#Upgrades

June 04, 2018:

Bruce oversees some long overdue final alterations to a surprise for Stephanie.

Batcave

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Iron Man

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

*

Even for someone of Bruce Waynes resources, getting a new armor matrix together without arousing questions in the pipeline of accountants and suppliers is time consuming. Buying the material isn't the issue… but rather putting that material through the ledgers at WayneTech in a way that looks like typical R&D. New projects help with this, sometimes… but the black hole that is WayneTechs budget needs to be kept on the downlow.

Still… most of the foundational work is done.

Stephanie has been consulted here and there about engineering concerns and the occasional appearance question; usually in the subtle form of 'why did you choose that color?'. Nothing leading, but rather passively curious. Tonight, there's a new SpoilerSuit on the main outfitting platform behind the Batcomputer. The Batsuit itself sits in it's storage pod; the black and red sleekness ready to be automatically fitted.

Bruce himself stands in front of the centerpiece mannequin; a colorless matrix of carbon nanotube and flexible composites. This is as cutting edge as Batmans own suit, capable of deflecting or outright stopping low and medium caliber rounds, and taking a decent amount of blunt force from melee.

There's a holo-matrix overlaid onto the suit; a fairly detailed color scheme that's a bit different and updated, transposed from Spoilers current suit.

Bruce is wearing a black sleeveless and dark blue jeans, hands in his waist pockets as he examines the suit with a neutral expression. He's waiting for Stephanie to arrive, herself having been summoned for a 'surprise'

*

Summoned to the Cave. Happens now and again. Spoiler didn't think much of it. The Spring Semester was over. The Summer Mini-mester was starting, but she ended up opting to not take those classes. This close to graduation the only minimester classes that would be remotely useful were either aboard or electives. Stephanie opted to have a few extra hours for the often overlooked things… like sleep.

The skycycle purrs softly to a stop. Spoiler sets the bike down with now practiced ease and plugs it in to the outlet that got fitted for her bike shortly after the Avengers gifted it to her. Rather, Nathaniel gifted it to her. That's an unresolved something she'll think about later.

"You called?" she quips almost as light as what had once been her norm, while padding delicately up to where Bruce stood waiting for her.

*

Bruce doesn't look away from the suit as Stephanie comes in, "Come here." There's no pretending to be Bruce Wayne playboy down here. He's in Bat-Family patriarch mode right now as he stands there, looking at the suit. "I need your input on the finishing touches to this." He gives a nod to the displayed suit in front of him.

*

Stephanie's rarely seen the Playboy Bruce Wayne. Sure, in the media, but that's like a completely different person. That's not HER Bruce. The one she occasionally annoys by forcing him to eat. The one that sometimes quirks a brow when she uses Hello Kitty pencils to take notes while sitting at a desk near the batcomputer.

"Sure," is the amiable agreement, tone light and airy, almost like the days of yore. She comes up to a stop at his side and looks at the suit.

Wait for it…

"OHMYGOSHOHMYGOSHOHMYGOSH AREYOUFORREALRIGHTNOW?!" Those poor bats in the ceiling. Spoiler claps both hands over her purple painted lips, forcing herself to stop and breath and calm. Maybe the suit is for ….someone else… using her color pattern….

"Umm… I mean. What… what needs to… Umm… what was the question?"

*

"You've proven reliable and have a commitment to justice that I'm proud of." Bruce gives in reply after Stephanie goes into squealing schoolgirl mode. This is to be expected by this point, so he only watches her outburst with a blank expression as she gets the energy out of her system. "The basic foundation is done. The armor matrix is loosely based on my own design. Now you just need to tell the outfitting computer any color changes you'd like to make before it gets started." Bruce gestures to a terminal near the end of the platform.

"Have at it." Bruce offers.

*

Praise. From Bruce? Stephanie's hands lower. Her frame stills. Her eyes slide toward him, the blue-green dancing under slightly pinched golden brows; visible because on her way up she pushed back the cowl. Though she tries to mask it, control it from her face, the way his praise touches her can be ready so easily. She's a girl, bright and jovial, without the praise from any parental figure. Getting some now from this surrogate father-figure is a treasure.

"Thank you," she says, in a tone soft and reserved, best saved for the awe of a Christmas morning.

Well, the first suit WAS a Christmas present. Technically.

*

Bruce himself tends to be very, /very/ controlled, and does tend to expect that from the Bat-Family to a point. Still, he does glance in her direction at the 'thank you' before he starts to walk over to the terminal himself, hands still in his pockets. "The coloring itself will take time, depending on how complex you want it. Mine took roughly a half hour with how simple-but-effective it is."

One hand comes up and presses a button on the screen, and a holo-display pops into existence above it, showing off a smaller version of the suit in a 'workshop' framework, "It's very intuitive, and you can use your hands to do precision coloring."

*

Stephanie follows along, as if too shy to go alone. She's listening, hanging, on every word. A nod, and she gingerly reaches her hands out to play, to work on it herself. As she is want, the pink of the tip of her tongue pokes out, evidence of her concentration. She fusses, for quite some time, shifting things here, placing color bits there, but in the end, the pattern is unchanged, black on the front and back, purple down the sides. A black cape with the same deep purple under side. The bat symbol in the same purple on her chest. For all that she fusses, she left it all alone in the end.

"There," she states finally, stepping back with a content little sigh and a tiny smile.

*

Bruce watches the whole thing without so much as an arm twitch. Unless it's grossly unthematic, he doesn't pipe up… and since she ultimately leaves the coloring alone, Bruce just gives a nod when she says 'there'.

"I'll have the outfitting station down below get to work on it." Bruce assures Stephanie, before he moves over to the terminal and inputs a few commands. Slowly, the Mannequin holding the new suit is enclosed in a case, before it starts to slide down, out of sight. "Give it a night, then come back here and call for it with this terminal. The suit has all the standard new tech of my suit, barring a few tweaks for you. The voice modulator and neural interface will be what you use the most. I've also made the forearms modular for you to trial what sort of accessories you'd like to have attached there."

Two fingers press a few more commands, bringing up the Batsuit itself to come up next to the SpoilerSuit, "My usual right forearm module is a grapnel launcher built into the top and a pellet launcher on the bottom, both neurally activated. The grapnel doesn't have as much length as a standalone variant, but it's useful for those times I can't wait and need to be able to move immediately." He gestures to the forearm on the holo-display with three fingers, "I've chosen to hardwire it into my suit for added integrity and space. The line is thin, but takes up a lot of bulk on the side." He gestures to the left forearm, "A mini holocomputer, also hardwired. The VR lenses in the eye sockets will allow you to see 3D projected images over it or around you. I'll provide you with a central processing node to handle the dataflow for this. I'm sure Iron Man can figure out how to handle it."

Finally, he looks back to Stephanie, "The armor itself will stop most things short of .50 caliber, and the boots have a few tech goodies. Maglocks are built into the soles, among other things."

*

Stephanie steps back a bit as the suit withdraws, hands coming up and then falling to her side.

"All the new tech?" she repeats, voice soft, voice awed. To think that she's gone from athletic clothes from target and a mask she bought from Hobby Lobby to this! It's a surprise and for a moment she's not sure how to react. When she does, she flings herself at Bruce, arms moving to wrap about him in the biggest fiercest hug she can manage.

"Oh my gosh! This is so cool! Thank you! Thank you ! Thank you!"

*

Hugs.

It's not something Bruce usually handles, but by now he's used to Stephanie and her energy. His arms go to her shoulders in a neutralish hug as she flings herself at him. "You've shown yourself to be trustworthy with your commitment to the legacy." Bruce continues, before he pulls back just a bit to look at her eyes, "so. Shall we get some dinner?"

*

Stephanie looks up, eyes a bit misty. Her smile could chase away all the clouds over Gotham and make the city bright enough to rival Metropolis. She nods, fighting to regain composure - and failing - so she can step back. She fidgets, bouncing a bit to the balls of her feet, tugging at a blonde lock of hair and biting at her lower lip.

*

As the ball of energy that is Stephanie Brown lights up, Bruce just turns and starts to head for the elevator himself, "you'll have plenty of time tomorrow to gush over the suit. Dinners getting cold." Bruce states as they both head for Wayne Manor.

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