Mew

Participants:

ingrid_icon.gif ray_icon.gif

Scene Title Mew
Synopsis Richard makes a new friend.
Date March 15, 2018

Raytech Lobby

A wash of natural light spills down from the windows overhead to illuminate the expanse of the Raytech building’s lobby and its white flooring, assisted by softly luminous light strips that line the top and bottom edges of dark grey walls during the evening hours when the sun isn’t up to provide it. The first thing visitors to the building see once they’ve come through doors of bulletproof glass is the front desk, with open space to either side of it and the vertical Raytech logo on the wall behind, backlit for a striking effect in red and white.

Along the walls of the lobby are framed newspaper stories about the company - announcements of the opening of their main factory in Detroit and of this very building in the New York Safe Zone, stories covering the technological breakthroughs and advances by the company’s innovators, and mentions of the company’s infrastructure restoration work in contract with the government. Tall potted plants are placed between the framed pictures, keeping the lobby from feeling overly sterile and unnatural.


Just having returned to the office after a trip across town, Richard Ray is in the lobby at the moment checking for any messages at the desk and going through a handful of mail to decide if any of it isn't garbage.

There was a civil war, they're in a Safe Zone, and people are still sending spam through the mail. Humanity never changes.

He's dressed maybe a little less formally than you'd expect a CEO to dress, although still business - nice black pants, a black suit jacket over a button-up. No tie, and the jacket's open. The shoes are black, but those are running shoes.

The sound of bicycle spokes click-click-clicking fills the lobby on a gust of cold spring air. A young woman dressed in a pair of bright emerald-green slacks made from what looks like crushed velvet leans her bike against the wall by the door and wipes off the bottoms of her flats. Ingrid Ryans wears her long hair in a loose, tousled mess that haphazardly cascades over her shoulders and down her back and picks at the wildest strands with her fingers as she crosses the lobby toward the front desk.

An oversized purse with a floral print in shades of pink that looks like it once belonged to someone’s grandmother hangs off her shoulder. If it was anyone else, Richard might have to worry about a concealed weapon — or worse, a bomb — but this is Ingrid, and there’s no rifle butt poking out of her bag. There is, however, a colorful bouquet of winter-blooming flowers shot through with eucalyptus leaves and peppered in twinkling raindrops.

“Good morning, Mr. Ray!” she calls out gently across the lobby, and she maybe looks a little surprised to see him manning the front desk alone.

It takes a minute for Richard to recognize the woman; a smile tugging up at the corner of his lips once he does as he straightens, raising a handful of mail to waggle in her direction in a sort of wave. “Ms Ryans,” he calls back affably, dropping the mail onto the desk and turning back towards her, “What brings you by today…?”

He glances to the desk, then back, “I’m afraid the receptionist had to use the bathroom so I’m covering for her.” Best CEO ever. Or possibly the worst. It depends on how you’re rating.

“Oh, that’s kind of you.” As Ingrid comes up alongside the desk, her bag makes a sound, which she attempts to cover with a feeble clearing of her throat. “I was just out making a delivery for a customer this morning,” she says, gesturing to the flowers. There are more bouquets, all wrapped in brown paper, stuffed elegantly into the wicker basket attached to the bicycle’s handlebars.

Funny story.” This is maybe not a great start to their conversation. “I stopped for coffee at that little place by the bodega at the corner of Prospect Park. What’s it called? Um.” She snaps her fingers. “They do the cardamom syrup thing. Anyway. I was coming back out and I almost tripped over this soggy old cardboard box somebody left on the stoop, and at first I was like— excuse me, person, this is littering! Who leaves a cardbox at the bottom of the stairs unless they’re deliberately trying to be mean.”

As she speaks, she’s digging around inside her purse, leaves and petals rustling. It makes another sound. “So. I look in the box aaaaaand.” She pulls out a tiny orange animal from the bottom of the purse, its fur so dark that it borders on red. A tuft of flyaway fluff forms a cardinal-like mohawk on the top of its soft little head, which cranes sleepily around in protest.

Mew, says the kitten.

“Isn’t he cute?”

As she starts to go into this elongated story, Richard steps away from the desk and along over to her - gaze dropping to the purse as she rustles around in it, curious as to just what she’d found that was so important she’d bring it all the way out here. Secret documents? Some weird high-tech device? Adam’s head in a box? (He can dream, okay?.)

Oh. It’s a kitten.

He blinks twice as she holds up the kitten, and then he chuckles softly. “He’s pretty cute, yeah,” he admits, reaching a hand out to rub a finger under his chin.

“I think it’s a he, anyway.” Ingrid flashes a sheepish glance at the kitten’s underside. “Sorry, little guy.” Girl?

Oh well.

The kitten grabs Richard’s thumb in its forepaws and pulls it toward its mouth, not to bite but to suckle. It makes a squeaky sound of contentment, its blue eyes lidding shut. “I believe in serendipity,” says Ingrid. “It’s the glue that holds the universe together. Not atoms, or gravity, or whatever. Serendipity. He was in the right place at the right time with the right haircut. The only person he could possibly be meant for is you.”

A soft chuckle escapes Richard as his thumb’s captured and suckled on, a forefinger rubbing the kitten’s ears and little ‘mohawk’ of hair affectionately. “I mean, God knows I believe in coincidence and serendip— wait, what?”

The ex-convict, ex-security specialist, ex-freedom fighter, ex-look we could be here all day looks at her with a look like a deer about to get creamed by a particularly merciless Mack truck. “Wait, wait, whoa, are you trying to give me a cat, Ryans?”

Ingrid rumples her brow at Richard. “Trying to— ?” she asks, and there should probably be a note of sarcasm in her voice — except that there isn’t. “Oh. No, Mr. Ray. I’m just the courier. The Powers That Be are giving you the kitten. This doesn’t have anything to do with me.”

As if to demonstrate her point, she unceremoniously holds the kitten in question up a little higher, still within Richard’s reach—

And drops it.

“You’re sounding like Tamara now, but you and I both know that you’re— “ The sentence is never finished, because the crazy woman in front of him has just dropped a kitten, and Richard isn’t the sort of psychopath to just let a kitten fall.

Arguably he might be a different sort of psychopath, but that depends on who you’re asking.

So of course he lunges a bit to catch the poor thing, exclaiming, “Careful! Jesus, Ryans, what are you doing!”

Ingrid taps her own nose. Twice.

Maybe she would have caught the kitten of Richard hadn’t, or maybe not. “I think,” she says, “I’m leaving. You and your new best friend probably need some alone time to get to know eachother better. He’s shy, but he warms up really fast. You’ll see.”

She plucks a single flower out of the bouquet, twirls it once between her fingers, and leaves it on the desk for Sera when she returns. It strikes her as the right thing to do.

“Have a good afternoon, Mr. Ray,” she says with a small wave, turning to lope back toward her bike. “I named him Dickie, but you can change it if you want to!”

“Wh— “ Cardinal stares after Ingrid as she cheerfully starts for the door and her bike, “Wait, what am I supposed to do with a— “ She’s not listening.

He looks down at the kitten he’s cradling to his chest and safety.

Mew, says the kitten.

“Well, fuck,” he mutters, stroking the kitten’s head-tuft absently, “I guess Lily and Ricky are getting a pet after all.”


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