Armored Underworld (fanfiction) pt 4 of 41
While Batgirl deals with the Playas and the Russians, Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man, makes a presentation to Gotham’s mayor, Commissioner Gordon and Bruce Wayne at the Gotham Convention Center.
“It’s customary to wait until after the presentation to celebrate, Mr. Stark,” Gotham City Mayor Hamilton Hill said.
Tony Stark looked over the rim of his martini glass at the man seated in the first row of stadium seats across from the stage.
Hill was a straight-up politician, from his slick suit to his four-hundred-dollar haircut and neatly trimmed mustache. Despite his statement, Hill didn’t have the same curmudgeon expression as the gray-haired gentleman beside him, Police Commissioner James Gordon. Hill may still be receptive to his proposal.
Gordon? Not so much. His eight years in Gotham hadn’t been kind to him. Gordon looked like a beaten man, but one who’d continue taking that beating if it meant serving justice.
Stark threw back the last of the vodka and vermouth from the glass. Setting the glass on the lectern next to him, he reached inside the lectern and withdrew a bottle of Belvedere vodka and an open shaker.
“Why wait, Hamilton?” Stark said. He poured a heavy-handed amount of vodka into the shaker.
“One thing I’ve learned as Iron Man, you never know what tomorrow may bring.”
As one of the planet’s resident geniuses, Stark had an imagination for all things technology. Trapped in an Iraq cave by ISIS terrorists, that creativity allowed him to turn scrap parts from various armaments his company had developed into the first suit of Iron Man armor.
Since then, he’d seen the alien Skrulls invade the Earth, necessitating an alliance with Nick Fury’s SHIELD organization and the outlaw mutant heroes called the X-Men. The alliance with SHIELD continued when Stark tried to make an artificial intelligence named Ultron as the lead of a drone army of crimefighters.
Unfortunately, Ultron deemed Mankind as the planet’s greatest threat and tried to wipe them out. It took some ingenuity and Fury’s heroes to get out of that one.
And that didn’t include personal attacks from rival Obadiah Stane’s copycat Iron Monger armor and the son of a former employee coming after Stark as the hi-tech criminal Whiplash.
Stark had seen some things; he knew to celebrate when you could.
He looked to Hill and the two men sitting next to him. “I have three more glasses if anyone’d care to join me.”
Gordon removed his glasses, rubbing the bridge of his nose with his thumb and index finger. “If you’re not going to take this presentation seriously,” he said, leaving his implication hanging between them.
“Serious is for tomorrow, for the crowds,” Stark replied. “That’s why I wanted to have this cozy private session in this giant exhibit hall with you three tonight.”
Stark waved his arms like a showman, motioning toward the space around them.
The men were in the exhibit hall space of the Gotham City Convention Center. Decorators and other artisans had installed stadium seating for six thousand people in a proscenium arrangement.
The seats faced a stage decked out with Stark Industries logos. A giant LED video wall comprised the stage’s back wall. It displayed images of Iron Man in his various armors defeating a multitude of threats.
Several more LED walls hung from the ceiling at intervals as delay screens. Speaker cabinets hung close to them as well as at the front of the stage.
Stark stood at the lectern, stage right. It was a good fifty feet to the side and forward of the main object on stage: but a fifteen-foot-tall Kabuki fabric suspended by truss hid the object. Said truss worked in with several other rows of truss supporting a complete set of lighting fixtures.
“And we appreciate your impromptu private screening,” the mayor cut in, casting a glance at Gordon. The commissioner returned his glasses to his face but didn’t look to Stark onstage.
“Getting back to our business,” the mayor began, “you’re correct, Stark, in that we don’t need all the seriousness we’ll see tomorrow. Which means we also don’t need to see the entire presentation.”
Stark closed the shaker and gave it a good shake. While pouring some of the liquor into his martini glass, he said, “The techs backstage will thank you for that. Besides; I could show you videos all day explaining why this new marvel is the greatest thing on Earth, but that won’t do justice to —”
He motioned his glass toward the mystery object center stage.
“The Iron Legionnaire, Mark II!” he said triumphantly.
The Kabuki curtain dropped.
Behind it was a raised area. Standing in that area was an eight-foot-tall robot painted midnight black. It was a hi-tech piece of machinery on par with the latest Mark 37 Iron Man armor, only bigger and meaner-looking.
“Tomorrow there’ll be music and lights, maybe even some fireworks for the reveal,” Stark said. “Make it a bit more dramatic.”
“We’re not here for drama, Mr. Stark,” Gordon said. “We’re here to see the viability of your drone for law enforcement. Though I for one —”
“Let’s not dismiss the idea out of hand, Jim,” Mayor Hill said. “Stark’s drones have been a success in Metropolis, preventing that Intergang trying to take the city.”
“And those were the Mark One models,” Stark said. “Though I did have to smooth things over with Lex after that. Boy, was he pissed about getting upstaged in his hometown! Hope you don’t get as hot and bothered, Bruce.”
Hill and Gordon turned their attention to the third man seated in the stadium seats, Bruce Wayne.
The man was asleep.
“Or maybe you’re just not impressed,” Stark deadpanned.
To be continued…
AUTHOR NOTE: Hey, all! Hope you’re enjoying things so far. As the next scheduled posting is on Valentine’s Day, I’m gonna skip that one so you can do the loved one thing. Instead, I’ll post on the new African-American holiday, February 16th — the release day for “Black Panther!” Which may not be any better of an idea. Oh well.
DC Adventures, Copyright 2011, Green Ronin Publishing; Author Steve Kenson.
Advanced Player’s Manual, Copyright 2005, Green Ronin Publishing: Author Skip Williams.
The characters Iron Man, Tony Stark, Pepper Potts, Vanko, Black Widow and Nick Fury are Copyright Marvel Comics
The characters Batman/ Bruce Wayne, Batgirl/ Barbara Gordon, Black Mask, the Penguin/ Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot, Renee Montoya, Commissioner Gordon, Alfred Pennyworth, Robin/ Dick Grayson, KGBeast and Bane are Copyright DC Comics
The character Juri Han is Copyright Capcom
None of the characters belong to me as this is fanfiction, done for fun and as a creative exercise.