "No, I'm… Bobby." She moves more quickly if more spastically when she remembers seeing the young man thrown across the room. "Is Bobby okay?" She's stil pretty well disoriented, and this armor still in place — while she's so glad it kept her in one piece — is kind of disconcerting.

Zee sighs but she's very happy that Pepper is ok. Looking for Bobby, Zee shakes her head "I'm sorry, Miss Potts, I was trying to protect you." Wanda's scarlet glow gets a look from the young magi "We're here Wanda, are you ok?"

Wanda looks over the remains of the spider in silence before Zatanna's words break her reverie. "I am a-okay" she grins, even offering a thumbs up. "But we should find Bobby…and Nyx…and Bubblegum (that is Lunair in her 'cute' armour). I don't think the clocks like us." She looks up at where there should be a ceiling. "Underground is not a nice place to be. It sometimes…falls."

"I'm here… Nyx and Lunair went to secure the exit." Bobby limps into view. Not because his leg is hurt but just because kind of everything hurts. And he's cold. Which worries him because he's never cold. He suspects he'll be fine sooner than he should but…

Well, that's another set of problems. "These were… clockwork men, Wanda?" From the ones that have been dogging her for forever? "Pepper are you alright? Zee?"

Pepper Potts stumbles a little when the armor abruptly disappears again, reaching a hand out to steady herself on Zee's shoulder. "I'm okay. Bobby? You don't look well." Of course, she's one to talk, she's likely going to resemble a purple and freckles dalmation tomorrow. Her eyes shift over to Wanda. "You're right. We should go."

Zee, surprisingly, is quite ok. The first time, perhaps, in a short while. "Fine, Bobby, but you and Pepper don't look good… let me try to heal you."

It's obvious Zee agrees with Wanda and Pepper, she starts to move them all into a group "Stand together, and put your hand on someone's shoulder, make sure we all connected. I'm teleporting us out of here."

"They…could be…" Wanda replies to Bobby as she looks around though she sounds unsure. "But this is not the house that walks" she frowns, looking confused for a long moment before letting out a long sigh. "I hope the souls got away." Then Zatanna wants her to touch people and she shuffles over to join the others. "Teleport? Magic is so awesome. I wish I could do it" she miles to the others before putting her hand on Bobby's shoulder.

Bobby doesn't look so good. And neither does Pepper. Lunair and Nyx can get out. They're the most heavily armed of the group. The ice nerd puts a hand on Pepper and and another on Wanda and indicates for Wanda to put a hand on Zee as well. "Whenever you're ready Zee."

Pepper Potts is completely okay with taking the fast track out of here. She wraps a hand around Zee's arm and snags Wanda as well before nodding. You know how to easily tell Pepper is not fully with it? She hasn't asked for her phone back yet.

Looking at Bobby, critically, Zee holds her counsel. The Ice Nerd should expect a visit from the Mistress of Magic.

Zee has Peppers phone and she nods as everyone confirms. Focussing on Peppers office in Stark Towers, the young magi concentrates.

~~ tropeleT sU oT sreppeP eciffO ~~

Wanda has no idea what is about to happen. She is actually staring into the gloom around them. Searching for any movement. Any explanation for what went on here. And then she is staring at the interior of a plush office, blinking for a moment before releasing her grip on the others. "That was fun. We should do it again." She starts for the door. Door? "Umm…how do I get out of here?"

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License