At Least Common Sense Won Out

Scene Title At Least Common Sense Won Out
Synopsis Dee, Scrivner, Vette, Durandal, Marius and Pauline meet at the Java House and decide to do something stupid!

Java House - Soho - New York City

Sultry notes of Jazz waft through the air, along with the fine aroma of over fifty different types off coffee. Ranging from the esoteric (and delicious) Jamaican Blue Mountain to the almost mundane flavor of amaretto, the Java House carries them all. The interior, while somewhat drab compared to Starbucks, is almost entirely in neutral earth tones. The Java House is less like a house than a long hallway, one lined with a variety of trendy peices of art.

The noise from all the shoes of the customers in here treading on the hard wood floors sometimes drowns out the music, but it still produces a rhythm all it's own. The vibration from the tunes, and from the many feet walking on the wooden floor, almost fills the room with a subtle buzz, one that only complements the excellent coffee here.

Dee looks to have been here a while. She's settled in at a table with a cup of coffee and a few biscotti, reading something on a PDA screen. She's seated to face the doorway, more or less relaxed but still attentive. One never knows, after all.

The door opens, and a tall blonde man in a navy blue, three-piece suit comes strolling in, a long nylon case over his back and a laptop bag slung over his shoulder. Rufus Scrivner is smiling amiably enough as he walks over the threshold, his left hand tucked into his trouser pocket and his right elbow crooked in offering to the lady at his side. "Well, the decor isn't as horrible as I first imagined. So far, so good," he lightly says, glancing around. His gaze lingers on Dee out of idle curiosity.

Vette has her arm through Scrviner's, and, wearing a black pants and a white blouse and sandals, smiles and says, "I've been in here before, just for a cup of coffee. Why did you imagine the decor would be horrible though?" Of course, her gaze lingering on anybody would require her to notice them first, and she instantly gets distracted by the menu.

It's the nylon case that causes Dee to give Rufus more than a cursory glance, and she looks over the man for a moment. In doing so she recognizes Vette next to him, and smiles towards the other woman.

The case is very long and slender, hanging diagonally across his back, from right shoulder and a few inches past his left hip. Rufus smiles back at the lady at the table, inclining his head to Dee, and very lightly he nudges Vette to bring her attention to the other woman. "An acquaintance of yours, my dear?" he murmurs, voice low in her ear.

When Rufus nudges her she starts, and she looks all around, and then she settles on Dee. She smiles and waves back, and murmurs, "Oh yes, I met her at the same time I met Simone and Marius, her name isDier…noDenanoDee! That's it, Dee."

Durandal slips into the coffee shop, a phone to his ear. "Yeah I know, but I don't know what you think I can do about it." He manuevers smoothly among the crowd on his way towards the counter. "Yeah, I know!" He says suddenly, raising his voice just a bit, then he lowers it. "I know, but there's nothing I can do." He slips around a passing patron. "What? No, Mom…" He rolls his eyes. "Look Mom, I gotta go, We'll talk later, ok?…Ok, Mom…I love you, too…Bye." He flips his phone closed and blows a long sigh.

Dee's PDA remains in her hand, though it's lowered to rest on the table while she's paying it no mind. She continues to watch the pair patiently for the moment, curiosity in her expression.

Rufus watches the lady at the table for a moment or two as well, then he glances aside at Vette. About to say something, he glances around at the sound of the voice and blinks a few times in recognition. Durandal… though he doesn't know the man's name. Then, to the lady at his side, he quietly says, "Well, if you like, why not say hello to her? I can get you your cup of coffee in the meanwhile if you tell me what you like."

"Oh! Thank you Ru, that's terribly kind. I like Jamaican Blue Mountain." Vette gives the man a kiss on the cheek. Then she heads over to Dee's table, a smile on her face. "Hi there," she says, bright friendliness in her tone.

Durandal slips the phone into his pocket and eyes the menu a bit. "Hmmmmm… do I want coffee, or coffee…" He asks himself aloud.

Dee gives Vette another smile as she walks over. "Hello again." she says. "How've you been?" She catches sight of Randall and offers him a wave, though the bulk of her attention remains on Vette for the moment.

Bending slightly, Scrivner takes the lady's kiss upon his cheek with a hint of a smirk on his lips. "Stay out of trouble," he tells Vette by way of farewell, gaze lingering on her before he turns away. Heaving a quiet sigh, he steps up in line behind Durandal, glancing at the menu. Now he tucks his other hand into his trouser pocket, and casually, he says to the man, "Hello again. Left the pigeons at home, did you?"

Durandal grins. "The city is their home. They're a part of it. That's why they're such useful creatures…" He stops speaking, as if catching himself. "Or at least they /could/ be," he amends. He steps up a bit as the person at the counter moves. "I see there wasn't a fight yesterday?" He says it as something of a question.

"Me? I've been better than ever," Vette replies to Dee. "Yourself?" She drapes one hand over the nearest chair across from the other woman, the smile still on her face. "I didn't realize this was a regular spot for you too. But it has such good coffee."

Dee chuckles quietly. "It's kind of become one, since the most interesting people seem to gravitate here." she replies. "I figure it's only a matter of time before it's rubble then, but until that happens…"

Taking a step forward himself, Scrivner moves ahead in the queue and cannot stop a faint grimace of disgust from darkening his face. "No, the man left just as you did. What a thoroughly disturbed and tetchy little jackass." His eyes narrow, and he watches Durandal for a moment or two longer, suspicion clearly written across his face. "You know," he muses, "it strikes me as odd that I've bumped into you for the third time in the span of only a fortnight, in a city full of millions of people. It's almost as if Fate is trying to knock our heads together."

Durandal quirks an eyebrow. "What's a fortnight?" He turns to the cashier as his turn in line comes up. "Hi there. I'll have a large carmel frappacino and a couple of chocolate donuts, no sprinkles." He turns back to the Scrivner as his order is rung up. "It's really not that odd. New York has a lot of people, but it's a pretty small city, metaphorically speaking." He turns back to the cashier and pulls a few bills from his pocket, handing them over and accepting change.

"Hmmmmm," Vette says, to Dee's words. "That's almost a good argument for me to quit taking coffee here. I'd hate to be responsible for the whole place ending up as rubble." She's so earnestly serious when she says this, too.

Dee nods in reply to Vette. "It's a hard call. But the place does seem to attract us." she nods towards Randall. "So, who's the handsome with the interestingly-shaped thing on his back?"

Scrivner just quietly sighs to himself. "A fortnight means two weeks," he explains, as patiently as he can. The corner of his mouth twitches, and falling quiet for a moment to let the man order his coffee, then looks him in the eyes. "I grew up in London," he says quietly. "And I can recognise unusual portents when I see them. I do not believe in coincidence anymore, at the very least." He hesitates, then adds, "I won't press, of course, but… we may have something more in common than is readily apparent, you and I."

Durandal nods as he shoves his money back into his pocket. "Well I'd suggest maybe we were seperated at birth, but then I'd have to claim that I was the cute one, feelings would be hurt, it'd be a mess." He grins and then winks, stepping aside as his order is prepared. From his pocket comes a business card, which he offers out. "Randall Haymer" it says, and a phone number. "But if you think there's something there, gimme a call sometime, even if you just need help."

"That's Rufus," Vette replies. She shifts a little, smiles, pushes a straight fall of red hair back behind her ear. "My boyfriend." A look over her shoulder, a look back at Dee, and she shifts again. "It's serious." She clears her throat self-consciously and smiles again.

Dee watches Vette as she answers, then laughs. "Hey, I was just asking. I wasn't planning to encroach." she replies. "Nice catch, though." she says without any shame. "You're welcome to join me, if you like?"

A new person enters the coffee shop, one that is suspiciously tall and definitely familiar to Durandal. Pauline looks around curiously, appreciating the very down-to-earth decor, and goes to join the drink ordering line.

Taking that business card, Scrivner flips it around and briefly reads over it, nodding to himself. He reaches into the inner breast pocket of his own suit jacket, and he pulls out one of his own. "Rufus Scrivner," he says, smile faint at his lips. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance. Likewise, if you find yourself in a spot of trouble, give me a call." Then he steps forward himself, looking up at the menu and faintly narrowing his eyes before he puts in an order for Vette's cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain and just…. well, whatever tea they've got.

Durandal reads the card and then shoves it into his pocket. "Will do, Rufus. Nice to meet you." He accepts his coffee and donuts, then grins as he spots Pauline. "You better be careful, there, Pauline. I hear coffee stunts your growth!" He calls to the woman.

Vette colors faintly and says, with a laugh, "I'd never suggest such a thing, that would be rude." Yeah. She looks a bit abashed and says, "Sure, if Ru would like to. It looks like he's about out of the coffee line. I'll be glad to introduce you."

Facing the door as she is, Dee doesn't miss Pauline's arrival. The tall woman gets a wave, then she looks back to Vette. "I can almost always count on a few people I know showing up when I'm sitting here." A gesture of her head towards the door demonstrates her point. "Three people I've met, now."

As she waits in line, Pauline pours over the possible selections and finally settles on an arabica roast, black. She's abruptly distracted by the voice of her bandmate, which earns a grin. "I dunno, Duran, I don't think I'm going to be having any problems with /growth/ anytime soon." she laughs, stuffing her hands into her pockets. Upon reaching the front of the line, she gives her order and pays in a few crinkled bills from her right pocket. Stepping aside, she decides to join Durandal while she waits for her drink. "Fancy meeting you here-uh oh." she returns Dee's wave, "So aside from being dangerously close to reaching critical mass, what's up?"

Stepping aside as well, once his order's placed, Rufus shifts the weight of the laptop bag across his shoulder and glances briefly behind him at Pauline. Then he doubletakes at her, eyes widening in startlement as he stares openly for a few seconds. When he realises he's doing it, he blinks again, looks away and directs his gaze down to the counter instead. He sweeps up Vette's coffee and his cup of tea, and quietly, he turns to walk away, leaving Durandal behind. "Vette," he murmurs as he sets down her cup, "here you are."

Durandal chuckles and shakes his head. "Critical Schmitical, nothing is gonna happen at a coffee house." He leans in to speak mosre quietly to Pauline. "The Titans wouldn't dare get between all these mortals and their coffee. Hell, we might as well have Scions of Folgers running around."

Her gaze directed by Dee, Vette stares too. Holy crap. She flashes a smile back at Rufus. "Thank you sweetie. Rufus, this is Dee, Dee, this is Rufus, and Dee knows everyone here now." She flashes a nervous grin and then takes up the coffee. "She's invited us to have our coffees with her."

Dee laughs to that. "I certainly don't know everyone here. Four people, now." She offers Rufus her hand, saying "It's nice to meet you." She's finally put her PDA away, acknowledging that work will wait a while.

Rufus's stare does not go unnoticed and when Pauline catches it, she returns one of her own, immediately seeking eye contact. She does this until Rufus looks away. "Saying things like that is just going to tempt fate you know. If we have a bunch of giant wolves show up, I'm so blaming you." Playfully, she jabs a finger at Durandal's forehead. "So how're things?"

The man's look for Pauline wasn't long. He made eye contact for a seconds, then hastily looked away before it could get too openly rude. "Far be it from me to refuse a lady's invitation," Scrivner says, as he sets down his own teacup. Then he takes Dee's hand in his, shaking it firmly but once. "Likewise, a pleasure." He pulls out a chair beside Vette and seats himself, slipping the shoulder strap of his laptop bag off and resting the heavy thing on the floor by his feet. "Miss Adams tells me that you are acquainted with our friends, Dr. Simone Devoir and Mr. Marius Forest. Are you very close?"

Durandal shrugs. "Let 'em come… I'll get some more teeth, and start a little shop." He holds up his hands theatrically. "Randall's Magical Stuff" He lowers his hands. "Has a certain ring to it, dontcha' think?" He grins and takes a bite out of one of his donuts. "Besides, I don't beleive in your critical mass theory anyhow… it doesn't make sense." He says through a mouthful of chocolate donut before swallowing. "Think about it. Why would they only show up when there's a full squad of people to fight them? Why not attack when we're all alone?" He shakes his head.

Vette settles down beside Rufus now that the invitation has been accepted, stirring her coffee and then sipping it. She's a quiet enough person that she's all too happy to listen to Dee and Rufus chat while she listens, though she focuses very hard on the conversation this time and does not, say, get distracted by fascinating word puzzles in the wall paper, which was exactly what happened to her last time.

Dee arches an eyebrow, when Rufus mentioned Simone and Marius. "Hm." is her first reaction, and she looks them both over again in a more studious manner. "I am, yes. Well, I've known Marius a little longer than Simone, but I see them both pretty often. They're my cousins, in fact. Do you know them well?

Scrivner goes still for a moment, blinking at the lady across from him, while his brain puts two and two together. "Interesting," he remarks. "I should say I do. We have had a few … misadventures together. Curious. If you are cousins to them, and if Miss Adams here is /their/ cousin, therefore, you are cousins as well." He glances at Vette, asking, "Did you realise this?"

Truth be told, Pauline kind of likes doing that sort of thing with people that stare at her. It's like a little 'who can make eye contact the longest' game. "Haha. You know, you might actually have something there, Duran. You could probably make a nice amount of cash selling that sort of thing on that one website." Scionlist clearly. She holds up a finger and gets out of her seat, picking up her drink before settling down again. "It's that whole fate web thing that Kailin told me about once. Say all alone we have our own little influence-" she pulls a pencil out of her backpack and begins doodling stick figures on a napkin. "-but only when it's combined with the influences of others does the sum become noticable to monsters." She lowers her voice, "Those angels don't count, they obviously already know where to find us if they want to attack while we're alone."

Durandal smirks. "Did this Kailin person have the visual aids, or did you make those?" He takes a sip of coffee. "Far as I can tell, those angels aren't working for the titans, at least not directly. There's something or some/one/ else jigging the joystick on that one." He shrugs.

Vette starts. She peers at Dee a lot more closely. She looks back at Rufus and says, "Well—no. No I didn't." Back to Dee. She blinks several times as if processing this new information.

That does gain Dee's interest, and she looks between Rufus and Vette with a look of curiosity. "I guess we do all have some things in common, then." To ilustrate her own bit, she fiddles with the Caduceus pendant hanging around her neck. Her lips purse, and she says "I hope the coffee shop can handle us all here." There are five, after all…"

"No, these are all mine-see?" Pauline scribbles a little C in a circle at the bottom of the hasty stick figure diagrams. "All mine. I just copyrighted it. More seriously, I think they might be related to the guy that blew up Amirah's press conference. I should ask Lin what they did with that person."

Idly, she scribbles more related doodles-a stick figure with wings and a halo. "And next time I want to dissect one of those things. I wonder if their bones are hollow."

Rufus recognises what the caduceus means, and he slowly nods his head. "Hrm," he grunts. "It is rather a lot like putting a lot of sugary sweets in a large pile for the ants to swarm, isn't it?" He glances aside at Vette, and he briefly reaches out to pat her wrist with his fingertips. "Well, Miss Dee. What is it you do for a living?"

Durandal quirks an eyebrow. "That's a wierd thing to wonder." He takes another bite of his donut. "Then again, I sometimes wonder if there could be a volcano that erupts cherry pie filling, so I guess it takes all kinds."

Vette smiles at the caduceus, but having nothing obvious of her own to display except her weird puzzle boxes, which have been clinking around her neck all along, she doesn't. She does, however, frown around the room, as if looking for ants. Giant, evil ants.

Dee smiles at Rufus, then picks up her neglected cup to have a sip of coffee. "Well, it's more like we seem to just be drawn to places where there will be trouble. Or, a bunch of us all together draw things towards us." she says, echoing another nearby. "I'm a security consultant." she replies to Rufus. "How about you?"

"Well, birds have hollow bones." Pauline points out, "It makes flight possible in a way since there's not as much weight to weigh them down." She sips her coffee and gives Durandal a playful poke again. "I'll get my answers, one way or another."

Leaning comfortably back in his seat, Rufus sips his own teacup and faintly grimaces at it. As he rubs his thumb across his bottom lip, he answers, "I'm a lawyer specialising in criminal law. Most of my work involves advising and defending British citizens who've run afoul of the law while in America. My firm is associated with the British consulate." He hesitates, and noticing how unusually quiet Vette is, he turns to study her and tilts his head. "Miss Adams is quite a talented dancer, I don't know if you realise this, Miss Dee. You've a production coming up soon, don't you, my dear?"

Durandal shrugs. "I imagine we all will after not too long. One way or the other."

Vette looks back at Rufus and Dee and nods her head. "Yes, I do. I warn everyone in advance that it's a little bit of an avant guarde depressive social commentary production. It's called," here she clears her throat self-consciously. "A History of Nihilism. Only its not really embracing it the way the title might hint at—it's railing against our own self-destructive tendencies throughout history. It's one of those productions that critics like more than most people I think, unless you automatically appreciate that sort of thing."

There's a nod to Rufus, and Dee replies "She mentioned when we met. We do all have some very interesting talents." She smiles, and says "I like to think of myself someone who appreciates art. I usually exercise that in the graphic arts area, though."

"Oh?" Rufus asks, turning his attention back to Dee and arching his eyebrows in interest. "If I may ask, what is your favourite period? And do you collect?" He takes another sip of his tea, draining about half the cup in a few thick swallows now that it's cooling to a comfortable temperature.

"'course we will." Pauline shuffles her illustrations away. "So who was that guy you were talking with when I came in?" A quick glance is sent in Rufus's direction.

The little pre-paid cell in Vette's pocket rings, and she pulls it out to hit the ignore button, then winces. "Speak of the devilit's the director of the production. RuDo you mind?" She waits for him to say he doesn't before she stands up to go take the call.

Dee replies to Rufus "There are several periods that I really enjoy. And yes, I do collect some. I'm more partial to small, fine statuary and such, rather than anything needing hanging, but I do have some very nice pieces." She's marvelously vague, given how she acquired those pieces. She nods then to Vette, fine with her taking the call.

And Scrivner is marvelously oblivious to any dubious goings-on here. He smiles at Dee, and when Vette excuses herself, he briskly stands from the table and smiles. "Not at all. Good luck." The man watches her go before he eventually reseats himself, smoothing down his suit before taking another sip of tea. "I've never been very fond of the more abstract styles myself, like cubism or postmodern." He cannot help but smirk. "I'm sorry, but Jackson Pollock… what a con artist. He might as well have vomited on the pavement after a Saturday night pub crawl and slapped it up on the wall."

Dee laughs quietly. "I do like my art to look like something. I don't mind distortions to reflect perception and emotion, but after a certain point it really is ridiculous." she replies to Rufus.

"Yes, when I cannot recognise whatever it is I'm bloody well looking at, then a line has most certainly been crossed," Rufus says with a flash of a grin. "Have you ever been to London, Miss Dee?"

Dee replies "I have, but not very recently. Some wonderful museums, of course. Do you go back often?" she asks him, then has another sip of coffee. "I'd guess you need to for work at least occasionally."

"On occasion, yes," Rufus easily says, after another drink of his tea. "Though I haven't gone back for a proper holiday in about five years. I'm rather hoping to change that this year, perhaps at Christmas time, as I doubt very much that Miss Adams has ever been and should absolutely be forced to endure a run through the Tate and the British Museum. Where did you go when you visited?"

Dee smiles and says "I went to all the usual tourist places, of course. I couldn't go and not see the Crown Jewels, could I?" And boy, was that tempting. She was pretty sure it was a little outside her ability. Yet. "I also visited the motorcycle museum. Dali Universe." Another temptation. "The Sherlock Holmes Museum…" Of course, there are plenty of places I haven't been yet.

"Ah, I've been to the Sherlock Holmes museum as well," Rufus says with another flash of a grin. "That was a school trip when I was about… oh… ten years old. It was all very impressive then, of course, and I quite clearly recall thinking how grand it would be to have been that man. For a very long time I had my heart set upon becoming a detective for Scotland Yard. Strange how I ended up here…" He clears his throat, then asks, "At any rate, tell me more of your work? I imagine you go about to the homes of various clients and advise them on the best security?"

Dee replies with a grin "I think at one time or another, everyone's wanted to be Sherlock Holmes." She spends a moment considering how to answer his question about her work. "I do some of that, yes. As well as security on a larger scale. Finding the holes in a system, so they know what needs plugging."

"That makes sense. You must be quite skilled at what you do," Rufus muses with a glance at the caduceus she wears. "I have been considering upgrading the security in the law firm that I own with two other gentlemen. Do you work with smaller clients or only the fabulously wealthy?" he asks with another grin.

"I am." Dee says without shame. "Quite skilled, I mean. And sure, I take on smaller clients. I'm not a snob, or anything. Money isn't really my motivating factor. I've never been lacking, there. My mother is quite well off."

"Oh, of course, I hadn't meant to imply any snobbery on your part," Rufus says, before he takes a long enough drink of his tea to nearly empty the cup. "It was more my concern that your appointment books may be so full of more important clients that you haven't time for the 'small potatoes,' as it were." He reaches into his suit jacket, digging about in the inner breast pocket, and he pulls out a slim, white business card. "Here. I shall have to discuss it with my partners, of course, before I can commit one way or another. Do you have a card, Miss Dee? Or shall I just take down your phone number?"

Dee goes into her satchel, and brings out a simple card bearing her name and cell number. "Here you go." she replies as she trades with him. "Lately, more of my time's been spent traveling around the city. You know, trying to help keep an eye on things, with all the unpleasantness going on. A little more important than something I don't have to do all the time to make a living."

He takes her card, and then he stashes it inside of his pocket with Haymer's. "Thank you," Scrivner says. Then he glances up at Dee, and he glances around the coffee shop. The man fidgets a little and clears his throat, then looks at the lady with arched eyebrows. "Unpleasantness indeed. In fact, I've encountered some rather strange things on Ellis Island myself," he says quietly. "It deeply concerns me, especially since I consider myself quite inexperienced in such matters. Have you been dealing with …. /those/ sorts of problems for very long?"

Dee mmms quietly. "The on-again, off-again portal." she replies in a quiet tone. "It is very worrisome, given the more permanent one at Times Square." She shakes her hand, saying "Not that long, really. But it's been very intense."

"Yes, precisely," Rufus says gravely. "I assume the good doctor or Mr. Forest told you of it? Or did you know about it previously?" He wets his lips and sets down his cup, tapping his finger against it pensively. "I hadn't realised there was one in bloody Times Square. Where is it?"

Dee says "Word gets around, among us. But I do think it was either Simone or Marius on that one." Her forehead wrinkles then, and she says "Go look. The humans apparently can't see it, but we can."

Dee adds then "Don't go in, though. I have it on good authority that's 'bad'."

"Ahh…. Bad in what way?" Rufus asks, his eyebrows arching just a touch higher. "Because I have already gone into the one on Ellis Island, and I had a good look about. I found a couple of very interesting things there, but nothing that leapt out and tried to eat my face."

Dee looks terribly interested, when he mentions finding things there. "Apparently, the place can produce exact copies of us, that will try to kill us and take our place. Things like that. I had to fight my duplicate in Times Square. What did you find?"

Rufus Scrivner sits very, very still now, studying Dee with his tea cup half-forgotten and a rather odd expression on his face, somewhere between anxiety and OMGWTFBBQ. "A doppelganger?" he asks, very quietly. "I found very little in there. The building looked like an immigration station. There was a timetable written in an unfamiliar language, and there was a sealed door that wouldn't open. Miss Adams and I both went inside, but we did not stay long. How do you know if a doppel is going to come out of there? Is it already too late or did you encounter an entity that later took your shape?"

"Copies made out of goo, at that. It's pretty neat." Pauline chimes in, having just seen Durandal off. Now Dee has the large scion of Bunyan looming behind her. "Actually we ran into these three people I didn't recognize but were pretty creepy. The doubles emerged from the shadows soon after." She nods to Dee, "We were there together when it happened."

Dee mmhmms. She adds quietly "Those three others were also dopplegangers, who'd taken the form of other Scions. They left there for the 'real world', while we fought our doubles. Apparently, it's a problem that group has been having for a while." She looks to Pauline then, and smiles. "I'm not sure I'd call it 'neat', Pauline."

Rufus looks up… then up and up and up. The Englishman blinks a few times and then calmly rises from his chair, and even so, she's /still/ looming over him. He clears his throat, and he says, "Good afternoon, Miss. I don't believe we've had the pleasure of meeting." He offers his hand to Pauline, stating in self-introduction, "Rufus Scrivner. And you are?"

Vette comes walking back in, looking vaguely stunned, like someone just hit her in the back of the head with a board. She smiles around the group, her cell phone put away, sees the rather large woman looming over Dee and gives her a friendly if a sort of 'oh god don't hurt me' smile, and takes up her coffee again.

"That group..that group that group..oh! Them." Pauline reasons, vaguely then starts to dig for something in her left pocket. The digging abruptly stops when Rufus stands to introduce himself. "Hello! Pauline Hightower, nice to meet you." She replies pleasantly before shaking his hand. She has a firm grip and a toothy, but friendly, grin. Releasing his hand, she takes out her own cell phone and fiddles with it a little before pulling up what looks like a blank black screen. "I tried taking some pictures while in there too. They didn't really come out."

Dee grins, obviously enjoying Rufus and Vette reacting to Paulette. She nods to the large woman, saying "I know two looked like people named Maia and Gene. They're a Band that's apparently been around a while."

Drawing back his hand and remaining on his feet, Rufus blinks a few more times at the very tall… very impressive lady. He clears his throat, then leans in towards her to take a glance at the screen of her cell phone. "In Times Square? May I see please? Something is better than nothing, I suppose." He glances at Vette as she returns, smiling at her, but he doesn't yet speak to her.

Vette blinkus a few times and then holds out her hand to Pauline, catching up enough to recognize introductions are going on here. "Hi, I'm Vette," she says, her smile warming up considerably now that she's back into social mode.

"People call them the Power Rangers, apparently. I've never met any of them so I can't say if they're teenagers with attitude or not." Pauline drags a chair over so she can sit and passes Rufus her cellphone. "The first picture is a shot from outside the anomaly. I tried to photograph that castle that appears to people like us in Times Square. As you can see it really didn't show up." And it doesn't, though it looks like there's some kind of black mist clouding the sky where it should. "The second's from inside. You might have already noticed but you loose reception while in there."

The second picture is completely black. Absolutely nothing turned up. "Hi Vette!" Switching gears completely, she shakes Vette's hand as well.

Dee looks at the cell phone with curiosity, but makes no effort to have a look. Been there, after all. "Power Rangers." She mulls over the name, and looks unimpressed. "Hm. They're apparently pretty powerful, though. So they're handling things like some gods being stripped of their divinity. It's happened to a few, so far. That's why strange things have been happening in different parts of the world."

"Yes, I'd noticed," Rufus very quietly and rather drily says as he reseats himself, reaching over to take the young lady's cell phone and inspect the photographs. "A power ranger? That's rather an unusual name, but I suppose there's no accounting for taste in some people." He takes a look at them all, then offers the cell phone back to the young Pauline. "What were their names? Do you know if they might be willing to give advice to the novice do-gooder?"

Vette instantly decides she likes Pauline, and her smile brightens. Then she seems to tune back into the conversation. She blinks a few times and then takes a sip of her coffee, and now if she seemed quiet before she seems almost reticent now, just listening and offering up nothing.

Pauline looks slightly startled. "Stripped of divinity? You can do that?" She says nothing more about that band name because of what the other guys in her band have taken to calling theirs. Accepting the cellphone, she offers it to Dee and Vette in case they want a look too. "As for names. Um. I think there's a Haldor and Maia. I've never met them but I could imagine that they're probably pretty busy these days. A shame, that."

Dee replies to Rufus "They've got attitudes of the 'better than thou' sort. So far, they seem to just scoff at anyone else's thoughts and ideas, because apparently they've already thought of everything. At least, that's what I got from some of them. Annoying as hell, really." She nods to Pauline, frowning. "Apparently so. That's way past anything I can help with, though."

"Yes, but unless they're English, they're only posers," Rufus says without thinking in answer to Dee. He drains the rest of the tea in his cup at last, then he sets it down and relaxes in his seat. "Maia and Haldor. Hm. Well, we shall see what comes about. I am not about to rush off, at any rate. I've far too much to be doing myself."

Vette grins to Rufus' statement. "I would like to see thecastle thingyou guys are talking about," she muses, looking over to Rufus. Speaking up at last it seems. "I'm curious about it. I wouldn't mind trying to study all these phenomena—see if there's something in common between them besides normal people walking right through them as if they are not there."

A hint of sadness is seen upon Pauline's face at the news that the famous band is full of mostly assholes. "Which ones did you meet, Dee?" She'd agree, though, Pauline thinks she's much too green to deal with Gods losing their power. "Hang around Time's Square at night, Vette, you're bound to see it at some point. I wouldn't go in alone though."

Dee smirks some, to Rufus. She doesn't reply though, instead moving on by saying to Vette "Well, I don't think there's any such thing as too many people looking into it, so why not? Just be careful of things coming out of it." She considers before answering Pauline, then says "Gene's the one that aired us all using our abilities to help people after the explosion at the Amirah thing. Maia was very full of herself and very derrogatory towards the less experienced. Jason was better, though he acknowledged that he had some tendancies towards arrogance, too. He and I had a pretty nice talk."

"I am suddenly rather glad I was working overtime when all of that took place," Scrivner very quietly mutters. He pauses for a moment, glancing at Dee for a moment when she says the name Jason, then he looks back at Vette. "Would you please describe this Jason bloke?" he asks.

Marius is on his way to the counter to get coffee, he does come here quite often, and he apparently was not invited to the big pow wow he sees in the corner, he smiles a little but doesn't interupt.

Vette blinks a few times at Rufus' statement and then tilts her head back over at Dee. It's an impromptu pow wow to be sure, just something that sort of happened. She's back to a mode of listening though.

Pauline looks surprised again, "Gene's one of them? I didn't know that. I still need to catch up with him sometime, he's been pretty elusive." She sips her coffee, which has gone cold by now, and opts to just finish it all off. "I guess when you save the world a couple of times it tends to go to your head." Pauline notices a familiar someone in the corner of her eye and immediately tries to make herself smaller. This effort fails pretty badly.

Dee smiles towards Marius, and gestures for him to join them. She also holds up and wobbles her cup a bit in a request that he bring her another, winking at him as she does. "Jason?" she replies to Rufus. "Too pretty for words. Kind of like Marius over there."

Rufus glances over his shoulder at Vette again, studying her for a moment, before he turns even further in surprise. "Forest?" The man stands up, and seeing the weather guy, he waves his hand over at him and beckons for him to join. As he reseats himself, he asks, "You said the man who nearly ran you down was a pretty pansy, didn't you, Vette?"

Marius grabs his own coffee, and one of Dee's favorites before heading over, he smiles and leans down to give a kiss to Dee's cheek, then gives Pauline a little wink, and looks like he is going to give Rufus a little kiss on the cheek too, but it is merely a psych, before he finds himself a chair.

Vette blinks, sees Marius, waves at him, blinks again, sits down. She looks at Rufus and nods, "Yes, the absolutely not my type pretty boy," she says, rather firmly on that point. "I suppose it could have been the same guy. Had some funny doohickeys that I didn't think much of at the time."

Durandal sneaks back into the shop after taking the phonecall that dragged him away, and he sits back down to his coffee and donuts.

"Hey Marius." Pauline greets quietly, forcing back a snicker at the fake guy-kissing manuver directed at Rufus.

Dee laughs when Marius moves to kiss Rufus, then notes to Vette "There's a lot of very pretty pansies around. And a lot of us have doohickeys." She describes Jason then in a little more detail than 'pretty', before greeting Marius more properly with "How're you doing, cousin?"

Leaning away from the other man, Scrivner crinkles up his nose in distaste and favours Marius with an icy glower. "Nnnngh," he grumbles when he sits up straight again, tugging his suit jacket back smoothly into place. "Hello there, Forest. We were just discussing Ellis Island, Times Square and such."

Vette pats Rufus' arm as he leans away from Marius' flirtation, shaking her head. "You know, Marius, you keep that up and I'm going to have to declare you a female rival and come scratch your eyes out." The tone is friendly, but mild.

Durandal pulls a phone from his pocket, a different one then he'd been talking on, and as he sips coffee his other hand works the buttons to send a text.

Marius chuckles and nods, settling into a seat, he puts up his hands, "I would never poach on your territory Vette

"Vicious." Pauline teases, putting away her own cell phone and sliding her empty cup over into her hand. "And those Power Ranger guys but mostly Times Square."

Dee grins, listening for the moment as she enjoys a sip of her fresh coffee. She still seems to be in no rush to be anywhere.

"If we may /please/ resume discussing business, I would greatly appreciate it," Scrivner snaps, his cheeks taking on a rather bright pink tinge. "Thank you, Miss Hightower." He clears his throat rather roughly and looks down at his empty cup, scowling at it. Empty. Bother. "Miss Adams and I will be going into Times Square later this evening to inspect this castle that is down that way."

Dee's eyebrow arches, as Rufus loses his temper a bit.

"Er. I'll just—get you another tea?" Vette suggests, a bit taken aback by Rufus' snappishness herself. "I really don't mind, I was thinking of refilling my coffee cup anyway." Distract with tea!

Marius smiles and nods to Dee, "I am doing pretty good actually," He looks back to Rufus, "Look Tall brooding and British…no need to get frustrated, If we are going on a field trip to the big new years ball, then cool, we can deal with it. It sounds like a fun trip. "

Rufus blinks at Marius. "I am not /broody,/" he states with a mildly annoyed scowl. His scowl deepens and he glances off to one side, at Vette, with an expression on his face that suggests he just asked himself, 'Am I?' Whatever he decides, he harrumphs beneath his breath and shakes his head to the lady. "No thank you, Miss Adams. I've had enough. Apparently, Forest, there are these creatures running about that can fashion themselves into doppelgangers of Scions. They've been encountered inside of these structures."

Dee adds in "True. I wouldn't say 'broody', so much as 'cranky'." Her eyes twinkle a bit with humor. "Or, it could be a British thing." she looks back to Rufus, her expression saying she's just teasing him a bit.

Vette nods and gets up to get another cup of coffee anyway, since refills, at least, are not an issue around here. Then she comes to sit back down, stirring creamer slowly into the cup. With nothing more to add for the momentand deciding that "helping" Rufus wasn'tshe stays niiice and quiet.

Marius says, "So…field trip to time square, who all is in?"

Dee considers. "It might be better than waiting for something to show up here and destroy the cafe because there are so many of us." she replies.

Rufus arches his eyebrows at Dee, fixing her with a steady look, before he smirks. "Et tu, Miss Dee?" he inquires ever so loftily. The man smoothes down his suit coat again, and he says, "I am, of course, Forest."

Durandal sucks down the last of his coffee. "Well let me start by saying that this is stupid and dangerous and could get us all killed." He says to the others, tossing a styrofoam cup into the trash, and grabbing his last donut and taking a big bite. "But if your deadset on doing something impetuous…" he says through a mouthful of chocolate donut. "…then I suppose I better go along so I can identify the bodies."

Vette looks up at Durandal, tilting her head at him. She frowns faintly and opens her mouth, then closes it and sips her coffee instead, swallowing whatever it was she was going to ask.

Marius nods, "Dee?"

You say, "Marius?"

Marius says, "You in?" He smiles."

You say, "Sure."

Marius nods, "Good then, looks like its the five of us, unless anyone wants to bring a date?

Durandal nods his head. "Lucky me, I always carry around my equipment." He grins.

Vette blinks at Duran's sudden, apparent change in attitude. She says, "Well Rufus and I were already in, so. But I don't see why it's so rash, if it's always there?" She raises a russet eyebrow at the man, trying to figure that one out.

Durandal grins. "Gonna have to work on my sarcasm, I suppose." He shrugs. "I'm Randall, by the way. A friend of your boyfriend. We met at a…" He thinks for a moment, as if trying to recall something. "…petrol station."

Rufus looks up at Durandal and blinks at him, arching his eyebrows, before he smirks. "Sarcasm is best when subtle," he states. "Yours is rather like dropping an anvil on the foot, mate. Vette, this is Randall Haymer. Haymer, this is Miss Vette Adams."

Dee has settled to silence for the moment, studying the others.

"Pleasure to meet you," Vette says, leaning over to offer her hand. "And—it's alright. Sarcasm often flies right over my head. I'm a bit literal." Understatement of the year, that. "I do remember you, I think, from the gas station, yes."

Durandal shrugs. "Allright, so I'm as subtle as a 10 ton hammer… it's my nature." He grins and extends a massive arm. "Hi there Vette."

"Now that we've agreed we are all set on going, when shall we be going?" Rufus inquires, as he settles back in his chair. He glances up at Durandal, then at Marius, Dee and Vette.

Dee stands, and picks up her satchel to rest it over her shoulder.

Vette stands as well and finishes her coffee, putting the cup away. "Okay," she says, taking a deep breath. "I'm set!" She pushes a fall of red hair away from her face and looks good to go.

Marius nods, "I was born ready."

Durandal nods. "Just lemme grab a few for the road." He jumps back in line at the counter, ordering a few more to go.

"Well…. all right then," Scrivner says, startled but compliant. He reaches down to grab his laptop bag, slings it over his shoulder to drape near to the long, slender nylon case across his back, then he stands and offers an elbow to Vette.

Dee asks "Marius, would you like a ride? My bike's nearby."

Vette takes that elbow as per the usual, though she looks regretfully down at her trousers. If she was going to go checking out weird phenomena and potentially getting attacked, she must admit her single only pair of good trousers and her single only good shirt were not her best choice. But she keeps that thought to herself.

Marius nods and gives Dee a slap on the leather clad rear, "Sure Cousin, as long as I get a view from the back, last time you made me ride on the handle bars my neck got a crick in it.

Durandal waves the others off. "You all go on ahead, I'll catch up!"

Scrivner turns his head to look back at Marius, blinking at that. He looks… a little wigged out. He opens his mouth to say something, but upon thinking better of it, just blinks a few times and says to Vette, "Well, let's be off." And out he goes walking.

Dee chuckles, then leads Marius out.

Times Square - New York City

Times Square is one of the most recognizable areas for both strangers and residents of New York City, if only for the marquee that circles around the 25-story Times building, after which the city was named. The New York Times is no longer here, but the moving sign remains, giving headlines, election results and other news. Once a dangerous place to be, the Square was redeveloped in the 1980s into what it is today. Times Square hosts the largest, oldest and best known New Year's Eve celebration in the world, marked by the 100-year-old tradition of lowering a ball atop One Times Square. Times Square welcomes millions of international visitors annually and is the home of many of the world's most respected communications and entertainment companies. The Times Square area boasts 150 restaurants and 39 Broadway theatres, among them the beautifully restored New Victory Theatre and Disney's New Amsterdam Theatre. The whole area has a feeling of /life/ about it, a vibrant atmosphere that pervades everything - morning, noon and night.

He drove, but he had to park somewhere else and then walk the remainder of the way into Times Square. The laptop bag got left in his car, locked tightly in the trunk. He's still carrying that long, slender, nylon case though, and Scrivner is looking more than a little tense as he walks into the square. The moment he sees it, that ethereal castle with its twisting, spiral towers, he stops short and looks up… and up… and up. "Oh my God," he breathes.

Vette stares up at the castle with him, holding on tight to his arm. She whistles low and whispers, "They weren't kidding. It really is…a /castle/. This does not bode well for the health and safety of the space time continuum, in my admittedly ignorant opinion." She touches the puzzle boxes at her neck as if to reassure herself that they are there.

One of the nice things about her bike is that parking is a little easier. Dee's black Hayabusa weaves in and out of traffic easily, arriving at the Square fairly quickly. Nor is the walk once she's parked all that hideous. She still has her satchel over her shoulder as she walks alongside Marius.

Durandal has taken the Skyway to Times Square and arrived the quickest, though not the first. A small bag of donuts in tow, he lands on the roof of a nearby building and looks down at the square, examining the castle for a few moments.

Marius nods, "It's been here at least since the Crucifictions.

Glancing over his shoulder, noting the others arriving, Scrivner's eyes come to rest upon Marius. "The Crucifixions?" he inquires. "What do you mean?" He lifts his right hand and rests it upon Vette's own, squeezing her fingers tightly. "You're not going inside," he tells her in a low voice. "I'm not inclined to go in myself. Not tonight. Not without some greater understanding of what is going on."

"I wasn't suggesting that we do so," Vette says, but she does sound a little disappointed. She wants to poke and prod and study the thing. She wants to see if the language inside is the same. She looks at Marius. "You mentioned those before," she says. "When Simone first approached us, you mentioned those."

Marius raises an eyebrow, "you weren't told? There have been several women kidnapped and crucified, mostly in two locations, Time Square and Ellis Island, to my knowledge the castle appeared for the first time shortly after the Time Square Crucifiction, and the Ellis Island one preceeded the new….rift.

Durandal finds a place to sit as he watches over the group, content to guard over them as long as they aren't going in. He reaches into the bag and fishes out a jelly donut, bringing it to his mouth for a bite.

Dee walks over to the others. "Crucifixions." she echoes in a tight voice. "As I understand it, the Greek Fates were sacrificed here, to create the portal. Three women of the three different ages of life."

"Shit. The Moirae?" Rufus murmurs, eyebrows arched. "No, I hadn't heard. I must have missed that news story." He wets his lips again and looks up at the castle, swallowing hard. "Christ Almighty, I hadn't realised…"

Vette frowns and says, "If they opened two, that's a pattern. More than likely whoever is doing this will perform a third crucifixtion and open up another rift. We may be able to anticipate them by turning several bands to watching various places. They seem to be targeting New York City Icons. Ellis Island. Times Square. So if we all divide up the city and watch various icons, destinations that have deep meaning to the city—we might be able to intervene, catch these jerks and put a stop to them."

Scrivner's cell phone begins to ring…

Dee nods to Rufus, then notes to Vette "That's an awful lot of ground to cover. We do have a lot of people out patrolling now, but there's still relatively few of us compare with the sheer size of the city."

Marius says, "They also may need the blood of Scions to open them."

Stepping back, Rufus pulls himself gently but firmly free of Vette and reaches into his jacket pocket to pull out his cell phone. He flips it around, frowns, then opens it up and lifts it to his ear. "Scrivner here," he says.

The voice that comes from the cellphone is familair, though there is a lot of wind in the background. "The view is better up here, Rufus, if you ever get a chance."

Vette considers what Marius and Dee have to say, chewing on a nail. "An awful lot of hours too, considering all of us have lives outside of heroics." But it's clear she's turning her mind towards the problem hard and fast. "Empire State Building…Rockefeller Center…Marius, did these guys leave any evidence or traces or clues at all? Did anyone see anything?" She lets Rufus pull free of course.

"I really don't know who exactly saw what." Dee replies. "I still don't have nearly enough information. If this is being done by Titanspawm though, it's not the minor creatures I've been fighting. It's the powerful ones that'll eat me until I get into a better position to protect myself."

Scrivner looks mildly confused. "Haymer, where are you?" He turns about in place, having a hard time taking his eyes off of the castle for his wariness of anything coming out of it. He glances at Vette, then past her to the other two.

Marius says, "I know that Caelis…when she died." He pauses softly, "Had many ancient writings carved into her skin."

There is a slight chuckle, barely heard above the wind. "Look up" He waves a bit, but this far up it's tough to say if he'll be visible.

"Do you think they might be a match for the writings at Ellis Island?" Vette asks Marius. "Maybe you ought to go take a look with Ru and I so you can see if they match. Was anybody ever able to identify them?"

Dee replies "It was before I really got involved. I didn't see any of it."

Marius says, "They were ancient Atlantian, both Raine and Erika have full copies, I have a set at home too"

Scrivner turns around again, then he looks up. "Bloody Hell," he mutters. He hesitates for a few seconds, then he says, "Give me five minutes. I'll be right there." He pulls the phone away from his ear and snaps it closed. "Vette, stay with Forest and Miss Dee. I'm going to go and take a look at the castle from another angle."

"Alright," Vette replies, looking at Rufus. "Be careful." She pauses and says, "Atlantean? How did you come to realize they were Atlantean? Can anyone read Atlantean?" No sense going crazy trying to translate a language if they already have a translation available, after all.

Marius says, "Supposedly Erika can."

Scrivner walks away from the trio and goes darting around the buildings, searching for a tight alley. He glances, left, then right. He looks up. Then, gathering a deep breath, he darts forward and steps up onto the wall, and he soars up along the side of the building until he leaps over the rooftop and trots easily towards Durandal. He comes to the edge and stops, looking out over the castle for a long, silent moment.

Dee looks around them again. "Well, if we're not going in - and we really shouldn't - I want to get to a few things I've put off today." She smiles to Vette and Marius. "Oh! Vette. I hear you're a cousin?"

Vette nods and smiles. "Yes, it seems as though I am," she says, looking both warm and somehow shy. She gives a little laugh. "Not as — ahh — auspicious as some I'm sure, but—yes."

Dee chuckles. "Some are more auspicious than others? Well, okay. Zeus. Hera. Otherwise I think most of us are on about the same level."

Vette blinks a few times at Dee and gets a slow smile on her face. "Yeah. Yeah, perhaps you're right at that. It's—nice to have family. Really, really nice."

Marius says, "Technically I think it's by marriage…Vette's dad is my dads sisters husband…or is it ex husband…she is like a step cousin."

Marius smiles and gives Vette a kiss on the cheek and a hug

Dee smiles. "It is. I mean, I have my mother, but it's nice to have cousins." She looks at Marius then, clearly trying to work that one out. She ends up just blinking at him. "Huh?"

Startled by the brotherly gesture from Marius Vette smiles and pats his arm. "My father's a bit distant still," she admits. "I feel closer to my cousins. I want to do him proud but…" she shrugs her shoulders. "My dad is Hephaestus, but Marius, you lost me in all that too."

Marius says, "Hephaestus, the Greek God of Fire and Forge was a giant not related to Zeus and the other gods, he was married to Aphrodite, because he was the only god who never asked for her hand, because he thought he wasn't worthy of her."

Dee thinks about that. "But I thought he was one of the children of Zeus and Hera? Making him, you know, one of the few Hera couldn't be pissed off about."

Marius says, "Another story makes Hephasteus Hera's child out of wed lock without Zeus"

You say, "Anyway, regardless of his parentage I think it's very cool, Vette."

For a long while Scrivner stands up on top of that roof with Durandal. Eventually, though, after exchanging a few words with the man, he goes back down and will get Vette and take her home. He has things to be doing too.

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