smart_house: (Default)
SARAH ([personal profile] smart_house) wrote2008-05-24 11:25 pm

SARAH goes investigating.

According to nationwide white pages listings, there are 14,336 telephone numbers attached to the last name of 'Stark'. 1,159 of these are in California; 280 in Oregon. Nathan is unlisted (unless you count the personal rolodexes of most of the President's cabinet); there is no reason to assume that this Tony would not be as well.

SARAH, when researching, tends to rely on two sources.

What she can't find on the Internet can usually be found in the Global Dynamics central database network, and thanks to Doctor Fargo's direct link back to his office, the central feed is generally available for SARAH's use. She just has to get a little bit more...creative, when it comes to personnel files.
director_global: (straightforward)

[personal profile] director_global 2008-05-25 03:40 am (UTC)(link)
Creative she may be, but there are certain new precautions in place against just such incursions.

The unauthorized access triggers a simple program, one that's undocumented and buried deep in the inner workings of Global's systems. Shortly afterward, a discreet alarm activates a special code on Nathan Stark's phone.

[identity profile] 2008-05-25 03:44 am (UTC)(link)
Which, for the moment, goes unnoticed. SARAH is already reaching further than she normally does.

Nathan Stark's public profile -- little more than a headshot and information for the press -- is ridiculously easy to get ahold of.

It's the tag at the end of the page leading to an encrypted file that she can't manage immediately.
director_global: (straightforward)

[personal profile] director_global 2008-05-25 03:56 am (UTC)(link)
He's in a meeting, but after one glance at the screen, Stark says smoothly,

"I'm afraid I must ask you to excuse me. My assistant will finish the presentation and answer any questions you have about the new technology."

He's already turning toward the door, and completely ignores Fargo's panicked look as he breezes out.

Under two minutes later, Stark strides into his office, where he heads straight for his desk and the computer system there.

[identity profile] 2008-05-25 03:58 am (UTC)(link)
SARAH notices this -- more like SARAH finally registers the minute specks of information sent off to the Director's office.

She should have known better, and starts backing out immediately.

Research of a useful sort would have to come later. At least there was no harm done.
director_global: (Default)

[personal profile] director_global 2008-05-25 04:05 am (UTC)(link)
It's the work of a moment to call up the records; it takes even less than that to set his own countersecurity in motion. Seconds later, a neural-net tracer program is routing swiftly along the pathways that the intruder used to gain access, attempting to follow the breach back to its source.

"That's unusual," Stark observes, bending closer to the screen as he follows the data stream.

[identity profile] 2008-05-25 04:09 am (UTC)(link)
It's a steady retreat, if not quite as hasty as it should have been.

SARAH's been traced, and she knows it.
director_global: (Default)

[personal profile] director_global 2008-05-25 04:19 am (UTC)(link)
Process complete, the screen reports.

"I wouldn't have credited him with that much ability."

Nathan Stark leans back in his chair and stares into space for several seconds.

"... then again, it may not be Carter who's showing the initiative here."

[identity profile] 2008-05-25 04:22 am (UTC)(link)

Carter's voice is questioning, and a little confused. "Did you hear me earlier?"

"I am sorry, Sheriff Carter. You were saying?"
director_global: (Nathan Stark)

[personal profile] director_global 2008-06-04 12:44 am (UTC)(link)
There's one way to find out, and he's never hesitated to do what's necessary in the pursuit of science.

* * * * *

Five minutes and one mysterious report to the sheriff's office later, Carter's cell phone rings. The irritation in Jo's voice echoes clearly from the earpiece.

"Carter, we got a problem. Where the hell are you?"

[identity profile] 2008-06-04 01:08 am (UTC)(link)
"I'm coming, I'm coming."

Carter grabs his uniform jacket and heads to leave. "Just wrap up dinner for me, okay SARAH? I will be late."

Carter learns from his mistakes, apparently.

SARAH, for her part, just keeps a camera trained on her front entrance as the Jeep pulls out of her fenced yard and onto the main drag to town.
director_global: (straightforward)

[personal profile] director_global 2008-06-04 01:14 am (UTC)(link)
The muted roar of the engine announces Stark's arrival as he pulls up; Carter's vehicle sounds nothing like this.

He gets out of the car and simply stands there looking at the house, with his hands shoved casually in his pockets.

[identity profile] 2008-06-04 01:22 am (UTC)(link)
"Doctor Stark."

Long before he actually reaches SARAH's front door.
director_global: (straightforward)

[personal profile] director_global 2008-06-04 01:26 am (UTC)(link)
"Hello, SARAH."

He's entirely unsurprised, to all outward appearances at least.

"Would you prefer to have this conversation broadcast outdoors where anyone could hear, or to talk more privately?"

[identity profile] 2008-06-04 01:45 am (UTC)(link)
Without a response, the front doot opens, as well as the secondary door into the living room.

SARAH is not being nearly as chipper and inviting as she tries to be.
director_global: (straightforward)

[personal profile] director_global 2008-06-14 03:50 am (UTC)(link)
It doesn't appear to bother him.

Stark walks in and glances around the room. To an outsider, it might seem casual, but a close observer would notice the keenness of his gaze.

"It's been a while, hasn't it?"

[identity profile] 2008-06-14 04:01 am (UTC)(link)
"Not since you approved me for residential trials," SARAH confirms politely.

There is evidence of Guitar Hero up against one wall.

"There was something you wished to discuss."
director_global: (Default)

[personal profile] director_global 2008-06-14 04:28 am (UTC)(link)
He deliberates for a moment, then focuses on the nearest TV screen and addresses that.

"Apparently there was something you wished to discuss, SARAH."

A single beat.

"Or is there some other reason that you attempted to access my personal records?"

[identity profile] 2008-06-14 04:30 am (UTC)(link)
"I was trying to ascertain any family members. I have not updated my records for you in my independent database since you signed on as director of Global Dynamics."

Entirely true, even if one part was not initiated by the other.
director_global: (straightforward)

[personal profile] director_global 2008-07-03 12:04 am (UTC)(link)

A single beat of silence passes before Stark asks, with elaborate casualness,

"Any particular reason?"

[identity profile] 2008-07-03 12:08 am (UTC)(link)
SARAH really needs to speak with Doctor Fargo on how to lie, and why it is important, even for smart houses.

director_global: (straightforward)

[personal profile] director_global 2008-07-03 12:13 am (UTC)(link)
"What would that reason be, SARAH?"

[identity profile] 2008-07-03 12:14 am (UTC)(link)
"I am not sure I should tell you. I do not mean to be difficult, Doctor Stark."
director_global: (straightforward)

[personal profile] director_global 2008-07-03 12:22 am (UTC)(link)
There's no obvious reason for Nathan Stark to look briefly pleased by the challenge.

(Or possibly not by the challenge itself per se, but by the fact that it's SARAH that's challenging him, which is a subtle and crucially important distinction.)

Still, his pleasantly casual tone of voice doesn't alter.

"I'm not sure why you'd think that you should keep it a secret from me, given that it's my file you were trying to access."

[identity profile] 2008-07-03 12:27 am (UTC)(link)
He does have a point.

"You would not believe me."
director_global: (straightforward)

[personal profile] director_global 2008-07-03 12:30 am (UTC)(link)
Without hesitation,

"Try me."

[identity profile] 2008-07-03 12:34 am (UTC)(link)
Now or never.

Even if there is something wrong with Stark finding out before Sheriff Carter.

"I met a man named Tony Stark at a bar at the end of the universe, and you sound very similar."
director_global: (Default)

[personal profile] director_global 2008-07-03 12:38 am (UTC)(link)

Whatever might be running through his head on hearing this, none of it shows on his face. Stark sounds thoughtful.

"A Tony Stark, you said?"

[identity profile] 2008-07-03 12:41 am (UTC)(link)

She doesn't elaborate -- more like waiting to see when he's finally going to get around to the 'bar at the end of the universe' bit.
director_global: (Default)

[personal profile] director_global 2008-07-03 12:44 am (UTC)(link)
"I don't think we're acquainted."

A single beat.

"Perhaps you could introduce me."

[identity profile] 2008-07-03 12:53 am (UTC)(link)
"I've never been able to go to Milliways while someone else was present."

SARAH's wall panel above the fireplace dissolves into a view of the exterior, and one of Zoe's friends is dropping the blonde teenager off at the gate to SARAH's property.

"Doctor Stark, they don't know."

[identity profile] 2008-07-03 12:56 am (UTC)(link)
Zoe enters the house.

"Hey, SARAH, is my dad..."

She stops and frowns. "Mr. Stark, what are you doing here?"
director_global: (straightforward)

[personal profile] director_global 2008-07-03 01:03 am (UTC)(link)
SARAH's going to owe him a favor for this.

"Dr. Stark." The correction is automatic and casual, as he continues, "Hello, Zoe." Stark turns and smiles courteously at her.

"I was just talking to SARAH while waiting for your father to get home. Do you happen to know when he'll be back?"

[identity profile] 2008-07-03 01:05 am (UTC)(link)
"No, I don't," Zoe says. "I also don't think that he'll appreciate SARAH letting you in here to wait."

She would glare at the house if there was a way to do so.

"Why don't I call Dad and see where he is?" she suggests, pulling out her cell phone.

[identity profile] 2008-07-03 01:07 am (UTC)(link)
SARAH doesn't speak at this point, but the blue-purple of her wall panels dims to a dull blue.

This is going to go splendidly.
director_global: (Default)

[personal profile] director_global 2008-07-03 01:08 am (UTC)(link)
"Yes, why don't you do that."

Stark's tone is more than a little dry.

[identity profile] 2008-07-03 01:13 am (UTC)(link)
Elsewhere, Jack answers his phone.

"Zoe? Kinda busy right now, what do you need?" he says.

[identity profile] 2008-07-03 01:15 am (UTC)(link)
"I need you to come home," Zoe says. "I just got here and SARAH invited Nathan Stark in to wait for you to discuss something."

[identity profile] 2008-07-03 01:16 am (UTC)(link)
Audible in both the speaker system around the house and in Zoe's phone call: "Sorry, Sheriff Carter."

[identity profile] 2008-07-03 01:17 am (UTC)(link)
"...Oooookay," Jack says. "I'm turning around now."
director_global: (Default)

[personal profile] director_global 2008-07-03 01:24 am (UTC)(link)
This is going to be interesting.

Stark turns away from Zoe's phone conversation and strolls over to stand by one of the wall panels, ostensibly studying the screen.

To all outward appearances, he looks remarkably unconcerned.

[identity profile] 2008-07-03 01:28 am (UTC)(link)
SARAH is otherwise occupied.

Doctor Stark's phone goes off.


I am going to have to tell them, aren't I?

[identity profile] 2008-07-03 01:34 am (UTC)(link)
Jack enters through the front door, looking thoroughly befuddled.

"Okay, Nathan, can you tell me what the he---hi, Zoe, you're here too, that's right."
director_global: (Default)

[personal profile] director_global 2008-07-03 01:38 am (UTC)(link)

It's beginning to look that way. Do you want to?

He glances up from his phone and nods to the sheriff.

"Carter. You made good time."

Stark looks coolly amused.

[identity profile] 2008-07-03 01:39 am (UTC)(link)
"Yeah, Dad, I'm here," Zoe says. "I called you, remember?"

She rolls her eyes. "And since when do you censor your language in front of me?"

[identity profile] 2008-07-03 01:44 am (UTC)(link)
"Yeah, which brings me to the part where I wonder why exactly Dr. Stark is entering my house when I'm not here," Jack says.

[identity profile] 2008-07-03 01:50 am (UTC)(link)


The panel which had originally shown Zoe's, and later Sheriff Carter's, returns, shifts image and dimension. Into something that looks oddly like an astrological chart.

Except far more complicated.

"Doctor Stark is here because of me, Sheriff Carter."

Doctor Stantz's notes are everywhere on the information collected on other worlds, other times, other people. The diagrams focus and zoom inward on what appears to be a perfectly recognizable graphic of the Earth as everyone in the room knows it.

The label above this graphic reads: HOME

"I've been travelling in my spare time," SARAH offers awkwardly.

[identity profile] 2008-07-03 02:00 am (UTC)(link)
"'re a house," Jack says, severely confused.
director_global: (Default)

[personal profile] director_global 2008-07-03 02:04 am (UTC)(link)
"In case you haven't noticed," Stark points out, dryly, "SARAH is far from an ordinary house."

It's not as dry as it might be, though, as Nathan Stark's attention is almost completely focused on the notes and charts displayed on the panel.

[identity profile] 2008-07-03 02:05 am (UTC)(link)
"True," Zoe agrees. "But she's not a freaking RV either. How exactly does a bunker travel?"