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Age Of Ultron For Real [M]

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Offline Aries Jordan

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Tony had childhood memories of Henry Pym, of meeting him and of listening to his father's rants about his genius and his arrogance.  He thought he might have seen Pym Particles at some point without knowing what they were.  "That's Lang," he said, remembering the tousle-headed idiot imprisoned on the Raft after the airport battle with Cap's team. " JARVIS, find me any vehicle registered to Scott Lang.  Where is it now?"

"On it, sir.  By the way, I have been unable to find any signal from Ms. Potts."

Tony looked down, his jaw and every muscle going tight.

"Ultron has Pepper?" Bruce asked gently.

"Yeah, so we need to keep on this."  Tony turned to Peter again and was hard-put to resist hugging him again, he was so glad and proud of the kid.  "Okay, so now we know how it worked.  Now I want to know exactly what happened when they did it."  He remembered that Peter must have missed all of that and added, "To the extent you were told, anyway."
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Pepper didn't care what Ultron thought of Morgan as long as he was no danger to him or her.  She put her hand to her mouth, making a noise halfway between a gulp and a sob, and then she couldn't help smiling at Ultron's last comment.

"I'm going to have to take your word for that," she said.  "I don't have the ability to remain hypervigilant.  I can't endure that much stress."  She walked over to where Ultron sat and put her smaller hand on his -- the one he left resting on the chair's arm.  "I think -- at least, I hope -- it's going to be a bit easier for us to get along now."
« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 10:13:27 PM by Aries Jordan »


Offline EvilCopepod

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Peter didn't know the specifics of where Scott had been, as he hadn't heard that much detail about the whole operation, so it was good that JARVIS could do that. However, Ultron had been very thorough going through what had been left behind after the Snap. Many of the things that were left behind or lost were given to relatives or the community, so Scott's van was given to Maggie Lang. In the process of returning any of these items, they were thoroughly examined for anything that was of interest. So the van returned lacked any of the machinery or any of the vials of Pym Particles.

Everything seemed to stop for Peter when he heard that Ultron had Pepper. "She... she was there?" he asked, quietly. It didn't take him long to figure out that she wasn't the only one. "And... And he has Morgan too then." He paled quickly, his face wracked with guilt. He should have known better, he should have asked if Ultron was keeping anyone else. He'd been so focused on Tony that the thought hadn't even crossed his mind at all.

Tony was right, though, if he wanted to fix his mistake this was the way to do it. So he told the whole story, only omitting that Bruce and Hulk weren't separate anymore and the fact that Natasha had died. He did give the details on how getting the Soul Stone worked, and that the stones couldn't bring the person back, but he refused to say who it was. Though from his story it could be figured out that it was either Natasha or Clint, there was no way to tell which of them would have gone even if someone figured that far. He got all the way to the part where they had been brought back by the Hulk and the battle for the gauntlet when he stopped, not wanting to continue any further than that. 

((oop, said Hank instead of Henry lol
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"You shouldn't have endured stress about this at all." he said. "If I did anything, it wouldn't just be you holding me accountable. These two would never forgive me for it either."

"I'd kill you myself." Deadpool confirmed.

"You've already set that into motion." Ultron responded to the man. He wasn't expecting Pepper to come up to him and definitely wasn't prepared for her to suddenly touch him. He straightened up, looking at her hand with a surprised expression before turning his gaze away, but he didn't move his hand.
 
"I.. That would be nice." he mumbled.


Offline Aries Jordan

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"You couldn't have known," Tony said sharply.  Pepper was on his conscience, she didn't belong on Peter's.  "It was reasonable to expect JARVIS would tell you anything that important.  It's not your fault."

"Was I supposed to?" JARVIS asked.  "My parameters are that unless the chance of success substantially outweighs the chance that Ms. Potts will be injured, a rescue should not be attempted.  I did not deem Spider-Man alone capable of saving you both."

"You couldn't even have known that there is a Morgan in this timeline," Tony added, for it struck him as a little odd that Peter had known Morgan's conception date to within two months, especially considering he had been dead at the time.

Tony questioned Peter in detail about the time heist, but the kid only knew what had happened second-hand, so Tony wasn't able to get as much as he wanted.  He was disturbed by the Soul Stone part of the story and almost got angry when Peter refused to reveal who had died, but Bruce intervened -- "It doesn't matter which one it was, it's unacceptable either way!" -- so Tony let it go, grinding his teeth.

As soon as Peter got to the part of the Hulk doing the return Snap, Bruce frowned, but Tony didn't register anything odd about it.  Before Peter could get any farther than that, JARVIS interrupted with the information he had found about Scott Lang's van.

"Then Ultron has the equipment and the Pym Particles if there were any ," Tony said, frowning.  "But he can't have really investigated them yet," he added, with more optimism in his voice.  "If he could shrink a bunch of drones down the the size of nanotech, I'd be dead, or worse.  JARVIS, top priority is to find out where he's keeping that stuff.  Put everything you have on it." 

Under the impression that was the end of Peter's story, he paced, thinking furiously.  "We need to get that machine up and running," he said, "but to get the Pym Particles, there's something else I need to put together first."  He started poking around the lab, over the mild protests of Shuri's surviving interns.  "Oh, good -- a particle accelerator!"

((It is Hank.  Only his wife and his enemies called him Henry. :) ))
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"Really?" Pepper said to Wade, boggling at the idea.  "How?"  From outside the network, nothing short of nuclear annihilation could take Ultron out, as far as she could see, and  Deadpool wasn't a hacker.  She looked less surprised at Ultron's comment however, for if there was a way, Tony might find it.

Ultron's embarrassment softened her further, but she didn't want to overwhelm him.  "I'm not saying I'm on your side," she gently reminded him.  "I didn't ask to be here and I don't want to be.  But since I am, and it seems that Tony's safe, we can go back to talking together like we did before."  She patted his hand again and turned away, hopping she had been quick enough.  "So," she said in a brisker tone.  "Where are we going?"


Offline EvilCopepod

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"But I could have asked." He was initially worried that Pepper was getting a similar treatment as Tony had, but JARVIS' words made him relax a little.

"He isn't hurting her?" Peter had to double check. "Yeah, but, it's... it's weird to think she's not." He knew her birthday, and was able to figure out when she'd been conceived.

"Can't he just build a bunch of tiny drones?" He asked. Now that he'd gone through everything, he was using a tablet that one of the assistants had been more happy to share. He was using it to see the current state of the world, and was surprised by what he was seeing. If he hadn't seen him harming Tony with his own eyes, he would have wondered what the issue was himself.

"What do you need a particle accelerator for?"

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"I'll figure something out." Deadpool said confidently. Ultron didn't miss the fact that she didn't make the same comment about an attempt by Tony.

"Of course you're not. You're certain that Tony will destroy me and that you will be free. Before Morgan is born, I'd wager you're thinking. So this is just an inconvenience for you." He said, his voice a bit weary. "But it will be nice to talk again.

"An area of Chile that has a similair climate to your preferences."  He answered.


Offline Aries Jordan

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"No, he seems to have taken a liking to her," said Tony.  Whereas he once had been relieved by this, he found it annoying now that he was free, so his grim expression didn't change any.  "She may even be influencing his present behavior all over the globe.  Yes, that's what nanotech is," he answered, "but it'd be a lot more sophisticated if normal-sized drones were miniaturized.  Ultron would be able to inhabit a tiny drone and see what's happening on the cellular level for himself."

He tapped his head.  "I've acquired a design for a teleportation device.  It's not exactly safe, but with very careful planning, we should be able to use it to acquire the Pym Particles as soon as JARVIS finds them."

Bruce, meanwhile, was watching Peter's body language.  "You know," he said quietly, "I'm not sure you reached the end of the story."
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"I am optimistic that Tony will find me and that I'll be free," Pepper corrected Ultron gently.  "The rest of it, this obsession with each other's destruction, is between you and Tony.  I never had any part in that or any control over it.  And no, kidnapping and long-term imprisonment are not an inconvenience.  It's a traumatic experience, although much less so now that I don't have to worry about Tony's safety.  Or Morgan's, thank you."  She smiled again and found a seat near Ultron's.  "I've never been to Chile.  It sounds lovely.  Can we go outside?"


Offline EvilCopepod

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"Oh. That's... good?" It was better than her being captured and hated by the AI. "Would threaten her to try and get to you?"

Peter couldn't keep from shuddering at his description of what Ultron could do. "That's way too creepy." The idea of a teleporter was exciting, though.

"Wow! Where'd you get that?" He would have thought from space, but it seemed like his journey here had gone the same given the dates JARVIS had provided.

"What does unsafe mean for a teleporter?" Peter asked. At Bruce's question, he got flustered, stuttering a bit.

"W-Well, of course, I mean, it's not like I got here right after everything was fixed. Like... you want to know about how things all got started up again? I can tell you how high school went, but it's kinda boring..." He was avoiding making eye contact with Bruce as he talked.

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"Of course you didn't, he doesn't listen to you." Ultron frowned, "It sounds terrible when you say it like that. I thought you were going for the positive thinking meditation stuff." He was surprised when she thanked him and sat nearby.

"Yes, but you'll need to wear a device Jocasta has been working on whenever you're outside." He slouched somewhat in his seat.

"Now that you're talking to me again, would you mind if I asked you about something that I plan to do-- it's a bit drastic, and I've been debating whether or not I should go ahead with it."


Offline Aries Jordan

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"He hasn't yet," Tony answered Peter briefly.   The question about the teleporter was harder.  "Bit of a mystery.  Do you know Deadpool?"  His Peter had, of course, but this one might not.  "I don't know where he got it, but I managed to blueprint it.  Unsafe means teleporting yourself into a solid object and dying instantly.  Or miscalculating the planet's trajectory, materializing in low Earth orbit, and dying instantly.  Or --"

"Yeah, we get it," Bruce said, frowning.  "The calculations required to safely teleport yourself any significant distance are going to be insanely complicated.  Are you sure this is a good idea?"

"I love the chickenshit way you have of saying this is a bad idea," Tony told his friend.  "Now tell me what you think the odds are of getting to anything that Ultron is keeping God knows where by any other means."

"Um..."

"Yeah."

After Peter became very obviously flustered, Tony became just as suspicious as Bruce.  He folded his arms on one side of the boy while Bruce was staring worriedly at him from the other.  "Sounds like there's something you're not telling me that I probably need to know."
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Pepper thought it unnecessary to say that whether Tony listened to her on the subject of Ultron was a moot point , since she had originally been even more in favor of Ultron's demise than Tony was.  If their positions had changed -- hers softening and his growing harder -- it wasn't yet enough of a difference for her to complain about. 

"Meditation doesn't change reality, just helps me cope with it."  She admired the articulation in Ultron's body that allowed him to slouch.  Even Iron Man wasn't that flexible.  "Will it be necessary if you accompany me outside?  Sometimes it's nice to walk while talking."

She blinked worriedly and her pulse began to increase again.  "Sounds serious.  Go ahead."


Offline EvilCopepod

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"Yeah, actually. He was, um... really dead in the ship we got picked up in. But not dead. Ultron teleported him away. Is the pink sparkle thing how the teleporter works?"

Since Deadpool had been able to survive what happened to him in the ship, it made sense why he was using the device.

"It should work as long as we get the exact location." Peter said, not knowing about the possible effects of the teleporter malfunctioning.
When suddenly both of them were on him about it, he got defensive.

"Hey..! I can't just tell you everything!  I was gone for five years. You both-- all of you had a lot happen. And I don't want to mess anything up."

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"You could try and think of it as a work vacation... Maternity leave? I want to try and make this better for you. For both of you." Ultron looked at her strangely when she asked the question.

"It isn't an invisible fence collar or anything like that. It's not to contain you. It's purely cosmetic. So, yes, you will still be wearing it." He was confused by her suggesting that he accompanies her too.

"Why would you want me on your walks? Don't you want to use them to get away from me and my drones?"

It took him a minute to start talking again, "I know human governments operate based upon deception, and I don't want to go that route, even by ommission. People know what I did to Sokovia, but I haven't addressed it directly. I was considering being... well, openly admitting to it. To the public, and see how they perceive me afterwards. It's better than them hearing it from others. Like my Father."


Offline Aries Jordan

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"And that's all you know about him?"  Apparently this Peter Parker had never encountered Deadpool before.  He did not have their shared history on M'Atta Gaskar.  How close had he and... the other Tony been?  He hadn't seemed surprised when Tony hugged him.  How innocent he seemed.  Even shinier than Tony's Peter Parker.  Tony wished he could have an ordinary, relaxed conversation with him instead of being in crisis mode.  "I have no idea why the pink sparkles.  Maybe it's a just a special effect."

"It's not just having the exact location, the problem is the planet's moving," Bruce started to explain, but Tony cut him off with, "Later.  Gotta build the thing first."

He stared at Peter with dark and tired eyes for a moment and then said, "Okay.  We'll trust you to make that call."

"We will?" said Bruce.
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"One way you could maybe make 'this' better is to explain why 'this' is happening at all," Pepper said, frowning.  "Originally I thought I was a hostage to keep Tony docile.  Then I thought you didn't want anyone to know Tony was still alive and this was the kindest way you had of keeping me quiet.  Neither of those explanations seem to fit anymore.

"I will want to walk alone many times, but we could walk together sometimes as well."

His question wasn't what she had expected, but then she wasn't sure what she had expected.  It took her some time to think about it.  "Hm, well, the timing is a little suspicious.  You're clearly trying to pre-empt Tony's PR attack."

(Tony hadn't done any press or social media announcement yet, but Okoye had released an official Wakandan statement that Tony Stark had been freed from Ultron's custody, accompanied by footage of him walking from the Benetar to the city.  JARVIS was running interference to keep the statement and the video circulating.)

Pepper gave her honest opinion.  "I think it's the moral thing to do.  I'm not sure it will change people's perceptions very much overall.  It's not like it was a secret before.  It seems to me there there are four broad categories of people to consider. 

"There are people who like you no matter what you did in the past because you're so beneficial for them now.  They'll approve the admission, but they liked you already. 

"There are people who hate you no matter what you do for them now, either because they can't forgive you for Sokovia or they have unrelated reasons.  You aren't going to change their minds by admitting it. 

"Then there are people who, in spite of the evidence, don't believe you are an independent entity who can be held accountable for your actions.  They blamed Tony for Sokovia because they thought you had a programming error, and now they praise Tony for fixing it.  You may shift their opinions, but it's hard to guess in which direction.  It might be negative.

"Finally, there are people, believe it or not, who never knew about Sokovia because they lived in authoritarian countries with restricted news access.  I suspect they will mostly continue to approve of you.  Or at worst, they'll say they do because that's how they've been conditioned to respond to power."
« Last Edit: September 23, 2020, 05:58:10 PM by Aries Jordan »


Offline EvilCopepod

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"I think so?" The name sounded familiar, but he couldn't remember ever having met the mercenary before this. He didn't even recognize the costume's colors (Since the shape and design had been somewhat warped by the splattering). "Are you keeping the sparkles?" he asked.

"Oh, right. That's pretty big."

It was hard for Peter to stay under Tony's scrutinizing gaze, especially since the information he was withholding was very important in regards to Tony. Of course, if they got the stones, he would have to tell him, but he wasn't going to let him know how he died right after saving him from death.

"You will?"

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"I wouldn't be able to talk to you at all if I did let you go. Even if you wanted to, I doubt Tony would let you communicate with me. It would be too risky for both of us. And he does need to be a bit more... considerate when it comes to destroying me with you here." He nodded at her invitation to join her on some walks.

"Oh, I'm trying to do far more than that." He listened carefully to her ideas, and found that they were mostly correct, based upon the data he had gathered from the internet on the people speculating and posting information about the attack and the responses that were given.

"Thank you for your input. I think that I should do the speech right now then." he decided, "Not here, of course, but I should get it out there." He hadn't done anything to disturb what JARVIS had been posting, because it would actually affirm the point he was going to make.

"I've been working on those authoritarian countries. It's slow going, but they can't keep me out much more than the rest of the world is able to."