Who Wants To Talk About Murders?! IV
Roleplaying Log: Who Wants To Talk About Murders?! IV
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Carolus and Gwen bring Tony Stark up-to-date on Warren and Alison's (not actually) murders.

Other Characters Referenced: Warren Worthington, Alison Blaire
IC Date: November 02, 2019
IC Location: Metropolis
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 03 Nov 2019 06:43
Rating & Warnings:
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

* OOC Time: Sat Nov 02 20:38:13 2019 *

* * *

Tony Stark has been working on his building in Metropolis for months now. You would think for such a drab and boring looking block of a building it would be done by now. No though, the official unvieling hasn't happened yet, and so the modest ten story square and uninspired looking building seems to be still a focus of activity.

Robots and people moving things here and there. Construction materials scattered about being used for who knows what. I mean the building itself looks…well…mostly finished. Stark though still near lives on site. Even more so now that he's juggling a half dozen mysteries including the TOTALLY NOT MURDER of one Warren Worthington.

He refuses to believe in murder.

Still he's hit a bit of a dead end until he can narrow down a plane of existence to explore so he's returned here, to put the finishing touches on things. And of course throw ridiculous amounts of science at the problem.

Which is why he's high up in the structure, on what most people would call the top floor. In a little corner office that seems 'normal'. Well. Normal for Stark, which means the most expensive everything including booze.

…now. Of course. To people with better than average senses. There /is/ something odd about the building itself. It /should/ be bigger. Taller. More sleek and massive. In fact some people might just /sense/ it to actually be taller than it looks. But it looks well…like nothing out of the ordinary.

…which…if anyone knows Anthony Stark is exactly why it would be suspicious.

* * *

Hey.
Need extra eyes out on power suited racist assassins again while we bring somebody else up to speed.
Involves a bit of a roadtrip.
Meet me in Owl Park in a couple hours.
Bring a night bag probably.

That was hours ago. Even as he steps foot in the unfinished buildings, Carolus can't help but reflect that /way/ too many of his conversations with Ghost Spider have been starting that way. He finds somebody who passes for a receptionist (whether robot or otherwise), issues a quick statement that he's looking to bring Mr. Stark up to speed regarding the Worthington-Blaire incident, and temporarily hands over his registration badge-and-credentials to help validate his identity.

The full-blown X-Men uniform probably helps. Ghost Spider is explained with a tired, "She's my back-up because I've been attacked by Purifiers twice in a month. I like still having my wings. And my head."

It's not until they've ascended the structure to actually /meet/ with Tony Stark that Carolus starts noticing the spatial oddities. He mumbles something to himself about it, and when they step out onto the top floor he simply starts following his nose towards the semi-familiar scent.

"You should definitely talk about Starkbucks." He asides to Ghost Spider, moments before arriving at the little corner office. The mothman knocks lightly before crossing the threshold and opens with, "Thank you for agreeing to see us, Mr. Stark. Before I get started— has anyone else from Xavier's gotten in touch with you yet? We're low-information-flow on the electronic side of things right now, so my last instructions regarding you were…"

"'Go get him involved and up to speed' from Danielle Moonstar, but I'd rather minimize retreading of covered ground if anybody else has gotten in touch first."

"Oh, er… Carolus Sinclair, or Atlas, if you prefer." He introduces himself, awkwardly.

* * *

WAY EARLIER:

Gwen Stacy shakes hands with Tim Drake (neither knowing the other's real name) on a roof in Gotham, informally formally joining the Titans in the wake of the Escalator of Murders she had found herself tumbling down. Hours later, as she swung her way back to New York, her phone buzzed.

"This is the worst universe." Ghost Spider observes, thumbtyping while one-handed swinging.

This is only possible through spider-reflexes and the magic of cinema.

atlas pls
also you've seen my bag, it's my only bag, i live out of it
be there in like three hours.

QUITE CLOSE TO THE PRESENT TIME:

Ghost Spider, wearing a mint green backpack and (to Carolus) a UV Specrum Nightmare, stands outside the Stark Unlimited building. "This…" she begins, lenses panning up and up and up. "Is much nicer than a coffee shop." She starts stretching and limbering up, popping up on her toes in light jumps that carry her nearly a foot off the ground off of just full toe extensions. Leaning side to side, she points at the top story. "Ok. Fastball me into the window, I'll web him up, and then we'll get the truth out of him. I don't see Castle or any of the other WAR MACHINE" It's an acronym. "power suited fascists out, so we should be clear."

SMASH CUT TO RIGHT NOW:

Just before the elevator doors open, Ghost Spider has a sour squint to her costume's lenses, as she stands arms crossed and stance spread in the elevator. "It was a *perfectly* good plan. Don't give me that 'Starkglass' excuse. I'm basically impact-proof, and you break a lot of windows in our line of work anyway, he's totally insured."

The elevator dings, and she sourly silences herself, and steps out from behind Carolus as he introduces himself. Gwen brings up two fingers, thumb holding her ring and pinky in a half-sarcastic salute. "I'm Ghost Spider. We're here to talk to you about racist power suit murderers."

* * *

At first a battered little Stark drone, round and egg shaped. About the size of a basketball with two stubby little 'wings' for thrust is what stops Carolus. The shell of the drone looks like he's seen some action and if he had more than one optic system there is the distinct impression he would have an eyepatch. He is also wearing a dunce cap tapped to the top of his scarred carapace. The drone peers towards the pair of them, however as soon as Atlas mentioned 'Worthington-Blaire'…well…many things happen at once.

The first is the warm aand very posh tones of one JARVIS over the speakers near the pair of them. "Oh! If you have information about that then Mister Stark will see you right away, on to the elevator then. I shall make sure they are unlocked. Dunce, if you will." There is a beatpause then. "…if you two could try to convice him to sleep or at least sit down. I would be more appreciative." Again a pause. "Oh! Yes where are my manners. I am JARVIS." But before introductions can get fully underway the little drone, with a wingwaggle leads them on. Deeper into the building.

…which at this point is almost jarring.

The contrast to the almost drab outside is stark. No pun intended. Sleek high tech systems line the walls of the entry way, clean and modern lines in tasteful blacks and whites lead past a reception area towards a bank of elevators while stars curve up towards an expansive second floor. None of the windows seem to match the configuration seen on the outside, and indeed the space inside looks…much too large for the blocky building they saw just a moment ago.

The elevator itself has thirty floors mapped out on its buttons, way more than the outside would suggest. And in fact the floor that is punched in would be the twenty fifth, something higher than would seem possible.

Stepping out on said floor the view is spectacular, the windows looking out over the gleaming city below. Dunce, the battledrone, leans on though what seems to be current construction. Around one corner they would find Tony Stark himself, wearing dark jeans and a long sleeve t-shirt as he installs some kind of high powered holographic generator near one wall. He's wearing just the boots and gloves of an Iron Man suit, and pulls the welding goggles that he was wearing down to dangle from his neck as he turns to meet his guests. The light of the ARC reactor gleams from under that t-shirt and a strange gold-flecked light shines in the mans eyes. A man posessed by seemingly endless reserves of energy. There is a smirk on his face as he glances between the pair of them.

"Spider and Moth, well. Ain't that original. Tony Stark, I'm pretty sure you both know that already though since you're here to talk about how Warren and Ali are /not/ dead." A quizzical glance at Gwen then. "…and apparently about racist power suit murderers." A beatpause. "Oh my god did someone give the Purifiers power suit tech? Who the hell am I going to have to boot into the sun? JARVIS! I'm going to have to boot someone into the sun, put that on my calendar."

Again a pause before his head snaps back towards Atlas. "I know they aren't dead, aren't on this plane of existence, and I might have to talk to a wizard about it and I /hate/ talking to wizards. Warren is so going to owe me."

* * *

SLIGHTLY EARLIER

"I'm sorry, /Castle/? As in Frank Castle? Frank Castle isn't War Machine. Are you serious? Is that a thing in your universe? Frank Castle, War Machine? How do you even have any crime left to fight?" Carolus replies to Ghost Spider, eyebrows and antennae both lifting about as high as they'll go. He waves his right auxiliary hand, "We're not doing any of those things. Stark is an Avenger, and if I was going to start trouble with him it wouldn't be while giving him in the home field advantage. We're not here for that, he's an ally."

"That sounds like a good idea for somebody who /is not/ an ally, though. I'll remember it. Where did you hear that phrase, anyway?"

NOWISH

"… I'll see what I can do." Carolus asides to Jarvis, in the usual apologetic tone he adopts when he knows that he's trying to talk some bullheaded superhero into not stewing on their problems solo, or some other variant of excessive independence.

There's more than a little bit of eye-grabbing light going on with Tony Stark. To Carolus's vision, the man's eyes are practically burning, and the reactor in his chest— well. It goes without saying that these details give him some momentary pause, which he snaps out of when Ghost Spider brings out the Purifiers-with-power-armor bit.

"It's a bit of a long story," Carolus interjects, "we're not entirely certain that they're original Purifiers but they have the same M.O. We ran into one being trafficked Chitauri weapons in… where was it, the Bronx? And when we went to go question Doctor Stuart — Warren's family physician — a couple of them showed up in full-blown reconstructed Chitauri power armor. They had big smiley faces on their helmets, so the iconography is a bit different, but the sentiment is the same."

"So you know that Warren and Alison were murdered-but-not, they are alive 'elsewhere'… I'm not going to tell you /not/ to talk to your wizards, but we have some in-house help on that that will be using her abilities to track Warren down with what's left of his wings."

"Additionally," he continues, "the wings were infected by a technovirus engineered to prevent Warren's wings from healing, and Doctor Stuart was complicit in these matters to some degree that we're not entirely sure of yet. Enough that he was a loose end scheduled for the chopping block— the power armored purifiers were there for him, but he seemed to think they were his back-up until one of them came after him instead of me."

"Oh, and, er… Alison was drugged with ketamine when she was 'murdered', and Cameron Hodge is — among other things — far too comfortable with what's been going on so he's become a prime suspect." He concludes, frowning and raising a hand to his chin.

"I don't think I'm missing any of the highlights, but I wouldn't swear to it."

* * *

EARLIER:

Ghost Spider snortlaughs at Carolus' 'HOW DOES CRIME… EXIST'. "What? He's also a police detective. Really huge jerk, attacked me outside the house of the chief of police. And there's a whole bunch of members of WAR MACHINE, it's Stark's private army."

NOW:

It's a little strange being addressed by a dunce-cap robot, but it's even more strange being addressed by an OBVIOUSLY disembodied voice. Like, extra disembodied. Being 'seen' without a person being there sends prickles down Ghost Spider's neck, her Spider-Sense triggering from all the surveilance being pointed at her.

But she manages to play off JARVIS' spooking of her by nodding along. "Try to get him to sit down? Well, I've got a few doozies. I'll try my best."

IN THE ROOM:

Ghost Spider's 'doozies' do not make Tony Stark sit down. Darn.

"Wait wait wait…" Gwen turns to Carolus, lenses wide. "Those were *alien* power armors?"

Ghost Spider lets 'moth and spider' go, becuase she was also blindsided by this.

"So, the timeline basically went: We left to go find out if Warren's wings got disposed of, they weren't, everyone at the place was dead and zombified into these… quiet melted metal husks that tried to kill us. After that we tried to follow up with the doctor, and the racists in power suits tried to kill the doctor, and also us. I even asked them about you, and they called you a traitor."

Gwen lifts her hands up in a wide shrug, a 'whatchagonnado' motion. "Robin of the Titans told me, when I got… into town… that you're one of the people most able to help me. But right now, I'm worried that we may need to help you track down these suits before a lot of people get really, really hurt."

"They… claimed credit for killing Warren and Alison, too. It's kind of a mess. I think the suits have stealth systems, or something, because I couldn't hear them. I barely felt them before it was too late - they practically melted the street, the roof of the doctor's house, and everything around it."

* * *

Stark takes a few moments to digest all this information before he flicks a wrist and the pair of gloves detach themselves from him to fly over and settle themselves in a cubby on the wall. He steps out of the boots before waving the both of them to a chair, his mind chasing the different threads of possibility down and shaking them for clues.

"JARVIS," Stark finally calls. "Is Camreon on the list?"

JARVIS gives an audible sigh. "Yes, sir."

Grumbling Stark throws up his hands. "They are /always/ on the list! Fine. I won't dangle him over a thirty story drop until he talks." A pause. "I never liked him. He's a jackass. I always told Warren he's a jackass." Weather he did or not doesn't matter right now. "Alright, so we got like a dozen threads here…" One hand comes up to flick against the air and a holographic board simply appears. "JARVIS?"

"Of course, sir." And the points of information that both Atlas and Ghost Spider have been spouting off begin to appear on them. Little glowing lines linking them as the enhanced wireframe image hovers there. "Did you get samples of the virus or the armor? I can rework some of my drone tech to anti-stealth detection, JARVIS use the Nightclub as the basis and go from there. Full system scans and I want it done last week."

All around little robot workers and drones stop what they are doing in building his new tower to zoom off on new tasks, tasks that likely have something to do with this information.

"I'll see what I can dig up about Cam, because both he's a jerk and because he's way too happy about this." More information appears on the board in the air, including what looks like a large ring-gate system that seems to be fully powered and working. With the descriptor of 'breach-gate. Just need to know where to go.'

"If you can narrow down the destination I can get us there though. But…" A glance at Gwen then. "…gotta make sure that the stupid Smiley bots don't burn everything down in the meantime right?" A longer pause again. "…are you related to that Spider-man type person? You got the same…" And he just gestures to well…her…whole suit. "…its the eye lenses really."

"And wait…zombified metal husks?" Again a pause and then. "…is the technovirus thing contagious?"

* * *

He adds after a moment. "And it is almost /always/ aliens. You're totally not from around here are you?" Towards Gwen as he looks between her and Atlas. Gesturing slightly at the latter and the glowing holoboard. "Look about right to you?"

Yes. He skips subjects that fast. Its part of his charm.

* * *

"Oh… yes, they were." Carolus replies to Ghost Spider, apparently only just realizing that he hadn't really explained that. He scratches uncomfortably at the back of his head, "There was an invasion, four years ago. We won, and as a consequence a lot of Chitauri technology was just sort of… left behind. Littering the whole city. Clean-up happened of course, but it was such a colossal incident that things were bound to disappear into the cracks and turn back up later."

His attention swings back to Tony. After being gestured to a chair he unshoulders his satchel and sits, remaining at the edge of the seat. It's a very Warren-ish posture. Gigantic wings on a humanoid frame make it difficult to use most chairs practically, much less comfortably.

"What list?" He wonders.

Regarding the virus, Carolus nods, "We did. Danielle Moonstar currently has the results of our analysis and is in control of the remains. I think it might have, er… sort of died, though? I wasn't entirely clear on what happened to it after it was contained. We don't know where it might have been manufactured, and Doctor Stuart seemed extremely confused when I blindsided him with it."

"Not confused that it /existed/, but confused at the nature of it." He clarifies.

"/I/ didn't get any armor fragments, though. We stunned them and got Doctor Stuart clear. Too hard to keep a normal guy alive and fight those guys at the same time." He glances towards Ghost Spider, who has the power of STICKINESS, "Did you get any fragments? I lost track of you for a good portion of that fight. I wonder if there might be any that we missed getting out of there… I suppose somebody else will have gotten them by now, if so."

"Illyana should be able to help narrow down destination. Codename Magik. If you want to get in touch, I passed some burner phones around. Here's the number of the one I gave hers." Carolus fishes a notebook and a pen out of his satchel, scribbles several numbers down, circles one of them, and stands to pass it to Tony.

"I've wanted to avoid electronic communications as much as possible, but I feel that Mr. Hodge is unlikely to be able to penetrate any communications /you/ decide to make, sir."

On the subject of the virus, Carolus shrugs, "It appears to have been for a brief period of time, but we don't think it was /intended/ and we think it sort of burned itself out. It, er, turned a bunch of metahuman biowaste disposal specialists into waxy piles of meat with machinery sort of wedged into their anatomy. There weren't really people left in them by the time we got to them, and whatever it did had totally burned out the electrical systems of the entire building. But there was no outstanding reaction when we secured it, and the wing remnants it was settled into."

"And yes," Carolus moves closer to examine the holoboard up close, "that seems about right."

* * *

Gwen watches in mute, gawking awe as Tony Stark does the Tony Stark thing, holography at a definition that really only being around Stark, or perhaps the X-Men's own varietal of advanced technical systems, prepares you for.

She shakes her head at the armor questionings. "That's… not really how that works. Sure, if I stuck to them, maybe, but we probably traded hits three times. I grabbed Yellow " Ghost Spider draws a white-gloved finger across her masked face in the pantomime of a too-broad grin. " their helmet dome was painted with a face, one red, one yellow —" She drops her arm in time for Carolus to be ushered to a seat. Finding a seat for herself that she sprawls into, quickly bringing her legs up to sit cross-legged in, she continues.

"— anyway, I grabbed yellow with some webs, and tried to pull them to the ground. It almost worked, until the suit made this clicking sound - like a magnet - and just stopped in mid-air. Then, it charged me down, grabbed me by the head, and smashed me into the ground. I stuck to the road, and Yellow went flying. They got put through a car and didn't even take a dent. Then, Yellow aimed at me with those big laser cannons and fried the whole street. I went up and over, sprung off a lamppost, and dropkicked them in the head hard enough to send them flying away. I didn't really have a chance to pry off a piece - but I'm sure that I could have in that short a time. They were built tough - and smooth. I'd say they were at least as strong as me, too."

It's a candid blow-by-blow, without the pop and sensationalization of an exciteable hero. Like a sketch artist, she lays out the high level of the fight. "Nearly burned my whole butt off too going over that laser cannon, too."

Theeeere's the non-sequiter.

"The purple stuff we found on the wings didn't react to my webbing, but none of us touched it. It sort of fizzed out when it was exposed to air, consumed itself, and that was that. That's all I know about it - I didn't really have a chance to get in there with my chemistry set and see what I could titrate out of the killer zombie goo."

Stark's last question is met with a visibly sarcastic quirk of her right lens, and another hard snort half-laugh. "Yeah. Back where I'm from, I got bit by a radioactive spider and became the one and only… Spider-Woman. But around here, you can call me 'Ghost Spider'. And you know, Mister Stark: Where I'm from, you're best known for war crimes and putting your goatee on coffee cups. Starkbucks. Used to barista there for two months, but the benefits were bad and the hours weren't great."

"Still not sure that's a coffeeshop thing or a Stark thing, though. No offense."

Ghost Spider places her hands against her heels in her lap, exhaling slowly. "I'd love to go back home, but I apparently got here right after another, alternate version of me left this dimesion. I've got a hunch I'm supposed to be here to… do something. Maybe it's solve these murders and stop these yahoos in alien murder-armor. It sure seemed to end up in my lap, so maybe the universe brought me here to stop people from getting hurt."

"Or it could be as sick joke, destiny is fake, and I'm flapping in the breeze, but I like thinking positive thoughts."

* * *

"Oh!" JARVIS is the one that speaks up helpfully to answer Carolus. "After the last time Miss Carter came over to chat with him about inappropriate use of force he made a list of people he was pretty sure /someone/ would yell at him for…talking too."

Stark grumbles just a bit about that. "So I have to do it the un-fun way. High tech surveillance. I have some people and things I can tap to keep an eye on him. Maybe I'll see what…" He trails off. "…yeah that'll work. But yeah, I'll look in to Cameron." A smirk at that. "And maybe if he's really as asshat /then/ I can dangle him by a leg."

A shrug at that before he continues. "Anyway…if its burned out I'd still like to see the results. I'm sure some damn idiot doctor didn't know what he was working with, just was doing it for some stupid reason. Like money. Or power. Or because he was jealous Warren had feathers." Sgain a shake of his head. "And call me Tony, 'sir' just makes it seem like I'm someone's dad."

Technicly he's adopted Bart but thats not here or there right now.

He takes to pacing though, the man never able to sit still for more than a few moments it seems. "Magik? Yeah I know her. Met once or twice. In passing. Mostly around the metal mountain." Stark is likely more familiar with the X-men than most people realize. Possibily one of the reasons that whole 'traitor' thing was shouted. He takes the numbers though and nods. "I'll give them a call. If they can narrow things down enough I can punch a hole there. I knew it was the right choice keeping that thing around, even if I just used it to visit bug aliens that think of me like a god." A pause. "Raven and Impulse too." A longer pause. "That's fine I'm sure."

Distracted then by Gwen's play-by-play the inventor nods. "Gravic tech of some kind then and energy weapons. Armor and increased strength. I'm going to guess flight and increased speed and stealth. Those aliens did pack a lot of punch into a suit. I mean not as much as mine, but respectable."

"Also glad you didn't get your butt burnt off. Need that for balance and sitting right?" A smirk towards Gwen before he nods. "The'll have some sort of energy signiture or power recharge station I'll start tracking down. I'm going to assume you both want in if and when I find them?" A beatpause. "Wait? I make /coffee/ in your dimension?" He seems to ponder this for a second. "Well we both have goatees so I guess coffeeshop ownership is the only way to tell the evil one." A pause. "I'm totally still well known for the whole war crimes thing, but what can I say. People love to hate me." A shrug at that. "At least in this world I /do/ offer good benefits and flexible hours to my hires."

A smirk.

"As long as they can keep up with the science at least."

A bit of a breath is taken though. "Well now you've gone and invoked destiny or something so if I find anything I'm going to have to contact you both. Else everything will get thrown out of wack and I'll have to sit around fixing it again."

* * *

Carolus turns fully around to survey Ghost Spider as she gives her full play-by-play. Regarding her first remark he replies, "I didn't say it was, I just thought it was worthwhile to ask anyway. Truthfully I didn't even think of pulling a sample off of them at the time, I was… er…"

He heaves a sigh, "A bit busy freaking out about the Chitauri tech, actually. And my… priorities."

His expression grows ever more agitated as Gwen guides them through the rest of the fight. He has enough of a reason to dislike Purifiers as-is, but he definitely took /special/ offense at getting Gwen hurt as badly as she was. Carolus has to remind himself of some of their early talks on heroes having a bad habit of /not/ asking for help to push the mounting aggravation aside.

"It's a coffeeshop thing. No comment on the rest." Carolus comments, having /just/ enough hero awe of Iron Man not to want to speculate on how well he treats his employees as-compared to his war criminal alternate universe self.

But only just enough.

"Being a Spider-Nihilist wouldn't suit you at all." He remarks to Gwen.

"So it's a list of people with real lawyers and money. Got it. Hodge is definitely one of those. One of ours actually wanted to go ambush him, but after what happened with Doctor Stuart I have a sneaking suspicion that," He waves into the air to one side of him, "much like Doctor Stuart, Cameron Hodge isn't as alone as he appears to be. Just a fizzle in the air and bam, instant purifiers. With respect to your ability to handle racist knockoffs of yourself, Tony, it's probably best if you don't shake them down solo if it comes to that. Additionally, I kind of want a piece of that anyway. One more thing about them, though—"

"The ones that came after us are total newbies with those suits, or acted like it anyway. Didn't move well, didn't take hits well. I don't know if it's because they only just started getting them together and /none/ of their people are acclimated, or if they sent rookies to handle disposal of a guy without a way to defend himself shy of the dumb luck of us coming along." He explains.

"As for the analysis of the viral substance— would you like to touch base with Danielle, or would you prefer if I brought it back here?" He asks.

* * *

"I actually had some ideas about that. Mis—… Tony, if you've got resources and surveilance to point at people without a lot of superiors questioning what you're doing - and encouraging you away from taking the direct route - you're kind of uniquely suited to help."

Gwen thumbs at Carolus as he gives her the shock-eyes. There are a lot of things Gwen Stacy takes deadly serious, but her own safety does not make the list. In that way, she's…

Well, she's really close to this universe's Spider-Man. All Spider-People have one braincell shared between them, and Gwen regularly has control of it.

Leaning forward in her chair, Ghost Spider's lenses narrow to a flat, serious expression as her hood droops. "You can do what Carolus, and I, and even the X-Men and SHIELD can't do. You know the tech here, and more than that, you know the science. You said they had to be recharged: I don't think anyone else thought about that. SHIELD would have to get subpoenas. NYPD would have to put boots on the ground. It's all too slow."

"While the X-Men look for their people, I think that the person best suited to take down these new Purifier Iron Men wannabes is you, Iron Man."

The hint of a smile crests her face-clinging mask. "Because I'm pretty sure you want these yahoos alive. Everyone loses if a mutant revenge-kills a bunch of humans. War on the streets, bombing schools, everything set back to a terrible place where it's 'them or us'. It can't be like that. You know this."

Gwen slips up right after, as she leans back, and winces through it. "Mister Stark…" She sighs. "… Tony, I just joined the Titans to help people. I'm not sure about registration, but Atlas here did register. I think if this goes badly, or even 'not carefully', Registration will just end in blood. It can't. You know it can't."

Her tone hinges on pleading. "And so if you can find these people and stop them, nobody else has to die. And I think that's the highest good we can aspire to."

It's a Gwen Stacy Speech.

"Sorry if it's the un-fun way. But if you want backup when things get fun - you can count on me. Evil coffee goatee or no, all my new teammates seem to trust you a lot, and think you're a good man."

Another wince. "Sorry. That sounds blackmail-y. I guess I wanted to say that people think highly of you, and Carolus has really impressed upon me the importance of this working out bloodlessly."

* * *

Making a 'hidden' face, Gwen cants her head at Carolus. "I'm pretty sure I told you that Nihilism is a basic, lame school of thought? I'm here. It's for a reason. I can feel it, every time my Spider-Sense splashes colors and lines into my vision, that the right place for me to be isn't 'as far away as possible'… It's right there, in the thick of things. I don't have these powers to run away. I have these powers to help. That's why I don't mind helping *you*, Atlas. You seem to need it, and your taste in soda isn't trash to boot."

"Really a win/win/win."

* * *

"Bring the stuff back here, I have all my best equipment here anyway. I'll give JARVIS your bios and you two can get in when you need to. Feel free to crash here if you want too, its safer than it looks." A smirk at that from Stark before he seems to flick a finger that sends information out to the building's AI.

"But I won't give Hodge a chance to go solo with me unless he /really/ pisses me off. I'm going to guess though that the pilots are new because they are…well…new. The people on earth that can rebuild armor like that are kinda limited and anyone besides me is going to be really slow at it."

The matter of fact way that Stark says it comes with a touch of arrogance but there is more than a little truth in his words. He really /is/ just that good.

"We can use it though…and the'll have to have some place to train with them. The stealth systems might not work then so they should be easier to track at times like that. Technically anyway."

Stark leans back though as Gwen turns her words on him. Slowly his eyebrows inch their way up towards his hair as she goes on and on. Finally she winds down and he just shakes his head.

"Did you just Spider Speech me?" Then a look towards Atlas. "She totally just Spider Speech'd me." Then back to Gwen. "It's heartwarming really. I haven't been speech'd at since Steve got busy punching Hydra back into their deep dark hole. I forgot how many hives it gives me. Urgh. Responsibility. It's the worst." He throws up his hands as he starts to pace again. "No one ever lets me have any fun and take the easy way and just drop a daisy cutter on their base." He's really just complaining for the sake of complaining now. I mean its what he does. "I /suppose/ since no one wants people to die and I'm obviously the best at this I'll just. You know. Totally help take care of it. Without getting any X-ers or Titans or any of the dozen of other super-peoples in trouble for it. The Avengers are in a bit of a unique position on the whole Registration thing. And yeah, I don't plan on killing them."

There is a touch of a vicious look though.

"I'm stiil going to beat the stuffing out of them all though." That'll just be fun. "Also for the record? I'm sure about Registration. I'm sure its a stupid idea and if I didn't have to choose between it and the Avenger's I'd never have done it. But…I'm gonna try to keep it from turning into an ugly mess for as long as I can."

Even though he's sure it'll turn into an ugly mess.

There is a pause though as he glances between the pair of them and shakes his head. "Alright, I think that is enough positive energy here. I'm going to break out into more hives if this keeps up." A beatpause. "…which is super ironic coming from me as I'm filled with technomagic positive energy nanites but you know when have I ever been logical like that."

* * *

"SHIELD would have to get subpoenas." Carolus repeats, more than a little amusement in his tone. Apparently he doesn't think that SHIELD is always all that by-the-books. There's a reason that he told Gwen to steer clear of them for the most part, back when she first got shot out of the sky by a big glowing portal.

He mouths 'Purifier Iron Men' with a rather revolted look on his face, but doesn't actually interrupt again. At least a part of this speech is stuff that /he's/ said to Ghost Spider not all that long ago, and she's making his case better than he has so far.

It's only when she's done that he smiles and says, "I am inexpressibly glad that I met you right now. That was some exceptional improvisational aptitude you showed, too. I hope that you hold onto it, because I suspect it'll do more people than me a lot of good if you do."

"And I appreciate your vote of confidence in my sugary drug habit." He remarks.

"I was actually about to ask what the best places to stay around here are," Carolus says to Tony, "so I think that I'll take you up on your offer unless Ghost Spider would like to go elsewhere. I see nothing especially unsafe about this place, and to tell the truth your proximity is reassuring. I'll go fetch the sample analysis and bring it back tomorrow, I think."

"Does, er… does Spider-Man do this? We have not met, so…" He shrugs with both sets of arms.

The subject of registration puts him a little on edge. Carolus folds both sets of arms in front of him as /he/ starts pacing, "I appreciate the thought that both of you are putting into that particular matter. I, er… I do not wish to start a hostile /thing/ with my own people, but there are a few in the X-Men circle who are out for rolling heads."

"Perhaps they've changed their minds since we spoke. Perhaps not. I can't really /blame/ them. I'm still shaking off…" His wings give a shudder, buzzing lightly before coming to a standstill against his back, "… the thought of Dazzler being drugged and murdered, presumably in front of Warren in what should have been a safe space. I empathize with a need for retribution, but I fear the consequences of things getting out of hand."

Carolus pauses in his pacing, eyes flicking between the gleam at Tony's chest and the ring of gold in his eyes. There's a /question/ there, but it's obvious that as somebody with strange anatomy he knows not to ask it.

He clears his throat and brings himself back to the actual matter at hand, "And… I'd like to thank you both for taking care with that particular angle of things. Ghost Spider, for being on my side from the start. Tony, for being considerate now and going forward."

* * *

"Look, maybe they'd get the subpoena after, I don't know, doesn't Captain America work for SHIELD? She at least would give people a chance."

She.

The observations about her Spider-Speech - from both Tony Stark humorously, and Carolus thankfully - cause her to hang her head in the warm, cheek burning varietal of 'shame'. "Sorry. Did I? It's a dumb habit. I…"

Another sharp exhalation, as she balls her fists in her lap. "Even if it's not something we believe in, it matters that people compromise where they can. Show good faith. Be better. That's what being a hero is."

Lifting her head, Gwen adds. "And a bunch of other stuff."

The 'yeah yeah, I'm averting another speech' hangs in the air as she lets her feet slide off the chair.

"I appreciate the offer a lot. But I just got a safe-house upgrade - I was staying with Starfire before, and now I'm moving to… uh… Wherever the Titans are?"

She knows, but it doesn't hurt to be vague!

"If I'm in Metropolis though, Mister Stark, I'll make sure to swing by. Measured doses, though. Wouldn't want you breaking out in hives."

Standing up, she places a hand on Carolus' upper shoulder, her touch light (but even so, quite sticky). "I don't mind if you intend to blast those racist yahoos to next tuesday when you bring them in. They deserve a little feeling-sorry-for-themselves. But as they say - Dying's easy. Living is harder."

Her hand leaves Carolus' shoulder as she turns for the elevator. "You're welcome, Carolus. Text me if anything comes up."

She steps into the Elevator, pressing buttons on the panel that don't light up.

"Uhm… Mister… Jarvis? Trying to have a cool exit from…"

The door bings and slides closed, as Gwen breathes a sigh of relief. She's still audible as the doors close. "Phew. I only looked like a complete dork, great, nice. Go me."

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