Getting with the Program 3: The Team Assembles

Summary:
August 21, 2014: Sam brings in Steve and Tony to hear Jericho and May's pitch. They agree to be a part of the operation in Syria.

Stark Industries

Rising high into the skyline with the name of its Lord and Master for all to see, the Stark Industries Tower is the most visible component of the Stark Industries complex centered in Midtown Manhattan. Manufacturing, office space, power generation and even some inventory is housed in the tower and its associated subelevels. It also contains guest housing and, at the top, the penthouse suite that is the domain of the Main Man himself, at least, when he's not at his Malibu home.


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
[*<http://insert.video.or.music.link.here>]


Sam Wilson floated a trial balloon with Tony on the matter of another Mideast op, this one with a little more long-term heft. Unsurprisingly, given the infamous multitasker's appetite for information, Stark wanted to know more. So, reluctantly given the man's health, Falcon called together a complete gathering of the people May wanted to recruit: himself, Jericho Trent, Steve Rogers, and of course, their host Tony Stark.

"Guess this is as good a time as any to see how the group works together," Sam muses, leaning back against the bar in the executive lounge with his arms crossed.

-

Jericho has actually met Tony once before. Peripherally. It had been a late night meeting to help a friend secure funding for an important project. The two hadn't really spoken much, but the Playboy Philanthopist should at least recognize his face. He accompanies May in, actually knowing his way around this particular tower. Mostly his contact has been with Pepper who seems to be out today. So this should be interesting…

-

Tony doesn't look like he should be taking visitors, he barely looks like he should be able to stand up. The fact that he's sitting is happenstance because the real visage is in his eyes, eyes that look distant and cloudy. His face is pale, too pale, sickly pale and there's a thin layer of sweat beading across his brow. Which probably indicates he shouldn't be balancing a half a glass of scotch on his knee.

It's purely for appearances, as is his self assured grin, and maybe even the vacant way he glances around as if he half expects someone to meet him here that hasn't shown up yet.

Wearing sweat pants and a dark t-shirt meant to hide the fact that he's sweating, Tony is barefoot and there's the very faintest of outlines of his arc reactor glowing through his clothes… periodically flickering. The preceptive will notice his hand trembles every time that it does.

-

Melinda May follows Jericho into the room, letting him take the lead for the moment as he knows this place and she has actually never been in this building before. Of course, seeing Tony's current health level, she's glad she insisted on stopping by SHIELD Medical before heading this way. Yes, it was a detour, but yes it appears to be necessary.

Not waiting for an invitation to enter further, heck, not even pausing to say hello to Wilson or Stark, she stalks around the back of that ridiculous sofa and reaches one of those pressure-injection things (think SHIELD's version of a Star Trek hypospray) toward the inventor's neck.

-

Steve cannot help but frown as he follows May into the room and watches her start waving the techno-syringe about without a word. He crosses his arms, leaning against the nearest upright surface in his civilian gear. That is, clothes that aren't out of fashion but definitely tend towards the conservative style of dress.

-

Sam offers a quick upward nod in greeting to the new arrivals. He's heard and accepted this pitch already, so other than feeling out the group dynamics, as he mentioned, he's here mostly in his capacity as Tony's personal paramedic. And he does not like what he sees even before May comes at his boss with what looks like an alien probe of some kind.

"Whoa, May, whoa!" he interjects, bouncing off the bar and rushing toward the sofa. "Talk to me. What is that and why are you trying to jab him with it?" He's giving her the benefit of the doubt — he's never seen her act maliciously toward people — but he damn well wants to know what's in Tony's system at any given time. Beyond caffeine, adrenaline, and aged scotch, of course.

-

The hacker looks about and nods. May's action doesn't seem to surprise him. "This everyone? Right…" He eyes Tony for a moment. The man looks like he's got one foot in the grave… or at least one buttcheek on the hospital bed with a respirator. He holds up one arm, a blue projection coming up from it which crystalizes into a holographic map of Syria. "Okay… Here's the deal folks. Many of you will have heard the news out of Syria. I know the media is saying it was a Sarin or Mustard Gas attack. The reality is that it was a field dest of a HYDRA designed retrovirus that targets mutants. And it was horrifically successful. One hundred percent lethality rating. Around seven thousand dead. I've been tracking this activity for months for reaons of my own but now SHIELD is involved. Agent May was directed to put a team together that could help trace back where the hell this stuff is coming from so that we can cut it off at the source. The virus has been in circulation in the States in small amounts, usually in injection form. I have reason to believe they will hit targets state side with the full deployable version some time in the next few weeks. That's… to be avoided if possible, obviously.

-

Tony isn't going to be putting up much of a fight against the injector, even though it's clear he doesn't want random people stabbing him with things. The guy has some serious issues with people ''handing'' him stuff, this whole 'look a jugular vein, lemme stick a needle in it' isn't going to go over as well.

When May jabs him, he snaps and slaps his hand over the little wound with a sharp stare up at her. Then Jericho is going on about injectable kill bugs?

Thank god the effects start working before he's able to call up one of the Iron Man armors right? JARVIS is watching, afterall. "Sir…" The AI begins, but Tony shakes his head and pats at the air.

"I'm fine, JARVIS…" Eyes on Melinda, eyes that are a little sharper and a little less cloudy. His skin even has the slightest bit of color. He's still very sick, but at least he's not about to go into cardiac arrest. "I hope that whatever you just injected me with required surprise… I'm going to assume that it did."

Because there's a briefing, Tony looking away from the agent while still rubbing his neck, "How much of this stuff is needed for it to be lethal?" Touching the air so the information transfers over to his own server where he can pull it up infront of him without standing up. "And how are they dispersing it state side?"

-

Melinda May watches as Tony's symptoms seem to back off a bit, then offers the injection device to Wilson. "Something R&D cooked up to help." She looks like there was more to that sentence, but her eyes flick toward Rogers very briefly before returning to Sam. Is it safe to talk around Cap? Yes, May DID just think that.

-

Steve catches the look. He catches pretty much everything. The Super Soldier Serum didn't just make him jump higher and run faster. He keeps his arms crossed all the same, weighing up the information as it is offered and looking from face to face.

"Do you have any leads on who is behind it? Syria's a big country. Not to mention a warzone."

-

Sam accepts the injector, his brows low and his jaw tight. He's not happy that she didn't run this past him, but watching Tony's sudden recovery, he can't really argue with the results. He settles back without further protest, although it's clear he's going to want to discuss this miracle drug with May later, when there's not so much to cover. Dosage, side effects, how often it can be administered safely, whether it interacts with other drugs: the usual pharmacy warning labels that SHIELD are apparently not required to put on their space-age hypodermics.

As for the briefing? He has answers to a few of these questions, but he's comfortable letting Jericho and his amazing onboard holographic projector take the lead.

-

Jericho leans back, nodding to Sam, knowing he can interject a bit here too. "It's a HYDRA operation ultimately. I don't quite know what they're after yet but the manner of the deployment and lengths gone to conceal and misdirect on the development of the weapon suggest an aim other than pure massacre. They'll hit a high profile target in the US, I'm sure of it. Maybe more than one. Some folks are already working that end. Our task is to trace it back to it's source. Hopefully we can cut off the source of the viroid before it can be used. Even if the countermeasures that SHIELD and some others have developed are effective, there's still a lot of risk to this one."

"To answer your question Mister Stark… prick your finger on one of Sam's feathers and look at the blood drop you get out. About that much. Fortunately, it only targets mutants. For now. But it could itself mutate, or be modified to do otherwise."

-

That is particularly bad news.

Tony, however, weathers the storm with a small frown. "So a single vial of this virus could kill hundreds.. thousands even?" Doing mental calculations with the help of tapped fingers on the screen, "Most likely concentrated on a densely populated mutant population. JARVIS, bring up the map of New York, including the section designated as Mutant Town." A secondary map is brought up, "Configure a dispersal pattern like the one seen in Syria marked for optimal mutant infection with limited exterior spread into non mutant realestate surrounding the borough."

The map runs a series of spread patterns on the map until it has figured for one that stays within the borders of mutant town. The red area (infected zone), sizes and twists into verious geometric shapes to variables that aren't readily available. While JARVIS does his work, Tony looks between Sam and Jericho, "Do we have a sample of the virus? I'd like to run it through some of my equipment to see if I can isolate the virus' genetic code."

-

Melinda May nods to Wilson, she has every intention of sharing with him what's in that chemical she just dosed Tony with, and all the particulars. Later. It's currently Jericho's show. She walks back around the sofa to stand near where Trent is offering the briefing data, knowing that standing behind the inventor is likely only to make the man annoyed. More annoyed. Also, she's making it clear she does not intend to sneak attack Stark again.

-

The mention of HYDRA elicits another frown from Steve, his arms remaining crossed. His question answered in part, he has no others to follow it up with. Instead he listens. When the actual operation happens he might prove a bit more useful.

-

Despite Jericho's colorful illustration, Sam keeps his wings retracted. The last thing Stark needs is any more puncture wounds.

"Are we actually keeping samples of a virus like that around?" Sam says with distaste. "I mean, I get that there might be research benefits, but do they really outweigh the risks? Not to mention all the treaties against biological weapons." Yeah, he's going to bring that up. Every team needs a moralist.

-

"Doctor Angelo DiLucci down at the Avenue C Clinic in M-Town has been coordinating developing countermeasures. I'm sure he'd welcome some help, Mister Stark, if you want to go see him. Tell him Jericho sent you and you shouldn't have any trouble. We've been working pretty closely together on this matter." Any additional eyes on, plus the resources and equipment Tony can breing to bear would be helpful to Angelo even at this advanced stage, Jericho is relatively sure.

He leans back against a wall and glances over to May and then the surrounding room. "One other thing. I wasn't expecting to get this kind of support from SHIELD, so I'd been talking to my contacts. It's possible we'll see others working this from different angles. Just keep in mind not everyone out there is a hostile…" Beat. "Only most of them. Okay, questions?"

-

Melinda May speaks up about the briefing at last. "SHIELD was given a sample and have examined it sufficiently that we can provide all of the raw data desired. The might even have a way to 'sniff' for the compound by now." Basically, once Fury green-lighted this mission, May used some of her limited time to 'insist' that R&D devise some way of tracking the viroid without having to take and process samples all over the place. In fact… May pulls a USB memory stick from a pocket and holds it up for the inventor to see. Ooh, she remembered and didn't offer it to Stark. "This likely has all of the particulars that you're asking about." The memory stick can either go directly to Tony, or Trent can take it and upload the data quick enough.

Trent's mention of Dr. DiLucci garners a look from her, but that's it for the moment. She already knew there were others working on this. Maybe this guy's research alongside SHIELD's data will make this whole thing go faster.

-

"I don't want it to weaponize it, Sam." Tony glances at the display as it goes through spread patterns. His eyes are dark, but not because he's thinking some terrible thought about the virus itself, "I need to know particulars about it. Genetic data from a strand of the virus that I can isolate the individual markers used to infect a host. I'm not a biologist or even a virologist, but if know how long it takes to 'incubate' and how it actually infects mutants…" Motioning with a wave of his hand towards the digital map, red infected area twisting and reshaping as JARVIS calculates density spread against housing and population estimates.

"It's the difference between a single arsenol variation of the virus being released in a central location or requiring something like a bomb… I have to know what I'm looking for because I'm kind of getting the impression that time isn't a luxury here."

-

"I wouldn't — Of course I know you don't want to weaponize it, Tony," Sam quickly clarifies, his expression torn. Stark's stance on weapons is well known. "But HYDRA — they're spies, infiltrators. So long as that stuff exists, we can't be sure that they won't get it back." He looks gratefully at May and her thumb drive. "Okay, great. So that's all the data you need, right?"

He turns back to Jericho, running through the general outline of the plan. "So, we've got people on guard duty. We've got people working the medical angle. And we're out to destroy this stuff at the source, and avenge Tal Temer," he says. Come on, people: ''someone'' had to say it! Narrative convention demands no less!

-

Jericho chuckles. "Eventually the last one yes. First we need to find it and figure otu for certain what they plan to do with it and if we're in time to stop it. This may require outside resources, but one thing at a time yes? Okay… so I know Sam's in, sounds like Tony is too. Steve? You're looking rather… detirmined. Can I take that as a yes?"

-

Tony eyes the thumb drive and nods, "That'll do." Nodding, then looking back to the monitor as it runs through various other patterned spreads. Now figuring varying forms of disperal, Tony leans back in the couch and takes up his otherwise untouched scotch and swallows a goodly portion of the amber liquid.

"You know, if this goes off…" Pointing at the data on both monitors, "And it infects the wrong mutant… like.. I don't know someone with a healing ability or something.. and it recombines itself with those genetic markers." He takes the rest of the scotch down, ice clicking around in his glass when he settles it back against his knee.

"We're all pretty much screwed."

-

Melinda May offers the memory stick for Wilson to take, as he's the medically trained person here as far as she knows, then looks at Tony when he comments on the scary possibilities. "That's what we're working to prevent, Stark. And having your mind and computer systems helping will make it all a lot easier." Yes, a little flattery hopefully goes a long way.

-

"Then we find it before they get a chance to use it again," Steve ventures, nodding to Jericho. "And regardless of what anyone wants to do with it, it needs to be destroyed. There are some things that are too dangerous to be kept, even with the best intentions."

-

Sam takes the drive and pockets it. He's not an epidemiologist by any stretch of the imagination, but he knows who to get the data to. He gives a surprised little smile at May's flattery — not a tactic he would have expected from the stoic woman — but there's little mirth in it. Not with such dark subjects in the air. "This is one hell of a group, for one hell of a mission," he says approvingly. "I'd be honored to be a part of it."

-

"Amen to that," Jericho murmurs to Steve's comment. "Alright then, I think I'm done with my bit at any rate. May, I'll meet you and the rest of the team out there, okay? Don't get shot on the way in." Jericho looks about, nodding to the various team members and then moves out. He's got one or two more people to talk to before the day is out.

-

Tony pushes up off the couch with his elbows and sets his drink down so he can rub at his neck. Slowly rolling his head around to stretch muscles he didn't even realize were sore. "Call it self preservation." He's spent to much time saving his own life to let a bunch of former Nazi psychopaths ruin that work. "I'm in."

Okay, fine… he doesn't what the mutants to die either…

Nodding to Melinda, "But you don't ever sneak up on me with a hypodermic needle again. Uncool." Then to Sam, "Let me download that data before you take off with it." Reaching for the crystal container of scotch to refill his glass. "Let Dr. DiLucci know that I'll be sending a couple of pieces of equipment to the clinic until I can find funding for a full laberatory. A few days… I've got just the building."

Glass in hand, Tony leans back in the couch and cross his barefeet on the table. "Seriously, do I get a decoder ring or something? I kind of feel like there should be some kind of gift bag…"

-

Melinda May nods to Jericho, then pulls a business card out of her pocket to offer to Steve. Stark doesn't get one because she's expecting Wilson to make sure the billionaire gets to where he needs to be. "Be at this address as early as possible, we leave at 7:30am. Don't be afraid to pack heavy, we'll have cargo space." She then looks at Tony. "Our transport does have limits, though, so don't go overboard with the luggage." She's expecting at least two Iron Man suits to come along, and that's perfectly okay. More than six though, might be pushing it. After all, there still has to be room for Lola. "We phased out decoder rings in '89." Holy crap, is May joking now? "There's an app for it now."


Back to: RP Logs

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