Doing Right
Roleplaying Log: Doing Right
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Registration is nearly upon NY and the company ANVIL is doing their job of protecting the mutants who wish to pre-register. Dani decides to visit the office to see just how the protection detail is really going down.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: February 24, 2019
IC Location:
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 24 Feb 2019 20:17
Rating & Warnings:
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

Registration.

While the deadline of March 1st for mandatory registration isn't quite here yet, that doesn't mean that mutants aren't allowed to voluntarily register before then.

As such, The New York Department of Public Safety has been pulling a crazy amount of overtime hours.

And while mutants can go to the main office for pre-registration, there are enough satellite offices that can also be located for ease of travel.

After all, the government wants to make it 'easy' for the mutants to give up their rights … to register before the deadline passes.

While today is often considered a day of rest to most, it's not so for the DoPS. They are open seven days a week as the deadline approaches and today is no different.

While during the week the lines are a bit lengthier, today it's a touch slower. There's only a small line leading out of the front doors. The people that can be found in line have the look of spooked animals. Wide-eyed, fearful, but also ashamed, resigned, exhausted.

Along with the line of mutants is also a small group of protestors. They stand across the street with signs of hate denouncing those that are trying to do the right thing.


And keeping the peace between these two groups is Anvil Security. Some of them are an obvious presence, clad in black fatigues with body armor and rifles, the white ANVIL logo across their shoulderblades. Others are invisible, implanted nearby, or even within the line itself, on the lookout for trouble from either side.

Billy Russo put his best guys on the front-line job. In this case, that doesn't really mean the best at extraction and elimination which would suit other jobs. No, the ones walking the line in black fatigues are even-headed, friendly, and screened for prejudice against metahumans. One of them, a burly guy with a shaved head is talking to a tiny, pink-haired young woman about how his wife registered the other week, and it's really not such a big deal. He tells her that what she's doing is the right thing, and will make everyone safer. Others joke or smile at the most nervous people, and keep a side-eye on the protestors. In short, they're giving the impression that they're there for the protection of those registering, even if they'd be just as ready and able to step in if those in line caused any trouble. They know that those in line represent a far more significant potential threat than those waving placards.

Off to one side is the bossman himself, earpiece in his left ear the only signal that he's involved with what's going on and not just a businessman passing through. He's wearing a long wool coat with a silk scarf and leather gloves. His hair is immaculately coiffed and he's holding a Starbucks mug with 'Billy' and something that looks like the barista started to draw a heart and then chickened out. "Keep an eye out, Mendez. We got a few big ones joining the rear of the line," he murmurs under his breath. The 'big ones' turn out to be a seven foot guy with what looks like rocky skin and a slightly smaller but still tall guy with multiple piercings and tattoos.


Along with the Office of Public Safety are other national and international organization that can assist the New York based office.

Most of those organizations have some sort of alphabet letters associated with their names and their assistance will come later; after the mandatory registration takes effect.

But that doesn't mean they don't take the time to check in with the Public Office, or those subsidiaries that work for them. Such as Anvil.
hat 'checking in' is what brings Danielle Moonstar, agent of SHIELD, down to the office. Or, at the very least, that's what she tells herself. Subconsciously she knows it's an excuse, but consciously she pretends very hard it's not. She's doing her duty her - which she is. Making sure those that register are safe - which is also the truth.

So, off to the side Danielle Moonstar stands. Her sharp gaze roams the area at large, first looking at the protestors, then the registers and finally the security. She watches the Anvil team members move around the lines, with their armor and their guns, and also their empathy. While her face doesn't show it the Cheyenne feels a hint of surprise at that.

Still, what she's heard about Anvil has been very good; especially about the owner. Which brings her brown eyes over to Billy Russo. She watches him for a silent moment and then begins the short trek over to him. She wears a coat that has a SHIELD shoulder patch upon it, clearly denoting just who she works for.

"Good morning." She calls quietly out to Billy.

For those in the lines some of those words from the Anvil employees help. It brings their eyes up and their expressions lighten a hair.


Anvil has actually been doing a good job with the registration lines they've been tasked with policing. Incidents have been minor and de-escalated quickly. But then, this is really when things have the potential to go really wrong. As they get closer to the wire, the hands of those who don't want to register will have their hands forced. And that means the situation likely won't be calmed with a friendly smile and a joke.

Billy knows this, which is why he's gotten more hands-on in the past few days, and why he's here now. He sips from his coffee and looks over when he hears a voice. His gaze goes to her shoulder patch, then up to her face. "Agent. Come to spot check the civilian contractors?" He doesn't sound like he's insulted by that. In fact, it's followed with a friendly smile.


Moonstar stands a respectable distance from Billy Russo. Neither too far nor too close. Just the polite distance that professionals typically give one another.

His greeting prompts a return one from Moonstar, "Mr. Russo." She says politely enough, and when he asks if she's checking up on the civilians she can't quite stop the rise of her eyebrows.

There's also a quick look to his face again, to gauge the emotion behind that statement of his, and when Dani sees the smile some of the tension smooths from her features.

She understands just how easy it is for different 'departments' to get into a pissing match.

"Well, from what I've heard you all aren't really civilians, are you?" She responds back and offers a faint smile of her own.

"But coming down to see how things are going, yes. Definitely. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's worried about violence."

And then, realizing she needs to introduce herself, she extends a hand, "I'm Danielle Moonstar."


"We are, by classification if not by training. My guys are all ex spec ops, but we only got as much clout as the Alphabets give us," by that he means the acronym agencies. Billy's got the drawl of a New York Italian, which fits with his biography and his bearing.

He takes her hand and squeezes it in a friendly way with a leather gloved hand. He looks her in the eye when he does. "Pleasure, Agent Moonstar. I do hope SHIELD is happy with our job so far? It's been peaceful so far, but I think the next week is gonna be the real test."

He watches as the line moves forward with some tension, but with no incident. His friendliest guys have gone to engage the big ones. Cigarette lights are offered and smalltalk ensues.


A corner of her mouth quirks upward again at the mention of classification versus training, even as she shakes hands with Billy. She doesn't shy away from eye contact either, as she says, "Isn't that how it always is."

Classification versus training, she means.

Hs question about SHIELD and their happiness prompts a nod. "We are, yes. Not that we expected anything less from the reputation we heard about you and your company."

The mention of next week brings a closing off of Moonstar's expression. While it doesn't shift to something less friendly, it definitely goes politely blank. "Next week will definitely be a true test for everyone. Emotions will be running high."

Which brings her attention back to the mutants lined up and the ANVIL employees protecting them.

The protestors continue to wave their righteous signs and a quiet chant begins -

"Spawn of the devil go back to hell."

"Your kind isn't welcomed here."

Moonstar's expression tightens as she hears their words.

Several of the mutants turn to look at the protestors. There's equal measure of dejection, but also anger.


"It's a balance," says Billy as he side-eyes the protestors. "They have a right to be here, but they sure ain't making it easier for anyone. Only so much we can do to keep them back. Long as they aren't comin' at anyone directly…" He sips from his mug, huffs a breath, white condensation billowing out. "Everyone's afraid. Everyone feels like they got good reason to be afraid. It's a powderkeg."

"You keeping an eye on this, Miller?" says Billy. He presses a finger to his earpiece and looks down to the side to signal to Dani that he's talking to his people. "Good. Don't give them a reason to be threatened, but be ready to pull 'em back if they make a move." He looks back at the agent and smiles. "Sorry. Keepin' an eye on the lay of the land. In my experience, it isn't the loud ones you gotta worry about. It's the ones that sneak in the back way."


"A balance." Echoes Moonstar, her tone wry, "Isn't that the truth."

"But like you said /everyone/ has a /right/ to be here."

Which brings her eyes back over to Billy, and perhaps a quick note of surprise might be seen within the depths of them, before it's masked by something that's more assessing.

Sure, she heard good things about Billy Russo, but that still doesn't stop the cynicism from creeping into Moonstar's thoughts. Anymore it seems like all she thinks are cynical thoughts.

"It makes me wish we could all read each other's minds for one moment. Then we'd realize just how similar all of us really are. Whether powered or not."

When Billy speaks to Miller, Moonstar politely stays quiet, but she unabashedly listens in. "No need to apologize, Mr. Russo, you're here to do a job. Really I suppose I should be the one apologizing. I'm taking you away from doing your thing." And when he smiles, she automatically smiles back, "And yes, it is /always/ the quiet ones." Her gaze flicks back to the protestor, "The two in the middle specifically." She continues with, and when she mentions the two in the middle, it's easy enough to pick them out.

Two young men have their signs but they don't chant, they watch everything, their attention shifting from the mutants to the ANVIL team members that keep the piece. Occasionally the say something quiet to one another, but neither join in the chanting.

For the line of mutants it's not the big guys that need to be worried about, it's actually only one person. A young woman who has that look in her eyes. The kind of flat look that says 'I'll cut you'.


It's the kind of delicate dynamic Billy and his people have been keeping an eye on for weeks. The loud ones upset people and risk escalation. But by and large, the shouting ones just want to shout. They don't want a direct confrontation, because they know they'd lose. It's the ones that have a plan that are the most dangerous. Because they might not lose.

"You'd think they'd be protesting the ones not registering instead of the ones doing what they have to do. But that would involve subtlety and a nuanced understanding of the situation."


'Nuanced understanding of the situation', that brings a look of amusement to Dani's features. "Why, Mr. Russo, are you saying these aren't the most upstanding citizens that New York has to offer?" Her eyebrows rise toward her hairline in feigned shock, as humor is clearly heard easily in her tone of voice.

"I'm shocked."

But then that amusement is dropped for seriousness again, as she actually responds to his remark. "There are a couple types of protestors here. Their type -" A look is sent over to the fanatical group, "The kind you're speaking of and of course the powered individuals.'

There's more, but she stays with the typical protestors she sees.

"The type protesting today only wants to spew hate. Their vision is too narrow for them to see that, in our own way, we're all the same. Sadly, it seems like the fanatics are the type that have the most sway right this moment."


"What's different about this situation from others in history is that the minority is by and large, perfectly capable of defending themselves," says Billy with a nod to the line, which includes several obvious metahumans. It makes sense - the ones who don't look human are the ones who can't really avoid registration. "Normally in a situation like this, I'd only be protecting them…" he nods towards the line, "…from them," he nods towards the protestors. "But in this situation, either side could launch somethin' that would get a lot of people hurt." And he sounds like he genuinely doesn't want that. His lips pull into a frown.

He either finishes his coffee or decides he needs both hands free, because the cup gets pitched into a nearby trashcan. "Scared people do stupid things, Agent Moonstar. And we're here to try and keep everyone smart."


Consideration lightens Moonstar's features as she listens to what Billy says.

Finally, when there's a pause in what he says, Dani interjects politely enough, "Defending themselves against one or two, maybe even three or four, or even a dozen? Sure. But you know, like I do, that greater fire power doesn't always guarantee victory."

"Those non-powered have the advantage of numbers and no matter how powerful one person is, it's numbers that still typically win the game."

"Scared people sure do stupid things." She agrees simply, "I just wish both sides realized they're afraid of similar things. Change. Not being able to have a place to call home. Losing."

"I can say I'm glad that you and your team are here to try to keep everyone smart."

Her hands slide into the pocket of her SHIELD issued jacket.

"Have you and your team fought many powered individuals?"


"No," says Billy to her question. "But we've dealt with powered people without it leading to a fight. Which I consider a badge of honour." He nods to where his people continue to engage and joke around with the people in the line.

"I've seen enough war, Agent. I don't wanna see it on home soil, in my city." He looks around, then back to her. "Keeping the peace ain't a simple thing. But the way we get there is treating each other like people." He nods to where one of his non-body armored guys is approaching the protestors. He doesn't do it in a confrontational manner, and instead just chats aimiably. The person is not visibly armed. A few eye him with suspicion, but a few approach cautiously.


Again there's an assessment from Dani as she waits for Billy to answer her question, and when he answers so promptly with 'no, there's a lessening to her features. A tightness that had creeped around her mouth and eyes and now those lines smooth out.

"It's rare to meet someone who can say no." She says quietly, her attention mostly on Billy, though she keeps a peripheral on the mutants and the protestors even as the two talk.

"I think that's a worthy badge of honor to strive for." She adds then, and now she allows a rare true smile to lift the corners of her mouth upward.

That smile dims some as the topic shifts to war, and seeing war. "I can't say I've seen war like you have -" Which reveals she knows he's a veteran, "But, I've seen enough violence to also want the same thing. This has the potential to become something terrible, quickly, and people are going to forget to treat each other like people. I'm glad you and your team are doing that. I just hope we can all remember that when things go south."

Because in Dani's mind, things are definitely going to go south.

And while the protestors do interact with the non-armored man that approached them, the two in the middle keep themselves back and away. Though they watch with dark eyes.


Billy did say no, but it might not actually be the truth. It's hard to tell with him. He's an effortless liar and what's more, he's adept at little microexpressions that lend truthfulness to statements. Like a little fold of his brow, a little downward pull of his lips. For the most part, it would take a psychic to see through his deceptions, and even then he's slippery.

His dark eyes darken a little at the talk of war, that control over microexpressions on full display. It's a momentarily haunted look. "I'm not a policy man, Agent Moonstar. But this seems like a bad program, with a bad rollout. And it's my job to try and make sure people don't get hurt."

He watches the crowd of protestors, eyes on the two without seeming like he's scrutinizing them.


The haunted look is seen by Danielle Moonstar and there's a pang of empathy for the man, sympathy too.

It causes her to drop her gaze down toward the ground for a second or two, to allow him a moment of privacy.

Only after he speaks again does the Agent lift her eyes back up, "Officially I can't say much, beyond we have to go with what the law tells us -" There's a but here, "But unofficially I have major concerns." She could say more, but she doesn't. She just doesn't know Billy well enough yet, to unload her real thoughts on the subject matter.

"And while I'd like to tell you there won't be any injuries, we both know that's likely not going to happen. There's too many emotions mixed into this."

The two men continue to watch and then they step back further into the crowd of protestors and disappear from casual sight.


"It's almost like someone in charge wants things to go south," says Billy with a touch of wry cynicism in his voice. He stands with leather glove-clad hands gripped in front of him. He has a military man's posture, upright and alert. "But, that's the way of a soldier. You gotta follow orders. You gotta follow the law. And you have to do the best you can to make sure everyone stays safe even if you think it's a bad call. Especially if you think it's a bad call."

He touches his ear again. "Miller, you got eyes on the two quiet ones? Can't see where they went."

Across the way, the man who appears to be Miller starts to casually move around the protestors, looking for the two.


Go south.

There's not much Moonstar can say to that. Not without saying something extremely rude, or sounding like she's a half-cocked agent ready to explode.

So, because of that, she can only say, "I hope it doesn't go south." But even to her ears those words of hers lack any real confidence to them.

As Miller casually strolls around the protestors he finds only the two signs the protestors held, but no outward sign of them. If there were any eyes in the skies, or rooftops, they'd have seen the two men quickly trot away and around the corner where a car was waiting for them.

The mention of Miller and the quiet ones bring Moonstar's gaze idly back to the protestors. "He see them?" She asks, again unabashedly poking her nose into things here at the 'front line'.


There are indeed men strategically placed on rooftops in sniper nests and as lookouts. The roof is a good place to hide higher security, as it's out of the view of most and not as likely to make people nervous.

On the ground, Billy's brow furrows as he listens to cross-talk over the radio. "They're leaving the scene." That's to Dani, but then he's talking into his radio again. "Do a sweep through that crowd for explosives, or anything suspicious. I always get a little nervous when troublemakers leave quietly."


The knowledge that they two quiet ones left the scene likewise causes Moonstar's attention to sharpen.

Her more casual posture straightens slightly and while she doesn't make any big movements, it's clear she's actively searching the area around the group.

"Perhaps they grew tired of such small crowds." Moonstar says rather rhetorically and by now her hands, which were in her pockets, are pulled free.

The sweep for any explosives will find none, only those signs they left behind. Even the signs themselves are pretty normal, homemade with poster board and wooden dowel handles, a generic black marker for the words of hate.

And while Moonstar isn't quite as patient as her outward demeanor may lead people to believe, she does wait a few minutes to allow for the search before she asks, "Anything?"


Billy ducks his head, suggesting he's listening to further radio chatter. He nods, nods, works his jaw to the side. "All right. Pull back. Give 'em a little space. Give a description to Karl, circulate a memo so we can keep an eye out for 'em in the future."

He looks back to Dani, smiles, then, "It's fine. They're gone. Some people just like to sniff around and decide not to make trouble when they see us." Or sometimes they're checking things out so they can make trouble later. But Billy doesn't say that part out loud. "That's what we also try to be. A deterrant."


"Hm." Is all she says to the 'it's fine' and that they're 'gone', but without having more than speculation much like Billy does, Moonstar stays relatively quiet on whether it's really 'fine'.

"I hope you and your team stay an effective deterrent throughout the next month or so."

And then realizing, perhaps, how that might come across the black-haired Cheyenne woman pivots slightly to turn to face Billy more fully. "I am thankful you and your team are here. Without ANVIL we'd likely have a real mess on our hands." And while there's a note of something to her tone, irony or anger or possibly both, there is a note of truth there. She is thankful.


Billy is fairly used to people meeting him with ambiguity. On one hand, Anvil has a reputation for being reliable, even-handed, and well-managed. On the other, they go overseas on behest of the American government to participate in actions some might call warmongering or overreach. Sure, they mostly take on escort contracts for the oil and gas industry or diplomatic convoys, but it's still dealing in regions of the world that some people believe they have no business.

In the end, they're still a private military force made up of highly-trained individuals, no matter how good their reputation and the reputation of their CEO. No matter the well-paying work they give veterans who are so often overlooked after their service ends.

"I appreciate that, Agent Moonstar," says Billy with an incline of his head. "We're here to support organizations like SHIELD and make your lives a little easier. And to keep control of a potentially messy situation. If I can do anything to help…" he pulls out a business card and hands it to her. "This is my personal number. Right to me. No assistants playing interference." He smiles in a way he manages to make charming without any trace of smarm.


He extends that business card of his and Dani automatically reaches for it -

It seems all agents and organizations do something similar.

- but when he says the calls come directly to him. Her head cants to the side, "Can't say I hear that too often. Most gleefully let you call and speak to their assistants and then play phone tag for half a year." Comes the wry humor, even as she tucks the card into the pocket of her coat. "I appreciate this, though." Then she fishes out her wallet and pulls her own card from it. She offers it to him now, "Mine goes to a SHIELD issued phone, but since I'm the only tied to it, you'll get me. Call if you ever need anything. If I don't answer right away leave a message and I'll get back to you as soon as I can."

A smile then from Moonstar, one that answers the man's own non-smarmy one. "As much as I've enjoyed the chat, I'm afraid I have to get back to HQ. Never any rest for the wicked."


"And I should do some rounds and check in. A few are due to cycle off shift and I always like to do a little debrief." Billy takes the card, lifts it, then tucks it away in a pocket in his jacket. "I don't want there to be any jurisdictional friction. There's no reason for it. This isn't our show. We're just the backup. Which means you should be able to talk to me if you need to."

There's some faint buzzing that suggests there's radio chatter in his hear, but to his credit, his attention is fully on Dani. "I hope I've put some of your concerns to rest, but you're of course, welcome to drop by and spot check us at any time. Keeps us on our toes." He smiles, the corners of his eyes wrinkling, a faint touch of light in dark, dark eyes.


"Backup is always important." She states honestly to Billy Russo, "To know you have someone to trust when shit hits the fan makes it easier to deal with the shit, versus the fan."

"And you have, thanks." She admits quite honestly, her expression holding notes of both seriousness and amusement, since he pegged her visit for what it is and was.

"Next time I come around I'll bring the coffee. I hope you like it strong, that's the only kind we make at SHIELD." Then with that promise made, Moonstar raises a hand in a farewell wave, before she turns and walks away.

It's only after she rounds a corner that those upon the rooftops might catch the sight of a winged horse that drops from the sky above and lands next to Moonstar. Then the pair ascend to the heavens with quick wing-beats.

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