Novel Experiences
Roleplaying Log: Novel Experiences
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Dani needs money. Thank god for Warren. Owen Mercer finds himself funded by a sugar-bird.

Other Characters Referenced: Alison Blaire
IC Date: July 12, 2019
IC Location:
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 13 Jul 2019 16:19
Rating & Warnings:
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

Who knew Owen Mercer could be so expensive?

Surely not Moonstar.

But after their initial meeting concerning Moonstar's plan of 'let's-make-Domino-less-lethal', Dani realized just how expensive he could be.

One just hopes he doesn't blow it all on drugs. Or prostitutes. Or both.

Sigh.

Either way, the next day Dani reached out to Warren Worthington, the real bankroller behind Danielle Moonstar and squeezed a meeting in with the winged man. The meeting itself kind of went like this (at least for Dani) -

"I've a problem." Begins the Cheyenne, "And his name is Owen Mercer."

And while Dani is sure Warren will help, she doesn't necessarily just assume he will.

"It requires money. A nice chunk of money."

And whether prompted or not, Moonstar neatly lays the whole situation out for Warren.

The faux-ICER bullets, Owen Mercer and especially his unique and special character quirks.

"Will you help?"

———

For someone like Warren Worthington, introductory connection-making meetings are bread and butter, and as natural as breathing. Though the subject matter and arrangement of this particular meeting are a little more… let's say… opaque than the kind of meetings to which Warren is more accustomed, that doesn't mean he handles it that much differently than he does the scores of other small appointments and meetings he has with people every day. To handle it differently would just call attention to whatever they're up to, after all.

Dani's rundown did give him a little pause, that said. Especially the example material she gave him as to what kind of problem, exactly, Owen Mercer was.

A long silence from Warren. "Well, I honestly can't judge anyone for having done that, Dani."
Disapproval from Dani.
Warren, speculative, "I did get better-looking women for it, though."
Extreme disapproval.
Warren, defensive, "Okay, I know, besides the point. All right, let's take care of the problem, then. I mean, we have to get the bullets somehow."

It didn't take long for the arrangements to be made. Meet me at Ophelia, comes the eventual message from Warren. An address and some sparse directions are provided, though really, if she wanted to, Dani and her guest could bypass arriving at the front desk and taking the elevator up; it's another of those rooftop lounges that are so common in New York and which Warren likes so much to frequent, and it would be trivial for her to arrive by air onto the outdoor terrace of the lounge.

It's a very nice place, transparently expensive, with an Art Deco theme that just accentuates the sense of class and wealth. It's also empty, except for the winged man in question. As is typical, Warren doesn't like to share his spaces. The blond is waiting on one of the outdoor sectionals on the terrace, leaned back, his wings folded so neatly behind him that they might at first be missed.

———

Owen's late. Not on purpose so much as he dislikes even the whiff of being at someone's beck and call enough to act out. Yes, it's terrible for business, but Owen's hardly one to have his own best interests in mind.

When he does arrive, he's definitely not dressed for opulent rooftop bar. He has on a ratty old tee-shirt, a faded band tee-shirt from some Gotham local metalcore band that is long gone over a pair of black jeans and boots. He is far from rattled by being out of place here though. He sees Warren and instead of approaching him, sidles up to the hostess, giving her a greasy smile. "I would love a bottle of Glenlivet 18.." and here he points out to the sole occupant of the patio "On his tab of course. Thanks sweetie." Is there such a thing as negative charm? Because that's what's Owen's got going for him right about now. She rebuffs both his 'charm' and request saying she can't do that.

Sighing in disgust at the lack of service Owen makes his way out to the patio to light up a cigarette. He doesn't greet Warren properly of course, he just plops down on another section of the couch. He is about to speak, when he actually recognizes Warren. Not as the billionare scion of a famous family, nor as an outspoken mutants rights activist, oh no. "You're with Alison Blaire." Because Owen gets all his news from gossip rags. But apparently this is a positive thing in his mind as he straightens up a bit and extends a hand.

"Owen. Mercer."

———

So. Much. Censure. That's all Dani can do when Warren 'empathizes' with Owen. So. Much.

As for tonight's meeting Moonstar arrives relatively on time, because this is Dani.

However, when Owen Mercer arrives, Dani isn't necessarily in plain sight.

In fact, the Cheyenne stepped out for a brief phone call. Very brief.

It's only as Owen introduces himself to Warren that Dani finally makes her way back to the terrace. While she's not necessarily dressed to the nines, she's neither dressed down or even in her SHIELD uniform. Instead she's dressed in an outfit that many a twenty-something would wear if they're going out for a night on the town. A bright jewel blue blouse, fitted dark blue jeans that are tucked into pair of black calf-high boot and minimal jewelry.

Her footsteps are light and upon seeing Owen extending a hand to Warren, Dani pauses to see just how this initial meeting goes between the two.

———

Warren cocks an eye at Owen as he sidles up to the hostess, who looks incredibly appalled at… basically everything about Mercer. The winged man doesn't intervene in the exchange that transpires, though he does lift a brow in mild interest.

He doesn't seem thrown off either by Owen's inappropriate dress nor his distinct lack of manners, either. The only thing that threatens his poise is Owen's distinct change in demeanor when he recognizes Warren as 'with' Alison Blaire. Owen didn't say what he was really thinking, but his tone kind of says it all for him.

The corner of Warren's mouth pulls like he wants to smirk. He restrains the impulse. "I am," he says, in a manner that suggests he is confirming both possible inflections of Owen's declaration. "And now that you mention it, I recall that we met before. Luke Cage's bar, wasn't it? It was a memorable occasion." To put it lightly.

He turns his head, briefly taking his attention from Mercer. "It's all right," he says, lifting a languid hand and curling long fingers in a beckon for the bemused hostess. "Give the man his Glenlivet. He has good taste." A true smirk actually does grace his features then, lending a rather wicked cast to otherwise angelic features.

This is how Dani will find them when she returns. "Sit and have a glass," Warren invites her blithely. "And let's go over the particulars. I have never funded illicit weapons designs before. It will be novel."

———

Dani's appearance catches Owen's eye and he casts an appraising look over her outfit, rarely seeing her outside of more 'business' like attire these days. He exhales a plume of smoke before turning his attention back to Warren.

"Ladies night!" Owen can't help but grin a little at the fond memory before he lets that thought play through. That time he thought he could integrate Harley into the life he was building. That fake one, that collapsed. His smile doesn't falter though, if anything he pastes it on a little tighter and bigger.

Of course it helps when Warren orders his scotch for him. There's no thanks involved, he just revels in someone saying he has good taste. That rarely happens.

"Pfft, illicit weapons." Owen can't help but poo-poo the phrase. "They're boring ass SHIELD ICERs." He assumes the place is empty so that they can actually talk so he doesn't try to pretend like he's talking about anything else. "Now if you wanted me to duplicate them to frame a particular person, then it'd be kind of fun. But the ammo is boring and frankly doesn't work all that reliably on non-baseline humans. Metas have all sorts of variations and that's not even counting tech or aliens or magic or clowns." Not that he thinks about her. What? Who? Nevermind.

"I'd recommend an interchangeable bullet system with the ICER as a base for boring ops, but something with a little more juice to handle a couple other threats."

———

Novel? Funding illicit weapon designs is novel?

That draws Moonstar's eyes over to Warren and the Agent stifles a sigh.

Somewhere in Danielle's hindbrain a little voice whispers 'this is a mistake'.

But it's definitely a in-for-a-penny-in-for-a-pound situation and so, Moonstar steps over and sits between Warren and Owen.

Her dark eyes slide over to Owen and the Cheyenne says in greeting, "Owen. Thanks for joining us." Then it's over to whatever drink is being ordered - scotch? - oh good.

Moonstar is definitely going to need it, especially when Owen brings up the boringness of the ICERs. There's the slightest of bristles from the woman as she sweeps a look back to Owen. "Yes, we've already established you really hate ICERs and the ammunition that goes with them. Thanks for reaffirming that for me."

She slants a look over to Warren a moment, but then returns her attention to Owen when he speaks on a possible interchangeable system. Here Moonstar actually pauses as she really considers that particular option. "That is an idea." She begins, obviously still mulling it over in her head, "Though perhaps something to build into the weaponry for future state?" A meaningful look turns to Warren, "Non-lethal is key here."

———

The hostess brings the Glenlivet over as bidden, albeit with a bit of a stink-eye for Owen. Leaving the bottle on the table with a few glasses, she's about to turn and go when Warren leans towards her to catch her mid-departure, one hand reaching to take hers so he can bow his head briefly over it in a sketched-out courtesy.

"Thank you, dear," he says, his tone dismissing her; though he palms her several hundred as a tip as he withdraws his hand and lets her leave. That seems to be his apology for 'having to deal with Owen Mercer.'

His attention returning to the people he is with, he nods as Owen recalls the locale of their last meeting… though his head tilts just slightly at the infinitesimal change in expression that crosses Mercer's face. His gaze slides over towards Dani afterwards, but he says nothing and instead just begins to pour the scotch. Three glasses, because for once, Dani seems to need a glass too.

His eyes track back and forth between the two as Owen pooh-poohs how boring ICERs are, and Dani snaps back at him.

His brows climb at the last entry on Owen's list — clowns? — but he doesn't comment. On that, anyway. "It would make sense to calibrate a few different levels of strength to handle different levels of threat," he concurs, "but as the lady says — non-lethal is the entire idea. Do you have the materials you need to work? The tools? If you require equipment, it should be trivial to obtain."

Most would probably be nonplussed at Warren speaking to someone dressed and behaving like Owen — much less someone with the kind of background he has heard Owen has — as professionally as he is, but one of Warren's strongest powers is the power of infinite classiness no matter what bizarre situation he winds up in.

———

"Thanks" Owen is well aware of the hostess's distaste for him, but that only encourages him to wink at her as she leaves.

Dani's chastisement that he's already expressed annoyance at the ICERs for their lack of creativity and pizzazz goes without comment or reaction from Owen. He is glad however that she's at least open to his idea of an interchangeable ammunition system because that means his price gets to go up. And he rather likes not being broke. He hmms and asks, "Just throwing it out there but how do we feel about reversable paralysis via neurotoxin?" He makes a weighing motion with his hands as if trying to gauge if that's in or out?

And then Warren is asking him if he has a place to work and he quirks an eyebrow. "I … could use a better lab space. I was formerly at Stark's which is now longer Stark's." And working at Bart's is not quite the same. Ironically he liked it better before his half-brother was installed as a figurehead. "A nice abandoned warehouse in Gotham would be fine. It's a classic for a reason. And a couple of other things?" because Owen truthfully did get a little spoiled at Starks with the technology for measuring outputs and calibrating sensitive equipment and all those things he never had when he started out but once he used them? They are kind of great.

"But I can still deliver the base ICER with an initial hundred rounds for the nine. I figure we can talk extras for each added functionality?"

———

Dani accepts the drink with a murmur of thanks before she returns attention back to the conversation at hand.

A flash of gratitude might be seen from Dani when Warren reinforces the non-lethal capabilities of the gun, but then the Cheyenne's expression returns to something thoughtful at Owen's next question. Reversible paralysis. "I'm not against it." Hedges the woman, "But what happens when say the toxin is delivered near the heart, or say the head. Would there be any complications do you think? Or is it watered down enough that paralysis is paralysis and only hits your arm and leg muscles?"

Owen's mention of working for Stark and the subsequent no longer brings a faint frown to Dani's expression, but overall she doesn't remark upon it.

Instead when Owen and Warren discuss labs, equipment and tools, Moonstar takes this moment to sip at her drink.

The mention of what the nine gets for the two brings Moonstar's gaze back to Owen. "Only a hundred rounds? That's not a lot …" … For Domino. Though the merc's name isn't said by Dani, but it's silently there.

———

"Neurotoxin?" Warren hesitates slightly — paralyzing neurotoxins is a rather intimidating phrase to hear anywhere — but the 'reversible' part of the sentence at least leaves him slightly open to the idea. "I suppose that's fine, so long as it wouldn't inadvertently have any complications of the sort Dani just mentioned…"

He takes a moment to sip at his own glass, though his eyes turn to Owen with some startlement as the man mentions Tony Stark. "You were also at Stark? Tony really does pick up every shiny object he sees," Warren muses, though not unfondly. "Well, if you're no longer at Stark's, I suppose that's understandable." Warren really can't see Pepper Potts putting up with the man in front of him. "If you did not move to Metropolis with Tony, then other things can be arranged."

Like a warehouse in Gotham, and a 'couple of other things.' Warren waves it off with a flick of one white-feathered wing, clearly indifferent to expense. "Let's see the base ICER and the initial hundred," he says, suddenly shrewd. He flicks a glance towards Dani. "We'll run it past the primary user. Then we'll discuss SOWs for additional rounds and the additional capabilities. Use the time to itemize whatever you need to get it done."

A pause. "Though you can have the warehouse in Gotham now if you really want it. Pick one and it'll be done," he says. "Bruce deserves me pushing in on his territory anyway." He does not elaborate why.

———

Would there be any complications?

Owen looks like he's considering this thoughtfully for a moment before giving a half-shrug that inspires zero confidence and says, "It'd probably be fine." Probably. Boy that's reassuring.

The questions about how he came to have lab space at Stark's get Owen to waver his head a bit. Tony didn't so much pick him up as Owen kind of just showed up. A lot. And then stole some lab space. And Tony was amused enough to let him. "Metropolis?" Owen sounds like Warren just suggested he move to Kahndaq. "No. It's all weirdly clean and shiny, it freaks me out."

He likes the gist of that hand wave. That's a money hand wave. One that says I don't understand these thousands you keep talking about like they add up to anything significant. "Sure. That sounds agreeable."

Owen's face drops at first at the mention of 'Bruce' but recovers when he realizes that Warren isn't going to ask Bruce for one, but rather do it in spite of him. That's something he can get behind. "Yea, it'd be good to have sooner than later. I'm mostly working out of a mobile lab right now." A van. He's working out of a van.

———

Dani takes another sip of scotch when Warren wing waves away all the extra expenses - there might be a modicum of guilt felt there - and then the Cheyenne just adds a second sip when Owen blithely shrugs away the probability of complications with that neurotoxin.

The mention of Metropolis refocuses Moonstar a moment back on both Warren and Owen as the two discuss Tony Stark, and the cleanliness of Metropolis City.

Idly Moonstar's eyes turn back to Warren when he speaks of pushing into Bruce's territory. There's a slight lowering of her eyebrows as she considers the winged man next to her. However, whatever questions she might have or even want to ask are kept silently to herself for the moment. Which allows her to return her attention back to Owen, just in time to see the man's expression drop and then brighten with that mention of Bruce.

That brings another set of questions for Dani, which she (again) doesn't as out loud. She just takes another drink instead.

Only after she sets her glass down does she speak up and manage an actual question for Owen, "What's your timetable look like for this job?"

————

"I am paying for 'will definitely be fine,'" Warren says mildly, though one gets the impression that mild tones from him do not always connote a mild mood in the least. Especially not right now, on this topic. Right now, there is an air of finality to it that suggests 'probably' isn't going to cut it.

He does cast Dani a look when she seems guilty, however — don't be guilty, this is basically my superpower, the look says — before he returns his attention to Owen. The dismissal of Metropolis for being 'too clean' does get him to laugh. "It's eerie, isn't it?" he says. "Anytime I go there I feel like I'll be picked up for littering if I so much as molt a feather on the ground."

Overall, though, Warren certainly does seem blase about the expenses — especially when Owen all but admits he's working out of a van. 'Mobile lab' does not fool Warren Worthington. "Yyyyes," he says. "Let's get that set up sooner rather than later, shall we?" Though he cedes the floor to Dani when she steps in to ask about timetables.

He's already thinking that Dani is going to be the one riding herd on whatever lists of requests Owen comes up with, after all.

———

I am paying for 'will definitely be fine'

"Well, that'll cost ya." Owen has no qualms about upcharging for reliably non-lethal, non-lethal weapons. Or at the very least giving it a shot. He's a businessman! Kind of.

"Super creepy." Owen readily agrees about Metropolis. What kind of city is clean? That's just not natural.

Owen is happy to have the upgraded lab space so he's not going to say no. See? Rich hero clients. That's who he needs to go after? Low level crooks? So inconsistent with the payments and always being thrown in jail. Less heroic rich types? Always with the threats and the murder clauses in the contracts.

"One week, once I have the lab and the down payment." But ooh a lab could be so distracting. Do they have any abandoned boomerang factories? Is that even a thing? Probably it's Gotham.

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