Lots Of Scientists Got Their Start In Basements

September 26, 2015:

Time for X-Red to debrief and catchup

X-Red HQ - New York


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Getting the X-Red team together can be tough… they're all busy doing… and yet that's just what Brin going to try to do. She's organised food and drinks - and maybe Mike will be kind enough to act as Bartender again - and sent out messages inviting everyone over.

Of course, there's a method to her madness - there's information to share.

Perched on Brins shoulder, is a tiny owlet - that has managed to hide itself behind a length of her hair.

What to do on a Saturday night? There's always work. But he's been doing that without any breaks for a while now, and you know what they say, all work and no play makes Mike-bot want to kill all humans. Anyway.

Since food and drinks are being managed, he's even chosen to look mostly human himself, this time, though he arrives wearing a "vorlon encounter suit" for scanning and securing purposes. The building is clean of obvious and most kinds of inobvious bomb, listening device, spy gear, and other annoyances.

"You have a passenger?" the gold-skinned man asks, as he sets up the bar.

Who knows where Wanda disappears to these days? She's supposed to be living at the base but her room seems empty as often as she's there…and some of Moonstar's second wave of luggage has started to pop up in there as a result. But you can always rely on food to bring her to a meeting. She slips quietly into the room, waving to anyone who spots her before stealing a few hand's worth of finger food.

Bobby sits down tiredly. He's got a lot on his mind and a lot to do. And the ice wounds and ice hand are still both very much… ice. "Hey folks. Mike, good to see you. Brin… you still have that owl." He shakes his head. "Wanda! I was starting to think you'd up and vanished. Get some food, come on over, have a seat. Brin have you told everyone about our breaktrhrough on CyCor?"

"Thanks for doing the bar, Mike. And yes, I do." Brin smiles and then looks to Bobby "Yes Bobby, I'm keeping it." Let them try and argue with her. It was sooooo cute. "Hey Wanda… would you like a drink?" With a shake of her head "I haven't. It's part of why I organised tonight."

Without waiting, Brin continues "Bobby found that Lobo Tech, where The Reavers had stolen technology from, used to run a company called CyCor. This company was exclusively devoted to medical and military cybernetics research. CyCor was put out of business about four years - just as the Reavers were starting to get big." They've dug a little deeper of course, and Bobby can add the rest.

Mike prepares a very mildly alcoholic thing with wine and fruit juices for the business part of the meeting. He lets a secondary mind attend to the bartending and is slightly annoyed when he realizes his alternate self is preparing to put lime sorbet into a punch bowl. Stop that. It's not church social. So? It's got alcohol in it. Hm. OK. But don't blame me if you get us mocked.

Punch ready, he listens closer. Meanwhile, he's making a second bowl of actual sangria, with actual wine.

Wanda makes her way over to Bobby, smiling softly at him before settling down nearby. "I have been busy" she shrugs, "But we can talk about it later. I would not vanish on you." She can't help but notice that his wounds are still not fixed - why isn't anyone doing anything about this!? Alcohol sounds good so she will take up that offer and grab a drink from the golden bartender. It also stops her nagging about Bobby's wounds. Then she is listening to Brinley's news. CyCor?

"They were all bought by startups." Bobby takes a glass of punch. Mmmmm. Mike's punch is good. Or well he assumes it is. Most things Mike does are good. "All of which failed within two years, separately. Officially the facilities are defunct. And because they're all overseas, no US buyers or inspectors have seen them years. All of the startups were further fronts for organized crime. You can thank Pepper Potts for that information." The implications, he opes are clear.

"Punch, Mike?" Brins eyebrows rise but she'll take a cup… Lime sorbet, afterall. The owlet on her shoulder moves just a little, it's eyes slowly blinking from behind her hair. "Yes, Miss Potts has been most helpful in all this." For which Brin is very grateful.

Once this information is discussed, she'll ask the others what they've been up to.

Mike has a glass of sangria which he's nursing instead. Green goes strangely with his complexion.

"My bartender brain said that if it could be served to the U.N. it could be served here. Except, it's model UN ten years ago, not the real thing. I need to defrag that context, I think."

He shrugs… it's got enough alcohol to be warming and relaxing but overall, not as much as in weaksauce American beer. What he's more interested in, though, is whether this ties the various acting hate groups - Purifiers, Reavers, SRD (oops, not an actual hate group elsewhere than NYC, and officially Getting Better) - into organized crime. Because he's had to deal with those jerks more than too often as part of being a regular guy doing business here.

There is actually some disappointment on Wanda's face to learn that at the heart of all their problems could be 'simple' criminals. That they're driven by the same greed and petty interests as a pickpocket is a bit discouraging. But at least they aren't specist. "What would you like me to do?" she asks the others before reaching into her pocket to pull out a piece of paper. Her fingers nervously play with it a while before she smiles over to Brinley. "I have been seeing lawyers. I don't like seeing lawyers. They are not nice people."

"We think that these underground cybernetics work shops could be where the Reavers are getting their tech. Cybernetics are expensive and someone is outfitting them with the weapons and armor the need to keep existing. We haven't seen a Reaver yet that wasn't heavily augmented. The group itself seems to have a huge problem with metahumans but it's possible their suppliers are just in it for the money." Or not. Bobby doesn't know anything for certain yet. "But right now that's just a theory. We need to get closer and investigate. Since they're officially shut down the legalities aren't a problem, they're just far away. China. Eastern Europe. Africa. Central Asia. I know you guys are busy with some of your own projects but if you have time for this, I think it's probably something that needs to get looked into. We might cut in some of the 'others' on it too. I've been considering asking of Jean can help."

Brin holds her glass up to Mike in a 'cheers' gesture, the punch isn't bad, but next time, Brin will take the Sangria. Resting her shoulders against a wall, the brunette watches the group. "I'm going to check out what I can." And hopefully not get shot or injured in the process "I'd appreciate some company, of course." With Bobby's system playing up as it is, Brins not keen on him being in the field - not that she will stop him if he wants to do it, she'll just give disapproving looks.

"Seeing lawyers, Wanda? What for?" she asks the other woman.

OR, she can have some after the business part of the meeting is over … see, I told you people would be botheredyeah, I left out the everclearNO YOU DID NOT. It doesn't need that.

A sip at the sangria, which doesn't quite manage to hit his calibrated taste sensors right — it seems to want to be chocolate cake, sardines, and motor oil, all of which are delicious on their own — and Mike nods.

"Do you need a pilot? Perhaps a bodyguard who speaks Bocce?"

Wanda glances at the paper when Brinley asks her question but her reply is a shake of her head. "It is not important. We can talk about it later." The paper is shoved roughly back into ther pocket. "I can go to Eastern Europe" she offers; she speaks a number of the languages if nothing else. "Jean is okay now? That is good" she smiles before glancing over at someone who isn't - Bobby. "So I will break into the comapnies?"

"Bocce would be good." Bobby grins. "And a robot that understands the binary language of moisture vaporators." Bobby sips again. Yeah it's got alcohol in it, but he's sure it'll be fine. So long as he doesn't drink too much.

"We need to see what they're doing. If those facilities really are sitting empty, if they're being used. If all the equipment has been taken off site." Bobby doubts that last one. Cybernetics manufcaturing is not something you can do in your garage if you're not Tony Stark. "And there's a lot of ground to cover."

"I think we work in pairs, at least." Brin winces as she sees Wanda stuff the paper back into her pocket… she had been distracted… "I'm not sure it will be so much 'breaking in', Wanda. They're defunct… but we need to be careful."

Mike gets a smile, and a bit of a laugh "We all know just how squishy I am. A bodyguard of sorts would be welcome."

Brin clearly doesn't believe the facilities are empty or abandoned … but the recon is needed to prove that.

Binary language of moisture vaporators. The trouble is most of them speak a ternary language. But then Drake says something that pings.

"Seriously, Bobby," Mike says, "you've known me for over a year now, and I'm certainly not Tony Stark, but I can make cybernetics in my garage, ask Rose Wilson. You can do quite a bit of the simpler stuff in a garage, or a decent hobbyist lab — that's how Hank Pym got started after all. Cyber gear is fitted to humans, and humans are all different, the 'one size fits a range of humans' trick that works for clothes does not work well for cybernetics — nor for prosthetics, which is why I know about this. It'll have common components, and we can certainly find out if that's still being made — especially the muscle replacement, which has been getting more and more complex. Still… it'll need to be fitted to each person individually, because it becomes a part of their body, and THAT stage can and probably will be done in a garage, a cave, any place they can secure and be unseen. It helps if it's sterile, but the final install could happen almost anywhere."

"Yeah, you need armor. I'll start to work on it, Brin."

"So who will I go with?" Wanda asks bfore quickly scoffing some food down. It looks like she is expecting to go any second. She looks over at the golden man as he babbles on about cyborgs. Wanda's contribution to the discussion being, "I like robots. Things are so peaceful around them. My voices…" She taps the side of her head. "They are quiet then." A faint smile at the idea before she takes a deep breath. "So we are going now?"

"You can come with me Wanda." If she wants. They may go in teams of more than two, but that's fine. "Or anyone else you feel comfortable with. Brin, see if Dani and Doug are up to it." Hopefully. "Maybe Rahne, if she's not too busy." Of course, Piotr and maybe some of the mansion X-ers if they're not… otherwise occupied.

Mike does have a point. "Mmmmm… yeah." Bobby thinks for a moment. "Okay we widen our search net. Mike you'll have the best idea of what to look for so… see if you can generate a list of places to look?"

"Already on it," Mike answers, "but it's immense. Narrowing it down to something useful, depends in part on whether they're doing the final pull-together in the factories — it's not impossible, just stupid if they're trying to hide — and if not, where they're doing it. So, does the Reaver pattern consist of them coming in covertly en masse, or do they just seem to appear out of nowhere? The latter case suggests just-in-time assembly. But then, once they're assembled, they're not really likely to come apart again, are they? I mean. Did we ever get a body to examine?"

And of course, if they're being assembled at-need, then there's the transportation of the cyber parts that can possibly be traced…

Brin laughs a little at Mike. She can manifest armour, it's just annoying because she can only manifest one construct at once. "You'd be welcome to join me, as well, Wanda." Bobby's request gets a small nod, as Brin finishes the sorbet punch. "Of course, Bobby. It's a pity they couldn't be here tonight… but … " they all have lives, after all.

"Not yet, Wanda. But soon. We wanted to get the information out to the team. A little bit of planning and we'll be right to go." beat "Good thinking, Mike. From what I've seen, they generally appear en masse, not 'out of nowhere' particularly… but it's hard to say."

Wanda nods to the deferment and flops back into the couch. She starts picking at her finger foods before looking over at Bobby. "I don't understand a word that the golden man says" she notes honestly before shrugging her confusion away; she doesn't understand most of what many Americans say. "I have not met so many people on the team" she frowns; though she knows it is her own fault. "But I think that some of them need their privacy here so that is why I keep going out."

"We do have several bodies. Well not us, the morgue does. From various attacks and the riots, which they were involved in. Police like us right now so it'd be pretty easy to get you in to see them, Mike, if that'd help." Bobby nods in Brin's direction. "We don't know how they get around, but they tend to appear in groups, hit specific target or just cause mayhem and then vanish. We've not been tracking them globally though so I have no idea if they have limitations to their AO's."

Wanda gets a smile. "You're part of the team and you live here. You don't have to feel like you have to keep leaving." He knows she will anyway but, you know, what can you do?

Brin frowns at Wanda's comment "This is your home too, Wanda. You don't have to leave." beat "And I'm fairly certain you've met most of the team… bar maybe 1 or 2." With the team growing as it has been, it's a little difficult to keep up.

"As Bobby says, Mike. A few bodies. Would you like me to arrange something for you?" She's been fostering relations with the NYPD - and it seems to be paying off "A few times we've encountered them, they've already been there. Like those hideouts we cleared a month or so, ago."

Mike looks over at Wanda and his eyes go wide after a moment.

"Are you bothered because you keep hearing personal thoughts?" he asks Wanda. "Because if that's the problem, you should be able to block that stuff out when you want to."

He starts a second mind running to research what he's got on passive telepathic and empathic reading, looking for anything useful at all. Perhaps, she's using thaumic energies sometimes, maybe she can use them somehow? But be careful not to create the wrong thing, perma-block or perma-open are bad design flaws… Meanwhile back at the main brain….

"Yes, Brin, that would be very helpful. The logistics of this is bothering me. It feels like there's missing information."

Wanda isn't entirely sure what she the voices are. Sometimes it is obvious they are other people around her, especially when she really concentrates like she had to at Lobo Inc. Other times though, the voices seem to come from within her and she has come to the conclusion she is mad…or possessed. "I should be able to do a lot of things that I cannot" she replies to Mike with a faint smile. "Maybe one day I will be able to make everything clear and quiet. I do not like hearing thoughts…if they are thoughts. It is rude. But the voices from inside me are not thoughts. How do you block inside you?" A fond smile for Brin and Bobby's encouragement to stay but she makes no promises.

"I don't know…" How do you defend against yourself? It's a problem Bobby's been wrestling with too. And one he's been losing. "But I know you can do it, Wanda."

The ice nerd stands and looks over Brin and Mike. "Alright. Brin can you arrange a trip to the morgue? We'll get what info we can from the cyborgs there and then start searching." They may have to take some day trips… fortunately Illyana doesn't have a problem portaling any of them about.

"I can do that." Brin agrees. Seems she's getting used to Wanda's voices… the conversation doesn't even get a raised eyebrow. The little owlet stirs on her shoulder and lets out a soft sound, causing the brunette to straighten and reach for it.

"Time to feed this one. I'll be back as soon as that's done." It will take a short while before she returns.

"Inside is just another direction," Mike says. "I had to learn to not turn my own body into machinery whenever I got minor injuries — it was mostly tedium and meditation."

And it didn't really help in the long run, did it?

Mike(2) finds three leads: one on wards, one on telepathic barriers (which is similar but not) and one on an alleged herbal preparation that may be related to SRI inhibiters, which was alleged to block out random spiritual impingement; he (internally) glares at it because it's slightly toxic.

"I've got some light body armor designs I'll send to you, Brin. They should fit under clothes. Also, why do you have an owl living in your hair? Do you want me to design owl armor too?"

Brinley has an owl in her hair; Mike is a mechanical man…sort of; Bobby is turning into an ice sculpture. Wanda is never the strange one when in this company…and she likes them all. "I think party is over" she muses as Brinley and Bobby look to make their excuses and Mike turns to armour design for nocturnal birds. Wanda tooks some more food into her pockets. "When you need me, you will let me know, da?"

"Of course. Mean time, I need food. Want to come out and get some with me?" Bobby motions, picking up his keys. "Mike, you can come too if you like. I know you can do that in your head." Brin will, of course, come along if she feels like it. If not, they can grab her something on the way back.

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