Technopath – Ch. 2
Now that he was living with the rest of the Avengers Tony was constantly surprised at how each person reacted to the technology in his home. Some of it was predictable, some not so much. Steve and surprisingly Bruce were baffled that so many of his appliances and machines had quirks they were forced to learn to work around. There had already been one explosion in Bruce’s lab and two fires in the kitchen thanks to Steve’s attempts to make toast. Natasha simply memorized how Tony and Pepper handled each machine and copied their actions to varying results, from the glares she gave the coffee machine he was waiting for her to start issuing death threats when her next latte was changed to oolong tea without her input.
Clint was the only one his machine friends seemed to actually like. Clint loved to cook apparently and took to talking to his appliances much as he would Jarvis while he was in the kitchen, explaining each dish and what he was hoping to make as an end result. Clint also spent a lot of his sleepless nights talking to Jarvis, chatting in between shots on the range or sitting looking down at the streets below in his rooms.
He arranged a perimeter with Jarvis he could walk to make sure everything was secure in the building each night he was in the tower. Clint had lived outside of the law too long to ever really trust an alarm system completely, even an intelligent one. Since it meant that the Tony and the other Avengers were safer while the archer was present, Jarvis happily assisted the archer in tightening up his security protocols so that people trained like Clint and Natasha wouldn’t be able to break in easily.
Tony spent a lot of nights up late tinkering while he calmed down his frantic tech the first few weeks. Even enlisting Jarvis to help sooth all the mutinous technology at being handled negligently or simply not as Tony would didn’t help much. Jarvis was much more used to dealing with people than the other bots and appliances and he helped sooth some of the misunderstandings but having your friends destroyed was painful for everyone.
Most of the tech refused to work for Thor at all after he crushed two remotes and fried his alarm clock during a mild thunderstorm. It took Tony removing most of the more vulnerable pieces from the common area and Thor’s floors before everything started to calm back down. Hearing the death keens of beings you spoke to every day and things you felt the happiness of as you handled them was not a good way to spend the day.
For someone supposedly with All-speak, Thor was not able to hear machines the way Tony did, he had asked on the slow walk back to the tower after shawarma. Apparently Thor could speak with squirrels, pigeons, and other animals, just not machines, even smart ones like Jarvis or Dummy. It made Tony’s head hurt since All-speak was supposed to translate every known language and wasn’t code, language?
Tony pressed a finger against the metal casing for the arch reactor, letting the deep throbbing thrum drown out the chatter of the other systems around him. It was an old trick for him. His first computerized watch had been his main source of background noise he focused on when in college so that he would not be listening into everyone’s cell phones, projectors, and calculators.
As he got older his range increased and if he concentrated he could communicate with just about anything that was running with some kind of processor and power source. It meant there was a constant background noise of technology chattering away at each other and at him as he moved around.
While computers were his first love, cars would always run a close second. While computers were like faithful dogs, always happy to help and complete a task, cars just wanted to move. He got a reputation for driving fast and loose thanks to mainly learning how to drive from the sports cars themselves. He tried to not talk to the planes he traveled on; even Iron Man was vulnerable outside of the suit and no one wanted a distracted pilot.
He used his playboy drunk image often to cover for the small slips of tongue that sometimes happened when he was holding a conversation with several machines and a live person at the same time. It led to a lot of arguments with Pepper since he tended to question her Stark Pad for her schedule and any issues she had that day when he had the opportunity.
He learned a lot of gossip and blackmail material at parties for the rich and famous. After all, no one looked twice at a known drunk that was talking to a wall. He would interrogate their systems and use what he discovered to keep Stark Industries at the top of their game. He drew the line at stealing ideas but knowing about an upcoming invention before it hit the news was always a bonus.
It drove Shield crazy the way their technology just seemed to bend over backward for him. Doors that should have needed key cards and fingerprint access opened at a touch for him but what Shield missed was the polite conversation with the door hardware and the lock itself asking if they minded letting him in. They assumed that he was using jamming technology or Jarvis to hack their system while it really was simple as having a short conversation with a wall.