2019-05-29 - For A Few Dollars Profit


Someone from Stark Industries is selling knock off Captain America Shields.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed May 29 07:47:35 2019
Location: Stark Tower

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Theme Song




Parking her car in the space reserved for it, Pepper cuts and engine and climbs out. "JARVIS," she asks the room at large, "Please place an order with Gallaghers, please. Tony's usual steak, medium rare, and a chopped salad with french ontion soup for me."

"At once, Miss Potts. However, I should inform you that Captain Rogers and two SHIELD representatives are in the lobby. They wish to speak with Sir but have not indicated why."

Pepper looks at Tony a bit worriedly, then leads the way to the lobby, not giving the inventor a chance to flee to his workshop or his penthouse.

"And something not found in nature," Tony says. "Something with a foam or a glaze achieved only by the application of advanced chemistry." He gets out of the car, dressed in jeans and a pullover, a few days in need of a shave but otherwise no worse for wear.

When Pepper looks at Tony, he shrugs. "Maybe Rogers finally figured out I was out in the woods with his friend. Like I said, I don't know what they talk about." He walks along with her, putting on an easy smile. He winks at Pepper. The offer of escape is not unnoticed nor unappreciated.

Agent Koa Turner does not normally do this. His remit is more magical and artifact based. Sort of… Indiana Jones with a badge and actual mystical knowledge. However he IS still a SHIELD Agent and this does come up sometimes. His day had started with an email whose title said 'So, umm….' And had wound up with him contacting Captain Rodgers, the FBI (Who is not yet here) and Keiko Kurita, whose hound he had given both the scent of vibranium and the scent of a person whom he is led to believe is a mid-level employee here at Stark Industries.

"Just… E-bay. Seriously… Ebay…" Koa is muttering as he waits in the lobby. He doesn't look like a standard government agent. The golden snake bracer wrapped around his left arm will do that.

"Security has asked us to wait here rather than go charging up into the floors with a ghostly bloodhound. Can't imagine why…"

That, at least, he says with a slight smile.


"Stark's security tends to deal with the physical, not the ephemeral." Steve in a nondescript dark-green jacket overtop what he construes to be office-wear (pale-blue button-down and khaki pants that mostly hide his combat boots) glances around the lobby and past Agent Turner at Keiko and the hound.

Past Agent Turner. He elected to have the man between him and the ghostly canine.

"Doesn't speak to much of an organized game-plan if it's Ebay," he adds in the continued sotto-voce, looking between Koa and Keiko. Footsteps on the approach make him look over to see two familiar figures. He turns in place and wears his usual polite smile, at least for now.


Keiko Kurita is small, asiatic looking woman, whose arms and at least part of her torso are covered with ink. Ink of truly realistic looking animals whose eyes seem to follow the viewer whereever they move. She's standing beside Koa, who kind of dwarfs her.

Laying at her feet is a glowing blue hound - an extremely large hound that looks like something out of Hound of the Baskervilles.

"I can't imagine why, Age—- Koa." The small answers, her south american accent is a heinz variety - hard to tell where she comes from really.

"It sounds like someone's bought one of those programs from the Internet. You know the type - make $100K from EBay in 30 days…"

Seeing the small group — and the glowing hound — in the lobby, Pepper seems to stand just that little bit straighter as she approaches them. "Sorry to keep you waiting. I'm Pepper. May I ask as to the nature of your visit?" She offers a handshake first, only because he's marginally farther away from the hound than Keiko is. Her eyes flick toward Steve very briefly, perhaps questioningly.

Tony Stark arches a brow at the sight of the glowing hand. Then he looks at Koa and his snake bracer. He points vaguely between the two and says, "Cosplay? Birthday party?" To Pepper, he asks in a low tone, "Is it my birthday? Is there a convention? No one tells me anything."

He flashes Keiko and Koa each a friendly smile. "Hi, why are you in my building?" Steve gets a nod. "Captain. What's up?"

"Hello Miss Pepper." Koa says politely, shaking her hand and then Tony's if offered. "You seem to already know Agent Rogers. I'm Agent Turner. This is Miss Kurita, an outside tracking specialist. We're here about this person…"

He holds his phone up. There's a picture of a smiling man in his early to mid thities with short brown hair.

"His name is James Valens, and according to our information he's a midlevel systems engineer here. He's been selling a number of items over his E-Bay account that he claims are 'Authentic' Captain America shields. One got flagged recently and we had the FBI pick it up. It's a little bit more authentic than anyone is comfortable with. Also… it's kind of illegal to claim that you have 'the real Cap shield' and sell it to someone on that basis if you don't have it."

Koa looks at Cap and nods. "Seems like someone trying to make a quick buck doesn't it. But the buck is suspicious and also illegal so…"

He shrugs. "Miss Kurita here has a hound capable of identifying the man and the presence of any… anomalous metals."


"Miss Potts. Tony." As always, Steve is curt and professional when out in public, his hands resting on his belt in an easy stance. He gives a significant look towards Agent Turner in order to cue the others to shift attention to him. During the explaination, he takes a moment to look between Tony and Pepper, firstly seeing if they show any tells of prior knowledge of the situation; secondly, he didn't miss the more pointed look from Pepper herself and now sports a small frown of bated curiosity.

"Figured we'd have the hound perform a positive identification and then bring in the young man for a talk," says Steve on the end of Koa's explanation. "I don't mind cosplaying," a nod towards Tony's earlier comment, "But I do mind the claims and the similarity of the material." A material similar to vibranium…?


The glowing hounds ears prick up as Pepper approaches, getting to its feet as she stops near them. It's massive, clearing Keiko hips and then some. It's tail … wags as he looks at the woman, taking a step forward, ears folding back a little to sniff at the womans hand.

"Cullen, no …" Keiko mutters firmly. The hound just ignores her and Pepper can almost hear the thing 'sniff' in disdain.

"I'm not in cos-play, no Sir." She says to Tony. "My cos-play are more … realistic." Because of course, Keiko would cos-play wouldn't she?

"But Happy Birthday to you." It *is* Tony's birthday, right? That's why he asked about a Birthday Party.

After shaking hands with the others and even letting the giant hound-like creature sniff at her hand — she is almost tempted to scrub Cullen's ears hello, but it might not be entirely wise — she nods as both Koa and Steve explain. She glances at Keiko in well-concealed amusement, then mostly out of deference to those not familiar with the Tower pulls her phone from her shoulder bag.

"JARVIS, please see what you can find out about James Valens for us, and quietly if you could."

"Searching now, Miss Potts," a prim-sounding British male voice replies from her phone's speakers.

She then looks at the others, and the fact that others in the lobby are less calm with the hound there gets her to offer, "Shall we all move to a conference room in the meantime?" She gestures toward the back of the lobby.

Tony Stark shakes hands all around. "Agent? His name's Captain," he says with a gesture to Steve. At a glance this news of vibranium-like shields are news to him. "If this guy has gotten hold of vibranium, whatever he's selling those shields for, it's not enough."

Whatever he's about to say, Pepper is already on it, and he nods to her. "Yeah, let's do that," he says, and he moves to follow her. He then snappoints at Keiko and says, "Color me very interested in your cosplay."

Koa chuckles a little. There are a few people in SHIELD who do insist that Steve's first name is indeed Captain. Some even go so far as to claim it was on his birth certificate, as if his parents knew. Bunk, of course, but the sort of thing that happens when one is a living legend.

Tony has legends of a different sort told about him, naturally.

The move into the conference room should go smoothly and JARVIS can quietly confirm that Mister Valens is indeed employed at Stark, is indeed at work today and a scan of his internet accounts does at least seem to confirm the agents story.

"Oh her animal show is rather interesting, Mister Stark, I assure you. Though Mister Valens might not think so. As you are probably both aware vibranium is a rare and highly controlled substance. While the FBI's labs are not suited to the level of chemical analysis we need and SHIELD hasn't had time to do a full workup yet, preliminary tests show that the fake shields are at least similar in physical properties to the real deal. So among the many questions we're keen to answer is 'where is he getting this stuff'. Especially 'where is he getting enough of this stuff to make eight Captain America shields.' We think he might have a knockoff in the building and if so… I mean… it's kind of a hazard. The Captain here knows quite well what happens when Vibranium is subjected to certain shocks, high frequency sound fields or other forms of exotic energy."

Which he does not say, but ARE indeed present inside this building.

Keiko gets a quick look. "I don't think it's his birthday." He murmurs to her.

Steve gets another. Koa saw that frown. He doesn't ask if everything is alright but the look certainly implies that question.


Steve is no doubt the tallest member of the retinue as they travel into the conference room. He's the last to enter and closes the door behind him before taking up a lean against the table set centrally within.

"Needless to say, it gets exciting when the shield's used improperly. It's like any weapon in the wrong hands." Time and time again, in instances both controlled and not, the spangled shield has aided the Captain in interacting with the world around him…both proactively and accidentally destructively. "If we can get a sample of the false shields, I'll take it in to the R&D lab at SHIELD. I've got someone who can look at it." That someone being one Leo Fitz.


Keiko just looks at Steve as Tony insists on Captain. "I thought it was Captain America…" she's slightly confused but she recently was told that Koa's first name wasn't Agent. So there's that.

As the move she snaps her fingers in Cullens direction but the Hound literally turns its head and plants itself by Peppers side, following the redhead into the Conference Room.

"I'm told a passable impression of Lydia, the tattooed lady…" she says to Tony just as Cullen decides his place is beside her. His presence is unnerving to say the least.

As unnerved as Pepper might be by Cullen the huge, glowing, creepy hound-thing, she refuses to let it show and even goes so far as to pat the creature on the head as they head into the conference room. Once there, she settles at the table and sets out her phone and tablet, likely preparing to have a serious chat with said Mr. Valens. But even so, manners must still take precedence.

"Would anyone care for something to drink?"

Tony Stark's approach to Cullen, as is his approach to so many other problems, is to pretend they don't exist. When Pepper asks if anyone would like something to drink, he opens his mouth, then shuts it, then says, "Do we have any delicious, high-end tonic water?" The look he gives her, butter wouldn't melt in his mouth.

To Keiko, he says, "I can see that, and if I forget your name and call you Lydia, it's a compliment, I swear." He gestures for people to sit and make themselves comfortable if they like. "If this guy's got vibranium, I want to know how and, if he's faking it, I want to know with what. I assure you, Stark Industries takes threats to its exotic energy very seriously."

"We thought you might. Take them seriously, that is." Koa says as he finds himself a seat. "A drink would be nice but nothing alcoholic. I'm on the clock. Tea?" That last word is said rather hopefully. Koa does like a good tea. And he could probably use one shortly.

It doesn't take too long for Mister Valens to be brought up. He's understandably nervous. It's not every day one is called into the principles office. And not every day that the principles office has two shield agents and a big glowing hound in it.

"Um… Mister Stark. Miss Potts. Can I, um, help… everyone?"


Steve glances over at Pepper with a small smile. "Just water for me, please," he replies in regards to the offer. "Actually, coffee?" The Captain has a hopeful note in his voice as well at the thought of some high-quality brew, hot and sans milk and sugar because he wants to taste the subtle nuances of the flavor notes.

Belatedly, he remembers Keiko's thought and asides to her almost sotto-voce, "Tony likes to make wise-cracks. It's still Agent Rogers." He means well by the explanation.

Upon Valens' arrival, the Captain can be seen to straighten in his easy stance beside the table. The lift of his chin and subsequent frown of disapproval marks his opinion of the young man clearly: tsk.


"Traitor…" Keiko mutters as the Barghest decides to act like a puppy and cants its head so Pepper can scritch. It's a weird feeling - it's not fur that she's touching, the creature is spirit after all but it does have form.

"Just water." Keiko isn't rude when she speaks but the niceities of manner are fleeting. Koa probably knows why.

Cullens 'puppy' act only lasts so long though and when Valens appears, the dog raises itself to its feet and puts itself between the man and the door. Then he lays down again, in the 'sphinx' like pose - looking intently at Valens himself. *BUSTED*

Pepper has genmaicha tea for Koa and herself, freshly pressed black coffee for Steve, water for Keiko, and a tumbler of something amber with ice in it for Tony in surprisingly short order. In time for everyone to have a sip or three before Mr. Valens is shown into the room.

She watches the man alertly, her hands folded politely enough on the table in front of her. Cullen's blocking the door is accusation enough, but she's going to give the man a chance to hang himself. Because she can.

Tony Stark takes a drink, tilts his head, then smiles at Pepper. The smile fades when he sees Steve's face. "Uh oh," he says. Then he looks to Valens. "Hey… I want to say, Jim? John? These nice men have a few questions to ask you. Miss Potts and I are super interested in the answers, isn't that right, Miss Potts?"

He gestures to Koa to take the floor. "He's all yours." Which might not be the most comforting thing to say, but Tony's not exactly trying to be comforting.

Koa rises. "Mister Valens we'd like to know why you've been selling fake Captain America shields and we'd REALLY like to know why they seem to be made of actual vibranium."

"Um… I'm… not?"

"The dog says otherwise, Mister Valens. Do not argue with the dog."

Valens looks at the dog, looks at Pepper, looks at Tony. Looks at Steve and cringes because yeah that makes him feel bad now that Steve is here. Looks at Keiko and most importantly Keiko's dog.

"I… know a guy."

Koa quirks a brow. "A guy who is selling you vibranium?"

"Yes? Well, not selling. He said he had some scrap metal, that he'd make the shields. We split the sales. They're as good as the real thing… so I just kind of… improved the marketing a little bit."

Koa sighs. He knows how dangerous it is to have Vibranium here. Tony knows too. Do Pepper? Or Steve? Or Keiko?


The Captain remains silent where he stands, listening instead to the exchanges. His eyes linger on Valens yet and man, that Disapproving Steve frown — that doesn't change an iota in intensity. It's like having a living statue of a saint with its full attention upon you. He even sighs slowly and long-sufferingly, as if to imply that it is a travesty for Valens to have even dared to take up this side business.

Steve is very aware of how dangerous Vibranium can be — after all, he wields in in a shield. The Disapproving Frown narrows further.


Pepper really only knows that vibranium is one of the substances that Tony keeps very strictly guarded at all times. So, yes, it's dangerous. But she can't quantify exactly why.

"It would be in your best interest to give us the name of this 'guy', Mr. Valens. The more you help us find out who is making these counterfeit shields, and where they are sourcing their materials, the better for everyone."

Tony Stark gestures with his alcohol-looking drink to Pepper and tells Valens, "What she said. And honestly, man, look around. You let me down, and worse, you let Captain America down." He shakes his head. At a glance, he doesn't seem all that concerned, but he steals a glance at Koa. Yeah, he knows how dangerous Vibranium can be.

In a more serious vein, he tells Valens, "It'll go much better for you if you cooperate than if you don't. This doesn't have to get as ugly as it could get. That's up to you."

"It sounds like it was a really good deal." Keiko says quietly, Cullen remaining laying where he is, just … glaring. "I take it, Agent Turner, that Vibranium is bad?" She really has no idea but she can make the question sound like a dorothy dixer.

Seeing Steves disapproving look, the small tattooed woman gestures slightly. "And you're trying to sell Captain America's shield. How could you?" Tony echoes that as well. Talk about a double whammy.

Mister Valens looks down and honest to god kind of scuffs his toe. "I'm… look I'm sorry. I know it's not right but I couldn't believe the luck and… well. I guess I got greedy."

"Touching." Koa says, glancing first to Tony and then to Cap and finally to Pepper and Keiko. "But I still want to know who has scrap Vibranium laying around that they're willing to make shields out of to sell on E-bay. You're talking about a materials that is traded by the ounce when it can be gotten at all! You've made eight of these damn things. And you've got another one in the building don't you?"

"Uh… yeah. I had a buyer. Big time hero fan. Memorabilia collector. I was going to take it to him after work."

Koa sighs and shakes his head. "Who's your contact?"

"Name of Alonzo Acivera. I don't know much about him. He's on some kind of materials engineering project in Sao Paolo. He's the one who sends me the shields. Says he makes them out of what's left over on his project that can't be used. Um… look, I'm… I'm sorry Captain Rogers. Mister Stark. Miss Potts."

Koa shakes his head again. "It's rare. It's expensive. It's highly controlled and if misused a small amount of it could level a good chunk of Manhattan." That should give Keiko an idea of how bad.


Steve slowly shakes his head. "Sorry's not gonna cut it." His gaze continues to rest on Valens, clear and even somewhat pitying: you done effed up, man. "You share all of the information you can think of on this Acivera individual and then maybe your apology will mean something."

Sure, it might be a little harsh, but in the end, erstwhile vibranium is no joke.


"Why did he come to you with the material to sell?" Keiko wonders aloud. "Or did you go to him?" It's an interesting question to her at least. "And weren't you being paid enough by Mister Stark?"

That's a really blunt question but probably reasonable. Stark are known to pay well in general. Even Keiko knows that.

The moment a name and location come out of Valens' mouth, Pepper is tapping at her screen with the speed of someone who has a LOT of practice typing. Once she's IMed JARVIS to start searching, she looks at the others, Tony in particular, before once again focusing on the man being questioned.

"JARVIS, please have Security clean out Mr. Valens' desk and bring that shield to us as carefully as possible. Also, please have eBay put a permanent ban on his account for selling potentially hazardous items."

Pepper then stands and leans on her hands on the table. "Mr. Valens, you should consider yourself extremely fortunate that we are not immediately pressing charges. But you can rest assured, if the information you've given us is in any way inaccurate, I will land you in an oubliette so fast your head will spin."

Tony Stark glances over at Pepper as she starts tapping her screen. He smiles a little against his glass, and the expression fades as he tells Valens, "There's a way to move up the ladder, and this wasn't it. What you were doing is grossly irresponsible." That's Tony Stark saying that, so yeah, Mister Valens done messed up.

With a quiet sigh, Tony looks to Koa. "I'll get a HAZMAT to bring the shield down to you." He takes out his phone and does some tapping of his own. "The sooner it's out of here, the better. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to play around with some vibranium, but that's why I have ballistics labs."

Koa is still clearly thinking on this. "Captain we should have a chemical analysis done on this. I'm still wondering who in the hell has that much vibranium and WHY. If it's from the usual source that MIGHT mean that someone stole it."

The irony of Tony of all people reproving someone for acting irresponsibly is not lost on Koa though. The man has a reputation.

"At once, Miss Potts." JARVIS says. Tony's Hazmat team should be along shortly.

"Uh, no… no…" Valens looks dejected. "The pay was pretty good. But it seemed like a good business opportunity. You know, gotta seize the bull by the horns or… something like that. Acivera works for a company called Integrated Materials Solutions. IMS. I don't know exactly what he does beyond 'fabrication' though."

That seems to be true. IMS does list an Alonzo Acivera. What exactly they do is kind of murky but that can be investigated.

"I have a record of all of my communications of him on my phone…" He gets it out and offers it up to whomever wants to take it. See? Cooperating? A bit?

Koa shakes his head once more. "Well, that's one disaster averted though it looks like we have a mystery on our hands." However that's a mystery that present company seems quite capable of handling.

"Do we run him in, Captain?"

As he asks he leans down to scratch Cullen. Who's a good horrifying beast of legend? You are. Yes. You are.

The silence lingering after Agent Turner's question is probably in order to make Valens really squirm. Finally, however, Steve speaks up.

"Let the FBI handle him if they opt to. We know where he is. We can pick him up whenever it becomes most opportune." He shifts in place and nods once, satisfied with his conclusion in matters. Only then does he pick up his coffee and sip it, becoming markedly more normal.

"You have betrayed people who treated you well…" Keiko murmurs and Cullen seems to respond to that. He growls and makes that small little dogs seem to make - like they're going to pounce up and at their prey. Though Koas scritching seems to keep him there. "Steady, Cullen…" Keiko calms him, though he's still very, very attentive.

There's a flash of something across Keiko's face as she speaks on betrayal. Mixed feelings clearly but also, perhaps, horror.

"Did you find him, or did he find you? Who made the first overtures?" She's interested. WHY do this.

Pepper nods at Steve's decision, and takes Valens' phone when he offers it. "JARVIS, if you would?" She sets the phone on the table by her tablet, and lets the screen flicker several times rapidly as the AI presumably digs through the phone for whatever information can be gleaned.

Keiko's questions are VERY good ones, so she looks from the Hispanic woman back to their former engineer with a raised eyebrow, waiting for him to answer.

Tony Stark's quick gaze goes to Cullen as the dog growls. Just because he's opting not to acknowledge the giant spirit dog in his conference room doesn't mean he's not keenly aware of it.

Gesturing to Valens, Tony says, "The nice lady with the big dog is asking some pertinent questions." His tone implies that answering them would be a great idea. He glances at his phone for an update on the HAZMAT team. He's not too worried. His people do good work. He gives Valens a sour look. Well, some of them.

"He approached me. Said he was making some things and wanted to know if I'd take one. I did and… sold it. We came to an arrangement." Why did he do it? He saw an opportunity. And he didn't think very much about it. Sound like anyone in the room?

"Right well. I think in that case I'll-"

"Meow. Meow."

Koa's eyes widen and he spins around to see a two headed cat standing in the hallway outside the conference room, looking at him. It meows again, in stereo and then ZOOM! it takes off down the hall.

"Gods damn it. Keiko, follow me!"

They are NOT letting that thing run loose in here. "I'll leave him all to you guys, gotta catch that thing nice meeting you both!"

And then he's out and bolting down the hall. Damn that thing is fast.

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