Too Ordinary

Summary:
December 01 2014: Jericho drops by Stark Tower to see what came of the data Pepper agreed to look at for him.

Pepper's Office, Stark Tower

Pepper's Office is the beating heart of Stark Industries. Nothing, big or small, happens there without going at some level through here.


Characters

NPCs

  • K'nert

Mood Music:
[* None]


It's been a few days since Jericho turned over the raw financial data to Pepper Potts. The financials are… confusing. Not because they're complicated but because they're so very mundane. Normal financial activity for the past twenty five years is the program it seems to be running or in other words, the machines are encouraging people to engage in commerce… which is odd to say the least.

-

If asked, Pepper will freely admit to it. She cheated. She got Cricket to crunch the data for her, so JARVIS wouldn't have to admit that he'd seen any of it. And yes, PAINFULLY mundane. But, she compiled the findings Cricket helped her sort out, and then she emailed Aspect to invite him over for dinner and to chat about the findings. Besides, she's got SO MANY leftovers that need to disappear and any help she can get will be appreciated.

-

Jericho shows up via K'nert express right into Peppers office. It's one of the more subtle ways he's got of getting around. At least he can come in without having to talk to the receptionist. Pepper's gatekeepers are rather intimidating. He also comes bearing gifts. Tea. From China. Which is close to Russia. Which is where he is. A lot these days. "Hello Pepper. You found something, I take it?"

-

Pepper smiles at Jericho as he arrives via Henson Express. She's got another of those hard candies for K'Nert and she shows it to the little creature. "You will get a second one if you leave everything in this building exactly the way it was just before you arrived. Agreed?" She then looks at the hacker again. "Well, the most enlightening thing that I found was that that ledger's worth of information was actually nearly enough to make a COMPUTER yawn in boredom. We picked out some highlights for you regardless." She gestures toward an empty chair with her non-candy hand.

-

Jericho gives K'nert a warning look. Candy he may get but he'd better damn well behave. He has a sit down near Pepper's desk, wincing at her descritpion. "Sorry I made you wade through it then…" He murmurs. "What did you find?"

-

Pepper Potts smiles a bit conspiratorially. You didn't. I made Cricket wade through it. She doesn't sleep, so she didn't mind at all." She slides a single sheet of paper over to Jericho, which lists anything of note for each moth of the entire ledger's history. "When I said yawn-inducing, I meant it."

-

Jericho pages through it. One of the advantages of being a cyborg himself is the ability to search results and crunch data himself. "I'm familiar with her abilities." Jericho chuckles. He did, after all, help reprogram her. "Huh… Okay, so, Pepper you deal with business decisions every day. Why would anyone go to the trouble of seeding the Tri-City area with Mind Altering Tech and then… use it to tell them to make the same financial decisions they've been making for a quarter of a century? Seems like a lot of effort for not a lot of return."

-

Pepper says, "The patterns are very specific. I think you may have picked up on this while the devices are still in testing phase. Possibly?" She shrugs. "There's no way to find out from a person why these things are all over the place, is there?" She stands and pulls a bottle of water from the minifridge in her credenza to offer to Jericho."

-

"If we can get our hands on someone who might know…" Jericho frowns. "Who hasn't forced us to kill them in the process of acquiring them, perhaps. I still don't entirely know where to look though. Every time I've encountered someone connected to this they've been coming through a portal."

-

Pepper sighs. "I know, it's not a realistic expectation. But… these ledger entries don't really give you anything useful to work with." She sits back. "I'm sorry they're a dead end, Jericho."

-

Jericho smiles a little. "They're not Pepper. I just don't know what they mean. Hrm… can Cricket and Jarvis project financial data based on a set of nested assumptions?" He's got that gleam in his eye. Granted it's not usually such a literal expression, but he does. Like suddenly he's on to something.

-

Pepper blinks, seeing Jericho literally getting that gleam in his eyes. "Yes. That should be easy enough." She promptly asks JARVIS to do so. "What are you thinking, Jericho?"

-

"In the past twenty five years, how many big recessions have we seen worldwide, mmm?" There was the dot com bust in the 90's, the housing bust a few years back. Banking crises in Europe and elsewhere. It comes to Jericho's mind that it's been a rough time for the world financially. As markets become interconnected they're much easier to distrub with widespread catastrophic results.

-

Okay, now Pepper sees where Jericho is going with that, and waits to see what JARVIS comes back with after recompliling the data. And while she waits, she starts puttering about the credenza, reheating leftovers of turkey, mashed potatoes, and similar. "Have you eaten, Jericho? I have enough to share if you want."

-

"What time is it?" Is the hacker's response. Between Russia, New York and Limbo (where there isn't any time per se) his internal clock is all kinds of confused. "Probably been a solid twelve hours since I ate." Real time. Trips through Limbo are, as previously mentioned, off the clock in ways both good and bad. "That smells delicious from here. Thanksgiving leftovers?"

-

Pepper smiles and nods, setting the plate down for Jericho. "Yes. I was all set to try and wrangle cooking the entire thing by myself, and then people juset started showing up with items to contribute or just offering to be an extra pair of hands for me. Cricket made the stuffing, and Dana brought the bread from a close friend of her family." She starts assembling a second plate of leftovers for herself. "It made the whole thing feel… more like a family event, not just a meal where people show up, eat, and leave again. You know?"

-

Jericho smiles almost wistfully. "I used to." He used to have big family get togethers for this kind of thing. It's been hard for him in that regard these past couple of years. His smile brightens just a bit though when he remembers what he did have for Thanksgiving this year, which was better than he'd ever dared hope for for the longest time.

-

With the second plate heated, Pepper sits back down to eat as well. "I tried to get in touch with you to send an invitation, but when you didn't reply, I figured you would be busy so I didn't have JARVIS pester you. But, if you'd like more leftovers to take with you, I'm pretty sure I can arrange that." She offers a smile, as it really would be sparing her another week of the same meal over and over.

-

"Sure. And sorry. I've been overseas dealing with another one of those mysterious problems I deal with." He doesn't tell Pepper too much mostly because he doesn't want her to have to lie if asked (for whatever strange reason) what he's doing. "Overseas in no place that really makes tourist brochures more's the pity."

-

Pepper nods. "No, no. I completely understand. I've had my share of holidays spent overseas myself. How many people are there with you regularly? I think I still have enough for two or three more people."

-

"Three more people, at happens. Er, including one of your employees. Poached Sam. Sorry, Pepper." Jericho smiles apologetically but really this kind of thing suits Sam's talents and equipment perfectly. "I'll return him undamaged. Ish. Promise."

-

Pepper sits back in her chair and ohhhs. "So that's where he is and why he also didn't get my invitation. I just might have to do this all over again when you bring everyone back. Though maybe I'll go with pot roast again. That I feel like I can reliably repeat without any glaring mistakes." She gestures to the last quarter of a grainy bread that had clearly been baked old school. "Though you'll have to ask Dana if she can bring more of that bread. I'm not about to risk Wassea's wrath."

-

"Dana? Oh. Dana Hunt. Your… unusual friend." He forgets that Pepper has 'unusual friends too sometimes. In some ways she has stranger friends than he does though the two are starting to rival one another for a collection. Werewolf, Demon Queen, Mutant Nullifier and Alien Princess on the one hand and Ancient Bird-God-Fortune-Cookie, Combat Andriod, Special Forces Flyer and Tony Stark on the other. The very notion of all those people in one room makes him grin. "Who'se Wassea again?"

-

Pepper nods. "Yes. The owner of that little pub that looks like it stepped right out of a Lord of the Rings movie. She reminds me a bit of M from the recent James Bond movies, right down to the 'I can and I will kick your butt if you make me' attitude." She smiles a bit thinking about the lady. "I think you'd like her, so long as you didn't give her a reason to be upset with you."

-

"I have a talent for that. So perhaps we should save the introduction for later." Jericho grins. "How long, do you think, it'll take JARVIS to crunch those numbers?" He's asking for a very specific set of theoretical financial data. It's fairly numbers intensive so he knows it could be a while.

-

"I'm not sure. JARVIS?" Pepper glances toward the ceiling out of habit.

"To process all of the potential permutations that Mr. Trent has indicated, I will require another fourteen point one six three hours. Unless you would like me to devote more resources."

Pepper looks at Jericho questioningly to see how much of a time crunch he's in.

-

"I can come back later." Jericho chuckles. "This'll keep unless we abruptly suffer an extradimensional invasion or something like that…" At which point the hacker rather suspects they'll all have other concerns. "Well, I'll take your delicious leftovers to my compatriots in the cold, communist snow. Anything you want me to get you in Russia?"

-

Pepper considers. "If you find a genuine Orenburg gossamer — not one of the cheaply made mohair and nylon ones foisted off on tourists — I'll reimburse you for a palatine or a full square. Or if not a gossamer, a warm shawl." She offers Jericho a smile. "Partisan might know what all those terms mean."

-

"She might also know where to get them. I'll ask her." Partisan got him a couple of souveniers. A generals cap and a pair of rare, and kind of amazing pisols. Surely they can spare some effort for Pepper. "And thanks again Pepper. For everything."

-

"Of course." Pepper gets up and efficiently packs up the remaining leftovers that she'd had rather expertly crammed into her small fridge. "There you go. With my compliments for everyone. And you are most welcome."


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