|Scene Title||Welcome to Torchwood|
|Synopsis||Vette and Scrivner pull Dee down into their new lab-base-secret-hideaway to introduce her to all of the computer equipment in there.|
Despite its reputation for crime, Harlem is still a place to draw tourists, albeit in protective groups. Many of the buildings are old and decrepit, many apartments having a rather depressing singularity view - brick. Those who do not know the area huddle through, afraid of ghosts, those who do know it are aware of where to go, where not to go and who to avoid. In the face of all this is simple beauty, with the jazz clubs, the famed Apollo Theatre, and many examples of fine architecture and art. Even in the run-down tenements, there is a sense of belonging. The area is still a vibrant center of culture. Harlem evokes images not of great art and music, but those of the protests and riots of the 60s; gloomy housing projects and burned-out buildings; a virtual war-zone.
About three hours after adventuring down below in the sewers and old subway lines, Rufus finally got above ground to where his cell phone could get a clear signal. Four voice mails and phone calls to his firm later, to deal with some idiot issue, he gave Dee a call and told her where she could meet him. They found something. And they found something big. He's waiting for her in the late night hours, down in Harlem, beside the wall of an old, derelict townhouse building that's not too far from where the entrance point is.
Found something big? Oooooh… Dee does not need more encouragement than that, and she's getting herself together and out the door. Fortunately, this time of night there isn't tons of traffic, and soon her black Hayabusa appears. She rolls to a stop next to him, flips up her facemask, and says with a grin "You called?"
Vette pulls up on her own clunker of a motorcycle. The basket in the back is filled with groceries. They find a secret lab and Vette's first impulse is to /domesticate/ the thing. She pulls up on the other side of Dee, grinning at Scrivner and Dee both. "I got stuff," she announces happily.
"I did," Rufus says with a faint smile. He pushes away from the wall and steps forward, dressed in little more than a plain white tee shirt and some grubby, old blue jeans. The man /can/ dress casually. See? "Hello, Vette," he says, more gently, with a gleam of something across his eyes that might well be amusement. "Well, shall we get going? Do either of you need any help in carrying things?"
Dee looks from Rufus to Vette, and back. She chuckles. "Okay… Are we picnicking?" She does look the man over, of course, and her expression is all that's needed to show his change of style is noted. "I'm good. Let me lock up, and I'm all yours." She sets to securing her bike.
"I got it!" Vette says. She has used green grocery bags, so they have the nice handles. She jumps out and beams. She may well be…nesting. In the secret doom lab. Without the pregnancy part.
One hopes. Rufus studies Vette for a second or two longer before he nods his head, and then he turns on the ball of his foot. "All right, ladies. Let's stash those bikes somewhere safe and then we'll go down."
Dee chuckles. "Oh, mine is safe. I pity anyone that tries to take it." she says as she moves to follow him.
Vette gets her bike stashed and then she follows Rufus down to the hideaway. She says, "We were hoping you could get a look at all these computers, Dee. We couldn't make heads or tails out of them really. I got them turned on and checked our e-mail so to speak, but that was about it."
Rufus turns about and leads the way down, down, down through an old, abandoned subway entrance. He walks through the silence, past walls upon walls of graffitti and past evidence of homeless shelters. He walks even further on where urban explorers rarely dare to go, and then he slips through a rough-hewn doorway and up to an arch over a heavy, wooden door. The words "Special Immigration Office: East" has been written above them.
Dee's eyebrows raise. "Computers?" Oooooh… She looks like a kid preparing to go into a candy store. She follows with a spring in her step. "I love what you've done with the place." she remarks though, smartass that she can be.
Vette says earnestly, "I didn't think to get cleaning supplies. I'll do that later." She brings out a coffee maker and takes it into a small kitchenette area they uncovered. "We can't get to most of the rooms yet. No access. The computer told us that our attempts to try would be 'discouraged.' Hey, do you guys think I could steal a section for a workbench? I think I'm going to start working on some of these talons we took off those harpies. I think I've figured out how to make them into those knives Simone mentioned."
After Rufus pulls out his key and turns it in the lock, the door swings open. A neutral, computerised voice intones, "Provisional Access Granted. Containment and Research are currently under lock down. Efforts to penetrate secure doors will be discouraged." Inside, the impressive room that holds a console in the middle, complete with a three dimensional display of the city on top. It's a hacker's haven, that's for sure. There are a couple of open doorways, but some sealed ones as well. Rufus leads the way inside, then walks over to lean by a wall. "I sure won't complain," he says to Vette.
Dee watches intently as Rufus uses the key and they're granted access. The computerized voice causes her forehead to wrinkle a bit, and anyone knowing her skillz can tell she's already considering what might get her into those locked down areas. And then… oooooh… She just stares at all the Cool Stuff(tm). Kid in a candy store, indeed.
Vette brings out sleeping bags, pillows, and bags of groceries. She giggles at Dee's reaction, then drags a table over and starts laying out some of the talons neatly so she can work with them later. "The map over there shows the gate points and their status."
While the ladies go giggle or geek over the computer equipment, Rufus more or less stays by himself. He watches for awhile, then turns away to walk over to a series of file cabinets, pulling them open. "There's been no sign of Greyson," he says, eventually. "It's looking more and more likely that she died, so we generally agreed to keep this place for ourselves. If you could hack into those computers, Dee, and find out everything you can about her and her bandmates' mission, I'd appreciate it."
It's comically zombie-like, the way Dee shambles towards the computers, hands reaching ahead of her. Hack in? Oh, yes. "Ours…" she intones. "Must look… Must find…"
Vette /giggles/. She also starts laying out some pieces of metal—scrap metal, mostly, that she picked up at a junk yard. She says, "I don't think we had to sell her on that one, Ru. Like. At all."
He looks up at that odd tone of voice she's got going on, and Rufus smirks in blatant amusement at Dee's joy. "Like a child at Christmas, isn't she?" He plucks up a folder and then stands, meandering forward to stand by Vette's side.
Dee grins then, once the others react. She wastes absolutely no time getting to her new object of obsession and starting in on figuring out what's what and what's where. To her credit, she does dive right into trying something stupid, instead first working on getting a feel for the system. There's no effort to bypass security. Yet.
Vette takes the first piece of scrap metal between her hands. It starts to liquify slowly into an amorphous blob first. "I think we were all like children at Christmas. I know this appeals to the side of me that went digging for the secret decoder rings in cereal boxes as a kid."
"Mmm… Perhaps. It /is/ good to have a base of operations," Rufus murmurs. His eyes drift up to the door, though, and a scowl darkens his face. "I'll be happier when we can begin planning how to use it. We encountered a very large group of thugs and a giant earlier tonight too, Miss Floros. In these old subway tunnels, it looks as if they've set up some sort of halfway point to transport animals infused with Titan ichor or … /something./ It was difficult to tell what the beasts in cages were from a distance."
Dee is so entirely focused that she doesn't note what Vette is doing. There is way too much in front of her for any distraction short of artillery. It's even hard to tell whether she really registers what either is saying. She just manages an 'Uh huh…'. On the other hand, she seems to have a natural talent for working out what is what on a machine so it's likely better that her attention remain where it is.
In the meantime, the amorphous silvery blob between Vette's hands starts to spiral and shape itself into a very balanced knife handle. Then she takes up the first of the talons and begins smoothing it out. Again it turns into an amorphous blob, this one bronezish. She says to Rufus, "We could always bring a larger group down to handle those; maybe take them from an angle /away/ from our equipment."
He draws himself up to his full height for a moment and casts a glance over his shoulder at the redhaired lady, then at Dee, and he frowns while he stalks towards the door. He doesn't open it, but he runs his fingers across it. "It's too early to form a plan of attack. We need to observe their movements and then plan an ambush. Separate them, attack them while they're at their weakest."
Vette blinks at Rufus and him drawing himself up. "Hmmm. How /will/ we observe their movements, Ru?" There's no challenge in the question, just mere curiosity. She listens to the steady click of Dee's fingers across keyboards as the blade between her raised palms twists, turns, forms, and sharpens.
"I don't know," Rufus quietly admits. "If I knew, I'd be out there doing it right now. I don't have much talent for concealing myself." He folds his arms across his chest, and retreating, he flops against a wall and sits on one of those cots Vette's provided.
Vette says, "And our concealment bunny is over there burrowing into the computers right now." She giggles. "What would we do without Dee, eh?" She actually has no jealousy, but maybe it's cause she's making something. Now she's fusing the knife handle to the blade, pouring the liquified end of the blade into a hollow hole in the hilt to bring them together.
Rufus' eyes glitter for a moment as he looks at Dee, faintly amused and still scowly. "Indeed," the man says quietly. He exhales and leans his head back against the wall, letting his eyes drift closed. But eventually he gets up and wanders into the kitchenette area, filling up the coffee pot with water to get some brewing.
Once Ru comes back Vette is hefting a small bronze dagger in her hand. She offers it to Ru, hilt first. "Would you be so kind as to test that, my dear?" she asks, rather shyly. "I don't want to screw with any more raw materials if I've messed that up."
The man takes the dagger in hand and studies it, then hefts it. "It… feels about right to me," Rufus says, contemplatively. "Granted, I don't often work with knives." He glances around, then he draws it back and sends it flying forward, hurtling end over end, to try thunking it into the wood of the door.
Vette's face breaks out into a smile. "I think I did it!!" Her eyes light right up as she eyes that quivering blade. "I actually did it!" She starts giggling madly, like a little girl who has just found a new toy.
He stares at the knife jutting out of the door, and then calmly he walks up to it and yanks it free. Rufus turns it over in his hands, then he looks over his shoulder to smile at Vette. "Yes, you did," he murmurs. "You did indeed." He comes back to her, walking sedately, and he offers the blade back to her hilt-first. "But I always knew you could, so I cannot say I am altogether very surprised, my dear little Miss Adams."
It's the >thunk< that gets Dee's attention, and she both duck some and looks up immediately. "Huh? Everything okay?" She looks from one to the other as though she'd forgotten they were there.
"Look Dee! I made a throwing knife!" Vette says, pointing and grinning. "Don't worry, there are 23 more talons here. Plenty more knives to go around! I made a knife!" She's so /tickled/ by this that her eyes are shining.
Rufus had been leaning in towards Vette, reaching up his fingers towards her chin, but hearing Dee's voice he very quickly sweeps back and looks down at the knife still in his hand. He clears his throat, and instead he turns to Dee, offering the knife to her hilt-first.
Dee's eyes widen again, and she grins at the mention of throwing knives. "Really…" If anything could drag her from the computers briefly, apparently that's it. She grins, then accepts the knife from Rufus. There's a few moments of study and of checking the balance, and then it goes winging through the air in the same direction it went before. She might not be much with melee weapons, but woth throwing things? Oh, yes. The blades digs again into the door, practically much at the sam spot Rufus hit.
Vette suddenly blushes as she realizes where Ru was going, and gives him a bright, silly smile. And then she looks anxiously at Dee. "Is the balance good?" She knows the balance is supposed to be good, after all. That's important. She read about knives before trying this.
Rufus pretends that nothing at all is amiss. He glances briefly at Vette's smile, faintly smiles back at her, and then he turns his attention back to Dee and the weapon. "If you both want my share of the knives, I certainly don't mind," he says. "To be honest, I'm not very skilled at all with them. I prefer to work with swords."
Dee grins. Betwen the computer and the knives, she may just move in. "Oh, it's just fine, Vette." she replies with a chuckle. "And only if you insist, Rufus." Or even just vaguely mention in passing. She does need good knives, after all."
Well it saves them all the trouble of drawing up schedules for watching this place if Dee does. Besides the police aren't likely to find the spot at all. She gets to work on the next knife, does Vette, carefully following the same procedure as before. She says, "You know…"
Rufus smirks this time, and he lifts a hand to wave it somewhat dismissively. "Not at all, Dee. Consider them yours." He folds his arms across his chest and then wanders back to the wall, leaning against it while looking to Vette. "Hmmm?"
Dee grins as she tugs it out of the wall. Its studied a moment longer, then set down next to the station where she'd been working. Since she's been successfully distracted already, she has another look around them.
As she works, Vette points out, "We know where we opened the wall on those enemies. We know they couldn't see that spot and at what time we did it to catch them during a delivery moment where they're distracted. I'm just thinking that mounting a wireless camera to that spot by reopening the wall wouldn't be very hard at all. It's dark enough in that corner that it won't show up, and if we choose an Infared camera it won't mind the lack of light."
"It's a good idea," Rufus says quietly, "but I don't think it's enough. It won't tell us where they're going, what they're doing, unless they have capabilities for picking up sound now, and we might be able to get some idea of what they're saying. No, I'm thinking that one of us should follow them."
Dee says "It is a good idea, but are you sure there isn't surveillance of some sort out there already? I mean, if I had a cool secret base like this, I'd want to know what was going on outside the doors. Once I get into the systems, we'll see what's already in place and go from there."
"Oh that's a good thought Dee," Vette says with a nod of her head. "I hadn't really given that one much thought." She keeps working on the knife. "We might not even have to leave to base to follow them. Now that would be rad."
After thinking about it for awhile longer, Rufus nods his head a few times in agreement. Then he wryly smiles, saying, "Less dangerous. More efficient. Well, if you can do it, then let's go with that plan."
Dee hms, frowning a bit. "Less dangerous. Less fun, too." Though, she then winks at the other two. "Okay, I'm diving back in now. Could one of you just slide something foodlike in front of me occasionally? I won't even think about it otherwise."
"Sure," Vette says with a smile. "I brought down granola bars, trail mix, and pop tarts." Even the health nut has a thing for fudge and marshmellow pop tarts. It's one of her rare indulgences.
"Certainly, but if you require a bedpan, I am rather afraid you are quite on your own with that chore, Miss Floros," Rufus mildly adds. He tucks his hands into his jeans pockets, getting comfortable.
Dee nods to Vette and does laugh to Rufus' comment, but it's already a distracted thing as she's sucked back into the workings of the place.
Any additional notes fall to the bottom.