Booster Gold landed softly on the roof of the Roxxon Compound on the outskirts of Houston. The heavily-armed, private security guards that patrolled that rooftop nodded stiffly at the superhuman newcomer. She could feel their animosity towards her. Not that she could necessarily blame them. If they brought someone in that could do her job better than she could, she would probably be just as annoyed. Granted there was no one that could do her job better than her, but she understood the sentiment.
"Nice to meet you too, gentlemen," she saluted and smiled.
"Up yours, meta," one of them called back.
"You kiss your mother with that mouth?" she asked as she was led into the building. It was located a few miles outside the city, and was located on Roxxon's first ever well. They had turned it into a kind of museum mixed with a design lab for future technology. Agger was sure that this would be a safe place for Irons to hide out and continue his work. It was defendable, separate from the city, and they could see anyone coming from a mile away. Still, there was something giving her bad vibes. Maybe it was just Agger. She didn't know. But there was definitely something wrong.
"Readings indicate that this facility is full of incredible technology, ma'am," Skeets chirped in her ear as he detached from her armor. "Doctor Irons seems to live up to his reputation."
Booster had done as much research on Irons as she could. Former soldier that served in the Middle East, but then came back and managed to get into MIT. There he got degrees in both mechanical and electrical engineering. If Tony Stark, Ray Palmer, and Reed Richards, among others, didn't exist, Irons would probably in the conversation as one of the smartest men in the world. As it stood, however, he was often overlooked. That's how he found himself working for Roxxon. He didn't have the private capital the other geniuses of the world did, so he had to work to prove himself.
"Yea, maybe we can get him to fix you," she looked at the robot slyly, who recoiled in horror.
"I am made from advanced future technology, ma'am," Skeets shook himself. "I do not believe that anyone in this time could fix me."
"Way to be humble, buddy."
"I do not believe you are one to talk on that front, ma'am," he responded matter-of-factly.
They were led by the leader of Roxxon's security detail, a man by the name of Williams. He looked back at her, "Sorry about my men up there. They're not necessarily thrilled about having enhanced back up."
"I get it," she shrugged.
"Nice robot buddy you got there," he added. "I got one at home. Plays my music whenever I ask her too."
"How dare you compare me to those antiquated things," Skeets was horrified.
"Whatever you say, Alexa," Williams chuckled.
He pressed a button on the wall and a gleaming, white panel split in half and opened onto a similarly immaculate lab. All around her as she stepped inside were automated manufacturing robot arms, welders, and workbenches filled with metal legs, arms, and torsos. She would have expected this kind of workspace to be dirty or grimy, but instead it was clean as a whistle.
"Doc's kinda a clean freak, to be honest," Williams whispered as they moved through the lab. That much was obvious, but so was the work of John Henry Irons. The mechanical limbs looked like a prototype of the armor she herself wore. That was impressive considering she had came from the future. Sure, they were bulkier and were several iterations behind, but Irons was on to something. She sure hoped that Agger was telling the truth when he said that they weren't weaponizing these things. They already looked like they could do some damage.
They turned a corner and she had to shield her eye from the sparks coming from a welding station. In front of it, a burly African American man sat controlling the welding arms from behind a protective barrier. Around his head she saw that he was wearing goggles to protect his eyes. As the sparks dissipated, she saw that he was putting the finishing touches on a completed suit. It was a hulking construct of metal, and she could tell that it was for mining.
John Henry Irons laid back and pulled the goggles off his head. She could feel the relief washing over him. He turned, revealing a face that seemed to be chiseled out of the same metal he had just been working with. If she didn't know better, she would have thought that he was a statue himself.
His deep, brown eyes narrowed at her, "Well, looks like my babysitter finally got here. How's it going, showboat?"
"Wow," Booster shook his head, "everyone is just so friendly here. Is it something they put in the food?"
"Sorry," he put his hands up. "Stressed after having to pick up everything I was working on and move it across the country."
"Sure," she nodded and presented her hand. "Booster Gold, pleasure to meet you, Doctor Irons."
He shook her hand with his oven mitt sized grip, "Glad you're here. And I appreciate you making sure one of my inventions didn't hurt anyone. Wouldn't have been able to live with myself otherwise."
"It's the job," she smiled. "What's that one do?"
He smiled with pride, clearly happy she asked, "Gives the wearer quite a bit of super strength, endurance, and durability. The idea is we'll get one guy to do the mining operations of twenty in a much, much safer manner."
"Quite impressive, sir!" Skeets flew over to examine the armor, before he shorted out and buzzed as he often did.
"Can you do anything about that?" she asked the engineer hopefully.
"Probably not," he shook his head. "I'm more of a nuts and bolts kind of guy. Not AI."
"Yea, that's what I thought you'd say," she sighed.