1965-05-14 - How To Build A Spaceship
Summary: Noh-varr and Tony Stark meet to discuss business.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
tony noh-varr 


It's early afternoon. He picked the time carefully, knowing Stark's reputation. Too early, and he'd likely still be sleeping it off somewhere. Too late and he'd be ready to sleep it off somewhere. Noh-Varr's wearing his green and white uniform as he steps into the lobby of Stark Enterprises. Stopping just inside the doorway, he looks around and gives everyone a chance to look at him. After a few moments, he walks over to the receptionist and gives her a smile. In Kree, he says "Captain Noh-Varr of the 18th Kree Diplomatic Gestalt. I'm here to see Tony Stark. Please let him know I'm waiting." Then he repeats himself in English and adds "Apologies. I forgot most people on this planet don't speak Kree."

When Noh-Varr starts speaking in Kree, the receptionist's expression pinches in dismay. That? That's not one she speaks. She relaxes though when he repeats it in English. "And do you have an appointment?" she says. The uniform, the strangeness? Stark's receptionists may be stacked, but they've been trained to handle strangeness. She touches her fingertip to an intercom switch and says into it, "Mr. Stark, there's a Captain Noh-Varr here to see you."

After a moment, Tony's voice replies, "Send him up."

"I do not." Noh-Varr answers and just patiently stands there as she decides what to do and then calls up. Once Stark responds, he gives her another smile. "Thank you." Following her directions, he heads to the proper elevator and goes up to the offices.

"Have a nice day, Captain," the receptionist says, and she files this one under one of the more interesting encounters she's had lately.

Up in his office, Stark is actually awake, and he's upright in his chair, though there is a glass containing a splash of scotch on the desk and near at hand. When Noh-Varr arrives, he gets to his feet. "Captain," he says. "I remember, we met briefly at the mansion. Can I get you something to drink?"

"Something that tastes good." Noh-Varr answers as he enters Stark's office. "Alcohol doesn't affect me so it's all about the taste. I didn't think we'd been introduced at the mansion. Did someone say who I was?" As he waits for the drink, he looks around the office then back to Stark.

"One of the other kids there, Peter or maybe it was whatshisface." Tony gets up and moves over to the bar. He thinks for a moment, then he settles on concocting a Manhattan. "I like these," he says. "No idea if you will, but here goes." He's a little heavier on the sweet vermouth to soften the booziness of the rye whiskey. When it's done, he offers it over, then he returns to his scotch. "They mentioned you're not from around here."

Noh-Varr takes the glass and takes a decent sized sip to test it out. "Not bad. I like sweet drinks I'm discovering." Stepping over to a chair in front of the desk, he sits down. "That would be Chris." Just don't ask for a last name. "I'm Kree. I'm also not from this reality."

"Chris," Tony echoes. He resumes his seat across the desk from Noh-Varr and gives him a careful once-over. "Yeah, you'd about have to be. You don't look like the Kree I've seen. You're also a lot more polite than the Kree I've seen. So how does that work, exactly? How does someone like you end up somewhere like here?"

"Not all Kree are blue in any reality." Noh-Varr explains. "They're a small but powerful minority. And as I mentioned to your receptionist, I'm of the 18th Kree Diplomatic Gestalt. A trained diplomat. As to how I ended up in your reality, my ship - the Marvel - is equipped with a Kirby Engine which allows us to travel the multiverse. We received some distress calls that turned out to be a trap set by some cosmic entities. We defeated them but ended up off course and lost in the multiverse. To make a long story short, I ended up here."

Tony holds his tumbler, but he doesn't take a drink til the end of Noh-Varr's tale, he just watches him intently, taking it all in. Then, after a sip, he leans back and says, "Cosmic entities. Let's put a pin in that. Where's your ship? Do you think it's reparable, or are you going to be staying awhile?"

"Underground. It's not repairable but it is replaceable. And I'm going to be staying a while." Noh-Varr answers, in order. "Which is why I'm here. Your planet uses hard currency. I need a lot of it in a relatively short period of time. By which I mean years, not decades. To attain that end, I'm willing to sell scientific knowledge and advance technology."

Tony's brows lift. "You've got my attention," he says. "What kind of scientific knowledge or advanced technology can you offer? Just give me an example. I don't expect you'll give up anything vital, and that's fine" Daddy wants a taste is all. He stops shy of licking his lips. Advanced tech, you say?

"Many kinds. Just so you know, I'm already talking with the Future Foundation. Anything I sell them, I won't be selling to you. The reverse also applies." Noh-Varr assures him. "So. The problem with advanced tech is you need all the intermediate steps as well. Too advanced will do you no good, especially if you don't have the manufacturing base to make it." Taking another sip, he studies Stark a moment. "Reed Richards was interested in computer upgrades. His computers are actually surprisingly advanced for this planet but I can make them even more so. For you… I think you might be interested in miniaturization. You could, among other things, upgrade your suit."

"Yeah, Richards likes his computers," Tony says, none too miffed that the computer upgrades will be going to his fellow scientist. Miniaturization has his attention, though. "I'm listening," he says. "And with a little time, I could be mass producing. If it's something I think the public should have access to. With some of this stuff, it's like putting a loaded gun into the hands of children."

"The smaller, the more efficient the electronics, the more you can fit into the same space." Noh-Varr states the obvious. "You could pack more functions into your suit. Efficiency also translates to increased speed in the transmission of signals and the flow of power so we're talking more responsive and possibly faster. Add in some formula for alloys you don't currently have, and you'll be able to take more damage as well as dish it out."

"I'd pay you for that," Tony says. "In a heartbeat. If Parker vouches for you, I assume you're on the up and up. He's a good kid, and he's no dummy." Apparently, Parker did vouch for Noh-Varr, since Tony's sitting here talking to him like a space man from a different reality is totally a thing. "What about your weaponry?" Tony asks. "Are you keeping that to yourself?"

Noh-Varr is silent a moment as he looks at Tony then nods once. "I wasn't planning on selling anything that could be used to kill people. Frankly, your planet is already too good at it for a pri… young society. It also wouldn't be good for humans to appear to be a potential threat. You're already on the fringes of the Skrull-Kree war. If you start looking like you could be a 'player'… You don't want that."

Tony nods once and says, "Good. Don't trust any of us with a finger on the trigger." The once prominent arms dealer pours himself another splash of scotch. "Another Manhattan?" Then, "What do you know about the Skrull-Kree war? I'd rather they don't turn their attention our way, but if we're caught up in it, I'd like to be ready."

Noh-Varr glances down into his glass then tips it back to empty it and slide it over to Tony. "There's probably differences between my reality and this one beyond those that are evident on this planet but it's probably safe to say that it's been going on almost a million years. Your species was experimented on a very long time ago by some cosmic entities and it's now manifesting: mutants. Their abilities, and if they breed true, can make your people valued as combatants. My people already tried doing that here a long time ago but it didn't work out well so that experiment was abandoned. But not forgotten."

Tony gets to his feet and walks the cocktail glass back to the bar. "So much for the sky pilots' theory of a giant Dad who lives in the clouds." He whips up another Manhattan with the ease of practice. "So these people see us as a genetic hotbed of potential for their war-making? That's funny, so does our government." He returns to Noh-Varr, offering the drink over. "What do we do though? Laying down and taking it isn't our style, and this sort of stuff falls to people like Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Consider it of personal interest."

Noh-Varr shrugs at the question. "Defend yourselves and your planet." he answers. "The Skrulls are the true danger and I'm not saying that because I'm Kree. For obvious reasons, they're masters at infiltration. They could already control your government and you'd never know it. There's no easy way to detect one. Kree are much more direct. If you're at war with the Kree, you know it."

"They can't perfectly imitate us," Tony says, tapping his upper lip. "There's got to be something they're slipping up on. Brain waves, maybe. They don't think like us. There has to be something. I refuse to believe there isn't." His fingers twitch for lack of a notepad in them, so he takes one from a drawer in his desk, as well as a pen to start jotting down ideas. "I got the idea the Kree were more upfront," he says.

"I did say no easy way." Noh-Varr points out. "Getting one to stand still while you scan his brain waves is not necessarily an easy task. Likewise, if you were to take a tissue sample it would show. But from a distance? There could be a hundred Skrull on the street below us and no one would know."

Tony taps the pen to the notepad. "So we find a way to read brain waves on a moving target." He jots a few more notes. "Maybe a mass reader that detects anomalies. I don't know why we're not already demanding tissue samples for inspection on people working at any level of government above mail boy. A reader, though, that's where miniaturization might help. A handheld piece that could read a crowd."

"Do remember that when they change shape, everything changes. Their brains are human brains. Their hearts, human hearts. Not just outwardly but physiologically they become what they take the appearance of." Noh-Varr informs him. "Tissue samples would revert once removed from the person."

"Then scrap tissue samples. They don't think human thoughts," Tony says. "Their brain activity isn't like human brain activity. It can't be. If they've got an agenda, that's what they're thinking about." He frowns. "Damn, I wish I knew more biologists. This isn't one of my areas of expertise."

"You need telepaths." Noh-Varr suggests. "I can maybe put you in touch with one. I'll mention it if you want. But returning to the original topic, it's not just money I'm looking for. I need to build a new ship. I can cannibalize the Marvel for the raw materials but I need access to tools and manufacturing equipment. The hull will be easy. The computer mostly survived intact and Plex is fine. The engines are destroyed and will be hardest to rebuild though I think I've found a power source that'll serve. But building it takes equipment."

Tony pauses. Oh right, telepaths. While mutations are perfectly scientific, thus acceptable, Stark's still coming to grips with the fact that some people just read minds now. "Sure, sure," he says. "Raw materials are no issue. What kind of power source have you got?"

"Then we can work out the details and specifics of the advances over the next couple weeks. Seeing what you're already capable of will help me determine what you can put to immediate use." When talk to turns to power source, "A fusion reactor." Noh-Varr answers.

"A fusion reactor?" Tony says. "Where've you got a fusion reactor?" The brain ray gets set aside for now. He takes up his scotch again and lazes conversationally. "Power sources are a hobby of mine. I've got one I've designed, in fact."

"Do you? How powerful is it and what principles is it based on?" Noh-Varr asks. "As far as I've been able to determine, your planet is still figuring out fission. And not very well either." He studies Tony a moment then asks "Have you ever had your DNA tested to see if you have the mutant gene? Your species seems to have an unlikely number of people who are much more intelligent than they should be. Ones far beyond even the level that one would expect. I'm wondering if it's a result of the Celestials' experiments as well."

Tony shakes his head and says, "No, I never questioned my intelligence. There are a few of us at the top, but that's bound to happen." He's polite enough not to outright scoff at the notion of being the result of a Celestial's experient. "It could just be you've been lucky enough to meet an unusual number of smart people. Hang around Parker, it's bound to happen. I assure you most of the human race is dull and uninteresting."

"Oh, I've already discovered that." Noh-Varr won't push the issue, whatever his opinion on their species' intelligence levels. "So of what we've talked about, what interests you the most?"

"Upgrading my armor," Tony says. "It's overdue. We'll see what else I can make from what you teach me. There's a lot of cool stuff that would be even cooler if it was handheld." Brain rays aren't off the table, though he has written down 'telepaths?' and circled it. "Money is no object. We can also negotiate for raw materials. I've got access to enough."

"Raw materials aren't the major issue. Most of them will come from my ship which will never fly again. The manufacturing equipment is what's needed." Noh-Varr points out. "I'll need access to tools and heavy duty equipment in order to assemble a spaceship. Even a relatively small one."

"I can set you up," Tony says. "I've even got space where you can build it, where I produced a few jets. I'm not making as many anymore, so we can free up the space." He knocks back the last of his scotch and refrains from pouring more, for the moment. "I don't want to sound like I'm trying to get rid of you, I just hate to see someone stranded."

"Believe me, I want the ability to leave should I want to. If I stay on this planet, I want it to be my choice and not one forced upon me." Noh-Varr assures Tony. "Depending on how long it takes to build, I might not be ready to leave just yet. But space and equipment is exactly what I need. That should speed things up greatly. If nothing else, I'll enjoy being able to fly again."

Tony smiles crookedly. "Anything you care to teach me about the process of repairing your ship would be greatly appreciated, but I'm satisfied with our arrangement as it stands. So, relevant to nothing, were you at the Avenger's Mansion as a visitor or are you thinking of sticking around?"

"If you want to know how to design a spaceship, I don't see the harm in it. Reed Richards already does, though a rather primitive one that wasn't adequately shielded against cosmic rays. In fact, you might even need one some day depending on what the Skrulls or Kree do." Noh-Varr muses. "They have ships in orbit and you might need to get up to them." The question though makes him pause. "I hadn't even considered it. I'm sort of affiliated with some friends already though it's not on the level that the Avengers are."

"We're already working on spacecraft," Tony says, "a little jump in the timeline wouldn't be such a bad thing. For the reasons you've mentioned." He folds his hands on the table and leans in to tell Noh-Varr, "I don't have the sole authority to say welcome aboard, but someone with your expertise would help us in a fight. I can put in a good word. Like I said, if Parker vouches for you, you're good in my book."

"Peter and I have barely met." Noh-Varr informs Tony. "So you probably shouldn't rely on that too much. As for the timeline, I'm not concerned. For every technological advance I introduce here, the reality next door I didn't. In the large picture, it doesn't make any difference at all. The only question is will it harm your species and I don't think so."

"He guards his identity well," Tony says. "I don't assume he'd drop it to you without a reason." Sure, he'll rely on the kid's paranoia more than his taste in space men, why not. He listens to Noh-Varr, and there's a lot going on behind his eyes; the man never stops thinking. "How it affects this timeline concerns me greatly, so I appreciate your candor."

"As you don't know what the future looks like, you can't tell if it's different." Noh-Varr points out. "Your future could always have been dependent on what advancement I make here. To not do so might be altering it. Or, if one believes that the future is malleable and not set in stone, it becomes impossible to affect it for better or worse. It just is. Though, to be honest, I don't know if that's correct or not. Time is not something that's considered safe to experiment with. Nor easily accomplished."

Tony waves a hand and says, "I'm not concerned with whether or not this was supposed to happen. It is happening. I feel that, given my part in it, I have a responsiblity to make sure the hands these innovations fall into are the right ones. That is something I think is 100% supposed to happen."

"I'm glad you think so." Noh-Varr says. "Which is why I won't be divulging any weapons tech or anything that can do more harm than good if turned to the purpose." Finishing the drink, he sets the glass down on the desk. "What's your suit made of? Before I can recommend an allow to replace it, I need to know what it currently is and what it can withstand."

"Despite the name," Tony says "it's mostly steel and titanium, and a few alloys of my own design. I'm always looking for lighter and stronger. If I have to rebuild it from the ground up?" He smiles lazily. "Good. Sounds like fun."

Steel and titanium? Might as well be made of rock. "Lighter and stronger shouldn't be a problem. Just changing that will make you faster and more maneuverable. And, of course, it can be used to build other devices and vehicles." Noh-Varr pauses to think a moment. "I'll have to go to the library and read up on your smelting technology. How hight a temperature you can attain will affect this."

"See, that's what I like to hear," Tony says. "I wouldn't mind making some gear for my teammates." Not for mass production, though. He gestures broadly and says, "If there's anything I can do to help you, gathering information, let me know. I've got a decent head for this kind of thing."

"I'll do that." Noh-Varr agrees and stands up. "If you have the latest technical journals in as many areas as possible, that'll be a better source of your current technology level than the library will be."

Tony rises to his feet and offers a hand to Noh-Varr to shake. "I'll have my secretary downstairs have a few copies ready for you. They'll be waiting for you." His receptionists are nothing if not surprisingly capable. "Anything more I can send to the mansion. I take it you'll be by there again?"

Noh-Varr nods and clasps the hand. "Yes, I can do that." Why not? "Could be fun. I don't have an address or phone yet but once I do, I'll let you know."

Tony gives Noh-Varr's hand a brisk shake. He's shaking hands with an alien, his inner kid never fails to be thrilled by this. "Good, I look forward to working with you. Let me know if there's anything else you'd like to discuss. I'll make the time."

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