2010-11-06: Not So Tricksy Technopaths


Theo_icon.jpg Tony_icon.jpg

Summary: Theo's just trying to get some work done when Tony appears at the mansion and they wind up having a long overdue conversation.

Date: November 6, 2010

Log Title: Not So Tricksy Technopaths

Rating: PG

Xavier's Mansion- Lobby

A large chandelier causes light to shine over the polished surfaces of the Lobby creating a bright welcome. A few wooden benches blend in with the wooden walls. A large portrait of Professor Xavier is displayed on the wall. On each wall is a doorway that leads to a different part of the school.

Xavier's school has been quiet for the last month. Half of the inhabitants are missing, and the other half seem to be rather uneasy. Theo isn't exempt from this condition. All the same, he has been working diligently on his studies, and right now, been putting the finishing touches on a presentation for Bob to look at. The door to the library opens, and the technopath passes through into the main lobby. His backpack is over both shoulders, and a single book in hand. The Evolution of the MTA.

It would seem that issues were befalling many this past month with some being more strange than others. Stark had been balancing personal matters, business issues, and duties to the world as Iron Man but his plate never seemed to empty. Now barely back in the States for two hours the ever busy businessman waded through a virtual landslide of messages then drove over to the Xavier's school to deal with several matters that had been percolating over the course of the past month or so. What struck him as odd was that the halls were fairly silent, and the adult presence seemed to be non existent. Having come to speak with Summers or Emma he has found neither so is wandering toward the lobby with his platinum blonde hair and shades. Rounding a corner Theo is spotted walking just ahead so the elder man speeds up his stroll to fall into step beside the young technopath.

Getting the sense that someone is approaching behind him, Theo turns around a little quick for it to be casual. He doesn't have a hunted look on his face, but it is slightly defensive. He does relax when he sees that it's Tony. "Crap, you scared me, Tony," he says with a grin. "Welcome back to America. Get enough Japanese food yet?" he asks.

Tony shrugs his hands out in front of himself, "Not intentional, the scaring you. I'm glad to be back and am heading to a steak house after I leave here because I'm dying for some red meat and potatoes." Still very few students have passed through the lobby which causes a curious eyebrow to lift up from behind the shades. "So who is in charge of the asylum at the moment? I haven't been able to find a soul in the usual areas though I've yet to wander my way to the kitchen." After a moments pause a hand is gestured towards Theo, "How are you by the way? I should have asked that before I went on about dinner and missing Headmasters."

Theo scratches the back of his neck nervously. "Well, about half the school is missing. Including both Scott and Emma," he admits. "Nobody has the slightest clue where they are, and only a little clue about what caused their disappearance. There was some creepy guy that showed up and loosed some sort of bad halloween movie in the court yard, then everybody vanished. They've been gone a month. So, how am I? A little weirded out, to be honest. Mr. Falk is 'filling in' while Scott and Emma are gone, but…I'm beginning to wonder if this is going to be permanent." He adjusts his backpack. "I don't really feel like something's gonna take the rest of us," he adds. "But then, nobody saw the first one coming, either."

A heavy sigh is telling enough and coupled with the shake of Stark's head as he walks over to the nearest chair to sink into might clue Theo into how the older man may be thinking. "I've been around awhile. It can be anything from time travel to someone playing around with a teleporter or a combination of the above. That is just an idea, and I know that doesn't help you feel any better but at least you're not off tripping the alternate dimension, if that is what it may be." No, Tony's not being very helpful at the moment but eventually he'll get around to offer his help. "Nothing has happened since the initial Rocky Horror revival?"

Theo shrugs noncommitally. "Not that the staff has let us know about. They're playing it pretty close to the chest. Except that Kisha came back. She's one of the other students. She reappeared covered in pumpkin guts, and doesn't remember a thing. Her computer was recording when she disappeared, and it recorded what happened, but that didn't give much to work with." The boy sighs. "So I just keep studying and working. I've been trying to help Kisha figure out what's going on, but…I got nothin'."

"It isn't really your place to have to worry about such things." Stating the obvious, perhaps, but it needed to be said. "I wouldn't expect you to sit idly by watching things befall others but you really shouldn't have to deal with your peers being abducted let alone spat back into the world covered in pumpkin guts." What in the world went on over here? "Did your issue with Selene ever get sorted or are you still fearing that you've a murderer on campus as well as this other situation?"

"Yeah, well, Kisha is really obsessed over it," Theo says. "I know I don't have to worry about it, and I don't really expect to get much to work with. But it makes her feel better that I try. Besides, with everybody missing, most of the teachers aren't assigning as much homework. They're busy trying to figure out what happened." He moves his hair to reveal that he's even presently wearing the psychic inhibitor. over his ear. "Selene hasn't said anything about it," he says. "But there's only two of us right now in her group, because the rest are all missing. I don't know what to make of her, really. If she's really as old as they say she is, then I don't want to be careless and let my guard down. I'm sure she's really patient when she wants something. I can't figure out what it is that she might want, though." On the upside, Theo doesn't seem to be as secretive right now as he usually is.

Tony falls silent as he sinks further into the chair with his head falling backward onto the back of the chair. Several students are watched as they pass through the lobby before Tony lifts his head to gaze over at Theo. "Well, as long as you're not paranoid then you're handling things about as best as one can in these situations." A hand lifts to brush invisible lint off a long shirt sleeve then falls to the arm of the chair. "I shouldn't take up your time as I need to find someone around here I can pull information out of. Can't have you disappearing on me and winding up over at the towers covered in pumpkin snot."

Theo seems to hold his breath. "Yeah," he forces out. "I guess I should let you go. You're probably busy as hell, being gone for a month and all." The teen's tone seems forced neutral, a little uncomfortable with the exit. "I'm glad you got back safe," he adds. "Hope you got everything worked out in Japan."

"More or less," Tony offers up as he's made no move to rise from the chair he's slouched in. "I did promise that we would do something upon my return and as there is no one about to notice your absence we could get away with venturing off the grounds. Anyone asks it is work related regardless of location." The first smile is given since Tony had startled the young man. "Any time you feel the need to break out of here let me know, kid."

The technopath cocks his head to one side, and looks a bit confused. He fiddles uselessly with his hands for a moment, as if he doesn't know what to do with them. "Really?" he asks. "Are you not mad at me, then?" he asks. Of course, that might say he thinks there's a reason that Tony should be mad at him.

Tony must choose his words carefully as he was not so much mad as displeased. "If I were mad we would not be having this conversation. I am however wondering when you might find it convenient to tell me what I already know. I've waited you out for months now, Theo. I am supposedly someone you claim to trust and /use/ for lack of a better term, you have not been very open with me and I find that I'm growing tired of waiting around for you to let the pink elephant out of the room in regards to your abilities at least. I do not expect you to give up your life story but I would like to at least open a conversation as you now know that I've known for some time now."

Theo finally sits down on the chair next to Tony. He sheds his backpack to the side as he does, and places it at his feet. "I was afraid you'd think that I wasn't smart," he tries to explain. "That if you knew that I could manipulate technology, you'd just think I was just using my powers to appear smart to impress you. Which I'm not," he quickly adds. "I had a 5.62 GPA back home. I work like hell and I know what I'm doing. I didn't want you to know because I didn't want to get brushed off."

Tony looks across his shoulder at Theo, "Did it ever occur to you that your job duties may have been tailored towards you to test your knowledge; your ability to learn? It is one thing to be able to move through a puzzle and another to be able to design, redesign and tear it apart so no other can figure it out." Seeing that they are relatively alone in the lobby and have been for the last ten or so minutes Tony turns sideways in the chair to face Theo while grasping at a booted foot with one hand to appear casual. "I'm not going to bore you with the why I let things happen the way they have. Of all the people you've met I am probably the only one that knows exactly what it is like to be in your shoes." This was not an easy conversation to have at the spur of the moment but it was important enough to hash a few things out such as Tony's position. "I have sought to help you in several aspects, and I'm not sure you truly believe that I see the whole picture as it were. I'm looking to the future, Theo. Yours in particular. Hopefully anything that I may offer as advice or instruction would help you make better decisions than I made at your age and beyond that. We're not all that different you and I."

Theo cocks his jaw to one side as Tony talks. "You know what it's like to be a mutant now? I'm a technopath. Anybody who knows that will probably default to the position of assuming that I'm good with technology because of my powers. That I'm not really as smart as I try to act. I'll always have people ready to discredit anything I do. If my powers were anything else, I might be able to keep them separate. If I was telekinetic, or had green skin, or shot lasers from my eyes or whatever, it wouldn't seem directly related. But I had to get stuck with this!" He gestures to all of himself broadly.

"Can you really blame me for not wanting you to know? Since you know what it's like in my shoes and all." He gestures back at Tony. He's not angry, per se, but it's true that he doesn't think Tony has that full of a picture.

Tony snorts, "You can sheathe the claws, kid. You sound as if you'd rather not have your abilities. Personally, I wouldn't be able to function without mine. And no, I'm not a mutant but that does not mean I can not understand your position. You do recall who I am friends with? The people I work with?" Tony lets Theo mull that over for a moment before he gestures towards the backpack. "I can't blame you for not wanting me to know but after all that has happened between us I would have thought you might trust me enough to let me know." The laptop in Theo's backpack chimes various noises as it is active, and being altered as the pair speak. Nice new Stark Industries logo that would be used for an upcoming event as a wallpaper, moving all of Theo's icons about to shape the mask of the Iron Man helm in the center of the desktop, oh and he's managed to clean up some disk space as well.

Theo knits his brow as he hears the laptop operating. He doesn't need to pull it out to know what's happening to it. He stares at his backpack for several seconds. "…fu…sh…" the choice of expletive he wants seems to escape him. "How?" This is clearly something that he never saw coming. But he knows Tony isn't using any technology to alter the computer. After all, Theo would be able to sense it. He starts thinking back to all of the times that he's used his power subtley around Tony. They aren't frequent, but they exist. "So…you didn't find out from Emma's sloppy lack of discretion? Have you always known?"

A lone finger is brought up to touch the tip of Tony's nose before laughter trickles free. "I would rather not discuss the /how/ in such a setting which I am sure you can understand." The laptop is reverted back to the way it originally was then powered down for good measure as the one change that Tony made would require a reboot to go into effect. "I've known since your robotic creation ambled up to me in front of the Towers. The other instances where you've felt the need to use your particular gifts only cemented things, Theo. You've yet to really scratch the surface of what you're capable of, and with your intellect behind your talent you will be quite a formidable erm…engineer for lack of a better way to put it."

A rather genuine smile sweeps across Theo's face from the compliment. He's always appreciated the compliments, but now he knows that it's a compliment paid with all knowledge in place. He begins to laugh out loud, as someone who has been intensely nervous does when they find that they can relax. It breaks into tears of relief, which he tries to stifle, and flops back against the chair. It takes him a few moments to regain his composure. "I guess I should've told you a long time ago. I'm sure I've pulled years off my life over this whole thing." He wipes his eyes.

"As long as you realize why you should have told me long ago… I'm not mad." Tony pays no mind to the emotional release that Theo is experiencing. "Hopefully this impromptu conversation will pave the way for things to be more open in the future. Hell, at least you know that you don't have to worry any longer and I can stop pretending that I know nothing." There's an honest smirk from the billionaire as several students pass through quickly as if to not intrude upon the seated gentlemen. "So," Tony clasps his hands in front of himself. "Seeing as the rest of this conversation should be had elsewhere, and I do not believe either of us are in the mood for anything technical at the moment. What say you to grabbing that steak and getting up to no good somewhere a little less plagued by abductions?"

The boy nods. "Sounds like a plan," he says. "Emma's not here to get pissed off at me for sneaking off. I'll even buy." Theo may be much less loaded with cash than Tony, but hey, what else does he need to spend his money on? Theo stands back to his feet, and picks his bag back up over his shoulder. "I'm starving anyway."

Tony slaps a hand down to a chair arm then hops up to his feet. "Hmm, someone buying me lunch this surely is a change that I'm not about to turn down." Both hands are shoved into trouser pockets as Tony walks with Theo out to where his car is parked. At least his arrival this time had not been over the top, and as such he had been able to wander around for awhile unnoticed by the masses. "Anything you've been dying to do once you were sprung? If anyone asks we simply detoured on the way to the plant."

Theo shrugs, "I don't care," he answers. "As long as it isn't looking at anything on this campus, I'm down for it. I've had cabin fever so bad I can't stand it. I went out with Rashmi on Halloween, and it just made it worse." He starts to put his book in his bag as they start toward the car, and then shows it to Tony. "Oh, I got something to show you sometime soon when we get back to doing work stuff," he says.

Tony has cast a glance Theo's way several times before getting into the car. "Rashmi? How's she doing? I haven't seen her since the craziness awhile back." Settled into the drivers seat the car fires up, the on board computer system winking to life, "We've got time. If you're ready to show me what you've been working on I'm sure we can manage to discuss whatever it is while we decimate lunch."

"She's doin' good," the teen answers. "Kinda. I think she's really stressed out with all that's going on. She's been living back at Xavier's while things get sorted out, so who knows how long she'll be here." He puts the book into the backpack, and tosses it between his legs. "I'm not quite ready yet. I figure before making a 1.5 trillion dollar proposal, I better make sure I have one hell of a good idea." He could be exaggerating that dollar amount. But then again, who knows until he actually pitches it?

"Might need to work on your figures a bit. I'm not quite a trillionaire yet but I'm working on it." Tony pulls the car around to slowly drive down the path towards the front gates all the while asking questions about various people that he knew that were attending Xaviers. Sadly most of those that he mentions are off Odin knows where at the moment, something that he should really take a look into, a mental note is made to do so later. "Though I am looking forward to your first presentation. I take it this has nothing to do with the arc powered car then?"

"Oh yeah," Theo answers. "Well, no. But kinda. I got the idea from the car, but at the same time, it's almost completely unrelated. As far as the car goes, I managed to beat its acceleration rate by 0.7 seconds. I used some fusion batteries from the laptops to bypass the arc reactor during acceleration so that the reactor can put more juice into the engine. After that I reworked some of the mechanical end by using some principles found in a train drive to get more torque. I don't think I should try to get any more out of a car that size though. I don't think it'd be possible to maintain control. We'd have to make it bigger."

The Audi pulls out onto the winding road that leads back into the city. As the drive over to the steakhouse takes the better part of a half hour Tony discusses the modifications to the car that Theo made. The mods impress the inventor and Tony takes a moment to point out that he would personally like to push the limits on another car that Theo is unaware of, however, the actual cars that will be marketed to the masses would have to remain within safe operating levels. America did not need cars capable of easily clocking well over a hundred as the statistics for crashes would sky rocket. "Bring your laptop in and we'll go over a few things. I'll try to free up some time this week to bring you over to the Towers and we'll talk more about a few things and then maybe we'll wind up looking at the other car."

The younger technopath grabs the backpack by the handle on top, and totes it at his side as they head into the steak house. "Okay," Theo answers with a bounce in his step as they head into the steakhouse. "I'll let Mr. Falk know," he adds. "If he objects I'll just tell him that he can't stop progress."

Tony is amused as he approaches the greeter to acquire a table. Once settled into a corner table with menu's splayed open on the table Tony pulls an available glass of water over to sip. "There is one thing I shouldn't have to mention but I need to make clear." The glass is sat down as he looks over towards Theo before the waiter appears to take their order. "Please keep what you've learned today under the radar, Theo. I'm sure you can understand why I would not want what I am capable of becoming common knowledge." The menu is turned around in front of Stark then Tony begins moving various things on the table around as if he does this all the time when eating out.

Theo nods. "Won't tell a soul," he says. "Stuff like that is private," he declares. A comment he's made before. "Nobody has any business knowing except the people you want to know. And yeah, I fully get why you'd want it quiet." He takes his own menu, and though Tony's rearranging of the table looks rather OCD to him, he doesn't comment. There's been plenty of revelatory facts for one day.

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