Title: Photos and Philosophy
Summary: Zandra takes some pictures of Superman being Super and then they have a chat about meta human rights.
Participants: Superman and Zandra
It is not quite dusk as Zandra strolls along in the park. She's armed herself with a very expensive looking.. gasp.. Manual camera with a large zoom. It's probably worth quite a lot.. and Zan's credit card is a-hurting big time.. even with the nice deal she got. She's out seeking energy sources with her aura sight.. sources that are not so mundane as cars, or power plants..not even the ley lines of the earth. No she's hunting other metas! hoping to get some heroic pictures for her blog and later, for an art gallery featuring, you guessed it! Metas in positive light! It's all part of her master plan to show the Master of Magnetism hope is not yet lost!
Well, Superman may not be a mutant, and thus not subject to as much of the hatreds that mutants face... but as a known and public alien, he may be close enough. At the moment, he's on patrol, seen only for a split second before zipping through the trees, little more than a blue blur. A few moments later, he's zipping past again, almost too fast to see.
See but not sense! She looks skyward and smiles. Finally! It's been like fishing at a pond with really persnickety bass. She moves towards some trees and then using the metal she's forged into her boots, she steps up into the air, climbing on invisible stairs until she's along the tree canopy line. She gets her camera ready, hoping to get some good shots of the blue and red blur.
The would-be photographer is actually much luckier than that, as Superman actually stops, mid-flight, while looking down at something on the ground. Perfect timing, as red beams of light pass from his eyes, a slight grin crossing his features. That done, he turns directly to Zandra, tipping her the slightest of winks, before dipping back under the trees, "That's right!" he calls out, "Don't move another inch!" Zandra snapsnapnapsnaps! The camera is set to take several shots for each click of the button. It's a VERY good camera. Is he putting on a show or is something going on down there. Looking with her 7th sense first she then allows her camera and eye behind it to glance downwards. Oh, it's not show, down below can be seen several young men, each standing with their backs to the same tree, a length of rope holding them there. A young woman, not petite by any means, but certainly a viable target, is getting up off the ground, being helped by Superman. Four hunks of melted slag steam on the ground, their original make or use unrecognizable. He may have been posing above, but below he's all business, if not a bit shocked when the woman envelops him in a massive hug. He seems to be talking to her, "...understand that it is imperative that you... you're welcome, really... but I need you to understand that if you don't press charges, they'll be back on the street by tomorrow..."
Hug the Meta? Sure! clickityclickityclick! Just like paparazzi, only from much friendlier. Zandra takes pictures of the thugs too, since it sounds like the lady is being squeemish about calling the cops. It might come in useful later. Ya never can tell! She hops into the tree so she can put her full focus on what's going on down below, and has a seat on a large limb.
Finally, the girl lets the almost sheepish-looking Superman go, nodding. And none-too-soon, it appears the police have decided to come on the scene. A few more minutes of conversation pass... also great shots. Handshakes, a few jokes, and eventually the releasing and subsequent handcuffing of the perps. A informal half-salute is given to the officers, and then Superman is off in the air. The sense of him behind Zandra a split-second later comes just before his voice, "Get any good shots out of that?"
The man of steel might just feel the air tensing, as electro magnetic energies rise and then fall when he appears behind her. "Yee...man, don' do that.. y'll make me nuke stuff.." she smirks at him and waggles a finger. "But dunno.. I won't be able to find out until I develop the images later. Hopefully they'll be good." she says with a grin. "Can I ask you somethin'?" she abruptly inquires.
Superman tilts his head, "With the kind of money you must have spent on that thing, you didn't choose to go with a DSLR over the SLR? Granted, you get more noise in the red spectrum, but it cuts significantly on cost, and makes touch up significantly easier in post work. And forget development time." Superman knows cameras? Go figure. At least he didn't comment on the 'nuke' bit. "Go ahead."
Zandra nods. "I have my reasons.. " being of which, a stray EM burst would destroy the camera, and the memory cards.. at least this way the film might be salvagible if something goes..wrong. "Why do you bother with the small stuff." she says waving her hand down towards the ground where the thugs were. "I'm not talking about joining wars, that's a political nightmare.. but.. there's so much more some one like you could do.. if all metas ever do is fight crime..or save the day during natural disasters.. We are never going to be seen as anything but band-aids and vigilantes."
Superman chuckles, "That's not even close to all I do. I... well... there is the visual deterrents I do, like what you saw today." He pauses, and while still floating, goes into an asana position, legs pulled in and crossed at the ankles, before he continues. "However, there's also the ailing farms in the midwest I help, the global support I offer during natural disasters. Just today I helped till thirty farms along the tornado belt that were wracked by last season's storms and would have failed. I helped with a World Health Organization delivery of aid to Pakistan. I stopped sixty muggings throughout the Northeastern portion of the United States, and participated in a fundraising event for a community farming project in the Bronx." He looks at her, "I do it because I can, and because it's needed."
Zandra listens carefully to the list of things the alien claims he's done today. She also tries to figure out how he's floating there. (good luck on that one!) "I'm not saying that you shouldn't help with national disasters.. " she smiles, turning on the branch so she can better chat. "or the super-cop stuff.. but it seems like all that's being done is treating the symptoms.. not the causes of the problems going on.. but ah, what'd you do for the farms anyway? Rebuild them? " she says, allowing herself a moment of curiosity. The fundraising even sounds good to her too. She makes a mental note to ask about that too!
Superman nods, "Mine is not the responsibility or right to rule. Sometimes, when your power is too great, it is impossible to properly assume that you know what is better for people. Mine is the responsibility to help prevent the chaos that prevents those in power from fulfilling the will of the people. Beyond that, they choose their leaders... and I have to respect that." He then smiles, "Yes. Rebuilding them, helping them repair the land as best they can. That way they have less work preparing for winter."
Zandra quirks a brow. "Who said anything about ruling? " she frowns a little but she does take out a little note book and scrolls down some of the things he's done. Ideas, evidence for something? "I know things get ..complicated.. like we shouldn't consider going some place and saying Hey! I'm going to fix all your troubles my way, wether you like it or not.. but if we don't find other ways to interact.. the fundraising thing is good though!.. it doesn't matter if you are a meta or a mutant.. the tide could get turned against us all. Then what? " she questions him quietly. "I.. spoke with some one several weeks ago.. and he's convinced that it's only a matter of time before the humans decide that powered people are too dangerous to be allowed to exist. I don't want him to be right. " she says, putting the pen into the spiral wire of the notepad. "I want to find ways to keep the fear to a minimum.. and prove we aren't a collecive bomb waiting to go off."
"I say rule, because it's the most common fear, just as you spoke. Those we are more powerful than may fear we'll try to rule them. And so we work for the betterment of their world, to show that this is not the case... that we are partners with them on this earth." Superman smiles broadly, before continuing, "I personally think that while there is a danger that the xenophobic cause may grow, it is that it will do so only as a result of unchecked, unthinking action by vigilante or self-appointed groups that perpetuate the fear by acting outside the law, covertly. After all," the smile dips a bit, "the best way to predict the future is to invent it."
Zandra nods as she rests her arms her her bent knees. "Well that's generally how the world has worked.. might makes right and all that." she sighs, shaking her head. "I'd rather we invent a future where we aren't in concentration camps.. any of us..humans or metas." she states. "I also want the more.. unusual looking of our kind to be able to wander about without getting harassed, pitch forked or having to hide under a ton of clothing.. There's gotta be something else we can do besides wait for people to get used to metas."
Superman actively frowns now, "Miss... and I don't know what else to call you, as I haven't asked your name... you're talking about a very speculative, very negative future. One that hasn't happened, and needn't happen. It's possible to invent these sorts of futures just by giving voice to the fear." He pauses a moment, looks up into the sky, and his eyes glow again, "Sorry... the space station was reporting a leak... needed a quick fix. Anyhow..." he takes a deep breath. "This is the United States. This isn't the early 20th century Europe. We've learned from their mistakes. And... some times, it takes those who are oppressed to stand up, prove they are not what people fear/hate, to change the world. Consider the plight of African Americans compared to the past. Or woman's suffrage. The choice to hide out of fear will breed fear."
Zandra shakes her head. "Zan." she replies to his not quite question. "And yes.. I am.. I'm being pro active because from what I've seen.. and what I've read, and heard from others.. that's a path that we could end up on. I don't know about you, but I don't feel comfortable with just standing by and hoping things work out for the best." she says carefully. "I hope you are right, that people have learned from the mistakes.. and granted they have some.. but they still fall into some of the same worn grooves of the past." she sighs. "Please don't think I'm trying to stir up trouble, I'm trying to do the opposite. You seem to take your role in the world seriously, and think out your actions carefully.. So I'm asking you.. I don't know what should be done.. if you've got ideas I'm all ears. Cause there are plenty of metas who aren't quite as.. super as you are, that still want to help."
Superman smiles again, although there is definitely something within that smile that speaks of disappointment. "Understand something, 'Zan'. There is a fine line between concern, and proactive prevention. The latter can easily turn into fanaticism, and proactive actions against the innocent." He pauses, letting it hold for a moment, before continuing: "Which is something I will actively seek to prevent, because, again, we must not invent a future with our fears that need not be."
Zandra rolls her eyes. "I think you are misunderstanding me." she sighs, with a bit of a pout and stands up, balancing more out of using her gift than any true grace. "I'm sorry for .. troubling you.. Thanks for answering my questions Superman. I appreciate it.. " she says, looking disappointed herself.
Superman reaches a hand out, as if to pause her with a hand to the shoulder. "Wait. I'm not... I promise you. But I also have a responsibility to be very clear on my own stance. There are things that can be done... but they take courage, and an open willingness to stand up and in the line of fire. Its in not hiding in the shadows. It's in those who do not look 'normal' making the people who fear them deal with them in the streets, warts, horns, multicolored hair and all. If you're looking for a how-to... THAT would be my very first suggestion."
Superman may feel a hint of something almost resist this gesture but then it disipates and he's able to do so. She arches a brow and looks at him. "That's true to an extent.. the different looking people need to stand up and stop hiding.. but technically those of us who are human looking.. we are hiding too. Just in plain sight. But I'm trying.. it's just coming up with ideas on what to do, and how.. that's the hard part. Cause like you said, we can't look like we are trying to take over cause we are better. I'l.. I guess I'll see what I can come up with on the fund raising aspect. That might be worth while. Money talks after all.."
After a moment, Superman removes his hand, taking a moment as well to consider his next words. "The best thing is to work with normal humans. Be a part, just like everyone else. Passive resistance to those who would persecute you for doing so. Most importantly, show them that they have nothing to fear by not using your powers to gain an edge over them." There's another smile, and he ineffectively tries to smooth back an errant lock of hair from his forehead. "It'll be a long road, but it's visibility that will force humanity to accept the changes occurring in it."
Zandra tilts her head. "That's kind of tricky... I mean that's kind of how things work.. a more educated or more talented person generally should have an edge over some one who doesn't. I suppose maybe that's just asking for too much up front. " she says, gnawing upon her lip in thought.
Superman nods, "It a matter of getting them to accept those who are different as equals first. Sadly, human reality is that merit has little or no relevance when placed against fear." He shrugs, motioning to the ground... they are, after all, speaking of equality while floating above the rest of the world, "Think back to the women's movement. Even now we're working to equalize there... and it was far too long before women were appropriately appreciated for their contributions and abilities. It will be same for the metahuman community."
Zandra smiles and nods. "Yea, I guess I just want to avoid so many of the unfair hurtles if I can.. It's hard not to have high expectations and hopes." she says, pulling out her note book agan and scrawling something down. More research is needed. bah.
Superman nods at this, winking, "Nothing worth having comes easily, Zandra. Nothing. If we don't have to struggle for us, it won't have the same worth to us." There is a sudden pause then, as he cocks his head to the side. "There's a shootout in... Times Square Toys R Us. I have to go. Please... think about what I said. And if you can, please don't sell those shots to the Bugle. It's a horrible, hate-filled rag. Try the Planet." He then winks, and is off, a sonic boom overhead registering his departure a few seconds later.
Zandra laughs. "I'm not sellin' them anyway!" she calls out as he rushes off. She also waves, and gives a parting 'Thanks!"