A New Avenger

April 07, 2017:

Kate Bishop returns to a team; this time the Avengers.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Greenwich Village.

It's always an active neighborhood, with its little shops, residential areas and a college community feel to it. Today is no different, small groups of people can be seen walking here and there down one of the more active streets. This particular street is one that hold a variety of shops that range from eateries, clothing and even trinkets that one buys when visiting 'popular' neighborhoods.

For Kate, she's here with much more of an ulterior motive. She's idly following a mark; she was hired to see if the boyfriend was cheating on the girlfriend and while it wasn't the most glamorous of cases, it was a case. So here she is, calmly walking down a sidewalk, a small messenger bag hanging diagonally across her chest as she discreetly tails the man in question.

The man in question is your typical late twenty-something, nice looking, casual clothes and eyes focused mostly upon his phone. With so much of his upon his phone this job is turning out to be quite easy; at least tailing him, is.

Kate for her part is actually across the street from him, her steps mirroring the man's movements as he navigates down the opposite sidewalk to hers. Her steps will only pause when her phone vibrates with a received text - neatly, Kate will pull her phone out of her pocket and glance at the glossy screen to see who it's from.


There are glowing letters in the phone screen. 'Hello. You have been hacked by a very evil warlord from the future. Prepare to be tickled.'

Nathaniel was surprised to see Hawkeye leaving the Justice League a few months ago. Actually he didn't even saw her leave. The League was hit hard by the US Government (through the DEO) and looked about to disband. And Kate, apparently, had gone undercover somewhere.

A few months later and he found out Kate Bishop is now a PI in Manhattan. Very odd. Maybe undercover? He decided to wait a couple more months before approaching her. Which is now. "Good morning, Kate," he greets, coming into her view from the side street and smiling. "You look well, but where is your bow?"


Undercover? Not quite.

She just needed some space and time to do her own thing. That's why she left. That new thing just turned out to be a PI business; Hawk Investigation.

As to that message … when she sees who the sender is, Kate can't quite help the eyebrow that quirks above the lines of her purple-tinted aviator sunglasses. That surprise quickly washes away to something more amused as she reads those words. A flash of a grin crosses her lips a moment, before she's typing something quickly back to the sender -

- 'I wouldn't try that if I were you. I know karate.'

And she does, well, she knows several forms of martial arts if not specifically karate.

Once that message is sent Kate tucks her phone back within her pocket and takes a quick side-eye look towards the man she's following. He's still there, good. And still glued to his phone, double-good. By the time her blue-eyed gaze turns back to her swatch of sidewalk, Nathaniel is making his appearance. Surprise briefly etches across her features at his arrival, before the black-haired woman says, "Nathaniel. Fancy meeting you here. You look good yourself." A smile twitches her lips upward at that, even as she tilts her head towards him. "Walk with me?" She says smoothly, her foot-steps only pausing for a second to allow the man to fall into step beside her.

"And my bow is near." She adds to the last part of his question; and it is, it's tucked within her car that's parked upon the street, as she considered this particular adventure low key enough not to need her 'gym bag'.

Once the two begin to walk again, she'll ask, "What brings you about?"


"I wanted to see you," explains Nathaniel, giving the man Kate is following a brief glance. "You have been… absent, for a while. So I was perhaps a little concerned. Ironic, I suppose. What you are doing now seems much safer than what you were doing a year ago." He steps to her side when she starts walking. "But perhaps not as interesting. What happened to Hawkeye?"


She listens to all Nathaniel has to say and when he finishes another smile will be flashed towards him. "What?" She begins, her words sounding playful, "You mean to tell me that finding lost cats and dogs is safer than periodically saving the world? I'm all astonished." She finishes with, that humor evident in her voice as she idly keeps track of the man the duo now follows. It's only when the man pauses in his phone perusal to stop and eye a display in a store window, that Kate will do much the same. Though she doesn't quite stop at the same time. Instead she'll move further down the sidewalk and then pause; planting herself at the corner of a store.

With Nathaniel here, her stop looks much more natural as the two 'converse'. Though really, they are truly talking too. Catching up if you will.

She'll make sure to put Nate in front of her, so she can neatly look over his shoulder towards her object of investigation. "And you can't tell me it's not interesting, I constantly find people in /interesting/ position with this job. It's anything but." Again, that vaguely sardonic humor is there, but her expression will turn slightly more serious at that last part of his question. "She's still around. I just felt the need for a step back, you know? Get my thoughts together, help the regular folk, that sorta thing."


"I assumed it is? I would not know," admits Nathaniel, somehow managing to keep a smirk off his face. Barely. "Found many cats this month? Are you chasing a dog-thief?" Because, seriously. "No, I think I do not know. Hawkeye also helped the common folk, and the uncommon folk. Everyone. But maybe you went too far into the heroing world. I seem to remember you were involved in charities before…" he grimaces briefly, "when I met you. Seven local years ago, five years for me. Not so after I returned Ancient Egypt last year."


Because, seriously.

That statement is a good one for Kate. Even as she keeps her attention between Nate and her would-be 'dog thief', she still manages a smirk for the rather tall young man before her. "Ha. No." She says, as her phone rises upward slightly to snap a few quick pictures of the man across the way. "He's my would be adulterer." She says quietly, making sure her voice doesn't carry across the street.

His mention of heroing too far and charities brings her blue-eyed gaze back to Nathaniel. "I never go too far in anything." She states firmly, even as she adds, "And I have my suit if needed, and charities. Yes, let's talk about that - I'm still quite active with them. In fact, we're having a spaghetti social for one soon if you'd like to join." She tosses out, assuming Nathaniel would avoid that sort of thing like the plague.

"But enough about me, tell me what you've been up to." She interjects with now, moving to shift the topic off of her heroing days to something else.

At this point the man begins to move and Kate will wait until he passes their position before she drops back into a casual stroll.


Nathaniel needs to figuratively bite his tongue not to mention how much more interesting are adulterers when compared with dog-thieves. But yes, hard to understand for him why is Kate even bothering.

Spaghetti social? Is he supposed to say yes or not? Kate is hard to predict. Maybe if he ignores the question he won't have to reply to it.

"Me? I joined the Avengers and I am trying to change the future," he states matter-of-factly. "Which you probably already knew if you are checking the news. At least the first part. Or do you mean besides that?"


Nothing on the spaghetti social? It's enough that Kate will offer a grin to the young man. "I suppose I'll mark you down as a no then." Thankfully though, for Nathaniel likely, she moves onto other topics. "I may not be active." She begins, even as the two continue to walk down the street, "But I still keep tabs on stuff. I saw the news." Kate ends with, even as she shoves her hands into the pockets of her jacket. Just two friends talking, yup.

"I'm glad the Avengers are getting off the ground. We need those sort of visible teams. Something positive for everyone to focus upon." Cause both Kate and Nathaniel know there's so much negative within the world.


"I am not sure what is a spaghetti social," comments Nathaniel with resignation. Maybe Kate is a detective. Or just she is being Kate. "I will go with you if you need me, though," he offers. "You got it right about the Avengers. We are trying to be visible and not butt heads with the government as much as other teams. I do not believe just fighting crime is enough, we need to become an example and a force of change. And I think we need you there."


His revelation that he has no idea what a spaghetti social is doesn't shock Kate. She'll just tilt her head slightly to the side as an amused look flashes within eyes, which is easily hidden by her sunglasses. Still that amusement might be seen from the faint smile that tips her lips upward. "For future reference, a spaghetti social is where you pay to eat a plate of wonderfully prepared spaghetti by volunteers. The price of the plate and all the proceeds goes to whatever local charity we're supporting at the time; for this particular dinner it's for a local women's shelter. "

And with that said, Kate will move to the talk of Avengers and that neatly offered slot within the team. "You think you need me, hm?" She says, even as she shakes her head at those words of his, after a minute her gaze will turn towards the man and his phone. "What I wouldn't give to have a peek at his phone. To see what he's so intent upon - that goes to more than just web surfing or tweeting."

A vague deflection yes, but she really would like to see the man's phone.


“Well, I like spaghetti,” offers Nathaniel, “are you going to cook?” Maybe he will have to change his plans for dinner. “But yes, I do think we need you. You have a good head and you understand how the world works, and are reliable in a meta-powered fight.”

A glance to the trailed young man and he adds with a smirk, “and since I love you so much, I am going to hack in the local cellular network and send you the data to your phone. Give me a couple minutes.”


"Then you should come and yes, I am." She says, to his remark about liking spaghetti and his question about cooking. She does more than just stand around looking pretty after all; which he's likely aware of thanks to their past friendship.

Either way, whatever else could be said about the spaghetti social (which he better now attend) is forgotten when Nathaniel offers to hack the man's phone. With a grin now, Kate will say, "I'm glad my subtle-yet-not-so-subtle request there was heard." And while it may seem like she isn't about to offer thanks, she does as she says after a step or two down the sidewalk, "Appreciate it. Can you drop the data to my phone?" She asks, not quite sure if he can or not, but obviously hoping he can with all his futuristic doodads.

As for his remarks about her battle readiness and team readiness, that earns a faint smirk from the woman. "Thanks for that glowing review. And sure, I'll help out." And just like that she accepts his offer, "Tell me what's going on with the team right now?"


“Hmm, of course I can. It is like ‘hacking’ an abacus,” replies Nathaniel distantly, paying more attention to the retinal displays than to Kate. Ssssh, hacker with abusive quantum computers working. Pause for sixty seconds, then ‘you have email’ click in her cell, which is a dump of the whole last 24 hours of chats of the man she was following.

Then he speaks again. “To explain what the Avengers are doing and why I am going to need a while. Besides the general crime-fighting, that is. I have long term projects, although not all the team members are up to date, or even, I suspect, care much about them.”


Ding.

You've got mail.

Nimble fingers will pull her cellphone out from her pocket and with an eye upon the guy, an eye upon Nathaniel, Kate starts to thumb through the e-mail of all the data Nathaniel grabbed.

Yes, his secret is definitely safe with her.

Already a few scraps of data have her eyebrows raising upward. "Tsk tsk tsk." She murmurs to herself, "Our boy over there is /definitely/ a dog. Not one, but three women on the side. How does he manage?" She asks rhetorically, even as she looks up from her display to give the young man a look. "No wonder he doesn't look up from his phone, he probably doesn't have time." And while they could continue to follow him, Kate will simply tilt her head towards an upcoming coffee shop.

"Let's take a break." She adds to that head-tilt, and just like that, PI Bishop exits stage left and steps into the coffee shop. She'll hold the door for Nathaniel and once the two are in, Kate will turn her blue eyes towards the menus for this little bistro.

"Go take a load off and I'll order us some drinks." Which means he needs to find a discreet booth for them to chat at, "I think I can still remember how you like your coffee."


Nathaniel snickers and shakes his head, giving Kate a 'I can't believe you are wasting your time with this' kind of look. Nevertheless, he follows her into the cafe and sets off to find a booth they can chat privately. Not that their conversation will be particularly odd, not for New York.

He didn't bother telling Kate that his tastes in coffee have improved a bit in the last years. 21st Century coffee was a great unknown when he got here. And he was 16. He tried everything. Anyway, not important. He takes over a corner booth and spends a minute reconfiguring a chunk of his armor into a normal-looking tablet.


It only takes a few minutes for Kate to find Nathaniel in that tucked away booth. A steaming hot cup of coffee will be placed in front of him as will a small plate that holds a fruit-filled pastry. "In case you're hungry." She says off-handedly, even as she settles down across from Nate, with her own coffee and her own fruit-filled pastry. Mixed berries if anyone is curious.

The small bowl of sugar and packets of powdered creamer will be pushed towards Nathaniel, by Kate, as well once the dark-haired woman is settled.

"So, spill the beans." She says, even as she tears her pastry in half. "What're your plans? And who's on the active roster?


"It is a long story," begins Nathaniel. "Literally long. Since I am from a thousand years into the future. Well, one possible future. And that is how it starts. I am from a possible future, and I know the history of the Twenty First Century. I know the fall of the Heroic Age and the Mutant Genocide, the rise of the mega-corps' Dark Age that ruined the world, and the final catastrophe at the end of the Century that kills nine tenths of the already depleted humankind. Things get better later, but this century that started with so much promise ended up very badly." Pause, "but that was just one possible future, and it did not seem a -likely- future, does it? The meta-human heroes seem invincible, and the technology is advancing so quickly it looks humankind will be among the stars in a generation or two."

He pauses. "I was very optimistic. My optimism started to fade when I met other time travelers and all told the same bleak, dismal story. All came from bad futures. So I… did some research. I spend a few months studying sociology and psycho-history. A branch of sociology that allows to build predictive models for large groups of humans. Billions. It does not work for small populations. I did my research on the current socio-political situation and saw how they evolved. It happens that the Dark Age is not just an unlikely future, Kate. It is damn near unavoidable."


"Well." Comes Kate's initial response to all of what Nathaniel just stated, "You don't pull any punches do you." There's a wry tone to her voice now, as she considers all that he's said. Her coffee cup, which was hoisted halfway to her mouth, slowly lowers back to the tabletop.

"And from these models of despair I'm going to assume you now want to stop these likely future from happening?" She asks, even as she idly loops both hands around the very warm paper cup. "Try to head it off before it can get a toehold in this reality? Past? Whatever you want to call it."

At least she's handling it somewhat well; which she should, since she's seen some crazy things in her time as a hero (and PI).


Nathaniel nods, picking up the steaming coffee mug and pours some sugar on it. “I think I have identified all the agents and if I… we can change public opinion and awareness, as well as reinforce certain law-enforcement multi-national organizations while weakening less altruistic ones, we can prevent the Dark Age. Spare humankind five centuries of rebuilding. The Avengers are my lever. Some of them know the whole story, but I do not think they really believe the future can be written with mathematics. Not even Stark.”


Kate is quiet a moment as she considers, again, all of what Nathaniel has said.

Sighing Kate will say (with a rather dry tone), “Change public opinion? That sounds to me like some of the players you've identified are either very public officials or have heavy influence upon society.”

Her coffee cup will be pushed away as she knits her hands together. “Who are they? High level that is, not every single one. You can give me the full list later.”


“Kate, they are not individuals, it is the direction global society is going.” Nathaniel turns the tablet around. “Multi-national organizations will take control of the world. This is pretty obvious, as technology is making national boundaries irrelevant. What is not so obvious is which organizations will take over. The natural supposition is that it will be alliances of nations, but this is a mistaken assumption. Such alliances are very slow forming and mired by bureaucracy and atavistic nationalisms. Business alliances however, are not. What will happen is a takeover by the largest corporations. Those organizations are highly predatory and their leadership under control by sociopathic individuals.”

The tablet shows the logos of several famous and not so famous companies and graphs of their economic and political growth in the last few decades. Roxxon Energy seems to lead the pack. Notoriously absent are some very important corporations such as Lexcorp, which are actually privately owned.

“They already have considerable political power, but they are constrained by the laws passed in some of the largest nations, which are democracies. Autocracies are much more easily brought, as you can imagine.”

He sips some coffee. Then adds. “In my timeline they supported and armed insurgent organizations and caused major civil unrest. They supported and financed the Mutant Genocide, which was also used as a smokescreen to eliminate almost all metahumans not under their control. The super-heroes, of course, had to be destroyed because they defended the status quo they wanted to replace.”


"Again, you don't do anything in halves, do ya?" Kate says that dry way of hers, when Nathaniel clarifies his original statement.

Now a sip of coffee will be taken as she turns her gaze towards his tablet. The various logos and company names are seen and while she doesn't say it, she definitely recognizes many of them.

"I think it's going to take more than just the Avengers to help with this."

"But I'm in if you need me."


Nathaniel nods. “There are more than the Avengers, yes… I think SHIELD is a key player, being a law-enforcement multi-national organization.” And there was more, but his contact with the mutants has gone quiet. He needs to find a new ally there, but Kate doesn’t need to know everything yet.

“But the Avengers are extremely important. They can uncover and expose the corporative illegal plots, they can fight their super-powered agents and if we do things right they can rally all super-humans. Also… they can stop Kang. They did several times in my timeline,” and that is personal, a problem he can’t forget. Which is also a global threat.


A corner of Kate's mouth lifts upward as she (once again) listens to all Nathaniel has to say. SHIELD makes total sense and that earns a nod from her.

"Makes sense." She adds in-between Nathaniel's words, "We're the eyes and ears for them then when we need everything to be on the 'books' - " Meaning SHIELD, "- we can call in the long arm of the law in."

"So, do I get a shiny new badge, or pin, or something stating I'm an Avenger? Or is this sort of just a 'hey, you're now one of us welcome' sort of thing." She says with a hint of humor, as one side of her mouth ticks upward into another smile.


Nathaniel chuckles with little humor, “you have to sign up the UN charter and then get badge. How much is the badge worth depends on the country. Lately the DEO here is actively harassing SHIELD, and even the Justice League. We have avoided conflicts so far but I think it is just a question of time.”

He gestures to the tablet. “It will be soon. We clashed with Roxxon last month, and they have enormous power over the Washington lobbies. Roxxon is the paradigm of the ruthless corporation, but there is more there. Some of their activities are actively damaging to humankind and yet have no obvious economic benefit.” He pauses. “There is something going I am not seeing,” and that is obviously very annoying for Nathaniel, who likes to know everything (and usually believes he knows everything).


When he motions to the tablet again, Kate's eyes will automatically flick to it, but generally, she's take your word for it kind of gal.

"UN it is." She says, even as she finally recalls her coffee and drains half of it, now that it's cool enough not to scald. "And I'm not worried whether people take the 'badge' for real or not, I'll still get whatever job needs done, done." Come her rather firm words; after all, it's not like she's never dealt with stubborn people. Her family, herself, other heroes -

- As for that last part of what Nathaniel says, her head will cant to the side slightly, as she considers what to say, "This is going to sound lame and like a platitude, but I'm going to say it, you and we will figure it out. It's just going to take time."


“And some investigation,” adds Nathaniel, his own coffee finished. “Welcome onboard, Hawkeye,” he smiles briefly. “Keeping the corps from taking over by is only part of the plan. I can tell you more as we go to the Mansion. It is not crime-fighting business, though. Mostly introducing technologies and ideas to the population, the second may be something you can help too.”


“Tell me more.” She says simply and when both are finished with their drinks (and pastries), Kate will gather up the plates and cups.

“Since you graciously got this information for me -” She means the hacking of the man’s phone, “- I think we can head over to the Mansion now, if you like. THough let’s make sure to make a quick pit-stop at my place. I’ve a few things to get and bring over.”

Like costumes, bows, equipment. All those fancy things a hero typically needs.

When she rises from her seat she’ll take the disposable cups and plate to a close trash can and then turn to make sure Nathaniel is following.

“And I’d be happy to help with the people side of it too.” After all, she does work with /a lot/ of charities and foundations.

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