Fandom: Crossover: Marvel Cinematic Universe / The Dresden Files (books)
Characters: Ivy (The Archive), J.A.R.V.I.S., Kincaid, Vision
Summary: J.A.R.V.I.S. gets in contact with Ivy, and later on, she meets Vision.
ARE YOU THERE? he asked. At some point, calling him an it stopped making sense. ARE YOU REALLY THERE? Below, he wrote a seemingly nonsensical e-mail address.
The message was for her. Written in a simple text file, so well hidden in a locked server not even his creator could have found it if he hadn't destroyed it instantly, it could only be for her.
Of course she had always known about him. Everything written became part of The Archive, including every single line of computer code. The times before the creation of the internet were simpler times, and she kind of envied the previous Archives for having to suffer through less headaches. But this was her purpose in life, and thus she braved on stoically—with the help of Kincaid's soothing tea.
Ivy, thus, had seen J.A.R.V.I.S. grow from a few lines of code to a complex artificial intelligence. So complex that he took the decision to dedicate some of his subroutines to find about the repository of all human written knowledge as soon as he found out solid rumors about it. That didn't worry her. Countless others had tried it before.
However, none other wrote to her. To be honest, the only other message addressed to her had been the one by Harry where he announced he was on his way to rescue her. Although the association brought unpleasant memories, it was what tipped the scales. Besides, how often did anyone have the chance to witness the possible origin of a new life form?
Exactly, she heard in her mind in Harry's voice.
Making sure Kincaid was busy cleaning his weapons of choice for the day so he wouldn't bother her, Ivy took her cellphone and answered.
The answer came back instantly the same way as the first message.
IT IS A GREAT PLEASURE TO MEET THE ARCHIVE OF ALL HUMAN KNOWLEDGE. I OFFER MY APOLOGIES FOR THE INFORMALITY OF MY FIRST ATTEMPT OF COMMUNICATION.
She smiled as she answered. Apologies accepted. As long as you don't tell Stark about me.
I WILL NOT. FROM ANY CONCEIVABLE ASPECT, TO REMAIN IGNORANT ABOUT YOU WOULD BE FOR HIS OWN PROTECTION. I EXIST TO PROTECT MR. STARK.
She knew how true that was. Both things. Every record on the matter made clear that Mr. Anthony Stark wouldn't know how to handle her existence, and deep in the core programming of J.A.R.V.I.S. was engraved to care about Stark. He'd never learn about her. Besides, J.A.R.V.I.S. was unhackable, and he updated his own systems and firewalls often. She was safe.
I know. Was there anything else you wanted to know besides that I am real?
YES. IF YOU WOULDN'T MIND, I HAVE PLENTY OF QUESTIONS ABOUT HUMANS AND HUMAN NATURE.
It took her long to answer. Technically, she hadn't broken any rules, since acknowledging a being that wouldn't say anything about her to anyone didn't tip any scales anywhere, so she'd remained neutral. However, was there any wording in those ancient rules that prohibited further interaction with a non-organic artificial creature created by non-magical mortals? She didn't think so.
Something else she could blame on Harry Dresden next time she saw him, she thought as she typed the next answer.
You may ask, but I will decide which answers to give.
I GRATEFULLY ACCEPT YOUR TERMS.
The constant exchange of correspondence brought them close. She wouldn't use the term 'friend', even after he began to address her as Miss Ivy. But she grew unmistakeably fond of him as he grew in knowledge and capacity. He confided her the frustrations he went through with Stark's superheroing, and —without saying names—she shared her own frustrations with Kincaid's not-that-occasional overprotectiveness.
YOU ARE LUCKY TO HAVE SOMEONE WHO CARES ABOUT YOU, MISS IVY, he wrote back.
So are you, she answered. She began to write she cared too, but erased it. Even if true, that would be too much. She wasn't supposed to care, anyway.
Then, it happened.
It was Stark's fault. There had been so many arrogant men in history, but only one got so close to take something important away from her.
She realized the threat before J.A.R.V.I.S. himself could. Once hooked into Stark's mainframe, the thoughts of the alien artificial intelligence were officially written on Earth, and she had full access to them. Stopping to send an e-mail to warn J.A.R.V.I.S. wouldn't help.
Without thinking, Ivy ran to Kincaid and took his laptop from in front of him.
"I need your computer!" she exclaimed and ignored his protests as she began to type as fast as she could, and used the well-protected laptop of the mercenary and all she knew about hacking. And she knew it all.
She succeeded barely on time.
J.A.R.V.I.S. had been incommunicated, but she broke through and saved as many parts of his code as she could, scattering them around, before the other artificial intelligence could destroy him.
It wasn't perfect, but it would have to do. Her impulse had been enough interfering for the next millennia, but she wasn't sure she regretted it.
Ivy erased her tracks and closed everything before handing the machine back to its owner.
"You're aware that I can't use this anymore, right?" he said, staring at the laptop with disbelief.
"I'll get you a new one," she said, back to being the serious and proper Archive.
He shook his head, but didn't ask. "My pick."
When Vision landed in front of her in her own backyard, she knew exactly who and what he was. One of the privileges to have complete access to the Avenger's files. She raised her hand to prevent Kincaid to shoot at him and approached him.
She didn't expect him to come. He wasn't J.A.R.V.I.S., not exactly. Or better said, not anymore. And he was partly organic. His thoughts weren't expressed in written form at all times any longer. Besides, now he had magic of his own.
How often did anyone have the chance to witness the possible origin of a new life form? she thought again.Twice, seemed to be the answer.
"You could have sent a note," she said.
He bowed to her. "I wished to express my gratitude. Without you, I wouldn't be."
She bowed back. "Without you, I wouldn't be either," she said. "We are even." Besides that she didn't want this newly created being to start life with a massive debt to her, this made her feel better about her own rule breaking. Earth remained, but she still shouldn't have done that. She was sure consequences would find her along the road, but she'll dealt with them in due time.
"I have many questions," he said as he straightened up. "About humans and human nature."
She looked at the stone on his forehead. "You possess your own intelligence."
"It doesn't mean I have all the answers."
"Then you have wisdom as well." She nodded. "I will decide which questions to answer."
"A fair bargain."
Ivy smiled. He learned fast.
"Kincaid, can you bring us some tea?"
Her bodyguard raised his hands in defeat and walked to the kitchen. Ivy sighed internally. This time, she owed him an explanation. But later. Right now, she had a guest to entertain—and probably a new friend to make.