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 step back, i'm goin' in, @open
Kayleigh CST She/Her 27 Offline Action 9 years
Married to Virginia "Pepper" Potts
942 words.
tag: open.
song: legends are made - sam tinnesz
Tony Stark rarely came down to the office levels of the Stark Tower if he could help it. Despite being on the board and still holding a vast percentage of the company’s stocks to ensure his position as a stakeholder, his concern with the inner workings of the company wasn’t much—he implicitly trusted his wife to care for his non-biological, non-sentient baby, after all. Besides, it happened all too often that he might be cornered by some over-enthusiastic intern or low-level employee who’d talk his ear off while he tried to stay engaged and continue untangling whatever mental puzzle he was working on at the same time. It wasn’t that he minded being accosted, because he was Tony, and Tony loved to put on a show, but he did mind when the subject clashed with his focus… and he absolutely hated, these days, anyone who discussed money or wanted a leg up into this or that lab, or this or that lap. It wasn’t his decision, and he didn’t want it to be. That part of his life was over.

Yes. Anthony Edward Stark… might actually be becoming a little bit responsible.

A little bit, anyway.

Despite outfitting his penthouse lab with every machine, tool, and safety mechanism possible, space, time, and energy were—unfortunately—limited. He couldn’t work if said machines, tools, and mechanisms were engaged, especially not when half the implements folded in and out of the walls and floors for maximum utility versus minimal space. As it was, JARVIS was currently overseeing a complicated fabrication process that took most of the penthouse’s dedicated power, even with it running off an arc reactor (which he had been hesitant to do in the first place as it was, given palladium’s general scarcity and his current need for it in order to live… but he had no desire to have the tower on the grid, either). Even if there was capacity for him to tinker, and there probably was, the entire system was chugging along at full steam ahead—far too distracting, and far too limiting.

Besides, he needed space and air flow for this particular project, and the low speed wind tunnel was never going to fit in the narrower higher floors anyway… so he was downstairs, amongst the masses. Technically. He still had limited key card access into the tunnel itself, lest someone wander in and break his concentration at a crucial point. But occasionally he moved in and out of the room, either to change settings in the control booth with a window into the tunnel, or to use the facilities… but still ignoring such safety measures such as having someone in the booth with him, or, you know, not using the wind tunnel on himself.

It’s not like he’d sue himself if he got hurt. That said, recalibration of the room could get pricey if it was damaged or otherwise messed up… so he was trying not to break anything. Of course, the operative word here was “try”; there was a cement patch back in Malibu that was a testament to the “best laid plans of mice and men” going completely and utterly awry.

He tried not to remind his wife of that too often, lest a crackdown on his dumber ideas be initiated (even though there 100% should be someone reigning Tony Stark in most of the time, giving the unusually high number of pints of blood Tony had lost over the years).

Today’s work really wasn’t all that dangerous, though with someone who could occasionally get way ahead of the curve, you never knew. At least today, there were no explosions, or fire, or mixture of chemicals… just a need for speed, and an urge to satisfy it (ha). The inventor himself stood in the middle of the tunnel, grey-black bands of a lightweight weave adorning his chest, waist, wrists, elbows, knees, and ankles (an additional set glimmered from the other room). At his feet, laid out in a line, there were four pieces of mixed-medium objects—part metal, part plastic, part fiberglass—with grooves and insets structured in a fashion that seemed to indicate both a flexibility and a means to fit something in them… say, one’s shoe, or one’s hand… or in the case of the biggest piece, which was rather shaped like a curved T, or the vague structure of a manta ray, one’s back. If it weren’t for how all of them pulsated with a nondescript blue light, they might be mere decoration… but when Tony spoke aloud to an omnipresent JARVIS, issuing a few commands that set everything in motion, it quickly became very clear how much they were not.

Despite soundproof walls, and the roar of the tunnel, Tony’s whoop of joy echoed up and down the hallway, loud enough to startle the easily spooked sort if they were passing too close. Abruptly, the room’s roar dimmed, and then Tony, hair and clothing ruffled into wild chaos, came bounding out of the tunnel and seized the wrist of the nearest person that happened to be walking by at that moment. It didn’t matter who it was, and he certainly didn’t look as he did it; instead, he yanked the person back into the room while firing a line of questions and statements at them, and yet not giving a single whit as to what their responses might be. Whether they liked it or not, they were about to be involved in his project, and there was no stopping that.

You busy? You got a moment? No? Good, you’re coming with me.
This is how legends are made
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