Negotiating with a Wall

June 16, 2017:

June Moone attempts a civil conversation with the head of Task Force X. (emits by Taskmaster)

Characters

NPCs: The Wall

Mentions: Task Force X (Suicide Squad)

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Noon. A rainy Gotham day. The clouds are so dark it looks like it should be after dusk but its nowhere near.

Amanda Waller is currently awaiting a brief meeting with June Moone at SunDollers, a coffee house off the corner of Rush and Goldwin ST. A chain of all things, one would think Miss Waller didn't dare step foot in one but shes never far away from armed guards and the odds of superhuman attacks are still about as likely as being hit by a car. Even in Gotham.

The aged stout woman sits inside already, drinking her usual dark roast Sumatra. A tablet open in front of her, the news being boredly thumbed through.

June was rather surprised that the meeting was to take place in someplace as public as a coffee shop. But she enters, in her formal attire rather than the casual things she's been wearing. Heels, pencil skirt, white blouse, suit jacket. Glasses on and hair done up. She approaches the table where she sees Waller, and nods. "Ma'am. Thank you for seeing me."

Waller looks up from the tablet, as June approaches she sets a small white egg shaped object on the tabletop. A white noiser. No electronics now work in their immediate vicinity sound will also fail to carry beyond about 2 meters. Amanda looks bored. "You have fortunate timing, Doctor Moone. I was in town meeting with an associate at Stagg Industries. Make yourself comfortable."
The broad woman adjusts, moving her sling around a little, not much. She looks to be recovering well enough.
"I'm surprised you're in Gotham staying with those delinquents. I pegged you for a different sort, Moone."

June replies "I'm getting some training from Taskmaster, Ma'am. And I figure learning more about them will help us operate more effectively." She takes a deep breath, trying to steel up her resolve. "Actually, the meeting is about them, in some ways, Ma'am."

"Training from Taskmaster… Expensive and I fail to see what use it is to you considering your only real function on the team is calling the Enchantress." A quirk of both drawn on eyebrows. "What about /them/?" Waller lifts her coffee up taking another slow drink as she studies June.

"The witch does no good if I get shot before she can come out, Ma'am." June points out. "And…well, unlike most of the Squad, I'm not a criminal, Ma'am. I came here to ask you for some small concessions."

"She doesn't no. That is usually what the others are there for." The Wall sets her drink down and reclines back in her seat to look at June, "You're a paranormal, Doctor Moone. The only thing that keeps you from being labeled a criminal is me. I'll humor you for now. Let me hear what sort of concessions you're after."
A hand comes up, "Before you go on though, tell me… did they rope you in? Do you suddenly think these people are your friends?"

June hesitates before answering. "I think they understand what it's like to be in a situation they have very little control of, Ma'am. And I think being around them is helping to keep the witch at bay." Another deep breath. "I'd like to ask your permission to let the Squad…or at least certain members…base out of Gotham, ma'am. I know the realities, and I know they're criminals. But I also know that you have leverage on every one of them, and I'm equally sure that no matter /where/ they are, they're not very far from your eyes. I recognize that for appearance's sake, sometimes they might need to put in an…appearance, at the prison, when people want to check up on them. But we both know that your real hold on them isn't the walls of Belle Reve."

"Base out of Gotham? You lot are already nesting together I have not said a word. I honestly do not care, it makes it easier for me to launch a scud right up your collective asses if I have to. A big savings on the American taxpayers."

Waller stares at the white noiser, digesting what June is saying, "Keep your happy crooked home in the Gotham Arms. My concern isn't what laws those miscreants want to break as long as it's underneath a tolerable damage threshold and they never open their damned mouths about Task Force X. You, them, every single one of you freaks serves a better purpose alive and controlled for me right now than holed up in some prison." A tap on the tablet, she makes sure it's off and tucked in to her purse.

"Prison protocols remain. Belle Reve is our base of operations, it is mandatory that lockdown is acknowledged and should we have to keep up appearances. You hit it on the button there. So you'll have to pardon me, Doctor, I am confused at what it is you're asking me unless you're simply confirming I am not about to crack down on all of you for playing Real Housewives of Gotham?"
Yeah, Amanda Waller is a bitch.

June looks back. "You and I both know that "prison protocols" there can be a little overly harsh, Ms. Waller. I'm asking for some more humane treatment, that's all. Treat them like people, not objects." She DID want to get the official approval on the Gotham Arms, but having that, she'll press on. "No more beatings, for one."

"Getting some teeth, doctor?" Amanda Waller's smile is a sour one. "Prison Protocols are non negotiable." A free hand reaches up and tugs at the strap over her shoulder, "You think this is the best time to come at me with this? You are in no position and you have no voice. Do you hear me? You press on me Doctor Moone and you will find these liberties and freedoms I so graciously afford these 'human beings' can easily be retracted. Previous incarnations of the Squad worked directly from their cells. We can always go Old School again."
Director Waller says nothing about the guards who abused Regan and Rose, that was above and beyond their orders. Disciplinary action was taken and that is no ones business but the Warden's and Wallers.

June replies "There is a difference between prison protocols and getting beaten to the point of impeding your performance." Her voice has a little anger in it. "And I do have a voice. Which is rather the point. You /need/ my voice, Ms. Waller. I'm under no illusions. I know you can make me disappear. I know you can do horrible things. I also know that at the end of the day, you're a woman who does what you need to do to get the results you want. You want the Witch as your secret weapon. But you can't have her unless /I/ call her out. When all I'm asking for is some humane treatment for people you need to be at their best in the field anyway, I don't think that's very much for continued unrestricted access to your superweapon."

"You're presuming far more than you should, Moone and starting to tread dangerous ground. You fail to remember you are part of a government sanctioned black ops unit that has been appropriately nicknamed the Suicide Squad. You, Lady Mastermind, Bane, all of you, each and every one of you is an expendable weapon. This ugly, brutal, nasty world provides a wealth of weapons and people like me, especially me will continue to put them to good damn use. Try me. I am telling you the same thing I told that stupid damned mutant who busted me up. Try me and see if I back down to you or anyone else." Waller's dark eyes narrow to slits and she locks her gaze on June Moone. The Wall is mad now. Pissed even. Maybe also a little proud that June is developing a spine, becoming hardened. Not that she will let on to that.

"I remember that. But you're too smart to throw away a useful tool while it can still be useful, Ma'am. I'm not trying to challenge you. I'm trying to make an arrangement that costs you nothing, and helps keep your assets in best usable condition." June's tone reins in her anger, making it more a negotiation again. "And I can have the witch heal you." She nods to Waller's injury, offering a little incentive.

"If anything after this conversation things will be less humane, Doctor Moone." Amanda Waller says flatly, "I don't appreciate being threatened by one of my 'assets', you're from a different walk, a different path and now you're on this one. I understand if you want to flex a little, find a voice, you're going about it wrong though."

A derisive snort comes from the woman, "No. My arm is well on it's own way."

Waller sighs, "Listen, your heart is in the right place but you're putting it out there for the wrong sacrifice. This doesn't go to any higher calling or grand paradise with unicorns and harps. This goes straight in to some sick fat demented belly where it eventually become shit. These people you are trying to stand up for are exactly that. Stop trying to humanize them. Stop trying to humanize that other side of yourself, that bitch thats sitting away in there gnawing at your soul. Accept the evil, acknowledge it and use it like it uses you."

Waller stares. "Like I use you."

"Like I said. It wasn't a threat. I came to you openly, to have an open discussion and arrangement." June shakes her head. "I guess both of us will have to do what we think is best." She won't press it any further than that.

"You telling me I can't play with one of my favorite toys unless I give in to your demands is no threat? Doctor Moone, I work in world webbed together with lies, deception, threats, promises and reputation. Trust me. I know a threat when I see one. You and your SKWAD will remain undisturbed in Gotham until I need you. Make sure they behave so I don't have to show off my other favorite toys."
Waller pushes her chair back and stands, "Doctor Moone, head my advice, these are bad people, the worst of the worst. Don't let them suck you in to their insanity, remember you're not one of them and you are NOT the Enchantress. That Witch is a dark passenger, YOUR dark passenger, nothing more and eventually you'll have to find a way to kick her off the bus. Heaven help us when that happens because it will be Hell on Earth but when it does…"

A hand reaches up and pats June on the cheek, "I'll be in your corner as long as you're still Doctor June Moone. I take care of my own." Sort of like no one will ever find the remains of one Discount John Goodman who remains strewn across a swamp in several gator bellies.

June actually seems surprised at that. If Waller was looking for the way to get her, she found it. Human contact. What works on the hardened criminals of the Suicide Squad is different from what works on the career academic. She stands as well, looking at Waller with a slightly bemused expression, like she's not sure what to make of that. "…thank you, Ms. Waller. For your time…and your advice." She actually manages a slight smile there.

Waller picks up her Sumatra after tossing that 'egg' in to her purse and adjusting her sling again, "We'll be in touch soon. You have a nice night, Doctor Moone." No more to be said the Southestern Regional Director of the DEO departs in to obscurity again.

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