2010-09-08: Teenage Technopath Troubles


Emma_icon.jpg Tony_icon.jpg

Summary: Emma calls up Tony to have an impromptu meeting about Theo's current state of affairs with those at Xaviers.

Date: September 8. 2010

Log Title: Teenage Technopath Troubles

Rating: PG

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. //

In the world of hands free technology, people may as well be telepathic, but one Emma Frost likes to indulge both in matters she considers important. In her white Mercedes, and currently at a light about six blocks from Stark Tower, the woman near-whispers to her car, "Dial Anthony Stark." To which the monitor display that is normally used for GPS, car data, and others turns to a video-link screen as a voice that sounds suspiciously like Anthony Head of Buffy fame says 'Dialing and Connecting, Ma'am.'.

Over at the Towers the employees were dealing with the midweek slow down as most were tired of the daily grind, and others were off finding busywork. Always the exemption to the rules of the workplace the CEO was sitting up in his office working on something that had nothing to do with Stark Industries. When the incoming call came in Tony leaned back in his chair with a lone eyebrow quirking up curiously as the information of the caller was given. "You've reached Tony Stark on this Wednesday afternoon. How may I be of assistance?"

The reply comes a bit more trite than should be considered polite in some cases as Emma says, "Have Miss Potts clear me thirty minutes of your time, five minutes from now please Anthony… I apologize for the seeming ambush, but I needed to speak to you before a mutual associate of our does." Pulling out from the light, the engine growls like a feral hunting cat as she cuts off two cabbies with a smooth flick of her hand, and the honking can be heard in the background. As usual however, her face remains serene, "Christ and the Lord, give me the autobahn any day of the week…" Muttered just loud enough for Tony to hear it.

"I prefer the open road but there is some fun to be had in dodging through cars on narrow streets but I digress," Tony sighs as he turns his chair about to look out of the dimmed window behind his desk. "As it is, I am available for the next hour so feel free to simply come upstairs to my office. 43rd floor, Mrs. Arbogast will be sitting at the large desk just outside my office."

"Be there in three, Anthony, and thank you…" And true to her word, not three minutes from the time the videophone disconnects, Mrs. Abrogast is signalling you that someone is here. Today Emma seems to have dressed down slightly, but only slightly. The tight and conforming wear of the X-peoples has been replaced with a silver-white pantsuit that looks silk and cut nicely to conform to her body. Stepping in on low-heels, she smiles and nods to the secretary, before moving towards you, "I'll get to the point, Anthony… it has to do with one Theodore Fegenbush."

As Tony was not needed for any sort of external meeting today he appears in a sort of hodgepodge of his personal style. The suit itself is bone with a dark grey button up shirt that is covered by a deep burgundy sweater vest. He has risen from his desk to greet Emma and wave her toward one of the open chairs in front of his desk. "I appreciate the break from the formalities," He states as he walks back around his desk to recline in his chair. "Has something occurred with Theo since the last I saw him?" The man's concern is evident in the way he regards Emma with a cautiously neutral expression that masks his deep concern for the young man.

Emma settles into the proffered seat in the usual fashion, not so much moving to sit, as seeming to just occupy the space as if it was always her's. One leg primly crosses over the other as her hands settle on the handrests, and her head tilts slightly. The white-framed shades are removed, revealing her eyes as the yellow-range specs are put into a pocket, "I need to know the nature of your arrangement… whatever level it might be… with Mister Fegenbush is. An incident has occurred on campus that may affect whatever ties you may have with him on a temporary basis."

Tony has rested his palms to the surface of the desk. "Strictly on a professional basis I can inform you of his employment here at Stark Industries. He is on the payroll as a member of my Research and Development team at the Flushing plant." Idly the fingertips of his left hand drum lightly against the smooth desk surface. "I trust that I am allowed to keep personal matters out of the equation unless this /incident/ is severe enough to keep him from contacting me."

One finger goes up to tap the side of her head, "Theodore Fegenbush attempted to pass a forged document through our staff to apply for driving instruction." Her tone cool, and distant from it's usual severe sense of wit, "Before this, I was willing to let things stay as they were, given some of our students end up in interesting positions… but he is still a minor, and lacking any parental permission, and his dubious status… I now find myself having to check on all his activities, and the legality thereof. The last thing either of us wants is a lawsuit, or worse… some civil action group turning this into a media issue." Emma then sighs, and shakes her head, a couple forelocks draping one eye, "You were aware that he is only sixteen, correct?"

At least this situation seemed relatively minor in comparison to other events that have taken place around Theo. Part of Tony was amused at Theo's attempt to circumvent the system. Of course he would be having a word with Theo about it but probably not what one would expect from a responsible elder. "I was aware of his age early on, and withheld offering him a position here until he was legally able to work here. As it is also legal to drive at 16 in this state I saw no real issue until now. Is there any reason he would try to sneak one past your people instead of simply attending the class?"

It's a long pause… perhaps deliberate before Emma says, "Theodore came to Xavier's under dubious circumstances… with a vehicle that was not registered under his name, and was left for a time on campus. We have had no contact with his parents, and he has not provided any information thereof, leading us to believe there was a falling out that has not been reconciled. Since he cannot obtain permission from his parents, he cannot apply for the class per our instructions. Has he mentioned his family at all to you since becoming one of your protege?"

Tony reaches up to pinch the bridge of his nose as he leans back into his chair. After a moment of silence his hand falls back down to rest atop the desk, "He has mentioned various things about his life, and I have not been pushing him. I have mentioned that I am available to him if he wishes to talk about whatever is going on in his life." The wheels turn as Tony files away a list of things he needs to look into in regards to the young man who seems to be a trouble magnet. "What position will the school be taking in regards to this incident?"

The leg comes down, Emma's hands come together, and she leans in towards Tony after taking a breath and straightening the errant lock with a brush of a finger, "Unfortunately, I had planned for Mister Fegenbush's talents to be put to use in testing new security measures… but with this incident, his trust has come into question. If he has lied on something like this, without trying to discuss the matter with us, the trust issue goes both ways." Shaking her head, her eyes close for a moment, "And I cannot have him in a place where he cannot trust our judgment and thinking. He is your legal employee, but we also stand en loco parentis… I believe is the term. This causes us an impasse."

Stark has pieced together bits of conversation between himself and others from Xaviers, as well as having a pretty firm grasp on Theo's personality to know that he's starting to question the situation that Theo is in. "Without breaching the trust I have with several younglings that attend or have attended that school, I find that I am in an interesting position. If you are fishing about to see what my opinion may be of removing him from that environment I suggest simply bringing up where you see this going."

Sitting back in her seat, Emma replies, "I do not want to push Theodore off on you… far be it from me to give someone else a problem I've yet to thoroughly tackle myself. I do however need to drive a very large point home with him. A point about honesty, and a point about trust and respect. And to do this, I need the right cards to play to make him listen without giving him the impression that he needs to run for proverbial cover. Backing the boy into a corner serves me no good, and will only drive him to you with alacrity as a safe haven from a place where he still has a chance to recover some of his innocence. And for that… I need your assistance. I need to know if the terms of his contract are at all contingent on school-related issues such as grades, attendance, and the like."

Tony is feeling rather bristly at the moment and carefully considers his reply. "His contract was drawn up specifically for him, but does not include anything pertaining to his school related issues." Across the desk is a pair of metal balls that Tony reaches out for and picks up just one to roll around between the fingers of his left hand. "I am going to be honest with you, Emma. As per what I know, Theo has interesting issues, some of them I am aware of, and some of which will not be easy to tackle. You may find that you will be put in a position where it is the end of the road, and as such, if you do reach such a position given the circumstances of his history, I would not be put upon to have the young man legally sent to me." He holds up a hand to stall any sort of reply for the moment, "That is not to say that I am actively seeking to remove him from the school. Simply how I foresee the future of things."

Her look is dark before she says, "Damn him for putting us in this position, Anthony… he's a boy, and has all the potential in the world, but I see it being squandered in the face of childish fear and rebellion. He's a smart boy, otherwise you would not deign his presence, and he has enough of a presence of mind to get himself in trouble, and come to us for help… but I cannot see a way to punish this transgression… and he needs it." Shaking her head once, Emma pushes up and walks over towards the windows, past Tony, and leans on one as she stares out, head slightly against one forearm, "If only he'd come to me… I could easily have handled this matter for him… but his damnable independent streak, and his grey-area moral convictions of the teenaged… He's rather like you like that."

Tony pushes back from the desk swiveling the chair about so that he can look directly at Emma. "I know you mean well, Emma. I also know that the school is exceptional when it comes to handling everything that it does but there are going to be those few…" Whatever he was about to say he refrains from saying as he struggles with making his point to her. Rising from the desk chair he crosses the space between them to stand just outside of arms reach. "Emma, you've mentioned several things that are spot on but you are the first to bring up his likeness to myself. If you can see the similarities can you also see my interest in him? It goes beyond his intelligence, and his struggles with rules and authority. I want to help him find the right path to travel, and not the ones I have traveled myself or see him going down."

Emma rolls her eyes, and turns her head to look at the man, "Stop being so bristly, Anthony… I can feel the mental barbs from across the room. At no point have I any interest from taking away his dreams. Lord knows enough of us suffered that as children, and none would see the mistakes of ours haunt the youth of today… but I still need to show him his error. And I cannot find a way to do this that does not have him behave in a manner unbecoming. I cannot restrict him to campus, as he is a legal employee… unless we made arrangements for his transport strictly to and from worksite, and his monitoring thereof."

"I do not mean to come off as such, and I apologize for that." Tony says sincerely to Emma as he leans up against the window beside him to mirror her position. "Removing him from his job would not be the best course of action as you have stated. Unfortunately he does have issues with the school, and I don't envy the position you find yourself in, but I will continue to support him in whatever way he will let me, and I will abide by whatever decisions are made for him. I have no problem with arranging transport nor do I or his immediate supervisor feel that he has done anything that requires monitoring here /but/ if you are amenable I will see to his transport myself or send Happy to do so when I can not. Does this at least help in some fashion?"

There's a long and slow inhale through Emma's nose before she exhales in the same, and then finally pushing off the window, and crosses her arms over her chest, "We cannot monitor him by the conventional means… electronic security is useless on him. For the school's sake, I've had to build custom psi-dampers that block any mental-pattern I have not registered from entry or use. And believe me when I say that was not easy nor cheap." Shaking her head once, she turns to looks to New York, "Three month probation, then… restricted to campus and the workplace only, this building included. I will not bar him from your company, but I do feel that this might be the window we both require… I would also ask that as part of this, we amend his standing contract to be contingent this year on his grades at Xaviers. Not to the point of termination, but suspension of employment until graduation. I would appreciate that he understand the ripple effect of such a breech of conduct."

Tony nods as he listens to Emma outline her plan of action. "You are aware of my perception of this matter, and I appreciate that you are not cutting off contact as it would be, in my opinion, detrimental to him. I will have my team draft up the changes that need to be made, and if you think it might help the schools position I can be available for the meeting when you lay out his punishment in regards to his actions." The required information out of the way Tony is reconsidering his own approach about several things involving the young man. "I don't want to get into a topic I am hoping to handle in a certain manner but as you have spent considerable money on his behalf, I am more than willing to reimburse you for the costs."

Emma shakes her head with a grin, "Oh please, Anthony… that was not any disparaging means against you. It needed doing, and best handled now while it's fresh in our minds, than down the road and deal with a larger issues. It was merely to impress that I am not taking this lightly." One gloved hand comes up, and touches the man's cheek, stroking down the hint of stubble before tapping his chin with a finger, "Look at us, playing mother and father… what WILL the tabloids say… hmm? Pity he favors your side of the tree, but the last time I tried for motherhood, they were clones." The words haunting as much as they are sardonic before the hand drops away, "I would in fact appreciate it. I just wish he'd just… talked to one of us. Instead of this. It's not the act itself that bothers me… it's the inherent lack of trust we have been forced to deal with each student and the school as a whole." But then more quietly she murmurs, "And I am glad you do not feel antagonized by this. And understand why I felt the need to speak directly." With that said, she straightens up, "I will call you and let you know when we will discuss this with Theodore? I assume I am still Pound-one-three on your latest cellular nightmare?"

Tony stood rigidly for several moments before he seemed to snap out of his self imposed comatose state. A rather forced smile appears as he pushes his hands into his trouser pockets. "I am more concerned than anything, Emma. I do not know what role I am supposed to be playing, and we both know that I am clearly not father material." The general apathetic response tilts toward his more jovial nature in the next moment, "But Theo does trust me, at least is beginning to, and I am hoping that he'll let me in. I will be at the meeting in a more appropriate way as I do not wear bells nor should I land my car in the garden." A Cheshire Cat like grin appears as he attempts to walk with her to the office door teasing as they go. "I no longer require a cell phone but my company does put out the top of the line if you're ever in need, but I do still have your number, up here." Tony taps his temple with a fingertip.

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