|The Identity of the Iron Patriot Revealed!|
|What: One reveals their true identity to the world, the other reveals that they have no identity: A Love(?) Story|
Sirens screamed as the police created a twenty foot barrier. Buildings groaned as giant fist collided into it. Thanks to being slipped an experimental formula Ian Bloom, a simple pick pocket and store thief, became a monster. He grew into something eight feet tall. At a distance he could have been mistaken for a Neanderthal or a Caveman. Up close Ian was a monster. His strength surpassed a normal man. His hands collided into Metropolis First National like wrecking balls.
Alarm bells rang as Ian went into the bank to help himself to the vault. The perimeter was made because Ian wasn't exactly subtle heading to the bank. People phoned the police talking about a giant man whose steps caused areas to shake, and created cracks in the roads, sidewalks and anywhere he stepped.
All of the noise, the small crowd of people, the police and everything else was a bright beacon that help was needed. Seeing everything across monitors the Pilot to the Iron Patriot sealed themselves up in the suit. Like clockwork the program went through the startup sequences.
Laser Mounted Defense: Online Power Levels: 100 Percent. All Systems: Online.
They blasted off toward the site and landed with a "Crunch." Patriot looked toward one of the cops, "What's the situation?" the voice was robotic and there were rumors that Patriot wasn't a suit but a fully functioning robot. The eyes glowed red as the scanners made assessments.
Nothing quite so cold or calculated as a police signal attracts the attention of one of 'Metropolis' Own' - not that most people her know Matrix as anything like that, or know who she is upon mention. But a burning game of Chinese Jump Rope with some neighborhood girls is brought to a quick end when startled cries and murmurings float their way into Matrix's ears.
"HELP IS ON THE WAY!" Matrix shouts - and the little freckled red-headed girl is suddenly and fluidly an adult woman with black hair and a primary-colored super-costume, and away she goes. As she crests a building on her way to the bank, she shimmers briefly and literally disappears.
Moving silent and unseen, the only hint of a presence is a gust of wind as Matrix passes by and slips her way into the bank - whereupon she starts to creep up the hopped-up Mister Bloom.
Ian didn't see the streak that was Matrix. All of it was unexpected. The wind picked up behind him and nothing more. Patriot was still getting info and the woman went unnoticed. She was going to lead on this one due to the stealth. His red eyes scanned the outside looking for anything he could against Ian when he got out.
The big man just moved aside the safe with the utmost ease. Money was piled inside of it and he grabbed a sack and started to fill it as much as he could. Tossing it behind him he started to load up a second sack he grabbed.
The sound of the 'twhack' of money in a sack hitting... *something* is heard, but it certainly wasn't the floor. If anyone is watching Bloom on security cameras or X-Ray vision or what have you, the money-bag he just tossed behind him... seems to be stuck there in mid-air. Then it bobs and makes the noise again - as though tossed and caught like a ball.
"I'm sorry," Matrix says before becoming visible - the bag clutched in both hands by the closure, "-- but your withdrawal is DECLINED!" At which point, she strikes at the back of Bloom's head with the money-bag!
Ian staggered as the money ball struck him. He cried out from the pain then hurled the money back toward her. As the money flew at her Ian charged Matrix full tilt. The plan was to hit her with a shoulder rush while she was hopefully distracted.
The rush of wind followed by a cry from Ian caused Patriot to move toward the bank. As the big guy rush matrix red energy lanced from Iron Patriot's hands toward the big guy, "Nice 'S'." the robotic voice chimed in. Whoever the woman was had three circles that formed a futuristic looking 'S'. A scream left Ian's lips as the beams struck him. As Patriot kept the lasers on the target they asked, "Plan?"
Matrix is not at ALL confused by the shower of money - and is quick enough on her game to sidestep the rush to allow Ian to go crash into something else for a second while she plans her next strike.
Then there's a robot or a suit or something and it's taaaaaalking to her while it shoots beams at Bloom. "S?" THAT confuses Matrix, who actually STOPS to look DOWN at her CHEST, "Huh?" She never figured the symbol for anything that remotely resembled an S before, and now she's trying to SEE it. In the middle of a battle. Upside-down.
"Plan? OH PLAN!" While the Patriot lays down fire, Matrix runs her hands through her riotous hair and considers a plan. "We beat him up and keep him from taking the money, of course, and then hand him over to the cops! What else?" Shrugging and grinning, she pivots and lays down a few telekinetic psi-blasts of her own!
"Cute," Patriot commented then when she gave out a plan he rushed to Ian. The hero was a flurry of fists for several seconds. Screams came from Ian who grabbed Patriot's head and tossed them into a wall. The armor created a dent. Cracks spread through the bank wall and looked like veins in an arm.
An anger filled scream went toward Matrix, "I just want what's owed to me!" Ian yelled then was sent back thanks to a psionic blast. Desks crumbled beneath his weight as he fell into them thanks to the blast. Grabbed wooden shards he hurled them at Matrix. "C'MERE BITCH!" he growled low then rushed the female hero. Several angry and wide swings went toward the woman. If she was prepared for them they could be avoided with ease.
When the Patriot rushes Ian, Matrix tilts her head to the side like she might be checking out his 'can.' "Cute?" she muses. Of course, then he gets slammed into the wall hardcore and Ian is yelling at *her* and throwing things and being generally unpleasant as criminals are wont to be.
Skipping here and there, dipping to the side to avoid the swipes or slap them out of the way with her palms, Matrix shouts, "MANNERS!" back at him. A few more dodges, Matrix reached out to grab first one fist in her hand and then the other.
"At this point, you're owed a JAIL SENTENCE and a NAP!" Flexing her own muscles and digging her heels in to try and keep him still for a moment, Matrix adds -- "Nap first!" and aims a headbutt!
Seeing the discarded faceplate that was nearby their body the Patriot laughed. "That's rich," the pilot said. Their voice was familiar to many people. Rising up they looked toward Matrix giving a headbutt to the big man. The pilot's face was exposed to anyone that could see in the bank, "This looks like a job for Lex Luthor!" he rushed the big guy, who was staggering from the headbutt. A red armored hand connected with Ian's face. The big guy left the ground and was out cold.
Patriot looked at Matrix, "Claim the collar." His green eyes looked at the woman and he went to grab his faceplate. "My world is about to get very complicated but I'm sick of hiding." A smile was on his face, "And after that do you want to get a drink? I'm going to need to hide for a bit until I can do a press conference," he wasn't sure if Matrix was there to hear him. The offer was good though, Lex Luthor did offer the woman a drink.
"Hey, you h--," WAIT A SECOND. Matrix forgets about *everything else* for a minute, because two words just rattled through her brain like a bolt of lightning. "Lex Luthor?" she mouths, repeating the name soundlessly like she's not sure he said it. Plus, is he... BALD under there? But the eyes! And easy charm!
"LEX!" Matrix shouts, utterly unable to contain her joy - not that she'd try anyway - and she basically throws herself into his arms, hers around his shoulders. "I thought you were lost *forever* how did you escape?!"
Sadness filled Lex's eyes, "I wish I was the Lex you dream of. I can be," he said unsure why it came out of his mouth. Something about this woman made her easy on the eyes. And he could have lied about being her Lex. Unfortunately without any knowledge of her world it would have been very hard to do. The truth was the easier option at the moment. "Where did you come from?" he asked the woman. Portals to other worlds often ripped open here. Whoever this girl was, she probably came over from her own time and place. Her world's Lex had a relationship with the woman. For a moment his heart went out toward the woman because she did have good taste in men.
"Oh," Matrix's voice echoes the sadness in Lex's eyes with sadness of her own. "It doesn't matter," she shakes her head, still holding on to Lex. Because, well. He hasn't shaken her off yet. "It was destroyed. You--HE sent me here to find Superman for help, and by the time we got back everything was gone." She takes a great big sigh, her blue eyes searching Lex's green ones for a few moments... and she embraces him properly before clearing her throat and pulling herself away.
"Anyway. You *helped*, and if you mean to reveal yourself as the man underneath the armor because it was some sort of secret... I'd like to be at your side when you do it. I don't know if you're anything like my Lex at all," Matrix adds after a moment, reaching her finger to her mouth to nervously chew on the tip, "But I'll take that drink, too. We have a lot to go over. After the press conference."
Hearing about Matrix's sad story Lex gave her a hug out of sympathy. "He had good taste. You seem nice, you're good looking and I know if I were him, I'd only save what matters the most to me in the entire world. You being here is a testament to what you meant to him," he said as they were close. His green eyes met hers for a moment. "Do you want dinner with that drink?" The question just kind of came out. A blush ran through his face and he looked away.
After several minutes a nod went toward Ian from Lex. Waiting for moment a hand went out to Matrix's. This Lex had a son to look out for, even if they were half-Kryptonian, and a team that he was connected to. His life was bound to change in this moment. Matrix was easy on the eyes, friendly and willing to be there for him. "Ready to do this?" he asked quietly.
"I was made ready," Matrix grins, easily reaching out to put her hand in Lex's and clasp firmly. "Come on," and then she starts to walk out with him - even leading if his step isn't quite sprightly enough; and she keeps fixing him with little considering glances, intent and thoughtful looks that reveal almost nothing.
People in the audience started to cry out, "Is that Lex Luthor?!" Questions came out, "When did he become the Iron Patriot!?" Civilians became reporters. Cell phones were snapped open to take photos. Walking to a news reporter that was on the scene, Lex dressed in the Patriot armor sans the missing face plate that was held in his free hand, lifted up a finger to silence questions. "Yes. I am the Iron Patriot and I have been since day one. The person in the suit at the presentation later became a pilot to a future Iron Legion suit. I made the suit and the Legion in response to an alien invasion of New York. Every word I said at the conference was true. I saw the aftermath of the invasion. All the shattered lives, I could no longer sit back and do nothing. With my own two eyes I saw how someone could put on a costume and try to help. Instead of giving the world a self-appointed hero I worked alongside the government to give the world something it needed to see. I gave the world a Patriot. Someone that was proud to be a U.S. Citizen and was willing to help," Lex paused and held up a finger to stop people that tried to ask more questions. "No more questions," his green eyes went back to Matrix, "Shall we go my dear?" Pushing off the ground he flew into the air and started to head toward Lexcorp Tower. The white building was like a beacon in the middle of the city. Landing on the helipad he asked, "What sounds good to you beautiful? Choice of drink and meal, it'll be brought to you."
Giving a little wave to the crowd before they depart, Matrix takes to the air just after Lex and is quiet for a moment before she admits, "I don't really eat." Knee extended, hands behind her as she 'steers' to her landing, she muses aloud, "I *used* to eat, sometimes I think I feel like eating..." she shakes her head. "I know that you don't know me, but I used to be better at all the little bits..."
From happy to sad to thoughtful now to vaguely pensive. Matrix reaches up and plays the the ends of her hair, twisting it in her fingers. "Is it safe to talk here?"
"Not here," Lex moved into his office and signaled for her to follow, "It's safe here. Say whatever you want," frowning for a moment he had never anticipated being in the suit, in his office and with company. By weight alone he knew his favorite officer chair in the last five years would have broken. "I want you to be honest. I want you to be completely honest here. While I'm a business man I prefer people just to be upfront. I respect them more if they're honest with me. And yes, you're cute for the record." He was going to be honest too.
"I don't have to be," Matrix posits, stepping into the office. She notices a moment of tension, amplified by her own uncertainty... but she pushes through it. While playing with her hair. "You--" small sigh, "HE... made me. To save someone else. I had her memories, her personality, her love for him."
"Things that have happened to me, and that I've done, since all that," Matrix continues, lips pursed while she thinks, probably over phrasing or something like that, "My memories are muddled. Or missing. A lot of them are just wrong. I'm made of protomatter, made in the memory of Lana Lang and meant to save our world. I couldn't hold on to either."
"I can fix your mind if you want," Lex offered the woman. When she mentioned Lana Lang he nodded, "She, this world's Lana, was and is a friend from College. I can see why he would want to save her. I'm unfamiliar with protomatter, but I know how a mind map works. Repairing any damage can be done if you granted me access to your mind." His green eyes looked to the woman, "However I can help you I will," firmness resounded in his voice. Deep down he believed that he could help her with any problem she had.
"If the dinner and drink would be too awkward we can reschedule, I would love the company. I see why Lex did what he did. You're very beautiful. And the world went. I'm sure you saved it so many times before if you hadn't been around it would have passed long before," walking to the woman a hug was offered, "I'm sorry about you world."
"No, I--" Matrix starts to answer, shaking her head... but then he comes in for a hug, and she can't help herself. Once more in his arms, she nestles into him like it's the safest place on Earth. "I love you because she loved you, and you loved me because you loved her. This world's Lana is... different, and as sweet as it is of you to offer to fix me..." Matrix looks up, putting her palm on Lex's chest-plate. "I think I'm supposed to fix myself."
"If you start to fall for me in this world I want you to fall for me as me, much like you wanted your Lex to fall for you because you were being yourself." Waving his hand the armored hand hit the ground with a clatter. His hand was in a white suit like underneath part. Fingers wove through Matrix's hair. "To me you are not Lana. You are a wonderful woman that's easy on the eyes, intelligent, nice and you are filled with regret for the things that went unsaid or undone. You are a credit to your world just by helping in this one," his gloved fingers just ran through her hair affectionately still.
Matrix closes her eyes, enjoying the moment for what it is; for now. A moment. "I don't even feel real sometimes," she says quietly. Shaking her head again, she steps back, pulling away. "I should go, this is... nice. It's all very, very nice." Matrix puts her hands together thankfully, "What memories it does call up, they're wonderful - I thought they might even be gone... but I should really go. You've been so sweet - you're always so sweet. But my head is all twisted up and I don't want to say something wrong or stupid."
"Some Eastern religions believe people that people do not start with a soul. That only through trial, tribulation, triumphant and suffering does the soul form," Lex floated to Matrix. Both hands cupped her cheeks, a weird sensations since one was armored and the other was in a wetsuit-like material. He stared into her eyes. "You have a soul. Whatever your name is, whatever you wish to call yourself here I know one of the most important things about you! You. Have. A. Soul. Anyone can see it when they look into your eyes," his green emerald like eyes burned with intensity. He firmly believed in her soul. The same passion came out when talking about his son.
"I hope so," Matrix says, reaching up to put her hands over the gauntleted ones... then turning her head to kiss one of those armored palms. "Thank you again. I've found you now, I'll know where to find you again..." Poised as she is to run, she still looks up into that face... she can't help it, she loves him, but she doesn't trust it either for as nice as it feels. "Would that be all right? Me finding you?"
"Yes, but only if you tell me your name," a smile was on his face. Something about her was really nice. It was hard to put a finger on it, "Tell me what has you hesitating and doubting yourself? Some of your actions and words it resonates within. And you still owe me a drink and dinner," his eyes went up and down her body. She knew he was checking her out along with assessing her. "You're attractive I will not lie. And the operations leader of a superhero team, The Infinite. A group of government registered heroes that spawned from a project called Infinity Inc. Personal attraction aside, I've seen you in the field. You're good. It would be an honor to have someone like you join or at least consider the offer," the words were serious. Though the woman was pretty to look at Lex could separate that side of himself when it came to making judgments. Matrix was an odd fit, but she could help Leo with his own tactile powers and make the young Luthor feel less alone. Guardian could help train her if the doubts made any previous training rusty. She could have used the Infinite, in Lex's mind, as much as they could use her on the team.
"I'll think about it, the team thing, I mean," Matrix promises. "Dinner and a drink. Maybe I'll even get you to dance." Her thoughts are disjointed, causing the quick jumps in subject as she tries to latch on to any bit she remembers, whether it's in anything resembling previous conversational order or not.
"I'm glad you like the way I look. I picked it when I decided to start trying hero work again. How I used to look... it doesn't feel like me anymore. I'm not sure who I feel like." Backing up again, poised by the window, she finally gets out, "My name is Matrix. My government card says Registered Codename, but I don't think the clerk understood me. Or that I understood her. Anyway. Thank you, Lex."
"I meant your real name, Matrix," he corrected himself. His green eyes watched as she was out of the window. "It will make dinner reservations awkward if I say my guest is Matrix. They may ask if 'You're the one?'" he was trying to be funny.
She still hasn't SEEN that movie. Matrix blinks blankly, then says quite earnestly, "That *is* my real name. Every other name I've had either doesn't fit like it used to, or isn't mine anymore. The people who took care of me called me 'Mae' for short... you can use that for reservations, right?" Now basically *standing* on nothing, because she forgot to start flying properly once she walked out, Matrix blows a kiss. "I hope I see you soon, Lex. I'll think about the team!"
Then she drops through the sky like a cartoon character, only without the sudden startlement or sad resignation to the fall - it was definitely on purpose. But instead of a PAFF and a dust-cloud on the pavement, there's nothing - Matrix has cloaked again, and a wiped smear through the low clouds betrays her path.
"Mae Thorul," he said going to the window hoping she could hear him. Going off of the assumption since his son was half-Kryptonian that the Matrix had some similar DNA splicing via her Lex. His green eyes looked to where she went and noticed the cloud, "Thorul is a nom de plume I had growing up. I wrote Back to the Future and other fanfics. Yes, I have a love of 80s era movies due to childhood," deep down he hoped the words reached her ears. "When you trust me, I would be happy to help you out with a house if you need one."
Miles and miles away, in the cloud-bank she's decided to hide herself in, Matrix sits up... and looks thoughtful again. "Thorul? Mmmmmmmmmmmaybe," she says - out loud, to no one but herself. Except whatever spies are looming wherever it is she is. Because, though she has no actual Kryptonian DNA, she DID hear him. And then she sort of giggles, and disappears back into the cloud.