Pepper Owns Property

Summary:
October 27, 2014: After rescuing Tony from his workshop, Pepper talks with her boss about the possibility of setting up a workshop for the inventor outside of Stark Tower. Pepper reveals to him the defunct coal mine that Partisan insisted on selling to her several months before.

Stark Tower


Characters

NPCs

  • JARVIS

Mood Music:
none


What is Tony Stark working on now? What great piece of modern marvel has captivated the attention of the inventor? At present he is finishing the housing for what looks like little more than a four sided glass vase with titanium bracket walls. Wiring has been affixed inside the casing behind the shielding and he's looking up at a schematic digitally presented for him by the ever helpful JARVIS.

Laid out on another table, Jason Lucky or at least what looks like Jason Lucky, has been cut open and pretty much taken apart to the very basic parts. Each item is categorized and separated for his edification. Another holographic image hovers not far from that detailing what each part is into the home system.

-

Pepper taps her access code into the doorway panel to enter Tony's workshop. Yes, she usually calls ahead before showing up here. Yes, she DID call ahead this time. Several times. No, she's not at all surprised that Tony didn't answer. It's totally like him after all to not notice, even if JARVIS spoke up. Thus, here she is.

"Tony?" I called down at least three times," Pepper explains as she steps through the door and into the workshop.

-

"Huh?" Tony glances up from his work, lifting the goggles off to his brow and looking around to one of the multitude of clocks positions at various points around the workshop. "Sorry… what's going on? I don't have a meeting do I? If I have a meeting, cancel it. I don't want to go to a meeting… Unless it's with a blonde super model. JARVIS have I got any meetings with blonde super models scheduled?"

"No sir, you have not left the workshop for seventy two hours." JARVIS replies with his usual dull indifference to Tony's antics. "Or bathed."

"Well that's a lie…" Sniffing himself and cringing back a bit, "Holy moly…" Eyes on Pepper, "I should bathe… What's up?"

-

Pepper Potts steps further into the workshop, but now so far as to have to deal with PungentTony (tm). "No meetings. But you have been down here for a while, and JARVIS said you weren't paying attention to him." She then tries one of the few tried and true methods to get Tony to take a break. "I just ordered in some Italian, if you're hungry." She's suspecting that he's likely as famished now as he is unwashed.

-

"From Toni Rama's over on fifty fifth?" Tony was 'just' about to say he was way too busy to take a break when Pepper says she'd order Italian. Thinking about it now, he really is hungry. He's had some crackers and a sandwich he snagged from the mini-fridge that always seems stocked with his favorite snacks. How does it get those snacks? Who even knows? He assumes that it must be magic.

The goggles are pulled off his brow and tossed down on the table beside whatever it is he's working on. "Alright, yeah… maybe you're right." Eyeing the Lucky double, "Hey… were you going to tell me about these?" Pointing at the almost completely dissected corpse of a robot with two fingers. "Also, I've added a new protocol to JARVIS' biometric scans. He'll be looking for low level reactor energy on everyone that comes into the building." Still pointing at the body double, "It had an arc reactor in it."

-

"I just got back from Germany." Is Pepper making an excuse for not telling Tony about the LMDs that attacked them? Or maybe it's her way of proving that she's just that busy. "…wait, an arc reactor? One of yours? Or an imitation?" She steps closer to the honestly creepy automaton now, but not too close. "Oh, and yes, Tony Rama's. Lasagna and tortellini alfredo."

-

"Not even my first generation tech, but yes…" Tony leans back so his shoulders are resting on the edge of the table, eyes on Pepper. "Someone duplicated my work. Here, take a look." It's one of the pieces separated from the others and he rolls over to pick it up and hold it out to her.

On one side is a green image of a multiarmed… creature. Kind of like an Octopus, but it is in reality the HYDRA symbol.

"Mmm…" Nothing like lasagna after having feasted only on PB&J for three straight days. His mouth is, almost literally, watering.

-

Pepper Potts accepts the arc reactor and looks it over, focusing on the HYDRA symbol in particular. "This is… really disturbing, Tony. How did they get your reactor designs?" She's already sensing that SI security is going to have to REALLY ramp up. But, that can wait for tomorrow. Setting the reactor aside, she steps over to push Tony chair and all toward the door. "Come on, the food should be here any minute now, and you know how much I dislike cold pasta."

-

"Yeah it is." Tony agrees in a tone that is quite alien to him. He very rarely gets 'serious', but this is one of those moments. Standing up from his stool he heads towards the sound proof glass doors out of his workshop, "I've been going over the design specifications and all I can figure is someone tried to duplicate it from a picture they saw, but if they're able to produce them at all… and give off enough energy to power these things?" Motioning back over his shoulder at Lucky laying on the table.

"I really think it's time we started closing off potential security leaks. We've talked about it before, but this is starting to become a trend and I don't like it." Everyone is always itching for a piece of his technology. It comes with being the biggest dog in the pound, but nobody has been able to produce an arc reactor yet. Even if this is junk and barely scratches the proverbial surface of what Tony is capable of…

It's too much.

-

Pepper Potts leaves the chair once Tony stands up from it and follows him to the doors. "I agree. Tell me how I can help, and I'll get started on it tonight." As soon as they're through the door she leads the way to Tony's penthouse floor, hoping once he's 'home' she'll be able to get him to eat then shower then sleep. Preferably in that order.

-

Once out in the real world beyond his workshop, Tony seems to realize exactly how ripe he is. While this doesn't mean he's not going to eat, he does make a pit stop to grab a fresh shirt and new sweat pants. Then he's washing oil and grease from his hands in the sink in the kitchen, "I've added a few upgrades to JARVIS' security suite and blocked off large portions of his memory core to a higher security level." There have always been access levels, obviously, but… "Only you and I are going to have access to Stark Industries complete database. I've added a fail safe program that will only allow changes to JARVIS' security profile if both of us access it together."

Flinging water from his hands, Tony reaches for a towel, "I also want a thorough background check on all current employees. When Jason brought in the droid, several of our mid level staff disappeared. I'm not sure how deep they had infiltrated, but I intend to smoke out anyone that's left.. Which includes anyone from any agency. I'm done playing candy store with everyone's hand digging around in my jar."

-

Pepper Potts intercepts the food being delivered by Becca from front desk security and is in the process of setting it out on the nearest convenient table when Tony returns from changing clothes. "I did see that note from Security about so many employees going missing. Have we tried to determine their actual whereabouts yet? Should I get someone started on that?" She's mentally tallying how much extra work that will entail, and figuring that once Cricket is properly vetted she'll be perfect for helping out on that front. "Could you bring me a glass of water while you're over there?" She figures he's going to pour himself a beverage while he's in the kitchen area, so getting some water wouldn't be any extra imposition.

-

Tony nods and pulls down a pair of glasses. One he fills with water and some ice and the other he fills with something that looks vaguely like juice, but with the consistency of sludge. "They left within minutes of Lucky bringing that droid in, so it's likely they were life model duplicates. We shouldn't have a problem with them anymore… at least not with knowing which ones ''are'' duplicates, but this situation got me thinking about security in general."

Once he's returned to where Pepper has laid out the food he holds out her glass and takes a drink from his own. "I've goofed around a lot in the last few years. Not really taken this arc reactor thing seriously, but if this technology falls into the wrong hands?" His brow furrows slightly and he drops down into one of the chairs. "I mean, I'm not going to stop developing it, but we really have to put everything under tighter security. Ground up." Which is as good a segue as any, "I'm going to begin construction on an off site workshop. Stark Industries is too high profile for some of the development projects I've been working on the last few months."

-

Okay, that she wasn't expecting. Pepper looks at Tony in surprise over her water glass and takes a second to recover. "That's … probably a good idea." She's not sure how she feels about Tony not being where she can pull him away from his work, but for the sake of security she understands. "Do you have a place in mind already?" She opens the containers and pushes the one holding lasagna closer to his side of the table.

"Yeah, I've been looking at a few of the companies holdings in the area. Somewhere close enough that you can still come check in on me when you're not up to your ears in work." Tony says with a smirk, as if he's reading her mind. When his food is slid closer he grabs up a fork and shoves a huge bite of lasagna into his waiting mouth. Politely waiting until he's half finished swallowing before continuing.

"More than anything it's going to be for big projects. I'll still spend most of my time working in the workshop here, but I need a place to go when whatever I'm doing could be potentially dangerous or needs a higher level of secrecy." Which is just about everything, let's be honest. Still, he seems to be trying to put her mind at ease.

-

Pepper Potts suddenly remembers something and digs into her bag. "I might have an idea that'll work. Maybe." She pulls out her tablet and quickly taps at it until she finds an image of an SI plant in Pennsylvania on the edge of undeveloped land. Setting the tablet for Tony to see the image, she zooms in on the background, a fenced-off and unpaved drive leading to a defunct coal mine. "What about here?"

-

Tony sucks sauce from his fingers and reaches for Pepper's tablet to give the indicated property a good once over and ultimately comes up grinning, "That's perfect. Isolated and out of the way, close enough that I don't have to hop a jet back and forth…" Not that it would be a problem with the Iron Man suit. "Plus I can install a second large scale reactor to power the plant indefinitely." Considering, he nods a few times, "Yeah that'll do just nicely." Which means his mind is already putting together the pieces on what he'll need.

-

Pepper Potts hesitates. "You know I don't mean the Pennsylvania plant, right? I mean that old coal mine."

-

"Yeah, that's perfect." Tony bobs his head, "It'll have a lot of the old equipment I'll need anyways. Cranes and pulleys, you know, industrial stuff." Said around a mouthful of pasta, grinning with sauce covered teeth.

-

Pepper Potts stares at Tony for a long moment as if she's still not entirely sure they're talking about the same thing. "And … were you planning to contact the owner of the property to ask nicely, or something?" Okay, now there's an evil little bug in her brain, challenging her to see how long it takes for Tony to catch on that she owns that property.

-

Tony narrows his eyes at Pepper, trying to figure out what her game is here. "No… well, kind of. I was going to ask you to contact them for me?" Batting his lashes at her with a big ol' smile. "You know I don't know how to talk to people. I just throw money at them until they do what I want. I'm trying to not spend so much on this that the whole world knows that's where I'm putting my big properties.." Give him some parts and he'll build you a computer, give him an enigma and he'll solve it in seconds, but ask him to read Pepper Potts?

-

Pepper Potts ohs, and tries to hide a bit of a smirk in a bite of tortellini. "I suppose I could do that. The place seems somewhat … derelict, though. It might take a bit of digging through the state's tax records to find out who the owner might be." Well, she'd be completely truthful about that if it weren't for one Partisan, but, admitting to that would ruin the game.

-

Tony continues to eye her, more so when she smirks. "What are you getting at? And why did you have schematics for that on your tablet? Have you been looking at property? You're not trying to quit are you?" Terror, "Why would you want to quit?"

-

Pepper Potts can't help but laugh softly at that. "No, no. I'm not trying to quit." She reaches for the tablet again, takes a bit more time to pull up something else, then shows that to Tony. It's a deed to that property, with Pepper's name on it. "Don't ask. It's kind of a long story."

-

So rarely is Tony shocked speechless, but this is pretty much where he is. Staring at the deed which he was certain would be a resignation letter, he finally just grins at Pepper, "Well, that makes it easier. Pepper, do you mind if I buy your coil mine?"

-

"Yes. I mind horribly. You can, however, rent space for your use." Okay, that's where Pepper's fake-calm fails her and she can't help but laugh. Partly out of nervousness at revealing the deed to Tony, partly at the sheer silliness of what she just said. "If you truly insist on buying the property outright, I can do that, but maybe it would be easier to keep on the down-low if you didn't own it?"

-

Tony considers Pepper for a second and then laugh a little himself. "You really never do cease to surprise me, you know that?" That said he nods, "You're right though. Probably would be better if it stayed off the books, officially. Kind of defeats the purpose if anyone with a little law savvy could figure out I own it."

-

Pepper Potts nods, shutting the tablet off to return to her bag. "I think it's enough of a risk that my name is on the deed, but then, I've owned the property for several months now, so maybe anyone who might have been looking will have lost interest by now." She hopes.

-

"We can do some fancy fandangling if it becomes necessary." Tony assures her with a grin, stabbing at another slab of lasagna with his plastic fork. "So, how did you come about owning an old coal mine? Do I even want to know?" Holding a hand, "Let me guess, this has something to do with… one of the crazy people who are always here?" As if he's got room to talk, right? He dresses in a metal suit and shoots beams at aliens.

Hypocrite.

-

"Well, kind of. Yes." She then goes on to relate how she ended up acquiring an old coal mine in Pennsylvania over the rest of their lasagna and tortellini dinner.


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