Party Supplies

February 21 2015: Jericho Partisan and Pepper break out one of Partisans old caches for nostalgia's sake.


A secured vault in Finland



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It was never discovered by the modern day Finnish authorities, it was never discovered by the Nazis in hiding, or any number of communist actors scattered across the map. A vault sealed at the absolute peak of the "first stage" of the cold war, and it's a time of such incredible global peril that kids today? They just do not even begin to get it. Tanks stood on either side of check point charlie, with cannons loaded and safeties off. Korea was just getting going, and China was cutting itself apart to purge itself in response to their loss at the hands of the Japanese. The French were building nuclear weapons, and everyone and their brother was trying to dump as much surplus WW2 equipment into their respective causes as possible. That would be 1949, when Partisan left Europe for Africa.
Of course the Finns of all people were down with the cause, of fucking course they fell all over themselves to aid the most effective third party actor (and the only one left standing) in the second world war. This port along the coast has once been built by treaty to theoretically offer Nazi U-boats a sheltered port, but mysteriously they were just never available for use. Few remember that the Tirpitz sank not far from here, the wreck was still being recovered from the shallows where it capsized when Part took the place over. Austere concrete, enormous cargo cranes and rusted hulks of warehouses shot full of holes. The barbed wire fence hasn't done much to keep the graffiti artists away, but over towards the sealed area which was once those massive U-boat pens? A solitary docking light still shines green, and another red one still lies dead.
It's cold of course, it's absurdly cold and no of course nobody fucking ploughs any of the dock. Chalk that up to the hazards of this place. Still there had been some required equipment for this little trek. Boots, winter coat, gloves and a gas mask. Partisan claims to have a few tons worth of Mustard gas stored down there and who the fuck knows whats going on with the state of the air in there right?

The small group of people who come 'beam' over - Partisan, Jericho and Pepper - are dressed for the weather. And then there's K'nert. K'nert is sticking close to Jericho for this one and not dressed in anything and if the cold bothers him he doesn't say… in any language anyone but Jericho can understand, anyway. "Pretty remote." Jericho notes, though that'd largely be the point. "What'cha got over this way?"

Having dressed for this per Partisan's insistence, Pepper looks around at their rather unique destination choice then pulls the Haapsalu shawl protecting her hair from the winter chill a bit closer around her neck. "Please tell me I won't have to shovel any snow.:

Partisan heads towards the pens, pausing only to light a cigarette. "All the shit I thought I might need when the Russians did something dumb. WW2 and a little after, enough to get a Partisan force back in action."Part moves briskly. Prying open the colored red and green panels and unscrewing both bulbs before putting them back in in opposite order. Immediately comes a loud metallic bang, and one of those enormous bomb proof steel doors begins to swing open exposing darkness beyond. "Alright, masks on."As the Partisan, hurriedly finishes her cigarette, masks up and leads on inside.

It makes sense that Partisan would trap the place. Or perhaps there's a chance that some of it has degraded over time. Either way Jericho hands Pepper a gas mask and downs his own, ensuring both have a good seal before following in.

Pepper Potts accepts the gas mask and takes a deep breath before putting it on. She looks distinctly uncomfortable wearing it but least she's not complaining out loud. Once Jericho's satisfied that she's wearing the thing correctly (and she is, Partisan insisted she learn), she follows him inside.

It's an enormous cavern, a maze of concrete until the room opens up into a chamber easily three hundred by three hundred yards and maybe fourty feet high. Part pauses, before with a pop and a fizzle sodium lights overhead humm to life and the cache is illuminated. There are Shermans, there are Tiger tanks, T-34s, artillery pieces, racks and racks of rifles, machineguns, mortars, bayonets, rocket launchers and then there are the airplanes. 10 ME-109s, a pair of FW-190s, a trio of P-51s, six P-38s, a trio of A-26s and more than twenty other aircraft broken down into parts alone. "Alright, air looks cleanish…stay clear of any barrels."

Jericho nods and pulls the mask off, but keeps it handy. He whistles low as he looks around. "Mmmmm. Nice, cache Part. Real piece of history here." He chuckles, wondering why Pepper's here but not at all minding. If she wants any of this old stuff…

Pepper Potts watches the other two for a moment, and when they don't keel over from taking off their gas masks she hastily pulls hers off as well and takes another breath. One might almost infer that she was holding her breath. "This is … impressive, Partisan. Would you allow me to take a photo of everything just as it is right now?"

Partisan walks amongst the hulks with a quiet sort've shrug, leaving her mask on for the time being. Fingertips trailing as she tours the place, making sure that indeed everything is right where she left it. "Some of these things served us well."Pausing to knock a knuckle against the propeller of a parked ME-109. "I went ace in this, only two were other fighters but it served it's purpose."motioning towards the hulk behind it, whats left of a big twin engined aircraft. "Thats the ME-110 I was shot down in, and taken prisoner in Italy. They thought I was a chetnik, would have gone very badly for me. Got me in the hands of the Gestappo, and they were not very appreciative of the fact that I'd downed twelve troop transports ferrying personel across europe. In those days the most elite fighter pilots in the world, were in a unit called JG-51. The top six scoring aces of the war were all from there, I'd run into them over the Eastern front around 41'. When they heard I'd been captured alive, they swept in and basically stole me from the Gestappo. They posted me in a minimum security prison for, well whores. Practically helped me escape."Sighing softly as she climbs up atop the fighter's wing and pops the canopy to dig around inside. "I used to have the -biggest- crush on Gerhard Barkhorn, if he hadn't been married who knows what I'd have done."Yep, part had crushes on a Luftwaffe ace. "Sure Pepper, I'm taking a plane and a few momentos but the rest belongs to you now."
There are easily fourty aircraft in here, many of which have no surviving examples left in the world. Those ME-109s alone have got to be worth twenty million all together, maybe much more because they're a hundred percent intact. There, over back behind those A-26s is that part's Beaufighter? None of those are left, no original flying ME-109s or FW-190s just foreign copies made as original as possible. The original paint is still there, everything just as it was left. The collection is, beyond measure.

Well congrats Pepper. You just inherited a bunch of World War II Memorabelia and if Jericho knows anything about Partisan it'll be remakrably well maintained. He'd observe that this is rather generous of Part, and really it is, but he refrains since he knows its just part of the culture she was brought up in and she rather sees it as normal.

Pepper Potts pulls her phone from a pocket in her coat and after a moment of fiddling takes a few still photos and a short video. She makes sure to not catch Jericho in the frame. "I still have no idea how we're going to get all of this back to the US without someone noticing." Thankfully Partisan did tell her about how much warehouse space she'd need for everything so when/if they get it all there she'll have places to put everything while she inventories everything and arranges with museums around the globe to add them to their exhibits. She knows the aviation museums in no less than four countries would slap-fight over three or four of those planes alone.

Partisan just smiles "Well Pepper, this is a deep water port. How do you think I got all this shit here from Latvia in the first place?"She digs around in the cockpit a bit, before producing a neat leather bag and from that comes a few books, and a stack of photographs. Holy shit, Partisan kept war diaries and has -photographs-"Here.."Paging through the old black and white photos, before offering one down towards Pepper and Jerry. Theres a tall handsome fellow in a neat black German dress uniform, and another beside who looks like he's not quite old enough to shave. The background is a mass of SS uniforms, but between the two men a young girl and apparently a Cigarette seller judging by the rather racy top she's wearing. "The tall one there is Gerhard Barkhorn, and the guy beside him is Erich Hartman. This is from about 1940 I think, the second highest scoring ace of all time and the highest scoring ace respectively. I was working at the officer's club there at the time, feeding info back to the allies. Met most of the German top aces in there, all but one was a absolute gentleman and none but Rudel was a member of the Nazi party."

Jericho looks over the photo with a nod and then passes it over to Pepper. "I've heard decent things about most of the Luftwaffe's combat pilots. Well, most of the better ones anyway." He glances about at some of the old hardware and whistles low. K'nert comes up onto his shoulder and hisses something.

"Old, yeah, K'nert but people once decided the fate of this world with those machines."

Pepper Potts accepts the photo and looks at the people depicted there. History was never really her forte, so she has no frame of reference for these names or faces. "Well, I'm glad to hear that there was at least SOME honor on the German side. I mean, the way US history books depict the whole thing, every last person who claimed to be a German was some moustache-twirling stereotypical villain type."

Partisan shakes her head "That was the SS. Look it broke down like this, maybe two percent of the regular army were actual Nazis. After the first world war, the French in particular went out of control and so when the military academies in Germany reformed they stressed that Soldiers and politics are to remain seperate. A soldiers duty was to serve, and so they did."Part offers Jerry another photo, this time a pair of women posing infront of a ME-262 bearing the Hydra emblem infront of a swastika. Then another, infront of…well who the fuck knows what that thing is. That can't be a MiG-15 can it? "Most German soldiers were brave honorable soldiers who didn't particularly like the Nazis, but loved Germany. The SS though, were absolutely monsters every last one. I killed every SS I met, and whenever the opportunity presented itself I made it fucking last. Even moreso in about 44', when the camps came to light."

Jericho nods as he listens. Being a soldier himself he knows a lot of this history even if he didn't live it. "So that's when you first ran into them, I take it?" He holds up the picture, speaking of HYDRA. "Infiltrating here or did you shoot that one down?" He passes those pictures to Pepper also.

Pepper Potts looks at those pictures as well, frowning slightly when she recognizes the Hydra symbol. "Just the thought of any of this happening again. It's… a very unsettling thing." And yet at the same time it's kind reassuring knowing that people have been trying to stop Hydra for… seventy years now? More?

"Oh I stole that from a submarine base in the South of France, I was aware of them although I hadn't had contact with them well before the invasion of Poland. Remember the Soviets were arguably worse, so my eyes were focused Eastward when they were getting big. Sure the Nazis and Hitler are what everyone remember, but there was a full scale clandestine war going on out of the Soviet Union to start things off. We had Anarchists, Socialists, Fascists and during the fall of the Ottoman Empire? Well the nation was run by these guys known as the Cult of The Bogatyr, which was some bullshit but they were crazy occultist assholes and I fucked them up real good. Rasputin was one of them, thats the only famous one I know of. They claimed to be the reincarnations of King Arthur, various famous heroes and so fourth. Some had powers, some were just clever."Part shrugs, paging through the photographs before offering another over. It's a woman with her face painted in a familar wolf pattern, kneeling beside the body of…no fucking way. She's got the dude's head rolled back with one hand, and a Tommy gun in the other and…no fucking way. THat dude, he looks exactly like fucking Rasputin. "Germany and the Nazis, Fascist dirtbags great but they werent the immediate threat. The poles and the Czechs didn't exactly complain too much, and I'll be honest I thought the French needed to be taken down a peg. Then we saw the first SS running around, and priorities shifted."

"Mmmmmm." Jericho nods and glances over to Pepper. "Bogatyr were Russian folkloric hero-knights. A lot of them are bound up in Orthodox religious iconography too. They've got their dragon slayers and castle stormers and the like." In case she hasn't read up on Russian folkslore… which it's possible she has.

"I hadn't known they had a whole cult to themselves though." He glances over at the picture, taking it to study before passing it on. "That's a bit unsettling."

Pepper gets kind of a wry chuckle. "There is nothing new, they say. I'm sure even my situation isn't unique…" Well… actually maybe it is at least in its particulars. "But yeah, it's nice to know that others have fought this fight and kept the snakes at bay before."

Nodding in recognition of the concept of the Russian hero-knights if not the name 'Bogatyr' specifically, Pepper takes the most recent photo and looks shocked. She clearly recognizes that dead person as Rasputin. "Is this…?" She holds up the photo so Partisan knows who she's talking about.

Partisan shrugs "Oh the Romans wanted to rule the world, so did the Chinese a few times, Alexander, Napoleon, and a few hundred cults over the years. Once upon a time, the defenders were many. People like me, empowered by fate or their gods to see to the freedom of the species. They saw good for good, and bad for bad and they acted. Now every asshole in a uniform is afraid to rock the boat, the people now see a man make a decision unilaterally and right or wrong they don't examine why. No they flinch, and the first thing they say? "what right does he have", as if all men are infact born equal in the literal and not the strict legal sense. Well you know what, we're not all equal. We are not all equals, some are born to greater things. In a day and age where gods walk the street in costume and defend the weak, people still ask what right they have."Part shrugs, stuffing her war diaries aand the photos away. All except the one Pepper has, which just gets a shrug. "He said he was. He was running some occultist bullshit, he tried fucking with me. He was a little tougher than the average fucker, but well I shot him plenty and then I cut the heart out of his chest. Was he the real deal, we'll never know and thats beside the point. If a lie is believed widely enough, the fact that it's untrue doesn't matter. He said he was, people believed he was. So he might as well have been."

Jericho nods again and climbs up on one of the P-38s to have a better look. This is always been one of his favorite old planes. Not many made like it, particularly the L models. So good. "So, going to load this on a ship? I'm sure we can port some of it back if you'd like. Pepper is there anything you'd like to take back immediately?"

Pepper Potts knows so LITTLE about any of this, she's going to have to choose based on aesthetics alone. "I'm thinking maybe two or three planes? I've already had Imelda from MSF talking to the Smithsonian, and perhaps we can pick something smallish to offer their air and space museum?"

Partisan slips through the maze of aircraft, leading the pair as she goes before tugging an ancient dropcloth off what looks…well like an FW-190 but the details are all wrong. "This, is what you take to them Pepper. a TA-152H, the Smithsonian has a really super beat to fuck one which is nice."Part climbs up on the wing, and brushes away the dust beneath the cockpit which reads in hand painted letters "Kurt Tank NO-1". "The first production TA-152H, and the only one made to the original specifications. They ran out of the parts necessary, so every one after this was really butchered up. Designed by, flown by, built by the famous Kurt Tank. Designed the best fighter of the second world war, the FW-190 and this was to be it's replacement. The fastest, most powerful, best armed, most agile, best engineered fighter of the prop age. Ran when parked, in 1946. Hows that for wow factor, or do you want something a little more exotic than this even?"

That makes Jericho give out a little snort from his perch. His eyes are glimmering in amusement. "Oh good lord Part. The Smithsonian would practically marry Pepper to get that plane." He grins over to the CEO. Surely she can squeeze a favor or two out of that, if he knows her at all.

Yeah. Most of that goes completely over her head, but it sure sounds impressive. And, if this would be an upgrade to something the Smithsonian already has on display, it would be even easier for them to accept it into their collection. "Well, I'm not really looking to marry, but…"

Partisan smirks "It was probably the best single seat fighter of the war, and with a few weeks of work it'd fly. I have the blueprints for it too, and the production plans for the ME-109 Gustavs. So you could just make new ones if you wanted, Everything here belongs to you now though Pepper. I'd just take them the plans, and ask them if they'd like to see a complete unrestored serial number 1 with Kurt Tank's signature on it. My tastes are a little more pedestrian for what I wanna bring back, but I intend on actually flying it and nobody makes parts for these things anymore."

Jericho chuckles a bit both at Part and Pepper and takes seat on the wing of the P-38 to watch the two of them. "I'm sure you'll be able to convince them to accept something other than, crushed as they might be." That with a grin. "Part which one do you want to bring back?"

Pepper Potts considers, then nods to Partisan. "You're right. Just the plans for now, see which one makes them faint the fastest. I do plan to get in touch with museums in England and Germany as well, but… well." That whole trans-continental communications breakdown has really put a cramp on what Pepper can normally do. That, and the continued lack of full JARVIS access.

Partisan digs around behind the cockpit for a moment, before offering Pepper a neat swastika emblazoned briefcase and a grin. Then she's off, to pull the cover off what looks like an A-26. Normal american fighter aircraft had semi-flush rivets and patchwork panels everywhere, this made them easier to build but aerodynamically dirty. This one, is very different. It's polished aluminum and, almost mirror like in how smooth and supple the skin is. The wings too are shaped a little differently, and the engine cowlings and even propellers don't exactly match. There are no turrets here, clearly the whole airframe has been "race tuned" by aeronautical engineering types and up front in that solid nose? Eight 38mm autocannons. There are hard points, suggesting that the K variant in vietnam? Yeah maybe -that- was based on -this-. It's been painted only in places with bright gold, and there is of course nose art. A leaping wolf with a dagger clutched between it's teeth. In magnificent flowery gold script below it proclaims "This machine kills Fascists!" A proper plane left over from an age where personal valor was still to be respected on the battlefield. "This is Fussy Guss the third, the first was that ME-110. Then my Beaufighter which burned to the ground, so I had a few free french engineers get to work on an A-26 that'd been granted to me. Twenty seven hundred horsepower per hypercharged double wasp radial engine, fourteen hundred more than stock. Empty weight was seventeen thousand pounds, vs the original twenty two thousand pound weight. Four hundred fifty five miles an hour, almost three thousand foot a minute climb. You can see the 38mm cannons upfront, and another six .50s per wing. He sank four submarines, two ships, blew up thirteen tanks and shot down thirty five aircraft including three FW-190s and an ME-109F.

Jericho hops down and walks over to Fussy Guss III and runs a hand along the wing. "Old Soldier, then." He says with the respect usually reserved for a seasoned veteran. He looks over at Pepper and gives her a bit of a grin. She isn't a soldier and yet… well he never feels like he's having to explain things to a civilian with her which is nice. She just 'gets' it. "Gonna take him out for a spin eh? We'll get him home safe Part."

Pepper Potts smiles as Partisan hands her the old briefcase then introduces and explains the aircraft she just uncovered. "With a history like that he deserves special treatment. What can I do to help?" Clearly she means right here and now.

"I'm going to get him flying again, put his guns in storage, update him some and turn him loose. He may not be a MiG, but he helped save the world. So he deserves to live again."Part glances back towards Pepper before shrugging out've her pack and handing it over. "You carry my stuff, me and Jerry will port him back to my hangar and then we can see whats what alright?"

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