My Ant-Man Plot

Khonshu

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Act 1:
Working as an entry-level Design Analyst on the Stark International Security Team, SCOTT LANG has displayed both technical brilliance and a savvy understanding of industry-plaguing security flaws. His recent suggestions for modification to Stark commercial security products have boosted effectiveness and have increased sales to the private sector. As a result, Lang is assigned to work on a project team as an assistant to DR. HENRY PYM, an renowned molecular physicist who previously worked with S.H.I.E.L.D. and is now working in the Avengers division of Stark International. However, his participation in the prison-to-work program prevents him from obtaining top-level clearance in the department. He’s told by the Stark HR department that the project promotion is a “workload promotion, not a pay increase”, and that his employment is still subject to termination at will. Seeing the opportunity to push his prison history further into the past, Lang accepts the project assignment.

Scott calls his former wife PEGGY RAE LANG to tell her about the promotion, and reveals that he thinks that this might be his first big break – the position might eventually lead to a pay increase and better health benefits, and in turn would help their daughter CASSANDRA LANG (who is suffering from a congenital heart condition). Peggy is skeptical – she tells Scott that he is a good man at heart, but that he consistently finds ways to make things hard for himself and for anyone who has ever loved him. She wishes him luck and then puts Cassie on the phone. We learn that Scott is a loving father who deeply cares for his daughter and who is embarrassed about the life that he has given to her thus far. Promising her that things are looking up, he pledges to use any new contacts at the job to help with her treatment and care. She says very little, but concludes the call with an “I love you.”

Lang meets Hank Pym and his research assistant, JANET VAN DYNE. Janet is the daughter of Vernon Van Dyne – Pym’s former research partner. Her father is no longer alive, we learn, and Jan has been working with Dr. Pym in an effort to ensure completion on her father’s life work. Pym presents Lang with the designs for a radio-wave communication helmet, telling Scott that his first task is to identify ways to reduce the bulky size of the device but maintain function and clarity of transmission. Lang immediately identifies a few methods to relocate and reduce some of the circuitry, and then questions Pym on the ultimate purpose of the product. Although Pym refuses to provide any additional detail, he promises to show Lang the final version in action.

While riding on the bus to work the next morning, Lang recognizes a familiar face. Lang gets off the bus at the next stop to avoid him, but the man is undeterred. He follows Lang, making insincere small talk until we learn that he is RON ENGLISH – a member of the criminal ring that Lang had worked for prior to his imprisonment. Lang accuses English of destroying his life, and English calmly acknowledges that Lang’s conviction and sentence was a consequence of working for a corporate espionage circle. However, he argues that Scott accepted the jobs knowing the risks involved, and that he brought the outcome upon himself.

When pressed about the nature of the reunion, English tells Scott that he was made aware of Lang’s recent employment at Stark Tech through a contact in the prison-to-work placement program. Ron informs Scott that he has a lucrative business opportunity related to Stark Tech, but sensing that the work is a “job”, Lang doesn’t have any interest. English gives Lang a business card with a number scribbled on the back in case he ever gets interested… or desperate… enough. He smiles and walks away. Scott examines the card in his hand and we see the glossy insignia of Cross Technological Enterprises.

At work, Scott shows Jan some of his helmet modification ideas. She’s impressed, and flaunts a bit of her own smarts by pointing out design challenges in Scott’s suggestions. Lang asks her for further information about the project, but she tells him that she hopes she can elaborate after Dr. Pym arrives. Making his own entrance into Scott’s workshop, Hank is also clearly pleased with the progress, and marvels that he has missed a few of Scott’s observations. Jan argues that based on the potential leap in design that Scott’s ideas could give them, Hank needs to reveal the end goal. After a brief back and forth, Pym relents, and he asks the other two to follow him to the “garage”.

As they walk down the hallway, Pym overrides several security checkpoints to arrive at his private workshop. Along the way, Pym explains that as an offshoot of the advances in HYDRA tesseract technology and nuclear weaponry, his SHIELD research team made a startling subatomic discovery – they identified previously-unseen elementary particles that seemed to be related to the power cube detailed in Dr. Arnim Zola’s classified database. These artifacts could be viewed and harnessed using microscopic technology that Jan’s father helped to pioneer. Similar in composition to the elusive Higgs Boson, the particles possessed the ability to add mass via an undetermined property… and to extract it. Pym tells Lang that his team was successfully able to harness these particles for experimentation.

Hank, Jan, and Scott enter the workshop and Scott sees an incredible array of vacuum chambers, robotics, and an octagon-shaped grid in the center of the room with a table that holds the physical version of the helmet Lang has been working on. Pym is clearly excited to share this information with someone who can at least partially appreciate it. He tells Jan that they can give Scott a small - a really small - demonstration.

Pym attaches a harness belt to his waist and places the helmet on his head. After a few adjustments, Hank smiles, gives an exaggerated salute… and promptly vanishes.

Lang is stunned, and wonders aloud to Jan if Pym has really disappeared. Jan replies, “Most of him… we think. There’s still a little bit left over.” She then points to the floor of the octagon grid, and we see a diminutive Dr. Hank Pym waving from the middle of one of the tiles below. “Step back,” Jan cautions, and Pym is suddenly restored to his normal size.

“So… mind blown?” Pym asks Lang with a mischievous grin.

Hank and Jan reveal that they still are unsure of how it fully works, but that the leading theory is that it pulls and deposits to a 4th dimension, or Quaternion space. Their current project is the continued research of the particles’ potential for the advancement of humanity. Hank tells Scott that it is a huge security risk, though, too. “Imagine if I could sneak a nuclear warhead into the country on my keychain?” queries Hank. Finally, Dr. Pym reveals – the process has been shown to produce enormous physical and mental stress on the participant, and that certain genetic composition shows better acceptance of the size-changes than others. Used incorrectly, Hank warns, it could cause neurologic, cardiac, or any other host of physical conditions… even death.

“If your brain expanded to normal size while the rest of your skull and body remained the size of an insect,” posits Pym, “it might get a bit… messy.”

“It would be a quicker clean up, though” jokes Lang.

Pym promises Lang that he will learn more as time progresses. Excited by the world that has just been opened before him, Scott leaves the lab.

On his way home he receives a call from Peggy, who is confirming that Scott is still able to host Cassie for the weekend. His enthusiasm for the visit is immediately crushed when he learns that Cassie’s health status has deteriorated. Peggy has more bad news - facing enormous debt from a lifetime of medical and specialist visits, Peggy and her new husband Blake are financially tapped out. She worries that they’ll be unable to continue to provide care. Lang promises to help, and lies that he’s received a salary increase to accompany his new work.

Act 2:
Lang goes to Stark HR to request special assistance pay, but is told that this service cannot be provided to him due to his employment arrangement. He counters that Stark International has made millions of dollars from his work with them already, and that he should be entitled to some type of compensation. The HR rep reminds him that his work with Stark International is subject to corporate copyright and intellectual property policy – his work is really Stark work. However, she promises to place an inquiry to see if something can be done to help his daughter – the process might take a few weeks to complete, though, she warns.

After a local bank denies his request for a personal loan due to his checkered past and lack of collateral, Lang calls Ron English to get further information about his offer. English reveals that it IS a job, and that his employer wants as much Stark data as can be acquired – technical specifications, hardware, financial information – and that the stipend upon completion will be based upon the quality of the content obtained. Lang flatly refuses, but English counters that he has just recorded their entire phone call and will submit it to Stark Tech superiors if Lang doesn’t “ at least come in for an interview”. Panicked and miserable, Lang agrees to meet with English at a later date.

As he continues to work on the project team, Lang learns from Pym that the helmet is not the key to the shrinking process – it is the mix of a specific gas released from the belt-holstered canister. The gas contains aerosolized “Pym particles” which create a molecular field permitting size manipulation. Lang asks if he can try it, if only to beta test the newest version of the helmet, but Pym is reluctant. Pym confides that he feels some responsibility for Vernon Van Dyne’s death – after Pym helped to perfect the particle process, Van Dyne became obsessed with the micro-frontier. “He claimed to have found an entirely new existence on a sub-molecular level – a micro-verse,” says Pym. During an extreme reduction experiment though, says Pym, “something found him,” and Van Dyne sustained wounds that could not be treated upon his return to normal size. Since Van Dyne’s death, Pym has vowed to master the technology before any further attempt to revisit sub-molecular exploration. Jan enters the room and Pym quickly changes the conversation to the contents of some the other canisters – water and food, tools, etc.

After English contacts Lang with the location of the interview, Scott meets up with him and is introduced to WILLIAM CROSS. Cross inquires what Lang is working on, and Scott attempts to seem useless by providing random information about the earlier security tech that he had worked on. Cross calls his bluff, and counters that all of those items are already on the market - existing product data is useless. Cross insists that the material must be pre-release content only – Lang offers that he is working on a helmet. “Who is managing the project?” asks Cross. When Scott names Pym, Cross and English exchange a glance – Cross tells Lang that he’s “hired.” Cross directs Lang to steal a prototype copy of the helmet which they will use for reverse-engineering. When Lang counters that there is only one and that it is buried under multiple layers of security, Cross replies, “This makes it a little more valuable, then… for all parties involved.” He tells Scott that English will forward instructions about the job in the coming days.

Scott begins mapping the layout of the Stark R&D Building and Pym’s lab as he forms a plan to steal the helmet. Catching him off guard (while he rushes to close the spec documents on Stark motion sensors), Jan drops an invitation to a friend’s charity art auction into Scott’s lap. Though he is flattered, he tells her about Cassie’s visit and politely declines. Scott shows off a finished 3-D model of the helmet – Jan encourages him to make it look a little “sexier”, and then adds a note that he should think about adding in a backup interior radio receiver.

Peggy and Blake drop Cassie off at Scott’s apartment for the weekend. All are cordial – Blake seems like a nice guy, and he is gentle with Cassie as he escorts her to the front door. While Blake helps Cassie with her weekend luggage, Peggy thanks Scott and mentions that this might be the start of a long, difficult decline in Cassie’s condition. She and Blake are taking this time to “steel ourselves for what’s eventually coming.”

As Cassie walks through his tiny studio apartment, she notices that the walls are bare; most surfaces are littered with various electronics parts and soldering equipment. However, he has created a unique holographic visualization for her that is synchronized with her music – it radiates 360 degrees out from the center of the room, making the space seem enormous. She also sees that he’s decorated the bed area with pictures of her in various stages of her childhood. Despite his fatherly affection for her, she seems distant, and she declines the offer for their favorite Chinese food dinner because she lacks the appetite. She plugs her headphones into her ears and then lies down on the bed to watch videos on her smartphone. Scott sits down at his tiny table, pushes aside a circuit board, and eats a bowl of cereal alone.

The next work day, Scott tells Pym that the helmet is finished and that it is ready for a test run. Pym brings Lang and Jan to the “garage” for the prototype trial; Hank places the helmet on his head and micronizes. Jan speaks into a microphone and asks Hank if everything is working to specification, and Hank responds via transceiver that she doesn’t need the microphone. He confirms that the helmet audio/video feed are enormously improved, and that the lens photo-sensitivity and light-spectrum options are a nice touch. He can hear them, but they will still need a device to receive communication. The test run a success, Hank sizes up and congratulates Scott. As they leave the lab, Scott surreptitiously attaches small, magnetic metal box on the inside of the lab door.

Lang waits until the end of the day – Jan bids him goodnight, telling him that he missed a good time last weekend. Next time, he tells her. After she has left, Lang opens a folder on his desktops and runs an executable that opens a virtual 3-D display of Pym’s lab. Pym’s personal belongings are gone, the lights are out, and the workshop is closed up. Lang closes the folder, moves a few files to a zip drive, removes the zip drive and leaves the lab.

Convincing the security staff that he is finishing a task for Dr. Pym, Lang gets to the final security checkpoint – the workshop door. Lang pushes a button on his car keys and the lab door electronics power down, allowing him to open the door. A high whining hum emanates from the little metallic box, but stops after he closes the door and again presses the key button. The door electronics reactivate.

Scott walks to the center of the room and quickly straps on the canister belt. He places the new helmet on his head, opens the canister, and… we get our first glimpse of the world of ANT-MAN.

The walls, tables, and counters of the lab are now skyscrapers. The floor is a vast expanse of flat acrylic, its simple cuts and grooves turned into trenches and hurdles.

Disoriented by the massive change in size, Scott sprints across the lab floor toward the doorway. His helmet is fantastic – he tells the helmet’s operating system to adjust audio reception to micro channels, and he can hear the pulse of the silent alarm triggered in the lab. He tells it to switch to infra-red and he can see the bodies of the security team running down the hallway on the other side of the door. He switches the audio back and then waits until the door is opened - a first wave of security has arrived to examine the breach. Dodging the foot-strikes of massive shoes, Lang jumps out into the hallway.

The hallway is a canyon – he makes his way along the floor’s edge, obscured from Stark Security camera and motion sensor detection. Scott can still hear the conversations of the staff as if he was standing in the room at normal height, and can feel the vibration of the floor as a member of the security team comes back up the hall. Entering a floor-level HVAC vent to bypass a security door, Scott’s lenses glow red and he runs across the slippery aluminum surface before exiting another vent hole in the adjacent corridor.

To be continued...
 
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Sorry, gang - don't mean to fool people. I should have titled this thread "MY Ant-Man Plot".

I'll keep working on this if folks are interested.
 
*fixes title*
 
Once again, I think you've nailed it. Part 2, please.
 
Agreed. Khonshu's treatments are some of the best fan-fic out there. Awaiting part 2. And more please. :)
 
Dr. Pym is contacted by Building Security, who alerts him that someone has broken into the lab. Hank asks what has been taken and learns that it is the new version of the helmet and a micronizer. He advises security to run a full bio-scan of the building and to alert him when they have the results. His next call is to Jan.

Meanwhile, Scott uses the HVAC duct panel screws like climbing wall pegs to scale upwards through the building's ventilation system. He nearly plummets to his death after misjudging the distance on one of them, but manages to reach a long “hallway” of venting and stops to adjust his helmet lenses. We see through his thermographic display that he has reached the roof of the building, and he looks for a weak spot in the paneling to try to push his way out.

“Pretty airtight, huh?” says a voice behind him. He whips around to stand face-to-face with Jan. She is smiling, clad in a skin-tight mesh suit with black and gold tones. She also has some kind of gossamer cape hanging behind her.

“What are you trying to do?” she asks.

“Um… how did... you… uh…” Scott stammers.

“Look – if you want to get outside of this thing, you’re gonna have to get a little creative. Like this.” She extends her right hand and it begins to crackle with a glowing electricity. She looks back at him and smiles before directing a punch at the aluminum venting wall. The energy discharges from her hand, blowing a hole through the metal wall. “Come on,” she urges him.

Scott follows her out of the venting and onto the roof of the lab building. The graveled top seems like a maze of boulders as they step out into the night air. “I… I… I’m confused. What’s going on here?”

Jan replies candidly, “Really, Scott? It’s pretty simple. You stole the helmet and a micronizer from the lab, and I’m bringing you back in.”

“But... we’re on the roof.”

Jan’s other hand starts to crackle. “Which makes my job MUCH easier, thank you.” She blasts Scott in the sternum with a slightly less concussive burst of energy.

As Scott rolls on the ground, groaning, Jan re-sizes to her normal stature and picks him up between her thumb and pointer finger. “Let’s go, little man,” she tells him as she walks toward a ladder on the rooftop’s edge.

We see the stolen helmet returned to its location in the lab, and the camera pans back to reveal Hank, Jan, Scott, and a few Stark Security team members in the room. Hank sits opposite from Scott, who is doubled over and is covering his face with his hand. “The nausea will eventually wear off. I know you’re a smart guy, but man… Did you think that you were THAT much smarter than we?” Scott slowly nods affirmatively, still looking into his own palm.

Hank continues and tells Scott that they are aware of his need for money, and that HR informed him about his special assistance pay request. He tells Scott that it was an ill-informed idea to try to steal from the project, and is curious about what would motivate Scott to throw away his shot at post-prison redemption.

Scott explains everything, and tells Hank that he had exhausted all of his options – it was really just the desperation of a father’s love and that he’ll go to prison but that his daughter needs help.

Stone-faced, Hank expresses his disappointment with Scott, adding that if he’d waited a little longer, he may have been able to steal… the whole suit.

He tells Scott that the helmet is just a part of a larger outfit – as Jan (painfully) demonstrated, they have developed far more micro-technology than just a helmet to see and hear while miniaturized. He reveals that there were three suits developed –named “Wasp”, “Ant”, and “Yellowjacket”, their designs reflect the abilities of their namesakes - and that they have been in constant development since Pym’s initial discovery of size manipulation. The Yellowjacket designs, however, were stolen and are believed to be in the possession of Cross Technological Enterprises, though they legally have not been able to prove this.

Clearly puzzled, Scott asks why they haven’t called the police, and even more – why they are telling him all of this.

Hank offers Scott a deal. He is willing to leave the authorities out of the matter in exchange for Scott’s continued involvement – both as a part of the project, and as a thief. Scott’s role will be to provide information to Cross in order to infiltrate the high levels within CTE and assess whether the plans have indeed been stolen. If so, Lang is to learn what they plan to do with them. As an added incentive, Scott can continue on probation and Stark Tech will work to get a pulmonary specialist for his daughter.

It takes less than a second for Scott to agree.

“Good,” responds Hank. “Well, then. We have a lot to cover.”

**************

More to come...
 
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