A Celebration Of History — Entrance

Participants:

alister_icon.gif alvin_icon.gif barney_icon.gif bella_icon.gif caspian_icon.gif cesar_icon.gif claire_icon.gif colette_icon.gif dearing_icon.gif devon_icon.gif elaine_icon.gif emily_icon.gif eve_icon.gif ghost_icon.gif gillian_icon.gif graeme_icon.gif hana_icon.gif huruma_icon.gif jaiden_icon.gif jonathan_icon.gif joseph_icon.gif julie_icon.gif kay_icon.gif kaylee_icon.gif keira_icon.gif logan_icon.gif lucille_icon.gif lynette_icon.gif marlowe_icon.gif mateo3_icon.gif monica_icon.gif nicole_icon.gif noa_icon.gif pearl_icon.gif ray_icon.gif remi_icon.gif rex_icon.gif robyn_icon.gif rue_icon.gif sable_icon.gif sasha_icon.gif sibyl4_icon.gif tamara_icon.gif tania_icon.gif tasha_icon.gif tibby_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

with an appearance by…

jiba_icon.gif

Scene Title A Celebration of History — Entrance
Synopsis Yamagato Industries throws a charity gala at the Fellowship Center, and all of New York is in attendance.
Date April 7, 2018

Yamagato Fellowship Center


The earlier rain had threatened to cast a pall over the Yamagato Fellowship's first charity gala. But by early evening the weather had abated, leaving the skies a patchwork of thick clouds. As the sun began to set in the west, as the neon glow of Yamagato Park came alive and reflected in the shallow puddles, the city feels alive with nervous excitement.

The Yamagato Fellowship Center is a glorious piece of architecture, a sweeping white structure that evokes the styles of idealistic futurism in its every curving shape. The building looks like an elegant skirt, with its hanging walls of photovoltaic panels, delicate metal framework, and expansive windows. It is simply incandescent tonight, shedding light like a paper lantern across the parkland that sprawls beyond it. A line of black limousines slowly approaches the entrance, where a crowd of onlookers behind a velvet rope await the arrival of New York's rich, famous, and Yamagato's special guests. Cameras are already flashing as the first guests make their way down the red carpet, greeted by news media at the end of the walkway before they enter the building.

Safe Zone Mayor Caroline Short steps out of her limousine with her husband Geoffrey on her arm, smiling to the crowd and cameras. The flash of cameras glitter like fireflies in tall grass, and the elegantly dressed mayor makes her approach with the practiced grace of someone who is aware of this event's importance in the future success of not only this Safe Zone, but all future Safe Zones across America. Her husband offers a less enthused smile to the crowds, but nonetheless waves and dips his head down in humble nods as the press snaps photographs.

As the mayor reaches the press area, she pauses in front of a tall white screen printed with a repeating Yamagato Industries logo, slipping ever so briefly away from her husband to do so. She adjusts the fur stole over her shoulder, smiling at the lights, and notices WNYT reporters converging on the periphery. Her smile is demure, and she slips away from the photographers to run the next length of the gauntlet.

Dozens of guests have already passed where Mayor Short is being addressed by the media, gathered in the cavernous and eggshell white confines of the front lobby. Many are gathered around the open bar, cocktails in hand and the din of conversation a cacophonous blanket of white noise. Piano music seems to emanate from within the air itself, reverberating through the walls and creating a serene sense of both grandeur and ambience that feels like stepping into another time, before the war changed America.

Red banners pop brightly against the white balconies and mezzanines of the lobby, gilded with the Yamagato Industries logo and gold text declaring A Celebration of History translated into thirty-seven different languages. Velvet ropes block off areas not accessible for Gala guests, and Yamagato Industries security officers are noted by their sleek black suits, gold Yamagato Industries pin on their label and wireless earpieces. A canny eye would also notice the bulge of an underarm holster on each as well.

Outside on the red carpet, another limousine approaches and prepares to deposit the next guest as the crowd and media prepare to see who will be the next to arrive.

The limo door slowly swings open, and for a moment no one emerges from within. A beat later, a pair of legs slide from inside, mostly concealed by the hugging fabric of a slim white dress. One hand adorned with a silver ring and diamond-studded bracelet with a jewel flower — or in her eyes a butterfly — set in the middle steadies Colette Demsky’s emergence from the limousine. The two-piece white dress she wears pops against the black of the limo and the dark of night and her myriad, colorful tattoos. Blind eyes assess the waiting crowds, the pop and flash of cameras bringing an awkward flush of color across her face.

Stepping aside, she offers a hand out to the next woman inside, turning a look back to the red carpet for just a moment. Then, with a relieved smile, she takes the hand of Tasha Renard — matching rings near one another — and helps her out of the limo, letting Tasha step ahead of her so she can do the same to offer a polite hand to Tamara Brooks as she exits next. Even as the limo closes its door and begins to pull away, Colette is gripping both hands with an iron grip.

Please don't let me talk to the reporters,” Colette whispers through a smile to Tasha. Please.

Tamara casts Colette a wry smile as she's 'helped' out of the limo. Her free hand gently pats the one clinging to her, sympathetic, reassuring. The strapless dress Tamara wears is subdued and understated next to the vibrant white of Colette's: comprised of silver lace in a floral motif over a black backdrop, its sleek length falls nearly to the carpet, black sandals just visible below its hem. A matching bolero jacket with quarter-sleeves covers her shoulders. The butterfly tattoo is plainly visible; she wears the ring that complements her partners', but no necklace with this ensemble.

To the media, the blonde is notable only for the company she keeps — a Hound and a councillor, both former Ferry and witnesses at the Albany Trials — and for the unconventionality of their obvious relationship. As such, none of the reporters are watching close enough to note the way the seer make sure to catch the attention of each who decides he'll be the one to pose them questions. A subtle shake of her head, combined with the rules laid down by Yamagato, dissuades most, who salve their disappointment with thoughts of greater celebrities yet to arrive.

The one too stubborn to take a hint steps forward, notepad ready — and finds Tamara suddenly half a step ahead of the others, two fingers under his chin, gently but insistently interrupting the word he'd started to say. "Sshhh." She smiles at him, ingenuously charming, and lets her hand fall away; the trio continue on towards the lobby.

“Just talk to us,” is Tasha’s quiet advice to Colette. The petite brunette is a brighter vision than her two companions in a jade green asymmetrical gown; once she’s on the red carpet, the color clashes with its complement. With a single shoulder strap to the dress, much more of the lawyer’s skin is bared than usual, allowing hints of her own tattoos to be seen when they normally aren’t — the branches of a pale blue and green tree can be seen on her back from a tattoo there that must take up the better part of the area; a green koi-like fish curves across her inner wrist and matches a blue one on Colette’s. Her hair, usually pulled back in a scraggly ponytail or tucked under a hat, falls in loose waves around her shoulders.

She hears the words Lazzaro from one of the reporters, and she smiles brightly at him for the sake of a photograph — she’s learned that giving just a little bit will earn her some space, sometimes, as long as she keeps moving, which she does.

Tasha grins as Tamara takes charge and leans to whisper something in Colette’s ear; meanwhile Colette will feel the three quick squeezes of Tasha’s hand on hers. “Everything looks so beautiful,” she says aloud.

Limousines aren't really Caspian's style. Give him a pickup truck, a four door sedan, or just let him walk but, no, after parking his van and unloading the boxes of spray cans that he brought with him, the Yamagato rep insisted, quite firmly, that Caspian join the rest of the people on the red carpet and enter the gala properly. His supplies - at least a dozen cases of assorted colors of spray paint, were whisked away to the Gala after being inspected and his protests of 'I'm just putting on an art demo' and 'Really, I can walk.' were dutifully ignored. Caspian found himself giving his name to the driver and sitting in the backseat of one of the limos hauling people from the parking garage to the red carpet, his bag on the floor between his knees, wondering exactly what he signed up for.

Dressed comfortably for the weather in a slacks and shirt combo with a vest over it all, Caspian steps out of the limo, retrieving his bag from the gentleman opening the door, and looks up the red carpet. The flashes of the camera cause him to squint, and for a second he considers climbing back into the vehicle to escape, but when it drives off, leaving him there, his hand is kind of forced. Shouldering his bag, the strap across his chest, Caspian straightens his tie and looks a bit overwhelmed at the throng on either side of the red carpet.

As someone not really famous or well-known, his appearance on TV is brief. A simple image of him walking up the red carpet with his name, Caspian Dussault, and the title 'Local Artist' projected on the screen below as he pauses in front of the Yamagato background for a moment to wave before entering the Gala proper. His station, and some of his art, is in the Gallery, so that’s where he’s heading.

As one vehicle pulls up, the thing that stands out the most about it is the dull sounds of music much different and much louder any other that has come to a halt in front of the red carpet. Inside, Robyn Quinn stares out at the scene before her, eyes glazed over. She's not listening to the blaring music she's insisted on having in the limo - to calm her down, really - not anymore.

She wasn't expecting a media circus outside - but maybe she hadn't really considered what this gala was when she bought a ticket. She hadn't been to anything like this in years, but maybe a night out that didn't involve Add a Ball, Dirty Pool, or Cat's Cradle was exactly what she needed. So, as a screeching guitar note fades, she takes a deep breath and pushes open the door of the limo.

In true - if unintentional - Robyn Quinn fashion, she pushes open the door in time for the repetitive, distorted chords of the next song to start playing, and as she steps out and looks out at the crowd of other arrivals and reporters, a voice screams from the speakers in the limo door-

"I got a date with the night!"

Camera flashes sound off, overlapping with the opening notes of the song, and her hand raises up reflexively to cover her eyes.

"Putting out my fingerrrrr,"

She grits her teeth and grimaces as she waits for it to fade. Even with light filtering contacts, the bright flashes hurt her eyes, her head throbbing a bit in their wake.

"Gonna catch the kids drrrrrryyy,"

After a moment, it begins to fade, and she lowers her hand, moving it to grip the still open door. She had considered wearing a beautiful dress, black and patterned. But instead, she's opted to go the entire opposite direction, and Robyn Quinn wears a white tux instead, the vest and tie replaced with a white shirt accented by ruffles down the middle. A white hat resembling a modern cloche sits on her head, short black hair just barely peeking out from underneath it, and her black band-like eyepatch pulled over her eye. She almost had come with her vision unobstructed but - this was a public event, and this was her public persona.

"Gonna walk on wat-"

The door finally shuts behind her, Robyn offering a crowd a muted smile, the music inside the limo still muffled for a moment before the volume decreases dramatically. Gripping the strap on the small, matching white purse she'd gotten for tonight, she starts down the red carpet with a deliberate pace. She doesn't get far before one reporter moves up next to her, prompting her to stop as she blinks and regards the woman.

"That was quite the entrance, Ms. Quinn," the reporter remarks, and Robyn stares at her for a moment like a deer in headlights. She simply offers a smile in reply.

Oh boy… is the thought crossing Claire Bennet's mind as she is helped out of the limo by the Yamagato personnel on hand for just that purpose.

Tonight had been an impulse, with a touch of peer pressure mixed into it. She needed to stop being holed up… come have fun with us. Of course, the fact that she couldn't really get or stay drunk might be a factor. Instant designated driver.

Once she’s out of the car, the tiniest of Wolfhound’s members is left alone on the red carpet. Claire had neglected to find a date… or at least, she didn’t really look for one. She might not be planning to stick around too much if she can help it. There were an awful lot of people here.

However, uncomfortable she felt emotionally, Claire felt amazing physically. She could not remember the last time she allowed herself to dress up like this. To find something that might turn heads. And hopefully, the black number she is wearing may do that. The fabric is light, but clingy, making it look more form fitting then it really is. It compliments her curves, not covering them. In truth, she could truly move in it, if she had too. It only has one long sleeve, but it is the other side that made her want to wear it, a shiny metallic shoulder piece that gave the whole outfit a sort of warrior woman feel. Her normally unkempt locks have been tamed and pulled back from her face and disappears under a black and silver brooch-like clip. The only bit of color on the regenerator is the bright red of her lips, even her nails were painted black to match the dress.

Taking a deep breath, Claire makes her way down the red carpet, offering smiles… possibly stopping to pose every now and then, but any questions that might come her way are ignored. Let them talk to the real heroes and not this broken one.

Relief is painted across Colette’s face as she and her partners make it through the media gauntlet relatively unscathed. As they pass through the sliding doors of the lobby with their hydraulic hiss, Colette squeezes Tasha’s hand back in that same three-beat rhythm and looks up and around at the cathedralesque space they empty into. There's a gasp, small and reserved, followed by a furrow of her brows in simple disbelief at the architecture, the way the outer walls seem to be suspended in mid-air from the exterior of the building.

“It’s— ” Something makes Colette’s brows furrow, her lips purse and shoulders stiffen. A lambert glow spreads from her skin, subtle enough to be a trick of the light save for what her partners and close friends know of her. “Woah,” she exhales breathlessly, “the— the air here is… can you… can you see this?” Colette looks up at the ceiling, around and parts her lips in amazement. Whatever she sees bring tears to her eyes. “The colors.”

They can't see it, what the photoreactive gas looks like to her supernatural sight. She lacks the words to explain it, but the smile she manages is enough to reassure that whatever it is it's okay, even if it's something beyond explanation. Robyn can see it too, even from a distance, there are colors inside of the Yamagato Fellowship Center, and to her Colette isn't just in color, but radiant with shifting patterns of light like an aurora.

Swallowing down her amazement, chalking it all up to the spectacle Yamagato Industries had on display, Colette turns a thankful eye to Tamara and hooks one arm around the seer’s while her other hand stays at Tasha’s. But as Colette spots Claire Bennet, one of the Hounds at that very Operation, moving down the red carpet she waves from within the foyer in welcoming fashion.

“Let me introduce you two to one of my coworkers,” is something that in five years hasn't really ever happened save for Tamara’s presence in a Wolfhound operation in Galveston Texas. Letting her fellow Hounds meet her partners as her partners means letting them in to her personal life, and letting Tasha and Tamara into her professional life. It's something her therapist recommended.

Tasha’s dark gaze follows Colette’s upward, but she shakes her head, unsure of what she’s supposed to be seeing. Still, she smiles, and looks across Colette to Tamara, eyes flicking back to Colette, like check out this girl.

“You’re glowing, so it must be good,” she says softly, all but beaming at the joy she sees in Colette.

When she follows Colette’s eyes to Claire, she smiles — she knows who Claire is, of course, but hasn’t met her personally. “I’d like that,” she says, a little shyly. “She’s so pretty.

Elaine is situated just inside the entrance, greeting people as they enter. For her, this is mostly a work function so she’s doing just thatworking. She chats briefly with any foreign guests in their native languages, making sure that everyone’s made welcome. Greeting people also means she can have a scope on who comes through the doorbe it familiar faces or new faces to greet alike. She seems excited more than anything, her energy being up a little higher than usual.

She is dressed in a black gauzy gown, a red corsetted piece just below the bust. The dress is covered in embroidery dotted here and there. Red paper cranes, golden blossoms, tiny silver stars, they all line the gauzy fabric. It’s held up by thin black straps and a simple pair of red heels that matches the color red on the dress completes the outfit.

Stepping from a white limo is a nicely sized entourage of around ten assorted people. Most of them are various socialites who, for whatever reason, have taken to living in luxury on Staten Island, trying to build their own respective empires outside of the safe zone. There's also two armed Yamagato security personnel.

But soon the entourage splits up so that Alister Black can step from the limbo, escorting his young charge, Sibyl Black on his arm in her rather luxurious pink dress. Alister himself is wearing a white suit with a gold trim and some ridiculously dramatic gold epaulettes. Flowing down his back is a shiny silken red cape that flows around with even a slight movement, a cape tailored for drama. He wears incredibly fancy prince-like boots, black with gold and red trim, almost like vines. His entire outfit is clearly in the style of regalia.

As he leads his entourage down the red carpet with Sibyl, he stops to speak to a reporter.

The reporter asks, "Alister Black, the president of what you call the Staten Island Trade Commission, and Ferry war hero. What exactly are your plans tonight?"

No one should accuse him of slipping this reporter any cash ahead of time, or staging questions or anything like that.

Alister only acts in the best interests of society.

"Well, I'm glad you asked!" he releases Sibyl, not wanting to expose her to the camera or the reporter too much. "First, I wouldn't describe myself as a Ferry war hero. I was certainly aligned, but what man who would have the courage to do the right thing wouldn't align with the Ferry back then? But them, they're the real heroes, I barely knew how to fight at the time." he laughs a little, shaking his head with a large, toothy smile.

"As for why I'm here, well, I suppose I'll give you the exclusive on that." he runs two fingers over his mustache. "I'm here because I intend to announce my intention to institute a program that will feed the veterans of our dear city. Too much food goes wasted. I provide much to the Staten Island Market, but I simply have far too much stock of perishables, so with the help of some charity organizations, I'll provide regular shipments of perishable goods that would have gone to waste, and then no veteran in this city will go hungry for as long as I can help it."

The reporter nods, and takes on an impressed tone. "Wow, very generous."

"I'm only doing what any good man, any good leader would do. But stick around, this won't be my only charitable announcement tonight." With that, Alister turns and begins to walk in again, his entourage following.

Offering an askance look to Tasha, Colette manages something of a guilty smile. “So I may not have been totally fair on my description of my squadmates as the gang.” There's a mischievous look in her eyes, one that slowly begins to fade when she sees Alister coming up the red carpet and talking to reporters. Her grip on Tasha’s hand tightens and she swallows audibly, brows furrowed in resentment. It simmers, cools, then fades entirely.

“Maybe I should talk to the reporters,” Colette murmurs with a purse of her lips to the side. Undoubtedly before being directed to do exactly not that.

Sliding out of the limo Jonathan Smith is looking rather dapper tonight in his dark steel gray suit, white dress shirt, and tie of varying colors of mustard. He even broke up his fancy shoes and shined them up nicely. He feels a little weird being here, since he is pretty much just a teacher; but when Kay had invited him as her date he couldn’t say no to her. What kind of friend would he be after all? It might have also helped to hear about all the historical stuff that would be on display.

No doubt he would regale the kids in his class about tonight, a teacher always.

Straightening, he offers the employees a pleasant smile, “Thank you. That’s kind of you. I could have done that.” Open the door of the car that is. Who knows how many times they even got thank you when opening doors. Blue eyes widen behind the black frames of his glasses as he takes in the lines of reporters on each side. Well… She had warned him, but whoa.

He pushes his glasses a little further up his nose and tips his head back a little taking it all in the splendor. “Yamagato really knows how to throw a party,” he comments lightly to the man holding the limo door, with a touch of awe.

The man offers him an amused smile in return and motion the councilman to proceed, “Miss Damaris says she’ll be waiting for you inside, Mr. Smith.”

Jonathan’s brows go up a little, his mouth making an ‘o’ shape of surprise. “She is? Okay then… I better get going. Nice to meet you.” He raise a hand in farewell to the worker, who raises his in return… uncertain if he even should, but feeling weird if he doesn’t.

Making his way up the carpet, Jonathan hears he name called this way and that, he is after all a founding councilmember of the Safe Zone. However, he doesn’t engage the reporters, but offers them cheerful greetings. “Sorry, no time to dilly-dally, I have to meet my date. Next time maybe.” There is no stopping with grin on the guy’s face, he’s a little giddy at the attention.

His path takes him past Claire Bennet who has managed to spot Colette waving at her. Changing directions, she approached her co-worker and her dates, “Hey,” she look at little nervous and excited all in one. She offers a soft hello and a nod to the other ladies, before addressing Colette directly. “I can’t believe this place.” Then the regenerator finally gives the other woman a scrutinizing look. “Okay… I’m going to risk an HR wrist slap here, but whoa I’m use to seeing you… not like this.”

Claire takes a moment to glance around her, as if searching, “Have you seen the others? Now I want to see what they are wearing, cause… Wow.”

It’s is obvious she is impressed with the transformation. “Seriously, I’m impressed.” Then eyes narrow a little, looking at the women with her, “Clearly she didn’t pick this… which one of you was it?” She offers a hand to first one and then the other, “I’m Claire, by the way.” This is probably the most Claire has said to Colette or around her in any one setting.

Tamara glances towards Colette at her amazement, and shakes her head, sharing a smile past her with Tasha. Colette may be eyeing Alister and the reporters, but Tamara resolutely keeps their arms linked, guiding the white-garbed woman around to refocus her attention on Claire. "Don't mind all that," she says to Colette, and "Hello again," to Claire, giving the other Hound a cheerful smile and shaking the offered hand. They've met three times before, in fact — but none of them under casual circumstances.

Not that this is precisely casual, either.

That smile broadens as Claire compliments the dress, which is an implicit answer all on its own. Tamara makes no explicit one, amicably removed from the marveling over atmosphere and adornments. The seer's gaze skips past their little group to the various others milling about the lobby, her expression contemplative.

At the far end of the red carpet, yet another limo pulls in. Its sole passenger steps out to a flurry of camera flashes, a surfeit of attention that Hana Gitelman meets with a thin, purely social smile — the form absent of any warmth. She wears a crimson velvet cross-top dress with the extra sash wrapped around and tied off at the waist, ankle-length skirt slit to the thigh. Gold tassel earrings under loose dark hair, black purse, black dress boots, and deceptively subtle makeup complete the look — one that at both first and second glance seems antithetical to the major's typical preferences.

As she makes her way down the red carpet, Wolfhound's commander checks her habitual stride only slightly on account of the dress and heels. She has no desire to remain in the newsies' sphere any longer than strictly necessary, a fact made abundantly clear by her demeanor. Alister mugging for the cameras up ahead elicits a dark look from Hana, but the man and his entourage recede into the lobby ahead of her, which spares her the struggle of keeping her mouth shut — for a little longer, at least.

It's not worth the fallout, says a voice only she can hear; the acknowledgment Hana returns is equally soundless.

The reporters are not, given the rare showing of Gitelman herself at a public event… but most have long since learned, or been warned, that the woman is about as amenable to questions as a brick wall might be. On another day, some might try to break that mien, try to startle out a useable soundbite or two. Faced with the prospect of Gitelman on one side and Yamagato on the other… they settle for excited murmurs amongst themselves, and as many pictures as they can get.

As another limousine pulls up, two gala attendants bring a folding wheelchair over and open it up, getting it ready for the new arrivals. The first to emerge from the limo is a young blonde woman in a black cocktail dress with a clutch held in one hand, the other steadying her on the door as she navigates the distance between curb and carpet. Juliette Fournier-Raith had been at once dreading and anticipating this night for weeks. Once she's out of the limo, she looks back inside and says reassuringly, “it'll be fine, come on.”

The second person out is a reluctant Sasha Kozlow, his hand in Julie’s as she levers him up and out of the limousine, but it isn't either whom the wheelchair is for. Once Sasha is out, she smooths a wrinkle on his sleeve and notes, “You look marvelous.” But then she's bending down to take the hand of a third person inside of the limo. Another woman.

Hesitantly, a teenage girl with messy blonde hair tied up in what manages to be an elegant bun takes noticeable effort to get out of the limo. She squints against the limelight of the red carpet, the neutral gray of her dress accented by a stylish bow in the back. She is dangerously thin, ghostly pale, and quick to move a pair of black-framed aviator sunglasses over her eyes before she's escorted over to the wheelchair.

“And you look lovely too, Emily.” Julie’s reassurance is met with an uncertain look as her cousin Emily Epstein settles down into the wheelchair. The resemblance between them is unmistakably familial. Emily, insistently, pushes her own wheelchair as the trio moves down the red carpet.

At the media gauntlet, Julie is recognized used from her confessions at both the Albany Trials and the excruciating video of the Cambridge Massacre of 2011. But she doesn't avoid the reporters, instead she addresses them head-on to deflect some measure of attention away from Sasha.

“Julie! Julie, is it difficult to be here tonight knowing that exonerated Institute researcher Bella Sheridan is on the guest list?” The reporter’s question catches her off guard, and Julie tenses.

“I didn't know her well,” is a lie Julie admits for the camera. “I'm just glad to see that justice was served at the trials and am looking forward to moving on with my life.” Her raised hand implies no more questions, and Emily throws up the horns in appreciation of Julie’s swift handling of that.ef

Let the record show: Sasha is doing this for Logan, not the waifish blonde on his arm. One hand hovers above the small of Julie Fournier’s back, while the other shields his face from the cameras with splayed fingers. The burgundy-coloured suit with silky black lapels that he wears is a little tighter than the Russian probably prefers, which means that it wasn’t sourced from his own closet. Anyone with even passing knowledge about the company he keeps does not need more than one guess to determine its origin.

He declines to answer the inevitable questions. Do you have any comment about your time with Kazimir Volken’s Vanguard? If you’re reformed, why refuse to to be interviewed for the New York Times #1 Bestseller: The Wolves of Valhalla? What can you tell us about Operation Apollo?

Even if he wanted to address the reporters swarming the red carpet, he’d have a difficult time singling out individual queries amidst the bright flashes and shutter clicks, which have him curling his lip and showing teeth like a newly-unveiled exotic at the zoo.

There’s a catch of breath before the limo opens, she came alone. The nerves tightening in her stomach as she looks up through the partition at the driver who gives her a hurry along look, Lucille is wide eyed.

For a woman who was formerly a model and has walked runways and in far less than her current ensemble, Lucille is nervous. There will be friends here, coworkers, family.. not everyone knew yet of what had occurred for her. Tonight was as good a night as any to come up out of the dark. Forming her lips into a thin line, the auburn haired woman nods to herself and opens up the door of the limo being given a hand to rise, the leg that shows is quickly covered by a silvery glittering material, it looked like she was wearing diamonds.

Her hair was tousled and flared in the wind made from her exit of the vehicle, pale blue eyes survey the red carpet and she has a sheepish look on her face before she mentally kicks herself and stands straight. That look on her face was rehearsed over and over and over again. Pose, pose, pose. Luce oddly felt comfort of the flashing lights and people yelling out for her to look this way and that way, a Hound? There were plenty tonight. The sides were cut out of the dress, backing it backless save the material in the front keeping her modesty, it had skinny sparkling straps that laid over her shoulders, bare shoulders. No gloves up to her elbows, there's a shiver up her spine and she narrows her eyes as she cocks her head to the side and give a little twirl in with a laugh, hand clapping to her mouth covering the nude lipstick she grins behind it.

Silver heels click once she's off the carpet, no questions. Just smiles and photos. She almost goes for Colette immediately but then there's the Major, a fellow lone guest and so she walks over. “Hi Major.” Her tone more nervous than usual, Lucille hasn't shown skin in years. Not like this. Luce grins at her commander. “You look stunning.” She's always been in awe of the woman.

Whatever Lynette was expecting for this event, it's clear that a red carpet and reporters were not it. The first shots of her look a little wide-eyed, as it takes her a few moments to find her bearings. She's not been seen, not in this way, since the Trials, but her face is recognizable all the same. Tomorrow, she'll probably see the old photos from Cambridge making the rounds again.

But for now, she reaches for Mateo's hand and reminds herself to smile.

She wears a gold, slinky dress that catches the light, especially with all those cameras going off. The neck is a low v, low enough to get some attention. And somehow, she seems to end up blocking her husband's face from the cameras. It's a talent. Or maybe he's shy. The reporters get warm smiles, friendly waves, capturable poses. No actual answers, though. Her aim is for the doors, but she does her best to hide the fact that she would rather rush inside.

Mateo had no idea this whole thing would be such a big deal. When they get ushered into a limo he's all 'what seriously?' but he doesn't mind being introduced as Lynette Rowan's husband. He's fine with being eye candy— until he realizes that there's cameras and reporters and—

You know what, he's suddenly glad that his wife is actually taller than him if she wears really high heels, so he half hides behind her as they hurry past the cameras. Thankfully, the reporters are busy on another guest at the moment, so they slink by without getting caught too much. Even then, one reporter does see her and pulls away from the camera with a recording device and going, "Mrs. Lynette Rowan! Just one question!" but the interruption came too late and they had been told not to hound the guests— so they are able to slip inside.

"I didn't realize it was going to be this big a …" he trails off at the sight of— well— the entrance hall. "…we should have brought Silvia." He's starting to regret not bringing the teenager. This would have been a sight to see for her.

As soon as they got close to the Yamagato grounds, Kaylee could feel the increasing hum of minds, like a swarm of bees. This was probably one of the things she hated the most about her ability. Even though she strengthens the walls between her and the rest of the world, the hum envelopes her and surrounds her as she takes Joseph’s hand and gracefully exits the limo to the loud sounds of the crowd and the brilliant flashes of bulbs around them.

Two well-known Ferrymen have arrive and the reporters are ecstatic. Their part and the story of it are, unfortunatly, well-known. The fact that one of them is part owner in one of the rising stars of the tech world, only adds fuel to the fire.

She stands there for only a moment, showing off the lovely deep red, velvet dress she is wearing for reporters to take pictures of. The weight of the fabric allows it to flow over her form, accentuating her curves, before it pools around her feet. Compared to some of the dresses, it is fairly modest; though the front does split to show a bit of cleavage. Black beadwork crosses over her waist and outlines the diamond shaped opening that wraps around her back. Her long blonde tresses have be curled artfully and are swept over one shoulder to fall in a cascade of curls.

Kaylee offers the reporters a brilliant smile. Really. She’s happy to be here. See?

Luckily, as her brother often states Kaylee Ray-Sumter is a people person, even if she often has to fake it. Tonight, will probably be one of those nights. “Time to face the media, my love” Kaylee murmurs aside to her husband. As she slips an arm through his, her simple wedding band of gold glinting in the flash of lights when it comes to rest on his arm. She looks resigned to the fact that this was their lot at social function, since it really isn’t their first rodeo with reporters. The trials were just as bad. “What weird and fanciful tabloid smut will they ask today?”

Kaylee offers Joseph a slightly mischievous smile as she give him a gentle nudge forward. The sooner they get down the red carpet the better. Posing for the cameras when her name is called, Kaylee has nothing but her best smile for them all; only those closest to her know the anxiety that bubbles below the surface. She probably wouldn’t be here if she wasn’t doing this as a business thing… okay… a little personal in how she gets an evening with Joseph, but without the kids.

Joseph will never not find spectacles like these more than a little disquieting, a little philosophically obscene, and a whole lot necessary. He's had since they booked their tickets to get over himself, because letting his nerves get the better of him wouldn't help anyone any, and certainly not his wife. Who, he reminds himself, is a vision on the red carpet, with her hand tucked into his elbow. Put it in perspective, Sumter.

He covers her hand with his, leading her along rather than waiting to trail behind. He's dressed sharply, all classic black tie with colour in the form of a pocketsquare that matches Kaylee's dress.

"Whatever you want 'em to," he suggests. Sly humour. He smiles at a nearby journalist, not all the way managing not to look very uncomfortable. "Wanna make a beeline or feed the wolves?"

“So good to finally meet you,” Tasha says to Claire, reaching out to take the other young woman’s hand. She grins a little at the compliment to Colette, and says, “See?” in a way that suggests Colette wasn’t all too sure about the dress. “It was definitely a joint effort,” Tasha says, with a smirk in Tamara’s direction.

“Oh, wow, there’s Hana,” she murmurs a little breathlessly — she doesn’t have to call Gitelman Major after all. “It’s so weird to see us all dressed up like this, isn’t it?” For Colette, her coworkers, for the rest of them, their allies and fellow survivors.

Her hand tightens on Colette’s. “No talking to the media. Just picture my father scowling at you every time the urge strikes, Cole.” That should deter the desire. “Like Sam the Eagle.”

When the next limo pulls up, the lean figure known only to some as Rex Kallis steps out in a well-cut, stylish tuxedo. A little flair has been added via a paisley vest and tie in shades of teal and blue. He steps onto the red carpet and smiles for the cameras, despite the fact no one is clamoring for his poses or attention.

There was probably a time when John Logan had this exact fantasy — stepping out onto a red carpet, cameras flashing, his name occasionally interspersed amongst shouted questions, with a redheaded coked up Russian girl on his arm, his own blood running warm and euphoric. In practice, he can't help but bristle, a little, at this kind of attention, even if he hardly ranks amongst the bigger names currently strutting their way into the building. He isn't known for heroism, or even his less official sordid reputation — he's known, mostly, as a victim with a testimony, and interesting friends.

Which isn't nearly so glamourous, but he draws some focus anyway in a blazer of slightly gruesome floral print over Egyptian blue, a metallic sheen that catches the light, dressed otherwise in black and silver.

Arm bent, he leads Tania Kozlow along on a sauntering but direct route towards the entryway, uncaring about what tabloids may or may not choose to make of that. Rather than pay attention to the press on the sidelines, to the occasional errant question tossed his way, or to where Sasha is making his way through this particular gauntlet, Logan's gaze darts around for a specific vision in, he was promised, crimson. Just as he finds what he's looking for, however, one question finally registers on his radar: who are you wearing? Tania will feel him pivot like a sudden tug on a fishing line.

"Louis Vuitton," he is very quick to supply. "Fall collection, so you'll have to forgive me — or blame the fucking weather." Maybe this isn't so bad.

Tania Kozlow is not one of those people getting their name called. Her part in the trials was small. Footnoted, not highlighted. The very diligent might realize later. When they aren't distracted by the man next to her. If that moment ever comes to pass. Her red hair and pale skin are a shock against the fabric of her black gown. The cut is asymmetrical, one shoulder bared while the other is sleeved. It's long, elegant and has hand-beaded embellishments around the hem and up over her shoulder.

And there's a smile. A smile like she is just having the best day. It makes for a good picture, at least, for whatever those tabloids may choose to do with it. She doesn't mind the sauntering pace or the camera flashes. Or the shouting. Or the chill in the air. She doesn't even seem to mind being something of a backdrop for Logan's more eye-catching choice of attire.

When he pivots, she's taken with him by virtue of her arm being through his. And when the question registers, the moment gets a soft laugh that probably only he can hear. And certainly only he can hear the teasing bent to the sound. Perhaps it's for his answer. But more likely, it's for his attachment to his wardrobe.

Tamara presses a fleeting kiss against Colette's cheek, then snags Claire's arm and links it through the brunette's in place of her own. "Keep her out of the lights," is directed equally to Tasha and Claire, along with a pointed glance meant solely for Colette. Brushing fingers across the line of Tasha's shoulders as she passes by, Tamara folds herself into the milling crowd, leaving the others to marvel over atmosphere, adornments, and new arrivals to their collective heart's content.

She'll circle back around later.

Hana takes in the panoply of attendees without being overly obvious about it, casually scanning the lobby as she enters. It's no longer a surprise, these days, how many of them she recognizes; the world Hana Gitelman lives in has changed. There are very few in evidence that she's interested in approaching, however. At least the first to approach her is not only familiar, but welcome.

"Lucille," she greets in turn, smiling in a way that Wolfhound never sees. It goes with the dress. "Thank you." Hana makes a point of visibly scanning over the former model's attire, though really she took most of it in at first glance. "So do you. Enjoying the chance to dress up?" Not that she actually needs to ask.

There's a cough and the sound of someone patting their chest with an open palm, “These things dry me out but, oooooo.” Eve looks over at her date as she removes the vape pen from her lips, very faint traces of smoke flow from her nostrils. The rush of the hits she had been taken since they got in the limo washing over her. She fidgets and tries to rearrange the thin white stripes of material of her dress over the cast that encases her broken leg. The dress is a white corset piece with tan pieces on the sides, it's whimsical and gothic. It's Eve and the silver vambrace she wears on her elbows are also so Eve.

There are bruises and scabs along her arms and shoulders. Ornate pieces of fabric cover over most of the things. Fuck. She couldn't stay away from a PARTY though, what what. “Woooooot.” She says.

You want some?” Extending it over.

“No, thank you. I’m trying to stop,” Gillian responds with a small laugh, even if, well, she hasn’t actually started vaping to stop. She had smoked a long time ago, and occasionally still did when her friend passed her a joint, but it had been more out of politeness than anything else. She used to do those things more often, but now… now she seemed to think she needed to keep a clear head and stuff. Her dress, a reddish orange, does not go over her shoulders, and will indeed be cold on the walk up the red carpet, but she doesn’t even bring a wrap. One doesn’t wear these kinds of dresses to cover them up, after all.

The dress had cost more than her ticket.

And she didn’t even have a date to bring— just an extra ticket, which she’d given to Eve when the woman came to her with a broken leg. “But you go ahead, I’m sure helps with the pain.”

The limo pulls over, the driver coming around to get the wheelchair that had been put in the trunk set up and open the door, helping Eve out first so that she can get in it. “At least you’ll get first spot at the food table with this,” she jokes, stepping out once Eve is safely in her chair and waving off the assistance and beginning to wheel her down the red carpet, where reporters are waiting. And they can’t move fast enough to get away with no questions.

An “Oof!” Followed by, “Ow ow ow owwwww!”

And Eve is in the wheelchair, it's custom.. already. There are a few toy skulls glued on to the under part of the handles, eyes were those of flames. A license plate reading HBIC dangled in chains behind it. She quickly shoves the vape pen in her bra, fluffing the material of her dress to hide it. There's a flurry of activity as the pair come to the red carpet, flashing lights, questions being screamed at them.

“Ms. Mas! Ms. Mas! What happened to you?!?” A sound of shock from a nearby reporter with glasses.

“I fell down a well!” There's a cackle of laughter.

“Is that a metaphor, Ms Mas??” The reporter asks, trying to hold back his laughter, before Gillian gives him a look that makes him change his question to, “Ms Childs! When will you be writing your next book? Do you have a new love in your life to inspire a new story??”

This does not help Gillian’s glare, as she responds simply, “I have a book in progress, yes.” But she does not answer the second question as she begins wheeling Eve further past the reporters as they snap more pictures and ask for her to pose. Someone even asks ‘Are you two on a date!?’

“Your mom.” Is the quick reply before the question is changed and she claps her hands as she gives a wink over to the reporter asking about a date. “Maybe it's in the book! Who knowsssss Derek darling,” Eve barks out more laughter as she waves and blows kisses from the seat of her wheelchair with Gillian at her back pushing her along. As a true best friend would.

“Ms. Mas! Ho-” The reporter is cut off by Eve’s waving of her hands, “Every Thursday and that is a very personal question Cynthia Rhodes.”

Another wink and wave and Eve and Gillian are nearing the entrance. “Catch me inside Sister!” Is yelled in the direction of her Sister Seer Tamara as they trail inside.

Lucille’s smile widens at the sight of Hana’s. It's a sight to see the strong woman in this sort of setting, she aced it in Lucille’s opinion. With a nod and a ruffle of the back of her hair, “Very much so, the lack of needing gloves is.. still something to get used too. And to celebrate.” Notably, the scar on the side of her neck she's sported for the past six years is completely gone.

She does a small dip of the knee to spread the dress out a bit, she is enjoying herself and this mood is one that hasn't been let out in a very long time, she's breathing so easily. Lu’s eye catch Colette and the others again, noting Tamara’s leaving. She makes a note to have a word with her later.

“Should we say hi to the guys?” Lucille begins to make her way over with a look back towards her boss and mentor.

By now, the councilman has made it past all the reporters and into the gathering crowds. Tasha gets a wave and a thumbs up for her appearance, but he doesn’t interrupt her conversation. He is like a kid who has walked into a giant toy store for the first time. There is so much going on around him, that for a moment, he forgets that he is supposed to be rendezvousing with Kay. “Very Star Wars…” Jonathan murmurs under his breath watching the three dimensional displays. His gazes drops to his surroundings as someone pushes past. “Oh! Sorry… Sorry. Pardon me,” he calls after the person politely. He is amused by all of this, even if he feels uncomfortable.

His wandering gaze is rewarded by the sight of the Gallery entrance. “What do we have here….” and with that Jonathan follows the river of people in to oogle the displays. “Ooo!” escapes the man as he spots the first bits of art coming into view.

Claire hears Tasha mention Hana and she has to turn and look. “Oh… my god,” she whispers out in complete surprise. “That is the Major?” She sidelines a glance to Colette to see if she is seeing this. Lowering her voice to a conspiring whisper, she adds, “Maybe we should sneak a picture…” Evidence… She might even send it to her dad, too.

There is a touch of surprise as her arm is suddenly taken by Tamara and threaded through Colette’s own. Wait what?! Looking down at the arm and back up at her co-worker, Claire looks all the world amused, red lips pulling up to one side.

Crossing the carpet, Kaylee seems to consider Joseph’s question, his answer comes as reporters seem to stop really calling to them. His wife might be acting a little wickedly with a little light Jedi mind trick. “I think, tonight… I want to enjoy this,” she comments softly, giving him a look that conveys her feelings about him, without the use of any telepathy. “I don’t want a stupid question to ruin the mood.” Hugging his arm against her side a little, she conveys the desire to just enjoy the two of them in that moment. “However, I might show you off a little,” she adds with a little lift of her chin.

Manicured nails move to lightly brush at his lapel, the act brings Kaylee close enough to whisper a soft, “You look amazing tonight.” She may or may not have conveyed through non-verbal channels as to what she would like to do with suit later, possibly, to catch him a little off-guard as the move past the reporters.

Maybe it is all of the humming around her, maybe it is her ability tittering happily about all the possible things it could do to those minds… Kaylee was feeling a little giddy.

This is when she catches sight of Colette, or maybe she hears the hum of the other woman’s mind, she gives his arm a tug and nods to draw his eyes. “Look how beautiful Colette looks.” Though she doesn’t approach the friend she had recently connected with since she is surrounded, but, Kaylee does wiggle fingers her direction in hello.

Perhaps it was the combined plotting of both her partners that put Colette in a dress so white that it highlights even the slightest color to her cheeks. The flush of red now is far more noticeable, arm in arm with Claire and Tasha at her side. It's the spotlight, the focus and the spectacle of it all. She glances at Claire, brows furrowed, and blind eyes askance.

“S— so. Claire uh, she's— ” Tamara’s “Uh… Major!” Colette calls as she turns, said in all the tone of I need an extraction. It isn't until she really sees Hana that Colette does a double-take. Hearing reporters call her name is one thing, seeing her in an elegant dress and striding confidently among the crowd merely steals her voice away.

Brows furrowed, posture squared, Colette looks over at Tasha with momentary disbelief, then Claire for confirmation that all three of them are witness to this. There are so many familiar faces that it's become a whirlwind of recollection, a weirdly juxtaposed cross-section of personal and professional life jumbled together. “Nevermind,” Colette says to herself, eyes cast aside and an awkward smile spread across her lips. Her hand at Tasha’s squeezes tighter, and she eyes Claire a moment after.

How the hell are you here without a date, Bennet.” There's no pretenses of working professionalism anymore. This isn't on the clock Colette, this is someone Claire hasn't ever really met before. “Lucy!”Comes right at the end, Colette’s, cheerful greeting to Lucille.

Then with eyes to Lucille’s neck, noticing the missing scar, Colette looks momentarily dumbfounded. She looks at Claire, either accusingly or perhaps to confirm she notices the detail too.

Alister's entourage heads inside, but once he hears Major called, he walks right back out to take a look at Colette and Hana, then starts to walk back out, smiling wide, raising his hands. "Hana Gitelman, my old friend! It's been a long time. Enjoyment is an interesting look for you." He carefully turns around once, allowing his cape to do an elegant little sway. "As you can see, I came prepared for a gala. I hope you like my cape, it's silk. Well, it's not just silk, but we won't get into the particulars." he states in the most haughty tone he can possibly muster.

It takes a moment for Robyn to find words again, not bothering to look at the others who pass her by. In another life, this moment - the red carpet, reporters asking her questions, the glamour of it all - would've been everything she wanted in life. Right now, it's a little overwhelming.

"Y-Yes. I guess it was," she finally answers, watching as Claire and several others pass by her with a furrowed brow. "I'm sorry, I-"

"Word is you have some new music coming through the airwaves, playing irregularly on WSZR. Is it true that you're working on new material?" The reporter asks, catching Robyn entirely off guard as she stares at her. It's a brazen question, but not one that's unsurprising. Jolene had been playing the music that she had left with her, after all.

"N-no." She forces a smile and a small laugh. She's had enough time to compose herself, putting on her game face as her posture straightens, and looks to the woman with a bright expression. "WSZR has been gifted some music that never made it to proper release. I appreciate the interest, but with my line of work, I'm afraid it's not in the cards."

"Your line of work? SESA, right? What led you to shed the life of a freedom fighter and musician to work for such a organisation?" The woman question ends with her offering a mic towards Robyn, who offers a little chuckle.

"I live to help others," is a quick and succinct answer. "I must be off," she remarks abruptly, and as the reporter opens her mouth to protest, Robyn offers a cheshire-esque smile, dipping her head slightly. "Au revoir!" And with that, she turns away, wasting no time making her way for the door and not stopping for anyone else who may try to speak to her along the way. But when she steps into the Yamagato Fellowship properly, momentarily blinded from the shift into brighter light-

She stops, someone having to push past her as she looks into the grand entrance lobby, entranced by the impossible. Even from outside here, she can see, and her feet seem to move on their own as they draw her in through the doors, a few steps in.

She exhales a short breath, the air stolen from her lungs as she process the fact - after blinking several times to make sure that she isn't seeing things - that the decorations, the people, their clothes, displays, curtains, even the very lights…

It's all in colour. And it leaves her stunned in place, mouth slightly agape. Her eyes scan around the the room, as if desperately searching for some sort of confirmation and she is, in fact, crazy, or that there is something behind this.

Instead she spots Colette, brighter - literally and figuratively - than Robyn has ever seen her before. And about then she remembers to breathe, choking a cough as she finally takes a breath. Her eye lingers, unable to pull herself away from what - for her - is an incredible sight. Swallowing, she turns on her heels, and walks.

Towards Colette and her entourage this time, rather than away like she normally would. If nothing else, it's been quite some time since she said anything to one member of that group.

"Bonjour, Ladies," is the only warning they get of her approach.

The hustle and bustle of the entrance gains Gillian’s eyes as she pushes on the wheelchair, her purse and belongings left in Eve’s hands for the moment. She looks around as they enter, but pays close attention not to accidentally wheel her into anyone, or over any draping dresses. Or… capes.

She pauses and tilts her head at the mustached gentleman in the cape who looks familiar. They had only met the once, and she doesn’t place him, but she feels as if she knows him, as if she’s seen him before— but the way he’s flourishing around, she imagines he’s one of the big names from the past. Did someone say a Ferry Hero? That would explain it… She spots other people she recognizes, eyes stopping on Hana and a few other people, until someone runs into her from the side.

“Oh sorry,” she says, before she starts to wheel the pimped out wheelchair out of the way and toward the Gallery, where she hopes there will be paintings and other interesting things to keep them both occupied. “You have my phone handy, Eve?” Cause she feels like she might want to take some pictures, or text her daughter during this.

Reaching down into her bra, Eve looks up and back at Gilly as they move through the crowd as she pulls out said phone. “Yea I'm keeping it nice and warm don't you worry. Ooh paintings!” Eve sees Claire But this is a festive event and she doesn't want to be a downer but she has to see that woman.

Hana is given a wiggle of fingers and a pointing to her case, “Can you believe it? Twins!” Eve snickers as they roll through the place to the gallery.

“Do you think they have chicken wings here? I'm hungry.”

Her stomach rumbles.

There's a pause and then Lucille is leaning forward to press both hands on either side of Colette and Claire’s bare skin. There's a prickle of tears in the woman’s eyes and she laughs a little before hugging the two close to her. “I don't know what's going on but it's gone and look I'm touching you guys,” She seems overcome with emotion at seeing her two friends at this moment.

Tasha gets a sheepish look, “Hey girl, sorry,” sniff, “Miracles all around.” She says quietly with a light grin wiping at her eyes.

Robyn gets a wide smile tonight in fact, Lucille is positively beaming.

Tonight is half fun, half work for some people. One such person is Monica Dawson. She steps out of a limo wearing a black three-piece suit with a bolero-style jacket. The lapels are decorated with floral embroidery in blood red that echoes the color on the soles of her heels. They're high enough that people can see the splash of red. Her hair is done up in a maze of twists climbing around the crown of her head. It's elaborate and likely the compliments of many a Youtube Beauty Expert. Cheers, BeautyTube. Cameras flash and she turns to watch her date climb out of the limo behind her.

Once they're both carpet-ready, she nods him toward the entrance with a grin. He's gorgeous enough that the next day's news might kick up a recruiting line for SESA and Monica does not mind being photographed with him as they make their way along. At least until she's stopped by the reporters. Her history with New York's various freedom fighters is a well known one by now. As well as her title with the Yamagato Fellowship.

"Ms. Dawson! This way!"

That's the one she picks, mostly because they're close, and she apologizes to Cesar before she steps over.

"Hi," she says to the reporter and camera operator with a smile, "good to see you."

"Ms. Dawson! What are you most excited for your guests to see tonight?"

"That's easy. You need to check out the Takezo Kensei collection. Armor, katana, the whole nine. Definitely worth your time!"

"Monica!" Someone else calls her name and she looks that direction.

"Who's your date?"

Monica laughs at this question and turns to look for Cesar to gesture him closer. "This is Agent Cesar Diaz, with SESA," she says before she nods his attention toward the camera, "Cesar, this is everyone."

The line gets a laugh from the reporter, although it is followed by an expectant look in Cesar's direction.

The question gets a bit of laughter from Claire, should she tell the truth? Might as well. “I just… didn’t think about it,” she offers with a slightly shrug of one shoulder. She doesn’t seem like she is too upset about coming to the gala single. “Not all of us need a date to have fun, Demsky,” she quips pointed, giving the woman’s arm a pat and then gently extracting her own arm.

With that she turns her attention back to Lucille and Hana. She lifts her hand in greeting to the others reluctantly. Robyn showing up, Claire gives her a smile. THen she is getting hugged by Lucille, her whole body going stiff briefly; until she realizes what the other woman is saying. “W-what?” she asks dumbfounded. He glances at Colette out of the corner of her eye with concern. What was going on?

“Ah, yes, well enjoy yourself at the party,” Elaine says politely as a couple slips off in front of her. She takes a moment to survey the entrance. There are a lot of figures, some familiar and some she thinks she knows by name and appearance alone, but for the most part nothing draws her to speak. Most of them are busy, as she is, and she doesn’t care to interrupt. Slipping slowly through the crowd, she moves to make her way elsewhere, prepared to carry on potential translating duties there.

Hana smiles again as the younger woman shows off her dress, then shakes her head minutely at the suggestion, waving a hand expansively. "You spend every day under my eye," she points out. "Go have fun." That, however, is followed up with a more narrow-eyed glance. "Politely."

She is on Amarok, after all.

As Lucille moves towards the others, Colette calls out, drawing Hana's attention back that way — but any response she might have made is forestalled by the encroachment of none other than Alister Black into her vicinity. Well, that was inevitable. "Black," the woman greets in return, cooler by far; the smile she gives is thin and edged, and her hands remain by her sides.

There are many things Hana could say, beginning with correcting his misconception. There are very few she cares to say. "I'm not much of a connoisseur of fashion," she replies, sidestepping the giving of any opinion whatsoever.

"I heard something of your little announcement earlier," Hana continues, stepping in towards Alister. "It sounds very — altruistic." On the surface, the words are pleasant, velvet veiling steel. "It's a good change for you," she adds, continuing past.

The statement falls well short of any actual approval.

"Stick to that," is cast over her shoulder as Hana sets off through the gathering and towards the garden; not even when speaking does she look back towards him, never mind after.

When Lucille joins them, Tasha smiles widely at another fellow survivor; both of them had barely survived that night on Pollepel so long ago. “Good to see you, Lucille,” she says, less aware of why she can touch her friends is something new, but Tasha doesn’t ask for clarification. She catches Jonathan’s wave, as well, and returns it with a bright smile for her kind fellow councilmember.

Then Robyn strides forward with her cheery bonjour and Tasha grins, reaching for the other woman’s hand to squeeze. “I feel a little like I’m at one of your work parties instead of you all being in my neck of the woods,” she says, glancing at the various Wolfhounds around her. “I’m glad you all were able to come hang with us, though,” she says, as if it’s a Safe Zone party rather than a Yamagato party.

As Eve rolls by, Rex laughs, “Hey, girrrl,” he calls teasingly, as he moves to the side, simply to watch the comings and goings of the beautiful people in limousines. His eyes dart from person to person, smirking a bit at the red-headed woman he’d said he wanted to dress as a Barbie once, and clicking his tongue at the floral jacket of one John Logan.

Clambering out of the limo after Monica is Cesar, the man blinking at the sudden potentially seizure inducing flashes of cameras and lights and colors in the photoreactive air. "Coño," he utters under his breath out of surprise at the spectacle of it all. Monica had tried to prep him, but it's really nothing like the annual police ball.

He finds himself playing the escort, and beside Monica the two form a pair to see. Cesar's suit is a pop of bright red, the silk brocade, double-breasted jacket bearing a subtle pattern with geometric blue and grey shapes. The white shirt is impeccably pressed, fitted, and offers a brief respite from the red. And topping it off, a neatly clipped, dapper, black bow-tie.

As they make their way down, Cesar hangs back at a discreet but companionable distance as Monica turns to answer various reporters' questions. When he catches the question of 'who's your date?' aimed in their direction, he straightens and flashes an easy smile for the cameras, stepping those few paces to close the distance. "Hello everyone," he speaks right into the microphone. But then, before any other questions are able to be asked, he hooks Monica around an elbow and declares teasingly, "I gotta pee!" and tugs her away, aiming them towards the very gallery holding Takezo Kensei's prized collection.

The next black limo to roll up to the red carpet area, doors opened by Yamagato staff, admits one Marlowe Terrell out into the entrance of the gauntlet of reporters and bystanders, of gala attendees and the like. She's come alone like some, but she doesn't look uncomfortable as she steps out with a slink of an open toe heel, followed by the other. The drape of a deep cerulean blue satin gown frames her body in a slinky, waterfall-like cascade, the plunging neckline both elegant and yet a touch revealing. The curling waves of her light-brown highlighted hair flow down to frame her smiling face as she regards the crowd.

But what Marlowe has brought with her to the gala is not a plus-one but plus-two, as she opens up her purse to release a pair of pocket-sized locally controlled drones that unfold and fly up above the fray. Small, bright LEDs spotlight faces of others as the drones flit about, likely streaming footage of the event at various angles into a dedicated database. The controls happen to be disguised as Marlowe's bling, a bright golden bracer clasped around her left wrist. "Say hey to AH and UN," she tells those who notice the zipping machines that follow her as she steps down the carpet, weaving her way around the gathered groups of celebrities. Every group still on the gala carpet gets a visit, seconds spent before the pocket drones return to base.

«Miss Marlowe, your friends are delightful.» Chimes out of one of the nearly invisible external speakers. Followed by a digital chirp. «My apologies, I'm not supposed to be outside.»

Few would recognize Jiba’s voice outside of Yamagato personnel, and one of the security officers speaks into his wrist. “Mr. Otomo, can you tighten the leash please?” An eye cast to the speaker, then back to the crowd. “Thank you, sir.” Jiba will have to find entertainment elsewhere.

Beneath the incandescent lamps of the foyer, Colette has managed to get her own inner light under control under exposure to the building’s gases. She studies Hana’s dismissal of Alister and the tension and visible discomfort in her appearance melts away. It's here that Tasha sees Colette take on an immediate affectation of Hana, in a way she tenses her brows and steadied her jaw simply ignoring the caped man.

Instead she slips over to Robyn and nearly embraces her, but then hesitates and offers a polite smile instead. It's an awkward almost-hug followed by a step back. “Hey, ah— God there's so many people here.” Reaching up a hand to thread a lock of hair behind one ear, Colette eyes the bar across the lobby and offers a raised brow to Tasha, then Claire and company. “I think I'm going to go get a drink, anybody feel like coming with me?”

It has been an age and a half since she has been to something quite like this, at least here. In another time, Huruma attended all manner of events in the glamour of the city, though in just as much time the conflicts rose and the war came and went, leaving the city in ruin. But like a great many things rising from the ashes, so does the highlight of the Safe Zone. This isn't just a party for her, however. It's a rare opportunity.

The lights reflect off of the limo as it pulls up, and the pool of emotions running high and wild spark in Huruma's senses like a thousand tiny fires. She steps out of the door as it is opened ahead of her, and between her height and the heels on her feet, there is suddenly a demanding sweep of presence on the tail of the carpet.

Flying Solo. The black gown shimmers taut across the wide angle of hips and strong shoulders, long sleeves and hem streamlining her stature. Up the side of the dress is a massive red and gold bird, reminiscent of the legendary Ho-o, its tail curling down the thigh and wing outstretched in tines of sequin from one wrist to a crest on the shoulder above. The back is cut low, pinned together delicately in the middle of the spanse of dark brown skin; the back of her already short hair is shorn in a pattern matching the bird's.

Presence is one thing entirely— but when Huruma hits the carpet, she sparks under the dozens of camera flashes. A long natural stride gets her past the first few journalists with a swell of air at her hem, but once in the midst of things, they press in more gently than with some of the others, the aura of tentativeness assisted in silence by their quarry, moonlight irises shining under light.

There is a pattering of questions to her, running a brief gamut all the way to what's going on in Madagascar. One cheeky female reporter chances to ask about her lack of arm candy, which earns a pointed smile and a passive show of polite teeth.

Be nice.

“I don't know, I don't fucking know,” none of the people present have seen Lucille like this in ages. “But it's fucking amazing.. Let's get fucking drunk!”

The oldest Ryans girl does a twirl and laughs aloud before her eyes spot Huruma and she's slinking over with a fluff of her hair and a spin to show off her dress. Her eyes are alight, the woman would remember that look. When she first met the younger woman. “Hey Auntie Hooms.”

Lucille is already drunk on the feeling of connecting with people, physically. Something she swore she would never take for granted again. There's a hug with no regard for clothes or skin and a kiss on the cheek. She doesn't announce it, the feeling of joy wafting off her and being so close would say it all. Something has happened. And it's a good thing, at least in Lucille’s eyes.

There's a flurry of lights and Lucille grabs her Aunt's arm to whip them around to pose for a photo together. There's a flash of gold in her eyes, a trick of the light? But maybe it was captured by one of the photographers, a wolfish grin is given to the cameras before Lucille is pulling on Huruma’s arm. “We gotta drink.”

The look Sibyl directs at Alister’s back is one of mild horror, the sort of look someone gets when watching a sports injury in slow motion on replay. Her guardian is spreading his wings like a dapperishly-accessorized vampire bat— or a flasher, exposing himself to Hana Gitelman. She ducks her hands, hands dropping to the lower half of her dress, which she hikes up around her knees and makes a swift escape indoors.

The dress’ long train drags behind her. She totters abruptly totters, pitching sideways — there’s a moment where she almost makes the nearest cameraman’s night, but she recovers at the last possible moment and baby deer prances away on heels that Margaux picked out for her and are about an inch too high for a thirteen-year-old girl.

Watching her co-workers head towards the bar, Claire doesn’t follow immediately. She is almost debating disappearing into the crowd, maybe even a place to hide out for a bit. The gala is a bit overwhelming for someone who has been making it her purpose to avoid people. This is debated for a very long moment.

Finally, the regenerator sighs and follows after the others. Maybe Claire can make an attempt at drunk. Her ability might be sluggish, but it still makes it tough.

The reception that Robyn receives is a surprise to her, to say the least, but she tries not to show it on her face. Instead she focuses on Tasha, letting the other woman take her hand. In return a wide smile and a small bow is offered. "It is so good to see you again, Tasha. It's been far too long." And while she'd been reaching out to former friends as of late, her… position made her think it might not be in her best interest.

So this, with the smiles from Lucille, Claire, and Colette, is a good moment for her, mixing with an already unexpected moment. Her smile widens even more, pulling her hat off - she was aware of how it clashed with the rest of her attire but she just liked it so much.

"Well, if it's not too…" She pauses, searching for a word. "Not too unbecoming, I would enjoy a drink. I don't think anyone would begrudge me that, if you all just happened to be there. The bar is my favourite place, after all." As anyone who's seen her office might be able gather.

She doesn't follow immediately, though. Instead, she turns back to look at the crowd, alive and full of life. Full of colour, a sight unlike anything she's seen in more than one sense in years. Swallowing, she tries her best to choke some tears that well up in the corner of her eye - good tears, for once. Happiness.

She doesn't entirely succeed, wiping them away as she turns to follow after Colette and the others.

When Robyn turns, Tasha is waiting for her, having murmured to Colette to go ahead. She loops an arm through the SESA agent’s and squeezes that arm with her other hand. “I don’t work for Wolfhound, so I don’t have to be neutral,” she says quietly, a little bit of a tease and a little bit sincere.

Tasha glances up at what Robyn had been looking at. “Colette said it was colorful. For you too? I wonder what they did,” she says quietly, before heading toward the bar.

Once extracted from the opportunity to talk shop about the looks coming down the red carpet, Logan watches the exchange between Gitelman and Black (and the bonus of Sibyl darting out of the cluster like a jack rabbit) with needle sharp intent, a suddenly silent presence at Tania's side. It's not as though Hana, of all people, needs a rescue — and indeed, she's on her way out before Logan can calculate things like the aura of his own ability and its range in units of feet — but he watches all the same.

As Hana disappears, Logan returns to the present moment. His hand, cool, finds the small of Tania's back. "Come on," he suggests, steering them both towards the entryway, "you've New York's elite to charm. Reckon I can help with that."

Because it is far too tempting to make trouble for himself out here, with everyone watching.

It might look— to the cameras and reporters— as if Tania doesn't notice the direction Logan's attention turns to. She does, though, an old habit of taking in everything while appearing too distracted to notice. Or too quiet, although not in this particular moment. But her own attention turns back up to him at the touch. "Why do you think I brought you?" she asks, but the question is just a tease, playful. Because that isn't at all the truth of how their little party ended up here, of course. But it doesn't take much to guide her inside. As much as she doesn't mind the cameras, there's much more interesting things beyond the doors.

Lucille's appearance saves the reporter from …something. Whatever it is, it flitters out of Huruma's gaze as the younger woman slides up, arms out in an embrace that Huruma does not really have time to avoid. Lucille will feel the palpable roil of apprehension knot into a ball through the taller woman's frame, despite the joy from the girl— but when nothing happens between that and the contact of a kiss to her cheek, she uncoils from the tension. The warmth of her body freely leans in against Lucille's, one long arm swept around her back in a return.

There is a faint murmur of thank you as they get shuttered between cameras, and the tug on her arm is answered with an affirmative sound from her chest. "I need at least one before I go into that gallery, darling." Huruma's hand links casually with Lucille's arm, skirting both protective and curious as she leans in, palm against the skin of wrist, "What is going on…?"

The two drones swinging over Marlowe’s head like technological hummingbirds don’t stray too far, and capture the video image of any onlookers or nearby reporters at a 360 degree perimeter. The woman doesn’t pay the little robots any mind, but when Jiba chimes in from a nearby speaker, her smile brightens notably. “«Check the source code if you want to come play,»” she seems to speak to the air around her. But alas, perhaps Otomo’s leash has already tightened by the time her words get out. Speaking of play, though, she doesn’t linger too much longer at the entrance but heads inward towards where most normally go at these large social events first. It’s off to the open bar for at least one drink on the house tonight. —

"Yeah…" Is an absent minded reply from Robyn, before she closes her eye and refocuses her attention on Tasha, clearing her throat and smiling. "Bright. Colourful." A glance back around. "Shouldn't be. Lost my colour vision years ago…" In case Tasha had never heard. Robyn wipes at her cheek one last time to nab a stray tear drop.

"I don't know what they did here, but… it's amazing." With that, she look to Tasha, following alongside her as she turns to head on the trajectory Robyn had originally intended. "I think tonight's not a good night to dwell on that, though." She'll save that for later, and just enjoy it for now. "I'm glad someone doesn't," she adds with a laugh as she make their way towards the bar. "I was beginning to think everyone does."

Tightening the grip on Joseph’s arm, Kaylee nods her head toward the Gallery. “Let’s go see the exhibit, before corporate types start descending.” It was one of the biggest reasons she wanted to come to the Gala, especially the artifacts from Japan. Stuff collected by the company that Hiro’s family ran. She thinks of him now and then… she remembers a lot of people from that time before.

As they journey towards the crowded Gallery, Kaylee finds herself looking around. Spotting minds in the crowd. Huruma especially gets noticed before the taller statuesque woman moves towards the crowded bar.

Kaylee can’t help but press fingers to her temple, being assaulted by so many minds is always draining, she can feel a mild discomfort from having to keep those mental walls strengthened a little more.

Alvin's presence is a quiet one. He's unobtrusive and stays out of the way of the guests as they're brought inside. He just smiles and nods to anyone that looks his way, welcoming them to the gala and wishing them a wonderful night. His head, like the rest of security is on a constant swivel. Eyes looking over those that enter and those that are here, keeping a constant watch for any kind of trouble or potential trouble. He is not here as a guest. Some of Yamagato's people are here to enjoy the gala, but he is here tonight to work. He offers a smile to one of the guests, a short bow in his direction before he steps back from the main crowd to answer something into his earpiece, voice soft as he murmurs back with one of the outside security teams, checking in with them and a couple of other groups.

The Ghost arrives by himself. It's probably a little irresponsible, considering there's a certain woman in a wheelchair who would have been happy to come with, but Eve Mas tends to be very happy to go it alone in every conceivable meaning of the term too. He shows up in knife-creased pinstripes that flatter his height and the breadth of his shoulders, and his hair smushed over slightly to one side of his head in a way that exaggerates the symmetry of his clean-shaven jaw. All cleaned up, you can't see his tattoos or murder tendencies or anything like that. He looks very jockish and unembarrassed about it!

A reporter lands on him like a crow on a carcass, and he entertains her with a maggoty white smile. Some light stuff about the bars he frequents and the friends that he loves, naming no names except for those of the bars that he tends to avoid for one reason or other. (Jazz makes him sleepy. A sleepy ninja does no one good.) After that, he's off navigating— making for the Gallery quite adroitly, with only a pause to wave and say, "Buonasera," to a couple people here or there. Unless anybody's out to hail him.

Barney arrives a short time after the doors have opened, not right away with the initial rush of guests. The Raytech management type has dressed himself up in a full tuxedo, and even had his beard trimmed up to be neat looking. Well relatively neat looking. As neat looking as he can get it without braiding it. He's got a wide grin on his face as he makes his way inside, eyes widening at the sight of the inside of the building. "Simply amazing…" He comments as he wanders around a little bit, busy studying the architecture of the building right at first, not looking for anyone he might know, or to make new acquaintances. Not right away anyway. He's gawking. It's true. Eventually his steps start to lead him in the rough direction of the gallery and museum.

Having extracted herself from a particularly boring conversation inside and succeeded in her quest for fresh air, Kay saunters up beside Alvin Mott. "I know you're busy," she offers as a greeting, "but pretend you're busy with me for a minute, won't you?" That ought to keep anyone from bothering her for at least a few minutes. Wearing a white dress with a matching coat, and a mustard colored belt and high heeled shoes that match Jonathan Smith's tie perfectly (because she picked it out), there isn't a blonde hair out of place, even if Alvin knows the sight of a frazzled Director Damaris when he sees one.

February Marlene Lancaster is no stranger to the bright lights of the camera flashes outside the tinted windows of the limousine she and her partner have rolled up in. She flashes him a quick look before the door opens. She waits for him to exit first, then allows him to help her out after him. Her long legs swing out, the slit of her shimmering back dress revealing pale skin nearly to her hip. The front of the dress is cut in a deep vee, held in place by dress tape and the grace of God. The back is open as well, clear to to the small of it, where Dearing's hand rests once she's upright in her four inch heels, leaving her only an inch shorter than her date.

She doesn't force him to stand with her for photos in front of Yamagato's provided backdrop. With her red hair left to cascade in long, soft waves, she cuts a beautiful figure. A hand on her hip, shoulders back, chin up. Her lopsided teardrop mouth pulls into a wide smile that makes her blue eyes sparkle. Her make-up is dramatic - a deep purple smokey eye with heavily mascara-laden lashes and dark liner smudged into the lashlines, softening the sharpness of the waterlines.

Before they arrived, she asked Dearing to play the bad guy and save her from the press brigade. While she's given interviews about what she saw in her time with the Ferry, and she testified at Albany, Rue has done none of these things on camera, and has little intention to start now.

Fortunately for her, a better known war hero emerged from the next limo. The chorus of Miss Lancaster! has changed to Miss Varlane! Miss Varlane! When someone calls out Miss Nichols, Nicole's head turns sharply to regard the offender, focus as intense as a hawk that's just spotted prey. Her ire keeps them busy while Rue takes Dearing's arm and slips away.

"Are you live right now?" Nicole asks one of the cameras after the moment of surprise has passed and she can trust herself to speak. When she receives the affirmative, she smiles and waves, looking directly into the camera. "Hi, Pippi!" There's a couple awws from the press that understand what she's doing. Nicole twirls in the dress her daughter helped pick out for her, a nearly floor-length thing of electric blue with short sleeves and delicate printed flowers cascading from shoulders down to toes in shades of white and blue.

"Told you Mommy would be on TV." She blows a kiss. "Now, it's bed time, Pipsqueak. Have fun, Princess!" Subtly, Nicole has acknowledged both her daughters. And without taking any questions, she’s headed for somewhere quieter.

Not late per say but certainly not early either. One of the later limos to roll up lets out one particularly dressed up (black suit, black suit jacket, bolo tie, and an attempt to not look uncomfortable) Graeme Cormac with a Great Dane puppy just about glued to his side. The dog tonight has a full vest with the 'I'm working' 'don't touch me' and 'in training' patches all visible. Followed by Ygraine Fitzroy, followed shortly by Sable. A moment later and Graeme intercepts the media to allow his companions a few moments.

"Shhhh Thor, they're fine," and he flashes the cameras a smile.

"Graeme Cormac, right?" Not all of the news crews recognise the man, but enough do, plus the distinct downplay of dressing up at the same time. "Yes." "When did you move to the New York Safe Zone? After the trials you disappeared, what were you doing?" "I've been here for a little over a year now. I work for Liberty," there's a grin over his shoulder, "as the Director of Communications. I teach English literature and composition at Brooklyn. And my family is here." Another reporter interrupts the first one. "Are Ms. Davignon or Mr. Mortlock going to be in attendance tonight?"

Graeme grins. "I don't know," he says. "It isn't my turn to keep track." Any mention of the time in between the trials and the present is deftly avoided with that small talk, before he turns the topic back to Liberty. "We work with many of the groups here, running small classes for the Evolved, and the non-Evolved for that matter, and also distributing necessities." Graeme continues for a moment, explaining several of Liberty's programs, "We may not be the biggest organisation operating charitably in the Safe Zone right now, but our programs touch a lot of lives and are open to all." Right up until one of the reporters tries to ask the dog a question.

"Thor," comes the caution, and the Great Dane sits. "I'm sorry," he explains to the reporter, "he's working tonight. He's not supposed to pay attention to other people unless there's…" It trails off, with another brilliant smile to dismiss the line of questions, and Graeme steps aside to wait for Ygraine and Sable, and watch the rest of the arrivals.

The broad-shouldered and clean-cut man on Rue’s arm draws no questions from the media. No one knows who he is. But James Dearing, in his sleek black tux looks like he was cut out of a James Bond film. He smile is a practiced one, reaches his eyes just enough to make him not look like a complete lunatic. His eyes slide toward Nicole the moment the reporters call her name, brows furrowed in a thoughtful expression concealed from Rue, as he escorts her in past the media circus and through the sliding doors to the lobby.

“That didn't take long,” Dearing notes as soon as they get in. Not to the gauntlet run past reporters, but to what he points at just out of the lobby a moment later. Colette, Huruma, Claire, and Lucille all surrounding the bar. Tania Kozlow and Tasha are among the faces he doesn't recognize. Robyn Quinn pointedly he does not name. Wolfhounds at the bar, it doesn't mean he has to be.

“You want to go get some culture?” Dearing asks with a side-eye to Rue. “I mean before we get lost at the bar. Because once I get there…” he won't leave.

But there's someone here Rue recognizes that she doesn't from work. Between foyer and bar, Julie Fournier-Raith stands alongside sometimes Wolfhound medic Sasha Koslow. But while both of them as notable it's the blonde in the wheelchair wearing aviator sunglasses that catches Rue’s eye. She's seen the photographs in Avi’s room, she knows that face when she sees it.

That's Emily Epstein in that wheelchair. Avi’s daughter.

It would seem that monochrome styling is something of a feature for the Liberty contingent tonight, with Ygraine in a comparatively simple black gown: it probably cost a good deal less than her ticket, but combines with her pale skin to serve as a striking frame for the array of Evolved-created tattoos on display. Most dramatic of those is the full-back artwork of intertwined red and white dragons which she offers to the cameras while turning to assist Sable from the limousine after her.

The tuxedo-clad little rocker is kept close as Ygraine settles her hip-length braid of hair - artificifally glossy black, save for the warm blue of the last 18” - forward over one shoulder and down her flank, before she advances to take on her own share of media duties, initially taking the opposite side of the red carpet to Graeme. Though it took a good hour of psyching herself up for this challenge (in much the same manner as she had once prepared for international competition), she now finds a good facsimile of an easy smile as she nears the first reporters.

As an outspoken foreigner, whose paramilitary meddling in American affairs stretches back nearly a decade and was in significant part documented in photographs used at the Albany Trials, she’s been a popular focus for a subsection of journalists even when not turning up to a gala in this sort of attire.

“Who am I wearing? The dress designer is young lady called Jay Carter, in Toronto. Beautiful, affordable work that I hope doesn’t count as too extravagant for a charity worker. If you’re asking about the ink… the work on my back is Harmony, which the renowned artist Xiulan was kind enough to allow me to commission back before the War. The other pieces are by the wonderfully talented Brynn Ferguson. Yes, I could say a lot more about each of them - but we’re here tonight to enjoy what the Fellowship have assembled for all New York, rather than to focus upon my personal art gallery. Preserving the past while striving to build for the future is something that both Liberty and myself on a personal level can whole-heartedly support.”

“My wife? No… no, Sable is not a ‘replacement’ for Jennifer, thank you very much. She is a dear friend and one of Liberty’s longest-standing and most effective supporters, as well as a comrade in the War. We hope to collaborate on a number of projects in the near future, and I am honoured and proud to have her here with me in her own right. No, please: no further questions about Jennifer. Whatever has occurred or is presently happening on the Pacific Coast, her death is not a matter for discussion here of all places. Tonight is about unity and hope: what has been preserved and what we can aspire to in future.”

“The ‘magic buckets’? I hope to have a new shipment arriving soon, for distribution in Jackson Heights. They purify and then safely store water….” Working her way along the carpet towards the gleaming temptation of the entrance, Ygraine is quite intent upon exploiting this opportunity to pitch Liberty and its work to a broader audience.

Wandering out of the Gallery, Jonathan has to crane his neck to see past all the heads in his search for Kay. Finally, he decides that the smart thing would be to actually corner one of the Yamagato employee’s working the floor. Which he does, offering a bright smile… yes, even introducing himself before asking where he could find Ms. Damaris? To which he gets a vague gesture in her direction. “Thank you so much, nice to meet you.”

Then he has to swim against the crowd, which was probably not the best of ideas, when something bumps into him, they look surprised. Bumping into the councilman is a bit like bumping into a wall. Each bump gets an apology, because the Jonathan knows it does. Plus, it is only polite.

“Kay!” Jonathan sounds relieved to find his friend. “I am so sorry, I got lost in the Gallery.” Lost probably doesn’t mean what one might thing. “Have you seen some of that stuff. Of course, silly me, you have. You work here… Oh! Hello…” This last directed politely to Alvin with a smile, when Jonathan notices him there with her.

It’s entirely possible that the smartly-tux’d Sable has never looked quite so composed as she does tonight, quite so simple and subtle, less a solo artist and more an accompaniment. Ygraine’s influence, maybe, or just a bit of aesthetic restraint, the signs of a budding dare-we-say-it maturity. This is not her night, not a night about her, and - surprise surprise - when confronted with the actual mechanisms of fame, she discovers a shrinking violet side to herself which she labors obscurely to keep in check.

That’s not to say she hasn’t added a couple flourishes. Her weird eyes hidden behind vintage tinted lens, and a silver peace-sign pin gleams at her lapel. Together they do a lot of talking and not-talking for her, one preventing the intimacy of eye contact without very deliberate intervention, the other making her philosophy clear in the very gesture of saying goodbye: ‘peace’, the first and final word. She doesn’t engage. She doesn’t distract. It’d almost be noteworthy in and of itself, if anyone knew her.

The Briton is, however, not so carefully blocked out. Sable even tips her shades down to cast her companion an unmediated look, seeking eye contact once they slip the web of reporters. “Sweet Jesus,” she says, with only so much irony, “didn’t know all your fans ‘n’ admirers were gonna be here. Make a girl jealous, why don’t ya?”

Graeme rejoins his companions, "You did great," he murmurs, "At least I managed to duck the personal questions mostly. And I'll send out another press release with what we said when we're home." Make sure that the media takes note of Liberty while they've got the chance. He grins a little, looks from Sable to Ygraine and back again. As they stand there, the teacher's free hand rests on his dog's head, and the puppy's only sign of excitement is his tail thumping against the ground.

"Now that that's over, we should enjoy the evening. I'm going to grab a soda and head out to the garden, though." Ygraine gets a brief hand set on her shoulder, and then Graeme slips off towards the bar, and incidentally towards Robyn.

Alvin is quiet a moment. It's not hesitation, it's consideration before giving Kay a response. "I can do that Director Damaris." Alvin is dressed tux for tonight, though the fabric isn't stark black, it's a couple shades shy of it, and the shirt he wears isn't a stark bright white. It's more like a cream color, just slightly off white. Both mean the colors aren't quite as sharp or noticeable, meant to help him fade into the background of the party. He inclines his head to her respectfully and steps to her side after a softly murmured comment to let the security teams know he'd be moving around the party for a time. "It looks like… well it looks like half the safe zone is in attendance. I guess New York really was hungering for a fancy to do. Your party is starting without a hitch Director." A simple smile offered to the public relations director for the park.

“Good boy, Thor,” Ygraine quietly directs to the Great Dane - not distracting him with a touch, but adding a minor dose of encouragement from someone he knows. Her lips twitch as she wonders quite how much her friends are doing the exact same thing with her - coaxing her with positive reinforcement to relax and perform well.

A fond smile follows Graeme for a long moment, before she looks back to Sable and flashes a grin. “Believe me, if you want to find out what it’s like to spend more time in a particular kind of limelight, I will gladly enough try to have it shine upon you. But beware of what you wish for. For now, however…”

She snares Sable’s arm more securely, smiling down at her petite companion. “Art, history, drinks, conversation, a quiet corner, or somewhere to dance? Your choice, since you have been kind enough to be my arm-candy tonight.”

He might be late to the party – he’s always late to the party, when it’s an actual party – but he’s never late for supper. Climbing out of a recently arrived limo and dressed to impress would be one Devon Clendaniel. Behind him may be the days of sport coats and slacks, he’s found himself a well-tailored suit of a blue-nearly black. It’s not quite a tuxedo, but he won’t be out of place or under dressed. There’s even a bow tie around his neck. It’s not even a clip on!

He slides out of the limo once the door is opened and manages a half dozen steps before he comes to a stop. All the people. He knew there’d be a lot, but it’s still a bit of a shocker seeing so many people in one place. Just mingling. Dev gives himself a shake and proceeds onward and upward.

He smiles at the reporters as he approaches. It’s a pleasant thing, almost inviting but not. No, no he doesn’t care to talk about the war or what’s happened since. Yes, he did save Brad Russo, but no he doesn’t want to talk about that either. He learned well watching his former mentor for as short lived as his internship was.

Without issue, Devon navigates through the press conference and joins the throng of partygoers. There he finds himself looking over those attending, those still working their way inside. He spies various people he recognizes. There’s Graeme! Oh, and that looks like Lucille and… Hana! The Major is given a reserved wave, but a typical-Devon grin. A little further along brings the young man nearer to Ygraine and Sable, the former of whom he taps on one shoulder but steps around to the opposite side and looks onward, like he doesn’t even see either of them.

Once upon a time, Richard Cardinal would have snuck into a gala such as this to case the place and look for easy marks. Seven years ago, the same man would have likely been in charge of security, ensuring that nobody else did that.

But it's the year two-thousand eighteen, and Richard Ray is stepping out of a Yamagato Industry limousine and onto a red carpet, dressed in a classic black pinstripe suit with a style right out of nineteen-sixties business style, dark tie slicing down the middle of the crisp white shirt beneath. A gift, once upon a time, from Charles Deveaux himself. He straightens up and turns slightly to notice the mass of media and the flash of photography, and internally groans.

His date's going to murder him.

Turning again, he offers a hand to the woman that's emerging behind him, leaning closer and murmuring in low tones, "I swear to God I didn't know the paparazzi were going to be her— oh god that's a television camera just keep smiling and don't say anything incriminating."

A tattooed, slim hand takes Richard's, and Pearl Valentin uses that offered hand to slip out of the limo. She has to stand without catching a spike heel in the floor length black gown she wears. Can she, yes! Yes, she makes it upright smoothly, stepping in close to Richard. Her hand tightens on his, and she smiles, leaning in close. "You know what you're going to be doing all night?" She gives him a moment to consider that, gaze sweeping the crowd, red-painted lips curving a touch. "You're going to be wondering what will come out of my mouth and how bad it's gonna get when I'm drunk." Because there. are. cameras. Cameras and video. Everywhere. Of course the move looks incredibly intimate for the cameras. FML.

Pearl's gown is a form skimming slip of slinky silk, modest from the front with a neckline crosses her body just under her collarbones; it clings to her shoulders by some magic of fashion fairy magic. The back is another story. The gown is entirely backless, exposing the toned sweep of her back past the curve of the small of it, dark cloth just swooping up again, stopping short of indecent. Barely. Her bare arms are heavily tattooed, a full and a 3/4 sleeve, Japanese style in application and imagery (sea life). Looks like somebody brought a biker babe to the gala. Nice one, Ray.

Pearl wears no jewelry (just ink!), carries a small hematite-beaded clutch on a slim wrist strap.

Sing me a song of ambivalence, of wanting to go out but not wanting to run into anyone, to both to go unnoticed and to look good doing it. It’s the song of the social misanthrope, of pride struggling with cowardice. It is the song of one Dr. Sheridan, who appears on the periphery, emerging from one of the company limos, already leery of the crowd, even leerier of the media, but all the same she does a quick self-assessment with her phone before braving the entrance. Make up: check. Ordered apparel: check. Certainty that this is a wise idea: well… you can’t have everything can you?

Luckily for her, there is stiff competition for attention already. Not that she couldn’t stand for some sufficiently disinterested interest. Bella’s a nice enough sight in a dress of reddish-plum lace with black accents, not shoulderless but with shoulders bared, but it’s still chilly this time of year, and while she doesn’t quite bustle she gets awfully close, slipping through the denser parts of the throng as best she can She has the advantage of never having caught the interest of the cameras in the first place. It’s something she studiously and strenuously avoided.

But still she’s here, to see if not so much to be seen. (Though not by her boss- that’s him right there, isn’t it? Don’t let him see her, don’t let him see her. Not until after the icebreaking drink at least. Not until she can feel less like a cornered cat.) So Bella makes for the entrance to the Foundation building, a slim smile brandished like a badge, her pocketbook clasped before her as if pre-empting a search. Willingness as harmlessness.

Kay smiles to Alvin. “That’s what I like to hear.” Without a hitch. “I’m glad we’re having such a good turnout. I thought the price of admission might be a deterrent, but who doesn’t want to see and be seen, I guess?” Damaris has never been a socialite, though her mother came from money and imparted to her daughter some ability to manage these things. Previously, any invitation she might have received to an event like this would have been accompanied by a note reminding her to behave herself. The Bitch didn’t get invited to many fancy parties.

They called it a lack of restraint. She called it a low tolerance for bullshit.

She was already grateful and relieved to have Alvin agree to make her look too busy for another conversation for a moment or two, but Kaydence Lee’s face positively lights up when she’s called out to by Jonathan. “There you are!” She greets him with a warm hug. “I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself so far. You know you don’t have to worry about me. I hold my own.” And she has back-up all the same. Thank you, Alvin. “Mr. Mott, I’d like you to meet Jonathan Smith. My date for this evening.” She gestures to the man whose tie matches her accents. “Jonathan, this is Alvin, one of my colleagues.”

The next limousine pulls up and yet another ‘Hound steps out. This time it’s Noa Gitelman, wearing a long but form-fitting strapless pewter gown. She’s one of the lesser known guests at this party, which suits her just fine. Still, she smiles for the cameras that point her way as she makes her way up the carpet, waving at Devon when she sees her coworker and also Richard Ray. She glances down at the cell in her hand as an answer to a text pops up — and heads in the direction of the bar. Bella receives a sidelong glance out of her smokey eyes as she strides past.

That smile stays on Richard's lips even if he's internally writing his Last Will and Testament. "Please don't get me killed," he mutters back to her. He offers his arm oh-so-gallantly to Pearl's own tattooed arm, and then starts down the red carpet towards the doors of the building.

Of course, it's not that easy.

"Mister Ray, Mister Ray!" One of the reporters eagerly calls for the elusive executive's attention - Richard isn't known for his public appearances - and despite the internal sigh he looks to the woman with both brows raised in polite inquiry. "Yes?"

"Gale Weathers, WNYT News 13," she declares, "Everyone was rather surprised when your company set up in Jackson Heights, given its current state - is there some reason for it?"

A chuckle from Richard, free hand lifting in a casual gesture, "All I can say, Ms. Weathers, is that we're dedicated to the ideal of a restore New York City - this is my town, and I'm not giving up on it just because of a few nuclear explosions." Tongue-in-cheek, but nothing crude or untoward. It could be worse.

A smile from the reporter, "I'm sure we're all eager to find out what you have planned. And who is this that you've brought with you tonight?"

The executive slants a look to Pearl, and then merely chuckles, "She can speak for herself, Ms. Weathers."

Not that he seems like he's going to give her a chance to, as he starts walking again to get past the media. Spotting a few familiar faces, he brings a hand up in greeting - recognizing Devon, Ygraine and Noa as they arrive, and ah, one of his own - Dr. Sheridan. Maybe they'll see each other inside.

Away from the reporters.

The hug is returned, before he pulling back Jonathan rests hands on her arms, as if holding her at arms length and finally getting a look at her. “Nonsense, it would be rude of me to leave you alone tonight. I mean look at you… you look amazing. I see why you had me wear this tie.” He smooths down his tie. “Don’t we look smart, though compared to you… “ He lets go and pushes his glasses back up on his nose. “I’m still just a humble teacher.”

The bright smile is then offered to Alvin, along with a hand. “A pleasure, Mr. Mott.”

Looking between the two of them, Jonathan seems just a bundle of excited energy. “Have you seen that gallery?” He gives a low whistle. “The kids would just love that and all these… “ He looks up at all the 3D tricks and motions to them.

It’s weird to belong this way, to be-with, especially with people as respectable-looking as Ygraine and Graeme. It’s weird to be here, like a fantasy delivered in a disregarded ‘do not bend’ envelope. It makes her self-conscious, in a way that she’d thought touring had mostly cured. Still, Sable is small, and her companion more immediately eye catching, which allows her to, without irony, object to the limelight offered.

“No ma’am!” Sable says, lifting her arms to cross them in an emphatic negation, “this movie star shit ain’t th’ least bit my scene. I mean- bless th’ folks big enough t’ turn t’ charity or whatever, but it’s a sure sign th’ artist’s gotten bigger than th’ art.”

The statement of artistic philosophy ends when her crossed arm is snared by Ygraine, and she remembers she’s not here to defend her past self, but rather to swan about and have a good time. So, while art and history are in the offering, she opts instead for:

“Drinks to start. Drinks are a must. Gotta wait for the place t’ warm up b’fore you dance, and that warmth starts in th’ belly and in th’ brain.”

Ygraine’s laughter is warm and genuine - at least until it terminates in a surprised little ‘eep’, as she feels a tap on one shoulder. A hurried glance around to each side in turn lets her spot Devon… and with a breathy laugh, she relaxes again.

“Brat,” she directs fondly at the young man who fought alongside both herself and Sable in the Chessmen. “It’s good to see you. There’re quite a few Hounds around, as well as a few of us. You should have a lot of familiar faces here. But it seems that we’re about to head in search of a drink….”

Before she complies with Sable’s suggestion, however, she turns to look around once more in pre-emptive search for any other surprises - and duly double-takes as she spots Richard moving along the carpet with another of the evening’s array of heavily-tattooed women. Bella, she vaguely registers in passing: the woman’s face is familiar, the context is so different to the chaos and horror of the Dome that she fails to make an immediate connection. Instead, she raises her free hand in greeting to Ray, offering him a wryly lopsided smile.

Pearl watches a set of jewels walk by while Ray's accosted by vanilla questions from the media. She could be thinking about grand theft or hoping there's no red lipstick on her teeth. Heavy lashes drop, shading her gaze briefly when the reporter asks who she is. Her mouth twitches, and she just keeps a smirk off of her lips as she's casually pulled along, arm-in-arm with the exec. As she goes, she murmurs loud enough to carry back to the reporter, "We don't talk about our relationship in mixed company."

Though she looks like a 30-something roadhouse barback, Pearl's posture remains relaxed as possible considering her precarious heels, expression politely blank except for that ghostly little smirk. Course that might just be her face while she's wondering how you check to see if your dress is tucked into your underwear while you're walking the red carpet (without looking like you're checking to see if your dress is tucked into your underwear while you're on the red carpet). Let it ride, y'all. Let it ride.

Just a few yards off from the entrance now, they keep up their slow and inevitable progress toward the bar. Er. The doors.

Though she had been taking with a pair of older men in sharp tuxedos, Julie catches sight of Bella Sheridan out of the corner of her eyes and recoils. Blue eyes dart around the room, and she looks up to her conversational partners. “I'm… sorry Doctor Li, Doctor Phillips, uh— I should— I'll be right back.” Apologetically clasping her hands together, Julie slinks away and finds Emily not far away, scrutinizing a couple having a quiet — but heated — argument forty or so feet away.

“I didn't get you a ticket so you could people watch,” Julie feigns indignance, even as Emily looks up over the rim of her sunglasses with one brow raised. “Come on, lets go hang out by the bar. I should— see what Sasha’s up to.”

“Uh huh,” Emily states flatly, “we’re going to the bar for recon,” is stated with such sarcasm. “Sure, sure. Cool, cool, cool.” Emily wheels her chair around, starting to push herself that way.

“Wh— hey you don't have to come!” Julie starts after her. “You haven't even been to the gallery yet.” The assertion falls on deaf ears as Emily makes a see-saw hand gesture.

Her nose wrinkles, lips puckered to the side in thought. “Less likely to be a fistfight there.” She wags her brows. “Whatever, it's fine. Go chase Rasputin, I'll follow along.”

Julie threads one hand through her hair and makes a sound in the back of her throat. “Oh my god you're impossible,” is exasperatedly whispered. Emily just smiles, wheeling along beside her cousin to the bar.

“You know you love me,” Devon quips back at Ygraine. He is a brat. Sometimes. But only toward those he likes. He starts to shove his hands into his pockets, then stops. The motion isn’t formal and it gives him slight pause. But only slight because he decides to go ahead with it. He doesn’t have anyone hanging off his arm, after all.

“I saw some of them.” That’s in response to his fellow Hounds. He has seen a few. There’ out there, mingling away. Dev looks for them, and therein spies Noa first, then another familiar face. “Uncle Rich,” he calls, liberating a hand to wave at a one Richard Ray and the woman he’s with. He doesn’t know her, but he’ll be friendly.

"You just had to give them a mystery," Richard murmurs out of the side of his mouth to Pearl, "The celebrity press is going to be all over that, you realize…"

Of course she does.

The call of 'Uncle Rich' gets Devon a rather bemused look, a single brow arching at the younger man. It's hard to tell if it's because of the 'Uncle' part or the 'Rich' part. he's never been one for shortening his first name. "Devon," he calls over affably, "Good to see you— ah, we're going to go check out the refreshments."

This is code for 'I'm going to be in the bar'. He's pretty sure he's going to need a few drinks to deal with the evening.

A tip of his head that way, arm still through Pearl's as he leads his tattooed companion away from the media.

After hearing someone (Emily) mention a bar, Pearl says, "I'll be needing the biggest glass of wine we can find. Loosen up, pinstripes. It's a beautiful night." Though talking to Richard, Pearl winks to Devon on the way by, to all appearances agreeable to the friendly atmosphere, then she quirks her brows and leans in to say to the exec, as they make their way in through the doors, "Uncle Rich, huh?…" Something said in the middle is lost to the noise of the crowd, then she adds, "It's not like I told them how we met. Not even a barrel of bourbon could liberate that sticky tale." It may be a hitch in her step, perhaps indicating that Ray’s pulling the tattoo artist farther from the media microphones; their pace quickens ever so slightly. Whatever else it is she's saying to the man is lost to the exterior as they pass inside, though a throaty laugh carries back through the doorway.

"Without a hitch? Or my coming with?" Alvin's smile is a small one, but there's a faint pull at the corner of his mouth to suggest a smirk. His eyes roam constantly, never still, always watching guests and employees both as they walk through the crowd a little bit. "It's a return to normal for some. A chance to see inside the building for others. A chance to scope out the competition for a few." Eyes of course flickering to Richard Ray at that comment. "A pleasure Mister Smith." Alvin dips into a smooth bow, well practiced, then holds his hand out to the man and gives his a shake, stepping back and letting his attention wander as Jonathan starts talking about the gallery. "It's really quite impressive." He agrees, a brief glance over to Kay then back around the room.

“Uncle Rich, huh?”, mirrors Ygraine - though her grinning comment is directed to Devon, as she suppresses the flare of hurt at being blanked. Still, it’s not as if she looks like any of the ‘normal’ versions of herself, and Richard’s not among the fairly small number of people to have any reason to associate Xiulan’s draconic masterpiece with her.

Trying to persuade herself that her friend had good reason to fail to realise it was her, she finds another smile for both Sable and Devon. “Drinks now, I think,” she directs to them both, before starting to move in the wake of those others with a similar idea.

Devon receives a solemn nod from Sable, something that looks half-decent delivered from behind sunglasses. He has the free-floating energy of someone comfortable moving from orbit to orbit, and the boldness necessary; more power to him. Sable lays back in the cut, surveying the big shots and pretty women (those two categories not being by any means mutually exclusive).

“This city is too fuckin’ much,” she says, with a brand of admiration specific to excess. But there’s more where that came from: red carpets are the part of the show that every plebe with a TV set can catch. The real deal lies beyond, within. So Sable makes no delays as she goes with her companion into the beautiful belly of the best.

Bella has, for her own part, already made her way inside. With the others in her wave waylaid by reporters, trying on their charm, grace and evasion for the benefit of cameras and microphones, she wastes no time in escaping the Charybdis of chill for the comparative Scylla of socialization.

“Yeah.” Devon drags the word out, giving it some thought. “Maybe ‘Rich’ is a little pretentious. Uncle Richard!” Punctuated with some excitement, but not overly exuberant. Devon isn’t yelling, not like when he first called a greeting to the man he’s dubbed Uncle. Sable, in contrast to her solemnity, is given a crooked grin.

When Ygraine and Sable head in after Richard and Pearl – the idea of drinks certainly seems a fine one – Dev is left to follow in their wake. He tags along, already looking ahead and away from the women he follows for further familiar faces.

Another limo pulls up to the red carpet and as the door is opened the photographers get to clicking but not because they recognize the person because they wouldn't. But man is she.. exotic looking.

A tan leg peeks out from the door and out steps a short woman, tiny. Green eyes are half lidded in a lazy expression and the material of her deep green short dress matches her eyes. The dress is gossamer, her feet covered in a dark golden slipper. Very dark eye makeup that is smudged all around the eyes gives her a dramatic look. Tibby looks like a wood nymph.

Bleached blonde hair is pulled back, showing the shaved sides of her head, the ends in a spiky, mess. “Who are you?” is asked by a man that has been gawking with a mic in his hand. As she seems to glide by him, neck straight and head back her eyes slide over the man and she gives the tiniest of winks with no other answer.

She's here for a purpose though a good party is always fun. No she's here tonight to confirm something, the knot in her belly is pulsating.

“I'm nervous as all fuck, I’ll.. bleh I love you. I'll see you inside. I have to find him.” Her childlike voice barely rings out to her date as she turns her head and looks towards the Garden. Maybe a smoke first? She already figures he would be in the gallery. This close and she's still afraid.

Tibby’s date follows shortly after, a tall and buff dark-skinned man dressed in a well-tailored tuxedo, which he adjusts as he slips out of the car after the smaller blonde woman. It always takes a while for Keira to get used to being a man, and she’s only been this one for about an hour. The poor fellow whose identity she has assumed is sleeping off a heavy sedative in a random building on Staten Island right now. He won’t remember a thing about tonight, or why he was at some party with some blonde bitch.

He touches the small of Tibby’s back, a small grin on his face. “You do your thing, babe. I’m going to shuffle about being a sexy motherfucker and spy on people. I’ll be here if you need me.” His own voice barely goes beyond Tibby’s ears, thanks to the din. He plants a small kiss on the top of her head (because it’s really fun being tall), before nudging her along, ignoring the press in the process.

Shortly after Keira and Tibby’s limousine pulls away, another one pulls up. The door opens, and one right foot sporting a red Louboutin heels gracefully slips out, followed by a matching left foot; shortly after, one Soleil Davignon, the heiress to the Davignon fortune, CEO of both of her parent’s companies, and PR director for Raytech Industries, slips out of the car. She wears a custom made dress from the clothing line she inherited from her mother, a knee-length black number with red designs embroidered into the fabric.

Once out, she pauses, slipping easily into a pose for the cameras as she waits for her date, turning her head slightly toward the limousine with an extremely faint, coy smile upon her face. This kind of thing is what she was born to do.

She doesn’t notice her cousin ahead of her just yet, as the media turns their cameras and eyes and questions toward the former ballerina. “Oui, I am in town on business, both for Raytech and for personal business purposes,” is her response when asked why she is in town.

She went over the rules before they arrived. She gets out first, wait three to five seconds for the flashes to die down, and then get out. Stand straight up, smile, look in the direction she’s looking, and wave. Just like being on parade in the military.

Jaiden Mortlock waits the appropriate time and emerges from the limo, his cane held loosely in his right hand. He’s dressed in an immaculately tailored Davignon tuxedo that has been designed to fit his frame perfectly, he takes two steps to stand on Remi’s right, his left hand going around her waist as the cameras flash.

“I will never get used to this…” Jaiden murmurs to Remi, leaning in slightly to whisper into her upturned ear before he straightens and smiles, looking in the direction she’s looking before the reporters have their way with him as well. “Personal business, really, and a chance to see the wonder of Yamagato Industries. My retirement may be coming to a brief close. I’m going to be starting with Raytech on a hydroponics initiative shortly to see if we can’t help mitigate some of these food shortages, and I’ve heard rumor that a friend of mine is starting up an organization that could use a little help.” He dangles that little tidbit to the reporters, remaining mum when he refuses to name the friend or the organization.

“Behave you,” is said in a cheeky manner to her friend in disguise and she shakes her head. There's something in the back of her mind that shudders at the connotations of a white woman parading around as a black man but she knows Keira doesn't mean any harm, at least she hopes for her friend that nobody figures out the ruse. Before she goes, “I imagine.. there will be telepaths around.. be careful.” Is said with a grin and Tibby is making her way towards the Garden.

A smoke it is.

The peculiarity of Keira’s current form does not escape her — but then again, she was mostly just grabbing the hottest non-Evo she could find on short notice, and didn’t really think of such things until she had already been holding his hand for a good half an hour already, and now she’s stuck as him for the next ten hours or so.

The man smirks, adjusting his coat. He clears his throat, then flashes a bright white smile. In an impeccable British accent he replies, “Any teeps out here will just hear me thinking how amazing I look, and will likely just brush me off as some cocky asshole.” He grins, and promptly parts ways from his friend, heading toward the Gallery at a casual stroll.

The French heiress poses for a moment longer, her arm wrapping around Jaiden’s waist in return. Her left hand, and the jeweled wedding band adorning it, links briefly with Jaiden’s for a perfect photo op — she knows how to milk the cameras.

A soft smile and a kiss on her husband’s cheek later, and she is leading the way up the red carpet, a confident smile on her face. Though she has to keep her ability kept tightly in check right now, that doesn’t change the fact that she is in her element. Apparently, she is heading for the garden, mentally indicating to Jaiden that she needs to take a moment to prepare herself before heading into the Gallery proper.

It may not be obvious, but as Remi makes her way up the carpet with Jaiden close behind, he's proud of his wife. Normally a crowd like this would send her running for the hills, due to the psychic noise, but she's worked so hard and moved so far that he can't help but watch her for just a moment.

The cameras certainly catch that look he gives.

He follows along and catches up, touching her shoulder. “I'll meet you inside. Take all the time you need.” And then, with a lingering touch, the pair separate, Jaiden going to the gallery, Remi heading to the garden.

“I’m just a blip on th—” Rue follows Dearing’s gaze, catches his meaning and shakes her head slowly with a hint of a smirk on her mauve-painted lips. “Not long at all.” Blue eyes scan the space out of force of habit more than curiosity, but Rue’s not very good at separating work from life anymore. And fun is something she won’t have until she drinks enough to forget herself for a minute. She may not let it come to that tonight.

“If you want to head into the gallery,” Dearing’s date doesn’t look back at him as she speaks, “we could do that. But I’ve just spotted Raith and Epstein’s daughters.” She nods her head toward the two blondes. “It’s like sunglasses run in the family,” she comments almost snidely, but the bite has no teeth. If Dearing hasn’t figured out by now that there’s Something going on with Rue and Avi, then he’s not very good at his job.

And Rue thinks he’s rather good at his job.

“I’ll leave it up to you,” she decides, turning then to regard him with a smile. “Gallery, or recon that we never give up.” There’s very little intent on Rue’s part to leave the bar once they get started either. Not unless something terribly interesting catches her attention.

“Well,” Dearing eyes the bar, “I'll level with you Rumor.” He blinks a look back to her from the distance. “I didn't come here for culture or whatever. So,” tilting her head to the side he offers a somewhat helpless shrug. “Maybe we should slam back a couple drinks, and then go around and see what there is to see.”

Tongue against the inside of his cheek, Dearing only then notices Hana at the bar. “On— second thought, let's not drink in front of your boss. Also, Epstein’s kid is headed this way.”

Sure enough, Emily is wheeling out from the bar with a look on her face that is somewhere between scared and mad. Behind her, it looks like she just cut Devon down at the knees with words. But she's angrily wheeling back into the entrance, scowling as she does.

“She looks thrilled to be here. Maybe we should go introduce ourselves as coworkers of her dad that obviously never sees her?” Dearing cracks a smile and raises his brows. “Do you think they have booze in the gallery?” Then, just before Emily reaches the entrance, Devon runs ahead of her and stops her wheelchair and she looks like she's going to scream, looking around for security.

“Ok, true test of friendship,” Dearing notes to Rue. “Interject ourselves, or pretend we didn't see it but watch the train-wreck anyway?”

Fuck.” If Rue had sleeves, she’d roll them up right now. “C’mon. Let’s go save him from himself.” Or from Emily, at least. Rue doesn’t imagine Emily needs any saving herself. But if he gets booted out of the gala, that’s a mark against all of them. “Haul him off if you have to, yeah?” Not that she isn’t perfectly capable, but it might look especially ridiculous in this dress.

With confident strides, Rue approaches the altercation-in-the-making. “Hey, is this guy bothering you?” Sister code is in full effect, even if it’s actually to save his butt instead of hers. A withering look is shot in Devon’s direction. It’s up to him to guess if she means it, or if it’s part of one of her acts. Lancaster can go either way on a bad night.

Whatever Devon had been saying is summarily ended by the time Rue interjects herself into the fiasco. He’s left staring, mouth closed at least but still staring at the commander. In short order he likewise becomes aware of Dearing nearby, and others who’ve stopped to gawk and wonder. He doesn’t look around at least, dense as he may be appearing, at least he saves himself from that much.

“No,” he replies. Neither slow nor terse, but he catches Rue’s implications. Devon side-eyes Emily then extricates himself from her immediate presence. “I apologize for being an ass, and for Lucille’s rudeness. I’d hoped to smooth things over, but I can see that’s impossible at this time. Please excuse me.”

For all his boldness just moments ago, Dev has gone absolutely proper and formal. It’s as though a switch finally flipped. The joviality he’d had on first arriving to the gala has deflated; or at least come under some seriously strict control. His two fellow Hounds are given a nod and, as though given he an order, he turns smartly to remove himself to an entirely separate part of the gala. The gallery looks interesting.

“Hey Dev,” Dearing diverts and slides an arm over the younger man — whom he's said maybe eight sentences to since he joined wolfhound — as though they were longtime friends. “So I'm not gonna chaperone,” he says quietly, a tap on the young man’s shoulder, “but I will — man to man — low-five a little advice.” He eyes Rue taking point with the girl in the wheelchair, and squares a look back at Devon. “You came on too strong, from the looks of it. But you broke away before she blew a whistle or whatever, so that's good.

Dearing eyes a Yamagato security officer as he goes by, then looks back to Devon. “But I know you,” does he? “You're a good kid, smart, reliable. So, here's a hand from Uncle James,” Dearing gives Devon a squeeze as they walk. “Rue tells me that's Commander Epstein’s estranged daughter or some shit. Something about a divorce, I kinda zoned out. Anyway,” he flashes a smile, “we’re gonna mulligan this and make it so it didn't happen. When — and if — she stops seeing you as stranger danger, I'll give you a signal and you can properly apologize. Chicks eat that stuff up.”

While Dearing is… being Dearing, Emily is red-faced and halfway dialed something on her phone. But the frustration she felt at Devon shifts entirely over to Rue is a misdirected venting of anger. “And who the fuck are you?” She has his cadence of speech, his expressive brows, his shitty attitude. The apple didn't even fall far from the tree, it fell and got stuck in lower branches.

“Because if you're gonna try and pretend to be my friend and roofie me or whatever the hell these weirdos want, you can get the fuck in line.” With a squint, Emily pushes her sunglasses up the bridge of her nose.

Rue holds up her hands in surrender, stepping aside so she’s not blocking the path. Roofie? “Nope. Not a chance.” She jerks a thumb in Devon’s direction after Dearing’s pulled him out of earshot. “I have no idea what he said to you, but it was probably dumb, and I’m sorry that it happened.” That’s sincere. “If he realized who you are, he probably wouldn’t have said shit to you.” Ginger brows lift toward her hairline. The resemblance is uncanny, and how could they miss it?

“My name’s Rue Lancaster. And I am happy to fuck off and leave you be if you’re okay, Miss Epstein.”

There's the sound of skidding tires and then Eve is cackling madly as she wheels herself down the red carpet. “Tell Gilly I'll see her at homeeeeeeeee!”

A nearby guest is almost ran over by the woman who slows the wheelchair in some weird ass jerking motion. “Cherrrrrrrryyy watchhh outttttt!” It's almost as if it's said in slow motion. The oracle banks to the left the wheel of her chair popping up to the side, eyes are wide she shifts her weight back over when she's clearing the tall Wolfhound operative. There's a light red stain on her teeth.

She bounces back into her seat and howls in pain before speeding along. “Watch out for the serial killer on the loose!” Is yelled as Eve wheels away to the confused look of someone of the people still in the entrance. There's a flash, later that photo would be blurry and show a blurred figure with a wide open mouth hollering, like some psycho Bigfoot sighting or something.

Eve has left the building.

That arm around his shoulders earns Dearing a side-eye, one brow raised and none of the easy-going demeanor Dev has typically shown when off duty. Later, he might laugh at the myriad of misunderstandings. Right now he’d be better served with a flow chart or something for how that escalated so quickly. But instead he’s slowing, while Uncle James gives him some not-quite fatherly advice.

“Whatever you think that was,” he says after Dearing has had his say, “it wasn’t. I don’t even… I know… Never mind.” Devon shakes his head and turns enough to escape the arm and half face the older man. The idea of replaying the last several minutes is suddenly an exhausting endeavor. “Thanks for the tip, but I think I’m going to make some brief appearances elsewhere while things cool out here, then call it an early night.”

He doesn’t wait for a response. He turns and purposefully walks away from Dearing. Measured strides take Devon from the entrance back into the gala. He skirts the bar, having already made a small scene there, and heads for the gallery instead.

Dearing stands there, hand on his hip, head cocked to the side and one hand snatching a flute of champagne from a server who just happened by. “Kids,” he muses to himself with a swig of the champagne. “They just grow up so fast…” Watching Devon until he's slipped away, Dearing turns around and regards Rue and Emily from a distance, observing their interactions.

Jesus Christ,” Emily exhales as she covers her face with one hand. There’s a look over her sunglasses at the redhead, eyes cast to the side and squinting at the light. “Did my fucking mother send you? Oh my god, I didn't even want to come to this stupid party.” Embarrassment at the thought of being followed by someone hired by her mother has Emily slouching further in her seat and running one hand through her hair.

She breathes in deeply and then looks over to Rue with furrowed brows. “If I give you some money will you just… pretend you did your job for the night? Because I'm really— this is embarrassing.”

Was that— Rue’s focus is momentarily broken by dancing aside to avoid a different wheelchair as Eve Mas goes sailing by. For a moment, she stares after her with a slack jaw and slightly wide eyes. Then, she shakes it off and gets back to the matter at hand. She could tell Emily the truth. But why do that when she’s been prevented with such a convenient lie?

“No money necessary. I have no intention of interfering with your night. I was just concerned when I saw that guy blocking your way and wanted to make sure you were all right. I’m not here to follow you.” Rue demonstrates this by taking another step away, this one slightly toward Dearing. “Parents aren’t always good at showing they care, and sometimes they do it in the complete wrong ways, but they try.” She dips her chin toward her chest briefly. A silent have a good evening, should Emily desire the exit from the conversation. And she suspects she does. Probably from the event on the whole.

And other than the screeching of the wheeled banshee that is Eve Mas, Kay thinks the event is going quite well. Not that she’s paying attention to anything else at all when Jonathan compliments her dress. She blushes and her smile shifts to the shy side of things. “You are far too kind. And you may be humble, but you still look amazing.”

A glance over to Alvin is almost startled. Like she suddenly remembered he was there and that she has something to be embarrassed about. “Thanks for all your help, Alvin. Do you think we could see about arranging a tour for Mister Smith’s class at a later date? I’m sure the kids would love the gallery.”

Alvin's features pull into a look of slight confusion, as well as mild amusement, the two emotions warring for real estate on his face. "Well I am most certainly not the right person to ask. But I can ask Mister Erazawa who would arrange that. Probably Miss Dawson. Or perhaps Miss Nisatta herself. I don't see why it couldn't be facilitated though." Alvin's head tips forwards in a shallow bow. "Though to be honest you'd probably find the children less interested in the gallery and far more interested in the technology that Yamagato has developed. Could put on a display of that as well as the gallery. Show them all the good that the fellowship is doing for the city of New York." You know, create good PR and what not. Alvin's attention is never stable, always moving though at least coming back to the conversation at hand often enough not to be rude. He's practiced at playing security and holding conversations with guests, even if Kay isn't exactly a guest.

Sauntering out into the night, Rex deposits an empty champagne flute on one of the server’s trays as she walks by. He pulls out a box of cigarettes as he reaches the sidewalk and taps out one of the cigarettes within, for a casual stroll away from the Gala. He waves off the nearest limo waiting for exiting guests as he lights up, taking a long drag before exhaling. He disappears around the corner and out of sight.

“Oh I don’t know… I imagine they would like both,” Jonathan says, rather certain about the kids he teaches. “I think it is an excellent idea. I personally, believe the kids should learn about that company that is helping rebuilt. Yamagato is making history here.” History is always important to learn and to live. At least the good kind. “Maybe something the engage the kids.” His head bobs at his own thoughts.

He looks between the both of them, looking rather hopeful and a bit touched. “I would be very grateful and Kay….” He motions to her with both hands, “She absolutely know how to get ahold of me if there are any questions.”

“I’m sure they would,” Kay assures, looping an arm with Jonathan and resting her other hand on top. Creating good PR is Kay’s job, and she likes Alvin’s ideas. She flashes him a grin. “See? I knew you were the right person to ask. If you wouldn’t mind liaising with security for me - when you have the time, of course - I would be exceptionally grateful.” She pats Jonathan’s arm once. “I shouldn’t keep you from your work though. Thank you for the assist.”

Alvin tips his head forwards again with an easy smile. "You are welcome Director Damaris. And yes I can coordinate security for the… field trip?" He asks, raising a brow as he glances over to Jonathan. "If you could let me know how many children it would be I can get security set up for their visit. Should it be approved of course. And…" He turns back to Kay. "You are welcome again Director. Always happy to help. If you need anything else… I'll be back in my corner being anti social and making people uncomfortable by staring at them too long." There's a quick smirk that is there and gone again as he turns and walks back through the crowd, weaving amongst them until he gets back near the spot where Kay found him.

The night is still young, and the gala still has much to show, though the tone and tempo was set long ago before any of the guests arrived. Pivoting her wheelchair, Emily Epstein affords a side-long look at Rue, then Dearing as he comes up behind her, and just shakes her head. “Next time, just take the money and pretend you did your job,” she dismissively notes, wheeling around Rue and aggressively pushing her way through the crowd.

Dearing watches Emily go, one brow raised. He slides a slow look over to Rue, shrugging once as he reaches out to take her hand. “So,” he implies with a casual charm as another limp pulls up in the distance, cameras flashing and reporters barking questions. “How about me and you have a date with Jim Bean, and then go get some culture?”

Farther away, black tie Yamagato security briskly move through the building, even as the red flashing lights of an ambulance pull up through the front parkway and circle around to the east wing of the building. The Safe Zone has not seen activity like this in more than a decade, a celebration of the world and its people, a celebration of life and its connections.

For all that there are threads of countless histories at play in the Fellowship Center, it is the way in which they intersect with one-another that is most important. For one life can have a dramatic impact on many.

Without ever even realizing it.


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License