2012-05-21: The Fine Points Of Good Pr


Bruce_icon.jpg Rashmi_icon.jpg

Summary: Rashmi visits Bruce to discover the whole Envy situation that‘s been going on. She then has to convince Bruce that killing is not always the best solution.

Log Title: The Fine Points of Good PR

Rating: PG

NYC - Four Arms Apartments (Fourth Floor)

The hallways have the same dim lighting as the stairwell and the floors are all wooden creaking a nice creaking sound when walking. The walls are the same brick as in the stairwells with doors ever so often. All the doors are painted a cream color to try to bring some light into the dim hallways. On each door black metal numbers are screwed into the door marking the apartment number.

Despite the appearance from the outside, Bruce is not awake right now. He had a long night at the Embassy dealing with the whole Envy situation. And now Lil is mad at him for yelling at her when he found out Rashmi had gone missing. Apparently the woman had been keeping it from him out of fear that he would go on another rampage like when Lil herself went missing several months ago. He is currently sleeping on the sofa, his dog curled up on the floor. The TV is blasting what sounds like "Fullmetal Jacket".

Time alone with friends is therapeutic, time with boyfriend watching Lord of the Rings even more so. Now that she has a bit of free time, and feels up to it, Rashmi approaches Bruce's door, a small sheaf of papers in one hand. Pausing briefly to pick up the less-than-soothing refrain of R. Lee Ermey coming from within the apartment, the redhead nods to herself, knocking on the door. After all, clearly the man is home, and nobody could sleep through *that* yelling.

There is the sound of a dog running to the door and paws scratching up toward the door handle. Then some movement of a different kind and the TV goes quiet. "Uh…Hold on a sec. Tiberius, get over here." Then a door closing and the approach of footsteps. A few moments later the door opens to reveal a not so awake looking Bruce. He is wearing a pair of camo shorts and a black tank-top and is currently busy scratching the back of his head. That is, until he realizes who is at his door. "RASHMI!" And the door flies open much wider. "I thought you went missing…Well that's what I JUST HEARD! Are you alright? I suppose yes…Since you're standing there…" Tiberius can be heard running around in what is probably the bedroom.

"Is that what happened?" Rashmi asks, holding up the papers that had been slipped under the door for her. "I'd wondered why this last one… Anyway… yeah. Valentine's Day, actually… Just got back, um… Saturday."

Bruce glances at the stack of papers and laughs a little. "Oh yeah, I forgot about those. I thought you were mad at me or something. But it turns out Lil had convinced the people at the Embassy to keep you disappearing a secret. I guess they were afraid I would 'cause trouble' or something." He makes little air quotes when he says that. "Anyway, it's really good to see you're ok. I heard some other girls went missing. Are they…Were they with you?"

"Yeah," Rashmi says quietly. "I'd really rather not give you the whole story, though… Mostly 'cos I *just* got done living it, y'know? But the short form, um… We were… sort of kidnapped by Dracula so his son could decide which one of us he was going to marry. So-o-o, we were all mewed up in this tower in Romania all this time."

Bruce makes a comically confused looking face. "Uuuuuuum…Dracula?" He narrows his eyes at the girl. "Like…Pointy teeth, turns into a bat, Dracula?" His expression may lead Rashmi to believe that Bruce thinks she is not being truthful. "So…I guess he did NOT choose you…Also Dracula has a son? How did that happen? I mean…Never mind. I'll ask later on sometime." He is quiet for a second. "Well honestly it's great to see you again. I can focus on other problems now without having to worry about finding you."

"Like I said, I don't really want to go into it now… But yeah, I'm not kidding. Pointy teeth, vampire, huge jerk… Also dead, now… Again, I guess… Anyway," she says, shaking her head. "…What's been up? I'd sort of hoped things stayed quiet whole we were all gone, but, I guess that's sort of a silly hope."

Bruce ponders that for a moment. "Alright, I'll take your word for it. But so help me Rashmi, if Mutant Town comes under attack by an army of Vampires. Well…I get dibs on Lil." The whole shooting light thing. Might come in handy. The man looks a little hesitant. "Well…I don't want to you know…Make your first week back a huge hassle or anything. But Envy KIND of kidnapped a bus of human children and unless we find and kill some lady no one seems to be able to identify, then she'll kill the kids…On Wednesday. Also this has caused a few riots at the Embassy."

Rashmi drops her head into her hands, groaning audibly. "Envy did… nng." Her knuckles tense for a moment, and the redhead spends a bit of time taking in deep breaths, and finally when she lets her hands fall away, she is once again calm and composed. "…So has anyone tried to make contact with this lady at all?"

Bruce shakes her head, "I am not sure. There hasn't been anything on the news aside from the countdowns, interviews with the families, replays of the tape Envy gave to the media. The Embassy hasn't gotten ahold of the woman. "Stormwaltzer" she's called. She doesn't show up in our mutant database." He seems again hesitant to say what he's about to say. "I think they…I heard a RUMOR that Barnes suspects Envy is researching magic. Maybe this "Stormwaltzer" is affiliated." Totally a rumor. Not spies.

Rashmi pauses, giving Bruce a jaundiced look. "…Seriously? Barnes? Barnes is a *school,* Bruce, not a shadow organization. Trust me on that, okay?" Leaning against the wall, she shakes her head. "Well this *is* Envy we're talking about, so, pretty sure they're not working together. You probably want to find a way to make contact, if at all possible."

Bruce looks up and down the hallway and winks at Rashmi. "Riiiiight. I know I know. Just a 'school'." He makes little air quotes again. "Just like that one up North, right?" He gives her a more serious look. "Anyway, I'm having enough trouble keeping the crazy humans from setting fire to Mutant Town. Some of the kids from that school got caught up in a tussle a few days back. A couple of them got shot. I don't think any died." He knows neither of them died. But this is what Rashmi gets for pretending Barnes is 'just a school'. "All we know about Envy's location is that the kids are inside near water."

"As a matter of fact," Rashmi replies, clearly testy, "yeah. *Just* like the one up North. Which I *also* went to. So I *mean* it. They are both *schools.* Barnes just has a wider acceptance requirement; don't have to be a mutant to get in." The other differences, largely quibbles, and not to be gotten into in a crowded hallway. Pinching the bridge of her nose, she draws in a deep breath. "…Okay. Just try to remember, Mr. Hero of Mutant Town, you're not exactly the best face for the city at large. Little things like, say, smashing into buildings running after policemen tend to mess with your image a little, y'know? *You* are probably better off leaving the PR to the Embassy and looking for this lady yourself."

It is unlikely that Rashmi has seen that news report yet, but she probably will soon if she hasn't. "Yeah well…About that…I mean, they were asking for Magneto. And he's not exactly HERE at the moment? So…I mean, I figured I was then next best thing, right?" He shrugs, "And that whole 'smashing into buildings thing…I've kind of made peace with the police. Since that whole incident." A small pause, then he mutters something that sounds like "Normal schools don't employ Avengers and alien rodents."

"Which, I repeat, makes it *just like* the school up north," Rashmi says with a sigh. "And I'm not saying you made a bad call, just, you're not really PR oriented, y'know? You'd probably have more success tracking this woman down than calming people with a spotty memory at the best of times… Which, well, is pretty much all of the public all of the time."

Bruce sighs, "Alright fine. Well with you back in town you can deal with PR out of the Embassy. Like I said, we haven't been able to find much on Envy's whereabouts. Our sources who deal with the crime syndicates Envy is generally affiliated with don't even seem to know where she is. And as for personally hunting her down…" Bruce shrugs, "Well I don't do too well IN water. Nothings been turned up on any of the warehouses near the water as far as I can tell. I believe that was where her last base of operations was."

"…I meant, hunting down the woman she's *after.* Making contact and finding out what's up, y'know?" Letting out a quiet sigh, she looks up at Bruce. "Bruce… Trust the PR people. That's what they're there for. I've been back from being a vampire's prisoner for not even two days. I *need* the downtime. I need to just… look out my window and get used to the fact that there's a sun. Hold onto my boyfriend until neither of us worry that ghosts are gonna make off with me. *Catch up on my classes.* I've missed three months of law school, I've got a *huge* amount of things on my plate as it is."

Bruce makes a face as though what Rashmi is saying suddenly makes sense to him. "Find the lady she's after. Then…Kill her? I mean, if she's NOT a mutant then it's not really the place of the Embassy to protect her, right? And one life as opposed to all those children. Plus if Envy is after her we can assume she's got something about her that makes her…Probably a threat to mutants. Envy's not the type to avoid a fight. If she wasn't worried about this lady she would have gone after her herself."

Rashmi tilts her head back, thumping the back of her head against a wall. "…Bruce. *Bruce.* *Focus,* will you?! Not to *kill* her, to *talk to her.* You know how to do that, right?! Work it so you're maybe not jumping into this blind and half-informed, so you know you're doing the *right* thing?!"

"But…Isn't the right thing saving the human children AND protecting the interests of mutants? And what if this lady goes all psycho and tries to kill me or something? Granted…I suppose I'm pretty hard to kill." He pauses for a moment. "Alright. I'll ask around and see what people know about this lady. I'll try to hunt down Kalindi. I think she's somehow…Magical or something. Maybe she's heard of this "Stormwaltzer" lady."

"The right thing to do," Rashmi says slowly, visibly calming herself down, is to protect whoever you can, without breaking the law any more than you absolutely can't help. Which means *no body count,* Bruce… And Kalindi was one of the people taken, so, I can tell you she'll be available at least."

Bruce seems to ponder for a moment. "Yeah now that you mention it, I suppose I HAVEN'T seen Kalindi in a while either. You know, now I'm going to be all paranoid every time I don't see someone for a while that they were kidnapped by werewolves or something." Then more seriously. "Well if I can't KILL this woman and she turns out to be hostile. What then. You want me to try and capture her? Would that be 'legal'?"

"It's usually a good idea to assume they *won't* be hostile," Rashmi sighs. "But if she tries to kill you, then either run her off or capture her? I mean c'mon, you said you were a soldier. Do they not *have* covert tactics in Australia?"

Bruce shrugs. "I mean, I was basic infantry. I just shot at things. I at least think taking one of them out of the equation might be a good idea. If we leave this storm lady out there, she might go after Envy herself. Then the kids get caught up in the crossfire."

"I'd just rather be sure, is all," Rashmi says, raking a hand through her hair. "If it turns out we don't need to get involved at all, everybody wins. It might be a stretch, but I don't exactly think that anyone who's managed to upset Envy this bad is necessarily as insane as she is. …I mean, she hates *me* enough to try to kill me when she can be bothered to remember me, so…"

Bruce strokes his stubble for a moment, "Yeah I suppose that's true…I hear Envy IS pretty crazy. Even Magneto's been hesitant to seek her out." Another moment, "Well maybe this lady IS sane…Maybe. Granted she apparently pissed off Envy, which is generally NOT sane. But if she seems reasonable I'll point her toward…Maybe the Avengers? If she seems like she'll help us out? I don't know if I want her in the Embassy."

"That's reasonable," Rashmi says with a shrug. "But either way, at least try and *talk* to her, is all. It's one thing to put together rumors, but you're usually better off going straight to one side or the other to get something a little less… speculative."

Bruce nods. "Alright. I may be able to get someone to hunt down Envy, too. Just to speak to her as well…Granted…We'd need to FIND the woman first. I'll focus on Stormwaltzer though. I'll see if I can set aside a troop of sensory type mutants to hunt down Envy."

Rashmi bobs her head. "That sounds like a good idea… Oh. By the way, um… There's still some cupcakes in the fridge from the little welcome home party my roommates threw… Did you want some? Red velvet?"

Bruce tips his head to the side at the mention of cupcakes. "Tell you what, hold on to them and we'll do a little "Welcome Back" cookout on the roof tomorrow or the day after. Whenever you're free. Bring your boyfriend and the cupcakes and I'll bring Lil and the beer."

"Y'know," Rashmi says, smiling a bit, "that sounds nice. It okay if I invite my roommates, too? Only Connor was the one who got the rescue party together and flew them out there, and all…"

Bruce shrugs, "Eh. He doesn't sound familiar to me. So I probably haven't fought with him in the past. Bring whoever you want. Except maybe like…Tony Stark. That might be a bad idea…" A pause. "Not that I think he would come. Just using him as an example." Another pause. "But yeah, bring whoever. That's fine. Just slip me a note to let me know when you want to do it."

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