Spacer Order & Chaos 90
  | Asymmetry | Role-Playing | What If | Order & Chaos |



A meeting for lunch.



    Janet can see from small trip Adrian experiences following the waiter over to their table that the older man either isn't wearing his cybernetic suit or doesn't have it turned on. His brown suit fits well enough but is several years out of style, and it's obvious that he's fighting to counter years of stooped shoulders when he walks. If she didn't know better she would never assume that this man and Union were one and the same.
    "Miss van Dyne. Thanks for agreeing to meet me on such short notice." He says as he joins her at the table.
    As usual Janet is dressed exquisitely, everything matches everything else. Janet smiles politely, as Adrian takes his seat. "Uncle, please call me Janet. After all, I've seen you in your underwear, that almost makes us family." The smile turns into an impish grin. It would appear she isn't going to let Adrian forget. "This meeting was no problem. After the weekend, going back to the office seemed dull. I had my secretary try and arrange something for tonight, It should work out fine. Besides, I know I can at least arrange that we aren't overheard."
    "You're never going to let that drop, are you?" Adrian asks, immediately feeling more comfortable about the meeting now that Janet had broken the tension.
    "First and foremost I wanted to thank you again for your help over the weekend. I know you might have been having doubts—at this moment I think all of us are, especially those of us who remained in the City—but you were instrumental in dealing with the problems we faced. Do you plan on actively continuing with this..." Adrian considers the word 'fraternity' and discards it in deference to Janet's gender, "Organization?"
    "I should be thanking you." She gestures at the small set of stitches on her face. The makeup and scarf do a fair job of hiding them, but that are still visible if you know where to look. "But you answer your questions, yes, I do, if they'll have me." She pauses for a moment, "Although it is going to take some considerable thought. As you found out, it is all too easy for someone to find out more about you than you may want. I assume you had a chance to check out today's paper. I'm pretty used to seeing my name, and really don't pay it much attention. But the other... I feel it may be more difficult, if not impossible to keep them separate. That's one of the downfalls of having a widely known face. But yes, I do hope to continue." Her eyes light up a little. "Besides, its groovy."
    Adrian bows his head gratefully for a moment, "Thank heaven for that. I honestly don't know if we could have continued without you. We need all the good press we can get, and some of the people we have available are worrisome. That motorcycle fellow, for example. Then there's Samuel's growing problems. I hope we can cure those, because he's a good man at heart, but... Well, having a stable, enthusiastic altruist like yourself on board will be a real boon."
    She smile politely at the compliment, although it is obvious she doesn't really think of herself that way. "I will do what I can to help. This weekend made it even more clear that being different is going to be complicated. People may not like having flying costumes gallivanting across their skies. Don't take this wrong, but in a way you have easy. When you turn the suit off, you are Adrian again. Like Samuel, some of us can't 'turn it off'. I have a feeling that as this endeavor develops, we are in for a long rough road."
    "I hadn't considered that—I was too concerned about how helpless I was when I was deprived of my specialized equipment. At some point You'll have to tell me how you ended up with your gifts." Adrian is playing with his fork while talking, his mind obviously working around a problem, "We should start tracking and analyzing these things. Delta V is apparently a biochemist—he's no doubt fascinated with the variance in abilities demonstrated just in the last week, as much as I am by the technology I saw being used Friday night. I can't help but feel that we're on the verge of a whole new world."
    "Anyway..." Adrian slides what looks like a high-tech fountain pen across the table to Janet, "This is for you. I made a batch of them last night. It's a signal flare guaranteed to attract the attention of our teammates within the New York City area. Hold the 'cap', aim the body up to the sky and depress the 'pen clip' in the right code and we'll certainly know something's wrong and where you fired it from. The code is one short, one long, three short, one long. That's enough complexity to keep it from going off accidentally, and should be easy enough to remember—it's Morse Code for 'AV'"
    "My, you were busy last night. I just took a long hot shower and went to sleep." Janet slips the pen into her purse, being quite careful with it. "I don't want to step on any toes," She glances around, check that no one is watching. She picks up her fork, the tines do a subtle little dance, tying themselves into a knot, before returning to their correct shape. "But if you are going to be building such handy things, I can probably make it a little easier."
    The meal has been going on around the conversation, and as the coffee is brought out, Adrian looks like he's struggling with himself to bring up another topic. Finally he bites the bullet "As I told you I wanted to meet you for both, umm, organizational and non-organization reasons."
    "I know that you're a successful businesswoman, and that you handle your family's investments. I was wondering if I might be able to convince you to fund a potential business venture. This isn't part of...of. It would just be between us."
    "The devices I've built have a remarkable effect on a human's neuro-physiology. Even at their most basic they speed up reflexes and aid coordination. While I know that my final models aren't safe on the mass market, there were several 'dead ends' to the final device that ARE potentially safe in the hands of the general public. There are a lot of neurological problems that my devices might be able to combat by ordering and strengthening the nerve impulses. I want to develop and market these uses in the future, but right now I don't have any funding or equipment or, well, anything. But there's a need, and a good use for them, and they aren't that expensive once you know the procedure."
    "I don't want you to answer this today, but any experience you have in setting up and running businesses...well, I need help." Adrian's tone become more bitter, "The last major business I had I lost because I had to trust someone else to handle the business end. That won't happen again."
    "I can understand that, My father has done considerable research, and was always in danger of having it taken. Too often brilliant men don't pay attention to the minor details, they are so busy with their 'vision', that forget to keep an eye on the details." She seems to be including Adrian in that description. "I remember being in the lab with my father, and him not only forgetting that I was there, but forgetting lunch more than once as well." She doesn't appear bitter about events, she even seems to reminisce fondly. "I will think about your idea, and I agree, we don't want everybody to be able to fly, and turn over cars, but giving polio victims a chance to walk, that is something worth pursuing, especially if we can make it accessible to everyone that needs it."
    Adrian nods enthusiastically, "Yes, that's exactly what I mean. There are a lot of people that can be helped if we can just get the technology to them. In the end that might be more important than any of its other applications."

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