2011-06-21: Diverging Ideals


Theo_icon.jpg Tony_icon.jpg

Summary: Theo drops in on Tony at the Towers to catchup and the two end up in a very serious conversation about Theo's views.

Date: June 21, 2011

Log Title: Diverging Ideals

Rating: PG - Slight use of language

NYC- Stark Towers- Tony Stark's Office

This office is a study in monochrome from the metal and black furnishings to the white walls and fixtures. The far wall directly across from the door is made up of large windows that dim according to the brightness coming in from outside. Along the left wall various impressionist paintings hang over a long table where Stark has several pieces of memorabilia out on display. Along the right side of the office there is a long black couch with two matching chairs that face a large flat screen television. A door to the private bathroom is nearby the couch. Just in front of the windowed wall is a semi circle desk, made entirely out of metal, that has a pair of flat monitors suspended over the desk by slim metal arms. A unique keyboard rests atop the desk in front of the futuristic looking desk chair. On the left end of the desk there are several picture frames. On the right end a set of books is held upright by Iron Man bookends.

It's a bright Tuesday morning in June. The kind of day where birds chirp happily in the treetops of Central Park, and the people flood the streets enjoying the weather. Those unfortunates that have to work for a living bemoan their existence as they sit in their offices answering calls and completing work from their offices and or cubicle communities. Surprisingly enough Anthony Stark is in his office well before noon and did not have to be dragged there by either Pepper or Bambi. He's been hard at work, one could assume, for a few hours now sitting at his desk with a dark grey sports coat on the back of his chair and wearing a burgundy dress shirt sans tie.
Bambi Arbogast is not expecting anyone to appear at her desk this morning though people tend to turn up from time to time checking to see if Tony might be in or leaving various messages and or packages for her boss. She types away while listening to some easy listening music on her computer at a soft volume unlike the rock music Tony must be listening to behind the soundproof doors of his office.

Theo is out of classes. More free time! More time to learn SCIENCE! His response has been to hang around the Flushing plant long after and long before he is scheduled to work. What else is there to do? Go bother Tony. The technopath teen knows that his fellow genius and mentor is often in need of distraction, so he has dropped by to check on the Iron Man. Proto is with him, but as a strange difference, the little robot is larger than he usually is, and even more strange, he's completely shut down. Theo's wearing him like a backpack, the legs linked over his shoulders and around his hips. Theo doesn't bother Bambi typing, and just walks past her to knock on Tony's door.

Bambi peers up from her desk tossing Theodore an unhappy glare. It's part of her job to announce who is paying a visit to the boss man and what the subject might be before letting them in. Theo of course knows this and that's why he's getting the evil glare from the elder woman before she turns back to her work. Tony already knows who's on his doorstep thanks to his abilities so there's no point in her getting bent out of shape in regards to the young mans bypassing her altogether.
One of the doors to the office swings openly slowly, And I'll find strength in pain, And I will change my ways, I'll know my name as it's called again…, the song cuts off abruptly as it was incredibly loud. Holograms scattered about the room collapse and vanish. "Theo!" A hand raises and motions for the teen to come in. "What brings you around? And with the cling-on?"

Theo gives a smile and a finger wave back at Bambi, as if he didn't know she was shooting him an evil look, before trotting into Tony's office. "Was bored, just thought I'd see what you're up to. I've been working on Proto, trying to make him a little more practical. Just don't want his curious AI to get weird with his new abilities in public." Of course, Proto is NEVER shut off, so this is rather different, not to mention, the bot looks like he's gained some serious weight. Theo unhooks the robot, and puts him down on the ground. "What about you? Thought you might need some relief, but looks like you're not really working anyway."

Tony leans back in his chair as the door slowly closes behind Theo. "Bored? What's Bob not doing over in RnD? Perhaps they need something new to boggle over." There are a few things he could pull out of his folder of possibilities and shoot that over to research and development to give the team something to do. However Theo's brought up something interesting that has Tony eyeballing the weighty backpack bot. Prying would be easy enough to do though restraint is shown for now. "Appearances can be deceiving Theo. I'm never not working." Shrugging the billionaire inventor motions for Theo to take a seat across from him. "I'll not bore you with the details of my work load. So, what have you done with your robotic counterpart? Practical to me may not be the same as what you consider practical."

Theo plops unceremoniously in the seat across from Tony, wearing a red tee and cargo shorts. "I gotta span my time out. Stupid child labor laws," he mutters. "Um," he glances over at Proto. "You know, just getting him to where he can take a hit better, maybe give a few back. Just in case of emergencies, like a guard dog." Theo isn't entirely certain whether Proto's technology can be seen by Tony while he's turned off, but that's his hope. "I figure you'd think that's practical, after all, you have a whole basement full of practical technology like that."

"Ahh, that explains it." Tony grins as he kicks his feet up on the edge of his desk then folds his hands across his chest. Dark eyes drift over in the direction of the deactivated bot as he considers whether he's going to poke around while Theo explains himself. "By practical you are meaning that you're altering your bot from exploration and tool use to something more offensive in nature."

"I live in a school that gets attacked by ghosts, aliens, demons, terrorists, and currently convicted mastermind villains," Theo starts to justify before any objection is given. "Everybody else can shoot fire, or use telekinesis, has spines, teleport, and who knows what else. Let's face it, I can't compete with that kind of stuff. I mean, what kind of superhero would you be without your Iron Man suits? You'd get creamed in like ten seconds. I'm just trying to keep up with everybody else at the school." Maybe a little jealousy mixed in that.

Tony sighs dramatically for effect. "Here's the thing," he beings already sounding as if he's had this conversation numerous times before and probably an uncountable number of times with himself over the years. "You have to watch what you're doing with your knowledge, your tech, etc. You may think you're doing something that is right when in actuality it's incredibly wrong. You've got to find what you believe to be the best course of action and stick firm to it while taking into account what impact you will have on everything around you." Tipping his head to the side he flashes a bemused smirk at the young man. "FYI. I've been naked in another dimension fighting off super powered people so that other part of your argument is invalid. You've no need to keep up with anyone else. What you need to do is find the balance between your gifts and who you want to be."
Passing a hand across his chin rubbing the fuzz there for a moment Tony slowly drops his hand back to his chest. "Do you see where I'm going with this? I'd be hypocritical if I told you not to venture down that path. I can only help to show you the pitfalls." The feet upon the desk slip off as Tony scoots himself up to his desk taking on a more serious appearance to his previous casual nature, "And remind you that I will not help you with that particular course of action."

Theo chews on his lower lip. "Last night, I saw a bank robbery. Guns, flaming people, rat people. It was crazy. A lot of people went to fight back against it. You know what I could do? I could run away. I don't want to be sidelined Tony. You get to be famous and rich, and I want money too, but I don't just want money. I want to be somebody people respect. My dad scraped and clawed his whole life to get by, and died with nothing. I don't wanna go out like that." He raises his arms in surrender. "There's somebody screwing with the school. A guy named Mindbender. He takes over people's minds, makes them serve him and do all kinds of stuff. He has a wife that makes him stronger. If I can make Proto efficient, then he can help defend us against the guy and get back the people who he's controlling. He can't mind control robots."

A screen pops up out of thin air scrolling through pages of information quickly then stills on a police report as another screen pops up scrolling as quickly until images of Mindbender and Upgrade are brought up split screening their history. In the middle of it all Tony narrows his gaze. "Your father did what he had to do to survive which anyone can respect. Did he die with nothing? I don't believe that. He had family Theo and that is something. If you're focusing on wealth, and power you're going to find yourself in a position that will bring you nothing but grief. You do not want to earn respect through either." Take that from someone who knows all too well what he's speaking of. "By all means defend yourself and others but watch yourself. I fear you're already walking a thin line Theo and you do not want to find yourself standing on the wrong side."

There's a huff let out. "Yeah, well they didn't respect him enough not to kill him," Theo retorts in a sulky manner, letting his chin drop to his chest. "Money and power might not buy happiness, but being poor and weak doesn't buy anything. What do you recommend I do, since you're one of America's greatest minds and all?" he challenges.

Tony counters, "Being young and vengeful will do you no good either." This was turning out to be another one of those cases where Tony could spend ages finding different ways to explain the message he is trying to get across and it will not sink in until the ears receiving the message want to pay attention to it. "I've already told you what to do, Theo. You need to humble yourself, look at the greater picture, and act responsibly. I advise that you use your considerable intellect to gain a smidgen of wisdom then act upon it. If that means turning your robot into a guard dog then that is your decision. Be mindful that you do not become that which you seek to protect against."

The teen grows very quiet for several seconds. Maybe he's starting to listen, but then when he opens his mouth, the focus of his thoughts becomes apparent. "So you think I'm going to be a villain?" he asks. "I've been trying to do the right thing, I'm trying to get wisdom, but maybe I'm asking the wrong person. I don't KNOW what is the right thing to do. All I know is that I can't sit around and do nothing. The only thing I can think of besides turning Proto into a weapon is to ask you for psionic dampeners again so that the people who can fight will be protected. Then I guess I go hide out until it's all over. Again." Not his first choice, clearly.

"No one knows which path a person will travel nor do they know if that individual will turn around and walk the other path. It is all based upon decisions and that specific persons moral gauge." Tony rests his forearms to his desk while glancing off in the direction of the deactivated bot. "You will know what is the right thing to do for you when you have to make well informed decisions. For an example I knew in my heart what was right when I became Iron Man, when I changed the focus of this company away from weapons manufacturing, and when I brought you into the fold to show you different options Theo. You don't have to go around blowing shit up to be effective. There are other ways that you can help others." Like bringing information to an Avenger who will act upon it, or to create something defensive in nature rather than offensive, or to focus on bettering the environment rather than seeking glory. "Think about it. My suggestion? Research force fields and know when to call for help."

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