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Jul 23, 2019 8:51 PM
Project Ultron goes better
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[in the lab]
Bruce Banner: What's the rumpus?
Stark: Well, the scepter. You see, we were wondering how Strucker got so inventive. So, I've been analyzing the gem inside you may recognize.
[Stark brings up a 3D image of Jarvis's consciousness]
Bruce Banner: Jarvis.
JARVIS: Doctor.
Stark: Started out, JARVIS was just a natural language UI. Now he runs the Iron Legion. He runs more of the business than anyone besides Pepper.
Bruce Banner: Oh.
Stark: Top of the line.
Bruce Banner: Yes.
JARVIS: I suspect not for long.
Stark: Meet the competition.
[Stark brings up another 3D image of what's inside the scepter]
Bruce Banner: It's beautiful.
Stark: If you had to guess, what's it look like it's doing?
Bruce Banner: Like it's thinking. I mean this could be a...it's not a human mind, it...
Stark: Um-um.
Bruce Banner: I mean, look at this! They're like neurons firing.
Stark: Down in Strucker's lab I saw some fairly advanced robotics work. They deep-sixed the data, but...I gotta guess he was knocking on a very particular door.
Bruce Banner: Artificial intelligence.
Stark: This could be it, Bruce. This could be the key to creating Ultron.
Bruce Banner: I thought Ultron was a fantasy.
Stark: Yesterday it was. If we can harness this power, apply it to my Iron Legion protocol.
Bruce Banner: That's a mad-sized if.
Stark: Our job is "if." What if you were sipping margaritas on a sun-drenched beach turning brown instead of green? Not looking over your shoulder for VERONICA.
Bruce Banner: Don't hate, I helped design VERONICA.
Stark: As a worst-case measure, right? How about a best-case? What if the world was safe? What if next time aliens roll up to the club, and they will, they couldn't get past the bouncer?
Bruce Banner: The only people threatening the planet would be people?
Stark: I want to apply this to the Ultron program. But JARVIS can't download a data schematic this dense. We can only do it while we have the scepter here, that's three days, give me three days.
Bruce Banner: So you're going for artificial intelligence and you don't want to tell the team.

Avengers: Age of Ultron, modified from https://transcripts.fandom.com/wiki/Avengers:_Age_of_Ultron

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She's about to reply again. Then stops. Stops pacing the lab, glances to a workbench then reverses direction toward a stool currently out of each of any of them.

"Right. New plan. I'm going to sit here and not touch anything; Jarvis is going to call Cap and tell her to get up here right now. If in the next few minutes I change my mind and tell Jarvis not to call Cap right now, Jarvis or you is going to do it anyway. 

JARVIS, remember that am-I-still-mind-whacked protocol I had you run before we got back here?"

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"Yes, ma'am."

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"If I try to do anything with that scepter before Cap gets here - except protecting it from sudden attack, actually, that's still fine - pretend I failed it."

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“That is...Remarkbly cautious coming from you, been learning from Jarvis have you?” Bruce Banner does a vague wave at whatever cameras Jarvis has in the room. “Good job Jarvis, you’ll make her a responsible adult someday.”

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"Yeah, between Cap, you, Jarvis, and the number of supervillains who seem all sorts of determined to throw actions-have-consequences at me, I might actually solve more problems than I cause at some point.

Like the end of the world, I'd really like to solve and not cause that one."

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“I wouldnt be that pessimistic about your track record, it is certainly better than mine. But good idea let’s wait for Captain America to moralise about playing god at us for a while so we feel sufficiently guilty about doing it anyway.” He says good naturedly, it is actually a good idea depsite the snark. Sitting down on a stool and taking a closer look at that map of the sceptres activity while he waits.

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Anything relating to the protocols and database she's got in fact keeping track of her record: definitely on the not to mention right now list.

"Well, I hear the last time she had to moralize at someone about playing god, turned out they were infiltrated by Hydra with a kill algorithm and then here come the assassins and murder helicarriers. So you know, speaking of track records."

On reflex she starts moving over to take a look at what he's looking at; glances at a camera and sits back down before she's an inch up. 

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"Ms. Rogers is on the way up."

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She's in civilian clothes by now but she still walks like a soldier; looks around the room like both a soldier and someone who knows Antonia. Lingers on the scepter.

"Well I guess I'm glad to see that lab is still intact. Jarvis not having told me why you were calling so urgently."

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"Oh come on, Cap, I haven't had a lab explosion in - two weeks? Two and a half?" She take something like a breath and her tone changes, joke and banter both gone from it.

"Actually, this is - rather more serious than a lab explosion. World-changing kind of serious."

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Slow nod. (Another look at the scepter.)

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“There was actually an electrical fire only a week ago... that almost counts.” Bruce mutters under his breath.

 

”you probably haven’t seen terminator have you cap? And the whole smart robots kill humanity media craze was after you.. fell asleep. Well Antonia over here wants to use an alien weapon to make a smart AI that controls hordes of iron man suits to protect the world

 

that cannot possibly go wrong, at all.” That usual wry grin at the sarcasm.

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"I'm offended that you doubt I'd invited Cap to all the important movie marathons."

Breath again.

And she launches into the explanation of Project Ultron, the contents of the scepter, and the give-me-three-days plan for intersections thereof.

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Bruce raises his hand. “I also take partial blame for this terrible idea that I want to enact anyway.”

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She looks from Antonia to Bruce.

"I take it here that you knew I'd say this is the sort of idea that ends with a lot of people dead or worse, and what we should do with - that - is have Thor take it to Asgard as planned. With your report, if you've found something.

And that if you thought I was right you could have done that without hearing it from me. So what you really want is to convince me to a go ahead.

But if you actually think it's all a joke -"

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"Not a joke, Cap. 

 

You're right. If I thought I just wanted to play with alien robotics too badly to consider reality, until I went considering it, I wouldn't have needed to talk. And if I thought this was the kind of brilliant we needed and no one else would see it, no time for a city hall debate, I - wouldn't have asked to talk.

I think I'm right. And I think I've been hit over the head with what happens when I think that too often to think I should be the only judge of that." 

 

She's pacing the room again. (Cap's in the room, end condition, not that she's touching the scepter.)

 

"I saw it. When - that girl got in my head. All of you dead, the whole world dead. Didn't really want to mention it, but. I felt it. Because of me. I wasn't ready, I didn't do all I could. I could have saved you, why didn't I do more.

So I was all focused on doing more, till I remembered that 'my fault' goes both ways."

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"She's messing with your head, And."

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"Knew you'd say that. She didn't trick me, she showed me. If most people have nightmares about robot armies, they can't build one, and if they have nightmares about alien armies they didn't go with their friends to fight one. That's not a nightmare, that's my legacy. The end of the path I started us on."

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"We make our own choices, And.

And you may have invented a lot of ways to kill people, but you didn't invent the concept. You're not the only person in the world who can fight for it."

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"No, but I'm sure a person who can kill a lot of people.

And I think I can save a lot of people. Make something, that can save a lot of people.

But I know what my track record looks like.

I don't want to convince you into a go ahead - or, well, I do, but - I want to get it right. Yeah, I want to make my case. I think it's a good case - I think it's the best case. And I think if it's just me I can get to see that, then either I've left something out, or - maybe I need to think again. And if I'm right - if I need to try everything, then I sure mean to try everything. 

If it's the right path - then I want that one.

Help me get it right."

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She thinks of a mission, and a train, and a cliff (and a metal arm and a black mask on the pavement-). If I'm going to watch my friends die, at least I want to know I led them into the fight right. And the right fight.

She nods.

"I'm listening."

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“I feel like I have to be the one to point out that an AI based on the sceptre would be at least as complicated as a person, possibly much more. So while keeping humanity safe is nice and all lets not do something cruel to an AI we might give an army of robots to okay?.” Arms crossed and looking serious for once.

 

”Solutions that dont piss off skynet are good.”

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By this point, she's had the change to read a lot of files about the Winter Soldier project. But that memory doesn't belong here right now.

"If you start torturing your operatives, we're going to have a problem long before you give them any armies."

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"No torturing operatives, no robots killing humanity, keeping humanity safe is nice. I think we've all got the same ideas here."

Pause (barely), breath, focus.

"What we don't have is resources. Not enough of them."

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"...I don't think we've been doing too badly."

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