|Scene Title||Children and Chimera|
|Synopsis||Dee, Halima and Scrivner meet up in the Java House to|
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 sits in her usual place, a table that lets her watch the room easily. She's sipping mocha, and her PDA sits on the table nearby. She looks tired.
Well, she's been busy, hasn't she? Rufus got her message and came when he was first available, and now, as he pushes through the door of the Java House, he walks along the tables and skips queuing up for a coffee or tea. He finds the Lady Dee rather easily, and smiling faintly at her, he comes up to a free chair and pulls it out. "Hello again, Miss Floros. Are you all right? You look as if you could do with about three or four espressos."
Dee smiles to Rufus, and continues working on her drink. "Three or four? I feel like I should be investing in it by the gallon today. I'm finding myself really busy lately. Not a bad thing, but still. How're you doing?"
Getting himself comfortable in a chair in front of the lady, Rufus folds his hands in his lap and tilts his head inquisitively. "Quite well, no complaints," he says easily enough. "What's happened?"
A persian woman putters up to the shop on her yellow Vespa and quickly enters without removing her helmet, goggles or scarf. She drops the eyewear to dangle around her neck and whips off the freshly buffed headwear to let her hair fall loose once inside. Halima looks like she's gotten a full eight hours sleep for the past six months. Though she's wearing the same clothes she wore when she met with Dee last. Which probably indicates she hasn't slept yet. The glories of Epic Stamina. She makes her way to the back of the room and introduces herself to the pair just as Rufus questions Dee, "Oy, Dee. Got your call. Do tell, something come up?"
Dee there's a wave given to Halima before she answers Rufus. "Heya. Yeah. The school was hopping last night." Her tone says it wasn't in a fun way. "Do you two know each other?" she asks then as she downs more precious, precious caffeine.
Glancing up as the lady comes over to the table, Rufus sweeps his hand briefly down his suit jacket and stands, inclining his head politely. "Good day," he says politely to Halima, soon glancing back down at Dee. "I'm afraid I've not had the pleasure."
"Not yet. Halima." she offers her name. "I don't have my eyes on, but I'm guessing you're in on the greatest, worst-kept secret of the world." She sits down in a chair carefully, a bag over her shoulder is swung into her lap. "Dee and I were thinking of setting up some security in the school, keep an eye on things. You know." The persian woman smiles, just a bit.
Dee says, "chuckles quietly, to Halima's phrasing. "Halima, Rufus. Rufus, Halima." she says, making very informal introductions. "Rufus is one of my Bandmates." Halima then explains their current connection, and she nods. "I was there last night, to do some reconaissance. There was a bunch of kids there in the bathroom where the girl died last year. They managed to summon her spirit, despite that she was put to rest back then. Afterwards, they managed to get ambushed by some weak versions of the angels. The balls of light that shoot lasers. Fortunately, they had me and another there. Have either of you met Hikaru??"
Once the lady is seated, Rufus sinks back down into his own chair, wryly smiling. "That's one of the more amusing descriptions of our situation that I've heard yet. You'd guess correctly, Miss Halima," he quietly answers. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance. But ahh…. Miss Floros, which school are you speaking of? I wasn't running about in these circles of yours a year ago. I can only assume you don't mean one of the universities, if we're referring to children." He hesitates for a second, then adds, "I've been introduced to Hikaru, yes, though we didn't exactly have a conversation. He had accompanied Miss Maia Tsuchimikado, with whom I spoke at greater length."
"Were there any injuries?" The persian woman asks first. "And as for Hikaru… I have not. I've been occupied with my work at BNL. One of our magnets needed to be replaced and I've been busy with calibration, they asked me to supervise the installation. I don't show off at work so it took a lot longer than it would have otherwise. Now that it's done I've come out of my hole." Halima leans back into her chair. "This is starting to sound like I should be more active in rooting out the source of these assaults. Father was kind enough to give me a very cursory briefing on our familial threat. I will step up my efforts to finish the security system."
Dee shakes her head to Rufus. "Not a university, no. It's a high school in Queens. Seems to be a bunch of them there who haven't had their visitation yet." Her voice is kept quiet, of course. "The only serious injuries, fortunately, were the bad guys. Fortunately, the kids started showing signs of their 'talents' and could defend themselves. I'm guessing they'll all be visited soon, if their parents realized something was going on." she says then, about the attack. "Unfortunately, they're all being teenagers, so all they did was give us attitude. I kind of pity their parents." She rolls her eyes, then nods to Halima. "They need someone keeping an eye on them."
His eyebrows arch quite high, and Rufus falls momentarily quiet, listening attentively. Then he frowns, and very lightly he drums his fingertips together, steepling them as he leans comfortably back in his chair. "I see," he says grimly. "If the …. special parents are being lax in their duties in visiting these Scions, someone /should/ pull them aside and give them some forewarning. At least they weren't hurt."
"If their visitations don't happen soon we may need to sequester them for the safety of the mortals surrounding them. And if their divine parents don't straighten them out during their visitations then the titanspawn will. Once one of them sees their best mortal friend ripped in half by a minotaur on celestial steroids they'll realize quickly just how high the stakes are." Halima reaches into her bag to pull out a cellphone. She keeps talking while sending a text message, "I'm changing the shipping on my cameras and microphones to overnight air. I was going to wait until I had a pass through the school before setting things up, to inspect the wiring and data lines, but I think that can be forfeited since you've had time to scout the place."
Dee mmms quietly. "They didn't want forwarning. Or protection. They wanted to be teenagers. Decided I was some… how did they put it? Lesbian stalker lunchlady, or something. The first part was my own fault, kind of. Hikaru was in a female form, so I didn't know who it was until he called me a nickname, and we kind of joked about it at first." She shrugs, then continues with "Yeah, sooner's better. Especially since I'm not sure when I have to travel." Then, to Rufus, "I've worked out a few things about Chimera, by the way. I'll leave my findings for Simone, to see if she can come up with more."
"If they were anything like me at /my/ visitation, then no, they will not want to believe what is going on at all," Rufus quietly remarks, just barely refraining from rolling his eyes. Then he stops, and he stares at Dee for a moment. "Lesbian stalker lunchlady?" he echoes, eyebrows lifting quite high. He's struggling not to smirk, and he's failing badly. But her mention of Chimera wipes it right off again. "Right," he briskly states. "I shall want to hear what you've discovered as well."
"For me it was a simple matter of walking outside and taking a fifteen foot vertical leap. Before that I could barely clear a large stair. Anyway. I will have my programming done by midday tomorrow. The equipment will arrive tomorrow morning and I'll have it set up by the evening." Halima places her phone back in her bag. "It will run off of three netbooks that will broadcast on the 4G network. Expensive but it should facilitate a few high resolution video streams and several audio streams or low resolution video streams. If you have a phone with a good data plan you should be able to check in whenever you want.
Dee nods to Halima, at the technical details. "I won't have any trouble at all checking the feed or the recordings." she assures the other woman. Her attention turns to the other matter then, and she says to Rufus "It's not only in New York City. There's no electronic trail that I could find though, so it's probably all being kept hard-copy. The stuff itself, from what little I could tell, is magicy. That's not really my area, either. I mean, it's science, but non-magicy science shouldn't be able to rewrite someone's DNA like it does. There's also ichor in there, but it's tainted. Could be Titan stuff, but doesn't have to be. No idea who else would do something like this, though."
Quiet for a second or two, Rufus draws in a long breath and exhales a short, sharp sigh, then he nods his head. "Very well," he murmurs. "Thank you very much, Miss Floros. Were you able to determine where else in the world this is cropping up? Is this a problem of global proportions? Or perhaps just throughout the state?"
"If I knew what you were talking about I would offer to help." Halima folds her legs and leans back into her chair. She pulls out a pad of paper and a pen and starts jotting rapidly. "Remember you have access to a daughter of Thoth."
Dee shakes her head. "It's not global, but it's definitely not just here." she replies to him, then explains to Halima "There's a drug going around called 'Chimera'. It's a green stuff that's injected, and physically alters the DNA and shape of the person."
"If I had a sample with me to give you, I would be more than willing to do so. I've not heard from Dr. Devoir in quite awhile, and I fear her work has done to her what mine does to me," Rufus very quietly and wryly says. "However, if you are willing, I will deliver a sample to somewhere of your choosing for your analysis. I have an entire hyperdermic needle full of the material. How much would you need for your study?"
"I've been brushing up on my biology. Sounds like a form of gene therapy." She pauses her writing to speak. "It's not feasible from a mortal standpoint with today's technology. It would be too difficult to ensure uniform distribution of the virus throughout an organism, but with the aid of divine knowledge and the potency provided by ichor…" Halima cocks her head to one side and screws up her mouth. She goes back to writing. "It might be possible."
Dee listens to the two, and looks satisfied by having the two work together. "Good. I'll see if I can't dig up Simone, but it would be good to have another proper medical researcher on it if I can't. Even if I can, really.
"I'll certainly not object," Rufus says in answer to Dee, then tilting his head to study Halima. "I should also note that the subjects who took the drug did eventually revert to their human forms after a period of time. I'm not exactly certain /how/ long of a time, but during that time, they also retained their sentience and their memories. It seemed to be a physical transformation only. One couple appeared as humanoid snakes, and the other couple more resembled ravens, standing roughly at my height. Speed and strength also seemed to be enhanced. They gave me a fair bit of trouble. If you want a sample, how much would you require and where should I have it delivered?"
"I don't find reversion at all impossible given that I can use the moon to survey miles of terrain as if I were an eye in the sky and that some of us can regrow entire organs in an instant. But I'm still a physicist first." Scribble scribble notes. "I could perform basic field surgery and I have a solid understanding of anatomy both cellular and macroscopic." Halima stops writing. "But I've always been a quick study. Quicker now. The only real limitation is that I don't have access to a proper biology lab. I work in high energy physics. Big particle guns. I can still offer collaboration and if you know someone with a lab I'll be happy to stop by to participate in the brain trust and be an extra pair of hands."
Dee smiles just a bit at the question about a lab, but she looks to Rufus. It's up to him, apparently.
And here Rufus was looking at Dee for her opinion. It's up to him? Oh, jolly good. "As it happens," he says, "I do happen to know where there is a laboratory that might be suitable. As it is quite far from my field of expertise, I'm not certain what you might need, but Dr. Devoir has been using it. However, I must ask that its location be kept confidential. It is not exactly someplace Miss Floros and I wish advertised."
"I'm not in the habit of calling up the titans to let them know where I do my divine science. I'm not much of a fighter, and that would be a good way to get into a lot of fights." Halima lays her notepad flat in her lap, it looks like computer code. "But it's up to you. Here." She jots down a note in the corner of the page she's working on and tears it off carefully. She offers it to Rufus, "My cellular. I have two, this one is the one I don't give to mortals. I prioritize it."
Reaching across the table, Scrivner takes up the scrap of paper and carefully tucks it into an inner pocket of his suit jacket. While he's digging around in there, he pulls out a business card and lays it on the table, then pushes it to Halima. It's contact information for his law office, complete with email address, cell phone number, and all sorts of other junk one would expect to find. "Thank you, Miss Halima," he says, evenly. "You may call my cell phone to reach me should you have any need of me."
"Good." Dee says. "I'm not sure how long I'll be, so I wanted to get some crossover going with you guys." She notes then, to Rufus, "Unfortunately, it's one of those necessary evils you keep me around for. So I have to solo it."
"Thanks, mate." Halima accepts the card and slips it into a pocket in her bag. "Guess I've got more reading to do. So I don't make a fool of myself in front of the professionals. But I'm going to finish this first." She taps the pad of paper with the butt of her pen, "It has priority right now, since I'm in the middle of it. Once it's set up we can go through the gritty details."
"I understand, Miss Halima. There's time yet," Rufus says, before his attention drifts back to Dee. He blinks a few times, and with a very quiet sigh, he presses his mouth into a tight, disapproving line. He doesn't say anything for a moment or two, but eventually he nods in resignated acceptance. "Be careful," he murmurs, watching the lady like a hawk. "If you get into trouble, I will not hesitate to come and help get you out of it any way that I can, no matter what you are doing."
Dee nods. "I will be." she promises him. "And thanks. It's nothing I'd do if I didn't really think it necessary to the greater good." she adds then, not that she thinks it will really help.
"Right. I'm going to get to work putting this code down onto a hard drive." Halima makes a few more notes on the paper and then puts her writing materials back in her bag. "I'll be in touch." The persian woman stands and twists her hair up before stuffing her helmet back down. "Keep your eyes open. I'm off." She slings her bag over her shoulder again and nods to both. "Good day and all that." And then she makes her way out of the shop. The scooter starts with a brn-nr-nrn when she stomps the starter. And then she's off.
Halima has left.
Dee finishes off her mocha as Halima goes. She yawns.
Standing when the Persian lady rises from her chair, inclining his head and giving his farewells, Rufus seats himself again only when she's left the table. He clears his throat again, and he's soon turning hawk-like blue eyes back upon Dee. For a long moment he studies her, mouth tight, before he deeply exhales again. "I know," he finally murmurs. "I trust you, Dee. It is why I won't stop you nor ever try to impede you." A very faint smile finally twitches at the corners of his mouth. "You are very nearly family, after all."
Dee smiles. "Thanks. And, really, every family needs one like me, right?" she replies with a wink.
"One or less," Rufus retorts, now smirking. With that, he too rises, and he leans over to briefly rest his hand on Dee's shoulder, pat patting. "Come back alive," he murmurs.
Dee nods. "I'll do my best." There is just the briefest flicker to her expression that suggests it really isn't a sure thing. "Take care of the others while I'm gone?"
That flicker gets him stopping. Rufus pulls away his hand from the lady, but he's left standing and looking down at her face for a noticeably long pause. "Of course," he says softly. "Miss Floros…" He sighs, reaching to a chair and pulling it around, reseating himself. "Normally I do not ask into your business, but this time… Perhaps you should tell me where you are going? If you do not return… Then at least /someone/ will know where to come searching for you."
Dee purses her lips, and is quiet for several moments. "There are things that the good guys need, Rufus. They're needed for a trade of information that could really help our side. They just won't be easy to get, and they're apparently not all on Earth."
Dee is clearly dancing around details.
That's as obvious as an anvil on the foot. Rufus listens to the lack of details with a quirk of his eyebrow, but when she mentions not all are on earth, the other one lifts and both go quite high. He's silent for a time, but so far, he doesn't throw out any protests. But it's clear by the way he's looking at her that he would like more details.
Dee stands as well, then. "I'll check in as often as I can. Hopefully the first few won't be as difficult."
Conflict passes across the man's face, just flickers of it. Ask questions or let her go? Respect her privacy or take some small fraction of responsibility for whatever she does? Take the easy path of saying he was ignorant or …. He frowns and stands as well, and he reaches out his hand again to lay his fingers on her arm. "Dee," Scrivner murmurs. "This time, I want to know. I won't interfere, but if you don't come back…" He struggles for a second, then murmurs, "Please. At least give me the comfort of knowing who I would have to kill to avenge you."
Dee considers that, quiet again for a while. "Jason needs to trade some Atlantean relics for information we need. Those relics were gifts to the heads of the other pantheons." She gives that a moment to sink in.
It takes less than a second for it to sink in, and he closes his eyes for a second or two. Oh boy. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh boy. When he opens them again, he draws in a deep breath and exhales it slowly. "Oh, you do lead an interesting life," he murmurs. Rufus draws back his hand but firmly clasps her shoulder instead. "Good luck."
Dee watches Rufus' face, then nods. "Yeah. I really do." she agrees, then smiles to him. "But I don't know if there's anyone else that has even a chance of pulling this off, so…"
Eventually he draws back his hand from her shoulder and tucks it into the pocket of his suit jacket. Rufus considers her words, and then he smiles ever so faintly. "There's no one better that I know of, that's for certain," he quietly says. "You can do it, Dee. You are the epitome of aggravatingly clever and deviously sneaky, a true Scion of the Dodekatheon Trickster."
Dee laughs. "You say the sweetest things, Rufus." She says, then actually hugs him. Might want to check for his wallet afterwards.
He doesn't. Instead, he reaches to grab her wrist, and the man smirks as he looks down at her. "Flattery is not enough to let you touch my arse, Miss Floros. Leave my wallet alone," he murmurs down at her, even as he wraps his left arm lightly around her and hugs.
Dee can't help a giggle. "Your wallet? Please. I was just going for you ass." she replies to him. Hey, he started that one.
"Hmph," Rufus grumps, but he doesn't look /that/ put out or indignant. Theres a touch of heat in his cheeks when he pulls back from the hug, and he smoothes down his suit. "You're incorrigible, Miss Floros. Now if you'll excuse me, I should be getting back to the office."
Dee grins, and does indeed look incorrigible. "I'll excuse you." She does, however, give him a kiss on the cheek if he doesn't protest. "You're a really good sport, Rufus. Talk to you soon."
He doesn't protest. He leans towards her a little to accept it, and in return he pats her shoulder again. "You'd better, Miss Floros," Rufus murmurs. Then, smirking, he turns on the ball of his foot and walks to the door to get back to work.
Any additional notes fall to the bottom.