Finding LMDStark

Summary:
November 10, 2014: Several SHIELD people and several Stark people converge on an old warehouse to investigate some strange readings. They find something completely different.

Defunct Stark Industries Shipyard, New Jersey


Characters

NPCs

  • JARVIS

Mood Music:
[*none]


Thanks to the accidental discovery of old diaries belonging to Howard Stark, tenacity on the part of one Pepper Potts, and the knowledge of SHIELD, a previously-unknown lab belonging to the late Howard Stark has been discovered. Or rather, its vague location has been. Those who have an interest in the elder Stark and those who are there to protect SHIELD's interests have gathered for what feels rather like an old fashioned treasure hunt.

The hunt has lead the party to a…run-down and barely-used dockyard in New Jersey. It's not exactly the most glamorous of locations, but that's rather the point, considering they are on the hunt for a /secret/ lab.

The land itself belongs to a Stark Industries shipping subsidiary, and has since the 1960s. The adjacent slips are still in use, but there's a cluster of old warehouses that haven't been touched in twenty five years. Amongst all the vast holdings of Stark Industries, it's no wonder this particular parcel of land went unnoticed. The only reason it hasn't been sold off is that there was a small provision in Howard's will that stipulated that the land either stay in the family or be transferred to a SHIELD shell company. Given the length and complexity of his will, it's no surprise that small detail was overlooked.
There's an odd, very low energy signature coming from one of the disused warehouses. Considering the energy signatures of the surrounding facilities is nearly nil, it sticks out.

-

Captain America steps out onto the rickety wood as the SHIELD craft he occupies comes to a hover over the water at end of the dock. The small device in his hand pings noticeably and he glances up in the direction of the warehouse, brow creasing as he glances back over his shoulder to the rest of the SHIELD team brought along.

"Anyone else picking up that signal from the warehouse?" he asks, checking to make sure the handheld sensor device is actually working and not leading him astray.

-

Hawkeye hops from the craft and lands lightly onto the floating wooden dock and checks what looks to be a watch on his right hand. He's armed, that is, quiver filled with arrows, and his custom bow. "I've got it too," comes back, and he takes a quick look around, more -up- than anywhere else. "I'll get eyes."

-

"Wait one for me to confirm, Cap."That'd be the Partisan who is likely verymuch shorter than anyone remembers her, yaknow like five four. She pauses a moment as she steps down to fish the little gadget from her chest rig to peer after it's little screen. "Signal confirmed, I'm reading it too."Gloved hand hoisting her JS-9 up to rest against shoulder as she shoves the gadget away. She is wearing a gasmask as per usual, but well being as this is official SHIELD stuff she's otherwise undecorated with her usual wolf skull motif. "I did bring breaching gear, just in case. You want me on point?"

-

"I can," Superman says as he floats down from the sky, fresh from the trip from Metropolis. He got the call and came right away; free during a lull in Metropolis. "Full of old containers it looks like," Superman says, his eyes milky white for a moment before turning back to blue.

Superman strides towards the warehouse, giving a nod to Captain America, Hawkeye, and Partisan.

-

Stark property. As CEO of Stark Industries, Pepper is here to make sure nothing — and that truly means NOTHING — goes awry. She's the one that contacted SHIELD for help. She is the one that planned the day and time to meet at this group of old warehouses to conduct this search. She is the one that asked Sam Wilson to accompany her. (Jason Lucky's presence was a given. Who is bodyguarding who now? Kind of difficult to tell.) She is also the one that quietly sent a message to Partisan to be in on this little treasure hunt, figuring the entity inside the woman might be more familiar with what to look for in buildings older than Pepper herself. How Partisan came to be here officially, that's on the Partisan.

Dressed down from her usual business attire in jeans and a wool sweater under a fitted peacoat, Pepper stands a bit back from the rest to watch the goings on with a Stark tablet in hand. "St… Captain, JARVIS has been tracking that signal for us but I think you and Partisan might get better telemetry." After all, the tablet is a multifunction device, so less sensitive than the purpose-built items.

-

"Signal?" Sam debarks the dropship in his full Falcon uniform, sticking close to Pepper, and starts clicking through settings on his goggles. "Hey, yeah. Now that you mention it — EM emissions. Weird." It's unusual that he just walks into an operation like a normal person instead of flying advance recon, but a half-abandoned warehouse seemed harmless enough, and… c'mon. Superman. "It's not enough to be anything THAT serious, though," he ventures. "The Starks don't really go for stealth when it comes to energy signatures."

-

After his little trip to Cuba Jason Lucky didn't exactly have a lot of clothing left, with his trip to replace what was lost not scheduled for another few weeks he's actually dressed in a set of old military combat fatigues at least a few decades old by the style. There's not a single rank patch or medal on them as that would land him a stay in the slammer, but they're defiantly old enough to have been one of the ones he used during his service. A few bullet holes patched up mean it's at least seen a bit of combat. He looks over to the scanner in silence, not really sure how he wound up here himself other then not wanting to leave Pepper out on her own.

-

From their various devices (and superpowers) the signal is coming from somewhere near the rear of the building. The back of it is not accessible, thanks to massive stacks of old cargo containers and a tractor trailer tire graveyard. And in any case, there's no door back there.

The outside of the warehouse is covered in graffiti. A closer look reveals that the graffiti was done sometime circa 1998. Even the taggers have long forgotten about this place. The big, heavy doors are secured with a chain lock, and a smaller entrance to the left has a digital keypad. They could bust in with brute force, sure. But Pepper has a key.

It's obvious from a check of the perimeter that this group of people is the most exciting thing to happen on this property in a very, very long time. It is the very definition of an unremarkable warehouse.

-

"No," Cap answers the Partisan, "I've got it. Fan out with Hawkeye so we can triangulate this energy signal." He has never been one for letting other people assume the most exposed position in a formation and he isn't about to start now.

He lifts his head to look towards Superman, quick to treat him like any other member of the team: "Can you get a closer look? We need to make sure there aren't any defensive measures we aren't expecting. Falcon, want to join him as eyes in the sky? Walking doesn't suit you."

As they approach the doors, he leans in to investigate the lock: "Definitely in here. Miss Potts, do you have your key?"

-

Hawkeye glances up to Superman, a smile playing on his face. "Thanks, big guy, but not quite what I meant." Beat. "Oh, by the way, glad you're on."

"Kate, with me."

It doesn't take Hawkeye long to find a good spot to 'nest', and he's a good distance off the ground, at least in comparison to most of the things in the area. As he's checking, he catches a 'bzzz' off the wristband that alerts him to data input change. Checking the piece, he brings out one of his ECM arrows and calls down, "Cap. I've got something going on. New wavelength. It corresponds to a really weak, slopping arc reactor. This is definitely Stark's playground." The moment he's got the info out, he's most assuredly going to give instructions as to -where- the readings are coming from.

-

Partisan offers Pepper a little almost salute as she passes by. "Fret not Miss Potts, we'll have it sorted shortly."Casually unstrapping her helmet and mask to reveal the young woman beneath, well she looks young anyway. At Steve's command she sweeps out in a comfortable job, taking over security on the far right flank. Gloved hand gently touching the Mic at her throat as she peers around. "Right flank, secure. I'm not going to be able to smell or hear much from over here boss."

-

Superman nods to Captain America, "I'm not sensing anything of any danger." He starts to walk around to the back end, "If it is rigged, in any way, I can just go in the back way." He takes a look up at everyone taking positions. "I can just walk in, if you want," he says, chuckling at the Captain.

-

Wolverine reappears amongst the group from a side jaunt down between the derelict warehouses lining the dockyards. "Found some gang signs, no other signs of trouble." And clearly, the presence of potential thugs and hoodlums in the area isn't really Logan— or likely, SHIELD's— concern. At least, not at the moment. Wrong kind of noise here, he'll be back.

It's just that kind of audible and olfactible clues that the diminutive mutant looks for now, sniffing more than searching his way towards the ping everyone else's handhelds indicate, head canted wolfishly to this side or that as he slips quietly from shadow to shadow off the flank; with Superman aboard (or maybe Cap? Logan hasn't snarked at the Captain once all night), he's -slightly- less determined to run point than is typical. Convinced no ambush awaits them on the way to that door, he stalks unhurriedly over towards Rogers and pops one adamantium razor from one fist that might be a -little- too itchy to use it.

"If she don't, I think we got a few options." Like the titanic alien said.

-

Pepper Potts nods to Rogers as she steps forward, her work bluetooth earpiece helpfully linked to everyone else's comms through a bit of JARVIS's computery awesomeness. The padlock's key is likely in the collection of old keys Tony has somewhere in his workshop, which means digging through at least a hundred nearly identical bits of metal … no thanks.

"I'm not expecting anything weird, Partisan, but I'm glad you're prepared anyway." Offering Superman a smile and the diminutive Logan a slightly uncertain look, she instead reaches for the smaller door's keypad after flipping through the images of Howard's notes that she'd captured and stored on her tablet.

It took both JARVIS and Cricket to decipher the lock's code, but they managed it, and after tapping the sequence of numbers into the keypad she mentally breathes a sigh of relief when the lock clicks and she reaches to open the door.

-

"Sure thing, Cap," Sam replies, his wings already deploying from the aerodynamic casing strapped to his back. "But if this does turn out to be where Stark Senior kept his spare killer robots, you better save one or two for me." He kicks off from the dock and jets into the sky, nowhere near the speeds Superman could manage, of course, but with a certain avian panache all his own. "Hey, guys?" he says, broadcasting from his headset. "I'm not sure whether this is just a weird architectural detail or what, but the roof is covered in spikes. Like, Sonic the Hedgehog spikes. Looks kinda like the big, clunky heat sinks they used to have on some of the equipment I tested along with the Exo project, but scaled way, way up."

-

Jason fallows close in toe with Pepper, looking over the surroundings as she works. He's not really sure what they expect to find here, but if he's lucky there might be a few new guns in it for him, and he does love his guns. Everyone else is working hard to figure out how to get in, or if there's more danger, so his Job as a bodyguard isn't that needed, but there's also the slim chance there might be something in here about him, or a clue that could lead him to find that information.

-

Kate tags along behind Barton, climbing up with him to get a good view of things. "You got left?" she murmurs as she sets her shoulder at an angle to his, scoping out the opposite direction. And the big names going up and forward and out. There might be a little bit of a grin. She's totally responsible like that. "Dibs on anything shiny." Totally taking this seriously.

-

Those with super senses don't detect anything that seems dangerous. Instruments too, continue to show that same anomalous signals, but no power surges. Inside the warehouse, well, you know that shot at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark? Sort of like that, except the facility is smaller and the containers probably aren't filled with lost treasures. In fact, if anyone cares to look, they'll find toys and industrial equipment, long-expired canned goods and 1970s velour jumpsuits. Fine finds indeed. Surely their trip is worth it already.

The small energy signature is coming from the back of a maze of dirt-covered containers towards the rear of the room. Thanks to their triangulated signals, one spot on the floor spikes their instruments. But how to enter? There are no visible signs of a door.

The good news is, there's no turret guns or killer robots. There's clearly more beneath the floor, but the part above ground seems to be just what it appears to be - an old, forgotten warehouse.

-

"Howard Stark was a clever man," Cap points out, a faint smile on his face, "I think we all ought to show a measure of caution, even those of us who are invulnerable."

The Captain glances over at Superman, at the same time reaching to put a hand on Pepper's arm so that he can impose himself between her and the door. Not rough by any means, but he still gives her an apologetic look.

"Meet us back at the door if you're satisfied with the situation over there, Partisan."

He unslings his shield in a careful motion, keeping it at the ready as he steps into the warehouse proper and takes a careful look around. He speaks into his radio as he goes: "I think Miss Potts and her boss would appreciate it if we left everything in its place if we can help it. Everything seems fine in here. Fan out and see if you can find a way underground."

Cap looks back towards Pepper, "Any ideas?"

-

Well, there's the orders. Fan out.

Barton takes a couple of jumps before he's on the ground again and waits a moment for Kate to jump down beside him before he moves forward. "You do know that it's not going to be obvious, what with the years the place laid untouched. Unless someone started up the equipment, which I doubt-" Still, there's got to be something; and he's checking the outside of the warehouse. After all, what numbnut would only put an exit/entrance inside?

-

Partisan stalks along that right flank, keeping out a wary eye just in case cuz you never know. Not like they put up "Warning:Killer robots" signs, which would be nice actually. "Right, if you were going to hide the entrance to a staircase the floor of one of these containers would be the easiest way. Beyond that, if its out in the open dumping water on the floor often does the trick. The concrete here is pretty old, it'll have settled in accordance with a void beneath the floor. Forced entry, like blowing the floor may well trigger some fashion of failsafe security arrangement."Pausing a touch, before tossing Cap her nalgene bottle. Offering Barton a polite little nod, and Kate as they join the party inside. "Mercury actually works best for this, but I don't make a habit of running around with thirty two ounces of mercury. Well so does molten Aluminum, but thats a little too destructive I think."

-

Superman takes a look at the surroundings, quiet and confident for a moment while he strides into the room. "There's a subfloor here, but it's encased in lead. I can't see through it." He points to a spot on the far wall, obscured by some boxes. "And there's this." With a light yank, to impossibly large crates get dragged out of the way. Behind there's a black panel of some sort. "I'm guessing it controls the flooring."

-

There's a grunt somewhere between satisfaction and disappointment as Pepper produces the easy way in, that adamantium claw snakting back into place as the diminutive old operative breathes a slow breath. His eyes are hidden behind crimson lenses, his head beneath that signature cowl, and the rest of him in matching two-tone grey and black sneaksuit, with soft-sold but ass-kicking boots. Still, velour is mighty tempting— might trigger a flashback or three. There's a nod of agreement with Partisan's explanation, accompanied by a subtle chuckle. "What she said."

When Superman hauls the boxes out of the way and reveals the square of black, Logan trundles over to it with intent purpose and squints a bit behind his lenses, "Seen keypads like this in some oldschool SHIELD safehouses an' operations." the Wolverine reaches out a hand and taps the keypad, which lights up and spreads out into a full touch keypad with ample letters and numbers; convenient for Howard Stark, /bullshit/ now. "You got this passcode written down anywhere, Chief?" Well, Pepper -is- CEO, right? The gruff tone isn't /too/ derogatory— but there are a shitton of combinations a man could type out on that thing.

-

Late to the party just barely and carrying quite a few bags, Simmons runs and stops a bit short of the party. She breathes in and out a few times to catch her breath. While the scientific types are meant to stay back to make sure the danger is gone, one half of FitzSimmons is not about to stay back on the sidelines. Especially when she had to pack all this gear by herself.

While she remains at the back of the group, she readjusts the strap on her shoulder and waits for proper orders. As she does so, looks about at the surroundings curiously. A hand holds a small device that beeps softly, but incessantly. "I'm only picking up one signal," she offers to anyone listening with an optimistic tone. "Near the back." At the boxes and other things, the scientist scans with eager eyes. "Ooh, look at that. Practically antiques!"

-

Pepper Potts looks through Howard's notes for a date, then quickly flips over to the deeds and tech specs for the warehouse itself. "There's a basement in the warehouse's plans…" She squints a bit and tilts her head while looking at the floor plan images. "There should be a staircase leading down alo—" She winces visibly at the sound of the crates being dragged aside, but recovers quickly enough and starts toward the panel that Superman just revealed and Logan just activated. "I have… well, a ton of possibilities here. No idea which one it is, though." She's wishing Cricket had come along now, if only to make trying the different password possibilities faster.

-

Falcon finds a spikeless spot to land on the roof and touches down. "There's an antenna up here, too," he informs the others over their wireless. "Not sure whether it's broadcasting or receiving, but it's definitely hooked up to something inside." He pauses, then ventures, "JARVIS, scan for any local radio traffic that isn't us. This equipment is old, so keep in mind anything that's gone out of style since the 70s. It's probably nothing, but it can't hurt to check."

-

Idly making his way over to one of the opened crates still trying to stay from getting too far from pepper. Reaching into the box he pulls out one of the jumpsuits and can't quiet help himself from blurting out "Neato!" while pulling it out to check the size on himself. "Hey Pepper, what do you think?" His voice is low and gravely with that sort of overly serious tone to it, which makes what's been said all the more alienated from him. The dour serious military type finding a bit of solace in this rather tacky by today's standards jumpsuit. "Maybe grow out my be-" Though he's quickly thrown back into serious mode by the discovery of a keypad.

-

"Says you," Kate retorts to Barton with a grin as she swings lightly down to the ground. "I had donuts with a god-wolf the other morning. Who says someone didn't put some sort of weird enchantment on it or something?" She follows Barton, though she keeps a little bit of a distance, listening in on the comms. "If you were ensconced in lead under a warehouse on the docks, where would you want to be pulling your air from?" she muses, scanning the area for likely venting spots. "Or…" She pauses, moving toward another spot. "Your power. I've got fishy wires," she announces helpfully across the comm. "Up to the eaves, down under the building. And they're running."

-

It seems that they've woken something up. All over the warehouse, signals and pieces of equipment and coming to life. Overhead, a large air intake fan has started to turn, spreading dusty air across the room. A speaker overhead tries to make a sound, but it comes out as sort of a hoarse screech. A pathetic-sounding protest at their intrusion.

-

Captain America reaches up to catch the bottle thrown to him without only a brief sidelong glance, flipping over the top and beginning to splash it on the floor. He eyes it critically, only glancing up when Superman moves the crates aside. He turns his attention to the notes Pepper flips through, lifting a hand to point at the device. He only glanced at it for a moment, but that's one of the benefits of having a mind operating much faster than most people's.

"That doodle in the margin there. I remember Stark was pretty fond of that model of plane back during the war. Strange that he even went so far as to write down the registry number, though." It's more an out-loud thought than a conclusion, but he contributes where he can.

He looks up when the whole place springs to life: "Looks like that worked. We should sign you up with the Sciences Division, Doctor Logan."

-

"Are you trying to name drop? Because if you are, I've got the guy at Green Leaf to make me Pad Thai the way his mom used to make it." Beat. "Beat that." As he searches the outside, Hawkeye pauses, and his eyes lift up slowly and rest there for a long moment. Using his hands, he signs over to Kate, Look up. There, hanging under the eaves of the warehouse are sensors. Not sure if they're motion-based, heat-based or what, but whatever it is, they tripped them.

"Uh… Cap? We have sensors out here. Keep your eyes open if you find a way in because I think they may know we're coming." Assuming anyone is alive in this 'downstairs' for which they search. "I'm assuming they're just sensors because I haven't been zapped yet, nor have I seen a giant robot come stumbling out of some dark corner of the yard."

Hawkeye pauses a moment and adds, "By the way, I -can- jam the signal… give me the go."

Hawkeye catches the 'bzzzz' on his wrist and he sings out, "Let me know, because the signal just got a whole hell of a lot stronger. If this was a game of 'Temperature', I think we're 'hot'."

-

Partisan narrows her gaze "Fake floor panel here."Pausing to produce a length of chalk from her chest rig, before she quickly outlines the not-quite concrete on the floor. "Very neat, never seen faux-concrete quite this good but the texture is a little off. See the right angles, right there and over here? Magnificent work though, truly."

-

Superman's blue eyes flicker as things begin to whir and sparkle. He purses his lips, keeping quiet, but remaining on the ready should anything jump out at them. One of his red booted feet comes forward defensively, but he doesn't seem overly alarmed.

-

"Yea." Color Dr. Logan unconvinced. "I think I've seen enough of the Sciences Division for a couple lifetimes, Cap." Whatever it is that crawled in Logan's craw about this mission is likely not immediately clear; it's questionable whether Wolverine is aware of it himself, or not. Every comment is gruff, snarky— and Partisan's several steps ahead of him in finding the actual portal.

"Try Stark Senior's pet plane." He punctuates with a grunt, and a nod towards Rogers and co., stalking back towards the indicated entrance to the underground abode. "Otherwise, I'm bettin' between the other blue boy scout and myself we can find our own way down." Murderbots or no murderbots. There's a slight double-take towards the arrival of the winded (exasperated?) Simmons, as it catches up with him just what a dick he was about Science Division— so she gets a nod. Smooth.

-

Wincing, Jemma puts a hand over one of her ears. The other still holds the softly beeping device. "What a racket," she hisses, moving toward a panel a little ways off. "It must the security system. Everything in here is so old, the system itself must also be out of date."

Glancing at Hawkeye, she quickly reaches out a hand to wave a cease and desist. "No no no no," Simmons tells him, soundly eerily like Fitz as she does so. It seems when the two of them are apart, every once in awhile the other takes over. "Jamming the signal might damage the equipment here. Look at how old these devices are. They weren't made to handle our devices. If we're interested in keeping the integrity of Mr. Stark's designs and innovations we have to tread very carefully."

That taken care of the scientist pries open the panel and starts to disarm the security system and sensors with as delicate of a touch as she can. "Oooh, Fitz, would have loved to see this. Look at this wiring!" A bit of a spark sprays at her and she quickly shields her eyes. "Phht he should be the one taking electricity to the eye." Despite her complaining, however, the system is disarmed with minimal damage. And she can even manage an even keeled look and study of Logan and his opinions about science division now that that's over.

-

Pepper frowns at Jason and gestures for him to put that hideous garment back where he found it, then glances up at Captain Rogers when he points at a particular doodle in Howard's notes. Huh. Squinting again, she tilts her head and studies the image more closely. "Why /would/ he bother with …"

Wait. That's not a valid airplane registry number. She's done enough travelling to know what one looks like. "It's worth a try." Steadfastly ignoring the racket that's started up, she steps closer to the keypad Logan found, reaches up with one hand, and types in a series of letters and numbers based on the image Cap pointed out. Fingers crossed. Lucky, stay close.

"'Sexy lady'?" Pepper mutters to herself as she taps in the code. "Seriously? Like father like son, I swear."

-

JARVIS reports, urbanely, "Mr. Wilson, that antenna is configured to send or receive short wave amplitude modulation signals. 'Out of fashion' is quite correct, sir, unless you are a great aficionado of conservative talk radio or aging sports commentators." Leave it to Tony Stark to program his supercomputer AI with snarky editorializing built in.

"Right," Sam says skeptically. "I guess those things are worth preserving. No messing with the antenna, Simmons — promise."

-

Sitting the suit back down in the box but keeping a mental note of its location in case it were to go missing and accidentally wind up in his office, Jason moves over to Peppers side. He doesn't argue over it or even spend too much time trying to think of a way to finagle it for himself just one of those ask forgiveness not permission type things. He even does his best to not look too out of place while guarding Pepper.

-

Kate glances up when she catches Clint's signed motion, quirking a brow and hesitating for just a moment before waving cheekily up at the sensor. Because if they know she's here, she might as well be charming, right?

-

Once the code is typed in (SXY L8D1), the floor around where Partisan marked out begins to shift and break into foot-wide and six foot long segments. If everyone isn't quick, they might find themselves toppling down a newly-created set of stairs. The stairs are very steep. They were clearly designed to allow large pieces of equipment to be brought in and out.

It's black down there, black and seemingly empty. Then there's a metallic whirr, click, and a sound of an engine starting up. Blue lights shine out from the space below the floor. "IDENTIFY" chimes an oddly disarming woman's voice, its tone flanged and robotic.

As eyes adjust (or as enhanced eyes can tell) that's a pair of wicked-looking turrets with its guns trained up and out of the hole. They move like Tony's creations do, perhaps not surprisingly.

Simmons disarmed a security system. It just wasn't THE security system.

The short wave radio suddenly kicks in. It's sending out an encoded message, though it's nothing JARVIS can't handle. Somewhere in Tony's basement, an old piece of equipment is receiving a message: The Capgras Lab is compromised.

Outside, the old speakers Simmons supposedly disabled also croak out the 'IDENTIFY" message, though it's a bit hoarser and more threatening. A row of tiny devices extend from the eaves, each tipped with a small dart. And then they start to fire a barrage at Kate and Clint. Hey! It didn't wait for them to answer. As they've all noticed, though, the equipment isn't exactly in pristine condition.

-

As the stairs open up, Cap steps smoothly back to allow them room - it wouldn't be all that great for him to topple gracelessly down a flight of stairs. He notices the turrets immediately, lifting his shield in front of him and taking up a position at the mouth of the staircase just in case the things start firing.

He glances sidelong at Pepper, wordlessly insisting that anything that can be done about these rambunctious security systems be done. But as the computerized voice demands that they identify, he shrugs his shoulders. He knew the elder Stark well enough, after all.

"This is Steve Rogers," he announces, maybe a little embarrassed and talking to an antique machine. "We're - uh, friends of Howard Stark."

Cap looks at the others briefly, his face a mixture of apology and 'what else am I meant to do?' He keeps the shield at the ready all the same, ready to hurl it at the turrets if they get loud.

-

Clint just -knew- the 'whrrr' wasn't up to any good. Having been given the 'stand down' from Dr. Simmons, he doesn't fire the arrow. Now, however, it's a game of 'shoulda, woulda, coulda' as those 'sensors' begin to all open up and show that they have some sting. Immediately, a bow rises and Hawkeye gets a couple of shots off with regular-piled arrows, but there isn't much in the way of defending against a barrage of darts.

*thhhhmp*thhhhhmp*thhhhhmp* One after another they come, based upon the sensor readings they'd just taken in. Antiquated or not, if one of those things hits him, hits them, there's not a lot of telling what will happen.

Evasive maneuvers on the ground just isn't his deal. He dives, rolls, and comes back up with another shot at one of the eaves before he's tagged in the shoulder. "Sonuvabitch!" comes over the com before he continues, "Darts! Shoulda let me break it," follows.

"First level of protection. Darts."

-

"STEVE ROGERS DECEASED," croaks the voice. Something in its speakers rattles and cracks. Is that a statement or a threat? So hard to tell with the limited AI vocabulary. The turrets whirr and crack. Between the lack of an acceptable voice print and Partisan firing, that's its cue to let loose a barrage of bullets. Takka takka takka. The thing are designed to lay down a hail of bullets to stop any approach.

-

Bullets.

With an irritated look, Superman steps forward, catching a hail of bullets against his body. Gritting his teeth and focusing on the turrets, a burst of heat ray energy erupts from his eyes, aimed at melting the turrets where they stand.

Superman approaches.

Cap's name and rank are probably a better bet— but Wolverine throws in an old SHIELD authorization code. It's possible the thing's been expired longer than Howard Stark, it just sort of comes to him, and rattles off his tongue fairly authoritatively at the almost-killbots and their cruel, electronic eyes. It's cutoff midstream by attacks outside and eager bullets in, and Wolverine launches himself into a sidelong roll off Superman's rear flank. He only takes a few rounds in the process, and those quickly pop back out as muscle and skin knit back together in the wake of the impact.

The feral runt spits once to the side, and advances behind the Kryptonian cover, "Shoulda taken the quick way in after all." Lesson learned; one of these flamin' days. His eyes scan for power cables along the walls (which also /hum/ like a mother, ask your dog), and sensors— either get the same adamantium surgery, intending to poke out the security's eyes, at this juncture; maybe open a vein or three.

-

"Oh, not good." Simmons looks around at the sounds emanating from what should be dismantled speakers and then the sound of fighting moving about them. Restraining herself from covering her ears again, she focuses on the small device she still holds in one of her hands.

Tapping at it as if it were a cellphone, Simmons beams. "This is brilliant," she says softly, talking as if there is still someone there to understand what she's talking about. "There's a primitive version of wifi in the building!" Everyone else is scattering or springing forth to action, but the biochemist crouches where she is to try and fix this through science. As is her right. Tap tap tap she goes, moving through security systems and attempting to bypass them to short circuit the turrets and shut them down.

-

Pepper Potts looks around in increasing alarm as things start to react menacingly toward the archers still outside the building and then from the now-revealed staircase inside the building. The moment bullets start to fly, she yelps and ducks down where she is, putting her hands up to her head reflexively even though she's still got her tablet in hand. Wait, her tablet. "JARVIS? JARVIS, can you get samples of Howard Stark's voice and synthesize some cease and desist commands for us?" Can he hear her past all of this racket?

-

Sam is off from the roof like a shot, streaking back toward Barton and Bishop. At first he's on the evasive, but it quickly becomes clear that the dart guns are not designed with the necessary range of motion to track flying targets. Which he had suspected, and which makes his course of action clear. "I've got you, Hawkeyes," he says over the comms.

Wings spread wide, he banks and takes aim with one of his gauntlets. "Para!" he shouts as a cable snare flies out toward Kate. He banks in the other direction, draws a bead on Clint, and fires from the other arm. "Rescue!" The 'talon' snares begin to retract as Falcon starts blazing upward at full thrust, hopefully with a pair of archers in tow. "This is what we do!"

-

Trying to think for a moment and be worth something more then just a bullet catch Jason gives it a shot as well calling out "Colonel Jason Lucky" not really expecting to work but wanting to be something more then eye candy for this endeavor. He'd been told that he was working with shield back in the sixties and seventies during what he'd thought to be his first run-in with the team a few weeks back, and working at SI at some point so it's as good a shot as any. Though he does take cover by pepper after trying his damnedest to think of something.

-

Kate yelps as the turrets outside start firing, not even bothering to shoot anything. Instead, she ducks and rolls toward the building, trying to get in too close for them to reach her. A trio of darts scratches off her boot as she rolls, but Falcon is quicker than the rusty old security systems, and she's soon shooting up on a wire. "Whoa!" she exclaims, twisting awkwardly on the line as she tries to find her balance. There are a lot of things Kate is good at. Being pulled up on wires by men in flight suits is new. "We did not cover this in practice!"

-

The turrets were designed to stand up to you know, Hydra. They weren't exactly designed to be Man of Steel-proof. The turrets very obligingly melt and sputter. The AI voice tries to say /something/ but it gets cut off. It may have been 'oh what a world' because Howard had a sense of humour.

Logan does well to find the arteries of the beast. If the heat-melting wasn't going to do it, then that electronic artery slice does. There's a bang and a shower of sparks, then the two turrets lower what's left of their melted heads.

In all this commotion, it's easy to miss movement beyond the darkness of the lab. There's slap of feet against concrete. Heavy smoke hangs in the air from the toxic melting of the turrets. "Stand down," says a male voice. The feet slap again, stumble, and a figure falls face-first into the dust.

At that moment, Simmons also manages to trigger the lights in the lab. A series of overhead lamps sputter to life. Two things are readily apparent upon getting a look at the lab - one, the place has not been touched in a very long time. Two, whoever left it didn't intend to be gone for long. There's telltale signs of a living lab. There's a coffee mug and a teacup, their contents long since dried out. There's a plate that holds the remnants of what was once a sandwich. Various tools are spread out over workbenches with various projects in progress. The far back wall is a bank of the most sophisticated computers available in 1986. Or rather, the most sophisticated computers plus a healthy dose of Stark genius, which means they're actually more comparable to military equipment in the early 90s. And there's a trail of dusty footprints from the far back corner, ending with the soot-covered figure that lies prone on the floor.

Outside, the hail of darts cease.

-

When the computerized voices buzzes a rejection at him, Cap simply sighs. That's what they all say. But then Superman and Wolverine move in to take care of the security, prompting Steve to press forward as well - down the stairs he goes.

"Keep an eye open, Partisan, but no explosives. We want this place in one piece. We weren't sent here to destroy it."

The figure on the floor draws his attention and he moves over, crouching and attempting to roll them over to get a close look. He has a healthy amount of training in battlefield first aid, though he seems taken aback when he gets a close look at the man.

"I guess that makes two of us," he mutters, before raising his voice and glancing back up the stairs, "Miss Potts. You may want to see this."

-

The shadow of a Falcon is caught out of the corner of his eye, the great wings opening to catch the air. The first line is for Kate, and he breathes a sigh of relief. He's responsible for her.

The second line, well- Clint's had experience in grabbing lines flying through the air, and he shifts his bow into his off-hand and makes a grab for the line with his good hand. Now, the trick is to stay really still so he doesn't set Falcon off-balance.

"Stay still, Katie. Like being on the back of a bike. Let him do the driving." Best advice at the moment, though he adds, "Okay, gap in your training noted. Buy a good pair of gloves; you'll be doing this again." And again. And again.

Silence, however, reigns (even if the darts weren't all that noisy.) Clint caught the gunfire sounds from the inside of the warehouse, and he calls out, "You guys okay in there?!"

Wherever Falcon puts them down, Hawk'll be running back towards the warehouse door to check on the rest of the team, bow back in a ready position..

-

The reason that Pepper has to see will become apparent to anyone who knows their history. There, on the floor, covered in soot and wearing very old and worn scrubs, is the spitting image of a young Howard Stark. He is currently unconscious, but appears to be breathing. He's warm to the touch.

-

Partisan rises with a wince, glancing around "Yeah, yeah we're all clear inside. You boys and girls alright out there, need me to kiss your boo-boos?"Well if she can be a snarky little bitch, she's probably fine. Quietly exchanging magazines as she prowls foreward, peering after Howard Stark for a moment before smiling. "Well, this is certainly a thing."

-

With the turrets gone, Superman stalks down after the Captain and raises an eyebrow at the dust covered man. A quick scan reveals far more than he considered upon coming on this trip. It appears the Starks are full of surprises.

-

"Careful." That's Logan's brusque advice to what Rogers uncovers— quietly sniffing at the stale air of the revealed lab as he follows into the abode. There's something familiar about that scent— but something unfamiliar, as well. It's a collage of aromas from past-dead sandwich to eighty different kind of dust to… something almost human. Wolverine doesn't interject, just makes his way towards the unconscious 'Howard Stark', hovering just past arm's length; well within 'snikt' range. His eyes remain fixed on the other young-looking old man, stance deceptively neutral as the lab is quickly occupied.

-

As the lights move up, Simmons stands. "Much better," she sighs. Having to deal with turrets in the dark is not exactly her cup of tea. At the computers and the dust, the scientist moves forward with something akin to awe and excitement. Look at all this. After the turrets are disabled, she is careful to check connections and wiring, but she is also able to easily read out the computer terminal, still functioning in front of them.

"My goodness," she gasps. "Quick, someone get him on the table." She points at the soot covered being on the floor. "Look at this," she points at the screen, tapping a few keys here and there to bring up more in depth information. She is careful as she does so, acting as if the keyboard may break with each keystroke. "This is…my goodness," she repeats. "I believe that is a life model decoy of Howard Stark, Ms. Potts."

Her eyes turn to Pepper for a moment with wide-eyed wonderment. "From what I can tell, he set up a system where his consciousness would be downloaded into a duplicate at his death. Look, here, it's still waiting for a manual input." There's a blinking > sign indicating that very thing. "Something must have happened with the emergency signal. It went into a premature reboot, causing him to awake prematurely."

-

Pepper Potts lifts her head again when the gunfire stops, and she looks at Lucky questioningly. Before she can thank JARVIS for figuring out a way to make the turrets stop, though, she hears Captain Rogers calling for her. Her eyebrows draw together in a faint frown, and then she's putting her hand on Lucky's arm as she moves to stand and head over toward Cap. Come along, Jason, Pepper's got a death grip and she's not likely to let go. "Captain? See wha…. Oh. My."

-

Sam swoops back toward the warehouse once the dart barrage dies down, maneuvering more gently than usual so as not to leave his passengers whipping through the air. He pulls up and slows with the two of them just a few feet above the pavement, wings flapping as he gently lowers them back to the ground. Once they're secure, he loops and dives to make his own landing at a jog. He ends up right next to them, and not by accident, either.

"Either of you get hit? Feeling sleepy or dizzy?" he asks them quickly, peering at them for any signs of hits. He even produces a penlight from his harness and flashes it in both of their eyes to check dilation. If they've been drugged, acting fast is going to be critical. But that doesn't mean he can't multitask: over the comms, he adds, "What about inside? Is anybody hit?" But Partisan has sort of already answered that question.

Also coming over the comms, not to mention Pepper's tablet, is the prim voice of the Stark AI. "Per Mr. Wilson's request, I intercepted a signal from the security system which identified this as the 'Capgras Laboratory,' obviously a winking reference to the Capras Delusion, a symptom of paranoid schizophrenia in which the sufferer becomes convinced that a relative has been replaced by an identical impostor. The principle will be familiar to anyone current on early 20th century French psychiatric research or either of the horror films entitled 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers.' Given your discovery, I suspect this may have been one of the elder Mr. Stark's more obscure and pretentious in-jokes."

-

Everything short of going ow ow ow while being dragged along behind Jason's eyes suddenly go wide the moment he see's Howard. That face bringing back all kinds of memories that he'd rather just forget. His expression goes a bit hard, his eyes getting that fifty miles off look to them. He'd been doing so well without incidents like this but now he's just stopped moving completely lost in some sort of full audio visual flashback.

-

"Right. Totally balanced," Kate calls back to Barton, adjusting her grip on the line enough to wave up at Sam. "Thanks, Falcon!" She had a rough start, but she comes to a landing easily enough, leaning down to pluck a dart out of her boot just as Sam asks the question. "My boot is exhausted," she announces, offering the dart over for analysis. "But no, I'm good. Thanks for the save."

-

Captain America steps back once Howard - or the robot that looks like him - is safely on the table and being examined by Simmons. He folds his arms across his chest, his brow furrowing as he watches and listens to the explanation: "Well, I guess that explains why he looks how he looked in the Forties."

-

There's a couple of bits of welled blood on Hawkeye's arm, but he isn't showing any ill effects; or rather, doesn't seem to be acting any differently than he usually does. With the dying down of the barrage of darts outside and the staccato'd gunfire on the inside, Clint's holding his breath. It's when the voice of the Stark's AI sounds that he exhales in a bit of relief. Now, he can attend other things. Like, "Thanks, Sam."

-

"Seems like a growing list." Wolverine offers tersely to Steve. People from the old days have a laundry list of reasons to stick around, one supposes; and a hell of a lot of mad gadgetry trying to contribute. Logan knows better than to offer Rogers a smoke as he lights one up, patiently eyeballing the care given to Howard Stark. The old veteran doesn't often trust a new face not to knife someone on a dare— same reasonably goes for superpowered mandroids. His senses stand vigil in all directions, but his attention seems focused alongside Captain America's— arms also folded sternly and grim set to his face included. The frown is perhaps too deep, again, but what about this op -has- sat right with the Canucklehead.

-

"It's one of the most lifelike decoy I've seen," Jemma tells Steve as she studies the computer some more and starts to type at the screen. "He was moving around before, I think. Look at the foot prints in the dust. But, it was only a partial reboot." Moving through different directories, Simmons types in multiple different commands. First, she runs a verify compile before simply typing /r into the system. It seems to fit in with the old DOS style commands and feel of the place. Howard Stark may have been a genius of his era, but he wasn't exactly running a Mac OS.

-

The table Howard's lying on lights up and glows a soft blue. There's a crackle of energy, then a jolt. He sits suddenly bolt-upright on the bed. His arm is twitching and seizing. "Aw…not this again. For god's…hand me that, hand me it, will you?" He motions to Simmons and at the dust-covered tray nearby. There's a fork-like device he gestures to. Presuming she hands it to him, he places the device against his arm. There's a faint crackling sound, then the twitching stops. He's breathing heavily, as if he's actually exerted himself. And then he stops, looks up. Stares. He's staring at Steve, mostly. Though Logan and Lucky get squinty-eyed looks. "Steve?" And then he looks down at himself and realizes he's covered in dust. "The failsafe." They don't call him a genius for nothing. "I'm dead." He looks up again. "Very confused. This is confusing. I don't like being confused. Someone, explain."

-

Pepper Potts stops and looks at Lucky in concern when he goes wooden upon seeing Stark. While the LMD's reacting to his own situation, she is physically pushing Jason toward the nearest chair to sit down, regardless of how dusty it might be. "Jason, hey. Breathe. You'll be okay."

Once she's sure he's seated and unlikely to fall over, she straightens again and finally approaches the automaton that could so easily pass for Tony's younger brother. "Mr. Stark, hello. I'm Virginia Potts, CEO of Stark Industries. We've just found this facility and … well. What do you remember last?"

-

"Hey, no problem, guys," Sam says, easing back into his usual relaxed manner now that it looks like they came out unscathed. "That's what I'm here for." He accepts the dart from Kate, and pockets it along with the penlight, ready for lab analysis just to be on the safe side. "Buy me a beer sometime and we'll call it even."

-

Cap keeps his own story to himself for now. There'll be plenty of time to fill Howard in later and he doesn't need that being dumped on him along with the 'hey, you're an LMD now' story. He does reach up to pull off the cowl of his uniform, though. Most of the people here either know who he is or wouldn't recognize him outside of his Captain America duds enough to care.

"Looks that way, Mister Stark," Cap offers, looking towards Jemma and Pepper to provide the bulk of the explanation. "Let's get Mister Stark back to the Triskelion so we can debrief him properly. As much as I admire his ingenuity, the equipment there is more … modern."

-

"Right." Logan's agreement with the plan is neutral, at best. By the time Stark is rebooted half-properly and perhaps 43% towards 'himself', Wolverine's most of the way through a cigarette. "But if he goes into flamin' sleepmode again, Superman is carrying him." Those damn mandroids are /heavy/. Tromping out his smoke on the lab floor, the old veteran prepares to take one last swing around the place; one more look. It also provides a moment's respite from the familiarity (and flaming deja vu) of the whole situation that he can't quite place.

-

Though a little flabbergasted, Simmons obediently hands the fork like thing to Howard at his command. After all, she's used to being ordered about by sarcastic but charismatic men like Agent Coulson. "Yes," she says simply to Stark. "Actually, well, it's really quite facinating, Mr. Stark." It's hard for her to restrain her inner geek. "It seems as if the emergency systems triggered a partial trigger of your systems. While you coded in a manual key, the system itself managed to get your inner wires moving, which then switched on parital memory, it seems like. Then, when I was able to create a defrag and compiler, then a hardrooted reboot, you came back. Which was, oh, about a few minutes ago when you asked me for the spanner."

Confidently, she leans in to Howard, eyes darting to the others with a smile. "Really, this is more Fitz's realm, but you can only listen to him talk about rewiring so long before you pick something up, can't you?" Then, after a moment, she realizes, "Oh, my word. Forgive me. Are you alright?" Her callousness at the situation brings a clear blush to her cheeks. "Here, let me help you. How is everything feeling? We should run a full diagnostic on you."

-

Howard thinks about Pepper's question. He swings his legs around and dangles them off the side of the bed. She gets a long look, but that's partially because he's searching his own memory. "A charity dinner with Maria. Long Island. I was driving." He dusts his hands together. A small cloud puffs up. He fluffs his hair next. It'll take awhile to get twenty-some years worth of dust off of him. "CEO of my company, huh? Well, I'm sure there's a story, there. But I'm not sure that's the most pressing of my concerns. The fact that I'm in my LMD is of a bit more…well…" eyebrows go up, "…immediately relevant."

Howard looks at Steve, and he can't help but smile a bit. "Speaking of stories. And of not being dead." He slides off the bed and stands up straight. He's not a tall man, which may come as a surprise to those who know his public image. "If you say I should, Steve, I trust you. That wasn't exactly a clean boot, so you'll have to forgive me if I'm out of sorts for a bit."

When Simmons goes on and rambles and says things that he entirely understands, he just watches and smiles. Then he turns to Steve and murmurs, "I like her." And then to Simmons, "I'm fine. As fine as to be expected. I'm sure that will change in short order after I'm filled in. But for the moment? I'm functioning. And that's something."


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