2019-06-27 - Checking Up


Tony visits Riri in her lab to see how things are going.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu Jun 27 03:36:05 2019
Location: Stark Industries - Williams' Laboratory

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Nominally, Riri's job at Stark Industries was nine to five. Practically… Well, it was whenever she remembered to leave, assuming she didn't sleep over. Technical design issues were fickle, and her armor was a deeply personal project. AR goggles firmly strapped to her face, the teen leans over and snags a bottle of orange dry from her drinks fridge, sipping from it before continuing.
"Okay, Give me an exploded diagram of the Mark 1." The hovering wireframe suit in front of her expands, the armor plates first lifting off, followed by the assorted subsystems floating out, leaving just the internal frame. Riri shoots a glance over to the boxy Mark 1 torso, currently sitting on a workbench. "Okay, That's all of /that/ fitting in… now I need to see if that micro missile idea even works and maybe fit the launchers in the shoulders…"

After giving Riri a lab, Tony figured the best thing to do was to back off and let the girl get to it. No need to be breathing down her neck, stifling her creativity when it's obviously already served her so well without his interference. He's gotten curious, though, so around evening, after the business is done for the day, he moseys on down to see what's up.

He raps on the doorframe of the lab before stepping in, and he looks around, unhurried as he takes it in. His gaze settles on the diagram. "And there it is," he says. "How're things going?"

Riri shoots to her feet at the buzz and thunk of the door unlocking, peeking around the assembled machinery to see who's visiting. "Oh. Hey, Mister Stark. Kind of trying to keep all these different plates spinning. Working on a suite of suit upgrades, since having just the flight repulsors and no other options for weapons caused a couple issues, and there was that one guy who could apparently reflect repulsor bolts for some reason… And I still need an AI or VI to help run everything. The current system is… effective, but not smart. So I'm pretty much working on this whenever I'm not working on the official stuff."
She hits some kind of virtual control present on her own goggles, but not on the room system. "Hey, throw up some labels on the subsystems." The armor expands a little further, tooltips highlighting differences between the Prototype and the Mark I designs. Additional repulsors in the front and back of the shoulders, Additional less lethal weapon systems in the form of a PEP and Electrolaser, more powerful main arc reactor, thicker armor, reinforced joints, and an enhanced sensor package. Plus, a blocky placeholder sitting in each shoulder labeled 'MicroMissiles?' "I had an idea to use miniature repulsor units kind of like the ones in the Jericho, but a lot more configurable. Independent targeting, adjustable yield down to even less lethal levels, and adjustable field output. From extremely directed for precision and armor piercing, or a full concussive wave."

Tony Stark adjusts his own goggles and looks the diagram over. "Smart," he says. He doesn't give his opinion on how to build it up; that would be interfering, and he's genuinely interested to see what she'll do on her own. "You know," he says, "it might not hurt — if you're serious about fighting bad guys — to train. There's always going to be someone who can reflect repulsor bolts for some reason. That's when you need to know how to throw a punch. See if they're metalproof, too." Should he be encouraging her like this? Eh, he's not her babysitter. "I make myself get out of the lab and into the gym. You should take a martial art. Karate, krav maga, something."

"Colonel Danvers suggested that, yeah. Gave me an Avengers Mansion access code, said I should stop by and train sometime." Riri nods, slowly walking around her design. "I figured I should ask someone who's durable, though. I move differently in the armor, the weight distribution's a bit different due to the bulk. Mark II will be better, but that's a while away. I don't want to blow my budget on Gold-Titanium alloy before I know how to fit everything into the smaller form factor." That gets a bit of a sheepish grin. "I might also ask some of the Young Avengers. …I wouldn't mind any tips you have on intelligence design, though. I've also been debating using some of my own brain patterns to make sure it could keep up with me and synergize well, if I could interpolate things right…"

"As long as it's intuitive," Tony says, "it doesn't need to be able to discuss philosophy. JARVIS is a personality I've been working on for awhile now. We've gotten to know one another pretty well, but he's designed to help me run a company as well as fly a suit. Think about what you need yours to do, and for the first run, don't worry too much about the bells and whistles." He smiles a little as he adds, "If you're training with the Avengers you're already getting the best education there is on how to fight. Take it seriously, though. Those guys are super heroes. They've got powers. All we have is this." He gestures to the diagram, "and sometimes we don't even have that."

Riri nods, expression shifting back to determined. "I plan on it, yeah. I don't want to get punched through a truck by Crossbones again." She winces, rubbing the back of her neck. "At least I helped save the guy he was going after. Might talk to Spider-Man, too. I've run into a couple of them, and Spidey's got a pretty cool new suit design. …Thanks for the tips, though, Mister Stark." The smile returns again. "Thanks for letting me keep protecting people."

Tony Stark smiles at Riri and says, "You've got the right spirit, kid. I wouldn't be helping you if you didn't. And if Danvers likes you, I guess that's good enough for me." He continues studying the diagram, and his mind is off somewhere working a mile a minute on his own potential upgrades. "I'd be interested in meeting that Spider kid. His suit design's pretty good, and I want to know how he's making that webbing. There's nothing like that in the industry. I'd know if there was, so he must be making it at home."

"He'd actually asked me for a bit of help troubleshooting a few things. I'll pass on that you're interested, but he might think that you want to patent something." Riri grins, before her lips suddenly quirk. "Hey Lab, Make a note. Adhesive expanding foam to secure people. Could also work as casts and stuff if I did the formula right…" One of the computer screens over by Riri's setup flashes green for a moment in response. "But yeah. I'll definitely tell him you're intested." Well, there's a way to get Spidey an access card…

Tony Stark says, "Bring him on over. Tell him I'm not interested in stealing his work. I consider it a matter of professional pride that I don't need to." He tips down his goggles to look at Riri direction. "Look, kid. I'm a futurist, and as cheesy as it sounds, the children are the future. I can't stop you guys from going out on the town and playing super hero, and I'm not sure that should be my call. But if I can help you become a better version of yourself, then maybe you'll learn the right things and keep fighting the good fight."

Riri still has no idea how exactly Tony flips from utterly practical to giving inspiring speeches that Cap would be proud of, but somehow, he does. If anything, she grins a bit wider. "Can do, Mister Stark. I'll tell you when the Mark I's ready for its first test flight." She starts to look back towards the computer, before pausing. "Oh yeah, I just remembered. Other question. I'm not sure what kind of efficiencies the Mark II reactor I'll be installing's going to be getting, but I wanted to know what you do with the spent cores. Do you reprocess them to seperate the Rhodium and Silver, or should I just send them down to Haz-Mat storage? I did a bit of research, and apparently some of the compounds it can make if mixed with the wrong stuff are pretty nasty."

"Yeah," Tony says, "Rhodium's problematic. I'll have a separate containment sent down. We can get the silver out and I'm working on a few ideas for neutralizing Rhodium." He idly rubs at his chest. One can't see the reactor through his suit, but surely it's there. "Turns out oxidized rhodium isn't great. The fumes can cause respiratory irritation. No word on internal damage yet. And that's the tamest compound on the list."

Riri winces, leaning back in her chair. "Oooooh. Yeah, that doesn't sound nice. I'll do some research of my own, and I'll be careful when I have to do swaps on mine." She chews her lip fo ra moment, before perking up. "You might be able to lessen the problem a bit if you had a secondary reactor in the armor provide most of the power. Less power you draw, the less palladium decay, I'm pretty sure. You're the expert, though. I've only had my reactor for a couple weeks." She gestures towareds where the Prototype sits in its test stand.

Tony Stark says, "Yeah, that's the problem with palladium. You're going to get rhodium compounds." What he needs is a new element, but he's not going to burden the kid with his troubles. He walks over to inspect the prototype. "It looks pretty good," he says. "I'm curious to see what you'll do with it. I don't want to step on your toes, though."

"Well… The base frame's mostly staying the same and it's getting upgraded to the Mark I. Beyond that… More of a re-design." Riri stands and wanders over to stand next to Tony, before pulling up the schematics for the Mark II on the AR system. Much less bulky, and more streamlined to her body. Kind of reminescent of Tony's suits, but with more curves and a more angular helmet. "I'll take any advice you can give me though, Mister Stark. What's the point in having a boss who's done what you've done before if you can't learn from his mistakes?"

Tony Stark has slipped his metaphorical leash again, though JARVIS is willing to rat him out that he's in Ms. Williams' lab. It's early evening, after the day's work is finally done. Or at least almost done. "The thing is," he says as he looks at the prototype, "you haven't actually done anything wrong yet that needs corrected. That's a decent design. It's better suited to your frame, lighter, more maneuverable. If I see you doing anything that's taking you down a bad path, I won't just let you fail." He offers her a smile. "Promise."

"The reason the prototype ended up so bulky was because I was working with what I could scrounge and what I could make in the labs at school. This… is just so much better." Riri nods as Tony reassures her, before cracking a bit of a smile again. "Well… you /did/ keep me from turning into a popsicle the first time I went for an altitude test. So you've saved my butt once."

Tony Stark winks and says, "See? I got your back. Let's see, what am I forgetting… you know you need to train, and if Danvers is going to help you with that, you'll be in good hands. Your suit is coming along nicely. You know, you don't need to go back to school if you don't want to, but it could open some doors for you, if you decide you want a degree. I would test in, though. You'll languish if you're studying below your ability."

"Hey, I already got a Master's. …And I don't think ESU really wants me back yet, even if you did throw money at them." Riri gives a one shouldered shrug, leaning ack against the workbench with the Mark I torso resting on it. "I can always to research or audit classes or something if I find I need to learn some more stuff, though. Might ask Spidey about chemistry for that foam idea I had."

Like the harbinger of doom, Pepper arrives on the workshop floor of Stark Tower, tablet in hand. She's also quasi-scolding the building's everpresent AI as she goes.

"I know you told him I need those R&D budget forecasts approved today, JARVIS. Why didn't he finish them?"

"Mr. Stark has not been at his workstation since you send the documents, Miss Potts," the AI replies.

At that news, Pepper can only sigh. She's now guaranteed to be in the office until at least 9pm because of this delay. "Thank you, JARVIS."

"Of course, Miss Potts."

That's the point at which she uses her access code to let herself into the workshop area that the AI had informed her was Tony's current location, and starts talking as she takes her first step into the area.

"Tony, I really need you to review and sign on off the R&D budget forecasts I told you I'd be sending over this afternoon." She looks from one inventor to the other, thankfully having only heard something about a foam idea.

"Might consider putting the foam into projectiles so you can neutralize a threat from a distance," Tony says. "Besides, anything worth saying is worth saying with grenades."

Uh oh, he's been caught. He doesn't even have the grace to look abashed, either. He just greets Pepper with an amiable smile and says, "Miss Potts, have you met Riri Williams? She's one of our newest researchers and/or developers. Kid, this is Pepper Potts. This place would crumble to rubble around us without her."

"And any grenade is worth turning into a missile…" Riri's grin changes to surprise as the door opens again, the teen looking a bit nervously up at the redhead. "Uh… Pleased to meet you, Ms. Potts." She does her best to look normal, despite the fact that she's standing next to a suit of power armor, with parts for more on the benches around her. …She's not very successful, needless to say.

Pepper seems completely unperturbed by the armored suits or pieces thereof laying about as she offers her tablet to Tony in a wordless order to start reviewing the documents she mentioned. "Nice to finally meet you, Miss Williams. Hopefully Tony isn't distracting you too much from your work?"

Her eyes then focus on said inventor again, able to stay businesslike even in the face of his rather grandiose compliments.

"I don't like being handed things," Tony protests, though he does take the tablet, and he glances through its contents. He doesn't pay perhaps as much attention as he should. Skimming, honestly. "This looks fine," he says. "But you knew that." He looks at Pepper. "We need to make it so you can just sign off on these. You can practically run this business without me." He did say the place would crumble without her.

He asides to Riri, "Now you're thinking. Put heat-seeking technology in that bad boy."

"No ma'am. I'm just tinkering after hours anyway, and I understand that he wants to make sure that he gets his money's worth." Riri's gaze drops again, not quite able to totally meet Pepper's, although Tony's suggestion seemingly relaxes her again. "I was already planning on making them smart. Basic guidance on their own, linked back to the armor's sensor package for the fancy stuff."

Seeming to not even acknowledge Tony's comment about not liking being handed things, she simply waits for him to finish review and signing off on the documents. Plural. At least six.

"Yes, well, you're not a salaried employee if I remember correctly, so you're welcome to leave when your eight hours are done." Unlike Pepper herself. "Something I've always wondered about heat-seeking things. What happens if the thing you're after is extremely cold?"

Tony Stark goes through the list of documents, signing off on each one. Then he offers the tablet back to Pepper. "Then the heat-seeker doesn't know to look for it. Most of the stuff you're going to want to shoot at leaves a heat signature, though. Still, it's a good idea to develop smart technology that looks at other things besides heat."

Riri scratches the back of her neck, shifting a bit on her feet. "I know I don't /have/ to stay, but I start working on something, and then I find another thing related to it, or I get ideas, and then it's two in the morning and it's easier to just sleep here than deal with the late night subway." Tony gets a bit of a glance there. He understands, right? "And yeah, Alternate targeting methods are what I use."

Pepper accepts the tablet back from Tony while nodding in understanding as the young woman explains. She is completely familiar with Tony doing that exact same thing. The difference? He isn't on payroll like Riri is. And if she sees timesheets in excess of 100 hours in one week, that could cause problems for the company. Especially if HR notices.

"Well, that would be why you're both the inventors and I just wrangle the paperwork." She offers a smile to Riri mostly (Tony a little bit too), then takes a moment to glance through the documents again herself to make sure they're all in order.

No timesheets in excess of 100 hours a week, nothing like that. "What she does on her own time is off the clock," he explains. "And you know how it is, you start working on your independent projects, suddenly it's dawn. Just remember, kid, you need to be in peak physical condition, too. So sleep sometimes and, I don't know, eat a vegetable once in awhile." He rubs at his chest absently. "I'm trying to remember if there's anyting else you want me to do today, Ms. Potts," he says. "See? Proof that I do occasionally think about this stuff."

Riri relaxes a little bit at the smile from Pepper, offering her own back. "Hey, I sleep. …And eat. Ordering stir fry counts as vegetables, right?" Cue sheepish grin. Clearly, Tony's casual attitude helps. "And I can always turn down the assist level a bit on the armor. That'd be resistance training, I think…"

Good, the documents are all sorted and ready to go. At Tony's question about anything else she needs him to do, Pepper promptly taps at her screen to pull up her to-do list. "That looks like everything for today. But don't forget, the budget finance meeting that goes with these documents is at eleven am on Friday. I will be making sure you get there on time, so consider this your forewarning."

Then she nods to Riri. "Again, good to meet you." And she's turning to take her leave.

Tony Stark gives Pepper the same look a petulant student gives a teacher when told there will be a test tomorrow. Except he would've aced said test. "Great, come by my place around ten. I might be up by then. JARVIS will let you in. Hey, can you find out who's planning meetings before noon on Fridays? I don't need that kind of negativity in my life."

To Riri, he says, "Just make sure you can switch it back in-flight if a fight breaks out while you're training."

"Nice to meet you, Ms. Potts." Riri gives a decent professional smile, before turning back to Tony after Pepper leaves. "Shouldn't be too hard to have an automatic interlock in there. I've already got it programmed to hide the tactical HUD elements most of the time unless I need it, so I could probably tie it into that function as well."

Pepper simply smiles at Tony as she steps back out of the workroom. Knowing that smile, it likely means SHE was the one that scheduled that meeting. Because, really. How is he going to retaliate against her?

Tony Stark holds up a finger like he might just shake it at Pepper, but then he lowers his hand. Really, what can he do? He cedes the point without a word, then says to Riri, "There you go. That should work. You just don't want to go into a fight working against yourself. In any sense of the word."

"That's common sense. …I need to spend more time in the armor anyway so I can train it how to walk. And hopefully fly eventually. It'd be nice if it could follow me around. Or if I could summon it…" Riri's got that planning glint in her eye again, gaze drifting back over to the suit itself.

Tony Stark says, "All right, but train outside the suit, too. You need to be able to defend yourself when it's in the lab and you're on the street." He glances between Riri and the suit, and he says, "I'll let you get back to it. Yes, stir fry counts as a vegetable, and remember to sleep."

"I'll do that, yeah. Have to talk to Colonel Danvers… Improvise a few things… And I'll pass out eventually." Riri offers a sheepish grin again. "Thanks, seriously. For everything."

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