|Scene Title||Tea, Gods, and Monsters|
|Synopsis||Simone invites Connor and Scrivner over for tea and a frank discussion.|
The Garment District is located next to one of the more popular areas at the moment, Chelsea. While not as posh as its neighbor to the South, the Garment District still has the higher rents and expenses. One of the Garment District's main attractions are its many multi-story lofts, located around the towering skyscrapers throughout the area. Moderate apartment complexes are located next to the more wealthy condos and high-rise lofts. The area is devoted more towards the residential side, though one may find countless convenience stores situated between the apartments and brownstones.
The day after they ran into each other by the alley, Connor gives Simone a call and asks to meet. They arrange a time and place and here he is, on time and outside Simone's brownstone, his bike parked right in front. He rings the doorbell then takes off his helmet, tucking it under one arm.
Simone answers the door wearing a conservative skirt, pumps, and a white blouse with lace cuffs, her hair pulled back neatly. A rather stark change from the street attire. Smiling warmly when she opens the door, she nods to Connor. "Won't you come in, Connor? And I hope you don't mind, but I've also invited a colleague of mine over as well."
Already inside of the lady's flat, Rufus Scrivner looks up from his teacup when the doorbell rings. As Simone rises, he does too, straightening his suit jacket and clearing his throat. The man stands in silence while he waits, leaning just slightly to one side to catch a glimpse of whoever's standing across the threshold. Waiting doesn't stop him from briefly bending to take up a little biscuit, dunking it into his milky tea and taking a bite.
"Hello doctor." Connor replies and steps in at the invitation. "I don't mind at all, assuming he's one of us and we can talk freely? It's matters relating to that that I wanted to ta…" Oh, the "colleague" is already here. Well, 'one of us' can mean lots of things and if he is, no harm done. "…talk about." he finishes then extends a hand to Rufus. "Connor Burke."
Simone's eyes brighten and she chuckles softly, closing the door as Connor introduces himself. "Connor Burke, this is Rufus Scrivner. Rufus is a lawyer. He also helped me kill two harpies at Coney Island." And that, apparently, is sufficient to cover the subject of 'talking freely'. "We were just having tea. Won't you sit and make yourself comfortable, and what can I get you?"
Setting down cup, saucer and biscuit, Rufus Scrivner brushes off his hands on a napkin and takes Connor's hand in his. Gripping firmly, he shakes a few times and smiles thinly, though politely. "Good day, Mr. Burke," he says, before releasing the other man. "Pleasure to make your acquaintance. I trust killing a harpy is sufficient initiation into the ranks of the elite?"
"Nice to meet you, Mr. Scrivener." Connor answers. "I'd say that qualifies, yes. And tea would be fine, doctor." Glancing around, he sets his helmet down on a chair then pulls his leather gloves off and tosses them into the helmet. Taking off his jacket, he drapes it over the helmet and takes a seat. "I've run into one of them myself. Disgusting creature."
Simone prepares a cup and saucer for Connor, half turning as she asks. "Where did -you- see them, Connor? I didn't think they would EVER die. I think that one must've taken four magnum slugs before it went down. Oh, how do you take your tea?"
Remaining on his feet, Scrivner calmly folds his hands behind his back and interlaces his fingers. "They are disgusting," he says in quiet agreement. "Still, you seem no worse for wear, so you must have come out of it victorious."
Connor angles his chair slightly so he can cross one leg over a knee. It also keeps the sword from bumping into the table. "A bit of lemon and honey would be great. The one I ran into was near Times Square. Fortunately, it died quite easily as someone emptied both barrels of his pistols directly into its chest. Unfortunately, the man it was holding then fell and broke several bones but the last I heard, he was recovering." To Rufus, he adds "Oh, I never had a chance to get near it actually. I misjudged its flight path and missed my initial grab and then it was dead."
Simone prepares the tea, adding honey and lemon before serving. There's a silver tray with assorted biscuits, along with scones, clotted cream and blackberry jam. "There you go." she offers, moving to take a seat herself. "There were three of us and two of them. I spotted them before they dove, which made something of a difference as well. Since then, I've been researching similar sightings, and I've noticed that the New York area seems to hold quite an attraction."
Once the lady's sitting, Rufus retakes his own chair and sweeps up his teacup and saucer into his hands. Leaning comfortably back, he quietly sips, and his blue eyes flicker back and forth between Simone and Connor. He's already noshed his way through a couple of scones and biscuits. "I've noticed for myself that New York seems to be… a rather busy place, in more ways than one. Did you come across any reading that suggested /why/ New York is so volatile? One would think these things are more attracted to the Bermuda Triangle or Stonehenge."
Connor looks over the spread and slowly smiles. "I haven't had a proper tea since the last time I was in England." he says as he reaches for a scone and jam. "My own theory is that they're sent here. New York is not only one of the major cities in the US but is also a center of culture and a big tourist destination. What better way to cause havoc and terror and advance the titanspawn's causes?"
Simone shakes her head to Rufus' question, sipping her own tea as well. "I tend to agree with you, Connor. The population density here would make it both easy to cause mayhem and easy to hide afterward. But I didn't know you spent time in England. Would you mind telling us a bit about yourself, or would you like for me to go first?"
Well, Scrivner won't interrupt this. He arches his eyebrows at Connor in mild surprise. The man spent some time in England? Interesting. But he sips his tea, content to listen for the moment.
"Oh, I'm an Irish citizen as well as an American." Connor explains. "My father held dual citizenship as well and he'd be back and forth between here and Britain to perform. Though there's more call for a classically trained harpist who specializes in old folk songs in Ireland than here, as you can imagine. That's where he met my mother, of course." Taking a bite of scone, he looks to Simone. Next?
Simone tucks one foot behind the other rather than crossing her legs. "My mom is old-money from Upstate. Dad was just a brief necessity. I grew up a deb, ending up at Harvard Medical School. Sigma Cum Laude, of course. I just finished my residency in New England a few months ago." She gives Rufus a knowing look as she hits the high points.
Rufus glances at the lady, meeting her eyes briefly, as he flashes her a vague, fleeting smile. His attention soon wanders back to Connor, and after a sip of tea, he says, "My mother died some years ago, and my true father wasn't much more than a brief affair in her life. After her funeral, I came here to America. I work in a law firm associated with the British consulate. What is it you do now, Mr. Burke?"
Connor nods to Simone. "Yes, I remember you mentioning Artemis. I'm a mechanic, Mr. Scrivener. Automotive mostly and I also do custom work. And I suspect all our 'special' parents are little more than brief affairs or limited interludes at best. I'm not sure what it would be like to be raised by one." Lifting his tea cup, he offers a 'Slainte' then takes a sip.
Simone nods slowly to Connor. "Yes, Artemis." she replies, reaching for a tea cake. "Huntress, Goddess of the Moon and Medicine, among other things. She's been more a guiding force to me than one who actually raised me. If you can call giving periodic nudges and throwing up barriers actual 'guiding'."
"Likely as interesting as anything you might find on a daytime soap opera, only far more violent and potentially earth-shattering," Scrivner muses drily, in answer to Connor's comment about being raised by a god. "Who is your mother, Mr. Burke? I'm afraid my knowledge of Irish mythology is fairly shaky except for the major players of the pantheon."
"Brigid, Mr. Scrivener." Connor answers. "Patron to smiths, poets and healers. Goddess of fire and inspiration, among some other things. The Irish gods are a multi-talented bunch. And your sire would be?"
Simone nibbles her tea cake, listening and watching the two rather differently dressed men. She looks openly curious, almost as if she were taking note on the whole conversation. But, of course, both hands are full just now.
"Tyr, the Norse god of justice and war," Scrivner answers without hesitation. "Not an altogether unpleasant chap, I daresay." He sips his tea again, then sets down his cup when his cell phone starts ringing. "Ah, Simone. Please excuse me for a moment. I have to take this call." He stands up, fishing the mobile out of his pocket.
Connor nods then pauses as the cell phone rings. Nodding again as Rufus steps aside, he looks back to Simone. "So. The reason I asked to meet was I was curious as to how you identified that guy Tyler last night. Do you have a similar ability to Alexander, sniffing out those with divine parentage?"
Simone shakes her head at that, chuckling softly. "I'm afraid I don't, actually. But I'm observant, and there just aren't that many guys who keep a sword in the front seat of a camaro. May seem discrete enough on one level, until you look at it from another perspective."
Connor ahs. "I didn't look in the car. Though I've known a medieval recreationist or two who tend to carry around swords. On the other hand, he doesn't strike me as the type. Or as the type to use a sword either, for that matter. I'd have guessed a gun." He shrugs.
Simone tilts her head at that, looking amused. "Now you've got me curious, Connor. Just which category would you put -me- in? Or am I something altogether different?" she asks in a slightly teasing tone.
Connor grins at the question but takes it seriously and spends a few moments examining Simone. "Well, knowing you're a daughter of Artemis might be influencing me but I could definitely see you with a bow. I can picture you confronting a titanspawn with several others, expanding on its abilities and weaknesses, and then putting an arrow in just the right spot. I'd have initially guessed you were a daughter of Athena actually, considering you've got the whole scholastic thing going."
Simone's smile widens and she nods. "Well thank you. But I'm a more conventional shooter, actually. A large caliber pistol, and those magnum slugs were mine. One of my mother's 'diversions' for me involved running with a biker gang on and off. I learned some of the most -useful- things."
Connor nods. "Firing from a distance, yes. The effect is the same. You don't have the 'go toe to toe' feel." Tilting his head to one side, he asks "So you ride a bike? That I wouldn't have guessed."
Simone chuckles again, perched demurely there in the formal sitting room with her tea and cake. "I sold my bike when I went to med school, actually, but I rode a custom Softtail. And you're right about that. I can defend myself, but I'm not a fighter. Right now I'm more a researcher, which is a form of -hunting-, I suppose." She pauses to regard him, then asks. "So have you considered your role in all this?"
Connor shrugs at the question. "I figured I'll just hang out and trouble will come my way. That seems to be unavoidable. As for some longer, more detailed plan? No, not really."
For his phone call, Scrivner had stepped outside for a few minutes, dealing with whatever issue had called him away. Now he returns, walking slowly, with the faintest of frowns furrowing his brow. It eases away a few seconds later, when he looks up at both Connor and Simone, smiling faintly as he eases into his previously-abandoned chair. He reaches out to his teacup, glancing back and forth, while he listens to figure out what's going on.
Simone glances up to Rufus when he returns, then she purses her lips in Connor's direction. "So you're just going to -wait-? Wait until you're out alone, where two or three of those things can surround you and pick you off?" she asks, sounding just a bit incredulous. "Connor, if I'd been alone, or even Rufus had been alone that day, we wouldn't be having this conversation. We need to work together."
Connor nods to Rufus as he returns. "Hey, I've no objection to that. And I've done so already though it was more chance than anything else. I've definitely noticed that the more of us in one spot, the more likely it is something will happen."
Scrivner's eyebrows arch as he glances from Connor to Simone then back, quietly musing, "Perhaps we should consider working together towards that end, Mr. Burke? I can't imagine our friends would object to another pair of eyes and another pair of hands working towards our common goal."
Simone sips her tea, nodding slowly. "I certainly agree. Another sword-arm in the group wouldn't hurt my feelings one bit. We've got two other members in our little group, and right now our goal seems to be to figure out whether there's a pattern to all of this that we might be able to crack, somehow."
Connor glances from Simone to Rufus and back. "Your friends? You've formed a posse of sorts to fight these things? May I ask their names? I've run into several of us already in the city. Perhaps I've met them."
"It's possible. The other lady of our group certainly seems to know a great many people," Scrivner murmurs, more to himself. He takes another sip of tea, and calmly, he says, "Miss Vette Adams is currently taking refuge with me at my flat. She's a young, aspiring dancer. The other gentleman…." He trails off, glancing at Simone.
Simone catches Rufus' look, giving him a knowing nod in return. "Marius Forest. Although he would no doubt scold me for being so free with names and company." she replies. Eyes narrow a touch and she doesn't -quite- squint at Connor. "Seriously, though. There are a few of us who've been coerced to join the other side. One group killed a couple of Marius' friends."
Connor shakes his head at the name Rufus gives him. He looks equally unenlightened at Simone's. "No, I haven't run into them. I can't say I'm surprised by that some have gone over though. It's not like we were raised to be loyal or anything. Some are bound to be selfish or even evil by nature just like any other person."
"There are some gods and goddesses who are certainly no better than titanspawn, and the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, now does it?" Scrivner drily states. He clears his throat, then sips from his cup and finishes off the tea within. "Do you know much about this other group, Simone?" he asks, tilting his head slightly towards Simone?
Simone shakes her head to Rufus. "I'm afraid I don't, actually. Just what Marius told me, and he's still pretty sensitive about it." Turning to Connor, she adds. "You will need to meet him before we make any formal welcome, of course. And Vette as well. Neither of us can really speak for the others."
Connor nods. "My mother's people have some ancient enemies as well and I'm sure they have just as many kids. One or two are even related and betrayed their kin, fighting for the enemy. And that's fine, Simone. You all discuss it and get back to me." Pause. "You weren't thinking of asking that Tyler guy, were you? He's rather… crude."
Scrivner hesitates for a moment, studying Connor with arched eyebrows and some curiosity. "Tyler?" he echoes. It's clear by the expression on his face - mildly bewildered - that he's never heard of a Tyler at all. "Crude in what manner?"
Simone gives a soft laugh at the mention of Tyler, shaking her head slowly. "Oh, in just about -every- manner, Rufus. He thought I was a hooker for sale the other night, although I don't think he would have even made a bonafide offer of payment. And no, Connor. My only involvement with Tyler will be to watch for him, and perhaps to identify his remains in the morgue at some point."
Connor flashes a quick grin. "Good. Though I might be doing him an injustice and beneath his crude exterior lies the soul of a poet." Pause. "And maybe pigs can fly. Actually, he's not the first one I met whose manners need polishing. I ran into one I'm told is the son of Thor and he certainly seems the type from what I've read."
Scrivner's blue eyes glitter unpleasantly, tightening at the corners. "He thought you a /what?/" he sharply but quietly asks. The man snorts and curls his lip with distaste, and slowly he crosses his legs by propping an ankle over the opposite knee. "Well, I concur. I've no interest in meeting the man."
Simone raises a palm as if to calm Rufus, shaking her head slowly. "No harm was done, Rufus, and if it helps I actually -did- consider shooting him at one point. But there were too many witnesses, and we -were- on a public street, after all."
Connor chuckles. "I doubt anyone would have noticed in that neighborhood. Least not enough to bother calling the cops. But who knows, he may come in useful some day."
"What is it that he does?" Scrivner asks, as he leans forward to reach for the little jug of creamer, adding a dash of milk before following it up with a fresh serving of tea.
Simone gives a little shrug. "He carries a sword, and rather openly. And it looked to me like he is most charitably described as a mugger. Not that I've not strayed into some… gray… legal areas, myself, but he was doing it as much for sport as for need."
Connor also shrugs at the question. "I haven't a clue but the doctor has the right of it aside from the car he drives. Then again, he did imply it was stolen. A person I wish to have as little traffic with as possible."
The curl of distaste merely grooooows. Rufus wrinkles up his nose and sips his tea, muttering, "What a charming fellow. Indeed, no desire at all to associate with him, thank you very much." His eyes narrow as he looks off a thousand yards into the distance, and he shakes his head, before he glances up at Simone.
"Well, my dear doctor, as it's creeping towards the time I need to meet with an appointment, I'd best say good bye now, and thank you again for tea. I've quite enjoyed it."
Simone smiles, giving Rufus a small nod. "Stop by anytime, Rufus. Just give me a few minutes' notice to put the kettle on." she replies. "You don't mind letting yourself out, do you? I'd like to chat a bit more with Connor."
Connor stands and offers Rufus a hand. "A pleasure to meet you. And since it seems likely we'll be seeing each other again… Which reminds me." He pulls a business card out of a pocket and offers it.
Leaning in towards the other gent, Scrivner takes that hand and shakes it, then he plucks up the business card, reads it over, and slips it into a pocket of his suit jacket. "Likewise. I shall look forward to it, Mr. Burke." He smiles a little at Simone, inclining his head to her. "Of course. Good bye to you both." And with that, he strolls on out towards the front door, again reaching into his pocket for his mobile.
Simone watches the exchange of cards, refreshing her tea and then offering the same to Connor before returning to the conversation. "He really -is- a charming man." she confides. "So, Connor, have you seen anything else unusual around here lately?"
Connor laughs at the question. "That's a joke, right? Let's see… Aside from the harpy I've run into a swarm of moths that coalesced into several human looking figures that talked about feasting on my threads of knowledge. A woman who killed three people, each with a single punch but no visible damage and a guy who owns a coin that turns into a flying ship when he throws it into the air."
Simone perks visibly, shifting to lean closer. "Wait… you saw the woman who killed those three guys with a single punch? What else can you tell me about it? Or about her? That's the first …incident… that I've heard of."
Connor shakes his head and sighs. "Nothing, really. She played us for fools. It was at a concert in the park and these assholes were heckling the musicians. So she punched them. We thought she just knocked them out and she took off. It was only after she had gone that we realized they were dead. Stupid."
Simone tilts her head, looking no less curious. "One of us, then? Gone over to the other side? Or do you think she was something else and just concealing her nature?"
"No idea, honestly." Connor admits with a grimace. "And I haven't actually seen the autopsy reports so I don't know how they died. I should try to get a hold of that cop and find out sometime. I'm guessing it just wasn't from being punched."
Simone considers, looking thoughtful as she taps her chin. "Autopsy reports… yes. I'll dig around and see what I can find out, then. Might require a little harmless B and E… which, by the way, is something we should NOT discuss in front of Rufus. I get the impression he toes the legal line pretty closely."
"Why does that not surprise me?" Connor doesn't look shocked or upset at the idea. "I'd suggest asking the cop first though. He was there and saw it all too. Matter of fact, he was there with the harpy as well now I think about it."
Simone nods slowly to that, brows knitting. "I'll want the cop's name, then. As well as anything else you can remember. From both incidents."
As a follow-up, the cop in question is Lin