Logs:You’re setting the trends and calling what’s coming next.

From X-Men: rEvolution
You’re setting the trends and calling what’s coming next.
Dramatis Personae

B, Heather, Natalie, Scramble

2020-03-29


"That would be a funny prank."

Location

<BOM> Common Room - Bom Lodge


The common room's rustic-lodge feel has been somewhat mitigated by the modern amenities inside its sturdy wooden walls. It has comfortable couches, several chairs, a refrigerator (stocked with snacks and drinks!), a pool table, a pinball machine (METALLICA!), an assortment of books, a television -- with several game systems! -- and a splendid view out the windows (when their lacy yellow curtains are drawn open) for the rest of the island. The pale wood floors have been covered in places -- by a pair of soft thick blue rugs, by a large squishy pair of beanbags that stand in front of the stone fireplace. There's also a board up on the wall, half corkboard, half whiteboard, with a variety of community notes (and occasional insults) to other Brotherhood members.

Large doors on the right-hand side lead off to the kitchen and dining room. In the back of the room, the council room's heavy oak door bears solid locks that are almost never actually barred. A short hall adjacent to the council room's door leads to a trio of multi-stalled bathrooms; these might once have been marked with the typical man-woman-handicapped signs, but someone has given them new plaques on the door; a stick figure with horns and a long tail, one with wings. One -- the large single-user toilet -- has instead been given a helmet and a cape.

The windows are open, letting in a pleasant breeze to ruffle the lacy curtains and a twitter of birdsong as well; somewhere more distant, the rhythmic crash of the surf. It would almost be easy to relax, here, almost easy to forget (for a time) the catastrophe rocking the world, if not for --

"-- falsely reported by some very, very nasty people that, gee, that they weren't thrilled. Lies, they were happy, they were thrilled. Florida's been taken care of, Michigan's been taken care of, a lot of good things happening, some very perfect things happening in Massachusetts as well, and now, I have to tell you. Have to tell you -- and I hope he'll be thankful, Cuomo, I hope he'll be appreciative, because some very big things about to happen for New York. Right now, some huge things, we're sending, going to turn that whole situation right around."

On stage, the hapless young researcher from Stark -- not the lead on the project but one of her direct reports; someone somewhere along the way thought that perhaps the small blue shark should not be seen on stage with the President -- who has been dragged into this mess has affixed a pained stiff smile to his face.

Natalie has curled up on a corner of a couch, comfortable in olive-drab cargo pants and a ribbed black tank top, munching her way through a pack of peanut butter patty Girl Scout cookies. Her brows are hiked, her expression less than impressed as she watches the screen.

Sitting beside Natalie and taking up less space than she looks, with one arm draped languidly along the back of the couch, Scramble looks considerably better now than she did when she emerged from the island's quarantine process. She's since made half of the residents slightly crazier and come out herself a lot saner. Her hair has been patiently washed and conditioned and teased out into a soft, round afro, and the fading dark circles around her eyes have been artfully obscured with makeup. She wears long, dangling gold earrings styled to look like strands of (articulated!) DNA, a golden ankh on a black cord around her neck, a bright red short sleeve crop top and black jeans that lace up the sides. She takes a long, slow sip of the beer in her hand. "Cuomo ain't no prize, neither, but not sure how appreciate he'll be asking for respirators and this clown sends fucking Robocop."

Heather's eyes, uncovered by the yellow rimmed, purple tinted ski goggles that currently rest on her forehead, flick between the screen and the screen of her phone. She is wearing a pair of yellow jeans which have had the knees apparently worn out of them, and a tie dyed shirt in cyan, purple, magenta and yellow. Over this, she has on a faded purple zip-up sweater, with the zipper undone, likely broken. She is sat on a chair, frequently shifting to try and get more comfortable, but comfort apparently eludes her. Her face just a little tensed in concentration as she attempts to manage reading captions on the screen and idly playing a game of bejewelled on her screen. It's swiped away, so that her monotone text-to-speech can play from her phone, not all that less expressive than her standard speaking voice, "Breathing is less important than robots. Or less impressive. Are the captions right? It is hard to tell sometimes. I am a little lost."

Off in a corner, B has her laptop on her lap and her attention mostly fixed on it; the intermittent glances she affords the television are somewhat baleful. "Unfortunately, they're mostly right." Even though she's secured a large and squashy armchair for herself, propped up with fluffy pillows and a large glass of lemonade, her stiff posture and slowly fluttering gills doesn't have her looking that much more comfortable than Heather.

"Now," Trump is saying on the screen to the nervous-looking Stark researcher, "I have to tell you, I was glad they sent you. They told me -- they showed me, they said "this is the person who's responsible for these bots" and I -- you know what I'm talking about, right? I said you can't send that, is that even a person? But you, that's much better. Looks much better up here. And be honest, I'm sure you were really doing all the work, right?"

Natalie darts a brief glance over to B's armchair before looking back to the screen. "Right like -- they're accurately transcribing the word vomit that comes out of his face? Yeah. I don't know that you can count on much factual accuracy from these things." Still, she's continuing to watch with an expectant air as the sleek white medical bots are unveiled.

"Ain't no one's breathing as important as his grandstanding," Scramble agrees. She shakes her head slow, makes a soft clicking sound against the inside of her cheek. "That kid up there looking like he 'bout ready to stop breathing, himself."

The young engineer is, indeed, looking wide-eyed and panicked. He starts to reply, but it does not appear the leader of the free world actually intends to let him speak. "It's good, decent Americans like this gentleman that I hired to bring us these, these Sentinels," Trump raises his voice to be be heard over the uncertain applause from the press corps. "C'mon, show a little more enthusiasm here," this is directed at said press, now, frustrated, "you're looking at my newest weapon in the war on the coronavirus here."

Heather's apparent consternation only increases with the reassurance that everything is being correctly transcribed. She also glances back to B upon reading Trump's statements about the one responsible for these bots, and despite being quicker, it's also more obvious for the whipping of her hair. "Finding any facts in these is even more difficult than just following them," she agrees with Natalie. "They are nice looking robots," is admitted as a typed afterthought.

B's gills have been fluttering faster as Trump continues talking. "They're meant to be approachable." She's not looking at the screen anymore, fixing her eyes steadily on her computer. "Well, the medical bots. I don't think the military model will make anyone feel very cuddly. Cops are getting those." Her shoulders have tightened further. "I'm really kind of regretting being good at my job."

"I mean -- the medical bots probably will help people, right?" Natalie's brow furrows, a touch of skepticism in her tone. "Don't get sick, easier to sanitize. But --" Her lips press together. Thin. "Just how good are you? Would you say?"

"Pretty damn sure they'll do better than most human EMTs," Scramble speculates, tipping the neck of her beer bottle at the robots on the screen. "Even if that weren't a terrifyingly low bar, B is fucking amazing at her job." Though here she pauses. Glances sidelong at her girlfriend speculatively. Then back at the screen. "You know, what would be great for everyone's health is if they sanitized the fucking parasite at that podium."

"Are they rolling out the cop robots at the same time?" asks Heather, and she looks to the screen with a twitch of a frown, "Makes sense they want us to see that one. I want it to be my friend." Her attention snaps towards Scramble, and her eyes turn back down towards her phone to write, "I think I could beat him in a fist fight. But social distancing." She taps her cheek thoughtfully while her speech continues, in a mimed thoughtfulness. "Do the robots do sanitization?"

A thin smile curls briefly at B's lips. "I've thought about it." The smile slips away into a more pensive look; her eyes lift to the television, lingering there a while. "Just -- kind of got blindsided by -- they barely gave us any warning for this. Just, oh, this toddler wants these on the streets yesterday, we're going." She lifts a hand, rubbing slowly at the side of her neck. "They have multiple disinfection protocols. If they're docked they basically just -- autoclave themselves but, you know, without the autoclave. But there's -- maybe obvious reasons they don't -- er, shouldn't -- do that on an actual ambulance." A little wistful: "... be nice if they melted his face off, though."

"That's very practical," Natalie admits, "but these adorable nurses are suddenly really terrifying." She considers this a moment. Frowns. Reconsiders: "I guess we have several friends who also could easily melt our faces off. Maybe I shouldn't judge." Her head tips back against the sofa, her gaze rolling over toward B. "... you still got yourself a door into 'em?"

"That's real handy, both for disinfecting and for melting faces." Scramble doesn't seem the least disturbed by the idea. "I bet she could make it happen, if we have some advanced notice next time this fucker wants a photo-op with 'em." She looks to B, as well, a gleam of excitement lighting up her dark brown eyes.

"That would be a funny prank. Self-satisfied beaming over a publicity event, but the beams are too strong." Heather lowers her goggles over her eyes. "He melts." She shifts again in her chair, her legs pulled up into a crossed position on top of it. Eyebrows raise and her now reflective gaze turns towards B as well.

"Got the idea from Pa. The disinfecting," B clarifies, "though he's a very effective face melter, too." Her eyes are still on the bots standing behind the podium with the president. "I do." For a moment her glum tension melts into a semblance of cheer. "If they do their job well, you think he'll bring them back for more showboating?"

Natalie bites off a large piece of her cookies. Scuffs knuckles lightly against her cheek, looking slowly between B and the television. "I don't think he would pass up an opportunity to strut around on television. Honestly, I'm surprised he hasn't ordered a crate of them just to fill up the Rose Garden with his own personal cheering section. Program them to applaud wildly every few seconds."

Scramble guffaws. "That would be hilarious. Best prank I ever heard." She actually does stop to consider for a moment before replying. "Absolutely. Heck, even if they just stood around with their thumbs up they charge ports he might still want to do it. Probably big mad he didn't have time to set up something real grandiose, like his fool military parade but with robots." She drains the rest of her beer. "Fucker gon' ride that showboat til it sinks."

A flash of a smile appears on Heather's face at the notion of all those cute bots applauding. She digs a packaged energy bar- a little squooshed, a little melty- from her sweater pocket and tears it open. She taps out her next words with one hand on the phone so that the other can hold the bar. "When it sinks, think of all the attention from the press. A media sensation. It would be a kindness."