Trading Secrets

July 16, 2018:

T'Challa tracks Tony down to have…words

Upstate New York

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

"Open the door."

The young king had little patience for the politics of the thing when he arrives at the small isolated satellite lab upstate. He arrives in full view of the security services, pulling up in a jet black cruiser unlike others who might have taken great pains to sneak onto the New York genius' estates without invitation. In stark conrast from before, he arrives not in full regalia for war, but in the seamless cut and length of a black suit, wrapped over at shoulder and hip with a deeply patterned heritage sash of his country and his ancestors. The sash is smaller and more muted than it might be amongst other heads of state, but the blazon is still clear as to what colors he flies today.

He represents the country of Wakanda, as always. Today in word, not in claw.

His entourage consists of his personal guard, women dressed in black business dress and wearing thin sunglasses tinted so red they might as well be black. Flanking on either side of the king, a woman stands forward, and slips a golden card into the security system. She exposes her wrist, and the ring of supposedly wooden beads upon it, beginning the process of unlocking the door.

He doesn't bother knocking, and if the mind inside has no response, it is only a few moments before the Wakandans are inside.

*

Before she finishes the door hisses open. Perhaps right before she finishes. Carefully timed to be maximum annoying, which is about what seems to be standard for Tony Stark.

The lab itself is a bit far into the woods. A unpaved road leading to a non-descript little cabin with subtle hidden security systems. Systems that aren't hidden from the prying eyes of Wakanda tech of course, but for most people they are quite good.

Inside is a pleasently cosy living area, fire burning in the fire place. Wood furniture. A person could almost call it charming…

…and the door to the hypertech hidden door to a hidden underground portion seems to add just the right amount of Starkness to the place.

Stark himself is leaning against the island in the kitchen. Dressed in t-shirt and jeans, his hair and beard perfectly combed as always he just raises an eyebrow as he notes the figures at his door.

"…you know. I wasn't really expecting company as my hidden forest lab but…"

*

T'Challa seems unamused, but nor is he particularly set off by Stark's impeccable timing. There is something in the king's face cut from stone, and would not be remarkably surprised if the sky rained sea turtles. His guard, on the other hand, could not be remarked on upon the same grounds, and there is a high likelihood that had Stark not opened the door remotely, he'd be staring into the honed edge of a Wakandan lightning spear. Luckily, the man that brought light to the city has seen enough in his life to know better than to jostle lionesses.

As the king walks into the cabin, there is an energy in the way his guard carefully files in to either side of him, practiced efficiency driving them as they evaluate the cabin for threats or listening devices. "I trust," T'Challa remarks, as he consults the beads at his own wrist, "that I do not need to stress the importance of privacy to you, Stark.." The sand-caster at his wrist is busy with the aggregate of the guard sweep. Spy devices and recordings are checked for with a ruthless efficiency, curtains of red light sweeping through the corners and walls of the cabin. It is exhaustive, it is thurough, and it lasts only seconds, before the guard starts to apply shorts, shunts and disablements.

"Especially in this place."

If, again, Stark doesn't put a stop to them, by the time his detail is done, even his ubiquitous AI might not even be able to hear him for a day or two.

*

"Hey! Hey! I don't come into your house flinging EMP around, you don't come into mine!" Stark calls out as he puts down the pad device he was using as the bodyguards go about the place. "You could, I don't know. Ask. Like sane people do instead of assuming I'm recording everything just in case I don't know. Some crazy monarch walking in like he owns the place and decides to off me for no good reason."

The Iron Man chatters on, but his eyes are narrowed at the king and his entaurage.

"JARVIS?"

"Sir," There is mild disapproval in the AI's voice. "Any listening devices are off. The building is secure. Apart from your guests."

The bodyguards sensors would find the same as Stark rounds on the kind, arms folded as he stares at the taller man. Not giving ground himself. "Now, what the hell is all this about?"

*

"Stark," T'Challa remarks mildly, as his guards work, "I would like to see you come to our house flinging anything."

Detached and calm, he never looks directly at Stark, maintaining the peace until his guards nod to him, remarking in a foreign tongue something that rings the same in any language: the area is secure. He does not, noticeably, take JARVIS' word for it. The single concession he makes for Stark's comfort is when the woman closest to his right looks at him pointedly as the AI speaks to Tony. It is almost plainly obvious she was thinking about disabling it as well.

"As you know," the king begins, finally formally turning his head to look towards the bilionaire. There is a distinctly unreachable quality to T'Challa as he speaks, never fully facing Stark even as he continues, "Your city has been under assault by various parties in the course of the past months. However, I have come to give you the courtesy of letting you and your allies know what you do not know. That is, what we have decided comes next."

With this, the king unfurls a small black folder from underneath his suit jacket, likely the only reason why he bothers to wear the full suit at this meeting. Though a normal folder is ancient enough technology, runes crawl across the synthetic surfaces in quiet constellation right up until T'Challa sets it down on the island between them. The runes meet, interlink, and drift into the black silently, leaving only a bright red symbol on the head of the folder, becoming more distinct and clear like a developing photographic film.

The symbol is that of a full red panther's head blazon, with curved warning blades and lines surrounding it in the dark.

*

Maybe even the King senses that touching Tony's AI might be a bridge to far. He would loose, but Stark would fight for his creations. They are a part of him in a very real sense. He would loose, but he would make a hell of a mess in the process.

The gesture though takes Stark by a touch of surprise and its with a wary raise of an eyebrow he reaches out to take the folder from the King.

This is rare enough in and of itself. He hates taking things from people.

The surprise and curiosity override the natural quirk of Tony's though as he runs a finger over what looks like enruned paper. Every time he thinks he has a little of them figured out, Wakanda does something else to surprise him. It is enough to drive a man mad.

He's pretty sure T'Challa plans it like that.

"I didn't know you cared," Stark drawls, which is pretty much as close to a thank you and most people can get from him. Then there is a pause, eyes flicker towards the King. The question is easily read there.

'What's in it for you.'

But he doesn't voice it, instead he just sighs and shakes his head slightly. "Well, I guess I'll get back to moving my secret lab again. I know it won't make it any harder for you to find next time, but it'll make me feel better."

*

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