|Scene Title||Deviance at the Museum|
|Synopsis||Scrivner and Dee bump into each other at the Museum of Natural History, and a startling discovery is made.|
//The American Museum of Natural History is not only an educator of culture and the natural sciences, but also a center for much field-breaking research. Indispensable to these ends are its vast collections of specimens and cultural artifacts. These collections, which include more than 30 million items ranging from dinosaur fossils, to a sixty-three-foot-long canoe carved by the Haida Indians, to a slice of a giant sequoia tree, serve as a field guide to the stunning variety of life forms and cultures of our planet. Visitors to the Museum can travel to Africa through the meticulously re-created site in the Akeley Hall of African Mammals. They can enter the world of the ancient Olmec or Inka peoples through magnificent examples of pre-Columbian art, or learn the story behind a dazzling Chinese wedding chair. It is possible to trace the history of vertebrate origins in the magnificent fourth-floor fossil halls, and to explore human biology and evolution in a hall devoted to our origins.
The Museum also has an active program of educational offerings, from school tours to adult lecture series on science, archaeology, culture, and history, to hands-on workshops for the whole family. In addition, the Museum is home to the Western Hemisphere's largest natural-history library and to the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, founded to address the serious threat posed by major worldwide losses of animal species. The Hayden Planetarium is also connected to the Museum.//
The summer afternoon is pleasant, if a bit too hot for Rufus Scrivner's liking. He walks briskly along the pavement, attired in a three-piece suit, and he pulls the sunglasses briefly from his face to peer up at the stony, stoic facade of the New York Museum of Natural History. Bright, huge banners hang draped between its columns, and there's a steady stream of traffic. Taxi cabs drive up to drop off people, as do other cars. Pedestrians stream in and out of its doors. Adjusting the weight of the sword he carries in its nylon casing across his back, the man slips his sunglasses back on and goes walking up towards the main doors, looking vaguely determined.
It takes a certain amount of balls to openly hang out in and around the place you've repeatedly broken into. Dee isn't all that concerned given the overwhelming lack of evidence she's left behind, and besides it's funny. She's reading one of those books all about the history of the museum by the entrance, in full view of one of the security cameras. There's the distraction of Rufus' arrival though, and she looks up from the pages to smile to him. "Hello there. Out for a day of culture?" she asks, looking relaxed.
Drawn to the lady by the sound of her voice, Rufus turns his head and inclines it, studying Dee from over the mirrored lenses. "Well, good afternoon, Miss Floros. Indeed I am. Miss Adams has a dance rehearsal that will keep her all day, and it was either come out for a stroll and see what New York has to offer or go mad in my flat." He slows his steps as he approaches, then he smiles. "And how are you doing? You look very well."
Dee chuckles in reply. "What New York has to offer? What doesn't New York have to offer?" she says to him. "I'm incredibly well, actually. And thank you. How about you? Aside from waiting for Vette, what've you been up to?" Considering for a moment then, she stows her books in her satchel and walks over to join him.
"Well, right now, I could murder a good fish and chips," Scrivner quietly admits. "I don't mean your fish patties and French Fries. Proper /chips./ I've yet to find a decent chippie in this city." As he turns towards the museum, he crooks his elbow to silently offer it to the lady in escort while reaching up to pull his glasses again from his face. While carefully folding them, he says, "I've been doing well. Keeping myself busy with my work, and I'm enjoying a day off from the office. I figure I'll loiter about in the museum for a couple of hours and then venture out to Ellis Island again."
Dee grins. "In New York, you can get good fish and chips." she notes. "You can get good anything, pretty much. If you know where to look. There aren't any chippies, but there are some good English pubs. They're not as much fun as the irish ones, but you can't have everything all in one place." She takes his arm when it's offered, then says "I never asked what type of law you specialize in. Corporate?"
"You have to show them to me. I've not been able to find any," Rufus murmurs, sounding juuuust a wee bit grumpy over that one. Harrumph. He clears his throat, and letting himself get distracted from thoughts of chips by the thought of his work, his expression smoothes itself out. "Oh, I specialise in criminal law. I work especially closely with British citizens who have come to live or visit America when they run into trouble with the law. My firm is affiliated with the British consulate on Fifth Avenue."
Dee ahhs quietly. "Criminal law is certainly interesting." she agrees with a smile. "I'm not all that familiar with British law, of course. Greek law is interesting, though." It's important to know exactly what laws you're in the process of breaking, after all. It's had her occasionally tempted to look into law school. On that though, "Maybe I should take some courses sometime. Learn more of the ins and outs. The topic fascinates me." And it's not like they teach what she actually does in school.
"I'll certainly not discourage that," Rufus says with a smirk as he approaches the doors of the museum. He pulls open one and waits for the lady to pass through before he follows her inside, straight into the bliss of air conditioning. "In which area would you specialise?"
Dee precedes Rufus into the museum's lobby. "Oh, probably criminal law. The ins and outs of semantics that way are really interesting." And useful. Her eyes flicker about the place, including checking whether a few more subtle things she did have been noticed yet. Nope. Ha.
Rufus hasn't got a clue as to what she's been doing for a hobby, so he's completely oblivious to her little glances. As it is, he's busy looking about himself, taking in the details of the museum's foyer. He reaches out his hand to pluck up a map of the museum, flipping it open to survey the exhibits available. "It does offer quite a bit of excitement sometimes, I must admit," he muses. "The most exciting case of my career so far has been a man accused of homicide. Certainly far more interesting to me than corporate law, though I acknowledge it has its place."
"You've only had one homicide so far? Really?" Dee replies. "Then again, I guess those really are pretty rare if you're not working for the DA or something. And then you have the weird stuff going on. Did you read in the paper around the break-ins here? Some people have way too much free time." Like her.
"Well, no. I've had about…. mmm…. four," Rufus admits. "But that one was particularly gruesome." He smiles just a little, then arches his eyebrows. "Actually, yes, I have. I read just this morning that the Museum had some odd break-ins. Someone went about rearranging all of the displays but hadn't actually taken anything." His mouth quivers with the faintest of smirks. "Utterly reprhensible of the prankster, stirring up such a commotion, but at least no harm has been done. Too much free time indeed."
Dee chuckles. "It does beat killing or actually taking anything. Maybe they just need a challenge." Maybe? Clearly. "Seems like a person like that could be useful to the good guys, no? After all, if they wanted to just take, they're probably good enough to just take."
He doesn't answer that one for awhile as he contemplates it. "Perhaps," Rufus says after awhile. "If such talents are employed for the greater good of man and Gods, and if there were no choice, then it would be excusable. It is not something to flaunt lightly, however. Laws are in place for a reason, and they are to guide and keep order. If everyone thought it entirely appropriate to break into another's business or home just for a bit of fun or just to rearrange the decor, it could swiftly dissolve into chaos. After all, some harm /is/ done, isn't it? Not much, but some. Other criminals, ones with more malicious intent, look upon this and see the Museum in a weakened, compromised position. Their security is lax. It makes them much more vulnerable, and very visibly so."
Dee smiles, nodding as she listens to him. "Oh, it's absolutely not something everyone should feel it's appropriate to do. It's an interesting ethics question, though. We all break the law all the time, after all." she notes. "Some of us more than others, of course, but still. There's a lot of 'don't get caught' about what we do, but it's necessary that we do it." She purses her lips then, considering that. "But the museum's security isn't lacking. Not from what I've seen. So others thinking they can waltz on in are likely to just get caught, aren't they?"
"To some extent, yes," Rufus says, coughing quietly and clearing his throat, looking juuuust a touch chagrinned. "I've certainly done a few things that would place me in a questionable light, but I'm fairly certain I've only bent some laws rather than broken them." He sweeps the map about and snaps out the paper, awkwardly folding it back up. Then he proceeds to walk towards the stairs, intending to go up to one of the higher floors. "I should hope lesser criminals cannot just walk right in and do whatever they please." He frowns a little. "So it makes me wonder /how/ a person was able to do so. Well, you're the security expert. Tell me… What would you do, if you were going to do it?"
Dee does show just a bit of humor, watching Rufus' reaction. "It's not exactly an easy road for any of us." she notes. "Sometimes things do need to get bent or even broken, for the greater good. That has to be particularly hard for someone with your parentage. Not so much with mine. All my father told me, in no uncertain terms, was to aim the serious misbehaving at the bad guys." He being quite the prankster. She looks around them again, and says "No. Lesser criminals can absolutely not just stroll on in here." His question is given a long moment of consideration, then she says "Well, I have cheats. I can fly and perceive infrared. Not that there aren't ways around their security without those talents." Cause using them makes it way too easy.
He glances again at her, remembering immediately who her father is. The caduceus rather made it obvious. Rufus smiles a little, but he still hasn't put two and two together. There's no glimmer of suspicion in his eyes. "Never underestimate the value of persistance," he murmurs to himself. Then he starts smirking. "Is that why you do what you do? Work in the security industry, that is? To outwit the lesser thieves and would-be criminals?"
Dee laughs quietly. "Oh, one thing I never underestimate is the value of persistence." she replies to him. "And I do like to outwit others." She grins brightly at him then, before noting in a teasing tone "The lesser thieves? Are you trying to get me to admit something, counselor?"
He smirks in amusement, but it's something she says that tips him off. Rufus suddenly looks at the lady again, a suspicion now coming to his blue eyes as he tilts his head, walking up the stairs with her. "I hadn't been," he honestly admits. "But now… You /could/ have done it, couldn't you?" There's a beat of silence. "You didn't. Did you?"
Dee totally does not look at Rufus when he starts to catch on. "Me? Break into a place and re-arrange things? That would be terribly wrong. Reprehensible, even." she replies, entirely straight-faced.
Between the refusal to look him in the eyes and a whisper along his sixth sense that something is off-kilter here, Rufus' eyes widen. "Miss Floros!" he quietly exclaims. And that's all he can say for a moment or two as he stares at the woman, caught between laughing and shaking his finger at her like a disapproving father. "Miss Floros," he repeats. He's so struggling with his smirk. "Shame on you."
Dee has a great deal of trouble keeping a straight face when he reacts to realizing her guilt. Well, guilt where the law is concerned. She's not a big one for personal feelings of guilt. She watches him try to work out how to handle that, and can't help laughing. Finally, she says "Shamed. I'm totally shamed. Shamed, I say." Okay, so she's not all that ashamed. And *her* father? Totally would not disapprove.
Of course he wouldn't. Rufus draws in a very deep breath and releases it as a sigh, and finally he lets himself have that one little moment to smirk. There. Now it's out of his system. He clears his throat, and he leads the lady up to the Hall of the Northwest Coast Indians, where the low lighting lines a sleek, black hallway and square pillars with artwork hanging decoratively. He clears his throat yet again, and he says, "As well you should be, Miss Floros. Whatever possessed you to do it in the first place?"
Dee lets him lead. She really doesn't look all that concerned. Or, again, guilty. "Hey, we can't fight nature. I like to think of myself as… imaginative in how I choose to express mine. Besides, no one wants to see me get bored, believe me. What, you never do anything even a teensy bit questionable, to keep from doing something really questionable?" Then, though, she chuckles. "Right. Tyr. I respectfully withdraw the question."
He looks at her again with arched eyebrows, smirking as she withdraws her own question. "Indeed," he says, looking rather amused again. Rufus contemplates for a moment or two, and then he says, "If I had some work for you to be doing, I'd send you off to do it. Unfortunately, nothing much is coming to mind. It's been strangely quiet for the past couple of weeks."
"It has." Dee agrees. "But that's alright. I've found productive ways to spend a lot of my time. I've discovered a surprising and pleasant aptitude for computer systems." she says with a wink.
He holds up one hand as if he would fend her off. "Please, Miss Floros, I don't think I wish to know. If you've been up to no good again, I might feel compelled to do something about it." Rufus quietly clears his throat, looking at her with his mouth tight. Like he's trying to hold back another smirk. "You should just be thankful I am not /my/ father."
Dee considers that. "Oh, I'm pretty glad you're not your father. On the other hand, you should be pretty glad I'm not mine. He has this thing about people who take themselves too serious." she says with a wink. "I'm guessing he and Tyr would not play well together. I don't plan to tell you about the questionable things I do, though. Rather, let's just say that sometimes, people like me are necessary for the good of the grand scheme."
"Sometimes, I rather get the feeling you are playing with /me/ in a manner rather reminiscent of your father and mine," Rufus says rather drily, looking down archly at the lady. "You're enjoying yourself, aren't you?" Very lightly, he lifts the map and bops Dee upon the head with it.
Dee laughs. "Nah. I only aim the real artillery at the bad guys." she replies. "But… yes. I'm enjoying myself. Doens't take much sometimes, does it?" She laughs again, when he's bopped with the map.
Harrumphing quietly, Rufus sweeps the map away and tucks it into the pocket of his suit jacket. "You're incorrigible, Miss Floros. You should come with a warning label. Keep away from the elderly, small children and household pets."
"I am pretty incorrigible." Dee agrees, then huffs. "Hey. The elderly, small children and household pets are perfectly safe around me, thankyouverymuch." she notes. "On the whole, the only ones that really have to worry are the guilty."
Now it's his turn to get a little glitter in his eyes, and he's struggling to hold back his smirk again. "You are still a wicked young woman," Rufus lightly says. "It always starts off with the small things. A little break-in here, a little rearranging there, and the next thing you know, you have achieved full-blown deviance."
Dee thinks about that. "Yes. I'm probably a wicked young woman." she agrees. "On the other hand, I'm a really fun wicked young woman. And don't knock deviance until you've had a taste. Besides, you say that like this is a start. I won't scare you with how long I've been at this job."
He opens his mouth to speak, and then it hangs agape for a moment as Rufus thinks better on it. He clears his throat, and he tightly smirks at the young lady. "I'll thank you for that," the man says with another dry touch to his voice. Topic change! Steering away from deviance! "Did you ever speak with your acquaintance? I believe Kailin was his name?"
Dee smiles. "Kailin, yes. Not yet, but there's no rush. It's not like I won't give you guys a hand if you need it, regardless. I'll get hold of him soon, though. Mind if I join you when you head to Ellis Island? I'd like to get a look at that portal."
Dee seems just fine with letting the other topic go for now.
"Oh, absolutely," Rufus says, nodding his head briskly. "I'd be quite happy to have you along on our next little scouting mission." He comes to stand in front of an exhibit, a case full of colourful, native masks, garishly painted and looking rather fierce to the average eye. "Hopefully the portal will be closed. I'd …. rather not like to see anything like that lizard bear again anytime soon."
"Hopefully," Dee replies. "But so far, I haven't heard of a way to close it. The one in Times Square certainly hasn't weakened or gone anywhere."
"No," he says grimly. "No, it most certainly hasn't. It's rather a lot like looking at some Hellish shadow of Limbo." Rufus clears his throat, exhaling a deep breath, before he moves on to another exhibit, this one full of stone knives. "There and quiet, and one doesn't quite know what to do with it."
Dee is also looking over the exhibits, though with the eye of a local. She's seen them all a number of time before, after all. Even apart from seeing them after hours when she wasn't supposed to be there. "It's disturbing, yes. It's like we just have to stand there and wait for something awful to happen. Or to come through."
He falls quiet for a moment after a brief, quiet sigh. Beneath her hand, she'll feel his arm tense for a few seconds before he relaxes again. Rufus has made no effort to pull free from the lady, after all. "Yessss," he slowly murmurs, drawing out the word into a soft hiss. "Eventually it's going to happen… /Something./ What I would like to be able to do is find someone who knows what in God's name it all is. Someone has to know."
"Yes." Dee agrees. "Eventually, something is going to happen. I'm just not sure there's anything *we* can do about it. We're not strong enough yet. Those like Maia and Jason, maybe. But they're pretty powerful. We have a ways to go yet. What we need to do is focus on the evils we can beat, so we can get stronger until we're ready for the others."
"That much is true, but if the threat presented itself, and there was no one standing between innocents and annihilation, would you hesitate to place yourself between them?" Rufus calmly murmurs. He turns to look at her when he asks, his expression faintly curious.
"Oh, sometimes there's no choice." Dee replies. "And then we do what we have to. But when there is a choice, I'd rather there be a better chance of success."
"Indubitably," Rufus says in quiet agreement. Eventually he moves on to the next few exhibits, content to study them in quiet. After awhile, he says, "Well, would you care to join me for a cup of tea this afternoon? I don't know what sort of schedule you're on, to be honest, but if you've nowhere else to be, it'd be a pleasure to act as your escort."
"I really don't have anywhere else to be this afternoon, no." Dee replies. "I like to give people a few days to benefit from a lesson before the next test." She smiles, and there's the slightest gesture towards the nearest security guard. "And tea sounds lovely."
Any additional notes fall to the bottom.