(2016-09-14) Avengers Assembling
Avengers Assembling
Summary: Steve Rogers calls a sub rosa meeting involving Hawkeye, Iron Spider-Woman and Mantis
Date: 2016-09-14
Related: None
NPCs: None
Scene Runner: NA
Social/Plot: Social

Location: Foyer of the Avengers Mansion in New York City.

It was mid-day. The sun hung high in the sky over the recently rebuilt Avengers tower. It was a relatively time in this part of the city… many people out and about on their lunch breaks, going to Doctor's appointments, picking children up from school early, etc.

No one outside the room knew Steve was here, aside from those he had secretly called to arrange a meeting. Even they most likely would not know why Steve called, and would also not know that anyone else would be in attendance aside from him.

Even the Director of Shield didn't know, and that was no small feat to manage, even for Captain America.

Captain America was garbed in his usual mission attire, shield fastened securely to his back, and his helmet/mask pulled back to expose his face in its entirety. He stands there at the head of the conference table, arms folded and brow creased in thought. The room, normally designed for media interviews and "public" conferences, had been stripped completely of any recording equipment, giving it an even more bared look than it had originally.

When it comes to being odd about how she arrives places, Mantis may take the cake. On this fine day, she simply walks through the door.

Her antennae are securely tipped back underneath a broad, patterned headband, and anyone taking umbrage to the young woman having jade green skin can leave their complaints at the door. She tips her head in greeting to Steve, or Captain in this sense, repressing the desire to stop and bow properly from the waist. That momentary hitch to her step is telling, even as her smile forms at quiet amusement.

"One can never fail to pay you your due. I mean this well. Good day to you." The barest traces of an accent ply her warm voice, suggestive of Southeast Asia even as much as her appearance vaguely points in the same direction. Her current attire is a far cry from strange, an oversized coat and a pencil skirt, all that would indicate coming straight from something akin to work. Whatever job she might have apparently necessitates bundling up against the New York cold of summer.

Enter Mantis, that galactic adventuring Avenger.

"Is this meeting to be what we all hope it is? This one would have brought cookies to celebrate." Smiling the wider, she retreats back to find herself a seat off to Steve's right. There she perches herself gracefully, feet tucked under her.

MJ, having gotten the ASSEMBLE call on her Avengers ID, dropped her plans to go work out like normal this morning and donned her uniform. She did some minor patrolling on the way to the mansion and returned an old woman's purse to her from a purse snatcher who she left hanging from a street lamp under his former mentor's care until the police could arrive to address the woman's citizen's arrest.

Arriving at the mansion she enters though a roof access point and proceeds to the conference room, lowering the cowl of her uniform as she walks through the halls.

"Good morning," she says cheerily as she steps into the room then stops and smiles before adding, "Hello, Captain," to Steve upon seeing him there. She also nods to Mantis. "Hi there," she says to the green skinned woman.

Clint left the car behind; the signature 1970 cherry red Challenger that was, well, broken down anyway. (It doesn't really have a fighting chance in Bed-Stuy anyway!) It's the subway all the way, and by the time the unshaven blond archer arrives, he's got a sheen of sweat. When hot meets air conditioning, Clint pauses just inside to take a breath of the cooler air before he makes his way to the elevator..

And into the meeting room.


"Yeah.." How's that for a greeting? "Heya, Cap.. MJ.. hey. Good to see you again. "Mantis."

Steve looks up as Mantis walks in, a boyish smile spreading over his facial features as he notices that momentary hitch in her step. He responds by bowing himself. Not as full and definitely not as elegant as she is likely to have done, but the gesture is all the same cordial and respectful towards her. "Mantis. I am glad you could make it, welcome. And, I haven't the faintest idea what you are talking about…" His smile betrays that little white lie, watching her as she sits down.

He looks back up just as MJ walks in. That smile never fades, despite not having met her, or not knowing her that well. "Miss Watson. Thanks for coming. I trust you didn't have too difficult of a time getting here?" He makes a gesture towards the seat opposite of Mantis. "Please, have a seat. Just waiting on…" His words are cut off then by a grunt.

"Barton." He pauses, lifting his wrist to look at an imaginary watch. "You're late. What… you think because you're retired that you don't have to be punctual?" He offers Hawkeye a playful grin before approaching and extending a hand to him, clasping him on the wrist. "I'm glad you're here. This wouldn't be the same without you."

He turns away then, returning to the head of the table. "I'm not going to beat around the bush here and insult your intelligence." It's clear he is speaking to everyone at this point. "This… is exactly what it looks like." He pauses. "I want to reform the Avengers."

MJ nods to Clint and then smiles broadly at Steve as she says, "Its about time." She approaches the table and takes a seat near the head of the table but with space enough for Barton and Mantis to take the seats on either side of Steve if those are the places they choose.

Kermit had a nice song about being green, and some days it pays. People willing to sit next to you on the subway are few, those happy to allow you room to walk on the sidewalk are many. Here, at least, Mantis can be among relatively friendly company. She waves with a light turn of her wrist to MJ, recognizing her as well as Clint when he enters the room. Her perch rocks as she draws her knees higher, and adopts an alert posture that would never, in a thousand years, be one she uses in her psychology practice.

The flick of her antennae against her hair is subtle, but there, capturing the subtle broadcasts. They are barely visible, thin filaments that save the psychic from having to dip too deeply into anyone's thoughts. Their general noise filters out naturally enough.

"Yes, you are," she agrees with a mild grin, tucking her elbows against the table and propping her chin upon the bridge of her fingers. Steve might have something going with a little white lie; she gives him that much. But then her amused nose wrinkle goes and spoils it all. "I'm in. But they knew that as soon as I came back to Earth, Miss Watson and that excitable fellow in the too bright pants." That would not be Clint, whom she singles out with a friendly nod. "Hello." See? Terse. Terse can happen.

Clint pauses to extend his hand and clenches the other man's hand in quick greeting, "Yeah.. trains were running late. You know.. it's actually a nice day. I think it's New York's attempt to make us all walk cross-town." Once the greeting is done, he turns to look around at the seats available and considers out loud, "Damn.. where am I going to sit?" He settles quickly, however, and flops into the seat gracelessly.

Brows rise at the announcement, and Clint sits up before he leans forward. "I heard the same thing from Simon. But, it's a different guy than the one that decided that he was going to take out his former teammates because he didn't like following orders. So.. exactly how is this gonna work? Not that I'm going to come running back into uniform, mind."

Steve grins sideways at Mantis for a moment. "Well, if I did beat around the bush, there would be good reason to." He pauses, turning to address the other two as well. "It's obvious that the Avengers are… not a popular topic nowadays. I didn't want it to reach the media that we are officially reforming. At least not yet… that's why I took the cloak and dagger approach." He pauses, looking to Clint with a nod and a crease of his brow. "I've… looked at his file. I don't pretend to understand how he is…. and simultaneously isn't…. the Wonder Man that me and you know, Clint." He pauses. "But that doesn't matter. His head… and his heart… seem to be in the right place. And that's all that matters to me." He pauses again, taking a step back, turning away from the table again. "In fact, that's why I've selected him. And the rest of you, specifically." He pauses. "You possess traits that would make this team great. Traits this team needs, specifically." He folds his arms again. "The world needs the Avengers. But they also need to know that they need us." He turns back around. "We need to show them that, despite recent events, we can unite when it matters most. That we can come together and protect the Earth… as its mightiest heroes… when it matters most." He puts both hands on the table.

"Cloak and dagger. You?" Affecting something of a swoon, Mantis sways in her seat without having the least likelihood of falling over. She is far too well perched for an easy dislodging, and possessing a solid sense of telekinesis helps for those rare moments when being caught offguard amounts to a spill on the ground. "The business of dimensions and selves colliding is strange. Colliding, overlapping? I have yet to truly assess it in depth, but without the right equipment, it is only a mental exercise. Enough to say we work with we have to strengthen and build a team, yes? This one fears sometimes the world lost something of its hope, and we are positioned to rise to the occasion."

Any questions who team cheerleader might be, if Wasp's not around?

MJ nods. This is one of the things she was trained for… not recovering a bad public image but the maintaining of one. These facts may not be in her file, the psych exam done by SHIELD defiantly has that information but its actual filing was delayed last she knew. "That's good, Steve," she says. "SHIELD knows we… well, Simon and I at least… are trying to rebuild, just so you are aware. But I agree that something needs to be done about the image the team has currently." She diplomatically avoids saying 'in this world' since that could be seen as laying the blame on the native team members… in other words everyone else in the room with her… instead she asks, "What do you suggest we do specifically?" choosing not to address the extra-dimensional elephant in the room at this time.

"'Despite recent events'," Clint quotes. "Which one was that? When Wanda decided she was going to explode everything around her, or when Vision decided taking a header into the Mansion with a Quin was a good idea?" He shakes his head, "Cap, with all due respect, this is a PR fiasco that even Stark couldn't pull himself out of. I mean, sure.. we could start with kissing babies on the street corner, but I hate kids."

He chuffs a breath and he looks around the room, his attention landing on MJ, and it lingers before he looks to Mantis and back to the Captain once more. "If we go out there… if -you- go out there with any show of force, you're gonna be met by unhappy people on all sides. No matter what you do, it's gonna be hard to win. Roll a car in a pitched battle, forget you just saved everyone in a building. You rolled that damned car." Clint is more than a little jaded, maybe? "Buddy, you went through it like I did. You tell me now that it can actually happen. Simon wasn't here." He's said it. "They don't know about half of what we went through." Hello, Raft anyone? "You can look at me and say that you can give the team a better rep."

"Despite how it sounds…" Rogers cuts in at this point, pulling a chair to the front of the table and sitting on it, leaning back in his seat with his arms folded casually across his chest. "I only care about the public image in the sense that people need to know that the Avengers are here to protect them." He pauses, looking about the room to each of them as he speaks. "You're all right. This won't be easy. There's more people out there that are against the idea than there are who are for it. Heck, I don't even know of many that ARE for it, for that matter." He pauses, crossing his legs. "But aside from that, I don't care about public relations. I care about protecting people. I care about saving lives…" He pauses, looking to address Clint now. "How do we overcome this? We just do what the Avengers have always done. The right thing. Protect Earth…." He pauses. "Or avenge it, some might suggest, but as long as we are together, I know without a shadow of a doubt that it will never come to that." He pauses. "If we don't get a better reputation just by doing that, and showing that we are fully united? Then we will just do it anyway, despite our image. I think if we've learned anything, Clint, is that being a hero is not always glorious. There are sacrifices. If the people choose to look at us poorly, then that's their right. I'd rather protect someone who hates me, than stand by and do nothing while they suffer."

Don't blame Mantis; she was on the far side of the Milky Way giving Thanos headaches. Great fun, upsetting the mad elder, highly recommended. 4.5 stars on TripAdvisor Galactic.

The young woman taps her toes together and gently tips her head in Clint's direction. "I have no desire to make any show of unnecessary force. Someone threatens me, yes, I will respond. But not idly digging up skeletons for no purpose. This one sees no value in that, much less in pleasing the public." Her expression softens slightly, and whatever emotions Clint might have, she's being thrown around like a buoy on a choppy sea right about now. "Damage is not out to win hearts or minds. We have a different footing now than we did back then."

"We do have one potential advantage," MJ says, "The public doesn't know me." She pauses a moment and says, "Sure, the Spider-Man of this world wore a similar suit to mine for a while, but I think it would be hard to mistake my curves for his form…" Finally getting to her point she asks, "Should we go public with the multiverse issue and have me identify myself as an Avenger from another world… not as MJ but as Iron Spider Woman?"

Clint exhales in a sigh and looks away from the Captain, his once good friend and teammate. There's been a lot since the Avengers broke apart, and he's getting used to the time off in his apartment, just clearing the riff-raff from his street, his neighborhood with Katie. Not always successful, mind. "The moment any of us that is recognizable shows up…" he begins before he waves a hand, "Never mind."

A glance is given to MJ, and brows rise. Clint offers a lopsided smile, however brief, and adds, "Yeah.. people would have to be blind. You're a whole lot cuter in a suit than Parker is."

Steve sits up again, leaning towards the table and situating his weight on one arm. "It's understandable that people wouldn't like the idea. But what is the alternative? I don't see one." He pauses. "Sure, there are a lot of heroes out there who do what they can. But no one person can do it alone. No matter how strong, or how powerful they are." He shifts his weight again. "We can take steps to make sure that out exposure to the public is minimal. But our priority HAS to be to protect the people. Even if that means the people hate us for it…" He looks at MJ.

"I like the idea, but, I am concerned of the potential ramifications. Then again, if the people already don't like us…" He pauses. "… I don't see how we could make it worse. However I don't think you should tackle the problem of our image by yourself." He pauses. "I can get Director Hill onboard. She will know how to tackle that problem."

The idea of Peter Parker in a suit rather than MJ in a suit requires about three seconds of consideration. Then Mantis chuckles softly, and her breezy wave of a hand dismisses any further trouble on that front. Her movements are controlled for all their ease, immaculate awareness present. "No one can do it, I think we may all agree to that. Our strength is our purpose together. An answer that comes as one action, one voice." Her gaze moves among them, gauging reactions. "What makes us different from other teams and organizations out there? Right there, a priority to help others. To protect them, even when the dangers are great."

Because you can't just plant a tree to fix every problem. If only.

For his comment, MJ gives Clint smile that borders on being a smirk and then winks at him. "It's just… I'm pretty sure that the public doesn't know about the fact that some of us… myself for example, aren't of this world. Do we think that this should go public?"

Clint nods at Steve for the moment, at least acknowledging the man that he heard him. (Yes, Kate.. he has his hearing aids in, courtesy of Stark.) The strengths mentioned by Mantis, too, are noted. Strength in numbers, but particularly when working together. That's the problem.

It's that last question by MJ, however, that gains Clint's attention the most, and he shakes his head. "No.. I don't think it should go public. You figure that suddenly there's a bunch of pod people in high places and there will be mass hysteria. I mean, seriously… what if the President wasn't from around here? Or Stark? People with their fingers on the pulse of some really big ticket items. Right now, it's still in World News sort of thing.. you know, the 'My husband is an alien' thing." Yes, the world does know about aliens.. "But if there is some announcement that people who have access to the nuclear codes aren't who they think they are?" Clint shakes his head and he looks back at Cap. "Who knows what would happen."

[Editor's Note: I normally leave out disconnections, but since this was Steve Rogers' scene his disconnect at 14:01:14 Eastern Time is important for why the scene fade occurred abruptly.]

"Telling the world 'hello, we are not the people you thought we knew,' impacts more than ourselves. It takes away the choice from others who may be in the same situation. It puts a possible threat of a pogrom upon them, and do we really want to build trust by using that as a foundation? We would be dismissed out of hand by many. Those who take us seriously will be second guessing every decision." Mantis gestures at Clint. "He puts the best point on it. It's a trust destroying exercise, not a foundation to build on. It is hard enough for many nice people living in the small towns of this country, and many countries, to accept mutants, aliens, and other things walk among them. It's not going to do wonders for their confidence if we convince them not every hero is the same person they knew."

FADE (with possible continuation later)

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