2019-11-09 - Meeting RESCUE


Bruce pays a visit to RESCUE and discusses a possible working relationship with Doctor Veronica Kelsey.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sat Nov 9 22:54:57 2019
Location: RP Room 2

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The campus of RESCUE lies close to the Disaster Zone, within the scope of the depressed property values nearby, and serves as part of an ongoing effort to rehabilitate the area. Comprised of multiple buildings, the campus is notable because it actually adds more green space to the city than it does developed and industrialized space, covering an entire city block with only 5 buildings. The tallest of these is the Spire, a helix-shaped tower at the center rising only thirty stories into the air - nothing compared to the real giants of Manhattan. It's design includes smart louvers and solar panels allowing it to adjust throughout the day and night.

The entrance includes modern and reasonable security measures, including deployable spikes and motorized stanchions, a curving pathway to the heart of the campus and very subtly disguised but very solid embankments housing the plant beds framing the drive. The other most common entrance is on the roof of the Wellspring, the noted medical clinic on-site, immediately adjacent to the Spire, where flight control paths denote a licensed helipad, as well as the most often cleared landing zone for at least three registered tech 'heroes': Posse, as well as Augmenta and Iron Patriot.

The other most notable thing about the campus is that there is no floor, o building, no structure or site on the campus that is not one-hundred percent handicapped accessible, adapted for ease of use not just for wheelchairs, but those operating with walkers, canes, the blind, the deaf and other less common disabilities. The reason for this should come as no surprise, given that one of the co-CEOs of RESCUE is Dr. Veronica Kelsey, a noted surgeon and cyberneticist who is herself a paraplegic. And it is her wheelchair that comes rolling out of the Spire and along the cement pathway to the traffic circle when she is notified that Bruce Wayne has arrived.

It's a definite change of pace from the cramped confines and militant spaces of Staten Island - or even stately Wayne Manor. Having gathered the information and files, Bruce had reached out to RESCUE earlier in the week on a meeting, and Bruce is settled in the back of his car as it pulls into the traffic circle. As it arrives at the entrance, the car is momentarily parked as an older gentleman steps out of the driver's side. Dressed in his chaffeur's outfit, the driver makes his way around the car to open the door at the back.

Stepping out of the car, Bruce is unaccompanied today as he rises up to his full height. He had considered bringing Helena or Selina with him, but neither were available. Probably off on a shoping trip. "Thank you. Grab some lunch, I will be a little while." he gives his long time servant a smile before he turns his attention to the woman waiting for him.

After the car departs, Bruce gives Veronica a warm smile, his blue eyes shining with delight. "Doctor Kelsey? I'm Bruce Wayne. A pleasure to meet you."

The woman in the wheelchair, a white lab coat over her emerald green business atire, rolls forward another foot or so and extends her hand upwards towards Bruce. "Good to meet you, Mr. Wayne. Welcome to RESCUE." Then she turns to look past him at the older gentleman. "If you would like, Sir? You can park in the garage, and you would be welcome at the cafeterias on campus. But you are certainly welcome to come and go as you see fit." Yes, she is that polite, even to a supposed servant, and one she does not even know who doesn't work for her.

Turning back to Bruce, Veronica addresses him once more. "We're happy to accept the visit, Mister Wayne. I confess to being somewhat curious as to the purpose of your visit. If you would like a tour of our facilities, that can be arranged." But since WayneTech would be a noted competitor to RESCUE on quite a few fronts, there would have to be some care taken there. Not that Bruce's reputation as a playboy would give them exceptional concern, but care is still expected from their stockholders and investors, not to mention DARPA.

Bruce's reputation was well earned since his first days of leaving the mansion and into the limelight of New York's social scene. But after his accident back in 2015, shortly after the very Blitz that caused this area to become the ruins that it is, it has been noted that Bruce has mellowed a bit. Rumors of a broken back, experimental surgeries, all so that he could walk again.

Then on the social side, there's the family man. Adopted children, two children of his own, though there are stories about how Damian came about. But with Selina Kyle, it is even thought that they may have secretly married, though Bruce wears no markings of marriage upon him. "When a young company is starting to show expansion and growth, I'm always curious, Doctor. Also, there is always room to cross over studies and share research. Especially in the cybernetics and atrificial intelligence fields." he admits.

The chauffeur smiles at Veronica. "Ah, thank you, Doctor. But I had already made plans. I will be around, though." he gives a bow of his head, before he's going to pull the car out to head towards a nearby cafe and lunch with his daughter.

"I would be happy to see your facilities, doctor." Bruce rejoinders, "But I've always appreciated learning about companies through their people rather than through their machines. If you don't mind telling me a little about yourself? I'm sure for most, my life is pretty much an open book."

Roni would never deny that an assistant compiled a reasonable facsimile of a profile on Bruce ahead of this meeting, largely through internet research. But she too is a people person; a good doctor can never be anything else. "Certainly, Mr. Wayne. If you'll follow me?" she offers, and then pivots her wheelchair neatly and starts rolling back along the concrete towards the Spire. Even so, Bruce can likely spot flickers of light in the lenses of her glasses that are unlikely to be coming from the moderately overcast day's sun. And as she starts to roll, one hand busies itself in her lap, tapping out a quick message on her phone before resuming its work on the wheels of her chair; she clearly has a lot of practice at this, as she never veers off course. Timing is everything.

"The company has existed in one form or another for almost twenty years. The majority of our best advances have been made in the last ten or so, and our largest strides since a year or so before the Incident." Of course, all of that is on RESCUE's website, but it's not like Veronica is telepath enough to know how much Bruce bothered to read before this visit. "As you can likely expect, a big part of my own impetus was the study of various physical and biological limitations and finding ways to overcome them. That's why the Wellspring is such an important part of our efforts here."

As they come rolling into the ground floor of the Spire, Bruce will be welcomed by various holographic technologies with smart displays offering up believed relevant presentations and materials; not being programmed into the system already, Bruce is greeted as a guest, and the displays change to an overview of the company and the grounds to help direct that guest wherever he might need to go.

If Bruce checked, it doesn't immediately show. Truth be told, he had done a background check, and he will probably have Oracle do a deeper dive, depending on how the meeting goes. Bruce probably already knows criminal background checks, histories, in some cases, social status of those involved.

However, that is what Bruce knows under his hat. Because he appears sincerely delighted at the holographic greeting and he chuckles. "So I noticed that." he comments on the technology and their mission statement, "I will admit, Wayne Enterprises has never branched into the actual cybernetic side of things." comes Bruce's explanation. "Though Wayne Pharma has always had its sights on pain management and muscle memory." There's a little frown, and a thoughtful look. "If you were to have a dream project, what would it be?"

Veronica seems content to let Bruce idle around the lobby for a bit while they converse, though surely she intends to take him upstairs to some conference room or office at some point. "I - we - have achieved a lot of my dream projects already, to one extent or another. Some of those things I would like to perfect, to be able to make them commonly available to those that would benefit from them. It's reasonably common knowledge we've moved beyond mere prosthesis to active function cyberlimbs and neural interface." Veronica says this largely to make it clear what she's sharing isn't insider information; she isn't betraying confidences.

"But the reason that technology is not yet consumer-ready is due to some noticed trends towards instability in patients. I want to overcome that, so that everyone can benefit, not just a select few." Roni is a bit of a rarity in the business world: she is a true idealist who just happens to have managed not to run her company into the ground or have competitors do it for her. Yet.

"I will also admit that hope springs eternal for me that our work in non- and less-lethal interdiction systems can overcome entrenchment and see broad-scale employment in place of current lethal systems, especially in community policing efforts."

"One of the goals I don't talk about much, though, is that someday I want to see broader acceptance of those who use these technologies in their lives." Dr. Kelsey explains. "One of my closest friends and allies uses technologies we developed every day to help and save lives. And the one thing she wants more than anything in the world is to resume her place, serving and defending her country. But she is prohibited from doing so, and was medically discharged despite her capabilities and determination. Someday, I would like to see those attitudes changed."

Apparently someone read Bruce's dossier. His prolaclivity towards non-lethal technology is well known, as is his strong stance against the Sentinels program on any level. As he considers the woman's words, and folds his arms across his chest in thought. "I think that tending to our wounded veterans is a high priority, I agree. But there are those that would see that her tour is over. But I can admire the spirit to want to return to the field." he finally decides. It's a neutral stance to take. Perhaps also the status quo of it all.

"What I would like to see eventually is for humanity to return to the moon. And stay there. And from there, to Mars, and beyond." He's got his own large dreams as well as Bruce gives the woman a thoughtful once-over. "I had read that your company is focused on minorities and is one hundred percent female owned. I've always been impressed by the idea. My mother, when I knew her, stayed at home to focus on raising me, but she had a good mind for business. From what I remembered. It's why the Martha Wahyne Foundation helps with those that need it. Which is sort of why I'm here." he finally decides to get to the root of it.

"While there are those that could see the business ties - I'll let those develop as they will. But, what I wanted to offer is this. You have those that need help, and may not be able to afford it. And while you may be able to handle those cases that are the most desperate as needed. However. I also know that doesn't help with business. What I would like to do is - in those situations where the patient may not be able to pay, to consider to offer the Foundation a chance to assist."

Veronica considers what Bruce has offered, and then nods. "We are not entirely female-owned; there are men who own stock. But our leadership is female, our founders are female." She is painfully, painstakingly honest. She couldn't stand for there to be any misunderstandings.

The idea offered is one Roni likes, and she shows it with a smile. "I like that idea. A joint foundation for needs-based assistance for medical treatment and support. I'm sure the lawyers will want to layer in protections, an advisory board and evaluation board and criteria. But given the ideal in mind? I agree." And just like that, she offers her hand. She knows her partners well enough to be absolutely sure they will agree with the principles, even if they quibble on the execution.

"As for space: I think goals are important. I approve of the idea. But my own passions are closer to home. I wouldn't mind seeing our efforts provide technologies that make those explorations, those futures, more possible than they were, than they are today." Veronica mentions. Making the world a better place doesn't have to stop with one planet, after all.

"The lawyers have to justify their billings somehow." Bruce responds with a chuckle of amusement, a smile touching on his lips at Veronica's comment on it all. When she offers her hand, his hand accepts it in a warm grip and shakes it. "Then we have an agreement in standing, at least." comes the response from the eldest Wayne. "And we should all have aspirations and dreams. It's good to see how they turn up and when they meet each other for a mutual benefit."

There's a pause as Bruce considers. "If you would like a fuller meeting, with your other owners, I would be willing to listen to any concerns they may have. I know I may come from the old money, but I would like to think I look forward in some ways."

"Well, I'll let them know what we've discused. If they decide they'd like to meet to discuss things further, I'll be sure to let them know you're open to further discussions." Veronica offers, giving Wayne a smile and a nod. "And I'll be sure to have a Memorandum of Understanding sent over later this week." That's how these things are done, after all, as a guidepost for the lawyers and bankers and such.

"I'll make sure to have my lawyers look it over, and we'll have a quiet celebration in the press when the offer is completed." Reaching into his pocket for his phone, Bruce takes it out to make the call to his driver to let him know he's ready. "It was quite the pleasure to meet you, Doctor Kelsey. And I look forward to working with you in the future. Perhaps my daughter will come pay a visit. She's heavily into science."

"If your daughter loves science, I might suggest she checks out GIRL. Stands for Genius In action Research Labs, a program built by one of our later partners, Nadia van Dyne, to promote young women in their pursue of science. RESCUE provides a good portion of their funding as our way of giving back. Paying it forward, as it were, supporting other young women in science as we were supported ourselves." Veronica explains to Bruce. "I will also admit, all of the members of G.I.R.L. get to tour our facilities once a semester." She does not mention they also get preferred access to internship and job postings, but the young woman will figure that out soon enough upon her own arrival.

That said, Veronica rolls with Bruce, escorting him back to where he was left a while ago, happy to keep him company until his driver arrives.

"Helena is very heavy into science. She's opted to attend SHIELD Academy, but I'm sure she could use other friends. She was sort of sheltered growing up." For obvious reasons, she was the only child of a multi-billionaire. Bruce steps out onto the drive as the car pulls up. "But I will present her the idea and see what she thinks. Thank you again for your time, Doctor. And it was a pleasure to meet you."

The door opens for Bruce, and he steps back into the car with an easy grace as the driver goes around to close the door and to drive them back to the manor.

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