AUTHOR: Methos (firstname.lastname@example.org)
DISCLAIMER: All things Buffy belong to Joss Whedon, Iron Man and any other Marvel characters you recognise belong to their respective owners. Star Trek, The Borg and all other bits from the Star Trek universe belong to Paramount and tons of people over there… Basically, if you recognise it, it ain’t mine… I’m just playing here…
AN: This will more than likely just be a one shot, it’s a bunny that’s been bugging me for a while now, seeing as I’ve never actually seen anyone use this specific YAHF cross, I really wanted to write it and get the idea out there… You'll probably want at least a basic understanding of the Buffy show to get this fic...
August 19, 2008
Sunnydale Crater, California.
Considering who he was, there was very little in the world that could surprise Tony Stark anymore. He considered it one of life’s little pleasures when something actually did surprise him or show a challenge nowadays. After the incident that changed him, that gave him a new lease on life, the incident where he had beaten Death so to speak, he’d focused on being the best and brightest at whatever he put his mind to, which, in his oh so humble opinion, he’d succeeded at beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.
Testing out the new sensors and radar equipment built into the upgraded suit was a joy, flying down across the desert at speeds normally only witnessed by jet pilots was exhilarating, the feeling of freedom and the rush of being in total control, not being limited by a jet or confined within a cockpit, was almost beyond words.
“Sir, sorry to disturb your test flight, but sensors are picking up an unusual energy signature seventeen point four miles ahead.”
Tony raised his eyebrow at this as he pulled back on the repulsers thrust to bring him down to subsonic speeds. “Unusual in what way?” He asked, knowing JARVIS would be able to answer anything he posed. “A sensor ghost from the new systems?” He considered, they were only testing the new sensors after all, so a few ghosts and bugs were to be expected.
“Sensors are performing within acceptable parameters,” The AI responded. “The energy signature appears to be a form of electro-plasma sir.”
“Electro-plasma?” Tony’s eyebrows both shot up this time. “Show me the information directly from the sensors.” He ordered, waiting half a second for the AI to pull up the information from the suit and display it in front of his eyes. “Now that’s not possible.”
“Agreed sir,” The AI responded to his comment. “The sensors are performing nominally however, so we are left with the obvious conclusion that…”
“I’m not talking about the sensors,” Tony cut the AI off. “Someone there has mastered electro-plasma as a power source, and it wasn’t me.” He frowned. “Can we track it?”
“Indeed sir,” The AI responded by bringing up a map on the interface in front of Tony’s eyes. “The power signature is quite unique, though faint. It appears to be buried within the crater seventeen miles north east of your current location.” As the AI explained it brought up a marker showing where Tony was on the map, and a second red marker to show where the energy signature was originating from.
“Fine,” Tony nodded as he pushed hard with his left repulser to angle himself towards the energy signature before speeding up to breach the sound barrier again. “Get the LA crew on the line, excavation, tunnelling, all that. And check with R&D as well, I’m not happy that someone else out there could make this breakthrough and we wouldn’t know about it.”
“As you wish sir,” The AI responded. “The energy signature is approximately twenty eight miles outside of Los Angeles, it will take the excavation crew several hours to reach the location given the equipment needed for this undertaking.”
“Tell them I want them here ASAP JARVIS.” Tony said with a mild glare at the interface as he pushed down to come down to five hundred feet for angular flight.
“As you wish sir,” The AI responded again before falling silent.
“Well, this is new,” Tony commented offhand as he landed, surprisingly the base of the crater had actually been reasonably clear, with the various rescue efforts and salvage operations that had happened since the Sunnydale Incident, leaving him plenty of room to work and a clean dirt road in and out of the crater where previous rescue efforts had come and gone.
“Do be careful sir; the area of the crater you have landed on is unstable due to underground caves.” The AI informed him.
“Taking note,” Tony nodded as he slowly looked around, collapsed buildings, cars and all manner of rubble surrounding him in a drastic picture of the destruction that had happened here. “Give me a sonograph of the caves below, specifically weak and strong areas. Give the excavation crews somewhere safe to set up.”
“Indeed sir,” The AI replied as it performed the tasks ordered, forwarding the results on a live stream directly to the excavation crews computers as they came in. “The energy signature is stronger here sir. It originates from forty two feet south west of your current location.”
“Got it,” Tony commented as he turned around and started walking, not wanting to risk using the high powered repulsers for taking off and landing on unstable terrain like this. “Pull up the news archives. Was there any investigation into the Sunnydale Crater?” He asked curiously as he looked around the demolished down.
“Several investigations were launched at the time sir. No seismic activity was recorded on the day in question. Most theorists postulate that the town collapsed of its own accord into the caverns underneath, causing the crater we see today.”
“Is that viable?” Tony asked curiously.
“Without detailed analysis of the caverns and observation of the mineral deposits under stress it is impossible to say.” The AI responded.
“But building a town on top of a large cavern, doesn’t seem the smartest thing to do.” Tony commented off hand. “Who owns the land currently?”
“Prior to two thousand, the town of Sunnydale was built on land owned by the Wilkins family. Lineage stopped at Mayor Richard Wilkins the Third when he died without a child. Ownership was passed on to his ward, Faith Lehane in two thousand, though Miss Lehane has never claimed ownership or rights to the Sunnydale land.” The AI explained after pulling up the land ownership records.
“Find Miss Lehane, see if she’d be interested in selling,” Tony commented. “Location out in the middle of nowhere, sizable caverns for expansion, I’m thinking this would be a good investment for a future testing ground site.”
“Moving Stark Industries sir?” The AI queried.
“Maybe,” Tony nodded thoughtfully as he paused in the rubble, noting the rocks from the crater had collapsed over where the sensors were telling him he needed to go. “What have we got here JARVIS?” He asked aloud, checking the sensors for the location of the mysterious energy signature.
“Approximately three meters of sandstone, granite and rubble sir,” The AI explained, displaying the sonograph data of the area in question for inspection. “The energy signature is coming from within a cavern beyond the barrier erected by the rubble. Sonograph indicates two structures within the cavern, possibly intact.”
“Is it safe to blast through?” Tony considered.
“Negative,” The AI responded quickly. “The rubble would not stand for a repulser blast of the magnitude needed to clear a path into the void. Collapse would be the likely outcome, with a possible collapse of the area underneath into the lower caverns as well.”
“Waiting for the excavation crew then,” Tony commented as he looked up before gently activating the repulsers on his hands to give him a small amount of lift off the ground before then activating his boots for powered lift. “ETA?”
“One hour and seven minutes given their current location and speed sir,” The AI informed him.
“Fine,” Tony nodded as he soared above the Sunnydale crater and moved to the far south edge where the excavation crew would be coming from. “Forward all data collected onto them, I want the excavation started as soon as possible.”
“Already in progress sir,” The AI informed him. “Estimated time for excavation of the rubble, sixteen hours and forty minutes given safe parameters.”
“Tell them I want them started as soon as they arrive,” Tony frowned as he angled his repulsers to take him away from the Sunnydale creator and towards Los Angeles. “Authorising overtime for overnight work and bonuses for quick completion.”
“I’m sure the team will do their best sir,” The AI responded dryly. “Once the excavation has begun, I will forward a live feed to your Los Angeles office.”
“Record all information gathered, but the excavation crew are not to enter the premises until I get there.” Tony ordered clearly. “They’re just there to clear the way.”
“So noted,” The AI responded after sending that piece of information on to the excavation crew.
“Get Pepper on the line, where is she, New York, London, Paris, wherever, tell her what’s going on and I’m taking a few days away to figure this one out myself.” Tony commented as he pushed the repulsers harder to boost his speed towards the Los Angeles Stark offices.
“London sir, given the time difference, it would be unwise of you to wake her,” The AI informed him.
“Send a text and mark a reminder for me to call her,” Tony nodded in agreement. “And get me the information of the current owner of the Sunnydale land; I’ll deal with that from the office.”