1965-07-14 - Capable Hands
Summary: Tony and Strange talk about what happened in the bunker.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
strange tony 

The press were placated after the seismic activity under New York was explained away as a successful test wherein all the safeguards in place worked flawlessly. Now that a little time has passed and there's more interesting news floating around, Tony sits in his chair behind his desk, feet propped up, a glass of scotch in his hand. He's put out the invitation, and he's not sure whether Strange will come, but either way, he's taking a little time on a Saturday, resting instead of chasing skirts. Or, rather, fending them off. He's still got it.

With the usual amount of flare and aplomb, the Sorcerer arrives. The flicker-snickt of a Gate upon the empty air in the open space of the office is bright and then the oculus opens. Strange, looking far less haggard and as if he actually had a good night's sleep for once (knock on wood…), walks through, adjusting the cuff of a merlot-hued dress shirt. Black slacks, black shoes, and his hair all combed into place: looking good, the silver-templed man.

"Stark," he says by way of greeting after gesturing the Gate shut. "Here I am. What's on your mind today?" He pauses to stand behind one of the chairs on the far side of the desk, looking expectantly at the genius-inventor.

Tony's gaze flits over Strange, and he gives him an upnod. The Sorcerer does look good. Game recognizes game. As for himself, Tony's polished and poised, even with his suit jacket off and sleeves rolled to his elbows. He doesn't look like a young man, but rather he's aging like fine whiskey. The Gating used to freak him out so much, and now he accepts it as normal, if not explicible.

Kicking his feet off the desk, Tony sits up and pours out a couple fingers of scotch in a glass he then slides across to the Sorcerer. "Strange," he says. "I was just wondering how you were since the experiment. I tend to assume no news is good news, but I'd still like your impressions." He gestures to the comfy chairs. "Take a load off. Relax."

"Would that I could do this," the Sorcerer says with a wry low laugh. He accepts the drink nonetheless before settling himself in one of the most cushy chairs. "Ooh…nice." The comment is quiet and he sips at the scotch. "Mmm. Not bad either," he adds before looking at Tony across the expanse of the desk.

"I slept for a solid twelve hours before my fiance woke me up thinking me cursed or under a spell after the incident with your arc reactor. My hands hurt like hell from conducting that much energy and shook for another five before I was able to meditate enough to calm them. That being said?" He shrugs. "I've experienced worst. It's a hell of a lot of power in a small containment system, but the fail-safe seemed sturdy until I overwhelmed it. Were you able to recover any recording or statistics in sheer amps?"

Tony takes a sip, nursing his scotch to appreciate it properly. "I've got a recording of the seismic activity because I was monitoring it from a distance. Everything else was buried. I wrote down what I observed before I got plucked out of there." He glances aside to a notepad on the desk. "It's incomplete, but I've got enough to get some idea of what happened. I'm impressed your alive." He smiles. "Not surprised, but impressed."

He tips his glass toward Strange, adding with a casual glance, "How would you like one of your own? Do you think you can control it?"

With half-lidded eyes, the Sorcerer listens to the report from Tony's end of things. He nods, almost regretfully, at hearing of the destruction of the recording mechanisms other than the seismic machine. The chair makes a quiet sound as he sits up to peer at the notepad, but doesn't take the time to decipher the notations. Settling back in, he then dimples deeply on one side of his goatee.

"If you thought that was impressive, you should see my other parlor tricks," he deadpans before chuckling. "You saw what I could do with the power contained in the arc reactor, Stark. I don't need a second introduction to the energy. I could wield it, yes. Should I…?" His gaze goes distant and almost lambent about the pupils. He looks somewhere beyond Tony and answers with the barest hint of distraction in tone, "…it would likely end up behind glass in the Sanctum's Loft." A blink and he focuses on the genius-inventor once more. "I won't say 'no' to what you're offering, but realize to whom you're offering and what an enemy might attempt with it should it fall into the wrong hands.

There are notes jotted on the pad from as early as today. In one corner there's the words 'telepathy machine?' with a circle around them. Lots of numbers without context. Tony knows what they mean. He smiles reflexively at the dimpling. "Oh, I'm sure you've got a few." He shrugs a shoulder then, and his smile broadens lazily. "If everything works out right, you'd never need to use it. It could be another relic for your collection. Don't tell me you keep your toys where anyone could grab them."

"Er, no." The short reply is followed by a dry laugh. Strange draws a fingertip along one line of his goatee briefly before, frankly, smirking like a Cheshire cat. "The relics are appropriately contained. The gods themselves have difficult getting into my Sanctum, Stark.' Prideful bastard, isn't he, especially when the truth is at hand.

"But really, why offer me a copy of your arc reactor? Are you thinking that I might just take it out and what…toy with it again? I'd rather not level my home." He shifts the glass of scotch in one scarred hand until the contents begin to swirl about.

Tony shrugs and takes a drink, then glances at the liquid within the glass as he says, "I like you, Strange. I like your style. I like the way you think." There's a pause, then he continues, "We could have created a universe. You would have been a god. You turned it down without a second thought because your duty is here." He raps on his desk to represent good old terra firma.

Tony's gaze lifts to find Strange's. "The calibre of weapons I've been selling, and the people whose hands they end up in, if anything were to keep me up at night, it would be that." As if it doesn't, regularly. "That kind of power can't be trusted to just anyone, but I trust it with you."

"I'm honored that you trust me." There's not an overlay of ego to this statement and Strange inclines his head to the other man, almost in an archaic formality. "I take my mantle and its responsibilities very seriously. Were I to have become the creator-god of that universe, small and contained as it was, it would have been a cause of split attention at the very least — a distraction worthy of disaster perhaps moreso."

He sips at his drink before continuing. "If you wish to give me another arc reactor, Stark, I will accept it as a gift. As I mentioned before, it will likely go away behind glass, to never be disturbed unless need comes to be."

"That's the idea," Tony says with a small, crooked tug of his lips. He raises his scotch to Strange. "I'll see what I can whip up in the lab," he says. "It's not something I intend to share with anyone else. This won't end up mass produced. There's too much destructive power, even in the hands of a chimp. Call it me honoring the ways we're the same, Strange. And a thank you for indulging my curiosity." That tug turns into a smile. "Besides, there's just not that much palladium in the world to make too many of these." He knocks back the last of his drink, then pourts out more for both of them.

"I'm thankful for the shortage, if only because the risk of a chimp getting a-hold of one," and the Sorcerer laughs, flashing teeth. "I can't imagine what would come of that." He shifts a shined shoe to rest on the opposite knee and sighs slowly. "…anything else you wish indulged, Stark? In terms of your curiosity?" Strange almost seems to ask this hesitantly, but at the same time…the same desire to know all that he can clearly runs in the genius-inventor.

These two should not be left alone in the same room together. Somewhere, Steve Rogers is wondering why he suddenly has a headache.

Tony's brows creep up slowly. Anything he wants indulged? These two should not be allowed in the same room together. Tony gets a sparkle in his eyes, and he sits up, leaning forward. "How much time do you have?" he asks, "because I've got a lot of curiosity, and I do so enjoy being indulged. What was it like with all that energy moving through you? How did it feel? At the end, were you overloaded or was it a controlled burst? I saw how far you pushed it, but how far did it push you?"

Leaning his head against two fingers nestled into his silvered temples, the man across the desk is given a knowing little smile.

"I'll answer them in order then. Firstly, time is irrelevant to me, to some extent; ergo, I can say that I have all the time in the world and mean it in sincerity. It felt like channeling spells of the higher order — those that may involve the purest elements or powers beyond mortal comprehension. Those of the gods. A way to describe it, at risk of sounding poetic, is controlled transcendence. I was never 'overloaded', though had I been earlier in my Sorcerous career, it would have been more of a challenge and a severe risk to my physical form. You must know what I mean when I describe the feeling of having one too many cups of coffee. Imagine this, but knowing that you can transmute what tingles in your fingertips to a tangible form if you so desired."

Tony shakes his head slowly. "That's amazing." Sure, there's envy in his eyes, but perhaps more defining is the boyish excitement, because he can imagine it all so clearly. "I had never even considered this kind of application when I was inventing it. I was a little distracted at the time." What with bleeding out slowly. "Besides, I can't imagine many people in my position consider how their inventions might mingle with magic." He leans back. "But now it's something I think about quite a bit. What could you have done with it, everything else being equal?"

Strange lifts his hands, one palm-up and the other wrapped about his half-finished glass of scotch. "I have few limits, Stark. What does science postulate about the applications of pure energy? What requires enormous amounts of energy to construct or power? Any and all of these possibilities. If I can imagine it, the potential to create it is there. It does require input, in the form of the energy itself, and someone to control it, myself."

One half of the remaining liquid disappears from the highball glass and he sucks in air through his teeth before sighing it out. "It tickled in comparison to conducting the power of the gods," he murmurs, almost to himself.

"I can imagine," Tony says. His ego can stand up to the idea of there being more powerful things than an arc reactor. God, wouldn't the universe be boring if that weren't true? "In theory, that arc reactor, or at least a bigger version of it, could be used to power the entire company." The urgency for clean energy doesn't exist in this day and age, but it's a seed planted for some future thought. "It would cut down on pollution," he mentions. It doesn't take a genius to realize that the Earth only has so many places to dump the stuff.

"It's good to see you in one piece," he says. "Like I said, not surprised, but impressed. I hope you understand it's the highest form of flattery when I say I can't wait to conduct more experiments with you." At least he said 'with' and not 'on.'

"I make a rather charming lab rat, don't I?" Strange says, a smile found in his words rather than on his fine features, stoic as they are now. The dimples appear ghostly at the corners of his mouth after another half-second. "Regardless, thank you. While I regularly reach beyond the current definitions of many scientific concepts, science itself was my first love…if you will. The neurosciences. I was probably guilty of far too many puns involving 'potential' when I was younger." It's a rare slip on his part, referencing an age he would rather leave in the past itself.

"By all means, contact me again when you have more that you wish to inquire after. I would rather that no underground bunker collapse again, personally. Less explosive results." The Sorcerer arcs an eyebrow at Tony across the way. "Preferably nothing that will set me to unconsciousness again for more than a single-digit number of hours at most."

"With that mug? The charmingest," Tony says. "You know, I might want to pick your brain about the neurosciences." He glances at his pad on the desk. Telepathy machine, indeed. With a wave of his hand, he forgives the punning. He smiles though as he imagines a few, himself. Just then, his secretary buzzes him. Even on his days off, someone needs to talk to him about something. He rises to his feet and offers his hand to shake Strange. "I'll be in touch. We'll drink more, talk more, it'll be fun. Unfortunately, I've got to go be a businessman."

Strange rises as well and returns the handshake. "You've got my number. Call whenever you feel inclined to boredom. If I can attend in the name of science, I will. Otherwise, assume that I'm off-world or involved in some squabble in another dimension. Good luck with your business, Stark." It seems rude to leave the glass of scotch behind unfinished, so he throws the rest of it back with a smooth set of motions that suggests…ample practice, though not recently.

There's the Gate and there goes the man, back to his Loft with its incense-laden air and shadow-glinting glass cases, estoteric and all. Tea. Tea sounds good now.

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