Just For a Hand

November 28, 2017:

Sloane drops by the Titan's Tower to talk to track down Impulse for possible assistance.

Titan Tower, New York


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Red Robin


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Titans Tower— a massive, shining example of modern architecture; of convention being snubbed in favor of a statement, of design that … still, to this day, probably gets debated on college campuses with design students. For Sloane L. Albright, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., she never really gave it a lot of thought until recently.

Arranging her trip to fall in line with scheduled deliveries to the tower, Sloane stands on the deck of the small ferry alone and silent. Her sunglasses sit parked on the end of her nose, her favorite coat worn loose and dressed in a way that screams more to the 'casual' end of business-casual, what with the plain button-down blouse and close-fit slacks complimented by comfortable shoes. No baseball cap today, though the bulk of her ginger red hair is tied back in a high ponytail.

Clutching today's issue of the Bugle— borrowed from the captain— she takes note that there doesn't seem to be any official news or statements in the paper, at least not yet. Standing in front of cameras, taking questions, guarding Coulson, the weirdo raccoon and the tree guy… somewhere, deep down, the Inhuman wonders if this is the new normal for her.

Pacing the main path across the island, there's no way that the island's CCTV or security systems haven't detected her yet, but she shows no particular worry of being detected, or even if she's trespassing… wait, is this trespassing? Should she have called ahead properly, first? Crap. This is her first solo op, one that she even asked if she could take on, and she's probably botching all the protocols up.

After a prerequisite period to rubberneck and gawk at the tower up-close, she goes— right up to the front door, reaching out to click the buzzer and wait.

Random visitors weren't just something expected at the Tower. Most of the time any new faces who showed up were those invited by Red Robin. He sure took recruitment seriously, but those that know him really wouldn't expect anything less.

While the unfamiliar face didn't trigger any serious alarms, given Robin's obsession with face recognition and DNA scanning and all that other hi-tech security, naturally some sort of warning was set off. You know, just in case. There are ups and downs to having such an identifiable and prominent headquarters, after all.

Someone had gotten bored of waiting for further results to come in mechanically since the initial ping, and was already by the door when Sloane reached it. For all that the door swings open at that moment one could have thought they'd hit some switch rather than a buzzer. Except that someone's standing there, grin fading momentarily in surprise, and then reappearing anew in recognition.

"Fish girl!" the speedster blurts, pointing.

What kind of Agent is she going to be? Cool and professional? Friendly and approachable? What if it isn't the young man that she's looking for? What if, perhaps, she ends up running into that Red Robin guy, or anyone else here, and - and-

Click, buzz, and then the door opens, seemingly almost all at once in a display that makes the Inhuman startle a little. Quickly regaining her composure, it clicks— she found him! First try, at that- her slick mighty investigative methods paid dividends, right here.

Sloane takes off her sunglasses, slipping them into her coat's inside pocket with a fangy grin. "Good to see ya again. It's been awhile since the river! That whole thing with the monsters, and the exploding pidgeons, that was…" the ginger says, making a 'bkhhhm' sound effect and fanning out her fingers to 'blow up.'

"Oh, right, um- so. Wait, what am I supposed to call you? I've been a little … busy- urgh. I'm blowing this so badly. Oh, right-"

Sloane's hand dips back into her coat- not for a weapon, but to pull out a small leather fold with an identification card and badge, snapping it open in a manner that she totally did not practice for an hour to get just right. "I'm Agent Sloane Albright, with SHIELD. I was hoping I could talk to you for a few minutes."

"Seriously! That whole thing feels like it's been forever ago!" Although honestly speaking, something an hour ago could feel the same for a speedster. He tilts his head as Sloane fumbles over her words, trying to get herself back on track. Well, there hadn't really been time for proper introductions when lightning was falling and fish were getting fried and yes, of course the exploding pigeons…

His attention gets easily diverted as she whips out the badge. Shiny! -wait. He blinks and looks at Sloane again, nodding to himself. Shouldn't be surprising to have someone from SHIELD on their doorstep, right? "Sloane? Cool. Or should I call you agent? I'm Impulse, just Impulse- of the Titans, I guess. Um. Obviously, I mean…" He jerks a thumb upwards as though to indicate the GIANT T-SHAPED TOWER above them.

"Sure, we can talk. Er…am I in trouble for anything…?"

"Hah! Yeah, it does. Though it takes forever to get that 'East River' smell out of your hair, you know what I mean?" Sloane asks with a grin. "I thought it would never come out. As for the other thing," she says, tilting a hand from one side to another, "Whatever feels comfortable for now."

"I mean I'm an Agent. And it's cool. - calling me Sloane, I guess. For now! I'm still working on a codename," the young Agent adds in aside. "Besides, you can't be that much older than me, so it'd be a little weird? … Sorry! I'm still really new to the job."

Letting her hands slip into her coat pockets, she fires a quick glance over her shoulder, letting some old fashioned paranoia slip in for a second despite being on one of the most secure private properties in New York right now. "Anyway, no, it's not like that. You heard about the charity gala a couple weeks ago, right? The attack by the terrorists there? One of them could run."

There's a brief, knowing pause.


Impulse nods in sympathy. "It was pretty gross. Well, at least you didn't get all mutated or anything from it, right?" He's pretty sure she was already scaly and stuff when she'd gone for a swim then.

It never ceases to amaze him at how casual people can be with identities, and then in more extreme cases, be like Red Robin who wears his mask even when lounging around here in the Tower. Impulse tends to fluctuate between keeping his real name apart, but sometimes it's just nicer to hang out in casual when at headquarters, not to mention it takes him all of two seconds to get into costume.

"Okay, Sloane it is. Heh, yeah… guess it'd be weird, haha…" He hopes that doesn't come off as awkward but then he probably shouldn't be explaining to people how he's really only about six or something. Hyper metabolism! Yaaay…!

When she glances back, Impulse tilts his head curiously before leaning to the side to peer past her, wondering if she's expecting someone? Is she being followed? He'd get a ping if that was the case, at least. His attention shifting back to her, Impulse blinks before starting to nod. "Oh yeah, that thing." Some of the Titans were there too, weren't they? Why wasn't he the- Oh, right. He got lost in Avalon. …that was an interesting night.

"Fast?" Behind his yellow tinted goggles, he arches a brow. "Like. Me fast?"

For what it's worth, Sloane won't be able to worry or talk about her identity or codename or even maintain cover— there were photographers in front of the Triskelion yesterday, and she's expecting to be kept in-frame with Coulson when the Bugle finally runs their story. Maybe they'll start digging into her past. Maybe they are digging into her past.

Ugh, that'll be a treat.

"Yeah. - Maybe. I mean, I'm not blaming you or asking if it was you- I know it wasn't. But this guy… I don't know if he can actually run on water or something, but he was zipping around the place, and gone before anyone could react to it," she says, skipping over a few of the details- psychic battles, power armors dropping through the ceiling, getting punched across the concert hall and being knocked senseless.

"I don't want to waste your time, and I'm kind of going out on a limb here. You don't actually know me, but we might need your help. I can run a decent mile, but I don't have anything even remotely like your speed, or his. Any insight you can give, or tips, or hell, maybe I can talk my boss into letting you in on the investigation."

"I'm not asking you to join SHIELD. … I mean, I don't really have the authorization for something like that, even if I were. Just for a hand."

Being blamed for the incident hadn't seemed to cross his mind. "Oh yeah, it couldn't have been me. I was fighting undead hordes that night," Impulse replies almost a little too dismissively, but his face reads as utterly serious, because well, he is.

"I don't know much about what happened that night, but um…" He scratches his head. Personally he doesn't see why it would be a problem to help out. It's not a Titans job but that doesn't mean you ignore problems and potential threats. …although it's probably not really a matter of potentiality any more.

"Well no, that'd be kinda….weird? If you came here to recruit me, that is." He grins crookedly. Yeah, that would be super weird. "But I can try helping if you think I'd be able to. I'm not sure where I'd start on that, other than looking all over the place but I was told that's impractical," he snorts, shrugging. Most of the time it works! For him.

'I was fighting undead hordes,' a line that causes the girl's head to slant to one side at an angle that suggests that she can't believe what she just heard. The fish girl can't believe it. "You know, no kidding, if you told me something like that a year ago, I probably would've laughed and called you crazy," she says, helplessly shrugging. "And then I found out I'm Inhuman."

"Thank you. Here, lemmie-" Sloane starts, patting around at her pockets before fishing out a small business card from her coat. It's very plain, generic stationary; no names on it, but a phone number. "If you need to get in touch with me, you can here. I'll talk to my superiors and let them know you're on board— if I'm not in touch, one of them certainly will be. Any help you end up being able to give us is gonna be a lot in the long run, Impulse. Thanks."

He killed a necromancer too, but that's not something he feels comfortable with sharing. His feelings are still a bit complicated on the issue. Oh, but he does know that look that Sloane gives him, and when she admits her thoughts on the matter, he laughs. "Yeah, it was weird. I tackled a dark elf into a magical shadow portal and ended up in a bar in Avalon." It probably doesn't help that his delivery of that information is so matter-of-fact.

Huh, so she's an Inhuman… He wonders if she knows Iso or Black Bolt. "Huh? Ooh!" He takes the business card, his excitement shifting to confusion as there doesn't seem to be much of anything on it except a phone number. Booooring. Still, he nods at her, giving her a thumb's up.

"Yeah, okay, awesome. -was that a pun?" He quirks a brow at her, but then grins. "Anyway, I haven't done anything yet, but you're welcome, Sloane."

Sloane's head tilts further. It's not that she doesn't believe him, it's just really … nuts. Crazy. A year ago, she kept the whole 'superhero' thing at more than a comfortable arm's length. She just … wasn't a fan. This says nothing of the one particular poster on her wall in her studio flat, but /that/ is a story of it's own. Now, now that she's neck-deep in it, a part of it forever, she can't help but feel a little envious when the stories start becoming more and more ludicrous.

"That… is a story I'll have to hear sometime."

Sloane's expression is polite, cordial, and yet never tipping one way or another between entirely too serious and entirely too jovial. Maybe she's trying to be more professional, or channel some of the diplomatic skills possessed by Sally. "Why Impulse, I would never."

Though she quickly winks, extending her forefinger up and wiggling her thumb like a finger-gun. "I mean, I totally would, but this time it was unintentional."

Stepping back from the door, fists slipping into her pockets, she looks back toward the docks and the walk ahead. "Now for the boring part. You know, I sometimes think the ferry captain enjoys taking his sweet time."

Impulse grins. "Yeah, sure. Maybe another time." He's not sure what to make of Sloane's reactions, let alone have any guesses as to what might be going through her mind. For him, superheroes and the like were just natural. His dad and aunt had been one. His grandpa was known as one of the greatest Speedsters in the world. Aaand he'd been kidnapped by evil alien things that wanted to cut him open to see how that all worked but ended up saved only to be a test subject by Earth Gov and live half of his life in virtual reality. In the future.

Briefly he wonders if he'd actually offended her, but then he catches that wink and smiles again. He'd heard that Barry liked to use all sorts of speed puns. Stepping out past the doorway, he squints off into the distance as thoug he could see beyond the trees where the dock lies. "Oh yeah. That thing takes forever. I've never taken the thing but I ran circles around it once until I almost accidentally made a whirlpool around it- errm…" Pause. "Don't tell anyone that happened, yeah?" He grins sheepishly. "-anyway! You uh. Want a lift back? Or is that weird? I just thought it'd beat waiting." He shrugs, looking at Sloane.

Stopping a short distance down the path, the Agent glances back at Impulse, considering the offer for a moment. Taking the ferry would be the longer, more relaxing, more 'waste time' way of doing this, but at the same time, the last time she was sprinted across the East River was something of a shock and surprise. "Ha ha ha, you did what?"

He offers a ride. "Really? That'd be awesome, if it's not too much trouble. And, - I swear, I won't scream in your ear this time."

"Eh, you know, centrifugal force, stuff like that. You can apply the same to unwind tornadoes." No Impulse, not everyone can do that.

"But yeah! Not any trouble," he assures her, grinning. "Quick to and from- and no lightning bolts chasing us. Although no screaming in my ear would also be a plus." At least it shouldn't be a question as to whether he can carry her for all that he's a wiry thing. "Whenever you're ready!"

"I'll have to remember that the next time I have to fight a tornado. … I mean if … huh. I wonder if you can fight a tornado with water," Sloane says, momentarily thoughtful- like it just never occurred before.

Standing straight, she lifts her arms, a little, just not quite sure of how to stand or ready herself for the trip. It's going to be fast, right? But it's not like teleportation or anything. "Ready! I think! I mean, do I need to stand in any special way, or jump, or is there a trick…"

Impulse seems to genuinely give that some thought as well. "I dunno…. Wouldn't it just turn into a waterspout?" He's not sure whether that would be helping or making things worse.

Looking over at Sloane as she tries to figure out how to position herself, he laughs and then *zwip* -he's not standing where he'd been, and he's scooped her up in his arms. "Nah, don't think so. Just hang on." Not that he'd drop her or something, but he gives her a rather generous couple of seconds before he takes off. Around them the scenery blurs between the wooded area of the Tower's natural screen before opening up as they reach the East River.

It seems like they'd only just reached the water's edge when suddenly the world around them comes into focus as Impulse stops, standing at the dock at the main bank.

"Maybe, if-"


Oh god he's fast seeing it again brings it all back into super sharp focus and-

'Just hang on.'

The scenery blurs. Her hair is blown straight back, eyes narrowing to adjust for the rush of air and the scenery becoming a blur of colors and light, and her body is about as rigid as stone for a short time while her arms clutch the speedster tightly-

- and then he stops suddenly. Her pupils are paper-thin slits; her fingers take a moment to remember how to straighten and free themselves from being as stiff as the dead. Waiting for the chance to let her legs down and steady herself, the Agent regains her composure by clearing her throat, adjusting her coat, and then trying her best to give the speedster a polite smile. Don't scream don't scream don't scream don't scream.

"Thank you, Impulse. We'll absolutely be in touch."

Holding his arms out in case the SHIELD agent might topple, Impulse gives her a nod once she seems okay.

"No prob! See you around then, Sloane. Oh, and good luck with that investigation thing." Because they're already and still working on things on that end, right? He grins lopsidedly and tosses her a salute as he dances back a few steps towards the dock's edge, and then promptly vanishes into a red and white blur, leaving just the briefest trail of rippling water in his wake, already soon enough marred by the river's flow.

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