Jump to content
Tiffany Korta

Freedom of Bureaucracy

Recommended Posts

Freedom League Headquarters, Business Annex
10:00 EDT 7th May 2018

 

Even something like the Freedom League needed to do the normal drudgery necessary to keep an organisation trundling along, so tucked away in one corner of there building was a series of offices for more mundane paperwork. Surprisingly when Black Mamba had shown up to volunteer for the Auxiliaries he hadn't been met by one of the hero's but a young well dressed African American woman who introduced herself as Elizabeth Ishumi.

 

She'd then led him through a maze of corridors to a small office and offered him a seat whilst she'd started going through his paperwork silently, it getting to that point of embarrassing silence...

Share this post


Link to post

The flight over to the city center was quick and easy, the joys of avoiding traffic, he had clunked down intent on keeping his actual identity as much a secret as he could. After all there were not a lot of one eyed men in Freedom City he was sure, even less wearing matching one eyed battlesuits. He was, perhaps obviously, surprised by the normality of the situation mixed with the absurdity of him clunking along in power armor through a maze of little offices. He considered leaving not once, but three times as he ambled through the corridors the clunk, clunk of his metal feet echoing through the passageways.

 

Black and gold stared at the woman, impassive as only metal could be, flesh was less impassive as he sat there. He scanned the office fourteen times, shifted his weight no less than 12 times even though the suit made sure he was never uncomfortable, ran through his heads up display multiple times and checked his weapons twice even though he was sure the dark skinned woman in front of him was no threat to him since he was trying to help.

 

Finally he could stand it no more,"Anything else I need to do to help speed up the process?" As soon as he said it he felt like he had failed a test, like this was some kind of test of his patience or ability to navigate life with the normal people but it was too late the words were already out.

Share this post


Link to post

"Oh no, is fine." 

 

There was a distinct chill in the air - and Dimitri Peshkov, aka Comrade Frost appeared, stepping out smoothly from one of the several doors in the office. Black Mamba had heard of the formerly Soviet, now Russian superhero - he'd been among the party that had tangled with South African super-agents in Angola a lifetime earlier. "Hello!" said Frost with vigorous joviality, striding over and slapping Black Mamba on the back with great force. "Pardon delay, Ms, Ishumi," he said with a Russian accent that owned more to the stage than reality. "I thought you might enjoy a second hand in dealing with our guest from Down Below!" He gave Black Mamba a winning smile, an interesting look on his whiteish-blue face. 

Share this post


Link to post

Mamba's head turned as Frost appeared, his head tilting as he scanned the intruder. With a flick of his mental controls he sent it to Akhona with an electronic message.

 

Who is this? Get me an ID and any information you can get me.

 

She replied almost immediately,"Where are you?"

 

He sent her the busy signal, he didn't feel like getting into this right now,"Down Below?" That's an unusual way of saying it,"Down Under is Australlia, I'm from South Africa....you been down that way?" It always made him nervous when he met someone with any interaction with South Africa past or present, his time as Rooivalk was mostly hidden from the normal people but there were some supers who could dig up his secret and that meant he'd have to act.

 

First determine if there was a threat, first determine if there was a threat. With that going through his mind he offered his hand to the pale man,"Greetings, I'm Black Mamba, and you are?"

 

He had served in Angola, but it was a normal sniper and scout after he had flunked out of the super hero program. His super powers had only arrived later when he had found Akhona to improve his suit for him.

Share this post


Link to post

"Oh, many times," said Frost warmly. "Such a place is South Africa, with so many people." Frost pulled up a chair with casual ease, taking a seat alongside Black Mamba as though they were the best of friends. "Your pardon, with four or five languages in there, my English may not be my best subject." He grinned again, then said, "I am Comrade Frost, Russian attache to the Freedom League. Ms. Ishumi will tell you is all okay, not a Communist spy or anything. And you?" he asked, folding his hands curiously. 

Share this post


Link to post

Elizabeth looked up and was about to make a remark when Comrade Frost burst came into the office. There was a brief look of... concern, which was quite common when Frost turned up, but she quickly recovered her composure.

 

"Of cause Mr Frost you are welcome to sit in on my assessment. And indeed I can confirm that Comrade Frost is a respected member of the Freedom League," she spoke with the faint traces of an ancient, suggesting and parent or grandparent original came from Central Africa

 

"I will warn you, however, Mr Mamba that I may have to go through information only revealed to the League in the past. If this is going to be a problem please inform us and we can work out some alternatives. Though everything you say will of cause be kept in the strictest confidence."

Share this post


Link to post

Black Mamba looked between the two people, more and more sure that this was all some kind of test and he was being subjected to some kind of psychological profiling to see how he behaved. Frowning he shrugged,"I speak several languages myself, my Dakani and Zulu need a lot of work, Mr Frost. I think you can be given a little leeway." Glancing back at Elizabeth and shrugged,"Do I actually get a say in this if I want to join? I doubt it."

 

Looking back over at 'Comrade' Frost his left hand opened and closed, servos whirring lightly before he looked back at his interviewer, shifting his chair slightly to keep them both in view of his good eye,"Go right ahead, I reserve the right to ask Comrade Frost to leave if I chose to answer a question without an audience." He knew that it would take Akhona some time to get him information on Frost, and she was likely dragging her feet because he cut her off....but for now he had no choice. He was going to do the right thing for a change, and she was likely to kick his rear end when he got home, a small smile curled the lips under his helmet and he nodded to Elizabeth,"Ready when you are."

Share this post


Link to post

"Heaven forfend your heeepa rights be violated!" said Frost warmly, settling in to watch the discussion. "Certainly not by me." He had at times been unhelpful when the League was considering new applicants, he knew - but he'd never actually been denied his security clearance for it. Let us see what the man is like before I wrestle with the stories about the man. They were just stories, anyway - rumor and innuendo. There was plenty enough of that about Frost himself. Seeing "Black Mamba" speak was a fine way to see character. "Yes, let us begin." 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

Black Mamba settled into his chair, his gaze turned so his one good eye could cover both of them as best he could, as he waited information started to appear on his screen.

 

Comrade Frost, liaison to the Freedom League from the People's Hero's. A Russian superhero, apparently he has control over ice or cold. What are you doing?

 

Ignoring your wife was never a good thing to do but with a thought he shut the communication down, shuffling a little in his chair he waited for the African American woman to start. He hoped she wasn't going to make him keep waiting longer, he was more of an action oriented person and waiting like this killed him, especially with the little blinky light letting him know he had messages from Akhona.

Share this post


Link to post

 

Having determined that everything was okay Elizabeth adjusted her glasses and took up her stylus before getting down to the business of vetting Black Mamba.

 

"According to our records you've been active for at least thirty years." her tone was very much suggesting what kind of activity that was, though apparently, that was a question for later.

 

"Whilst there are a few who aren't affected by the flow of time..." she looked over at Comrade Frost "... the rest of us feel those years, well need to make sure your physically fit to keep up with the rigours of being a super. Unless of cause you've had the mantle passed on by someone else."

Share this post


Link to post

Black Mamba sat back, a sigh echoing inside of his helmet and over his speakers for the other two to hear, this hadn't lasted long. Deep dark secret out in less than a minute, why had he thought this was going to be a good idea? He glanced over at Frost, suddenly aware of why he was there. His brain brought him to a screeching halt though, they hadn't actually accused him of anything yet. They hadn't linked it to Rooivalk yet, at least not verbally, then the rest of the question hit him and he paused some more.

 

So they were aware, but they seemed to be more concerned with his physical fitness than his moral compass? Interesting....

 

Shrugging, an interesting thing to do in a battlesuit,"I have kept myself fit enough, is this a test with or without the armor? Because I don't plan on doing anything without the armor while I work for you...for the League." That had started to sound a little to much like a contract,"What I mean is I won't be a danger to anyone that I'm helping."

Share this post


Link to post

"How do we know you are not shapeshifting brainsucker from space? You know, Grue?" inquired Frost. "Have met plenty of those and while some are nice people, others are not. Without full medical workup is hard to know a man. Now don't get me wrong, you may not be a man under there - I certainly am not. But we still need to know." He looked around the office, then his eyes lit up as he spotted a small coffeemaker tucked away near the room's entrance. Without comment, he headed over there and set to work, letting Elizabeth and Black Mamba continue their conversation.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

John blinked and shook his head,"So a secret identity is out of the question then?" He frowned, not sure how he felt about all of that,"What's next you read my mind to make sure I'm not a shapeshifting brainsucker from space? It's not like they couldn't assume the form of a human to fool the interview? This seems a little weird, I thought this was a voluntary position where I went to help people. I'm not even getting paid and you're wanting to put me through a medical?"

 

He tilted his metallic helmet, looking to the actual person doing the interview,"I thought that I was going to get assigned a baby sitter...not subjected to mind reading, body probes and identity revelations? I want to keep my family safe, that means I need to keep this city safe, I thought being a member of the Auxiliary would allow me to do both and be officially recognized."

 

Share this post


Link to post

Frost was quiet for a moment, considering the man's words and attitude. When he next spoke, his voice had lost some of its arrogance - and distinctly, most of his comic-opera Russian accent. "None of that has been said. And there are those who operate with the League with their names obscured even to us. But if we will open a door for you, you must open a door for us. What can you tell the League about who and what you are?" 

Share this post


Link to post

An armored suit was not made to slump forward, but somehow Akhona had built in enough mobility to achieve even this emotion and then a shrug, she really was a good mechanic,"I don't age anymore, I've stopped for sometime. My wife, my children, they will all die and leave me behind. The least I can do is make sure the time I spend with them is safe, that they can walk the city and not worry. There was a time when all I cared about was the fun of the chase and the money I got paid. I suddenly have all eternity hanging before me...and the fear of nothing to fill it. I was saved by a hero during the Terminus invasion, and I realized I could do that too better than most."

 

Straightening he shrugged again,"I just want something to turn to that will be worthwhile when all is said and done and I've buried my family. It's going to happen..." And maybe then he'd meet someone who would be strong enough to end him, a small bitter smile curled up under his helmet, unlikely but you never knew. Shaking his head he added,"Sorry, that went deeper than I had anticipated."

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×