The Hub
Like Clockwork - Printable Version

+- The Hub (
+-- Forum: The Hub (
+--- Forum: Hub (
+--- Thread: Like Clockwork (/showthread.php?tid=663)

Pages: 1 2

Like Clockwork - Christian Verglas - 07-21-2018

The room Tony let him use in the mansion was not a small one. In the end, Christian had pushed the bed all the way up against the wall (no one else used it so the limited access wasn’t an issue) and had placed most of his belongings in the closet to afford him more space to work. In fact, the room resembled a workshop far more than it did a bedroom anymore. It still hadn’t been big enough.

In a borough that housed angels, he had found a place; abandoned and unused, a warehouse of some kind. The power worked, though, and there was a long counter. It had been easy to bring tools and materials here, where he could work alone, unmolested and without the sense that someone might come to interrupt him. A place that didn’t belong to someone he needed to be grateful to even as he took the ONE THING…

The sound that gritted out through teeth clamped together wasn’t one would associate with the quiet magician; it was raw and filled with rage and pain even as delicate fingers gripped the gear he was placing into one of his new batch of creations. And if the brass was marred with a tinge of green light even as he worked, well, that was his orb, a font of power, but more than that, one of knowledge, a companion that no one could steal away. The orb was his.

When people thought of magicians bringing things to life, it was always with the imagery of a dank, dark place. Yet Christian’s warehouse was well lit, with small things from home littered about here and there. A box from his sister’s cafe lay on a table that held scattered pieces of porcelain and wiring, a soldering gun still smoking from his last stint at the table. In a corner was a pile of work clothes, the suit he’d worn over to the warehouse when he’d come two days ago was neatly, carefully hung up, ready to wear back to the mansion when he decided to go back. (He knew it would have to be sooner rather than later if he wanted to escape being in trouble or worse, questioned about where he’d been.). Against one of the walls was a couch he’d managed to purchase for a good price, worn but not yet threadbare and comfortable to sink into when he finally needed a break. The rest of the workshop held his tools, materials, and his…. Work. The creations he was still working on. They were so close to being finished. A handful of them, each slightly different, if devoid of the personality that Chris imparted to all of his creations. The cavernous room was a place of work and concentration, but it was filled with something of ‘home’ as well. Minus one thing. The thing he was trying so hard to let go of with the promise that it would be okay. That he could be fine. He could go on.

There was nothing of the man, the bodyguard that Christian had come to depend on so thoroughly. Nothing that spoke of the love that Christian couldn’t seem to ignore no matter how hard he focused. The only concession to that bit of his life lay around his neck, under his tee shirt, hidden from sight, acknowledged only when he reached up to feel it there, usually as he tried to solve some problem or finally gave in to the need to eat. He had tried, of course, to leave it behind. He had settled it onto a small piece of velvet in a lockbox where no one would be able to find it, hidden via magic (Funny how he could hide other things but he’d never managed to make himself be unseen by people..) and then he’d left, only to come running back to fetch the trinket ad put it back around his neck even before he’d left the mansion. What if he needed it? What if they needed him? What if…. (But he didn’t want to know, to think on it…)

Roughly, the magician shoved the gear over the rod it belonged on, all carefully measured and crafted to be a perfect fit with the same precision of a watchmaker. It was a violent motion, but it took strength to make the large gear settle into the smooth groove where it belonged, and where Christian was small, he was also stronger than people tended to give him credit for. It slid into place with a clank, and a whir sounded from within the chassis of the clockwork figure, but only momentarily. It wasn’t done, none of them were, and Christian returned to the counter to take the next gear for the next one, shoving this one into the same slot with similar motions as he had the first, down the line, each clockwork creation whirring for a moment before settling back into the sleep of those waiting to be born. Looking into the dark eye sockets of the last in the line of robotic men, he told them, speaking to all of them, one hand on the orb that rested in his pocket, “You’ll fix everything.”

RE: Like Clockwork - Tony Stark - 07-25-2018

Tony Stark- Well this version of him- was a paranoid bastard, one who’d just had a very intimate lesson with WHY that was a damn good thing, hence now no longer under the influence of the Stone he was taking his monitoring duties a lot more fucking seriously. Which is why and how he’d slowly started to catalog most of the stable energy sources in Hub- well enough that most were in rather broad categories until he could get his hands on samples to actually analyze.

But in this particular case...his drones had spotted a very familiar face in constant proximity to an unknown power source. Which...that wasn’t ominous as fuck was it?

The warehouse door slid open at his touch, light backlighting his figure; “Soo...we’ve reached the mad scientist phase. That's...interesting.” his eyes glanced across the clockwork figures. “And creepy, definitely like looking in a steampunk mirror.”


RE: Like Clockwork - Christian Verglas - 07-25-2018

Thing was, depending on how you measured energy, Christian himself was a consistent and stable source of it. Of magical energy, anyway. Oh, he ebbed and flowed, but it usually had a predictable pace to it; he gained energy at night, while he rested, and during the day he used it, only for the night to bring more, and so on. Sometimes, there were sudden spikes both up and down, when he abruptly gained or spent larger amounts of energy, but he had recently fallen into a sort of pattern with that.

He was, of course, immediately aware the moment Tony touched the door. Christian was a magician, after all, and while he might not be exactly paranoid, he did like to know if he were going to suddenly have an unexpected visitor. He hadn’t ever thought it would be the version of Tony Stark that looked far too much like him for comfort, though. He had expected Safi, maybe Belle, possible Steve or the blue eyed Tony from the mansion. Not this one. And the familiar way he greeted Chris was…

The magician stepped forward, between Tony and his creations still in progress, frowning. “They aren’t creepy. They aren’t done yet.” Shaking his head, he glanced back at the robots, “Leave them alone. What do you want?”


RE: Like Clockwork - Tony Stark - 07-25-2018

“” Tony walked further into the workshop keeping his hands tucked into his jeans pockets (for the moment) worn leather jacket half open; “Soo...why are we making clockwork robots? Because speaking as a purveyor of AI and robotics...this? This is a little unsettling.” Tony bounced on his heels a foot away from Chris, dark eyes ficking over the work bence, blue tinted lenses reporting back their findings.

“I mean don’t get my wrong. I’ve been there, course my army of robots was less gears and steampunk and more mycrolytics and circuits.” He bounced on his heels again, “And also when I made them I was part of a team defending the earth...and last i knew you hadn’t joined a boy band..?” He trailed off letting the question hang.

“So...kinda mad scientist-y.”


RE: Like Clockwork - Christian Verglas - 07-25-2018

Christian’s eyes never moved away from Tony, watching him as thought he thought that Tony would suddenly manifest a sledgehammer and bash his robots to pieces or do something even worse. He had never been a terribly trusting person; there were a few exceptions, of course, Belle and Safi and maybe Steve because Steve was Steve, he was Captain America, but they were few and far between. And he had only met this version of Tony Stark, what, once before?

Taking a single step back from Tony - too close - he frowned at the other man, shaking his head, “I can work with circuits, I just…” He looked at the robots, so similar to so many of his toys, “I like clockwork. I can still program them.”

Boy bands and robot armies. Chris snorted, “Five clockwork repair bots aren’t an army. They’re just meant to repair things. Point them at a project, and they’ll fix whatever’s broken. How is that mad science-y?”


RE: Like Clockwork - Tony Stark - 07-25-2018

“Ummmhumm.” He hummed our the not exactly agreement- “So what are we needing to repair that needs a squad of man bots?” He asked again attempting to delve into the why and wherefore. Of course if this kid really was him, these sorts of questions wouldn’t exactly be eager to answer.

“So-“ he leaned in “This is more than tech here. Magic? And-“ he frowned slightly at his display. “Something else?”

Tony leaned back glancing up and down around the space. “If you wanted workspace...could always come work at the tower. Have whole levels of R&D.”


RE: Like Clockwork - Christian Verglas - 07-25-2018

It was true. Christian wasn’t as smart as Tony, he knew that, but he was still smart. He might not know a whole lot of coding, but he knew some. He wasn’t stupid. The almost patronizing tone of the question grated, and Chris glared at yet another Tony Stark, thinking he was better than him. “Anything. If someone needs something fixed, they can fix it.” He sighed, looking back toward his as yet unfinished creations, “My life, if they can. Me, maybe.” He frowned, “Probably not, though.” Pretty sure there would never be anything Chris could make that would mend what was broken in him. Hearts were pretty complex, especially the emotional kind.

“Clockwork, some other tech things that I’ve picked up around Hub, magic, and life.” That last was the key to all of Christian’s unique creations. Sure, he made jewelry and trinkets, little things, that had no real life of their own in them, but his best creations, his favorites, the ones that were well and truly special, those were always imparted with at least a little touch of life. His life.

“Trade owing one Tony Stark for another?” Christian’s lips quirked, “He doesn’t like magic. Never said anything about it, but I knew. You don’t mind it?” It was an honest question; this was a version of Tony that Chris didn’t know about, wasn’t familiar with… A Tony Stark who looked like him, and almost seemed like he was trying to be…. Nice… “Why the offer?"


RE: Like Clockwork - Tony Stark - 08-20-2018

“Yeah again… ‘anything’ is really kinda on the OMAC level of possible creepy.” Tony bounced on his toes, “You do that AI litterature on your universe right? Open ended directives like that end with the humans getting ‘fixed’.”

Tony’s eyebrows raised at the ‘maybe me’ “Why do you need fixing?” he asked with resigned yet oddly sincere curiosity. “I mean you are a Tony Stark, that implies being fucked, just curious how that’s changed in a few months. Last time i saw you, seemed a happy camper?”

Magic? “Far as I am concerned ‘magic’ is just energy that hasn’t been defined by science yet.”

Owe him? Tony shrugged that's not how he saw it but he understood the comparison.

“Well in general I have a thing about nurturing talent, and since i’ve lost some…distractions, its a good time to add some, plus I can study how you manipulate ‘magic’.”


RE: Like Clockwork - Christian Verglas - 08-23-2018

Chris frowned, blinking at the reference. Was he referring to something from the comics that Chris had read growing up? Because if he was, Christian didn’t recognize it. “Huh?” Humans getting fixed. Not just any human; Christian. “Humans get ‘fixed’ all the time, Mr. Stark, it’s calling going to a doctor. Surgery. Why can’t they,” he motioned to his robots, “learn those skills? What’s to stop them? Perfectly precise machines doing what people can mess up.. Isn’t that the definition of almost any technology?”

Why? Why did he need to be fixed? “I mean other than the fact that I’m obviously a villain, if I understand your reference at all?” Christian snorted, “Or because even after everything, even after he tells me that he loves me, I can’t be with the person that I love because he’s with someone else? Some other, better, version of me that I could never live up to?!” There was pain, of course there was, but there was rage there, too, there was bitterness and confusion and heartache, “How about all of that? Is that enough that needs to be fixed, or would you like to hear more? I’ve never been a happy camper, Mr. Stark. I’ve lived my life as best as I can, and sure, sometimes I’m happy. When I’m with my sister. When I’m with… Him… Sure, I’m happy. But that’s only sometimes.”

Magic as energy that science hasn’t defined yet. Chris shrugged, “Sure, I’d buy that. I can’t completely explain what it is that I do, but it’s definitely energy, and when I use my magic, I spend that energy.” He nodded slowly, letting the idea sink in a bit. “Yeah. But it’s still magic, because I can do things that you’d think were impossible otherwise.”

Yeah, owe him. Because when you took up space in someone’s building, used their things, their resources, it was expected that there would be some sort of repayment or at the very least, gratitude. Chris didn’t really want to go from taking the space and resources of one Tony Stark who would treat him with disdain and ambivalence for another who would do the same damn thing. Especially not when he had a perfectly good warehouse with power and everything he needed on his own. Even if it was expensive and lonely. He had his work, he was content with that. “Talent.” Christian’s voice was dry as he repeated the word. Yes, he had natural talent, a reservoir of magic that refilled when he rested, but his magic also took skill, practice, to make work. He’d been using his magic for years, and refining his knowledge and skill for months now. He’d been trained in Tony and Wanda’s world. He had yet to figure out the spell to make him invisible to others, but other than that, he had come a very long way. “What do you mean by losing distractions? I mean… If I’m a distraction… How would you, um, lose me?”


RE: Like Clockwork - Tony Stark - 09-16-2018

“God don’t tell me you are legitimately this nieve!” Tony groaned flipping up his hands in a ‘give me the strength’ pose. “Fixed! Like you would a pet, kid! That's what I’m wondering about. Because take it from the AI king. Skynet is always one janky line of code away.”

Arrg! It was like talking to Steve! Tony rubbed a hand over his face. “No kid, what i’m saying is that we are ALWAYS it seems one step from doing something everyone else says is crazy for the ‘betterment of humanity’ God knows i’ve done it enough. And seems like the other Tony has the same demons. So-” he gestured at Chris. “Just hoping to get to you before you make our mistakes but in magic wand land instead of steel and code.”

Tony legitimately grimaced, paleing slightly “Yeah.” he responded suddenly quiet and solemn, “that's a Stark problem every time seems like.” Tony’s hand drifted out hovering over Chris’s shoulder. “We don’t get to be happy. Not for the long term do we?” his hand dropped slowly into place. “How old are you kid? 30ish? Learn from our mistakes. Let me maybe help you and-” his lips twitched. “Maybe I can learn from you. I never had a family not really. Mom and Dad died...and Howard well-” he shrugged. “Not super close. So-” he shrugged again moving his hand away not comfortable with casual gestures like that. “Maybe some kinda mentor or at least a cautionary tale.” he barked out half a chuckle “Someone better get use from my fuck ups anyway.”

Waving his hands Tony shook his head. “Different kinds kid. And besides I figure you are a smart one-” He smirked eyeballing Chris “Got the look about you.” he winked. “Eventually you’ll get what you need and-” his hands butterflied out. “Go forth and hopefully not make a magic skynet.”


RE: Like Clockwork - Christian Verglas - 09-19-2018

Okay, Chris sort of hated labels. He also loathed being mocked or made fun of. Naive. No, he wasn’t. He was well aware of the horrors of the world, he just.. Hadn’t realized what Mr. Stark was saying! “I don’t know what a sky net is or what code has anything to do with it, but the way you say it makes it not sound very helpful or nice.” And his creations were always meant to be both. Sometimes they weren’t really useful, but they were always nice!

With a sigh, Christian shook his head, but didn’t say anything. He might not want to be another Tony Stark, to have to consider the fact that as much as he found the man frustrating, they were fundamentally the same. That he just wasn’t the best version of himself, that he could have done so much better, that he was a pale copy in a world that honestly could have used a better version. An Iron Man version.

Imagine Gotham with Iron Man. Or Keystone. Or Bludhaven. Or the whole dang world!

He could have, should have, done so much better.

He looked up after he answered Tony, watching the man’s reaction without much expression. Happiness thus far in his life had been fleeting; something he felt primarily around two very specific people. The people he loved the best; the people his fascinating magical amulet allowed him to keep track of. When Tony’s hand dropped onto his shoulder, Christian was still a little bit tense, shoulders pulled taut, but as Tony asked about his age, as he empathized, his shoulders sagged, and he breathed out, “Yeah.” He looked up at him, “I never knew my parents. Belle is.. My sister, but not by blood. She’s just… I’ve never been without her.” Howard Stark had been a shit father. That’s what Chris knew from his comics, but he wasn’t sure that those were accurate, especially with a Tony Stark that had brown hair and eyes instead of black and blue.

Looking at Tony now with eyes that were more hopeful than suspicious, Chris told him, “I am smart. I upgraded Jonah… He’s at the mansion now, but you’ll see. He can fly now.” Because a flying vacuum might not make sense, but Jonah had deserved the extra mobility. He smiled at Tony, “Still not sure why you’d need something like that…”


RE: Like Clockwork - Tony Stark - 10-13-2018

“My kingdom for a common cultural reference.” he muttered rubbing his head; “It’s like Steve all over again.” heh wouldn’t that be funny. Except not.

“Family isn’t blood kid.” Tony agreed very seriously sincere, “Family is the idiots who keep you straight, that you can’t shake no matter what you do, and who you’ll go blind building something to fix them, or even just make them smile when they are hurting.”

Tony raised a eyebrow “who says I need it?but the world might.” His shoulders raised and lowered. “That’s part of what I and the Stark Foundation do; support and encourage smart kids.”


RE: Like Clockwork - Christian Verglas - 10-13-2018

A common cultural reference. “I’m sorry?” Because he had no idea what the reference had been to, but if he’d had it in his world he would have gotten it! Maybe. Okay, probably not, because really the most relevant thing he knew was the cake slayer.. And it was fairly likely that Tony wouldn’t know what that was. Chris sighed as his shoulders lifted and fell again slightly, “I don’t know if we’ll have one we both understand?”

The smile that slowly curled Christian’s lips up at the edges was genuine as he considered his tiny family. “Exactly.” He considered his sister; he’d do anything, go anywhere to save her. He had followed her to the end of a world and fought a magician far more powerful than he was to free her. And there was Safi, for whom Chris would sacrifice nearly anything to make sure he was safe and happy.

Chris was following Tony right up until he finished speaking. “Except that I’m not a kid…”


RE: Like Clockwork - Tony Stark - 10-13-2018

Tony just waved a hand spastically in Chris’s direction, “Close enough, sides I’m old enough to be your dad.” he snorted half amused at the thought. To say that Tony had been introduced to the perks of being a Stark young was an understatement.

“So we sponsor you; get you what you need to go heads down with out worrying about distractions and see what good for the world or worlds in this case you can come up with-” Tony shrugged again. “I’m not in it for more patents, or to steal your work. But that-” he pointed a spanner he’d picked up to play with at Johna, “Is something special. Magic, tech, whatever mix he is...well think about it. A AI that can form attachments, be a helper, for people that need that extra hand or might be living alone.” Tony’s motions grew more abrupt as some of his passion channeled into his speech, “It’s better than a AI on a phone or in the house, because he’s mobile, we can switch up the chassis to something more consumer friendly as needed. Puppy, kitten-” his fingers flicked out. “Cute UFO thing. Tiny Ironman. Who cares. The point is he could not just save lives, but make them better.” There was fire in his eyes. “Just one idea for what you are already building. Now imagine what we could do if all you had to was dream up more inventions?”


RE: Like Clockwork - Christian Verglas - 10-15-2018

Close enough? He was going to be… Chris frowned, “Really, I’m not sure that’s accurate. You can’t be more than… What, maybe forty-five? I’m going to be thirty-two. I suppose it’s not impossible, but it’s not very likely, either.”

Sponser. Chris froze at the words. He understood what companies might do in that sort of situation. Not only would they try to take production of his creations out of his hands, but they would try to mass produce whatever he made, and Jonah… “He,” Christian corrected, “Jonah is a he, not a that or an it.” The little roomba hovered close to his creator, beeping gently to the magician.

Thing was, though, with the new understanding of magic that Christian had, he could adapt. Like Tony said, a mixture of magic and technology. An AI that could feel and form attachments. Glancing back over his shoulder to the robots that stood motionless, Christian’s mind whirled. More AI, less hopeful magic, maybe. Huh. Chris turned his gaze back to Tony, eyes cautious, shrewd, “And when I make something you like? When you decide to mass produce something that takes magic to make?” The idea of being to spend his days making things, creating prototypes that would help people live better, more fulfilling lives, was one hell of a dream, but he wasn’t sure how Tony would be able to mass produce magic.

There was also the worry that he’d lose any and all control over what was made, how much… And that idea was scary.


RE: Like Clockwork - Tony Stark - 11-10-2018

“Part of what we figure out.” Tony waved a hand to dismiss the problem, “the other guy-“ meaning the other Tony- “‘s played the magic game before so I know it’s possible. And-“ Tony spread his hands the charismatic grin that had drawn people to him since he was a kid following the motion. “That’s more than I need. Part of R&D is figuring out how to take what works on the small scale and pushing it out to be assessable to the mass consumer.” Tony’s eyes warmed with genuine warmth- “ he-“ he corrected himself- “is special and I’d love to Introduce him to my first AI’s.” He had the feeling Chris would be able to appreciate just what U and Dummy stood for; both as prototypes that had never been ‘fixed’ and for their own unique charms.


RE: Like Clockwork - Christian Verglas - 11-13-2018

Small to large scale. That was what Christian was concerned about. Sure, some of his things, the camera automatons, the ones that just danced or played or whatnot, those weren’t problems. They didn’t take all that much magic to create, though they’d take more to make them last longer, but… “What if I make something, discover something, that I don’t want made available to the mass consumer, Tony?” He looked at the other man steadily, brown eyes meeting identical if older brown eyes, “Do I get to say no then, even if you’re...sponsoring me?” Magic had a price, it always had a price, and Christian didn’t want to become little more than a battery. That was frightening. More than frightening.

Jonah was special. Christian’s entire face softened when they discussed the little roomba. Special was right. But he was especially special to Chris. And Tony wanted to introduce him to his first AI’s. Grinning, Chris stepped closer to Tony, nodding, “O...okay. Jonah could definitely use friends.” He was still cautious, still concerned, but at the same time it was hard to say no to something like this, something that could be such a great opportunity for his little friend. “I think we’d like that,” he affirmed to Tony even as Jonah launched into a series of happy and excited beeps and soft whirling sounds.


RE: Like Clockwork - Tony Stark - 12-01-2018

Tony’s dark brown eyes, identical in color if deeper with age than Chris’s met the younger mans- “We keep it. you keep it. The world is a fantastic place, but we have our own horror stories about tech taken out of control. Ethical development is our first duty to the world and yourself as engineers, sometimes the answer to ‘can i do this’ is really ‘should i do this.’” and damn if it hadn’t taken him some painful years to solidify that as more than a logo stamped on his letterhead.

“The way I work. I give you the space and money, time and resources, we meet every few weeks to work through any blocks, see if anything is further developable by other teams, or if anything needs to be...looked at far more carefully.” Tony shifted his weight crossing his arms, “Genines never go back into the bottle, something once discovered will be found again. I don’t believe in suppression, i believe in proactive threat management. You find out that there's a potential Grey Goo scenario in some of your work? We don’t shove it under the cabinet and hope for the best, we figure out how to stop it when someone else creates it by accident or malicious intent.”

“Plastic, Nuclear energy, both were created in wartime through defence funding, both could have been and were hailed as miracles but there was no time given to thoroughly explore the ramifications of mass production.” The point Tony was trying to make he hoped was clear, he wouldn’t hot house any process, not and risk another Chernobyl on his conscious in twenty years. He already had enough nightmares.

Tony Grinned, “Good, sounds like a plan than-” he was holding out his hand when the roof fell down on them.


RE: Like Clockwork - Christian Verglas - 12-08-2018

Christian’s expression lightened, relief softening his face into a small but geniune smile. It was true that just because a person could do something didn’t mean that they should do it. He and Tony were in agreement on that. He shifted, looking over at his clockwork droids, “Magic takes energy. Mass production will be…” Exhausting. Difficult. Rough. “Complicated. Unless you have a source of energy that can be tapped into to use.” It was why he couldn’t expand his crafting past what he did now.

Space, time, resources…. He didn’t want to just make more and more Jonah’s, he wanted to make different things; Jonah was…. He was Jonah. But it was nice to hear Tony’s explanation of how he would approach a worst-case scenario. That didn’t mean the idea of being responsible for something like that happening didn’t care the ever loving bejeesus out of him. Eyes wide, Chris shook his head, “Let’s hope that never, ever happens, though.” He considered, “What if I can’t come up with anything? If I just…. Run out of ideas?” That was an honest concern; as a PA if Christian ever became less than the sharpest edge he would find himself in dire straits.

With a smile at Tony’s seeming acceptance, Chris relaxed a little bit. A place, a comfortable, controlled environment to work in, somewhere magic would be accepted and even was almost too good to be true. “I have no idea what to say, Mr. Stark,”. But Christian had reached to take the offered hand even as the world crumbled down around them.

A chunk of the building’s ceiling fell, striking Christian’s outstretched arm, causing the man to look up in confusion, the realization that the warehouse that had become his workshop was falling apart registered before he even processed what he was seeing, something deep within him screaming the danger at him. The magician’s response was immediate; his free hand whipping out a small piece of metal that Chris clutched far more calmly than he had any right to be in the moment. He stepped into Tony’s space as he clasped his hand, keeping them close together.

The building collapsed down around them, but Tony and Christian would find themselves relatively unharmed, a small pocket in the midst of the destruction forming around them. “I’ve got you, got both of us, just don’t move.” The words were spoken tightly, forced through the focus that Christian put into the spell.


RE: Like Clockwork - Tony Stark - 12-23-2018

Tony nodded at the ‘magic takes energy’ comment, he’d already factored that into his mental calculations, it was just a matter of ‘how’ “We’ll investigate what we can adapt or invent to lessen the burden on your personal...magic.” he really really tried to say the word evenly and not add on his lingering personal issues with the word/concept.

“Hope for the best. Plan for the worst...than overplan. That's how Starks survive.” and when they didn’t they got murdered by brainwashed assassin super soldiers and took innocents with them. Thanks Dad.

Tony half shrugged at Chris’s concern-”We’ll set up a rotating cumulative sabbatical period in your contract, rest and refresh, hell even coming to Hub to learn from other people in your discipline is part of ‘work’. If or when you need that rest time you take it, if you’re gone more than a year than we need to have a sit down.” casual? Kinda. But if Chris really was a Tony Stark, Tony didn’t expect it to be a problem, and if he was being brutally logical, the kind of advancements a ‘magical’ version of him could create? Combined with the tech and information Tony was bringing back from Hub? Creatures like Thanos would never be able to even contemplate harming his world again.

“Well hopefully ‘Yes.’” Tony quipped-

The building was falling and Tony’s first instinct was to summon his armor- the nanties spilled out from the housing unit hidden under his shirt, but even their slide seemed to go at a crawl compared to the rubble pouring down ready to crush them into tiny red pulp.

Tony was getting really sick of buildings falling on him.

‘I’ve got you, got both of us, just don’t move-’

Chris’s voice was warped, distorted by half built helmet, deeping it, layering it-

It hit Tony like sharpnel to chest, the poise, the voice, the command freezing him into submission-