Casual Debriefing
Roleplaying Log: Casual Debriefing
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Kitty checks in with Ghost Spider and Carolus, and they bring each other all up to speed on what's been going on since Warren's rescue.

Other Characters Referenced: Static, Red Robin
IC Date: February 15, 2020
IC Location: Xavier's Institute
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 16 Feb 2020 06:25
Rating & Warnings:
Scene Soundtrack: [*\# None]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

* OOC Time: Sat Feb 15 19:22:36 2020 *

* * *

Xavier's Institute, Afternoon

After receiving a check-up message proposing a meeting and a sort of informal debriefing of what everyone had gone through towards the end of the previous year, Carolus snapped off a quick reply to Kitty Pryde:

Sure.
It's still cold out, or I'd suggest the gardens.
I'll touch base with Ghost Spider, no guarantees with her.
She has another team to work with.
I'll pick up some coffee or tea on the way in. Meet in the faculty area this afternoon. What do you want?

Immediately afterwards, Carolus texted Ghost Spider with an invitation, repeated his, 'What sort of hot drink do you want?' spiel, and carried on with his business.

At this exact moment, Carolus is just arriving at the Institute's faculty wing, headed towards one of the empty offices frequently used for informal-but-still-sometimes-illegal X-Men talk. No need to expose the faculty to real liability.

Several insulated cups are laid out on the nearest surface — desk, conference table — their particular orders scribbled on papers along the sides. Only one remains in hand as Carolus exits the room again briefly to retrieve a stool, which he brings in to sit on because his wings do not cooperate with chairs comfortably.

* * *

Kitty Pryde has been having her own way of dealing with the events in Apocalypse world. For awhile she was simply off the grid and not at the Mansion, nor around Westchester. Some think she's at the base, located elsewhere, but she was illusive for awhile.

Now, though, she's back and checking up on people. Trying to be casual about it, but also making sure that she follows through to ensure everyone will eventually reply.

No pressure. I'll try and make sure to follow up with her later if she's not availble.
A good black tea works for me. English Breakfast or Earl Grey would be great, thanks!

Kitty is on time for this meeting, entering the room in the time it takes Carolus to get a stool. She certainly knows the problems with wings and chairs, having been friends with Warren for so long. Moving toward the cups, she starts looking at each of them to see which is hers, not about to drink someone else's cup!

* * *

The Faculty room is one that Ghost Spider has to ask to be led to - and it's a pretty awkward walk. You see, Xavier's School's faculty areas are at least moderately shielded and guarded after the seven dozenth time they were exploded by someone.

So, expecting to just slide into a windowsill, Ghost Spider just walked up the side of the wall. While she didn't draw an incredible amount of attention, someone did call security on her when she started going at the armored windows

Escorted in by <Insert X-Man Here> looking incredibly sheepish, in full costume is the Ghost Spider, weakly waving as she enters. "H-hey. Sorry, I just expected, since you have lots of powers on campus, I could take the 'outside stairs'. My bad, really, I didn't think the faculty area would be locked. Kind of silly in retrospect, isn't it?"

Let off the hook once she's in the room, she takes a few steps forward to lightly embrace Kitty. "Kitty! It's good to see you again."

Ending as quickly as she started, Ghost Spider withdraws, lenses popping brightly. "You seem to be doing well. And things are… Well… More or less good, which is better than 'multiple people dead, racists in power armor on the loose'."

"I'm going to try not talking now, okay?" She sighs, visibly cringing at her running mouth. "Did you put anything in my coffee?"

* * *

Carolus looks only vaguely perturbed at the sight that greets him once he returns to the room, stool — and his own tea — in hand(s). He shoos the <insert obscure X-Man> leading Ghost Spider along away, offering reassurances that, yes, she's supposed to be here. He glances over towards the window, then circles the table to plop the stool down and seat himself atop it.

"Sometimes kids get bold and try to steal exam keys." He explains to Ghost Spider. Assuming that she hasn't already figured out which-is-which, Carolus lifts the cups on the table to relocate them closer to their intended owners. Only one of them is a coffee, because this room is dominated by filthy tea drinkers.

"I did not," he says, "it is exactly as it was given to me. Do you need condiments? I can go fetch some, I know where they are."

Antennae lifting, he remarks, "At any rate, er… awkwardness aside, it seems to me that we are all more-or-less intact. Things could have ended a little more satisfactorily out there, but…" He shrugs.

"I have worried about it adequately. The consequences will come, whatever they are. Have you been recuperating well, Kitty?"

* * *

In the opposite of a full costume is Kitty. She's wearing jeans and a cozy sweater, hair pulled back into a gathered ponytail. She suddenly feels underdressed. When Ghost Spider enters and quickly embraces her, she returns it easily. "It's good to see you, too."

Plucking up her tea, she gives a soft laugh. "No, no need to stop talking. Even with Registration, it is certainly better here than where we last saw each other."

As Carolus returns, she keeps a hand on her tea. She's one of those people who has to let it cool down until it is practically lukewarm until she wants to drink it. "Yes, it's good to see that you both recovering well. Dani mentioned something about a sleep doctor? Was that something that helped?"

As for how she's been recuperating, she tilts her head a little, shrugs her shoulders. "A lot of nightmares, did some hiding away to process on my own. Lockheed got pretty stir crazy. I'm back out in the world, though, so that's good. Well, for me, maybe less so the world." Smirk.

"How about you two? Other than worrying about it adequately?"

* * *

"With Registration? Did you register, Kitty? I really don't have a choice on if I want to or not, so it's different for me, but…" Lenses narrow in sympathy. "Or is it someone or something harassing you about it? Don't worry, if you need me to string them up to a light post for a few hours, it's fine! Toootally denable definitely not an X-man."

She pauses. "Well, except for the mission we did. And Carolus. And… Look, nevermind, the important thing is: What's wrong?"

The Sleep Doctor thing causes Gwen some confusion, looking between Kitty and Carolus. "Did you do a sleep thing? I… think I remember you saying somethig like that. I just watch monster movies and eat ice cream and I'm fine. Smash some drums for a few hours. Right as rain."

"And I'm sure the world can manage. As much as I can manage this coffee!" Gwen decides with firmness, leaning forward to drop into a chair and grab her cup of brewed coffee. "Well, I actually take it black because my dad does, and he got me into it. I tried to imitate him, grimacing way too much and grunting the whole time."

Hooking a thumb up the neckline of her mask and peeling it up reveals Gwen's broad and reminiscing smile. "I felt very macho on the playgrounds, big scary bitter-drinking superwoman. Well, in my head at least."

* * *

"Doctor Strange suggested a therapist who is able to work in dreams. I have yet to contact this individual, however. I have simply offered to share contact information with others I thought might be needful." Carolus explains to Kitty, matter-of-factly. He passes his tea to the opposite hand, apparently thoughtlessly, because he doesn't actually do anything else with it.

Ghost Spider's inquiry causes him to hesitate a little, a bit of his formal veneer peeling away for an instant, "I'm still deciding if I'm comfortable with it."

In reaction to Kitty's explanation of her experiences, he says, "If you would like a referral, I would be glad to provide one.."

"As for how I have been," his antennae rise sharply, "I would say that the dreams are not particularly worse than those I routinely experience surrounding the invasion. Bothersome and a little more fresh and bloody, but a fact of life. I have relocated to avoid potential interlopers."

"Our current investigation focus pertains to the murder of Charles Arany, and surrounding individuals." He concludes, matter-of-factly.

He might be framing this entirely too formally. More likely, he's just not used to actually talking about it. Carolus dropped off the map in terms of superheroics after the invasion, until last September. It wouldn't have been a huge surprise if he'd done it again after the alternate universe.

"'On the playgrounds'?" Carolus wonders aloud at Ghost Spider, "I can see it. I imagine that you were even more intimidating to your instructors, in that case."

* * *

"I haven't yet, no. But I know Warren and Ali are, as are other people at the Mansion. It's starting to feel…disingenuous of me to not register just because I can avoid it. However, I know it can also be helpful to have someone not registered for other reasons." Kitty shrugs. "I just hate it and hope that we can get rid of the entire thing after the elections." The likelihood of that, though? Slim in her mind, if her voice is any indication. But, she then grins at Gwen's suggestion of support. "If I need that to happen, I'll call you."

As for the coffee and how she takes it like her father, she smiles. "My dad drank coffee like that, too. However, I got into tea when I was living in England." Blink, for a moment, "Wait, you drank coffee as a kid? How young were you?" The idea of a caffeinated 10 year old is starting to make its way into Kitty's mind.

Carolus brings up the sleep doctor and Kitty nods. "Ah. Dani wasn't quite sure, either, but mentioned it as I had said I was having trouble sleeping properly." That's when the nightmares were far more vivid than they are currently. "I might take you up on that referral, though, depending." It's always good to have a few names that could be used later down the line.

"Where did you move to?" she asks, moving along with the topics of conversation as they're presented. "Charles Arnay is the fashion designer that was killed?" she asks, trying to ensure they're discussing the same thing.

* * *

"England! Is their cooking really as bad as everyone says it is?" Gwen conversates, taking generous(ly scalding) sips of her coffee with light puffing of breath here and there as her mouth heats up too much for her liking. "And yeah, I kept sneaking drinks from my Dad when I was a little hellion, and he kept having to re-brew his own. So he just started brewing a second cup. Now I just drink it for taste." Gwen answers. "But yeah, the teachers loved me."

The Arany Killings gets her to hold the coffee steady in her lap, smile dimming to a neutral line. "Yeah. Really brutal stuff. We roped in Red Robin and some new guy to help check a suspect's house while we try to make sure nobody else dies…"

"Or is rotting in their houses."

Gwen gulps, looking up. "Sorry, that was a little heavy. Are you working on any cases, Kitty?"

* * *

"I do not recommend it unless you have some personal incentive that makes it impractical to decline." Carolus says, on the matter of registration.

There's a part of him wondering about getting rid of the registration databases entirely, but there's no telling exactly how many places it's located. It seems like an exceedingly dangerous pipe dream, for the moment.

Regarding the dream-therapist, Carolus admits, "I am forced to weigh the extent to which such a therapist is a potential liability. This last incident did not end cleanly, and our political situation is at best dubious."

"Jersey City," he says, "and yes, the one killed during New York Fashion Week. My business works directly with the fashion industry, so it was a little more on-radar for me than is ordinary."

His wings and antennae both twitch, in response to the dimming of the mood. Clearing his throat, he says, "Er… sorry. Was that a little too serious a topic?"

* * *

Thinking of English cooking, Kitty grins. "British cooking mostly involves boiling things. However, there were a ton of good curry places I found while working there. And a good fish and chip is nothing to sneeze at. I've tried getting a good authentic one here and somehow they're just not as good. It could be like bagels and New York, you just have to be in the city to get the right taste."

She thinks a few moments about the dream therapist and nods. "Yeah, it's hard to find someone who is properly trained in this that is also safe to talk to about it." If only Harley Quinn wasn't, you know, a Gotham villain. "You can never be fully honest and that means your results are also likewise slanted."

The discussion of the brutal murders don't seem to faze Kitty. Instead, she simply nods along as things are discussed. As Carolus asks if this is too serious, she waves a hand, finally taking a tentative sip of her tea. It's not too hot and so she takes a longer one. "Any leads so far?" she asks, glancing between Ghost Spider and Carolus. As for her own cases, she shakes her head. "Not at the moment. I've only recently gotten back into things."

* * *

"It's not too serious. I'm just realizing that we're trying to enjoy each other's company, so…"

With a gentle cant of her coffee cup, she indicates Kitty and Carolus - going around the table. "You both deal with some pretty heavy stuff. Real fate-of-the-world stuff. I'm used to a different sort of real. Everything's punchier here, down to the goons in alleys and the weirdos at streetcorners. Like the whole place is more dangerous, over-all."

"It makes trust hard. But you've also got awful ideas about what sugar tastes like, so your ice cream is worse. Really, it's just the pits. But it makes me respect everyone's ability to carry on. It took seeing Scott in that other universe to really get it, though."

Gwen's shoulders slump inward, her elbows dropping. "Well, we're chasing down some leads on some journalists that were covering the incident. They may be targets - or have evidence that we can use. Can't hurt to check up on them. We talked to some friends, to check the place. It's kind of hard to just waltz into private property in Gotham without starting some really big problems, you know?"

* * *

"Yes. Which is not to say that there is no one to talk to. They are simply not professionals." Carolus says, matter-of-factly. He angles his head to one side, adding, "I think that it is the unfortunate tendency of our types to talk to no one, and burst at the end. Or simply break down, I suppose."

To the assertion that he deals with some pretty heavy stuff, the mothman shakes his head, "That may have been true recently, but I retired to a very mundane life for a while there. My overall speed is not dis-similar to yours, I think. Perhaps a little slower. I have simply been compelled by circumstance to engage higher-class scenarios of late."

When it comes to the subject of leads on their case, he glances sidelong at Ghost Spider. Once she's done speaking, he says, "We are fairly certain the perpetrator is a terribly scarred model using some form of cybernetics or other mechanical augmentation in order to murder former associates. We think we're close to the end of this, but… I think you know how that goes. A million little ways to go unexpectedly wrong, and an innocent woman presently on the hook for it all. The latest individual to jump in to help is an electromagnetism manipulator, though, so that should help if things get violent again."

* * *

Kitty gives Gwen something of a smile. "I guess I'm just used to it by now. A get together of people like us generally becomes a discussion of cases or recent things we're attempting to look into."

The thought of the Scott in that universe turns that smile slightly more upside down. "Yeah, things are different. Just because he looked the same and generally acted similarly to the Scott I knew didn't mean he was that Scott. I guess it just shows that everyone is their own person."

Whether she and Carolus deal with very heavy stuff, she bobs her shoulders a bit in something of a shrug. "Sometimes, I guess? But a lot of the time it's trying to figure out ate your leftover pizza out of the fridge. I guess it's all about a balance." To Carolus, she nods. "Some people bottle things up and then break down. Others deflect, others talk things over and find solace in friendships. It's all in how you personally take things."

When they move onto the leads, she nods her head a few times. "Someone with electromagnetism definitely will come in handy if you're dealing with someone who has cybernetics. If you need some help getting into private property, I can phase a small team in. Otherwise, I'm glad you're closing in on the culprit. I'm sure you both will bring him or her in safely."

* * *

"Sucks to get used to, though. People can get used to anything, if it happens long enough. That doesn't mean it's good."

"People get used to pain, and think it's normal. People get used to drowning so long they stop thinking to swim for shore."

Gwen takes a moment to finish her coffee after that, steam haloing the upturned mug as she gulps twice and exhales with a 'pwah', placing the empty cup on the table. "But it's good to hear it's not all that." The topic oscillates between the Arany killings and FEE-LINGS, Ghost Spider having quite a bit to say about both.

"Right now, I really don't want to get anyone registered involved with crimes. Red Robin's an expert at Gotham, he may be able to get what we need to know without ever doing anything illegal."

He's totally going to do illegal stuff.

"But we may need your help on what we're doing. Any good at computers?"

* * *

"It's… good to remember that it isn't normal, and shouldn't be." Carolus agrees with Ghost Spider.

He rifles around in his pockets for a moment, producing a small notepad and a pencil. He scribbles down an address, tears it off, and slides it towards Kitty. It's a Gotham address, in one of the nicer parts of town. He says, "This is the target address. I'm avoiding it because I'm registered, and the residents are sue-happy. Red Robin and a hero called Static are the ones who have taken that leg of the investigation. If you think you can help them under the radar without getting fingered… well, your abilities make you suited for it."

"If you want a broad overview, just google 'Miranda Arany Accident'. That's not her surname as far as we know, by the way. They were just associates at the time."

"The end we're working," he continues, "is a series of journalists that the probable perp's brother sued into silence. We can discuss the need for Federal anti-SLAPP laws later, but the focus here is to make sure we don't have any imminent murders or… unsolved murders, that we can circle back to."

* * *

'People get used to drowning so long they stop thinking to swim for shore.'

"Huh. Yeah. That's true." Kitty takes a long drink of her tea, eyebrow furrowed for a moment as she lets that thought ruminate with her for a bit.

Then, though, they delve back into cases and nitty gritty. That's a bit more sure footing for the phasing mutant and she refocuses her attention on Gwen, nodding. There's a short lived smirk at the idea of Red Robin finding information without it being illegal. "I am, actually, quite good at computers. It made me incredibly popular in high school, let me tell you."

She takes the piece of paper slid over to her by Carolus, reads it and then carefully slips it into the front pocket of her jeans. "Makes sense. I'll see if they want an extra hand. They may have it handled without me."

The information of what she should look up is met with a nod. "So you'd like me to go through the journalists and see if they have any other information they have that could link back to other targets - current or former. I could certainly non illegally look into what kind of information they would theoretically have on their computer."

* * *

"That'd help out a lot, actually, Kitty. It's really two purposes: It helps us figure out if people just got scared off - and if they still have any information they hid - or if they've dropped off the grid. If they have, we go looking for them."

"Maybe we save some lives. Either way, I'm sure Red Robin will like the help with someone he trusts. And you'll meet the new hero, Static. He…"

A squint. "Rides… manhole covers…" That's not cool at all. "And some other stuff."

With a firm series of nods, Ghost Spider seems rendered much more content with this little impromptu strategy session. "Narrowing down for Carolus and I to do the legwork helps us do it faster could also save Tiffany from a serial murder one conviction and a trip to New York State prison. So, you know… That's the stakes."

"No pressure or anything. We're trying to get all the hands we can on this that can be discrete."

* * *

"They may. Even if they do, I think it's a good idea for you to meet them. Red Robin is…" Carolus looks at the ceiling, trying to figure out how to describe him. After a long moment, he decides, "Intense but amusing to be around. Static, we need a better read on him. I've only met him the once. Seems well-meaning, though. I told him to look up the Institute if he has any education interests coming up."

A buzzing in the moth man's pocket prompts him to produce his phone. He glances at it, then puts it away and rises.

"I need to get going. Business relocation in progress alongside the home relocation." He grimaces, and adds, "Silkworm relocation is fairly inconvenient, actually. We can chat about it later if you're interested, but… you know. Ordinary water cooler talk. It's like talking to Tony Stark about LCD panel production instead of A.I."

Lifting the stool easily over his head, Carolus makes for the door, pausing briefly to say, "Thank you for inquiring, Kitty. Feel free to buzz me again, if you uncertain as to whether or not this was welcome. And your offered assistance on this case is most appreciated."

To Ghost Spider, he asides, "See you later— or on the beat, or otherwise."

Then, absent prompting to hold him up, he turns and departs.

* * *

Kitty takes a sharpie out of her back pocket and writes, 'Miranda' on the back of her hand. If anyone asks about it, she'll say she's going full River Tam. That'll be enough of a reminder for her about what to look into. Not that she will really forget, but it is something of a ribbon around her finger.

As Gwen describes Static to her, she looks up briefly from her writing to give her a bit of a questioning look. She's not exactly judging, but she's certainly now much more curious to meet this person. "O-kay. Sure. I've heard of worse ways to travel. And I'd be glad to help in any way I can." Checking out who this Static person is certainly is a way to chip in.

As Carolus' pocket beeps, she nods. Taking another sip of her tea, she tells him, "Good luck with that, then. Next time, tea and coffee's on me. I am, actually, interested on how you relocate them, but another time." And, to her credit, she does actually seem pretty interested in that. Kitty is an absorber of knowledge.

The thanks is met with a smile. "You're welcome. It's good to catch up with you both." Moving to Gwen, she holds out her phone. "I realize we don't have each other's numbers. If you wouldn't mind, just so next time I can coordinate with you both."

* * *

Gwen takes the phone in both hands, nodding with a quick "Sure thing". A few sure taps later, she has entered a phone number in, and spins the phone to take a selfie.

She adds a peace sign at the bottom of the frame with her free hand.

She pulls her mask down afterwards, having worn a goofy smile for the picture.

"There you go. Let me know whe you've pulled something good! Or, well, if you need help. We'll come in swinging."

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