2020-02-26 - Testing Limits


Tony tests his underwater Iron Man suit while Thea tests Tony.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Feb 26 23:26:36 2020
Location: Lab #19, Stark industries

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Tony Stark was in the lab. Happy and Pepper were working on keeping the business running while he got to play with the toys.
Tony was in the process of testing the underwater suit. He was a little irked that the top speed of the suit was 75 MPH under the surface, and was in ther proces of seeing if he could refit the suit for supercavitation. That would up the speed to about 400 MPH.
Fortunately, the lab had enough room for a humongus tank, and right now he was finaling the settings for it…

Thea is used to the royal summons with her father, but this.. is different. SHIELD is one thing, she's still pretty independent. But reporting to Stark.. this could be interesting. Rich auburn hair is loose in casual waves, over the vivid jade green of her bodycon dress paired with the knee high black boots.

Heels click against the floor, as she moves through the lab, eyes that are vivid emerald with the help of contacts checking things out with a passing curiousity. She's not the hardware sort - she's much more in what someone once told her was called soft sciences - you know, biology. Lips are stained a soft wine hue, the rest of her makeup natural looking enough most might not be sure she's really wearing much of anything. "I would think someone of your means would be testing this somewhere tropical, Stark."

Tony smiles without looking behind him. "Why go out to eat when you can afford to have everything delivered?" The large grey-and-silver suit is lowered into the tank, which takes up most of the lab floor. "Besides, I'd rather not clue in the Atlanteans that I'm contingency-ing into their neck of the woods. Not until I have to." He turns and smiles wryly. "Besides, it's worth it to see that look of dawning comprehension. So…tell me if you'd heard anything about any aquatic operations on the East Coast."

"The ambiance. The desire to see something other than my living room?" Thea responds with a dry sarcasm and quick wit. " It's not like they're not used to people poking into the water, is it?" She will ask, sauntering closer to the edge of the tank.

She will lift her brows, giving him a mildly disbelieving expression. "You are aware I'm not one for the harder science. My gifts lay with the squishy stuff."

Tony nods. "Well, let me give you the shock treatment. The toughest thing about traveling through the water is that water, unlike air, does not compress. So, traveling underwater slows things down, big time. I can go up to Mach 2 in a standard suit, but under water? 75 MPH. Any faster and the superstructure begins to crack." He points to the suit, set in a head-forward position, arms to its sides.
"Now…there is a way we can speed things up. We basically create a bubble of air that is designed to let water flow around it, and this bubble stays around the suit. So, basically, it is flying under water. It's called supercavitation."

"That wasn't the shock treatment. That was the stupid treatment. I meant more that I wouldn't know of anyone who is testing something like a suit meant to do mach speeds underwater. I am fully aware that water is more dense than air, and does not part out of the way like air does." There's a hint of a snort.

"So basically, you want to get this air bubble around the suit, so that it cuts through the water. It's not as fancy as how you said it, but I'm fairly certain I understand your intent."

Tony shrugs. "When you get to be as smart as me, you worry about the most popular reaction to your theories is '…Once Again, But SLOWLY.'" He ponders. "Okay, while I'm redefining underwater travel for humanity, I wanted to ask if you'd ever worked with Jessica Drew, AKA Spider-Woman."

"Lucky you, I may not have multiple degrees, but I can grasp somewhat complex ideas in short order." Thea will glance towards the tank, before her gaze is pulled back. She is silent a long moment, studying the man.

"I've worked peripherally with her. A sort of team effort thing. I didn't have to work with her directly in any sort of extensive way. She knows me by a different name, to be honest. I am not sure she knows any of my others. I've worked with a number of the Arachnid types about town. Why do you ask?"

Tony nods, then says, "Activate Arc Field Bubble."
The arc reactor built into the suit glows, and then the air around it starts to shimmer.
"I'm working on a satellite team to the Avengers. These will be info-gatherers, troubleshooters. Send it to gather intel or defuse situations before they become Avengers territory. I want you as part of that team. And it will mean working with Jessica."

There's a moment of lengthy silence, as she looks at the suit and not the man, appreciating the shimmer of light through water. "Isn't that what SHIELD is, effectively? Spies and mission teams for things before the pulling out the war hammer of the Avengers?" She asks, turning her head to look at him.

"I mean, you're effectively asking me to be a spy and… what, exactly? Assassin, diplomat..?" She's not saying flat out no, at least?

Tony nods. "Basically…yes, to all three. SHIELD reports to the UN. This satellite team will report to me first, and THEN to other…"
A bubble of air, which seems stretched out in front and behind the suit, seems to POP into being and stay there.

Thea shifts her weight, arms crossing under her breasts to let her hands curl at the bends of her elbows. She's watching the man again and not the machine. "You want to create your own little team of spies and people with special… talents, Stark? Is that what's going on? Are you sure you wish to have me in your…employ?" She surely sounds amused.

Tony looks directly at Thea. "So you're saying there's a reason I shouldn't have you as part of it?"

There's a slow, dazzling smile. "I, and pretty much everyone who can read, has heard how you're very independent. That you follow your whims, when it suits you. I'm practical, but I can be very independent. I don't always follow the rules some people would set. You may not always like what I report, and I won't twist things around to make them more palatable."

Tony walks towards Thea, his face almost carefully placid.
"I actually have a list of things that annoy the SHIT out of me, arranged by levels of intensity. People Who Bully Retail Workers is #4 on the list." He pauses for a moment, then says, "People Who Suggest I Should Doubt Myself and Give No Valid Reason? Number THREE." He turns his back on Thea and heads back to the console. "If you think I'm hiring you because you will candy-coat what you report to me, Human Resources is down on the first floor. They'll handle your termination papers at any time of the day. So don't say stupid things to provoke a reaction. Because there is no other reason you, an intelligent woman, would say something so MORONIC."

Thea's left eyebrow lifts slightly. "Why should your doubt yourself? I would think you would know you better than anyone else. But to hell with people shitting on people in retail or service positions."

Then there's a laugh, a faintly smokey tinged sound, from low in Thea's throat. "I think you misunderstand me. I know you get under people's skin, because you won't pander and play nice. I'm just stating from the first, that I don't do it either, and some people you may want me to report to, may not like it. Independent thinker. I may not be a whiz-kid grown up into a billionaire genius, but I'm not about to smother what I see, what I know, and what is the truth, to make it easier for someone to swallow. Mary Poppins and her spoonful of sugar, I am not. I wanted to know you understood me on that, and realize some people may take issue with me for it."

Tony holds up a finger. "Your EXACT words. "'Are you sure you wish to have me in your…employ?' And then you try to validate a sentence GUARANTEED to provoke me by telling the the qualities I WANT for this job and suggesting I may not like it." He turned back to Thea. "I don't WANT candy-coating. I don't WANT sycophants in this. I hired you EXACTLY because you won't spin what you see or find. And if you haven't realized that yet, then THIS is your one and only wake-up call."
He's pissed off. With Thea's abilities, she can see it all - raised BP, increased activity in the amygdala, flushed skin, tightened muscles in the jawline, dilated irises.

Thea will move across the floor in the wake of Tony's steps away from her, eyes on his face as she draws closer. "Stark. Most people don't /want/ to hire someone that is going to be a possible ripple in the pond. They don't want to hire someone that people may come to them to complain about. There are people that hate your way of not putting sugar on it, but you're Tony Stark, so they put up with it. They won't see any reason to take it from me, and will bitch at you about me."

Fingers lift to tuck strands of auburn behind an ear. "You may actually be better looking with a little bit of pissed off on you. But relax. I'm not insulting you, Stark. You and I have already established that we both just tell it how it is. It works. But other people, you and I both know, hate that about us. Validation my ass. I'm making sure you're ready to tell people you hired me for exactly the fact I will tell them whether or not they want to hear it. "

For a moment, Tony looks like he is ready to take a swing at her.
Then he stops, nostrils flaring, before he pulls back…barely…closing his eyes and pinching the bridge of his nose.
"Two things. One…I'm not going to lie about why I hired you if anyone asks. Don't think I'm going to throw you under the bus for anything."
He takes a deep breath.
"Two…I'm going to open my eyes in about ten seconds. And if I see your insubordinate, dumb-questioning, second-guessing ass anywhere in the immediate area, I WILL fire your ass. I even have a cannon big enough to fit you as a projectile."

Thea's arms will relax, dropping from being crossed in front of her. She may be responding to his body language. "I know you're not most people. But people will feel free to bitch to you about me, and it can get old, fast." There's a faint tiredness to her tone, but Tony can't know that she's thinking of her stepmother complaining about the child she'd been to her father.

There's a long moment of quiet. "See? Already having issues with my insubordination. My way of saying it exactly how I see it. And you wonder why I asked." There's a turn, before there's the click of her shoes on the floor moving away from him. "Call my curious caution dumb - questioning again, and you'll never get a chance to fire my ass." The tone has dropped to sub zero temperatures - he's lucky there's not ice forming in that tank. She's an inch from telling him to piss off - he came to her, after all, it isn't like she /needs/ the job. But she's been bored - this could maybe at least be interesting. And pissing off Stark is a little fun.

Tony gives her a good thirty seconds before he opens his eyes.
No sign of her.
He walks towards the desk ten yards away, pouring himself a shot of tequila. "And people wonder why I drink."

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