1965-07-12 - Invasion is the lesser of evils
Summary: Tony and Noh-Varr run into each other at Avengers Mansion
Related: None
Theme Song: None
tony noh-varr 

It's a hot summer day, and out on the terrace toward the rear of the manor sits Tony Stark in one of the lounge chairs. It's far too hot for a suit. He'd be baked alive inside it. Today it's white tennis shorts, a white polo shirt, and blue suede slip-ons. He's also wearing sunglasses as he lazes, a dwindled Manhattan in his hand. Maybe these basking sessions are why he's not white as a sheet despite spending most of his time inside a laboratory.

It's a hot summer day and out on the street Noh-Varr's walking toward the mansion. It's far too hot for excess clothes so he's just wearing shorts, sneakers and a white tee shirt. It's also too hot for extra walking so once he gets to the mansion's wall, he just climbs up it, ignoring the looks given by those who see him. "Tony!" he calls as he gets to the top and sees the man. Jumping down to the ground, he walks over.

Tony glances over, and he lifts his Manhattan glass in greeting. "Noh-Varr," he says once the alien has come within conversational range. "To what do we owe the pleasure? Do you want a drink? There's a bar just inside." An honor, that Tony's willing to get up and move around without it being a life or death situation. "You've got us on a lazy day. Thank goodness it's too hot for crime."

"I was nearby." Noh-Varr explains. "I was thinking of going to Central Park and thought I'd see if anyone here wanted to go." A drink? "Something cool. Sweet. Froofy. Or just something very good. I"m still learning what your best drinks are."

Tony gets to his feet, and he says, "Something sweet and froofy. That I can do." He drains his glass, and he steps inside to toss a couple drinks together. Another Manhattan for himself, and for Noh-Varr a tall glass of something red, on the rocks, with a straw. "Barbados Punch," he says as he offers it over. It's froofy, fruity, and sweet. Also loaded with rum. "We're coming up with new ones all the time. Whatever else you can say about Earth, you can't fault our cocktail innovation."

Noh-Varr takes the drink then flops down into a lounge chair. "Barbados Punch." he repeats, sucking some up through the straw. "Good. Yes, your planet might be primitive but your alcohol combinations can stand up to most races. Intoxicants are usually one of the first things that intelligence species come up with."

Tony gestures with his Manhattan glass. "Exactly," he says. "It's something I try to stay on top of as one of Earth's finest minds." He settles into a lounge chair beside Noh-Varr's. "How are you adjusting?" he asks. "I imagine this is still all pretty new to you. That, and the realization you're kind of stuck with us now."

"Not that new. I was on another Earth for over a year before getting to this one. Though the year on that one was 2018 so it was more advanced." As for being stuck, Noh-Varr shrugs. "It's only temporary until I build a new ship. Not that I'm in a rush to leave. There's nothing for me to return to."

Tony whistles. "2018. It's good to know at least one version of us lasts that long." He gazes out at the grounds as he nurses his drink along. They're lovely grounds. "You might even make friends while you're here," he says, "maybe build some kind of life. If we don't blow ourselves up. Thanks a lot for that, Dad." He's quick to amend, "Not that nukes are the worst answer. They're just a rather final one."

"I have been." Noh-Varr agrees. "I promised someone on that other Earth to defend this planet and decided it applies to whichever one I happen to be on at the time. You're probably going to need it since being invaded again is more likely than blowing yourselves up."

"That's good," Tony says. "It's nice to think we'll survive long enough to be invaded. We allegedly already are under invasion, but without any idea of what the Skrull are or any samples to work with, I'm not exactly sure how I can approach the problem. I'm keeping an eye out for whatever I can get on them, but right now they might as well be ghosts in the wind."

"It's what makes them dangerous." Nov-Varr notes. "They're master infiltrators and have probably been on your planet for years, maybe decades, learning about you and putting themselves where they need to be. The Kree and Shi'ar are much more direct. When they invade, you know it."

"Courteous of them," Tony says, "though it doesn't help with the present issue of the Skrull. While there are days where I think the world could use a scrubbing of its leaders and the whole structure repopulated from the ground up, it's actually a chaotic process that would lead to a lot of inconvenience and it still wouldn't guarantee the Skrulls wouldn't end up at the top again. I need a way to identify and track them."

"Their DNA is different, of course. Though you don't seem to be very advanced in that field yet. And getting a sample from everyone on the planet is impractical." Not very helpful, is Noh-Varr. "Telepaths could identify them. That's the easiest way."

Tony's brow furrows. "Hmm, that's a thought. I tend to forget about telepaths. Biology is a soft science anyway, and I'm not boned up enough on my genetics to take that much of an interest in Mutants, but I hear some of them can read minds. I don't suppose you can? I don't know that much about Kree biology either. Or would it be psychology? The line gets fuzzy there."

Noh-Varr shakes his head. "I'm not a telepath. Plex is but he's limited to my ship and his range is much less since it was damaged. There are some telepaths around but you'll need to manage to contact them. Maybe if you tried making contacts in what you call Mutant Town."

Tony wrinkles his nose. It's not that he has anything against Mutants. He really doesn't. It's just that Mutant Town doesn't exactly align with his 5th Avenue aesthetic. "Yeah, I guess. Maybe I could have one pose as an assistant. I can get important people to a soiree. It's one way to get a bunch of them in one place."

"I'd check your politicians and anyone in a position of power." Noh-Varr suggests. "But they could also be anyone you happen to see on the street. Just watching, listening, learning how to manipulate you. They've been doing this a long time and have perfected it."

"What's their aim?" Tony asks. "Intel? Sabotage? A little from either column? Either way, I don't like it." He broods over a drink from his glass. "I mean how would I know you're not one, if they could be anyone? Or the telepath I pick to be my assistant? At some point it's a leap of faith, and faith ahs never been my strong suit. I mean I guess, unless the Skrull have telepaths, one of them posing as one would be discovered easily enough. Probably safe there."

"Conquest." Noh-Varr answers. "Your planet would make a nice addition to anyone's empire. It's located right near a hyperspace route between galaxies and the tendency toward mutation the Celestials engineered in you means you'd make good soldiers." The slurping sound from his straw means he's finished his drink. "You don't know I'm not one. But most of them can't duplicate abnormal abilities. They can look like anyone or anything but they can't make themselves stronger than they normally are and they can't fly without wings. I'm much stronger than the average Skrull so that's a good way to be sure of that. Peter as well."

"Peter's off the charts," Tony says. "If the Skrull were as smart as he is, they wouldn't need to infiltrate our day to day peons and politicians. They'd already have taken over the world." There's a finality in his voice. The possibility of Peter Parker being a Skrull just isn't a thing. Not for him. "That's good to know, though. It means if we find a telepath, we only have the normal reasons not to trust them."

"Unless it's a Skrull telepath." Noh-Varr points out. "I said they couldn't mimic special abilities not that they never had them themselves. So don't be overconfident."

Tony's brow furrows. "Well, are there telepaths among them are aren't there? How common can telepathy be?" As an engineer, he has few peers, but psychology, biology, it's all squishy human stuff. It's chemistry that got in touch with its feelings. It's just a step above nonsense. A telepathy machine? Now that's getting somewhere. He bites at the inside of his cheek, then takes a small notepad and pencil from his pocket, and he jots down a few notes. Telepathy machine. Something new to invent.

Noh-Varr shrugs lightly and sets his glass aside. "I don't know. I'm not an expert on Skrulls. I do know it's not wise to assume your enemy can't do something, especially since they're good at genetic engineering."

"That's fair," Tony says, half-distracted now. "Genetic engineering? Yeesh, we've got a lot of catching up to do. I'm going to have to bone up on my biology." Because who else is he going to trust to get it right? "I'm going to have to get a telepath, one way or another. Mutant Town, that's a good idea."

"You might want to try to blend in." Noh-Varr suggests as he stands. "Rich men in depressed areas asking questions don't usually go over well on any planet. And now I'll go to the park. There are many attractive humans there, often playing sports."

Tony glances up at Noh-Varr over the rim of his sunglasses as the alien stands. "I rarely blend," he says. "Maybe I'll make Parker do it. No one knows who he is." He grins then, and he says, "Enjoy the ogling. Send me something nice if you spot one I might like." He stretches out, intent on enjoying more of the summer sun.

"Certainly." Noh-Varr agrees. "Which gender?"

"Female," Tony says. With a little laugh, he adds, "I like the ladies. Some would say a little too much. I'd say just about right. Redheads for preference, though I'm a generous guy, I don't get too picky."

Noh-Varr nods and starts heading inside. Quicker to cut through the mansion. "Redheaded female. I'll keep that in mind."

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