The Only Lady For Me Is Lady Liberty

April 01, 2017:

Superman encounters Felicia Hardy on a rooftop. A discussion of trust and the strength of will results.

Bakerline, Metropolis

"1930's architecture stretched like a rubber band."

New Troy is the largest borough in Metropolis and is where all of the main city life seems to be established as well as take place. Here is where you will find skyscrapers that reach the heavens and commerce that spreads as far as the next business that picks up.

The heartbeat, lifeblood, and veins of The Big Apricot.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Iron Man

Plot:

Mood Music: [* ]


Fade In…

Apricots are delicious ā€“ and Metropolis is the Big One. Or so they say. The whole thing smacks a little of piggy-back marketing to Felicia. Down below, the streets are largely bare as the weekend evening sees only a small, token number of people toiling in the business district salt mines. Just perfect for Felicia, who prefers not to operate in the bright and shiny light of day if she can help it.

At present, the young woman sits on the ledge of a particularly handsome skyscraper. An art nouveau design that has met with modern technology to cryogenically freeze the place in time while allowing it to compete with its younger cousins. Her feet dangle casually over the edge as though she were five feet up and not fifty storeys. In her lap rests a tablet computer, lithe fingers glancing over the images on the screen as she examines them.
Next to her on the ledge sits a snappy black, leather gym bag. It is halfway unzipped, revealing what appears to be a suit of some sort with a furred collar. It shimmers, caught by a rush of cold air through the steel and concrete canyons.

"You know" A voice chimes out from behind calm stoic in nature. "I bet you'd get a better signal if you were closer to a router." The voice belongs to none other then the Man of Steel himself SUPERMAN, defender of TRUTH, JUSTICE and THE AMERICAN WAY.

Standing with hands down at his sides the bright crimson cape belonging to the man of tomorrow billows softly, and majestically in the wind. "Then again I suppose it's harder to plot in a cafe." Hopping down from the air conditioner unit he'd been standing on with grace and poise as he slowly walks over.

Despite the wind his hair stays in perfect place save for a small curly q collection on his forehead that bounces with each step, bright smile of perfect white teeth managing to catch the light at just the right angle.

"Bwah!"

As Felicia almost jumps out of her skin, the tablet flies out of her hands up into the air. It hangs there for a moment, like a $699.99 Wile E. Coyote before it begins to fall. Then, Felicia displays what seems like borderline superhuman skill. She raises herself up on her palms, recovering from her fright and extending her body forward until most of her body is a horizontal line out over the Bakerline streets. She then dips her foot, all in one swift and fluid motion, catching the tablet and kicking it upwards with the toe of her boot. As it falls, she leans out with one hand and snatches it back up.

Immediately after the jump-scare, her voice takes on a low and almost sultry tone. Well-practiced and almost feline with a rolling purr across each r - "You oughta be careful ā€“ you could send a girl plummeting to her death. Iā€™m not sure even I could land on my feet from this far up. What brings you all the way up here, hands-"

It is then that she turns her head to see just who it was that spoke to her, and the whole sexuality-as-a-form-of-self-defense thing sort of deflates. Something tells her those bounce off this particular fella just like bullets. The youth creeps back into her voice unbidden.

"Hey, it's you."

As she starts the routine Superman looks amused for just a moment before walking back over towards the edge of the building itself. "Something tells me you wouldn't fall far before someone caught you." The general heroic attitude unabated by her own attempts at allure.

"Though you do raise a good point." He pauses looking out over the city, facing not directly towards her. "It isn't exactly the safest place to plan a heist."

"Who said anything about heisting?" Felicia raises an eyebrow. If she was caught off guard, she regains her cool almost straight away. She holds out the tablet, revealing brightly-colored shapes dancing to an electronica tune, "Sweets Smash - I thought I'd come up here for inspiration on beating level 93."

She yawns suddenly, raising her hands over her head and climbing languidly to her feet. The tablet is dropped non-chalantly into the open bag, which she bends to zip closed before picking it up and hoisting it onto her shoulder. She makes a meal of every motion, a smirking half-smile on her face.

"But if I'm being moved along by the Big Guy in Red and Blue, then I suppose I'll make my way back down to ground level."

Remaining feet planted on the spot, but raising one slightly to stand on the ledge proper Superman speaks again not turning from there. "However you want to put it." Eyes narrowing somewhat on the horizon. "Just take a moment and think if there's not a better way."

He leans a single arm down on that raised knee as his cape lowers down slightly still billowing away. "Lot of things that we might take for granted can change in an instant if we take too many unneeded risks."

"No offence, but the sort of people who don't take risks are the sort of people stuck in their office on a Saturday night," Felicia jerks a thumb across the way to an illuminated window in an otherwise dark skyscraper, resplendant with office drone tapping away at a computer. "And while I appreciate the pep talk, I'm well aware that crime doesn't pay." She says the last part with total conviction, despite whatever she may be thinking deep down.

"As for taking things for granted," Felicia muses, clasping one hand onto an outcropping and dangling herself carefree out over the busy street. She doesn't seem to have an ounce of fear, as home up here as if she were down on the ground, "I prefer to think of it as enjoying what I've got while I have it. Too many people think just because they're bigger or stronger or have more money that they can push people around enough until they fit into their way of thinking. Jamming square pegs into round holes. It's much nicer to live above all of that."

"What about you? Do you bleed?" Felicia asks, a sudden acidic undertone in her voice, "I've seen the news. I know what you do. Everyone does. It's a bit rich for the Man of Steel to tell us little people that we're all the same."

Still dangling, Felicia's features grow cold, "If I were to let go right now? I'd fall. You'd catch me, probably, huh? But what if you weren't here? I'd go splat. I'd hit the pavement and I'd end up so much mess being hosed off the sidewalk by City Works. Now, if I were you? I'd rocket up into the air. Maybe do a few laps of the city at the speed of sound for the hell of it. So, spare me the high school civics lesson. I don't think Jefferson was talking about a flying, invulnerable superhuman when he wrote the Declaration of Indepedence. You and I? We're not equal. And I'll tell you why."

Once again, Felicia seems to get perilously close to the edge as though she's going to fall any second: "Like I said, if I fell you'd catch me. But what if I let go on purpose? What if I decided 'Hey, he's right, I'm ruining my life.' and decided the only solution was diving headfirst into the street? You'd catch me then, too. Now, say our roles were reversed? You decide to do whatever it is that can kill you. I don't know what that is. I don't want to know. Can I stop you? Hell no. That's the way it is. The people who have the power to exert their will on the world will do it. That's just as true for you and me as it is for whoever is making the poor idiot across the way work Saturdays."

Supermans features are filled with an understanding, it's a question he's heard posed a million times over. Yet every time he treats it with as much respect as the first. Turning to give her his full attention he falls silent allowing her to monologue, to vent her frustrations.

"You might not believe me when I say it, but." A light lift of the hand to show what looks to be a small scar on the palm of his right hand, now little more then the size of a dime, but still there from when his hand had been torn open. "I bleed just like you do, only difference is I can take a bit more punishment."

Just tucking that scar back away. "Take away these powers and I'm just another every day Joe trying to do what he can to help out anyone he can before he kicks the bucket." He pauses, gesticulations from his hands used to add to his point motioning around him. "If I wanted to, I could take this entire planet over in a matter of hours, force everyone on it into lock-step with the law, and ensure everyone lived by my personal code of ethics, but I don't." He looks up to the sky. "I chose not to take away that free will, to let people run their own lives so long as they aren't hurting other people in the process."

Superman steps out of the way of the ledge. "If you want to jump off that ledge go ahead, I won't stop you, but I will try to talk you out of it." Another moments pause. "And if you call for my help? I'll make sure you don't hit the ground, but it's your choice. I will not take that away from you, not because I can't, but because we live in a free society so long as we all abide by the same rulebook."

Felicia looks almost pitying for a moment, pulling herself up effortlessly so she is once again standing on the ledge proper rather than dangling precariously off of it, "The problem is, Big Blue, that knowing what you can do? People are never going to believe that you won't just snap and take over. Or just kill anyone who doesn't agree with you? I want to believe that you're a regular guy here to help, but I've had enough go on in my past to know that even someone who looks like a friend and acts like a friend can hurt you. It's better - for me at least - to keep my trust invested entirely in one person. Myself."

She sighs, "I'm not jumping. Believe it or not, I'm doing what you're doing. Maybe not in the same way, but I am. I won't go into it. You probably took a look at me and thought 'thief' or something along those lines. You're not wrong. But that's not everything about me. Not by a long shot. I'm out to help. Maybe I'm not flying or firing laser beams out of my eyes, but I'm leveraging what I've got. And if I'm going to trust you not to take over the world, then let's follow that rulebook and you can trust me that I'm doing the right thing here."

"And that's one thing I'll have to live with." Superman states firmly with a reassuring smile. "I've always known the day might come when people decide I'm more of a liability then an assistance, and when that day comes I'll gladly leave." Attention falls back on Felicia. "And I've made sure there are fail-safes in place to keep certain, even if I do someday snap there will always be multiple people who know exactly how to take me down if need be. " A light smirk given in response of only trusting herself.

When she carries on Superman simply gives a silent nod. He may not approve of what she's doing, but at least he knows the why. "Just keep in mind, you start going full evil, we're going to have another long talk." A light hand motion made to once again send the point home.

"Hey, if I go full evil then I'll make sure I'm wearing a stolen suit of Tony Stark's armor when we meet again. Now that I know T and A don't seem to work all that well on you." Felicia cannot help but grin at that last part, "Either way, I've seen the light for this evening and I think I'm going to head back home. It was nice to meet you, Mister Superman."

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