Joint Venture Followup

Summary:
March 3, 2015: Nicholas goes to talk to Pepper about their joint venture.

Stark Tower - New York


Characters

NPCs

  • Roman

Mood Music:
[*<http://insert.video.or.music.link.here>]


Following the Rescue at 10th and 52nd and the rather busy day that everyone had in the Bronx, well, everyone who was connected to the medical community anyway, Nicholas has made some time to stop by the Stark Tower office to discuss what's been going on and the state of the joint venture between Rescue, Inc and Stark Industries. The fact of the matter is that they're small. Too small to make a difference on a grand scale. So far, anyway. It was good, though, to see so many others working to keep people alive and safe.


Pepper Potts knew to expect Nicholas, so when he arrives, she already has some paperwork ready for him. And, it's good to see that he can walk down the Stark Tower hallways with minimal doubletakes or exclamations of surprise.


Minimum is nice. He still gets a few but the appropriately named Wolf Cub is used to that by now. He knocks on the frame of Pepper's office with a smile. "Hello Miss Potts. Still hard at work I see." He chuckles and shakes his head. "Do you ever go home?"


"Of course I do. Every week to wash my hair whether it needs it or not." Pepper is clearly trying to joke. "Please, come in and sit down. Would you care for anything to drink?" Her office is starting to smell of tea again instead of new carpet and drywall.


Nicholas grins broadly. Shows fangs, even, which is not something he does often. It tends to scare people. "Me too. Every week." He'd need to do it a lot more, honestly. He has a lot more hair. "Tea'd be nice."

The werewolf takes a seat and gives Pepper some time to brew and steep. "So, I'm curious as to your thoughts about where we are now. You've seen us work. A lot closer than I ever meant for you to, honestly."


Pepper Potts starts preparing tea, a good, brisk Yunnan. "I'm thinking that Ms Donovan's design ideas have been sent to prototype fabrication as top priority. Since the bodywork will have to be almost entirely custom-built, it may take a few weeks." And Tony can yell at her later. She's got him slated to build and install the repulsor-engines.


Nicholas quirks an eyebrow. Which is hard to tell. It's just one of his eyes slightly changing shape. "That's… great news!" He grins. "I thought we might have to jump through a few more hoops to get those built." He watches the tea brewing quietly for a few moments.

"Out of curiousity, what did you think of my suggestion to… have something that would let normal folks survive in that kind of work?"


"That … might be a bit more problematic. Most defensive technologies that are currently made by Stark Industries are strictly reserved for special contracts." Pepper does have to say SHIELD, it's pretty well implied there. "However, maybe we can ask Howard Stark to work on it for you. I know he'd consider it a worthwhile intellectual challenge." She leaves the tea to steep and returns to her seat.


Nicholas nods. It makes sense that anything even remotely weaponizeable would be more tightly controlled. "Makes sense. I was just curious. There's enough metas out there that I'm sure we can get a few to help out." Hell he had plenty of help on the ground between Wonderman and old (and new) X-Friends. "What about your… personal opinion? What do you think?"


Pepper Potts takes a deep breath while she considers for a moment. "I think Rescue Inc has the potential to be something truly great if we can get it past the fledgling stage. That's the real challenge, though. That and making sure no one tries to quash it with stupid legislation."


"Or if the logistical side of things doesn't kill it." Nicholas half grumbles. "There's a lot to keep track of and a reason people don't usually drive ambulances or helicopters into hot zones. They're expensive." Which is why he's hoping the flying ambulances will be armored. They may need it. "But I'm glad to hear that. I'm… well, I'm no Pepper Potts when it comes to business. I do okay, but I'm just me."


Pepper Potts smiles at that, then stands to pour two cups of tea. She offers the larger of the two mismatched mugs to Nicholas. "Maybe I can loan someone to you until the company is officially on its feet." Cricket automatically comes to mind, but she's not sure SHE can do without the quirky individual. Though… she has called in 'sick' for the past couple of days.


"Any help would be welcome. Lydia has a wonderful head for operations but honestly it's Donna that keeps the lights on." And Nicholas has a decent head for business. He's simply not a genius. And often busy. "Um… I do kind of hesitate to bring this up after everything you folks have done but… I do realize there's some specialized equipment that I probably need to look at getting. Maybe you can at least tell me where I can find it. You see most patients aren't as durable as I am and things are often dangerous when extracting them so… some kind of protective shield, like, I don't know, riot shield would not go amiss."


Pepper Potts hms, then nods. "That is is actually a very easy request." After taking a sip of her tea, she places a brief phone call. "Come on. There's someone I think you should mee." She stands and leads the way out of her office and down to one of the R&D floors. One part of the floor resembles something straight out of M7 Industries — a machine shop that the Mythbusters would drool over. She pauses outside the door and pulls two pairs of safety glasses from a container set into the wall. Technically, they should also be wearing steel-toed shoes, but… maybe they can stay just inside the doorway.


Nicholas follows curiously… and then just gapes as part of Stark Industries massive labs are revealed. This place would give ILM chills. And he can't do anything but stare, his ears perking almost comically forward as he listens and sniffs at the air. "What on earth…"


Pepper Potts leads Nicholas inside, but stays inside a yellow-striped-off area of the floor. "Roman!" she calls out, and a cheerful looking man in safety gear shuts down a metal lathe and approaches them. "Hey!" His eyes behind his safety goggles look Nicholas up and down, but in way more of a measuring manner than a 'what the heck?' sort of look. "You said you wanted a shield?"


"Uh yeah." Nicholas is both impressed and a little shocked. "Tower shield kind of thing. I need to be able to cover myself and a patient from… well, a lot, really." The werewolf pauses to think. "Best too if there's some way to anchor it to the ground for when I need a hand free." Mobile cover for the medical professional? Yes please.


Roman takes a step back from Nicholas and looks at him consideringly again. "Tall order, my friend. Tall order." He's quiet for a moment longer. "Sounds like fun! Give me a few days to knock together some ideas."


The werewolf grins. "Sure. Take your time." He shakes the man's hand and then glances over at Pepper with the same grin. "Thank you Pepper. That'll probably save lives and I'm not just saying that."


Pepper Potts smiles and waves after Roman as he returns to the metal lathe, and steps back out of the machine shop with Nicholas. "Why reinvent the wheel when we have our own chariot-maker on staff, right?"


"You seem to have quite a few chariot makers." Nicholas grins, looking around. If this is who Lydia is working with he has no doubt her designs will come off quite will. "Wow. I kind of don't know what to say."

After a long, long pause he finally turns back to Pepper. "Can I ask you a kind of personal question?"


"Sure." Pepper is leading them back toward her office, but at a leisurely pace. "Though I reserve the right to not answer."


"What's it like?" Nicholas asks. He's always wondered this. "What's it like living with the likes of Iron Man and all the unusual people the news says you keep around? What's it like being a human being among all that?"


Pepper walks along quietly for a moment, contemplating Nicholas' question. "Honestly? It isn't not all that different. They're all individuals. I mean, if you were friends with a deaf person, an amputee, and someone with Downs Syndrome, would they seem all that different to you than anyone else? Okay, sure, Tony is one of the worst insomniacs I've ever met, Cricket needs a serious shopaholic intervention, and Jeremiah thinks he's funnier than he actually is, but really, they're all still just people."


"Hmmmm…" Nicholas considers that response. It's rare, really, that people answer that question honestly. Or that that's the answer. "I think they're lucky to have you then. A lot of people, they never get past the differences long enough to see the similarities."


Pepper Potts smiles at that. "Thank you. I have put a lot of effort throughout my life to make sure I didn't let prejudices or first impressions color my reactions toward the people around me. It's … been useful. It also helps me pick out the people who are falsely friendly or have ulterior motives."


"I'm sure you deal with plenty." Money, and power, seems to attract that type. Nicholas has seen it in action. And is quite glad he doesn't have to deal with it just yet. "Well, I've asked you a lot of questions. Did you have anything for me?"


Pepper Potts considers briefly, then looks at Nicholas with a possibly impish hint of a smile. "Don't clothes rub all that fur the wrong way? I imagine it must feel like when I tie my hair up too tightly but … all over."


There's a question he's actually never been asked. "Tight ones do." Nicholas grins in reply. "I used to have a… kind of jump suit. Bodyglove kind of thing. Never fit quite right. That's why I stick with tees and jeans. It feels really strange otherwise. And makes me all staticky."


Okay, she can't help it. That makes Pepper laugh. It's just this side of outright giggling. Ohh, that just sounds really unpleasant. Especially the static." She rememebers the days of having to wear pantyhose. Seems pretty scarily similar in her mind.


Nicholas wouldn't know about hose, but man the static. The static is real. "It can be." He says with a chuckle. "But you know, it's worth it some days… others… I could really do without the stares sometimes." And getting this way had hurt. A lot.


"Everything is only worth it some days," Pepper replies. "I know there are some days that I really want to just throw my shoes at the next person that smiles a fake smile at me. But then there are they days that I hear a police officer survived a shootout, or an elderly person in Metropolis isn't freezing to death, or a person in a car accident had their cell phone automatically call 911, all because of something Stark Industries did or made. Those are the days I know all of the discomfort is worth it."


"That's why I do medical work." It makes all the aches and pains and late nights and people pointing because he's a flippin werewolf worth it. "And I really do thank you for making it better. I hope we can make this thing work." Nicholas says, meaning Rescue. "I really do."


Pepper Potts stops at the elevators. "I really hope so too. And not just for you and me." She leads him back into her office, where the tea in their cups has cooled some, but it's not undrinkable. "I meant to ask earlier. The people you pulled out of that mess the other day. Are they all going to be all right?"


"The patients?" Nicholas cants his head to think. "I hadn't heard of any fatalities. A couple of them went right into surgery and I know three were in critical care." Which means they're kind of touch and go. "But all alive so far as I know." Which is rewarding. Losing patients is hard, especially in the field.


Pepper Potts nods, clearly glad to hear that. She makes a mental note to have the Maria Stark Foundation send a donation to help anyone injured who might have difficulty paying the medical expenses.


"Well I think I've taken up enough of your time." Nicholas smiles. "Thanks for seeing me and talking. And, er, for taking my request. You know…" The werewolf thinks for a moment. "If you ever want to ride along, you're more than welcome."


Pepper Potts smiles and offers Nicholas her hand to shake. "You are most welcome. I was glad for the change of pace, and I'm pretty sure you've made Roman's day if not his whole week." When he offers to let her ride along, she's clearly flattered. "I'll consider it, but it would be a tossup who would freak out more, Tony or the board of directors. Maybe at some point, though. We'll see." God, let's not even THINK about how the Partisan would react if she knew Pepper were intentionally putting herself in harm's way.


Nicholas gives Pepper a firm, warm, fuzzy handshake. With claws. "Well if you ever want to just ring me up. It's safer than most things. Especially in a few weeks if everything works out." Though if she wants to ride the choppers he's more than okay with that too. "Keep up the good work Pepper… and relax every once in a while. Something tells me you earn it."


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