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Age Of Ultron For Real [M]

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Offline Aries Jordan

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"I hope we will not need to," Okoye said.  They could sedate Lunella so she didn't feel it, but that was't an optimal solution. 

Steve vacated the table so that Peter could put Lunella on it, and Okoye ran the scan while he was holding her in place.

((I'm assuming Lunella is clean, let me know if I'm wrong.))

"Okay, good," Steve said, relaxing a little.  "Now could I have a word with Lunella in private, please?"  The others seemed to aggravate and be aggravated by the girl a little too easily.

Bruce shrugged and headed toward the other end of the lab.  "Come on, Pete, we have a lot of work to do anyway."  Okoye moved away less readily and with a warning glower, lest Steve forget who was really in charge here.
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"I'm okay," Pepper said.  "I just forgot to put sunblock on.  The house looks lovely.  What's wrong with Ultron?  Does he want to talk to me?"  She was feeling stable enough to listen now.


Offline EvilCopepod

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Peter let out a sigh of relief when she came out negative, even if she had the nanotech he wasn't planning on letting her get zapped like Steve. He let her go and she didn't move, keeping her arms crossed and glaring silently at him.

"Yeah, we... we need to work things out." Peter carried the particles after Bruce, knowing they'd have to recalculate how to get all of the stones with so few vials. They could try to get more particles by going into the past, but the only place they knew the location of already had some taken, and he didn't want to find out if the security was increased or if things were different enough that the whole trip would be wasted.

"We need to get the supplies for the suits and decide who is going." he said to Bruce.

"Wow, you made them go away instead of grabbing me and taking me somewhere against my will. Again." Lunella groused.

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"I will help you to remember next time. Is there anything else you need assistance in recalling that I am not aware of?" The drone held out the lotion and water to the woman, going back to work once they were taken.

"The Avengers took someone important to him. Tony also released a response to what he said and the public is turning against him. He did not request you, but I think he would appreciate it."

"Especially before he starts dropping cities on people." Deadpool said with a laugh, parrying the robot arm's wild swings with his own dagger.

"He is behind the house if you wish to speak with him." Jocasta added, "Or I can show you the bedroom if you wish to rest. I have noise cancelling headphones to block out the construction noises."


Offline Aries Jordan

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"Privacy mode, JARVIS," Steve said, hoping that this version of JARVIS still took orders from the ex-leader of the Avengers.

"Very well, Captain," said JARVIS, who didn't, but saw nothing wrong with it as a request.

He sat down across from Lunella, rolling between his helmet between his hands in a troubled way.  He'd seen how Lunella reacted to Okoye's straight talk, so he didn't try any subterfuge or sugarcoating.  "We need some information from you," he said.  "We need it badly enough that, if you provide it, I'll take you back to your lab. 

"If that's what you really want, anyway," he added.  "If you're sure that would be the best thing for you."
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"I'll let you know if I think of anything," Pepper said, with a smile for Jocasta.  She sighed as she rubbed the cooling lotion on her face, shoulders and arms and then drank the water while listening to the interplay.  "I'll go talk to him."

She put her sandals back on and headed around to the other side of the house, where she spotted a familiar large metal figure in a. brooding pose.  "Hello, Ultron," she said, coming up to him with calm and casual body language.  "It's a beautiful house.  Thank you."


Offline EvilCopepod

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"You're not the one in charge here." she had noticed Okoye's look, and she had been the one that decided she had to stay here. "That depends on the information and what you plan on doing with it." Lunella then glared at him, her cheeks flushing a bit.

"Why would you do what I said anyhow? You all seem fine just doing whatever you want with me without caring how I feel."

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Ultron was sitting on a fallen tree, one of his hands over half his face as he slouched, he didn't move when she approached.

"It's the least I can do." He mumbled, "How was your walk?"  Ultron looked up, his sorrowful expression quickly changing to concern as he looked up, he straightened and stared at her. "What happened to your skin?"


Offline Aries Jordan

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"I'm the one with the belt," Steve answered simply.  He wasn't currently wearing it, but it was within easy reach, at least for someone with his strength and reflexes.  He knew it was still set for the same coordinates; Bruce hadn't done any fiddling with it.  As for Okoye, there would no doubt be consequences, but they would be for him to face, not Lunella.  "I'll tell you the questions up front, before you agree."

He gave a wry smile at her outrage.  "That's the common condition of childhood, that adults will do what they think is best for you, regardless of how you feel about it, and we've all been through it.  You can't  expect us to know just by looking at you that you can take care of yourself, no one else has ever been able to do that at your age.  And either you trust me to keep my word or you don't, there's nothing I can do to change your mind.

"There are two general questions and each one will probably generate a few follow-ups.  The first one is, if Ultron has teleportation technology, like it seems he does, why hasn't he used it to get in here and destroy us?

"The second question is, are there any more Pym Particles, that you know of?"

Finally, he said, "I know you're smarter than I am.  I know you can find a way to make it seem like you answered my questions when you really didn't.  I'm just gonna ask you please not to do that. "
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Pepper was touched and reassured to see that Ultron, in the depths of all his angst and self-pity, could still express concern about someone else.  "It's nothing," she said.  "I just forgot to put sunblock on.  Let me get into the shade here with you."

She sat on the tree next to him, though with the height difference between them, her feet were dangling, and put one hand on his arm.  "What's wrong?"


Offline EvilCopepod

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"Then people could try to listen instead of just writing me off." She listened to his first question quietly,  but the second one upset her again.

"Why would I tell you that? I know it's 'cause you want to steal more." She didn't wait for his answer, "Ultron is the first person to ever actually respect me, to listen to what I had to say, my parents didn't even--" She stopped, looking like she might tear up. "Everyone just sees me as a kid who needs to be held back. Ultron didn't, he trusted me and... and I lost the Pym Particles. Now's he's gonna think I'm just an incompetent kid like everyone else does.

"So I'm supposed to go back to him after losing my research and giving you information? He's never going to trust me with anything again!"

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"Technically, I could block the sun for you. But I think it's easier for me to get sunblock for you." His joking attitude disappeared when she sat much closer to him than he expected. "I can get up if you need more room--" But when she put her hand on his arm, he got quiet.

"Several things." he replied. "The Avengers took one of the children that's in my care. Stark has made a teleportation device. She seemed to be alright, but I cannot let that insult go unanswered. If they pull that vanishing act in front of the other children, some of which saw their loved ones disappear from thin air... even to have them be forced to move again so soon would be harmful. I need to get her back despite the consequences...

"Which will be great. As Stark responded to my video with one of his own and JARVIS is circulating it. It's slowed down, but... it was even put where children could access it. People are turning against me, despite all that I've done for them. People that have been supportive of me from the first day are saying that they knew all along that I was... a monster." He was able to comb through comments at such a fast pace, very few of the negative ones escaped his notice. "I'm just stuck between what humanity wants from me and what they need from me."


Offline Aries Jordan

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"Yeah, people are bad at that," Steve said sympathetically.  "They can't overcome their preconceptions.  Like when they see a skinny asthmatic kid and just... decide he's good for nothing."

He took a breath to argue with her, but as she went on, he just let it go and listened, growing more concerned as she struggled with tears.  "It wasn't your fault."  Finally, he just picked her up gently and held her, though planning to put her back down with a quick hug if she struggled or protested. 

"I'd like to tell you Ultron won't blame you.  That he'll understand.  But honestly?  Apparently I don't know him well enough to say.  I thought he was just a monster.  A murderer.  But he really seems to care about you."  He struggled one last time with the wisdom of his course, but his instincts were telling him to do the right thing.  "What if we could bring your parents back?  What if that was what we need the Pym Particles for?"
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"They took one of the children?"  Pepper was confused.  "Why?  I mean, I know why, but what else were they doing?"  If the Avengers were out to rescue children from Ultron, which was unlikely, they wouldn't have stopped at one, it must have been incident to some other mission.  "Of course she's all right, they would never hurt a child."

She was very conflicted at what he said next.  Of course Tony had all of her support, but suddenly she could see the dilemma and tragedy of Ultron's  existence a lot more clearly.  "Oh, Ultron!" she said in a tone she had never used with him before.  She squeezed his arm and leaned closer to him.  "That's...oh.  How terrible!"


Offline EvilCopepod

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"So you know better than to tell me I gotta wait until I'm bigger."

She was already tense before he hugged her, but didn't pull away or squirm. "It was my fault." She wasn't audibly crying, but she was trembling a bit and her thick glasses had fogged up. She also stayed silent through the rest of what Steve said, not trusting herself to speak. The last thing he said had her sitting up straight, wiping her nose with her sleeve before looking up at him.

"Wh- what? Are you serious? How?!"

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"They were taking some materials I had acquired as well." Ultron sighed, "Stark knows I wouldn't hurt you, but I'm still... hurting you in a way. If he had your location, he'd do anything to get you-- no matter how stupid or reckless it was."  He looked away from her when he said this.

 The tighter grip and her leaning closer surprised him, and her tone had him making eye contact with her again. "I can't ignore their needs-- I can't just let humanity destroy itself." He looked ahead of himself. "If my Father had his way, I would be dead. I shouldn't be alive." He paused, "Not unless there was a reason."


Offline Aries Jordan

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Feeling her tremble, Steve rocked her a little.  "I don't see how it could've been."  Even a genius IQ couldn't anticipate every contingency -- like that Tony would get teleportation tech, would want the Pym Particles AND would find out where they were, all within a few hours of being rescued.  Ultron probably hadn't told her anything about Tony.

Steve lowered his voice even more.  "Don't ask me about the science.  I don't understand it.  But it seems that we've found a way to navigate through the Quantum Realm and end up in the past.  We think we can undo what Thanos did.  Except we don't have enough Pym Particles."

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"I'm glad you realize that," Pepper said.  She didn't attempt to force eye contact.  Neither of them were aware, of course, that if Tony had been conscious at that moment, he would not have been thinking about Pepper at all, except in the generalized sense in which Pepper was always on his mind.  He hadn't even told JARVIS to look for her.

Ultron's next words troubled her greatly, but she didn't lean away or let go.  She just sat for a few minutes, thinking that this was like listening to a murderer on death row trying to make sense of his life, except that this one had the power to go on destroying.  "I want to help," she told him, "but I'm afraid that any advice I gave you might lead you to whatever chain of logic it was that caused Sokovia.  I think I should just listen.  What reason?"


Offline EvilCopepod

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"Could've skipped trying to reason with you." She knew that the Avengers were Ultron's enemies, and if she had called him earlier then she might have prevented the whole kidnapping. But she also knew that there would have been a huge fight as well, something that she wanted to avoid. She was quiet as she mulled over what he had said.

"But the Pym Particles wouldn't be able to alter time on their own. It would have to be an alternate dimension... How would that affect our current time?" She furrowed her brow. "There... there weren't any more that I knew of. But... why don't you ask Ultron to help? If he has more, then he'd want to fix this!"

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"I'm not that insensible." he replied, a tinge of regret in his voice. "Which is why you don't... you don't have to do any of this for my sake." Speaking with him for company was one thing, but listening to his problems and making physical contact went far beyond that.

"I hope I don't come off as that unstable." Ultron said with a hollow laugh. "I just... I hurt so many people, and now I have a chance to help them. But they want to keep hurting each other--- and think I am hurting them by not allowing them to thrive off of the suffering of others. This system is entirely unsubstainable. The Avengers want to keep it this way too. Unless there's a giant deathray or bomb, they won't do anything about all of the illegal and inhumane actions of those in power."
« Last Edit: November 28, 2020, 02:55:13 AM by EvilCopepod »


Offline Aries Jordan

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"Wouldn't have made a difference," Steve said with the certainty born of all the battles he had won and lost.  "We were expecting resistance and we had the element of surprise and a very simple objective.  In the first moment of a fight like that, it's a hundred times easier to be the attacker than the defender."

But for all his expertise in that area, he hit a blank wall at her first physics-related question.  "Uh..."  He saw that Okoye had left the lab, not having any more time to waste on an eight-year-old brat, so he waved at Bruce and Peter.  "Guys, I'm in over my head here, can you help explain..."  His brow furrowed when she suggested involving Ultron.  "Oh, boy, that's complicated.  Let me think about how to explain why we can't trust him."

Bruce had been keeping half an eye on them while he and Peter discussed the technical problems they faced.  He worried that Steve was telling the girl too much, but then again, that was the kind of call it was Cap's job to make.  "What's the problem?"

"Explain again why we can't just stop the Snap from happening in the first place?"

“If you travel to the past, that past becomes your future, and your former present becomes the past, which can’t now be changed by your new future.”
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"Oh, boy," Pepper sighed.  "You're coming up against the problem that has existed for every human government ever.  That's why..." she sighed.  "Look, the Avengers know their limits.  If they were to take over and try to do what you are trying to do, they'd become the very tyrants that they meant to overthrow, just... to different people, people other than the ones they were saving.  That's why they never tried.  That's why Tony didn't give you this mission, he just wanted you to protect the planet from outside invasion. Even if Sokovia had never happened, you'd have this problem eventually."  She squeezed his arm again.