Tale of Two Bobbys

Summary:
August 11 2014: Bobby Drake meets with Roberto DeCosta and the two end up talking a bit more than just business as usual.

DeCosta Building

The offices of Roberto DeCosta and the mysterious new construction project above it are things of mystery and wonder and a nice bit of luxury too.


Characters

NPCs

  • Serafina

Mood Music:
[* None]


Construction crews are moving materials through the lobby of the Da Costa Building on their way upstairs. Fortunately, they appear to be using one specific elevator, and the main bank is still available. It's just one floor up to where Roberto keeps his office hours, with a trim, efficient receptionist at a glass desk ready to field any inquiries about the company or, when necessary, direct visitors to Roberto himself.

*

It's not often that a company like Invicta Energy goes looking for research grants or (gasp) corporate partners. However every once in a while there comes a project that is too potentially lucrative to pass up but too expensive to fund on their own. When that happens, project managers usually parcel out the responsibility of making proposals to trusted partners (or do it themselves, which is a bit rarer). This one had been dropped into Bobby's lap. The potential prize is a ceramic superconductor with substantially improved conductivity and lowered resistance over conventional materials. The trick, as with most of these things, is that it only displays those properties when made very, very, very cold. Ordinarily this would mean that the work was largely theoretical but Invicta has something that no other research company has.

Bobby Drake.

Thanks in large part to the team he is on (and his ability to make things really, really cold) the material - dubbed ZipZap1 (naming committee had an off day) - had been proven to work under labaratory and limted field conditions. Now what was needed was someone who believed in the project enough to look into ways to make it work in the real world.

And that's what brings Bobby the Chilly to Bobby the Pleasantly Warm on this day.

*

The receptionist listens closely as Bobby explains his pitch, and when he has finished, she nods her comprehension. "Roberto is upstairs at the moment, supervising a construction project," she says, typing on a recessed keypad at a furious pace, "but I've paged him and he should be downstairs momentarily. You said your name was Bobby Drake, with Invicta Energy, eye enn vee eye see tee ay." It's less of a question than a verification.

In less than a minute, Roberto makes good on her promise, bounding off of an arriving elevator with a broad grin. "Bobby!" he says, offering a handshake and a comradely shoulder-pat. "Come on through, come on through."

He leads the way into his office, a wide, minimal affair with a sunny balcony attached. Rather than going around his desk, he plops down in one of the chairs that one would assume would go to a guest. "Good to see you again! I hear your company's looking for investors?" Sounds like the receptionist included more than his contact information in that message.

*

Bobby chuckles and extends his hand to his richer, handsomer, Brazzilian 'twin'. "Bobby!" He grins. "Good to see you too. Yes, actually they are and given that I know you're the responsible business type, yours was the first name that came to mind." It also helped that Berto was likely to know who he was. Always easier to get meetings like that. Always.

"The proposal's all here, but I can talk you through anything you need." A leather presentation binder is offered up, full of scientific and legal text and sundry other business necessities.

*

Roberto accepts the proposal and starts leafing through it, dog-earing notable pages for several seconds before continuing the conversation. "Interesting stuff," he says. "A proper superconductor like this would fill a real need in computing, as I understand. We've got the manufacturing capacity, easily, but…" He runs a finger down one page and frowns. "The level of refrigeration you're talking about is pretty extreme." He flicks the binder shut and makes eye contact with Bobby, an amused smile on his lips. "You're not planning on putting in hours at the factory itself, are you?"

*

Bobby grins sheepishly. "Well, actually that proposal came up. I can make things pretty darn cold when I want to. But in the end it's probably just a tad on the inefficient side for mass production. Plus, I'm not really cut out for life as a refrigerator. It'd require a thermal breakthrough and no mistake however…" The ice nerd leans over. "There's some short term solutions. Heat sump technology used in large scale agriculture has a lot of potential application here, and the break through needed to make that viable for a system like this actually is projected on the close order of the next year or so. Less, I think, if someone sufficiently clever and dedicated takes to the problem."

*

"Flattery will get you everywhere, Cold Bobby," Roberto says with a smirk. "But DCI's research and development capacity is limited, even in my wing of the company. Then again…" The Brazilian trails off into a thoughtful silence, cocking his head to the side and studying his companion. "You're a researcher with expertise in the field. And you're already working in the corporate sphere, putting your powers to use. Have you heard about our little construction project upstairs?" He points at the ceiling, waiting for Drake's answer before launching into his spiel.

*

"Heard it yes," Bobby returns the smirk. The noises of construction were pretty unmistakeable from a few blocks away. "Heard what it's for? Can't say that I have?" Bobby's curiousity is certainly piqued, since this is coming up in realtion to his own work. Oh yes, he's quite curious.

"It looks pretty impressive though. Special corporate project?" Beat, grin. "Solar farm of some kind perhaps?" Yes, he'd heard of Nan's visit to deliver the tree. He found it funny as hell.

*

"Very special project, not entirely corporate," Roberto answers with a broad grin. "Sort of a hybrid of business and… X-business." He hops up from his seat and moves around his own desk, tapping on a tablet there to project a visual on the far wall. It's an array of alternate logo designs … for, of all things, the New Mutants. He sits back against his desk and crosses his arms.

"As you're probably aware, the Xavier Institute has built up a pretty large pool of graduates. And so far, they have mostly gone down one of three paths: some live public lives but hide their mutations; some simply remain at the Institute to teach but do little mingling with the outside world; and some, like the two of us, move on to more typical adult lives, but have to find ways to balance a 'real' job with the ideals we were taught at the school." He smiles. "I aim to change that. Create a new, visible team of X-men, whose identities are public and whose jobs ARE using their powers to benefit people."

*

Bobby was and was not aware of that. The Xavier Institute is a school and that part of the affair does imply a certain level of accessibility. So he was aware that there were a number of graduates, a few of them rather famous. The X-Men? Those he's heard of only in whispers. So color him interested. That color, incidentally, is white. Bobby doesn't tan well.

"So, people like you? Or maybe… I guess Amara. She always seemed pretty open about who and what she was. I think that's a great idea, Bobby, to be honest. If we don't define our relationship with the world around us it will be defined for us." He's said that before, mostly in conversation with Amara, but also Nancy.

"So you want to form a team of like… professional heroes?"

*

Roberto nods, looking pleased. "Exactly. With an emphasis on both: we do heroics, we do disaster relief, we do high-profile security, but we don't neglect the professional side of things. We have jobs that we define ourselves, based on our talents — mutant and otherwise. In your case, perhaps a research department with an emphasis on cryonics. You can actually get 'ice nerd' on your business card!" He gives the other Bobby a lopsided grin.

"Amara's already in, as a matter of fact. Same with Doug and Illyana. I'm also thinking of extending an offer to Nancy. I know she doesn't feel comfortable with the Institute at the moment, but this setup might appeal to her more." He shrugs.

*

"I'm sure she'd be happy to know that people are thinking of her, anyway." Bobby smiles. "The whole affair made her feel sort of pushed out. But she can talk to you about that."

Bobby seems to consider for a few moments. "I'm pretty comfortable with using my powers for 'work', but I've gotta be honest with you, Warm-Twin, I don't know thing one about using them to do disaster releif beyond foiling the occasional mugging or back alley bad stuff." He's beat up a few people in the defense of others, yeah… and there was that thing in Nova Roma… okay, so maybe he's gotten a little practice at this.

"You really think you can use an ice nerd with a physics degree?"

*

"As it happens, Cold-Twin, there's this unusual manufacturing contract on my desk. The theory is sound, but in order to get the tech where we need it, we'll need someone clever and dedicated to tackle some scientific limitations." Roberto smirks as he tosses Bobby's words back at him. "So yes, I can use your talents in the lab. And after that, there are research grants and R&D contracts to be had. You'll be pursuing that, largely self-directed, but with whatever resources you need made available to you."

With a shrug, he adds, "As for disaster relief, it depends on the situation. We bring the people we need. If you feel you won't be able to contribute, we're not going to put you in a dangerous situation for giggles. But I think you'll find that your powers have more applications that you might realize."

*

Amara's been saying that to him too. There's a long moment where Bobby hesitates. Invicta Energy is comfortable, and on the whole they've been decent to him. This is new and unknown.

But it's a chance to make the difference he's been talking about.

"Heh. Alright then Bobby the Clever-er," he says with grin. "I'm in. What do you need me to do, beyond generate a mountain of paperwork for the business end with Invicta."

*

"Puh-lease," Roberto says with a smirk and a dismissive snort. "I'm a canny businessman. You're a physicist. I have any number of winning qualities, but there's no argument who is clever-er."

As for what needs to be done: "We're constructing a headquarters upstairs. There will be apartments — if you would like one, you should probably pick it out. Of course, you're under no obligation to move. On your way out, let my secretary, Serafina, know that you're 'Red Team,' and she'll get you any paperwork you need. Be working on a list of equipment you'll be needing to do your work, as well, and get it to me sometime next week."

*

Dedicated little researcher that Bobby is, he actually has a note book in his back pocket, which he produces to make sure he doens't forget anything. "Red Team, eh? Very Star Wars. I approve." His tone is serious, but the grin on his face is rather excited.

"Alright, I can do that. And, hey, if you don't mind, I may just take a look. Flat in M-Town's nice and all but never let it be said that I don't appreciate a nice place to live. I mean, unless we have other team members that might need 'em more. Either way, we'll work it out."

Closing the note pad he extends his hand again. "Warm-Twin, it's been a pleasure. Looking forward to this, I gotta say."

*

"Likewise, Cool Bobby," Roberto answers, eagerly accepting the handshake. "And don't hesitate to let me know if there's anything more you need."


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