|Marvel: In the Beginning...|
Pete Wisdom is sick and tired of reading all this goddamn news. Tony's dead! Tony's not dead! The Avengers are in jail! What the FUCK is going on!? Pete's decided to pay a visit, even in the face of all the bureaucratic bullshit he's been having to deal with back home. Then there's that whole issue with the name... He stands outside, puffing rather angrily at a cigarette, hands stuffed into his coat pockets.
Actually, the Avengers just paid a visit to a jail to guest speak. But you know how article titles are, they like to be so dramatic! Yet at the Avenger's Mansion, Jarvis is there to greet you. Soon standing on the inside of the gate. "Mr. Wisdom," he says with that upper crust British accent. The door then swings open, "What do we owe this pleasant visit to?"
Pete Wisdom flicks away his cigarette and stamps it out before heading inside. As he exhales the last of the smoke, he says, "I need to see just how Mr. Stark actually happens to be. And I need to write a letter to the Captain on the alphabet magnets on the fridge." And then he pauses after a few steps, his eyes softening as he looks over to Jarvis. "...That is, if... Tony's okay to see visitors." Awww. He really does care.
Jarvis blinks, then nods. "He is lucky to be alive, but as stubborn as ever. If you could assist him...," Jarvis looking hopeful for a moment before he crushes it down and clears his throat. "Currently getting drunk alone in his lab in the sub-level. He is hiding from the press and board members right now while cursing the U.S. Military I fear." He then moves to lead the way inside. "I do hope this is a purely personal visit, otherwise I will not vouch for the young master's temper at this time. He's having quite a fit currently." Apparently when Tony acts like a child, Jarvis treats him like one. Go figure.
"Personal it is, Jarvis. You have little to fear of any underhanded intentions. I've been honest with the Avengers since I met them." Which, in hindsight... is actually true. He came to them and didn't even lie... he just wanted their help. He follows after Jarvis, his steps slow but deliberate. "I suppose I'll find out just how pissed the man is," he says. By pissed he means drunk. He is British, after all.
"I've seen his worse," the butler says in a dry tone. Back along the north hallway and down the stairs, the two of you travel to the back of the sub-level. There, Jarvis says respectfully, "Pardon me sir, but I do need to do a small search of your person for any recording devices. Not to mean anything disrespectful." He waits patiently for your permission.
Pete Wisdom gives a nod before handing over his coat, phone, and the little StarkTech PDA that he's secretly become so fond of.
Jarvis smoothly accepts these items, does a professional and distant once over, before passing you on through as long as you aren't hiding anything further. "Thank you sir," he says with the utmost of respect. He then bypasses the security features and opens the lab door for you to enter.
The lab is much smaller than the one at Stark Industries that you had seen, but the tech appears to be growing even more impressive as Stark has been integrating Kree technology into it. Tony is not visible at first, you have to step further in and see where the lab widens out to find him. He is drinking vodka right now and studying his Golden Avenger armor, the armor he wore before the Mark II armor. "Couple upgrades...it should do...better defenses than the other portable one," he grumbles.
The computer system responds, "By 3.56 percent Mr. Stark. You also have a visitor, Jarvis let him in."
Nodding to Jarvis before stepping in, Pete has to stop and marvel (wink wink) at the technology a little bit. He might even recognize some of the Kree stuff. He lifts a hand to his chin and rubs at his stubble, before sniffing. "Really? Potato whisky, Tony? You've got better taste than that."
Tony glances up and grunts, "What are you doing here? Sniffing out how weak I am before my enemies go for my throat? I didn't realize the U.K. had such an interest in me." Like a wounded bear, he lashes out before he even waits to see why you are here. Jarvis was not kidding about his temper right now. The man is wearing roughed up jeans and a white wife beater. When he turned about to look at you, one can see the slight discoloration of where the metal plate is inserted within his chest.
Pete Wisdom keeps his eyes on the alcohol-glazed ones of Tony's. He approaches, smirking. "I'm technically out of a job right now, Tony. So shut that part of your mouth up. So. You're dead. But you're not dead, even if you're dying. I don't believe the papers, so tell it to me straight. I haven't even had a chance to take you out on a major drinking binge and have to have the two of us carried back by She-Hulk."
"Plenty of liquor here! Help yourself! Glasses are under...," Tony takes a few moments to find it, but soon points toward a nearby cabinet, "there!" He smirks, as if proud of himself for remembering the location of the glasses! But then he frowns, "Ya, well, it's true. I'm dying. Each day I'm alive is a miracle. Yippie Kai-yay, or something equally retarded," he states sarcastically. "It's been like this for a while, this is why I kept it quiet. People whine and complain, it isn't like we have guarantees ever in life anyway!" Oh, he knows very well why people are upset at him, he just doesn't want to acknowledge it.
"So what's the prognosis, Stark? Or is it all just based on your own mortality? And, uh..." He has to pause, regarding all the Iron Man armor models. Then it hits him. And Pete has to sit down. But not before reaching into the cabinet to grab a bottle of Bailey's.
"Well, first I need to upgrade an Iron Man suit, cause the Mark II has been near destoryed," and he points to the charred chunks nearby. "Saving my ass, lovely, right? Then I have to sober up and decide how to approach the board members that will listen to NOTHING I have to say now! Exciting, let me tell you," he adds in a dry tone that is very much like Jarvis' in that moment. "Then I get poked at, get pressured about a heart transplant I do NOT want because life expectancy on the good side of average is fifteen years....ah, what's it matter? It's my own creation that killed me." He smirks bitterly at that, "The weapon designer killed by one of his own weapons. Ironic, isn't it?"
Pete Wisdom blinks. "That thing in your chest is a weapon, Tony?" he asks, as he takes a light sip. He doesn't want to get drunk, only a little loose so he can talk and think better. "Look, mate... tell old Pete. What's it matter anyway, yeah?" Sure, he's playing up with Tony's doom-saying, but its an easy way to get information.
"No, I have shrapnel from a Stark Tech mine inside me. Without the device I built, it would shred my heart to pieces in a matter of a few minutes or less. I don't know the specific time right now after its last failure," he waves one hand vaguely. "No, surgery won't get it out," he takes a drink of his vodka and then starts to go back to work on the armor. "Been researching cloned organs and cybernetic replacements, but neither are at a level for surgery yet if I had a way to internally control one cybernetic replacement, to monitor it but it is not reasonable, even with the technology I have at hand!" He kicks the base of the metal lab table and says, "Shit! Some brilliant guy I am; I can't even find a solution to my short life span. And I'm considered a moron for not wanting a transplant heart from some dead donor and living on meds for the rest of my still shortened life to keep it from rejecting."
Tony then sighs, "What would you do Pete?" He rests his forehead against the cool metal of the Iron Man suit he is working on. "Is there anything that can even be done?"
Pete Wisdom rises up. He steps towards Stark, and gives him a hard look in the face. "I'd say you deserve a quick smack upside the head, Tony. I'd do it but I don't want you spilling your vodka." He takes a swig from his Irish creme liqueur. "Well. You have alien technology here. I can see that, Tony. You're also one of the most brilliant engineers and scientists on this whole fucking planet. Would a new heart give you some more time to help devise a successful replacement? Hmm? Or maybe you can find a botanist and you two can work together at genetically engineering wheat or hops to create a heart-healthy whiskey or beer, yeah?"
"Huh? How you know that...," his expression wary. "I hate beer," Tony advises. He then grunts and glances at the Iron Man suit. "I just need time...there has to be a solution I haven't thought of yet...I don't want to go under the knife and get my heart ripped out in a questionable procedure I might not even survive. I want a better chance for survival." He then ends weakly, "I want my life back damn it...I want to be able to date freely without fear of discovery, I want control of my company again, I want to stop making damn fucking weapons to kill people with!" He hits the Iron Man suit, not that it does anything other than make his hand throb, not that he notices it much in his drunkenness. He then looks at the armor longingly, "I want to be a hero, not a murderer..." Perhaps the two of you have more in common than you ever realized.
Pete Wisdom simply sniffs. "Who are you, Tony?" he asks. "You're Anthony Stark. The board of directors for Stark Industries is a bunch of stuffed-up weapon-mongers. You... used to be. Sort of. And you're... you're Iron Man, aren't you?" he asks. "And, coming from me, Tony, you can be a hero and a killer... but there's a very hard line. These are your inventions. This is *your* technology. Don't you have the right to pull it back? Don't you have a claim to what you own?"
"Huh? No," he lies with surprising ease, so used to it. "I'm the creator of the Iron Man armor. He's...my way I guess of...trying to make a difference, you know?" He shakes his head, "I don't want to be a soldier...I don't want good deeds smeared in blood. You will never get rid of the guilt then." He then laughs, "Gawd, I wish! Hell, image stopping by the military and taking away all my missiles? No...I doubt I can in good conscious do that..they paid for the goods, I have to do the time." His smile bitter.
Pete Wisdom shrugs. "Look at things like video games these days, Tony. You can't play them without continually paying for it. And at any time, for any reason, breaking the terms and conditions, the distributor can choose to disallow the use of the product. You're a *businessman* Tony. You might not be able to take away your missiles, but I'm fairly sure you can stop producing them. They paid for it. How long does the contract last? And when their missiles were stolen and used ON YOUR HOME!" he shouts suddenly, for emphasis, "wouldn't that be nullifying whatever goodwill and intentions you had when you made that business deal? Sure, it might not have been their fault that the missiles were used this way, but this is New York. You leave your keys in a car, somebody steals it and runs some poor child over, you can be held liable for the person getting run over. The military that had your missiles could be held liable for having your missiles used against you. Foreseeable proximate cause and all that. It was their fault they didn't have the weapons depot secure." Pete Wisdom is spouting off law stuff now.
"That's what I'm trying to do! Stop the military contracts! The board is fighting me every step of the way, and with my heart condition now known, they have the /power/ to fight me!" Tony winces, "My technology was, it was actually some sort of ray gun...more powerful than my missile in distance but less powerful in fire power. Iron Man made sure it can't be used again," He adds coldly. But then he perks up, "Wait...you...might have a point there. Not something good to advertise, but perhaps I could use it to break the contract sooner than planned...neglect." He rubs his jaw line thoughtfully, rough with the need to shave.
Pete Wisdom 's always like that, needing to shave. "Well, I *am* studied in law. Well, criminology, really, but... your teammate is a bloody lawyer, Tony! Why isn't she helping you with this!?" He hrmphs, before reaching over to try to snatch the bottle from Tony's hand. "You're grounded from alcohol until you consult with Jen! And you need your head *clear* to be able to think! Understood!?"
"She isn't on my personal payroll, and I don't think she's a corporate lawyer," Tony adds. "She's criminal, isn't she?" Tony leaps up and sways a bit, a finger pointing at you, "Give that back," he advises. "I don't need a criminal lawyer's help that isn't even on my payroll. I'll figure this out /alone/." The lone wolf, Tony never experienced anything else really in life till the Avengers...but there are certain lines still drawn with that.
Pete Wisdom steps away, holding the bottle up high. "Oh, look at me, holdin' up the one thing keeping Tony happy, like a baby at a teat. Quit yer mouth, Tony. It stinks in here, and you stink worse. I'm not gonna stand idly by while you dig your own grave by making an alcohol-saturated bog. Even criminal law is still law, and its better than what some sad engineer mourning his own usefulness can muster up unless he kicks himself in the conkers and makes something better out of the man. You're an engineer, Tony. I bet you're also handy with regular tools. Better than that, you're a *scientist*. Reforge your heart, Stark."
"You are about to get socked in the face, is what is about to happen!" Tony shaking his fist unsteadily at you. Ya, like you would have any issues dodging that. He curses and turns away from you, "Reforge my heart, shit! Fuck!" Frustrated much? Beyond. That is when his system suddenly starts buzzing at him, "What is it now?!"
The computer calmly responds, "You have a message from a Texas research center Mr. Stark."
Tony goes simply, "Huh?" It takes him a few moments but he finally says, "I don't have any research centers there. Who is it from?"
"Dr. Maya Hansen, she wishes to contact Iron Man about a domestic terrorist act against science."
Tony hrms to himself, "Oh...well, that sounds interesting. Send a message to Iron Man to summon him to come in tonight. Pull up information about the research center, the doctor and whatever else she refers too in her request." He is suddenly looking interested, "Is she hot?" The computer brings up a picture of Maya Hansen in a lab coat. Not the most flattering picture, but she is certainly 'hawt'. "Oh ya," Tony says. "Maybe I should go too, take a wee bit of a 'vacation' to figure things out, right Pete?"
Pete Wisdom smirks. "I hate Texas. I'm going too."
"Why the hell do you want to go in a U.S. investigation?" Tony grunts, not seeming as excited now. He is going to have to make use of the robotic Iron Man if you come.
Pete Wisdom shrugs. "I've seen the location, Stark. I never said I'd be taking part in the investigation. Who says I don't want to watch? And maybe steal the girl?"
Tony scowls at that, "Jerk, I don't know why I even like you. You are worse than Rhodey who yells at me all the time." He rubs his unshaven jaw line and moves closer to his screen to pull up the e-mail and the data, which is bringing up a lot of stuff that Pete honestly just wouldn't understand. "What the hell is this....and it's only part of the data and it's...dear lord!" He pales. "A FBI Headquarters in Texas has been wiped out, all dead. This is serious Pete...," he is already moving to get a shower and get dressed. The data left up there for you to review if you can make heads or tails of it. There is a video surveillance that shows a man expelling fire from his mouth and burning FBI agents alive. Their gunfire doing nothing to harm him.
Pete Wisdom reviews it at least enough to get a general memorization of it. He'd understand a goodly chunk. He may not have a lot of hands-on technological experience, but research is something he does in his sleep, or close to it. Having recently spent a long time compiling and going through the files of Black Air to make the case against them helped in that as well. He looks at the video surveillance over and over, though. And, if possible, he'd likely even try to get the image enhanced and perhaps see who this fiery bastard may be.
There is only a brief technological explanation of Extermis, the term 'Extremis' not actually used. Dr. Hansen's resume is impressive, and she is working on top secret material. Furthermore, the terrorist is explained as being 'infected' by the genetic manipulative code. More data would be provided upon attendance. You can hear the small shower located below running now, Stark didn't even bother closing the door fully. The guy is in too much of a rush. It looks bad, but why the panic?
Pete Wisdom keeps reviewing the information. He'll only be able to find out more when he gets there. Tony invariably has a means of getting there easier than he would. He rubs at his chin. He then tries to access info on the Iron Man suit(s). Since this is the mainframe and everything, hopefully there won't be much security, especially since Tony was already logged on and everything... He's not looking for specs on the suit, but giveaways that Tony IS Iron Man.
The system errors. "Finger print not recognized." Apparently because of the holographic displays, it actually scans for the finger print before responding to any of the physical commands. And you cannot give verbal, because your voice prints will not match.
You can hear Tony yelling out, "Leave the computer alone Pete! Or I'll make you watch teletubbies on it or something!" Now that is a terrible threat indeed.
Pete Wisdom gives a grumble. "I hate you, Tony! I'll be keeping that bottle I bought you for Christmas!"
"What bottle? Bastard, don't take my booze all the damn time!" Then there is a bump and some more cursing. "I fell...," he says in a foul mood. "Stop distracting me, I'm still drunk!" Apparently he can't do two things at once while drunk.
Pete Wisdom laughs a little. "Well, that's what you get for drinking when you should've been working," he says. At least he knows that boundary. Sort of.
Tony doesn't say anything further. Instead, he works at getting ready, getting the spare Iron Man suit loaded, along with two brief cases of his - one of which he carries - and so on. Apparently there is an area that he can load things up through the landing pad to be picked up. He had already disappeared to finish getting dressed and using his PDA device to summon the robotic Iron Man so he is waiting for you guys up above. Jarvis is summoned via a intercom, "Please have a helicopter land and pick up my things. We are going to my private airport and visiting Texas." This sadly, won't be easy for Pete to discover that Tony is Iron Man, as the robot is programmed to be quiet, but to respond to simple things and Tony can control it to say things as well. Since he will be working on his PDA and communicating with Dr. Maya Hansen, it can be easily hidden.