Appare Vestigium
Roleplaying Log: Appare Vestigium
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Agent Arngrim heads over to Stark Unlimited to work with Tony on going through those confiscated hard drives.

Other Characters Referenced: Emma Frost, Jessica Jones, Phil Coulson, Steve Rogers
IC Date: June 26, 2019
IC Location: Stark Unlimited, Metropolis
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 27 Jun 2019 07:47
Rating & Warnings: PG
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

On the bright side, this meeting is probably considerably more positive than under the potential circumstances that it could have been. True, you don't often just get the chance to meet someone so renowned, so brilliant… So rich. But doing so without the pretense of being marked a traitor to S.H.I.E.L.D. just takes off some considerable pressure.

Well, sort of. It's still pretty nerve-wracking all the same, being here on business.

…of course, when the place in question looks like it's still under heavy development, it kind of just knocks the wind out of your sails. Ulysses isn't sure if he should be relieved or disappointed.

He's dressed sort of half-and-half for business. Technically S.H.I.E.L.D. hadn't been on the case, and while they'd been called in to take in the guy that had been traced to Kiev, most of the work he'd been doing had been on the side. So does this count as a formal meeting from a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent or…? He wears his nice blazer, like he'd usually wear to the office, left open in casual fashion, not doing much for hiding the embroidered badger at the end of the black, yellow and white-striped tie around his neck. Today he's wearing his nicest pair of jeans, along with leather hi-tops. Business casual for him. If he had a cup of coffee he'd be an instant hipster.

Eyes squint behind his glasses and up at the building that supposedly houses Stark Unlimited. He furrows his brow for a moment, lips twisting thoughtfully. Then he adjusts the strap of his backpack over his shoulder and takes a step towards the doors or an intercom, whichever seems most obvious to make his arrival known.

"Um. Hello….?"

Okay, that could have started off better.


The intercom there is attached to a short, squat, ugly building. What most people would think of when thinking 'construction foreman's office'. Long and prefab there is little of the panache and flair of one Tony Stark. Maybe something went wrong with his brain when he got out of that coma. It is hard to tell…

But the intercom works well enough for all the rough exterior.

"Ah!" The refined voice of one JARVIS comes easily though. "You must be the one Miss Jones called. Thank you for coming! Please come in!" And the door lock pops open with a soft click.

"And do hold onto something."

The interior of the place is about the same. It could be from any of a dozen building sites across a hundred big cities. Nothing really out of the ordinary at first blush…

Except for the fact that most of the items there seem to be bolted to the floor. Or weighed down.

…and the fact that the scene from the windows of the building is entirely different that what he just walked though. Free of the interference of a dozen holoprojectors hiding things the drab building site is transformed to a beautifully manicured lawn. The squat and ugly building contained there now can be seen for a massive tower of metal and glass shooting up dozens upon dozens of stories. Oddly shaped on one side with overhanging floors and the picture of a new Stark logo emblazoned across the side of the massive tower.

Of course Ulysses might not have much time to take it in, as the floor seems to start to sink as soon as the door shuts behind him. A swift moving elevator taking the whole of the interior of the office down to the lower levels of the building.

Which is how he gets introduced to the actual Stark Unlimited HQ. As the elevator lowers into a bustling foyer, Stark himself sitting on a sofa as people and robots move hither and yon throughout the underground complex.

One hand is raised to wave towards Ulysses. "Yo! Welcome to my entirely not humble home."


"Er, yes. That's me," Ulysses confirms, catching himself before he ends up nodding at an intercom. He moves to open the door, stepping inside.

His eyes widen as he takes in the very much finished tower's interior. He turns around, a slow smile creeping onto his face as he takes it all in. Or at least, as much as he gets the chance to before JARVIS's advice is recalled. Two seconds before the floor beneath him begins to shift.

Stumbling in place a bit, the young agent catches his balance, knees bent, arms held out before he eases into a more comfortable position to stare.

He's pretty sure his mouth hasn't closed ever since he set foot into the building. It takes him a moment to actually register Stark, his attention fixated upon the robots going about their business.

"O-oh, erm. Hey- hello," he says as he tries to compose himself, totally not gaping like a fish out of water and less like a kid in a sci-fi candy store. Walking over towards the man on the couch, he extends a hand, the other gripping his backpack strap to keep it from showing how anxious he is. "It's an honor to meet you, sir." Wow. Yeah, maybe he should have rehearsed this. Oh wait, he did. Still didn't help. Clearing his throat and hopefully some of the awkward with it, he rallies on. "Agent Ulysses Arngrim of SHIELD."


Stark looks at the offered hand for a moment as if trying to figure out just what to do with it. Then he remembers this is that polite handshake thing humans do. Again a split second of decision before he does reach out to take the hand and shake. Very quickly. "Well first off you can drop the 'sir' bit. I'm not Phil." A smirk on that. "And not military and defiantly not respectable enough to be called a 'sir'." A flash of a grin at that as he waves him towards one of the side corridors.

"Alright Agent Odyssey. Nice to meet ya." A pause. "How did you run afoul of Jess?" He asks with again that amused smirk even as he's starting off down a side corridor, expecting poor Ulysses to follow.

"I'm gonna take it you're here to help with this computer thing? Jess vaguely mentioned you working on it. What you done so far?"


His hand's hanging there just long enough for the awkward to return and the thoughts of potential faux pas before the gesture is finally reciprocated. Ulysses nods, thankful for the rundown of expected protocol. "Okay, works for me," he says, grinning back as he turns and begins to follow Stark.

"Wait, Agent Odys— …oh, hah-hah. Very funny." His smile's a bit more forced, and he's not sure what's worse, being called that or Agent Grim. "Jess? Oh, well I sorta worked with her on a case before. She needed a computer guy. This was way before I joined SHIELD."

At least talking is helping him shake off whatever anxiety had built up earlier. He nods as he continues after the man. "Yeah, she asked me to help check out the laptop that belonged to one of the people who got kidnapped. I found a keylogger virus had slipped into the system. Except by the time I traced it the server was dead, so I was only able to find out it was in the Ukraine somewhere. When we found out that the targets seem to be specifically sought out, I tried baiting them out by creating a profile of someone trying to learn more about their newly found abilities."

He gestures loosely with a hand. "It took a while. Things were dead for maybe a week or so. Finally got a hit from another keylogger, found a few possible sites where the virus could have been planted. Tracked it to the Ukraine again, new server."


"Yeah, they slowed down or switched servers after Violet got away I think," Stark replies with a shake of his head. "Then started back up on a new set. Which is where I found them. They made a horrible mistake of trying to get smart and spiking one of my drones."

There is a smirk from Stark.

"So I welded the guy who did it in his car and left him for SHIELD." That felt good. He relishes the things that feel good nowadays.

"He was a real piece of work, bigot who was paid to make a trapsite for metas." Down the hallways they go, twisting this way and that till they get to a quiet little computer lab where several hard drives are set up to independent systems. Just in case there was anything nasty there.

He frowns though just slightly.

"I mean the geocities spinning gifs should have been a dead giveaway that it was evil incarnate but…" There is a shrug. "…some people right?"


"Violet?" The confusion is natural as it manifests on the agent's face. "Well I guess that's what happened when you've got a bunch of people working on the same case with no idea what anyone else is doing. Still. Guess I should be thankful you saved us the trouble. I heard they brought the guy in. I think he might be the same one who hacked the cameras around the scene where the girl Jess is looking for got taken."

A twitch of a smile tugs at a corner of his mouth as he imagines some poor guy trapped in his own car with the doors welded shut. "Yeah, I think I heard something about that." His smile fades as Tony goes on, both in words and down hallways. "Like we don't have enough meta-haters locally," he mutters.

Looking for a place to set down his bag, he simultaneously takes things in, nodding at the drives. "Those his?" He recognizes an isolated set-up when he sees it. He would have done the same.

"Oh man, seriously. Just when you think things have finally died and gone to digital hell…" Ulysses shakes his head. "I guess nothing on the internet ever really does die though. It just gets lost under layers of data until someone digs it up." He folds his arms and turns towards Tony. "So, dark medieval days of free webspace hosting aside, have you found anything out already? I mean, I don't blame you if you wanted to rip this data piƱata open first thing."


"Another psychic they were targeting," Stark replies without actually giving much of a reply at all. Which is fairly normal for Stark to be completely fair. "But yeah. It looked like a lot of people were working the same case from about a thousand different angles. Not really super efficient." The man replies with a smirk.

"I mean I kinda tend to bull though things like investigations. SHIELD usually frowns at that anyway." A longer pause. "But yeah…" A wave of a hand. "This is his. Have at my few friend. I haven't had much time to work on it so far."


Nodding, Ulysses turns back towards his backpack to remove a laptop from it. It looks like an old model but a trained eye can tell when someone's pieced together their own computer. Sure, one could just buy new ones to go through uncharted digital territory on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s expenses or they can do just as well with decent hardware installed for very specific purposes.

"I'll admit, sometimes I think all the protocol just slows things up. I was working on this case way before I ever formally saw anything on the missing telepaths cross my desktop. But then I'll have to admit, these guys were good. They've been picking their targets," he says as he works on setting things up.

"All right. Let's crack this thing open."


"Protocol totally slows things up. I've been telling Steve that for years. He always frowns when I say it but…" A pause. "…heck that might just be one of the reasons I keep saying it." A smirk crosses his face as Stark crosses the room to grab one of the extremely comfortable chairs. Defiantly not regulation issue. To flop down before propping his feet up on the table.

"From what I've seen he's built them himself. He might be a weaselly little meta-hater but he was at least good at what he did. Which is more the pity cause it makes things more difficult. And made things easier for whoever is behind all this mess."

A pause.

"I hate it when they are good. Takes way longer than I'd like."

Oddly enough there is no monitor or keyboard attached to the setups. Of course the reason becomes apparent when Ulysses sits down nearby and a holoscreen flashes into existence, along with holographic keyboard.

…normal stuff is not flashy enough for Tony Stark.


"Steve…as in Steve Rogers?" Ulysses tilts his head before nodding as he can picture that. From what he's heard of Captain America and having met Tony for not even twenty minutes, he can already tell how the personalities can clash.

Making a face as he finishes plugging things in and powers his laptop on, he nods as he studies the drives there. "Just means we have to be better," he says matter-of-factly, fingers starting to dance across his old-fashioned physical and very worn keyboard like second nature. Because it practically is for him by now. And then he goes to sit down so that he can attack this from other angles while his laptop works its own way with its precoded objectives.

Hands hover almost reverently above the holographic everything, the light reflecting off his glasses and casting more of a brightness to his eyes in a way that emphasizes his awe. "Ohmygosh I want this for Christmas."


"Yeah, that is the one." A flash of a grin. "He loves me. In that strange all American platonic way." The man drawls as he quirks an eyebrow towards the old laptop that Ulysses pulls out with a grin, a grin that only widens as the holographs spin up and the computer man expresses his admiration.

"Talk to Phil, he's like Santa over there isn't he? I mean a dour Santa that is more likely to give you bad news but…you know. You take what you can get right?"

The inventor though nods as he slides his feet off the table and lets his own workstation spin to its brightness.

"I'm thinking though we deconstruct what we can. Then if we can try to follow just where he was sending all this information. If he wasn't doing via some kind of physical media at a dead drop, but he didn't seem the type to get out that much unless it was a strip club. All that legwork is more Jess' house though. So I'll leave that to her. I pulled what I could from phone records and personals already so we can concentrate on just the code."


Ulysses wrinkles his nose a little at mention of Phil. "I think I've been more the one giving him bad news but he does have this knack of throwing more weight on it." He shakes his head. "He did mention knowing you though."

He taps away at the holokeyboard. It's cool and all but there's just something to be missed for the lack of a tactile surface. But it still does the job and that's the important part. Plus it looks awesome.

"Sounds good to me. Codes are my jam! …okay, that sounded better in my head."


"Eh I understood, so I'll allow it." Stark replies as he smirks towards Ulysses. The man doesn't type but the screen ahead of him blossoms into action, code beginning to scrawl across it without Stark even hitting the keys.

…because.

Tony likes to be a showoff.

"What part of the code you want to tackle? Taking it apart or tracing where it might have gone?"


Tony may be a show-off but it's doing the job. Ulysses is clearly impressed, if not a bit envious that he can't make things work by apparently just looking at things. Or some kind of neural implant, but that kind of thing just makes him shiver at the thought.

So flexing the ol' fingers it is.

He pauses a moment to consider as he's given the options. "I'll work on picking things apart, if it's all the same to you. Although something tells me you can probably do both on your own in half the time."


"Yeah but if I split my attention it takes a bit longer," Stark allows with a laugh as he looks back to the screen. "I'll trace then. Hopefully we can get something more out of it…what did you say your fake leads were and I'll see just what they have on it."

A pause.

"I really hope someone isn't building up a full database again. But if they were this would be the way to do it wouldn't it? People wouldn't even know."


"Haha. Yeah. Of course," the hacker comments dryly. He nods though as they're tasks are set, immediately setting to work on bringing up windows filled with encoding.

"My wha— Oh! Well there were two. The first one I made up was Timothy Riddle, and the second is Quinn Kowalski. That's a Q-U-I-double N."

It's a little while after Tony's pause and following comment before finally pulling his eyes away from the screen to look over towards him. "Database? The DPS one? I really hope not." But it's not too far out there to dismiss, is it?


"Yeah you and me both, buddy." Stark mutters. "The last thing anyone at the DPS needs is a list like that. That'll give someone an excuse. Then it'll go south fast. Then the Avengers, and therefor me, will have to clean it up." A shake of his head. "Ah well. What can I do right?"

The names come up quickly enough as he pings them in the internal system of the computer and then. "…damn. This logger was nasty. Look at all the information its pulling up on just your fake guys…" A pause. "Tim Riddle? Is that from a book?" Then he's off again. "What's the name of the girl Jess was after? I'll add her to the search and try to see where the info went."


If there's anything to be thankful for, it's that the holokeyboard makes all his rapid-fire keystrokes silent. "Kind of surprised they haven't rebuilt it. They gave access to the records of the damage to SHIELD to see if anything could be found regarding how it happened and who by. Guess who got stuck with the workload."

As lines scroll across the screen, his eyes skim them for familiar codework, pulling up smaller windows to the side for interesting encryptions.

Is that from a book? Ulysses winces visibly. "Crap. Was it that obvious? I hope no one else works out that I based their abilities off Legilimens," he mutters. And then to answer Tony's next question, "Liliana Ortiz. There's another one too, was in the news but at the time I didn't know it was possibly linked. A…something Webber. Jim? James?"

He lets his fingers rest a moment while he continues to scan the lines of encoding, frowning. "Well, good news with confiscating the guy's hard drives- means he can't use the sites he's hosting on them to troll for new targets. Save for the graphics, the information they're offering and asking for looks pretty legit. I wonder how many more they've actually gotten their hands on aside from the three…"

Although he's only named two, but he has a feeling Tony might be aware of the third, very high profile mark.


"It was pretty obvious at least to me. Since you know. Nerd." Stark smirks slightly. "Though for me, nerd means eccentric. Since you know. I have money." He adds with a shrug of his shoulders. "Dem is the breaks."

The news though doesn't bring a smile to his face though. "Yeah. That is a problem. We should do a search for fishing sites like this and shut them down. We don't want people wondering into this and getting trapped in something worse than this right?"

"Alright…so Liliana Ortiz and Something Webber." A longer pause. "…and I don't think they'll have Emma's info out there. Hell I don't have all of her info and I'm her something something…"


Ulysses opens his mouth, then closes it. So is Tony proclaiming himself a nerd too? He decides to let it lie, instead considering other things.

"…I think I found something. About the database hack. Maybe not exactly who did it, but…I've seen the codework before," he finally says as he returns to his task.

He nods his head at Tony's suggestion. "Sounds like a plan. Maybe turn their keylogging virus around on them. I wonder what their next move is now that they've been found out. You said they went quiet because of that attack on a psychic, but the trace for the keylogger I got on my second bait-profile was more recent. But with their hacker and his servers out…" Well, what do they look for now?

Pages are brought up, localized previews of previously live webpages for sites called 'The Mutant Survivor' and suggestive listings of known 'symptoms' for metas of particular abilities. It just turns his stomach to think that so many people might be looking for help and end up getting caught in something worse.

"I couldn't even find info on Emma in SHIELD databases," he mutters. "I was going to talk to Agent Coulson about that. But another agent was the one who brought up her disappearance. That's a big hit to pull off…"


"Yeah funny thing how that works out," Stark just drawls on the fact that Emma's personals are a little thin pretty much everywhere. Though there is a small smile on his lips, a touch of amusement in his eyes. Of course she's had all of it hidden.

That is just who she is.

"…hrmmm. Then they decided to come back. Can you figure out if anyone else pinged the servers? If he sent this code out to anyone before I picked him up?" Asks the inventor as he glances towards the Agent for a moment.

Then a pause.

A frown.

"You've seen the codework on the hack before? Have your own suspicions do ya?" A pause. "Suspicions are good to have. Keep you alive those do."

A pause.

"Their servers might be out but someone might be using something similar to still get hold of people. So lets run some searches for similar websites. See which are legit and which are flytraps. Then we might can trace anything we find back to who is using it. That's the angle I'd go with…"

A pause.

"The next move is to get nervous, at least on their part. We're gonna have a limited window to actually find them before they do and do something stupid I bet."


There's a slooow look turned towards Tony as he speaks about the mysterious Emma. He arches a brow, but it's clear he's not going to indulge anything else about the woman, so Ulysses turns back to his screen.

"Yeah. I know the codework because it's similar to something I'd been trying to pick apart even before the whole hack happened, and before the Trike got torn apart." His fingers pause in their tapping as he stares past the screen in thought. Coulson trusts Stark. That should be enough, right? "…it's like the virus that someone plugged into SHIELD's systems looking for the files on mutant gene research." He's not sure if Tony was aware of that, or if Coulson had told him anything about it. Ulysses shakes his head. "Yeah, I have suspicions. Not sure I like them, but I don't know what to do with any of it."

His eyes focus again on the lines of text as he goes through a datadump of file histories. "…uh-oh. Um. So…I think someone might have a backup of this database, or at least an early copy. There's record of it being printed to an external."


"Hrmmm…" Stark sits back a moment. "Well if you want to throw theories some time, tell me. I'll be a sounding board. And I'm not SHIELD so you don't have to worry about me narcing on you." A pause. "Is that still a thing? Narcing? Did I just show my age? Not that I really care I'm just not sure what the kids these days say about things."

A pause again. "If someone went looking for that…it isn't something that is going to end well. Mutant research leads to places like Genosha and that was a hellhole." A frown at that. "But that can wait till later…"

A pause again.

"…as for them getting a copy of this. Well we might can use that. Set up a trap using your fake leads would be the best way to do it I think? What you think?"

A pause again before he cocks his head to one side.

"Oh for the love of…" There is a shake of his head as he stands. "…stay here and work for as long as you like. I gotta go deal with an idiot trying to sink a oil rig in the Atlantic. I hate it when I get interrupted by D list villains!"


"Iiis that a rhetorical question? I'm thinking it should probably be rhetorical." Narcing? Wow. Ulysses scratches his head. "I… Hm. A sounding board? Would be kinda nice though, yeah." He smiles briefly, then snaps back to attention on their work. Time for that later.

"That was the plan, setting up those fake profiles. Sounds like at least one of them made it on their radar, so we'll see how that goes."

Once again he looks up at Tony's abrupt complaint, blinking. "The woes of a entrepreneur hero, huh? No problem, Mister Stark. I'll keep at this." Ulysses is notorious for his focus, so one way or another, he'll work through this. Hopefully JARVIS can keep him caffeinated.

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