Paging Doctor Simmons

Summary:
November 14, 2014: Jemma Simmons visits Howard Stark.

The Triskelion

<Location Description>


Characters

NPCs
None


Mood Music:


Howard is still 'under observation' by SHIELD. It's possible that they'd let him out if he asked, but he hasn't asked. He's being kept in a high-security area of the Triskelion. It's a lab, with a sleeping area, and a computer with an interent connection. The lab equipment itself is under lock and key. He's been sorely tempted to break into it (and he might yet) but the internet is proving to be a useful tool for catching up with the world.

He's not currently on the computer. Instead, he's standing by the window, looking out at the city below. He's wearing simple black slacks and a white shirt. One hand rests in his pocket.

-

Part of the observation is Simmons. Though she is not engineering, she is biochem and has been assigned to check on Howard Stark's vitals (such as they are) Fitz will be by to check on the decoy part of life model later. She may only have level 5 clearance, but since she was at the acquisition and and already has some familiarity, she has been able to get herself access.

The door unseals and then opens, Jemma pocketing the key that was used to bring her into the room. "Mr. Stark," she greets with a smile to go with the British accent. Appearing in full SHIELD garb, she has on her lab coat and carries a chart with her. "I hope you have been feeling well? I'm not sure if you remember me: I'm Dr. Jemma Simmons."

-

It's likely noted on Howard's file that he had a visit from Tony. It wasn't…a particularly long visit. Which is an indication of just how well it went. Howard doesn't turn immediately when she enters, nor does he turn when she starts to speak. It takes him a few moments to turn around after she introduces herself. "Ah, yes. Doctor Simmons. You were at the lab. Here to run some tests on me?" Despite the fact that he doesn't need to sleep, he looks very worn out. A very convincing decoy, indeed.

-

It's, perhaps, due to this chart that Jemma has come by to check on the older Mr. Stark. "I was, yes. At the reboot process, if you will." She winces and then shakes her head. "Sorry, I'm not sure why I keep doing that." The young doctor is not really quite good at conversation unless it deals with science or Fitz. Then she doesn't care about what she says. "I was more just checking in," she adds, conversationally. Seeing him by the window and looking worn out, she frowns just slightly. "So, how would you describe your state?"

-

"Are you a psychologist too, Doctor Simmons?" Howard smiles. It's one that's clearly trying to be charming and smooth, but he's too worn down to really make it sparkle. "Adjusting, to answer your question. Getting a bit of cabin fever, but also not in a great hurry to get out there." He nods towards the window. "Mostly because I'm not entirely certain what I'm going to do now. If SHIELD will even let me out of the building."

-

"I double as one when Dr. Pollet is on vacation," Simmone tells Howard with a serious tilt in her voice. Then, she smiles and realizes that he may be joking. "Oh, I see. Well, no. I guess not. I'm a biochemist, but have quite an extensive knowledge on anatomy and medicine. Sometimes, Fitz calls tells me to leave off because I'm trying to get into his head, but I think that's just when we're playing the telepath game." Which, according to SHIELD do not exist. As far as they know. Conspiratorially, she leans forward and grins, "We played Ouija one time in the lab and I got him to shriek at the answer."

Wait, this is serious. Straightening, the scientist straightens her shirt and gives a more professional smile. "Didn't you found SHIELD? Couldn't you just order everyone around? Though, of course, I'm sure there's a lot you need to catch up on. What were the world events you remember last?"

-

Something in what she said makes Howard smile in a more genuine and less worn out sort of way. He leans against the counter and raps his fingers on the edge. "Well, I'd imagine I'm classed as a potential security risk. Can't have someone like me out in the world with a brain that might be hackable. I definitely designed…" a pause, "…myself to withstand intrusions of that nature. But my firewalls are a few decades out of date. Plus, well, I've got a few holes in my memory. Things are a little fuzzy between 1952 and, well, up until the car crash." He frowns, then scratches his temple. "I'm not sure /why/ the memory hiccups only start happening after 52." He exhales and lifts a shoulder. "Besides, how exactly would we explain who I am? Do we even do that? It'd expose the existence of the LMD program. Assuming the LMD program still exists."

-

"My! Well, that is quite some time between now and 52. I'm sure someone will be able to come in and give you an update on what you've missed." Someone with high enough clearance. Maybe someone with a couple of history books. Simmons holds the chart close to her chest and tilts her head. "I'm sure Fitz will be in to see you soon. Leopold Fitz - he's my scientific partner - he deals with engineering. I'm sure he'll be able to make sure your brain locked up tight. No matter who might want to try and hack it. He's quite gifted on things like that." As for the LMD program, she shakes her head. "Not to my knowledge, of course, I'm only a Level 5. It's possible it all happens above my head and I have no idea!" She doesn't sound particularly upset about that.

"I see here you got a visit from Mr. Stark. Er, the other Mr. Stark. Your son. He must have been excited to see you." That's the optimism of Jemma shining through despite seeing that it was a short visit.

-

"Not all of it, fortunately. But everything pre-52 is solid as a rock. And I can feel that there's bits missing. Sort of like the leftover fragments of data files." Howard rubs his forehead, as if doing so would defrag his mental hard drive. "Maybe you couldn't make it work without me." It's an arrogant statement, yes, but a self-aware one. There's a wryness to his tone.

The bit of relaxation he was feeling trickles away when she mentions Tony. "Yes. And I wouldn't say he was excited. More like bitter and angry. And threatened. His first thought was that I was going to try and take back the company."

-

"Well, it's a good starting point, at least," Simmons tells Howard with a grin. She raises an eyebrow at the statement, her own genius bristling slightly at being told there's an idea she couldn't tackle. At least that she couldn't tackle with Fitz, that is. However, she remains completely polite, merely stating, "I'm sure with your appearance the study will start up again. If it hasn't been going on already. I'd be eager to help with it. I must say, the idea is fascinating."

While she doesn't know Howard enough to read his slighter emotional moods, it's not hard to realizes that a son not greeting his father with enthusiasm is a sad thing. "Ah. But…the company isn't even really his." First and foremost her mind always goes to the logistics. Then, of course, the guilt. "I mean, I"m sorry. It must be hard for both of you. I've never really spoken with Tony Stark, but I know his story. I believe it wasn't easy for him to grow up without parents."

-

"He wasn't a child when the accident happened." After Howard says that, he realizes that's really semantics. "I get your point. It's a hell of a thing to see two decades of your son's life pass in what is only days from your perspective." He goes distant for a moment and stares off at nothing. When he returns his attention to her, a bit of a mask has gone back up. "Can I ask your opinion on something, Doctor Simmons?"

-

While Simmons has certainly researched Tony Stark, she adds, with a smile, "Honestly, I think he's only truly grown up in the past few years." After all, adulthood can have little to do with age. At the question, however, she nods solemnly. Having researched the history of SHIELD and its founders, it is something of a thrill to her to be speaking to Howard Stark and have him ask for advice. "Of course. Please, ask away."

-

Howard reaches over and picks up a small stress ball someone left lying around. Either that or they figured a man who came back to life in a body made of nanobots might have a little stress to alleviate. He tosses it back and forth between his hands and squeezes it gently. "You know who I am. You know my reputation. And you also know my legacy. What do you think the reaction would be if I revealed my identity to either a select few, or to the world at large?"

-

Where did that stress ball come from? It's nothing to really dwell on however, as Jemma looks from the stress ball back to Howard. "I think there would be a lot of questions. And I think the answers would cause a lot of people to wish to look into the technology. After all, the world thinks you died awhile ago. If they find out you're not and that you look like you did in your prime, they'll certainly want to get to the bottom of it." That's for the world at large, of course. As for the select few, well, "I think if you talk to a select few, they may also have a bunch of questions, but they'll probably not attempt to take you apart for parts."

-

Something about the phrase 'in your prime' causes Howard to stand up a little straighter and to get a little twinkle in his eye. He tosses the stress ball from one hand to another and rolls his wrist. "That's the reaction to the technology that made me possible. But what about the reaction to me, the man? Would it damage Stark Industries?"

-

"Damage it? If the technology came from Stark Industries, I can only imagine it would help the stock." Simmons tilts her head and then holds up a hand. "Of course, I know nothing of business. You'd have to talk to Ms. Potts. She's CEO now. She was there in the lab, too. She's the more…" she pauses attempting to think of the most diplomatic response. "She's diplomatic. And quite business minded. I think you'll like her."

-

"I've been doing my research," says Howard as he motions to the computer. It's only out of politeness that he hasn't hacked in to any SHIELD files. Strictly browsing and researching so far. "She seems like quite a woman. I can't pretend I'm not disappointed that Tony has abandoned the company to wear a metal suit and play hero, but that's his choice." He tosses the stress ball up into the air, then tosses it down on to the counter. "What do you think I should do, Doctor Simmons? I always had a purpose to my life, and now I feel like a relic. Literally and figuratively."

-

"She does, yes. And your son has is quite a hero. Many look up to him and his bravery." Simmons smiles, not about to quite take sides in this matter. "If you're interested in continuing your work, SHIELD is always on the look out for more brilliant scientists. I'm sure we could certainly use your brilliance and insight. What would you like to do?"

-

It seems Howard isn't going to comment further on the issue of Tony and the Iron Man business. He just exhales slowly at Simmons' words. "I suppose the larger question is, would SHIELD trust me? I can understand their hesitation. I've convinced Tony that's it's really me. SHIELD can confirm it's me by comparing my neural map. But I can understand if there would still be hesitation on the part of the higher ups. And the truth is, this isn't the same organization I remember. It's a hell of a lot bigger, for one."

-

Simmons grins. "It may be very different, but I think you'll find it's also very similar." She stands and hugs her clipboard close. "If you're truly interested in working with SHIELD again, you will. I can't imagine a little bit of a software issue would stop you from pursuing something you wished to do." There's a soft buzz and Jemma looks back toward the door. "And, like I said, I'm sure Fitz would be glad to help if that's what you're interested in. Please excuse me a moment, I'm being paged."


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