2019-06-01 - Lunch time


Doug and Ian chat over lunch

Log Info:

Storyteller: {$storyteller}
Date: 06/01/2019
Location: shield HQ

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Ian is one of the agents. Not a super awesome one with high clearance, but sort of…basic level…he's on computers a lot and running through mandatory training for plenty of the time. Today, he's got his tactical gear on, but no helmet currently. On a break between tasks. Within SHIELD, there is a little buzz or interest around him. He was brought in by Barton, and has some connection to Russia. A lot of his fine is for those of a certain clearance level, but he himself doesn't seem to be particularly amazing. He's no Steve Rogers or Bucky Barnes.

Doug doesn't really have an office, per say. He has a cubicle, a cubelet with his computer in it and some mementos. A graduation picture from Xavier's School. A TARDIS that dispenses candy, and a sign within pointing distance that says 'I AM VERY BUSY'. He's a workaholic, not known for socializing. He eats lunch in the cafeteria alone, he works, he gives reports, he goes home and he comes back and does it all again.

One might think Doug Ramsey is a lonely man. They'd probably be right.

Instead of his family or a girlfriend, he has a picture of a tortoise on his desk, eating a lettuce leaf.
That works out, because besides Barton, Ian doesn't have friends either. He sits down awkwardly across from Doug at the cafeteria lunch table…because like attracts like? He stares across the table for a second before saying in English, "Hi."

Doug looks up, from his nutritionally-balanced, incredibly boring meal, and blinks at Ian. "…Hi." He says, before he goes back to eating. He chews, thoughtfully, and then, perhaps slipping into his work mode, he looks back up. "…How can I help you?" He asks, apparently somewhat puzzled, because nobody here has lunch with him.

I'm Agent Ian. You were sitting alone. You have sat alone for the past 17 days, since your lunch meeting with Agent Montana. " Ian stabs into his SHIELD-lunchroom-provided lunch…which is balanced, but calorie-heavy…he's in training and all. "You shouldn't be alone or it'll look like you have something to hide. Sit with someone. Socialize." The way Ian says it communicates the words, but the meaning is more hollow. He is certainly repeating what someone in the mental health department has told him.

"How did you know it was — you've been counting the number of days since I've been eating lunch alone?" Doug says. He picks at his salad, and says, "I want to be professional, and keep a working relationship with the agents I'm providing analytics and overwatch for." Doug's routine is pretty simple. He comes to work, uses the gym, puts in long hours, goes home, every other Monday he books time at the firing range at the end of the day. Then he pauses. "…Your counselor told you you had to socialize, didn't they."
"Yes. And its not hard to count the days…its just observation and you're the only one who is consistently alone in this cafeteria." Assuming there is likely more than a few lunchrooms about the place, but that Doug and Ian must share the same one. "Why don't you like anyone else? I like people, I just don't know what to say to them."

"I like plenty of people." Doug says, "I'm just—trying to be professional while I work here." Doug says. "Also, I'm a Mutant, and my powers sometimes make people uncomfortable." He takes another bite of his salad and chews, thoughtfully. "You observe a lot of things that unsettle people." he says, before he sets his fork down. "To be honest I don't know why I don't feel comfortable socializing more. I just don't."
Ian arches his dark brows and nods, eagerly, "Yeah…that's what Dr. Holstein said. I creep people out." Then Ian makes a sort of helpless expression, lifting his shoulders and smooshing his thin lips together. "I don't think its creepy. Observation is a skill, and observing people lets you predict their moves. So…you're a mutant, huh? What's your power? Do you get like…tentacles?"

"I'm a Metacognate." Doug says. "With highly advanced pattern-recognition capabilities, including the ability to instantly comprehend and communicate in any language, decryption, and cold-reading. For starters." He fishes his fork around in his salad. "No, I don't have any tentacles."
Ian blinks a few times, trying to wrap around the English…those are some big words. There's a moment he looks a little glassy-eyed, then he comes back around and switches to Russian. ~"Can you speak Russian? Or tell what I am saying? Why does that make people uncomfortable? If someone is observant they can tell what is…."~ Another blink. ~"Oh…yeah, I guess it does. Just not me."~

"Da." Doug says, switching into Russian with absolutely no effort. "Because I can read people's emotions and the subtextual nuance behind what they're saying. I can tell when people are intentionally lying or misleading. It makes it… difficult to meet new people, so I try to be as professional and focused on my work as I can be." He's still fishing in his salad with his fork. He got his dressing on the side.
"When I was in school, I wanted to be a superhero. I thought SHIELD would be the next best thing. Now I live parked behind a desk."

The advantage that Ian seems to have here is that he's literally trying to do the same thing, just from an analytical point of view, which makes him stare too long and kinda stalk people. And also that he's not trying to be deceptive about anything. ~"I guess…so that just means you don't make friends with liars. People with something to hide have a problem. Your job sounds boring. You should do something where you get to shoot guns more."~

"I'd love to be in the field." Doug says, "But my talents are more useful as an analyst. Even in a hot zone, I'm going to be dropped into a field base with armed guards and parked in front of a computer. I learned to keep things I observe to myself a lot." Doug admits.

Ian crams food in his mouth while he listens to Doug, an opportunist of eating. And like a military man, he gets that job done fast. "That's what the Dr. said to do. I'm still working on that. It seems like we have a lot in common. Except for the…analyst thing…and the guards. I don't need guards. I'm the guard." He flashes a grin which makes his small eyes even smaller. "I'll see you tomorrow, ok?"

Doug snorts, and says, "I can hold my own, but I'm not a field agent." He leans back, and then says, "…Okay." He pushes what's left of his lunch forward, apparently done. "I need to get back to work too." He pauses, and then says, "…Thanks, Ian. It's been so long since I socialized with someone I think I really forgot how to do it."
Ian grins. "I'm bad at it too, so…don't get full of yourself if you try it with someone normal after me." Then the Agent is off, blending in to the other trainees with ease, unremarkable in his white-guy, brown hair appearance.

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