Side Projects

January 24, 2016:

Everyone has hobbies. Fairchild and Captain Marvel discuss theirs.

Hall of Justice - Metropolis

Built in the same architectural Art Deco style of buildings such as the Empire State Building and Union Terminal in Cincinnati, it harkens back to a simpler time. With its wide open rotunda as the lobby and carpeting gracing the marble and granite floors, the Hall of Justice seems to embrace the concepts of Liberty, Freedom and the Rights of all Humanity.

It is a practical building; a front desk is manned 24/7 with a less-than-obvious security force, ready and able to help any who may seek aid from those within. Beyond, down massive lines of corridors, lies the inner workings of the JL:A. High tech labs that mix both alien and earth technologies can be found there, conference rooms, and even some living areas.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

It's almost weird for Caitlin some days, dressing like a real girl. There had been some backsliding, and a few times Carol had sent Caitlin back to her room to re-evaluate her outfits. It's a process, okay? But the tall redhead had finally gotten the hang of it, and it was now more common to see her in jeans and a nice cami than her ragged old Nikes and a mechanic's jumpsuit. Which is what she's wearing now, along with a pair of low, fashionable wedges that can actually handle her weight.

Sitting in the dining room of the Lakehouse, she's got a giant bowl of take-out lo mein noodles in front of her, and her little tablet's playing something off of YouTube that sounds like something dry and scienc-y that's been pumped up by a good presenter. Ice water is at her elbow, clean and crisp. Her hair's been combed and some of the frizz tamed, and the black headband Kara gave her keeps the wealth of red from her eyes.


The aforementioned 'fashion consultant' and friend arrives at the Lakehouse by woefully pedestrian means - dropped off by a cab, then walking through the gate - dressed in her own civilian attire. At the moment, she's wearing a deep midnight blue skirtsuit with a white poplin blouse, a gold-trimmed crimson neckscarf and low crimson wedges. She comes walking in as Caitlin is listening to her science program, and heads for the kitchen to get herself something to drink. "How was your day?" she asks, nonchallantly, as if it is the most normal thing in the world to share Chinese takeout with Caitlin after a day at work at their respective jobs and missions.


"Hi Carol!" Well, so much for studied nonchalance. Caitlin's always excited to see Carol. "It was good. I had a half day today 'cause of the snow over the weekend, so Dr. Richards just had us come in, make sure our experiments were in order, and sent everyone home. I really like working there. How are you?" she asks the tall blonde, pushing her lo mein around with a fork. "You've been busy for a few days."


"Hi, Caitlin." Carol offers, as she approaches the table with her wine in hand. "I'm really glad you're enjoying your new job. Like I said: Reed is good people." Not perfect, but no one is. Carol knows that. She sits down with Caitlin, and starts dishing up some of the Chinese food for herself. "A few different crises here and there. Honestly, the biggest thing for me has been work. Lots of news stories, and only half the editorial staff on hand, so I needed to help pick up the slack. The fact that I can fly to work means I'm almost never unable to get there when needed."


"I haven't said this in, like, years? But I am soooo glad I can't fly. I know that Sue had to ride the storm out there, and they had Johnny flying errands for them during the weekend. Meanwhile, -I- stayed here and used the hot tub, which is totes awesome," Caitlin tells Carol, chattering happily. "I played with my online roleplaying group and we finished this campaign module we thought was gonna take us another month to go through."


"Well, I don't mind helping out. But I do get it. It can be a lot of fun to take some excuse and just tune out for a day or two and spend the time having fun." Especially with friends. Carol may have almost no idea what Caitlin is talking about but she gets the general gist of 'time with friends' just fine. "Since I helped cover for everyone this weekend, I'm going to be taking next weekend off. I'm hoping to make a lot of progress restoring the plane I just got."


"Hey, so um, I know it's your project, but if you need some extra hands, I'd… love to help," Caitlin tells Carol, over a mouthful of lo mein. She at least covers her mouth considerately while she chews before speaking again. "I know a little bit about mechanics and stuff, and I helped work on the university's electric car one year. If nothing else I'm really good at holding things!" she offers with a sunny smile. "If you want the help, anyway. If not, 'scool," she says with a shrug.


Carol chuckles wryly, as she starts sampling from the Kung Pao Delight. "I don't want to bore you to tears, Caitlin." she offers, honestly. "It's really nothing more than brute scut work: disassembling, reassembling, cleaning, scrubbing, refitting. I'm going to take the whole plane apart and rebuild it from scratch, paying as close attention as I can to each part. I want to get her flying as good as she did when she first rolled off the line. There won't be much exciting or interesting for my leggy brainiac in any of that."


"How's that boring?" Caitlin asks Carol, the tip of her nose turning a bit pink at the thoughtless praise. "It's fun. I mean, I'm an engineer, or I'm gonna be someday, Carol," she reminds the tall blonde. "I love building stuff and taking it apart and fixing things. Back at THINK all they let me do was fill in when the forklift broke down," she says wryly. "Putting something together the -right- way is just as fun as taking it apart. I mean, there's always a few bits leftover, right?"


"Sorry, Caitlin. It's just that I think of you as being a lot more big-brain, big-science and high-tech than an old-school 1943 internal combustion airplane." Carol answers, honestly, as she winks at the redhead and samples some of the spiced green beans and garlic-sauced broccoli. "If you'd really not be too terribly bored, then I'm all in favor of sharing the project. Company is almost as fun as the project itself. But you'll be pretty squished inside that cockpit for the test flight. I'm afraid they didn't plan on anyone, man or woman, with your height back then."


"Oh, so I'm -pretty-, so I can't be into -engines-," Caitlin says, affecting a wholly insincere scowl and stabbing at her lo mein with the fork. Die, pork rinds, die! "I'm kidding. I'd love to help at least get it running— I mean, I'm not a mechanic," Caitlin admits, "but I understand a lot about how like, engines work and so on. It's all compression and timing and ignition patterns and -this- goes into -that- and powers -this-," she says, jabbing her fork into the air. "Once I get a look at it and I know the names of parts, it starts making sense to me. I mean, I taught myself how to resolder my old computer's motherboard."


Carol chuckles wryly and shakes her head at Caitlin. "You're pretty, and you can be into anything you want." She nibbles a bit more at the food, enjoying the conversation. It warms the cockles of her pilot's heart that Caitlin is as enthused by this project as she is. "Well, I have diagrams on the whole plane, if you want to look them over. I even had them scanned into the computer." But Carol prefers using the paper copies. She can be such a traditionalist about her hobby. She prefers genuine tools, genuine original parts, or replicas that are exactly to the original specifications, materials and manufacturing processes. "So. What made you think of a night of Chinese delivery tonight?"


Caitlin's chewing slows and she peers at Carol, swallowing uneasily. "Um… it's… Sunday?" she says, looking confused. "And… I didn't want to eat another rotisserie chicken by myself?" She looks down at her plate of food, which is a Family B dinner that she's making a good run at managing single-handedly, and then wiggles her bare shoulders at Carol uncertainly. "I haven't gone food shopping in a few days so I'm getting down to just staples and stuff. I don't like buggin' the fliers to give me a lift to the market, you know? Besides, I'm theoretically a grownup. Eating cereal for dinner's probably crossing a line."


The blonde snorts at the redhead. "Caitlin, do you want to know how often /I/ eat cereal for dinner? And I can assure you that /I/ am a grownup." Hopefully that will ease the younger woman's nerves just a bit. "I'm not saying I'm not enjoying the meal. I am, and thanks for inviting me. I was just wondering what inspired your decision." She's also pretty darned sure Caitlin is capable of leaping to the store if she wanted. But she appreciates not being drafted for a grocery run 'just because'. "Full day tomorrow, do you think?' she queries.


Caitlin makes a face at Carol. "Aww, don't tell me that, you're supposed to be my role model," she whines. She scuffs her shoes against the ground underfoot. "I'unno, I just… you know. I like hanging out with you. I mean… we're friends, right?" she says, with a hint of nerves around her voice. "Friends get dinner and spend time together. I read that online," she tells Carol, reaching for an egg roll and splitting it in half before dunking it in Mystery Orange Sauce.


"I like hanging out with you, too, Caitlin." Carol offers, honestly. "And yes, we're friends. And colleagues, I would say." The younger woman's uncertainty is endearing, for all that it can be challenging or seem to come from nowhere at times.

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