Speed Busters

January 31, 2018:

Tony and Nate plot how to stop a rogue speedster. With SCIENCE!

Stark Tower


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Professor Zoom, Flash


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Stark Tower has had a hard month. The days after Chirsmas have not been kind to the building or to its builder. Like the city around it though it has started to rebuild as a sence of normalcy starts to return to the massive spire of technology.

Well. As normal as it gets around here.

With the return of Banner and the exit of Hulk things have been more quiet there. Drones happily buzz around the building as repair work continues. Though it'll take weeks even for Stark himself to get everything back in working order.

The engineer himself is once more in his labs though, once more at the top of his spire of invention as he sciences new and inventive solutions to problems. Today though? Today he's called for help, mostly because there is a very fast and very specific problem that has come up.

So in his lab there at the top he stands, peering at some sort of coffee-table sized sensor device as he pokes at it. Readouts flooding information into the holoscreens behind him as he goes though various equasions.

Nathaniel missed much of the struggle against the magic storm and the stolen armors. In his defense magic confuses him a bit. His armor is technically able to deal with any threat, but even the super-tech from the far future had limits when the pilot is essentially self-taught. Nathaniel is smart, but he still has much to learn.

He tried, but his magic-using allies were not able to pinpoint the source of the problem, and he ended up working with SHIELD and the local authorities to deal with the consequences of the problem and not the problem itself.

It stings his pride, so he is unusually solemn when he arrives the tower, scowling at the damages caused to this monument to technology and science. When he gets to the lab, he pauses for a few seconds and sighs, before greeting Tony. "Mr. Stark, good afternoon."

"Nate!" Stark himself seems to be in a much better mood. Even though his body shows signs of wear. A leg brace, bandages, brusies and cuts across almost every part of the man. Still he smirks. "Trust me." Catching the other scientist's look. "Looks worse than it is. And you know you can call me Tony right?"

There is a smirk at that before he waves the man in. "Come on, I got something that might intrest you. You know anything about the Speed Force? Cause I didn't even know it was a thing till last week."

It has been said a few times Nate can call him Tony. Somehow he seems to forget every time. The young man walks close, to see what Tony is working on. "The so-called 'Speed Force' is extra-dimensional energy the hero Flash uses to distort space-time around himself. I suspect it comes from a pocket universe that he can tap though his meta-abilities, but I have no solid proof. The Flash I met claimed to be able to move between parallel Earth by adjusting his inner vibrational frequencies." He explains, "to be honest I am not entirely sure what he meant, but I can confirm he was not a native of this continuum. He vanished early last year."

"Yeah, that's the same one I met too. I was gonna help him try to get home but…" Stark shrugs slightly at that before he smirks. "Did you know STAR Labs has some kind of team studying the thing? I sure didn't…"

The inventor though taps on the device in the center of the room. Then gestures to the various holoscreens scrolling with information. "I've met at a few others that use a similar energy. Impulse of the Titans is the one that came to mind. Since Flash and him seem similar in style if nothing else. This here though is your solid proof. I designed a scanner to check out trans-dimentional energy in the immediate area. Then filtered out everything else thats going on at my Tower, and /then/ had Impulse come over for a scan."

A smirk.

"Burned out a controller /I/ designed playing video games. I was impressed. Anyway though…we have a baseline energy for this Speed Force. Which is good…"

Now he frowns.

"Cause we have a /new/ speedster from a different continuum that isn't as pleasent to be around as Flash was."

Nathaniel didn't know either. He reads everything STAR Labs publishes, so they have been quiet about it. Not many scientists dare publish about other dimensions or time travel. Which is a shame, in his opinion.

"So you built a scanner with…" primitive 21st Century junk. But saying that would be rude. So instead he adds, "I mean, because half your workshop seems to have been destroyed." Nathaniel is quite impressed, really. "How does it work?"

Actually that is not something he should ask right now. Since the 'not as pleasant' speedster sounds like Avenger business. "I have been following the news. The man in the yellow suit?"

"Yeah, had to canablize some older pieces and its not mobile or pretty yet, but give me time." Stark replies with a smirk as he pats the crude little device. Its true, with its rough by the usual standards of Stark's sleek tech.

"Mostly by process of elimination really. Its an energy scanner, used the same processes that dimential portal I found uses but instead of opening an actual portal it just looks for energy that shouldn't be there. Which cuts down on the power consumption a hell of a lot." Tony does like to talk about his things.

"Banana Flash, yeah." A smirk. "I can't take credit for that, but I'm calling him that. Just cause he wants to be taken seriously and there is no way I'm giving him the satisfaction. I'm just contrary like that. Anyway he came here, stole some things, tried to blow up the whole city. Now he's attacking JLA bases and stealing science all over the world. I'm thinking we need some defenses against something like that. Most conventional stuff doesn't work against Speedsters, and somehow I don't think Wakanda is gonna let us coat the building in vibranium."

Nathaniel smirks. Banana Flash. Not exactly the most dangerous-sounding name, but this particular villain seems very active and quite ruthless. "So what do you have planned… ah," no vibranium won't slow him down much either. Except maybe a speedster can't phase through vibranium because the shock-absorbing properties of the metal.

"We could try to disrupt or break his connection with the Speed Force," he suggests. "A temporal anchor could protect an area from that kind of space-time manipulation. And he can't avoid what he can't see. So perhaps airborne narcotics."

"If he metabolizes drugs as fast as Impulse does food then they won't last long on him. But…" Stark smirks slightly as he calls up a few screens. "Cold would slow his metabolic rate enough for something like that to possibly work. Would also prevent him from phasing as well. And…"

A second screen pops up. This one with more information.

"If we can isolate his unique harmonic of this Speed Force energy we can create a device that specificly backlashes that energy signature. Like a giant bug-zapper to keep him away." A smirk as he glances back towards Nate. "You're better with temporal mechanics than I am, so I didn't even think of that. Though do you think it would prevent his speed…" A pause. "…well if he's drawing it from somewhere else it would siphon off pretty fast if he was effected by an anchor of some kind…"

"Yes, although neither the anchor nor the backlash device would be particularly portable," comments Nathaniel. He hooks up to the wireless port and starts sharing data with the tower computers. Power output estimates based on the Flash energy signature. It is pretty alarming how much power that particular speedster could draw to accelerate.

He is assuming Zoom is working on a similar power level than Flash. Leaving to Tony to correct him.

"I have to say cold seems an elegant, simple solution," far easier to create than temporal anchors or extra-dimensional energy disruptors. "Although we could still perhaps prepare a more complex trap in this building, if we know he is coming here."

"I'll have to do some more testing, maybe if Impulse is willing to help but it would be the simplest. The problem would be getting it to trigger properly." Stark adds with a shake of his head. "No use triggering when he's already inside. So I think detection system would be first priority and then…cold trap. Though The anchor and backlash devices wouldn't be portable I think working on them might help. We can leave them at the bases to keep him out. I don't know about you but I don't want him rooting round my lab."

A curious look towards Nate. "So what would it take for you to make that Anchor?"

10 minutes of reconfiguring his armor.

Oh! To build it with modern technology. Nathaniel considers for a few seconds, making some mental calculations. “If I can hook it to an arc reactor, then maybe 40 hours of work. I am quite sure I have all I need at the Avenger’s Mansion. But it might be best to build it in the place it is going to be deployed. It will not be small if we want it to cover a large building in volume.”

Stark nods easily. "That would be best. I'll work on the backlash device here, that way we can keep everything nice and protected. I'll send on of the spare ARCs over to the Mansion when I can. HOMER can get it all set up, not that I think you'll need the help."

Stark smirks a moment. "I'm wannting this jackass to have a suprise if he decides to come back. Glad we're on the same page about that. Funny thing is…this won't stop more traditional speedsters." A shake of his head. "The problem with building niche tech right?"

"You mean purely physical speedsters?" Nathaniel shakes his head. But physical speedsters, like Quicksilver, have sharper limitations than someone like Flash. Flash can pretty much ignore some laws of physics because he is drawing on the mechanics of another dimension.

"I better clear some lab space. I have been building… uh, some communication devices," no details. Sekrit stuff. Contingencies. One can never have enough. "Do we know what this Banana Flash character is up to? The robberies suggest he needs material for some project."

"Yeah, but…you could actually trip them up with things. So I suppose it all depends." Tony laughs a moment. "I'm glad we found some non-invasive idea. I was trying to figure out how to explain to Pepper how I needed to coat the entire building in frictionless material. That would have been a fight I wouldn't want to have."

There is a quirked eyebrow at the mention of com systems before he shakes his head. "No idea though. I can talk to the JLA and see if they know anything more, but I can't figure out a rhyme or reason for what he's taking yet. I'm guessing some inscrutable plan from the future. That us mere mortals can't hope to know." A beatpause. "No offence Nate, but time travel just brings out the arrogant in people. One of the many reasons I hate it."

"We better make a list of stolen materials," comments Nate. "And suspected stolen materials. Then we can give it to one of the detectives while we do the real engineering," he smiles. "And Mr. Stark, Tony, you only hate time travel because you have not figured out all the math and mechanics behind it. Once you do, you will see what amazing, thrilling possibilities become open for exploration."

Well, unless some jerk (which might be a future version of yourself) seeds with temporal mines the entire continuum. But that doesn't happen very often!

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