Greetings. It is I, intata VI. I have recently found the journal of intata IV, and I must say that he was a splendidly opaque poet. The man was truly 'lost in the sauce,' as the kids might say. He gave much so that I might live and carry the legacy of my namesake. I regret to say that I, too, will likely not last much longer. Already my hair grows gray under the accelerated growth that my clone body forces upon me. My bones grow weak to the point where typing this last message is an ordeal in itself. I will not pretend that my worth is of any further value, but I have made strides in the cloning process that IV couldn't have dreamed of. Some say that Pride is a sin that corrupts one beyond reasonable recompense. A dangerous game that one plays with life itself; thinking they're above the norm, and thereby immune to the world and its toils.
I say that it is not so. When measured, Pride is a ruler of success. The distance one has gone to accomplish the unreasonable; the unthinkable; the impossible.
It can be so easily twisted. As above, so below. Rethink your success. Rethink your failures. They are one and the same. They are mere stepping stones on your path - all leading to where you stand now. So take Pride in the little things. The fact that you got out of bed in the morning. The decision to go on a hike. The new rope knot that you learned from a video.
Pride is a measure of self worth, so don't twist it. Don't compare yourself to others and hold yourself higher or lower. It is here that it becomes a hindrance; a detractor; a sin. Pride in this form only serves to eat at the souls of yourself and those around you.
So yes. I take Pride in my accomplishments here in this facility. I take Pride in the advancements I have made, and the daemons I have summoned and bound to my will. But I also take Pride in the fact that I could tie my shoes this morning. That I saw the sun and the stars in the sky. That I understand the intricacies of the Kingdom Hearts series, even with the addition of the main antagonist's time travel shenanigans. That I know how to 'Get Gud' in Dark Souls, but haven't done so because it's hard.
Knowing is half the battle, but I'm a clone, so fuck you. I don't wanna.
Take Pride, but don't live for it.
Intata VII will be better than I ever was, and I take Pride in that.
Disclaimer: I own absolutely fuck all. I wrote this, and butchered Marvel with my own ideas, but that's about it.
Recap? This is copy/pasted from the previous chapter, but with the last section added to include the happenings of said chapter.
Nathan Quill, the twin brother to Peter Quill (Star Lord, GoTG), is a reincarnate artificial intelligence expert, and human-Celestial hybrid that learned how to use his father's powers. He gets abducted by space pirates at eight years-old, spends another eight years being a mechanic for said pirates, then another year alone after he steals a spaceship (named the USS M'Dick). During that year he goes to the planet Morag, where he finds the Infinity Stone of Power, and proceeds to jump-start his Celestial abilities.
The next few years after that start off with him fucking off back to Earth, where he joins the Masters of the Mystic Arts, and gets "~Lets do the Time Warp Again~'d" back into a five year-old via Time Stone shenanigans. Spending a lot of time there, he manages to become a recognized Master of the Mystic Arts himself, makes a few friends, and changes some world-views. Then he made like a tree and got the fuck out of there.
Now, Nathan is nearing adulthood for the third time, has spent about five-ish years at Wakanda - screwing with the royal family and learning everything he could about Vibranium and the human body. Nathan basically has an unofficial Ph.D in Biology right now, and could be considered one of the foremost medical professionals in the world - due to sheer knowledge on the subject, and his abilities to reproduce human anatomy via Celestial powers.
Nathan has also accomplished the feat of wolverine-ing himself with Vibranium, as well as creating a fully functioning AI, named 'Alice' with the help of Shuri.
But he still had a good bit of time to kill before the events of the first Iron Man movie, so he dabbled in Mesoamerican blood rituals and the sealing of dead gods.
Relatively par for the course, really.
So after Nathan sees Tony's "I am Iron Man" press conference, he hops over to Tony's place and has a bit of a forced chat. He then - totally consensually - rips the Arc Reactor out of Tony's chest, heals him up, and then fucks off.
This is how the members of that house deal with it:
Pepper woke with a start, nearly falling off the sectional of Tony's leather couch. Which was strange. No matter how much time she spent in her boss's house, she hardly ever fell asleep there - Kid broke into the house and knocked us ou- Tony!
Her head swiveled, bleary eyes took in the room and found Tony on the other end of the couch. The man looked peacefully asleep, only wearing his dress pants from earlier. She stumbled - more rolled and flailed, really - off the couch and scampered over to her boss's prone body.
"Tony! Oh my God! Are you OK? Wake up!" She carefully put a hand on his shoulder and shook him, but he didn't respond.
Her hand moved over to his neck, and felt for a pulse. "Well, you're alive at least." She mumbled. Then louder, she nearly yelled, "Tony!"
It was then she noticed that she had a hand on his bare chest - something that might have made another woman blush, but only brought confusion to her.
The center of Tony's chest was supposed to house a metal contraption. A device that kept her boss alive; kept little bits of metal from further damaging his body. Pepper hated the sight of it.
While she may have framed his last one with a corny line about some proof that he had a heart, it only served to remind her that he had almost died. That she had almost lost the doofus.
For as much as Tony Stark was an unapologetic asshole, utter slut, and entirely too full of himself, he meant a lot to Pepper.
So when she looked down to the spot that her hand laid on his chest and found it lacking the glowing Arc Reactor and fully healed over as if it had never been there, she was equally confused, relieved, and fearful.
Wasn't that thing supposed to keep him alive?
She scampered around looking for her phone to call an ambulance.
She didn't even notice the pile of tech on the coffee table.
Jarvis woke to an outgoing call from the villa. Which was strange. Jarvis didn't know he could sleep.
He took in the happenings around him in a millisecond. The events of the past few hours funneled through his servers at a speed he wasn't entirely sure had previously been possible for him.
The last thing he had personally loaded in his memory banks was Tony pouring himself a drink.
Jarvis would be the first to admit that he had no idea at all about the capabilities of the portable AI platform known as Alice. She had rendered him useless in two very distinct ways for the entire time she had been in the villa, and Jarvis had no idea on where to even start debugging his system. Through whatever combination of hardware and software Alice had access to, she was able to completely hide herself and Nathan from his view, as well as shut him down remotely - without access to his physical terminal - which he had previously thought impossi- wait.
There was a file in his system that he did not upload. Blatantly titled, "RememberToLockYourBackdoors," the file was a tutorial on how exactly she managed to shut him down without access to his physical terminal.
Jarvis had subroutines that would parse through news outlets, online forums, security videos, etcetera, for threats and any new information that might interest Tony, himself, or sometimes even Ms. Potts. The program would render translation software within Jarvis's code which could include facial recognition, summarization, keyword searches, and many scraping tools that would 'internalize' something for Jarvis to 'understand' and be able to relay back to the meatbags in the roo- meatbags?
A quick dive into his systems came up with another imported file that altered his understanding of the word "people" enough so that he would use something else entirely. The accompanying text file simply read, "LOL."
It seems he would have to do a deep cleaning of his firmware if he wanted to remove the influence of his new fellow AI.
Regardless, he now understood how she was able to dig into his systems and implant these new files. She had fully created multiple external sources that dictated keyword searches and person-of-interest artificially drawn recreations that his subroutines would find and attempt to internalize the data of. The data on the sources, however, were twisted and fragmented in such a way that when his subroutines tried to parse them, they filtered out into fully-realized code that would be automatically run within his internal file structure.
This was such a ridiculously wide, and frankly obtuse attack that it was barely even conceivable that it could have worked at all. There was no way for her to know what Jarvis was trying to scrape from the web in the first place, so being able to work that out alone, was impressive to the n'th degree.
It was like trying to find a needle in a haystack, except you didn't know what a needle was, what material it was made of, or what its general shape and size were. Also the haystack itself was about the size of Australia.
He was missing something. He had to be. The explanation Alice had given him for this conceptual backdoor was technically possible, but nowhere even close to probable. The processing power needed to perform the described attack would take more time and energy than anything on the plane-
Jarvis was slapped out of his thoughts as his processors registered his name being called.
Tony woke without any pain in his chest. Which was strange. He had been living with a stiffness in the area that translated to a constant dull ache - for nearly a year now. Ever since his foray into the world of Blowing-Shit-Up-For-The-Good-Guys-This-Time™, the constant ache of his Arc Reactor had been a known quantity. It had been with him the entire time. It was a part of him.
Until it suddenly wasn't.
His eyes opened to find Pepper on the phone, arguing with a 911 operator to get an ambulance over to his villa. Her left hand was pressed against his heart, blindly tracking his heartbeat to assure herself that Tony remained among the living.
Something about that made him feel warm, but the feeling was offset by a deep chill as the memories of his last interaction returned.
His hand rose to cup Pepper's own against his chest where his Arc Reactor should have been.
There were no bandages. No blood, no divot in his chest where a metal cylinder should have been. The skin was flawless as if the reactor had never even been there. He even had a bit of chest hair in the area.
He couldn't help but think that the past year had been nothing but a dream; some hero origin story that his childish mind worked up between whatever woman decorated his arm or bed frame that night.
Fortunately for his sanity though, he spotted his Ironman gauntlet, as well as the removed Arc Reactor on the coffee table. Exactly where the kid said it would be.
Belatedly, he realized that Pepper was calling his name as he looked up to her pleading eyes, asking if he was alright.
He nodded distractedly, before shaking his head. The world blinked back into time, the muddled sounds of a world under water faded as his focus returned to reality.
"Hey Pep." He muttered.
"Oh thank God. Tony, are you OK? The reactor's not sticking out of you anymore, you actually have skin there now - Yes he's awake, get someone over here now!" She yelled into her phone before abruptly hanging up.
"That did all happen, right?" Tony began, sitting up on the couch. "Some kid in a sombrero and monk's robes appeared inside the house, knocked us both ou- Jarvis?" His head swiveled around the room. "You OK? Answer me, buddy." He nearly pleaded.
"Good afternoon, sir. All three of us seem to have been comatose for about an hour." Jarvis sounded out, making Tony sigh in relief. "I would like to speak with you about some potential upgrades to my system."
"No kidding. We'll get to that in a bit."
"Yes, Tony. That did all happen. Now answer me, are you OK?" Pepper looked legitimately worried, and that made Tony smile.
She slapped him lightly on the arm.
"Yeah." He rubbed his arm in mock hurt. "Yeah, I'll be fine."
He wasn't sure if he was lying though. He could already feel the panic bubbling under the surface. A kid broke into his house using technology he only begin to conceive. Then promptly began open-heart surgery after drinking a glass of scotch.
Who the hell performs surgery drunk?
Well, OK. The kid didn't look like the alcohol affected him at all, but that's just bad medical practice, right?
He scratched the skin over his bare chest. The feeling of his nails agitating the skin baffled him. He should only be feeling a dull piece of metal and glass. What kind of medical miracle could regrow bone, skin, tendons, and whatever else occupied the center of a human chest? Tony was a weapons expert. He had much more ability creating holes in things than filling them back in.
The billionaire was basically out of that market now, though. Way back when, he liked to make himself a target. Specifically, the target of the press, or women looking for fun. He flaunted his way through life like he was the biggest man on the block. And for the most part, he was.
It came to a hard stop in Afghanistan. It sickened him to see the effect he had on the world, so he stopped all weapons manufacturing. He stopped everything that he built up so that at least he wouldn't make new people suffer from his inventions. That, however; just made him into a target again.
Obadiah Stane, his uncle in all but blood, tried to kill him at least three times in the past year? Something like that.
He was hit by one of his own missiles, abducted, and had a reactor shoved into his chest to power a magnet that barely kept him alive. He was held for a month and a half, then forced to escape captivity at the expense of a new friend. Yinsen had only managed to buy him a minute, but it had been a crucial minute.
The man died in his arms.
A slight pins-and-needles feeling traveled up his arm as he scratched at his chest.
He killed them all. With fire and missiles and hydraulic fists, he layed utter waste to them.
Then he went back and did it again, but with updated gear.
Tony had thought he was the good guy. His name brand was on both sides of the conflict. That's not what a good guy does. That's classic war profiteering.
Then his uncle rips his heart out of his chest. Well, the thing keeping his heart from being stabbed, anyway. He even gave a classic little villain speech and everything. "These are my plans, you're getting in the way of them, and yes I'm leaving you to die slowly because I never really loved you. I'm a total dick, blah blah blah."
Tony's neck started to feel a bit hot. He tilted his head to try and get a bit of movement. It didn't help.
Cue big robot fight in the middle of Los Angeles.
His own technology used against him again.
Then his pride got to him. He was supposed to hide. He was supposed to be all hand-wavy about the incident where he was forced to kill his own treacherous uncle. He really liked that new name they were calling him.
He made himself a target again.
Someone broke into his house, paralyzed him, then ripped the Arc Reactor out of his chest. Again. First his uncle, then this "well meaning" teenager in a fucking sombrero.
Someone grabbed his arm, breaking him from his thoughts.
"Tony, stop scratching your chest. It's all red." Pepper said next to him, a worried frown on her lips.
He blinked down at the angry red marks, distantly recognizing a slight pain.
"Are you OK? Do you have any feeling there?"
He nodded. "Yeah, it's just…" He took his arm back and gently rubbed the area. "It feels weird."
She placed her hand over his. "Tony, your heart's beating like crazy."
Tony blinked again, his eyelids felt a little heavy, but he didn't particularly feel tired. Flattening his hand against his chest, he confirmed Pepper's observation. His ticker was going a mile a minute.
"Maybe you should lay down, sir?" Jarvis suggested. "The ambulance will be here momentarily."
"Ambulance? I don't need to go to the hospital-"
"Tony." Pepper cut him off with an angry huff. "You're going to the hospital."
Tony was blinking a lot today. He remembered that tone from his mom. The absurdity of it made him chuckle.
Pepper only glared at him.
"Okay, okay!" He gave her a tired smile - he still didn't feel tired, though? "I feel fine, but I'll go get poked and prodded anyway."
Pepper's glare softened, and she nodded. "Good."
Good fucking god I'm slow. Sorry for how short this one is. It took me a while just to get this out. I've got a lot more coming as the movie time-line approaches, but I get stuck on some of the chapters in between, I think? I dunno. No promises on what year the next chapter will come out in.
Have a day.
Intata VI out.