2011-02-24: Brainstorming A Plan


Connor_icon.jpg Rashmi_icon.jpg Travis_icon.jpg

Summary: Rashmi, Connor and Travis discuss the rally for that evening.

Date: February 24, 2011

Log Title: Brainstorming a Plan

Rating: PG

NYC - Le Bistro Bestial

At the Le Bistro Bestial there are no menus, all the specials for the day are written up on chalk boards around the restaurant. A variety of sandwiches, soups, salads and other small dishes can be found featured here. There are shag carpet covered chairs and tables are set up around the small restaurant and in the summer there are some tables set up outside on the sidewalk. On the walls are colorful Richard Scarry pictures along with a faux Lion head above the bar.

Le Bistro Bestial has been in business for thirty years is run by two families, one American family and one French Family. Both have mutant children and grandchildren who help in running the restaurant. One reason their food is so good is the head chef has the mutant gift of knowing and understanding flavours.

Early afternoon, and with the tensions in Mutant Town approaching the breaking point, something has to be done. The civil rights groups have been put on the job, leaving Rashmi at loose ends for the last couple days, to do little else but worry. And fret. And worry some more. After the day's combat classes, she'd announced to Travis that she'd had enough worrying, intends to go to Mutant Town, have a late lunch, and plan. Hence, her presence at a window seat at Le Bistro Bestial, and the desultory poking of a ciabatta club and sweet tea, her mind moving a hundred miles a minute. "The marches are well and good, Travis, but it's just… not *enough,* you know?"

Sitting across from Rashmi, Travis with his half eatten lunch in front of him and four of his arms resting on the table. "I know, I also can't stop thinking about the officer that was killed. I didn't meet him but, he died trying to do the right thing." He says. "We need people outside of the community to start supporting what happened I think, but I just don't know how to go about that."

For someone who can go anywhere, running late is not the norm… but the familiar coat and cap that Connor has taken to wearing in the cold weather shows in the window before he steps inside. Looking around for a moment, he waves to his friends, eyes looking a bit tired. Making his way over to the pair, he grabs a chair, and turns it around, sitting backwards and facing the pair in their small booth, "Hope I'm not interrupting anything sordid." Grinning slightly at the end of the statement.

"Well, we've got the groups on a roll now," Rashmi replies, drawing in a deep breath, "but the marches are starting to turn into a repetitive headache for the police, I think… or they will soon. Maybe—" Her head snaps up, smile brightening as Connor makes his appearance, shaking her head when the other teen sits down. "Not at all! Just trying to figure out what else to do. Y'know… about everything."

Travis takes a bite of his sandwich as he gives Rashmi a curious look "Maybe?" He asks before noticing Connor and he gives him a friendly nod. "Hey Connor how's it going? And don't worry you're just walking in on us talking about tonight." He says as he raises a hand to rest on his chin for a bit as he thinks on something. "Well have the marches just been in front of the police station or are they else where in the city? I mean New York is pretty large and if you can get enough of the public sympathtic or even…I wonder if we can get one of the Avengers to speak out for our cause. Not necessarily calling out the police but trying to get public sympathy?"

Connor holds up two fingers as he looks back and forth, "A couple things I wanted to chime in on… first is… I'm going to be there… but I'm not going to be in view. Rashmi… you're going to be there, and you've made yourself a target. Someone has to be watching for them to try something and stop them." There's a slightly hard line in his eyes, "Don't try and dissuade me. I've thought about this, and this is the best way I can contribute to this whole thing." There's a pause as he takes a look at the menu, before saying, "Second is… don't get anyone famous. That just turns it into a media event. And it demeans what you're trying to do. Ask people in the crowd to come up and tell their stories. Put a human face on the rally… make the fear something that people who are listening can connect to."

Rashmi listens carefully, nodding to herself. "Good idea… so…" Picking up her sandwich, she pauses, blinking. "…That's it, actually, it's perfect. But do we call a news station, or paper, or what? I mean, I'm all for getting out the message of being afraid and betrayed by the people who're supposed to *keep* this kind of thing from happening, but…" A bite of her sandwich is taken, chewed thoughtfully. "How do we keep the message from getting buried in the sound bites?"

"That's the hard part, and who do you choose to be the human face on it. It can't be someone who didn't know Carmencia other wise I don't think the message will be as strong." Travis says. "I mean I'm not good at all this stuff but, I just fear that if it's a bunch of mutants fighting for mutant rights, not that it's bad, people will just brush it off as 'those freaks fighting again' or something."

Connor replies to Travis finally, "Tired… I was up late getting something off my chest." Flagging the waitress down, he makes an order of some kind of turkey bacon avacado nightmare, and a drink that sounds like it will come back green. That out of the way, he turns back to his friends and replies, "Mutant Town isn't just mutants… it's the families of mutants. We're not just talking about those who have been born with it going up and talking, but their parents, their siblings, their children too. But as for your question Rashmi?" He adds a smile, "Every major television channel and news agency in the city has a website. Let's make them come to us. Twitter, editorial posts… blogs… we can do it live and unfiltered from the rally. Someone speaks, someone types it in, someone Tweets it, someone posts it to Facabook for others. Someone puts it on Youtube… let the world see it without the filter of the media at first."

Rashmi nods slowly. "That's good… *Really* good, actually. Now the question is, where. I'd *thought* about doing a sit-in on the Precinct steps. Y'know, not moving until someone shows up with Lil? That way, nobody would have anything to say about 'those freaks fighting,'" she says, nodding to Travis. "Nothing wild or threatening, just going back to Rosa Parks."

"The sit in is tonight right? How many people are supposed to be coming to that?" Travis asks not sure if Rashmi has a set number or not. "Well in regards to where whose attention are you looking to get the publics or the polices?"

Connor gives a soft smile, "That part? I've got no idea on… really. I'm just taking a cue from the news lately. All the stuff that happened in Egypt." Looking back and forth, he stands to shift the chair around, and sit back down, "Peaceful protest is the hardest kind of protest, and requires a bravery that violence cannot breed."

"How many" Rashmi shrugs. "I don't know. And I'm not really concerned about that, because even one person who won't move is enough to get attention. I um…" Here she blushes, clearing her throat and covering her embarrassment with a sip of tea, "I'm also taking a page after, um… Captain America. Telling the Police captain 'No. *You* move.' I mean he as good as threatened us, didn't he Travis? Well…. fine. I can push back. *And* I can do it without getting angry. And anyone who shows up, I hope can do the same. …Honestly? I hope someone who doesn't like mutants at all shows up, too. It'd be nice to finally get a chance to *talk* to them, face-to-face, without a screaming mob for backup."

"I was so pissed when we left the station. I had to take it out in the gym later." Travis says with a slight huff of breath. "I basically got a big fuck you from that asshole." He mutters as the situation still bugs him. "I highly even doubt there is an investigation going on in regards to this. Are we allowed to just sit on the steps of the precint or do we have to go across the street or how do we go about this?"

Connor rubs at the back of his neck, and then looks back and forth between the two before exhaling and replying, "You're doing a protest without a city permit… that alone means you might get arrested for it… the more people who come, the worse it might get. This is a huge gamble you're looking at here, Rashmi… I mean…" Then he stops, his eyes going wide for a moment, as he then says, "What if you went there to get arrested?" Holding up a hand, "Hear me out… you want to protest police treatment of mutants. What if… you got everyone together… and then went up, and basically said 'I'm a mutant, arrest me.'. They'll probably lock up the first few, but after a bit, what's going to happen? Their holding cells will overload, they'll need other precincts to help… but help with what? Being a mutant isn't a crime… only the actions of that person are a crime." But then he pauses as his food arrive, "I know… crazy, stupid idea."

Rashmi's eyes widen, head rearing back. "I… that…" She pauses for a moment, a slow grin spreading across her face. "…That… is *brilliant,* Connor. No, that's *perfect.* We could set up in the park, talk awhile to gather some people, and just all walk up to the Precinct. 'I'm a mutant, arrest me.'" She looses a delighted laugh, tearing into her food with renewed enthusiasm. "I *love it!*"

"Do we all go in a group or start off small and just through out the night have more and more people show up, slowly overload them?" Travis asks as he's kind of a fish out of water right now. "Though how are we going to get the word out on such short notice?"

Connor fishes up a napkin for Rashmi, and passes it over, "You've got a little something on your cheek…" But he doesn't go to wipe it off, instead just offering the piece. After that he says, "That part? No idea… I'm not really a people person in that regard. You're the one with all the contacts Rashmi… the one who gets people behind you. You've got limited resources and about twelve hours… what's the best way for you to spread the word about the protest to the mutant community?"

"Depends on who you want showing up and how. *In* Mutant Town? Probably the park. In Mutant Town *quick?* Even more probably at the Embassy. People outside of Mutant Town? They'll need a show. Flyers are easy to ignore, thirty-foot letters not so much, and the Embassy's too far away from comfortable neutral ground to attract many people. Magneto *does* sort of have a reputation, after all." Rashmi chews at her lip, thinking. "…I suppose I could put in another call to the ACLU, tell them about this. They could probably drum up more outside support than I can…""ACLU?" Travis asks. "And it may just be because I'm a bit naive about this but why are we doing it in Mutant Town? I know the incidents have happened there, I know you're going to get plenty of people sympathetic to what's going on but will the police really care much if it happens in Mutant Town? I think having it away from Mutant Town might cause people to notice more."

Connor seems to get his footing back on that question, "Not like you'd think Travis… see… the Mutant Rally is still something fresh on people's minds. The attacks and everything else that was leaked out there showed that people openly attacked others, almost like an assault… A Protest is as much about where you do it, as who does it. Martin Luther King's March to DC was because black rights were not being recognized. That wasn't a local issue, it was a national one. This is about local police having unfairly arrested someone, and abusing their vested authority. Police powers should only exist at the request of the people they are meant to protect, not the convenience of those who hold the power."

"Not to mention," Rashmi says, as much to her sandwich as to the boys at the table, "the whole reason the police *exist* is because society needs someone to enforce the laws and ideals they want to live by. 'Protect and serve' shouldn't just be a slogan. They carry guns, sticks, their *job* is to put themselves in front of the rest of the citizenry and stop crime. Shooting Carmen, kidnapping Lil? That's an *incredible* breach of the public trust… and why? Because mutants might fight back?" Sighing, she takes another bite, looking up and nodding. "Connor's right, but he forgets something, Travis. This is a local issue. But it matters to the City. And the City, in turn, matters to the country. This is *precendent,* Travis, this is people pointing at New York in Memphis and Portland and going 'This is how it works in New York, why shouldn't it work here?' So it *needs* to happen, or at least end, in Precinct M. It needs to happen there because a crowd of mutants, daring the police to arrest

"It needs to happen there because a crowd of mutants, daring the police to arrest them for no other crime than existing funnily, will turn the gaze of the country to *us.* And they'll start to wonder."

Travis just listens and nods. "Well just let me know what to do and I'll go along with. I'm obviously not too familar with this stuff so instead of just throwing out ideas just let me know what I gotta do." He says as takes a drink from his bottle of water. "It's just, I do care about what's going on, I am just clueless about what to do and it's kind of obvious." He says with a bit of a chuckle.

Connor has his own green supernutrient drink that he slurps from, looking half like an aglae experiment, and half like a shake, adding a few bites from his own food and swallowing. After that he looks to Travis and replies, "Hence the protest. People don't -know- what to do. By doing this, it gives people who don't feel they have a voice a chance to be heard. Or just be seen. Even if you're just passing out information, or helping people get organized… you become part of it." Looking back at Rashmi, "It's why I'm going to haul out that black costume again and work as security… for our side. I am not a duly elected officer of the law, but I have an obligation as much as anyone else to ensure that if I am involved, that people won't be hurt."

"Self-defense," Rashmi says quickly. "I know you don't need me to say it, but I'm going to anyway. This is meant to be a peaceful demonstration, remember. *Any* action taken *must* be taken to encourage *peace,* not win a battle." Looking to Travis, Rashmi shrugs. "It's okay if you don't know what to do, Travis. Lots of people don't. They're scared and angry and helpless and they want to do *something,* but they're afraid it'll just make things worse. And they don't have much better example than Bruce's weekly rampages to go by."

Travis looks at Connor and bites his lower lip. "I appricate you being there for protection but if shit does hit the fan I dunno how it would look having a costumed hero come in to try to 'save the day'. It's appricated but is it really appropriate for this?" He asks not to sure. "I'm just torn if I should wear my jacket that hides the arms or show them kinda like showing mutant pride I guess."

Connor exhales hard and frowns a moment, "I don't want to, Travis… every time I've put on that thing, something bad has happened… but it's light, it's armored, and it was obviously designed for me by someone who understands the needs of a combat environment. I don't know anything else except the name that was attached to it. Something called 'Volk'." Waving it off for a moment, he takes another careful breath, "Anonymity is my best defense and weapon. I won't be in the crowd, I'll be on buildings and watching from afar… looking for the places someone might put a sniper, or someone might try something. And I'm not just there to stop the cops… I'm also going to be there to stop other mutants from trying something. Putting on that mask gives me the ability to be impartial."

Rashmi nods slowly, closing her eyes for a moment. "You're right, Travis… but think about it. Almost two months ago, it was open war on Mutant Town. People are going to remember *that,* too, on both sides. And Connor's powers mean he can stop anything before it gets out of hand… and without even hurting anyone. I can't think of any Avengers off the top of my head that can manage the same… even the ones I respect most. Anyone else, if a fight breaks out, it's a *fight.*" Sipping at her tea, the redhead shrugs. "Honestly? That's up to you. I know you're protecting a lot more than that you're a mutant, Travis… Whether you have your coat on or not, I'll just be thankful you'll be there."

"It's a Catch-22 I guess." Travis says finishing up his sandwich. "Just..be careful okay Connor? Don't feel like you have to do something, don't feel like you're required to be the silent angel looking over everyone but do it because you feel like it's the right thing and you want to do it." He says just a bit worried about things. "And in regards to the coat, I guess I just don't want anyone to think I'm a hypocrite and opening showing that I'm an obvious mutant might be beneficial. Just thinking."

Fishing some neatly folded bills from his pocket, Connor leaves his portion of the meal on the table while scarfing what remains, replying, "I want a better world Travis… and I recognize that occasionally we have to stand up for what we want, sometimes we even have to fight for it. I want Rashmi's idea to succeed. I want this to be brought to light, and my faith restored in the law. But I also recognize that while this is being done with the best intentions, the other side won't play by the same rules, and there's a lot of angry people out there… I'd rather be standing next to the both of you in the thick of it. This is the best thing I can for everyone. Thanks." Leaning over, he kisses Rashmi on the cheek before patting Travis on the shoulder, and he just turns to leave, saying over his shoulder, "Call me when it's time."

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