Avox in Arcadia (perpetual) wrote,
Avox in Arcadia
perpetual

Detonation Imminent, Chapter 2

Title: Detonation Imminent
Author: Kairos
Fandom: MCU/Guardians of the Galaxy
Rating: General
Wordcount: This part, 1366
Characters/Pairing: Peter&Rocket; Tony/Pepper
Summary: Peter's trying to figure out how to be a leader. He decides that breaking into the Avengers' base of operations is a good place to start.
Disclaimer: None of this is mine.
Other disclaimer: Now we're rolling. I'll probably soon run out of pre-written bits, but there's nothing that inspires writing like other people wanting to read it...and publishing lets me pretend other people are reading it. :)


After he watched his friend’s ringed tail disappear through the hole he had blasted through the wall, the first thing that Peter heard through his helmet’s communicator was “I’m in.” A few minutes later: “Ground level security’s down.” And finally: “Front door’s open. Get your bald ass in here, Quill.”

Grinning widely behind the face guard, Peter replied, “Get your fuzzy ass out. I’ll take it from here.” Disabling the security had apparently entailed a complete power outage, so he shoved the glass doors inward manually and stepped into a luxurious lobby, pitch black and devoid of life.

“Soon as I get you a few more levels for your explorativulation. Hey, for a backwater planet, the tech they got here ain’t half bad. Probably the only time I’ll ever hear you undersell somethin’ Terran. Haha!”

If he had ever known that a place like this existed on Earth, Peter thought, there would have been no chance of him underselling it. Maybe rich New Yorkers had always lived in the kind of glamor he observed now in infrared, but something told him that this building was the product of enormous scientific advances made since his childhood. And if it could impress Rocket… “Don’t have too much fun,” he warned him. “If anyone sees me I can improvise, but that’s not gonna work for you.”

There was a long pause. Peter halted from the reverent stroll he had been taking around the lobby. “Rocket?”

***
Chaos could be fun, but Rocket didn’t like when something unexpected happened while he was working - something like Peter’s voice coming through the communicator as a line of complete gibberish. On the other hand, the best place for something unexpected to happen was inside a wall behind a high-tech control panel. He kicked out a plate to see what was beyond it, and glimpsed a workshop full of electronic tools. Even better.

If the problem was a translator failure, it had to be both of theirs: both were designed to convert the wearer’s speech into recognizable words for the listener, as well as translate all language being heard. He would have to begin by repairing his own, so that he could explain the situation to Quill.

Before entering the workshop, he stowed his communicator in the wall and then rewired the security to lock himself in and limit access to all machinery so that he was the only permitted user: he didn’t think their presence in the tower had been noticed yet, but there was always a possibility that someone was awake on the higher floors, and then it would just be a matter of time. He shouldn’t need more than a few minutes in the room itself, but aside from his own cybernetics, everything here was an unknown quantity and he might have to figure out how to hack it without comprehending anything written in the Terran language.

One corner of the room, sectioned off by metal shelving, was populated with pieces of humanoid metal armor and electronic components. There he found a variety of wires, some tools small enough for his hands, and a digital display with universally comprehensible readings. He wasn’t going to enjoy this, but he could do it. He sighed, stripped off his shirt, and made the first incision.

He was halfway there when he heard human voices, and then, to his horror, the sound of a door opening.

***
“If you felt the need to check it out in person, stop telling me it’s probably nothing,” snapped Pepper. She had woken and dressed as soon as Tony had made too much noise waking and dressing, but she would have rather been sleeping and that wasn’t going to happen if she let him come down here alone while they were the only ones currently occupying the tower. The renovations for its transition from Stark Tower to the Avengers headquarters were in full swing, and Tony had planned them to progress from the bottom up. That meant that the security systems in the lower floors were limited to the most sophisticated version currently available in the world market, which Tony viewed as little better than a rusty keyhole.

“I didn’t say it was nothing. I said it was Jarvis being hypersensitive about meteorological variations in his blind spots.” Tony looked at the nearest speaker and added peevishly, “Which he is.

The speaker said nothing, which came as no surprise since Jarvis was currently only enabled in the sixth-story room where they had been sleeping. Tony had set it up with a mahogany master bedroom furniture set, and insisted on calling it their “campsite”. Pepper knew he only felt confident in their safety there because he kept his armor in the same room, but she also sensed that he missed being able to carry on an argument with his computer throughout the day.

Left without a retort to parry, Tony rolled his eyes and grabbed the door handle of the third-story control room, the one location in the building which was still stocked with materials of Tony’s own design. It didn’t budge. Pepper looked questioningly at him. Even without Jarvis monitoring them, every door in this building should have opened automatically for either Tony or herself.

“This is why I hate camping,” he sighed. “Can you go up and run a quick diagnostic on this level?”

“Sure.” She turned and walked away until she heard him opening the door, which only took a few seconds - his impatience was apparently making him gullible. “Tony, what do you think is in there that you’re trying to protect me from?”

He gave her his best look of innocence. “....Probably nothing?”

Pepper clenched his arm to stop him, unsuccessfully, from stepping into the room. “This has to have something to do with the spaceship! If there’s life in there and it’s armed, you should be too.”

They had been talking about the ship since it had shown up on the radar last week, doing nothing but hanging in orbit just outside of Earth’s atmosphere. Although S.H.I.E.L.D. had determined that it was definitely a spacecraft and definitely not Chitauri, the only evidence they had for its intentions was that it hadn’t yet attempted to either attack or communicate. Unless, of course, this was its first attack.

“I set up a barrier way back before we started repairs,” Tony said dismissively. “Alien technology will fail or backfire if it gets into our perimeter.”

“I see. And have you tested this barrier?”

“Might be about to.” He surveyed his surroundings, then walked out of her line of vision.

“We shouldn’t be here,” said Pepper, but she followed Tony into the control room.

He was staring at one of the monitors, analyzing the numerical data that flashed on its screen. “I’ll tell you who shouldn’t be here,” he said in a low voice. “Whoever cut the power in the first five levels.”

***
Peter didn’t waste any time in running for the first staircase that he saw. There was no way he could follow Rocket through the hole they had made in the building’s exterior, so he would have to find him from the inside. With no lights and no way to communicate, that wasn’t going to be easy, but at least he had the advantage of a career built on locating and collecting random things in unfamiliar places.

After his first ascent, access to the next floor was harder to find. Peter guessed that some of the floors in this building didn’t even have stairs or escalators, and it wouldn’t do him any good to run around in circles looking for them. Fortunately, his current surroundings were showing signs of recent construction, and soon he found an open elevator shaft behind a tarp and an excessive number of cautionary signs.

He stuck his head into it and craned his neck to see what was above. It seemed clear enough, and it would certainly bring him up to where Rocket was, if he could find an open door. He balanced on the ledge between the tarp and the drop, kicked his boots into action...and toppled down into the shaft.


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Tags: tick tick boom
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