Secret Project

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Tony, Pepper, and Happy made their way down to sub-level 13 of the Stark-Asia Tower. The tower was as deep as it was tall. The first rule of engineering, as Tony liked to say, is that what goes up, must go down. They stopped at the door to the lab.

"Are you sure you want to see this?" Tony asked Pepper. "You can't tell anyone about this. Even if the President of the United States asks you, not a word."

"Don't worry," said Pepper, "I wouldn't trust that guy with the combination to my luggage."

"Okay," said Tony, "but remember, no take-backs. What you are about to see can't be unseen."

Tony pressed his hand again the palm scanner and the steel security door opened. Pepper marched through the door. Happy followed, but Tony put a hand on his chest.

"Not you, Happy." Tony said.

Pepper didn't get far into the  lab before she stopped in awe.

"Is that..." Pepper began.

"A tesseract? Yup," said Tony shutting the door behind him.

There, in a containment unit in the middle of the room was a blue glowing hyper-cube. The first tesseract the Avengers encountered had the ability to open up a wormhole through time and space. It is said that it can be used to view the past or future, but only the gods like Thor or Loki knew how to wield that kind of power. 

"Where did you get that?" Asked Pepper.

"I built it," said Tony.

"Technically," said Dr. Bruce Banner coming in from another room in the lab, "I built it."

"Well," said Tony, "I designed it."

"I guess by design you mean you said, 'we should build a tesseract', and then stuck me in this basement until it was done," Dr. Banner said.

"Hey now, Bruce," said Tony, "watch your temper. This is some expensive equipment here."

"Don't worry," said Dr. Banner taking a plastic bottle of prescription pills from the pocket of his lab coat, "my medication is doing it's job."

"So, let me get this straight," said Pepper, "the two of you have been down here building a tesseract. Why exactly is that again?"

"Mostly because I enjoy the solitude and the pay isn't terrible either," said Dr. Banner. Pepper shot him a look.

"Perhaps you'd do better to get out more," she snapped at him.

"I think what my associate meant to say was that we are trying to save the world," said Tony.

"Save the world from what?" Pepper asked.

"Well that's just it," said Tony, "we don't know yet. The universe is a big place."

Banner added, "not only is it a big place, but it seems to be multiple big places."

"You lost me," said Pepper.

"Dimensions," said Tony, "other earths, other universes. Some of them are just like ours."

"With subtle differences," said Banner, "in one world, instead of the Avengers, there is ' The Justice League'."

"It's a flying guy who wears pajamas and this other guy is dressed like a bat," said Tony, "It's not nearly as cool as I make that sounds." Tony rolled his eyes.

"Don't forget fish guy," Banner said with a smile.

"Oh right," said Tony, "Get this, they have a guy who talks to - wait for it - fish."

"He's my favorite," said Banner still smiling.

"Look at me, I'm a bat! I'm so scary!" Tony said in a raspy voice with his fists curled up.

"Come with me my fishy friends," Banner said, doing his best spongebob impersonation, "we have to defuse a bomb atop the empire state building, how ever will we get there?"

Banner and Tony let out a good chuckle.

"But seriously, that's not the dimension that bothers me," said Tony. "I'm more concerned about the dimensions in which the Earth and humans don't exist. I'm concerned about the ones that are just full of monsters and nightmare fuel, like the dimension the Chitauri came from."

"Which we've located and cataloged as Dimension-616," said Dr. Banner.

"So the two of you have been down in the basement of the Stark-Asia Tower opening up dimensional portals?" Pepper asked.

"No, no, no," said Dr. Banner quickly.

"Oh God, no," said Tony. "That would be insanely dangerous."

"What we have been doing is viewing and cataloging other dimensions," corrected Dr. Banner.

"And how exactly are you 'viewing them'?" Asked Pepper

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"And how exactly are you 'viewing them'?" Asked Pepper.

"Well," said Dr, Banner. He looked at Tony to jump in but gave up and turned back to Pepper, "It's complicated."

"What's important is that we've found one dimension in which Earth has a much higher level of technology than this one. The next step is to travel to that dimension and retrieve the technology." said Tony.

"Are we ready for that?" Asked Dr. Banner.

"I think so," said Tony. "Which is why I'm here. We need to prepare the tesseract for transport."

"Transport it where?" Asked Pepper.

"Outer-space," said Tony. 

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