2019-10-12 - Along Came A Spider


Keiko and Koa seek out Pepper to contract Stark for containers to hold her Spirits.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sat Oct 12 04:44:48 2019
Location: Stark Industries

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Theme Song



"Miss Potts, your WAND appointment has arrived and is in the lift on the way up." JARVIS informs Pepper. And a quick glance on the cameras shows that he's right. Two WAND agents - albeit not in their usual high collared uniform - are on the express elevator.

The request had been an unusual one, with the SHIELD sub-division saying only that they wanted to speak about the procurement of some specially made items. It doesn't take long for them to come down the hall toward her office.

"You've met Miss Potts, right?" Koa is saying to Keiko as they near the door. Pepper will easily hear them. Once they arrive, the agents - one of them a well built and broad shouldered man and the other a slender, tattooed Asian woman - knock on the door frame.

"Miss Potts? We're a little early. Hope you don't mind."

"I have, yes. Once." The tattooed woman says to Koa. Her accent is a mix from Southern America. The woman that Pepper met though, was several years younger and less … ravaged looking. Happier too. But this *is* the same woman, just older. And far more serious.

Keiko's dressed in jeans and a collared shirt, a backpack slung over her shoulder. As Koa knocks, she peers into the room but doesn't say anything. She also doesn't cross the threshold.

When JARVIS speaks up, Pepper quickly takes one last bite of her lunch and tucks the remainder of the salad away in her office's mini-fridge, then gets a fresh pot of tea started so it's ready just as the non-traditionally SHIELD-like pair arrive.

"Agent Turner, hello." She offers Keiko a friendly smile, even if the woman looks rather different from when she last saw her. "Please, come in and have a seat where ever you like. Would either of you care for something to drink?" She gestures to the different parts of the room with seating — the small conference table and the loveseat and chair arrangement — and takes a moment to pour tea for herself as well as anything either of the others request.

"Tea or Coffee? Thank you." Koa says gesturing to Keiko to make herself at home on one of the seats. He sits down himself after a moment. There's a little gleam in his eye, a red one specifically, and a glimmer of gold underneath the cuff of his shirt.

"We have an unusual request for you on behalf of SHIELD. Keiko can go into the background for it but we need some precisely composed and machined pieces of metal."

Koa glances to Keiko to tell this tale.

In addition to the ageing, Keiko has what looks like a collar - leather with silvery/pink lines through it that is melded to her skin. On top of all that, her eyes are slitted - like a cats - at the moment, they're a warm, rich brown colour.

"Coffee please?" She says to Pepper, stepping into the office and glancing around, only moving to a chair when Koa gestures.

Once she's seated, the small peruvian takes a deep breath. "We have a need to hold spirits, Miss Potts." She's very quiet. Not timid, just she doesn't talk loudly. "The spirits bound to my tattooes in fact. For various reasons, they need to be removed temporarily and when they are, I need to make sure they're safe."

That's likely to draw a raised eyebrow or two, but Koa has assured Keiko that Miss Potts is good about these things.

Pepper Potts hands Koa a hand-thrown porcelain mug filled with the freshly made tea, then quickly sets up a french press to make some coffee for Keiko. Thankfully, she keeps Tony's coffee ready on hand for the times that he invades her office and seems unwilling to leave for whatever reason.

The mention of housing the spirits in Keiko's tattoos does indeed earn a raised eyebrow, but it's not negative in demeanor. She seems more intrigued than anything.

"Containers would be extremely simple to construct, so I'm guessing that you're consulting with me because the material you want to use is rare or unusual."

Koa chuckles when Keiko gets the raised eyebrow and pulls a paper out to slide across the desk at her. "It needs to be made of a very precise set of metals sourced from a very precise set of sources and made to very precise dimensions."

It's an interesting list. Silver's in there. Siderite, cold forged. Cobalt. Osmium. And the sitpulations that it be acid etched and inlaid with platinum and gold are interesting too…

"But yes. Spirits. Keiko is going to undergo a fairly… intensive magical process and that might make the spirits antsy. We don't want them causing trouble, which they will if these containers aren't up to spec. Hence us coming to you, Miss Potts."

"Oh, you'll need to have some of Keiko's blood in the mix as well. Which we are prepared to provide. Do you have a nurse in the house?"

"I have spirits bound to my tattooes." Keiko reasserts and look to Koa. "I … could demonstrate, if you like?" Pepper might have seen Bella at some point. Maybe. "They're … normally … well behaved."

The tattooes cover her arms, right up to her shoulders and collar bone. There's not a patch of spare skin to be seen.

If she's worried about the process, it doesn't show in her demeanour. Stoic, would be one way of describing her.

"The metals are to contain the spirits, and keep them safe. The blood … it will make sure the spirits get in there. But if you have a nurse, I'm good to provide that now."

Well, that makes sense in the usual 'WAND is weird that way' manner. And again, she's in the habit of believing seven impossible things before breakfast, so this isn't really THAT much of a stretch. "I… would have to ask if we have someone qualified to draw blood." She can think of a few people who likely know how, but qualified?

"So while I think about that," or more likely ask JARVIS to find out, "let me take a look at this." She takes the paper and sets it on her desk, both to look at it and to let JARVIS scan the information. "JARVIS, do we have anyone on staff currently who's qualified to do a blood draw?"

She busies herself for a moment pouring the coffee for Keiko and setting out milk and sugar in case either of them want to add to their beverages, then holds her hand over the paper and lifts it straight up away from the table, triggering a 3D holographic rendering of the container in question.

"Does this look correct?"

"Nurse Stevens and Nurse Valoncar are both qualified to do blood draws." JARVIS helpfully supplies, pulling up the employee files for Pepper even as the container renders. It's rather pretty but that's not it's main point. The filigree and acid etching are there mostly to pick out arcane designs that are needed to contain and mollify the spirits.

"Miss Potts I should point out that these metals do not alloy especially well and while the requested container is possibly, it will not be physically very strong. A chromium steel alloy would be better suited."

Well yes it would but that's not the point really.

"Perhaps you should show her in the interests of transparency." Koa says. "Something small, though?"

"Have you dealt much with the arcane, Miss Potts? You're taking this better than I thought you might."

Keiko is of course taking this as she usually does. Stoically. Seriously the woman hasn't cracked a smile since she got back from Limbo.

Though she might now. The tea is good and the coffee smells good as well. "Mmm. Thank you Miss Potts."

"Oh, good. Could you ask one of them to come up to my office, JARVIS? Thank you." She looks to the two agents questioningly when the AI recommends a different metallic alloy in place of the ones noted on the paper. She's pretty sure that the point of the containers does not rely as heavily on structural integrity.

"The arcane? Well, not really. But considering that some days around here very strongly feel like I've stepped through the looking glass, I think I've become rather good at suspending disbelief." It certainly helps that a good acquaintance recently shared a rather … unusual secret with her.

The coffee does smell good and Keiko looks over, her face softening just a little. No, no smile - not Elena gets one from Keiko - but a look of appreciation at the least.

"We'll be careful with it…" Keiko speaks to the disembodied voice. She just thinks it's someone listening in. "And you are, Miss Potts. Most people … aren't quite so … sanguine." A big word for the illiterate Peruvian.

Waiting till Pepper sits and puts the cups on the table, Keiko looks at the redhead seriously. "Are you frightened of spiders, Miss Potts?" When she receives the answer that she's not, the small dark skinned woman touches the tattoo at her wrist.

A few seconds later, a *large* tarantula appears on the table. It's leg span is 2 ft wide and there's a slightly 'demonic' caste to it's features. For a moment it just sits there and then starts to scuttle towards Pepper.

Koa watches Pepper as the large spider appears. People in general don't often like spiders and while it does not seem to be a particular issue of Pepper's it IS a very large spider so… that might be unexpected. Also when it starts moving toward her…

"I am calling up the nurse and… Miss Potts do you require an exterminator?"

Jarvis is apparently somewhat nonplussed.

Pepper has indeed set her tea aside for the moment. "Not particularly, I—" she gasps and visibly startles at the spider's sudden appearance, but doesn't do the scream and try to flee or bash thing in the way most arachnophobes tend to react.

"Oh. I wasn't expecting that." Calming very quickly, she observes the overlarge tarantula that dwarfs even the most massive camel or huntsman spider. "This … isn't a variety of tarantula I've heard of. Not a pink-toe, not a red knee— No, no, JARVIS. It's fine. No exterminator, but thank you."

She is still looking at Aranenet in something akin to fascination as she explains. "A friend of mine in college had a pet tarantula. I got used to her really quickly as my friend would bring her along to study groups."

"Arananet." Keiko speaks, glancing to Koa to make sure it's ok to keep the spider live. "She was found in the forest that surrounded my compound… I do not know what type she is. But she was my first."

"That, Miss Potts, is a Goliath Birdeater." Jarvis provides. "Found in the jungles of South America."

For her part, Arananet stops and looks at Pepper. Her legs waving about a little. "I can see through her eyes and she can carry things." Keiko explains before turning back to the container.

"This looks right, those etchings here though - they need to be clearer and deeper. They won't hold the spirit if they're not."

"It's a Goliath Birdeater that has absorbed some amount of, um… extradimensional energy." Koa says rather carefully. Demonic energy might be too much at this point. Make Pepper worry for her safety.

"That is the smallest and least dangerous of the spirits though. And we need to house a few of them." Not all of them, Koa is aware there are some volunteers, but really, it would be bad for these things to get out.

Pepper can well imagine how the others are if this is the tame, unthreatening one.

Okay, that explanation makes sense. When Keiko says the etchings aren't quite right, Pepper gestures with her left hand toward the still-floating hologram. "You can make adjustments directly on that model, and JARVIS will use it to set the manufacturing specifications."

Since her attention is on the holographic image, she doesn't notice that her hand is actually rather close to Arananet now. "How many of these do you think you'll need? Osmium might be a bit difficult to source." Well, unless Tony already has some stashed away for his personal use.

Oh right. The extradimensional energy. Keiko looks … calm at that but nods in agreement as she rolls her sleeves up and shows the other tattooes. The wolf, barghest, harpy eagle (which is really a harpy now), raven and dragon. All so very lifelike with the way their eyes follow the viewer. And all corrupted to one degree or another.

When the hologram is rotated, Keiko shakes her head and gestures to Koa "You're the artist. I just know how to beat things with my quarterstaff. And how to fix leaky taps."

"Let's say we need six. I can pay for them."

"These are a SHIELD expense, Keiko." Koa says as he starts to manipulate the sigils. It'll take him a couple of minutes but eventually he'll get it and look back to Keiko for confirmation.

"Six yes. We shouldn't actually require that many but it's good to have one for each tattoo if needed." Well not EACH tattoo. There's a seventh. On her back. But that one's probably not coming off.

"SHIELD will pay whatever you need for them. But it's important that we get them quickly. It's key to stopping an extradimensional invasion."

Sure. Let's just… drop that on Pepper now.

Invasion? Oh, that doesn't sound good. Pepper looks at Koa for a moment with her eyebrows drawn together then says, "JARVIS, please check the material stores for all of the materials need to create six of these containers. Pull from Tony's personal stocks if need be, we can replace everything once the containers are made." Yes, that may mean spending another two weeks sourcing osmium, but she can tell it'll be worth the effort.

When she realizes how close her hand is to Arananet, she pulls back away again, though again not in a 'yeek!' manner.

"Arananet." Keiko says, glancing up from the rendering that Koa is working on. "She won't hurt you, Miss Potts." Still, the peruvian touches the tattoo on her arm again and the spider dissipates to smoke. Smoke that streams its way back to her arm and settles on it.

"Yes, an invasion. And … SHIELD will pay." Koa gets a flat look from the dark skinned woman for that. Not one smile has given since she's arrived here and it doesn't seem likely she will.

"That's better, Koa. Just adjust this bit here … and we should be good."

Koa gives the flat look back. These are expensive and this isn't her expense. Let SHIELD pay for it! They're only doing this because he suggested it anyway. Besides, she's an agent.

"We'd appreciate your swift movement on this matter." The larger agent finishes his tea and sets down the glass.

"Well there you go. The binding sigils done to Keiko's satisfaction." He chuckles. "If there isn't anything else though we'll let you get to it? And thank you Miss Potts. Shall we, Keiko?"

Pepper offers Keiko a smile as Arananet disappears. "I didn't think she would. I just remember how much my friend's pink-toe would tickle when she walked across my arm. I would feel bad if in startled your spider by reacting abruptly."

"Miss Potts, all materials are in place and the fabricators are ready to begin. Estimated time of completion, nine point four six hours."

"Thank you, JARVIS." She looks at the agents. "The nurse should be here any moment to do the blood draws. Do you want to wait here, or…?"

Koa is one of the few who can give Keiko the look back. She's not arguing, in fact she publically agreed to the arrangement.

"She's hard to startle and she's my friend …" the peruvian says quietly. "We will wait in your waiting room, Miss Potts, so as not to disturb you further." There's no thank you from Keiko. Which isn't unusual. She's still programmed to live in Limbo really.

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