1963-10-10 - Fantastic Interview
Summary: After putting a WANTED ad in the Bulletin, the Four conduct interviews for a new Secretary.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
sue johnny noemi reed doom 

The Baxter Building has been a flurry of activity today. The revolving door of applicants for the WANTED ad that Sue had posted has been constant, but, relatively, nonproductive. In fact, most of the applicants have been fans just wanting to fan-out at the Four. Which has predominantly been met with polite smiles, the occasional autograph, and discussions about, perhaps, shifting to one employment agency instead of a WANT ad.

"I refuse to put one in the Bugle," Seo states blandly as the latest of the applicants disappears down the elevator. With an empathic roll of her eyes, she manages, "We have two more today." She clears her throat. "This is either evidence that the ad was ineffective," pause, "OR I have no idea how to assess resumes." Her tone flattens, "Or some combination," which is the most likely scenario.

A glance is given towards the kitchen table; the place where the interviews have taken place, and the coffee pot and mugs that sit on the tray designed for coffee service.

The elevator dings, announcing the latest applicant.


"The Bugle is a rag, we wouldn't get anybody worthwhile from posting an ad there," Joon says in agreement with his sister, still seated at the kitchen table. Without an applicant currently present, however, the younger Storm has his feet propped up on the chair across from him, his arms folded behind his head. He is a World Class Lounger, thank you very much.

When the elevator dings, though, Johnny is quick to straighten up. Not to stand, though. Just enough to reach over and lay a hand against the coffee pot. Better heat that back up.


The elevator disgorges — Noemi Noronha. Otherwise known as

in the less than imaginatively named archives of a certain upstate private educational institution. Noemi's resume and assorted documents paint a picture of a hard-working young woman studying hard in the field of inorganic chemistry, not typically held to be a ladylike endeavor.

Noemi is wearing a new dress in a subdued hue of orange. It's a little bright even so, but that's the space age fabrics for you, and it may help set off what seems to be an anomalously pallid complexion. Must be all those hard nights. Stepping forwards, holding a small briefcase in one hand, she seems taken aback at the informality of the setting.

BUT ONLY BRIEFLY. "Oh! Mr. Storm, it's a pleasure to meet you - and Miss Storm too," Noemi says, taking a couple of steps further yet away from the ominous maw of the elevator, which closes behind her, equally ominously. "Ah - I hope I'm on the right floor, please excuse me if I should've been one down…?"


Sue steps forward and extends a hand to Noemi. "You're Miss Noronha?" she asks almost apprehensively. More than one person sent up wasn't there for an interview. Well, not the kind of interview going on at the Baxter Building today. Reporters always seem to have questions.

Seo beckons Noemi into the residence to the table, even before the woman identifies as Miss Noronha. "Pleasure to meet you." She takes a seat adjacent her brother and motions to the seat across from them. "Please. Have a seat." Her eyebrows lift, "I trust you found the place alright?" Which shouldn't be a question, but after one 'interviewee' seemed to think this was Stark Tower, it's become a legitimate interview question.


It's a far less formal "Hi," that comes from Johnny, along with a sunny smile. The lack of formality goes with the jeans and t-shirt he's wearing. Whatever his role here is, apparently 'dressing for work while still at home' was not on his resume. Sorry, Sue.

At least Johnny does actually stand up once Noemi and Sue are on their way to the table. "Just Johnny, please. Mr. Storm makes me sound way too respectable."


Noemi takes the hand and holds it in both of hers. Her hands are surprisingly chilly, like, 'weather outside' chilly. But she might just be nervous. "I am. Thank you so much for inviting me," she says, moving over to settle down into place and set her briefcase by her side with deliberately poised precision. Her hair bounces a bit when she looks towards Johnny, downscale though his current garb may be. "… Well, alright," she says, her cheeks dimpling slightly in a smile. "I'll remember that… Johnny."

To Sue, she says, "Yes, it was no trouble at all. The bus driver was a little off, but that just meant I had to walk a block. Not too bad." With THAT she smiles again, settles back…

And tries not to bunch up in anxiety. Her eyes turn towards Johnny, faintly but briefly, several times. He probably has gotten THAT one a lot.


"And you may call me Sue, if you like." At this, Sue nods once, rather abruptly, as she opens a file folder in front of her. She's rather determined to conduct these interviews 'right,' whatever that means. Her eyes flick up from whatever she's prepared, and they brighten as a practiced smile pulls at her features, "Welcome!" It's friendly, but Johnny will know by now that this is part of the schtick. "We're really delighted to have you here," more practiced interview script, "and we'd like to just start by hearing some more about you. So, if you could tell us a bit about yourself, that would be fantastic," pun not intended, and not in the script, which causes Sue's cheeks to hue a faint pink. It's been a long day.


At least Johnny's lips aren't silently moving along with Sue's recitation of the schtick. No, instead he just looks somewhat patiently amused, not at all intentionall. It has been a long day.

Once Sue and Noemi are both seated, Johnny drops back into his seat as well, managing a whole silent count of five before he's grabbing a mug for himself and the pot of coffee. "Seo, do you want any?" he asks absently, before aiming a similar questioning look towards Noemi. "Miss?"


Noemi smiles back at Sue, her toes curling invisibly in her mary janes and then relaxing. "Oh, certainly, M- Sue. I'm a student at a private school upstate, but once we've gotten to the level I'm at, the faculty encourage us to shift to a part-time basis and find our own purposes and careers. A sort of work and study combination."

Her hands rest on her knees. "— Oh, yes, please! I'd love some," Noemi tells Johnny. Back to Sue. "Anyway, um— Well, I've been studying in chemistry but really, I - Well, my studies when I was younger, before I went to Xavier, were a little limited, so I really would hope to get a view of the explorations of the unknown that you undertake, here at the Baxter Building, and do what I can to - Ah, to further them."

I almost said four-ther then, Noemi thinks.

Fortunately the whole 'no blushing' thing works in her favor here. She keeps smiling at Sue. "Or do you mean things about where I grew up? I don't want to be too tedious."


A set of footsetps on the stairs, and one Dr. Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic, troops down from the lab, wearing some variety of combination safety goggles/magnification optics. Whatever, it looks like a Steampunker's wet dream version of eyewear. In his hand, a mass of haphazard colored wires with, presumably, some kind of device in the center.

Has he missed out on the entire day's interviews? Possibly. Did he forget they were being done? Could be. Did he know they were today? Maybe. Does he know what day it is? Questionable.

Reed is preoccupied enough with the device to walk the full length of the residence, dig in the fridge, drink an iced tea, and make it halfway back before he notices the gathering. He doesn't set down his tinkering through the process, at least until he comes to a stop and pushes the glasses up into his hair. "Oh. Hello," he offers, eyes sliding to Johnny, then Sue. The math scrolls across his face. "Ah… it's Monday, isn't it?" Okay, so who had 'doesn't know what day it is' in the pool?


"Whereabout upstate?" Sue asks with an arch of her eyebrow. "Having spent a good portion of my college years living off campus, I understand the pressures associated with commuting back and forth and balancing the demands of school, work," heroism. But that one doesn't get listed. A glance is given towards Johnny, "Joon can probably identify now." She shoots the other woman a warm smile.

The mention of chemistry, however, seems to spark Seo's attention, and has her leaning forward. "What are your long term goals then? And how does this," she shrugs, "or how would this," her eyes turn upwards, "fit in your career plan?" This is definitely not a standard question for an administrative position — everyone expects women to leave their employment when they marry.

The entrance of another person into the residence has Sue's eyebrows lifting, and her assuming some measure of silence as Reed goes about his business. Her eyes flit towards Johnny and her smile takes on a comical quality when she answers Reed's question, "Yes. It's Monday." She motions towards Noemi, "This is Miss Noronha…"


"Xavier's? So you're up in Westchester?" Johnny's asked the question before he can really think any better of it, and for whatever reason, he develops a slightly troubled furrow to his brow. At least Sue's not about identifying with having those particular demands on one's time distract him. He coughs quietly and nods once, leaning across the table to set a mug of coffee in front of Noemi, then a second for Sue. Nothing! Nothing.

When Reed arrives, Johnny doesn't say anything. Just fishes a dollar out of his pocket and sneaks it into Sue's hand beneath the table.


"Oh, not far, the commuter rail goes up - I don't have any real issues, just in, out…" Noemi says, perhaps punting the exact question of Xavier's locations. Nonetheless, there ARE trains. To Johnny, she says, "Oh! You know where it is? It's not THAT large, and I know there's a thousand schools around New York, so…"

Noemi spots Reed "Dr. Richards" Richards in his arrival and sits upright, tension doubling instantly. And trebling when Sue brings up… A CAREER.

"Oh — I hadn't really decided. Ah, my field of, interest, really, is I suppose what you could call silicones, although I suppose you could generalize that out to the siloxanes. I think there's a lot of potential there for new, um, products - I know that must sound terribly mercenary…"

When Sue begins the introductions, she says, "Dr. Richards, it's a pleasure and an honor to meet you." After this she leans slightly forwards to collect the coffee, holding it in both hands.


Reed nods his head with a smile. "Miss Noronha," he says amicably. "My apologies for being…" a pause. "…late." He offers a hand, once he's freed it from the rat's nest of wiring. "A most interesting feild," he says approvingly, and to his credit, he doesn't seem to the feigning interest, though genuine interest from reed is a double-edged sword. One that shows itself almost immediately. "Is it a topic of interest due to your condition, or more in the nature of a root cause?" Okay. So… thing is, Reed's been in the lab and his polite-company brain isn't engaged yet. He's still stuck in Science Mode.

"Oh, and do call me Reed in private, we don't really stand on ceremony behind closed doors."


Sue's eyes flit towards Johnny and a feline smile pulls at her features. "Ah, yes," she says smoothly regarding Westchester. She turns back to Noemi, "If I recall there is this very pleasant diner," her eyebrows draw together, "Harry's Hideaway, I think? I believe it's dressed in this palm motif," she waves her hand flippantly. "Regardless, lovely area, Westchester. Especially in the fall." Her eyes tick towards Reed and her eyes widen. With him out of elbow shot, instead, she mentally nudges his ribs with just a small burst of psionic energy — that she may have overshot… whoops.


"Well, I know where Westchester is, at least. I haven't visited the school, though," Johnny replies, trying very hard to ignore Sue's expression. He may be feeling some regret for saying anything. Pivot, Johnny! PIVOT.

He wraps both hands around his coffee and smiles cheerfully at Noemi. "There's nothing mercenary about keeping commercial applications in mind when you work," Johnny says easily. "I mean, a good scientist's always thinking about applications for their work, right?" He looks to Reed as if seeking confirmation…

…just as Reed asks his question. Johnny's expression does not change, but there is an almost palpable sense of of course as he slides his eyes back to Noemi. So. This interview is going GREAT.


Noemi takes a sip of her coffee.

She does NOT spit it out.

She does, however, aspirate it slightly and looks aghast in six different ways at Reed's question. She manages to avoid spraying it over her dress. She does end up coughing into her hand, bending halfway over and holding her hand over her mouth. This goes on /just/ shy of long enough to make Reed feel bad about itself, but probably long enough to make Sue and Johnny feel fremdschamen aplenty.

After this Noemi takes a deep breath and lets it out. Then another. She settles back in her seat.

"Um. I guess I can't hide it," she says, in a small voice. "That's right, Dr. Richards. Did you know all along?"


ROLL: Sue +rolls 1d10 for a result of: 6


Reed deforms visibly to one side when Sue 'nudges' him, making an undignified noise. Of course, being rather elastic, not only does he deform noticably, he also snaps back without his usual control, due to the surprise at work, and the energy from the snap visibly travels up his torso, through his arms, and causes him to fumble the device he's carrying rather comically.

He attempts to catch it several times, arms noodling a little in the process, but it is in vain and the device hits the floor with a dull, heavy thud.

The whole affair does remind reed to check himself, though, and he flashes a sheepish smile. "Ah… sorry. I was speaking out of turn. You don't have to talk about it." He coughs. To his credit, he doesn't try to excuse it. "Not all along. The hints are there, though, if you know what to look for. I am… somewhat more expert than the norm in this sort of morphology," he notes in an embarrassed, self-deprecating tone. "…obviously." Hem.


Sue brings her coffee cup to her lips and just smiles. Well, this interview is not at all what she'd intended, yet Noemi seems to hold it together, making her, thus far the strongest candidate. Her fingers tighten around the arm of her mug. She flips open the folder and clears her throat as she looks at the long line of questions.

Her lips part to speak, only to be interrupted by an alarm, alerting that someone unexpected is on their way up the elevator. Her expression deadens and she glances between those gathered. To her knowledge, they're not expecting company.

"Roberta," she calls from the table, "who is coming up here — we're in the middle of an interview?" The system doesn't respond. Instead security measures continue to indicate an alert. Sue slides from her seat, murmuring, "Excuse me," while pinching the bridge of her nose and treading to the elevator.


While poor Noemi is trying not to choke on her drink, Johnny's quick to get to his feet, briefly retreating into the kitchen proper. When he hurries back, it's to offer her a handful of napkins, with a very apologetic look on his face. "Sorry about that. Reed's just like that. This… will probably happen again," he says wryly, casting a sidelong look towards Mr. Fantastic and the device at his feet.

Until he hears the elevator. Johnny looks towards the elevator at precisely the same time Sue does, his eyebrows arching. "You sure you don't want me to get it, nunim?" he asks, peering after Sue with a frown. "You're better at interviewing than I am."


Noemi sips her coffee again as she looks at Reed. She does not seem shocked at his contortions - even in person - and the sight seems to be obscurely relaxing to her. Her shoulders unbunch and she straightens a bit more, taking a deep breath and letting it out as she says to Reed, "No - Oh, no, I'm sorry, I just… I didn't think it showed, but I suppose you're not an everyday sort of person."

Then there's an alarm. Noemi blinks a few times, and when Johnny gives her a napkin she says, "Thank you" but doesn't get out of her seat. She dabs at her mouth and chin, and then frowns slightly, because taking away the lipstick is revealing that her lip is actually kind of a gray nothing colorwise, and that /is/ kind of weird. She purses her lips, perhaps to spread out the cosmetic.

"I'm able to control silicon compounds," Noemi then says to Reed, because Sue and Johnny are occupied. "— I mean, um, it's a little more complicated than that, that's just the… You know, the simple form."


Truthfully, dealing gracefully with Reed running his mouth before he has completely thought everything through from a human perspective might be the most important qualification.

The alarm gets Reed's attention as well, but he tries not to let the concern show. No response from Roberta? That's extremely odd. He retrieves the dropped device from the floor, with a controlled stretch of his arm this time, and absently fiddles with it while drifting over roughly between Noemi and the elevator. His hands move with a little more certainly and purpose than they had while messing with the device on the way in, too.

"It's always more complicated," Reed agrees in an amicable tone. "That's a very interesting ability." He pauses, trying to figure out how to ask the next question without stepping in it again. "You needn't answer such personal questions, mind. Though I am curious if it comes from a… shall we say… genetic predisposition. But perhaps we could talk about that at a more appropriate time and place," he amends. Like not an employment interview. Superpower status is not germaine to employment. Not really, anyway.


"The cameras are off," Sue states with a frown as she looks over the screens flashing red. She looks at the main control "And Roberta is stuck. I'm not," she taps a few keys at a keyboard near the elevator, "not a single thing," her eyebrows draw together sharply. Her fingers work at the keys again as she peeks up from her work, "Joon, maybe that would be — "


The doors open.

"Seo. Always a pleasure," the voice should be familiar to at least three out of the four gathered. "Is Reed home?" Victor states smoothly as he steps towards the entrance of the elevator only to be stopped by an invisible force. His head cants to the side and his tongue clucks, "Come now, can't old friends come to visit?"

Sue's jaw tightens, and her lips tug into a polite, diplomatic almost smile, "Only when they call first. Reed is busy. We're tied up today. I'll tell him you came by." Or Reed will hear. Whichever.

This is turning into quite the interview for Noemi.


As soon as Sue reports that the cameras are off, Johnny's murmuring a quiet 'excuse me' to Noemi and hurrying over to join his sister at the screens, peering over the top of her head. "Ben and I did maintenance just yesterday," he says lowly, worried. "They should be — "

Ding, indeed. As soon as he hears Victor's voice, Johnny is immediately moving to place himself between the elevator and his sister, forcefield or no forcefield. Can never be too careful, after all.

"I'll walk you out," Johnny says flatly, not bothering to be nearly as diplomatic as Sue. "Maybe you can tell me what you did to our techon the way down. I know you like a chance to gloat."


Noemi sips her coffee. "— Well," she says to him, "I believe you could say that, yes…" She also shifts in her seat a little, as if to listen just a bit to what's going on.

"… If this was a basement, I could melt into the floor," Noemi says a little faintly at the near occasion of DOOM. This is quiet, but Reed can doubtless hear it fine. She's forgotten about the coffee entirely now.


Reed lightly lays a reassuring hand on Noemi's shoulder, and smiles. "Stand tall, my dear. It's nothing to worry about," he says quietly. And decides that since Sue has already determined he is busy, he'll let the Storms handle it for now. "He can be a trial at times, but there's no need to be intimidated."


"Joon," Victor soothes evenly. "Not necessary," he lifts his fingers smoothly, gesturing evenly as he does so. "I merely wanted to understand why he felt the need to send his paramour while ill to visit Latveria. I had thought I would see whether you were feeling better, Seo, and discuss any potential — "

Sue's eyebrows lift, and Victor is pushed further into the elevator, and Sue interrupts, " — as I said, Reed is unavailable. You need to go. We are in the middle of important operational business." Her body stiffens, and the diplomacy drains slowly from her face.

The forcefield lifts long enough for Johnny to step into the elevator. "My brother will see you down." She manages a serene smile and her eyes flit towards Johnny, <Don't let him out of your sight. I don't know what he did to Roberta.>


It's definitely one heck of a job interview, isn't it?

Without so much as a look shared between them to coordinate, Johnny steps through the forcefield at precisely the right moment, already reaching over to prod the button to send the elevator back towards the lobby. He shoots Sue a quick smile before he settles in to stand next to Victor.

Johnny eyes him sidelong as he waits for the doors to slide closed, and he doesn't bother holding his commentary for privacy. "You realize that the fact that you think he sent her there is kind of sad, right?"

Yeah, these two are never gonna shop for curtains together.


Noemi doesn't feel too different from a normal girl at that touch. She smiles, if weakly. Then - "Oh, do you mean I should stand up?"

Because, you know, maybe the chair is a bomb or something. Noemi does move to get up, though given her height that isn't impressive. She half-turns to face things — but just in time to see the elevator close. She gets only the slightest glimpse of -

"Oh my God, he was really right there," Noemi says.

She laughs, then. It's more of a brief spurt of a giggle, and comes with a sudden draining of the coffee, but at least it wasn't a scream.


Reed chuckles quietly, but in the sort of way that isn't a comment on Noemi misunderstanding him. "No, I just meant you shouldn't let yourself feel scared around Victor. It was… in the nature of a figurative suggestion." He gives her shoulder a light pat, steps aside as Johnny handles Doom's exit. "This is nothing so much as an uninvited visit from an old college rival. It's quite embarassing how petty it is, if I'm honest." Yes, he just said that about Victor Von Doom.


Victor just shoots Johnny a bright smile and his hands clasp lightly behind his back as he shifts on the balls of his feet. "Seo seems to be feeling better," he observes idly with a lift of his eyebrows to punctuate the point. "I am glad to see it. I will call her and tell her as much. Sincerely though, her presence begged many questions. Including how you and Richards," and the world is as it should be, "managed to locate her at the embassy." His hands unclasp from his back and he lifts a few fingers at Johnny, "Believe me, however, Joon, Seo is always welcome," his eyes glimmer with something unspoken. It's not mischief.

With Victor gone, Sue takes a long deep breath and collects herself easily enough. Her eyes roll and she treads back to the table. Her lips quirk into a tired, but genuine smile, and she slides into her seat once again, "I'm sorry about that. Truly," she emits a soft sigh. "Honestly, that," her eyes flicker towards the elevator, "is not that normal an occurrence, but it does happen." She swallows and her head tilts, "Last question: if you were working here," back to the interview without missing a beat, "and you were the one who had to deal with Victor in the elevator, how would you have handled it?"


No, but they're glimmering at all, and Johnny doesn't like it. His own eyes roll expansively and he shifts his weight to his other foot, giving the indicator in the elevator an impatient look. "You could have called in the first place instead of bypassing Roberta. Rude, by the way," he adds, giving Victor a level look.

As for how he and Reed had found Sue… there is a subtle shift in Johnny's posture that, if it were anyone but Victor, might go unnoticed. "Like Reed said. We were out looking for her when your window blew out, so we came to see what was going on. You live down the street. Stuff like that is gonna happen sometimes."


Noemi takes a deep breath and lets it out. She nods at Sue, and then -

Oh. The question. The interview isn't over??

She finishes her coffee to buy herself a few key seconds.

"I, well, I don't think I would have said anything differently," Noemi says, looking at Sue with wide amber eyes. "You said pretty much everything that there was to be said. No admittance means no admittance." After a second's pause, she then answers with obscure embarrassment: "But if you mean specifically. Um."

Noemi steps over and gets closer to the handsome little stone tiles right in front of the elevator. "I'd have taken off my shoe," she says, pointing at the marble, but not exactly doing it, "and put it down, and from THERE I would have wrapped it around his ankles."

"That sounds so ridiculous," Noemi says with a depreciating little nervous giggle.


Reed tries, very heroically, not to laugh at the thought of Victor so confronted. To keep this effort, he sort of drifts off to the side, still fussing with the budle of wires and… other things. Sue was nice enough not to give him hell for missing the interviews— best not to push his luck interrupting mid-interview by cracking up. Truly a gentleman.


Victor's smile turns serpentine when he notices the posture change, "As I said to Seo that day," his eyes light up, "either she must have told you that she was coming, or," his smile extends, "Richards managed some way of tracking her. Would you take kindly to being followed? You do know your sister is a person and not a cat, do you not?"


Bottom floor. Victor steps out and looks over his shoulder at Johnny, "Well done keeping that hothead in check, Joon. I am sure your sister would be proud. I can only imagine what it would be like to see those cogs in your mind work when agitated." And with that he steps into the lobby and, in a few more paces, out the building.

Noemi's answer prompts an easier smile from Sue. "No more ridiculous than what I did. Doctor Von Doom couldn't leave the elevator if he wanted to." She casts a glance towards Reed and then nods, "I think it's safe to say the job is yours if you still want it." With an indecisive wobble of her head, she notes, "Not that I would blame you if you didn't," after the way the interview unfolded.


Johnny's expression tightens. He may be keeping his hothead in check verbally, but the ambient temperature in the elevator is bordering on 'Arizona desert in July' by the time Victor exits into the lobby. He holds the door open to watch the other man leave, lingering a few moments longer before he allows the doors to close again.

That's when Johnny starts uttering a quiet, vehement string of Korean that might make his sister very disappointed in him and irritably punches the button to bring himself back upstairs.


"Oh - Oh my goodness - you don't want to check my typing speed or anything like that?" says Noemi, sounding shocked, /but in a good way/.

"Oh, M- E - Sue! Thank you so much!" Noemi says, eyes positively sparkling. (Possibly because they are spheres of actual glass — but shhh, details don't need examining.)

"When would I start?"


"I think you'll find that a business like ours has somewhat different concerns than most," Reed notes with a touch of humor. "Your typing speed can always improve, after all. You really only have one opportunity to remember what devices you should by no means ever touch, though." Is he serious? He sounds like he might be serious.


"Next week if you're available," Sue answers Noemi. Because this week for Sue is utter chaos. Defending in two days means her thoughts are rather occupied elsewhere. "I should have some time to work with you and help you learn the ropes." A grin is cast towards Reed and Seo states, "It's a pleasure to have you onboard. Assuming you're accepting," she extends a hand to Noemi once again.


"I am pleased to accept, ma'am," Noemi says with more of that reflexive deferentiality which will probably fade sometime around her second exposure to the Negative Zone.

She reaches up and shakes Sue's hands. And thanks to that cup of coffee, they're even warm now!

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License