A Celebration Of History — Gallery

Participants:

astrid_icon.gif barney_icon.gif buddy_icon.gif caspian_icon.gif cesar_icon.gif colette_icon.gif devon_icon.gif eizen_icon.gif elaine_icon.gif eugene_icon.gif eve_icon.gif ghost_icon.gif gillian_icon.gif huruma_icon.gif jonathan_icon.gif joseph_icon.gif kaylee_icon.gif keira_icon.gif kenner_icon.gif logan_icon.gif lucille_icon.gif monica_icon.gif nicole_icon.gif nisatta_icon.gif pearl_icon.gif ray_icon.gif rex_icon.gif robyn_icon.gif sibyl_icon.gif sylvester_icon.gif tamara_icon.gif

Scene Title A Celebration of History — Gallery
Synopsis In the art gallery of the Fellowship Center, the past and the present collide.
Date April 7, 2018

Yamagato Fellowship Center


The melodies of shamisen music echo through the spacious halls and hanging balconies of the Yamagato Fellowship's museum. The music has an ethereal quality, seeming to come from every corner of the building at the same time. The shamisen are played in shinnai-bushi style, an equivalent of busking that falls under the kokyoku tradition of largely unpracticed Japanese musical history. Dozens of guests linger in the circular foyer surrounded by tiers of curving, white balconies. Their finery contrasts sharply against the shades of white and cream that make up the building's neutral aesthetic. A lambent golden glow is shed from spherical lights suspended by white cabling from the ceiling, attached to mechanized tracks that cause the globes to slowly rotate, like gigantic suns dancing overhead.

At the ground level, multiple open art displays in dimmer and controlled lighting displays art history from across Japan. One wing, dedicated to rescued art and historical relics from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan has attracted several onlookers who move from painting to painting, quietly discussing the tragedy of the art lost to the Second American Civil War. Some of the paintings and pieces of art have been hung in damaged states, to reinforce the catastrophic loss of history and culture the war wrought on the land, and to reinforce the charity of this event — the restoration of New York's galleries and museums.

Apart from the American culture, Yamagato Fellowship chairman Kam Nisatta cuts an elegant silhouette within the wing of the museum dedicated to the legacy of the samurai Takezo Kensei. Her sleek red dress spreads out in four panels at the floor, each embroidered with floral patterns of silk in pale shades of pink. Several guests have come to entertain Kam's presence, listening to her debate the historic significance of Kensei with a pair of history professors from Brooklyn College.

"Actually," Kam corrects one of the professors, "while it is assumed Kensei was a warlord, there is considerable historic evidence that presents a different side of his story. The Gregorian calendar states Kensei was most active between 1671 and 1672. This falls in line with the Kanbun era, obviously." As she speaks, Kam gestures with the tall flute of her champagne glass. "From Kanbun 8 to Kanbun 11, precisely when Kensei was most active, the Shakushain revolt was happening around Hokkaido."

To that point, Kam motions back to the armor and sword in the square glass display at her back. "There is evidence that Kensei was not a warlord, per-se, but the victim of historical revisionism from the Yamato people. The Shakushain revolt was an attempt by the indigenous people of Japan — the Ainu — to stand against the Yamato invaders for what is, essentially, the right to live in their own land. Kensei historically fought against the Yamato people exclusively, and much of his stories come from Yamato perspective. But the few surviving Ainu people of Japan have an altogether different perspective to provide on Kensei's rise to power and the people he surrounded himself with."

Kam raises one black brow. "I posit that Kensei served Shakushain and the interests of the marginalized Ainu people, rather than something as simple as petty greed or a lust for power." Eyes partway lidded by the fringe of her lashes, Kam regards the professor standing in awkward silence beside her. She motions with her flute of champagne to him, as if to urge his response.

"I— well," the professor looks around at his silent colleagues, awkwardly clinging to his own flute of champagne. "You see, it… it's not as simple as that. None of us were actually there, so we have to consider that some sides of the historic debate will have their own personal agendas to spread, especially oral traditions of the Ainu. If we look at the tale of Takezo and the Dragon…"

Kam rolls her eyes and stifles a laugh, stepping over to the professor before reaching out one tanned hand. She makes eye contact with him, bringing fingertips to touch his wristwatch. As she does, her eyes take on a momentarily lambent quality of pale golden light, and then dim. "You nearly wore a gray suit, but changed before you left your house because you felt self-conscious." She pulls her fingers away, and now the professor is frozen in abject silence. "Some of us have a different perspective on history."

The crowd applauds, as if it were a parlour trick.

One of the newer displays in the Yamagato art museum is a retrospective of street art from before the war and a few from after. A sign leading into the section where Caspian is set up describes it thusly.

"Graffiti is word-based and its ‘writers’ are mostly self-taught. The art form emerged from inner city neighborhoods as a type of self-expression for urban youth. It’s egoistic because its “tags” are acts of personal branding by the writers. Graffiti is illegal, but it is precisely this illegal risk that gives it its counter-cultural edge. Street art, on the other hand, is most often done by artists who have received formal training. In the beginning, the artists took their cue from graffiti in making the streets their canvas as a statement against existing establishment, and their works usually carry some overarching message for the public. Some artists have managed to straddle this line, and the images here are ones we feel have interesting cultural impact. “

Caspian takes a moment to read the words as written, taping a small note on the bottom. A bit of graffiti, signed with his street tag, that simply states “People say graffiti is ugly, irresponsible and childish… but that's only if it's done properly.” A quick bit of guerilla art before the main show. The dark-haired man grins and then turns, stepping into his 'studio' as it were. In exchange for his ticket to the gala, he was contracted to produce a piece to be put on display, with people watching the art as it happened. A small area was set up in a corner with excellent ventilation, canvas put down on the floor, and the Twenty-square foot wall already been prepared with a smooth white background. His cases of paint were sitting there, too, just waiting to be used, along with a large trash can for the empties. Grinning to himself, he glances back at the gathered executives discussing the armor as he readies himself. Taking a second to remove his jacket and roll up his sleeves, Caspian pulls out a pair of latex gloves, a particulate mask and his sketchbook, flipping to the page he was planning to work on.

https://tinyurl.com/y7wq6frz

The rattling of a gray can of paint can be heard barely over the music in the background, a fine cap put on to start tracing out the outline of something.

“Wow,” is breathed out softly as Jonathan enters the hall. He blinks owlishly behind his geeky frames shifting his stares from one item to another. Even the lovely Kam catches his attention or more her dress, he hovers beyond the circle, just a little behind her listening in awe. Her trick leaves him a little dumbfounded and rather impressed. It is almost too much to process.

However, what really draws him is a wing of art that looks out of place in such an fancy place. It pulls him away from the group around striking woman. Jonathan spent most of the war in Canada teaching, so he hadn’t been around to hear about the destruction done to so many of the countries treasures. It about breaks his heart to see it all, but still he heads down that wing, solemnly. Maybe even a touch misty eyed to see such amazing works of art reduced to this.

She is as brittle as glass, is a strange whisper echoing in the back of Jonathan’s mind. A voice not his own that insinuates itself like an intrusive thought, “and she needs your strength.” It comes with the sensory hallucination of wet concrete, dry leaves, damp soil, and the shadow of a bird flying in his peripheral vision. But there is no one looking at him, no bird flying in the open, just a crowd of gala guests and the harmony of shamisen strings, the hiss of spray paint cans, and the distant din of a dozen conversations.

Entering the gallery, Tamara lets her gaze drift over its features — the gleaming orbs above, the pale vault of the ceiling, the exhibits glimpsed in various directions. Smiling softly, she lets possibility direct her feet, a slim shape in black and silver that sidles through the gathered attendees, scanning over various pieces of art on display even as she passes them by. What the blonde sees in them, if anything, is obscure to anyone else.

It's not to the American exhibits that Tamara's meanderings take her, but that which comes from the other side of the world, as foreign as the enclave that has established itself on purchased soil. Not that she passes judgment on the history or belonging of either; she of all people cannot. Conversation drifts around Tamara in the same way she moves past most of the guests, gaze resting in turn on woodblock prints, preserved garments, arms and armor. — and on the audience gathered around three people and one display in particular. She catches the tail end of the 'parlor trick', but does not applaud, only smiles again — and steps up into the gathering, giving the professors a thoughtful look.

"It's important to account for other perspectives," says one with yet another radically different frame of view. Though the statement also applies to historical studies in general. Tamara then turns a genial smile on Kam then, mindful of her social graces; this particular setting requires them. "Ms. Nisatta. I apologize if I'm interrupting."

A pimped out wheelchair gets pushed into the gallery by a woman in a nice red-orange dress and blonde shoulder length curls. Most people who’d seen the news of the Tribunals would recognize both women, the one pushing the chair and the one in it, and there’s a whisper as they walk by of someone wondering if the skulls on the chair were a metaphor before they start snickering behind their hands. Gillian pays no mind as she gets Eve into a position where she can at least wheel herself around and see the gallery, before she says, “I’ll see if I can find some snacks. Don’t wander off too far.”

And don’t do anything she wouldn’t do.

“I heard that!” Comes Eve’s voice at the snickering but it can't be help and as Gillian goes off to find snacks then Eve is wheeling about the place looking for, “Ah ha! Thank you, no pain meds so I’ll take this.” There’s a swipe of a champagne flute from a server with a wink, “Just one right.” She whispers to the guy before wheeling off.

“Just one.” Gillian responds in ‘mom’ voice, but she gives her a look, even then. With Eve wheeling off of her own, she wanders off— to find the heure d'oeuvres.

Wheeee!

There's a screech of tires, she's holding onto her big purple purse and Gillian’s as well. She's looking over at Tamara, debating on interrupting. But for now she's staring at the exhibit of Kensei.. Adam. “Not so scary now hmph.” She has misgivings about being beheaded by the man recently or.. not recently.

Kam’s attention diverts from the men she was talking circles around and moves squarely to Tamara. For a moment there's a look on her face that wordlessly says of course it's you. “Miss Brooks,” she hands her empty champagne flute off to a server waking by. “I was just thinking of having our security chief contact you for a consultation. Serendipitous timing,” she admits with a faint smile.

“I imagine you have considerable perspective to add to a discussion, though I hadn't realized history was something you were interested in.” Kam’s approach to Tamara is serpentine, moving with fluid grace and poise. “It's a pleasure to meet you. Kimiko speaks highly of you.” For whatever reasons she may have to.

Jonathan is staring rather morosely at a particular painting from an old master, when it happens. “What?” He asks out loud, turning around to look behind him, meet the confused look of an old lady dressed in a beaded tube dress. “Who’s brittle?” he asks with a curious smile. She in turn looks at him like he is crazy and shuffles off, leaving a rather confused Jonathan in her wake. He starts to call after her, but something stops him. “Huh. That was weird.”

Maybe this was another fancy trick of their hosts for the evening. This gets the area around him a glance, brows furrowed in confusion. Jonathan can almost swear he still smells the wet concrete and a world after a good rain.

Rubbing at the back of his neck, thoughtfully, Jonathan turns his attention to a half burned landscape, the paint bubbled in places, but he is only half looking at it. His brows lift at a thought, “I haven’t even had a drink yet.”

Slipping in from the entranceway, Elaine quietly makes her way over towards the gallery, her eyes scanning her surroundings. She’d been here hundreds of times for work, the exhibits familiar and yet always foreign. They were from another time that she was not, that gave them a sense of otherworldliness that never allowed them to feel quite as familiar as she might like. She never got tired of looking at them though, and the same goes for even now. While she keeps an ear out for where she’s needed, she mostly roams the gallery. But she’s close at hand if she’s needed.

Tamara gestures slightly to one side in response to Kam's initial remarks. "We can set up a date before this is over, if you like," she offers. There's no weight of expectation in the words; equally, they can not. The seer is amenable to both outcomes.

Her smile quirks as Kam continues, taking on a rueful cast. "History — my perspective doesn't easily turn that way," she allows, turning her gaze upon the nearby display, seeming to contemplate its contents. There's a artistic aesthetic in its layout that cleverly conveys the nostalgic loss of times gone, time elapsed. "But I do appreciate stories, patterns, complements. And what is gone, lost, out of reach — there's a kind of fascination to that, for everyone," Tamara concludes, looking back to Kam. She pauses briefly, a shadow flickering through her expression, there and gone again. "Sometimes unwisely. But stories — stories are people."

The seer reaches out, offering a hand to shake, and a straightforwardly warm smile. "I'm glad to finally meet you," accompanies, where finally is pure politesse.

Monica makes her way into the gallery, Cesar on her arm, because she wasn't lying about being excited about the collection there. A hand is lifted toward Kam, but no move to interrupt her. She can talk to her at work, after all. She doesn't even lead her date directly to the sword, like she might be saving it for last. But historical pieces are the first stop.

"I got to escort this one here from Japan," she says when they stop in front of a kimono inside a glass case. It's spread out to see the length of the sleeves, an edge flipped to see the color of the lining against the exquisite design of the fabric. An obi hangs over one shoulder, the two pieces meant to be worn together. They match in artistic theme rather than in color, marked with chrysanthemums. "This is only allowed to be here because we're technically still in Japan," she notes to Cesar in a whisper. Insider's insight. Backstage information. DVD extra.

Out of the spotlights and into the contrasted hush of the gallery, Cesar takes a moment to take it all in and to breathe. A glance shifted on to the gathering around the Fellowship’s chairman follows with a short flick of his gaze to the rest of the immediate space, searching around the art and historical pieces for any other familiar faces in the gathered. His head tilts as he hears who he is fairly certain is Eve, but out of discretion and regard for being the dutiful date, he abandons the search to follow Monica.

As they come to the kimono she’s brought over, the agent’s eyes take on that of an appreciative gaze, recognition of something as exquisitely designed and put together comes even for him. And immediately after that, he turns to Monica with a much more crooked smile. A hand comes up to tap his temple and he says in a lowered tone, closer to her ear, “You in that? Got it right here now.”

By the Kensei display, Kam considers the hand offered out with so much uncertainty. There's a weight behind the gesture, and it does not go ignored. Taking Tamara’s hand, Kam’s is firm and resolute. “I'll have one of Mr. Erizawa’s representatives speak with you before you leave.” Business aside, she disengages from the handshake and briefly looks over Tamara’s shoulder to Monica, then back to the seer.

“I don't want to take too much more of your time,” Kam notes, looking askance to the armor and sword of Takezo Kensei in the glass case, “unless you were curious to hear a history lesson? My perspective is bent that way. Perhaps it could be useful?” One of her brows raise, genuine curiosity on display.

Right near to Kam and Tamara now as she has been muttering insults for the past few minutes at the armor on display, “I wish I told you Abby was gonna stab you in the heart you slippery snake from hel- oh Sister!” Eve’s wheelchair had been rolling backwards with the darker haired woman distracted but she stops herself short of rolling into Kam and Tamara.

Swerving her blinged out wheelchair around to face the women she’s careful not to knock anyone with the leg in the cast. Her raven dark mane of hair is tossed and curled loosely, falling over her shoulders and almost covering the HBIC license plate. “History eh?” Eve looks excited at that prospect and leans forward to touch a pale hand to Tamara’s before looking to Kam, “I'm bent forward, like my Sister here.” …the seer waves a hand.

“Have you seen him live?”

Maybe it is a familiar voice that draws him out of his thoughts, but Jonathan halfs turns to looks back into the main gallery. After glancing around, his gaze finally falls on a familiar face in the crowd. He is too polite not to say something, so he makes his way over.

“Agent Diaz, how awesome to see you here,” Jonathan greets the man with a bright smile, and a pat on the shoulder. “Isn’t all this amazing?” He looks past the pair to the Kimono… Wow. “Though.. Back there, is a bit sad to look at.” His head slowly shakes, his face disappointed. “Sad to see so much history in ruins thanks to… to” he waves a hand and huffs out a sigh. Violence… so meaningless in his mind.

Blue eyes suddenly fall on the woman that Cesar is with, “Oh! Hello,” he offers his hand to her, with a friendly smile. “My name’s Jonathan Smith.”

"Cesar," Monica says, her chastisement more playful than genuine, "this is a priceless historical artifact." And his mind is in the gutter. For shame. Luckily— for him or for her, who can say— another voice cuts in and she turns to look at Jonathan. She doesn't pop in right away, not until he seems to notice her there. She takes his hand for a shake when it's offered. "Monica Dawson. Nice you meet you," she says warmly. The southern accent is mostly gone, but the hospitality lingers. She glances past him, though, to the remnants of The Met. "It is," she agrees, "sad to look at. Important to remember, though. And to recognize the cost." Of the violence, presumably.

Her gears shift, though, and she looks between the two men. "You know Cesar?" It's a bit abrupt, but that's why she doesn't work PR.

In response to Kam's question, Tamara smiles softly. "I would be curious to hear whatever you choose to share," she replies, "on any occasion." Affirmation, but with distinctly more complex implications. The smile takes on a wry angle as a certain unattended wheelchair coasts into proximity; her posture shifts slightly, one hand lowering, but Eve manages to take notice and recover herself before intervention becomes required.

Eve's question elicits a moment of pensive consideration from Tamara. "More difficult, I think, to see him dead," she remarks. From several perspectives.

Eve’s question and Tamara’s response elicit a mixed reaction from Nisatta. She settles a look on the wheelchair-bound seer and furrows her brows, then looks to Tamara with an outwardly inscrutable look. Eve’s question is only answered by a mild smile.

Takezo Kensei,” Kam notes with a subtle raise of her voice as though speaking to the handful of others around the display, “was at his heart a genuine person. Earnesty and forthrightness were ideals he held in high regard. You can see that in the scrolls over here,” she motions to a wall-mounted and glass-pressed scroll nearby where Elaine stands. “Written in Kensei’s own hand, circa 1698. He laments the treatment of the Ainu people by the Tokugawa shogunate. The encroachment on their lands, the stripping of their rights.”

Kam motions next to a wood block print of Kensei in a boat on a river, holding a lantern in one hand with a woman seated behind him in the boat, holding his sword. “The woman depicted in this 17th century piece is identified only as Yaeko. Common misconceptions from poor transliteration of Ainu texts identified her as a Yamato, but miss Darrow,” she motions to Elaine, “helped us confirm that Yaeko was in fact Ainu. Historically, Yaeko is accounted as the greatest love of Takezo Kensei, but even that relationship is… simplified.”

Stepping back to the armor, Kam motions to the case. “Yaeko was descended from a line of blacksmiths, their mark can be found not only on this armor, but the sword as well. The mark being this distinctive S-shaped symbol on the hilt of the sword. It was imprinted on everything they made.”

Kam levels a look around at the crowd. “The significance of this is twofold. One, that Takezo Kensei was an outsider to Japan, a British expatriate who chose to side with the Ainu against the Tokugawa. Secondly, that Kensei was subordinate to Yaeko, not necessarily her lover.” To that point, Kam motions to a woodblock print of Takezo Kensei facing off against a dragon on a hilltop. “The fable of Kensei and the Dragon is a parable, meant to imply that Kensei’s greatest love was for that of the Ainu. The dragon represents the ultimately victorious Tokugawa and Kensei’s exile from Japan…”

Folding her hands in front of herself, Kam inclined her head to the side. “Furthermore, we believe that currently translated records yet to be publicly displayed will show that the Ainu were predominantly SLC-Expressive humans. Yamagato Industries is currently participating in a testing of 16th and 17th century remains to corroborate this theory. But it stands to reason that Kensei wasn't so much a warlord at all…”

Shrugging, Nisatta makes an unusual corollary. “He was the first proponent of SLC-Expressive rights, and a soldier who stood against a government system aligned against a marginalized people. Some might say his story resonates more now than ever.”

And that, is Kam Nisatta’s perspective on the history of Takezo Kensei.

As the woman speaks of her perspective of Adam’s history, Eve has her chin in her hands. “Ahhh,” at certain parts, “You don't say.” At the part of him being a genuine person. “You know, me and some buddies freed him from Level 5.” There’s a scratch of her head and her brow furrows, “And he was pretty snooty if you ask me.” Eve gives the armor a look and taps the handles of her wheelchair, the toy skulls underneath are jangling around.

“Okay not a complete asshole. I guess he brought me back to life once, did you know that his SLCness caused his blood to have incredible regenerative properties? The science fairies must be dying to poke his arm a few times.” There's a clap of her hand.

“Has anyone ever heard of Adam Monroe?” Eve’s tone becomes teacher like and if she had glasses she would push them up the bridge of her nose. “In the old days, not as old as feudal Japan. There was a man, of many names but one face. One of those names, Kensei.. Takezo Kensei.” Dramatic tone. “Blonde hair that made him look like the angel Gabriel and blue eyes that peered right through your soul like Satan’s gaze itself.” The seer waves her hand with a, “Oowiee he thinks he's hot stuff. I'll tell ya.”

During this ‘history lesson’, Gillian returns with a plate of snacks that is passed to Eve with a perplexed expression on her face, it dawns on her very quickly that Eve is telling one of her ‘stories’.

The seer takes a breath and looks over at Kami and then that sword. “As for Warlord? Bah! He's definitely the killing type, I ended up underneath,” She looks this way and that way before leaning in to whisper so Kam could hear and probably Tamara. “All his kills in this battle and that sword.” She points at the sword, “Took this cherry right off it’s stalk.” Eve dusts her hands, “I'm not bitter or anything. I've been tracking him for the last six years! I'm close, real close. I can smell his aristocratic perfume already.” She munches on a cracker.

No regrets. Cesar’s thoroughly mischievous smirk to Monica is kept just long enough for her to chide him. The smile twists to something more polite as Jonathan comes up to greet him. “Hey Teach!” Which sounds a lot like a ‘hey coach’, but not quite. He nods to the comment about the kimono, albeit there’s a glimmer of humor in his eyes lingering as he waits for Jonathan to take in the breathtaking piece. The sobering comment about the historical pieces at the back of the gallery gets a short glance past to it, another nod, and then once the other man’s noticed Monica at the agent’s side, he grins.

“Jonathan’s a part of the SZC,” supplies the man, “and he teaches the younger kids in his class.” Cesar moves to put a supportive hand on Jonathan’s shoulder, and turns to regard the others just past. There’s a lot going on, but then he’s back to the teacher and introductions to his fashion forward friend beside him. “Did you come with anyone, or are you flying solo tonight?” he asks Jonathan, casting a glance around for said other party. It’s in that glance that he spots Eve, the wheelchair, and a somewhat pained look for her leg. “What the hell,” mutters the agent incredulously.

One of Kam’s brows twitch, and immediately after one of the professors who was trying to talk over her earlier loudly pipes up. “Is Adam Monroe a— ” he stifles a laugh, “metaphor?” There's a bunch of wheezy laughing from he and his colleagues. “Like the horse!” Laughter breaks out from among the college staff. They don't appear to take her account seriously.

Gillian’s eyes narrow and look towards the professor. That look will be given a lot tonight it seems.

Nodding his head in affirmative to Monica’s question, Jonathan grins. “What he said. That’s me. He and other SESA agents are working on a case for the Safe Zone Council. The whole food theft issue.” He shakes a finger at Cesar, looking at Monica over the tops of his glasses. “He knows his way around good coffee, let me tell you.”

Pushing his glasses up on his nose again, he suddenly blinks at the question about his date. “Oh! Would you just look at me? Here I am talking and chattering on and my date is around here somewhere. I was supposed to meet up with her… and I just got… distracted by all of this.” He motions to the Gallery around him. Lips press together briefly in disappointment at himself. “I swear… it’s like I’d lose my head if it was not attached. If I’m not careful, they will start calling me the absent minded professor.” That last has him chuckling at his own lame joke. “I should probably find her.”

Jonathan offers his hand to each, briefly. A pleasure, Miss Dawson. Cesar, I look forward to the next report you all bring to the meeting.” With that, the teacher turns with purpose to find Kay and probably apologize profusely for being a bad date.

Content to listen to Ms. Nisatta’s speech, Elaine merely stands to the side and observes. She’s pleasantly surprised when her contribution is mentioned and she smiles, wiggling her fingers as a hello to anyone who deigns to look at her after. She seems about to applaud Kam when she’s done talking but then there’s talk of Adam Monroe. She recalls an Adam Monroe a long time ago, back when she was a student, but it was more coincidence than anything. She steps in a bit closer, not taking any action of the verbal variety, instead just choosing to scoot in a little closer so she could participate should she just happen to feel the need to. Which she might. Eventually.

“So I'm assuming you didn't know about his other female counterpart hmm?” Eve fires back among the laughing of the few people around. “Golden eyes, she can see me eye to eye.” Eve's eyes grow wide and she looks over to Tamara, “You were there, I have to let you know. Later.” The dark haired woman flips some hair over her shoulder as she chews on a cracker before leveling the professor who spoke with a stare. “She’s so old.. just as old as him. But why would he be..” she trails off and shakes her head.

“Your mother is a metaphor. Which means you don't exist.” There's a shoo shoo motion from the seer and that dangerous glint in her eye. Her purse was searched for weapons but this woman could probably make a spoon deadly somewhere.

She would bark if it wouldn't embarrass Gillian.

"Oh! Well, it's always great to meet one of the community leaders. And a teacher, too? Double threat." Monica smiles over at Jonathan, warmer now. Because he's obviously a nice man. And she manages not to chortle when he mentions Cesar's coffee skills, although there is a look about her when she responds. "He is really good with the coffee, you are right about that. It's all that Cuban blood." Don't laugh. Don't laugh. "He can cafécito like nobody's business." But when the man takes his leave, she waits until he's out of earshot before she finally lets out that laugh. Her hand reaches for Cesar's shoulder, to steady herself.

It's a little more than a chortle.

But it's also cut short when she realizes what Cesar is commenting on. Which is Eve being Eve. "Whoa, okay, hang on." That's to her date. Because she's cutting over toward the prophet a moment later.

"Eve!" she greets her with a smile. "I didn't know you were coming." The warmth in that greeting is genuine, too, because she'll always have a soft spot for her PARIAH buddies. It's just a bonus if her presence happens to distract her. "I'm here with Cesar," she says with a wave toward the agent, "did you get to say hi to him yet?"

Ghost is looking at a painting.

It's interesting to look at works of art from the perspective of a time-traveler. To know that artefacts framed in heavy borders of stolid gold, examined by hundreds of eyes and experts for their significance and workmanship and stylistic peculiarities, that are wrung through and fortified so much for their authenticity and place in history, might be as malleable as the time that one jumped out of. Paint's still squishy. Paint never dries.

He smiles creepily at the painting, then turns to follow the sound of familiar voices. And familiar names. He doesn't insert himself into the situation yet, but his eyes are on Monica first, Eve second, as he comes wandering over.

“He is a good man,” Cesar says of Jonathan, and looks like he’s about to say more until there’s the mention of making good coffee. The agent quickly clears his throat to cover the uttered, choked grunt when Monica goes on, shooting her a pointed look for the mention of Cuban blood, and his particular skills with cafécito. Ahem. It’s a good thing when Jonathan realizes he’s missing his companion, so Cesar’s handshake is a quick affair before he bids the other man farewell. Not to forget about that Cuban blood, he adds at Jonathan’s back, “Don’t forget we got some salsa too, soon!”

"The dance or the food?" Monica is quick to ask, laughter echoing in her voice.

Wait. Ah he walks right into that one, when Monica laughs, and with a short duck of his head he joins her in the laughter for that moment. A rueful but crooked smile shoots to the woman for her comment, and Cesar replies easily, “I’m equipped for both.”

Once when Monica heads over to where Eve is, he trails after. The man waves lightly when it’s clear he’s being pointed out.

“Now, Eve. We don’t want to get kicked out. You already broke your leg, no need to do the same to your pride,” Gillian responds to the soft threats she can feel boiling in her friend. Not that she blames the woman— considering the way she’d been laughed at. “That stupid meme,” she mutters as she rests a hand on her friend’s shoulder. It didn’t exactly ruin everything, but it definitely made people take her less serious, even when she meant it.

Of course, the story did sound rather off-kilter, so. “That was a good comeback, though. You’re bringing back ‘your mom’ jokes,” she grins, snagging one of the little snacks she’d found and taking a bite out of it.

“I can take him Gilly, just you watch. Red face, Apple face, nutter butter sandwich. I could just squeezeeeee,” pale hands are arranged in a claw like gesture and she shakes her hands before a bunch of people get on her radar. Ghost. Immediately upon seeing his face, she perks and gives him a look. She holds out her hand towards the man. “Il mio amore,” She says softly and winks over at him, prompting him to come even closer and say hello.

Hamson, Sibyl, Adam Monroe.

Hamson, Sibyl, Adam Monroe, Debbie.

It would seem that the list in Eve’s Head, her mantra has grown by one more name. The addition makes her head twitch and she flicks a gaze over to Monica and Cesar with a wide grin. “Moni! My Knight! You two look godlike!/”

There’s a salute for Cesar and she is promptly distracted. Her gaze still finds Kam’s at some point and there’s a raise of her eyebrows.

“You guys want a tandoori skewer?!” Eve’s tone makes it sound like they aren't allowed such a snack, nooooo.

Demurring once Eve is wheeled away, Kam swallows loudly just once and looks over to the college professors that noisily mocked Eve in the midst of her conversation. “It was lovely seeing you,” is thin and dismissive of them, and the professors awkwardly look at one-another and move to depart the immediate vicinity of the Kensei gallery.

Thoughtful, Kam looks back to Tamara after the commotion had settled down. “I hope you appreciated the story,” has a genuine concern to it. “I'd tell you about other things but…” she manages a faint smile, “there's nothing I can say, that you haven't already known.” With that, she dips her head in a subtle nod, and moves away from Kensei’s armor and sword.

As she moves Kam threads a lock of hair behind one ear and closes her eyes, exhaling a steady sigh before looking over at Elaine with an approving smile. “Listen to the sounds,” she says with a smile dismissive of the earlier tension. “All those voices talking at once, conversing over art and history. You have a great deal to be proud of today, Miss Darrow.”

There is a sharp inhale from Kaylee as the step into the Gallery, mainly the Kensei display. “Look at all of this,” she says softly to her husband. Something about the past always draws her, maybe it is the fact that she had been stuck in it. Not that far back, but far enough that she appreciates how amazing it is that things like in the Gallery survive until now… and the toll it took on people in times where they didn’t have much.

It is the armor display that really draws Kaylee’s eye. With a bright smile to Joseph she half tugs him that way. Stopping before the display case she shakes her head. “Amazing how old this is and it still looks this amazing,” she murmurs eyes roaming over armor until the sword catches her eye… the symbol takes her breath away and her stomach twists in a painful knot at a sudden memory.

Kaylee had been given a necklace once… with that symbol. She had asked what it meant.

"In another life.." Adam says distantly, "A long time ago, it was the symbol that represented me, what people knew me by. What it means really isn't important." he strokes her hair a bit and says, "But what it represents is that you are one of my heirs. That you are now in my line. At least, spiritually. And if you keep it on, we'll always be connected."

Adam had promised to tell her about his past life, but shortly after he had made her his heir… she had run away from him in a play to save her own life. People had told the telepath he was old, but… could he have been… Eyes wander back up to the mask thoughtful trying to picture blue eyes looking back at her. It sends another particularly painful twist through her stomach, fingers tightening on Joseph's arm briefly, and she has to force herself to look away; this is when she notices some of the others in the Gallery, she doesn’t approach anyone, yet… she’s too busy trying to get her stomach to settle.

Tamara settles her attention on Kam, listening with evident interest to the tale. Any opinion the seer has, however, is kept to herself as Eve chimes in with a story of her own. The blond shakes her head slightly, her smile tolerant — of the wheelchair-bound prophet, at least. The petty-minded professor, she gives no notice.

To Kam, Tamara gives a sympathetic look, and ultimately, a warm smile. "I did, thank you." That smile broadens at the woman's parting words, and nods acknowledgment of her departure. Tamara watches the storyteller move on, then slips away herself, fading into the greater throng of guests.

Cesar nods a short greeting to Gillian. “You’re taking this bronco out? Commendable,” he says, tone teasing of course. The agent then turns back to Eve, her leg in a cast earning the seer a ‘tsk’ from the man. “Que pasa, Eve? Your leg, what happened? Left you alone for less than a month, and this?” He gestures to the injury, but his is a sympathetic angle, not a chiding one. He probably sounds much like his mother at the moment. The mention of the food has him chuckling, a brief shake of his head to deny the slightest gurgle in his gut. “After, maybe. This suit didn’t rent itself, you know what I mean?” Because it probably costs more than his entire month’s salary.

The seer looks at Gillian with a raised eyebrow. “Well I fell down a well!” She's not sure if telling a government agent about the Evolved serial killers she hangs with is a good idea. Mostly because she doesn't want Sir Knight Cesar to end up dead. Staring at Tamara’s retreating figure. Her eyes to Monica do a weird mix of two winks in the left eye and a triple fast wink in the right.

It's a signal, one that only Eve ever used in PARIAH because what? But Monica would remember.

Translation: We gotta talk girl. Shit is going down.

There's a flutter of laughter that escapes Eve, “I'm so clumsy! Whoops! I thought I saw a dragon and wanted a closer peek through the brush, next thing I know. Tumbles, growls, water so cold. You knowwwwwwe,” she's playing it off ridiculously cool. Hamson, Sibyl, Adam Monroe, Debbie. Her mantra rings in her head and she nods along with it, she's with it. “Sir Knight, Monica can feed you don't be silly.”

"Eve, you make even a cast look good," Monica notes, about the leg and the various compliments. "And if you want skewers, I'll get you one." That's a promise. And a reason why she disappears from the small group briefly. Just long enough to find a waiter and steal his plate of snacks. Sorry, brah.

She comes back, playing the part of waiter herself, to offer the skewers to Gillian and Eve and Cesar, too, because she trusts him not to drop it on his suit. The signal from Eve gets her attention, of course, and she gives her friend a deep nod. Message received. They'll talk.

"You haven't been keeping up your parkour practice," she says to Eve's explanation of her injury. It's a tease. And a tactic to make sure the conversation stays away from digging too much into how she really ended up in a well. "Next time you see a dragon, you should call us, yeah?"

There’s a gentle smile for Kam from Elaine. “It’s a lovely sound, Ms. Nisatta. A girl could get used to something like that. But I can’t take credit for the work, I’m only a small piece of the puzzle. That doesn’t change how proud I am of it. My job is something I’m deeply passionate about, so seeing all of this warms my heart. The amount of people is a little overwhelming, but it’s still worth it to have so many people looking at and discussing what we have here, what we’ve done. You should be proud too, Nisatta-san.” She takes a moment to turn her gaze from Kam to the rest of the gallery. It gets a long look over, her gaze lingering on various people and exhibits before turning all the way back to Kam. “Very proud indeed.”

Kam levels brown eyes on Elaine, smiling fondly at the translator. “I am,” she admits after a moment of reserved contemplation. “But you're selling yourself short. This wouldn't be the same without you here. I'm glad you agreed to come work with us.”

Attention wandering to Eve, Kam makes a small noise and threads a lock of hair behind one ear. “I need to go upstairs for a bit and check on something. Let me know if anything needs me immediate attention.” It's unlikely, but she trusts Elaine to make those sorts of judgment calls. With that, Kam heads out of the Takezo Kensei display and toward a velvet roped off area where Yamagato security allows her past. Soon, she disappears around a corner and out of sight.

"Somethin' wrong?" asks Joseph, in quiet aside to Kaylee. He'd been reading some of the text displayed alongside the armor, but to the point of distraction that he doesn't notice Kaylee's silence emanating discomfort, unresponsive when he'd read allowed a point of interest or two. His hand goes to the small of her back, an indicating offer of help in whatever form.

Further from the displays, John Logan emerges from the direction of the bathrooms, his energy that of someone who is both bright eyed and bored as he prowls through the sprawl of the gallery. Several years ago, all this art, all these relics, the history and significant and wealth of them might have all been lost on him, but there is more of an impressed, discerning eye that scours around, even if he skips the history lessons offered in the form of speakers and plaques.

It doesn't take long for him to start doing the same to the people around him, evaluating possibility in strangers and recognition in friends. Or otherwise.

Appearing in a doorway, Rex’s dark eyes slide across the crowded gallery, as if looking for a particular person; the two flutes of champagne in his hands seem to hint he’s hoping to find someone he knows. He sighs, a little dramatically, stepping deeper into the space, moving slowly toward the Kensei exhibit and lifting one of the glasses to his lips for a sip.

He slowly meanders through, like Logan, skipping the plaques explaining the items, his steps bringing him closer to the other man. Eventually, he’s close enough to speak to him; his eyes move from face to feet and back up before he offers Logan a slow smile.

“That jacket is everything,” he says. “You see a girl in a purple dress, dark curly hair?”

Hmm?” The telepath’s attention has been brought back to Joseph, by the touch of his hand on her back, there is a blink as she realizes he had been addressing her. “Oh!” Pressing a hand to her stomach, she looks back at the sword and nods a little, towards it. “I… was remembering a conversation,” she says softly, still looking a little pale. “That I had with Adam.” She speaks softly, leaning close to her husband, just saying that man’s name her voice is strained.

Kaylee seems a little disbelieving she is saying this, but, “I think this might have been his.” Brows furrow a little as she looks at the display. There is no hesitation talking to her husband. Long conversations over the years, he knows about her past before she was Ferrymen, even the immortal. Even when she met him in the 1890s. She hadn’t really talked about when the man made her one of his heirs. “I know he was old, but I never would have thought this old.”

Realizing what she is doing, Kaylee gives Joseph an apologetic smile. “And again my past rears its ugly head.” There is a soft resigned sigh as she looks at the armor, focusing on the reflection of her and her husband in the glass. “Seems like it just doesn’t want to be ignored.”

There’s a pleased smile on Elaine’s lips now at the compliment. “Of course, Niatta-san,” she replies as the other woman makes her exit. She’ll keep an eye on things down here. With Kam retreated, the redhead turns her attention back to the exhibits. She wanders, idly, drifting between glass-paned pieces of art and objects. Mostly she watches the people, though, listening and keying in for the sound of foreign languages she might recognize. Overhearing bits of conversation is just part of the process. She doesn’t approach anyone for the time being, simply listening as she observes the remnants of some pottery.

The crowd surges together like the tidal motion of the sea, and then the Ghost pops out of it with the serenity of an orca! Right on top of one John Logan, actually. Despite that his gal pal in a wheelchair was hollering for him, he's going to spend a few minute over here, apparently. Grasping Logan's hand in one big coarse paw of his own. Dragging him near, into the chummy maw of a footballer's half hug. There are a lot of Teo things the Ghost doesn't bother with anymore, but horsing around with the lads apparently not one of them.

"Hello old friend." He grins into Logan's face. "I'm heading toward Ms. Mas, but I wanted to say that I like your geometry." He gestures with his eyes and his chin at Logan's hair. Possibly his hairline.

Barney's walk from the main entrance into the gallery is a slow one. He's rather quite busy staring at everything around him. Whether it be architecture or art he's gawking at it. He wanders from exhibit to exhibit like a kid at the zoo that can't decide what animal they want to stare at next. He doesn't touch of course, keeping his hands behind his back actually, one clasping the other at the wrist. But he bends forwards so he can peek nice and close, but still… no touching. He's not paying too much attention to the others in the room until he looks up and spots… a few famous faces, eyes moving over the people as they widen slightly. "Oh." Barney's soft huff is more like a gentle rumble. There are famous folks here. The ginger viking is not quite prepared for famous people.

Conscious of approach, Logan doesn't pretend as though he doesn't notice Rex on his way over — eye contact is cattishly frank and confronting, and then his smile is ready when he receives a compliment for tonight's ensemble. Finally, someone with a decent eye for—

And then a Teodoro Laudani happens to him.

And Logan accepts the Ghost's attention with all the grace of a begowned bride being enthusiastically bombarded by a tot with jam on their fingers — posture bridling, a slightly reversal before being roped into that hug, hands asplay. Ugh, Laudani, can't you see he's busy hitting on a twink. That startled, slightly baffled expression resolves with his composure, a hand smoothing down the front of his ridiculous blazer as if that moment had meaningfully wrinkled it. "Holy fuck," is wryly jovial enough, in the way the British are good at. "Someone let you through the door, then.

"Sorry about that," he says, to Rex, as if Teo had moved on, despite the fact Teo is still standing right there. "So many war heroes, so many traumatic brain injuries. You were looking for someone?"

Rex’s brows lift and he looks at the reunion with both amusement and appreciation, before casting his long lashes downward as if he’s eavesdropping, receding a little and staring into the two glasses he holds. When Logan turns back to him, he looks back up, teeth suddenly flashing in a quick grin.

“Oh, she’s probably fucked off with one of the brain-injured war heroes,” he says, glancing back out to the crowd. “I’m heartbroken, can’t you tell?”

The inner sanctum of the museum is breathtaking, to be certain. Huruma's gaze roams upward along balconies and lights as she pauses just inside, senses taking notes even if she doesn't realize it. She always counts the doors first.

The gold lighting of the globes shines amber against her gown and its armoring of feathers as she moves into the gallery proper, the dark spanse of her back releasing visible tension in the muscle. The first portion she visits is the familiar sights of recollected works from the dead zones of the city. Old parties, or old hours spent lingering— museums she saw enough to know. Huruma does not remain long there, the charred edges on the frame of a cubist Picasso in her wake as she veers away to investigate other portions of the gallery. There are a collection of minds she knows immediately, here and there; they would be hard pressed to miss her, as much as she fails to miss them.

Words of tales being told in different shapes reach her as she moves into the exhibition of artifacts, murmurs of history professors against the lightness of the passively curious. What they know about him has come such a way, and they still have no idea what came next.

The Ho-o mirrors on the glass encasing several smaller artifacts as Huruma nears it, quite close, eyes still. At least she was not here for Eve's initial share-fest.

A flare of dark in her field draws her in a glide across the displays, and her height sweeps into Kaylee's peripheral and the mirror of the display case, silent as a ghost, eyes hooded and trained ahead on armor and sword.

"It is." Huruma does not look down to Kaylee when she speaks, dusky voice already low. "His."

With the party swirling around, Caspian is hard at work at his example of street art. The outline of a geisha, peering over her shoulder at the audience. This is made more impressive to those who don’t know what he can do by the use of his evolved ability as a kind of scaffolding, standing several feet above the floor on a platform of invisible force, allowing him to paint without need of ladders or ropes. A good ventilation system keeps the paint fumes from the rest of the gallery, so if people wanted to come watch him work for a few minutes, they could. He’s able to converse and paint. Still, with the linework - the hardest part - he’s mostly kept to himself behind a little divider, despite Eve’s raucous appearance a few minutes earlier. That actually got his attention, the man narrowing his eyes from behind his particulate mask as he watched Eve wheel her way around the room, snagging flutes of champagne as she went.

Glancing over his shoulder at his geisha - now in black and white - Caspian made his way down from the platform of force and removed his mask and gloves, leaving them there on a mound of spray paint boxes, ducking under the divider and heading for the snacks, passing by several knots of people as he goes. Eve gets a smile and a bow, even a kiss on her hand if she’ll let him. “How’s it going? Haven’t seen you since the market. What happened to your leg?” Conversational stuff as a waiter comes by, Caspian snagging a flute of champagne for himself and a second for Eve. “Anyone here I should meet, since you seem to know /everyone/.” He grins down at Eve, passing her the champagne, flipping his nicely styled hair, thanks to Hair by Raquelle in the Safe Zone.

“Girlllllllllllllll!” Comes flying out of Eve’s mouth with a wave of her hand, “Your buff arm is way better!” She's being honest, cybernetic arm trumps leg cast! “Maybe I should see if they will replace my leg, it's already broken. Why not get a new one?” She cackles as she closes her eyes, missing the for sure shocked looks of the people around her.

Eve.. with a cybernetic leg is a scary thought. “Of course, of course. I'll call you guys first from now on, you still have to teach me some moves god damn it Moni.”

There's a moment of distraction, her eyes find Kam as she retreats. An eyebrow raises and her lips curl into a dark grin before she's being waved at by Caspian. “Oh hey hot stuff,” a simple greeting. Her eyes momentarily flick over to Ghost who is behind Caspian, she allows the kiss on her hand as any Queen would, don’t be daft darling, affection and praise is something Eve accepts whole hardly, taking on the ‘air’ of a queen or as she likes to scream, “PRINCESS OF GENOVIA.”

Princess Diaries was a favorite of the dark haired woman.

“Oh this old thing?” Gesturing to her leg with a ‘pffft’ and lazy smile, “I fell down a well. Don't go near them. They’re the devil.” As to whether there are people that Caspian needs to meet and the fact that she knows everyone, “This here is Moni, Sir Knight Cesar, first of his name, the Unchallenged One, The Sovereign Light, El gigante en mi bolsillo. This is my best friend Gillian, she's dating a donut so don't even try it.” Reaching for the champagne that is offered her eyes twinkle in thanks and she grins.

The arrival of a familiar voice…. A familiar face gets a gentle, is strained, smile from Kaylee. Though the strained is more for the reaction of her body to the thoughts in her head. Of course, the tall woman would be here. “Huruma,” she offers politely, before turning back to the armor and sword. “It completely boggles the mind that a man could live that long.” No wonder he was the person he was… is?

“You remember my husband, Joseph?” Kaylee offers more conversationally, reaching to take his hand, winding her fingers with hers. Her fingers are a bit cold and she looks pale, but as she turns the focus from Adam some, the discomfort is already starting to fade. This is why, the telepath finally takes in the other woman’s dress. “Wow… you look so amazing and regal, Huruma…. Is it from Madagascar?”

There's a brief instant where Teo tilts slightly at the waist and nods at Eve. Be right over, interfering with some Englishmen, etc., etc.

Since everybody in dtfish dude corner seems to be some combination of annoyed and checking each other out, Ghost does that too. He looks at Rex, appearing as if he just noticed that he's interrupting something. No. No, he appiears to still not realize that he's interrupting something. His metaphorical jammy fingers are leaving marks all over Logan's metaphorical frock, even as he looks at Rex up and down like a baby looking for another body to spit up on. His jaw squares into a grin. "That's some ableist shit, bello," he says. "Reverse ableism, maybe. Too bad this one isn't susceptible.

"Teodoro Laudani." He leaves an arm around Logan for no fathomable reason. His other hand, he offers to Rex. "Don't let John's little airs fool you. He looks as good dressed up as dressed down. Much like leather." He is a Very Good Wingman. He learned at murder school.

Teo’s remarks get another slow smile from Rex, and he manages to shift one glass into the other hand so he can grip the other hand that’s offered to him — it’s not a hand shake but a bit of a squeeze, accompanied with a lowering of his lashes in the same beat.

“That is a charming name, Mr. Laudani.” Rex says the name slowly, as if enjoying the way the syllables fill his mouth. His dark eyes move to John’s face, and he nods once. “I’m certain of that. And probably in leather, as well.” He waits a beat. “Definitely in leather.”

He hands one of the glasses to John, with a smile. “The lady in the violet frock won’t miss this, John,” he says, before he offers the second to Teo — don’t mind that he’s sipped from that one.

“Are you friends with Ms. Mas? She’s looking exceptionally exceptional tonight,” he says to Teo. “You can call me Rex.”

Huruma's silent appearance in this space is only medium spooky, mostly in contrast to how striking she is upon being noticed. That said, Joseph's spacial awareness in the crush of glitz and glamour, while attempting to monitor his wife's flux of feeling, is not what it could be, so that's on him. Kaylee introduces him, and his smile is an awkward one, accompanied with an open palmed wave. Hi. I'm the plus one.

"Lemme get you somethin' to drink," is in quiet aside to Kaylee, and then to Huruma, with a friendly raise of his eyebrows, "can I get you anything?" before he promptly vanishes to play fetch. He'll return, soon enough, after shepherding a server as needed, and with something non-alcoholic.

Over there, Logan is tolerating Ghost's arm over his shoulders without much in the way of grace, a wry eyebrow raise and a cutting side eye later. Fortunately immune to the usual foibles of needing to be polite in high public social spaces, the only real reason he isn't jabbing a pointy elbow into the other man's ribs is because he's pretty sure he'd regret the reprisal. He watches the exchange between professional terrorist and unknown quality with the distrust of someone whose alleged wingman is a crazy person.

He smiles, and takes the champagne. "The lady in the violet frock will miss something, I'm sure," he says. "John Logan." The next sip he has of fine alcohol is both necessary and generous, while his other hand goes up to push Teo's paw off of his shoulder.

Huruma's face finally tilts towards Kaylee as she says her name, the smile on her lips an honest one, without the lingering of stress or sharp lines. A fondness sits in her eyes, at least for that moment.

"Of course I remember him." Huruma's voice edges on the sound of teasing, and she turns slightly to face the pair, one hand brushing in greeting at Joseph's shoulder. "It is good to see you both well. I am fine without, thank you." What a nice, puppy dog of a man, hm? Huruma's gaze tracks him as he moves, and for another few seconds Kaylee can spot visible consternation flicker on her face— something towards the bar— but she forces herself to ignore it, sucking on her teeth and waving one hand in silent dismissiveness.

"Hounds…" Huruma murmurs. "It is. From Madagascar." She promptly returns to the shift in topic, turning so that the bird up her arm and shoulder twinkles just so. "You look quite elegant yourself. How is Raytech treating you?" This is a half-purred jest, as she knows quite well how Raytech treats its founders. They do have the good toys.

The telepath does check out the bird pattern of the dress, “Amazing work.” A hand brushes down the velvet of her own dress, looking a little self conscious. “Thank you,” cheeks flushing slightly at the compliment.

“Raytech is… stressful,” Kaylee says after affectionately watching Joseph leave to find drinks for the two of them. “I feel like it is two jobs half the time. Raytech… and managing Richard. Which one would you describe the most as herding cats? Give you one guess… it’s one person.” Her voice is colored with amusement and a little frustration. “I had to brow beat him to get him here,” she huffs out in frustration, even though there is a deep affection for the man. “If I can deal with all these minds pressing in on me, he can suffer a little facetime with actual people and act like a CEO.” She lifts her chin with a touch of defiance.

“However,” Kaylee continues softly, “I am proud of what we are doing. It is slow going, but little by little we are getting things funded.”

Suddenly for Caspian there are a lot more people and he feels a little underdressed for the opulence that’s going on here. He’s an artist, after all. Cesar, the giant in Eve’s pocket, gets a handshake and a murmured greeting. “I’m going out to the garden for some fresh air before getting back to it. If you need more champagne, just yell and I’m sure they’ll keep you stocked to keep you quiet.” Caspian gives Eve a squeeze on the shoulder and heads off to the garden where, hopefully, it’s a little quieter.

“Don't leave the fun times for too long my sun loved man, he can really keep a tan.” The last bit is said to Monica and Cesar before her gaze finds Ghost but she realizes who her man friend is with. Oh hell yea. Rex needa man and Eve is On. The. Case. “BRB, my lettuce cups. I’ve gotta go be a good friend.” Eve wheels the chair back with a wide grin, the HBIC license plate swinging madly as she stops by a server to relieve him of a full platter of champagne. That's after she downs her own and is passing the empty over, “Thanks so much, Mama’s gotta get her Darling laid.”

VVROOOOOM

Balancing the tray on her head is hard so she stops a moment before realizing with the person in her lap.. she nudges the purse to sit wedges between her and the arm, a few drops of the precious liquid fall out of the flutes but Eve is determined and is soon placing the tray in her lap. There's an intense urge to pop a wheelie but then she'd be soaked and covered in champagne.

Wheeling over to the trio, “Wheeeee, darling darling,” Eve interrupts to roll up to Rex’s side, a wink thrown Ghost’s way. “I brought more booze, let’s party. WOW REX YOU LOOK SO DREAMY DARLING.” She wants to be sure that Logan can hear her, it's important. Her blinged out wheelchair is flashy and Eve is sipping her champagne enthusiastically, “I heard that he has no..” she looks over to Rex, “Look at his mouth, it's just awe inspiring. How do I get those lips?” Eve is trying to flatter, Eve is faux chuckling in the way those high society folks do. Ha ha ha ha, quite funny Leroy my good man.

Elaine floats about the gallery, flitting from various exhibits. She stops near couples who seem to be admiring exhibits and politely explains some of the finer details of the pieces—conveniently in whatever language they might be speaking. There are, after all, all kinds of foreign guests here too. So far Elaine hasn’t run across any languages she’s unfamiliar with, which she expects, but here’s to hoping something surprises her tonight. She brushes past an older Japanese couple who thank her for her time, and she makes her way towards one end of the gallery, listening for anything that might draw her ear.

Enchante,” Rex murmurs to John when he properly introduces himself; he’s about to say more when Eve is on her way, wheelchair and champagne and all. His eyes widen slightly, but he bends to give each of her cheeks an air kiss, picking up one of the flutes now that he’s given all of his away.

“What don’t I have? Whatever it is, I want some… wait, it depends,” he says playfully. “And I can get you Botox if you like, but your lips are perfect as they are, darling. One second-” He pulls a phone out of his pocket, as if checking a message, thumb moving quickly over the screen, before sliding the phone back and taking a sip of his champagne, eyes half-lidding as he relishes the flavor. “Oh, there…” he says, as a dark-haired woman in a purple dress moves just out of their sightline.

Freshly evacuated from the increasingly crowded bar, it's with a slow pace that Robyn Quinn makes her way into the Fellowship Gallery. She may collect paintings and antiques, but this is an actual museum, and that alone is enough to make it interesting to her as she gets a break away from all the craziness.

She wears a wide smile on her face as she makes her way into the gallery proper, stopping at almost every one of the displays, seemingly intent on examining all of them, fascinated by something. Both hands sink into the pockets of her white tux - she'd made sure that the pockets were available before she'd left home, even thought it meant cutting the stitching that had sewn them shut originally.

Standing off by herself a bit, she runs a hand through her short, black hair, and takes a deep breath, suddenly whipping her hand out and snapping.

To see what happens.

She honestly isn't sure anymore.

Listening to Kaylee speak about corralling Richard is charming, really. Huruma seems entertained by the thought of her dragging him to the plaza. "He was certainly looking the part when I saw him heading for the bar." He seemed like he was managing fine to her. Let him coalesce at the refreshments.

"I've been watching." In her drawling voice it sounds more ominous than it is. Huruma links her hands in a loose grip in front of herself, eyes moving back to study the frayed edges of the armor in the case once more. "I hate to discuss business at parties, but I suppose that is half of this, hm? If you would like some introductions to some companies in Madagascar, there may be collaborations worth your time…" She looks back, interest piqued.

“Oh, my brother can look the part when you finally get him out there, it’s just getting him out there,” Kaylee chuckles lightly. “He has charisma and charm, just that natural personality that draws people… I have to make mine.” Kaylee taps the side of her head, though it is a bit of a joke, since she really doesn’t do that.

The comment about watching gets her a look, “I think at this point, everyone is looking at us. We are growing faster than I really imagined. Not to mention the pasts of Richard and Warren has the government on edge. I think they expect me to keep the in check, sometimes.” Of course, they don’t know about old affiliations, else they might feel different. Kaylee’s eyes drift to the armor again.

“Global expansion is on our list,” Kaylee comments about the offer for introductions. “Someplace like Madagascar… That could be a good place to start up some cross-collaborations.” Huruma’s home and especially, her son had a great reputation as a leader. The taller woman can already see the telepath’s mind moving, a small smile touching her lips. “I’ll bring up to the Board.” Her siblings she means. “I think it would be a wonderful idea. Thank you, Huruma.”

Monica finds herself watching Eve go to try to be the best damn wingman she can be. Which gets a chuckle and a silent good luck wish for her vict— friends. She gives Cesar a crooked smile, but lets him have a go around the displays on his own when she spots Robyn. It's been years, but she remembers Magnes' friends. It's a thought that brings a frown to her face, but only for a moment. Because she crosses over to the SESA agent with a friendlier expression.

"Everything okay?" she asks, some concern in her tone. And curiosity. "It's kind of a big event. Do you need a quiet room? There's one available." People trying to find their own space in an event like this are usually thwarted, after all. Bodies are just about everywhere, even if they're not right on your toes.

Monica being the case and point, perhaps, but she is trying to help.

“Mister Diaz.” Approaching the conversation is a man in a sleek black tux, glue of champagne in one hand and a smile spread measured from one ear to the other. His face isn't remarkable or recognizable to most of the people gathered in the gallery — save for the SESA agents — but he spares the awkwardness with an introduction to the group around Monica and Cesar.

“Donald Kenner,” he says with a toothy smile. “Director Kenner in the US, but apparently we’re not there anymore so why big everything down with titles. SESA-NY Director Kenner offers a fond look from Cesar to Monica, then around to the others. “I didn't think this city had lovely nights like these left in her.”

Inside jokes for mental folks. Huruma gives a smile when Kaylee mentions making her own charm. She allows Kaylee to mull over the idea of collaborations, tilting her head slightly as if also listening to something further away. It is the telltale sign of her picking up something interesting, though she does not speak it.

"For all that it is a new world, old habits in business die hard." Huruma frowns enough to show her disdain for the bureaucracy part of things, and it soon passes. "But I know there are some fine projects ongoing, even though the science is not exactly my arena. My grandson, on the other hand, has the mind for it."

"How are your children…?" Topic shift, away from business.

When nothing happens, Robyn lets out a long sigh - she's not entirely sure why she expected anything else. Still, she'll take what she can get. That's more than enough to her at the moment.

But a voice, barely recalled, shocks her back into the moment, turning to look over at Monica. She narrows her eyes, the faintest bit of recognition. She knows Monica, but it seems like some details escape her at first blush. "What?" is a surprised reaction, followed by a quick shake of her head. "I- do I look that melancholy?" A small laugh, and she turns to face her directly.

"Sorry. Just… um. Seeing a lot of things for the first time in a while." She motions to the closest exhibit. "And these are actually much more fascinating than I expected," she admits, though she's much more interested in being able to see them in colour, to really study them. "Monica, right?" There it is. Now she recognises the other woman. "God, you'd think all of New York is here tonight! How are you?"

She pulls one of her hands out of her pocket, offering it to Monica in greeting.

A look past her, though, and she spots her boss. The boss. Suddenly, she's glad that she's decided to leave the bar, and now she just has to hope he doesn't smell whiskey on her if he comes over.

As a waiter moves past, Elaine reaches over and grasps a champagne flute. She sips from it as she makes her way through the gallery and it’s her ears that first pick up something familiar. Guiding herself between people as she continues to listen, she’s soon greeted by the sight of Robyn Quinn talking to her coworker and apartment neighbor, Monica. She makes her way over, not interrupting the pair. She simply waits for a natural break in conversation to pipe in.

“Are we all enjoying the exhibits so far?”

"Not melancholy, just maybe overwhelmed?" Monica answers with a chuckle. "I'm happy to be wrong," she notes, hands spreading in a what can you do gesture.

"And I'm happy you like it. The gallery." Monica nods when she's recognized, her smile warmer. "That's right. And you're Robyn Quinn." She doesn't mention their mutual acquaintance, for obvious reasons, but she shakes the other woman's hand between both of her own. Which might be strange, since one of these hands is a cybernetic replacement. "I'm good. And I'm glad to see you here. This is… well, I work here. For the Fellowship," she says, turning a bit to gesture over the displays.

And to see Kenner there, too. She returns his fond look with a smile. "Director," she greets, "Monica Dawson." That's her introduction. "Can't keep this city down, sir," she says, smile widening, "This'll be the first of many, if I have anything to say about it." This comment encompasses, Elaine, too, as she turns to her for back up on the statement. "Right? We have a lot of fun nights ahead of us here."

Robyn's head quirks slightly to the side ar the strange feeling that is one of the hands that grips hers. She isn't rude enough however to point it out, not without a more organic way to do so. "It's good to see you, Monica. You work here too? I know someone else who does as well." She looks around the gallery, peering past Monica. "It must be fascinating to work around so much history. And it's presented much more interesting than a normal museum."

Overwhelmed. A little bit, yeah. Robyn sucks in a long breath. "A bit, yes," she admits. "Lots of familiar faces, lots of familiar… sights, tonight. It's a lot to take in." A beat. "Tell me, does Yamagato do anything unusual to these buildings? Like…" She frowns a bit. "I don't know how to put it…"

And she doesn't get the chance before she notices Donald Kenner has approached Monica. "D-Director Kenner." US soil or not, he's still Robyn's boss, and she's going to respect that, her posture straightening a bit as she offers him a smile. "I didn't know you were coming out tonight. It's a pleasure to see you here." Which is true. Robyn likes her bosses quite a bit, and it shows in the smile she gives to Kenner. "I think we're just getting started, sir," is an honest answer. "It's only a matter of time before have a venue as nice within the-" and then she spots Elaine. "..Safe Zone…"

She glances over at Elaine, down at her dress, back up, and blushes, a moment needed to catch her breath as she views her ex-fiance for the first time in six years in full colour. A small smile curls up on her lips, and she offers a nod of acknowledgement to the other woman, a hand offered out in greeting like she had with Monica.

. But there's something about Robyn that would stand out to Elaine more than anyone else here - the white tux she wears only helps draw attention to the fact that her eyes are a bright, brilliant green, rather than the gray others might be accustomed to. "Monica, the other person I know that works here," she says with a bit of a nervous laugh. "Elaine, you look… absolutely wonderful." She almost seems to be staring, particularly transfixed by Elaine's hair.

Distracted by a skewer of chicken being handed to him, Cesar busies himself with carefully eating around said pointed wooden stick, holding the napkin accompanying it carefully while Monica and Eve exchange their covert glances and understandings. A brow lifts in amusement for the pair's interaction, even if he lacks the meaning behind Eve's metaphors.

The arrival of Caspian and his introduction gets a laugh out of Cesar as the agent shifts his skewer to a different hand and holds it out to shake with Caspian's. "A pleasure, sir. Your piece tonight is definitely a new twist on the street art we normally see out in the zone," he notes with a nod to the artist. Once Caspian takes his leave, the agent sends him off with a short nod of farewell and turns back to regarding the gallery in general, as well as his date. And the skewer is nibbled at some more.

Fortunately, Cesar doesn't choke on it when Eve takes off to greet (harrass?) Rex, Ghost, and the wet-cat look wearing Logan. Rather than intervene, he looks on with the interest of a bemused bystander. Good luck indeed, and godspeed. Monica's note to him to have a go around with the collection releases him from immediate partner-in-gala duties, though he doesn't stray too far from her line of sight as he does and remains within earshot. The finished skewer is set on a passing waiter's collecting tray, and he wipes his hands well before doing anything like touching his suit.

Around when Monica spots Robyn Quinn and moves towards the Special Agent, Cesar is trailing her by a few steps when he catches his name spoken by none other than Director Kenner. The formality of the other man's title doesn't fade with that eased smile and flute of champage, making Cesar straighten visibly, appropriately, although his words might not reflect as formal a manner. "Hey Director, lookin' slick tonight," he greets in reply to the other man. He turns with an inclusive angle looping in Robyn, Elaine, Kenner and Monica all within his field of sight, in the social circle formed. Since Kenner spares him the introduction, Cesar bobs his head in appropriate places during the exchanged observations about the gala's atmosphere, and the resiliency of their fair city. "That's New York for you," he affirms of the man's comment, "We get knocked down, and we get up again."

He'd go on but for the realization that he's quoted Chumbawamba at basically his boss' boss. Cesar lifts a hand to adjust the bow tie on his neck with a short clearing of his throat. "Is Choi out here too? Thought I saw her," he asks with a quick glance past their circle, though he doesn't spot the deputy director yet. So, turning back to the interactions of the three ladies catching up with each other, he looks on particularly at Robyn's reaction to seeing Elaine. Brows arch up again, but this time it's with tacit understanding there's a history there.

Sipping at his third (fourth?) flute of champagne, Kenner flashes a smile, though it's hard to tell exactly what he was smiling at. “Yeah, we’re all out here representing SESA tonight. I think Madeline stepped out for a smoke, but she’ll be around. I actually saw Secretary Lazzaro over by the bar,” he slants a look in that direction, then levels a look back at Cesar. “Which reminds me, maybe this coming week or next I might pull you in for a meeting, Diaz. All good, I — mostly — promise.”

Making a faux cheer gesture with his champagne, Kenner takes another sip and looks over to Monica. “You know if Yamagato hadn't swept you up you would've been in my top list for early recruitment, Dawson.” That bold comment likely comes as a surprise from the director. “I saw your name between the margins in a lot of the Albany transcripts, the work you did helping people who couldn't help themselves in the face of not only oppression but, I mean…” his brows raise implying certain death. “If you ever decide to get out of the private sector, we’d be happy to send you up to the training facilities and get you certified.”

Knocking back another sip of his champagne, Kenner glances around the gallery then notes Robyn with a casual nod and a raise of his glass. “Quinn, are you here of your own volition or are you still in a functional observer role? Because I feel like more than half of Wolfhound was looking for war criminals at the bar.” No comment about the one who was sitting there near them. She was exonerated, after all.

“I'm kidding,” Kenner cracks a moment later. Awkwardly.

Any parents favorite subject is their kids, so when asked Kaylee just lights up. It doesn't, yet, strike her odd to be chatting about family in front of the armor of the man who treated her as such.

“Emily is going into that age where boys are both icky and fascinating. I think she is going to be a heartbreaker.” There is pride in Kaylee’s tone as she speaks of each. “Hannah is a doll and is getting to be quite sassy. I'm curious to see what kind of lady she grows up to be,” this time is implied, since both knew a version of her grown, “Of course, Carl… I think is too smart for his own good sometimes. Gets him into trouble. Mom always hoped I'd have one like me. “ She gives Huruma a knowing look. “Starting to think she got her wish.”

“How is your family?” It is after all polite to ask in return, plus Huruma does have an interesting family. “I have to say, I have been watching your daughter’s work. I'm planning buying a few pieces.” Kaylee offers the woman a bright smile, “Even put some up in Raytech’s lobby.”

Purposeful strides carry Devon into the gallery. The walk not unlike a man on a mission, and his expression is a near match. Whatever fiascos he’d gotten in just prior to finding this place seem to vaporize as he moves more than a dozen steps in. The shift in atmosphere and ambience give him pause. He takes a breath and slows his steps to take in the artwork. Or at least some of it.

Hands drag through his hair then fall to the bow tie at his neck. Awful thing. It’s tugged at, loosened a little, but left on for now. Another slow breath escapes him as he moves further into the gallery. Devon’s pace is neither with the crowd nor against it, but a practiced flow that goes with the current until he can escape it and move freely again. Slow steps draw him to view some of the displays.

Out the corner of his eye, Logan spies Eve's arrival, impossible to ignore, with the kind of amused resignation of someone who anticipated tonight was going to be fucking weird, anyway. He lifts the flute of champagne to his mouth to finish it off, wincing a little as it goes down — harder, flatter liquors are better for that kind of thing, but hey, when in Little Tokyo. He is one hundred percent replacing his empty glass with one of the flutes on Eve's tray, shouldering his way into the centre of the group enough to do so.

"Ta. You'd be Teo's Ms Mas, then," he says. "And not a wheeled, roving art exhibit."

No judgment. When he had his fingers broken by Triad mobsters that one time, you'd best believe he blinged out his finger braces.

Catching Rex distracted between phone and phantom woman, the smile Logan cracks is crooked. "Seems we run in like circles. Circles that think we're incapable of chatting people up left to our own devices." Not that he believes Teodoro is sincerely attempting to get him laid, or that he is sincerely trying to get laid, but he's got this, guys.

"Oh!" Monica seems to understand what Robyn is getting at, even though she doesn't quite get to it. "The photoreactive gas. It's harmless," she's quick to add, "It's for the holograms." They have those, and they're great. She does not mention the security aspect of it, but that's the less exciting part. "You'll see them around the building. It's all very cool."

Glancing between Robyn and Elaine, Monica nods in confirmation. "Elaine is my neighbor," she says with a smile, "and very tolerant when I make her come and translate my bird." Which is a hell of a comment. But it's true.

She turns to give Cesar a grin when his boss' boss threatens him with a meeting, and she makes a very adult oooOOooo sound like he might have just got called to the principal's office. But the man's attention turns her way next. And his comment is a surprise. She blinks. Her smile turns more genuine, more sheepish, even. "Thank you, Director. I had no idea I was on anyone's radar," she says, "but I will definitely give you call if I get the urge to jump back into the fray." No comment on her part in the tribunals. Or the colorful history revealed there.

When she looks to Cesar this time, it's to lift her eyebrows in a share of her surprise.

Slipping in from the direction of the bar, Richard Ray takes a walk through the gallery at an unhurried pace; hands clasped at the small of his back as if to remind himself not to touch (old habits die hard, and once upon a time, a place like this would have been a jackpot), polished black shoes carrying him near to the Takezo Kensei exhibit to examine the relics through their protections.

The sword catches his attention, lips twisting in a wry smile at the sight of it. "Symbols," he murmurs to himself, although perhaps audible to those nearby "We put so much store in them, don't we?"

Now that she’s had her turn on the red carpet and managed to get a drink from the crowded bar (and given her sister space in the process), Nicole has made her way into the gallery. She might be staring at Richard Cardinal Ray’s behind. But only for a moment, promise. She sips at her paloma and shifts her attention to the rest of the room as she steps up beside him, ever-so casual. “Too much, probably.” She flashes him a smile. “Fancy meeting you here.”

"Hell yeah, SESA represent," Cesar states firmly with a light tug of his suit lapels and a proud jut of his chest, "Because we make this look good." They all do. A smile spreads, and then Cesar sends an at first fleeting, skeptical eyeing at Kenner for the director's talk of a meeting with him. Like, is the man really saying that? Or is it a joke? "Sure, sir," the agent follows the initial skepticism with faith, pride, and a little bit of lingering disbelief.

The 'ooh' from Monica earns her a 'oh stop it' smirk from the man. But he's genuinely surprised, and pleased as punch.

The bold commentary about Monica also is a surprise to Cesar, but the man nudges his companion on the shoulder supportively. "You had your eye on her? I mean, who wouldn't, really," he supports of Kenner's remarks to the woman. Albeit, he didn't know about her presence in the trials, and that tempers Cesar's smile to a milder, though no less supportive one. An interesting nugget about Monica, revealed.

And when the attention swings to Robyn, Cesar chuckles at the awkward attempt at humor from their mutual boss. "But are you, sir?" he says, adding to the tease. "Nobody told me this was an on-duty gig, otherwise I'd have put in for OT." The agent's easy grin returns.

Being 6’2” is pretty weird when you’re normally 5’3”. It offers a whole new perspective to the world — a lot of people don’t pay enough attention to the top of their head, either. God, so many flyaways, it’s disgraceful for such a fancy party. Keira, in the form of a tall dark-skinned man, adjusts the coat of his tux, smoothing a few of the lines.

After a moment, the man slinks through the crowds, making his way to the bar, dark brown eyes trailing over the room as he comes to a stop, ordering a scotch on the rocks with a crisp British accent. The unfamiliar man’s gaze lands on Richard Cardinal after a time, and his lips purse slightly. Oh, that fucker.

Keira owes him a good punch to the face, at least. Good thing she’s a big, muscular man right now — it should lend a bit more strength to the statement she intends to make to the fellow. For now, though, the tall man stays in place, plucking up his drink and taking a long swig.

There are a few new bodies in the gallery that seem to draw Huruma's idle scans to them, including the arrival of Richard closely tailed by Nicole on the next side of the display.

“They are well. Badrani is thirteen and acts like it… Riya certainly has kept herself busy… she started with art for her therapies but now it seems to have become a passion.” Huruma bumps Kaylee's shoulder with her arm lightly, nodding to where her brother stands looking over the relics. Her eyes seem amused, carrying a dance of light just behind lashes.

He will probably feel her eyes on him before anything else, like stepping into a room and being absolutely sure that there is a cat lurking somewhere. Waiting. She keeps her conversation with Kaylee, of course— the pair yonder simply get a wave of fingers from the other angle of glass. Fancy indeed.

“Dajan wishes he had more time to spend with his son, but I suppose that is a small price. At the least, it affords Badrani an education…”

At the greeting, Richard turns his head a bit - and a smile crooks up at the corner of his lips. "Nicole," he greets warmly, "Good to see you, it's been awhile. I imagine you're rather busy in your new role, of course…"

His gaze turns back to the regalia, the sword. "Maybe so, but it's one of the ways we, as humans, make sense of the universe. Through symbols."

“At least he is finding time,” Kaylee points out when a small smile. “Badrani will probably act out a little over the lack of time, but he will come to appreciate it. I only saw my father once,” Not really seen him, but as close as she could, “I’m surprisingly glad for it. Though I wish I had gotten to know him outside of life and death.”

When Huruma motions towards Richard, Kaylee has to lean forward to look around the taller woman’s form. In the loud mental buzz of the room, she hadn’t even noticed… of course, she wasn’t looking for him either. “Oh look who decided to show up,” there is a bit of a mild rebuke to those softly spoken word. “Hello, Big Brother… I’m glad to see you showed up.” Though she is not surprised that he was fashionably late.

Nicole is given a smile, the telepath of course recognizing her from the days out at the castle. “Nicole… I haven't seen you in forever, still lovely as ever…” Then her attention snaps right back to Richard lightening quick, “Director Kenner is right over there, why don’t you go say hello.” She jerks her head in the man’s direction. “While I continue my rather delightful conversation with Huruma here.”

“Oh, a little.” Nicole demonstrates this with her finger and thumb pinched close together. Just a tiny bit busy. “Nothing like running a campaign, though. I actually have downtime once in a while.” She glances over to where Kenner is standing and stage whispers, a hand up and cupped at her mouth as she does so. “Don’t tell my boss.” As if he doesn’t know.

Huruma is greeted with a brilliant smile and a warm hug. Literally, due to the amount of power she’s carrying tonight. There’s an almost sheepish quality when she steps back again and turns her attention to Kaylee. “It’s good to see you again. Thank you.” Nicole nudges Richard in the arm gently with her elbow. “I can make an introduction if you like.”

Okay, Robyn actually laughs at that one, broken out of her spellbound fascination with Elaine. "My own choosing, sir. It's been my tradition to go to these events ever since I could afford them." A grin of her own spreads across her lips. "I did help them observe a few drinks earlier. They're actually quite pleasant when you're not studying them like a high school physics book."

Not the best example, Robyn never passed physics, much less studied. Point stands, though.

At Cesar. though, she offers a polite nod and a hand out to shake. "Diaz!" And that is probably the perkiest and most verbose he's ever seen Robyn as she smiles at him. "Never got the chance to apologise for last time we were here, but…" Well, he probably understands that she was spooked. "Sorry about that."

A glance back to Monica, and then back ahead. "It's good work, Monica. Though I don't doubt what Yamagato has you doing is too." Her smile creeps a slight bit wide, a glance back over to Elaine. "That's what we're all here for, after all. To do good work."

A look past spots Kaylee, Nicole, Richard, and one of the Hounds - the tallest of them, and the one that probably scares Robyn the most. Still, she makes note of it. She will be heading over to them shortly, if they are still so packed together.

A wending path takes Devon through some of the foremost displays. He catches the briefest of looks at Caspian’s work. Another time, he might stay and linger to watch the artist and inquire – it’s always fascinating how spray paint can be used to create amazing pieces - but he’s in more of a mood to keep moving. Still, the spray-art does earn a backward glance before his feet carry him elsewhere. He’ll have to look up the artist later for a better look at the work.

The circuitous route brings the young man by the Takezo Kensei exhibit. He lingers a little longer than he had at Caspian’s set up, but not much. Humura is offered a polite nod when he sees her, and his eyes slide to include her companions in the small greeting. Richard and Nicole are given the same in passing.

Continuing through the gallery, Dev lets his wandering lead him on. His path snakes idly, hands clasped behind his back. Eventually it takes him away from the art and artifacts and directs him toward the gardens.

"I said I was going to show up," Richard replies with a good-natured roll of his eyes at Kaylee, "I'm a man of my word, however much I occasionally regret that fact. Huruma, good to see you back on this side of the pond." The dark-skinned woman gets a warm smile of his own, chin lifting in an upward nod her way, genuinely pleased to see her it seems.

Then his sister, of course, drops an assignment on him, and he looks at her pained for a moment. Arm nudged, he dramatically sighs, "I suppose I should. If you could, Nicole— ?"

He refuses to call her Ms. Varlane still.

John’s smile is met with a broader one from Rex. “I’m sure you are quite capable of chatting up anyone you fancy.” The last word is a subtle tease in a not-terrible British accent. “But your friends seem well meaning. If enthusiastic. And almost as handsome as you.”

Teo is given an appraising look, before Rex lifts a shoulder lazily. “It may be a toss up,” he says, but as the woman in the purple gown moves away toward the entrance, he lifts a finger. “I’ll be but a moment — courtesy calls, but we’ll make our own pretty excuses and pretend we’re sorry, and then I’ll be right back.”

He lifts his glass in a mock toast, before following the path of the purple-gowned woman.

"You make anything look good," Monica says to Cesar, her smile brightening as she looks up at him. She does not seem to mind that Big Boss is here to witness her flirting. Cesar will just have to deal with that at work on Monday.

She chuckles at the nudge and makes a show of fixing her own lapels in turn. "Your department can always call me if you need a ringer," she says, the bragging only coming on a teasing voice. For all that she really would be a great ace up the sleeve.

"Thanks, Robyn" she says to the woman next to her. "That's all we can hope for, right? To do some good work."

After draining his scotch, Key stands up, adjusting his jacket again — mostly because she’s trying to adjust and get used to the body she’s stuck in for the next nine or ten hours or so. After clearing his throat, the shapeshifter moves, making his way toward Richard and company.

He doesn’t approach the Raytech CEO — instead, he stops slightly off to the side, examining the sword. That’s an awesome sword, and it would be cool to have one like it. He glances briefly in Richard’s direction, then back to the display.

It’s not like Keira hates Richard or anything. But she’s still pretty mad that he chloroformed her instead of just talking to her. She’s not always the most reasonable person, but being nice still goes a long way.

After wandering the gallery awhile and looking at everything that's on display Barney meanders his way out of the gallery, heading in the direction of the water gardens.

Ghost gives Eve a look that says Eve, mio caro, people in high society don't actually laugh like that, and I would know because I bone a few people like that when I'm not boning you. He's still smiling. The nuance is in his eyes, the squinty quality having some variation. But mostly, his handsome eyebrows say that he's happy to see Eve.

Less happily, he stops touching Logan. :( In absence of the opportunity to monstrously psychically hijack somebody's body, he's better about consent at the moment. Teo looks after Rex's back and the region below his back as he diminishes into the crowd, an unsubtle shadow of interest in his pale eyes. Then his stare cuts back to Eve. In his periphery, he tracks whether or not Logan is some more annoyed, but it's to the seer that he asks: "How do you two know each other?

"I remember when New York City was twenty people in three terrorist organizations and two disparate timelines." so meta.

That makes two of them, Logan cutting a look across the room with comic synchronisation to watch Rex's exeunt. Not bad. In Teo's periphery, Logan's annoyance is a fleeting thing — he has certainty about where his night is going and isn't fussed about riding out these little inconveniences, quirks of character, various collisions. At Teo's comment, he even laughs, even if it's a quick, huffed thing down the funnel of his champagne flute.

And doesn't say anything. To anyone glancing his way, they might even be able to see the colour drain from his face.

Then, Logan reverses trajectory, an emergency kind of backpedalling to extract himself from the group without so much as an apology that never gets as far as properly leaving the room before his centre of gravity suddenly pitches sideways when he tries to turn. With a sudden stumble, Logan flings a hand out to catch himself, landing it on some invaluable statue-like artifact that has security immediately roaming closer.

With just enough presence of mind to let go, he backs up once again, apologising — so sorry — just as the champagne flute he's still managed to maintain a grip to slips from his fingers, strikes the ground, and shatters into a million pieces. Looks down at it, baffled. Something very wrong is happening for him personally, even as music and conversation continues. His skin is ghost white, and eyes unfocused.

Black-tie security has a hand on his arm, already, a server moving nearer to clean up at a hurry.

“I am Ms. Mas and you are the man John Logan. Fancy man.. do you..” she stops and winks at him.

The look that Ghost in reply is given by Eve says, il mio grande bottino Judy I know but once I bent a high society man over and he did so I have been confused this whole time. Shall we test this theory? The nonverbal communication is on lock with these two. But her devilish grin says all there is too say on top of the way her eyebrows pinch up.

“I.. can't really remember but he has a great ass no? Ti comporti. I have to pee.” And the seer is leaning forward to swat at Ghost’s ass with a wink, “Ahh those were the good old days. The days when you could bust a cap in a fool’s face while popping a squat in the same alley. The civil days.” …before she's wheeling away towards the bathroom.

Entering the gala as Logan stumbles and almost goes down to the ground is Lucille, and her pale blue eyes widen in shock at seeing the man. Her sister Delia ‘L-O-V-E-D’ the man and she's not sure Deli wouldn't blame her if something happened to Mister Logan, her thoughts go to Hana as well as she walks forward briskly to take Logan’s arm. “I've got him.” She says with a nod to the security guard. Before she's coming to bring him near a wall for him to lean against. “What the fuck is happening?” She whispers and tries to catch his unfocused gaze.

She wishes Berlin was here at this very moment but she looks down at her hands and they shake for a moment. Shit, nerves shitting she shakes her hands out before placing them on John’s bare hand, eyes flicker to that golden glow. “I'm not sure if you're feeling a lot of pain but.. come on.” There's a few seconds before the pain if he has any would wash away from the man, Luce keeps a tight grip on him so not to break contact and interrupt her ability. A glance goes over her shoulder as she hefts John up to lean on her side being supported.

Please don't let the Major’s man die, please don't let the Major’s man die.

“There’s an ambulance on the way,” says a voice from behind Lucille. Sylvester Sandoval places what he hopes is a reassuring hand at the young woman’s elbow, and lifts his chin to get a better look at Logan over her shoulder.

He isn’t flaunting his SESA badge — this is neither the time nor the place — but he speaks with an air of authority as he moves to intercept Yamagato Security. Something about this man needing immediate medical attention. Lucille doesn’t catch the specifics, even if he never moves more than a few feet away from where the Englishman is in the process of crumpling.

What he does do is adjust his tie and silver cufflinks winking on the sleeves of his black silk dress shirt.

“They'll be here in a few minutes,” he tells Lucille as the glass from the broken champagne flute is being gathered off the floor. “Keep him steady.”

“Of course. Come on.” Nicole takes Richard’s arm, and guides him over to where the SESA NY Director is standing. “Mister Ray,” Nicole murmurs smoothly, “I’d like you to meet Director Kenner. I feel like you two will have a lot to talk ab-”

The sound of breaking glass derails Nicole’s thought. Her head snaps up as she looks for the source and finds— “Logan.” Her breath catches in her throat and she shakes her head quickly. “I’m sorry. I… I need to—” Without finishing her explanation, Nicole breaks away from the introduction she’s set up and runs across the gallery, thankful for her sensible heels.

“John!” she cries as she reaches his side, pushing past security to take his arm opposite Lucille to steady him physically, while she possibly works her magic for the rest. She looks up at Sylvester, eyes wide and questioning. “What the hell is going on?” His answer, she doesn’t expect him to really have one, isn’t as important to her as the one Logan might give. “Hey,” she whispers to him, tone reassuring, “we’re only supposed to fall into fountains. Not priceless exhibits.”

"Excuse me," Monica says to Kenner and Cesar, "my toes are feeling all stepped on." By their people, apparently. Monica comes over to the mess, mostly to Sylvester. She sheds her jacket on the way, the arm coming into full view as she folds the jacket over her flesh-and-blood arm. "Hi, sorry," she notes, a glance going to Logan before it comes back to Sylvester, "I know you're trying to help, but our security team is very capable and we have medical facilities on the premises. Much closer than Elmhurst. I'm sure he'll be very grateful for your concern, though." Smile. Just like Kay taught her.

She turns to Nicole and Lucille. And Logan, of course. "If you would follow me," she says and she shares a glance with the Yamagato security on site. A nod toward all these people around. "I think our guest will need some room." As for her, she points toward the two women and gestures them with her as she starts to back toward an exit.

"Director," Richard offers in affable tones as he's brought over towards Kenner and those with him, Monica offered a much warmer smile at the sight of her there. The soul of polite, corporate friendliness. His sister’d be proud. And then—

And then, he's saved from having to hob nob with important people by a sudden ruckus going on across the room. Turning his head towards the event, he soon realizes that something appears to be medically wrong with John Logan of all people.

The evening's looking up already!

Nicole's pulling away, though, and he watches after her for a moment before bringing one hand up, rubbing over the side of his face and exhaling a sigh over that palm. "What people see in that asshole, I'll never know," he mutters, perhaps a little loud for 'important people hob-nobbing'.

“Of course,” Sylvester says. “I meant no disrespect, Ms. Dawson.” Because he knows who she is.

That’s his job.

Pushing back against Monica’s orders, however, isn’t. He lets his hand fall back to his side and gives the women space as instructed.

Click, click, click, click.

Swift footsteps approach from across the gallery. Flanked by a pair of Yamagato security in final wear, the security chief Eizen Erazawa looks visibly concerned. On seeing Eizen’s approach, Kenner finishes the last of his champagne and approaches Sylvester from behind, giving the agent a gentle touch on the shoulder before stepping back beside Richard.

Moving through the small crowd that has gathered among the medical emergency, Eizen looks apologetic in the direction of the other guests and issues quick non-verbal instructions to the other security present. Curiously, he seems well aware of the extant conversation had prior to his arrival as he approaches Monica and gently places a hand at her cybernetic elbow.

“I was instructed by President Egami to have paramedics from the Safe Zone on standby,” he says in a hushed tone to her. “Legal concerns about utilizing the Yamagato headquarters medical facilities.” There is, however, a fond smile offered to her none the less. “I appreciate you taking control of the situation until I could arrive.”

One of the black tie security team on John offers a concerned look to him, and then over to Eizen as well. “He may’ve had a bit too much to drink sir.” Eizen shoots the officer a look and he then grows silent.

“Miss Varlane,” Eizen smoothly approaches, a hand delicately hovering near her shoulder but not making contact. “Help is on the way,” and Eizen offers a look to John that is both concern and uncertainty.

“Mister Logan,” Eizen asks as John is being helped toward an emergency exit where, presumably, an ambulance may already be waiting. “Is there anyone I should call?” He isn't sure how cognizant he is.

There is an ease with which Huruma settles back, after delivering an affectionate embrace to Nicole and listening as the three exchange friendly words. Once or twice her eyes stray, following a quiet, invisible something. Richard's words have her smiling, a flash of teeth and a cock of head.

"It's good to be back." Huruma's words hold a considerable truth to them; she probably could have gotten away with staying in Madagascar, but that wouldn't have been her, would it? "Different… but not in a bad way." She settles for this explanation, at least.

Huruma's eyes flicker from the trio upward, a tick of pupils that draws a look towards Keira. The man's apparent interest in something this way earns him a brief, silent stare, while everyone else keeps on. An inquiry.

But of course, that does not last for terribly long. The medical drama occuring nearby pulls her away, the concerned bustle of bodies visible from where she stands. For good old John Logan, even. Huruma stands back enough to list against the glass barrier between her spine and Kensei's sword. She watches, a dark brush of paint against the shine of the gallery.

Well this is—

Not entirely how he imagined his night going. The empty space around him is now full of people, from Logan's perspective, and then a wall at his back, movement and voices happening in a haze while his eyes blink glassily. Lucille's washing away of pain doesn't seem to change his demeanour, more spacey than anything else as he leans back against the wall, a passive resistance to being moved as voices come through like fog horns in the mist. Nicole's voice, whispered, does seem to get through, brief eye contact made along with a crooked smile that shows fang.

In Lucille's grasp, his hand is cold and clammy, slipping away as he's otherwise escorted.

"Fucking— " A deep breath between words. "Strong fffucking champagne, these Japs have. Oh." One is talking to him. Is there anyone they can call? The question is fundamentally confusing, just like the rest of reality. Swimmily, he grasps for a name, walking in a straight line towards the exit only by virtue of hands on him. "Muldoon."

And then, promptly, Logan's knees give out, slipping into something like unconsciousness as security very quickly grab a hold before he can slip all the way to the floor.

Promptly, the emergency exit doors bang open, the rattle of a wheeled stretcher drawing some further glances. Uniformed paramedics move at a professional clip. One of them, up ahead, spies the action, and wrenches the gurney around in that direction. Authoritative in stride, bleached blonde hair piled into a ponytail clipped from her face, she offers security a big grin which might be a little disarming. Here we are to save the day.

Oh boy it's a party now. Nicole arriving was too be expected if it involved Logan and she offers her friend a nod and worried look. As more people crowd them she clings to his hand, suddenly more worried as Logan speaks and then Monica is walking over and she smiles faintly at her sparring buddy, “He’s a good family friend just concerned is a-” and the security chief is walking over. Luce did her homework, all of Wolfhound did she imagines, there's a curt nod toward the Yamagato guy.

John is falling to the ground unconscious and Lucille’s eyebrows raise, “Shit.” And the calvary is arriving so she steps back with a comforting hand on Nicole’s shoulder. “You should go with him.” She says softly as she watches the paramedics do their job.

The blonde with a shit eating grin gets a quirk of an eyebrow and a slight glare. Lucille doesn't think this is funny.

The touch to her arm has Monica looking that direction, a smile coming to her face when it turns out to be the real security. She nods to the whisper and her smile turns more apologetic. "Of course," she says to him and her free arm ushers him toward Logan. "Thank you for coming so quickly, Eizen." Which she means, because she was flying by the seat of her pants and she's more than happy to let him take over.

The comment from the officer gets a look from Monica, too, and hands on her hips.

Her gaze travels to the others around, too, but it's just for a moment before she withdraws to her date again. Which finally puts Richard in her sights.

It's a sharp shift when she smiles over at him and comes over to nudge his shoulder. "Hey Rich," she says warmly. Like there isn't a medical situation happening across the room. "We know how to throw a party, right?" There has to be at least one party foul before it's the real deal, after all.

Paramedic #2 is looking sharp in his uniform, shoulders crisp, a scruff of greying hair shorn off short over a goatee to match. He’s already in a pair of blue gloves, carrying a bulky bag of Medical Stuff on his shoulder, and chewing a knot of gum he’s forced to cheek when his compatriot takes the lead.

Bag shrugged off to the floor, heels planted and jaw squared serious, he looks Logan up and down, and immediately forgets he’s not supposed to be chewing gum.

“Too much to drink?” he judges, this country boy medical professional, brow furrowed with Utmost Concern. Arm out, he goes ahead and shoulders his way in to heft ol’ John Logan off their hands, jerking his chin for his partner to lend a hand. “Let’s get him up on the gurney — we’ll take it from here, officers.

Somewhere on the fringe of the crowd stands a girl in a flowy pink dress. One hand conceals the bite wound on the other, which will require stitches, so Sibyl should be happy to see that there are already paramedics on the scene.

Except that she isn’t. She’s staring at the scene as it unfolds less than a hundred feet away from her on the other side of the gallery, her view partially obstructed by other partygoers jostling to get a better look at what’s happening — and to who. She moves with slow, cautious purpose, using her small size to navigate the crush of people until she has a front row seat for the action.

Her eyes are suddenly very big.

She looks to the blonde paramedic first; the colour is still washing out of her face when her attention shifts to the man scooping Logan into his arms, and by the time the Englishman’s feet have left the ground she appears like she’s in danger of swooning herself.

Not because of the bite. She steadies herself instead, gaze fixed on Logan being loaded onto the gurney— or rather, the two individuals doing the loading.

Of course, Kaylee is going to watch the progress of her brother to see what he does and she does seem proud that he doesn’t mess it up… it’s someone else that causes a scene. Thank goodness. She glances at Huruma and moves over to stand by Richard, watching the whole scene play out. “Seems you lucked out…” She murmurs quietly watching Logan. “Though I do hope he is okay.” Unlike Ray, she is actually a little concern for the guy who owns an antique shop she frequents.

With so much going on the hum of minds is at a bit of a fevered pitch, so her voice is a touch strained…. How long has she been here? Fingers rub at the side of her neck as she frowns with concentration in an attempt to try and strengthen the walls of her mind again.

"Oh dear, I hope John's okay," Richard replies to Monica in a complete deadpan tone as she returns their way, "I'd be terribly upset if anything happened to him."

Something might give anyone listening the idea that he's not being completely honest about such feelings!

Then a smile crooks up at the corner of his mouth, and he tips his head to her, "I'm impressed at your security's response, though; very prompt, very professional. I mean, obviously they'd be on high alert for a party like this, but still. As someone who used to be in the business, well done." Kudos for all, well done, medals all around.

Watching the scene as it unfolds piece by piece, Huruma is eventually rewarded for her due patience. The paramedics arrive, begin to work; Sibyl's slim shape crosses into her peripheral; her eyes track the girl a moment, darting ahead of her path and back to the medical support. Huruma's head tilts like a bird of prey, focusing on the face of the male EMT.

How much does she care?

Huff.

"One or two of you should go with him…" Huruma moves just a step closer to the hustle of people, hands at her sides when she speaks up.

Behind Sibyl is a taller silhouette in white, dark hair and tattoos and blind eyes looking with furrowed brows around what is clearly a scene they've walked into. Noticing Sibyl’s concern, Colette lays a hand on the young woman’s shoulder reassuringly. “Is that… John?” Behind the crowd she sees Nicole, one hand immediately up to signal to her in a small wave to try and get her attention.

Keeping her hand on Sibyl’s shoulder, Colette leans down to whisper in confidence. “I don't see Sasha or his date anywhere.” There's worry in her eyes, for Logan, for Nicole. But at least he's getting medical attention, he — seems fine.

“Ya’ll jus’ make some room,” a third paramedic politely asks from the emergency doors, zippered jacket identifying him as Edwin. He adjusts his hat, Alabama sweet charm coming with his stubbled smile as he places a hand on the gurney and walks with the other paramedics.

As Logan is being loaded away, Colette threads a hand through her hair and finally notices Sibyl’s worried expression. “It's… it'll be ok, John’s tough. He probably just drank himself into a door,” is a little lighter, meant to ease her nerves.

Monica chuckles at Ray's tone, but gives him a sidelong look. "Well, something definitely happened to him," she says, dryly. "Or if it didn't, it will once Kam finds out he touched the displays. But you are supposed to be on your best CEO behavior." The chiding is only playful, though. Because she doesn't know Logan from Adam.

The compliment to Yamagato security gets a wider smile. "They're very good. Eizen is super picky about his teams." He isn't murdering futures, but he does good work. She looks over at the paramedics, her smile wavering a bit. She looks over the people gathered, taking in expressions and demeanors. It's possible she wishes that the red tape didn't prevent them from just using the facilities on site. "I'll tell him you send your professional compliments," she adds, before she looks back to Richard, pulling her smile back up again.

“As it happens,” Nicole feels her heart constricting in her chest, fear and sadness gripping at her, “I answer Muldoon’s calls these days.” It comes out flatter than she wanted it to, but it’s not exactly the most lighthearted subject. She does stand out of the way to let the paramedics work, which is when she catches sight of her sister and lifts her hand briefly to indicate that yes, she saw that.

“I’m riding along,” she says in a firm voice, nodding to Lucille’s suggestion. And because Logan flashed her that fang, which means there’s some vague awareness beneath the surface, and she wants to be there to see that it improves. Nicole isn’t used to being argued with when she puts on that voice, but she’s prepared for it this time.

Speaking of too much to drink, a dark-haired, heavily tattooed woman in black silk nearly walks into a pedestal, tottering to the side at the last moment, stiletto heels rapping sharply. Pearl Valentin grumbles, "S'cuse me," to the object, taking a wide swing around it, and brushing her way through the crowd. She's pretty steady when she's walking unimpeded by stationary art. Both of her arms are tattooed, and the left sleeve of Japanese style sealife is at least 1/3 colored in with what appears to be magic marker. Anyone really close and concentrating on anything other than booze or ruckus might recognize them as berry scented, washable markers, in fact. "Sorry," she says to someone brushing past them as her hand lands in a familiar locale: "My bad. Nice butt, though." She's spent most of the evening in the ladies room.

Eyes are pinches against the mental shouting, but something… something catches her eye. The newest paramedic get noticed a casual glance at the tag and her gaze freezes. Richard can head a hiss of a sharp intake of air. There is a step forward and another, eyes squinting a little. It could be nothing… Lots of people could be named Edwin? Right?

She glances back at Richard briefly, brows furrowing, what if she was wrong. She studies the mans face and then those of the other paramedics. Kaylee has to battle herself for a moment, but then she gently, presses and idea into Nicole’s head to demand their credentials… Sorry Nicole! This is before the woman will hear a whisper of doubt, «Something is not right about these paramedics.»

She will hate herself later, if she is wrong. She cast a glance over at Richard, before she reaches out carefully with her ability to tests their minds, she does this while looking at her brother… he can see that look… where she’s not exactly looking at him, her mind is elsewhere.

Sylvester, meanwhile, has retreated to Kenner’s side and makes a point not to seem overly interested in what’s happening now that the paramedics are have the situation well in hand.

It’s secondhand embarrassment, actually, but who’s really paying attention to him anymore? He plucks a fresh glass of champagne off a server’s tray as it swoops past him and knocks it back in one go.

“Oh, you his date?” Edwin asks of Nicole with a broad smile. “Well I ain't gonna keep you from your boy, nah. C’mon and jus’ watch that head’a yours when you climb up in. Seen a lady just your height split her little face open in the back of a truck when I did medic duty in Eye-Rack,” he drawls the last part out, hand at Nicole’s back reassuring as he moves with the stretcher.

Then, with concerned brows he asks, “you know if he ate anything he didn't order? Nobody dun gone and slipped him a Mickey? Pretty ones always gettin’ taken advantage of. Ain't right.”

Keira is distracted from her goal of punching Richard by the commotion with Logan. The tall man turns to watch, one brow raising. Well that doesn’t look good — hopefully he’ll survive long enough for her to have a chat with him. The shapeshifter frowns at the paramedics, adjusting his tuxedo jacket again.

He glances over at Richard again out of the corner of his eye, pearly white teeth knitting at his lower lip. Flat out punch the guy, or make an eerie introduction?

After a moment of deliberation, he promptly grins. Suddenly, he’s right in front of Richard, a sparkling white smile upon his face as he all but pushes the man into a rough handshake, complete with a rough clap on the back. “Richard! Long time no see!” Who the fuck is this? He leans in, bro-hugging the man with another too-rough slap on the back, whispering something into his ear before pulling back with a smirk.

One moment, Cesar is having a pleasant conversation with people he knows, even having a humorous moment with top SESA brass. And then the next, there's a man down. The trained first responder in him starts a few steps forward, switched on for crowd control and awareness of immediate potential dangers. But when it's Monica who breaks off to take control of the situation, Cesar hangs back a bit, a supporter in the wings. Seeing Sylvester present as well, stays the man in place beside the SESA-NY Director.

However, he doesn't look at all settled in his observation of the gurney’s arrival. Cesar doesn't take his eyes off the proceedings, looking over the way they're handling (or manhandling) Logan. How they're being so… casual. "Moni, your guys ought to keep an eye on those guys," utters the man with a suspicious tone, a discomfited growl touching on the edges. But still, he doesn't move to intercept or make a scene. He has to will himself down, and when he finally does manage to look to the man Monica is speaking to, his eyes finally settle on Ray. "Hey," he greets distractedly, only to follow it up with a little better, less rude attempt. And fuller attention. "Cesar Diaz, SESA agent." A quick angle of his head to Monica adds a looser, "Her plus one."

Introductions are cut short, however, when suddenly a large man boulder-rolls his way into the fray around the smaller group aimed right for Richard Ray. Cesar's tall frame leans away, though he shoots the newcomer an assessing stare. Dark eyes flick to Ray's reaction at getting manhandled.

There’s a nagging doubt in the back of Nicole’s mind that only grows when Kaylee’s telepathic suggestion insinuates itself, mingling with her thoughts as though they were her own from the start. Edwin is eyed, but without any overt suspicion. She simply nods her head at his caution. “Yeah,” she confirms, lies, “I’m with him.”

Something is very wrong here, but creating trouble prematurely won’t help. Yamagato seems far too content to let outsiders handle this situation and she figures the swiftest way to be separated from her friend is to make a scene. So, she can get out of sight, out of security’s net, before she makes any kind of move. Nicole still has to decide what that move might be even.

“Maybe it’s something that didn’t agree with him. We were separated so I didn’t see everything…” Or anything, really. But that isn’t the point. Nicole watches the man on the gurney with genuine concern. God help whoever did this to him.

"I'm on it." And she is on it. Monica pulls out her phone to snap a couple pictures of these sketchy paramedics. And to send a text. To Marlowe.

Mar— Send me your drones. Need eyes. —Mon

And then the phone gets tucked away and she looks over at Cesar. "You won't be upset if I go for a walk, right? Fresh air. Cool night…" Of course, that walk might be across rooftops. And be less of a walk and more of a… parkour.

She glances over at Richard and his pushy friend, but then back to Cesar again. "That's Richard Ray," as if he maybe didn't know, "he's a good friend. You keep an eye on that guy." She passes him her suit jacket, too, a smile coming to her face. "And watch this for me, yeah? Oh, and," she says as she lifts a foot at a time to slide her shoes off. "Can't ruin the red soles." Louboutins are sacred.

Because as soon as the ambulance goes, she's going. To follow for as long as she can keep up.

Huruma steps back as things begin to streamline; from the sense of the people around her, she is not the only one that is apprehensive. It'll do. The tall woman slinks past the display case, turning its corner and sweeping away between pottery and a kimono encased in a lighted box. The robes catch her eyes as she moves, one short look the prelude to an escape.

Somewhere.

The Male EMT (so dubbed) is baseline chill about all of this — rubberneckers and questions and the appearance of Edwin, who he bears a certain resemblance to. Probably just the getup. They’re at stone cold odds with the bulk of partygoers and security alike, practical blues meant to be bled on. Certainly, there’s no fear in him. Why would there be?

He leans an ear down to Logan’s teeth once they’ve got him lain back on the gurney, buckles snapped and pulled stiff across his chest.

“He’s breathin’ pretty good for now, reckon we ought to get him on the wagon to go through the whole rigamarole.”

A pair of fingers plugged into the (former?) pimp’s throat is ostensibly there to get some kind of pulse, twenty or thirty seconds given over into a twirled gesture to roll out. His bag is still on the floor, and he stoops to collect it, bringing up the rear of the procession on its way back out again.

“He on any kind of medication?” he asks Nicole, prying up one edge of his left glove to squint underneath as they go. Like he’s got an itch. “Any known conditions?”

Logan only rouses for a moment at the feeling of the strap securing across his chest, and rough fingers jabbing for a pulse. Rousing is, in itself, barely that: his body remains limp where he's been piled onto the gurney, hands lax on his wrists, feet lax on his ankles. Still shocky pale, his brow twinges, and he squints his eyes open enough to be able to see Male EMT's profile from this strange upwards angle. Redneck accents in a familiar timbre seem to bounce around in the cavern where his brain ought to be like marbles.

He closes his eyes tight again when the gurney is drawn around, smooth on its wheels, possibly a little faster than is strictly necessary as the female EMT drags it around like a shopping cart in an abandoned department store. Her nametag reads Susan Suzanne, and she leans down.

"Hey, John," she says, that tone of brightly friendly, intended to pierce through the unconscious haze. "Can you hear me? Don't worry," she says through her teeth, "everything's gonna be awesome for you." Generously, one could assume a medical professional assessing a patient's responses, giving verbal affirmation. You know, if you want. While her uniform is very crisp and fits her well, the rest of her is a little ramshackle, with sleepy eyeliner and raggedly ponytail swept up by claws and into its tie. She steers the stretcher as they exit stage left.

In the crowd, she locks eyes, briefly, with the Ghost, and a Cheshire smile brightens across her face as they vanish from view, Nicole in tow. Byeee.

Richard tips his head in a permissive gesture to Monica as she heads off, thoughtful gaze following her for a moment before he looks back to the SESA agent in question. “Cesar,” he offers affably, “Richard Ray— I used to be her boss, once upon a time. She’s still a good friend. So do—” Then he cuts off, as there’s suddenly a large black man in front of him that he doesn’t recognize.

A blink, and then he's shaking the man's hand on automatic pilot as his hand’s seized, "Er, hello? I— " Tension as he leans in, clearly expecting some sort of attack. Then they pull back, and there's a bark of laughter, the tension leaving as he looks over 'Keira' in unhidden amusement, "You're kidding me. Seriously?"

There is a moment where she wants to follow, stop them, dig deep into Edwin’s mind. Kaylee starts to move, only a step, but then… she stops. This wasn’t supposed to be her life anymore. Wasn’t supposed to be.

Instead, with a soft sigh she turns to Richard, grabbing his arm. A glance does to the tall black man, eyes narrowing slightly, a touch suspiciously, “If you will excuse me, I need to speak with my brother.” With that the man is promptly forgotten for her brother. “We need to go. I.. need to find Joseph and all of us need to go.” Leaning close, Kaylee whispers, “One of them was Edwin.”

Kaylee gives him a significant look and steps away, through the crowd to find her husband… and make her excuses to leave. At least she has an idea of who they might be up against.

Somewhere in all of this, Kenner disappeared. Just took a step back into the crowd and then was gone the next time one of his agents looked for him. Though not with a supernatural grace or speed, as he is just barely visible rounding the corner of the gallery toward the lobby. Whatever spurred him on drove him to a long-legged power walk.

More immediately in the action, once the ambulance has gone, Eizen presses a finger to the side of his neck once and furrows his brows, then nods subtly and looks over to Monica. He says nothing, though his facial cues look as though he is having a conversation. A moment later, he steps over to Monica’s side and gingerly guides her out of earshot of others. He does, however, offer an apologetic smile to her date.

“Jiba just confirmed facial recognition scans don't match registered EMTs in the Safe Zone,” said as a hush so as to not raise alarm among the guests. “President Egami has instructed a non-pursuit request, as we cannot confirm how accurately the EMT records are updated. I see your suspicion and it is… as my own.”

Hearing the buzzing sound of Marlowe’s drones AH and UN coming whirring down the hall, Eizen offers a very pointed look to Monica. “Unofficially, perhaps you are concerned about Mister Logan and wish to… deliver flowers to his room.” That's as close as Eizen will get to defying Kin Egami’s orders. But he makes it clear this is a red tape issue he does not, morally, agree with. Her distance from the other guests also infers that this is not publicly shared knowledge.

Apart from the Yamagato interactions, Colette nervously squeezes Sibyl’s shoulder as she sees Nicole disappear into the ambulance and ride off with John. Withdrawing her hand from Sibyl’s shoulder, she removes her phone from her clutch and quickly drafts a text, but doesn't much leave the injured young woman’s side.

Logan just got taken away by EMTs. I think he collapsed. They're taking him to Elmhurst. Nicole went with him.

Brows furrowed, she sends the text and exhales a slow sigh. “Come on,” she urges Sibyl, “let's go find Sasha.”

Doors close, wheels turn and Monica— gets pulled off to the side. It's not what she was hoping for, which is obvious to Eizen. And probably anyone else who was paying attention. But she doesn't argue, just follows him with an exasperated look. But she at least tries to keep it between them. She won't be the one to cause a scene. Or well. Another scene.

"Yeah, no kidding," she says, matching his volume, even if her tone leans more toward sarcasm. "Eizen," she says, like she might start to reason with him, until he actually acknowledges the weirdness. Of course, there is a reason she's not part of Yamagato security and her tendency to go off book is likely to be a part of it. She glances toward AH and UN, then back to Eizen. "I am very concerned about the welfare of our guest and would like to make sure that he is left with the best impression of the Fellowship we can manage. I would hate for him to think poorly of his experience here." Yes. "And since Ms. Damaris is otherwise occupied, the duty falls in my lap." Right. "So I'll follow up."

She pulls out her phone, where a couple texts from Marlowe are waiting for her.

what's 📤? u want a 📷 w ur date? 😉
LOL. np AH/UN ⏩ 2 u ☆☆

Monica manages not to groan. Her expression is indulgent, though. Before she replies to her friend, she looks back up to Eizen. "You're a good man, Charlie Brown," she says to him with a quick wink. It's playful, on the surface. For anyone looking. But her gaze lingers long enough to let him know that she understands. And agrees.

There's an ambulance pulling away from the building. We need to keep an eye on it. One of our attendees is in it and we need to follow up. You in?

She hopes for the message to get her point across. That is isn't just a simple follow up. But the best she can do on her own is to guide the drones out just far enough to get eyes on the ambulance. Marlowe will have to take it from there.

Cesar starts off like he's already upset when he's asked to hold Monica's bolero jacket and shoes that basically cost more than his paygrade. Like he wants to follow after her, but he's restricted. So instead he nods slowly, taking the items. "Moni," he calls after her, waiting for her to glance back at him before he adds with a smirk, "patea sus culos." Even if she might not understand the phrase, the intention is all there. Then he's turning back to Ray, easing back into a better mood despite watching the strange, roughly handled handshake between Ray and Keira.

AH and UN fly in with a buzzing of rotors, small LEDs lit and scoping out the crowd. They've been keyed to Monica's location, triangulating upon the woman and hovering overhead but remaining out of arm's reach.

A new barrage of texts respond to Monica's latest:

😨 😨 ! wat happened? 😠
o thats y Erizawa left… 😰
OK! will do ✈️ *😒 🚑

The drones hover for moments longer, then buzz away through the air and on out of the room.

At the interruption, Richard turns towards Kaylee — leaning in to listen to her quiet words, he jerks back at the information in shock, eyes widening as he looks towards the exit where the paramedics just wheeled Logan out. He gives her a sharp look that she should recognize, 'thinking' in her direction. Tell Monica what that might mean, and who these people might be. Then get Joseph and, yeah, let's get out of here.

He turns back to Cesar and— oh, Kenner's disappeared— and 'Keira' and offers an apologetic smile, "I'm so sorry, we've got to get going, I'm afraid. Some business just came up, I'm sure you understand— it was a pleasure meeting you, Agent Cesar, stop by the office sometime." A tip of his head, a pointed talk later look at Keira, and then he's turning away.

"Pearl," he calls over at the sight of his date returning, heading towards the tattooed woman making her way through the room, raising one hand to get her attention.

Somehow in all the press of minds, Kaylee catches her brother’s mental voice. Pausing, her head turns a little and she gives a faint nod. She’s on it.

Changing direction, Kaylee comes up behind Monica and Cesar. She offers the man a smile, before looking to Monica. “Hey, crazy, huh?” Even as she speaks, there is a hollow voice that touches the other woman’s mind. «My deepest apologize for the intrusion, Monica.»

The telepath looks in the direction that Logan has been taken by the paramedics. “Am I the only one that thinks there was something rather fishy about them?” «Richard wanted me tell you those paramedics may be planning a hit on Raytech. A lot of deaths.» She looks at Monica. «Eve had a vision.»

Robyn has been so transfixed with the going ons with Logan - someone she's never personally known that she can recall, but seen and heard about - that it isn't until the paramedics are gone, and Nicole Varlane with them, that she finally snaps out of her trance and looks back to the others - except most of them are no longer around her. It's just her and Elaine for a moment.

Her first instinct is to excuse herself and instead go flag down Richard again.

Instead, she turns back to Elaine and offers her a smile. "You look radiant tonight," she offers again, with a more intentional choice of words. "Are you staying in the gallery the entire event? That seems like an absolute waste." A glance back over to Richard and Kaylee. "Come on. I have to talk to Richard about something, but I'd love if you could tell me more about some of the exhibits too. They're absolutely fascinating. Didn't realise this is what you do, exactly."

With that, she turns, and half shouts "Richard!" as a warning, gently taking Elaine's arm and pulling her with her.

Elaine was momentarily distracted by the chaos, but it was only momentary. She trusted staff to handle things and she didn’t know the fellow personally, so there was nothing really she could do. She takes a quick glance around to make sure all the exhibits are still standing properly where they should. It’s then that she finds herself alone with Robyn. She’s not quite sure what to do, but Robyn breaks the silence first, thankfully.

“Thank you,” she replies to the compliment. “I was mostly planning on sticking around here, it’s a bit of a work function after all and I’ve been helping show off the exhibits.” She grins at Robyn’s actual interest in her work. “I told you I had a fun job.” She’s surprised when her arm is taken but offers no resistance as she follows Robyn over in Richard’s direction.

Whoa, hey telepath, Monica thinks back to Kaylee. The surprise is there, but the intrusion doesn't seem to bother her. Let Richard know I'm tracking them. I'll find out what I can. She glances over in the direction of the Rays, giving them a quick salute.

Cesar, though— his little encouragement gets him a kiss goodbye before she slinks off to disappear into the crowd first, then out the building second. Drones in tow.

Ghost's attention navigates through the mess of movement and transitioning parties in the same herky-jerky tactically prioritized pattern of jumps that he tends to use his powers with. He's paying some attention to Logan, but probably not as much as he should if they were Real Buddies. There was like an 'this will be a problem for me in a couple of degrees of separation' level of concern there. He met Susan's eyes.

He didn't smile back.

He angles his shoulders to cut through the crowd of pretty dresses, other tuxedos, and staff in uniform, detouring a couple feet to skim his fingers up the nape of Eve's neck by way of friendly see you soon. Not quite in hot pursuit of the paramedics and their fuss, but hanging back, far enough that he can watch the way they're going. He picks his phone out of his pocket. He dials Hana. He doesn't actually, immediately crowd her with girlfriendy gossip that maybe her fella was stepping out on her.

Just as she catches a glimpse of the kerfluffle betwixt few milling bodies in formal wear, Pearl hears her name. She glances across the sea of attendees, finally spotting Richard amid the increasingly flustered throng. It's the pinstripe and the casual gait. She slips between two burly dudes in suits and totters over to join her date before she runs afoul of anymore fragile antiquity.

"I haven't seen this much low-key panic-buzz in a room since the time my bitchy ex-roommate lied about free chalupas in the lobby at a pot legalization rally." Pearl brushes a hand down the modest neckline of her dress. "But everyone was too stoned to get off the couches and rage out about it." She frowns slightly, patting her hand across the silk and modest decolletage, like something's missing (because it is). "Left my flask in the bathroom with the pre-teen."

“I don’t know what that’s a euphemism for, and I probably don’t want to,” Richard replies in wry tones as he steps along up beside Pearl, glancing over his shoulder to make sure Kaylee’s starting towards the exit as well, “We should leave, though, before something else happens.”

Casually said. Not a casual opinion. She can tell, the look in his eyes, the shift in his stance.

At the call of his name, he looks back over - flashing a corporate smile and calling to Robyn and Elaine, “Sorry, Robyn - business calls, catch me later?” An arm offered to Pearl before he tilts his head insistently at the door.

Time to go.

Black tie security shuts the emergency doors, ending the gout of cold air that had been entering the gallery. Guests are urged to return to enjoying the gala and that everything is fine, even if perhaps it isn’t for a few. Eizen Erizawa watches the doors close with reservation, brows furrowed and uncertainty in dark eyes.

Down the hall, Director Kenner stands with a phone up against his ear, hunched to bring his mouth closer to his chest and hide his words. He offers a look out the curving glass wall that views the east wing parking lot and lawn, watching the retreating red lights of the ambulance with momentary scrutiny.

At the end of the day, the human drama on stage displays the level of interwoven stories in each and every life here. Much in the way the gallery’s art impacted generations, much as the sword of Takezo Kensei impacted the lives of many. Art is experience, and experience is connection. Be it those troubled by the swift exit of John Logan, those grimly celebrating his predicament, or a lone woman watching from a higher window.

Reflected against the glass, Kam Nisatta watches the red lights of the ambulance fade into the distance, brows furrowed and uncertainty painted across her dark eyes. As a dark shape moves into the parking lot, one metal arm gleaming in the night, Kam’s brows furrow anxiously.

Run,” she whispers against the glass.

“They will come for you next.”


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