Cup and String
Roleplaying Log: Cup and String
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Someone makes Tony Stark aware of the situation plaguing the psychic community.

Other Characters Referenced: Agent Coulson, Warren Worthington, Carol Danvers, Alison Blaire
IC Date: June 09, 2019
IC Location: Metropolis
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 09 Jun 2019 08:18
Rating & Warnings: G
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

Tony Stark has been busy. I mean, he's always busy. Except when he's not. He's been busy enough to actually not have caused problems for a bit. To let most people get on with their lives on their own. To not meddle.

Too much.

Mostly because there has been a flurry of things he's been doing in Metropolis. Things that involve hiring of people and building of buildings. Things that…he…never really had to deal with before he started a new company.

"OH MY GOD!" It echos though the little office not in the under construction building, but across the way in a rented building. "JARVIS why haven't I built something to handle all this for me?!"

This exclamation is accompanied by a flurry of papers being strewn about in frustration.

"Because, sir." JARVIS' ever patient voice answers. "That would require a shackled AI and you did say that you were going to be looking into the international rights of those…"

"Oh, don't remind me. I'm already one of the most hated people on the face of the planet. Why not add one more thing to the list." A pause again as the inventor kicks his chair back, throws his feet up on his very cluttered desk and laces his fingers together behind his head.

"You know what. I think I should do something fun…maybe that space station. Oh are all the holoemitters set up for the big reveal yet?"

"…yes sir, you were going to argue with Miss Danvers about space weren't you?"

"Eh, forgives not permission, blah blah blah. I'm sure she doesn't want me bothering her with every little thing anyway. She's busy I'm sure."

There is an audible sigh from JARVIS at this point as Stark smirks.

"Anyway, you know I'll get distracted by something else instead."


The middle of the day, you would think that perhaps Tony Stark would have his choice of distractions.

But sometimes, the distraction chooses you.

There might have been a call - weeks ago at this point - between Emma Frost's assistant and whoever was taking Tony Stark's calls that day. 'Did Miss Frost have an appointment with Mister Stark? I thought I remembered one, but I don't see it on the calendar.' Of course, Miss Beaumont did not recall any such appointment, but it would keep the 'no' from looking too terribly suspicious and thus not worthy of elevation. 'Oh, my memory these days,' the assistant replied with a laugh, 'I really should take more of my PTO and down a white sangria at the beach soon. No message, please.'

That was all that it had been. And then those weeks passed.

It brings us to today.

It's early in the afternoon. One or two o'clock. Frost isn't at all certain of the time, but she knows she hasn't much of it. Which does mean that there's not a whole lot of room for gentleness. No coy toying around his brain with gentle whispers. She knows enough of Metropolis, and she certainly knows the feel of his mind. It's particular, that race of thought. When Emma finds it, she speaks without any care whatsoever for what else occupies it. Speaks over it, although there is something off about the sound and feel of her thoughts.

« Tony. »


It really is a good thing that Emma isn't here. Because she wouldn't totally be judging him right now.

The ringing call in his mind causes his eyes to widen in surprise. Shock, really. Emma really is usually more gentle. Sometimes Tony Stark forgets just what kind of telepath she is when she sets her mind to it.

Pun intended.

The net result is that his leg slips to go sliding across his desk as he lets out an undignified yelp and scatters everything off said desk and onto the floor. Including himself as he tumbles backwards with a thud that causes one of his little drones to buzz worriedly over an peer down at him.

"Ow."

"Sir?" JARVIS sounds mildly concerned. "Are you alri—"

"Fine, fine. Did I have an appointment with Emma this week?"

That speed of though though turns his attention to the specific sound of that thought. If thought can be said to have a timbre and tone. There is a slight frown for a moment, a furrow of the brows that JARVIS knows usually is prelude to a great deal of…something.

«Emma?» He thoughts hardly pause. «Something wrong? Scratch that. What's wrong. You sound like you're speaking though a cup and string.»


« Everything. »

If she registers his brain's surprise or anything else—because she could if she set her mind to it—there is absolutely not sign of it in her thoughts. Her finesse has taken a hit for want of speed and force, her typical gentleness for Tony gone.

She tried to get a message up to Westchester… Days ago? In reality, it was much longer ago than that. There was a sloppy handling, and she took an opportunity. She has no idea how much got through, but here she is, trying again. It hurts and there's a significant amount of interference, and that strain bleeds through.

« I haven't long. They think I'm still under and haven't hooked the wires back up. Idiots. » Tony is lucky! All of Emma's judging is presently reserved for someone else. « They're experimenting on us. » There's a pause, and then a venomous addition. « Get me out. »


«What?»

Surprise. Shock. Not disbelief because Emma would never have poor enough taste to make a joke like that.

"…um…sir? Are you alri—"

In the real world, Stark interrupts JARVIS' worried comments. "Retask Stark sats eight through twelve for surveillance systems. Find me everyone that's been in or out of Frost's places of business for the past month and track them down. If they have fake IDs rip them apart." Tony's already sitting up at this point, brain working on two levels. Clambering back to his feet as he calls screens and information up around him with a thought. Emma might feel the angry buzz of those strange nanites in the back of Stark's mind, picking up his agitation.

To put it mildly.

"Find out how long Frost has been missing, yesterday. Track down SHIELD's list and find out who else is missing off it, too." His voice a growl as he starts to pace.

« This is a hell of a hello, beautiful. » Not a time to joke, but Stark can't help it. «Details, love. Details. Did they have uniforms? Last place you remember or anything you can give me short and sweet can narrow it down.»

The'll have containment systems so a big power draw. "JARVIS, find out if there has been excessive power grid uses anywhere. Outages or the like. Track down resonance for all the best known generator systems too and see if there are any spikes in the last month."

Still pacing.

"Wait…sir? Miss Frost is missing?" A pause from the AI. "Oh dear."

«You give me the smallest detail, I'll be there as soon as I can. With a new suit on just for you.»


« For me? I'm touched. » And, for the record, she is. It's the first time in over a month that Emma even feels the tingle of humor.

« But there isn't time, darling. » There's a pause, and then, « I'm so sorry for the headache. »

Wait, what? Tony doesn't have a headache, he might note!

…yet.

It comes swiftly, like a flash flood, threatening to override all other sense. The night she was taken at the docks in the city, she went for a young mutant in trouble. She found a tactical team, too — all black clothes, non-uniform, and no markings. She thought she could handle them; she missed a sniper with a tranq round.

She woke in a warehouse like facility without use of her abilities, thanks to a collar. There's an assortment of other people, kept like her in tiny little cells.

And Emma knows one of them. An electrical engineer who she knew when she was young, older and tall and lanky with a full head of dark hair and a thick, dark beard. The nature of that relationship doesn't quite make the cut, save a name: Frankowski.

Other men in white coats.

Blood on a white cotton sheet.


«Headache? I don't ha—oh, wait a—»

And then slam down comes the info. Blacking his own reality out for a long moment. To the point where he ends up smashed facedown on his desk when he comes to, his head feeling like an abused drum set.

«Right. Headache. Got it.» Comes the groaned response.

"JARVIS, concentrate search on the docks. They had a tac-team do the takedown but they might not be thorough enough to have scrubbed every camera. Get on it. Also pull all information you can on a electrical engineer with the last name of Frankowski. He's missing too."

Great. Someone is stealing psychics. Including one he's kinda attached to. Not that either of them would admit it.

«I'll find you, beautiful. Just hang in there.» The spike of anger at the blood on the sheets is just a touch surprising. Possibly. Or at least it could be. Already he's in 'fix it' mode.

"Get me Coulson, and call Warren, too. Why the hell is no one worried about things like this! Not being worried about things like this is how you get supervillains!" Stark grumbles to his drones as they rush about the office, even as he ignores the mess. "And tell Babs to cancel basically everything until this is fixed." A longer pause. "I am so going to blow something up."

…he's worried. He gets like this when he's worried.


He tells Emma he's coming, and something suspiciously relieved and warm bleeds across the connection. Telepaths don't always need words. They have their own dimensions of expression. Of course, that relief? It spans but the beat of a heart before it is cut short by a prick of pain that will pluck the string between cups, just as short.

Then the connection disappears.


For a moment, there is a smile on Stark's face as he feels that warmth that Emma Frost would never admit to. Ever. Even if he could record it.

But then it is gone in the space of a heartbeat.

Stark straightens before turning and putting his fist into the wall. Sudden and swift violence that leaves a sizable hole in the sheetrock before he blinks. Slowly he breathes a long sigh as he flexes his hand.

"Ace! Get someone in here to fix that." He mutters to one of the drones as he settles back down in his seat. A snap of his fingers calls up a holoscreen and a touch of an earpiece starts to dial up a number.

"Warren!" He barks into the mic. "Get your clothes on and listen up. Have I got some news for you. And I know Ali is there, too, so might as well tell you both at the same time…"

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