The Outcasts of Roosevelt Island
Roleplaying Log: The Outcasts of Roosevelt Island
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

In which Isa Reichert is visited by Rocket Raccoon, and Rocket offers a favour: Introductions to people in positions of authority.

Other Characters Referenced: Phil Coulson
IC Date: April 02, 2020
IC Location: New York City - Manhattan - Roosevelt Island
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 02 Apr 2020 21:42
Rating & Warnings:
Scene Soundtrack: None
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

The long, thin strip of an island replacing the Triskelion may lack the dignity and elegance of the old base of operations, but it does get the job done. Most of the time. Some of its facilities have needed to be a bit cramped as a result, but agents have generally pulled together, continuing to work towards restoration and a resolution to the problem of location.

One side of the island is reserved for quinjet traffic, and a safe place for them to arrive and depart from without disrupting the residental parts of the island, for those agents who live here. A low rise of a hill slopes gently away from the concrete tarmac; a battered chain-link fence with barbed wire wound around the top separates the flight line from the greater Roosevelt Island.

Today, a certain red-headed pilot is sitting with her legs folded beneath herself atop the hill, watching quinjets come and go. Rather than a flightsuit, the woman wears a navy business suit, hair clipped up nearly at the nape of her neck, single blue eye lingering on a folder flipped open across her lap. A cigarette dangles from her lower lip; a thin trail of smoke from her nostrils suggests she's only paying it minimal attention.

Whenever the quinjets come in, though, she's watching; single blue eye lifted from her folder full of documents and photos.

…She's probably totally judging those pilots.

* * *

After all the effort Rocket had put into 'blending in' the last time he'd paid the base a visit, it might seem strange that he doesn't bother with it today. The only difference aside from his usual gray and blue jumpsuit and the stupidly-sized bag most likely carrying weapons of some sort or another is that he's wearing a navy blue hoodie with the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo on it.

Okay, so maybe he put some minimal effort. Who he stole it from or even managed to find a size small enough is another matter entirely but one he probably will refuse to explain.

"Seriously. Yer pullin' my leg, right? How do you forget the corner of the hangar with the big spaceship and the bright orange IKEA couch? Look, if our quinjet was one'a the casualties when everything collapsed, I can totally understand that but straight up denying I was ever let into one is just plain mean."

The small Guardian may only come up to the unnamed agent's knees, maybe a tiny bit higher, but he glares up as though he were looking down. "Oh. Oh I get it. This is cuz we're off the record so technically we don't exist. Okay then, fine – I see how it is. Know what? I don't need yer dumb quinjet anyway. Why'm I even here? Nah, don't bother gettin' security, I know my way out," he railroads over the other's attempts to get a word in, turning on his heel and stomps down the walkway that weaves between the landing zone and branches off between the hill and back to the Renwick.

Except it's hard stomping when you have soft, tiny feet, but he tries.

* * *

Idly scratching out a few notes on the paper in front of her, Isa Reichert lifts her gaze just long enough to watch a quinjet come down with a distasteful twist of her mouth. Whoever's flying that one, it wobbled. Not enough to be dangerous but enough to lose points with Reichert the Perfectionist.

And then, a familiar voice.

"Hunh?"

Her blink might be owlish if she had both her eyes; as it is, it's just a single slow blink and focus on the dimunitive demolitions expert. Isa's mouth twists again, this time in what might be the beginnings of a smile, or a simple acknowledgement of the fact that Rocket is here and complaining at her.

After a second or two observing, the one-eyed woman shrugs and turns back to her silent judging of the flight line. After a moment she looks back over, frowning.

"Talking to me? Or rhetorical?" One red brow raises, and Isa's cigarette droops a bit as she frowns. "What are you even talking about? You probably have better security clearance than I do. Not much point complaining to me. I have problem, probably lucky if security even listen to me. Now. You ask me to take you somewhere, that I can do."

Her scarred hand reaches out to pat the grass. "Sit. Stay a while. Simmer down. You have problem, maybe washed-up one-eyed pilot can help, da?"

Just in case, though, she eyes the raccoon. "If you try to reach my number last few day, though… no luck." A flat grin. "Have been busy. Flying."

* * *

"Not relly. I have clearance when it's convenient. Otherwise I don't exist." Rocket snorts, throwing a glare back down towards the chainlinked fence and one of the guards who's already dismissed him. The raccoonoid thumbs back at the guy.

"Anyway, was talking to that guy but I'm guessin' he's new. Otherwise who can forget the orange couch?"

The suggestion to sit, or rather the space offered is given a look, as though he expects something more than a tuft of grass as a cushion, but who's he to be picky? Grumbling under his breath, he lets the strap of his bag slip off his shoulder and the load to the ground with a soft thud before he drops down himself to sit. "'s nothin' important, but I like coverin' my bases." He lifts his head a bit from having propped his chin up with a hand, glancing over at Isa.

"Oh, you were busy eh? An' here I thought you were standing me up." His smirk is a toothy one. "Can't blame you. Flyin' beats bein' stuck here."

* * *

"I have clearance when they want agent to get here or there. Otherwise, probably they don't trust me as far as can throw me." Isa's statement is dismissive, and given with an equally dismissive flick of the hand and sigh. "Don't care, so much, as long as they let me fly quinjet."

She regards Rocket with that blue, blue eye again. She then follows the pointed thumb-claw towards the security guard in question, leaning forward a little and squinting, as though she were scanning his face from the distance away. She might only have one eye, but apparently it's pretty good. "Oh. Da. Pretty sure is new." She eyes the uniformed man, a little dubiously. "Have run into him once or twice."

Probably scared the poor guy half to death, too, just for kicks.

"Am always busy." Isa flips the handful of material she'd been working with closed, with one last glance at the contents of the frontmost page. Setting it aside where it's out of the Guardian's reach, she sits up into a crouch, rocking back on her heels. "At least, try to stay that way. They know long hour is no problem for me. Am tough. Even tired, can stay focused."

The odd laconic way she speaks is softened by the languid contentment of early sunset and a fresh cigarette, and even her usual fierce countenance is softened; relaxed. This place is making her soft and she knows it, but some things are just too much a convenience to give up.

Leaning back a little, Isa blows an unsteady smoke ring, twitching one shoulder in a shrug. "Is nothing wrong with covering base. I do that, too. Have to. Is survival skill." She must be speaking from some kind of personal experience. Her tone of voice is deadly serious on that last. Her eyelid droops to half-mast, and she puffs another wreath of smoke, expression fatalistic.

"This city… is making me soft. Do you know, Comrade Rocket, how much I hate being unprepared?" A great deal, apparently. Her voice is low. "Never again. So I stay sharp. And I stay sharp by flying." One hand curls into a loose fist. "I am most alive when I fly. Which is why I stay here. Sometime, I do not care about what S.H.I.E.L.D. do. Not always." Somehow, her accent seems a bit less thick; something almost vaguely British flavouring her English. "What matters the most to me, Comrade Rocket… the most important… the one thing I will do anything to keep… is the ability to fly."

* * *

Well of course with the effort of putting something out of his reach, Rocket's going to be curious. But it's nothing technological so it only holds his attention for the span of a second or two at most.

"Yeah, that'd explain why he stares at me the way kids do when they're being dragged to see those fake Santas at the mall." Ah, the uncertainty of whether or not to believe there's a raccoon wearing clothes talking to you.

Isa puffs on a cigarette and Rocket pulls out a Slim Jim from the pocket of his bag, tearing into it with sharp teeth. He nods at the mention of survival skills. True enough. One had to look out for themselves and if applicable, their own. The latter makes it more complicated, but it's not something he feels he regrets. If anything, the only thing he'd regret is knowing he wouldn't be able to go back to doing things solo, not so easily, anyway.

"Flyin's freedom."

You have a ship, you can go anywhere. Sure, having a bird that functioned only within atmosphere kind of put a limit on that, but still, the skies beyond have their own sense of freedom, and in flying, you weren't limited to the barriers of the ground.

* * *

"He watch me like I might swallow him whole if he weren't looking." Isa's nasty little grin suggests she doesn't bother to correct or reassure the poor lad. "Wonder if he take medication for anxiety. Probably is working in wrong place to quiet nerve."

She puffs contentedly, reaching up to tap the cigarette on an ashtray she has plunked in the grass next to her. Lifting her face to the sky, she half-closes her eyes as the wind ruffles her hair, the corner of her mouth twitching. Flyin's freedom, Rocket says, and the twitch becomes a real smile, if slightly melancholy.

"Da, Comrade Rocket. Flying is freedom. Is all I have left." She tilts her face up to the sky, closing her eye in the last warmth of the setting sun. "So. Will fight to keep it. Is not like what I used to fly, but quinjet are good enough. Have learned to fly them well." She opens her eye, arching her brow and glancing over to Rocket. "Did you and Groot actually need to fly somewhere?"

* * *

Rocket cackles a little at that. "Yeah no kiddin'. Job with an organization like this ain't for the faint of heart."

With the thin reed of a beefstick between his teeth, the Guardian lies back in the grass, arms folded behind his head. "What all you used to fly anyway? Must be somethin' – considerin' the quinjets're pretty top'a the line. Or at least they're the most decent thing I've had access too on Terra – unless they've been holding out on me somewhere." Which he supposes is possible, because there are always places with more money and better toys.

"Mm…don't need to fly anywhere an' no one's told me otherwise. But I'm trying to think of a good excuse just so I can see how you fly." He doesn't even try to hide it. But Isa's made it clear that flying is her thing, and he's curious. It might be good to know who you can turn to if you needed a fancy flier and wanted to keep a low profile.

…pff. Okay so when have the Guardians ever kept a low profile.

* * *

Shifting on the grass, Isa flops back with a sigh of her own, heaving a sigh that speaks of mixed exhaustion and contentment. She may be running herself into the ground with her scheduling, but it's worth it. There are always nice little things like a pleasant sunset spent outside with the wind in her hair.

…And nobody actively trying to shoot at her.

"Fighter jet." Isa's response is a grunt, but her tone is content, a thin line of smoke curling up from where her head lies in the grass. After a moment she raises herself up just enough to fold her hand behind her head before she lies back again, watching the day's last light touch the tops of the skyscrapers. Her blue eye flicks up, to eye Rocket upside-down; expression serious in spite of the absurd angle.

"Prototype fighter jet," she clarifies, eye drifting half-closed. "Am sure there are thing that could be quinjet equal."

Isa sighs a long wreath of smoke. When she begins again, her English is less rough; tone tired.

"You really aren't from this planet, are you?" The question must be rhetorical. She doesn't wait for an answer. "Da. Yes. I used to fly prototype fighter jets. I am not from this city; I am from thousands of miles away, in Russia. I fled here. I've been hunted by a private corporation that isn't playing nice by anyone's rules. That's why I came to S.H.I.E.L.D. I stole intelligence and bartered with it for a chance to fly again." She keeps her voice low, as though she didn't want anyone overhearing.

Her mouth twists into a grim expression, although she doesn't open her eye. "The intelligence I stole was from a firm called Icarus Dynamics. They're a global heavy industry company, but I don't know much about them. They offered me a job, many years ago, but something wasn't right. I refused them. They sabotaged my life." A finger jabs at the scarring on the right side of her face. "They did this to me."

Letting her arm flop back down, Isa sighs. "Hunh. Really interested? Could take you with me, one day, if agent clear it. I have handler. Probably more than one." Just like that, she slips back into her bizarrely laconic speech patterns again. "Can't imagine they trust me any more than you. I don't know many agent, here. Maybe you find one who can give you excuse, da?"

* * *

Not being shot at's always nice. Rocket prefers to be the one doing the shooting.

He nods, not terribly surprised with Isa's answer, the Slim Jim slowly disappearing bite by bite. She'd be able to see his brows arch as she explains that the one she'd flown was a prototype. There's a story there, he thinks, and he's not wrong as the woman continues.

While he may not know a whole lot about Earth, he's at least by now come to be familiar with enough names of countries and cities. He can picture where Russia is from the United States. Without processed meat in his mouth, he can whistle in appreciation of Isa's work, and he sits up again, glancing at her. Wasn't without cost, he notes as she gestures towards her scars. His tail curls slightly in distaste at this Icarus Dynamics. "Jerks." He could think of worse words for them. Mentally he tucks that name away. Maybe he'll do some poking around.

"Oh yeah I'm interested. I can probably find someone for it." He has a big clearance card and his name is Phil Coulson. "Shouldn't be a problem."

* * *

"I know something better," Isa comments blandly, when he calls the firm 'jerks.' She spits something that must be in Russian, sucking on the cigarette to the angry glow of its cherry, exhaling a forceful jet of smoke. Going by the look on her face, it must be something spectacularly impolite.

The redhead shakes her head after a moment, sitting up, heedless of the grass blades stuck through long red hair. "Da? Good. You find one, you introduce them to me, da?" Her smile is blade-thin. "Would be good to know people in this agency."

"To tell you the truth…" Again her English seems to wax proficient; tone a little different. "I've made it my mission to dismantle Icarus, if it's the last thing I do in this life. When I came to New York, it was to get away from Icarus' operatives, but the information I stole from them and gave to S.H.I.E.L.D. is enough to do significant damage." A puff of smoke. "I just need to figure out how best to strike. They're designing prototypes, too… only theirs have billions poured into them. They're dabbling in experimental military technology. Neural impulse control. Advanced biochemistry. I don't know why, but they're trying to create an unquestionably superior fighter."

"What they're creating instead is something terrible. And it is my duty to stop them."

* * *

"Whoa." Rocket looks impressed. "I'm pretty sure I can't repeat that but it definitely had feeling," he grins. "Oh yeah, I'll introduce you." He may not know a whole lot of people, but the ones he did were pretty renowned within the agency.

Isa may not have a problem with grass in her hair, but the Guardian busies himself picking out bits from his fur, brushing off his head and flicking grass from his tail. He pauses when Isa speaks of Icarus again, brow furrowing. "That sounds pretty interesting. And up to no good, yeah. I mean, you don't make a super fighter whatever without reason."

He taps a finger against his chin. "…so SHIELD hasn't looked into 'em?"

* * *

"You don't want to repeat that. In civil company." Isa's grin is mostly humourless, almost more of a grimace. "And they deserve every syllable for what they are doing. They're studying artificial intelligence, too. They want to build a fighter that doesn't need a pilot."

She doesn't add to that, but there is a sense of the unspoken in her pause. After a second or two she lets herself fall backward, landing back on the hill with a small puff of loose blades of grass.

Isa heaves another sigh.

"Bad enough to build a prototype more advanced than anything else, mechanically. Worse if it knows how to think on its own, and you give it the most advanced payload known to man." Isa snorts smoke. "It will be bad for us all if they get anywhere with their research. So. I stop them."

At Rocket's question, she shakes her head. He may not be able to see it, at the angle she's lying at, but she answers for him anyway. "Nyet. No," she corrects hreself, in English. "Not officially. I must speak with certain agents. If they have been doing things, they have not been telling me. And one of my conditions in negotiations with them was to remain informed."

This time she does sit up, pushing her hair out of her face; flicking a few stray blades of grass free. "I would be surprised if they have, though. It isn't like Icarus is staffed by mutants, da? Although… I don't know." She shrugs, rolling her cigarette to the other side of her mouth and frowns. "Could be. But my point is, there are worse threats to this city in the immediate sense, and I would not be surprised if they did not place this high on the priority list."

"I want to make sure that Icarus stays on their priority list. Da, this began personal, when they did this to me." A finger is jabbed at her scarring. "But I will finish it because it is the right thing to do. The sky is mine… I have fought and sacrificed to hold it. And I will fight them to make sure it is safe. For everyone's sake."

* * *

"Pff. Please. I don't do civil."

He does scowl a little at the thought of an AI fighter. Not unheard of. But not pleasant either. "Like we need more robots will killer artillery flying around. New York's already got those Sentinel buckets." He hasn't seen much of them lately but they're not anything he wants to cross paths with. Unless it's to dig into 'em to see what makes them tick.

With Isa flopping around, Rocket only watches, having had his fill of grass. He's on his feet, if only so he can brush himself off properly. As the wind picks up again he makes a grab for the wrapper of his Slim Jim, not that he particularly cares about littering, but he'd rather not get yelled about it when it wasn't his intention. It slips past him and over Isa, snagging in the grass by her folder as the wind flicks up the cover of the file.

"Eh, I don't think SHIELD prioritizes by mutants – they like sticking their nose in a lotta business," he says as he steps around the redhead to snatch up the wrapper, pausing as he catches a glimpse of the contents of Isa's files. Speaking of sticking their noses in other's businesses… Rocket tips the thing open for a better look at what seem to be schematics – he could tell that much at a glance.

* * *

"I don't know what you're talking about, and I don't think I want to know. I just take agents where they're supposed to be, and I get them home again." Isa stretches, folding her arms behind her head. Only the very brightest of stars are visible from the middle of the city, and only because Roosevelt Island isn't as incandescent as the rest of the city.

Isa switches the cigarette to the other side of her mouth, staring at the darkening night sky through one half-closed eye. "Da, that much is true. They may grant resources to it. I only need to convince them in the right way that Icarus is a threat."

Wind blows her hair; red spills across her face. She clears it from her good eye with a toss of her head, bracing her hands on the grass behind herself. Her gaze flicks sidelong toward the raccoon as he tips her file folder open, tightening her mouth around her cigarette.

"And that is none of your business," she states, pointedly, but doesn't move to take the folder from him. In fact, she doesn't even bother to get up from where she's slouched. Isa sighs and flicks a dismissive hand. "But it isn't classified, either. You can look. Try not to touch. And if anything is missing, I'll know."

She lets him look. There are documents and blurry photos of strange, predatory-looking aircraft. Unclear satellite images of locations and facilities. Engineering schematics and overviews, both computer printouts and hand-drawn images. None of them are quite right for anything Rocket may have seen of Earth's aircraft design. They're all just a little bit wrong, but a few of them are really wrong.

"That's what I've collected so far," the pilot says, softly. "I'm hoping to build a case with that. Justify an airtrike. An intelligence raid. Anything that gets us more information and closer to taking them down. They deserve no less."

* * *

By the way he's parked himself there by the file, it doesn't seem like Rocket would've cared if she gave him permission or not. His tail curls upwards to help him maintain his balance as he looks over the images and the linework. "Hmmm…" There are no promises made to not touch, but how else can he look through them without a little shifting of things. Thankfully he keeps it fairly neat, nudging things back into place as he finally straightens up again.

"It's a good start," he says. "But if yer gonna play nice about it then who knows how long it might take for SHIELD to bump something like this up to level of interest – not sayin' this looks unimportant, but with everything else that's been goin' on I'm pretty sure they're busy." A grin. "And sometimes you just needa take matters into your own hands. A'course, that just might be our way of doin' things."

* * *

Sitting up a little more intently, Isa pushes herself to her feet with a crackle of a stubborn knee and a grunt of discomfort. Once she's upright, she folds her arms and watches Rocket peruse the folder's contents.

"Whichever path I choose, they will not act swiftly. Not unless I have some way to impress n them how critical this could be. Their research is not moving too quickly, from what I can see, so I have some time, at least." Isa eyes the folder, frowning a little more than usual. "As to that… if they do not choose to support me, I will do it myself."

Her voice drops, and her smile is thin as a blade. "Because I'm not playing nice, in the long run. Not with Icarus."

Dusting grass from her skirt, she reaches over and plucks the thing from Rocket, carefully tucking in what few pieces of paper aren't already in place. "For now, though… should go home. Flying tomorrow. Can wait for opportunity, on these. Have some time. I know they aren't ready for prototype. Not yet."

The folder is tucked under her arm, carefully. "Take care of yourself. Will need your help, eventually. Give my regard to Groot." With that, provided Rocket has nothing else to call after her for, she'll start walking back toward the residental sections of the island. "In meantime… you know where to find me. Dobriy nochi, Comrade Rocket," she calls, with a grin. Good night.

* * *

"Sometimes it's the only way to get anything done." Rocket smirks a little. "If you don't wanna play nice sooner…" He's almost got the wink thing down, so she'll have to forgive him if it looks somewhat like he's got some weird twitch going on.

Turning he grabs the strap of his bag and slings it back over his shoulder, nearly falling backwards with its weight, but he manages to level himself out.

"Flying, eh? Have fun. I'll see you around, Is'." He waves and then turns to make his own way down the other path, quinjets for the moment forgotten, but it's not like he's got much formally on his plate right now. In the meantime maybe he'll do some idle research on this Icarus Dynamics to see what they're about. Oh. And probably get in touch with Coulson.

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