Grilled and Cheese

Summary:
November 18, 2014: Jessica tries to make friends with SHIELD's rescued robo-Stark.

The Triskelion

<Location Description>


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:


As Agent May was kind enough to open the lab for his use, Howard's been wonderfully distracted. Sara's arm has proved a source of endless fascination, challenge and mystery. But, a man can't science forever, even when he's robotic. He needs some time to think, to process.

He's wearing gray workout pants and a black t-shirt. And he's…doing pushups? It would be hard to believe he's made of nanobots if one didn't know that for a fact. His breathing is steady but strong, and he's sweating. They don't call him 'life model' for nothing.

-

Cue one very curious SHIELD agent's arrival. Agent Drew has brought food. Admittedly, this is also part of her curiosity. And the whole "warming up" thing.

"Gourmet food trucks," she announces as she comes in, carrying several styrofoam and plastic containers. "A trend in the last few years you've missed the start of. I have no idea if you can eat or not, but if you can't, you can… watch me eat several high end grilled sandwhiches involving cheeses and spreads formerly only available in specialty shops. And some deep fried cupcakes. That seemed redundant, but, well." She shrugs. "The line was long enough to convince me they were good." Smile.

-

Howard finishes one last push-up and then stands up. "Hello again. Grilled cheese, huh?" He doesn't look suspicious so much as…a little wary, and a bit confused. "I can eat. I don't /have/ to, but everything about me was designed to blend in. Not being able to eat would be a dead robotic giveaway." His mask isn't so firmly attached today. He doesn't have a big crowd to convince that he isn't an evil robot.

-

"Hopefully you can enjoy it, then. The maple-roasted pear and brie on cinnamon brioche is /amazing/" she says, sliding him a container. "If you're in the mood for something more savoury, I have one with bleu cheese and a kalamata olive pesto, too. Your choice. As for the cupcakes, I don't think I can tell the difference between any of them between all that fat and sugar, so, your guess is as good as mine."

She takes a seat across from him. She seems a lot… warmer than she was the previous day. She's not looking at him like… well. A fish in a bowl. Or a rat in a cage.

-

"I appreciate this," says Howard. Still warily, but not disingenuously. He sits back in his chair and gives her a long look. "Jessica, right? I gotta say, I got the impression yesterday that you didn't really trust me." The unsaid question is: what changed?

-

"I didn't like the situation," she says, hesitantly. "You can probably access my personel file if you really want to, so, long story short, from one crime against nature to another," she says, leaning in a bit. "I've been a lab rat. Mum and dad were into gene splicing. It's a long story. Things happened. And, well. When it's Hydra that has you, you run through a /lot/ of mazes," she admits. "I get a bit edgy when I see people treated the same way. Even… synthetic people. Which is… admittedly, a new one for me. That takes a bit getting used to, but…" she forces a chuckle. "Not like my last three best boyfriends haven't run on batteries, so." Another shrug.

-

It takes Howard a little bit longer than it really should to grok to what she's saying. When he does, he grins wide. But he dials it back, given what she just disclosed. "Hydra. Yes, I know all about them." He reaches for the gourmet grilled cheese. "The real insidious evil of it is that they can make people do bad things a tiny bit at a time. Until one day they wake up, and they're the villains. And they have no idea how they got there. That, and…" he sucks in a deep breath. "…a promise of power. And control."

-

"They took the easy way with me. Kidnapped me when I was seven, put me in a coma, woke me up ten years later, genetically enhanced body and powers all ready to go, and just convinced me I was going to fight all the bad guys who killed my mummy and daddy, trained me, just barely educated me, and sent me out as a good little weapon," she says. "That Fury was able to de-program me really shouldn't have been that hard to figure out. Even after a few years of training, I essentially had the mind of a ten year old," she rolls her eyes. "They got far too excited about all weird things mixed into my DNA they forgot to treat my brain like a goddamn person," she says, holding up her hand, and letting a few green bioelectric sparks pass between her fingers. "Idiots."

-

Howard tries to keep his enthusiasm for her little trick under wraps. He does a decent job. It wouldn't do to go treating her like an object of scientific curiosity after she just confessed the horrors she went through. "I built my company through the development and construction of weapons. I could have fully automated them. I could have done this…" he waves a hand in a vague direction of the computer. "…drone thing thirty years ago. But I didn't. There has to be a human capable of telling right from wrong, capable of /regret/ on the other end of the trigger. Otherwise, it's just too easy. People stop being people." He pauses, then adds, "That's the difference between us and them."

-

She does note that little spark of scientific glee. She's /used/ to seeing that, even in its benign form. This time, it amuses her a little. Or, at least, that's the reaction she gives, quirking a smile. "I'd offer more of a demonstration of that one, but May's very strict about property damage. I /do/ know these walls can support my weight though, if you want to see my static cling trick," she offers, biting into her food. "Well. If the wall can still support my weight after the cupcakes."

-

"I'm a scientist. I'm never going to turn down show and tell," says Howard. He bites the grilled cheese again and chews thoughtfully. "Hm. I don't really understand the need to fancy up grilled cheese, but it's not half bad."

-

"You clearly have never had hormone-induced cravings for a perfect balance of salty and sweet," she notes. Then, considers. "Though, since you're in a synthetic body with synthetic hormone systems, you could probably hack your own system to /create/ one. Or do something with the pleasure receptors in that synthetic brain to enhance your enjoyment of the food or-" she frowns. "-I suspect that may be the product of being the child of two mad scientists," she says, and shakes her head. "Please, don't do any of that. If you fry yourself, I'm probably back to being a lowly PI," she says, and finishes her sandwhich. She eyes the cupcakes, and decides against it. Not when she's about to be upside down.

She gives him a quick demonstration of wall-crawling, climbing up one wall, onto the ceiling, then hopping down in a graceful little flip.

-

"YOu /do/ realize you're talking to a Stark, right? If you've thought of it, I've thought of it. But there are some systems that aren't worth messing with, yeah. Not even for me." Howard wipes his hands together and sits back in his chair. Jessica gets his full attention. As she wall-crawls, he watches and rubs his chin. "Impressive. With /static/? Bioelectric currents? That would take some major biological rewiring."

-

"There's a whole lot of not-human mixed into my genes, Jemma could probably explain it better. You'll have to forgive me if I don't want to hand you my /entire/ medical file, of course," she half-jokes. But really, she isn't about to tell him /everything/ she can do, nor hand him the map to her super-sekrit genome. But hey, she's made herself memorable, and brought him treats. That's probably enough to earn her a spot on the top ten favourite visitors list, right? "I'll leave you to the cupcakes. After that little flip, I don't think I can do deep-fried," she says, regretfully, as she gets up. She stops at the door. "Oh, and try not to fluster Simmons too much, hm? It's fun to pull the schoolgirl's pigtails, I know, but she's not like us. A little flirting could still mean a lot more to a girl like that." She's actually quite confident Jemma is capable of not falling for Stark charm, but the 'like us' like has more purpose than the warning itself. Comparing the two of them again. The two crimes against nature. The two hedonists, perhaps? Who knows. But She needs there to be a bond there.

-

"I don't suppose you'd let me run a few scans? Nothing intrusive, I promise." Howard holds up a hand. "It's good to understand your own biology. If you get sick, or injured seriously, a doctor can't treat you if they don't know how you tick. But, I understand if that's a sensitive topic." Howard's tone is all completely reasonable and relaxed. As for Simmons? "Asking me not to flirt is like asking me not to breathe. I don't do it consciously half the time. I'm harmless, I promise. My days of being a heartbreaker are long over, no matter what I happen to look like." And then he smiles one of those million-watt Stark smiles. "Thanks for stopping by."

-

She gives him a once over when he mentions his looks, and does give a nod of approval. "Oh, I've been scanned and poked and prodded many times, Stark, but if you're really curious, I'll see what May's willing to let you know before letting you play doctor," she says. "I'll see you sooner than later, I'm sure." And she leaves, thoughts spinning in her mind like so much silk.


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