First, We Need A Plan

Characters: Sev, Riri Williams (Ironheart), Toni Ho (Iron Patriot), Dominique Thiebaut (Cyblade)
Rated: PG
Summary: The Outsiders meet as a group for the first time to hammer out what their team will do, and what they need to do it, in terms of tech, training, and possible corporate sponsorship.
OOC Date: Sun Jan 14 19:40:55 2018
IC Date: Sun Jan 14 19:40:55 2018
Where: The Outsiders Warehouse

It's been an erratic few weeks, while Toni has been in and out of her lab in between meeting with various people here about her idea for an actual team…a way for everyone to train together and learn together to be…well, heroes. Or vigilantes. Whatever they want to call it. With that in mind, she's invited everyone over to her warehouse workshop to meet up for what she calls the innaugral first meeting. Also it's large enough that it can fit everyone and she's got snacks. She's not really sure how these things are supposed to go, but she figures caffeine and snacks can't hurt.

She's set security to open automatically as authorized people arrive, and has actually acquired a conference style table, a fairly new and advanced one, that has four comfy office chairs around it and has a screen built into the table facing under a thick plate of plastic to display things as needed. She's currently sitting in a chair at one end, nervously rolling a can of soda back and forth in her hands as she waits for everyone to arrive.

Sev arrives a few minutes later, oversized hoodie even puffier given the teen's wearing extra layers. It's /cold/ outside, and it's kind of hard to go coat shopping when you're her. She takes a seat, nodding nervously to Toni. "D-do you think they'll like me?"

Dominique has been lying all her life. In a real way, it's her birthright, to conceal her feelings; a birthright assiduously practiced as her unseemly nature became apparent to her family. It's a skill that keeps a pleasant smile on her face and a soft, unconcerned roundness to her shoulders, as if convincing Mistress Jocelyn to stay behind so Dominique could show up alone wasn't one of the hardest battles of her life up to this point. She makes herself look unconcerned, confident she'd fool anyone who shows up, but detachedly curious if anyone involved has any scanners that will pick up on the tells her biology can't conceal. Ah well.
She strolls into Toni's lab with her gloved hands deep in the pockets of her camelhair coat. An unassuming, gray scarf is looped around her neck, and her slacks have long legs that drop inches below the cuffs of her winter boots. In other words, the only skin showing is on her face. Her prosthesis is completely concealed.

Riri emerges from a corner. Did she sleep here? Did she come early? The girl already smells faintly of motor grease thanks to the splotches that have landed on her shirt. She wipes her hands on a small towel and looks arund the room slowly with wide, dark eyes. It's a small miracle that Riri's afro has survived being subjected ot the same abuse as the rest of her but it is still pristine when it does finally emerge. It's a skill she's honed since she was small.
"…Hi," Riri manages in a voice that is nearly a whisper. That's normal for her. She doesn't overemote or raise her voice, and commonly doesn't really engage at all.So this is actually an improvement, given that the young woman gets to her feet and bothers to actually meet the eyes of the other people present.
Sev gets the most pointed look. She's the newcomer, after all. It isn't judgmental or accusatory, but when someone hardly speaks…

Toni raises a brow at Sev, then says soothingly. "They'll like you. You're likeable Sev." she says, motioning her to the largest chair…which has been apparently reinforced to comfortably support Sev's exoframe weight. She's about to say more, when both Dominique arrive, one from outside, one from inside, and Toni sits up, looking between them. "Hi everyone. Grab a drink, have a seat. I've been trying to introduce you all, but it's been hard with our schedules to get everyone in the same place at the same time. So…ah…" She ponders, then shrugs. "Quick introductions, then? You all know me. I have an exosuit that I built for search and rescue that I've modified a bit to be better at vigilante work…stun beams, tear gas grenades, that sort of thing. I'm calling it the Iron Patriot. And…I'd like to welcome you all to the first meeting of the Outsiders." She glances to Dominique first, figuring the other woman is probably the most sociable of the group, and therefore a good start to introductions rather than calling on the more shy and reserved members.

Dominique walks forward easily, gloved hands extracting themselves from her coat's hip pockets. Her smile is friendly and genuine as she offers one of those hands to Sev. "Good evening, Sev. I'm Dominique Thiebaut. It's a pleasure to finally meet you; Toni has been talking about you for a long time."
A question about Sev would be the usual, prudent step, but Dominique gets a sense it's best to move slowly here and let everyone have a say before questions begin. Just a hunch.

Sev shrinks a little under Riri's gaze, gingerly nodding back to Riri. Dominique introduces herself and then… Well, no time like the present. She takes a swallow of Sprite, before reaching down and unzipping her hoodie and pulling it off, before shrugging off the sweater beneath it to reveal her frame, or at least the half on her upper torso. Her hair's grown out a bit into the beginnings of a pixie cut, but her link unit's still visible. "I'm Sev. I've got… This." She taps a finger against the actuator arching over her shoulder and collarbone. "It makes me stronger and faster, and I've g-got armor plates for it but I left them home for now. T-Toni's helping me with gadgets and stuff. I'm Exo-Girl."

"Riri," the dark-skinned girl in the corner replies helpfully, her voice just above a whisper. she glances artound the room again one and then nods at sEV. a small hand reaches up and drags throguh the thick black curls on top of her head and then she begins to approach. "That set p looks… interesting,' she comments, looking over the actuator. "Welcome to the… Outsiders?" She arches a brow as she looks over at Toni and then shrugs. "You're not any weirder than the rest of us."

"We're all standouts in one way or another." Toni agrees, then nods to Sev. "Sev is the most experienced of us in terms of patrolling and actually being a vigilante as Exo-Girl." She frowns a bit. "She also got a major raw deal…someone experimented on her to graft on that exoframe. I'm hoping if nothing else the three of us might be able to help her with that. Maybe find a way to make it less bulky or improve it to make it easier for her to get around when she's not in full armor."

She looks at the three, then says. "So..ah…Riri, Dominique, you kinda talked me into going to do stuff to help. Stop crime and such, intervene in emergencies. Sooo…this is kinda what I'm thinking. That if we're going to do this…we should do it as a team. And train together, and actually practice." She frowns. "I…tried to do some help on my own and it could have gone really badly, because I didn't know how best to use what I can do then." Her expression firms. "I don't want that to happen again, to me or to any of you, and I want us all to have someone they can call on if they need it.

Dominique's perfectly painted lips pull back wryly at Riri's observation, and she nods at Sev. "You're among friends," she promises, as she tugs off her glove to reveal the second glove, made of woven, gray metal, beneath it. "I'm calling myself Cyblade, at the moment. My prosthesis is perhaps the most different from the others'; it's lightweight and intended to enhance my physical capabilities, with energy-production centers at the outer extremities for manueverability and offense."
That last bit is a lie told with a clear face. Dominique may have told Riri and Toni she's a mutant, but that's not first date material.
Toni makes her speech, and Dominique listens attentively. "This changes the dynamic we'd discussed in the past, but possibly for the best. You see, Sev," Dominique explains, turning to face her as she speaks, "until now, we'd been assuming I would have to take the lead as this group's trainer and coordinator, since I have combat and military training."
(Dominique looks like she might possibly be old enough to buy beer without a card.)
"That's obviously useful for team-building, but it's not necessarily the correct skillset for the kind of work we'd like to do. So hearing that you have experience as a vigilante is quite a relief: you can tell us what you've learned."

Sev shakes her head. "I… I don't really… I m-mean I just punch people who are robbing stores or something. The one t-time I tried to stop a bank robbery, I punched out Spider-man." She winces at the memory. "I… I could probably let you guys take a closer look later if you wanted. Just… no touching the link. It's in my b-brain so…" She stretches a bit, taking another sip, the frame whirring softly as she moves. "I c-could get my plates here by tomorrow, if we're setting up here…"

"…Punched out Spider-Man?" Now Riri appears to be interested. Her eyes widen slightly and then she grins, nodding slowly. "That's, um, definitely a start. Like… I think he's a superhero but you might not know that if you've been listening to Mr. Jameson's rants about him. I mean, um. Okay. That could work…" She takes a deep breath.Somehow in the intervening moments Riri has managed to close the gap between herself and the other girls.
"For the rest of this time. I don't think anyone's expecting us to just pick up and instantly be a team of heroes. What we really need is a plan." Riri reaches up and pulls a pen out of her hair. "First step is figuring out what we want to take on first, I guess."

"Exactly." Toni agrees. "So, I figured we should put our heads together and decide what we need. For one, secure communications." she says thoughfully. "Maybe something that can tap into a police scanner, or a computer program running that can scan for certain phrases or words to let us know we might be needed. Improved gear as needed. Maybe additional armor for you, Dominique, so you're better protected. I've already created a grapple gun for Sev to help her get around more quickly."

The purple-haired Chinese girl leans in, hands on the table. "…and I'm going to expand this place…or we need to find a better place we can rebuild into an actual base of operations. Something that's secure and will let us all work on equipment as needed." She tilts her head. "I'm willing to fund that. I have enough patents I can actually pay you all a wage too, if you want. That just seems fair, if you're going to be doing this.

Dominique offers no opinion on where Sev should or should not set up shop: it's not her lab and not her place. She just listens to Riri and answers, quietly, "My intention is a bit radical."
You're forgiven if hearing a somewhat brown-skinned girl with an un-American accent say that stiffens your spine.
"The reason I'd never join the Justice Defenders is all of their heroes have sat by and allowed atrocities to continue unchecked. America's Sentinel Initiative, for an admittedly old example but one that defined my formative years. Genocides, ethnic cleansings, wars. I intend to pay no mind to any entity that would tell me to ignore my conscience and permit an evil to happen because governments have the right to hurt whom they choose. This may occur in the form of spycraft and cyber warfare; it may occur in the form of intervention in legal hostilities. Do any of you disapprove? If so, then I'll proceed with my agenda on my own, and only serve you on missions you all endorse."
Well. That certainly puts a spin on the issue of drawing a paycheck.

Sev blushes, nodding further. "I… I know he's a hero. We both tried to punch the robber, he was behind, I was in front, and… She ducked." She lowers her head in embarassment. Toni's suggestion does make her sit up, though. "My headset c-can pick up police scanner frequencies… ANd bad guys are bad guys. K-kybertec, the people who did this…" She brushes her fingers over her link again, "W-were trying to get military funding. I'm p-pretty small time b-but… I'll help if I can."

"I don't owe any genocidal government agencies anything," Riri notes quietly, blinking once as she does. "I'm not exactly the beneficiary of any of their, um. Policies." She gives a loose shrug, tilting her head slgihtly as she does. "If anything like that is happening… I'm in. We just need to make sure we know what's up." The girl takes a deep breath and holds her breath for a moment. "All of us are small-time. At least we odn, um. Need military funding anymore. We can work this out. All of it." Riri bites down on her bottom lip for a moment. "That said… Food. There's a pizza place down the street?"

Toni smiles a bit and pulls out a pad that she sets on the table, typing on it as she opens up a pizza page to order. "Sure, can order that while we wait. Here, pick whatcha want, I'm pretty easy." she says, sliding it to Riri. "On me, my card info's already in there." She sits back, looking thoughful. "I…think that's not an invalid way of doing this, yes." she says finally. "We'd have to be careful about what we get involved in though. Some of those things we won't be able to hand with just us. And if we get too obvious about it we might draw official reactions." She frowns to herself. "I'm certainly not against going after Kybertec, if they're behind these unethical and immoral testing they did on you, Sev. Or any other group that's misusing technology and science to cause pain and suffering, or just in a way that endangers the world."

She smiles a bit at Riri. "Yeah, I'm…pretty sure I can fund us with what I got. In addition to patents I've got a contract with StarTech to develop a new capacitor system, maybe more. I can funnel the pay from that into our coffers. And even maybe use that to develop side tech off the main research that could help us.

Dominique nods along at the cautious approval, and lets the matter drop for now, instead diplomatically turning the discussion to money. "On that topic, how much do we intend to develop technology along humanitarian lines? How much charity work do we intend to do? For instance, water filtration systems for Michigan, so the citizens can stop drinking lead. Is that a priority we would have, or do we leave that for more funded entities like Stark-Fujikawa?"

Sev reaches out and orders a personal sized supreme pizza, if the app isn't occupied. "I… I mean I can carry stuff? I guess? I can't fly anywhere, though. Nobody'd let me on an airplane." She fidgets in her chair, reaching out to snag a second can of soda

"I think we can manage private air travel if we put our heads together," Riri replies fairly briskly. She jabs at the app and orders her own pizza: chicken, jalapenos, cheddar cheese, pepperoni, and red onions. Then she looks up and between the other people prsent. "If Stark-Fujikawa was going to clean up flint it would be done already… Actually, that might be the first thing we should do." There's a sort of grim smile to follow that statement. "I mean. If we can take care ofour home country what are we doing trying to save the world, right?"

Dominique accepts the phone and passes it back to Toni without entering anything. Pizza doesn't seem to excite her. To Sev, she asks, "I'm sorry, I just realized I've been assuming this whole time that you, like the rest of us, have a background in physical engineering and technology, so you would be assisting in Riri's and Toni's developments. Is that in your skills? I myself am in a bit of a sticky situation regarding that, because as a foreign national whose education was funded by my home country, any technologies I develop are my country's property, not mine. I'm legally restricted from participating in their work, at least to a degree anyone can detect."

Toni gets up to grab her laptop and brings over, then starts typing, taking notes. "Transport…I think I or Riri could probably fly you places at the moment Sev, but it might get kinda chilly that way, unless we environmentally seal your armor and get you some heaters. I'm definitely not ready to try and attach a flight system to your frame yet." she adds with a frown. "Oh! Yes, Sev is acting as my test monkey…er, pilot for my inventions right now, so I'm also paying her for that." She taps her chin. "I'm not against working on tech that'd help people like that Dominique, especially publically. We'd need to expand a bit..have an actual company behind us to handle any major production of things like filters or such. Just inventing it won't necessarily help people if we can't get it in their hands after all. But…hmm…" She ponders. "We could…maybe found a tech startup and have it be the front for our work, to register patents and such?"

Sev shakes her head. "N-no… I mean… I can code a little, but mostly web design stuff, and a tiny bit of tweaking to how my frame works. And some basic electronics, but that's about it." She sinks a bit lower in her chair. …I sshe actually just a drag on this?

"You can help me move engine blocks, right? Not everyone is going to be inventing things in a lab. I don't think. You can help me figure out what modificatins you want to make to your frame too. If you want…? I haven't seen anything like that before. you have a leg up on me." Riri asks Sev plainly. She glances over at the other two and nods a couple of times slowly. "Tech start-up could work. Nonprofit. people are going to ask questions but… They were always going to."

Toni hmmphs at Sev. "Just because you're not an inventor doesn't mean you aren't gonna be really helpful here Sev. Sometimes just having brawn and street smarts makes up for a lot. I mean…none of us have done this before, we can benefit from your experience, and if we can help improve your frame, you'll get stronger too." She pauses, thinking. "…what would we call it? Maybe something…patriotic-sounding? Um…American Intelligence Mechanics? American Idea Mechanics?"

Dominique decides to sit, finally, legs crossing, fingers lacing around her knees; the old pose of her disease, adopted with new, easy poise. To Sev, she nods. "I'd say it's good you don't have the same backgrounds we do. Diversity of experience is important; specialization is a modern conceit. I'm sure you're nervous about how you fit in, but we'll find our places in time." These are all recited dryly, as facts.
"But while Riri and Toni discuss the nature of the laboratory, Sev, I'm curious. I'm not entirely sure what your goals are with us. Do you want your exoskeleton removed? Cybernetics are my field, so I'm certainly able to weigh in on that, if so."

Sev nods. "W-well, I /would/ like a bit more flexibility. There's this one spot in the middle of my back I can't reach that itches. From what the m-manual said, it's mostly fairly conventional except the link unit…" And she can totally be a crane. "…I mean… I d-don't think I want to get rid of it completely. D-don't know if I can. It's in my brain and my bones and… Maybe if I could just take it off for a while. A-and wear normal clothes."

"Okay. We can totally do that. Um… I'm not completely sure where to start or how to get you out of that, so… You'll need ot tell me more about how the thing works, right?" Riri nods a couple times then, orienting herself firmly on Sev while she does. "And- oh. Hey. The pizza's here. That was fast."

Toni says. "I got it!" And hops up to go retrieve said pizzas, returning after a couple minutes with a stack of boxes that she sets on the table with some plates and pepper packets and napkins, before snagging a couple pieces of supreme and retreating back to her chair with them on her plate. "Well, the bionic interface is your thing, not mind Dominique, but what's there looks very crude. Prototype, maybe. Sev has said she has problem recalling her past too, so it might have caused some memory disruption." she notes. "And I've got scans I did on her Riri, I'll shoot them to you off the server, maybe you can get some ideas I missed. I did reform her original armor plating to be a bit more, um, feminine, and better quality.

Sev OMNOMNOMNOM. Delicious pizza. "Y-yeah… It's p-pretty much waht it looks like… Screws into my bones, and all hooks into the link unit which looks at my… motor cortex? And it taps into ther places too. Like… I can see through the helmet cameras, and use computers if I plug them into it…"

Dominique's eyebrows raise slightly at the mention of feminine armor, but she keeps her mouth shut. She doesn't get to comment, given her own costume's paint job. "Very well. My medical licensing is in Chalenne, so we'd have to return home if I were to perform the surgery myself, but at this point I'm not even certain how necessary that would be. It all depends on what we'd learn from future tests and explorations. We'll see. In the meantime, the topic at hand, eh?"
Dominique turns back to the larger group. "One topic we've neglected to this point is training. I'm able to create programs for that, if necessary, though I'm very tempted to yield to Sev's expertise. What do you all think?"

Riri looks up past a plate full of pizza, half a slice crammed into her mouth until her cheeks resemble a chipmunk. She stares blankly for a second, glances at Dominique, then looks back to Sev before nodding once. Just a twitch. Then it's back to eating. Translate how you will.

Hey, looking good in heavy armor is good for the ego! And Sev needs some help there! Or at least, that was Toni's reasoning. Also that armor was UGLY as hell as it was. "Hmm…." She glances at Riri and Sev, then says. "If there's no objections, I'd like you and Sev to make that your project. If you need it, I can probably buy the warehouse next door maybe to set up as a obstacle course or something? Or…well, really, now's a good time to start looking for a better base, if we want to go that route. Plenty of old facilities in New York we could fix up." She glances to Sev. "Sev, if you don't mind us looking you over, we can start figuring out ways to improve your frame, or maybe a safe way that you could take it off if you wanted, if Dominique is sure it would be safe for you." She then glances to Riri. "Riri and I can figure out what kind of support we need to work as a team, and what equipment we might need that we don't have already. Sound good?" She looks to everyone.

Dominique nods along with Toni. "I think that sounds very reasonable." She pulls out her phone and checks the time, then sighs. "I'm nearly out of time, I'm afraid. Mistress Jocelyn will be worrying about me, and I do hate to put that strain on her. Let me just say before I have to leave that I trust you, and I trust any decisions you feel compelled to make in my absence. We all want the same thing: to help others who aren't getting help otherwise. Everything will flow from that."

Sev nods slowly. "I… I'd just like to say again that my 'expertise' is use my bulletproofness to get close enough to punch the guy into a wall. I d-don't have any martial arts training or anything. And… I guess you guys could look…." She looks a bit more cnfident, but pizza and soda probably helped

I'm sorry, but Riri Williams is currently consuming pizza. Please leave a message and she might respond after she finishes off an entire pizza and scouts the possibility of leftovers from others. It isn't unusual for Riri to fail to say goodbye.

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