1964-06-27 - Cause Celebrity
Summary: It's a just cause, when you think about it.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
vesper reed 


Midtown is frankly overwhelming even to a Parisian. Too many streets to navigate in the concrete jungle of high rises and famous stores. The experience is painful without a familiarity with landmarks. Vesper sure doesn't have that. Someone describing mayhem could use the noise and friction of too much traffic on southern Manhattan as an example. She clutches her slouchy hobo purse by the straps and picks her way through pedestrians going every which way. They walk here, they walk there, they disobey the traffic signs. No one at least bumps into the elegant young woman.

Sitting on a bench just outside of the Baxter Building is none other than Reed Richards. Famed scientist, as well as the reported Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four, the man earns a fair share of looks and glances from those passing by, but he pays them no heed at all. He rests with his legs crossed and a simple notebook open upon his lap, his hand busy at work drawing mathmatical symbols and making notes. He glances up occasionally, and it is in one of these casual examinations that he spies Vesper, drifting about in the crowd. He watches the elegant seeming woman, a politely amused smile on his face.

A signal flips to orange, a signal against walking. Vesper stops in the sea of people in their suits and their nice jackets. As one of the lone figures in anything resembling dressed down, she stands out. It's the scarf. The bright poppy red tucked under her chin features white swirls and atop the blue-and-white striped shirt, it's too cool for all these black and white people. Squares, really. Fashionably cool matters because she has to disguise being lost somehow. Looking up shows another skyscraper, another famous sign. Her nose wrinkles a bit at the smell of cigarette smoke, and her sleeve is pressed to her nose. Slinking away puts her squarely in the crowd in front of Mr. Fantastic, a few yards off. With sunglasses and hand to her face she is no bandit. More like she's possibly trying not to laugh, but he can probably hear the wheezing labour of her lungs.

Reed's brow furrows as he hears that wheezing breath, and it doesn't take the man long to close his notebook, slipping his ink pen into a pocket and making his way over toward the lady. He holds himself well, upright and shoulders square, if his movements are a slight bit gangly. He offers a kind smile before he says, "Excuse me, miss. Are you alright?"

"Look to the sky, she said," says a passing young lady who doesn't seem to notice much of what's up on earth. The girl stares up at the huge structure that dominates the skyline, clutching her notepad to her chest. "But the world didn't let her see, the great office building blocking out the very sun with it's immensity. The young girl was awed, though she could not see the people she came to meet."

She pauses, opening her notepad, and scribbles furiously for a moment, her dark-skinned hands holding her pencil with precision and haste. Why exactly she's narrating is uncertain but she apparently has not actually seen Dr. Richards or Vesper yet in her distraction. Kamala Khan has come to the Baxter Building.

The smokers carry on their merry way. Tobacco leaves a faint trace for someone to follow. Vesper holds her sleeve higher and coughs, the process unproductive. Her lungs simply do not agree with the chemicals. Greta Garbo sunglasses, huge and dark, cover her eyes. They keep the frustrated look hidden, too. Doubly important because Reed pulls attention wherever he goes. Elaborating on the slight wave of her hand, Vesper exhales thinly. Composing herself takes a few moments. A great big building stands over them and many, many more on various streets. "Pardon me. Not anything terrible," she murmurs. A losing battle when her lungs are enflamed from the sheer pollution in the air. Being pure sucks. "Someone for you." A small whisper, and she nods to Kamala approaching. Pointing is uncouth.

Reed is already ahead of that whisper and nod, the scientist's eyes drawn toward Kamala as he hears those words to accompany the look on the girl's face as she stares up at the Baxter Building. He seems torn with indecision for a few moments as he looks back with concern toward Vesper. The scent of cigarette smoke is noticable to him, though he does not think much of it. He looks back toward Kamala and gestures toward the building, "You are looking to meet with someone in the Baxter Building?"

The face that looks up over the notepad is rather like a trapped wyvern that's held in a corner by the adventuring party, ready to flee or strike given provocation. Or perhaps more like a girl who's holding a book in front of most of her face and realizing that she's not in fact alone and being an utter dorkling in front of humans.

When her eyes flicker over Reed Richards' features it doesn't get a whole lot better. Vesper she doesn't recognize, but still. She panics and overreacts by extending her right hand, her left still holdin the book, and offering to shake hands with her eyes wide. Apparently this kind of stuff doesn't get narration. Just panic.

"This is that building?" Vesper is consistently quiet. Not really a whole lot of choice awaits her when her windpipe is inflamed by the darn smoke. She takes a deep breath against her body's cooperation and forms a polite smile. Not unwelcome or unkind, but it doesn't really radiate the overt friendliness that so many Americans do. "He is friendly. You are not interrupting us." The soft voice doesn't hide the fact she is most definitely French. See, nothing to be afraid of there.

Reed smiles as he reaches out and takes Kamala's offered hand, giving it a polite shake before he pulls his hand back. His eyes shift toward Vesper and he says, "Oh yes. This is the Baxter Building. I live and work here along with a few of my friends…" He pauses for a beat, considering Vesper and Kamala before he gestures over his shoulder and says, "Why don't you two come in? Get some clean air and a drink and relax a little?"

That whole building for one person. The natural inclination to tilt her head back keeps Vesper counting the floors, mentally. She stops somewhere around twenty. The film of her scarf wraps around her throat and tickles. Pausing to resettle its position, she pauses again. "Would you mind? I do not wish to make your home feel like a museum or a tourist spot." How many other people get to visit? Amazing.

The brunette folds her fingers in a small come with gesture to Kamala. "I have never been. Have you?"

Kamala Khan absolutely squeaks. It's more embarrassing than any answer she could have chosen, and she nods without words, trying to come up with something that wouldn't get her kicked out of a gentleman's club. Or a normal room with people using words inside of it. Apparently Vesper's not-being-famous words are easier to handle because she latches onto them and says, "Have not!"

She then stops, turns around and visibly takes a deep breath, holding it a moment to calm down. Then turns around again, a fierce expression on her face, and says, "I'm Kamala Khan, it's nice to meet you! Both of you! Because I'm not focusing entirely on the famous person!" She might be gripping her notepad a little too tight.

Reed chuckles politely and shakes his head before saying toward Vesper, "It is no inconvenience at all. I would be happy for you both to come in." With that, Reed turns around and begins leading the women toward the Baxter Building, looking at Kamala sideways as he says, "I am Reed Richards, it is a pleasure to meet you."

Reed leads the two through the front door and toward an elevator in the back. Stepping inside, Reed steps so that his body blocks the security terminal as he inputs the code and then the elevator begins moving, a long journey that carries the trio to the very top of the tower. Stepping out, the trio find themselves in a wide open area. Glass panels isolate a few different science labs, while other areas are obviously designated toward leisure with a bar and a large sitting room. Reed offers a smile to both women before saying, "Just make yourselves at home."

"Do you actually own the whole building or rent it?" The question is essential for Vesper, who shifts her bag up to her shoulder. She carries only a small purse. Her burden today is quite light and devoid of her usual manila folders and envelopes stuffed with paper material. It is not in her to be impolite. "Enchanted, Mademoiselle Khan. Vesper Mezieres." The introduction is returned in kind. "Of course Monsieur Richards needs no greeting." Security doesn't cause her any concerns, really. She passes them easily enough and makes a point of not staring at the labs.

Mustn't stare. But they are intriguing for someone who researches at NYU all day long. And all night long. Sometimes together. She'll wait on Kamala to sit first before circling around to a spot for herself. She makes perching an art form.

Kamala is internally screaming. Yes I know you're Reed Richards, my blood pressure is clearly aware of this minor detail, the only way that I can keep from flipping out right now is by focusing on this other lady instead of opening my big mouth and going insane with all the power of my immense ability to stick my feet in my mouth. I swear I could fit both of them and that isn't remotely halal even with the festival over and I think I need the bathroom wait that isn't appropriate where are we going I haven't any idea how we got here did we come in through that door or wait we're in an elevator now I think I've seen this she's french girl in a science mag somewhere no that's not right I'm not saying anything why aren't I saying anything oh god.

Kamala sits down rather abruptly, saying, "My brother is working on a polymerized cloth that turns into snot when it gets wet but can stretch to cover a building." NO! NO, that's not what you are supposed to say right now!

"Oh yes, I own the entire building, but I offer the lower floor apartments for rent if anyone should desire to live in the building with us. I maintain the top five floors exclusively for the Fantastic Four, and I have outfitted them with several different labs, as well as Sue, Ben, Johnny, and myself all having private living quarters for when we wish some private time. Johnny has a space to work on his bikes and do whatever else it is Johnny does," Reed explains fondly, obviously thinking highly of the other Four members.

And then Kamala speaks and Reed's left brow lifts to consider her with that same curious smile from earlier. "Oh is he?" he says kindly. "That is interesting. I have only dabbled in experimental fabrics, but I did design these.." He stretches his arm out… way longer than it should go, the arm seeming almost elastic as it stretches from beneath his shirt sleeve toward Kamala. From where the arm extends from beneath the fabric if his shirt sleeve, the women will be able to see the tight fitting blue fabric of Reed's Fantastic Four suit. "It responds to our powers. Mine stretches with me, Johnny's can withstand his fire, Sue's can turn invisible with her… you understand."

Do not laugh; the rule of the day. Vesper has to try so hard to contain herself somehow. Putting her hand to her mouth is a good start. A barrier to laughing, so not to upset the nice young lady with them. It's a war now with herself and her slant sense of humour. "What… I am afraid to ask. Snot?"

Some things are not translated for nice foreign girls by the usual sources. She isn't going to pull out a dog-eared dictionary from that purse. It's in her lab. "What use would he have for such a cloth? Is it protective when the building is built? Or for an advertisement? I imagine that a cigarette or vehicle company would like that very much. Maybe some kind of rescue purpose." Shrouding a building has a coffin like connotation she's not going to address. And then the stretchiness has her eyes widening quite a bit.

Kamala Khan on her part bravely does not faint. This is a very stressful experience for her. She sighs when Reed shows his ability, then slows herself enough to be able to make a bit of sense, allowing the embarrassment to wash over her and go away. That's quite enough of that.

"I'm so sorry," she says, clearly taking the deep breaths her mother's taught her to take. "Snot, green slime. Not important, but it might be a useful fabric for people without powers possibly. I'm just a writer, I don't even belong in this building. Dr. Richards, you focus on the nice french lady, I think she's a geneticist." There. That was something you can tell your friends you did today. Don't ruin it with a squee.

Okay, just a quiet one. "squee…"

"Oh, don't be foolish. Anyone who is a friend belongs in this building. You two certainly seem friendly enough, and as it stands that is one of the things I look for in my friends, so…" He smiles from Kamala to Vesper and he walks over toward the bar and says, "Speaking of… what can I get you two to drink?" He waits for their orders as he steps behind the bar, stretching one arm out far to the left to collect glasses, the other out to the opposite end to collect ice. "A geneticist? Oh really? I still do lectures at Columbia from time to time…"

"No need for that, mademoiselle Kamala." Vesper shakes her head shortly, engaging the apology head-on. "English terms sometimes trouble me." She puts her hands lightly to her lap, purse pinned down in place. A question lies there, one to worry about. "Water will be good for me." For all she's old enough to drink liquor, Kamala may not be and when in Rome, be safe. Her posture is very proper with back straight, chin up. The little doe could bound off at a moment's notice, her legs slim and fit. "And thank you for the offer. Ah, I'm not quite so important in that field. Not like Doctor Crick, he's far better than my achievements." Oh, just speak of the Nobel Prize winner last year like she knows the guy. And she does, to be sure. "New York University presently. Columbia is very good. New York University is somewhat more focused upon research functionality."

Kamala Khan doesn't argue. She couldn't; her experience with geneticists is limited to magazine articles and the one currently in the room with her now. Technically the two, but who's counting. "Lemonade please," she says, more out of politeness than thi…nope, upon checking my inventory I find my mouth to be dry. Damnit, brain, get working. "Lemonade please. Wait, already said that. Wait, you're a scientist in a university?" She turns, finally really looking at Vesper. "How…how did you get them to accept you? I can't even get anyone to look at me because I'm a girl, is it so different in France? Do you think they'd consider a muslim applicant?"

Reed nods his head and goes to work while Kamala begins questioning Vesper, simply standing in one spot and letting his stretchy arms do the work of rounding up all of the ingredients for the orders. He places all three glasses on a serving tray and stretches it out to place gently on a coffee table situated between where the women sit before moving around the bar to join them. He eases himself down into a leather backed chair and watches, looking from one woman to the other while he sips his lemonade. "NYU is a decent school, I would not say that they weren't. I just have a fondness for the colleges I graduated from," he says, keying in on the fact that he has degrees from several.

Vesper is not the kind of person to toot her own horn or strum her own harp. Subject to any kind of attention makes her head duck. Hands fold a little tighter. "Against a good deal of resistance," she answers the question. Nodding to Kamala, she plucks her scarf to sit softer on her shoulders and neck. "Persistence and determination open some doors. I have to work harder than my male peers, and no one gives much credit. They see V. Mezieres of Cambridge and think 'Vincent' or 'Victor.' I am content to let them. Lady scientists exist, much more in France or Europe than here in sight. Madame Curie set a fine example for us." Her hands and shoulders lift in a smooth little shrug, content. "I help all those I can. You have an interest in science, too? Biology, bioethics, and astronomy are my preferences. And it is true. There are many good schools."

Kamala Khan hms. Openly, without shame in her musing. Now that she's past her initial ineloquence, she's started to show that she's actually got thoughts in her head. Just had to stop paying attention to the situation and actually think. "I think…I'd like to take courses in writing if I could. But in order to do that you have to take physics, because any author who writes without the ability to do proper research and base their concepts on any less than the most current understanding of reality isn't much of an author at all, and their work won't teach the readers anything worth understanding." She nods, not asking if she's right. She just is and that's that. "…what DOES the V stand for, by the way?" She sips her lemonade, grinning at Reed Richards. Wait, that's Reed Richards. "Um, hi. I'm not mentally invalid, I swear it."

Reed dips his head in agreement, "Yes, it is unfortunate that the female scientists that I myself work with are as held back as they are. I for one have tried to discourage that mentality where I can." He is thoughtful for a moment before he looks toward Kamala and asks, "Would you like for me to put in a good word for you with the Dean? I can send a letter or take you to meet him in person."

"Vesper." Clarifying herself on the earlier element, the brunette repeats her name. She smiles at Kamala. "I encourage you to write. And to take physics. They are electives for your compulsory education. The 'gen-ed.'" The latter she needs quotation marks around. Its use is a new word for her to be pasted into common conversation. Hands will lift to take any glasses or take full advantage of punctuating her phrases. "Have you already looked to schools? Columbia has a fine journalism program. Barnard College has very good English too. I hear " Her gaze is clear and bright, dark as espresso coffee, moving between them both. "Society takes time to change. Pioneers must weather the unwelcome responses and set the example."

Kamala Khan coughs to hide her resonse to Reed Richards offering to talk to the Dean of the NYC university to help gain her access to an education. She always assumed someone of his caliber would be busy. She's actually surprised that he's got time to serve drinks totwo young ladies, unless this is a situation like the one that her friends keep warning her about. But no, that's not possible.

"I'll need to get permission from my parents," she says, both to Vesper and to Reed, who apparently think she has it in her to study properly. "But I suppose it wouldn't hurt to have that argument taken care of now." She's going kind of white, this whole thing is a lot to take in. And was not what she expected when she went to write a story about Ms. Marvel casing the Baxter Building for clues in her ongoing investigation of the elvish invasion of New York. It's all in the notebook.

Reed nods his head, gesturing toward Vesper as he says, "I do believe that Columbia has the better journalism program, but it is of course up to you. I could put in a good word for you there, or take you to meet the dean once you let me know a convenient time. Similarly, if there is anything I can do to help you, just let me know," the last said toward Vesper.

"You may sit on classes, did you know? Try those and see what suits best for your tastes," Vesper suggests gently, happy to act upon that topic. Her encouragement is given and then she reaches for her glass of water. Nothing like fresh water to get her thirst quenched and think over the business of the conversation. Also, not giggle at Kamala's enthusiasm.

Kamala Khan tries to think exactly how that conversation would go over.

Kamala: 'Ammi, Abu, I'd like to go sit in classes in the university!'
Ammi: 'You are not in University, daughter. Go do your chores.'
Abu: 'My Beta, you have duties already enough. Do not waste our time on these silly ideas. Not again.'
Kamala: 'But Doctor Richards has said that I could go to university!'
Ammi and Abu: 'GO TO YOUR ROOM!'

Well, that's probably accurate. Still, she's not going to give up yet. "I'll…do my best." She stands up, sure only that she is really supposed to be home already. And gives a feeble but heartfelt grin. "If it were easy, it wouldn't be called an adventure would it?"

Reed offers a smile toward Kamala and he can only shrug his shoulders in reply. "I started college when I was only twelve years old. My own experience is likely to be little help to you, but I think if you feel that you have the intellect needed for that level of study, you owe it to yourself to try. Regardless of whether your parents approve or not."

"Come to the biology department and ask for me should you want a guide," offers the brunette. She puts down the glass beside her. "All things happen in good time. Just remember, an educated lady is able to contribute much to her family and her society. You have a special gift to share with the world, I am more than sure."

With Kamala's thoughts, she comments on how strange it is. How the mighty Reed Richards seems to know so much, and still doesn't see the obvious. That it is different. A male, rich and hyper-intelligent, in a society that lauds those qualities and welcomes people like him. Versus a brown female from another country, another religion, that is barely even grasped and less often understood. And far from welcomed.

Yet she took something away from the event. Girls can do this. Education is a special gift, you're not alone. And if you feel you can do something of real value, do it. Even if your parents disapprove. So she steps to the elevator, pulling out her notepad, and doesn't say anything in response.

Because as the door slides closed she's writing in the book already, not looking ahead. At least not with her eyes. 'Vesper, Mezieres. Richards, Reed…' 'biology has potential'

Reed smiles and nods his head toward Kamala as she sees herself out and once she has gone he settles back into his chair a little more. He takes a sip of his lemonade before turning his eyes back onto Vesper. "So you are a teacher at NYU?" Reed questions with a smile. "That is wonderful. I would love to collaborate with you sometime."

Kamala's departure will probably lead to very exciting diary entries. Whatever she writes in, the day has a cipher on paper in thoughts. She holds her own glass of water and none too focused on it. The coolness is a comfort. "A researcher. Tenure is reserved for important people with much skill and experience. In this field, that is reserved for very few, oui?" She's young, by sight. "A collaboration would make my professors' eyebrows catch fire. I would not be opposed to that."

Reed grins and nods his head, "Come with me!" he says with no small amount of humor and excitement as he presses himself to his feet and begins leading the way toward one of the labs. Stepping inside, Vesper will find herself in the midst of some of the most advanced technology the human species has to offer, many of which are obviously Reed's own invention and not available to the public at all.

Come with me. How many stories begin with that! They might involve breadcrumbs and possibly wicked witches. Vesper follows Reed. Her pace is quick and her shoes don't make much noise. At the doorway to the lab, she steels herself like an archaeologist about to jump into a freshly discovered Egyptian royal tomb. "Do I require gloves or anything?" the question is out of her mouth. Then silence. Silence to absorb all the materials around her.

Reed shakes his head before saying, "You don't at the present time. I have everything put away. I was simply going to show you the facility." He gestures around to the cold and sterile environment, numerous microscopes settled in a row along one wall. "What kind of work do you enjoy doing most?"

"Work meaningful to improving people's condition. Health, their state." Vesper says that without the least hint of doubt or delay. She nods to the row of microscopes. "Finding better ways to work and solve common problems. For me, this is often by understanding the disease or medical conditions. It's not perfect of course. I went into genetics to better address those problems."

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