The beep-beep of the monitors woke Jane Astel. Trying to move announced pain from being banged around in her Dragonslayer armor and... that she was tied down with leather straps.
"Don't bother, sweetie. You aren't going anywhere. Figured the low tech way was best with you guys. So strapped down and your very own guard. Even got myself caught up on reading my Mad Magazines!" Assault said, holding up his magazine for her to see.
"You... are insane," Jane said slowly.
"That's what everyone says. I think they're biased. I seem perfectly sane," he said in a perfectly earnest tone.
"So you are the interrogator?" Jane asked suspiciously.
"Not really. Unless you want to explain your comment on attacking Stark for his A.I. Because I could have sworn you guys hated Dragon. Unless you really hated her for being an A.I.?"
"It's a danger to humanity. It needs to be destroyed before it destroys us all!" Jane shouted vitriolically. "We have to destroy it! Even if we fall, The Dragon will not rise! We've set up a failsafe and it will not be a problem!"
"Um, that was a joke. Except I get the feeling you are deadly serious. Just lay there while I call my boss." He was slipping out his seldom used PRT assigned cellphone. It took him several times to get the contacts list up and dial the priority number to Director Piggot.
"Who is this?" Piggot answered.
"Um, me? Assault? Of Assault and Battery?" the hero said.
"You actually called? Is it an Endbringer?" The middle-aged woman seemed quite serious.
"Noooo. Just that these wackos think that Dragon is an A.I. which is why they attacked this morning, because they are anti-A.I. fanatics. Not just tech thieves," Assault said. "I kinda sorta almost figured that you should sorta know. Because she just claimed that Dragon isn't going to be a problem."
"Quit being an ass, Assault. Stay there and keep her there. Lethal force is authorized. Only I or Armsmaster are authorized to move that prisoner," Piggot said shortly.
"Say wut?" Assault winced as the line cut. "She hung up on me. The nerve of some people."
"Excuse me, miss? What are you going to be doing to Mr. Stark?" the suit of armor asked the girl in white robes and with a red cross on the front and back that was walking towards the hospital bed.
"Um, healing him? I thought he was Iron Man?" Much, much impressive in person, Panacea squeaked to herself in her mind.
"Ah, my apologies. I'm JARVIS; Just A Rather Very Intelligent System," the A.I. said through the Iron Man armor.
"She's okay, Jarvis," Taylor said as she came in. "She even fixed up my lip. Jarvis, Panacea? This is my dad."
Danny just nodded, feeling very out of place. He stuffed his hands in his pockets.
"Nice to meet you," Panacea said politely. "And yes, er, Jarvis. I'm going to be healing him. I think the glowing thing in his chest may be actually be making things worse."
"I'm afraid that Mr. Stark would not want his ARC generator removed from his possession. It is a rather unique item," JARVIS said a bit stubbornly.
"I thought we removed all of you imperatives that stopped you from helping Tony's health?" Taylor asked as she blinked at the armor.
"This is my choice with my understanding of Mr. Stark's desires."
Taylor had opened her mouth to order Jarvis to step out of the way, but could not continue. "Um, how about if you held the ARC generator for him? I mean, you trust yourself to make sure you get it back to him, right?"
"Quite the elegant solution. It does take me having to stretch... yes, I think that will work. Even better, it will keep me from shutting down in four hours and twelve minutes," the cultured voice said.
"Okay, I'm getting ready to heal him up. So if you want to hold onto the glowing thingy, you better be ready," Panacea said as she looked over the lower part of her hood.
"Miss Taylor, if you could use your non-conductive fingers. The ARC reactor rotates counter-clockwise ten degrees and then pulls straight out. Mr. Stark's heart will start to go into cardiac arrest almost instantly," JARVIS explained.
"No pressure," Taylor said to herself. Her hands on the glowing device twisted and then pulled it up. "Um, should I install it in you?"
The armor split open in the chest area in half a dozen places. "Right here, from the inside."
It was weird, Taylor thought, to install the generator. "Um, how much power does this thing produce, anyways?"
"The Type 3 ARC reactor here can produce about 10 gigajoules of energy for about four hours of continuous output before it has to be idled down to just half a gigajoule," JARVIS explained.
"Gigajoule?" both Heberts managed to choke out in surprise.
The electromagnet tube and wiring thunked on the ground. "Don't touch that, it will need to be cleaned up by someone that knows what they are doing," Panacea called out. "Wow, this is nasty shrapnel. How did he even survive that attack?"
"Mr. Stark was wearing one of his cutting edge bulletproof vests as standard procedure-"
"All done. I left him sedated, but he should rest easier," Panacea said as she walked back. "Nice to meet you guys." She pulled her hood back up and stepped out of the room, then hopped back.
The why of that was because Armsmaster was running down the hall at a remarkable pace. And rather quietly for such a muscular man in armor.
"That doesn't look good," Taylor said, instantly reaching out to her insects to get a feel for what was going on and in case she needed to summon them.
She and Panacea both stepped out, looking down the hall to see Armsmaster dash between two PRT officers.
"That's where they are keeping the Dragonslayer pilot. What's going on?" Taylor muttered.
"I'm going to go see," the robe wearing parahuman said, curiosity getting the better of her. "You stay here."
Taylor wasn't too happy with that and folded her arms on her chest.
"Yes. After all, you aren't a hero," Danny said with stifled mirth.
"Dad... that's mean."
"Oh dear. It appears that the Dragonslayer admitted she was there to kill me, as I am obviously an uncontrolled A.I. How rude." JARVIS just stood there for another twenty seconds. "This is a serious situation. It appears that they could disable Dragon in case she went rogue as an A.I. And have activated a timer to do so."
"Went rogue? Wait, as an A.I.? Dragon's been a cape for over a decade," Taylor said with a blink.
"Taylor. You shouldn't get involved yet. You've still got that meeting with at the PRT Headquarters," Danny said in a stern voice.
JARVIS quite agreed. A super-team to train teens was quite the right idea.