(2017-02-05) Not Quite Avengers
Not Quite Avengers
Summary: Pepper Potts invites Shuri of Wakanda over to Stark Tower to discuss the possibilities of collaborating together on a new team of heroes.
Date: 2017-02-05
Related: None
Scene Runner: NA
Social/Plot: Social

Penthouse - Stark Enterprises — Times Square
The elevator doors open up to a spacious apartment. Modern wood paneling covers the walls, while the windows at first appear to be large plate glass pieces going around the perimeter. With all the technology in the room, the windows are a part of it by being able to change their opacity at the behest of the owner. A multi-level living area with a fully stocked bar contains a large screen television with all the components that are ever needed. The furniture is a soft brown leather to match the stain of the paneling. The rooms are tastefully decorated, mostly with newspaper or magazine clippings or some form of honor to the man, Tony Stark.

A small kitchenette with the most modern appliances exists on one side of the suite, while the spacious bedroom occupies the back. Of to the side is the private office and workshop. On every wall is an access panel to the apartment's built-in J.A.R.V.I.S. system.

Log Begins
Earlier in the day Pepper called Shuri, somewhat out of the blue, for invitation for dessert and a few drinks tonight. She said she had a bit of business, but also wouldn't mind having some company. Pepper tried to make it sound casual but, really… when someone like Pepper Potts calls out of the blue, it's never casual. So, now Pepper has ordered a deliciously sinful cheese cake, excellent espresso, and is waiting in the currently otherwise empty penthouse. Instructions to JARVIS are to send Shuri straight up when she arrives, so there's no issue with security or buzzing in. Pepper is in her 'casual' wear, a pair of designer jeans, a cashmere sweater and slippers.

After their encounter at the New Years party, Shuri really never expected to hear from Pepper or Tony again. Sure, Tony was connected to the Avengers, but SHuri is no Avenger, just the sister of one, and viewed as the 'little kid' sister by most. But the call was curious enough to get the Wakandan woman to agree.

Shuri decided this was a social enough occassion that she's not showing up in Black Panther mode. Instead, she's wearing extremely upscale civilian attire, festooned with subtle but exceedingly high-end Wakandan technology. Black slacks cover her legs, sandals on her feet, a brilliant purple silk blouse is tucked in and a lightweight knee-length Nehru-style jacket in black covers it. Her watch pairs with her kiimoyo card, as do her mirrored-finish thin-aspect auto-shading glasses.

Shuri arrives at the tower with a three-person escort - one man, two women, all quite visibly Dora Milajae but leaves them with the car in the garage beneath the tower as she accepts the synthetic voice of JARVIS and mounts the elevator by herself. Her security detail is not happy, but she is in charge. JARVIS would also be aware that hidden in the spine of the jacket is a pouch containing a handful of spike shuriken and two collapsible vibranium-alloy batons.

Shuri is here in civvies. But she would never be foolish enough to entirely trust anyone. Wakanda has not remained free for millennia by being reckless, stupid, or overly trusting.

The elevator dings, and SHuri follows the blue dots on the wall at JARVIS' encouragement, seeking Pepper. "Good evening, Miss Potts." she offers in that cultured African accent.

The blonde offers a bright, earnestly happy smile to see Shuri. While there are probably other motivations here, Pepper does actually seem to have come to like the woman. Even if their interactions were brief, the feeling of another professional woman who was supremely competent and took no one's shit? Well, it was very nice for Pepper's life. THere weren't enough of those around. So, she double times over to meet Shuri in the foyer.

"Shuri! Or… well… is there a more proper title I should still be using for you? I don't mean any insult. BUt, of course… Please, please, just call me Pepper. We're not at the office. This was meant to be relaxing." She motions back to the lower lying sitting area, a comfortable fire going in the background, the dessert already laid out. "I don't know if you like regular espresso or decaf this time of night? Or some other drink?"

The restrained and aloof, darkly intense young woman watches Pepper with the eye of a predator, taking in every nuance, reading every hint she can from the other woman's attire, demeanor, hesitations, word choice and tone, not just the words she speaks. Careful, and supremely competent. Shuri extends her hand to Pepper when the other woman is close enough to reach. "Most would use 'Princess Shuri' or 'Your Highness' in formal conversation. But Shuri is fine … Pepper." Probably not fine, but apparently she has decided to consent to it rather than make an issue of it.

"Whether or not I would prefer decaf at this hour would have a great deal to do with how much longer I expected to be awake this evening." Which is Shuri's gentle prod to see if she can find out just why it is she's here and what Pepper is after. "For now, a natural fruit juice would be ideal. Perhaps in a citrus family? Or tomato. They do not grow well in our less temperate climate."

Pepper is a strange mix of contradictions. Extremely put together, on top of everything, but constantly nervous about it and a woman who seems on the edge of some sort of break down almost always. But fighting it constantly as well. She seems relaxed tonight, but also worried, protective, uncertain and determined about things. She's just a mass ambivalence.

"Fruit juice! That I can do. I only keep natural, organic in this house. Just seems safer, right?" Pepper shares an almost wry smile with Shuri as she says that. She bustles into the kitchen, the sound of fresh orange juice can be heard pouring a moment later, and then she comes back out to offer it in Shuri's direction and motion to the sitting area. "So… clearly… well, as much as I'd love just a simple friendship, I doubt that is in the cards for any of us. I did want to talk to you about your work… well… Outside of politics."

Shuri follows at a distance, watching over Pepper as she preps the juice - yep, she's that careful and paranoid-ish - and then follows to the seating area, taking her seat and accepting the juice, inhaling deeply and then sipping lightly. "I could say that I do very little in the way of politics, now that my brother has resumed the throne." She could, but she won't. It would be a lie. She may not rule, but she does help to lead, and that means being aware, and being involved.

"It is true. 'Simple' friendships are nigh impossible for those in our circles. Yet it does not surprise me that one would crave that connection, or seek it." Shuri offers, honestly, as she sips more juice. "I am curious to see what dessert you had in mind, this evening. But why don't we leave that for later? Something of a treat, after we talk, as women must talk. Why is it you wanted to see me, Pepper? Or perhaps I should ask … why ellse did you wish to see me?"

While Pepper could continue to dance around attempts at being polite and making small talk, it was clear Shuri had no interest in that. So, the strawberry blonde sighs through her nose, sinking down into the plush couch across from Shuri and crossing her long, slender legs. "…I was speaking with… someone last night… who implied you might have taken on the role of a hero. I'll admit to not knowing who is who… here." Pepper keeps her eyes level on Shuri for a few too-quick heartbeats, the next words very hard for her to say, even if particularly keen people had probably figured it out. "…I am not… from this place. Please… please don't let that go public, I don't know what it'd do to our stocks. But… I'm saying that… as a show of trust. And to explain why I don't know who is behind what suit or doing what to help whom, but… this place clearly needs help. The Avengers are barely active. This world might be the universe's last chance, from everything I've read. So… it needs people willing to step up, work together, and protect it. Tony and I have the space. The technology. the support. We… just need the people."

The Wakandan woman doesn't flinch, or even twitch as Pepper speaks. She just calmly keeps her attention fixated on the strawberry blonde and listens intently, sipping at her juice. She does not respond right away, either. She listens, Then she thinks. No expression. Just intense thought.

Then, at least, Shuri does speak up, lowering her glass to her lap as she faces Pepper intently. "You certainly would not be the only person in this world who was not from this one originally. There's nothing wrong with that. None of us wanted Battleworld." Of course, Shuri wasn't on Battleworld. She was dead then.

She got better.

Shuri smiles wryly, for a moment, and then continues. "I do not consider myself a hero." But she's not being negative. Just honest. "Nevertheless, I do what I can to help. I believe the European terminology is 'noblesse oblige'." She shrugs. "I am not at home. I am here. So I help the people here, rather than those at home, until I am needed." She's open to the idea, but moving in baby steps. Careful. Controlled. Restrained.

A slight tilt of understanding to her head, even if the name 'battleworld' makes Pepper half smile, half smirk. "Battleworld. good… name for it, I guess." Pepper admits, though there is pain behind her voice. She did not wish to be here, no… BUt here they are. She sighs and leans forward, scooping up her own espresso and taking a good sip of it as she listens attentitvely to Shuri's commentary on not being a hero, but her logic behind it all. She inclines her head in understanding. "…Well… I'm offering a place to better organize. Get help of other… not-Heroes, when you could use it. Find out about problems before they hit the news. Housing among others who are doing this… when you want it, so… Maybe you don't feel quite so alone."

Shuri is so used to feeling and being alone that she's not at all sure what to do with that idea, but she doesn't scoff at it, doesn't turn away. She listens intently, which seems to be the right word for almost everything she does and every way she does it.

"Are you sure that I am the sort of … individual … you want for this endeavor?" Shuri asks, at least, after some thought. "I am certainly not the easiest to get along with. And I will never be shy with my opinions, or my distrust of Western imperialist intents and Euro-centric attitudes." Shuri gives whole new meaning to 'proud black woman' to be sure.

"My means are not always the sorts that true heroes approve of." Shuri offers, at least, her final point. "I will do what I believe must be done, even if it does not meet with your approval. Or Mister Stark's." Or anyone else's, for that matter.

But something about this seems to have captured her interest. Shuri hasn't said no or turned away. It is a bit flattering, after all, to be asked to become an Avenger.

"…I think you are exactly the sort of… individual… I want for this endeavor. I don't want this to be a team of yes-men. I have enough of those and GOD knows Tony does. I want this to be a team of brilliant, strong, protective equals who can offer a wide range of ideas and opinions about whatever bullshit the world throws in our direction because you KNOW it's coming, you KNOW it's going to be bullshit and you know that we can't handle it from just one angle. So yes. I don't put this on the table lightly, especially not inviting you into our home." It's not just a superhero team. There is a tone in Pepper's voice that says this is her inviting Shuri into a weird sort of family, but it's all the family Pepper has.

Shuri listens, but does not immediately engage. She is restrained. She is calm. She is controlled. Aloof is a good word for it all. Yet there is still that intense focus to her aloofness; she clearly ignores nothing.

"I would at least be willing to meet the others, and discuss this idea with you, and with them." Shuri offers at least, her juice finished now though she holds the glass still, rather than putting it down in what might be a wrong spot.

"I am willing to help others, when and as I can. But I am not willing to allow my helping others to expose Wakandan security or secrets to those who might misuse that information." Whether or not those other parties would believe that what they were doing was misusing the information really isn't at issue; it is Shuri's, and Wakanda's, view of the matter that defines truth in this case. And it shouldn't be hard for Pepper to realize what Shuri is implying.

While the commentary of others gets a slight nod from Pepper, she doesn't quite cut in yet. It's not until Shuri comments about Wakandan security and secrets that the redhead stiffens a bit. She sits up straighter, setting down her espresso and setting her jaw so she can look straight into Shuri's eyes and allow the other woman to see just how serious she is. "…Your Highness…I swear, on my life, Tony's life… and everything I've ever tried to do good in the world — this isn't about your technology, politics, or secrets. I'm already up to my ears in more high tech than I know what to do with. Tony… he's… Unmanageable sometimes. I don't want to give him a single other thing to … play with."

The young Wakandan woman shakes her head slightly, meeting Pepper's gaze without animus or anger. "I am not saying that would be your intention. Nor, in fact, Mister Stark's intention. But I wanted to be sure you understood that there may be times when I feel it vitally necessary to pull back, restrict access, or prevent Stark's natural curiosity from gaining an outlet where Wakanda and her technology are concerned." No accusations. Just up-front honesty, with her usual furious intensity.

"Obviously, a great deal of what I do as a … 'heroic figure', if we can agree on the term … is involved in or uses Wakandan technology." Hello! The woman runs around in a suit made of vibranium-impregnated fibers. This should not be a surprise. "And if I join this … endeavor of yours … I will continue to use that technology. I want to be sure that there are no misunderstandings in that regard, nor in my dedication to that safety and security."

Amongst other things, it should be clear that if Wakanda calls, she'll drop everything and everyone like a hot potato and rush back home at a moment's notice.

As Shuri speaks about Stark's natural curiosity, Pepper's lips twist into a bit more of an amused grin. Her eyes dance with the mirth. "…Oh yes, of course. I do understand. I… actually rather look forward to watching you put him off about it. I'm more than confident you know how to tell him no. It doesn't mean it won't be fun to see him pout." Pepper and Tony have a strange relationship, even now. She enjoys the little tortures between them.

But then her expression grows a bit more serious, getting back to the business of this actual team. SHe nods in understanding about the suit. "Your tech, your suit, your… hero identity, that is all you. This is why I want to do this just…Us. Separate from any government or SHIELD. So we all still have the ability to operate independently. I've seen what happens with the government puts a thumb on it all and it's… not good." There is something haunted behind Pepper's eyes as she says that. "So we work together, as a team. No bosses. Just… a *team*."

And then some thought crosses Pepper's pale eyes, narrowing a bit more thoughtfully, "Right now it's you. Hope. Tony… I…I don't suppose you've anyone else you might suggest? Now that you know the over all goal?"

The other woman considers Pepper's question earnestly. One thing about Shuri is that she does not speak until she is quite ready to do so. She embraces silence, but it's quite clear silence only means she is thinking more, not less. Like she hasn't the thought processes left over for flapping her gums, so she doesn't.

"Mmm. I have met a few others who might be amenable. I will not speak for them, but I can suggest it may be worth speaking to them about your ideas." Shuri offers, at last. "Thor, of course. The female Thor, I mean. I have called her Lady Thor, as that separates her in my mind from the Odinson." Of course given who Shuri is and who her brother is, she would be aware enough to know about Thor Odinson and seek a mental separation in reference betwixt them. "The other I have encountered is Psylocke. But I believe it is her intention to remain working with Shadowcat and others, as part of the X-Men." Of course, that implies she has connections with the X-Men.

"Ahhah. Hmm. I…have yet to meet the Lady Thor… If you want to invite her tonight, if you think she'd be amenable, there is more than enough cheese cake… " Pepper offers with a warmer smile, her door and home clearly open where it comes to this specific group and team. Pepper's heart is incredibly behind this. But then, where as Shuri is all ice and restrained emotion, Pepper's heart lives quite bleeding on her sleeve constantly. "As for this Psylocke… mention it to her, the next you meet her? Just see her thoughts. No one is obligated… but it would be nice to have a team of people we all trust."

Shuri considers Pepper's suggestion for a long, pregnant moment, and then nods and pulls out her kimoyo card, laying it on the table. A hologram is projected upwards from the device, and she begins manipulating it as she apparently programs it to send a message in a unique sort of way. There's enough clearly visible in the imagery that one can figure out this has something to do with satellites and signals, and some kind of harmonic. But whatever it is, this isn't just a normal phone call. But she seems focused and intent upon the idea offered.

"The invitation has been made. I do not know for sure where she is, or what she might be doing. But if Lady Thor is free, I believe she will get the message and be able to track it back to here." This is how Shuri was able to contact Thor before, so she's pretty confident it will work again; they discussed it. "It might be wise to suggest to JARVIS that he be prepared for her to land on the roof, or a balcony. She'll follow the signal back to me, and obviously it would be unwise to upset her with security rudeness when an invitation has been made. Obvious. Stated.

"I will let Psylocke know. That much is easy. But I did want to be sure you were aware she may choose not to join, not because she disagrees, but because she feels she has obligations elsewhere." Shuri answers.

It's been a week or two since she last saw the Princess of Wakanda. Things, as always, are never simple in Thor's life. A great portion of the last week was spent pushing back a Frost Giant invasion, and that was followed up by an encounter with Odin that she has no desire to repeat. Shuri's call comes as a welcome distract and a chance to focus her mind onto other things. The height of the penthouse, incidentally, proves to be the perfect height to see Thor as she approaches, Mjolnir-first, through the sky.

As Shuri predicted, she lands on the first available flat surface - balcony or roof, it matters not so long as there's room and it looks like it'll hold her. Either way, she lands with a bit of a thump, smoothly hooking Mjolnir into her belt, as she trusts she would not be summoned into an ambush.

The strange little hologram gets an intrigued look from Pepper's pale eyes. She leans forward, studying the technology and the bit she can see of the device without actually touching it. Maybe some of Tony's curiosity has worn off on her after all! Pepper almost jumps as it disappears away just as fast, "…Well, that's… fancy." She admits with a slight laugh, but doesn't complain or ask otherwise. SHe promised to stay hands off technology, so she's doing it. She scoops up her espresso cup instead and goes back to sipping, giving her hands something to do.

"..Oh?" She asks about warning JARVIS. Then she calls out into the room, "JARVIS… prepare for a possible landing from someone who share's your previous scans of Thor's physiology. If she arrives, let her in, of course. SHe's on the expected visitor's list now." The AI chimes out an acknowledgement, not even sounding phased or confused.

Thor will surely find that JARVIS is willing to greet her, and guide her to Shuri and Pepper with one of those handy little blue balls of light on the walls. He's awesome like that.

Shuri doesn't seem to mind Pepper's curiosity, so long as the strawberry blonde keeps her hands to herself. After all, if Wakandan tech can so intrigue a woman usually surrounded by the best tech the western world has to offer, then that speaks highly for her people, does it not? She actually indulges in a wink at Pepper when the other woman comments about the tech … which is now gone. Poof!

As Thor comes down the hallway towards their gathering place, Shuri stands. "Welcome, Lady Thor, to the Tower of Stark. This is Pepper Potts. She brought an idea to mind this evening, and when we discussed it, I decided you might want to hear what she has to say. Will you join us? She has offered cheesecake as an inducement."

Thump, thump. Thor follows the lights, and her footsteps echo down the hall well ahead of her. When she finally does spot Shuri, she breaks out into a wide smile. "Hail, Princess of Wakanda and Ms. Potts," she says, lifting a hand in greeting. The offer of cheesecake ensures that her smile is still there as she keeps moving until she's close enough to offer a handshake, should one be required of her. "I could be convinced to listen to a tale for a slice of cheesecake," she admits.

"I hope I kept neither of you waiting. I did not see your summons until I left Asgard. HUman technology does not quite pierce the veil quite as easily as it would like, sometimes."

While technology will always intrigue Pepper Potts, the female form of someone she knew once quite well, considered a friend, but is clearly not her old friend is far more distracting. For a heartbeat or two, a wash of far too intense homesickness hits Pepper. The thought of never seeing her version of Thor again is aching. But this woman still had that smile, that strangely warming energy, the slightly alien and sweet way of speaking. She was Thor. Just… different Thor. Pepper pushes a smile warmer across her face and steps forward, offering her hand.

"Lady Thor. It is… quite an honor, Princess Shuri has spoken quite highly of you. We weren't waiting long at all. I…I'll get us plates." She finishes that shake of hands, then looks back to Shuri, a thankful smile fluttering across her lips, "Princess, that… was entirely timely. Thank you for making the call. If…you wish to explain, go ahead. Otherwise, I'll be right back and I'll explain." Then Pepper double times off to the kitchen for plates, forks and a serving knife. SHe's gone but a minute.

Shuri mentions to Thor, "I believe Ms. Pott's furniture should still be up to the task. Please, sit, and be comfortable. I know Ms. Potts would wish that." She gestures towards the sofa nearby, at an L with her own chair and not far from Pepper's own recently abandoned seat.

"It seems that … Pepper …" Shuri has to pause to redress herself, to remind herself to call Pepper by her chosen name, rather than her family name; such informality is not so natural to Shuri. ".. is trying to gather those with what one might call heroic potential. She believes threats to this newly reassembled world will emerge, and that if there are none assembled prepared to face those threats, they may do far greater damage. She has, interestingly enough, asked that I consider joining. Which I am. When she asked of others I might know who might also be amenable … I thought immediately of you."

There. Shuri explained. Did she earn her cheesecake now? Well, did she?!

Thor's handshake is firm and strong, as someone of her size and strength might suggest. Her immediate reflex is to insist on just Thor, but decides against it. She slipped into formalities. Perhaps Pepper is responding in kind, after all. She looks at the sofa, considering for a long moment, and finally sits down. It perhaps looks awkward with Mjolnir still clipped to her belt, though she somehow manages to make it work with minimal discomfort. Seated, she listens with rapt attention to Shuri, and nods along in agreement. "It would not surprise me to find threats to Midgard have reawakened now that it has reformed and the crisis from before has past," she says. "Though normally I take action alone." Though it isn't a no, is it? "I am flattered you thought of me; are you so confident this will work?" She leans forward, and curiosity flashes in her dark eyes. "Who else have you in mind for this?" she wonders.

And Pepper appears again, giving Shuri a warmer smile as she hears the woman's voice slightly catch at her less formal name, but the Princess still used it. That pleased her. It was a good step towards friendship. She leans over, cutting into proper, straight up New York Cheesecake (It's not New York STYLE because they are in New York, DAMMIT, and she got it from THE Best bakery and one can practically smell the fat, sugar and delicious, fresh, syrup made strawberries on the air). Shuri gets a generous slice as does Thor — those women probably burned far more calories in a day than Pepper. However, diet or not, Pepper does give herself a thin slice before tucking back down into the couch.

"That about sums it up, Shuri… and yes, the Princess here suggested you, so I asked her to call. I do, absolutely, think there will be threats to this world. I cannot believe their haven't been already. BUt… working alone just means you may end up working at odds with others that wish to protect this place. Besides… the Thor I once knew, well… worked very well with a team." Pepper admits with a quietly fond smile. "And, as I told Shuri, we would be beholden to no government. We'll operate out of a floor here, people can come and go as they please… "

Shuri accepts her plate and fork, setting them gently on one thigh as she gives most of her regard to the latest edition to their conversation, as it is Thor's words and feelings that are a new take on this matter. "I too believe that Pepper is correct. There are sure to be countless threats that will soon rear their heads. They are only just now gathering themselves and sorting out in the aftermath of the reassembly of the world." Not that Thor doubted it, but Shuri never quite gave her own opinion until now. Not to Thor, at least.

Pepper didn't quite address whom else she has invited into this burgeoning 'team', so Shuri does not speak to that. It is Pepper's idea, after all. "I realize you usually take action alone. Not unlike your predecessor in the role. But he too found wisdom in banding together with others at times, as they found it wise to have him as an available resource. I had hoped you might feel the same."

Thor accepts the offered cheesecake with a little nod as a thank you. The piece is large, sure, but Pepper's thinking is correct. Thor will likely burn the calories off quickly. Even so, Asgardian physiology benefits her greatly. "There are threats," she agrees. "Some now, some to come in the future." She thinks on it, as she uses her fork to cut into the cheesecake. "It may be a prudent thing, to have people to call on when things get troublesome."

The smaller woman curls back into the couch, kicking off her heels so she can tuck her feet beneath her without any issue or damaging the overstuffed leather furniture. Pepper is tall, but she's all lanky bones and, when curled up like this, it might be clear just how bird-fragile she is. Especially compared to the other two. She takes a delicate bite of her cheese cake, listening to their discussions. She nods in quiet agreement to both of them. "…That is my exact thinking. And I'd rather us… know each other. Be able to train together, a bit, work together… be familiar enough that we know each other's patterns if we're fighting…or, well, you all are fighting a bigger issue. It's dangerous when you do something together the first time." Pepper then offers with just a bit of an almost embarrassed chuckle, "But… Other than you two, the young miss Hope… and Tony… I'm a bit lost as to whom else to invite to this group."

Shuri looks towards Thor with a slightly arched elegant eyebrow and a wide-open expression. "Well. That is a question." And not one Shuri has a better answer to, beyond the one already offered. "Thor? You tend to get around. Have you encountered anyone else you think we should talk to about this?" Thor is at least helpful. Shuri can be … not as much. She may well be the woman for whom the entire term 'queen bitch' was invented.

For a long moment the Asgardian considers, then her head shakes slowly, as she cuts off another piece of her slice of cheesecake. "Since everything has more or less returned to the state of before, I have been keeping my eyes on the other Realms, to make sure everyone… plays nice," she explains. "Aside from you, Shuri, and a handful of others…" Thor's head shakes again. "I could ask Agent Wisdom, but I suspect his ties to MI-13 make him an unlikely choice. Perhaps his colleague, but she may not wish to leave without him."

While Shuri might be considered a 'queen bitch'… Pepper seems perfectly comfortable with her. Perhaps it's something about being in business meetings all day, it's nice to just sit around and chat with actually competent, strong women who don't treat her like a secretary. Her smile only warms with the thought as she takes another bite of her cheese cake. "…And please, ladies, help yourself to more. If we don't get it all, Tony will… and then he'll be like a five year old on a sugar high." Pepper gripes fondly. Then her head tilts at the commentary about Agent Wisdom, "I don't think I know this Wisdom… or his colleague. Who are they? It might not hurt to ask, if you trust them."

"I barely know them." Shuri answers honestly. But she busies herself largely with the cheesecake. Thankfully, her metabolism and athleticism should enable her to burn all of this off without untoward effort. "Shadowcat was there. But I think the Hope you are speaking of is the other woman Wisdom was with."

"He was looking for me," Thor explains to Pepper. "He had somehow obtained a vial of Eitr, and gave it to me to dispose of." The stuff that will kill Thor in nine steps. Wisdom has her trust, because he handed it over. Willingly. "It is a foul poison," she explains further. "An assassin's dream come true: it works nearly instantly on anything. But I admit I do not know him, nor his Shadowcat colleague very well."

A slight wrinkle comes to Pepper's nose at the comment about the poison. "…Agent. Well, that implies that he's working for a government entity. I would… VERY much rather this team not be under any government. We've had… issues with that, in the past. Where I am from." Pepper admits, though she now looks a bit nervous at having revealed to Thor, as well, that she's not from this place. She takes a breath and tries to carry on. "…Tony seems to be friends with some… Space ship weilding… lady's man who calls himself Starlord. He seemed nice enough. I might poke at it with him more… But Hope is definitely on board. And I think it will be good for her. SHe's still very young and has been… very, very alone for a long time. She needs somes sort of family."

Shuri is not well suited to being 'family' for anyone but the one into which she was born; arguably she's not even good at it with them, for pity's sake. "Star Lord is spending time with the X-Men, currently. I encountered him there. He showed off his space ship, I let him take a look at the Talon." A beat. "That would be the jet I arrived in, to the party." she explains for Pepper's benefit. Thor already knows, having actually flown in the thing as a passenger.

"So someone that Mr. Stark bonded with quite quickly," Thor says, lifting her eyebrows as she looks at Pepper. With prior encouragement, she claims another piece of cheesecake for herself. "At least - the Tony Stark I was most familiar with would find such a man either his competition, or someone he would bond with quickly." It only took a second for Thor to realize she hasn't actually met Stark yet, so she has no idea if the one that exists here is the one she knows.

A slight smirk pulls at Pepper's thin mouth at Thor's commentary about Tony. She rolls small shoulders in a bit of a shrug, "They seem to be getting along. Tony here is… well, not literally younger, but… somehow younger? He's still wild, still likes to drink far too much but… maybe it's wishful thinking, he seems to have been lightened on his dose of ass hole here." There are so many layers, so much strange bitterness, and just a whole subscription of ISSUES behind what Pepper has just said that it's clear the woman probably needs a bit of therapy surrounding the Tony issue. Instead, she just keeps eating cheesecake. "…I'll keep eyes open for people. Talk to Hope. Maybe meet a few more of these X-Men. We'll…get started on things, at least."

Aren't all Starks the same Stark, just variations on the theme? Hopefully Pepper will get the therapy she needs; Shuri is most definitely not qualified, nor would she want to be. Shuri just nibbles cheesecake and tries to leave most of that interpersonal stuff for someone else to field. "So. Perhaps after cheesecake, you can show us these facilities you've mentioned?"

"Yes, I would like to see these facilities, as well," Thor says, lifting the hand holding the fork. She can sense.. something where the topic of Tony is concerned, and thus does her best to veer off from that point, even if the fcilities themselves will provoke more mentions of Tony. She'll deal with it when they get there.

The passing thoughts of Tony, or old Tony at least, seem just as easily shrugged off by Pepper. "…If you like! There isn't…much now. A small gym area which we could better convert for training. Condos. You all can have your own private one bedroom here, if you'd decide to stay. We're blocking off the entire floor for this alone. Hell, if I get my way, we'll block off two floors." Pepper finishes her own last bite of cheese cake and unfolds from the chair, slipping feet back into her spike heels.

Shuri glances down at Pepper's heels and then back to the woman's face without a word of comment. But perhaps she is wondering how it is any woman can consider herself to be 'relaxing' when she is still walking around in those torture devices, however fetching they may be. "Well, perhaps when we see what you have, we may have thoughts as to what could be done to make improvements. Suggestions, if you will." the Wakandan princess offers, as she uncrosses her legs and stands smoothly, ready to join the others. Elevator, ho?

Thor stands once she's sure her plate is out of the way. She follows the other two women, and unlike the noise made by high heels, her footsteps are loud and weighty. No trying to sneak around when walking, that's for sure. "What ideas do you have?" she wonders, though whether she is asking Pepper or Shuri… well, that she leaves open. She knows Shuri's likely already thinking.

It seems like wearing high heels is as natural for Pepper as breathing, so it doesn't really bother her. She gives them both a game smile and turns on the ball of her Jimmy Choos clad foot, leading the way back to the elevator. Once inside, she calls to the interior. "JARVIS, take us to floor 40. Please add both Princess Shuri and Lady Thor to the security for that floor as residents." She then looks back to both of them, "JARVIS can take an eye scan or a fingerprint scan, then you can come and go as you please without keys. I hope this is acceptable?

"That's just fine, Pepper." Shuri answers. "JARVIS, would you mind terribly setting up my own approval as a two-factor authentication? The biometrics are fine, but I'd like you to make sure anyone attention to identify as me also sends you a signal from my kimoyo card at the same time as giving the biometric scan." One might almost think Shuri has experience with evil shapeshifters or something. But she just asks politely, and then configures everything with JARVIS' help to make sure he'll get a signal he understands and can use. Simple as that.

The request makes Thor look at Shuri curiously, but she shrugs. If the Princess wishes to explain, she can do so as she'd like. "I have no issue with a scan of either," she tells Pepper, comfortably - well, as best one can - sliding into the spot to have JARVIS scan her retina and fingerprints. "Are there alternate ways for JARVIS to ensure we are who we claim? Like the extra security Shuri is requesting?"

"But of course, Princess Shuri. Just hold the card up and I will… Thank you. Yes. And, might I say, it is quite an honor to have you with us, Princess. And you as well, Lady Thor. I am sad Mr. Stark is missing such visiting dignitaries, but either of you say my name any time and I will be completely at your service!" JARVIS' British accented voice, half between computer and some strange C3PO tone, chirps out to the women in the lift. He then adds, "Lady Thor, you can set password, biomarkers, a card of your own, any security you wish." He is so helpful.

After all the bits of security are set, Pepper scans her own for the door to open to the inner hallway of the 40th floor. She leads to the first door, opening it up to reveal an elegant, decent sized New York condo with floor to ceiling windows and plush carpet. "All the residences look like this. They can be redecorated as you wish…"

Shuri follows along, checking out the decorations and details while clearly paying attention to what JARVIS has to say about the security arrangements. She's glad to see that everyone else understood the worth of her questions; it's nice to be taken seriously. She may be paranoid, but that doesn't mean folks aren't out to get her. "Nice, and reasonably spacious." Shuri offers, checking out the condo. It's nothing on the rooms she has at the palace in Wakanda, but what could be? It's as much as she has at the embassy, and more than she has anywhere else. But there will definitely be redecoration.

"JARVIS, I would like you to scan Mjolnir." Perhaps a step of trust too far, but she knows - this is the best way to identify her specifically. "The retina and fingerprints make sense, but I believe the energy scan of Mjolnir at my side would be further validation of my identity." Assuming, of course, that JARVIS has the capability to scan the unearthly metal.

Once that issue is taken care of, she follows Pepper out onto the 40th floor. Her eyes go wide at the sheer size of the room. Nothing for Shuri perhaps, but much bigger than anything Thor has lived in. Well, there is a set of rooms on Asgard, but that is a prickly situation and Thor does not remain there often. At least not in those rooms. "This is quite a bit larger than I had expected," she says, trying hard to sound as she was before. Even, calm. But this is quite impressive!

"As you wish, Lady Thor. Scanning…. Completed. Most impressive." Who knows what the AI is actually thinking or can sense, but JARVIS is having a few fan-boy moments in his artificial brain right now and it only slightly is concealed by the computerized tone of his voice.

Pepper chuckles quietly to herself, "Ladies, I think you're giving JARVIS the vapors. He'll be impossible to live with now." Pepper is only half teasing. She then blinks back to THor, as the woman seems quite so impressed. That actually shocks her, "Well…it's yours. Hope is in F, but you can take any of the other apartments, just each choose which and JARVIS will lock your security credentials to it. Now… the gym?" Pepper turns out, moving back down the hall to the far side of the building where she scans herself into a gym area. It's surrounded on three sides by windows and has a whole slew of equipment, as well as a fighting mat in the far corner and some acrobatics equipment, it would seem.

Shuri follows Pepper, herself wondering both at JARVIS' rather human-like reactions and how impressed Lady Thor was with the apartment. Not that she says word one, mind, but she thinks about it as she follows Pepper into the gymnasium. "Has this equipment been upgraded to handle a wide array of physical capabilities? I am sure Thor would find most such equipment child's play, whereas I would at least wish for something a bit stronger than 'normal'." she inquires. "You also mentioned training together. That would likely require a much larger space, reinforced against powers usage, and capable of adapting and adjusting to present a wide array of situations, challenges and environments." Yes. She's talking about a Danger Room.

She doesn't elaborate unless asked; othewise, there's no point. There are numerous ways to explain away the surprise too, and many of them come to Thor's mind. Just in case. "I thank you for the generosity." Decorating is not exactly something Thor could even begin to be good at, but she'll give it a try. "I had been wondering that myself," she says with a nod in Shuri's direction, "But I did not want to potentially add yet more weight to the many things Ms. Potts must do for this place." Because she was not sure if a 'Danger Room' style training faclity already existed, and didn't want to mention such a thing would be useful if it hadn't already occurred. No need to add more stress.

"That is… a question for Tony, really. I agree that we will need more… super powered facilities. I suspect Tony will bask in developing them. We might try to take another floor or two, or put them in the basement. I'll get him drawing up some schematics and you two can approve the weight ranges and damage resistance — does that sound… Fair? And if you have specific things you want, just ask. Do… either of you use email?" Hopefully they do. Pepper pulls out her business card holder from the back pocket of her jeans, removing a card to give to each of them. "There. Phone number, email, anyway you can find me is there. Any ideas you have or wishes… Just send. Otherwise… It's… getting late. I think I'll let you two settle in as you like, or at least start wrapping up myself soon. I… still need to be up to run the company in the morning."

Shuri's solution is just to wave her kimoyo card at Pepper's card, a glowing blue swoosh passing over the card. Then a beep, and Pepper will get a text message from a new number, complete with Shuri's contact information. "Of course I do email." she answers, smiling very briefly. "Thank you for the invitation, Pepper. Rest well. I am sure you have another challenging day ahead tomorrow."

Thor could claim she does email, via her secret identity or other contacts, but… that could get messy. "I do not," she admits. "But I have the communicator I used during the… Battleworld incident," she says. "It seems to still work, as Shuri found me using her device." That should work, right? "If you could share the frequency… I am afraid I was not the one who created the communicator, only shown how to use it."

"…JARVIS, can you take a scan of Thor's communicator and figure out how to speak with it?" 'Of course, Miss Potts!' And there is that quiet feeling of a computer doing something they can't really see in thin air. Hopefully he could figure it out. Pepper gives them both one last warm smile. "…Thank you for coming. Both of you. I… I think you all are going to do great work and I'll always do anything I can to support you in any way I can." Pepper isn't a hero. She never would be. But she'd be the best team mom, secretary, and party planner possible. With that and one more quick salute to them both, she heads back to the elevator.

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