2015-09-04 Too Young To Hero
This scene is rated Everybody
Warning: N/A
Players: Captain America and Samuel
GMed by Who GMed?
Title: Too Young To Hero

[* Stark Tower: AV - Steve's Office *]

On the north wall is a large window with a dark wooden frame, it has dark red curtains that rest against it, usually open to permit outdoor light from the backyard into the office.

The rest of the walls of the office are lined with wooden bookshelves and cabinets that contain a large number of books. There's even a wooden covered fridge that holds a large assortment of liquors and a cabinet beside that with glasses and other 'bar' associated items.

The desk itself is a very classic style, dark oak with a red desk covering atop it that is the same shade as that of the window curtains. The desk is clean and well kept, with a black computer monitor and a small black keyboard atop it on its right side. There are two leather chairs in front of the desk and one large comfortable leather office chair behind it.

Captain America rarely uses the office here, but with the recent attack on the mansion, he's found himself using this office as needed. With the request from JARVIS, the Cap had it responded to have Samuel come down for a visit. His arm is freed from the cast now as he works on unpacking a few boxes that he had mothballed for storage.

How to make a boy nervous and excited at the same time? First, tell him that one of the biggest heroes of this age is moving into the same building, a few floors above his own bedroom. Then add a secret plan hatched with his friends with the tacit approval of those who normally frown on such plans and finally add in an invitation to the actual office for a private talk with said aforementioned hero. Sam couldn't quite believe his luck when JARVIS told him he could come up to the 97th floor, and he spent a few minutes freaking out before calming down and getting everything ready. When he walks through the door, he looks as composed and calm as ever, his robotic leg brace currently lacking the cover he normally shrouds it with when outside. This makes his footsteps have an odd, arrhythmic cadence with a soft step followed by a louder *thud* all the way down the hallway.

"Hi there, good evening Captain…" yeah, his voice isn't as steady as it could be. "… thanks for the invitation."

The Captain pauses in his unpacking, setting down a small figurine as he turns his attention to the young boy that makes his way into his office. He can't help but to be struck by the youthfulness and the politeness offered. "Samuel, was it?" he asks, making sure he has the name right before he comes around the desk to offer his hand to the pre-teen. "A pleasure to meet one of the students that Tony is assisting with. What may I help you with?"

While Sam is rapidly heading towards his thirteenth year, he still has those moments where simple boyish enthusiasm takes over. Just being in the same room as the Captain is making it harder to think, and it takes him about five seconds to realise a hand has been offered. And then, naturally, it takes him another five seconds too long to remember to let go again. "I ehmm… I need to ask you something, Captain. Something pretty serious, actually, and it's sort of pretty secret at the moment too. It's got nothing to do with the Academy, but… a lot with the Avengers, I think."

Cap is pretty patient with Samuel. He's used to younger fans after all. There's bags of fan mail from 1945 he still has yet to go through. When his hand is finally released, the Captain offers a chuckle. "Relax son, we're all friends here." he promises as he moves over to the mini-bar to open the fridge. "Would you like a water or a juice? I don't have any sodas. But I do have some apple and orange juice." He withdraws a bottle of water for himself. "So an idea to help out with the Avengers? You have my interest. What's on your mind, Mister Morgan?" he asks, at least giving the young man respect on his beliefs.

"Apple would be great." Showing his age again, Sam nevertheless seems to calm down when the Captain puts him at his ease. Okay, breathe… nothing difficult about this, just a talk between two metahumans, nothing special at all… "It's more than an idea, it's kind of, well, developing as we speak." Taking another deep breath, the boy plunges on. "Captain America, you know that I'm also known as Tech Star, right? I mean, it's no great secret, but I dunno if you knew. As Tech Star, I've built some stuff that even got Tony's attention, but I was really pretty limited in what I could do at Xavier's because of the rules. Things are different now and… well, Dyson and I have come up with something pretty special."

Withdrawing a bottle of apple juice along with his water, Cap brings the juice over to Samuel before the Captain retakes his seat. Cracking open the bottle of water, he takes a draw off of it to listen to Samuel. "Yes, I am slightly aware. Tony provided us with files on each of you when you were first brought to the Tower." he comments as he listens to Samuel's complaint about the school and slowly nods his head. "Go on." he prompts, making a mental note in case he should need to circle back.

Twisting the cap off the bottle seems to give Sam some problems for a few moments, his fingers encased in pressure gloves indicative of severe burns that are still healing. Undeterred, he continues to work at it while he sits down in one of the leather chairs, feet not touching the ground, the brace automatically locking to stop it from slipping. The bottle pops open, and after taking a swig, Sam begins to get to the crux of the matter. "Dyson was working on an exoskeleton suit that was flexible, using a pretty advanced polymer. Works a lot like human muscles do, but externally, first time I've seen anyone design a flexible exoskeleton. Captain, it was beautiful." As he says this, he retrieves a tablet PC from his pocket and puts it on the desk top, letting it project a holographic image of the suit being described, labeled as the 'External Synth Muscle Suit'. Holographic projectors most certainly are not standard equipment on portable devices these days…

"At the same time, I was still working on an improved armor design for Generation X…" The hologram is joined by a suit of rigid looking plates over padded section, with an obscuring face helmet. "At Xavier's I was joint commander of Generation X, and I was working on the design anyway 'cause my first one was ehmm… well, I had better ideas, let's leave it that that?" The new hologram gets the label 'Gen-X Ballistic/Trauma MkII' "And this is where it gets interesting." At that, Sam pauses for a moment, to see if he's still carrying the audience.

As Samuel shows off his and Dyson's inventions, most of the ideas admittedly go over the Captain's head. He's not tech-savvy as Tony or even most present-day Americans. "Interesting.." he manages as he looks at the holograms, but it's clear he's not getting the reference. He taps his finger on his chin. "I'm assuming that Tony has seen most of these?" he asks.

When Samuel brings up his leadership skills, Steve asks curiously, "Generation X?" he asks, trying to gather more information on what that was about.

"I'm not sure what you're asking for here, son." he admits finally. "If you want a letter of refernce to give to Tony for helping him within Stark Industries, I can put in a good word, but I'm sure he knows more about your merits already than I do."

"Generation X… was kind of the training roster for the other teams at the school. I'm not supposed to talk about those, I'm sorry. I don't go to Xavier's anymore, but there's still stuff I can't talk about." And at that Sam seems pretty apologetic, quickly hiding his flush of embarrassment with another gulp of apple juice. The sweet taste brings him back to the present, and he continues with what must now be called a presentation. The two holograms, without any input whatsoever from the mutant, merge together. "Dyson was using an advanced polymer, I was using carbon nanofibers. It turns out, these two are incredibly compatible. So, we ended up with this…"

'This' turns out to be an amalgamation of the two designs, a strong and sleek looking suit with full face helm that incorporates rigid plates for extra protection. The result looks incredible high-tech, and the statistics next to it are nothing short of impressive to those who know military sciences well enough. A ballistic protection rating above AR-500 and a SP+ trauma and impact rating across the entire suit, with the synth fibers not only offering protection but also increasing the speed and strength of the wearer. The caption above it has changed to 'Ranger-X'. "Captain, when we left Xavier, we did it because we wanted to be able to help people and use our abilities to do it. We can't do that openly in public without getting in trouble, and we need protection to do it. So, that's where the suit comes in. As for what I'm asking for…"

The hologram changes again, and now displays four Ranger-X suits in different sizes. One very tall, two medium sized, and one smaller than the others. In fact, one Dyson sized, one Sam sized, and the other two wouldn't need much guesswork to figure out. "Captain… I want to ask you to admit Ranger-X as a training team for the Avengers."

"This suit is great, and I'm sure it has plenty of applications, Samuel." Captain America starts, a smile on his face as he listens to the young man's proposal and he takes a few active notes on a sheet of paper, because he's old-fashioned like that. However, when Samuel makes his request, the Captain stops in his writing. Taking a moment, he taps his pen against the paper, apparently weighing the thought or something.

"If I may." he asks simply. "Why do you think Xavier's did not allow you into missions?"

"He did, at first." Sam begins, clearly ready for this question. He locks eyes with the Captain, his own steady and calmer than they've seemed since he stepped into the office. He'd taken the plunge, tested the waters, now all that was left was to swim. "I built Tech Star initially because I wanted to be safer on missions, and it worked great. Then the Sentinels appeared, and some thought that things were getting too dangerous for students." Another sip of apple juice, as he leaves the identity of 'some' undeclared. "We were banned from missions, but we were still training whenever we could. And Captain, you know as well as I do that training can only prepare you for so much, you can't prepare for reality."

"So I continued to go out as Tech Star, solo." Now Sam at least blinks again, the intensity of his gaze diminishing fractionally. The brace whirrs for a second as he shifts in his seat. "I learned to defend myself, learned what it's like when things turn chaotic. So when the Sentinels reappeared, I wasn't scared. I didn't panic. I knew what to do to secure the school, along with Generation X, and keep everyone safe. A lot of students panicked because this was nothing like the situations they trained for, but Dyson, Jose, Kian and me… we knew chaos, we knew each other, we stuck together."

At last, it seems, the boy comes to his conclusion. His no doubt very well rehearsed conclusion. "We had an entire team of elite warriors defending the students, Captain, people still ended up dying and panicking. I've been attacked by Hydra, in practically the same way it looks like they attacked the old Stark mansion. Captain, the Avengers moving into the tower is putting us kids at risk. I know, it's still pretty secret at the moment, but… you hafta admits just being here puts us in greater danger, right? So, rather than having us be a liability when something happens, another set of non-coms you need to think about, wouldn't it be better if we knew what to do? If we knew how to help you, help others, and had the equipment and training to do it?"

As Samuel speaks, Captain America turns his attention to the computer on his desk and hunts and pecks at the keys, bringing up some information. As he does so, he considers the boy's words, and then draws in a breath. "History is littered with such stories, Samuel." Captain starts with his explanation. "Calvin Graham was 12 when he lied to a recruiter, forged his mother's consent and joined the Navy and served on the 'South Carolina'. He'd earn a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for his actions at the Guadalcanal. He'd also spend three months in prison after he went UA and turned up at his grandmother's funeral in Texas where his mother revealed the truth on his age."

"Reginal Earnshaw was 14 when he lied to the British Navy and joined on a destroyer as a cabin boy. When he was killed, because there was no information on the name he gave he laid in an unmarked grave for seventy years before his family finally found him."

"Robert Jones was in one of the units I served in during D-Day." Captain America continues. "He was only 14 when he joined. He died in France at the age of 16.. only weeks before his worried family finally figured out where he was and desperatedly tried to have him withdrawn from the front." he explains.

Turning the monitor around, Captain America has brought up a picture of Samuel and his parents, according to his file, a perfectly normal family. "As the leader of the Avengers, were I to accept this proposal, I would be the one that would have to tell your parents if something untoward were to befall you, Mister Morgan. That is not a responsibility I wish to take lightly. I understand that you have had a history of situations and problems and you have tried to rise above them. But Xavier took you and the others out of dangerous situations for a reason. And as someone that has looked combat in the face, both in the eyes of man, machine, and even the unexplained, I am not ready to pin such a thing on a child of twelve years. I have already talked to Tony. The Tomorrow Academy is a seperate organization and he is working on placing it off-tower, as the Avengers will need the space for now. I am also working on moving some of the Avengers around myself." he explains.

"I am not saying that you cannot be and do great things, Mister Morgan. What I am saying is if your scope is only on seeing action, your scope is too small. You need to be using these inventions to help people walk. To help people survive in harsh environments. To travel to the Moon or Mars or even beyond. Not to fight HYDRA. Prove the anti-mutant activist wrong by doing great things, not by stooping to their level. Rise above, Samuel. Don't make me have to tell your parents that you were lost because the thrill of combat overwhelmed common sense."

"I'm not asking to be a child soldier, Captain." Sam begins to protest, talking over Steve's narrative of the many young casualties of war, until the monitor is turned around. In an instant, the boy turns his head away from the picture, refusing to look at it just now. When he talks again, it's the voice of a kid that is having some difficulty not to tear up, although he doesn't seem to be betraying any other signs of distress. "Do you know how I got hurt, Captain? Why I had to… not wanted to, but HAD to, invent a robotic leg brace? Why I'm having difficulty opening juice bottles and holding a pen? Why I'm taking pills that leave me dizzy half the day so I don't end up screaming every time I try to touch something?"

And when Sam looks back into the Captain's eyes, it's clear they are indeed slowly filling with tears. "It's because a bullet from a HYDRA gun damaged something in my Tech Star suit that should never have been damaged. Because they emptied a dozen assault rifles at me, just because I happened to be around. If I'd followed Xavier's advice, if I'd never taken the chance to protect myself, to elevate myself, I'd have been dead in Central Park two months ago. Before that, I'd have been dead three years ago when a Sentinel tried to take my head off. Before that, I'd have been dead six months earlier when a random alien from beyond the galaxy decided hunting me would make great sport. Please don't make it seem like I'd be in great danger if you take a chance on us. We're in greater danger, much greater danger, if you don't."

"So this isn't about doing something right.. as much as it is about gaining vengance on something that was wronged by you." Captain America says quietly, making sure that Samuel understands the very terms he just laid out. "Imagine if every student had done that, Mister Morgan. What would our world be like if eye for an eye were the rule and not the exception."

"There would be no Malala Yousafzai's in the world. A young woman, younger than you actually, shot in the face because she spoke out against the Taliban in her country." Steve explains. "But instead of seeking vengance.. she used her words. She used the acilities that were available to her to help others. She fought and won her war, not with guns or abilities, but with her mind. You, obviously, can do the same thing."

"You're at a crossroads right now. You're angry because of what was done to you. And you can decide if you want to act on that anger and lash out, ignore my words and do what you want anyway. Or, you can listen to me and talk to Tony. Ask how you can help. Ask how you can change the world. Anyone can be a soldier, Mister Morgan. It takes someone special to find a way to change it without violence. Which one will you be?"

"Isn't that what the Avengers do?" Sam asks but seems to know very well that he's not going to get the response he was hoping for, and accepts defeat with as much dignity as he can muster under the circumstances. This includes a few sniffs and a cursory wipe of his eyes to compose himself again, which doesn't do much to help him project the image of someone ready to take on the world. In the end, however, after about two minutes, he smiles again.

"You're right Captain. There's other things I can do. The Ranger-X suit would be a pretty awesome space suit, in fact, with a few small changes. The problem is that I can't do what you say. I can't stand up and speak out, 'cause that would make me a known mutant. And when they try get me to stop, it won't be a terrorist organisation or some kind of militia coming for me. It'll be Sentinels coming for me, sent with the backing of the US government. If anyone finds out what I can make, what I can do… Captain, there's not a thing you can do to protect me. The same with Dyson. Jose would be the ultimate spy. Kian is probably one of the most dangerous potential assassins in the world right now. And once we talk in public, once we speak out, that's it for us. Mutants don't have rights, Captain, so we have to hide."

When Samuel ends on the mini-rant, Captain America frowns. But he moves to pick up a box of tissues and brings them over to Samuel for his face. He leans against the edge of his desk. "You're twelve. You see things in black and white, Samuel. I'm guilty of it myself at times." he admits with a small chuckle. "I don't agree with the idea that mutants don't have rights, but I know the struggles that you are going through. They have happened often in American history. And it will continue until people learn acceptance. In the meantime.. do what you can. Help Tony. He's obviously interested in you. Let him guide you forward - just don't let him give you advice on girls." he winks at that, trying to cheer the pre-teen up. "I have another appointment I need to get to, so I will have to end this meeting here, but please understand. I'm not saying no. I'm saying figure out exactly what it is that you feel like you can make the most difference in. And when you do, let me know. I'll be here to listen." he promises as he pats the young boy on the shoulder. "Thank you for coming by."

The tissues were just what was needed to help Sam look presentable again, and he looks almost as composed as he had when he came in. He knows there's no point in arguing, so he doesn't, simply nodding and offering a smile at the feeble jest. "Thanks Captain. For… for listening. For the talk and… well, for things to think about. If you ever need anything designed or built, I'll be just a few floors down."

Getting down from the chair is a bit more complicated than it needs to be, mostly because the brace needs time to cope with the extra strain. One it does he can straighten out again, stand and walk as normal. "Maybe I'll get in touch with NASA, through a pseudonym or something, tell them about this new space suit I'm designing…" He pauses on the treshold and then gives a wave over his shoulder, clumping out.

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