Downtempo Grooving

December 11, 2017:

Sally Stojespal and Sloane Albright try out some musical modifications, while Bruce Banner enjoys the jam session

Stark Industries

A side room meant for studies and research at Stark Industries, currently used by Rusalka Stojespal as a lab

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Phil Coulson, Tony Stark

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\#https://youtu.be/lCGCG_N2b30 None.]


Fade In…

Vibranium. One of the strangest and most interesting - and most expensive, in terms of blood and money both - metals in the world. Of course, there's no way a junior SHIELD agent or even Tony Stark's apprentice would get within sight of the stuff, but that doesn't mean she can't study its properties.

And, citing her master and teacher's whimsies, try something different to see what happens.

Sally's dressed in the more casual look, Stark Racing shirt and light colored jeans for once; her everpresent t-straps tapping gently against the floor. There's a guitar spread out before her, strings unhooked as she fiddles carefully around the pickups with…some kind of injector? A black liquid soaks in and around the various bits of the instrument, before settling and drying in place quickly.

"So." Sally glances up at the Inhuman in the room, and grins. "I have finally managed to hear from Mr. Stane. He is alive and well, thank goodness. And well…" The smirk turns a bit sideways as she's not quite sure what to think of it all. "Apparently he has been sneaking around talking to Agent Coulson. I have been promoted somehow to a level four agent."

Sloane's ears would hear a faint whisper as Sally runs her finger along the edges of where she'd made her injections into the wood. "And I am to be given a full lab and office of my own here, as well, to…more or less do what comes to mind, when I am not buried in Stark work. Or SHIELD work. Or class work, or home work, or work work work. Ugh." Even she has limits!

The guitar is slid over, as well as a borrowed amplifier and single speaker from god knows where. Possibly Tony's own supply, though at least JARVIS helped. "Give it a try. It may sound a little strange, but. It is sort of a project? I think you might like it."

If you think it's hard getting a cab in New York, imagine getting a cab when you're a fish girl.

Or, as the Daily Bugle would put it, the Fish Girl of SHIELD.

"Good to hear. Saving the boss— or I guess one of 'em, in your case— definitely nets you some brownie points if you ever end up up for promotion."

Sloane's time off is a little on the precious side lately; the time she's in advanced combat training, tactics, and now both basic and advanced driving courses— a junior agent still needs to get around!— has little balance with her chances to get off the SHIELD campus and have some time to herself, visit clubs, and try to scrounge up and reconnect with her old life— or improve what she has now even more.

Arms folded, her visitor badge clipped to the hem of the black and gray raglan t-shirt, the ginger Inhuman scrunches her brow.

"And you get paid to work on stuff like this? That's nuts. I mean… well, I guess I can't talk. I get paid to do 'combat swimming.'"

Then, Sloane's brow scrunches, leaning in closer. She's curious— studying the handiwork, scooping up the guitar and settling back into a chair close to the workbench. Reaching up to click on the amp, jacking plugs in, she tugs a pick out of her pocket. She rubs it between her fingers, gives the strings a few plucks…

It doesn't take long for her to hit stride with tuning it.

Then, from the Stark Industries lab comes a most curious sound:

Joe Satriani's 'Satch Boogie,' though with a few modifications to account for a lack of a full band— including a few heavy taps of her boot-clad foot.

Dr. Banner has traveled a few times between the two labs, SHIELD and this one, as well as some long disappearances where he has gone somewhere else entirely. Today, though, is a day at the candy store of Stark, deep into his own projects. Until there's reason to do otherwise.

And so it is, that the doorway becomes occupied, with an adult male figure — and probably not the one expected. However, he has a reasonably similar build to Tony, and currently seems to be channeling a little bit of the posture the other man often radiates: relaxed air, arms folded, leaning against one side of the door frame. It's not Tony though, but Dr. Banner.

Bruce Banner's in comfortable attire, nondescript really: slacks, collared shirt that's open at the throat, but more specifically some large noise-cancelling headphones are hanging around his neck, cordless. He has a pen stuck behind one ear, and inspects the women in the room with a thoughtful look, over his glasses. His expression is mild, non-intrusive.

'Observational' would be a good descriptor.

Well, she'd totally offer to drive Sloane around, and really totally promises not to do it like she's on a race timer! But her friend prefers the slightly more sedate and less knife-edge performance of the modern taxicab, sadly. Well, maybe someday she'll get Sloane on the track for a proper indoctrination. Hazing. Thing. For now?

"Hah. Absolutely it is. I suppose you would find it easier, perhaps. Especially as much trouble as Agent Coulson seems to get in. It certainly worked for me, though no one has spoken to me yet about your promotions." Yeah, Sally can picture her friend doing the same sort of insane superhuman waterwork that she'd pulled to rescue the Sokovian from a group of speedboat terrorists not so long ago.

"I still owe you for that day. I will for some time, I imagine." It's heartfelt, and a quieter moment between them. She will just need more time to figure out precisely how to do so properly.

"Pay is…ah, mixed. This is side project of sorts. Something that takes sound waves and generates electricity, kind of…like a solar cell, for noise? I had the idea thinking about vibranium, and where it must do something with the energy it absorbs. So." One hand gestures to the guitar as Sloane plugs it in, and then the impromptu concert is on.

And there is a strange dual tone to the music - almost as if the sound pickups are somehow further away from the strings while at the same time being right up on top of them. A curious sort of reverb gives a backing that Sloane wouldn't get otherwise, and a fluid shift between each note…

…one might arguably describe it as a very cosmic feel with a synthesizer's help. It's certainly groovy as hell, if that was the intent. And she can't help her foot tapping in time with Sloane's own beat.

Sally doesn't actually notice Bruce just yet - she's already picked up a spare paper notebook and scribbling down notes. Especially any comments of Sloane's as to what it should and shouldn't sound like. Give her time, the engineer is buried in her mathematics. And doing it by hand is typical for her, even if it is a tad slower.

It's almost instantaneous— the feeling of the guitar in her hands, the harmonics, the vibration in the strings and the neck. She hasn't played a guitar like this before, though it definitely kicks the limited edition Gibson she's got squirreled away in the Triskelion right in the backside. Is it the amp, or just her abilities? Those long, pointed ears topped with scales take every sound, every beat; it's almost unnerving how good it sounds.

She eases through one song, then another and another; the decade varies, but the guitar-heavy songs range between the classics and the modern classics.

Sloane's a big fan of Foo Fighters, too.

By the time the small impromptu concert ends, the ginger Inhuman lifts her gaze. "This thing is /sick/. Decent weight. Maybe check the strings, the longer I was goin', the strings felt a little… I 'unno, weird. It might just be my fingers," Sloane says, looking at scale-backed digits.

Then, her head cocks. "Uh— Oh, Doc Banner!"

The orange-eyed Inhuman rises up from the seat, the chunk-heel boots clicking against the lab floor. "Sorry, was I disturbing you? Prolly should have closed the door," she adds, letting out an exaggerated wince at the corner of her mouth.

"No need to apologize — this is your lab, is it not?" A brief greeting of nod to Sally. "Then I am the intruder, with my curiosity," Bruce says with his very mellow and fairly deadpan manner. His smile is vague, subtle, as if he were quietly thinking over something that gave him a softened amusement.

All of that is confusing— no, alarming?— due to the SHIELD information about codeword 'Gulliver'. Nobody is allowed to go near his lab whatsoever at the SHIELD base, and it was made pretty clear he shouldn't even be approached or talked to in the cafeteria, much less anywhere else. For a man that the general concensus is to only even engage with if he does first, and to keep a wide distance, he's obviously very mellow and pleasant. Or, given all of that, lonely, squirreled away in such a manner. Or, worse, appears to be nice but is massively dangerous!— but surely Tony wouldn't bring in such a thing, so clearly SHIELD is overreacting.

"Do forgive /me,/ I was seeking Mr. Stark, and often he is at the heart of all things loudly musical," Bruce observes, without judgement about if 'loudly musical' is good or bad - it just 'is', and he's chill about it. "Agent… mmm. All-drite? Is that right?" he asks.

Private concerts are the best concerts. And she hadn't quite expected Sloane to take what was a running start and launch herself into a whole variety show across the decades. It does, of course, not bother Rusalka one bit - and she's clearly enjoying it, letting her feet tap in time and shoulders sway. If it got any further she might end up just plain dancing randomly on the laboratory floor. The notebook? She'll scribble later.

But all good things must come to an end, and it's with a wide grin that the engineer takes in the commentary. "I doubt it is your fingers, though. Perhaps different strings? I had not had time to adjust those yet-" She'd been about to suggest something else, but then Sloane's spotting of their new visitor gets a downright jump of fright from Sally.

At least she managed not to shriek girlishly.

"Sir! Ah, Doctor Banner! I didn't hear you, I…I'm sorry, Sloane is right, I should have…I am terribly sorry sir. Please come in? Intruder not at all, and well." Curiosity is something that's never been bad.

It's a little strange for Sally - she'd heard the rumors, the warnings…yet, the breakfast she'd been part of when she'd first met Bruce Banner, he seems completely at odds to the kinds of things said about him. Maybe the doctor is simply not a, what is the word…people-person?

The mention of 'loudly musical' gets a laugh from Sally, thinking back to Rocket and his particular shenanigans with a certain interstellar music beacon. "I suppose perhaps I might know someone with a little more loud and music, though if they were to meet Mr. Stark…" Rocket and Tony. The most terrifying phrase she has. "Ah, I apologize though, I believe Mr. Stark is away for the day? But…" Shrug. "May I help?"

"Albright, sir," the Inhuman corrects. "Sloane."

Turning down the amp and clicking things off, she sets the guitar back down on the table while hooking scaled thumbs in the pockets of her jeans. "Sorry about all the busy business over at the Triskelion. They kind of caught me off-guard, too." She pulls a thumb over at Rusalka. "Sally's on the job, too, so don't worry about it. I mean, unless it's something we're not supposed to hear. In which case, we don't know nothin' about nothin'."

The fish-girl's hands lift, throwing her shoulders in a quick shrug.

"Anyway, I thought I was going to be testing some weird tech or something and it turned out to be a guitar. I couldn't resist."

Sloane's head lulls to glance over at Sally, cutting a grin. Tony, busy and away? "Careful, sayin' that might summon him from the Iron Man Ether and demanding an encore."

Dr. Banner looks… actually just saddened by the news that Tony is away. He doesn't mask his kicked puppy look either. It may appear that one of his few friends is yet again not around: it reads pretty clearly, before getting swept into his rather noninteresting, calm quality of mood.

"Away for the day? Oh, I see," Dr. Banner says simply. Clearly he'd had something to talk to Tony about. The scientist stops leaning on the doorframe, stretching his arm a small amount, and adapts his expression into a warmer smile. "That's fine." And it IS fine, Dr. Banner is certainly adaptive. Or a doormat. Or both.

"Agent Albright, of course, I remember. The bombard of the reporters… I think you did fine," Dr. Banner says, thoughtful, clearly recalling the event.

"I love music, the emotional… power of it in particular, though I admit I'm more of a classical fan and by no means an expert. Still, there's obvious talent in this room… bravo," Dr. Banner offers, and gives a short little burst of applause, followed with a smile. "If it isn't prying to ask, is it an innate talent that you have, the instrument in particular, or linked with a special ability, or… all of the above?" he asks, in answer to the 'weird tech' comment, eyes moving to the guitar.

The Sokovian nods as she's mentioned as a SHIELD agent. "I saw that exchange in the news, ah…I am glad I was not there. The last time I got yelled at by Agent Coulson. It, ah, was during the Barnes trial. I may have overstepped my authority, at least within SHIELD." Under Stojespal rules, she was well within her rights to do more than just bitch out the press, but this isn't Polyuchyn anymore.

A sporfle is Sloane's reward for the jest. "Do not worry about me in that case. If you're right, you are the one with the 'great shredding skills' oh water dragon. I wouldn't know a note from a message." Smirk. If the devil does appear, Sloane's the one playing for the fiddle made of gold.

"I'm sorry, doctor. Ah, would you like some coffee? Or tea? I was planning on setting up lunch soon." Is he lonely? "Yes sir. Ah, the new tech…I was researching into vibranium, and I thought…ah, something parallel in concept might work. At least, exploring resonance and trying out some new things. I'm still learning a lot theoretically, so…"

Babbling again. She shakes her head. "The talent is all hers," Sally adds with a proud grin.

As for Coulson and the assault by the reporters, Sloane slips a few fingers into the haphazard, controlled chaos that is her hair, fingers scruffing back and forth between her hairline and the start of the iridescent blue scales that mark her body. "That's what I was told, but … I froze. It sucked. I felt like I was at my first recital ever again."

"But hey," she adds, "Don't worry about it. I can shred a mean Chopin if I have a piano in front of me."

"Isn't vibranium like. … It's not like titanium, right? It's something weird," Sloane asks, scrunching her eyebrows. Then a quick glance at Bruce, "I'm not fluent in science."

Is her musical talent just some weird innate glitch? Something that's part of her genetic makeup? She never really gave it a thought, at least until now— now, as she looks down at one of her hands, her palms and the undersides of her fingers flesh, the backs and tops scaled.

"Well… I honestly couldn't tell ya, anymore. I mean, my ears— all my senses work better underwater. I'm not a mutant, either— I'm an Inhuman. I was actually workin' on a music degree before this happened to me— the Terrigen bomb, all of that— but I can play like a dozen instruments… and sing. Dad wanted me to be a concert pianist, but Mom… I grew up listening to Joan Jett, the Heartbreakers…"

"But I get'cha. The music gets the blood pumping or calms you down, right?"

"That's all right, some of us are fluent in science, and some of us can't play instruments worth anything," Dr. Banner says with a lift of hands and quiet smile. He's not musical, he's clearly indicating.

"Doesn't matter where it comes from really, it's just something in you, then," Bruce agrees, not wishing to force her to truly go introspective on the musical talent at that moment. "Yes, it can bring you up when down, or.. down when up too high," Bruce says in a funky little cloaked way, as if the subject was awkward to him, or uncomfortable. Or he's just a bit strange and awkward himself!

"Vibranium research? Ah, all right. I can see where you were going with that lateral move. Hmmm. Expensive option to work with. I wonder about applying it more to the speakers than the source; did you go that route at all?" Bruce wonders aloud, tapping a few fingers to his chin.

"I wouldn't mind tea," the doctor adds belatedly, in a 'if it's no trouble' undertone.

As she explains, Sally steps over to sit next to her friend and gesture Dr. Banner to come in properly. There's plenty of chairs and things to sit on, and it's certainly a lot less of a shrine to creative entropy than Stark's lab is. You can even see the floor!

One hand reaches up to Sloane's head to either ruffle the ginger's hair or else squeeze her hand; both end up happening. The noble tone in her accent shines through when she gives her opinion of the press. "Pah. You did fine. These press people can be shockingly uncultured in their sheer…" The word escapes her, but the sentiment is easily clear.

"Really? JARVIS, if you please, one piano keyboard for Sloane? Tie to the room's speakers." Bluff called, as Sally drops her hand a hologram slides into being of 88 black and whites. Only the keys, not the whole piano - but it shouldn't be too hard to get that Chopin going.

To his comment about being able to play, well, she raises her hands. "Put me behind a keyboard…no. Put me behind the wheel of a racecar, and I will show you music." Grin. And then she's off to fire up the samovar, taking no more than a few minutes before she'll return with cups - three, specifically. And sugar, and milk, and jam, should anyone else's tastes run that way.

"Very expensive. I think Baba would laugh at me if I suggested buying some from anyone. Though…" A little of the strawberry jam flavors her own brew, and Sally considers. "I had not. My first thought was to bring about a wider sensory array to the pickups, to get a purer sound. But, after the amplifier, and…hm."

Uh oh. She's already cycling through ideas in her head, mumbling very softly in Ukrainian.

Holographic keys appear. Sloane's mouth opens, looking around for the camera, the trick— but then remembers that this building, this /lab/, belongs to Tony Stark. She should remember that things like this are not only possible, but almost /expected/. Imagine trying to do this in a SHIELD lab!

There'd be so many dirty looks.

Bruce's meaning might be slipping just past her— it's hard to tell, with the way she has that fleeting grin with too-sharp incisors flashing and slit pupils drifting down to the holographic keys.

She tries playing a few notes, hitting a chord. The lack of resistance messes her up for the first few seconds, but then she starts hitting her groove, fingers dancing through holographic ivories and ebonies. "Tea for me too, Sals!"

This whole 'coffee tastes disgusting now' thing is just the worst.

"I'm betting this place is like a playground for you, Doc. I mean, I need Sally to give me the extra, extra… extra simple version of all of this."

Dr. Banner smiles a little vaguely and watches Sally's mind cycle those ideas. He's relaxed, and patient. It's like he's consulted on other projects often, and used to redirect or look at things in new ways, or something. Could that be the real reason he's been brought in? Dr. Banner, quiet inspiration maker!

"Hmmm," Bruce adds, quiet otherwise, other than to accept the tea with an appreciative move of head and hands. He smells it and gives it a taste, before adding a bit of milk.

When Sloane plays, he is also respectfully quiet to give her a chance to find her groove. But to her questions, he considers, and then answers: "It is, though a bit on the dangerous end as far as labs go. I think I nearly died stepping on something that— should never be on the floor— just yesterday." It's a joke, but oddly private. He continues: "But I'm sure Tony would chide me for my tendency to put safety first, what with the creative impulse being all important… mmmm, well," Bruce says, with a sort of rueful laugh.

Poor Sloane. Denied forever the horrible bitterness of coffee, instead forced by her transformation to only accept proper caffeinated brewed tea. At least Sally's comforting enough to provide something with a little kick, and the tray is brought back and shared with the others. She'll still fix up the Inhuman's while she plays, of course. Hostess duties and all.

"A playground. Mm…in a way, but." Sally cringes a little when Bruce mentions nearly stepping on something. At least it wasn't a LEGO block. "I suppose it works well for Mr. Stark's mindset, but. I agree with the safety," she adds, thinking back to what she'd originally imagined her own 'laboratory' to be like. Asphalt, painted boxes, corporate sponsor logos, race car parts, and the smell of gasoline, aluminum, and fire.

Safety. There's a slow nod, as she remembers seeing the horrible side of what happens when innovation fails and creativity surrenders to physics. "No, I think…it is best to balance. Mr. Stark is unbridled ideas, so many of which are amazing, but." Electric blue eyes meet Banner's own, and Sally nods softly.

"My apologies, I am gloomy. Too gloomy for such good company and music!" Hey, it's Chopin - even if it's just the insane, frantic speed of the man's work, it's hard to stay down listening to it. Even if Debussy's better.

Her fingers continue the waltz across the keys; a nocturne next. "Haha. I'd say 'That Sounds Like Mister Stark,' but I only met him like, once. And then there was a glue ball thing that was gonna explode. Or something?"

Sloane grins a little, letting the two nerds… well, nerd.

"If you listened to my trainers, creativity is important. But safety is more important. But creativity is *super* important. It depends on how you look at things, with powers." Sloane's hands almost cross over each other in quick strokes of the keys, her attention easing before intensifying, erratically changing speeds before settling through the song.

"Are you gonna be here for now, Doctor Banner? — I mean, I know you were at the SHIELD campus the other day, but … I dunno, this feels like a very…"

Sloane pre-emptively winces, looking at Sally, then at Bruce.

"… nerd place. Shit, that didn't come out right."

To (Rusalka, Sloane Albright), Tony Stark pages: WHAT ARE YOU DOIN IN MAH LABS
You paged (Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, Sloane Albright) with 'IT'S MAH LAB TOO I GOT A PROMOTION FROM OBI and we're having a jam session come on down'
Dr. Banner just laughs, though. "It is. It's absolutely a nerd place, great for us nerds," Bruce says, with a broad wink over the tea, which he is smiling into. And then becomes more pensive as he considers the question a bit more completely.

"Here for now? Perhaps. …I am aware that I'm a bit of a pariah at SHIELD. So while it is safer to an extent, and my project is currently aimed to assist SHIELD with a current problem, /and/ I can customize the lab a bit more to my taste, mmmmm, having the feedback of my old 'friend' is sometimes ….nice," Bruce decides to diplomatically go with.

"Which… to an extent, is selfish of me," he suddenly adds, expression clouding over rather swiftly, and most of his attention goes—somewhere that isn't in the room, as if distant clouds of memories were gathering, and he soaks in that 'gloom' that Sally had spoken of. Efficient gloom-soaker, for sure.

Sally laughs; she can't help it. "You are closer than you might think. And if so, well, we are all happily nerds here. Za vas!" She raises her teacup in a toast, a simple one - 'to us!' She'll turn and watch as Sloane cycles through the music, jumping beats and shifting times to just jamsession for a little bit.

"I should install one of those in the new apartment. The, the hologram system, I mean. Such utility." And probably expensive as hell, but at least that is probably something she can fight to put on her family's budget.

Pariah? She'd not quite heard that from the agents around, and frowns. "I think…perhaps you overstate their opinion? I have heard nothing…nothing bad, simply that you should be left to yourself. Secret laboratories, pah, it is SHIELD. What isn't secret?" She could answer that…but it'd be a very dangerous answer that could easily get Sloane and Bruce killed. If not jailed. Such is the life of a SHIELD agent, when there's potentially a Hydra mole in the Triskelion.

"I think I understand." She just glances at Sloane, the orange-eyed inhuman's presence entirely understood. Sometimes Sally too needs a friend around, and just maybe there was a contrived reason for it - she needed someone on the guitar after all. "Having your people with you, those you belong to. It is not selfish. It is…" Shrug. "Human. Yes?"

She gives Banner a smile before taking a long sip of tea. "I suppose, Dr. Banner, that…it is not entirely my laboratory to say so, but you are welcome anytime. For tea or anything you like." The same goes for her friend, but that's been obvious with anything they own since day one.

'A current problem.' Sloane can't help but wonder if it's the same problem that she's been trying to help with; the Agent recently going as far as reaching out to one of the Titans and their massive T-shaped tower hanging out in the middle of the East River for some assistance. When you need help fighting a speedster… something, something, get a speedster of your own, right?

Though she doesn't say anything, her eyes flick toward Bruce. Her eyes are orange, lit like flames, with pupils that are oddly vertical slit. The look alone seems to speak volumes that she may know something— or she might know something and just can't /talk/ about something, if she's even on the same line of questioning or topic as the Hulk. She's… admittedly, pretty bad at this whole 'cool government super spy' thing, but that's more or less why Coulson recruited her as a combat asset rather than an intel asset.

'Za vas!' — That much she knows. Her Russian is pretty awful, aside from a few conversational phrases and what Sally's taught on top of the classic 'teach me how to curse' lines. The playing slowly dies off— at least for now— so she can lift up her hands. "To us!" she calls out, knowing at least /that/ much.

Her hands slipping from the holographic keys to resting on the table, Sloane leans comfortably and grins. "And, hey— You're not gonna hear a lot of crap from me on bein' selfish, Doc. Don't worry about that."

Dr. Banner's reserved quality appears to just have ramped up into a defensive… something or other. He's guarding some darkness. The calm surface returns, sort of swept like a rug over much of that gloom. Whether it's gone, or he's just putting on that serene front may be hard to tell, as those present don't know the doctor very well at all. He looks into Sloane's sort of knowing, studying look: and doesn't hold her eye. He's hiding something, and isn't a good 'liar'. He diverts.

"I appreciate the welcome, and I'm happy to offer what suggestions I can on projects, should you like," Bruce says, thoughtful, but friendly enough. "I AM here to consult, so… that's extended to anyone in these labs. If it's an area I know, that is!: something like music, I'll just listen and enjoy, as a happy audience member and test subject," Bruce finishes.

The serene front is something she's seen before, and Sally frowns a little. There really is something that bothers him, but she doesn't know what - and knows more than anything not to press. Everyone has their secrets. Her own mother as well; she can see some parallels - that need for calm, determined demeanor, and the stone-souled mask she wears in her service life. It turns her own expression a little melancholy, but only for a moment.

Whatever it is, it is not hers to solve. Only to navigate around. And if she's ever asked, to be there just like she is for her Inhuman BFF.

Instead she just gestures helpfully as Sloane says it all. "Nor I. Besides, we both work for Mr. Stark." Maybe work for isn't the right word for Dr. Banner; perhaps consult with? Or simply 'hang out.' "I suppose even a little selfishness is going to rub off. I would say we have certainly all earned it, all things considered."

She'll take a moment to glance at her friend's hands and cheeks, those brilliant blue scales all too obvious. Sally herself hasn't been through anything like that, but between being shot at and having to kill a terrorist with a bayonet, being kidnapped by unknown forces for still-unkown reasons, and barely surviving the charity gala bombing? It adds up. Whatever Banner has in his closet, surely is the price of admission.

"So. The guitar, then, ah…the thought was, as the soundwave passes over the coating, it generates a point electrical charge across its entire field. Vibranium would simply absorb it, but I wanted something…ah, testable first. That signal flows into the pickups separately, directly into the electrical signal. A little like…an afterimage of a note, plucked directly. I was not entirely sure how it would sound, but." A nod to the guitarist and the music lover both. "Something is there, perhaps, to follow up?"

They meet gaze for a few moments; the knowing look versus the fiery orange stare. To be fair, Sloane isn't a good lie detector. It's awkward— she's in it to help others. She's in it to pay it forward. She isn't a spy, she isn't a proper soldier… she is most definitely someone that is either too new to this game, or she just hasn't had the chance to have SHIELD sink the hooks in so deeply that she becomes one of 'them' — a government spook, cautious of everyone, buried deep in everyone else's secrets and hoping that her own aren't rifled through.

After the brief interlude to speak, Sloane starts tapping at the keys again, almost as though she were a baseball pitcher warming up; catching her rhythm again before moving on through those emotional songs both subtle and gross.

She says nothing, at least while Sally explains the science behind the guitar and the modified body, neck, and strings. The super-science behind it all— the vibranium-alike theories, the silly coatings, the weird strings— all are just beyond her understanding, and she won't pretend to understand /any/ of it just to make herself look or feel smarter. she'll figure out most of it later.

"It sounds good. I think with the right strings and the right pick it'll sound pretty badass." A pause, then she considers her wording. "Acoustically sound? That's the right way to put it, right? Anyway, Sals, I'll have to head back soon." Her hands slip free of the holographic keyboard, gesturing at the guitar. "I think you've got your hands on something pretty good here. I'll work on it more while I'm here. Maybe if Doctor Banner's got any ideas or input?"

The emotional stuff gets a back seat. Just… flung aside and science is put into full attention in front of him. "I'd like to actually look at the sound analysis that's coming out of that, from what you've done so far. Analyze what is already being made, before going further. Try a few.. small variations, see how things change….." Bruce approaches, swinging out one of the consoles, while drinking his tea, and quietly starting to look through the panels available. Sometimes a project is a better way to connect than reaching in to rattle those skeletons: and he's fine with the here and now: the music and company, leaving the door shut - for now.

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