|Secret Avengers: The Plan|
|What: A clandestine meeting between members of The Avengers and the X-Men. The topic: Destroying a Sentinel base in the nation's capitol... quietly.|
It's a rare occurrence anymore, but when it does happen, Pepper makes a point of staying close by to help keep things under control. Impromptu science symposium, anyone?
Pepper's just brought the beverages of choice for each person so that the technobabble can flow undisturbed. She doesn't let on that she does actually understand some of what they're saying. About ... twelve percent of it.
Listening as Tony or Hank talks. Bruce accepts a beverage from Pepper, "Thank you." he tells her sipping at it. Sitting back a little in his chair listening his fingers rub at his temple.
Hank Pym is delighted to get to talk to Stark and Banner both. He's especially interested in talking AI with Tony; JARVIS is without peer, but from what Hank understands Tony's had him in development and learning for decades. He's hoping he's got a way to push that timetable up a bit on future individuals..
Pepper Potts smiles and nods to Bruce as he accepts his beverage, and settles into her chosen seat, her own cup of hot tea sitting there waiting.
"Thank you both for visiting. I know Tony will be happy to see you once he gets back." She glances toward the door with the faintest hint of her eyebrows drawing together. "JARVIS, where is Tony right now?"
Hank Pym says, "I'm more than happy to..! And thank you for the drink, Ms. Potts. ..Um, do you know what this is about?"
Bruce Banner sips at his water as they continue to wait for Tony. Much is on his mind but he is rather calm for the time being. Setting the glass down he reaches into his pocket taking out a tin of mints offering Pepper and Hank one before popping one into his mouth.
"I apologize for this, Miss Potts. However, I was given strict instructions by Mister Stark to answer that question with: HE'S RIGHT BEHIND YOU! BOOO!"
Despite his best attempt at being scary, JARVIS mostly just sounds... well... bored and English. This probably isn't the effect that Tony was going for at all.
"Dammit, JARVIS! You ruined my dramatic entrance! I knew I should have recoded your voice actor to Vincent Price..."
Tony's voice resonates throughout the room, filtered slightly through electronic processors. Tony himself, however, is nowhere to be seen in the room.
There's no other indication of his presence, until a cold, metallic, invisible hand pinches the back of Pepper's arm.
As she walks into the room, Jean is walking with a new face. "So I had to restock his entire lab. It was wrong for medical use, and don't get me started on his filing system." Jean walks into the room her arm hooked with Bobby's arm. "I can't wait till you meet the rest of the Avengers. Tony is great. Don't tell him I said that. He is simply brilliant but the man's ego is as large as his..." Jean stops when she sees everyone. She cocks her head to the side, <<Please behave Bobby. These people are important. Let them get to know you before you...are you. Ok?>> She whispers into Bobby's mind as she gives everyone a wave.
"I've met him actually. Saved his whole tower too," Bobby remarks as he walks with Jean, bringing a slight chill into the room unintentionally. Dressed in cargo shorts and a bright red t-shirt with the text 'The Sun is Trying to Kill Me' and an angry sun on it, Bobby offers a wave too. "Hey," he greets. <<When do I not behave?>>
Pepper Potts is seated with Bruce and Hank, where they've been chatting while waiting for Tony to 'arrive', and when JARVIS replies to her question and Tony complains, she huffs a sigh. She's under the belief that he's playing with the PA system again until SOMETHING pinches her arm. That elicits a surprised yelp from her as she throws an elbow back at who or whatever might be there then shoves her chair back while leaping to her feet. The teal and bronze Rescue armor starts building around her from where her previously innocuous-looking Coach bag had been sitting on the floor against her leg.
Eight seconds. Act fast, Tony, or this room might need to be redecorated.
Bruce Banner can't help but chuckle at the voice of JARVIS, "Perhaps he should be coded as the voice of Lurch from the Adam's Family." is quipped before rising to his feet. Stepping away from his chair, "Doctor Grey, good to see you." he looks at her visitor, "I'm Bruce Banner. Please join us. Tony should be here soon. That is Miss Potts and Doctor Pym." though the reaction of Pepper makes his guard raises a little and a flash of green can be seen in his eyes and a bit on his face.
It's about then that the Elevator dings a last arrival. The door opens and Rhodey steps through, wearing..not a uniform. Instead of his Air Force service dress or utility uniform, he's wearing a suit. Gucci, at that. Two piece. Slipping off a pair of sunglasses, tucking them into a pocket, his presence is accented by the appearance of the cybernetics that Tony developed to save him from severe injury when an op went pear shaped. He offers a nod to those he knows, and a smile. His easy going manner is restrained somewhat, meaning he's come for business.
Jean Grey blinks as she takes a step back looking over at Pepper. Jean extends a hand out in front of her as she begins to expand her senses outward. In a gentle pulse of telepathic energy through the room. Jean gently touches the minds of everyone present gaining possible surface thoughts as she searches for Tony. A sort of telepathic radar, as she searches for Tony's mind. A soft smirk escaping her lips when she brings two fingers to her temple and says to Tony, <<Well that is a neat trick. I can't see you but I can sense you Tony. Invisibility armor? Is there nothing you can't do?>> Jean looks over at Bobby and hooks her arm in his again to move and sit with Bruce and Hank. "Everyone this is one of my closest friends, Bobby Drake. He is going to be staying with me at the Tower for a week while visiting New York." She chuckles, "He needed a vacation and he didn't get much of a choice."
"Whoa! Jesus! What the shit?"
There's a series of quick metal 'clanging' as Tony futzes with his suit and removes his helmet as fast as he possibly can. Of course, this creates the alarming effect of a 'Floating Tony Stark Head' as his armor remains cloaked.
"Power down, Pepper. I just had the walls re-leathered!" He holds an arm up in front of his face defensively, which makes a portion of his head invisible from certain viewing angles. "Uh... don't tell PETA that I have a room with leather walls... okay?"
The rest of his body suddenly appears. Well, his armor suddenly appears, which is the same thing. It looks a lot like his old Suitcase Armor, but with a black and gold color scheme. An Iron Man suit that's been through Weight watchers, basically.
"So... looks like everybody's here. Way to show up fashionably late, Rhodey. I'm going to have to take it out of your Christmas Bonus..."
Now that he's got everyone's attention, Tony walks toward the center of the room, helmet tucked under his arm. "Doctor Grey here isn't the only one who knows how to read minds, because I can tell what all of you are wondering: Why did Tony call this meeting, and why did he show up in his bitchin' Stealth Armor? Amiright?"
When Jean and Pepper go into defensive mode, Bobby does as well. His arms ice over and he gets ready for a fight. The sudden floating Tony-head makes him pause...and then laugh. "Dude..." he trails off, laughing again. "Oh man, too easy," he shakes his head. He shakes his head and lets Jean take his arm again, de-icing as she does. He nods to Bruce though, waving his free hand. "I met Doc Pym once too. And Miss Potts," he says, surprised how many Avengers he knows. He goes quiet as the meeting begins, brows arching at Tony's questions and glances towards Jean. He has a joke but she asked him to behave.
Hank Pym startles at the abrupt near-conflict between Pepper and floating-head Tony. Thankfully that's cleared up quickly..in his case before he was able to react much.. "Well, yes? More or less?" he answers Tony, and looks around to everyone else. He smiles and nods in response to Bobby. "I remember. That attack on the hospital." though Jean can tell he's also thinking quite cheerfully about the workings of Jarvis and Tony's stealth suit too.
Pepper Potts hasn't ever really bothered to learn how to stop the armor's assembly process once it starts, so she's stuck waiting for it to finish and close over her face with a somehow more delicate-sounding clank than what the Iron Man armor usually manages. She does 'power down' quickly enough, shaking her head and sighing very much audibly once the Rescue armor has returned to looking all innocent and Coach purse-like on the floor. Typical Tony antics.
She then -- belatedly -- offers Jean and Bobby and then Rhodey smiles hello. "Welcome. Please, take a seat. Would anyone care for a drink? After that, I think I need something a little stronger than tea." She looks at Bruce as if silently asking him if he's all right while waiting to see if anyone's going to request a beverage.
Bruce Banner takes a few deep breathes to calm himself down. A brow raises as he watches Tony show himself. He figured that Stark was up to something and now it is known. A look is cast to Pepper giving a light knowing nod of the head before sitting back down in his place he raises his glass to his lips taking a drink. Settling it back on the table he laces his fingers together while setting his arms on the table waiting for 'why' this meeting was called.
James Rhodes shrugs a little, smirks at Tony, "Learned by watching you, man." he says and finds some anti-PETA wall to lean against and crosses his arms. "I'm goood. I'll wait a bit before I get down to business. Honestly, I didn't even know there was a meeting. I was hoping to catch Casper there alone," he says motioning to Tony, "Or at least with as few Playgirls Of The Month as I could."
Jean Grey looks over at Bruce, sitting down next to him. She places a hand on his forearm feeling his tension. She doesn't influence his emotions but just gives the man a gently pat. She looks over at Bobby and smirks at his expression. Her attention looking towards Pepper, "I could use a glass of wine. White if you have it." She hmmms, "Do you need some help Ms Potts?"
"You're all here because you're people that I trust to keep a secret. And I'm not just talking about the leather walls in here. Seriously, don't let that get out. I know I should just put up wallpaper, but then I'd lose all of my street cred at the Club That Only Rich People Know About."
He looks around, with a brow arched so severely that he surely must be serious. Right?
"Of course you didn't know about the meeting, Rhodey. It's a secret. Wow. That's three secrets I've just given away. But it's cool, because I trust you all. This Stealth Armor, for example? Totally Top Secret. You have to have a SHIELD Level 9 Clearance to even know it exists. Technically, you should all go to jail just for looking at me right now. So... three secrets."
Tony looks a bit more animated than usual, perhaps he's finally gotten a bit of rest. Of course, if he's had two hours of sleep in the last forty-eight, he's doing better than he has in months.
"But I've got one more secret for you all, and you'll all have to pinkie swear to keep it after the meeting is over. Some of you have criticized me secretly for my apparent unwillingness to get the Avengers involved in the whole Sentinel situation that's been happening. And you're right, I've been dragging my feet a bit, hoping it would blow over. But it's becoming clear that it won't, unless we help out our fellow Mutant-Americans and do some Avenging."
"But here's the thing... it's got to be done in secret."
"That's the one," Bobby replies to Hank, grinning his way. He finds a seat as well, leaning back in it. "I could go for a drink. Got any root beer?" he asks cheerfully of Pepper. He falls silent as Tony goes on his animated explanation. "Yeah, Sentinels don't just blow over. Gotta smash 'em up," he comments quietly.
Pepper Potts nods to Jean, mentally trying to place which wines are either already open and here in the room (convenience) or she can get to readily enough. She's also debating what to get for herself, though white wine does sound appealing. Or root beer, that sounds good too. Wait, no, ginger beer. Yes. The alcoholic stuff imported from Australia.
Pepper returns quickly enough with a stemmed glass of white wine for Jean, a dark brown glass bottle for Bobby, and an oddly labelled soda can for herself, along with two beer glasses with ice in them. She pours her carbonated beverage of choice into her glass of ice as she settles back into her chair. "Why are you insisting on secrecy, Tony? Those Sentinel things are a menace."
Bruce Banner glances to jean giving her a warm grin at the pat. Though now he listens as Tony goes on about how this is a secret secret meeting and everything learned is top secret classified and they should all be put in cells for even attending or so it sounds like. "A friend of mine has been investigating the Sentinels. I believe he went all the way to DC to get more information about them. Not that I've been told everything but rumor has it a rookie agent of SHIELD shot one or something." he grins at Pepper's words, "Yeah. Since when do you care about being so secretive?" a glance is given to Tony.
Jean Grey nods in thanks to Pepper before turning her attention to Tony, "Because there are two bases. The fact that one of them is in DC. It could become a political nightmare for SHIELD if the Avengers are seen in the attack against the country." She looks over at Bobby, <<Sound familiar.>> She takes a sip of her wine and falls silent once again.
"Sure. They're a menace. No question there. The whole program is just... absolutely heinous. But it's not some sort of rogue operation from a cackling madman. The Sentinel Project is a program that the American government has approved. If SHIELD moves publicly against the American government, we're talking about World Wars Three through Eleven. This needs to be handled delicately, or say goodbye to the Avengers, and get comfortable with the idea of spending the rest of your life in Guantanamo or on the run."
Tony points to one of the leather walls, and as if by some sort of voodoo magic, it turns into a Mister Rogers-esque video display. But instead of calming images of a crayon factory, it's showing maps of two facilities: One on the West Coast, and one in DC. From the outside, both facilities look relatively humdrum. But when Tony waves his hand, the one in DC is selected, and multiple images of its various levels become visible in blueprint mode and orthographic projection.
"Screw that, right? So we'll go in quietly, we won't raise a fuss, and we'll help our buddies with the X-Men knock out this installation. Nobody will be seen rampaging around in their flashy costume, so SHIELD will have plausible deniability. Which means that if any of us get caught during this operation, they'll be cut loose from the Avengers and likely be branded a terrorist. If the operation goes tits up, the X-Men will be taking the fall."
"This is some heavy shit, no question there. If any of you aren't... comfortable with the plan I've laid out, now's the time to leave quietly."
Bobby Drake nods a quick thanks to Pepper as he picks up the bottle. It frosts over in his grip and he pops the top off. "Gonna be a nightmare for the government when we eventually reveal its Trask or Mojo or I don't know...King Three Eyes of the Robo-dumbass empire pretending to be a general. It's always a super villain. No one else builds giant killer robots," he says before taking a swig of his drink. The more Tony speaks, the more Bobby ends up frowning. <<Is he serious? Since blaming the X-men and abandoning teammates sounds dumb as hell,>> he things towards Jean.
Pepper Potts ohs faintly. This truly is serious. And it explains Tony building an armor that could give Predator a run for his money. "Why not just hack into the building's computer systems and set them to destroy themselves?" It's not like Tony's never done that before... "If it's done right, could it be made to look like the things malfunctioned?"
Bruce Banner stares at Tony as he continues to listen. "If not the X-men then lay it on me?" he questions seriously. "If any of this can make this go wrong we all know its me. Not like I can tell the other guy to shut up or that it needs to use stealth. So how would I even begin to fit into this kind of plan?"
Hank Pym says, "Um...actually, that..kind of sounds like a great way you'd fit? If..if any record of such an attack did get out..?"
James Rhodes listens quietly, figuratively in the back of the room. Already making mental notes. Is he going to take this to SHIELD? Of course not..but he IS going to make sure that these people get assisted whether SHIELD realizes it or not, since he hasn't been briefed on that particular end of things yet. Orders still cooling inside his jacket pocket, and all. His only external reaction? A crooking upward of his remaining eyebrow.
As she cocks an eyebrow, Jean looks at Bobby and tightens her grip on his arm. Jean raises two fingers into the air and hmms, "All due respect Tony. I am all for going in and destroying this program. However...the X-men are my family as much as you guys are becoming. And I know it's hard to split loyalties. I am not sure I am comfortable putting the blame on the X-men. They would be taking a large risk coming with us because they are mutants and they are marked by this program as terrorists. And we know they are not. Can we not find another way to consider that...without putting blame on my former team if this does goes south? I could wipe any and all minds we come across that might be on the base. It might press my abilities. But I have seen it done for an entire city."
Janet van Dyne descends from one of the aerial entrances, wings buzzing. "Sorry I'm late, guys - I got held up a bit. I was listening though." She taps the antennae peeking from beneath her hair. "I don't think I can actually join in on the action this time, 'cause I'm too much of a public figure both for SHIELD and the Avengers. But I -can- keep an ear to the ground and keep you appraised of what's going on in SHIELD HQ."
"Look, the X-Men are already on every terrorism list the government has. They're unsanctioned, and off the grid. I know it's not cool, and I sympathize. But they're already being publicly blamed for the entire Sentinel project, and they'll probably get blamed for this operation whether it goes successfully or not. They've been branded as outlaws since... well... forever, so nothing we do is likely to have any effect on their public image. I don't like it any more than you guys do, but serving as the X-Men's PR guy isn't my job: keeping the Avengers out of trouble is."
Tony starts to pace the room, clearly a bit nervous about what he's proposing, but resolute about going forward nonetheless. "Each of us is going to have a part to play if this is going to be a success. Some of you will take place in the actual operation. Some of you will be needed elsewhere, to serve as alibis, to keep regular Avengers operations running while the rest of us play James Bond, and to carry the torch if the Field Team ends up getting taken down."
As he paces, Tony ends up standing next to Doctor Banner. "I'm sorry pal. But we can't have the Hulk anywhere near this one. But Bruce Banner is going to be invaluable. That's why I've taken the liberty of making this..."
He saves toward the leather wall again, and it disappears entirely. Behind it, are several suits nearly identical to the one that Tony is currently wearing, but sized for a couple of different individuals.
"I totally saved the best part for last. You get a Stealth Armor, and you get a Stealth Armor, and you get a Stealth Armor..." Tony begins pointing around the room at various individuals, very much like Oprah probably would if she still had her show, and if she had bitchin' Stealth Armors to give out.
Hank Pym is distracted by the assortment of stealth suits Tony is glibly handing out, (even if Hank isn't one of those pointed at) but he clears his throat, having to ask, "But..but is this all really necessary, though? I just...I can't believe that what the sentinels have been doing is legal? The people they've been going after, Ultron and I couldn't find any official record of where they were being held or, in some cases, what they'd been accused of. When you said you were hoping this would blow over..did you try finding who was supporting this program? Maybe we can talk to them? Maybe these sentinels can be dialed back and put to some actual use.."
Janet van Dyne drops to the floor and slowly regains her full height. "According to federal law, terrorists have no rights. Indefinite detention without trial. All they have to do is slap the T-label on someone and they can do whatever they want." She sighs. "I keep hoping that law's going to get sunsetted and it keeps not happening."
Jean Grey frowns softly as she says to Tony telepathically, << I was an X-men. Bobby is an X-men. We are not tools to be used if your plan fails Tony. I will not question you in front of the team. But using my family as escape goats sucks. You need to tell Logan what your planning before we go any further. I am not comfortable with this. You are putting my desire to end this program over my desire to protect my friends. >> Jean clearly frowns at Tony as she pats Bobby's arm. Jean takes a large swig of her wine.
James Rhodes continues to listen until Tony gets to the part about the stealth armors, "Wait," he holds up a hand, "You mean that's not covered in my Geek Squad upgrade plan? C'mon son." he says, but he does note the questions and the frowning. He glances to Pepper, before glancing to Tony. Yeah, they're gonna need to talk.
Pepper Potts turns to look at all of the stealth suits and blinks. So THAT'S what Tony has been working so obsessively on. "Tony, I really do still think instead of destroying the Sentinel factory outright, infecting them with some kind of computer virus so they act completely wrong might be a better option. A glitch in the system can't be blamed on the X-Men, and if it's bad enough they might mothball them completely."
Bruce Banner raises a brow as its revealed there is a suit for him. Getting to his feet he walks over deciding to take a look at it. "Count me in. I'm ready to end all of this. But if things go wrong.. Let me Hulk out. They will figure its me on another rampage. I can handle the heat." he looks at Tony. "I am serious, Stark. The rest of you don't need them on you. I've dealt with it before."
<<Can I freeze him now? Because I -really- want to ice him,>> Bobby thinks to Jean, his rootbeer freezing over entirely. He falls silent though, just glaring at Tony. Even if he does think the armors are cool, he's keeping his mouth shut to avoid saying anything that wouldn't count as behaving.
<<She doesn't approve of my plan? What's wrong with her, this is a great plan! God, she's so hot when she's disapproving. Women don't look at me disapprovingly often enough. It's such a turn-on. Reminds me of the way my mother used to look at me when I... Oh god! Is she still reading my mind? Please let her not be reading my mind!>>
Tony looks sheepishly in the exact opposite of Jean's direction. He really needs to work on focusing now that there's a telepath.
<<Don't look at her. Don't look at her. Think about baseball. Think about starving puppies playing baseball... actually... I think that's working. That oughta block her out... >>
"Runner on third!" Tony randomly blurts out for no apparent reason. "... is... what the secret codeword will be... for the mission." It takes an act of extreme willpower for him to keep his cheeks from turning red. "Or, maybe something different. We'll probably change that. It's lame. But... I'm liking what I'm hearing. Lots of ideas being generated. Lots of synergy. I knew I called you guys in for a reason."
"Let's hit this thing hard, and plan the ever-loving shit out of it. Pym, do you think you could work with Pepper on creating a software bug? And Bruce, I could totally use some... science stuff... get to work on that ASAP. Rhodey, I know you're attached to that stupid shoulder turret, but you'll have to do some training with the Stealth Armor if you want to come with. It doesn't work when you're firing weapons... so no shoulder turret. Jan, sounds like you've volunteered to run interference. And me... well... I'm going to have a drink."
Hank Pym blinks..? "I..yes, I think I could pull something together, but.. about us actually doing this? I mean.. we're really talking about unlawfully destroying this base? There's got to be someone we can talk to? Someone who has to see that what the sentinels have been used for is wrong?"
Jean Grey shakes her head at Bobby, <<Not right now. I will speak with him. He is an ass. But he is a genius. I promise you that. If he continues to be an ass. I may let you freeze his ass cheeks together thought.>> Jean sighs and says out loud, "I think coming up with options is better then blaming a team that is trying to only do good to protect the mutant community. I will start practicing on how many minds I can freeze. If you build me a telepathic enhancer Tony. I might be able to freeze the entire city of DC and we can go in and out and no one would know. But the more options the better."
Pepper Potts narrows her eyes at Tony. She can TELL when something's off about him, and he's just rambled WAY worse than she's heard in at least ... five years. Maybe six. But she does nod to acknowledge his asking Pym to work with her on a computer virus to counteract the Sentinels. Not that she really knows anything about computer viruses, but...
Bruce Banner raises a brow as he is simply told to work on science stuff. That is rather vague, "Sure. I can do that." he moves back to his seat retaking it. he glances over at Pepper a long moment and perhaps a little too long <<Did I just stare at her chest? No it was her eyes. Her eyes!>> "Eyes." he mutters to himself drinking some of his water. Looking over towards Jean he listens as she speaks. <<Nice looking woman. Damn it Banner! You are engaged! Though doesn't hurt to window shop right? Oh stop.. Oh shit.. Is she reading me right now?>> Blushing he quickly looks off somewhere else.
Janet van Dyne winces at Jean's suggestion. "I'm a little reluctant to endorse that particular idea. If the whole city gets locked down, a lot of people are going to notice, and it's going to look like there's a -big- threat taking down the Sentinels. And that's going to make it look like the Sentinels were a -good- idea. I think that should be a last resort - if anything, I'd put it below even pinning it on Banner." She chews her lip pensively. "On the other hand, it could be very useful to lock down -just- the facility. There are plenty of superpowers that could have the same sort of result, and it's not scary enough on that scale to throw a lot of manpower at."
Hank Pym says, "U-um, besides, what about people in cars, or people in hospitals? Let's..not telepathically freeze a city?"
James Rhodes chuckles, "Don't worry, I think I can remember how to work without a shoulder turret - I used to drive F35s, before you got the miniaturization bug, remember? By the way..you mind if I stay after class? I need to have a parent-teacher conference." Meanwhile, he DID get a brief about the comings and goings of the current roster before showing up so it might be odd that in his head, he's reciting a recipe for Quiche.
<<So he can be a brain-sicle,>> Bobby lets it go though, the air around him staying frosty. "Yeah, blaming us is a pretty dickish move to us and all mutants. Government assholes may label us terrorists but the people out there," he jerks a thumb towards the door. "We're heroes to them. Mutants and the humans that aren't bigoted assholes alike."
<<Damn. So glad I built these silencing systems into the Stealth Armor. I've had to fart for like... five minutes. Just got to lean a bit, but casually. Play it off like I'm just shifting my weight a bit....>>
Tony Stark casually leans to the side, as if he's just shifting his weight a bit. Nothing anyone would look twice at, and not a sound can be heard.
<<Tony Stark. Your genius knows no bounds. I bet I could totally sell this! Not a whole Stealth Armor, but like... Stealth Underpants! Dude, Stane's going to feel like such a douche when he finds out that my Fart-Silencing Underwear outsold... whatever it is he sold that made us so much money. Friggin' Stane...>>
"Oh yeah, totally. Getting the public on board with dismantling the Sentinel Project would be the ideal outcome. But if you guys want to sit around and wait until the Average Joe decides to stand up to the government... well... I'd grab a Snickers bar first..."
Jean Grey sighs at Bobby, "He has a point. Not put as gracefully as I would like..." However Jean looks over at Tony and snorts, "You are such a pig sometimes. I swear." Jean takes a swig of her wine and she finishes it off. "I am not trying to harm anyone. It would take me time, yet I could scan through a city. I could get those driving the ability to stop and fall asleep. But I am open to ideas. What I am not open too is blaming the X-men if this goes wrong. I would..." She frowns, "I would rather erase the entire cities mind then have the X-men blame. And that...that is like a cardinal sin for those with my abilities." She looks over at Tony, "Please understand how important it is to me that mutants are seen in a better light. It was why I joined this team and became a public face for mutants. Your powers are not genetic. To understand the feelings or things I hear even now as an Avenger because I am a mutant make me sick to my stomach. The X-men deserve better. The mutants in the world deserve better. We can destroy this program, but we need options and levels of plans. That is your department genius." She refers to Tony, "Prove me right that I believe you can do it."
Janet van Dyne raises a hand. "...Can I just say I like Hank's idea? Let's make this a real stealth mission. Sneak in, get comms up with Tony and Bruce, engineer something to make them freak out, and sneak back out. The next time they're turned on, things go to pot and the project gets scrapped, no muss, no fuss. And -then- if things go wrong, we go with the smash-and-grab idea."
Listening to everyone Bruce for a moment kind of goes off into his own thoughts. <<Give me science. Sure I'll wave my magic finger and make it appear. What if things still go wrong and I bust out of that suit... I can't tell Gene but if I don't she may get upset with me.>> rubbing a hand over his face he is rather making himself upset and this of course changes his breathing to a quicker pace. <<Calm down. Calm down. They will throw you in that damn cell if you freak out. Think about good things. Soft things.. Like Jean, Pepper, and Janet with fluffy feather pillows in lace nighties. All giggling and waving for you to join.>> shifting in his seat, "Banner - You just gave yourself another problem.>> he takes his glass pouring the contents over his head. <<Am I panting? Inhale.. exhale.. slowly now. Get out your phone app.. meditate and maybe no one will notice>> closing his eyes for a moment he sits perfectly still controlling his breathing.
Rhodey's had as much as he could stand, "You want a way to get SHIELD on your side without raising a fuss? Easy. It's me. I can make that happen. You know. Since I'm kinda..sorts...the boss now..."
<<These people... sharpshooting my plan. You don't become one of the world's richest men by being an idiot. They should all just shut up and do what they're told with big happy smiles on their faces. Swear to god, next person that questions my Perfect Plan... I don't know what I'll do, but it will be bad.>>
Tony gives everyone in the room a Group Thumbs Up. "You guys are awesome. Love the creative energy I'm hearing. That's why you're my bros. And way to keep the mood light, Rhodey. Amiright? This guy..."
The grin on Tony's face spreads, causing the sharply-angled corners of his goatee to blend together. "Look everyone, The Boss is here! Let's give it up for Mister Bruce Springsteen! Heh."
His grin quickly fades a bit, and he takes a more serious tack. "Speaking of The Boss, it goes without saying that we shouldn't tell Cap about this, right?"
Pepper Potts is in the process of pulling her tablet from her bag to start brainstorming with Pym when she glances over at Bruce and then does a double take. She watches the physicist for about two seconds before abruptly abandoning her chair to hastily rummage at the bar. After a minute she returns with a possibly unusual assortment of items: a cup of steeping chamomile tea, a clean hand towel that's wet but not dripping, a brown paper lunch bag, and an ice pack. Okay, that last was a wild guess, but if it's unnecessary no harm no foul. Right?
"Bruce? Hey, everything's okay, just relax." Most of the items are set on the table in front of Banner, but the damp cloth is immediately pressed to the back of his neck.
Hank Pym is getting out a tablet of his own and is just about to talk to Pepper when she gets up to see to Bruce. "Wha..? Oh. Oh.. uh...is there a protocol for this?"
Jean Grey nods slowly, "I am not as talented with computers as I am with bio chemistry. However. I can come as a back up plan. If things dont go as plan. I can at least freeze the entire base and keep them frozen. That will open the options to wipe things and what not." She stands and pulls Bobby with her, "I think I could use some air. Why dont I show you the rest of the base. The training room is almost as good as the Danger Room." She grins looking over at Tony and says telepathically, <<Make some time to see me Genius. We need to talk.>>
Bruce Banner takes the offer ice pack putting it into his lap. As Pepper lays a cloth on his neck, he is thinking if this might be helping or otherwise. Picking up the tea he sips it hoping this doesn't freak Drake out or anyone else but at least one friend knows what to do for him in times like these. Picking up the paper bag he starts breathing into it making it puff in and out. "Bye, Jean." he tells her.
Bobby Drake's eyes narrow at Tony and everything else going on. <<Jean...>> he trails off, starting to think of a little plan of his own. There's one thing in mind he'll talk to her about in private. He lets her pull him along though. "YEah, let's get outta here."
So, it's been... a day. Carol got back from the test flight she was doing with Ben Grimm for some weird DOD BS... classified BS of course, and reported back in to SHIELD. She had spoken with Deputy Director Hill and given her an update on things. She stepped out of Hill's office in time to see a nearby door slide open to reveal Agent Romanov. A grin spred its way over her face, and she greeted her old friend with a quick clasp of hands as she got the voicemail on her phone from Tony. She sent all calls to voicemail when in with DD Hill of course. So she offered Nat a ride to the tower. She had her Ducati parked down below, and she offered something she felt would be hard to pass up. Nat got to drive and she rode on the back
So, after the ride, the two of them stepped into the elevator and made their way to the meeting... strolling in. Carol sounds like she's at the tail end of some messed up story. "... and he actually believed me. I can't believe Grimm was that gullible... Pama.." she mutters, shaking her head as she walks beside Agent Romanov.
"Somehow, I'm not at all surprised." Natasha replies, a wry grin tugging at the corner of her mouth. She's as cool as calm as she always is, no hint of what she's been up to in the months she's been gone on mission. She rests a hand on her hip, tilting her head at the assembled Avengers. "So what fun have I been missing?" she asks.
Like a kid who's been caught with his hand in the cookie jar, Tony gives the two newcomers a look that's all kinds of guilty. He waves his arm quickly, and the video screen disappears. Hopefully before they were able to see any of it.
"So guys... as I was saying... The plan to sell cookies to raise funds for new Avengers Jackets is totally scrapped. It was a bad plan. Sorry Janet, but your plan sucks. And, honestly, do we REALLY need Avengers jackets anyway? That just seems excessive."
Tony rambles on for a minute, before turning back to the newcomers. "Oh hey ladies! We were just... oh... talking about some stuff. Nothing important, really."
Telling two women, who have both spent many years being part of the intelligence industry that... there is /nothing to see here/, or /move along/ is a lot like telling a seven year old, /You don't want candy, you want vegetables/. Carol... well, she just turns her head towards Natasha, silently giving her the.. /seriously?/ look before looking back to Tony. She folds her arms over her torso and just.. stares silently. It's like she's trying to wait for him to use a few of those brain cells in a better way.
Janet van Dyne rolls her eyes. "Come on, Tony, it's not like they weren't going to find out anyways. You know they're going to back us up over SHIELD if push comes to shove. ...We're planning to take out the Sentinels. We got tired of the Indefinite Detention Without Due Process By Robots."
Natasha Romanov returns Crol's glance wth a 'Not in the mood for Tony' look. Yes, she has a look reserved for Tony and his antics. "..Thank you, Janet." Natasha says coolly, crossing her arms and giving a hard look to Tony. "Look, I know you don't trust me most of the time, but you know I'll back any decision by the group as a whole. So, what's the plan?"
"Okay. Okay. Fine. You two are cool. But NOBODY else, okay? We can't exactly be the 'Secret Avengers' if everyone is in on the secret..."
Tony waves his arm again, and the screen comes back up. "Quick recap: Wolverine contacted us requesting help taking down the Sentinel bases. We're going to offer our support, but sneakily. I may or may not have already used the buildings scanners to take Natasha's measurements... so fitting her for a Stealth Armor won't be an issue. Unless you'd rather do this Old School. Spy craft isn't really my thing... but it's sexy."
Pepper Potts stays next to Bruce for a few moments to make sure he's calming down (and does NOT comment on the ice pack. Nope. Just not gonna go there.) then returns to her own seat and her glass of ginger beer. She doesn't pitch in, giving Tony to present the whole spiel to Carol and Nat the way he did the rest of them. Let's see how long it takes them to shoot the idea down. Of course, it's a race to see if that happens or if Nat leaves a handprint on his face first.
Once more not speaking, Carol just looks to Natasha again. The offer from Tony to do this old school... must be appealing to her. When it comes to cover operations, Carol has a lot of experience... but most importantly, she has enough experience to know that she should defer to Natasha's judgement when it comes to things like this. But... that last part.. she shakes her head, "I suppose you -already- have my measurements on file eh?" she asks with a snort.
Bruce Banner is feeling better and he puts the ice pack on the table. Getting up he walks over to Natasha not even asking he wraps the redhead into a tight hug. "Hey." he says to her rather happy to see a friendly face other than Pepper's sweet face of course. "This really surprises you?" he looks at Carol as he steps back. "he probably has every woman's measurements that are listed in the phone book."
Natasha Romanov's eyebrow twitches, just a little. "How thoughtful, Mr. Stark." Uh oh, Nat's not amused if she's calling him that. "I've read up on the Sentinel situation, at least what's known publicly. Have we identified their base of operations?" She uncrosses her arms, tapping a finger on her thigh. "No offense to your armor, but I think I'd do better relying on my own skills."
Natasha Romanov is surprised by Bruce's hug, but returns it warmly. "Hey, yourself."
"You know, I DID have JARVIS take your measurements a while ago, but it looks like you've been working out since then. I might have to do a... custom fitting for you, for that tailored look." Tony apparently can't help himself, but the popular theory is that he's never actually tried.
"But for the record, I don't just hand out multi-billion dollar advanced weapon platforms like candy. This mission has to have a set budget, or there's no way I'll be able to justify the expenses involved when SHIELD starts inquiring. Or worse... the IRS."
"Oh, like you've never used shell companies for things." says Carol. "Like back when you refused to admit you wore the armor and you had all those copies and such." Yeah, she read some files. However... she just gives a look to Tony like she was a Nanny and he was a misbehaving child. "As for multi-billion dollar platforms... I think I have enough weapons built in. You might do better to give Nat here some handheld or even wrist-mounted specialty devices for the operation. But.. I think she's right. When it comes to infiltration... you are better off using skills you know and trust rather than gear you've never practiced with."
She looks to Natasha then and nods, "If you're doing this... -we- are doing this. I'll have your back."
Janet van Dyne says, "I'll fill you in on the details - I think the standing plan is to plant a virus in the Sentinels' systems so they go haywire and the program gets shut down."
Hank Pym says, "But any information we could get.. that's got to be good, right? About whoever is supporting it? I..I haven't trained in stealth, um, per se, but I think I can mange."
Bruce Banner smiles as Natasha hugs him back and is glad she didn't stab him or something. Never know with assassin trained Russian women. "He wants me to come up with some science. I guess I can see what I can come up with." taking out his cellphone he types in some stuff and through the com system that Adam's Family theme plays.
Natasha Romanov smirks a bit at Carol. "Of course I'm doing this. Someone has to look after the boys." She shakes her head, red locks swaying. "Just give me an EMP modifier to my gauntlets, and enough juice to fry their circuits." When the Adam's Family plays... She can't help but grin. "You do your science, Bruce. Leave the infiltration to me."
"Okay... I think we've covered everything at this point. We've all got our assignments, and I've got a date with a glass of scotch with ice cubes shaped like Madonna's bra." Tony closes the display once again, hiding all the evidence of his Secret Plan. Never know when the wrong person will walk into the Avengers HQ, after all. "And remember, under no circumstances are we divulging this. Especially not to Cap!"
He takes the helmet from under his arm and carefully places it over his head. Once the helmet and the armor are connected, he suddenly disappears.
"Speaking of Cap... I think I'm going to put my new Stealth Armor to good use, and re-organize his wall locker. Later." There are no footsteps as he leaves, but the door quietly whooshes open to accommodate his silent and invisible exit.