2010-12-13: Team Technopath


Theo_icon.jpg Tony_icon.jpg

Summary: Theo runs into Tony in the Stark Towers cafeteria. The two work on a flying car and Theo asks Tony to spend Christmas with him and his family.

Date: December 13, 2010

Log Title: Team Technopath

Rating: PG

Stark Towers- Cafeteria

//The cafeteria doors slide open allowing people to enter the spacious well lit room. There is a section for those that would like to relax on comfortable chairs while accessing their wi-fi connections immediately to the right upon entering the cafeteria. A small zen garden is located in the center of the room, and is surrounded by square dining tables. At each table there are four comfortable chairs, and in the center of the table a bonsai plant. The food itself is prepared away from the seating in a made to order fashion or premade food can be found in large refrigerators that are up against one wall of the food preparation area.

Eventually a Stark workshop where Tony works on various things including several cars of his fleet of cars.//

The main tower of the Stark Towers has a rather trendy cafeteria all things considered. From the zen garden in the center to the plush seating near the large glass windows, to the artwork hanging about the walls. All in all the decor gave off an air of peace and tranquility in a normally hectic building. Seated off to the side in one of the large chairs that surround a table with a bonsai plant is Tony. He's still dressed in a business suit from earlier with no sign of a tie and the jacket is draped over the arm of the chair. Perched on his lap is a cafeteria tray still loaded down with food as he's been quite distracted since his meeting with the security teams for the trio of buildings that make up the Stark Towers.

Theo has been working hard today. He didn't have to take one of his midterms, so he asked to come to work early. He has taken to a more casual dress since becoming more accustomed to working at Stark Industries. A button down shirt and khakis. He wanders into the cafeteria, already having exhausted his workload for the day. He wasn't supposed to work this many hours, so Bob didn't have as much for him to do. He spots Tony, and quickly shifts direction from the food line to join him. "Hey stranger," he announces as he walks up to the CEO. "Haven't seen you much lately."

Tony glances up from his tray of uneaten food to see a familiar face. "Theo! Come, sit a spell." There are open chairs near him as most veer off leaving Stark to sit by himself. "How are things? School? Other dimensions? Working for Bob?" The tray is sat down on the small table between the four chairs before Tony picks up the plate with the hamburger on it. Pointing a finger at the slice of pizza, the salad, and the various snack cakes he mentions that Theo may help himself to whatever before taking a bite of his burger.

Theo grabs the piece of pizza and grabs a bite out of it as he plops into the chair next to Tony. "Well, everybody made it back from whatever dimension they ended up in this time," he tells with his mouth full, and then swallows. "Things are starting to settle down with Christmas coming up. Most of the student body is panicking about their midterms. I told them if they had studied ahead of time they wouldn't need to worry about them." He gives a shrug. "Bob's got me working on this weird trash compactor technology. I think it'd be better to turn it into the shrink ray he really wants it to be. Be just like Honey I shrunk the Kids, and we can have a pet ant to ride on." He gives a grin.

"Oh? At least they made it back. Anyone else end up in pumpkin guts?" Remembering that you mentioned that happening when he was at the school in search for Emma. The half eaten hamburger is sat back down onto the plate as he reaches out to pick up the bottle of water. "Trouble always seems to thin out around Christmas time, which I'm thankful for as you can imagine, but I can understand the panic that is going on over at your school. Surrounded by a buncha procrastinators, hmm?" A long drink of water later he sets the bottle back down onto the tray and leans back into the chair picking at the hamburger bun to remove the seeds. A bit of a laugh when you mention the possibility of having a pet ant to ride around on. "I'm sure everyone would love to see their golf carts replaced by robotic ants that ferry them from site to site. Are you dropping in for something? You're quite far from RnD."

"Nope, they all came back and remembered being stuck in a bad horror flick. I'd only call them procrastinators if they actually get around to studying. Half of them never do, so they're just lazy." The teen technopath arches his brow and nods when Tony comments that he's far from RnD. "I got stuck on delivery boy errands," he mutters. "I guess I should've expected that, since I asked for extra hours. I'm sure Bob has more important things to do then just invent cool jobs for me to do. Though I can't think of what they'd be." He gives a grin. "So what about you? What're you doing besides eating a hamburger?"

That hamburger is now finished off as is the rest of the water before Tony picks up one of the snack cakes to unwrap. "Relatively the same thing I always do, save the world, or in this case New York." Of course he was teasing the young man but there was some truth to it after all. Slowly a plan began to form as he watched Theo work on his piece of pizza. "I'm done with meetings for the day, and there are no kittens to save from trees. Are you interested in eating up your free time bumming around the city with me?"

"Hm, lemme check with Bob." Theo pulls his phone out, and dials the boss. "Yeah, Bob? Tony wants to borrow me for a little bit, is that okay?" Of course the response is a laugh on the other end. As if Bob wouldn't know that there won't be any work done. "Thanks!" The boy says after given the okay. "It was really hard, but I managed to tear away from the shackle. Where you wanna go?" he asks.

Tony shakes his head as you make the call to Bob, but takes that time to finish off the snack cake and to pick up the cup of juice he really should finish off. When the call is done Theo is offered a roll of the eyes, "Difficult…" There is amusement there as Tony cleans up the mess he's made and pockets the remaining snack cakes into his trouser pockets. "I'd suggest going to the Giants/Vikings games but if I took you out of state I'd be hunted down and quartered." The tray is taken to the bin and once that business is done Tony returns to pick up his suit jacket from the arm of the chair. "What do you feel like doing? That arcade with the VR? Drop into that gym that has the sportscenter? Or…" and motioning in a general westerly direction. "You can help me take apart a flying car."

"Flying car." The boy doesn't even let the last syllable finish leaving Tony's mouth before he answers. "I wanna figure out how to make my car fly." He gives an eyebrow waggle at Tony. He folds over the the pizza slice like a taco and takes a larger bite, trying to finish it quickly.

Like there was ever any doubt what Theo was going to pick hence it was left mentioned to last behind obvious things that wouldn't appeal. Waiting patiently Tony watches in amazement as Theo powers down that slice of pizza. "You know, let me go get changed into something I can work in and I'll meet you back here in a few minutes." Not waiting for a response Tony walks off and leaves the cafeteria behind heading upstairs to switch into his real work clothes. It's only about fifteen minutes that passes from the time Theo was left to his own devices when Tony reappears in a pair of jeans that had clearly seen better days, and a t-shirt that proclaims, 'I'm not slacking off. My code's compiling.' Seeing that you're right where he left you a hand waves you over, "At least wait till you're eighteen before you mod the car. You can fly off into the sunset after graduation."

It appears that Theo has continued to find things to stuff his face with, like any self-respecting teenage boy would. He has a stack of generic looking sugar cookies in his right hand when Tony returns, and one in his left that he's taking a bit from.

"I already modded the car, remember? What's one more?" Of course, modding it for optimization isn't quite like turning it into the flying DeLorian, but those are just details. "So where's the car?" he asks. "By the way, what ever happened to that race car we were going to work on?"

As Tony walks Theo out to his car he explains that there has been a delay in the race car projection due to a few glitches that couldn't be worked around at the moment. The flying car he's taking apart is over at a shop that he has setup near the Flushing plant. It's in a secure location so there is no real concern about security needing to be in place. "I figured you would like to get your hands on something like this, and I need to take it apart to work on a few modifications I want to make so we're killing two birds with one stone."

"Sweet," Theo answers. He undoes his dress shirt so that he doesn't get it full of grease, and sheds it for just the simple t-shirt underneath. He puts the shirt on the coat rack as they enter the shop, and shoves his hands in his pockets as he examines the car. "So what are we gonna work on?" he asks.

What Theo sees before him is a tarp covering the car until Tony walks past pulling the tarp away to reveal that the shell has been removed leaving the car stripped down to it's working parts. From look alone it is clearly not a typical car as there are extruding pieces as well as an entirely different engine. What connects everything together is a very sophisticated system of connections, wiring, and quite a lot of alien technology. "We're going to disconnect the power, drain the cells, and then remove the external pieces. If we can pull that off rather quickly it's on to taking apart the engine itself. Before that though," here Tony pauses and turns the car on. "Take a look at it like it is, to give you a point of reference, that is if you haven't had your hands on one of these before."

As the car comes to life, the teen begins to smile. "Wow," Theo responds. "I don't even know where to begin with something like this. There's so much going on, it's like reading another language. Somehow it reminds me of the Danger Room. But not as obnoxious."

"I don't doubt that at all," Tony smiles walking around the car to pick up a tool from a workstation. "Think of a part of the car you want to explore. For instance, the connections from the guidance system to the engine." Tony slides into what used to be the passener seat, and points out the display, not that either of them really needed it. "Poke around in the software a bit. There's no real user manual to this thing other than me."

Theo takes a few steps closer to the car, and places a hand on it. Such doesn't increase the communication, but it helps psychologically for the boy. He finds the communications system, that's not it. He tries to isolate some of the parts. "Ugh, there's so much happening. How do you tune out what you don't want?" he asks. "I hear the guidance system, but there's so many other things happening…"

Tony leans back into the chair tapping the wrench against his thigh. "It takes a lot of practice to learn how to close down connections that you do not want. It is good that you are able to differentiate various systems from each other. A very good place to start from, then you can work on figuring out how to close yourself off from the open connections. Think of it like the LA freeway. You know there are six lanes but you need to be in the far left one to get to where you're going. Transfer yourself there and treat it like a two way highway. You can follow the path blinding yourself to everything to your right as it no longer concerns you, you either reach your destination or you must turn around and find a different path." To make things easier on the young technopath Tony reaches out with his own abilities to block the /noise/ coming from most of the systems so it is a bit less hectic for Theo to navigate. "It is similar to telepathy. Learn to create paths, learn to shield yourself from unwanted static, and such. It's not something you can pick up overnight."

Theo can immediately feel the difference. "Okay," he says. "I've been taking Addison's mental defense class, and it helps to block things out, but I haven't learned much about letting any of them back in." He follows the guidance system, and the system comes to life inside of the car. A map is brought up. A more specific after that. It backs out to the larger again, and then a route is placed. "It connects to the engine. It connects to the steering as well. Autopilot?" he asks. "Man, I always thought that'd be the best thing to add to cars."

Tony smirks, "One day when everyone can have flying cars there shall be autopilot." The wrench gets set down on the dash for a moment as he watches Theo concentrate. Of course Tony is following where Theo is and if a problem should occur he is there to assist but he's at a distance as to not interfere with the exploration. "The mental defense class will be good for you, definitely good. Once you've become adept at blocking things out then you can start to learn how to let what you want back in. If you don't have a proper defense that you can manipulate without much thought you shouldn't really worry about the other yet." Giving Theo a bit of time to move about checking various things out before he puts a wall right in Theo's path to keep him from delving directly into the power source of the engine. "Road block, kid. You don't want to end up feeling that."

"Just get a camera with some image recognition software. Poof, you have yourself a responsive system. Hey, what was that for?" he asks as he's cut off from the engine. "I wasn't gonna drive it." The boy wanders back toward the workbench, and hops up onto it.

"Didn't think you would but you don't want to be swimming around in there," Tony says as the car is powered down now that Theo has moved off to sit on the workbench nearby. "You've worked on cars before if I recall correctly. The right tool for the right job, and in this case I need to go get the containers that can hold the /coolant/ and then we get to the fun part." With a smile Stark vanishes into a storage room and returns with the tanks setting one on either side of the car just beside the headlights. Funky looking tanks that have gnarly looking connectors attached to tubing. The hood is flipped up, and Tony waves a tool towards Theo and points at the various connections from the engine to the coolant transfer system.
"Clamp this off here, then check the system with your abilities to see if you've blocked the flow. If you're not sure you can use the display screen. From there I can show you where to connect the tanks."

Theo takes the tool like a surgeon receiving one for operation. He clamps the system off, and does the check with his powers. Reading the display with his powers isn't too difficult, and he doesn't go to the display to double check. He adjusts the clamp slightly so that it fully cuts off the flow, and turns back to Tony. "So," he says as he waits for instruction on the tanks. "You don't have family around here, right?" the boy asks. Clearly it's one of those questions that's designed for other questions to follow.

Tony has clamped off his side, and is in the process of connecting the tubing to the regulator. Certain that Theo has seen where this is and waits for the teen to copy him. Once both sides are connected Tony starts the transfer process that should take some time as the car literally has to be drained. "Family?" It's a simple enough question but the answer always leaves him feeling a bit drained. Leaning up against a workstation behind him, "I'm the last Stark. My parents died when I was about your age, but I suppose you could count Pepper, Happy, and Rhodey as my family. Don't think you've met Pepper or Colonel Rhodes yet. I should try to bring them over to the plant when you're working." A curious glance is tossed your way before he turns to pick up a pair of safety glasses. "Just curious?"

Theo watches as the car starts to drain out the coolant. "Kinda," he answers, which is a no. "I didn't know what you were doing for Christmas…it's right around the corner, you know." He kicks his foot out in the air casually, letting it swing freely over the floor as he sits on the bench.

Tony seems a bit distant and he walks about the car pulling off pieces that are safe to yank off during the process. "There will no doubt be a Christmas Party orchestrated and populated by my esteemed PA for which I will have to attend five minutes of, and for the remainder of the holidays I will be sitting up in my apartment watching old Christmas films." Now on the other side of the car Tony looks across his shoulder at you, "Will you be staying at the school then? Or are you planning on visiting a friends?"

Theo grows quiet, and hops off of the edge of the bench to join Tony in the dismantling of the vehicle. He reaches out with his powers to sense what doesn't have any power flowing to it, and then grabs a wrench to uncouple a connection. "I…" he stops again, and then laughs. It isn't a real laugh, rather it's one of those laughs that people use when they aren't sure of anything better to say. "I wanted to go home to my family," he finally vocalizes, the final word like the pounding of a gavel in his head. "I wanted to invite you to come with me."

Seeing that Theo has jumped into dismantling the car brings a half smile to Starks face. Turning back to what he's working on he keeps working until Theo mentions that he's going to go back to his family. The tool in his hand is sat down against the car as he takes a step back regarding the young man with a surprised expression. So, Theo had decided to see his family? This was certainly not something Tony had expected to happen. So what had happened? Of course he'd overheard the conversation between Mike and Theo when they had been at the Flushing plant and had noticed the bit of information in that upload Mike had done.

"You're going to see your family? This is great news Theo, I'm happy for…." Theo also wanted him to come with him? This was even more unexpected, and Tony was left stunned by this. Not wanting to leave Theo feeling like hed step out on a limb and the branch snapped under him, a clearing of the throat later, "I honestly don't know what to say, Theo. Asking if you really want me to go with you would be an inane question as you wouldn't have mentioned it if you did not." Picking up the tool again he bites his lower lip, "Right. I accept. Mind, I might have to vanish if something comes up that requires Iron Man."

Theo nods soberly. "I need to tell you, though," he says to Tony. "Most of my family died in a house fire back in February. They were killed by people trying to get to me because I was a mutant." That's the short version. He begins to pull free another part of the car to keep from dwelling to strongly on the subject. "I never talk about them because my sister really wants me to come back. I'm worried that those same people might try something else if I go back. I don't want to lose my sisters, too." He takes a deep breath. "And I also need someone to help me convince them not to stop me from going back to Xavier's. Mary, my oldest sister, is a bit of a control freak." He gives a lopsided grin. "And she's married to a lawyer." Even better.

Tony slips around to pull a stool from out behind a workbench to sit on. "I am truly sorry for your loss, Theo. There is far too much hatred and intolerance in this world." Tony knows all too well what Theo must be feeling as a small group of individuals held fast to the belief that Tony's parents were killed by mercenaries that were hired by a powerful company because of what Howard intended to do back then. "Your not wrong for having the fears that you do Theo but one cant live life always looking around the next corner for something that may never happen." Wheeling that stool over to lean against the car close to where Theo is working, "Why me? Well, other than the fact that I'm a control freak myself and I detest lawyers."

"I can trust you not to get all weird on them and spout a bunch of nonsense about mutant powers equality," the boy answers with a laugh. He starts to work on the next piece of the car, but seems to have trouble, trying to figure out how to disconnect it. It isn't the software that gives him trouble, it's just figuring out how to release the physical piece that's his problem. "Crap, how do you get this off of here?" he asks, tugging futiley.
The teen technopath looks back at Tony. "But really?" he asks, "You've given more than I could have dared to dream of when I left Virginia in February. "I didn't even know if I'd still be alive at Christmas. Now I work for Stark Industries, I drive a ferarri that never needs gas, and I'm taking apart an alien flying car in my spare time with a famous superhero. There's not a lot I can give you back. But maybe I can at least give you Christmas."

Tony hops up when Theo's run into a spot of trouble, "No, I wouldn't get on a soapbox" Reaching down into the car he points out where the piece is connected then explains how to go about turning it to get it to come apart. "Bit tricky that piece is." Of course he would be willing to help Theo explain to his family why his education was important, and hopefully to help them understand a bit more of why Theo would be reluctant to be around them given the climate of the worlds mood against mutants.

A step is taken back as the billionaire inventor is truly touched by Theo's words. "You've done a lot on your own Theo. You're a talented young man that I'm glad I ran into by chance." A bright smile, the kind that Tony flashes when he's mugging at the cameras, "Being able to work with you is thanks enough for me. I do appreciate that you thought of me in regards to the holiday. I'm not sure you know what you're getting into having me around on a holiday but I will be on my best behavior." A wink is bestowed as he reaches up to rest a hand to your shoulder, "Thank you for inviting me." After a brief squeeze of your shoulder Tony turns back towards the car to start prying off another piece to toss into the ever growing pile of bits.

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