2019-12-04 - Gaining Access


Nick and Isis ask Pepper to help out with access to a building and meet a spider

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Dec 4 05:33:17 2019
Location: Stark Industries

Related Logs


Theme Song



It's early afternoon and Pepper Potts has an appointment with Nick and Isis. The two mutants have been working tirelessly to unravel the mysteries of the mutant hunters infesting parts of town and the people supplying them. They think they finally have a break but they'll need more influence and resources than they have to make capital out of it.

The two show up promptly and are seen to the elevator. They know the way at this point, and Isis is far less inclined to climb on file cabinets.

The display cabinets in the lobby look very enticing though and Nick will see Isis eyeing them as they walk by. She doesn't climb on them though, just walks beside Nick - touching his arm every now and then, though she doesn't seem to be aware of it.

Dressed nicely in snug jeans, hikers and a long sleeve shirt with the Paragon Investigations logo on the breast, the slim feline-like mutant follows Nick into the elevator.

"Miss Potts will be waiting for us, won't she, Nick?"

Pepper is indeed waiting. And because she's learned from previous visits with the pair, she has food and beverages waiting for them. It's her favorite 'peasant lunch', consisting of cubed meats of at least four varieties, twice as many kinds of cheese, easy to grab and eat pieces of vegetable and fruit, and three crusty, round loaves of bread. And, tucked in her office's mini-fridge is a pitcher of milk, the tea steeping as the pair are riding in the elevator.

"Arananet, pay attention, please." She lightly touches one of the spider's knees to draw her attention back away from the platters of food. "I have important friends stopping by to visit. If you want to stay out, you'll need to be still and quiet where they're not likely to see you. But I'd rather you be safe," she says, tapping the inside of her left wrist. "You can come back out when the meeting is over, and I'll even let you carry some paperwork to Eileen down the hall."

The spider covering most of her desk waves its pedipalps at her briefly, then with one frontmost leg pats at a gold mesh bracelet on the desk before turning to smoke and reappearing on Pepper's arm. "Thank you," she says to the tattoo with a light touch to her wrist before clasping the bracelet over the tattoo just as the elevator dings at the end of the hall.

Perfect timing. Thank you, JARVIS.

If Nick ever thought to time the elevator rides he'd realize that they aren't consistent in their duration. And that would make quite interested as to why. Fortunately, NO ONE ever times elevator rides unless they are supremely bored.

"I'm sure she will, Isis. Look. Her door is open." Nick knocks on the frame and pokes his large head around it. "Miss Potts? Thank you for seeing us on such short notice." At this point they've interacted enough that he feels comfortable just coming in. "We think we've got something that might possibly tie a lot of the mutant hunting activity to Lobo Technologies, or at least to a subsidiary company that has since gone defunct. The problem is that the property is shuttered and locked up tight. It's the subject of a legal dispute between Lobo Tech and Stark Industries."

Isis counts as the elevator goes up. She does it without even realising. The fact that her count always varies doesn't register either. It's just numbers, right? Numbers that while away the time.

"Miss Potts seems … focussed." Isis murmurs as they step from the lift, touching Nicks arm again as they move to her office.

"Hello Miss Potts." The young woman greets politely, making a beeline for the desk to perch on it. Some habits die hard. "Thank you for seeing… like Nick says. We were wondering if we might be able to get into there …"

"You know. To have a look around."

Pepper is smoothing the bracelet over her wrist when Nick knocks at the door and pokes his head in. She smiles as she stands to greet the arriving pair. And yes, she is perfectly fine with them just heading on in, it's why she left the door standing open despite her more recent habit of keeping it closed so Arananet could wander around without the worry of someone just walking in and freaking out.

"Hm. If the property is locked pending the results of the dispute, we have to have agreement from both parties to allow anyone to visit, especially if you have affiliation with one party or the other, which you do. JARVIS, could you please list what we'll need to get that agreement and how quickly it can happen?"

"Working, Miss Potts."

While the AI is working on that, she checks on the tea, then pulls the pitcher of milk out of the fridge. "I had a simple lunch prepared for us. Are either of you hungry?" Yes, she knows the answer already. The question is merely a formality.

"I am yes. Thank you, Miss Potts. I think that Isis is hungry too." When is Isis not hungry after all? Nick can't think of a time, certainly.

"Agreement would have to be secured from Mister Lobo, Miss Potts." JARVIS says. "We do have his number and his email and his assistant's number." It must be a hell of a dispute if the CEO of the company has to approve someone going in to take a look around. Pepper has probably dealt with Maximus before. He's a big man. Not overweight, just massive. A walking slab of muscle. Very intimidating muscle.

Isis is always hungry. It's something to do with her mutation, she eats a lot - she needs to. "Yes, please. What's simple?" Sandwiches? Not that she's complaining, food is good, all food and food from Peppers chef is awesome.

"Isn't that the boss man himself?" Isis frowns and looks at Nick when Jarvis speaks. Speaking of Jarvis … the feline-like woman looks around and then out the door. It's fairly obvious that she's considering going for a walk - to find that nice sounding man.

The man who's emotions she can't sense.

Pepper Potts gestures to the platters of meats, cheeses, vegetables, and fruits along with the loaves of bread on the small conference table. "Please help yourselves." She pours tea for herself, then a glass of milk for Isis and holds up the pitcher with a questioning look, offering Nick a beverage as well.

"Please draft the request, JARVIS, and cite…" she looks at the investigators. "What would work best? You're investigating a case of some sort and your leads are pointing to the building? Or something more innocent, like trying to track down someone's lost exotic pet?"

"Something pointed but reasonable maybe? We're working a missing persons case, we think the building is connected? They can ask to have their own security around, or the police. I'd be happy for either." If Nick is right then Lobo doesn't want the scrutiny.

Nick takes a small plate and loads it up. He's sure Isis will as well. And yes, he can tell what she's thinking. "Isis. Focus."

"Draft completed, Miss Potts. Would you like me to send it to your terminal to review?" Nick sits down opposite Pepper and cants his head slightly at the bracelet. That's… new. She had never seemed much for jewelry.

"Yes Nick…. ooooh. This isn't simple …" Isis murmurs, taking a plate and putting a selection of food on it. She doesn't eat from it immediately though but holds it out to Nick, letting him take his pick of what she's chosen.

"That's not exactly a lie either. Why do you think Mister Lobo is the contact on this?" beat "That's a nice bracelet, Miss Potts. Is it new? And yes please. Milk."

"Yes, please, JARVIS." Unaware of Nick's looking at the bracelet, Pepper steps around to her desk and picks up her tablet instead of looking at her desk computer. The screen lights up and she glances through what's displayed there. "This looks good to me." She offers the tablet to Nick, or more accurately turns it for him to look at the drafted message as well, in case there's anything he wants to change or add.

Her bracelet smells like GOLD. And two little dark spots on her wrist peek past the edge of the woven metal.

Did one of those spots just … move ever so slightly?

Nick takes a couple bits of cheese and suddenly stops. His eyes drift to Isis as if to ask if she saw that too. Then he very slowly puts the cheese down and clears his throat.

"Miss Potts, there, um, might be something on your arm."

He's being oh so very calm which is always a bad thing when dealing with animals. And… Nick. It's the sort of calm when he might suddenly lunge to grab something.

Or squish something. Nick is not a fan of bugs.

Isis is like a cat when something moves on Peppers wrist. She hones in on it with pinpoint concentration and narrows her slitted eyes. "Do you have something stuck under your bracelet, Miss Potts." That should answer Nicks unspoken question.

The blue-eyed mutants nose twitches as she sniffs the air near Peppers arm. Yes gold …. but there's something else too.

Pepper looks from Nick to Isis and back, pulling the tablet back and putting her right hand over her wrist and the bracelet. Well, Arananet managed to not disrupt things for at least three minutes this time. "Okay, I have to promise you both to remain calm. Please." She sets the tablet back on her desk then goes to shut her office door.

"It's … strange and complicated, but I'm kind of petsitting for a friend." Ohhh, she can already tell that the spider did NOT like that phrasing. "She won't harm either of you, and I have to ask that you don't try to harm her either."

She looks from one investigator to the other, trying to determind whether or not they're going to agree to this.

"You're pet sitting something on your arm under your bracelet?" Nick has an amazing dubious face and it is at the moment on full display. He looks like a perky eared MacGruff, ready to take a bite out of crime. Well okay, he looks like that crossed with the confused John Travolta meme and it is a little bit hilarious. Isis can definitely sense the confusion about what exactly is going on and what kind of pet Pepper would have to assure won't harm them.

"What do you have that requires us to remain calm …" Isis says carefully, moving closer to Nick and rubbing her ears against his arm. Reassuring for her? Probably. For him? Maybe. She can sense his confusion and it's worrying.

"What do you mean … she won't harm us and you don't want us to harm her…"

What on earth could it be, under the bangle? Isis has no idea.

Pepper's emotions are an odd mixture of concern, protective worry and uncertainty. "She's a very large species of tarantula, and she's very unusual on top of that." She looks at the pair again. "Perhaps if you puts your plates down for a moment?"

She can feel Arananet squirming under her skin, wanting to jump free but not doing so QUITE yet.

"You have a very large tarantula under your bracelet?" The bracelet doesn't look near large enough for that. More confused than ever before Nick puts his plate down. Isis gets another just utterly baffled look. At least the investigations are making sense because none of this is. Nick feels like he has stepped into Wonderland."

"I think …. Miss Potts … you better show us. You mean, like a tattoo or something, right? You can't have a tarantula under there, there's not enough room." So says Isis, the mutant who can walk in dreams.

Putting her plate down next to Nicks, the feline-like woman gives Nick a don't look at me type look. She's got no idea what Pepper is talking about - all she can tell is that Pepper is … being honest.

"Six impossible things before breakfast," Pepper offers in an attempt at being reassuring. She takes off the gold bracelet and sets it aside, revealing the front legs of an eerily photorealistic tarantula tattoo on the inside of her wrist, then pushes up the sleeve of her jacket to reveal the rest of it, spanning nearly to the inside of her elbow. For someone sharp-eyed, the spider — especially its legs — are more scaly than fuzzy, and one of the frontmost legs just curled a bit further around Pepper's arm. If this is a tattoo that she didn't have last time they spoke, why does it look like it's already completely and well-healed?

"She's a Goliath Birdeater tarantula, and like the both of you, she's.. not a regular tarantula." She looks at the tattoo. "All right, Arananet, slowly please. Introductions aren't always easy." She pronounces the spider's name with a proper Spanish inflection as she addresses the tattoo, which is now lifting its legs up off of Pepper's skin before going smoky and reforming perched on the same arm now FOUR times bigger than the tattoo. A real, carapace and fuzz and fangs tarantula whose body alone is the length of Pepper's arm from wrist to elbow.

Arananet waves her pedipalps at the pair as if trying to convey something.

"HOLYCRAP!" Nick scoots back sharply. "THAT SPIDER IS HUGE!" Nick's emotions just took a nosedive into fight or flight territory. Because Araranet is indeed massive. She looks like the sort of thing one might see in a suspense movie. It's really, really…


And Nick is reflexively looking for something to smack it with because his HAND is not going to do the trick.

"Why is she twitching like that? That's someone's pet? How didi t fit on your arm?!"

Isis nearly pounces on the giant spider. Her fight instinct kicked into high gear, which might not help Nick, at all.

"Grrrr…." It's a little feline growl that the woman emits as she takes up a stalking position. She's trying! Really she is. "When did you get a tattoo, Miss Potts? You didn't have it the last time I saw you and …" her nose twitches in the redheads direction. "…. it doesn't smell new."

Pepper almost immediately holds a protective hand over the admittedly huge spider, even as it looks ready to leap off her arm and flee. "No, Arananet, stay close. You'll be fine, I promise." She even turns a bit, putting more of her own body between the spider and Isis as the tarantula moves to cling to the front of Pepper's jacket. "She belongs to a friend of mine and is… well, an animal spirit. She was bound to my friend, but due to a health situation," she knows she's challenging the pair enough already, she's not about to toss the word 'demon' out there as well, "my friend had to find alternate shelter for her animal spirits. Temporarily. I constructed containers for them, but Arananet wasn't happy about it and latched onto me instead."

She lightly pats the spider's thorax reassuringly. "Because she's a spirit, if you injure her badly enough, she'll return to the tattoo. And her injuries will transfer to me."

Hopefully that will convince Isis especially to refrain from following her instincts.

Nick's eye twitches. His ear twitches. Then his eye twitches again. Isis has only seen that once. The eye tic. It means he's close to just being broken. "The spider. Is a spirit? And you're petsitting for someone who…"

Nick KNOWS magic exist. Hell Nick knows Magik. But this is not something he has really ever encountered and it's staring him right in the face with beady compound eyes.

"Um. Right. So. No hitting the spider. Got it." He relaxes. Just a little.

Isis perches on the desk, watching the spider carefully. She doesn't pounce but geeeee she wants to. "Well … " She's not sure what to say, her instinct is definitely triggered - even if she is able to control it, mostly.

"What were doing?"

Pepper looks from Nick to Isis and back for a moment, then taps at one of Arananet's legs lightly with one finger. A finger that's considerably smaller than the leg she's tapping at. "You've had your chance to say hello. You should go back now." There's more waving of those comparatively little pedipalps. "I know, you don't want to. But you know how Isis is making you want to run? You're making /Nick/ want to run. So to make everyone feel better. Please?" Finally, after a bit more seeming consideration from the spider, its form dissolves into smoke that settles onto Pepper's arm and is once again just a tattoo.

"Thank you," she tells the tattoo, then smiles to Nick and Isis. "And thank you both for understanding. We were going to send a request for approval to Lobo to visit the disputed property."

Nick JUST STARES at the Tattoo. Not that it isn't good art but that it's incongruous on Pepper Potts. It's like seeing an advertisement for a, er, racy film on the side of the Sistine Chapel. They're things that just don't go together.

"Miss Potts. Mister Lobo is responding to your message. He wants a face to face meeting to discuss the matter."

Nick blinks. That was quick. He certainly couldn't have gotten the CEO of Lobo Tech to reply to an e-mail.

"Huh. How'd it do that…" Isis reaches a claw out to touch Peppers wrist and the tattoo that has just appeared there. No sense of personal space, has the feline-like mutant.

"Oh right…" Blue eyes look a bit startled when JARVIS speaks "Already? I wonder what is so important. Miss Potts or the property."

Pepper sighs at that. "Of course he does. What's the earliest time I have open to meet with him, JARVIS?"

She glances over at Isis as the cat-eared woman moves closer, then hastily pulls her arm down and away from that claw. She doesn't know that Arananet would take exception to it, but she really doesn't want to find out. And more to protect the spider tattoo, she pulls her jacket sleeve back down to cover most of it.

There isn't any verbal scolding, but she feels concerned and a bit defensive and even goes so far as to step around to her desk between herself and Isis.

"Isis…" Nick says in a warning tone. "Be nice to Pepper and her new arm-pet." Hopefully that's not permanent. Also hopefully it doesn't have more spiders or she's going to start looking like the Dragon Lady. Or… Lady with the Dragon Tattoo. Whatever that was. He doesn't recall.

"Your earliest available convenience is two days from now. Does that work for you, Miss Potts? Or shall we let him wait for a reply?"

There's that guy whose emotions she can't feel again.

Isis looks crestfallen and hops off the desk to try and curl in Nicks lap. "I … I wasn't being nasty. I was just curious. You asked us not to hurt her, I wouldn't dream of doing anything that you didn't want me too."

Nick is going to have to deal with Isis, though she does look around again for JARVIS.

Pepper looks at the pair, immediately feeling guilty when Isis is scolded for being curious. But then JARVIS speaks up, and she immediately asks the pair for their opinion. "Will two days work for you both?" If not, maybe she can shuffle a few things around accordingly.

"That does yes." Nick lets Isis curl up in his lap. "If you want us there that is." That will certainly be interesting. Nick's only gotten glimpses of Maximus Lobo's handiwork. The man is something of a ghost, at least so far as this case is concerned.

"Can you put that on our calendar, Isis?" That'll give her something to focus on. They should be just about done here.

Nick letting her curl does a lot to settle Isis. Pepper can feel Isis trying to make ammends with the calming emotion. "I can Nick. You want to be there?" Isis will remember to do that. She wants to see this Maximus Lobo for herself too.

"Thank you for arranging it, Miss Potts."

Pepper offers Isis a smile. Looks like that moment of curious indiscretion has been forgiven. "I'm glad I could help. JARVIS, add the meeting to my schedule but wait, oh, about three hours before sending the reply. Oh, and please state that I'd like to meet here in the Tower, and set aside one of the conference rooms." Because it just won't do for Lobo to think she's EAGER to have this meeting, or is willing to let HIM choose the venue.

Finally, Pepper goes back to her temporarily forgotten tea. Thankfully it hadn't been left steeping all that time.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License