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Old May 1 2012, 05:16 PM   #1
Methos
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Fanfic - Upgrade (Crossover)

TITLE: Upgrade

AUTHOR: Methos (methos@btinternet.com)

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...

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-----------------------------

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.”

-----------------------------
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Old May 1 2012, 05:18 PM   #2
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Re: Fanfic - Upgrade (Crossover)

09:12 - August 20, 2008.
Sunnydale Crater, California.

It had taken the excavation crew most of the night to clear enough of the rubble so they could safely reinforce the entrance way with structural support, making sure that the ground was secure enough to hold them and their equipment as they worked had been the work of the Stark technicians that had accompanied them, working with third generation Stark Tech to actively map the crater and underground caverns for safety.

Through the night JARVIS had kept Tony updated on their progress, with live feeds coming direct from the engineers data logs and camera equipment, enough to give him enough of a map of inside the cavern so he would know what to expect.

“We getting anything?” Tony asked as he walked inside, using the suits sensors to map out the area and forward the information back to the excavation team.

“Indeed sir,” The AI responded. “The energy readings are much stronger now, located in the building east of here.”

“Record everything; I don’t want to miss a single piece of data here.” Tony explained as he started walking towards the building JARVIS had identified for him.

“Indeed sir,” The AI responded dryly. “Maps on record of Sunnydale prior to the collapse indicate this was part of the industrial district of the town.”

“I’m getting that,” Tony agreed as he looked around, using the lighting on his right arm to check over the large building that was only partially collapsed, it seemed the area the building had been on had collapsed around it, bringing the entire warehouse down into the crater where it had been sealed off with a landslide, obviously protecting the building from further damage. “Calax Research and Development.” He read off of the sign on the front of the building. “Pull up information.”

“Founded in nineteen ninety two, a subsidiary of Calax Industries. Originally funded to research robotics, it closed in nineteen ninety six.” The AI informed Tony, bringing up information on the company for him to see. “Calax Industries went into closure in two thousand and four; no further information on the company exists within public record.”

“Nothing about energy research or plasma dynamics?” Tony asked curiously, wondering why the energy readings he was getting were pointing him to a robotics factory.

“The warehouse indicated here was simply used for storage and research into robotics. No information or energy research was conducted by Calax Industries.” The AI explained.

“At least none that they spoke about,” Tony commented off hand, knowing full well that most companies worked far outside of their original spectrum of research. It was entirely possibly that Calax were performing tests on electro-plasma research here without publicising the research outside of the R&D team itself.

“Sir, sensors are picking up a single life form within the Calax building.”

“Alive?” Tony asked, stopping sharp in his walk towards the building and staring at it. “This building has been buried for nearly five years, what are the chances someone survived on their own here for that length of time.”

“Given proper provisions, it is possible sir.” The AI informed him. “However, sensors indicate the readings are erratic, indicating possible injury.”

“Lock on to the signature and direct me on,” Tony said firmly, heading into the building itself, the puzzle about the energy signature forgotten for the minute now that there was a possibility of finding another Sunnydale survivor.

“Sir, the life sign is within two feet of the energy signature itself,” The AI informed him. “It is likely whoever created the energy you are investigating is the life form in question.”

“I’m still not buying it,” Tony frowned as he pushed open the main door to the Calax warehouse, “No way someone survived the collapse of the town, and what, five years buried under a couple of hundred tons of rock and debris?”

“Indeed sir,” The AI responded to his rhetorical question. “Analysis of the air shows that this cavern did had a constant supply of fresh air, however it is unlikely that a human could exist in these conditions for the length of time indicated.”

“Sensors on full,” Tony commented as he walked further into the Calax warehouse, instead of the darkness he’d been expecting from outside, a soft eerie green glow was radiating through the corridors, lighting up the area for him.

“Sensors indicate both energy signature and life signs are coming from the level below sir,” The AI informed him.

“Kinda figured that out,” Tony said with an eye roll as he came across a corridor where the building had collapsed inward, blocking him off aside from a single open doorway leading down where the green lighting was emanating from. “Tell the excavation team to hold at the entrance, I’m getting a bad feeling from down here.”

“Indeed,” The AI responded dryly.

“Hold on,” Tony frowned as he reached the bottom of the stairs, kneeling down as he found a body there. “Dead.” He muttered to himself, looking over the body with the suits enhanced sight and sensors. “This is way beyond what Calax claimed to be developing,” He muttered, fingering the eye piece and black cybernetic implants. “Whatever they were doing here, definitely wasn’t simple robotics.”

“Agreed sir,” The AI informed him as it brought up readings from the sensors. “Sensors indicate this man suffered a severe cervical fracture. Cybernetic components are inoperative. Sensors are also indicating the presence of nanotechnology sir.”

“Forget the excavation team,” Tony glared down at the body, the green glow giving the grey skin of the corpse an eerie tinge and lighting up the black cybernetic areas with an ominous glow. “I want the full Los Angeles R&D branch down here now. Everyone from the team, and get the New York robotics branch on the next flight down here.”

“I have sent the required notifications,” The AI informed him after a beat. “Sir, there is still a single life form reading from twenty one feet ahead. Along with the energy signature originally recorded.”

“I’m getting a bad feeling here,” Tony commented to himself. “Get the excavation team back outside and topside, they’re to wait for security before proceeding any further.”

“A sensible precaution sir,” The AI agreed, forwarding on the orders to the foremen of the teams.

“And that feeling just got worse,” Tony muttered as he pushed open the only door in the corridor ahead to be treated to a sight that he would remember forever.

The single life form the suit was picking up was a human male, if it could still be called that. The man was in his mid-forties, and standing in some sort of alcove with thick tubes running down from the mechanical alcove behind him into his body. Advanced cybernetics covered the right side of his face and ear, leaving his right eye exposed though it was currently closed.

“Give me something here,” Tony commented, forgoing the lights here and charging his hand repulsers ready.

“Unknown sir,” The AI responded. “Sensors cannot penetrate the cybernetic armour; indications of power coming from the nodule behind the alcove show the implants are active.”

“Run a scan through facial rec,” Tony said with a frown, stepping around the alcove gently to investigate further. “I’m seeing something familiar here but can’t place it.”

“Running now sir,” The AI informed him. “Sensors indicate shallow breathing and diminished heart rate, possibly as a consequence of the cybernetic interface, indicating the man is within some form of meditation or hibernation.”

“Let’s keep him that way until we know what we’re dealing with,” Tony said with a frown, looking around the advanced technology that was all linked up to the alcove the man was standing in. “Focus recognition searches on Sunnydale inhabitants, narrow down the search to people still recorded as missing after the collapse of the town to within five years previous.”

“Search complete,” The AI said after a moment, bringing up the information. “Facial recognition indicates a ninety six percent match to Rupert Giles, recorded missing in Sunnydale as of November second, nineteen ninety seven.”

“He worked at Calax?” Tony asked, eying the man in the alcove carefully and taking note of the advanced armour that was covering his entire body.

“Records indicate Rupert Giles was the librarian at Sunnydale High School. A British National with previous ties to the London historical museum and arts foundation. Doctorate at thirty two, with qualifications in literature, history and mythology.” The AI informed Tony, bringing up the records for Rupert Giles.

“Sounds a bit over qualified for a librarian position,” Tony commented idly. “Who reported him missing?”

“The principal of Sunnydale High School, Robert Snyder.” The AI informed him. “Records show Doctor Giles went missing some time over the weekend of the thirtieth of October; he was officially reported missing on the second of November when he failed to attend work for two days. Records of his work prior to that show only two days of recorded absence.”

“The power signature is linked in to the alcove behind him, looks to be keeping him here in some form of deep sleep or something.”

“Agreed sir,” The AI explained, bringing up further sensor data for him to analyse. “Sensors indicate the power is being fed directly into the cybernetic implants, providing nutrition and liquids for survival.”

“This is pretty advanced,” Tony frowned as he stepped closer to the alcove. “Even by today’s standards, this suit is beyond anything I’ve seen…” He trailed off as he reached up his armoured fingers about to touch the cybernetic armour the man was wearing when the man’s eyes snapped open. “Hello?” He spoke aloud, activating the suits external speakers so his voice could be heard outside of the Iron Man suit. “Can you hear me?” He asked again after a beat.

“What…” The man started to speak but coughed and spluttered slightly, causing him to stumble down from the alcove.

“Get the excavation team back here, security and medical,” Tony shouted as he caught the man, cradling him against his suited arms to prevent him from impacting the floor.

“On their way sir,” The AI responded quickly. “Sensors indicate accelerate heart rate and pulse, indicators of extreme stress.”

“Not surprised if he’s been kept there since ninety seven,” Tony said, looking down at the man he was holding. “Can you hear me? Medical are on the way.”

“What happened?” Doctor Giles managed to gasp out, one eye blood shot red as he looked around, a look of horror and confusion on his face.

“I’m hoping you can tell me,” Tony commented, pressing a button to slide up the faceplate of his Iron Man suit so he could reassure Doctor Giles that he was friendly. “We found you here, hooked up to this machine. Pretty advanced stuff, and I’m guessing from your response that this wasn’t your idea.”

“Found…” Doctor Giles coughed again as he stumbled against the ground, trying to get his footing while holding on to the Iron Man suit for leverage.

“Hold on,” Tony said softly as he held his arm out for Doctor Giles to steady himself on. “JARVIS, tell the medics to get down here now. Ignore the body on the stairs, I want them in here, we’ve got one survivor.”

“Sur… survivor?” Doctor Giles coughed out, finally getting his balance and looking around. “Oh god…” He paused, his legs and arms moving in slow jerky motions as he brought his hand up to his face, almost in an effort to look for something before he stopped and stared at his hand. “What happened?” He asked in a dry raspy voice, looking up at Tony’s face.

“Medical should be able to tell you that,” Tony explained gently, seeing the agitation and almost panic on the man’s face. “Whatever happened here, I’d say you were at the centre of it.”

“I don’t…” Doctor Giles muttered, still staring at his hand before bringing it up to his head and feeling the cybernetic technology there covering the side of his face.

“I’m getting to that,” Tony said softly as he gently moved aside and knelt so Doctor Giles could sit on the alcove he’d nearly fallen out of. “I was investigating a power signature coming from the crater, it wasn’t until we got inside that we found you here.”

“I’m sorry,” Doctor Giles coughed again, rubbing his throat slowly in deliberate motions. “The last thing I remember… God, Jenny!”

“JARVIS?” Tony asked.

“Searching…” The AI informed him. “There are two hundred and eighty four records of Jenny within the time frame given and Sunnydale location.”

“Last name?” Tony asked helpfully, wanting to help out the man as much as possible to get his mind off the panic that was flooding his body.

“Calendar, Jenny Calendar. She was a teacher at…” Doctor Giles broke off as his voice caught again. “I… I was accompanying her to a Halloween party; she acquired this costume for me.”

“Jenny Calendar, records found,” JARVIS announced before switching to private mode for Tony. “Sir, Jenny Calendar, born Janna Kalderash, was marked deceased on February twenty fourth, nineteen ninety eight.”

“We’ll find out what we can,” Tony said aloud, keeping the information JARVIS had found to himself for the moment. “Records indicate you went missing on Halloween ninety seven Doctor Giles.” Tony explained, kneeling down so he could face the man fully instead of looking down at him.

“Missing?” Doctor Giles rasped out. “I… I can’t… what year is this?” He asked finally, taking a good look at the advanced suit of armour his rescuer was wearing.

“Oh eight,” Tony said softly. “It’s been nearly ten years since you were reported missing.”

“Good… lord,” Doctor Giles said softly.

“I’m guessing this wasn’t your idea then?” Tony asked, using the light on his hand to shine around and show Doctor Giles the advanced technology surrounding him.

“No, good lord no,” Doctor Giles frowned. “Jenny had organised a Halloween party, even got me this dreadful costume.” He explained, fingering the cybernetic armour. “Only, good lord…” He trailed off in amazement.

“Pretty advanced costume if you ask me,” Tony commented as he looked at Doctor Giles’ face and idly wondered what the suits sensors were telling him about his heart rate and voice. “In here.” He shouted off hand as he started to hear movement from the corridor behind him signalling the medical and security crew were on their way down. “So what happened next?” He asked, prompting Doctor Giles to focus on his memories and not on the panic and confusion that was evident on his face.

“I’d rather ask some questions myself,” Doctor Giles asked after collecting himself with a deep breath. “It’s quite obvious something happened to me here, however, you mentioned a crater several times and haven’t elaborated.”

“The Sunnydale crater,” Tony nodded. “The town of Sunnydale collapsed into an underground system of caves in two thousand and three. Rescue efforts were made but only a handful of survivors were accounted for.” He explained as the medics came into the room. “Just sit tight and let them check you over, like I said, it’s been ten years, by all rights you shouldn’t even be alive here.” He explained, looking at the advanced alcove that had obviously been keeping him alive after all this time.

“I’d rather…” Doctor Giles trailed off as the five man medical team moved slowly towards him and started setting up equipment, with one of them, obviously the head doctor, approaching him gently to ask some questions.

“I’m Doctor Johnson,” The Doctor introduced himself as he knelt down in front of Doctor Giles. “Do you mind?” He asked as he reached for his arm to check the man’s pulse.

“Full work up,” Tony explained gently. “Just let them do their jobs ok? We don’t know what this thing was doing to you or how you survived down here, so just let the doc’s do their thing ok?” He asked reassuringly before walking away and sliding his faceplate back down so he could talk with JARVIS in private. “Talk to me.” He said calmly as the interface from his suit came back into his field of vision.

“Sensors running through your talk with Doctor Giles indicate he spoke the truth throughout your questions sir,” The AI explained, bringing up a visual record of their discussion along with the readings from the suits sensors. “Doctor Giles has obviously suffered a traumatic ordeal starting with his abduction on October thirtieth nineteen ninety eight. Auditory records indicate high stress and confusion, while sensors were unable to penetrate the armour he was wearing, sensors picked up the presence of nanites within his blood stream and facial implants.”

“Calax were experimenting with nanotechnology in the nineties?” Tony asked in amazement. “I thought nanotechnology was theoretical back then.”

“Indeed sir,” The AI confirmed. “It appears Calax were further ahead with cybernetic research than anyone would have believed. The implants Doctor Giles received were obviously not FDA approved, which is possibly the reason for his abduction and subsequent experimentation.”

“What about his story of wearing this stuff as a costume for a Halloween party?” Tony asked.

“Unknown sir,” The AI responded. “It is possible he remembers events this way as his mind has blocked out the procedures forced upon him.”

“Memories created to hide traumatic events,” Tony mused. “Have to check with a shrink about the theories on that one.”

“Quite sir,” The AI responded. “It is worth mentioning that Jenny Calendar died of a cervical fracture much like the body you saw at the base of the stairs. No suspect was ever detained in the investigation of her death.”

“We’ll keep that from him until he’s well enough to take in the news,” Tony said with a nod, looking over to where the medical team were checking over Doctor Giles and exchanging puzzled looks over the cybernetic suit he was wearing. “Check records as well, I’m getting a very familiar feeling from this whole setup. The suit, cybernetics, the technology, all of it.”

“Indeed sir,” The AI responded by bringing up several screens of information. “Scans indicate the cybernetic implants and technology here are equal in design to those used on the television show Star Trek.”

“Not really a Trekkie here, just give me the lowdown,” Tony said impatiently.

“The Borg, a cybernetic race of beings depicted within two of the franchise series, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Voyager. Along with appearing in one movie, Star Trek: First Contact.” The AI explained, bringing up pictures and screen caps from the show and movies to illustrate it’s point. “The Borg are an alien race who assimilate other cultures and use cybernetic implants and nanotechnology to link their assimilated beings to a hive mind.”

“Pretty much identical to the setup here,” Tony said with a frown. “How can a fictional race have technology here?”

“Unknown sir,” The AI responded. “It is unlikely to be a coincidence given the exact nature of the technology duplicated here. The engineers obviously intended to duplicate The Borg technology in as precise detail as possible.”

“Is the nanotechnology a threat?” Tony asked, readying himself for a fight should the need arise.

“Unknown sir,” The AI responded. “Nanotechnology of this advanced nature is not within the scope of current technological means.”

“Well it obviously is as it’s here,” Tony bit back.

“Indeed, though it is unknown how the original creators of this technology managed to create it given the technology accessible at the time.” The AI explained.

“Get the excavators down here,” Tony said with a frown. “I was full security around them at all time; give me options on moving the entire setup here over to Stark Industries branch.”
__________________
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Old May 1 2012, 05:18 PM   #3
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Re: Fanfic - Upgrade (Crossover)

12:26 - August 22, 2008.
Stark Industries, Los Angeles branch.

“Sir, I have located Miss Lehane,” JARVIS announced, bringing Tony Stark’s attention up from the piece of ‘Borg technology’ he had been working on.

“Well?” Tony asked, sliding the holographic display of the technology he was working on out of his view.

“Miss Lehane is currently in Scotland after her escape from Valley State correctional facility.” The AI explained. “Miss Lehane was remanded there in May over two thousand after handing herself in to local authorities. Charged with multiple counts of homicide and assault, she escaped with the help of an unknown associate, no efforts to apprehend her have been entered.”

“They didn’t go after her?” Tony asked, raising an eyebrow at this as he pulled over another screen to check over the information JARVIS was displaying for him.

“Miss Lehane’s records were sealed sir, though testimony from inmates of Valley State facility indicate, and I quote, ‘the guards would be crazy to mess with her’, and ‘ain’t no one taking that girl down, she like crazy or some shit.’”

“I’m seeing that,” Tony commented with a smirk. “Find out what you can, location and contact information would be good. She’s probably flighty given she escaped from jail, make sure she knows we’re not interested in returning her to Valley State.”

“Indeed sir,” The AI Commented.

“And I’ll hold you to that,”

Tony turned to face the door, knowing from the voice who it was that would be standing there. “Can’t you just knock like anyone else?” Tony said, glaring over at Director Fury.

“What’s your interest in Miss Lehane?” Fury asked, ignoring Tony’s comment as he walked forward.

“None of your business,” Tony said idly. “Is this some sort of second attempt to talk to me about this Avengers stuff, because I told you, not interested.”

“This has nothing to do with that,” Fury said simply. “This has to do with you researching and contacting a known criminal who was marked as dangerous by the highest levels I’ve ever seen. You don’t think you could pull something like that and it not come to my attention do you?”

“I didn’t know she was dangerous,” Tony said with a shrug. “Not that it matters because it’s none of your business.”

“It’s my business when you’re contacting someone like Miss Lehane.” Fury frowned. “Your research into her was flagged the moment you ran her name through the database. Now, what’s your interest in Miss Lehane?”

“Land,” Tony said simply.

“Sunnydale,” Fury replied with a nod.

“She became the sole beneficiary of Richard Wilkins on his death; the land was in his family for generations. I’m interested in acquiring it.” Tony explained simply.

“And this has nothing to do with whatever you’re excavating from the Sunnydale crater,” Fury said idly, ignoring the annoyed look on Stark’s face.

“I’m actually looking for a new place, beach front, underground expansion, Sunnydale just fits the bill.” Tony said flippantly.

“Even ignoring Miss Lehane’s criminal status, she alone is one of the largest landowners outside of the US Military…”

“Land she’s done nothing with,” Tony interrupted Fury. “In fact, I’m pretty sure she doesn’t even know she inherited the land from Wilkins, along with a trust fund that puts my annual bonuses to shame.”

“We’re aware of her financial records as well,” Fury said with a shrug. “Miss Lehane has shown no interest in her financial or any other ties bequeathed to her by Richard Wilkins.”

“Which she hasn’t touched either.” Tony commented. “You think a twenty eight year old girl isn’t going to want to know she has a trust fund that puts her in the stupidly comfortable bracket?” Tony snorted as Fury rolled his eye. “She has a right to know.”

“And I’m telling you to leave it alone.” Fury practically ordered.

“Sorry, but not interested,” Tony said flippantly. “Private citizen, I don’t take orders from you.”

“Stark Industries has several military contracts, including S.H.I.E.L.D, which makes it our business when you contact a woman with Miss Lehane’s record.” Fury said firmly.

“What, you’re going to go elsewhere?” Tony snorted in amusement. “There isn’t a company around that can match what Stark Industries is doing for you, and you know it.” He said, walking towards Fury to face him fully. “So don’t come in here with your bluster and try and intimidate me with your veiled threats.”

“That wasn’t a threat,” Fury said calmly, stepping right up into Tony’s space. “Stay away from Miss Lehane, that’s a warning, not a threat by the way.”

“Noted and ignored,” Tony said, staring straight back into Fury’s face. “You know the way out.” He said simply, turning away from Fury and dismissing him mentally.

“You’re making a mistake here,” Fury said, standing there and glaring at Tony’s back as he walked away.

“It wouldn’t be the first,” Tony said with a shrug as he sat back down at his work bench and pulled over the screen displaying the readings from the ‘Borg technology’ he was working on. He waited a few seconds until he heard the door close, then flicked over the screen to security and locked the doors against further intrusions. “JARVIS, when he’s out, scramble lock codes and issue new key cards and passwords to all staff. I want to know how he got in here without a pass and that hole plugged.”

“Yes sir,” The AI responded quickly, devoting runtime directly to issuing the new passwords and key cards immediately.

“Display information from Sunnydale, screen four,” Tony announced as he pulled another screen across, which instantly pulled up the information he’d requested about their makeshift operation in Sunnydale.

The excavation was proceeding slowly, with work being done carefully around the warehouse to reinforce it while moving away the rubble encasing it. The technology within the Calax warehouse had actually gone deeper than they’d originally discovered, with five alcoves leading away from the one they had discovered Doctor Giles inside. Two more bodies had been discovered as well, both with the same cybernetic implants as the one he had personally found by the stairs, subjects three and four showed signs of animal attack, with scratches and damage to their cybernetic armour. Subject three even showed signs of a bite mark on its neck, though cause of death on either of them had yet to be determined.

So far, after three days of research and exploration of the Calax warehouse, Doctor Giles had been the only survivor and the most puzzling of the lot, discounting the technology found with him of course.

Medical exams show the cybernetic implants were threaded through his entire body, with cortical implants linking directly to his brain, neural processors, sensory nodes and micro-circuitry through his entire nervous system. Whatever had been done to Doctor Giles was years, centuries ahead of its time, leaving him practically dependant on the cybernetic implants to keep him alive.

They’d discovered early on that Doctor Giles had a physical dependence on the alcove they’d discovered him in, needing to return to the alcove at least once a day for the alcove to maintain his cybernetic implants. Which had proved an inconvenience in their plans to disassemble the technology housed there and bring it back to Stark Industries in pieces, instead practically the entire R&D team from Stark Industries Los Angeles branch had been moved to their makeshift camp just outside of the Sunnydale crater where they could work on the ‘Borg technology’ there before finding parts that weren’t integral to the alcove’s operation and shipping them back to the Los Angeles branch.

“What’s the progress on the Electro-plasma chamber?” Tony asked aloud as he leaned back in his chair and rubbed his eyes. The fact that this technology existed was both confusing and amazing at the same time. Every piece of technology they examined was literally centuries ahead of anything else that either Stark Industries, or any other tech based company could dream of.

“The electro-plasma chamber is operating at one hundred percent efficiency,” The AI responded, bringing up the information on the screen for Tony to examine. “Less than point one of a percent is being regulated by Doctor Giles’ alcove during his time spent there.”

“Where’s the rest of the energy going?” Tony asked aloud.

“It is simply being stored within the chamber itself sir.” The AI explained. “Simulations indicate the electro-plasma chamber is capable of an output in the region of two thousand terajoules per second given optimal conditions.”

“Incredible,” Tony breathed out. “Display medical scans of Doctor Giles.” He muttered, rubbing his face as he tried to figure this puzzle out. “What’s this?” He asked, flicking the display in on Doctor Giles’ respiratory system and enlarging it on the screen.

“Cybernetic enhancement was performed on fifty four percent of Doctor Giles’ body. His respiratory system and heart were completely reinforced and reconfigured to allow for cybernetic integration. Doctor Giles’ right eye is a replacement as well, cybernetically enhanced and linked to the cortical implant fused with his brain.” The AI explained, bringing up scans the Stark medical team had done over Doctor Giles in the past two days.

“This is beyond advanced,” Tony frowned, glaring at the cortical implant that was nestled in Doctor Giles’ brain. “We’re taking two, maybe three hundred years beyond current technology.”

“This technology does not conform to current day technological progress sir,” The AI informed him.

“I noticed,” Tony muttered to himself. “Have we got anywhere on locating any information on who could have made this?”

“None sir,” The AI responded. “There are no identifying marks on the technology itself, nor on the implants within Doctor Giles body.”

“You know, I’m beginning to hate Sunnydale,” Tony muttered to himself as he flicked through another medical scan of Doctor Giles’ body. “The nanotechnology is present throughout his entire body.”

“Indeed sir,” The AI agreed with his observation. “Blood samples taken show the nanotechnology is present and active outside of his body though requires instructions to be sent from Doctor Giles’ implants for it to activate any further functions.”

“Keep it contained,” Tony said with finality, knowing all too well what cybernetic implants were like, especially if your life depended on them like his did. The niggling worry about allowing nanotechnology to interact with Stark Technology was another thing that was on his mind, especially nanotechnology as advanced as what they were dealing with here. They had no reference for where it came from, or what control the people who designed it might have. And with the advanced nature of the implants and technology around the warehouse, it was a good bet that they would need everything Stark Technologies had to contain it should Doctor Giles prove violent.

“Is there any further information on Doctor Giles family?” He asked, taking his mind off of the puzzle of the ‘Borg technology’ for the moment.

“None sir,” The AI informed him. “Doctor Giles had no children and was an only child. I have been unable to locate his parents to advise them of his condition.”

“Keep looking,” Tony said as he stood up. “Has he asked for anything? Within reason of course?”

“Clothing and entertainment materials,” The AI explained. “Larger clothing was provided to him to wear over the cybernetic suit that appears to be bonded to his body. The books he requested were provided in hard back form as per your instruction to keep technology away from his body.”

“Good,” Tony nodded, wanting to keep Doctor Giles comfortable for the meantime until they could actually figure out exactly what to do with him. He knew eventually he’d have to inform Director Fury about this, if the resident spymaster didn’t already know about it that was. But until then he was going to do his best to keep Doctor Giles onside while they worked on understanding the technology that had been found alongside him.
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In Russia, a 122 year old man has passed away, he credited his long life to abtaining from alcohol, tobacco and women. His last words were "I've made a huge mistake."
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