2010-08-10: Sort-of On The Way

Players: Magneto & Rashmi

Magneto_icon.jpg Rashmi_icon.jpg

Summary: The new Genoshan embassy is on Rashmi's way home. Sort of. Magneto notices.

Date: August 10, 2010

Log Title: Sort-of On The Way

Rating: PG

NYC - Mutant Town

Mutant Town, also known as District X, has become a haven for mutants. This section of town doesn't care what you look like, accepting all mutants no matter what their appearance. Most of the businesses in this section of town are mutant run ranging from small convenience stores to clothing shops to restaurants to night clubs. The buildings here aren't the high rise buildings you might find in mid-town but most are about 5-6 stories high. Mutant Town might not be the most luxurious section of town, in fact it's fairly run down, but this section of where mutants are safe and welcomed regardless of race, religion and culture.

Late evening, and on the way back to Barnes, Rashmi takes what is beginning to become a customary detour, shopping bag half-full of wrapped sandwiches swinging under the crook of her arm. As she approaches the Embassy, she pauses, a homeless mutant stretching out a hand, red eye rolling in the center of the palm, to listlessly ask for some spare change. "Sorry… I don't have any," she replies. "I spent all I had on this… here." And a footlong is pulled from the bag, offered with little hesitation. "I'll be back tomorrow, okay?" Straightening, she moves on, frowning slightly to herself as the muttered 'I said I wanted money, you stupid bitch' catches her ears, and she shakes her head, moving onward toward the Embassy.

Putting up a building in one night is a chore that even Magneto finds difficult; he's been working on details of the Embassy — fixing some, upgrading others — off and on ever since. It helps, for instance, that the main plumbing stack for the block-wide 'front' of the embassy connects to the city mains through a ten-inch pipe, rather than a four-inch one…

Between one chore and the next, he pauses to look out over the street. Jono's work, the windows: they're bulletproof, tinted, and transparent, and made of silicon. Magneto could have done them, but… much easier with Chamber's assistance. He's admiring the effect when he notices that the woman with the shopping bag isn't Old Mary, but much younger, neater, and more familiar to him personally. Aha…

Amusement narrows his eyes and he flickers his fingers. The front doors to the embassy swing open as she passes, and he swings from the window, cloak billowing behind him as he strides toward the embassy foyer.

Rashmi blinks, as the doors to the Embassy open, seemingly of their own accord, her attention further ensnared by a swinging Magneto through the window. Taking a step back out of reflex, she clears her throat, arranging her features in a bright smile, of the sort one wears as a temporary measure, before the real thing can take its place. "Um… Hi, Mr. Magneto!" Glancing left and right, suddenly stuck for an avenue of conversation, she lamely tugs a sandwich from the bag to hold up. "Um… hungry?"

Magneto arrives on the front steps, cloak hem swinging as he stops. He is still smiling. "Miss Franklin. Good evening. How are you today?" He stalks down the steps and gives her an even brighter smile as he accepts that sandwich. "Why, thank you. I've not had opportunity to eat yet. Thoughtful of you." He gestures over his shoulder without taking his eyes off Rashmi. "Have you come to see the embassy? Again?"

"Sort of," Rashmi replies, bobbing her head, the smile growing much more natural. "I mean, it's on the way… sort of… And besides, it's a nice place. It *should* be seen, right? That's part of why it's here?"

"Indeed." Magneto turns back toward the embassy, then looks to Rashmi. "Would you like a tour, Miss Franklin? Since 'it's on the way… sort of…', you're already familiar with the outside. The inside has its … charms, as well. A few of those charms have not been completed yet, though… perhaps you would like to make some suggestions?"

Rashmi tilts her head, nodding slowly. "I think I would, sir. I mean I've already seen the lobby, but, then there was that attack, and it pretty much ruined the night." She starts to go on, blinks, and closes her mouth. "…Yes. Thank you very much, sir."

Magneto tucks the sandwich in a pocket somewhere on his person, then offers his arm. "My pleasure, Miss Franklin. And the lobby? Yes, a good start. One of the better rooms, if I must say so myself." He'll pause inside the main doors and gesture — look. "Jonothon Starsmore assisted. I did the main structures, but the carpets, the windows, and some of the decorative items? His."

The main foyer is a traditional, even conservative design: a rectangular room with a sweeping staircase in the center, going up to the second floor. Three doors in the left wall, and a set of double doors in the right; there are two doors in the rear wall, behind the staircase, as well. Everything looks to be made of top-grade, well-polished wood. There are pictures on the walls, elegant little tables, bowls of flowers… and none of it looks like it is made of metal.

Rashmi flushes as the arm is offered, more surprised by the action itself, than the man behind it, and allows herself to be led inside. As Magneto indicates the foyer, her face splits into a broad grin, eyes roaming over the furnishings with new understanding. "I *thought* so… I was trying to figure out who could have done this as quickly as you did the metal. I mean, I'd half expected it to look like it was all just *carved* out of one big steel block, but… I like this better. It's… more fitting."

"I could have carved it out of a steel block… and left it looking like that." He moves in and taps a knuckle on one of the 'wooden' tables: it rings with a clear, metallic tone. "However, must needs. This place is not about me, but about Genosha, and there are things that an official building must be and do that a block of iron will not accomplish quite so readily."

The double doors to the right swing open at a sweep of his hand, and Magneto leads Rashmi toward them. "The grand ballroom," he says, and within is a white and gold confection of a room. An intricately patterned floor in geometric tiles, walls of gold and silver leafy 'wallpaper', and a crystal chandelier like a waterfall of ice.

It's difficult, to keep from going starry-eyed at the sight of a grand ballroom plucked whole-cloth from any one of a thousand palatial dreams. Certainly it would be more dignified to lean in, peer around, and nod with a grunt of satisfaction or some small but deep-and-meaningful compliment. Fortunately for Rashmi, what is and is not dignified is not even a concern; otherwise her startled gasp, the hand rising to her throat, and the unabashed awe in her face might have embarrased her. "It's *beautiful,*" she breathes, wonder in her voice.

"A room should be an ornament to the people within it," Magneto says, tilting his head to look up at the chandelier. "This is what our people deserve." The room is very tall, soaring at least three stories up. "It is what they need, when they greet the world as equals."

A sideways glance — ah, that look on her face. Magneto grins, pure enjoyment. "Come see the kitchens. A ballroom needs a party, and what is a party without food?" And with that, he leads the way through a door in the back wall. There are actually several doors; he chooses the nearest. It leads into a room with stainless steel tables along both long walls, one of which is the ballroom wall. Cabinets are beneath the tables, the doors closed — presumeably, they are full of serving items like plates and tablecloths. A shuttered pass-through, open, leads to the kitchens, which are full of gleaming stainless steel appliances. "I think you can see my touch, here."

Until the ball room passes out of sight, Rashmi seems to bend toward it like a flower toward the sun, snapping back to herself and offering a slightly abashed grin, she gamely allows herself to be led. The kitchens, viewed with the eye of someone taught to cook at her mother's stove, and one can *see* the possibilities churning behind the redhead's eyes. At the comment, she chuckles quietly. "Well… Yeah, but, it's a *kitchen.* …Really just about an ideal one, too."

"The hook-ups need to be inspected by the city still, but yes. Just about ideal, because it can serve five hundred people in an hour, if properly staffed." Magneto gives the place a proprietary smile. "I think that's an accomplishment to be proud of."

He directs her along a passageway that runs from the serving room to the other side of the foyer. The two doors at the back of the foyer lead into this passageway; he'll point them out. Doors in the opposite wall open and close as the two pass: dish washing room, laundry, store rooms, utility closets. The working rooms, in other words. But on the other side of the foyer… "Meeting rooms. Different sizes for different functions." Again, elegance and conservative lines, with metallic elements understated. "The lower floor is predominantly public. The foyer, ballroom, the meeting rooms… and this room." He waves a door open and there are tables, chairs, and a long counter. "The room for applications for Genoshan citizenship."

Rashmi bobs her head, taking a good long look at each room in passing. Evidently, the entire setup seems to meet with the young woman's unrestrained approval. As the applications room is presented, she tilts her head, brow furrowing in thought. "Have you gotten many applications yet, sir?"

"There have been enquiries." Magneto frowns. "Not here… not yet. And not publically. The people who come are… cautious. They have been burned in the past, living in this country, and they have no wish to go to another and be burned there, as well. I can respect that caution." He turns away from the applications room. "There are living quarters that can be accessed through that room. Jonothon Starsmore wanted to design that area. He is making it quite plain and very utilitarian; I am trusting that he is doing exactly what needs to be done. You should ask him for a tour. I am sure he would appreciate your interest." You're both in the foyer again, at the foot of the stairs. "Would you like to see the upper floors?"

Rashmi nods slowly, fully understanding the sort of wariness that would result in such a hesitant response. "Very much please, sir," she answers, part of her mind looking back to the applications room, wheels spinning. "I think I will, when I see him; like I told you at the party, this is a really great thing you two did. And I really, honestly hope it does as well as it deserves to."

"It will do just exactly as well as the people who work here," Magneto says. "I do hope it will attract the quality of personnel that we need. It is not yet open, because we have not finished interviewing, but… soon." A smile, and he leads Rashmi up the staircase.

On the second floor… more meeting rooms, and several offices. "This area is semi-public," he says, walking his guest past a row of doors, all of them leading into offices containing desks, chairs, and computers. "Interviews, bureaucracy, and," another door opens on a large room lined with shelves. "This will be a library. I imagine the lawyers we will be employing will have their opinions on what should go on these shelves."

Rashmi chuckles, the library stealing her attention, likely just as it was expected to. "Oh, probably… Depending on how much evolving the Constitution has done," she says with a smile, hearkening back to the statement at the party, "I'd imagine it's a good thing the shelves are so sturdy. But um… are you going to be hiring here, or from Genosha? I mean… it's a good thing to have a lot of good lawyers, but it'd be even better if they came from home, right?"

"Because of its history… and its current unrest… Genosha will not be supplying all of the lawyers we will need, unfortunately. However, I do hope that it will be able to supply the vast majority of them, including the leads. We will need teams of lawyers, for all of the usual reasons, and also a number of unique ones." Magneto gives Rashmi a sly, sideways glance. "This place will advise lobbyists. I think you would approve of that method, yes?"

Rashmi grins, clearly amused by the question of her approval. "So long as the advice is more sound than fury, definitely. I mean with all the potential you have here, it'd be *horrible* for one firebrand to throw a temper tantrum in Genosha's name and ruin a lot of the goodwill, you know?" Is that a dig? Perhaps, perhaps not, the statement is made with enough blithe guilelessness for ten puppies.

"Well. Dealing with such situations is what ambassadors is for, no?" Magneto lets the dig slide. There's more to see, after all.

One office, larger than the others, faces the street. He leads Rashmi in. "The ambassador would normally have this space, though I've been using it for the time being." Beyond a smaller office, evidently for a secretary or aide, lies a large room, with a comfortable sitting area, a wet bar built into the wall, and a massive desk at the far end. Several doors lead off; one to a meeting room, already seen, another to a private water closet, and a third to an armored staircase. "The stairs lead up to the residence, and down to the garage. These parts are reinforced against attack by… well. Just about everyone." Save Magneto himself, but since he built the place, that's hardly surprising.

Rashmi nods, taking in the future ambassador's office, chewing at her lower lip in thought. "I hope you don't mind me asking, sir… But since this'll eventually be a fully functioning embassy… Are you planning for the time being, to have people come here for shelter if there's another attack? I mean, even if all the paperwork hasn't gotten through yet, this would still be a really *good* place for people to go. …And it'd probably put a few points up in your name on the humanitarian side, right?"

"That's exactly what we plan, Miss Franklin. There will be a block party to announce the embassy's opening, and we intend to vette every single person on staff for that, and have them in place to help people take cover, if required. You may wish to ask Jonothon Starsmore about that, as well, as I believe that his portion of this project may assist in that." He leads her up the stairs into the ambassador's residence, a curve of rooms along one end of the block. Skylights and windows make the space bright and airy, and a mix of modern and classical furnishings makes it seem comfortable, if a trifle formal. "This area is one that is not quite finished," he comments, eyeing the rooms critically as the two pass through them. "This is more my taste, but I am sure the ambassador will want his or her own touches." A shrug.

"Yeah…. I heard about the block party," Rashmi says, voice slightly subdued. "I'd say it's a bad idea, personally… but I can't really come up with a better one. Mostly I'm worried that somebody's going to get killed, you know? Just because they were spraying that weird glop last time, doesn't mean some of them won't go back to using actual bullets…" She lets out a slow breath, lifting her shoulder. "But like I said… I can't think of anything better, so I'd rather be here to help out, rather than waste time and energy arguing about it." The ambassador's residence, looked in on with a nod of satisfaction. All in all, the Embassy truly impresses the redhead, this much is very evident.

Magneto waves a hand. "There are other residences on this floor, for aides and for guests. There is a security command post here, as well, although the main rooms for that sort of thing are on the first floor or in the first sub-street level. The entire place is wired for computer security and/or access, and has independent generators of my design to provide power in case of an outage. There are recreation facilities on-site for staff, including a pool, and of course, weight rooms and work-out rooms. There is a garage for twenty vehicles below street level, and the delivery entrance has extra parking for large vehicles such as buses and tractor trailers. Past that wall," he points at the residence's north wall, "is an open space that I hope will become an arboretum. It is empty for now, of course. There's even a helipad on the roof of the ballroom." He looks back to Rashmi. "And the first aid room is on the first floor, near the kitchens. If you have something to add, I would appreciate hearing it. Once this place is in operation, it will be much more difficult to add things in."

Rashmi tilts her head, thinking very carefully now that her opinion is being specifically asked for. "Well… About the only real thing I can think of is child care facilities, you know? I mean of there are going to be families working here, or even just taking refuge… It'd probably mean a lot, if they knew there was even a little support to make their lives easier. Even if it's nothing more than a WIC station, or something. And once you get the lawyers in here, maybe see what can be done about donating for a community center? Something to get the kids off the streets and doing something they can believe in, you know?"

Magneto nods. "Worthy ideas. I believe Jonothon may have the child care situation dealt with, or at least will have the space for it. As for the community center, I believe there is already a facility in place in Mutant Town. It requires upgrading, but please excuse me if I feel I should concentrate on this project before that one." He smiles and guides Rashmi back toward the head of the stairs. "And outreach programs… we will need those, too. I am not exactly the person to ask about such things, however." He grins, wide and white. "Something about my reputation for just how I do my reaching out…."

"Well," Rashmi mumbles, cheeks heating up. "*I* wasn't going to say anything… um… but, sir? It looks like you've put a lot of real thought into this… I just want you to know that I'd be happy to help however I can… well. Assuming time, school, work, and whatever else allows, but anyway. I really think you could make a serious statement, here… and a *good* one. I don't want to let that go to waste if I can help it."

"Indeed? I was hoping you would volunteer. Shall we assign you an office? Perhaps one next to the library?" He leads her to the second floor and stops there, clearly amused. "I'll let you choose your own space."

"Oh, I don't know about *that,*" comes the hurried response, Rashmi's cheeks positively glowing. "I haven't even started my first semester at school yet, it'd probably be better if I got used to my schedule before I even *thought* about making that kind of commitment… But really, sir, thanks for offering."

"Are you sure, Miss Franklin? You could come part-time. You could advise on the library, observe the embassy at work, and volunteer, time permitting, wherever you felt you could be of assistance. This place… we will be making history here, in this place. You could help with that." Magneto nods, looking around the floor. "You could."

"Oh don't get me wrong sir, I'm *definitely* planning to do that, whenever I can. Just, I don't go back to part-time at Ms. Walters' firm until school starts, and between pre-law and the fitness training, I just won't be able to get a clear picture of how much time I can promise in good faith. About the best I can offer at the moment is coming to help on Saturdays, since I go back down to the Mansion to help out over the weekends." The admission is something that clearly gnaws at the girl, but, fully half her summer has been devoted to work, with most of a month of that locked in at Barnes thanks to Ahab's machinations.

"Saturdays? I expect that will be splendid. It will be invaluable experience for you, and I expect you will find it extremely useful in the other things you do." Magneto pushes open the door to one of the smaller offices, one containing two desks, two chairs, two computers. "An intern's station," he says. "For students and others whose other commitments do not allow them to work here full-time." He looks toward her. "You asked about applications for citizenship. Not many of those, but applications to work here, even part-time? Lots of those." He snorts. "At least a dozen of those are spies, of course. But that's only to be expected."

Rashmi's smile returns, bright and sunny. "That's wonderful, even still. Even if a lot are spies, it's not like you're going to have a whole lot to hide, right? So eventually they'll go somewhere more um… fruitful… … …Well. Assuming you're intending to be completely above-board… which would sort of be a nice change, honestly, and maybe even an example to the other nations of the world."

Magneto gives Rashmi an almost pitying look. Really, she's so naive it's jawdropping. "There is still the issues of privacy, of control of information, and of public relations. If I had made this place out of sheet glass, I suspect that we wouldn't have even as many applications for citizenship as we do." A mild reproof, but nonetheless a reproof. A touch more practicality, Miss Franklin…? "I imagine the first things an intern would be asked to do would be to help with set-up around here—shelve books, sort paperwork, help organize offices and test every message system we have. And assist with the block party, of course."

Rashmi ducks her head, shoulders hunching briefly, acknowledging that, yes, that was bad even for her, but making no apologies for it. "That shouldn't be terribly difficult… I mean it's not all that different from what I'm doing already. And since I'm already planning on helping with the party…" The redhead spreads her hands. "I suppose you have a volunteer then, sir?"

"Excellent!" Another wide, white smile. Magneto guides Rashmi down the last flight of stairs and back to the foyer, where they began. "I'll have your identity put into the security system. You may start whenever you like." He bows over her hand. "A pleasure, Miss Franklin. Until we meet again."

Rashmi flushes at the gesture, dipping her head in acknowledgment. "Okay… I'll see you this Saturday, then. Um… Have a good night, Mr. Magneto!" As they reach the foyer, she adjusts the bag of sandwiches to donate, pausing on her way out to turn and lift a hand in farewell, before making her way down the street, spirits high.

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