01 March 2009 @ 12:38 am
One minute I held the key  
Who: [livejournal.com profile] iron_liver and [livejournal.com profile] chronosyoudidnt
Where: The secret, very bottom lab of StarkTech.
When: Late Sunday night, March 28th.
Warnings: None.
Summary: A plan comes to a close, but with a blast of an ending.
Format: Practically a Solo Log to start, followed by Para and Jill's obscene tl;dr



For some time now, he was wondering if anyone was suspicious. He had kept the machine under wraps, and nobody even knew he'd gotten his hands on the plans to the porter. How could they? Even the people he'd invaded the HIVE's labs with hadn't even suspected, despite the fact that it had been he alone who deleted their porter semantics. They had only his word to go on, and he had made certain to delete every trace of the data from their databases, but he'd done so only after each piece of the data had been carefully transmitted to his mind.

That was the beautiful thing about this virus, he could simultaneously download information, delete it from record, and trace anywhere that the data could have been, effectively ensuring that their backups had been taken care of. He wouldn't trust this device to the people out on the west coast. As much as he loathed the porter and the people it brought in, he also recognized that it did bring in the heroic elements. Would the HIVE do the same? Most likely not.

He did, however, trust himself. As much as he thought of this world as a place he could get by in, it was not his home. He had tried to think of it in that fashion, but the thoughts could never come. He tried to care about the people, but the obsession with the people he'd sworn to protect reminded him hour after hour that his place was at home. At his desk on the helicarrier. He desperately wanted to get back to his place.

First, however, he had things to fix. Even with the sporadic and skewed information he'd received, he knew there were things that needed to be eliminated from the time-line. He had a list, and he had a plan for implementing the list. It was simple, and almost too simple, but Tony knew that the more complicated the plan, the more difficult it would be to implement it. He'd managed to calculate the difference in the way that this world's time flowed in opposition to his.

The plan was to place himself back into his world right around when he'd gotten the Extremis, before things had gotten out of hand. His lab was filled with suits during that time, and his would be just another one in the gallery, not even noticeable if he aimed himself right. Hell, he could port himself into the middle of the desert, and he would be able to do what he wanted to do. He just simply wanted to get a sight of home, his real home. His lab, his company, his world.

He planned to put out a priority e-mail to himself, encoded to the teeth, with one of his private codes to it. That alone would catch his attention, but it wouldn't leave his e-mail box either. He knew how to ensure that he would read it, and what would make him consider each point. It would sound like the ramblings of a crazed man, but with the right information to begin the letter, he would take notice.

He'd been uncertain as to what to change. He'd spent a great deal of time over a virtual cork board, connecting the dots, piecing together what would work and what wouldn't work. He'd carefully ran the calculations, ensuring that things would go the right way. The SHRA itself was necessary, he believed this. He had to, or every single thing he'd done had been for nothing. Cap's death hadn't been. He hoped his subtle suggestion to himself regarding any captured traitors would ring true. He was a smart man, he knew he would apply that appropriately. His other hints had to be much more subtle, but still firm. Do not allow Thor's clone to be unleashed. He had worded it so that it said “Nordic projects”, and to keep a firm grasp on the electronics that kept that at bay. He had also traced the lines, and there was no doubt in his mind. He could prevent the deaths, and he could prevent the mistrust, but he had to ensure that the Skrulls didn't invade. He left that implicitly, to trust nobody, and to figure out a way to detect them. The last thing, a small notation and carefully placed as an afterthought, even though the fact was prevalent in his mind was to ensure that entities were left in prison. He didn't know if he would pick that one up until it was too late, and thus the issues with the Skrull Invasion were more important to prevent, but if at all possible, he would keep his team, his SHIELD, and his suit from being desecrated.

The news about his apparent coma and brain deletion had added a level of urgency to his work. Before, it had been a project he'd toyed with, hoping still that the Porter would just send him home, or at least that he could ensure that he could put an end to the things that were happening here, to affect what was occuring back home.

Now he wasn't so certain, not if he was practically dead. Not if he couldn't remember. His cognitive abilities were his pride, they were his true power, and he didn't have them anymore. He wouldn't let that stand, so his idea, his little project had grown in the basement of StarkTech. He didn't allow anyone in this room, of course, nobody knew it existed. It wasn't cleaned by the staff, it wasn't even on the records. He'd kept the bottom levels only accessible by his own technopathic abilities, nobody else could even find it.

He'd been here for days now. He kept in contact with the outside world through his suit, making appearances through text and digitally when appropriate. He kept at least enough food to keep him going, but he'd been locking himself away down here for longer and longer, finally near the last stretches, he'd been in here since Thursday. He knew nobody suspected, after all, Iron Man had been at the battle with the man creating the havoc in the city.

He had to swallow down the bile at the thought of that particular incident. Working with that team was unfavorable, but he'd been able to control himself by not being present. It still stung, it was still something that had to be fixed.

Tests were being performed at that time, sending small items through time, and then watching to see if they were found. Most of them had been. He'd been careful to make sure they were things like relics of the period, such as a collector's sword sent to ancient Japan, or a sixties era cup sent back, only to resurface as a collectible later. Things of little consequence, except for their monetary value. Something he had plenty of, actually.

It was almost ready. He didn't have any more welding to do, no more physical labor. He'd had his suit come down the elevator for the last preparations, and it was a haphazard mess on one of the tables as he worked with the programming. He didn't know if anyone in the city could see the temporal distortions from his experiments, but it was never a bad thing to be certain, and so he was merely finishing up his work. Almost ready. Almost there.

Finally.
 
 
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[identity profile] chronosyoudidnt.livejournal.com on March 26th, 2010 04:53 am (UTC)
Iron Man wasn't fooling everyone. It wasn't enough that in September he had said things that made David rather curious, but their last conversation really illuminated more than a few things. Chronos's belt could only take him through time, not dimensions; that required a separate set of equations altogether. But that didn't mean he wouldn't recognize said equations, certainly not. When time travel was involved, what people wanted to do was pretty obvious when put down on paper. Even more obvious when they wanted to do something different.

So he kept himself on guard. With his level of ability, it wasn't too hard. He kept tabs on Stark, and kept track of any disturbances in the general environment of the City. A little difficult when he didn't live there, but so be it.

This night was different, however. Chronos had his suit on -- coincidence, perhaps, or perhaps it was providence -- working on minor adjustments to allow his belt to function better in the space and time of this world, rather than Gotham (he didn't want a malfunction like the one that had occurred last August), when his goggles told him about a strong increase in temporal distortions around a particular area of the City. He looked up from his work, numbers and coordinates glowing green on the inside of his goggles.

"Well," he murmured, only to himself as he was currently all alone. "What is this?"

Curiosity was, to Chronos, a privilege. Satisfaction a reward. After all this time of watching and waiting and talking to brick walls (essentially), there was a reward waiting for him. Not that Chronos planned on doing what Stark was doing -- but he did need to study the Porter technology. Time was marching on, and he was missing Enid more each day that passed.

He dialed his time belt to the provided coordinates, opening a time tunnel beside him. Stepping into it quickly, he teleported towards Stark Technologies in no time at all.
Tᴏɴʏ "sᴜᴘᴇʀɪᴏʀ ɪʀᴏɴ ᴍᴀɴ" Sᴛᴀʀᴋ: Extremis | I has an Orbit[personal profile] liverletdie on March 26th, 2010 06:26 am (UTC)
Finishing up, adding the last of his programming lines to the code, this was the easy part. He was adding the last of his mental calculations as they ran through his mind, the last of his nearly year's worth of work culminating to this single hour. He'd been planning this from the beginning. How could he not? This was what he did, but they also took time. First he'd needed the resources, and as much as he could obsess over this, he just couldn't let things run rampant and crazy.

He'd rebuilt his company, amassed his wealth. He built a new suit, and then he'd been given the perfect opportunity to look at how the porter ran. He'd taken the chance, and then it had taken time to integrate his meager knowledge of time travel alongside this dimensional travel.

[ WARNING ]

His vision flashed red momentarily, the warnings from his multitude of sensors flashing to life. How could anyone get in? This was a safe-zone, completely removed from any access point without his specific codes. Teleporters couldn't get into a room they didn't know existed, but when he spun, the loop of a portal was already culminating in the room, a figure already stepping out.

Did someone really think they could take him on? Able to come in and end everything he'd worked for?

His shirt was off in moments, releasing the gold from his skin, the rest of his clothing shucked to the floor with hands that had practiced this too many times, pieces of a suit whipping around and into place.

He was battered, and they didn't all fit into their perfect, seamless cohesion. The battle had taken a lot out of the suit, but it still fit, just not perfectly.

It would do.

"I'm pretty sure you weren't invited to this little party."
[identity profile] chronosyoudidnt.livejournal.com on March 26th, 2010 08:59 am (UTC)
One of the great things about being a teleporting time-traveler is it meant there was very little emphasis ever paid to fighting. Because let's face it, David was a coward. Not that anyone here knew that (besides, perhaps, Batman), but nonetheless -- if things turned out of his favor, he could always run.

He didn't, not yet. He kept his gaze level with Stark's, closing the time tunnel with a push of a button on his belt and folding his hands behind his back.

"Oh, really, Iron Man, did you think you could keep something like this from me?" He said calmly, cold and methodical. He kept his distance -- there was no need to provoke him, no. At least not yet.

Instead his eyes scanned the room, looking for the object of interest.
Tᴏɴʏ "sᴜᴘᴇʀɪᴏʀ ɪʀᴏɴ ᴍᴀɴ" Sᴛᴀʀᴋ: Iron Man | Evolved[personal profile] liverletdie on March 26th, 2010 02:20 pm (UTC)
It wasn't exactly a hard item to miss, either. It was large, a nearly exact duplicate of the device that had brought them here, although there were additions to the large creation. It hummed softly, the source of power switched out from the actual grid to one of his private power sources. It was clean, efficient, and completely off the books.

He'd done everything right, except with involving anyone else. He didn't know what David wanted, but he had a feeling it was not something that would end in his favor if it proceeded in David's favor.

He would just have to make sure it didn't.

"Well, I thought it was worth a shot. Private projects normally mean that they're, you know, private?" his sarcasm was coming through in droves as he continued to pump his calculations into the device. He was still confident, although he knew the folly in judging someone on looks alone, Clinton didn't actually look like he could hold a fight.

He didn't even bother to start his healing mesh. His repulsors still worked, and the armor itself would hold. It just wasn't airtight.
[identity profile] chronosyoudidnt.livejournal.com on March 26th, 2010 09:43 pm (UTC)
David's eyes slid back towards Stark, narrow, scrutinizing. He looked at the porter again.

"I thought you hero-types worked for the good of the public, Iron Man. If you've truly cracked the porter technology, why not share it? How selfish. There are people in need, Iron Man. Yes, this is really rather cruel."

He wondered if it worked.
Tᴏɴʏ "sᴜᴘᴇʀɪᴏʀ ɪʀᴏɴ ᴍᴀɴ" Sᴛᴀʀᴋ: Iron Man | Inside and out[personal profile] liverletdie on March 27th, 2010 03:23 am (UTC)
"So you're suggesting that I take something I haven't gotten to test-pilot yet, and just let people start walking through it?" he asked, some of the breezy air to his words coming through in his metallic voice. "I'm not going to just give it up to let anyone use it with no proper control, there's too much potential for abuse."

Besides that, he wasn't going to abandon the people he'd actually promised that he would protect for the people here. He made sure to program in a forced return for himself, so that he could send everyone home. It wasn't that he was selfish, or even cold, it was that he simply had too much to balance.

"Why don't you just take that nifty time portal, and turn right back around, this is a restricted area, as I'm sure you've noticed."

Edited 2010-03-27 03:24 am (UTC)
[identity profile] chronosyoudidnt.livejournal.com on March 28th, 2010 02:40 am (UTC)
David didn't pay attention to Stark's words, ignoring them in favor of examining the porter more. This was much better than robbing from the Porter; if he failed there (unlikely, of course) she would punish him. If he could take this one apart, he could take his time to really study the schematics. He wanted to understand it before he tried building something himself.

He pushed a button quickly, teleported towards to the porter in order to abscond with it. He had stolen larger things before.
Tᴏɴʏ "sᴜᴘᴇʀɪᴏʀ ɪʀᴏɴ ᴍᴀɴ" Sᴛᴀʀᴋ: Iron Man | Repulsors[personal profile] liverletdie on March 28th, 2010 02:46 am (UTC)
David may have been instantaneous, but Tony was both closer and quite fast himself. He moved fast, already moving to stop him from getting near, his head tipping down, the slits he had constructed for eyes narrowing with the motion.

"Back off. Immediately." he commanded, his voice cold and hard over the small speakers.

He held up a gauntlet, letting it flare to life slightly. Not to release, but as a threat. 'Move any closer, and you'll be blown half across this room' was quite obviously the message.

In his head, Tony's lines of code were quickly being pumped, closer and closer to the end of the line.

It wouldn't take much longer to finally plug the rest of it in.
[identity profile] chronosyoudidnt.livejournal.com on March 28th, 2010 02:54 am (UTC)
The heat of Tony's repulsor was felt, the front of David's Chronosuit warming re-actively. He narrowed his eyes at Iron Man, still not ready to give up. He teleported again to move past Stark, acting with more haste this time. Almost. He was incredibly close. Repulsors or not, he was determined to get his hands on it.

"I don't think I will, no."
Tᴏɴʏ "sᴜᴘᴇʀɪᴏʀ ɪʀᴏɴ ᴍᴀɴ" Sᴛᴀʀᴋ: Iron Man | Evolved[personal profile] liverletdie on March 28th, 2010 03:40 am (UTC)
He moved again, metal outstretching to keep Clinton from even touching the thing. It felt like an affront, of sorts, to the work he'd spent almost a year to build.

"I'll tell you one more time, back off."

Code streamed in, and Tony felt the release of his connection with the porter when he input the last of it.

"I'd recommend stepping back into one of those portals and turning around. If not, well, I think you've seen me in action."
[identity profile] chronosyoudidnt.livejournal.com on March 28th, 2010 07:53 am (UTC)
"I'm not afraid of you, Iron Man. You lied to me about what you knew. I am entitled to those schematics just as much as you are! I need them." David yelled, eyes growing larger in manic anger.

One last try -- he lunged.
Tᴏɴʏ "sᴜᴘᴇʀɪᴏʀ ɪʀᴏɴ ᴍᴀɴ" Sᴛᴀʀᴋ: Iron Man | I sacrifice everything[personal profile] liverletdie on March 28th, 2010 09:54 pm (UTC)
He moved once more, pushing the man out of the way, while simultaneously powering the device up. He was merely seconds away from fixing everything that had happened. He couldn't allow this to continue, not when he was so damn close. All this time, all this planning, and now he was one step into the device away from finally ensuring that things wouldn't fall apart at home.

How could this be wrong? "Don't you understand?" he asked, his cold voice belying the annoyance and frustration that actually came from his throat. "This is just the test run, you idiot! I can't just open this up for everyone unless I know that it actually works!"

When he'd managed to move Clinton away far enough, he released a short burst with his jets, rocketing to the center of the room, where the entrance to the device lay.

"I can't let you, or anyone else, interfere with this. It's not about lying, it's about making sure that nobody is going to prevent us from getting home, but I'm also not going to just let everyone step onto something that hasn't been tested. This is a temp run, I'm coming back," he explained, feeling the release of months of secrecy and hiding releasing with this one moment. "Oh, and I wouldn't recommend removing this with the power on. I'm sure you realize what that does to electronics," he added, activating the controls with a mental nudge.
[identity profile] chronosyoudidnt.livejournal.com on March 29th, 2010 02:28 am (UTC)
When Stark turned it on, David backed away from the machine. He couldn't steal it while it was on, yes, that much was true. And he didn't want to get brought with Iron Man to wherever it was he was trying to go. No, that wouldn't do at all. He'd simply have to come back for it later.

So reluctant as he was to leave this porter behind, David opened another time tunnel and escaped back to Big Ben before the porter could power up fully. He would just have to come back.
Tᴏɴʏ "sᴜᴘᴇʀɪᴏʀ ɪʀᴏɴ ᴍᴀɴ" Sᴛᴀʀᴋ: Iron Man | How the Tables Turn[personal profile] liverletdie on March 29th, 2010 03:03 am (UTC)
He eyed the man as he left.

That easily? He wasn't used to someone just giving up like that, but it may have been his words, but this was something he doubted. He may be decent with coercion, but men like Clinton didn't just run away, not with the look that had been in his eye as he looked at the Porter. There was more to the man than he was saying. Perhaps it had been the idea that he could go home, or perhaps he was obsessed with the idea of having the lone porter that wasn't under the control of the ghost residing in it.

Tony didn't know, and he stored the data away for later. He resumed the startup process, his mind flashing through his checklist while he finished setting the trajectory.

This was it.

He swallowed, replaying everything he'd done to the device in his mind one last time, and he breathed out. A long breath, his inner countdown displaying the numbers one by one.

5...

The machine started to power up, a high whine echoing through the room as the lights flashed brighter, and Tony braced himself.

4...

The noise heightened, and the near spherical pieces of the device started to rotate, slowly, but quickly moving faster and faster as the whine continued to increase, the noise needing to be filtered out of Tony's ears by his helmet.

3...

Silence. He could hear his breathing in his helmet, and the lights continued to intensify in his vision. He took one last cursory glance over the city, the vision spreading across his face, the devastation from yesterday's battle still prevalent.

2...

He readied himself, closing his eyes.

He was going home.

1...

He opened his eyes, snapping them open to wait for the vision to change from the sparse, large lab to his own, filled with every suit he'd ever made.

He waited, practically seeing it in his vision, and for a moment, he felt that hope that he was home, he could fix everything. It worked. He could see it.

Then, red flashed across his vision. He readjusted his helmet to hear the world around him, and the high whine continued, a low rumble underneath the sound.

Then there was a loud crack, and electricity spread across the room, from the floor of the porter to the roof, arcing from his suit.

He knew that he would have to rebuild in that moment. This wasn't working, why wasn't it working? he didn't leave a thought towards his life, the suit was here to protect him.

But he had forgotten the lack of a fit due to the fight last night. The lightning covered the suit, hissing and sparking against it, ineffective until it found one of the cracks. The lightning, once finding a new ground raced in, and spread underneath his suit, and it fell to pieces around him.

His underarmor could only protect so much, but the lightning was already making work on the porter, and there was a loud "foom" of sound, a grumble and a groan, before heat shot out.

Fire blossomed under his feet, and around his head. He attempted to break through the ring of machinery, and managed to break it, and land before the device before the entire room filled with smoke, fire, and everything went black.

Edited 2010-03-29 03:03 am (UTC)