2017-04-16 A Meeting of the Minds
This scene is rated Everybody
Warning: N/A
2017-04-16
Players: Captain America, Phantasm, Robin
GMed by .
Title: A Meeting of the Minds

A large circular landing platform takes up the entirity of the nothern side of the tower's roof. The landing platform is dotted with silently flashing strobe lights that move in two lines down the center of the concrete slab that is the landing platform. The platform is raised up off of the gravel-covered roof and it leads into a hangar large enough to house two 'Quinjet' planes.
The hangar itself contains all the necessary technology to maintain whatever equipment is stored here, specifically the Quinjet assigned to Stark Tower for use by the Avengers. There is also a small set of offices and a conference room in the hangar where people can meet in a more quiet-locale off of the hagnar, with a glass wall that looks out into said hangar.
The hangar complex rests to the south of the roof off of the landing platform and the elevator to access the roof is within a small hallway within the complex. Surrounding the hangar is various random building utilities such as giant air-conditioning units and locked-off maintenance hatches.
The roof is surrounded by a metal railing that is large and extends out beyond the roof's floor with a metal fencing so if anyone tried to get out there they'd be protected from falling… at least until they decided to go beyond the fence.

As the evening hours set in and the man made lights take over in the job of showing the citizens of New York City the way to their respective locations, the lights on the Stark Tower roof are also showing the way for any quinjets that should need to land there tonight. Not really needing the usage of the landing lights, Mike Hannigan is hanging out on the roof of the building, near one of the fences as he looks quietly down at the scene below. He's not wearing any flashy spandex or leather but instead appears to be in simple street clothes.

In contrast, Steve is in costume, although the cowl is thrown back over his shoulders. The shield is secured, as it often is, to his back. He steps out onto the roof, wandering over towards Mike. "Hello, Phantasm."

Even in this city, there are things that flutter in the night… no, literally, something is actually fluttering on this roof, having just started to become audible as a gust of wind sweeps over the tower. Quick inspection will reveal the source of this sound to be an intruder, sitting on the fence on the other side of the roof, watching the two heroes, his cape streaming behind him as the wind catches it. The perch is perhaps a bit precarious, especially since the caped and cowled figure seems to be a young boy. Red outfit, green domino mask, lime green boots… that description has certainly been going around in the city lately. "Don't tell me I need to buy tickets for this roof?"

"Hey Cap." Mike replies, seemingly focused upon one direction of the city in particular, "I'm j-" The musician pauses, breaking his gaze to turn around to the source of the sound that is marring the music of the new york skyscape. Upon seeing the figure, the overworked hero tilts his head. "Huh. I was wondering when and where you'd show up."

"No. Join us." Steve tugs the cowl up, not so much to hide his identity as to be more official when meeting what is obviously another hero. Just an extremely…young…one. Still the boy clearly has the agility part down.

"Don't mind if I do." Lithely, Robin drops from the top of the fence to the roof itself. And just as Steve pulls his cowl up, the boy pulls his own cowl down, revealing jet black hair. As far as identifying features go, he seems to exist mostly as outfit, with the actual human being (most likely) wearing it practically fading into the background where he stands. "I'm hard to shake, especially when you still have something of mine."

Mike doesn't shift his form but remains as he is. Hair a little less wild, the ponytail appears more kempt and less of a last minute afterthought. The street clothing is of a lesser quality than what was worn to the taxi with the other musicians. As for identifying features, take your pick. The guy is a known celebrity. "Still took you longer than I thought it would." Mike replies, giving a bit of an impish smile as he turns, walking alongside the fence he's at towards a bookbag that was resting just a few feet away. "But things were probably busy. Hell, We didn't even exchange the usual pleasantries after the stuff at the studio."

"You know the kid?" Steve asks of Mike, although he's mostly studying Robin. Watching how the kid moves, how he reacts. Assessing competence, perhaps.

"Been busy". Robin clarifies, not mentioning his late night rooftop battle with a ninja clan and its unusually competent leader. Even as the boy approaches, it's hard to tell where his eyes have turned, or what he's observing at any given time. Certainly doesn't move like a soldier, more like someone who deals with violence on a very up close and personal level and isn't too shy about handing out second helpings. "I helped him a few days ago. Looked like he needed it too. And as for why I didn't stick around for tea and scones, you called for SHIELD. The last SHIELD operative I met was a bit too trigger happy for my tastes."

"I would have been fine." Mike assures before giving an explanation, "He showed up when several demonInfest were attempting an ambush over at Golem Studios. Helped speed up matters. Exchanged weapons. Not names though." Pulling out Robin's baton, he stands up, to turn towards the boy wonder, "Still, I appreciate the assist."

"It was interesting exercise. And no, we didn't." Does that mean Robin is about to exchange names? Hmmmm…. nope. Doesn't seem like it. Still standing there, as enigmatic as can be when you're chest height to everyone else. "You knew they were coming." It's not a question, but a statement of fact.

"That I did." Mike confirms, not giving much more than that, "They weren't hard to notice. Hanging out in alleyways quietly with other people doing nothing for hours on end is not a normal thing to do."

"Must be disappointing, if that's the level of competence for criminals in this city. Your police must have it easy, explains why they're so inept." Ouch. How long has Robin been hanging around New York? "They wouldn't last five minutes in Gotham. Over there, the people who tried so badly to attack you would have been mugged just for standing around."

"I'll grant you that we do get a lot of stupid criminals." Mike replies, giving a nod, "But these were more stupid demons." He holds out the baton to Robin for the vigilante to take. "The challenge is to not kill the hosts during the exorcism."

Without approaching further, Robin takes the baton and then takes a single step back. In that same motion, he rotates the baton over his hand to telescope it open, taking a moment to inspect the condition of the metal before collapsing the weapon and putting it away. "There's various shades of alive. Criminals learn not to commit crimes if they're terrified of the consequences. I'm a strong believer in negative reinforcement."

Mike glances over to Captain America who is currently fielding a call from someone else. "Interesting." He gives a slight smile before turning back to his backpack.

"You'll see the wisdom of it when someone like the Penguin finally makes it over here and takes over the city." Robin can't help but glance at that backpack, before very ostentatiously starting to look out over the New York skyline. "If he hasn't already."

"What is it with you guys and the bird names?" Mike wonders, "Does he even look like a penguin?"

"Imagine a violent, carnivorous penguin with the face of a potato. You've just imagined the Penguin." Robin remarks, still not looking back. It's a distinct possibility that Gotham criminals are migrating to New York, and he's making it his mission to make sure they'll meet the same warm welcome as they expect in Gotham. "Man-animals are a bit of a trend in Gotham."

Steve finally finishes his phone call, stepping back over from the other side of the roof. "Is this resolved? Sorry…that was not something I could ignore."

"Yeah we got a few of those around here too." Mike replies with a sigh, looking over to the returning Cap. "Oh yeah. Visually-impaired boy got his baton back. He overshared a bit on his approach to crime fighting a little, did the 'my town is better than your town' bit and told us that we'll have to be on the lookout for carniverous potato faced penguins."

"Laugh it up. One day you'll be looking into the eyes of the Joker and I can guarantee you won't be laughing then. You'll probably be looking around, hoping to see me or Batman, aware finally of the true evil that lurks within the shadowy recesses of the human mind." Robin turns smartly on his heel to look back at the rest of the roof, actually smiling. "Or not, if I catch him before he tries to kill us again."

"I've heard rumors about the Joker. He makes typical psychopaths look like paragons of sanity," Steve notes. "And I don't think he's visually impaired, Phantasm." Just fashion impaired.

"Was I laughing when I recapped all that?" Mike asks, looking from Captain America to Robin, "That was a SINCERE recap of the discussion. And since no title was given, well. I improvised from the visual cues." He gestures over to Robin, "So then, what do you prefer to be called?"

"One more bird for your name collection. I'm Robin." There, it's out in the open now. In at least two nearby cities that name inspires hope in some, and abject terror in many others. "Since Gotham criminals don't stick to city limits anymore, neither do I. You're welcome."

"So…if the Joker shows up, any tips for dealing with him?" Steve inquires. The kid had better not say 'Call me.' Steve probably won't have time for that.

A blank look. Yeah name does not ring a bell. Different world after all. Mike's been busy with other stuff. "Ok, so on psychopathic level, are we discussing Jeffrey Dahmer level or higher?"

Ah, what to do when confronting the Joker? Mostly there's a list of things /not/ to do, and every item on that list was the subject of a painful lesson. But of course Robin can't just tell people to get in touch with Batman… even if that would be much safer for all concerned. "Expect the unexpected." He starts, holding up a hand to show there's more in case someone wants to interrupt now. "He is known for his tricks, and a master of misdirection. At the very least you should assume he has some sort of concealed weapon, and more than likely a noxious gas or nerve toxin ready to deploy at a moment's notice. Avoid cornering him by yourself and try to catch him unaware. If you must engage in a direct confrontation, assume he has at least three or four henchmen in reserve you haven't seen yet. Be wary of traps, pitfalls and other surprises especially if they would be ironic. And, above all, and this important…" Robin looks at Steve, with eyes that are suddenly that of a professional killer "… take him out with extreme prejudice. Don't give him a fair chance, don't listen to him if he wants to talk or negotiate. He will not surrender. He will not see reason. And he will go after your family and loved ones. Never, under any circumstances, give him any clue whatsoever as to your real identity."

"Unfortunately, my real identity is quite easy to find. Fortunately," Steve continues. "My loved ones are all SHIELD agents." And can, thus, handle themselves. "So…gas protection is a good idea."

"I'm not exactly going to be doing well with keeping the identity thing safe either." Mike admits, frowning as he glances in the direction of the Baxter Building. "We should probably give Reed Richards a heads up. At least half the Baxter building is residential."

First of all, Robin nods to Steve. "Gas and other nerve toxins. Skin contact is one of his favorite tricks, it's funny to poison you, it's even funnier to let you poison yourself." Yes, they're talking that level of insanity here. But then, of course, there is a slow blink. "I'm sorry, you're trying to tell me that you are a major hero of this city, or possibly this nation, but you did not try to keep your identity a secret? Are criminals in this reality so inept that you have become so complacent? Or are you the kind of hero who thinks themselves invincible? In that case, let me invite you to join me on a patrol in Gotham at some point, that will wean you off such delusions."

A bit of a sigh from Steve. "Everyone I care about is at least as capable of dealing with bad guys as I am." Without going into his background, who he is…the kid may or may not have looked him up.

Mike pinches the bridge of his nose before giving a sigh as well. "Just because efforts are made to keep identities secret does not mean that we are vain enough to assume that every precaution made is 100% infallable."

"Then your efforts are insufficient." It's odd how Robin doesn't seem to raise his voice or even level an accusation. He's just calmly stating facts, like a lecturer with a particularly slow student. "Because you may believe everyone you know is capable of handling these evils, can you say the same for everyone they love? Do you think your allies will be able to think straight when Nygma has one of their friends captive? Are you certain that everyone they hold dear can stand up to the twisted mind of the Scarecrow? Pray, pray hard to whatever gods you hold dear that you never have to test that theory. My invitation stands. Quite frankly, from what I've seen so far, you two could use the practice."

Thoughtful, "You assume, Robin, that everyone has the same ability to live a normal life." Kid's arrogant - but given his age, that's only to be expected. He glances at Mike. Yeah. Vanity, definitely this kid's problem.

Mike shakes his head, biting back a sneer as Captain America gives a gentle reminder to Robin that will likely be tossed away. It is hard to keep your secret identity secret when someone outed you to a terrorist organization long before there was need for one. "How about instead of going out of your way to poo-poo anyone who isn't you, you actually continue to provide useful information like who the fuck are these people you keep name dropping?"

Hmm. Robin looks from Steve to Mike and makes his own mental notes about the two. One, clearly, is someone used to dealing with high pressure situations, and has the ability to remain calm and composed. The other is Mike. So it's Steve he addresses, blanking Mike as if he's not even there. "We lose the right to a normal life when we put on the cowl. That's a price we all pay, willingly, but the world has changed over the last few months. I'm sure you've noticed. What we agreed to before might not be what we will face now. Gotham especially has a history of psychotic criminals, who are each both brilliant and dangerous in equal measure. Masters of terror like the Scarecrow, masters of criminal enterprise like the Penguin, masters of chaos and deception like the Joker. Then you have the ones who take pleasure in toying with their victim's families, like the Riddler. Ones that are harder to quantify and just as dangerous for it, like Two-Face. And that's not counting the victims of these psychopaths who each, themselves, have turned to crime, like Harley Quinn, Catwoman and Poison Ivy. If you think I'm here simply to lecture you on the dangers of standing up to these criminals…" and now Robin /does/ turn to face Mike "Then you are mistaken. I want to warn you. But in the past, most people have either dismissed what I had to say or considered it exaggeration at best and fabrication at worst. But my loved ones have suffered at the hands of these criminals, and I have made it my mission in life to stop that from happening again. So rather than show me your tempter, show me your calm. It will serve you better." Vain? Possibly. Condescending? You bet. Dangerous? No doubt about it.

"Or simply not taken you seriously because they refuse to see competence from a child," Steve says. And, yes, he's completely calm. "But you're mistaken if you think I haven't dealt with psychopaths…perhaps not of the same type, but of the same degree…before." Steve's more interested in MO's than scare talk.

Mike's lips tighten as he takes a deep breath, "Warning recieved. And yet in this entire exchange, you did not give clarifying notes on anyone beyond Joker. So you basically went 'look out for these ambigous names without any actual details on what can identify them to you' That. Is not helpful."

Turning for a moment, Robin climbs the short distance to the top of the fence around the roof and perches himself there again. Does that signify something? Maybe. Possibly he just wanted to do it. You know how kids get… "Gotham PD has files on each one, and an institute called Arkham has detailed files on the psychology of every criminal I just mentioned. These men and women have been studied for years, decades in some cases, so excuse me if I don't launch into a full description of each of them straight away." He looks pointedly at Mike. "But your point is fair and it would be irresponsible of me to withhold what I do know from you. If you're willing to listen, I'm willing to talk. But this may take quite some time."

Steve nods. "I could probably requisition copies of those files." Steve's relaxed, no sign of anger at the kid or anyone else. "But impressions from somebody in the field are valuable too."

Mike nods to Steve, starting to give a slight smile as they finally get to the meat of the discussion. "Fire away, Robin."

"Let me start at the top of my list. The Joker. Real name unknown, and believe me, we've tried to find out." Robin begins, as if he'd actually prepared this lecture before even starting the climb up to the roof. While he talks, the boy crouches gargoyle-style on the top of the fence, letting his cape catch the wind, possibly for dramatic effect. "It is suspected he was a career criminal before going insane, the most common story he himself tells is that he was betrayed by a previous employer and disfigured through contact with corrosive chemicals. This has left him with a permanent grin, and he makes a point of applying grotesque Pierrot make-up to better resemble his moniker. He is intelligent, and will not hesitate to kill. So far he has never been motivated by greed, so do not expect him to commit acquisitive crime for the sake of monetary gain. He is an inveterate iconoclast, and in everything he does he will seek publicity to shock and terrorize. He is usually accompanied by Harley Quinn, real name
Doctor Quinzel, with whom he has an abusive relationship. His most common methods of attack tend to be symbolic or ironic… think of laughing gas laced with nerve toxins so victims literally laugh themselves to death, or poisoning make-up in the city so that those who use it die with a rictus grin on their face. The only positive thing about this, is that he tends to want to be found. He wants to gloat, and he wants to see you be horrified, and he can't do that in hiding."

The musician's expression darkens at the mention of the type of relationship between Joker and Harley but he doesn't interject so as to get the most out of this runthrough. And so they listen for as long as it takes…

~fin~

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