2134/A Latverian Interlude

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A Latverian Interlude
Date of Scene: 16 June 2020
Location: Latveria
Synopsis: Latverian holidays are good for even Doom.
Cast of Characters: Victor Von Doom, Clea

Victor Von Doom has posed:
Doom does not normally bother with public relations and such, finding the superficiality of those events and the fakeness thereof irritating beyond belief. However... well, his advisors did note that by showing his current paramour to the people? It could definitely help with the image.

It helps, of course, that Doom intended to take Clea on a tour of the city anyway. So now she can see things firsthand, and the living standards are high for Latveria. It is a bit managed, of course, but in this case, touring the public school and looking at the various students working on science projects and handling topics that... well...

Let's be honest here. It isn't like the American education system is all THAT. Particularly compared to Latveria.

Clea has posed:
Conceptually, going for a walk in Latveria after landing and unpacking sounds very straightforward. Drop off the bags, slip into a pretty dress, and give her hair a good brush. Maybe choose to wear a big hat or some sunglasses. Possibly one of those fetching European scarves in place of a hat! Clea might have an opportunity to hand out flowers, technologically advanced bracelets or commemorative Doombots. Do *you* have 1082-A or - B?

But before all else, the sorceress of the Dark Dimension has always been at least princess of said dimension. Rightful or imprisoned, bauble or powerhouse, but certainly aware of the strange conventions accorded to heads of state, important people, and those who are flaming, wrathful, and tyrannical in ways humans haven't even invented yet. Therefore Doom's schedule she accedes to with aplomb. Calm follows those foreigners asking her to step here, go there, smile for the cameras. A low-level spell lends precision to her command over Latverian. Important to make a good impression.

Besides, school /is/ interesting for someone who never went to one. The students' projects matter, for someone willing to listen. so it may be she's hearing about a bubbler capable of pulling carbon from ocean water and affixing it to a photo-reactive gel that can later be reharvested as a low-level energy source. But a promising one, if the concentration can be worked out without turning into choking hazards for dolphins and such. "Dolphins would eat floating buoys?" she wonders aloud, to which a five minute description of dietary habits of cetaceans ensues. Rescue may be needed.

Victor Von Doom has posed:
Doom actually indulges Clea's questions and answers... or, more often than not, lets the students answer for him. After all, it's rare that he gets to show off his country for people. And besides, Clea's questions and curiosity are definitely winning the hearts and minds, and while Doom has disdain for public relations... he realizes their value.

And so, Doctor Doom does come over and nod towards Clea, "Indeed, we focus on preserving the environment here in Latveria. And I, for one, take pride in the next generation being so proactive in their steps to securing a future for all humanity." He smiles towards the students, "Doom is quite pleased with your work here, and you will be rewarded for your diligent service to Latveria." He passes a glance to an aide, who makes a quick note of something suitable for the children in question.

Suitable and NOT counter-revolutionary, of course. Some standards can be maintained, but in general Doom is generous with rewarding Latverian citizens. Particularly the children.

Clea has posed:
No tanks for budding minds, no subs that shoot missiles 20 miles while being bio-fueled? Aw. Not that their aspiring minds would be deterred by those limits, surely, but Clea has only curiosity and a wicked keenness for technology on a different level. In part, it helps being from a whole other plane altogether. What cuts on the bleeding edge differs a good deal for her, though in some cases (say, can openers), Earth is light years ahead. Mostly because cans are a very terrestrial thing.

"These are dazzling, aren't they?" Talking to teenagers rarely is, but taking into account her own people on Umar's side think their Faltine hybrid there is essentially still crawling, maybe it's all relative. "Without the expectations of what we can and cannot do, they dare to redefine the possible solutions. The rain-seeding method was particularly apt, especially for cold climates. Always I see it for temperate latitudes, but not suitable for alpine or boreal areas." Her observations come with a smile, voice low, but very much in Latverian. If she wants to be discreet, English or Tibetan do just as well. It's the latter tongue she speaks better than any other in circulation except for one, and that one is nearly dead.

A faint gleam in those violet eyes deepens, thoughts dancing around in the corners where they aren't seen. "This makes you happy, doesn't it? Not the formality. But the exchanges. The fact they can come up with such ideas, receiving a good education, living how children do when they are not challenged by hunger or war?"

Victor Von Doom has posed:
Doctor Doom nods, "Indeed. I never wish to limit the innovation of my people." Well, one could argue that he might wish to limit their ideology, but their intellect? Never!

He does smile through the mask, walking with Clea as they leave the school, "I long for the day that my people surpass their need for me. Not that it has happened yet, nor might it ever, but perhaps it shall occur." He chuckles, "The last time I thought that, my people were gripped by a civil war, manipulated by outside agitators." His expression is rueful, "That, is not a mistake I'll make again."

Clea has posed:
Escaping the school isn't exactly an escape, but a chance to leave behind a good impression and a shell of themselves imprinted on the memory of others. "No, I doubt you shall," Clea says. They step into the sunshine and she pulls it in almost unconsciously, dragging the sparks and glittering motes into herself. Hardly at all detectable, though still there in the pearlescence of her hair that's so fair it hardly counts as gold. "There has been such growth and development, I do not imagine anyone would want to return to instability or war. War takes away schools and houses. It strips people of their security, hard won as it is. What did the city look like when you were a child?"

Her gaze turns to Doom then, wide and guileless in a way. Not wholly, though. Too much a child of Dormammu's wiles to ever be ignorant. "One day they will overcome that need, growing up like children - and a nation - do. Yours is the role to prepare them for what lies ahead, protect them from the greatest dangers. Let them fail and learn by the failures. Not entirely different, but steering the ship against the worst impulses without stifling them counts for a great deal." Her hand finds his, fingers curling into his. "Am I off the mark?"

Victor Von Doom has posed:
Doom nods, "No, you are correct, as usual, beloved." He squeezes her fingers gently, even though he wears his telltale armor. His eyes look around, as he recalls the past of his youth.

"It was... squallid. Impoverished. Polluted, to be honest. The Soviet Bloc was not kind to its satellite states, and the revolution was brewing even before I led the revolution." He nods, "I remember the statue of Lenin that stood... right there."

He points, and of course... now it's a statue of Doom, holding a little girl on his shoulder while children surround him. The propaganda, at least, changes...

Clea has posed:
The wariness of their surroundings might be a steadfast quality for Doom. Clea, however, basks in the sunshine she was deprived if it can even be said the Dark Dimension had suns in the conventional sense. Rainbows of colour in blooming flowers and flags all around draw her gaze for a time.

They go where he will, at least for now. The effort to keep her feet on the ground occupies the sorceress' attention at least a little, with none of the upward tug on his hand and arm indicating she uses him as her Latverian anchor-stone. "Squalid and grey? Concrete brutalism rather than this? What colours does Latveria express itself as, were they given the means to change every city to their own preferences? I've seen how the American and European cities differ. The red roofs of Italy and Spain, the stone symmetries of England. London being far different. Paris, too. Don't forget Paris."

A warning there, even as she smiles. Lenin doesn't stand among them, but the children and the girl. Valeria? Some other child immortalized for years ahead? A daring pigeon settles as though he might actually face an avian crown.

Victor Von Doom has posed:
The pigeon suddenly squawks, a small electric shock coming through the bird. Not much, but enough to spook it off before it would do something that might defile the visage of DOOM.

Doom, meanwhile, looks at Clea, "Well, green and black dominate our fashion and our architecture, though we also like more modern styles as well." He gestures, the city skyline visible, a mix of ultra high-tech with a far more rural countryside where the city and industry is properly managed. Civilization, but at a respectful distance.

Clea has posed:
The ruffled feathers and a smell of ozone no doubt add to the attraction. Clea wrinkles her nose at the scent. Feathers of doom are scorched and troubled, a lesson if the bird survives its encounter with Doom. The statue, not the man. If it landed on the --

Those beady eyes absolutely are not sussing up the sovereign leader of Latveria, small, landlocked, and proudly independent. It isn't circling with intent to make itself a pigeon pie. Is it? Terrible notions in birdy brains need to be abandoned.

Tugging his hand, she flits a step away and remembers herself, taking a proper measured roll of sole to ground. "This way? I would like to see more of the city. They are so compact here, different than the sprawl of New York. I rather appreciate it."

Victor Von Doom has posed:
Doom smiles, "Of course, we can tour as much as you like, Clea. The pastries that we produce in the bakeries are ones that can rival the best in Paris, I assure you." Indeed, let it never be said that Doom does not have a fondness for culture, as well as knowing what his paramour does like.

And sweets are assuredly near the top of that list!

Clea has posed:
"Which way? The dark little alley there," a point to the thin crevasse between buildings, "or the sidewalk there? Will we disrupt traffic too much or shall we just take to the air?" It's hardly sporting when already they have flown in at supersonic speeds, but perhaps there are different customs in Latveria. Or Doomstadt is so modern, it hardly feels that concerned by its leader flying by, at least this time with a lady on his arm or her arm around his waist.

It's an excuse to show a gentle squeeze of affection, anyway. "Tell me how you wish to go."

Victor Von Doom has posed:
Doom mmms, "I say we walk. There is no hurry today, and the state dinner is not until much later in the evening. I daresay there will be little trouble in disrupting traffic. Not that there is much in the way of traffic, of course." Indeed, it's a classic European village here on the outskirts in that regard. Though there are maglev stations visible, shattering the illusion that this isn't a small hamlet on the outskirts of the capital...

But still, Doom seems perfectly happy keeping technology at a proper distance. So as not to startle the horses. With that, he leads the way towards the bakery in question, getting the door for his lady in a manner of polite chivalry, "After you, my dear."

Clea has posed:
An unhurried prospect lies ahead of them, elegant boulevard sketched out in how many images of Doom that anyone could hope to find? Is there a Latverian tour of Doom statuary or Where's Victor to be found? She isn't ignorant of such things, taking their note as much as the flower boxes or the water recapture systems, solar gathering technology or more that defies immediate recognition. Sooner or later she can probably identify by observation instead of mere guesswork. Technology at a proper distance has its sunny charms at least.

She loops her fingers closer to him, watching the - wait, horses?

A shift of her gaze to find /those/ might raise curiosity. Where did those come from? Lingering for a moment, she steps into the petite patisserie with a saccharine whimsy to the atmosphere, scented sweet and fresh to the palate. Nothing like baking bread or any sort of glutinous pastry to tempt the mortal body, the immortal soul. While Victor holds the door open, she kisses the metal mask lightly. "Will they grow used to us like this?"

And to the counter, foretelling his coming like a herald of another sort, the poor clerk who might know Doom is on his way or not.