No Brownie Points

January 20, 2017:

Nathaniel goes looking for his (self-declared arch-nemesis) Miss America to ask about the Roxxon Corporation. She is mean, as usual.

New York


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

While it's still winter here in New York City that doesn't seem to phase most of the inhabitants within, nor the local festivals that seem to pop up over night.

The particular winter street faire that's here this afternoon (for three days only) is a maple festival. Both sweet and savory treats can be found within the booths that line one of the smaller streets within the West Side. Among the foodie booths are also artisan, as well. These booths feature items such as clay crafts to jewelry with all crafts represented to a degree.

Many people can be seen milling around, from families, to groups of friends as well as couples. There's also those that come alone whether it's to see the sights, eat the food or just be around the liveliness of the New York crowd. One of those people happen to be America Chavez. She's lightly bundled against the chill with her hands tucked within her pockets. Her brown eyes are flicking here and there, taking in the food and crafts, as she slowly meanders down the sidewalk. While others blend quite well into the crowd, she doesn't necessarily, thanks to that height of hers.

Nathaniel was told Miss America would keep an eye on him. Which is fine, since he has not done anything really illegal in a long time (except some hacking, and sending Ravager to the Antarctic – all for a good cause). No, crime is not in the list. Still, if he is being watched, he will watch back.

Finding her here, though, makes him suspect America is not taking the watching very seriously. Or maybe she is waiting for a newspaper report about him taking over some small nation. He didn’t do it. He writes a science blog and builds gear for the Avengers.

Nathaniel is out of his armor, wearing a black suit and watching at the tall brunette with a mild scowl. Waiting, waiting, until she glances his way. “You have not been spying me, I am disappointed, Miss America. I feel you are not taking me seriously. My ego suffers.”

A few dollars will be pulled from the pocket of her jacket, as MAC slides into a very short line at a food booth. When she turns back around toward the street she'll now have a small styrofoam cup held within her hand. The sign upon the booth states hot apple cider as well as hot cocoa. Both items are sweetened by a healthy addition of maple syrup.

It's only when she raises that cup to her lips that her dark gaze will happen to fall upon the suited young man. Surprise briefly flickers within her eyes at the sight of Nathaniel Richards, but then, that surprise turns to slight annoyance. He may not look exactly like his counterparts that MAC has seen, but the familiarity is enough that she knows who's before her.

"Well, don't you clean up good." Is her first retort, the sarcasm easily heard within her tones, "Typical of you." And yes, she's totally comparing him to his evil counterparts, not caring that he's 'different'. As for the remark about his ego, she just tosses a look towards him, "Suffer? Ha. I seriously doubt you understand the meaning of that word, but in case you do, here's the smallest violin." And she'll bring her free hand upward and rub her thumb and first finger together, miming playing that tiny violin.

Nathaniel smirks, and then steps past America to get his own cup of hot cinder. “I have never tried this,” he comments, paying up. “For the record, I have seen pretty bad, and I have been injured a few times. But I suppose that is not ‘suffering’ enough. Some folks have it much worse. Like…” he gestures at the happy people around. “A few years in the future Manhattan is going to be a broken ruin. In fact most of the country will be. Bad times are coming and probably it is not going to be my fault. What do you know about Roxxon Energy?”

A snort can be heard from MAC when Nathaniel gets his own cup of cider. "Slummin' with the poor folks, aren't you the best." Are her decidedly mean words MAC will take a cautious sip of the steaming hot liquid.

And when he mentions that alternate reality he's from there's very little said by MAC, just a simple purse of her lips and while she was just about to offer another scathing remark, her words pause, when he asks that last question.

While her expression still isn't anywhere near friendly, she will consider her answer. "Nothing good, if that's what you're asking. It's kinda like you. I've seen many versions of the company and that company had dealings in crap with just about every reality. Why?" She asks, her retort sharp and interested, even as she continues to walk along with her companion that is more enemy than friend.

“Because they are… strange,” replies the young man. “I know what happens in my timeline,” he explains, “and I did a psychohistorical analysis to current society here, now. The final result was very discouraging as societal trends point out to an almost unavoidable and very uneven conflict between nation states and corporations. A conflict that will end this heroic age, destroy democratic societies and bring an ecological disaster at mass extinction event severity.” He sips the drink and blinks surprised.

“This is good. I mean the drink, not the future. The near future seems grim. So I began a study of the mayor corporations on Earth to locate attack vectors to exert pressure, and found Roxxon is the largest, by a huge margin if I include subsidiaries. Not even Lexcorp comes close. But Roxxon business model makes no sense. See… most large companies are ruthlessly exploitative. But Roxxon is not just exploitative; they are outright destructive even when it harms their interests.”

While she isn't fond of the man next to her when he speaks of mass level extinction events, her gaze moves away from the crowd and back to the smartly dressed man. Her eyebrows will lower and then pinch together, as she considers just what he said.

While she could say something smart-assed about the robotic way he stated that information, she doesn't, or at least, she tones it down somewhat. "You know, Mr. Roboto- " Does everyone see the pun there? He looks like a robot with his armor and now sounds like one too with all that data spewing, "- you could have just said 'yes, MAC, they are a crappy business and they do very bad things'."

A bit more cider is sipped, even after the look Nathaniel is given when he admits he's never had cider before. She should say 'boy you need to get out more' but for now, she simply says, "So, why are you tellin' me? If you're so good and great why not fly over to them and take the corporation down?"

“They call you Mac?” Nathaniel glances at the young woman and snorts. “Facts are facts… and the future can still be altered. Which is why the Avengers exist. I am telling you all this because I do not understand what Roxxon is doing or why. You claim to have been moving between alternate timelines, so I wanted to know if you had some idea. I rather understand it before I smash. Roxxon employs seven hundred thousand people just in this country. Four million worldwide. That is a large number of lives that would be smashed.” He finishes the cup and tosses it into a trash can. “Roxxon has been involved in a number of conflicts with crime-fighters already. And Hugh Jones, the former CEO, is currently institutionalized in an expensive high-security psychiatric hospital in Switzerland after an incident involving a device called the Serpent Crown. SHIELD files on such device are such a high clearance they not even in their servers. I cannot see the big picture.”

His question about her nickname earns a look from the curly-haired woman, "My /friends/ do, sure." And much like Nathaniel, when America finishes her cup of cider, she'll crumple the styrofoam up and lob it towards one of the few recycle bins that can be found - not just the regular trash can. Save the Earth and all that.

And while he speaks, Mac will listen, even as her gaze tends to drift away. It's only at his remark about the future possibly being averted that her gaze will snap back to the man beside her. "Sometimes." She remarks darkly, having once felt the same way, but now, she knows better. There are times that the future is set in stone and no matter how many changes within the past you make, the final outcome is still the same.

Again, when he offers all of that information MAC's expression will turn … Not bored, per se, but something along the lines of 'hurry it up'. And while the mention of the serpent crown earns another look from the young woman, she doesn't remark upon it yet. Instead she'll say, "If you're looking for some concrete answers from me, I don't have them. I can tell ya the ones I've seen were bad, but not specifics, so, I'd suggest we go visit the former CEO. I'm sure I could shake a thing or two out of him - crazy or not."

“Hmm, maybe.” Talking with now very crazy Hugh Jones might give some clues, although Nathaniel would prefer to go with a telepath. Sadly, he has lost track of Rachel Summers. “Roxxon has a research station in the Antarctic. They are building something dangerous. Crude and environmental-damaging anti-gravity technology. I think it is going to become Avengers business soon.”

"Soon?" Says America sounding rather exasperated, "Why not do it now? Why wait for them to make a mistake - especially if you know things aren't 'right'." And with her words her voice rises slightly in volume, enough that a few eyes will turn their way for those seconds she speaks loudly.

"That's just like saying - well, I know they're going to obliterate the world, but I'm just gonna wait until the day it happens. That's stupid." States the curly-haired woman bluntly, even as she turns modulates her voice a *tinge* for polite society.

Nathaniel shakes his head, “the corporations will destroy current society, but Roxxon specifically is following a strange path.” He glances at the woman, “you go smashing without trying to understand? Are you gamma-powered by chance?” He looks forward and hesitates.
“Listen. The Avengers cannot go smashing like that. We would lose the UN charter. We could lose SHIELD’s alliance. We could even be labeled criminals. And that would make much, much harder to prevent the incoming crisis. I need solid proof because we will have to justify our actions to national governments and humankind as a whole.” He looks at America again. “Do that and you can win a battle and lose the war. Then you can always jump to another parallel timeline for more smashing. But most of the people in the world will have to stay here. I want to stay too.”

"Gamma powered?" Comes MAC's rhetorical question, "No, I'm just /powered/." She finishes with, sounding supremely confident.

As for his words, she'll listen and then she'll shrug, saying, "You may not be able to smash, but like you said, I can. Bad press or no." And there's a dig in that last sentence of hers - like they should /really/ worry about bad press, when a conglomerate might be trying to destroy the world.

"And it wouldn't matter if I was trapped within this reality or I could move on, I'd still do the /right/ thing 'sanctioned' or not." She slides a look towards Nathaniel then, again, her words being used as a weapon. Now she'll simply wait to see what else he has to offer, her expression expectant.

Nathaniel snorts. Thinking. Then look at America and folds his arms. “Yes. Yes, you could. I will keep that in mind. But I do not have solid evidence, at least not in the US. On the other hand I know about some coltan mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo that are being exploited by Roxxon-owned companies using child slave labor if you want to do some righteous smashing. The local authorities and the UN are not doing anything soon.”

"Isn't that how it always is?" Comments MAC with derision at Nathaniel's remark about the mines and its labor forces. "People look the other way when their own hands are greased. Disgusting." She continues with, even as she glances at Nathaniel and then towards the crowds around them.

"But you know, like you said, I can do something about it. And I will." And with a flash of a tight smile, the young woman will suddenly rise a foot or two off the ground. Startled gasps can be heard, but America doesn't care, "Don't think this earns you any brownie points, buster, you'd still on my shit list."

And just like that, MAC zips away from the street and father upward into the sky. She waits until she's high enough to employ all her considerable speed, as a sonic boom that close to people would be bad.

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