Rays Of Hope In Queens


barney_icon.gif jaiden_icon.gif jared_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title Rays of Hope in Queens
Synopsis RayTech obtains prime property and the cooperation of the local diocese toward rebuilding Jackson Heights.
Date May 16, 2018

Jackson Heights

At the RayTech Offices that morning…

A large manila envelope with property paperwork, keys, and some other information landed on Barney's desk. Jared Harrison simply smiled. "You said you wanted a space for a large hydroponics garden, and Val wants to use rooftop gardens. Kill two birds with one stone here, and you also have open green space for outdoor ground-level gardens as well." The property in question is centered right in Jackson Heights, Queens, not far from RayTech Headquarters. "Obviously, the purpose is to get the neighborhood involved — so our purchase agreement also includes classes on hydro- and aeroponics being taught to the kids from the school next door. The land you're using was originally owned by the diocese of New York, and they are very interested in the idea of helping get this neighborhood back on its feet."

The land in question is a 5 block by 1 block rectangle of area that houses the Our Lady of Fatima Rosary House (whose insides will likely be gutted for aeroponics and hydroponics), which sits next to the still-standing Our Lady of Fatima church and school. "We're also going to send construction teams to help with repairs and work in the church and the school — the best way to draw a community is to build one, right?"

Once out at the site of the former Rosary House of Our Lady of Fatima…

It's a massive undertaking. As they stand on the road outside what used to be the Rosary House, Jared shakes his head slightly. "You definitely have your work cut out for you," he tells Barney as they await the others. The lawyer stands with his hands clasped behind his back, seeming pretty pleased with what he sees, though. This is a very visible project that will make a significant difference in this neighborhood.

Barney has a desk? Of course Barney has a desk. Does he know where it is? He must! Because he's here. At the place. In New York. Standing next to Jared Harrison. Listening to the man as he talks about the land they've now purchased. Barney's little proposal come to fruition. Or, well… coming to fruition. It's not there yet. But it's a heck of a lot farther than he thought it would be. The big ginger middle manager is dressed for a much warmer day, though growing up in Minnesota means that the 50ish that it is in New York at this time isn't actually that cold. To him. He's dressed in relaxed black slacks, and a collared plum colored polo. He's got even left behind his clipboard for this little outing, and stands looking at the property, a hand lifting to smooth down his wind ruffled beard.

"Oh I don't know. I enjoy helping people. And knowing this is going to go a long way towards that… makes the coming work a lot easier. It will also prove the viability of the project and make it that much more marketable as well." Barney is very altruistic. But he understands that he works for a company that needs to make money in order for that altruism to be possible. "I get to help people, and I get to help Raytech, all while doing my job. I'd say that's a pretty neat arrangement." Barney… has no clue what is in store for him with this project, that or he's just that much of an optimist. “I really wish Miss Ray were here. I mean I’ve done the study and research on everything, but study and research are rather different from practical application, and Miss Ray has more practical application with this sort of thing.” Or at least Barney thinks she does.

Ever since getting his registration card to allow him to work using his ability, Jaiden has been in contact with Raytech from the Compound in Minnesota. Yes, it’s the middle of nowhere, but it gives him plenty of room to do whatever it is he wants to do and has the added bonus of being far away from the remnants of war. In fact, being out there, one could even forget that a war had even happened. Life out in Kabetogama, Minnesota had been fairly calm - even calmer since the war ended and the regular flow of fighters, refugees, and people who had heard of the place and came looking for help - or trouble - had stopped. Him working with Ray was his way of giving a little more back.

Survivor’s guilt? Yeah, maybe a little.

This is right in Jaiden’s wheelhouse, though. Planning? Preparing? Setting up contingencies and alternate routes? Defense and security? It’s what he’s been doing for /years/ during and after the war. The girls and Remi were given kisses goodbye as he got on the plane to New York, and after a relatively short flight, he was on his way to the site of the proposed site in a rented jeep, paid for on Raytech’s dime. Thankfully the thing was automatic, since his knee and a clutch didn’t work exactly as well as they did before the injury. A quick reconnaissance followed, and then it was off to the main office to meet with the people who were running this project. His co-conspirators, as he liked to call them.

Adjusting his tie - something not worn since the trials - and leaving his sport jacket behind, his newly printed Raytech ID badge bouncing against his chest, the big man breezed his way toward security with his cane and briefcase, and soon found himself outside of a chain link fence and a gate manned by a bored-looking guard. A few convincing words later and an examination of his badge and voila, through the gate and into the buildings.

Ygraine’s looking quite different to the smartly respectable styles seen during her own array of court-room appearances throughout the years of the Albany process. The hip-length braid of hair is still a glossy black, the last 18” or so a richly warm blue - but her attire merges practicality with Gothic touches. Flexible boots with good soles, combat trousers with many pockets, a thigh-length coat with a hood, and a few highlights in silver and dark blue. Also some weaponry hidden under her jacket, for her solo trip through the crime-ridden ruins and avenues of Jackson Heights.

At the moment, however, she’s looking bouncily cheerful. “If there’s anything Liberty can do, then we’ll provide it,” she says happily. “We’ve got friendly relations with some of the locals, though they’re not the most conventional of allies. Of course, in this part of the Zone, convention and safety aren’t quite what they might be elsewhere…

“And more personally, I’ll gladly offer myself for hire. I had to get official commercial certification to qualify as an instructor, so… I can legitimately offer my aid with surveying, construction, and everything that having myself or others wall-walk or on a ceiling might assist with. And I’m used to working with Jaiden, of course. But anything I can do, or call on Liberty for…. Well. I’m really excited about this.”

Seeing Richard's old friends arrive makes Jared smile. "It's good to see you both," he tells them warmly, offering a hand to Jaiden to shake firmly and a brief, warm kiss to Ygraine's cheek. "I wasn't sure how long it might take to obtain the property or get the permits for what you wanted done, so I got started on it as soon as the meeting was done." He doesn't mention that he was already talking to the diocese about some way to help them out as well — it was just in prelim stages. The purchase had to go through the government and get the RayTech Board's approval, first.

"In addition, I believe that you'll be able to count on some assistance and input from the Safe Zone Council; they've made contact with the company about a similar idea. So you should speak with the woman whose name is in the folder… Susan something, as I recall."

The lawyer shoves his hands into the pockets of the jeans he wore for this trip out here, leaning back against the car they arrived in. "The Monsignor has asked only that if we find anything valuable when we gut the Rosary House, please return it to the church… and use your best judgement on what's valuable." He grins a bit. "Personally I can't imagine what he thinks you'll find. But, well…" He shrugs.

"I'm going to leave the construction talk to all of you — this is totally outside my wheelhouse. If the permits you have don't cover what you need, let me know and I'll go file papers and twist arms." He winks at Ygraine, then pushes off the car and heads around it.

"I'll send one of the drivers back for you, Barney, unless one of these fine folk bring you back after you do a walk-through. Try not to break yourselves in there — I have no idea what shape the inside's in." He gives them a wave and goes back to work… or so one might assume.

Barney turns in place as people start arriving, walking up to where Jared and he stand on the street. A bright smile dawns on the man's features and he moves forwards to shake Ygrain's hand first, big meaty paw probably engulfing both Ygraine and Jaiden's hands, as Jaiden is getting a handshake too. Both of them. "Hello. I'm Barney. I work for Raytech. I'll be liaising with both of you on the project. Very much looking forwards to working with you both. I understand you are both old friends of Mister Ray?"

He's got a big happy grin in place as he speaks and greets, though Jared's mention of turning over valuables to the church has him looking slightly amused. "I'm even more not sure what they think that we'll find that hasn't already been looted. But of course we won't keep anything from them. It's not as if we have an interest in religious relics. We have food to grow and science to do." He says it like a proclamation, big and loud and happy about it all. He turns back to the property and Ygraine and Jaiden both.

"Mister Warren Ray is drawing up designs for an advanced hydroponic system. And this will be our proof of concept. Well… It's going to be Raytech's opportunity to give back to the community and help those in need. But the corporate big wigs accepted proof of concept as a valid reason for the expenses." Cuz that means the tech can be marketed. And while he tries to keep his voice low, Jared is one of those corporate big wigs in Raytech, and he slants a look the man's way, not at all able to disguise the mischievous smile. His beard does nothing to hide it either. Barney is not a very subtle or sneaky person.

“Thank you Mister Harrison. I will let you know if we need anything on your end. Thank you for all the hard work you’ve put in so far in helping make this a reality.” Like a kid with his very own candy shop. Well co ownership in a candy shop, since Valerie is really the one in charge of the whole project. But dangit that does not impinge on Barney’s mood one little bit.

“Hallo, Ygraine. I like the hair. Different colour.” Jaiden smiles, actually embracing the Brit if she’ll let him, giving her a proper hello before stepping back to shake Jared’s hand, nodding. Then Barney’s handshake comes in and Jaiden grins, giving a good squeeze back to the other man. “Barney, it’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m Jaiden Mortlock, and yes, I still am friends with Mr. Ray.”

It’s still so /weird/ not calling Ray Cardinal, but Jaiden knows why. And trusting Warren to make the hydroponics system? That’s another crazy little thing. The man knows his stuff - that’s for certain, but notes will be needed to check to see that killbots and gas jets aren’t accidentally included in the plans. For safety’s sake.

“I can’t imagine it was cheap to get an entire city block in the safe zone. I’ve not even tried, but I know that Remi’s family would be hard pressed to pull off a coup like this. Congratulations are in order.” He takes a few steps forward, looking over the land and then back to Barney and Ygraine. “When will the initial clearing and demolition start taking place?”

That’s Jaiden, right to business.

Ygraine is evidently in unusually bouncy mood: Jared receives a cheery wave and a broad grin in response to his wink; Jaiden’s hug is happily leant into and returned with more strength than she would usually dare apply to other people; Barney’s engulfing handshake is met with a beaming smile and a nod.

“I’m involved in this because Richard” - she avoids the surname entirely, to reduce her risk of using the wrong one - “made the mistake of mentioning hydroponics to me, and I geeked out about the potential of airponics. Higher yields, faster growth, lower requirements of water and nutrients… but more complexity in set-up and a higher need for human attention around the clock, and variable results depending on what it is that you’re actually growing. From what I recall, airponic facilities were being explored as options for high-rise farms in Oriental metropolises: Japan and Singapore had a particular interest, if memory serves. Opening up twentieth-floor office space as a food-growing option clearly has appeal in such places, and the airponic option massively reduces the need to pump water up from ground level…”

Nodding towards the expansive site, she shrugs slightly. “Not that height’s a problem here, but we do have a related issue: access to clean water suitable for growing things for human consumption. Even if Jaiden stayed on-site twenty four/seven, there’d be a bottleneck there. And the more clean water we can direct to the human population, the better. So… I was thinking that exploring airponics alongside hydroponics could make sense. The hydroponic option is well-established and should be comparatively simple to set up the technology for; the airponic option, if it can be got to work, could let the clean water supply stretch a lot further. And perhaps provide a higher number of jobs for locals, once they’re trained up. If my rather dim memories are accurate, a lot of airponic work boils down to “spray each plant’s roots with the nutrient solution, then move on to the next one” - but employment that provides food for the Zone might be particularly welcome.

“More immediately… I can scout and help to survey. I’m not restricted to ground-level in my movements. And I can take people with me. Such as actually-trained surveyors and engineers, or Jaiden to sense liquid and try to map out what pipelines - sewer, water, or other ones that have become flooded - might survive underground. But I’m here to help, not try to call the shots, so I’ll do what I’m asked to. Oh, yes: as an aside on the ‘religious’ stuff, some of the most valuable items will be paperwork. Baptismal registries and the like used to be worth an absolute fortune on the black market, since they could be used to create identities from scratch. Devout parishioners might have taken the initiative to rescue ceremonial items and works of art before fleeing when things fell apart here; but there could easily be a lot of paperwork buried in there in locked filing cabinets and closed safes, from those registries to things like wills and title deeds for land outside the Zone. Most of what might survive in there is probably stuff like order-of-service sheets and grocery receipts, but there could be some things people’d kill to get their hands on. As soon as you start uncovering things, you’ll want security here - for the site as well as the equipment brought in to explore and clear it.”

"One block is expensive. Let alone five. It was not a small cost. But the potential benefits, both altruistic and entrepreneurial were to significant to pass up." Barney remarks to Jaiden. "And the credit for the acquisition can largely to go to…" He waves his hand in the direction of the departed Jared. "Mister Harrison. I don't know what devil's arm he had to twist to get it done, but he did it. And in record time. We are going to start work on clearing the land within the next few days. Then once we have finalized plans from Mister Warren we will be able to start on full construction."

Barney tips his head to Ygraine's comments about aeroponics. "The idea was originally pitched as a hydroponic farm. As it stands I believe the plans being developed are for a mixed facility. I say I believe because I honestly do not know what Mister Warren Ray is going to give us at the end of the day. But to maximize use of space and resources it's going to be a mixed facility. We are also going to make available rooftop units once we have the technology ready for public distribution. Or at least, that is the plan. Help feed the safe zone. But also help the safe zone feed itself. Miss Valerie Ray and I both felt very strongly about the project. This is just as much her doing as it is mine."

Barney walks forwards at a slow pace, stepping onto the property itself in all it's overgrown weed heavy glory, and he starts to pick his way through the vegetation. "Mister Warren is working on improving and modernizing the hydroponics technology, so it won't be a standard sort of setup. I have no idea what he's doing with the aeroponics though. And we are seeking to provide employment. Feeding the zone is all well and good. But until people are providing for themselves we can't truly return infrastructure of any kind to the city. So providing them with jobs and the means to acquire good food is a big step in that direction." He agrees fully with Ygraine on the jobs part.

"Oh Ummm…" Barney turns mid step, putting one big foot down and looking over to Ygraine and Jaiden. "Oh. I'm actually not aware of what abilities the two of you possess. I only knew that you were friends of Mister Ray and was told there was interest in being part of the project. Which I suppose getting to know the both of you is rather the point of this meeting. Tell me a little bit about yourselves?" He asks of the two. "I'm middle management with Raytech. Wanted to be a scientist myself, but found I didn't have the mind for it. But organizing people and things and helping them achieve? That I can do. And I get enjoyment from it. During the war I worked with relief and aid groups. Brought food and medical supplies to the wartorn areas. I hate to see people suffer when I can help. And I get real enjoyment from helping people. So it's a win win situation for me. I went to work at Raytech because I believe in what they're doing. And when I pitched this idea to Mister Ray…" He waves a hand at the land behind him. "He was immediately enthusiastic. I knew then that I made the right choice in who to go to work for." Offering some information about himself since he asked them for a little bit about themselves.

"We'll have security covered. Or well, as covered as we can given the size of the lot. But that is another thing we hope to draw from the locals. Offer them jobs working security during construction and then for the facility itself. We're building it in their neighborhood, we're going to help support their neighborhood. We hope that they'll in turn help protect what is helping them?" Barney's features scrunch up a little bit. "Miss Valerie is overall in charge of the project. But I'll be handling things on the ground and in person here for the most part. And you'll find that I'm very good about listening to others ideas. I most certainly will need help and advice. This is new territory for me."

Jaiden stands quietly as Ygraine informs him of things other than valuables that might be found in the ruins of a parish in the middle of a war zone, looking over the land as it sits. Considering it’s on an island, the place chosen was actually fairly well positioned, with no obstruction from the sun due to high buildings and, aside from the weeds choking the property and the ruins, most fighting took place to the south and west of here in the ruins of Manhattan. Discounting the trash and neglect, this place should be fairly easy to set up, relatively speaking.

He turns to watch Barney, approaching the edge of the property and stepping in, following along behind, his sunglasses glinting in the sun as he moves. “As Miss Fitzroy has stated, my thing is Water - specifically the control and manipulation of such things. It can be as easy as bringing water to the surface, or as complicated as separating pure water from whatever contaminants there might be. I’m fairly sure the first order of business will have me filling a tank or two with as much pure water as I can make for us to have a starting point. Depending on the pollution, the groundwater, the infrastructure that exists and what we need to put in, and the methodology that we undertake for purification processes….it could be a lot of things or a little bit.”

He stops, looking over the area, his hands out, his eyes closed but, behind the sunglasses, who can tell. “My initial thought would be to clear a section of the area and put in a wetland. Perhaps a one block section at the very north. Seal it, dig deep and have a natural area that can act as a water filter, as well as bring in things like birds and flowers. Even fish. Something like a park but one that does a job we need it to. It would be a visible thing, aside from the buildings we put up, that people living nearby could see and, maybe, could think of as their own.”

“We could call it the Elisabeth Harrison Memorial Gardens. Ray would approve of that, I think.”

Ygraine blinks, then laughs and nods her head to Jaiden. “I think that might be something to run past Jared as well as Richard,” she says gently. “But I suspect that they might both appreciate the notion.” She moves a hand to the Australian’s shoulder, squeezing fondly. “I know that I do.”

Clearing her throat, she smiles to Barney in turn. “I agree with the sentiments and goals. I’m just… a little cautious. I live in the area, in the Liberty building. A couple of blocks from Raytech. Of all the officially-inhabited districts within the Safe Zone, this is the most troubled by crime - and rats, and feral dogs. All of that probably has rather a lot to do with the authorities being willing to part with a five-block hunk of land. But it does mean, of course, that if we can manage to overcome the difficulties we could make a real difference.

“As for me myself?” Laughing self-consciously, she spreads her arms in a wide shrug. “I’m a foreign meddler running a charity. Prior to the war, myself and Jaiden worked with Richard and Elisabeth in efforts to save the world. During it, we and a number of others did what we could to save people from the mayhem. I wound up in tactical command of the group known as the ‘Chessmen’. I’ve been trying to keep doing that kind of thing since then, though thankfully with less gunfire and fewer war-crimes to document. For the most part, Liberty’s distributing disaster-recovery supplies and trying to track missing persons and reunite families.

“I was a knight.” Jaiden interjects with a grin.

“But my personal abilities? The details might interest a scientist, and I’ll gladly enough go into it if you want to hear more, but most people’s eyes glaze over as soon as I start trying to explain what I do - let alone how it works. I’m registered with ‘gravitic bonding’: the short version is that I’m a wall-crawler, with the oddity that I can share it with other people. I can take a small group onto walls, across ceilings, down shafts. And I have a limited ability to sense physical mass, reaching beyond visual obstacles. It takes concentration and has a pretty short range, but I should be able to detect sub-surface voids, buried chambers, and the like. Surveying a five-block area would not be quick… but I should be able to help a team of professionals to make shorter work of it all. Especially in combination with Jaiden’s ability to find water.”

Barney pulls a notepad out of his pocket and starts writing things down, starting with the things Ygraine was talking about with the valuables they might find, murmuring as he writes, and then moving on to what Jaiden is talking about with water and creating a wetland and what not. He writes it all down diligently. "I'll be taking notes and suggestions back to Miss Valerie. This is definitely my first project of this kind. Usually I just monitor scientists and their progress with their various projects. Keep everyone on task and make sure they have what they need." Middle management type stuff.

The mention of Elisabeth Harrison actually puts a slightly confused look on Barney's features, but he doesn't inquire further. He's already found out from others that inquiring about Elisabeth runs into a pretty solid stone wall. She's been mentioned, and he knows who she is from some of the trial testimonies and what not, but beyond that he's pretty in the dark. But he does make a note of it, murmuring the name Jaiden used as he writes it down. "We know the area is troubled. That's a big part of why we wanted to build the gardens here. Feed the people around us first. Employ the people around us first. Help Jackson Heights, then move onwards and outwards. Oh! You're in charge of Liberty?" Barney makes a note of that too, with a slightly happier tone to his voice. "I was doing volunteer work here in the city while waiting for response to my application to Raytech. I worked with a few people from Liberty that were helping the poor and impoverished." So pretty much everyone in the Safe Zone.

"Ah well. I know enough science to still keep up with the scientists I play shephard for. That's where my degree started, though it ended up in management of scientists. But if it gets too deep I might need a translator." He grins and then ahhhs. "Does it work by changing the orientation of your gravity? Or do you just bond yourself to an object? Such as… if you made a building your floor and you stepped off it would you sail sideways through the air? Or would you bind yourself to that building specifically or wall specifically thus can't fall off of it?"

Barney looks between Ygraine and Jaiden, a wider grin spreading across the big man's features. "So, old friends of Mister Ray's, and incredibly helpful. Mister Mortlock, Miss FitzRoy, it sounds to me as if the both of you could help speed development along quite a bit, as well as potentially save Raytech a great deal of money in potential pitfalls and work. I thank you both, greatly, for being willing to spend your time helping with this project. It means a great deal to myself and to Miss Valerie, and knowing that other people believe in it as well is quite bolstering."

“I have people coming in the next few days to start clearing the land and to do inspections of the grounds. THey’re going to check on water access and purity and things of that nature. Mister Mortlock I would be very grateful if you could be there to assist. I’ll make them come on your schedule. Simply tell me when you are free. And Miss FitzRoy the same. When the surveyors come to inspect the grounds I would be very grateful if you were there as well. Again I will work with your schedule and make an appointment for them to come when you are free and available.” Barney? Barney is practically glowing at this little dream becoming a reality so quickly.

Jaiden listens to all of this and makes his way over to stand next to Ygraine, watching the buildings around the place, his hands tucked into his jacket pockets, nodding from time to time. It may appear he’s not paying attention, but he is. Ygraine’s powers and their applications is something that he’s intimately familiar with having helped train her in ways to use it much more effectively in a fight, and when Barney mentions ‘on your schedule,’ his attention snaps back to the bearded man. “Let me check…” Out comes his phone, the calendar app coming out, fingers sweeping over the screen as he checks. “I’m assuming you’ll need me for the day?” His head comes up, blinking owlishly for a second before going back down. “I’ll be heading back to Kabetogama on Friday next, have a meeting here and here….” he shuffles over to show his calendar to Barney, letting him take notes. “I have Tuesday and Wednesday next week open, so if we could schedule it there, that would be wonderful.

“I can generally make myself available to suit people with more restricted timetables,” Ygraine says cheerfully, one hand coming up to give Jaiden’s shoulder a quick squeeze. “One of the perks of being ‘the boss’, and of dealing with people who generally don’t care too much about office hours, is that I can usually rearrange things as needed. And you’re quite welcome, Barney. Honestly. If there’s something Liberty can do to help, especially for someone who’s already been helpful in our own efforts….”

She shrugs amiably, then grins at the curious scientist. “Other than my rather limited sensory abilities, I work entirely by forming bonds. The ‘destination’ can be pretty much any size - so, yes, ‘that wall’ is a valid choice. The objects I affect are limited in mass. But I can affect a few targets at the same time, and change what they’re bonded to as we progress. So I can take a group with me across walls, ceilings, cables, tree-branches, or whatever best suits our desired route. We just need to be sure that whatever we try standing on can actually take our weight: I can’t lessen or tangibly increase gravity, just change the destination of its pull. People do need to avoid getting too far from their new orientation of ‘down’: in the early days, the bond would only hold over a gap of a few inches. Now, it’s fine up to three yards or so - far enough that no one’s going to accidentally break their connection while exploring, unless they determinedly set off along a ladder or something. And since I need both ends of a bond to be in place for anything to happen, there’s no risk of people ‘floating away’ or the other stuff that tends to get worried about when gravity powers are mentioned.”

Barney makes notes on when Jaiden is available, marking it down on his mini notebook. "Absolutely. I'll schedule it for one of those two days and let you know Mister Mortlock. And I would assume we will need you for the day. I have no idea actually how long? But assuming for the day seems the best idea that way there's no scheduling conflicts." Barney offers a wide and happy smile as he marks that all down. "Thank you very much for making yourself available to help."

"I have a great deal of respect for your organization Miss FitzRoy, and I would hate to disrupt any work you might be doing with it. Altruism is an incredible trait to possess. Once this project is more autonomous and I'm a little more settled into my schedule at Raytech I was planning on coming and volunteering some of my time. Just more encouragement to do so." That wide and happy smile staying in place, though it shifts into a more curious expression when she starts talking about the way her powers work. “

Fascinating." He comments earnestly when she finishes speaking about her ability. "Have you thought about applying that ability to demolition of some of the buildings that need to be brought down? Or even construction of temporary housing? Such as those homes that are being built from recycled plastic bricks. I imagine with their mass, if you can bond multiple people you could probably bond and lift one of those walls into place as long as it was sturdy and you only bonded the top." Barney manages a slight blush, and scuffs his foot on the ground. "Sorry. I might not be a scientist but my mind never stops thinking of uses and applications for powers." He glances over at Jaiden then. "I can think of a great many uses for your own ability as well Mister Mortlock." Barney is even more excited about the project than before.

“I always like to hear ideas. I've been shot at and blown up so many times that a few cells must have rattled loose, so if you want to give me some suggestions, I'm all ears.” Jaiden grins. “Before the war, I actually kept a water park running while they worked on the pumps. I did the math and moved something like a million gallons of water while work went on.” Sure, it was in pipes and there wasn't a lot of friction but still! That's a lot.

“I'm sure we can get a lot of interest in it, and with Remi, we'll get all sorts of good publicity, too. Greening the safe zone? That's something to really put out there. I mean, if this works well, we could franchise it. Get the methodology down, charge for consulting and setup, and a licensing fee for doing good work.” Either Jaiden’s been talking to Remi or knows how big business works.

Ygraine suspects the former, shooting Jaiden an openly fond look that’s partly intended for his absent wife as well as the man himself. “Franchising, huh? Could be interesting. But if we can set up a working model for even just some elements of this, it could be very worthwhile. Here and in the other Safe Zones, even if we only think in terms of the US.”

Looking to Barney, she flashes a broadly amused grin. “Ideas are welcome, certainly. I’m very much a believer in people figuring out what it is that they actually do, rather than just… trying to push for more power, or randomly experimenting to see what happens to be something they can pull off. The deeper your understanding, the better you’re likely to control things - and the more likely you are to come up with uses you’d never otherwise have thought of.

“For myself… I’m of limited use in the heavier elements of construction, since I can’t ‘move things with my mind’ or the like. I just have a limited ability to pick what direction they’ll fall in - or keep them in place and stop them from falling. So if I link, say, a fifty-kilo piece of lumber lying on the ground to a framework ten feet above it, it’ll fall the whole way - hitting with the full force of dropping those ten feet.”

As she talks she dips into one of her coat’s pockets, coming up with a small juggling-ball. Still speaking, she holds her hands up at shoulder-height, then lets go of the little blue sphere: instead of dropping to the ground, it moves straight across into her other hand. Quite evidently just released and not thrown, it starts slowly and accelerates across the gap to thunk into her palm.

“With rope-rigs and the like to help catch and guide things, I can do a lot. But rigging to work with me is something very few people have ever had any experience of. I can take work-crews and smaller items up vertical surfaces, across the underside of things, and so on - but again, any ‘normal’ crew is likely to freak out a bit. The Liberty HQ itself benefited from a lot of my ‘cheating’. It helped keep costs down, for one thing. And it’s a lot faster if you can just walk a few paces up a wall to fix something, rather than fetch a ladder or build a scaffold. But, ahh, yeah. For the heavy stuff, a good telekinetic is probably a lot more useful than me: at the very least, they have more chance of controlling the landing of any big items they move. I’m better at letting people and kit move freely around to work with the big things. But I’ll gladly enough let you experience it yourself, as well as seeing it.”

Well the being shot at and blown up comment from Jaiden brings a rather surprised look to Barney's face. Wide eyed he looks at Jaiden, then looks to Ygraine definitely trying to see if she's surprised by the talk of people getting blown up or if she's aware of it. "Remi? Miss Davignon that works for Raytech?" The big ginger is curious if it's the same Remi. He doesn't know her well, but he's run across her in the course of business around Raytech.

"Well, part of the pitch to get the project going was of course marketability. Raytech is a company and needs to make money, so this will be proof of concept for the technology. Great PR, helping to feed the Safe Zone." Which is what Barney cares about more, the helping people. "But also a way to prove that the tech works and /can/ help feed the safe zone." Barney's head dips a few times with Ygraine's further mention of her abilities and its limits. "Ahh I see. Abilities fascinate me, and I believe they can be incredibly beneficial to the world as a whole if everyone can stop being hateful and accept that people having abilities is a part of everyday life now. I mean, look at what we're looking to achieve here. And it will be sped along so much more by both of your contributions." Barney is practically bouncing in place with excitement over the prospect of it all.

Barney's eyes widen again when Ygraine offers to let him experience the whole walking up walls thing. Yeah that's going to be a giant ginger viking in a candy shop right there. He doesn't look worried or scared at all, he looks like a kid that's been told they get to go somewhere special if they behave. "That would be incredible." He admits, still grinning wide, his attention shifting from Jaiden to Ygraine and back. "I'm so excited to be working with the both of you. I think I said that? I'll say it again."

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