Decorative
Spacer Projects Galore! 126
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Work, and conversation, continue.

 

 


    Union stops working for a second as Adrian takes a deep breath, "That doesn't mean we won't be using the mansion Victor. We're going to need the lab space, I'd like to put in a medical facility if we can afford it, and if you can put up with a houseguest, Dark Angel is going on retainer as a full time on-call Avenger for emergencies."
    "But having a Manhattan office makes sense—it's the heart of the city and in some ways the heart of the eastern seaboard. Having a space that's both recognized by and open to the public will go a long way towards keeping that Ćopen profile' that we'll need to effectively operate. Several of our current threats seem to be originating there, and I think that it's a trend that's likely to continue. Plus, it'll be easier for Malachi and Ravda to get to—useful as this place is, it's a little remote for our land bound contingent. If it ends up not working out, we can either drop the lease or sell the space."
    "Very good then. I'm sure it'll work out for the best. Perhaps we could eventually expand and open offices all over the country... or for that matter, all over the world. But that's years away if ever. As for Dark Angel, he and any other Avenger and their families are always welcome here in my home. I would be more than happy to have everyone living here," Victor offered feeling magnanimous but trying not to show it too much.
    _Well, that's one issue out of the way. I hope he doesn't bring it up again._ Union thinks before speaking, "I don't think it will come to that—most of us have our own private lives that would be hindered staying here full time. Still, you can throw out the offer to at the next meeting."
    "An excellent suggestion. I heard you mention that Dark Angel is a full time member. If that's what I think it is, then I'd like to be considered a full time member as well. I can devote nearly all my time to the team," Victor offered.
    "I know I'm not comfortable with the thought of covert activity—I'm a firm believer in individual rights, and while I want to track events and be ready for things as soon as they happen or before, I'm not going to advocate prying into people private lives to get a jump on the opposition. You may be right about setting ourselves up as a high enough profile to get them to come to us. I don't know if you hard the conversation over drinks upstairs, but someone is already testing us with assault robots, and I have a feeling more are coming..."
    "Fascinating. Have you had an opportunity to determine the origin of said robots?" Victor asked.
    Union shakes his head "I tore the thing apart in my lab last night, but it didn't produce anything that I could use to track the inventor down. Malachi is going to give the thing a once over to see what more conventional detective work can do. For what it's worth, it didn't look like the circuitry used by any of the people from Alabama. It looked more like what a brilliant engineer would build if all he had was fifty dollars and access to an engineering supply catalogue. Everything was used to maximum efficiency, but all the components were totally pedestrian. So either it's someone brilliant and poor, or someone brilliant and rich who's trying to distance himself from it. Either way, I'm at a loss."
    "If we could track down the origin of the parts that created the robot, then maybe then we could determine who created it. Even if it was rudimentary, robots just are not that common outside my own residence and a few others in the world, there are very few places where they would be constructed and given that we could formulate the origins of the parts. Its certainly something I'd like to delve into after I come back if your willing to allow it?" he asked treading cautiously.
    "If you want to take a crack at doing that, I have no problem with it. I think you'll be surprised about what this guy managed to make a robot out of, though. The parts are going to be pretty hard to track."
    "Perhaps...Malachi? will be able to locate some serial numbers."
    "Charity functions aren't a bad idea. I think we need for the hectic pace to slow down a little before we'll have time for it, but that's something else to ask Duststorm or Malachi about... Oh. You probably need to know about the leadership structure. I know you know that I got elected leader, but we've set up a fairly fluid organizational system: Aegis is the deputy leader—she's in charge if I'm not present, and acts as my tactical advisor; Duststorm is our social affairs coordinator, handling public relations and things like real estate; Delta V, I didn't mention it before, but you should obviously be the team doctor and oversee any medical contacts we could use. " Adrian pauses, then decides to bite the bullet, "Victor, once you're up and moving, I'd like you to act as overall science advisor, and track world events—given our current agreement with SHIELD that's going to be a little limited, and honestly I'd like to keep us focused on the 'smaller pictures' right now until we get our bearings, but we did vote on having an international profile for humanitarian purposes."
    "So is everyone on the team to have a 'position' such as doctor, science advisor? It all seems so structured. The three of us are all scientists and we should act equally in that capacity."
    "I don't think I'm being clear here—the charter calls for each chairman to set up his or her own optimal operational structure. I my case, I've worked in enough labs to know that the best managers are those that know how to delegate what they don't know to people who do." Union floats across the room to move a heavy piece of equipment into place while he's talking, "and there are a lot of things I don't know—I don't know medicine, I don't know tactics, I don't know public relations. But Delta V, Aegis and Duststorm DO know these things. I want them to know that if they use their initiative in these areas that I'll back them up, and that they should feel free to inform me of relevant information without my having to ask them."
    "Of course. I also have medical skills and I can back up the good doctor," Victor offered.
    Union slowly maneuvers the heavy machinery into position, and smiles under his helmet with it clicks into place. "Whew! This would be a lot easier for me if the shielding in this segment didn't have to be non-ferrous."
    "Your armor seems to give you quite a boost in strength, unless you are that strong normally? Does your armor enhance your strength and to what degree," Victor wondered.
    "Ha. No I'm not that strong normally. The suits enhancements give me about a fivefold increase, but I haven't really had a chance to test it. The endurance increase is probably about the same, but either compares to the fifty-fold improvement in agility and coordination."
    "I helped Tony design the Aegis armor. Perhaps we could work something like it's strength enhancements into your armor. Probably not the same amount unless we bulked up your armor, but something greater than what you have now. Perhaps a few tons," Victor was actually slipping into theoretical design improvements in his own mind but had kept talking out loud.
    "Sorry to pry, its just the scientist in me asking questions," Victor added. "Because as one time I had planned to develop my own armor to use. Perhaps if I had, I wouldn't be in this predicament right now. The main hurdle that confronted me was that when I phase through electronics they tend to disrupt and will no longer work. I would need to develop electronics that can operate in multiple dimensions and energy frequencies that phase in and out in tune with my own body. I just never had time to sit around and think about it."
    "My phasing ability was partially due to the magnetic resonance frequency of the radiation myself... and the others were exposed to. It allows me to ionize my molecules and thus phase, but with control," Victor said.
    "Thus I've done some study on magnetism and have quite a bit of research saved here in the castle. You're welcome to it if you so desire. Not that its probably anything you haven't seen already."
    "Well, the armor is just magnetically reinforced chain mail. All the real power comes from the cybernetic under-suit—I wear the armor because it gives the suit something to work with." Union stops and leans against the completed unit, activating several internal switches with his magnetic powers. "If you limited yourself to conventional protections and forgot about going for cybernetics of an exoskeleton it shouldn't be that difficult, but I don't know how effective it would be. Given what I've seen you shift for mass, you could probably carry significant armor with you intangibly without any real difficulty. I don't even know if multi-dimensional electronics are possible—I do know that every time I experienced a dimensional shift my cybernetics went haywire, which threw my system for a loop until I shut the suit down and reactivated it to the new EM field."
    "Anything is possible," he smiles even though they can't see it. "If given the proper multi-phased harmonic shielding, I'm sure we could easily protect standard electronics. But what I need to do is make the electronics continue to interact with the energy passing through them in the same manner while phased, likewise with the energy itself. I had done a little research into multi-dimensional energies that permeate several universes. But I've yet to locate that one key energy that is standard in them all. I'll have to spend more time on that when I get back."
    The silver avenger takes a step back and runs his armors electrical senses over the newly completed module. "Ok, I show all the circuit pathways in operation. This is still going to have to run an internal test, however, and that's going to take nearly two hours. Plus, I am beat, and it's... three thirty in the morning. I'm going to take a rest upstairs. Once this test has finished, we can link the electrical arc segments to the control module and start experimenting with vibration frequencies."

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