(2014-08-25) A Gentlewoman Caller
A Gentlewoman Caller
Summary: Kate Kane gets a visitor to her Kane Towers penthouse. Karen Starr stops by to discuss some of Kate's more nocturnal activities.
Date: 2014-08-25
Related: Federal Contracts Expo Dance
Scene Runner: NA
Social/Plot: Plot

The bellman calls from the lobby to inform Kate Kane, scion of the Kane family, that she has a visitor: a Ms. Karen Starr is here to see her, if she's willing to receive this visitor.

Assuming she agrees, the elevator rises from the ground floor, and with a ding the doors open. The tall blonde walks in, her bountiful curves much less on display than in the dress the other night at the gala. Dressed down as the college student, with the StarrGaze glasses on, it's a lot harder to see the secret Kate knows lies within.

"Hi. Sorry to just barge in. But I was hoping I could talk with you a bit. It's about one of those special projects we talked about the other night, at the gala?" Karen speaks carefully, in case there could be anyone else around, or any listening devices in place, even as she is scanning for both.

Kate definitely agrees, even though she's dressed very casually at the moment. Wearing silk lounge pants and a matching button-down top that could almost be pajamas, she greets the taller blonde at the door. "Oh not to worry, Karen. Please come in." she replies. The redhead is observant, and her gaze shifts briefly at Karen's careful speech.

"We can talk freely here, Karen." she offers in a lower voice, giving the other woman a knowing look. "But please satisfy yourself first." Yeah, she figures Karen is scanning. It wouldn't take much for Karen to figure out that the 'hidden' level above the penthouse is actually Batwoman's secret lair as well. But she won't point that out.

Karen finishes her scan, and then nods to herself and follows the … pajama-clad? - redhead into the other room. "I didn't want to try to pass this message any other way, and risk blowing security. Sorry for being paranoid. But since there are people out to get me …" The blonde grins wryly. "Thanks for seeing me."

Once they're settled in, Karen pulls out a thumbdrive and offers it. "I've spoken with the League. They agree that you're already making better progress with the Manhattan Mint than we were, and they want you to keep looking." She grins wryly. "And … we'd like to add something else to your plate. It's important."

Karen then proceeds to explain the basics, at least, of what's on the thumbdrive. "I rescued a metahuman kid who was being kidnapped. In so doing, I took on three squads of soldiers equipped with, amongst other things, red-sun-capable energy weapons. And I picked up someone who had been undercover in their organization for quite some time. The short version is that there are elements of the government who have intel they're not sharing with anyone, about a forthcoming alien invasion. They made the decision to start some black operations program, kidnapping kids with metahuman abilities to study them, trying to replicate them, extract the powers, implant them in others, etc. With the agent's help, we were able to rescue a bunch of the kids from a facility in far-upstate New York. The facility was /definitely/ made to order, and very old. It wasn't brand new. It had lead-impregnated walls and doors. It had what seemed to be telepathy-interfering systems. And it had nuclear-capable self-destruct systems." Scary stuff.

"They had the place wiped way clean. But we feel it has to have been a government base. And that means somewhere there was a government budget for getting it built, and maintained, and operating." Karen sighs. "I've had no luck trying to track that down. But you worked wonders with the mint. I thought you might be able to do a better job tracking this down, to help us find the people responsible for this. They have to be stopped, just as badly as the invasion."

Kate leads the way into a sitting room, silk rustling softly with every step. There's a comfortable sectional with plenty of room for them both to stretch out, and she accepts the thumb drive with a small smile. "I appreciate the vote of confidence, but I'm not doing it for the League. I'm doing it because it's the right thing to do. No offense." she replies.

Then she looks curious when Karen mentions 'something extra' for her plate, holding the thumb drive delicately between thumb and forefinger. "Soldiers equipped specifically to fight you? That's more than a little concerning, Karen." she offers. "Especially when the government is involved." When the experimentation is described, Kate can only shake her head slowly. "The Nazis also dabbled with experimentation, if I remember my history correctly. But you're talking about hacking into US Government servers and unearthing Black projects. This isn't going to be easy."

Karen shakes her head. "No. It's not going to be easy. I know that. But you are the best equipped to accomplish it of anyone I know. And if there's anything /I/ can do to help you, or any of the League, we will. You've already impressed us with your skills, and we believe in the importance of this, and of the 'right thing', just as strongly as you do. That's why we exist, you know. To help those who cannot help themselves." She pauses. She waits. Then she speaks up. "To be honest, I intend to nominate you for membership in the League. I think we need you. Your perspective, your skills. And you have already proven to me that you are someone we can trust and support."

Kate Kane lounges on the sectional, her long legs stretched out. And while they talk she toys with the thumb drive. "Then I'm in. But because it's the right thing to do, Karen. That's why I do this. That's how I serve." She taps the thumb drive on the back of the sofa and a smile touches her lips. "Kate Kane isn't interested in joining the League, but Batwoman would be. And if you want me in, those are my terms." She pauses and shifts, crossing one foot over the other. "I keep the mask on and you're the only one who knows otherwise, unless I see fit to share that with others."

Karen Starr nods. "Only two people in the League know Karen Star is Kara Zor-L. With you, that will be three. Revealing secret identities is NOT part of the League charter, or the way we do business. It's a matter of trust. Until you decide who you trust, no one who knows, tells. Period." Karen smiles at the redhead. "I trust you with my secret. And you trust me with yours. And we both protect each other. Because it's the right thing to do."

Kate Kane nods slowly, watching the blonde's big, blue eyes. "Good. Then I welcome the nomination with open arms. And I'll start digging into our little government experiment problem right away." She returns the smile. "I don't trust very many people, Karen, but I'm glad that you're one of them. I'm glad you came by, too."

The Kryptonian blonde smiles, a tad impishly. "You sure? After the story we started last time, just by taking time out from the crowd on the balcony, I'm pretty sure showing up on your doorstep will keep the rumor-mongers babbling about the 'possibilities' for a week or more." Karen teases. "I have to admit, it's the first time anyone has tried to speculate about my love life in public. I couldn't decide if I was more annoyed, amused, or flaghergasted." She smiles a tad more warmly. "I did feel like I'd missed out, that night, on asking you to dance. But I figured that would be the bridge too far for them."

Kate Kane laughs softly when the discussion turns towards the gossip papers and she tosses her head lightly. "Just annoyed, amused or flaghergasted? Come now, Karen, you sure that 'flattered' or 'titillated' isn't hidden in there somewhere?" The redhead's expression is playful and her gaze wanders rather openly over the blonde's disguising clothing. "But I do agree that some things aren't for the public eye. And yes, I'd love to dance." Her long legs swing out from the sofa, then, and she sets the thumb drive on a side table.

Karen shrugs her broad shoulders, a hint of color rising in her cheeks. She is not nearly so confident and self-possessed in the arena of flirting, or being flirted with, as Kate would surely remember from their evening on the Metropolis rooftops. "I might have been flattered, if that was really the point of our little sojourn out there on the balcony. But it wasn't. Not that it had to be. I'm just saying."

Karen seems a bit taken aback when Kate sweeps herself off the sofa and rises, as if bringing up the subject extended the offer to dance. Still, the blonde rises when her hostess does - she's far too polite not to - and she ambles forward, not nearly so gracefully as the redhead. That might have something to do with being in cross-trainers and jeans, rather than slinky near-pajamas of silk. "I'm not exactly in 'dance mode', Kate. But I meant what I said: that night, when all those implications were swirling around, and most were nowhere near accurate, a part of me wished I'd at least managed to get a dance from you."

The blonde raises her hands, if a tad hesitantly, unsure of Kate is teasing, just being playful, or honestly asking to dance here, now … and without an orchestra. Then again, they didn't have one on the Metropolis rooftops, that night.

Kate Kane steps right up to the taller blonde, having to look up to meet Karen's eyes. "I know you're not in 'dance mode', Karen, but I'm not either." she replies. She eases into Karen's dance space, hand fitting into Karen's with her other finding the woman's hip. "I can at least manage the music here, unlike on the balcony." In a slightly clearer, louder voice she speaks to the computer system. "Computer. Cue music selection: Slow Dance 1." Wynton Marsalis filters out through the speakers and Kate begins to sway.

"As for discretion and the media, I think we're both very equipped to arrange meetings off the radar and avoiding media attention. If that's a direction you'd be willing to explore, at least." Kate is barefoot but she dances on tiptoes, as if she was wearing heels. And she's rather light on her feet.

Karen is still a touch nervous, which Kate will likely pick up on easily. But she gently, gracefully accepts the other woman's hand in her own, and after a moment of adjustment - she'd been prepared to lead, of course - she lays the other on Kate's shoulder. She doesn't bother rising up on her toes, but she isn't just a flat-footed clod-hopper either, as they twirl slowly around the open floor to the soft strains of saxophone.

"I'm sure we could arrange plenty of private meetings, Kate." Karen smiles wryly down at the redhead. "It might not be my natural talent, but I make do." Then she leans down, lightly brushing her lips over Kate's cheek. "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't flattered by the attention and the interest, or implied I was uninterested in you." Kate can probably feel it coming, but Karen gently continues anyway. "Had we managed this a month ago … who knows? I have no idea how I'd maintain a relationship given my physical challenges. But I'd have tried. But … I've met someone. Someone really special." She pulls back just a bit, so that her eyes can find Kate's. "I can't say I know where that's headed. But I want to find out. And I don't ever want to do something to betray another's trust."

When the song ends, Karen leans close again, surrounding Kate in her arms. "Thank you. Even if belated, it was a wonderful dance."

Kate Kane is relaxed in the dance, and doesn't seem to mind leading the taller woman through the lazy swaying and twirling. "I know what you're capable of, Karen, or I wouldn't have suggested it." she replies. And then comes the turn in direction. Kate continues to smile, but she's had this conversation before. And Karen's super-senses can pick up the change in her pulse, the subtle scent of disappointment, the slight increase in tension in her muscles.

When Karen pulls back Kate meets her gaze directly, the big green eyes a bit more moist now than they were earlier. She's quiet, her head still tilted from the kiss on her cheek, but she still smiles. Giving Karen's hand a squeeze, Kate nods slowly. "I'm not the sort of woman to go poaching on someone else's reservation, Karen, so I respect that you're in another relationship."

No, this isn't easy for her. Even when the hug follows. Kate slips her arms up beneath Karen's, fingers closing over the tops of the taller woman's shoulders as she squeezes tightly. She whispers. "You come by for a dance anytime you want, Lady. And I'm here for you, too. Whenever you need a friend, a dance, a drink, or whatever."

Karen gently but easily lifts Kate off the ground, holding her in her arms. "The same goes for you, Kate. Anywhere. Anytime. Whatever you need. I will be there. Not just because we'll be teammates. But because we are friends." Gently, then, Karen puts Kate back on her feet, smiling at the lovely redhead. "You be sure to thank your Dad, later, for being such a good dance teacher." she teases lightly, recalling their first night on those rooftops. And the chuckling voice in the other woman's ear.

Kate Kane clings lightly to Karen, raising one foot and then the other as she's lifted off the ground. It helps, it really does, and it shows on the redhead's expression. The smile softens and she relaxes, settling gracefully onto her toes once she's lowered. "Pops and West Point." she quips back lightly. Reaching up once she's on her feet again, she brushes Karen's blonde hair back a bit and gives it a light tousle for good measure. "Friends are for *always*, Karen. And that means I take clowns with red-sun radiation weapons very, very personally. I'll find those bastards, and when I do they'll wish I hadn't."

Karen smiles at that, not at all minding the tousling. "Well, just remember: We're after the whole of them. They were - still might be - kidnapping children. We have to find them. Find them, stop them, and root them out. But I think I can safely speak for everyone in the League when I say that we have every intention of making them rue the day they agreed to this, when we find them." She doesn't stress the 'together' part; she knows someone with Kate's background will understand it implicitly. But even so, she will be their scout, and Karen knows that means Kate will be doing some striking of her own, at various points. "As soon as the vote is final, I'll make sure to get you a comm unit so that you can work it into your systems. And if you and your Dad would like a set of the goggles, if that would help your own tech, you're welcome to them."

Kate Kane brightens at the mention of the tech, especially, and seems rather reluctant to leave Karen's embrace. "The vote isn't necessary to get me started on this, Karen, and I've already got you programmed into my comm unit. But all the same, I look forward to hearing the results." And dispite the bold talk earlier, her smile shows just how much she'd like to join the League. Tilting her head, Kate's hands ease down to Karen's hips and she looks a bit wistful. "The goggles would be *very* welcome, of course. They'll give Pops plenty to do in his spare time while he sorts out how to make the interface work with my own gear." She goes quiet for a moment, then raises up onto tiptoe to kiss Karen's cheek, close to the corner of her lips. "Thanks very much for coming by."

Karen can see the emotions play out in her lovely, enigmatic friend, and she smiles warmly. "I'll leave a set on the balcony later tonight, then." she offers. Best if she doesn't just welcome herself to Kate's personal batcave uninvited, but she'd rather not use standard shipping for this, either. "You are welcome. I'll be in touch soon, I promise." She winks. "You just see you do the same, OK?" She pauses a few more moments, giving them both that moment of closure, before she kisses Kate's cheek again, and then turns to head back to the elevator.

Kate Kane just nods mutely in response to the 'you do the same' reply, her expression remaining still a bit wistful. Tilting her head, she gives Karen's upper arm a light squeeze with the cheek kiss and releases her at last. Watching with those big, green eyes. "You can count on it, Lady." she replies, more than a bit late. But better late than never. Oh, the swell of emotion. And make no mistake about it, the first goons to cross Batwoman's path on her patrol *tonight* aren't gonna know what hit them.

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