Dam Problems

November 23, 2014:

Bobby brings a new situation to the attention of Sunspot and Gambit

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Bobby is at the X-Men's favorite diner. Partly because pancakes! Pancakes are amazing and reason enough to make a trip out to Salem Center. The other reason of course is that it's a good non-Mansion meeting place for X-ers, this being their sort of secondary hang out. So he's asked Berto along and contacted Remy LeBeau. There's some news he has to deliver and news he wants to catch up on. X-Red had an interesting call the other day and Bobby's been disconnected from the other two teams. He may not want to live like them, but some of them are still his friends. He does, after all, care about how they're doing.

-

Roberto is sitting back in the booth across from Bobby, shielded against the November cold by a fuzzy hat, scarf, and a knee-length gray coat. Never mind that he's indoors. You can never be too careful — there might be a draft. He gazes out at the snowed-in hamlet of Salem Center through a pair of stylishly chunky sunglasses, his expression wary. "I hope you have a good reason for dragging me out here," he grouses. "It's cold and boring, and I spent the better part of my teen years being cold and bored here. Stupid snow. Stupid small towns."

The waitress chooses that moment to bring over their coffees. Roberto gives her an ingratiating smile that she does not return. Yeah, she overheard him. He shrugs when she turns to leave, and cups his mug as though huddled around the last spark of heat in the world.

-

Remy LeBeau on a saturday afternoon is very much hungover. His nights are spent from New York City to Gotham most the time. He just likes the night life in Gotham but tends to avoid much else than the East End. Buncha creeps prowl that city.

Hooded sweater underneath trenchcoat makes up for the cold weather right now. He's got shades on because it's bright no matter what, lights, reflections, the list goes on. As a staple member of Blue team he's always prepared to represent plus he needed to get out; no more Betsy chillin' in his crib means the place is a mess and he's not exactly feeling up to cleaning.

"Bobby Drake, homme. How is?" Lazy walk to loud chair dragging sprawl. A lopsided grin fired at Roberto. "Bout as fond as de cold as Remy."

-

Bobby chuckles trying not to flaunt the fact that 'the cold doesn't bother him anyway.' He's sipping a hot coca himself and digging into his short stack. Yes it's 2 PM. No, he doesn't care. "New York is cold in general Warm Twin. Perhaps you need a summer home." Maybe in Rio.

Remy gets a grin. "Doing well, thanks. I kind of wanted to catch up on stuff. I got a call last night that I wanted to share. I got a call from the Mayor and Police Chief of the Town of Warren last night. It's in upstate New York. They have some… kind of unusual concerns and I think both our teams should be involved though obviously, that's not my call to make."

-

"Perhaps less so," Roberto answers Remy with a dry smirk, his precise diction playing its usual odd counterpoint against the softened consonants and lilting vowels of his Brazilian accent. "New Orleans may be hot, but it's no Rio. And honestly, if not for clashing with my pai, I probably would spend the summers in New York and the other summers back home. Hop back and forth between hemispheres so the winter could never catch me." Not that he's thought about this before.

Bobby's remarks about Warren strike the Red Team sponsor as a bit cryptic, and he turns the dark lenses of his shades on the frostmeister. "Unusual? Define unsusual. Don't tell me it's the Friends again." Roberto has been trying to outflank the Friends of Humanity in New York for weeks, and the task is starting to prey on his brain.

-

"You guys be popular they just up an' callin' you." Remy reclines back, chair tipping with him as his arms come up behind his head to act as support. "You do that, you let Remy know, 'berto. Dis Cajun join you. Maybe see what your cousins be lookin' like." Teasing of course. Or is he? A bit of both. "Yes, kinda concerns and this be enough I should go runnin' to Scott 'bout? Really rather not rattle that stick it's already tight enough up there."

-

"Not so far as I can… well, actually, honestly I don't know… here let me show you." Bobby unfolds a map and sets it down on the table. "So Warren is here, north of Adiornack State Park and South of the Allengheny Resivoir and… the Kinzua Dam. Both the Mayor and the Police Chief told me there have been some nebulous threats against the dam. So nebulous actually that when they reported them over to DHS it was investigated and found not to be credible. They're still worried though. They'd like a follow up investigation but the feds won't. And they want a disaster relief team on standby. Just in case."

-

Roberto laughs. "Sim, Remy, If you haven't been to Rio, you should go. You'd like it," he says. Then he waves a finger in an obligatory mock chiding gesture and adds, "I mean, stay away from my cousins, certo? But there are plenty of other girls to look at."

His smile fades a bit, and he glances upward as he mulls over Bobby's description of the situation in Warren. Folding his hands in front of him, he switches to the more serious conversational tack. "Might be something, but it might be nothing," he summarizes. "You don't need to pull in all of Blue — that would probably be premature, actually. But the lines between the teams are fluid by design. You can just work with our group." He flashes a grin at the former thief (Former? Probably former. Maybe.) and says, "We do pay, unlike Blue. And I think you might have contacts who could help us look into this."

-

"Nebulous… huh, thats a fun word." Remy's lean extends a bit more as his shades tip down and he watches two women in clothing that they shouldn't be wearing in this weather walk by. "Dat sayin' bout certain things that never get cold rings true, no?" ADD much. His attention drawn away only briefly.
"Well, not all I was thinkin' jus' givin' Scott shout out but dis maybe not that big a deal. Could be nothin'. Sounds up my alley too, scouti… wait, pay?" Attention fully restored. "I missed some memos somewhere. You guys get paid? I joined the wrong team. All I am getting out of dis is a nice pad by the lake and I get ot file myself as an employed groundskeeper."

"Contacts, yes, that I can do also."

-

Bobby chuckles. "Yes. We have regular jobs for DCI. I mean, Berto runs the operation but I run one of his labs, Illyana does teleportation services, Doug does… er…" Bobby glances up. "What does Doug do?" He'd never bothered to ask and now honestly he feels kind of bad.

"At any rate, I think Berto's got a contract option in mind for this kind of thing. Never come up before but, you know… or, he could always find something more… interesting for you to do with your time than groundskeeping. He's got a pretty active imagination and a disapproving PA to help him keep it in line."

-

"Don't speak his name, or he'll spring out of the floor tiles and demand that I sign something," Roberto says, casting a worried glance toward Bobby. Simon, the PA in question, has a definite talent for tracking down his boss and ambushing him with the daily chores of running his corporate empire. "As for Doug? He handles international clients and translation services, as well as communications technology and network design," Roberto says, rattling off the longish description so reflexively that one might guess he made it up himself. A smile flickers across his features, and he continues, "We're not really trying to poach members from the other teams, but it's an option, if you're okay with publicly outing yourself as a mutant under your real name. That's usually the stumbling block."

-

"De groundskeeping is fine, I joke. I make enough cash money on my own." The rogue says in regards to that, his sense of humor doesn't always convey.

"Oh wait, count me out if this springing out of the floor involves sulfur smellin' diable… " Remy strings on for a moment as a hand waves in the air. "I know you both be real close friends wid Illyana. I rather not play wid more demons if I don't have to." It's obvious he doesn't realize they're not speaking of her. "Which more to pass. I am not 'bout to go public, I like to remain incognito."

He isn't worried about the poaching, Blue, Gold, Red. They're all one big team just divided in to their own units by modes of operation.

-

Bobby chuckles. "Well, even so, if he can help us out we can probably pay him something for his troubles yes?" That's up to Berto of course but Bobby knows two things about the Warm Twin. One that he likes his fun. Two, that he likes helping out his friends. "In any case, what do you guys think? I think I might be able to help if a dam breaks… at least, if I can get there fast enough. Remy… no offense Remy, but Remy seems like he's good at sneaking. Might work with Doug?"

-

"Oh, absolutely. We have funds set aside for paying freelance 'consultants.'" Just in case his ironic tone doesn't get the message across, Roberto draws quotation marks in the air as he says that last word. There's definitely a paycheck in this for Remy.

Then the dark-skinned Bobby goes a shade paler at the suggestion that Illyana is his personal assistant. "No. No no no," he hastily corrects the cajun's misinterpretation. "Not her. Just a regular human who happens to be very sneaky." Calming down a little, Roberto allows himself another smile, directing a pleading gesture at both of his companions. "Also, it's a guy. Why does everyone always assume that I only hire hot women? I have a little more game than that."

-

"Ah well, nothin' against diable petit, I just prefer to avoid all things demon for the forsee-able… forever and eternity." A rakish smile appears and he tips his chin up, "I can actually give you my numbers for dis sort of thing. I'll even give a comradarie and friendship discount since we all be X-Men 'n such."

A glance to Bobby and he chuckles, "Perceptive, homme. One could say Remy is one of de best of de best when it comes to the sneaky stuff. No demons and you both count me in on this. I go have a looksie."

-

"Great." Bobby grins relieved. He hadn't wanted to turn this little upstate town down. It's this kind of thing that's going to really help with what X-Red is for. They may not make much money off of it, but sometimes you just need to stand up for folks who are worried, even if the worry turns out to be nothing. "Do you wanna handle talking to the Mayor then Berto? You're better at that kind of thing than I am."

Remy gets a flash of that grin as well. "Well then I'll leave you to it. I'm not one much for sneaking. Not in my skill set and may abilities may lend to being cool but that doesn't really help when you're trying to not be noticed." Beat. "It's fun for messing with amateur ghost hunters though."

-

Roberto can't help but grin at Remy's insistent demon aversion. It reminds him of his own attitude when he first learned that Illyana was the queen of a demonic realm. He's come a long way since then, but it did take years for him to adjust to the idea.

"Certo. If it makes you feel any better, Limbo demons suck at both PR and sneaking around," he tells Remy. "I don't think we'll be wanting their help on this one, anyway. Especially if there are good impressions to be made." The Brazilian sits up a little straighter and adjusts his coat on his shoulders. "I'll be happy to meet with the mayor. As usual, leave the bureaucracy to me."

-

"While you talkin' with de mayor I'll do my thing. In and out real smooth like." A scratch of a fingertip through the stubble on his jaw has Remy straightening up in his seat to press back and stand upright, "I be contacting you soon as I'm up that way. Got some cats to chase n' things to get in order then be out. Worst part in all dis is the snow, it's gonna be a Fargo like nightmare." The Cajun is just very happy there is no demons involved.

-

"Alright then. And I'll keep being cool then. Did you have anything else for me? Either of you? I get free time, sometimes. I spend a lot of it helping out at the Nest but you know… schmoozing and sneaking aren't in my skill sets." The ice nerd, if nothing else, eager to help.

-

Roberto nods, smirking at Remy's unusual way of describing his housekeeping duties. "Alright then, Remy. Até logo." He waves and takes a sip of his coffee, then tells the cold Bobby, "Honestly, I'm just pleased you're finding us new contracts. Good work on this. I hope we turn up something helpful."

-

A flick in the air with two fingers and the red-eyed Thief makes his way on out. "Au revoir, friends - de cold awaits. We'll be in touch."

-

Bobby chuckles. "Adios Remy." Yeah, it's the wrong language but he doesn't care. "I'm just glad they came to us with it, Berto. It says good thing about the work that you and Illyana and Doug have done that they even thought of us. Means we're making a difference at least in some people's minds. They're giving us a chance. Now we just have to come through."

-

"Don't remind me," Roberto mutters when Remy brings up the frosty weather that awaits them outside. He turns back to Iceman over his warm coffee and shrugs. "Well, hopefully they're worried over nothing. But it never really turns out that way, does it? We'll just have to figure out who it is and how we can keep everybody safe, with nothing more to go on than the name of the city and the address of the dam." He sighs. "I guess there's a reason they call us 'superheroes.'"

-

"They call me Bobby." Iceman points out with a grin. "No one's called me a superhero yet. Well except one kind of troubled young lady." He wonders if Nyx is doing alright with Sho.

"If you're interested, the exact wording of the threat was 'The Kinzua dam is a symbol of oppression and like all such symbols cannot be allowed to stand.' Pretty dang vague, I know. Probably why the feds gave up on it." Beat. "Sorry that every time we talk I seem to have some new problem."

-

"Solving problems is our whole business model," Roberto answers with a laugh, setting his coffee down after another sip. "I wasn't kidding when I thanked you for bringing this to me. And like it or not, you've got a skintight suit with bright red X's all over it. There aren't a lot of words for someone like that, and trust me, 'superhero' is the best one you're going to find."

-

"So long as the X isn't 'strategically placed' I think we're good." Bobby grins. He's seen the suit. Hasn't had a whole lot of reasons to wear it yet. A lot of the trouble he runs into happens after hours, but it's not something he'd be totally embarrassed to be seen in. He does wonder, just out of pure curiosity, what exactly people would think of him in it, but i's more a morbid thing than anything else. "So how have you been? Work aside, I mean."

-

"My X is strategically placed," Roberto says with a haughty sniff. "Only God can judge me. The rest of you can be forgiven for looking." He laughs, then gestures vaguely with a nearly empty mug. "It's been mostly okay. I had… kind of a weird moment the other day, though. You know Cal? The alternate universe guy?" He's referring to an X-man, but one who hasn't really had much contact with the Red Team, so it's a valid question.

-

"Vaguely. I've spoken to him once or twice but not really interacted. He was off for a bit and… I heard he'd come back. Cal Rankin… I think right? Why do you ask? Is everything okay?" Bobby seems mildly concerned now.

-

"Everything is fine," Roberto says dismissively, waggling one hand. "He just said something that made me think." The Brazilian hesitates before continuing, and that in itself is uncharacteristic of the habitual over-sharer. "I asked him how I was doing in his home universe — as a joke, mostly — and he said that in that world, my father was killed by someone trying to get leverage over me." He locks eyes with Bobby for a second, the glance questioning. "Have you ever heard about how I ended up at Xavier's?"

-

"No not really. I think Illyana might have mentioned a little bit about it but I've not talked to her much. She's out a lot either doing work for us or… er… ruling Limbo or studying for her Masters degree or… uh… I'm not sure what else she does but she does seem rather busy." Bobby shrugs. "I take it this is, as many of ours are, not a nice story?"

-

Sunspot frowns, tapping his fingers on the tabletop. "No," is his flat reply. "My girlfriend and I were kidnapped by people trying to get leverage over my father. It went wrong and they tried to kill me." There's a long pause before, with flat affect, the Brazilian continues, "Juliana took the bullet, instead." He folds his hands and looks down at them. "That… the fact that my father had dealings with such people…" He grits and bares his teeth, but the expression is fleeting. "We are not on good terms."

-

"Oh…" Bobby shakes his head sadly and is silent for a time. "I'm sorry Berto. I'm going to guess that it still… hurts." He doesn't say it, but the ice nerd knows a thing or two about still hurts. There is a reason, after all, that he no longer speaks to his own family.

-

"Yes. It does." The Brazilian is still staring at his hands, which momentarily ball into fists. "But I owe Juliana more than my life. When that happened, it also opened my eyes. The world was not what I thought it was." His hands relax and fold over each other again. "But Cal's version… where everything seems to have happened in reverse?" He shakes his head. "I don't know. I feel…" He glances up, then makes a point of relaxing his posture and lifting his mug for another sip of coffee. "I don't know what I feel."

-

"I guess I can understand that. To an extent… it didn't happen here, or to you. It's not like your father is going to magically become that other guy. So… maybe you don't have to feel anything. It just… to me the whole dimensional thing just reminds me how important what we do is. How much things can change from the small things. Things no one thinks about." Bobby ssays quietly.

-

Roberto nods mutely, staring off at nothing. "I guess that's part of it: that it was a small change — that those events could have played out backward. That's…" His dark brows descend toward each other. "My pai is not a good man. It's been hard for me to admit that, but I had to face facts. And the one fact that I always came back to was Juliana. His actions led to that." The dark-skinned boy looks downward again, then shakes his head. "Now, apparently, it could have gone the other way. Does that mean I'm just as bad as he is? Or that he's not as bad as I thought?"

-

"It means that the world is an uncertain place and none of us should ever assume that we know how everything is going to play out." Bobby says quietly. "I don't know anything about other-you Berto, but I do know that you are a good man whose had some bad things happen to him. You're not perfect no, but none of us are. And like all of us you do the best you can." Beat. "And do a better job of it than most."

-

That, at least, manages to elicit a smile. "Obrigado, Bobby. At the very least, I do know I have good friends." He lifts a teaspoon from his saucer, dipping it into his coffee to stir. It's entirely unnecessary: he has been drinking his coffee black. Still, he seems to need something to occupy his hands. "But I can't stop thinking that maybe I should talk to Pai. He's not going to live forever. He's not a good man, but we are family. Maybe I need to… not give him another chance, exactly. Try to understand him?"

-

"Maybe it's important to not leave things unresolved." Bobby's a bit quieter on that one, looking out the window for a moment before looking back. "Certainly… time will run out eventually and even if… nothing comes of it, I think it's important to know that you tried."

-

For several seconds, there's no sound but the arrhythmic clinking of the metal teaspoon on the inside of the coffee cup. Then, as if noticing the futility of the motion, Roberto lets go of the spoon and exhales. "Sim. It might hurt to try, but it's still something I should do. It's… I don't know. Honorable." He wears a quiet smirk, although it's not clear whether he's amused by the idea of his family as an honorable one or the quaintness of that honor in their current situation.

-

"Worthwhile things usually do hurt." Bobby chuckles. "Or so I'm told. Let me know if you need help though this sounds like a family affair. Still, if you need a cool dude to back you up…" He winks. "Otherwise sounds like business as unusual, mmm?"

-

"Oh, sure, apart from that parallel universes business, totally normal," Roberto answers, seeming genuinely amused. "You know me. I lead a life of quiet contemplation."

-

"You just have a very idiosyncratic definition of it." Bobby grins and rises. "I'm headed back to New York. Are you gonna stick around here for a bit or…?"

-

"Fair point," Roberto admits with a tight smile. He glances out the window. "To be honest, I'm gonna need a minute to get ready for the cold," he says with a smile. "Maybe I should just 'spot up and use it like a portable space heater. Kind of frivolous, but I'm kind of a frivolous guy."

-

"Not like it'll really turn heads out here." Bobby laughs. "Tell you what. I'll get the heater going in the car and you can come out when you're ready. We can talk shop and such on the way home, if you'd like." And with that the ice nerd leaves a bill on the table and heads out to his car.

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