Chloe Burnham had worked her ass off to get where she was. She can clearly remember herself at the age of 6 and being in love with the natural world, she'd eventually grown up and went to a technical school and was now 19 years old and living her best life.
The life her Single Mother had always dreamed of for her, except even better, because Chloe was a Bio-Chem major and a member of what, in the science and business world, was known as 'The Stark 5'.
It was common knowledge that Tony Stark had no time for fools, so the process to become an intern at Stark Industries was grueling and not for the faint of heart. In the end Stark only took the cream of the crop, and if you were a Stark Intern, the world knew a fat paycheck and a giant ass brain.
But The Stark 5 were on another level entirely. They were the 5 interns that rose above and eventually became assistants to the Alpha sectors of the R&D portion of the Main Headquarters in New York.
And Chloe was one of them.
At first it was like a miracle, after all Chloe was a women in STEM, and the idea that she would be on the fast track to success seemed too good to be true. Quickly, that idea was knocked out of her head.
Because Stark Industries didn't discriminate against you as long as you were capable, and Chloe was ready to go for broke because of it. On the first day her 'Science Boss', aka the Lab Tech in charge of her, was a woman named Abril Salazar and had taken one look at her and said, "You'll do."
Ever since then she'd been treated as an incredibly accomplished and capable student, and Chloe was living for it.
Everyday she got to see people work on different projects that were bound to save the world, with either the Avengers or in one of Dr. Stark's philanthropic efforts. On top of all that Chloe was able to help her Mother pay for the rent of their apartment in Brooklyn.
Some Days she'd wonder what would have happened if she'd taken another offer, but Chloe would just laugh it off because Stark Industries was the top, it was her only choice if she wanted to go anywhere and make anything close to what she needed to make to survive.
All in all she was satisfied.
The atmosphere with the other interns was nothing like she'd expected. Chloe hadn't really expected to interact with interns outside of her field, but she found that in R&D the Stark 5 were really the point contacts between sectors.
4 of them, including Chloe, had Alpha-C clearance the only one who didn't was the Intern in Charge that they all called 'One'. Legend said It was a nickname given to the head intern decades ago under Howard Stark and somehow it just stuck.
One had the highest clearance with Alpha-B, second only to the Private intern of Pepper Potts who was said to be just as mythical as the woman herself. One had the responsibility of interaction with F.R.I.D.A.Y. and charging the general interns with getting Dr. Stark his food and whatever else he needed that F.R.I.D.A.Y. couldn't get him herself.
Stark Industries' employees worked like a well oiled, and well paid, machine. This meant that Chloe interacted with her fellow interns and Members of the Stark 5 often. They tended to deliver papers to each other for their Science Bosses and slowly they all developed a camaraderie that made their work even smoother.
This led to her interacting with the General R&D Interns as well, so she knew them all by sight if not by name.
Thus, she was ready to do whatever she needed to when she found a small kid who looked around 13 rooting around her chemical cabinet and loading up a transfer cart with whatever he pleased.
The Lab was practically empty since it was so late in the day, and Chloe seemed to be the only one who noticed him. So she acted, clearing her throat she asked, "What do you think your doing kid?"
The kid in question, didn't jump or flinch, instead he turned around and looked at her as if she had no head before stuttering for a moment. Suddenly he took a breath and looked her dead in the eye and said, "I'm working on a formula similar to Spider-Man's webs that will last 24 hours so I can glue the doors to Tony Stark's lab closed."
She couldn't help it, the joke was weird enough that Chloe laughed, "Kid, seriously, all you had to say was you were doing a break down of the guy's webs and needed some chemicals for it."
He was short with brown hair and eyes to match, his build was small, but her eyes went directly to his lanyard and I.D. which had his face and the name 'Parker. Peter B'. Never having seen him around, Chloe figured he was new and didn't know protocol as well as he should.
The kid gave a halfhearted smile before continuing to load up his cart and saying, "Sorry if I worried you I just didn't expect to be interrogated. I mean, I figure you'd ignore me if I had clearance to open the cabinet. I mean I have Clearance, I’m not stealing or anything! I’m just grabbing some stuff."
Waving him off Chloe smiled, "I'm the intern in charge of this Sector so even if you have clearance I'm still gonna have to ask you to clear it with me before you start rummaging through the chemicals here."
In the end his badge opened to cabinet so she just let it go, after all, every level had their projects and it's not like she kept track of them all, that was the Head of Bio Research’s job not Chloe's. A warning should be good enough for a new guy.
Except the next day the interns were whispering and Chloe was about to find One and ask what was going on when Burkle, the Head Intern of the Engineering Design sector, rushed her in a panic and informed her,
"Someone Glued Stark's Private Lab shut and F.R.I.D.A.Y. can't open the doors either the glue is too strong! Dr. Riles is throwing a fit!"
Suddenly it was if a stone had floated down into the deepest pit of her stomach, and Chloe struggled to remember the boy from the day before as she asked, "What's Stark doing?"
Burkle just shrugged, "He was here for a bit but then just told Dr. Riles to figure it out."
Chloe nodded and clenched her fists. How could she have been so stupid? Why didn't she tell Dr. Riles when she'd run into the boy she hadn't recognized? What if he'd stolen something and hacked F.R.I.D.A.Y.? What then?!
Immediately Chloe knew what she had to do, after all, the footage would show she'd talked the boy and hadn't done shit about what he'd told her, what she'd thought was a poor joke.
Marching up to Dr. Riles Chloe did her best to calm the nerves that were shaking her bones and causing her heart to race.
When she reached the Head of her Sector, he looked at her expectantly, and Chloe confessed, "I saw the person who glued Stark's lab closed yesterday. He told me what he was doing but I thought he was joking! I thought he was doing a project for a lower level."
Riles looked at her for a moment then smiled, "Chloe, while i'm proud that you've come to me with this, we already know who did it and Stark is dealing with the Intern responsible. So, rest easy your not going to get in trouble."
Chloe nodded and a cool relief flooded her system as her body relaxed and the anxiety from before left her.
The interns of her department spend the day trying to work on a disolvent in order to get rid of the solution that Glue Boy had so lovingly slather all over Stark's lab doors. Chloe wanted to kill him.
They'd spent ages trying to chip off a chunk for reverse engineering but it was too stubborn and they spend what felt like ages examining the gunk with nothing to show for it. By the end of the Day it had begun to grow soft and before she left, F.R.I.D.A.Y. informed the Department that the Lab Doors had regained functionality.
Chloe wanted to kill Glue Boy for making the interns waste a day, even if it was the first time they ever spent doing practical application in the lab, it was still a waste of time.
Instead she found great pleasure in the fact that whoever Glue Boy was he was probably either fired or dead because Tony Stark was someone you never messed with, and you never got between him and his lab.
So, Chloe goes on with her life and ignores when the interns whisper about the magic glue from the INCIDENT.
Thus, it's with no small amount of shock and awe that Chloe, while delivering paperwork to the Design Sector, catches a Glimpse of Glue Boy.
He's talking to Burkle, Burkle seems to be looking at him in confusion and suddenly all the anger that Chloe has felt about Glue Boy vanishes and is replaced by a creeping and poisonous fear.
Her mind raced a mile a minute. Asking a myriad of questions like 'Why isn't Glue Boy Fired?', 'Why would Stark let Glue Boy stay, REGARDLESS of Magic Glue?' her mind keeps going and going and eventually she wishes she'd never even asked.
Because it's Burkle's turn to experience Glue Boy and establish the rule that Glue Boy has no rules.