You're Hired! (If Sue says it's cool)

December 23, 2015:

Caitlin gets hired! Mostly.

Baxter Building

The Building of Baxter


NPCs: None.

Mentions: invisible_woman human_torch


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Caitlin's actually gone for the whole 'dress for success' thing, for once. Though she'd shown up at the Baxter Building in a jumpsuit and t-shirt, she'd quietly asked the doorman for a locker room in which to change. With several minutes to spare, no less, she steps out of the locker and takes the elevator up to the office areas.

She's wearing a smart pantsuit in a pale blue-grey, a sage-green undershirt, and smart business wedges. Proportional she may be, but no one on earth makes pump heels for a 300lb woman. She's even done her hair, the normally mussy red straightened carefully and worn back in a short ponytail with bangs.

The elevator *dings* and Caitlin steps into the offices with a trepidatious pace, eyes flickering around, and holding a binder in front of her like it's a shield. "Uh… hi, I'm…. looking for Dr. Richards?" she asks the receptionist. "I'm, uh, Caitlin. Fairchild," she amends. "I have a two o'clock appointment?"

"Yes, of course, Miss Fairchild," the receptionist responds. "Dr. Richards is expecting you. H.E.R.B.I.E. will walk you there." Almost on command, a large white robot floats out from a hallway and gives a metallic, clanky wave. "Greetings, Miss Fairchild, you look quite smashing today," the robot remarks. "Please follow me and I'll bring you to Dr. Richards. Tell me, is there any drink you might require to feel adequately refreshed?" Even as he speaks he's leading her towards the elevator.

It's just a robot, stop blushing, Caitlin!

"Thanks, HERBIE!" Caitlin says, cheeks pinkening a bit at the unexpected compliment. She almost trips over her new shoes with her first step, but catches her balance and falls into step, goggling a bit at the sophisticated robot. "Wow, you are /so/ cool. How are you flying, is that a StarkTech repulsor array or are you using some kind of proprietary force inversion thruster? What sort of fuel source are you running? Is your hovering bound to a certain height differential or are you able to modify your power output to reach higher elevations?" she asks, her bright green eyes big as saucers.

HERBIE turns to double-take at Caitlyn, and then does it again, as the pair ride up the elevator. The response is almost as quick and hard to follow as the question: "Carefully. No. Yes, how did you guess? It's a patented secret that I'm not allowed to give out because it's been sold to the United States government and is covered under US Code 38393.3892, subsection B. And yes."

Right when he finishes, the door chimes, and Reed Richards rises behind a brilliantly white desk. "Caitlin! Come on in! I've been expecting you. His arm stretches out a little too long as he's walking around his desk, but he 'catches up with it.'

"I trust you're having a good holiday season?"

Fairchild says, "page …this feels like a trick question."

HERBIE is saved from being interrogated- possibly taken apart, too- by Reed's interjection. Caitlin blinks and focuses on Reed, then hurridly steps forward to shake his hand, trying /very/ hard not to squeeze his hand too hard. She mostly succeeds. "Oh, hi, gosh, yeah, thanks Dr. Richards," she tells him. "I am, thanks, how are you, Mr. Richards? I mean, Doctor Fantastic. I mean, Mister Doctor," she says, babbling a bit. She's clearly looking pretty nervous, the binder in her hands creaking obviously as her fingers dig into the cheap leather of the zippered document folder.

"I'm doing remarkably well. Tell me, would you like a Fresca?"

There is a brief and awkward pause.

"For some reason anyone who seems nervous always seems to have a strong opinion on Fresca. It is either: Yes. Doctor Richards, I would love a Fresca, or no Dr. Richards, I find that Fresca is flat out disgusting."

"Either way, it puts people at ease."

Caitlin blinks. "I'm… I'm from Iowa. We have Sprite," she says, sounding apologetic. "I guess that's /like/ Fresca, right?"

Still, his attempts to disarm the situation gives Caitlin a few precious moments to gather her aplomb, and she clears her throat and flashes a grateful, million-watt smile at Reed, the expression giving her a radiant appearance for a moment. "Thanks, Dr. Richards, a Fresca would be awesome."

She clears her throat and follows his directions to a chair, sitting on it very, very carefully. Nothing creaks or bends, and remembering that Ben Grimm lives in the building, she sighs in relief and lets her weight settle on the chair, sitting primly upright. After a beat, she remembers something Carol had told her and hooks one ankle behind the other.

"Iowa is great most of the year. Not right now, I imagine, though I believe that global warming is wreaking some havoc upon what we might normally think." He reaches out his hand for her materials even as HERBIE is bringing her Fresca.

"Now I will warn you, Miss Fairchild, a Fresca is an acquired taste. It will probably not be awesome. That being said, it has less sugar than Sprite, and that is somewhat awesome."

He pages through things and begins to think, "So, should I be excited and find that you are here to take me up upon my earlier offer or is this meeting about something less exciting for me?"

"Wh- why…" Caitlin's eyes bug a bit again. "I… excited?" she hedges. "I don't know why else I'd be here," she says, apologetically, fingers twisting absently in her lap. "And that thing with Johnny Storm, that was an accident, and I'm /really/ sorry about that," she hastens to assure Reed. "I replaced the fire extinguisher and he said it was okay, but I really hope that you don't hold that against me— I mean, I would understand if you did, but, I didn't recognize him, and I mean, you know, it /looked/ like an emergency," she says, stammering a bit.

Her design notes speak more about her expertise than her words do, at least for the moment. She's hardly an intellect on par with some other notables of Reed's association, but she's brought in a fairly well-stocked sheaf of electrical system designs, including a patent on an improved actuator for synthetic joints in androids, and a pending patent on a light-sensing system with incredibly high resolution.

As he reads, Dr. Richards remarks in passing at the fire hydrant issue. It means nothing to him, of course, he's much more interested in her abilities as a scientist. "Miss Fairchild, if I may be frank. If I were to give you a listing of all the unfortunate things Mr. Storm has said, done, or caused damage to, you would most likely be astonished. Besides, the truth is he probably had it coming."

"Now, I cannot hire you without clearing it through my fiance and she would surely like to meet you. Consider yourself good in my book. The ultimate arbiter, as you will someday learn as you approach marriage….

"The woman is always right."

Caitlin audibly exhales in relief, then snorts and cackles at Reed's comment. "Huhh, that's funny," she titters, covering her mouth. "I'd really, really love to meet her," Caitlin assures Reed earnestly. "I'm like… I am a /huge/ fan of the Fantastic Four. Seriously, you guys? That one time in midtown, with the um, robots?" she says, waving her fists back and forth. "/That/ was awesome, I was a freshman in college and I got some great pics of it," she tells Reed. "I'm a total Instagram freak, and I'm the main curator of the Superheroes category, and we've had like ten million views, something like that? and between Instagram and Pinterest, I've got like… I don't know, like a million followers now," she tells him. "I've got a berjillion photos online, it's totally my hobby, but I've been trying to like, get selfies with you guys FOREVER."

"Well now you'll be able to get them all the time. And if you can ever find out a way to sell them online, we're looking for new revenue streams." Money has been such a problem lately, but as scientists have been jumping ship, it's allowed them to open up hiring at an albeit cheaper rate.

"What sort of salary are you looking for, Caitlin?"

"Uh… well, I make about forteen an hour from THINK," Caitlin tells Reed, torn between midwestern honesty and trying to be New York cagey about wages. "And there are benefits and stuff, like I've got health insurance— I never need it, but I've got it, and then there's some college incentive bonuses, and they comp'd me gas if I had to drive across town," she ticks on her fingers, "and two weeks of vacation a year."

"But my contract's up… well, soon," she admits, "and there's these rumors that Mr. Stark Senior might be sort of, y'know, shifting research goals, and … uh, y'know, I'm trying to feel out… the market," she says, trying to sound nonchalant about the job search.

"Well, we can do better than fourteen an hour, I assure you. We just gave an intern a far bigger deal than that and frankly I think you're more qualified. We'll need to discuss the matter with Sue, but I will be putting in a good word for you. And while she is always right, she will at least listen to me on hiring the scientists I want. And I want you on this team, Miss Fairchild."

Reed lets out a sigh, "I apologize for cutting this meeting short, but I have a pressing matter to attend to. Sue will be calling you soon, I assure you."

"HERBIE? Please show Miss Fairchild a tour of the IT department before you leave."

"….okaythanks," Caitlin squeaks, rising upwards. "th-th-thanks Dr. Richards!" she says, unsure of the protocol here. For a terrifying moment, it looks like she might hug him, then sticks a hand out, visibly overwhelmed by his magnamity. "I'll just… get out of your way!"

She follows HERBIE along quickly, fidgeting, and right before the elevator door shuts, one can hear an *EEEEEEEEEEE!* from inside the elevator, followed by a muffled, "Madam, my auditory sensors are working just fine."

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