2017-03-07 How many power armors
This scene is rated Everybody
Warning: N/A
Players: Samuel Tamara
GMed by Tamara
Title: How many power armors

Rating: everybody

Tammy is working, the Hazmat Team from STAR labs is checking out areas where there were only factories. They were done with that in Metropolis, but since the merger there are whole new areas to check. It is a government project for the EPA…apparently that much of the government is still working despite the merger. This area is one of the most densely populated in the Country, and is the site of several former factories dating back decades or centuries. It is a likely place for illegally dumped wastes. Tammy parks her van, picks up her multiprobe and starts canvassing the area.

Leaving the elevator, Sam returns from his morning gym session at the Avenger gym in the Tower. One of the perks of living a few floors beneath a super team, you get to hang out in places most people will never see in their lifetime. Still dressed for the gym, he helps himself to a bottle of water from the fridge and looks at his schedule for the day. Bit of a late start in the Academy, most of the day's courses elective he has either already completed or isn't pursuing at the time. Excellent. "JARVIS… spool it up."

How would he log this one? As Techstar appears from its launch recess next to the balcony pool, Sam decides to chalk this one up as 'maintenance flight', although in reality this is going to be a bit of hotrod sightseeing. Why not, after all? Stepping outside, the teen mutant suits up and waits for the systems to boot up, especially the air traffic scanners.

"Seems like a fine day for a flight, young sir." JARVIS assents, as always keeping an eye on what the kid is doing.

"That it is. But don't worry, I'll be back in time for Business Management at three." Moments later Techstar lifts off and arcs away from the launch pad, heading towards Brooklyn. He hasn't zoomed the pylons in a while.

Tammy starts with radiation, because she does not expect much more tha background radiation. She frowns as she picks up a spike, something around is emitting much more radiation than it should be, especially in the gamma bands. She gets into her van and pulls out her Banneret armor, if there is radiation around she has to handle, a suit of NBC warfare rated armor may be handy to be wearing.

Morning traffic gets just that bit more exciting on the Brooklyn bridge when out of nowhere a suit of power armor skims over the top of the bridge pylons, loops back around and then turns back for another run, significantly lower this time…

Techstar aims for the Manhattan lane and drops below the suspension cables, throttling back to a mere Mach 0.5 to avoid damaging the cars now mere feet below him. A touch of aileron and he rolls out at the Brooklyn end, climbing for altitude and opening the throttle when a blip gets his attention. The on-board systems had just located another anomalous power source, unclassified this time.

"Sir…" JARVIS begins quite urgently, calling the pilot's attention to the strange spike and unknown signature, reading the background radiation in the area.

"I see it."

Above Brooklyn, Techstar alters course and begins to approach Banneret, flying just below the nearest helicopter flight routes.

Tamara plugs the multi sensor to the external interface port on her left arm, it will help her locate the radiation directionally. She checks the outside cameras on the van and exits when no one close by is sighted. STAR might not mind it being known the Atomic Knights work for them, but she prefers no one connect her with them personally. There are people out there who might attack her simply because of it, even though they are a clean-up team mostly, not a combat squad. She checks the reading…it seems strongest to the north and a bit east.

Techstar is, at this point, no more than another dot in the sky, lumbering along at the speed of roughly a private plane on a sightseeing tour of the city. The only thing different about this particular dot is that seems to keep circling the same spot, sensors and lenses trained on the unknown suit at ground level. "Well, that's a new design…" Sam muses to himself, looking at the data as it comes in. "If this is something the other world is fielding regularly, we might be in trouble… JARVIS, clear my schedule, I'm going to follow this thing, see where it goes."

"Young sir, your schedule is unfortunately not the kind you clear unilaterally. Would you perhaps like to send a personal message instead?"

"Sure. And send my regrets to the Academy, let them know I may be in a bit late today."

And so, on both Tony's and Pepper's phones, as well as the display on the fridge, a message soon appears.

'May be late for dinner, saw a new suit and following it.

Banneret follows the radiation trail, trying to locate the source. She realizes that it seems to be issuing from an old subway entrance. It is locked and boarded up, but that will not be a problem physically. First though, "Wayne, I have a strong gamma spike, seems to be coming from down in an abandoned subway platform at grid sector 47. Check the legals on forcing an entry, I can wait." Wayne acknowledges. It could take a while to get permission to enter, it looks like this place has been boarded up a while. She frowns and starts examining the front.

"Young Sir, the unknown suit has stopped at grid 47, near the old Myrtle Avenue station." That JARVIS, a fount of information, some of it useful.

"Never heard of it. Abandoned?"

"Correct. Closed in 1957, currently closed to the public. I would advise caution if you are planning a visit, young sir, the Manhattan tunnel is still in use."

"I'll keep that in mind." And that said, Techstar begins to descend, flight wings folding to allow it to land with a final burst of plasmatic thrust, no more than ten feet away from Banneret.

It is rather hard to ignore a suit of armor landing fairly close by. She does not recognize the type, but that is no surprise since this is not her city. It could be anything from police armor to a local villain. She decides to play it cautious, "Greetings, I am an Atomic Knight with STAR labs Hazard Containment, I am investigating a strange gamma radiation signature that seem to emanate from this area. She pulls out an ID badge that identifies her as Banneret, Atomic Knight unit #116, Star Labs Hazard Containment.

It's hard to ignore Techstar, that much is true, painted as he is in a fairly patriotic red, white and blue, with a distinctive stylized star on the central carapace. Next to Iron Man, Techstar might even look to be a bit smaller, though not as much as it once used to. As only response, the suit raises a hand in greeting, and then a voice that is mostly just electronic rings out. "Hi there, welcome to New York. Don't mind me, you just set off my scanner while I was patrolling." It's not entirely the truth, but he'll run with it for now.

"Young sir, I am reading what may be armaments aboard the other suit, but it's quite hard to tell given the design."

"Noted JARVIS, thank you. Keep the flight systems at pre-heat." Luckily the internal monologue doesn't reach the outside, but the next bit does, in that same electronic voice. "Never heard of STAR labs, but according to my scanners, you're right about the Hazmat problem. Any way I can assist you today?"

"With the world merger, it is hard to Tell, I am from the Metropolis branch, tasked with Hazard cleanup on in the northern megalopolis. I am waiting for permission to enter, I have passed on the request. Hopefully it will not take long, it is generally better for everyone not to break in. People get upset at strange suits of armor breaking into their property for some reason," Tamara says with an invisible wry smile.

"Patience is a virtue." Techstar agrees, and then turns to the boarded up tunnel. A small laser cuts through the structural support of the board lattice and a quick punch takes care of the rest of the barricade. He turns to look at Banneret and then shrugs. "Still working on that one. Shall we?" Because strange suits of armor might be an anomaly, by now most people would recognize Techstar on sight. "Just watch out, the Manhattan bound tunnel is still active."

Banneret could have done as much, but would have waited on permission. She switches her HUD to optical composite…if there is enough light there will be a greytone visible light overlay, the "warm" colors will indicate heat, while the "cool" colors are UV bands and White will indicate radiations sources. She Slowly heads in, not sure what to expect.

Letting Banneret lead, Techstar heads in next, switching scanners over to full spectrum HAZMAT, letting JARVIS handle positional plotting on the 3D map of the nearby tunnels revealed through the surface penetrating radar. This may, ironically, make the suit look like a minor source of radiation itself to the right kind of scanners. "You know…" Techstar begins, looking around the tunnel and switching on his external lights "… up until this whole alien invasion thing, I was familiar with every kind of power armor design on the planet. And here we are…"

Banneret says, "The Atomic Knight armor was originally designed back during the cold war, as a device for reclaiming areas devastated by nuclear war, It has been remodeled and upgraded since then, but is still useful of things like cleaning up the reactor over im Japan that was damaged in an Earthquake. It is not a particularly combat centered design, though it does have self defense functions. What is that?" She sees something ahead, it seems like a rat, but larger and giving off gamma radiation.

"Guess we got lucky we never really got into full scale nuclear war." Techstar counters, catching the blip on his sensors at much, much closer range than he would have liked. Odd. Normally he can pinpoint anything alive and/or moving (and those two are far too often not related) three hundred feet out. This was relatively speaking right on top of them. "At this point it's probably prudent to mention that this model is completely lacking in lethal options." Switching off the external speaker, Sam reviews that data. "JARVIS, tell me that's just a sensor glitch and you're confusing one of the trains coming past with an organic signature…"

"Alas, young sir."


Bannerette notes, "Radiation can throw off sensors not calibrated for it, the levels in here are getting pretty high. Hopefully your armor is NBC rated." The rat scuttles off, she says, "I think I have it pinpointed, looks to be a number of 50 gallon drums located in what was probably a waiting area near the platform It is a odd reading, a lot more Gamma energy than Alpha of Beta."

"The armor this design was based on has managed to survive in outer space. I'll be fine." Although both Sam and JARVIS add a 'probably' to that at exactly the same time. Quite frankly, he's never had to test that theory, but all the initial testing shows that Techstar /should/ be fully sealed and shielded. "I wouldn't be too surprised by that. In this world, you're more likely to encounter high Gamma sources than high Alpha. Nuclear war went out of fashion pretty quickly, but you'd be surprised what use we found for Gamma radiation." The lights pan around, making some of the local fauna skitter away. "Explains some of these beasties…"

Banneret comments, "Oh, is it an exceptional metagene activator where you are from? It is nothing special that I know of…well except that it makes pretty penetrating coherent high energy beams…if the mechanism can survive the energy input." Usually it takes a nuclear weapon to power a gamma beam laser, which tends to destroy the laser mechanism in the process of creating the beam. She says, "OK, I have a leak in one of the barrels, I will have to patch it and then see about cleaning up the spill."

"It's one of, I suppose, many mutagenic activators. That's a bit of an issue here, we've got a fairly substantial mutant population. Courtesy of the X gene that was discovered about fifteen years ago." Possibly longer. Sam really wishes he'd paid more attention to Mutant History at Xavier's, since the tunnel is cutting off his access to the city infrastructure and with it his connection to local networks. It's strange to suddenly have to rely on actual knowledge rather than the combined knowledge of the entire world being available. "If you have the tools to clean it up, by all means. I've got a low powered welding laser to take care of that leak."

"Let me run tests in volatility and flammability before you try welding, the last thing we need is for this stuff to explode…uhoh. Well the good news is it will not burn, the bad news it it appears to be an infectious agent. Some kind of retrovirus designed to infect a system and stay in the system, possibly for generations." Her armor, with the probe, is designed to detect such things….and she does have ways of cleaning up spills. She takes out a canister of neutral foam, it is designed to mix with many hazardous materials and then set into a solid that will have a strong outer seal…the mass can then be easily contained without further leaks…if you happen to have a container that is appropriate.

"Great. Sounds like we just stumbled on the lost cache of some kind of evil genius. I'll need to put that through to SHIELD once we're clear, they'll want to know who made this and why." Ah, the joys of interdimensional cooperation. Techstar kneels down, taking great care not to do so in the middle of a puddle of the ooze, and begins to weld the barrel shut, using a laser to melt the metal and reshaping it until it forms a full seal. It's still a weak spot, but at least one that is no longer leaking. "What reading are you getting? I'm coming close to 5 microsievert in the Gamma range, whoever comes to clean this up is going to need some heavy duty hazmat gear."

Whatever Tamara might have said is interrupted as a horde of gamma mutated rats attack those who are destroying their "candy". Tamara sets targeting and starts firing pulses from her laser, avoiding anything that might hit the barrels. She says, "I hope your NON-lethal weapons are up to snuff, because these things look to want a lunch of canned meat.

"Young Sir, if I may point your attention to…"

"I see them, thanks JARVIS."

It's hard to miss the tide of vermin spilling onto the platform, and Techstar brings his gauntlets up as if trying to ward off a blow. Ports in the palms open, followed by the whine of a capacitor charging, and soon thereafter there is a blast of diffuse plasmatic energy normally used to help the suit fly. The upside of the high diffusion is that it seems to hit a whole group of the rats at once, throwing them back quite a distance. Unfortunately, this being an enclosed space, the shockwave ricochets off the walls several times before dissipating, making shooting an exercise in triangulation and extreme care. "That's how you know you're in New York. Rats everywhere…"

Banneret is swarmed by rats. She says in surprise, "These things are strong, I am reading damage to my outer armor, that composite is stronger than steel." She starts swatting at the rats with enough force that they fly across the room and hit the opposite wall to crunch satisfyingly as bones break…though notably they do not generally seem to be dead. In fact, some of them are limping back, apparently angered by the pain.

The swarm simply keeps coming, a sea of vermin that seems unstoppable, and shooting at them is like throwing pebbles into an ocean. And although he's not sure what alloy that other suit is made of, Techstar doesn't want to test his own crystalline matrix against these things. "JARVIS… I'm going active measures."

"Understood sir, I will start the timer"


A shimmering field suddenly surrounds Techstar, the source of which doesn't register on any scanner. The rats attacking the suit are thrown back as if they'd just tried to gnaw through a high voltage line, and the tide begins to break against that invisible field. "Are you okay? I think we found out what caused the leak in that barrel… I strongly suggest we get out of here and come back in greater numbers." Especially because on Sam's HUD, a countdown has been activated that has less than five minutes on it.

Force fields are not part of this Atomic Knight armor, but other things are. She says, "Get up in the air, unless that protects you against electricity." that subway there has an active third rail. She can create an electrical arc between that and her gauntlets that will hit a lot or rats at once…it will act on anything else grounded as well, like the barrels, but the contents are not particularly conductive.

"Electricity is not something I worry about." Techstar says confidently, striding into the middle of the tide of vermin, and edging to within arcing distance of that third rail. He must know what he's doing, since he's giving the universal thumb's up signal. Inside the helmet, however, one AI is not so certain of this tactic.

"I would strongly advise against this, young sir, the power output of the other suit is unknown."

"Noted, JARVIS. And if it fries the buffers, you can say 'I told you so'."

Banneret charges her gauntlets which, when the charge grows strong enough, creates an arc of electrical energy bridging the distance between her and the third rail. The rats are tough, but flesh is a better conductor than air so the power arcs through then, causing their muscles to spasm and the nerves to short and their fur to catch fire in numbers…

It was a trick he never really got tired of. It's so easy to fall into the trap of thinking along the capacity of his armor, and that meant forgetting so much that he is personally capable of. Sam, when all is said and down, is not just the inventor and pilot of Techstar, not simply Tony Stark's son, and not just another highly intelligent gadgeteer that gets himself in impossible situations. First and foremost, Sam is a mutant.

The power flows along the third rail and gets close to Techstar, where the electricity simply… diverts. It's as if a coherent blue stream connects the suit to the rail, and above it a large object starts to grow out of thin air. It's simplicity itself, just a large plane about six feet square, made seemingly from coherent electricity. And with a simple motion of his arm, that plane slams down, electrocuting the rats caught under it, and soon enough the rats nearby as it starts to swat from side to side. Like a scythe through a cornfield, it begins so sweep the tunnel clear of rats. "Get some of this, rodents."

One thing that may interest Techstar is that the Atomic Knight armor power levels seem constant, as if the electricity being produced is no drain upon the system. Since there seems to be no need for more power, Banneret continues the charge at the current level and watchs what the other person is going with it. She hopes her helmet is recording everything for later analysis The other armor seems to have some interesting abilities.

As the tide of vermin starts to slacken, the bubble around Techstar vanishes. So does the countdown on his HUD, although JARVIS keeps a close tally of the time elapsed. When the horde has sufficiently diminished, the plane turns into a ball, which eventually turns into a club that goes hunting for the last few rats until it too vanishes. And then there were no more. Stepping away from the rail, the connection between Techstar and the power seems to be broken and normal physics resume. Half a mile down the line, a section switch stops the added current from reaching the adjacent tunnel, although the substation does note a temporary power surge in a section that is supposedly abandoned. "Guess you've never seen anything like that before?"

"Well not personally, though it seems reminiscent of what Green Lantern does with light, or what Starman could do with gravity," of course, she gas never personally encountered the retired Starman or a major leaguer like Green Lantern. She does not know anyone who does it with electricity, but perhaps STAR labs can figure out how it is done.

"In this world, a lot of things are possible that may seem strange." Techstar begins, forming a small ball of lightning in the open, upturned palm of his right hand. "We've only just started making peace with it ourselves…" he continues, throwing the ball from hand to hand, casually. "And we haven't always gotten it right. There's been fear, there's been persecution, there's been violence. But we're slowly getting there. Hopefully we can persuade the people from your world that we mean no harm." The ball is extinguished, following an admonition from JARVIS about 'showing off'. "All I ask is that you keep an open mind." Which is easier said than done, perhaps, when standing ankle deep in mostly fried and often gently twitching mutant rat corpses. "By the way, I hope we can keep this between ourselves? What you saw me do is something a lot of people are not aware I'm capable of."

"I assumed it was something to do with your armor, possibly using magnetic monopoles to create and form semi-solid electricity," Tamara says hesitantly.

"It can be done that way." Techstar agrees, and then motions back to the barrels they'd come here for in the first place. "Any idea what we're going to do with these? It looks like they might have started leaking by accident, but I don't think it'll take the surviving rats very long to gnaw through them again. How's the damage to your armor, by the way?"

"The damage is superficial," replies Banneret, "Though it would not have taken long to have become worse. The armor is tough, but not very thick. As to the barrels, STAR labs has ways to deal with them, we transport them up to the van on the street above and I haul them to the lab and let the tech boys deal with it."

"No time like the present." Techstar heads for the nearest barrel and puts both gauntlets on it, one on either side. For a brief moment he does nothing, while a minute level of force is exacted on the barrel itself, estimating its weight and adjusting the strength assisting servos to help the suit lift the load. Just as he does that, his lights pan around the platform again, stopping briefly on the walls, the small holes that the rats came through and most importantly on the sealed tunnels on either side. "Huh. Locked room mystery."

Tamara says, "Don't ask me, I am just a mechanic with a fancy suit." She would think the barrels have been here for a long time though.

As if the barrel is no more substantial than mist, Techstar starts to carry it towards the tunnel they came in by. "How many … Atomic Knights, was it? How many Atomic Knights are there? The military tends to be a bit worried about suits like ours." Which at least confirms that this particular model is privately owned.

She inquires, "Do they prefer the Rocket Elite armor in the hands of the Germans or the Red Rocket armor in the hands of the Russians? Those are ar least as powerful as mine. As to how many of us there are, I know of 125, but that might just be our squad, I do not know if there are others. Each of us has some superficial personalization, for identification."

"Neither." And Sam actually stops dead in his tracks at that revelation, filing it away but turning his head urgently towards Banneret. "Are you telling me there are suits like ours in the hands of nation states? Weaponized suits of power armor?" That's data SHIELD is going to want…

Banneret nods, "Oh yes, the Russians had them first, an alien named Kilowog helped design them and created a way to let them be empowered by the wearers. The Germans copied them. Ours are different technology, not really built for combat. Possibly some of the more recent modifications were reverse engineered." She takes a barrel and leads Techstar out to the Hazmat van.

The rest of the walk back to the van is silent. At least, on the outside. Inside the suit, there is more than a bit of activity going on. "I'm going to hope you logged all that, JARVIS, because our intel list on this new world has just gotten a bit longer."

"It would appear so. Incidentally, young sir, would you like me to mention the weaponized suits, the number of them, the national security implications or the hitherto unknown alien influence first in the report?"

"Just go ahead and pile it all under a priority one, would you? I think we're in to it up to our necks."

"Very good sir. We should be able to restore communications as soon as we reach the outside."

Banneret says, "I note the other world is a bit different from the one I came from in may ways, but general analogous. We discovered the Metagene a while back, it exists in roughly 15% of humans and allows them to become superhuman under the right conditions. Ironicly it was aliens who were trying to get rid of super humans who led to the discovery. I gather government created supers are not much of a thing in your world?"

"It's complicated." is the reply to that, Sam gradually getting close enough to the outside world to restore his connection to the networks, and with it a return of his utterly formidable intellect. "There has always been an interest in supersoldiers, but as far as I'm aware only one ever got made and he's still around. Good guy, bit behind the times but about as friendly as you'll ever meet. It's the natural expression of the gene that's the issue, the … supers, as you call them, not under government control. There was briefly a mutant registration act, but you can imagine there weren't that many takers. Recently we had the Sentinel Program that sought to find all mutants and deport them, but… well… if people on this world are worried about mutants, they're even more worried about anything that even looks like oppression. There's a few people trying to make a positive impact, even a few mutants in some sanctioned super teams, but mostly it's still a very touchy subject, socially and politically."

"It sounds like supers have a harder time in your world than in ours," Banneret says sympathetically. "There have been times when the world turned against the supers, but in general the public has supported us."

She adds, "There has never been any distinction about whether you were born with powers or if they came by accident or were planned."

"This world has been attacked a few times, and every time the metas rose up in defense. It's why it's such a difficult issue… there's many good metas, quite a few who just want to live a normal life, but they're balanced against the dangerous ones." Sam is a bit of a cynic on the subject, not having forgotten his time on Genosha, but his knows his views are very moderate compared to some hardliners. "I'd rather not talk about it, but I'll tell you this… be careful who you talk to about this. Some people will try to kill you for being different."

"I am as human as the next girl. I am just a girl in fancy armor, anyone could wear armor like mine and learn to be my equal," Well, anyone who happens to be athletic enough.

Again, Techstar files that information away, and adds that to the growing list of worrying revelations. "You might not understand this right now, but that is perhaps the most frightening thing I've heard in a while." Luckily the van isn't much further.

Banneret comment, "That is the difference between my armor and Red Rocket armor or Rocket Elite armor, the wearers of those are enhanced to allow the armor to use them to provide energy. They are metas enhanced by symbiotic armor."

As soon as they reach the van, Techstar puts the barrel down and nods. "Well, it's been a pleasure to meet you. I'm Techstar, and if you ever need to get a hold of me… well… I'm sure you'll find a way. Be safe, try not to crash the truck on the way to the labs."

Moments later the suit is airborne, and angling away at close to maximum speed, climbing for altitude.

"JARVIS, I need an uplink to SHIELD and I need it now. I think I just found out how World War Three is going to start…"

After sealing the van, Tamara carries a containment unit back into the tunnel to collect the neutral foam. She want all of that virus she can find removed for destruction.

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