Connections
Roleplaying Log: Connections
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Matt Murdock asks the founders of the new Aegis Foundation to back a lawsuit challenging New York's mutant registration law.

Other Characters Referenced: Foggy Nelson, Tony Stark, Wilson Fisk
IC Date: January 15, 2019
IC Location: Hell's Kitchen, New York
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 23 Jan 2019 03:10
Rating & Warnings: R (Language)
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

Dear Mr. Worthington,

It was a pleasure meeting you at the Jennings Gala earlier this month, despite the evening's unfortunate arc.

I was also heartened by news of your joint effort with Ms. Blaire. Metahumans are one of New York's most underserved populations, and now more than ever they are one of its most vulnerable.

My firm is doing some work on the new registration act that you and Ms. Blaire may find of interest. I'd love to grab a drink with both of you and chat about how we could work together.

Sincerely,

Matt Murdock

—-

"This is the best-case scenario as far as responses go," Warren Worthington had asided to Alison Blaire, upon receipt of the above message after their announcement of the foundation. "I followed his work with the Winter Soldier trial, and if he's up to tackling the registration law as well, I'll take it. He's possibly the only lawyer I didn't hate immediately on sight." Though this is probably not a significant feat, as typically the lawyers Warren sees are the absolute worst of the breed.

Nonetheless, Warren was swift to reply the message — and he placed that phone call personally. It wasn't a long conversation, mostly constituting an agreement to meet and discuss potential collaborative efforts. Probably most of the time was spent on the logistics of how to meet, where, and how much privacy all parties involved wanted.

In the end, for Matt's convenience, Warren just asked where Murdock typically grabs drinks for things of this nature. One of the entries on the list of answers made him laugh, so he picked it immediately because his impulse control could probably use some work.

Cut to now, a lazy Sunday evening in Hell's Kitchen, around about six o'clock. The dead hours, when it comes to bars — especially around this area. The Hudson River Yacht Club is, true to its name, pretty far towards the western part of Hell's Kitchen, near the eponymous river. This was one of the actually practical reasons Warren selected it, other than its name being amusing; it makes it easier for him and Alison to arrive by car down 12th Avenue, instead of crossing through the entire neighborhood and probably drawing more attention than they strictly need.

To that end, Warren is also wearing an overcoat over his wings for the time being. He's out as a mutant, but that doesn't mean he's going to be grabbing for attention every minute of the day; especially not before they've even gotten in the door.

Kiff drops them off a few blocks away. The walk is short, and Warren holds the door for Alison when they arrive. "Don't let me do anything too ridiculous," is his dry remark to Alison, before they step in.

—-

That message took Alison Blaire with surprise and delight, and when told of its existence, commenced with what one would least expect from a vibrant, showy, party-happy celebrity like Dazzler.

She spent an evening or two mired with research.

Matt Murdock has claimed celebrity of his own in the past year, and even she recalls keeping up with many aspects of the trial — but never with the focus that her busy career and mutant extra-curriculars demanded. And so Alison feasted on public articles surrounding the mysterious defender for the Winter Soldier; she spent one night alone reading leagues upon leagues of Court transcripts.

In another life, her father would have been pleased to know his daughter is eye-deep in the law. Maybe.

Now, let out to walk with Warren Worthington, Alison indulges in a moment of concentration, and decides to help their anonymity for the time of that short walk — she doesn't want anything ruining the importance of this meeting.

Reaching into the day's energy she feels running the perimeter of her field, she carefully overlays a hologram over hers and Warren's figures and faces, just enough of a trick of the light to disguise them to cursory looks. One of her better tricks, even if she cannot hold it for long — weaving light and sustaining same is like trying to hold a hundred knots half-open among her ten fingers.

The cover lets go the moment they reatreat inside, and Alison slips in via Warren's chivalry, though not without slipping him a wry look. "I'm not a miracle worker," she says to that, a smile crooking her mouth. "You'll be just fine."

The dive bar breathes its humid, scotch-soaked air around them, and pulling off her hat, Alison leads the way in. The dive bar offers them that independence to find their own seating; a server brushes past, busy with bar orders, only double-taking when she gets a look at Dazzler's unmistakable face.

The Dazzler answers with a playful wink and a finger held up to her own mouth. Shh, don't mind them.

—-

Matt was exceedingly clear about the true nature of the 'Hudson River Yacht Club' when he mentioned it in that short conversation with Warren Worthington. He didn't want the blue blood surprised, and Warren's quick acceptance of the meeting place probably won him points in Matt's book.

It's new, but ostentatiously, ironically slapdash. The owner is a thirty-something hedge funder who quit his Wall Street work after the bombings and decided to pursue an old lark of a dream while helping to rebuild his community. Call the title a final 'F You' to Wilson Fisk, and all his blood-soaked dreams of a Hell's Kitchen where anyone with an honest-to-God yacht would ever want to call home.

It's not Josie's, but a Hell's Kitchen partisan like Matt Murdock surely approves of the sentiment. He's easy to spot, there in the corner booth towards the back. Given the environs he's made no effort to spruce up much. His workaday clothes are perfectly serviceable: conservative suit, off-the-rack but well adjusted. The buttoned collar of his shirt a fashion tick that makes the whole getup seem less stuffy, more blue-collar.

He gets some warning of their approach. The woman who Dazzler charms with that little wave of her fingers does an about face and gives Matt a touch on his shoulder, a lean with a whisper, before heading back to the bar. He nods ever so slightly in thanks and pushes himself up from booth, against which is propped a red-tipped walking stick.

Dazzler has done her homework on the man, and at least half of his story is at this point readily accessible thanks to media profiles and the miracle of Google. How he saved an old man from a careening truck, and lost his sight in the process. How he lost his father, a middling boxer, a year later. How he went from a Catholic orphanage to Columbia, graduating with a J.D. summa cum laude, and set up a shingle with his old roommate. How those two kids won the trial of two centuries, and later helped foil the world's wildest and bloodiest real estate scam. The lines are there for the reading, even if there are small unwritten books between each of them.

"Mr. Worthington, I presume," he says with a close-lipped but entirely affable smile. "Good to see you again." It's short-hand, said without any obvious irony. "And Ms. Blaire; it's a real pleasure. I'm Matt Murdock. Please, join me." He motions to the table. No messy handshakes with a blind man.

—-

Matt was exceedingly clear about the true nature of the Yacht Club. Honestly, the clarification just made Warren even more amused. A short look into the background of the location only increased his commitment to the location. The bombings in the neighborhood had horrified him on a visceral level — with no small amount of uncomfortable guilt felt for the evils that prowl his own social strata — and so he felt that if they were going to meet anyway, it might as well be in a local establishment so he could contribute to the rebuilding of this community, even if only in a minor way. A major way might not quite be taken well anyway, after recent events. …Not an overt major way, anyway. It bore some thinking about.

It was something he had discussed with Alison, albeit briefly, in between her review of the transcripts of the case. That endeavor was not one he shared interest in. Warren took one look at one of them, declared angrily it was heavy enough to be used as a bludgeoning weapon, and hopped out the window for a morning flight. His diligence in research only went so far.

That familiar insouciance hangs about him even now as they arrive at the Yacht Club. It gleams in the side-eye he shoots her at her rejoinder about not being a miracle worker. "Oh, funny," says the man who invited that jab in the first place. "I bet you glamoured me into a woman, too."

Whatever the glamour was, it drops as they step into the the dive bar. Dazzler's the one who gets all the first and second looks — pop stars tend to rate higher on immediate recognition than your average old-money socialite — but some people place Warren too, after they get over the 'why is Dazzler here.' Warren takes no notice of any of it, nothing in his body language to suggest he feels uncomfortable or out of place here; he just leads Alison across the barwith a matter-of-fact ease, because he spotted Matt Murdock the moment they came in. His literal eagle's eyes might be the opposite of Murdock's in every way.

"Mr. Murdock," is his greeting, once they draw closer. "The pleasure's all ours. We were delighted that you reached out to us." He takes note that a hand is not offered, and so that particular social dance is skipped; he nudges Alison to take her seat first, sliding into the booth after her. He doesn't remove his coat quite yet, but to senses like Murdock's that means nothing at all. He can hear the individual rustle of each feather, as those wings pull in tightly against Warren's back. "You'd be a fascinating man to meet on your own merits, even if I didn't think we could help one another on a matter of interest to us both."

—-

"I am very funny," Alison replies Warren breezily, something both amused and grateful in the way she smiles. A little banter is one of the best things for her: helps with the nerves.

His jab on the glamour earns Worthington a playful laugh. "Not this time."

That good-humour carries her through the bar, where the Dazzler pulls in her presence just enough to give the look of a pair of celebrities hoping to have a quiet night out. Keeping up friendly appearances, she answers the server with an appreciative smile, one that turns curious — Matt Murdock must have some neighbourhood friends — as she strips off her own leather gloves and scarf from the windy winter's walk.

They approach Matt, and Alison follows Warren's lead and, too, abstains from the customary handshake. She does, however, offer a slight counterpoint to Warren Worthington's patrician formality; the Dazzler isn't old money, and can afford to be a little more familiar.

"Matt, is it?" she asks, implied neatly in that question her ask to bypass the last names. She reaches to touch the lawyer's arm briefly, graciously. "Please, call me Alison. And this is Warren. It was so nice to hear from you. We're glad to see you safe after that gala — it was — a mess."

Warren nudges her to sit first, and Alison duly follows suit, wasting little time to fold herself into the corner of the booth. When he joins her, she slants him a look — one that is immediately assessing the space of their seating against the span of his wings.

She touches Warren's shoulder silently: is this all right for him? She can help move to make him comfortable? The idea of him restricting his wings, even for an hour, seems to abhor her.

"A fascinating man with good taste," Alison adds seamlessly, with a laugh. "I love this place. Reminds me of the first few gigs I begged for back in my college years. Actually, one of my first shows was a club in Hell's Kitchen. Nowhere else wanted to have me! But I will stop myself before I prattle on, I promise. We're curious to ask how your work has brought you to us."

"Likewise, obviously," Matt answers of fascination beyond business. There's a grace note of rueful humor in his voice that as much says, Yes, I'm fully aware I'm sitting at a table with a mutant superstar and billionaire who have been making all kinds of headlines.

Matt couldn't see Dazzler's illusory light-show; many of the powers she's publicly admitted to are beyond the scope of his singular vision. But he can surely hear the rustle of Warren's scrunched-up wings against his coat, and feels a twinge of sympathy. It's a hard thing, constraining yourself physically to hide what you can do from the world's scrutiny. Hard and familiar.

Ms. Blaire — Dazzler — Allison, touches his arm, and it's a good thing no one else in the room has supersenses, or they'd hear the spike in Matt Murdock's heartrate. She invites something less formal, and he feels a twinge of reluctance in his chest. The truth is that the tight-assed dance of last names was not just acceptable but preferable. It helped him to keep his distance, and not think about the fact that he fully well knows she sang in Hell's Kitchen ten years ago, because he'd listened the goddamn Youtube clip that surfaced after her stardom in his bunk in Columbia, and cursed himself for not having been there at the time.

Keep your shit together, Murdock, he hears, in Stick's voice. You're pushing thirty, not thirteen.

He slips back into his seat in the booth, offering a brief smile in answer to Dazzler's anecdote. "This neighborhood's always been good to those who come to it with good intentions," he tells her.

The server comes and asks for their drink order. Matt asks for a bourbon, neat, but then turns his attention back to the pair. Allison cuts to the heart of it, and it's to her he speaks once the ordering is done and the waitress is out of earshot.

"Well, it's simple, really," he begins. His voice is quiet but steady, and he speaks with his hands. They're the young lawyer's biggest tell: large and calloused like his dad's. Big paws on a puppy, Jack's friends at the gym used to say of his son, at least before the accident. After the accident no one said or thought much of him.

"I came to you because I admire what you're doing. Both of you. It's brave. But more than that? It's smart. You're going on the offense instead of playing defense, giving cover to the people who need it, paying thought to the P.R. — because that's critical in this kind of fight — but you're also doing good for its own sake too."

He speaks with confidence about their venture, a surety of their purpose that speaks to a careful, considerate deliberation of their public moves. And, also, a quiet confidence in his own read on people, even those in the midst of public performance.

"I want to do something similar," Matt tells them, leaning forward ever so slightly in his seat. "This situation — it's not tenable. Not just because the new law is disgusting and immoral, but because it will inevitably lead to even worse."

A beat, a breath, a wry little smile. "That's why Foggy and I want to challenge it, and take it all the way to the Supreme Court."

—-

"Well, good — what do you mean, 'this time?'" Warren angles a look of mock outrage in Alison's direction.

The bar at large catches them in this attitude as they enter: looking at one another, good-humored, playfully bantering, and at ease. Mutants presented as being just like any other pair trying to have a night out. It is equal parts genuine, and a PR move. For people like the Worthington scion and the Dazzler, every last moment of their lives suffers from this bifurcation out of sheer necessity.

Warren is quick to look around and spot Matt, however, and his initial formalities — drilled into him by decades of staid cigar-smoking interactions with boring and important old people — is promptly shattered by the more everyday charms of the Dazzler. Warren glances at her, bemused, but lets her take the lead in that regard, aware he's probably the odd one out here. As she makes the niceties, he sees first her, then himself, settled into one side of the booth. Her sudden silence catches his attention, and he easily reads the question in her eyes and in the touch of her hand.

He shakes his head slightly. Give him a second, the gesture says, though likely Matt alone can hear the minute creaks of stress as flight muscles hold themselves in tight.

Alison's anecdote, and Matt's earnest reply about the neighborhood, bring a faint smile to the blond's classic features. It lingers throughout the server taking their orders (she winds up having to ask Warren twice, because she was mysteriously distracted the first time he spoke); Warren asks for a scotch in his turn, and nudges Alison to remember to get hers as well.

His attention turns fully to Murdock, afterwards, studying the way the young lawyer holds himself — the way he speaks. Perhaps surprisingly for someone of his social stratum, he is a good listener. Somewhere along the way, good raising, a good teacher, and unexpected hardship transmuted what could have been close-minded arrogance into a simple and focused confidence. "We've played defense for a long time," he says, once Murdock finishes speaking. "But we clearly can't continue any longer, and it seems to me staying back on the defensive too much starts to get people wondering what you've got to hide. A bad sentiment in this particular… political atmosphere."

He exchanges a glance with Alison. "You've got it in one," he says, of Matt's succinct summation of their intentions. "Our purpose is to show we don't have anything to hide," he says. Now that they're settled, he finally removes his coat, laying it aside. Matt can hear it — the dissipating of that tension, the rustling fan of feathers. The arch of those wings at his shoulders makes the aural impression of Warren Worthington much larger than that of a normal human. "That we are all the same, despite our appearances or abilities."

He leans forward slightly, hands folding on the table surface before him, his wings arranging audibly at his back to fit comfortably in the booth. "But just that isn't enough. This situation is absolutely not tenable," he says frankly. "There are people who are already be suffering for this move right now, day one, even long before March rolls around."

He glances at Alison again, before returning his attention to Murdock. "So if you mean to challenge the law, I am more than willing to throw in behind you. Whatever you require. To take the heat off you, as well, if need be. Alison and I want the negative attention on us, should it come. We're equipped to take it."

—-

"It was certainly good to me," Alison replies Matt of Hell's Kitchen. There is no mistaking, deep in her voice, the well of implication — that the neighbourhood does not deserve what happened to it. The bombing, itself, she does not say aloud; Hell's Kitchen doesn't need another reminder by an outsider of how badly it suffered.

A gravity weighs her briefly in those moments after; Warren's nod assuages her fussiness for his comfort, and Alison spends the next few moments busying herself with the removal of her coat, carefully arranging it at her side.

When the server arrives to take her order, her smile has returned. She takes a moment to consider her own drink: surely the Dazzler has developed an expensive taste? Or counts her calories with a strict hand? "Your favourite lager, please," she requests of the girl, with no small amusement at the poor thing, struck by Warren Worthington's looks. Every woman's rite of passage.

She settles to listen to Matt Murdock's proposal, her eyes straying briefly on the gestures of his hands — stripping all those motions down to the inherent time signature that underlies them. How she misses her music.

Her eyes turn; Warren speaks well for the both of them, and Alison has little to add on his preliminary words. She meets her business partner's first glance, and her smile is quick and earnest. "Tranparency and sincerity intend to be our central aims," she says of the foundation. "Both in platform, and in conduct. It's about assisting, as much as being seen a success while all eyes are on us. We want to prove wrong the greatest misassumption going on out there — that metahumans, or mutants, can't contribute to the world, or function… normally."

Then Matt leans forward, and shares his own hand. Alison goes quiet. It is not a coldness what overtakes her, but that beat of silence when someone forgets to breathe; when Warren grants her that second glance, she misses it, staring forward, momentarily lost in thought. Of course, she expected something along these lines, knowing Murdock's background, reading transcripts of his litigation; still, to hear it aloud is different. Her father's image, unwanted, flashes from the back of her mind. Whether or not she wanted it, it feels like some cosmic joke: just like daddy wanted, some part of her trajectory ends up in the law.

Her silence holds as Warren speaks, pensive. And then, slowly, carefully, the sound in her voice like someone daring to hope, she asks, "Do you really think there's a chance? That could be years from now. And it's considerable work, not to mention, the — " danger " — notoriety ahead of you. I'm with Warren; we would help you. But you're sure you want to do this?"

—-

In his own way, Matt watches the pair of them, even as he himself is being watched. He senses the spread of Warren's wings, hears the sympathy in Alison's voice, and then the hush of some deeper emotion as their conversation takes fuller shape.

The stubble-jawed lawyer answers Alison's last question first. "Yes, we're going to do this," he says with all that understated but seemingly bottomless confidence of his. "And yes, it can work." Of course, he's still a lawyer, so of course he has to qualify. "There are real risks. You could set a bad precedent if you lose. But you accomplish the same thing by doing nothing. And if we win…"

His lips quirk at one corner. "It could change everything, Alison," he tells her, both palms turned upward and facing heavenward. From his lips to God's ears. "A whole new realm of jurisprudence. Not just an end to registration laws, but substantive due process rights for mutants and other metas. Metahumans could become a protected class. It'd be a new day."

The waitress comes, sets down his whiskey, and guides his hand towards it. "Thanks, Natalie," he tells her with a brief, slight smile before he turns his attention back to Warren. "And I appreciate the offer of cover. I do. It —"

His smile is wry, almost apologetic. "It won't work. The firm will be out in front in this fight. But that's okay. Foggy and I are practiced at being lightning rods, and we're better prepared for it now than we ever were during the Barnes trial."

Matt brings the bourbon up to his chin; it prickles his nose and sets his eyes to water behind the glasses. He's still smiling, just a little. "You can't take the heat off of us, but you can have our backs. And we'll have yours." And with a lift of his glass in a subtle little cheers, he takes a sip.

—-

Warren nods wordlessly to Alison's additions, in particular on their determination to correct the misassumption that mutants cannot function normally in society. His eyes turn back to Murdock as she asks the important question, however.

Matt's answer puts a faint smile on his features. "Both Alison and I have been… safe individuals throughout our lives," he says. "At least, when it comes to our natures as mutants. We decided it was time to take a few risks. If a possible endpoint could see metahumans become a protected class…"

He is silent a moment. "Some eight years ago, I watched a man attempt to shoot a sixteen year-old girl in the face, point-blank. She was not even a mutant who looked any different from the 'human norm.' It is far past time that ended."

As to Matt's thoughts on whether cover will work or not? Warren laughs. "I suppose not. Those who truly matter will be watching you, regardless. The average masses can be very disruptive, however, especially in this modern age where anyone with a smartphone and a Twitter account can imagine themselves to be a reporter, and influence public opinion by spreading about a lot of fake news. Fortunately, in my experience, this is a similar demographic as can be distracted or manipulated by nonsense," he says dryly. "If you will excuse my cynicism a moment — the average citizen is much more interested in passing human interest drivel, if it is presented to them, than in substantive news. This sort of thing is easily produced. If I were willing to regress my behavior even slightly…" He shrugs.

"It will be an uphill battle, and any advantage we can get will be worth pursuing," he settles for concluding. "I've seen over the years how entrenched the bigotry that you will be fighting is. How determined people are to hate and undermine us, by any means, open or underhanded — "

His phone, on the table, buzzes. "Pardon," he says, glancing at the notification once — C. HODGE — before palming the device back into his pocket.

His attention returns to the others. "It is… something else when experienced directly, year after year, over the course of your life. We appreciate everything you and Mr. Nelson are doing, in being — willing to take this on, for us." He has absolutely no idea about Matt.

—-

Eventually, Alison's bourgeoisie order of lager arrives — she answers the server with a grateful smile — but neither speaks nor immediately drinks. Her attention is elsewhere: namely, Matt Murdock's promise that registration can, and will, be constitutionally challenged.

She's no lawyer, and doesn't have Warren's background in business, but she seems to genuinely keep up with Murdock's conversational legalese. One only has to know Judge Carter Blaire to reason why. This was once her life; could still be her life, if she'd not stepped up to her father and taken back her freedom.

Silent for a beat, always pensive, Alison doesn't immediately respond. She's not certain how. Optimism is frankly a rationed resource, these days — and especially for her — that she holds back an extra heartbeat because she's just afraid to believe it's true. Afraid to hope, when she should prepare herself for worse things —

Alisom leans back, just to let it all soak in. She glances at Warren. Her blue eyes, in that moment, are undisguised; does this sound promising? Could it be true?

Compulsively, she takes a stiff drink of her lager, better to chase all those doubts away. Whether or not it works, there's no alternative. If it's possible, it has to happen.

"Definitely listen to Warren on this, Matt," she adds carefully, her voice already softer now than it was before — lower, like a trade secret is being discussed. Alison, terrified already someone may overhear and stop this effort before it can even begin. "I don't know whether to call you brave or reckless," she adds, with a nervous laugh. "You're going to bat for millions of lives — and the direction of this entire country. There are a lot of people who are going to make sure this doesn't happen. We can play an aggressive defence, I promise."

—-

Warren tells his story of the young mutant woman shot at point blank, and Matt Murdock gives one short but vigorous nod. "It does have to end," he says, with plenty of quiet fervor to be found in his agreement. He's quiet out of either habit or inclination, but the passion still comes through in every softly-spoken syllable. "And those are exactly the sorts of stories we need to build a factual record. We'll need to document the systemic discrimination against mutants and other metahumans, backed by sworn affidavits, expert testimony, and compelling victims and eye-witnesses."

He takes another sip of his bourbon, swallowing the liquor and a smile when Warren lays out his critique of the media, the public, and how both could be manipulated to shield the legal effort. "It's an interesting idea," Matt says with a little lift of his glass, bar-light winking off his red lenses. "But please, don't go tabloiding yourself on our account just yet. Let's, ah, save that for an escalation tactic."

Allison wonders whether he is brave or outright reckless. She isn't the first to ask, but she's almost certainly the first world-famous pop star to do so. Equal parts bashfulness and bravado can be found in that little crook of his smirk. It's a contradictory cocktail of sentiments, and it's the only answer he'll provide.

Or at least, the only answer he'll provide on that count. To the rest: "No, the offer is appreciated and accepted," Matt says to Warren and Alison's counsel, putting up a staying hand. "We're very much aware of the stakes, and how many people are counting on this. We could use all the help and advice and assistance you're willing to give." A beat. "It's why we want you — both of you — on the board of the legal defense fund."

—-

Alison glances at Warren, only to find him already looking thoughtfully at her. The question in her eyes gets a faint nod from him. She might not be much of an optimist, but Warren Worthington — born in the sun of wealth and accustomed to the clear skies of privilege — has enough in spades for all of them. In his demeanor is the confidence of a young man who has rarely ever met a hurdle he couldn't trivially clear away, one way or another.

The unique circumstances of his life, however, do mean that he has met just enough setback and adversity in his life to be much more practical and worldly than the rest of his sheltered kind. It's that which brings him to add his cautionary words — backed up by Alison.

Matt's response puts a faint smile on his features. "Tabloiding, no," Warren says. "That'll certainly be a last resort. I've worked too hard on making a respectable person of myself after my questionable youth to throw that away lightly." He regards the whisky in his glass, pensive. "I've got more than enough stories of my own, to that tune, that I'm willing to put on the table for the construction of that factual record. If it'd be helpful for me to appear for an EBT, then we may do that." He glances at Alison. "There may be others who are also willing to be deposed to help flesh out the narrative."

He holds his silence as Alison wonders at Matt's bravery — or recklessness. "They're often the same thing," is his observation. "I know because I have been accused of both, myself." A pause. "We could discuss some additional security for your offices, if necessary…" The offer is posed lightly, politely — but it's posed. To his eyes, what is set before him is this tableau: a blind man and his partner, poised to take on the kind of hatred which Warren has watched men kill for over the past thirteen years — and more. He has no idea Matt is Actually a Ninja.

He doesn't press too hard — especially when Matt drops that last remark. Warren glances at Alison, then back at Matt. "Suits me," he says dryly. "I've been told enough times my real mutant power is 'sitting on boards.' I happen to be rather good at it."

—-

It's recklessness, Alison decides, with a long look straight down into Matt Murdock's smirk.

As Warren remarks himself a similar man where impetus is concerned, Alison crowns the thought with a steep drink of her beer. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

However, as she knows, and guilts herself on a nightly basis — the world needs its recklessness. Caution, and especially her own variety of it, haven't done her fellow mutants any favours.

"Security will be a given," she adds breezily, quick to jump on that idea before Matt Murdock dismisses it. She has the feeling, he — with that lightning rod speech, may politely decline. "Personal security, professional security, digital security —" Alison glances at Warren in a private delegation of responsibility. Sic 'em. "It'll be essential."

But she goes quiet as Warren speaks, letting the consummate businessman field the actual business end of this — really, what is Alison Blaire's essential function in this foundation? It may well just begin and end with her famous face, and let the skilled individuals handle the details.

But Matt's final request of Aegis comes met with Alison's genuine answer: "Then it's set. And… thank you, Matt. And I mean this as one of those millions you intend to save."

—-

Warren Worthington broaches the possibility of contributing to the factual record of discrimination and abuse himself, and quietly invites Alison to consider doing the same. To that, Matt presses his lips together and nods a little, all quiet appreciation. Asking people to open themselves up, and set their lived experiences down on the public record — he knows it's a sacrifice.

To the rest, concerns about his safety, suggestions that they will help provide security, Matt summons as affable a smile as he can manage. "If it helps, Tony Stark's P.I. works downstairs from me and is background checking all new hires. One of his chief technicians designed our cyber-security system. We're better prepared than we look."

For all that gentle push-back, Matt Murdock is aware of the realities of the world. He's found investors, and they want a say in how that investment is protected. He rolls one shoulder in acquiescence. "But yes, by all means, have a look at our safeguards and let us know where we can improve, beef up. We appreciate it."

To Allison's last point, the lawyer flickers a smile, reaches for his drink. "Thank you — both of you. This isn't some two-man crusade. It's a joint venture that will bring together stakeholders from across the metahuman community."

He lifts his glass. "You're saving yourselves," he says with all of his quiet assurance. "Which is exactly how it should be."

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