|Hot Government Work|
|Summary||In X-Force, Kade meets Micaela and quickly adjusts his expectations.|
It wasn't a particularly remarkable day in the X-Force compound, just outside Washington, DC, in 2037. Agents were squirreled away in pockets in the offices, in briefings for this or that mission. Others were engaged in training in the state-of-the-art facilities afforded to the government's mutant personnel. Kade Caruthers has gotten in not long ago. He's armed with a tall morning coffee in a peacock-pattern travel cup and dressed in a slick Navy suit. He doesn't head straight to his desk. He's looking for someone, and does a little asking around to point him in the direction of one of the new recruits. The fiery one.
A little asking around turns into a lot of asking around for Kade. He has to ask several people for directions, arriving at his destination a few times only to ask and be pointed in a new direction again. It starts to feel like a really terrible scavenger hunt after while. He isn't even /at/ the place he was walking to this time when he finally finds who he's looking for, though all he has to go on is the picture attached to her file, which gives a different impression than in-person does.
A somewhat more professional impression, notably.
Whereas her file presents an image of a young woman, smartly dressed and serious if perhaps also smug...Micaela looks /young/ walking down one of the hallways. Not the youngest X-Force has seen in their services, but certainly one of them. She's got a leather jacket slung over a pink crop-top with cutoff denim shorts and a strappy pair of sandals.
Kade comes to a stop. Blinks at Micaela, side-eyeing her. Both like he's unsure this /is/ who he's looking for, and like he's slightly reorienting whatever expectations he had in his head. The Kade Caruthers of 2037 was clean-shaven, the lines on his face not as prominent as they'd become in the next few years, and pulled together in precisely the manner one would expect a good government man. When he's finally admitted in his mind that, yep, this is the Micaela he's seeking, he heads toward her with an easy swagger. "Teller, I presume?"
As the future cause of at least one of those lines on his face, Micaela pauses in her sashay through the X-Force hallway when she's addressed by name. Last name anyway. She doesn't seem the least bit surprised to be recognized. "I'll let you presume," she says, with a flash of a grin and a tilt of her head, sending gold hoop earrings swaying.
The grin is returned with a slight smile that doesn't quite warm Kade's light eyes. "I read your file. I've presumed quite a lot already, I assure you." His manner is more eagerly curious than anything else, though. "Aero /and/ pyrokinetic, huh?" Does he sound a little skeptical? Maybe. "That'd be pretty sweet, if you can direct it properly. I'm just a simple pyro, myself. Kade Caruthers. How do?" He extends a hand, for shaking purposes.
"I haven't even read my own file. Everyone do that here, or just you?" Micaela has certainly run into a few people by now who have also read her file, but maybe no one has been so forthright about it. "So they tell me," she says to his skepticism, probably not helping it. "Or the file is full of lies." Okay, /definitely/ not helping his skepticism. "Arson or fireworks?" She asks with an arch of one brow. Nothing about her looks like she's much of a hand shaker, but when she takes his hand in her grip it's professionally firm and doesn't linger too long. He's been in DC long enough to receive some political handshakes and this feels about the same, aside from the disconnect of the person doing it. "Mhm. I'm good."
Kade has not yet grown fond of Micaela. So all he looks is skeptical. If smilingly so. Friendly skeptic. His handshake is likewise firm and quick, if not quite so trained in glad-handing as hers. "I haven't run across anyone's file yet that's full of lies. The vetting process is pretty thorough. Mine sure as hell was." His smile takes on a slightly wry twist. "Anyhow, our powersets line up in places, so it's likely we'll be paired together for awhile, while your still a probie. Pyro skills can be very useful in the field, but they require a certain amount of...control." So skeptical of your control, Micaela.
"That's how they get you. You assume everything is the truth in a file they handed you." Do not throw conspiracy theories at the already paranoid spies, Micaela. "Sounds like someone has dirt in their file. I look forward to hearing about it." Reading about it, Whatever. "Line up in places, hm?" She wiggles two fingers at him. "Not just the fire thing?" She wrinkles her nose at being called 'probie' though. No. "Is this going to turn into a boring lecture about responsibility?"
"Keep the conspiracy theories to a minimum, Teller. You'll earn your paranoia the old-fashioned way." Kade's smile betrays none of his secrets, as to his own file. "And not yet. I suspect the lectures will come later." He gets that feeling, from her. "But not. Today, I was hoping to see what you could do. Let's take a trip to the helipad."
"Paranoia is so last year," Micaela replies, as if it were just a trend, in a way that will be presumed to be ignorance by most. Later it will be revealed to be just an exasperatingly nonchalant attitude. "I passed the same tests you did," she points out, lifting a brow and smiling slightly. This possibly just gives the impression that the tests aren't that meaningful. "Alright," she says, starting off in one direction and...wait, no, turning and heading the correct way.
Does Kade look a touch exasperated? Yes, he does. And, maybe, just a little satisfied when she goes the wrong direction. He points a finger the right way - in a manner that's perhaps a touch irritating in its own right - and turns on his heel to start walking. It's not far to the elevator, but the ride up will be longer. He presses the button to open the door and steps in, holding it for Micaela. "You grew up in DC, yeah?" Read from her file, no doubt.
"I knooow," Micaela says with a roll of her eyes to that pointing finger. She steps into the elevator when the doors open and does not fight for button pressing rights. "If I said no, would you even believe me?" She wonders, leaning against the back wall of the elevator. "You're not from around here."
"Opposite coast," Kade replies, which confirms her statement. "My family's in Southern California. LA, if we're being precise. Joined up when I was twenty, though, so I haven't actually lived out there in more than a few years." He just shakes his head, when she asks if he'd believe a denial. No. He presses the button, and up they go. "I read about the incident on the National Mall." He presumes she'll know which one he's referring to. "They've got a couple of the articles in your file. Hell of a way to come into your powers."
"Oh, Cali, that explains it." Micaela does not say what that explains, crossing her arms as she leans. "More than a few years? You can't be /that/ old," she protests, craning her neck a little to peer at him. Well, to eye him, up and down. "Which--oh, that." She actually doesn't know which incident he means, for a second. "It makes it fun to google my name," she says of the articles with a short laugh. There is a little sarcasm there. Sometimes it's fun, sometimes it's 'fun'.
"And what, pray tell, does it explain?" Kade asks. He sounds amused. Mostly. He's /definitely/ curious, under that, what the f she thinks it explains. "Me? I'm going to hit my ten-year anniversary in a few months. I'm hoping I get a cake. Can't imagine doing anything else." Nor does he sound like he particularly wants to. "If you can hack it, there's no better job on the damn planet." The elevator pings when they're back to the ground level, and he steps out. "Anyway, I thought it boded well. The articles, I mean. Someone was in danger and your reaction was to stop it. That's more or less what we do. Just in a more...controlled way." Usually. Hopefully.
"You know," Micaela replies unhelpfully, leaving him to wonder about it. It's her turn to look skeptical this time, maybe at his age, maybe at the notion of cake. "I hope they do better than a cake after ten years," she drawls in the particularly dismissive way of the privileged. She does not share his imaginings, one way or the other, so she just shrugs. She's never done anything else and she hasn't been here long enough to know much beyond the training camp she's been through. "You the guy they send to pitch the job?" She wonders, following him out of the elevator. That was very enthusiastic, Kade. "They must not have pulled the articles that called me a 'danger to society' and a 'reckless vigilante'," she quips with a wicked grin. "I didn't set the Mall on fire or anything."
"Maybe a really nice pen," Kade says with a chuckle. "I'm not quite into gold watch territory yet. In time, in time." He strides down the hall, to an exit door which opens onto a large paved lot in the back of the building. There is, indeed, a helipad there. Among other things, but the pad is his destination. He takes off his jacket once they're out in the sun. His shirt under it is a vibrant purple, which matches the darker violet of his tie. He probably put some time into coordination this morning. He brushes the 'reckless vigilante' thing off. "There are people who'd call us all dangers to society. Best to just ignore that bullshit. We're doing good work here. I like to think there are enough people out there who understand that."
"Not quite," Micaela agrees, one corner of her mouth lifting in a smirk. "Unless your the hottest near-retiree I've ever seen." She keeps pace with him as they walk without effort, long legs making it easy. She doesn't take off her jacket outside, but then, she's already got considerably more skin exposed. It's a somewhat less coordinated outfit than Kade's. She snorts at his advice to ignore the bullshit. "It's not the bullshit that's a pain in the ass, it's the threats," she asides casually, like she expects his familiar with that. "You sure you've been here close to a decade? That's an awful lot of optimism for DC. I've seen a lot of shit get voted in people swore they'd never support."
Kade preens, just a little. He does enjoy such compliments. "I'm flattered. Don't get any ideas, though. I don't mess around with the folks I work with. Keeps things much simpler." As if she was so eager to proposition him or something. Talk of the threats dampens his optimism a touch. "I try to tune out the politics. And the bullshit. Which /is/ the politics most of the time. The people who really understand what's going on in this country value what we do." He really believes that, too. FOR NOW. "Anyhow. You need a running start, or can you just...go off?" He makes an 'Up!' gesture with one hand.
"Simple is boring," Micaela declares, with a smirk and a wink. Somewhere, Human Resources feels a chill down their spines and wonders why. "There is no tuning out the politics with the Tellers," she says with a laugh that is a bit wry. She looks, frankly, deeply skeptical at what Kade says, but she doesn't go out of her way to burst his bubble. "I like a little warm up before I go off, generally," she jokes with a wag of her brows and slides out of her jacket, holding it out to Kade. Take, please.
That wink gets a long, level look from Kade. Micaela, No. At the eyebrow waggling, he has to sigh. He can't contain it. He does take her jacket, hanging it over the same arm where his blazer is slung. "Take all the time you need. I cleared my morning for this." Is he starting to regret that? Perhaps.
Just let it out, Kade. "Ooh, the whole morning. We can take it real slow, then." Neither meta or sighing stops Micaela, though at least she stops making faces at him. In fact, once he's taken her jacket she takes a couple strides away from him, just for....safety's sake. The air moves around her, like the pavement is blazing hot enough to distort images just a little. But she's not a slow burn. There's a visible burst of flame and then she's gone, no longer standing on the ground nearby, only a bit of dust and quickly fading smoke to mark her passing. It's pretty easy to follow her path, though the daytime makes it easier to track the jetstream than the light of fire in the air above.
Kade sighs more at the meta. He doesn't dwell on the various things that make him want to sigh heavily at Micaela at the moment, though. He wants to see her work. The speed of her burn gets a slight frown. But the frown fades as she takes off. A low whistle escaping his lips as she /jets/ through the sky. "Hot damn..." he murmurs, eyes tracking her progress through the heavens.
Up in the air, Micaela does a damn loop-de-loop, which is nothing if not showing off, before she flies back down towards base again. She looks like she's coming in for a landing, but she flies /low/ over Kade instead. It's not actually close enough to touch him, but that's not how it feels. Wind rushes by after her, and she slows and turns back around to actually land this time, flight path jerking to a sudden stop as fire slows her fall. She still lands a bit heavily with a thud for all of that, a couple yards away, and dusts herself off.
Kade grins at the loop-de-loop. He can't help /that/ either. Though his annoyance promptly returns when she buzzes him. "You almost singed my suit!" he hollers up at her. Most of the annoyance is feigned, though. Most of it. Once she's back on the ground, he strides to meet her again. "Flashy." It has the sound of a compliment. A grudging one.
Flight doesn't really make for easy conversation, so Micaela doesn't answer that hollering until she's on the ground again. "Oh, relax. I wasn't even that close." She's unharmed herself, nothing looks singed, although there isn't a ton of fabric to set on fire anyway. The sandals have taken a bit of a beating, mostly in the landing. "That's me," she replies with a grin. "Though you have the look of someone who can be flashy, underneath all that government you've gotten all over you."
Kade offers Micaela her jacket back. At the moment about flash, he makes a show of brushing one sleeve. "I have been known to engage in a touch of theatrics. If the occasion demands. I can't do the rocket thing, though." Does he sound a little jealous? Yes, he does. "We're going to have to work on your stealth, I sense. But I can see situations where that..." He makes a loop-de-loop gesture. "...would be effective."
Micaela takes her jacket back with a polite, if perfunctory, thanks. His jealousy just makes her smirk, sliding her arms through her jacket and adjusting the way it sits smugly. "You'll have to make due with setting things on fire. Theatrically. Maybe some slight of hand." She gestures it, except there is no fire and she is really terrible at slight of hand anyway. "Guess you can stop being so skeptical now, though." She looks up at the sky, as if there is anything to see there. "...yeah, not a lot of stealth in that."
"Yeah, we'll see about that," is Kade's reply. Does he still sound skeptical? Yes. Yes, he does.Micaela rolls her eyes expressively. "I can't believe you have more faith in the government than me." Surely he will never regret that.