An Unlikely Duo

Summary:
October 21st, 2014: Bruce Banner tracks down Melody Kenway, and an unlikely partnership formed. Operation: Steal Stark's Jibblets is a go.

DeFazio's Pizza

It's a pizza joint, yo!


Characters

NPCs

  • DeFazio's pizza Staff

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


Bruce Banner leans up against the wall outside the bank, lighting a cigarette and making a good appearance of looking at his phone, as if he's lost a contact. Anyone looking over his shoulder would seem to discover that he's not running any operating system known to your average Android phone. He dangles the smoke from his lips and occasionally flicks his eyes up. He looked through this Rant's phone enough to get a few different angles and pictures of her (even looked at her once through her own webcam while she was on her laptop). Normally, he'd just let it go, but her association with Shift combined with her persistent nature indicate this is something he should nip in the bud, lest her loud mouth get other people poking in his direction.

Melody was aware that she was being tracked; but not by who. Whoever this person was? They were good. Even better than herself. There was a chance that it could have been Aspects doing; no. She believed it was, so she let sleeping dogs lie on that behalf since he does have access to her code, and she was sure that he'd occasionally peek here and there just as she would him. But he only went through her laptop and phone, odd. Maybe Shift has him keeping tabs on her too.

So, whatever caution in the wind was thrown out as she makes her way towards the bank. She'd be completely recognizable this time; hair tied into a high bun atop of her head, pair of readers glasses on even though she really doesn't need. Regular jeans and a t-shirt, pair of New Balance sneakers just in case she has to run. And a backpack, that damned backpack that she carries nearly everywhere, not filled with computers, but with random books varying different subjects that she's purchased from the local old-style bookstore. Dead languages, she was going to learn 'em.

Even though her well wasn't running dry when it came to money, she felt in the mood to 'borrow' and go shopping. Groceries were needed, maybe a new trinket here and there that she can gift a friend, something. But the need to spend someone elses money was there.

So she approaches the bank, yet given the wide net she could cast over the entirety of the building, she doesn't go in. She just settles upon the steps, dropping her bookbag in between her knees as she pretends to search for something inside.

Bruce Banner looks at the girl for a moment as she settles on the steps. Even though he's seen her before, it's always different in person. Sometimes he lives entirely through that screen, not seeing actual human beings for weeks, even months at a time. That's the way he usually likes it. Being alone usually means he's safe, means he's calm. He hasn't gotten much of that lately, constantly getting drawn out into the world and its noise, its complications. He lost three days last week to the damn beast. Three days!

He slowly meanders up behind Melody as she sits, making it seem casual, as if he's about to go into the bank and, when he speaks, he doesn't look at her, doesn't direct himself toward her in any way but with his words. You never know who's watching or if she brought back up. You never know who she might work for. Her association with Shift wasn't entirely clear, but a lot about the mutant wasn't. Bruce trusted him far enough, which was enough that he could at least reach Bruce, which is more than most anyone. Nobody knows where he actually lives, not anymore.

"I call myself the Maestro because I've been teaching noobs like you since before most of you got off your mother's tit. You need to watch where you poke your nose, girl, or something's likely to bite it off."

If anyone were to step close, they would see that she wasn't exactly looking for anything. Her motions, mannerisms, all practiced as she breaks herself apart to ride the waves that connected to the bank. She stops to glance up, then down again, lips quirking as hand reaches from that bag to push glasses further back upon her nose. Until…

Her blood runs cold. It wasn't the fact that he actually stood behind her, it was the words. This would be everyones nightmare really; you go on to the internet with the intention of talking shit and riling someone up, and they come searching for you to possibly kick you in the head right where you sat. And.. she was sitting down, he was probably going to kick her right in the head.

She snapped out of that little ride she put herself on with a slight shrill, gasp of breath, the bag quickly closed with shaky hands as it's slung upon her shoulder, her body lurching upright into a stand (which really wasn't too far from the ground, shorty), to look at the back of Maestro with a glare.

And.. of course. That mouth of hers is going to get her in trouble. "You ain't gonna do nothin'." A beat. "Obviously what I say is true because you're here ready to whine at me at how bad you suuuuck.." Yeah, they're in public, he's not gonna hit her! Not at all!
Bruce Banner can't help but smile a little. She's still got an attitude, although it's cuter in person, coming from a real grown woman, almost like playacting or something out of a movie. He watches a lot of movies, though, so everything starts to seem that way after a while. Fiction is always better than real life when you're Bruce Banner.

"Gonna do? That's future tense, right? No, see, I've already done it. As of right now, this bank is closed to you. You even think about hitting the enter key on that little worm you're about to send in - the one with all the ones and zeroes that dumps into your dummy account, so you can swap out it out at ATMs on Grand, Third and Vine…that worm would set off an actual, honest to god alarm and bring the swat team down on the place. Cyber forensics are pretty good anymore, almost as good as me, and I bet it wouldn't take them more than…a day or two to follow the little breadcrumb trail I left to your door. So, now, we can go somewhere, grab something to eat, and talk like civilized nerds, or you can push that button and take your chances. Your call, kid."

Surely, she was shaking. But fingers clenched around the straps of the bookbag that was held upon her shoulder so it would be hard to notice. Her jaw tensed through clenching and unclenching, attempting to stare the taller man down with as much might as a mouse; it'll probably do no good and would just make him laugh.

"It's Bedstuy slang, bub." She mutters, gaze tearing away to glance towards the side as she purses her lips tightly. There was the thought there, to go in and undo everything that he has done so that the bank would be open again, throw the ball right back into his court so -he- could be caught, but for her? That would take days. Worms infecting her 'brain' was something she typically avoided if she could help it. She's a giver, not a taker.

"How about both?" Brows lift then, an all too weird smile drawing upon her lips as she takes a step back, her hand reaching into her pocket to retrieve a phone that was turned off. She holds it up so that he couldn't /see/ that it was switched off, her finger curling around the front and…

"Kidding. I'm not in the business of getting caught. Though I just now got caught when I really wasn't supposed to, which kind of makes me really rethink my life goals, yanno? Like, maybe I should get out of the business because I'm 'terra-bad' at it and find something else to do with my life, but then again everything else is pretty boring.." She stops herself mid rant, a little pout drawn out. "Sorry. I don't get out much. Where we going?"

Bruce Banner turns and faces her fully now, letting her get a good look at him, just as he can her in return. He finishes the cigarette and lets it drop down. There's a chance she'll recognize him, he knows. If she's been poking around in Shift's things, he's surely looked up his most notorious, most wanted associate, just to see if he knows what he's dealing with, if he can trust Banner. The answer, of course, is you can't. You can't trust anyone, Banner would be the first to tell anyone that. Banner just has the luxury of having given up all fear. He lays low, not for his own safety, but for the safety of others. No one could hurt him anymore. He was beyond such things.

"Pizza place down the block. One of the old places, goes back to the forties, first invented the stuff. One of the few things it's worth coming into a giant rat maze like the city to get." he says. Bruce grew up in New Mexico - wide horizons, clear skies, desert sand. Cities make his skin crawl.

"I'm getting Italian sausage and peppers, you get your own. I'm not good at sharing," he says, starting to walk and just expecting to be followed, with the air of an old college professor settling easily on his shoulders.

Busted.

That's the first thing she thought when she saw Banner's face. Surely she knows 'of' him, which means that he's the sole reason why she was being hacked. Not because of Aspect. Damn. Now she was going to explain her snooping to Shift, who probably wouldn't care but, it was an awkward conversation in itself. The phone was placed back into her pockets as hands return to the straps of her bag, remaining silent all the while as she follows at his six.

She didn't get too close, just a few steps behind as she keeps her head to the ground.

"I don't think eating after people you don't know is kind of kosher." She blurts out after a while, "..I mean, if you're only getting a slice or something and I ask for some that is. But if you're getting a whole pizza then I may ask for some.." She was just filling the air with conversation, because she was sure she had some explaining to do. Maybe if she hugged him, he would think that she's alright? No. That's kind of bad. Banner looks like the type that doesn't really care for that sort of stuff.

Bruce Banner just keeps walking, "I like having leftovers. I don't get out much, as a rule. People tend to rub me the wrong way. I get irritable. Someone gets in my face. Irritable turns to angry," he says, then looks back over his shoulder, letting Melody catch up, "You wouldn't like me when I'm angry," he says.

The place, DeFazio's, is, indeed, very old school, with a wrought iron door and the smell of garlic pouring out when the door opens. It's seat yourself and wait for a waiter, a bunch of teenage boys with slicked back hair faking Mario and Luigi accents for the tourists. Bruce wishes he could still smoke in restaurants, but, of course, you couldn't. Some people wanted to live forever, so he'd just have to itch a little bit. "But, if you want a slice or two, I suppose you might have some, if you're not too greedy. But, like I said, order what you like. This one's on me, since I cut off your cash flow for the day. Things go well, I'll take my alarm off and you can get your funds tomorrow."

"Whoever thought of the word itself is a godsend." Melody admits. "That's pretty much all I eat too." Seeing as how whenever she goes out, she usually finds trouble. Case in point. His final words though cause her to frown, her gaze immediately shooting down towards the ground as an uncomfortable shift takes place. She wouldn't like him when he's angry? She didn't like -anyone- when they were angry. If she had the scars to prove that fact, she'd gladly show him. Within reason of course.

The scents and smells within DeFazio's set her stomach to a low rumble. Garlic may not be her flavor of choice but mixed with the scents of freshly baked pizza, sauces and anything else that could be had in the little shoppe made dealing with garlic all the more worth it. She was surprised she has never been in here, but she wasn't a connoisseur of locally owned good eats, but damn.

Melody grins inwardly though. She did have a debit card on her person that was connected to her parents bank account, so lack of money wasn't an issue, but she wasn't going to tell him that. "Cool." She also wasn't going to order the entire store and put Banner out of business.. whatever it was that he does.

This time though, she takes the initiative, picking a booth that kept her back to the wall and both exits in view. She slings her bag from her shoulders, tossing it into the corner so that she could slide into the seat with squeak and ease. Menu snatched up and looked though, she uses the tall laminated board to hide her face as she asks the most important question that'll set the tone for the lunch meet. "You say you don't get out much, and I know you didn't come out just because I made fun of you on a couple of message boards. So why? No one can usually find me this easy.."

Bruce Banner settles in, not needing to look at the menu. Bruce is a creature of habit, he only eats at a few restaurants in the city, it's actually one of the few things that could get him caught, those patterns. But he needs those comforts, those routines, to keep him together. Hell, he used to wear the same suit every day back when he worked for the government - white shirt, red tie, purple trousers, white lab coat. They teased him, but he didn't care. He never listened to the soldiers or the suits, because they'd never understood him anyway, not since he was little, so why should they when he was grown? He'd come, then, to accept he'd never be normal. He just didn't know how right he was.

"Because you're good. Not as good as me, no matter how much you squealed about it, but still. Better than most of the wannabe gunslingers on the net. The 4chan and the Anonymous boys with their plastic masks. YOu can do more than you're doing now, of course, and I'm sure you will. Shift will make sure of that, if you stay around him. He's a goody goody at heart, although he likes to pretend he's shady." he says.

Pepperoni pizza, extra pepperoni's and extra cheese, little on the sauce, side of a large braided garlic knot and dipping sauce to boot. Raspberry Ice Tea. She didn't know who the hell Arnold Palmer was and couldn't care less that he golfed, but that tea was flippin' delicious. He settles in, and the menu goes down, folded and placed in front of him so that he could take his turn to look, or not.

There was a little smile building, just a tiny one, until Shift's name was mentioned and she practically glows.

No. She /really/ glows, cheeks set afire with purple and blue lights, tiny enough to look like millions of stars, formed in little rows that mark the veins beneath. Sensing that her nanites were in a tiny little uproar at her reaction, hands lift to cover said cheeks as she keeps her eyes peeled upon Banner, and then.. a backtrack. "Ew. You go on 4chan?" Travesty. "If you mention that again I am /totally/ going to think less of you."

She glances towards the side a little, hands still holding upon her cheeks as she quietly murmurs. "So that's how you .. I was just curious to see who you were, you know? With everything that's gone down, I was just making sure that the people Shift had contact with were okay." There really wasn't much she could do about it if they weren't.

Bruce Banner makes his own order. Sausage, peppers, meatballs, beer, mozzarella sticks on the side. "I'm not okay. I'm actually quite bad. If he were found to be associating with me, he would have a lot of questions to answer from a lot of agencies that only use initials. But I warned him as much and he persists anyway. He's rather a stubborn sort, your…whatever it is you two are," he says. The entire idea of romantic love seems vaguely ridiculous to Bruce, but people do seem to keep trying it, despite the tragic consequences clearly outlined in Shakespeare.

"And no, I avoid that place like the plague, I was just using it as an example of the kind of moron to whom you are clearly superior. I can barely tolerate Reddit."

"So, if that's the case, maybe I shouldn't be seen with you." She was completely serious. She's stayed off the grid for this long, now wasn't the time to be contacted by crap agencies who put people underneath whatever hole they were thrown into. She leans a little towards the window to look outside, her body growing still as she mentally phases out. It was a spreading of herself that no one could see, tapping into the cameras that were in the area, making well and sure that her image was scrambled.. and for good measure? Right along with Banners.

The effect that she was in play was visceral; her skin sparkles faintly, though not enough for it to draw attention, dark veins slowly etching upon her face which nearly remain there for a minute after she was done.

Side effect of the Smooth.

The tea was delivered first, she was thirsty, there was nothing else more to say about who was being seen with what.. at least for now.

"Reddit is hard to get used to." Belated reply.

Bruce Banner watches for a long moment, his mind calculating the various different potentialities that could cause that particular skin affectation. Appears to be involuntary, although he was never very good at reading other people's emotions or intentions. She certainly has a personality well-attuned to bragging, but she isn't calling attention to it. Fascinating.

The beer is placed in front of him and he nods in a perfunctory way to the waiter, responding instead to Melody's words, "Possibly. I did a fairly full recon of the local surveillance and streetcam feeds, though, and didn't see any anomalous activity indicating surveillance within the last three hours. Anything set up to trap me would require a significant amount of prep time - it still wouldn't work, but, if they were to make the attempt, they would need at least a few hours to brace themselves to try. For the most part, though, they simply watch me when they can. I believe the order is "observe, do not approach". A matter of self-preservation, although I don't believe he's actually killed an agent, as far as I've been able to tell. Recently. But some periods are harder to track than others," he admits.

"In other words…yes, being seen with me is a risk, but I've already calculated it as safe enough for me. You're perfectly free to perform your own analysis. I wouldn't dream of limiting someone's intellectual rights."

Mel tries to settle down as he speaks, reaching out to take her Raspberry tea, sipping upon it through a straw as her eyes lift to watch. That was weird. She noted a few key points in his wording, refering to himself first as 'me', and then 'he's'. That draws a brow to raise and a glass to set lightly upon the table, pushed aside in favor of her arms taking up space.

"What do you mean, he's?" She pauses a little, then shakes her head. "I blotted out our images. If they're already watching then it's a little too late for me, but it couldn't hurt." She admits that fact, though.. she was just small fries and potatoes. No one cares about her. Just as she likes it.
Bruce Banner purses his lips. This, of course, has been a point of contention with others before, and likely will always be. "I mean simply what I said. My…other self is a separate person. He and I…may share a psychic space, however that is defined, within my neural biochemistry, but our persons, as contained, thinking beings, are largely separate. Occasionally, I can remember what he's done. I presume the same is true in reverse, although I doubt that he could possibly comprehend most of the things I do. Except that he knows I'm trying to get rid of him, even at the cost of myself. I may understand why he finds it displeasing, but I cannot care about his feelings on the matter. He's just an animal, self-preservation is instinct."

Melody stares him down as if he had grown two heads. There was a moment where she was confused about the whole thing but.. in a way? It makes sense. Sort of. In that lizard brain of hers.

Though she really wasn't a lizard, not at all. "So you're basically bipolar and schizophrenic? Do you look like you when you turn into him?"

Bruce was in for it now, the questions were going to start pouring out, she was going to be a permanent thorn in his side.

"Self preservation is a natural instinct that no one can shake, but seriously, what happens when you turn into him? Are you still smart? Can you like, still do the things you do now, like hack and stuff? Cause that would be kind of cool. And can you .. wait no.. you said he can't comprehend."

She stops as soon as the pizza's are delivered, offering up a smile to the waiter as he passes on. She only ordered three slices, the garlic knot big enough to feed a young couple. "This is way too cool." Everything she learns is way too cool. "So if I got it right? From what you said earlier, everyone is afraid of him but not of you?" She scoffs a little. "I think they should be afraid of you and not him."
Bruce Banner is deeply uncomfortable with the line of questioning, although he put himself in this situation, so he has no right to be angry about it. Thinking logically is the only way he can keep potentially dangerous emotions at bay and so he has to reason to himself that her reaction is consistent with the psychological profile generated by her online posting history.

"I don't necessarily subscribe to those terms. Disassociate Identity Disorder is a largely discredited psychological diagnosis. Schizophrenia would be marked by recurrent hallucinations, which I lack, and bipolar mood disorder would be entirely too…mundane a diagnosis for what I endure. Ultimately, I have learned to stop focusing on origins and place my intellect towards solutions. Practical solutions. Regardless of my psychological state, in which I have little interest regardless, the destructive capabilities of…the Hulk," he says, barely repulsing a sneer at the words, "far exceed anything I am capable of. That you might think I am the more dangerous is flattering in conception, but indicates you have no experience with him."

"For example, for my calculations, a fully enraged Hulk would be capable of reducing Mt. Rainier in Washington State to a flattened landscape of rubble with somewhere between twenty and thirty blows of his fists."

Melody notes the reaction her line of questioning has on him, and almost wanted to ease up. But, she really couldn't help herself. When she found something interesting, she was going to learn about it one way or another.

The food was partially focused on, and she ate as if she were starved. She was neat of course, using her napkin to dab a little bit at her lips and cheek, keeping the focus upon him as if he were on the movie screen and providing a very important hook to the story. Never mess with Melody while she's immersed in a good story, no one will ever hear the end of it.

"I'm starting to realize I don't have much experience with anything anymore.." Those words were said sadly, though with a tiny bit of hope lingering in the back tones.

"Hulk." Hmm. "So he's that powerful?" A pause. "Cool." She didn't flinch even though she should, possibly because it wasn't -right- there in her face. What she can't see? Can't hurt nor make her cry. "But you do realize with your genius you could actually murder more people with a push of a button than he can with how ever many poundies of his fist." Yes. Poundies. "Just because he.. well, I don't know if the guy is smart or no. But, my dad always said that a brain is more powerful than brute strength."

She lifts her half eaten slice of pizza in a cheers, then looks down at his own, untouched food. "So if you're not going to eat that, I can take it home, right? And like.. if he can pound down the mountains, just how big is this guy?"

Bruce Banner shakes his head, "He's not smart. He's stupid. He's…" and then he winces, closing his eyes as he feels the beast rattling in his skull. Hulk hates being called stupid, hates when Banner does it more than anything. There's a moment there as his mind maelstroms, the vast ego and superego that make up Banner's intellect still giving him the advantage over the Hulk's raging Id and instinctual rage, but that doesn't make it easy as he smothers the roaring accusations in his skull. Damned beast.

To him, it seems like minutes have passed, although it's really only a matter of ten or twenty seconds, a light beading of sweat having formed on his forehead. "I may be more dangerous, in some ways, as you said, but I am responsible. He is not. He cannot be reasoned with or convinced or controlled. He will do as he pleases, consequences be damned. He is a creature of raw emotion and rage. Immense rage," he says, softly, and now he's suppressing the seeds of that rage that lie deep in his psyche. Things he does not think about. Ever.

"Hulk's size ranges. While I am not present personally, my calculations based on surveillance footage place his average height at near nine feet, although he can be both smaller or larger depending on his emotional state."

Okay, this line of questioning was going too far. While she really wanted to ask more questions, it looked.. to her at least, that he was struggling. If she had to admit at any point in time if she when exactly she became scared? It possibly would have been when they first met; during her questioning? She had food in front of her, hunger took the reigns while fear sat in the backseat. Now? Not so much.

She really didn't know what to do at that moment, hearing how big the Hulk was and.. watching him seemingly struggle there in the seat causes her to immediately change the subject.

"Here." She states, pushing her tea closer towards him so that he could take a sip. "I don't have a cold or anything. But taste it. It's actually pretty good." Her hand quickly draws away so that it could grasp the little bowl of dipping sauce she had. Dip and munch, with mouth full, no question comes out.

Bruce Banner takes a sip and makes a slight face, shaking his head, "Never acquired the taste for tea. A Southern confection, not well suited to my westerner's tastes. The beer will do me fine. I apologize if I made you uneasy. I assure you, I am under control. I have been dealing with my condition for years. I simply…agitated him for a moment. He is quieted now. Short of a physical attack, I don't expect that we'll have to worry about him interrupting our meal."

Melody takes her tea back, creating a look of false rejection. "Southern? This isn't southern, this is delish." Of course, she understood what he meant, but she wanted to lighten the mood that he was in, at least so that he doesn't go all ape-shit and crush her into Rant-bits.

Bad for business.

"It's okay though. I mean, I'm not scared or anything.." Lies.. ".. but I think I'll just go ahead and stop asking you questions. You don't know me from dirt, for all you know, I could be one of those acronym agents who's attempting to be your friend."

She finally finishes her pizza with that, then begins to work on her garlic knot. "Okay, one last question. Does he eat too? Or does he eat when you eat?"

Bruce Banner has the corner of his mouth twitch, almost a laugh as Melody can't pass up one more question. "We both eat as it strikes us." he say simply, taking another slow sip of his beer. Measured. Calm. The way he needs to be. Cold, like the beer. If only he could partition all the emotions off, all the triggers, split his hard-drive so to speak.

More than it already was, of course.

"Questions I don't mind. I have no secrets, except scientific ones, and I don't know how interested you are in those. Not much, I'm guessing. And you should be scared. Even without me, there's plenty in this world to frighten."

"Well, how come you aren't doing it now?" Uh huh. That was the second time officially that she poked him about his eating. She didn't want to be the only fat ass in the joint.

Though, scientific questions are something she was all about, she needed, often times, for someone to explain it to her in layman's terms so that she could understand. It seems as if her nanites were separate, they can do and reprogram themselves, while she.. even though they aid her in learning, has to take her time. Most of the time.

"My dad is Arthur Kenway. I don't know if you heard of him or not. He's a scientist, so.. I'm interested. I mean, science is in my blood." Quite literally! She does frown though, and nods, gaze falling onto her plate. "I barely go outside now a days." A little confession on her behalf, and a shrug of her shoulders. "You know how you're like the smallest kid on the playground, and everyone pushes and kicks you around because of it? It's sometimes like that when I go outside."

Bruce Banner does allow a smile and, as his pizza has arrived, takes a slice and consumes it quite thoroughly, relishing the food. Frankly, he was likely saved from a burned tongue, his impatience to eat often leaving him so seared. He considers for a moment, "I can't say that I have, although I have a tendency to tunnel vision. Obsessive, I suppose. It's a useful trait when working on a problem, but, I admit, I often am not fully informed as I should be. Still, I'm sure your father's accomplishments are worthwhile." he says, performing the basic social nicety.

"And yes, I am…very familiar with the scenario you describe. Of being a victim. Very familiar indeed."

Melody tilts her head a little, one eye squinting as her hands work at dipping the broken knot and eating. "You remind me of him a bit. He gets that way too. Tunnel vision, obsessive. But it's really okay if you haven't heard of him. He really doesn't have any sort of flashy background. I mean, he's in labcoats and probably in labs and what not. So he wouldn't get any fame unless he's written a journal or something about he's done."

Hell, even she didn't know.

She does smile a little when he shows a bit of empathy, her head bobbing a little as she bites her bread, swallows, then blabs. "Yeah. Like when I was in school I was naturally little. Got beat up a lot, dad noticed I bruised more than usual. Cancer." She dips, munches, eats. "Go into remission. Cancer. Go again. Cancer, this time it's terminal. Spreads. But really, that's neither here nor there. There are a few scientific things that I need to ask you, but it.. well, I think it somewhat borders on magic. And weird language."

Bruce Banner eats another slice of pizza, considering. His father, of course, was an entirely other kind of obsessive, the kind you'd rather avoid. A cancer in and of himself. And obsessed with radiation, constantly checking to make sure his son hadn't been in some way mutated or damaged by his own scientific efforts. Brian Banner might have almost rejoiced to find his son with cancer - it would have validated all his paranoia.

"Clearly not entirely terminal, since you're sitting across from me. I presume he found a solution. And feel free to ask as you like. I don't believe in magic, per se. I think magic is simply scientific principles yet undiscovered. And most language is strange to me. "

"It was terminal. Still is." She smiles a little, "Well yes and no. Nanites. I don't quite understand the no part yet. Maybe you can help me with that one day. I can probably pay you or whatever but.. I'm not broken again, so I don't need fixing."

She thinks about her next words, then puts down the rest of her garlic knot. "Have you ever heard about something called, 'Awakened' armor? Like, it's living technology or something, I'm assuming that is. I only heard it in passing." She doesn't mention anything about demonic language, that one is just going to stay hidden.

Bruce Banner frowns slightly, "I do hate how medical practitioners do make a habit of turning themselves into Nostradami. Terminal means only that it is usually fatal, but certainty, as Heisenberg would surely tell any of us, no longer exists. If I can be of service in the matter, though…yes, of course."

He shakes his head at the latter, "That sounds like something more a matter fo Tony Stark, loathe as I am to admit it. He might be a buffoon in most ways, but, as a practical technologist, he has few equals. Has this armor been offered to you in some way? Also, I would caution that 'living' is a rather specific terminology - an artificial intelligence, however adept or convincing it might seem - cannot be classified as such.

Melody just stares at Bruce. It was a blank stare, one that soon cracks upon the service and breaks out into a fit of giggles. "I'm sorry.. I'm sorry.. I'm not laughing at you but that was totally nerdy and awesome." Yeah, Bruce Banner is a big, fat.. Nerd. Even his rant was full of nerd.

"Probably. My nanites are still somewhat affected by the.. I had a mishap. And sometimes when I use them they still make me look.. kind of like the walking dead. Which means.. I don't know what it means and I've tried not to be too bothered by it." She huffs a little, then shrugs. "Plus I want to study them more. But I can't really do anything that'll alert whom.. well, you know who." Her dad. "He'll lock me up."

She sighs a little, then shakes her head. "Nooo no no no." Everyone knows Tony Stark, dude was famous! "That's.. way, way, way too much pressure right there. Asking Mr. Stark will be totally bad. No, it's actually a good idea but nooo, bad. Bad.. I'll drop it though. No one offered it to me but.. really, it's a long story." She smiles a little, looking down at her ruined plate and her half finished tea. "Mostly, I just want to research it, you know? Figure out how something came to be. Honestly, it's nothing." She's fibbing, misdirect incoming! "You want to take this home? I should be getting back, people are going to come looking for me and I'll probably get the whip again."

Bruce Banner shakes his head, "Do not be intimidated by Stark. Honestly. His ego gets enough polishing, as I'm sure do his almost-certainly-diseased genitalia. He's just a man, much as he may pretend to be some sort of god whenever he's prancing around like a show pony for cameras. Admittedly, our acquaintance is…marginal. We crossed paths a few times as young men, geniuses on the rise, that sort of thing. Stark was, as usual, the golden boy," he says with a slight tinge of disgust. "Surrounded by sycophants. I think, to his credit, that the main thing he liked about me was that I wasn't nearly as impressed by him as the others. Praise begins to become empty if it's all you ever hear, I suppose, although, as problems go, it's relatively mild."

Bruce Banner says, "Of course, we could just circumvent the man himself entirely and just break into his lab."

Melody was about to leave until… Bruce said what he did. She broke out into fits of laughter, yet his final words, gave her pause.

"You.. you actually want to break into Tony Stark's lab?" Well, well, well. Bruce was bad after all. "Dude…" She stands up from her seat, her hand reaching out for his to offer up a shake instead of a hug. Still, he didn't look the type. But either way? She was totally game for it. "Call me Melody. Rant if you're nasty. And I'm being nasty just by thinking about it. I say we do it." Ayup. She's all for it.

Bruce Banner grins. On the one hand, it was irresponsible, dangerous, put him in harm's way and was absolutely likely to alert SHIELD to his presence. On the other hand, he'd grown tired of skulking. The girl needed help, more than she was willing to admit, clearly, and he was tired of trying to solve problems with sub-standard, stolen goods. He takes the hand and does, indeed, shake it. He's no sexist and, frankly, if she'd tried to hug him, he'd have had to embarrass them both trying to escape the attempt.

"Watch your inbox. I'll find the proper facility and let you know once I've coaxed out its secrets."

Set. Settled. Deal.

Melody was game. Maybe she could find a trinket or two to hawk for Catwoman and get a gold star! The hand was shaken, not stirred, and released with a huge grin upon her face. Instead of subjecting herself to The Smooth and the thrill that it gave her (near death and all), she could rob the biggest.. well one of the biggest mogul's on the planet. Awesome. "I'll gather the supplies, but.. I don't think we'll need any. We can do this with a couple of cell phone towers and his own power source. Boss!" Her fingers snap at the idea, she was all bounds and bounces at the moment, nearly forgetting her bookbag which was leaned and snatch, then hung upon her shoulders.

Nothing else needed to be said at the moment, mostly because.. this shit was bananas and it just might work.


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