14860/Latveria's First Space Elevator!

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Latveria's First Space Elevator!
Date of Scene: 07 May 2023
Location: Space Elevator at the Latverian Aeronatics and Space Administraton Campus, Doomstadt, Latveria
Synopsis: The Latverian Space Elevator is unveiled with Doom feeling only *mildly* insulted by SHIELD's presence, and hopefully a young mind is inspired to pursue her career in the sciences even further.
Cast of Characters: Victor Von Doom, Emma Frost, Belinda Gutierrez, Darcy Lewis, Richard Stadler

Victor Von Doom has posed:
     Latverian architecture is always a tasteful sort of gothic revival mixed with modern design choices to give it a character all of its own. Here, the campus of the Latverian Aeronatics and Space Administration, or LASA, has gorgeous stone walls, clean walnut floors, green fabrics and tapestries, and sturdy, bulletproof looking windows that simultaneously look like they could withstand a nuclear bomb while giving open, airy views from arched windows. The audience gathered is many latverian citizens, government officials unmistakeably dressed in green suits with Latverian national pins that look like black circles with a border of silver and green markings in it that look like a stylized version of Doctor Doom's mask.

     Scientists, the press, members of SHIELD and even online influencers were gathered to the ribbon cutting ceremony of the space elevator, hushed murmurs amongs the crowd as they await the arrival of their benevolent monarch, Victor Von Doom, at the top of the hour. Foreigners are gathered into their own sectioned off corner of the beautiful lawn in front of the space elevator, leaving Belinda, Darcy, and Emma almost shoulder to shoulder in the crowded space...

Emma Frost has posed:
This is going to be interesting as far as Emma Frost is concerned. These types of conferences almost always are. There's always so much information to gather up.. And Emma's letting her telepathy pick up thoughts from those around her while occasionally jotting down notes on a LexPhone. The benefits of picking up all the thoughts of those watching, doing thier own calculations and analysis..
    And all of those possible business competitors and analysts that she can get a one up over on. Emma does love these sorts of things. They're ever so useful for her advancing her own ambitions and keeping ahead of the curve.

Belinda Gutierrez has posed:
Who would have thought that a simple school trip to support the arts could evolve into this? From France to Italy, from Germany to Poland and then towards the Baltics, Belinda's visit across Europe has been one of spellbound wonder. Old battlefields, ancient ruins, magnificent wonders-- from the ancient to the modern now, as the schoolgirl absently surveys a slender Latverian brochur for the dozenth time.

"...green and silver are the national colors, represented and remarked upon in national decorations, military affairs, and even in certain local holidays, such as 'Doom's Day'." She quirks, head tilting with a shiver of bemusement. "Must be missing something in translation? Hmm..."

Belinda's musings are cut short-- another elbow to the side, accidentally. "'Scuse," she murmurs, trying to reposition herself for the umpteenth time. "Pardon, sorry, ah... lo siento?"

Darcy Lewis has posed:
Darcy had some mixed feelings on this assignment. On one hand, notorious dictator. On the other? Free vacation to a very scenic and luxurious European castle town. Tough!

Or not so tough. Ultimately, the job is the job, and where SHIELD says she goes, she goes, generally with only an acceptable amount of grumbling about it. In this case, the SWORD division is particularly interested. And there's no arguing that Darcy is very well qualified. Rocket scientists? Pft, who uses rockets anymore.

She might be a little surprised to end up as crammed in as she does, when they finally lead everyone in.

"Excuse me, pardon, yeah that's my-" Personal space is a highly valued commodity! She looks over sympathetically at Belinda, who seems to be having the same problem, and then glares at some fellow on the other side of her, who is cramming her in - and by the transitive property, Darcy as well! "Hey guy, scootch over! Give the young lady some space."

Eventually, she gets enough breathing room, and draws a long breath. "Wonder when this show is getting started..."

Victor Von Doom has posed:
     Darcy would not have long to wonder at all. Just after she thinks this, a man cloaked in green and silver metal armor approaches the stage set up in front of the Space Elevator, climbing the steps to the raised platform.

     A grand clock, reminiscent of Big Ben but sleeker with a proportionally larger clock face with roman numeral numbers that stand out clearly and are all oriented upright strikes 3 PM... the very moment that Dr. Doom's metal boot touches the stage. Absolute perfect timing. The Monarch walks across the stage with heavy footsteps as he approaches the podium, needing no microphone through some technological or magical means as his voice as he motions to the middle of the crowd, his echoing, deep, metallicly reverberating voice calling out "Citizens of Latveria!" He pauses, waiting for the applause to die down before motioning to his left, at the foreigners sectioned off by themselves as he states "Honored Guests..." and pausing for another moment for their own expected if not mandatory applause. "We are gathered here today to witness progress for all people of Earth and everyone who calls this planet home. As Neil Armstrong made one small step on the moon, today presents ourselves with another giant leap for Humankind as well as the Mutants and Extraterrestrials who have found their purpose here, as Doom dedicates this space elevator to the future of this world, a future that, as always, lies with Doom!"

     There's another thunderous round of applause from the citizens of Latveria, with even chanting of "ALL HAIL DOOM! ALL HAIL DOOM!" before Doom raises his gauntlet-clad hand, silencing the crowd. "Today, we send a payload of new Weather Sattelites to monitor worldwide climate change, but this is far from the last thing that we shall send into space in service of this planet."

     There was nothing in Darcy's briefing about Sattelites being sent up today, nor had any announcement been made about this, but as he speaks, several four-legged loader robots begin to move the large, angular, roughly ball-shaped metal objects with folded up solar panels into the open elevator door some distance from the stage.

     "Tomorrow, Latveria will move to secure our defenses as always, but this time in international space, as our Space Administration beckons for governments around the world to follow our lead in the next chapter of Earth's history!"

Emma Frost has posed:
As everything starts, Emma Frost goes to watch over then in light amusement. Well, apparently the Lord Monarch did have some things. Emma goes to follow along the narration then, listening attentively. To the elaboration.. And to the reactions throughout the room. This will be a lovely learning experience.
    To someone near her, she goes lightly in the rather packed area, "Is that your hand?" Rather deadpan over before keeping her attention over on Doom.
    There was something to be said for going old school. Having only lead that lifestyle in passing.. Emma could at least yearn for those classical monologues. Something to be said for that narration that she had only witnessed, never partook in.

Belinda Gutierrez has posed:
Belinda's heart pangs with delight at Doom's speech; her blush warms her cheeks as she mumbles her thanks to Darcy, practically quivering as she hangs on every word. Quirk, headtilt-- satellites?

"There was nothing in the booklet on this!" she exclaims, cheerful delight lending a touch more volume than strictly polite to her voice. She blushes again, quieting as she flips rapidly through the pages in her hands. "Do las roboticas load up a launching capsule to take the satellites up? Surely it does not launch them like a railgun-- they'd never survive the stress. Are there astronauts-- LASAnauts? Doominauts?-- that work as handlers and toss them out the door once at proper altitude, or do robots do that too? No, that would be ridiculoso-- how could they get them in proper orbits and speeds and timings and--"

Hushed, rapid-fire self-commentary. To the exasperation of Elbow Guy, who glowers bitterly even as he moves farther away. Which is not much. "I am trying to listen!" he huffs hotly, quietly, glaring at all and everyone and Darcy in particular. Somebody's fault for talkative kid. Somebody!

Darcy Lewis has posed:
While Darcy works for an intelligence agency, she is, as ever, hardly much of a spy. She got an infosheet from the Latveria desk before departing, which no doubt included all kinds of geopolitical factoids and analytical musings, more than enough to get the gist of things. The obedient Latverian citizenry doesn't disappoint. But it's very much not her deparment.

On the other hand, she's very interested in the robots, or more properly their payloads. While she's probably somewhat restricted in how much fancy spywear she's been able to bring along, it being a PRESS event means that it's surely not all that secretive, and she doesn't hesitate to get out her phone to take some pictures as they scuttle over the stage. It's not really official intel; they can get scans of the satellites in orbit from their own, once they're up there. But she's still curious!

Belinda's schoolgirl curiousity earns a smile, though, and she glances over. "A space elevator uses a flexible tether to maintain a physical connection between the planet and a corresponding point in geosynchronus orbit above. They've been theorized for a long time, by Tsiolkovsky - 'father of rocketry' Tsiolkovsky that is - but it's required advances in material sciences, carbon nanotubes and similar, to make it possible."

She glances back toward the capsule where they're being loaded. "I don't know the specs for its ascent speed, but it would be much slower than that. Faster than a terrestrial elevator, obviously. A rail gun launch means you have to hit escape velocity, which is... yeah, going to be a lot of stress. But even compared to a normal rocket, the idea is that you avoid alot of the difficulties of an impulse-driven system, fuel weight, etc. You ascend with constant mechanical motion. So Tsiolkovsky never comes back to bite you in the ass."

There's a reason she's a SWORD lady!

Victor Von Doom has posed:
     A woman in sunglasses and a more space-age green outfit than the others hands Doctor Doom a pair of... well, oversized scissors, but they appear to have glowing energy blades. Doom turns, walking away from the stage... and then floats the rest of the distance to the open door of the space elevator, where the loader robots wait to load their cargo. He cuts the ribbon, which alights on fire, burning all the way to either side of the door like a fuse... until green and silver fireworks shoot upwards from the sides of the door. Doom raises both hands as the loader robots move into the space elevator, his magnified, reverberating voice calling out "I hearby declare this space elevator to be OPEN! As a result of this monumental occasion, it is now DOOM'S DAY!"

     More fireworks are launched from the roofs of the buildings as paper confetti begins to fall seemingly from nowhere, all silver and green. Tables flanking the crowd on the left, right and back begin serving wine and cake and little fancy snacks as the confetti begins to dissapate, the space elevator closing its doors with a payload of robots and sattelites as it rises on its black, carbon fiber cables to the larger sattelite in geosynchronous orbit as fireworks continue to explode all around it until it rises out of view.

Emma Frost has posed:
now this is all rather theatrical. Doom is a showman, it would seem. Emma goes to watch the readouts and listens to thsoe talking of the data. She goes to data mine herself for what bits she doesn't understand. She just goes to listen to the thoughts of those going on, occasionally pulling something interesting from someone listening to Darcy's commentary while going to watch it lifting up.
    She's almost saddened by the lack of any sort of death ray over on it. Ah well, apparently some things just won't work in this day and age. Emma watches thoughtfully as Doom goes to declare it Doom's day..
    And decides to -not- mention the other things associated with that phrase.

Belinda Gutierrez has posed:
Belinda listens intently to Darcy as the pod seals behind the Latverian monarch's decree, encasing robotic haulers and satellites inside, ascending to the fanfair of music and fireworks and celebratory voice from a thousand throats!

"Will they ever launch astronauts that way?" she asks, breathless as she gazes up at the rising carrier. "Or shuttles or short-range rockets or--" This time she stops herself, blushing fiercely as she stifles a nervous giggle of laughter. Euphoria, pinging in thoughts and words-- as it if were not obvious to any with the smallest of eyesight!

"My classmate was invited," she explains absently, sighing dreamily as the pod rises out of view. "But he got sick. Probably ate something that did not agree with him, so they had to have a backup to come in his place. And since *someone* had proper fancy clothes to wear--"

Which is totally at the devilish cleverness of the 'Count of Monte Cristo' wardrobe department. Forever, forever grateful.

"...moon rockets?" she suggests, glancing sketchily aside.

Darcy Lewis has posed:
"There's no reason it couldn't be made safe for a person. If anything, it's less Gs than a rocket launch," Darcy considers. "But the consideration has been heavily for cargo. The biggest boundary to development of near-Earth space to this point has been, well, Earth. It's gravity is huge and it makes it very expensive to get big things up by rockets. More weight, requires more fuel, which adds more weight..." Tsiolkovsky strikes again. "This way, you can transport a lot."

Then again, they live in sci fi land, so... "Of course there's also stuff like zeta research to try and replicate teleportation. We know several space-faring civilizations can do it. But the energy requirements are high there as well, so this is still useful tech."

Anyway, seems its party time now. Doom's Day? "Hooray." Darcy has a very practiced sarcasm voice.

Still, the best part of any fancy event like this is always the wine and cheese reception. She practically lived on that stuff in grad school: see a lecture or two, dump a plate of comte into your purse... And while the latter degree of student poverty is no longer a factor, who doesn't like free food? "Looks like your friend is gonna miss out on a nice spread. Let's go grab the good stuff before it's all gone!"

Wasn't she supposed to be spying, or something?!

Richard Stadler has posed:
Richard didn't exactly... like any of this, but he had to argue a lot of that was good old fashioned patriotism; Man had landed on the moon with an American Flag, after all, but with aliens being discovered, it seems the people leading the way into space for humanity were nothing but authoritarians and monarchies; not the best people to show the galaxy what humanity was really about. He couldn't fault the pagentry, however; certainly befitting a dictatorship that sold the dictator awfully well.

He didn't look happy, standing off to the side in the crowd, watching the festivities. The last thing he wanted a kid like Belinda to learn was that tyrants made the trains run on time (they often didn't, but that made when they did even more threatening). Saying things like that would have been.. difficult to do in a place like this. Esspecially for someone like Rick. This...

May not have been his first visit to Latveria.

He does step up to Belinda things kick off, listening to her chatter on about launching astronauts and space travel, esspecially with that unexpected satillete launch ('Weather' satilettes- yeah, and Latverian pigs flew on a regular basis). But he hadn't exactly seen who she was chatting with, which... does make him come up short. "Belinda, I hope you're... behaving yourselves with the guests around here." He says, as they slowly move toward the food. He looks over to Lewis for a second, and then extends his hand. "Richard Stadler. And you are?"

Victor Von Doom has posed:
     A native man in a trilby and a mustache leans in to the blonde-haired mutant with a kindly, older smile, saying in accented, broken english "Why are you not smile, holgyem? No-one can be sad on Doom's Day!"

     Darcy, Belinda and Richard though... are soon flanked by the Monarch himself. Doctor Victor Von Doom appears in the crowd by their side as casually as an old friend at a party, holding a glass of red wine as he looms over the trio, Emma a short distance from him but he addresses these three first. "Miss Lewis." he says, looking at Darcy, "Mister Stadler." he says, at Richard, "I see SHIELD has deigned to make an appearance after all. I hope you are both pleased by today's events and the march of progress."

     There's something a bit condescending about that deep, metallic, reverberating tone of voice.

Emma Frost has posed:
And Emma Frsot goes to let out a soft sigh to herself. This has been rather interesting so far. As someone goes over to directly address Richard and sees it's the schoolgirl. Oh, whatever sort of institution sent tehir students over to a field trip to Latveria? Might as well send them over to Symkaria while they're at it if they're looking to go through all the heavily weaponized monarchist states.

Emma's lips would twitch in a grin.. And then Victor goes to approach him. Interesting. How does one get popcorn for this?

Belinda Gutierrez has posed:
Belinda looks up at Mr. Stadler, beaming with delight as she nods quickly. "I am doing my very best to behave," she promises, bouncing on her feet. "Though they do not have anything spicier than milk," she adds, casting a longing glance at the food tables with a sigh. "I checked. But they had a local cous cous stuff with horseradish for spice, and it is not too bad, so--!"

Politics and such complicated matters for other ages, other years; Bel tucks her Official Latverian Tourists' Guide (First Edition) under arm, visibly drawing herself under firm control. "...ah..." she begins, trailing off with a sheepish grin. "I was talking about rockets and things, and she was knowledgable enough to answer. Mr. Stadler, if I may introduce--"

She pauses as the Latverian Monarch himself comes to bear, eyes widening as she gazes up and up and *up*! Green and silver, dark and ominous and metallic in every way. Lips clamped tight, zipped; the blush on her cheeks positively burns in its warm scarlet, and Not Get Involved in Adult Conversations!

Wait, how to reply? Curtsey, bow, salute? PANI--!

"Su Alteza Real," she settles upon, her native tongue scattering English to the winds. "Ah, Royal Highness Senor Doctor--"

Tripping over English and Spanish once more, flustered beyond words. Doom!

Darcy Lewis has posed:
Richard's introduction makes Darcy pause and blink slowly. "Uh." Is this a 'spy' thing? Because they definitely know each other. She thinks about it for a moment, and then goes with the less complicated option: "You sitll jetlagged or something, Stadler?"

Pointedly, she does not go through the pretense of introducing herself. Well, at least not to Richard. But she does, GASP, correct Doom as he makes his own appearance and addresses them. "That's Doctor Lewis, actually. But it's very impressive what you've put together here, yes. Earth has a lot of catching up to do, to stand shoulder to shoulder with some of our newest acquaintances, and innovation anywhere in the world is innovation for the world. Rising tide, all boats, et cetera."

Although her delivery has some diplomatic care, she does sound convinced of her own words. "I'm sure there's some state secrecy involved, but I'd love a chance to speak with any of the staff here a bit more, if it's at all possible. Purely scientist to scientist." Is that like a 'no spying, promise' Girl Scouts oath? "Neither engineering nor orbital mechanics is technically my specialty, but my work does require me to keep up with a bit of everything."

After saying this, she glances back toward Richard and Belinda, maybe surprised THEY know each other, given how she knows Stadler. "She's been good- great, really. And very curious about all of this. I was giving her a little micro-lesson on space elevators and the reasons we need them."

Richard Stadler has posed:
It was certain Emma would find that Happy Harbor sent it's top students on fantastic oppurtunities around the globe. And had to escort a lot of them for their propensity to possible cause international incidents. Luckily, it doesn't look like Belinda would have the chance to... before things just got a lot more complicated.

Victor Von Doom himself. Stadler's face usually went blank when things could go south very quickly, but he had been prepared enough for this evenuality; the last real briefing her had on Latveria had been a number of years ago, and he... doubted that Doom would have known the reason for it. And this was only compounded by the fact that A) Doom seemed to be very well informed, and B) Darcy obviously fell asleep when they were doing the /goddamn spook/ tutorial. He gave her a bit of a hard look. There was a reason he tried to keep his lives seperate.

But there was Doom in front of him, and Stadler, at his core, was not a spook himself, nor a diplomat. Inflexiability could sometimes be counted as bravery, though, and he had to hope it was enough here.

He gave a slight bow to his head, at least some give to the fact he was the soverign of this nation. "Doctor. I beleive someone provided you with the wrong information. I'm here as a student chaperone for this very inquisitive young woman here." He says, moving to give Belinda a small pat to her shoulder. "She's very interested in the space sciences. Had a wonderful project at our recent science fair in terms of growing vegtiables in hostile environments. I'm certainly glad she's gotten to see the... next step in humanity's journey to the stars." He notes. "I'm certainly glad to see the contribution of all nations to this endeavor."

Victor Von Doom has posed:
     Doctor Doom was swirling his glass of red wine as he listened to the three of them, simply giving a polite nod to Belinda as she stumbles over her words.

     When the other two speak, however, the wine glass becomes still.

     Emma would detect a momentary slip of Doom's normally ironclad mental defenses, his indominable will, one that allows her to feel a flash of murderous rage at being corrected, first legitimately and then by a lie.

     Doctor Doom's piercing blue eyes through the holes of his mask first look to Darcy, that reverberating metal voice saying "My apologies, I shall have the party responsible for the lack of information... summarily corrected... *Doctor* Lewis. Our *engineers*" he says with emphasis, to correct her in turn in a petty manner, "responsible for this achievement stand at the front and are free to be questioned at your liesure." He then looks to Rick, those eyes full of fury as he steps forward, nearly chest to chest with the unarmored man. "You are on Latverian soil." he tells the man. "It is against the law to lie to Doom."

     A metal gauntlet-clad hand reaches up to grab Richard by the front of his shirt, lifting him with one hand up into the air effortlessly. Soon, that deep, reverberating, metallic voice continues, saying "You come here by invitation, and you return Doom's hospitality by insulting him. Were today not a joyous day celebrating the future of mankind, I would have you disintegrated."

     He was apparently listening to Richard's words regardless, as now he turns to Belinda as he drops her chaperone to the ground, those blue eyes now staring down at her, not skipping a beat as his tone dramatically shifts to a warm and welcoming one as he says "It warms the heart to know that the youth of today are interested in learning the sciences. There is a museum in the building behind you that explains with interactive exhibits how the space elevator works, along with a further history of Latverian spaceflight deeper inside." He then leans down to Belinda's face, saying "Do not allow anyone to discourage your study and interests, madam. If you ever find yourself trapped by the systemic forces of America, contact my embassy in New York. There is always room for more bright young minds here in Latveria."

Belinda Gutierrez has posed:
Belinda quivers with euphoria, with joy-- speaking to a foriegn leader! About space things! And it is a eureka moment swiftly descending to utter, freezing, icy panic-- bright eyes widen at Doom's ominous statement, a glance scattering to either side, to Dr. Lewis then Mr. Stadler in turn.

"Th-thank you, Alteza Real," she exclaims again, focusing her voice as she folds her hands behind her. White knuckled. "I would be grateful to see and learn, but I am being a poor visitor with my lack of courtesy and ignorance of Latveria and its ways." She bites her lip, exhaling slowly. "Mr. Stadler is the chaperon assigned to ensure I do not cause discourtesy to you and yours. To not act like 'typical ugly Americano', and bring shame to him and the school."

She hangs her head, breaking eye contrct with a tremble. "I have not made his task a simple one, or an easy one. I have been very distracting, and worn down his good nature to the ill and disrespect of all. I am sorry that I caused distress and brought your displeasure upon ourselves and our school. If I were still home, I am certain mi abuelo would swat with la chacla, and make me eat soap."

She bites her lip, quivering in place.

"....but your cous cous is very tasty instead. Thank you."

Darcy Lewis has posed:
Darcy, and we cannot emphasize this enough, really isn't a spy! Not only in the sense that she's bad at it. But in the sense that she's not primarily a clandestine agent, in general. A lot of her work requires public appearances, at her university and a host of scientific conferences, at NASA, and even at the United Nations - albeit mostly at UNOOSA. Which isn't to say that she isn't sometimes required to do rather less academic things in the course of her work. Still. She's about as much of a spy as she is a medical doctor.

Of course, this doesn't mean she goes around blabbing about SHIELD credentials or the like. Some of that stuff is classified. Just... maybe not from DOOM?

"Well I was GOING to spin a whole thing about how we knew each other from a conference," she remarks, even as Stadler is being hauled up in the air. Her eyes follow him up, but she doesn't react to this with panic or immediate action-person behavior either. She's been around a lot of super-people, and one has to assume that briefing info she got on Latveria had remarks about the Doomy Doctor's penchant for grandeur and occasional intimidation. They also probably wouldn't be here if anyone thought he'd actually disintegrate a couple foreign nationals - academics, secret agents, or otherwise - at a public event. "But it kind of seems unecessary now. Also, apparently against Latverian law. See? You learn something every day. But please, if you'd be so kind as to put him down, I'm sure he'll behave- ah, good."

Her eyes find Stadler on the ground. "You OK?" She offers a hand up. "C'mon. Let's hit the hors d'oeuvres before everything good is gone, and then I'm gonna go chat up some of the locals." And Doom's pep-talk to Belinda, well... she can't really argue with any of that, can she?

Richard Stadler has posed:
Stadler's first reaction is suprise in the fury in Doom's eyes. It wasn't a lie, certainly. That's why he was there, but even if he was a full fledged agent, there were rules to the great game; decorum to be followed, and a language of lies to be listened to. But apparantly not in Latveria whilst one was talking to Doom.

The next reaction was fear... was something everyone felt, certainly. Amplified by feelings of powerlessness, like in a situation where one is being held up by a superpowered genius who has the appuratus of the state around you for miles in his absoulte control. So Stadler was afraid at this moment. But he learned a while back to not let something like fear paralyze him. Even as he was lifted up, he was trying to think of the best way our of this. A binary choice between saying something, or staying silent. And as much as he wanted to tell him the lie would be in not saying something, he wisely focused on keeping his breathing focused and his eyes on Doom, before he was dropped to the ground in an apparant show of 'mercy'.

He was in a bit of shock at the situation, as he moved to take Darcy's offered hand. "I'm fine. You and I are going to have a talk." He says, and he does /not/ sound pleased with the situation. But the first thing that needs to be dealt with is Belinda's polite kowtowing.

"Ms. Gutierrez, I'm sorry I ever gave you that impression. You have been noting but exemplery in your conduct, as far as I'm concerned. My diplomatic failings are my own." There is no way in hell he was going to have one of his students fall on her sword for his sake.

Doom gets another bow. "I apologize. Thank you for your graciousness." He says. That was simple enough. Safe enough without admitting to anything in front of his student.

Victor Von Doom has posed:
     Richard's bow is ignored as a metal clad hand is soon lifted, and then placed on Belinda's shoulder as he leans in, listening to her words... and his other hand, his right hand, lifts to his face... where he removes his mask.

     His face is beautiful. Perfect, in a northern european way. A strong, narrow chin. Blue eyes. Blonde hair. Couldn't be older than thirty or so. "Young lady." a now unaltered, warm, breathy, almost heroic sounding voice comes from the dictator. "You have done *nothing* wrong." Those ice blue eyes are full of empathy as he stares into hers, the monarch continuing with "Your interest in the sciences and our space program is a gift in and of itself. Do not worry, and do not stress. I am certain that if your love for the sciences endures, you will achieve great things. The world needs more people like you." With that, and a soft smile, the mask is returned to his face, and the monarch straightens his posture. "If you will excuse me." he says, "I believe I saw Miss Emma Frost earlier, I must speak with her about something before she disappears from our company..."

Belinda Gutierrez has posed:
Belinda finds herself exhaling after the altercation, the simple verbal.... Something. The physical moment. The potential for so much, so much *everything* that could go wrong. And it ends, taht simply, that soon.

"Thank you," she murmurs softly to the Latverian Monarch before he rises, turns to his other duties. And only the dress hides the quiver in her knees, reaching out to brace on Mr. Stadler's arm.

Relief. So much relief.

"Rulers of nations are frightening," she says quietly, closing her eyes as she shakes her head. "....I think I will have those chocolates we picked up before leaving Versaille, Mr. Stadler." She exhales, a throaty shiver. "....Dios. Chocolate for ages!"