Nerd Talk

March 24, 2015: Barry, Bobby and Sue enter a coffee…. nerd talk ensues

New York



  • None

Mood Music:

There's a stereotype that says folks do their 'best' thinking on the great pearly white throne. Bobby's never particularly found that to be true for him, but it is definitely true that inspiration strikes at the strangest times. He'd been enjoying a frappe in an little cafe not far from DCI when he'd noticed cracks in the sidewalk from water expansion. Classic Northeast problem, really but it set his brain spinning. See, Bobby's degree is in thermodynamics. The science of moving energy from one place to the next. He had something of a vested interest at the time he was studying it (cold is of great interest to him) and as one train of thought lead to another an idea started to form in his head. Most animal and plant cells are comprised largely of water which is subject to the same expansion when freezing that all water is. Unlike most substances though, water expands (in the case of freezing) as a result of energy being removed from it. His own mutant biology renders him immune to this, though, and if it could be understood how, then the underlying sciences might lead researchers to a whole whost of technologies aimed at preserving and analyizing the body at the cellular level. The implications are pretty staggering for biology, medicine and criminal sciences. He's got a notepad out at the moment, furiously taking down ideas as they come to him and sketching out a few machines to test aspects of them. DCI might have some new projects in the cryonics lab.

Sue Storm has some samples of unusual spores currently running through a computer analysis back at the Baxter Building. There's a certain point in every experiment where the only thing that's needed is time, and that's where she's at. So she decided to go for a walk, clear her head, and grab a coffee. Not that the coffee at the Baxter building isn't good, it's just usually been subjected to either experimental processes of creation, or else the cream is growing samples of its own. In jeans, t-shirt, and a warm jacket, she looks like any other young woman in New York - as long as you don't know what Sue Storm looks like. "Could I get an extra large caramel mocha latte, please?" she asks at the counter.

At the same cafe, a thin man with chestnut brown hair and black leather satchel is grabbing a bite to eat before heading to the police precinct to do some extra work. The nice part about doing extra work is you get to wear what you want, so he's got on a STAR Labs hoodie with his charcoal pants. He bobs on his feet as he waits for his order to be taken and silently wonders to himself about coagulation of blood and where in the world one might be able to find supervillains like Captain Cold or Magenta.

Barry Allen leads two very different lives.

As Sue makes her order, Barry recognizes her imm—holy crap, that's Sue Storm.

Bobby's frappe has gotten a bit on the warm side. Which is less fun to drink but does present a good opportunity to stir in some cinnamon. So he heads inside, still looking down and thinking mostly to himself as grabs the shaker by the place where the drinks come out and sprinkles some on. The ice nerd doesn't advertise his powers but he doesn't hide them either. There wouldn't be much of a point, anyway, he's on a very public team of mutants and the nature of his abilties - if not the extent - is quite well known.

What is generally less well known is that he is prone to being slightly ditracted when he's got a juicy problem he's chewing on. The ice nerd reaches a hand out to push some cold though it and refreeze his drink… and grabs the wrong one. He grabbed an extra large caramel mocha latte.


"Oh god. Um. Sorry." He says looking up to see whose that was. "Let me get you another?"

"Oh, sorry, I think that's mi-" Sue pauses as she reaches for the cup, finding it…colder and denser than anticipated. Bemused, she gives the glass a bit of a shake before arching a brow back at Bobby. "Well, that's a first," she chuckles, tapping one finger against the side of the cup. "And here I thought the coffee here would be safer. That's a fascinating trick." Tilting her head, she takes a closer look at Bobby. "Have we met? You look familiar."

Barry stands there, awkwardly staring at the pair after Bobby's trick. After a few moments there's even a gap in the line because Barry is watching the others and not moving along with everyone else. He desperately wants to ask questions, but doesn't want to intrude.

"Bobby Drake." The ice nerd smiles, offering a hand to shake. "I'm real sorry about the coffee. Er, occupational hazard for an occasionally distracted physics nerd." He pauses, seeing Barry staring at the two of them.

"Oh sorry, man. Were you with her?" He gives the other guy a sheepish smile, and then the same one to Sue. "Really. Let me just replace your coffee. Not everyone enjoys the cold the way I do."

"Met?" Um… he does meet a lot of people. Met. Met. She does look familiar but he can't place it. "I… don't think so. Are you a researcher? I go to a lot of symposiums and such. Or…" He sighs and blushes a little. Saying this always sounds so… egocentric. "Er, I'm in X-Red too. You might have seen my teammates and I on the internet or… billboards…" Dang Berto and his media blitz.

"Ah, so it's a one-way conversion only?" Sue seems more interested in the mechanics of the change than in the fact that her coffee is frozen now. "You may be able to reverse it eventually," she muses. "Johnny's gotten much better with reversing things." When he mentions the Red Team, though, she smiles swiftly, a warm expression. "Of course. Bobby Drake, isn't it? Iceman. I've been wanting to meet all of you at some point, but there's always something else going on. I'm Sue, and of course, if it will make you feel better, you're welcome to replace it. I can always order another, though." She looks back over her shoulder to see where the line is at, catching sight of Barry and offering a small, reassuring smile. "I think you're up, sir," she says with a gesture toward the counter.

"That's Sue Storm, Bobby," Barry says as he steps out of line, not even responding to what Sue said. Rather he seems a bit transfixed. He knows of Sue. Everyone knows Sue Storm. She's one of the most popular human biologist experts out there. He also ran into Bobby Drake at the Knicks game. The Knicks game where he met Kitty Pryde. Who later learned his secret. You see, Barry Allen is the Flash and while he thinks it's cool that Sue Storm is here and that Bobby Drake is here, he's sort of walking very, very carefully because it is conceivable that Kitty Pryde (whom is a mutant of somesort) may have told her friend (who is most definitely a mutant) that Barry Allen is a meta human that goes by the Flash.

Did you get all that?

Bobby likes Kitty. I mean, who doesn't like Kitty. But he hasn't talked to Kitty in a while, so Flash's secret is safe on that score. Certainly, he doesn't seem to recognize the man. To be fair, Flash had been moving really, really fast for most of the time Bobby saw him.

"Oh! Miss Storm!" Who doesn't know of Sue Storm? Well, who in Bobby's circles anyway. Brilliant Biologist, connected to a brilliant inventor/computational scientist/polymath. That Sue Storm.

"Yeah let me just…" He waves to a barista and explains, a bit sheepishly, what he'd done so it can be replaced and put on his tab. He might be here a few times a week. It's a good thinking spot.

"Very nice to meet you Miss Storm. And your… friend?" It's a bit weird to Bobby that Flash knows his name. Not that a lot of people don't. They do. It happens to him all the time. He just isn't used to it. "I'm sorry. I don't think I caught your name."

"Yes, I am," Sue says with a wry smile as Barry completes her introduction. "But please, Sue is fine." She's still inspecting the frozen coffee, checking the cup for any signs of unusually cool spots and inspecting the liquid - ice - inside to see if the rapid freezing had any effect on the dairy inside. The same way some people read the jokes on the back of cereal boxes. Looking back up to Barry, she squints a bit as she thinks. "And you look familiar, too. Didn't I see you in the paper?" You know, as an accused murderer. Nothing big.

"Yeah, well, I do a part time thing with STAR, so I know both of you guys. And I was in the stands when you saved everyone from that Capta..what's his name?" Barry adjusts the shoulder strap of his satchel nervously as he eyes them both, "Captain Cold or something?" He obviously has no clue who Captain Cold is or was ever. At all. Of course. "Me? Oh, I work at the police station. Maybe there was a -uh- a caper or something. You and the rest of your team are always working on those capers."

Bobby glances back to see Sue still looking at her now frozen coffee. The fat in the milk makes it freeze differently. But it is still frozen. Which is, honestly, fairly impressive from a phyisics point. The amount and precision you'd need to apply extreme cold to a beverage to quick freeze it from close to boiling down to icy cool is a bit beyond what can be conventionally accomplished without liquid nitrogen.

Or a freeze ray.

"I think so. I'm not sure. The Flash showed up to help that one. And Shadowcat and Quicksilver. I just provided some chill to the situation." Which is often the case.

"Cryogenesis, Sue." Bobby smiles. "And yeah. One way, sadly. I can make things really cold but it takes physics to warm them back up. Still, got a lot of applications in and out of the lab."

Barry's explanation causes the ice nerd to glance back. "Police Station? Oh! You're NYPD? Or one of their support? Good work those guys do, really." Bobby has a more positive vision of regular authorities than a lot of his compatriots who aren't in X-Red. "And Star Labs. So support I'm guessing, but that's nifty. What's your specialty?"

"You're the crime scene tech," Sue says quickly, then stops herself before she says anything else, giving Barry a sympathetic look. "I'm glad that everything worked out for you. Would you like to take a look at this?" she offers the frozen coffee over. Nerd peace offering. Scientific item of interest! "It really is remarkable. And Bobby, I'm sure you've considered the applications of your talents, but if you'd like to stop by the Baxter Building some time and experiment, I have a feeling Johnny would be thrilled to help."

"Yeah," Barry says with a nod. "That's right. I'm a crime scene scientist." And what he should have said was: nothing. And what he said to Sue was, "How did you know that?" He nods, coming over to take a look, "So if there is no thing as cold, just the absence of heat, you gotta wonder where all the heat goes when he cools something off." Barry shrugs his shoulders, "Or that's what I think of when I see his powers, anyways."

"Good question." Oh man. Barry just put Bobby in the nerd zone. "I've been studying that for a long while. 'This power breaks phyisics' seems like such an unsatisfying answer, you know. My best guess is that the energy is converted directly to matter when I make ice, but energy to mass conversions are really inefficient so honestly, I don't know." At least he knows how to catch himself.

"Ahem. It's a good puzzle though. I'd love to come on down to the Baxter Building." Johnny and Bobby have a history so that'd work out well. "Any time. Just give me a call. Or I can drop by if you don't mind that kind of thing. I was about to make a similar offer…" To both of them actually. Hey. A crime scene tech mind find some of Bobby's projects interesting. The Flash would too. Pity Bobby doesn't know that part. "If either of you want to come and stop by the DCI Cryanoics Labs, I'd be more than happy to show you around or just talk nerd."

"I watch the news," Sue says with a small smile to Barry. "It's good to stay prepared, be aware of what's going on in the world." As her new latte comes up, she reaches out to take the cup from the barista, nodding gratefully. "Ah, there we are," she sighs with a contented sip. "Just what I was looking for. As for breaking physics, I try not to say things like that around Reed," she laughs. "But I'd love to see his take on it."

Barry nods to Bobby. Because sometimes when you have a scab, you can't help but try. Even if you know you shouldn't. He can probably get away with it, with keeping his secret. Bobby probably has no idea. Right? But he doens't know for sure, so he cannot leave it alone. "I'd love to," he says with a nod. Barry then looks over to Sue, "Oh? Right." Barry's been on the news a lot. Ever since he was 11 years old, really, when his mother was brutally murdered. "Things were pretty crazy back. I'm glad they found more evidence." He doesn't elaborate.

'Glad they found more evidence' could mean a lot of things where a crime scene tech is concerned. And Bobby missed that particular news item so for all he knows it could be related to his job. Which can't be pleasant. Crimes that need evidence collection usually aren't. "Everything okay there?" He doesn't press. Things get rough. He's been doing this long enough to get that, even if it hasn't been that long.

"I'll try not to, if he's there when I show up. Or if he comes with you. Any of you guys would be welcome." Beat. "Not sure how much Johnny'd like it. Might not be his snowcone, if you know what I mean." Though honestly, creating matter and sucking away heat on a large scale? How does that work.

"As am I," Sue nods to Barry with another encouraging smile. "NYPD needs all the scientists it can get. Are they working on some sort of partnership with STAR labs?" she asks, noting the logo on his sweatshirt with a nod. She keeps up with the news enough, that's probably something she would have heard about.

"Nah, I'm just good friends with some of the scientists th—," And speaking of. Here's Cisco. Barry reaches to his phone, "Sorry guys, I have to take this." He steps off to the side and listens to the other end for a moment, "I have a …thing," he says as he ducks his head back. "Sorry, I have to leave." He has business cards because he's sort of a quasi public official, so he hands them to each, but he has to bust a move out of there right quick. It's something about the gorilla's that just came from the sky.

If only Bobby knew what was on that call. Ah well. "Nice guy." He observes as Barry leaves. "So what brings you down Sue?" Calling the Sue Storm by her first name feels a bit odd to him. But then a lot of things do these days. "Baxter Building isnt exactly around the block as it were."

"Oh, well," Sue waves a hand, taking another sip. "I'm waiting for some tests to run, so I thought I'd get out and go for a bit of a walk. Clear my mind. I wasn't expecting to run into more interesting experiments, though," she chuckles, looking after where Barry left. "What about you? Did I just happen to pick a place worth hanging out in?"

Bobby grins. "I think so, generally. This place isn't too far from DCI, the coffee is always nice and hot and the crumble cake could cause a riot." He likes food. Not so much that he won't work it out later, but good food is generally good. "What kind of work are you doing now, if I may ask? Anything you need a little chill for?"

"Analysis of some spores and their effects, actually," Sue answers with a small smile. "We have most of it worked out already, but there are a few tests that still need to run. Not that there aren't coffee shops between here and the Baxter Building, but the closer we are, the less likely I am to be able to get a coffee without gathering a crowd."

"Spores. Odd. I didn't think that fungal… wait what am I saying?" Bobby grins. This is Sue. Sue does //biology. All of it. It's pretty good too. The ice nerd puts his hands in his pockets and stretches a bit. "Crowds huh? Glad to say I've never gotten to that point."

"Well, it's easy enough to escape," Sue chuckles. "But I always feel a bit irresponsible when I do that. We've gone through a lot of effort to be good examples. That comes with some publicity. And I feel like a cad running away from people who've been inspired by our work. So I just…preemptively run away, I suppose. Give it time," she adds, smile wry. "I imagine you'll get there eventually."

"You need time to be human." Bobby shrugs. "Everyone does. And I hope I don't. I haven't had fans mob me… but I've had other mob experiences. It's fairly terrifying really. Seeing that many people who hate you. I don't know how I'd react to the more benign version of that but I know from celebrities that mobs of fans can be pretty rabid in their own right."

He cants his head slightly. "Do you like it? The hero work?"

"I wouldn't give it up for anything," Sue answers without hesitation. "For a few reasons, of course. For one, the changes that happened to the four of us are enough for a lifetime of study. But the difference we can make in the world now? No, I wouldn't give it up for anything. We have a unique ability to make the world a better place." Looking back to Bobby, she arches a brow. "Are you having doubts about your choice?"

"Not my choice so much as my method." Bobby muses. "Mutants in public are getting more and more fire by the day. All the good we do is just barely balancing out things like the Purifiers and the Brotherhood. It feels like treading water sometimes. I don't think I can do it any other way. I won't hide. And I won't lock myself away like some I know. But I wonder if I didn't pick a bad time to be all stubborn about it."

"There's never a bad time to do the right thing," Sue shakes her head, steadfast. "What you and the rest of the Red Team are doing is good work. The right work. No matter what anyone else says about it. On the other hand," she adds with a small smile, "If you ever need a place to hide out for a minute, you're always welcome at the Baxter Building."

Bobby gives Sue a relieved smile. "I'll keep that in mind. You know…" He thinks, stroking his beard for a moment. "Most of our work has been with the Titans but I'm thinking maybe we should branch out a bit. Drop by DCI sometime. I may or may not be able to wrangle Berto, but I'd like to get your folks entered into our systems as allies. For us and our… um, more secretive cousins."

"I believe we're already linked up with your more secretive cousins," Sue smiles crookedly, taking another sip of her drink. "Anyhow, I should be heading back toward the lab. It's been good to talk with you, Bobby," she says warmly. "I look forward to seeing you again soon."

"Same here. On both counts." The Ice Nerd offers his hand out one more time with a smile. "Be safe until then. Plenty of folks out there who might be taking an exception to powered folks now with all this alien furor out there."

"I doubt any of them will be quite as difficult as the Atlanteans were, and I survived that," Sue laughs, raising her cup in salute. "Take care, Bobby. I'm sure I'll be seeing you around." And with that, she steps back out into the street, head down as she makes her way back to the Baxter Building.

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