No News Is Goo News
Roleplaying Log: No News Is Goo News
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Barbara Gordon gets in touch with Ronnie to update him on life and things goo-related.

Other Characters Referenced: Batman, Frank Castle
IC Date: February 28, 2020
IC Location: Between New York and Hong Kong
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 29 Feb 2020 06:08
Rating & Warnings: G
Scene Soundtrack: None
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

Barbara Gordon is in China, which makes it hard to reach out socially to her friends and allies that are still in the Tri-Cities. So, when Ronnie gets a call from Barbara Gordon, it is a video call on a secure channel that means she is all business. Once he hits accept, he's met with a warm and bubbly smile, red hair in twin braids, and her nose wrinkled a bit. Behind her, it is broad daylight and it appears she is in a park of some kind. "Ronnie?"

* * *

The weekend is so close, but Ronnie Raymond is already looking forward to sleeping in. Homework, not so much. He stifles a yawn as he lounges back on his bed, scrolling through posts with his phone. When it goes off he nearly drops it on his face, thankfully something Barbara won't see as he picks up.

"Ronnie here! -heeey! Long time no see, Babs! I…" He squints. "Where are you anyway?"

* * *

"Ronald," Babs says in an amused voice. "I half-expected you to be studying. Shouldn't you be studying?" Her voice has a warm teasing to it—the kid a big sister has for a little brother. Then she softens. "I know… everything has been busy lately. Physical therapy, training up a service dog, trying to save my boyfriend from medieval England." She tilts her head slightly, and then she looks behind her.

"Check it out." She lifts the phone to show him a bright, beautiful garden and park with the city of Hong Kong arching up around it. "China. Tech conference… meeting of the nerd minds. Stark sent me because he has Avenger Duties." Sounds like a trademarked term.

* * *

"I was totally studying!" Ronnie says defensively, patting around his bed for his books before pulling one out from under his pillow. He flashes a sheepish grin. "Uh. Emphasis on the 'was'..?"

Tossing the book aside, he sits up to give Barbara his rapt attention, a frown creasing his brow as she goes over what she's been doing, quite the list— "Wait what? Medieval England??" She's not just saying that to mess with him, is she?

His interest in that story is only slightly diminished when she swings the phone around to give him a better view of her surroundings. "Oh, awesome. The China part, anyway. I dunno how I feel about a tech conference but I guess it could be cool. Is it? Do you get to see some new tech stuff or is it all talking?"

* * *

"Mmhmm." Babs smiles again. "Ronnie, that's one of the illustrated Harry Potter's."

Then she turns the phone so he can clearly see her face. She hesitates before she explains, "Merlin. Like the real Merlin… he lost his Staff, so a friend of mine when back to help him. I guess they ended up in Arthur's wedding. Pretty big deal, but he was gone for seven weeks."

Then she tilts her head a bit. "Yeah. A lot of these companies are all those on the frontier. I even think there's some LexCorps representative here." She gives him a meaningful look. "But I'm more here to check out some bio-research that's being done." She hesitates. "There's a team presenting their findings on some nanite implants that might help spinal cord injuries." It is hard to miss the awkward way she smiles, like he might catch the self-serving purposes of attending that kind of presentation.

* * *

"Pff, what? No it wasn't, it was uh…" Thankfully he's saved the trouble of trying to come up with something, even though the jig's been up since the conversation started. Saving face is important though!

"Whoa, no way. Now that sounds like an adventure! ….a super long one! Seven weeks, man!" His mom would call the cops and the military if he were gone longer than two weeks, and that was being generous. He was probably the only superhero that had to call his mom to let him know he'd be late for dinner because he was out rounding up some criminals.

He hmmm's as Barbara mentions LexCorp. "Guess that's not a surprise, right? Those guys are everywhere. Um…anything interesting on that end?" His brows arch as he connects the implications easily enough, and he breaks into a grin. "That sounds great! I uh, I hope it turns out promising."

* * *

"For him, I guess it was only two. Time travel, particularly magic time travel is full of pitfalls, apparently." Barbara is at least amused by now, and less worried. "But he is now in the history books, or at least the legends."

Now she settles her attention on the topic of China, and she shakes her head at first. "No. Not surprising at all. If Stark is there, Lex is there. I think they are just a constant rivalry." To his well-wishing, she just smiles, unable to show how much she's investing into this. Instead, she presses her lips together. "Speaking of, I never got that intel back to you before we left. You still looking into LexCorps?"

* * *

"You're not just saying that to get me to do my English homework are you?" He's not too sold on the whole time travel thing. Two weeks to seven? Wasn't it supposed to be the other way around, or was that only in movies and stuff?

Ronnie doesn't keep up with the giant corp heads but those two in particular are big enough names that it only seems fair to hear one and the other not far from. He's a little surprised that Metropolis hasn't exploded or something by now.

"Intel? What inte… oh! Yeah! Er, I was. We were. But Professor Stein suggested we probably not do it as Firestorm, at least not until we find something other than floaty science balls."

* * *

"I think you should always do your homework, Ronnie." Babs is grinning. "I'll even help you edit your papers." Like last time. But she settles her arm across her lap, her other still holding the phone. She bobs her head a bit at his news of the whole intel stuff.

"Tell Stein that I found a solid trail between the samples… tons of offshore sites, but there's also major gaps. So, either someone nuked that information or something was off the books." Babs tilts her head slightly. "I can do more digging, but I wasn't sure what the next steps should be."

* * *

"And I very much appreciate that." Between having Stein as a tutor and Barbara offering to help him make sure his writing made sense, Ronnie's been managing a fairly decent grade average to keep him playing in the football team.

"Wait wait wait- I feel like I need to be writing this down or something," he says as he sets his phone down to go find a notebook. The image of the ceiling bounces as he settles back down and picks the phone up again. "Okay, so there's- what'd you say? Offshore sites, gaps…" His face scrunches up a bit as he scrawls down things. "But like, LexCorp definitely had their fingers in this slime business?"

* * *

"Hey, I like it… I miss being in school." Babs still hasn't gone back for her computer science's degree. It sits, dormant, waiting for her. She will get back to it— maybe.

Now she smiles at Ronnie, tilting her head slightly. "I'll wait for you to get a pencil." She doesn't mind staring up at the ceiling as she waits for him to what he needs to write this all down. She glances around her at the warm sunshine, the grass, and the flowers that are just starting to bloom in this late winter day. She then looks back down at Ronnie with a half-tilt of her head. "Yes… I think so, Ronnie. There's definitely some goo on their hands."

* * *

"Well if you wanna do my homework for me…." he begins to say, grinning almost impishly before he waves his hand. Kidding! Mostly…

He would have been more surprised if LexCorp wasn't involved somehow, but so far he's still not sure about the how's. Tapping his pencil against his chin, Ronnie tries to think. He can't come up with sciencey questions, but basic ones were just as important.

"What all were they doing with it? Did they make the stuff or is that something that was possibly missing from the info you dug up?"

* * *

"I'm not going to do your homework for you, Ronald." There's something almost Dr. Stein about that tone, but at least it is accompanied by a bright, earnest smile that can't quite hold a scolding air.

But then she is distracted for a moment, and the gruff voice of Frank Castle cuts in. "Nothin' around here but pizza. Weird ass pizza. I'm gonna go check up the hill." Babs just nods, and then looks back to the phone.

"I don't know yet. Those files are deep in the LexCorps database. I was lingering too long, so I figured I'd try to go back in. Particularly while I'm here… using a Hong Kong IP will mess with Lex's security guys."

* * *

Ronnie's shoulders slump, but he still grins. "Hey, was worth a shot."

He blinks at the other voice that speaks up. "Mmm…pizza." Glancing at the clock, he wonders if his mother would object to him ordering some or going out. "Brain food," he decides will be a reasonable excuse. "Who was that anyway?" That he can't help but ask. Although it kind of sounded familiar.

While he doesn't really know the finer points of hacking, he's seen enough movies to get the idea of how it might work. "Ooh, got it. Well, let me know how that goes, yeah? Anything else you find out?"

* * *

"Boyfriend." Babs hesitates. "His name is Pete." Part of her — a large part of her — hates lying to Ronnie, but she pushes through it quite easily. "He's flown out with me to make sure I don't overdo it."

Then she bobs her head. "Yeah, I'll let you know. I think that I should be able to dig something up in a day or two. You want me to call, or just send you the info?"

* * *

It's an answer Ronnie easily accepts, nodding. "Oh, cool. I mean, it's also like taking a little vacay, right?"

His note-taking has devolved into a listing of his favorite pizza places before he narrows it down as he considers a variety of things- like how late they're open and prices. Important stuff. "Sounds good! Um. Either or. Whatev's works better! I don't mind another excu- err, taking another call. Football practice is done for the season and all."

* * *

"A little bit. It really isn't that bad. There's a presentation this afternoon on some defensive measures that we can take against mental attacks… psychic attacks, you know? I'm curious to know how much tinfoil I need to wear to make that happen." She flashes him a rueful smile.

Then she sucks in a breath, stretching out her arms a bit with a roll of her shoulders. "You know, you been thinking about what you're going to do beyond football, studying, and being Firestorm?" There's no one around or she would be worried about saying that aloud.

* * *

"Psychic attacks, huh. Wow, they have that sorta thing at a tech conference? How often do people expect that sort of thing?" It sounds kind of interesting. And maybe a little concerning if it's something to actually worry about.

Ronnie sits back against the wall, huffing out a breath at the question, sending his dark bangs fluttering. "Not really, no," he admits. "I feel like I got enough to worry about just trying to get through school as it is, you know? Being Firestorm is pretty cool, but it makes me wonder how other heroing types balance everything out." Pause. "Does Batman have a day job?"

* * *

"The world is a crazy, unpredictable place, Ronnie. Give it time, and tech is going to try to save the world." There's a gentle amusement in those words, but it just barely masks her own concern. She huffs in a breath.

Then that breath is exhaled in a smile. "What do you think? He works at Bob's Burgers." Her nose wrinkles up with a smile. "Bats, he… he doesn't see the outside world the same way we do, Ron. His world is the cowl… nothing else." Her gaze goes a little distant, thinking about Bruce alone in that big house with just Alfred, and beneath its foundation the Bat Cave. She's not sure anymore who is the real person— Bats or Bruce. Then she smiles back at the screen. "If you didn't have Firestorm, what would you want to do?"

* * *

"Or destroy it. You see those Sentinel things they pulled out at that news conference last year?" He frowns, still wondering if he would have been able to feasibly do anything back then. Turning the giant robots into microwaves seemed like a very tempting idea, especially when they started going after the bystanders they identified as metahumans.

Scowling a moment, Ronnie can't help but laugh as he thinks about Batman dressed for work at a fastfood joint, still with mask and cowl. "Yeah, that guy's…a whole different level. I only really worked with him once and that was on accident. Guy's kinda scary, TBH."

He glances up at the ceiling, mouth quirking to the side in thought. "I dunno. Pro-football, probably. I love the game. I was star quarterback at my high school."

* * *

"I saw." Barbara's voice is tight. "But that's different, Ronnie. That's fear-mongering." But there's also some denial there, in the depths of her voice. She knows that the line between defense and fear is very, very thin.

"Bats is definitely a different sort of guy, yeah." Though she then huffs out a short laugh. "He's loyal though. Cares a lot for the family." Mobster, much?

Then the redhead nods slowly. "Well, don't let this whole thing take away from things you want to do, Ronnie. Really. That's important." Then she looks up, and sighs out a breath before she casts a warm smile down to him. "I gotta go, Ronnie. Time to head back to the convention center. I'll let you know if I learn anything, okay?"

* * *

Ronnie definitely doesn't look sold on whatever difference there might be. Even good things could be exploited for bad. For now he's just glad that the Sentinels haven't been given the run of New York, although they were hard to forget about. Not that there aren't other things to be mindful of, and things sparked due to metahumans hasn't died down any.

"Nice to know. The guy seems super into his work though. I never knew someone who could transmit so many levels of disapproval with just their eyes. …except maybe my mom, but at least I can hug her."

What he wants to do… It hadn't really been clear, but it hadn't been all that complicated either, before. Now with Firestorm, there's other things to consider, and a lot more he's aware of. Sighing, he manages a smile back at Barbara from his side of the screen. "Thanks, BeeGee. And all right, I'll catch you later. Take care!"

* * *

"It is a talent," Babs agrees about Batman's ability to transmit disappointment.

Then she is smiling warmly at this little brother of hers, and she taps her nose gently. "You, too. Tell Dr. Stein I said hello." Then she taps the red button that ends the call, and then she breathes out a short breath, and then goes about to face the rest of the day.

* * *

"Will do." He's saluting her when she ends the call, looking down at the notes he jotted down, half of which are pizza places. Circling the LexCorp-related scrawls, Ronnie hops off the bed with his phone. He'll be meeting with Professor Stein later so he can just go over things then. But right now…

"Hey mom?" he calls as he steps towards his bedroom door. "How do you feel about some late night pizza?"

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