579/Brockton Bay PRT Fundraiser

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Brockton Bay PRT Fundraiser
Date of Scene: 12 September 2014
Location: Brockton Bay
Synopsis: A light social scene revolving around a fundraising bound!
Thanks to: Lots of thanks to Armsmaster, who went out of his way to include everyone!
Cast of Characters: Maya, 20, 38, 73, 151, 272, 301, 518, Zero Kiryu, 541, 543, 550, 554

Armsmaster (554) has posed:

     The ballroom of one of the most prestigious hotels in Brockton Bay is alive tonight. The Protectorate has spared no expense, it seems, with turning the place into a celebration. After all, in a city with personalities like Lung and Kaiser, there is something of a need to ensure that people see the good of parahumans more than the bad. They're not all superpowered criminal sociopaths - some of them sacrifice a fair bit to protect the city!

     A few waiters and waitresses in suits wander through the crowds with plates of food and drink and soft music drifts from some of the speakers around the hall. Of course, the real draw to the crowds are the heroes themselves. In the throng of people, one can easily spot the costumed heroes. There's Miss Militia in her combat fatigues, with her American flag scarf around her face! And there's Clockblocker, in his all white costume with clock designs on the armor plates! And there's Assault and Battery, the Brockton Bay PRT's superpowered couple! And there's Triumph and Aegis and Velocity and Vista and... Well, it seems like the entirety of the Protectorate's cape population are here, perhaps twenty capes in total. Some of the capes have booths, others are content to wander through the crowds. There's photos, autographs, power demonstrations, memorabilia and a whole heap of money being exchanged for all of it. It's all well and good for people to like their heroes, but the Protectorate is an organisation and keeping someone like Armsmaster equipped with everything he needs costs a fair amount of money.

     Speaking of Brockton Bay's Protectorate leader, Armsmaster is standing off to one side. In his full set of midnight-blue powered armor, the only visible part of him is his lower jaw, mouth and neatly-trimmed black beard. He doesnt have his Halberd with him, although there seems to be a prop of it on the table behind him. Of all the heroes here, he seems to have hit the merchandising and media exposure with the most gusto. Behind him, surrounded by a mind-boggling amount of clothing and collectables, a computer monitor appears to be running through what must be a 'best of Armsmaster' clipshow. His lips are pressed thin and neutral, until someone asks from the photo and he's sure to smile at just the right level. It seems safe to say that he might want to be anywhere but here.

Tony Stark (301) has posed:
SOME superheros may sacrifice. Not Tony Stark -- not outwardly anyway. He just flies around his world fighting badguys and being entirely awesome. He's not in 'cape' mode today though. Not that he wears one anyway. Capes are for sissies who like to dress up in mother's drapes. But he's not wearing his armor either. He's here as a philanthropist tonight, and so he arrives in style, pulling up in the latest model Audi R8 Spyder in front of the hotel. He steps out of the car, resplendent in a fully tailored Armani suit and tosses the keys to a valet as he walks around the vehicle to escort his companion into the building.

He, too, is an expert with the cameras, and flashes a charmingly confident smile for the press as the flashes go off to either side. He's... less impressed with the venue itself. "Booths?" he mutters to himself, or perhaps to his 'date,' smirking. Man, these guys are amateurs. Well, time to find the bar!

Michael Knight (543) has posed:
A spotless black Trans-Am rolls into the nearest available parking spot, most likely a parking garage. Its red scanning light, most certainly not a standard option for the model, illuminates the dim surroundings. The driver anxiously checks his watch and adjusts his tie. "How do I look?" he asks.

"You look fine. Now, stop being picky and take a parking space. It won't do to be late."

"You act like you're the one going to the party. Maybe I should've had Bonnie paint a little bow tie on your hood?"

The car commandeers itself and pulls into an available spot. "Out," says the electronic voice insistently. "And straighten your tie. You look like a washed up lounge singer." Upon Michael's departure, the car shuts the door. "And don't forget to lock me."

"Lock yourself," replies Michael. "I've got a party to go to."

Ainsley (151) has posed:
    Ainsley is recovering from a harrowing conflict that left her with a gash across the entire front of her torso. The bandages can be seen through her clothing, keeping the wound from being exposed to the air and dust and other icky stuff. She seems to be seated off to the side in the ballroom, having designated her own little area for whatever activity she had decided to do today. At first, she's unpacking, showing that she has a variety of painting supplies. She seems to pay no mind to the attention she gets, at first, seeming as tense and neutral as Armsmaster. She just doesn't do parties very well. But she has an Obligation to be here, and so she showed up.

    She seems to have set up a booth for painting. She has a couple of uncannily detailed portraits set up as display examples nearby, and there's a big information card on a stand explaining what her area is for and the prices of various kinds of paintings, nothing that the visitors couldn't buy. It states at the bottom:

    "All of the money from painting purchases will go toward the fundraiser. Get something nice for your home in exchange for your contribution!"

    One of the painting examples goes as far as to detail a face down to the very pores and laugh lines. It has that painted feel, but the detail of a high-definition photograph.

Marrik (541) has posed:
One of the booths set up was both demonstration and shop. The man behind it wore a pn angular red mask accented here and there by yellow marks and a faceted gem at it's forehead. The masked man used his tan cape to gesture about to the shirts; t-shirts bearing the image of two copper coins mid flip with one proclaiming 'It is time' and the other 'to Harvest', and less flashy heavy long sleeved shirts made of layered spidersilk weaves over cotton to wick moisture away.

Beyond shirts there were books, both 'what is magic' type books and 'what happens if you have to fight a magic user' ones. There was more there to be sold, and more than a few translucent people seemed to fade into and out of view as they approached or left.

At the counter near the cash box was a simple printed sheet.

'The Harvester' it proclaimed, then gave a short list of powers 'communing with the dead, decay, sunlight, artifacts (many), and� Plant growth. If called to demonstrate the latter, and he has at least once, several empty plant pots stood by with one showing a tomato plant already bearing fruit where earlier there was nothing.

The man behind the mask though was grateful for the diversion from the day to day. Sure he had to leave his bike and ride that infernal plank in to avoid association between identities, but the crowds both living and dead were far less skeptical seeming than he feared. So he waved, answered questions, and was quite glad the mask's functions of providing breathable air also included keeping that air comfortable.

Frederica (73) has posed:
    Once she'd heard of this whole public goodwill thing, Frederica decided to put a little time and energy into doing it right. She's a natural show-off after all, though perhaps not in the same league as certain others. She doesn't have a raging ego after all, just a desire to be admired and respected for who she is and what she chooses to do.

    Her resulting cape outfit will have to be seen to be believed. She hasn't had a chance to bulk it out properly with fitted body armor, but her hood and its mask are at least in their final form. The hood is of red cloth, the ears much like her normal hood ears. Unlike her regular hood though, this one fits snugly around her forehead and has an integrated mask that surrounds her eyes and covers her nose with a foxy muzzle, leaving her lips bare. The hood can't be easily pushed backwards either, unlike her normal outfit's hood.

    The rest of Frederica's outfit, while not armoured, at least sticks to theme. The back and sides are reddish, the front a plain white. She lacks a tail (fortunately) and wears a fairly typical (for her) skirt, maintaining her colour scheme. Her boots are black, and ride up to just below her knees.

    FireFox, responding to the gathering like any other Protectorate cape, arrives in a rented limo. Making an entrance like any other star. She's not, as of yet, well known among the Cape-watchers of the area... but with an entrance and a costume like that, she kind of HAS to be someone... right?

Toph Beifong (20) has posed:
    Parties aren't her thing. So it's a good thing that she's come here with somebody who ought to be a bit more used to them. Sure, she's been forced to deal with these things too, though she wasn't supposed to talk much... nor do much besides not complain about how scratchy her dress was. Today's dress isn't scratchy, but still... it's a bit annoying.

    While the famous billionaire usually arrives with older girls of a more questionable nature, it might not be too surprising that Toph Beifong is following today. No, what people might question is the fac that she's dressed up. Because apparently Pepper thinks that you can't wear your favourite clothes to these sorts of things. A compromise had been made, and so she's here in the dress she wore to the dance that Mizuki hosted before the WMAT. Like before Toph's hair has been styled, though at least most of it is still in that familiar bun.

    And no, Pepper was unable to convince her to wear shoes. Like hell if she's going to cling to people's arms all evening. Though she does grab onto Tony's arm as they head inside the hotel.

    "What's wrong with booths?" she asks, ignoring the cameras as best as she can. Ugh. When she hears a familiar voice behind her though, she blinks and turns her head a bit. "Michael?"

Eric Bane (550) has posed:
This is a really high-class joint. Eric Bane knows he is completely out of place here. All these well-dressed people, and he's wearing his hoodie and jeans. At least he's left the hood down. He'd wanted to rent a tux or something, but he didn't want to get mistaken for a waiter or something. And he doesn't exactly have a costume, the hoodie is his 'cape'.

So... that's why Eric is here in his usual outfit. He really does look out of place. But it's strange, it doesn't seem to be drawing much attention. Fact, he doesn't seem to be getting a lot of people looking his way at all. It's like a good bit of the (non-Elite) people here don't even notice he's here!

That seems to suit him, though. He's been just sort of blending into the crowd, listening to conversations, and just generally being a ghost. Hard to converse with people who don't notice him, after all!

Noble Six (38) has posed:
    Noble Six isn't much for parties, but she doesn't want to leave her business with Oni Lee unfinished. So if she has to play superhero to do so, then she will. But it's hard to be a superhero without a costume. And the costume needs to fit the name. That's why the SPARTAN is here, wearing her armor, though it appears to have been painted a bright white color, the visor shifted to blue instead of the usual gold. The design of the armor hasn't changed much, however.

    'Iridium' may be new on the scene, so she probably doesn't have much in the way of merchendice or a fanbase yet, however. She thinks that's good. She just wants her actions when she does get her hands on Lee to be legal within the world she's operating in. Not that ONI really has ever been much for legality, but the Union is. For now, however...She supposes it's time to...Ugh...Mingle.

Yuuki Kuran (518) has posed:
    Thankfully, the odd world Yuuki comes from still has cars. They are not as nice as the cars that Tony Stark rolls up with, but they have a sort of classic style about them. Long fronts, sloped sides, and shiny black and chrome and such. It pulls up, and the driver - in classic driver attire, black and double-breasted jackets and hat pulled way down, opens the passenger door on either side.

    Out the inward-facing door steps Yuuki Kuran, who seems a bit bedazzled by everything, adjusting her hair and walking up the entryway in her long, ribbon-y white dress, after waiting for her companion.

    She does not, in fact, have any reputation in this city! But she had heard of a charity ball, and had 'convinced' her bodyguard to come with her for this event. Which is entirely a normal ball for superheroes and nothing bad will happen at and thus she feels totally safe.

    She glances behind her, making sure her companion keeps up, before sweeping into the event's floor area, interestedly browsing some stands. "Powers... on display? How neat! I never thought I'd see a world quite like this..." She offers, before beelining for Tony Stark, who seems to have this Rich Person thing on lock.

    "Um... Excuse me... I'm Yuuki Kuran." She offers to Tony, curtseying lightly before continuing.

    "You seem to be here for the same reason I am... Can I ask you a question?"

    She leans in close, hopefully to his ear. "What are we supposed to /do/ here? Just... spend money? Find someone to take a donation? This is different than the balls I've been to, before."

Zero Kiryu has posed:
    Zero is dressed well, but he looks like he's been fidgetting the entire time on the way here. He's dressed in a black suit with a matching waistcoat underneath. His tie has, during the course of the ride over, been loosened and then entirely undone. It hangs limply around his neck, providing neither the added formality that its appearance would add, nor a handhold to grab onto in a fight. He's always been uncomfortable with things around his neck, and ties aren't an exception. He is a sharp contrast to Yuuki, in her white and actually giving a shit about her appearance.

    All in all, he looks good, but it's pretty clear that he could look better if he gave it a shot. Might be he's not capable of it, though. It's not hard for him to keep up with Yuuki, and he does so quite easily. The entire event gets a rather aggravated expression out of him, and it's a lot more sharp than it normally is. Violet eyes slip in Ainsley's direction immediately, and just from the look it's easy to imagine him painting crosshairs on her with his mind. Why?

    Yuuki heads to speak with Tony Stark, who isn't alone himself. Zero follows after, noting Ainsley's presence in his head, though not aware of who is behind that presence. His expression grows grumpier and even more on-edge by the second.

    "This is a circus. Pay the performers and you'll do your piece." He says to Yuuki, without bothering to regulate the volume of his voice. It's perfectly audible to anybody and everybody, as long as they're close enough.

    Zero casts an exasperated look towards Tony and Toph, but he doesn't say anything to either of them for now.

Armsmaster (554) has posed:
     There is a bar, luckily for Tony Stark, and the bartender seems to have a great variety available! Because of that, a few people have clustered around it, including Assault and Battery. Assault's a big man in a set of streamlined body armor, a visor covering the top of his face. He holds a drink in one hand. Battery wears a skin-tight costume with a circuit board pattern. The pair seem to be fielding questions from a media team, and Assault is obviously not taking it seriously.

     A few people are making their way over to Ainsley's painting booth, seeming confused - but curious. When compared to most of the other things on sale here, it's quite different! "How long would the painting take to get detail like that?" someone asks. He wears a costume that combines Roman gladitorial armor with a lion motif. Triumph.

     Armsmaster turns his head in Eric's direction, as if listening to someone. His visor is blank and flat, but it's quite clear that he has his eyes on Bane. Does he have something in his helmet that defeats that sort of power, or did someone else clue him in?

     "Iridium!" Someone with a camera crew shouts out to be heard over the din, "FireFox! We have questions! Armsmaster said that you were part of his operation to take down Lung!" Behind them, they might see the arrogant smirk that just hints its way over Armsmaster's lips. Deal with this, it says. "As two of the newest capes operating in our city, well, what was it like taking on one of Brockton Bay's most wanted?"

     As for Marrik's booth, he seems to have drawn the attention of Clockblocker. He wears white body armor, utterly featureless and with a blank mask, and clocks tick quietly on some of the armor plates. "You commune with the dead, Harvester? Man, you know we're not supposed to have such ominous names, right? Oh, it's a plant thing. My bad. You're really trying to get in on that magic man angle, huh?"

Tony Stark (301) has posed:
"It's just so..." Tony makes a vague rolling gesture with his wrist, trying to summarize his thoughts, "...tacky. Small town fair. Visit the booths, buy crappy homemade trinkets for too much money and give them to people as gifts so you don't have to keep them hanging around your house." This is all in discreet undertone, and he brightens to flash a brilliant smile to another patron in passing. Then back to slagging the whole thing off. "Or a trade show," he continues in a soft voice for Toph's ears only. "Like, please, come look at me, buy my stuff, I'm desperate--" he pauses again to greet Yuuki, and this time his attention lingers as she actually has something to say.

"Tony Stark," he returns the introduction, not that he supposes he needs one. It's still polite. And he flashes an also-polite but perhaps-less-formal wink after she leans away again from the whispering. He smells nice. Expensive cologne. "Mostly, you just mingle and look attractive," he quips. "Which you seem to have at least half of down already," he adds, lips quirking in a flirty little smile. Yes, he may be engaged, but this is just his normal mode of female interaction. His eyes flicker less-amicably but still politely over Zero as he also answers. It's a little more dignified than THAT. Despite his earlier amusement and trade show comparisons.

"Just enjoy yourself, Ms. Kuran," he clarifies. "They're here to impress us. I generally make the actual /donation/ more discreetly. All done electronically through the company, you know how it is. I can help you get started though. Can I buy you a drink?"

Marrik (541) has posed:
Ever have to split your attention? It sucks especially when money was involved. However now unlike other times Marrik has set out to sell on the road it was 'pay as you like', and since he would make a donation if sales didn't make a minimum amount Marrik felt comfortable leaving the booth to a red dressed fairy standing on top of the cash box while he mingled. The wee one wasn't exactly happy even with the smiles. It was her job to go out and about after all wasn't it?

At Clockblocker's patter Marrik turned, somehow his mask giving the impression of a smile in spite of the expression technically remaining neutral. "I can't promise at how cooperative spirits are, but it seemed worth noting since murder gets easier to solve when the victim can give details." Then he sighed and offered the clock clad cape a fresh tomato, "Sadly I don't think their testimony will be admissible since who knows if I can put words in their mouths or not right?" A gesture to Sparks, "Autumn, Clockblock. Clockblock, Autumn." Then the mask seemed to frown at Sparks's indifference. "She's been grumpy. Odd since she usually she's all for attention."

Michael Knight (543) has posed:
Isn't far into the door, and already he's speaking surreptitiously into his watch. Given the apparent propensity for 'tinkers' that this world has, he might be mistaken for one of them. Of course, as he's a charming young man in a tuxedo, one might also be forgiven for thinking him a spy. A familiar voice cuts through the din of the ball, and Michael looks up. "Hey, Toph!"

Yes, it's definitely him, alright, for that glorious perm is unmistakable--oh, and, you know, the metal plate in his head visible through Toph's crazy earthbending-vision. The loner approaches the bender, a hand raised in gentle salutation. "Hey there. Good to see you out and about!"

Ainsley (151) has posed:
    Ainsley flashes a soft smile to Triumph, apparently enjoying his general thematic. She likes historical themes in particular. She carefully reaches over to pick up the painting and holds it on the edges so as to not ruin it or anything. It's in a frame, so she's being needlessly cautious, but it shows the amount of care she puts into it. "This one took a few hours, if I work non-stop. If I get a lot of these, the paintings will take a while to get to you, but if I have a mailing address it will get to you as soon as it is done." She brightens her smile at him. She gestures to a simpler painting of a fox striding through a forest, "Something like that might take up to an hour, depending on how complex the subject is. If you order it now it will be in your hands by the time you leave. This is all dependant on if I have all the paints with me, though. I might run out before I can complete all of them."

    She sets the example back on its stand, resting her hands in her lap and staring toward Triumph. She's aglow with cheer, eager to answer anymore questions or start painting for him. Her long tail even twitches behind her in obvious excitement.

Frederica (73) has posed:
    Frederica, 'FireFox' here, brightens when she's approached by the camera crew. She strikes a pose. Not a hero pose, just the pose of a girl who likes being on display. She's not at all upset at being cornered like this, so Armsmaster will have to look elsewhere for his amusement.

    "Most wanted?" she asks, lips curving into a smile. "Not by me, certainly. You can KEEP him." she says. It's probably a joke. At the same time though, it shows she's not making a big deal about taking down one of the 'most wanted', but hopefully not in a way that'd make people upset at her or at the Union.

Noble Six (38) has posed:
    What the hell...Six turns around as she hears someone call out her cape name, blue visor glinting for a moment as she looks at the camera crew, and the interviewer. 'Iridium' looks towards FireFox for just a moment, trying to read her expression, before the opaque visor turns back towards the interviewer.

    "I will admit Lung was probably a very big fish to go after straight off, but both FireFox and I have extensive experience." She looks to the other new cape at the joke. Somewhere inside of her helmet, she's trying not to laugh. Iridium must remain stoic and tall, after all.

Toph Beifong (20) has posed:
    As they walk in, Toph listens to Tony's honest opinion, just nodding her head slightly and keeping her expression neutral, though it breaks into a smile when she hears Michael call back to her. Good, he heard her! But there's a brief distraction.

    The blind earthbender blinks as Yuuki approaches, but she easily connects the voice to one she's heard on the radio before. But she doesn't stop the girl from leaning in close to him. And since she heard the question well enough... "We're supposed to raise money for something, that's all I know..." Though she listens eagerly for Tony's response to the question too, since he obviously knows it well enough. Or should at least. Do pardon her for rolling her eyes when Tony comments on Yuuki looking attractive. Seriously? Then again, he's her dad now. She's supposed to think some of the stuff he says and does is stupid, right? The joys of having a teenage daughter.

    Though it's far more pressing with the guy who follows Yuuki, and it's only when he too speaks up that she recognizes his voice as well. Oh great. The grumpy guy. And it feels like he's looking at them. What is his problem anyway? Her own expression turns just slightly irritated, but hey... she's being a good girl. For now.

    With Michael approaches them though, she seems far less irritated and even grins. "Thanks! Long time no see, is your car outside or something?" Too bad that he can't bring it inside... "Come on, Goldie is getting us all drinks!" And not just Yuuki. Because Tony can afford it.

Eric Bane (550) has posed:
Won't be long before Eric gets that feeling that he's being watched. And when he turns in Armsmaster's direction, Eric raises a hand to wave at the armored man. He's behaving, honest! No biting anybody. Yet. Ahem. Yes well. Anyway. Eric heads in the direction of Armsmaster. And when he's close enough, he tries to joke, "Don't worry. I'm staying out of trouble. Mostly."

Really he hasn't done anything. Hasn't taken anything to eat, either. Fact, he's declined both a couple times, when a waiter or waitress finally notices him. See, his weird 'do not see me' thing generally only works on non-Elites who aren't actively looking for him. For non-Elites that ARE actively looking for him, it merely affords him a few seconds to get out of view. And he feels no threat from traveling waiters/waitresses, so they'll eventually notice him.

Yuuki Kuran (518) has posed:
    Yuuki clasps her hands before her and smiles pleasantly as Tony explains how things work, blushing and flickering her gaze down half out of respect for the 'dance' and half out of honest surprise. She rallies quickly, though - she had had THIS part drilled into her by her Proper Society teachers - and nods pleasantly, her questions mostly answered. "I suppose I will have to follow your lead on that, Mister Stark." She offers airily, but honestly, before glancing at Zero.

    "Be nice, Zero. This is a party! We're supposed to mingle and... do mingling things. Like /normal/ people, okay?"

    She jabs his chest lightly. "Nor-mal. Stop deathstaring at the booth-hosters. We are surrounded..." She gestures with her hands, doing a little twirl. "By the /cream/ of the Brockton Bay Protectorate. Super-heroes. And..." She gestures to Tony.

    "The most esteemed Mister Stark. It's fine. We're safe. Smile a little!" She urges her companion before smiling back at Toph and Tony. "Sorry. So, Mister Stark... What does a man of your /calibre/..." She offers with a return-wink. "... Normally enjoy at these parties? And yes, of course you may buy me a drink." She grins.

    She's doing it! She's so society. All the society. Parties are easy and fun!

Zero Kiryu has posed:
    "Zero Kiriyu." Zero introduces himself to Tony, rather flatly. He doesn't seem aggravated by the other man's demeanor, but it's probably pretty plain that this just isn't his environment. As he had said not long ago, he's more of an assassin than a diplomat. Right now, he happens to be a bodyguard. This kind of event is familiar, but it's never comfortable. Ordinarily, such an exchange might warrant a handshake, but he doesn't offer one. It's not really out of impoliteness or a lack of desire to interact with Tony, so much as disinclination towards physical contact.

    His gaze drifts towards Toph, a familiar voice coming from an unfamiliar face. The last time they'd talked directly, it had been about D. That was their only real meaningful exchange.

    Toph isn't speaking to Zero just now, but when she goes around haphazardly extending Tony's offering of drinks to everybody in the general vicinity, he issues a distinct noise of amusement. It gets a little bit of a smile out of him. Just a tiny one, though. Toph probably has an easier time noticing it than most people, based on the tension easing out of Zero.

    "You're in high spirits." He remarks to Toph, remembering her worry about D some time ago now.

    The smile itself doesn't last long, but Zero evidently does allow himself to stay at least somewhat relaxed. Compared to the average person he's still pretty on edge. He considers Yuuki's statements concerning their safety, and looks towards Tony.

    "Mr. Stark, based on your own experiences, do things get safer or more dangerous when this many powers are present in one place?" He asks, quite possibly doing so deliberately in the hopes that somebody else will explain exactly how absurd that is to Yuuki.

Maya has posed:
Maya had poltical pull on her world sure she didn't like using it, or broadcasting it to people not from Septerra but that's not why she's here she's in a Valkyrie costume of some sort down to having her hair died red, She's here to help out a cause but does feel a bit like TOph wondering just the nature of it she doesn't mind though it's a time to get out, what might be showing however due to her costum are some of the blue inked tattoos on her legs which form a odd pattern, up her legs but she seems to be in quite a good mood she's geting out and hopefully to have some fun and she's enjoying things so far people do seem to be in high spirits now hte idea is to mingle right?

Armsmaster (554) has posed:
     Assault laughs - loud and pleased with himself and what he's saying. He knocks Tony slightly, and looks to him. "Ah, sorry, man." He turns back to the camera crew. "I'm just saying, it's not every day you see Armsy out and about at these things. The guy's usually up late, taking care of his girlfriend. That's that spear of his, in case you didn't know." The circuit lines along Battery's costume glow for a moment and she slugs Assault on the arm, hard enough to make him take a step to balance himself. "Hey! We've tried everything, you know that!"

     "Assault..." Battery murmurs, and she looks to the camera crew, saying with the exasperated tone of someone who is quite used to her husband's antics, "Can we not air this?"

     Clockblocker accepts the tomato, and idly tosses it into the air. His other hand reaches up and slaps at it, but the fruit just... hangs in the air, as if suspended in time at the exact moment he touched it. Well, that would explain the name. "There was another cape who went on about spirits of the dead. She's in the Birdcage now. Might wanna be careful about that, buddy! But, sure, give me one of those books on fighting a 'magic user'."

     Triumph nods at Ainsley. "That's awesome. If I sent you a reference picture, could you work off that? A painting might be nice for me and Prism. You'd just need to send it to the Protectorate HQ here." He examines the paintings, although his expression is hidden behind his lion-helmet. Still, the tone of his voice is positive!

     The news reporter laughs pleasantly at FireFox's comment. "Hah, well, I think Dragon will be taking care of him in the Birdcage for the forseeable future! I'm sure no one will be that sad to lose him." He nods to her and Iridium, "You must have quite the experience - are you solo operators or do you work on some new team?"

     "Good," Armsmaster replies, curtly, to Eric. He crosses his arms over his chest and surveys the hall and all of its people. A few people come up and buy some t-shirts displaying his logo, snap a few pictures. It seems clear that Armsmaster was probably ordered to come here.

     There seems to be little in the way of security but, well, with all these superheroes, they're practically their own security!

Ainsley (151) has posed:
    "I could actually paint something of you right now, now that I've gotten a look at you," Ainsley tells Triumph, her eyes glimmering in a way that the lighting of the room could not possibly accomplish. She points up at them when she does this, "Activated photographic memory." She then reaches over to the big card that explains the process, tapping it once. It does say that she uses her visual abilities for it. "If Prism is here, too, I can start as soon as I get a good look at them."

    It /does/ look a little expensive, as far as being compared to the other items around here, but it's not nearly as expensive as some artists might charge. "References are appreciated, though. I do have my limitations. The memories don't always stick after I have recorded them on a physical medium."

    She looks across the room, briefly, to the tall man who glared at her. She was almost certain she saw that, but she doesn't seem worried, just curious. A room full of capes is a bad place to pick a fight, so she's more than comfortable right now. Still, she absent-mindedly rubs at the wound she got yesterday through her clothing, as if the mild distraction made it harder for her to ignore the itching sensation of her healing.


Michael Knight (543) has posed:
Michael nods, in response to Toph. "Yeah, he's in the parking garage about a block away from here." Knight pauses, gives brief introductory half-waves to Zero and Yuuki."Hi there, Michael Knight." He then turns his attention back to the earthbender with a smile. "Started complaining about it the moment I left, too."

"It's easy for you to criticize, Michael. You're in the fancy ballroom and I'm in this... zoo. This truck has dead love-bugs /all/ over it, Michael." The Ai's voice comes through Knight's wristwatch clearly enough that his use of 'Michael' seems more a plea than a name. "And don't get me started on the smell."

"See what I mean?" Then, Toph rather... boldly drafts Tony into getting drinks for everyone. "Goldie, huh?" It takes him a minute to remember that Toph likes to give everyone nicknames, and after a moment's reflection, he realizes she means her adoptive father, not an imaginary friend. Good thing he didn't say that out loud. "Oh! Mr. Stark. Good to finally meet you in person," he says, extending a hand for a handshake. "I'm Michael Knight," he says, although mostly as a formality--unless Tony's deaf leading the blind, he probably heard Knight introducing himself to Yuuki and Zero.

"Tony Stark?" asks KITT. "THE Tony Stark? The genius billionaire philanthropist?" It is indeed possible for a Trans-Am to be a fanboy. Fancar?

Tony Stark (301) has posed:
"In my experience?" Tony answers Zero first, "--total crapshoot," he quips with a grin. "If the bad guys are going to do bad things, they might target something like this... or they might try to go as far away as possible. Or they might call it a night in on the couch watching old movies. They're bad guys. There's not a lot of cause-effect there."

He waves a hand inviting Yuuki to walk with him as he heads toward the bar, and seems only mildly annoyed when Assault bumps him, responding to the apology with a faint 'don't worry about it' smirk. "As for what /I/ like about these things... can I be honest?" He casts a quick look over his shoulder as if he's worried a camera might be on him, and lowers his voice to a conspiring murmur. "Usually? I'd rather be home tinkering with the cars. Buut..." he gives an expansive shrug, "gotta keep up appearances. There's usually interesting conversation to be had. Business contacts to be made. Booze to be drunk--"

At that he leans on the bar and tucks a hundred into the bartender's tip jar. "Scotch. Double, on the rocks. And..." he turns to see how many people followed him to the bar, and indicates with a wave of his hand, "whatever these folks would like, too." Even Zero. "Non-alcoholic for her," he adds in an amused stage whisper, touching the top of Toph's head lightly, as if she'd try to order a beer or something.

Toph's friend Mr. Knight gets included in his generosity too, as well as a smile and a handshake. "Hi there. Good to meet you in person, heard you on the radio before... is that your watch talking?" he asks with amused interest. He addresses the device. "The one and only," he confirms. Unless you count alternate universe versions, but of course he never does. "Yeah, Toph heard there was a gold alloy in the armor and I've been Goldie ever since," he explains with a little tolerant eyeroll.

Marrik (541) has posed:
An eyebrow raise at Clockblock's making the offered tomato stop. At the 'friendly reminder' of the other magic themed colorful character in the local clink he merely shrugged and passed the white clad cape a book. "The multi verse is wide and varied, which is why we're all here." His tone friendly as he pointed at the tomato and it flash withered it into dust. "I have people keeping an eye on things," He had no doubt about Faruja's promise to put him down if it came down to it. "I'm just trying to make the world a better place really. Enough darkness out there for a thousand lifetimes." Soft voice, confident. "The harvest is both preparation for lean times and the completion of all you have worked the year for. I am not a front line fighter, but all sorts of uses for what I can do. If nothing else breaking down hazardous material or radiation is useful for cleanup and rescue."

Toph Beifong (20) has posed:
    "And the esteemed Toph Beifong," the earthbending master adds in to Yuuki. Don't forget her!

    What really catches her surprise though is when she notices that mister Grumpy Pants over there is... relaxing? If only a bit. His comment earns a quizzical eyebrow, and she shrugs. "Should I be miserable? Besides the fact that I have to wear a cruddy dress?" No, Toph is not happy with ruffled skirts. But sadly dirt covered clothes are not welcome here, it seems.

    When Toph hears the voice coming from Michael's wristwatch she blinks, then grins. "Oh, neat! Jarvis talks through stuff too!" she says, then turns her focus on the wristwatch. "It could be worse! There could be pigeons there!" Right? "And duuh, there's only one Tony Stark. Which is probably a good thing. If two of them met the world would collapse on itself in a wormhole of gigantic egos."

    Off to the bar, and Toph only lets out a huff of air. Seriously, she doubts the barman is blind too! "Iced tea," she states. "And that isn't his watch, that's his /car/," she corrects Tony. "Maybe he and Jarvis would get along."

Maya has posed:
Michael Knight would find that the Valkyrie was coming up upon him and TIph she's seemingly grinning pretty widely as she does so. She looks them both over for a moment and says "Good evening to you both it's good to see you up and about again as well Toph."

She pauses as Tony comes up as Toph gets Tony to get them drinks? Maya's grin gets even wider at this point.

"Tony, it's good to see you as well."

She turns to Michel and waits till he done with Tony before she says.

"Good evening Mr, Knight correct? I'm Maya it's good to meet you in person."

Frederica (73) has posed:
    No doubt the keen reporter eye will notice FireFox's reaction to being asked if she's got a team. She goes momentarily still, swallowing. She tries to be cool about it, but that was NOT a question she saw coming and not one easily fielded. It's also deeply personal and private, if she were to actually answer it seriously. Which of course she won't do willingly.

    "I was." she finally says, in such a way that probably makes it seem that her former partners are terminally gone. "Now I work for the Union. Lung was a special request, you could say... though I certainly approve of the goals and the heroes of the Protectorate here."

Noble Six (38) has posed:
    "I used to be with a team as well, however I am also with the Union, though we are more than happy to come in and assist Armsmaster when the need arises." Iridium replies, as she looks over at FireFox for a moment.

    Six has lost way too many teams, which is often why she finds herself staying so distant from everyone else. Worried that the common denominator for the loss of her teams is her.

Yuuki Kuran (518) has posed:
    "Of course." Yuuki asides with a big smile at Toph. "I'm sorry to have missed you! It was entirely my mistake." She murmurs in apology, before being SWEPT TO THE BAR AREA!

    Zero's easing up is noticed and quite appreciated, and Yuuki is in rare form, bright smiles and happy twinkling (dinnerplate sized) eyes at everyone and everything within eyeshot. This is actually pretty great! The big parties back at home were always super stuffy, and filled with... People. People with hungry eyes, and insincere smiles. Here, she feels safe! And... Social. And not put-upon! And offered drinks! That aren't... The drinks she is usually offered!

    Yuuki orders something very fruity and very alcoholic with a floral, pleasant name. She has no idea what it really is, but it sounded tasty!

    She frowns at Zero's question to Tony, but it turns out that the Billionaire Playboy Philanthropist has an answer on-hand to assuage her fears. "He's right. It's not like home - this much power isn't an invitation, it's it's a stay-away sign." She nods firmly, taking a sip of her fruity sweet girly drink. And blinking. "Huh."

    She smiles at Michael Knight and looks between Tony and Michael. "I see your reputation proceeds you!" She laughs pleasantly, before looking at Toph, surprise flickering across her face. "Wait... You and Zero know each other? From where? I'm quite curious!" She exclaims quietly, intersted to know why her grumpus maximus bodyguard is loosening up, especially around PEOPLE!

Zero Kiryu has posed:
    Zero inclines his head towards Michael, and then regards Tony's answer with a measure of aggravation. No, of course it wouldn't be the answer he wanted, but it's not an unreasonable answer even so. These things can be quite peaceful even in the long term. The problem is, he's seen them go wrong enough over time that he's more likely to look at things cynically. He says, "In my experience, places like this are viper pits. But I think the same thing of her house, and we don't agree on that subject, either." A glance towards Yuuki, then back towards Toph.

    "I wouldn't recommend it." He answers the Earthbender, plainly, but he isn't one to take his own advice.

    Their collective arrival at the bar gives him pause. It's all well and good to take hospitality, but he has no desire to be off-kilter here. Offhand, Zero isn't actually even sure how drunk he could get if he tried. After a moment of indecision he mutters, "Just coffee for me, thanks." Something bitter and warm to keep him awake in this circus will do.

    Once he has his drink, Zero pulls a packet of what looks like pills out of his pocket and dumps quite a few of them in there. They begin to dissolve rapidly as he puts the packet away, giving Yuuki a sidelong look. "Some subjects are better not discussed if a relaxed atmosphere is what you're looking for. Most of the people I've met offworld are connected to an unfortunate set of circumstances."

    He doesn't /say/ that it has anything to do with D, but it's strongly implied.

Armsmaster (554) has posed:
     "Dude," Clockblocker retorts as Marrik upstages his time ability with one of his own - or something like it. "Not cool." A few people have showed up to snap photos, now that two people are showing off their powers. "Yeah," he says to Marrik, "I guess." In a moment, it is like Clockblocker has slipped and lost his footing - and he slaps himself in the chest just before he hits the ground, suspending himself in time. Cameras flash, people laugh. A few random partygoers begin to browse through Marrik's wares.

     Over by the bar, Assault perks up and turns in Tony's direction. "Wait, wait, wait. So, you've got a set of armor? Why aren't you here in costume? Are you some new hire in the New Wave? Goldie's... well, it's something. It's not catchy like Assault and Battery is. Makes me think 'Hey, I'm riding on Scion's coat-tails'." It's not an unfriendly tone, but it /is/ remarkably self-assured and cocky. He seems to sort to make vaguely insulting jokes.

     Triumph shakes his head at Ainsley. "She's up in New York. She works for the Protectorate up there, y'know, couldn't get time off. They're good paintings though, I've got a few photos that might look nice in a painting." A few people are gathering around Triumph and Ainsley, probably wondering about just what has the cape's attention for so long! The general murmur through the crowd, however, seems to be a positive one!

     "The Union? That's not a name we've heard before!" The reporter continues, moving right past that little moment of awkward loss, "Now, let me guess. With a name like FireFox, I want to say: Mover and Blaster, fire-related. And Iridium, well, that armor and that name... Surely that's Tinker-made! Are you based here in the US or elsewhere? We know Armsmaster keeps something of a partnership with Dragon up in Canada, are you related to the Guild?"

Ainsley (151) has posed:
    "Oh? Hmm." Ainsley seems disappointed that she won't get to meet Prism. "I will try to capture her likeness as best as possible." She pulls over a little plastic folding table and taps the surface. "Set them here, if you would?" She brightens up at him for a minute, and then turns to gather up her supplies to begin painting. Mostly she's just setting up the easel and gathering the palette and brushes, setting them into a painter's apron. She ties a white bandana to the top of her head to protect her feathers, since paint is hellish to get out of feathers.

    She glances at Triumph one more time, leeeaning in to get a good look at him, a powerful glow in her eyes. Her eyes even widen! And then she leans back, nodding confidently. She gathers up quite a few paints, distributing them on the palette, and then beginning her work right there. She hums a little song as she works.

Marrik (541) has posed:
Marrik was grateful for the mask when the reporters came in because frowns wouldn't do. He leaned in close to Clockblock, supposedly to get a shirt for one of the reporters and whispered, "Look I'm the new guy here? No need to play macho games man." Then the shirt was handed off for exam he pulled a leather bag from his cloak and handed it to Clockblock, "I'm sure I've got a lot to learn here. Mostly." He stopped to glower, well the mask made it seem like he was glowering as his body language conveyed, or at least he hoped, confusion. "

I'm no good at this guys. It'll come off like false modesty and then I get off on the wrong foot with your people. Bad first impressions suck, so truce?" A second bag was pulled from his cloak, which he untied and held for the cameras to see before he reached in up to his elbow and frowned before pulling a pie out, pumpkin by the look and smell. "Mostly I just sell things, try advising where I can on what I know." The pie was set down before he reached in again to pull out an apple. "Guy here probably could kick me around twelve ways to Sunday in a straight fight." He put apple to mask, and somehow managed to take a bite.

If Clockblock reached into the bag Marrik handed off, he'd find cheeses, meats, beer, tea, several kinds of bread, and a few books. All in a bag that could fit in the palm of your hand and weighed like it was full of feathers.

Frederica (73) has posed:
    How could these people not have heard of the Union? Frederica wasn't briefed about any secrecy mandate, and figures that quite honestly there's no way the Multiverse could be a secret to any society this advanced and seemingly-open. She pauses for a moment, mental wheels spinning.

    Fortunately, it seems the identity of the Union is passed over, at least for now. Maybe it can be passed off as something like a superhero team, which is close enough to the truth as far as she's concerned.

    Frederica's not sure what a 'mover' is. Probably something like her brother Kyle, whose best power is his speed and physicality. Or it could be telekinesis, like her sister Marie. Either way she won't correct the impression. "It's that obvious, is it~?" FireFox says with a playful grin. She holds up her palms in something close to a shrug, then ignites small spheres of flame within each. Not losing her grin, she sends the little flames up and about, juggling them casually. Yes, she's showing off... and using very little of her power to do so. No need to terrorize the reporters, or cause an international incident or anything. "Fire is my specialty." she claims, altering the course of the balls so they begin juggling themselves, entirely without the benefit of FireFox's hands. "Fire juggling, fire fighting... fire whatever~"

Armsmaster (554) has posed:
     Clockblocker gives no sign of responding to Marrik. This is mostly because his power prevents his target from being affected in any way. Marrik might talk to him, but Clockblocker won't - can't - hear him. He's probably going to fall right into that pie when his power wears off.

Tony Stark (301) has posed:
Tony smirks just a tiiiny bit condescendingly at Assault. "Goldie's what /she/ calls me," he indicates Toph with a nod of his head. "Thanks," he adds to the bartender as he's handed his drink, and takes a sip. "I'm not a new hire. I'm not even from this world. And I wouldn't want to steal your guys' thunder," he explains his lack of 'costume' with a less condescending but incredibly confident smile. He seems the sort not to be intimidated by vaguely insulting jokes. "I'm just here to help out the cause." He extends a hand. "Tony Stark." You've probably heard of him. But in case everyone in this world has been living under a rock since Unification, he adds, "Iron Man."

"It looks like a watch to me," he retorts to Toph, being deliberately obtuse because he knows it'll annoy her. "Cars usually have, you know, wheels and stuff."

Tony gives Zero a thoughtful look, guessing if not completely sure what unfortunate circumstances he's referring to, and wondering how he fits into it. "--Hi Maya," he returns her greeting without missing a beat. Damn, he's popular tonight. But then, he's always popular, and he knows how to handle it.

Back to Michael, he asks, "So you have a talking car?" just to break the ice. That's cute. Jarvis is in all of his suits and most of his cars, but, you know, one talking care is nice too.

Noble Six (38) has posed:
"Tinker? No..Afraid not." Iridium replies to the reporter, "The designer of this armor is.." She pauses for a second, "Dr. Halsey." She knows that Halsey didn't design the MJOLNIR armor, but she designed practically everything else about the original SPARTAN program, she may as well get the credit.

    "I'm afraid I don't have many abilities like FireFox, however." She notes, "Just the armor and the mind behind it. But trust me, that's more than enough."

Toph Beifong (20) has posed:
    Here comes Maya, huh? Toph turns slightly towards her as the barman gets her the drink, though she grumps a little. No iced tea it seems, though a Coke will have to do. "Heya Maya. So you're here too, huh?"

    You better not forget her, the greatest earthbender of all time! Though who would expect her to be so small? At least she makes Tony seem taller as she stands next to him. Pardon her for giving Zero her best deadpan look. "Rhetoric flies right over your head, huh?" As he puts /something/ in his coffee she is slightly curious, but not enough to ask about it. Heck, if he had put it into somebody else's drink, then sure. But she doubts he would try to poison himself here, no matter how grumpy he is. When Yuuki questions how she and Zero know one another, Toph shrugs just slightly. "From the radio." It's simple as well as the truth. Of course Zero seems to opt for a more diffuse and longwinded answer. "Hey. Relax, you're with allies here, mister Grumpy Pants," she chides him.

    Assault's comments to Tony does make Toph arch an eyebrow. "Iron Man rides on nobody's coat tails, buddy."

    What's this? Toph sighs. "Is this another of those dad jokes where you pretend you're stupid or something?" Whatever. She'll let Tony talk with Michael and turns towards the others... though her attention seems to be on the main room and the people around the booths. Hey, is that... Frederica over there? Sounds like it is! And there are other familiar shapes too, like Ainsley as well.

Michael Knight (543) has posed:
Michael chuckles. "Talking doesn't even begin to describe it, Mr. Stark."

KITT is eager to agree with Toph as everyone gathers by the bar. "Toph has it right, Mr. Stark. I only speak though the watch! I'm an artificial intelligence installed into a heavily modified 1982 Pontiac Trans-Am. Originally, I was part of a supercomputer for the government, but my creator, the late Wilton Knight, thought my capabilities would be put to better use elsewhere." The AI seems quite proud--not of himself, but to have the opportunity to speak to Tony. "I must admit, I find your advances in the field of metallurgy fascinating," he says, only to be cut off by Michael.

"Hey, Maya," he says, giving the valkyrie a firm and overly shaky handshake so that KITT's protests are distorted like someone talking on a see-saw. "Feeling's mutual. Hope to work with ya sometime!" He offers her a smile as his mechanical companion settles into grumbling, then makes a request of the bartender. "Just a coke for me, thanks." His car can drive itself, of course, but he's already been pulled over for being asleep--best not to chance it.

"If I see a pigeon, I'm out of here," states the AI matter of factly. He has /standards./ "I certainly wouldn't mind meeting Jarvis. It's not often I get to meet other artificial intelligences."

Marrik (541) has posed:
"Hey buddy." Marrik waved a hand in front of Clockblock and sighed when the white armored cape didn' respond. One of the reporters helpfully quipped maybe he used his powers on himself. So Marrik tried to nudge him, which got nothing. Push. Nothing. He moved the pie out of the way before turning his attention to the reporters to answer questions about the shirt one of them held up. "Uh it might stop bullets but I don't think here is the time or place." This was not a bullet friendly place after all. "Really it's supposed to be worn under your primary armor as an added layer." A sigh before he tried making his way through since the guy that came over seemed nonchatty. Sparks frowned but kept an eye on the booth, and Clockblock.

Tony Stark (301) has posed:
Tony grins at the disembodied AI voice. It's not as if he's not used to holding a conversation with one of those! "Tell me you play chess, too, and I may just have to write Jarvis a swooning function. You should come by the house some time," he invites, with a nod to Michael to affirm that he's included in the invitation. "Park yourself next to MY cars, maybe get yourself a wash and wax while you're there, talk up a storm with Jarvis. I can promise no pigeons."

In this way he has cleverly disguised his own interest in speaking more with KITT as a play date. He'd really like to take a look at his source code. Purely academic interest, of course. "And Toph and Mike and I can fire up the barbecue."

Armsmaster (554) has posed:
     Triumph holds up a smartphone, which seems kind of ridiculous when set against his lion-gladiator costume. "I don't want to interrupt your work but do you... have, like, something digital?"

     "Get a good shot of that," the reporter says to his camera team, gesturing to FireFox's trick. "Well, that explains why Armsmaster would invite you - it takes a pyrokinetic to catch a pyrokinetic as they always say. Sometimes, Iridium, an armor and a heroic will is all you need to bring down villains - just ask Armsmaster. But we should probably get moving on, more capes to see, more interviews to conduct, you know how it is."

     At the bar, Assault grins at Tony Stark. "Iron Man? Makes sense, I suppose."

     "You can't steal his thunder," Battery says. "Trust me, we've all tried." But then Battery quickly says, "We should go." She grabs Assault by the arm and tugs him away from the bar as a shadow falls across the group. "Well," says Armsmaster, "Fitting that I'd find you at the bar, Stark. I trust that you are enjoying the free alcohol."

     On the other side of the room, Miss Militia reaches out and taps Eric on the shoulder. She wears the deep-green fatigues of a soldier. "Hey," she says, voice only slightly muffled by her American scarf, "I remember you. From the ABB raid. Are you enjoying the party?"

Ainsley (151) has posed:
    Triumph's question makes Ains look up at him with some surprise. She stares for a beat, and there's no indication that she even looked at his smart phone. She couldn't have gotten a clear look at it like that, right? She smiles and returns to the painting-in-progress, talking while she does it. She speaks in Spanish, though, a gentle and warm voice that says that some concentration has to be made for her to speak in that measured English that he heard before. "Give me a moment to finish the lines, okay?" She seems to be sketching out Triumph's shape. When she finishes that, she sets the pencil against the easel, and then digs in a pocket, pulling a similar smart phone out. She taps at it a few times, and holds it up to Triumph, expecting some sort of file transfer app to work. Seems that she's knows enough about technology to use it easily enough.
    "Your lucky day. I don't usually carry one around, my powers tend to fry them." She smiles at him bashfully. "So what do you do?" she asks him, curious about what powers Triumph could have, if he's has Roman thematics.

Tony Stark (301) has posed:
Tony looks after Assault and Battery in mild puzzlement as they beat a hasty retreat, wondering if he's not the only one who's found Mr. Armsmaster to be a bit grating on the old patience. But he lifts his glass in a cheerful salute to the man, making no reference at all to the insults that were hurled at him over the radio the other day regarding his drinking habits. "Very much," he confirms with a cocky smile. "One of the perks of these little soirees, wouldn't you say?"

Maya has posed:
Maya Says "I can't always be keeping to home, I need to be able to get out once and a while or I'll become /boring/ as you might put it, right?"

She seems to be in a chipper mood all the same. Mays grins at Tony and knowning how swamped he is? She's going to let others get their bits of him tonight.

"You do have fun though Mr. Start."

Now with Michal she shakes back and seems to b thinkin for a moment.

"I admit I'd like to as well also my brother's facinated by what he's heard about Kitt. He's into AI and robotics dev himself. From what I heard about Kitt's armour that stuff might out do battleship hull plate on my world. Call me impressed."

Eric Bane (550) has posed:
Eric's been quiet, and mainly using the crowd to break line of sight with reporters. He finally settles at the wall to watch the crowd, crossing his arms over his chest. He doesn't look particularly upset or anything. Just kind of distant. And curious. The next moment however, proves that his strain of vampirism is a pretty weak one comparatively.

He is lost in thought and doesn't notice Miss Militia. He jumps slightly at the tap on the shoulder. He turns to look at her, surprised for a moment. Eric blinks, realizing who it is, and relaxes. He nods. "Just trying to stay out of sight of the cameras as much as possible. I don't even know if they can pick me up or not." Besides that, he's not really a hero, and he can't fake it as well as some of the others here.

Frederica (73) has posed:
    FireFox cheerfully shows off for the camera. It's kind of a unique experience for her, having her flames admired for the showmanship rather than for their fearsome properties. The last time that happened... well, it was in Equestria. She even puts in a bit of effort, making the flame spheres bob and weave in intricate patterns.

    "I wasn't there to catch him." FireFox notes. "And Lung is hardly a pyrokinetic. He's sloppy." she sniffs, then reaches out her hands. The spheres of flame smack into her hands, flare for a moment, then vanish. "I was there to shut him down." she adds, clarifying belatedly.

    Frederica strikes a pose, one somewhat more cheesecake than heroic. She poses, one leg before the other, arms extended and low in a flourish, wrists cocked, her chin high. "Remember me." she says. "FireFox. The hottest new Cape in Brockton Bay!" And then she gives her most charming smile. This is SO much fun... and she probably actually fits in with other Capes instead of just being weird.

Toph Beifong (20) has posed:
    Does it come as a surprise that the young blind girl approves of a barbeque? "Sweet! Prime ribs?" she asks hopefully. Though she has to turn to Michael again and speak to KITT again. "You'll like Jarvis. He's okay, if only a little stiff."

    Assault and Battery sound a bit weird, but okay enough. It's only when Armsmaster himself shows up that Toph seems to pay some obvious interest, though it's spread between him and Tony. Though she seems ready to step in between at any notice! Just say the word, Tony.

Zero Kiryu has posed:
    "Easier said than done." Zero sips his coffee, looking down towards Toph. She's pretty sharp, but so is he, and he noticed her watching. There's no sense in raising the subject if he doesn't have to, and the substance he placed in his own drink is hardly dangerous. The face that he makes while drinking it in the coffee is probably pretty telling of how it tastes. Bitterness upon bitterness, it would seem. Would have been better off just taking them as pills instead of dissolving them into the coffee. As for the answer he gave her before, though...

    "I'm bad with people, not imperceptive. I chose to answer, even if an answer wasn't what you were looking for." He explains himself, patiently. His demeanor is entirely different with Toph than it is with the others. A little less clipped, a little more like he's talking to somebody like a normal person. Matter of fact, that's exactly what is happening here. Evidently Zero has a bit more of an affinity for speaking with kids than with other adults.

    Maybe not by an astounding amount, but he's making more of an effort than he was with... well, everybody else.

Marrik (541) has posed:
Marrik wandered over, seemingly at random to bump into Eric. "Hey man fancy meeting you here." Eric may or may not recognize the mask. Either way Marrik extended a hand. "Harvester." A small snort before adding in a low voice. "Don't like having to use a mask but not my city so figure their rules. Plus hey festive eh?" He pushed his cape back to show a decidedly earth toned outfit incorporating all the colors of fall and harvested crops. He wore no weapons, but he had several pouches at his belt and a black and white glyph stitched just above the sternum of his red tunic shirt. It could be writing, or just abstract art. Hard to say.

Michael Knight (543) has posed:
Stark's offer goes over well! "I gained an appreciation for the game and its nuances early on, Mr. Stark. I would be more than happy to visit any time you like!" It doesn't hurt that he's been bribed with a wax, either. KITT loves looking his best! And Michael?

"Barbecue? You said the magic word, my friend. Ribs, franks, especially burgers--the greasier, the better!" Knight smiles a lopsided, casual smile, running a hand through his perm. "Love to see your garage, too. I guess it's no big surprise, but I'm a big car guy."

"Stiff?" asks KITT curiously. Whatever could Toph mean by that? Perhaps it's some kind of slang term, like 'relax.'

"...yeah, you'll definitely get along," remarks Michael with a smirk. Michael leans against the bar, elbows on the counter like this is a pool hall rather than a charity ball. Speaking of stiffs.. "Hey, Armsmaster! Michael Knight, in the flesh."

An aside to Maya, "KITT's tough as a brick, but we wanna shy away from military applications. Ideally, he's a pursuit vehicle."

Toph Beifong (20) has posed:
    Zero's demeanor seems to be somewhat less tense around her for some weird reason, even if she could swear that he wasn't giving her and Tony any nice looks earlier. Then again, what does she know? But she bets he isn't smiling, not even now.

    "If you're bad with people, then you need to learn to get better with people. That's it." First she gave him a nickname, and now.. she reaches out to punch him in the arm, though it's obviously not meant to injure him nor antagonize him. "Maybe you need to go to more parties too.

Armsmaster (554) has posed:
     Triumph is a tall, muscular guy - and that seems to be coming through in Ainsley's line work. "I can project concussive force through my voice. Super strength, super toughness. The lion theme seemed kind of fitting." The files transfer smoothly across - Prism seems to be similar to him. Tall, with the toned muscular build of a gymnest, and a wealth of long blonde hair. Her costume is skin-tight.

     And there's three of her, all working in unison alongside Triumph. It looks like the sort of shot the media would plaster all over the front page.

     Miss Militia nods. "Dragon's running the security for this event, and she doesn't miss much. Do you have some sort of power that prevents people from noticing you? You look like you've seen a ghost - are you okay?"

     Across the floor, the reporter can be heard saying, "Oh, yes, we'll run with that hottest line!" They vanish into the crowd, grabbing a few candid words here and there from some of the people who aren't in costume. People quietly applaud FireFox's proclamation, seeming to get that she's the face of the FireFox/Iridium pair.

     Armsmaster regards Michael with the visor of his helmet, and says nothing. He turns to turn his blank visor to everyone in the group - does he know that they all know each other? His lips are in a thin frown, sure, but when is that unusual? "For you, perhaps," Armsmaster replies to Tony, "Brockton Bay is my city, Stark, and nothing happens here that I am not aware of. Do not give me a reason to become aware of you."

Zero Kiryu has posed:
    Zero tenses immediately when Toph moves to touch him. He lets it happen, but there's some pretty clear physical alarm bells going off that indicate he'd rather not be touched at all. Toph can probably tell from his movement that his reflex was to get out of the way, even though he'd ultimately chosen not to. From her unique perspective, it's probably not hard to pick him out as an unending ball of physical stress.

    "I'm not making any promises." An utterly noncommital answer. Zero can see her perspective, but he's not likely to be able to do anything with it. He doesn't want to lie to her face, and he doesn't want to explain WHY he can't just... deal. So that's what she gets out of him. A vague acknowledgement that she's right, and a vague indication that he can't follow through regardless.

Armsmaster (554) has posed:
     There's a sudden thump from near Marrik's booth. Clockblocker - finally - hits the floor.

Marrik (541) has posed:
Sparks facepalmed when Clockbluster went thud before landing in front of him, all six or so inches of her in millitary-esque red orange and yellow fatigues. "Hey buddy you ok?"

Yuuki Kuran (518) has posed:
    At all of this, Yuuki seems to withdraw, though part of it is that she has an excuse to not talk. Not to say she does not listen, and observe, and generally smile and beam at the large gathering around the bar. Which was probably insanely expensive...

    But then again, Tony Stark was paying. And he could foot the bill for buying this entire building, or something, so...

    Yuuki finishes her Socialization Lubricant And Delaying Tactic Drink and places it on the bar before sliding up near Tony and Armsmaster. "I see you've met Mister Stark. I'm sure you two will make fast friends. I've heard the amount of charity work Stark Enterprises does, and it's quite wonderful, isn't it?" She offers, trying to smooth ruffled feathers and make everyone smile! She turns, full on, to Brockton Bay's leader. "You're... Armsmaster, I presume?" She wonders politely, not out of , before extending a hand.

    "I'm Yuuki Kuran. On behalf of the Kuran Group, I'd like to say I am a big fan of all of the Capes that choose to work with the PRT. I like when people help others... So, why don't we all help out each other?"

    She taps her ear meaningfully, before looking between Stark and Armsmaster.

    "I hear your dedicated patrol announcements now and then. So, perhaps, you could help us both out, Mister Armsmaster."

    She beams at the two of them. "By telling us how we can both donate to help the Brockton Bay PRT most effectively!"

    Yuuki may or may not be a TOUCH lit, but her super-happy might also be because Zero is making nice with someone and she's ultra-amped for that. Hard to say.

Eric Bane (550) has posed:
Eric looks to Marrik as he hears the man's voice. "Oh. Hey there," he offers in return. He shakes Marrik's extended hand. Pause, headtilt. "'Harvester', huh?" He pauses again, to look at the costume. Notably, Eric himself isn't wearing a costume. Just the same kind of clothing he's always seen wearing.

Miss Militia speaks, and he turns to look at her again. "I'm fine, yeah. Just startled me. Sorry about that." He hesitates, as if trying to figure out how to answer her question. "I have... a connection to the shadows. So I was told. And I've noticed that some people don't notice me unless they're keeping an eye out. Might be connected."

Now, he doesn't want to out the whole truth-- that he's a vampire. But it's entirely possible that Miss Militia will figure it out anyway. Because when he talks... fangs. His canine teeth are abnormally long and sharp, and that much is pretty clear to anyone who might notice.

Tony Stark (301) has posed:
Oh, Michael will like Tony's garage all right. "Car guy, huh? Don't suppose you know where I could get my hands on a mint intake manifold for a 67 Shelby. I kinda... crushed mine." A while ago. And he keeps MEANING to fix it but, you know, stuff gets in the way. "I've got a beautiful 32 Ford Roadster you'll love. Just try to keep your Pontiac from drooling..." he trails off with the teasing to turn his full attention back to Armsmaster, going very distinctly quiet.

Stark's expressive eyebrows arch ever so slightly upward as his smile fades to a thin, serious line. He regards the other superhero with dark eyes, seeming not the least bit intimidated, but on the edge of being affronted. It's the kind of look that usually sends recalcitrant business partners screaming for the hills.

"Did you," he asks, quietly, "just threaten me?"

Toph Beifong (20) has posed:
    Well. That says a lot. Toph blinks when she realizes that Zero is not comfortable with being touched, and she sighs, looking... a bit awkward? She takes a sip of her soda and just stands there since her usual form of cheering people up didn't work this time.

    Perhaps it's a good thing that she can focus on what's happening between Armsmaster and Tony. Not to mention the change in the latter. Trust the girl to draw her focus towards him... and she steps closer, narrowing her eyes in Armsmaster's direction. Almost like she's repeating Tony's question. Arguing over the radio is one thing, but nobody threatens Tony Stark without his adoptive daughter showing her silent displeasure. Hey, at least she's being quiet about it.

Yunomi Stadler (272) has posed:
    Late to the party, but present!

    A young woman slips in amongst the crowds, dark brown hair pulled into loose pony tail. She has a messenger bag slung over one shoulder, wearing a red, opened button down T-shirt over a black tank top and nice jeans. Her messenger bag proclaims DANGER TANUKI is, in fact, to the rescue. She adjusts a pair of glasses perched on her nose, and she exhales sharply, feeling a tightness in her chest. First time out and... there's a decent amount of people she knows here.

    And the testosterone seems to climb. Yunomi's attention turns to Armsmaster and Tony Stark making a hullaballoo, and purses her lips in curiosity.

Ainsley (151) has posed:
    "The word of an individual is very important to Romans as well. You picked a costume that is appropriate several times over," Ainsley tells Triumph quite approvingly, her brows perking. She doesn't look away from her painting. She seems to be sketching out something with Triumph and Prism standing side by side. However, she seems to be sketching out the Brockton Bay skyline behind Triumph... and then the New York skyline behind Prism. He'd be able to recognize some of the details in there.
    "To be able to speak and convince others of your point was a great part of that culture. Philosophy, the first roots of democracy, and so much innovation."
    She knows it's probably reading into it a bit more, but she's trying to praise him so that he feels good about the costume, or make herself seem more observant than she really is. One way or another, this little project of hers has her in a good mood. She begins painting the figures of Prism and Triumph, careful to get the shading right with delicate strokes of a tiny brush.

Maya has posed:
Maya pauses at the mention of BBQ, she very much loves it then again she was raised by two guys who owned a bar anc grill. Along with the local baker really, so ya she's more in the Toph camp of food it seems.

"I'm in for Barbecue I'm very much in for it and humm you got interesting tastes Mr Knight."

there's a pause and she nods to Michael in agreement.

"I understand someone tried to weaponize tools my brothers made for labour and salvage use he was enraged about it. Oddly the alloy I mentione gets used in large enough civilian ships given the pirate problems my world has at times."

Armsmaster (554) has posed:
     "Yup," Clockblocker replies, getting to his feet. "Never been better." He bows for the crowd, soaking in the attention.

     "Interesting," Miss Militia replies, "Armsmaster has mentioned you - seem to have something of a feud with the ABB." She doesn't seem bothered by the fangs - maybe she missed them. Her dark eyes peek out from behind the scarf. "That's a potent power, the ability to control perceptions. I hope you won't abuse it." Her eyes flit over to the scene brewing at the bar, and Marrik and Eric might be able to hear a frustrated sigh.

     "Yeah, well, I don't really speak and convince people with my power..." Triumph replies, watching Ainsley work. The smartphone has gone away, hidden somewhere in his armor. "I shatter windows, concrete. But those are all heroic things. That's why we have the Protectorate, y'know? To do good."

     Of course, some might think the Protectorate is less noble, especially when they run-in with Armsmaster first. He wields his moral authority like a cudgel. His expression doesn't change as Tony asks him his question. "Do I have reason to threaten you? I hope you're not implying that a member of the Protectorate would threaten a friendly hero." What a jerk.

     Armsmaster turns towards Yuuki. "No Mister," he says, at first, but then he shakes her hand firmly. "Donations are welcome and can, of course, be claimed as tax-deductions. You could also donate your time, assisting us with patrols - as some members of the Union have done. This does, of course, mean you answer to my authority during such operations."

     Telling, that he said 'my' and not 'our'.

Michael Knight (543) has posed:
"A Shelby, huh? I feel your pain, there. I've been looking at a '57 Bel-Air, myself, but I dunno where I'd keep it. Mint... might be a bit tricky, but I'll keep an eye out..." Michael rubs his chin as Yuuki speaks. Devon probably took care of all the donation stuff behind the scenes. Guy's good with that kind of thing.

"Oh, my philosophy is the worse it is for you, the better it tastes. I'm a real red meat and potatoes kinda guy, y'know?" He smiles at Maya. Pirate problems, huh? He doesn't mention that it sounds exciting, because it'd probably be rude to make light of someone else's problems like that... but all the same, he allows himself to nod with the trademark frown of interest.

And then, tenseness. Michael... stands up straight and puts his glass of coke on the counter. "Hey, fellas," he says. "Just a charity ball, right?" That's all he says, because that's all he feels is appropriate to say--he /can/ be subtle when he wants to be, or at least, he has a mode other than 'drive car through brick wall.'

Marrik (541) has posed:
Marrik grinned behind his mask and chuckled soft. "Don't let him sell himself short, I'd heard about his work and he does good work where he can." Potentially spooky fall/reaper/death themed guy sticking up for the probable vampire. THIS is going to go over well...

Hand was offered to Millitia. "Autumn over there watching my b-" He noticed Clockblock go thud then looked over at Millitia. "He alright? I mean I get I sorta stepped on his toes, but doing thing that ends in thud tends to be bad."

Sparks grinned at Clockblock ad clapped. "Man I could think of so many uses for that. What kind of range do you have?"

Ainsley (151) has posed:
    "Well, yes. In practice, it's just a loud blast of power from your mouth," Ains says, her emotion draining out of her face. "The metaphor is there, though. Doing your job by projecting your voice." She shrugs at him lazily, showing movements more appropriate to a snake-bird(?). It's hard to really tell what she is. She doesn't have a human face, though she can still smile, which she returns to doing shortly.
    "You could own that persona of yours a little better if you did some speeches every now and then, right? I would like to see it." She carefully details out Triumph's costume on the painting. The subjects are clearly Triumph and Prism, but Ains had clearly gone to the trouble of sketching out all of the windows of the buildings behind them, and the sidewalk below them, and the cars and even some people.
    "What're Prism's powers?" she goes on to ask, trying to keep the conversation going.

Tony Stark (301) has posed:
"You don't," Stark replies, in the same level tone, "have a reason to threaten me which is why I... really have to wonder /why you are/. Don't play word games with me, Robocop." Because he will END YOU. "Do we have a problem?" he asks, and tilts his head toward the main entrance. "Let's step outside. If not?" He pauses significantly, then smiles thinly and raises his glass again in mock salute.

"Then I'm going to enjoy my drink, which I /have/ paid for with a not-insignificant donation to /your city/. And you can be /aware/ of me, being done with this conversation." And you can be aware of his perfect ass too, as he turns his back on the armored git.

And he calmly resumes his conversation with Michael Knight. "I admit to being kind of a health nut," he smiles, as if this is something to be ashamed of. The copious amounts of fruits, vegetables and kelp shakes he consumes would confirm this. "But I'm with you on the red meat, man."

Now, if Armsmaster is SMART, he'll take the opportunity Tony just gave him to let the matter drop. Pepper would be so proud.

Eric Bane (550) has posed:
Eric gives a half-smile at the mention of the 'feud' with the ABB. "I don't think Bakuda likes me very much," he explains. As for not abusing his 'ability to control perceptions'? He blinks. And then promptly looks away, turning slightly to look at the crowd again. "I uh. Can't really control it." Besides that, he kinda uses it to hunt. People. So uh. Yeah.

He pauses when it looks like there's about to be a fight, and frowns. But he doesn't interfere. He answers Marrik, "Just like anybody else, just trying to help out as I can. Usually isn't much, but..." Shrug. Looking again to the might-be fight brewing between Armsmaster and Tony. He really hopes those two don't have to be pulled apart...

Zero Kiryu has posed:
    Not comfortable. But also not telling Toph to back off, even if she can tell that there are some problems there. Zero's attention turns from his small exchanges with the young earthbender towards the unfolding veiled hostility. He leans up against the bar, sipping at his repulsively bitter coffee and watching the situation very carefully. Yuuki tries to defuse it but it doesn't really shake out the way he thinks she wanted it to. The exchange flavored the entire demeanor of everybody present, himself included. But he forces himself to relax again, assuming a casual demeanor that is still tense, but only subtly so. Toph can tell, but nobody else likely can.

    "I said that places like this are viper pits, but I didn't expect some prick who thinks he's being subtle to wander up and prove my point for me." Violet eyes settle on Armsmaster over the top of an old, chipped coffee cup. "If you were looking to present yourself as a mafia officer keeping an eye out for other gangs pushing into his turf, you're doing an admirable job." His gaze shifts towards the many other booths in the surroundings.

    "I see plenty of people doing a better job of asking for help out there. You should take notes."

    "Ms. Kuran will not be operating under your command in the foreseeable future." Zero concludes, with a tone of inarguable finality. He finishes off his coffee, sets the empty mug down on the bar, and resumes his silent vigil over Yuuki. That is definitely the most he's said all night, and it's also the rudest shit he's said all night.

    Bad with people indeed.

Yunomi Stadler (272) has posed:
    "Ah, Armsmaster." Yunomi pipes up, and the Japanese woman gives her most charming smile, attempting to interrupt. "Oh, excuse me Major Stark, how are you?" she gives a smile to Tony, and attempts to muscle her short self through the crowd. "It's nice to meet your aquaintence in person -- Yunomi Stadler, Izzet League -- the ah... Tinker-Changer. Nice party you're throwing!" She gives her most winning smile, shifting her bag around to the back of her.

Toph Beifong (20) has posed:
    Let the guys talk about cars and food. She will join in shortly. For now she focuses on Tony and Armsmaster showing off. But as she had hoped, Tony isn't exactly slow when it comes to words. For now she is a small sentinel, holding onto her Coke glass and listening intently. Yeah, you tell him, Tony! The girl doesn't turn around yet, instead she raises her free hand, two fingers extended. These are pointed to her pale unseeing eyes, and she then turns them on Armsmaster, her expression stern. She's got her 'eyes' on you! Because pointing at her feet and then sticking them up in his face might be amusing, but it might not get the point across.

    Work for the city under /Armsmaster/'s orders? Pffft, she helped out once, she's not about to make a habit of it if he's being an ass to /her/ supervising officer /and/ adoptive dad.

    She looks less stressed through as she turns to the others again. Though she's still keeping her own unique sight on him. And hey, Yunomi? She earns a slight grin from the blind girl and a wave before she focuses on Zero again. "So you're her bodyguard or something?"

Maya has posed:
Maya says "I can get that and it's not the meat but I do get where you are coming from. IT does seem that way doesn't it right?"

On the subject of Septerran Pirates it could get very dark, very fast so it's for the best it's left at that there are pirate problems. She looks out at the otehr people musing for a moment.

Yuuki Kuran (518) has posed:
    Yuuki lets her hand fall back to be clasped behind her back, smiling thinly at Armsmaster after the whole exchange. "Sure. That'd be great, Armsmaster." She offers, dipping back as Zero explains things. And makes declarations.

    "I'll answer for myself, Zero." She grumbles, but doesn't actually adjust Zero's statement. She just objects to being spoken for. She didn't want her mood to be killed!

    "And don't insult our host, Zero!" She fumes quietly, though it's still within earshot. "There's enough bad feelings going around without people adding to the pile." She murmurs, sadly, before elbowing Zero lightly. "I mean, it could be fun, right? Dressing up in costumes and helping people?" She asks, before glancing at Toph. "He's my protector. I think he's still unsure if he wants the job - he kind of got it thrust on him." She comments, leaning her back against the bartop and furtively flicking her gaze to the beat up coffee cup and the pill-laden contents. "I thought you had... that... before we came. Why are you drinking more now?"

Armsmaster (554) has posed:
     As Tony speaks, Armsmaster watches him. On his HUD, the word TRUTH blips into view in bright green letters. "So you did," Armsmaster replies slowly, but - point probably proven - he lets the matter drop without any more words or any hint at a formality or apology, and practically walks right into Zero's words. He frowns. "You think I need your help, or even want it. If we needed help, we would launch a recruitment drive," Armsmaster replies. To Yuuki, Armsmaster says: "Don't worry. There are no hard feelings." Some poor part of Colin's mind is confused why everyone's so hostile towards him!

     He steps away, gone as abruptly as he had arrived. He hasn't gotten far before he almost collides with Yunomi. "Yes. It is. I remember you. Do you want something?"

     Miss Militia nods. "That is unfortunate. Then just don't take advantage of their inability to see you. If you can't control it, or you need to focus to be visible, that only makes it all the more enticing to abuse. You do what you can, and we all appreciate it." No wonder Militia is Armsmaster's second-in-command.

     Meanwhile, Triumph continues to watch Ainsley work. "Yeah. That's a good way of looking at it. I've always wanted to do speeches - but that's more the commander's job." He gestures over to Armsmaster, talking with Yunomi. "Prism? Oh, she can split into three copies. Like light through a prism. Hence the name." He doesn't seem too bothered by Ainsley's appearance - or maybe it's all hidden behind his mask.

Armsmaster (554) has posed:
     Clockblocker raises his arm and extends his fingers, stretching out. "Mmmm. About that far," he says.

Marrik (541) has posed:
Marrik's attention was drawn by the clash of personality and anti-personality. Anyone nearby could hear him muttering as if trying to make an invocation 'please don't fight you idiots' over and over again and noted this short girl try muscling her way, apparently more successfully than he thought possible, through to the building thunderhead brewing. He hoped the girl could head things off, because charity ball. As Arms master seemed to let the matter drop he exhaled before offering Militia a hand. For now he wore thin gloves, but with luck that will soon change. "I kinda had to punt with the shirts." He gestured to his booth, specifically at the T-shirts. "Kind of afraid I went a little too nuts with it."

Yunomi Stadler (272) has posed:
    "Oh, just to introduce myself in person; after all, it'd be rude to show up to a charity event with the intention of representing not only my guild but also my old persona and present comic book company." she gives a grin, and pulls a long, trailing strand of her hair behind a very human-like ear. Not a single thing on her that screams magical creature.

     "I'd hate to ask the good Major who he made the check out to, after all. That's just plain tacky." she offers, and puts her hand out for a shake, "... and... besides. It's good for me to be out and about."

Yunomi Stadler (272) has posed:
    Toph also gives a smile, but Yunomi figures it'd be useless to wave.

Marrik (541) has posed:
Sparks nodded slow and managed to pick up the pie Marrik left and nudged it over. "Little short on range, but I can see a lot of use, especially sine stuff can be made to hang. Hungry?"

Zero Kiryu has posed:
    "I'm her bodyguard. No ambiguity there. But it's not my usual line of work. My primary profession is most easily described as monster hunting." Zero replies to Toph, looking down at her again. He's not going to put too much energy into being a part of the pissing contest he just contributed to. He doesn't have an absurd ego, or really much of one at all. The value that he places on his own life is incredibly low, because it should have ended already. Miracle after miracle stopped it from doing so, but the fact remains that he expected to be gone. Each extra moment is just icing on the cake.

    Come to think of it...

    "People without extraordinary talent aren't a part of the Union. What special talents do you have?" He asks Toph, careful /not/ to remark on her young age. Zero gets the impression she wouldn't like it, and he was training from around the same age himself.

    Regarding Yuuki's objections, he mutters, "I said that you wouldn't be operating under his command, not that you can't do any of those things." More audibly, Zero adds, "I don't abandon my assignments. Whether I want the job or not, it's mine." The unspoken addendum being that there's nobody in the Hunter's association big and rough enough to actually take it from Zero if he decides he's going to keep it.

    To Armsmaster, he says, "If you didn't need help, you wouldn't be taking untested volunteers."

    Zero rolls up a sleeve and glances at a beaten-up wristwatch. He reaches over to touch Yuuki's shoulder, urging her to start moving with him. "Sorry, but we need to get going. It's gotten late. We'll resume our discussion later, Toph."

    With all that said and done, Zero tries to get Yuuki the hell out of there before some other viper shows up in the pit.

Eric Bane (550) has posed:
...OUCH. Getting the old 'responsibility' speech from an experienced hero is... sobering. Sort of feels like being chastised like a child. Which is probably what it's designed to do. "I don't think it works like that," he says quietly. "It's... complicated." He's dancing around something. And he's still not looking at Miss Militia!

Michael Knight (543) has posed:
As Armsmaster walks off, Michael releases a breath he didn't realize he'd been holding. "Whew," he says as he... pretends to look at a particularly interesting fondue fountain. Yes, that's definitely what he was 'whewing' at. "I think it's about time for us to hit the road," he says to the gang at the bar.

"Agreed," says KITT.

"It was great meeting you guys in person, hope we get to work together in an official capacity sometime." With that, he finishes his coke and pushes off of the bar. "Alright, buddy, meet you outside."

The Trans-Am makes a graceful and long-awaited departure from the gulag that is /public parking/, soon to arrive in front of the building. KITT opens his door for Michael, much to the interest of several passers-by--cool remote control car! "Shall we play hooky, Michael?"

"Are you kidding? This place has speed trap written all over it. Especially with 'Robocop' back there. Huh, Robocop. Sounds like it'd make a good movie."

Marrik (541) has posed:
Marrik reached over to Eric and patted the guy's shoulder. "Hey no worries, I've got faith you'll manage to keep a lid on things."

Ainsley (151) has posed:
    "Ooh. Copies... Hmm. Do they all have physical mass, or are they illusions? The light theme would imply illusions, but I might be wrong." Ainsley goes on to ask Triumph, trying to think of some way to spruce up the paintings while she's doing it. Seems she may have overshot how long it takes, because she's actually already done with the two subjects on the painting, and she's starting to paint the sidewalk. He may notice a slight breeze come out of her, every once in a while, while she dries the paint with a bit of wind power so that she can touch it up a little easier.
    "Your commander is, uh..." She looks over toward Armsmaster. "He could benefit from someone delegated to do speeches on official events. It isn't really about fame and more about public opinion of the Protectorate." She carefully avoided saying that the guy is as pleasant as a brick covered in barbed wire when it comes to talking. "Discuss it with your friends a bit, mmh? I am not trying to sew dissent here, though, just offering my observations."

    She considers the painting for a minute. "Is this coming out okay?" she asks him, indicating with one of her brushes.

Armsmaster (554) has posed:
     Miss Militia shakes Marrik's hand. Her grip is strong, edging over the line of being merely 'firm'. "A pleasure." She says to Eric, "I understand. All of our powers are."

     Armsmaster idly wonders why everyone keeps wanting to shake his hand. It's a pointless formality. It wastes time. Him being here is a waste of time. They could dress up anyone else in his armor and no one could tell the difference. He could be working on his Halberd, or discussing his Endbringer software with Dragon, or...

     But the Director had ordered him to be here and, so, he is. Much like how she had ordered him to seek out volunteers from this new 'Union' organisation.

     "Yunomi Stadler," Armsmaster says, returning the handshake. "I see. Are you intending to arrange a deal for comic book publication?"

     "Physical mass," Triumph replies. "She splits into three people and all can act independently. It's a big help if we have to apprehend someone. How do you even do all this detail? I've heard of capes with artistic abilities..."

     At the mention of Armsmaster, he shrugs. "He's not a bad guy, really. He does a lot for the city. Maybe he's a bit too pragmatic, but I think that makes him a good leader. He'd rather be anywhere but here but, like you said, people would wonder why he doesn't attend events like this. He gets results, y'know? Man, I sound like one of those old cop shows..."

Eric Bane (550) has posed:
Eric sends a glance to Marrik at the pat to the shoulder, a wry smile pulling at his mouth. "I can try." Marrik knows the full measure of Eric's powers... and their source. Mind, any other time he'd tell Miss Militia, and then she'd know too. But there are cameras here, and he doesn't want to start a vampire panic in Brockton.

Her mention that all their powers are gets a nod. "I can imagine." After all, didn't they just come up with abilities out of nowhere? That's pretty much what happened to him, except he's dead and drinks blood on top of having abilities.

Marrik (541) has posed:
"It's good what is done here." Marrik p's hand even through the glove was calloused and strong. "I'd actually hoped to do a tour tomorrow. Saw a few communities here and about in the multiverse that do community gardening, yards given over to something other than grass." Given he can grow plants he had interest. "

Ainsley (151) has posed:
    "Well..." Ainsley looks at the painting. "It's not really a power to paint like this. I was raised by an organization that tried to keep accurate and objective records of the events in the world. Part of that was learning how to sketch and paint the things I had seen, so that I could accurately portray an event if words simply could not describe what had happened. I have since defected from that group, due to differences in personal philosophy, but I retained this skill. It's bolstered by my photographic memory, allowing me to put in detail that no other person would be able to. My teacher was a crone, too, so I had to be good at it or risk dealing with her temper."
    She pauses a beat after that, carefully painting in a window or three in silence. "He's pragmatic. He's effective. But he's not good with people. I've spoken with him already. He doesn't anger me, but he angers others." Sniff. "A cop show. Hmm. It's apt, you know. You're a police force. You enforce certain laws and principles."

Yunomi Stadler (272) has posed:
    "Oh, no, ah, I'm here to make ad onation on the behalf of my company." Yunomi gives a slight smile, rubbing the back of her head. "Danger Tanuki is a superheroine who fights against crab men from another planet as well as the local badguys of Frederick City in the comic books, and the majority of my market is digital or distrubted through libraries. I try to make the entertainment as accessable as possible." she smiles. "All the money's from marketing."

Toph Beifong (20) has posed:
    Extraordinary talent? Why, it sounds like he's describing her! The question seems to please the girl where she stands, a smile on her face again. Actually, she wouldn't mind him commenting on her age. She is short for her age, but she has an ego comparable to her supervising officer indeed. "You're looking at the greatest earthbender of all time, buddy. Not to mention I singlehandedly discovered metalbending, which people claimed was impossible." Yes, her young voice is filled with much pride.

    It's late, huh? But hey, if mister Grumpy Pants wants to talk more with her later, then well... she wouldn't mind, since he actually seems likable enough off the radio. Then again, he seems more stiff around adults for some reason. But hey, she's used to people dismissing her strength based on her size, she can easily imagine that people feel less threatened by a young, blind girl. "Catch you later," she says with a brief two finger salute to the forehead, then she sighs. Better keep her focus on Tony and not loose 'sight' of him. But at least they aren't going home yet, and there are still people to talk with!

Armsmaster (554) has posed:
     Raising a hand to her ear, the green-clad woman frowns. "Excuse me," Miss Militia suddenly says, and she weaves through the crowd on her way towards Armsmaster. Armsmaster doesn't nod or move as Yunomi speaks. "It is simple enough," Armsmaster says, although his expression appears to have darkened for no apparent reason. "The donation can just be made out to Protectorate East-North-East and there are numerous arrangements that can be made. This is not my area."

     Triumph nods, listening. "Well, that's good that you can find a way to market your skill. You don't mind if I tell people around your artwork, right? Just some word-of-mouth advertising. As for the Commander... He's not a people-person, no. But the rest of us are, I think. I think he just spends so much time working that he forgets that people aren't easy equations to solve. Anyway, I probably shouldn't talk like this about him."

     "Dragon just informed me," Armsmaster says, as Miss Militia arrives. "We're not breaking the news until tomorrow. Dauntless is already sortied, but I am going to return to HQ. You will handle the rest of this evening," he tells her.

Yunomi Stadler (272) has posed:
    "Right. Analytical skills next to none..." Yunomi begins, drawing out a binder, but she sees Armsmaster's moved on, and she makes a face behind his back. "... people skills need a little work though... solid B-plus." she murmers, and she checks a little crystal at her side -- and makes a very disconcerted face. "... the /hell/ did I drink in Sydney?" she mutters, and collapses the little crystaline screen to scribble out appropriate party, stepping off to the side.

Ainsley (151) has posed:
    A brighter smile shows on Ainsley's face. "I suppose we shouldn't, no. He does a good job around here." She nods lightly and then focuses on painting inbetween the various windows on one of the skyscrapers. "The whole point of me doing this here is for publicity," she admits to him, "Tell as many people as you want. The more people here know me, the more I can help." She finishes a little more of the painting. Then she really focuses on what she's doing, doing broad strokes for the sky, carefully making sure the two sides of the sky are the same, despite the split between Brockton and New York. She adds clouds not divided at all between the two sides.
    "You two are cape partners?" she wonders at him. He's not actually said what Prism is to him. The implication is that she wants to know what the relationship there is.

Armsmaster (554) has posed:
     "Just boyfriend and girlfriend," Triumph replies. "We've worked together once or twice but we usually keep to our own cities. Not that New York is very far or anything like that - it's just how the job is. You don't see many actual partnerships - sure, there's Assault and Battery, but they're married. Armsmaster and Dragon, maybe, on some level. There's Menja and Fenja in Empire. Oh, and Leet and Uber." Elsewhere, Armsmaster stalks out without another word, leaving his lieutnant - Miss Militia - to handle Yunomi's queries, and the inevitable deluge of questions that follow in the wake of Brockton Bay's commander storming out.

Ainsley (151) has posed:
    At that, Ainsley lights up even more, happy to be doing a painting like this for them. "Then this painting is all the more fitting. I just took a guess at the theme I should do... when you said she was at New York, I inferred you two worked different cities." She gestures at the painting. "Different cities, but the same sky, mmh? Symbolism~" She keeps working at it, and the most delicate work seems to be when she's carefully drawing out signs and the like. She's almost done, though.
    Ainsley is a very big fan of romantic ideas, apparently.

Armsmaster (554) has posed:
     "Well, you guessed correctly," Triumph replies, while he watches Miss Militia field questions in the wake of Armsmaster's disappearance. "I like it, especially with how it melds so seemlessly... It's good symbolism. It'll be a great gift. You... take credit cards, yeah?" Triumph asks, remembering the brief moment of confusion with the phone.

Ainsley (151) has posed:
    Ainsley manages to finish the painting while he's talking, and then reaches over to dig in her bag, producing a small card reader device. She sets it down and makes double sure it has a roll of paper in it, then smiles at him, gesturing for him to scan the card, if he has it with him. "It was nice talking to you, Triumph," she says, "My name is Ainsley."

Armsmaster (554) has posed:
     "It was nice meeting you, Ainsley," Triumph replies, going through the business of getting his card scanned and the painting paid for. He passes over a small business card, too. It reads: TRIUMPH, Brockton Bay Protectorate. There's a phone number on it, and a code. "Look, if you ever get in trouble around here, ring that number. That's my personal ID code. Just say it, and I'll come running, okay? Least I can do."

Ainsley (151) has posed:
    Ainsley picks up the card and smiles at Triumph pleasantly, finding the little book she usually puts such things in. It has a variety of little scraps of paper and business cards, apparently because she's a packrat when it comes to those. "I'll keep you in mind, the next time I help out over here." Once that's completed, she turns to look at the crowd, and waves over another person that looks interested. She'll keep going like this for the rest of the night, probably until most of the people are gone, and even get a few to do later.