Imprisoned Muse: Step into My Parlour


conrad_icon.jpg dion_icon.jpg vette_icon.jpg scrivner_icon.jpg lin_icon.jpg

Scene Title Imprisoned Muse: Step into My Parlour
Synopsis The Scions continue their investigation into the strange matters surrounding multiple suicides. Vette was the ST for this scene.

Alexander-Smythe Art Gallery

Lots of snobs and paintings.

Four of the five Scions had decided to meet back up at the Alexander-Smythe Art Gallery; whose card had appeared in the pocket of the dead Derek Steely. Dion had gone for a walk—but Fate's kind of a cruel bitch. Dion will end up near enough to the thing to see at least some of the other Scions walking in there. Someone wants him in on this one, it seems.

The gallery has three stories. The lower story is devoted to new, up and coming artists. The middle story is for more established artists. The third story has art from around the world—precious, valuable pieces that are held under much tighter security. The rationale is that a thief would then have to get down three floors to get anything done. There is a gift shop and a small cafe on the first floor of the gallery/museum. There's also a front desk, where the girl at the desk is selling memberships and where there is also a Guest Book.

Stepping into the art gallery is a pleasant relief from the biting chill in the New York wind. Rufus holds open the door for Vette and glances inside to the admissions desk, looking all about for any familiar faces like Lin. He gently pulls open his trenchcoat, revealing a suit worn beneath, and he reaches into a pocket for his watch, glancing at the face of it.

Dion watches as the other happen to be going into the gallery nearby where his feet had taken him. He really needs to watch that. There's a sigh, then he turns to walk towards and join the others again. "Hello again." he says to the others with an air of accepting that he'll have to continue to deal with this, as he carefully removes his hat and lets his fingers fuss with his hair for a moment.

Though he didn't make any promises to meet up at the gallery (Not aloud anyway), Conrad is already there and enjoying a hot cup of coffee to ward off the chill of the winter air. Seated at one of the tables supplied for their guests, he casually sips at his beverage and watches as the others begin to show up. He doesn't bring attention to himself for now, enjoying his solitude for the time being.

Lin steps into the warm gallery, opening his trenchcoat for his normal jacket. He looks around for a moment before looking to the young woman who is at the desk. He gives her a smile. "Hello there. I was wondering if you can help me. I am interested in new and upcoming artists?"

The woman looks up. She has square glasses and a red bun, and she squints at Lin. "I've got a whole first floor full of upcoming, new artists. Would you like to become a member of the museum? Bronze memberships start at just $25. Tickets to tour the museum are just 5$ each."

Meanwhile, the elevator opens a bit down the hall. A boy with a leather jacket and black hair comes out with a wrapped package under his arm. "I don't care if it's different," he complains. "I did the work on it, and I want to have a shot at getting that work paid just like I've got a shot with everything else."

"It's not smart, James." The other man with him is balding, a tolerant professor type with a brown courderoy jacket on and leather patches over the elbows. "I hate to impugn the mystery of art, but in truth, you're building a brand. And that piece is a sharp right turn from that brand. You'll lose the following you have by displaying that, and I'm not going to let you tank an otherwise promising little career. You can go places if you just keep doing what you've been doing. Hang that on your wall at home or give it to a friend who will appreciate it."

Vette touches Scrivner's arm, as much because she knows the voice as anything else—and so will he.

Yes, he most certainly does. Rufus looks up at the sound of that familiar voice and blinks in mild surprise. For the moment he's oblivious to Conrad, though he had briefly glanced about and wondered if the little punk would show up. He meanders up to stand just slightly to one side of and behind Lin, watching James curiously. A nod is given to Vette; yes, he sees. For now, though, he won't interfere. He'll let the kid finish his business before pulling him over.

Dion looks around him for a moment. His attention flickers to 'James' and the other as he gives something some thought. Then, in a voice that carries some from experience with acting, he says simply "A woman, tortured and tormented, branded with a harp. Seen through a scrying vessel, and screaming into the ether for help." Let's see who reacts with recognition. Low-key? Right. Not Dion.

Conrad's tall, lean frame remains relaxed as he remains seated in his chair, finishing up that cup of coffee. It's still a little early for him to be up, being the night owl that he is. Letting out a yawn, while his body language may express relaxation, his eyes continue to scan the area and his features light up when he notices Vette and that other guy. Here, his focuses most of his attention on them, noting the cop in the process. Finally rising to stand, he leaves his empty cup behind and takes the long route towards the gathered, making his way through throngs of other museum goers, preferring to blend in.

"Oh, Sure, of course," Lin says, giving the woman a smile. He turns to look to the others for a moment, looking curiously at Scrivner. He looks up and around, seeing the people coming out of the elevator. He lifts his eyebrows slightly at Dion, smirking slightly to himself as glances around, watching reactions.

James' head snaps around, and he grins. He claps the balding man on the back and says, "See. I'm going to go sell this right now." He trots up to Dion and says, "Hey, Miss. I heard you talking about some art you might like?" He doesn't appear to notice anyone /but/ Dion at the moment. "I do woodcarvings and I put together something kind of similar to what you're talking about just last night. If you like that sort of stuff, maybe you'd like to take a look?"

"…" Scrivner looks so startled that he almost barks a laugh. It's a peculiar expression on his face, to be sure. Looking quickly between James and Dion, he relaxes his stance just a little and ducks his head to conceal the smirk.

Dion smiles to James, and is clearly pleased with 'his way' of doing this. "I would like to see it, yes. My friends are interested, too." He gestures more or less in the direction of those he knows are present. "Can you tell me what inspired you to create it?" he asks then.

It's just about this time that Conrad finds him in the area of Dion's 'friends' and he simply stands there as if he was with them all along. Like always, he keeps his hands in his pockets and while he continues to survey the area, when this particular piece is mentioned, his attention is pulled back to this James character and his work of art.

Lin falls back, standing in with Conrad as Dion speaks to the man. When they are gestured to as friends, he gives a large smile right on cue to the artist. He does look around, always the cautious type.

James blinks around and starts when he sees Scrivner and Vette. He gives them a little hi wave and gives the other friends a little hi wave, then grins. "Okay, so I just wake up in the middle of the night with this real dark sort of punk-alternative tune in my head right, no lie, and it inspired the thing. It's kind of dark but you seemed to like dark stuff." He unwraps the woodprint. It seems to be of a dark cave, that leads down into a sort of city. From the top of the ceiling a woman is hanging by her ankle. Barbed wire fashioned into various musical notes is suspending her, and she has her eyes closed in some sort of expression of noble suffering while she bleeds everywhere. "I call it Imprisoned Muse, cause boy did I have an artist's block the size of my head until this."

"Hello again, James," Scrivner quietly says, stepping forward to take a look at the wood cut for himself. His eyes narrow as he looks it over. For now he just takes in the details, asking no questions just yet.

Dion looks at the woodprint, and his forehead furrows again. "It's… interesting." he says "I've seen two pieces already that have this woman in them. A painting, and a sculpture. This same woman. You weren't the only one inspired by her last night." Still no subtlety, nope.

C.W. wears a quiet grin when he receives James' greeting, though even when the carving is revealed in all of its disturbing glory, that grin never fades. "Impressive. Were you dreaming or…" Drunk. Stoned. High. One of those, but he doesn't ask. For now, his attention is focused directly on the piece of art, to note every detail that he can before its taken away. Unless one of them is actually going to buy it, but he knows it's not going to be him.

Lin remains quiet as the others in the group ask all the right and important questions. He does look at the carving and lifts up his eyebrows. He scrunches his mouth and looks to the others for a moment before looking back to the artist.

James doesn't seem to catch the hint. "I was just laying there, man, trying to sl" Suddenly Dion's words sink in. He facepalms, and then he /stares/ at Rufusand Vette, but primarily Rufus—as if this is /all his freaking fault/. "This is some kind of /you people/ thing, isn't it?" he demands. "Damn it. I don't want to carve some other artist's woman. I want to carve my own women. I finally get inspired, and it's a /you people/ thing." He looks /highly/ put out.

"Do not get snippy with /me/ over it," Rufus calmly says. "It's hardly my fault that someone is calling to you, James. You quite got yourself into this mess without any interference from me." The Englishman clears his throat, then more quietly, he goes on to say, "I do believe that this dream of yours was, perhaps, a call for help. Can you remember anything else about this incident?"

Dion just stares for a moment at James, blinking a bit as he IDs the 'you people' aspect. "She's really not anyone's woman, James. I don't think she is, anyway." he finally replies, then nods to Rufus' words. "She's something in pain, calling out for help. Only the very special could hear her." he says with a smile towards James. "And only the extra-special heard her and weren't overcome with grief."

"That or maybe they were just horrible people without a conscience…or feelings." Conrad decides to add quietly, mostly to himself. "Looks like you all have some history." He then says in a louder tone, his attention moving between Scrivner and James now.

James just scowls a little bit, then he looks back at Dion. Hmmph. Well the hot chick is impressed at least. Oblivious to the fact that he's got another surprise coming, he says, "It wasn't a dream, really. I was wide awake. It just seemed all alternative, though if I'd have wanted to I could have followed it. It sometimes seemed to be coming from around the corner or something."

"Obviously we do, C.W.," Rufus says with a flicker of a glance at the other man, one eyebrow arching. He doesn't elaborate on it, however. What he does do is slide one hand into the pocket of his coat, and his eyes flicker back to James. "So you were lying there listening to this strange music, and then what?"

Dion settles into listening, still a little wide-eyed over this whole thing. His posture, as with so much of him, is more feminine than masculine.

"Then I got a picture in my head and I did my art," James says with a shrug. "My Mom got kind of pissed that I was up, but then she left me alone to get it done. As to what CW says, James rubs at his arm as if remembering something stuck there. "Yeah well. As to that, I try not to judge other people's horribleness or conscience or lack there of." He shrugs uncomfortably. "So anyway, that's that. I was going to sell it for $150. I finished at dawn and the music went away at dawn, and I came here to try to get it displayed with my other stuff."

"One hundred fifty?" Is that all? Rufus does not hesitate before he reaches into the inner breast pocket of his trenchcoat, pulling out his chequebook. "I will take it, if no one else would rather have it," he says simply, glancing around at the others gathered about.
Conrad isn't fooled twice and knows exactly what Dion is, so he sticks around Vette instead. He waits almost patiently for the kid to reply to Scrivner's question, before his eyes flicker down at James' arm when he's rubbing at it. "Got a winter rash or something?" He asks casually, before continuing, "Besides the music, did you hear anything else? Any voices talking to you? Calling for help." Finally, one of his hands is drawn out of his pocket to gesture absently at this. And no, it doesn't look like he's going to lay down some cash for the block of wood.

Lin just lifts up his eyebrows at Rufus and just laughs out. He looks to his rather thin wallet and just shakes his head, sighing out. He scrunches up his mouth at the mention of the strange music. "Was the music almost sad?" He asks curiously, slowly moving around to the other side, going from left to right.

"Sweet," James says, and he appears to instantly forgive Rufus for dragging him in to all this crap. Even though it wasn't Rufus' fault. He'll take that check and hand over the painting. He consider's Lin's question. "It was sad. It was also /pissed/, man. It was like…Nick Cave stuff, man. Real creepy. Very instrumental. Kind of thing could get under a guy's skin if you let it. Just wrap around your brain and not leave you alone, you know?"

He pulls the cheque out of the book, and Rufus slips it back into the pocket of his coat along with his beloved gold cross pen. He blinks a few times as he peers at Lin, bewildered by the laugh. Furrowing his brow, he shakes his head a few times, then he turns his attention back to James and takes the wood cut carefully in hand. "Now why would /you/ have resisted… Did you feel any urge to kill yourself after this, James?"

"We can imagine." C.W. speaks of how maddening this music might be, though he doesn't get into all the deaths that have come of it. Now that this little transaction is under way, his eyes begin to roam, looking for other artists or perhaps other works that match the ones which they have found already as he mulls something over in his mind.

Lin nods his head his head slowly. "I have heard the music. If it still bothers you, let us know. It was….creepy is the right word." He looks to Rufus and gives him a what look.

"I didn't." Dion said, actually sounding a little disappointed now. "I'm artistic." He has a 'what's wrong with me?' sort of pout going.
"Kill myself?" James lets out an incredulous laugh. "Man, I'm so doped up on antidepressants after the last little incident," he does his fingers back and forth like Dr. Evil as he gives Vette, now, a very rueful look before returning attention to Rufus. "I find myself laughing hysterically at all the wrong parts at movies, now, man. No suicide for me, please and thank you. Been there, tried that, got teeshirt, said fuck that shit."

"Language, James," Scrivner states, his voice low and quiet, one eyebrow flickering upwards in disapproval. "We will talk about your antidepressants later. Now is neither the time nor the place. Are there any other pieces of art with a similar theme in this museum? Does anyone know yet?"

Idly glancing over at a few girls who wander into the museum, C.W. murmurs, "That's what probably saved him. The others," the survivors, though he doesn't utter this, "Are probably doped up on something too." He lifts his chin to gesture at one of the girls, flashing a grin, offering a wink and then some. He might be here on business, but he tends to mix business with pleasure all the time.
Dion suggests then "You know, we could check other modern art museums too, to see who else showed up with something like this today." Then, he agrees with CW, saying "Those pills saved his life, last night."

Lin nods his head in agreement with the others. "Yeah, I agree. It probably did save his life." He looks over to CW, seeing if he was talking to some of the staff before chuckling out. "We haven't had a chance to look." He finally answers Scrivner.

James looks from one to the other of them. "No. They won't even display that. The curator said it was gruesome and disgusting. There's about a thousand museums in the city aren't there?" He shrugs his shoulders. "I dunno. I just came down this morning to try to sell this one, as soon as the music stopped. When I heard the music I kept wanting to follow it. It's probably the drugs making me psychotic, but I was afraid I'd get on the wrong bus if I did that." Then he scowls. "Or. It's not the drugs making me psychotic at all, and I really would have ended up somewhere weird, and probably turning into various animals again or something."

Scrivner frowns pensively, but he nods his head to acknowledge the others talking. He glances briefly at C.W. and the girls, then down at James and his arms. Finally, he closes his eyes. "The museums are likely to be dead ends now, at this point. You said you heard the music and could follow it. That suggests our lady or the source of the anomaly is not in the underworld or in some prison, but /here/ on the streets. If we could figure out when the music will come again…"

Dion replies to James "They might not want to display it, but I'd think seeing it would make an impression." He says to Rufus then, "Or under the streets." He nods towards the image of the cavern.

C.W. is not only winking over at the girls, he's chatting them up as all three come over to talk. "I'm not opposed to museums, it helps to be enlightened at times." Especially when trying to impress a group of college girls. To make it known that he is paying attention to the conversation though, he then adds, "Can't one of you pick up on the tune. A few of you have heard it before…" Then back to the trio, "Neither of you happen to be an artist, right? Well, that's too bad, we're sort of in the need of one."

Perhaps it is because he needed time. More time to acclimate himself, to find that trail. Lin looks to the artist before closing his eyes perhaps to remember that sorrowful music. He listens before he can hear it, loud and clear. He opens his eyes and looks upon the artist, smiling to him. "Thanks. You really helped out." He says, patting him on the shoulder. He looks to the others. "I know where she is. Follow me."

"Alright. Well. Cool. Good luck with that," James says with a half of a smirk. And a /relieved/ half a smirk at that. "Go get 'em, Tigers. Listen, I gotta go make a phone call." And he walks off to go do that, though he's not far as he pulls out his cell. Quietly, he murmurs, "Hey, Mom? I got the money for the power bill…" and he's through the front doors of the gallery and back on the streets.

Rufus turns his head to watch James depart, and then he arches an eyebrow at Lin. "Oh?" Convenient! He holds out his elbow to the redheaded lady, and then he says, "Lead on."

Dion doesn't look so sure he wants to follow anyone to wherever that woman is, and visibly balks.

Conrad doesn't seem to notice Lin's exclamation as his gaze follows James once the man departs — not that it interrupts his flirting, but soon enough he slips the three his card, "You can reach me there if you want a good time." It's almost like one of those scribbles on the walls that you see in public bathrooms. He senses that everyone is ready to go, thus so is he.

Lin leads the group out of the gallery. "That way to my car." He says, looking down the street. "We're heading north." He informs them as he follows the music that is clearly visible to him.

"It will be okay, Dion," Vette murmurs, touching the kid on the arm. "You must have something special to contribute or you wouldn't be here. You're the one who helped everyone figure out it was a cry for help, really. But I know it /is/ very frightening, and gruesome."

Dion looks towards Vette. "Maybe I did may part already? It looks dark. And it's probably cold and damp. It will do awful things to my complexion." he replies to her with a straight face. "And my coat will probably smell afterwards. It's hell getting mold and other disgusting things out of fur." Hey, he's got to be him.

Poor kid. Rufus studies Dion for a moment, eyeing his hesitance. Then he draws a deep breath and he siiiiiighs. "Bloody Hell," he mutters beneath his breath. He is not going to say /anything./ He'll let Vette handle that one as he begins walking out of the museum, following Lin.

Conrad isn't parked all that far away from Lin's car — The sleek black muscle car, partially covered in snow, waits for C.W. to enter. Yawning widely again, he murmurs to the vehicle, "This is seriously fucking up my sleep pattern, but looks like we're on to something really intense and you know me." Obviously, the car isn't about to respond. Starting his engine, he peers over at Lin's car, "The guy said North." As for Dion. Not his problem.

Lin just looks back over at Conrad as he complains about his sleep. He just gives him a look before shaking his head. "The committee hasn't approved sleep." He simply comments, getting into the car. He gets into the car, starting it up. Yay for heaters! "I can hear the music from earlier. I can practically see to follow it." He explains to the others in the car.

Mind you, the complaints don't keep Dion from going with the others. He's just kind of petulant about it.

Vette opens the door for Dionback of their carand slides into the front seat. Then she turns around to look at him. "Well—yes," she says. "But I do have a jean jacket here in the car. Would you prefer to wear that one?" As if alllll of his fears relate to little more than /fashion/.

That's a bad thing? Dion does look interested. "If you wouldn't mind. I'd be happy to replace it later, but I just can't bear the thought of ruining my coat. It will be bad enough having to get whatever ick out of my clothes and pores. On the other hand, any excuse for a facial is a good one. You should come with. It's a darling place."

God help him. Rufus slips into the driver's side of his car and starts the engine, waiting for Dion and Vette to settle in. If they start talking about shoes… His eyes flicker towards the CD player and radio.

Vette has her dance bag right at her feet, and she digs in it. She pulls out a woman's jean jacket. "It's got pink flowers on it," she says apologetically. "But probably after the first monster explodes? Nobody will even notice at all." Beam. "Oh, I have some tennis shoes too if you think they'll fit. Spares? Those are /lovely/ shoes you're wearing. We don't want to mess those up…"

Once the engine to Lenore is ignited, music automatically blares out of the vehicle. Rap, of all things, with a hard thumping beat. C.W. keeps his eyes on the other cars, noting their rides, but places his main focus on Lin since he's leading the way. More than likely, he can't hear any conversation between cars at all, not with this music, unless they are yelling or something. And he's glad he can't hear the conversation going on inside Scrivner's car.

Dion waves a hand airily. "Do I look like I mind a few flowers, when necessary?" He isn't exactly clueless about how he comes across. Then at the offer of tennis shoes he looks torn. "I really don't want to ruin mine, but tennis shoes?" Perhaps they're a little too sporty for him. After a moment though, he sighs. "I really should." He smiles to Vette, then says "They're Johnston & Murphy. I found The Best price for them online, and had to have them.

Jesus bloody Christ. Rufus looks up for a moment in silent supplication to the heavens, and he reaches over to flick on his stereo. In short order, Mick Jagger's voice is offering some refuge for his sanity. "I see a red door and I want it painted black!"

Lin leads the small convoy of cars across the island of Manhattan. He leads them up to the northern section, slowly pulling the car over close to a subway entrance. He gets out of the car, looking around. He pauses before digging in his back seat for a flashlight.
"Oooh, I'm going to write that down right now." Vette gets out the tennis shoes and then writes down Johnston and Murphy, ONLINE! :D Fortunately, they're there and she can't be distracted by shoes /too/ much longer.

The subway entrance is covered with warnings that this terminal is no longer in use, scheduled for demolition, and is generally unsafe. There's some sort of air blasting up from it in a hot, unpleasant roar. It is unusually dark and yawning, and there's some sort of smell issuing from it that will hit each Scion as they get out of the car. Moreover, those with Subliminal Warning will begin feeling goosebumps prickling up and down spines and hairs rising on the back of their neck. Something about this place seems to whisper to the Scions; caressing the skin unpleasantly. There is one of those old vending machines with the clown inside that gives out fortunes, and it seems to watch the group as they arrived.

Step into my parlor, said the Spider to the Fly?

To be continued…

Vette STed this scene.

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