The Frankenstein Paradox

March 05, 2019:

Tony considers the problems of what he helps create. (Pepper is amazing.)

Stark Tower


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Stark Towers at this hour is kind of like rush hour unto itself. Aside from the normal traffic one would expect from a company of this size, there's also the fact that several other businesses rent space on the lower floors for a modest fee that saves them overhead on energy costs: Since the Tower isn't on the Cities power grid.

There are several receptionists, one for just about every department and several different companies, and there might be someone setting up a display for a school tour later today.

What there is not: Any sign of Tony Stark on the bottom floor.

He's upstairs in the penthouse… technically he's in ''The Bunker'': One part lab, one part workshop, the music is too loud. Thankfully the walls are soundproof, amirite? The man himself is sitting on a metal stool with a pair of welding glasses while he sauders a bit of wire to a small disk with several other similar disks laying on the table upon which he's bracing his elbows. Beside him is an uneaten sandwich and a glass of some green sludge-like mixture that ''might'' be a smoothie.


The eb and flow of the building was beautiful. Chaotic, but beautiful in its own way. It was full of life, busy people going about their busy lives all to make that base line and bottom dollar. To Lena, this was almost like a cattle yard full of fat stock waiting to be slaughtered. Inhaling, exhaling, she smirks her dark lips that press a dimple into her cheek.

A chat here, a bump there, a linger in the right places, she knew where she had to get to eventually. A tussle of hair and the cut of her garb was all part of the ploy. She had places to be, places to go, and someone specifically to talk to. Oddly enough for her and her endeavours, time was not on her side.

A card, a code, a fiddling of tech at her finger tips, she reaches the penthouse level of the tower but goes no further. Tsking, she considers her options before moving her fingers out toward the door's touch pad. Stalling out, she glares briefly before shrugging and ringing the doorbell.


"Sir, there is a young lady at the door." JARVIS informs Tony in his workshop since there's literally no way in all of the hells that he had the doorbell ring in his personal space. Why else would he be down here if not to hide away from humanity with all of his expensive toys and equally expensive ideas? JARVIS, however, does not subscribe to Tony's solitude and lowers the music enough to be heard despite the inventors attempts to ignore any distractions to his saudering.

"I have two questions." He never puts down his tool, never lifts his glasses, "How young and is there girl scout cookies involved?" Still working, no indication that he intends to stop. Poor Lena.

"I have tracked this young lady through the entirety of the Tower, sir. She has worked very hard to get to the penthouse, including use of some device I have not yet been able to identify. If you wish, I will have her leave a message…"

uppity ass AI, Tony sighs, drops his tools and rubs both hands up either cheek to remove his goggles, "No, god, please don't do anything useful." As he slips off his stool and starts for the stairs leading up to the penthouse. Currently he's dressed in pajama pants with Superman on them, bunny slippers, and an AC/DC t-shirt. "Coming! I hope you have girl scout cookies!" The door opens and he peeks out back and forth down the hallway, "… what troop are you from, I'm filing a complaint."


pink blouse with its flame edged sleeves and neck are accompanied by a pair of straight legged charcoal and black pin striped capris. A set of boots cover up the remainder of Pepper's long legs as her half hop up each step to bring her up to the penthouse level sounds in the hallway. Lena is beset on all sides - most sides.

Seeing someone already at the door she adjusts the clipboard with its various hard copies of files beneath the tablet she is quickly tapping and swiping as she walks. "Yes, do please confirm that appointment and get back to me with where the Mayor wishes to have lunch. No, somewhere closer to the Tower if at all possible," she says to the invisible ear piece before she is shifting papers over and ending the call. Her strawberry hair has been wrapped around a long piece of garnet now stuffed into her hair to help hold it back. "Hello," she greets Lena, glancing at Tony next. "I did not know you had a meeting." She glances down at that tablet to confirm so before she glances up and taps the papers with a manicured nail. "We have a few things to go over before you are needed at an engagement in several hours." This is all said with an air of near breathlessness that she artfully manages to make look natural.


Lena paces as she waits, hands resting in the pockets of her winter coat, hood down and ruffling fur against her face and within her dark hair. She's silence as she moves but doesn't make an effort to not be seen anymore, at least not now. She was here, after all. Now, she had to wait.

Once the door opens she settles her pale gaze on the man's features, her smirk returns as her gaze rolls down, then up once more. "Bad time?" She muses smoothly. "You don't remember me, and that's fine. I'm here to talk about some tech development. I was nice, I didn't even rob anything on my way up here." Pause, "Well, one thing." She corrects, offering him out a key-card. And now comes the Pepper.

"Don't have one." She shrugs, card still out for Tony, or Pepper now, whomever wishes to take it. "Anyway, being in a building like this is giving me the shakes. I just wanna talk, doesn't have to be now since you're busy? You are busy, right?" A glance toward Pepper.


Tony's head cranes ever more towards one side as Lena rambles… rambles in the most beloved meaning of the word, it's all rambling to Tony, bless… When she just outs with it and hands out the key-card indicating that it was acquired by less than lawful means, he looks to it and then back up at Lena, then back… "So… you're not selling girl scout cookies. See, you should have led with that." He points then, but doesn't take the key-card.

In actuality he pulls his hands back like the thing might have cooties. It does, it totally does. "Back track, you lost me at ''I don't know you'', let's go back there, I think that's a good starting point for this conversation." Because she's standing at the door to his home (one of anyways) and that's a little disconcerting.

Thank God for Pepper's arrival! "Pepper! It's not what it looks like." He probably says that a lot, hands up defensively, "She just wants to talk about tech, I swear." Now the question of manners… does he invite the self proclaimed stranger in? For now, no. At present they hold their impromptu meeting right there in the hall.


Pepper is pleasant to everyone but Tony, because Pepper does not have time to do that dance. There is an uptick angle of her head at that question from Lena while her slender fingers reach out and pluck that card without any sense of hesitation upon her features. "I will take that, thank you." She is already tapping out information and scanning the card into her tablet as she speaks without looking up. "Nope, definitely not busy." Sarcasm at it's finest as she smiles closed lipped at Lena and then glances to Tony. "Swearing does nothing for your public image."

"You know I should come in because you look like you could use some coffee. Would you like some coffee?" Pepper plays host in the penthouse as she slips in past Tony turning her shoulder into his arm to open up the entry way. Click-click-click-click go her heels as she crosses the open aired expanse to the kitchen and sets her work down on the marble counters so that she can key up the espresso machine and pull out two cups and set them without stopping on the counter before she turns about and touches her ear. "Pepper Potts. Yes, that works. Thank you." Call done.

"JARVIS, can you please send me an image."

"Yes, Pepper. Already done." Apparently Jarvis knows exactly what Pepper was asking for."

She looks up and glances towards the door where they both might be standing still. "Latte..?" It is a rather open ended question.


"Correction. You don't /remember/ me. I guess if you want to get technical you don't know me either, but we've met. You were suited up and everything." Stepping back, watching Pepper work, the dark haired girl from Central gives a low whistle. Then comes the invitation for coffee, and to enter the home. Smiling toward Tony, a slight mocking squint of her eyes, the girl steps around him and heads in. "I adore coffee, thank you." She voices toward Pepper with genuine praise on her voice.

Inside, she glances up and around, frosty eyes going wide at the voice of JARVIS speaking out and around the room. "JARVIS?" She questions to the program itself, not in question of what it was. "Amazing." Awe, wonder; it's written across her face.

"Latte? Sure. Vanilla if possible, if not, sugar." Pause, "Ah, I can help with that, too. Not use to someone, well anyone, getting me anything." She offers up, making her way after Pepper and toward the kitchen area. "Mr. Stark," she begins again, returning to the reason for her visit in the first place. "I had a few questions about your Core. The one in your suit? I'm assuming its the battery for your gear, in some way or another. I have a few questions as to how it works. How it keeps running, and would it work with a different substance. Say, a cryo-core of sorts?"


"I didn't even do anything this time!" Tony throws his hands up in mock exasperation, but he's stepping out of Lena's way so she can follow Pepper. He even sweeps his hands inward like some knight of old, "Well, you might as well come in now.." Because he's already getting sent to bed without coffee… He'd grumble, but Tony doesn't grumble.

The door closes behind them and he makes his way towards the kitchen. Once there he doesn't go for the coffee machine, but rather a pitcher of the same green smoothie drink he was having downstairs. A tall glass is poured and he leans against the middle island that seperates the kitchen from the main living area.

"I believe you." He says to Lena about them meeting, "I'm sure I'll remember as soon as you leave and feel really silly about it later." He most certainly will not. He may well forget having met her this time. At least until she starts asking about the Core.

"Mm.." Sipping his smoothie, finger held out in Lena's direction, "Let me see if I'm following.. you stole a keycard to sneak up to my penthouse before I've had breakfast, so you can ask me about the powersource for my armor." He has one in his chest now, the glowing outline can be seen easily through her shirt. Now who gets to squint mockingly?! "Well, I guess I can respect your moxie.. Pepper, can we respect her moxie?"


Pepper waves Lena off, "Discuss, I know nothing about that end of things so let me do this because I am warning you his attention span will be gone before you finish talking." There are those white teeth as she smiles and gives Tony another look. "Vanilla latte." The large stainless steal expresso machine is of course top of the line and is working in a matter of seconds as filters and fresh ground are changed out. Once everything is ready she turns about and is quickly pulling up that clear tablet and pulling up a calendar that has quite a few blacked out dates. She sets it aside as she opens the massive fridge and grabs out the organic grass fed milk and checks the date. "Full milk okay?"

Supposing it is or not she will adjust and start steaming and frothing whatever milk or milk substitute Lena wants. Without looking back over her shoulder she answers Tony. "I can respect the direct approach. It -is- the only way to get your attention." She brings over the tablet with a file opened as she holds it out. "Thumb print here." She explains. "Sign here." She swipes to the new screen and then another. "And here." She remarks and then once done she is moving back to the latte machine with those back and forth click click of her heels. She grabs up a small booklet of documents and drops them in front of Tony. "When you are done with the moxie."
CORNERED! The man is cornered. Now it is Tony beset on all sides - most sides.


"No reason to feel silly. You remember or you don't." She explains, eyes skipping over Pepper as she just…goes. Her face shifts, drifting from alarm, to appreciation, before slipping into fatigue from it all. "Christ…" she mutters at length, piping up with a "Yeah, fine," at the question of her milk taste and their fat content.

Back to Tony, she nods. "Well, yeah. You offered me a job once, but that's not here or there. Besides, my record probably wouldn't allow for employment with your type." Eyeing the mini-reactor on his chest, she nibbles at her lower lip before looking back into his eyes. "I don't want your tech specifically, but I'm not against asking for pointers. I have my own gadgets, and I know how to deal with the power imput and output in a specific manner. However, I have new ideas for it, and allowing it to fuel something larger will take some time. I read up a bit, and it looks like what you've done is taken someone large and made it smaller. Always easier to take away than to add on. What are your suggestions for taking something house in a smaller unit and allowing it to run something larger? Say…my size?" A glance at the coffee machine, she flits over Pepper and then returns to Tony. "The only other person I could ask about this is in Gotham. I promised someone not to go back to Gotham."


Tony side points at Pepper, nodding agreement with literally every single word she's said about him. At least where it pretains to his attention span, which is already drifting. There's conversations about meeting people and whether or not he remembers those meetings. Someone said something about a job offer and Tony is checking out mentally, absently sipping his drink and signing off on anything Pepper puts infront of him as if the thought that she'd do untowards never even occurs to him.

When she drops the booklet of documents on the counter, he glances away from whatever mental calculation he was preforming and stares down at all those documents as if they are satan born to earth on the wings of a spirited black horse. With his whole face scrunched up, he walks around the outside of the island towards a thin glass window between two segments of the dining area.

"Alright, alright…" He waves his hand and drops it into a pocket on his pajamas to retrieve what looks like a pen. His smoothie is once more consumed and then put away so that he can start writing on that glass like that's the only reason that it's there. It's not ink, however. It actually appears to be a digital drawing on smart glass that shimmers slightly when he runs the pen across it. "So you need a new power source relative to what? You're not figuring for the output at all. The core I use could power this whole building for months without ever having a flicker, but we're talking apples and oranges here, I think." He starts drawing again, roughly the size of a baseball with little hoops around the edges of the sphere.

"And how much power do you ''need''?"


Pepper moves with efficiency born of the pure need to just handle everything and keep her sanity. Which may be in question at the moment with the oversized man-child just signing off on whatever she puts in front of him. The milk froths, steams and is already being poured into a mug and served with a spoon on the side. She whirls about and sets the mug down on the counter before Lena with a spoon next to it and then a small sugar container /just/ in case."Who wants to go to Gotham?" Seems she agrees.

Noting the documents have been left for dead Pepper snatches them up and replaces them on her pile of things before she starts up a double shot espresso for herself. Note - there are only /TWO/ mugs pulled out. The smoothie left behind is ushered into the fridge and she is quickly wiping everything down before she gathers up her tablet and stack of papers. She moves them to the main counter now that Tony is no longer leaning on it and looks up to watch as he drifts into the flow of his thoughts and knows very well she has lost him so lapses into busy bee mode, dealing with dates and requests that continue to pile up in her inbox. She speed dials someone and stepping away with a soft click click click she pitches her voice so not to interrupt.

"That is not going to work we have a meeting in Hong Kong that day. No, I can do..a week from then. Yes. I have it. Thank you." Call done.


"Oh, no, I'm thinking of the output specifically." She corrects, accepting her drink with a 'thank you', cradling the cup between her palms. "And me. I love Gotham, actually. You know when you find a place that's 'home' to your soul?" A blow across her froth, a careful sip, she licks her lips clean of any residue. "I like the weather there, too." Side conversation passing, she eyes the drawing and moves to stand beside Tony, her focus now on the illustration. "Perhaps it's the system itself I'm not taking into account. My core is situated in Jadis, and with her I can work out how much or how little to use of my core. Now, I'm working on developing new armor for myself and took some inspiration from you."

"What if I can take my core to help 'power' my armor? Allowing me to use it in new weaponry, even in a defensive burst or discharge if someone gets too close? The output will have to be calculated in a way that allows me to control and adjust my use of the core." Sip. "I'm also not sure if using my core for such a thing will drain it, either. Maybe I'll have to figure out a new way for it to work." Sip. "I'll need to…aquire some new materials perhaps. Develop a new core…"


Tony has forgotten the conversation at the counter, the fact that there was work he was suppose to be doing, and that he wasn't given a cup of coffee. He's not sore about it at all. This is status quo in his world. He sees a mathematical equation and he starts working on it to the exclusion of everything else around him. The illistration now has figures written out around it with lines drawn to various points as he continues to add little details to three seperate images sitting side by side.

"Be careful how MUCH inspiration you draw from my projects, huh?" There can be only one Iron Man, it's i the bylaws. "So you need it to power a suit of armor and weapons and defensive counter measures.. do you have an integrated systems already? How are you planning to control all of these systems independently without spending all your time switching between munitions or various sub-routines?"

He takes a step back and looks at his drawings. The pen used to draw them is slipped back in his pocket and he reaches out to physically grab hold of the holographic representation created by the smart glass and begins putting the three seperate images together. It hovers on his finger tips, so that Lena can look at it in full three dimension, "You said a cryo-core.. maybe a hydrodic cold lithium cycle core? Like a giant magnet that uses the coolant of your weapons to cycle protons in a circular loop constantly recharging the lithium core.." He makes a cycling motion with his finger.

"I doubt you'd get more than an hour of sustained power out of it if you're using everything at once, but you could extend that with replacements… about the size of a softball?"


Pepper is being, well Pepper. More calls come in, more juggling, more click click click lightly of heels purposefully walked on with care. There is the espresso machine dispensing her own drink which is probably the loudest thing of all from Tony's personal assistant before she is sipping and going right on to the next thing to deal with as she putting good miles on that clear tablet.

SIIIIIIIP. Human robots need fuel too and the pure caffeine helps Miss Potts deal with her daily dose of Tony's life. Annnnnnd go!

"Yes, this is Pepper…" the work goes on.


"The suit itself isn't anything like yours. It's not as heavy and I don't plan to be using it for…well. Anyway, the discharge is an option as well as feeding into two wrist mounted weapons. The core itself being what the weapon uses for ammunition." Pause, sip. "Control systems, no. I'm honestly still in the brain storming process of the whole thing, how I want it to work and how I don't want to be walking around ripping someone else off. I like what I've made, but I have my own flavor, of course."

Looking over the animation, she makes a soft 'mmm' sound of both consideration and understanding. "Hydrodic cold lithium. Not sure I ever considered that personally. Then again, moving the coolant around from the core in a different manner than just being focused in one direction is interesting." Sip. "I'm usually fast with my work, but a hour might not be enough. That and carrying around replacements seems like a hastle. One I can't afford with what I do." Sip, tip, drain. She sets the cup aside and then returns to the moving set of ideas. "I need to develop it in such a way that it's self-sustaining. For now, it's fine as is, but it only works in Jadis. Like I said, I'm going from small to someone larger. It's the control of it I'm losing should I move the core from Jadis to armor."

Digging for his pen, she scribbles something out herself, brushing her hair back and tapping her chin with said pen before continuing her thought process. "Jadis works with with a tri-mount that helps connection, and direct, the flow in a beam like form. Perhaps if I think of a new way to network the anchors, along with revolving the output back to input again and so on, I can make it so that it feeds itself and doesn't deplete its power base."


Tony reaches in his pocket and holds the pen out for her when she gets that look in her eyes like she might try to play grab ass on his pajamas.. "Well, you could integrat two different forms of energy conservation and replication." He motions with his finger… then grabs his pen to start a new drawing on the glass, something like a mesh in the shape of a body. "A kinetic polarization mesh. Absorb small amounts of kinetic energy like a backup system to recharge the cold lithium core…" He taps his lip with th epen and glances over at Lena with his brow furrowed.

"Christ, are you a thief? If you're a thief and I'm helping you create some kind of mass power weaponry to thieve better… I mean, I really have to take a step back and wonder whether solving your problem is going to make a bigger problem for me later on.." Because someone will have to stop the thief. Which usually isn't a job for Iron Man, but… if he helps create the thing?

"Environmental sensor weave.. It's kind of lowtech too. Thermastats use something similar to regulate temperatures on an air conditioning unit." He explains with a shrug, "The colder it is, the more power you'll have.. still only looking at three or four with all these systems… and nothing is self sustaining. You'll have to replace it, but you can lengthen how long between each change."


"Damn, that's a simple thought." She mutters to herself, watching over the illustration and new ideas as they continue to pour out. At his question, she smirks. "I'm the best at the game I play. We'll say that. Also, I don't need what I'm making to be better at my job." A nod, another glance, she slips her hands back into her pockets and steps back. "All sounds like a great place to start, actually. Knew I was talking to the right man."

Reaching up, she pulls her hood back into place, pivotting and heading for the door. "Amazing cup of coffee, Ms. Potts. Thank you. Thank you, too, Mr. Stark, for the ideas. I guess sometimes when you have too much on your plate, you forget how to think straight." Reaching for the door, she looks up and around before calling out. "Nice to meet you, too, JARVIS." Opening the front door, she moves to exit the way she came.


"Good evening Miss Snart." JARVIS says after facial recognition cross referenced against her criminal records.

Tony taps the pen in his palm, brow raised. He doesn't say anything, at least not about her identity. He may not have heard or maybe he's just distracted by complements. "I'm still wondering whether this was a bad idea or not." He confides, raising his hand in a farewell, "Next time could you just make an appointment?"

A glance at Pepper, who's still off making calls, Tony turns back to Lena.. "Or at least bring some girl scout cookies…"

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