1964-09-03 - Sunday at Wilson's
Summary: Rose returns home after a little survival exercise to be received by dad and uncle. Conversation with Slade is mostly about guns, as usual.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
slade-wilson rose 

A few weeks ago Rose Wilson (nee Worth) graduated High School at an expensive private boarding academy and thought that being eighteen meant she was free to do whatever she wanted. Coming home her father gave her a pair of swords as birthday present. And her ‘uncle’, William Wintergreen, gave her a BMW sports car. That says something of her relationship with those men.

Unfortunately she never got to use the BMW much, as her father sent her so spend some ‘vacations’ to Alaska.

More precisely, the Alaska Range, with a parachute (night jump, of course) a combat knife and revolver with six bullets. No food, not winter clothes and not even lighter. He did promise her a reward if she made it back to his New York townhouse before September first.

Unfortunately she is two days late.

And what a summer vacation it was… Basically just a summer-long final exam. Not exactly the summer she was hoping for, but it's not like she's exactly planning on heading to college in the fall. She knows exactly what she'll be doing with high school finished. Working with her father. Not that she loves it. She doesn't really. The job can stink sometimes. And her father somehow makes it even worse sometimes. But she's good at it. And she likes that part of the job a lot.

Being two days late for whatever reward her father has in mind? That's deliberate. Just close enough to being on time to look respectable without trying to make it look like she's seeking anyone's approval. She'll get there when she's ready. But she's here now. Not even really looking the worse for wear. Patiently, when she arrives at his townhouse, she knocks lightly on the door. No, not the summer she wanted, but it could've been worse.

Meanwhile Slade had a fairly uneventful August. He eliminated a spy ring in Hell’s Kitchen for the CIA, and then went to Vietnam for ‘evaluations’, technically working for a Japanese security company, but he knows it was a contract for the Pentagon.

His report was withering, but then again they shouldn’t have expected anything better from him.
Slade returned from Vietnam a week ago. He finally told Wintergreen where he had sent Rose and the older man has barely talked to him since.

Wintergreen opens the door when Rose knocks. He already knows who is there; there are cameras and very good security. But that doesn’t stop the British gentleman from effusively welcoming the young woman.

“Rose! Thank god. Another day and I would have gone looking for you,” he hugs her and ushers the girl inside, giving her a long, considering look. “How are you? Hungry?”

Rose being late has delayed Slade’s plans for September. So he is not particularly happy. He doesn’t bother to come to greet his daughter, remaining on the living room, where an assault rifle has been dissembled on the table.

Rose offers Wintergreen a half-embarrassed smile at the remark about him going to find her before hugging him. Yes, it was a childish thing to do to take her time getting back. Yes, it makes /some/ people worry. She has a feeling her father was never worried about her making it. "I just took the long way around. You didn't have to worry about me. You know I'll always make it back." She pauses at the next question. "A little, but I better get business done first", she says, with a gesture of her head. "I'm sure he's in /some/ kind of a mood about how long this took."

Wintergreen makes a non-committal hrmph sound. Wilsons are hopeless for some things. “You are late,” points out Slade when she comes into the room. A glance up reveals him she was not even trying. Not injured, not hurried, just rebellious. Lazy.

“Fine,” he decides, “come here, I want you to see this…” he gestures with a hand to the dissembled weapon. It is not something Rose has seen before, but perhaps she has heard about it if she has read magazines such as Guns & Ammo.

“This is a M16 rifle. It went into production in March and the army plans for it to replace the M14.” He explains. “Supposedly it is superior to the AK-47. I think they still need to improve the design before making that claim. But is has some promise.”

Rose just smiles at the reaction from Wintergreen. She knows he means well. But she also knows what's going to make things easier for her down the line. She doesn't need to get her father any more annoyed than she's sure he already is.

When Rose reaches the next room, she shrugs lightly at the comment about being late. "I was off seeing the world on summer vacation. Isn't that what /every/ high school student is supposed to want to do after graduation?" No, it's not the same way that most students do that. And yes, it's likely going to get a certain reaction from Slade. But she's looking for the attention. Not necessarily the approval. As he describes the gun, she goes in to inspect it a little bit more closely. "Looks good so far."

Supposed. Want. Those are the words that make Slade frown faintly in disapproval. He gave her plenty of time to return. The only difficulty on the trip was reaching a town from the mountains with nothing but the stars to navigate.

Most people, even many elite soldiers, wouldn’t have made it out alive. But he had people watching for her in all nearby towns, so he knows Rose could have arrived to New York about a week ago if she hadn’t taken it easy.

Her mistake: taking it easy. Not at all the Wilson way.

Back to the M16, Slade shakes his head. “You think so? Assemble it. We will hit the firing range after lunch.”

Rose shrugs and takes a look at the rifle. "Okay. Is this all the pieces?" It's not usual for her father to setup tests with no actual solution. So she's covering that ahead of time. She tries not to smile at the mention of going to the range after lunch. Now she can be /really/ glad she didn't take up Wintergreen on his offer of food. She can only imagine what kind of mood Slade would be in if she'd done that. She just wants to toe the line. Not jump over it.

Rose was two days later, Slade wouldn’t have been more annoyed if she stopped for a sandwich fir 15 minutes. In fact if she had done maybe he would be more sympathetic, believing she had suffered some hardship and hunger during the trip.

Or maybe he would have been more disappointing. She had a knife and six bullets in her gun, after all. Absolutely no reason to be hungry in Alaska in summer. Maybe he would have given her a week worth rations if it was in winter. Or a coat. Maybe.

“All the pieces are there,” confirms the older Wilson. Still not a simple task, since it is somewhat different to a M14 and other assault rifles. It is not obvious how to reassemble it, she needs to be careful not to make a mistake and break anything. Some of the pieces look somewhat flimsy.

Rose nods. "Not a lot like the older models", she says as she starts the parts she's sure of. She's in no hurry. She knows that if this gets broken along the way, this entire test was a failure. So she takes her time, putting together pieces, even taking pieces back apart when they cause problems with the assembly down the line. If all the pieces are here, then it should all fit together somehow. And it's not like she's never assembled anything like this before. She knows what most of the pieces are for. She just needs to be take her time and make sure that she uses all of the pieces.

And of course Slade has a chronometer running the second Rose touches the first piece. Life is a test, and her dad is the harshest teacher.

But it is not rocket science, they need to dumb things down so idiots can also be soldiers. After a few minutes she has the whole gun operational. Sans ammo, though. Slade grunts in maybe mild approval. “Keep it, take it to your room and practice dissembling and assembling it the next days until you can do either in less than two minutes.”

Which means he expects they will use this model of rifle quite often the next few years, after all.

Rose actually expected the test to be a little more difficult. But the grunt of approval is a plus. It means that she's at least finished this part of things. And she can read between the lines. For example, the part about "keep doing this until you can do it in less than 2 minutes" means that there'll probably be an expectation in the next day or so that she'll be able to do what she just did timed. It's not something she's worried about. She's had to do the same thing for other weapons before. This is just a new one that she's going to have to learn. And she's already done it once. The rest of the time should be easier. Picking up the rifle and glancing through the sights, she also tests the heft of the weapon, while she's got it assembled. "It still feels like a step up from the AKs."

It is definitely lighter, which is a plus for most soldier. Not them, though, Slade and Rose can fire M60 machine guns full auto with one hand. “It incorporates some brilliant ideas,” admits Slade. “It offers better range, it is more accurate, and gives a slightly superior rate of fire,” he enumerates, “but it has far less penetration power. Lower caliber bullets. Besides, the AK-47 is far sturdier. They want to use it in Vietnam jungles, and that will require constant maintenance. It needs better construction materials and I plan to modify any we could use.” But Slade always customizes his guns, so that is not a surprising statement.

Rose tosses it from hand to hand. It's not loaded at the moment, so it's not as if she's got to worry about it accidentally firing. She also knows that her father means that he'll be modifying them to put some power back into them. They already give their weapons constant maintenance. And they're not worried about the durability of them. As long as they're not jamming, they'll be fine. "Is there some reason you're about to start using these? You don't sound like you like them much."

“Plenty reasons,” replies Slade, not elaborating at the moment. They can talk about it at the firing range later, going over in detail about the good and bad things of the new weapon. “You have 40 minutes before lunch, I will be in my office,” he adds, walking out of the room. Wintergreen, having heard everything while he was ‘reading the newspaper’ by the fireplace, turns to Rose and arches an eyebrow inquiringly. You okay?

Rose nods as her father does his usual thing. Most people would say he's a jerk. Most would be right. But she knows why he acts like this and she continues to toy with the weapon while her father walks off and Wintergreen speaks up. "I'm fine. It's just him being him. You know how it is." She smiles at that, "So how've /you/ been? Been up to anything fun?" No reason to focus on the subject that neither of them want to talk about.

Wintergreen does indeed know Slade better than anyone else and remains with him despite Slade’s moods. But Slade seems far less a… jerk with the older man than with his own blood family.

“Something fun? The Beatles just were in town, I went to the concert in the Forest Hill Stadium. They are getting back the 20th and I have tickets for you,” spoken like a British patriot, too. “Also, we are in war with Vietnam even though no one will admit it yet. I am sure you will see it soon, in person.” Which might not be fun.

Rose smirks at that revelation. The crowd at that concert was probably a lot more like her than like Wintergreen. Sadly, Rose was off doing insane survival training at the time. But typically, Wintergreen tries to keep her covered on this kind of thing. Idly she considers if she'll appreciate it as much as he did or if she's just weird. "Thanks!", she offers genuinely, hurrying over and giving him a hug. "I know you're looking out for me. Thanks for thinking of me and for the tickets."

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