For the Kids

April 23, 2015:

Fighting crime in Gotham City takes more than vigilantes busting heads. It requires outreach of all kinds. There's a fundraiser coming up to put money toward that outreach: specifically, an after-school project called "The Exploratorium" that seeks to give underprivileged kids access to toys, tools, and resources to spur their interest in science and technology.
That's the boilerplate stuff, anyway. What matters is that there will be ice sculptures, chocolate fountains, catered food, dancing, and celebrities to take part in it all. There will also be a 'Tinkering' corner where a group of kids from Gotham High will be showing off their own STEM projects.
Dancing. Drinks. And a science fair. Something for everyone!

Gotham City

A nice mansion

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The event is taking place in one of the loveliest mansions in Gotham City that's still available for events. The wealthy owners, the Valenzuela family, have graciously donated the use of the first floor of their home (with a velvet rope and a pair of security guards at the stairs ensuring no couples sneak up for a look at the bedrooms) to the cause.
The event is being put on by a group called 'Gotham Cares', a non-profit focusing group that finds worthy causes and organizes fundraisers for them. This month's worthy cause is 'The Exploratorium', a group that wants to extend STEM-based after-school activities to Gotham's youth.
So in light of this, the decor has a slightly sciencey air. The gorgeous 1920s mansion already has many Art Deco touches; these are enhanced by decorations in black and silver, One of the sitting rooms has been transformed into a gadgeteer's toy shop: there are kids there showing off their robotics projects and an area where visitors can even take control of small remote-control robots or work on building their own.
The ballroom is half-loaded with tables and chairs for the guests, while the other half is… well, a ballroom, perfectly built for dancing. A local swing band has set up, but the musicians are absent from their instruments for the moment. Several small buffet tables with different sorts of delicacies are arrayed around the room so as not to create one long obnoxious line. There is, praise be, a chocolate fountain in the middle of the dessert section, a champagne fountain near the bar, and an ice sculpture in the middle of the dining area.
Swanky, in other words.

It's an environment that Howard Stark is completely and utterly at home in. The neatly-tailored three-piece navy suit looks like it was selected by a movie costumer to perfectly fit with the gala surroundings. He's only just arrived. There's no beautiful woman on his arm, but there is a small entourage. A man like him doesn't come to something like this alone. It may be the posh part of Gotham, but it's still Gotham - and threats against him are a real possibility.
His assistant has just returned from fetching Stark Sr. a Sazerac from the bar. He murmurs a thank-you and starts towards the place where the kids are.

Cameron had been considering attending the fundraiser for The Exploratorium for a few weeks after she'd heard about it. The statuesque paramedic typically doesn't attend such things, given that she's either ducking the paparazzi, doing the paramedic-on-duty thing, or off doing things to help out Metropolis. She'd set the information on the side in her apartment to be recycled in due time when her mother Maria had visited. Suddenly, there was this amazing epiphany and Maria Tenoaks lent some of her sway to the registrar in charge of the guest list to get Cameron added… but forgot to inform her daughter of her attendance until earlier this week.

Queue a frantic scrambling for a dress of some sort, a visit to a hair stylist in Metropolis capable of tending to the coiffure of the heavily empowered, and the borrowing of some clip-on diamond earrings and necklace from one of her co-workers on MetFireResc.

Also forgotten in that information hand-over was the fact that Cameron had apparently offered to give a speech at some point during the evening. It could be argued that Maria is being heartless to her daughter, when the truth of the matter is that it is yet another test of the orange-haired woman's capability and adaptability. And besides, she needs to get out of her shell and her comfort zone more!

For today's garb she's sporting a nice if uninspired off-the-rack item from Macy's in royal blue—a long sleeve ruffled faux-wrap dress with appropriate hosiery and modest heels.

Her current activity? Frantically scribbling notes in a notebook as she stands in a corner, trying to come up with a speech because if she doesn't have any idea of what she's saying, the speech could be monosyllabic and short… and the kids of Gotham deserve better than that!

It's unusual to find Babs Gordon out and about. More unusual to find her not in company with someone. The redheaded, IT Security specialist is somewhat reclusive, to say the least. However, STEM and children, how could she resist?

The wheel chair redhead, dressed in a ballgown that covers her legs, hair pulled up in an elegant chignon, makes her way into the ballroom. Blowing out a deep breath, she straightens her back and moves towards the Champagne fountain to get a drink, before heading into the gadgeteer's toy shop.

Since nearly escaping a recent attempt on his life in a safe city, Morien has definitely brought his security detail with him to Gotham. After listening into the latest news on the Pershing Investigation, he slowly makes his way inside the house. He pauses on the outside and looks back at his security detail, "Wait outside, these children have hard enough time with authority figures not believing they are thugs and thieves. We don't Frank having a flashback when he was Florida State Prison Guard, when we meet them.

Frank just snorts at the comment, but a younger female guard named Rachel pats on him back and jokes is a phony Southern accent, "What we've got here is a failure to communicate?" Rachel laughs at her own joke and nods, "We get the point. Frank and me will tell the others to make sure the perimeter is safe and stay outside.

Morien walks into the house and checks out the different rooms and where the nearest exists are.

Warren Worthington the Third comes in fashionably late, dressed in a three piece suite in pearl and white, his wings trailing behind like a cloak. Apparently he came alone, but he often is for fundraising events. The times he appeared with a different super-model at his arm every week are a few years in his past, and the famous mutant is a much more private individual lately.

Still, he keeps his winning smile, which he shows often as he greets the people he knows, and those who are introduced to him. It is the first time Warren comes to Gotham, so the meet and greet takes a while.

Among the guests at the party was Carol Ferris, the President of the world renowned Ferris Air; a family owned company that had transformed over the decades into one of the top companies in the nation.

Most recently, it had been rumoured that Miss Ferris had even been among the defense contractors from Ferris Air that had helped fight against the Atlantean invasion some months earlier.

Presently she was dressed in an exquisite royal purple gown with gold accents as well as several beautiful pieces of jewellery including a purple sapphire necklace.

Reaching up a hand to touch her perfectly coiffed hair she smiled at the man she was speaking to, "Thank you so much for your kind words. I'll be sure to have my assistant schedule your son in for an interview. What's a favor between friends right?" Of course, she would be here networking, it was in her nature.

There are some adorable kids in there — they're all competition winners from the inauguratory class of Explorateers. There's an elementary, a middle school, and a high school aged representative.
The littlest kid, a tiny and wispy girl with white-blonde hair and twinkly eyes, is dressed in sparkly blue and has a little mechanical mouse that can run through a maze from any point.
The high school winner is a boy with dark hair in a bowl cut. He's standing on a platform about two feet above the ground. The platform's connected to a mechanical arm that stretches out and back and rises up and down when he wiggles a joystick. All of the pieces seem remarkably thin, but they nevertheless seem to hold him.
The kid from middle school, a black girl with her hair in cornrows that each end in a brightly-colored set of beads, has something that seems much less mechanically-flashy. She has a jar hooked up to some fairly complicated-looking equipment. It's a glowing purple jar that makes the occasional fizz and pop when it's turned on.

It used to be that Howard could look around a room like this and know everyone. He'd know who they deal with, what their product is, and what the latest scandal plaguing them was. But now? Well, he might know things about their parents and grandparents. If he feels out of his element though, he doesn't let it show.
He smiles at the children and their projects. He stops by the middle school girl and lifts a brow. "What is it you've got here?"

The frantic scribbling continues. Along with some scratching out. And the destruction of a sheet of paper as the paramedic uses a bit too much force. Cameron looks around sheepishly and turns the page, and writes a bit more slowly, noting the different projects. Mechanical Mouse — perfect development of a learning pathing GPS system? Platform with lightweight materials — could revolutionize trade and service industries? Jar? Leave that one out for the moment.

She is probably not approaching this the way that Mom wanted her to, but hey, she IS her own person, right?

As more and more people get introduced she starts watching the exits warily. It'd be so easy to just step out of one and escape.

Babs pauses at the door, she hasn't noticed Morien (the only person she's met as 'Babs') yet, and looks around. Seeing the middle school girl has been engaged by Howard Stark, she makes her way to the blond moppet. "Hello there, my names, Babs. What have you got there." she smiles warmly, as she looks at the mouse.

Outside the SUV pulled off and a few men dressed in their own finery of the 'penguin suits' move to disappear around and into the shadows of the building. Standing where the SUV had shielded was the woman with short cropped black hair, neatly smoothed and spiked in areas with a shining flexible hair cream. This leaves sharp features accented and all that more keen, down to the kohl accented corner of her eyes, giving them a more feline lift to the edges and popping the emerald hue of eyes. the slender column of her neck is bare down to one shoulder and arm, left unfettered by fabric, but the other is wrapped in that of black satin. A form fitting dress to accentuate the curvature of a finely honed and athletically trained woman, solid at the front and back, but along the sides lace leaves skin exposed between mesh wrappings of nylon fabric that bears effigy of feline leopard spots. At the back a light train trails behind the steps of metal tipped stiletto heels.

Stepping into the event Selina Kyle's lips split into a cheshire grin, the clutch held in her hand opened and where donations are taken she drops the sealed envelope. Anything for the children, anything that gives them more time off the city streets of Gotham - anything that will keep them from being made into…

A deft hand pulls a glass from the middle of the champagne flute pyramid, luck not tipping it to a shattering fall before she plunges it into the fountain.

If the girl with the jar recognizes Howard Stark, it's not affecting her nervousness. She looked nervous before. She looks nervous now. Nervous and proud, though, and she straightens up to give an apparently well-rehearsed speech.
"I'm demonstrating the principle of — " Deep breath. "Inertial electrostatic confinement. It's not dangerous. It's not giving off near enough radiation to need shielding. I checked. I'd need a lot more power and deuterium in there, an' deuterium is real hard to get. The glow inside is plasma. It's not quite fusion, but it's showing the same principles used to make a fusion reactor."
Another deep breath: "I wanted to learn how to make it because I really liked the name. It's a Star in a Jar. Do you want to see it turned up?"

The twinkly little girl with the mouse in the labyrinth looks thrilled to be asked the question by Babs, and she clasps her hands and gives an excited little bounce on the balls of her feet before she starts in on her own explanation. "I helped make the mouse and I programmed him to be able to run through a maze. The first thing I learned was how to teach him to go this far and then stop and turn and go this way an' like that. But. But I thought that if it just knew how to run one way that wasn't good. So I made it so that if you put the mousie down on any of the little silver circles in there, he'll know where he is and he'll know how to get home."
Her smile gets bigger: "You wanna try it?"

Unlike perhaps some people here, Howard understood every word of what the little girl is telling him. "Well. That's very impressive. Go ahead and turn it up." He motions towards her. He looks down the way and smiles at the other little girl who is babbling and explaining her own project. Sniff. The children really are our future! So many wonderful little nerdlings.

Morien us so focus on the little girl as she explains her invention that he doesn't realize who she is speaking to until after she asks if the person want to try the invention. Morien eyes briefly widen in surprise as he notice Babs here. Morien walks over to her, "What a surprise seeing you here, but it is welcome surprise. You look amazing in that dress." Morien peers around the room at the other people in the room and back at Barbara, "Do you volunteer your time with some of the after school STEM programs in Gotham. Morien grinds his teeth a bit, "I hope that did not come off as me a being a snob. That was not my attention."

Warren finally manages to fulfill his introductions and peers around for more interesting matter. Of course, the children. Poor kids forced to be on display for the jaded and powerful of Gotham. Well, the least he can do is show some interest and offer some kind words. He is pleasantly surprised there are some others there already being nice. Even the not-dead-after-all Mr. Stark. "Hello, I am Warren. Hey, that looks cool…" "er… yes, they are real wings," "yes, from the aerodynamic standpoint I shouldn't be able to fly, but…"

Babs smiles at the twinkly girl and nods "Well that's pretty impressive. And yes, I would love to have a go." Taking the mouse, she places it on one of the circles "Now tell me, about these silver circles. What do they do that help the mouse know where it is and how to get home?"

Having wrangled the teen bratlings (um, batlings sorry) for so long, the enthusiasm of the girl has Babs relaxing. Morien's question has her looking up "Mr Washington, how nice to see you again. And thank you for the compliment. No, I don't volunteer, but given the chance I certainly wanted to support the children."

Gesturing to the blonde girl "This young lady, I didn't get her name, was just explaining what her invention does."

Cameron makes her way over to the boy with the cherry-picker basket and watches him put the device through some evolutions before tilting her head a bit.

"Material seems kinda light, what is this and what is the goal?"

Sure, she's kind of blunt but that's almost a calling card for her as she listens to any sort of insight the young man may have to offer, taking interested notes as a welcome distraction from trying to put together a speech.

Tiny Blondie has an AUDIENCE. Tiny Blondie, for anyone who looks, is also in fact wearing an Elsa dress. She clasps and unclasps her hands, shifting her weight from one foot to another.
"My name's Fiona," she says. "Fiona Green. And the little circles all have a circuit attached to them, an' the circuit's only job is to say 'you are here'. Like a directory in the mall. And the mousie knows that if he's on this circle — " She points to one. "Then he has to go this way and this way to get home. And if he's on this one, then he has to do it different. It's the same thing. It's just a lil more complicated." When she gets a proper look at Warren, her eyes get HUGE and she leans forward and whispers: "You have WINGS."
The middle-school girl, meanwhile, gives Howard a shy grin as she reaches down for a dial. "Don't look right in the center," she says. "But you won't want to. It'll hurt your eyes." When she does crank up that dial, the light begins to grow. The plasma is gathering more intensely. It gains a sort of 'bugle' shape extending from it, then a bright beam extending to the jar's side. "Don't want it to stay like that," she continues. "It's making that part of the jar really, really hot… okay!" At last, the light in the middle is brilliant and violet and tiny beams extend from it that look like the twinkle of a star in the night sky. It's really quite beautiful.
The young man from the high-school contest is explaining his own display as well: "…using carbon nano-tubes, but I don't have that kind of money. So this is actually all rigged up with steel and ceramic and some polymers. I can't take credit for the polymers. There's some students at Empire State who were working on those and let me use them for this. But we could put three, four people on here and it wouldn't tilt. And it could still stretch out and support. The longer the distance, the sketchier it is, but this model's safe up to five hundred pounds."
Off in the ballroom, the music begins. It's just pleasant background music now, but it may be urging people back in that direction. The host of the event, District Attorney Janet van Dorn, is starting to make her way through the crowd. She, too, is shaking hands and smiling politely at the people she meets. After she makes her way to the podium and picks up her microphone, she announces: "If the guests would be so kind as to make their way to the ballroom, the awards ceremony is about to begin."

After the drink is gathered up Selina moves towards the children but only after inquiring with others about the placement of the funds and if this also goes to those underprivileged in Gotham and not just those afforded the ability to be in schools for such things.

Elbows rubbed and gazes turned the woman almost blends with the throng that presses around the children, one of which that seemed to be a less privileged, the invention one of grand possibility but underfunded and therefore will be overlooked perhaps despite its promise.

In her path to the girl Selina passed by a few, one hard to miss man of well dressed finery bearing wings. In a heart beat and a brush when she slid sideways past him his wrist is a couple pounds lighter of the watch he wore.

Standing in front of the child and hearing them almost nervously explain the invention Selina leans over and ruffles the child's hair, her other hand holding out the watch and dropping it in her lap before placing a finger to her lips with a wink. "I want to see you succeed, that should get you what you need."

Stepping back now she disappears back into the crowd, slinking between bodies like a shadow.

When the call to move into the ballroom is made, Carol slips up near Morien and smiles before handing him a business card she retrieved from within her clutch, "Mister Washington, my name is Carol Ferris. I was hoping that the pair of us could meet sometime to discuss some beneficial relations between our two companies. Not now of course, this just seemed a far more efficient way to reach you since I see you here tonight." She winked at the man, "If you would care to dance later on this evening, please let me know."

"Okay, I won't," says Howard to the middle-school girl. He watches intently, then smiles when the device begins to glow. "Well, you've accomplished something very special here for someone your age, young lady. Congratulations. But…" he rocks a half-step away, stops, leans in, "You'll have finer control of the reaction if you replace the dial with a lever." He winks, then steps away to head towards the ballroom.

Glancing up at Warren, Babs nods slightly before turning back to the moppet "Well, Fiona, that's very clever. I'm impressed." Babs turns an ear to the announcement "Please excuse me…" Looking to Morien, the redhead raises an eyebrow at Carol's approach to the man and starts to move towards the ballroom.

Cameron nods thoughtfully and takes some notes as the high-schooler explains. "So with the right material, what kind of weight do you think it could hold at the logical extension point?" From a professional perspective her curiosity is piqued — if they could come up with a more efficient method of reaching high-rises… more lives could be saved.

"I'm gonna let some folks on the Department know about this over in Met, if that's okay?" If this kid could get some more funding and the proper material…

The call to the ballroom leaves her wincing a bit as she heads on over. No, she's not going to use the kids as cover to avoid attention!

Warren waves to Fiona. Definitely, he has wings. Apparently he has also managed to lose his watch, weird thing that, but it doesn't worry him for more than five seconds. There are more interesting things happening, like Miss van Dorn announcement. The winged man follows the crowd to the ballroom.

The DA is actually looking remarkably nice tonight. For being a politician, Janet doesn't enjoy so much of the glad-handing or the fancying up. She'd be happier in a courtroom. But small and slender as she is, she's made for the 1920s fashions, so she's here in vintage blue and gold silk with bare arms and a sort of Greek style to the cut. It's elegant, right along with the sparkling necklace and the gleaming headband she wears. Very 20s. Very much more sparkly than she usually is.
As people sit down, the children join them — they and their parents have a table up near the front, and they all look pleased and proud as punch. Even the girl who's carefully tucked something into her little purse and gives a quick glance back over to Selina.
"I'd like to thank you all," Janet begins, "for your presence here tonight. Gotham City…" She takes a deep breath.
"Gotham City is where I grew up. It's where I came back to when I finished law school. The people of Gotham are full of promise and determination and drive, but what we sometimes lack is hope. Hope is perhaps the most precious commodity in the world. You can't buy a car with it. You can't fund college with it. But hope — along with drive and talent and hard, hard work — can take a working-class kid to the highest echelons. Hope can turn a criminal into a community organizer. There are people who would give up on Gotham and who think that the citizens of this great city have nothing to offer. There are three kids here who prove those people wrong. And all of you here, by your presence and by your very kind donations, prove them wrong as well."
"Before we begin the awards ceremony itself," she continues, "I'd like to call up a few of our guests tonight. The first perhaps needs no introduction, but I'll give the best one I can. This man helped make technology accessible to the world. He was one of the visionaries of the future, someone who saw all the ways industry could help people. We all know his name, though it's one maybe heard a little less in Gotham City — may I introduce to you all, Mr. Howard Stark."

Morien takes a step back as Carol introduces herself and smiles, "Of course, I look forward to talking to you about our companies, and that dance latter." Morien turns his attention back to the different children until he hears the music, and decides to make his way into the ballroom. Morien looks around the room at some of the other party goers.

Morien eyes fall briefly on the winged Warren, and Cameron would still stand out even if he didn't know who she was through his secret identity. Morien steps into the room just in time to capture Janet Van Dorn's speech.

Howard ditches his drink after polishing it off and puts it on a passing tray. He stands nearby and waits for Janet to make her speech, and to introduce him. Then he puts on his best charming smile and makes his way up to the podium. If anyone was expecting an elderly man, well, they haven't been paying attention to the news.
"Thank you for your kind words, District Attorney van Dorn. And thank you to the hosts this evening. But most of all, I want to thank our young presenters. When you live as long as I have, when you've done as much as I have, it's easy to miss the wonder of scientific discovery. It's easy to forget about that spark that all scientists have that drives them to discover and to seek out knowledge." He looks towards the three children who were presenting their projects. "They have absolutely no clue who I am. But my ego can take it. Honestly, it can." He reaches up to straighten his tie and flashes another one of his famous charming smiles.
While his son Tony is known for his devil-may-care sort of charm, Howard's style is a bit more old-fashioned - understandably. "Now, all of you must have heard about my new project. If you haven't, I'm going to have to fire my publicist." Wry, dry, that. "The Hellenic Institute of New Knowledge, or THINK is dedicated to the free pursuit of knowledge that will lead to innovative technology that will better the lives of people everywhere. Tonight, in honour of the lab's opening, I'm offering one scholarship to the top graduating STEM students in five of the lowest income Gotham school districts. These scholarships will be worth approximately $15,000. In addition, I'm offering a full scholarship to the school of the student's choice to one young woman."
"Now," he pauses, "I've had the great pleasure to work with some absolutely brilliant women over my career, in all fields. And I know that young women scientists face even more of an uphill battle when they also come from a disadvantaged background. I can't help all of them, but it's a start. And I hope some of you here tonight with deep pockets will follow my example."

Selina is not a big name, she is known in Gotham, but more-so for her funding towards the impoverished, orphanages and Wild Animals (Namely big cats). She is known and whispered abut in the circles of the rich, but no one can ever really peg the woman don long enough to have the elusive femme answer anything. Elusive, and outside of the show of presence she may as well be considered endangered.

Each patron is getting a quick glimpse, an assessment that some show they want if they catch her gaze, others disregard. You don't want that look people. Really. But finally her eyes come to settle on the podium with van Dorn as well as Stark. He is not unknown at all, she has to hear about him all the time from her own inventionist and techie, him and his legacy. If it is not singing their praises it is embittered grumbling or fanfare and adoration. But such is to be who you are in any fashion.

Finishing her glass of champagne she sets it aside and just as hands are about to come up and fold a hairless feline leaps into them with a small 'chirrup' purr, coiling it's tail around her arm and nestling in, claws dimpling into hr exposed skin but not piercing, watching with half lidded boredom from his fleshly perch.

Cameron fidgets a bit as she sits, then takes a deep breath and lets it out. Atlantean invasions? Piece of cake. Fighting the minions of Zod? A breeze. Getting punched in the chest by an amazingly powerful hero and living? It hurt, but… she survived in one piece. Nothing terrifies Cameron more than having to deal with the public, and in particular making speeches. Sure, she got good grades on them in class during school, but getting in front of people and speechifying off the cuff… really isn't her thing.

And Janet herself is known in Gotham for being that rarest of all creatures: an incorruptible Gotham politician. She's known for having decked someone who tried to bribe her at one point, and whether she's loved or hated (mostly she's not thought of, but she's not exactly loved), people know she's a straight shooter — and someone who really cares for the city.
She joins in the applause for Howard as he gives up the microphone, murmuring a brief 'thank you very much, Mr. Stark' before she starts announcing to the rest of the crowd.
"Mr. Howard Stark, everyone. Thank you very much. We are very, very grateful for your generosity. And now," Janet continues, "I am pleased to present a representative from another forward-thinking group of citizens. Where some hide their agendas in the dark, this lady comes out into the open. She's been in the papers before with her remarkable heroics, and we are honored to present to you, Columbia!"
Nice little not-so-veiled jab at the vigilantes there. She's known to despise that kind of thing, and yet she's announcing Cameron. Huh.

Babs is positioned unobtrusively to the side and she applauds when everyone else does. Janet's gibe at the Vigilantes has the redhead smirking a little, but she'll sit quietly and observe what's going on around her. Her glass of champagne is barely touched.

At least Cam got the notice when she signed in to the party. So when her name is called she doesn't turn pale, she doesn't book for the exits, and she slowly stands up, smoothing out her dress a bit as she walks to the podium.

"Thank you very much, Miss Van Dorn." She turns to the people present and swallows a bit, then lets out a slow breath. Folks who are familiar with her normal encounters with the media might be a bit surprised to see her here, actually speaking up, in public.

"Opportunity."

"A lot of folks use this as a loaded buzzword these days, either as a scoffing indication of something that's really not all that great but needs to be done, or some extended sales-pitch. The word has lost some of its heart and some of its meaning because of that."

The orange-haired woman pauses and glances to the audience.

"It was through a federal grant and hard work that I was able to go to school and get the education I needed to become a paramedic, so I know very much what it is like to have a hand up. Not a hand out, as some folks would like to call this sort of program these days, but a hand up.

If we can't help out the bright lights of future generations, then we'll lose all they have to offer us — their wisdom, their insight, their knowledge and sheer audacity to look at things with new eyes and forward thought.

As a lot of folks know, I'm not what you could consider 'affluent'. In fact, at points I struggle to make ends meet. But that's my choice. And it's also my choice to donate a month worth of my pay to The Exploratorium, and offer to help provide mentoring during my off-time.

Sometimes, a genius just needs a sounding board, or the person who is on the cusp of making the worst decision… a second opinion. I am not afraid to volunteer some of my time to this worthy cause.

A few months back, a reporter asked me a really pointed question, the kind that sticks with you. They asked 'What about Gotham?'. My response here, tonight, would be another question… "What can YOU do for Gotham? Thank you."

Politics aside from the discussion, the tall woman peers out over the crowd, with a hopeful glint to her eyes. She was going to add more to the speech from her notes but.. that right there seems to be a good spot to end it on. And it's more than she's said publicly in months at one go.

Morien claps lightly in response to Howard Stark's speech and offer of aiding the youth of Gotham. Morien notices a break in the speeches and tries to make a beeline to Janet Van Dorn before she introduces Cameron, but just misses her. After she introduces Cameron, Morien walks over to her. "District Attorney Dorn, one of the few shining lights that exists in Gotham's bureaucracy. I am Morien Washington. This is an amazing venture that you are hosting tonight. It is sort of leadership this city desperately needs if it is to attract new business to it. Morien looks absently up to the stage to listen to Cameron's speech, then back to Dorn. "Wayne Enterprise has been here for a long time, and yet this city is still…. Well, it is still Gotham." A genuine smile appears on his lips as he utters his next words, "If you ever desire to run for Mayor of Gotham, I would be more than happy to help support your effort. Think about it. The city needs someone that does more of things like this.

Morien claps lightly in response to Howard Stark's speech and offer of aiding the youth of Gotham. Morien notices a break in the speeches and tries to make a beeline to Janet Van Dorn before she introduces Cameron, but just misses her. After she introduces Cameron, Morien walks over to her. "District Attorney Dorn, one of the few shining lights that exists in Gotham's bureaucracy. I am Morien Washington. This is an amazing venture that you are hosting tonight. It is sort of leadership this city desperately needs if it is to attract new business to it.

Morien looks absently up to the stage to listen to Cameron's speech, then back to Dorn. "Wayne Enterprise has been here for a long time, and yet this city is still…. Well, it is still Gotham." A genuine smile appears on his lips as he utters his next words, "If you ever desire to run for Mayor of Gotham, I would be more than happy to help support your effort. Think about it. The city needs someone that does more of things like this.

Howard returns to his seat after his speech. His very dutiful aide has procured another drink for him in the meantime. He listens politely to the other speakers and applauds when appropriate. A man like him revels in the spotlight, but he also knows when to let others have it. That's even more important at a charity event such as this.

There goes the contradictory political jabs. How Selina is loathe to them, and why she is who she is, and does what she does. Cats answer to themselves and whatever they mark as theirs. But it is theirs. Just like she belongs to Amenti and despite the glare she casts down at the creature her other hand strokes over the hairless back lovingly, those nails flashing and showing their pointed filing, the crescent break outlined with diamonds.

Having donated, inspected, and already easily stolen from an angel as well as listened to those of 'importance' here she turns from her place in the doorway and heads back for the exit, passing Oracle and casting a light glance her way. The SUV already pulling up and the two men that had disembarked climbing back within after one holds the door for her.

"And?" A young but broken voice asks.

"Same old same old." Her voice responds with that purring lilt.

The applause for Cameron is as thunderous as that for Howard. Apparently she's pretty popular among some of the guests here tonight. Janet includes her own applause as well, but when she sees Morien making his way to her, she steps aside so as not to pull attention away from Cameron's speech.
Though the DA is known for being cool and collected, never letting anything surprise her, these words apparently do. She shakes the gentleman's hand and actually blinks in astonishment at his suggestion. "I'll — I'll take that under advisement. It's not something I'd really considered just yet. I still don't get into the courtroom nearly as much as I'd like, and…"
As Cameron's speech is ending, she adds softly: "We should talk about this later. But thank you for your vote of confidence."
And then she's back up at the podium, taking up the microphone again. "The time has come now to honor the winners of the first annual science fair competition. I'd like you to consider what you saw the winners achieve. I'd like you to think about how much more they could achieve with the right resources. To present our awards," she continues, "I'd like to introduce a very special citizen of Gotham. When it comes to hope and perseverance and drive, I've never seen anyone like this lady. I knew her father well, as you may remember, and though we didn't always agree, I always respected his love of the city and his desire to do the right thing. I think his daughter exemplifies the same virtues.
"To present the awards, then… Miss Barbara Gordon."

Carol had remained rather quiet, listening to the speeches and presentations with a polite smile as she sipped on a fluted glass of champagne and made the occasional note in her phone. She looked on with great interest as Barbara Gordon was going to take the stage, having heard many great things about her father.

Babs starts a little at her name and the compliment, blushes slightly and then moves her chair forward to wear Janet is standing. "Thank you, Miss Van Dorn." Taking a deep breath, Babs turns to face the crowd.

"It is an honour to be present these awards. The dedication, perseverance and commitment we've seen displayed by these young people, is humbling and yet, uplifting at the same time." Babs smiles softly "So without further ado, I'd like to present awards to Fiona Green, who I had the pleasure of meeting just now; Juanita McFarland; and John Rector."

The wheel chair bound redhead waits for the children to appear, shakes their hand and murmurs a word to each one of them. "These children, and others like them, are our future. I'm thrilled that I could be here to witness this tonight. Thank you and thank you Miss Van Dorn for asking me to present."

Quietly, Babs moves back to her unobtrusive place where she can observe what's happening.

Cameron makes her way back to her seat after she's done speaking, and tries to sort of fold herself out of existence. No, she doesn't have that power, but the focus should be on the kids and she's internally hoping and praying that she got that taken care of correctly. She sits on her hands to keep them from shaking as she watches the presentation of awards.

While this is happening, there's a new addition to the room: a courier in the standard uniform of shorts and uniform shirt that couriers everywhere have. He bustles around the perimeter of the room to find Janet and, when he does, offers her a package. Puzzled, she signs for it and thanks the man, watching him edge out quickly before she opens the envelope.
No, it's not a white powder. But there's what definitely looks like cash. Lots and lots and lots of cash, and a note.
She reads the note. Her eyebrows raise, then her eyes narrow. Her cheeks flush, but the rest of her face goes rather pale. Flicking the note, she clears her throat and drops it into the pile of. Well. Cash.
When Babs is finished with the announcing, she returns to the podium: "Thank you so much, Barbara. I know this means as much to you as it does to me. We've actually just received another donation to add to those announced tonight: ten thousand dollars by a… an individual who prefers to keep their name anonymous. Another anonymous donor has donated fifty thousand dollars tonight as well, not including a matching pledge for their company. If those philanthropists are in the audience tonight… I want you to know I deeply, humbly thank you for your support. All of you. At the end of the evening, we'll be totaling up the donations and announcing the evening's total, but already — already we've surpassed my wildest dreams for this cause. I am thrilled, and I am humbled, and I want to thank you all. Now, please: we have a lovely dinner for you, we have a ballroom all set for dancing, and I think we've had enough speeches for one night. Please: this night is for you, and I'd like you to enjoy it."
And then she's withdrawing from the podium, looking rather relieved herself.

Morien applauds as Barbara is introduce and as each of the children are introduce. He makes a sizable a donation to the charity. He contacts his security detail that he will probably be staying for another couple of hours. Morien returns to mingling.

The orange-haired paramedic will continue to participate in the party, though she's a bit unnerved by the number of folks that come up to her and shake her hand and offer platitudes of various sorts. This… don't they understand that was… No, they don't. After a bit she'll make her way to a quiet corner to make some notes in her notebook while watching the kids and the party warily…

Morien walks over to Carol and extends his hand, "I believe you said I could seek you out for a dance." Morien says, "Unless you are about to leave, and maybe we can have that dance, when we discuss business between our two companies."

Carol took the offered hand and began to lead Morien towards the dance floor, "Of course, but I prefer as much as possible to avoid mixing business and pleasure." Standing opposite the man on the dance floor, she matches the dance steps perfectly, asking, "So tell me a little bit about yourself? I've heard little about you before which is a surprise."

As Cameron makes her way to Babs quiet corner, the redhead smiles up a the orange haired woman. "It's a little overwhelming isn't it? I'm Babs Gordon, you're Columbia right?" Of course Babs knows but this is part of the cover. Her eyes gaze out over the dance floor and she watches Carol and Morien dance, with a sigh.

The paramedic nods down to Babs. "Yes. It is. And yes, that's me." Downside of having a public identity is that everyone pretty much knows who you are unless they just woke up from a block of ice or something silly like that.

"Big groups of people make me a bit nervous, and not just from speaking."

The sigh goes without comment for the moment.

"Really, I heard a lot about you. You have made the list of most power women in America for several years." Morien begins to dance a waltz with Carol and dips her,"The pictures do not do you justice."

"As for me, I am incredibly boring person, and I try to keep a low profile since taking over the company for my brother. My chief operations office, Arielle Reynolds is probably more known than me. She is actually rank more than a few spots below you on the lists which you both appear. Now, I have something to tease her about tomorrow."

"I know what you mean" Babs murmurs to Columbia "I prefer to stay in most times, but I couldn't really miss this one." She smiles slightly "So important for the children to receive our acknowledgement. So important."

Carol smiles at Morien when the dance finished, "Yes, I've heard of Miss Reynolds, she's quite the woman." Eyeing the time she inclines her head politely to her dance partner, "As much as I would love to stay longer, I need to get back to Metropolis. Early morning meetings and all, please let's chat soon Mister Washington."

"It's been bugging me for months. When the one guy asked me that after saving the day over something somewhat important in Metropolis it kind of shook me a bit. Been waiting for a good cause to hop on to. Because they are few and far between here. Gotham needs a lot of help, but even a candle under a bushel can spark a revolution."

She's probably speaking figuratively, right?

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