The Last Days of Wonder, Part 2

January 13, 2015: Steve tracks down Tony in Metropolis


The Big Apricot



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Mood Music:

Over the wide bays and lowlands of Maryland and Delaware, Steve Rogers is driving his motorcycle east, then north, propelling himself from the nation's capital back to New York. For the past few weeks, he's been off on a secret mission for you know who. And of all the missions to go on, he had to be on the one that took him out of the country for the second biggest terrorist attack in the history of the United States.

The images made him sick. The ramifications made him sicker. He's on his way back to the Triskelion in order to help investigate from SHIELD's end, and he is bound and determined to help prevent something like this from ever happening again. He wasn't here for September 11, so his sentiments might be different than others, but frustration grips him still.

There are good parts, however. Tony Stark jumped at the opportunity to help down in Metropolis. Though the pair have often butted heads, Steve knows that when the rubber meets the road, Tony was one of the good guys. True, it's probably a quicker route to take the Baltimore to Philly route up to Manhattan, Steve takes a bit longer of a drive, going the r
In times like these, it's good to see friendly faces.

Stark Industries has already brought in a dozen or more powered generators that work like micro batteries for a couple square miles around their base location. Tony personally saw them set up so that they would overlap across Hospitals and major Emergency services like Police Stations, Jails, and Fire departments. While he IS known best for his advances in Energy and Robotics, people often forget that he is first and foremost an Engineer. So he understands the application of Civil design as well as he does computer software.

The only problem with those generators is that they run on a limited power supply. While he was not present for the Terrorist attack either, it was not because he had no fall out from the event. Individuals also attacked Stark Tower and most of their resources were tied up into renovations and security systems analysis, but the very second he was contacted by Fury… he made a show of pretending he wouldn't help.

But all it was was a show.

Tony cares about this Country. He cares about the people who live there. He plays the cavalier billionaire for the purposes of the Media, but he's the same man who volunteers to suit up in a weaponized battle platform and protect those people from threats of a extraordinary nature.

He's brought along one of his armored suits that is less armed than others specifically built for the purpose of moving heavy equipment and connecting them to various access points along the Metropolis power grid. Like now, he's standing with a group of Stark Industries and US Army corp of Engineers, all of them huddled over a blue print of the old Metropolis power network in the freezing cold of a mid-winter Metropolis afternoon. "I'm going to need these lines here and here…" Said with fogging breath. He opted out of taking one of the bigger power generators that have been powering heaters and other necessary equipment for refugees in favor of a loud gas powered arrangement that gives the group limited output, but just enough for him to run a flood light in the warehouse he's taken over for the purpose of this project.

It's getting to that point where the sun is setting and where those who have been wearing sunglasses forget to take them off. Oops, in the pocket these go, Steve things as he shoves his hands deep into the bomber jacket's pockets and lookswell, marvelsat all the big generators and gizmos. He waits until a break in the action until approaching Tony.

"Assistant let me in," he says as he nods to the billionaire. "I told her I'd figure out the way. Looks like quite an operation, Tony. I'm sure Metropolis thanks you. The rest of us do too."

Everyone goes about to handle whatever task Tony put them off on. He doesn't actually exist in a military chain of command, but they gave him a coterie of very specific individuals whom he picked out of a premiere list of names. Graduates of MIT, Caltech, his own personale from Stark Industries. There's a very specific purpose here and he needed the brightest for it whether they were military or not.

Once he's left alone with his plans and a steaming thermos of coffee, Tony leans down on his hands and lets tired eyes shift across the unraveled blueprint of a grid system that hasn't been updated for 'at the very least' a decade or more.

To anyone else this would seem daunting, but even haggard as he appears, he seems confident. Turning when he hears a familiar voice coming up from behind him and meeting Steve Rogers with a trade mark Stark smirk, "Cap." Offering out his hand. "Eh, they'll probably end up paying me or something…" Waving his other hand, despite the fact that they have neither offered nor him requested any such thing.

Tony Stark must put on the airs. "When did you get back into country?" Because there's no way he wouldn't have been here if he could, even Tony knows better than to tease him about that.

Steve returns the handshake with a firm grip that Tony would likely have become accustomed to expect. "Not long, to be honest. I got back this afternoon; early too. In light of everything, I was needed back pretty quickly. Had a short meeting with the President and I'm headed back up to New York tonight."

Steve gives an upwards nod before adding. "I heard something bad happened at the tower. What was it?"

Tony has been working out, but he hasn't been Steve Rogers working out. No amount of prep work will ever prepare someone for the firm shake, even if he rolls with it like a pro. Nodding at the explaination and turning to grab up his coffee, holding it up in offer with a second cup not to far away. "It's hot." Probably good too, but it is definitely hot.

"Mmm.." After a sip of his own, leaning lazily against the table with one arm crossed beneath the thermos to steal some of it's warmth to fight off the chill in his fingers, "Not sure yet. We're still sifting through all the security footage. Don't even know what they were after or if it was meant to keep me from being here. They were good, though. Organized, well funded, and heavily geared." Not unlike the terrorists here.

"But most of that is put on hold until we figure out Metropolis' power situation. My hypocrisy does have bounds…"

"Thank you," Cap says regarding the coffee and takes the extra and offered cup. Despite the chill in the air, Steve doesn't seem to notice the temperature or the breeze. The jacket itself is warm, but with no gloves and no hat, it would be mighty cold for a normal person.

"Well, if you need any help on it, feel free to call. Speaking of…This guy Hayes? If things go sideways here and there's a bigger network than we know about, do you want in?"

Tony pours out some coffee and, true to form, it is pretty good. Mostly it's just warm though. Whatever they had on hand and could quickly boil up for the genius to keep his brain working in the middle of winter. To say he's use to an easier life is an understatement, he's not shy about it.

Then, he's no stranger to the worst either.

Just that if he had to make a choice, standing in the snow wouldn't be it.

"Most of this is just moving parts around until I get the line figured out. I'm still trying to figure out where the intial attack on the grid took place or if it's structural concerns that would require an entire rewiring…" He could go on for hours, but he pauses and shakes his head while scratching at his lightly stubbled jaw.

Perking a little when Cap mentions Hayes, "He's the one responsible?" Another long drink of coffee follows and Tony puts the cup away so he can tuck his hands into the sides of his heavy jacket. "Sure, yeah. If you need some heavy firepower, I've got another suit I can unpack. Wouldn't mind getting a swing at these bastards."

"That's what they say, at least." Cap hasn't seen any of the briefings that have come out of the investigation, but he does know that Hayes is being held at the Triskelion. He hopes to review the documents tonight yet, or tomorrow, depending on when he gets home.

"You know, I'm no expert, Tony, but I'd start at the place where all the bombs went off. The big crater in the ground," Steve says with a laugh.

"Oh look who grew a sense of humor." Tony chides the Cap with a smirk, "I've got arial footage of the crater, but the blast zone isn't cleared yet. I'm going to go in there in my suit tonight." Which is probably not allowed, but when has Tony ever played by the rules? "Besides that, there's subway tunnels running beneath the city. It's like dropping a firecracker into a rabbit hole. The fire expands in either direction before it goes upwards since it has a pocket of air current to travel on." Expanding his hands outward, then returning them to his jacket.

"There's no telling how much damage it actually did ''beneath'' the city, which is where the problem lies. If it were just a knocked over generator, I could hook the lines to a reactor and power this city for the rest of forever… but if all the junction boxes are fried, I'm going to have run hundreds of thousands of miles of power cable in a network of jigsaw canals because this city is built by morons."

When Tony puts it like that, everything is decidedly less funny. He folds his large arms over his chest, looking earnestly towards Tony, "Sounds like there's a ton of work. Any idea who many men you'll be getting down here? Any idea how long it'll take?" Steve's questions are less probing and more curious.

"How's everything back in New York?" he adds, meaning Pepper and everyone else.

Tony shakes his head and claps his hands down on his legs with a little sigh, "SHIELD has given me all the men they could spare and I brought everyone I could from Stark Industries, but I'm still short about a hundred pairs of hands." Which is sort of like saying, this'll be fun because Tony actually enjoys the challange.

"Not sure yet. I'll have to see how extensive the damage is underground before I can make a definitive estimation, but we've got generator locations spread out all across the city keeping everyone warm for the time being." They have about two days worth of energy before he'd have to replace the powercells. Which gets exponentially more expensive. He's not writing a recipt, but Stark Industries took a HUGE hit when the attack on the Tower went public.

"Probably a few days… a week tops." Anyone else? Months. Because Tony Stark is the man, yo.

As for New York? "We weren't hit as bad in New York. Pepper is keeping things moving with the renovations at SI. I'll leave her too that." Besides, his part was reinstalling security and figuring how they can get JARVIS back online at one hundred percent. Tony is flying blind right now.

Steve tilts his head as he begins to read between the lines as to what Steve is saying. "Wait, are you staying down here until this is done?" To be honest, something seemed so right about Tony making a home in the most technologically advanced city in the world.

And something seemed so wrong, too.

"It's a heck of a town, Metropolis," he says in passing. His blue eyes look around, "It's no Brooklyn, but it'll do."

"Probably not right here in this building…" Tony says, blowing warmer air into his palms, "But I am staying in Metropolis. I've got my starkpad with me to keep going through the security footage…" Everything the inventor does can be done remotely, that's half the point of everything he's ever created. It's why the Iron Man armor works.

The ONLY problem is getting JARVIS back online, since he's the key to it all.

"Eh.. Jury is still out on the 'city', but I've pretty much exausted all my lady options in New York. Figured a change of scenary might do me some good… Besides, cold is good for making babies."

To which he bounces his brow. Wouldn't want anyone thinking he was being altruistic.

Steve chuckles and shakes his head, "I suppose when you've had your fill of one city, there's nothing you can do but make your way south and west like a real American." Cap chuckles a bit and shakes his head. Tony, is Tony afterall.

"Listen, I should get going to get back up to the Triskelion. Thanks for the cup, Tony. It was good to see you. Don't be a stranger. Especially during times like this."

Tony puts on a grin and shrugs a shoulder. After refilling his cup he rolls it between his hands to leach some of the warmth into his palms, which benefits in keeping his knuckles from getting sore. "Just like a perfectly acceptable country song." He says with a smirk.

Then a nod, "I'll be here for at least a week and coming by the Triskelion to pick up more supplies as often as they'll let me." He's pushing to see exactly how much freedom they'll actually give him! "Come by when you get a chance, I'll see if we can't put those big arms to use. Besides, one of the technicians? She's a Cap fan." Laughing quietly around a drink of coffee, "Later, Steve."

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