2011-08-24: Recruitment Effort

Players: Jessica, Keld, and Vance

Jessica_icon.jpg Keld_icon.jpg Vance_icon.jpg

Summary: Jessica meets with Vance to discuss Kai's recruitment to Barnes and Keld stops by and gives his input

Date: August 24, 2011

Log Title: Recruitment Effort

Rating: PG

Barnes Academy - Staff Lounge

Reserved for teachers and teachers aides, the teachers lounge is quite and free of students. There are plush leather couches that round around one wall to face a flat screen television on the wall. There's a small bar that is well stocked with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and snacks for the teachers to enjoy. There's also a small stove, a refrigerator, toaster and microwave along the back wall that's lined with cabinets so that teachers can also enjoy a quite lunch or meal in the room. The room is decorated in the standard blue and white colours of SHIELD.

With the school year about to begin a big decision had to be made, if Kai should be allowed into Barnes or now. Jessica has gone over the results of the interview with Sam Wilson and Nick Fury and now it's time to talk to his recruiter, Vance. She's asked him to join him for a quite lunch in the staff lounge. Water, a few sandwiches from a local deli sit on a platter along with a salad. Jessica sits on the couch with her own sandwich and salad in front of her as she sips from a water bottle, waiting for Vance to arrive.

Making his way into the staff lounge, Vance is dressed business casual in a black polo shirt and khaki dockers. “Hey, Jessica. Thanks for the invitation.” He moves over to the table with the lunch display and stands a moment looking over the choices. He reaches for a tuna sandwich and then telekinetically tosses a water bottle to himself which he catches. Vance appears slightly nervous, but when he sits down on the couch across from Jessica, he exhales and smiles.

"Okay Vance before I talk about Kai and how the rest of the interview went I want to ask you one thing, did you run a background check on him?" Jessica says as she takes a bite of the pastrami and swiss sandwich in front of her. "I ran one as well and there was some interesting things that didn't seem to make sense."

Blinking a moment at the idea of the background check, “No I didn’t run one.” Vance leans back, admittedly he did not think to run one a background check on Kai. Putting his tuna sandwich down and taking a gulp of water to mask his own lump in his throat. “Wow, I hope it’s nothing too bad. It was weird I had originally thought he was a mutant, but when Franky, a kind-hearted homeless man from Mutant Town, has the ability to see someone’s true species, he didn’t see Kai as he saw me. But Kai, himself, seemed generally surprised. What did you find?”

Space-armored aliens aren't typical at Barnes, but today, there is one. Keld has been doing so much with SWORD lately that he looks distinctly out of practice with the low gravity, but the chance to deliver a package to Sam Wilson means he can catch up with the Avengers; he comes into the lounge carrying his helmet in one hand.
"Good afternoon, Avengers. What's the news from Earth?"

"That his father was never in the military, he never served in any US Forces or any thing. There is no record of a Michael Oaken serving." Jessica says. "It's just strange becase why would he lie about his father like that?" Looking up as Keld enters, Jessica offers him a smile. "Hello Keld. Nothing really new you missed the trouble Mindbender and Upgrade stired up but that's all done with for now. Right now Vance and I are just talking about a potential new student."

Shaking his head, Vance seems visibly disappointed. “Damn, Kai.” He mumbles as he looks up as Keld enters. It’s been some time since he has seen his teammate, but Vance is a light-hearted mood, “Hey, Keld.” Returning to the conversation with Jessica, “You know, I feel stupid. I should have checked more out about him myself. When I first met him, he seemed like a genuinely nice kid who was getting bullied and was afraid to lash out. But there always seemed to be this fear coming from him, which, I guess, I mistook just the natural fear we get when we first realize we have powers. Was SHIELD able to find out who Michael Oaken or Kai Oaken really is?”

Keld nods, making a mental note to look up those names. He sits at the table, relaxing his posture a bit after a moment when he realizes that he's still "at attention."
He answers one question, though: "There are many possible reasons for misinformation, some of them innocent. He may have been lied to, or he may simply not trust strangers with powers. Of course he might also have, uhm, malevolent reasons."

"Well why would he lie in an interview to get into a school that he claims he would like to go to learn how to use his powers better?" Jessica questions Keld as that doesn't seem to make much sense to her.
"Well Kai Oaken checked out okay, his social security matched his name as did everything else it just seems weird he would like about his father being in the military when we're so closely connected to them." She says tapping her finger on her water bottle as she thinks. "How much did you explain to him about Barnes, Vance?"

“He didn’t just lie about that at the interview. He had previously told me that his father was in the military.” Vance offers to Keld, “So it wasn’t just at the interview. I wonder if I’ve been played this whole time.” Exhaling and sipping from the bottled water and all but ignoring the remnants of the tuna sandwich, “I actually did not tell him too much. I had actually held off on telling him anything when I first met him and tried some training with him on my own. All he knows about Barnes is that it is a school that can help train kids with powers. I never told him about the connection with SHIELD or about any of the students and staff. Other than you and Rashmi he has not met anyone affiliated with the school. As far as I know, actually I never even told him the name of the school.” Finishing the water and tossing it into a trash bin in the lounge. It would be a miss but he catches it with his telekinesis and tosses it in. “I was discreet with him.”

"Oh, he did?" Keld assimilates the new information. "My knowledge of Terran practices regarding educational processes comes only from what I learned from Ms Walters when she taught me English. Is it normal to expect a background check when joining a private school? It seems like it would be. So, he either honestly believes this misinformation, or he's lying, and one wonders why."
The alien absent-mindedly begins shredding a paper napkin, nibbling on the shreds like they were bland pieces of thin bread.

Jessica sighs and rests her hand against her forehead, rubbing it gently with her finger tips. "So he has no clue that you're trying to recruit him into a school that will be looking at him as a future SHIELD agent. Did you even ask him what he wanted to accomplish with his powers other than learning control?" Jess then looks at Keld and shakes her head. "Not always but Barnes is selective. We're not Xavier's, taking wayward kids off the street to do who knows what with. We're Barnes, SHIELD, we're a bit more selective. Everyone who has been invited here has shown some sort of potential to be a SHIELD agent for the most part."

“He wanted to come to learn to control his abilities. He needs to learn that control. He /appeared/ to be a good kid who, I personally saw help out in situations.” Vance shakes his head, “Now, I am wondering if he really was genuinely trying to help.” Vance, at the moment, cannot fathom why Kai would do that, but there is doubt. “He appeared to genuinely want to affect a positive change using his powers. With his ‘father’ being in the military, it seemed a good fit.” Vance did the quotation marks gesture when he said father. “Obviously, I was duped. I should have been more selective too.” Vance’s naiveness shows through and once again, his desire to help made him prone to a rookie mistake.

"or SWORD if they make the grade, which I think may have to do with why Ms. Brand sent down that package." Keld makes the grimace that passes for a smile, which also shows how very out-of-practice he's gotten with human body-language.

"In any case, I recommend further investigation before deciding either way, and that would include a discreet genetic mapping and possibly having a member of the psi-ops group observing surface-thought, so they can discover whether he's lying intentionally. A powers scan might be too obvious. But never discount the possibility of enemy action. And don't give anytging away; he might be a trap."

"Vance you don't know. We don't know the story we don't know why. I don't suggest just asking him though." Jessica states quite firmly. "It took a while for SHIELD to dig up that Michael Oaken doesn't exsit and someone did take care to try to make it seem like he does but he doesn't. Anyway he could be a good kid, we don't know." She says before doing something very Un-Jessica-like and reaches a hand out to place on Vance's shoulder "Vance, what I'm trying to get at is that if he's going to attend school here we have to keep an eye on him. I'd actually like to keep him close."

Taken aback by the hand on his shoulder, Vance half-smiles. He had been feeling out of place with the current roster of the Avengers, so he genuinely appreciates the gesture, “Alright, but I have to admit, I feel disappointed.” It is clear in Kai but also in himself. Standing up, “Well, Keld’s suggestions seem the right way to go. I guess we should keep an eye on him. I want to help out. Now that I am invested and really want to know who the hell this kid really is or what is going on.” Vance blinks a moment at the fact that the information on Michael Oaken wasn’t readily available to SHIELD. “The fact that it took time for SHIELD of all organizations means this is probably purposely hidden. But I shouldn’t jump to that conclusion, right away.” Shaking his head, he actually reaches for the sandwich and takes a bite.

"As an espionage-trained scout, let me point out that if SHIELD's particular enemies wanted to discover more about this place, they would probe it with a sleeper. At least, it's what we would do." Yes, Keld quite openly admitted that he might be a spy for the Dakkamite military when he first joined, one reason they had SWORD check him out first, before giving him that A card.
"That doesn't mean he's necessarily a danger, just that you need to watch closely."

"Kai's also still a kid. He's also still able to be influenced." Jessica says. "Who knows, if there is something more to him he can still be influenced by us, for the better. If I'm wrong and it's just a weird situation than that's better. But right now I'd like to keep you as a mentor to him Vance, keep being friends with him. It could mean a lot in the end. And I want to offer him enrollment here."

“Ok, I can do this. I’ll stay close and see what I can find out. If he is an enemy, than it is better to have him close.” Vance sighs and nods visibly bothered by the whole situation. He looks down and exhales, “Alright then. I’ll be like the big brother he may or may not have.” Vance smiles, “Are there any devices or something that can be used to discreetly scan him or a psi who can read him or something from afar?” Vance pauses a moment, “Though this kid is pretty powerful. One time when I tried training him. He was able to freeze the my shields and the cold effects extends out. It took a lot of concentration and talking him through it to get the cold to even stop. I’ve never seen a cryokinetic quite like him.”

The alien quirks a red-gold eyebrow up at Jessica's intent to offer enrollment. Still, he's seen humans do things he considered irrational but without the expected catastrophe. As a species they were ridiculously lucky, and of course this might be a part of their culture.

"It's a tremendous waste of resources that your unattached children aren't creched, so getting him training is imperative. Talk with Sam Wilson about getting a Psi-Corps agent to assist. They're quite good. Getting gene samples should be easy. Skin flakes, hairs, saliva, you drop them everywhere."

"Keld right now we have to go with the facts, he's a kid with super powers of an unknown origin with a suspicious father." Jessica states. "Having a psi look at him from afar might not be a bad idea but right now I want to tred cautiously. He's not the enemy right now, he could be though, that's why we need to watch him. Also I'm really curious to see how he mingles with the other students."

“Alright, fair enough.” Vance nods as his two teammates speak. He is not a part of SHIELD or SWORD, but will do as they say. “Fair enough. Do you want me to be the one to tell him? I’ll study his reactions and can be here for his orientation and report back what I observe.” Vance finishes up his sandwich feeling a little better.

Not his planet, the alien reminds himself, holding a neutral expression. Besides, if the SHIELD agents are paying attention, the risk is minimal, at most only one or two students dead before they suppress the child should he turn out to be a spy. Acceptable losses for revealing a coordinared enemy action.
"I think you should find out whether he's lying about his father first, before revealing anything. I would mention missing records, certainly not a lie on your part, and see his reaction. Get the Psi-ops report and genetic sample as well, just in case."

"That's a good idea, just mention missing reports not much else. I'd rather him not know we're curious about him. If he gets panicked or scared we might loose any hope we have." Of gaining information or stopping a spy. "Sam has all the paper work for you Vance so you can tell Kai that he's accepted. I just have one other matter to attended to before the school starts. One Connor Blake…do either of you know of him?"

Nodding when Jessica mentions going to Sam for the paperwork for Kai, “Well, this should prove interesting.” He goes over his head how to deal with Kai when Jessica asks about Connor. “He’s a Xavier’s student, I believe I met him at that roaring 20s dance from way back. He seemed…” Vance shrugs, “He seemed like a typical teen. But nothing that really stands out. Why do you ask?”

"Oh I know Ms. Franklin knows him as they both went to Xavier's together." Jessica says. "He is a candidate I was just wondering if either of you knew him." She says before standing up. "And Keld if the napkin is bland for you there are sandwiches over there you can help yourself to." She says with a smile. "For now I have to get going. Thank you for your time Vance and thank you for your imput Keld."

Returning the smile to Jessica, Vance offers, “Thank you, Jessica. Seriously. Thanks.” He sighs a bit and turns to Keld, “And you too, Keld. Your suggestions are great and I will follow up with Sam before I meet with Kai.” Patting his stomach, “And I the sandwiches are pretty good. I feel my appetite again.” And he moves to the table to peruse the options.

"Glad to be of service," Keld answers. "I'm just refueling, not eating for pleasure. There was a storm on the approach path that took a lot of work to get through."
He nods to Vance. "I will be on the Peak for the next few days. I'll try to come by again before they send me back out to the Kuiper belt station."

“Well, SWORD has been sending you out on some missions, huh.” Vance hmmmmns, “You know what? I should probably go meet with Sam now.” Vance smiles to Keld, “It was good seeing you. Hope to see you again soon.” As he exits the staff lounge, he telekinetically lifts a turkey sandwich to follow him on to munch on his way to Sam’s office.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License