By the hands of the Gods, you have been plucked from your time and from your world, dropped into the box.
Only the box is a world of its own.
We are a mass crossover based on the concept of Pandora's Box. Characters from nearly any fandom can be played here. Because of the endless character possibilities, we are canon only here at Pandora. Take a peek at our rules and plot information before starting your new life in Pandora.
Tony liked to drop in on his shops every once in a while, it helped keep morale up when your billionaire CEO came and chatted with you for a hour. He tended to listen to any problems they had while also making sure their managers weren't dicks. Besides that Tony just liked to get a frappe so he could have a reason to give all the workers a rather large tip.
On this morning, Tony was just walking in after signing a handful of autographs outside when he made his way to the back of the line. For the moment it seemed nobody realized who he was. Of course, that wouldn't last, it rarely ever did. Though the shades and fedora did help a bit.
To them, he was just another fancy asshole in an expensive suit. Though the big guy in front of him seemed a bit antsy. Which could have been normal, man must have really wanted his coffee. "You alright big fella?" Tony asked him, readying his aviator glasses' programs so that he could run facial recognition on the man the moment he turned around.
While Pandopolis was a city of wonders and past memories not yet forgotten, he knew what he had to face with that had been pleasantly absent from the farm the minute he had agreed to move here with Wanda. He was aware that the reach of capitalism in Pandopolis had only dramatically increased compared to the city he remembered before his death and the reworkings of the universe inside the box. Not an unexpected outcome, but a painful one nevertheless. He had hoped that Pandorans would not wish to repeat the mistakes the various people of Earth had done, but the reality was a sharp reminder of the all powerful greed of the few against the many.
It was fortunate that the monument of corporatism and ego had relocated to Ark City, but in a diverse place like Pandopolis, it was impossible to escape the ever present Stark threat. Starkthis, Starkthat and Starktheother, the number of products and services he provided had only multiplied, to Kal's misfortune. He even owned a chain of coffeeshop now, that supposedly provided a better quality of coffee than the others, for the extra pound, of course. For every tired barista that still insisted that the hours and the pay were just fine, if the system had convinced you that all you were good for is work and pay Stark products, there were others, more tired workers picking up the seeds and carrying the loads, some place away from the city.
Yet the boys from work loved Stark's coffee and had refused to settle for the alternatives Kal had suggested, so he was currently sitting in the line, waiting to place the order, trying to suppress all his bottled anger. He was enough distracted that he did not hear the commotion outside the shop, focusing on other sounds, until a voice came to break his entire concentration. Surprised at first, Kal turned around, with a puzzled and apologetic expression. It managed to remain that way for a good few seconds, until he recognized the man that was talking to him.
Then, the transformation happened. From mild mannered and unassuming, despite his height and build, Kal turned to an aggressive oaf, that seemed ready to pounce on the one talking to him. 'You are him, aren't you?' he asked, his eyes burning with a fire that burnt for years, over all versions of Tony Stark. 'The big owner. The industrialist that loves money so much, he keeps inventing new ways to take them from the people. The superhero that inspires others to worship three things: him, violence and the stuff he puts his name on. What are you doing here, Stark? Come to shake a few hands for the cameras with the common people? Come to inspect the state of your slaves?' he blurted out, upset, barely keeping his voice from yelling, all that growing and festering anger pouring out of him.
There were stares, there were murmurs, there were disapproving looks and words, but if Stark planned to have his praises sung today, then he had poked the wrong guy.
So the man lost his mind, wonderful. It wasn't like Tony was just asking him how he was doing. No, he was totally everything he said. A big bad, moneygrabber who didn't care about the people who worked for him. Yep. That was him.
Maybe in a dreamworld.
Staring at the man, Tony looked behind him for a second. "Tony Starks here?!!" He said feigning shock as he turned to look for himself. "I've always wanted to see that handsome rich bastard." Tony continued, knowing the man would likely grow enraged by his lack of care.
Of course, as he saw nobody behind himself, he turned back towards the now angry man. "Wow. Are you lying to me, buddy? Because I really wanted to yell at a genius kind-hearted philanthropist today." Of course Tony added a smirk as he spoke, he couldn't help himself. "Seriously dude, are you a fan?" Once more he continued, noting how the patrons of Starkbucks had all begun to pull out their phones.
The other's reaction manage to disorient Kal for a short while and when he realised what he was playing at here, he found that Tony Stark also possessed the gift of defusing potentially uncomfortable for him situations. It was pointless to argue with a man who was playing the fool, after all, in order to not ruin his image, though judging by his appearance, Kal supposed it was likely he was an alternate universe Stark.
So maybe he could not be blamed for involvement in Afghanistan and Sokovia, but he sure liked his popularity, money and maintaining a system that favored him and others like him.
'Not the words I would use.' he did not hesitate to add when he spoke of kind hearts and philanthropes, clearly irritated, but at least not appearing like he was about to hit him. Kal crossed his arms before he answered him. 'I'm surprised you'd think of me as a fan after what I said.' he spoke, keeping his voice in normal levels. It was something of a struggle, though the desire to fight him had largely been extinguished, after getting a chance, after all these years in Pandora, to face him, glare daggers at him and speak his mind. This world could not have pulled two more different persons, but he liked to think that he did not speak for himself, but those hundreds, thousands and millions, in some worlds, that had suffered because of men like Tony Stark and all that he represented.
"You used a few other words that didn't make sense. Everything you said besides big owner and industrialist didn't really hit it's mark." Tony continued to smirk as he patted the man on his rather large arm. He rarely ever went out of his way to agrue with people who thought he was some sort of devil. He couldn't give a damn what this man thought about Tony or what his actions could be percieved as by him.
For all Tony's flaws, being a horrible CEO or a bad man was not one of them. The man standing in front of him just didn't know Tony well enough to get some decent insults in. "So you want a muffin or a danish maybe? It's on me." He added as he began to pull his phone out and face time Wanda, to show her the inevitable breakdown of the man standing in front of him. As he continued he raised his head up and looked around. "Now that I think about it. Everything for the next four hours is on me! Go ahead and get yourselves some bagels and a coffee." Shouting loud enough that everyone who was watching the two interact could hear.
And of course, just when she picked up, Tony looked up towards the man and gave him a wink. "Hey, sparkly fingers. Give me a moment I'll get with you soon." He held his phone against his chest, as he looked up to see how the man would react before he turned his attention to Wanda.
There were no signals this deep in the Vales, so if Wanda was anywhere outside of Merlin's office the incoming caller would've been out of luck. At the very least she had managed to rig some means of stationary scrying to keep her lines of communication open with the outside world. The connectivity was blotchy, and there was a heavy crystal ball involved—but the threads of magic were able to bridge the frayed signals to her desk, and...
Tony's face flickered on beneath the surface of the reflective scrying orb balanced on a copper bowl. He looked like he was at... Star(k)bucks? She pulled herself up from sheets of paperwork and squinted over it. Was this urgent? It didn't seem urgent, but she could give him the benefit of the doubt to begin with. "Hey, what's going—" Tony's end pivoted to... a very disgruntled looking Kal, whose image flickered within the crystal's whirls of color. Her stomach dropped somewhat as she lowered her chin to her hands, then dragged the hands up to the sides of her face. If she had to have any kneejerk emotional reaction, surely confusion was the best bet. Struggling not to jump to conclusions and immediately give into a spike of anxiety, she breathed out slowly and continued in a lower voice, "Tony, what is going on? Is that my boyfriend?"
'Oh, I am certain that's what you want the public to believe, so that they don't feel dirty whenever the give their hard earned money to you.' Kal counter-argued and his face remained largely unenthused at the other's gestures. A good capitalist, especially one from America, was not something that any member of the Party would believe that existed. The Bigfoot was more likely to be real. Though Kal had always been a little more open minded, or naive to the ways of the world to some, so he would entertain the idea that maybe Stark had good intentions, but he deluded himself into believing that he was supporting them inside the system that gave him so much and took even more from everyone else.
'I'm not a dog you can throw a bone at. I don't want any--' he started in the same tone, but quickly noticed that the American had directed his attention elsewhere. That was not too surprising, but his next declarations certainly were. Kal watched him with an intense look as he shouted his generosity to the world. 'Are you serious?' he spoke through gritted teeth, though he did not expect a serious enough answer.
He decided to fall silent until the other made his call and then be on his way, even without the cups of coffee his coworkers had requested. But then, before he could make a decision, he heard a very familiar voice answering Stark's call and immediately turned his startled face at him again.
'What are you doing?' he spat out, not bothering hiding his annoyance at Stark deciding to phone Wanda. What was that supposed to achieve? Before Tony could utter a word, Kal moved closer to the phone. 'Hi, sweetheart. I just met another one of your Avengers friends.' he spoke with the most unenthusiastic voice he could muster, that only softened when he greeted her, but made otherwise evident that this was not a pleasant meeting. Not that Wanda would expect differently, so Kal was at a loss at what Stark was playing at, bringing her into their argument. As if she did not know how Kal felt regarding everyone and everything.
As Kal spoke about his public image, Tony distracted himself by correcting a past remark from the man. "Though I guess I don't really align myself with usual industrialist. I really do prefer to be called a futurist. It's sort of my tagline." Without a doubt he knew this would only piss off the man more, but he did start it. So Tony didn't have to keep his manner in check for this one.
Though Tony somewhat recoiled on the inside when Wanda mentioned that the man he hoped to make fun of while a friend was around in spirit was in fact, her god damn boyfriend. "Oh wow. I was just calling to ask how your day was going but then I made a new friend. Really nice guy, you know in the Hulk sort of way. Ain't that right big guy." Tony said as he held his phone out, so Wanda could see both men.
He would have placed an arm around him but Tony really didn't like touching strangers, especially ones that looked like this man. Usually Tony would have picked something about his general appearance and attitude to validate the whole no-touch policy of his but Wanda's boyfriend was giving Tony a 70s hippie vibe. You know, the late to the hippie movement, I don't shower sort of hippie.
Had he been a 60's one then maybe Tony would have been fine with it. "We should really get out of line. The people will certainly want their free Starkbucks." He added winking towards the aggravated man.
Since there wasn't any attempt at all to convince her that their encounter was, indeed, serendipitous, her expression through the screen became increasingly incredulous. Neither of them also seemed to be trying to sway her to their side, which as good, because Wanda wanted no part in whatever argument that was taking place.
"Hi honey. Tony. The day's good," she greeted them separately, the names drawing slowly from her tongue. "So the two of you just... ran into each other at Starkbucks, and you"—her gaze shifted to Tony—"got so excited that you... mutually decided to call me through my"—her sound and image wavered with the unstable, miraculous connection from the Vales and all—"...rk line?"
Obviously she didn't believe it in the slightest, but she was giving them (and by extension, herself) an out.
'That's my fault. Not everyone concerns themselves with their image as much as you do.' Kal spoke and there was nothing apologetic in his tone whatsoever. But that did not annoy him as much as Stark talking to Wanda. They were teammates, friends even, because Wanda had the ability to forgive everyone, but he choose not to think of it, so having it happen in front of him live was getting on his nerves.
But wanting to avoid another Thor situation, he merely glared at him as he spoke, his expression quite likely reminiscent of a Hulk struggling to control himself indeed. When he directed that look on Wanda, his face changed completely, assuming a calmer stance, albeit evidently uncomfortable given the company.
He resisted the urge to curse under his breath as the other spoke, moving out of the way of the crowd that had gathered in front of the cashiers. Wanda's screen presence was a good deterrent though, so he focused on her. 'He did. I don't believe he knew who I was to you. Or know a lot of things about me in general.' he stated in a matter of fact-ly tone. 'Such as why I oppose him and what he stands for with so much passion.' he added, not wanting to hide behind words, especially in front of Wanda. When they first started dating, Kal, not wanting to become a problem in Wanda's life, had initiated a conversation regarding the Avengers' position on him. They had concluded that the only one who might have an issue would be Tony Stark, but not one he would give more thought besides a sarcastic comment here and there, as was being proven today. What hadn't been discussed in more detail was Kal's own issues with men like him, because, as tolerant and kind hearted his parents had raised him to be... 'I come from the USSR, Stark.' he finally turned and said to the man. Technically he came from an even more complicated future, but that was too personal to reveal.
"I can't help it. My image is pretty great." Tony made sure to sound as smug as possible as he spoke, not really focusing on the big fella but more so at the young lady he was calling. "It pays to be handsome." He impulsively added not really caring about how Kal felt about it.
But no, Wanda was wrong. Tony only called her because she was the only Avenger he assumed would be fine with listening to him make fun of a stranger. Who just happened to somehow be her boyfriend. Though that wouldn't have stopped Tony anyways, he'd already devoted himself to doing it.
"Ivar the Witless kept insulting me. So I thought I'd call you and make fun of him with a friend." He wasn't sure how she'd deal with that, given she'd revealed the pair were dating. However Tony pressed on as if it were nothing. "But it makes sense why he had such a hateboner for me. And seemed so angry. Children of the USSR am I right?" Tony said winking at the larger man, all while his arrogant smile cut clean across his face.
What- what part of their prior interactions had given Tony the impression that Wanda was down to make fun of anyone with him over a public facetime? If it weren't for Kal, this would've been the part where she'd express a curt see you later and hung up on the call. Maybe she should've done that anyway, but she felt a burst of protective anger flaring up in her as Tony spoke.
She leaned closer to the screen, her baffled expression abruptly transforming into an irate scowl. "Do not call him that!" Or what? Nothing, probably, but that wasn't the point. Tony could hang up any time he wanted. If she still had both their attentions, she might as well make use of it. "Look, whoever started this"—she glanced meaningfully at Kal. Even knowing very well how passionately he felt about these issues, there had to be a better way for him to get his piece out than a belligerent Starkbucks confrontation, which presumably was what really happened—"apologise. And whoever's escalating"—then her exasperated glance flicked in Tony's direction—"apologise next. Am I talking to a couple of thirty-five year olds or a couple of five year olds?!"
Most of the things Stark said next, Kal expected. He gritted his teeth and tried to suppress his anger, reminding to himself how many times he had heard similar comments in the past. But what really made him furious was not so much Stark's idea of having a laugh at someone else's expense, but encouraging others to do the same. That was why he considered him such a threat; much like capitalism, people became conditioned to it, twisted their morals to support it, thought that being greedy, egotistical and unsympathetic was simply man's natural state. 'I'm sorry.' he mumbled, his eyes looking deep in Wanda's and not Stark's eyes.
His own shortcomings and inefficient plans when faced with such a fundamental and unbeatable danger caused him to lose control eventually. Only for a few seconds, but they were enough. Moving faster than a normal human being, he grabbed Stark by his expensive clothes and pushed him on the wall. Not hard enough to seriously hurt him, but the impact would leave a bruise for the other to remember him by.
He stepped closer, his expression twisted from fury, but before he'd do anything in front of Wanda and the rest of the phone-in-hands, gasping crowd that he would later regret, he stopped himself. Wanda was right to remind him of his age and supposed wisdom that came with the years, but he was not going to apologise. Not to him.
'I don't hate you. And I am not going to apologise but I am not fighting you either. Every time people admire your money, your killer technology, your irresponsibility, your total disrespect for others, it's another lost battle.' he spat out, interrupted by the sound of flash photography and comments of the crowd. Let them say whatever they damned pleased, he thought, as he turned around and tried to find an opening.
Before Tony should say anything, he felt a thud and realized that Ivar the Idiot must have grabbed him and slammed him against a wall. Of course had Tony not been in such a humorous mood, he might have decided to call his suit into action and try to beat the everloving slav out of the man.
Instead, he kept on smirking. "Ivar, stop it. Use your words, buddy. Come on." He said, doing his best to keep any pain the man inflicted on him hidden. At this point in his life, it was almost normal to hide the pain and keep pretending to be some arrogant asshole. It seemed to quickly become more than just an emotional facade but also a superhero one.
Nobody liked a sad hero. They loved Stark as he was, arrogant, mean at times and just a downright rich asshole. "Wanda, I'm sorry. And I didn't call you because I just wanted to insult him. I called for other reasons. That wasn't completely true but it was somewhat. She honestly was one of the few 'friends' if he could even call her that, whose number he had.
"You know what they say Ivar. Haters gonna hate, hate hate. You just gotta shake it off." Tony said shooting him a wink. He might have been playing to his asshole side a bit too much during this interaction but honestly, the man assaulted him. It was the least he could to repay it without trying to punch him back.
"You know that reminds me of something my mom used to say about situations like this." He said just as he began to readjust his suit, fixing any creases and putting it all back into place after Kal decided to throw him around.
Her view of the coffee shop shook, and once realization pierced through what was happening through her confusion, the mortification washed over her like a tsunami. Kal had a sore spot against... strong reminders of capitalist societies; even though they'd never met before today (and even though she had made it clear many times in the past that she no longer bore any ill will against the Tony Starks of the multiverse), she thought she could understand why he felt the way he did.
But Kal never lay a hand on others. Civilians who were laughably weaker than him, which Mr. Stark (though crafty and resourceful) was at this current point in time. Her face had twisted with disbelief in concert with a sinking feeling in her stomach. Why was this happening? "No, I'm sorry. You shouldn't have gone through that," she addressed Tony sullenly, ignoring his ostensibly blase attitude over being pushed against a wall by a superhuman. Forced into a corner, she was left with no choice but to take a side, even against the man she loved when the man she loved was wrong. And it felt like raking her nails against the chalkboard.
"I'll talk to him when he gets home." She knew Kal must've heard that despite having turned away. "I, uh—" Biting her lip, she left that thought hanging and shook her head. Of course Tony could've handled that better, but he wasn't the aggressor in this event, and it wouldn't be right at all to chastise him for being defensive. And neither would asking if he was okay make him feel more okay. "I'm sorry," she could only repeat with her face dropping into her hands. "...but if you could stop egging him on, that'd be amazing," she squeaked out with a grimace.
Finding an opening was not easy at first. People were gathering and staring. The less bold were murmuring, the more were expressing their views out loud. He felt more lost than angry, avoiding eye contacts and just wishing he could disappear. He hadn't planned on using violence or instigating anything, so he had to remind himself what his role had been when he was under the Soviet Union's service. Help others. Inspire, lead by example and protect. Speak against capitalism, but don't get involved in violent acts. Avoid fights and do anything to prevent wars with the opponents, no matter how provocative they might have been.
He could hear everything Stark and Wanda were saying and he felt a twinge of guilt at being more extreme than it was required. It wasn't a very conscious and rational decision, but it was his responsibility to remain cautious and rational under stress. Feeling more in control, he excused himself trying to go past a group of curious coffee drinkers and they responded now that he didn't look ready to smash everything inside the shop. He gave a last look towards Tony's direction, stern but collected, if not slightly exasperated, especially after the mentioning of his mother. It was a good reminder that the true monsters were elsewhere, whereas he had raised his hand on a human being. Ironically, they also had similar tastes in music.
Wanda would be rightfully upset in the evening, but he would not making a fuss about spending the night on the couch or anything else she'd decide. Knowing that any meetings with a man like Tony Stark were doomed from the start, but chastising himself for escalating it, he finally reached the exit, all his troubles written on his face.
ooc. supes peacing out but ilu and will keep reading <3333333
Tony moved to correct his suit once more after the large man ran off towards the exit. He hadn't thought his day would involve this but Tony was used to it by now. It seemed all assholes wanted a chance to get under his skin, when in reality Stark was so much more better at getting under theirs.
"No need to apologize, Wanda." Tony said as he looked down at his phone and ignored the masses gathered around him. "Sometimes fellas like that need to blow some steam. And fellas like me make for perfect targets, given we're built to antagonize and pester." He added with a smirk.
"But don't go too hard on Ivan. I've felt the same build-up of anger for quite some time as well." As he said that Tony made his way back in line, which by now was all be emptied as they all just decided to watch him move around like the superstar he was. "You should get him to try therapy or yoga."
Her head ached. While she still couldn't help but think that Tony could've handled that better... she had to admit that he wasn't obligated to. As one who hadn't cast the first stone, as one who had acted in defense almost the entire time, and as one who hadn't raised a finger, he had the higher ground. Period. "He's usually not like that, at all; it's just that—you encapsulate a lot of topics that are... sensitive to him." Wanda winced. It was a complicated matter, even if she wished that Kal would've given him more of a chance before writing him off before even meeting with him.
"And he doesn't know you. I'm not here to make excuses. Though in the off chance that you cross paths again, you'll have a much better time not antagonizing him. If he starts anything like this again—and he had better not"—in her troubled, tired voice, she of course was under the assumption that Kal could still hear—"he'll feel bad about it more quickly. I promise."
Kal could be passionate, and he could even act like a boy at times (for better or for worse)... but it wasn't in his nature to be a bully. It couldn't be.
"Well I'm guessing it's the money. Or the Futurist 'I do what I want' persona." Tony said trying to recall just what exactly originally pissed off Kal. But he'd said so many things it was hard to go back and actually attempt to recall just what it was.
At this point however it didn't matter to Tony. The big guy had gotten his problems off and he was happy to help. Kal definitely needed to release a bit of anger and Tony was the perfect target. "Well. I wouldn't call it antagonizing if I'm just being myself. He got angry because I said I'd buy everyone a cup of coffee. Can't you believe that?" Tony said rolling his eyes dramatically. "If you ask me your boyfriend's the one being antagonizing."
"That Ivan the Witless bit was kind of adding fuel to the fire," she sighed. Rather, Tony being Tony inevitably added fuel to the fire. It would've been nice if he didn't fan the flames, but she could understand why he hadn't felt it was his civic duty to be kind and patient to an unknown stranger besmirching his name from out of nowhere. "Anyway, I'll see you at your party. Or whatever comes up before then. Send Crash Test Kitty my regards?" She flashed a weak smile, with a twinge of apologetic.
Its the Lance Variety Question, starring Lance McClain! Today's question: whats the worst food joint you've encountered on Pandora? For me, it was a fake pizza place run by bandits in the crystal vale because there was no pizza and just shooting. Lots of shooting.
Thanks for such a fun year, pandora!
I feel like it's no longer for me, so I'm going to be on my way. I really appreciate everyone I've met here and I frickin' love the plot of this site. I wish everyone the best! <3
If you still want to keep in touch, I'll be on discord you just have to add me as a friend!
@kingofemo#8008 thanks again!