Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mr. Fantastic Meets Ms. Unimpressed

When we last saw Simone Debouvier of NYC's Child Welfare division, she had just made an evaluation of the home environment of Franklin Richards and his sister as part of her office's investigation as to whether his parents were adequately providing for their safety and well-being.

It could have gone better.

Let's not sugar-coat things--Ms. Debouvier's initial report to her supervisor is likely to be frank, and unfavorable.

But the lady is a professional, and there are admittedly extenuating circumstances where the Richards family is concerned--so it's to her credit that she's willing to continue the investigation with something of an open mind, though she's probably made it clear in so many words that her mind is 80% made up.

To that end, Sue has taken steps to at least meet Ms. Debouvier halfway:

A nanny is all well and good, but it's really a Band-Aid to this kind of situation. The Richardses obviously haven't asked for my input, but I might have given them one solution long before now that might have put Ms. Debouvier's mind at least partially at ease:

Why not a "safe room" for the kids? Other families have fire drills in their home--why not extend the notion to have a plan for the kids when there's a sudden danger situation in the Baxter Building? One of the FF speaks a special code which triggers an alarm that the kids are trained to instantly respond to--they head for the safe room (designed by Reed, of course) and ride out the trouble until Mom or Dad comes to retrieve them. There could even be a network of pneumatic tubes that they can step into wherever they are at the time, and be whisked to the room in seconds. The safe room can even be located off-site, just for good measure.

(And that's just off the top of my head! Surely Reed and Sue could put their heads together and think of something more foolproof.)

At any rate, Sue has done her best--but Ms. Debouvier of course will need to meet with the children's father in order to make a more informed assessment at this stage. And in this second meeting, Reed finally returns to find out about this development. But Reed's famous for thinking on his feet, right? And with Reed and Sue presenting a united front, hopefully they can make some headway with Ms. Debouvier.

Unless Reed happens to be on the run from the Feds, that is.

Strike two.

I have a feeling Ms. Debouvier may get a nice tour of the Negative Zone when she comes around for her next appointment.

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