2010-09-13: Filing and Mad Science

Players: Corrin, Mike and Rashmi

Corrin_icon.jpg Mike_icon.jpg Rashmi_icon.jpg

Summary: Corrin and Rashmi run into each other—literally, and Corrin introduces her and Mike to his office partner. Paper-pushing and mad science, ahoy.

Date: Sept 13, 2010

Log Title: Filing and Mad Science

Rating: G

Barnes Academy Entrance

Through another set of armored doors from the passage outside one enters a secure S.H.I.E.L.D. Base. The area is huge, more akin to a hanger or doomed stadium than a 'room'. The same transparent material domes the space and soars at least twenty meters above the metal deck under foot. At the far side of the dome, the leviathan-sized bulk of a S.H.I.E.L.D. Sub-carrier can be dimly seen. To the left and right are smaller corridors that connect to office, training and classroom spaces on the right and living, eating and recreational modules to the left. The center of this underwater atrium is dedicated to a larger than life bronze statue of Bucky and Toro, the first teen heroes of World War Two. The planters and raised beds containing ferns and small trees contribute to an 'open air' feel and almost hide the dormant security features, which are formidable and numerous.

Barnes Academy, mid-afternoon. Sit-down classes have finished for the day; labs and PE periods have stripped the hallways of students. This early in the semester, most students are still dutiful about actually attending everything… which is why it is surprising to see one of the most dutiful students in the whole school there in the hallway. Rashmi Franklin, what are you thinking?

Corrin is there, too, but he isn't thinking about why she's out of class. He's thinking about balancing the three bankers boxes of files he's carrying… boxes he can't see around. Crash!

Rashmi backpedals with a startled cry, landing flat on her backside as files, and the precious intelligence within them, are become a snowstorm of paper and brain-twisting organizational repair. "Oh God I'm *so sorry!*" she says, scrambling to her feet and beginning to gather up the papers closest at hand. "Are you okay?"

One student would normally have P.E. but doesn't - Mike Drakos. Amazingly, it took no work whatsoever to explain why regular weight training and sprinting and such was not only useless for him, but semi-counter-productive, and while they're working on an alternate lesson plan, he's been off at the docks … learning how to be a jetski. And, now heading back with a free period, he's in his own world as he sings along with some strange japanese music. Not really a song one would expect to hear with autotuning, and he's really working the autotune with this one. And not watching his speed. Thus, he almost doesn't notice, and has to jump into the air in order to land on the other side of the collapse. Mike is, uhm, speeding a bit, yes.

Corrin lands at the bottom of the pile of boxes and papers. Er…? He … tripped? Probably. Maybe on a dustbunny. Are his shoelaces tied?

He looks around at the mess and cringes inside. He has reports to write… and this isn't helping get it done. He starts gathering things and suddenly realizes he recognizes the person on the other side of the pile. "Miss Franklin! I'm sorry! Did I run into you? Sorry!" He reaches for one of the boxes and suddenly there's a Mike overhead. PING! His shield comes on, flicks to Rashmi, then back. EEK!

The noise produced by Mike's ballistic avoidance, almost predictable; a brief, startled sound somewhere between a yelp and a squeak, her head ducking back down to the relative safety of her paper-laden arms. "…No, um… Actually I sort of ran into you, I think… and it's okay… um… is it safe to look up yet…?"

Gone with the wind! Not quite. Only a few papers scatter from the overhead passage of the robot teen, and he lands and backflips once to bleed off momentum (definitely speeding) then catches the stray sheets. He comes back gathering more of them from the floor, looking up at Rashmi and Unknown SHIELD guy. "Uh, hi Rashmi, hello Agent, are you OK?"

Corrin peers at Mike. Um. SHIELD paint on that robot… "Um. I think so?" He checks both ways in the hallway—no more perambulating people of any stripe. "I can't say for certain the coast is clear, but it seems *we* are below the speed limit." He gives Mike a dubious look. "Um. Hello… er… student?"

Rashmi lifts her head, blinking owlishly, looks left, then right… and a wide smile blooms on her face. "Oh! Hi Mike!" Then disappears. "Don't you have a throttle or something?!" Shaking her head, she pushes herself up, gathering more of the papers, absently sorting them as she picks them up. It's a good few moments of unconscious helpfulness, before a thought strikes her. "…Mr. Corrin? What are you doing here?"

Mike pulls more pages from the ground , sorting them as well as is reasonable, and … wait, he's metal but he's also actually smiling. Metal teeth. Image inducer tricks for 40, Alex!
"Uhm, yeah, I did, but it was brakes I needed to be using. I wasn't paying attention around that corner. Hello, Mr. Corrin, I'm Mike Drakos, I'm a student here. May I help you with this stuff?"

Corrin smiles at Rashmi, then looks down at himself, at the off-duty SHIELD uniform he's wearing. "Would you believe I'm SHIELD? And I didn't know it?" He shrugs and gathers a pile of loose papers, nowhere near as neatly as either Rashmi or Mike are doing it. "I'm pleased to meet you, Mike. And please don't call me Mr. Corrin! Either of you. Corrin is my first name. The last is Kelly." He's proud of that. He knows what it is!

Rashmi chuckles quietly, bobbing her head. "I'd um… sort of have to actually, Mr. Kelly, since if you weren't you'd probably be locked up now, or whatever happens to people trespassing on secret government stuff. But it's great that you got your memory back!" A thick stack of papers are placed into the nearest open box, her head tilting. "D'you mind if we're curious, at all? I'm sort of wondering how it happened, you know?"

"OK, Agent Kelly," Mike says. Looking at Rashmi with a raised brow, he just collects papers into box until there's no more spill, allowing the two to catch up. Totally oblivious of his own being-not-normal to someone who hasn't met him. At a closer glance, his uniform is actually cloth, not paint, but it might as well be. Unstable stuff clings like that.

The memory isn't back, or at least not back consistently, but the whys and wherefores of that situation aren't things Corrin wants to discuss out loud. But Rashmi wants to know how it happened, and… "I was on assignment, and it went south. In a really bad way. I can't really tell you more, because a lot of it is still under security seal, for a lot of reasons." He pauses, papers in one hand, other hand on a box. "I can tell you that I think it was worth it."

Rashmi nods slowly, gathering up more folders. "That's good, at least… Enough for me, anyway. I'd hate to think that it wasn't worth it, especially considering… well." More papers are gathered up in silence, and a thought strikes her. "…So what are you doing in Barnes, then? Teacher, or administration?" Mike is given a glance backwards, of the 'I need to talk to you later' variety, the moment Corrin's eyes are on the papers and not her.

Mike nods. He's gotten used to "Security" as a reason for not saying, rather than "We're going to be SUPER SEKRIT FOR YOUR OWN GOOD or whatever it was that the school did. He's definitely curious what the stare is. That girl is almost telepathic with those eyes.

Corrin piles the papers in his hands into the box beside him. "I'm here because this is where long-term low-security paper file storage is." He looks up and shrugs, and spreads his hands—see the paper files? "They've got me doing administrative work while they figure out what to do with me. These need to be sorted and scanned for upload into the main database."

"…Oh. That makes sense," Rashmi answers, nodding to herself. "Normally I'd offer to help, but um… I'm sort of pushing my limits of what I can keep in my head at any one time. But, at least they're not making you do nothing all the time, right?"

That seems strange to Mike, but then he's been getting this strong vibe of 'this agent has been VERY badly damaged' … and he's never seen a SHIELD agent with actual serious damage yet. In his vast vast experience. So he loads the last stray papers he's collected into a box. Hopefully the right box.

Corrin grins and finishes piling papers in boxes, tapping the lids on tight after. "I appreciate the thought, Miss Franklin, but I don't need help. I'd rather be doing something else, I'll admit that," he stacks one box on another, his voice rueful, "because scanning things? Boring as… heck." He'll smile at both Rashmi and Mike. "But yes, it beats twiddling my thumbs. Barely."

Rashmi chuckles, shaking her head at the seemingly habitual self-censorship. "Um… Mr. Kelly, I *do* appreciate you being polite, but you don't necessarily *have* to work that hard, you know. ….Oh! Did you need any more information about the block party, so SHIELD knows what to look out for?" The papers at least put back, if only minimally organized, she picks herself off the ground and moves to stand beside Mike.

Mike will, of course, offer to carry things. Because, long robot arms and disturbingly large hands, easier to carry stuff. And he's curious now about this guy. Also… block party? Really? Whut?

Corrin tilts his head at Rashmi and her request. "I'm not working hard at it." A wider grin. "If you were both ten years older, I'd have said the same thing, if only for the laugh factor." He stands up and considers Mike's offer to carry boxes. "You know, yes. But only those two. I'll carry one, if only to pretend I'm working."

He'll get everyone moving before he answers the question about the block party. "I don't have fresh information, no. I've been here for the last week, so I haven't had the opportunity to speak to anyone about it. I still intend to attend, and I'm hoping the red tape and paperwork will be done by then." He hefts his box. "Except, of course, that paperwork is endless."

Then a switch of topics. "By the way, if you two are students here, what are you majoring in? And do you like your classes?"

"Pre-Law for me, actually," Rashmi says, bobbing her head. "And it's a lot more work than high school, but yeah, I really do. I'm also taking Supernatural Studies on the side, because well… How often are you going to get to say your teacher was a six-foot-tall pixie?"

Mike coughs a bit. For effect. "Uhm. I'm still a highschooler. So no major. But the classes have been good so far. Haven't taken Supernatural Studies, myself. I suspect that if the books are right, I'd be making her feel uncomfortable." Cold iron after all.

Corrin nods to Rashmi's 'Pre-Law', but his brows go up at 'six-foot-tall pixie'. "Really? I didn't think… I mean… they…." He stops dead and thinks about this. "You know, it feels an awful lot like ethnic stereotyping to talk about pixies based on what you can remember from the Red Book of Fairy Tales."

He looks around at Mike and smiles again. "High school. Right. And no Supernatural Studies. But would you take the class, if it turns out the books are wrong?"

"Doesn't it? It was *all* kinds of worse when I started saying stuff like that to her face to face…" Chuckling, Rashmi shakes her head, falling silent to allow Mike his chance to answer the question put to him.

The robot kid shrugs, "Well, I'll actually talk with her first, but sure, why not? It's not like I'd be in danger of being stolen away to faerieland or anything."

Corrin does his head-tilt thing again, this time at Mike, but then he just nods. "You know, if they keep me doing make-work much longer, I may request being able to audit some of the classes here, just so I don't feel like my brain is rusting."

The three of you have reached the quiet part of the administrative wing—furthest from the head office. "This is my work room," Corrin says, balancing his box on a hip as he opens the door. He pushes it open and pings on his force field… and gets hit in the face with a ball made of rubber bands. "And this is my office mate, Leopold Kozlowski. Koz? Meet Miss Rashmi Franklin and Mr. Mike Drakos. They're students."

Leopold Kozlowski pops up from behind a desk at the far end of the room, which bears a Rube Goldberg contraption made of rubber bands, paper clips, and popsicle sticks. There may be a few bottle caps involved, and is that the central circuit board for a blast pistol…? Koz grins and comes around the desk, sticking his hand out for shaking. He's even taller and skinnier than Corrin, with more knee and elbow than it looks like he should have. "Pleased to meetcha!"

Rashmi blinks sharply, pulling back as the rubber-band ball bounces off Corrin's golden shield. "I, um…. hi?" The hand is shaken when offered, the contraption given the sort of incredulous look one might give a Skrull-made moped. "They really *don't* work you guys very hard, do they?" comes out of her mouth before she even considers her words; the mortified look on her face immediately following, clear indicator that she'd never have said it were she paying attention.

Now that's more like it. MAD SCIENCE! Mike is happy to shake hands and peer at the circuit and so forth. He ignores Rashmi's comment, obviously she doesn't GET how hard it is to be insane without being evil.

"Um… well, they work *me*," Corrin says. "I think I'm supposed to be the good example for him."

"Don't believe him. He's the one who figured out I needed thumbtacks to keep her steady." Koz shakes hands enthusiastically. "And he's the one who figured out where the recycling room is. Do you know how much good stuff you can get down there? This is nothing!" He will proceed to wax rhapsodic about the virtues of off-label uses for heavy-duty heat capacitors and countersunk screws in office cooking.

Corrin rolls his eyes and shrugs a shoulder at Rashmi as he sets his box on his desk, which is at the near side of the room… and judging by the scratches and the number of rubber band balls on and around it, is the preferred target of Koz's contraption(s).

Rashmi's eyes seem to glaze over as Agent Kozlowski starts to talk makeshift micro-siege engineering, and it's clear that while the girl may be intelligent, the minutiae of applied physics is a subject she prefers to leave to the part of her subconscious that actually deals with them. Besides, Mike seems interested enough to keep the Agent occupied, and she sidles over Corrin's way. "So um, did you want help getting all those organized right?"

Occupied, distracted, confused, whatever it takes for Mike to figure out what this man is doing and feed it to his sometimes-completely-amoral subconscious with its fascination with how machines work. Because, really, everything the robot kid does was something he either figured out from watching very tiny things move around, or from testing little tiny bits of that stuff stuck together in strange ways. There was a distinct attempt a few days earlier at the Stark Labs Poughkeepsie (or was it Flatbush? Mike wasn't sure, Oh right, FLUSHING) where they kept trying to get him to explain just how he worked, and he had to finally scare them with lawyers. Rashmi would have doubtless been one of those.

And the best part of it? Looking at the stuff they were doing, the little amount he was able to see, which MADE SENSE. And that's what this guy seems to be doing, so Mike's asking all sorts of questions. What is that, why are you testing on rubberbands, is it atomic?

Corrin grins at Rashmi. "Didn't you say something about already having a full plate?" A rubber band ball bounces off the wall and drops into his box as he takes off the lid. "Um, Koz? You know I can kick your tail all over the gym, don't you?"

Behind him, Koz is busy explaining why he did not build a catapult, no, and not a trebuchet, but a miniature cannon that shoots rubber band balls with compressed air… JUST BECAUSE IT WAS HARDER TO DO. "Yes, you can, but you don't, because you're my partner and you look out for me. —Mike! Not atomic, 'cause of radiation, but just Newtonian effects. Those are plenty fun. One of these can superheat a volume of air and…"

"Oh, that's for the future," Rashmi replies, waving a negligent hand. "I just mean since it's kind of because of me they got all messed up in the first place, it's just be polite to keep you from losing three or five or ten hours or whatever putting it back together before you scan them."

And Mike is all over the Newtonians because, really, the interesting part for him is seeing the place where the very strange world of the very tiny parts turns into the larger world which follows completely different rules by the aggregation of the tiny movements. Why one would want to superheat a volume of air before shooting a rubber band ball? That would be harder to explain to him, but HOW one would do it, that's fascinating and he looks very closely at that cannon part. Because, how do you keep it from being a burning sticky napalm-like mass, or worse, snapping apart into splayed-out slow rubber-shrapnel?

While Serious Science (tm) is going on around Koz's desk, Corrin dumps out his box on his own desk. "If you insist… but I warn you about boring. These are daily reports from three years ago, mostly locker room logistics and laundry usage. Daily, monthly, yearly; projected uses and actual; associated miscellaneous like invoices for towels or light repairs. This," he leans forward and taps a plastic-coated sheet on the wall, "is the classification list for each document type. They get grouped by type, then date." So fascinating….

"I did have problems with melting the rubber bands, then with flash-frying them, and then with both." Koz rubs his hands together. "Then the eureka moment: superheat the air, drive a piston to compress a different volume of air, release *that*, and presto! Firepower without fire!"

Rashmi peers at the classification list for a moment, then the folders on the top of the top box, and nods to herself. "All right," she murmurs, "it can't be any worse than Ms. Walter's paperwork…" And papers start getting pulled out, stuffed into folders, and the folders arranged in front of her in some odd sort of almost-random organizational structure; one, it seems, that depends on stack height as much as alphabetizing or number order. Thus does Mike get to witness, once he comes up for air, the birthing of the book forts that seem to accrue whenever Rashmi has to deal with a large amount of paper products.

Now that cannon concept makes perfect sense to Mike, perversely, because (due to his really rather absurd self-design) he's actually doing pretty much the same thing all the time. His body — the independent parts that don't live a semi-detached life in another bundled plenum of 3-spaces ana-wards of here — is driven by a gasoline powered motor that provides torque to a number of weirdly geared parts that go to each "muscle" in his body, and the resulting system is terrifyingly complex. He knows that because it nearly blew out the brain of a sorta-friend classmate. So using an explosion to compress air in an adjacent container makes great sense to him. Of course, there are losses due to friction and due to … Hm. "Have you thought of using a teflon cylinder here…"

Corrin looks on Rashmi's work with a mild sort of bemusement, then takes himself to a side table, where he dumps out the second box. His method is: sort everything into a stack of its own, then sort the stacks together. Different kind of book-forting.

"Teflon? Of course I wanted Teflon! Couldn't find one in the recycling room, so I glazed everything in carbon instead…" Koz paws through his desk and comes up with a tattered sheaf of plans. "I tried getting Corrin to put his field on this part," finger on the plans, "but he says if it has to rely on him it isn't a good design, so I've been studying friction co-efficients of various materials and combinations of materials to see if I could replicate it…"

Once the papers are placed in the proper folders, and the fort is more or less complete, then comes the unstacking. Manila-bound sheafs, plucked from the top of the stacks, sometimes the middle, and once even the bottom, dropped into the box with the attention to detail of someone who's learned that their first requirement to succeed is to know how to translate her filing system into something that *doesn't* require a handful of friends helping you out to find anything. Roughly forty-five minutes after the box has been emptied, the cover goes back on, a bright blue Post-It slapped on the side, and the third box reached for to begin the process all over again.

"Field? What field?" Mike's seen that semi-weird older kid with the Slippery Suit, but he's not really sure how that works and the SHIELD guys made it very clear to him that he wasn't allowed to try to figure it out. Privacy issues and all that. Which… fine. It's his business, not Mike's, and not being a soulless machine, Mike's willing to accept that as a valid reason.
He looks through the plans, red eyes focusing on each plan for just long enough, and… carbon glazing? That's fragile, and still semi-sticky at the very tiny level; teflon was electrostatically complete and didn't care to stick to other matter very much. Teflon… also comes as sheets of thin foil and as a spray-on substance, Mike's discovered it almost works fpr permanent use in some applications. Still. "Is this proof of concept, office warfare, or recreational weaponry," Mike asks.

"Halves." Corrin reaches the box at the same time Rashmi does, or perhaps just a bit before, since he has the lid off. "And thank you. This is going much faster than usual… possibly because the help is properly distracted." He pauses as another rubber band ball bounces between him and Rashmi. "Mostly."

"Yes to all three?" Koz leans on his desk, tweaking the switch that shoots the balls at Corrin's desk. Tweak, pff! Tweak, pff! "I want to make field agent someday, you know? But I have to know how to fight to do that, and, well…" A shrug of gangly arms and legs. "Hey! Come down to recycling with me, and we'll see if we can find some Teflon this time!"

Rashmi pauses in her work, eyeing the first rubber ball, then the second… and an eyebrow rises. At the third puff, she answers with ballistice of her own, spheres manifesting and arcing out to bat the projectile back at its owner… after he's finished asking his question, but before he can look around in time to avoid getting a knot of rubber upside his head.

Dig around in a room full of discarded, re-usable stuff? Oh definitely. Mike grins… and wonders if Koz has even NOTICED that Mike isn't quite the usual Barnes student … or maybe he is. Scary thought. But that's all beside the point. He watches the sphere knock the rubber band ball back at Koz, without warning him at all because, really, it's funny. Then, he stands up and says, "Sorry, Rashmi, will catch up with you after we're done looking for traysure trowve." Yeah, he used that Nascar-Appalachian accent. Fortunately in an ironic fashion, so it's not time to dismantle him. He heads out with Koz to the storeroom area.

Koz is in the middle of a turn to head for the door when that ball hits him. He staggers back, more from surprise than anything else, and looks to Corrin with this wide-eyed betrayed look. "Hey! You're my *partner*!"

Corrin grins. "And we're not in the gym. Bye, Koz. Have fun hunting junk."

After the two tech-heads leave, he says, "If I ever crash-landed in a junkyard with the whole of HYDRA on my tail, and I was two hours from help, Koz is the one person on the planet I'd want with me. But stuck in an office with him…?!" He turns back to the box, still grinning. "I'll do this half. Race you!"

Rashmi chuckles, nodding. "You're on," she declares, and thus does the paper fly in earnest.

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