1964-10-19 - Do Not Try To Poison the Hulk
Summary: Tony and Bruce conduct an experiment in a secure location. This leads to an interesting conversation with the Hulk.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
bruce tony 

Well, it's Saturday. That means Bruce has been let into the ballistics facility Tony isn't using. The chamber Tony leads Bruce to is about twenty feet underground and its walls are a solid foot of concrete. Thick, bulletproof glass separates the ballistics chamber itself from an observation room. Tony's in 'rich casual' today with a lab coat thrown on over his clothes. He's also got on protective goggles, because those will surely stop the Hulk.

Bruce follows Tony down the hall and to the facility. The slight man is nervous, and even though it's nice and cool down here, he's sweating. He is wearing a lab coat and his usual attired. Brown corduroy pants, a red flannel shirt and well used loafers. He pushes the glasses up on his noce with one hand, while his other hand grips tightly to a case he has brought along. His eyes go to the observation room, and he frowns, "That doesn't look all that safe in there. Are you sure you want to be here? Does anyone know where you are?" Have you next of kin been notified? Have you updated your will? Bruce floats a worried look over at Tony. "I'm beginning to think this might not be a good idea."

Tony says easily, "It's one of the safest places in New York. Yes, yes, no, and not since I got back." He gestures to the entrance to the chamber and says, "Aw, come on. The worst thing that could happen is you break free and terrorize New York. Look, it's a double sealed steel set of doors to get in or out, we've gone through two reinforced checkpoints to get here. If you break out, the only person you're going to hurt is me, and I'm consenting to the risk."

Bruce frowns and wonders if Tony is capable of giving informed consent. However, since the man's parents are dead, he looks at Tony for a moment and sighs. "Okay." He goes to a metal bench at one end of the room. He lifts the case he is carrying on the table and opens it carefully. There are two syringes in the case and a bottle of a honey colored liquid. "So, you saw the reports. This dose is 100 times stronger than what we are administering the monkeys. So far it has been pretty promising. Monkeys given this and then exposed to radiation absorb almost no radiation into their cells. There are some side effects, but we will be working on those. They aren't deal breaking." Bruce explains the research, though he knows Tony has probably read everything already. He looks up and pushes up his glasses again.

"Sure, sure," Tony says. He has indeed read the reports, and the side effects don't seem to trouble him much. Sometimes one ha to break a few eggs. He studies Bruce for a moment, then he says, "Look, I'm down to see something cool happen, but this is all you, buddy. If you want to do this, we'll do it, and I'll take full responsibility for what happens to my facility. If you're not feeling it, we table it and go back to monkeys. Your call.'

Bruce says, "I want to try it," Bruce says wetting his lips. "Okay, so I tried this with some of my own cells." He takes the vial and inserts the syringe, pulling out half the liquid. He glances at Tony as he pushes up his sleeve and taps the syringe. "Are you ready?" he pauses the needle poised in his hand. "If it works as expected, I shouldn't turn into the monster, but if I do, my cells should start dampening the radiation.""

Tony steps back and toward the observation booth. "Sure, I'm ready. Just let me seal you in first, all right?" From the controls in the booth, he pushes a few buttons, and the steel doors begin to slide closed. They're thick doors, secured by rows of dead bolts locking into place. This place is meant to absorb the blast of hard core munitions. However, it's never been tested on a Hulk.

Bruce watches the doors close, and it gives him a chill. This might be his tomb, he tells himself. "Well, here goes," he murmurs softly, stopping again with the tip of the needle against his skin. He looks up, "Thanks, Tony, for not stopping me from doing this." He presses the liquid into his arm, and quickly takes another syringe and fills it again. This one will go into his right arm. He injects the needle, and presses the plunger in about half way before his body jerks, and he feels his knees go out form beneath him. The scientist falls to the ground as though he has been shot, the needle still sticking from his arm. Bruce's eyes are open, and he is gasping for breath. No sign of Hulk….yet

Tony come up to the observation window and stands, clipboard in hand. He's not one for taking notes, usually. He just keeps what he finds in his head, writes it down later if he bothers to write it down at all. Today, he's being a Proper Scientist about it all. It beats standing there with one's hands in one's pockets waiting to see if doom explodes in his facility or not. "Ready when you are," he calls through an intercom. He makes a note of the time, counting down the seconds between injection and effect.

It's quiet in the room. Bruce lies prone on the floor of the facility. He's stopped gasping, and his eyes are closed. In fact, it's hard to tell whether he is breathing at all.

"Bruce?" Tony calls through the intercom. "Bruce, buddy, are you all right? Respond." He jots down a few notes and, after Bruce doesn't move for awhile, Tony starts the process of unbolting those steel doors. Unfortunately, for safety's sake, they take awhile.

When Tony opens the doors and comes in, Bruce doesn't make a move. He doesn't look very good at all, actually. Unless Tony gets down and checks his pulse, he might believe that Bruce is dead. There's a journal in the case with Bruce's notes. Death was actually one of the more likely outcomes that Bruce had anticipated. If that rid with world of the Hulk, it was an acceptible outcome as far as Bruce was concerned. But he's not dead…not yet. His pulse is faint and getting fainter.

Tony does just that. He puts fingers to Bruce's throat. "Come on," he whispers. "Breathe, Bruce. Don't die on me." He eyes the medical case. He knows there's a vial of adrenalin in there because he made sure of it, just tucked away off to one side. Bruce's death was not something he considered an acceptable outcome. "I'm going to regret this," he predicts, but that doesn't stop him even a beat from grabbing the vial and measuring some of it into a syringe.

Whatever concoction Bruce cooked up was strong. The pain caused by the reaction in Bruce's cells grew slowly in intensity. Hulk trapped within Banner did not burst forth as he usually did in a ripping and tearing of muscle and rage. He began to wake slowly, pain, anger, and fear working on him as though he is in a dream, and for a moment, he is aware of being compressed and contained. He tries to roar, but can't yet. This is happening as Tony is readying the syringe of adrenaline. Wake up. Danger. The alrms are going off in Hulk's brain, and he opens his eyes suddenly. On the outside, if Tony is watching and not occupied with the case, Bruce opens his eyes. Green Hulk rage eyes, though he is still in Bruce form at the moment on the ground.

Tony looks up when Bruce opens his eyes, and the genius part of the genius multi-millionaire playboy philanthropist does the smartest thing he can do: he backs off and beelines for those steel doors, then into the observation room to mash the buttons that start the sequence to close them. Dead bolt start to lock in, but it's as slow a process closing them as it is opening them up. "Calm down, Bruce," he says through the intercom. "You're all right." His trembling hand places the syringe harmlessly on the shelf beside the control panel. No adrenalin shots for the giant green monster today.

Tony will have time to get away because this situation has Hulk struggling. Bruce's body convulses and Hulk roars out finally in pain. More slowly than usual, he starts to transform. His arms thicken and grow tearing the shirt and lab coat slowly. His legs strain at the corduroy, ripping the legs. HIs shoes pop open under the strain. Hulk is in pain, and he roars again, this time rattling the window as he sits up on the floor. He tries to stand and falls to a knee, putting a massive hand to his head. He looks up and around to see where puny Banner has him now. His eyes fall on Tony in the booth, and the linger there.

"Bruce?" Tony calls through the intercom. His voice isn't its usual flip wit, but the closest thing he gets to soothing. "Get it together, man. You're okay." He doesn't sound entirely sure about that, but he makes the effort. Still, he watches transfixed as Bruce begins to transform. He can't help but be curious. "Hey," he says to the green beast eying him. "Take it easy, buddy. Just take some deep breaths."

Hulk slowly stands still looking at Tony with rage eyes. As he rises, it is though he is being inflated. He just seems to get bigger and bigger in front of the window. He clamps a hand around the edge of the metal table, and it wads up in his fingers like he's grasping aluminum foil. Tony's words don't seem to be getting through right now. Hulk staggers a bit, takes his eyes from the window, then regains his balances and moves towards the only person he can see. He splats a huge kand against the glass and roars again at Tony in the booth. He looks surprised for amoment, feeling the glass.

"Woah," Tony murmurs. Even in the face of life-threatening doom, he has to admit, this is extremely cool. Deadly, horrifying, likely the way he shuffles off this mortal coil, but wow. The moment the Hulk slams his hand against the glass? Not so cool anymore. Tony hits the floor so he's no longer visible through the window. When the Hulk draws his hand away, there's no more person to be seen.

Hulk narrows his eyes. He's maybe not as smart as Bruce, but he's not stupid either. He presses up against the glass to see where the man went. It's not Banner. He dresses too cool to be Banner. That big green palm draws back from the glass and makes a big green fist. And the monster speaks. "HULK FEELS SICK!" He punctuates his sentence with a punch at the glass. This is Stark technology vs the Hulk. His fist doesn't go through, but it makes a spiderweb of cracks.

Tony starts, and he grimaces as he hears the glass crack. This is a sick Hulk? He's not sure he wants to see well Hulk. "Try putting your head between your knees," he calls. Then he rolls out of the way, toward the door. He wasn't completely unprepared. There's an antechamber attached to this one where he's got his suit. He just needs to get to it.

Put his head between his knees? Hulk staggers a little again. He pulls off the last remnants of Bruce's lab coat as he looks around him. It looks like a cage to him. He pulls back his fist again and this time slams it through the glass. "Did fancy man make Hulk sick?!" He pulls the window glass out and scatters it across the floor of the facility.

Glass shatters inward, and Tony takes a thick shard in the leg while a few smaller pieces land superficial cuts across his cheek. He yelps as he evades the Hulk's fist by millimeters, and he dives through the door to the anteroom, calling behind him, "I'm more than just my clothes, you know!" Fancy. Try genius!

Hulk has smashed out the window, but he's too big to fit through it. He turns away from teh window in an even bigger fit of rage and slaps his hands on the ground with a roar. If anyone had been in the room, they would have been knocked on their asses. He feels another wave of dizziness and nausea. Put your head between your knees? Hulk bends over for a moment and takes a breath. Okay, so the fancy man wasn't totally wrong, but Hulk is still pissed. He straightens and turns his head towards the steel doors.

Fancy man probably shouldn't be trying to make the massive rage monster feel better when he's smashing about. Still, the man beneath the monster is his friend, and he doesn't want to see him sick. Tony starts strapping into the suit. "Hurry, hurry, hurry," he mutters to himself as the bits and pieces of it interlock and come to life. Can his suit stand up to something like the Hulk? It's not been field tested for that.

These doors are meant to withstand a healthy blast. But they have never been tested against Hulk. He stumbles to the doors and starts to pound on them. He's not feeling at peak condition, but he certainly is making dents. He stops only to turn and throw up a small amount. Hulk Hurl can be pretty nasty, but this is just the remains for Bruce's earlier lunch. Egg salad sanwich.

Tony is still going to want a sample of that in a vial because science is gross sometimes. Tony emerges, his footsteps clomping hard on the ground. Fancy man has become a red and gold metal man, the eyes gleaming bluish light. His voice resonates within the mask. "Calm down, buddy. I don't want to have to hurt you." It's a testament to his ego that he can say that with such confidence.

Hulk's not quite sure what to make of the metal man. He hasn't seen Tony's suit before. Neither has Banner. So there is no subconscious memory. It you tell someone to calm down though, it rarely has a good effect. Hulk turns on Tony and charges like a bull. "YOU MADE HULK SICK!"

The ceiling in the chamber is high. The ceilings out here? Not so much. That's both a blessing and a curse. Tony tries to fly up and over the Hulk but hits his head on the ceiling with a clang. Then he pushes himself backwards with the glowing blue… things at his feet. Since he's not looking behind him, he clangs off walls, trying to get his bearings in this inclosed hallway. "I get that a lot," he says. "Lie down, big guy. You'll feel better." Clunk, clank around a corner.

Hulk roars and chases down the hallway, skidding sideways as he tries to take the corner. He slams into the wall and this seems to slow him down and disorient him again. He sits there for a moment, trying to focus properly against the weird feelings. His body is working hard to get rid of teh toxins Bruce pumped into it. Stupid Bruce.

Exploratory Bruce. Sometimes unexpected things happen! Tony certainly doesn't plan to blame the man. They're coming close to the first series of steel doors leading out of the place. Tony ducks into a corridor that doubles back around. Survival is high on his list, but higher still is containment. He'd never admit it aloud, but the lives of others do matter more to him than his own when push comes to shove. Besides, as he twists around to fly forward, he's fast, and he knows these hallways. This one will take him right back around to the ballistics chamber.

Hulk pulls himself up again. He gains speed, following the metal man, but he is getting tired. He stops at one point and claps his hands together to create a sonic blast. He stumbles again and sits down right there, holding his head in his massive.

That sonic blast knocks Tony ass over teakettle right into one of the mangled steel doors. He bounces off it and skips on the concrete like a stone on a lake before spinning to a stop. "All right," he says to the ceiling. "We'll work on that in the next model." Then he pushes himself to his feet, hovering while silverblue 'flame' shoots out his hands a few inches. "Are we done?" he asks while, in the corner of his mind, he works out all possible escape routes he might just pull off if needs must.

Big green hands press against his head. It hurts, attacking every cell in his body. He peeks at Tony angrily, but doesn't move. If he changes back to Bruce, he knows subconsciously that they will die. He peeks, but doesn't do anything as his energy is burning the poisons away, and he feels like crap.

Tony slowly lowers himself to the floor to stand. "Yeah, I know, you're mad at me," he says. "Look, I'd offer you a drink if I had one. And a bucket to serve it in." Poor Bruce, he's going to have one hell of a hangover when this is said and done. "Do you know who I am?" he asks. Ever the scientist, he's got to test this subject. He's seen the strength and rage, not to pry at his intellect.

Hulk's voice vibrates the walls around him and Tony likely as well. Hulk studies the billionaire genius. There is some sort of connection there between the personalities. "BANNER'S FRIEND. BANNER AND YOU MADE HULK SICK." Banner isn't here to blame. Only Tony.

"Not bad," Tony says, even marveling a little. Through the mask, in the suit even Banner doesn't know about Tony has, the Hulk recognizes him by personality. That, Tony makes a note of. "It'll pass," he tells the big green monster. "You're working the toxins out of you already, big guy. Do you know what Banner was working on?"

Hulk's voice is almost felt rather than heard as it reverberates through the room, "BANNER IS TRYING TO KILL HULK." Yeah, he knows and yeah, he's pissed. He bares large square teeth. Still on the floor feeling as green as he looks, Hulk reaches out to try to swack the flying man in the suit. The man had talked about drinks. Hulk was thirsty, but probably not for the kind Tony was talking about. "Hulk thirsty." He puts his hand against the wall and tries to raise to his legs again.

"He's scared," Tony says, zipping out of reaach without missing a beat. "He doesn't understand you, and he does what people do when they're scared." He places a metal-gloved hand to his glowing chest as he says, "I don't want to kill you. I want to understand you. I want to get you on our side and on our team. I think you could do a lot of good, Hulk." The question of thirst has him looking around. "Hold on a sec." He drifts down the hall to a chem station. There's a sink. The water doesn't taste great but it's clean. So is the bucket he fills. His voice can still be heard as he calls, "It'll be just a bit."

Hulk leans against the wall, his hand splayed against the wall. He listens to Tony, but pushes away from the wall, and starts walking towards the doors. "YOU ARE BANNER's FRIEND." He doesn't seem to realize, at least not yet, that Tony wants to help. And, why would he. No one has wanted to help Hulk. Betty maybe, but that was long ago.

Tony flies the bucket of water closer, but seeing Hulk coming down the corridor, he sets the bucket down and flits back like a clanking, heavy, red and gold Tinkerbell. "I'm trying to get him to come to grips with you, man," he says. "Sometimes friends don't agree on the best course of action." He stays just out of swiping range, but no further. Hulk probably doesn't get a lot of people willing to be near him, and Tony's going to take advantage of the confinement of these narrow corridors to slow the beast down. It might be the only chance he ever has.

Dammit, Tony is confusing him. Hulk doesn't like to be confused. Hulk narrows his eyes at the metal tinkerbell. He's a pretty unorthadox Peter Pan. A couple of steps brings him to the bucket. It will distract him for a moment, as he picks up the bucket and starts to drink. He needs the water to flush out his system. The water disappears in great noisy gulps and splashes as droplets try to escape Hulk's gullet. He throws the bucket aside, making it skitter along the corridor. Hulk wipes his mouth on the back of his thick arm and belches afterward. He does NOT like the confinement of the corridors and he moves forward, seeking the exit.

Tony is flitting his way toward the doors leading back into the ballistics chamber. The ceiling is higher in there. There's more room to stretch out. What he does once he's there and Hulk can lunge at him is an interesting question with, no doubt, a fascinating answer. "You feel better?" he asks. "There's more where that came from. You're going to be okay. I want to help you." He's poised to dart away. That offer of help might not be taken the way he means it.

Hulk is not going to cooperate. He follows Tony for a few steps, then swings his fist and hits the wall with a smash. "HULK WANTS OUT!!! HELP HULK GET OUT!" He smashes the wall again, making chunks fall off the walls.

"There's no way out til you calm down, pal," Tony says. "I'm sorry, had to be done." He winces as chunks fall off the wall. That's going to get expensive. Oh well, he did freely offer the place. "Banner walks in, Banner walks out. That'st he rule. That could change, but I'd need something from you, first."

So in some ways, Hulk is like a 800 pound toddler. Being told "no" makes him angrier. He moves closer and closer to Tony. Slowly his big fingers curls into huge fists. If Tony has something to say, he had better say it fast.

Tony darts back into the narrow corridor. "Use your power for good, against the bad guys. Only the bad guys. Don't hurt the innocent, don't destroy their homes and institutions." He hovers, ready to dart off faster if he has to. "Do good. That's all I ask. You've got a gift. Use it for the right reasons."

Hulk slows and steps closer to Tony, breathing heavily through his nose. His nostrils are still flaring as he examines Tony up and down. "Metal man's scared of Hulk."

"I prefer to call it a healthy respect for your abilities," Tony says. He lifts the mask so that Hulk can see his face. It's easier to bond with an actual face rather than a metal plate. "You're stronger than I am, bigger, and you're cunning." He's not foolish enough to assume the Hulk is stupid just because he's no Banner. "I think you can tell the difference between right and wrong, or you could learn. You could use your anger to keep the bad guys from winning. I think, deep down, you want that."

Bruce says, "HULK KNOWS RIGHT AND WRONG," he declares. " He leans in closer to look at Tony. His eyes are intelligent and clear. As he peers into Tony's face (if it is still there) he reaches slowly to Tony's visors. "IF HULK HELPS GOOD GUYS, WILL METAL MAN HELP HULK?"

Tony holds very still. This is where all those genius hunches either pay off of blow up. His face is visible still, those dark eyes intent as they focus on Hulk. "I want to help you. You're not the villain here, and I think understanding and working with you instead of against you is the right call."

Hulk touches the visor gingerly, then taps the top of the helmet with his finger. "MAKE BANNER STOP!" Hulk is quieter now. Calmer. Tired.

Tony says gently, "I'll work on Banner." He remains very still for the touch, but he's calm. Not shaking in his tin can or anything like that. At least on the outside. On the inside he's thinking don't mess up don't mess up don't mess up. "All right? We got a deal?"

Hulk snorts and turns, "DEAL."

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