|Scene Title||Calling on the Doctor|
|Synopsis||Rufus visits Simone and brings her up to date on Torchwood events|
This four story building has plenty of character, strong bricks and old wood. Inside, it's well appointed in antiques from the 1920's, which suits the hard wood trim and simple print wallpaper. The first floor has a foyer, library, and sitting room with a wrought iron spiral stair leading to the upper levels.
The second floor is taken up by the kitchen and formal dining room, with a dumb waiter running from the kitchen down to the sitting room as well to the upper floors. The kitchen appliances are all modern, in contrast to the nostalgic decor. The dining room can seat a dozen people in a formal setting.
The master suite is on the third floor, consisting of master bedroom, walk-in closet, and large bathroom. The fourth floor holds two guest bedrooms along with a bathroom.
One bright and sunny morning, right around eight o'clock, Rufus Scrivner called the good doctor and asked to meet with her so they could discuss some business that she'd missed out on seeing. He said he was available to talk to her during his lunch hour, if she liked, so at around noontime, he shows up on her doorstep. Wearing a three-piece suit, carrying his laptop bag and the case that conceals his longsword, Rufus Scrivner checks his watch before he knocks briskly at the door.
Simone answers the door in something less than her usual, neat attire. Wearing green hospital scrubs, the doctor's hair is pulled back in a ponytail and she's not wearing any makeup. Still, she greets Rufus with a warm smile and even a kiss on the cheek. "Rufus, won't you come in? I apologize for my appearance, but I ended up pulling a double last night and only just got back." Yet for all that, she doesn't seem even remotely tired.
He blinks, looking mildly surprised by the peck to his cheek, and Rufus' face takes on a brighter colour. Then he smiles back at her, and he steps into her apartment while bending, sliding off his laptop bag and the sword case. "Think nothing at all of it, Simone. It's good to see you again. You're looking very well despite all of that work. Hopefully all's been going well enough?"
Simone gives a light shrug, closing the door behind her guest and leading the way to the sitting room he's come to know so well. "It has, yes. I've been burying myself in work at a local E.R., mostly. I've also been volunteering at a free clinic." She pauses to turn to him, giving a small smile as well. "And how about yourself and the others? Marius hasn't stopped by with any nasty carcasses in quite a while."
He chuckles, but he doesn't seat himself till the lady has. It's just not right to do so. "Well, actually," Rufus says, drawing out the words a little. "Something /has/ been going on. You recall the strange phantom building on Ellis Island, right? That only we can see and enter, whereas those without divine parentage just walk through, oblivious to it?"
Simone nods to that, settling and crossing one leg over the other. "I do, yes." she replies, waiting for him to settle before continuing. "Were you able to make any progress in the investigation? I'm afraid I've not been of much use to you lately."
When she seats herself, so does he. Rufus eases down into the chair with a long sigh, crosses his legs at the knee, and he smoothes down his waistcoat. "Oh yes. Forest, Miss Adams and I have been keeping a watch over it. One day, one of the doors actually opened. Lights began flashing over it, and upon going inside, we saw streams of people who were…. well, not entirely human, but looked it. It was actually rather a lot like that corny science fiction movie, Men in Black. Aliens disguise themselves as humans and come here to live. A woman stepped out with them, calling herself Amy Grayson, a Scion of Columbia. She tossed a key to me…" He fishes out this old, antique-looking thing that looks as if it's been made of iron. "…. and said that she didn't have time to answer our questions before she disappeared through a doorway. These tremendous monsters came through, looking like the mongrels of bears and lizards. We had to engage in combat with them."
Simone nods slowly, her attention distracted immediately by the key once it's produced. "Amy Grayson?" she shakes her head slowly. "May I take a look at the key, Rufus? And tell me more about the creatures. Are they the source of the footprint cast you brought to me last time, perhaps?"
He leans over, and he sets the key on the coffee table for the lady. "Here," Rufus says. "The creatures were huge, and they weren't at all responsible for the cast of the footprint we gave you. Those were something else entirely, though I expect they came out of the same doorway. I just haven't seen any small lizard things resembling the cast. We destroyed the lizard-bears and the door closed, but we haven't seen the Scion of Columbia since. We have, however, been researching this key, Miss Adams and I."
Simone picks up the key and hefts it, tilting her head to regard it curiously. "Lizard bears? No, they would have been larger than whatever made the footprint, if they were -that- big." she agrees. Studying the key, she muses. "I wonder what this could unlock? Or lock, for that matter. Have you searched for keyholes on Ellis, near where the portal opened? And has it opened again since then?"
He smiles faintly, "Miss Adams says that the metal isn't actually iron at all, and that the key holds electronics inside of it. She's not sure /what/ its purpose is. I, on the other hand, went searching through the antiques shops that specialize in keys. One gentleman recognized this as belonging to a man who lived at the turn of the last century, and he gave me the address of the basement office where he used to work. Unfortunately, that building no longer exists, so we're going on something of an archaelogical dig to see what we can see. Would you care to join us?"
Simone raises both brows at that, looking quite pleased with the results of their research. "A basement office? Here in the city, even? I'd -love- to join you, Rufus. What's the name, and were you able to turn up a home address or anything else? Perhaps it's a family heirloom that someone can help with…?"
Then she replays his remarks and looks suspiciously at the key. "Wait a second. You said there's -electronics- in the key. From the early 1900's, when what passed for 'electronics' was vacuum tubes the size of my head."
"Yes. That is precisely what Miss Adams said. So there are a couple of possibilities that come to mind," Rufus says. He holds up a finger, "One, the key is modern and was simply disguised as an antique to throw anyone looking for it off the scent." He holds up a second finger. "Or two, this is alien technology that /is/ from the early 1900s." He also gives her the information about the man's name and address. "There's a subway line that goes through the area, but we'll have a bit of a walk to get to the site itself."
Simone nods several times. "My thinking exactly." she replies. "Although I might add a third option, which includes, shall we say, 'divine' influence into the equation. But the -real- question is why this Amy Grayson tossed it to you before she disappeared. What's it supposed to do, and how can we find out?"
"I wish I knew." Rufus leans forward to take up the key before leaning back, turning it slowly between his fingertips. "We're rather hoping that our excavation will give us more clues. Likely it opens /something,/ but… the Gods only know what."
Simone passes it back and settles into her seat with a thoughtful look. "Well that certainly sounds like the next, logical step." she replies. Folding her arms over her chest, she muses. "Why a key, though? I mean, if you were going to hide electronics, why hide them inside a key? I'm wondering whether it's just as important, if not moreso, that we find out where the key goes."
After a moment, Rufus slips the key into his pocket. "Maybe it is a key to unlock something, or maybe the disguise as a key keeps its true nature concealed and protected from anyone who might abuse it. I don't know." He smiles faintly as he recrosses his legs, getting comfortable again. "It has to be important, else the Scion probably wouldn't have bothered giving it to us."
Simone nods again, reaching back to unbind her ponytail with an absent gesture. "I think after we go digging in the subway tunnels, Rufus, we should take the key to Ellis and look around for a keyhole." she offers after a moment. "Maybe there isn't anything to find, but perhaps there is. Columbia is a personification of America, much like Lady Liberty herself. I doubt it's coincidence that the portal opened up there."
"I'm not adverse to that. I did examine the … alien immigration station, but I saw nothing that appeared to take it. Still, it's possible I missed something," Rufus says with a nod. "God knows I was rather off-kilter the last time I crept about on its grounds."
Simone smiles understandingly at his admission, her expression softening. "Well some of us have heightened senses, like Dee and myself. Perhaps one of us should take a look." she offers. Tilting her head, she regards him in something of a different light. "So, Rufus, how are things with Vette lately?" she asks boldly.
"I certainly wouldn't be adverse to that all. Just allow me to accompany you when you go. If you encounter any trouble, I can make certain you have enough time to escape," Rufus says quietly. Then he blinks at the lady, looking her right in the eyes, while he tilts his head and regards her rather curiously.
"Things are going well enough, I suppose," he muses. "She's still living with me at the moment, as she hasn't been able to find another flat she can afford, but I'm in no hurry to see her go. I've been trying to encourage her to find another job she might enjoy more or to return to school to better enhance her natural talents. She's been contemplating teaching dance, and of course, she's been working towards the crafting of artefacts. Which reminds me, she did want to see if she could make weapons out of those harpy talons, if you'd be willing to hand them over."
Simone nods to that. "She and I have discussed an exchange of dance lessons, actually. Vette was going to teach me how to belly-dance." She leaves off -her- part of the exchange, perhaps deliberately. "And of course I would. Let me go and fetch them. Although I'm not much of a hand fighter, so they'd be of little use to me unless she made them into crossbow bolts or something. I'll be right back." Rising, she disappears into another part of the house and returns shortly, bearing a small box with the 6 talons inside. "I'd be curious whether she might be able to use them to craft artifacts, rather than weapons, myself."
She doesn't have to say it. Rufus remembers /all too well/ what sort of dancing Simone was into, and his eyebrows arch much, much higher. Colour /him/ surprised. He's still looking just a bit pole-axed when she comes back, but certainly /not at all/ upset. Standing, he reaches out his hand to take the box of talons. "I don't know what she'll be able to do with them," he says, looking down at them. "She may only be able to do weaponry, as she's just beginning, but we'll see."
Simone hands the box over, returning to her chair to settle. She is too polite to mention anything about his surprise, but smiles more than a bit to herself all the same. "Well regardless, I'm sure we'll find more once we locate the nest." she replies casually. "This will give her something to play around with, anyway."
"Heh. We haven't had much time to investigate where that nest is, have we?" Rufus muses, as he seats himself again. "It seems as though there's always something more important going on. Still, I haven't /seen/ any harpies lately."
Simone settles back in her chair, stretching her legs out before her. The Nike cross-trainers somehow -go- with the green scrubs, even. She shrugs. "Well if you haven't seen any around, perhaps they've taken the hint. Either that or they've been successful and are brooding."
"I … don't want to think about brooding harpies," Rufus says, looking vaguely uncomfortable for a second or two. "Though if you'll pardon my vulgarity… How any man could get a hard-on in /order/ to mate with one of those beasts is beyond me. My stomach churns at the notion."
Simone wrinkles her nose at the thought, giving him a wry smile afterward. At least she doesn't giggle. "I'm afraid we lack a common point of view, there." she replies almost demurely. "Although their stench -is- vile." she pauses, then changes the subject. "So tell me more about the portal and those… lizard creatures."
"Well, there's not much to say," Rufus says, deciding to get off the topic of harpies and hard-ons. He straightens his jacket and shifts how he sits. "There's a sealed door at the back of the building that refuses to open no matter how hard I try to get it open. Well, when the lights began flashing and a phantom ship came in - where all of these aliens were disembarking to come inside the building - that door was opened. The lizard bears were huge creatures. There were two of them, covered in scaly hides, with talons and teeth and all sorts of other monstrous qualities only a mother could love. They weren't at all intelligent, and Marius, Vette and I managed to kill them."
Simone listens intently, looking thoughtful at the descriptions. "Perhaps the key unlocks the sealed door?" she muses softly. "What happened to the creatures once you killed them? Did they dissolve or anything? An autopsy might be quite instructive."
"They… are still there, as far as I know, if nothing has scavenged them by now. I certainly had no resources to clear away a whole host of alien and monster bodies," Rufus says slowly. "So, if you'd like, I'll escort you to the island to study them. Or perhaps you'd rather have Mr. Forest with you. Either way…" He shrugs and smiles just a little.
Simone smiles softly at the mention of Marius escorting her to the island for study instead of Rufus, and she clucks her tongue. "I would trust either of you to be quite sufficient for the task, Rufus. Besides, it isn't as if Marius is sleeping in one of my guest rooms or anything."
The man manages to keep a very straight face as he inclines his head. "Well, whatever you'd like," Rufus says calmly. "If you find that Forest is unavailable to take you, then by all means, give me a call and I'll arrange some time away from work to take you to the island." Rufus arches his eyebrows, then he asks,
"Well, then, have you any other questions, my dear doctor?"
Simone shakes her head, running fingers through her newly-loosed dark hair in the process. "None that come to mind, Rufus. Thank you for taking time away from your lunch to stop by and visit. You should really come by for tea again soon." She pauses, smile growing. "And bring Vette as well."
"I'd be thrilled." Rufus smirks at the lady as he inclines his head to her, and turning, he walks across the living room towards the door. He stoops to sweep up his heavy bags, slinging them over his shoulder as if they weighed nothing at all. "I shall be looking forward to a few more scones, Simone. Don't you dare forget them."
Simone walks with him to the front door, still toying with her hair after working the double shift. "I wouldn't dream of it, Rufus. And the preserves as well." she adds. "I'll give you a call when I'm ready to go poking around Ellis. I'll probably call Dee as well. She's got good eyes."
"That she most certainly does," Rufus says with a flicker of a broader smirk across his lips. "Good bye, Simone. Do stay out of trouble, won't you? If you can." He steps out of the door and lingers on the front step a moment or two.
Simone wrinkles her nose at that, giving him a nod all the same. "I'll try, Rufus, but I can't promise more than that." she replies. "Give my regards to Vette, and thanks again for coming by."