2010-07-14: A Volk In The Ventilation


Alessia_icon.jpg Connor_icon.jpg Tony_icon.jpg

Summary: Volk infiltrates Stark Towers to enlist the help of Iron Man in tracking down Ahab in the present time.

Date: July 14, 2010

Log Title A Volk in the Ventilation

Rating: PG-13

NYC- Stark Towers

The main lobby is the entranceway to the 93-story Main Tower. The modern architecture of the building itself is complimented by the comfortable furniture placed about the vast space with small glass tables between facing chairs for people to place their belongings upon. In the center of the room against the far wall as you walk North lies an information desk where people go to get directions. To the left and right of the information desk is a series of elevators.

It begins as a simple anomaly on the tower sensor systems… what would be a naggingly familiar blip that reads like a gravity distortion that Tony had seen once before about a month ago in Central Park. The next clue is a security flag is thrown up… two guards from the entrance floor are not reporting in. The third anomaly is when Alessia is finally advised something is happening. Six guards are not responsive, but their security badges are in use… currently going up to the executive level and Tony's office. Three of the elevators to that floor are active and going up, and inside all three cameras are reading as non-responsive… but heat sensors indicate one body in each.

Up in the office of the busiest man in the world computers are going berserk warning the man behind the desk that someone is infiltrating the tower. Whomever was responsible for this had clearly gone through the current system security in the building, the new setup that had only been in place since the last failure to keep hostile individuals away from Stark. As three blips on the grid continued to climb, Tony activates his armor, summoning the remaining pieces as he rises up from behind his desk. "Mrs. Henshaw," he speaks into the comm between his office and his secretary. "Yes, Mr. Stark?" Tony rounds his desk to face his office door. "Get the staff out of here, down the nearest exit. I have an unscheduled meeting coming up, now."

Alessia bolts for the executive elevator, entering her pass code. She's got red hair back in a low bun, in her usual button down and black dress pants. A button pushed. "Tony? Ah'm on my way. Somethin' ain't right. Are you secure? Well, ya know what Ah mean." Damn, this elevator never seemed so slow before.

Volk is not in the elevator currently, but riding on top of it as each of the elevators has an unconscious guard in it, either weapons and their security cards now on his person. Watching the elevator's rise up, he times his move to teleport just as he sees where the mounting for the elevator lifts are. Once more as Tony's armor goes in place the sensors register the blip… a gravity spike. Grabbing onto the railing, he looks down and waits for the elevators to stop…

The readings that were coming across the HUD of the helm were vaguely familiar to Iron Man. The disturbance is checked through his dataspine till he pieces together that the readings are similar to the bizarre disturbance that occurred in Central Park. The event that involved harpoons, man eating manticores, and a bunch of teens he never saw again, now flashes quickly through his mind. "As of now I am as secure as I will get," he replies to Alessia. "The staff on this floor have been cleared out. There is a gravitational disturbance that I am picking up, I'm going to check it out."

The redhead almost growls, before she's dropping her mental shields to search out for conscious minds she doesn't recognize with her telepathy, and even further with her empathy "Tony, I'm almost there. Just…wait."

Feeling the brush of contact in his mind, Volk tosses his best mental defense available… he starts thinking about the painful memories… sounds of death and destruction, watching his family vaporized in front of him, things to shock and jolt the mindwalker away from his head as he drops down onto the elevator when it stops. Looking around, he crawls over and uses a gravity bolt to yank one of the vent gratings free, grumbling to himself, "This was a lot easier nine years from now…"

Another reading has popped up on the display, not too far from where Stark was stalking down the hallway. A sensor is tripped in the elevator shaft alerting the man that a vent has been breached. "How very John McClane, of you," he mutters to himself. To Alessia, and the rest of the active security he says, "I've got contact in the elevator shaft, someone is accessing the ventilation system. DO NOT engage." The sensors in the armor begin scanning the hallway, the ceiling, the elevators themselves, looking for a sign of the intruder and coming across the bodies of the fallen guards.

Alessia squeezes her eyes shut, shaking her head as if to shake off the pain even as her stomach twists, bile burning in her throat. She lashes out, combating horror and death with guilt, fear, and oddly enough, a heavy dose of affection. Love, memories of sunny days and the feel of sunshine on skin. If nothing else, maybe she can confuse the hell out of the guy. "Ah'm on my way to you, Tony." She's not going to go crawling around looking for the guy when she can go to Tony to protect him.

There's another grumble as the happy thoughts roll over him, and then a smile, "Yeah… perfectly fine cramming my ass in a vent to get your boss' attention… really I am… but will you knock it off…" And stopping for a moment to listen, Volk pushes towards one of the vent openings, and pulls it up and out, flipping down and into the corridor and landing in a crouch. But instead of standing up, he remains still for a moment… just listening… or waiting.

Tony finds that his sensors are blaring alarms all over his HUD. The gravitational disturbance is on the floor, out in the open. Down the hall towards the disturbance walks Stark. The metal of his boots contacting the floor only slightly muffled by the carpeting. When he rounds a corner he sees a crouched figure that has apparently dropped down from the vent duct above him. "You got a problem with using the front door?" Iron Man asks as a powered up gauntlet raises up to train on the crouched Volk.

Now why would the redhead stop being so /nice/? Sending the feelings of joy, the first kiss, being told someone loves you for the first time, waking up with the person who makes your day worth getting up for. Doing her best to flood his brain and over-run it with the warm fuzzies. The elevator finally gets to the floor, and when the doors open, the redhead doesn't immediately get out. She feels out the situation as best she can, a burst sent Tony's way so he can know she's there. Back is kept up against the wall once she does step out, handgun already gripped, safety off.

Instead of making any combative moves, the man stands up slowly. The suit seems to be a composite of body armor and unstable molecules… interlocking strips of hardened material under a layer of UM, and over what is probably a light and breathable padding, with a micro-mesh like chainmail at the joints for flexibility. It's grey and black, with empty holsters and a pair of knife sheathes. "I'm gonna turn around… not moving… but would you please tell your telepath to stop pumping joy-juice into my skull? It's giving me a headache." As he speaks and with the closer proximity, Alessia can detect one thing for certain… the mind is not the mind of the body. It's the same, but slightly off… it feels older, broken and jagged. Volk sighs once, "Call it stupid on my part, Mister Stark… but I'm not exactly the kind of person you'd take an appointment under normal circumstance." The voice nags… it sounds too young for the timber and quality.

No command is issued to the security detail at this time. The order to not engage is still standing and at present the best piece of advice Stark can give the lot of them. As for himself, he is picking apart the wardrobe, the person themselves, all in the name of getting a better grasp on what he's facing. "I'd offer you headache relief but seeing as you've rather abruptly rattled my day and caused considerable /headaches/ amongst my staff I'm a little disinclined to acquiesce to your request." His position still stands as he speaks to the man before him. "Are you delivering me a summons? Come to toss me about because I hit on your girlfriend? I have to say I'm impressed with your abilities but the manner of your arrival leaves much to be desired."

That little anomaly? Now that she's close enough, Alessia goes digging through the brain, and she's not exactly gentle about it. Not that she's trying to be rough, it's more as if she feels rushed. Gun still in hands, listening as Tony asks him, in a roundabout way, what he wants.

Both eyes wince shut as the young voice growls out, "Chto za huy, suka… dammit… I said CALL HER OFF!" Not that he has the capacity to fully block, but once Allessia's inside… it's a mess. Mental furniture is out of place, the landscape resembling something between a post-apocalypse movie and a nightmare. As if attempting to focus her searches, the telepath immediately finds herself standing next to the man inside a cave… one that smells of dank mold, blood, gunpowder, and death. Ragged individuals using mutant powers and half-working weapons against an onslaught of para-military dressed mutants and soldiers… and… Sentinels! Their visages in view as well as people who have been altered with Sentinel-like material. But in the background, in a tinny, radio-like voice is Tony… Tony reading the declaration of independence… sounding tired and worn, but with some of the old spark. As quick as it comes, there's a sensation like a wolf attacking her as a mental voice howls «OUT!» and the man stumbles back against the wall, almost losing his balance.

Watching the unidentified man suddenly stumble into a wall causes Stark to move forward. "Fiore, let up on him," Tony instructs through the communications network in the building. If the man had wanted to do something he would have killed the guards, and had ample opportunity to unload on Tony for the last five minutes. "Who are you? Why are you darkening my doorstep?" No sense in waiting for the man to regain any sort of coherence. "Start talking."

Alessia pretends to pout, even as she is more than happy to withdraw. She'd share with Tony, if not for those damned blocks in his head. A light touch kept, empathy still open wide, to check for truth when the man answers.

Rubbing at one eye with the palm of the shooter's glove, Volk replies, "I need your help, Mister Stark. I'm from the future… ten years from now. Time is getting messed up… that incident in Central Park. You were there… you saw Ahab. That's Ahab from my time… taking kids from the past and fucking the timeline. He's here… he's after something. And with what limited resources I have, I can't track him. I'd have gone for SHIELD, but it would compromise certain things I can't make aware to my past self. So I thought of you. And classically… best way to get your attention was to do something outrageous." Even under the mask he smirks, "And since I can't turn myself five two, hot legs, and curly red hair like your girl Friday back there… figured I'd try to call out the Iron Man."

Tony actually snickers at Volks last comment even as he's crossing his armored covered arms over his chest. Why was it always time travel? Couldn't bad guys figure out something more unique that would actually work? With a heavy disapproving sigh, Iron Man addresses the still unnamed man. "So, you're bad guy dou jour has been traveling back and forth to take kids? Not a very smart plan but apparently he's succeeding in doing something otherwise you wouldn't need to be here upstaging my theatricality." Iron Man turns his head enough to see where Al is over his shoulder then focuses his full attention on Volk. "So he's back, and you need my help finding him. To what point and purpose? Confinement? To return him to his time? Or, more of a seek and destroy?"

Al tips her chin up, blue eyes narrowed in a glare. "Ah happen to be five foot /three/, thank you." Her voice as warm a a glacier in the northernmost Atlantic. She moves closer to being parallel with Tony, eyes still trained on the man, gun not slipped back into the usual hiding spot, muscles tense. "His brain doesn't match the body, Tony." She can't really explain /that/.

"HEL-LOOOO… Time travel. Keep up, gorgeous." Shaking his head once as the mask-piece is pulled up and over, revealing… a kid. He looks maybe 15-16, might be a year older. A definite babyface. Connor sighs once, and then smirks, offering a single-shoulder shrug, "Run me on your facial recognition software… I'm sure I'll come up in a search somewhere… but here's an easy one. Connor Blake. Current attendee of Xavier's School for the Gifted. You can call and ask the staff there… or anyone who knows me by name. I get around." Eyes flick to Alessia, and then go up and down once, before saying, "So… where DO you conceal your firearms in pants that tight?"

The man behind the metal mask is less than thrilled with Mr. Blake's current occupation regarding Al. "I highly suggest that you focus on the matter at hand and less on my counterpart." Tony is clearly not thrilled with a sixteenish year old boy eyeballing his girl. The files begin popping open on the HUD reveal that what this kid is saying is true; he's currently a student over at Xavier's School. Well, at least the body is currently attending the school, but the mind? "Ahh, damn time paradox things before I've had a gallon of coffee." Stark sends out a message to all staff in the Towers that the hostile infiltration has been dealt with and everyone can return to work save for those on the 45th floor. "So, as long as you don't do anything /stupid/ I'm all ears, for now."

"Don't you wish ya knew." Al said, that gun never twitching even as she layeth the mental smackdown. The equivalent of a good kick in the balls is shoved right into his pain awareness. "Time travel don't mean shit to me, sweet cheeks.”

Connor gives a small wince, but otherwise does not give any other indication that the pain is affecting him, but there's an arched eyebrow as he stands up, and then carefully divests himself of all the stun weapons, batons, and security passes from the six guards he took out on the way up, "Ahab's out there someplace, looking for something. Those kinds of things make ripples, no matter how good the abilities of one of his current Hounds might be at obscuring them. You've got access through the Avengers to SHIELD. And SHIELD has the biggest intelligence gathering apparatus in the US. This man wants to kill everyone with an X-Gene. That puts a good third of the Avengers roster on his hit list. And the ones he decides to keep are turned into slaves. Slaves that we only have one means short of death of freeing. And the process can work on humans too… which means a harpoon in the chest, and any of the three of us would be calling him Master."

The faceplate of Starks helm slides up and over the top of his head as he watches the collection of items hit the deck. As Connor explains the situation, the Avenger becomes more adjitated by the second. He had seen the harpoon tech in the park briefly, and is aware that several individuals had been hit by it before disappearing into thin air. If the outcome to this meant that anyone on Earth could be altered to do this mans bidding, he wasn't just going to twiddle his thumbs and wait to be the next in line. "I have this thing, you see.." Tony begins as he steps closer to the kid. "No one controls me, ever." Even as he addresses Connor part of his attention is diverted toward looking up information on temporal displacement, the harpoon, anything bizarre that had been recorded in the last month. "I need specifics if I am going to help find this, Ahab. I need to know what he looks like, how he operates, what kind of tech he's capable of using. I need it written down and given to me yesterday, kid."

"He's not entirely sure this Ahab guy's thing works on regular humans, but he is sure about mutants." Al says softly for Tony's benefit. "And what is the means of freeing a slave other than death?" She asks, a mild tone of curiosity.

Connor fishes into one of his pockets, and pulls out a flash drive, "Wrote all of that up last night. Everything I feel is safe to tell you, including design notes I'm aware of for the Sentinel Program. As for the tech… it's high-end Nanotech like I've never seen short of some Stark-Tech demos from around my time before 2016… and I'm not giving you any market advance." Chuckling a bit as he waits for it to be taken, "One of the X-men is currently the host to the Phoenix. This gives him the ability to alter even reality if he chooses. Ahab's nano-infection alters you down to the DNA to be loyal to Ahab… we've never been able to break one. We've always had to kill them… because even if they remember their old selves, the overriding program is Ahab is Master and Daddy."

Tony mentally shudders at the idea of having your entire being taken over by a piece of tech; it was all very Borg. A palm is offered up to Connor so that the flash drive can be dropped upon the open gauntlet for Tony to use later. "You sure you don't want to give me a heads up from the future? After all, Ahab is altering things, why can't I know what I invent in 2016? It is after all, still my tech." Stark is joking, of course. "I would assume that I can share the contents of this drive with whomever I deem necessary? In the name of pooling collective genius, of course. DNA is not my area of expertise, I hate to admit. Do you have a loose understanding of what you want to do when this guys found? I might be able to draw him out, but I'm not about to offer myself up to be his bitch."

Connor exhales thoughtfully, "First I'd like to get my hands on some weapons… The X-mansion armory is kinda bare bones, and it's not like I could easily rob a defunct SHIELD station like I've done in the future. Mutant powers can be canceled by Sentinel tech, and I always assume he has that available… so I bank on good old fashioned bullets and energy blasts to do the job. Personally? I want to find out what his plan is… and kill him. But that might not be an option depending on the circumstance." Nodding once towards the flash drive, "Feel free, but if you find something… I'd like you to come to the X-Mansion for a pow-wow. My partner, and a couple of the X-men are in on this. I'd drag in more, but to be honest… smaller teams are better. And…" He motions around, "Sorry about messin up everyone's day… but you're a fixer, Mister Stark… when problems come, you find answers. I'm shit outta luck right now for that… so… I took a chance. Glad it payed off."

Tony looks about him, tosses a glance to Alessia who is taking in everything that is being said, then returns his full attention to Connor. "I won't be tied to a murder, Mr.Blake. If there is a way to deal with Ahab otherwise I would suggest using any means necessary to contain him before you get that far. I understand where you're coming from, I don't fault you for wanting the man six feet under given what you've said, but there are some lines I can't cross unless pushed." Tony reaches his hand out to Al so she can take hold of the flash drive so he doesn't loose it, or crush it in his grip. "I will do everything in my power to track this man down. I will also make myself available to the X-men as well as offer my resources to that end. Beyond that, we'll just have to see what this situation calls for."

Connor holds a hand up again, "So long as I'm here, call me Volk. Mister Blake is Connor's father, and a hell of a lot better man than I am… will be… you know." Chuckling once as he takes the hood and pulls it up and over, obscuring his face, "Thanks for listening… maybe next time I can call ahead… but seriously… if you think about it, under any other circumstances would you have believed me if I walked up in civvies and made the pitch to your front door receptionists and security? Not a chance… she'd have had me thrown out."

Tony shrugs, "There are always better means to grab my attention. For instance, employing an X-man to contact me or even Mr.Fegenbush. But, water under the bridge, Volk." Stark kicks lightly at the pile of items littering the middle of the floor. "Why don't you take the elevator back down, and use the front door on the way out? I'm sure traveling via the ventilation duct is glorious but it won't do anything for your wardrobe."

Connor laughs a bit, and then puts a hand out to Tony, "I'm not the type known to be patient… or play well with others. I think the biggest complaint I ever got was I'm too much of a loose cannon, and I tend to get cocky when I have the upper hand. Fightings where I excel… not this stuff. When the time comes for it, you'll see better. Good to meet you… and… I'd please thank you for forgetting about this once I've vacated the time period. Connor's dad is a HUGE Stark fan. He'd never hear the end of it."

Tony shakes the young mans hand briefly. "It was a pleasure, Volk, even under the circumstances." With a side step out of the way Tony allows the man to have room to be able to leave in a better way than the young man had arrived. "I'll try to remember not to mention anything to your, younger self. I can't make any promises; I thrive on being fanned over." With that Stark sends out communications to various staff to return to the floor, others get a message to come clean up the mess on aisle two, and he steers Alessia towards his office so he can start looking over this information on the flash drive.

And after two steps, Volk simply vanishes from view, reappearing at a prepared escape point outside and across the street in a delivery-truck alleyway. From there, if anyone happens to look down at the right angle, they will see the Stargate-style portal opening up in the middle of the air there. Tony's sensors on the Iron Man armor however do detect the creation of an active wormhole nearby… a stable and functioning wormhole that's not sucking everything in from all directions. When it is gone, Volk is gone, leaving Stark Towers as he entered. For the most part.

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