Metropolis Power Supplies

February 08, 2015: Babs and Rowan go to visit Jim and Pepper in Metropolis




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Mood Music:

Knowing a dragon can be handy. Or at least, Rowan hopes Babs thinks so. It means one can get to Metropolis even in this awful cloud cover, since he can easily fly under it, staying away from the worst of the winds and such. Why they're coming he's not quite sure but Babs had mentioned tea and needing to meet with someone… technical? Still not quite sure, really.


Jim Reha has been running around like crazy with his clipboard full of power distribution grids, ley line charts, and improvised patches that he and Mister Stark — the older robotic one, not the son, it's Complicated — managed to work out a few weeks ago. Lately he's been checking the grids for any sort of hint that someone is either attempting to line them up for some catastrophic event.

The clouds that purportedly have been delivered by the Atlanteans have done nothing to improve his mood which is why he's rather thankful to have a few moments to meet Babs. He hasn't spoken with her much over the pasth month or so, and catching up is good, right?


Pepper Potts has returned to Metropolis to check on Jim and Tony. Howard claimed he'd done all he could here and moved on to chase wild geese (or something) in New Orleans. With power mostly restored to the city but Fenris having warned her that the installed generators were only FEEDING more power into the ley lines, she needed to talk to Jim as well. Travelling was vary less convenient for her, and why she left Friday evening only to arrive late Saturday.


The other benefit of knowing a dragon, is that he can carry Babs chair as well. As they wing their way into Metropolis, Babs smiles brightly "So much easier than coming by car, Rowan." Glancing up at the clouds she shakes her head "I helped Mr Reha with a project, not long ago. I wanted to catch up with him and see how that was going." She'll let Rowan decide where to land.


The first sign that Pepper and Jim have that someone is nearby is likely the shadow of the six winged beast circling above them before Rowan goes into a dive and sets down not far from Jim. The big dragon puts Babs chair down and helps her off his back and back into it. So, you know, she can move around if she wants. "Hello Miss Potts and… um, hello." That last to Jim. Whom he's not met.


Jim blinks at the descending dragon and then… Babs. "Well. Someone knows how to make an entrance, eh, Pepper?" The portly fellow motions to a nearby coffee house. "They've already got some tables set up for us and some pots going with tea and coffee. Seems helping them out a bit during the power outage is paying back a bit!"

He glances over at the draconic fellow.

"Might want to dial that down, though, boss. Even Metropolis doesn't have big enough doorways for that kind of wingspan."

"Pepper, got your messages and texts, but glad you came down, didn't want to talk over the phones when they were working for security reasons…"


"No, I completely understand, Jim. I'm just sorry it took me so long to get here." She's dressed casually for her, jeans and a buttonup with her usual peacoat and an off white shawl on her shoulders over the coat meaning it's likely there for appearance more than function. "I just wish the news I have was good news."


Rowan is getting good at helping Babs and she smiles appreciatively at him, settling herself in her chair. "It was a bit over the top, wasn't it Mr Reha. But Rowan offered and it was quick. Tea sounds wonderful."

Babs starts to move in the direction of the coffee house, slowly enough so Rowan can catch up when he transforms. "Hello Miss Potts, nice to meet you again." Babs doesn't mention the news, she's too well trained for that.


Rowan begins to shrink, going from dragon to muddy haired young man in moments. "I believe I will fit through the doors now. Hello Miss Potts. Nice to see you again." Nice to meet you now that I'm not crashing into your building, he means. "And… oh yes, you are… Jim? I understand there is to be tea? Shall we go inside, then?"


"Still, not as bad as some other people."

He gives Pepper the look of "Don't tell Tony about the dragon-guy." She is probably already on that track, though.

The salt and pepper'd fellow will usher the others towards the tables prepared, with charts and maps laid out along them, taking jackets and coats. "No news is not always good news?" He shakes his head. "How bad is it?"

He takes a dip sip from a cup of coffee he's had prepared well in advance and half-drained.

"We've met before. Beach in New York, towards the end of summer. Mera was with you. Wish that the current situation wasn't where it was and… I'm a bit worried 'bout her?"


"But yes, come on in, get tea, and someone else check my math just to see if I'm not going crazy?"

The charts have all sorts of notes on them, and the basic math he's done would seem to indicate the system should — if working properly — be balanced or showing a slight loss of power. As would be normal.


Pepper Potts lets Jim take her coat, but she keeps the shawl to ward off any chill. Taking a seat at the table, she looks at the charts. "Let me guess, there's a lot more powering being lost than the numbers can account for." She looks up at Jim. Apparently, that's the news she'd been wanting to share with him.


Babs makes sure Rowan is seated as she lets Jim take her coat. She's already somewhat distracted by the charts and is checking the math, nodding slowly "Your calculations seem fine to me, Mr Reha."

Peppers statement has the younger redheads eyebrows raising "The operational system isn't functioning to spec?" that gets a frown "And you know this already, Miss Potts."


Rowan looks over at the three. Clearly he's missed a memo or something. BUt there's tea. He knows how to make tea. Steep tea. Enjoy tea. He'll get on that, make it up while the other three talk.


The portly fellow nods, and the concept and discussion may pique the Blue's interest momentarily. "I'm NOT an electrical engineer nor am I a mage but…" He takes a sip from his coffee.

"The thing is that we hit every possibility I could think of. I don't know why we'd be seeing this. Before we were worried about surges coming into the system, so we built in a safeguard to drain it off — you were there at that meeting, Pepper — but… why are we now losing power? It shouldn't be bouncing around like that. This is supposed to be a solid and stable system, even with the repairs, but… it's like someone tapped it? It wouldn't be noticeable on a city scale, but on a thaumic scale, even with a poor conversion rate it would be…"

"Really wish the bird hadn't been a dumb - ass."


Pepper Potts sighs, though she smiles a thank you to Rowan for wrangling the tea for them. "This is exactly what Fenris warned me about. Our generators are FEEDING the ley lines. We're giving whomever is doing this as much juice as they could possibly want." She looks up at Jim. "Is the main power plant repaired enough to switch these generators off again?"


Seeing Rowan preparing the tea, Babs smiles "Thank you Rowan." before turning her attention to the conversation "Ley lines, Miss Potts? More magic" Babs sighs slightly "From what I understand ley lines are something like conduits for magic aren't they? and you're saying the city's power is feeding them?" She's trying to catch up.

Jims last comment gets more of a frown "What did Corvinus do, may I ask?"


Rowan brings back three mugs of tea. Perfectly steeped. He's gotten good at that. "What's that? Generators feeding Ley lines?" Sounds far fetched but, goodness. The Magi back home would have loved that.


"They shouldn't be doing that. And… it may be? I mean, they haven't touched base with me, they may have let Mister Stark know?" The portly fellow sighs. "With the situation over on the maglev—" He makes a few scribbled notes. "That could explain a bump, but not a steady flow…"

"Yes. Sort of natural flows of magic that move through the terrain and the like. Someone's been manipulating them."

It's a quick summation of the situation.

"Idiot tried to ground out a generator because it was certain that it could withstand the charge. It's grounded right now because that was the most asinine thing I've ever heard of.

Jim looks a bit frazzled.


Pepper Potts blinks at Jim. She'd not been told about Corvinus trying to electrocute itself. She accepts a cup of tea from Rowan and takes a sip and actually seems to relax a bit just from the beverage. "We need to find out then, Jim. Also we need to know if restarting the power plant wouldn't be worse than what generators are already doing."


Babs takes the tea that Rowan offers and gives him a grateful smile and holds out a hand to him. "Corvinus tried to electrocute himself, no wonder you're looking a little worn, Mr Reha." Allowing the aroma of the tea to curl around her nose, Babs looks between Pepper and Jim "Do you have any idea why someone is manipulating the ley lines?"


Rowan has a seat, sipping some of the tea he made for himself. "It's not easy, and usually quite dangerous." He supplies. NOt a mage no but worked with a lot. "Anything like that takes a lot of work and prep so… would have to be important."


"Sorry for not telling you sooner, Pepper. Things have been crazy. On the plus side, we don't have to worry about Asgardian influences. The God of Mischief and the God of Thunder want this to stop, and they're keeping eyes out for that to be so." That's not an exaggeration, thankfully. He hopes.

More magic. Babs gets an apologetic look.

"I'm — " He takes another sip of his coffee, then considers, flipping back through a bunch of maps to the original power grid without the repairs, pulling it out to another table to look at the specs in the corner, then running back to the numbers he has mathed out.

"The ones we added to the grid were newer models, right? More efficient?"

He runs back over to the original chart. "The power grid before the damage was solidly built, but it was built on an earlier technology framework. Because it's been solid, there's been no need to seriously upgrade it. Damnit. I'd give fingers for John to be here right now."

"If they've got the original generator fixed, it might stop some of the issue?" That's a concession after a few moments of harried math. "But… like Rowan said… it's work and prep and someone was working on the long - term picture…"


Pepper Potts shrugs. "I don't know that the main city power plant would be any better or worse than our generators, Jim. All I know is that Fenris pointed out to me what Metropolis looks like to him right now, and he had each and ever generator tagged. Even the ones that we placed for the police precints and hospitals." Jim would know that those were installed with their exact locations concealed to prevent people from mucking wih them.


Babs listens carefully, catching up on the news as she can "What if…." she muses "the existing generators, the old ones, simply don't have enough oomph… so the power can't be siphoned as quickly so it's not as obvious to people like Fenris."


The portly fellow sits down. Even HE wasn't in the loop on all the generators, by his own request. Just in case he did get captured or such. But if Fenris can pick them out, then anyone with magic may pick them out. "Short of taking iron horseshoes to all of them I'm not sure what else we can do." Is that a sound of defeat in his voice.

"I'm sunk. Out of ideas. Almost out of gas. Sorry, Pepper."

And it looks like he's aged five to ten years during the conversation.


Pepper Potts reaches over to put a hand on Jim's shoulder. "You've already done so much more than any one could have asked for. You have nothing to apologize for." She looks about ready to say something more when somethign in her bag chimes. "oh. That's… I need to get going. Thank you both."


Babs looks as Peppers bag chimes and smiles slightly "Thank you Miss Potts" Finishing her tea, she smiles to Jim "I do appreciate you taking time to see me. I think we should be heading off as well."


Jim nods quietly. "Need to talk to you at some point to touch base about some things, okay?" He sits quietly and looks at the charts and maps. "Please let me know when this was a good time is?"

He'll give her an appreciative nod.

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