Recruitment in Times Square

March 02, 2017:

Caitlin meets Sofia and Vision in Times Square. Questions are asked, jokes are made, drinks are had… And then Caitlin makes them an offer they can't refuse.

Midtown Manhattan - New York City - Times Square

Situated between 14th and 59th Streets, Midtown Manhattan is *the* tourist destination in New York City. It is also the largest central business district in America. Most of the tallest skyscrapers in the city can be found here, from the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings to Stark Tower and the Baxter Building. It's also home to Times Square, Broadway, and Fifth Avenue.

In the day, the traffic is non-stop. In the evening, bright neon lights light up the street such that it looks as if the sun simply doesn't set on the city. But, then, there's a reason New York is called The City that Never Sleeps. This, right here, is it.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Dr. Strange, Wonder Woman, The Martian Manhunter, Superman, Sif

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Vision had tracked down Sofia Strange after their brief encounter of the previous day. For one, he was getting some strange energy signatures around the woman, something he couldn't quite compute. And, on the other, he had somehow insulted her, in a way he hadn't understood.

They've smoothed over the difference now and are currently walking down the street, as odd as that might seem for a colorful synthezoid and an ordinary woman to stroll, even with his cape trailing behind him. But Vision has never been afraid to stand out in a crowd.

If evil lurks, it hasn't made its presence known or felt…yet.

*

It's not often Caitlin sees someone in public more outrageously attired than she— but Vision is a stopper, no mistake.

Green, red, yellow, cape— he's dressed like a superhero, but there's something a little garish about him that does draw Caitlin's eye. She's giant, ginger, and wearing green— but it all coordinates, anyway!

She dithers on the sidewalk when Vision and Sofia enter her line of sight, and frowns, trying to place Vision and failing to do so. Discreetly, she taps her Justice League communicator, the earbud nestled deep in her left ear.

"Fairchild to Tower, does anyone have eyes on Midtown near the Square? There's a metahuman here I don't recognize."

*

The explanation Sofia had offered had given The Vision a bit more of deeper look into Sofia's life and psyche than most get. Especially when you consider all the different ways he's able to eead a person.

For a change, the earpiece isn't on and her tablet is safely tucked away in the bag at her side, the sorceress shrugs. "It… is what it is. I… think I've gotten used to it."

A sip of her coffee taken. She's dressed in a pair of jeans and a tee shirt with a sweater shrug over it and a pair of heeled boots.

"So… It's all good, Vis, kay?"

*

Vision can overhear the broadcast from Fairchild's earbud - to him, electronic transmissions are as audible as human voices, although the encryption's fairly impressive on this broadcast, requiring him a few moments to translate. He doesn't seem particularly alarmed by said recognition. But he does remain wary.

"I am pleased. I would not have a misunderstanding between us," he says. "I do not always do well with human interactions. While I am well versed in the norms and traditions, I find myself at odds often nonetheless."

*

Caitlin sits and waits patiently for a short stream of data to be sent to her earpiece, the League's intelligence analysts sending her a burst transmission of relevant data. Vision: Peaceful; some impressive powers; unknown loyalty and motivations.

"Really need one of the augmented reality chips," Caitlin mutters. She starts drifting towards Sofia and Vision, trying to be nonchalant because discreet is just right out the window with the giant ginger.

*

"Vis… Being human isn't all that great. I'm human and I don't do well with human interactions either." Her nose wrinkles. "Highly over rated anyhow. I'd much rather live in a mountain somewhere but I wouldn't learn anything then." She reaches out to give his arm a squeeze.

Caitlin is very hard to miss certainly. She blinks and looks from Cait to Vision. "I feel very tiny…" And Cait isn't even that close yet!

*

Vision considers, "Humans often equate solitude with mountains, but mountain travel is quite advanced in the modern world. Height offers little respite, unless one goes to extremes. True solitude would more easily be found on the ocean floor," he says.

Following Sofia's attention to Caitlin, the source of the earlier broadcast, he nods, "Most likely some variety of metahuman. She was observing me and reporting on my location to someone remotely," he says, raising a hand in greeting. "Hello, I am the Vision and this is Sofia. How can I help you?" he says.

*

Caitlin winces. Busted! She straightens out of her half-slouch and waves sheepishly, moving to a polite distance a few feet away. Some might argue arm's length is a proper conversational distance, but Caitlin backs off another eight inches so that people don't have to crane their necks to look up at her.

"Sorry. The cape caught my eye," she says, apologizing. She digs in her pocket and comes up with a League identification badge, with her grinning on the photo ID. "I try to keep track of metahumans in New York, particularly ones I don't recognize. I'm Caitlin Fairchild, and I'm a super rude sneakypants," she says apologetically— but she offers Sofia and Vision a handshake.

*

Sofi smirks, giving a snort and then a snicker. "Well. yes, but that's not really an option for me." She gigglws softly before blinking. "Wait… How do you know…?"

And then she's being introduced. She looks back at Cait and finger-wiggle-waves. "Hi." She reaches out to shake Caitlin's hand. "Nice to meet you Ms. Sneakypants."

*

Vision speaks placidly, "What a facetious title!" he says. "I do not find it rude - monitoring the presence of metahumans in an area is wise, especially if you're involved in any form of heroics. I do not know if I qualify as a metahuman in a technical sense - I am an artificial intelligence, a synthezoid. While I resemble a human in many ways, I am most assuredly not," he says.

He examines the identification badge by zooming his vision in onto the ID, a slight whirr as his eyes adjust. "That appears to be authentic. It is good to meet you, Caitlin Fairchild."

*

Caitlin seems content to let Vision analyze the ID card, before tucking it back into her pocket. She's wearing dark charcoal leggings, low boots, and a dark green ski vest over an ash-grey long sleeved shirt. A bit light for the cool coastal winds of the day, but she doesn't seem terribly bothered by the chill in the air.

"It's nice to meet you— sorry, I didn't catch your name," Caitlin says, looking terribly apologetic. She shrugs one shoulder at Vision, and there's enough muscle under the shirt that it's a lot of motion. "Well, then, people in flamboyant capes, too," she says, dimples appearing as she beams at Vision's lack of offense.

*

Caitlin seems content to let Vision analyze the ID card, before tucking it back into her pocket. She's wearing dark charcoal leggings, low boots, and a dark green ski vest over an ash-grey long sleeved shirt. A bit light for the cool coastal winds of the day, but she doesn't seem terribly bothered by the chill in the air.

"It's nice to meet you," Caitlin says, still looking terribly apologetic. She shrugs one shoulder at Vision, and there's enough muscle under the shirt that it's a lot of motion. "Even people in flamboyant capes, fit the bill for 'someone to talk to'," she says, dimples appearing as she beams at Vision's lack of offense.

*

Sofi's eyes roll slightly as Vision announces he's not human. She's known him less than forty-eight hours and he seems more human than most, well, humans she knows. She can't help but grin at him. "She wasn't serious about the title, Vis," is offers to him quietly.

Bright blue eyes return to Cait and she grins. "It's always the cape that does it. Father wears one too. Personally, I question the safety of them but…" She shrugs.

*

Vision looks at his cape, "I felt it had a certain measure of gravitas. Humans respond well to dramatic displays. It's why so many people subscribe to Netflix," he says. He catches the bit about Sofia's father wearing a cape but decides that he would press that point further in their acquaintance. Humans could be sensitive about their families.

"Mine has never compromised my safety. And, in this case, it has attracted Miss Fairchild's attention. In a positive way, I hope."

*

"That /is/ a good point," Caitlin says, nodding slightly. "It says something prominent. Gives a sort of… backdrop, I guess?" she hazards. "I think I'm a bit too tall for one. I'd need a floor tapestry," she says, with a self-deprecating giggle.

"Well, it was the cape," Caitlin acknowledges. "But a few other things. The… thingy, for one," she says, awkwardly wiggling a finger near her own brow.

*

Sofi can't help but giggle. "But think of the statement that it would make! I'd say capes work better on tall people than short people. Short people in capes end up looking like kids playing heroes amd villains."

A look 8s shot at Viz and she chuckles. "Vis, honey, from what I've seen, it'd take a lot to compromise your safety. You're both right though. It's a very strong symbol. Of course, it also works as an impromptu blanket if needed!"

Her bottom lip is then bitten down on as she tries, so very hard, not to laugh at how delicate Cait is trying to be.

*

Vision has no idea why Sofia seems so amused, but is glad that she is in a pleasant mood. He came to her to make sure she was positively inclined toward him, after all. "I do not know if height would have an effect on its utility or not."

The gesture towards his gem draws a nod, "Yes, this. It allows me to focus my energies in a variety of useful ways. I recognize that it may strike some as similar to certain Asian cultural markers - I do not believe that was intended."

*

"I don't know. I just can't see me in a cape," Caitlin says, shaking her head. "I'd just trip all over it." She grins at Sofia, sharing in the woman's amusement at the mental image suggested.

"No, I get it— it's a Third Eye," Caitlin tells Vision, helpfully. "That's common in a lot of other cultures. A window into the brain," she explains. "Which, I don't get, because the eyes connect to the brain, but— well, whatever. It's neat," she assures him. "So… you're a synthetic human? Android?

*

"

*

Very amused, yes!

She leans forward to look at the gem and smirks. Then her attention is drawn back to Caitlin and she giggles. "I can't see myself in one either. It works for Vis though." She shrugs slightly and settles back down.

"The third eye actually is ment to represent the higher plane of consciousness… The psychic plane… Parts of the mind that aren't…typic…sorry." Sofi blushes and drops her eyes, shifting slightly and clearing her throat.

"Occupational hazard…"

*

Vision shakes his head, "I don't have any spiritual insight. Or a spirit, for that matter. I am, as you say, an android, although my creator preferred the term 'synthezoid'. I believe it was an attempt to mark me as a step forward in such technologies - I am, in many ways, similar to humans in form and functions, even anatomy, despite the fact that I am a machine," he says.

"I do not find the use fo the term android or even robot offensive. I find fighting over nomenclature to be a waste of time."

*

"That's… kind of part of the human condition," Caitlin says, cautiously trying not to sound rude about correcting Vision. "Quibbling. If I said 'robot', someone might think you can only do one task. Androids are meant to mimic humans, for instance. You're not meant to mimic a person, you sound like your own life form, so—"

She shrugs again, both shoulders. "Synthezoid."

*

"Don't apologize," Caitlin tells Sofia, with a smile. "It's all correct, at least from what I've read. I'm no mystic, I'm an engineer. I don't /get/ it, but I understand it enough to respect it as a cultural thing," she assures the mystic. "Are you into that whole higher plane, astral projection, um, stuff?"

*

Sofia grins as Caitlin points things out to Vis. "I dunno, Vis… People have different definitions of spiritual…"

Cait's question makes her smirk. "You could say that. My father is Doctor Strange." She's learned almost everyone knows her father's name. "I'm a sorceress."

*

Vision nods, "I am well aware. I have not catalogued the full number, but I could if you would like," he says. "I am comfortable without a spiritual component. Perhaps that will change in time. My algorithm is variable."

"Ah, yes, I am familiar with his existence. I was skeptical of the existence of magic for a time, but evidence seems to be in that it is, indeed, real."

*

"Oh! Dr. Strange," Caitlin says, bapping her forehead. "Yeah, of course I've heard of him. He's about the most famous mystic out there, and I don't know /any/ mystics," she says, shaking her head. "Closest I get is Diana of Themyscira, and she's not, er, a 'wise sorceresss' type. More a 'punchy punchy' type," she says, swinging her fists in two tight, controlled circles for emphasis.

"What's Clark's dictum? 'Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic?'" Caitlin asks Vision. "You'd be worshiped in any culture on Earth prior to 1900 or so."

*

Sofia can't help but chuckle and shake her head. "Everyone knows my father." Except her. "She's right, Vis." A heartbeat later and Sofia shifts. "Could we, ya know, go inside? Somewhere. Preferably somewhere with hot coffee. Or I can make a fireball here…" Someone's cold.

*

Vision nods, "I would be content to go indoors, if that is preferred," he says. "I do not seek to be worshiped. It might be an interesting experience, but I think it would be alienating to others. It must be enjoyable, though - many humans pursue fame and power in this way, so it has to have satisfying aspects," he says.

"But I agree. The line between science and magic is proving to be thinner than people had suspected in the past. Perhaps they will become on singular discipline in time."

*

"Who knows?" Caitlin says, nodding at Vision. "Lady Sif's a friend— she says that technology and magic are the same thing, on Asgard." She gestures at a cafe nearby, then pauses once the door is opened for the others. "Er, do you mind if I join you? I just realized I kind of invited myself along," she apologizes, looking to Sofia. "I don't mean to interrupt if you two are socializing."

*

Sofia laughs softly. "I don't think I'd like to be worshiped." She shrugs slightly. "You're right though. Magic is the manipulation of energies through various means… There's no reason why a sufficiently advanced technology couldn't do the same."

"Of course you can join us," Sofi says, feeling social. "You aren't interrupting at all." And then she's ducking in and sighing at the warmth. "Mmm. Much better thank you."

*

Vision nods in agreement, 'Yes, feel free," he says, looking for the nearest place, "I presume you want to go somewhere that may be more comfortable, rather than just desiring to stand in a store or warehouse," he says, looking around for something appropriate.

"I can radiate some heat to increase the temperature as well, although it will require being near me to be maximally effective."

*

"Aww, he's warm /and/ huggable? That's handy," Caitlin tells Sofia. "Most stores don't mind you popping in to warm up," she tells Vision, "but I think it's better to get warm from the inside." She frowns. "Well, not that I get cold. Hot, on the other hand— I /hate/ it when it's over eighty out," she tells Sofia. "Sweaty, sticky, nasty. I'd much rather live in New York than Florida. I hate the tropics," she mutters. She queues up in line and orders a tall mocha latte, when her turn comes around.

*

"It is!" Without hesitation, Sofi grabs Visions hand and pulls him into the line with her behind Caitlin. "Warm away, handsome." And then she's leaning into him. "Over seventy-five is too warm if it's humid." When it's her turn, it's a caramel-vanilla latte.

*

Vision provides the requested warmth, his thermal charged skin enabling him to produce a low level of energy that's quite comfortable. He stays in line, making sure not to cut or unfairly push anywhere.

"I am not particularly affected by ambient temperatures. Warmth would seem to be more ideal for the human species. I do not have any need for sustenance, but I am intrigued to sample the flavors presented. The mocha latte seems like a popular flavor, statistically speaking."

*

"It is. Everyone loves chocolate," Caitlin confirms. "I like hazlenut, too— chocolate /and/ hazlenut is Nutella, and it's basically the best thing ever." She pays and steps out of line, waiting for her drink, and examines Vision with frank curiosity, as he doesn't seem to mind being stared at.

"What kind of power source are you running?" she asks of Vision. "And, more importantly— how do you two know each other?" she adds, asking the question more of Sofia.

*

"Nutella is a gift from the Gods," Sofi confirms, sounding ever so serious before placing an order for her and Vision.

While he answers, she pays for drinks and steps aside, making sure to stay close to the heat he puts off.

"I met Vis at the Zoo. There was a minor… Miscommunication. He found me, which is surprising… I'm not use to being findable, and…" She shrugs.

*

Vision answers the question directly, "Primarily solar, although I am capable of making due on other kinds of energy," he says. "My systems were designed to be maximally adaptable, so that I might function in a wide variety of environments and circumstances."

He nods in agreement with Sofia's words, "I had returned an escaped tiger to its confines and came upon Sofia after some other metahumans had their food stolen by a giraffe. Most unfortunate for the giraffe - I do not believe the food to have been properly seasoned." he says.

Yup, folks, that's a Vision joke.

*

Caitlin stares at Vision for a moment, trying to decide if he's made a funny or not.

"Er, right. The zoo, you say?" she inquires, looking back to Sofia. "and a… tiger." She pauses.

"I'd say that's weird, but I've wrestled with giant turtles in Midtown," she remarks, wryly. "So there's that." She receives her mocha from the barista, sipping it with quiet glee. "Hmm,…. so good," she murmurs. "Anyway— returned an escaped tiger. That goes a bit above and beyond most andr-synthezoids," she tells Vision. "How come it didn't tear you apart?"

*

Sofi blinks rapidly up at Vision a few times before she starts to giggle brightly. "Vis! I didn't know you had it in you."

When her and Visions drinks are offered, she takes them and hands Vision's his and then motions for them to have a seat.

"Wait. What? A tiger??"

*

Vision shakes his head, "It was before I encountered you. It had not been out very long, more of a preventative, "he says. "I have a variety of other abilities. Among them, I can alter my density to become more resistant to harm - or reduce it so that objects pass through me without effect," he says. "It is a useful ability."

"I wish I could say it was merely my personal charm. That does not seem to have an effect on tigers. Yet." he says. Boy, he really is going for the relaxed, sociable vibe today!

*

"Hnnh. That's… y'know, I know a Martian who can do that," Caitlin tells Vision, tapping her mocha lid against her lower lip in thought. "J'onn J'onzz. He can make himself trans.. er.. not transparent." She frowns. "Transphasic?" she hazards. "Anyway, yeah, you can walk right through him. I've also seen him go rounds with Superman. I wonder if your abilities are derived from his at all." She seems lost in an engineer's sort of abstract thought.

"Sofia, how about you? Just out Doing Goodering?"

*

Sofia blinks up at Vision. "That sounds like a handy talent to have!"

Settling into a seat, Sofia smiles as she listens to Cait talk about her friend. She stop, drink stops half way to her mouth. "Me? Oh no. No, I don't do the hero thing." Despite pulling kids out of a burning building, getting involved with the cleanup on a mist cocoon… "Trust me. I'm no hero… I was just there because it was my day off."

*

Vision nods, "I am familiar with this individual. And, of course, with Superman. I do not know how I would fair against the Man of Steel. It would be interesting to find out. But I would rather work alongside him for the sake of humanity than be his opponent," he says.

To Sofia, he says, "I suspect you have the capacity to do great good within you, one way or another. There are many ways to do it that don't involve flying through the air or punching," he says.

To Caitlin, he adds, "I do not know for certain wherein my powers were initially derived. I would suggest asking my maker, but given that he favors the extinction of all biological life in favor of machine consciousness, I do not recommend it, if you were to find him.'

*

"That's.. kind of how it happens," Caitlin tells Sofia, wryly. "The definition of hero isn't 'spandex and a timeclock'. You're there when the emergency goes down, and you jump into help. Hero is a post-facto definition," and she reaches up to adjust glasses, and finding none, almost boops herself in the nose and turns it into a casual brush at her bangs. "You don't need a name to be one."

She looks at Vision and makes a soft 'hmm' sound, nodding. "If I ever bump into him and finish suplexing him into submission, I'll ask," Caitlin promises Vision, and seemingly has no trouble with the strange juxtaposition of peaceful inquiry and savage smackdown.

*

Sofia blinks and looks back and forth between the two. "Yeah, well… It's not something that… I don't think I'm a good person to rely on for such things." She shrugs. "I do what I can when I can. I'm not strong enough to be of much use. I've been untrained most of my life."

*

Vision nods, 'Training is something that can always be acquired. If you desire, of course. You should not feel pressured to do anything you do not want," he says.

To Caitlin's comments, he is dry. "I would recommend far more severe measures than a suplex, but I recognize the sentiment of what you say. I, for one, hope that he stays gone and we never need to find a way to rid the world of him again."

*

Caitlin is about to say something, but she's interrupted by a noise audible only to her and Vision. She taps her ear, just ahead of the canal. "Go ahead." A beat. "Yeah— I'm on my way." She taps her ear again and looks to Vision and Sofia.

"Listen, I'm— well, I guess I /am/ authorized to do it, which… freaks me out, but nevermind that," she says. "I'm a member of the League, and the Reserve team is always looking for metahumans who are willing to pitch in and lend a hand. The money's good going corporate, no doubt, but superheroes— well, we save the world. Training's something we do a lot of. If you two are interested, why don't you come by the League headquarters?" she offers. "I can show you around, and maybe you two can talk it over— see if the League is something you'd like to aid?"

*

Sofia falls silent as Cait takes her call. She knows the motion well.

The offer causes her to blink, cast a glance at Vision and then back up to Caitlin and she nods. "Sure. Yeah." She looks back at Vision. "Yeah?" And then back to Cait. "Yeah."

*

Vision nods, "I would be very interested in potentially working with the League. I have long thought that I should perhaps become involved in a group of that sort, although I've never found the right fit so far. The League is extremely prestigious - I would be honored to get an opportunity to help," he says.

*

"Groovybears," Caitlin says, dimpling again with a smile. "It was swell to meet you both. Just come by the Hall of Justice sometime and leave a message for the security desk that you're a Reservist. Oh- actually, /call/ first, make sure I'm there, /then/ go," she amends. "That way I can meet you, show you around, that kinda thing. I think you'd like it— even you, Sofia. You'd be surprised how it grows."

She steps towards the door, waving. "See you two soon, then?" she asks— and then she's gone.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License