Future State

May 27, 2018:

Obadiah Stane talks to Steve Rogers about the future.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Stark Tower.

While many know this to be Tony’s castle, and him to be the King, a few others know there is a seneschal to the madness that surrounds him in one Obadiah Stane. Once Howard Stark’s closest confidant and brother in ideology if not blood, he took over operations after Howard passed, while Tony took the limelight. Together they armed America in much the same way Howard and Obi did before Tony came of age.

But things change.

Here in Obadiah’s once-office, a command center of sorts with personnel that might seem familiar in operation if not uniform. There’s an operation center like this in the Triskelion, only larger. A bustle of activity, it serves as a barrier between any visitor and the pacing Obadiah, who occupies a glass-encased office in the back. Holographic displays show the work that Obi does now: Tracking stolen Stark weapons from ages past, along with new threats from illegal technology traffickers, threats that sometimes get passed to SHIELD or the Avengers when Obi’s small team of individuals can’t get the work done with local authorities.

I might bring to mind the sharp dichotomy of those who can take action in the field, and a man like Obi, who has always had to take a back seat. It also shows how much he’s embraced Tony’s vision, of making technology to better humanity instead of destroy it. And that, he hopes, will have made his invitation to Steve Rogers worth a reply.

‘Come by Stark Tower sometime next week. Need your advice, need a face to face.’

Left open for Steve to work it into his busy schedule, Obadiah would clear his at a moment’s notice, just for a chance to speak to Steve face to face, a man he’s met in passing, when people are blowing up charity galas, or when someone’s grilling him in a courtroom, but never for a long conversation. The moment he sees Steve enter his little command center, he’ll wave him over towards that glass around his office, a simple and stripped down affair that is now more function than fancy.


Steve moves slowly toward the Stark Tower, a building marred with war and war profiteering, innovation and the regrets that result from it, and struggles and sins that he can almost feel as he walks through the door, his hand struggling to stay at place. It opens for him automatically, though his hand struggles to stay at his place as instinctually, he wants to move in with a slight tug and an intentional effort. But instead, he seems guided in by staff, technology, or combinations of the two.

When he enters the room, Steve Rogers isn’t dressed in his civilian clothes nor the garb of Captain America. Instead, he has on his dress uniform, clearly having come in from a funeral: SHIELD agent, important historic American, superhero, or just merely one of the few souls he knew from WWII, it’s unclear. The important thing, though, is that he has arrived and seems willing to talk.

Slowly, Rogers moves through the area, but he seems a little more focused than he usually would be in such an environment. While he gives a cursory glance here and there to the various signs of side project and priorities, there is a lack of fear or childlike wonder. But it isn’t his first time in Stark Tower, even if his meetings with the famous (or infamous) Obadiah Stane have been brief. So with a calm stride and an extended hand, Captain America offer his greetings.

“Good afternoon, Mr. Stane, you wished to speak?”

When Steve enters the office proper, Obadiah takes those brief moments between stalled stride and extended hand to take stock of the man's demeanor. His manner of dress, the way he seems to let his surroundings roll off his back, it isn't lost on Obi. He can tell when something heavy lays at just about anyone's feet. Of course, the dress uniform stands out most, and after giving a firm handshake and a wave of his hand to a nearby chair, he moves back behind his desk.

"I hope I'm not imposing on your time, Captain Rogers. Honestly, bothering Tony's friends this way is about the last thing I want to do but sometimes a thing can't wait." There's a pause then, just as Obi is in the middle of pouring them a couple of drinks. Normally he'd ask, but given Steve's current manner of dress, he thought he might simply put that scotch in front of him and let him decide if he needs it.

"Was it someone you were close to?"

At the very least he seems to understand Steve's demeanor, moving to sit across from him, behind his desk, his own drink held close. He lets the question linger, but so too does the purpose of the meeting, a gambit meant to extract from Steve how hard, or not, the funeral was on him.

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